With a reminder that the 45th Annual Holiday Boat Parade in Marina del Rey begins in less than six weeks — Saturday, December 8th — boat parade president Cindy Williams has asked that boaters apply now to enter the parade, and requested that those interested in sponsoring the parade contact her for details.

Williams made her comments to attendees of the Marina Affairs Committee of the LAX Coastal Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning, October 24th, at Tony P’s restaurant in Marina del Rey.

“We’re all volunteers and don’t get paid, so we really need sponsors to provide funds for terrific prizes,” said Williams.

Sponsors will receive “great advertising exposure, with two street banners for six to seven weeks and a link on the boat parade Web site for a year,” Williams said.

The boat parade is also in need of two boats for judges of the parade, and she asked that anyone interested in participating contact her.

The theme this year is “Holiday Magic” and festivities begin with a fireworks show starting at 5:55 p.m. Saturday, December 8th.

This year the grand marshal is ABC7 Eyewitness News weathercaster and reporter Garth Kemp.

The parade is from 6 to 8 p.m., with boats coming around the main channel and circling twice.

The “Best Overall” winner gets a trip for two to Tokyo.

The link with Japan relates to the exchange of boat parade judges between the Marina boat parade and one held in Japan.

When Japanese boating enthusiasts visited Marina del Rey and saw the Holiday Boat Parade, they thought it was such a great idea that they decided to have one of their own.

Since then, they have sent judges here for our boat parade and we send judges to their parade, “making it a fun and unique international event,” said Williams.

Burton Chace Park, at 13650 Mindanao Way, and Fisherman’s Village on Fiji Way are considered the best places to view the parade.

For information or an entry form, (310) 670-7130 or www .mdrboatparade.org/.

MARINA VISITORS CENTER IS 25 — Beverly Moore, executive director of the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the audience that the Visitor’s Information Center on Admiralty Way is 25 years old this year and there are plans to refurbish it once the request has been made for approval by the Marina del Rey Design Control Board.

Moore said that lessees are investing in their parcels, and revitalization has begun in the Marina, combined with new owner- ship of two Marina hotels.

With the hiring of a new marketing communications company, Moore said a large number of travel articles are being written about Marina del Rey and it is gaining much more exposure on a number of travel Web sites.

The restoration and cleaning of the Oxford Basin (between Admiralty Park and Washington Boulevard) has long been a dream of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the plans are finally under way, said Moore.

She also discussed visits from Japanese tourists, saying that the numbers have been down after the recession in Japan in the late 1990s, but recently there has been an increase in young independent tourists, as opposed to the tour groups that used to visit.

MARINA SHERIFF’S STATION — Sgt. Jeff Olander of the Detectives Investigation Division at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Marina del Rey Station reported that as part of the resources during the recent fires in Malibu, the station was on “12/12 activation,” with officers scheduled 12 hours on duty and 12 hours off, to provide assistance in the Malibu “Canyon Fire” and the Agua Dulce/Canyon Country “Buckweed” fires.

Olander briefed the audience on several crimes that had occurred in the Marina and Marina-adjacent area.

On September 20th, a stabbing that had been reported as occurring behind El Torito restaurant, had actually occurred elsewhere, based on physical evidence, Olander said. It was “probably gang-related” and the victim gave a false name at the hospital and could not be located later, according to Olander.

A hate crime occurred on Via Marina, when an anti-Semitic message was left on a tenant’s door, considered an isolated incident, said Olander.

A homicide occurred at Lincoln Boulevard and Maxella Avenue — which is not in the sheriff’s department jurisdiction — when the victim left a local sports bar with other people, including his pregnant fiancÈe. As the victim was proceeding southbound on Lincoln Boulevard, another vehicle pulled up next to him and someone fired shots, killing him and injuring his girlfriend.

Olander said that, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, the cause may have been an altercation in the sports bar or road rage.

Car break-ins have continued in subterranean garages, with GPS (Global Positioning System) devices and laptops being stolen.

Olander described these as “crimes of opportunity” and urged everyone to remove these types of devices from vehicle seats and place them out of view either in the trunk or under the seat.

Olander also reminded attendees about office thefts by “office creepers,” individuals who dress professionally and walk into businesses, stealing wallets, purses, laptops and other items to use in identity-theft crimes.

A joint program of the Marina Sheriff’s Station and the U.S. Coast Guard, “American Water Ways Watch,” is expected to get under way this month, with more information forthcoming, said Sgt. Mike Carriles.

Capt. Mary Campbell spoke about the Boosters Club, consisting of community members who raise funds for various activities, such as getting the sheriff’s bicycle patrol team up and running, and the July 4th joint get-together command post of the sheriff’s department, the CHP (California Highway Patrol) and the Los Angeles Police Department Pacific Division.

The event gives the officers’ families time to enjoy a barbecue and kids’ events while the officers are working to assist with a variety of duties related to the Fourth of July celebration.

Campbell also spoke about the Youth Activities League, recently established locally at Campbell’s request, which assists potentially at-risk youngsters in pre-high school and high school (ages 12 and 13) with homework help and a place to be after school, as well as providing sports activities and mentoring.

The first fundraiser was held a couple of months ago when Campbell’s husband retired from the sheriff’s department, donating all proceeds to the Youth Activities League from his retirement party.

Local parks are used for the league’s sports events, and Campbell said they are using parks in other areas that are patrolled by the Marina Sheriff’s Station, and hope to use Burton Chace Park as well.

The christening of two sheriff’s department boats is tentatively scheduled for early January, Campbell said.

The first boat, a 35-foot vessel, will be christened the Edgington, named for Patrolman Harold L. Edgington of the Los Angeles County Harbor Patrol, who was killed in the line of duty at Mothers Beach in the Marina in 1979.

The second boat, a 42-foot vessel, will be christened the Tradition, and is designed to be a command boat that will be out for several weeks in Santa Monica Bay for the use of first responders, Campbell said.

A “destroyed” boat donated to the sheriff’s department by the federal Fish and Game Department, the vessel has been refurbished with federal grant money and is now worth approximately $1.5 million, Campbell stated.