Stories for January 1998

Monday, January 26

Small Biz

Patricia Correia Gallery

Callahan

You recently published my letter offering brilliant advice to solve the transportation dilemma: monorail. And what did your editorial two weeks later suggest as solutions to the MTA disaster? ("Not Rail But What?" Jan. 19) "A network of... alternatives,

Newmaker

Jeffrey A. Berger has taken on a busy task as the new head of acquisitions at the real estate investment trust Arden Realty Inc.

Bids

Business improvement districts, widely hailed as a means to revive struggling retail areas, are turning out to be easier said than done.

Galaxy

The Hollywood Galaxy had been widely billed as one of the centerpieces for Hollywood's long-awaited renaissance.

Sci-Center

There are the usual museums where patrons walk through galleries and gaze at works of art. Then there's the new California Science Center in Exposition Park, where a multimedia system allows people to peer inside ceilings and walls.

Convention

Concerned that the Los Angeles Convention Center is not making as much money as it could, city officials expect this month to look for a consultant to study a new management structure for the center including the possibility of hiring an outside operat

L Katz

I wonder how many of those who make up the "consensus of transportation experts" who concluded that buses are the answer for Los Angeles ("Good Ol' Buses 'Boring' Solution to Transit Crisis," Jan. 19) actually ride a bus? One does not have to be a profe

List Story

These are busy days for the leading commercial real estate developers in Los Angeles. The 25 largest developers reported a combined 6.7 million square feet under construction this month, an increase of 77 percent over January 1997.

Conga

A group of Hollywood celebrities including Jimmy Smits, Jennifer Lopez and comedian Paul Rodriguez are opening the Conga Room in the old Jack Lalanne Health Spa next month on Wilshire Boulevard, just west of La Brea Boulevard.

Newsmakers

Gustavo De Greiff has been named manager in the international business center of Los Angeles-based Grant Thornton LLP. De Greiff will be leading the firm's business development efforts within Latin America. He previously was director of the Los Angeles of

Computer Col

In a Washington, D.C. courtroom, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson has been giving the world a perfect illustration of why a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing as he seeks to adjudicate the legal battle between the Justice Department and Microsoft C

Raiders

Clad in a Raiders sweatshirt and cap, Los Angeles City Councilman Nate Holden summoned reporters to the Memorial Coliseum last week and insisted that Raiders owner Al Davis wanted to return the NFL team to L.A.

Market Col

Last year saw one of the more dramatic hostile takeover bids in L.A. history, a bruising contest that swept away the city's second-biggest thrift and left the first looking red-faced and vulnerable.

LA Stories

Fred Hayman, sporting a banana-colored sports jacket, recently showed up at the opening of Merv Griffin's new nightspot, the Coconut Club, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. As Hayman breezed into the room, Mr. Blackwell, the self-proclaimed arbiter of Hollywoo

History

Five Los Angeles banks were listed among the nation's 300 largest Security First National Bank, California Bank, Citizens National Trust & Savings Bank, Farmers & Merchants National Bank and Union Bank & Trust Co.

China

A Northridge-based international trade firm has entered into an agreement with the Chinese government to develop a 3 million-square-foot "trade city" in Southwestern China.

Abbreviated Degrees

Last year cracked the mold. This year could break it that is, the rigid political mold that for years has prevented significant state civil justice reforms.

Vault

BankAmerica Corp. has decided to continue operating its main Southern California cash vault in downtown, even though construction of the new sports arena directly across the street could pose a security threat.

Codes

Not so long ago, the only area code that L.A. area businesses had to remember was 213. Now, it seems that every time they look up, there's a new number.

WSW

We just got our clutches on a new report issued by New York-based brokerage PaineWebber on the state of investor optimism, both in Los Angeles and nationwide.

KCET

Like a faded movie star, Hollywood is attempting to stage its own comeback, with more than 100 renovation projects completed or in the works. But will it succeed? The Business Journal forum asks:

Excerpt

Network television officials recently met with more than 200 TV critics at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena to air their views on the current state of the television industry and its future.

Entrepeneur Notebook

In the beginning, people always make use of a new technology by simply swapping their old machines out for new ones. When the personal computer first appeared in offices more than 20 years ago, managers used them as souped-up typewriters.

Interview

Gary H. Schoenfeld

Oped #2

You're seeing the ads everywhere, at banks, insurance companies, mutual funds and brokerage firms.

For Record

A headline in the Jan. 19 Business Journal misstated the location of the proposed Reliance Development Group office project. It will be built in Glendale.

SmallBiz

There is nothing like a near-death experience to offer some perspective on what's important in life.

Margin

We recently assigned one of our editorial assistants, Chris Denina, to delve into L.A.'s past one of the better jobs to have on any newspaper.

Strategies

Question: I have designed a company that is ready to deliver educational software programs. I've invested about $1.5 million mostly from savings, but I did borrow some money from my parents.

Weekly Brief

The recession of the early 1990s made life difficult for many businesses with high-priced products, including Los Angeles-based Snaidero International USA, which imports, assembles and distributes Italian-made kitchen cabinets to showrooms and other selle

Vego 1

There has been noticeable growth in the number of institutions offering master's level programs in the area of public and not for profit management. Some of these programs are traditional Public Administration programs expanded to cover the field of priva

Special

Reports of the demise of ABC network executive Jamie Tarses, like those about Mark Twain a century ago, were greatly exaggerated.

Edit

Dianne Feinstein is no stranger to rough-and-tumble political campaigns, both on the national and state levels. So it spoke volumes last week when the California senator announced that she would not enter the gubernatorial race this year that instead, s

LA Edu

Since taking office in 1993, L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan has taken just two trade missions one to Israel, and an abbreviated trip to Asia marred by Riordan's decision to cancel an audience with the Japanese prime minister.

Hollywood

Regent Properties is expected to announce this week that it will build a 500,000-square-foot "urban village" office/retail project at the northwest corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street.

Taxes

When a respected survey last year named Los Angeles as the most expensive city in L.A. County to conduct business, City Hall promised to make changes.

Food

In the wake of last fall's publicity about restaurant sanitation and the resulting county reforms of the restaurant inspection system, L.A. restaurant closures are running at more than three times last year's levels.

Re Column

Some of the behemoths of L.A.'s REIT scene turned out at the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts luncheon last week. The event took place just as REITs nationwide surpassed pension funds as the largest owners of real estate.

Mark 2nd

Such thinking, and the news that the Los Angeles Metropolitan Water District is close to a deal that would enlist Santa Monica-based Cadiz Land Co. to store water for the region under the Mojave Desert, has driven up the company's share price by almost 80

Sunday, January 25

Letter

A small retail, commercial or residential project might need just a lobbyist or two to steer it through the approval process. But master-planned communities are so large and usually so controversial that they often require an entire team of lobbyists and

Monday, January 19

L Alter

Your real estate column of Jan. 5 missed the mark regarding Asian investment in the United States.

Weekly Brief

When a craze or fad crops up, you'd think the companies catering to it would enjoy booming business but that isn't always the case. Sometimes, the fad just means more competition. That's what the management at Direct Composite Technologies Inc. in the C

Geffen Letter

If you read the article in the New Yorker, you'll notice that it doesn't quote me, it quotes somebody else who quoted me incorrectly.

Drugs

In an effort to contain costs, many health maintenance organizations require their members to accept generic versions of drugs, or they deny payment for certain drugs altogether generating increasing complaints from consumer advocates and medical profes

WSW

Some investors in Los Angeles, at least those with strong stomachs, are considering buying bonds of South Korea and Indonesia.

ReColumn

Beverly Hills-based developer Regent Properties just added another project to its already busy schedule for the year.

HMO Panel

As managed care's dominance of the health care industry has grown, so has the number of complaints from various managed care constituencies patient advocates, physician groups, hospitals and drug companies to name a few.

Zoning

The city of Los Angeles, hungry for high-paying jobs, has begun granting zoning breaks in an attempt to establish a multimedia district near Marina del Rey.

Computer Col

The U.S. Postal Service, in an admirable exercise in participatory democracy, is holding a national referendum to decide who and what will be the subjects of a new series of stamps. The Postal Service plans to issue sheets of stamps commemorating each of

Rite Aid

Now that Rite Aid Corp. has finished digesting the more than 1,000 Thrifty and PayLess stores it acquired in 10 Western states, the company is focusing its most intense marketing efforts in L.A.

Overview

Health maintenance organizations, viewed only five years ago as the saviors of the nation's health care industry, find themselves under fire from all fronts.

Newsmaker

Because of the Business Journal's special coverage of the economic outlook for 1998, several standing features do not appear in this issue, including Media & Technology, Interview, Newsmakers, Small Business, Corporate Focus and most of the weekly columns

Re: Column

Beverly Hills-based developer Regent Properties just added another project to its already busy schedule for the year.

NFL

When the Raiders left Los Angeles three years ago, sports boosters here argued that the National Football League would be quick to restore a team to the nation's No. 2 TV market in order to ensure lucrative broadcast rights.

Courts

Believing that doctors at Kaiser Permanente failed to detect his lung cancer, Wilfredo Engalla did what all Kaiser patients must do when they assert malpractice: file for arbitration.

Players

As the HMO wars heat up in Sacramento this year, keeping track of who's who in the debate is almost as challenging as tracking the dozens of bills.

Specialists

As criticism mounts about the sometimes limited access to specialists, HMOs are beginning to open up the process. But state and federal legislation might open it up even further.

Levey

Generally acknowledged as one of the top medical research and training institutions in the nation, the medical campus at UCLA is about to be completely rebuilt and retooled to take it into the 21st century.

Guards

Crime may be down in the city, but Angelenos apparently aren't feeling very safe yet. The California Employment Development Department expects the number of guards and other security personnel to grow by 20 percent over a seven-year period. Analysts say t

This Week

25 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: California became the No. 1 state in manufacturing output, surpassing New York. The milestone was reached one decade after California outdistanced New York to become the nation's most populous state.

Strategies

Dick Tracy is a prudent investigator and a technology maverick. He uses bleeding-edge technology in his righteous pursuit of the bad guy, and that technology usually works!

LA Stories

Canter's, the quintessential L.A. deli, celebrated half a century in the Fairfax district last Monday, Jan. 12, by cutting the price of its corned beef sandwiches to a mere 50 cents and selling about 15,000 of them that day.

Kookooroo

In the restaurant business, there is nothing more basic than getting the food out fresh, hot and in a hurry.

Small Biz

But if you're a firefighter and you've tested a portable firefighting unit made by CEM Co. Ltd., you might be impressed.

Edit

The pipe dream is finally over. After relentlessly and often ruthlessly trying to jam a subway system down the throats of Southern Californians virtually at any cost the board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority essentially raised its hands a

Special Report

Health maintenance organizations are under attack on almost all fronts from doctors and lawyers, from consumer groups and legislators. Even Wall Street is piling on, criticizing HMOs for lower-than-expected profit levels.

L-Soss

Take Larry Kanter's piece this week on the inner-workings of Koo Koo Roo. The fast food chain happened to have opened a location near the Business Journal offices this month and I just happened to have gone there recently for lunch.

Costs

Health care premiums are expected to rise 5 percent or more this year as the managed care industry once credited with keeping costs down begins passing on its higher expenses to employers.

Analysts

If you want an analyst's comment on L.A.-based fashion designer Guess, call Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in New York.

Oped

They deregulated the airlines and told you competition would lower fares. Next, they opened up telephone service and promised reduced rates. They also assured you that electric bills will shrink as soon as we end government-controlled monopolies in the po

Digest

A controversial plan to turn Hawthorne Airport into a commuter-traffic annex of L.A. International Airport was scratched last week, along with another of the four concepts that were being considered to expand LAX capacity.

Venture

L.A.'s tech industry has long been known for its sexy side makers of online games, Internet content providers and, of course, anything related to digital Hollywood.

Farm

The plight of Midwestern farm families has been well documented for years. But a more local drama of a farming family struggling to stay afloat is unfolding on 40 acres right off the San Diego (405) Freeway in Carson.

Forum

ABC, CBS, Fox Broadcasting and ESPN will be paying a staggering $17.6 billion in television rights for professional football over the next eight years more than double what's being paid now. There is also a clause in the new deal that allows the NFL to

Cadillac

Stepping into Lou Ehlers Cadillac in L.A.'s Miracle Mile is like going back in time. Built in the mid-'60s, the showroom features chrome-framed posters, green vinyl chairs and the glassed-in cubicles common to old-fashioned American car dealing.

MTA

That was the message behind NBC's decision to fork over a whopping $858 million for three more years of "ER."

Glendale

Another skyscraper is on the drawing boards for Glendale, one of the busiest office development submarkets in the Los Angeles area.

Excerpts

The state-appointed Managed Health Care Improvement Task Force has put forth more than 100 recommendations to improve the managed care industry in California. Here are its key recommendations.

Campaign

Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Feuer had been in office less than a week when he got a call from a prominent City Hall lobbyist.

Pers Fi

Here's a question I put to a number of consumer-loan specialists last week: Is there ever a good reason for taking a home-equity loan worth more than your home?

Newsmakers

Michael W. Smyth has been named director of safety at Long Beach-based Polar Air Cargo Inc. Smyth will be responsible for directing corporate safety policies and procedures. He previously served as director of safety and standardization for a Marine Corps

Friday, January 16

Ent.note

In today's economy of rapid change, many entrepreneurs will consider partnering as a source of competitive advantage.

Monday, January 5

Vestar

Thanks to Vestar Development Co., the city of Burbank can look forward to having part of an aerospace ghost town reincarnated as a retail-office complex called the Burbank Empire Center.

Edit111111

It would be hard to dismiss 1997's dramatic drop in the number of murders in Los Angeles even though there are many questions and considerations behind those statistics.

Ralf

The number of Southern California supermarket chains is expected to shrink by one, following the November announcement that Ralphs Grocery Co. will combine with Hughes Family Markets in a two-part transaction that also involves Portland, Ore.-based superm

TV

It's becoming a battle between old and young in the war for "netlet" supremacy between UPN and The WB network.

Broad

When it comes to efforts to construct Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, few have worked harder than Eli Broad, chairman and CEO of the financial services behemoth SunAmerica Inc. and one of the city's leading corporate citizens.

Furnishings

It may have been a disappointing holiday season for most retailers, but not for the big home-furnishings chains.

Prude

In a year when the downtown L.A. office market continued to flounder, one bright spot was Prudential HealthCare's signing of a lease in April for 300,000 square feet of space in the Garland Center building at 1200 W. Seventh St.

Letter-Sunoo

The LABJ's Dec. 8 story "Koreatown's Big Expansion" prompts me to ask: So what are we? Chopped liver?

Santa Fe

Construction crews broke ground in Santa Fe Springs in October on one of the largest industrial projects ever undertaken in the Los Angeles area.

Engemann

Roger Engemann, for years considered the guru of independent fund management, decided to join forces with a larger partner last year.

Singleton

Over the last several months, W. Dean Singleton has single-handedly transformed the Southern California newspaper market.

Boeing

Numerous uncertainties emerged after Boeing Co. announced plans to acquire McDonnell-Douglas Corp. among them the future of the thousands of workers at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach.

Intercontinental

In a landmark deal and likely sign of things to come a group of buyers led by mainland Chinese investors purchased the Hotel Inter-Continental for about $40 million.

Apartment

Apartment prices are edging up throughout L.A. County, but perhaps nowhere is the market stronger than in Santa Monica where the pending relaxation of rent control is creating a seller's market again.

Letter-Wilkes

Think you're a news junkie with your finger on the pulse of the L.A. business community? Try to answer the following questions about 1997's hottest deals.

Players

With many corporate mergers, there is a large cast of characters involved ranging from chief executives to shareholders to lawyers, investment bankers, publicists, proxy solicitation firms, accountants and other experts.

Century

The biggest Southern California real estate deal in a decade was actually struck in 1996 but thanks to months of delays it didn't record until March of last year.

Hollywood

Toronto-based TrizecHahn Corp. announced plans in March to build a $145 million retail and entertainment center on Hollywood Boulevard a deal that finally gave credibility to all that chamber of commerce talk about a Hollywood revival.

Foundation

If 1997 was a bonanza year for any single Angeleno, that person would be Walt Disney Co. Chairman and CEO Michael Eisner.

CareAmerica

Warren C. Woo sits in his window-lined office at Fox Plaza and munches on a grilled-cheese sandwich and batch of fries that rest atop his desk.

Margin

It's 4 p.m. on New Year's Eve and most everyone in our office complex has gone home. Many of them have been home all week.

List

PRODUCTION START THIS IN SAME PARAGRAPH RIGHT AFTER "BACKBONE OF THE LOCAL ECONOMY."

HMOs

On Dec. 9, after months of wrangling, five health maintenance organizations Blue Cross of California, CareAmerica Health Plans, Health Net, Maxicare Health Plans and Prudential HealthCare struck a deal with city officials that should keep them in town

Incorporations

An estimated 52,150 California businesses incorporated in 1997 the most this decade and an increase of 6.2 percent over 1996 levels.

Roseanne

Hollywood is no stranger to unusual and lavish perks. But a peek at Roseanne's deal with King World Productions reveals special travel arrangements that might make a Fortune 500 CEO green with envy.

Transamerica

In a year of multibillion-dollar mergers, few deals could match Household International's $1.1 billion acquisition of Transamerica Financial Services, the L.A.-based consumer finance arm of San Francisco-based insurance giant Transamerica Corp.

550 S. Hope Street

Downtown Los Angeles got a boost in October when Chicago-based real estate investment trust Equity Office Properties Trust purchased the 550 South Hope building for about $100 million. Equity, led by legendary financier Sam Zell, stamped the deal with mo

Edison

As part of its preparations to enter the deregulated electric power market this year, Southern California Edison announced in November the sale of 10 gas-fired generating plants for $1.12 billion, nearly three times their book value of $421 million.

I-Callahan

Frank Swertlow is at least half right in his "Bus and carpool lanes" squib ("In & Out," Dec. 29). But bus and carpool lanes as a "solution" to surface-traffic arteries that are approaching continuous daytime gridlock conditions? Please.

Hughes-Raytheon

In a move that could mean further blows to Los Angeles County aerospace jobs, General Motors Corp. sold the defense unit of its subsidiary Hughes Electronics Corp. to Raytheon Co. in a $9.5 billion deal that officially closed Dec. 18.

Greatwest

Los Angeles lost a major home-grown financial institution in 1997 when Washington Mutual acquired Chatsworth-based savings and loan Great Western Financial Corp.

MGM

Las Vegas billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who just can't seem to let go of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, enlisted the help of Wall Street last year to underwhelming results.

Digest

State officials announced last week that the start-up date for deregulation of California's electricity market has been moved back to March 31, three months after the originally slated deadline of Jan. 1.

Pru

Most recent HMO mergers have involved for-profit firms, but non-profit Blue Shield of California bucked the trend in July when it announced it would acquire the for-profit CareAmerica Health Plans of Woodland Hills.

Sales

Same-store purchases made by check in Los Angeles and Orange counties posted moderate gains of 2.3 percent this holiday season over last year, according to TeleCheck Services, a Houston-based check verification service.

Katzenberg

One of Hollywood's bitterest disputes drew to a close in August, when DreamWorks SKG principal Jeffrey Katzenberg agreed to settle a $250 million lawsuit he had filed against his former employer, Walt Disney Co.

Alameda

In 1997, the Alameda Corridor the celebrated $1.8 billion, high-speed railroad line designed to speed cargo from the seaports to the distribution centers near downtown L.A. finally emerged from the shadow of litigation.

Macfrugal

As part of a consolidation trend in the deep-discount retail industry, Ohio-based Consolidated Stores Corp. agreed in November to acquire the Dominguez-based Mac Frugal's Bargains Close-Outs Inc.

Fremont

In a major effort to broaden its reach outside California, Santa Monica-based Fremont General Corp., a workers compensation insurer, announced plans in May to purchase Industrial Indemnity Holdings, a subsidiary of Xerox Corp., for $444 million in cash an

County-USC

It was years in coming, but in November county supervisors finally approved a downsized County-USC Medical Center.

Baskin

One of L.A.'s best-known companies is undertaking a $200 million overhaul to align itself with changing consumer tastes.

Tamo

Most restaurants don't last 20 years. Many don't even make it past five. So try to explain the success of the Scottish-themed Tam O'Shanter Inn in L.A.'s Atwater Village, which recently marked its 75th year in business.

Troop Meisenger

The most noteworthy lease transaction of the year was not only the largest on the Westside in excess of $65 million for 140,000 square feet of office space but also the most innovative. It will likely serve as a model for future leases.

Trump

Yes, he lives in New York City. But what special report on Deals of the Year would be complete without some words of wisdom from perhaps the most famous dealmaker of all, Donald Trump?

OXY.elk

Occidental Petroleum Corp. was in a buying mood last year, as the Westwood-based company outbid 22 other firms to acquire the U.S. government's 78 percent interest in the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve for $3.65 billion the largest price ever paid fo

Smoking

On the stroke of midnight on New Year's, celebrating Californians in bars throughout the state kissed their dates and stubbed out their cigarettes.

List.Summary

Change is in the air for the leading accounting firms; four of the so-called Big Six have announced plans to merge. Ernst & Young will join forces with KPMG Peat Marwick, and Coopers & Lybrand will partner up with Price Waterhouse. The two combined firms

Forum

With the bank prime rate at 8.5 percent and the Fannie Mae 30-year fixed rate as low as 7-1/8 percent, interest rates are at a five-year low and the Federal Reserve has exhibited little willingness to raise them. The low rates have led a flood of homeow

Studios

Standing inside a cavernous sound stage at Ray-Art Studios, it's not hard to imagine being in a big-city Roman Catholic cathedral. The reverie is quickly broken, however, when the director yells, "Action!" and the cast members of ABC's controversial "Noth

Entrep NTBK

Only a few months ago, King World Productions Inc. was hardly getting the royal treatment on Wall Street.

FoxKids

Rupert Murdoch once planned to go to war with cable television with his satellite TV network. But this year, he increased his cable empire in a big way.

Koll-CB Merger

L.A.-based CB Commercial Real Estate Services Group, already the nation's largest commercial real estate brokerage, has been growing rapidly since its initial public offering in 1996, and it set the industry pace last year for acquisitions with two major

Letter-Dee

I am writing in support of the Village Center Westwood project, a project that will revitalize and rejuvenate Westwood Village.

Mann

Cinamerica Theatres LP, owner of the Los Angeles-based Mann Theatres chain, was bought in November by WestStar Holdings Inc., a partnership of Pittsburgh executive Jeff Lewine and New York-based investment house Warburg, Pincus Ventures LP.

Coliseum

Although the future of the Coliseum is very much up in the air, plans to return an NFL franchise to the storied stadium took a big leap forward last May when Los Angeles Kings owners Ed Roski Jr. and Philip Anschutz agreed to get in the game.

Quinceanera

Janite Corrales could have had anything she wanted for her 15th birthday, even that most coveted teenage prize a car.

Oped#2

Time was when companies made secondary offerings of their stock only when they needed the money. Today, companies with small market capitalizations are doing secondaries for a far more basic reason: To survive.

Wright

Assemblyman Roderick D. Wright, D-South Central Los Angeles, has spent little more than a year in the state Legislature, but he has already made his mark.

Davis

Location, location, location may be the mantra for real estate success, but Marvin Davis has a better one: timing, timing, timing.

Wired

Los Angeles lags far behind its rivals in Silicon Valley and other high-tech regions in the laying of fiber-optic cable, considered key to high-tech growth.

R.e. Column

This is expected to be the year that many shopping malls transfer from private to public hands, and Macerich Co. got things started last week by purchasing a portfolio of 12 malls from IBM & #336;s retirement fund.

LA Story

Forget the information superhighway the newest advertising medium is barreling down the San Diego Freeway blaring country music and dodging Smokey.

Arena

In other major metropolitan cities, there's no end to what local politicians will do to attract a new state-of-the-art sports arena to a troubled downtown core.

Weekly Brief

Michael Bacon long had designs for expansion of his Sun Valley company Rack and Roll Inc., which makes metal racks for stacking palettes in warehouses. Bacon believed the company had a lot of potential for growth, but he had a phobia of going into debt fo

Newsmaker

Worth was recently hired by Deloitte & Touche LLP to head its Dispute Consulting Services practice for Southern California.

Manhattan

Prompted by a demand for sound stages that far outpaces the existing supply, an investment group led by Shamrock Holdings began construction in October on a $77-million movie/TV studio lot in Manhattan Beach.

Rivera

Assemblyman Roderick D. Wright says it's all right to go against the Democrat grain sometimes.

Diller

Media executive Barry Diller has chosen local professional sports as the cornerstone of his nascent television empire.

Oped#1

State and local officials congratulated themselves in December when government figures showed that employment was at the highest level in seven years in Los Angeles County.

Playa

After months of bitter infighting and heated negotiations, the parties in the Playa Vista development where DreamWorks SKG might build its studio secured much-needed financing in October, enabling the long-troubled project to proceed.

Titanic

The sinking of the Titanic on celluloid, that is was another milestone for Gordon & Williams General Contractors Inc.

Santa Anita

After months of declining attendance and questions about its long-term viability, the Santa Anita racetrack and its parent, Santa Anita Cos., got a new lease on life in November, when the firm was purchased by Meditrust, a Massachusetts-based real estate

OXY.MID

To help pay for its $3.65 billion acquisition of the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve, Westwood-based Occidental Petroleum Corp. announced last year that it would sell its MidCon Corp. natural gas pipeline network one of the nation's largest for $3.4

E-Toys

Four months ago, the Internet start-up eToys was little more than an intriguing but untested concept: that shoppers would prefer buying toys on the World Wide Web to the chaos of shopping in crowded brick-and-mortar retailers like Toys R Us.

Gart Sporting Goods

Los Angeles buyout firm Leonard Green & Partners orchestrated a merger between two big sporting goods chains in September that is expected to spark increased consolidation in the sports retail industry.

PersiFI

We've had the fattest three-year run of profits in stock-market history. Can there be a fourth? There can, of course, although the odds are against it. For example:

ComputerCol

Now more than ever, this is the era of WIMP computing (Windows, Icons, Mice and Pointers). The most powerful system with the most comfortable keyboard and the brightest screen can be made unbearable if you're not comfortable with whatever device it provid

2000

When the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, 1999, don't expect to find many local bankers tipping champagne classes. Most will be in their offices, hoping and possibly praying that their computer systems don't crash.

Lockheed-Northrop

In what analysts call the last in a long series of aerospace mega-mergers, Lockheed Martin Corp. bought Century City-based Northrop Grumman Corp. in July for $11.6 billion.

I-Duranzno

Your report on Dec. 15, & #327;Coliseum & #336;s NFL Football Proposal Hits New Hurdles, & #211; may lead readers to conclude there & #336;s a division between state Sen. Richard Polanco and Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas as to whether it & #336;s appropriate for HOK, a company in which

Sony

Los Angeles lost one of its most respected executives in October when C. Michael Armstrong quit Hughes Electronics in El Segundo to take the helm of AT & T.;

Publisher

As our publication enters its 19th year, we have excelled in many ways by going beyond our core news coverage to become one of L.A.'s most important newspapers and certainly the most complete source of Los Angeles business news.

Dealmaking

"I spent nine straight days in the office, working on a health care-industry deal," said Brian McCarthy, partner and mergers-and-acquisitions expert in the downtown offices of law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. "When I slept, it was on the couch.

Correction

Boeing Co. added the 100-seat MD-95 jet made at its Douglas Products Division in Long Beach to its family of jets last week, saying it has received new orders for the aircraft.

Vons

Century Communications Inc. may finally have the wherewithal to launch its long-discussed 24-hour cable news channel, following an agreement signed in December with Tele-Communications Inc.

Strategies

Question: I work out of my home and need some advice. It seems that lately when I have a project due, I find myself pacing throughout the house. What is wrong with me? Do I need professional help?

RE column Add

Don't call frozen yogurt a "retro" confection when talking to folks like Maria and Raphael Baker, whose L.A.-based Humphrey Yogart Systems Inc. boasted a 30 percent revenue increase in 1997 from a year earlier.

WSW

The U.S. and local economies have passed into a period that flies in the face of conventional economic wisdom: sustained growth, some reported labor shortages, yet very little inflation.

Bond Box

The "bond lease" is a new way for commercial landlords to protect themselves against tenants who don't honor lease agreements. It offers several advantages over personal guarantees and letters of credit.

Asylum

Before he died last Aug. 27, former NBC Entertainment head Brandon Tartikoff was enthusiastically promoting a new entertainment network one delivered to viewers online.

Ralphs

That question is not academic to the Studio City Residents Association. In the view of the group, which claims membership of 2,000 households, the proposed merger between the parent companies of Ralphs and Hughes Market crosses the line from mere dominanc

Corp.Focus

HemaCare Corp., a regional blood products provider that has waged a long and largely unsuccessful battle against giant American Red Cross, has taken several drastic steps in a bid to attract more capital.

Bond

Pity the lawyers. They're not only saddled with a negative image, but they're often treated as second-class citizens when it comes to leasing office space.

Dodgers

In the often turbulent world of professional sports, the Los Angeles Dodgers stood as solid as Gibraltar an old-time, family-run organization immune from the squabbles and commercialism besetting other teams.

Transit

For nearly two decades, the solution to the San Fernando Valley's mass transit problem was believed to be an ambitious public-works project one that required a costly subway, a futuristic monorail or a state-of-the-art light-rail line.

Catalina

And with the local economy humming, 1998 is expected to be the biggest year for Catalina in nearly a decade.