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People and Events

<i> From staff and wire reports </i>

They don’t look like much yet, but one of these days they’ll be bright pink and will stand around on one leg.

Twenty-two baby American flamingos arrived Thursday at the Los Angeles Zoo. They were donated by Hialeah Park race track in Florida to help restore the zoo’s flock, devastated by coyotes last October.

The fuzzy, brown birds--only 3 months old--will remain quarantined for a month before joining the 13 American, 28 greater and 100 Chilean flamingos already residing here. The youngsters will molt and their feathers will turn a vivid pink by the time they’re a year old, according to Lora LaMarca of the zoo.

They’ll be a lot pinker than the greaters and the Chileans, which are pale.

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LaMarca could not say exactly how many flamingos the zoo had before 52 of them were devoured when a keeper left their cage door unlocked.

It just didn’t seem right to dump all those famous-brand chocolate chip cookies and cans of cranberry juice untouched by guests in one of the better downtown Los Angeles hotels, so the stuff has been going to Skid Row.

“We would normally just throw these things away,” says David Craig of the Sheraton Grande controller’s office. “But we started working with the Los Angeles Mission. Obviously they need some help feeding the homeless.”

Craig was in charge of installing mini-bars in the hotel’s rooms last February, stocking them with a lot of the nifty little treats one finds hard to resist. Some guests do, of course, leaving many items whose expiration dates are approaching.

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“We get rid of them a week before they expire,” says Craig. “We donate them to the mission while they’re still fresh, so it’s not as though we’re giving them spoiled goods.”

The recipients don’t often get that kind of thing on Skid Row, he points out. “They really appreciate it.”

Craig estimates that about $7,000 worth of snacks and juices have gone to the mission so far.

A Woodland Hills public relations and advertising executive conducted her second annual free consultation clinic Thursday. Well, almost free. It cost 20 cans of food or 20 paper good items for 20 minutes of advice.

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Laurie Golden tried it by herself a year ago, collecting nearly 1,000 cans for Haven Hills, a San Fernando Valley shelter for battered women and abused children. This time, she enlisted a lawyer, a certified public accountant, an image consultant and a job placement counselor. By late morning, the panel had taken in more than 800 cans.

Not all the clients who showed up at the Warner Center Marriott were aspiring actors or would-be small businessmen seeking to promote themselves or products. Several of them were teen-age residents of Pacific Lodge Boys Home, a facility for troubled youths, who sought to learn some things about getting good jobs.

They also checked in with the image consultant and the financial planner, Golden said.

It’s nearly time for the second annual Invention Convention, offering garage geniuses and professional product developers another chance to try their notions on possible investors, manufacturers, marketers and the general public.

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The inventions on display at the Pasadena Convention Center from Sept. 15-18 will include a gas cap with a combination lock and the prototype of a magnetically levitated passenger car without wheels, which is supposed to go 200 m.p.h. along a lightweight track.

Many of the exhibitors who were prominent at last year’s convention will be back. Scott Shakespeare, for instance. You may (or may not) remember him as inventor of a puzzle toy called Heartbroken. This time he has devised a lightweight, low-cost prosthetic arm for amputees.

Inventors do not always confine themselves to narrow parameters.

Patent attorneys will be available and there will be more than 50 seminars given by such people as Dr. Yoshiro NakaMats, inventor of the floppy disk and holder of more than 2,300 patents--more than twice what Edison had.

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Barbie Doll creator Jack Ryan will be there too.


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