Stories for October 2001

Monday, October 29

HUGHES---Hughes Buyer Expected to Pressure Cable

By this week, the year-long auction for Hughes Electronics Corp. by its corporate parent, General Motors Corp., could be decided.

CONSERVATION---Tug of War Ensuing Over Two Land Parcels

Pity the appraiser who has been hired to determine the fair market value of a prime 193-acre portion of the Playa Vista site, an important early step in the Trust for Public Land's bid to buy the property from Playa Capital Co. LLC and preserve it as open

OPPOSITION---Unwilling to Yield an Acre, Development Foe Fights on

There have been any number of Playa Vista opponents over the years, but none more dogged than Marcia Hanscom, founder of the Wetlands Action Network. While her background is in communications, not ecology, she has been the primary voice behind opposition

PROPERTY---Zell Antes Up at Playa Project as Maguire Backer

Sam Zell's Equity Office Properties Trust has made a $4 million nonrefundable downpayment toward becoming a major equity partner in the Frank Gehry-designed studio office campus at Playa Vista, according to sources close to the deal.

CORPORATE FOCUS---Mattel Approaches Highs as Cost Cutting Lures Investors

Mattel Inc. is getting back in the game. The El Segundo-based company has been trimming costs by reducing its workforce, closing its last remaining factory in the United States, and taking a new look at its licensing agreements to manufacture toys connect

NORTH COUNTY---Energy Threats Ease as New Pressures Mount for Market

-Centre Pointe Business Park broke ground on its first two spec buildings totaling 70,705 square feet. One of the buildings is in escrow for purchase.

Working at Home---Use Telephone Hold Messages to Promote Your Firm

A few weeks ago I was put on hold by a moving company sales rep while he tallied a job estimate for my business. Instead of hold music, I found myself listening to a prerecorded tape that introduced additional products and services. I found out about clim

CONGESTION---Decade-Old Study Provides Roadmap for Traffic Scheme

While opponents of Playa Vista fear the shrinking of the picturesque wetlands surrounding Ballona Creek, others opposing the 1,087-acre development fear another not-so-pretty sight the increased frequency of brake lights.

Mitch Albom---Pranksters Breeding Own Brand of Terror

I was sitting on an airplane, waiting for takeoff. It was still dark outside. Not even 6 in the morning. The guy behind me asked for sugar with his coffee.

L.A. Stories

The economy is slowing and consumers are skittish in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, but you'd never know it from the results of the recent boat show at the Long Beach Convention Center. Attendance was up 8 percent over last year, and sales were up, too

TECH---Turndown in Tech Forces Small Publisher to End 18-Year Run

MicroTimes, one of the nation's oldest technology magazines has ceased publication.

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY---Weak Valley Market Gets Hit By Post-Attack Nervousness

- Moulton Logistics Management signed a five-year, $3.8-million lease with AMB Property for 108,000 square feet in the Van Nuys Airport Business Park.

John Dorfman---New Crop of Picks From Respected Money Managers

Last year I brought you some of the favorite stocks of Scott Black, David Dreman, Randall Eley, Al Frank, Charles Royce and Ralph Wanger. I'll do the same this year, and add one more, Ken Heebner.

Roving Eye

Barbara and David Mikkelson have heard it all from the one about alligators living in the sewers of New York to the one about Osama bin Laden owning Snapple.

TAXES---Coming Soon: Business Tax Relief

From Washington to Sacramento to the L.A. County Hall of Administration, politicians are rushing to figure out how to get tax breaks to businesses that have been hit by the economic fallout from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

WILSHIRE---Tenants Finding Bargains at East End of Wilshire Market

- The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services signed a 70,000 square foot, 10-year lease leased at 3530 Wilshire.

APARTMENTS---Battles Over, Luxury Apartment Project Nears Construction

Having survived challenges from a neighboring apartment building owner, Kor Realty Group is nearing the end of a two-year effort to build a 122-unit luxury apartment building on Rossmore Avenue.

DEVELOP---Novel Development Strategy Targets Housing Downtown

Finding that money-making retail operations have driven up the cost of otherwise vacant downtown property, developers are trying a different tack to meet growing residential demand.

TRI-CITIES---Small Deals Fuel Activity as Large Projects Wait in Wings

- Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. signed a 10-year, 46,000-square-foot lease on two floors at 505 Brand Blvd. in Glendale.

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY---Strong Quarter Gives Way to Concern as Economy Fades

- Tribune Co. subsidiary California Community News leased 325,000 square feet at the Irwindale Business Center, one of the few new industrial parks in the San Gabriel Valley, for 10 years at 38 cents triple net.

POLITICS---GOP Defections Again Raise Issue of Riordan's Loyalties

The perception that former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan is more closely aligned with Democrats than Republicans in his quest for the Republican gubernatorial nomination was reinforced recently with word of Republican departures from the campaign and the for

WESTSIDE---Increase in Security Hurting Already Battered Westside

- Law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips subleased 72,000 square feet of space at 11355 West Olympic Blvd.

DOWNTOWN---Market Continues to Tighten as Rent Rates Give Ground

- Both Disney Concert Hall and the Cathedral of Our Lady of The Angels are under construction

Comment---Waiting Is Hard

You wouldn't expect people to be buying houses at a time like this and yet they are.

Letters

The airlines lined up for a $15 billion bailout at the same time nearly 100,000 workers are laid off in that industry. Other lobbyists are working the halls of Congress for billions more for travel agents, insurance companies, Amtrak, the hotel industry a

It Takes Sensitive Design to Put Kids at Ease

Children are brought into a world made for adults. They grow up surrounded by sprawling roadways and towering buildings, and when they become ill or hurt, they are taken to hospitals or healthcare facilities frequently designed and built for adult minds a

ADVERTISING---Disney's 'Cuddly' Ads Survive Terrorism

Ever since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the world of advertising has taken on a walking-on-eggshells tenor.

Entrepreneur's Notebook---Smaller Firms See Impact of Employee Rules Post-Attack

The Sept. 11 catastrophe forces a look at a whole set of legal issues with which employers are rusty at best, or unfamiliar altogether. Consider the following:

Wall Street West---Small-Cap Ceradyne Finds Niche in Equipping Troops

In the past few weeks, Americans have been treated to images of U.S. military special forces, armed with night scopes, geopositioning devices and bullet-stopping vests, en route to action in Afghanistan.

Weekly Briefing

Having grown up in Kobe, Japan, while his father exported pearls to the United States, Danny Moshi learned the business at an early age.

My Favorite Sites

Basically, this site monitors hundreds of respected media sources and extracts the essential information. It has information about all the leagues, TV networks, team owners, marketing executives, sponsors and sponsorships that are going on. For you to com

EVOLUTION---Buildings Rise as End to Years of Bitter Dispute Nears

January 1978 Howard Hughes heirs' management company, Summa Corp., initiates plan to develop $1 billion high-rise community on Playa Vista site.

HIRING---Seaside Firms Fret Pending Jobs Rule

Santa Monica city officials are considering a proposal that would require hotels and shops to offer the employees they are now laying off the right of first refusal on any future job openings.

TEES---Focusing on Clothing Staple, Apparel Firm Rides Wave

Brian Hirth's work is key to the wardrobes of millions of teenagers and young adults across the United States. But it's unlikely any of them have heard of his Santa Ana company, Melmarc.

SOUTH BAY---Vacancies Continue Climb as Tech-Bust Hangover Lingers

- National Retail Services leased 116,000 square feet of industrial space at 355 W. Carob St. in Compton.

INLAND EMPIRE---Market Feeling Few Effects From Economic Slowdown

-K-Mart Corp. signed a 10-year lease for a 760,000-square-foot warehouse and distribution facility at 3100 Milliken Ave. in Mira Loma.

PRIVATE---Staying Alive Privately

Surviving the past decade the wrenching early '90s recession, the frenzied dot-com runup, the bubble burst and post-Sept. 11 downturn has been no small feat.

Media---Ad Slump Fails to Deter Publisher of Fitness Magazine

While other magazines are laying off employees or, in some cases, ceasing publication, Los Angeles Sports & Fitness Magazine is making its debut.

OVERVIEW---Vacancies Continue to Rise As Landlords Seek to Adjust

Office vacancy rates in Los Angeles County increased albeit slightly for the third straight quarter as the commercial real estate market reflected economic weakness exacerbated by events thousands of miles away.

APPAREL---Betting on Continued Growth, Skechers Left in Inventory Bind

This summer, when many retail footwear makers were scaling back growth plans in a weakening economy, Skechers USA Inc. raised eyebrows by gearing up for further sales gains.

Cybersense---Revolutionary E-Mail Celebrates 30 Years

In a world where six-month old Web sites are considered mature and two-year old computers are over the hill, it might come as a surprise to find a 30-year-old technology that isn't showing its age. E-mail will soon celebrate its 30th birthday and no, th

With New War on, Nothing To Fear But Free Time Itself

The success of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks depended on the failure of the military imagination. Half trained, poorly armed fanatics were able to turn commercial airplanes into bombs that collapsed the Twin Towers and blew a hole in the Pentagon because

TECH---L.A. Technology Sector Evolving After Dot-Com Bust

With investors fleeing tech stocks, industry giants reporting dismal third-quarter earnings and venture capitalists re-branding themselves as mergers-and-acquisitions experts, the Business Journal convened a panel of tech industry experts to get a look at

PUBLISHING---Venture-Backed Media Firm Shuts Down

Like so many now-failed technology companies, The Zone News started out with high hopes. The L.A.-based monthly magazine was going to serve as a voice for the often-ignored local tech community.

DOGS---Frankly Fabulous

The chili recipe remains a closely guarded secret, but venerable Pink's hot dog stand embraces its role as a Los Angeles landmark where people from all walks of life come to pig out

MID CITIES---Market Stable For Now, But Fourth-Quarter Woes Feared

-Performance Team Concepts leased 300,000 square feet of warehouse/distribution space at 12908 Shoemaker ave. in Santa Fe Springs.

TRAVEL---Becoming a Ski Mogul

Local resort owners see a green winter as fear of flying keeps skiers home

PR---Paradise On Line 1

Driving Force: The need for hospitals and other clients to quickly and effectively communicate with diverse audiences

Real Estate Column---Another Westwood Theater Departs, Druggist Steps in

United Artists Westwood, a three-screen theater at Wellworth Avenue and Westwood Boulevard owned by the Nicholson Trust, soon will be replaced by a Sav-On Drugs store.

Newsmakers---Sowing Seeds for Marketing The Grove

Even with the souring economy, Jennifer Gordon is busy looking for people in a spending mood.

INVESTING---Wary of Startups, Venture Firms Explore New Avenues

With IPO markets stalled and little relief in sight, some venture capitalists are beginning to look for other ways to put their funds to work methods that depart from traditional start-up equity financing.

SATELLITE---Upset Dealers Suing DirecTV Over Big Fees

A lawsuit filed against DirecTV accuses the satellite television subsidiary of El Segundo-based Hughes Electronics Corp. of trying to put its independent dealers out of business in a move to cut costs.

CLOTHING---Tarrant Founder Adds to Stake Before Departing

In a reshuffling of officials at one of L.A.'s largest apparel manufacturers, Gerard Guez is stepping down as chief executive of Tarrant Apparel Group.

INTERVIEW--- Driven Underground

Education: B.S. in geography and M.A. in economic geography from the University of Akron, Ohio

Ahead of the Curve

Salsa Man: L.A.'s own Poncho Sanchez will be making a three-night appearance from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9 at The Conga Room in the Miracle Mile area of Wilshire Boulevard. Sanchez, who grew up in Norwalk listening to Afro-Cuban music in his neighborhood, began p

LAW ---Corporate Activity Down, Associates Find Jobs Shuffled

While law firm layoffs these past few months have primarily centered in the Bay Area, L.A.'s major firms are not immune to the sudden setbacks in corporate transactional deals.

VENTURA COUNTY---Market Chill Deepens as Sept. 11 Attacks Halt Deals

-J.D. Power and Associates signed a 5-year, $21 million lease for 93,000 square feet at 2625 Townsgate Road in Westlake Village.

Strategies---Doing Your Own Books Not for All Business Owners

Most people in business for themselves, especially those starting out, believe they can keep their own books. After all, they find plenty of good accounting software on the market, programs that practically fill the spreadsheets out by themselves. They be

Private Companies

Private Companies

LABJ Forum---Root, Root, Root

The New York Yankees are in their fourth consecutive World Series and fifth in six years. Many baseball fans with no roots in New York dislike the team for a variety of reasons, including its high payroll, its recent domination and its demonstrative gener

Chet Currier---Fewer Capital Gains One Bright Side of Bear Market

The usual yearend commotion over mutual-fund taxes promises to be awfully quiet this year.

MAIL---Anthrax Scaring Mail Marketers

The anthrax scare, which is causing nervousness in mailrooms and along postal routes across the country, couldn't have come at a worse time for the local direct marketing industry, which does its heaviest mailing in the weeks before the holidays.

Monday, October 22

JET---New Boeing Layoffs Could Mean End for 717 Program

Size: Wing span of 93.3 feet and overall length of 124 feet, the 717 is similar in size and configuration to the DC-9 Series 30

FILM---Men on Film

When Steve Klein got a bad case of burnout in 1982 from his job editing for film and television, his longtime friend Stuart Wallach had an idea: join him in his new venture of reselling surplus film stock.

COMMERCIAL---Commercial Production Stalling, Putting Thousands of Jobs at Risk

A steep downturn in local television commercial production is putting the squeeze on thousands of local workers employed by advertising agencies, production companies and myriad related businesses.

BOOKS---Independent Days

Since Sept. 11, Los Angeles' independent bookstores have been an important resource for finding alternative viewpoints while also serving as gathering places for patrons to exchange ideas and vent their emotions

Entrepreneur's Notebook---All Companies Need to Have Detailed Business Plans

Ask businesspeople if they've written a business plan, and many will tell you they don't need to. They know exactly where they're taking their business, they'll say. Or their plan is in their head, so they don't have to write it down.

INTERVIEW---Inner-City Insight

Developer Chris Hammond pushes renewal of urban core by pursuing housing, retail projects

LABJ Forum---Taking a Closer Look

Last week, mail became a weapon of terror. With anthrax on the minds of just about everyone, many Angelenos are taking a closer look at the mail before opening it. So the Business Journal asks: Are you taking any different or unusual steps in handling you

Management Consulting Firms

Management Consulting Firms

GARMENTS---Home Court Advantage

Business picks up for local apparel firms as costs of overseas contracts rise

TAXES---State Bill Will Help City Track Tax Scofflaws

After three years of trying, L.A. city officials have finally received state approval to track down business tax scofflaws and bring tens of millions of additional dollars into city coffers.

Real Estate---Nintendo Deal Makes Hollywood Waiting Game Pay

Rob Langer, managing partner at Meringoff Equities Inc., isn't waiting around for some elusive tenant to take down the 50,000 square feet of retail space he's got sitting vacant at Hollywood and Vine.

Games---Playing Music

Video game makers, popular bands joining forces to market soundtracks for new releases

ARCHITECTS---Diverse Base Keeps Architects Afloat as Construction Slows

Despite worries about the current economic weakness, L.A.'s architecture firms are trying to learn from the downturn of the early 1990s and spread their practices among a variety of disciplines.

DINNER---Weeknight Diners Elude Restaurants as Market Wavers

Nestled deep in the Calabasas hills, the Saddle Peak Lodge has seen more than its share of disaster-related business swings. This time, it's different.

Mitch Albom---Citizen Soldiers Already on War Footing

Ever since the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, there have been whispers about reinstituting the draft. In some ways, that's a moot point.

Newsmakers---Spa Director's Business Thrives on Stress

As stress levels increase with a souring economy and heightened safety concerns, Pamela Gold is likely to get busier. A beauty industry veteran, Gold was recently appointed director of Spa Mystique, a 35,000-square-foot resort spa located at the Century H

Roving Eye

"What's Her Face" isn't quite the looker that Barbie is. In fact, this doll doesn't even have a face.

Ahead of the Curve

Bamboo Baskets: Former Neutrogena Chief Executive Lloyd Cotsen has had a 40-year love affair with Japanese baskets. The retired executive has spent decades and millions of dollars collecting the delicate pieces. Now the public can see them. An exhibition

Comment---Good Ideas Not Enough

Not that too many people noticed, what with anthrax scares and bombing missions, but we lost a pretty big name the other week.

CUTS---Big State, Local Cutbacks Loom

With the state budget in near meltdown mode and government coffers taking huge hits with the fallout from last month's terrorist attacks, a wide array of state and local services from senior assistance to road and highway projects face the prospect of

Security---Secure Business

Area companies are at the nation's front lines of defense against terrorism by making products guarding safety of U.S. populace

Education---Business Campus

Call it enlightened self interest. The real estate arm of Boeing Co. is setting aside a portion of its 5-million-square-foot PacifiCenter @ Long Beach business park to encourage a program to train a high-tech workforce. Though the space allotted to the Ce

HEALTH---Public Agencies in World of Trouble

On any given day, she fields as many as 250 calls at the Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center, which serves a downtown neighborhood with one of the highest rates of uninsured in the state.

Weekly Briefing

Margaret Hughes spent 40 years jet-setting around the world as an American Airlines flight attendant when she accidentally stumbled onto a second career.

Wall Street West---Tragedy Forces New Look at Long-Term Insurance Value

It's not the way one would like to see business surge. But Keith Wagner, a star life-insurance salesman who plies Wall Street's West Coast on behalf of Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, said he's getting unsolicited calls from customers.

L.A. Stories

Komo, the young komodo dragon who made headlines after taking a bite out of the foot of the San Francisco Chronicle's Phil Bronstein during an L.A. Zoo visit arranged by his wife, actress Sharon Stone, has suffered an appendage injury of his own.

CENTER---Fashion Center Changes Raise Hackles

Or at least that's what some tenants at the huge complex in downtown L.A.'s Fashion District are saying.

POWER PLAY---Bid to Put LAUSD in Arco Plaza Triggers Backlash

Sept. 24 Robert Maguire sends first of four letters to LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer asserting that acquisition of 333 S. Beaudry Ave. building would be a bad deal and urging that "other options" be pursued.

Comment---Tech Advantage

Even before the Sept. 11 attacks, the tech downturn had turned ugly in many parts of the country. Little noticed was the relative calm in Southern California, whose tech economy some of us have characterized as the "dogged tortoise" (compared to the "exha

Letters

An October 8 article, "Nursing Home Operator Seeks Bankruptcy," may have left readers with the impression that Fountain View Inc. is controlled by the family of the company's CEO, Robert Snukal. That is untrue.

JOBS---Defense, Finance Engines Drive Ongoing Job Gains

Northrop Grumman Corp. has 400 job openings in Southern California. The City of Los Angeles has 1,000 civilian job openings, plus 1,000 police openings.

LAW---Young Associates Feel the Pinch of Slowing Economy

Lawyers are holding their breath after two firms with L.A. offices laid off several local associates this month.

Do Ambiguous 'War' Aims Signal Strategy or Confusion?

Would it be unbecoming, a week into the war, to ask when it will all be over? Probably so.

SECURITY---Security Concerns More Acute At Pakistani Consulate Building

Security concerns have landlords across the city reassessing preparedness, but at the Avco Center on Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood, the tone has become more urgent.

Cybersense---Hackers' 'Patriotic' Attacks Prove to be Misplaced Acts

Most Americans felt a need to do something anything, really in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

INTERNET---Banner Year?

Anyone who saw AOL Time Warner Inc.'s earnings last week and the market's brutal response knows that Internet advertising is in a Rip Van Winkle slumber.

Favorite Sites

Outside of CNN and all the other news providers, this site has really hit the mark on what's going on on that side of the world. From what I've seen, the news on Saudinews.com has a much more balanced approach. It gives you perspective on how many people

Personal Finance---Market's Resilience a Tribute To Broader American Values

In some ways the stock market's October rally has been more remarkable than its staggering September drop.

COMPETITION---Univision Facing Stiffer Competition After NBC Deal

Univision Communications has long held a comfortable lead in the Spanish-language television market, with a virtual lock on some of the most popular programming out of Latin America.

Media---Satellite Entry to L.A. Could Lead To a Radio Clash

The launch of XM Satellite Radio last week may have been the first step into a brave new world of broadcasting, but it has a few obstacles to overcome before it threatens local broadcasters.

Radio---'I Love Radio'

Don Barrett's lifelong obsession with broadcasting has become a must-see industry Web site

MEAT---Meat Processor Closing, Rising Costs to Blame

One of Vernon's last slaughtering plants will close its operations, laying off more than 350 workers.

ATHLETES---Student Sports Publisher Sold to Marketing Firm

Student Sports Inc., a Torrance-based company publishing the leading high school sports magazine, has been acquired by Silverstar Holdings, a Boca Raton, Fla. holding company that plans to use the publication to help it sell apparel and sports equipment t

Jobs---Tech-Savvy Types Take Over Aerospace Firms

Once the home to assembly line production, the local aerospace market has shifted away from production, particularly aircraft assembly, and evolved into a work force consisting mostly of tech-oriented jobs.

DEVELOPMENT---Inglewood is Site Of Project Plans

Capital Vision Equities is in negotiations with the city of Inglewood to develop a $150 million-plus mixed use project at Century and Crenshaw boulevards.

Jane Applegate---Bakery Franchise Profits From Balance of Work, Play

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, the mood of fear and anxiety has prompted many people to re-evaluate their working lives.

CORPORATE FOCUS---Private Jet, Military Sectors Help Stave Mercury Decline

Mercury Air Group Inc. is flying through the storm created by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the overall national economic downturn. But the news isn't necessarily all bad for the company, which has four airline-affiliated businesses ranging from carg

SECESSION---Valley Secessionists Say LAFCO Plan is Not Final Word

October 1997 Legislation passed and signed into law allowing Valley secessionists to undertake petition drive.

BRANDING---Rebuilding Image Generates Name Game

Just a year ago, search engine GoTo.com Inc. thought enough of its trademark to take on Walt Disney Co. in court, alleging that the logo of the entertainment giant's Go.com Web site was confusingly similar.

John Dorfman---Now Isn't The Time to Shun All International Stocks

America is experiencing a wave of patriotic fervor in response to terrorist attacks. But if your portfolio is too All-American, I would advise making some changes.

IMPORTS---Matters of Import

Core Business: Importing Middle Eastern and Asian furniture and decorative items

POLITICS---Aid Proposed for Businesses Shut By Terror Attacks

Right now, the scores of businesses at LAX and in the travel and tourism industries that are struggling for survival after the Sept. 11 attacks have little recourse in the way of government help.

Monday, October 15

Comment---From Fear To Fed Up

It was lunchtime at a fashionably casual eatery on the Westside when all of a sudden a large truck raced over a speed bump outside, doing no harm other than to make a loud racket.

PROMENADE---Santa Monica Turns Local in Play to Up Flagging Tourism

With Santa Monica's tourism off by as much as 20 percent and business on the Third Street Promenade mall down by up to 40 percent, it's time for drastic measures.

Real Estate---Soboroff Now Must Curry Favor of Mayor He Chided

Had he realized he would become the new head of Playa Vista, Steve Soboroff might have chosen to be a little less prickly toward James Hahn during the mayoral campaign.

TELEVISION---Third Station May Tangle Network Purchase

While duopolies have become increasingly common at a time of media consolidation, NBC's plans to purchase Telemundo Communications Group Inc. would give the General Electric Co.-owned television network three stations in Los Angeles. That could complicate

HOLLYWOOD---East Hollywood Groups Push BIDs

Based on the success of other business improvement districts in the area, groups are pushing for similar zones in East Hollywood and along Sunset Boulevard.

THRIFT---Second-Hand, But Stylish

Core Business: Thrift shop, with proceeds going toward medical care for AIDS patients

MOVIES---Art House Chain Leases Off-Price Theater

The shuttered Fairfax Theatre, for years operated as a bargain house for second-run movies, will reopen next month as the latest in the Laemmle Theatres art-house chain.

HOMES---City Moves Ahead With $100 Million Housing Proposal

L.A. city officials likely will face a budget crunch in the coming months, but that hasn't stopped them from releasing a plan to fill a $100 million fund for affordable housing.

TRUSTEES---Business Referees

Among the hordes of professionals called in to help sort out the affairs of bankrupt companies are a small cadre of lawyers and accountants who make up the panel of private bankruptcy trustees.

Chet Currier---Buying Into Recession Has Benefits, but Remains Risky

Rich rewards usually await investors who work up the nerve to buy stocks or stock mutual funds in recessions.

Jane Applegate---Hard-Driving Clan Breeds Three Successful Generations

- "Any true entrepreneur knows they can't be made they are born. Let your child know that you are extremely supportive of who they are and not what you want them to do for a living." Roxio Chairman Chris Gorog

RADIO---Clear Channel Retreats on DJ Switch After Complaint

The use of an out-of-state disc jockey to replace a laid-off on-air personality at KOST-FM (103.5) sparked a dispute between the station's owner and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which filed an unfair labor practices charge agai

DESSERT---Bakery Acquisition Lands Flight Deal For Mrs. Beasley's

Aiming for a larger piece of the $600 million airline dessert pie, Mrs. Beasley's has purchased Los Angeles-based Ernst Mueller's Fine Baking, which sells pastries to caterers for foreign-based airlines' first-class and business-class seats on flights fro

MAYOR---City Leaders Failing to Heed Call to Action

Faced with their worst economic crisis since the 1994 Northridge earthquake, L.A. city officials have been slow to respond to the needs of businesses devastated from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

POWERHOUSE---Where Sinking Ships Dock

An investor group this week will submit a $1.3 billion reorganization plan that, if approved as expected, will give it ownership control of Loews Cineplex Entertainment Corp., the second-largest theater chain in the world.

L.A. Stories

For passengers struggling to get to remote public parking lots B and C near LAX, the signs seemed innocuous enough: "Lot B" or "Lot C Customers Welcome. Shuttles Every 5 Minutes."

Ahead of the Curve

Ol' Orpheum: The 75-year-old Orpheum Theatre in downtown L.A., which has been closed for most of this year, recently has been renovated to its former splendor. To celebrate, the Los Angeles Conservancy is holding a gala dance benefit on Oct. 20 inside th

UNION---Outsider's Firm Grip Takes Hold of SAG

A month after taking the operational helm of the Screen Actors Guild, A. Robert Pisano has started chipping away at an entrenched and fractious corporate culture.

HILTON---Hilton Chief Insists Hotel Chain Remains Sound Amid Downturn

Normally Stephen F. Bollenbach, the 59-year-old chief executive of Hilton Hotels Corp., keeps a low profile. On any given day, he works in his office, tucked away in a non-descript building on a Beverly Hills side street. Or he is somewhere around the wor

JURORS---Terror Attacks Raising New Issues for Trial Consultants

Employment discrimination attorney Lee Feldman was supposed to have a case go to trial on Sept. 17, but his client is Egyptian and he believed that anti-Arabic sentiment could hurt him. So he got the case postponed.

CORPORATE FOCUS---Maker of Medical Test Kits Registering Healthy Results

Health care is not always a sure bet these days, but the success at Diagnostic Products Corp. is evidence that a niche company can defy a down market.

VIRUS---Costs of Virulent Computer Bug Continue to Accumulate

After running his staff ragged for nearly two weeks chasing the Nimda worm that slowed many businesses to a crawl, Brett McAllister could finally start to plan ahead.

WHO'S WHO---White Knights in Pinstripe Suits

Massive debt, restive creditors create opportunity for crop of top lawyers, investment bankers and consultants

Weekly Briefing

Joe Blitman and Kevin Mulligan spent eight years making a combined $50,000 to $70,000 annually writing screenplays and treatments that never found their way onto a screen. When the two received a coffee-table book on Barbie dolls as a joke Christmas prese

Fighting Terrorism With Pork-Barrel Politics

Even before the bombs began falling, it had become a clich & #233; to note that "everything had changed" that our political priorities in particular had been forever re-ordered by the attacks of Sept. 11. What's remarkable to those of us who follow every yip a

Employee Benefit Consultants

Employee Benefit Consultants

LAWSUIT---EEOC Alleges Beverly Hilton Discrimination

When the economy showed signs of souring in early spring, the club shut its doors. It was expected to re-open in the fall, but with tourism off even more dramatically after Sept. 11, the club has been closed indefinitely.

Crisis Spawns New Opportunities for Los Angeles Area

In the weeks since Sept. 11, one recurring theme has been the idea that the "new economy" is being replaced with a new "warfare" economy. This mantra sees a return to the 1940s kind of economic culture, with an emphasis on corporate and national loyalty,

LABJ Forum---On the Question of Fear

It's official, we've taken the war to them. While the United States was at war in the Middle East no less than a decade ago, most Americans feel it's different this time. The war started here, at home, and the enemy has sworn to continue strikes on Americ

AIRLINES---Pilots Claim Safety Concerns Led to Their Dismissal by Hong Kong Airline

Safety and security may be a top priority in the travel industry right now, but nine former Cathay Pacific Airways pilots are saying it certainly wasn't the case a few months ago.

POLITICS---Tight Battle Taking Shape for Wachs' Old Council Seat

One of the hottest council races in recent memory is shaping up to replace 30-year L.A. City Council veteran Joel Wachs, who left last month to head the Andy Warhol Foundation in New York.

FASHION---Back To Basics

With the fashion-forward set not wanting to appear insensitive to the public mood, glamour is out and subdued blacks and patriotic colors are the order of the day

Wall Street West---Financiers Change Roles as Way of Surviving Downturn

Local shops aren't immune to the broader slowdown in investment banking and corporate finance activity. In September, there were no initial public offerings of stock anywhere in the country, let alone in Southern California. Bond deals are less common too

Entrepreneur's Notebook---Growth in Time of Cost Cutting Relies on Creative Strategy

Striking the right combination of cost-cutting and growth strategies is key to the long-term success of your business. If you don't control expenditures and operate as efficiently as possible, your bottom line will be lower than it could be. But if you cu

Media---Telemundo Cuts Jobs in Aftermath Of Terror Attacks

Telemundo Communications Group Inc. has laid off 17 employees at its two Los Angeles stations, KVEA-TV Channel 52 and KWHY-TV Channel 22.

REBIRTH---Learning Lessons

The economy was surging, airplanes were jammed, and Fields Aircraft Spares Inc. was flying high. A perfect time, it seemed, for the distributor of aircraft parts to expand.

Roving Eye

Marilyn Monroe ate there. So did Clark Gable. W.C. Fields was a visitor as well as Ernest Hemingway.

Newsmakers---Newsroom Vitality Lures NBC Executive

Sept. 11 brought Kimberly Godwin back to her roots. The newly hired vice president and news director for KNBC (Channel 4), Godwin was working in an NBC corporate job in Atlanta when terrorists struck the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Originally from Qu

Mitch Albom---Battle Must be Joined as Surely as Peace

I knew all the slogans. I knew all the songs. Like a lot of kids in the '60s, I was drawing peace signs long before I was eligible for Vietnam.

INTERVIEW---Special Agent

Education: B.A. in criminal justice at University of Illinois; master's in public administration at Illinois Institute of Technology

HEALTH---Independence Days

Barbara Collins once was the epitome of an independent woman. During the 1950s, she was one of just a handful of cross-country female truck drivers plying the country's roads.

TOWER---Developer Petitions to Build Wilshire/Barrington Highrise

Developer Roy McNeill has petitioned the city to build what could be the final high-rise office building on the Westside.

SECURITY---Being Safe, Sorry

Los Angeles, perfector of road rage, is stuck in a bind. Forget LAX, with its two- to three-hour pre-boarding waits. The security crawl has now hit every corner of town, from office buildings to movie studios to government offices and courthouses.

MERGERS---Corporate Giants Mining L.A. For Middle-Market Companies

Local merger activity slowed further during the third quarter ended Sept. 30, but more corporate giants are becoming active buyers of L.A.-area companies, according to data analyzed for the Business Journal by Mergerstat LP, a Los Angeles-based research f

Monday, October 8

Post-Attack Fear Factor Is Making Air Travel a Breeze

Ten billion dollars is a generous estimate of the property damage done by last month's terrorist attacks. Since Sept. 11, the U.S. stock market has lost more than a half-trillion dollars in value. The difference between the two numbers is one measure of t

LAYOFFS---Low Pay to No Pay

This past summer, 34-year-old Rosalba Becerra left El Pollo Loco for a cashier's job in a California Pizza Kitchen outlet inside Los Angeles International Airport. The job paid $7.22 an hour not a fortune, but it offered Becerra, a single mom with three

Mitch Albom---New Airport Purgatory Doesn't Feel Safer

It was still dark outside as I stepped into the cab. When we reached the airport, the curbside area was deserted. As I paid the driver, I swear I heard crickets.

Bush Shouldn't Be 'Misunderestimated'

No matter how strenuously they claim to be "men of action," presidents more often define themselves by the words they use or misuse, as in the case of George W. Bush.

MARKETS---Slow Recovery by L.A.'s Largest Public Companies Pushes Index

Led by shares of its two largest companies, Walt Disney Co. and Amgen Inc., the LABJ 200 Stock Index far outgained the broader indexes last week.

OFFICES---New Work Issues Drive Businesses To Seek Counsel

Labor and employment attorneys have been in the spotlight since the Sept. 11 attacks as they try to advise companies on how to handle sweeping changes in the workplace over the next few months.

LANGUAGE---Translating Into Profits

Goal: To set up a back-up phone bank in Tucson, Ariz., by December and expand the overall operation into Europe by late 2002.

Media---Rosendahl Takes Another Position With Cable Firm

Adelphia Communications has reshuffled its local management team, taking talk show host Bill Rosendahl from his post as regional vice president and placing him in charge of the cable firm's political affairs.

MEDICAL---Three Local Hospitals Bolt Struggling Catholic System

During the 1990s, Catholic Healthcare West rapidly expanded to nearly 50 facilities, making it the largest Catholic hospital system in the western U.S., and with eight facilities locally, the largest not-for-profit system in L.A. County.

Jane Applegate---Striking Balance Between Opportunity, Responsibility

Business owners across the United States are quickly changing gears to meet the demand for patriotic products as the country continues to heal and express its deep feelings for the American way of life.

BURGERS---There's Magic in a Name: And It's Fatburger

When Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the retired Laker and 12-time NBA All-Star, announced last week that he was leading a group of investors in the purchase of the 47-unit Fatburger Corp., his strategy was simple: take advantage of a well known name.

INSURANCE---Trade Center Losses Mean Higher Insurance Premiums

Before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Lowe Enterprises Inc., a Los Angeles based property management company, was facing a 28 percent hike in its property insurance. Following the attacks, which could cost the insurance industry as much as $70 billion, a

POLITICS---Hahn Gets Back Into Swing With Economic Task Force

L.A. Mayor James Hahn, who was caught in Washington for several days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and could not oversee the initial local response, has been moving quickly to make up for lost time.

My Favorite Sites

This site has everything you want to know about soundproofing. My 12-year-old son is a drummer and I was trying to cut down on the noise. The site has things you would never know exist like soundproofing tape that you can put on drywall joints. There are

LABJ Forum---What Else Is New?

Since Sept. 11, it's been hard to focus on any news events other than those related to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Still, life has continued and many important news events, such as a particularly devilish computer virus,

HOTELS---Despite Downturn, Developers Push for Hotel Project

Build a huge convention hotel now? With half the hotel rooms in downtown L.A. sitting empty and conventions being canceled left and right in the wake of the terrorist attacks?

Cybersense---Web Site Keeping Sense of Humor Throughout Tragedy

Leno and Letterman couldn't do it. Bill Maher tried but failed. "Saturday Night Live" didn't dare. And the talented comedians who appeared on a live, all-star telethon didn't even bother.

Personal Finance---Investment Club Participants See Long-Term Opportunity

The ups and downs of the stock market present teachable moments for investors. And what better way to learn how to handle the seesawing securities market than to join or start an investment club?

Real Estate Column---Bucking Hotel Woes, Investor Targets Downtown Site

Downtown L.A. Motors owner Nick Shammas is mulling a proposal that would see a 200-room hotel rise on his site in the 3000 block of South Figueroa Street.

CONVENTIONS---Hotels Scrambling To Recoup Missed Trade Conventions

Local hotel operators, still reeling from the convention business lost in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, are scrambling to reschedule events, reduce room rates, provide free massages anything to draw customers.

FIGHTER---Commercial Jets in Decline, Fighters Key for Contractor

Other components: Classified radar and sensors, as well as mounted internal 27-millimeter guns

LAYOFFS---Impending Spate of Corporate Layoffs Spurs Legal Rush

The sudden worsening of the economy since last month's terrorist attacks has forced some companies to make difficult and often hasty decisions about laying off large numbers of people at once.

INTERVIEW---Tracking Terrorism

Education: Bachelor's degree in government from Smith College, J.D from Harvard Law School.

Ahead of the Curve

Flower Drum Song: The Mark Taper Forum is presenting a revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's unforgettable musical "Flower Drum Song." It runs through Dec. 2. The musical premieres a new book written by Tony Award-winning playwright David Hwang, who wrote

Wall Street West---Stock, Bondholders Flee as Global Crossing Struggles

Investors have very little tolerance for uncertainty in today's capital markets, and they demonstrated that in spades last week by dumping the stock and bonds of Global Crossing Ltd.

Weekly Briefing

After six years as a location scout, casting agent and production manager, Sal Rovero had had enough of Hollywood. So he left the industry to sell cowboy hats and other western attire to the Latino community from his father's three stores in Boyle Heights

HOMES---Housing Foretells Economic Worries

Steve Swanger and his real estate agent, Leo Nordine, thought they had succeeded in selling Swanger's house in Hyde Park, just east of Inglewood, for $245,000. The deal seemed all but certain, but then the dreaded letter arrived the buyer wants $22,000

EDISON---Fears of Continued High Rates Dog Edison, State Settlement

For City of Industry meat processor Frank Pocino, last week's settlement between Southern California Edison and state regulators aimed at keeping the utility out of bankruptcy confirmed his worst fears.

Entrepreneur's Notebook---Engaging Employees After Tragedy Can Blunt Effects

The recent attacks on New York and Washington have had a severe impact on our nation's psyche and left many of us feeling hurt, vulnerable and fearful. This was a traumatic event and it touched all of us, and there may be many different kinds of responses

Roving Eye

At Star Shoes, a trendy Hollywood shoe retailer, you can get a pair of sling-back sandals or order a Singapore sling.

ECONOMY---L.A. Projected to Fare Better Than Some Other U.S. Cities

While the evidence remains fragmentary, there are signs that L.A.'s overall economy will be able to weather the recession better than many other regions of the country.

ELDERLY---Nursing Home Operator Seeks Bankruptcy

Fountain View Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week, a move that will allow the troubled nursing-home operator to continue operating despite a mountain of debt and a lien placed on its bank accounts.

PROJECTS---Fast-Tracking Public Works Urged as Economic Stimulus

In an effort to kick-start the stalling regional economy in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks, the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. wants to speed up completion of several public works projects, including the $700 million Los Angeles

LUXURY---Brakes Hit High-End Homes As Buyers Grow More Wary

After years of vigorous growth, the fat times are coming to an end in the Los Angeles luxury housing market, as buyers become increasingly cautious in response to the weakening national economy.

PARTIES---Holiday Cheer Seen Dampened As Business Slows, War Looms

The holiday party season, which is a traditional economic boon for local restaurants, hotels and catering companies, may turn out to be nearly a bust this year.

NEWSPAPER---Investor's Business Daily Plans Expansion

Throughout its 17-year history, Investor's Business Daily has always stood out from the crowd whether it's the greatly enhanced (and much imitated) stock tables or a news package that includes folksy bits of feel-good financial advice.

LAWSUIT---Primedia Accused In Options Dispute

A federal lawsuit filed in Los Angeles against Primedia Inc. alleges that the New York-based media conglomerate defrauded at least 1,000 to 1,500 employees out of their converted shares and bonuses.

Hollywood's Turnabout

Remember all that talk after Sept. 11 about Hollywood reassessing its emphasis on violent fare? Remember all those indecisive studio executives not knowing whether the movie-going public would stand for psychopaths and mayhem? Remember how those of us rep

Chet Currier---Market Churns Raise Stakes of Dollar Cost Averaging

In turbulent markets the ancient investment strategy known as dollar cost averaging really gets a chance to show what it can do.

PRESERVATION---Peeling Back History

Gilmore Associates has spent two years restoring the Bank of Hollywood Building at Hollywood and Vine to its original splendor. In the process preservationists have uncovered some unexpected architectural wonders

L.A. Stories

Lavish praise was heaped on the Hollywood celebs who answered phones during the "America: A Tribute to Heroes" telethon, which raised $150 million for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

FREIGHT---Problems With Freight Distribution Begin to Level Off

Normalcy appears to be returning to L.A.'s massive freight and distribution network or at least as normal as it's likely to be for a while.

STOCKS---Genesis Owner Loses Big With Firm's Stock

Consider Rami El-Batrawi, founder and chairman of GenesisIntermedia Inc., the Van Nuys consumer marketing and advertising firm.

CORPORATE FOCUS---Refinancing Boom Giving Huge Boost to Countrywide

Before Sept. 11, the holding company behind Countrywide Home Loans already was cashing in on an increase in refinancing activity resulting in a 64 percent increase in net income for its second quarter, which ended Aug. 31.

HOSPITALS---Reproductive Issues Surface in Tenet Takeover

When Tenet Healthcare Corp. sought to acquire Queen of Angels-Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center three years ago little was said about Tenet's pledge to continue operating the facility under the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, which prohibit ab

Newsmakers---Music Center Official to Gain Wider Role

When the Walt Disney Concert Hall is finished in fall 2003, Catherine Babcock will be the one to talk about it. The newly appointed director of marketing and communications at the Music Center, Babcock is responsible for guiding a communications and marke

MOVIES---AMC Bucks Trend, Revives Burbank Expansion

AMC Entertainment Inc. has revived plans to bring a 16-screen cineplex to downtown Burbank as it moves out of the retrenchment mode that the industry has been facing for more than a year.

Tuesday, October 2

Best Selling Autos

Best Selling Autos

Monday, October 1

Newsmakers---Challenges Abound for Hotel Sales Head

When Joni Simpkins was hired as director of sales and marketing for the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites, all she had to worry about was the prospect of a slumping economy and a decline in corporate travel. Then Sept. 11 rolled around.

CASH---Fearing Bankruptcy, Firms Rush to Fix Business Plans

When it comes to small businesses, cash flow is king. Without cash, rents don't get paid, payrolls can't be met, lights get shut off sometimes for good.

Country's Divisions, Once So Clear, Are Blurred by Attack

There are, as we know, only two kinds of people in the world: those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't. This is especially true among the chin-pullers and pulse-takers of Washington's chattering class, who for the past year

CORPORATE FOCUS---War Footing Seen Adding to Climb in Northrop's Shares

For the past year and a half, Northrop Grumman Corp.'s stock has zigged while the rest of the market has zagged. At no time was this more evident than during the week of the markets' Sept. 17 reopening.

COPING---Law Firm Feels Effects of N.Y. Tragedy

Hansell is managing partner of the Los Angeles office of LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae LLP, where 50 people work for the New York-based law firm. Since the day of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, he and other local partners have been sortin

LABJ Forum---Giving Aid to Airlines?

Most every sector of the economy, in one way or another, has been affected by the terrorist attacks. The local and national economies are sinking into recession, and many businesses are suffering all-time lows in activity. Against that backdrop, the feder

APPAREL---Disruptions Putting Squeeze On Smaller Apparel Makers

A stream of worried apparel manufacturers has been lining up to talk to Bruce Berton at his Santa Monica office.

L.A. Stories

Like his larger brethren in the commercial airline business, Andre Hutchings, co-owner of Los Angeles Helicopter, has seen his business decimated by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Unlike the major carriers, though, Hutchings can't expect an emergency aid

INTERVIEW---Civil Action

Education: Bachelor's degree in political science, Hunter College, New York; honorary doctorate of law, West Los Angeles School of Law.

RELAX---Style Release Valves

A number of nearby spas and resorts cater to a weary populace desperately in need of a getaway but worried about air travel just be aware that freedom comes at a cost

GRIDLOCK---Bridge's Delay to Bring Gridlock at Intersection

The $2.4 billion Alameda Corridor has long been touted as the solution to massive traffic congestion caused by trains crossing over south Los Angeles County roads to and from the ports.

CHURCH---Of Highest Design

Goal: Increase revenues to $10 million in the next five years and sell the company

CHEMICALS---Hazardous Materials Distribution Sees Security Increase

It's not a good time to be getting into the hazardous materials business. While increased federal presence is something many businesses will have to get used to, there is a heightened sense of awareness among the companies themselves, particularly those

Real Estate Brokerages

Real Estate Brokerages

Chet Currier---Patriotic Purchases Can't Replace Wisdom of Diversity

Since the terrorist assaults of Sept. 11, the financial markets have seen an outpouring of feeling directed straight at the elemental acts of buying and selling.

CITIES---Municipalities Bracing for Post-Attack Revenue Crunch

Long before Sept. 11, local governments throughout L.A. County were eyeing the slowing economy and preparing to tighten their belts a bit. But in the wake of the terrorist attacks, the economic slowdown has accelerated and some local governments now face

DISNEY---Stock Slide Could Make Disney Rethink Purchase of Fox Family

Walt Disney Co. was a forlorn kingdom the other week, with sparse attendance at its parks, a 24 percent decline in its stock price and the sell-off by a once-staunch shareholder in the aftermath of terrorist attacks.

IMMIGRATION---Labor Facing New Challenges in Bid For Alien Amnesty

Prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, labor leader Eliseo Medina had planned to fly to the Caribbean in an effort to expand a growing movement to obtain amnesty for illegal aliens beyond its Latino base.

HOLLYWOOD---Hollywood Giving Stirs Questions of Local Involvement

Nowhere has the national outpouring of charity following the Jan. 11 terrorist attacks been more pronounced than in Hollywood, where big stars and big business have either contributed or helped to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for relief efforts.

Roving Eye

With the wave of national pride that rose in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, local costume shop owners are expecting to rent and sell more patriotic outfits this Halloween season.

Ahead of the Curve

Billionaire Art: Major works from the private collection of Eli Broad go on display at Los Angeles County Museum of Art from Oct. 7 to Jan. 6. The collection spans four decades of artwork, from Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons. It is the first large-scale exhib

PUBLISHING---Business Focus for New Reporter Regime

Howard Burns was promoted to the position of editor of the Hollywood Reporter on Sept. 17 following a lengthy search brought on by the resignation of Anita Busch. Burns, 42, has served in a variety of editorial roles since joining the trade paper 13 years

DONATIONS---Charities Worry As Cash Floods Into New York

L.A.-area charities are bracing for a serious downturn in donations during the fourth quarter, traditionally their most productive period, because contributors have become so focused on supporting victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks back East.

HOCKEY---Digital Marketing Tools Help Kings' Ticket Sales

For the Los Angeles Kings, a little technology could be the key to selling a lot of seats.

DEAL---Events Cloud Deal for Hughes

A more than 20 percent decline in El Segundo-based Hughes Electronics Corp.'s share price in the wake of last month's terrorist attacks has thrown its pending sale into uncertainty.

Our View---Hitting the Right Note

Any calamity that involves lost lives and newfound fears is certain to cause over-reaction, and three weeks after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, there are plenty of examples.

Real Estate---Charm and High Tech Converge in Union Oil Building

At $2 per square foot and featuring what building officials call the most state-of-the-art technical systems downtown, 617 W. Seventh St. is ready for tenants.

RETAIL---Changing Climate Will Test Hollywood/Highland Debut

Paseo Colorado, Pasadena: TrizecHahn Development; $135 million mixture of retail, office, restaurant, entertainment and residential; opened Sept. 28.

Wall Street West---Traders Seek Signs of Hope As Markets Try to Rebound

There was a nearly palpable sense in Los Angeles last week of blood returning into the veins of investors and financial markets.

TOPANGA---Shops Put in Peril From Expansion of Park

Having survived fires, floods and El Nino, a handful of lower Topanga Canyon businesses are in for the fight of their lives.

ACTIVE---Tiny Fringe Company Sees Frenzied Trading of Stock

Toiling away at the fringes of public stock markets are dozens of L.A. companies whose stock prices are measured in pennies and whose business plans often contain a dollop of fancy.

PROTECTION---High-Caliber Response

After learning about the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, Michele, a 48-year-old mother of two, did something she had never done before. She bought a gun.

CHAMBER---Chamber Chooses New Top Official

The L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce last week tapped Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive Russell "Rusty" Hammer as its new president and chief executive.The hiring comes at a crucial time for the chamber. Eight months a

ECONOMY---Layoffs Mounting as Recession Hits Town

Pink slips are beginning to pile up all over Los Angeles. Just within the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union, Senior Analyst David Koff lays out the numbers:

Weekly Briefing

Regis Graden's career as a letterpress printer originated in a dingy alleyway he took as a short cut walking to school in Gary, Ind. One day, at the age of 12, he found a discarded rubber stamp and became fascinated with the reverse lettering and how he c

RESTAURANT---Bernard's at Biltmore Falls Prey to Economy

Struggling under the faltering economy, the owners of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel have shuttered Bernard's, a gourmet fixture on the downtown restaurant scene for nearly three decades.

FATE---Decision to Take Red Eye Saves Owner of Valley Grief Institute

When the number of calls for help to the Sherman Oaks-based Grief Recovery Institute tripled immediately following the terrorist attacks, co-founder John James was almost not available to answer the phone.

Media---Publisher Leaves Weeklies to Form Consulting Firm

Judy Jablonski will step down as publisher of the LA Weekly and OC Weekly on Dec. 14 to open a local media and consulting firm. "It's just time to dream some new dreams," she said.

Letters---New Strategy to Fight Fires

The commentary presented in "Office Towers Already Solid as Can Be" (Sept. 17) misses the point save for one. Mr. Youssef's comment that "there is no reasonable or financially feasible way to defend every building from this type of event" is the appropria

SUIT---Suit Targets Cities Over Cameras at Stop Lights

A recent state court ruling on red light camera enforcement has sparked a lawsuit against the cities of Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and West Hollywood concerning their ticketing programs.

FASHION---Fashion Industry on Its Way to L.A. for Market Week

While New York had to cancel its annual Fashion Week in September because of the terrorist attacks, L.A. plans to go ahead with its Market Week Oct. 8 to 11 showcasing the spring collections of local manufacturers of junior apparel, contemporary wear and

Leonard Pitts---Their Hate, Not U.S. Guilt, Spurred Attack

The events of Sept. 11 did not happen because we did something wrong. Or because we somehow "deserved"them.

FORUM---Where We Go From Here?

L.A. Panelists sound a general note of optImism in assessing attack's impact

Jane Bryant Quinn---Consumers Must Have Plan During Post-Disaster Period

Shocked investors did almost nothing with their money in the week following the terrorist attack, as stock markets collapsed and the economic outlook worsened. Before the World Trade Center disaster, it seemed plausible that the country might skirt a rece

POLITICS---Terror Attacks May Put Hitch In Riordan Bid for Governor

Former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan seems poised to run for the Republican nomination for governor. But with the political climate changing substantially since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, incumbents like Gov. Gray Davis might have an even greater advant