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People and Events

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

So maybe the timing wasn’t the greatest. Hours after the Dodgers suffered a shocking loss to the Mets in their playoff opener, the Los Angeles City Council designated the 1st Street steps of City Hall as the Plaza of Champions.

“We haven’t decided yet what form it will take--plaques, embedded stars, or pennants,” said Mark Siegel, an aide to Councilman Joel Wachs.

Coming up with something original won’t be easy, since the council was beaten to the punch by such star formations as Echo Park’s Avenue of the Athletes and San Pedro’s Sportswalk. And Inglewood’s contemplating a Champions Walk. No wonder an 11-member committee of citizens has been asked to arrive at a format (hopefully before the NBA playoffs are completed next June).

Over the years, the 1st Street steps have played host to several world-championship celebrations involving the Dodgers, Raiders and Lakers (except the year the crowd was deemed too unruly and the Lakers were sequestered in a small room in City Hall, causing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to quip, “Day 5 of the hostage situation.”)

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The Plaza of Champions idea, Siegel said, came during the last Laker celebration when television newsman Jim Murphy commented that “we come here so often they should rename this the Plaza of Champions.”

Will Murphy get a plaque?

“When we have a Plaza of Broadcasters,” Siegel said.

Just for the record: Residents of Beverly Hills in the area being sprayed for Medflies have been advised that they need not worry about covering their swimming pools, “unless it makes them feel more comfortable,” said Gera Curry, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Agriculture.

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Same goes for poodles.

Culver City’s cuisine has not gone unnoticed over the years. After all, a television program, the "$1.98 Beauty Show,” once offered a free lunch at a Culver City pastrami shop as its grand prize.

Such recognition isn’t enough for some locals. City Councilwoman Jozelle Smith says she wants Culver City to be known as more than “a fast-food capital” that’s off-ramp close to the San Diego, Santa Monica and Marina freeways.

Now, the city has lured Piero Salvaggio, owner of Valentino’s in West Los Angeles, to open up a posh eatery at a planned restaurant row there.

“This should put us on the West Los Angeles-area cuisine map,” says Debbie Rich, project specialist for the city’s Redevelopment Agency.

You say life’s too short to spend all morning in the voting booth Nov. 8 as you pore over national and statewide races as well as 29 state and six local propositions? Marcia Ventura, a spokesman for the county registrar, agrees, suggesting that you fill out your sample ballot at home first.

And, sorry, the secretary of state’s office says there’s no truth to the rumor, printed in a San Francisco newspaper, that express lines are being considered for polling places. “What? For people who vote on less than 10 propositions?” asked Caren Daniels, an office spokesman.

The Wild West lives: A resident complained to Covina Postmaster Chuck Harrison the other day that someone had ripped out his mail box by lassoing it from a moving car. “I’ve never heard of that one before,” Harrison said.

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Motorists stranded in the daily gridlock on Culver Boulevard in Marina del Rey have a new distraction on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Del Rey Cleaners and two area restaurants, White Feathers and the Cliff House, are sending workers out into the stalled traffic during red lights to offer tormented drivers a free cup of coffee and a plastic laundry bag with a discount coupon.

Barry Moschel, owner of Del Rey, says he’s picked up about 25 new customers with the ploy. He didn’t say how many are bringing in clothes with coffee stains.

You never know where you’re going to find glamour in this town. Sighted at a Metro Rail dig site at 4th and Hill streets, a hard-hat whose orange vest covered a T-shirt that said, “Giorgio of Beverly Hills.”


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