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VENTURA COUNTY NEWSWATCH

August 14, 1995|Gregory W. Griggs

WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN': A Ventura company has a great product for the next big quake--a device that measures ground movement to determine how much damage a building has suffered. Earthquake Safety Systems has sold several Seismic Intensity Meters for commercial and industrial use, but the $15,500 price limits residential sales. "People are strange about the use of safety measures," says E. Owen Widdicombe, company president. "Unless it's mandated by code, people are reluctant to spend the money--unless a problem hits them in the hip pocket."

I LOVE A PARADE: Among the nearly 150 entries planned for Saturday's19 Ventura County Fair parade will be a patriotic float that will include a re-enactment of the flag raising on Iwo Jima. Quite fitting, considering today marks the 50th anniversary of the day Japan decided on its WWII surrender. But authenticity can be difficult. "We had a heck of a time finding a 48-star flag," says Bill Nichols, coordinator of the float, which is sponsored by the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and several other veterans groups.

BRIGHT STAR: Bizarre rock band names didn't disappear with the Strawberry Alarm Clock and Jethro Tull. Hitting the Ventura Theater tonight is Dogstar, whose name alludes to Sirius, the primary point in the constellation Canis Major and the brightest star in the sky. This quartet's bass player is pretty visible himself--Keanu Reeves, star of "Speed" and "A Walk in the Clouds"--which has caused the band to become a bit media-shy. "The fact that Keanu is in there and that he's becoming a big celebrity is just starting to dawn on them," says theater publicist Betty Elder.

TIMES UP: Anyone who received a four-month extension to file their income tax has only one additional day to finish the paperwork, unless they have a good enough excuse for a final two-month reprieve. "Things like, 'My tax preparer was busy and couldn't get around to it' just won't fly," cautions Ventura CPA Thomas A. Derse.

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