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Ear Candy

Looks like The Candy Factory in North Hollywood is trying to bite a profit out of the infamous ear-biting incident between Evander Holyfield and the ravenous Mike Tyson.

The store is making and selling chocolate ears with teeth marks, called “Earvander-Tyson Bites.”

The store’s owner, Frank Sheftel, said he got the idea after watching the fight. His candy store, he said, has dozens of molds, including ear molds.

“If he had bit his nose, I would have made bitten noses,” said Sheftel. “They’re really popular.”

Apparently Holyfield didn’t think they were too funny. Sheftel said he received a cease and desist letter last week from Holyfield’s lawyers, demanding he hand over the profits and stop making the bitten body parts.

“What is the big deal?” asked Sheftel. “We’re just having fun.”

Sheldon on Success

Sidney Sheldon, whose sizzling novels include “The Other Side of Midnight,” “Bloodline” and “Rage of Angels,” has sold 275 million copies of his potboilers easily outselling Faulkner, Fitzgerald and Hemingway. He’s even in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world’s most translated author with 51 languages in some 200 countries.

“I am not surprised that I have sold 275 million copies of my books,” Sheldon told a crowd of admirers at a party at the Beverly Hills Hotel for his latest tome, “The Best Laid Plans.” “I am surprised I sold one book.”

So what is the key to outselling the Great American Novelists? “My characters,” Sheldon said. “They are very real to me and they are very real to my readers.”

Virtual Failure

So here’s the idea: A store when you can go to shop online for goods over the Internet. That was the concept behind Virtual Emporium, which had an outlet on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade.

Only problem is, why would anyone want to go to a store to shop online, when they can do so at home?

Good question, it seems. The store, which had been in business for a year, closed its literal doors Sept. 8.

The virtual doors remain open. A phone message at the company’s Santa Monica headquarters invites shoppers to browse and buy at its www.virtualemporium.com Web site.

Port Mystery

City government and shipping industry sources remain remarkably tight-lipped about the identities of the three finalists for the position of L.A. port director which seems something of a feat, especially considering the leak-fest that characterized the search for a new police chief.

But rumors around town have it that one of the triumvirate is Lee Harrington, who has been president of the Economic Development Corp. of L.A. County since leaving his position as senior vice president at the Southern California Gas Co. in 1995. Interim port director Larry Keller also is widely considered a front-runner. As for the identity of the third candidate, no one’s talking. At least not yet.

It Beats Metropolis

In taking the reins of the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power last week, David Freeman assumed command of the storied agency that made it possible for L.A. to become a metropolis by taking the Owens Valley’s water.

But some of the old bitterness by Owens Valley ranchers appears to be easing a bit with time. Or at least, here’s how Freeman quoted one Owens Valley rancher:

“You know, I’m glad those folks took that water,” the rancher said. “If they hadn’t taken that water to L.A., then all those people in L.A. would be up here in subdivisions. It would ruin my view and we would have all that crime and drugs up here. Now they’ve got it and they can have it.”

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