YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Aroun the South Bay

Out with the old, in with a parking lot.

July 28, 1994

HISTORY IN THE BREAKING: On 6th Street in San Pedro, the one-story Gian Franco Building was reduced to rubble recently to make room for a 50-car parking lot.

In the 1980s, the San Pedro Revitalization Corp. spent hundreds of thousands of dollars renovating the building, which is believed to have been built in the 1920s, resident Frank O'Brien said.

Last year, the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency bought the building and property, as well as two surrounding parcels, for $1.22 million. At the time, merchants were pressing for additional parking in the San Pedro area. The agency's solution: the land occupied by the Gian Franco Building.

"It was controversial . . . but the community finally came to a consensus," said Jeffrey Skorneck, manager of the Beacon Street Redevelopment Project.


TAKE 'EM TO COURT: There may not be enough room in Redondo Beach for the two of them, but they'll just have to find some way to work it out.

A Torrance Superior Court judge this week denied City Treasurer Alice E. DeLong's request for a restraining order against City Councilman Joseph Dawidziak.

DeLong, 60, requested the order after a shouting match in the councilman's City Hall office last month. The argument resulted from a memo written by Dawidziak that accused DeLong of possible ethics violations.

DeLong, who complained that Dawidziak had been documenting her comings and goings in City Hall, told the judge she needed to protect herself from his "violent, explosive outbursts."

But Judge John P. Shook said DeLong's complaint "doesn't even approach what's required for a permanent injunction" and ordered her to pay $2,682 in legal costs.

"Hopefully, it sent a clear message that we're supposed to work these things out among ourselves," Dawidziak said.

DeLong left the courtroom disappointed.

"Maybe I didn't know the law," she said.


A NEW START: After undergoing 10 operations to combat a disfiguring and potentially fatal disease, a 4-year-old Russian girl is saying goodby to her temporary home in Harbor Gateway and is on her way back to her hometown of Zelanadolsk, 350 miles east of Moscow.

Eleanor Baranova was afflicted with a giant hairy nevus, or furry mole, that covered most of her chest and back and had a high risk of becoming cancerous. Russian doctors had said they were unable to correct the condition.

But retired Palm Springs pediatrician Wayne McKinny met the girl and her mother during a tour of Russia and, with help from former international relief worker Ted Werner of Rancho Palos Verdes, arranged for them to come to the United States. Members of the First Christian Church of Torrance also helped the Russians.

In operations at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and in San Diego, plastic surgeons cut away the mole and replaced it with skin grafts taken from other parts of the girl's body. Although some scars remain, they will fade as Eleanor gets older, McKinny said. Eleanor will return in two years for one more operation on her scalp.

And after 18 months in America, Eleanor and her mother, Roza Yagudina, 38, speak fluent English. Eleanor also has developed a fondness for American cartoon characters, particularly Tweety Bird and Mickey Mouse.

"I never knew there were so many nice people," Yagudina said Tuesday as she and her daughter prepared to fly home. "God bless America."


BYE TO BANDIT: He seized hundreds of pounds of marijuana and cocaine, won medals in the California Police Olympics and got his own baseball-style trading card.

Bandit, the Palos Verdes Estates police dog, was put to sleep on July 20. The German shepherd was 9 years old.

During surgery in April to relieve back pain, Bandit's rear legs were paralyzed. He continued to move around with the aid of a cart with wheels. Two weeks ago, Bandit began to lose weight, and his owners decided to euthanize him, said his veterinarian, Chris Omoto.

Services will be held at noon Friday in Memorial Gardens across from Palos Verdes Estates City Hall. Bandit's ashes will then be buried in Beawyse Park, behind the police station.


"Anything that's valuable and can fit in a plane, alive or dead, moving or not moving, comes through here."

--Rick Wells, assistant chief of planning for the Los Angeles Department of Airports, on the cargo that is shipped into and out of LAX. J10

Los Angeles Times Articles