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VENTURA COUNTY NEWSWATCH

October 12, 1994|Adrianne Goodman

ON THE ATTACK: A spirit of meanness is on the rise in American politics, according to a bevy of political heavyweights gathered this week at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library near Simi Valley (B4). . . . But dirty campaigning has been around for decades, says Simi Valley political consultant Steve Frank--at least since 1888, when President Grover Cleveland was accused of fathering a child out of wedlock. "Technology today is better than it's ever been so you can find out more," Frank said. But meanness "is nothing new. It's always been there."

JOURNEY'S END: It's been where no spacecraft has gone before--around the planet Venus about 15,000 times. . . . Now, the $900-million Magellan spacecraft--which experienced myriad technical problems--is at the end of its deep-space voyage (B10). . . . Despite the probe's many technical problems, Cal Lutheran University professor Tom Janssens said it collected enough data to keep scientists busy for years. "It's certainly been spectacular," he said.

MEDFLY EXPERTS: The Cooperative Medfly Project has helped formulate Ventura County's plan of attack on the dreaded Medfly--including aerial malathion spraying beginning tonight (B1, B6). . . . Based in Bell, the group has helped manage efforts to eradicate the Medfly across the state. . . . The weapons in their arsenal are becoming increasingly sophisticated, among them computers and hand-spraying from solar-powered backpacks.

NO FEAR: Math phobia is not a problem for three Moorpark High School students who excelled in the national Future Business Leaders of America competition. . . . Andrew Philip, Sishant Narayan and Quan Nguyen ranked among the nation's top high school business students, with Andrew winning top honors in business calculations. . . . Among the challenges: answering as many as 100 math questions in an hour. Moorpark regularly competes in the contest, but had one of its best showings this year. "It's been real exciting," said adviser Joyce Keefer.

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