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People and Events

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

But would he be talking that way if he’d won the Big Spin?

When truck driver Charles Kaeser showed up Friday to pick up his first of 20 annual checks for $60,000 as the winner of the $1.5-million jackpot in the state of Washington’s Lotto game, officials up there asked him why he’d moved to the Seattle area from Los Angeles six months ago.

“I hate California,” answered Kaeser, 41. “I like snow, cool weather and clean air.”

The Hollywood Bowl has been used for decades for the graduations of Hollywood and Immaculate Heart high schools. Those ceremonies, however, get under way about 4 and 8 p.m. . . .

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When Cal State Northridge announced that it would use the bowl for a first-ever “sunrise graduation"--meaning 7 a.m.--"not everyone seized on the excitement of the event,” CSUN spokeswoman Ann Salisbury acknowledged.

Some students complained that the May 26 graduation would be too far from the campus, where a building is being constructed at the site formerly used for the end-of-year pomp. Others were disappointed that the configuration of the bowl ruled out the traditional procession, in which graduates walk on stage to shake the hands of the university president. But most of the naysayers pointed to the 7 a.m. start-up.

The spend-the-morning-in-bed crowd apparently has not heard Sullivan’s explanation of the scheduling:

“You might see that our initials spell ‘see sun,’ ” she noted.

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“1988 was our 30th anniversary year, so this is the dawn of a new decade.

“And our flag has a picture of a blazing sun rising over the mountains.”

Besides, no one’s going to check for pajamas under those caps and gowns.

When a group of Newhall residents learned that a 510-unit apartment, hotel and office complex was planned nearby, they did what homeowners often do in the face of looming development. They gathered signatures on petitions and marched down to the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission to protest.

There was one small problem--they were two years late.

The 510 apartments had been approved by planning commissioners in May, 1987. The only issue now was whether to approve a change in the project’s design.

“What really bothers me is that none of us knew that,” said homeowner Eric J. Parde, who noted that the approval had come just before he and his neighbors moved to the area.

After the design changes went through, the residents decided that all was not lost--the modifications gave the project more “open space” than originally planned.

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That limousine with the swimming pool out back is old news by now, what with the Disney folks introducing an as-far-as-the-eye-can-see buggy to carry Mickey M. around the country and limo companies offering to rent to anybody “super, ultra-stretch” jobs with two moon roofs, two bars, etc.

On Friday, the latest entry in the mine-is-bigger-than-yours competition rolled out of a body shop in Chatsworth--a 72-foot-long Cadillac El Dorado customized to include, among other things, a redwood sun deck.

Jim Wagner of Encino, who owns the 18-wheel vehicle, said he regrets that it has no fax machine, but speculated, “It will still attract some attention, though, I think.”


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