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MEDIA DARLING: Earlier this week, Rep. Elton...

MEDIA DARLING: Earlier this week, Rep. Elton Gallegly was on “60 Minutes,” talking about his colleague Maxine Waters. Last month, he joined Larry Hagman on the “Montel Williams Show” to protest a weather tower. Today, Gallegly does “Donahue.” Ventura County’s Republican congressman debates three immigrant-rights advocates on the show, which airs at 2 p.m. on KNBC. . . . Why the sudden stardom? “It has to be my good looks, there is no other logical explanation,” Gallegly mused. “Seriously, it’s more coincidental than anything else. I may not get another minute of air time for 10 years.”

SLIPPERY SEARCH: Pumpkin the sea lion continues to elude his trainers in the Navy who taught him to recover dummy underwater explosives (B1). . . . And the slippery sea mammal has wriggled out of his Navy-issued harness. So unless Pumpkin comes when the Navy whistles, there’ll be no way to tell him from any other sea lion. . . . “The chances are pretty slim of ever finding him again,” said Ventura marine biologist Gary Davis. About 60,000 sea lions frolic near the Channel Islands where Pumpkin went AWOL.

PUBLIC NOTICE: Cluttered with 3-by-5 cards and plastered with notices, community bulletin boards tell plenty about particular neighborhoods. . . . Sure, most boards at the local market or Laundromat offer get-rich-quick ads and lost-dog notices. But Ojai boards have more spiritual and health-conscious ads, while notices posted in Thousands Oak are far more practical. (Ventura County Life, Page 24).

GETTING SMOGGED: With a stroke of a pen, Gov. Wilson has overhauled the state’s smog check program (A3). . . The new smog-busting plan takes effect in Ventura County next year, with the biggest changes reserved for the worst polluters. That’s about 15% of the area’s vehicles. If the state suspects your car belches too much smog, you will have to go first to a special smog-testing station, then to a different shop for repairs.

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