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VALLEY NEWSWATCH

September 28, 1993

AUTUMN SCORCHERS: Woodland Hills' 106 degrees Monday matched the date's record for the West Valley, and Burbank's 103 fell just a degree short. Although that's above average for the month, it's short of record September highs, 115 for the West Valley and 113 for Burbank (B1).

TANKFUL OF TAXES: Gas station attendants are practicing calm responses, pasted-on smiles and other arts of diplomacy, bracing for customer reactions Friday when gas prices jump about a nickel a gallon. The cause: about 4 cents going to higher federal taxes, the rest to local clean air rules (B3). "Most of the people are going to scream," said an Agoura owner. . . . "We're going to blame Clinton," said one in Winnetka.

YESTERDAY'S JOBS: Where did they go, those 10,000 vanished Valley jobs? Nevada, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Utah, where a woman, above, works at a Valley-refugee firm. Says an Idaho recruiter who attracted 17 local firms: "California executives . . . tell me, 'I don't want my wife to go to shopping centers alone at night anymore, I carry a gun in my car. I don't want my kids to grow up there.' " See Valley Business, Page 3.

COMMUNICATION FAILURE: State prisons send minimum-security inmates to do odd jobs for the host community, like cutting roadside weeds, as a PR move. But at Lancaster's prison, a softball-game argument among minimum-security cons got out of control and security for 53 isn't so minimum anymore. . . . Result: fewer trusties, less work gets done for Lancaster (B14).

IN HARNESS: Dr. Malik Hasan, chairman of Qual Med, spent a year in court trying to force the chairman of Health Net of Woodland Hills, Roger Greaves, to sell his company. Now they're supposed to work smoothly together as co-chiefs of a merged HMO, formed to capitalize on President Clinton's health plan. If they lock horns . . . well, stock in the combined company makes both multimillionaires. See Valley Business, page 8.

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