PursuitWatch Network, the Southland firm that beeps customers when a live cop chase is on television, is pursuing business elsewhere in the country.
The San Dimas company, which charges members $1.99 per month, placed this query on its Web site at www.pursuitwatch.com:
"Do you live in a metropolitan region of the U.S. that frequently broadcasts police chases on TV? If you think your region could benefit from this service, please send us an e-mail."
Personally, I question whether other areas can match the drama of the Southland, site of 17 televised pursuits so far this year. Why, just the other day, a Kentucky woman complained to PursuitWatch that chases in her state weren't "exciting" enough.
FOOT CHASES DON'T COUNT: PursuitWatch members can receive cash rewards for being the first to notify the Web site that a car chase is on the tube. But members also are reminded not to notify the group if:
* "the car portion of the chase has come to an end," or,
* "the pursuit is not yet being broadcast live."
I assume the latter rule was formulated to discourage motorists who are fleeing the authorities from trying to collect rewards themselves.
A SURE WAY TO CONSERVE WATER: Mary and Bill Hawk of Arcadia received a flier from a real estate agent that enumerated some "simple ways to save the Earth" (see accompanying). They question whether living with the water heater set at 30 degrees would be so simple, noting, "We are not quite ready for icicles in the shower."
MOTORISTS AND MORTAR BOARDS: With the end of the school year approaching, Jackson Sleet of L.A. snapped a warning sign at UC Riverside (see photo). Apparently some students are so stunned that they managed to graduate that they don't watch where they're walking.
HALLELUJAH FOR HOLLYWOOD! Richard Rossi, a Long Beach minister and actor, is producing an updated version of "Elmer Gantry," the movie about the flamboyant preacher. The Long Beach connection is interesting.
For the original 1960 movie, which starred Burt Lancaster, extras were recruited from revivalist tent meetings in Long Beach to portray churchgoers. Movie historian John Eastman ("Retakes") says that when the filming began in the studio tent mock-up, many of the extras seemed to believe "they were actually in church and joined wholeheartedly in the singing and emotionalism."
DON'T YOU DARE FLEX THOSE BICEPS! The Beacon House in San Pedro is going to hold its annual block party soon, and Art Vinsel, the recovery facility's spokesman, remembers only too well a tense moment at last year's bash.
"We were doing some footage for a MediaOne documentary, and I had maneuvered Biker Dave, one of our colorful residents, into the picture," Vinsel said. "Suddenly, it dawned on me just what Biker Dave's extensive torso tattoos included. He had once volunteered to be some tattooist's canvas and. . . ."
Well, put it this way: Biker Dave's body was X-rated. Even Elmer Gantry might have been taken aback.
"I managed to adjust his pose somewhat so the camera was getting him obliquely," Vinsel continued. "Man, if they ever tried to write out my job description here. . . ."
Fullerton-based Lowrider Euro Magazine was asked by a reader how to keep "dirty, wild cats from scratching and sleeping on the hood" of a parked car.
The answer: "Get an empty plastic one-pound margarine container, punch a lot of holes in it and fill it full of mothballs. . . . Place this container on the middle of the hood, right up by the windshield."
Might also keep car thieves away.
Steve Harvey can be reached by phone at (213) 237-7083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, Times Mirror Square, L.A. 90053.