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Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

Valley Talk

All Fired Up Jeff Edelstein has been promoting disaster preparedness for 10 years, but a few weeks ago, he actually got the chance to practice what he preaches. Fire struck Edelstein’s business, SOS Survival Products Inc. in Van Nuys, early one Saturday morning last month. Fire crews were able to put out the blaze, but not before the shop was damaged by smoke and water. When Edelstein arrived at work he found he was without electricity. “We broke out a generator and had the phones and computers running,” said Edelstein. “We used bottles of Arrowhead water to flush the toilet and we had lanterns all over the place. Everything we’ve been preaching for the last 10 years, we did.” Actually, Edelstein didn’t take heed of some of the advice he gives his customers he did not have backup copies of his insurance information and phone files at a separate location. But he did not want for supplies. SOS was able to open for business on that Saturday, and even help out its neighbors in the 12-unit building with extra lighting. Indeed, Edelstein thinks that the fire may have actually helped to boost his sales. “I think we sold quite a few more light sticks and lanterns,” he said. A Rose is a Rose Jay Kerner, president of KMI Real Estate Group in Woodland Hills, already has all the tenants he needs for a shopping center he is developing in Tarzana. What he doesn’t have is a name for the center. The mall, at Reseda and Ventura boulevards, sits along a stretch of Tarzana that is chockablock with shopping complexes. And all the obvious names Tarzana Square, Plaza, Village, etc. are taken. That’s left Kerner, who is less than two months away from opening the new center, calling it “The Tarzana Project.” Kerner says he thinks he’s closing in on some possibilities. Stay tuned. Taxing Matters Who says students don’t get real-life business experience? A group of students at Cal State Northridge has set up a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program for local residents who can’t afford professional help with their taxes. About 300 CSUN students participate in the program, which runs through April 15. They receive training to deal with common tax problems. But the students draw the line at preparing estimated taxes, business-related returns, returns for non-residents and filing extensions. The students, accounting majors at the school, don’t get extra credit or pay for their efforts, but they do get the chance to practice first-hand what they have learned. “You get to meet some very interesting people and know that you are helping them,” said Greg Wible, a 34-year-old accounting major from Sunland. “Plus, you can put it on your resume. But that’s not why most of us do it. You’re doing something for the community and you get a real-world application of what you are learning in the classroom.” Calculated Move Watching the movie industry is often like studying the Kremlin during the height of the Cold War. Every little move, though seemingly minor, might precede a major change in leadership. Witness this recent development: Terry Curtain, who headed movie publicity at Walt Disney Co., moved over to Universal Studios Inc. just as her contract was coming up for renewal at the Mouse House. Sources say Curtain made her decision after being tipped not to link her future to that of her boss, Joe Roth, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, who is said to be considering his own future. Curtain moved on. Will Roth be far behind? Only his comrades know for sure.

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