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Westside Watch : Old Quotes Never Die, They Just Keep Flooding In

March 17, 1994

As they are wont to do, Mar Vista architects Ron Radziner and Lee Marmol are using the lighted sign outside their studio to make a statement--this time political.

In big, black letters, the sign reads: "When the President does it that means it's not illegal--Richard Nixon."

Yes, Nixon did make that remark--on May 20, 1977, during an interview with David Frost. Radziner and Marmol say that given the Whitewater flap plaguing the Clinton Administration, now seems a good time to resurrect the quote.

"We are not trying to make any judgments on (Whitewater)," Ron Radziner said. "(But) we thought the quote was humorous and provided some additional comment (on the matter)."

The architects inherited the storefront sign two years ago, when they moved into their offices on Centinela Avenue just south of Palms Boulevard. Quoting everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to J. Paul Getty, they showcase words of wisdom about the environment, architecture, social issues and more. Initially, the quotes were intended as a takeoff on the price listing posted across the street, outside the Mrs. Gooch's market.

Sure beats reading that salmon steak costs $6.95 a pound.

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SEX IN THE SURF: Forget Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr's famous roll in the sand. Grunion are once again flinging themselves on California beaches to reproduce--to the delight of voyeurs on shore.

This week marked the first run of the grunion season, which lasts roughly from March through July, says Dan Zambrano, a biologist with the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro. For a few days at roughly two-week intervals, the small silvery fish surf onto beaches, mate in the sand and then return to the sea.

The grunion come ashore on virtually any sandy beach. But in San Pedro they seem to be attracting particularly close attention. About 1,000 people turned out Sunday night for a grunion-watching session organized by the Cabrillo Marine Museum, Zambrano says.

Has grunion mating become L.A.'s newest spectator sport? Says Zambrano: "One guy said that this might be sex in the '90s--watching other creatures do it."

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VOTES ON THE LINE: Beverly Hills Councilman Robert K. Tanenbaum, seeking reelection to a third term, announced Tuesday that he has set up a 24-hour phone line to reach voters.

Though he touts the line--called "Feedback!"--as "our own on-ramp for the information superhighway," Tanenbaum does a lot of the driving.

To be sure, residents who call (310) 335-1294 will have the opportunity to leave their comments and questions. But they will first hear a prerecorded campaign message from Tanenbaum.

In his first commentary, the former New York City prosecutor addresses crime control and the need for more on-street policing. Although several candidates recommend hiring more officers for the 130-member force, Tanenbaum insists that what the city needs is not more officers, but different deployment.

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