Highs and Lows

Mark Kulkis, president of adult video company Kick Ass Pictures, turned his downtown warehouse into an art gallery to promote the works of four painters recently, putting "low art" in the service of "high art," he said.

He marketed the event to art enthusiasts, not porn fans, but he did recruit adult film stars to serve drinks and play a round of naked Twister which had an artistic element: "It's kind of a human sculpture," Kulkis said.

Four artists displayed 38 works, seven of which sold for between $300 and $400. In addition to art fans, he invited adult industry business owners he thought might be able to afford supporting the arts and becoming collectors.

About 500 people attended the event, which he plans to repeat. "We're going to do it every other month," he said.

The next show won't be until February, though, because everyone in the porn world will be busy over the next several months preparing for the industry's January trade show in Las Vegas.

Steve Silkin

Base Hits

Within "The Times They Were A-Changin': Baseball in the Age of Aquarius," an exhibit at the Burbank Central Library, forget about finding your standard bats and balls.

The collection of artifacts, artworks, photographs and historical text, which will be on display through Oct. 29, focuses on facts and artifacts from left field.

On display, for example, is the Chic model hair dryer owned by ex-Yankee Joe Pepitone, who is credited with introducing the gizmos to clubhouses in the 1960s. There's also an orange baseball that former A's owner Charlie Finley wanted to use for night games so players could see it better. Scans of some of the original notes penned by former pitcher Jim Bouton for his tell-all book, "Ball Four," and souvenirs promoting the Houston Astrodome are also in of the exhibit.

The 50-piece collection is sponsored by the Baseball Reliquary, a Pasadena organization dedicated to promoting baseball's lighter side and its place in American culture.

"I was confined to three large display cases and I could have filled a museum with this stuff," said Terry Cannon, executive director of the organization.

David Greenberg

Pay Views

Salaries have long varied by geography, with pay higher in major cities of the Northeast and the West Coast. But a recent phenomenon is pay variation by job category, according to Cathy Shepard, a principal at Mercer Human Resource Consulting in Los Angeles.

"It becomes dependent on labor availability," she said.

The company recently released its 2004 findings on average base bay for an executive secretary. The low was in Albuquerque, N.M., at $38,300 annually, and the high was in New York, at $58,600, with the average at $45,500. Los Angeles placed on the high end, at $52,000.

The findings come from the 2004 Mercer Benchmark Database, which includes responses from more than 2,300 mid- to large-size organizations that reported compensation data from exempt and non-exempt positions.

"It helps people understand how pay is going to be different from location to location and more importantly it helps employers understand the cost of operating," Shepard said. "They would want to look at the particular type of labor they need if they're relocating or if they're considering closing down locations and consolidating."

Steve Silkin

Family Affair

Supervisor Michael Antonovich presided over the renaming ceremony of Bledsoe Street to Reagan Road at the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar last week.

"We really honored the entire Reagan family," said Tony Bell, Antonovich's communications deputy.

As governor of California, Ronald Reagan played a significant role in the reconstruction of the facility after it was severely damaged by the '71 quake. Nelle Wilson Reagan, the president's mother, volunteered at the hospital, and Michael Reagan, the late president's son, is a member of its advisory board.

Steve Silkin

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