People and Events

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

Here’s one of those heartwarming stories that proves you can fight City Hall:

A resident had received a weed-abatement bill for $119.60 on four vacant lots that she owns in Lincoln Heights. The fee seemed too high, so she contacted the Department of Public Works by telephone.

And guess what? She wasn’t put on hold. She wasn’t relayed from city agency to city agency. She didn’t have to write a letter.

The Department of Public Works quickly delved into the matter and discovered that she’d been billed twice as much as she should have been because of a computer error. The Board of Public Works quickly agreed to cut her tab.


And, so, the resident, Deputy Mayor Grace Davis, got her satisfaction.

State Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp came down from Sacramento to throw a barbecue for the local press the other day, complete with a large-screen TV for World Series viewing in his (rather large) back yard in Pasadena.

Not to be outdone, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Ira Reiner will soon begin throwing a coffee-and-doughnuts session for the media once a month on Friday mornings in the press room.

Reiner, considered a likely candidate for attorney general when Van de Kamp moves on, has had a sort of adversarial relationship with the media through the years--reporters still recall past Reiner press conferences that featured coffee and doughnuts cut in half.

Reiner spokesman Al Albergate said the hour per month that his boss will spend schmoozing with the press will be a “good opportunity” for both sides to get to know each other.

“Ira’s usually busy,” Albergate said. “And he’s not the type of guy who roams the hall talking with people. But he should have that availability.”

Some of the reporters on the D.A. beat, who often don’t get out of court until late in the day and then must write their stories in the evening, have grumbled that the 8:30 a.m. starting time for the klatches is a bit early. But Albergate pointed out that the sessions will run an hour “so you don’t have to be there at 8:30.”

Also, whole doughnuts will be served.

Tensions must be increasing by the day here. Two weeks ago, the Los Angeles-Long Beach area was rated the 10th most stressful area in the nation. Now, in a different set of rankings put out by Zero Population Growth, Los Angeles is pegged at No. 9 on the uptightedness-scale (Long Beach beat the rap on this one).

The closest spot to relax, according to Zero Population Growth, based in Washington, is about 500 miles from Los Angeles in Concord.

As with the Associated Press and United Press International football rankings, the two stress surveys have their differences.

The earlier survey, by Cal State Fresno Prof. Richard Levine, ranked State College, Pa., as the most carefree area.

Zero Population Growth has no Pennsylvania town in its Top 20.

Maybe it’s because State College is the home of Penn State, which has suffered two stunning upsets since the first poll came out.

Two weeks ago, Republican congressional candidate G. C. (Brodie) Broderson suddenly threw his hat out of the ring and donned a beret in Panorama City.

Broderson, lacking campaign funds and facing an incumbent, said he was going to divest himself “of all this political baloney” and instead devote more time to being a member of the San Fernando Valley chapter of the Guardian Angels, a volunteer safety patrol. A 58-year-old Guardian Angel, at that.

His concession speech, though perhaps not as dramatic as Richard Nixon’s goodby after his failed gubernatorial bid in 1962, nevertheless seemed a refreshing twist.

Until Thursday. Then Broderson reentered the race, admitting that his first goodby was a ploy to attract financial and personal support.

“Welcome back, Brodie,” quipped an aide of his Democratic rival, Rep. Howard Berman.

Sound like a good title for a television show? Well, Broderson is also a part-time actor.

Front! More than 200 hotel attendants are expected to attend the first annual Bellman’s Ball Nov. 14 at the Warner Center Marriott Hotel. Tickets are $25 per couple. Tassels required.