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VALLEY NEWSWATCH

October 28, 1994|Michael Arkush and David Brady

SMALL AND BIG: The Valley is a prime place for small companies to do big business. According to Forbes Magazine, four of the 200 best small companies in America are headquartered here--Xircom (27) and On Assignment (36) in Calabasas, Authentic Fitness Corp. (184) in Van Nuys and Leslie's Poolmart (188) in Chatsworth. . . . Sales over the last year must be between $5 million and $350 million to make the list.

SANFORD WHO?: Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg grabbed most of the headlines at Disney this summer, but it was Sanford Litvack who emerged as one of the company's most powerful executives. Litvack (D1) took over many of the duties of Disney President Frank Wells, who died in a helicopter crash in April. . . . But Litvack, 58, isn't seen as a likely heir to Eisner's throne.

BEST FOOD: From pasta at Posto, above, with chef Octavio Becerra in Sherman Oaks, to chicken at Cha Cha Cha in Encino, critic Max Jacobson compiles his third annual list of the Valley's top 20 restaurants (Valley Life! Page 10). . . . This year's offerings are more eclectic than ever, with not one but two Chinese restaurants and more great Italian food.

HALLOWEEN: Costume parties, carnivals and ghost stories--this should be a pretty terrifying weekend in the Valley, and you're all invited. . . . Among the options: a Dead Authors party in Van Nuys and a haunted house in Northridge. The most complete list anywhere is in Valley Life! (Page 12).

MORE HALLOWEEN: Haunted houses are no hoax, according to author Richard L. Senate. Senate, who wrote "The Haunted Southland," speaks tonight at 7 at Pierce College. . . . In his book, Senate identifies several Valley sites and offers tips for amateur ghost hunters. "Be wary of drops in temperature," he writes. "The air feels cooler just before the materialization of a spirit." Information: (818) 719-6425.

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