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VENTURA COUNTY NEWSWATCH

June 03, 1993|Gary Gorman

STAR POWER: Opponents of the Weldon Canyon dump want you to know that the Hollywood stars in their movement are just plain folks who happen to live in the Ojai Valley. "They're not dilettantes," said Michael Shapiro, a movie producer who heads the anti-dump coalition. . . . But having actors Scott Bakula and Mary Steenburgen on your side doesn't hurt, he admitted. "When you're trying to change attitudes, there's nothing better than a movie star." The movement's latest convert: Supervisor Maggie Kildee, who said she now opposes the dump (B1).

TOP COPS: Mothers Against Drunk Drivers will be toasting law enforcement at the Ventura County chapter's awards dinner tonight. Police officers from agencies around the county will be honored for--what else?--making the most drunk-driving arrests in 1992. . . . Among the top achievers is Simi Valley Officer John McGinty, with 38 DUI arrests. In Camarillo, Sheriff's Deputy John Handy had 15, but he had a built-in advantage in finding drunks to arrest: He's an accident investigator.

MODERN MAESTRO: The Ojai Festival, Ventura County's contribution to the world of serious music, has been around for 47 years. But this year's edition, opening Friday, promises to be thoroughly modern under the direction of Berkeley composer John Adams (Ventura Life, J8).

HOME ALONE: By day, David Michael Russell picked up trash, pulled weeds and returned carts to the market at Village Glen Plaza in Thousand Oaks. At night, the transient shinnied up a tree to reach what he called home: tiny, but meticulous quarters squeezed into the attic of an office building. . . . For three years, Russell went unnoticed, scouring the neighborhood on self-imposed cleanup detail. It was his way, he said, to pay the rent on the unauthorized abode. But on Wednesday, merchants stumbled onto his lair. He was thrown in jail on a charge of burglary for diverting electricity and water (B7).

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