Stories for June 2000

Monday, June 26

COMMENTARY---Capital Markets Down but Far From Out for Investors

The picture is a dramatic one: $75.5 billion invested in 13,138 financing rounds in the United States by venture capital funds, the Nasdaq rising from just under 1000 to 4000, and arguably the best economic performance of our lifetimes - all of this betwe

Legal Notices

The following company is doing business as DC Trading Company, 12711 Ventura Bl., Ste 240, Studio City, CA 91604. This business is being conducted by a person, Donna K. Coles, 2437 Greenview PL., Los Angeles, CA 90046. This statement was filed with the Co

GAMES --- Tiny Firm Has Game Makers On Defensive

A tiny Beverly Hills firm has developed and is about to begin shipping a new software product to retailers that has industry giant Sony Corp. seeing red.

New Splash in Event Planning At the Intersection of Sea & Sky

Looking for a way to shake up those snoozy office meetings? Trying to find a refreshing alternative to host the company party? Tired of entertaining clients at the same old restaurant? There's a new trend afloat in California business that you may want

Meetings: Entrepreneur Style

One of the advantages of being an entrepreneur is that you are free of the corporate or government bureaucracy. If you've been part of that world, you know how much time is wasted in one long meeting after another. Unfortunately, it is easy to start up th

INTERVIEW --- Space CEO

As director of Pasadena's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Edward Stone has overseen some of NASA's greatest successes and worst failures of the past decade

Roving Eye

It seemed like only yesterday when scores of freeway drivers were visibly gabbing on cell phones, paying more attention to keeping the devices glued to their ears than keeping their cars in one lane.

Newsmakers

Joseph Lynch was named chief securities officer at Blagman Media International in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for financial matters relating to securities issues. Lynch was most recently an independent multimedia and direct response advertising co

OUR VIEW--Reflections on Staples Center

As pundits debate whether the police were too passive in handling last week's "riot" outside Staples Center, some more profound questions have arisen about how downtown's shining new arena fits in with the fabric of Los Angeles.

Tech Talk --- Names Ending in Dot-Com Lose Value in New Order

Remember when every hot new company wanted to have "dot-com" in its name, because it conferred instant prestige (and the promise of piles of venture capital)?

MOVIES --- Obsolete Screens

Business is likely to be very good at the new AMC Theatre that just broke ground in Burbank.

The Pacesetter

Houston-based Waste Management Inc. tops the environmental list again this year, with more than 1,000 employees in L.A. County. The company serves municipal, commercial, industrial and residential customers throughout the United States, where it owns and

MERGERS --- ...As Counterparts to the West Also Choose to Merge

For some time now, local chambers of commerce have recognized the efficiencies of merging everything from saving on rent and salaries to the ability to attract members from a broader territory.

Lgst Envir. & Insur. in LA Cnty

Lgst Envir. & Insur. in LA Cnty

How to Leave Your Pre-Presentation Jitters on The Plane

Just got into town for a big presentation? You may well be experiencing that sinking feeling we often call "pre-presentation jitters."

VARIETY --- Variety Unveils Boffo Expansion Plan

A few years ago, Variety only had its arch rival, The Hollywood Reporter, to worry about. Now it's competing with seemingly everybody.

TV --- Uncensored Satellite Channel Targets Iranian Audience

In Iran, consumers are forbidden by law from owning satellite dishes. But that isn't stopping a North Hollywood businessman from shelling out millions of dollars on a for-profit satellite TV channel he's beaming into the Middle Eastern nation sort of a

UNIVERSAL --- Universal Deal Likely to Usher In Big Changes

Vivendi's $34 billion takeover of Seagram Co. and its local Universal Studios Inc. operations sent the entertainment industry buzzing last week about the probable fate of Universal's current American management and other related topics.

Entrepreneurs Find Quest For Funding Gets Tougher

It hasn't been business as usual. Or maybe it's returned to business as usual, depending on how you look at it.

Chet Currier --- Marketing Push Has More Funds Charging Despised Fee

As much as journalists love anniversaries, we're in danger of letting one slip by unnoticed this year.

OVERVIEW--The New Landscape

No, it wasn't from Jose Eber or any of the other L.A. uber-stylists. It was from tech investors, or more specifically, from tech investors' flight out of the Internet sector.

Jane Bryant Quinn --- Margin Calls Can Become a Nightmare for Naive Players

You've probably heard about margin calls. What you don't know is how bad they can get.

Selecting The Right Menu & Location

Whether it be a meeting with potential clients, existing clients, or even your own employees, the atmosphere and menu are crucial to a successful corporate luncheon. You must create an environment that promotes open, creative, and productive communicatio

BUYOUTS...And It's Heating Up Again for Middle-Market Deals

It may not be the 1980s again, but there are signs that the leveraged buyout is back.

Convention Direct Mail Can Improve Your Business

Direct mail, in the hands of a knowledgeable pro, can be a powerful promotion that builds booth traffic targets key prospects, generates sales leads, fills conference rooms, creates an awareness of an event and your participation in it. Or gets the word

HOUSES --- Bugalow Bounty

The vintage architectural style, characterized by natural surfaces meant to mimic their surroundings, is more popular today than it has been at any time since the Arts and Crafts movement swept the nation between 1900 and 1920.

Influence Effectively

Think about the most influential person in your organization. Why is he or she so influential? Is it because he is smarter than everyone else in your organization? Or because he is so charismatic? Is her influence a result of the power and authority that

Fed Doesn't Seem Fazed by Weak Economic Signs

Any more weak economic data and the call will go out to the grand poohbahs of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the arbiter of all things cyclical, to convene in order to determine the start date of the recession!

Jane Applegate --- These Entrepreneurs Would Not Be Deterred by Adversity

"When I arrived in the U.S., I was 15 years old and had never seen a telephone, a television or heard English spoken," said Carmen Bermudez, a native of Costa Rica who used to climb trees to pick fruit as a way to stave off hunger.

Speak Effectively At Meetings

All sorts of things go on at meetings but it is disappointing how rarely a productive and creative exchange of ideas leads to good collective decisions. Nevertheless, use of assertive technique can facilitate positive and productive meetings.

CARTOONS --- Animators Defect in Droves To High-Paying Dot-Coms

While directors, top studio brass and other big-name animation players have been moving to Internet firms such as Shockwave.com, Mondo Media and Stan Lee Media for the last year, the rank-and-file animators had not followed suit. Until now.

LABJ L.A. stories

It's not another one of those catchy nicknames that Shaquille O'Neal likes to give himself. Instead, it could describe the bicycle that the Lakers center has put up for auction online.

Wall Street West --- Dutch Finance Giant Alive, Well in Its Downtown Digs

A couple weeks back I reported that ING Barings had virtually shut down its L.A. investment banking operations. As it turns out, that's not correct.

FINANCING--Entrepreneurs Find Quest For Funding Gets Tougher

It hasn't been business as usual. Or maybe it's returned to business as usual, depending on how you look at it.

PROFILE--Internet Company Forced to Completely Reinvent Itself

A few months ago, Load Media Network was one of the scores of companies written off as investors turned a cold shoulder to Internet content providers.

INSIDE VIEW--American Gigolo

Frank Sinatra may have called L.A. "a lady," but I think the fabled crooner and longtime Southland resident had it all wrong. Los Angeles' essence is not that of some elegant female but her scheming opposite, a male on the make.

FURNITURE --- Industrial Chic

Burke and Peggy Byrnes, co-owners of Sonrisa Furniture, used to sell brightly colored Mexican and Southwestern folk art and pine furniture that evoked the fiestas and fanfare of the Latin world.

TIMING--Story of Salon.com Is Classic Tale of Dot-Com Debacle

When the history of the great dot-com investment bubble of 1996-2000 is finally written, surely a few select comments will be heard from some quarter or other regarding the role that Wall Street has played in this game. It's called How to Fleece the Publi

HISTORY--L.A. Was Ground Zero for Leveraged Buyouts in 1980s...

Among the many trends characterizing today's reshaped financial landscape in Los Angeles is the re-emergence of leveraged buyouts. But while the LBO action in L.A.'s middle market is heating up, it's a far cry from the storied LBO heyday of the 1980s. Tha

AIRCRAFTS --- Big Contracts Give Lift to Aerospace Firms

Los Angeles' long-suffering aerospace industry is poised to get a major shot in the arm, with two multibillion-dollar Boeing contracts bringing loads of work to local subcontractors.

VISIONSL.A.'s Investment Community Takes Stock of Future

Without a doubt, the spring tech sell-off sent a jolt through the Los Angeles investment community. Just how did it change the landscape, and what does the future hold? The Business Journal asked prominent local financiers for their take.

CHAMBER --- Three Northeast Valley Chambers Getting Together...

Faced with one of the biggest issues ever to confront the Northeast San Fernando Valley, three local chambers of commerce are merging in hopes of having a louder voice when it comes to the area's pending redevelopment.

CORPORATE FOCUS --- Sports Club Is Pumping Up Too Fast to Attract Investors

As the Sports Club Co. beefs up, Wall Street is responding by kicking sand in the fitness company's face.

Cleaning Up After the Party

In some sense, eParties was lucky. Not all floundering e-tailers are going to find a helping hand at any price. Other companies are still hashing out their survival prospects, and may not yet realize the time is nigh.

LABJ FORUM--Media Fair in Upheaval Coverage?

Last Monday's NBA Championship victory for the Lakers took an ugly turn when overexcited fans began lighting fires and breaking windows outside Staples Center. Some media pundits called the incident a rampage of destruction, while others noted that the vi

REBOUND --- MiniMed Is Recovering From Delay in Diabetes Product Test

The mid-June catastrophe for high-flying biotech firm MiniMed Inc. appears to be blowing over nearly as quickly as it started, with Chief Executive Alfred E. Mann saying the research report that caused the company's stock price to plummet was overblown an

LAWYERS-- See Caseloads Shift From IPOs to Buyouts

Just a few months ago, companies like RightPro Inc. were frantically turning to their attorneys for counsel on the intricacies of going public.

Calendar

26 Doing Business with Japan 7:30 a.m. IBEAR Program at USC's Marshall School Popovich Hall, USC $2,150 (213) 740-7130

DAY CARE --- New Day-Care Centers Going Bust

Demand for affordable day care is exploding throughout Los Angeles, as an increasing number of welfare parents make the transition to work.

ADS --- Lexus Beams Commercial Onto the Side of a Building

If you saw bizarre images flashing on a tall building near Staples Center and heard pounding industrial/techno music after leaving a Lakers playoff game, don't worry, you weren't hallucinating. It's a radical new advertising campaign launched by Lexus.

How to Influence Groups Effectively

Think about the most influential person in your organization. Why is he or she so influential? Is it because he is smarter than everyone else in your organization? Or because he is so charismatic? Is her influence a result of the power and authority that

Cybersense --- Managing the Mad Rush for Brand New Net Domains

On April 22, 1889, tens of thousands of people lined up at the borders of Oklahoma on horses, wagons and trains, preparing to race for the rights to their very own home on the range.

Show Biz --- NEWS, NOTES AND TRENDS ON L.A.'S ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

When the Federal Communications Commission gave the go-ahead for Viacom Inc. to take over CBS Corp., it also handed the conglomerate a waiver to continue running UPN, the weblet that revived itself this year with pro wrestling. Federal law previously proh

MOGULS--As Dot-Coms Falter, Where Will New Moguls Appear?

Every economic cycle tends to produce a new crop of entrepreneurs who started out with a pocketful of ideas and end up on the list of L.A.'s super rich.

Fortunes Turned on Timing for Top Dot-Com Players

In light of the dot-com meltdown, the local Internet entrepreneurs who cashed out last year are looking like financial geniuses.

Understanding The Dynamics of a Presentation

Most people aren't crazy about it, but making presentations is an unavoidable part of corporate life, so why not make the best of it? The following may help you prepare a more interesting, informative, and persuasive talk the next time you're asked.

SURVEY--Venture Firms Plan to Boost Investments in Year Ahead

Despite the dot-com bubble bursting, many venture capital firms in Los Angeles plan to invest more money this year than last, according to a Business Journal survey.

Insurance Brokers

Insurance brokers work closely with their clients to find the broadest insurance coverage at the lowest cost. While some brokers handle all lines of insurance, others specialize in one or more areas of coverage.

PORTS --- Warehouses Filling Up Fast, With Holiday Cargo on Way

With cargo volume mushrooming at local ports, South Bay warehouses are quickly reaching capacity, and the peak holiday-merchandise shipping season of June through October is just getting started.

Mitch Albom --- Some Reflections on O.J., Six Years Later

The anniversary came and went. There was little fanfare, at least compared to the same day six years ago, when everyone in America was saying, "Quick, turn on your TV set! O.J. Simpson is on the run!"

Real Estate Column --- Chicago Firm Is Moving Into Apartment Niche in L.A.

Quietly but steadily, Elkor Realty Corp. has been expanding its Los Angeles-area apartment portfolio in recent months, with purchases of complexes in Hollywood and Marina del Rey and several others pending.

Weekly Briefing

There was little built-in demand for child care when teacher Myron Lieberman opened up Valley Trails summer day camp 30 years ago. Back then, more moms stayed at home and were able to supervise the summer activities of their young children. Now two-incom

Ahead of the Curve

L.A. does Shakespeare: If it's summer, someone must be doing a Shakespeare festival. Shakespeare Festival/L.A. will be performing the screwball comedy "Much Ado About Nothing" from June 29 through July 30. Performances are in three locations: Marina del R

Letters

Your June 19 first-person account by Mark Verge (The Weekly Briefing) suggests that the Business Journal does not corroborate the information presented. Mr. Verge claims that he lists "about 200 new rental properties a day." That translates to 6,000 a mon

Entrepreneur's Notebook --- How to Painlessly Pass Family Firm to Next Generation

Any family business that has looked at keeping it in the family and successfully transitioning ownership to the next generation can tell you it's a tremendous challenge.

Executive Summary

Unlike the booming decades of the '70s and '80s, the last decade of the 20th century was a bust for the environmental services industry.

NEWSPAPERS --- Investors Want Scoop on Newspaper Deals

With the recent finalization of Times Mirror Co.'s acquisition by Chicago-based Tribune Co., newspaper consolidation will be a major topic of discussion at this week's Mid-Year Media Review, a biannual newspaper-industry conference held in New York, bring

Monday, June 19

BARGAINS --- Most Cost-Efficient CEOs Head Old Economy Firms

Stories abound of money-hemorrhaging Internet startups run by fresh-faced wunderkinds who, even in the tech downturn, have made a killing in salary and options.

INTERACTIVE --- New on the Web: Interactive Animation

For months, venture capitalists have been hinting that an unheralded software company in L.A. was about to launch with something revolutionary. After more than two years of research and development, millions in funding from the venture capital arms of Glo

TECH TALK --- Venture Taking Direct Approach to Big Online Sales

The founder of CarsDirect.com is off to a new venture that takes the basic CarsDirect model and applies it to other big-ticket items like boats, motorcycles, washing machines, computers and stereos.

POWER --- L.A. Power Broker

While the Bay Area was hit with rolling electricity blackouts during last week's record heat wave, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power is flush with a power surplus. And that will enable the DWP to sell the precious commodity on the open market, g

TRENDS --- Salaries, Bonuses Balloon Along With New Economy

In 1999, the average base salary for L.A.'s 100 most handsomely paid corporate execs was $569,160, about the same as the previous year. But average bonuses climbed 22 percent to $904,760.

Calendar

19 Orientation: Nuts & Bolts of Entrepreneurship 2:00 p.m. Small Business Development Center 3233-C Douglas Loop South, Santa Monica Free (310) 398-8883 The Confident Woman and Health Care 6:00 p.m. Women in Health Care Holiday Inn, 170 N. Church Lane,

HEALTH --- Bleeding Red Ink, Trauma Centers Threaten to Close

While L.A. county officials try to hammer out a $1 billion federal bailout to keep the public health system running, another potential health care crisis is looming.

Black Business

The monthly Bureau of Labor report for May left many people scratching their heads. While it showed that the economy continues to sizzle, it also showed an alarming jump in black joblessness to 8 percent. This is more than double the current unemployment

Show Biz

Hershey Felder, who is starring in "George Gershwin Alone" at the Tiffany Theater until June 25, had such a moment outside Auschwitz, the Nazi death camp.

Econowatch

Residential (Apr.)8 1,202.3 1,202.3 0.0 1,194.3 +0.7 Commercial (Apr.) 189.6 176.1 +7.6 174.9 +8.4

Mitch Albom --- Death + Taxes = Big Loss for Your Kids

It gets taxed by the federal government, the state government, city government and Social Security.

Tourism

% + from

Working at Home --- Tips for Firms Looking to Get Wired for DSL Service

Nine months have passed since we began the process of getting DSL, and our service just went live last week. Our path from query to connection was a jumble of miscommunication, false promises and technical mishaps.

TRADING --- Diehard Day Traders Riding Out Stock Market Storms

Not particularly exciting perhaps, but then again, it's better than losing money.

Weekly Briefing --- A first Person Account

Five years ago, coin shop owner Mark Verge tried to help a friend get his money back from a rental agency that had placed misleading apartment ads.

INTERVIEW --- Magazine Mogul

ROBERT E. PETERSEN SOLD HIS huge PUBLISHING COMPANY, BUT SOON REALIZED INK WAS IN HIS BLOOD. NOW HE HAS BIG PLANS FOR SPORTS AFIELD.

CORPORATE FOCUS --- Home Sales Surging

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. was trading at more than $100 a share in early March. Then the bottom dropped out from under tech stocks, and the Camarillo chipmaker saw the value of its shares decline 50 percent in a matter of days.

PAY --- Overpaid Underachievers

Circus was one word used to describe Mattel Inc.'s shareholder meeting in Manhattan Beach this month. And a circus it was. Shareholders shouted from their seats, and lined up at the microphone to spew their outrage at the $40 million-plus severance packag

SHUTTERBUGS --- Bright Economic Picture Is Behind Camera Store Boom

Chalk it up to the hot economy, rampant consumerism or man's basic obsession with the latest high-tech gizmo, but many of L.A.'s old-time camera stores are in the midst of a building boom.

ANALYSIS --- CEOs Given Mega-Grants Haven't Set Returns on Fire

The $300 billion Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association's College Retirement Equities Fund has criticized mega-grants of stock options to chief executives. My research shows the fund is right to do so.

Newsmakers

Richard Withey was promoted to lead partner of the Southern California technology, information/communications, and entertainment practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Los Angeles. He will oversee practice activities in the firm's L.A., Century City, Woodl

LABJ FORUM --- Meetings Waste Too Much Time?

Meetings may keep employees in the communications loop, but at what cost to efficiency? According to a recent survey of the nation's 1,000 largest companies, executives estimate that they waste 7.8 hours a week almost a full workday on unnecessary mee

Roving Eye

So the relatives from the Midwest are coming to Los Angeles, and they want to see some movie stars. Where do you take them?

CLINTON --- Clinton Jetting In to Close Convention Cash Gap

With eight weeks to go before the Democratic National Convention and convention organizers still millions of dollars short, President Clinton, the ultimate fund-raiser, is coming to L.A. this weekend to close the gap.

L.A. stories

The talks by French water and media conglomerate Vivendi to buy Seagram Co. and all its local entertainment businesses has Hollywood in a buzz, with many wondering how a French parent might affect operations at Universal Studios Inc.

The Business Digest

A sudden burst of home buying in late May led to stronger-than-expected monthly sales and higher prices throughout Los Angeles County, as confident shoppers ignored early signs of economic slowing.

HILTON --- Hilton Insider Trading Leads to Merger Buzz

Could yet another major corporation be about to disappear from the local scene? Investment circles were buzzing last week about Beverly Hills-based Hilton Hotels Corp. possibly being in negotiations to be acquired by real estate investment firm Colony Cap

CITY --- Huge Liability Looms for City In Port Battle

The long-running court battle over the city of Los Angeles' decision to divert tens of millions of dollars in port revenues to its general fund, to pay for hiring more police officers, appears close to being settled.

Real Estate Column --- Telecom Trend Sparks Big Downtown Deals for Firm

A couple years ago, Kevin Keating plunged into developing telecom buildings, just as the trend in locating communications equipment in vacant downtown structures was taking off.

Real Estate

Property acquisition lending (mils.) (Mar.) $2,491.7 $1,761.8 +41.4 $2,157.6 +15.5

MOVIES --- Theater Chains Hope Joint Web Site Will Be Jolt to Ticket Sales

Not to be outdone by their bigger competitors, several mid-size cinema chains have banded together to create their own Web site hawking movie tickets and giving information on show times and theater locations.

CATHEDRAL --- Inside the Cathedral

In the Middle Ages, a cathedral took shape after decades of grueling labor by hundreds of craftsmen and laborers using hammers, chisels and wooden scaffolding.

STRIKE --- With No A-List Actors at Rallies, Strike Languishes

There were fire-breathing speeches, bitter denunciations and '60s power-fisted salutes by the likes of Harry Hamlin, Richard Dreyfuss and Billy Baldwin. Buddy Hackett was even up on the podium cracking Las Vegas jokes.

Ahead of the Curve

Ellen, again: Comedian Ellen DeGeneres plays the Universal Amphitheatre on June 24. And it should be good; she's had a long time to rehearse her jokes since her TV show was canceled. Information: (818) 980-9421 or (818) 622-4440.

RETAIL --- New Life for Inner-City Mall Project

Nine months after the collapse of Earvin "Magic" Johnson's attempt to redevelop the rundown Santa Barbara Plaza, another developer has stepped in with a new proposal, breathing life back into the five-year, inner-city revitalization effort.

Letters

The prospects displayed in your article "Tourism Officials Say Subway Is Gravy Train" (June 5) are scary. I work in the tourism industry, for an inbound tour wholesaler. And especially after my recent experiences, I would strongly discourage any of our cl

CONTRIBUTIONS --- Hollywood Funnels Millions to Campaigns

The entertainment industry, led by Seagram Co., almost doubled its donations to federal campaigns from the previous election cycle as it fights Internet piracy, a campaign-spending watchdog group said.

Entrepreneur's Notebook --- Nail Down These Details Before Signing Lease Deal

In a typical commercial lease deal, most tenants focus on basic provisions like rent, square footage, improvements and other obvious black-and-white economic factors.

Chet Currier --- Sector Funds Can Be Winners If You Enjoy Wild Ride

Anybody who follows a conservative philosophy of mutual fund investing is going to miss out on some big winners along the way.

Wall Street West --- Lender Is Banking on New Strategy to Lure Investors

Wall Street has not treated Imperial Credit Industries gently in the past three years, with the Torrance-based finance house's stock falling from nearly $25 in late 1997 to under $4 in trading last week.

MARKETING --- Firm Does Healthy Business Sticking Ad Labels on Fruit

For suddenly thrifty dot-coms looking to squeeze every penny out of their remaining funding, the key to building name recognition may not be Super Bowl or radio ads, but apples and oranges.

Jane Applegate --- What to Do When a Great Product Doesn't Post Sales

You would think that hurricane season would be the perfect time to sell "Storm Pruf Storm Rooms," a prefabricated safe room built inside a home or office.

REALTY --- Mortgage Minder

cut of any refund, NRG financial will do the math and take your case to lender

Cybersense --- Rivals Sending Message to Feds About AOL Software

As Microsoft contests its court-ordered breakup, another high-tech giant might be preparing to follow in its footsteps.

Time to Rethink CEO Compensation

Perhaps the most striking thing about the list of L.A.'s most highly paid public company executives is how little relationship there is between a CEO's pay and the performance of his or her company.

Jane Bryant Quinn --- Firm on Shaky Ground If Its 401(k) Relies on Own Stock

Are you in a 401(k) plan that invests heavily in your own company's stock? You, and your company, ought to take another look. You're gambling with your future, at doubtful odds.

For the Record

Tony B. Pearce DBA: T Pearce Concrete Co.; Benchmark Concrete Services; Benchmark Concrete

Monday, June 12

REITS--REITs Riding the Wave of Comeback by Value Stocks

After waiting patiently on the sidelines for years, Los Angeles-based real estate investment trusts have been jumping back into the game.

PENSION--Pension Funds Putting Greater Stake in Pricey Properties

After a long period in which they were hardly touching real estate investments, pension funds have emerged as a dominant player in the sector.

BUY.COM --- Buy.com Hikes Prices to Outlast Flood of Failing Firms

Buy.com Inc., the money-losing online retailer touted as Orange County's answer to Amazon.com, has tweaked its strategy in hopes of staving off the harsh new realities that have beset other dot-com hopefuls.

The LABJ LA Stories

The theme park that gave the world Space Mountain, Star Tours and even Pirates of the Caribbean has a new thrill in store: a tractor.

FORUM Panel Says Demand Makring Good Deals Harder to Find

The Business Journal asked some of the top people in the field to address the current state of real estate investing in L.A., and provide their outlook on where they think the market is going in the future.

Ahead of the Curve

Ghostly sightings: Explore the spooky sightings that have been reported aboard the Queen Mary over the past 60 years. A new attraction, called "Ghosts & Legends of the Queen Mary," opens June 17 aboard the luxury liner in Long Beach. Much of the exhibit i

For the Record

Tony B. Pearce DBA: T Pearce Concrete Co.; Benchmark Concrete Services; Benchmark Concrete

WHO'S WHO--L.A.'s Lineup of Heavy-Hitting Real Estate Investors

One of L.A.'s most prolific and successful real estate investors, Tom Barrack heads Colony Capital Inc., the quintessential "opportunity fund" that specializes in buying undervalued assets at bargain prices and waiting for the market to turn around.

NORTHRIDGE --- Valley Poised for More Quake Payments

Six years after the Northridge temblor, damage has again taken center stage this time in Sacramento, where state lawmakers are considering a bill to reopen the insurance claims process.

The Business Digest

The Board of Education unanimously agreed to appoint former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, making him the first non-educator to lead the huge and beleaguered district.

CORPORATE FOCUS --- Cherokee Finds Profits, If Not Respect, as a Licensor

For the third year in a row, Van Nuys-based Cherokee Group reported record-breaking revenues and profits in 1999, and in recent months it has announced a slew of new licensing agreements.

Calendar

12 Communication in a Cooperative Environment 6:45 p.m. California Women Business Owners Marriott, 21850 Oxnard St., Woodland Hills $26 (818) 773-1976

The Roving Eye

It seems that just about every other street in Los Angeles is being repaved or repaired.

HOTELS --- Beachfront Battleground

As the sand heats up, so does the competition among Santa Monica's luxury hotels and this summer, that competition will be fiercer than ever.

PROMOTIONS--Newsroom Veteran Named Editor of Business Journal

Michael Stremfel last week was promoted to editor of the Los Angeles Business Journal, filling a post that had been vacant for nearly three months.

NORTHWEST --- Moguls Get Windfall on Airline Talks

The merger frenzy swirling through the airline industry is sending the personal net worth of two of L.A.'s richest residents into higher air space, and their windfall could go higher in the months ahead.

LETTERS--- Benefits of China Trade Pact

The recent House vote, along with expected Senate passage of Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR) with China, is probably the single most important action Congress can take that will not only improve the economy and quality of life here in the United S

Legal Notice

The following company is doing business as NormativeData.com, 1137 Second St., #109, Santa Monica, CA 90403-5000. This business is being conducted by a persons, Louis F. D'Elia, 1137 Second St., #109, Santa Monica, CA 90403-5000, Maura N. Mitsushina, 760

Our View --- China Pact: A Good Deal

After all the tooth-gnashing and political lobbying over America's newest trade pact with China is over, the pundits, labor activists and corporate executives battling over the deal are likely to come to a startling conclusion: Nothing will change very qu

BILLS--Sacramento Gets Kinder To Business

The legislative outlook for California businesses at mid-session following the June 2 deadline for bills to pass their house of origin is looking much sunnier than the outlook of a year ago.

LABJ forum --- Tips for New Head of LAUSD?

After a months-long, nationwide search, the L.A. Board of Education has selected a new superintendent. The political and business savvy of former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer could speed reform at the mammoth, troubled Los Angeles school district, but he lacks

CYBERSENSE --- Hollywood Isn't Sweating Online Video Swaps Yet

It's video, you see, and it's free for the taking on the Net. Animated shorts, music videos and full-length movies are being traded back and forth as freely as Microsoft Outlook viruses and bad jokes.

REAL ESTATE --- New Economy Meets Old Industry in Rail-Yard Lease

A new tech center under construction at Taylor Yard has signed its first tenant and more deals are in the works.

VENTURE --- Dot-Coms Seeking Capital Anticipate Slow Summer

If the recent VentureNet 2000 investor conference in Laguna Niguel is any indication, it could be a long summer for local technology companies in search of funding.

TECH TALK --- Will Catchy Name Attract Surfers to Television.com?

L.A. is getting yet another entertainment Web site, but this one hopes its memorable name will distinguish it from the pack not to mention help it avoid the fate of some of its flailing brethren.

NEWSMAKERS --- Wagley Sees Distributors as Key to Insurance Firm Growth

Lisa Knorr was appointed vice president of business development at On the Scene Productions in Los Angeles. She will be responsible for developing new entertainment products and expanding the West Coast charitable organization and foundation practice. Kno

TELEVISION --- Promo Palace

Michael J. Fox may have quit "Spin City" at the end of the TV season, but he will be rolling in syndication heaven starting in the fall. And Stuart Weiss, president and founder of promotion agency Studio City, intends to make sure TV viewers are ready and

OVERVIEW As Stocks Stumble, Investors Turn to L.A. Real Estate

With the stock market vacillating and signs the economy is slowing down, many investors are looking to bricks and mortar as a safe haven. And the Los Angeles area in general and Westside in particular are viewed as among the choicest investment markets in

SHOW BIZ --- NEWS, NOTES AND TRENDS ON L.A.'S ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

It's not just ABC that's benefiting from the success of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?"

PERSONAL FINANCE --- Small-Cap Stocks Help Cut Risk as Interest Rate Climbs

Now that all of us are married to the idea that stocks are the best long-term investment, we have a problem.

JANE APPLEGATE --- With Spirits High, Summer Is Time to Get Things Done

Unless you run a lakeside resort or sell ice cream bars on the boardwalk, summer is a great time to dig out, clean up, and think about why you are in business.

Executive Summary

In general terms, a money manager can be described as someone who helps investors meet their needs and objectives for investments, tax planning, asset allocation, retirement planning, risk management and estate planning.

DEALS--Biggest Buys in Past Year Targeted Diverse Properties

A wide variety of Los Angeles County properties have changed hands over the past 12 months, and no two properties among the five highest-priced sales are alike.

UCLA --- A 3D Tour of Ancient Rome at UCLA

Rome wasn't built in a day, but that isn't deterring a UCLA professor and a team of seven archeologists and computer scientists from recreating the ancient city, brick by brick.

FOOD --- Farmers Market Tries to Take Root At Office Center

The words "farmers market" usually conjure up images of leisurely weekend strolls, latte in hand, with the smell of flowers in the air.

Mitch Albom

Yes. Gak. The latest word in love. Well. Not really love. Marriage. Well, not really marriage. Bliss. Marital bliss. Maintaining it, that is. Which is where Gak comes in.

WALL STREET WEST --- Wall Street Giving Online Stamp Seller a Real Licking

Shareholders in Santa Monica-based Stamps.com Inc. saw their shares hit a 52-week high of $98.50 on Nov. 22. With nearly 50 million shares outstanding, Stamps.com then had a market cap of more than $4.81 billion.

AIRLINES--Airline Mergers Hold Promise, Peril

The friendly skies are abuzz with airline merger talks, and the potential impact on Los Angeles could be tremendous creating both headaches and opportunities.

CHET CURRIER --- Investors Prefer to Purchase Advice and Not Go It Alone

Like quite a few other financial writers, for years I've carried a banner advocating do-it-yourself investing in mutual funds, rather than paying a broker or other adviser to make choices for you.

SAN FERNANDO --- Aggressive San Fernando Retail Push Hitting a Wall

For the last two years, the 2.4-square-mile city of San Fernando has been in an uphill battle to turn itself from a Latino small-business mecca into a center for big-name retail development.

Inside View --- Oft-maligned as stepsister of L.A., Valley is emerging as vital 'midopolis' Valley Vision

For much of the past quarter century, the San Fernando Valley has been treated and often thought of itself as the stepsister of Los Angeles, the butt of jokes and the place the rich and famous chose to avoid. Such resentments have been one of the key

FOOD --- Food Reseller Finds a New Niche on the Web

L.A. Foods, which resells excess food from manufacturers, has over the past decade built its business from a one-man operation to one of the biggest companies of its kind in the nation, with annual revenues of $22 million.

AMGEN --- Red-Carpet Recruiting

When Ed Garnett interviews prospective employees for Amgen Inc., he has an ace in the hole.

MOM-AND-POPS--Regular Folks Put Retirement Savings Into Apartments

Real estate investing isn't just reserved for the moguls who play Monopoly with real buildings; for many regular, middle-class folks, it's considered a more reliable retirement plan than putting money in the stock market.

INFOMERCIALS --- Cut of Infomercial Action Is Paying Off

Jim Caldwell first became interested in making infomercials in the late 1980s after seeing a TV sales pitch for motivational tapes.

INTERVIEW --- Swimming in a New Wave

Swimsuit designer Anne Cole has been a personal witness to the whirlwind changes in the swimwear industry. Her father Fred Cole, a former silent film star, founded Cole of California in 1925 when women were wearing suits practically down to their knees.

The Pacesetter

In general terms, a money manager can be described as someone who helps investors meet their needs and objectives for investments, tax planning, asset allocation, retirement planning, risk management and estate planning.

WEEKLY BRIEFING--- A FIRST PERSON ACCOUNT OF RUNNING A SMALL BUSINESS

For most, a part-time college job means waiting tables or selling at a department store, but Jon Haim has successfully turned walking dogs into a profitable side business while he works his way through college. Five years ago, while working at Petco, Haim

LAUGHS--With Comic Kids Taking Stage, Nights Perk Up at Coffee House

Ever since buying a Studio City coffee house called Jennifer's last September, Mario and Shelly-Ann Martin have been trying to boost business through a series of comedy shows and spoken-word nights.

AWARDS --- LABJ Honored With Awards by L.A. Press Club

For the third year running, the Business Journal took home a slate of awards from the Los Angeles Press Club after its annual Southern California Journalism Awards presentation for outstanding news coverage in 1999.

CONVENTION--L.A.'s Giant Schmoozefest

When the Democrats come to town in two months for their national convention, much of the public attention is going to be focused on Staples Center and a handful of public events in the downtown area.

25 Largest Money Managers in LA Cty

25 Largest Money Managers in LA Ctyassets, foreign assets, mutual funds, investments, assets managed

ENTREPRENEUR'S NOTEBOOK --- Tips for Hiring People Who Benefit the Bottom Line

When you own a business, the decision to hire a new employee along with the process of finding the right person can be quite daunting.

Monday, June 5

The LABJ LA Stories

The L.A. Lakers could open the 2001-2002 season on a very long road trip to Tokyo.

50 Biggest Hotels in LA County

50 Biggest Hotels in LA County

TECH TALK--Firm Says Goodbye to Beantown to Tap L.A. Talent

Boston might boast one of today's hottest tech communities, but a Beantown animation company thinks L.A. is the place to be.

Roving Eye

From the beach to the offices of local companies, scooters that's right, suped-up skateboards with handles are the transportation du jour.

MITCH ALBOM --- Lonely Phone Booth Falls Victim to Web

It is about a phone booth. In the Mojave Desert. "The loneliest phone booth in the world," they called it.

Show Biz--NEWS, NOTES AND TRENDS ON L.A.'S ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

If you're Bob Cooper, the former head of production at DreamWorks SKG, and the movie was "American Beauty," you start your own company.

DOWNTOWN--Downtown L.A. May Be Ready To Land a Store

As downtown inches forward in its quest to attract the critical mass of residents needed to spark a renaissance there, a crucial ingredient is still missing a supermarket.

WIRED--Web Wonders

Revenue at AIMS 2000 may be growing by leaps and bounds, but that isn't helping to solve one of the company's biggest problems: its name is rapidly becoming outdated.

Ahead of the Curve

All that jazz: Don't expect any bunnies, just plenty of music at the annual Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on June 17 and 18. Bill Cosby is master of ceremonies and headliners include Wynton Marsalis, Celia Cruz, Lou Ra

KTTV--Departure of KTTV GM Irks Latino Activists

Two days after the May sweeps ended, the only Hispanic general manager of an English-language L.A. television station abruptly resigned, raising concern among activists who have been trying for years to raise the profile of Latinos in the local media.

VOICES--Angelenos Assess Impact of Expanding China Trade

With the House of Representatives giving most favored nation trading status for China the big thumbs-up, a long-term commercial relationship with the colossus of the east seems almost certain. The stakes for L.A., the oft-touted "Capital of the Pacific Ri

WINNERS--China Trade Pact Opens New Frontier

While most sectors of the U.S. economy are just starting to fully explore the potential benefits of improved trade relations with China, one sector in Los Angeles is already moving to expand their business dealings there.

INTERNET--Net Company Poised to Leap Into Big Pool

Pundits insist that any ramping-up of opportunities in China remains years away, despite that country's pending admission to the World Trade Organization.

LOANS--Sub-Prime Lender Banking on Internet Play

Only a year ago, officials at WMC Mortgage Co. had envisioned a vast network of retail outlets to handle their lending business.

After Being Burned Once, Toymaker I Still Giving Huge Perks to New CEOs Mattel's Money

Fresh from granting an obscene amount of severance pay to fired-CEO Jill Barad, the directors of Mattel fashioned an equally galling package for her replacement, Robert Eckert. If he doesn't work out, shareholders will again foot an expensive bill fo

JANE APPLEGATE --- Founders of Small Firms Make It Big in Eyes of SBA

When David Cline's father was fired from his job due to his arthritis, Cline vowed that he would become an entrepreneur to guarantee that he would always have a job. Since then, Cline has owned three small businesses.

WALL STREET WEST --- Financier Turns Attention to Tech Firms Facing Trouble

It had to happen: a tech-oriented fund in Los Angeles looking to take positions in or buy distressed companies at a discount.

JANE BRYANT QUINN --- In Credit Card Game, Banks Always Come Out Winners

A friend showed me her credit-card bill last month. Her balance was $425. Her minimum monthly payment this month was listed as "$0.00." My friend said, "Look at that, I have one month free."

Newsmakers

Elizabeth Ausman was named executive vice president and director of business development, corporate strategy and business planning at the Los Angeles office of Initiative Media North America, a media buying and planning firm. She will be responsible for i

HOTEL --- History in the Balance

How do you assess the architectural and cultural value of a building where the Rat Pack once literally tore the joint to pieces, and Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated?

ANIMATION--Students Drawn to Growing CSUN Animation Program

On the northern edge of the Cal State Northridge campus lies a group of numbered trailers spaced out in what used to be a parking lot hardly an image that would lure incoming freshmen to the campus.

Community Bank Gets Warning

The Los Angeles Community Development Bank, the centerpiece of city efforts to revitalize depressed communities after the 1992 riots, could be forced to close if a radical restructuring now underway fails, according to a government report and city officia

Executive Summary

While the average occupancy rate at L.A. County hotels remained flat last year, the average daily room rate increased faster than inflation, rising 4.5 percent over 1998.

INTERVIEW --- Polluters' Mr.Clean

When it comes to air quality regulations in the L.A. area, few individuals are as influential as environmental attorney Robert Wyman.

Forget AboutTax Rebates

As the annual wrestling match continues in Sacramento over this year's state budget plan, the key debate has come down to tax rebates. How big should they be, and in what manner should they be granted?

CONTROVERSY--Can 'Dr. Laura' Survive Storm of Protest?

Three months before Dr. Laura Schlessinger's Sept. 11 television debut, the decision to create a show around the tough-talking queen of talk radio is becoming a media firestorm.

CORPORATE FOCUS --- Investors Like Positioning Of Web Banking Company

In the eight months that online banking services provider Digital Insight Corp. has been trading on Nasdaq, the company has seen its stock price jump from $19 to $86, only to fall back back below $40.

SUBWAY--Tourism Officials Say Subway Is Gravy Train

A coalition of local business and government officials, recognizing the vast economic potential of three new Metro Red Line stations opening on June 24, are aggressively moving to fully exploit that potential.

AIRPORT--Makeover Eyed for Duty-Free Shops as Part of New Contract

One of LAX's biggest cash cows is poised to get a new $185 million contract and overhaul its operations.

WORKING AT HOME --- Do Your Homework When Hiring Students for Summer

This is the time of year when high school and college students look for summer moneymaking opportunities. This means it's a great time to find temporary staff for your business.

The Newsmaker

Justin Dart, chairman and CEO of Los Angeles-based Dart Industries, the maker of Tupperware, Duracell batteries and Westbend cookware, said the company had not been seeking any type of merger before it was approached by food industry giant Kraft Inc. and

RETAIL--Projects Giving Developer Stake in Hollywood Redux

What Richard Heyman calls the "hardware" of a revived Hollywood Boulevard is starting to take shape, with new retail centers rising or about to and older buildings receiving much-needed facelifts.

CYBERSENSE--'Love Bug' Overkill Could Make Criminals of Us All

Like real-life viruses, computer viruses affect different people in different ways.

CABLE--City Analyst to Counsel Opening Cables to ISPs

In a much-anticipated report, the city's chief legislative analyst is expected this week to propose that local cable franchises open their fiber-optic lines to Internet service providers by 2002.

The Pacesetter

Unless another monolithic hotel complex sprouts up in the very near future, The Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites will continue to dominate the list of the county's biggest hotels for some time to come.

CHET CURRIER --- Despite New Strength, Tobacco Stocks Burned by Funds

The way tobacco stocks have rallied this spring, it'd be a nice time to own a few shares of a tobacco sector mutual fund.

Plan to Ride the Red Line?

The Red Line subway extension to North Hollywood and Universal City, due to open on June 24, could shrink trips between the Valley and downtown to a mere 20 minutes. But naysayers allege that car-loving Angelenos won't take the train, no matter how bad tr

The Weekly Briefing

For a number of years, Elaine Gilboa used the family home at the foot of the Hollywood Hills simply as a place to raise her two children and keep a home office for her word-processing business.

ENTREPRENEUR'S NOTEBOOK --- Firms Have No Excuse for Failing to Secure Tax Credits

A war is being waged between states, counties, and even some cities with businesses coming out the big winners.

REAL ESTATE COLUMN --- Xerox Leaving Pasadena for Big New Digs in Monrovia

Xerox Special Information Systems will be moving from Pasadena next door to Monrovia. The company has signed a 15-year lease for a two-story, 137,500-square-foot building now under construction at 1218 S. Fifth Ave., just south of Huntington Drive.

SUPERMARKET--Superior Thrives as Big Players Flee

When major grocery chains shut their doors in L.A.'s inner city, Song has been right there to pick up the lease and open a market even grander than the exiting chain's store.