Stories for July 2003

Monday, July 28

MiniMed Pump Keeps Company Ahead of Market

A new high-tech insulin pump that uses wireless technology to measure doses could be an important development in the treatment of diabetes and a boon to one of its creators, Northridge-based Medtronic MiniMed.

BANKRUPTCIES

Weekly List of recent L.A. bankruptcies

Robert Blake Case Lands Business Attorney (Happily) in the Spotlight

For most people, seeing your lawyer on "Geraldo" isn't a good sign. For Raj Rai, owner of Cypress-based Pepperoni's Grill pizza chain, it's something to boast about.

WEEKLY BRIEFING - Brothers Find Lost Art Of Mending Old Books

Heritage Book Shop and Bindery in West Hollywood has grown to employ 22 and now has an office in London.

Fight to Cut Smog Has Local AQMD Asking Feds' Help

With Los Angeles suffering through its hottest summer in years, bad air is back and local regulators say they've done about all they can do.

Lennar Venture Banking on Increasing Property Values in Newhall Land Deal

With its planned purchase of Newhall Land and Farming Co., Florida homebuilder Lennar Corp. is making a big bet on continued demand for housing on the outskirts of L.A., and constraints on supplies to fill that demand.

Doubts Growing About Viability of USC Biotech Park

A year ago, sponsors of a proposed biotech park near USC's Health Sciences campus in Boyle Heights were hopeful they could break ground as early as 2004.

ENTERTAINMENT QUARTERLY v Industry in Review

Quarterly round up of activity in movies, TV, music, radio and video games.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER

Summaries of this week's List - Property/Casualty Insurers, ranked by 2002 statewide property/casualty premiums written

THE LABJ STOCK INDEX

Tracking 200 selected Los Angeles County-based companies; Market Diary, Market indexes, Industry analysis, 52-week performance, weekly top Gainers & Losers, Market summary, weekly profile

Venture Funding Showing Signs of Returning to Life

Local venture investing in Los Angeles, never a leader in capital-raising to begin with, jumped in the second quarter compared with the paltry levels of the first three months of the year.

ECONOWATCH L.A. COUNTY

Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

LABJ's LA Stories / The Roving Eye

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

Budget Ills Spur Higher Bond Yields

The failure of California lawmakers to resolve the $38 billion budget deficit on time is wretched news for taxpayers, who inevitably face higher taxes and cuts in state services.

How Did You Get Started?

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CALENDAR

Calendar of L.A. business events, conventions, and announcements

LABJ FORUM - Cash Crop

The Business Journal asks: Should the U.S. shell out $30 million to for the lead that bought it Saddam's sons?

REVIEW / PREVIEW

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

Accounting Probes Take Toll on Shares of Local Game Makers

WALL STREET WEST

Monday, July 21

Law Impels Firms to Disclose Security Breaches

A state law that went into effect July 1 requires companies that maintain computer databases on clients to notify them if hackers break in and steal clients' personal data that could be used in identity theft.

Large Players Soak Up Space Leaving Small Bites for Others

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Anschutz's Pacific Energy Has Shown Strong Yields Early On

CORPORATE FOCUS - It's easy to forget that Philip Anschutz, the Denver billionaire known for his involvement with Staples Center, Regal Entertainment Group and Qwest Communications, made his first fortune in the oil and gas business.

MEGACHART: Los Angeles County Office & Industrial Market, Second Quarter 2003

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Once-Shy Firms Warming to District's Dollars

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Bankrupt Strouds Selling Off Leases

Strouds Acquisition Corp., the bankrupt linen retailer that is in the process of liquidating, has sold 16 of its 46 store leases in an auction, with 10 going to Anna's Linens of Costa Mesa.

Financial Pressure Mounts for Owner Of Hipster Hotels

Ian Schrager, the impresario behind the Sunset Strip's Mondrian Hotel and its Skybar nightspot, is under mounting pressure to repay or restructure debt totaling more than $400 million.

Attorneys Flee Entertainment Firm

A large exodus from the Beverly Hills entertainment boutique Berkowitz & Black PC, which for years represented Frank Sinatra's estate, may result in the firm's dissolution or restructuring.

County Job Growth Projections Revised Downward

Job growth in Southern California will be far slower this year than originally projected, as uncertainty over the state budget crisis, workers' compensation costs and the national economy keep employers from hiring, according to a new forecast.

Off-Price Alternative Remains Steady, Led by Smaller Deals

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Travel to Baghdad Could Boost Profit at Airline With L.A. Ties

WALL STREET WEST

Countywide Rent Discounts Fail to Attract New Tenants

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER

Summaries of this week's List - Commercial & Industrial Contractors, ranked by 2002 billings for work performed in L.A. County

LABJ FORUM - Summertime Reading

The Business Journal asks: What is on your nightstand right now?

Leftover Tech Space Absorbed By Horde of Expanding Tenants

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News Group Awards Five First-Place Wins To Business Journal

The Los Angeles Business Journal received eight awards, including five first prizes, at the Association of Area Business Publications' annual conference.

Positive Absorption a Welcome Development in Second Quarter

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Smaller Tenants Buoy Market As Larger Firms Are Sidelined

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NEWSMAKERS

Seeking to Extend Wireless Internet at Home and Abroad

Threat of Benefit Cuts Could Lead to Supermarket Strike

Grocery store workers and management at four major supermarket chains in Southern California are bracing for a battle royale over employers' plans to cut health and pension benefits in upcoming contract talks.

Lower Rent Rates Fail to Spur Reversal of Vacancy Increases

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Absorption Slows, But Fails to Stall Steady Drop in Vacancies

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BANKRUPTCIES

Weekly List of recent L.A. bankruptcies

REVIEW / PREVIEW

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

Renaissance Out, Loews in at 137-Room Beverly Hills Hotel

A group from Loews Hotel Inc. has taken over management of the Renaissance Beverly Hills hotel after the hotel's owner, Strategic Hotel Capital LLC, fired the previous operator for failing to meet performance goals, according to Strategic.

New Warehouses an Indication Of Strength in Industrial Market

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Investment Activity Takes Center Stage as Leasing Stalls

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Sales, Lease Deals Show Strong Demand for Warehouse Space

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Industrial Market Strengthens While Empty Offices Abound

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CALENDAR

Calendar of L.A. business events, conventions, and announcements

Vacancy Rates Climb Despite Lack of Any New Construction

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Monday, July 14

Fluor Enters Bids for Iraq Reconstruction Work

After weeks of uncertainty, Fluor Corp. is readying to bid on two contracts for rebuilding Iraq's oil industry.

LABJ FORUM - Dodger Dogs?

The Business Journal asks: Do you think the Dodgers can turn things around and make the playoffs?

Cost of Dockworkers' Benefits Higher Than Shippers Expected

The generous pension and benefit packages enjoyed by International Longshore and Warehouse Union members have long been the envy of other union locals in L.A. County.

Calpers Health Plan Faces Exit Of Local Cities

An unprecedented number of Southern California cities, strapped for cash and seeking cheaper premiums, are considering leaving the California Public Employees' Retirement System for health coverage.

Accounting Firm Cites FBI Inquiry In Civil Case Plea

Three accountants in the L.A. office of Moss Adams LLP have temporarily avoided a civil fraud trial by claiming they and the firm are under investigation by the FBI for bank fraud, according to court documents.

Reform Measures Yield Mixed Results

Board Shuffle Raises Cost, Time Demands

NEWSMAKERS

Businesspeople and businesses in the news, on the move...

REVIEW / PREVIEW

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

CEO Pay Up Again Despite Weak Profits

In spite of reforms and ongoing criticism of hefty compensation packages, L.A.'s chief executives continued to reap rich rewards last year even as overall earnings suffered.

Developer Tutor Remaking Le Dome

Construction tycoon Ronald Tutor is getting into the restaurant business.

LABJ's LA Stories / The Roving Eye

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

Hollywood's D.C. Distortions

COMMENTARY by ANDREW FERGUSON

Pay Boost for Nursing Homes Floated

Nursing homes, hard hit by the state's budget crisis, are getting some help from the federal government after years of takeaways.

Monday, July 7

LAX Overhaul Plans Will Be Scaled Back

The proposed $9 billion overhaul of Los Angeles International Airport is being scaled back, with plans for a 1.5-mile underground baggage tunnel to be reduced or eliminated due to its $1 billion price tag...

Facing Restatements, eUniverse Turns to Venture Group Veteran

WALL STREET WEST

For Investor at Center of Strouds Probe, It's Water Off His Back

Walter Cruttenden III, the Newport Beach financier whose transactions with bankrupt Strouds Acquisition Corp. are being probed by the linen retailer's unsecured creditors, isn't the type of guy who gets obsessed with such complications.

Firm Gives Wrong Directions On Wall Street, Pays the Price

CORPORATE FOCUS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER

Summaries of this week's List - Largest Cities in Los Angeles county ranked by population

Brooks Brothers Gambles With Beverly Hills Flagship Location

Brooks Brothers' new West Coast flagship on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills marks the beginning of a new strategy for the venerable retailer, which is trying to expand outside its traditional locations.

LABJ FORUM - Feeling the Sacramento Blues

The Business Journal asks: How have the state's budget problems affected you?

REVIEW / PREVIEW

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

LABJ's LA Stories / The Roving Eye

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

Bankruptcies

Bankruptcies

U.S. Takes Action Against Alleged Apparel Smugglers

In what could be the biggest apparel smuggling ring in over a decade, three local businesses have been cited by the U.S. Attorney's office as having participated in a scheme to get $418 million worth of goods past customs.

Italian Pottery Retailer Files For Bankruptcy, Closes Vegas Location

High overhead, sagging sales and the devaluation of the dollar against the euro have forced Cottura Inc., a high-end retailer of Italian pottery, to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

CALENDAR

Calendar of business events and conventions...