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Saturday, Dec 2, 2023


Following a Paper Trail How many times have you found yourself roaming Ventura Boulevard in search of a business, but all you have is its name and not its street number? Has a Tarzana company got a deal for you. Come November, rather than searching through the Yellow Pages or dialing 4-1-1, you can unroll a 17-foot map of the Valley’s most famous boulevard. The map runs, like the street, from Woodland Hills east to Studio City, with a listing of every single retail business. If you thought a Thomas Guide was a nuisance, try looking up crossroads on this thing in your car while driving. The map’s publisher, Ron Arnone, admits it isn’t exactly the most functional navigation tool. “We’re going to have contests for who uses it most creatively and what to do with it,” he said. The Ventura Boulevard map is the company’s first, but there are already plans for a similar map of the Sunset Strip, the Las Vegas Strip and Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. But Arnone promises none will surpass Ventura in length, which Shop Ventura Boulevard (the map’s name), proclaims as the world’s longest shopping center. That’s Just Cricket Forget the entertainment industry, the weather, or the budding high-tech and biomedical industries. If business boosters are searching for a real hook to promote the San Fernando Valley, they need look no further than cricket. Most of last week and into the weekend, Woodley Avenue Park in Van Nuys was the scene of the first international cricket match broadcast live from North America. It turns out good old Woodley has the only professional-quality, really jolly good cricket field in North America. Top players from Australia and India squared off for a made-for-TV competition. David Sentance, a spokesman for the Southern California Cricket Association, said the event brought the Valley and L.A. tremendous exposure before millions of World-Tel viewers in the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan and the Middle East. Event sponsors hope to make professional cricket an annual event at Woodley. That’s got to be good news to the Airtel Plaza Hotel and Convention Center, which provided lodging for 125 players and cricket officials. “It meant big bucks for the Airtel,” said hotel spokesman Jack McGrath. “I’ve never seen so many Aussies and Indians.” ‘Nightmare’ at Disneyland A public relations snafu has pitted the “Happiest Place on Earth” against a buttoned-down bank and guess who’s not so happy anymore? Walt Disney Co. officials are upset that Union Bank released information about a banking center for children planned at Disneyland. The branch reportedly will feature pint-sized teller windows and ATM cards for kiddie consumers who might run a little short of cash while tripping around Tomorrowland. After the story broke, Disneyland was deluged with calls from reporters and parents eager to learn more details. Trouble is, the plan is still a work in progress. The result has been a “P.R. nightmare,” said Union Bank spokeswoman Sharon Woodson-Bryant. Now, bank officials will only say that ideas are being considered to make the branch more appealing to children. Disney isn’t commenting. “Our hands are tied,” a Disney spokesman said. Missive From Murdoch Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch has never fully explained why he put his Los Angeles mansion up for sale and left for New York. But as part of an interview in the current issue of Vanity Fair, the head of News Corp. does give readers a hint while briefly discussing his divorce last year from wife Anna. It seems that the owner of 20th Century Fox and the L.A. Dodgers felt out of touch while living in the nation’s second-biggest city. “I’ve got nothing against Los Angeles, except that working from there all the time I felt a bit frustrated and worried that I was losing day-to-day contacts and control of the company,” Murdoch said. He even lays some of the blame for his divorce on the situation: “I was traveling a lot and very obsessed with business and perhaps more than normally inconsiderate,” he said. Show Me the Money Companies have been trying to sell them cereal, toys and clothing for years, so the folks at Cal State Northridge have decided it’s about time someone helped kids to manage their buying urges. Allen Martin, director of the school’s Consumer Resource Center, has joined with a number of other groups to form the California JumpStart Coalition, an effort to help get children aged 5 to 18 educated in managing their money. The coalition, which includes representatives from Junior Achievement, the California Council of Economic Educators, the Federal Reserve Bank, California Society of CPAs, the Consumer Credit Counseling Service and others, wants to encourage legislation that will make personal finance a required high school subject. CSUN’s Martin, a family environmental sciences professor who also provides financial counseling to students, said he encounters a large number of students who are struggling to pay off credit cards or meet payments for expensive cars. “We need to start teaching the importance of delayed gratification,” said Martin. “If you make $20,000 a year, you should not be driving a $30,000 car.”

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