Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on September 29, 1987 · Page 1
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 1

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Ukiah, California
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Tuesday, September 29, 1987
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Page 1
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Giants claim first title in 16 years See below and Page 8 Jaws-of-life saves a Willits teenager Page 14 WEATHER MENDOCINO COUNTY — Coastal area lows in the mid 40s to lower 50s tonight, highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s Wednesday. Inland valley lows 50s to lower 60s, highs upper 80s and 90s. Temperatures H L Yesterday 94 49 Last year 75 43 Rainfall overnight rainfall 0.00 Year to date 00.01 Last year 2.20 UklahDaUv Tuesday, September 29,1987 © 1987, Donrey, Inc. 'Journal Vol. 127 No. 139 14 pages Serving Mendocino County, Calif. 25 Cents Six firefighters trapped by wildfire One may be dead and four injured A privately owned Sikorsky helicopter hoisted a water bucket at Louisiana-Pacific's Potter Valley mill at about 'Humm babies' capture division 10a.m. this morning and began a run to the Lauder fire to the north. By RANDY FOSTER Journal Staff Writer HOWARD FORESTRY STATION —One firefighter is believed to have been killed and four critically injured this morning when they were overrun by flames while they battled a fast-moving wildfire north of Potter Valley. As many as six firefighters were at the position when it was overrun. The six deployed portable fire shelters, but preliminary reports from the site indicated one of the firefighters was killed. There was no official word of the firefighters' conditions. CDF Helicopters and airtankers dumped water and retardant on the area to protect the endangered firefighters as three huge Coast Guard helicopters, one from San Francisco, were called up to help out in the rescue. The blaze started at about 4 a.m. and had scorched more than 70 acres by noon. Potter Valley firefighters first responded to the fire with six firefighters and two engines. They were on line »from_5- a.m. to .9:30. a.m., when the CDF took complete responsibility. National Forest firefighters joined in the effort by 11 a.m. The endangered area is in mountainous terrain about six miles west of Lake Pillsbury, said Jim Anderson, fire information officer. "There's no estimate about when this thing will be contained," Anderson said. "The terrain is rugged and there's heavy fuel there for the fire." The fire, officially dubbed the Lauder fire, is about seven miles south of the Mount Sanhedrin area still smoldering from a fire earlier this month. Potter Valley residents could see this latest fire just before daybreak. One local resident said she saw smoke and the glow of flames as she tended her horse just before sunrise. A plume of smoke early Monday evening was the product of back firing operations at the still-burning but controlled Mendenhall fire, the CDF said, and was not related to the Potter Valley fire. The CDF this morning put on line eight engines, eight helicopters, three bulldozers, six airtankers including one flying boxcar and 90 handcrews. All told, some 142 firefighters were pitted against the fire with numbers of both equipment and personnel still mounting by noon. "We committed a lot of equipment very early," said Fire Information Officer Lois. B.arth. . Firefighting aircraft drained aviation fuel supplies-at Ukiah Airport this morning, forcing a hurried order for 8,000 gallons more. "We just got bled dry this morning, but we have more coming in a few minutes," airport manager Don (see, TRAPPED, back page) SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants won their first National League West title in 16 years Monday night as reliever Don Robinson and pinch-hitters Jeffrey Leonard and Chili Davis hit home runs in a 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres. Davis were the 100th career homers for each of them. The Giants improved their record to 86-70 to put ihemseUjs out of the reach of the Cincinnati Reds, who earlier beat the Atlanta Braves 6-5. On Aug. 7, the Giants had started the day in first place five games For more on the Giants' victory, see sports, page 8. Kobmson, 11-7, ledoff the eighth inning with a bases-empty homer over the left-center field wall to provide the game-winning hit for the Giants, who last won a National League West title in 1971. It was Robinson's seventh career homer. The 1971 Giants also clinched their division title in San Diego by beating the Padres on the last day of the season. The homers by Leonard and behind the Reds." Since then, they have gone 33-15 en route to the divisional title. The Giants are only the fourth' club to finish first in a full season two years after losing 100 or more games. San Frar\ciscq lost 100 games for the first time in the franchise's history in 1985. The Giants finished in third place last year at 83-79 in Roger Craig's first full season as manager. Iranians vow to sink U.S. frigate MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Iran vowed to retaliate for the U.S. strike on one of its ships in the Persian Gulf and a Pentagon official said American forces may attack any vessel carrying explosives. Ships meanwhile were steering clear of a key shipping lane in the southern gulf where up lo six mines were spotted. The commander of naval forces for Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Mohscn Re/.aie, said Iran would strike against a U.S. frigate in retaliation for the Navy's Sept. 14 attack on the Iran Ajr. Rezaie's comment was reported Monday by Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency and monitored in Cyprus. He was not quoted directly. "Moslem combatants are ready to teach American Marines a lesson they will never forget," the agency quoted Iranian navy chief Rear Adm. Mohammad Hussein Malekzadcgan as saying. The United Slates said its helicopters attacked the Iran Ajr, killing up to five crewmen, after the ship was observed laying mines. Iran has not directly attacked any U.S. vessels in the gulf, but it was blamed for laying a mine that damaged the U.S.-flagged tanker Bridgeton in July. In Washington, a Pentagon source said Monday that the Navy might attack any vessel it determined to be carrying mines, even if it was not caught laying the explosives in international waters. White House spokesman Martin Fitzwater disputed the claim, saying the rules of engagement in the gulf had not changed. But a senior administration official said those rules did not cover pre-emptive strikes. "The key is finding hard evidence, conclusive evidence, that mines are aboard the ship," said the Pentagon source. "If we have it pinned down that a ship is in international waters and carrying mines, then we might move in." The Pentagon and administration sources spoke only on condition of anonymity. Six mines were spotted Monday about 20 miles off Dubai, a busy United Arab Emirates port, said gulf-based shipping and salvage executives. The London-based Lloyd's Shipping Intelligence Unit issued a notice saying an area several miles square near Dubai should be "considered mined." The danger zone was to remain closed to navigation until it was swept clear of mines, said the shipping executives, speaking on condition of anonymity. The mined zone was in international waters used by most commercial vessels, including Navy-escorted convoys of reflagged Kuwaiti tankers. U.S. warships began to escort the tankers last July to protect them from attacks by Iran, which considers Kuwait an ally of Iraq in the 7-year- old Iran-Iraq war. A United Nations report obtained Monday in New York said negotiations on a U.N. peace plan to end the Iran-Iraq war had bogged down over the timing of a cease-fire and a probe into who began the hostilities. The report by U.N. Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar said Iran insists the cease-fire take place only after the aggressor is identified. Iraq wants the truce established first. Pressure on Pentagon from Wedtech WASHINGTON (AP) — Two Pentagon officials today described how pressure from their superiors led lo a $135 million Navy pontoon bridge contract being given lo the now- scandal-plagued Wedtech Corp., and said that shoddy workmanship and late deliveries were' the result. "Never during my lour of duly was a single (pontoon bridge) delivered on lime and in accordance wilh the coniracl schedule," said Col. Don Hein, former commander of the Defense Contract Administration in New York. "Quality control and workmanship were very poor. ... This was not new technology, but World War H, 1940s technology." Capt. David de Vicq, a former Navy acquisitions manager, said that he and olher Navy officials had favored pulling die pontoon bridge contract out for bids in 1984, but lhat they were overruled by their superiors and by officials of the Small Business Administration. Hein and de Vicq testified bevore the Senate subcfcrnrnittee on oversight of government management. De Vicq said lhat "Wedlech's... performance in New York could be characterized as energetic but inefficient, exuberant but often unskilled, full of optimistic plans, promises and bright tomorrows, but short on accomplishment ana follow-through." He said the company's planning procedures "were woefully inadequate." Some of the pontoons, he added, had to be "rejected, reworked and several times scrapped and replaced." He said that safety practices al ihe firm's plant "were often appalling." De Vicq said Wedlech had been sirongly supported by Everett Pyall, an undersecretary of the Navy, and by James Sanders, former chief of the SBA. Hein said Wedtech executives had acted as though ihey did not have to follow his agency's directions or requesls. "It was apparent lhat they fell ihey could go over our heads and take care of any situation that arose," Hein said. Wedtech hired former White House political director Lyn Nofziger and E. Robert Wallach, a longtime friend of Attorney General Edwin Meese in, to help it win no-bid federal contracts under an SBA program for minority contractors. The subcommillce disclosed loday lhai Wallach had given Meese a progress report on millions of dollars in governmenl contracts to Wedlech seven months before the attorney general invesied $55,000 wilh a Wedtech consul- lant who later became a company director, A memo released by ihe subcommittee is the first indication dial Meese, who consistently has tried to minimize his involvement will) Wedtech, was involved in any way in the pontoon bridge contract. A memo released by the Senate subcommit- lee on oversighl of governmenl management is Ihe first indication that Meese, who consistently has tried to minimize his involvement wilh scandal-plagued Wedtech, was involved in a $135 million contract lo Wedtech to build pon- loon bridges for ihe Navy. p he Senate subcommittee chaired by Carl , ,vin, b-Mich., released 100 pages of documents detailing how a number of qualified companies were rejected for the Navy coniracl in favor of Wedtech, which never had been involved in such a sophisticated construction project. The factory where Wedlech proposed-building ihe pontoons had no plumbing and no heating. In the memo daled Oct. 10, 1984, Meese, then White House counselor, was urged by his close friend, Wedtech lobbyist E. Robert Wallach, lo attend a politically well-timed "christening" for Wcdtecli "4 or 5 days before election day.* The memo also noted thai Wedtech's Israeli subsidiary was selling military hardware lo the Pentagon. chief charged with criminal negligence Fires along the Eureka Southern line ByPETERPAGE JournilStiKWrller The boss of the Eureka Southern Railroad ii facing criminal charges for not taking steps to prevent trains from sparking wildland fires. Jerry Gregg was appointed trustee of the troubled railroad last year by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. He now faces three misdemeanor charges of negligently allowing Eureka Southern trains to ingite fires, including a blaze that destroyed a railroad tunnel north of Willits last month. According to papers filed at the Little Lake Justice Court in Willits, investigators from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection believe passing Eureka Southern trains caused 44 fires separate fires, consuming 782 acres of wildlands, between July 1985 and Aug. 30 of this year. The fires ranged in size from the 529 acres burned at the Iron Peak blaze last summer to numerous small blazes of an acre or less. Up to 18 individual fires were ignited at one time along Hwy. 162 by a passing train last month, according to the complaint. The railroad itself is now being blamed for the Aug. 2 fire in the Arnold Tunnel, about five miles north of Willits. The 650-foot long tunnel was sealed at both ends to starve the fire of oxygen. The railroad built a spur of tracks around the tunnel and plan to leave it sealed indefinitely. Both Gregg and his attorney, Phillip Arnot, of Eureka, were out of town and unavailable for comment today. The complaint alleges that Gregg is responsible for negligenlty igniting the fires by failing to maintain spark arresters on the engines. Gregg is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 5 for arraignment. f

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