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— Noted Point Loma artist Robert Irwin, 70, suffered a minor catastrophe last week when one of his famed acrylic sculptures was shattered after it mysteriously fell from a wall at the Denver Art Museum. "We're devastated," a museum spokeswoman told the Rocky Mountain News. "We'd love to replace it with another of his works." Irwin told the paper that a deal for another of the 20-pound, 54-inch translucent discs he created in the late 1960s, now worth about $200,000, might just be arranged. "I haven't built any of those objects in 30 years. I may have one of them upstairs. I'll have to check." Irwin also said he had no hard feelings. "You can't go beating people up about things like this. Really, they probably feel worse about it than I do. I do feel sorry for them. Years ago, I sent a couple of them down to São Paulo in Brazil -- and [gallery visitors] hated them so much they attacked them. They scratched at them and did all sorts of awful things."... Yet another school district is angling to lure Anthony Alvarado away from his current gig as San Diego's chancellor of instruction and head of its Institute for Learning. This time, it's the Orleans Parish School Board in New Orleans, which placed Alvarado along with three others on a wish list of "nationally renowned educators" it would like to recruit to run the school district.

Close, but no Goal

A nine-member group of amateur Pakistani soccer players and coaches was all set to board a plane from Mexico City to Tijuana last week when Mexican officials swooped in and busted them all for expired visas. The team, which had been in Mexico for the Monterrey 99 Amateur Cup, was planning to jump the border in Tijuana, Mexican officials told Agence France Presse. Instead, the Pakistanis were deported back to their home country ... KFMB-TV, whose chief sportscaster Ted Leitner became an unapologetic flack for last year's taxpayer-financed Padres stadium deal, is back looking for another favor from the government. This time the station says it can't begin broadcasting digital television signals later this year unless the federal government gives away a wartime easement it holds over land KFMB says it needs to build a new transmitter building. "The only place we can logically build a building, the easement runs through it," KFMB's chief engineer Richard Lochman told Broadcasting & Cable magazine last week. Lochman said he hopes that lobbying the justice department, the FBI, and the Navy will pay off. If not, he claimed, "I can almost guarantee that we won't make" the November 1 start-up date. And even if it gets its easement, don't look for the station to broadcast highly touted high-definition TV right away. "The federal mandate does not indicate that you have to do high definition, so it's not an impossibility that we will just do standard definition and not upconvert at all," Lochman told the magazine ... Speaking of the Padres, the team claims it has sold out its entire inventory of "virtual TV ads," plugs that appear, via the magic of electronics, on places like the wall behind home plate.

Unrefusable Offers

Part-time Coronado Shores resident and famed lawyer to the Mafia Oscar B. Goodman is running for mayor in his adopted hometown of Las Vegas. Philadelphia born and bred Goodman, who has represented such mafiosi as Meyer Lansky, Tony Spilotro, and San Diegan Chris Petti, along with ex-San Diego mayor Roger Hedgecock, now says, "I want to make Las Vegas my number-one client." But the Las Vegas Review-Journal is not impressed, calling Goodman a "barrister-to-butchers" ... A Utah scientist funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is recruiting identical male twins to take part in a study to be conducted in San Diego this summer about cardiovascular and musculoskeletal changes following space flight. Dr. Ted Adams, principal investigator in the department of cardiovascular genetics with the University of Utah School of Medicine, told the Daily Utah Chronicle that only male twins may apply "because there are not as many hormonal differences that occur with the men than occur with the women." Twins will be confined to bed for a month and will make $100 a day, plus travel and food.

Contributor: Matt Potter

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