People and Events

Call it Miracle on 1st Street.

Those often unappreciated bureaucrats in City Hall will have their own Christmas tree and menorah, after all.

And St. Nick didn't even have to lend a hand.

Councilwoman Joan Milke Flores' motion for the rotunda display was approved Tuesday after reassurances that the tree and menorah--as long as the latter is unlit--are considered secular symbols and thus appropriate for a government building.

Only Monday, the Department of General Services told The Times that there would be no such display for another reason: Council policy holds that decorations in the rotunda must relate to municipal functions.

But a Flores aide brushed that policy aside as "open to interpretation."

When the subject came up last year, the council voted to place a "decorated" tree--which bore an uncanny resemblance to a Christmas tree--and an unlit menorah in the crowded Main Street lobby of City Hall.

The members briefly considered placing the display on the south lawn. But Councilman Nate Holden warned there could be a problem.

"We have some people who are not all together," he pointed out. "They can unscrew some of those bulbs."

"We can post armed guards," Council President John Ferraro quipped.

These days, council sessions are broadcast on cable television, so there was no such colorful banter in the chamber Tuesday. In fact, Flores' motion passed without a single word of debate.

When bad ratings and good intentions clash in the world of television, you know the result.

"Homeroom," an ABC comedy, was canceled Tuesday after finishing 80th in the latest Nielsen ratings.

Nevertheless, Councilman Mike Woos' office will present a commendation today to the stars of the show, which Woo has praised for presenting positive images of the inner city and of its residents.

Next to roadways, one of the most lively arenas of automotive battle is the parking lot, where darting cars vie for treasured openings between the white lines.

The other night in Newhall, however, no one challenged the long vehicle that pulled into a supermarket lot--possibly because it was a hearse with a license plate that proclaimed, LAST RID, and script on the side that said, "Death Cruiser."

Some people just love their work.

It's not exactly a case of having your cake and eating it too.

The 4-by-6-foot chocolate replica of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, constructed by five Bonaventure Hotel chefs to salute the Music Center's 25th anniversary, will be admired--but not eaten--during today's ceremonies. (Guests will dine instead on carrot cake.)

The chocolate edifice will merely sit on display in the Music Center Plaza. A real test for chocoholics, considering that it contains 250 pounds of the dark and white varieties.

Then what will happen to the cake?

A Bonaventure spokeswoman said it might be given to a homeless shelter.

But donations evidently aren't such simple matters anymore.

She said that the hotel would want to obtain a liability waiver for what would be day-old fare.

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