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Around the South Bay : Richard Floyd keeps his hat out of the ring.

March 17, 1994

NO GO: Just last month, it looked like one of the South Bay's big matchups in the June 7 Democratic primary: Former state Assemblyman Richard Floyd of Carson was considering challenging the incumbent in the 55th District, Juanita M. McDonald.

But it won't be much of a race at all. Floyd decided not to run.

"I gave it some thought and said, 'Do I really want to go back to that?' " said Floyd, who served in the Assembly for 12 years before McDonald beat him in the 1992 primary. "Maybe I was remembering the good things and not the bad."

That makes life a lot easier for McDonald, who says she can spend more time working on legislation. Libertarian Daniel Dalton is the only other candidate running.

"The district is solidly Democratic, but one does never, ever underestimate anyone else in the race," McDonald said.

Floyd, now a consultant for the California Card Club Assn., said he was angered after McDonald introduced legislation last year to amend the state's motorcycle helmet law, which Floyd considers one of his crowning achievements. Her measure did not pass.

"I still have concerns" about the helmet law, he said, "but I don't think the legislation will be repealed."

But his potential bid was not a waste of time, he said. Floyd believes his interest in the race may have discouraged Dave Elder, former Democratic assemblyman from San Pedro, from running in the race as well. Elder ran against Floyd and McDonald in the 1992 primary because his district had been redrawn substantially. And Floyd says it split the vote and gave the victory to McDonald.

"The incumbent had two heads," he said. "We cut each other up pretty good."

But Elder, who is running for state Board of Equalization, said he never gave another state Assembly bid any consideration.

"Fourteen years in the Assembly was long enough," he said.

*

FAST FORWARD: In 2194, it turns out, LAX will have several things in common with today's airport.

For one, there will still be constant recorded announcements about the white zones along the curbs in front of the terminals. But instead of banning parking, they will warn against hovering.

And, like today, there will be a customs office snagging violators of import laws and handling travelers' passport problems. Only, in the future, the officers may be half-machine (sometimes they seem that way today).

Such are the visions of Ken Estin, executive producer of "LAX 2194," a Fox Broadcasting sitcom pilot to be filmed this week (on a sound stage, not at the airport in Westchester). We won't know till May, however, if it will be on Fox's fall schedule.

"I've always enjoyed science fiction, and there hasn't been any good science fiction comedy on television in a long time," Estin said. "I picked LAX since it was a good place to see lots of things happening--like extraterrestrials and people from other planets coming in."

Most of the action of "LAX 2194" will take place in the airport's intergalactic customs office, which will have a futuristic bright look.

"LAX 2194" will be a workplace comedy focusing on five regulars who come from different backgrounds but blend into a family. It is a form Estin is familiar with, having served as a writer-producer for "Cheers" and "Taxi."

The characters in Estin's project include a part-man, part-machine cyborg; a Texan cryogenically frozen in 1994 and thawed in the 22nd Century, and a Japanese-Mexican woman representing the bond between the planet's most powerful economic powers.

Estin's social commentary will include zinging today's inflated salaries of entertainers and athletes.

That's nice. But couldn't he have done something about the white zone?

*

MARCH OF TIME: Officialdom in Torrance bid adieu to an era this week with the retirement of four longtime city leaders.

Mayor Katy Geissert, one of the South Bay's best-known and most popular political figures, stepped down after 20 years in city government.

Joining her in retirement are Councilman Bill Applegate, who was edged out in the March 8 mayoral race by Councilwoman Dee Hardison; City Clerk John Bramhall, who is retiring; and Councilman Mark Wirth, who lost his bid for the clerkship to Sue Herbers.

To mark this sea change in local politics, the City Council on Tuesday passed four resolutions honoring each of the departing officials.

They then turned, appropriately, to the next item on the agenda: a proclamation declaring this week as "Employ the Older Worker Week" in Torrance.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Most of the younger, first-time buyers (from the late 1980s) are kind of beat-up emotionally."

--Tim Moore, a Torrance tax attorney who gives seminars to people who face selling their homes at a loss.

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