The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on September 2, 1993 · 25
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 25

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, September 2, 1993
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Thursday, Septemlx-r 2, 1993 B-l Markets at a glance Tkundayti closing figure. Change from previom trading day'i cloe. V WW AVERAGE " 3,626.10 -19.00 &m jfnmrigco fearoincr Honda, in an effort to reclaim iU No. 1 spot, won't raise the price of ita 1994 Accord Sedan inl994.B-3 PM0 461.30 1.8S 30-YEAR T-BONDS 6.04 -0.05 0 1 mm wjr JJ.X U UJi if if r ! I I1 i r .1 1 ChipSoft, Intuit merger In a stock swap valued at $225 million, Intuit Inc. and ChipSoft Inc. will merge their finance and tax preparation software businesses. Intuit, based in Menlo Park, sells Quicken personal finance software and QuickBooks Bmall business bookkeeping software. San Diego-based ChipSoft sells the TurboTax, MacInTax and TurboTax ProSeries tax preparation programs. Both companies are leaders in their software niche markets. ChipSoft will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Intuit. The combined companies will have annual sales in excess of $170 million. Intuit has about 550 employees, and ChipSoft about 400. The deal is expected to be completed by December. Jobless claims, factory orders drop The number of Americans filing firstTtime claims for jobless benefits fell by 7,000 last week, the government said Thursday, and a closely watched unemployment indicator the four-week average remained at a four-year low. The Labor Department said new applications for unemployment insurance totaled 324,000, down from a revised 331,000 filed during the week ended Aug. 21 and matching the level reached during the week ended Aug. 14. The four-week average totaled 327,500, down 3,750 from 331,250. Separately, the Commerce Department reported that orders received by American factories tumbled at the sharpest rate in more than lVa years in July, primarily because of a falloff in demand for cars, airplanes and railroad equipment. The 2.1 percent drop in July orders to a seasonally adjusted $250.15 billion followed a revised 2.9 percent gain in June orders. The fall was the sharpest decrease in orders since a 3.6 percent drop in December 1991, department officials said. Fannie Mae rates fall below 7 percent The nation's leading source of home mortgages, Fannie Mae, con firmed Wednesday that mortgages are as cheap as they have been in decades, with rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans in early August under 7 percent. Last week, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., known as Freddie Mac, said its 30- year fixed-rate mortgage fell to 6.97 percent in the week ended Aug. 27. Freddie Mac's rate was down from 7.10 percent a week earlier, which had been its all-time low since it began keeping records in 1971. Spiegel, Ebony unite in sales pitch Spiegel Inc. said Wednesday it teamed up with Ebony Magazine to introduce a new line of fashionable apparel designed for African American women that will be featured in a new catalog. Known as "E Style," the new line of apparel and accessories are featured in a 64-page catalog being mailed this week to 1.1 million consumers. The merchandise will feature dress and suit prices starting at $99. It also will feature selected merchandise for the home. A second catalog will be distributed in late fall, Spiegel said. With a population growth rate twice the national average, black consumers command in excess of $270 billion in yearly purchasing power, Spiegel said. rrTTT Money Talks is on vacation r j I i-.,. ' ' '-. J I U I - , .:,.'J ' I 9W EXAMINEHCHHIS HAHDV Social anthropologist Paul Rabinow says technology won't run rampant to the point of eugenics and genocide. 'Twilight of the Golds' : Fiction or fearful future? New play raises disturbing issues of genetic identity and civil rights COULD GENETIC screening give legitimacy to buried prejudices and, in effect, encourage families to take part in eugenics? That's the premise of a new play, "The Twilight of the Golds," that tackles questions about the social impact of biotechnological advances. In the play, Rob Stein and Suzanne Gold-Stein, a middle-class Jewish couple, and their close-knit family confront the knowledge that their baby is likely to be gay. They learn this through an experimental EHiin-iii. v,mt genetic test un-..iinn..i. .i.niil derdevelop- S ALLY ment flt k'8 LEHRMAN lo8y IN Slllr mation forces IIIUIUL Rob (Michael Spound) and Suzanne (Jennifer Grey) to confront their feelings about homosexuality and choose whether they want to raise a gay child. It's a wrenching decision for the entire family, because Suzanne's brother is gay. The drama makes a timely appearance at the Marines Memorial as the debate rages over a study that seems to link homosexuality to a certain site on the X chromosome. It raises questions about so- BIOTECH Highly hyped Newton weak on handwriting Want to use Apple's latest? Just change the way you write By Jump Ledger and Tug Low NEW YORK DAILY NEWS NEW YORK - On the Newton, the handwritten bylines JAMES LYONS and TOM LOW-RY come up as JUMP LEDGER and TUG LOW. If Sir Isaac Newton were alive today and had to use his namesake personal digital assistant for computing and jotting down his notes, gravity would still be a figment of his imagination. The long-awaited, much-touted Newton MessaeePkA which AddIb Computer said would revolutionize i fit 1 9 m ljfli i 1 1 ulVij.. ! ' Mlchael Spound and Jennifer Grey play parents-to-be confronted with a wrenching decision. ciety's use of information about genetic patterns that may be linked to behavior, and about the manner in which technology can confront our accepted beliefs and habits. "It is almost certain that the next great civil rights issue to be confronted by our society will involve genetic identity," wrote the play's author, Jonathan Tolins, in the program notes. The Examiner invited two experts on genetics to watch the play and to discuss the issues it raises. Dr. Paul Billings, a clinical geneticist and chief of general internal medicine at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center, has studied genetic discrimination and has worked on state and federal legisla- the personal organizer industry, falls flat on its glass face. The Newton is supposed to be able to convert handwritten notes into text and faxes, and print and send messages by computer mail or satellite around the world. But the hand-held gadget, which weighs under a pound and costs more than $1,200 with the vital accessories, . can barely recognize its own name. In fact, it has the propensity of misreading almost everything written on it. Although it comes with a 10,000-word vocabulary, it takes several weeks to learn how to recognize the handwriting of its owner, who has to read the 223-page instruction book to learn how to use it. All this from the company that prides itself on making user-friendly computers. t - '1 l ( ill . Ajjir - ..-.W -- - ,i .jit. . ,M , tion that would outlaw the prac-. tice. Paul Rabinow, a social anthropologist at UC-Berkeley, is studying how scientific "truth," as created in part by biotechnology, circulates in society. Over late-night coffee at Mama's, both agreed that a prenatal test for "gayness" would never be developed. Homosexuality cannot be simplified to the effect of a single gene, they said. At the same time, however, they felt the play realistically presented the ways the information from genetic tests could strain family relations and bring out hidden fears. The play argues that parents may choose against characteristics they fear, such as homosexuality or physical disabilities in effect practicing eugenics. Billings said the play might have been more powerful if it had chosen a more realistic target for example, real-life cases where American families have chosen to abort babies because of their sex or because of simple disabilities. But the men also argued that genetic testa in themselves were unlikely to prompt eugenics, or a societal effort to "improve" the characteristics of the human race. They doubted that gene tests that someday might help predict intelligence, hyperactivity or alcoholism will set the stage for people to try to develop superhumans. "The generalized danger of eugenics isn't present," Rabinow said. He said people would turn to religion and other moral guides before they choose the perfect baby. The potential for an overemphasis on genetic planning "should be thought about, it should be debat- See BIOTECH, B-2 ASSOCIATED PRESS 1M3 A Newton with all the extras will set you back more than $1,200. The Newton contains a calcula-1 tor, calendar, date book and a simulated business card file for names and addresses. The most innovative feature, of See NEWTON, B-2 Former chairman leaves board of No. 3 automaker EXAMINER NEWS SERVICES DETROIT Former Chrysler Corp. Chairman Lee Iacocca quit the Chrysler board of directors Thursday, saying he wants to get on to other things. Iacocca, who retired from the No. 3 automaker in December after 14 tumultuous years, said he is confident that Chrysler is on firm financial footing and has good management. The announcement was made at Thursday's meeting of the Chrysler board in Highland Park, which Iacocca did not attend. Chrysler spokesman Steve Harris said Iacocca was out of the country. "Chrysler is in good hands and has an outstanding future," Iacocca said in a statement. Chairman "Bob Eaton has the best management team in the industry." Iacocca is also stepping down as chairman of the board's executive Mi giant more jobs Floods in Midwest, debt hit corporation By Ricardo Sandoval OF THE EXAMINER 8TAFF A day after starting a shake-up in its executive ranks, Southern Pacific Rail Corp. shook up its employee ranks by announcing another round of layoffs and furloughs that will affect roughly 1,750 people nationwide. SP, whose rail cars run on 15,000 miles of track in 15 states, also said its financial hit from this summer's severe Midwestern flooding has reached the $40 million mark and is still climbing. Following the sudden resignation of D. Michael Mohan as president Wednesday, the company said it was reorganizing its ranks of vice presidents. SP also said 800 management level and rank-and-file employees will be laid off over the next year, and another 950 etv venture to offer home AIDS care Local firm to have hand in 'hospital without walls' By Sally Lehrman OF THE EXAMINER STAFF The parent of Castro Village Pharmacy has teamed up with a nursing company to offer full-service AIDS care at home. Chronitech Homecare Services Inc., which owns Castro Village and another specialty pharmacy in the Western Addition, is launching a joint venture with Boston-based Kimberly Quality Care that they expect will bring in $25 million in annual revenue. More importantly, the principals say, people with AIDS will be able to get oral medication, infusions, blood pressure checks and 'I V ASSOCIATED PRESS 1991 Lee Iacocca will remain as a consultant at Chrysler Corp. committee, a position he demanded the board give him when he worked out his retirement last year. He recently cashed in about half of his stock holdings in Chrysler, collecting about $56 million. Though no longer on the board, Iacocca remains a consultant. He is See IACOCCA, B-3 puts on block workers primarily in the maintenance departments will be put on furlough through at least next spring. The layoffs come on top of the previously announced elimination of 1,600 SP jobs. By the end of 1994, SP's total work force will stand at 18,000, the company said. A spokesman said it is not clear how much money SP stands to save from the downsizing. The reductions are needed to help SP deal with a $1.8 billion debt load left over from its leveraged buyout by Denver industrialist Phillip Anschutz. But adding to the company's financial woes is flooding along the Mississippi River and its tributaries this summer. The floods covered many miles of SP tracks and forced detours. Because flooding continues in some areas of the Midwest, repairs will be delayed and the financial impact may spill over into SP's third- and fourth-quarter balance sheets. in The City HI i mm' S&P other care at home from one provider for the first time in San Francisco. By bundling the services together, the new venture aims to make itself more attractive to doctors and insurers. "Essentially it's going to be a hospital without walls," said David Kessler, director of AIDS programs for Kimberly, an $800 million company. "Insurers and other people are not going to be able to pay for that real estate any more home health care really is the way of the future." Paul Morabito, president of Chronitech in San Francisco, said he asked Kimberly to team up with his pharmacies because customers were losing their home nursing and infusion help. As soon as they used up their cost limit on intravenous See CASTRO, B-3

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