Stories for July 2002

Monday, July 29

Perry Seeks Limits On Proliferation of Fast Food Outlets

POLITICS by Howard Fine

Beacon Close to Winning Bid for Purchase of BP Plaza

Real Estate by Danny King

My Favorite Sites

Favorite Webs Sites of Robert Skousen, Chief Executive, by Skousen & Skousen

Brokers Look for Greener Pastures In Office Shuffle

The commercial real estate brokerage business, coming off two boom years, has started to churn at unprecedented levels.

NEWSMAKERS

People in the News, on the Move. Plus: Planner Finds Need for Financial Advice

Deal Paves Way for Sale of National Golf

Deal Paves Way for Sale of National Golf

Robust Home Sales Spur Gain in County Tax Rolls

Fueled by a hot residential real estate market, property tax rolls in L.A. County rose 6.2 percent last year over 2000 levels, providing a much-needed dose of good news for cash-strapped local governments.

Comment: Not Rich, Not Poor

Commentary by Mark Lacter

Xdrive Files Chapter 11; GeoCities Founder Makes Bid

Xdrive Technologies Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with a prepackaged plan to be acquired by one of its former board members, David Bohnett, pending Bankruptcy Court approval.

Absorbing Lesson from Japan, Greenspan Slow to Trim Rates

Opinion by William Pesek, columnist with Bloom-berg News.

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly columns

LABJ Forum: Time to Take a Deep Breath

At a time when the stock market has been a rather unfriendly place, it's difficult to know just what to do watch as your holdings dwindle with the hope they'll come back in the future or take a bold step and make some changes to your investments? So the

"Colorblind" Privacy Plan Distorts Real California

Opinion by Leonard Pitts, columnist for the Miami Herald.

Business Groups Say Proposed Tax Changes Fall Short

More than a year after he took office promising an overhaul of the city's business tax code, L.A. Mayor James Hahn is scheduled this week to release his blueprint for business tax reform.

Panic Gone, New ICN Team Finds Finances in Disarray

With the controversial Milan Panic gone, the new management of Orange County's ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. must pick up the tattered pieces, which include a second-quarter earnings warning and a projected sales shortfall. Plus: Watch Those Dividend Yields

TV Commentator Horowitz Takes on One-Time Partners

LAW by Amanda Bronstad

KFWB Anchor Kilgore Heads To Wall Street Journal Network

Media by Claudia Peschiutta

Options Debate Splits Old, New Economy Firms

THE EXECUTIVE PAY CRISIS - Big Bucks, Mixed Results

Port Moves Herald Shift Toward Further Automation

The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are scheduled to play musical terminals next month

Cities Unite in Suit to Overturn L.A. River Trash Law

A coalition of 22 L.A. County cities is seeking to overturn Environmental Protection Agency regulations requiring them to keep litter and trash out of the Los Angeles River.

Vans Skates Out of Partnership For Latin American Shoe Sales

Retail by Deborah Belgum

Well-Paid L.A. CEOs Lag Top National Chiefs

THE EXECUTIVE PAY CRISIS - Big Bucks, Mixed Results

Review & Preview

Earnings Reports; Earnings Updates; Misc. news and more

Veteran Broker Sees Values, Need for Patience in Slump

Wall Street West by Benjamin Mark Cole

Deals Shore Up Stamps.com Amid Wild Market

Shares of Stamps.com have been buoyed by two major announcements, although the Santa Monica-based company continues to lose money.

Passing the Torch in Family Business Can Be Seamless

Entrepreneur's Notebook by Ernest A. Doud

Monday, July 22

NEWSMAKERS

Trade Show Veteran Markets Conventions

Secession Effort Petering Out, Campaign Shifts to Valley Voters

Nov. 5 ballot measure for San Fernando Valley secession appears headed for defeat at the polls, but it could turn out to be a hollow victory for L.A. Mayor James Hahn and the anti-secession forces.

Hiring at L.A. Chamber Puts Renewed Emphasis on Policy and Government

POLITICS by Howard Fine; The L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, long criticized for not having a significant enough presence in the corridors of government power, has boosted its public policy staff.

Dealmaking at a Crawl as Businesses Stay on Sidelines

Real Estate Quarterly North County

Build-Up of Demand Gives Boost to Industrial Activity

Real Estate Quarterly Inland Empire

Review & Preview

Summaries of week's misc. news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

Refinance Boom Fuels Real Estate Rush by Countrywide

Countrywide Credit Industries Inc., flush from the recent spate of residential refinancings and anticipating further growth in mortgage servicing operations, has been on a real estate buying spree.

Low Interest Rates Spurring A Frenzy for Industrial Sites

Real Estate Quarterly Mid-Cities

Executive Summary / The Pacesetter

Summaries of this week's List - Commercial & Industrial contractors Ranked by 2001 billings for work performed in L.A. County

Veteran Trader Finds Clients Warming Up to Bond Buys

Wall Street West by Benjamin Mark Cole

Global Creditors In Costly Bind as Bids Disappoint

Bids submitted in the bankruptcy court auction of Global Crossing Ltd. have fallen far short of creditors' hopes, raising the unwanted specter of a go-it-alone strategy for the money-losing telecommunications concern.

Mexican Music Station Regains Some Ratings Ground

Also: Morning Anchor Looking at Options

11-Year-Old Says Warner Bros. Kept Contest Winnings

Also: Judge Rejects Bulk of Idealab Suit, Refiling Expected

My Favorite Sites

Favorite websites of Denny Lanfear, Chief Executive, Toxweb

Office, Industrial Vacancies Inch Upward, Relief Distant

Real Estate Quarterly Ventura County

Comment: No Legislation For Earnings

Commentary by Mark Lacter, editor

LABJ Forum: Half-Empty vs. Half-Full

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 200 points one morning, only to climb 100 in the afternoon. Earnings are falling shy of projections, chief executives face indictment and even good news is met with a shrug. Given all the volatility, the Business

Deals Rare as Market Owns Area's Highest Vacancy Rate

Real Estate Quarterly South Bay

Flurry of Lease Deals Gives Boost to Lackluster Market

Real Estate Quarterly Tri-Cities

Activity Way Up as Market Outpaces Much of County

Real Estate Quarterly San Gabriel Valley

Slow Market Gives Tenants Upper Hand in Negotiations

Real Estate Quarterly Westside

Small Business: Mix and Match

Brothers Derek and Greg Banton, South African emigres, have turned a feel for fashion into a thriving business capitalizing on others' rejected clothes.

Investment Activity Climbs As Leasing Comes to a Halt

Real Estate Quarterly Hollywood

Strength of East Side Lifting Struggling Leasing Market

Real Estate Quarterly Wilshire Corridor

Absorption Fails to Put Dent In Area Saddled With Space

Real Estate Quarterly San Fernando Valley

Monday, July 15

Kickback Allegations Highlight Gray Area For Title Companies

A Long Beach title company faces $2.3 million in fines and the possible loss of its license after state insurance regulators accused it of giving kickbacks to real estate agents.

Executive Summary / The Pacesetter

Summaries of this week's List - Largest private employers Ranked by number of employees in L.A. County

Spinosa Striving to Preserve the Union

James Spinosa is anything but a neophyte when it comes to negotiating contracts with the Pacific Maritime Association.

Semiconductor Maker Quiet After Analyst Downgrading

Corporate Focus by Anthony Palazzo

Hurry Up and Wait for Massive Public Projects

LAX: Is There A Quicker Fix? If recent history is any guide, massive public works projects on the order of the LAX overhaul face years or even decades of delays before they are completed if they get finished at all.

LABJ Forum: CEOs' Lender of First Resort

As part of his plan to crack down on corporate America, President Bush last week called on corporate boards to curb company loans to executives. The request came after disclosures that several companies either in or near bankruptcy had granted lavish loan

Saddled With Debt, Comdex Operator Looks for Way Out

Wall Street West by Benjamin Mark Cole

Pharmacists Warn Medi-Cal Cutback Might Be Ruinous

Health Care by Laurence Darmiento

Making Time for Strategic Planning Worth the Trouble

Entrepreneur's Notebook - Evon G. Rosen

Dwarfed by Mega-Deal, Other Warner Properties Sold

Real Estate by Danny King

Review & Preview

Weekly Column - review of week's news; preview of upcoming stories.

Warner Bros. Sued Over Liberal Use of "Superman" Footage

A dispute over rights to the DVD versions of several "Superman" features has led to a legal tussle between the movies' British licensor and its U.S. distributor, Warner Bros.

LAX: Is There A Quicker Fix? $9.6 Billion Hahn Plan Too Large, Some Say

Perhaps L.A. Mayor James Hahn's $9.6 billion plan to overhaul Los Angeles International Airport can be completed in most of our lifetimes. But for anyone over 50, it might be touch and go.

Mossimo and Cherokee in Battle Over Finders-Fees

Struggling designer Mossimo Giannulli struck a licensing deal with Target Corp. two years ago that arguably saved his company, Mossimo Inc., from bankruptcy.

Insider Selling Soars in L.A.'s Hottest Sectors

Others may be suffering, but insiders at L.A.'s largest companies are still living in Fat City. Despite declines in the broader markets and the values of local companies during the past year, local executives have continued to sell, and to spend the proce

Butting Heads: Miniace Takes Harder Line for Shippers

After witnessing what he described as union-staged work slowdowns Pacific Maritime Association President Joseph Miniace took a hard-line stance this year that the ship companies he represents have been looking for.

New Times Business Editor Planning Minor Changes

Media by Claudia Peschiutta

Comment: Lots of Noise, Little Action

Commentary by Mark Lacter

People Interview: Learning Curves

Carrying a new contract and the lessons of his first two years, LAUSD Superintendent Roy Romer faces new hurdles in building, improving schools

Tower Emulating Indie Stores With New Pug'z Brand

Retail by Deborah Belgum

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns - Don't mess with my SUV; Spam cooking contest? Maximizing Your Sex Appeal; Paul Newman and Tom Hanks in the "Road to Perdition"; For Lakers' coach Phil Jackson it's all about hair.

Top Cop Hopefuls Denote Growing Latino Clout

Opinion by Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author and columnist

Newsmakers

People in the news, on the move

Monday, July 8

Stubborn Holdout Finally Relenting For the Cell of It

Op/Ed by Leonard Pitts, columnist for the Miami Herald.

Exotic Drums Playing Well for Percussionist

Weekly Briefing

Newly Formed Coastal Commission Facing Priority Test

Private: Decision on Mailbu Coastal Plan, including public access, is due this week.

Diversity Softens L.A. Fallout

Taking Stock of Corporate Troubles; Entire floors of downtown offices are being abandoned. Vendors looking to get paid are now stuck in bankruptcy court. Investors face stunning losses from failed companies. Customers are jumping ship, or at least conside

Tussle in Garment District

Kennedy and Trammel Crow Clans Vie for L.A. Supremacy; A war for business at the California Market Center, left, and the L.A. Mart has heated up as the two sides recruit tenants to set up shop at the massive showrooms.

Cargo Flowing as Port Labor Talks Go Past Deadline

Jack Suite recalls that during contentious contract talks with West Coast dockworkers in 1999, recorded messages at the dispatch hall for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach advised union members to take it easy.

Letting Logic, Not Panic, Guide Your Public Speaking

Entrepreneur's Notebook by Lawrence M. Kohn & Robert N. Kohn

Dr. Seuss Acquisition Is Start of New Path For Family Producer

Dr. Seuss Acquisition Is Start of New Path For Family Producer

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns

Help for County Budget Ills Seen in Outpatient Care

Every day, cardiologists at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center face a dilemma that exemplifies the county's troubles in trying to close a widening gap in its $2.9 billion health department budget.

Northrop Deal for TRW Makes Sense, for Now

Kresa Pays High Price To Buy Defense Rival; Northrop Grumman Corp. stretched, but didn't break, in paying top dollar for TRW Inc., the prized final piece of the defense-industry superpower that Chairman and Chief Executive Kent Kresa has been assembling

Executive Summary / The Pacesetter

Summaries of this week's List - Property/Casualty Insurers, Ranked by 2001 direct statewide property/casualty premiums written.

Surviving a Cruel World

Comment by Mark Lacter

My Favorite Sites

Favorite websites of Bob Brisco, Chief Executive, Carsdirect.com

L.A. Retail Appeal Ebbs as Vacancies Creep Up in 2002

Retail by Deborah Belgum

Employee Ownership Plans A Hard Sell in Wary Market

Wall Street West by Benjamin Mark Cole

Tale of 2 L.A.Tech Companies: One Down While Another Out

Fading: Xdrive officials denied closure rumors; L90 Inc. announced on July 1 that it would buy the North American media sales business of DoubleClick Inc., a rival Internet advertising company, for $5 million in cash and 4.8 million shares of stock, chang

VICA's Silence Puts Crimp in Secession Push

With citywide support for San Fernando Valley secession trailing substantially in the polls, proponents looking to turn the tide could use big-money donors and fast.

Small Business Profile: Raising Expectations

Although it provides only temporary products, Academy Tent and Canvas has become a permanent fixture from Oscars to Tournament of Roses parade.

Freeze or Not, Delgadillo Finds A Way to Hire more Attorneys

Politics by Howard Fine

Review & Preview

Review of week's news, Preview of upcoming stories

Court Won't Review Lien Policy, Delivering Victory to Hospitals

Health Care by Laurence Darmiento

Building a Technological Advantage

Additions: TRW's technological expertise is expected to vault Northrop into the top tier.

Purchase to Result in New Look for Old Whittwood Mall

Real Estate by Danny King

NEWSMAKERS

Casden President Starts Anew on Projects

Loan Quality Dips Among Big Banks, Small Lenders OK

Taking Stock of Corporate Troubles; For the second year in a row, loan quality among California banks has declined as participation in nationwide lending syndicates comes back to bite some of the state's larger banks.

Fictional Story Leads to Real Life Lawsuit for AMG

Michael Ovitz's Artists Management Group may be on its last legs, but that hasn't stopped a Hollywood production company from accusing the firm of negligence and misrepresentation.

Dodgers Change Tune on Spanish Radio

Media by Claudia Peschiutta

Importers Face New Costs With Customs' Anti-Terror Program

Dilligence: Rules require importers to know who is involved every step of the way.

Interview: Flight of Fancy

Ted Hartley, who came to Hollywood as an actor and left for investing, has found running the legendary RKO studio rife with challenges.

City Tries to Blend History, Change in Downtown Project

Spotlight on Covina

LABJ Forum: The Martha Stewart Matter

The doyenne of d & #233;cor, Martha Stewart, is at the center of a media and prosecutorial firestorm after revelations that she sold shares of ImClone Systems Inc. right before the company announced one of its drugs would not be approved by the Food & Drug Admin

Monday, July 1

Executive Summary / The Pacesetter

Summaries of this week's List - Environmental Firms Ranked by number of L.A. County environmental employees

Bush's Words Alone Not Enough to Cure Housing Ills

Opinion by EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON, author and columnist. He can be heard on KPFK Radio, 90.7FM

A Century of L.A. Water

A Century of L.A. Water

Expand the Brand

Maureen Smullen's design firm takes what's common and marries it to existing brand names to generate new lines of revenue-producing goods.

New Terminal Launches Improvements at Long Beach Port

Strike or no strike, the $575 million Hanjin Shipping Co. terminal scheduled to open this month at the Port of Long Beach will complete the first round of a years-long facelift at the facility where bigger is considered better to accommodate larger and

Thirsty City Explores Viability of Saltwater, Wastewater

L.A.'s Search For Water A Special Report

Showdown Seen After Vote to Cut Health Funding

After voting last week to make deep cuts in county health department services, L.A. County supervisors are headed on what some claim is a politically calculated showdown with state and federal officials this fall.

Judah Hertz Group Eyeing Downtown Office Tower

Judah Hertz, one of the biggest individual investors in downtown real estate, has his sights set on the City National Bank headquarters at 606 S. Olive St.

Potential Bidders Reaching Out to Adelphia on Local Cable Franchises

As potential bidders line up in the days after its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, Adelphia Communications Corp. officials said no immediate layoffs or reductions in services are planned in Los Angeles.

The Users

L.A.'s Search For Water A Special Report

Cooks' Nook Found in Look at Book Business

Weekly Briefing

Parties Break Silence on Contract Impasse

Parties Break Silence on Contract Impasse

Signal Hill Insurer Will Quit Calpers In Coverage Row

Health Care by Laurence Darmiento

State Electricity Bonds May Prove Attractive to Investors

Wall Street West by Benjamin Mark Cole

LABJ Forum: Checking Your Stocks?

WorldCom Inc.'s disclosures last week that it substantially inflated profits for more than a year due to improper accounting procedures sent an already shaky stock market reeling. For months now, it seems there have been almost daily reports of new corpor

L.A. Has Looked Elsewhere to Quench a Constant Need

L.A.'s Search For Water A Special Report

Anti-Piracy and Profits Propel Lawyer into Bollywood Battle

Shelf Life: Pirated videotapes of Indian films are widely available in California; Harpreet Brar has taken to defending the world's biggest movie-making industry from piracy.

Great Divide Between Water-Rich North, Arid South

L.A.'s Search For Water A Special Report

L.A. Manufacturing Base Declines

Los Angeles County, toppled in 2000 from its perch as the nation's largest manufacturing employment base, again saw jobs slip in 2001.

Corporate Crooks Spin Crisis of Confidence

Martha: Hour-to-hour coverage of Stewart's alleged misdeeds.

Coffee Company Getting Pushed to Institute Changes

The largest institutional shareholder of Farmer Brothers Co. has formally renewed its efforts to force management of the tightly controlled coffee company to institute major changes in hopes of raising the stock price.

L.A. Retail Liquidators are Booming as Others Go Bust

When McCrory Corp., one of the country's last five-and-dime store chains, decided to close 200 of its stores earlier this year following a bankruptcy filing, it turned to the Buxbaum Group.

People Interview: Power Player

Although he represents Kobe Bryant and other star athletes, sports agent Arn Tellem says business, not glamour of celebrities, keeps him in the game.

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns: Hip-hop and country music make strange bedfellows; Local environmentalists should be pumped about the BP/ARCO gas station in South Gate; More ...

Long-Neglected Community Near Foothills Gets Attention

Spotlight On Tujunga

Review & Preview

Review of week's news; Preview of upcoming stories

Impco Hopes Unit Spin-Off Will Boost Investment Focus

Corporate Focus by Anthony Palazzo

Diverse Interests Will Again Face Off in Coming Months

L.A.'s Search For Water A Special Report

MOCA Budget Falls Victim To Biggest Donor's Distress

The financial troubles of a major donor have strained the operating budget of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, at a time when the downtown institution already has taken a gamble by bringing in the Andy Warhol exhibit.

Riordan Distant as Firm Restructures

Richard Riordan's first love is feeling separation pains. Since his return to private life, the 72-year-old former mayor and failed gubernatorial candidate has remained aloof from Riordan & McKinzie PLC, the law firm built largely on his business and poli

Stooges Ruling Sends Rockers' Likeness Suit Back to Lower Court

It was a split decision for classic rock stars Edgar and Johnny Winter in their suit against DC Comics for defamation and misappropriation of likeness for commercial gain.

Developer Breathes New Life into Failed Hawthorne Mall

Nearly 1 million square feet of a Hawthorne eyesore is in the early stages of a redevelopment its developer thinks will jumpstart languishing retail and office markets.

NEWSMAKERS

People in the News, on the Move.

Rate of Restated Earnings Up at L.A. Companies

Mirroring a national trend, L.A. companies have been restating their numbers at a growing rate over the past five years, according to data compiled for the Business Journal by Huron Consulting Group of Chicago.

LETTERS

Letters

Church Moves on Development of Former College Site

Real Estate Column by Danny King

Rising Star Padilla May Be Odd Man Out in a New Valley City

POLITICS by Howard Fine