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Tuesday Feb. 19, 2002



Students from schools near New York's ground zero paint mural in Berlin

Associated Press

New York high school junior Nicholas Lara felt his school shake on Sept. 11 when the second plane hit the nearby World Trade Center.

After being evacuated to Battery Park, the 16-year-old watched the first tower waver and remembers thinking it might fall where he and his classmates were standing.

Invited by Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder to Germany after the attacks, Lara and 24 other New York students from the four high schools nearest ground zero yesterday began a mural as part of their visit, artistically expressing their feelings about that day.

Lara, a student at the High School for Leadership and Public Service, painted two large white doves and many smaller ones flying through green trees into a blue sky.

"The doves are for peace, the trees are for life," he explained. "That's how I want the future to be - with people living in peace."

Krista Niles, another Leadership student, painted an airplane flying away from the twin towers.

"I want to erase all my memories of the World Trade Center," the 16-year-old said.

The students are the first of 1,000 who will cross the Atlantic over the next 18 months.


Man arrested at Los Angeles Airport with inactive explosive device

Associated Press

An inactive Army National Guardsman was arrested early yesterday after trying to pass a nonfunctioning military explosive through security at Los Angeles International Airport, police said.

A screener became concerned after noticing the device, which resembled an M-80 firecracker, said Los Angeles police Sgt. Greg Glodery.

A Federal Aviation Administration official said the device was found in the man's carryon luggage.

The man, whose name was not immediately released, was arrested at about 6:10 a.m. for investigation of possessing an explosive device. A bomb squad later determined the device was inert, police said.

The man has been detained by the FBI for questioning, airport spokesman Gaby Pacheco said.

No evacuations were ordered at Terminal 6, where the item was discovered, Glodery said. The terminal serves Continental Airlines and portions of United Airlines fleet.

The screening station where the item was noticed in an X-ray machine was temporarily shut down, Glodery said. No flights were delayed, officials said.

In an unrelated incident at New York's La Guardia Airport, a flight that had left for Cleveland was forced to return after it was discovered a passenger was not properly screened. A concourse was evacuated and everyone was screened again.


Clean elections supporters rally against possible ballot measure

Associated Press

About 100 supporters of Arizona's Clean Elections system gathered at the capitol yesterday, seeking to thwart a ballot measure they believe will ask voters to overturn public campaign financing.

"Clean elections gives challengers a chance. It gives them a fighting chance," Arizona Corporation Commissioner Marc Spitzer said.

Incumbents of both parties raise thousands of dollars from the same group of special interest lobbyists who then seek favorable decisions from the people they helped elect, Spitzer said.

Challengers have no chance at those campaign dollars, which would keep many of them from running except for clean elections, he said. "How is it fair that 100 lobbyists determine the results for 5 million people?"

Opponents of the system, which requires candidates to collect $5 contributions to qualify for public financing, say it has provided the money for mudslinging campaigns and diverts some tax dollars from the state's budget.

Rep. Linda Binder, R-Lake Havasu City, said she cannot support a system that gave $45,000 to her 2000 election opponent, who misused it and was fined $9,000 he never paid. The man is likely to run again this fall, she said. "Are we going to give him another $45,000 to run another dirty campaign?"

Supporters at the rally also called for passage of a bill (HB2365) now before the Legislature that would extend clean elections funding to judges.

Arizona is one of only four states that provides public financing for political candidates.



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