Stories for March 2000

Friday, March 31

LUXURY - Limousines With Wings

The $40 million Gulfstream GV is made for celebrities, potentates, moguls and others for whom first class is not good enough

CREATIVE - Many Net Firms Change Focus Midstream

CreativePlanet.com started out as a news and information site for entertainment-industry professionals, sort of an online trade publication. Now, the two-year-old company aims to be an online project manager for Hollywood, procuring services for film and

MANSION - Mansion in Holmby Hills Has Highest Price in City History

If there ever were a time to try to sell an obscenely expensive home property in Los Angeles, it's now.

The Roving Eye

Can a silly marketing tool become a true statement of individuality? Sure, if it has anything to do with people's cars, especially in Southern California.

BIOTECH Campus at Old Power Plant Could Spur Biotech Corridor

The Pasadena biotech corridor, approved amid much fanfare more than a year ago, appears to be finally materializing.

Lots of Business Remains Undone in Deal Over UPN

Viacom Inc. and Chris-Craft Industries Inc. ended their United Paramount Network partnership after a bitter court fight, but that is not the end of their story.

Econowatch L.A. County

Residential (Jan.)8 1,196.7 1,199.4 -0.2 1,182.6 +1.2 Commercial (Jan.) 172.0 175.2 -1.8 171.1 +0.8

TARGET - Mattel Said To Be Ripe For Takeover

With the pending acquisitions of Atlantic Richfield Co. and Times Mirror Co., there will be only 14 Fortune 500 companies left in L.A. County. And analysts say that might soon drop to an unlucky 13.

Awards You'll Never Hear During Oscars

You can't buy a ticket to the Academy Awards. You must be invited. So I kept waiting, checking the mailbox every day. But I got nothing, so I assumed once again, through no fault of my own, that I was not on the list.

Ahead The Curve

Hollywood: Speaking and non-speaking actors star in the Deaf West Theatre revival of Tennessee Williams' classic play, "A Streetcar Named Desire." Players use sign language and voiceovers to convey the tragic love story set in New Orleans. Through April

LAW - Court Change Could Be Costly for Jurors

It's supposed to make jury service easier and more palatable for the thousands of people summoned to do it each week. If you don't get picked for a jury within a single day, you get dismissed having fulfilled your civic duty for a full year.

Case of Stolen Identity Left Credit Record in Shambles

"I'm a victim of identity theft," writes Richard Glass, 65, of Fresno, who retired last December from his job selling elementary school textbooks.

Column & Features: The Weekly Briefing

Craig Block was working for a Los Angeles liquor wholesaler when he first helped a customer whose store had burned down to find a buyer for his liquor license. Block quickly realized the market potential of the service. Because California issues a limited

Don't Be Afraid of Aggressive Mutual Funds Yet

Looking at the stock market these days, you can scare yourself right out of your aggressive growth mutual funds.

PROMOTIONS - Custom-Made News

On the scene productions based in Los Angeles offers video footage of clients to media outlets without the time or people to cover everything

TRANSPORTATION - Critical Connection

For years, L.A. transit officials have wanted to run a mass transit route down Wilshire Boulevard the city's busiest east-west commercial corridor.

L.A. stories

The L.A. City Council unanimously approved a motion by City Council President John Ferraro asking the Chandler family to reconsider its decision to sell Times Mirror Co. and the Los Angeles Times to the Tribune Co. of Chicago.

The Business Digest

Exxon Mobil Corp. sued to stop Atlantic Richfield Co. from selling its Alaskan assets to Phillips Petroleum Co., a move that could delay or even derail the much-challenged acquisition of Arco by BP Amoco.

Letter

I couldn't disagree more with the article Joel Kotkin wrote as a front-page commentary in the March 20 edition of the L.A. Business Journal ("The Chandler Sell-Out").

FASHION - Line for Latinas

A couple of years ago, Howard M. Klein, the president of Vernon-based Rich & Me Inc., began mulling the idea of launching a line of budget clothing aimed directly at young Latinas. His epiphany came after a series of business meetings in Mexico with U.S.

FORECAST - L.A.-Silicon Valley Salary Gap Widens

Sure, Angelenos are getting richer. But they're not getting rich as quickly as people in the Bay Area.

CHURCH - Church & State

While the meek shall inherit the earth, as the saying goes, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles is being anything but meek about promoting its new downtown cathedral as a mainstream tourist attraction.

The Agenda

The city of Beverly Hills will play host to Gil Sheinbaum, senior consultant to the U.S. Department of State, as he lectures on "Asia's View of China, the Emerging World Power." The free community forum starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Inf

Project Offers More Things To Do Than Places to Shop

How do you build a commercial project in a community that disdains commercialism in its backyard? Just ask Rick Caruso.

Show Biz

Six months before its debut, Paramount's upcoming talk show "Dr. Laura," which features radio talk show diva Laura Schlessinger, has become a hot potato.

Ask Lorraine: If Eyeing New Job, Consider What Gets You Fired Up

Question: I've recently been bombarded with headhunters recruiting me for Internet startups. I'm not unhappy at my current job, but I'm not ecstatic either. What should I look for in making the leap?

COMMUNITY - Dot-Com Executives Stay Away From Local Chambers

The rapid proliferation of tech companies has brought prosperity to untold numbers of local workers, and the L.A. economy as a whole, but one group is being left in the dust: local chambers of commerce.

Jane Applegate - Lessons Learned Can Pay Off When Starting Own Firm

One way to increase your chance of success is to parlay the skills you learn on the job or in school into a moneymaking venture. Smart entrepreneurs always learn all they can from an employer or professor before going out on their own.

ANTITRUST Local Import/Export Firms Object to Shipping Cartel

Local import/export firms are upset that last month's congressional hearings did not yield the expected dismantling of the antitrust immunity that shipping lines have enjoyed for decades.

Cybersense - Hey Buddy, Can You Spare A Little Market Research?

Wherever you go, your clicks are collected, categorized and filed away in hopes of using what you read and watch to guess at what you'd want to buy.

Mnority-Owned Businesses

The top 25 minority owned businesses in L.A. County accounted for a combined $3.4 billion in revenues last year, an increase of 4.13 percent over their reported 1998 revenues. Three Latino- and two Chinese-owned companies are newcomers to this year's list

WINNER - One of L.A.'s Biggest P.R. Firms Acquired

Paris-based holding company Publicis S.A. last week acquired a majority interest in Winner & Associates, a stealthy but powerful Encino-based crisis management and public affairs firm.

Rapid Rise of Former Penny Stock Grabs SEC Attention

It's been a wild drive down Wall Street of late for shareholders of eConnect Inc., a San Pedro-based designer of devices to allow ATM cards to be swiped at keyboards or through Palm Pilot-type devices for Internet transactions.

To Keep on the Cutting Edge, L.A. Should Consider Massive Breakup Future Shock

"For a hundred years, Los Angeles has been the city of the future," Los Angeles historian Gregory Hise said at a forum at the L.A. Central Library in downtown last weekend. But that's not the case anymore, he added. "Other cities are now ahead."

VENTURE L.A. in the Running to Host Hispanic Chamber Confab

Los Angeles managed to win back the Grammy Awards from New York, and now it has a chance to recoup a key convention it lost two years ago.

CORPORATE FOCUS - Tarrant's Fortunes Unravel Amid Manufacturing Move

Wall Street's interest in Tarrant Apparel Group is pretty worn and faded these days, a far cry from only a year ago.

LABJ FORUM

An L.A. Unified proposal giving merit pay to teachers who improve student scores on standardized tests has sparked yet another controversy at the state's biggest school district. Proponents say it would provide teacher accountability and boost basic liter

Tech Talk - Brits Launching L.A. Chapter to Aid Internet Startups

Can L.A.'s tech industry stand another networking group? First Tuesday is apparently going to find out.

STAPLES - L.A. Challenging Las Vegas for Boxing Crown

The first big prizefight to hit L.A. since Muhammed Ali and Kenny Norton battled 25 years ago is coming to town, and the prospective purse is huge.

INTERVIEW - Ticket Meister

As head of Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, a company born in 1995 from the fertile mind of Bill Gross, Charles Conn runs a firm that has grown into a pillar of L.A.'s Internet community

Newsmaker

Elliott S. Ewing and Philip J. Koehler were appointed senior managers at Deloitte & Touche in Los Angeles. Ewing will work directly with clients at the multi-state tax services group and was formerly a tax counsel specialist at the Franchise Tax Board in

GRAPEVINE - Massive Project Proceeds in Spite of County Policy

The Tejon Ranch Co., a 156-year-old cattle and farming concern, recently announced it is moving full-steam ahead with a new 4,000-acre town planned for grazing land atop the Grapevine in North L.A. County.

They're Buses, Not Strip Clubs

It's hard to imagine that business owners would be opposed to public transit, especially to the construction of a new system that promises to bring masses of potential customers, or employees, to their doorsteps and reduce automotive traffic. Yet judgi

MOMENTS

10 years ago this week: An internal study of GM's car assembly plants revealed that the worst production quality was found at its Van Nuys facility... Complaints mounted against the U.S. Census Bureau when officials revealed that as many as 1.9 million A

RESEARCH - Is Your Focus Group Legit? Cheating Rampant

Jack Williams has been asked to play a twenty-something father of four (he's a 47-year-old bachelor), a Republican (he's a staunch Democrat) and a beer-guzzling construction worker (his drink of choice is Chardonnay).

Entrepreneur'S Notebook:Low-Tech Accounting Can Keep Companies in the Red

Most people have heard the expression "shoebox accounting." It refers to businesses that manage affairs in such a way that all receipts, check copies and accounting records are kept in the proverbial shoebox.

Monday, March 27

Finding Wireless Products on the Web

In the first heady days of e-commerce, buying a book or a music CD online was a mysterious and exciting experience, undertaken only by people who thought they were on the bleeding edge of cyberspace. But the recent watershed holiday season showed that sho

Spotlight on Pasadena: A Community of Technology

Increasingly, businesses in the high-tech sector are discovering the advantages of locating in Pasadena. The City is home to the California Institute of Technology, which provides a world-class intellectual resource and a positive environment for technol

PAY - Santa Monica Chamber Pushes Minimum Wage Plan

Anywhere else, the idea that a chamber of commerce would back a living wage proposal would be preposterous.

Show Biz

The star of "The X-Files," one of the Fox network's premiere dramas, is in talks about whether he'll return for an eighth season this fall.

Going High-Tech Will Give Census All the Data It Needs

You'd think the institution that invented the CIA would have figured out by now how to keep tabs on people.

HOMES - Luxury Land Grab

Owners of multimillion-dollar Westside mansions are expanding their estates by buying up and razing their next-door neighbors' homes.

Advisor Was One of Few in Loop About Sale of Times

Ian Pereira, managing director with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, was one of the few people in L.A. who had any inkling that a merger of Times Mirror Corp. and Tribune Co. was in the works.

INTERVIEW - Cultural CatalysT

County, Joanne Kozberg sees the city's theaters as a critical component of downtown revitalization

DEMAND - Recruiters Scramble to Fill High-Level Dot-Com Jobs

The recent resignation of Peapod.com's newly appointed chief executive underscores the stomach-churning, day-to-day vacillations at an Internet startup. After just six months on the job, the online grocer's leader left the company because of "physical and

ENVIRONMENT - Foes of Ahmanson Ranch Fight WaMu on Home Turf

Fueled by a boost in donations from their first radio campaign against Washington Mutual Inc., foes of the huge Ahmanson Ranch housing development are planning a second campaign attacking the Seattle bank's environmental record.

Protecting Business Name and Trademarks on the Internet

With the Internet and e-commerce growing exponentially and becoming a larger part of our daily lives, protecting your business names and trademarks in cyberspace is more important than ever.

STOCK - Internet Stocks Fall as Insiders Collect Their Millions

JoMei Chang and her husband Dale Skeen were finally able to cash in on some of their newfound $3 billion wealth last month.

Tough Job, Big Pay

Wanted: Experienced high-level executive currently making big bucks in a secure corporate job at prestigious Fortune 500 company. Proven track record of success. Opportunity to work for a lower salary, putting in 100-hour workweeks filled with tremendous

To Incubate or Not to Incubate, That is the Question

Very successful entrepreneurs who used technology to ride and propel the success of their companies for the past 150 years did not need incubators. Thomas Edison did not need an incubator. Henry Ford did not need an incubator. L. B. Meyer, Jack and Har

There is More to E-Commerce Than Selling on the Internet

The latter half of the 1990's has seen an explosion in the use of the Internet/Intranet and its accessibility to individuals, corporations and educational institutions. This revolution has dramatically changed the way organizations conduct business with i

Loyalty? What's That?

The first day on a new job has always brought lots of forms to fill out and people to meet.

New Valuation Methods for Internet Stocks

Why does the stock of some Internet companies with no earnings sell for such high prices? Why does an industry with so many unprofitable companies continue to attract such huge inflows of new capital? This article examines the difference in valuation me

HEALTH - Alfred Mann's Magic Boosts Company's Cancer Vaccine

Add CTL ImmunoTherapies Corp. to the list of companies that have gone from zero to hero thanks to the Midas-like touch of biotechnology entrepreneur Alfred Mann.

Quick Fixes

A 10 percent correction in the stock market used to be a big deal. Now it can happen in less than a week.

The Network of the Future: A Network of Networks

A new century is just beginning and a revolution in communications networking is rising on the horizon it's a revolution in the market for communications services, the community of service suppliers, and the infrastructures for delivering communications

L.A. Value Stocks Returning to Life

An increasing number of solidly profitable but relatively mundane Los Angeles public companies are finally starting to see their long-suffering stocks come to life. The nascent revival of many of L.A.'s downtrodden value stocks is being fueled by a conflu

PROFILES - Changing Companies: Internet Job Comes With a Small Office, Plastic Forks

One major difference between David Haddad's old job with a toy company and his new job with a Web site boils down to this: office size.

GROWTH - Acquisition Raises Profile Of AECOM

Though L.A.'s publicly traded Fortune 500 giants continue to be swept up by outsiders, one of the area's largest private companies is about to get about 50 percent bigger.

DEVELOPMENT - Partnership Aims for South L.A. Growth

While most other regions of Los Angeles County are running on all cylinders, with record employment and lots of new development, South Los Angeles is still struggling to get its share of economic growth.

LOCATION - L.A., Pasadena in Fight for Art Center Campus

Los Angeles and Pasadena are gearing up for a competition that could mean a jewel in the cultural crown of either city: an expanded Art Center College of Design.

Attorneys Smell Blood In Rampart

Lawyer Dennis Chang didn't expect to have a potential client in the Rampart corruption case snatched out from under him.

Knowing About Web Taxes Can Pay Off in Years Ahead

Most tax laws applying to e-commerce are still based on the traditional way of doing business, where the focus is on a company's geographic presence and the physical delivery of goods and services.

Retained Executive Search Firms

Retained executive search firms are employment consultants hired to fill senior-level positions, typically with starting salaries of more than $100,000. While contingency search firms get paid only if and when they fill a position, retained firms charge a

SBA Going to Work to Aid Firms Owned by Women

There was good news and not-so-good news for small-business owners released in the past two weeks.

Our View: The Trouble With SUVs

Every weekday morning on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, a line of cars inches over the Santa Monica Mountains from the Valley to the L.A. basin. A very high percentage of them are sport utility vehicles. Nearly all of them are piloted by a single driver with no

Security: Concept Demands Broad Definition

As e-Business continues to mature, we are seeing many changes in the paradigms that define business operations and information technology infrastructure. Not the least of these is the necessity for robust, flexible, user friendly, and cost-effective secu

Newsmaker

Steve Duffy was named partner at Stanton Chase International, an executive search and management consulting firm in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for the North American financial service recruiting practice. Duffy was previously principal with the f

The Briefing

Santa Monica surfer Gary Walsh used to get up before dawn to catch waves before heading off to his day job in advertising.

Contingency Search Firms

Contingency search firms are compensated for their services only after they have placed a candidate with a client company. This differentiates them from retained search firms, which are paid regardless of the outcome of a particular search.

Site Hopes to Help Today's Women Plan for Tomorrow

Sometimes being a woman is tough. Today women are expected to take care of their families, excel in their careers, stay in great shape and help solve their girlfriend's problems. Everyday is a juggling act. But, at the end of the show, she's left holding

Online Leasing:The Future is Here

Leasing has always been a smart way to do business. The advantages in conserving financial resources without needless drains on cash flow and credit ratings are obvious. Now, thanks to the Internet, the smart way just got smarter. Online leasing applies t

The LABJ's L.A. stories

It was duck-and-cover time last week during a fund raiser for the American Diabetes Association at the Beverly Hilton that featured a celebrity roast of City Councilman Hal Bernson.

Pity Is Wasted on This Misguided Marriage

Friends keep asking me why I don't feel pity for Darva Conger, the woman who says she didn't want to marry a multimillionaire but did it anyhow.

Moments

5years ago this week: Pacific Bell became the first regional Bell to provide Internet service when it announced it would offer access to California business customers through a joint plan with Netscape, Sun Microsystems and Cisco The original Chasen's re

Telling Tale in Punchy Sound Bytes Brings Good Press

One of my employees recently met a home-based business owner who gets continual press attention without using a public relations agency. The man owns and lives in a hotel in central Mexico. His hotel is perfectly nice, and he is a congenial host, but plen

MONEY - Lucrative Stock Options Lure Execs From Old Economy

When it comes to recruiting top executives, Internet startups have a huge advantage over their Old Economy competitors: the lucrative stock option packages that can be worth millions of dollars if and when the company goes public.

The Roving Eye

Millennium hype may have largely faded from the media headlines and elsewhere, but it lives on in local company names.

TECHNOLOGY - Vidnet Emerges as a Player in Web Music

Seemingly from out of nowhere, a local company has emerged to give all-purpose online music site Launch.com some competition in downloading music and videos.

Benefit From The New Pen and Paper Paradigm

Well, I've had a pretty productive day today - more productive than my days used to be. In addition to all of my normal tasks, I marked up and returned to the CFO the draft of the 15-page business plan, annotated the growing corporate PowerPoint prese

B-to-B Companies Use Technology to Market Themselves

Business-to-business (B2B) marketers have traditionally been stepchildren to their consumer marketing counterparts in terms of ad budget size and household brand name recognition. But no longer. On Wall Street B2B brands like IBM, Microsoft and Cisco ca

Enter Your Personal Information Here (Or not . . .)

Ask online consumers customers why they haven't made purchases over the Net, and they'll probably cite fears about two related, but distinct issues: online security and online privacy.

Irwin Returns in Effort to Restore Omni to Fiscal Health

Irwin is returning as chief executive and president nearly a year after relinquishing management of the firm he formed by merging his Irwin Naturals with Colorado-based 4Health.

HOSPITALITY - Small Pleasures

The "boutique" segment of the local hotel market is thriving, with intimate, stylish hotels of around 50 rooms emerging in former nursing homes and apartment buildings around the Westside, and soon downtown.

'Hot Button Issues in Office Leasing Negotiating Tips for Internet Company Tenants

The office real estate market is exceptionally hot right now for the "creative/open" office space desired by internet and other high-tech companies. Demand in the West L.A. and Santa Monica area far exceeds supply, and this demand is spilling over into

Impatient Investors Turn to Aggressive Fund Managers

In the long, mostly happy relationship between mutual funds and their investors, something's a little off these days.

The Agenda

WestWeek 2000, a three-day trade event on architecture and design, kicks off today at the Pacific Design Center. Information: (310) 360-6419.

STREET - Now Appearing in Koreatown: L.A.'s Biggest Video Billboard

In fact, the City Council has in recent years been tightening restrictions on outdoor advertising to avoid the kind of "visual blight" that some believe characterizes cities like West Hollywood.

www.computer.crime: E-Crime and What To Do About It

Any doubts in the business community that hacking and computer crime pose a serious threat were shattered by the attacks last month that temporarily shut down Internet mega-sites Yahoo, Amazon.com, eBay and E-Trade. While the threat is real, it can be mi

Incubators: The Blueprint for New Economy Companies

By now we've all heard the huge explosion heralding the entry of the incubator into the new economy. Building on the success of such ventures as Idealab!, founded in 1996 by Bill Gross, the business incubator has become the hot new way to get your idea t

Online Film Fest Gives Boost to Digital Hollywood

Sure, the Oscars were the highest-profile event to come out of Hollywood lately, but the first Yahoo Internet Life Online Film Festival could have more long-term significance.

LABJ FORUM: Got Spring Gambling Fever?

Forget card clubs and casinos. March means it's once again time for people to take their gambling to the office, with wagers on the Academy Awards and the NCAA Tournament. So the Business Journal asks:

CORPORATE FOCUS - Disney Fortunes Rise With Success of Hit Game Show

Less than a year ago, the Walt Disney Co. was up against the wall with a surge of executive defections, shareholders jumping ship and unexpectedly poor showings from once-reliable divisions. Market analysts were pessimistic about the company's future and

Guess What? Selling Social Security Numbers Is Legal

You're told over and over again to keep your Social Security number safe. Don't give it out unnecessarily. Don't keep it in your wallet. Don't use some of its digits as the personal identification number for your ATM card.

SPORT - Coliseum Gets Football Team From WWF

L.A. might have been snubbed by the National Football League last year as the home of a new expansion franchise, but pro football is coming back to the Coliseum next year anyway.

The Business Digest

Pop.com, an Internet entertainment site backed by Imagine Entertainment and DreamWorks SKG, unveiled a division to solicit and acquire the rights to short films and animation for online distribution.

RELATIONSHIP - Courting Clients

Just as e-commerce is proving a major challenge for brick-and-mortar retailers, online dating services have quickly become a popular alternative to traditional matchmaking.

Cool Places to Go

The coolest bathrooms in Los Angeles provide more than a rest stop they thrust a person into worlds of intrigue and humor.

Maguire to Use MGM Sale Cash for Other L.A. Projects

Between the sale of MGM Plaza and part of the Solana office project east of the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, MaguirePartners will realize a windfall of close to $160 million, which will be directed to Playa Vista, Gas. Co. Tower and several development p

Monday, March 20

WINE - Little Taste of Sonoma

Black rock wineworks is a working winery and tasting room in, of all places, pasadena but its odd location hasn't stopped it from making award-winning vintages

Little Wonder Robert Rubin Jumped To Citigroup He Gets a Giant Salary Monstrous Pay

A lot of people wondered why Bob Rubin, who had already gone through brilliant careers as head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Secretary of the Treasury, would want to become the consigliere of Sandy Weill at Citigroup.

Job Seekers Benefit by Working the Web During Search

Question: I'm searching for a new job and hopefully a new career. I'd like to work with a dot-com and have been scouring the newspapers for ads. What other places can I go to job search?

INTERVIEW - It's a Valentine Day

UPN got off to a very slow start, but a new focus on young males has paid off for the weblet and for its high-profile president

The Weekly Briefing

Norman Sanoff builds tennis courts for the wealthy. He founded Great American Backyard 24 years ago and now works all over Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, running the business from an office on Robertson Boulevard near the Santa Monica (10) Free

Passport Stamps Tell Tales of Worldly Adventure

Like many people, I have trouble picking a favorite movie, a favorite food or a favorite song. But I have always been able to pick a favorite possession:

'Temp' Executives Supply Key Skills at Critical Times

For most of the 20th century, contract workers have occupied the lowest rung on the corporate ladder.

LETTERS - Misinformed Report on Rodeo Collection

We are delighted your reporter had an enjoyable experience at the exciting new restaurant addition to the Rodeo Collection ("Cowboy Chic," Feb. 28). But his lunch, or dinner, seems to have dulled his ability to see the impressive improvements taking place

Ferguson Trying to Boost Sagging Sales at Apparel Firm

Ferguson has been named to the newly created post of president of sales and marketing at the Vernon-based women's clothing manufacturer one of the largest apparel makers in Southern California.

Online Search Firms Fast Becoming Freelancers' Friend

Not too long ago, a freelancer was looked upon with pity and disdain because others had a "real" job. But today, more than 20 million of the 131 million workers in the U.S. civilian labor force have ditched their real jobs to work independently from home

The Roving Eye

Last year, it was the towering City of Angels monument just west of the Harbor (110) Freeway. Now another statue is being proposed atop the Transamerica building on South Hope Street.

Title Companies

Despite a rise in value of homes in Los Angeles County in 1999, most of the companies on this year's list saw a modest drop in the number and dollar amount of mortgages insured. The total value of refinance and sales mortgages insured in L.A. County in 19

The Final Sell Out

Don't blame Tribune Co. for grabbing Times Mirror Co., one of the nation's richest media properties. And don't blame the Chandler family for selling out at a very rich premium. In the current frenzy to become bigger and more powerful, media companies are

LABJ Forum - Impact of Times Deal on L.A.?

Last week's announcement of the Tribune Media-Times Mirror deal came as a surprise to most Angelenos. The sale of the media company leaves a hole in the city's corporate fabric and means that L.A. will no longer have a locally owned daily. So the Business

Newsmaker

Philip J. Garcia was appointed director of the business valuations practice at BDO Seidman in Los Angeles. He will oversee delivery of strategic planning and analyze capital restructuring and investments for clients in Southern California. Garcia was most

Friday, March 17

TECHNOLOGY - Microsoft Takes Big Interest in Small Player

Tom Yuen's SRS Labs Inc. might be a bit player in the market for Internet-based multimedia, but it's getting a boost from one of the biggest names in the business.

L.A Stories

Two popular public affairs radio shows are fighting for the attention of listeners.

HEALTH - Financiers Attracted by Dr. Drew Brand

A cocktail party and a frenzied morning in a suburban family's home were the key events that led to the $6 million investment from Softbank Capital Ventures in health and lifestyle Web company DrDrew.com.

Show Biz

"The Operator," a new and mostly unflattering biography of DreamWorks SKG co-founder David Geffen, has become a best seller and received critical praise around the world from publications like The Times of London and South China Morning Post.

X:DRIVE - Investor Does More Than Channel Money to X:drive

When investors try to waste Brett O'Brien's time, venture capitalist Tim Spicer is there to chase them away.

Clash of Old, New Economies May Have No Winners

Despite the Nasdaq's selloff last week, it's still dramatically outpacing the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which has plummeted 15 percent since reaching its record high on Jan. 14. This new trend in the U.S. stock market is even more unsettling than the

Can Commoners Hang With 'Brainiacs' on Web Panel?

If you want to have a say in the only group that can lay claim to governing the Internet, you're going to have to do a little homework.

DEVELOPMENT - Will Bigger Convention Hall Work?

Los Angeles tourism officials are in the midst of planning for another expansion of the downtown Convention Center adding up to 200,000 square feet of exhibit space to the north side.

TOYS - Mattel Giving Middle-Aged Barbie a Major Makeover

Last month, the bottom dropped out of Barbie's world when Mattel Inc.'s longtime Chief Executive Jill Barad was forced to step down after two years of poor performance and plunging stock prices.

FUNDS - Inner-City Market Uses Unusual Method of Funding Coupons

A Mexican-style market under construction near the Memorial Coliseum is being built using an unusual method of financing especially for a venture that normally would have trouble securing a loan.

BURBANK - Even After Crash, Burbank Airport Expansion Stalled

When a Southwest Airlines commuter jet ran off the runway at Burbank Airport and smashed into a nearby gas station on March 5, it made more than a dramatic visual on the nightly news: It provided more ammunition for airport officials who want a new termin

WTO - L.A. Longshoremen Keep Mum on China Trade Talks

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, traditionally at the forefront in protesting social injustice, is noticeably silent as Congress considers granting permanent normal trade relations with China.

Chief Yahoo?

OK, that last one was a stretch, but these days all sorts of titles are being dreamed up by entrepreneurs at up-and-coming Internet businesses titles that seek to balance the importance of the visionaries who created a company and the professional manag

VIVA - Venture Firm Partners Bring Added Benefits to Viva.com

When Viva.com Chairman and Chief Executive Scott Ingraham landed $12.5 million in first-round venture funding last year, he got more than just a chunk of cash. He also got access to a network of Fortune 500 companies and those fabled "synergies" that will

SPANISH - Sale May Be Good News for La Opinion

When the staff of the Los Angeles Times heard that their newspaper was being acquired by the Tribune Co., reporters and editors at La Opinion working a few blocks away at downtown's Pershing Square were wondering about their own future.

Software Group Explores Cyberspace for New Members

One month into his tenure as chief executive of the Software Council of Southern California, Mark Monaghan is trying to bring software-related dot-com companies into the fold of the nine-year-old association.

Financiers Not Encouraging About Odds of Making It

SEATTLE About 1,200 people showed up recently for Garage.com Inc.'s version of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

TIMING...And Market Conditions Are Key to Venture Decisions

When venture capitalists invest in an upstart with lots of potential, they generally have two exit strategies in mind selling out or going public.

FASHION - Showing Some Skin

There's only one look for 18-year-old Chelsea Green at this year's prom, and it's not the frou-frou gown that makes her think of cotton candy.

HEALTH - Leak May Have Killed WellPoint's Aetna Takeover Bid

Within hours after WellPoint Health Networks Inc. launched a $10 billion bid to acquire Aetna Inc., details of the Thousand Oaks company's Feb. 24 letter of interest were leaked to the media.

FINANCE - Deal Draws Attention to Times Mirror Venture Fund

Most people outside the venture capital community hadn't heard of TMCT Ventures until all the news coverage of last week's agreement by Times Mirror Co. to be acquired by Tribune Co. But the fund is in the process of getting a much higher profile.

KIOSKS - New Kiosks Could Hold Key to CD Sales

Record-store kiosks that allowed customers to customize their own cassettes failed miserably. But kiosks offering downloadable digital music are all the rage these days, and experts say that this time, they're going to work.

RETAIL - Macy's Retools Juniors Section to Attract Teens

Though teen shoppers have mostly ignored department stores in favor of edgier specialty shops during the past decade, Macy's wants to bring them back by giving its juniors departments a hip makeover to appeal to the fussier tastes of the teen market.

The Agenda

Westec 2000, North America's largest annual metalworking and manufacturing exposition and conference, kicks off today at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Information: (800) 733-4763.

TOURISM - Japanese Jet To Las Vegas, Missing L.A.

Less than two years after non-stop airline service was launched from Tokyo to Las Vegas, L.A. officials are concerned that the move is hurting the local tourism industry.

FLIGHT - LAX to Feel Squeeze From Demise of El Toro Airport

With prospects dimming for a new airport in Orange County after the recent approval of a local ballot initiative, millions of passengers will be forced to turn back to L.A.-area airfields.

SCI-FI - Hot Market Has Fandom on Verge of IPO

The speed at which Fandom Inc. has gotten off the ground surprises even its founders.

GLOBE - Times Deal Bears Similarity to Boston Globe Buyout

Looking for solace in the wake of an out-of-towner snapping up the Los Angeles Times? Take a look at Boston.

L.A.The Chandler Sell Out

With the departure of Times Mirror Co., Los Angeles has lost virtually its last corporate link to its 20th century past. The sale to Tribune Co. leaves the region without control of any of the traditional building blocks of corporate grandeur newspap

TOGETHER - New Relationship for Financiers, CEOs

Last summer, Ajay Shah and three of his friends went about shopping their idea for an Internet company to various venture capitalists. Shah was confident of the efficacy of the idea, but being 23 years old, he didn't know what kind of response he would ge

BEST - Top Venture Capitalists Reveal Their Best Deals Ever

Last year was the best ever for L.A.-area recipients of venture capital, with a total of $1.8 billion in venture funds flowing into Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, up from the $513.3 million in 1998. While some of those investments were m

TRAFFIC Station Restructures To Win Its Venture Funding

It took Traffic Station Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Geoff Halstead a good two years before he could persuade a venture capital firm to invest in his company.

DEAL - Only Most Tenacious Entrepreneurs Land Funding...

The amount of venture capital pouring into Los Angeles may suggest that cutting a deal with a VC firm has become a snap for start-up companies, but the process remains long and complex and only the best prepared and most tenacious entrepreneurs wind up

Will Curse on Out-of-Town Investors Strike Artisan?

Just ask doctors and lawyers who've invested in films, or Coca-Cola Co. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., which fled Hollywood after owning major studios.

Monday, March 13

Employee Benefit 2000

It was largely due to the spiraling healthcare costs of the mid-80's that managed care, and HMOs specifically, became the popular method of health coverage. Since then, HMOs have been instrumental in keeping costs to a minimum while providing patients ac

ECONOWATCH

Residential (Jan.)8 1,196.7 1,199.4 -0.2 1,182.6 +1.2 Commercial (Jan.) 172.0 175.2 -1.8 171.1 +0.8

High Broker Fees Bring No Promise of Strong Returns

Question: When I left my previous company, I rolled my $400,000 401(k) into a Merrill Lynch IRA with the broker who represented the 401(k) plan. He wants me to put the money with one or more money managers who would charge a 2 percent fee, and he has give

Health Benefits Glossary

To get the most from your health insurance benefits, it's important to understand the terms and phrases used by insurance companies, HMOs or your employer. The following is an updated glossary of common terms which may be helpful in making sense out of t

LUXURY - The Ultimate Convertible

$360,000 for a car? That's what Rolls-Royce is charging for its new Corniche, which will disappear forever after 2003

EAP Success Depends On Confidentiality

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

Resource Directory

Experienced trial attorneys for business, entertainment, probate, insurance & major tort litigation.

More Companies Invest in 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

CORPORATE FOCUS - Osicom Stock Explodes in Anticipation of Spin-Offs

Osicom Technologies Inc.'s remarkable stock jump its share price rose from $7.20 in October to around $120 last week is perhaps all the more unusual because the company appears to be in the process of selling off all its assets.

Life Event Communications: A New Perspective

In a competitive labor market, employers must implement innovative and cost-effective methods if they are to attract and retain qualified people who will have a positive impact on their bottom line.

High-Tech Bears Could Turn Vicious If Market Falters

A strange new species of manager is popping up in mutual fund offices everywhere the fully invested bear.

Investor Is Making Mark In Small-Cap Biotech Stocks

Despite the market turmoil last week in biotech stocks, among the hotter hands in town right now is veteran bio-investor Stephen Kriegsman, founder of the Westside-based finance boutique Kriegsman Group.

Long Beach Is Back With a New Sound

With Tha Eastsidaz's self-titled debut album climbing the Billboard R & B; charts, it seems the Long Beach sound is back.

Ahead The Curve

In its only stop on the West Coast, "Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Tutankhamen" is on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through June 4. It depicts the city of Amarna through a three-dimensional model and exhibits featuring sculp

Selecting an Employee Benefits Broker / Consultant: What Should You Look for and Why?

Are you hoping to strengthen and enhance the benefits package offered to your employees and executives? Concerned that your current program may be outdated and/or overly expensive? Confused about the wide array of products and services? Wondering where

The Business Digest

Atlantic Richfield Co. agreed to sell its Alaskan oil fields to Phillips Petroleum Co., prompting federal antitrust regulators to postpone a lawsuit blocking the $27 billion merger of Arco and BP Amoco.

Malibu PCH Office Fully Leased Before Completion

It's not exactly every day that a new office building debuts in Malibu. So it's no surprise that the first new project on the Pacific Coast Highway in the past decade is leased up several months before it's finished.

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 incre

Architects & Computer Resellers

Architects & Computer Resellers

Sunday, March 12

HOTELS---Urban Inns

New boutique hotels market attitude, style as they target the young business traveler who wants a chic yet affordable alternative to the big corporate chains

UNHAPPY---Can't Buy Happiness

Dodger star Gary Sheffield is whining to be traded. Laker Isaiah Rider and Clipper Lamar Odom are both suspended for drug use. Shaq and Kobe are still squabbling over who gets to lead the Lakers. Just another week in L.A. sports.

OWNERS---Payrolls Reflect Owners' Approach to Winning, Profits

Take a glance at the 10 highest-paid athletes in Los Angeles and it's easy to see who the biggest spenders in town are: Rupert Murdoch's Fox Entertainment Group Inc. and Dr. Jerry Buss.

CORPORATE FOCUS---Healthy Apparel Sector and Marketing Drive Shoemaker

Business has been anything but sketchy of late for hip footwear fashioner Skechers USA Inc.

Friday, March 10

Biggest Industrial - Giant Complex in Irwindale Got Underway in October

Trammell Crow Co. officials are so confident in their industrial project, the Irwindale Business Center, that they have entered an option to buy a second phase.

Businesses Turn To Gensler for Office Interiors

Gensler, the world's largest architecture firm, was the top commercial interior design firm in Los Angeles for the third consecutive year, with more than $17 million in local billings for 1999, up from $15 million in 1998.

The Business Digest

For the first time in 20 years, the average cost of marketing a motion picture declined in 1999.

The Weekly Briefing

The rise of e-commerce has some pundits predicting the death of conventional mail order.

Net Firms May Be Tracking Your Guilty Online Pleasures

Web businesses can open up your life like a can of beans. Private enterprise is building what amounts to national data centers, gathering everything that's known about you and me.

ROGAN - Impeachment Sentiment Will Influence Burbank Race

The final showdown over President Clinton's impeachment probably won't be fought in Washington, but in Glendale and the eastern San Fernando Valley during the coming race to represent the 27th Congressional district.

Simon & Sons Doing Deals Far From Busy Tech Sector

William E. Simon & Sons merchant bank is practicing the old "hit 'em where they ain't" strategy of investing.

Success Was in the Cards for Winners of This Contest

A simple, red sausage-shaped business card was the unanimous favorite among the judges of my annual Best and Worst Business Card in America contest.

ECONOWATCH

Residential (Jan.)8 1,196.7 1,199.4 -0.2 1,182.6 +1.2 Commercial (Jan.) 172.0 175.2 -1.8 171.1 +0.8

Dollar Volume - Chhabria Repeats as No. 1 Realtor in Value of Deals

Raju Chhabria got the surprise of his life when he showed the first house of his career in 1984 and walked in on a couple making love.

Investment Broker - Safai's Talent for Landing Off-Market Deals Pays Off

Bob Safai, founder and owner of Madison Partners, brokered $135.8 million in Los Angeles-area investment deals in 1999, topped by the $54 million Wilshire Bundy Plaza sale in West L.A. at 12121 Wilshire Blvd.

The Roving Eye

L.A. has its Chinatown, its Little Tokyo, its Olvera Street and even the nation's first Thai Town. Getting less attention is the Byzantine-Latino District, anchored by one of the nation's most beautiful Greek Orthodox cathedrals and also by one of L.A.'s

ELECTION - Business Interests Got Their Money's Worth in Election

California businesses got a pretty good return on their investment when it came to ballot measures in last week's primary election.

Successful Investments Are Often a Matter of Time

If the numbers in your mutual fund investment plan aren't adding up the way you'd hoped they would, maybe you miscalculated time.

Letters - New Film Commissioner

In response to the article "New Film Commission Chief Lacks Hollywood Experience" (Feb. 14), I would contend that Karen Constine, the new director of the California Film Commission, has just the right experience to head the state office that is vested wit

How the Winners Were Determined

Finding the most active brokers, developers and investors in last year's booming real estate environment was even more of a challenge than in previous years, because so many people were so active.

The Award Winners

Category/Winner Winning Value

APPAREL - Showrooms for Sale

The CaliforniaMart is up for sale, but the new owners of the boxy hub of the downtown apparel industry will have to contend with a high vacancy rate and a dowdy image that has left some tenants downbeat about working out of the building.

Designer - DMJM Leads Pack Among L.A. Architecture Firms

Though its $48 million in billings falls short of last year's $66 million, Daniel, Mann, Johnson and Mendenhall had no problem beating the competition for the biggest and most active architecture firm in Los Angeles County in 1999.

Architectural firms Ranked by 1999 L.A. County billings

A sturdy local economy in 1999 combined with a strengthened real estate market led to another good year for L.A. County architecture firms. The 25 companies on this year's list reported combined revenues of $432.6 million for 1999 compared to $388.5 milli

Pacific Theatres Jumps Many Hurdles to Build Shopping Mall

An old Indian burial ground, extensive entitlement issues and construction challenges threatened to thwart development of the Los Altos Gateway Center after the project broke ground in January 1999. But by the end of the year, it was the largest retail/en

Fight Over UPN Takes on Trappings of Family Feud

When it's United Paramount Network, caught between its feuding corporate parents, Viacom Inc. and Chris-Craft Industries Inc.

Best-Selling Residential - Saugus Project for First-Time Buyers Proves Popular

Cottage Glen, built in Saugus by S & S; Construction, sold 199 of its 300 homes last year, making it the fastest-selling residential development in Los Angeles County.

Multifamily Broker - Hard Work and Integrity Are Walsh's Keys to Success

Real estate agent John Walsh says he had no special formula for brokering $57.6 million in multifamily investment deals last year.

Active Builder - West Hills Project Caps a Strong Year for Trammell

Focusing on suburban markets, Trammell Crow Co. has been on a buying spree, snapping up enough property to build 20 office buildings since 1997 for a total of 1.7 million square feet. The company has been developing properties from Northridge to Diamond B

BILLBOARD - West Hollywood Launches Billboard Oscars

Too bad the Marlboro Man didn't hang around long enough to get his due. He might have been a contender in the latest awards event to come to Los Angeles.

FREEMAN - Salon Stores

PureBeauty's unusual approach to selling beauty products is attracting manufacturers, customers and capital in a hurry.

Ahead the Curve

Myth making: "Metamorphoses," a new play based on the myths of Ovid, starts March 30 and runs through May 21 at the Mark Taper Forum. Writer/director Mary Zimmerman introduces mythical characters like Midas, Eros and Apollo wading, floating, fighting and

Global Crossing Between Two Suitors in Takeover Bid

No matter how the soap opera between Germany's Deutsche Telekom AG. and Qwest Communications International Inc. gets played out and as of late last week it was anyone's guess the future of Global Crossing Ltd. has once again come under scrutiny.

Landlord Broker - Ayoob Says Thinking Like An Owner Helps Get Deals

L.A.'s top landlord broker in 1999 credits his success to thinking like an owner.

RCN - Upstart RCN Shaking Up Cable Market

In the face of a fiber-optic incursion by telecommunications provider RCN Corp., helped along by Southern California Edison, established cable providers are scrambling behind the scenes to head off the upstart.

Largest Investor - Douglas Emmett Keeps Adding to Its L.A. Portfolio

The largest investor in Los Angeles County real estate last year was Brentwood-based Douglas Emmett & Co., edging out Equity Office Properties.

Most Homes - Surfer Nordine Sells Houses In Between Catching Waves

Leo Nordine single-handedly brokered the most residential real estate deals in the county with 308 units sold but that isn't the only thing that sets him apart.

CSUN Leadership Changes Put North Campus in Limbo

In the last two years, Cal State Northridge officials have changed plans for the future of a 65-acre plot of open land, dubbed North Campus, more times than most college students change majors.

His Campaign Was an Extension Of the New Economy Into Politics McCain Mutiny

It's no accident that John McCain's success in disrupting the Republican Party has come at a time when upstart companies everywhere are threatening giant established corporations. The new schism in the Republican Party mirrors the new schism in American b

Largest Industrial - Troubled Oaks at Calabasas Finally Ready to Proceed

With years of legal wrangling and bankruptcy proceedings finally over, the Oaks at Calabasas can move forward as soon as it gets a new owner.

L.A. stories

The county supervisor has yet to declare whether he'll run for L.A. mayor. And while he has waited, several possible high-profile supporters have deserted him for the campaign of City Attorney James Hahn.

The Agenda

The Regional Advisory Council of the Southern California Association of Governments, holds a meeting to discuss strategies for livable communities meaning ways land use and transportation planning strategies can improve quality of life. The event starts

Industrial Broker - Daschbach Handles $56.4 Million in Leasing Deals

L.A.'s top industrial broker in 1999 credits part of his success to the fact that he represents landlords rather than tenants.

Is Granting of Net Patents Out of Synch With Reality?

I realize it's been a while since I've written, but I promise my 1040 is in the mail.

Tenant Broker - Travers' Clients Appreciate Talent With Complex Deals

Jim Travers has a reputation for a hands-on approach, strong negotiating skills, and a head for complex real estate transactions.

Tips Help Make This Time of Year Much Less Taxing

This time of year three questions are crossing a lot of people's minds: When will spring arrive? Who deserves an Oscar? And how will I ever get my taxes done?

EDITOR - Business Journal Editor Departing for Forbes

Business Journal Editor Mark Lacter, who has instituted numerous changes at the paper that have won national recognition, will be stepping down at the end of the week to take a position at Forbes magazine.

Computer Resellers Ranked by 1999 L.A. County revenues

All the companies on the list sell computers and computer equipment, but that's just one of many things they do. Many also offer system integration, Web design, training, support and maintenance, plus other computer-related services that can be as simple

Former Universal Executives Have Big Plans for MMG

A tech startup's chances of survival are always a crapshoot, but the newly launched Santa Monica-based Massive Media Group has two cards up its sleeve: an innovative solution to the problem of preventing creative content from being pirated off the Interne

L.A. Lunch - THREE-HOUR MEALS ARE FOR NEW YORK WE EAT AT OUR DESKS

Some years ago, I spent several months working for People magazine in New York. Before I started, I called one of the phalanx of editors who works there, and asked what time I should show up. He told me 9 a.m. would be fine.

The Cost of Corruption

The dust has yet to settle on L.A.'s police corruption scandal, but already there is extensive and quite appropriate debate on how the city is to pay for all the costs, which the Business Journal recently estimated at running up to $1 billion or more.

Ignoring Gen-Y Could Be Costly Error for Marketers

We had to. The sudden take-off of the Internet has forced us to address the growing importance of Gen-X.

IRISH - Taste of Ireland

Ready for st. patrick's day? all manner of goods from the emerald isle can be found at hollywood's irish import shop

LAUSD Is Spreading the Word In Search for a Superintendent

School board members, looking for someone to lead the city's troubled school district out of its problems, may be searching for Superman rather than a superintendent.

STRONACH - Track Owner Plans Vegas Makeover for Santa Anita

It's opening day of horse-racing season at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, and the track's new owner, Frank Stronach, isn't in his box. Instead of enjoying the view of glistening thoroughbreds, he's spending most of this sunny September day in a conference r

COMMENT - Your Child's Name May Be on Next Bullet

A 6-year-old is dead, and it is your child. It is the child you have loved. It is the child you tucked under the covers and kissed good night.

Show Biz

Hollywood producers are fighting back against writers, personal managers and stars who have been demanding producing credits but who do virtually nothing to earn the much-coveted title.

Studio City Apartment Complex Sells for $58.5 Million

Archstone Communities Trust last week bought a 450-unit apartment complex in Studio City for $58.5 million the second-highest price ever paid for a San Fernando Valley apartment building.

INTERVIEW John Wells, president of the WGA, talks about a possible writer's guild strike and a new deal for 'ER' and NBC.

Writers Guild of America President John Wells is also one of the most successful TV producers in town, with 'ER,' 'Third Watch' and 'West Wing'

Top Real Estate Executives Forecast the Market in L.A.

The Business Journal recently gathered several Los Angeles real estate professionals to discuss what makes for a successful project today, future trends and the increasing role of technology in real estate.

Newsmakers

Todd Baker was promoted to vice president at Grizzard, a direct marketing company in Eagle Rock. He will be responsible for devising marketing strategies for commercial and nonprofit clients. Baker was most recently an account supervisor for the firm.

Former Hughes Property in West Hills Now a Commercial Center

The sprawling, 420,000-square-foot West Hills Corporate Village was the largest office complex built in Los Angeles County last year.

CORPORATE FOCUS - Newhall Land Seeks New Life With Stock Buyback

They say you can't buy respect, but don't tell that to Newhall Land & Farming Co.

RAMPART - City Services Endangered By Rampart

With a booming economy propelling L.A. out of the red for the first time in nearly a decade, it would seem like an ideal time for the city to make down payments on the huge pent-up demand for additional services.

Enlisting Workers in Push for Profits Can Have Payoff

If your company is not achieving its profit potential, you should focus your attention on areas that can make a big difference.

Retail Broker - Bauman Known for Straight Talk, Efficient Dealmaking

No, this is not a rerun. Not only did William Bauman of Colliers Seeley repeat as the county's top retail broker after winning that distinction last year, Ron Wood of Epsteen & Associates and Robert Walsh of Cypress Retail Group came in second and third

CHARTER - Political Squabbling Over Revised Charter Continues

Less than four months before the new L.A. city charter must be implemented, Mayor Richard Riordan and the City Council are still squabbling over key details and re-fighting battles considered settled last year before the charter was put to the voters.

LABJ Forum - Fazed by Prices at the Pump?

Angelenos are feeling the pinch at the pump as soaring oil costs push gas up to $1.80 per gallon. But public transportation options are few and far between in a city of hulking Hummers and SUVs. So the Business Journal asks:

Monday, March 6

CORPORATE FOCUS--National Golf Earnings Up, But Its Stock Not Up to Par

National Golf Properties Inc.'s share price has sagged in the past year, along with all real estate investment trusts. But as golf keeps surging in popularity due to the superstar status of Tiger Woods and the aging of the baby boomers, Santa Monica-based

LEGEND--Living Legend

Dallas-based startup Legend Airlines is preparing to challenge American Airlines for the laptop crowd jetting between Los Angeles and Dallas, seeking to lure them with roomy cabins, computer hookups, cellular phones and gourmet cuisine.

Mutual Funds--Tech Funds Look Like Slackers Compared to Biotech

Biotechnology, that's what. In the first two months of 2000, health and biotech funds have soared an average of 28 percent, according to Bloomberg statistics, against a piddling 17 percent gain for plain old "technology" funds whose computer and telecommu

PRODUCTION--Animation Post-Production Firm Bucks Overseas Trend

Post-production work for animated programming has virtually disappeared from the United States, with low-cost companies overseas handling most of that time-intensive work. Also, an increasing number of animators have themselves bought digital equipment to

Wallstreet West--New Mutual Fund Banking On Latest Wireless Devices

Investec Guinness Flight Wireless mutual fund started to raise money last week, picking up $2 million from investors on the first day, said Jim Atkinson, managing director.

POLITICS--Threat of Split Vote Hurts Chance for First Latino Mayor

Three months ago, when Assembly Speaker Antonio Villaraigosa entered the race for L.A. mayor, Latinos were looking at their best chance in recent history of having one of their own elected mayor next year.

ANIMALS--Hey Fluffy, Is It Tasty?

Take texture. As many an owner will attest to, cats can be persnickety eaters if their entrees are shredded instead of sliced, or if the cat food company decides to try out a new recipe that, for whatever reason, doesn't make a feline's grade. And whe

E-COMMERCE--Study Finds Few E-Commerce Firms Have Real Business Plan

A just-released study of 300 Southern California e-commerce companies found that many of them didn't even have a business or marketing plan in place when they launched their Web sites.

The Business Digest

Los Angeles County and San Francisco led the nation in home-price appreciation last year, according to a new survey.

The Pacesetter

Brentwood Venture Capital became two separate companies last October, Redpoint Ventures and Palladium Venture Capital.

Executive Summary

Thanks to a muscular economy and a phenomenal success rate by dot-com companies, L.A. County saw an unprecedented influx of money last year.

NBC--NBC Movie Chief on New TV Economics

Fourteen years after Steve White quit running NBC's movie and miniseries department to run New World Pictures, he's back at his old job as the executive who greenlights all film production at the Peacock network.

BUYOUT--L.A. Financier Reemerges as Key Player in Cray Deal

When Tera Computer Co. announced last week it was acquiring Cray Research from Silicon Graphics Inc., it released a six-page announcement without Terren Peizer's name in it.

Entrepreneur's Notebook--Mixing Arsenal of Tactics Helps Hit Marketing Target

Would you like to know the one marketing tool that guarantees explosive sales growth for your company?

THE LABJ's--L.A. stories

The Grammy Awards might be over, but Jennifer Lopez's barely there dress is still being, um, revealed as a big winner.

SHIPPING--With Exports Up, Shippers Raise Their Outbound Rates

As L.A.-area exports to Asia slowly pick up, shipping lines are looking to make up for the lean years by instituting stiff rate hikes on outbound cargo. But industry insiders said the hikes might not stick because there remains a substantial number of emp

Our View--Stocks or Mortar?

One of those perpetual questions among economists involves the relationship between Wall Street and Main Street. Just where do the considerations of big-time investors leave off and those of everyone else begin?

INSIDE VIEW--L.A.'s Very Size Has Led to the Collapse of a Municipal Ideal Fall of a Giant

The municipal ideal of Los Angeles, born early in the 20th century amid optimism and vision, is dying a slow death early in the 21st. Virtually every institution associated with the city from the Department of Water and Power to the Community Redevelopm

Letters--No Dedicated Buses on Wilshire

All individuals concerned about the future of Wilshire-area communities should be aware of an important transportation decision that will be made in the coming weeks. The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is in the process of studyi

AUTOMOBILES--Wheels and Deals

When Gary Hartunian opened his Nissan dealership in Mission Hills last September, he was expecting to sell 70 to 80 vehicles a month.

Ahead of the Curve

Classical Piano: Richard Goode has been called one of America's best-kept musical secrets. The Grammy-winning musician will perform Schubert and Chopin on March 12 at Royce Hall, UCLA. Call (310) 825-2101 for more info.

FASHION--The Other FBI

David Park credits his growing clothing line to two things his fighting spirit and the downtown Fashion Business Incubator, where he picked up some much-needed business insight.

REVITALIZATION--Breaking the Glassceiling

with no experience at all in the industry, anne-merelie murrell bought a small company and has in a few short years built it into one of Anne-Merelie Murrell did not set out to own a glass company. Her intent was to buy the old buildings in which the comp

CONVENTION--Can Mayor's Aide Keep Convention Planning on Track?

More than a few eyebrows were raised when Mayor Richard Riordan replaced the president of the private-sector host committee for the Democratic National Convention with his own press secretary, Noelia Rodriguez.

WEB--Stock Price Ramps Up for 3D Web Imaging Company

At first glance, it might seem that Marina del Rey-based 3Dshopping.com would have a hard time making it in cyberspace.

Personal Finance--Flat-Fee Broker Accounts Can Have Costly Clauses

I have a sad story about one family's brokerage accounts gone wrong. You should hear it for two reasons.

LABJ Forum--Interested in Home Purchase?

January home sales slipped across the nation as interest rates inched higher and the Federal Reserve signaled that more hikes might be on the way. So the Business Journal asks:

JOBS--Labor Shortage Taking Toll on L.A.

There are some places in L.A. County where the unemployment rate is 2.7 percent and there are some places where it's 11.5 percent. But no matter what the location, L.A. employers countywide face the same predicament: Not enough qualified workers.

Strategies-Aspiring Musicians Turn to Web Site to Find Audience

A funky tenement on Orchard Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side is home to The Orchard.com (www.theorchard. com), a new Web company devoted to helping independent musicians distribute and promote their CDs worldwide.

ART-- Peanuts in Oil

CHARLES SCHULZ MAY BE GONE, BUT CHARLIE BROWN ISN'T VENICE ARTIST TOM EVERHART REMAINS THE ONLY ONE

Venture Capital Firms

Venture Capital Firms

Show Biz

Did the contretemps over inaccuracies in "The Hurricane" cripple the film's chances of being nominated for an Academy Award for best picture? Producer John Ketcham, who spent nine years getting the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter onto the screen, thinks

Newsmakers

Jacques Lign & #233; knows that a lot is riding on his performance as general manager for the new Le Meridien Beverly Hills. Under his stewardship, the former Hotel Nikko property is being completely renovated to serve as a flagship for the upscale hospitality c

SHOPPING--Malls Turning to Billboards for Extra Revenues

Brick-and-mortar retailers are borrowing an idea from their Internet competition: in-your-face advertising.

PROMOTION--Miramax Uses Infomercial in Bid for an Oscar

Miramax Films, known for its aggressive Oscar campaigns, isn't just taking out the usual ads in Variety to promote its contender for this year's best picture it's running a half-hour infomercial.

INTERVIEW--Lawyer Neil Papiano

Neil Papiano represents not only a slate of movie and TV stars, he's the attorney of choice for several L.A. city officials

Real Estate--South L.A. Site Eyed as Retail, Multimedia Complex

The former Fedco building on La Cienega Boulevard and the surrounding area in South Los Angeles are getting a new lease on life.

Tech Talk-Firm Sends Ultrasound Images to Doctors Over Web

An on-call cardiologist sits in his Marin County home late at night, and gets a call from a San Francisco hospital. A trauma patient just came in, and the doctors want to know if they should crack the patient's chest. The cardiologist has two choices: to

HEALTH--New Pump May Inflate MiniMed

MiniMed Inc. has once again caught fire on Wall Street, with its stock more than doubling from $50 in December to $115 as of last week.

DEVELOPMENT--Lenders May Foreclose on Westwood Village Project

Lenders for the controversial and long-stalled Village Center Westwood project were preparing to initiate foreclosure proceedings late last week, apparently because a recent sale of the site violated terms of the mortgage and the developer has fallen behi

COMMENT--Requiem for a Feisty Adopted Grandma

She was not my grandma. We both knew that. My grandparents had been wonderful. They died years ago.

RETAIL--Lancaster Snubs Smaller Retailer in Favor of Costco

The city of Lancaster has agreed to pony up $3.9 million in subsidies and use its power of eminent domain to evict a 99 Cents Only store so the city's only Costco outlet can expand.

RADIO--Growth of Spanish Radio Splitting Audience

Have Spanish-language radio stations finally reached a saturation point in Los Angeles?

ARTIST - STAR

IT TAKES AROUND $1 MILLION AND A WHOLE LOT OF TIME AND EFFORT TO LAUNCH A RECORDING ARTIST

Cybersense--Small Town Takes Stand Against Internet Censorship

Most big-city types probably figure they know more about the Internet than anyone living in a small, rural town like Holland, Mich.

The Roving Eye

The iconic detective was spied with a Samsonite aluminum attache in his latest movie, "The World Is Not Enough" and now the look is spilling over into computer cases.

Marketing--Confronting Ethical Dilemmas Is Tough for Marketers

The marketing profession has always been accused of self-interest. Scratch a church-going advertiser or marketer and you will be accosted by all manner of self-justification, couched in language about the legality of otherwise harmful products and the eco

GASOLINE - $2 Gas? Still a Good Deal

Last week's news that California gas prices may reach the unheard-of price of $2 a gallon this summer struck a nerve in car-happy L.A., where people drive to the corner 7-Eleven.

Sunday, March 5

GLENDALE---Glendale Nears Choice to Build Town Center

Two of Southern California's biggest developers are locked in a battle to build a plum $100 million redevelopment project in downtown Glendale.

Tech Talk---Sitting on a Pile of Cash, Stamps.com Sticks to Business

A quick glimpse at Stamps.com, the Santa Monica-based provider of Internet mailing and shipping services, is downright frightening, but quick glimpses can be misleading.