TRASHY CURRENCY: How low has the dollar sunk? Well, another country is using it to pick up garbage. . . . Lev Leznik, a Sun Valley auto export manager, says the plunging dollar has boosted overseas business. Many Third World countries now can afford to buy American. "I got an order Tuesday from Vietnam," said Leznik. "They asked me for used dump trucks. To collect trash."
ALARMING RATE: At least one of six calls responded to by police is a false alarm. And many of these are triggered by human error, faulty equipment or bad weather. Heard enough? The Los Angeles City Council has. . . . On Wednesday, the council passed a new law imposing tough fines and even prison time for owners of security alarm systems that create too many false calls. (B4)
STAR SCOOP: Watch out, Tom Hanks, here comes Romina Atayan. . . . The Reseda High School senior (above) is the first student journalist in the United States to be granted press credentials to cover the 67th Annual Academy Awards (B1). Atayan is already getting her first lesson in professional journalism: Several papers want her to write them a story. . . . None has offered to pay her.
TOP GUNS: Several local congressmen want the Pentagon to move the Navy's test pilot school in Maryland to Edwards Air Force Base. . . . The proposal has stirred a war of words with East Coast lawmakers, one of whom even suggested the Pentagon move Edwards' flight school to Maryland. (B1)
HAPPY ENDING: Hanna-Barbera executives weren't going to let one goofy tree stop their expansion. . . . So the cartoon studio is moving it, roots and all. The 35-year-old pine will be transplanted Saturday to the opposite end of the company's Universal City lot. Officials decided a trampled tree could tarnish the cartoon studio's image. "As the home of Captain Planet, it would have been hypocritical for us to cut down a tree for office space," said spokesman Marc Grossmann.