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The Name Game

Sepulveda veiled itself behind a new name, North Hills. A chunk of Van Nuys defected to Sherman Oaks. West Hills burst, like the monster in the film “Alien,” from the stomach of Canoga Park.

It’s a matter of perception, you see. These neighborhoods were suffering from nearby urban blight. So they went for the quick fix, playing a new version of the old huckster’s shell game.

Now everyone can get in on the fun.

Enter the “Rename the Valley” contest and give our homeland an image. Outsiders think of us as a conglomeration of strip malls, nail parlors and smog--which isn’t too far off the mark. But you can change that. Maybe.

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Pick a name, any name. Don’t feel you have to be historically or geographically accurate. The new moniker can be pretentious, such as “Inland Grove,” or just plain silly, such as “San Fernando Lamas.”

The best 20 entries will receive a gift from The Times and will be printed in Valley View on Jan. 2.

Call the “Rename the Valley” hot line at (818) 772-3301, or send your entry to “Rename the Valley,” Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St . , Chatsworth 91311. Please include your name, address and telephone number so we can send you a prize if you win. The deadline is Dec. 26. Enter as many times as you like.


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