TEMPLE ALUM

Tom Sizemore

is still a tweaker, according to the Bakersfield, Calif., police.

The actor was arrested yesterday outside a hotel after police responded when Sizemore and another man were in a heated exchange in the hotel lobby. Cops found a bag of meth and some drug paraphernalia in Sizemore's car, say KERN Radio and the Associated Press.

Sizemore was convicted in 2004 on meth-related charges.

The Temple theater major has battled drugs for years. The "Natural Born Killers," and "Saving Private Ryan" actor was once caught with a prosthetic penis full of someone else's urine while trying to beat a drug test, he told Philadelphia magazine last year.

Matthews learned from Koppel

MSNBC's Chris Matthews calls Ted Koppel the all-time master at knowing when to cut somebody off. After Monday night's mayoral debate at the National Constitution Center, Matthews, the Nicetown native host of "Hardball," told us the key to moderating a debate, or hosting a cable news/talk show, is listening and knowing when to jump in.

* After the debate, Matthews

joined his old pal Ted Beitchman, publisher of Real Philly, at the Palm for dinner with past and possibly future mayoral candidate Sam Katz, and Katz's son Ben, a senior at Penn Charter, who is volunteering on Michael Nutter's campaign.

Tom Knox's campaign guru, Joe Trippi, was also at the Palm Monday, wandering around as if he had been stood up.

* Speaking of Knox, his spar-

ring partner Bob Brady had attorney Nino Tinari and wife Carol among his guests at the debate.

* Her friends have seen it, but

Olivia Nutter, Michael Nutter's 12-year-old daughter, says she still hasn't seen the commercial she starred in for her dad on TV because she doesn't watch much.

When she does, Olivia steers toward medical dramas like "House" and "Grey's Anatomy."

Surprise shindig

for Scheuer

Associated Press sports writer Jack Scheuer was given a surprise 75th-birthday party the other night at the Palestra.

Scheuer's wife of 51 years, Jean, and their children and grandkids threw the party at the venerable arena where Scheuer, 75 on June 5, still shoots hoops on Wednesdays. The People Paper's Mike Kern and Comcast SportsNet's Neil Hartman helped lure Scheuer to the Penn landmark with a yarn that he'd be taping a basketball piece for TV. Guests: Joe Conklin, Bill Campbell, Dan Baker, Speedy Morris, Dave Montgomery, Phil Martelli, Fran Dunphy, Mike DeNardo,and fellow KYW Newsradio broadcaster Jeff Asch.

Who says birding's not punk?

RAMBO singer and local punk hero Tony "Pointless" Croasdale and Andy Bernick, formerly of the Swirlies, are gearing up for the New Jersey Audubon Society's World Series of Birding Saturday. Rob Hynson and Mike McGraw round out Team Kowa/Bristlehead. Their team will vie with many others to identify as many species of birds in New Jersey as possible in 24 hours. RAMBO meanwhile plays its last show May 27 at the Starlight Ballroom (460 N. 9th).

Esquire is Friendly to taproom

The Friendly Lounge (1039 S. 8th) is listed as one of the best bars in America in the June Esquire, out next week. The mag calls the bar "dirty and magical," and says there you'll find "ashtrays in front of every stool" (wonder if the piece was written before the smoking ban?), $3 Buds, and "a clogged sink in the bathroom," which inspire the bar's being dubbed "Heaven."

Crystal clear with her feelings

Crystal Zevon e-mailed the other day to say that despite her writing in her new book about her bad experiences in Philly, she actually really likes the city, where two of her best friends are from.

The other day we mentioned a few shots at Philly in Warren Zevon's ex-wife's new book, "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead - The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon," (HarperCollins, $26.95). *

Call Dan at 215-854-5963. E-mail grossd

@phillynews.com. Recent columns, http://go.philly.com/dangross.