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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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Wilson Bets Against Toyota ‘Tsunami;’ Bill Gross Does Pebble

David Wilson, biggest OC-based auto dealer with seven Toyota dealerships, welcomes NASA’s finding that there is no electronic flaw that would cause sudden acceleration in Toyotas. He says it’s a boost for a brand that has been rebounding from last year’s barrage of allegations. Not that he expects the lawsuits to go away entirely: “Don’t trial lawyers think that they’re smarter than rocket scientists?” But Wilson echoes others who speculate the government report will take steam out of big class action suits being litigated in Santa Ana before U.S. District Judge James Selma; OC’s Mark Robinson is leading the personal injury litigation with Wylie Aitken working on the economic impact of Toyota’s recalls. “Wylie Aitken said in your column (last June) the cases could be a tsunami or a puddle,” Wilson says. “I’m giving a hundred to one against the tsunami and taking even money on the puddle.” “I’ll bet on the tsunami and let Wilson have the puddle,” replies Aitken, who says the NASA report “is seriously flawed, and we’ll have a chance to prove it.” Maybe we will find out who’s smarter …

That’s OC’s own Gigi Ibrahim on the cover of the Feb. 28 Time magazine, depicted with six other youthful blogger-activists described as “the generation changing the world.” Ibrahim, an Egyptian-American from Anaheim’s Cornelia Connelly High School and Orange Coast College, has been in Cairo covering, and participating in, the revolution …

When Hershey Felder walks off the Laguna Playhouse stage Sunday he’ll conclude an extraordinary 13-month run of one-man shows. The actor-pianist-singer, whose home is in Paris, has traveled here to portray George Gershwin, Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein and now Chopin. He’s fielded audience questions, supervised stage readings, conducted fundraising concerts and done a benefit salon in Shady Canyon. “It’s a paradise, what’s not to love?” says Felder, who has been staying near Laguna’s Heisler Park with wife Kim Campbell (Canadian prime minister for four months in 1993) and their baby poodle Leopold. Will he return with yet another act? “Just try and keep me away” …

Olympian and World War II hero Louis Zamperini will be at Cannery Restaurant in Newport Beach Thursday signing Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller “Unbroken,” which chronicles his remarkable life as a runner, bombardier, Japanese POW and more. Zamperini, 94, goes back a long way with Cannery owner Ron Salisbury—he used to babysit him …

He’s the “king of bonds” but on the golf course Pimco’s Bill Gross is a mere mortal with a 13 handicap. Which made even sweeter his performance in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Comedian-actor Bill Murray drew the big galleries and with pro D.A. Points won the tourney. But Gross made the Sunday cut and came within a foot of a hole-in-one on Pebble’s famed seventh hole. His pro partner Kevin Sutherland called Gross “the luckiest golfer in the world.” Maybe the happiest, too.

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