People and Events

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

Taking pot shots at Los Angeles dates back at least as far as the 1920s, when an anonymous wit dismissed our fair burg as “Forty Suburbs in Search of a City.” Such an assessment is woefully inaccurate, of course, as there are now 84 cities sharing the county with Los Angeles.

The latest slam comes from the mayor of an Eastern city, who recently paid a visit here to appear on “The Pat Sajak Show,” then returned home and told a local newspaper:

“When I was there, the experts told me the city of Los Angeles was the city of the future. What a bunch of baloney.”

The mayor declared that, “whether you judge by taxes, drugs, air pollution, traffic congestion or by affordable housing . . . and lack of violent crime, or by any other yardstick,” her city “comes way out ahead” as the city of the future.


The speaker, Sophie Masloff, is mayor of . . . Pittsburgh.

Like a certain former Democratic presidential candidate, Long Beach Mayor Ernie Kell is occasionally kidded about his short stature. Take a recent survey aimed at finding reasons to support Long Beach’s civic slogan, “The Most on the Coast.”

While the majority of the readers responding to the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s multiple-choice survey selected such factors as the climate and the beach, more than a dozen chose the argument, “Our mayor is taller than a fire hydrant.”

If Diogenes were searching for the one truthful motorist . . .

Jerry Donaldson of Hawthorne (see accompanying photos) could be the only guy around the Southland who isn’t kidding when he displays a certain popular license plate frame.

It was a case of woman being dog’s best friend.

Dawn Pauline, 25, was northbound on Pacific Coast Highway near Las Tunas State Beach when a motorcycle’s fallen gas tank became wedged under her BMW, leaving a trail of sparks and flames.

The Beverly Hills woman pulled to a stop as flames from the filled tank began to envelop her car. Then, instead of fleeing, she ran to a rear door, reached in and rescued her puppy, much to the amazement of approaching Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies.

One of the deputies intervened at that point, Sgt. James Cagy said, pulling the woman away from her car as the fire engulfed it.

Pauline was later treated for burns at the emergency room and released. The dog was unhurt.

Another pal of the pooches is Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Woo.

Woo proposed that Los Angeles’ only official dog park be opened to unleashed animals at all times, not for just a few hours each day, as is currently the case.

His action has confirmed the worst fears of the anti-canine forces of the Laurel Hills Homeowners Assn., who questioned whether the park would literally go to the dogs after the City Council voted in April to allow animals to romp about in the early morning hours and late afternoon while untethered to humans.

Woo revealed that, as some homeowners in the affluent neighborhood above Hollywood had predicted, “The sheer volume of people taking advantage of the ability to run their dogs free . . . has severely taxed the limited parking resources. . . . There also have been repeated instances of people not respecting the time limitations, often due to the number of dog owners present during the limited hours.”

Under Woo’s proposal, the greater part of the park would be fenced off and reserved for dogs. A smaller area would be set aside for picnickers and children, who could also roam about unleashed.

Funeral chapels often concentrate their radio and television advertising on such side attractions as the beautiful scenery, reproductions of famous art works, and museums on their grounds. But a motorist spotted on the Pasadena Freeway displayed a cemetery’s name on his license plate frame along with a more down-to-earth message: