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It Used to Be Greater

It’s official. The Greater Los Angeles Visitors and Convention Bureau is now the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

What does all this mean? Not too much, as it turns out. The title was changed to be more consistent with other bureaus, the nonprofit tourism and convention promoter noted.

“The name change does not reflect any change in marketing thrust or decreased interest in promoting and serving members outside the Los Angeles city limits,” President Bill F. Miller said.

Because a new logo is in the works, the bureau has yet to spring for new stationery, business cards and the like. Staffers are making do with the old stuff or are executing their own redesign with a ballpoint pen.

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Pain and Gain for Soviets

First they agree to dismantle missiles. Then they talk about withdrawing troops from Europe. And now the Soviets are eager to study aerobics?

It’s true. In a nation where for years the only people to “feel the burn” were dissident authors as they watched their works go up in the smoke, there is now talk--thanks to glasnost, Reebok and two Los Angeles promoters--of a drive to make aerobics the national participatory sport. Only two months ago, the Soviets were first exposed to aerobics with a tour by the Reebok National Aerobic Champions, a U.S. team organized by Karen and Howard Schwartz of Los Angeles, inventors in 1983 of competitive aerobics.

This week, a Soviet team selected and trained by the Schwartzes is in town--signing up as the 10th member of the International Competitive Aerobic Federation and, not incidentally, generating publicity for Reeboks (which aren’t for sale in the U.S.S.R.). When the team returns home, Howard Schwartz says, Soviet officials expect them to train aerobic instructors from Riga to Vladivostok, in hopes of whipping the nation’s couch pirogi into shape.

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Casey Is Still at Bat

Casey Stengel has been dead for 14 years, but he’s still pinch-hitting for a pinstriped team in Glendale.

Valley National Bank, a Glendale-based bank that the colorful baseball manager and relatives founded in 1957, is running local newspaper advertisements that feature Stengel’s picture to draw attention to the bank.

Valley National recently hired an ad agency that “thought it might be a good idea” to highlight the bank’s connection with Stengel, especially during the baseball season, said bank President Joseph H. Valentine.

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Stengel, whose full name was Charles Dillon Stengel, managed the New York Yankees to 10 pennants and seven world titles between 1949 and 1960.

Was Stengel’s estate paid a royalty for the ad? Declining to take a full swing at the question, Valentine said a “token amount” likely was offered, but that the estate “probably waived the fee.”


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