Stories for October 2002

Monday, October 28

L.A. Ready to Unveil User-Friendly System For City Hall Calling

Help is on the way for anyone fed up with being shunted from department to department at City Hall.

Forecasters Use Different Methods in Predicting Future

SPECIAL REPORT: Inside the Crystal Balls Number-Crunching L.A.'s Economy

Infinity Will Petition to Keep L.A. Radio Stations

Infinity Broadcasting Corp., owner of seven L.A. radio stations, will try to extend a six-month waiver that has allowed the company to exceed local ownership rules in Los Angeles, according to a company executive.

County Will Fight Special Tax Zones To Keep Its Share

Strapped for cash and critical of the city's recent redevelopment efforts, L.A. County supervisors have approved a policy to challenge any redevelopment zone designations in areas it does not consider blighted.

Tough Economy Hurting Region's Big Private Firms

L.A.'s 100 largest privately held companies, typically tight-lipped about their revenues, had even less to say about how they fared during what turned out to be recession-plagued 2001.

Erosion of Tech Jobs Continues as Telecom Slump Fails to Abate

Large and small telecom companies in San Diego are feeling the effects of a global downturn in spending that shows no signs of rebounding any time soon.

NEWSMAKERS

People and businesses in the news, on the move

Companies Look To Reduce Debt, Improve Ratings

Having gorged on debt during good times, companies in Los Angeles and elsewhere now find themselves on a crash diet, trying to slim down bloated balance sheets to a level that reduced business expectations can support.

Why Vote? Let's Cite the Reasons

Comment by Mark Lacter

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

Venture Investing Falls Further as Firms Focus on Portfolios

Local venture capital investing fell more than 30 percent in the third quarter as the jittery stock market continued to wreak havoc on technology firms, according to Growthink, a market research firm.

Court to Decide on Transfer of Non-Compete Agreements

The state Supreme Court is considering a case that could tip the scales against California employers by allowing out-of-state employers to enforce non-compete agreements in cases where a departing employee has moved to California.

LETTERS

Letters to the editor

J2 Global's Changing Fortunes Getting Noticed on Wall Street

Corporate Focus by Anthony Palazzo

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

LABJ Forum: Psst v Election Day is Approaching

The lackluster gubernatorial campaign has failed to engage California voters and the secession movement has faded as an important issue. That and the absence of controversial state ballot initiatives has led to speculation that voter turnout may fall to r

Monday, October 21

Diner Survey Finds Angelenos Still Finding Comfort in Food

The economy might be slumping, but Los Angeles diners are eating out more often, racking up higher tabs and leaving bigger tips than ever.

Corporate Refugees Fuel Hot Market for Small Businesses

Despite the down economy, and sometimes even because of it, more people are exiting corporate life to run their own businesses.

Zenith Earnings Show Strength in Workers' Comp

The state's workers' compensation market may finally be turning around after years of chaos caused by the failure of carriers in a deregulated environment.

Executive Summary / The Pacesetter

Summary about this week's List - Management Consulting Firms, Ranked by the number of management consultants in L.A. County

Sponsors Help Carousel Fundraiser Ride Out Recession

Economic belt-tightening didn't constrain Hollywood's top stars and L.A.'s richest from forking over $4.5 million at last week's Carousel of Hope Ball.

NEWSMAKERS

Fox Executive to Mend Gemstar Fences

LETTERS

Letters to the Editor

Measures Affecting Businesses Dominate Local Ballots

While virtually all the media and public attention has been focused on the governor's race and the Valley secession bid, local voters will be casting ballots next month on a number of key issues in cities and school districts throughout the county.

LABJ Forum: From Dodger Blue to Angel Red

For diehard Dodger fans, it didn't work out the way they had hoped out of the playoffs for yet another year. But at least Southern California gets a shot at the World Series this year with the late-season emergence of the Anaheim Angels. While the Orang

Doing Due Dilligence to Uncover "Bad Apple" Applicants

Entrepreneur's Notebook by Rebecca Torrey & Larry Scherzer

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

Online Marketer Target of Bid By Furious Investor

A Dallas-based investor has submitted an unsolicited bid for MaxWorldwide Inc., the embattled online marketing firm formerly known as L90 Inc.

Monday, October 14

Solution to Water Woes Threatened From Many Sides

A confluence of factors is drying up hopes that L.A. can secure a stable future water supply anytime soon.

Tables Turn for Bankruptcy Boutiques Awash in Business

When Michael Tuchin and two other partners left Stutman Treister & Glatt PC three years ago, the odds were stacked against them.

A Tale of Two Unions: ILWU Has Advantages UAW Lacks

The leaders of locals 652 and 602 understood that the future was technology even if it meant the loss of jobs.

Investor Offering To Sell Option on L.A. Arco Towers

Moving swiftly to capitalize on a deal struck after gaining control of the debt on Arco Plaza, Kings Capital is seeking to sell its option to purchase the 2.6 million square foot downtown office complex.

NEWSMAKERS

East West Banker Tends to Valley Growth

Real Estate Portfolios Expose Local Banks

A report by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said that expanding commercial real estate and construction portfolios might cause problems for West Coast banks if the economy continues to falter.

Hahn Backs City's Valley Role, Targets Tourism Bureau Change

L.A. Mayor James Hahn sat down with Business Journal editors and reporters last week to discuss secession, the selection of a new police chief, his plan to remake Los Angeles International Airport, the economy, the city budget and the attempt to bring foo

Burden of Minority Means Always Having to Say You're Sorry

Opinion by Leonard Pitts, columnist for the Miami Herald

My Favorite Sites

Favorite websites of Jim Lott, Executive Vice President, Healthcare Association of Southern California

Coping With Upheaval Prompted by a Career Change

Entrepreneur's Notebook by Susan Reynolds

Tight Insurance Market Squeezes Homeowners

Two years ago, water leaking in from a weathered kitchen window did damage to Marie Wagstaff's kitchen. Last year she had water damage to her ceiling after the roof leaked during a storm.

LABJ Forum: Ripple Effects From the Docks

The effects of the West Coast port closure spread far and wide, with scattered factory closures, layoffs and some shortages of perishables. Though President Bush invoked the Taft-Hartley Act on Oct. 8 and dockworkers returned to work the following day, so

Balance Sheet in Order, Guess Finds Consumers Unresponsive

Corporate Focus by Anthony Palazzo

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

Monday, October 7

Just-in-Time Inventory System Proves Vulnerable to Labor Strife

With 50 percent of his holiday merchandise sitting on container ships off the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Charlie Woo was worried last week that customers of his Los Angeles-based toy manufacturing operation would begin canceling orders.

Burned Investors Find No Solace as Lawyers Pass on Low-Money Cases

Gail Wilborn has found out the hard way that seeking to recover money lost in the stock market through binding arbitration is more easily said than done.

My Favorite Sites

Favorite website of Warren Olney, Host, executive producer, "Which Way L.A.?", "To The Point"

LETTERS

Letter to the Editor

Every Move a Company Makes May Send Marketing Messages

Entrepreneur's Notebook by Sharon Berman

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER

Summaries of this week's List - Chambers of Commerce, Ranked by 2002 budget

Motion Unlikely On Bills to Stem Producing Flight

It's looking like wait 'til next year for backers of legislation to stem runaway production.

Politicians Preoccupied, Blacks Must Lead Selves

OPINION by Earl Ofari Hutchinson, author and columnist

The LABJ Forum: Winnick and His Checkbook

Last week, Global Crossing Ltd. Chairman Gary Winnick told a Congressional committee he would donate $25 million toward the retirement funds of his company's employees. The retirement plan lost $250 million in value during the company's collapse, while Wi

The LABJ's L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

Grand Avenue Plan Expected to Receive Approval to Proceed

The L.A. County Board of Supervisors is set to approve environmental documents this week or next for the initial phase of a long-discussed plan to remake downtown's Grand Avenue.

Airport Hotel, Westwood Property For Sale as MetLife Thins Portfolio

MetLife Inc., embarking on the largest of the periodic churns of its national real estate holdings, has put three major Los Angeles properties on the block.

Nara Extends New York Foothold With Acquisition

Expanding its base in the New York market, Nara Bank has signed an agreement to buy $58 million in deposits from the New York branch of Industrial Bank of Korea.

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

Revenues Down, Law Firms Seek to Cut Leasing Costs

The view from L.A.'s skyscrapers is making some local lawyers queasy. Faced with declining revenues and saddled with some of the most expensive real estate in town, a number of prominent L.A. law firms have approached landlords seeking to renegotiate term

Poor Turnout Seen Halting Passage of Funding Measures

With a lackluster gubernatorial campaign failing to engage California voters and secession fading as a hot-button issue in L.A., voter turnout is expected to fall to near-record low levels on Nov. 5.

NEWSMAKERS

Business People in the news, on the move...