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Three Key Players

August 24, 1986|DAVID FERRELL

David H. Murdock:The multimillionaire financier, 63, is head of the Pacific Holding Corp., a Westwood-based organization that controls the Murdock Development Co. and other firms involved in manufacturing, office management and corporate acquisitions. He was formerly the majority shareholder in Occidental Petroleum, where his battles with Chairman Armand Hammer made business-page news in the early 1980s. He sold his interest in the firm for $194 million in 1984. Murdock is a former Republican Party finance chairman for California and is a well-known patron of the arts. In 1983 he and his late wife, Gabriele, led a fund-raising effort to bring New York's Joffrey Ballet to the Los Angeles Music Center. Since his wife's death in early 1985, Murdock has remained an important figure in Los Angeles society; a gallery at the county Museum of Art is named in his honor. Laura Lake: A 39-year-old specialist in public planning and environmental policy issues, Lake is the leading voice of Westwood homeowners. She is an adjunct professor of environmental science and engineering at UCLA and has written two books, "Environmental Regulation: The Political Effects of Implementation," and "Environmental Mediation: The Search for Consensus." After earning a Ph.D. in political science from Tufts University in Massachusetts, she was an environmental program officer for the New York-based Ford Foundation, a private organization exploring social, economic and agricultural issues worldwide. She is now president of Friends of Westwood, a group of about 300 homeowners, and vice president of the Westwood Homeowners Assn., which represents homeowners south of Wilshire Boulevard. Zev Yaroslavsky: Elected in a political upset in 1975, Yaroslavsky, now 37, was one of the youngest members ever to join the Los Angeles City Council. The former political activist was once arrested while demonstrating for the rights of Soviet Jewry. Giving up his long hair and sandals, he ran an aggressive door-to-door campaign to win a seat on the council, where he has become a leading advocate of homeowners' rights. He has accused council colleagues of bending too easily to demands of big developers. "There's no bigger challenge facing the city right now than to set the priorities straight about what our quality of life is going to be . . . (and) who's calling the shots," Yaroslavsky said in a 1985 interview. "The average person walking into City Hall is behind the eight ball before he ever gets to the first step."

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