Look for heavy national attention--and lots of Hollywood participation--in the November election here. One major focus--the first California push by Lyndon LaRouche and his National Democratic Policy Committee. They are backing an initiative that would declare AIDS a "communicable disease," in spite of health experts' assurances that it is not casually transmitted. Organizing is already going on to defeat the initiative. It has not yet qualified for the ballot, but more than 690,000 signatures were turned in last week--double what it takes to qualify.
Khushro Ghandhi, one of the initiative's two proponents, said the initiative "places AIDS and the condition of being a carrier of the HTLV virus on the list of reportable diseases and conditions." Anyone with the antibodies would thus be banned from schools or food handling professions.
Critics of the initiative say it would unnecessarily and unfairly quarantine people with the antibodies. Opponents also are worried that the AIDS fear-factor could be heightened by the initiative's presence on the ballot, and thus see an all-out campaign for its defeat as their only recourse.
One more ingredient: The life insurance industry and health experts are urging high-risk group members (homosexuals, hemophiliacs, intravenous drug users) to submit voluntarily to the test for the antibodies, claiming absolute confidentiality. Under the terms of the initiative, such testing could be mandatory and would be reportable.
DON'T WATCH KCET--No moans, please. You only have to miss one night, June 25. Then you can go back to everything from "Sesame Street" to "Masterpiece Theater." That's the night of the KCET Women's Council tribute to Stephen Sondheim at the Sheraton Premiere. Robert Guillaume, Howard Keel, Hal Linden, Lynn Redgrave and Lee Remick are expected, along with lots of others, to sing the Sondheim numbers. For those of you unlucky enough to miss the party, you may continue to watch the 18 1/2 hours of broadcasting a day that KCET brings Los Angeles 365 days a year--and that resulted in 22 Emmys over the last three years. Private-sector support to keep KCET on the air, according to Judy Jones, one of the KCET Associates v.p.'s, is very important, since private money makes up 68% of the station's budget. Hey, nothing is too good for the station that brought us "Reilly, Ace of Spies."
YUMMY--A repeat of last year's California Spirit gala--all to benefit the American Cancer Society--is set for Sunday at Pickfair. Benefit-goers get to sample the food of Spago's Wolfgang Puck, Valentino's Piero Selvaggio, La Toque's Ken Frank, City Restaurant's Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, Trumps' Michael Roberts, Michael's Michael McCarty, and Roy Yamaguchi of 385 North. Sherry Lansing is chairing the evening.
KUDOS--It's a luncheon, but they daren't eat too much, because they will be modeling replicas of First Lady inaugural gowns today at the "Women of Honor" gathering given by the League of Women Voters of L.A. at the Biltmore. City Council President Pat Russell will model the replica of Betty Ford's gown, and she and Councilwoman Joy Picus will receive awards. Fifty-year members Ruth Balsley of Pacific Palisades and Sally Field of Brentwood will also be honored--as well they should. . . . Congratulations to those who will be honored at the 12th annual "Father of the Year" luncheon Tuesday. They are the Broadway's chairman and CEO H. Michael Hecht, actor George Peppard, The Times' Jack Smith, the Raiders' Howie Long, and Bruce Jenner. Sponsored by the West Coast Father's Day Council, the proceeds from the luncheon go to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
ONLY IN L.A.--Planned for this evening, two fine examples of L.A.'s ability to celebrate and party around almost anything. First, realtors Joyce Rey and Cecelia Waeschle host a champagne reception "at their spectacular new listing" in Bel-Air Place. The invite says the party, which basically shows off a house for sale, benefits St. Joseph's Center, a food bank in Venice, and guests are urged to bring nonperishable food items. Mariachi music is promised. . . . If that is not enough festivity, those lucky enough to be invited can join Dinah Shore and Julio Iglesias for a private champagne celebration opening the Christophe Salon of Beauty in Beverly Hills. The excitement just never stops.