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CITY HALL ROUNDUP : Old Father Christmas gets a new set of wheels in Manhattan Beach.

and staff reports

SANTA’S HELPERS: Even Santa Claus needs a little mechanical help once in a while.

The bearded one, who has been making nightly appearances during the holidays in Manhattan Beach for more than 30 years, will be getting a new sleigh this year, thanks to a $4,500 appropriation by the City Council.

Not only were the brakes worn on the old sleigh, but Santa’s chair had wood rot and the entire chassis was rusting. “It was a choice of either not doing the Santa float this year, or fixing it,” says Carolyn Kossler of the Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors Santa’s December rounds through the city’s neighborhoods.

And because no one wants to mess with St. Nick, the money was awarded without discussion. After all, Santa knows who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. . . .

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A CERTAIN SMILE--Some Torrance residents were disappointed that the “special guest” who will headline next month’s gala opening of the city’s Cultural Arts Center wasn’t exactly a household name.

She could be soon.

That guest, singer-model-actress Susan Anton, is now making appearances in drugstores throughout Torrance and the Los Angeles area. Her name and toothy smile are featured on each box of a new toothpaste called Stay-White.

“Pick me up and see how you can have whiter teeth,” reads a quotation above Anton’s smiling face. Anton is also being featured in full-page color advertisements for Stay-White that are appearing in newspapers around the country.

Anton was chosen to promote the product nationwide because “she’s got a great smile, she’s got great teeth--and everyone recognizes who she is,” said Gene Wagner, vice president of Stay-White’s manufacturer, Dental Concepts Inc. of Elmsford, N.Y.

Asked if Anton uses Stay-White, Wagner said: “I hope so.”

SCRATCHED AGAIN--The Hawthorne Planning Commission on Wednesday once again nixed a liquor license request by South Bay Pool & Billiards.

Pool hall owner Jerry Jamgotchian has asked city officials three times since opening his doors in April, 1990, for permission to serve beer and wine at his business, which is next to Hawthorne High School.

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But each time, Planning Commissioners have eight-balled his request, saying they fear the mix of booze and billiards so close to the school would be volatile.

“I guess the third time is not the charm,” Jamgotchian chuckled.

Jamgotchian, who has promised to close the pool hall to anyone under 21, has until Sept. 15 to appeal. When asked if he would appeal, he said: “Yeah, why not? It’s just money.”

After all, with a 35-year lease on the property, Jamgotchian isn’t going anywhere.

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LAST WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

Avalon: The City Council appointed itself as governing board of the city’s 12-bed municipal hospital. Councilwoman Barbara Doutt was elected to chair the board. Previously, the council fired the governing board of the hospital and took over the job of trying to put the Catalina Island facility back on sound economic ground.

El Segundo: After three years of negotiations, the city renewed a cable television franchise agreement with Paragon Cable. The pact calls for a higher-quality signal and requires Paragon to provide $225,000 to upgrade equipment for local access channels, which telecast government meetings and entertainment programs. The term of the contract is 15 years, but allows the city to review Paragon’s performance every five years and, if warranted, cancel the agreement.

Lawndale: The City Council postponed a decision on whether to allow the owner of Fine Car Exteriors to repaint graffiti-style murals on the shop’s exterior walls. Last month, the shop painted over the eye-popping murals after city officials ruled that they violated Lawndale’s sign ordinance. But last week, the council was advised that murals that are deemed art are protected by the First Amendment. The council asked for a report on the issue at its Sept. 19 meeting.

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Redondo Beach: The City Council set up a visitor’s bureau within the Chamber of Commerce to tout the city’s attractions and bring conferences to local hotels. A consultant will be hired for up to $40,000 to plan activities for the bureau. One draw will be the new horseshoe pier, which the council agreed to reconstruct at a cost of $7.5 million.

Torrance: The City Council voted to buy two pianos for the Cultural Arts Center from Bryan Lee Music of Torrance at a total cost of $45,814. The James Armstrong Theater will be the home of a new nine-foot concert grand piano, and a 6-foot-7 grand piano will sit in the community meeting room of the arts center.

THIS WEEK’S HIGHLIGHTS

Hawthorne: The City Council will vote Monday on a three-year contract with the Hawthorne Municipal Employees Assn. that would raise salaries for its 150 members by about 11% by July, 1993. The employees--most of them clerical staff and maintenance workers--would also receive added insurance coverage. Organizations representing police and fire employees, who called in sick last May to protest stalled negotiations, have yet to settle with the city. The council meets 7 p.m. at City Hall, 4455 W. 126th St., 970-7902. Televised on Channel 22 (Paragon) at 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and 6 p.m. Saturday.

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Inglewood: The City Council will receive a staff report Tuesday recommending a boundary realignment between Inglewood and Hawthorne near the Century Freeway. The council is not expected to take action this week, but Inglewood officials have agreed with Hawthorne to trade a few acres of land near the freeway, affecting some homes and commercial properties. The council meets at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1 Manchester Blvd., 412-5280. No cable telecast.

Lawndale: The City Council on Thursday will consider an urgency ordinance that would extend some temporary zoning standards for apartment and condominium complexes for the next 10 months and 15 days. City officials are recommending the council cut density by half in two multiunit zones, but the council will hold public hearings before it makes a final decision on that proposal. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 14717 Burin Ave., 973-4321. Televised live on Channel 60 and repeated several times during the week.

San Pedro: A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday on the present and future status of recreational facilities in the community. The hearing follows a recent citizens’ committee report that recommends an array of new facilities, including multipurpose sports fields and a community center. The meeting will be held at Peck Park Recreation Center, 560 N. Western Ave. No cable telecast.

OTHER COUNCIL MEETINGS THIS WEEK

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Gardena: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 1700 W. 162nd St., Gardena; 217-9565. Televised live on Channel 22 (Paragon) and repeated 7 p.m. on the two following Sundays.

Hermosa Beach: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 1315 Valley Drive, Hermosa Beach; 318-0239. Televised live on Channel 3 (Multivision).

Los Angeles: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 200 N. Spring St., Los Angeles. In San Pedro, 548-7637; in Wilmington, 548-7586; in Harbor City/Harbor Gateway, 548-7664; in Westchester, 641-4717. Televised live on Channel 35; meetings repeated individually at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and collectively on Sunday starting at 10 a.m.

Palos Verdes Estates: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 340 Palos Verdes Drive West, Palos Verdes Estates; 378-0383. No cable telecast.

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Rolling Hills: 7:30 p.m. Monday, 2 Portuguese Bend Road, Rolling Hills; 377-1521. No cable telecast.

Rolling Hills Estates: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, 4045 Palos Verdes Drive North, Rolling Hills Estates; 377-1577. Televised live on Channel 3 (Dimension).

Torrance: 7 p.m. Tuesday, 3031 Torrance Blvd., Torrance; 618-5880. Televised live on Channel 22 (Paragon), and replayed at 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, and at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.


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