CHRISTMAS MONEY: The Holbrook family of Lancaster...


CHRISTMAS MONEY: The Holbrook family of Lancaster got an extra gift after wrapping up their Christmas Eve celebration: $21 million. . . . Dad Donald, 58, learned the news that he had picked all six Super Lotto numbers. The Rockwell engineer spent $5 on a quick-pick at Smith’s Food and Drugs, earning him $756,000 tax-free for the next 20 years. Among the beneficiaries: Holbrook’s wife, Ruth, and their many children.

TASTE TEST: For about a day’s wages you can have one of 31-derful flavors . . . in Vietnam. Glendale-based Baskin-Robbins International Inc. has launched its first franchise in Ho Chi Minh City, where a scoop runs $1.60 and the average worker makes $50 a month. But locals are lining up for jamocha almond fudge, anyway. Explains company executive Grant Miller: “In Vietnam, it’s always hot.”

MORE RUBBLE: It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it . . . some more. The city will extend its free curbside quake-debris cleanup program through July 17, benefiting Valley residents like Mark Eddingfield, above. Set to expire Jan. 17, the service prompted 105,644 calls for debris removal through mid-December (B3).


TAX BREAK: Tax help may soon be on the way. Brad Sherman, who was sworn in Tuesday for a second term on the State Board of Equalization, wants to move his district office from Santa Monica to Van Nuys. . . . Because many calls to his office come from the Valley, Sherman feels the move could help residents “focus on the property-tax aspects of the earthquake.”

WITH HONORS: Sim Farar is looking for a few good Valley entertainers. Appointed to the Advisory Committee on the Arts of the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, the Woodland Hills financier will be among those suggesting future honorees. . . . “We’re trying to recognize more people from the San Fernando Valley,” he said. Past Valley honoree: Bob Hope.