A new record for L.A. sprawl?


“From our rich cultural history, snow-capped mountains and sun-kissed beaches to our exciting community events, Vernon has a lot to offer!” said the Vernon link to L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina’s county website.

Molina represents Vernon all right, but that didn’t sound like the smog-kissed industrial city in these parts. And it wasn’t, pointed out Kevin Roderick’s website, which found that it was the Vernon of British Columbia, Canada.

L.A. County sprawls, but not that far. Molina’s office fixed the mistake.


Unclear on the concept: While in the Pacific Northwest, writer Bob Smaus of West L.A. spotted a sign that had been posted too late for one tree (see photo).

Got the picture? Cellphones -- at least the kinds that can snap photos -- aren’t welcome in some locker rooms, as Barry Nackos discovered. The intrepid Only in L.A. contributor used a nontelephonic camera to snap the no-camera sign (see photo).

Must-smoke area? It only seemed that way. Actually, what Jeffrey Samson noticed at a Bakersfield drag strip was a seating area for members of the Smokers (as in smokin’ tires) Car Club (see photo).

You think your neighbor is noisy: The Beach Reporter’s crime log recorded a complaint about a Manhattan Beach resident who had left town earlier in the week and set a radio in his house on a timer so that it blared music from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.

Election lessons: I’m confident that future office-seekers will never build their TV advertising campaign around the fact that they had lost a large amount of weight, as did Cruz Bustamante, the loser in the state insurance commissioner race.

And I was also puzzled by the choice of writer/actor Ben Stein to narrate the radio ads of Chuck Poochigian, the losing attorney general candidate.

Stein employed the bored, robotic voice he used to great comic effect to portray a teacher in the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” When he declared that Poochigian would make a “darn fine” attorney general, it almost sounded like a put-on.

If it seems too good to be true: Years ago, TV’s “60 Minutes” did a segment on street scammers who would sell stereo speakers out of the back of their panel trucks at unbelievable discounts.

The bargain-crazed customers would discover too late that the boxes they had purchased were either empty or contained worn-out parts.

Well, crooks, like everyone else, have to keep up with the times. The other day, in a West L.A. parking lot, I saw a guy poke his head out of a panel truck and offer a passerby a great deal on an “entertainment center.” The passerby wisely declined.

miscelLANy: Los Lobos’ new album has a song, “The City,” which contains the lyrics “Go out into the neon night / Hit every spot along the way / From Paramount to Cudahy.” I think it’s the first ever mention of the tiny L.A. County city of Cudahy in a rock lyric. Unless it’s the Canadian city of Cudahy.


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