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Around the South Bay

Raise a toast to South Bay's new wine label.

October 27, 1994

POPPING THE CORK: Sure, the South Bay has its sunny beaches, its gently rolling waves and its salty sea breezes, but let's face it, something has been missing.

Finally, the delights of the South Bay can be savored with a glass of South Bay wine: Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and, coming next week, white Zinfandel.

No, there are no vineyards tucked in remote portions of Hawthorne. But San Diego residents Tim and Nancy Moore are shipping cases of Sonoma County wine, complete with labels depicting the Manhattan Beach pier at sunset, to local stores.

"It's a very drinkable wine. It's not 'foo-foo' wine," says Tim Moore, 49, who owns Scenic Wine Co., which distributes wine with special labels to tourist areas, including Newport Beach and Del Mar.

Moore developed the idea four years ago while working in his tiny Colorado wine shop. First he marketed Telluride wine to Colorado skiers, then expanded the business to other states.

So far Moore says he has sold several hundred cases of South Bay wine to grocery stores in Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. The bottles retail for about $7 each.

He says sales have been boosted by the wine's attractive label.

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A PAINFUL OUTCOME: They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But for Dr. Wayne McKinny of Palm Springs, the road of good intentions may lead to bankruptcy.

After being lauded as a humanitarian for arranging to bring a Russian girl to America for treatment of a life-threatening affliction, McKinny is now being sued for $205,483 by a debt collection agency for Harbor-UCLA Medical Center near Torrance.

Eleanor Baranova, 4, was covered with a hairy nevus, a mole-like growth that threatened to turn cancerous. McKinny encountered her while visiting her hometown of Zelanadolsk, Tatarstan, 350 miles east of Moscow. After McKinny and others, including former international relief worker Ted Werner of Rancho Palos Verdes, arranged to bring Eleanor and her mother to Los Angeles in 1992, the girl underwent 10 operations at Harbor-UCLA and at a hospital in San Diego to remove the mole. Earlier this year, Eleanor went back to Russia until she can return for the final operations in a year or two.

Meanwhile, Harbor-UCLA demanded payment for Eleanor's hospital stay. (A local plastic surgeon had performed the surgery for free.) McKinny didn't have the money and couldn't raise it.

Now the hospital has assigned the debt to a collection agency that filed the suit in Torrance against McKinny and Werner for the $205,000. McKinny said that regardless of what happens with the lawsuit, he intends to bring Eleanor back for her final operations, which will be provided free by a San Diego group called Fresh Start.

"This will wipe me out," McKinny, a retired pediatrician, said. But he added, "If I had to do it over, I would do the same thing again."

A hospital spokeswoman was unavailable for comment.

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CATTLE RANCH IN THE SKY: For years, Lomita Councilman Dave Albert has raised steers on his half-acre farm. But just hours after Albert arrived home recently with Buford, a 500-pound steer from Riverside, the animal bolted.

In the end, Buford died.

Saturday afternoon, the black Angus, heading for the tasty green lawns nearby, crashed through a chain-link fence at Albert's farm on 240th Street.

Responding to reports of a loose cow, eight police officers joined several neighbors trying to corral the steer. But the animal would not allow anyone to come close.

Animal control couldn't control him. The Department of Fish and Game said Buford didn't qualify as game. So police called a vet.

An attempt to inject Buford with a tranquilizer sent the steer galloping into a market parking lot. Police cornered Buford once more, but he escaped by jumping on the hood of a squad car.

Officials and neighbors finally held Buford still enough for the vet to administer a sedative. It worked. Too well.

Buford died after being taken back to Albert's farm, apparently of an overdose, Albert said.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"I think we'll all say 'Glory hallelujah!' "

--Lawndale Mayor Harold Hofmann, on a proposal to remove the city's infamous median Astroturf. J3

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