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California IN BRIEF : SACRAMENTO : Non-Sexist Name Eats Up Manpower

April 30, 1990|From Times staff and Wire reports

Sacramento public works officials say they were just having some fun when they started a contest to find a non-sexist term for manholes. But since the word got out, people from Florida to Canada have been lighting up the City Hall switchboard. Some of them want to know about "the women who are taking over the City Council," said council receptionist Sibyl Winterberger, adding that most callers just made "lewd and offensive suggestions." Mayor Anne Rudin called it "a tempest in a manhole." Meanwhile, contest organizers said some "half-decent" suggestions for manhole replacements have come in. "We've got 'road hole,' 'street hole,' 'confined space' and 'person entry and exit port,' " said senior engineer Randy Witt. "Some of them, though, just don't roll off the tongue the way 'manhole' does."

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