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You Go, Van Gogh

Last week's decision by the Los Angeles County Museum to extend its much-publicized Van Gogh exhibit for another six weeks met little opposition from the owner of the paintings the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam which will now have more time to finish its renovation project.

"It will now make construction (of the Dutch museum) more convenient," said Adam Coyne, a spokesman for LACMA.

It's not only more convenient for the Amsterdam museum, it represents a potential windfall for LACMA. Museum officials initially anticipated 600,000 visitors during the original 11-week run that had been scheduled to end April 4, but now expect nearly 1 million. LACMA is charging $20 for weekend tickets, the highest price ever charged by a U.S. museum for an exhibit. Weekday prices are $17.50.

LACMA officials don't want scalpers to benefit from all the demand for tickets. In Washington, D.C., scalpers are currently getting $125 a ticket.

The tour of Van Gogh's masterpieces, some 70 of them, was made possible by the renovation of the Dutch museum, which is currently on schedule.

Sports Smarts

Los Angeles may still be without an NFL football team, but there is one thing the city has when it comes to pro sports: brains.

In fact, two of the six smartest people in professional sports, according to last week's Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal, call L.A. their home. One is Chase Carey, co-chief operating officer of new Dodgers owner News Corp. and chairman of Fox Television, who was cited for his corporate and television strategies. The other is Tim Leiweke, president of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team and Staples Center sports arena, whose savvy in marketing and facilities was noted.

Now if we just had someone who was cited for his or her ability to bring an NFL expansion team to the second-largest media market in the country

Candy Concerns

The chief executive of See's Candy Shops Inc doesn't want you to be concerned just because L.A. County health officials shut down the company's kitchen east of Culver City for two days last month for a cockroach infestation.

Charles Huggins said the facility, which is an auxiliary to See's main kitchen near its South San Francisco headquarters, was in a post-Christmas shut down, and no candies were being made or packaged when the problem was discovered.

In addition, Huggins said the "infestation'' involved a single cockroach. But Arthur Tilzer, director of consumer protection for the county Health Services Department, said "numerous" cockroaches were found.

"The facts are that in Southern California, the problem of an occasional cockroach is an ongoing one," Huggins said. "That's not to excuse it. This is one of those things that can happen in the best-run organizations."

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