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People and Events

March 11, 1988

The unidentified man who drew the attention of the British press by yelling "We love you!" at the Duchess of York during a benefit here turns out to be none other than Democratic state Sen. Art Torres (D-Los Angeles).

And he has no regrets, despite press criticism of the duchess's allegedly unroyal conduct, especially her retort to Torres, "I'll see you later."

Torres, reflecting on his outburst, said: "It was part of the moment, the enthusiasm and the whole experience. . . . She charmed everybody, and that's a tremendous asset to Great Britain."

Certainly, the incident seems to point up once again the good humor of the royal family.

Five years ago, San Diego Deputy Mayor Bill Cleator committed a breech of protocol by lightly touching the back of visiting Queen Elizabeth II as he guided her through the Old Globe Theatre.

A few weeks later, Cleator's office received an autographed picture of the queen and a note from her private secretary that began: "The queen was very touched. . . ."

Caltech picked a fitting day Thursday to sponsor a seminar entitled "Earthquake Preparedness: Teaming Up With the Media."

March 10 was the 55th anniversary of the Long Beach earthquake, which registered an estimated 6.3 on the Richter scale, killed 115 people and led to widespread reforms in building construction.

Stephen White, forcibly removed from the corner of 1st and Hill streets in downtown Los Angeles, is about to be released from the custody of the Southern California Rapid Transit District.

The statue of the 19th-Century U.S. senator, positioned for nearly three decades so that he was gesturing toward the harbor he helped create in San Pedro, had been lifted out of the path of the Metro Rail construction project in January. It was deposited in an RTD utility yard.

Transplanting of statues is not unprecedented. The bronze of Beethoven in Pershing Square was temporarily farmed out to Griffith Park in the early 1950s while the square's massive underground parking lot was built.

But the stashing of White in a somewhat less picturesque setting of trash cans, rolled-up fencing and a portable restroom struck county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn as "outrageous."

So Hahn began a search for a new home, which will culminate March 19 when the sculpture is re-implanted at the corner of 1st Street and Grand Avenue, outside the Los Angeles County Courthouse.

There, White will resume pointing toward the harbor, rather than toward a portable restroom.

Two wheelchair protesters who decided that if the city wouldn't make curb cuts on Hollywood Boulevard they'd do the job themselves got some bad and some good news Thursday.

The bad news was that the city attorney's office has scheduled an administrative hearing on April 13 to determine whether William Bolte and Thomas Fabro should be held liable for the $500 in damages that they inflicted with their sledgehammers Saturday.

The good news was the assurance from City Councilman Michael Woo that city crews will begin making curb cuts on the heavily traveled Hollywood Walk of Fame later this year. Bolte and Fabro, members of American Disabled for Accessible Public Transit (ADAPT), said they had been trying to get the city to redesign the curbs for five years.

The crews won't have to muss up so much as a single star.

Tired of driving to San Juan Capistrano and straining your neck to spot a swallow this time of year? Well, a little burg 75 miles east of here is holding an alternative celebration on April 1: "The Day the Flies Return to Yucaipa."

While some may doubt the fidelity of the swallows for their fabled town, those familiar with Yucaipa can attest to the love of flies for the area, especially the many chicken and horse ranches.

In 1985 San Bernardino County even promoted a "Swat Your Fannia" program in which children and senior citizens were encouraged to build and set fly traps around town.

"I think I'd rather have the swallows," said Yucaipa Advisory Council member Gary Pitts, who also sits on the San Bernardino County Fly Abatement and Appeals Board. "You open your door and you're inundated."

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