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Tuesday, Jun 6, 2023

The LABJ’s LA Stories

Sign of Trouble

Unknown pranksters provided some comic relief last week for downtown drivers stuck in traffic along a dug-up stretch of Broadway.

A number of very official-looking traffic signs positioned along a trench down the middle of the street didn’t exactly caution drivers to slow down or stop, but simply read, “Like Whoa.”

City public works officials said they had nothing to do with posting the signs. “We’re not that funny,” said spokeswoman Linda Aparicio.

The signs were promptly removed and an investigation was launched by street-use inspectors, who usually spend their days searching for outdated campaign posters.

The Big Sleep

Don’t give up hope if earplugs and nudging and loud coughing have done little in the battle against your loudly snoring partner.

Now you can take revenge.

Through the month of May, the Sleep Disorders Center at Glendale Adventist Medical Center is staging a snoring contest.

Partners desperate for a good night’s sleep can submit an audio or videotape of the boisterous snoozer in action, with the loudest subject winning a free sleep and snoring evaluation package, including a consultation with a physician and an all-night sleep study at the hospital.

Just how big a health problem is snoring?

“It can be a sign of sleep apnea, which occurs in up to 10 percent of the population and can be a serious condition,” said Kathy Calvander, coordinator of the sleep disorders center. “Your blood oxygen drops as you gasp for air and that lack of oxygen can cause stress on your body parts.”

Soul Searching

Spanish portrait artist Nati Canada has a strange way of capturing the character of her famous subjects: she reads their palms before making the first brush stroke.

“I like to paint the soul and spirit of my subjects,” Canada says.

Among the stars featured in her recent exhibit at the Lladro porcelain shop on Rodeo Drive were Placido Domingo, Tony Curtis, Michael Jackson and Edward James Olmos.

She also did a portrait of Charlton Heston, whom she credits with changing the way she works. Before meeting him, her style was soft and ethereal. But to capture his essence, she felt she had to take a bolder approach.

“I paint much stronger, now,” she says.

All Things Considered

Long considered L.A.’s outback stepchildren, the cities of Palmdale and Lancaster have reached a new milestone on their way to big-city sophistication.

The sound of public radio began blasting through the Antelope Valley this month for the first time ever. In fact, officials at KCRW-FM 89.9 said the area already boasts the station’s second largest audience behind the L.A. metro area.

The reception has been made possible by a powerful new transmitter costing $160,000 erected in the town of Mojave that will serve north L.A. and Kern counties. Officials said they decided to target the area after discovering there were already 402 subscribers there.

(Listeners had been able to tune in occasionally when winds didn’t disrupt the L.A. signal or affect the small antenna that had been operating.)

“We definitely wanted to make sure we had an audience there first,” chief engineer Steve Herbert said. “It made a lot of sense for us to do this.”

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