Developers Club With its penchant for fighting new mini-malls and preserving old car washes, the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association has gained a reputation over the years for being tough on developers. But the atmosphere was downright clubby last month when developers took center-stage for the group’s monthly meeting. Robert and Dan Selleck talked about their plans to convert the GM plant in Van Nuys into a bustling retail and entertainment center that will employ 2,000 people. Paul Jennings described his company’s plans to renovate the Oakwood Apartments, a local eyesore ever since the Northridge earthquake rendered it uninhabitable. And Jay Belson, owner of ReMax On the Boulevard, pointed out that business is so brisk about 25 percent of homes on the market in the area are attracting multiple offers. One developer, however, might have faced some tougher questions Dan Emmett, whose company owns the Sherman Oaks Galleria. Sherman Oaks homeowners have resisted efforts to beef up the mall’s entertainment component considered crucial to any mall’s success these days but didn’t get a chance to grill Emmett. Although originally scheduled to appear at the meeting, aides said Emmett had to cancel to tend to business out of town. There Goes the Neighborhood There was no welcoming committee in Sherman Oaks for Circus of Books, a book store that opened on Ventura Boulevard late last year. Owner Barry Mason was required to close down a large section of the store because it was devoted to adult books and other novelties. It turns out that the sale of such materials is not permitted within 500 feet of a school, religious institution or residence, and Circus of Books is within that radius. Mason owns two other stores, one in Silver Lake and one in West Hollywood, and each is stocked to target the apparent preferences of the neighborhood, he said. The front of the Sherman Oaks store is stocked with art books and other, more conventional fare, but Mason said in the short time the store had been open, it was becoming evident that the adult section was quite popular. “We don’t necessarily agree with why people like it,” Mason said, “but they do.” That’s in sharp contrast to, say, the Silver Lake store, Mason said. “In Silver Lake, we have six coolers with pop and snacks and less books because people there don’t seem to read as much.” World Wide Bride It’s not quite as convenient as a Las Vegas wedding, but engaged couples may be able to simplify their life by hitting WeddingChannel’s new online gift registry. On March 11, the Pasadena-based company is kicking off this new, free service that promises to make the wedding gift ordeal virtually painless for friends and family. Couples can create their own Web page to list their entire registry, complete with pictures of the items and a running count on what has already been purchased. A click of the button and a credit card number will have the gift winging its way to the happy couple. A spokesperson for the company said that the online registry is comprehensive, ranging from wedding staples like Lenox china to food processors and power drills. The registry is just the latest addition to the WeddingChannel’s online resources, which includes everything from honeymoon travel arrangements to a best man’s to-do list. However, the spokesperson was unable to say if the company would offer online couples therapy for those that argue over the china pattern. Birds of a Feather If you think the only danger in starting a new venture is the financial risk, read on. Since he signed on with International Ostrich Corp. in Acton, chief financial officer Steven DiPressi has been challenged and chased by ostriches. He’s even broken his wrist twice. IOC raises ostriches for processing and distribution, and apparently, the eight-foot-tall, 400-pound birds spook easily. Take, for instance, the day DiPressi was making the rounds collecting ostrich eggs. He stepped into the pen of a particularly protective mother ostrich and she made a run for him. DiPressi broke his wrist trying to make his getaway. Another scuffle occurred when a female ostrich escaped. Four of the IOC staffers, DiPressi included, chased it down a hill, but not before DiPressi fell, breaking his wrist again. Meanwhile, the bird battered her legs and “we had to swim her back to health,” DiPressi said. “It took about eleven days of water therapy four hours a day in a pool before the bird recovered. No word on whether the bird’s or DiPressi’s injuries were covered by Workmen’s Compensation. Going for a Spin There’s a new ride opening up this spring at Magic Mountain called “The Riddler”s Revenge,” which Magic Mountain officials tout as the world’s tallest, fastest, standup roller coaster. The Riddler’s Revenge, they say, will send riders in a standup position racing at 65 miles per hour over one mile of twisting and looping green steel track. The three-minute ride starts with a 156-foot climb and then goes into a 124-foot-tall vertical loop. Before riders return to the gate, they will have been turned head-over-heel six times.