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San Diego at Large

Trash Panel's Roots Spring From PR Firm

June 09, 1987|JANNY SCOTT

The announcement arrived Monday on "100% recycled paper" the color of oatmeal, under the letterhead "San Diegans for a Clean Environment." It announced the formation of a "citizens' committee to support solutions to San Diego's trash crisis."

But the return address was 225 Broadway, Suite 1600--the offices of the The Stoorza Co., the public relations firm representing Signal Environmental Systems. Signal hopes to build the controversial trash-burning plant that is under attack by environmental groups.

"We're just going to be helping," said Donna Nenow, a Stoorza executive. She said Signal had nothing to do with forming the committee, and that the work so far has been done by Stoorza for free.

Nenow said the committee, chaired by Chamber of Commerce President Lee Grissom, would attempt to counter efforts to squelch SANDER--specifically the effort to place an initiative on the November ballot, which she said would in effect block the plant from proceeding.

But Bob Glaser, a consultant for the initiative's organizers, San Diegans for Clean Air, said of the new committee: "It's the same old group that's been pushing the SANDER plant from Day One. Now they've decided to screen themselves behind a fancy name to try and mislead the voters."

Remarking on the similarity between the two groups' names, SANDER antagonist Janet Brown said: "With a professional PR firm being involved in this, it's a wonder that they couldn't come up with something a little more original."

A Good 4-Letter Word

When the old Capri porno movie house on Park Boulevard reopened Friday with a face lift and a new agenda of foreign films, it also had a key element for porno-house-to-art-house transformation--a new name, the Park cinema.

Fact is, more evocative names were considered--like the Bijou and the Edison, said Paul Richardson, vice president for operations of Landmark Theaters in Los Angeles. In the end, the company settled on the Park because it was accurate, and, better yet, cheap.

The old Capri sign already had the letters P, A and R. So Richardson's company just had to pay for the K. When the sign company remade the theater's sign, it rearranged the three letters and added the fourth, which is slightly brighter, if you take a close look.

"We've taken over a lot of porno theaters and we've always tried to change the image as quickly as possible," said Richardson. "One of the important ways to do it is to change the name. . . . This way, we could accomplish both goals--change the image and keep most of the letters."

Shameless Scofflaw

The nattily dressed man driving the red Ferrari with the license plate INVESTN apparently isn't investn in parking meters: When parking controller Valerie Brown nabbed the car on 7th Avenue Monday, the anonymous money man had 29 outstanding citations totaling $997.

He emerged briefly from carpeted corridors of the Imperial Bank Tower to suggest that he would just drive the car away. Brown would have none of it. After all, she had ticketed the car every day for 2 1/2 weeks, and every time he had come back and parked with impunity.

"Just to think!" she marvelled later, with indignation. "For them to just park illegally every day! And they do not care! He does not care. To think! He had all 30 citations inside the car. Yes! It was soo disgusting!"

All through May, Brown stuck citations on the windshield of the car, which is registered to a Los Angeles car-leasing firm. When she finally ran a computer check and found its registration had expired, she resolved to have the thing towed.

Then it vanished. The driver was seen stepping out of a black Mercedes-Benz.

Finally on Monday, working her usual beat, Brown spotted the car in its favorite spot. The meter, too, was characteristically unfed. Louie Davies of Bates Towing was called in for the execution. To the amusement of onlookers, the car was carted off.

And the driver? Shameless to the last.

Brown said: "He was sitting right across the street while I was impounding the car."

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