People and Events

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

It’s already attracted such nicknames as the Yuppie Express, the L.A. Law Connection and the So-Sue-Me Shuttle.

Today, it tries to attract customers.

A Century City-to-downtown van service aimed primarily at lawyers makes its debut at 7 a.m. The system’s 18-seat jitneys carry only the bare necessities: televisions, VCRs, cellular telephones, and fax machines (to hurl off that lawsuit in a hurry). A waitress will also be along to provide coffee, orange juice, bagels and wine.

As an introductory offer, the service is free today. Starting Monday, it’s $7.50 each way, with vans leaving every 90 minutes from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.


The media was invited out to inspect the jitneys Thursday (Launch Day Minus 1), and all systems seemed go. One television was playing, “All My Children,” which raised a question: How do you get 18 lawyers to agree on what program to watch?

“Guess they’ll have to negotiate,” said Michelle Krotinger, an aide of City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky, who originated the concept.

Yaroslavsky hopes the service, privately operated by APT Express, will reduce traffic congestion.

Certainly, as Krotinger pointed out, it’s one van you wouldn’t want to sideswipe on the freeway.

To do their part to advance the cause of ride-sharing--and Oct. 3-7 is California Ride-Share Week--the Goodyear blimp folks are offering free demonstration rides across the Southland to members of the media. Nice thought, but commuting to work by blimp doesn’t seem feasible.

You say you’re tired of the same old exhibits at the Los Angeles County Fair? Well, how about a little live surgery to pep up your visit?


Volunteer veterinarians will be spaying and neutering dogs at 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. today through Sunday to emphasize the importance of proper pet care. The operations, conducted in a sterile environment in a glass-enclosed room, will be performed on dogs provided by the county Department of Animal Care and Control.

For people who don’t want to watch through the glass, an overhead camera will relay a view of the procedure on a television monitor.

When last we heard from Harley (Lou) Cobb, 55, he had found the woman of his dreams with the aid of a sign in his front yard in Pasadena. It said: “Widower 55 Seeks Attr. Lady (40-60) Friendship . . . Maybe More” and included his phone number.

The ensuing publicity sparked an estimated 400 inquiries--and four outright, sight-unseen, marriage proposals--over three weeks from precincts as distant as New York. Out of the 400, he found Miss Right, “a sweet wonderful lady.”

Alas, on Thursday he disclosed that he’s broken off the 5-day-old relationship, terming the woman “very demanding and critical.” He gave an example: “I smoke Lucky Strikes, and she smokes Larks. She insisted that I change to Larks. . . . “

Now he’s added a second front-yard sign that says, “She Didn’t Work Out.”

It was the first day of Political Science 490 at Cal State Los Angeles, and the teacher found one student who was older than him. Not that unusual, except the teacher was former Gov. Edmund G. Brown, age 83.

Saturnino Cariaga, four months Brown’s senior, had signed up for the graduate course, “Critical Issues in Public Policy from the 1960s.” Cariaga explained that he didn’t intend “to be a senior citizen who stays home and does nothing.”

Brown was delighted. “I hope you vote for me the next time I run for office,” he told Cariaga.

Hand-lettered sign on the back of a Jeep being driven by a young woman in Manhattan Beach: “I’m new at this stick shift stuff--stay 10 feet behind.”