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Indoor Farmers Find Their Power Bill Gets High

In some ways, the ‘60s have never ended in Topanga. The Messenger, that community’s newspaper, recently carried an article offering tips on energy conservation, concluding with this reminder: “Don’t grow dope indoors! Seems like a foolish point, and I am not writing this column to tell people how to live, but I heard of a friend’s tenants growing marijuana in a closet with ‘grow lights.’ The draw of those lights, combined with the fan to ventilate the space, added more than $100 a month to the electric bill. Take it outside.... " Far out!

On the outside looking in: The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department received an emergency call regarding “two females on balcony ... yelling for help.” An officer explained that the kids they were baby-sitting “locked them out.”

Maybe she couldn’t stand her co-star: Then there was the phone call to the cops about a “female heard screaming, ‘Kill me.’ ” Turned out the caller was a house painter who didn’t realize the plea came from next door from a character in a television soap opera, according to the Star News, a sheriff’s publication.

Food for thought: In Orange, Douglas Austin noticed that, by a strange coincidence, two neighboring businesses offer fish (see photo).

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If you thought the wait at the DMV was long ... : Try getting a copy of a marriage certificate from the state (see accompanying).

Such a deal: A recent photo here of a store sign that said “AINT HARDWARE” reminded Shel Weisbach of Chatsworth of a pic he snapped of a business that seemed to be opposed to discounts (see photo).

What will they think of next? “When I saw this listing in the phone book, I thought that my old dog had a chance to come back to life,” wrote Terri Lau of North Hollywood. “Actually it was an ad for ‘pet odor restoration’ of carpets and upholstery” (see accompanying).

Added Lau: “Not that I’d want to restore the pet odor in my home.”

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miscelLAny: Not only do weathercasters get blamed for bad weather, they’re also expected to know the answers to some pretty puzzling questions.

Some queries, in various forms, that meteorologist Josh Rubenstein of Channels 2 and 9, hears often from viewers:

* “I’m getting married Feb. 3, 2007. What’s the forecast?”

* “You know those contrails in the sky, the streaks from the planes? Why don’t you report about them? You know it’s all part of a government plot to destroy our atmosphere.”

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And, referring to one of his colleagues:

* “Does Jackie Johnson have a boyfriend?”

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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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