Stories for December 1998

Tuesday, December 29

Insurance

Declining profits for health maintenance organizations and tighter regulation of the industry have spurred predictions of higher health insurance rates from HMOs in 1998.

Investment

While the feverish pace of consolidation and initial public offerings is not expected to ease significantly, it could become more selective due to the instability facing financial markets.

Dreamworks

The much-heralded film arm of the studio founded by Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg has now released three films, none of which looks to be the kind of box-office smash some people in Hollywood had expected.

Immigrants

When she arrived in Los Angeles from South Korea at the age of 18, Sabrina Kay spoke no English but she had plenty of ambition.

Monday, December 28

Forum add

I want to give up eating fatty foods. And I want to promise that I won't give in to road rage when I signal and the cars behind me speed up so as not to let me in. I resolve if one more person honks at me, I am going to move to Boulder, Colorado.

History

40 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Lots of records were set: The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 1958 at an all-time high of 583.65 L.A. bank debits set a new annual record, reaching $72.9 billion in 1958, compared to $70.6 billion for the previous year Califor

CSC

By capturing the much-coveted Internal Revenue Service computer modernization contract, with a value of between $3 billion to $7 billion, El Segundo-based Computer Sciences Corp did the corporate equivalent of hitting a ball clear out of the park.

Featured Newsmaker

Walt Disney Co. has big plans for Anaheim. While it won't actually become one giant Disney resort, hundreds of millions of dollars will be invested by the city and the company to make Anaheim more Disneyfied than it already is.

Noho

A plan by redevelopment officials to create an urban village in North Hollywood featuring artist's lofts, restaurants and stores has sparked the interest of a dozen developers, including a large Atlanta-based real estate investment trust.

Rose

As millions of groggy Americans turn on their televisions to the 110th Rose Parade on the morning of Jan. 1, they likely will see the same whimsical floral floats, rousing marching bands and trotting horses that have made the event a national tradition.

Secede

Until now, San Fernando Valley secession has been a topic largely confined to a core of local activists north of Mulholland Drive. Most of the rest of the city has largely ignored the issue.

Newman

He may not be a big name outside local real estate circles yet but Newman is quietly making a huge imprint on L.A.

Latino

For the first time in state history, Latinos will represent nearly 20 percent of the state Legislature, with 17 in the Assembly and seven in the Senate. Last session, there were 13 in the Assembly and four in the Senate. Beyond the increased numbers, they

Riordan

For Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, 1999 is shaping up as the make-or-break year. Several of the initiatives he's been pursuing for years are coming to a head: school reform, charter reform, a revamp of the city's business-tax structure and expansion o

Persfi

Credit cards are hitting the lowest interest rates they've charged in years. That's great news for holiday shoppers, who threw around plastic this year as if they were millionaires.

Newsmakers

Emily Field has been promoted to account supervisor at DDB Needham Los Angeles. She joined the agency as a senior account executive in 1996. Previously, Field was an account executive at Campbell-Ewald.

Charter

In the coming months, Angelenos are likely to be told that L.A.'s very future rests on overhauling the city charter. But while charter reform is shaping up as the political battle of 1999, it will be far from the panacea that some of its proponents once s

TV

Back in the Paleolithic era of broadcasting when it meant only radio the networks were all headquartered in midtown Manhattan. It was where radio began and television evolved.

Margin

Almost two years ago the Business Journal published a special report on "25 Ways to Make L.A. Grow." It included ideas on fostering both the economy and the community at large covering such items as L.A.'s image, charter reform, an expanded LAX, a more

Review

In spite of pessimistic predictions, Asia's financial crisis had little effect on the local economy. A glut of cheap imports, the result of weak Asian currencies, kept local distributors working overtime.

DNC

L.A.'s bid for the 2000 Democratic National Convention, which reportedly hit a snag earlier this month over concerns about private funding, now appears back on track.

Aerospace

The future of L.A.'s aerospace industry won't be as glamorous as it was in the days when aircraft assembly lines dominated the area. Instead, it will depend on the region's large base of subcontractors.

Kotkin

The best thing about 1999: It's the last year in a generally horrific decade for Los Angeles. After nearly a century of gradually building momentum, Los Angeles finally had a really bad decade, losing more than it gained.

Labor

After years of unrelenting decline, organized labor is flexing its muscles and achieving impressive results. Labor pushed the state's first and largest living wage ordinance through the L.A. City Council last year, defeated Proposition 226 on the this yea

Multimedia

That's what local boosters are projecting over the next few years and even now, L.A. hosts a thriving new-media start-up scene, with creative ideas stampeding out of the proverbial garages across town. This is especially true in the exploding arena of e

Overview

With 1999 only days away and a new millennium just around the corner, Los Angeles truly is a city on the verge.

Downtown

What will it take to turn around downtown Los Angeles? A sports arena? Cathedral? More housing?

Digest

A reluctant L.A. County Board of Supervisors agreed to pay Unisys $20 million to make up for losses the company incurred while revamping the county welfare office's computer system.

Healtcare

Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. For health care consumers, that old saw will become painfully true in the years ahead. The pain won't be physical, however, it will be financial.

Growth

Impeaching a president won't do it nor will bombing raids in Iraq, global financial scares, stock market gyrations, billion-dollar hedge fund bailouts, lower corporate earnings or worries about deflationary prices.

Edit

1999 will be will be more than just a prequel for the 21st century. It will be an opportunity for real, positive change in Los Angeles. Here are some of our wishes for the new year:

Forum

It's that time of year again: we all have a chance to reinvent ourselves with the coming of a new year. Some make resolutions to improve their business, some make resolutions to improve their personal lives and some actually keep their resolutions for m

Lastories

During a break in the jury room, the author launched into a sales pitch to his fellow jurors, hawking his newly published gourmet wine and food cookbook.

Boeing

After World War II, the construction of airplanes, both commercial and military, helped drive the growth of Los Angeles, giving many war veterans their first jobs jobs that in some cases lasted them until their retirement.

Company Index

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Trade

Asia, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the exports leaving the L.A. Customs District, remains in the midst of a deep recession. With overseas demand down, local exporters of aerospace equipment, electronics, office equipment and business service

WSW

If there is such a thing as an L.A. securities lawyer who carries a lunch pail, then it must be Leib Orlanski, the tireless, nut-and-bolts partner at Beverly Hills-based Freshman Marantz Orlanski Cooper & Klein.;

People

A sometime songwriter and producer, Bronfman is a man desperate to revive his trophy movie studio, Universal Studios Inc.

Green

When Leonard Green & Partners closes its $1.25 billion fund next month, it will become the best-capitalized leverage buyout firm in Los Angeles.

Satellite

It's attracted a whopping two-thirds of all new multi-channel subscribers over the last year, eroding cable's market share in the process, according to a recent Federal Communications Commission report. Moreover, satellite TV companies are seeing their st

Transportation

Somebody has got to do something about all this traffic. And they are... sort of.

Insandouts

What does the New Year hold in store for business and the economy? Economists may have their fancy models and forecasts, but Los Angeles-area psychics (who see a spike in business this time of year, incidentally) can also predict a thing or two.

Monday, December 21

Vic

An organization that used to be able to hold meetings at an eight-person dinner table now barely fits into a 500-person venue.

Smallbiz

Core Business: Provides training, certification and job placement for security officers and undercover store detectives

Manufacturing

While major layoffs at Boeing Co., Johnson & Johnson Inc., Kellogg Co. and other companies are causing the nation's manufacturing base to shrink, the situation in L.A. is quite different.

Building a Framework for the 2

On the eve of the 21st Century, business is undergoing dramatic change -- and so is the office. More and more companies are facing daunting investment decisions as they respond to new business realities. Y2K issues have dominated headlines, but no less

Taxes

Paying city taxes has been an unmitigated nightmare for Ken DelConte, who owns a bowling alley near Los Angeles International Airport.

Interview add

A: There are some counties in California that are very expensive to do business in. We can't get better arrangements with providers, and it may not make sense for us to sell business there. We have recently exited Monterey County because we could not driv

CREATURE COMFORTS IN THE INFOR

Bill Gates, the founder and owner of Microsoft, once said, "I predict that by 2005, the world will be your office and your marketplace." It's a lofty thought full of hope and vigor, but it's one that's got some people asking, "Where's everybody gonna sit

FOUR KEY CONSIDERATIONS

Here are a few of the things we ask our clients to consider at the outset of an office space project:

Computer Column

Leroy is proudly, defiantly computer-phobic. He doesn't know how to use a personal computer, doesn't want to learn and snorts derisively whenever he sees somebody crawling around under a desk looking for an RJ-11 telephone jack to connect a modem.

Arena

In a new study certain to fuel the ongoing debate about the future of downtown, the Staples Center sports arena is expected to boost the value of some nearby commercial properties but it will not necessarily result in a broad revitalization of the area.

QA

Cardinal Roger Mahony's vision for the $163 million Cathedral of Our Lady of The Angels is broader than just a central place of worship for millions of Catholic Angelenos. He envisions the cathedral as the northern anchor of the Grand Avenue cultural corr

L-Finucane

It is with considerable concern that I read your characterization of our county hospitals as "highly profitable" in your article of Nov. 23 ("Many L.A. Hospitals in the Red as Payments Are Cut"), particularly given the degree of fiscal challenges they hav

Margin

To Matt Toledo, for his continued, rock-solid commitment to our news product; to Mike Stremfel, Dan Turner and Larry Kanter for their unwavering dedication and hard work; to Jason Booth, Howard Fine, Sara Fisher, Elizabeth Hayes, Nola Sarkisian, Frank Swe

Corp Focus

The El Segundo-based toymaker announced last week that a drop in orders from retailers will result in 1998 sales being $500 million short of earlier estimates. That will translate into a 33 percent earnings decline for the year compared with 1997.

Ask Lorraine

Question: Like so many other small-business owners, I need to train my employees, primarily in computers. What is the best way to do it?

Company Index

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Featured Newsmaker

Real estate developer (and perhaps future mayoral candidate) Steve Soboroff lauded Mayor Richard Riordan's "understanding of people" in remarks last week at the Shopping Center Game retail conference.

Correction

In the Dec. 7 real estate brief concerning Sirena Apparel Group's lease, David Kleiman's affiliation was misstated. He is with Equis.

L-Popick

This letter is in response to the article "Freight Managers Can Help Control, Reduce Costs" (Nov. 16), written by Larry S. Field.

GAS STATIONS

Stations all around L.A. are scrambling to meet a federal law taking effect on Jan. 1 requiring that all underground gas tanks have reinforced double walls. Those that don't will be prohibited from receiving fuel shipments after the first of the year, eff

Market Column

The Marlboro Man isn't even in his grave yet, and they're already talking about replacing him.

Real Estate Column

Investors continue to eye the Tri-Cities, which remains one of L.A.'s hottest markets. Two office buildings in the area have traded hands in recent weeks: 701 N. Brand in Glendale and 2 N. Lake in Pasadena.

Persfi

This Christmas is being celebrated as the Year of the Web the first big year for Internet shopping. Web sales may reach $7.8 billion, says Forrester Research in Cambridge, Mass., less than 1 percent of total retail sales, but more than double the $3 bil

LA Newsmakers

Marrietta Gillogly has been named partner in Singer Lewak Greenbaum & Goldstein LLP's business management services department. She specializes in business management for the entertainment industry.

Techtalk

Last weekend, Hollywood Online Inc. launched its largest in-theater marketing blitz to date with an animated trailer touting the movie-related Internet site. The spot will play on more than 15,000 screens before every movie showing over a 10-week period,

History

25 YEARS AGO TODAY: Japan Air Lines ordered six McDonnell Douglas Corp. DC-10s worth $153 million Prudential Insurance Co. foreclosed on Bunker Hill Towers, after the City Redevelopment Agency failed to meet payments Global financial markets soared on n

Digest

DirecTV has agreed to acquire United States Satellite Broadcasting Co. in a stock and cash deal valued at around $1.3 billion.

Goodwill

Within the next few weeks a federal claims judge in Washington will award Glendale Federal Bank, which is now owned by California Federal Bank, up to $1.9 billion in damages in its "goodwill" lawsuit against the U.S. government.

Csc

By capturing the much-coveted Internal Revenue Service computer modernization contract, with a value of between $3 billion to $7 billion, El Segundo-based Computer Sciences Corp did the corporate equivalent of hitting a ball clear out of the park.

Universal

Helen McCann, the vice president in charge of Universal Studios Inc.'s controversial expansion plan, is leaving the company at the end of the year, raising more questions over the future of the three-year project.

Applegate

You may feel like you're constantly thinking about it, but how much time do you actually spend thinking clearly about where you've been and where you're going?

Sidebar

Cognitive ergonomics, a term synonymous with cognitive engineering, concerns the design, structure and operation of the interface between the operator of a system and system states and processes. This approach assumes that the way people see, hear, pay a

Interview

The daughter of low-income immigrant parents from the Philippines, Cora Tellez grew up poor, worked her way through college and then through the ranks of the male-dominated health care industry.

WSW

Passed over for the U.S. Attorney's post in L.A., Richard Drooyan, one of the top securities lawyers in Los Angeles, is expected to step down as chief assistant U.S. attorney, a spokesman for the office confirmed last week.

Weekly Briefing

The popularity of certain forms of entertainment ebbs and flows with the times, and bowling is no exception. Hollywood crowds have made bowling trendy again, while families seem to be rediscovering it as a not-too-expensive form of wholesome entertainment

Ned

Director Kirk Jones had never directed a theatrical film. The stars were relatively unknown, and the subject matter the winning of an Irish lottery was about as accessible to U.S. audiences as the Isle of Man, where the film was going to be made.

OFFICE PROPERTIES HOT IN SOUTH

New industrial permit valuations continue on a tear in Los Angeles County, with the 10 month total up 161.7% to $250.3 million. In Orange County, the total is running ahead 78.9%, at $196.0 million. Ventura County is ahead 53.0% to $69.0 million, w

TIPS FOR HEALTHY OFFICE HABITS

The purpose of ergonomics is to design the work environment around people, and not vice versa. Jennifer Hohne, corporate ergonomist for Haworth, Inc., an office furniture design and manufacturing company, expresses concern for a large segment of today's

Mahony

Cardinal Roger Mahony may be best known as leader of the nation's largest Catholic archdiocese, but he has emerged in a new role: as a torchbearer for downtown's revival.

Forum

It's Christmas week, and for many that means time off. For those still toiling, though, the sparsely populated office buildings and freeways can seem a little eerie at this time of year. Plus there's the emotional toll of slogging away when so many others

L-Wallerstein

More than two years after Magic Johnson began negotiations with the city to redevelop the crumbling, 44-year-old Santa Barbara Plaza, sources say a final agreement could be announced as soon as this week and presented to the City Council for approval by t

Couples

When insurance brokerage Frank B. Hall & Co. was looking to lease space a few years ago at the 911 Wilshire office building in downtown L.A., the company's broker and the landlord's rep locked horns over lease terms.

Kotkin

SEATTLE Throughout much of the '90s, the Pacific Northwest, most particularly this city, has been the golden land. From "Sleepless in Seattle" to a Newsweek cover story suggesting that "everyone" was moving there, this media favorite has been repackaged

Mall

Tossing and flouring and rolling out ovals of dough, Raye Cruz is busily shaping pizzas at a time of day when most people are still thinking about their second cup of coffee.

Monday, December 14

Digest

In what's being touted as the largest civilian technology contract ever awarded by the federal government, Computer Sciences Corp. has been tapped to overhaul computer systems at the Internal Revenue Service.

Women

If Hollywood remains very much a man's world, that's especially true in the macho, swashbuckling arena of entertainment law.

Biz Manager

Stars, writers, directors and even producers with a dazzling knack for making money often discover that hanging onto it is another matter.

End

Why have things gotten so out of hand? One problem is the paucity of resources that law enforcement agencies can throw at fraudulent business practices.

Corp Focus

The stock price of Guitar Center Inc. has been hitting more highs and lows than a heavy-metal solo.

Katell

With a groundbreaking date drawing near and no tenants in sight, developer Jerry Katell is hedging his bets on his big Warner Ridge project.

Featured Newsmaker

At a time when filming in Los Angeles is declining for the first time in years, a new policy expert has been brought on at the Entertainment Industry Development Corp., which aims to simplify the film-permit process and encourage more local activity by Ho

Rescam

From classic land swindles to rings of straw buyers, an endless variety of real estate scams are being perpetrated every day in Los Angeles.

Digital

The Irvine-based unit of Japan's Toshiba Corp. is squaring off over memory cards used to store photos in digital cameras. Its rival is digital film market leader SanDisk Corp. of Sunnyvale. At stake is the growing digital film market.

Brentwood

A proposed retail and restaurant development smack in the middle of the Brentwood shopping district is turning into an escalating land-use controversy that pits neighborhood retailers against a local developer.

LA

Why are so many white-collar criminals drawn to Los Angeles? To paraphrase bank robber/philosopher Willie Sutton: Because that's where the money is.

LA Stories

Since it opened a year ago, classes from all over Southern California have visited the complex during the two-hour window allotted for schoolchildren every morning Tuesdays through Thursdays. Demand was so high that more than 80,000 signups for class visi

Edit

It's a great time to be a white-collar crook especially in Los Angeles, the undisputed capital for white-collar scamming. Think of all the high-tech gadgetry laptops, cell phones, pagers and the like that has made it so much easier to make the mark,

Correction

There were several errors in the Nov. 30 story "Family Pressures Don't Hold Back Raleigh Company." The company was founded 43 years ago. The current chief operating officer, Mark Rosenthal, went to law school at USC, and his grandfather, David Rosenthal,

Applegate

In 1995, Coach Deborah Ford emblazoned the T-shirts of her girls' volleyball team with "G.R.I.T.S," her acronym for "Girls Raised In The South."

Contract side

With the city's contracting process under fire from L.A. officials and local contractors as too cumbersome and inefficient, both city charter reform commissions have taken stabs at reforming the system.

Health

Back in 1995, when the L.A. County Health Department threatened to drive the entire county into bankruptcy, supervisors were publicly outraged and painted a picture of gloom and doom. More than 2,000 employees were laid off amid dire warnings that the cou

LACMA

A month before the Vincent van Gogh exhibit debuts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the show is proving to be quite a boon, both for the museum and for local hotels.

Invite

In an earlier, simpler time, sending out party invitations was a pretty understated affair. A brief solicitation engraved on an elegant white card usually did the trick.

Digestadd12

Walt Disney Co. has crossed the $1 billion mark in overseas box-office grosses this year, the fourth year in a row its has accomplished that milestone.

Entrepreneur's Notebook

With the end of 1998 fast approaching, it's time to begin calculating the bonuses that you'll be distributing to your employees.

Goodwill

The new look boasts a larger, color-coordinated interior, with hues of blue, kiwi green and white, gray carpeting, hanging glass lamp fixtures and bold banners to identify clothing sections.

Real Estate Column

A native development company that left Los Angeles in the late '80s has returned, and is building a $100 million-plus condominium project in Marina del Rey.

Boeing

The signing last week of the first major airline customer for Boeing Co.'s 717 short-hop jet Trans World Airlines Inc., which placed 50 orders for the new plane has buoyed hopes at the aerospace giant that other buyers will now follow suit.

Fraud

Ying Xing was so confident that PCI Data could get him 100 percent annual returns by trading in Asian currency markets that he invested more than $300,000. The fact that PCI's management was Chinese, as is Xing, only bolstered his trust in the City of Ind

Equity

L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan's long-awaited plan to reform the city's business tax code, scheduled to be announced this week, calls for a 9 percent cut in the gross receipts tax and a one-year tax exemption for start-up businesses, according to City Hall in

Bizguy

It's one of the oldest scams around: A businessman approaches investors and banks, talks about how fast his company is growing, backs up his claims with phony financial statements, contracts and collateral, and walks away with thousands or even millions

Banker

The Los Angeles office of the FBI spends more of its time and resources on fraud against financial institutions than any other type of white-collar crime. And just as the face of L.A.'s banking community has changed in recent years, so has the type of mis

Persfi

Will sending a get-rich-quick guru to jail for running deceptive TV infomercials scare other gurus into cleaning up their acts?

Oped#1

Talk about a shakeup. It's almost all new faces in the upper-management ranks of brokerage giant Merrill Lynch's Los Angeles-area retail operations.

Broker

The annals of stockbroker skullduggery are extensive indeed, and getting lengthier by the day. There are the brokers who abscond with funds, or confidentially convince clients to invest in scams outside the purview of their brokerage, or "churn" accounts

City Contractors List

The Hyperion Treatment Plant in Playa del Rey is again the big-ticket item on this year's list of city contractors. Five contractors on the list worked on improvements to the city's largest wastewater processing facility, which were completed this month.

Forum

Considering the amount of wealth concentrated in Los Angeles, it's little wonder that the region is the fraud capital of the nation. Popular scams range from classic Ponzi schemes and telemarketing boiler-room scams to complex foreign currency swindles an

Scam Glossary

Alter Ego Scheme The act of creating corporate entities for the sole purpose of defrauding others. The perpetrator attempts to escape responsibility and legal liability by claiming the actions were done on behalf of the corporation.

Company Index

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UTILITY TAX

Cities desperate for additional revenues used to find relief by passing utility taxes. But in an age of deregulation, those revenues are being lost because of falling rates and the difficulty of keeping tabs with all the new players in the electric and te

Interview

Don Sagolla has joined William M. Mercer Inc. as principal. He will provide advice to employers on compensation strategy and program design, change management and strategic business planning. Sagolla was most recently Western regional practice leader for

Lawyer-scams

If ever there were an opportune time for a local attorney to commit fraud taking a fee without performing the promised service, dipping into a trust fund or skimming from a client's personal-injury settlement this is it.

Margin

This week's package on L.A. scams marks the Business Journal's final special report for 1998. In all, we have produced more than 40 special reports this year, covering topics that range from L.A.'s music moguls to downtown development to the rise and fall

At Home

My business came close to falling prey to a scam recently when a new person began managing my home office. The new staffer was unfamiliar with our magazine subscriptions and innocently processed an invoice for a publication I never ordered.

Showbiz

Universal Pictures, which has produced two duds so far this fall "Meet Joe Black" and "Babe: Pig in the City," was so edgy about not letting any member of the news media see an advanced screening of "Psycho" that it posted guards at a recent screening f

QA

Computer hacking, boiler rooms, insurance fraud, Internet scams, intellectual property theft, stealing of corporate trade secrets. In the world of white-collar crime, no FBI office is busier than the one in L.A.

UCLA

Nearly a year after offering $100 million to both USC and UCLA to establish biomedical research institutes, entrepreneur Alfred E. Mann is discovering the difference in how each school gets things done.

Corrections

In the Dec. 7 Newsmakers column, the name of the new national television buyer at Palisades Media Group was misstated. It is Carl Stenta.

City Contract

More than 60 percent of the money being spent by the city of Los Angeles for major contracts is going to companies headquartered outside the region, according to a Business Journal survey.

History

When it comes to scamming in L.A., the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Market Column

The dearth of minorities working in advertising and P.R. has long been a touchy subject. When asked to justify the fact that agency ranks are almost universally white even in highly diverse metro areas like L.A. communications executives usually respo

LA Newsmakers

James Northern has joined PricewaterhouseCoopers as regional service line leader of the firm's Western region deployment service practice in Los Angeles. His responsibilities include technology consulting to the middle market, and information technology a

Rides

Holiday shoppers will be dropping millions at shopping malls during this holiday season, and Michael Herscu is hoping that will include his businesses as well.

Galleria

At a time when most malls are bustling with crowds of holiday shoppers, it's business as usual in the Sherman Oaks Galleria.

Defenses

A group of bank tellers embezzles thousands of dollars from their employer without anyone noticing.

Monday, December 7

Techtalk

Local game companies aren't giving themselves much time to sit back and enjoy the frenzied ringing of holiday-time cash registers. Instead, they've launched a slew of management and strategic initiatives intended to propel them through their mercurial ind

Ask Lorraine

Question: I'm a hard-working father of two with one on the way my wife's expecting early next year. To supplement my income I've turned a hobby of DJ'ing at parties into a small business. I'm willing to spend money to start up the new company but want t

Parry

Robert T. Parry is arguably the nation's most important banker west of the Rockies. As president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, he overseas the Fed's 12th District, the largest in the Federal Reserve system, encompassing the nine We

L-Slifer

I refer to your Nov. 9 article "Imperial Tames Its Act," in which you mentioned that Imperial Bank "also remains an active lender in other higher-risk areas." Following that statement you note that it was ranked as the nation's fifth most active working c

Applegate

As a single, working mother with three young children, Sharon Zumm of Rochelle, Va. needed an extra hand to manage her two toddler sons while feeding her baby daughter.

Wsw

The Irvine-based brokerage Cruttenden Roth put John Marrone in charge of its new retail offices in West Los Angeles' Westwood Gateway building with a simple yet formidable assignment: build up a profitable operation of stockbrokers who serve "ordinary" in

Featured newsmaker

Vaughan Tebbe considers herself very lucky. At age 36, she is the publisher of Movieline magazine, the only entertainment magazine based in Los Angeles. "I couldn't have scripted a better job for myself," she said.

Company Index

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Union Side

The Los Angeles Police Department's labor relations unit is one of its more obscure operations. Yet its mandate, to monitor virtually every labor action within L.A. city limits, has been gaining importance as local unions increasingly flex their muscles.

Marlboro

One of L.A.'s most recognizable icons is riding off into the Sunset Strip, that is.

Edit

When it comes to the economy, Asia has become this year's El Ni & #324;o. Earnings down? Stock prices in a slump? Layoffs on the horizon? Blame it all on Asia.

Oil

Now it's time for L.A.'s three major oil companies to really start holding their breath.

Correction

A Nov. 23 story on hospital consolidation ("Escalating Costs Put More L.A. Facilities on Critical List") misstated the date when Orthopaedic Hospital will move its inpatient operation to Santa Monica/UCLA Medical Center. In fact, it will be 2004.

LA Stories

The gossipy London press is having a field day with News Corp. chieftain Rupert Murdoch since his separation from Anna, his wife of 32 years. And Murdoch is giving them plenty to dish about.

Space

While L.A.'s aerospace industry is a mere shadow of its Cold War size, it is being significantly bolstered by the International Space Station bringing hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts and thousands of high-wage jobs to Canoga Park, Torrance,

Zagat

The 1999 Zagat Los Angeles/Southern California Restaurant Survey, which hits bookstores this week, finds that 68 percent of this year's respondents cite poor service as their biggest frustration, compared with 43 percent in the survey's New York edition.

Newsmakers

Elizabeth Gaudio has joined DDB Needham Los Angeles as director of human resources. Most recently she was partner and director of human resources at Poppe Tyson Advertising.

Cendant

For almost a year, Torrance-based Cendant Software watched warily as its parent company, Parsippany, N.J.-based Cendant Corp., struggled with massive accounting problems and allegations of fraud.

Lobby

Sixty-three lobbying firms received $3.1 million in fees during the third quarter of 1998 the highest amount ever reported during a single calendar quarter in the city of Los Angeles, according to the city Ethics Commission.

Persfi

Dear friends, will someone please tell me what happened to our date with the end of the world?

Computer Column

About one hour after we arrived home from the record store with the new Alanis Morissette album, we believed we had been ripped off. For all the hype and hoopla, we think Alanis' new album has none of the energy or originality of her first one. On the who

Dodgers

Faced with a skyrocketing player payroll which could reach $75 million next season the Dodgers have been scrutinizing every part of their business for ways to boost revenue.

L-Artingstall

Fire up your Web browser and check for a stock quote at your favorite "portal" site and you will likely see a screen decorated with ads for some of the many discount brokers urging you to trade with them online. Their commissions are low (as little as $7

Margin

It's time for that annual exercise among the dismal scientists the year-ahead economic forecast.

Prada

After nine years of owning and running the Prada store in Beverly Hills, entrepreneur Judy Leaf is hanging up her handbag.

Port

For U.S. importers and exporters, it's a nightmare scenario: The nation's two busiest seaports, Los Angeles and Long Beach, crippled by labor strife, with thousands of dockworkers refusing to unload ships.

Horse

Frank Stronach believes Santa Anita Park has the potential to be the greatest racetrack in the country all it needs is better family entertainment.

Digest

A drop-off in orders from Asia will cause severe job cuts at Boeing Co., which said it plans to eliminate up to an additional 25,000 jobs on top of the 28,000 it previously announced.

Rising

Education: Bachelor's degree in economics from UCLA; law degree from UCLA School of Law

Union

It's Thanksgiving eve, the busiest travel day of the year, and LAX is jammed with travelers heading off to see their loved ones. Precautions have been made well in advance to ensure the crowds move smoothly and efficiently through the terminals.

Review

Lawmakers and consumer advocates say no, but the industry is giving it a shot anyway by announcing plans to establish independent appeals panels that would review cases in which patient requests for treatment have been denied.

Dilbert

UPN, the perennially hapless network, is hoping to boost its anemic ratings by turning to one of corporate America's leading losers Dilbert.

Delivery

The time has come for online retailers to prove their worth to shoppers, investors and industry analysts or face extinction.