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Friday, Aug 19, 2022
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Valley talk

It’s a Real Gas The gaslamps that flicker along the quaint Montrose Shopping Park are attracting a lot of attention. The reason behind the interest: These aren’t the familiar faux gaslamps that use electricity. They’re the real McCoy. Several redevelopment offices throughout Los Angeles County have contacted Southern California Gas Co. in recent months about using real gaslamps in their projects, reflecting a growing trend toward nostalgic cityscaping. “The Montrose redevelopment project which was our first project using gaslights since Jimmy Carter prohibited them in the ’70s through his Energy Act really sparked a response,” said Anthony Tartaglia, district manager of the Gas Co. “Now I’m hearing from other cities who want to replicate that old-fashioned feeling they see in Montrose.” The Montrose project, which was designed by the city of Glendale’s redevelopment division, was largely financed by a special Gas Co. marketing assistance program. The Gas Co. donated $10,000 in funds and in-kind services toward the $13,000 cost of installing the 40 gaslamps in Montrose. That particular program has ended, according to Gas Co. officials, but the utility continues to help other districts through its community outreach activities. Other areas for which gaslamps are being pursued include a two-block stretch of Magnolia Park along Hollywood Way in Burbank and several areas of Newhall. Wolf-Whistling Ape A stuffed gorilla at Fluffy’s Friends at Sherman Oaks Fashion Square, is causing heads to turn. It turns out that the boxing glove-sporting ape has a sensor in its mouth that lets out a wolf whistle at passersby. “It’s pretty funny, people walk by and they don’t know who’s doing it,” said Heather Harpenau, assistant manager at Fluffy’s. Several gorillas are on display, whistling repeatedly, sometimes simultaneously. Asked whether the whistling gets annoying, Harpenau replied: “No, you get used to it.” Film Flub Movie director Michael Cimino was supposed to see his 1978 Vietnam opus “The Deer Hunter” at a film festival last month for the first time since its premiere nearly two decades ago. But the 70-millimeter print supplied by Universal Studios Inc. did not exactly live up to the expectations of Cimino or the film festival’s organizers. The print was missing scenes throughout. In one section of the film, for example, the three main actors are seen floating down a Vietnam river one second, and the next second only Robert De Niro and Christopher Walken are on-screen John Savage having mysteriously disappeared. The print was so severely altered that an embarrassed organizer for third annual Wide-Screen Film Festival stopped the film part-way through, apologized profusely to Cimino and the audience, and offered ticket-holders their money back. According to a Universal spokeswoman, the print was last shown in 1981 and has been stored in a storage vault in Universal City since 1988. Before being sent to the festival, it was checked only for color and film quality a standard studio practice that had not resulted in past problems, she said. To further add to the embarrassment, Universal was a sponsor of the film festival. Twilight Zone Now that a recent state court decision determined that the Warner Center Specific Plan is illegal, city planners and officials at the master-planned development are finding themselves in a bureaucratic Twilight Zone. The court ruled that the city didn’t adequately address environmental issues when it instituted the plan in 1993. But the problem is, the Specific Plan eliminated all previous zoning for the Woodland Hills area so now the office and commercial park is essentially a land without a law. “What does this mean? I don’t know other than the city got its butt kicked in court,” said a source at Warner Center, who declined to be named. The only thing that’s clear right now, said Bob Sutton, the city’s deputy director of planning, “is that no one is clear right now.” When the Cat’s Away… At the 9th Annual Business Forecast Conference, convened by the Valley Industry and Commerce Association last month, the Los Angeles City Council was the victim of quite a few swipes. Event organizers, when introducing Mayor Richard Riordan to give his annual “State of the Valley” address, started out by mentioning the mayor’s long-standing battles with the Council. Then Riordan himself announced during his address that he intended to veto a Council decision to allow a Hollywood sex club to remain open. Perhaps one reason for the open season on council members: none of the seven who represent sections of the San Fernando Valley were at the event. Hal Bernson was at a meeting of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, on whose board he sits. Laura Chick was at a Women’s Law Center event, and sent an aide in her place. Joel Wachs does not typically attend such events unless policy decisions are being made at them, said Wachs aide Greg Nelson. Mike Feuer was attending a Police Appreciation Day event and giving an interview to KCET’s “Life and Times.” And Cindy Miscikowski and John Ferraro also begged off the event for the City Council’s meeting held that morning. The lone Council member from the Valley who attended was Richard Alarcon and he was only there for breakfast. By the time the disparaging remarks were made about the City Council, he was in Diamond Bar for a meeting of the Air Quality Management District board, on which he sits.

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