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Pay Telephones

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BUSINESS
April 25, 1989 | From Reuters
Pay phones, the favored way for Americans on the go to reach out and touch someone, celebrate their 100th birthday this year, growing from a lone outpost in a Connecticut bank to a $3.5-billion-a-year market. Born 13 years after Alexander Graham Bell first called for room service, the pay phone has drawn strength from America's expansion, and its increased travel and commerce. Pay phones are now 1.8 million strong, sit atop Colorado's Pikes Peak and fly on Pan Am Corp.'s East Coast air shuttle.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 25, 2003 | Michael Krikorian, Times Staff Writer
Two public telephones in North Hills that were illegally installed and used primarily by drug dealers and prostitutes were removed Monday by city officials, Mayor James K. Hahn announced. The pay phones, located at Parthenia Street and Cedros Avenue near a liquor store and laundermat, were not permitted and were not maintained by any legitimate telephone companies, said Katisha Robinson, a spokeswoman for the mayor. "They were very sophisticated in the way the phones were hooked up," she said.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 1990 | DEAN MURPHY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In an attempt to disconnect drug dealers who use public telephones to conduct business, a Los Angeles City Council committee recommended Monday that the council adopt a public phone policy that would address community concerns about pay phones.
BUSINESS
February 3, 2001
* BellSouth Corp. said it plans to exit the pay-phone business by the end of 2002, partly because the boom in mobile phone usage has sapped its sales. The company, the local phone service provider for most of the Southeast, said it wants to concentrate on its high-speed, Internet and digital networks, wireless data and voice business and its operations in Latin America. BellSouth shares fell $1.50 to $41.50 on the NYSE.
NEWS
May 30, 1990 | DEAN MURPHY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Phoebe Nora's blood would boil when she used to watch the man in the sleeveless jacket work the pay telephone around the corner from her Crenshaw District home. The routine was always the same. He would make and take a few phone calls, then slip away. When the man returned, his pockets were stuffed with drugs and the sidewalk was buzzing with customers. "It had gotten terrible," said Nora, a determined great-grandmother who would spy on the man from her car.
NEWS
December 12, 1990 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
The phone company may be responsible for some glitches here and there, but the utility is innocent in the shooting of Alfonso Martinez, the state Court of Appeal ruled. Martinez charged in an Alameda County Superior Court suit that Pacific Bell was liable for his serious injuries because "the robbers were attracted" to his neighborhood by pay telephones on the sidewalk. The trial court dismissed the claim, as did the appeals court.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 1992 | GEBE MARTINEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A law that would require the removal of pay telephones used for drug sales, prostitution and other crimes was approved Tuesday by the City Council. In what is considered the first of its kind for Orange County but part of a growing trend throughout the state, the city ordinance seeks to curb crimes transacted through pay telephones and pagers and would allow the removal of the phones for one year if they are declared a "public nuisance."
NEWS
September 18, 1999 | JOHN M. GLIONNA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With only the lazy Joshua trees and hovering buzzards out here to bear witness, this isolated expanse of high-desert plain could well be among the quietest places on the planet. By day, the summer heat hammers hard and the dull whistle of the wind is the only discernible noise. Come nightfall, the eerie silence is often pierced by the woeful bleat of a wandering burro. But wait. There's another sound.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 3, 1990
In an effort to short-circuit the drug trade's telecommunications system, Compton officials this week launched a campaign to get pay telephones in places such as liquor stores, coin laundries and fast-food restaurants that are adjusted to block incoming calls. Dealers, according to police, hang around the businesses and take calls from customers on pay phones. "They use the phone booth like an office," Compton Police Cmdr. Terry Ebert said. Compton is not the first city to target pay phones.
NEWS
January 22, 2001 | BETTINA BOXALL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The pay phone in Goodyears Bar, population 100, is gone. So is the one in Gazelle, population 400, and the one at the public school in pint-sized Pike. The ubiquitous pay phone is disappearing from lonely outposts and city street corners throughout the state, the victim of cellular phone competition and other economic pressures. In the last year, companies yanked out about 1,000 pay phones a month in California.
NEWS
May 23, 2000 | From Associated Press
What might have been the world's most isolated phone has rung for the last time. The decades-old telephone booth with the shot-out windows became a worldwide attraction in recent months because of its remote location deep in the Mojave National Preserve. However, Pacific Bell and National Park Service officials said they had to remove the phone last week because it attracted too many curiosity seekers.
NEWS
November 2, 1999 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A phone in the middle of the Mojave Desert, which gained a cult following after it became the subject of Internet sites, was temporarily silenced by vandals after ringing off the hook for months. Vandals apparently stole the handset of a phone in the isolated booth in the Mojave National Preserve, about 75 miles from Las Vegas. Pacific Bell repaired the phone Monday, said spokesman Steve Getzug. It was unclear how many days the phone had been out of service, he said.
NEWS
September 18, 1999 | JOHN M. GLIONNA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
With only the lazy Joshua trees and hovering buzzards out here to bear witness, this isolated expanse of high-desert plain could well be among the quietest places on the planet. By day, the summer heat hammers hard and the dull whistle of the wind is the only discernible noise. Come nightfall, the eerie silence is often pierced by the woeful bleat of a wandering burro. But wait. There's another sound.
NEWS
August 13, 1999 | ERIC LICHTBLAU, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Convicts are orchestrating drug deals, business frauds and even murders from behind the walls of the nation's 94 federal prisons--simply by picking up pay phones, according to a study released Thursday by the Justice Department. Investigators found that inmates in the federal system--including eight California facilities--have gained virtually unrestricted access to phones, often abusing that privilege to stay in contact with criminal associates in the outside world.
NEWS
January 17, 1999 | RICHARD MAROSI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For generations, the pay phone symbolized comfort and convenience for those needing to stay connected. But as the number of public phones has skyrocketed in the last decade, some communities are beginning to see them more as graffiti-covered, unreliable eyesores than as sights for sore eyes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 1992 | GEBE MARTINEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A proposed law that would require the removal of pay telephones used for drug sales, prostitution or other crimes was put on hold by the City Council on Monday after phone company representatives raised objections. The ordinance--the first of its kind for Orange County--would allow the city to declare a pay telephone a "public nuisance" and order its removal for at least one year.
NEWS
March 1, 1990 | MICHELE FUETSCH, TIMES STAFF WRITER
City Council members, in a move similar to those of other Southland cities plagued by drug trafficking, have decided to try to short-circuit the dealers by taking aim at one of their most important tools, the pay telephone. The council unanimously voted Tuesday to move to persuade private business owners with pay telephones to restrict the phones to outgoing calls. Compton Police Cmdr.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 1998 | KENNETH REICH
Even in this complicated age, rural America isn't necessarily the best place to be. A schoolmate from my days growing up in Palm Springs, Mary Jo Stephens Churchwell, recently sent me her book, "The Cabin on Sawmill Creek," about living 13 years in a rustic cabin in the Idaho Rockies. "There are all kinds of costs nowadays having nothing to do with old-fashioned, simple survival," Churchwell writes. "There are taxes on property, goods and gasoline.
BUSINESS
February 13, 1998 | James F. Peltz
A group led by Los Angeles investment firm William E. Simon & Sons bought majority stakes in two independent operators of pay telephones in California: Pacific Coin of Van Nuys and Nucom of San Leandro. The deals are part of Simon's plan to buy several small independents, for a total price exceeding $100 million, and combine them to become a major player in the pay-phone field.
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