Stories for May 2007

Thursday, May 31

Transmission Line Plan Rejected

Arizona regulators have rejected a proposed $580 million transmission system Southern California Edison had sought to import more electricity into California.

CSC to Restate Earnings on Tax Charges

Computer Sciences Corp. said late Wednesday that it plans to restate fiscal earnings from 2000 to 2006 after finding "significant errors" in tax liability accounting and take a charge of up to $400 million.

Thomas O'Brien to be Top L.A. Attorney

The Bush Administration has settled on Thomas O'Brien to be the top U.S. prosecutor in Los Angeles, the Daily Journal reports.

D.A. Adds Charge in Wong Case

The District Attorney's Office has added a charge in the case against Leland Wong, a former commissioner in the administration of ex-Mayor James Hahn.

Union: Grocers Threaten Health Fund

The union representing Southern California grocery workers accused three major markets Wednesday of proposing cuts in employer contributions that would bankrupt a health care fund that buys employee coverage, a claim the markets rejected.

Shamrock Capital Sells Modern Luxury

The rich are different, and so is what they're reading. Which is why the quest for wealthy eyeballs is booming despite a soft print market.

Hilton Sells Famed Washington Hotel

Hilton Hotels Corp. has sold its Hilton Washington hotel for $290 million to a group of investors led by Canyon Johnson Urban Fund, the investment vehicle of former basketball player Earvin "Magic" Johnson.

Wednesday, May 30

Upgrades Benefit Local REITs

Shares in six Southern California-based real estate investment trusts received a boost Wednesday after two local trusts were upgraded from "hold" to "buy" by Deutsche Bank.

Index Shows Workers Uneasy

A new study shows that Los Angels-based workers are seeing an increasingly bleak future on the horizon.

Fisher-Price Recalls Swing Set

Fisher-Price Inc said Wednesday that it is suspending sales and voluntarily recalling some of its Rainforest Open-Top Take-Along Swings.

Bill Aims for Clean Air at Ports

In the latest sign that environmental policies originating in California inevitably stretch beyond our borders, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have introduced a bill aiming to dramatically clean up ship emissions at all U.S. ports.

Semtech, Goldman Sachs Ink Stock Deal

Semtech Corp. said its board approved an accelerated stock repurchase program Wednesday where Goldman, Sachs & Co. will purchase $150 million-worth of the company's common stock.

NBC Gives 'Office' Exec Big Job

In 1985, when Ben Silverman was in junior high, he told his mom he needed to stay home from school to watch TV.

Tuesday, May 29

Hythiam Nixes Merger

Los Angeles health care management firm Hythiam Inc. has ended its deal to buy the remaining stock in Comprehensive Care Corp.

Six Injured at Disney Animal Park

A handful of people were injured at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Tuesday afternoon after a portion of the ride malfunctioned.

Activus Bought by PSS World

Activus Healthcare Solutions Inc. has been acquired by PSS World Medical, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based medical product distributor.

Guitar Centers Shares Surge on Sale Talk

Shares in Guitar Center Inc. got an 11 percent boost Tuesday after a report surface that the retailer had hired an adviser; prompting many to speculate the nation's largest music equipment retailer was considering a sale.

Workers Comp Rate Decrease Proposed

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner has called for insurers to cut workers' compensation premium rates by an additional 14.2 percent, saying California businesses still are not reaping sufficient benefit from system reforms.

Former CSC Chief Gets $11 Million

Van Honeycutt, the longtime Computer Sciences Corp. chief executive whose retirement was announced last week, will receive an $11 million retirement package, according to a regulatory filing.

Monday, May 28

GEORGE JOSEPH

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

RON BURKLE

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

AUBREY CHERNICK

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

DONALD STERLING

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

DirecTV Giving Liberty a Focal Point

When News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch reportedly called satellite television provider DirecTV a "turd bird" in September, the folks at Liberty Media took advantage of it.

JOHN ANDERSON

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

MICHAEL MILKEN

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos

ALFRED E. MANN

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

FREDERICK W. "TED" FIELD

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Crime-Fighting Web-Slinger Has Real Potential as Pitchman

Spider-Man, the crime-fighting superhero that has carried Sony Pictures Entertainment to the top of the box office heap for the past few years, could have a real future as a product spokesman.

CHARLES T. MUNGER

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

JEFFREY KATZENBERG

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

A. JERROLD PERENCHIO

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

WILLIAM BARRON HILTON

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

ROBERT ADDISON DAY JR.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

TRC's Tender Offer Tough One for Amgen

Some Amgen stockholders have agreed to sell their stock to a so-called tender troller, and they may not get the premium they expected.

ALAN CASDEN

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Money's No Fun If You Don't Spend It

If you have a lot of money you can buy an island or take a space flight.

PATRICK SOON-SHIONG

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Apartment Owners Are Up in Arms

An association of apartment owners is considering a lawsuit that would challenge the L.A. City Council's extension of the rent-control ordinance.

Newsmakers

Kudos, hirings and promotions.

LESLIE GONDA

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Business Backed Schools Winner

In its biggest such push in years, the business community put up major money to back reform candidates in the Los Angeles school board race.

ALEC GORES

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

MERV GRIFFIN

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Former Planning Official Gets New View With Housing Fund

Con Howe joins CityView after stint at Urban Land Institute.

Realtors, Jet Sellers, Art Dealers They Serve L.A.'s Wealthiest

Who makes money by getting the super-rich what they want? Realtors, jet sellers and art dealers.

MING HSIEH

he 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Northrop Wrapping $500 Million N.Y. Safety Network

In another step toward more non-defense work, Northrop Grumman Corp. is finishing a $500 million wireless data network for New York City emergency response workers.

New L.A.-Based Magazines Are Scoring Some Successes

A look at several publications that have launched locally since the beginning of the year.

RICK CARUSO

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

TOM GORES

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Saving Subprime

Subprime loans, when done right, can open the door to home ownership, writes Charles Crumpley; so he's concerned about calls to possibly restrict them.

HAIM SABAN

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

STEVEN FERENCZ UDVAR-HAZY

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Skechers Isn't Denying Reports of Kohlberg Kravis Buyout

Skechers Inc. isn't denying reports that Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. is interested in buying the popular sneaker company.

ROY DISNEY

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

PETER LOWY

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

ELI BROAD

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

NEIL KADISHA

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Electric Cars a Tough Sell in L.A.

They roll down the street in stealthy silence and run on juice from your wall socket, and for Rob Thomas, they're the antidote to the ills of high gas prices and petroleum dependency.

Billionaires They Have to Work Hard With That Money

When they moved from rich to super-rich, they found out that managing their money was a new career.

GUILFORD GLAZER

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Pink Taco Hopes For Big Lunch Business in Century City

Morton's Steak House heir Harry Morton is expanding his Pink Taco restaurant chain into Los Angeles next month.

DAVID MURDOCK

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Cabi West Pays $1.5 Billion for Arden Portfolio

Cabi West Coast Acquisitions LLC has agreed to purchase a 33-property portfolio from Arden Realty Inc.

He's Southland's Earl of Sandwich

Los Angeles entrepreneur Hardeep "Hardy" Grewal has bought the rights to sell Subway sandwich shops in Orange County to go along with his L.A. County empire.

Hard Rock

Rock & Republic founder Michael Ball had a troubled youth that included jail time perfect training for the fashion world, where he says he's received death threats.

FRANKLIN OTIS BOOTH JR.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

BARBARA DAVIS & FAMILY

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

KIRK KERKORIAN

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Rocket Science Laboratories Proposes Team Dating Show

The reality television production company behind Fox Broadcasting's "Trading Spouses" and "Temptation Island" is planning to bring L.A.-based TeamDating.com, an online dating Web site, to the small screen.

LOUIS GONDA

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Policies Should Be Changed to Help the Poor Get Richer

Peter Dreier writes that the widening gap between L.A.'s richest and its poorest is a serious issue that cries out for action.

EDWARD ROSKI JR.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

STEVEN SPIELBERG

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Valuing the Rich

How the Business Journal calculates wealth.

BRADLEY WAYNE HUGHES

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

JOHN TU

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

STEPHEN BING

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Changes Considered for Hazardous Materials Inspections

State regulators and local hazardous materials inspection officials are looking to change the way they inspect thousands of businesses in Los Angeles County and throughout the state.

ANTHONY PRITZGER

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

DAVID GEFFEN

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

FRANK & JAMIE McCOURT

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Times Change; So Does Richest List

Some of the wealthiest on last year's list didn't return. Others joined, and still others are contenders who might make it next year.

To Have and Have Not in L.A.

The traditional wealth gap between rich and poor in Los Angeles has grown.

Hooch Homage

Hollywood 86 is set to open this summer at the site of a Prohibition-era speakeasy owned by silent film legend Rudolph Valentino.

MICHAEL EISNER

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

JOHN SHEA

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

TOM WERNER

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

GARY MICHELSON

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Stock and Real Estate Gains Drove Wealth Higher

Some of L.A.'s richest got richer thanks to the boom in stocks and real estate.

STEWART RESNICK

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Fourtune's Favorites

The 2007 list of Wealthiest Angelinos is a ranking of personal net worth of those who have their primary residence in Los Angeles County. This year's list features 41 billionaires, an all-time high. The computations of wealth are done by the Los Angeles B

DAVID WHITMIRE HEARST JR. & GEORGE RANDOLPH HEARST JR.

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos

CEO Way to Wealth

Some CEOs make so much money they may find themselves in the top 50 soon.

Biotech Groups Hope to Raise Profile Through Merger

L.A., O.C. councils join forces for better access to capital.

SUMNER REDSTONE

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

LOWELL J. MILKEN

The 50 Wealthiest Angelenos,in order.

Eye on You

DTT Surveillance makes digital equipment that allows restaurant owners to keep a close eye on their establishments.

Regional Report

Regional business news from around L.A. County.

Fortune's Favorites

You've heard of the wealth gap, but there's another. It's between the wealthy and today's fast-growing band

Friday, May 25

Big Movers

Getting a boost for the week were Fremont General Corp, Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. and RadNet Inc. Slipping were Peerless Systems Corp. and Arrowhead Research Corp.

Kaufman & Broad Mulls Stock Sale

Kaufman & Broad SA, the French homebuilder KB Home sold to PAI Partners earlier this week, said it plans to hire an independent consultant to assess an offer to buy out shareholders at a price that is below market value.

Custom Stamps as a Status Symbol

MADISON AVENUE used to have high hopes for the lowly postage stamp. For decades, advertisers imagined that if only the legal barriers against commercial images on postage stamps came down, they could do great things on envelopes.

2007 Wealthiest Angelinos

The 2007 list of Wealthiest Angelinos is a ranking of personal net worth of those who have their primary residence in Los Angeles County. This year's list features 41 billionaires, an all-time high. The computations of wealth are done by the Los Angeles B

Tribune's Climb to Go Private Gets Steep

Tribune Co.'s prolonged and tortuous undertaking to sell itself isn't getting any easier.

PUC to Look Into Deregulation

The California Public Utilities Commission voted Thursday to open talks to return California to a deregulated retail energy market, despite objections from legislative leaders that it is "not within the discretion" of the utilities panel to do so.

Calif. Panel May Reopen 'Direct Access'

The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday moved to possibly reopen a program suspended during the state's energy crisis in 2001 that lets consumers buy electricity from independent suppliers rather than from utilities.

Thursday, May 24

Keystone Quarter Caps Solid Year

Shares in Keystone Automotive Industries Inc. gained nearly 4 percent after the company posted strong fourth quarter profits that beat Wall Street's expectations.

Upper Deck Beats Eisner's Topps Bid

Baseball-card and bubblegum maker Topps Co. said Thursday it has received an unsolicited buyout offer of $10.75 a share, or roughly $416 million, from Upper Deck Co.

Another Exec Out at Comp Insurer

A third top executive at California's government -controlled workers' compensation insurance company has been dismissed amid a continuing probe into allegations of conflicts of interest and fraud involving as much as $1 billion.

RadNet Buys New York Firm

RadNet Inc. said Thursday that it has agreed to acquire Rochester-based Borg Imaging Group for $12 million in cash. The deal also includes about $1 million in debt.

Herbalife Chairman Steps Down

Herbalife Ltd. Chairman Peter Castleman and board member David Halbert resigned Thursday to pursue other business activities.

Gov. Appoints 6 to L.A. Superior Court

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointments of six judges to the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Hilton Names Hart CEO

Hilton Hotels Corp. said Thursday afternoon that Matthew Hart will be the company's new chief executive effective Jan. 1, 2008.

ValueClick Inquiry Taking Toll

Shares in ValueClick Inc. lost ground for the second straight day after it was downgraded by Piper Jaffray & Co. due to concerns over a Federal Trade Commission probe into its sales practices.

Hot Topic's Same-Store Sales Dip

Shares in Hot Topic Inc. fell more than 5 percent Thursday after the retailer posted a dip in same-store sales.

Wednesday, May 23

Fremont Receives Credit Upgrade

Shares of troubled lender Fremont General Corp. gained more than 23 percent Wednesday after Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said the firm's decision to sell its commercial real estate lending business will have a positive effect on the company's rating

New York Subpoenas Amgen

Amgen Inc. said that it has received a subpoena from New York's attorney general related to the sales and marketing activities for its drugs. The biotech also announced it would sell $4 billion in senior notes to fund a stock buyback.

Cabi West Buys Arden Portfolio

Arden Realty Inc., one of the biggest landlords in Southern California, has agreed to sell a 33-property portfolio to Cabi West Coast Acquisitions LLC for just under $1.5 billion.

California Brain Drain?

As the Golden State's economy becomes more complex, a new study suggests the state's economy may begin to suffer "brain drain" if it doesn't start courting, and keeping, more college graduates.

California Wants Stricter Emission Rules

Officials from California demanded that federal regulators allow the state to impose the strictest automobile and light truck emissions rules in the nation.

Tuesday, May 22

Extension for Disney World, Unions

Walt Disney Co.'s Orlando-based theme park Disney World has reached an agreement on a 30-day extension of its labor agreement with unions representing 21,000 employees.

Prospect Acquires ProMed

Prospect Medical Holdings Inc. said that it has acquired Ontario-based ProMed Health Care for $48 million in cash and stock.

Electronic Clearinghouse Names CEO

Electronic Clearing House Inc. said Tuesday that current Chairman and Chief Executive Joel Barry will retire on July 2.

Kerkorian Pushes MGM Shake-Up

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, who holds a 56% stake in MGM Mirage Inc., launched an overture for two of the big Las Vegas casino company's prized assets in a volley that has put the entire company in play.

Summer Travel Logjam Expected at LAX

Flying this summer will be no picnic, given that area airports predict higher fares on some flights and fuller airplanes.

Festival Of the Force

Thirty years ago, Shawn Crosby traveled to a galaxy far, far away and never came back. This year, Crosby wanted to stay in L.A., so he helped bring this week's Star Wars convention to Downtown for the first time.

L.A./Palmdale Airport Chief Named

Robert Gluck was appointed Tuesday to the position of airport manager for L.A./Palmdale Regional Airport, the city's airport agency announced.

Houlihan Lokey Buys Baxter Energy

Houlihan Lokey said Tuesday that it has acquired energy merger and acquisitions advisory boutique Baxter Energy Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Council Broadens Rent Ordinance

In a controversial move, the Los Angeles City Council has extended the city's rent stabilization ordinance to include new apartment units built to replace older ones.

EU OKs Universal, BMG Merger

Universal Music Group said it has received conditional approval from the European Commission to buy BMG Music Publishing for $2.2 billion.

US Airways Pilots Protest

Pilots from US Airways Group Inc.'s union picketed airport terminals in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Las Vegas on Tuesday, urging US Airways management to forge a new combined contract.

Universal Plans Korean Theme Park

Universal Studios said Monday that it has formed a partnership to build a theme park in South Korea.

Fremont Sells Unit, Names New Execs

Shares in Fremont General Corp. soared nearly 40 percent Tuesday after the company sold its commercial real estate unit and shuffled its executive lineup.

CSC Delays Earnings, Names CEO

Computer Sciences Corp. will delay its fourth quarter earnings report so that it can do some additional accounting involving taxes on transactions from earlier quarters.

Monday, May 21

Sparks Try to Put More Pep in Their Step

The Los Angeles Sparks' dance performers, the Ole Skool Dance Crew, are hoping to help take the women's basketball team to a new level.

Healing Power

Numotech is trying to bring oxygen therapy for wound care to the masses with a portable hyperbaric oxygen kit that can be deployed near battlefields, at accident scenes or even in the home.

Computer Sciences Bids for Malaysian

El Segundo-based Computer Sciences Corp. has offered $104 million in cash to buy Malaysian software company Computer Systems Advisers.

Hollywood's Mr. Fix-It at Work

Just hours after a raft of articles suggesting the impending collapse of his business hit the papers on April 11, 2002, Michael S. Ovitz did what Hollywood moguls had done for a generation: He called Anthony Pellicano.

Keep on Slowing

Economic growth in Los Angeles County will slow into 2008, but the county will perform better than surrounding areas, according to a new forecast.

Roll Back The Gas Tax

Charles Crumpley writes that it's time for state legislators to roll back California's sales tax on gasoline.

L.A. Business Leaders, Officials Press Their Capitol Ideas

Los Angeles-area business leaders and government officials flew to Sacramento last week to lobby legislators for health care reform and transportation funding.

Shipping Lines Push Rate Hikes

Shipping lines are working to turn the tide on freight rates this year, with potential implications for retailers, manufacturers and others heavily dependent on imports.

3 Amigos Ink Deal With Universal

Universal Pictures and its specialty arm Focus Features have struck a deal to finance and sell a package of five movies to be made by the new independent production banner that's a partnership among the three Mexican filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo d

High Energy

Former Assembly Speaker Bob Hertzberg is now chairman of G24 Innovations, a Wales-based company that makes lightweight, flexible solar power cells.

Prevailing Wage Requirement Hinders Affordable Housing

Hovannes Abramyan argues against the requirement that construction companies working on publicly funded affordable housing must pay above-market wages.

Classical Station's Overtures to New Listeners Rewarded

It appears that reports of classical music's commercial death in Los Angeles have been greatly exaggerated.

HealthSport Acquires Edible Film Strip Maker InnoZen

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH

Woodland Hills edible film strips maker InnoZen Inc. has been acquired by a New York company in a restricted stock deal worth about $40 million.

KB Home Sheds Stake in French Firm Favored by Karatz

KB Home has accepted an offer of $812 million from a Paris-based buyout firm for the 49 percent stake in its French division.

Regional Report

Regional business news from around L.A. County.

Douglas Emmett Buys Century Park Plaza for $37 Million

Douglas Emmett Inc., a Santa Monica-based public real estate investment trust, has purchased Century Park Plaza in an off-market transaction valued at about $33 million.

Newsmakers/Kudos/Donations

Hirings, promotions and kudos.

Diversification Is Agency's Secret Weapon

Secret Weapon Marketing isn't trying to bring in new clients. Instead the agency limits its clients to three.

Countrywide Goes After the Rebound

When Countrywide Financial Corp. announced last week that it plans to hire not fire 2,000 employees and open not close 100 retail locations across the country, it made some in the industry wonder if the nation's largest home mortgage lender sees a

State Chamber Singles Out 23 'Job Killer' Bills

Bills on workers compensation, housing development, freight movement and fuel prices are among nearly two dozen that made the California Chamber of Commerce's 2007 Job Killer Bills list.

Iger 'Appalled' at Hamas Mouse

Walt Disney Co.'s Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger said he was "appalled" and officially complained to the Palestinian government about a terrorist group's use of a Mickey Mouse-like character.

Maguire Sells Three OC Properties

Shares in Maguire Properties Inc. gained nearly 4 percent Monday after the company said it agreed to sell three office properties in Orange County for $310 million.

Governor Rejects Malibu LNG Plan

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger rejected on Friday Australian conglomerate BHP Billiton's proposal to build a giant liquefied natural gas terminal off the Ventura County and Malibu coast, dealing a death blow to the controversial project.

Larta Institute Fund Will Target Academia, Government

FUNDING: Tech transfer specialists establish global venture capital operation.

$50 Million for Gorilla Nation Stake

Online advertising and marketing firm Gorilla Nation Media LLC has secured $50 million in funding from Boston-based Great Hills Partners.

Business Can Employ Strategies and Tactics Against Terrorism

Randy Parsons and Hank Gatlin write about some of the ways businesses can mount effective defenses against terrorism.

Goo-Goo, Ga-Ga Translating Worldwide for L.A. Network

BabyFirstTV, the commercial-free cable channel aimed at babies, toddlers and their parents, is growing up.

Golf Coaching Franchise Has Plans for Aggressive Growth

GolfTEC offers its online putting analysis at modest prices.

Niche Riches

Demand Media Inc. buys niche Web sites, cleans up their interfaces and provides social networking tools with the goal of building an audience and selling advertising.

The Big Picture: 172 Downtown Projects

In recent months development activity has been moving at a rapid clip in Downtown Los Angeles, with plans for everything from a 76-story condo tower near Pershing Square - which could become the tallest residential structure in the West - to a $4 million

Feeling a Squeeze From Higher Fees

Now that several top-tier law firms have given first-year associates a big raise to $160,000, some of their smaller regional competitors say they're enjoying the consequence: a bump in business.

'Greenest Decision You Can Make Is Not to Tear Down'

Gary Neville has transformed a dilapidated office development into an environmentally efficient, mixed-use commercial building in Venice.

Hansen To Meet Nasdaq Deadline

Hansen Natural Corp. said Monday that it intends to file its 2006 annual report by June 14, the deadline set by Nasdaq, which has threatened the soft drink maker with delisting.

Innovo Shares Surge on Japan Deal

Shares in Innovo Group Inc. shot up more than 13 percent Monday after the company entered into a three-year distribution and licensing agreement for its Joe's Jeans brand with Japan's Itochu Corp.

Friday, May 18

Bad Bird Whacks CalAmp

Shares in CalAmp Corp. plunged more than 37 percent Friday after the wireless communications firm reported dismal fourth quarter numbers it attributed to satellite problems.

Fashion's Newest Stars: Edgy Upstarts

Los Angeles, once considered the less serious stepsister of New York's Seventh Avenue, is the breeding ground for many of today's most successful contemporary brands.

Housing affordability Up, Barely

Housing affordability for first-time buyers improved slightly in Los Angeles County and across the state in the 2007 first quarter, although prices remained high despite tumbling sales.

Unions, Ports to Open Talks Early

Shipping lines and the union representing more than 14,000 dockworkers at the ports of Long Beach, Los Angeles and other West Coast ports have agreed to start contract negotiations early next year.

Big Movers

Buyout rumors and the appointment of a new CFO helped shares of two local stocks while a possible refinery deal boosted Occidental's shares. On the other side were a two companies whose stocks fell victim to bad earnings while Trio-Tech came back to Eart

Wescom Buys Mortgage Lender

Wescom Credit Union said it has agreed to acquire Rancho Cucamonga-based CU West Mortgage Inc. for an undisclosed amount, Wescom said Friday in a press release.

L.A. Jobs Machine in Neutral

L.A. County's job engine slowed in April as both job creation and the unemployment rate were virtually unchanged from March.

Thursday, May 17

Slower Economy Expected for Rest of '07

Economic growth in L.A. County will slow through the rest of 2007 and into 2008, but the county will still perform better than surrounding counties that have been harder hit by the housing slowdown.

CSC Bids for Malaysian Company

Computer Sciences Corp. has offered $104 million in cash to buy Malaysian software company Computer Systems Advisers Bhd.

KB Accepts Bid on French Builder

KB Home has accepted an offer of $812 million from Paris-based buyout firm PAI Partners for its stake in French developer Kaufman & Broad SA.

Oxy Finds Partner for Oil Refinery

A proposal by Occidental Petroleum Corp. to build a refinery on Panama's Pacific Coast moved closer to reality this week with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Qatar's state oil company.

Edison Proposes Coal Power Plant Study

Southern California Edison proposed performing a $52 million study of a coal-fueled power plant that would produce less global-warming pollution than conventional generators, the Rosemead-based utility company said.

Northrop Lands Part of Army IT Deal

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Thursday that its information technology sector has secured part of a nine-year $20 billion information technology contract from the U.S. Army.

Immigration Deal Takes Shape

Key senators in both parties and the White House announced agreement Thursday on an immigration overhaul that would grant quick legal status to millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and fortify the border.

Univision's New Image: Star of the Party

Univision Communications Inc.'s new owners threw a coming-out party here Wednesday that made clear that the Spanish-language network has bid adios to its tight-lipped ways.

NTS Names Lorentzian CFO

National Technical Systems Inc. has named Raffy Lorentzian as its chief financial officer.

Wednesday, May 16

AOL Deal Lifts Napster Earnings

Shares in Napster Inc. gained more than 2 percent Wednesday after the company reported fourth quarter earnings that beat Wall Street's expectations.

ESPN's Cell Service on Verizon

Beginning today, ESPN's MVP wireless sports service will be available exclusively on Verizon Communication's network.

Judge Deals Blow to LAX Fee Hikes

A judge for the federal Department of Transportation found that higher terminal fees the airport agency imposed on low-cost and international carriers at LAX earlier this year are unreasonable and discriminatory.

MySpace Adding National News Content

MySpace will begin rolling out branded news and entertainment content from National Geographic, the New York Times and Reuters on its social-networking Web site.

Obituary: Jim Warren of BRC Imagination

Jim Warren, the chief operating officer of Burbank-based BRC Imagination Arts, died on May 12 from cancer. He was 59.

Disney Adds Interactive Travel Channel

Walt Disney Co. is launching a travel-focused video-on-demand channel that will allow subscribers to book reservations for Disney vacations.

Hilton Partners to Ramp Up India

Hilton Hotels Corp. said it would spend $1.5 billion in a partnership with New Delhi-based real estate development firm DLF Ltd. to acquire land and build 50 to 75 hotels in India.

SEC's L.A. Chief Plans to Leave Post

The head of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Los Angeles office is stepping down after 5 1/2 years of cases against mutual fund managers, corporate offenders and scam artists.

Northrop Shareholders Nix Pay Review

Shareholders of Northrop Grumman Corp. have rejected a call for an annual advisory vote on executive pay.

Tuesday, May 15

Sprint Nextel to Air ABC Content

Disney's ABC Television Group said Tuesday that it has signed a multiyear deal to bring its broadcast news and shows to Sprint Nextel mobile customers.

Local Lenders Bustling Despite Slump

Despite signs of an impending implosion in the local mortgage lending market, two L.A.-based mortgage lenders managed to place among the top five in the nation in financial performance last year, according to a recent report.

Napster Pacts with Motorola

Napster Inc said it has agreed to make its music subscription service available on several of Motorola Inc.'s mobile phones.

Hotel Settles Union-Button Dispute

After suspending its workers for wearing union buttons three times in the last year, the Westin Los Angeles Airport hotel has reversed course , agreeing to allow small buttons and to provide back pay to those who were previously disciplined.

Kaiser Shares Slide on Earnings

Shares in Kaiser Aluminum Corp. fell nearly 10 percent Tuesday after the company reported a 55 percent slide in profit.

Budget Revise Draws Mixed Views

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's revised budget forecast reflects his belief that the state's economy has largely withstood the ravages of the housing slump.

21st Century OKs Sweetened AIG Offer

21st Century Insurance Group has agreed to sell the rest of its outstanding shares to American International Group Inc. after AIG increased its offer to $813 million.

No Contempt Charge for Yuen

A federal judge has denied a request by the Securities and Exchange Commission to hold Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc.'s former Chairman Henry Yuen in contempt until he pays $12 million after he was found guilty of securities fraud last year.

Monday, May 14

Shareholders OK Change of Terms For Amgen Board

Amgen shareholders approved corporate governance reforms.

Gorilla Nation Makes Its Mark In Placing Movie Ads on Sites

Gorilla Nation Media, the online ad-placement firm founded by two former entertainment attorneys, is becoming a heavyweight in online ad placement for movies.

Iron Mountain's Giant Shredder Gets to Work

"The grinder," one of the largest paper shredding machines on the West Coast, has started doing its thing at Iron Mountain Inc.'s Pico Rivera facility.

Regional Report

Regional business news from around L.A. Country.

Amgen Loses High Court Appeal

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from Amgen Inc. in a patent fight it has been waging with two other companies over one of its anemia drugs.

How Far the LB Port Has Come

The Port of Long Beach has come a long way since it opened for business nearly 95 years ago, when waterborne trade in Southern California consisted primarily of lumber, fresh fish and the occasional load of citrus.

Bedside Matters

David Pyle, president of West Coast University, is realizing his dream of fast-track training for nurses and other health care workers.

Farmer Brothers Finally Perks Up

Farmer Bros. Co. has made a move to accelerate growth with the purchase of a high-end coffee roaster. But is it too late to the premium coffee game?

Disney, Univision Team on 'Housewives'

Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network has reached a deal with Univision Communications Inc. to produce Spanish-language versions of the network's hit show "Desperate Housewives" for broadcast in the U.S. market.

Construction Industry Battles Rule for Engine Upgrades

State air regulators are poised to adopt a sweeping rule that would require construction firms to spend millions of dollars to purchase less-polluting bulldozers and backhoes or retrofit their existing equipment with cleaner-burning engines.

Doggy Double Take

When Natalie Willes applied to live in Mozaic, a new apartment complex next to Union Station, she went through the usual routine: tour, reference list and credit check.

You Schmooze, You Don't Lose

Charles Crumpley welcomes college graduates to the real world, with advice on wardrobe, schmoozing and iPods

True Religion's Net Income Drops Due to Major Expenses

Manhattan Beach-based True Religion Apparel Inc., a darling of the high-end denim market and Wall Street, seems to be getting a dose of reality.

Runners Up

Magellan GPS in San Dimas provided money and the handheld navigation systems for three runners on a cross-Sahara journey.

Northrop Sells Radar License

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Monday that it has sold a manufacturing and marketing license for an air traffic control system to Indra, a Spanish technology company.

Mayor Taps Ex-Seattle-Tacoma Chief To Head Los Angeles Airport System

Gina Marie Lindsey, the former head of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, was named as chief of L.A.'s airport system.

Southwest Shares Dip on Low Earnings

Shares in Southwest Water Co. dipped more than 3 percent after the company missed analysts expectations due to delayed construction and increased expenses.

Newsmakers

Kudos, promotions and hirings.

It's Time to Do Something

Harold L. Katz believes the proposal to turn Olympic and Pico boulevards into one-way routes is worth considering, especially in light of L.A.'s historic refusal to address traffic issues.

Avery Dennison Bets on Boost by Motorola Partnership

Avery Dennison Corp. is betting that a strategic partnership with Motorola Inc. will jump start sales of its radio frequency identification devices.

Meltdown Ahead For Yogurt Shops?

Los Angeles may be heading for a frozen yogurt overload: Pinkberry has 20 stores in California and such competitors as Kiwiberri, Mr. Snowberry and Berri Good have L.A. County locations.

KB CEO Stepped Into Eye of the Storm

Jeff Mezger loves a good challenge, and as the new chief executive of KB Home, he's got a few, such as the declining housing market and a tarnished corporate image.

New KB Home Honcho Stepped Into the Eye of the Storm

Jeff Mezger loves a good challenge, and as the new chief executive of KB Home, he's got a few, such as the declining housing market and a tarnished corporate image.

Salon City Tries LAX in Hopes Of Taking Off With Mainstream

Salon City, a magazine intent on making the jump from the hair care category to mainstream stardom, will launch an advertising campaign this summer at Los Angeles International Airport.

'New York Sensibility' Gets Results for PR Executive

Cindy Rakowitz

Railroad Offers to Buy Fleet of Clean Trucks for Port Duty

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co. said it would invest more than $75 million to purchase a fleet of clean-burning diesel trucks to service its

Keeping Score

Randy Freer oversees Fox Sports Networks, which has broadcast rights for the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers. The business has faced challenges, however.

'Blank Check Company' Has Eye on Major Media Buy

Investors gave $100 million to the three founders of Santa Monica Media Corp. Now they're on the lookout for a company to buy with the money.

High-Def Format Remains Question In Sight and Sound

Consumer acceptance of high-definition digital video discs remains a question, and that means high-definition audio discs won't be on the market soon.

Track Shoes

Global Trek Xploration Corp.'s sneakers with embedded Global Positioning System transmitters allow parents to track their kids or employers to track workers.

Online Veteran Goes Hollywood With Internet TV Broadcasting

Josh Harris, an entrepreneur known for wiring his home with cameras and living online for six months, has recently set up a full studio at a Hollywood soundstage for his new firm, called Operator 11 Exchange, an Internet TV broadcaster.

Countrywide Growing Despite Market

Countrywide Financial Corp. plans to add more than 2,000 workers to its sales force this year even as a slowdown in the housing market forces rivals to cut staff.

Burkle Buys Magazine Titles

Primedia Inc. agreed to sell 70 of its enthusiast magazines to Ron Burkle's Source Interlink Co. for $1.2 billion in cash, Source Interlink said.

Friday, May 11

Blue Cross Backpedals on Cancellations

Blue Cross of California agreed Thursday to stop canceling individual health coverage unless it can show policyholder deception , a major shift by the state's largest health insurer that could lead to sweeping industrywide changes.

Shares in CPK Surge on Outlook

Shares in California Pizza Kitchen Inc. soared nearly 10 percent Friday after the company reported a boost in same-store sales along with a sunny forecast for its second quarter.

KB Receives Bid for French Builder

Shares in KB Home gained 3 percent Friday after the Los Angeles homebuilder said that it has received an offer for its 49 percent stake in Paris-based homebuilder Kaufman & Broad SA valued at $782 million.

Ports Get $15M to Boost Security

The federal government Thursday awarded $15 million to the twin ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to help beef up security.

U.S. Auto Parts Network Shares Jump

Shares of U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc. jumped more than 10 percent Friday after the company reported better-than-expected first quarter earnings and reaffirmed its annual earnings forecast.

Retail Sales Drop 2.4% in April

Retail sales slumped 2.4% compared with April 2006, slipping to $52.6 billion in the most wretched year-over-year showing by major retailers since the International Council of Shopping Centers began tracking the data in 1970.

THQ Shares Slip on Earnings, Forecast

Shares in THQ Inc. slipped nearly 5 percent after the videogame developer released lower-than-expected earnings flanked by a lower forecast.

Allstate to Halt Homeowners Insurance

Allstate's decision to stop writing new policies in the state because of the threat of costly natural disasters is drawing wide-ranging reactions.

Big Movers

The stock prices of a couple of local companies hit highs for the past year, thanks to strong earnings. However, a couple others hit 52-week lows one because of poor earnings and another because of concerns expressed by regulators.

Thursday, May 10

Superior Reports Double Digit Growth

Strong demand for wheels drove a sharp rise in profits and revenue at rim manufacturer Superior Industries International Inc.

Grocery Talks Expected to Resume

Negotiations on a new labor contract for Southern California supermarket workers, abruptly halted Tuesday, are expected to resume next week amid a dispute over health benefits.

FDA Proposal Sinks Amgen Stock

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is recommending that Amgen Inc. and Johnson & Johnson be required to list new restrictions on the labels of their top-selling anemia drugs.

Oxy Sued Over Peruvian Drilling

Peruvian activists and an environmental/human rights group filed suit against Occidental Petroleum Corp., charging that the Westwood-based oil giant has contaminated land and rivers in Peru.

Abraxis Shares Drop on Strong Earnings

Abraxis Bioscience Inc. said that first-quarter net income soared on higher sales of generic anesthetic and analgesic products, along with its proprietary breast cancer treatment Abraxane.

Univision Gives Citizenship Drive A Lift

Backed by the largest Spanish-language broadcast network, a massive campaign by Latino media to spur millions of eligible Hispanic residents to become U.S. citizens is showing results.

Countrywide Expands Despite Slowdown

The mortgage industry may be contracting, but No. 1 lender Countrywide Financial Corp. is making more loans, taking advantage of a period of turmoil to increase its market share.

Wednesday, May 9

LAX to Get Seattle Airport Chief

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday named the former head of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as the next chief of L.A. 's airport system.

Countrywide Shares Up on Buyout Rumor

Countrywide Financial Corp.'s share price jumped Tuesday on renewed speculation of a buyout of the Calabasas-based company, the nation's largest mortgage lender.

Film Piracy Mushrooming in Canada

Piracy north of the border has exploded in the two years since Congress made it a crime to use video recording devices to copy movies in U.S. theaters, according to industry officials. But with piracy laws more relaxed in Canada, bootleggers can operate t

WPT Posts Second-Straight Loss

Shares in WPT Enterprises Inc. didn't budge despite the poker-focused entertainment company swinging to a loss for the second straight quarter.

DirecTV Down on Missed Expectations

Shares in DirecTV Group Inc. lost more than 2 percent Wednesday after the satellite TV provider missed analysts' expectations.

True Religion Reports 35% Dip in Profit

Shares in True Religion Apparel Inc. gained more than 8 percent Wednesday after the denim company reported a double-digit drop in profit.

Amgen Governance Reforms Adopted

Amgen Inc. shareholders overwhelmingly approved corporate governance reforms during the company's annual meeting that should give shareholders more power to approve or reject board members.

Trio-Tech Shares Surge on 3Q Earnings

Shares in Trio-Tech International surged nearly 30 percent Wednesday after the company reported a 530 percent hike in third quarter net income.

Doctors Reap Millions for Anemia Drugs

Two of the world's largest drug companies are paying hundreds of millions of dollars to doctors every year in return for giving their patients anemia medicines, which regulators now say may be unsafe at commonly used doses.

VCA Buys Healthy Pet for $153 Million

VCA Antech Inc. said Wednesday that it has agreed to buy privately held Healthy Pet Corp. for $153 million in cash.

THQ Buys Finnish Mobile Game Company

THQ Inc. said Wednesday that it has acquired Finnish mobile video game maker Universomo Ltd.

Edison Shares Gain on Strong Q1

Shares in Edison International gained more than 2 percent Wednesday after the utility company posted strong earnings, helped by lowered costs from coal-fired power plants.

Grocer Unions Walk Out on Talks

Union negotiators for grocery workers throughout Southern California once again walked out of contract talks with three major supermarket chains on Thursday.

Tuesday, May 8

Disney Reports Hike in Profit

Walt Disney Co. reported net income that exceeded Wall Street expectations but still saw its share fall when its revenue came up short.

Arden Profit Soars on Tepid Sales

Shares in Arden Group Inc. dipped Tuesday after the supermarket chain reported a boost in profit despite a small increase in revenue.

Shares in WMG Still after Dismal Earnings

A continuing transformation of the music retail industry cut deeply into second quarter fiscal earnings at Warner Music Group Corp.

Northrop Wins Peacekeeping Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. won a share of a U.S. State Department global military and peacekeeping training contract that could be worth as much as $200 million.

ABC, Cox Bar on Demand Ad Skipping

Walt Disney Co.'s ABC and ESPN have struck a deal with cable operator Cox Communications Inc. to offer hit shows and football games on demand -- but with the condition that Cox disables the fast-forward feature that allows viewers to skip ads.

Disney, Tokyo Firm Team on Mall

Walt Disney Co. is working with Japanese real estate development firm Oriental Land Co. to open a "Disney-themed entertainment facility" in 2010.

FDA Mulling Anemia Drug Dose Changes

Amgen Inc. and Johnson & Johnson may be required to change prescribing information and reduce the recommended dose of their top-selling anemia drugs due to potential health risks, federal regulators said Tuesday.

Monday, May 7

Marketing Executive Tackles New Challenges at MGM

Faye Walker

Suite Spot

Avi Brosh's real estate career has blossomed, first as a developer of homes, and now of extended-stay boutique hotels.

Bulked Up With AOL Service, Napster Enters Japanese Market

The acquisition of AOL's on-demand music service has armed Napster with a large subscription base. Now it's ready to invade Japan.

No Bones About It, Skull's Still in Session for Fashionistas

Once largely limited to clothes worn by angry Goth or heavy metal teens, skulls now are showing up on business suits, wallets, pearl necklaces and even baby blankets.

Abraxis Forms Joint Venture

Abraxis BioScience Inc. has formed a joint venture with privately held Cenomed Inc. in an effort to develop treatments for psychiatric and neurological conditions, the Los Angeles-based drug maker said Monday.

Silent Treatment

Image Entertainment Inc. will release the old "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" but with a contemporary twist.

OSI Profit Leaps on Settlement

Boosted by a legal settlement, OSI Systems Inc. reported a nearly three-fold jump in third quarter profit.

An Amnesty Wouldn't Deprive Others of Entry Into U.S.

Shikha Dalmia argues that an amnesty wouldn't be unfair to those who

Local Architecure Firm Leaping Into Global Development Arena

L.A.-based architecture and planning firm RTKL Associates Inc., along with consulting firm Blackman Cunningham and G2 Strategic, has formed a design and development consultancy targeting sports and entertainment districts worldwide.

Hansen Shares Sink on Outlook

Shares in Hansen Natural Corp. dipped 3 percent Monday after the juice and soda maker said its sales for the quarter grew 40 percent but will still miss Wall Street estimates.

Healthcare Reform's New Ally: Business

A new coalition of 36 major companies plans to launch a political campaign calling for medical insurance to be expanded to everyone along lines Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is proposing for California.

Company Targets Top-Line Talent For Equity Deals

Content Partners pays now to acquire the future payments that actors and other talent may get from films and TV shows.

Newsmakers/Kudos

Hirings, promotions and kudos.

Powerhouses

About 30 ultra high-end penthouses are expected to come on the

Using the Phone for More Than Just Setting Appointments

Patrice Elmi's first solo installation show features 100 abstract photographs of Los Angeles alleyways and storefronts taken with her 1.3 mega pixel camera on a cell phone.

Dogged Dodgers Wow Businesses With Unlimited Chow

Local businesses are embracing the Los Angeles Dodgers' new all-you-can-eat ticket packages

New York Family Betting Big on Beverly Hills Rentals

The tallest office building in Beverly Hills' "Golden Triangle" is trading hands at an eye-popping price.

Interest in Century City on the Rise for Handful of Banks, Finance Companies

Century City is becoming a destination of choice for financial institutions.

Mercury Earnings Beat Expectations

Shares in Mercury General Corp. gained nearly 4 percent Monday after the company beat Wall Street's expectations for first quarter earnings, posting a rise in profit and revenue.

The New Warner Center

Once hailed as a jewel of development and the "downtown" of the San Fernando Valley, Warner Center finds itself at a crossroads - torn between its urban ambition and suburban legacy.

L.A. Housing May Be Going Steady

L.A.'s median home price rose for a second consecutive month in April,

Mozilo's Pay Cut

Angelo Mozilo gave himself a pay cut because he became a "lightning rod of negativity" for Countrywide Financial Corp.

There Is No Demonstrated Need to Expand Convention Center

Wayne Avrashow writes that plans for an expansion of the Los Angeles Convention Center are unnecessary.

Need for Top Litigation Practice Leads to Purchase of Alschuler

Bingham McCutchen LLP has acquired another esteemed Los Angeles firm, Alschuler Grossman LLP.

Controversy Over Student Loans Might Benefit L.A. Company

Despite a conflict-of-interest controversy, All Student Loan Corp. contends it may end up with an even greater market share.

One-Way Could Be Wrong Way

The proposal to turn Olympic and Pico boulevards into one-way streets is generating opposition from businesses, especially in Koreatown.

Lower Q2 for Overhill Farms

Overhill Farms Inc., a Vernon-based frozen foods maker, reported lower-than-expected second quarter earnings, sending its shares down sharply on Monday.

South Bay Bank Billing Itself As 'By and for Entrepreneurs'

Los Angeles has another new bank startup: the Bank of Manhattan as in the South Bay city, not the Big Apple.

State Job Growth to Slow

Job creation in California will slow significantly over the next few months thanks to a drop in construction spending and slower national growth, according to a report released Monday from Chapman University.

In-Store TV Company Ripple Beginning to Make Ad Waves

Ripple, an in-store TV company, has launched a new service that allows retailers to create and manage a campaign shown on flat-screen TVs in other stores in the geographic area near the client's store

E-Sign on the Dotted Line

RPost stamps e-mails with proof of delivery so that they can be used as legal documents.

Guitar Centers Shares Surge on Earnings

Shares in Guitar Centers Inc. surged Monday after the company reported growth in both sales and profit.

Aecom Tech Plans $700 Million IPO

Aecom Tech plans to raise $700 million in a busy week for initial public offerings, after the Los Angeles-based engineering and architecture firm reported a nearly 80 percent jump in first-quarter net income

This Little Light of Mine

Charles Crumpley is ready to buy light bulbs in Mexico if that's what it takes to counter Assemblyman Lloyd Levine's attack on his freedom to live

Regional Report

Regional news from L.A. County and beyond.

Big Movers

The anticipation of big things to come boosted shares of Peerless Systems, Overhill Farms and Cogent while poor earnings and unmet expectations lowered Ducommun, Big 5 and Move Inc.

Video Advertising Comes to Screens at L.A. Gas Pumps

With PumpTop TV, drivers will get a dose of advertising while they buy gasoline.

J2 Shares Drop After-Hours on Earnings

Shares in J2 Global Communications Inc. wavered after the company reported double-digit growth in sales and profit.

Sunday, May 6

Union Pacific Unveils Port Upgrade Plan

Union Pacific Corp. has unveiled a $300 million modernization plan for its Los Angeles port facility with the intention of making it less polluting while also moving more cargo more quickly.

Friday, May 4

JPL Projects Center Going Green

Jet Propulsion Laboratory will break ground on its first "green" building Monday.

Watt Sells Stake in Joint Venture

Watt Companies Inc., a Santa Monica-based commercial real estate owner and developer, has agreed to sell Centro Properties Group its stake in the two company's joint real estate venture.

Westfield Plans Suit Over Caruso Shops

Rejecting a ballot-box battle in the city's mall wars, Westfield says it will now sue to block a rival's neighboring project.

Ventas Sues Health Care Properties

Louisville-based Ventas Inc. filed a lawsuit claiming Health Care Property Investors Inc. sabotaged its efforts to acquire Sunrise Senior Living.

Boeing Workers Vote for New Contract

Boeing Co. employees who work on the C-17 ratified a new three-year collective bargaining contract with the company on Thursday, union representatives said.

LAX Living Wage Struck Down

Airport area hotels won a major victory Friday when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge released a ruling that struck down a Los Angeles city ordinance requiring the hotels to pay their workers the city's living wage.

KB, Martha Build in Denver

KB Home and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. have teamed up again to build co-branded homes in Denver. =

Southwest Water Buys Texas Utility

Southwest Water Co. said Friday that it has acquired Diamond Water Co. and Water Services Inc., both just outside of San Antonio.

LAX Hotels Win Battle

Airport area hotels won a major victory Friday when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge released a ruling that struck down a Los Angeles city ordinance requiring the hotels to pay their workers the city's living wage.

Thursday, May 3

Wind Farms 'Controversial,' Report Says

A National Academy of Sciences report today criticized "the lack of any truly coordinated planning" in the rapid growth of wind farms across the country, and called on federal, state and local governments to pay more attention to the effects of turbines o

Ports Expect a 9% Increase in Activity

Despite a slowing economy, weak consumer confidence and a slumping housing market, container traffic at the Long Beach-Los Angeles seaport will surge to record levels this year, according to a new report.

Diodes Posts Strong 1Q, Misses Estimates

Diodes Inc. reported double-digit growth in profit as well as sales; however the company still missed Wall Street's expectations.

Options to Cost Activision $67 Million

Activision Inc. said backdated stock options issued over the past 13 years would cost the video game developer $67 million before taxes in non-cash expenses.

Tetra Tech Falls on 2Q Earnings

Shares in Tetra Tech Inc. dipped more than 5 percent Thursday after the firm's second quarter earnings fell short of analysts' projections.

Mozilo Takes Pay Cut to Blunt Criticism

Angelo Mozilo, chairman and chief executive of Countrywide Financial Corp., is taking a pay cut in an effort to blunt criticism of his compensation.

Stock Sales Spur Cougar Development

Cougar Biotechnology Inc. said it has entered into private placement agreements with institutional investors to sell 2.5 million shares of common stock at $20 per share, with total gross proceeds to the company of $50 million.

Gemstar Reports 300% Jump in Profit

Gemstar TV Guide International Inc. reported Thursday that first quarter profit soared nearly 300 percent, sending shares up nearly 4 percent Friday.

Earnings Up at Big 5

Wider profit margins boost net income of the El Segundo-based sporting goods retailer.

Site Cleanup Settlement Reached

The current and former owners of a nearly 1000-acre former munitions site in Santa Clarita have agreed to pay up to $100 million to settle a long-running lawsuit filed by four water agencies, removing a major obstacle to redeveloping the prime real estate

Wednesday, May 2

'Workforce Housing Hitting Westside

Developers led by former U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros have started work on a $90-million "workforce" housing project near Marina del Rey.

Disney World to Add Quincea & #324;eras

Walt Disney Co. said that it is adding a lineup of quincea & #324;era events to the party offerings at its Orlando-based Disney World resorts.

Mastro Group Acquires Restaurant Group

Beverly Hills-based Mastro Group was acquired by Rare Restaurant Group for $190 million.

Herbalife Sustains Earnings Momentum

Shares of Herbalife Ltd. rose slightly Wednesday, a day after the supplement and diet products maker reported its thirteenth consecutive quarter of double digit sales growth.

CBRE Shares Surge on Solid 1Q Revenues

Shares in CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. soared nearly 15 percent Wednesday after the world's largest real estate broker reported a 62 percent surge in revenue.

Maguire Posts Quarterly Loss

Shares in Maguire Properties Inc. stayed steady despite downtown Los Angeles' largest office landlord posting its fourth-straight quarterly loss (and its seventh loss in the past eight quarters).

United Online Surges on Outlook

Shares in United Online Inc. hit a 52-week high Wednesday after the Internet company posted slight increases in profit and revenues and upped its second quarter guidance anticipating robust ad spending.

Boycott Slows Port Traffic

Traffic in the port complex was unusually slow Tuesday as thousands of truck drivers boycotted marine terminals in coordination with national immigration reform protests.

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Tuesday, May 1

Avery, Motorola Team Up On Tags

Motorola Inc. and Pasadena-based Avery Dennison Corp. have formed a strategic partnership to make the next generation of radio frequency identification, or RFID, tags.