valleytalk/cw1st/mike2nd Productivity Enhancer If your business isn’t moving mountains, maybe you should be moving furniture. That’s right, no longer just for the home, companies are turning to Feng Shui the art of moving furniture to adjust an area’s energy balance as a way to improve business, or so says Tibetan Feng Shui master and Valencia resident Patti Robbins-Vignal. Vignal has done Feng Shui for just about every type of business over the last five years, from theme parks to insurance agencies. By placing furniture in a way to highlight wealth and the other areas of life, Vignal said businesses see improved finances, and their workers experience more satisfying careers and increased creativity and energy. “Businesses are extremely interested because they know that their success depends on how much they earn,” Robbins-Vignal said. “Feng Shui gets energy moving in a productive way.” Let Them Fly Coach Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Woodland Hills, gets a little irked when aviation interests at Van Nuys Airport say the city should back away from a proposal to limit the use of older, noisier corporate jets there. The solution to the problem of noise at the airport is to phase out the noisier Stage 2 jets and force corporate titans to pay the millions of dollars more it would take to buy newer, quieter Stage 3 jets. “The captains of industry can afford to buy quieter Stage 3 jets; maybe some of the colonels can’t, but they can always fly on commercial jets like the rest of us,” says Sherman. Van Nuys Airport Association President Jim Dunn says it’s not that simple. If older jets are phased out of Van Nuys, the colonels of industry will simply roost at Burbank Airport. That’s a far cry from clipping their wings. Pressing the Flesh What with all the networking that goes on at the various San Fernando Valley chambers of commerce, one chamber apparently thought it might be time to send out a little advice on how to press the flesh effectively. The Woodland Hills Chamber of Commerce in its most recent newsletter wrote a piece on “The Successful Networking Image,” to help members make the best use of their networking opportunities. For starters, the item suggests, “Don’t forget to have fun along the way. Networking does not have to feel like work.” It then goes on to talk about first impressions projecting a “friendly, sincere personal image” before getting to the most important aspect of networking, “the pitch.” The folks at the Woodland Hills chamber caution that networkers “remember to ‘be a real person,’ and to view the people you meet as real persons too, not simply as means to an end.” Now there’s a reminder that might seem to merely state the obvious. Then again, this is L.A. Money Troubles Local Internet executives may be making millions of dollars virtually overnight, but for the rest of L.A.’s population, making and saving money is tough. According to a study titled “The Best Cities to Earn and Save Money” conducted by research firm Reliastar Financial Corp., Los Angeles ranked 123rd out of the nation’s 125 largest cities. The survey was based on 15 criteria, including household income (L.A. ranked No. 54 at $34,040), housing costs (117) and crime (120). The only cities that ranked lower than L.A. overall were New York and Jersey City, N.J. Orange County, meanwhile ranked a respectable 56th. “People just get paid more down there,” said Tom Eckstein, who helped conduct the survey. Honesty the Best Policy At a press conference recently, the Elected Charter Reform Commission announced the winner of its $1,000 student contest to come up with the preamble that best encapsulates a vision for L.A.’s city government. When asked why he entered the contest, the winner, 17-year-old Belmont High School student John Du, grinned sheepishly and said, “Well, to be honest, I did it for the money.” The whole room burst out laughing. One person was heard to say, “Well, we know he’s not growing up to be a politician. He’s too honest.” Attention Collectors The big dash to get Michael Jordan memorabilia is on. Sports fans all over Los Angeles are rushing to get their Jordan jersey, poster, pendant or basketball card. Scott Damschroder, owner of Scorecard in Studio City, said the calls started flooding in after the media reported that the Bulls star was about to announce his retirement. “We have had an immense amount of calls from people who are asking what we have and how they can get it,” said Damschroder. “I have already reordered everything with Michael Jordan on it. Some companies won’t make any more and they will just sell what they have, so it will become very valuable.” Damschroder expects the craze will continue for weeks.