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Parks Department Stays on Message but Does It in Its Own Succinct Way

May 06, 2003|Steve Harvey

I mentioned the Long Beach resident who grew so angry over litter in his yard from adjacent Heartwell Park that he had his own mock city warnings posted. He said the signs seemed to work, even if "punishable" was misspelled.

But when the city's parks and recreation department heard about the vigilante signs, they tore them down.

Then, guess what? The city reached the conclusion -- independently, I'm sure -- that there was a littering problem in the area and put up its own signs. They don't attempt to spell "punishable." (See photos, by Sylvia Propes of the Beachcomber newspaper.)

Speaking of warnings: Bob McGinness of Santa Monica found a weighty parking notice (see photo).

Question of the day: "Who is Cato Fiksdal?" asks Jay Olins. "Most of your readers see the name perhaps once a week, but we never really notice it."

Answer: Cato Fiksdal is the director of the L.A. County Department of Weights and Measures.

Fiksdal's name is on the Weights and Measures seal affixed to all gasoline pumps in L.A. County.

But I might add that if someone from Gold's Gym carries away your car, Cato Fiksdal is not the man to contact.

Unreal estate: I suppose anyone forking over $26 million for the house that Tom Chandler spotted would need that unique cellar (see accompanying).

The story the Food Network missed: Over the weekend, a truck in the La Verne area spilled a load of potatoes near Fruit Street.

Comforting words: Pro basketball color man Bill Walton, the ex-UCLA star, recalled on ESPN radio (AM 710) how nervous he was in the moments before he was to go on the air for his first network broadcast with Dick Enberg years ago.

Walton said old pro Enberg, noticing his discomfort, "patted me on the knee and said, 'There's nothing to worry about. When that red light comes on, there'll only be 35 million people watching us.' "

Speaking of spills: I'll never chuckle again when I hear a waiter drop a plate of food in a restaurant.

Little did I know I was laughing about my own order of mahi mahi the other night. Whole thing plunged to the floor. I was hoping that at least one of the mahis could have been saved, but no.

miscelLAny: Parodying the "Duh!" instructions found on so many products, a Home Depot CD carries the warning "Do not install this disc on a power saw."

Reach Steve Harvey at (800) LA-TIMES, Ext. 77083; fax (213) 237-4712; Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A. 90012; or steve.harvey@latimes.com.

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