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Westside Watch

Dumping in Storm Drains Means an Ocean of Trouble

November 13, 1994

For those who deposit plastic foam cups, cigarette butts and other forms of garbage into storm drains, think about where that refuse ends up after you discard it.

Every time it rains, trash flows through the storm-drain system and to the ocean. The contamination levels are so high that the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and Heal the Bay, an environmental organization, urge people to stay out of the ocean for at least 72 hours after it rains.

Unlike the sewage system, water flowing from storm drains doesn't end up at a processing plant to treat garbage. And the hazardous materials that have been found in storm drains include oil, pesticides, paints and other pollutants.

"What you throw in the gutter lands on the beach," said Heal the Bay spokeswoman Lisa Crossley. "The rainwater picks up all of the cigarette butts we throw out our car windows. Each person can make a difference (in cleaning up). It is a sad sight to see sandpipers carrying Styrofoam cups on their beaks."

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UNIFORM TROUBLE: A hint of controversy tinged the race for the Culver City Municipal Court just days before the election.

A leaflet distributed by candidate Paul Jacobs, who lost Tuesday's election, shows a black-and-white picture of him shaking hands with a police officer beside a patrol car. Although the name of Culver City was blacked out on the police officer's arm patch, the Culver City seal is in full view.

Some supporters of Jacob's opponent, Allan Goodman, who won with 57% of the vote, pointed to several sections of state law that prohibit police officers from engaging in political activity while in uniform.

Police Chief Ted Cooke, acting on a request from Jacobs' political consultant, arranged to have a police officer pose for the photo, Jacobs said.

"I wasn't aware that it was a problem until afterwards," Jacobs said. "It was just meant to depict my long-term relationship with the city and the police department."

The photograph was not an indication of support for Jacobs, according to the Culver City Police Department.

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A SWASHBUCKLER'S TREASURE: There's accessory jewelry and then there's "important jewelry." The difference between the two, of course, is many thousands of dollars in price and the kind of people who wear and own it.

On view at Sotheby's in Beverly Hills is the important and very expensive jewelry of that swashbuckling hero of decades past, Errol Flynn, the original man-in-tights whose starring roles included Robin Hood. The jewelry, which is on its way to New York to be auctioned, will be displayed in a free exhibit Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Flynn's widow, Lili Damita Flynn, has put up numerous treasures for auction, among them a pair of stone-colored clips by Chanel, circa 1935, with an estimated value between $5,000 and $7,000, and an Art Deco diamond brooch by Cartier, circa late 1920s, valued between $10,000 and $15,000.

The exhibit is at 308 S. Rodeo Drive.

Information: (310) 274-0340.

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