Stories for April 1999

Monday, April 26

Entnote

Restless entrepreneurs, trapped as corporate employees, spend countless hours plotting an exit strategy and planning to launch spin-off companies.

Hotel

The first new Santa Monica-area hotel in six years will open its doors soon on Ocean Avenue. Le Merigot Santa Monica Beach Hotel, plans to bring a unique European-style ambiance to the Santa Monica beach skyline and its existing collection of quality hot

Fashion

At first, the closure of the Sherman Oaks Galleria seemed like good news for Fashion Square, another shopping mall just a few miles to the east.

IPO

Two companies, two initial public offerings and two vastly different showings on Wall Street.

Interview

When Anne Nelson first started working at CBS, network television didn't even exist in 1945, CBS was a radio network. Fifty-four years later, Nelson is still with the company, its longest-tenured employee on the West Coast and the second longest-tenured

Weekly Breifly

When you move furniture, you're also moving people and the job can get pretty stressful when customers aren't packed and ready, or don't want to pay. Manny Cukier, who owns Manny's Famous Moving Co. in Pasadena, spoke with Jolie Gorchov about how he dea

United

LAX is one of the world's busiest airports, but it's never been considered a "hub" that is, a place like Atlanta, Chicago or Dallas that serves as a connecting point for hundreds of domestic or international flights each day.

Edit

The movie studios are cutting back. Location shooting is moving to Canada. The very future of Hollywood hangs in the balance, and the government has to do something about it and fast!

Precision

At first glance, WhatsHotNow.com seems like a standard Internet start-up until its list of individual investors is pulled out.

Hutchinson OPED

Jean Brugger has been promoted to director of broadcast traffic at DDB Needham Los Angeles. His responsibilities include tracking and executing all agency broadcast spots from production through distribution. Brugger was most recently broadcast traffic ma

Corp Focus

The Seattle-based aerospace giant and one of L.A. County's largest private-sector employers recently beat Wall Street's expectations by posting net income for the first quarter ended March 31 of $469 million (50 cents a diluted share), compared with $

Forum

Mayor Richard Riordan's city budget proposal for 1999-2000 includes hiring 157 new police officers in L.A. County. When Riordan campaigned for office in 1992, he promised to increase L.A's police force by 3,000 officers, a goal he's coming closer to meeti

Canada

20 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Home Savings, at the time the nation's largest savings and loan, followed the lead of other major lenders and raised its minimum home loan rate to 11 percent for a fixed-rate mortgage Arco kept pace with strong oil-industry profit

OPED

On a recent visit to Greece, I decided to apply for an international driver's license. My parents were coming to visit, and we wanted to take a car trip around the Peloponnesus, a peninsula forming the southern part of Greece.

Applegate

Ken Hawk, founder of 1-800-Batteries, freely admits feeling the loneliness and isolation that goes along with being an entrepreneur.

Profile

Hilton Hotels Corp. reported the best return on equity of any public company in Los Angeles last year. It also enjoyed a rise in occupancy rates and underwent a widely praised move to spin off part of its operations.

Hotel Design

For business travelers who realize that most luxury hotel rooms around the country look pretty much the same, the Westside of Los Angeles offers a few oasis-like alternatives to the usual rut,in some cases combining unique flair in design and decor which

Mark Lacter

You've got to have friends, as Bette Midler reminds us, and the Business Journal has been lucky to have more than its share. Each week, we have countless friends who provide us with data, tips and commentary on a range of business fronts. Without their he

Packing Smart

perishables in a checked bag; they may spoil if it is delayed. It is wise to put

Passport

When it comes to international business travel, your passport is the most valuable document you will carry abroad. It confirms your U.S. citizenship. Guard it carefully. Do not use it as collateral for a

Correx

An April 19 story on rising retail rents on the Westside misstated the rates for Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. In fact, they are monthly rental rates.

Seminars

large metropolitan area and subscribe to one or two computer publications, chances are you receive invitations to product seminars at

Asian Travel

Asian airlines have a reputation for good service, but what about affordability?

New Year

Even L.A.'s most profitable companies are having a tough time getting respect on Wall Street.

Reservation

Once your next business trip is planned out, you know exactly where you are going and which airline you want to use, getting reservations and tickets is a fairly simple process. You can make all of your arrangements by telephone, at the airline's ticket o

Secede

When the $744 million police and fire facilities bond went down in flames in the recent city election, Mayor Richard Riordan blamed poor voter turnout and anti-tax sentiment.

Stocks

After a dramatic single-day slump in Nasdaq tech-related stocks last week, the industry quickly recovered. Los Angeles-area industry officials, in particular, took the wild dip in stride, perhaps by virtue of their distance from the frenzied atmospheres o

Market Column

A two-dimensional, wooden performer that has emerged as one of L.A.'s most famous celebrities recently changed agencies in a bid to land more advertising jobs.

Luggage Locks

thief or manipulator and are really no more than a deterrent. But, if time is of

Travel

When it comes to company expenses, travel is one of the most controllable: it ranks third after payroll and automation. It's also one of the easiest to overlook when cutting costs. Many companies believe they have exhausted their money-saving options once

Method

There are all kinds of ways to measure financial performance, which is why the Business Journal is looking at several parameters in determining the most profitable public companies in the Los Angeles area (all in L.A. County and a few in Ventura County).

Santa Monica

For the last few years, Harvelles Blues Club was one of the few places along Fourth Street in Santa Monica that drew visitors away from the booming Third Street Promenade.

Digest

As expected, DreamWorks SKG closed escrow on its acquisition of 47 acres at Playa Vista, where it plans to build what will be the first new L.A. movie studio since the Great Depression.

Newsmaker

As new executive vice president and chief operating officer of Litton Industries, Harry Halamandaris has a key role as defense spending falls and more contractors become the target of mergers and acquisitions.

Arbitration

The case of Jeffrey Katzenberg vs. Walt Disney Co. is expected to get underway this week in a proceeding that will look a little different than your everyday court battle over $250 million.

At Home

My husband and I recently took a trip to a dude ranch in Arizona that sits on 8,000 acres of land near the Mexican border. It is identified by a tiny sign outside its lodge, has only one phone line for guests to share, and relies on a fax line that works

Shuttles

Every major airport in the United States is faced with the need for expansion, juxtaposed with the need to resolve ground surface transportation problems that surround their airports. Additionally, while each airport (and the city it serves) is differen

Persfi

If you've held several jobs during your working life, and they all provided a retirement plan, I hate to think about your paperwork. All the plans are probably trailing you, like a comet's tail.

Computer Column

Why do you buy one make of automobile rather than another? What is behind any decision for almost any product or service you buy?

Wage

Less than six months before the opening of Staples Center, a showdown is looming between a union that wants to represent hundreds of employees at the downtown arena and the company that holds the concessions contracts.

Real Estate

Construction is going full-bore on a small office building east of the civic center in Beverly Hills, even though it appears to be surplus property for owner Universal Studios.

Universal

It's billed as an ultimate thrill ride, the most technologically advanced, the most sophisticated and the most expensive live-action film ever produced (at least when you consider that it's only 12 minutes long).

Apartments

For years, the Mid-Wilshire district has been a crumbling ruin, its grand old apartment buildings from the '20s and '30s sitting largely empty and forgotten. But there's been a profound change in the neighborhood:

Win Loss

Start with a heaping dose of mergers, mix in Asian financial woes, add a dash of downsizing and toss them all together with some technological innovation, and you get a recipe for a very chaotic year.

Show Biz

The success of HBO's miniseries "The Sopranos" and Warner Bros.' feature "Analyze This" only underscores Hollywood's fascination with the underworld. Actor George Clooney is currrently developing a mob series for CBS. Martin Scorsese and Nick Pileggi are

Mattel

Every parent can tick off the names of the hottest toys around Furby, Tickle-Me-Elmo, the Cabbage Patch Kid but how many can name the company that made them?

Air Fare

ask about the fares they charge, particularly any special promotional fares they

Controlling Travel Exp

CONTROLLING TRAVEL EXPENSES

Company Index

A

Unions

When more than 1,000 members of Hollywood's trade unions recently showed up at a Burbank park to protest the flight of U.S. film and TV production to Canada, it underscored the seething frustration among rank-and-file workers about the resulting loss of j

Letter McDonald

Y2K is only the beginning of a technological embarrassment, it is not the beginning of the new millennium 2000 is the last year of the 20th century. Despite the "votes" of uninformed folks who can't figure out the process of counting time by a calendar,

Ranking

Creative Computers Inc. of Calabasas is the most profitable company in Los Angeles, based on average return on equity over the past five years.

Small Biz

Walk into a production studio designed by architect Walter Meyer and you're likely to see skylights, hardwood floors and sleek, custom-made furniture.

NFL

With the National Football League finally choosing the Memorial Coliseum last week as home for its next expansion team, the game now turns from ego-clashing to number-crunching.

LA Stories

AirTouch Cellular is taking an unusual approach in its search for new cell phone customers targeting people with bad credit.

Corp Entertaining

Entertaining a few friends? Trying to figure out where you're going to host this

LABJ100

Received: from rly-zb01.mx.aol.com (rly-zb01.mail.aol.com [172.31.41.1]) by air-zb05.mail.aol.com (v59.4) with SMTP; Wed, 21 Apr 1999 17:29:19 -0400

WSW

It may seem as if all Internet stocks were bid up to the sky, only to get whacked around last week. But some Web stocks are different they already had been whacked around before, and so might now be a good buy, says Ken Luskin, president of Intrinsic Va

LABJ

Overbooking is not illegal, and most airlines overbook their scheduled flights to a certain extent in order to compensate for "no-shows." Passengers are sometimes left behind or "bumped" as a result. When an oversale occurs, the U. S. Department of Transp

Case Study

Eltron International Inc. used to make hundreds of thousands of printers for creating bar-code labels. It built them fast and sold them cheap, attracting customers like United Parcel Service, Sears Roebuck & Co., Coors Brewing Co., and SmithKline Beecham

Market

As the bull market soared to record heights in 1998, shares of most L.A. public companies remained stuck in place, or sank.

Monday, April 19

Wilshire

The Wilshire corridor showed signs of strength in the first quarter, with the office vacancy rate dropping in key areas and Dr. David Lee, president of First Korea Bank, buying two more buildings to add to his growing holdings.

Internet

At last week's Spring Internet World '99 in downtown L.A., online music fell solidly into the latter category.

Ants

Just as Angelenos were getting used to the arrival of the killer bee, they have another insect to worry about: the red imported fire ant.

Forum

Reports have surfaced that the Dodgers are studying a move to Exposition Park, where they would play in a new stadium next to the Coliseum, the proposed home of an NFL expansion team. The move would also be a bit of a return for the Dodgers, because they

Oped #2

Predictions about future business trends are as reliable as the weather. Even so, here's one that is bound to cause a firestorm across the national non-profit landscape. It may not happen soon, but it will happen some day: The wave of corporate mega-merge

North County

Companies continued to leave the San Fernando Valley for the planned pastures of the Santa Clarita Valley, keeping demand for industrial space brisk in Valencia.

NFL

As National Football League team owners arrive in Los Angeles this week to decide which local site is best suited for an expansion team, they already have made one thing clear:

Oped-con

No problem, you might think after perusing the city of L.A.'s laundry list of business-incentive programs.

Persfi

Tempted by day trading? Eager to dump your deadly day job and spend your time jousting with stocks on a computer screen?

Banks

Wells Fargo Co., currently the third-largest bank in Los Angeles, says it plans to pursue a strategy of acquiring smaller community banks and other financial-service companies.

East LA

Decades ago, in the name of redevelopment, thousands of them were evicted from their Chavez Ravine and Bunker Hill homes, which were razed to make way for Dodger Stadium and office highrises.

History

10 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Irish aircraft leasing firm GPA Group placed a $3.1 billion order with McDonnell Douglas for 72 aircraft that company officials said would keep their Long Beach production lines running well into the mid-1990s Oilman Marvin Davis

Applegate

"Do you remember me even though I'm not wearing yellow and black?" asked Ida Bialik, founder of Chicago's Women in Business Yellow Pages, when she met me at a business reception.

Overview

Those were some of the questions raised in the wake of a less than stellar first quarter in L.A. commercial real estate.

IPO

At least that's what happened to Torrance-based venture capital firm DynaFund Ventures. Between December 1997 and June 1998, the little-known firm invested $3 million in an 8.23 percent stake in eToys Inc., the online toy shop that plans to hold an initia

Pink Dot

Homebodies, sit back and relax a Pink Dot grocery delivery person driving one of the company's trademark VW Beetles could soon be working your neighborhood.

Case Study

It started with a vision: to turn around a historic block at Broadway and Third Street in downtown L.A. and bring back the long-lost glory of the early 1900s, when huge department stores beckoned shoppers to the area known as Grand Central Square.

Rental

Thinking about hanging a shingle on Rodeo Drive or the Third Street Promenade? Better get ready to pay dearly that is, if you're lucky enough to find an available shop.

Edit

You can tell that economic expansion is long in the tooth by all the redevelopment activity going on. Redevelopment is the function of opportunity, demand and public funding all of which are in relatively ample supply these days.

Margin

First, the bad news. Senior Reporter Larry Kanter, for three years one of the Business Journal's mainstays, has relocated to New York and taken a position with Crain's New York Business. Larry had a hand in nearly every one of our major projects over the

Rebudget

1)Overview (Hayes) The hottest word in L.A. business circles these days is redevelopment. Whether it's Hollywood, North Hollywood, Mid-Wilshire, or the Crenshaw district, the talk is the same: take a beaten up piece of the city, plow development dollars

Mid Cities

InvaCare took 150,754 square feet at 13338 Orden Drive (Building H). The building completed in the 1st quarter. The Golden Springs building is a state of the art class A distribution space with 40' clearance and a ESFR sprinkler system. The Entire buildi

Kotkin

Southern Californians who care about the region's relative economic prowess tend to focus on competition from places like New York, Silicon Valley and the Intermountain West. Yet the time has come to acknowledge who has been the biggest winner of the 1990

San Gabriel Valley

With a vacancy rate of just 5 percent and new development in high demand, the San Gabriel Valley remained one of the strongest industrial markets in L.A. County.

Mid-City

Some of the most noticeable changes along the mid-Wilshire area have little to do with publicly supported redevelopment work.

Award

For the second consecutive year, the Los Angeles Business Journal has been named one of the top five business weeklies in the nation by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Digest

Mattel Corp. will lay off 3,000 employees worldwide and close some of its facilities after posting a net loss of $17.9 million in the first quarter of this year.

Ventura

Industrial vacancies in Ventura County jumped during the first quarter, although local brokers explain that the empty space is the result of several new projects hitting the market rather than a spate of industrial tenants moving out.

Tri-Cities

Bulldozers went to work in Pasadena duing the first quarter and a major new office building hit the market in Glendale.

ALTERNATIVES

Community redevelopment agencies may be the most prevalent tool in the redevelopment arsenal, but they are far from the only one. In fact, there is a host of federal, state and local programs, all aimed at revitalizing blighted urban areas.

Smallbiz

Picture a dimly lit dining room filled with red leather booths. Linen tablecloths are topped with fresh carnations, and a mural of Venice that's Italy, not California covers the back wall.

Ashton

There's a shopping center set to open in Tarzana later this spring where the lease rates are twice the asking price of anything else on Ventura Boulevard.

Entrepreneur's Notebook

You're ready to make that step, to hire a P.R. firm and take your business to the next level. You're excited but worried. You're making a commitment of time and money, but you're not quite sure what you're committing to.

Correction

An April 12 story on the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival listed incorrect information about the event's finances. The festival's budget was expected to be around $1 million; the revenues it would take in were not disclosed.

Redevelopment

Take a look around L.A. County and it's hard not to stumble across a redevelopment plan. From Gary Fischer's $1 million industrial project in Palmdale to TrizecHahn Corp.'s $385 million Hollywood & Highland retail-entertainment megaplex, activity is rampa

Downtown

The weakened downtown Los Angeles office market suffered another setback in the first quarter after two more high-profile companies vacated space and several leases expired.

Envision-Correction

Due to incorrect information supplied to the Business Journal, the number of years Envision President Jeff Knapple spent at ProServ was misstated in the April 12 issue. He was managing director for five years.

Ask Lorraine

Question: As my business has doubled in the past few years, so has my staff. That's the good news. The bad news is that with every new employee, I feel like we keep losing touch with my vision for the company. It's even trickling down to my longest-term a

LA Newsmakers

Ronald Consiglio has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer of Trading Edge Inc. in Santa Monica. Consiglio was most recently chairman and CEO of Angeles Mortgage Investment Trust.

Computer Column

We vaguely remember that some famous wag (Oscar Wilde? Groucho Marx?) declared on his deathbed that he had one major gripe about dying: He wouldn't be able to hear what everybody said about him at his funeral.

Indie

It's been a longstanding tradition for independent filmmakers to beg, borrow and max out credit cards in order to finance their artistic endeavors. Then it can be similarly difficult to land a movie distribution deal.

Briefing

The fact that he's legally blind hasn't kept Gary Voth from making a living as a sign maker for the past 37 years. But the business has had its ups and downs. Voth started out in Glendale and now owns Aviation Signs in Lawndale. He spoke with Jolie Gorcho

Southbay

The South Bay office market tightened slightly in the first three months of the year, led by a rebound in the El Segundo/Manhattan Beach area after a weak final quarter of 1998.

Interview

When Randolph W. Westerfield was named dean of the Marshall School of Business at USC in December 1993, Los Angeles was in the throes of a recession. Westerfield nevertheless vowed to raise $100 million for the school by the end of the decade.

Biotech

Dr. Daniel Hollander has been struggling for almost two years to get the Los Angeles City Council to approve the mere idea of a 58-acre biomedical research park in San Pedro.

Featured Newsmaker

Sherry Barrat says she has "big pumps to fill" as the new president and chief executive of Northern Trust Bank in Los Angeles.

Q & A Molloy

The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, long the target of criticism from those who say it favors big developers over the needs of residents and businesses it has displaced, has come under even more scrutiny in recent months.

Top Industrial

1. Tatsumi Intermodal (USA), Inc. leased 113,735 sf at 19780 Pacific Gateway Drive in Torrance.

Mission

For one enterprising group, North Hills has it all: Convenient freeway access, low overhead and a word-of-mouth reputation that draws customers from throughout the San Fernando Valley.

Real Estate

With the vacancy rate for industrial space in the San Gabriel Valley at only 5.5 percent, Trammell Crow Co. is planning to add more inventory to the mix.

LA Stories

Online toy shop eToys Inc. included a little humor in the papers it filed last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission as part of an upcoming stock offering.

Company Index

A

Hollywood

After decades of being the subject of ridicule and scorn, Hollywood redevelopment is finally unfolding and on a grand scale.

North Hollywood

Major accomplishments: Rehabilitation or construction of 1,910 housing units, development of 469,000 square feet of office and retail space, including the Academy Entertainment and Business Center, Ralph's Shopping Center, and Hewlett Packard offices.

Oped-pro

1. Children's Services leased the entire 60,804 sf Park Del Amo Building in the Central Torrance Market.

Westside

After a year of manic activity, the Westside real estate market appeared to be cooling down a bit in the first quarter.

Corporate Focus

Since news began leaking out late last month that Hollywood Park Inc. was negotiating to sell its namesake racetrack in Inglewood and further shift its focus to casino gaming, the stock has risen 22.9 percent, and analysts are projecting further gains to

Market Column

You're driving down Wilshire Boulevard with an SUV full of third-graders when a truck pulls up alongside you towing a billboard that pictures a naked woman.

Staples

You wake up at 3 a.m. with a burning need to buy paper clips and one of those dry-erase markers that you can wipe off with a rag. You need it right now.

Inland Empire

The Inland Empire remained strong in the first quarter, driven by a burst of retail activity and continued demand for industrial properties.

Other

In Boston, the revitalization of downtown is being aided by an $11 billion highway project known as the "Big Dig" one of the largest public works projects in U.S. history.

CRA

The Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, which plays a role in virtually all of the city's redevelopment activity, is perhaps the region's most criticized agency, save possibly the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and L.A. Unified School Distr

Film

With the number of local production days having fallen in the first quarter by 2.9 percent from a year ago, members of the state Assembly are rushing to sponsor bills aimed at providing tax incentives to keep Hollywood filmmakers from leaving the state.

Condo

Wayne Colmer stopped building condos eight years ago. Not because there was a lack of demand, but rather because he couldn't afford triple-digit increases in insurance rates.

L-Simon

Pat Ortiz can't remember a time when so much freeway construction was in the works in Orange County. And he likes what he sees.

Monday, April 12

Roserner

IBM has placed full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Newsweek and Business Week showing pictures of people with non-traditional job titles. The Fast Company, a popular business magazine, has a regular column featuring non-traditional titles,

Land

California's economic prosperity and high quality of life will be threatened by the coming surge of growth unless land use decision making is greatly improved, according to a report released recently by the Center for Continuing Study of the California Ec

Margin

We're back to a normal week at the Business Journal, with our usual array of features and departments, including Media & Technology, L.A. Stories, Small Business and Corporate Focus.

IP

Jim Moloshok, president of Warner Bros. Online, sat down at his computer recently and did an online search of GeoCities' 35 million Web pages. Among them, he found 428,000 sites featuring images from Warner Bros. properties such as Batman and Bugs Bunny.

LA Storyadd

Los Angeles went a long way to accommodate a request from Marriott to open the first extended-stay hotel in the city.

Retail

Atlantic Richfield Co. used a simple marketing strategy to become the dominant gasoline retailer in the Western United States: It charged less than the competition.

SUV

By all rights, Los Angeles should be the single worst place for sport-utility vehicles.

Techco

Los Angeles - In an effort to define the new technology industry in Southern California, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation has just released its first quarter Economic Edge newsletter that serves to describe this industry and well as

Arco

A decade ago, Atlantic Richfield Co. was considered among the most aggressive, innovative energy players in the world.

Secede

As recently as a few months ago, San Fernando Valley secessionists were widely dismissed as an oddball fringe. But now that they have obtained enough signatures on petitions to force a study of secession, their opponents no longer are so glib.

Boutique

Just a year or two ago, real estate entrepreneurs seemed headed for extinction, pushed out by publicly traded real estate investment trusts, pension funds and other institutions.

Corp Focus

Actually, I have already voted, I always do an absentee ballot because I travel so much. People don't think (this) is so important an election, and people don't want to participate. But I feel it's important to get our voices heard.

Applegate

In his navy blue suit and power tie, Washington, D.C.-based attorney David Werner looks like every other corporate lawyer heading out to work in the morning.

Correxadd

In the March 22 item "Tale of Two Dans," the employment start dates were incorrectly stated. Communications deputy Dan I. Margolis started working for Mayor Richard Riordan's Office of Economic Development in November 1997; economic and financial analyst

Techtalk

Despite the lure of convenience and ultra-rapid refunds, not a lot of hands are waving. The Internal Revenue Service estimates that just 2 million Americans, about 1.6 percent of the tax-filing public, will file over the Internet this year. That is double

Digest

Seagram Co. and Bertelsmann AG, owners of two of the world's largest record companies, will merge their Internet music operations, creating a Web destination to promote and sell compact discs.

Edit

Besides offering some intriguing vignettes of L.A. worklife, last week's special edition of the Business Journal, headlined "A Day in the Life of Los Angeles," showed that people pretty much like what they do.

Market Column

The poster is a picture of a group of Latino kids hugging each other and looking into an open casket, where the body of a young man is lying. It doesn't seem like a real upbeat way to advertise a line of clothing.

Company Index

A

Correction

In the March 29 LABJ Forum, Lola Moline says her response concerned Social Security, not job security, and the $875 a month referred to anticipated Social Security benefits.

Rent

Three months after rent control essentially went by the wayside in Santa Monica, median apartment rents have risen significantly although some landlords still complain they haven't gone up enough.

History

15 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: A federal appeals court blocked the merger of Warner Communications and Polygram Records after the Federal Trade Commission characterized the move as anti-competitive because it would create the world's largest recorded music distr

Newsmakers

Kyle Krajewski has been appointed vice president and account director of the Action Group, based in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for managing client projects, developing agency business and co-managing internal operations. Krajewski was most recent

Ontario

The Sea Launch project, an international consortium led by The Boeing Commercial Space Company and based in Long Beach, passed a major milestone on Saturday by successfully placing a demonstration payload into orbit. Sea Launch uses a self-propelled l

Gas

It seemed like L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan was coming down with a nasty Y2K bug last week when he had trouble keeping the centuries straight during his State of the City address.

At Home

Over the past few weeks my company's negotiation muscles have received a workout. First we had a disagreement with a vendor about an invoice, and then we worked to hire a freelancer at a rate lower than her usual fee. Meanwhile, my assistant was negotiati

RE Column

Three years after Los Angeles created a Mid-City redevelopment project area to combat blight in the inner city, the first major project there is working its way through the pipeline.

Chrono

1917 Richfield opens its first service station at Slauson and Central avenues in South Central L.A.

Persfi

Investing online is starting to feel like a slippery slope. You set up an account with a brokerage house for the convenience of managing money from home. Next thing you know, you're playing the market as if it were a video game and taking on more risk.

Small Biz

First his friends and family were concerned after he left a comfortable career track at an L.A. accounting firm to start his own business. Then he and his partner tried to market a decidedly unflashy stationary bike designed to replicate the outdoor cycli

LABJ100

20th Century Industries (L) TW 16.50 -8.3 29.50 16.00 10.7 NYSE

Biz Tax

More than a month after the L.A. City Council approved in concept a tax reform measure that would lower taxes for most businesses, the plan is in bureaucratic limbo and could stay that way well into the summer.

Dodgers Tour

The Hollywood Walk of Fame, Universal Studios, Mann's Chinese Theatre, the Getty Center Dodger Stadium?

County

There's one more entrant in the e-commerce game. But instead of books, toys and CDs, this Web site peddles luggage, umbrellas and electronic gadgets all bearing the seal of the L.A. County District Attorney's Office.

Chen OPED

Business ethics isn't an oxymoron yet. But ethics courses in business schools? The contradictions are endless.

Enviro

When Gray Davis won election as governor and became the first Democrat in the state house in 16 years, business groups feared an onslaught of environmental regulations. Davis did little to allay those fears when he named two prominent environmental figure

Newsmaker

As the new medical director of Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Thomas F. Godfrey has the task of working to reverse two years of big losses at the nation's largest health maintenance organization.

Interview

When NBC's West Coast President Don Ohlmeyer leaves his post later this year, Scott Sassa will be responsible for overseeing all of the network's entertainment-related businesses, making him one of Hollywood's most powerful figures.

Projects

An entertainment complex being developed around the Cinerama Dome is a futuristic assemblage of glass and steel. Directly across the street, a brightly colored Streamline Moderne complex is going up, complete with sweeping horizontal metal bands and decor

Weekly Breifing

When Jackie Ravel Knezevich, executive pastry chef at DC-3 restaurant in Santa Monica, wanted a new challenge and more autonomy seven years ago, she left to run her own bakery. The shop, BakeAway Bakery in West L.A., caters to both restaurants and retail

LABUSJ

Pasadena has remained a competitive place to do businesses. Over the course of the past several months, the City of Pasadena has experienced the announcement and completion of several significant developments.

Entnote

(Note to production about mug: Brian Davidoff's Bargain Bankruptcy article was published in the Sept. 14-20, 1998 issue.)

Forum

You might not know it, but there's an election on Tuesday, April 13. Voter turnout is expected to be low in L.A., even though eight City Council members are running for re-election and voters are being asked to approve a $744 million bond measure to build

Letter Lucente

For the last three years, a continuing refrain has been sung about the U.S. mergers-and-acquisitions market: "This is the hottest year ever. I don't see how it can get any hotter than this."

Indies

Cannes is a world media circus and Sundance is just getting too big. So where does the independent filmmaker go looking to sell his creation?

Al La Torre

After 14 years on the City Council and 14 years prior to that in the state Assembly, Eastside lawmaker Richard Alatorre is stepping down on June 30.

Sponsors

Talk about your ultimate billboard: The Academy Awards theater at TrizecHahn Corp.'s Hollywood & Highland project is in need of a name most likely from a corporate sponsor willing to shell out big bucks for maximum exposure.

Wrath

Messages posted by Atlantic Richfield Co. employees in an Internet chat room said it all.

Monday, April 5

Baker

All morning long, they stream into the Boyle Heights shop many of them regulars who have been coming here for years and know exactly what they want.

Location

Camera operator Scott Steele and most other crew members of "Martial Law" are in a relaxed mood. They have descended onto Santa Monica Beach, where there isn't a cloud in the sky and hardly any breeze.

Persif

Wall Streeters call it the Crack of Doom. It's the moment when you know, not just that you're going to lose money, but that you're going to lose a lot more money than you can afford.

Voices

I work at home, so I get up and make my breakfast and I'm at my desk 25 seconds later. It's a wonderful blessing. I'll talk two or three hours a day on the phone. There's also a number of hours waiting for the phone to ring. That is my day.

Port

Driving south along the Harbor or Long Beach freeways, those huge cranes can be seen by the water's edge cranes that are the very symbol of the region's trade prowess.

Kotkin

Nearly two years ago, Los Angeles banker Chris Leu sat in the gilded halls of the Ritz Hotel in Paris, watching the coronation of a new global elite. Roughly 100-plus high-level Asian entrepreneurs attended the glittery event, listening to such luminaries

Actress

Lisa Keller tends to attract attention when she walks into a room. A 26-year-old actress from Marietta, Ga., she has striking blue-green eyes, short blond hair and physical dimensions that could cause accidents on Wilshire Boulevard.

Forum

Gasoline prices have gone up an average of 15 cents a gallon over the last few weeks, partly due to problems at oil refineries in Northern California. Besides hitting commuters in the pocketbook, the hikes also hit the bottom lines of many local companies

Soul Train

"I NEED TICKETS" signs are on every corner outside the Shrine Auditorium. White stretch limousines are quickly filling up a VIP parking lot. A huge grill is stoked and piled high with smoking beef ribs.

Workers

At 5:30 a.m., job hopefuls are huddled outside a storefront along a dreary commercial strip in the north San Fernando Valley.

Iacocca

Lee Iacocca pedals up the driveway of his Bel Air estate astride one of his new company's electric bikes, disappearing behind a perfectly manicured hedge, as his chief of staff Alan Himelfarb says, almost reverentially, "There he goes "

Essay

The rain had stopped several hours earlier, just as the weather guys had predicted, just in time for the opening weekend of spring. But Los Angeles would first have to navigate the last day of the work week a 24-hour stretch that for some would begin in

Edit

Last week's takeover of Atlantic Richfield Co., better known as Arco, should not have come as much of a surprise. It was just a matter of time before the Los Angeles-based oil company, which has been cutting back operations and jobs in the face of weak fi

Lakers

Equipment manager Rudy Garciduenas sits alone in front of a cabinet labeled "O'NEAL" and checks the laces on a white basketball shoe the size of a loaf of bread.

Digestadd

Churchill Downs Inc. is negotiating to buy the Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood and a portion of the surrounding acreage.

More Voices

A recurring theme in Greg Nelson's day involves snacks buying them, eating them, sharing them, finding a place to store them. Cookies play a particularly important role.

Plastiv

On this Friday afternoon, the Marina del Rey-based plastic surgeon is busy meeting both old and new patients, advising them on how to improve their appearance through the use of caustic chemicals, lasers and scalpels.

Kids Talent

"Good morning, it's Joy Stevenson at Herb Tannen Associates. I have a lovely young lady named Jeanine who would be perfect for you. She's adorable and personality plus OK, I'll fax that picture right over. Thanks."

Hair Salon

In the main salon, adorned with Italian frescos and reproductions of Renaissance paintings, only five hair stylists are working with clients. At least seven more are thumbing through magazines and swapping the latest Hollywood rumors gleaned from clients.

Auto Repair

Gus Hernandez arrives at A & B; Auto Collision in Inglewood around 8 a.m., smiling broadly as he carries a box of two dozen doughnuts to share with the other mechanics.

Club

As service director at the downtown City Club, where some of L.A.'s most prominent business and political players can be seen most any day of the week, it's Ledesma's job to make sure each member is properly coddled.

Pantry

Amid the typical crowd the suits, students, salesmen and families feasting on stacks of hotcakes and plates of ham and eggs TV crews from most of the local stations are staking out their turf. Cameramen elbow one another for the best spot, climbing on

Day in

Sources: Duff & Phelps LLP, ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, National Weather Service, Caltech, Reel Source, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, L.A. County Registrar, California Department of Finance, Dun & Bradstreet Information Services, Enterta

Christies

A family from San Clemente is meeting with Rick Wester, senior vice president of Christie's and director of the auction house's photographic department. They believe they have something unique to sell.

Foley

Jeffrey Wilhoit and James Moriana, already dusty and tired from a day of concocting sounds for Hollywood movies, crouch in front of two microphones in an almost pitch-black room.

Teacher

It's 8 a.m. on the last day before spring break, and the kids at Rosewood Avenue Elementary School have one thing on their minds.

Cardealer

Aton Setty is sitting quietly in the passenger seat while his customer test drives a Toyota Camry.

Factory

It's unusually quiet this morning in the "glassing" section of Tecstar Inc.'s factory in the City of Industry, where solar power cells are made to power orbiting satellites.

Traffic

"We've got a police pursuit going on that started around San Clemente," veteran KFWB-AM 980 chopper jock Jeff Baugh advises his pilot, Evan Jensen. "The guy's wanted on an assault with a deadly weapon charge. He's definitely coming our way."

Digest

BP Amoco agreed to acquire Los Angeles-based Atlantic Richfield Co. in a stock exchange valued at $26.8 billion.

Cabbie

City Cab driver Jimmy McGee hits a button on the computer to clock in and pulls his yellow Crown Victoria taxi into a Chevron station on Riverside Drive in Burbank.

Broker

It's still very early in the morning, but Tom Juda, a lion of L.A.'s stock brokerage community, already has declared the day a bust.

Agent

Richard Weston is on the phone with a producer a nervous producer. It's Weston's job to calm him down.

Flower

It's the middle of the night, but downtown's Mayesh Wholesale Florist is in high gear. Under fluorescent lights, workers retrieve and wrap flowers in cones of newspaper, pile them onto metal carts, bellow questions across the floor "How much are hyacint

LBJ100

Received: from rly-zd05.mx.aol.com (rly-zd05.mail.aol.com [172.31.33.229]) by air-zd03.mail.aol.com (v59.2) with SMTP; Wed, 31 Mar 1999 16:52:14 -0500

Radio

It's 4:45 a.m., 15 minutes to air time. Outside the office tower in the middle of Burbank's Media District, Los Angeles is dark and silent.

Korean

Sabrina Kay turns on her computer and groans. There are 150 new e-mails to answer and getting to them all will likely mean staying at the office at least until 11 p.m.

Earthlink

At EarthLink headquarters in Pasadena, the 140 tech-support workers still on duty at 10 p.m. are frantically "working the queue," the electronic holding bin where dozens of callers from throughout North America are waiting for help with Internet-access pr

Peninsula

Standing behind the bar at the Peninsula Hotel, Nicole Balick grabs a slender bottle of Belvedere vodka and pours the clear liquid into a silver cocktail shaker full of ice. A quick splash of vermouth, and she hoists the container over her right shoulder,

OPED

International Marine Products is filled with customers, but the general manager of the wholesale fish market is focused on only one of them.

Ledome

Amid the usual lunch-hour rush at Le Dome, one of the best seats in the house remains empty a cozy spot in the corner, located prestigiously on the restaurant's terrace. That's because the table belongs to television producer Hal Brown.