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From Levy’s to Sanger Harris to Foley’s to . . .


Come February, the Foley’s department store name will be history here.

Foley’s parent, St. Louis-based May Department Stores, is converting the Foley’s stores in El Con Mall and Tucson Mall to Robinsons-May stores.

They will be part of another one of the eight regional department store chains owned by May Department Stores.

Except for the new name, the conversion will be transparent to Tucson shoppers and local Foley’s workers, says Robinsons-May spokesman Jim Watterson.

The merchandise lines will stay the same, and Tucson Foley’s workers will become RobinsonsMay workers, with no change in salary or benefits, Watterson says.

The change was more or less dictated by geography, according to Watterson.

Foley’s is based in Houston, and the two Tucson stores are the only ones the company has in Arizona.

Robinsons-May, based in North Hollywood, Calif., has six stores in the Phoenix area.

”Basically, it allows all our Arizona stores to be under a single trade name,” Watterson says. ”And Tucson is roughly twice as far from Houston as it is from L.A.”

The changeover is set for Feb. 2 to coincide with the start of the Robinsons-May fiscal year.

Never mind.

Earlier this year, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus bypassed Tucson for the first time since 1988, protesting a 75-cent ticket surcharge sought by the Tucson Convention Center.

The company has reserved the TCC for an ice show for next fall and another in the spring of 1998.

It also has begun discussions with the TCC to bring back the circus in 1998.

”They are aware that the user fee hasn’t gone away,” said Daniel Huerta, head of the TCC.

Maybe they found the 75-cent surcharge, which is used for capital improvements and equipment for the convention center, is not such a bad deal.

After all, for years Madison Square Garden in New York City has received a percentage of the revenue from the sale of circus novelty items.

When the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus tried to renegotiate that deal and were rebuffed, it cut short its nine-week run.

Let’s tongoneo.

Seductive hip movements timed to a catchy Latin beat have boosted business for a local disc jockey.

The dance is called the tongoneo. It’s a hip-swaying, pelvis-thrusting Latin dance, originated by Mestizzo, a Mexican pop-rock group.

”It’s helped our business in different ways,” said Robert Deyoe, president of Desert DJs. ”This dance should take over the macarena, and we are the only company, I believe, that teaches it.”

And it didn’t hurt when one of Deyoe’s employees, Jennifer Payne, won first place in the ”Best Interactive Dance” doing the tongoneo at the 1996 International DJ Expo in Atlantic City, N.J., this summer.

That kind of exposure reflected well on Desert DJs, Deyoe said.

”We get more requests for her and also from other companies nationwide wanting to talk to us,” he said. ”It helps just getting your name out.”

The dance is already big in Miami and parts of Texas and can be seen at some bars here, Deyoe said.

But, you’re a girl.

The EV1, General Motors’ electric car, raised a lot of eyebrows when some of the first cars were delivered in Tucson last week.

However, a number of people already had seen it tooling around local streets.

Lisa Thomas, GM’s EV1 specialist in Tucson, has been driving an EV1 to work for the past month.

The car looks different enough to attract interest. Most people politely asked questions about the tiny two-seater.

However, one man, who apparently still does not ”get it,” called out to her, ”Hey, what does your husband do that you can afford a car like that?”

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