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RTD buses swerving back and forth, plowing...

From staff and wire reports

RTD buses swerving back and forth, plowing through obstacles, and attempting all sorts of wild maneuvers?

This time, the excitement is sanctioned.

It’s the RTD’s annual “Roadeo,” featuring 32 of the district’s top operators guiding their 13-ton machines through the parking lot of the Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia on Saturday. The winner will compete against other bus district champions in Atlanta in September.

The action at Santa Anita will involve slaloming through traffic cones, navigating narrow lanes of barrels and, as a press release said, other tests of the drivers’ “agility and nerves.”

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But at least they won’t have to strain to smile at passengers.

Sign on Westwood Boulevard:

“Pet Jewelry Now Available.”

In full daylight yet:

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At 11:30 this morning, Norine Dresser, a folklore expert at Cal State Los Angeles, will sign her new book, “American Vampires: Fans, Victims, Practitioners,” at the campus bookstore.

Who says Los Angeles needs a “Steel Cloud” or any other new gateway monumentC. Czapiewski of North Hollywood points out that we already have one--the Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport.

Noting that “Cloud” is supposed to straddle the Hollywood Freeway, Czapiewski notes that “more immigrants come through LAX than Route 101.”

Mal Packer, the airport’s chief engineer, agrees that the Theme Building is one of the most visible symbols of entry into Los Angeles.

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“Anytime the movies want to portray someone flying into L.A.,” Packer said, “they show the parabolic arches of the Theme Building.”

Certainly, the 28-year-old landmark, which houses a restaurant and observation deck, upholds the local tradition of innovative architecture.

The theme of the Theme Building was futurism--if not other-world-ism.

“A great spidery four-pronged cradle was constructed, apparently to hold a flying-saucer restaurant mysteriously up in the air,” quips the architectural guidebook, “The City Observed: Los Angeles.”

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“The Theme Building is surely from another planet.”

Francois Blesbois, a French businessman visiting here, notes that Southern California is often featured in the newscasts in his country.

“Just before I left, we saw a segment on a dog riding a skateboard,” Blesbois said. “It was filmed in your Venice.”

Up-to-date pitch of a panhandler outside the downtown county courthouse:

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“Sir, spare some change? I gotta see ‘Batman.’ ”


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