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Saturday, March 26, 2005

Saturday Times

Coupla interesting stories in today's Los Angeles Times...

:: And you thought you lived in "Los Angeles." Actually, no one definitively knows the real, original name of our fair city, the Times writes in today's page one feature:

The early settlers meant to name the town after angels; that much is known. But for more than 75 years, local historians have been quarreling over its actual moniker.

Some contend it was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles.

Others assert it was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reyna de los Angeles.

Or perhaps it was El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora de los Angeles de la Porciuncula. Or El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reyna de los Angeles del Rio Porciuncula. Or maybe El Pueblo de la Reina de los Angeles Sobre el Rio de Porciuncula. Or Pueblo del Rio de Nuestra Señora la Reyna de los Angeles de Porciuncula.

How about plain old Ciudad de los Angeles?

The re-release by the Historical Society of Southern California of a 1931 book on the subject, "The Founding Documents of Los Angeles," is behind the revived debate.

:: New, old-fashioned steetlamps are sprucing up neighborhoods, such as Vermont Ave. north of 3rd Street, the paper notes:

The poles don't face the roadway like regular streetlights. Rather, they are designed to illuminate sidewalks in an effort to encourage pedestrian life and improve nighttime safety.

Neighborhood groups and merchants now clamor for the lights, which cost $7,500 each.

The lamps are 15 feet tall, about 10 feet shorter than a typical streetlight.

Officials hope that the fancy lights will make sidewalks and streets more inviting for walking, cycling and using mass transit, which could boost the fortunes of sagging business districts. They also hope that increased pedestrian activity means fewer drivers on the roads.

:: They're serving finger-lickin' good chili at Wendy's. Literally.

The Times recounts how a San Jose woman this week found a severed human finger in her bowl of chili at the fast food eatery.

Sheriff's investigators are still trying to determine where the finger — described as about an inch long and likely belonging to a woman — came from.

If successful in lifting a print, they will enter it into a nationwide criminal database to help solve the mystery.

Since news of the incident broke, sales at the Monterey Road franchise "have gone down dramatically," said Denny Lynch, a spokesman for the Ohio-based restaurant chain.

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