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Snapshots of life in the Golden State. : Too-Tall Cambria House to Come Down a Foot or Two

March 18, 1994|PATT MORRISON

After much public anger over an architect's flubbed math, the owners of a Cambria coastal house under construction have decided to sink it rather than swim against the local tide.

A measurement error and a plus that should have been a minus left Bill and Jean Thompson's house 18 inches taller than San Luis Obispo County's coastal plans allow. Rather than squeezing the second floor, supervising planner Mike Druze said, the owner has opted to have the house lifted, then drop the foundation the necessary inches.

"Cambria is a small community and people tend to get irritated at people who break the rules and get away with it," Druze said. The owner felt "he'd have to live with this hanging over his head, having gotten away with something other people didn't get away with. They want to live in this house."

"I really have to give him credit: He wasn't so upset about the money--it was more a problem of, 'Gee, everybody's gonna hate me, I'm not really that kind of person.' "

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday March 22, 1994 Home Edition Part A Page 3 Column 6 Metro Desk 2 inches; 38 words Type of Material: Correction
Avocados--A chart in Friday's California Dateline column should have said that Americans consumed 567 million pounds of California avocados during the 1992-93 crop year and will consume an estimated 300 million pounds in the 1993-94 crop year, which ends in October.

Is this Cambria, or Bedford Falls?


Avocado Season

Our state is the heart of avocado country, producing 95% of the nation's crop. During the 1993 crop year (from November, 1992, to October, 1993), Americans consumed an estimated 300 million California avocados. Here are our top four avocado-producing cities for that year.


Bearing Average Pounds City Acres Per Acre* San Luis Obispo 806 7,328 Ventura 6,220 6,321 Escondido 4,981 5,597 Temecula 1,317 5,622

*Pounds per acre vary with weather and soil conditions.

Source: Calif. Avocado Commission

Compiled by Times researcher TRACY THOMAS


Bigger bighorn: For the chance to clamber over rock and through scrub to bag one of California's 3,900 desert bighorn sheep, some unidentified Southern California Nimrod-businessman bid a record $110,000 at a fund-raising auction of state big-game hunting tags. The Nelson bighorn, a protected game mammal, capers about in 40 California mountain ranges, and the record price paid to bring one down goes to reintroduce his horned brethren and related threatened species into areas whence they have vanished.

Still, for that money, you could get seven sheepskins from UCLA.


Sic transit Gloria's husband: A recent New York Times Sunday magazine story misspelled the name of not-too-long-gone California Gov. George Deukmejian.


The scarlet number: Felons would have to face up to their offenses, and so would everyone else, if an initiative measure gets to the November ballot, and beyond. First-time violent or armed parolees would have to wear doctor-implanted numbers, half an inch high and red, under the right eye. Second offenders would add another set of numbers to the left cheek, and three-strike parolees would wear yet more digits on their foreheads. It will take 384,974 signatures to get "Release From Custody. Facial Implant" on the ballot.


Nine lives or term limits? Kiefer Tennenbaum will not be permitted to run for mayor of Berkeley. The objection: no signature, notarization or proof of voter registration on his application. No one minded that Kiefer is a cat.


Abraham, Martin and the Beaver: During a discussion about the merits of letting convicted felon Michael Milken teach at UCLA, University of California Regent Roy T. Brophy told about the time 30 years ago when, as president of a suburban Sacramento school district, he objected to allowing high school students out of class for a speech by that 1960s radical, "Martin Cleaver."

Nobody said anything, but when Brophy mentioned again "the kind of opposition that I got to my position with Martin Cleaver," another regent couldn't bear it.

"It's Eldridge," he said. (It's the latest indignity for Cleaver, the former Black Panther, who recently suffered a head injury in an assault .)

Brophy later said his error was certainly not, as some thought, a case of mistaken identity with Martin Luther King Jr., whom Brophy called "a saint."

"I don't know what the hell I was thinking about."


Star '90--and '94: Who's that man in the Kathleen Brown-for-governor commercial? Why, it's Darryl Young, legislative consultant to state Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica). But wait: Isn't Hayden running for governor, too?

Yes. But Young (whose family is "very confused. They said, 'We thought you worked for Hayden' ") is actually in reruns. Four years ago, on his lunch break , he appeared in a group shot for an ad for Brown's 1990 state treasurer campaign. The revival doesn't bother him. And his environmentally minded boss shouldn't object either: It is recycling.


"I'm not a libertarian, I'm not a Republican or a shrill, weird person. I'm just a 54-year-old person with very little hair who's trying to teach people environmentally responsible living."

--San Jose State environmental studies professor Frank Schiavo, who recycles so assiduously that he hasn't put out the trash for 15 years. In a local variant of the federal practice of paying farmers not to grow crops, San Jose insists that Schiavo pay them the standard $13.95 a month even though he sets out no trash. (The man is clearly a threat to public order; what would happen if no one had any garbage?)

California Dateline appears every other Friday.

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