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Westside Watch

Yachts to Admire in Marina del Rey's Annual Christmas Boat Parade

December 08, 1994

Thirty-two years after Marina del Rey yacht owners first festooned their boats with Christmas lights to celebrate the end of a fierce storm, 100 boat owners will do so again and sail Saturday evening in the annual Christmas Boat Parade.

This year's theme is "Music of the Seven Seas," with former Limelighters troubadour Glenn Yarbrough, known as the Singing Sailor, leading the parade as grand marshal. As many as 75,000 spectators have gathered at past parades to watch the yachts, some adorned with pirate scenes, palm trees, and boxes of toys with music and animation.

This year's parade will begin with fireworks at 5:30 p.m. and is scheduled to last about two hours. Parking for spectators is available in 12 lots throughout the marina.

Viewing sites include Fisherman's Village, 13755 Fiji Way, and Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way.

Any boat that can maintain 5 knots is eligible to enter. Boat owners can register until Friday evening. The entry fee is $50 for individuals, $80 for groups, $100 for office parties and $200 for businesses. Information: (310) 821-7614.

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WIN, PLACE AND SHOW: Look no further for the most livable part of Los Angeles County. You're already there.

At least that's what Los Angeles magazine concluded in a survey contained in the current issue. The Westside won the trifecta when the mag rated Beverly Hills, Culver City and Santa Monica as the top three places to live out of 20 communities ranked.

The ratings were based on criteria ranging from education and air quality to restaurants and convenience.

Hancock Park and West Hollywood, also Westside territory, were fifth and sixth, respectively. (Manhattan Beach, in fourth place, kept the Westside from a clean sweep of the top six.)

After that, our fair Westside cities didn't fare so well.

Brentwood trailed in 11th place, its attractive neighborhoods eclipsed in the survey by lack of convenient shopping and cultural activities. Venice, which has been beset by crime problems, limped in at 16th place.

Still, somewhat surprisingly, Venice beat out Malibu, which wound up rated 17th, followed by Hollywood.

It seems Malibu lost points for being inconvenient and lacking first-rate restaurants, arts and entertainment, and a medical facility.

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HIP HOP: Back by popular demand, UCLA Extension is offering a "Pet Rabbit Care" class in its winter catalogue for the third year in a row.

The popular course is taught by Frank Lavac, a veterinarian at Wilshire Animal Hospital in Santa Monica, who says he now has 753 current rabbit clients.

"I have a lot of customers with pet rabbits and there's not a lot of information out there about how to take care of them," he said, noting that rabbits are his fourth-largest clientele after dogs, cats and birds. "Rabbits are becoming more popular pets--they're clean, quiet, have distinct personalities and are very interactive."

Lavac's class will focus on basic care, behavior, and the prevention and treatment of typical medical problems such as broken toenails, respiratory problems and diarrhea.

In his course, Lavac also recommends "The House Rabbit Handbook," a popular tome with chapters on how to bunny-proof your house, set up outdoor playpens, toilet train, travel and mix rabbits with other pets.

"People really fall in love with them . . . and with proper diets and medical care some rabbits can live as long as 10 years," he said.

Somewhere, Bugs is smiling.

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