Angelenos Are Enjoying the Best of Both Coasts

Times Staff Writer

BI-COASTAL. Now, to be famous, two coasts are necessary. How nice that so many L.A. types are making it in the East.

Like Donald Hicks, currently the senior vice president for marketing and technology at Northrop, whose appointment as undersecretary of defense will be announced shortly.

Or, the Museum of Contemporary Art, which will be the toast of New York City with a penthouse party (in the Museum of Modern Art Tower) late in June. It's a chance to introduce the Temporary Contemporary to the Big Apple's business, art, journalism and major-collector worlds. And also to show what's happening on Bunker Hill. On the heavy-hitter host committee--Jean Ribout, chairman of the board of Schlumberger and just profiled in the New Yorker.

JELLY BEANSIAN--Just like his predecessor Ronald Reagan, the current governor likes something sweet to offer his guests. But no jelly beans. Instead, Gov. George Deukmejian has a jar of fruit-flavored jelly confections or as they are called in Armenian, shakar lochuum. (These goodies are not homemade, but cooked up in Cashmir, Wash.)

TERMINATING TERMS--Insiders say that what the UC Regents will be talking about at their next regular meeting in June, and at the special meeting which will probably precede it by a week in Los Angeles, will be "The New York City Plan." That translates, through long and involved steps, into a complete divestiture of stocks in companies involved in South Africa--divestiture that takes place over a five-year period.

MORE HONORS--As part of a four-day packed visit to the Southland, San Antonio, Tex., Mayor Henry Cisneros speaks at the Claremont Graduate School commencement Saturday, while Sunday, the Rev. William Sloan Coffin gives the baccalaureate. They'll also be part of the weekend festivities hosted by Billie and John Maguire (he's president of the grad school and center). Just another of what the Maguires call their "intellectual house parties," which opens with industrialist Simon Ramo and futurist Joe Coates at the President's Forum today.

COMMENCEMENTS: For a man who isn't running for office, Peter Ueberroth has been hitting the speaking circuit--last Saturday at Loyola Marymount, this weekend at Claremont and at San Francisco's Hastings Law School. Practice makes polish. A case in point: Last weekend, when LMU's president, Father James Loughran, finished awarding an honorary degree to the Downtown Women Center's Jill Halverson and returned to his seat, both the priest and his chair promptly fell off the platform. It turned out OK and funny, as Loughran rose unharmed. And was capped when Ueberroth, moments later, announced that he gave Father Loughran a 4.5 in acrobatics. That's the kind of J.F.K. wit unseen these days in political parts. No wonder some old-time, big-time Republicans are still looking into the possibility that Ueberroth will trade in his baseball cap and make a pitch for the U.S. Senate in '86--despite Ueberroth's denials that he wants the job.

TV TYPES--When anchor and new mommy Sandy Hill returns to KCBS-TV this summer, she will be back in shape for sure, since she's already spent part of her postpartum period at the spa, the Oaks. Also, there's a strong rumor that Tritia Toyota will be showing up on Channel 2 real soon.

LEGALESE--This year's operating tab for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles is $6 million plus. Federal and local governments, the State Bar Assn. and United Way will cover more than $5.5 million. But $475,000 has to be raised from private sources. So, Wednesday at lunch at the L.A. Athletic Club, LAFLA's fund-raising chair Oliver Green got together with honorary co-chairs Warren M. Christopher (former assistant secretary of state of Iranian hostage fame), former Secretary of Education Shirley M. Hufstedler and F. Daniel Frost, chairman of the management committee at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Also on hand, Special Asst. Atty. Gen. Barbara Y. Johnson, who that night was elected LAFLA president. She has a long history with legal aid, including the fact that her husband, Court of Appeals Justice Earl Johnson Jr., headed up the national Legal Services program.

GAGA FOR GABOR--When Zsa Zsa Gabor and Carl Parsons went to the opening of the gem exhibit at the Natural History Museum, the actress was wearing a Harry Winston special, a mirror image of a necklace in the show--medallions of diamonds and sapphires, with large, diamond-cut sapphires. Hey, but the museum only had the necklace. La Gabor also posseses--and was wearing--the matching earrings and ring.

BRIEFLY FILED--Jesse Choper, dean of UC's Boalt Law School in Berkeley, breezed in to lunch with local alumni at the Tower restaurant this week. More than 100 barristers first fed on rather dry chicken with rosemary, followed with a crisp chat by Choper on the latest Supreme Court cases dealing with freedom of religion, including a prediction that the high court would soon uphold an Alabama law permitting a moment of silent prayer at the beginning of the school day. Among the crowd--Federal Appeals Court Judge Harry Pregerson, Municipal Court Judges John J. Harris and Aviva Bobb (who has been presiding over the McMartin School case) and Democratic rainmaker Duane Garrett. Choper also met with 75 other Boalt alums at a cocktail party at the Bistro.

STAR-GAZING--Political and corporate heavy-hitters join the Friends of the Observatory (Griffith Observatory, this year celebrating its 50th anniversary) at lunch May 31. The Griffith Park landmark is in the midst of a major renovation. (But, please, don't change the outside, as old Flash Gordon film fans remember it either as Dr. Zarkov's lab or as part of the palace of Ming the Merciless.)

FANFARE--Founded in 1972, Brentwood School Sunday dedicates its new $3.5-million complex of a lower school and gym. On hand, alum and Olympic gold medalist Peter Vidmar, along with a citywide talent competition between private schools. The party is open to the public, but there's a charge to play the games, ride the rides or listen to the Bus Boys and the Step Sisters.

HAPPY, HAPPY--When Falcon Communications' Marc Nathanson turned 40, his wife Jane surprised him with a party at the Bistro Garden for 80 close buddies. He was surprised--and more so when a videotape with Jane was shown on the large screen and she deadpanned how happy they had been until she found "the picture." Flashed on the screen was one of those junior-high photos everyone has hiding somewhere. The happy partying continued, with Atty. Gen. John and Andrea Van de Kamp twisting to Clark Keen's music, Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky presenting Nathanson with a citation from the city "signed by your friends in City Hall" and carrying only Zev's signature, and a just-in-from D.C. Rep. Mel Levine with wife Jan talking politics.

WATCH FOR--Heavy media coverage of the Santa Cruz VFW post. It goes to court Monday to fight its expulsion from the national veterans group after the post opposed U.S. policy in Central America.

SPEAKING OUT--Friends of UC Regent Stanley Sheinbaum continually spoke of his penchant for unpopular causes. "A dissenter's dissenter," said Ramona Ripston, executive director of the Southern California ACLU, during the tribute by the Americans for Democratic Action. Norman Lear (ribbing via videotape), Marilyn and Alan Bergman and Ed Asner roasted and toasted. Following the kudos, Sheinbaum dissented again--saying he plans to continue to criticize the flaws he sees in areas in which he has influence--the Democratic Party, Israeli policies and the U.S. government. He's a long-time contributor to Democratic candidates and many officeholders' names appeared on the dinner's invite, but only one elected official appeared at the dinner. That was Lt. Gov. Leo T. McCarthy--and he was late and in the dark blue suit that he was spotted in earlier at the Dodgers game. Gosh, McCarthy does spend more and more time in L.A.

GUESSING?--Still no final word on exactly how big a role the new three-partner company of pollster Pat Cadell, speech writer Bob Shrum and David Doak will play in Sen. Alan Cranston's reelection effort. Another D.C. political consultant, Robert Squire from "Today" show fame, had a good line, though, when asked what the firm was going to be called. He offered: "Triage."

ON THE TOWN--John Ritter presents Ed Asner with the Upton Sinclair award at the Liberty Hill dinner Thursday. . . . Folk singer Geof Morgan appears next Friday at the L.A. Press Club. With songs like his "Goodby, John Wayne," no wonder he is sponsored by the National Organization for Changing Men.

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