Stories for May 2000

Monday, May 29

Newsmakers

Hoping to put the right spin on the headlines, Michael Ovitz has hired a new public relations executive for his latest endeavor, a high-profile consortium of entertainment and tech companies led by talent agency upstart Artist Management Group.

FURNITURE--Builtrite

Richard Leff, who helped create dittos jeans in the 1970s, now runs builtrite a lincoln heights company that makes walls for cubicles and other varieties of office furniture

Show Biz

How's this for a true Hollywood story: During the recently completed 53rd Cannes Film Festival, producers were shooting a movie in Cannes about a series of murders that take place during the filming of a movie at Cannes.

GLOBAL--Joint Venture of Giant Firms Eyes an IPO

Asia Global Crossing Ltd. a joint venture of Global Crossing Ltd., Microsoft Corp. and Softbank Corp. that is building an Asian undersea cable network filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public stock offering.

MORTON--Hard Rock Honcho

Peter Morton is a born restaurateur. His father, Arnie, ran Playboy clubs, hotels and casinos before opening his own restaurant in Chicago, Arnie's, and then a chain of high-end steakhouses. His grandfather was also in the restaurant business.

Strong Teams Can Emerge From a Little Selfishness--Advertising Supplement

How many groups do you know who spend time "team building" but never seem to really make it as a team? Business people spend fortunes each year learning how to become a team, but which of the 5,000 odd team theories is right for your team?

Marketing Can Lead To Long-Term Success--Adversting Supplement

There's a basic tension inside most companies that creates a corporate schizophrenia. It involves the conflicting forces of marketing, sales and a company's goals and objectives.

SURVEY--L.A. Small-Firm Owners More Optimistic Than Counterparts

Los Angeles is often snubbed on lists of the country's best places to do business. But small-business owners here are more optimistic about their potential for growth and the economy than even in perennially high-ranking cities like Atlanta.

EL SEGUNDO--Luring Lots of Dot-Coms From Westside

A new region is emerging as a top destination for tech companies, many of which have outgrown their pricey Westside digs.

The Roving Eye

Only 12 hours old, Emily Walker already was holding her first press conference. And she practically slept through the entire event.

THEATER--Historic Theater Takes Center Stage in Planning Dispute

For nearly a decade, a "For Sale" sign has been hanging on the south wall of the classic Raymond Theater in Pasadena.

ENTREPRENEUR'S NOTEBOOK--Aggressive Plan Can Ease Pain of Workers' Comp Hike

It was a Christmas "present" no employer expected or wanted substantial increases in year 2000 workers' compensation premiums, sometimes of 100 percent or more.

LAKERS--Lakers Ticket Sales on Fire

Last week, on their way to a Staples Center parking lot following the Lakers' 77-106 blowout loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in game two of the Western Conference Finals, two fans discussed the debacle.

Strategic Planning: Critical for Successful Global Expansion--Advertising Supplement

Increased cooperation with foreign trading partners and economic growth recovery in Asia, Latin America and Europe create bountiful opportunities in world markets. The lifting of trade impediments underscores the need to consider export potential and inte

POLLUTION--Price of Polluting Grows Harder to Bear in L.A.

That jump in the price of pollution credits in the nation's largest emissions trading program is forcing a number of firms to finally start making painful choices between buying those high-priced credits on the open market or installing expensive pollutio

Ahead of the Curve

Large barges: Some big, old cars will be on display at the annual Gilmore Heritage Auto Show at Farmers Market, West Third Street and Fairfax Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 3. More than 100 vintage cars built before 1964 will be featured, includin

MITCH ALBOM--Hot, Bothered by Britney's Belly Button

First of all, I can't tell them apart. Britney. Christina. Jessica. Mandy. I'm not talking faces. Who's looking at their faces?

PARKS--Going to the Dogs

The handful of dog parks around L.A. ostensibly were set up for pooches to cavort wildly with other pooches and be free of impatient owners jerking their chains.

DSL--Irate Residents Sending Message About Internet Boxes

Those innocuous-looking phone equipment boxes you see on sidewalks throughout the city have suddenly become the center of fierce debate, as phone companies seek to install more of them to accommodate the burgeoning demand for high-speed Internet access li

OUR VIEW--Downtown Needs A Strong CRA

Downtown L.A. has a well-chronicled problem: Nobody lives there. Without permanent residents it's impossible to create a thriving central community, because the place simply empties out after business hours and on weekends.

INSIDE VIEW--Despite Current High-Tech Growth, L.A.'s Rocky Past Won't Die

Nearly a decade after the riots and the worst of the recession, Los Angeles continues to stand on the outside looking in. Despite a relatively robust local recovery and the lowest unemployment levels in nearly a generation, L.A. continues to rank near the

Expanding Beyond Regulation--Advertising Supplement

As you well know, companies in a governmentally or quasi-governmentally regulated industry have been operating under shared monopolistic control of their markets. This has provided them with a cushion of safety that will disappear as the full brunt of der

Evaluate Your Firm's Development--Advertising Supplement

Companies are dynamic entities that are faced with different challenges at each stage of their development. It is the ability to transition from one stage to another that is the key to long-term success.

15years ago this week:

The Getty family, one of America's wealthiest clans, resolved a bitter feud over a $4 billion trust by agreeing to divide it into four smaller trusts of $750 million each, with the rest set aside for taxes Acknowledging that publicity from a federal inve

Worried About a Bear Market? Don't Be

Delete "bear market" from the vocabulary of the stock trade. The lightning speed at which share prices move has rendered it obsolete.

25 Biggest Hospitals in LA County

25 Biggest Hospitals in LA County

PROPERTY--Moguls Move To Sell Their Elite Towers

Marvin Davis, Roy Disney and several other savvy investors are putting their Westside trophy properties up for sale, suggesting that the torrid run-up in that area's property values may be subsiding.

The Business Digest--Lucent Expanding Operations

After closing a deal to acquire an Alhambra-based maker of advanced communications lasers, Lucent Technologies said it will spend $40 million to expand its San Gabriel Valley operations and add about 450 new workers there over the next 18 months.

Keep Your Phones Ringing During Expansion, Relocationd--Advertising Supplement

Moving or expanding your company office can be a source of tremendous stress and upheaval - but it also offers an opportunity to upgrade and improve a variety of office features, including your telecommunications system.

TECH TALK--With New Funding, Xdrive Beats Dot-Com Doldrums

Even as some are questioning whether free Internet services can survive and dot-coms are dying on the vine for lack of funding, a local leader in free online storage just secured a $45 million "C" round of venture capital.

MONEY--Financial Firm Joins Growing List Reaching Out to Gays

Scudder Kemper Investments Inc. has initiated what may be the financial service industry's most-focused effort yet directed at attracting gay and lesbian customers in Los Angeles.

Enhancing the Bottom Line with Improved Energy Performance--Advertising Supplement

With commercial real estate acquisitions and development on a tight rein, Southern California commercial real estate landlords have gone back to the drawing board to source new revenues and lower expenses. The result has been an evolving array of technolo

STRIKE--Commercial Pain

It's not Hollywood performers or Madison Avenue that are the big losers in the four-week-old actor's strike against the advertising community. It's the Los Angeles economy.

WALL STREET WEST--Global Giant Having Hard Time Handling Local Deals

Southern California has emerged as one of the nation's hottest finance markets, as evidenced by the decision of Ken Moelis, corporate finance chieftain at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp., to retool his Westside office to focus on tech compani

INTERVIEW--Dedicated to Buses

L.A.'s public transit system might look a lot like the busways of Curitiba, Brazil in the future thanks largely to the efforts of planner Martha Welborne

JANE BRYANT QUINN--Margin Loans Get Pricier From Higher Interest Rates

Uh-oh. Rising interest rates are starting to look serious. They're pinching you from two directions.

The Newsmaker

Five years after convicting the top organized crime figures in L.A., retiring federal prosecutor James D. Henderson said the Mafia was just as active and even more dangerous than it had been before the court victories. "It's sort of an irony that our succ

The Weekly Briefing

Art school grad Carla Denker first got the idea for Plastica, her offbeat plastic housewares shop, after falling for the brightly colored, woven plastic shopping bags she found on a trip to Mexico City.

CORPORATE FOCUS--Gemstar Int'l Group Ltd.: Static Over TV Guide Deal Blurring Picture at Gemstar

By all accounts, shares of Gemstar International Group Ltd. should be among the hottest on Wall Street.

CHET CURRIER--Investors Perplexed by New Commodity Information

Mutual fund investors are learning an important rule of 21st century economics. Yes, the world is changing, but stock prices can still go down.

RESTAURANT--Cafe Bizou Taking Its Recipe for Success to Westside

Philippe Gris and Neil Rogers knew nothing about owning a restaurant when they opened Cafe Bizou five and a half years ago.

LABJ FORUM--Taking a Summer Vacation?

A recent Automobile Club of Southern California survey found that members' summer travel bookings are up 10 percent from last year. But high gas prices, an uncertain economy, and good old American workaholism could put a damper on this year's summer getaw

BIDDING--Bidding for Plastic Surgery Splits Doctors

It seems you can buy anything on the Internet these days. So why not plastic surgery?

L.A. stories

A North Hollywood retail executive got a taste of the television ratings wars up close and personal the other day.

REAL ESTATE COLUMN--Growing Tech Firm Seeking Microsoft-Like Campus

Fresh off its successful IPO last month and in anticipation of explosive growth, Monrovia-based Software Technologies Corp. is hunting for a large new office campus.

Spotlight on Opportunities In Ontario--Advertising Supplement

The City of Ontario is enjoying something of a hot streak at present. In 1996, Ontario Mills opened to enthusiastic crowds, and last year almost 20 million people visited this mega retail and entertainment mall, making it the state's No. 1 tourist attrac

JANE APPLEGATE--Small Firms on Fast Track Teaching Lessons to Visa

A greeting card company, a pharmaceutical consulting business and a specialty foods company won a package of prizes, including $25,000, in the "Visa Start-Up 2000" awards program announced earlier this month.

LETTERS--How Much Do Nurses Make?

The special report on L.A.'s nursing crisis (May 15) is an important piece of reporting about a vital area of our local economy in general and our health care in particular.

CYBERSENSE--It's AOL vs. Little Guy in Battle for School Supremacy

You might have heard America Online is offering free software to help schools make better use of the Internet.

RESTAURANTS--Staples Center Already Pays Dividends

Anyone who has tried to get a table at an upscale downtown restaurant before concerts or games at Staples Center already knows the arena has provided a big boost to downtown eateries.

The War for Talent: Are You Prepared for Battle?--Advertising Supplement

Executives spend more time managing and making people decisions than on anything else. Yet, by and large, managers make poor promoting and hiring decisions. By most accounts, their batting average is no better than .333, which would be great for the owner

Monday, May 22

INTERVIEW --- Soft-Spoken Software Mogul

Candle Corp. founder Aubrey Chernick, No. 41 on the list of L.A.'s wealthiest people, grants a rare interview on his history, business and philanthropy

TV GUIDE-- Warns of Declining Readership

TV Guide Inc. said it probably will reduce the number of readers guaranteed to advertisers of its namesake magazine as circulation is expected to continue to decline steadily.

ECONOWATCH-- L.A. County

Residential (Mar.)8 1,202.3 1,196.7 +0.5 1,191.3 +0.9 Commercial (Mar.) 176.1 172.0 +2.4 174.0 +1.2

PROFILES--L.A.'s 50 Richest People

Background: Became a millionaire before the age of 30 by co-founding Kaufman & Broad Home Corp., one of the nation's largest residential developers. Parlayed that success into the founding of financial services giant SunAmerica Inc. Big mover and shaker i

25 Largest Charitable Foundations in LA Cnty

25 Largest Charitable Foundations in LA Cntytrust, foundation, list

JANE APPLEGATE--Succeeding With Invention Takes More Than Good Idea

You're not alone. But your idea stands a better chance of becoming a reality if it's derived from personal experience, and if you have a crystal-clear vision of how your invention will work in the marketplace.

Roving Eye

What do glittering heart-shaped evening purses have to do with World War II heroes? They're being sold to raise money for the establishment of a WW II memorial in Washington, D.C.

Good Time For Caution

In September 1987, just a month before the stock market crash, margin debt as a percentage of total stock assets stood at a then-record 1.37 percent. Last month, it was 1.44 percent.

WALL STREET WEST --- Firm Eyes Market for Loans To Cash-Poor Web Startups

Go to where short-term financing needs meet the Internet, and you'll find Beverly Hills-based Imperial Capital Group LLC setting up its tent. It just announced a $10 million cache appropriately named Venture Bridge L.P.

COMMENTARY--L.A.'s Richest Are a Street-Smart, Self-Made Bunch

The release of the Business Journal's latest list of L.A.'s rich and powerful reveals more than just who has the biggest bank account. It also tells us a great deal about what kind of people now drive our economy and to some extent, the global economy a

REAL ESTATE--Lots of Architecture Firms Have Designs on Downtown

Architects have been showing a new liking for downtown Los Angeles lately. It's not so much to design buildings there, but to house their own offices.

OVERVIEW--L.A.'s Wealthiest Get Wild Ride

Real estate moguls, especially those with Westside holdings, enjoyed substantial boosts to their net worth. But several titans with concentrated holdings in out-of-favor public companies took wicked financial spills.

Digest

The former chief of Kraft Foods was named the new chairman and CEO of Mattel Inc., the troubled toy manufacturer that has been plagued with sagging sales and profits.

PLANNING--Managing Stock Fortunes Is Riskier in New Economy

Imagine being a money manager with a new client who's an Internet entrepreneur. His company either went public or merged with another company, leaving your client, on paper at least, a tidy fortune. That is, until the recent stock market turmoil, which ha

DOWNTOWN --- Officials Eye Redevelopment Boost for Downtown

Miami-based developer Lennar Corp. is in discussions with the L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency to assemble as much as 25 contiguous city blocks near Staples Center, where it hopes to build a huge, primarily residential project.

CYBERSENSE--TheBrain.com, alas, doesn't offer mind-control techniques; it's another search engine, but a very different kind from the rest on the Web.

While the Internet is full of magical wonders, its greatest trick is convincing users they're invisible.

SOBRIETY --- Water, Water everywhere...

Back in less-enlightened (and possibly far more entertaining) times, there was a fair percentage of the population who did not eat their lunch. They drank their lunch. Sometimes, some food would be consumed with all those drinks not so much for sustenan

PHILANTHROPY--New Economy Changing the Way Charities Raise Funds

The New Economy is producing new millionaires in unprecedented numbers, which seems like it would be wonderful news for local charities.

L.A. stories

Hustler magazine founder Larry Flynt is reviled by some people as a porn king, but these days he's an upstanding businessman as far as the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is concerned.

The Morals to Stock-Picking Plumber Tale

In a period that included the news that New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will separate from his wife, and that a Chicago gym had created "peekaboo" showers, the most-read story on the Bloomberg News wire concerned Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co.'s chief e

CONFERENCE --- Latino Businesses Expected to Benefit From L.A. Convention

Los Angeles officials proclaimed it a major coup when the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce last week decided to hold its annual convention here in 2002.

TEAM--Lure of Venture Deals Sparks Revolution Among Rich

Running a giant company with thousands of employees and a slot on the Fortune 500 used to be the dream of every bright-eyed business school grad, but times have changed.

Rude Bumps For the IPO Millionaires

As has been famously noted, the rich are different from you and me. For one thing, their net worth can drop more precipitously when their investments go south.

Weekly Briefing

Termite control specialist Jose De La Cruz had been warning non-believers for years that a certain fast-spreading fungus could damage homes even more quickly than termites.

AT HOME--Tips for Practicing the Fine Art of Dispute Resolution

Anyone who runs a business is bound to butt heads occasionally with a vendor or business partner. Disputes can erupt over any number of business issues, including claims of unpaid bills, missed deadlines or work standards.

TRAVEL--When airlines cut commissions, many travel agents went Under, but calig world travel just got more specialized

When Marsha Calig lost her husband, business partner and travel companion to cancer three months ago, she decided she could either sit around and grieve, or do something to start the healing process.

TECH TALK--Sales of Music DVDs Lag Amid Fretting by Consumers

DVDs are definitely a hot-selling video format, but it may take some time for the new DVD music discs to catch on.

LAWYERS --- Rookie Lawyers Will Work Hard for Higher Salaries

Up and down the halls of Los Angeles' law firms, partners are eagerly waiting for the newest batch of law grads to report to work.

HISTORY--Quickly Making and Losing Fortunes Is L.A. Tradition

With the wild see-sawing of the Nasdaq these days, the personal fortunes of L.A.'s New Economy moguls are all over the map. It's a crazy time but that's nothing new in the L.A. business scene.

Executive Summary

The 25 establishments on this week's list, most of them set up by wealthy families, have combined assets of $20.9 billion. That's more than a 20 percent increase from last year's combined assets of $17.3 billion.

Tax Freedom for Teachers?

Last week Gov. Gray Davis proposed a novel reward for California public school teachers: exempting them from state income tax. He says it would show that California places a high value on educators, but lawmakers call the proposal everything from special

CASHOUT--Dot-Coms' Team Approach to Riches Hits Hard Times

Even the receptionist is getting rich while the Internet startup's stock price soars, and every employee, compensated largely with options, is genuinely excited and working as a team. Life is beautiful.

ACKane Leading Arthur Andersen's Push for Net Clients

As the new managing partner at Arthur Andersen's Los Angeles office, Andrew Kane has a much bigger job on his hands than just overseeing a staff of 1,300 people.

Ahead of the Curve

Walk away: More than 2,500 Warner Center workers in Woodland Hills will swap their loafers and pumps for athletic shoes on May 24 to walk 1.5 miles through the business center, raising money for the March of Dimes. Registration at 11:30 a.m., kickoff at 1

The Pacesetter

Housed at the Getty Center in Brentwood, the J. Paul Getty Trust was established in 1953 by oil tycoon J. Paul Getty. A perennial No. 1 on the Business Journal's list of the top charitable trusts in L.A. County, the Getty Trust is one of the largest priva

Show Biz

George Hamilton and Merv Griffin are planning to bring the actor's early days to the big screen in a motion picture that could be a modern-day version of "Mame."

DIGITAL--Filmmakers Slow in Turn to Digital

Earlier this month, Woodland Hills-based Panavision Inc. shipped its first digital movie camera to crews in France, where producers of a new Gerard Depardieu movie will usher in a new era in moviemaking with cameras that don't require costly film.

Greenspan Raised Interest Rates, And the Stock Market Just Yawned Show Me, Alan

In a widely anticipated policy action, the Federal Reserve raised the overnight federal funds rate by 50 basis points to 6.5 percent last week and said the risks going forward were tilted toward higher inflation.

CORPORATE FOCUS --- Delay of Telecom Spinoff Sends Tetra Tech Tumbling

The last three months have been a wild Wall Street ride for Pasadena-based environmental and engineering consulting firm Tetra Tech Inc.

TAXES --- Bill May Break Logjam Over Business Tax

L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan's long-stalled business tax reform proposal could get a big boost this week from Sacramento, where a measure that would provide the financial underpinning for tax reform is set for a vote in the state Assembly.

ENTREPRENUER'S NOTEBOOK --- Ignoring Financial Controls Can Cripple New Firms

Small companies are finding themselves burdened with extensive financial reporting requirements as banks, venture capitalists and government regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission increasingly impose accounting requirements for

PSYCHOLOGY--Money Isn't Only Thing of Value Lost in Volatile Times

And plenty of Angelenos are finding that out first-hand, as their paper wealth gets jerked up and down to the tune of multiple millions on a daily basis. It's enough to make one's head spin, psychologically speaking.

INFONET --- Global Clients Put Tech Firm On Fast Track

Although it's far from a household name, El Segundo-based Infonet Services Corp. is quickly emerging as one of Los Angeles County's biggest and fastest growing public companies.

DISNEY --- Mickey Goes Undercover

Mickey, Minnie and the other Disney icons that have mugged for everything from T-shirts to ties will get a head-to-toe makeover this fall.

Newsmakers

Joel L. Baumblatt was appointed partner in charge of the business management practice at Gaytan Kallman & Co. in Brentwood. He practices in business management and taxation, with emphasis on entertainment and legal services. Baumblatt was previously head

CHET CURRIER --- Despite Tame-Sounding Name, Mid-Caps on Wild Ride

No matter what system of labeling is used, the name of a mutual fund can still fool an unwary investor.

JANE BRYANT QUINN --- Don't Overlook the Value Of Leaving Options Open

A new and useful idea is starting to enter the realm of financial planning. It's known by the catch-all phrase, "real options." Planners are applying it to investments, taxes, debt, insurance everything.

MITCH ALBOM --- Hey Bobby Knight, Hoops Is Only a Game

To his friends and supporters, I am just another sheep who says a coach who chokes a player shouldn't be a coach.

Monday, May 15

Strategy Basics For The E-Business World--Advertising Supplement

In the first stages of the Internet revolution, a nice-looking, easily navigable corporate Web site was the hallmark of every forward-looking company. Today, just a few years later, a major company with only an informational Web site,what is now called "

Show Biz

Billionaire Lou Gonda might have made his fortune in aircraft leasing as co-founder of International Lease Finance but what he really wants to do is produce.

TEMPS--Firms Profit by Replacing Striking Nurses With Temps

During a labor dispute, hospitals scrambling for help can call on several agencies that specialize in flying temporary nurses anywhere in the country to cross picket lines for a handsome salary.

Dental Plans

Almost two-thirds of Los Angeles County's population has dental coverage, with the 15 companies on this week's list accounting for close to 6 million people.

UNIONS--Major Organizing Effort Is Driven by Pay, Conditions

Unions hoping to tap into growing discontent over working conditions and pay have launched the first major drive in decades to unionize nurses at L.A.-area hospitals.

Is 'Hoteling' the Wave of the Future?--Advertising Supplement

The concept of office hoteling is not new, but it is a popular way for companies to deal with rising real estate costs, mobile employees and keeping key employees. Hoteling , also referred to as "non-territorial offices", became a catch phrase back in the

Wall Street West --- StockJungle Fund Profiting From Hot Tips by Investors

StockJungle.com, based in the Miracle Mile, launched a mutual fund in November known as the Community Intelligence Fund. Individual investors become members of the C.I. Fund and then make portfolio recommendations to Michael Petrino, chief investment o

Protect Your Web From Lawsuits--Advertising Supplement

With rosy predictions of rapid growth in Internet commerce over the next decade, an increasing number of companies are scrambling to launch Web sites for their businesses. Today, about one-quarter of U.S. companies have their own Web sites compared to ju

LABJ Forum

The developers behind Staples Center, L.A. Arena Land Co., want to build another billion-dollar project in the name of revitalizing downtown Los Angeles. This time it's a 27-acre hotel, housing and retail spread near the L.A. Convention Center. It could b

Entrepreneur's Notebook --- Bankruptcy Isn't Only Option for Failing Businesses

No one starts a business planning to fail, but the reality is that some business ventures do not succeed in taking root or remaining viable in the long run. That's not always the business owner's fault.

Make Basic Technology Work for Your Business--Advertising Supplement

There's no doubt about the enormous hype about computers and office automation equipment these days, but do you really understand how to make the most out of technology in your business?

COMMENTARY--Demand for More Nurses Driven by Aging Population

Imagine being in a hospital with no nurses. While this scenario is far-fetched, there is a shortage of registered nurses locally, in California and across the country. And the shortage is projected to be the worst ever, according to hospital executives th

Chet Currier --- Junk-Bond Funds Look Like Losers in New Economy

If your high-yield bond mutual fund has been a disappointment lately, put some of the blame on the Internet and the "New Economy."

Computer User Support And the Bottom Line--Advertising Supplement

Managers looking for new ways to remain competitive, and quickly integrate emerging technologies into their businesses are finding that more than 1/3 of the total cost of ownership (TCO) for computers and computer systems can be traced back to the end use

APARTMENTS --- Long Beach Heats Up for Apartment Builders

Everyone, it seems, wants to build multifamily housing in downtown Long Beach these days.

MBA Programs

MBA Programs

INTERVIEW --- The Sultan of Saltor

Entering the world of Bijan on Rodeo Drive is like stepping into a Renaissance villa. His 15,000-square-foot flagship store is filled with marble floors, elegant woods, a sweeping staircase, sparkling chandeliers and ultra-brilliant colors, all bathed by

FEES --- L.A. Eyes Development Fee to Create Housing Fund

Faced with the nation's worst shortage of affordable housing units, the city of Los Angeles is studying the creation of an affordable housing trust fund, to be paid for initially by hotel bed taxes and a controversial $7 per-square-foot fee on new commerc

BAXTER --- Baxter Pumps Millions Into Biotech Unit

Long known as a hospital supply and pharmaceutical maker, Illinois-based Baxter International Inc. is now setting its sights on becoming L.A.'s next biotech giant.

WORKERS --- Job Fairs Booming As Firms Scramble for Workers

Mark Seegel has been running a small engineering consulting company for 23 years. But this is the first time he's gotten so desperate for workers that he's resorted to participating in a job fair.

AFFORDABLE --- L.A. Facing Historic Struggle in Apartment Dispute

The battle over Sherman Oaks apartment complex Chase Knolls Gardens has rekindled the debate over how growth and development are managed in the city of Los Angeles.

The AntiCybersquatting Consumer Protection Act:--Advertising Supplement

While the Internet breaks new ground in business at ever-increasing speeds, Congress recently passed a law that leaves no doubt that some old rules still apply when it comes to protecting trademarks and famous persons' names.

Jane Applegate --- Outside Advice Can Help Smooth Pitfalls of Partnering

Although many entrepreneurs rely on partners to help manage their companies, a partnership can be the most challenging business structure.

Cybersense --- In Cyberspace, Calculating Taxes Is Imperfect Science

Many people shop on the Internet to avoid paying the tax they owe on their purchases.

FIGHTS --- Matches on the Menu

Rolando "El Pochito" Reyes is seated in a makeshift locker room, his face a study in quiet calm and focused intensity, while his manager tapes up his hands.

CORPORATE FOCUS --- Promotion Firm's Reliance On One Client Is a Concern

Burger King Corp. has been a blessing and a curse for Los Angeles-based Equity Marketing Inc., which creates Pokemon-related toys and other promotional products for the fast-food chain.

ROUTINE--TV Stars and Crash Victims

Analisa Traba has a job that is somewhat like performing triage in wartime. Only she does it in 12-hour shifts three or four times a week, and the war never ends.

Making Sense Of the Net Marketing Hysteria--Advertising SupplementNet Marketing Hysteria

It often seems that amidst the absolutely feverish pitch to launch Internet IPO after Internet IPO these days, there is often a greater premium placed on the IPO's first day potential earnings than on that particular dot com's financial staying power. Tri

ABOUT THE LIST---MBA Programs

The top 15 business schools in L.A. County produced 2,779 MBA graduates last year, a 13 percent increase over the year before, as applications and enrollments continued to increase.

ROUNDTABLE--Panel Sees No Quick Cure For Ills That Plague Nursing

To gain some perspective on the scope of the nursing crisis facing Los Angeles, the Business Journal assembled a group of seasoned professionals to air their views on the problems and possible solutions. Participating in the roundtable discussion were: Li

RELATIONSHIPS--Unity Against HMOs Eases Clashing of Nurses, Doctors

Nurses will tell you that some doctors especially those from the old school think and act as if they have the life-saving power of God.

HOT RODS --- New Millennium Muscle Cars

Feeling a bit bored with the trusted old Honda Civic? How about an engine swap? Put in an Integra GSR engine and add a nitrous oxide system, and that conservative little economy car morphs into a 180-horsepower muscle machine.

Furniture --- Top Drawer Woodworking

You wouldn't expect to find the likes of Michael Ovitz scampering around a dingy industrial area on the east side of downtown Los Angeles to check out different types of wood, but that's where some of L.A.'s wealthiest executives and their designers go fo

TECH TALK --- Eteamz Scores Big by Hiring Past Adidas Chief as CEO

Eteamz, a locally based site geared toward amateur and children's sports, has hit one out of the ballpark by recruiting as its new chairman and CEO a former president and CEO of Adidas America.

Making Sense Out of CRM and E-Business--Advertising Supplement

Every few years, the business world gets enveloped in a new concept or acronym that proposes to change the way companies do business. In the 80's it was TQM. In the 90's, it was re-engineering. Now, in the age of the Internet and E-business, the prevai

Ahead of the Curve

L.A. legend: Edward Ruscha has been a driving force in the world of contemporary art in Los Angeles for more than four decades. "Edward Ruscha: Editions 1959-1999" presents a retrospective of the artist's entire printmaking career, from his first woodcut

KATZ --- Is Katz Setting Out to Become Valley Mayor?

Five years ago, Richard Katz was one of a few dozen Democratic Assembly members working fervently and successfully to block a bill that would have given the San Fernando Valley a vote on whether to secede, and simultaneously strip the city of L.A. of any

REVITALIZE --- Merrill Lynch Ups Its Pledge To Inner City

A minority lending program set up by Merrill Lynch & Co. three years ago for Los Angeles and Orange counties has been so successful that the brokerage giant is expanding it to more of Southern California, as well as the San Francisco area.

Ask Lorraine -- Hard Work, Ample Capital Are Staples for Restaurant

Question: My family is in the processing of opening our first restaurant. We're proud to have a long line of chefs in our family and tired of working to make our employers rich. We completely understand that restaurants often fail, but we're still willing

HOMES --- Homebuilding On the Rise in Los Angeles

After years of sluggish growth, the Los Angeles housing construction industry is suddenly abuzz with activity.

The Weekly Briefing

When songwriter Charlie Lustman first looked into buying the Silent Movie Theatre on Fairfax Avenue, it had been shuttered since the 1997 death of the previous owner, who was gunned down in the lobby. Enchanted by the notion of preserving L.A.'s film heri

Digest

Los Angeles investor Gary Winnick, who built Global Crossing Ltd. into an international telecommunications player in three years, bought a majority stake in a real estate investment firm and will expand its investment focus into non-real estate ventures.

What Makes Sense in the World of E-Commerce--Advertising Supplement

Here we are, into the new millennium, and your company still lacks an electronic storefront on the Internet. Have you been left behind?

Strong Backbone Required To Work in Cybespace--Advertising Supplement

The exploding growth in the dot-com world with thousands of entrepreneurs developing new products and services online gives the impression of a disorderly, disconnected universe.

Far From the Westside, a Local Group Is Going After a Key Internet Niche Next Net Thing

Baldwin Park is a long way from fashionable dot-com clusters like Santa Monica or Pasadena, but it may represent the next great growth opportunity for the Net.

Harnessing the Internet: An Online Advertising Primer

The Internet is one of the only mediums that can combine the targeting of direct marketing with the reach of television. Advancements in Internet technologies are making online advertising easy and effective for both local and national advertisers; natio

Setting Up A Profitable Web Site--Advertising Supplement

With the astonishing growth of the Internet, businesses are beginning to find new ways to expand their opportunities. It seems everyone has a web site these days. And yet, the task of setting up a web site is often not as simple as it seems. In fact, I wo

STAPLES --- Downtown Project Would Pay Big Dividends

The billion-dollar project proposed by developers Ed Roski Jr. and billionaire Philip Anschutz next to their Staples Center could generate $12 million to $16 million in annual revenue for city coffers and several million dollars more in spillover taxes, a

CONVENTION --- Looking for Tourists, Marina Proposes Convention Bureau

In a move aimed at boosting Marina del Rey as a tourist destination, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan to create a convention and visitors bureau for the marina an odd decision given that Marina del Rey doesn't have a convention c

Communications Needs Changing at Internet Speed --Advertising Supplement

Whenever I'm tempted to predict the future of communications services, a little voice inside whispers to me, "playback Dylan." Yes, Bob Dylan. The fact is, most of the predictions I've made in the past came true much faster than I would have dreamed, let

Know Your Options: Data is Key to Quality Appraisals--Advertising Supplement

Once reserved only for top management, stock options can now be found in compensation packages for employees at all levels. High technology companies with limited cash and elusive earnings were the first to expand options programs beyond the executive sui

From Formation to First Financing: A Guide for Technology Startups--Advertising Supplement

The venture capital process is daunting to many entrepreneurs, particularly those with limited business experience or exposure to the legal regime governing business. Mistakes, disorganization, or unnecessary complexity in your startup can frighten off in

Marketing Ontario Airport

In his April 17 article, "Ontario's Spacious Skies," staff reporter Howard Fine wrote, "A marketing campaign aimed at boosting passenger traffic at Ontario is months away." Actually, the campaign to market ONT is already well underway.

HOLLYWOOD --- Hidden Hollywood

Like archaeologists digging up forgotten treasures in the tombs of Egypt, developers are discovering unknown architectural gems in an unlikely spot Hollywood Boulevard.

NewsMakers

Joel Lander was named managing director of Round2 Interactive, a media research, planning and buying firm based in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for new business development, operations, training and strategy. Lander was most recently director of co

EDUCATION--Nursing Programs Suffering As Women's Options Grow

Forty years ago, women who wanted a professional career were largely limited to being either receptionists, teachers or nurses. Now that young women have a multitude of options, a lot fewer of them are going to nursing school.

Tech Leadership in Health Care Industry--Advertising Supplement

Over the past year, and largely in the past few months, the phenomenal growth in the US technology sector is reason enough to pause and ponder its impact of the "new business" on the global economy, as well as the local community and culture of this area

MAIN--L.A.'s Nursing Crisis

Blame the economy, if you want. Or the aging population. Or the Internet. Or the feminists who paved the way for more women to become doctors, medical researchers, lawyers and scientists.

Don't Scuttle

Though it hasn't made many headlines yet, a fight is brewing that could make or break the candidates for L.A.'s next mayor. And the consequences of that fight could prove troublesome, turning what should be a straightforward business deal into a political

Interrupted Public Offerings--Advertising Supplement

Less than 2 months ago so many of us were jokingly asking, "When is this IPO frenzy going to fade?" Investors were searching online brokers in an attempt to get a few hundred shares of any IPO. With so many IPOs surging in the days following the offerin

BUYBACK --- Murdoch's Buyback Bid Hits Trouble

Sometimes even billionaires don't get their way, as David H. Murdoch is discovering in his bid to take Castle & Cooke Inc. private.

FINANCE --- Good News, Bad News on L.A. Venture Capital Deals

Venture capital funding in L.A. County has exploded over the past year, but investments have slowed since the last quarter of 1999 and other regions are quickly outpacing L.A.'s growth, according to a new report.

Jane Bryant Quinn --- Aetna Deal May Not Cure All the Ills Troubling HMOs

Is the patient-protection deal Texas struck with the managed care behemoth, Aetna U.S. Healthcare, really good for consumers?

DOTTV --- Firms Paying Up to Go Live on DotTV

As the dot-tv suffix goes live May 15, dozens of companies have ponied up thousands of dollars for the right to use the new domain names, including a number of big local Internet players.

The LABJ's LA Stories

Unknown pranksters provided some comic relief last week for downtown drivers stuck in traffic along a dug-up stretch of Broadway.

Firm Brings Experience to Bear on Variety of Projects

Actually, Urban Partners LLC may be new in name, but it's made up of three real estate pros who are hardly neophytes in the business Ira Yellin, most recently with Catellus Development Corp., Daniel Rosenfeld, from the brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle, a

Monday, May 8

PRINTING --- Internet Providing Surprising Boost to L.A. Printers

The Internet was supposed to virtually do away with the need for the printed page. But dot-coms are actually turning out to be the biggest boon that the local commercial printing industry has seen in years.

The Roving Eye

Remember all those strange people who secretly wore aluminum foil in their hats and caps to ward off radiation from outer space?

DEVELOPMENT --- New Luxury Golf

Duffers delight. With decades having passed since L.A. got a new golf course, a rash of luxury or "high-end daily fee" links are streaming onto the local landscape.

The Agenda

Steamed about prices at the pump? Find out why they're so high and the outlook for the future from Ali I. Al-Naimi, minister of petroleum and mineral resources for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Al-Naimi will speak at a noon luncheon sponsored by the Wo

MEDSCHOOL.COM --- Bringing Online Life to Medical School

Nobody ever said medical school was a thrill ride. There's the stuffy classroom, the incessant drone of a professor lecturing about the body's capillary resistances, and medical students catching catnaps.

FILMS --- Hot Summer Cinema

It's not even close to the end of spring, but for Hollywood, summer started last weekend.

L.A. stories

During this summer's Democratic National Convention, all sorts of parties will be going on throughout L.A. And one of those planned events has already generated political heat.

Briefing

Sculptor Andy Schuessler needed steady work after grad school but didn't want to stray too far from his chosen field. So he got into the business end of the art world, working for companies that transport and install fine art pieces. Seven years later Sch

LEGAL --- U.S. Attorney Has Hands Full With Rampart Case

Alejandro Mayorkas, who heads the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles, has been on the job as the region's top federal prosecutor for a mere 15 months. In that short time, however, his staff of 265 attorneys covering seven counties has been involved in

FOOTBALL --- Hey NFL! We're Still Here!

Responding to a May 1 deadline for proposals, only one bidder submitted a plan to bring pro football back to the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.

Inflation --- Inflation Is Coming to

Despite nonchalance among consumers, inflation is starting to have an impact on the Los Angeles economy.

LOCATIONS --- Movie Ranches Feeling Effects of Decline in Filming

About a year ago, the new reality of the L.A. location shooting business slapped ranch owner Rene Veluzat in the wallet.

After Some Dicey Days, What's Ahead for Tech Funds?

As any calm and patient investor in mutual funds will tell you, last month's commotion in the stock market was nothing to get agitated about.

Unmasking Hypocrites in Play for Elian

If 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez were going to school these days, his first question would be, "Teacher, what's a hypocrite?"

Newsmakers

Erik P. Dickerson was named vice president of commercial lending at American Business Bank in Los Angeles. He will specialize in corporate account management and business development. Dickerson was most recently vice president and relationship manager at

BLIMP --- Taking Flight

Not too many kids say they want to grow up to be a blimp builder. But ever since Igor Pasternak was a teen-ager in Lvov, Ukraine, he had an obsession with those lighter-than-air machines that float gracefully through the sky.

ART --- Civil Liberty?

Why would anyone want to break city laws by painting a gigantic picture of the Statue of Liberty on the side of a building, face a nasty name-calling bout with city officials and neighborhood activists, then spend more than six figures of their own money

Ahead of the Curve

Baroque animation: A look at early animation, as a 12-foot, 18th century drawing is lighted from behind and cranked through a viewing box. The translucent drawing is displayed with other watercolors and paintings from the same period from May 14 to 28 at

Tech Talk --- Will Business.com Have Payoff Promised by Price Tag?

After eCompanies paid a whopping $7.5 million in December for the Business.com domain name, the venture became immediately shrouded in secrecy, causing many observers to wonder just what eCompanies is doing.

WEB --- Incubator Hatching Firms That Target Latin America

Just when you thought there wasn't room for another incubator in the Internet world, along comes one more. But with a Latin twist.

Cybersense --- Music Industry Hits Sour Notes With Napster Lawsuits

No matter how much money popular musicians rake in, they'll usually say they're doing it all for the fans.

TAXES --- Net's Impact on Taxes May Be Minimal

Though brick-and-mortar retailers have complained that e-commerce companies have an unfair advantage because the state isn't collecting sales taxes from them, California Board of Equalization Chairman Dean Andal says that's a bunch of baloney.

Microloans Take Women a Long Way Toward Success

A Maryland seamstress, a Northern California day-care mother and a Honduran baker may appear to have little in common, but they're all participating in micro-enterprise programs that combine basic business education with small loans and community support.

ENTREPRENEUR'S NOTEBOOK

In fact, it's estimated that only 30 percent of closely held businesses make it through such a transition. That's because a web of complicated issues from paying estate taxes and finding competent managers, to gaining consent of stock-holding family mem

Incubators --- 'Incubator' Becoming Dirty Word in Net Business

When Kevin Wall and his partner Art Bilger put together a $300 million investment fund and set up Westwood-based Shelter Ventures a few months ago, they and their marketing staff grappled with how to describe themselves.

MALL --- Beverly Center Donning

One of L.A.'s grand dames in a bid to look younger and hipper alongside a host of eye-popping competitors is getting a facelift.

Working At Home

If you ask a group of business owners to describe a recurring bad dream, you might hear, "I'm in an important meeting, the computer won't boot up, and our team doesn't have a good answer for a client's question."

CORPORATE FOCUS --- Sketchers' Latest Shoe

Consumers aren't only hot for sport utility vehicles, they're also running out to buy sport utility shoes.

Beating Brain Drain At Your Home Office

One of my key employees works from home two days a week. He likes the quiet time for writing and also wants to see his 4-year-old daughter for lunch. This works out well in our office because we can lend his desk to the bookkeeper on his work-at-home days

Index Stocks Provide

As readers know, I'm a longtime booster of index mutual funds. These funds follow the market as a whole.

Entertainment --- Actors vs. Agents

While the actors' strike against the advertising industry is making headlines with rallies at the La Brea Tar Pits and marches down Wilshire Boulevard, another battle is quietly simmering that could revolutionize the talent agency business.

MUSIC --- Performing Rights Group Hits L.A. for TV, Movie Talent

L.A. music writers and publishers looking to maximize their cash flow now have another group in town to represent them in negotiating licensing fees with film, TV and radio producers, as well as owners of restaurants, bars and other venues where their mus

BANKS ---With Strong Investments, Banks' Profits Keep Climbing

Banks based in Los Angeles or with a significant presence here posted strong first-quarter earnings, in no small part due to the robust capital markets that only recently have weakened.

Business Improvement Districts

Business Improvement Districts

PROJECTS --- Demise of Office Project Reflects Changes in Lending

Low vacancy rates usually mean a green light for developers to begin building anew, but as the recent collapse of a major deal in Burbank illustrates, that's starting to change.

Wall Street West

Born and bred for the securities industry was Peter Eichler Jr., who now heads Santa Monica-based Aletheia Research and Management Inc., a money management shop.

Real Estate

The Gap Building on Westwood Boulevard will soon have a major new tenant: UCLA Extension.

Show Biz

As striking actors try to shut down the production of commercials in this country, the job action could become a boon for ad agencies working overseas.

INTERVIEW --- Ted Meisel

GoTo.com Chief Executive Ted Meisel has been in his new position for nearly three months and what a ride it's been.

Monday, May 1

LAND--Majestic Wins One, May Lose Another

Majestic Realty Co. has been working for months to purchase Northrop Grumman Corp.'s B2 plant property in Pico Rivera, and redevelop it as a 200-acre industrial and retail complex.

COLUMNS & FEATURES--After Tough Time in Playa Vista, Maguire Is on a Roll

Suddenly, the 65-year-old developer, who had been written off as something of a has-been when Playa Vista talks turned ugly, has become the toast of the town.

the roving eye

It's wedding season, and you know what that means: More grooms will be wearing makeup than ever before.

COLUMNS & FEATURES--Election-Year Stock Jumps Could Be a Thing of Past

If campaign politics is going to juice up returns for mutual fund investors in this U.S. election year, it sure hasn't happened yet.

CORPORATE FOCUS--Northrop Is Flying High on Strength of Changing Focus

Even before Northrop Grumman Corp.'s announcements last week of stellar first-quarter results and a new alliance with DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG, the Century City-based maker of the B-2 bomber had seen its share price skyrocket.

CAMPUS--Investment Fund Goes to Colleges to Find Startup Ideas

Along with handling his classes as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management, Chu, 27, is being flooded with business proposals from his fellow students.

Message to Tech Entrepreneurs: Don't Believe Your Own Hype Web Wisdom

Just a few months ago I had breakfast with a longtime friend and a young acquaintance of his: one of the new breed of late-20s/early-30s Southern California tech entrepreneurs. He was unpretentious in manner, but in some ways seemed to have unusual notion

ahead of the curve

Jazz alfresco: As part of the "Sunday in the City" program in Beverly Hills, the Bobby Rodriguez Salsa Orchestra and pianist Pete Jolly and his Trio kick off the Playboy Jazz Festival's series of free concerts on May 7 at Civic Center Plaza. Information:

VIRTUAL--Silicon Scouts

Several years ago, Paul Cunningham was buying parts for fighter planes. Now his recruiting company, Interact, locates teams of engineers who might build such planes not in reality, but in computer animation for war-action video games.

PORT--Bonanza for Builders at Port of L.A.

The Port of Los Angeles has essentially completed the $330 million land-building portion of Pier 400, the biggest U.S. dredge-and-fill operation ever undertaken, and now a wave of $300 million in contracts is about to be unleashed.

WORST--New Products, Shift to Web Hurt Firm's Bottom Line

Cash Technologies Inc. managed a truly spectacular feat in 1999: It posted a negative return on equity of 8,160 percent.

Our View: High Times For a Change

It didn't take the Tribune Co. long to start tinkering with L.A.'s biggest daily newspaper, installing a new publisher and editor last week at the Los Angeles Times even though Tribune won't officially own parent Times Mirror Co. for another two months or

STALWARTS--Only a Select Few Repeating Atop the List

It's one thing to report a high return on equity in a single year; accounting flukes and one-time events can seriously skew a public company's numbers. The real cream of the crop is made up of companies that, over a long term like three or five years, con

ENERGY--Environment-Friendly Power Proves Popular with Angelenos

Consumers may not want to shell out thousands of dollars to buy electric cars, but it seems they are willing to pay $10 or $20 a month more to buy cleaner power.

Most Profitable Public Companies

Most Profitable Public Companies

COLUMNS & FEATURES--These Folks Got Big Payoff Running Small Businesses

Small-business owners across America will be standing a little taller this month when the U.S. Small Business Administration kicks off the 37th annual celebration of National Small Business Week on May 21. The purpose is to honor all 25 million American s

SCHOOLS--For Cortines, Rapid Reform Is Best Remedy for District

Last November, Ramon Cortines took the helm of the troubled Los Angeles Unified School District with a mandate for change. Superintendent Ruben Zacarias had been forced out and district officials were desperate for someone to improve conditions at the LAU

INTERNET--With No Money-Makers, Dot-Coms Bring Up the Rear

Wall Street might have loved them last year, but you won't find a lot of dot-coms on the Business Journal's list of L.A.'s most profitable public companies.

BEST--Teledyne Tops List Thanks To Spinoff Circumstances

Teledyne Technologies Inc. may be a new kid on the block, but last year it reported a better return on equity than any other public company in Los Angeles County.

DELIVERY--Pink Dot Planning Push Into Four Markets

Camarillo-based Pink Dot is betting there are a lot of lazy people beyond the borders of Southern California.

CURRENCY--Coin Dealers Prosper From Interest in State Quarters

Jonathon Krasny was 7 when his father gave him an envelope of old coins that led him to a lifetime of collecting.

COLUMNS & FEATURES--Corporations Don't Always Come Out Ahead in Nevada

For several years now, the Nevada secretary of state and many incorporation services have been touting that state as the new corporate haven, offering advantages that many states can't match.

For the Record

Skyline Resources International, Inc; DBA: Skyline Real Estate Income Program, LLC; Skyline Dental and Medical Supply Co, Inc.

SHOPPING--Galleria Targets Moneyed Teens With 'Hangout' Spot

It seems like trying to get teen-agers to hang out at malls is a little like trying to make weeds grow: It happens without any effort at all, so why bother?

COLUMNS & FEATURES--Don't Tell This Investment Firm Tech Craze Is Fading

You might want to talk to Ken Moelis, head of corporate finance for Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp., before voicing an opinion about that at the next cocktail party.

The Business Digest

The Justice Department has formally opened an investigation into possible anti-competitive business practices by the Internet's largest real estate Web site, Homestore.com.

NEIGHBORHOOD--Neighborhood Revival

Only a few years ago, Echo Park Avenue inspired "Mi Vida Loca," a popular art-house film about gangs, guns and drugs.

LABOR--Deal by Janitors May Not Boost Other Unions

When janitors proclaimed victory last week and ended their three-week strike, there were bold predictions that other local unions would use the settlement to bolster their own contract demands this summer.

INTERVIEW--LAKERS Legend

Francis 'Chick' Hearn has broadcast every Lakers game since 1965 and put six NBA championships 'in the refrigerator.' Is another one in the works?

COLUMNS & FEATURES--Show Biz

An Arab-American group that recently got the Times to remove an ad that the group considered anti-Muslin has written the Department of Defense protesting the U.S. government's role in Paramount's "Rules of Engagement," which it condemned as anti-Arab.

Shell Trying to Score Points for Fox Cable Programming

When senior Fox executives decided to launch an all-sports cable network a few years ago, they tapped Jeff Shell to make it happen.

The Agenda

Warren Bennis, founding chairman of USC's Leadership Institute, will give a free lecture today titled "Leadership 101." The event, sponsored by SMC Associates, starts at 11:15 a.m. in the Santa Monica College Concert Hall. Information: (310) 434-4003.

Moments In History

30years ago this week: LAUSD teachers and the school board brought in a mediator in a last-ditch effort to end a three-week strike over a contract dispute involving salary and working conditions Debbie Reynolds stopped by an MGM Studios auction to drop

COLUMNS & FEATURES--Someone Is Tracking Every Financial Move You Make

Do you know how many credit, insurance and anti-fraud bureaus keep tabs on how you behave? Neither do I, but it's many more than we think.

Letters: Driving While Dialing

Your editorial lampooning Santa Monica City Council members who want driving while dialing (DWD) curtailed ("Bizarre Doings by the Beach," April 10) was a cheap shot.

The LABJ's L.A. stories

That's right. An L.A. company is putting out a series of comic books portraying popular baseball and basketball players as super heroes saving the world from alien invaders.

COLUMNS & FEATURES--Newsmakers

Benny Lai was named accounts supervisor at Imada Wong Communications Group in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for account management and adapting and translating commercials from English to Cantonese. Lai was most recently an independent advertising a

Newsmakers

Lockheed Aircraft Chairman Daniel Haughton offered little comfort to nervous shareholders at the company's annual meeting in Van Nuys. "I wish I could tell you that we have found solutions," Haughton said about military contract disputes and the dubious p

PSYCHICS--Psychic Secrets

Can a stranger really see into your soul by reading your palm or flipping a few Tarot cards? There are a few tricks to the trade that thrives on faith and money.The storefront psychic folds her arms over a stained T-shirt dress and stares me down. Her $50

VALUE--L.A.'S MOST PROFITABLE PUBLIC COMPANIES

If L.A.'s most profitable companies were a person, that person would be Rodney Dangerfield.

COLUMNS & FEATURES--The Weekly Briefing

Kristen Lowe broke into talent management as an intern and learned the ropes as an assistant and agent with an established agency. Two years ago she launched her own shop. Operating out of a Little Tokyo loft near downtown L.A., Lowe specializes in offbea

INTERNET--Feature Films Now Showing on the Web

Caravans of sleek limos, pudgy paparazzi screaming at stars strolling down a long red carpet. That's the sizzle at every spectacular Hollywood premiere.

ABC--Disney Pays High Price for ABC's L.A. Move

On paper, the Walt Disney Co.'s decision to move some 200 ABC staffers from New York to its Burbank headquarters looks efficient and synergistic, putting the network and studio on the same campus.

COLUMNS & FEATURES-- Dot-Com Deals Keep Coming Despite Nasdaq Bumps

The Nasdaq might be sagging and venture capitalists might be growing wary of throwing money at tech companies, but big investment deals are still happening in L.A.

DEAL--Firm Scores Coup With Ailing Hotel

After years of highly lucrative deals with the City of Industry, Ed Roski Jr.'s Majestic Realty Co. has scored another home run there.

COLUMNS & FEATURES--Extra! Web to Take Paper, Ink Out of Your Newspaper

While news is the critical element of a newspaper, the paper itself is important, too.

VALENCIA--Valencia Failing to Lure Tenants to Major Office Projects

A spurt of development in the past two years has sent office vacancy rates soaring in the Santa Clarita Valley and dampened once-bullish expectations for the region.

STOCKS--Tech Fever That Drove Prices Is Likely to Cool Down

Investors until recently had been side-stepping sound companies with proven track records, opting instead to pour their money into high-growth companies with huge losses.

SAT Does Miserably on Relevance Test

I'd like to say something to all the high school juniors and seniors who just finished taking the SAT recently.

IPO--Public Offerings Taking the Heat From Market Volatility

If the window for initial public offerings hasn't slammed completely shut, it's at least nowhere near as wide open as in months past.

LABJ forum: Hiring New College Grads?

Spring brings warm weather, flowers and a deluge of college kids hungry for that first real job. Recent graduates could be a boon to companies scrambling to fill vacancies in a tight employment market, but they seldom have any real work experience. So t

FLUCTUATION--Method Isn't Always Most Telling Performance Measure

Last year Hilton Hotels Corp. was the most profitable public company in Los Angeles, based on return on equity. But this year it's nowhere to be found on the list.