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TUESDAY BRIEFING

They put pot on the ballot

October 10, 2006|Brian Hanrahan and Phil Goldberg | Times Staff Writers

It's considered an eccentric town, or maybe the largest open-air asylum in the country. According to local lore, hippies arrived around 1973 and never left. Nowadays it holds "diversity weekends," during which same-sex couples can be seen walking the narrow, winding streets arm in arm.

None of this is terribly unusual, except for the location: Arkansas, several notches deep into the Bible Belt. And this particular little town, Eureka Springs, is going to vote next month on whether it should make misdemeanor marijuana arrests about as low a priority as finding matching shoes for an ornery Razorback.

"We barely have legal alcohol in Arkansas," says a promoter of the decriminalization measure. "But if anyplace here has a shot, it's Eureka." Page A12

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Is there gold in

your parking spot?

Did you know that, under a 1992 state law, your employer might be required to offer you a monthly stipend if you go to work by means other than driving solo?

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday October 16, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 37 words Type of Material: Correction
A father's grief: In a photograph in the Tuesday briefing in Section A, the man consoling Cesar Avila, the father of slain 3-year-old Kaitlyn Avila, was identified as LAPD Capt. James Craig. It was Det. Dorian Henry.

No, you probably didn't. Many employers don't know it either. Santa Monica is the only city in the state that enforces the law. But Wednesday, an L.A. City Council committee will consider how to implement and enforce the so-called parking cash-out law. Page B1

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Putting molesters on death row

What's an appropriate penalty for a child molester? Several states are considering making execution an option -- and it might not be a coincidence that the issue has been raised in an election year.

Proponents say making anyone who rapes a child subject to the death penalty will protect children. Critics see two problems, though: It could discourage people from turning in a family member, and it might encourage assailants to kill their victims. "If the penalty for murder and molestation is the same, why not go ahead and kill the only witness to the event?" one opponent says. Page A15

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Iraqi recruits felled by illness

Not that Iraq needs new problems, but several hundred Iraqi police recruits are hospitalized with food poisoning after eating at a base dining facility in the city of Numaniya.

Tainted meat is the suspected cause, and the food supplier has been arrested. Some recruits who felt well enough were so angry that they stoned the car of the base commander.

In Baghdad, meanwhile, gunmen kill a brother of Tariq Hashimi, one of Iraq's two vice presidents. He is the third sibling of Hashimi to be assassinated this year. Page A4

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Two views of government's role

If there's one similarity in the campaigns of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Phil Angelides, it's in the theme of immigrants chasing the American dream. But the conclusions the two candidates have drawn about the role of government in aiding that dream are far different.

Schwarzenegger says he arrived in the U.S. from Austria with just $20, yet he made a point of buying his own health insurance because he didn't want to "wait for a government program." Angelides talks of his hard-working Greek immigrant grandparents and how the family benefited from government assistance and public education. Page B1

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A father's grief

LAPD Capt. James Craig, left, consoles Cesar Avila, the father of murdered 3-year-old Kaitlyn Avila, after a news conference Monday. Police say she was intentionally targeted on Oct. 1 by a teen gang member. Cesar Avila also was wounded in the Baldwin Village shooting, which happened as the family returned home from McDonalds. Page B1

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THE CRITIC: 'The documentaries debunk popular knee-jerk assumptions, namely that environmentalists are all Hollywood lefties and that evangelicals are simply anti-abortion zealots.' Patrick Goldstein on "Is God Green?" from PBS and "The Great Warming," which hits theaters next month. Calendar, E1

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SPORTS

Athletics' achievement

After scoring a first-round victory, the Oakland A's will jump into action tonight against the Detroit Tigers in a playoff series devoid of big-name story lines. "We're not the sexy teams," Tigers reliever Todd Jones says. "Heck, with Terrell Owens and North Korea, I'm surprised we're even on TV." Page D1

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Lakers get their Phil at practice

He won't be stalking the sidelines any time soon, but at least for a day, L.A. Lakers Coach Phil Jackson got some action at the team's practice facility.

There was no talk of reunions and his hip surgery, just some old-fashioned instructions on the triangle offense, which is music to the Lakers' ears. He's about three weeks away from assuming his full-time duties -- and he seems to be right on schedule.

"You can see that he's getting better and he's feeling better," assistant coach Kurt Rambis says. "He was sprier [Monday] and barking out commands to the guys." Page D3

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UCLA can stand Pat at quarterback

It comes as no surprise that Patrick Cowan, right, has emerged from the shadows to replace the more-heralded and injured Ben Olson as quarterback for the UCLA Bruins.

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