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People and Events

February 05, 1988

Seven members of Friends of the Wolf--three or four of them dressed as their friends--were arrested for trespassing Thursday morning after they chained themselves to a waiting room door at the Canadian Consulate in downtown Los Angeles and howled like wolves to protest the killing of the animals by the government in British Columbia.

It was the same sort of demonstration that got four of them arrested at a West Hollywood fur repair shop in December.

A consulate staff member said wolves are being killed because their population has grown too large and they are raiding farms. "There is no attempt to exterminate them," he said, "just keep them in manageable numbers."

David Mucha, 26, a member of Friends of the Wolf, said his group was not the one that stopped the action at the Forum late Wednesday evening. As the Los Angeles Kings finished routing the Vancouver Canucks, someone threw a container of red paint on the ice and left behind a press release declaring that the Wolf Liberation Army was demanding the boycott of Canadian goods and cultural exchanges in protest over the wolf hunt.

The consulate staffer observed that at least the Kings won, 7-2. Kings publicity man Bob Steiner saw no correlation.

Federal Aviation Administration officials were happy enough Thursday to call public attention to Palmdale air controller Larry Rosser, who a couple of days earlier warned the pilot of a PSA jet that he was on a collision course with a smaller aircraft.

The PSA pilot climbed out of danger about 30 miles northeast of Los Angeles International Airport and then radioed, "You just saved our lives and everybody else. Thank you very much. Good day."

That delighted the FAA, whose harried controllers don't always receive love notes from pilots or the public. Rosser, honored at the Palmdale FAA facility, said: "That's my job. That's what we're here for."

FAA spokeswoman Elle Brekke conceded that Rosser was being honored for something controllers do fairly frequently. But, she pointed out, "they're not always acknowledged for it (by pilots). To us, the fact that the pilot was grateful makes it a news story."

While we're up in the air, Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority Commissioner Leland C. Ayers has fired off a letter to Soviet boss Mikhail S. Gorbachev, asking him to spring Mathias Rust, the 19-year-old West German who got four years in prison for landing a Cessna in Moscow's Red Square.

Ayers told Gorbachev that while the incident "was no doubt embarrassing, it did afford your military establishment critical information concerning security."

What prompted his letter? "Over the years," explained the former Burbank city councilman and two-time mayor, "you see young people do stupid things. Even I can recall some of the stupid things I did. I do some now that I'm older, but not quite as many." Young Rust is not a political prisoner or terrorist, Ayers pointed out. "Basically, (Rust) told them (Soviet security officials) they were doing a lousy job. They fired some big people."

Ayers says he wrote the letter after watching Gorbachev come to the United States and "shake people's hands with this 'I'm a great guy' stunt. On the other hand, he takes this young kid and incarcerates him for four years. . . ."

Steve Silva, who says he weighed 427 pounds several years back when he was a physical education teacher (and football-wrestling-track coach) in Massachusetts, was down to a svelte 205 Thursday when he showed up at Humana Hospital-West Hills in Canoga Park to demonstrate stair climbing.

Forget the elevator and take the stairs, he advises folks with weight problems. Silva, 39, has given up coaching ("I did a lot of talking and very little moving") to go around the country as fitness director for the Health Management Resources Program, which he credits for his loss.

"If people take stairs instead of elevators," he said, "they burn one calorie for every five steps. Over a year's time you can save 5 to 10 pounds of body weight gain. You don't have to join a marathon club."

Silva takes his climbing seriously. He clambered up the steps of the Eiffel Tower 7 1/2 times last October in an effort to set the world's vertical-mile record. But, "I missed it by 94 seconds."

Mayor Tom Bradley's chief deputy, Mike Gage, and City Councilman Zev Yaroslavsky (who wants Bradley's job) generally agreed Thursday morning during a meeting on measures needed to cure traffic troubles. A member of the audience suggested that politicians are a major part of the problem and should be limited to one term in office.

"I would be happy with a four-term limit," said Yaroslavsky, deadpan.

"I'd settle for five," said Gage.

Bradley is seeking a fifth term.

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