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Wrong Message?

April 12, 1993|JAMES BATES

Reports emerged last week that President Clinton took time out from his recent summit with Russian leader Boris Yeltsin in Vancouver, Canada, to mingle with Hollywood celebrities and producers now working in the popular film location. Among the stars were actress Sharon Stone and actor Richard Gere.

The attention given Clinton's socializing didn't go over well with some people in the entertainment field, who believe that the President may have inadvertently highlighted the role that Vancouver and Canada have played in siphoning off entertainment jobs from Southern California.

In addition, some believe that Clinton's meeting with the celebs was ill-timed because state officials are trying to counter conventional wisdom that more filmmakers are spurning Southern California.

Patti Stolkin Archuletta, director of the California Film Commission, said she doesn't want to read too much into Clinton's decision to party with the stars in Vancouver, but adds that "maybe what we need to do is send a letter to remind him" about the issue.

1-900-NO SHAME

Early favorites for the shameless exploitation award of 1993 are the promoters of a "Riot Survival" 900 number being advertised in some local newspapers in Los Angeles just as the Rodney G. King federal civil rights trial winds down.

Hyped with such phrases as "Don't become a victim" and "Your safety in the next riot," the ad claims that for $2 a minute (at an average of four minutes a call) one can get advice from a police sergeant--purportedly from a major Southern California police agency--who "shares critical information about avoiding violence and maintaining your safety" in the event of a riot. "Don't wait till it's too late!" the ad warns.

Turns out the number itself didn't survive for long.

A call to a company listed on the ad, Strauss Enterprises in Carmel, reveals that the service was abruptly stopped Thursday. A woman answering the phone said the company doesn't care to say why.

One Small Perk for a Man

In listing freebies enjoyed by its directors, the parent of United Airlines in its new proxy statement for the first time details free travel provided its board.

The UAL outside director who took the least advantage of the perk turns out to be former astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, who in 1969 became the first person to walk on the moon.

Armstrong's flying freebie totaled just $6,217 (including any tax liability from the free fares).

His amount was less than one-sixth the $40,000 and more in travel perks enjoyed by some UAL directors.

Briefly . . .

A Pennsylvania company is offering a free kosher chicken to anyone audited by the Internal Revenue Service between now and Labor Day. . . . Former Dodgers ace Don Sutton will serve another year as honorary chairman of the Costa Mesa-based Beer Drinkers of America. . . . A 2,610-acre ranch near Paso Robles formerly owned by the late cowboy actor Joel McCrea is up for sale for nearly $1.6 million.

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