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ORANGE COUNTY NEWSWATCH

March 23, 1995|Jerry Hicks and Rene Lynch and Lesley Wright

STATELY WEEDS? There's a weed crackdown in Buena Park, with the city going after 78 "public nuisance" parcels in 1994. Among those billed after the city cleaned up their property: the state of California--$897 for poor upkeep on its frontage at the Santa Ana Freeway ramp near Beach Boulevard. . . . It's the first time the city has ever dunned the state for weeds. . . . Says city public works spokesman Paul de Pietro: "Whether or not we can get the money from the state is another question."

A TAXING TIME: The county bankruptcy has some people so hot they have little patience even for burying the dead. . . . Several at a heated hearing Tuesday on a proposed sales tax increase were upset because the county supervisors halted the discussion for more than two hours--for a funeral. Supervisor Gaddi H. Vasquez gave a eulogy and colleague William G. Steiner was a pallbearer at the funeral of former Orange Mayor Gene Beyer, who died last week. . . . Vasquez ignored his critics, and adjourned for the day in Beyer's honor.

REAL ISSUES? Several Orange County attorneys have taken on stints as TV legal analysts in the O.J. Simpson case. But none is more prominent than Santa Ana defense lawyer Milton C. Grimes, a frequent guest on Larry King's CNN cable show. . . . Grimes told King this week that because most of the Simpson jurors are black, race must be an issue: "African Americans have had unique experiences dealing with police agencies. They won't readily as a whole trust what police officers say."

PAR FOUR AVENUE? The latest in cutting down vehicle air pollution: driving lanes for no-fume electric golf carts. An Irvine engineering firm has been honored by a national consulting group for its pilot golf cart transportation system in Palm Desert. Robert Bein/William Frost has set up golf cart lanes just like bicycle lanes throughout the city. And many are using them. Says spokesman Gary Warkentin: "Non-gasoline transportation is the future."

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