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Portrait of an Overzealous City Parking Revenue Planner

L.A. gallery owners Sean Bonner and Caryn Coleman grew suspicious when they found an odd thing at their driveway entrance: Markings painted by city workers indicating that it was now a curbside parking space (see photo).

And at one end of the driveway, Bonner recounted on the blogging.la website, they spotted a parking meter pole, headless for now, but obviously prepped to support a coin confiscator.

Bonner called the city and explained that the driveway was needed to truck artwork in and out of the double doors of their gallery, Sixspace, on West 23rd Street.

He got a call back from someone at the Transportation Department who “thought the driveway was abandoned.” Bonner has been assured by the mayor’s office that the lifeline to his gallery will be restored. And the parking meter pole? It will be driven away from the driveway.

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Too bad the Duke wasn’t around to respond: I spotted a billboard put up by the Royal Caribbean cruise line that said, “Escape L.A. Avoid LAX.” Which reminded me of the time the cruise line seemed to take a jab at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport -- by renaming it (see photo).

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Dueling directions: Mike Weisman of Moreno Valley snapped a couple of signs that, read together, looked as though they belonged in LAX, or Wayne Newton Airport (see photo). Actually, the photo was taken in a not-so-large restaurant.*

Wonders of science: Not sure whether the boxes that Henk Friezer of Eagle Rock spotted are self-propelled or what. But it’s comforting to know that they can come to a stop on their own (see photo).*

Food for thought: Some of the world’s most renowned competitive eaters, including Japan’s Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi and top-ranked American Eric “Badlands” Booker, will compete in the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship Saturday in Chattanooga, Tenn.

They have eight minutes to gobble as many burgers as they can in quest of the $17,500 first prize. I’m picking an underdog, Richard LeFevre, who won a hot dog competition in Hollywood last summer by wolfing down 25 wieners (plus buns) in 12 minutes -- a real pig-out, I guess you could say.

LeFevre, who weighs about 135 pounds, is a versatile performer. He has also eaten 6 pounds of Spam in 12 minutes. Anyone who would consume that much Spam has to be dedicated.

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miscelLAny: For your names-that-fit-the-job file, CPA Barry Stone of Culver City chanced upon a letter that had been signed by the manager of a collection agency -- Frances Sorrow.

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Steve Harvey can be reached at (800) LATimes, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213)237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012, and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.

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