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Local News in Brief : Plans for Beacon Atop Forum Dropped

Plans to turn on a navigational beacon atop the Forum were dropped Tuesday by a Los Angeles City Council committee because of potential insurance problems for Los Angeles International Airport.

Commercial pilots had asked the Federal Aviation Administration to put the beacon on the Inglewood sports facility, which is about a mile from the airport’s runways.

Charles and Ursula Johnson of Rancho Palos Verdes last May donated $10,000 to pay for the beacon as a memorial to their 21-year-old son, who died after a skateboarding accident. The light was installed with the understanding that the Forum would be protected from liability if the beacon caused an accident.

But Associated Aviation Underwriters informed officials that if the city indemnified the Forum, the Los Angeles Department of Airports would not be covered for any accident attributable to airport tower operations--regardless of whether the beacon was involved.

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