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ORANGE COUNTY NEWSWATCH

September 17, 1993|Davan Maharaj and Dennis McLellan and Mark Platte

POSITION WANTED: It's been four months since W.W. (Bill) Knitz retired as general manager of the Santa Margarita Water District amid allegations that he and Michael P. Lord, the assistant general manager, misused taxpayers' money. Lord has also retired, and both deny any wrongdoing. . . . Today is the deadline for applications to fill Knitz's old job, and 55 people have already sent resumes. . . . Expect an appointee to be named in November, a spokesman says. The assistant general manager position has been eliminated.

SANTA ANA'S HELPER: Santa Claus is coming to Santa Ana . . . in September? Jim Walker, chairman of the city Human Relations Commission, has enlisted a Santa to visit city schools to urge children to refrain from smoking. . . . Walker jingled into a recent City Council meeting dressed as Santa's helper--complete with green sweat pants--to promote the cause. . . . Santa was picked because he appeals to children--and 60% of smokers pick up the habit before age 14.

HOT SPOT: What a difference a TV audience of 6 million makes. . . . Sales of Stephen Arterburn's self-help book, "Hand-Me-Down Genes and Second Hand Emotions," were lagging--until the Laguna Beach author appeared on "Oprah" this month. . . . The book, which seeks to explain human behavior, is now a hot seller at some bookstore chains, including Waldenbooks, where it's one of the top five hardcover self-help books.

SEX EDUCATION: Members of the Cypress Elementary school board were taken aback this week during a discussion of a proposed sexual harassment policy, which said in part: "If a sexual relationship develops between a teacher and a student, the responsibility for grading, evaluation and supervision of the student should be transferred immediately to another teacher." . . . Calling the phrasing "ludicrous," board members swiftly changed it to say, "the teacher will automatically be suspended with pay until the outcome of a trial is reached."

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