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Probe: May 23, 2002

May 23, 2002

QUESTION: Why did they load the Navy ship the Spiegel Grove with explosives off the coast of Florida? Did they want to blow it up? — Just Curious, Seeley

That's exactly what they wanted to do. The idea was to blow a hole in the ship and make it sink in 130 feet of water.

Unfortunately, the Spiegel Grove sank on its own Friday, leaving part of its hull out of the water. It was named after an estate built in 1863 as a summer home for a former president, Rutherford B. Hayes.

The 510-foot ship was to end its career as an artificial reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Within an hour of its settling on the ocean floor, sailfish will be investigating and marine organisms will start to grow.

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Even as the 46-year-old ship sank slowly into the ocean, scuba divers from as far away as Germany were inquiring about diving tours. Tourist promoters say the artificial reef will boost tourist revenues by 20 percent.

WHAT TOOK SO LONG — Why, after all these years, are 30-year-old sexual abuse cases coming out now? Don't get me wrong. These things happen, and as a Catholic, I am saddened and confused.

What boggles my mind is, why did the victims wait so long to come out and say these things happened to them. There are cases that when the victims did come out, the church handled the cases in its own way…

I am not saying this because I am Catholic, but if you are being sexually abused, you need to tell someone right away. Waiting so long makes it seem like some of these cases are bogus and the "victims" want a monetary settlement.

It would be a really sick thing to accuse innocent people of something as horrid as sexual abuse but we live in an age when there are people who would do something so low for money. — Heartsick, Calexico

We trimmed your letter but we could read your pain between the lines. You don't want to punish the victim but it would be so much more comfortable to believe none of this happened.

An El Centro man had another take on the problem….

A SIMPLE SOLUTION — The sexual molestation of children is a crime. I think any Catholic priest who molests a child should be arrested and anybody who covers up for the molester should also be arrested. — Had Enough, El Centro

We hope you also think the suspects should be given a fair trial. We would hate to see this turn into a witch hunt.

The sad but necessary outcome may be for parents to keep a closer eye on their children — and be suspicious of any adult who takes an inordinate interest in them.

ANOTHER SEARCH — I am looking for an old high school friend, Rube Laviaga. He graduated in 1991 from Calexico High School. I have been trying to locate him for six years.

His mom, Maria, may be living in El Centro. I think his sister, Maribel, moved to Texas. I will be watching your newspaper for an answer to my quest. — Searcher, no address

OK, Rube, if you're out there, let us know if you want to be found. All we know about the letter writer is he or she signed it "Liah."

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