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Wednesday, Dec 6, 2023


A Victorious Outcome There are lucky numbers and lottery numbers, but the numbers that get Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Woodland Hills, excited are zip code numbers. At least one zip code anyway. Sherman has waged a campaign since taking office in 1997 to get a zip code for the Ventura County community of Oak Park, which is just across the border from the Los Angeles County community of Agoura Hills. The freshman legislator says he has had “dozens of meetings, several dozen phone calls and countless letters” concerning the issue since taking office. The community has shared a zip code with Los Angeles County, and because of it, residents have complained about a number of problems not the least of which is being called to jury duty in Los Angeles. “I was told by many of my colleagues in Washington, and many old timers in Ventura County, that it was hopeless and that I should give up,” Sherman says. But he persevered. “Finally, they saw the light,” he said. Capping what he described as a 30-year effort by the community to secure its own code, Sherman announced recently that victory had come. “I am pleased to stand here this morning and tell the people of Oak Park of my favorite five-digit number 91377,” he said at a press conference in Oak Park to announce the victory. Sounds Like What a difference a few weeks make. Just a few weeks ago, Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon was fretting that he was being confused with Councilman Richard Alatorre because of the similarities of their names. Alarcon’s concern was understandable: The L.A. Times has reported that Alatorre is under investigation by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service. With Alarcon running in the Democratic primary for the 20th District state Senate race, he did not want voters thinking he was under investigation. Alarcon prepared a mailer in hopes of clearing up the confusion, but no sooner had he done so than he himself came under scrutiny for voting with a unanimous City Council to grant a tax-free city loan to a development group. One of the group’s members turned out to be the husband of a woman who had financed a second mortgage on Alarcon’s home in Sylmar. Alarcon claims he had no knowledge at the time of the vote that his lender had any relation to the development company. A Case of Blind Justice The workers at the Western Bagel Baking Corp. in Van Nuys are required to wear hair nets to guard against any wayward strands falling into the food. So when Lance Parrish, the company’s domestic and international sales director, took a visitor on a tour of the baking facility, he donned the required head gear. Thing is, Parrish shaves his head. “They tell me I’ve got to wear this thing, hair or no hair, it’s the law,” said Parrish, having a good laugh. Culture Vultures Quick who was the most influential cultural figure of the 20th Century? That was the question posed when Time Inc. and CBS News gathered a panel at the Getty Center on May 4 to discuss the century’s most important artists and entertainers. Was it Elvis, Madonna, Steven Spielberg, Marilyn Monroe or Ernest Hemingway? The winner was Pablo Picasso, according to panelists Rob Reiner, Time art critic Robert Hughes, singer Sheryl Crow and actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith. Choosing the century’s most influential cultural figures may seem somewhat frivolous, but it actually is a lot tougher than, say, deciding the top political leaders, according to Walter Isaacson, Time’s managing editor. Most everyone can agree on the stature of folks like Stalin and Churchill. “But when you get into Hitchcock vs. Spielberg, you really get people arguing, “Isaacson said. Enriching Exit Where were NBC officials during the final episode of “Seinfeld” this month? “At the ready teller,” quipped one NBC executive. No doubt. The network charged advertisers between $1.5 million and $1.7 million for a 30-second commercial during the sitcom’s finale. That’s $200,000 to $400,000 more than 30-second spots on this year’s Super Bowl telecast. Dick Clark’s Fashion Tastes Dick Clark, who is often called “America’s Oldest Teenager,” still likes to wear blue jeans even other people’s blue jeans sometimes, according to at least one one-time colleague. Tim Conway Jr., co-host of the “Conway & Steckler” radio show on KLSX-FM, said on the May 13 edition of the show that he had at one point worked for Clark’s company, Dick Clark Productions Inc. in Burbank. Conway praised Clark as an exceptionally good boss, but said that Clark at one point made a surprising request to try on Conway’s blue jeans. Conway said he complied with the request and had his jeans back within an hour or so. He added that other Clark employees said the same request had been made of them, and that they perceived nothing untoward about it. Clark publicist Paul Shefrin said that Clark does indeed wear blue jeans from time to time, but he knew nothing of any requests to try on those of his employees.

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