Traffic-tracker Bill Keene may have a new...

Traffic-tracker Bill Keene may have a new sideline: Giving advice to the lane-lorn.

The KNX radio reporter received a plaintive note from a San Fernando Valley resident who is caught up in a triangle (the other two parties being the man’s wife and their car).

“Dear Bill,” it began. “My wife is a lane switcheroo, gives no signal half the time, gets too close to the car in front--a don’t-let-'em-in, don’t-let-'em- pass-you freeway driver. What’s worse, when I drive, she directs me every two minutes to follow her example. When I decline, the sparks fly.

“She listens to you. Please remind her on the air what causes freeway slowing--accidents and stress. Mrs. Jones is her name. She’ll know who you’re talking to.”


As instructed, Keene asked Mrs. Jones to ease the pressure on the gas pedal (and on Mr. Jones) during the couple’s 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. whine time. The message gave new meaning to the phrase, “freeway advisory.”

Almost as annoying as lane-switcheroos are motorists who use their cars as billboards to brag about their accomplishments. Like the guy on Western Avenue in Hollywood, whose bumper sticker said:

“I vacuumed Steven Spielberg’s car.”

Nissan of Mary Our Lady:


Carmen Koosa lost the land and building of his Downey dealership in a foreclosure sale the other day, but he’s staying in business there through the benevolence of a Roman Catholic teaching order.

The Nissan dealership had been unable to pay off a $750,000 loan from the Sisters of the Company of Mary Our Lady, so the religious order acquired title to the property at a foreclosure sale.

But the sisters, whose attorney described Koosa as “a friend,” agreed to lease the land and building back to Koosa at what the dealer called “a decent rate.”

Inevitably, the arrangement has inspired some jokes. A mechanic told one customer:

“We don’t tell people we’ll fix their car now. We say we’ll heal it.”

But enough about cars. How about parking? That’s the question posed at one parking lot on Hawthorne Boulevard. It was there that Jacki Brisacher of Redondo Beach found our Dueling Signs of the Week winner.

And, finally a reminder for those of you in the western, coastal, southern and eastern portions of the county:

If you haven’t already done so, please turn your area code forward from 213 to 310.



Joni Mitchell’s lyric, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot,” referred to the tearing down of the landmark Garden of Allah estate, a long-time playground of celebrities, on Sunset Boulevard.