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Around the South Bay

A dying tradition may get mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

October 20, 1994

KISSING COMEBACK: A wave of communicable diseases long ago spoiled the fun of kissing booths, a fund-raising gimmick common to clubs and county fairs a few decades ago. Now a Hawthorne group is reviving the tradition, but the only threat to smooch seekers may be getting a few cavities.

American Legion Post 314 plans a kissing booth for its Auxiliary Halloween Dance and Party on Oct. 28. But partly because of the same health concerns that put the kibosh on earlier kissing booths, the group hasn't decided whether to peddle real kisses or the more tame Hershey's variety.

"It could very well be that they get the candy one," said Lois Moore, junior past president of the post's auxiliary group and an organizer of the event. "We haven't finalized it yet."

The group has had kissing booths in the past, though not for about 10 years. Moore said event organizers might bring back the custom "so we don't fall in a rut all the time."

Moore added that the booths generated good business before the group stopped using them. But she declined to guess how popular the '90s version would be.

If the auxiliary decides on the real thing, it must round up volunteers of each gender. "We don't know who the designated (kissing) people are right now," Moore said.

If tradition gets the nod, live smackers will sell kisses for the bargain rate of $1 each. The auxiliary will vote this week on whether to go live or to fudge it.

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SKIP THE BOOK. SEE THE MOVIE: Remember your high school yearbook? Remember the drudgery of actually having to turn pages and read things in it? Well, today's high school soon-to-be graduates can avoid all that through a new concept that just landed in Southern California: video yearbooks.

For eight years, a company called International Video Yearbooks has been producing videotape highlights of high school days in the Eastern United States. But this year, North High School in Torrance will be one of five schools in Southern California to have one of the company's video yearbooks.

The company surveys students to find their favorite music, television and movie clips, and then edits them into the video along with footage of homecoming and other school events. Student producers help the company decide what to shoot to customize the video.

The 45-minute video is sold for $15 in a promotional deal with the school's printed yearbook. The promotional jingle: "Read the book--see the movie."

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TAKING BITES OUT OF CRIME: A Dutch-born German shepherd named Quinn has become the newest member of the Palos Verdes Estates Police Department, replacing the late and much-lamented Bandit, who went to that Big Dog House in the Sky in July after he failed to fully recover from back surgery.

Police Chief Gary Johansen said the $7,500 needed to buy and train Quinn came almost entirely from donations. The city will pay for the K-9 cop's yearly upkeep, which ranges from $20,000 to $25,000.

Quinn is attending the K-9 academy in Riverside County with his PVE Police Department handler, Officer Joe Hall. If he graduates from the six-week course, he would immediately begin sniffing out crime in the South Bay. In addition to patrolling in Palos Verdes Estates, Quinn could be loaned to area cities that don't have police dogs. Although Palos Verdes Estates is not known for its high crime rate, officials say a police dog helps educate children about police work.

"Our dog is very much a public relations tool for us, as well as a crime dog," Johansen said.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"According to (state Sen. Ralph C. Dills campaign), I must be the world's only Christian fundamentalist who's Jewish." --Republican candidate David Barrett Cohen, on claims by the Dills campaign that Cohen appeals to the radical right. J4

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