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Only in L.A. / People and Events

October 06, 1987|TED THACKREY Jr. | From Staff and Wire Reports

Mayor Tom Bradley's farewell to the King and Queen of Spain may have made a uniquely Southern Californian contribution to the annals of royal protocol.

Delayed by inspection of earthquake damage around the city, Bradley arrived at Los Angeles International Airport to find that the jetstairs had already been rolled away and engines of the royals' Spanish Air Force DC-8 were turning, ready for the flight to San Francisco. All seemed lost. But kings are kings and mayors are mayors, and the stairs were rolled back into place for a proper and official farewell.

Before Bradley had reached the door of the airliner, however, it burst open and their majesties, Juan Carlos I and Sofia, came out to say goodby to their erstwhile host. Ceremonies were neither extended nor formal. Instead, the tall king and the tall mayor simply embraced . . . a heartfelt abrazo perhaps not found in any book of international etiquette.

But very, very California Cool .

A weekend crackdown on people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Wilmington brought arrest for 113 motor vehicle operators. And one bicyclist. Police said they might not have noticed the man on the bicycle, but he fell off a block from the command post . . . and just lay there.

Owning a water bed has dampened the hopes of many an apartment hunter.

Landlords just don't like them.

It's been a real problem over the years for the Los Angeles-based National Water Bed Retailers Assn.--but all that is due to change soon. A new state law, set to take effect Jan. 1, prohibits discrimination against water bed owners, so long as the renter has the water bed installed by a professional and can show a $100,000 water bed insurance policy.

What's more, water bed association director Steve Ruthbar said the insurance only costs about $25 to $50 a year, and landlords should be able to rest easy.

Modern water beds rarely leak, he said.

And as for the oft-repeated objection that the beds are too heavy for most floors, Ruthbar--who has four water beds in his home--had additional words of comfort.

"A water bed," he said, "is no heavier per square foot than a refrigerator . . . "

Of course it probably doesn't mean a thing, but:

Timing of Soviet refusenik scientist Seimon Katz's arrival in Los Angeles last Monday--after finally being allowed to leave the U.S.S.R. to take up his new position at USC--seemed peculiarly opportune.

Prof. Katz, who will be visiting professor of geological sciences, is a renowned seismologist.

Sgt. John Emerson said he didn't smell a thing. But he and 30 other people on duty at the Los Angeles Police Department's downtown subterranean Central Communications Center noticed the headaches and nausea they got when an emergency electric power generator was turned on for a test Sunday afternoon.

"Suddenly I was sick and I was dizzy and so was everyone else," Emerson said. "Work at the dispatch center began to slow down--but we were still thinking straight enough to figure out where the trouble was coming from."

So the generator was turned off and paramedics were summoned, and some of those on duty were taken to hospitals, where they were released after treatment. Meanwhile, work crews examined the gasoline engine that runs the generator and discovered that it had been channeling its carbon monoxide exhaust fumes into the center's ventilation system.

Emerson said technicians had been working on the generator all day, trying to figure out why it hadn't started up automatically after that morning's aftershock.

"And of course they had to test it," he said, "because it might be needed in a real emergency. Like--who knows--maybe an earthquake . . . "

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