Revolving agents

In the film “Jerry Maguire,” actor Cuba Gooding Jr. stars as an unusually loyal football player.

When Gooding’s agent, as played by Tom Cruise, goes through hard times, Gooding’s character is the only client who doesn’t abandon him. Which just goes to show that in Hollywood, art seldom imitates life.

The real Gooding is notorious for changing agencies. He recently left West L.A.-based Paradigm for Beverly Hills-based Creative Artists Agency Inc., but that followed stints with International Creative Management, the William Morris Agency, Triad and an earlier period with Paradigm.

Daily Variety quoted his former agent at Paradigm, Sam Gores, as saying, “I think he is a terrific and talented guy, and I wish him the best. But I can’t say I was entirely surprised (with his departure) because, unfortunately, CAA is the only place he hasn’t been.”

California’s legal gold

Most people know Huell Howser as a good-natured TV personality, the host of KCET’s “California Gold.” But this week, Howser took on a new role plaintiff.

Howser has filed a lawsuit to prevent the city of Long Beach from demolishing historic structures at the former Long Beach Naval Station to make way for a new container terminal for China Ocean Shipping Co.

According to the suit, the land upon which the station is built is an asset of the California Tidelands Trust and, as a result, the state constitution makes it illegal for Long Beach to destroy the stuctures and use the land for commercial purposes.

The suit demands that the naval base be used to benefit the general public rather than a foreign government’s economic enterprise.

Howser became involved in the issue after his show ran a segment on the former naval station’s structures. The attorney on the case is Richard Fine, who has successfully sued public agencies in the past for diverting special tax revenues for general fund programs.

Van Nuys dogfight

Encino homeowner Gerald Silver made headlines last week when he unearthed an old L.A. rule stipulating that planes making other than regularly scheduled flights into the Van Nuys Airport could not exceed 12,500 pounds.

Silver’s discovery was hailed by nearby residents, who have been complaining that heavier jets are the biggest makers of bothersome noise around the airport.

So how exactly did Silver find the rule, which was written in April 1969 and has remained buried in virtual obscurity since then?

“I wish I could say it was my research background, but I actually received an anonymous letter from a pilot, and that’s what opened the whole issue up,” says Silver.

Indeed, the unsigned letter, dated Dec. 23, 1996, came from a disgruntled pilot who owns a home near the airport. The pilot previously supported jet pilots, but had a recent change of heart on the issue.

“The main reason I have changed my opinion is the arrogance of the (heavier jet) operators. They honestly feel that they have a completely legal right to operate their aircraft in any manner they like, with no obligations whatsoever to homeowners in the area,” wrote the author.

Thus continues the dogfight of the Van Nuys Airport.

Ill-fitting patriotism

To promote its new cable television program “America at Work,” Microsoft Corp. sent out to the media batches of green-and-blue baseball caps with the show’s title stitched tastefully across the front.

“America at Work,” which premiered Jan. 18, profiles small U.S. businesses that have successfully implemented technology into their operations. A different company of hardworking All-American Joes and Janes is highlighted each week.

Makes you feel all warm, fuzzy and patriotic about Bill Gates and his Pacific Northwest wunderkinds, until you read the tag stitched inside each hat: “Made in Korea.”

See New York here

Where do you go in Los Angeles to see the Manhattan skyline?

Try Sunland. That’s where Dellmont Leisure International of La Crescenta (which specializes in planning and construction of themed attractions) is temporarily keeping a 255-square-foot model of the Big Apple.

“It’s not exactly the same, but it is pretty close,” said Joanna Brody, a spokeswoman for the firm.

The company has been contracted by New York City’s World Trade Center to redesign the 107th floor observation deck. The model which will be one component of the new tourist attraction will be shipped back east later this week.

The attraction is scheduled to open this spring.

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