Stories for March 2007

Friday, March 30

Albertsons Named in Union Action

In three complaints, grocery union officials allege Albertsons intimidated and interrogated employees before a strike authorization vote, a violation of the National Labor Relations Act.

Live Nation Gets Part of UK Company

Live Nation Inc. said it has partnered with Gaiety Investments to acquire a 56 percent stake in Academy Music Holdings Ltd.

Univision's New Ownership Takes Over

Los Angeles billionaire A. Jerrold Perenchio on Thursday waved adios to the business he has spent nearly 15 years building into the nation's foremost Spanish-language media company, Univision Communications Inc.

L.A. Duo Reenters Tribune Auction

The seesaw battle for Tribune Co. tilted again Thursday evening, when Los Angeles billionaires Eli Broad and Ron Burkle said they would pay $1 more a share than real estate mogul Sam Zell, who had been viewed as the front-runner to acquire the media compa

UPDATE: Herbalife Suitor Withdraws Offer

Major shareholder Whitney V LP on Friday withdrew its takeover bid for Herbalife Ltd., a day after the nutritional supplements maker said the offer was too low.

IndyMac's Top Lawyer Exits Firm

IndyMac Bancorp said that its top lawyer, Terrence Hughes, is leaving the mortgage lender.

Sweeping Mortgage Bailout Unlikely

Borrowers, don't hold your breath for a bailout. Borrowers, don't hold your breath for a bailout. But the modest federal and state aid proposals advanced so far suggest that most people struggling with onerous loan payments are unlikely to get government

Image Shares Surge on Acquisition

Shares of Image Entertainment Inc. surged more than 20 percent Friday after the company said late Thursday that it had agreed to be acquired by a group led by film producer David Bergstein for about $132 million, including debt.

Grill Concepts Profit Soars, Shares Stall

Shares of upscale restaurant owner Grill Concepts Inc. moved only slightly Friday despite the company reporting that fourth quarter profits nearly quadrupled amid rising sales.

Thursday, March 29

How Zell's Offer for Tribune Might Work

As the clock ticks down on Tribune Co.'s self-imposed deadline of Saturday for auctioning off the big media company, much is unknown about the apparent favored bid from Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell and how it would be structured.

Regulators OK Refinery Sale

Federal antitrust regulators have cleared the sale of Shell Oil Co.'s Wilmington refinery and 250 Southern California retail gas locations to San Antonio-based independent oil company Tesoro Corp.

L.A Billionaires Renew Tribune Interest

In the battle of billionaires looking to buy the Tribune Company, Eli Broad and Ronald Burkle may still make a comeback

Gemstar to Develop Internet Video Guide

Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. will begin testing a TV Guide-like listing system for Internet video starting in April, the Hollywood-based company said Thursday.

Northrop Names Tanker Team

A consortium of companies that will go after a $40-billion U.S. Air Force contract to build a fleet of new refueling tankers was named Thursday by Northrop Grumman Corp. and its European partner.

L.A. Equity Firm Raises $5 Billion

Leonard Green & Partners has closed its fifth buyout fund, tapping U.S. and foreign investors to raise more than $5.3 billion, the Los Angeles private equity firm said Thursday.

Semtech to Pay $62 Million for Options

Semtech Corp. said Thursday that it would have to pay about $62 million to correct errors it made on stock options issued to executives from 1996 through 2006.

Wednesday, March 28

State-Run Insurer Faces Major Changes

California's new insurance commissioner moved quickly Tuesday to force changes at the troubled State Compensation Insurance Fund, wracked by the firing of top executives, resignations of board members, conflict-of-interest questions and reports of fiscal

L.A. Still Country's Top Manufacturer

Southern California lost more manufacturing jobs last year, but the Los Angeles metro area remained the nation's top manufacturing center, according to a report that will be released today.

Thomas Properties Inks Austin Deal

Thomas Properties Group Inc. said it has signed an agreement with affiliates of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors to acquire 3.5 million square feet of office properties in Austin for $1.15 billion.

Decrease in Port Growth Expected

International trade and retail experts forecast smooth sailing for cargo moving through the Long Beach-Los Angeles port complex this year, but potentially disruptive congestion problems may be looming.

IndyMac Execs Buying Company's Stock

IndyMac Bancorp Inc. Chief Executive Michael Perry and director Robert Hunt each bought more than $1 million worth of the struggling lender's shares over the past week in a likely show of support for the company.

Tuesday, March 27

Bertelsmann, EMI Settle Naspter Tiff

Bertelsmann, the German media giant that provided financial backing to Napster when it was an unauthorized file-sharing service, has agreed to settle with the last of the major record companies that had sued it for copyright infringement.

Report: Tribune to Accept Zell's Offer

Tribune Co. will probably accept real estate billionaire Sam Zell's $8 billion takeover offer by the Tribune's deadline of March 31, according to people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.

FCC Approves Univision Acquisition

The acquisition of Univision Communications Inc. by a consortium of private equity buyers led by Los Angeles billionaire Haim Sabam was approved Tuesday by the Federal Communications Commission.

AEG Sweetens L.A. Olympic Bid

The owner of the Home Depot Center in Carson has unveiled plans to build a new hotel and training facility next to the venue in conjunction with Los Angeles' bid for the Olympic Games.

CalAmp Buys Radio Operator

CalAmp Corp., a manufacturer of wireless communications, satellite and other networking products, has agreed to buy SmartLink Radio Networks for $8.1 million, the Oxnard company said Tuesday.

KB Shares Fall Despite Stewart Deal

A jittery market forced shares in KB Home down more than 3 percent Monday despite the home builder's announcement it is renewing its successful partnership with Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

Electronic Clearing House Nixes Merger

Shares of Electronic Clearing House Inc. plunged more than 35 percent Tuesday after its merger with Intuit Inc. was scuttled amid a probe into the Agoura Hills company's ties to online gaming.

City National Buys Wealth Manager

City National Corp. has agreed to buy Lydian Wealth Management for an undisclosed price, the Beverly Hills bank said Tuesday.

OSI Nets $15 Million From Lawsuit

OSI Systems Inc. will receive $15 million in the settlement of a lawsuit with GE Healthcare Finland Oy, the Hawthorne company announced Tuesday.

Ex-CBS Radio President Coming Back

CBS said yesterday that it would bring back the former president of its radio division, Dan Mason, to succeed Joel Hollander as head of the 144-station group.

Monday, March 26

Loans Made Homes Affordable For Many Buyers in the Region

Subprime loans made homes affordable in this high-priced region.

The Play's the Thing

Former NFL player Doug Allen is head of the Screen Actors Guild.

Company Giving Pair of Shoes To Child for Each Pair It Sells

Los Angeles-based Toms Shoes has given away more than 10,000 pairs of shoes to needy children.

Carlyle Group Is Going to Movies

Carlyle Group is paying in excess of $155 million for Manhattan Beach Studios. Is it experimenting in Hollywood?

BIDding for Renewal

When it comes to the difference a Business Improvement District can make, Darryl Holter, chairman of the Figueroa Corridor Partnership, cites the time he took UCLA students on a field trip to where the Fashion District's boundary ends at Ninth and Hill st

Caught in a Quicksand of Debt After Home Improvement Loan

Lena Jones just wanted a line of credit for some improvements for her home. Now she's caught in a quicksand of debt.

When the Music Stops

Charles Crumpley writes that the recording industry dug its own grave

A Screeching Halt

Could the meltdown of subprime lenders spread to other areas of the mortgage loan industry and then the wider national economy?

Construction Begins on Mixed-Use Project in Hollywood

A mixed-use project designed to enliven a quiet section of Fairfax Avenue in Hollywood has broken ground.

STUDY: Quality of Life Lags

Poverty, crime, access to health care and lack of education are just a few of the factors diminishing the quality of life in Los Angeles, according to a United Way report.

Too Wooed

Wings Financial Federal Credit Union plans to press forward on its takeover attempt of Continental Federal.

Time for the Port to Shift Emphasis Beyond Goods Movement

The redevelopment of the San Pedro waterfront should place emphasis on retail and community development over goods movement, says Camilla Townsend.

Realtors Push Bill to Eliminate Developers' Transfer Tax Fees

Realtors are mounting a battle against homebuilders who use transfer taxes to make money on future sales of homes.

Newsmakers

News of interest about local professionals and business people.

BiggyTV Hopes Syndication System Will Work on Web

Video advertising dominated discussion at the Online Media, Marketing & Advertising Convention held last week at the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel.

Grocery Strike Moves a Step Closer

A vote by Albertsons workers brought the prospect of a grocery store strike a step closer Sunday and conjured up an unhappy sense of deja vu for employees and customers alike, as they wondered what was ahead.

Three Companies Caught in the Lending Crisis

Three institutions caught in the lending crisis.

Businesses See Red Over Garcetti Letter

Business leaders are upset that City Council President Eric Garcetti backs a boycott of the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel.

Greenberg Bouncing Back From Defections With Hires

Greenberg Glusker LLP is bouncing back from a spate of high-profile defections with several prominent new hires.

Countrywide's Brass Is Quick To Shed Shares

Countrywide Financial Corp. executives have sold more than $315 million in shares recently.

Jackson Stirs Up the Troops At Good Samaritan Hospital

Ahead of a union decertification vote this week at Good Samaritan Hospital, union leaders brought in civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson to rally members and put pressure on management amid contract negotiations.

Hansen Reports No Options Wrongdoing

Hansen Natural Corp. said it found no wrongdoing during an internal probe into its stock options practices and plans to file its earnings by May 14.

Conservative Approach Kept East West From Risky Loans

East West Bancorp Inc. sat on the sidelines of the subprime boom. As a result, it has sidestepped the mess.

California Proving Fertile Ground for Goodwin Procter

California's climate seems to agree with Boston-based Goodwin Procter LLP.

Countrywide and IndyMac Vulnerable to Alt-A Fallout

Lenders such as Countrywide and IndyMac could suffer if defaults rise in the so-called Alt-A sector.

PR Executive Attributes Success to Passion and Focus

After 25 years at Lippin Group, a Los Angeles-based public relations firm, Pamela Golum is still learning something all the time.

Tribune Bidders Ask for New Data

With less than a week to go before Tribune Co. is scheduled to conclude its six-month strategic review, Los Angeles billionaires Ron Burkle and Eli Broad may be back for more.

E-Style Tiles

California Pottery & Tileworks allows designers to create custom ceramic patterns online.

Lions Gate Sell-Off Could Signal End Of Bid to Acquire Image Entertainment

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. has sold shares of Image Entertainment Inc., a CD and DVD distributor it has been trying to take over for two years.

Bawdy Building

Joe Francis of "Girls Gone Wild" video fame plans to launch an apparel line and a restaurant chain this year.

Tarrant Reports Quarterly Profit

Shares in Tarrant Apparel Group gained nearly 20 percent after the company announced strong fourth quarter earnings.

Harbor Craft Targets of State Clampdown on Pollution

State air regulators are clamping down on pollution from commercial fishing vessels, ferries and other harbor craft.

Napster Shares up on AT & T; Deal

Shares in Napster Inc. closed up nearly 11 percent Monday after the online music retailer announced that it would provide some AT & T; Inc. customers with a year's worth of free, unlimited access to its Napster To Go mobile music service.

San Pedro's Role as 'Working Port' Holds Added Value

San Pedro's role as a "working port" has value according to Geraldine Knatz.

Latham & Watkins Will Move From U.S. Bank Tower

Latham & Watkins LLP is leaving its flagship space at downtown's U.S. Bank Tower.

Screeching Halt

Could the meltdown of subprime lenders spread to other areas of the mortgage loan industry and then the wider national economy?

Tribune Suitors Criticize Auction

As Tribune Co. leans towards accepting an offer from Chicago real-estate magnate Sam Zell, erstwhile bidders Ron Burkle and Eli Broad are raising objections that Tribune didn't give them fair treatment in the bidding process

Now, Fewer Qualify And the Terms are Tougher

Fewer buyers will qualify and terms will be tougher.

Herbalife Gets Chinese Sales License

Herbalife Ltd. said over the weekend that it has secured a direct-selling license from China's Ministry of Commerce.

Laid-Off Worker Bounces Back After Ride to Top of Subprimes

A.J. Simon is among those who lost their jobs as the subprime sector collapsed.

Truckers Question Ports' Green Efforts

Truckers are questioning port plans for scrapping older trucks and replacing them with pricey big rigs powered by liquefied natural gas.

Arrowhead Buys Nanotech Firm

Arrowhead Research Corp. said Monday that it has acquired the name and assets of C Sixty Inc. and has formed a new subsidiary focused on developing treatments for Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's.

Whizin Shopping Center Sold

For the first time since it began taking shape more than half a century ago, Agoura Hill's landmark Whizin Shopping Center is not part of the family, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

'Debbie' Does DVD Formats And Hollywood Is Watching

Hollywood and electronics manufacturers are still holding out hope that the new high-definition DVDs will rejuvenate the slowing $24 billion home DVD market.

Friday, March 23

Blue Cross Cancellations Called Illegal

Blue Cross of California "routinely" violated state law when it canceled individual health insurance coverage, according to a state investigation of practices that appear to be industrywide.

Amgen Halts Cancer Study

Amgen Inc. shares fell more than 4 percent Friday, the day after the biotech giant said it had cancelled a Vectibix clinical trial following signs that using the drug in combination with a popular cancer treatment might worsened the condition of some pati

Garcetti's Boycott Letter Sparks Ire

Local business leaders were fuming as word spread that L.A. City Council President Eric Garcetti sent a letter urging meeting planners to boycott the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel.

Funds OK'd For 710 Tunnel Study

Supporters of the proposal to put the Long Beach (710) Freeway extension in a tunnel under South Pasadena got a boost Thursday when the MTA board approved $5 million for engineering and technical studies of the project.

Officials Try to Avoid 'Air Rights' Tussle

A tussle between Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the Los Angeles City Council over a proposal to boost downtown development has exploded into a power struggle that is expected to come into public view today at City Hall.

L.A. Adds 27,000 Jobs in February

L.A.'s job picture brightened in February as the county gained 27,000 non-farm jobs, according to state figures released Friday.

China, Galaxy Deals Boost Herbalife

China has granted Herbalife Ltd. a direct-selling license for its weight-loss and nutritional supplements, according the company, which also announced a major corporate sponsorship deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer club.

Caruso's Santa Anita Project Clears Hurdle

Developer Rick Caruso's proposed outdoor mall development in Arcadia cleared a key hurdle this week when the city's Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the project.

Thursday, March 22

KB Posts Big Drop in Profit

KB Home reported a huge plunge in first quarter profit and a grim outlook for 2007 on Thursday, but shares barely budged as the figures exceeded Wall Street expectations.

2007 Defaults May Break Record

A Countrywide Financial Corp. executive told a U.S. Senate committee on Thursday that 2006 could end up as the company's worst-ever for subprime mortgage defaults.

Jacobs Buys N.J. Consulting Firm

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has agreed to buy Morristown, N.J.-based engineering consulting firm Edwards & Kelcey.

Keystone to Appeal Patent Ruling

Aftermarket auto parts maker Keystone Automotive Industries Inc. said it will appeal an International Trade Commission decision not to review an adverse ruling in a patent claim case involving Ford Motor Co., the company said Thursday.

Starbuck's Record Label Inks McCartney

Paul McCartney has signed a record deal with Hear Music, the Los Angeles-based record label of Starbucks Corp, the coffee retailer said.

We Have Liftoff ... Now What?

El Segundo rocket developer Space Exploration Technologies scored a partial success with the launch of its Falcon 1 on Tuesday.

Burbank Office Project Planned

Higgins Development Partners is planning to construct a $130 million office building in the Burbank Media District.

Avery Buys Logistics Firm for $1.3 Billion

Avery Dennison Corp. said it has agreed to acquire Paxar Corp. in a deal worth $1.3 billion.

Local Farm Claims Libel in E. Coli Scare

Boskovich Farms Inc., the Oxnard green onion grower linked and then cleared in Taco Bell's E. coli outbreak in December, is firing back at the fast-food chain.

North American Scientific Has New CEO

The board of North American Scientific Inc. named John Rush to take over company founder L. Michael Cutrer's position as chief executive officer and president of the Chatsworth-based cancer treatment products company.

Hollywood Christmas Parade Canned

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce said it is cancelling the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade, an 80-year-old institution that once drew some the entertainment industry's biggest stars.

Ports' Value Underscored

The explosion of imports from Asia has turned Southern California into the nation's loading dock.

Arrowhead Merges Nanotube Firms

Shares in Arrowhead Research Corp. rose nearly 15 percent after the Pasadena-based firm said its subsidiary, Unidym Inc., would merge with Houston-based Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc.

Wednesday, March 21

Northrop Adds Boeing to Bid

Northrop Grumman Corp. will add rival Boeing Co. to the team that bidding for the U.S. Army's Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System program.

MLB Nixes Cable Offer

Major League Baseball rejected a bid by cable-television companies Wednesday to retain the "Extra Innings" package for out-of-market games, saying the terms did not meet demands set by the league.

Northrop, Union at Table in Dispute

Workers at Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Pascagoula, Miss. shipyard held their first talks aimed at ending a strike that is now in its second week, the company said Wednesday.

Maguire's Timing May Lead to Trouble

Investors in Maguire Properties Inc. are hoping St. Patrick's Day brought this real-estate investment trust some Irish gold, because over the past few weeks all they have seen is bad luck.

Ameron Profit Up on Higher Steel Prices

Industrial pipe maker Ameron International Corp. said first-quarter net income more than doubled on rising steel selling prices, improved margins and a favorable product mix.

UFCW Threatens Albertsons With Strike

Just a day after agreeing to extend contract talks for three weeks, the union that represents 65,000 Southern California grocery workers targeted Albertsons for a strike vote Sunday.

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Lawmakers Take Action on Anemia Drugs

Amgen Inc. and Johnson & Johnson have been told by lawmakers to halt consumer advertising and financial incentives to doctors related to its anemia medications until safety reviews have been completed.

Loan Sale Boosts Fremont Shares

Shares in Fremont General Corp. surged Wednesday morning after the company said it has agreed to sell $4 billion of its sub-prime residential loans at a steep discount.

Milken, Partners Seeking Investors

A partnership that includes former junk bond king Michael Milken is looking for investors interested in putting as much as $1 billion into its educationrelated ventures.

Tuesday, March 20

SpaceX Rocket Launch Scrubbed

Rocket developer Space Exploration Technologies of El Segundo scrubbed the widely anticipated launch of its Falcon 1 on Monday, nearly a year after the maiden launch exploded shortly after takeoff.

Earnings Report Socks Superior Stock

Shares in Superior Industries International Inc. lost nearly 4 percent Tuesday after the company reported a fourth quarter that far exceeded analysts' expectations.

Continental Rejects Wings Again

The board of Continental Federal Credit Union on Tuesday voted unanimously to reject a merger proposal by Wings Financial Federal Credit Union.

L.A. Takes Time Warner to Task

A top Los Angeles cable TV watchdog on Monday called the merger of pay TV and Internet systems in the city a "near failure" for subscribers and asked Time Warner Cable Inc. to explain what went wrong, how it would fix the problems and how soon.

Unions, Grocers Extend Contract

Three Southern California grocery chains and the unions representing thousands of their employees agreed Monday night to a second contract extension in efforts to come to a long-term deal, a federal mediator said.

Mayor Vetoes Air Rights Plan

The future of a plan to sell unused "air rights" above the Los Angeles Convention Center was uncertain Tuesday following a rare veto by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Monday, March 19

2,400 Given Notice at Fremont

Fremont General Corp. said Monday that it has notified all 2,400 employees in its sub-prime lending unit that they may lose their jobs by May 18.

Merger of Equals Produces L.A.'s Newest Big Bank

First California Bank and National Mercantile Bancorp formed a new holding company, First California Financial Group Inc. It is one of the 20 largest Los Angeles-based banks.

Amgen Safety Concerns Begin to Take Toll on Customers

Recent safety concerns about the popular anemia drugs Epogen and Aranesp have mainly focused on the potential impact on its maker, Amgen Inc., should physicians start prescribing the drug for fewer conditions and in smaller dosages.

Newsmakers/Kudos/Donations

Hirings, promotions and kudos.

Ratkovich Goes to New Heights in Skyscraper Upgrade

Since purchasing 5900 Wilshire Blvd. in December 2005, Los Angeles-based Ratkovich Co. has embarked on an aggressive remodel of the office tower to bring it up to Class A standards.

Pixar Options Probe Clears Jobs

Shares in Walt Disney Co. were up Monday after the entertainment company said late last week that its investigation into stock options backdating at Pixar studios found that no one currently associated with Disney "engaged in any intentional or deliberate

Judah's Gem-Dandy Jewelry Center Sale

The International Jewelry Center, the premier jewelry mart in Los Angeles, has changed hands in the biggest downtown real estate deal of the year.

Subprime Loans Concentrated in Low-Income Areas

The number of subprime loans in 2005 and 2006 were highest in and around South L.A.

Immigrant Program 'No Cakewalk,' Says Wells Fargo Executive

Shelley Freeman, regional president of Wells Fargo & Co., discusses the bank's moves to create services for illegal immigrants.

Sacramento Needs to Address Problems of Class Action

The California Legislature should tackle reform of the state's class action process, according to John H. Sullivan.

Product Line Links Salon With Celebrities and Success

Pelusi's East Coast reputation translated here once his wares hit the store shelves.

Trio Named to County's High Court

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named three appointees to the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

Power Drive

AC Propulsion has developed the first commercial vehicle that not only runs entirely on electric power but is capable of giving energy back when not in use.

L.A. Firm Takes a Header on Out-of-the-Closet NBA Alum

Former National Basketball Association player John Amaechi has become one of the first openly gay pro athlete to sign a major, mainstream endorsement deal.

Tilting Hollywood's Balance of Power

Almost six years ago, big thinkers at Hollywood's Endeavor talent agency drilled into a bothersome question: Why should a star or director work for low pay on a labor of love only to see a film studio or foreign sales company strike it rich if the movie t

Americans Shouldn't Be Expected to Snitch on Illegal Immigrants

Tibor R. Machan writes that Americans shouldn't be expected to snitch on foreigners.

Thousands Watch A380 Landing

The Airbus A380 landed on schedule at Los Angeles International Airport just after 9:30 a.m. today, as thousands of spectators inside and outside the airport sneaked a peek at the the world's largest passenger jet.

L.A. Area Ports Still Bustling

Cargo container handling at the port complex continues to show strong growth despite signs that the national economy is slowing.

Credit Union Target Of Takeover Effort

Wings Financial Federal Credit Union launched an unprecedented hostile takeover attempt of rival Continental Federal something unheard of in the collegial world of credit unions.

Hollywood's Last Large Development Site Is Up for Sale

The last large site expected to be available in Hollywood for the foreseeable future has been put on the market amid the area's continuing resurgence.

Subprime Crisis Among the Red Flags Over Maguire Properties

Some of Maguire Properties Inc.'s recent acquisitions have landed it on the wrong side of unexpected events: the meltdown of the subprime sector and heightened concerns over terrorists who may target downtown Los Angeles.

Gearing Down

Primedia Inc. is selling off its "enthusiast" titles, including Lowrider and Hot Rod magazines.

Back on Track

After renovating an empty office building in Marina del Rey, Dr. Robert Bray opened a surgical center that turns spine operations into outpatient procedures.

Biotech Exec Getting the Message Out on Cancer Test

Robert Irwin

Block Party

Union Ice Co. of Vernon has begun expanding operations after being acquired by Arctic Glacier Inc., a Canadian company that has been solidifying its hold on the California ice market.

TV Bunnies Feel the Pinch

Three Playboy TV executives have been axed and there have been some layoffs, but the company denies reports of a production shutdown or major bloodletting.

SLIP IS SHOWING

Last year's L.A. Fashion Week was almost universally panned. Will things go better this year?

Real Estate: Subprime Concern Among Maguire's Red Flags

Some of Maguire Properties Inc.'s recent acquisitions have landed it on the wrong side of unexpected events: the meltdown of the subprime sector and heightened concerns over terrorists who may target downtown Los Angeles.

Nutty Bankers, Wacky Congress

The predictable subprime crisis will lead to predictable laws that will make it tougher for honest banks to do business, writes Charles Crumpley.

Admiralty Buys Aerospace Firm

Admiralty Partners Inc. has acquired the aerospace and defense business units of Torrance-based Vertical Circuits Inc., the Los Angeles defense and aerospace investment firm said Monday.

Agency Will Try to Get Americans' Moto Mojo Working

Wasserman Media Group has signed a deal with Madrid-based Dorna Sports to sell the global marketing opportunities for the MotoGP World Championship motorcycle races.

Gateway Jumps on Acer Rumor

Shares of Irvine-based computer maker Gateway Inc. spiked as much as 8% Monday as the persistent buzz about a takeover grew louder.

Regional Report

Business news from the L.A. area and beyond.

KCRW Ready To Rumble on Royalty Fees

Representatives at KCRW-FM (89.1) say they won't go down without a fight over the suddenly spiking royalties they must pay for Webcasting.

No Static

Saul Levine turned another corner in his long career as a prominent L.A. radio station owner recently with the transformation of his classical outlet to a country format.

Friday, March 16

CalPERS Names Underachievers

The California Public Employees' Retirement System on Thursday took its annual potshot at companies it has identified as corporate underachievers.

Spy Plane Contract for Northrop

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Friday that it has been awarded a $287 million contract to produce five more Global Hawk spy planes for the Air Force.

Avery Rewards Its CEO

Avery Dennison Corp. Chief Executive Dean Scarborough had a lucrative year, even by CEO standards.

Co-Founder Exits True Religion

News of True Religion Apparel Inc.'s stellar fourth quarter earnings were dampened by the announcement that co-founder Kymberly Lubell is leaving the company.

American Apparel Goes Global

One recent afternoon, as I combed the racks at American Apparel, I realized that I owned a substantial portion of the collection,in 1981, at the age of 11.

Earnings Sock Hythiam Stock

Shares in Santa Monica biotech firm Hythiam Inc. dipped more than 6 percent Friday after the company reported worse-than-expected fourth quarter results, which the company blamed on high salary and benefit costs.

L.A. Time Warner Exec Ousted

Time Warner Cable Inc. forced out its chief cable guy in Southern California on Wednesday, but you may not want to throw that help number away just yet.

Fremont Rebounds After Securing Loan

Shares in Fremont General Corp. surged as high as 22 percent during heavy trading Friday after the lender said Thursday that Credit Suisse AG increased the struggling mortgage lender's line of credit to $1 billion.

Thursday, March 15

FDA to Study Amgen Drugs

Heightened safety concerns over Amgen Inc.'s popular anemia drugs Aranesp and Epogen, as well as Johnson & Johnson's Procrit has prompted a review by federal health insurance officials.

L.A. No. 2 Port For Steel Imports

Driven by a building boom in the desert and increased demand for natural gas and oil pipelines, the Port of Los Angeles has become the nation's second-largest steel port.

Subprime Woes Likely to Spread

Most economic forecasters in a new WSJ.com survey believe turmoil in the subprime mortgage market is likely to spread to the broader mortgage market.

Romney Announces L.A. Support

Several prominent L.A. businessmen and investors have signed on to the presidential campaign of Republican Mitt Romney,

Area Room Rates Jump 7%

Room rates in Los Angeles County hotels jumped more than 7 percent in January as the region's hotel industry continued its robust growth despite a drop in occupancy rates, according to statistics released by PKF Consulting.

Expansion Plan Boots Overhill Shares

Shares in Overhill Farms Inc. gained more than 4 percent Thursday as the company announced an aggressive expansion and upgrade plan for its Vernon manufacturing facility.

Wednesday, March 14

Chevron Reviews Expansion Options

Chevron Corp. said Tuesday that it was considering expansions at several refineries, including two in California, but was abandoning plans to build a natural gas import facility off the coast of Baja California.

Subprime Slide Speading

Wall Street continued to batter shares of several local real estate companies amid the continuing subprime slide, which has been triggered by a rash of mortgage defaults.

Northrop Demoted in NASA Contract Bid

Strained relations between Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co. over the loss of an $8.1 billion contract to build rockets for NASA has forced the Los Angeles contractor into a lesser role, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Hot Topic's Earnings Off

Apparel retailer Hot Topic Inc. blamed diminishing sales and the cost of closing stores for weak fourth quarter earnings.

CalPERS Wins Suit Against Time Warner

Time Warner Inc. has agreed to pay $118 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the California Public Employees Retirement System over the 2001 merger with AOL.

SCE to Get $15 Million in Settlement

Southern California Edison will receive a $15 million payment from Portland General Electric as its share of a settlement with the Oregon utility resolving claims of overcharging during California's 2000-2001 electric power crisis.

Kroger Reports Strong Earnings, Growth

Ralph's parent Kroger Co., owner of more than 20 supermarket chains nationwide, reported a surge in quarterly profits as well as increased sales thanks to expansion, the company said Wednesday.

Audit Finds No Plan For Congestion

Los Angeles' transportation department lacks a long-term, comprehensive plan to build city infrastructure even as gridlock threatens to choke the region, according to an audit released Tuesday.

Bank Mergers Reach 3 Counties

In what is being billed as a "merger of equals," First California Financial Group, Inc. announced it has completed a deal that will combine National Mercantile Bancorp and FCB Bancorp.

City Floats Deal on Downtown Air Rights

Los Angeles city officials said they plan to sell 9 million square feet of unused "air rights" above the Convention Center to developers , who could add the vertical space to build housing projects elsewhere in downtown L.A. that exceed current city growt

Real Estate Magnate Shapell Dies

Nathan Shapell, chairman and chief executive of the Beverly Hills homebuilding and real estate firm Shapell Industries, died in his sleep while vacationing March 11. He was 85.

First Consulting Shares Drop on Earnings

First Consulting Group Inc. shares fell 19 percent Wednesday after the company reported fourth quarter earnings that failed to meet Wall Street expectations and lowered its first quarter profit outlook.

Parsons Lands Calgary Contract

Parsons Corp. will head a team that will design and construct the northeast portion of the Calgary Ring Road around Alberta, Canada.

Tuesday, March 13

DreamWorks Going 3-D

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. said Tuesday that it would produce all its new films using three-dimensional technology in a move to appeal to a wider range of audiences.

Countrywide Tightens Subprime Lending

Amid the widening collapse of the subprime market, Countrywide Financial Corp. said Tuesday it has stopped funding subprime home loans that don't require a down payment or proof of income.

Fashion Square Expansion Planned

The Westfield Group is planning a big expansion at Westfield Fashion Square, and residents worry that it will further clog already congested streets.

J2 Shares Up After Earnings

Shares in J2 Global Communications Inc. surged more than 12 percent after the company reported strong sales and a bright outlook for 2007.

$267 Million IT Pact for Northrop

Northrop Grumman Corp. has been awarded an Army contract worth up to $267 million to develop a system called Defense Knowledge Online, the company said Tuesday..

Daum Ends GVA Affiliation

Daum Commercial Real Estate Services and Illinois-based GVA Worldwide LLC will soon disaffiliate and end their GVA Daum association.

Monday, March 12

Partnerships Will Pave Way for Transportation Bond Work

Richard G. Little writes that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to leverage bond funds for road construction through public-private partnerships will depend on acceptance of toll roads.

Sunrise to Appeal Decision

Sunrise Senior Living Real Estate Investment Trust said it plans to appeal a court decision that forced Health Care Property Investors Inc. to withdraw its $1.2 billion bid for the Canadian REIT.

San Pedro Businesses Press for Waterfront Revitalization

Even as San Pedro has seen many residents lured away by growing, upscale communities nearby, it has retained a tight core of residents and business people who have striven to rebuild it.

Drop in Number of Homes Solds Is Deeper Than Expected

February is always a slow month, but in 2007 the drop was deeper than expected.

Investors Pay $5.6 Million for Northridge Office Building

A group of investors has paid $5.6 million for the 48,373-square-foot office building at 9221 Corbin Ave. in Northridge.

Zell's Past May Hint at Tribune Plan

What kind of a news baron would Sam Zell make? With Tribune Co. seriously considering the Chicago real estate billionaire's buyout offer, it's no idle question.

Ernst & Young Recruits Where the College Kids Hang Out Facebook

Ernst & Young LLP has stepped into the uncharted realm of online social networking with its sponsorship of a page on Facebook.com aimed at attracting young talent.

Vivendi Goes Global in Search of Cutting-Edge Developers

Acquisition of Chilean firm Wanako boosts its 'casual' unit Sierra Online.

Making the Leap From Direct Response to the Shelves

New division at Inter/Media helps firms with timing, execution of next step.

Villaraigosa Should Ask If a WiFi Plan Is Really Necessary

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa should consider whether his plan to cover Los Angeles with wireless Internet service is necessary, according to Steven Titch.

Eisner Goes Mobile

The investment firm run by former Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner has launched a studio that will produce and distribute videos for the Internet, portable media devices and cell phones.

Poker Firm Narrows Loss

Shares in WPT Enterprises Inc. gained more than 2 percent in aftermarket trading Monday, following the company's reporting it had cut its loss and increased revenue in the fourth quarter.

Countrywide Delinquencies Steady

Late payments on home loans Countrywide Financial Corp. manages were unchanged in February, the Calabasas mortgage company said Monday.

Party Props Latest Hollywood Realm to Lure Equity Money

Private equity firms have bankrolled film slates and made other incursions in Hollywood. They have not bought up everything, but they may be getting close.

Ixia Reports Quarterly Profit

Shares in Ixia rose slightly after the company reported a big increase in quarterly earnings, finishing a year that saw its net income fall by more than 50 percent.

Salem Shares Gain on Earnings

Shares in Salem Communications Corp. gained nearly 5 percent after the media company announced strong revenues driven by its growing Internet and publishing businesses.

Mover and Losers

Good press and solid earnings helped boost Enova Systems and Iris International while a gloomy guidance and bad earnings hurt PeopleSoft and Emak Worldwide.

Offering Previews Of DVD Contents To Beef Up Sales

SeeView Promotions Inc. makes a device that fits inside a DVD case and allows customers to preview images inside.

Valley Doctors' Latest Patient Requires Intensive Care

A pair of L.A. doctors are trying their hand at hospital operations after buying a problem property in San Diego.

KB Home Mulls French Sale

KB Home may sell its stake in its Paris homebuilding division, the French newspaper La Tribune reported.

Yo-Ho, It's Major Dough

Walt Disney Co. is making a $1.6 billion bet on the volatile tourism sector by commissioning two huge cruise ships.

Credit Union Takeover Attempt Continues

The head of Wings Financial Federal Credit Union said his company is continuing efforts to acquire Continental Federal Union despite strong resistance from management of the El Segundo-based credit union.

Newsmakers/Kudos/Donations

Hirings, promotions and kudos.

Don't Repeat Cable Error

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's plan to blanket the city with wireless Internet service is a bold move, but it's also more likely to be a fiasco than a help, writes Charles Crumpley.

Mapping New Terrain

Airborne 1 uses laser technology for aerial terrain mapping and counts developers, government agencies and civil engineers among its clients.

Business Gives 'F' to Teachers Pension Contribution Limits

A proposed regulation to rein in so-called "pay-to-play" practices at the state's second largest public pension fund has stirred opposition from the state's business community for being too broad.

Market Torpedoed Subprime Lender

The demise of Fremont General Corp.'s subprime lending business came as the risky market went south faster than company executives anticipated.

Strategic Relations Firm Hosts Lunches For Power Players

Equity Strategic Relations is now hosting invitation-only lunch get-togethers for local media, entertainment, financial and political minds.

AECOM to Hold Public Offering

AECOM Technology Corp. said it has filed the necessary paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.

'March Madness' Can Put Full-Court Press on Employers

GAMBLING: If pots in office pools exceed $1,000, authorities may call a foul.

Small Business Growing, Not Hiring

Two-thirds of L.A.-area small business owners increased their sales last year, but only 29 percent anticipate adding staff this year, according to an annual Union Bank of California survey.

Regional Report

News from around L.A. County and beyond.

Quinn Emanuel Hits The $2 Million Mark

Quinn Emanuel is at the top of L.A.'s profits-per-partner rankings thanks to its aggressive style and gains made in the New York office.

Tooth Time

Jerry Niznick was known as the "godfather of the dental implant industry." He sold his original company but remains active in dentistry.

Media Would Be Big Winners if State Shifts Its Primary

If the state presidential primary moves to the first Tuesday in February it will result in more campaign spending here.

County Museum of Art Taking Off-the-Wall Approach

Local dignitaries announce that fundraising for Phase I of Los Angeles County Museum of Art's so-called Transformation Campaign had come to an end with BP's donation of $25 million.

Development Rights Expanded

Downtown developers seeking to build high-density projects have a new tool at their disposal the air space above the Los Angeles Convention Center.

'Frankenstein of Fellowships' Gives the Old College Try

David Ambroz

Aftertaste

John Cushman became partners with some big names on a winery. It wasn't good at first, but the enterprise brought him his key deals. More than 30 years later, even the winery is turning a profit.

Giving Recognition

The Los Angeles Business Journal honored Edward P. Roski Jr., chairman and chief executive of Majestic Realty Co., as the Business Person of the Year.

Friday, March 9

Ellison's Buying Spree has Town Talking

For years now, software magnate Larry Ellison has been on a spending spree in Malibu that has caused even his fellow billionaires' tongues to wag, the Los Angeles Times reports.

American Reprographics Share Offer

American Reprographics Co. said Friday that it is offering 5.7 million shares of its common stock at a price of $32.25 per share.

Activision Urges Execs to Return Gains

Video game developer Activision Inc., among the hundreds of firms targeted in a federal probe of backdated stock options, is recommending that 10 current and former executives give up any gains they may have received via backdated stock option grants.

Unemployment Rate Dips to 4.5%

The unemployment rate dipped to 4.5 percent and workers got fatter paychecks in February, even as bad winter weather sent a bit of a chill through U.S. job growth.

Sony Pictures May Relocate 100 Workers

Sony Pictures Imageworks, one of Hollywood's leading visual effects companies, plans to move more than 100 jobs from Culver City to New Mexico if state lawmakers give their expected blessing next week to film industry financial sweeteners.

Teledyne Buys Fiber Optics Firm

Teledyne Technologies Inc. has agreed to acquire technology firm D.G. O'Brien Inc, the Los Angeles company said Friday.

Report Socks PeopleSupport Stocks

Shares in PeopleSupport Inc. dipped 37 percent Friday after the company reported a dip in profits and projected that its first quarter earnings will miss analysts' estimates.

Iger Firmly in Charge of Disney

In contrast to a shareholder revolt three years ago against former Chief Executive Officer Michael D. Eisner, Walt Disney Co's. current leadership received a strong vote of confidence at the company's annual shareholder meeting in New Orleans.

Big 5 Shares Flat After Strong Earnings

Shares in Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. were flat after the company announced a 25 percent jump in profit along with increased sales.

Amgen Shares Fall on FDA Warning

Amgen Inc. shares lost 2 percent on Friday after regulators announced new label warnings for a class of treatments that includes the company's top-selling drug, Aranesp.

Thursday, March 8

Hansen Threatened With Delisting

Hansen Natural Corp. has received another letter from Nasdaq saying the company was once again not in compliance with listing rules due to the delayed filing of the company's 2006 annual report, the Corona beverage maker said Thursday.

Unstable Arches Close LAX's Theme

Officials shuttered the Encounter restaurant in the iconic Theme Building at Los Angeles International Airport today after workers discovered the space-age arches that surround the eatery are unstable.

Scpie Shares Up on Earnings

Shares of Scpie Holdings shot up Thursday after the medical malpractice insurer reported declining losses in its assumed reinsurance business.

Point.360 Buys Effects Studio

Point.360 has acquired visual effects firm Eden FX as it seeks to broaden its array of services, the Burbank media firm said Thursday.

True Religion Names CFO

True Religion Apparel Inc. said it has appointed Peter Collins to the position of chief financial officer for the Los Angeles-based clothing company.

Korn/Ferry Reports Tepid Earnings

Korn/Ferry International Inc. reported a decline in earnings Thursday but the Los Angeles executive recruitment firm beat Wall Street expectations.

California Cows are Going Drug-Free

Under pressure from supermarket chains and their customers, California cows are going drug-free.

Northrop Shipyard Workers Declare Strike

Workers at Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. rejected a proposed labor contract for the second time, forcing a strike and halting production at one of the nation's largest shipyards, the Pascagoula Metal Trades Council said.

Crown Media Narrows Loss

Crown Media Holdings Inc., the operator of the Hallmark Channel, reported a narrower loss Thursday despite a decrease in revenues.

State's Energy Outlook OK

Nearly six years after the last rolling blackout, California expects to have enough electricity to get through the summer.

Wednesday, March 7

Zell Gains Traction in Bid for Tribune

Sam Zell has emerged as a strong contender to buy the company that owns the Los Angeles Times, KTLA-TV Channel 5 and the Chicago Cubs baseball team, according to people familiar with ongoing negotiations.

Magic Backs Brooklyn Condo Project

Basketball legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson and his joint-venture partner, Canyon -Johnson Urban Fund, will provide $12.4 million of financing to help build a 130-unit condominium project in the growing Greenpoint section of Brooklyn.

Subprime Unit Draws Suitors

Fremont General Corp. is in talks with "five or six companies" interested in an acquisition of its troubled subprime mortgage business, the Santa Monica company said Wednesday.

Northrop Lands F-18 Deal

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Wednesday that Australia will buy 24 advanced Super Hornet fighter bombers in a deal worth about $4.6 billion.

CSC Lands Norwegian Deal

Computer Sciences Corp. said Wednesday that it has renewed its information technology services agreement with DnB NOR, Norway's largest financial services group.

Shipping Lines Hope to Avoid Strike

With the West Coast dockworker contract running out next year, representatives of shipping lines vowed Tuesday that there would be no repeat of the disastrous labor dispute in 2002, which shut down West Coast ports for 11 days at an estimated cost of $15

Burbank Video-on-Demand Outfit Acquired

Movie Gallery Inc., the second largest U.S. video rental chain, has acquired Burbank-based MovieBeam Inc. as it expands its video-on-demand business, the company said Wednesday.

Cheesecake Factory Expands Buy Back

The board of Cheesecake Factory Inc. approved an increase of 10 million shares in the company's repurchase plan, the company announced Wednesday.

The Queen of Opportunities

It s permanently anchored, a bit run down, beset by financial woes its best quality may be that it s reputed to be haunted -- but many consider the Queen Mary the jewel of the city.

DirecTV Venezuela Office Closed

DirecTV Group Inc.'s headquarters in Venezuela will be forced to close for two days as the government penalizes the satellite TV provider for allegedly violating tax rules, according to Bloomberg News.

J2 Delays Earnings

J2 Global Communications Inc. said that is plans to file its third quarter, fourth quarter and year-end earnings reports by March 16, the Los Angeles-based company said Wednesday.

Tuesday, March 6

Refinery Hiccups Hike Gas Prices

Officials said Monday that two animals separately set off electrical power disruptions at two Los Angeles-area refineries on Sunday night, adding to the recent rise in West Coast gasoline prices.

Countrywide Receives S & L; Approval

Countrywide Financial Corp. received approval Monday evening to become a savings-and-loan holding company, placing its operations under supervision of a single federal regulator.

Long Beach REIT Loses Legal Bid

A Canadian judge ruled Health Care Property Investors Inc. cannot make a bid for Sunrise Senior Living Real Estate Investment Trust, a Toronto-based REIT that it sought to take from a rival suitor.

Subprime Fallout Brings Bargain Hunters

As fallout spreads from soaring defaults on riskier home-mortgage loans, some big investors see a recovery coming and are preparing to increase their bets on the so-called subprime market.

First Consulting Delays Earnings

First Consulting Group Inc. will delay the report of its fourth-quarter and full-year financial results by a week, the Long Beach health care consulting firm announced Tuesday.

Berman, Braun Get NBC Financing Deal

NBC Universal Television on Monday agreed to a three-year deal to finance the newly formed boutique production studio headed by veteran TV executives Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun.

Downtown L.A. Marriott is Sold

The downtown Los Angeles Marriott Hotel has been sold in yet another sign of robust investor demand for hotel properties and the growing strength of the downtown hospitality market.

Warner, Universal Enter Digital Pact

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Digital Cinema Implementation Partners said Tuesday they have formed a joint venture that will evaluate and produce a digital delivery format and infrastructure for digital cinema.

Profit Soars for Produce Packer

Calavo Growers Inc. reported a 300-percent jump in profits for the first quarter despite one of the worst winters on local produce markets in recent memory.

Activision Buys Software Firm

Activision Inc. has agreed to buy DemonWare Ltd., an Irish videogame software designer, the Santa Monica video game publisher said Tuesday.

L.A. Consumer Confidence Up

Consumer confidence among Californians held steady at the highest level in three years in the first quarter of 2007, according to a survey released Tuesday from Chapman University in Orange.

Amgen Drug Off Medicare List

Amgen Inc.'s popular anemia drug Aranesp has been dropped from Medicare plan coverage by Noridian Administrative Services LLC because of safety concerns, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Monday, March 5

Developer to Spend Millions Upgrading City Sidewalks

A downtown developer is paying $2 million to upgrade the streetscape around his condo buildings a move that could raise the bar for city-mandated improvements.

Human Touch

High-end mobile phone company Voce hopes to reach out and touch the kind of busy executive types who may not have their own personal assistant on the payroll.

Studios Working on Digital Film System

Tired of being turned away at the theater box office when a movie's sold out? Unhappy there's no art-house theater in your neighborhood to cater to your hoity-toity theatrical tastes?

Glendale Firm Buys N.C. Property

American Realty Advisors bought a 332-unit apartment complex in North Carolina for $45 million, the company said Monday.

Haute Dogs

Los Angeles dog owners eager to lavish luxury on Fido are creating a mini-boom of businesses that cater to boutique bowsers.

Airbus Will Fly A380 to L.A. on Giant Jet's Maiden Voyage

Airbus will be landing the world's largest passenger jet at Los Angeles International Airport on its maiden voyage after all.

Guess on Impressive Roll, but Experts Wonder If It Can Last

Guess Inc. has been on an impressive roll, but some experts wonder if the fashion chain can keep up its torrid pace.

Maguire Puts 17 Properties on the Block

Maguire Properties Inc. has hired brokerage Eastdil Secured LLC to sell a 17 property portfolio that includes four prime Glendale office buildings.

Market Meltdown Unlikely to Trigger Slew of Buybacks

Experts say that last week's stock market drop was not necessarily the most prudent time for companies to buy back their stock.

United Way to Shift Funding With New Focus on Poverty

The United Way is shifting its support in order to meet its goals of addressing poverty in Los Angeles, writes Elise Buik.

NBC's Local News Shows Will Hitch a Ride on L.A. Buses

NBC Universal's three L.A. stations have partnered with Transit TV to put local television news on buses run by Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Port ID Plan Set To Pluck Truckers

A new port worker identification program could ban thousands of local truckers who are undocumented immigrants from the ports and create a

Whole Latte Love

Sean Ryan's Stomping Grounds Beverage Co. makes "latte in a box." Customers can pick up his product at a grocery, add milk and pop it in the microwave.

Unusual History May Explain Rise of K-Fed Bancorp Shares

K-Fed Bancorp

Avery Names Controller

Avery Dennison Corp. has appointed Mitchell Butier to the position of chief accounting officer.

Generation IX Has Software Solutions for Daylight Savings

So far, at least, the business community has exhibited none of the near-hysteria prevalent at the turn of the century as we come near the Daylight Savings Time transition.

Organization Helping Homeless Join Work Force

Jay Goldinger helps place the homeless in jobs at local shops and restaurants.

Rescued From Illness, 'Baywatch' Babe Gets Into T-Shirts

Former "Baywatch" actress Melissa Biggs recently designed and launched a women's basic line, PGD Style.

Fremont to Shutter Subprime Unit

Fremont General Corp. intends to exit its subprime residential real estate lending business and is seeking a buyer for the unit, the Santa Monica based lender said Friday in a regulatory filing.

Ports Have Sinking Feeling

At Southern California's twin ports, there is a growing feeling that the economic tide has begun to turn.

Pacific Design Center Gets Ready for the Red Building

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Red Building on March 29 marks the beginning of the third and final stage of the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

Businesses Battling Living Wage Creep

Advocates of the living wage are pursuing a strategy of incrementalism. In Koreatown, a supermarket owner has agreed to raise pay for his employees in exchange for city permission to build a three-story mall.

Making Scents Out of Celebs' Retail Muscle

Research indicates that consumers are willing to pay up to 25 percent more for celebrity-branded products.

'Live the Market'

Sam Nazarian financed his first nightclub with the sale of the

L.A. County Job Data Mixed

Jobs figures released by the state on Friday gave mixed signals for L.A. County economy.

Grocer Unions, Stores Reach 2-Week Deal

The United Food and Commercial Workers and Ralph's Grocery Co., Safeway Inc.'s Vons, and Albertsons LLC agreed to extend workers' contracts by two weeks. The contracts expired today.

Never Mind the Naysayers, Says Developer of Glass Tower

There is only one way Amir Kalantari can prove he is actually going to build his Glass Tower condo project: evidence of construction in progress.

Grocery Pact Set to Expire Monday

The contract for about 65,000 Southern California grocery workers will expire Monday without a new agreement but also no immediate threat of a work stoppage, representatives of the three major chains and the United Food and Commercial Workers union said F

Newsmakers

Hirings, promottions and kudos.

Stay Sober on Stock Market

When the stock market drops 3 percent it's noteworthy, but the media shouldn't treat it as apocalyptic even if Britney didn't shave her head that day, writes Charles Crumpley.

Cherokee Extends Target Deal

Cherokee Inc. said Monday that it has extended its licensing agreement with Target Corp. through January 2009.

The Joy of Voy

Voy, which recently moved to L.A. from New York, is connecting to second-generation Latinos in English with music, film, DVDs and the Internet.

Regional Report

News from around L.A. County.

Who Will Pay for Rising Ports Costs?

Between new air-quality regulations, increasing fuel costs, a looming change in the port trucking industry and proposals for container fees, the cost of doing business in the port is going up.

Movers and Losers

During a week in which the Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 400 points in one day, and the subprime mortgage slide continued to gouge lenders and builders alike, a toy company was one of the few bright spots in a week wrought with losses.

United Way Will Ask Non-Profits To Meet Its Goals

United Way will ask non-profits to compete for funding and will award money based on new goals for addressing poverty in Los Angeles.

How Can L.A.'s Elected Officials Repair Constituents' Ill Will?

Elected officials need lessons in public relations and communications,

Friday, March 2

Which Safeway Can Workers Count On?

Of all those who've lauded Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan for universal health coverage , none has stood out quite like Steve Burd, the chairman and chief executive of Safeway Inc.

Long Beach REIT Challenges Sale

Health Care Property Investors Inc. expects to learn on Tuesday whether it will be allowed to enter a bid for Sunrise Senior Living Real Estate Investment Trust.

Hilton Sells European Chain

Hilton Hotels Corp. is selling its Scandic Hotel chain to Stockholm-based buyout firm EQT for $1.1 billion, the Bevery Hills-based company announced Friday.

Long Beach C-17 Plant to Close in 2009

Citing a lack of U.S. and international orders for its C-17 jet, Boeing Co. said Friday that it expects to close the Long Beach plant that builds the military cargo jet in 2009, with layoffs beginning next year.

Northrop Project Will Be Re-Bid

The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday that it would reopen bidding on portions of the $24 billion Deep Water shipbuilding contract shared by L.A.'s Northrop Grumman Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp.

Disney Expanding Disney World

Walt Disney Co. is planning two expansions to its Walt Disney World theme park in Orlando, Fla., including a 900-acre luxury resort and a commercial district just outside the entrance, the company announced Friday.

Costco Fruit Recalled Over Salmonella

Some fruit trays sold at Los Angeles-area Costco wholesale stores were recalled last week because of possible contamination with salmonella, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday. No illnesses were reported.

Blockbuster Kicking Movielink's Tires

Movie-rental giant Blockbuster Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire Movielink LLC, an online movie-downloading company owned by the major Hollywood studios, according to people familiar with the matter.

EMI Rejects Warner Bid

EMI Group plc rejected a $4.1 billion non-binding takeover offer from Warner Music Group, saying the uncertainty of approval from European regulators was "not in the best interest of EMI shareholders."

Thursday, March 1

L.A.'s 'Creative Economy' Documented

What do the strapless bra, Bugs Bunny, the Cobb salad, Barbie, Hula Hoops and the latest version of the Volkswagen Beetle have in common? They were all "born" in Southern California's creative infrastructure that generates billions of dollars annually for

Mattel Unit Fined for Safety Violation

Toymaker Fisher-Price will have to pay a $975,000 fine for failing to immediately notify the government regarding a nail fastener on a toy that could pose a possible choking hazard.

Hansen Faces Nasdaq Deadlines

A Nasdaq panel has ruled that Hansen Natural Corp. can continue trading on the exchange pending the disclosure of an internal investigation into its stock options practices and other actions, the beverage maker reported in a regulatory filing Thursday.

Live Nation Narrows Loss

Live Nation Inc. reported a net loss of $33 million Thursday, an improvement form a $135 million loss the company posted for the same period a year earlier. The company did not provide any per-share earnings numbers in its filing.

Amgen Shares Slip on Drug Woes

Shares of Amgen Inc. fell nearly 4 percent Thursday after the biotech giant said it had received an inquiry from U.S. regulators about a delay in the release of negative study results about its blockbuster anemia drug Aranesp.

IndyMac Offers Dim Outlook

IndyMac Bancorp. said Thursday that it expects its 2007 earnings per share to decline as the housing market continues to struggle, driving its shares down nearly 4 percent.

Edison Gets Transmission Line OK

Southern California Edison said Thursday afternoon that it has been granted state approval to start a planned $1.8 billion transmission expansion designed to tap wind power resources.

Ports Targeted by Container Bill

Another bill has been introduced in the California Legislature that would slap a $30 fee on containers handled by local ports to reduce congestion, speed goods movement and reduce air pollution.

Mortgage Defaults Start to Spread

The mortgage market has been roiled by a sharp increase in bad loans made to borrowers with weak credit. Now there are signs that the pain is spreading upward.

Countrywide: Subprime Delinquencies Rise

In another indication of trouble in the subprime mortgage market, Countrywide Financial Corp. said Thursday that payments were late on almost 20 percent of the subprime loans the mortgage giant manages for other lenders.

City National Acquires Nevada Bank

City National Corp. said Thursday that it has completed its $167 million acquisition of Nevada-based Business Bank Corp.