PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY

Send a (beef) salami to your boy in the Army

Help the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan feel a little more comfortable with a care package filled with goodies from home, including batteries, baby wipes, dried fruit and People magazine.

The Santa Monica Police Officers’ Association is collecting items to send to troops overseas as part of a national effort that has supplied the men and women in the armed forces with more than 12,000 care packages.

The SMPD currently has one officer in Iraq, and another just returned home from his deployment.

Those who would like to donate can drop off items at the Public Safety Facility, which is open 24 hours a day, at 333 Olympic Dr.

The collection period ends Sept. 13.

Items on the troops’ wish lists are gum, candy, nuts, hand sanitizer, canned tuna, travel-size board games, Q-Tips, white athletic socks and pre-sweetened powdered Gatorade and Crystal Light, among other items.

People are encouraged to write letters of appreciation to the troops. Non-prescription medicine such as aspirin, eye drops, foot powder, lip balm and sun block are also needed.

No pork products can be shipped to Iraq and Afghanistan, which are Islamic countries. Due to postal regulations, no aerosols can be mailed.

For more information on the donation drive, visit www.forthetroops.us, or call Paula Cornell at (805) 306-0830.

— Daily Press

PICO BLVD

Just passing through

The SMPD Traffic Enforcement Section conducted a DUI checkpoint in the 300 block of Pico Boulevard Friday evening, nabbing four suspected drunk drivers, issuing eight citations and impounding seven vehicles, police said.

The enforcement, funded by a grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, began at 9 p.m. and ended 1:30 a.m. Saturday. During that time 1,071 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, 258 drivers were contacted and 20 DUI investigations were conducted, according to officers.

— DP

SM PIER

Best seats in the house

The Santa Monica Pier and The Lobster restaurant have launched an eBay auction to benefit the Special Olympics of Southern California.

In honor of the pier’s centennial celebration on Sept. 9, the auction features a dinner for six at The Lobster with exclusive VIP viewing of the centennial fireworks show. The Lobster’s premier location at the top of the pier provides an ideal view for the first fireworks spectacular over Santa Monica Bay in nearly 20 years.

As part of the once-in-a-lifetime package, Olympic decathlon gold medalist Rafer Johnson will meet and greet the auction winner to personally express gratitude for the charitable contribution.

Also included are six general admission tickets to the 13th annual Pier Del Sol event on Oct. 4, which features a day of free rides at Pacific Park, arcade tickets and lunch. The Los Angeles Lakers will be honored at Pier del Sol, represented by Lakers legends, such as James Worthy.

The “Birthday Bash” will also include Special Olympics athletes and celebrities on the pier to celebrate 40 years of the transformative work of Special Olympics Southern California.

“Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s visionary movement, Special Olympics, has reached an important milestone in Southern California this year with its 40th anniversary celebration,” said Bill Shumard, president/CEO for Special Olympics Southern California. “It is meaningful that we share this significant observance with the Santa Monica Pier as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.”

The charity auction will be live on eBay until Aug. 30 when the winner will be announced.

—DP