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October 30, 2003 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2003-10-30

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in weather
fuel Calif.
wild fires
- Firefighters struggled desperately
yesterday to save emptied-out resort
towns in Southern California's San
Bernardino Mountains as 200-foot
walls of flame engulfed dead and
dried-out trees.
In San Diego County, the state's
largest fire claimed another victim
when a firefighting crew was over-
come by flames, killing one and injur-
ing three. It marked the first firefighter
death since the series of blazes began
last week.
"It just swept right over them. They
probably didn't have time to get out of
the way," San Diego County Sheriff's
Sgt. Conrad Grayson said.
The death toll later reached 20 after
authorities said two people were found
dead yesterday on an Indian reserva-
tion as the result of the same fire.
In the San Bernardino Mountains
east of Los Angeles, the hot, dry Santa
Ana winds from the desert that had
been whipping the fires into raging
infernos eased yesterday. But they gave
way to stiff breezes off the ocean that
pushed the flames up the canyon walls
around evacuated mountain enclaves
like Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear -
towns that are among Southern Cali-
fornia's most popular mountain play-
By early afternoon, homes were
burning in the mountain community
of CedarPines Park. The flames were
expected to hit the town of Running
Springs after crews weren't able to
set backfires along a highway to pro-
tect the town. The fires also swept
over mountain tops, forcing evacua-
tions in parts of the high desert town
of Hesperia.
"There's fire on so many fronts, it's
not even manageable at this point,"
said Chris Cade, a fire prevention tech-
nician with the U.S. Forest Service, as
he watched a pillar of smoke he esti-
mated at 9,000 feet rise into a hazy sky
thick with ash. "I am at a loss what you
can do about it."
The fires have burned more than
620,000 acres and destroyed 2,100
homes. More than 12,000 firefighters
and support crew were fighting what
Gov. Gray Davis said may be the worst
and costliest disaster California has
ever faced. He estimated the cost at $2
billion so far.
The fires burned in a broken are
across Southern California, from Ven-
tura County east to Los Angeles Coun-
ty and the San Bernardino Mountains
and south to San Diego County.
About 100 fire engines encircled the
historic mining town of Julian in the
mountains of eastern San Diego Coun-
ty, hoping to save the popular weekend
getaway community renowned for its
vineyards and apple orchards.
However, some two dozen engines
and water tenders that were headed to
Julian were forced to turn back when
flames swept over a highway. And as
the winds picked up, floating embers
sparked spot fires near the town of
3,500, forcing some crews to retreat.
South of Julian, about 90 percent of
the homes had been destroyed in
Cuyamaca, a lakeside town of about
160 residents. Charred cows lay by
the side of the road and houses were

reduced to little more than stone
"Everything's kind of happening all
at once. These fires are trying really
hard to tie in with each other," said
Bill Bourbeau, a forest safety officer
for the Cleveland National Forest.
"It's tremendous."
Manipulating Opinion
In 1969, alarmed at the success
of Richard Nixon's Vietnamization
policy, the NLF and "Alliance"
formed the PRG, or Provisional
Revolutionary Government "to
enhance our claim of representing
the Southern people, giving the
peace movement additional
ammunition." P. 146, A Viet Con
Memoir. The protestorsfe I or it.
Gary Lillie & Assoc., Realtors

Congress reaches deal on aid package
Congressional negotiators agreed yesterday on an $87.5 billion aid package for
Iraq and Afghanistan that meets a White House demand that none of the money
be provided as loans.
Despite rising criticism in Congress over the handling of the war, the package
worked out by House-Senate negotiators largely resembles the proposal submitted
by President Bush. The House and Senate are expected to act quickly to give the
bill final approval before it goes to Bush for his signature.
But both Republicans and Democrats expressed frustration over what they
described as the White House's disdainful treatment of Congress on Iraq.
"You bump up to a degree of arrogance over and over," said Rep. Frank Wolf,
R-Va. Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, the top Democrat on the House Appropria-
tions Committee, said "it is an act of considerable statesmanship for a lot of peo-
ple in this place to continue to support what the president is trying to do in Iraq
given the smidgen of information we're getting in return."
But Republicans, including Wolf, rejected a Democratic proposal that
would have required Senate confirmation for Bush's civilian administrator
in Iraq, the position held by L. Paul Bremer. Sen. Pete Domenici ( R-N.M.)
rejected Democratic claims that this would make the administration more


Solar storm nears earth, disrupts airlines
The most powerful geomagnetic storm possible walloped the Earth early yesterday,
knocking out some airline communications but apparently causing no large power
outages or other major problems.
The storm, the most disruptive to hit Earth since 1989, was unleashed by the
fourth-most powerful solar flare ever seen, NASA said.
The gigantic cloud of highly charged particles hurled from the sun posed a threat
to electric utilities, high frequency radio communications, satellite navigation systems
and television broadcasts. Continued turbulence on the sun remains a concern for the
next week, space forecasters say.
The biggest immediate effect was the blackout of high-frequency voice-radio com-
munications for planes flying far northern routes.
But airliners in an emergency could still communicate through VHF contact with
another aircraft or military monitoring station, said Louis Gameau, a spokesman for
the company that handles Canada's civil aviation navigation service.
British controllers were keeping trans-Atlantic jets on more southerly routes than

Bush renews push for
faith-based initatives
In a speech replete with references to
"miracles" and a "higher power bigger
than people's problems," President Bush
yesterday renewed his push to let reli-
gious groups compete for government
money. "The best way to help the addict
... is to change their heart," Bush said in
a reference to how he stopped drinking at
age 40. "See, if you change their heart,
then they change their behavior.
"I know!" Bush said, thrusting a finger
into the air. Bush spoke to a packed audi-
torium at the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
here where several hundred, mostly
black, parishioners sang and swayed to
gospel music and chanted "U.S.A.
U.S.A." when the president walked in.
There to dedicate a new youth educa-
tion center for Operation Turnaround, a
job, literacy and social services program,
Bush called for legislation that would
give religious groups access to federal
funds as long as their services are avail-
able to anyone.
Gov.-elect readies for
energy deregulation
No stranger to sequels, Gov.-elect
Arnold Schwarzenegger hopes to sell
California on the virtues of electricity

deregulation again, despite the fiasco the
first time around.
The action hero's energy advisers say
they will bring a fresh approach to dereg-
ulation this time, avoiding the mistakes
that led to rolling blackouts, insolvent
utilities, market manipulation and a $20
billion debt that customers will spend the
next decade repaying.
"We have a system that is broken, with
pieces laying on the ground that need to
be picked up and put back together
again," said James Sweeney, a Stanford
University professor.
Casino could tarnish
L.L. Bean's image
Maine voters will decide next week
whether to allow two Indian tribes to
build the state's first casino, a colossal
$650 million project that opponents say
will spoil Maine's L.L. Bean image of
spruce woods, lobster shacks and light-
The clash has casino backers and
opponents spending a record amount for
any ballot measure in Maine history:
$6.8 million as of the end of September,
and perhaps as much as $10 million by
the time Election Day arrives Tuesday.
If voters approve, the Passamaquoddy
and Penobscot tribes will develop the
casino in southern Maine.
- Compiled from Daily wire reports.


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