PATRIOTIC--A letter from "Miami Vice's" Don Johnson has let the word out. A massive patriotic celebration is being planned for May 25 here--the Freedom Festival Incorporated--with the proceeds going to the Vietnam Veterans Aid Foundation. The day will include, according to producer James Vail, a rodeo, a car and bike show, a concert, a parade and a food fair. Johnson, in his letter explaining the day and its celebration of Vietnam vets, wrote, "You will have an opportunity to salute America, its music and its heroes. This event is huge in its scope and in its potential to make a positive impact on the boys we are finally bringing home and on all of us who are proud to be American." Headed by longtime vet activist Shad Meshad, the Vietnam Veterans Aid Foundation is a recently formed umbrella group for Viet vets organizations. Traditional veterans organizations have been approached for their support of the festival, as have stars. First Daughter Patti Davis has already signed on. Vail, who is volunteering his expertise, said he has been recently involved with getting corporate sponsorship for concerts, like FarmAid. . . . But wait. Isn't May 25 the day set for Ken Kragen's Hands Across America? Yes, indeed, but Vail said he sees no conflict.
STARRY NIGHT--There were mishaps--the fog blocked out Halley's comet, the fireworks sizzled but didn't pop, and somehow somebody thought two buffet lines were enough for 600-plus people. It could have been the magic of being at Griffith Observatory, but everyone certainly seemed to be having a wonderful time. The New Year's Eve party was the kickoff to a $7.5-million fund-raising renovation effort. Observatory director Ed Krupp was in 1910 attire, along with his wife, Robin Rector Krupp (reminding folks that was the last time the comet had been viewable), and he pointed out that the renovation is necessary not just to spruce up the past, but to prepare the observatory and planetarium for the future.
BUT WHAT POLITICAL EXPERTS?--Friends of Sen. Alan Cranston have gotten a direct-mail fund-raising letter in which the senator promises to stick to his ideological guns. The only thing some recipients have found confusing is the senator's comments on "professional experts." "But I must tell you that as my 1986 Senate reelection campaign is getting under way, I'm also getting advice from political consultants who proclaim themselves to be 'professional experts' on the minds of America. These 'professional experts'--the political pundits--are telling me to change my style." That sounds very impressive, but hasn't the Cranston campaign signed up some very high-level "professional experts" to the tune of about $500,000 to do the polling and create a media image that will get votes? Maybe the in-house professional experts haven't seen the professional experts who wrote the fund-raising letter.
PRIMARY DATES--For the women who keep complaining that they just can't find an interesting date, here are two suggestions--both L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and commentator Bruce Herschensohn are bachelors. They might be a little busy, since they're running for the GOP Senate nomination this spring. Also single is Rep. Bobbi Fiedler--of course she has a long-standing professional and personal relationship with her executive assistant, Paul Clark. Clark is currently working only part time for Fiedler's congressional office and goes full time on the campaign in March. Clark says the fund raising is going "very well," and they've raised $700,000 toward a goal of $2 million.
MORE TV MOVES--Reporter Pam Moore leaves Channel 2 this month to head to Boston and Nancy Jacoby moves over to the CBS network.