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June 01, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Martin Plamondon II, 58; Mapped Lewis and Clark Expedition

Martin Plamondon II, 58, a cartographer who spent 30 years mapping the 7,400-mile route of the Lewis and Clark expedition in a three-volume work, died Wednesday in his home near Vancouver, Wash. The Vancouver native had been in hospice care for multiple long-term health problems.

Besides "Lewis and Clark Trail Maps -- A Cartographic Reconstruction," annotated with selections from the explorers' journals, Plamondon wrote a novel based on their encounters with Indians, which is being edited by his daughter. He had worked as chief mapmaker for Clark County until failing health forced him to retire.

He became interested in Meriwether Lewis and William Clark after a visit to Fort Clatsop outside Astoria, Ore., in 1972. He said Clark, the expedition's chief surveyor, had a poor sense of distance, and Lewis, who also drew a few maps, was far worse. Their maps, he said, resulted in a 1,000-mile miscalculation of the distance from the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers to the Pacific Ocean.

Plamondon's first two volumes, published in 2000 and 2002, had a total of 336 new maps. As many as 200 more are expected in Volume 3, due out in July.

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Richard Prokopy, 68; Entomologist Studied Fruit Tree Pests

Richard Prokopy, 68, an entomologist who studied insects that destroy apple crops and helped develop a decoy designed to kill apple maggot flies without spraying pesticide, died May 14 of cardiopulmonary arrest in Greenfield, Mass.

Prokopy, a professor of entomology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, specialized in fruit tree insects -- specifically those that attack apple trees -- and ecological approaches to pest management. The decoy he helped develop consists of an apple-sized paint- and pesticide-covered plastic sphere that becomes coated with a sugary substance when it rains, luring the flies to their deaths.

Other insects he studied included the plum curculio, the tarnished plant bug and the European apple sawfly.

Born in Danbury, Conn., Prokopy earned his doctorate from Cornell University and received a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Fulbright research award. He kept an apple orchard at his home in Conway, Mass.

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Toshikazu Kase, 101; Diplomat Present

at WWII Surrender

Toshikazu Kase, 101, a veteran diplomat who took part in the signing of Japan's surrender to the United States in World War II and other major events in his country's modern history, died May 21 of heart failure in Kamakura, Japan.

Born in Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo on Jan. 12, 1903, Kase studied at Amherst College and Harvard University. He joined Japan's Foreign Ministry and was director of the North America division when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

At war's end, Kase was aboard the USS Missouri as Gen. Douglas MacArthur presided at the signing of Japan's unconditional surrender. Kase went on to become Japan's first ambassador to the United Nations.

After retiring from government service, the diplomat became a newspaper columnist and lecturer.

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