Stories for September 1999

Monday, September 27

LA Stories

Move over Sheriff Lee Baca. As of Jan. 20, 2001, you probably won't be the highest-paid public official in America.

LA Newsmakers

Steve Cleland was promoted to manager in Roth Bookstein & Zalsow LLP's general accounting and auditing department. He was previously a senior supervisor. Also, Tammy Saetia and Julie Pai were promoted to supervisors.

Edit

Los Angeles is not a place normally associated with government misfeasance, so the simultaneous appearance of two full-blown scandals one involving renegade cops at the LAPD's Rampart division and the other involving ineptitude by school district offici

ShowBiz

ABC's surprise summer hit "Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?" has spurred its rivals into developing prime-time game shows.

Union

Low-rise office campuses with courtyards and gardens have been the hot ticket in suburban areas. But can the concept take hold in downtown L.A., where the office vacancy rate has been high for years?

Alf

It's an old saw that you can't change the way some people perceive the personality traits of certain nationalities.

belmont

A mild-mannered former high school accounting teacher has left L.A.'s power brokers on the edge of their seats.

Digest Add

Walt Disney Co. named Sanford Litvack as vice chairman, giving Chairman Michael Eisner's key adviser a bigger role at the entertainment company.

featured Newsmakers

As the new president of Boeing Realty Corp., Philip W. Cyburt has the daunting task of selling more than 23 percent of Boeing Co.'s nationwide real estate holdings.

Eisner

The chairman and chief executive of Walt Disney Co., who is often considered Hollywood's most cost-conscious executive, entered the world of philanthropy in a big way earlier this month when the 3-year-old Eisner Foundation made a $6 million grant to Ceda

Wilshire

Mid-Wilshire, an area better known for its high crime and office vacancy rates in recent years than for its hipness, is emerging as one of L.A.'s hottest new-media addresses.

Alternatives

A mixture of distrust, ignorance and the absence of viable alternatives leads anywhere from 400,000 to 1 million Latinos in L.A. County to shun mainstream banks in favor of check-cashing and money-order businesses.

Fradu Prevention

Fraud may just be the biggest problem facing the company you work for or own that you aren't even aware of. How many fraud related situations are you trying to sort out even now? None? Well, face up to it, fraud is occurring at your company right now

Oped

When it comes to commercial real estate, deals involving office buildings especially class-A high-rises grab nearly all the attention because they make the sexiest stories.

Palmtree

Palm Tree L.A. went out on a limb last year, making its splashy debut on the fourth floor of a former I. Magnin department store in the Mid-Wilshire district of Los Angeles.

Marketing

Union Bank's advertising slogan is "It's Different Here." Translated directly into Spanish, that comes out something like, "It's Kind of Weird Here."

Notebook

There was a cloud and a silver lining for African Americans in a recent Los Angeles Times survey of small businesses in Los Angeles County. The silver lining is that there are more black-owned firms than ever in the county and that they are providing empl

Art

Imagine commanding your microwave to nuke some popcorn, or your coffeemaker to whip up a fresh pot.

Digest

Beverly Hills-based City National Corp. made a push into Northern California with a proposed $153 million acquisition that could signal the bank's transition from a regional player to a larger statewide financial institution.

Cosmetics

Once prone to raising a well-tweezed eyebrow at the mention of the Internet, the cosmetics industry is starting to take e-commerce more seriously. And that has prompted local businesses to hop into the fray.

Profile

Tucked amid the mercados, discotecas, farmacias, tortillerias and other mom-and-pop operations in East L.A. is a somewhat unusual business for this neighborhood: Pan American Bank, which has been serving the largely Latino area since being founded in 1963

Q

Just how effective have the major banks been in reaching out to the Latino customer? It depends on who you ask. Leticia Aguilar, a senior vice president at Bank of America, cites considerable progress in the past 20 years. But Robert Gnaizda, policy direc

Forecast

It's again the season for economic soothsayers to polish up their crystal balls in an effort to figure out what the coming year will bring (even if they haven't been especially accurate these last few years).

CorpFocus

An extended slump at the box office and more than $225 million in charges related to changes in top management during the second quarter continue to batter the bottom line of Santa Monica-based Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.

Computers

The federal government began fighting to suppress strong encryption more than six years ago, a period that seems like eons in so-called Internet time.

Interview

There is no shortage of outlandishly expensive offerings for this New Year's Eve, and despite ongoing debate about whether some hotels and restaurants are reaching gouging proportions, some of the priciest blowouts already are booked to capacity.

Survey

Financial institutions have drawn criticism for the level of service they offer the Latino community, with critics complaining that not enough branches are being opened in Latino-heavy communities, not enough bilingual tellers are being hired, and not eno

Earthlink

A pillar of L.A.'s new-media community says it's moving its headquarters across the country. So how do the locals respond?

CEO

The Los Angeles Police Department was once again in the spotlight last week as new brutality allegations surfaced against Rampart division officers. So the Los Angeles Business Journal asks:

Co Index

A

NewHAll

Newhall Land & Farming Co. already has 30,000 lots slated for development in and around Valencia.

At Home

If I had the perfect answer, I would gladly mete it out to those who need it. Unfortunately, I can only point people in the right direction by providing some steps for uncovering great opportunities.

Ferraro

The L.A. City Council was in the midst of a contentious, closed-door session involving the proposed ouster of Police Chief Willie Williams over using city funds for trips to Las Vegas.

Currier

One of the oldest types of mutual funds often goes by a new name these days. Instead of "balanced," call them "hybrid" stock-and-bond funds.

LA Weekly

With last week's announcement that the owner of the LA Weekly is up for sale, speculation immediately focused on one prospect: rival New Times Inc. But New Times already has been pretty much eliminated as a suitor.

Financial

More than 12 years ago, Linda Griego sought the advice of a financial planner. It was a major step in her family's evolution into the business world.

New Old

Mauricio Romero has lived in the United States for eight years and never seen the inside of a bank.

Underground

Luis and Miguel, both from Guatemala, were waiting for work, along with a dozen other men one day last week near the Home Depot parking lot on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

Monday, September 20

Census

Did you know L.A. has 521 talent agencies and managers with combined revenues of $881.5 million?

Interview

Title: Executive Vice President, Worldwide Head of Television, William Morris Agency

Restauranr

This spring, Jerry's Famous Deli Inc. plans to open a takeout-only outlet at Universal CityWalk, the latest effort by regional sit-down chains to capture today's on-the-go diner.

Co Index

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Designing Healthy and producti

.By the turn of the century, industry will spend 50 cents out of .every dollar on medical costs for cumulative trauma injuries..According to the U.S. Bureau of Statistics: repetitive strain.injuries accounted for 18% of all workplace injury claims before.

Main

Parking Lot 14 on the southern edge of UCLA's Westwood campus may draw little notice today, but it will soon take center stage as the site of one of the most significant building complexes ever constructed in Los Angeles.

Oped

At the end of the 1980s, when Wall Street big shots went to jail and everyone at once seemed to find sinister the financiers they had spent the past few years worshipping, something else changed, too. The public mood turned on a dime, and no one but Tom W

HerbaLife

Mark Hughes' plan to turn Herbalife International Inc. private is generating some heat.

Other

UCLA isn't the only teaching hospital in town getting a facelift. From L.A. County-USC Medical Center to Cedars-Sinai, public and private facilities throughout the region are spending millions on major expansions and retrofitting projects.

Briefing

As a child in Brazil, Japanese-born Isao Hirai loved to build model airplanes. Later, after he moved to the United States, he took over an architectural model company in Hawthorne. Now he specializes in technical and spacecraft models and has made everyth

Strategies

In spite of the Internet hoopla, people still like the printed page whether it's their favorite magazine or a slick, glossy brochure.

Protect

A bill that quietly passed by the Legislature requires state and local governments to "Buy American" even if it costs more money.

Cohen

Windsor Hospitality Group and Kemper Corp. were mired in a $140 million dispute that had dragged on for more than five years.

Computers

This is the second installment of a two-part column on what to look for in a new laptop computer.

Office Selection

The main job of corporate executives, owners of a partnership, and sole proprietors is to make decisions. The selection of an office site can be the most important decision a leader will make. We present here a list of the most common mistakes made in sit

Bucks

UCLA has the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Northridge earthquake to thank for more than $500 million of the $1.3 billion it is spending to rebuild its sprawling medical facilities from the ground up.

Digest

An investigative audit of the troubled Belmont Learning Complex called for disciplinary action, including dismissal, for nine L.A. school district officials for failure to supervise construction of the $200 million project.

Kotkin

The recent merger between CBS and Viacom has raised questions once again about growing concentration in the media business and particularly its impact on L.A.'s huge cultural industrial complex. In many ways, it may be far less important than anyone sus

Editor

Jenisa Washington is an hour late for her appointment with a reporter. As she sits in her loft office in downtown L.A., the phone never seems to stop ringing, her assistant pops in every few minutes to shout another question, and her 4-month-old infant Is

Building of your own

You are a successful small-business owner, but find yourself handicapped by the size or facilities of your current location. Your product or service is clearly in demand. You could sell more, if only you had more room. More room would allow you to stock e

Showbiz

Are you ready for more prime-time commercials on ABC? The struggling network is expected to add a 30-second commercial to its half-hour shows and a minute to its one-hour shows during the upcoming TV season.

Media Center

Reflecting a trend of continued Westside office migration, Media Center at Raleigh Studios Manhattan Beach, a 60,000-square-foot Class A office building is nearing completion on the new Westside lot. Simultaneously, over the past five years, there has be

Tower

A prestigious office building in the San Fernando Valley that has Walt Disney Co. as its principal tenant is quietly being shopped to a select group of potential buyers.

Salkowsi

In a 300-square-foot storefront on Beverly Boulevard, Sweets Beads is packed floor to ceiling with an enormous selection of beads and jewelry-making supplies. These days, Susan Elias' shop is a hotbed of activity as customers look to make the beaded jewel

Commercial Lease Pitfalls

Today's soft commercial real estate market has created many opportunities for savvy companies, yet, with opportunity comes risk. And it's a situation that most managers will soon face. Because every year seven percent of the nation's commercial real estat

Golf

Los Angeles is not exactly known for fiscal responsibility when it comes to government projects. But there is one area where local government has made some smart decisions: the running of golf courses.

Corporate Focus

Wall Street pounded MRV Communications Inc. last year after its earnings fell well below analysts' expectations. But what the market takes away, it sometimes gives back.

Look Before You Lease

In this cash-poor era, more and more companies are considering leasing office equipment and/or furniture instead of buying it. But a lease deal, that sounds so attractive on the surface, often ends up costing lots more money by the time it has run its cou

KCEt

A who's who of business and political heavyweights turned out last week for a KCET black-tie fund-raiser honoring Eli Broad that raised more than $1 million, a record for the 35-year-old station.

Quality Growth Planning Is Ess

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

Back there

Put yourself in the shoes of a recent immigrant from Mexico who works as a day laborer and sends half his income back across the border to family members.

Currier

As growth managers and value managers slug it out for supremacy in stock mutual funds, investors don't have to get drawn into the fight.

History

15 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Ending a divisive debate, the board of Walt Disney Productions announced the hiring of Michael Eisner and Frank Wells to lead the beleaguered studio back to stability Officials with the employee stock ownership plan at Parsons Cor

Office Sign

Offices used to be small and the need for an identifying sign was confined primarily to the firm's name. Usually the sign was hand-painted on the glass entry door like this:

Bills

Two days after Gov. Gray Davis and the Democrats swept to power in Sacramento last November, the state's major business lobbying groups were in a state of panic as they gathered for a strategy meeting in San Diego. They feared billions of dollars in new m

Health

Among the few things that HMOs and HMO reformers agree on about the health care reform package passed by the Legislature is that employers will pay for increased service and accountability.

Company Home

You need to find some commercial real estate, and need it soon. You've outgrown your current space and it's starting to hurt your productivity. What should you be looking for? What are the pitfalls?

USC

USC, which prides itself on community outreach, has acquired the 14.6-acre University Village Shopping Center for $25 million from L.A. University Village Inc.

LA Stories

Billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch has never fully explained why he put his Los Angeles mansion up for sale and left for New York.

Space

Hilton Hotels Inc. is flying in NASA scientists, former astronauts, engineers and other space experts for a closed-door meeting at its Beverly Hills headquarters to assess the feasibility of just such a property.

Q

As assistant vice chancellor for health sciences capital projects at UCLA, Sarah Meeker Jensen has coordinated the design and construction of everything from examination rooms to outpatient clinics.

Capital Ventures

This is the first installment of a two-part column on seeking capital at venture fairs.

real Estate

Pacifica Capital Group, which quietly amassed a huge L.A. County real estate portfolio in recent years, has unloaded a good portion of its industrial properties.

Notebook

When faced with flat revenues and declining profits, business owners can lay off employees, reduce the services they offer, increase the price of products or services, or decrease prices in an effort to raise revenues.

Teaching

You're in the hospital, waiting for an exam. In walks your physician, accompanied by 15 fresh-faced Doogie Howser wannabes with stethoscopes and lab coats. Some look like the kids who play Nintendo with your kids.

WSW

Some in Los Angeles real estate circles still remember Michael Montgomery for engineering the biggest deal ever in downtown Los Angeles property circles the $650 million sale in 1984 of the twin-towered Arco Plaza to Shuwa Corp.

MWD

Southern California's water wholesaler, the Metropolitan Water District, is considering three proposals to position itself to compete in a changing water industry. And at least one of the proposals could end up costing L.A. businesses more money.

Edit

Sky Dayton is well aware of the pressure to speed up launching new Internet companies. So that's one of the focal points of his new Santa Monica incubator, eCompanies.

Movies

The clock ran out on Hollywood's attempt to have Sacramento stem "runaway production" movies, TV shows, and commercials that are shot outside the state. But the studios, unions, and their elected friends aren't done yet.

Letter

What if the only way you could get your daily newspaper was by running down to a market or newsstand and shelling out 35 cents to buy a copy?

Winery

Since L.A.'s Chinatown was once Little Italy, it shouldn't be too surprising to see that the venerable San Antonio Winery has begun making investments in the area.

Monday, September 13

200 great ideas

Ever wonder why some businesses attract venture capital and others never get the nod?

Private

As the new school year begins, students at Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City will be trying to choose between field hockey and water polo.

Feat NM

During the Persian Gulf War, Patrick P. Caruana was in charge of knowing where and when Iraqi Scud missiles would drop.

Applegate

Taking advantage of a great marketing opportunity, a young woman was passing out free samples of her handmade soap to a long line of women waiting to visit the restroom between sessions at a major women's business conference.

ABC NY

Low-key hardball player who is trying to shake up the moribund ABC Brought in her own publicity expert to assess the company's public relations department Named president, ABC TV network in 1998 Responsible for all programming and business affairs at A

Fox LA Bios

In a word, hip having programmed cable's Comedy Central for years with irreverent shows like "South Park," "The Daily Show" and "Viva Variety" Jury still out on his ability to program for a broad-based network with mass appeal... Gifted as a producer

ABC

Oversees all TV and cable operations for Walt Disney Co . Deft corporate diplomat, has avoided taking blame for ABC's long-simmering troubles Well-liked, amiable, drop-dead good-looking Responsible for ABC entertainment, news, sports, children's and day

Biz Tax

Six months after the Los Angeles City Council approved in concept a sweeping business tax overhaul, a vastly scaled-down version is on its way back to the council for final approval.

Financial

They say real estate brokers are a bit competitive. But when you get them wrestling for charity, all hell can break loose.

Press

Los Angeles has billed itself as the birthplace of the fortune cookie, space shuttle and barbecued chicken pizza. Now the city has a new claim to fame: It's home to the world's largest all-forged-steel hydraulic press.

Fast Track

The phones are ringing off the hook these days at Matt Plaskoff's office. With demand booming for custom homes and major remodeling work, business at his Sherman Oaks construction company has doubled in the past year.

Co Index

BRC Imagination Arts . 27

LA newsmaker

David Lusk has joined the integrated health group at Deloitte & Touche in Los Angeles as a principal. He will direct client services, quality control and strategic direction in the Pacific Northwest, California and Nevada regions. Also, Josh Leonard was a

Medical Partners

The Networks at a Glance

Web Site Popular

1) How many times have you landed on a web site that looks promising, but you can't quite figure out what they're selling? Odd but true, many web sites have a hard time telling you WHY they are there. Tell the reader in very clear terms what you are se

Moonves

A former actor, CBS President and Chief Executive Les Moonves has taken center stage in the dramatic turnaround at the network. By the end of last season, CBS was the No. 1 network in terms of total viewership, something few observers thought possible onl

Interview

Most Admired People: His parents, former business partner Henry Rogers, clients Danny Kaye, Kirk Douglas, Merv Griffin, Audrey Hepburn

Forum

Last week, Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. agreed to merge in a deal valued at about $37 billion, making Viacom the world's second-largest entertainment titan after Time Warner Inc. Now all but NBC, Universal Studios Inc. and Sony Corp. have combined their TV a

Harris

Never, ever overlook Herb Siegel. The longtime chairman of Chris-Craft Industries Inc. is an interested party in Viacom Inc.'s proposed $37 billion purchase of CBS Corp. He won't blow up the deal, but he can be a complicating factor.

History New

It is inconceivable to think of television without the major Hollywood studios, or vice versa. Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros. and Fox Entertainment Group Inc. now have their own networks. Paramount Pictures, in partnership with Chris-Craft Industries, crea

feature newsmaker

W. Dean Martin is charged with a tough assignment: bringing fiscal respectability back to an agency that's been plagued by accusations of financial mismanagement.

UPN LA

Highly regarded as former president of Walt Disney Television, developing "Home Improvement" and "Ellen" Also tinkered with "Golden Girls," "Blossom" and "Empty Nest" and revived "The Wonderful World of Disney," including the highly acclaimed "Cinderella

Oped #2

UPN's gamble to bring wrestling to prime time appears to be paying off, despite outcries by TV critics around the country.

At Home

My husband recently searched for the perfect URL for his Internet company. His challenge wasn't to come up with a descriptive name; it was to find a word that wasn't already registered as someone else's domain.

Pictorial

Striking images are everywhere in Los Angeles: the homeless man on roller blades wheeling a shopping cart, the stunt double aflame on a movie set, the millionaire mayor pouring coffee for patrons at his downtown diner.

Minimum

Advocates for Santa Monica's "living wage" proposal contend it would raise the standard of living for thousands of workers at some of the busiest restaurants and hotels in the city, while opponents rail that certain establishments would face prohibitive l

Weblets

For the precious few out there interested in state government, there must have been considerable anticipation and in some quarters, outright dread about what a Democratic governor and a Democratic-controlled Legislature would drum up this year. As it

Notebook

When your company or your client's company needs working capital, and banks are turning a deaf ear, you need to start looking for an alternate source of money.

Cahuenga

A vibrant mural of Ganesh, the Hindu god of wisdom and prosperity, is painted on the entrance to a jewelry and African artifact shop on Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood.

Cherry

While the music industry prepares for the onslaught of Internet distribution, the newly formed Cherry Lane Digital consulting firm is poised to reap the benefits of the digital domain.

Computers

Is it really anyone's business what employees of any particular company are reading?

Agoura

Agoura Hills is quickly emerging as the Conejo Valley's darling of development, with the city this month considering two competing proposals to build major retail/entertainment complexes.

Fox NY

The deal maker at Fox... Long-term strategist... Oversees all operations of Fox Television, which includes Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox TV stations, the domestic syndication unit and Fox Television's cable interests... Named CEO of Fox Television in 1994...

TV

Helped build one network (Fox), and now another (The WB)... Current programming is sizzling with teen-age-driven shows ("7th Heaven," "Dawson's Creek," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Darling of Madison Avenue, due to drawing power of well-branded shows. ("He

Ott-Add

For years, there's been a kind of comfortable familiarity about personal computers.

Edit

There is a growing economic debate these days over the widening gap between the very rich and the very poor or more to the point, what to do about it. The discussion often comes down to the question of whether government should play a greater role in ea

News

What if Katie and Matt really were waking up with you in Los Angeles, rather than three hours earlier at Rockefeller Plaza?

Persfi

There's finally a new, improved version of the creaky old CRD. If you're an investor and never heard of the CRD, it's time you learned.

Hospital

Teetering on the brink of financial doom, dozens of L.A.-area community hospitals have been selling out to large conglomerates that are looking to expand and thereby gain more clout with managed care companies.

history

10 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: In a deal worth an estimated $20 million, entertainer Michael Jackson made his debut as spokesman for L.A. Gear in what was called the most expensive promotional agreement ever struck between a company and a celebrity Marvin Davis

Alf

Despite screaming headlines that tout the outrageous Internet success stories of the hour, it's the true marketing innovations and quiet success strategies that quicken the pulse. Out of the unquestionably long list of candidates, we review two that are b

Digest

Hines Interests bought the 52-story Sanwa Bank Plaza office building in downtown L.A., the third-tallest building in Los Angeles, from the U.S. unit of Japanese real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan Co.

Internet

When Ramy El-Batrawi began planning to take his company public about a year ago, he figured he had a sure thing.

Small Biz

Last month, Rena Burns stood before an audience that included President Clinton and spoke about an issue with which she has had plenty of experience: getting off welfare and finding a job.

Global

Gary Winnick is no longer the richest man in Los Angeles. And three of his colleagues may have fallen out of the top 50.

Ask Lorraine

Question: I see myself as a good businesswoman. I consider myself creative, financially savvy and a good manager. Where I seem to fail miserably is at negotiating a deal. I completely fall apart. What can I do?

WsW

Armed with $350 million in fresh cash and hunting for early stage Internet start-ups, Pasadena-based Idealab Capital Partners has closed its second venture capital fund.

Disney

The office vacancy rate in Glendale is topping 16 percent and speculative development has all but vanished.

Oped

Anyone with eyes can see that many big, established American industries have been badly unsettled by new competitors on the Internet. One of those industries is Wall Street where brokers and bankers will probably one day be replaced by technology that c

Labor

Armed with yet another study on the depth of L.A.'s affordable housing problem, a non-profit group wants the city to set up a multimillion-dollar trust fund to help build housing and assist low-income renters.

Monday, September 6

Newsmaker

Stefanie Henning is searching for the future Steven Spielberg of the video-game industry.

Letter Hahn

In regard to the article "Better or Worse, Disney Seems to Like Los Angeles" (Aug. 30): Disney will continue to lose money at Los Angeles until someone realizes that the publication needs to redefine itself. I briefly served as associate publisher/directo

Warner

"The Iron Giant" looked like a sure-fire hit when Warner Bros. released its latest animated movie earlier this month.

Interview

Title: Former chief executive of Los Angeles Educational Alliance for Restructuring Now, or LEARN

Applegate

When Sheila McCann traded in her pinstriped suit for a baker's apron, the former public defender didn't know much about baking the low-fat, American-style bread that launched House of Bread in San Luis Obispo.

Salaries

The health care industry might be in dire financial straits, but you would never know it by looking at the average salaries for some health care occupations in the L.A. area.

Insurance

Some small-business owners look at insurance as if it were a tax. It may be necessary, but if they can avoid it or keep it to a minimum, all the better. This view is penny-wise and pound-foolish. Insurance can give you advantages, as well as providing in

Form

It's September already, so if you haven't taken your summer vacation, it's probably too late. Many busy Angelenos who did get a break ended up taking their laptops and files with them. So the Business Journal asks:

Edit

Sometimes it's the little inefficiencies in government that help explain the overall messes. The current controversy concerning the ABC television network being able to plant banners on city lampposts to display its fall television season is a case in poi

Port

Container trade through July is up by more than 6 percent from a year ago, West Coast shippers and dock workers recently agreed to a new contract, and the Asian economic crisis seems to be abating.

Company Index

A

OPED

Anyone with eyes can see that many big, established American industries have been badly unsettled by new competitors on the Internet. One of those industries is Wall Street where brokers and bankers will probably one day be replaced by technology that c

WSW

Getting ready to launch a $250 million late-stage Internet-oriented venture partnership is James Montgomery, chairman of Santa Monica-based Montgomery & Associates, and a veteran of the small but growing Southern California venture capital scene.

Letter Antonovich

In reply to your Aug. 30 editorial, "L.A. Needs More Supes," the problem Los Angeles County faces is not the need to make government bigger by expanding the Board of Supervisors, but for the state to return property taxes to our local counties and cities.

Farmers

The 65-year-old center at the corner of Third Street and Fairfax Avenue, noted for its crowded wooden stalls and kitschy barn-style architecture, long has served as a gathering place for the Fairfax district's large Jewish and Russian communities, as well

Domains

That was the price brokered a few weeks ago by Chatsworth-based GreatDomains.com and paid by a San Francisco Internet start-up that plans to launch an online pharmacy.

Business Expo

Spurred in part by a need to meet huge inner-city investment commitments, financial institutions are turning out in record numbers to support this year's L.A. Black Business Expo.

Kotkin

As the deadline imposed by the National Football League on Los Angeles comes closer, it may be time to simply let the deal die not with a whimper, but a bang. Angelenos and Californians in general should be proud that they have fended off the extort

Rents

Despite the fact that it has no majestic skyscrapers, no traditional downtown and no critical mass of professionals jammed into a single commercial district, Orange County made the Top 10 national markets in a new Grubb & Ellis Co. survey of office rents.

Corpfocus

Rising interest rates may be causing some skittishness on Wall Street, especially with regard to financial-sector stocks, but the story appears different for IndyMac Mortgage Holdings Inc., a Pasadena-based mortgage lender/broker.

KCBS

An earthquake has hit the KCBS-TV Channel 2 newsroom and the tremors are likely to be felt for months.

Karaoke

Sporting a black Daniel Boone cap with a white stripe down the middle and matching fur attire, a man strums his guitar on a recent Saturday afternoon and croons the "Skunkin' Blues."

Entnote

You've just received a phone call from your attorney, saying the lawsuit you're involved in is being submitted to mediation. Is this good news or bad?

Brinks

A pool of cash is beginning to grow in Los Angeles as the Federal Reserve Bank, financial institutions and a broad spectrum of other businesses around town brace for possible year-end hoarding.

Insuring

While the insurance industry is not, and most likely never will be, in a position to insure that earnings targets are met, the tools and techniques being developed in pursuit of this objective are providing benefits for many companies. Most noteworthy hav

Computers

Sure, the detectives on "NYPD Blue" manage to wrap up most of their cases in an hour or so, with enough time left over to show off their bare butts. In the real world, though, police work is just that work.

Poor

Five months ago, she got a 30 percent pay boost, from $5.75 an hour to $7.40 still not much for the 32-year-old single mother to support herself and her two sons, but enough to make a big difference in her daily struggle to live on $15,000 a year. That'

Cathedral

With last week's $10 million donation toward the completion of the $163 million Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Rupert Murdoch jumped into the ranks of L.A.'s most conspicuous philanthropists.

ABC

While most of the news coverage last week focused on the departure of Tarses as president of ABC Entertainment, the circumstances behind her exit could have far more significance: Walt Disney Co.'s decision earlier this summer to merge its in-house TV pro

Briefing

Most people think of bed and breakfast inns as quaint old homes in quiet coastal towns. But Susan Zolla has tried to duplicate that feel in the more urban environment of Santa Monica with her 10-year-old Channel Road bed and breakfast and her Inn at Playa

Corporate

In the last two decades, America's corporate leadership has accumulated significant wealth through participation in nonqualified company-sponsored compensation and benefit programs. To the extent that these programs have facilitated access to equity retu

Burbank

Imagine walking into Burbank Airport and finding a terminal with spacious lobbies, wide concourses, lots of concessionaires and plenty of seating for waiting passengers.

Letter Shelby

I was interviewed for the LABJ Forum in the Aug. 30 issue ("Packing Heat in L.A."), and while I was not misquoted, my hurried comments do not truly represent my opinion on so important a subject as gun ownership.

Worksite Wellness

Employee wellness programs are usually initiated for specific reasons. Maybe the CEO just had a heart attack and has discovered the benefits of exercise and low-fat diets. Maybe the vice president of human resources is concerned about the 30-percent incr

EAP

Do you have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) yet? The U.S.Department of Labor reports employers get returns of $5 to $16 oneach EAP dollar spent. Benefits come from increased productivity,lower absenteeism and employee medical costs, and "salvaging" o

Trainer

Karen Voight, who is the personal trainer to Elle MacPherson, Helen Hunt and Tina Turner, needed help with her "Lean Legs and Buns" exercise video.

Letter Schatz

Your article missed the big picture ("New Projects Not Enough to Lure Tenants to Central City," July 26). One quarter's figures hardly provide an accurate picture of what is happening in downtown Los Angeles; more importantly, they certainly do not reflec

Fitness

In 1985, it was estimated that if corporate America did not take action within the ensuing eight years, health care costs would eliminate all profits from the average Fortune 500 company. Now, as corporations reevaluate their approach to achieve a healthy

Persfi

Single people, unite. You have nothing to lose but the "singles penalty" in the federal income tax.

Market Column

You're a 16-year-old kid. You think Insane Clown Posse is the greatest collection of musical geniuses to arise this century. You haven't cleaned your room in six years. The closest thing you've ever had to a job is the five bucks a week your dad gives you

Voluntary Benefits

The verdict on voluntary benefits is in they are fast becoming a sought-after commodity by the American workforce, and a familiar staple in the American workplace. According to a recent survey commissioned by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (M

Rich

Although it might not look like it, Robert Schacht is struggling through a personal conflict.

Marquardt

A plan to develop a $32 million industrial park in the heart of the San Fernando Valley has gained broad support from political leaders, the city Planning Department, and even the hard-to-please Van Nuys Homeowners Association.

Small Biz

King Taco does not have a talking Chihuahua pitchdog and its menu includes delicacies unlikely to whet the taste buds of mainstream diners such as burritos bursting with lengua (tongue) or tripa y molleja (intestines).

Ask Lorraine

Question: My family's retail business is starting to expand, adding more stores, inventory and online merchandising. We currently have insurance but are wondering if we are adequately covered. Are there any guidelines that could help us out?

Alley

For years, Antique Alley has been a destination for those wanting to buy or at least window-shop for old movie posters, antique costume jewelry, secondhand Hawaiian shirts, aging Barbie dolls and board games based on '70s television shows.