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WESTSIDE WATCH

Car Chirping Is Cause for Alarm to Galanter, Council

May 01, 1994

Many residents in Councilwoman Ruth Galanter's Westchester district don't mind waking up to chirping birds. Chirping car alarms are another matter.

After years of complaints from constituents, Galanter sponsored an ordinance, adopted by the Los Angeles City Council last week, that bans car alarms that emit noises even when no break-in is being attempted.

Such alarms emit beeps or chirps every 10 to 15 seconds to let passersby know an alarm system is on.

To some people, though, the noise is like that of a dripping faucet that keeps you awake all night.

"These continuous beepers can be an irritating nuisance, especially at night in quiet residential districts and in multiunit residential complexes," Galanter said.

Jeff Prang, Galanter's spokesman, said the ordinance, which is expected to be signed into law by the mayor, includes a six-month grace period during which car owners can have their alarm indicators altered. After that, violators will receive a $30 ticket.

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DIFFERENT STROKES: The subject was panhandling. Or was it?

Santa Monica City Atty. Marsha Jones Moutrie told the City Council the other night that to legally ban panhandling at night they must outlaw other forms of nighttime solicitation too.

"There is a law against that kind of solicitation," said Councilwoman Asha Greenberg, a Los Angeles prosecutor whose office investigates prostitution.

A laughing Moutrie responded: "The Girl Scouts is what came to my mind."

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NO TAKERS: Homeless people who relieve themselves in public increasingly rankle residents, some of whom want the Santa Monica City Council to take action.

Several weeks ago, the issue was highlighted when a disturbed woman answered nature's call on the front lawn of Roosevelt Elementary School. Parents were enraged.

So is the owner of Bikecology, Alan Goldsmith, who brought his tale of woe to the City Council last week.

Goldsmith's complaint focuses on a homeless man who often defecates near the shop. Goldsmith said his workers have finally balked at cleaning up the mess.

"I want to know if I could get one of you people to come by tomorrow morning and help out," he asked the City Council. "This is madness."

Even in an election year, there were no takers.

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