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— Who says locals can't go to the Super Bowl? But you need to either be good buddies with a city councilmember or have enough scratch to pay your own way. Check out some current ticket prices being advertised on the World Wide Web: $3495 for a loge seat near the 50-yard line, $1495 for lower plaza at the corners, and if you must sit with the hoi polloi, $1149 for way up in the corners. "How can we sell lower than the others?" asks a Web site run by an outfit called Marvelous Sports Tours. "Because we dig for tickets like no other broker and we deal in VOLUME!" Marvelous adds it has NFL Tailgate Party Packages available for $495 per person.

Nosing around

The chickens have come home to roost for Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry's trip to last year's Republican National Convention. Democrat Barry, convicted of cocaine possession, stayed in $200-a-night rooms at the posh La Costa Resort Hotel & Spa, hosted a hospitality suite for gop delegates at downtown's Marriott Hotel, and staged a lavish reception at Uptown's Porter Troupe Gallery, all in the name of getting congressional Republicans to be more generous to the District. Now D.C. auditor Anthony S. Cooper has found that Barry improperly spent $20,000 set aside to promote District tourism. Grand total of Barry's junkets to San Diego and Chicago, site of the Democratic convention: about $79,000, reports the Washington Times. Private donations were said to have covered the balance ... Vigilant Harbor Police busted a cop from the small town of Lenexa, Kansas, last week when she showed up at the airport and flashed a phony ID to use the return portion of a ticket made out in the name of her boss. It seems that Lenexa police chief Ellen Hanson had changed her mind about attending a conference here but didn't want to waste the nontransferable ticket, reports the Kansas City Star. So she commissioned a bogus ID card with her name and title and the picture of Lenexa cop Dawn Layman. The scheme went awry when somebody tipped off United Airlines that someone was impersonating the chief and Harbor Police were called. Layman explained and was allowed to board the plane. Chief Hanson has apologized for using poor judgment.

Real estate roulette

The infamous Kona Kai Hotel, a plaything for gangsters, high-flying yachtsmen, and C. Arnholt Smith, San Diego's one-time Daddy Warbucks later convicted of bank fraud, is on the market again. Built by Smith and cohorts way back in 1953 and boasting a succession of dubious owners, including John Alessio, the accused Caliente fixer imprisoned for tax evasion, and Alan Bond, the Aussie beer king and America's Cup skipper who later went broke, the Kona Kai is being shopped around by Grupo Situr. The Guadalajara conglomerate, which bought the place four years ago and embarked on what the company claimed was a $30 million facelift, has retained Lehman Brothers to help unload the 212-room hotel at an asking price of $40 million, or $189,000 per room, reports . The newsletter also says that New York's Loews Corporation is thinking of selling its 438-room Loews Coronado Bay Resort for at least $50 million. At $114,000 per room, that's on the low end of the local scale. All the activity is said to be inspired by the record $330 million reportedly paid earlier this year for the Hotel del Coronado and high occupancies ... Chargers owner Alex Spanos is making a big-time foray into Texas real estate. The Houston Chronicle reports that the Stockton multimillionaire, beneficiary of San Diego's 60,000-seat stadium guarantee, hopes to build 2000 new apartments in Texas.

Passings

Kathy Acker, the offbeat literary talent who emerged from UCSD's tumultuous era of Herbert Marcuse to wow the British with her radical novel, Blood and Guts in High School, died Sunday of cancer at a Tijuana alternative therapy clinic. Her latest novel, Pussy, King of the Pirates, a parody of Treasure Island, was deemed too sexy for release in Britain ... Masakuni Aoki, who came to Sharp Memorial Hospital in 1994 to become one of the first Japanese patients to get a heart transplant in the U.S., died of cardiac arrest in Japan over the weekend.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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