Stories for October 2004

Monday, October 25

It's a Hurry-Up-and-Wait Game for U.S. Firms in New Market

The continuing presence of government-owned firms makes it hard for foreigners to compete.

Tech Survivor

John Carter steered Tier Zero, a T1 service provider, through several ups and downs.

Cost Issue Raised Over Law on Sex Harassment

A law requiring company-provided sexual harassment prevention

Departing Jakks Pacific Officer Gets Deal, Agrees To Stay Quiet

Weekly roundup of Southern California investment and finance news.

Port Workers Told To Do Heavy Duty Jobs as Necessary

The longshoremen's union has told port workers to accept duty based on need, not pay.

Art for Much More Than Art's Sake

Dreams of the NFL taken from him by injury, Robert Thome joined MFPA and now paints a new dream.

Chains' Intrusion Undermining Independent Business Climate

Spotlight on Eagle Rock.

The Dark Side of Insurance

Mark Lacter's weekly editorial column.

Dodgers, Traffic Boost KFWB As Its Infinity Cousin KNX Slips

KFWB climbed and KNX slipped, but owner Infinity Broadcasting found reason to be happy about both.

Building Relationships to Ease Entry to Massive Market

Many leaders in the financial services industry are building bridges between L.A. companies and the Chinese market.

Private Companies Continue Showing Revenue Increases

The 100 largest private companies in L.A. County finished 2003 with

Court Allows Suit Challenging Rules On Driver Breaks

Amanda Bronstad's weekly column on the Los Angeles County legal community.

Wilshire Bus Lane Blocked by Opponents Across City Limits

A dedicated lane cut bus travel times along a stretch of Wilshire Boulevard, but there is resistance to expand the program.

Return on Port's Huge Mixed-Use Project Overstated

The "Breakwater to Bridge" development in San Pedro will return only one-tenth of the 5 percent first promised.

Parks Adds Another Consultant With National Resume

Howard Fine's weekly column concern politics in the city and county of Los Angeles and the state of California

Appointment with China

A new class of professionals has sprung up in Los Angeles to help companies doing business in China find their way across the complex terrain.

L.A. Travel Industry Shows Signs of Post-9/11 Healing

Rebecca Flass's weekly column on the Los Angeles County retail industry.

PR Employees Interviewed as Billing Inquiry Goes Forward

Several current and former employees of Fleishman-Hillard Inc. have been

Figueroa Plaza Sells After City Council Turned It Down

Andy Fixmer's weekly column concerning the Los Angeles County real estate industry.

LAPD, Expecting Funds, Begins Recruiting Campaign

The LAPD has launched a slick recruiting campaign.

L.A.'s Fashion Week Puts Designers in High-Stakes Wrangling Mode

In the world of high-octane egos, it's not just a question of making it onto L.A.'s Fashion Week run list it's day, time and venue.

Turning Tide Traps Some Sellers

As the local real estate market pulls back, those who needed to sell at

Terminal Operators Postpone Plan for Extended Gate Hours

As the Port of Los Angeles is deluged with the worst vessel congestion in two years, plans to extend terminal gate hours have been delayed until March.

Spending Spree Boosts Outlook For Maguire After a Slow Start

Maguire Properties Inc.

Travelers' Choices Vary Among Efficiency, Comfort, Adventure

Old hands offer tips on visiting China.

Outsourcing, Piracy and Quotas Pose Foreign Policy Challenges

China's emergence as an economic power has brought out a whole range of interest groups in Washington looking to shape U.S. policy.

Dodger Doc

Dr. Ralph Gambardella Jr., orthopedist to L.A.'s star athletes, talks about performing complex surgeries when insurance barely covers the cost.

Large Employers Will See Slower Rise in Health Costs

Laurence Darmiento's weekly column concerning the Los Angeles County health care industry.

Crackdown on Laundering Commences

Chinese officials are finally starting to deal with the nation's money- laundering problem.

L.A. Stories

Monday, October 18

Industrial Demand Heats While Office Space Market Stays Cool

South Bay industrial properties hot, office activity not

KLYY Scores With Mexican National Team Futbol Deal

Entravision's KLYY-FM has locked up an exclusive deal to provide the L.A.

More L.A. Stores Marketing to Cheap, Cheaper, Cheapest Shoppers

In searching out consumers looking to save a buck, 99 Cents Only Stores has been joined by a string of competitors, large and small.

What to Do About Parking

In car-saturated Southern California, it's all about parking - whether it's plentiful, accessible or affordable helps determine if shoppers return to a mall or tenants fill an office building.

Outlook Improves as Vacancies Drop, Rates Stabilize

During the July-September period, vacant office space in just about every L.A. County submarket was snapped up, pushing the average vacancy rate to about 15 percent.

Internal Movement Not Enough To Make Dent in Vacancy Rate

Vacancy Downtown was mostly unchanged in the July-September period as tenants in the market traded places.

L.A. Stories

Diverse Tenant Base, Economy Driving Rebound in Submarket

Pasadena leads actively improving Tri-Cities market

Beverly Hills, Century City Ail As Other Markets Make Recovery

Westside vacancy dips thanks to deals in Santa Monica, West L.A. and Culver City/Marina del Rey

Name Game

99 Cents Only tries to protect its name.

Governor's Backing of Measures, Candidates Puts His Clout to Test

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is lending his clout to several ballot measures and candidates, and risking his considerable leverage.

Market Tightens, but Landlords Still Making Deals for Tenants

Residential, retail boosting Miracle Mile/Park Mile

New Carrier Enters State Workers' Compensation Scene

Since summer, employers have been complaining that their workers' comp premiums are not falling fast enough under the system's reform. But by at least one measure the market has improved: the establishment of a new carrier.

Easing the Flow on Major Streets May Worsen Jams on Perpendicular Routes

Mayor James Hahn's Street Smart plan for synchronized traffic lights along L.A.'s major arteries means delays on some side streets.

Inventories, Switch to Winter Blend Signal Decline in Gas Prices

Crude oil prices shot above $54 a barrel last week and shutdowns took place at several local refineries, but gasoline analysts expect pump prices to fall in the weeks ahead.

Newsmakers

Coastcast Can't Beat Chinese, So Sells Last Unit to Fu Sheng

Local golf club head maker illustrates China-U.S. competition

Port Insiders Defend Deal With Ex-Director

Those familiar with operations at the Port of Los Angeles are quick to defend the pending contract with Larry Keller, the former executive director who resigned under pressure.

With Industrial Space Booked, Leasing Rates Can Only Climb

Space gone, San Gabriel Valley poised for rate increases

Furniture Maker Carves A Custom-Made Niche

Following in his father's footsteps, John Colabella passed up architecture to build furniture.

Tenants Snap Up Space at Pico Rivera Commerce Center

Mid-Cities market flat as inventory running out

Ready, Set, Touch

If the usual election controversies weren't enough, this year some voters have had to contend with disputes over the very machines they will vote on.

Car Dealers in Road Rage Over Sales Rep's Client Files

Neda Shahrokhi left Beverly Hills BMW for a competitor and took her client

High Passions to Yield High Turnout

Fueled by passions ignited by the presidential campaign, L.A. voter turnout on Nov. 2 could reverse a decades-long trend of declining participation.

Dig They Must to Make Space for Your Camrys and Corvettes

When it comes to developing a successful office, retail or residential building, much rests on the seemingly mundane matter of parking design.

Overture Plans Move to Burbank, Spurning Downtown L.A.

In one of the year's largest real estate deals, Overture Services signed a letter of intent to move its Pasadena offices to Burbank, a lease that could be worth more than $100 million.

Incentives Harder to Come By As Office Market Holds Steady

Asking rates nudge up as Valley remains strong

Market Continues to Tighten as Owner/Users Snap Up Property

Landlords gaining upper hand in tightening Ventura County market

Replacing Stern No Easy Task for KLSX

As KLSX-FM ponders the future of its prized morning drive-time slot after Howard Stern, it might do well to look to another form of entertainment as the era of the "shock jock" may have passed its prime.

Put Global Out Of Its Misery

Global Crossing stays in business, but why?

New Projects Aren't Expected to Meet Demand in Tight Market

Demographics of Santa Clarita Valley keeping market tight

County Plan Would End Failed Effort To Tally HIV

Los Angeles County health officials can't match confidentiality-shielding numbers to patients, so they've lost track of how many AIDS cases there are.

Sirius Deal Expected to Send Stern Fans Receiver Shopping

Howard Stern's pending move from broadcast to satellite radio hasn't led to a rush of listeners snapping up receivers that can pick up the signal, but several local retailers last week were expecting new business to come their way.

Navy's Long-Fallow San Pedro Facility Marketed for Housing

After a 10-year saga of community meetings and bureaucratic delays, the Navy is set to finally auction off its 62-acre campus in San Pedro.

L.A. Office Cited In N.Y. Probe of Marsh Activities

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer singled out the Los Angeles insurance-broker office of Marsh & McLennan Cos. in his civil fraud lawsuit.

Veteran Money Manager Takes Third Shot Heading Own Shop

Former U.S. Trust Co. of California boss and old friends make a go of it on their own.

Oil Barren

Caltech professor David Goodstein believes oil production may be entering its waning stage and that the future will require wider use of alternative energies.

Paper Caper

Kathleen Isaksen knows that people will always be getting married and having babies, so she transformed a print shop into Brentwood's Embrey Papers.

Vacancies Dive as Large Tenants Move In, Smaller Firms Follow

Large tenants take big bite out of Hollywood/West Hollywood vacancy

Monday, October 11

Lights, Camera, Permits Agency Keeps Film Shoots Legal

Challenges of one sort or another pop up for most every location shoot. The Entertainment Industry Development Corp.'s role is to shepherd producers.

Piece Work

Look Effects Inc. is providing A-list computer animation and digital imaging services to small features, and subcontracting on larger ones.

Angelenos Scoop Up Scooters For Fuel Economy and Fashion

If it seems there are more Vespa scooters on the roads these days, it's not just because their quirky design makes them stand out.

City Takes Its Turn as Co-Star in Wave of Motion Pictures

Filmmakers are finding the new looks of L.A., but before the cameras start rolling on local shoots, a small army undertakes an intense orchestration of planning and city approvals.

Growth Spurred by Gaming Adds to Tribes' Legal Needs

A growing number of Los Angeles lawyers have carved a niche in tribal legal services.

Farmer Brothers Wins Round in Ongoing Battle With Investors

A battle over a proposal related to control of employee stock ownership plan assets ended in defeat last week for a group of Farmer Bros. Co. shareholders.

Disney Sued on 'Incredibles' Logo

An Irvine production studio alleges that Walt Disney Co. has infringed its trademark logo.

Stamps.com Gets Stomped Over Gag Pictures

A prank by The Smoking Gun Web site has wiped out $72 million of Stamps.com's market value and jeopardized its key product.

Scary Season Lasts All Year for Halloween Entrepreneurs

How do those temporary costume shops that crop up this time of year pencil out?

A More Perfect Union?

Unite HERE, the recent union of two labor organizations, is at the center of the ongoing conflict between local hotels and their workers.

L.A. Stories

A collection of stories about the events and people in L.A.

River Running Into Scenes of Myriad Movies

The Los Angeles River has played a role in many a movie over the years.

Yellow Arrow Points to Marketing Opportunities

Yellow Arrow isn't a ubiquitous phenomenon in Los Angeles yet. But certain local hotspots are already using it as a marketing opportunity.

L.A.'s Tech Firms Lead the Way Toward Rebound in IPO Market

The long-dormant IPO market has sprung to life in recent weeks.

Santa Monica Balance of Power May Shift

For nearly 15 years, the left-leaning Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights has held majorities on the Santa Monica City Council much to the consternation of local business owners.

Workers Say Hotels Broke Law By Not Giving Time for Breaks

Four hotel workers at the Westin Century Plaza Hotel & Spa and the St. Regis Los Angeles have filed a $10 million lawsuit against operator Starwood Hotels & Resorts Inc. for failing to provide them meal and rest breaks.

With Airport Plan Advancing, Focus Moves to Funding

As ambitious plans to reconfigure LAX evolve, there's been little discussion of where the funding will come from.

Newsmakers

Cliff Moser has joined RTKL Associates Inc. as a principal in the firm's healthcare design practice. Prior to joining RTKL, Moser was a senior associate at Perkins & Will.

Spate of West Valley Deals Surpasses $500 Million in Value

The West Valley submarket exploded last week with a cumulative $540 million in real estate deals.

Retailers Wait as Logjam Diverts Cargo From Ports

The logjam at the region's ports has forced ships to unload elsewhere, costing revenue and adding to delays.

Improving the Business Climate is Long-term Job for Governor

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's first year in office has improved perceptions about doing business in the state, but the bottom lines of companies haven't changed much.

Card Collecting Not a Game for Shop Owner

Todd Crosner co-owns a wholesale card shop and a retail card shop, selling a variety of sports and non-sports cards, Crosner's main hobby isn't collecting cards it's backgammon.

Tastes Expand Beyond Chablis As L.A. Establishments Uncork

Two years ago, Greg Sears and Jason McEntee traded in their advertising jobs to launch a wine bar.

At L.A. Hospitals, Capacity Varies

The area's recent hospital closures affect different parts of L.A. in different ways.

L.A. Deals Keep Pace in Third Quarter

Several well-known companies changed corporate ownership in the

Resuscitating DreamWorks

Talk about your unusual investment plays.

Strong Industrial Activity Buoys Market in Office Sector

Demand for industrial property is propping up office market in Inland Empire.

Starr Turns

Author Kevin Starr, a chronicler of California history, has taken a "journalistic approach" in his latest work, charting the contemporary trends of the state.