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When two dozen of Manhattan's best restaurants were cited recently for city health violations minor or major, some owners erupted indignantly, some shrugged, and Four Seasons co-owner Julian Niccolini sent a toy remote controlled mouse scurrying around the Grill Room's floor.

Premiere beefing up its ad sales team. Dan Ragone joins as fashion & fragrance manager and John Nicastro comes in to sell to consumer electronics/tech category.

This can't hurt. In the struggle to revive Esquire, they've sold an 84-page special ad section in the February issue devoted entirely to Italian fashion and the big semiannual men's wear show in Florence. Ah, Florence, the Ponte Vecchio, the Pitti Palace, the River Arno.

Got my invitation to the March 3 black-tie gala at Radio City Music Hall celebrating 75 years of Time. The president and just about every famous American will be there, we're invited afterwards for dancing on the stage, and Walter Isaacson and Bruce Hallett will host. My patent leather dancing pumps are out already.

Gib Chapman sends along the prototype and info on SportsBusiness, the Street & Smith national weekly to debut in April out of Charlotte, N.C. Gib's ad director with sales offices at 342 Madison Ave. Be warned, if you call him at (212)-880-6715, he'll try to sell you an ad.

Ted Shumeyko, my house expert on manmade fibers, says there's a big growth potential in polypropylene, the stuff once restricted to carpet backing but now going mainstream in apparel, hosiery, disposable diapers, automotive. Says Ted, could mean big ad bucks if the producers, Amoco, Du Pont, Hoechst et al "ever promote the fiber a la polyester."

Forbes Inc. promoted Bruce H. Rogers to VP-marketing communications.

If you're a Garbo fan, the place to be Feb. 27-28 is the John Harms Center for the Arts, Englewood, N.J. where they'll show the Garbo-John Gilbert silent classic "Flesh & the Devil," with music by the New Jersey Youth Symphony.

Longtime financial editor for Women's Wear Daily Sid Rutberg retired.

Town & Country promoted ad director David Arnold to associate publisher under Molly Schaefer.

David Carey reports "the new babies are doing great at home." Also that his House & Garden opened "year two" of its renaissance with February pages way up (49%) over February a year ago.

Just back from Key Largo (the island, not the flick) is Conde Nast's Steve Florio, who hosted their publisher's meeting at which not one but two people shared the company's "publisher of the year" honors. Mary Berner of Glamour and Richard "Mad Dog" Beckman of GQ showed ad page gains of nearly 16% over 1996. Other attending publishers were flogged.

Self's Editor Rochelle Udell, who's done everything from those Brooke Shields ads for Calvin Klein to art directing Vogue, was the cocktail & conversation speaker at last week's N.Y. Women in Communications session.

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