Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan on August 10, 1989 · Page 3
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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan · Page 3

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Detroit, Michigan
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Thursday, August 10, 1989
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Lottery extra: Wednesday's number, 217, was drawn three times. Obituaries. Page 14A. Ronald Denslow, accused of embezzling $1.1 million from a Mt. Pleasant bank where he worked about four years ago, was arrested late Monday near Gardnerville, Nev., where he had been living under the alias of Ralph Westendorf , the FBI said. Denslow waived extradition and is to be returned to Michigan within two weeks after being arrested on the basis of a viewer tip to the "Unsolved Mysteries" television program. JOE GOSENAssoclated Press 9 - V WILLIAM ARCHIEDetrolt Free Press Lowell Reidenbaugh, a former Sporting News editor, and Jennette Pilak, both part of group of 29 people on a Smithsonian Institute tour of older Midwestern baseball parks, talk at Tiger Stadium on Wednesday. A FIELD OF DREAMS COME TRUE Smithsonian group visits Tiger Stadium on tour of historic parks By Michael Betzold Free Press Staff Writer Sporting a Boston Red Sox hat, retired naval officer Frank Readdy of McLean, Va., perched in an upper-deck box Wednesday afternoon and squinted at Tiger Stadium's sun-kissed right-field porch. "I had that view of the overhang in my mind before I came," said Readdy, 64, who grew up in Boston's suburbs and hung out at Fenway Park. "This place is everything I'd expected it to be." To the other 24,319 fans, Wednesday's game was just another dull loss for the last-place Tigers, who fell 6-1 to the Milwaukee Brewers. But to the 29 baseball nostalgia buffs on the Smithsonian Institute's "Take Me Back to the Ball Park" tour, it was a chance to see a field of dreams come true. Report of benefit concert for schools is premature BY BRENDA J. GILCHRIST Free Press Staff Writer Singer Aretha Franklin will join the effort to save music in the Detroit Public Schools, but contrary to an announcement from school officials, she has not offered to do a benefit concert, Franklin's brother and agent said Wednesday. The Rev. Cecil Franklin seemed almost shocked Wednesday morning to learn that schools Superintendent John Porter said at a board meet-ing Tuesday night that Franklin had Aretha Franklin Hugh McDianrcd is on vacation. 1 ' "I've always heard about these old ballparks and seen them on television," said Debbie Ford, 30, a computer programmer from San Jose, Calif., who wore an Oakland A's T-shirt. "I wanted to see them in person. It's great that these stadiums have been here for so long and are still being used." An untested lineup of lawyers, teachers, business people, writers and retirees from around the country paid $1,450 apiece for the tour. The trip began Tuesday at Chicago's Comiskey Park. This morning, there's a Tiger Stadium tour, then it's on to Cleveland to see a game tonight at Municipal Stadium. Friday, the group returns to Chicago and concludes with a Cubs game at Wrig-ley Field on Saturday. Tour leader is Lowell Reidenbaugh, former Sporting News editor asked to do the concert. Cecil Franklin said he talked to the singer later Wednesday and she told him she will either participate in a concert that several other musicians are planning, or contribute to the fund-raising effort. "She's going to participate in some way or another, regardless," he said. "Either she's going to perform or she's going to make a donation or something. "There are several other entertainment groups involved," Franklin said. "They approached her and asked if she would be willing to assist them and she said yes. They told Aretha they would be willing to make all the connections and would get back to her." He said he could not name the other performers, because, "At this point, they're not ready to put it together." Asked to clarify the situation Wednesday, Porter said his information was based on a log of incoming telephone calls to his office. Porter said he did not talk personally with Franklin, but "on our log, it says Aretha Franklin's office called to get information on how they could help and author of the definitive baseball stadium guide, "Take Me Out to the Ball Park." "There's a wealth of history in this ballpark here," said Reidenbaugh, recalling Lou Brock's stand-up out at home plate in the 1968 World Series and Reggie Jackson's homer rattling off a light tower in the 1971 All-Star Game. For most participants, Wednesday was their first time at Tiger Stadium. Despite seats near the left field corner, far from home plate, participants gave the old park high ratings. "I'm really impressed," said Ford. "In Oakland, the seats are so far away from the field. Here, even with a bad seat, I'm a lot closer than I'd be in Oakland." "Comiskey looked dilapidated," said Ruth Naftal, 59, an accountant from North Miami Beach, Fla. "But "0 n our log, it says Aretha Franklin's office called to get information on how they could help with a benefit.) J John Porter, Detroit schools chief with a benefit. That's what the log said." The schools are trying to raise $1.25 million to restore music programs cut from middle and elementary schools because of the district's financial woes. Middle and elementary school music was dropped as part of $50 million in cuts made to balance the 1989-90 school budget. It will not be restored before school starts unless the funds are raised. High school music was not cut. Porter has said that music would be restored by Sept. 18 if voters approve a 5-mill tax increase in the Sept. 12 election, f Ex-wife Relieved' by banker's arrest Free Press Staff and AP Joanna Denslow could feel her long agony ebbing Wednesday with news that a tip from a television show had led to the arrest of her former husband, nearly four years after he disappeared and was accused of trying to steal $1.1 million from the Mt. Pleasant bank where he worked. "I'm just relieved that this horrible ordeal is going to come to an end," Denslow, 38, said after learning of Ronald Denslow's arrest in Gardnerville, Nev., near Reno. "It's like getting a divorce," said Denslow, who did divorce her husband in absentia, and now lives in Sarasota, : this looks like a lovely old park." Comiskey Park, built in 1910, is to be replaced after the 1990 season. The fate of Tiger Stadium, which debuted as Navin Field in 1912, is uncertain. Tigers owner Tom Mona-ghan in March endorsed a plan for a new stadium. To Barbara Birmingham of Carefree, Ariz., the visit to a vintage ballpark helped heal some old wounds. "I grew up in New Jersey and was a rabid Dodger fan," said Birmingham, 62. "Ebbetts Field was like a second home to so many people. When the Dodgers moved to California, I hated the game of baseball for a long time." Birmingham said Tiger Stadium "looks like it's in great shape. It's a shame they want to tear down things that don't need tearing down." 1 JET" I Michigan's tart cherry crop BY DAVID HACKER Free Press Staff Writer Lake Leelanau Dave Alpers, 30, who manages the 800-acre Red-path Orchards fruit farm in Lake Leelanau, is among the tart-cherry growers who are shaking their last this week. But it isn't only trees that are wobbling and the cherries that are falling. "Our crop this year is off 40 percent to 60 percent," said Jim Bardenhagen, Leelanau County extension director and a cherry grower himself. "We've applied for federal disaster aid. We've had a lot of tough years. No one up here is in good shape." Bardenhagen said the May 6-7 frost and the effect of last year's drought, which weakened trees, has pitted the cherry crop by an average of 50 percent in northwest Michigan. "It's a short crop, getting shorter," he said. "Nationwide, we expected a tart crop of 270 million pounds, but it now looks like we'll only reach 180 million pounds." The price to the grower may reach 25 cents a pound, five times what it was in 1987 and 8 to 10 cents aboviwhat it was in 1988, said Bardeh;Jen. But with the crop FBI return ing suspect in 55 embezzlement Fla., where she works as a paralegal in a law firm. "You want it, then divorce day comes ... and it's over, and you're supposed to celebrate. But I don't feel like celebrating. I just feel numb." Ronald Denslow, 41, who had been using the alias Ralph Westendorf, will be returned to Michigan within two weeks to be arraigned in U.S. District Court in Bay City on 13 counts of embezzlement, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hluchaniuk said Wednes Federal suit filed against cooperative Blacks reportedly subject to bias BY DORI J. MAYNARD Free Press Staff Writer An apartment cooperative on Detroit's riverfront has discriminated against prospective black buyers, according to a suit filed by the U.S. Department of Justice. The River House Cooperative Inc., at 8900 E. Jefferson Ave., behind the Jeffersonian near Memorial Park, has "refused to sell units because of race or color" and has misrepresented the availability of units to individuals "on the basis of skin color," said Stephen Markman, U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Michigan. The federal suit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit. The government has charged that the cooperative had a pattern and practice of making statements indicating a preference in race and of letting race dictate whether a prospective client could look at an apartment and that the conduct was "intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others." Attorney John Kullen, representing River House, denied the allegations. "We are very surprised by the filing of the lawsuit by the Department of Justice," he said. The 448-unit cooperative is in a predominantly black neighborhood, yet at most has one black family, said Emily Hall, acting director of the Fair Housing Center, which is listed in the Justice Department's suit as an aggrieved party. Hall said the building's other residents are white. Darlene Pearce, River House resident manager, said she was not aware of the federal suit and declined to comment. The Fair Housing Center is also involved in a separate suit against the cooperative. That suit, filed in federal court after six plaintiffs said they had difficulties getting an apartment there, is pending. Grower expects yield to be off 40-60 percent only half of what it was last year, growers are in trouble, he said. Michigan grows nearly 75 percent of the nation's tart cherries, and the northwest part of the state produces nearly half of these. "We grew three million pounds of tarts last year," said Alpers. "This year it looks like 1.1 million pounds." Unlike sweet cherries, which are hand-picked to prevent bruising and injury, tart cherries are shaken off by mechanical pickers. Hydraulically run, padded 40-pound counterweights shake the tree, like an automobile wheel that's out of balance, in a star-shaped pattern for five seconds, and the cherries fall onto a canvas, roll onto a conveyor and into a water-filled vat. Redpath uses two pickers, one to shake the tree, one to catch the cherries and carry the vat. Nellie Lara, whose husband Pete runs the second picker, walks behind it with an old tennis racket, fcooping out leaves and day. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine' on each count. .; The FBI said Denslow had been working for almost a year as a shipping supervisor for Aervoe-Pacific Co. of Nevada, an aerosol paint factory. The former bank executive, who remarried in March, disappeared Nov. 7, 1985, after allegedly embezzling $1.1 million from the Bank of Alma where he was a vice-president and chief loan officer. ( According to an indictment, Denslow embezzled $100,900 over a one See DENSLOW, Page 18A & v5" 'Jeffersonian Apartments UAW cpA S0.ldarl.y fff k Stef I t River House I y Detroit Cooperative I River Be,l8lSl DOMINIC TRUPIANODetrolt Free Press During an interview with the Free Press last year, Richard Buell, River House's retired chairman, said the cooperative had never had a black apartment owner in the more than 30 years since it was built. "We have never refused any blacks for an opportunity to put in an application. It so happens that the blacks are very impatient and they can't wait two or three years to get an apartment," Buell said. The River House has been represented by the law firm of Evans & Luptak. ' William Lucas, a nominee of President George Bush who was recently rejected for the top civil rights slot by the Senate judiciary committee, is affiliated with Evans & Luptak, according to Justice Department spokeswoman Deborah Burstion-Wade. She said Lucas had not helped in the law firm's defense of the cooperative, nor had he been forewarned that the Justice Department was working on the suit. turns sour twigs. "We used to use an old frying pan with holes in it," said Alpers, "but we found that cheap tennis and badminton rackets work better." Like most mechanical pickers, Red-path's $65,000 picker shakes the bottom of the trunk. Bardenhagen said early pickers had an arm that grabbed the top of the tree or individual limbs. It takes 30 seconds for a picker to position itself, shake the tree, and move on to the next tree. "To know a shaker, you've got to know hydraulics," said Alpers. "It's like an automobile. Twenty or 30 years ago anybody could tune up an automobile. Today, checking your oil is difficult because you can't find the dipstick." Alpers, whose father Ray managed the Redpath Orchard for 42 years, said that until mechanical pickers were brought into the orchard 20 years ago, Redpath hired 500 to 600 migrant workers for the two- or three-week season. . ? ' "We're down to 25 people now," said Alpers. "If we had to go back to all migrant help, I wouldn't be in this business."

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