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Protector of Nun Against Robber Is Latest Citizen Hero

Nuns, morals, fishes and mermaids.

* In case you think chivalry is dead.

A 74-year-old nun from the University of San Diego is sitting on a bench waiting for a bus about 5:40 p.m. She has her purse open, ready to show her bus pass to the bus driver.

A guy with missing top teeth, pink pants and a red jacket is eyeballing her wallet. Before the bus can arrive, he makes a lunge for the nun’s wallet.

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The nun resists. A tug of war ensues. The nun tries to bite the guy.

A man across the street sees the fray and comes running. He yells at the nun’s assailant: “What kind of morals do you have?”

The guy with the missing teeth tries to negotiate a street-plea-bargain: “Drugs are hard to find. I promise if you let me go, I won’t do it again.”

Nothing doing. The rescuer restrains the assailant until the cops arrive.

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The assailant, a 36-year-old transient, is booked for attempted felony strong-arm robbery.

The rescuer, Ronald M. Trethowan, 31, has been recommended for a citizen’s commendation from the Police Department.

* Tuna Titans.

A settlement in the tuna lawsuit Van Camp vs. Starkist in San Diego federal court appears on the hook.

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Van Camp Seafood Co. of San Diego had charged Starkist Seafood Co. of Long Beach with marketing piracy for allegedly copying Van Camp’s longtime mermaid symbol.

Starkist maintains that its new symbol, Premia, is “a female fish, not a mermaid.” But it has agreed to stop using Premia in print advertising.

She’s also been redesigned by Starkist: Gone is her blond hair (Van Camp’s mermaid has been a blonde since 1952) and fleshy skin tone. Now Premia is fishy blue and wears a Carmen Miranda-like red bandanna on her head.

Van Camp finds the changes acceptable. All that’s left is squabbling over whether Starkist can call its tuna “whiter.”

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There are federal standards on these things, you know.

Job-Seeker Takes the Offensive

Law of the streets.

Gary S. Schwarzman, 27, of Coronado, a recent graduate of the lawyer’s assistant program at the University of San Diego, did everything you’re supposed to do to get a job.

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He sent out 325 resumes. Nothing. He had the USD placement center send out 50 more resumes. Still nothing.

He visited upward of 50 law firms. He couldn’t get past the receptionists.

So, for two days last week, he stood outside the county courthouse in downtown San Diego with a handmade sign: “Paralegal for Hire.”

Result: He got an afternoon’s work for $50 researching a criminal case.

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“A guy in a BMW stopped at the curb and yelled to me, ‘Yo, paralegal, over here!’ ” Schwarzman said. “Next thing I knew I was working.”

Better yet, he’s got an interview today with another attorney who also spotted his street-corner appeal. About a full-time job, it is hoped.

“Everybody else in my class is sitting around waiting for the phone to ring,” Schwarzman said. “I decided instead to go out and make it happen.

“I’m not what you call a shy person.”

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Signs of Urbanity

The big city, more or less.

* Politics and art.

The issue of a mural for the outside wall of the downtown jail comes back to the Board of Supervisors next week.

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The mural, to be funded privately, has a child sitting in a large outstretched hand, with a circle of flags in the background.

The artist is willing to bow to demands from Supervisor Brian Bilbray that the United States flag be at the top of the circle, not at the bottom as originally planned.

That would have put it beneath the dreaded Iraqi flag.

* Point Loma bumper sticker: “Jesus Was a Gill-Netter.”

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* Do the well-to-do know something you and I don’t?

On a certain residential street in La Jolla, 40 of the 59 lots are owned by trusts. Cuts down on inheritance taxes.


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