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Joy to Rodeo Drive . . . the Harleys Have Come

October 20, 1994

Move over, red sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. The Rodeo Drive merchants association in Beverly Hills has decided to sell a hipper mode of Yuletide transit--the Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Promoters hope "Happy Harley Days" on Dec. 4 will attract a younger, more festive Christmas clientele to Rodeo Drive. Portions of Rodeo Drive will be used for a Harley-Davidson bike show and boutique, while another section of the street will be blocked off for a parade of the Santa bikers--complete with Ma Clauses along for the ride.

The merchants' association picked the Harley-Davidson theme after the organization's public relations firm got a look at the demographics of Harley owners, two-thirds of whom have household incomes topping $100,000. And included among Harley owners are numerous celebrities--among them Cher, who will serve as the event's grand marshal.

But the Christmas affair has not gone totally commercial. There will still be the usual warm and fuzzy hot-chocolate-and-roasted-chestnut fixings, a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony and choirs singing Yuletide favorites.

Just don't expect sleighs: The jingling bells would be drowned out by the high-performance bikes.


FLASH OF GREEN: During the primary, the California League of Conservation Voters characterized state Sen. Ralph C. Dills (D-El Segundo) as an environmental fraud.

Now, the group is endorsing him over his Republican opponent, David Barrett Cohen, in the race for a state Senate district that includes Marina del Rey, Venice and Playa del Rey.

Dills "has shown this year that he became a very good vote on the environment," said Doug Linney, political director for the group. "He's been very straightforward and sincere with us. We're going to believe it."

The group based much of its opposition to Dills during the primary on his 1993 record: He voted for legislation that the group supported only 39% of the time, Linney said.

This year, he scored "in the 90s," Linney said. Among other things, Dills backed a ban on offshore oil drilling in state tidelands.

"We want people to improve their scores, and he certainly has shown he has improved his," he said.

Dills has said that he's been going green because he's in a new district with more eco-conscious constituents. His old district was carved up in reapportionment.

But Cohen says the group's about-face "proves they are a partisan organization."

"It's amazing," he said. "They have a huge credibility problem."


FREE SPIKE?: A hefty old lobster--named Spike by fans with a crush on the crustacean--has gone from meal to mascot. Spike won't be scalded and buttered. And the creature won't be raffled off Nov. 1, as planned.

Instead the 12 1/2-pound Maine lobster, estimated to be 65 years old, will get his own tank at Gladstone's 4 Fish, a popular Pacific Coast Highway restaurant.

"It seems that nobody wanted Spike to become a dinner. We got a lot of calls to save Spike, so we are going to save him," restaurant manager Kerri Jones said.

Spike was scheduled to be the main course at $9.95 a pound during a fall Gladstone's lobster-fest. The gentle giant has his own section of the restaurant's lobster tank and he will soon get his own tank, the restaurant says.

No word yet on whether this will satisfy Spike's supporters.

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