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NOT SO WHITE: Today’s scheduled White House...

NOT SO WHITE: Today’s scheduled White House reception for American Nobel laureates was to be a lavish affair--taking over the East Room, the Blue Room and the State Dining Room--all hosted by First Lady Hillary Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. Problem is, UC Irvine Nobel winner Sherwood Rowland and his wife, Joan, were already airborne for Washington when the whole thing got nixed--by the federal payroll crisis. . . . Says a UCI spokeswoman: “Apparently, you don’t have White House events when the government is shut down.”

LIQUID TREASURES: If you like cognac, how about some that’s been aging since last century? The House of Seagram is breaking out vintage cognac at the 10th annual World of Food and Wine event Thursday through Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point. . . . “These are pretty much priceless collector’s items from the Martell cellars,” says Seagram spokesman Matt Carroll. Among eight cognacs to be tasted Friday are Martell’s 1845 and 1875 vintages. . . . Carroll adds: “Chances are these cognacs will never come to Southern California again.”

HAPPY NEIGHBOR: William C. Lentini has been named the new police chief of Brea, but it’s neighboring Yorba Linda where they’re most pleased about it. That’s because Brea has been policing Yorba Linda on contract for 25 years--and Lentini’s longtime assignment has been Yorba Linda. Lentini, 48, is a 25-year veteran of the Brea Police Department. . . . “He knows our city very well,” says Yorba Linda City Manager Arthur C. Simonian. “He’s always shown great sensitivity to our community.”

FAST-FOOD REWARD: Youngsters take note: Fullerton cops are on the lookout for kids following the rules. Armed with tickets that can be turned in at local fast-food restaurants for free hamburgers, the police are rewarding any youngsters they see doing things like wearing helmets while riding bicycles and buckling up in cars. Says Fullerton Lt. Geoff Spalding: “Most kids are really good citizens, and we thought they deserved some recognition for obeying the rules.”

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