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CITY HALL ROUNDUP : Newspaper’s mistake won’t turn Inglewood into a whinery.

CHAMPAGNE DREAMS: In a recent front-page article announcing that the Laker’s Magic Johnson had contracted the HIV virus, the venerable Times of London somehow misplaced the city of Inglewood.

Indeed, one of the world’s leading dailies bestowed the city with a new name, informing its readers that after Magic’s stunning disclosure, “thousands of fans flooded the streets of Inglenook, home of the Lakers.”

Although local leaders acknowledged that the snub won’t exactly enhance Inglewood’s image, they said it was nothing to be crushed over. In fact, they said being likened to a well-known winery is probably better than some of the other names Inglewood has been called over the years.

“We are not bent out of shape,” city spokesman Truman Jacques said. “Actually, I think it’s kind of an interesting slip. As far as I know, it’s the first time we’ve ever been called that. We get Englewood a lot. But never Inglenook.”

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Still, others say they hope the moniker doesn’t stick. They think it could give outsiders the wrong idea about their city.

“I just hope all the citizens over there don’t think we’re under the influence all the time,” said Terry Coleman, president of the United Democratic Club of Inglewood. “If they believe what they read, they must think that this is just an area of wine groves and winos.”

BLOCK THAT PARTY: Last year’s New Year’s Eve party on Freeman Avenue in Lawndale was so wild that residents there have been ordered not to repeat it.

A proposed renewal of the annual neighborhood block party which attracted about 500 revelers last year--and numerous complaints from residents--was roundly rejected by the City Council last week.

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Council members said they did not want a repeat of last year’s celebration, which they contend was marred by brawls, attempted burglaries and complaints about the live band’s music. Not necessarily that they were bad--just that the high notes could almost be heard in Hawthorne.

“With all the complaints that I got last year, I cannot support this,” Councilman William Johnson said.

Organizers of the event had requested that the city block off Freeman Avenue between 168th and 169th streets and allow a live band to perform from a flatbed trailer. They promised to control the celebration by having security guards on hand.

But any officially sanctioned fest featuring alcohol was more than some council members could swallow.

Said Councilman Larry Rudolph: “I just can’t go along with promoting a New Year’s Eve party. There’s one thing you do at a New Year’s Eve party, and that’s drink.”

BATTLING FOR DOLLARS: When the Hometown News stopped delivering its weekly paper to the South Bay’s beach cities earlier this month, other local papers began scrambling to fill the void.

What the competitors are drooling over is a chance to nab the biggest advertising account in the Hometown News: the city of Redondo Beach, which spends about $60,000 a year in legal notices.

The initial victor in the battle for the city’s advertising dollars appears to be the Daily Breeze, but the Easy Reader and Beach Reporter hope to overturn that decision and compete for the city’s business as well.

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The Breeze publishes the once-a-week Redondo Reflex Lifestyle, which the city says is the only paper judged by the courts to be a Redondo Beach general circulation paper. The courts first ruled on the paper in 1904 and then updated the ruling in 1985 after it was purchased by the Breeze.

The Easy Reader is challenging the ruling, saying the Lifestyle should not have exclusive rights to the city’s business because it is not published in Redondo Beach and is really just an insert to the Breeze.

The matter--which City Clerk John L. Oliver says is “developing into an old-fashioned newspaper war"--will come up before the City Council this week.

EVE OF DESTRUCTION: There was so much hype surrounding the planned demolition last week of the old El Roi Tan apartment building in Torrance, some people might have thought London Bridge was falling down.

The press release announcing the building’s expected demise said it would “kick off a $44-million redevelopment project in downtown Torrance’s central business and residential district.”

But when push came to shove last week, it was only one small chunk for mankind that came tumbling down when Mayor Katy Geissert and developers Hiroshi Nakazato and Neil Gascon pulled on a rope connected to a third story wall.

As it turns out, there won’t be any titanic tear-down. The building will be taken apart in bits and pieces, with the last slab expected to be knocked down in early January.

Explained one publicist involved in the press alert: “With the redevelopment of the city, you have to take out the old before you put in the new.”

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LAST WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

Inglewood: Saying it already has more than its share of group homes for the mentally ill and recovering alcoholics and drug addicts, the Inglewood City Council on Tuesday adopted a resolution asking state legislators to grant municipalities more control over where homes are located. Current state law makes it impossible for cities to regulate many of the homes.

Manhattan Beach: In an effort to promote holiday shopping, the City Council decided to allow free parking at on-street and off-street parking meters in the downtown area from Dec. 1 to Dec. 26.

Redondo Beach: The City Council approved a schematic design for the former Veteran’s Park Library, which is being reinforced to bring it up to earthquake standards. The oceanfront building is being turned into a multipurpose community center that will feature a reading area, historical exhibits and meeting rooms.

THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

Hermosa Beach: The City Council will swear in its two new members, Sam Edgerton and Robert Benz, who emerged from a field of 10 candidates in the Nov. 5 election to replace Chuck Sheldon and Roger Creighton; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 1315 Valley Drive, Hermosa Beach; (310) 318-0239. Televised live on Channel 3 (Multivision).

Redondo Beach: In a continuation of last week’s session, the City Council will consider a proposal from Mayor Brad Parton to allow garage sale signs on public parkways in front of the house where the sale is taking place. Such signs were banned under an ordinance passed earlier this year; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, 415 Diamond St.; (310) 372-1171. Televised live on Channel 8 (Century); repeated at 3 p.m. Wednesday and 6 p.m. Sunday.

OTHER COUNCIL MEETINGS THIS WEEK

Gardena: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 1700 W. 162nd St., Gardena; (310) 217-9565. Televised live on Channel 22 (Paragon) and repeated 7 p.m. on the two following Sundays.

Hawthorne: 7 p.m. Monday, 4455 W. 126th St., Hawthorne; (310) 970-7902. Televised on Channel 22 (Paragon) at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 6 p.m. Saturday.

Inglewood: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, 1 Manchester Blvd., Inglewood; (310) 412-5280. No cable telecast.

Los Angeles: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles. In San Pedro, (310) 548-7637; in Wilmington, (310) 548-7586; in Harbor City/Harbor Gateway, (310) 548-7664; in Westchester, (310) 641-4717. Televised live on Channel 35; meetings repeated individually at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and collectively on Sunday starting at 10 a.m.

Palos Verdes Estates: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 340 Palos Verdes Drive West, Palos Verdes Estates; (310) 378-0383. No cable telecast.

Rolling Hills: 7:30 p.m. Monday, 2 Portuguese Bend Road, Rolling Hills; (310) 377-1521. No cable telecast.

Rolling Hills Estates: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 4045 Palos Verdes Drive North, Rolling Hills Estates; (310) 377-1577. Televised live on Channel 3 (Dimension).

Torrance: 7 p.m. Tuesday, 3031 Torrance Blvd., Torrance; (310) 618-5880. Televised live on Channel 22 (Paragon), and replayed at 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.


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