Stories for October 1998

Monday, October 26

WMC

Two major lease deals in West Hills have unraveled in recent weeks, a troubling sign that the turmoil on Wall Street has hit the San Fernando Valley.

Ask Loraine

Question: My business has very narrow margins and we probably net about $500,000 a year. I'm trying to keep expenses down to increase our net income. Are you aware of any new methods that would help us achieve this goal?

RE Column

The Business Journal's recent third-quarter real estate report examined the industry's future in Los Angeles, paying specific attention to what kind of development will take place and where it will occur.

State

They're sometimes dismissed as "other races," but the posts of state controller, treasurer and insurance commissioner have an impact on businesses and private citizens throughout California.

Mceachem

It is not uncommon for Doug McEachern, a partner in real estate services for Deloitte & Touche LLP in Los Angeles, to spend weeks working up a deal only to see the whole thing fall apart. But he shrugs it off as "part of the process."

RE Column2

The Business Journal's recent third-quarter real estate report examined the industry's future in Los Angeles, paying specific attention to what kind of development will take place and where it will occur.

Race

Most L.A. congressional races are runaways but not in the 36th District, which includes working-class San Pedro, wealthy Palos Verdes, and such key assets as LAX and the Port of Los Angeles.

Ritchie

Tax accountants have a reputation as a risk-averse bunch. But not Gregg Ritchie. As a partner at KPMG Peat Marwick, he behaved more like a high-flying portfolio manager than a mere tax preparer.

Small Biz

Melody Barnett's costumes have been featured in thousands of television shows and movies, and studio costume designers rave about her store's huge selection and excellent customer service. On a recent afternoon, the phone at her Palace Costume & Prop Co.

Freshman

James Rogan came to Congress as a political rookie by Washington standards, though as a member of the majority party, a former prosecutor and a conservative that even liberals call likeable, the Pasadena Republican landed a plum assignment on the House Ju

Digest

In a potential blow to the local economy, Boeing Co. has delayed the start-up of a new 737 jetliner assembly line in Long Beach and is reconsidering the project altogether.

Mortgage

As anyone who has tried to buy or refinance a home already knows, the mortgage market is going nuts.

Weekly Briefing

Like most segments of the food industry, the meat-packing business can be a challenging one, fraught with intense competition and razor-thin margins. Glen Rose, president of Vernon-based Rose Meat Services Inc., often faces an even tougher issue custome

Quarterdeck

L.A.'s high-tech industry has lost what had become a lucrative niche: companies that develop troubleshooting software for personal computers.

Avagliano

Guy Avagliano works in the rarefied world of property and casualty insurance actuaries. In fact, he is one of only 1,600 full-fledged actuaries in the United States with that specialty.

Featured Newsmaker

Banking has become increasingly automated in recent years, but plenty of human power is still required. This is especially true of a bank's back-office operations, which basically involve making sure all the money moves to where it's supposed to be.

Miller

Name a major development project in Los Angeles that involved city money in the last couple of years, and chances are good that Gerry Miller played a behind-the-scenes role.

Swingseats

Democrats and Republicans, having both determined that control of the state Assembly will be determined by only a dozen or so key races, are pouring resources into those campaigns. And nearly half the key races are in Los Angeles.

Dwyer

Much like a physician treating a patient, Mike Dwyer takes ailing hospitals, medical groups and health care provider organizations and helps return them to health.

Congressional

California's often dysfunctional Congressional delegation is showing some signs of unity these days.

Newsmakers

Robert Jernigan has joined the Los Angeles office of Gensler as technical director. Prior to joining, Jernigan was a vice president with DMJM/Keating.

Margin

A big portion of our big paper this week is taken up with two big special reports both starting on page 1.

Range

When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, there is no more valuable commodity than information. And information is Greg Range's specialty.

Dahlberg

Conflicts? Troy Dahlberg has heard a million of them. From hamburgers in Hong Kong to subways in Los Angeles, Dahlberg is brought on to determine whose money often running well into the millions belongs to whom.

Strong

The managing partner of financial analysis services group for the Western region of PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP, Strong often is used as an expert witness in complex legal cases in which one company is suing another over antitrust actions, copyrights, frau

Kotkin

Steve Koltai has the ethnicity right, but he's unlikely to be the Moses who can lead Los Angeles out of the digital desert. After all, Koltai's fledgling business, Cyberstudios, lacks the big-name capital or media attention that follows other Internet fir

Hughes

By many measures, the last several months have not been kind to Hughes Electronics Corp.

Giss

Since his junior accounting days almost 30 years ago at Deloitte & Touche LLP, Richard Giss has eyeballed financial statements for retailers to ensure that those accounts receivables balance with the accounts payable. Today, in addition to being an audito

Letter Downtown

We have read your publication's special report on downtown Los Angeles (Oct. 5) and wish to address the following issues.

Leonard

Assembly Republican Leader Bill Leonard might have had a very different career if not for term limits. The Inland Empire Republican served in the state Assembly from 1978 to 1988 before moving up to the state Senate. But then the term limits law passed, a

Cruncher

Steven Hronec has built a career on the principle that you can measure just about anything.

Persfi

My favorite real estate truth-teller is John T. Reed of Alamo, Calif. He writes a newsletter, the Real Estate Investor's Monthly, and he watches the self-styled real estate gurus with a hard, appraising eye.

Computer Column

While staying in a hotel on a business trip, we logged on to the Internet to make a quick check of incoming e-mails. Amid the usual collection of urgent, not-so-urgent, and totally useless messages there were a few that would qualify as "Spam." This is th

Market Column

Poor Al Checchi. While the Beverly Hills multimillionaire may be the poster boy for wasted campaign expenditures after shelling out more than $40 million in a failed run for governor, the fact is that the candidate who spends the most money on advertising

Sandmeier

If no two companies are the same, then neither are any two tax strategies. That's why John Sandmeier divides the marketplace into as many specific niches as possible and tailors his tax accounting services accordingly.

Newsmakersadd

Al Corral has joined KCET-TV Channel 28 as executive producer of its "Life & Times Tonight" program. He will be responsible for the show's editorial content and on-air presentation. He was previously news director at KPIX-TV, a CBS affiliate in San Franci

Kutler

The world of aerospace investment analysis is a small one, with the same names popping up again and again, whether the company being talked about is Boeing Co., Northrop Grumman Corp. or a smaller subcontractor.

TechTalk

A self-described evangelical venture capitalist has hit town, swearing that he can turn Los Angeles into the next Silicon Valley.

History

20 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Reflecting dissatisfaction over President Carter's anti-inflation plan, the U.S. dollar fell to its lowest level since World War II Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. reported third-quarter net income of $18.4 million, a 42 percent

Glossary

Like most highly skilled professionals, number crunchers speak a language all their own, tossing out terminology that can leave even a business-savvy executive scratching his or her head in confusion. What follows is a glossary of some popular accounting

Lovoy

He meets eager technology entrepreneurs over breakfast and reads business plans at night. He advises first-timers on what a business plan should look like, and helps early-stage start-ups bring their plans into sharper focus. Lovoy piles this essentially

Dupar

The wood-back counter stools have been replaced and the menu now includes Caesar salads. But one thing at Du-par's is the same as it was decades ago: the price of pie.

Interview

Most Admired Person: His father, a tobacco farmer, who "although he had very little, was always willing to help everyone"

Harney

When Gary King was battling intense boredom during his stint in Vietnam in between the occasional action as a sniper in the infantry he made himself a promise to walk away from any job, no matter how good the pay, if he was not enjoying himself.

Largest

One third of the entries on the Business Journal's list of the 100 largest privately owned companies in Los Angeles County are manufacturers reflecting Los Angeles County's standing as the nation's largest manufacturing center in terms of employment.

Margulis

To hear Marc Margulis tell it, accountants who spend too much time huddled over their spreadsheets are simply not doing their jobs.

Keglevic

Paul Keglevic's client list pretty much covers all the major utilities in the West.

Westwood

Participating fully in Wall Street's current sound and fury is West Los Angeles-based Jefferies Group Inc., the brokerage and investment banking shop known for trading large blocks of stock and underwriting and trading junk bonds.

Initiatives

This may not seem to be the year for sexy propositions, but don't let looks fool you: Of the dozen or so measures that will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, at least half could impact L.A.'s business community.

Nedick

When entertainment giants like Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. or a cost-conscious producer like Dick Clark need someone to cut through the smoke and mirrors of a pending Hollywood deal, they turn to Arthur Andersen's John Nendick.

Hollis

When local municipal governments analyze a redevelopment project determining if it will attract partners, if it will make money and how much the city will have to contribute they often turn to Calvin Hollis II.

Forum

Over the last year, a spate of major U.S. public companies have incurred the scrutiny of the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged accounting irregularities, sparking widespread concern across corporate America. More prevalent, however, are the c

Governor

California's business agenda could be on the verge of getting a swift kick in the pants.

Newline

When it was founded three decades ago, New Line Cinema was a tiny boutique delivering such edgy fare as "Pink Flamingos" and "Reefer Madness." Later, it became the low-rent home of the blood-curdling Freddy Krueger.

MRV

Last month, Deloitte & Touche LLP lauded MRV Communications Inc. as the third fastest-growing high-tech company in L.A. County, after it posted a blistering revenue growth rate of 2,136 percent between 1993 and 1997.

Entnote

PRODUCTION HER PHOTO RAN IN ENTREPRENEUR'S NOTEBOOK ON BOTH MARCH 30 AND APRIL 5, 1998

Murdoch

News Corp. hopes to raise $1.9 billion from a public offering in Fox Entertainment Group, but an inquiring investor would be hard pressed to chat about the deal with the company's peripatetic chairman.

Senate

California's tight race for U.S. Senate is the classic liberal vs. conservative match-up.

Overview

Who would have thought that auditing would become corporate America's latest contact sport?

Monday, October 19

Logistics

It is, of course, the Vincent van Gogh exhibit, coming to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in January and already wowing thousands each day at Washington's National Gallery of Art, the only other city where the exhibit is being shown.

Tri-Cities

First it was Burbank, then Glendale. Now it appears that Pasadena the longtime under-performer of the Tri-Cities is poised to become L.A. County's hot new market for office real estate.

Computer Column

Cole Porter wrote: "When you're in love, smoke gets in your eyes." Too often I meet small-business owners who are so in love with their product or service, that they have never taken the time to consider what their customers really want.

Edit

This being Los Angeles, housing is considered a very big deal but usually in relation to mortgage rates, home prices and how much closet space the new place has. With almost four out of 10 L.A. County residents now able to afford a median-priced home, a

Office

Kiss your desk goodbye. Between telecommuting and so-called "hoteling," the workplace is undergoing some of its most dramatic changes in years.

History

30 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: In a deal valued at $39 million, Broadway-Hale Stores Inc. acquired the Dallas-based department store chain Neiman Marcus Howard Hughes announced he was purchasing the space-needle shaped Landmark Tower hotel-casino in Las Vegas f

Digest

News Corp.'s American Sky Broadcasting suffered a major blow when a deal to buy its valuable orbital satellite slot fell apart.

Future

The year is 2020, the place Los Angeles. Downtown is teeming with life, as more people choose to live right next to office towers. Workers report to satellite offices in their neighborhoods or just operate out of their homes. Older neighborhoods and com

Politics

Several major projects Playa Vista, the Universal Studios Inc. expansion and Village Center Westwood, to name a few have been in the works for years with little or no actual building taking place.

Midwilshire

With a growing number of tenants fleeing tight conditions and rising rents on the Westside, the Miracle Mile's office market is beginning to see more action but none of that activity has yet to reach nearby Mid-Wilshire, where vacancy rates remain among

Corpfocus

Like many health-related companies, Total Renal Care Holdings Inc. has gone through some rough sledding on Wall Street in recent months. Its stock, which reached a 52-week high in late June, took a serious dive in early September.

Fox

Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. has completed an ambitious $200 million renovation over the past year, adding three new buildings to its Pico Boulevard lot and refurbishing a number of vintage structures from Hollywood's golden age.

At Home

Finding time to spread the word about the products and services your home-based business offers can be a challenge. Marketing tends to slide to the bottom of the to-do list because it often does not demand the same urgency as deadline-driven projects. Whe

Newsmakers

Debra Lieberman-Martucci has been appointed senior vice president and media director at Santa Monica-based Palisades Media Group Inc. Lieberman-Martucci will head a new division of PMG that focuses on consumer and retail advertising. She previously was se

Letter Katz

I just confirmed that the appointed Charter Reform Commission has distributed tens of thousands of questionnaires to the public, asking for its input before the commission concludes its discovery process and begins to write its final recommendations. To d

Bizschools

When Business Week's biennial ranking of the nation's top 25 business schools hit the newsstands, USC's Marshall School of Business celebrated its 25th place ranking with wine and hors d'oeuvres at a reception for faculty, staff and students.

Small Biz

Amid the chaos on the set of the CBS sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," one cast member sits unfazed on the flowered couch Shamsky the English bulldog.

RE Column

Another entertainment project is coming to Hollywood. And while it may be a fraction of the size of TrizecHahn Corp.'s ballyhooed entertainment-retail complex, the mini-studio will further fuel Hollywood's long-anticipated revitalization, boosters say.

Digest Add

Mann Theatres is reportedly negotiating a deal to acquire about 100 movie screens in California owned by General Cinemas.

Southbay

The South Bay real estate picture continued to improve in the third quarter as vacancy rates declined and rents increased for both office and industrial properties.

NBC

Hollywood's major studios have launched a bold initiative to boycott No. 1 TV network NBC, in what is becoming a battle of nerves over ownership, licensing fees and renewals of prime-time series for next season.

Newsmaker

It might seem a peculiar career path: going from a top executive at L.A's biggest newspaper to head its biggest theme park. But Robert Brisco says it's a natural jump.

Westside

West L.A.'s tight office market got even tighter in the third quarter, as expanding law firms, financial houses, and high-tech, multimedia and entertainment companies continued to eat up space.

Rodeo

A turf war has broken out over one of L.A.'s prime plots of real estate: Rodeo Drive.

Show Biz

The National Football League, which grabbed $18 billion in new deals with ABC, CBS and ESPN prior to this season, isn't scoring too many touchdowns with audiences thanks, in part, to an unusually exciting baseball season chock full of home-run derbies a

Analyst

A few years ago, analyst Charlotte Chamberlain singled out a little-known thrift based in Santa Monica called FirstFed Financial Corp. with a "buy" recommendation.

Jetquiz

a) Is one or more location in a different city or state (more than 200 miles away)?

Weekly Briefing

The arrival of giant pet-supply chains has put a number of mom-and-pop operators out of business. When Petco Animal Supplies Inc. put up about 85 stores in Southern California alone, local pet stores were faced with a new challenge. Lauren Hollingsworth s

SF Valley

Office vacancy rates in the San Fernando Valley, especially the super-hot West Valley, continued to plummet in the third quarter of 1998, driven down by a flurry of deals in Warner Center and the Woodland Hills area.

Letter Goldberg

It is hard to philosophically argue with Scott Holleran's closing comment that Americans should have the "right to choose and pay for one's own health care" ("Republican Plan Addresses HMO Horror," Sept. 28). The sad truth, however, is that millions of Am

Letter Bratter

Before Thomas Bros. came down here from the Bay Area ("Thomas Bros. Maps Chief Weighs Selling the Company," Sept. 28), Los Angeles had its own street guide, founded in 1922 by local cartographer Jacque Renee. I met him in the late 1950s in his downtown re

Leaseback

COPY: Thanks to the growth and success of the business aviation industry, there are now a number of aircraft options available to corporate travelers. Three options leaseback programs, aircraft management and charter allow you to enjoy the benefits of

Margin

An old colleague once told me that the secret to being a good editor is peripheral hearing. It's amazing what you can pick up in the middle of a newsroom some of it cringe-worthy, some of it inspiring, some of it just plain interesting.

Interview

Ever since Alexandra Levine was a little girl, she knew that she wanted to be a doctor except she didn't know why.

Vangogh

The largest collection of Vincent van Gogh's work to travel outside of the Netherlands in more than 25 years comes to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in January bringing with it an economic and cultural boon most cities would covet.

Accessing Business Aircraft

To the unenlightened, business jets are often thought of as the epitome of conspicuous consumption, a contemptible and wretched example of needless luxury. But among those who have experienced the convenience, security, and the globe-shrinking utility t

Korea

Looking to flee their homeland's worst recession in decades, Koreans are coming to Los Angeles in search of work sometimes legally and sometimes not.

Roadshow

Before an initial public offering or secondary stock or bond issue comes to market, the lead investment company travels with its client on an arduous sales campaign. Known as a "roadshow," the marketing program consists of an intensive series of meetings

Ventura

If economic trouble is on the way from either Asia or Wall Street, it hasn't yet dampened Ventura County's commercial real estate market.

Delvelopment

The big question, however, is whether infill projects will make financial sense, especially since these developments will lean more toward rehabilitation than new construction. And given the cost of such items as asbestos removal and code compliance, reha

Burkle

Last week's announced purchase of Fred Meyer Inc. by Kroger Co. caps years of buying and selling supermarket chains large and small and it will make the billionaire Burkle wealthier still.

Arco

Analysts say the staff cuts announced last week by the Los Angeles-based oil company coupled with the company's recent divestiture of its chemical and coal holdings and a management shakeup make Arco a more attractive takeover target than ever.

Persfi

For thousands of American homeowners, the question of the week is not whether to refinance their mortgage, but whether to pull extra cash out when they do refinance.

Downtown

Downtown Los Angeles remains at a crossroads, awaiting new developments that some say will revitalize the area while fighting a rear-guard action against corporate downsizing and defections to the Westside.

Correction

Accompanying an Oct. 5 story on class-B office properties ("Obsolete Buildings Contribute to Downtown Problems") was a photograph with an incorrect caption. The building pictured is actually the Pacific Financial Center at 800 W. Sixth St. and it is 86 pe

HDTV

High-definition television makes its much-ballyhooed debut on four L.A. stations next month, ushering television into the digital era, with sharper pictures, CD-quality sound and, eventually, interactivity on your television.

Petersen

As the world continues to grow smaller through the rapid spread of technology, the business jet or corporate aircraft is more and more becoming a necessary resource. The vast improvements in communications, whether by modem or voice, over fiber optic cab

Auditor

"Audit." The very word can send shivers down a chief executive's spine or prick the ears of a Wall Street analyst.

Letter Rountree

The article, "Getty Trims Programs," (Oct. 5) failed to convey the actual context for program changes at the J. Paul Getty Trust, the foundation which operates the Getty Center, the J. Paul Getty Museum and programs devoted to education, conservation, res

Inland

The Simi Valley office of Schlumberger Test & Transactions, a San Jose-based maker of electronic testing equipment, is laying off 78 of 419 employees due to a glut of computer memory chips in Asia, which in turn has weakened demand for the company's testi

San Gabriel Valley

The third quarter saw the continuation of a familiar story in the San Gabriel Valley, with developers scrambling to get new space on the market as vacancy rates tighten especially in the City of Industry.

Jones

Musician, producer and entrepreneur Quincy Jones is adding the title of restaurateur to his resume, with plans to open Q's Jook Joint, an eatery and entertainment club, at TrizecHahn Corp.'s new Hollywood and Highland project.

Midcities

An unmistakable note of caution is being heard in Mid-Cities real estate circles, despite the fact that rents are rising and vacancies are decreasing in an already tight market.

Merrill

Layoffs at Merrill Lynch & Co. may be sending shock waves through New York, but so far there is little fear of such sweeping layoffs locally.

Carousel

When Secret Service agents began making security arrangements for Hillary Rodham Clinton to attend Marvin and Barbara Davis' star-studded charity gala in 1996, they wanted to install a metal detector to ensure the first lady's safety.

Lastory

Strolling into a recent Hollywood party wearing one glove and with an exotic animal in tow was... no, not Michael Jackson.

Hollybid

In another sign of Hollywood's ongoing attempt to reinvent itself, the neighborhood's business improvement district recently quadrupled in size after a majority of property owners approved the expansion.

Forum

In an effort to foil counterfeiters, the government recently released a redesigned $20 bill. Changes include color-shifting ink on the lower right corner in the front, a larger portrait of Andrew Jackson with harder-to-copy details and a lot of white spac

Aviation

At this point, we are seeing some very interesting points of evolution in the Aviation Industry. Not only on a regional and national basis, but on an International basis also.

Market Column

Just a year ago, New York and Los Angeles were battling for bragging rights over which was the nation's No. 2 new-media center after Silicon Valley.

OPED

Commercial real estate's vital signs remained healthy in the third quarter, with any movements up or down in rents or vacancies fairly modest in most areas of Los Angeles.

Right Stuff

The Right Stuff, a record label that specializes in soul and R & B; reissues, has an unusual strategy for success moving its headquarters from Hollywood to the San Fernando Valley.

Tourist

For tourism officials, it's a worst-case scenario an out-of-town guest is gunned down just steps away from the front door of his or her hotel.

Monday, October 12

Newsmakers

Robert J. Schlener has been named partner at Singer Lewak Greenbaum & Goldstein LLP. Schlener will be based in the Los Angeles office.

Universal

Universal Studios Inc. was thrown yet another curve last week when L.A. County planning officials voted to limit excessively loud film production on the studio lot.

Coliseum

With the clock ticking down toward a crucial Oct. 27 meeting with National Football League owners, the partnership bidding to bring pro football back to the Coliseum is scrambling to freshen its playbook.

Interview

Joe Loggia is the producer of MAGIC, the largest apparel trade show in the world. But the 39-year-old Loggia doesn't come from the world of fashion.

Radio

With the recent stock market seesaws, TV and newspaper executives are getting nervous as advertisers think twice about their spending commitments. But local radio just keeps on rocking.

Company Index

A

Flaks

The tech boom has led to another boom: local public relations firms, especially those specializing in the Internet and other leading-edge technologies.

Shepherdsnip

Sam Shepherd's day starts at 4 a.m., usually just four hours after he has gone to bed.

Felicity

All it takes is a single hit show to catapult an also-ran network into the big leagues, as upstart The WB is discovering with its new show "Felicity."

Bonds

Qualified small-issue industrial development revenue bonds are an alternative conduit form of financing that provide manufacturers and processors with lower borrowing costs by virtue of the exclusion of interest income on the bonds under Sections 103(a) a

Perret

Two weeks ago, as a stolen 7-Up truck barreled down a Los Angeles freeway weaving in and out of traffic, Larry Perret was scrambling to make sure the cameras were ready, the reporters were on the scene, and the helicopters were buzzing overhead.

Newsmakers add

Suzanne Krajewski has been promoted to senior vice president of marketing, promotion and publicity for Twentieth Century Fox International Television. She will have increased responsibilities in the Pay TV area.

Adelsons

If you want to talk to Scott Adelson, take a number time is an extremely valuable commodity for the mergers-and-acquisitions specialist.

Hixons

Pasadena's Hixon family is one of the nation's richest families, with an estimated $1.1 billion in assets. And for years, they've kept their business pretty much to themselves.

RE Column

West Hollywood is poised to choose among four proposals to spruce up a 7 & #733;-acre parcel of land at the eastern edge of town, a gritty industrial area that once was rife with prostitutes.

Tech Talk

Fall Internet World '98, held in New York last week, spawned the usual array of new product announcements. One of the more interesting ones came out of home-grown company MicroCap1000.com Ltd.

Beauty

Scheduled to open in Beverly Hills this month is the ultimate one-stop beauty destination, where patrons can take yoga lessons, boot up their laptops and get their astrological forecasts in addition to more mundane stuff like having their hair done.

Hoyosnip

He calls the Beverly Hills Hotel a small city, which makes Alberto del Hoyo the mayor. And he's a very hands-on city official.

Family

It's an all too familiar story. Hard-charging career types who short-change home and family to get ahead, only to wake up one morning with their personal life in shambles.

Japan

Faced with mounting bad loans at home and a weaker U.S. client base, Japanese banks are retreating from the Los Angeles market.

Fashion

The muscle-bound, Speedo-clad male models were getting the crowd's attention. But the real attraction at the Directives West fashion show last week was a pair of 40-something women who have managed to amass a striking amount of influence in apparel circle

Year End

Labor Day has come and gone, and although some of us are currently filing our 1997 income tax returns, for most of us, 1997 income taxes are merely an unpleasant memory. It is hard to imagine that we are already into the last three months of 1998, the la

Corrcetion

An item in the Oct. 5 Newsmakers column incorrectly identified the location of the headquarters for Bovis Construction Group. The company is based in London as is its new chief executive, Luther Cochrane.

Sollenberger

Donna Sollenberger never planned to go into health care. She had chosen a career in politics, but when her boss, the governor of Illinois, lost his reelection bid she lost her position. Little did she know her decision to work for a small medical group wo

Expense

So when is an expense not an expense? When the Federal Government Gets Hold of it!

Howdo

"We need something fun, something wacky," said David Brancaccio, host and senior editor of "Marketplace," public radio's daily business broadcast. "Oh, that's right. We have the Medicare/HMO story. Now that's wacky."

Crunch

Spooked by Wall Street losses and fears that the U.S. economy is slowing, banks throughout Los Angeles are tightening up their lending criteria a striking turnabout from the relatively fast-and-loose policies of just six months ago.

History

50 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Los Angeles led the Western United States in steel production, with local furnaces churning out 1.3 million tons Northrop Aircraft Inc. reported net income of $520,146 for its fiscal year, more than double the $240,577 the company

10 Tax Tips

1.Include your social security number on each page of your return so that if a page is misplaced by the IRS, it can be reattached.

Schedule

As managing partner at O'Melveny & Myers, Kranwinkle leads a bicoastal life, traveling between his San Gabriel Valley home and his Manhattan apartment.

Radiolist

Spanish-language stations continue to dominate the ratings race in Los Angeles. The No. 1 and 2 stations, KLVE-FM and KSCA-FM, both broadcast in Spanish and are both owned by the same company Heftel Broadcasting Corp.

Mizrahi

High-fashion aficionados may be mourning the departure of designer Isaac Mizrahi from the world's couture scene, but his absence is unlikely to cause much more than a ripple in local apparel circles.

Forum

Studies show that Americans are working harder and longer to keep pace and that's especially true in L.A. But by putting in 80- or 90-hour work weeks and spending fewer and fewer hours at home with friends and family, many executives risk severe health

Market Column

Three finalists have been selected in the controversial contest to handle public relations duties for Los Angeles International Airport's expansion.

CDDida

If you're in LA and you don't realize everything that makes this the best place to grow your company

Riordan

With yet another round of staff changes last week, L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan is struggling to keep his administration from foundering as it enters the home stretch.

Health

A 27-year-old accountant with chest pains, a political spin doctor with a bleeding ulcer, a commuter who has a heart attack in early morning traffic, an investment banker with dangerously high blood pressure all are examples of the toll that long hours

Roth IRA

As we all know, every financial institution in town has been talking about converting regular, garden variety IRAs into hot-off-the-press tax-free Roth IRAs. Many taxpayers are curious as to why their professional tax advisors have not encouraged them to

LDC

As one of the leading community development financial intermediaries in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Local Development Corporation (LDC) specializes in arranging public/private partnerships that create mutually beneficial business and economic development

Featured Newsmaker

In a time of economic turmoil, Robert K. Shibuya has a solidly optimistic vision of the future.

Taxplan

A global dream brings with it global realities- such as being subjected to tax in numerous new markets. The creation of foreign subsidiaries and bases of operation for cross-border flow of products, services, trademarks, funding, and technology will also

Ask Lorraine

Question: Our company specializes in Web-based entertainment products and has only been operating for about a year and a half. We weren't planning on getting venture capital money until our second phase of operations, which won't be for another year. But,

Overview

Farhad Mohit doesn't have a girlfriend. He hasn't gotten around to seeing "Titanic." He hasn't cooked a meal in two years, and his refrigerator is empty, except for a single bottle of spring water.

Correction

In an Oct. 5 story on cutbacks at the Getty Center, the annual operating budget was misstated. In fact, the Getty Trust's operating budget is $200 million. The budget for the center, where the Getty Trust's programs are headquartered, was not disclosed.

Weekly Breifing

Chances are, if you have been to an amusement park in recent years, you have come into contact with the work of Alvaro Villa. His company, AVG Inc., designs and manufactures amusement-park rides. Despite a solid track record and high-profile clients, AVG

Spam

The tricky issue of regulating junk e-mail will be receiving increased attention as a result of two landmark bills recently signed into law by Gov. Pete Wilson.

Corpfoucus

Tetra Tech Inc. has had quite a ride in recent days. Its stock has bucked and kicked, hitting a 52-week high at the end of September and then nosediving last week.

Southsnip

As campaign director for Lt. Gov. Gray Davis' gubernatorial campaign, and with less than a month to Election Day, South describes his job as non-stop chaos. "When you are running a campaign it is a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week job," said South. "The demands

Entnote

Management teams seeking to acquire a company often ask me, "What capital structure is right for this business?" This is an important question, as the landscape is littered with bankrupt and liquidated companies that failed because their capital structure

SmallBiz

Core Business: Providing customized copy, mail and messenger services to the legal community

Computer Column

The new school year has begun, and somehow, the kids' homework seems more challenging this year for us parents, at least. Of course, we used to know the answers to almost all their questions ("Where are the Spice Islands?" "What's a parabola?") with min

Digest

The seven unions that represent employees of the Los Angeles Unified School District are putting pressure on the school board to spend a state budget windfall on raising salaries.

Tax Update

The do-nothing Congress has finally found a way to occupy its time: Conduct an impeachment inquiry. For the Republican leadership, what better way to show that it's actually doing something than to hold hearings on whether the Democratic president should

Persfi

If you're on Medicare, prepare. You're approaching the most bewildering few years you'll ever see. If you have a parent on Medicare, be ready to help.

OPED

It's hard not to be a little bit envious of Ken Friedman. In 1990, at the age of 33, the founder of HLHZ Capital, the investment banking arm of Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, quit his job to live on the beach in the Malibu Colony.

LABJ Article

In the deregulated utility industry, Southern California Edison (SCE) is a powerful partner in the world of economic and business development. Even before companies had the choice over rates and electricity providers, SCE was nationally recognized for it

Q

Some people call them "cardiac arrest" careers, those jobs that seem to consume virtually all waking hours and every ounce of energy.

Monday, October 5

Tax

A new business tax proposal by Mayor Richard Riordan, part of the long-delayed tax equity study, now includes a $20 million tax cut that could mean a 7 percent tax reduction for most businesses.

Eisner

In conducting nearly non-stop interviews to promote his autobiography, the normally publicity shy chairman of Walt Disney Co. has the opportunity to clear the air about his relationships with Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Ovitz, Frank Wells, Barry Diller an

Templist

The strong economy and low unemployment last year meant big business for local temporary placement firms. Combined revenues for the top 25 firms in L.A. County increased by 17 percent in 1997 over the previous year. That outpaced the national growth rate;

Junk

The high-yield bond market is taking its most severe beating in years and the pain is being felt by traders, investors and underwriters throughout Los Angeles.

Computer Column

The Internet, as was noted in this column recently, is a happy hunting ground for ordinary citizens who aspire to beat the market pros by doing their own investing and trading online, taking advantage of the wealth of information available information,

Webmusic

Last Friday night, the rock band Hootie & the Blowfish serenaded its fans via a concert broadcast live into their homes. But the fans didn't tune into a radio station or turn on their TVs for the performance.

Entnote

Most people would agree that networking is vital to succeeding in business. But few know the secrets of doing it well.

Downtown

Even with the promise of Disney Concert Hall, the Staples Center and a revamped Figueroa Corridor, downtown L.A. remains typecast among many local businesses as a place to avoid.

B

In most real estate markets, class-B and C office space is among the least desirable, a difficult sell at best.

Digest

Union Pacific Railroad, whose 1996 acquisition of Southern Pacific Rail Corp. was followed by massive rail-traffic tie-ups at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, says its cargo-capacity problems are at an end.

Margin

It's ironic that Tom Bradley died the same week we were preparing a special report on the future of downtown. The former Los Angeles mayor, after all, helped foster a business-friendly environment that led to a downtown renaissance and with it, the appe

Weekly Briefing

When Abe Berookhim opened his restaurant, The Olive Tree, on the corner of 1st and Main streets in downtown L.A., he was certain the location was a good one. The eatery lies across the street from City Hall, and in direct proximity to several large office

Bradley add

Tom was an icon, a man who was tall in stature, handsome, and brilliant. Any place I was with him, people immediately recognized him as a leader, even if they didn't know who he was. The downtown business leaders, represented by the Committee of 25, were

Interview

Education: B.S. in accounting and master's in public administration, both from USC

Edit

Poor Alan Greenspan. Here the Federal Reserve Board Chairman thought he was doing the world a big favor by cutting interest rates to 5.25 percent, and the stock market promptly responds by going down. Even though most bets had the Fed sticking to a quarte

Food

Welcome to the latest trend in restaurants: Having a certified food inspector on the premises of every eatery.

Burbank

With its high rents and low vacancy rates, Burbank's Media District has been dominated by well-heeled entertainment companies that could afford to pay top dollar for location.

Persfi

It's a jungle out there, and for once, I'm not talking about investments. The subject is long-distance telephone calls. The marketing is wild. If you haven't lined up a special promotional deal for yourself, you haven't tried.

Forum

Last week, the Federal Reserve Board lowered interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point. The move prompted a sell-off on Wall Street, which was hoping for a half-point cut. The Business Journal asks:

Hedge

The multibillion-dollar collapse of Long-Term Capital Management has given hedge funds a bad name. But the controversy is causing little concern among the few hedge funds based in Los Angeles.

Bradley

In his 20 years as mayor of Los Angeles, Tom Bradley played a major role in shaping the local business community that exists today. While Bradley experienced his share of disappointments, including a vision for a citywide subway system that has failed to

Market Column

It's given us back bacon, Neil Young, Moosehead beer and Captain Kirk. But it's taking away our commercial production industry.

Voices

"Century City and that whole Westside conglomeration is driven by the rapid growth of the entertainment industry and a cluster of investment bankers located there, focusing on IPOs. Downtown still has a lot of institutional-type activities. Each area has

Pinkerton

With dangers like kidnapping and terrorism making headlines, Encino-based security firm Pinkerton's Inc. has launched a new division to provide assistance to multinational companies doing business abroad.

OPED

With investors spooked by junk bonds in this jittery market, more issuers are turning to a relatively rare security convertible preferred stock to raise capital, says Alex Cappello, chairman of Cappello Group Inc. in Santa Monica, an outfit that does

ShowBiz

One of the more surprising tales that emerged from the 1997-98 TV season was the success of CBS's Sunday night movie lineup, which finished as the No. 9-rated prime-time TV series just behind the network's "60 Minutes."

Overview

Despite hundreds of millions of dollars in new projects including a sports arena, cathedral and concert hall the true power center of Los Angeles is shifting to Century City. The shift, which began years ago but is just now accelerating toward critica

Newsmakers

Michael W. Williams has joined Ducommun Inc. as vice president of corporate development. Prior to joining, Williams held operations positions at H.R. Textron and Crane Valve Group.

History

Columbia Pictures reported a $50 million loss for the fiscal year, its third straight losing year ... Bank of America opened an experimental "mini-branch" in the Del Amo mall, offering just check cashing and deposit services ... stocks tumbled as Vice Pre

Times

After roaring into the San Fernando Valley in the '80s and Ventura County in the early '90s, the Los Angeles Times is rethinking its strategy for those areas.

RE Column

Their share prices may be down, but don't count all real estate investment trusts out of the acquisition picture.

Vacant

The sleek 52-story, silver-blue structure towers over Bunker Hill in downtown L.A. One of the newest buildings in the city, it boasts the latest high-tech amenities. Its lobby features a selection of restaurants and a fountain garden. It even has a highly

Industrial

A developer has unveiled plans for the second of two industrial complexes along the Ventura (101) Freeway high-tech corridor, looking to fill a niche for smaller, single-tenant industrial buildings.

Cosco

On most issues, Attorney General Dan Lungren stands in lockstep with his colleagues in the Republican party.

Brownfield

After sitting idle for more than two decades, a polluted Superfund site in Monterey Park is being prepared to be reborn as a major retail center.

Letter Herbst

If you're like most Angelenos, you probably know it better as the Santa Monica Pier. But Mark Tischler is out to change all that.

Corpfocus

When the stock market started getting jumpy this summer, some of the hardest-hit companies were the same Internet-related businesses that earlier in the year had been floating on a wave of investor optimism.

Telemundo

Telemundo Network LLC, the country's No. 2 Spanish-language TV network, isn't wasting any time reinventing itself.

SmallBiz

Goal: To have Taste of Nature snacks carried by 50 percent of U.S. movie theaters by the end of 1999

Sublease

When examining the troubled downtown office market, Aames Financial Corp. provides an interesting case study.

Getty

Less than a year after its acclaimed opening, the Getty Center is sharply scaling back.

Thursday, October 1

Jet Quiz2

The business jet industry has been experiencing record growth over the past several years, and most business jet manufacturers have orders stacked up well into the next millennium. If your business is not currently using business jets, you are probably wo