by JUDY HODGSON
Fire officials say transients -- or more likely, weekend partyers -- left a fire behind Saturday night on the dredge known as the Jupiter. The vessel had not been used except for shelter for several decades. It was the Jupiter's mid-century history that made it the subject of our May 1995 cover story, "Bankrupt on Jupiter." In the article, Wally Graves, a retired university professor and frequent Journal contributor until his death in 1999, wrote:
The story (available on this website) has always been one of my favorites. It was so much more than a history of bay development. It was a story of man vs. nature with nature, of course, batting last. Graves wrote of many dredge projects that were slowly reverting to nature with the notable exception of King Salmon, "saved from surf and tides only by a $10 million jetty appropriation which rode through Congress as a `demonstration project' pork barreled by Congressman Don Clausen in the early 1980s."
And now the dredge itself has returned to dust.
SPEAKING OF final chapters, Humboldt State University officials hope they have turned the last page on the saga of John Sterns, a top HSU administrator who was sentenced to jail last month for fraud and embezzlement. The real damage certainly, as summarized by Judge John Feeney, is to the prestige and credibility of the institution, the funds lost during Sterns' three-year spending spree, and HSU's compromised fund-raising capabilities in the future (see cover story, June 27).
HSU officials are publicly saying the bad guy was caught and punished, so let's get back to business. Privately, many are saying the university failed the community in its response to the scandal by not holding management accountable. Sterns may be in jail but his supervisor, Vice President Don Christensen, is enjoying retirement in Oregon.
As Deputy District Attorney Rob Wade dryly put it, "Unfortunately, mismanagement is not a criminal offense."
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