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Santa Fe New Mexican: Friday, September 30, 2005 - Page 1

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   New Mexican (Newspaper) - September 30, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico                                THE SANTA FE SEFFEMBER FRIDAY 50 CENTS Wildfire scorches hills near blaze forces hundreds to but officials predict few losses By Gillian Flaccus The Associated Press LOS ANGELES A fire burned through hills and canyons between the western edge of Los Angeles and sub urban communities Thursday threatening homes and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate even as improving weather led officials tc express optimism that losses could be limited Some firefighters aided by aircraft attacked flames and protected ridgetop homes along theLos AngelesVentura county line a rugged brushy landscape west of Los Angeles Sari Fernando Valley Containment was only 5 percent The fire moved west most of the day menacing Ventura County communities then sent flanks in the opposite direction as winds shifted As night fell long lines of fire marched toward the wealthy enclave of Hidden Hills and the western fringes of Los Angeles Mandatory or voluntary evacua tions were in effect for homes scattered throughout the canyons arid in parts of area cities including Calabasas and Hid den Hills along the south side of the fire and 10 miles north to Simi Valley Smoke was so thick in the west San Fernando Val ley that cars drove with lights on Numerous homes were evacuated in nine other areas but authorities had no firm estimate of the number of residents involved The areas included all of Bell Box and Woolsey canyons Lake Manor Mount Calabasas and parts of Malibu Can yon Mountain View Estates Old Agoura and Oak Park Please see WILDFIRE Page A4 Agustin Associated Press A Los Angeles County firefighter monitors a wildfire as it approaches homes Thursday in the Chatsworth area of Los Angeles Winddriven brush fires are scorching huge areas of Southern California Deputy safe after lightning strikes his car first snow dusts ski basin Photos by Lauren The New Mexican Max Ortiz a Santa Fe County roaddepartment worker shovels mud to direct rainwater away from County Road 73 in Tesuque on Thursday morn ing Heavy rains washed debris and mud into the road By Natalie Storey The New Mexican E xperts say a car is the safest place to be dur ing a thunderstorm if youre outside After Thursday Santa Fe County sheriffs Deputy Michael Martinez said he can swear thats true Martinez was driving on 14 near Allsups at about 230 when his patrol car was struck by lightning I saw a bright light all around Martinez said Then my car The deputy was unharmed but the strike knocked out all the elec tronics in his car fried its antenna and left a circular bum mark where the antenna used to be Martinez said he didnt feel anything other than the vibrations from a deafening noise The American Red Cross rec ommends seeking shelter in a car during thunderstorms if no build ings are nearby Rubber tires pro vide no protection from the Red Cross says However the steel frame of a hardtopped vehicle provides increased protec tion if you are not touching metal Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car you are much safer inside a vehicle than The storm that brought the lightning bolt also dumped rain on Santa Fe and prompted one other call to the fire department about Aspen trees frame a view of the first snow near the radio towers at the top of the ski basin in Santa Fe National Forest a lightning strike No one was harmed in that case either Santa Fe received inches of rain Thursday said Chuck Cara cozza a meteorologist from Accu Weather Caracozza said a low pressure disturbance in the upper atmosphere which is not related to recent hurricanes is causing the areas storms Thunderstorms might continue for much of today but chances of rain will drop off by tonight and Saturday he said Caracozza said Thursdays rainfall put Santa Fe on track to surpass the monthly average of inches for September For the year rainfall is still less than normal Santa Fe usually receives about inches of rain through September but as of Thursday the city had only received inches Sheryl Ryan at the Santa Fe Ski Area confirmed reports of snow on mountaintops Thursday and said 2 to 3 inches had fallen at the top of the ski area Some flooding occurred on Santa Fe County roads Thurs day Part of County Road 84 near Pojoaquewas closed and in Santa Fe the San Ysidro crossing was closed briefly Thursday said Robert Martinez a publicworks officer for the county The only advice I can give people is that if they see water flowing across these roadways use an alternate he said TREASURERS OFFICE SCANDAL Court wont OK deal for Vigil Contact Natalie Storey at 9863026 ornstorey@sfhewmexican.cojn Staff and Wire Reports Calls for impeaching state Treasurer Robert Vigil grew louder Thursday after the state Supreme Court rejected a request from Gov Bill Rich ardson and Attorney General Patricia Madrid that would have allowed Vigil to temporarily step down with pay and have a guber natorial appointee run the office Richardson in a written state ment in response to the ruling reiterated that he will support the Legislature starting the impeachment process A spokesman for Richardson explained that the governor wants the House of Representa Please see VIGIL Page A5 INSIDE Treasurer wants federal prosecutors todisclose information about his charges Page A5 Governor proposes bill that would allow citizens to sue over price gouging Page A5 HURRICANE KATRINA Evacuees seek free lodging at 4star hotel By Anne Constable The New Mexican A Louisiana family that fled Hurricane Katrina complained Thursday that a fourstar hotel in downtown Santa Fe declined to pro vide them with free accommodations Paul Barielle whose bill for a fournight stay at the Santa Fe Hilton was paid by the Federal Emergency Management Administration said refused to give his family a room while they wait for their donated house to be ready Its an Barielle said I have not asked for He said he was told the denial was a matter of compensatioa According to Eldorado where rooms cur Please see HOTEL Page A8 OBITUARIES Atam R Packard Sept26 Joanne Baker 71 Sept23 Leo A Kiev 37 Santa Fe Sept 26 MaMon Pitney Aug 22 PageC2 AMBIGUITY COMING TO LIGHT Naoya Hatakeyama captures the quiet majestic beauty of the city in photographs featured in Tokyo a City of opening today at College of Santa Fes Marion Center for the Photographic Arts Pasatiempo inside ROBERTS ASCENDS Seventeenth chief justice of Supreme Court wins Senate approval 7822 PageA3 ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT OVERHAUL House passes law that could expand property owners PageA3 TODAY Partly cloudy Tstorm High 76 low 47 PageC8 Index Annies Mailbox Calendar Classifieds C2 Generation El Horoscope Local Opinion Police notes C2 C2 Sports Stocks 62 Bl D6 wwMUMtafeMwineiKMiCoiit Main office Late 8 News 9833303 Five sections 42 pages 9840363 Pasatiem po 96 pages 9863000 156th year Issue No 273 9863030 Publication No 596440 Serving New Mexico for 156 yean   

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