L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Hot Air

Don't mess with my SUV.

That's the message delivered by KFI-AM talk show hosts John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou, who used the airwaves to oppose a bill by state Assemblywoman Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, that would regulate tailpipe emissions from SUVs and light trucks. The bill, which has garnered attention for its attempt to tackle the problem of carbon-dioxide emissions, cleared the Legislature and is now on the desk of Gov. Gray Davis; he's indicated he will sign it.

Kobylt and Chiampou blasted the legislation as an intrusion into the personal choices of consumers. They repeatedly gave out the number for the Davis' press office and urged listeners to call.

So many calls came through that the press office lines were overloaded and had to be shut down, twice. Davis' press secretary Steve Maviglio called the station and asked thatthe duo give out another number specifically for constituent affairs.

No dice, said Kobylt and Chiampou. Desperate to keep the lines clear for actual press calls, the governor's staff rerouted the phone calls back to KFI, which in turn angered Kobylt and Chiampou. "Rerouting constituent calls like that if it isn't illegal, it should be," Kobylt said.

Spamtastic

Livestock, baking and gardening competitions sure, but a Spam cooking contest?

Back by popular demand, the L.A. County Fair which takes place at the Pomona Fairplex Sept. 13-29 will again hold a Spam Oven Roasted Turkey Recipe Competition this year.

Up to 50 contestants will compete for a first place prize of $150, as well as entry into a nationwide competition. The national winner gets a free trip to Minneapolis and $2,500 to spend at Mall of America, as well has having his or her recipe printed on five million cans of Spam.

The fair has featured a Spam cooking contest for 11 years, with Spam cheesecake and Spam poppers among the winners, according to County Fair spokesperson Wendy Talarico.

"Last year, the winning recipe was California Spam Roll Sushi, with avocado, rice and cucumber," said Talarico. "The Spam took the place of the crab. Yummy."



Looking Good

It's summertime and you're a local chamber executive trying to get people to one of your events. So what do you do?

If you're the Century City Chamber of Commerce, you bring in experts on laser eye surgery, botox treatments, hair design, throw in a psychotherapist and package the whole thing under the eye-catching headline "Maximizing Your Sex Appeal."

Billed as a panel discussion on "image improvement," the flyer for the chamber's July 18 breakfast invites participants to "Learn about maximizing your sex appeal and how to look your best in your business and professional appearance."

"Everybody wants to look beautiful, especially in the business world," said Marianne Klein, membership director for the Century City Chamber. "We just sent this flyer out over the (4th of July) holiday weekend and we've already gotten dozens of calls. We're hoping for 60 or 70 people."



Window Dressing

It's not what you would expect to see in the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue, especially in the middle of summer.

An array of dark wool suits, hats and trenchcoats worn by the Paul Newman and Tom Hanks in the new DreamWorks SKG film "Road to Perdition" are on display in Saks' Wilshire Boulevard windows through July 22. Indoors is another scene featuring costuming for the Jude Law character.

The "Perdition" threads were designed by two-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Albert Wolsk and evoke the mobster underworld of 1930s Rock Island, Ill.

"Anytime you can do something where current fashion and current events mingle it draws people's interest," said Saks spokeswoman Kari Miller, pointing out that the displays include contemporary fashions that are on sale. But trenchcoats in July?

"Actually, it's not that unusual," Miller said. "In the fashion world we're all ready moving on to fall."



Howard Fine, Danny King and Darrell Satzman



The Roving Eye

Hirsute Inspiration

Superstitious athletes tend to wear a lucky charm or favorite pair of socks during a playoff series but for Lakers' coach Phil Jackson it's all about hair.

During the 2001 playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, Jackson had his hair styled before every game by feng shui guru Billy Yamaguchi. Then, the good karma ran out against the Philadelphia 76ers, when Jackson didn't get feng shui-ed and the Lakers lost the first game.

The Chinese have been using feng shui to harmonize living and workspaces for centuries. Feng shui means "wind water" in Chinese, and is used to increase the flow of "chi," or good energy.

With hair, Yamaguchi has become a master of one of feng shui's most adventurous strands. He seeks to incorporate a client's external attributes, such as facial structure and skin tone, with "inner" characteristics.

A customer who identifies with the color blue reveals a "wood" element, for example. People with "wood" characteristics are typically outgoing types and Yamaguchi recommends a playful, tousled hairstyle. Clients who prefer green hues reflect a "metal" element. Because of their meticulous and structured nature, Yamaguchi will design a more formal, classic look.

"Phil's makeup is earth and water," said Yamaguchi, who offers haircuts at several L.A.-area hotels at prices ranging from $85 to $250. "The earth element reflects his supportive, nurturing side while the water element is stylish and contemplative." The result? A short, neat cut that is no fuss and chic.

After his 2001 experience, Jackson curbed his ritual haircuts for the 2002 playoffs. "He got his hair cut only once during the playoff season. But by the time the Lakers got to New Jersey, frankly, I don't think he even needed me," Yamaguchi said.

Samantha Lee

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