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The way God is treating California, you'd think it was Sodom and, like, Gomorrah out there.

With a major new flick coming out about national hero Rob Roy Magregor, the Scottish Tourist Board is mounting a big promotion. They've signed New York's Lou Hammond & Associates to handle PR and marketing communications.

Promoted at the Daily News in New York, Ira Ellenthal to associate publisher and president and Ad Director Les Goodstein also becomes exec VP. Mort must think they're doing something right.

Wonderful piece in the March GQ by Alan Richman about all those "Harry's Bars" proliferating around Europe. But at the Paris branch of Harry's (you know, 5 rue Daunou, where millions of American college boys have paused for a libation), Alan refers to a Duncan MacElhone as "son" of the founder, Harry MacElhone, who opened the joint in 1911. Is this new fellow perhaps the grandson of the old man? In my time Andy was Harry's son and he was already 40 or so.

Advertising VP for react, the new Parade mag spinoff for youngsters, is Riva "Bunny" Fensterheim, formerly with the Parenting Group as group associate publisher.

At US magazine, first quarter ad pages were 31% ahead of the period a year ago. And in January newsstand sales topped 700,000 (it was a special yearbook issue), which is a circulation high since Wenner Media took it over in '89.

Benito Vila joined Bonnell Design Associates in NY as marketing director.

If you have access to the Nashville Banner, catch those op-ed page columns by Ruth Ann Leach. Solid stuff. Especially her recent column on the Scopes Monkey Trial. About which Ms. Leach remarks, "It is great to work for a paper that has its own file photo of the Scopes Trial!" Which they did.

Design maven Roger Black is so important they now name seminars after him, as happened in Johannesburg earlier this month, where they held a daylong media design conference, "The Roger Black Seminar."

Speaking of which, Child magazine was honored by the Society of Publication Designers in their 30th annual competition.

PR great and fashion industry insider Rosemary Sheehan was in for open heart surgery at New York Hospital. Last month her daughter Kathleen Mulcahy had a son, making Rosemary a grandmother for the first time.

Norman Snider of Largo, Fla., writes demanding an updated photo atop this column, noting (quite rightly) that my face is taking on a Dorian Gray-quality. Though not, says Mr. Snider, "as bad as the silly ingenue photo they print in the Ann Landers column."

Interesting idea. Now Cosmopolitan magazine has its own mail order catalog. They announced it in December but the first copies just went out to catalog shoppers and Cosmo subscribers. Hearst and the TJX Cos. are partners in the venture.

American Legion Admen's Post 209 plans a June 14 lunch (that's Flag Day) at Tavern on the Green in Manhattan.

You know the counterrevolution was a success when Architectural Digest "visits" the home of Czech writer and patriot Vaclav Havel, which it does in the April issue.

If you're a snowboarder, November can't come quickly enough. That's when Snowboard Life magazine will debut from Times Mirror Magazines in partnership with Imprimatur Inc.

Or are you a lightning fan? The Weather Channel's latest documentary, "Sky on Fire," is all about lightning strikes and such, including interviews with victims. I am assured the show isn't maudlin.

Are there any barriers that can't be surmounted? The American Foundation for the Blind tells me that in June a young man blind from age 13, Erik Weihenmayer, an English teacher and wrestling coach in Phoenix, will be part of a five-man team attempting to climb Mount McKinley, tallest mountain in North America.

Fortune magazine, which has been making some interesting editorial shifts, promoted Richard I. Kirkland and Peter Petre to assistant MEs.

Hunter Millington (and isn't that a name right out of the Yale Club?) is the new VP-advertising for Cigar Aficionado magazine.

Nifty piece on Elle Decor Editor Marian McEvoy in The New York Observer by Billy Norwich, who echoes previous rumors (unconfirmed) Marian might be tapped by Conde Nast to edit the relaunched House & Garden.

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