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Hogwash From Disney

They’re puzzled in Pacoimaland.

In commercials promoting “State Fair at Disneyland,” the Magic Kingdom promises visitors pig races featuring “the fastest pigs this side of Pacoima.” That’s news to folks who live in the small, mostly residential section in the northeast San Fernando Valley.

“If there is a pig here, it must be hiding somewhere. I have never seen a pig in Pacoima. People have been coming up to me and asking why they picked Pacoima,” said a baffled Marie Harris, a longtime Pacoima booster who serves as executive director of a property owners group there.

Could Disneyland have confused Pacoima with Pomona, where pig races are featured each year at the Los Angeles County Fair? Disneyland spokesman Bob Roth denied it. He said Pacoima’s selection was arbitrary.

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Sounded Like a Good Idea

Bankers from across the country who came to San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado last week for the annual Consumer Bankers Assn. convention heard an innovative solution to the crisis in the savings and loan industry from author Martin Mayer.

Mayer acknowledged that he’d already suggested to thrift regulators that the United States give Texas--where the worst S&Ls; are concentrated--back to Mexico.

“This idea was rejected out of hand, partly for sheer lack of imagination and partly because, as someone pointed out, Texas alone wouldn’t solve the problem. You’d have to give back California, too, and that’s too steep a price.”

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From Insider to Outsider

Theodore M. Black is an outside director, all right. When Harcourt Brace Jovanovich held its annual meeting at Sea World in San Diego last week, HBJ board member Black found himself locked out.

Along with a handful of shareholders who arrived at the meeting room just minutes after the 10 a.m. starting time, Black--president of the Walter J. Black Inc. publishing firm of Roslyn, N.Y., and an HBJ board member since 1981--had to plead with security guards to get in.

“But you have to let me in,” protested Black, who had flown to fog-enveloped San Diego for the meeting. “I’m a director.” Black’s plea, which was relayed via walkie-talkie, eventually worked.

It took a bit longer for several shareholders, including Sally Overstreet, who represented Beverly Hills-based Columbia Federal S&L.; “We invest in this company,” Overstreet told the guards. “It’s in my portfolio.”

Take a Room, Get a Trip

Just how competitive has the bid to fill hotel rooms become in the overbuilt Los Angeles International Airport area?

Very. And the latest giveaway at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton & Towers is proof positive that it’s getting mighty tough to fill hotel rooms by LAX. In an unusual promotion, the hotel is giving way free round-trip tickets on United Airlines from Los Angeles to Honolulu for executives who stay five nights in its $140-per-night Tower rooms, or seven nights in its $125-per-night rooms in the main building. Executives can substitute up to four free nights at Hilton hotels in Hawaii for the plane tickets.

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“I’ve got a lot of rooms to fill,” explained John Elford, general manager of the hotel. To be precise, 1,300 rooms. But Elford is keeping tight-lipped about how many trips the hotel has given away during promotion, which began in June and ends in October, 1989. Nor will he discuss room occupancy figures. But hotel industry analysts say that room occupancy in the airport area has generally dipped well below 70%.

Currying Favor in Japan

Since the 1970s, Lelit Pant has been busy making Indian food palatable to the Japanese. Now, he’s introducing his Japanese-style Indian food here.

In 1973, Pant helped his Indian employer open its first restaurant in Kobe. Today, Yugen Kaisha Himalaya, a Japanese company owned by Indians, operates 10 restaurants in Kobe, Osaka, Kyoto and Yokohama.

“There were no Indian restaurants at all. We had to adjust to the Japanese taste,” which meant cooking with less oil and chiles, he said. “I had to get people who never eat any spicy food to like it.”

The company followed its Japanese customers to the United States and opened Nawab of India in Santa Monica last month. Pant said many of his customers here are Japanese tourists who say they learned about his new restaurant from advertising pamphlets they read while chowing down on his curry in Japan.


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