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Around the South Bay

The dog days of summer are over for an old Strand standby.

July 21, 1994

TO THE BIG POUND IN THE SKY: Hermosa Beach lost one of its most beloved residents last week when Dave Dog, the free-spirited Labrador retriever who hung out along the Strand for more than a decade, lost his battle with cancer.

Countless skaters, cyclists and joggers knew the yellow retriever as the beach pooch who sat contentedly atop a brick wall at 21st Court and the Strand and watched as life rolled by.

Often, Dave would join strangers for walks along the popular path. He also liked to swim. Sometimes he even followed surfers into the waves that pound the shore only 200 yards from where he used to hang out in Hermosa.

Since Dave's death, at age 11, scores of well-wishers have visited his owner, Carole Prenter, to offer condolences and remember good times with the retriever.

"Some just break down and cry," said Prenter, an English teacher at Mira Costa High School in Manhattan Beach.

One morning last week, Prenter found a new pooch, named Summer, attached to Dave's old leash in front of her home. An anonymous note said that Summer, a 2 1/2-year-old retriever, had been abused.

"I'll probably keep her," she said. But Summer, she said, "will never replace Dave."

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STILL NO TO NAFTA: Last fall, U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor tried his best to persuade Rep. Jane Harman (D-Marina del Rey) to support the North American Free Trade Agreement.

And even though President Clinton himself called her as the vote approached, she never did.

With the pact signed, sealed and delivered, it looks like they've let bygones be bygones. Last week, Kantor was stumping for Harman at a $500-a-plate fund-raiser in downtown Los Angeles.

"There's enthusiasm for the congresswoman to come back," he said after the luncheon. "I wouldn't be here otherwise."

Kantor noted Harman was an early opponent of NAFTA, even during her 1992 election race.

But Harman's opponent, Rancho Palos Verdes Councilwoman Susan Brooks, issued a press release on Kantor's visit, calling it "extremely ironic."

"One person endorsed the pact and supported free trade, the other spearheaded the fight against free trade," Brooks said. "Either Kantor or Harman is very hypocritical."

Harman, however, said it was the pact--not free trade--that she opposed.

"Friends can disagree," Harman said. "My opposition was we should do a better NAFTA, not that we shouldn't have a trade agreement."

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OUTTA GAS?: In the 1991 film "Grand Canyon," the main character is harassed by gang members after his car breaks down in a neighborhood near the Forum.

Now, hoping to buck the negative image on screen and elsewhere in the media, the Forum, Hollywood Park and other members of Inglewood's business community have kicked in more than $600,000 to start a program to help stranded motorists on the city's major streets.

Under the new Mobile Assistance Program, drivers in a fleet of three customized Ford Explorers will rescue stranded motorists. The trucks are equipped with cellular phones, jumper cables, a gallon of gasoline, a gallon of water, a two-way radio, flares, a Thomas Bros. map guide and a "slim jim," used for breaking into locked cars when the keys are on the wrong side of a locked door.

The program was created in part to make visitors feel safe, said Truman Jacques, the city's communications director. "There is a perception of crime in Southern California, and Inglewood is no exception," Jacques said.

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CUP OF SAND: They couldn't beat 'em on the grass, but that didn't stop several U.S. soccer team players from competing against former Brazilian professionals on the sands of Hermosa Beach last week.

About 5,000 fans filled an outdoor stadium constructed next to the Hermosa Beach pier to watch as U.S. soccer stars Cobi Jones and Eric Wynalda, as well as "Melrose Place" TV star Andrew Shue, played the 36-minute game.

Except for a brief break so a Brazilian player could put on socks to protect his feet from the hot sand, the play was fast and furious.

But the result was the same near the surf as it was on the turf.

Brazil won, 5-3.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"Now and again, I'll hear a truck that sounds like his and I'll think, 'Oh, my God.' "

--Susan (not her real name), a woman in the Rainbow Services battered-women's shelter in the South Bay.

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