Stories for July 1998

Monday, July 27

At home

If you're running a business at home, but you never turn a profit, take care. You may actually be running a hobby.

Arena

The subway to the Valley is years from completion, a new NFL football stadium remains just a dream, and neighbors are still fighting that Long Beach Freeway extension in South Pasadena.

Downtown

The vacancy rate for class-A buildings fell to 17.5 percent in the second quarter, from 18.2 percent for the previous three months, according to Cushman & Wakefield of California Inc. Meanwhile, in a positive sign for the long-struggling district, rents a

Corporate Focus

Dames & Moore Group was once focused mainly on cleaning up the toxic messes created by heavy industry. But the 60-year-old engineering firm is changing its ways.

Sobay

The South Bay played catch-up in the second quarter as vacancy rates fell and rental rates inched up.

Computer

Windows CE is Microsoft's Windows 95 lookalike operating system for handheld and palmtop PCs. Rolled out with much ceremony at a big computer trade show in 1996, Windows CE is a sign that Microsoft is determined to compete in every market where a rival op

Wilshire

The sky-high office vacancy rates in the Wilshire Corridor are starting to trickle down, but the area remains one of the most troubled office markets in Los Angeles County.

weekly brief

Insurance brokerage Financial Independence Co. helps companies find new health plans. Although it also deals in life, disability and 401(k)s, Financial Independence primarily seeks out the highest-quality medical and dental insurance plans at the lowest c

Oped

If ever an idea carried both the seeds of its own destruction and the promise of improving the quality of life, the proposed establishment of neighborhood councils in Los Angeles is it.

Insurance

L.A. insurance brokers say there has been an increased demand for sexual harassment insurance following a recent pair of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that found employers can be liable for supervisors' conduct, even if they are unaware it is going on.

Guide Text

Downtown Los Angeles, the region's largest industrial real estate market, contains nearly as much industrial space as the entire San Gabriel Valley. Besides its huge size, it is also tremendously diverse. Its buildings range from large manufacturing facil

News maker

Many people would consider a position on the editorial board of The New York Times as well as a weekly economics column in the paper as one of journalism's most coveted spots. But Peter Passell is looking to help influence policy even further.

Persfi

The Federal Communications Commission wants to change the way that your long-distance telephone rates are set. Its proposal has set off a noisy debate over whether consumers will be helped or hurt.

Colors

Some say that human beings tend to respond to particular colors in uniform ways, such as gray (overcast days -- dull, lethargic) vs. bright, yellow (sunny days -- excitement, happy). Yet, certain colors convey different meanings, not only across cultures,

Small Biz

Tanya York, president and chief executive of York Home Video, is quite content playing on the "B" level. The 29-year-old York has built her Beverly Hills company into a healthy home-video distributor, using what can best be described as B-grade genre film

Interview

Career Turning Point: Taking job at Aquarium of the Pacific two and a half years ago

Ent Note

Mellon First Business Bank, up to now a middle-market player with five offices in and around Los Angeles, is planning to build a presence throughout the state.

Gm

As the strike at two General Motors Corp. parts plants enters its seventh week, Los Angeles-area GM dealers are feeling pinched.

world trade

To make it in show business, the saying goes, you need two things: a gimmick and a little hocus-pocus.

Murdoch

The list of richest Angelenos is likely to gain at least one new member next year Anna Murdoch.

Global

It has been quite a year for Global Crossing Ltd., the telecommunications venture created by Beverly Hills investment banker Gary Winnick.

Forum

After years of what seemed to be clearer skies, the smog is back. There was only a single Stage 1 smog alert in 1997, and the last Stage 2 alert was more than 10 years ago, leading some to believe that the region had gained the upper hand in its attempts

NFL

For many cities seeking a National Football League team, civic efforts are unified and directed to NFL owners, who make the ultimate decision. No thought is given to selling the idea to local media and fans they're already rabid supporters.

LA Stories

The Port of Long Beach may have higher container volumes, but the Port of Los Angeles has proven itself the winner on a different playing field the golf course. The Port of L.A.'s golfers recently bested their competitors across the bay in the Harbor As

Case Study

With industrial space at a premium these days and most of the sites in the city of Los Angeles built out, it is rare to have an entire 100-acre industrial business park being built from scratch.

Westside

PRODUCTION: USE MAJOR EVENTS BOX AT BOTTOM OF THIS STORY, STED OF ONE PROVIDED ON DISKETTE. NOTE BULLETS.

Gemstar

When 500 television channels stop being hyperbole and become reality, how does a television station make itself stand out?

Industrial

With almost a billion square feet of space and vacancy rates of 3 percent or less in places, Los Angeles County's industrial real estate market is both massive and extremely tight.

Showbiz

It's no secret that stars and their families want to control their public personas, even after death. But when HBO announced (prior to Frank Sinatra's death) that it was doing a TV movie about Ol' Blue Eyes and his notorious Rat Pack pals Dean Martin, P

Margin

Here's the way it used to work: There were print journalists and there were electronic journalists, and the line between the two was seldom breached. Of course, all that has changed, as a quick scan of the Sunday-morning interview shows will demonstrate.

MarketCol

When you think about the brand names Jeep, Saturn or Honda, chances are a certain image or feeling comes to mind.

Tri-Cities

After years of strong growth, the Tri-Cities market of Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena slowed down somewhat during the second quarter though the severity of the downturn remains a matter of some debate.

SeaMed

Two years ago, while vacationing on a Caribbean cruise, Dr. Spencer Koerner took a tour of the ship's sickbay and was surprised to learn that it was only capable of handling basic medical needs.

International

United States businesses looking for global opportunities, and foreign businesses eyeing the United States market often fail to consider what might happen if their transactions turn sour. Thinking about dispute resolution is generally not a priority for

Roski

Ed Roski is getting to be a household name in Los Angeles. He's the co-owner of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team with Denver oil magnate Philip Anschutz. He's developing, with Anschutz, the downtown Staples Center sports arena. And he's part of a group t

TV

For 36 years, ASI Entertainment has helped the likes of NBC, ABC and CBS, as well newcomers like Fox, and MTV, gauge the potential success of their offerings by testing the programs before audiences.

HMOs

Managed health care reform has become a top priority on Capitol Hill, but those federal "patients' bill of rights" proposals will have little impact on California because most of their provisions already exist under state law.

Design

With the Los Angeles economy in high gear, developers and architects who specialize in warehouses, assembly plants and distribution facilities have been spiffing up their acts.

Overview

The commercial real estate market's upswing showed no signs of letting up in the second quarter, as vacancies inched further down in most markets, rents climbed, and development activity accelerated.

Midcities

The Mid-Cities region demonstrated across-the-board strength in the second quarter, with strong demand, falling vacancy rates, rising rental rates, and a pick-up in construction and leasing activity.

Fast track

Fast-track legislation needs to be revived in 1999 for the United States to actively pursue its trading interests in regional negotiations, in the Asia Pacific and Western Hemisphere, and in new global trade talks scheduled to start in the World Trade Org

Daylife

Sablock is an industrial broker for the Seeley Co., one of the top five commercial real estate brokerages in Los Angeles. He has worked there for 18 years, and now handles properties in Vernon, City of Commerce, downtown and other locations.

Dollar

A comprehensive new analysis by international trade expert Morris Goldstein of the causes of, and remedies for, the Asian economic crisis reveals the existence of a major flaw in the international financial system: the problem of "moral hazard" namely, th

Japan

Britain easily retained its lead as America's favorite European location for corporate investment during the 1997/98 year. A rise of more than 34% in US company projects has been announced by the UK Government's Invest in Britain Bureau (IBB), bringing th

Ventura

It's getting to be a pattern in Ventura County real estate: The already-hot office and industrial market is heating up even more, while vacancies continue to rise in a selectively booming retail sector.

History

Chrysler entered the small-car field by buying out Ford's interest in Simca, a French passenger-car company ... Union Oil abandoned its exploratory wildcat drill on the Paramount Pictures lot in Hollywood after disappointing results ... Bank of America wa

Oped #2

It sounds like something out of the old sci-fi flick "Fantastic Voyage," but Solgene Therapeutics Inc. thinks it has a better way to treat such problems as diabetes.

Re Column

In a further sign that heady times have indeed returned to residential real estate, Fred Sands Realtors recently opened several new offices.

Letter

As a long-time subscriber and admirer of the journalistic integrity of the Los Angeles Business Journal, I was disappointed in the article on Playa Vista ("DreamWorks Nightmare") that appeared in your July 13 issue.

Shamrock

Two actresses, dressed in suits with micro-miniskirts, nervously prepare to read for a role in an upcoming episode of "Ally McBeal." One paces, the other sits, legs tightly crossed outside the hit series' production office.

Boeing

Now that Boeing Co. has become the largest private employer in L.A., the question is whether the Seattle-based company will be here for the long haul.

Valley

Activity in the San Fernando Valley during the second quarter was marked by a slight drop in office vacancy rates, a vigorous flurry of leasing and sales activity, and general optimism among industry observers.

Newsmakers2

Three members of Singer Lewak Greenbaum & Goldstein LLP have received promotions. Kevin Recker has been promoted to supervisor in the firm's non-profit division. He has over five years experience in public accounting. Jim Pitrat has been promoted to super

Digest

In what is believed to be the largest environmental settlement in California history, Unocal Corp. has agreed to pay $43.8 million in fines for leaking a petroleum product along the Central California coast.

Sangabe

The San Gabriel Valley's already-hot industrial market continued to sizzle during the second quarter.

Corridor

By eliminating lengthy and frustrating traffic delays, the Alameda Corridor could provide a boost to the industrial real estate market in L.A.'s rust-belt cities of Vernon, Huntington Park, South Gate and Compton.

Co Index

A

HMOs 1

Managed health care reform has become a top priority on Capitol Hill, but those federal "patients' bill of rights" proposals will have little impact on California because most of their provisions already exist under state law.

War games

Perceptronics Inc. hasn't quite turned swords into plowshares, but it is turning military simulations into computer games.

Edit

L.A.'s absentee corporations are slowly and unmistakably making their mark on their new properties, and while the approaches vary, the net effect for the community is not good certainly not as good as if the acquired companies had remained in local hand

Sunday, July 26

Galaxy-bad

When it opened to great fanfare in 1991, the $48 million Hollywood Galaxy retail and entertainment center was supposed to provide the spark that would jump-start the area's economy.

Monday, July 20

Wamu

Washington Mutual Inc., the giant Seattle thrift company that has been buying up some of L.A.'s biggest financial institutions, is unleashing a publicity blitz of billboards, TV ads and community outreach events and it's just warming up.

Puzarne

With its 1997 deal to acquire CareAmerica Health Plans of Woodland Hills, San Francisco-based Blue Shield of California pulled off an unusual feat: a non-profit company was acquiring a private one. And the man charged with running the new CareAmerica Heal

2000

Step back for a moment and take a walk in time. The Year is 1889 and the Paris World's Fair is drawing record crowds. Not just with the Eiffel Tower and its homage to technology, but as a harbinger of one of the supreme transformations in the history of

Co Index

A

Volderbing

Keeping the books for a major automaker and running a health maintenance organization may seem disparate occupations, but Cigna Healthcare's Bud Volberding said experience in one world complements the other.

Embedded

In 1996, chip manufacturing companies shipped over 7 billion microprocessors and microcontrollers. If you count the ones shipped before 1996 the number is in the tens of billions which doesn't even include the old computers like the PDP-11s, Siemans machi

Bowlus

Brad Bowlus runs the second-largest health maintenance organization in California, with 2.2 million members. Only Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente, the original HMO, has more members in the state.

Schaeffer

Often described as blunt, self-confident, and aggressive, Leonard Schaeffer took over as head of Blue Cross of California in 1986, and changed the non-profit company into WellPoint Health Networks Inc., a merger-hungry business that is now one of the larg

Computer

Before Windows 95 came along, with its heightened demands for storage, memory and speed, laptop computers were shrinking to the point where a full-blown PC could be found at less than 3 pounds, and the approximate dimensions of a hard-bound book. It has t

Crenshaw

For years, merchants at Santa Barbara Plaza in the Crenshaw District have seen their volume of business slacken, and they, along with many nearby residents, have pushed for redevelopment.

Execs

Health care reform is a hot topic in Washington again. Congress is taking sides in what is the latest round of the emotionally charged issue of how much health care access and choice Americans should get, and who should pay for it. The White House has tea

Grooming

The House of Blues was grooving its way through a Monday evening, when the situation in the ladies' room suddenly turned dire.

Contract

The Los Angeles City Council has ordered the city's Harbor, Airport and Water and Power departments to review the $100 million-plus worth of contracts they award annually to the private sector to see if the work could be done by city employees.

Toledano

In the age of television and the Internet, many believe that pictures are displacing words as the primary source of information for today's children. And that's good news for PhotoEdit, a Long Beach stock-photo agency that specializes in providing textboo

Corp Focus

The company that for four decades has made young diners happy with the Funny Face Pancake a chocolate flapjack with cherry eyes and a whipped-cream grin is bringing smiles to the faces of investors as well.

200 facts

A. The year 2000 challenge spans the entire information technology (I/T) industry. It arises from the nearly universal practice over the years of using two digits rather than four to designate the calendar

No Merger

In the wake of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s decision last week to call off its $11.6 billion merger with Northrop Grumman Corp., the question is whether Northrop can survive on its own, facing larger, more powerful competitors.

News Summ

BANKS Washington Mutual has a big marketing challenge to keep its local customers after closing two major banks in L.A.

Ent Note

Today, many entrepreneurs are creating successful products and services by playing the technology-transfer game. The game is played by acquiring and converting patented innovations into fabulously successful commercial goods.

BIZ 2000

about the Year 2000. You may even be a little skeptical about the messages contained

Vacation

Next month, SunAmerica Inc. Chairman Eli Broad and his wife, Edyth, are taking their customary two-week summer vacation in this case, a chartered cruise to the Greek Islands.

LA Stories

A large-scale donut operation might not be the easiest path to riches in health-conscious Southern California, but Roger Glickman is finding it even harder than he anticipated.

Market Column

About a year and a half ago, a group of mostly affluent, thirtysomething Angelenos was in mourning over the death of their favorite radio station, which switched its format from adult album alternative to Mexican regional music.

Hasan

As head of the fourth-largest publicly traded managed care organization in the country, Dr. Malik M. Hasan is one of the industry's giants. His company, created by the 1996 marriage of Hasan's Health Systems International and Foundation Health Corp., cate

Ask Lorraine

Question: I run a boutique women's clothing company. We sell our clothing at our own five stores, through selected department stores, as well as through our catalog. Our stores and catalog sales are excellent and we would like to expand. We've talked (and

Margin

You want a glimpse of the new Los Angeles? Take a glimpse at the first few pages of this week's Business Journal.

NewsMakers

Jim Minarik takes over at Clarion Corp. of America just as it is about to release a high-tech automotive gadget that he believes will add profits and prestige to the company.

Overview

Women are demanding to choose their gynecologists. Men want to be reimbursed for Viagra. Doctors want more money for their services. Companies want lower premiums.

Boeing

There's a lot riding on two cargo trains traveling this month from Wichita, Kan. to Long Beach and Renton, Wash. namely, the fate of thousands of aerospace workers in Long Beach.

Goldsmith

As Kaiser Permanente's highest-ranking local executive since 1994, Dr. Oliver Goldsmith oversees the plan's 2.7 million-member, 3,300-physician Southern California operation.

Intro

Who are the faces behind the managed care revolution? Who are the executives caught between the financial interests of shareholders and the health care interests of consumers? The Business Journal's Who's Who Health Care highlights 15 of the major players

Persfi

If you hear about one more complicated investment choice, you may feel like throwing this newspaper across the room. But I have to tell you. Starting Sept. 1, you'll be offered a new type of U.S. Savings Bond.

Digest

Though hardly a tidal wave, health care reform is gathering some momentum on Capitol Hill these days, with no less than three plans (two Republican, one Democrat) to regulate the industry in some fashion or form.

South Ham

Dr. Arthur M. Southam has had his hands full lately, presiding over the integration of Health Net with Foundation Health Systems Inc. following the recent merger of the two big health plans.

Tellez

Exactly a year ago this week, Cora M. Tellez joined Prudential as head of the insurance giant's Western operations, which encompass California, Colorado and Arizona.

History

The L.A. Grain Exchange marked its 50th anniversary, handling more than 1.2 million tons of commodities annually, including corn, sorghum and barley ... Long Beach officials urged President Kennedy to bar the sale of British-made passenger jets to commerc

BedFellows

Silicon Valley is the latest object of affection for Hollywood, and the infatuation appears to be mutual.

Outlook

Real estate experts raised red flags about a looming housing shortage, but sang an upbeat tune about the strength of the office and industrial sectors at last week's Annual Midyear Real Estate Outlook.

Williams

As president of the Blue Cross of California subsidiary of WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Ronald Williams presides over an organization that has seen tremendous change over the past decade.

techTalk

By some accounts, investment banker Herb Allen's Sun Valley powwow of America's elite executives sounded more like a chess match than a mogul-fest. Secrecy is supposed to shroud the annual retreat, but a recent Hollywood Reporter article propagated that f

Molina

Peter Ratican has seen good times and bad during his 10 years at the helm of Maxicare. Originally brought in to save the ailing HMO, he orchestrated a 21-month turnaround culminating in the company's emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1990

Economy

The engine of L.A.'s regional economy is humming once again, but there's a dangerous absence behind the wheel. Once among the most consciously led and promoted spots on earth, Southern California has become a largely headless region with a perennially enf

Oden

A pastor and holder of four graduate degrees in business, public health, divinity and optometry, Clyde Oden has steered a steady path for the "community empowerment enterprise" he joined as an administrator in 1967, rising to the top position within 10 ye

Surfer

With the year 2000 approaching fast, it is critical that you begin the testing phase of your Year 2000 project soon. Testing is projected to be over 50% of your overall project. Because of the possible complexity and interactions between system componen

re

After nearly three decades as the owner of the Polo shop on Rodeo Drive, Jerry Magnin has sold his store to New York-based Polo Ralph Lauren Corp.

Y2k

In 1996, the IT staff at the Gartner Group estimated the worldwide cost of correcting the so-called "Millenium Bug" to be between $300-600 billion. This prediction, however, was based solely on code corrections; they completely neglected to include hardw

County

As director of L.A. County's struggling health maintenance organization, Steve Escoboza is in one of health care's hotter seats.

Produce

On the surface, "Saving Private Ryan" looks like one of the surest hits of summer.

Open

This week's U.S. Senior Open golf championship in Pacific Palisades with be drawing some of the game's greats, as well as a horde of L.A.-area business executives anxious to catch a glimpse of Palmer and Nicklaus.

Vendor

Read the industry press and you'll come away with the feeling that the Year 2000 is simply a mainframe problem, nothing more. Convert the code and you're in control. But for many companies, it's what you can't touch, specifically code in third-party so

SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration, joined by a number of companies, associations, trade groups and U.S. Senators, today launched a national public awareness campaign to alert small businesses to the business risks associated with the Year 2000, or Y2

Graham

Dr. Geoffrey Graham heads the largest independent provider association in Los Angeles County. The Pasadena-based group contracts out the services of some 800 primary care physicians and another 1,800 medical specialists to over a dozen HMOs in Southern Ca

WSW

Westminster Capital Inc. is a wacky investment even by local standards, but that didn't stop tireless publisher-editor Harry Eisenberg from placing it in his new tome "Walker's Manual of Penny Stocks."

Interview

The Westside of Los Angeles is a rarified world of sprawling estates and mansions modern-day castles built and bought by the wealthy of Los Angeles. Not everyone can market such properties, which is why the circle of Realtors working the sky-high niche

Margolis

Dr. Robert Margolis has headed HealthCare Partners, the largest independent physician group in California, ever since its formation in 1992. He also was a founding partner of its predecessor, the California Primary Physicians Medical Group.

Letter

As Los Angeles erupted in flames on April 29, 1992, dozens of businesses in the Crenshaw District were looted and burned to the ground.

Weekly Brief

When Steven Eisenberg and his wife, Billie, were looking for business opportunities, a Stained Glass Overlay franchise seemed like the perfect fit. Franchisees buy pre-cut stained glass pieces from Stained Glass Overlay, and then attach those pieces to a

IPO

There was a sharp drop-off in the number of Los Angeles-based companies that filed initial public offerings during the first six months of this year perhaps reflecting the problems in Asia or a general IPO skittishness on Wall Street.

Monday, July 13

Showbiz

Operators are standing by almost. Merv Griffin is preparing to record a new album of show tunes and sell the CDs on cable's QVC shopping network.

Feature

Bobby Goldwater, the newly appointed senior vice president and general manager of the future Staples Center sports arena in downtown L.A., never thought he'd leave his old job as vice president and events booker at Madison Square Garden.

List Sum

El Ni & #324;o will cause insurance companies to pay out more than usual this year. Last year, however, was a relatively mild year weather-wise across the nation, and property/casualty insurance companies enjoyed a successful 1997. According to A.M. Best, an ins

Why Defecit

L.A.'s economy is booming. Thousands of jobs are being added to payrolls each month, home prices have climbed more than 16 percent in the last year, and new millionaires seem to be created every day.

Commute

When people think of Los Angeles, they think of sprawl long, pockmarked, asphalt distances between friends, relatives, home and work.

S

If the Los Angles economy is enjoying such a great recovery, why have the stocks of its public companies underperformed the national stock indexes?

Edit

It took months of intricate negotiating and perhaps a dash of local politics but city officials and basketball star turned inner-city developer Magic Johnson have reached an agreement on rebuilding the Santa Barbara Plaza shopping center in the Crensh

Corp Focus

Most real estate investment trusts have taken a hit on Wall Street, but not Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc.

Housing

Over the last 10 years, the population of Los Angeles County has grown by more than 870,000 residents. At the same time, the number of building permits for new homes has plummeted to about one-fifth the level of the late 1980s.

Weekly Briefing

The balloon business appears to be taking off, with gift balloons now sold in grocery stores, flower shops and card boutiques. That growth has increased demand for the things that balloonists use: sticks to attach balloons to a stand, the little plastic c

Forum

After Gov. Pete Wilson vetoed an effort by California Democrats to reduce the sales tax, they came back with a proposal to cut vehicle registration fees and save individual motorists up to $130 per year. The question of how best to deal with the state's b

Smallbiz

Four years ago, during a tough time for illustrator Suzanne Dunaway and her film-industry husband Don, a chance remark from a friend prompted her to return to the passion of her Texas childhood: baking bread from scratch.

Margin

There's nothing more eye-glazing to readers than a sea of numbers a prospect that caused us to reassess our annual Business Almanac and introduce a new concept this year: The 15 Whys of Los Angeles.

Aquarium

The city of Long Beach took a big gamble in developing the Aquarium of the Pacific as the centerpiece of its long-planned waterfront revitalization project.

Athome

Whether you're calling on clients, attending a conference or taking a well-earned vacation, you can take your home office with you. A variety of products let you keep in touch and get work done while on the road. But even with high-tech portable equipment

Interview

Lauren Rottet is an architect by training, but she chose early in her career to concentrate on the insides of a building, which she believes can influence the way people work. Described as a modernist, Rottet strives for interior environments that are cal

Persfi

One of the oddities of the securities industry is that nearly all employees, from stock brokers to traders, right up to top-flight investment bankers, sign binding arbitration clauses with brokerages.

LA Stories

A Union Pacific train derailment at the Toyota terminal at the Port of Long Beach last week ended up spilling a pair of rail cars stacked with 30 brand-new Lexus autos. The two rail cars, loaded with 15 vehicles each, fell over on their sides, putting som

Public

Los Angeles has become a place of tremendous wealth in recent years, fueled by the entertainment-industry boom, international trade, appreciating real estate values and a historic bull run on Wall Street.

History

30 Years Ago This Week: Housing starts were down nationwide, but up in the West ... McDonnell Douglas in Long Beach was feeling the pinch of aerospace cuts ... Great Western Financial Corp. reported second-quarter profits of 31 cents a share, up from 17 c

Taxes

Los Angeles is justly known as a high-tax city in a high-tax state. So why is it doing so well? Why aren't more of its businesses fleeing to cheaper climes like, say, Tennessee?

Re

CB Richard Ellis' acquisition spree continues. Last week, the company announced it has acquired London-based Hillier Parker May & Rowden, a 102-year-old commercial property services firm with 500 employees.

Income

L.A. may be in the midst of a robust recovery, but you would be hard pressed to notice it at the lower rungs of the region's economic ladder.

Oped

The city is home to Hollywood, the global dream factory, and yet it also is the nation's top manufacturing center.

Media

L.A.'s car culture makes this the top radio market in the country beating even New York, the nation's biggest city in population.

Film

Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette is looking to gain a bigger presence in the Hollywood after hiring away three of Citicorp's top entertainment financing executives last month.

Miramax

Miramax Films' startling announcement last week that it plans to start a magazine focused on turning articles into movies was greeted as the latest twist in Hollywood's increasing practice of ripping stories from the headlines.

Co Index

A

Digest Add

WellPoint Health Networks Inc. announced last week announced plans for a $500 million acquisition of the Cerulean Cos. Inc., parent of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia.

College

Depending on where you look, education in Los Angeles is either an ongoing disaster or the envy of the world.

Cosco

After two years of legal squabbling, a final decision on plans by the Port of Long Beach to lease a former Navy base to a Chinese shipping company could be just weeks away, port officials say.

Toledano

Los Angeles County has the state's largest number of doctors. But it also has some of the largest caseloads of AIDS, tuberculosis, syphilis and gonorrhea.

Movies

After a decade of dramatic gains in the entertainment industry, the number of movie production jobs dipped slightly in the first five months of the year which industry observers attribute to a reduction in the number of blockbuster films.

Digest

Paul G. Allen, the well-known billionaire investor who co-founded Microsoft Corp., is about to become the largest shareholder of DreamWorks SKG.

Venture

Los Angeles' technology industry has voiced this lament so often that it hangs over the city almost as tangibly as the smog.

Playa

From the bluffs overlooking the Playa Vista development, David Herbst and Lisa Weil of Playa Capital LLC were pointing out where homes, offices and studios would replace fields and abandoned Hughes Aircraft buildings.

Japan

What Asian crisis? Next week, a group of high-level Japanese tour operators is being flown to Los Angeles as part of an effort by local officials to generate even more business from Japan.

Football

Miami has 3.5 million people in its metropolitan area, and it has the Dolphins football team. Pittsburgh has 2.4 million people, and it has the Steelers. Green Bay, Wis., has a mere 213,072 people, and it has the Packers.

Ent Note

Singer, Lewak, Greenbaum & Goldstein LLP has announced three promotions. Jeff Kalina has been promoted to supervisor of the accounting department, Erika Joseph has been named supervisor in the firm's SEC department, and Chris Klapperich has been promoted

Smog

Longtime residents of L.A. can see that the region's air is much cleaner today than it used to be. The ubiquitous brownish-orange pall that blanketed the city for months on end is now only an occasional occurrence. The number of Stage 1 smog alerts in the

QuarterDeck

Quarterdeck Corp., once one of L.A.'s fastest growing and most promising companies, is on life support and may not survive.

Banks

The Los Angeles metropolitan area is the second most populous in the nation, and the local economy is booming again, back to the familiar post-World War II pattern of growth.

Market Column

There is a television station in Los Angeles that gives away free advertising time. But nobody is taking them up on it.

Manufacturing

Here's a deep dark secret about Los Angeles: Despite the glitz, glamour and international reputation of Hollywood, the entertainment industry remains a relatively small part of the overall economy.

Monday, July 6

Persfi

You may find that your long-distance telephone bill keeps going up, despite the lower rates per minute that the phone companies promote. Two things are happening: You're paying more fees and getting hit with restructured charges.

Correction

An item in the June 29 L.A. Stories column misidentified the location of a 99 Cents Only Store. The store is located at 6121 Wilshire Blvd. in the Miracle Mile district of Los Angeles.

GM

Jim Lynch is making major changes at General Motors Corp. dealerships in the San Fernando Valley, where he is charged with reversing a slump that has turned the Valley into one of GM's poorest-selling markets in the nation.

GB Harb Son's

G. B. Harb Son's

history

Twenty-five years ago this week: Moving beyond burgers, Jack-in-the-Box rolled out its Breakfast Jack to compete with the McDonald's Egg McMuffin. The McMuffin itself was newly available nationally, after being pioneered by Herbert Peterson, the owner of

Forum

It's been a bumpy ride on Wall Street for the first half of the year, with early gains in the stock market leveling off recently amid signs that the Asian financial crisis will depress corporate earnings at home. With half the year yet to unfold, the Busi

Env List

The environmental services industry is undergoing a nationwide contraction, and L.A. County firms are feeling its effects. Six firms that were on last year's list either have spun off their environmental operations, merged, been acquired, moved away, or s

Rebriefs

Action on Westside properties in prime locations continued last week, with West Los Angeles-based Douglas Emmett Realty Advisors buying the 10-story office building at the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards in Beverly Hills for an estima

Disney

The Walt Disney Co., whose steady, steep gains in earnings and stock price have made it something of a Wall Street phenomenon, suffered the biggest one-day drop in its share price in nearly a decade last week after a group of New York-based financial anal

Corporate Ed

How, what, when, and where chief executives of small- to medium-size firms get the information and knowledge they need to move their businesses forward is a major challenge. They must carefully leverage the limited time and money they have available for e

New Sum

WAGES Southern California companies are boosting wages again and that means price increases for many retail goods and services.

Weekly Briefing

When Michael Murdock became president of Chilay Foods in La Puente a year and a half ago, the food manufacturing company was faced with the problem of growing its business without raising consumer prices. Murdock spoke with Alexa Apallas about his efforts

MBA

Ernest Jewell, instructor in the California State University Dominguez Hills Televised MBA program, told of a student in the interactive program who called immediately after one of the weekly three-hour classes. He answered the question relating to the c

Newsmaker

Robert Teinowitz has been promoted to vice president of production at the Santa Monica-based Spark Factory. He has been a producer with the Spark Factory since 1996 and is currently working on promotions for several TV series on the WB network. Prior to j

Forum Add

I don't expect to see the same type of growth as in 1997. However, I do expect to see a rise in the banking and pharmaceutical sectors.

Ask Lorriane

Question: In almost every area of managing my business, I feel confident about my abilities, except one: negotiating. Whenever I have to negotiate terms of a deal, I get so nervous I feel like passing out, and my throat gets so dry I can hardly speak. Wha

Market Column

Memo to advertisers: Don't try to be funny if you want Vietnamese immigrants to buy your product. They regard advertising as a source of information, and see nothing entertaining about it.

Opportunities

When young people in the past considered health care careers, they probably thought their options were limited to medicine, nursing or dentistry. Much has changed in health care in recent years, however.

City Search

CitySearch Inc. has never posted a profit, has no proven revenue model and has liabilities exceeding assets by a whopping $58.7 million.

LA Stories

Fred Hayman went out with a full house last week, with some 500 of his customers and friends turning out to salute the legendary Rodeo Drive boutique owner who recently closed his shop after more than 30 years.

Wages

Squeezed by increasingly tight labor markets, local employers are boosting their wages by the highest margins since the 1980s leading to corresponding price increases for many retail goods and services.

NFl

Backers of the plan to overhaul the Coliseum to attract a pro football team to Los Angeles have hit on a strategy to secure state and federal funding sufficient to close a $61 million gap in their financial package.

Oped

This far into an economic cycle it's natural to look for any sign that the expansion has peaked such as conflicting views on the direction of the economy.

Correx

An item on the Newsmakers page in the June 29 issue misspelled the name of the public relations firm where Dana Galin has been named L.A. office managing director. It is the Gable Group.

Univision

For most U.S. television broadcasters, viewer response to the World Cup soccer tournament has been as disappointing as the U.S. team's performance at the event.

Old

News stories suggest that the Southern California apartment market is booming, with median rents rising and vacancy rates shrinking. But if that's the case, why are there so many "Now Renting" banners hanging outside apartment buildings in places like Van

Co Index

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Playa

Playa Capital Co. LLC has rejected developer Robert Maguire's $78 million bid to buy the entertainment studio portion of Playa Vista, choosing instead to reserve the site for DreamWorks SKG.

Cards

When Michael Selsman meets a new business contact at a conference or party, he doesn't just reach into his billfold and hand out a business card.

Ent Note

Web sites are perishable commodities; they need constant updating. A site that motivated visitors two weeks or two months ago may not today. Worse, last year's site might not reflect a company's current strategies or make maximum use of current Web techno

Newsmakers

Greg Jones says the answer to State Farm Insurance's challenges in California is consolidation.

Phones

Fueled by cheaper rates, the number of cellular phone users in the Los Angeles area has doubled in the past four years to an estimated 3 million subscribers.

Titanic

When Paramount Pictures yanked "Titanic" from a scheduled July opening last summer, some pundits predicted the film was headed for a wintry grave since delaying a release date often signals trouble.

Wsw

Word is there are some bruised feelings at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. in Century City.

Bowne

The image of a hand making the "OK" signal, with index finger touching the thumb and other fingers extended, is a common sight on American Web sites. It is used to indicate when someone wants to move to the next screen.

Connie

When Warner Bros. refused to give Connie Stevens a raise from the paltry $250 a week she was getting for playing Cricket Blake in "Hawaiian Eye" during the early '60s, the plucky actress began selling Avon cosmetics in front of the studio commissary.

LA Business School

Fall 1998 marks a new beginning at Cal State L.A.'s business school. The School of Business and Economics has just appointed a new Dean to lead the school into the next century. At the same time, they are launching our redesigned MBA program.

Digest

Beverly Hills-based Hilton Hotels Corp. last week announced that it has decided to split off its gambling operations into a separate public company, which would then merge with a Mississippi casino operator.

Fishbowl

The Truman Show, a current box office success, depicts the story of a man whose life is, in fact, a television documentary designed for continual viewing by the public. Truman offers a humorous comment on the intrusion of television into our liv

Computer Column

Infoseek is a 4-year-old start-up company with fewer than 200 employees and annual sales around $35 million. It has never made a profit. Not exactly the kind of outfit you would expect to be worth $1 billion.

Homes

The amount of time it takes to sell a home in Los Angeles County has shrunk to a median of just 34 days the shortest time period since the real estate industry began tracking such figures in 1987.

Galander

Education: B.A., English literature, University of Michigan; Master's in urban planning from Yale University.

Ed

"Outsourcing," "training the trainer," "emerging partnerships" these buzzwords indicate that all aspects of training and education within business are shifting rapidly. At a time of significant change and re-engineering for many large corporate entiti

Hollywood

There was a time when Hollywood went begging for new development. But now, city officials are facing the prospect of competition for development rights a sure sign that Tinseltown is making a comeback.

Northtrop

Northrop Grumman Corp. last week held what could be the final shareholders meeting of a primary Los Angeles aerospace contractor. But stockholders at the meeting, many of them Northrop retirees, were not waxing nostalgic about the industry that helped bui

Lareits

L.A.'s once-sizzling real estate investment trusts are cooling off considerably.

Ridley Thomas

Claiming its onions are "so sweet you can eat 'em like an apple," a Washington State onion growers association has targeted Los Angeles for its first major out-of-state marketing campaign.

Viking

Torrance-based Viking Office Products Inc., the world's largest mail-order office-supply company, last week received federal approval for its proposed merger with Office Depot Inc., clearing the way for stockholders of both companies to vote on the $2.7 b

Oped #2

The Supreme Court has now ruled the line-item veto unconstitutional. The pro-spending lobby in Washington is uncorking bottles of champagne. But oddly enough, there is quiet celebration on Capitol Hill as well among Democrats and Republicans alike now

Tech Talk

Having spent years courting venture capitalists, Internet entrepreneur Bill Gross has decided to become one.

Animation

Feature films, independent projects, video and computer games, engineering, and biomedical applications are all becoming increasingly dependent upon computer-generated imagery. 3D animation and special effects in movies, television, advertising, and in c