The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California on October 3, 1995 · Page 17
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The San Bernardino County Sun from San Bernardino, California · Page 17

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Tuesday, October 3, 1995
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Inside: Crime and public safetyB4 BUSINESS Work starts at OIA on passenger terminalB8 InlandEmpire1 Oslar McCarthy Tha Sun Section B Tuesday Oct. 3, 1995 Metro Asst. Managing EditorMetro (909) 386-3874 Fax (909) 885-8741 Inside: Readers offer feedbackB2 News digest Suspect may not be mentally competent SAN BERNARDINO Ernest Graves, a convicted murderer accused of escaping from the Central Detention Center on Aug. 5, may not be mentally competent to stand trial. During a preliminary hearing on the escape charge Monday afternoon in a San Bernardino courtroom, Graves' attorney questioned his client's mental competency, said Deputy District Attorney Cameron Page. A hearing on the defendant's ability to face criminal proceedings in connection with the escape was set for Nov. 14, the prosecutor said. "This may well affect his sentencing on the murder." Graves is expected to be sentenced to life in prison without parole on Oct. 12 for the murders of Rickey Wooley and Kenneth Jones. Teresa Gaines (909) 386-3854 School officials to discuss drug testing SAN BERNARDINO City school officials will discuss a student drug-testing policy at a board meeting at 6 p.m. today. Attorney Dan Hauter will discuss a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed for random drug testing of student athletes. Board President Lynda Savage has said the district is investigating the feasibility of a program, but has no plans to implement one. No action will be taken at the meeting. The board decided to discuss the issue at the request of a parent who has approached the board on several occasions discussing drug-related problems with his son, a student athlete. The meeting will be at the school district office, 777 N. F St., San Bernardino. Beth Szymkowski (909) 386-3886 Chief to report on gang suppression FONTANA Pol ice Chief Samuel Scott will report to the City Council and residents tonight about his department's efforts to eradicate gang activity and graffiti in the south end of the city. The report comes after last week's fatal shooting of a teenage tagger during a confrontation with a Southridge resident who was an off-duty Los Angeles police officer. Angel Venegas, 17, was shot to death on Sept. 26 after he aimed a gun first at the officer's neighbor, and then at the officer, police said. Venegas and several other taggers were caught by the neigh-' bor painting graffiti on a curb along Winery and Shadow courts. Drive-by shootings and other gang activities have increased in recent months, police said. Scott will discuss a recently formed gang suppression program that is focusing on gang and graffiti eradication. He had planned to provide the update before the shooting. The council will meet at 7 p.m. at the Don Day Community Center, 1450 1 Live Oak Ave. Renee Hernandez (909)822-1139 Metrolink opens Riverside-Irvine line RIVERSIDE Inland Empire rail commuters got their first taste of train travel to Orange County on Monday as Metrolink started service on its new line between Riverside and Irvine. The Inland Empire-Orange County line, the first suburb-to-suburb commuter train in the nation, got off to a promising start Monday, said Metrolink spokesman Peter Hidalgo. Two morning trains were ridden by 675 commuters, a much higher number than was expected, he said. As the first trains whizzed through Santa Ana Canyon in western Riverside County, some riders stuck out their tongues at gridlocked motorists stuck in the 91 Freeway's sea of brake lights, Hidalgo said. San Bernardino County residents will be able to ride the new line from San Bernardino's depot starting in January. Lynn Anderson (909) 986-9532 U of R to host open house REDLANDS The University of Redlands will hold an open house from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday to provide an update on campus renovations and upcoming events. The Neighborhood Meeting will be held in the Casa Loma Room, two buildings to the right of the Chapel in the quad area. For more information, call Margene Mastin at (909) 793-2121, Ext. 3880. Sulipsa Luque . ... (909)335-6732 ft Campus police chief files suit By Beth Szymkowski Sun Staff Writer SAN BERNARDINO San Bernardino Community College District's police chief claims in a lawsuit against the district that he is being fired in retaliation for dismissing a trustee's son. Bob G. Fletcher claims he is being dismissed because he fired Roland Beeman, an officer on the college police force and Trustee Charles Beeman's son, according to the lawsuit. Fletcher is on administrative HOMICIDE I ! I p s f Wi I II IIBfc I I l I II II l I III iMMiilll IM1 IH I HI Ontario police are seeking help from anyone who may have witnessed a car fire late Sunday in a construction area on Interstate 10 near the Interstate 15 interchange. The body of an unidentified adult was found in a burning 1983 Chevrolet Airport returns to higher security By Lynn Anderson Sun Staff Writer ONTARIO You've done it before; get ready to do it again. Reinstated airport security precautions will mean a return to pulling out your picture identification and submitting to searches of your baggage. The threat of terrorist violence has forced airports around the nation to tighten security yet again. " Word of the latest scare, however, didn't upset travelers at Ontario International Airport. For most, the roving security guards and posted warning signs have become mundane reminders of an ever-explosive world. "It doesn't really bother me," Las Vegas-bound Rita Mock, 38, of Yorba Linda said Monday. "I've seen much worse . . . machine guns on the Russian border, bomb squads in Rome you know." Over the weekend, the nation's airports were ordered to the highest level of security since the Persian Gulf War, more stringent even than during the recent concern about the Unabomber's threat to attack a Southern California airport. The increase was ordered for Council to discuss linkup The Rialto City Council will consider a plan to give residents computer access to official items such as agendas and staff reports. By Sharon Chino The Sun's Rialto Bureau RIALTO Residents with personal computers soon may be able to send e-mail to the mayor and City Council. The council will consider tonight whether to create a committee to develop an Internet access program for Rialto. An electronic bulletin board system could allow residents to read City Council agendas and staff reports from their homes or offices. Some programs also allow users to "sit in" on meetings and leave messages for city officials. "Residents could conduct city business and obtain city-related information in the comfort of their own home. If people get Workplace issues leave. He had been on the force for 13 years when he received a notice of the board's intention to dismiss him last November. Fletcher filed suit in both state superior and federal courts against the district, the trustees and Chancellor Stuart Bundy for wrongful termination and civil rights violations. Bundy and board members declined to comment Monday, saying they could not discuss a personnel issue. Charles Beeman : MAN FOUND Camaro shortly before 10 p.m., Detective Mike Macias said. The death is being investigated as a homicide. An autopsy will determine whether foul play was involved, he said. Anyone with information is asked to call (909) 988-6481, Ext. 7747. Security tips Air travelers can avoid delays as a result of increased airport security by: Clearly labeling luggage and maintaining control of all bags. Observing parking and unloading restrictions. Beingalerttoanyunat-tended bags, parcels or other items and reporting them to security. Being prepared to show identification and answer questions about baggage. several reasons the conviction of militant Muslims in the World Trade Center bombing, the signing of the Mideast peace treaty, the visit this week by Pope John Paul II and the United Nations' 50th anniversary celebration later this month, said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena. As a result, curbside parking at the Ontario airport terminals has been shut down indefinitely. "If you leave your car at the curbside, we've got a tow truck Rialto comfortable with it, it could open up the lines of communication," said Andrew Green, the city's director of administrative services. Grand Terrace started using technology to its advantage in August. The city of 13,500 subscribes to TimesLink, which allows it to display a Grand Terrace home page and 16 electronic pages of city information. "It's like a huge directory of our services. It lists city committees, when and where they meet, as well as information about the City Council and Planning Commission meetings," City Manager Tom Schwab said. "It's a super-powerful tool." Rialto city officials want to explore the Internet's potential and possibly place Rialto on the World-Wide Web. Other nearby communities with Internet home pages include Rancho Cuca-monga. Big Bear Lake and San Bernardino County. Rialto businessmen and city could not be reached for comment. The district's attorney declined to give details, but said the actions against Fletcher are not related to Roland Beeman. "Notice of intention to terminate was based on a lengthy set of charges based on (Fletcher's) performance and not in retaliation for (Roland Beeman)," said Phillip Kossy of San Diego, attorney with the San Francisco-based firm of Littler and Mendelson. The federal case against the district has been put on inactive IN CAR UFOtefi'RACHAliTliesKi ready to take it away," said OIA spokesman Dennis Watson. "It's just something we have to do to guard passenger safety." All adult travelers will have to provide photo identification, either a passport or driver's license, to be checked against luggage tags, Watson said. Skycap services will remain available. Delays are expected even though the airport has entered its low-traffic fall season, he said. Travelers are advised to arrive at least an hour before their departures. The chances of a terrorist targeting OIA might be slim, but no one's taking a chance, airport employees said. "We're checking everyone, senior citizens and kids, no matter what age or background," said Shugar Briscoe, 28, United Shuttle skycap. Travelers' aide Gloria Hall, 75, had to turn down a woman who had asked that she watch the woman's bag while she used the restroom. "It sounded really mean at the time," she said, "but I didn't have any other choice. We have our orders, and I've got to stick by them." Tha Associated Press contributed to this report. to Internet officials examined technological advancements made by Diamond Bar, which has had an electronic bulletin board for two years. "Residents can leave e-mail messages for council members or city employees instead of calling," said Troy ButzlafT, assistant to the Diamond Bar city manager. "Residents have been very responsive. City Hall is not open to most people's busy schedules and this allows them to find out what's going on and discuss things with city officials." Diamond Bar will be online with a home page in two weeks. The city started its electronic bulletin board service after a 1992 study found that 74 percent of those who drove to City Hall would prefer to use their computers to conduct local government business. And 56 percent said they had the access to a personal computer and modem to do it. "We're using technology to reduce vehicle trips to City Hall," said Butzlaff. "It's convenient and less frustrating for people." f. over his dismissal status until the board of trustees holds an administrative hearing on the matter, Kossy said. No hearing is planned at this time. A court date for the state case has not been set, he said. Fletcher's lawsuit asks for reinstatement and for $1.25 million from the district and punitive damages against Trustee Beeman and Jose Peralez, past director of personnel services for the district. Both Beeman and Peralez are cited in the suit as violating Fletcher's rights and conspiring Ifefe sltoir& ByJlMSPECHT The Sun's Washington Bureau WASHINGTON The National Park Service's proposed $600,000 budget for Mojave National Preserve would pay for just seven months of a skeleton operation, according to an interim management plan released Monday. But the Bureau of Land Management could expand its desert operation to run the preserve for a year for that amount, said Phil Damon, resourcesrecreation chief for the Needles BLM office. Congress has proposed transferring operation of the 1.4-mil-lion-acre preserve to the BLM at the urging of U.S. Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands. The park service would need more than $1 million just to keep its nine-member staff paid through the year. It would have to close two visitor centers, eliminate ranger response to visitor accidents and discontinue processing of permits for mining, grazing and other uses, according to the plan submitted to Lewis. To keep those services available for peak-season use, it would take $1.7 million. It would cost $2.7 million to keep the park at full operating level year-round, park service officials projected in the Mojave National Preserve Statement of Management. Lewis, who opposed creation of the preserve, called the management plan spendthrift. He said he isn't convinced that he should end his fight to keep operation of the preserve under the Bureau of Land Management. "This interim plan demonstrates that Congress is more Adult entertainment banned for 10 months By Cindy Yingst The Sun's Yucaipa Bureau CALIMESA Sex-oriented entertainment was banned for at least another 10 months as the City Council voted Monday night to extend a moratorium, giving them time to revise city laws. Council members hope to prevent sticky situations such as the recent charity golf tournament that had been proposed with topless dancers at the country club. "San Bernardino now is fighting with that . . . issue," Coun-cilwoman Shirley Morton said, referring to that city's lawsuit with the Rocket Theater on Hospitality Lane. "We want to be very cautious." Recent court decisions have determined that sexually oriented entertainment is a form of free speech protected by the U.S. Constitution. While cities can't ban the businesses, they can regulate them. In Calimesa and nearby Yucaipa, that means revising the development code to allow them only in certain zones, such as industrial zones. "The law says you can do specific things to protect the citizens," Morton said. She could hardly wait to make the motion to extend the moratorium, almost passing over the scheduled public hearing on the matter. Resident Georgette Roth made an impassioned plea for council members to prevent adult clubs from moving to town. against him. Both men, with the knowledge of board members, reportedly interfered with Fletcher's management of the force after he fired Roland Beeman, the suit claims. Roland Beeman was fired for showing "a repeated pattern of discriminatory behavior," the suit said. Fletcher was fulfilling his duties when he fired Roland Beeman because he had violated the civil rights of others, the suit said. Fletcher's attorney did not return phone calls Monday. Mojave budget A $1 million budget would retain the nine-member Mojave National Preserve staff but would mean: Closing the Hole in the Wall and Baker visitor centers. Ending ranger patrols to protect park resources. Ending ranger response to visitor accidents. Ending maintenance. Ending processing of grazing, mining and other permits. than justified in questioning park service management of the East Mojave," Lewis said. "Can the National Park Service really justify spending more than $600,000 on salaries for a small staff while threatening to cut off or eliminate essential services in the field?" The park service was given operation of the preserve as part of the California Desert Protection Act. which Congress passed one year ago. The act established Death Valley and Joshua Tree national monuments as national parks and set aside millions of acres of wilderness inside and outside the parks. The Clinton administration asked for $2.7 million to operate the preserve this year about the same as it requested for Joshua Tree. Lewis supported the funding level for Joshua Tree, which oversees about 900,000 acres with a staff of 74. But he complained that the See PARKSB4 Calimesa A former Garden Grove resident, she moved away, in part, she said, because of the topless dance clubs. "I have watched Garden Grove be called Garbage Grove and now the cesspool of Orange County," Roth said. "If you let just one group in, there's going to be more. . . . Please, please, please. Do not let these people in." The controversy arose in August when owners of the Fantasy Topless Theatre began making plans to raise money for AIDS research by holding a tournament at the Calimesa Country Club. Players would be entertained by one or more semi-naked women dancing in tents. Opposing residents were vocal and furious; country club owner Art Braswell, also under pressure from city officials, rescinded his decision to allow the dancing. The tournament was held Sept. 18 with all employees from the Fantasy fully clothed. Still, it was a close call and one the city plans to prevent in the future. Morton said she believes sex-oriented businesses bring crime to town and degrade an area's moral standards. "I wouldn't want one of those places in a city where my children and grand-children are growing up." 4 V

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