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Westside Watch

Culver City for Sale! (well, sort of)

November 17, 1994

Look out, L.A. Raiders, Culver City is bursting onto the retail sales scene.

OK, so maybe Culver City T-shirts won't sell as briskly as Raiders jackets and caps, but the city's Chamber of Commerce has high hopes for the City Backlot store it plans to open after Thanksgiving in the Fox Hills Mall.

Among the merchandise: T-shirts, mugs, pencils--all emblazoned with the Culver City logo--and surplus street signs, parking meters and city firefighting apparel. Oh, and to ensure variety, the store will stock items from the Los Angeles County coroner's office--toe identification tags and towels bearing the outline of a body--and distribute tickets for sitcoms, game shows and talk shows filmed in Southern California.

Culver City-based Sony Pictures Entertainment and the city's Historical Society will also make merchandise available for sale.

The city will sell its goods on consignment to the store, with 40% of the profits going to the city and 60% to the Chamber of Commerce. What does not sell will be returned to Culver City.

The Culver City store is not unique--San Diego and West Covina are among the cities already operating such shops, and Long Beach plans to open one next week.

A sign of today's anti-tax times, perhaps?

*

D.C. OR BUST: She's not the winner yet, and in fact, as of the last count, she was 260 votes behind (with an update expected perhaps as soon as today). But Rancho Palos Verdes Councilwoman Susan Brooks is already in Washington.

She flew there Tuesday to be part of a transition team made up of Republican newcomers in the House of Representatives. And although the race for the 36th Congressional District is still undecided, House Speaker-to-be Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) wanted her to come anyway, Brooks said. (She might run into Democratic incumbent Rep. Jane Harman of Rolling Hills, who has been in Washington since the day after the election.

"I want (the vote counting) to be done," Brooks said. "I feel like I've been in a very long labor."

*

NO FREE LUNCH? At a time when customers at many banks grumble about long lines and poor service, something unusual happened the other day at tiny Marathon National Bank in West Los Angeles.

A couple of customers treated all 41 of the bank's employees to lunch--twice.

The kind deeds had their origin in some misfortune the bank experienced after a landlord informed it and 21 other tenants of a Westside high-rise that the building was seismically unsafe and ordered an evacuation.

As a show of sympathy, Steve Applegate and Manny Slali came with sandwiches and salads on Nov. 11 as the bank's employees were busily packing files and equipment.

Last Monday, when the bank opened at a new location on the ninth floor of a building at 11444 Olympic Blvd., the duo--who own St. Moritz restaurant in Toluca Lake--catered a second lunch as a welcoming gift.

"When we started our business five years ago, they were the only bank that took an interest in us," Applegate explained. "We wanted to help when they were down."

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