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People and Events

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

It was an old idea, and it was a little tired, and it wasn’t quite getting the publicity it used to, and it was a little costly, truly, and so Harry’s Bar and American Grill of Century City announced it was discontinuing the International Imitation Hemingway Competition.

Well, as Papa himself wrote, “Nada y nada y nada y nada.”

Six months after a duck showed up in a Tarzana back yard and fell head over webbed heels in love with a collie named Lady, the romance still hasn’t cooled. And Garrie Katznelson, Lady’s owner, thinks that it’s time for the duck, nicknamed Howard, to move on. (The neighbors are starting to talk, etc.)

Hence, Katznelson’s alarm at learning from Audubon Society members that Howard apparently is not a migratory wood duck, as first thought, but a Mandarin duck--a non-migratory Mandarin duck.

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Katznelson is looking for an agency to adopt Howard. “I called the (Los Angeles) zoo,” she noted, “but they said they have too many Mandarin ducks as it is, and they’re selling off some of theirs.”

Howard the duck is content to eat dog food, she said.

And the Malibu lineman is still on the l-i-n-e . . .

It’s that time of the year again, and Marian Crowe is sending out letters to local political candidates asking them to, please, refrain from tacking their smiling faces on the 2 million poles jointly owned by area utilities.

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Crowe is manager of the Southern California joint pole committee, an organization representing 22 utilities. She points out that “when nails and other fasteners are concealed by placards, it creates hazardous conditions” for linemen.

Alas, some candidates have to be sent a second warning. “We had a judge in Glendale who was doing it one year,” Crowe confided.

Another type of nuisance, she said, is callers to the Glendale-based committee who think “we’re a committee for Polish activities or a polling organization. Once we were even asked if we sell flagpoles.”

Warning: Presidential Candidates’ Sons in the Area.

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John Dukakis, son of the Democratic hopeful, on Thursday visited the set of the television sitcom “Family Ties,” on which he had a bit part in four early episodes. He declared that “the values expressed on this program” are “close to what my father would express,” conveniently overlooking the fact that star Michael J. Fox portrays archconservative Alex Keaton.

On Wednesday, Neil Bush, son of the Republican candidate, grunted and snorted skillfully enough to lure four pigs into a ring but was an also-ran in the hog calling competition at the Los Angeles County Fair.

Two weeks ago, brother George Bush Jr. made less noise but drew more attention when he appeared on a local radio talk show after Pop had declared that Pearl Harbor Day was Sept. 7. George Jr. criticized the networks for focusing “on whether Pearl Harbor was Sept. 9 or Dec. 9.” Or something.

It wouldn’t be the first time a maturing screen star has undergone a face lift. A $6.5-million remodeling of Los Angeles’ 61-year-old City Hall--some of it privately financed--has been approved by the Cultural Heritage Commission and sent to the City Council for approval.

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It’s the first proposal by a civic, nonprofit group called Project Restore, whose goal is to refurbish local public works of architecture. The work at City Hall will involve interior improvements although the group has long-range plans to light the outside of the building at night, as it was before World War II.

City Hall, of course, has been under the lights since then for Such productions as the movie “War of the Worlds” (it was zapped by Martians), the television series “Superman” (it was the Daily Planet building), the television series “Dragnet” (it was police headquarters) and, more recently, “Hill Street Blues” (Capt. Furillo was wounded there). “You go to Japan or Germany and show the people a picture of City Hall, and they recognize it,” said Katharine Moret, president of Project Restore. “They say, ‘It’s in Hollywood.’ ”

Close enough.


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