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Thursday, Jun 8, 2023

Valley Talk

valtalk/mike1st/mark2nd High-Flying Mascot Most baseball teams have an arsenal of sluggers and pitchers at their disposal to help clinch games. But Lancaster’s JetHawks minor league team has something a bit more impressive: an FA-18 fighter jet. The plane was donated by NASA last month and is on permanent display outside the team’s new 4,500-seat stadium. At one point, the plane was test-flown over the aerospace-rich Antelope Valley. “Right now, we call it an airplane on a stick,” says Melinda Mayne, a spokeswoman for the team, referring to how the fighter is mounted. Will the aircraft which still has the ability to fly ever be called back into action? With a record of 26 wins and 26 losses, the California League team might just need to call it in from the bullpen. Unwanted Attraction Everyone knows the film industry is good for L.A.’s economy, even if local film shoots sometimes cause traffic tie-ups and crowds in some neighborhoods. But one recent run-in with movie makers in Sherman Oaks has local residents saying, “Enough is enough.” In this case, it isn’t Walt Disney Co. or Warner Bros. or even one of the smaller independents that’s causing the stir. Instead, it’s some players from Hollywood’s seedier side, namely, the porn industry. It seems a porn producer has rented a house east of Sepulveda Boulevard to use for its movie shoots, since renting a house is much cheaper than renting a film studio, says Richard Close, president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association. The problem is, the actors are shooting their scenes a bit too publicly, in the view of local homeowners. “Usually, they’re smart enough to keep the blinds shut,” said Close. “But with the hot weather lately, they were opening the windows and blinds.” Close declines to reveal the exact location. “If the address is publicized, it will not only be a problem for the neighborhood with the inhabitants, but also with all the looky-loos,” Close says. Relief Afoot The average pair of feet is pounded by 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day leading some 55 million people to consult doctors about foot problems each year. North Hollywood’s Interactive Health aims to capitalize on all that podiatric misery. The company has just introduced the “Rolling Foot Soother,” a massager designed to relieve stress, tension and pain by kneading tired soles and toes. There is a strong correlation between healthy feet and overall physical health, the company asserts. But bear in mind, foot fitness doesn’t come cheap. The foot-soothing device retails for $229. Get the Popcorn It was only a matter of time a very short matter, in fact before someone found a way to make money off the violent but botched bank robbery at Bank of America’s North Hollywood branch in late February. That’s right, MVP Home Entertainment Inc. is raking in the bucks these days with one of its newest releases, titled “North Hollywood Shootout: Terror in the Streets of L.A.” It may not be the perfect “date” video, but MVP’s homemade documentary must be appealing to someone. The video is a compilation of TV news footage of the shootout and subsequent scenes and interviews shot by producer James Strauss. Since it first hit the streets in early March, “Terror in the Streets” has sold between 70,000 and 80,000 copies at $14.95 a pop, said MVP spokeswoman Meredith Emmanuel. One of the video’s biggest buyers to date has been police officers themselves, she added. Still, that fact was of little use when Emmanuel was recently pulled over for speeding and attempted to worm her way out by mentioning MVP’s latest production and its positive portrayal of the L.A.P.D. “He said, ‘That’s great,’ and we talked about the whole thing, but he still gave me the ticket,” she said, noting that the officer fined her $136 for driving 42 miles per hour in a 35 mile-per-hour zone. So, what kind of an encore can we expect now from MVP? It’s none other than “Heaven’s Gate: A California Culticide,” due out in stores this month. The Church Defense How do you prevent your city from being overrun by adult bookstores, porno parlors and sex shops? Build a bunch of churches. That was the suggestion given by one member of the Santa Clarita City Council last month. The council was considering an ordinance which later was given preliminary approval to disallow sex shops from being built within 1,000 feet of any school, church, park, residential neighborhood or other adult business. Councilman Carl Boyer, obviously not a fan of sex stores, suggested that, under the new ordinance, a sudden proliferation of religious institutions could keep the city smut-free. “I think we could become very church-friendly,” Boyer was quoted as saying in The Signal, adding that the city could promote the building of new churches every 2,000 feet along Sierra Highway and other major streets. Boyer also suggested moving quickly to designate public parks wherever possible. Ironically, Santa Clarita need not worry about being overrun by sex stores only one adult business currently operates within city limits.

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