A presidential campaign may be in progress but you'd never know it from the bare automobile bumpers on the local freeways.
Political consultant Joseph Cerrell says that in the last few months he's counted a total of two stickers supporting the Democrats' Michael Dukakis on local roads and one supporting the Republicans' George Bush.
A Times survey conducted on the San Diego and Santa Monica freeways Sunday found Bush in the lead, one sticker to zero.
In some elections, every other automobile exterior seemed to shout out the name of a presidential hopeful.
"There were even more in 1984," the lopsided Reagan-Mondale race, commented Frank Vasquez of Crown Gibraltar Printing Co., a supplier to Dukakis. "Maybe they (campaign officials) figure it's better these days to put their money into television advertising."
Cerrell theorizes that "perhaps with all the freeway shootings, people want to stay as anonymous as possible in their cars. Who wants to take a chance on being rammed by some crazed Dukakis or Bush supporter?"
It might be an exaggeration to say this year's Nun's Run is cloaked in controversy. But the charity event, which aids Lynwood's St. Francis Medical Center, will be sporting a new look Oct. 8 in Lynwood City Park.
The nuns of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, who have previously run in traditional long habits and untraditional tennis shoes, will be wearing the more modern, mid-calf habit this time.
"The mother house of the order felt it (the traditional habit on the jogging path) wasn't too dignified," said spokeswoman Charlene Sydow.
Still, the sisters should be easy to spot. They'll be wearing their veils.
It's one of the little mysteries of urban life. An ambiguous statement--often stenciled--starts popping up on concrete all over town.
Take "Thomas vs. Honda." You can find it on sidewalks in downtown Los Angeles, on a freeway overpass in West Los Angeles, on a wall in Long Beach.
Could it be a boxing match-up? No record of such a fight can be found. A divorce, or a lawsuit filed by an angry car buyer? Neither is listed in local court records.
There it stands.
Meanwhile, another message has begun to appear downtown: "50 BUCKS." One location is outside the box office at the Temporary Contemporary museum downtown. Officials there did a little sleuthing and solved that particular mystery.
"It's the name of a performance art group," said one worker.
Perhaps "Thomas vs. Honda" will appear some day with "50 BUCKS."
Return of the Councilmobile: You may recall that Councilman Marvin Braude had promised to give members of the media a ride Friday in an electric van to demonstrate the advantages of the nonpolluting vehicle. But its battery was dead. Monday, the rejuvenated Councilmobile started up on command and reporters went for a quiet seven-mile spin. Braude even took them on the freeway--at no extra charge.
Name a local football team whose defensive squad includes a maintenance worker at cornerback and a 50ish biology professor at linebacker. UCLA? No, it's another team that plays in Pasadena: Caltech.
The Beavers, who permit faculty and staff to play on their club-sport team, are led by maintenance worker Vincent Riley and Prof. Eric Davidson. Caltech, which opens its season at home against a San Fernando Valley club team Saturday, finds inspiration in the school's moving cheer:
Secant, cosine, tangent, sine,
Slipstick, slide rule,
TECH! TECH! TECH!