People and Events

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

Searching for office space in West Los Angeles, advertising copywriter John Stein and his two partners knew there was something unusual about the building on Colby Avenue the moment they entered it.

“The inside looked more like an admitting room than a lobby,” Stein said.

Then one tenant told Stein that it was a nice place if he didn’t mind some noise.


Most of the building, it turned out, is occupied by the Primal Institute, the developer of primal-scream therapy.

Stein’s looking elsewhere.

“We hear enough screams from clients when we present work in their offices,” he said.

Sorry to report that pitcher Jay Howell was not the only Los Angeles sports figure involved in a cheating scandal over the weekend. The more disturbing incident occurred at the Green Valley Duck Races, north of Saugus. When the starting horn sounded, an overzealous trainer gave one of the webbed competitors a push forward in violation of the rules. The foul fowl was disqualified from the race.

Its name: Dodger Duck.

Robert Barbour feels partly responsible for the dilemma of Andrew Burg, mentioned here last week. Burg’s license plate says MISSING and, through computer foul-ups, he occasionally gets parking tickets for far-off cars that have no plates.

Barbour, a Marina del Rey factory owner, used to have a similar problem with his car license, which says NO PLATE. After Barbour’s dilemma was publicized, the Department of Motor Vehicles told him that it had sent out a circular advising municipalities to quit writing NO PLATE on citations for plateless cars.

“They told me that they had advised officers to either write down the car’s identification number,” Barbour said, “or the word MISSING.”

If you thought it was hot for you Monday, rest assured that Christopher Columbus was no more comfortable on Oct. 10, 1492. His sailors threatened mutiny that day before agreeing to give him a three-day extension.

Monday was Columbus Day, though the mariner actually arrived in the New World Oct. 12. (As any schoolchild can tell you, historic events occur only on Mondays or weekends.)

Columbus Day brought out a couple of politicians and about 75 Italian-Americans to place a wreath at the mariner’s statue in the Los Angeles County Mall.

The politicians spoke in generalities, but Mena Ippolito, president of the Federated Italo-Americans of Southern California, didn’t.

“Let us not make any mistake,” she said. “Christopher Columbus was from Genoa. He was Italian. And he did discover America.”

No matter what the plaque says next to the bust of Leif Ericson in Griffith Park.

Obviously, Chatsworth historian Sheila Watts is more sentimental than movie mogul Sam Goldwyn was.

At a weekend gathering of 30 old-time Western actors who left their prints in concrete at the Iverson Movie Location Ranch, Watts said:

“It’s nice to be able to point to some rocks near where I live and say, ‘That’s where they shot movies with Gary Cooper and Loretta Young.’ ”

It was Goldwyn who once turned down a director’s request for an out-of-town shoot by growling: “A rock’s a rock, and a tree’s a tree. Shoot it in Griffith Park.”