Dentists warn their patients not to eat too much Halloween candy. But this year, Dr. Vijay Patel of Claremont decided to put his money where his mouth is.

The 58-year-old paid a dollar for each pound of Halloween candy that kids brought into his office. He had accumulated about 42 pounds of the stuff by Nov. 26.

The idea was to practice a sort of preventive medicine to minimize candy-induced damage, such as cavities. The sweets were donated to a food drive at a local senior center.

The father of adult children often stages other events at his office such as free dental clinics, but the candy purchase was a first. However, it wasn’t anything he had tried at home.

He and his wife were strict about keeping candy out of the house for most of the year, he said, but would always allow their two kids to go trick-or-treating with friends.

And as for what they brought home?

“I have no idea what happened to it,” he joked, before relenting. “It obviously got eaten.”

Real Honor

Linda Lee might just be one of the busiest brokers in Los Angeles – and her hard work hasn’t gone unrecognized.

The senior managing director of commercial real estate brokerage Charles Dunn Co.’s Glendale office was honored this summer as one of California’s outstanding women in business by the state legislators at the 13th annual Women in Business Legislative Update and Awards luncheon in Pasadena. She was the only woman in the commercial real estate field of the 30 honored.

“My initial reaction was, who me? But after it sunk in, I felt privileged,” she said.

Lee has been one of her firm’s top 10 producers the last three years and has closed deals totaling more than $600 million in her career.

As a woman in a male-dominated industry, she’s hoping the recognition can help inspire others to join the field.

“I don’t think often about the fact that I’m a woman in the business with few women,” she said. “The success I have been fortunate to have in my career can be an inspiration and an encouragement to other women who see this profession as one they would like to pursue.”

Staff reporters Jonathan Polakoff and Jacquelyn Ryan contributed to this column. Page 3 is compiled by Editor Charles Crumpley. He can be reached at

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