Sandra Tsing Loh, the pianist who once...

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

Sandra Tsing Loh, the pianist who once serenaded motorists from a parking garage near the Harbor Freeway, now plans a musical welcome for some grunion.

Loh, accompanied by the Topanga Symphony Orchestra, will lug a baby grand piano onto Malibu Surfrider Beach near midnight on March 25.

When the elusive little fish come ashore, everyone will break into “Night of the Grunion,” a 10-minute Loh composition intended to unite “land and sea life . . . in symphonic harmony with nature’s eternal rhythm.”


Grunion, of course, aren’t the most dependable of God’s rhythmic creatures, as millions of discouraged would-be watchers can attest. But Fiona Cherbak, Loh’s manager, is optimistic.

“High tide is at 11:37 and if the audience cooperates with nature by being quiet, we think they will show,” she said.

But if the grunion are AWOL?

“We’ll play anyway,” said Cherbak. “We’ve hired the orchestra to perform.”

“I know there’s a housing shortage in L.A., but this is ridiculous,” said Allan Howard.

Howard recently opened his post office box to find a computerized letter from a landscaping firm that began:

“I have just been told you recently moved into your new home at P.O. Box. . . .”

The company offered to send Howard 15 great plants “to create an exceptional floral display in The Howard Garden. . . .”

Dwarf varieties?

In the more-is-more category, a Los Angeles County man who held one of four winning Lotto tickets to a $15.9-million jackpot has filed suit in Superior Court to get a bigger share.

He contends that money from one of the unclaimed tickets should be shared by him and the other two winners. If he gets his way, the trio would pull down $5.5 million each, instead of having to settle for the paltry sum of less than $4 million.


The beneficiary of unclaimed ticket revenues, by the way, is the California Lottery Education Fund.

No danger of an ocean wave knocking down the latest creation of Sand Sculptures International.

The 10-foot-tall medieval sand castle, described as a “gift to the Japanese community,” reposes on the second floor of the Little Tokyo Square shopping complex, a safe 15 miles from the ocean (and a good quarter-mile from the always-dangerous Los Angeles River).

The castle, which resembles the mansion that producer Aaron Spelling is building in the Hollywood Hills, was constructed with 10 tons of sand from Hansen Dam in the San Fernando Valley, as well as quarters that form the eyes of a dragon that lurks outside.

Somewhat marring the ambiance is the logo of the cigarette company that sponsored construction, carved into one side of the sculpture.

It’s difficult to imagine the Knights of the Round Table carrying the banner of a cigarette company into battle.


Bicyclists accused of racketeering? Who next? Rock climbers? Back-packers?

A fledgling pro bicycle racing league filed a $3-million lawsuit in Los Angeles against an amateur pedalers’ racing federation, accusing it of attempting to regulate the pro sport.

The National Cycle League charged the 68-year-old United States Cycling Federation with such practices as allegedly demanding that the NCL and its riders pay the USCF licensing fees.

The suit seeks triple damages, which are available under federal civil Racketeering Influence Corrupt Organization (RICO) fraud laws.

The U.S. Cycling Federation denies the allegations.

The competition’s getting vicious among Mexican food stands downtown on Hoover Boulevard, where Lucy’s advertises that it’s “Open 24 Hours,” while, across the street, Mario’s boasts, “Open 25 Hours.”