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Valley Talk

Ah Shucks, Ma. Moms have always been proud about their children’s accomplishments. But the mother of Alex Padilla, who is campaigning for the District 7 City Council seat in the June 8 runoff election, has taken her pride a step further. For Mother’s Day, Guadalupe Padilla sent voting moms in the 7th District cards wishing them a happy Mother’s Day. Inside, she wrote: “I’m Alex’s mom and as you can tell, I’m very proud of my son. I knew from an early age that he would grow up to become a leader.” The motherly appeal also included “Padilla for City Council” potholders. Kia Keeps Trying It was a bad-image week for Kia Motors. According to a study compiled by Agoura-Hills-based J.D. Powers and Associates and leaked to the press, Kia’s 1999 models had the most defects of any new car. And on the same day the study was disclosed, an attempt to get some public relations mileage in L.A. on the fifth anniversary of Kia’s first U.S. dealership ended up in a wreck. To show it’s “still banging away” at the U.S. market, Kia sent out paddle-ball games to L.A. news organizations. But as soon as Business Journal staffers tested the new toy, it broke. Number, Please If you think the rapidly expanding number of Southern California area codes is a pain, consider what some businesses in downtown Los Angeles are going through. Along with a 213 area code, some firms now have 213 as a prefix. As a result, employees are repeatedly forced to explain the redundancy while giving out their new number to clients and customers. “You go, ‘213-213,’ and halfway through, they say, ‘I’ve got that already,’ ” said Eric Bender, director of property management with Mas Asset Management Corp., which ended up with the repetitive number after changing service providers and phone numbers. “After three tries, they figure it out and chuckle. It’s frustrating.” Kyle DeVine, a spokesman for the Public Utilities Commission, said it used to be that prefixes and area codes were never the same. But that was before the explosion of cell phones and fax machines caused a dire shortage in the availability of numbers. Red Line The Movie It may not be Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me,” but independent L.A. filmmaker Chris Hume found a fair share of controversy during the past two years while documenting the building of the Red Line subway to Hollywood. Just weeks into his shoot, there was a fatality in the tunnel and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority blocked Hume’s access for two weeks until the investigation was completed. Later, in an ironic twist, the MTA safety inspector assigned to accompany Hume throughout the tunnel broke his own leg. “I filmed the evacuation where he was taken up from the tunnel in a stretcher,” Hume said. “But the MTA told me not to use the footage.” Hume agreed, saying he didn’t want to cause the safety inspector any more embarrassment.

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