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No Paid Poll Needed; Get Your New Secession-City Names Right Here, Free

There’s talk about the San Fernando Valley seceding from L.A., but I hear very little discussion of what the new city would be called.

It can’t be San Fernando, since there’s already a burg of that name in the vicinity. (Unless, San Fernando wants to be a good neighbor and re-christen itself San Fernandito in recognition of its modest size.)

Jeff Brain, the president of Valley VOTE, says his group will (1) hire a polling group to research the name issue and (2) hold a contest for the public to make suggestions. The five finalists would appear on the same ballot that carried the secession question, he said.

I have some good news. There’s no need for research. Several years ago, The Times held a contest in which readers tackled this question.

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The honorable mentions included:

* Absolutely Not Sepulveda (submitted by Gary Bolen)

* Beige-Air (Rick Sarabia)

* Homes R Us (Joseph Feinstein)

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* Minimallia (Ken Drucker)

* McValley (Michael Silverstein)

* Rancho de los Ranchos (Elizabeth Bates)

* Suburbank (Mark Maxwell-Smith)

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* Valle de Nada (Ann Kenney)

* West Emphysema (Matthew Brown)

And the winner was . . . : Twenty-nine Malls, proposed by Thomas Rezzo of Canoga Park.

Granted, the contest was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. But a sense of humor can bring a town publicity. It certainly hasn’t hurt Truth or Consequences, N.M.

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I’m just worried that the number 29 may be a bit low, now.

It’s that time of the year: Holidays . . . vacations . . . mountain sport activities. So, I offer my annual cautionary note in the form of a photo taken by Richard Gilbert in Big Bear City (see accompanying).

The Jolly Old Elf could use a trim himself: Daniel Connelly of Santa Ana found what appears to be a holiday haircut special (see accompanying).

Food for thought: Was your Thanksgiving turkey something of a flop? Too bad you hadn’t first read these cooking tips, which were sent to the Big Bear Grizzly newspaper by local first-graders (some of whom are obviously handy with microwave ovens):

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* I am going to tell you how to cook a turkey. It is going to be fun. You put some salad dressing. I do not know what else. (Submitted by Bailey Houston)

* First you put stuffing in the turkey. Next put it in the oven at 40 degrees. (Sierra Drolet)

* First you buy a turkey. Cook BBQ turkey for 5 minutes and eat it. (Jorge Cruz)

* First I would skin the turkey feathers. Next I would cook the feathers then I cut it. Last then I eat it. (Abigail Baldwin)

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* Put it in the oven and light it up. Stuff it and cut the legs off. Cut the head off. You cut it. (Arno Alford)

* First wet him. Next I cut him. Then I cook him. Then I eat him. Last I will go play. (James Ventura)

miscelLAny: Everyone’s working harder these days. And, as Norma Stewart points out, nowhere does that seem to be more true than at a UCLA memorabilia shop at Universal CityWalk (see accompanying). Talk about pulling all-nighters.

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Steve Harvey, who is going out to play now, can be reached later at (800) LA-TIMES, Ext. 77083, by fax at (213) 237-4712, by mail at Metro, L.A. Times, 202 W. 1st St., L.A., 90012 and by e-mail at steve.harvey@latimes.com.


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