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Only in L.A.

September 29, 1993|Steve Harvey

Open wide and squawk "Aah": Why would a dentist display a sign featuring a penguin? Anyone passing the Dr. Beauchamp Western Dental office on Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica could be excused for asking.

Locals know that the bird dates back to the period when the popular Penguin Cafe occupied the premises. But the Penguin went belly up in 1991. Is the tuxedoed creature refusing to vacate? A grace period is a grace period, but. . . .

Anyway, we phoned the folks at Western Dental, hoping they would open up. An assistant manager explained that his company was responding to the requests of Santa Monicans that the penguin be left there "as a historical marker."

Western Dental is a good sport, especially when you consider that the bird is toothless.

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More lifetimes than a cat: Ron Rieder of Sherman Oaks heard a radio commercial for an auto dealer staging a "once-a-year, once-in-a-lifetime sale."

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Does L.A. need more than a rebuilding?A young man wearing his hair in dreadlocks was seen near City Hall with a T-shirt that said:

"Re

Style

L.A."

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Cops vs. the media: Investigative reporting of law enforcement agencies over the last two decades has brought to an end the once-chummy relationship between newsies and cops. The latest sign of the strain was an announcement by the LAPD that for the first time it will charge anyone seeking a new press pass. Price: $54 (renewals are free.) The LAPD termed the $54 a "processing fee" covering the cost of fingerprinting.

Quite a change from half a century ago when L.A. reporters were in such favor that they were issued special authentic-looking badges--free--by the county Sheriff's Department. The badges gave them no law enforcement powers but some less-than-scrupulous scribes were known to flash them to obtain information and to carry guns.

After Pete Pitchess became sheriff, some unflattering articles about his department led to a revocation of the badges. Stan Leppard, an eloquent L.A. Herald-Express newsman, responded with this poem:

Wherein have we faltered?

Wherein have we failed?

Why this curt dismissal from

An office we once hailed?

Here's your badge, dear sheriff,

But with a sad alas:

I hope that you will take it

And stick it away in a file somewhere.

miscelLAny:

Merchandise bearing the logo of the Los Angeles Raiders--first embraced by gang members, then other youths--now ranks second among NFL team sales, according to NFL Properties. The Raiders account for about 10% of the market, compared with 30% for the No. 1 Dallas Cowboys (30%). L.A. Rams' duds rank 25th with 0.5% of the market.

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