Stories for October 2008

Friday, October 31

Disney Prepares for Worse Economy

Bracing for a worsening economy and further declines in ad spending, Walt Disney Co. executives have been meeting this week to prepare belt-tightening measures that could include job cuts, according to people familiar with the discussions.

FirstFed Financial Posts Larger Loss

FirstFed Financial Corp. reported a loss of more than $50 million for its third quarter as a result of charge-offs for bad loans.

Rivals in Talks to Finance 'Tintin' Films

After months of deal-making turmoil, the elaborate, two-film "Tintin" series planned by the directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson may find its financiers in a partnership being forged by Sony Pictures Entertainment and Paramount Pictures.

Aegis Completes Acquisition of PeopleSupport

Aegis BPO Services Ltd. said it concluded its $250 million acquisition of PeopleSupport Inc. through its wholly owned subsidiary, Essar Services.

Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies closed up for the week ended Oct. 31, with investors bargain hunting as the worst month in two years came to a close.

Tracinda to Boost Delta Petroleum Stake

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian's Tracinda Corp. said it will launch a cash tender offer for 14 million Delta Petroleum shares, in a move to boost its stake in the Denver-based oil and gas explorer to about 48.5 percent.

Thursday, October 30

Proposed Beverly Hills Development in Doubt

Underscoring the deepening woes in commercial real estate, CPC Group Ltd. -- a high-profile British developer -- has defaulted on a $365 million loan for prime land it bought in Beverly Hills last year as part of a plan to build luxury condominiums.

Daily Grill Executives to Take Pay Cut

The parent company of the Daily Grill chain of restaurants said a dozen top executives would take a 10 percent pay cut to help offset the effects of the ailing economy.

Alexandria Real Estate Lowers Forecast

Real estate investment trust Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. reported third quarter net income that was in line with expectations and with better-than-expected revenue, but slightly lowered its full year forecast.

ValueClick's Quarter Meets Expectations

Shares of ValueClick rose 10 percent, a day after the online advertising company reported a quarterly profit that met expectations. The company also cut its full-year guidance.

Maritime Commission Challenges Ports Program

The Federal Maritime Commission said it would ask a U.S. District Court to strike down parts of a landmark pollution-control program at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

OSI Reports Improved Quarter But Uncertain Outlook

Shares of OSI Systems Inc. fell 19 percent after the maker of X-ray systems for security and heath care uses said it couldn't predict future results because of the ongoing credit crunch. However, the company's earnings turned from a loss to a profit in it

Wednesday, October 29

DreamWorks' Profit Drops, Geffen to Leave Board

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. said that its third-quarter profit fell 21 percent on lower revenue, but the results still exceeded Wall Street's expectations. The animation company also announced that co-founder David Geffen was stepping down from the boar

Hollywood May Not Be Recession-Proof This Time

Blame the Internet. The endless stream of free content on the Internet means cash-strapped consumers can escape without spending at the multiplex or subscribing to premium cable.

Overseas Sales Boost Starr Surgical's Quarter

Staar Surgical Co. shares jumped nearly 12 percent after the medical device company said a 33-percent increase in sales of its implantable contact lens and other ophthalmic products helped reduce third quarter losses.

PC Mall's Quarter Fails to Satisfy

PC Mall Inc. shares fell more than 9 percent after the online technology retailer reported third quarter revenues and profits that fell short of Wall Street expectations.

Chad Therapeutics Suspends Operations

Chad Therapeutics Inc. said that it has suspended operations after a deal fell through that would have provided capital to market its new sleep disorder products.

U.S. Treasury Shuns Banks That Need Cash Most

The U.S. government's $160 billion handout to banks from Niagara Falls to Beverly Hills is going mostly to lenders that need it least, putting weaker rivals at risk of being shut down or taken over, analysts say.

Tuesday, October 28

L.A. Times Lays Off 10 Percent of Editorial Staff

Facing falling revenue in a stalling economy, the Los Angeles Times has laid off 75 editorial employees, part of a 200-person reduction that began last week.

East West Upbeat About Future Despite Loss

Shares of East West Bancorp Inc. jumped 18 percent after the bank holding company said it turned from a profit to a loss in its third quarter due to charges, but projected a fourth quarter profit that exceeds Wall Street expectations.

Oxy Earnings Soar on Higher Oil Prices

Shares of Occidental Petroleum Corp. gained 18 percent after the oil company said its third-quarter net income rose 71 percent, fueled by higher oil and natural gas prices and increased production.

L.A. Home Prices Continue Record-Breaking Fall

U.S. home prices continued to fall at a record-breaking pace in August, with the Los Angeles area posting among the sharpest declines, according to a prominent index released Tuesday.

Maguire Shares Gain Despite Wider Quarterly Loss

Shares of Maguire Properties Inc. jumped 38 percent a day after the Los Angeles office landlord reported a large third quarter loss, in part because of lower rental income from selling buildings.

Bargain Hunting Causes Dow To Jump Nearly 900

Wall Street had another astounding advance Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrials soaring nearly 900 points in their second-largest point gain ever as late-day bargain hunters stormed into the market.

Kilroy Realty Reports Improved Quarter

Shares of Kilroy Realty Corp. rose 15 percent, a day after the office real estate investment trust reported a better-than-expected third quarter despite the Southern California real estate downturn and ongoing turmoil in the credit markets.

Monday, October 27

Downturn Expected to Diminish Growth in Online Advertising

The economic slowdown will curb online ads, but the online sector will benefit at the expense of broadcast and print.

State Budget Crisis Hits Huntingon Park Hospital

Community Hospital of Huntington Park has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to the long-delayed California budget the second hospital owned by Karykeion Inc. to get into financial trouble this year.

Aerospace CEO Takes Wheel at Electric Car Firm

Entrepreneur Elon Musk is already leading a company with plans to send men to Mars. Now, he'll play a direct role in a totally different venture: electric cars.

Best Buy's Napster Tender Offer Successful

Best Buy Co. Inc. said it acquired more than 83 percent of the outstanding shares of Napster Inc. as of last week during a tender offer that's part of its $127 million acquisition.

Tale of the New Disney

Disney's new computer-animated film "Bolt" is the first entirely overseen by Pixar's creative guru, John Lasseter, and tech whiz Ed Catmull, who took charge of Disney Animation after the acquisition.

Pacesetter: Creative Artists Agency

Creative Artists Agency remained the largest talent agency in Los Angeles County with 270 agents in its local office, up 15 from a year ago, according to the Business Journal's yearly list.

Driving Force

Bankaholic.com's sale has turned 22-year-old founder John Wu into a multimillionaire with an eye for hot wheels.

Business Organizations See Significant Impacts

Transportation measures and a county supervisor race are among election issues drawing business groups' attention.

Former PC Pioneer Now In Hard Drive as Builder

Beverly Hills voters will have final say on developer Beny Alagem's hotel-condo project.

Better Suited

White-collar defense firms are increasingly finding themselves folded into larger national firms.

Ducommun Reports 7 Percent Higher Q3 Profit

Shares of aircrafts parts maker Ducommun Inc. fell slightly after reporting better-than-expected third quarter earnings, but the company warned that the ongoing Boeing Co. strike could hurt sales.

Hallmark Books Deal for Twentieth TV Library

Best known for producing its own original movies, the Hallmark Channel recently acquired the broadcast rights to some 80 films from News Corp.'s Twentieth Television division.

CB Richard Ellis Shares Sink as Wind out of Sales

It has been a rough week, a rough month, and a rough year for Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the largest real estate services firm in the world.

Big Wave of Closures May Swamp Malls

Three store chains are closing, but even more shuttered stores are expected to follow a dispiriting holiday season.

David Geffen Makes a Sudden Exit

As of last week, David Geffen's phone line at DreamWorks SKG headquarters here was still live. But some people were already struggling to accept that he would no longer be part of the movie company he had helped build.

Necklace Maker Collars Pro Baseball Endorsement

The piece of jewelry that pro baseball players most desire is a World Series ring. However, Torrance-based Phiten USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Japanese Phiten Co., makes a necklace that has become a trendy fashion accessory for athletes and fans alike. Phi

L.A. Remains Flush With Venture Capital Cash

As the financial markets struggle through a historically rough period, venture capital funding has begun drying up across the country. But Los Angeles, thus far, has been mostly spared the pain.

U.S. Treasury to Invest in City National Bank

In a harbinger of what may be a flood of similar disclosures, City National Bank said that it would receive a $395-million capital infusion from the U.S. Treasury as part of the government's $250-billion bailout program.

Toy Maker Provides Steady Presence at School Campus

El Segundo toy manufacturer Mattel Inc., maker of the iconic Barbie doll, has participated in philanthropic causes that benefit kids since the company's founding in 1945.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Activist shareholder Carl Icahn has more than doubled his stake in Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the Santa Monica independent film and TV studio.

DineEquity Lowers Debt

Shares of DineEquity Inc. gained 54 percent after the Glendale casual restaurant chain reported a worse third quarter, but said it was able to reduce debt by selling some of its Applebee's locations to franchisees

Live Nation Signs More Profitable Food Service Deal

Live Nation Inc. said it has signed a five-year deal with Aramark Corp. and SMG-Savor to manage food and beverage concessions at 34 of its amphitheaters.

Backers of Housing Bubble Were Living in Dreamland

The burst housing bubble has brought reality back to dreamland, writes Richard Risemberg.

Riding New Wave

Green growth projects at L.A. and Long Beach ports will boost the economy and employment, according to Bill Allen.

Not So Easy Being Green

Color Charles Crumpley unimpressed by claims that the green agenda will create jobs in California.

Newsmakers

Anthem Digital, an Agoura Hills-based media and technology company, has named Michael Jay Solomon chairman. Solomon is founder and chairman of Los Angeles-based Electronic Media Syndication.

Cut Above: Dr. Patrick Soon-Shoing

INTERVIEW

Abraxis BioScience CEO Patrick Soon-Shiong found medical training good practice for the business world.

Page by Page

LegalZoom courts customers with its online cache of legal documents.

Publisher THQ Hopes for Happier Holiday Season

Publisher THQ hopes its cost-cutting moves pay off with banner sales during holiday season.

Trio's Opening Number

The stars were out Oct. 14 for the grand opening of XIV, the new West Hollywood eatery from hospitality company SBE of Los Angeles.

REGIONAL REPORT

FatTail Inc., a Woodland Hills online advertising software developer, has received a $3 million round of financing from Velocity Interactive Group, a Palo Alto-based investment firm specializing in digital media and communications.

Networking

Entrepreneurs Organization's speed-dating-style event connects CEOs on a professional level.

Home Loan Modifications Draw Interest

Loan modification programs should help the Southland housing market, but for how long and how much?

International Rectifier Board OKs Stock Repurchase

International Rectifier Corp., which recently fought off a competitor's takeover attempt, said its board of directors authorized a stock repurchase program of up to $100 million.

Friday, October 24

City National Profits Fall in 3Q

Shares of City National Corp. rose 5 percent early Friday, a day after the bank holding company reported third-quarter earnings fell 73 percent mostly due to charges. Los Angeles County's largest locally based bank company also lowered its 2008 earnings o

American States Water Expects 3Q Profit Decline

Shares of American States Water Co. fell more than 6 percent early Friday after the water utility said it expects third-quarter earnings to fall due to lower consumption and higher costs at a California subsidiary.

Poizner Recommending Premium Hike

Citing rising medical costs, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner is recommending that the state's insurers charge employers 5 percent more for workers' compensation premiums.

Countrywide Plan May Cut Rates for 395,000 Borrowers

With calls growing for stronger action to help troubled homeowners, consumer advocates are hailing a mortgage-modification program being implemented by Bank of America Corp.'s Countrywide unit as the most ambitious effort yet to avert foreclosures.

Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies slid significantly for the week ended Oct. 24, with gains earlier in the week largely erased Friday on market fears about a widening global recession.

Home Sales Up in San Fernando Valley

Home sales in the San Fernando Valley soared an unprecedented 82 percent in September, while prices continued to fall at a record pace, a trade association said.

Banks Struggle in 3Q

With their loan portfolios deteriorating amid the ongoing financial crisis, several L.A. County bank holding companies, including the parents of Cathay and Hanmi banks, reported generally weak third quarter financials.

Thursday, October 23

UPDATE: SAG, Studios Agree to Negotiate

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said it had agreed to the request by the Screen Actors Guild that talks resume with the help of mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez.

Update: LAX Hilton Penalized for Anti-Union Activity

Federal labor regulators have ordered the owner of Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel to stop harassing hotel workers engaged in union organizing activity and compensate 76 workers who were suspended for organizing activities.

SAG, Studios Get Ready to Talk

The Screen Actors Guild and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are poised to get back to the bargaining table soon , but the more important question is whether either side is inclined to budge enough to reach a deal.

Calpers Looks to Shore Up Assets

The nation's largest public pension fund said it intends to tap California public employers for more money if its heavy investment losses don't reverse, a sign that more financial pain could be in store for state and local governments.

Ticketmaster to Acquire Star Power in Azoff Deal

Ticketmaster Inc. has reached an agreement to acquire what is widely regarded as the music world's most powerful artist-management company and install the management company's boss at the helm of the combined company. The combination stands to give Ticket

VCA 3Q Profit Rises, But Disappoints Analysts

Shares of VCA Antech Inc. plunged 11 percent in after-hours trading Thursday following a third-quarter earnings report that failed to satisfy Wall Street.

Teledyne Had Better Quarter, But Cautious About 4Q

Teledyne Technologies Inc. said third-quarter earnings grew 14 percent and beat Wall Street expectations. The company lowered expectations for the current quarter, but raised its full-year outlook.

Nara Beats Estimates on 3Q Profit

Nara Bancorp Inc. reported lower third-quarter earnings that still exceeded Wall Street expectations.

Cheesecake's 3Q Disappoints

The Cheesecake Factory Inc. said profits fell 36 percent in the third quarter as the upscale casual dining chain faced higher costs and lower same-store sales.

Wednesday, October 22

Amgen's 3Q Profit Soars on Lower Expenses

Shares of Amgen Inc. jumped 12 percent, a day after the biotech reported a vastly improved third quarter and raised its full-year outlook.

Sumner Redstone Files for Divorce

Media magnate Sumner Redstone has filed for divorce from his wife of five years, Paula Fortunato, citing irreconcilable differences. The split comes as the 85-year-old chairman of Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. faces financial difficulties.

Ryland Posts Wider 3Q Loss

Ryland Group Inc. shares fell more than 11 percent a day after the home builder reported a 20 percent larger loss in its third quarter.

Rodeo Drive Averts Crisis

Thanks to big-spending foreigners and wealthy locals, the three-block strip that Rodeo Drive's Web site calls "the epicenter of luxury fashion'' appears to be shrugging off the credit crunch and economic slowdown.

Justice Department Opposes Port's Truck Ban

U.S. Department of Justice is siding with the American Trucking Associations in its lawsuit against concession plans adopted by the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach as part of the Clean Trucks Program.

Northrop Grumman Posts Better-Than-Expected 3Q Profit

Northrop Grumman Corp. raised its full-year guidance, saying third quarter net income rose nearly 5 percent on higher sales of military equipment.

Skechers Beats Expectations but Outlook Disappoints

Skechers USA Inc. shares closed down 6 percent, a day after the shoe maker reported 15 percent higher net earnings but forecast a fourth quarter below Wall Street projections.

Advanced Modern Technologies Announces Equity Investment

Advanced Modern Technologies Corp. which designs and makes automatic dispensing washroom fixtures, announced the completion of an equity investment from a private investment group. The amount invested was not disclosed.

Tuesday, October 21

Jacobs Engineering Wins Two Contracts

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. said it has been awarded a pair of contracts -- one for a biotech research and training institute in Ireland and the other for a new diesel desulfurization facility in Texas.

Relativity Goes After Rogue Pictures

Relativity Media is in negotiations with Universal to acquire the assets of Rogue Pictures, the studio's genre label, for as much as $150 million.

Jakks Pacific 3Q Profit Rises 14 percent

Jakks Pacific Inc. said its net income rose 14 percent in the third quarter on higher toy sales and a tax benefit.

Carl Icahn Doubles Stake in Lions Gate

Activist shareholder Carl Icahn has more than doubled his stake in Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., the independent Santa Monica film and TV studio behind the "Saw" horror movies and the cable shows "Weeds" and "Mad Men."

Avery Dennison Reports Good Earnings, Bad Outlook

Shares of Avery Dennison Corp. dropped 8 percent after the adhesive label maker forecast weaker earnings for the year, despite reporting an improved third-quarter.

Cheesecake Shares Fall on Downgrade

Shares of Cheesecake Factory Inc. dropped 6 percent after an analyst cut his rating on the stock, saying sales at the upscale casual restaurant aren't likely to improve in the current quarter.

Kerkorian Cuts Ford Stake

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian lowered his stake in Ford Motor Co to 6.1 percent and said he could sell the remainder of his shares in the No. 2 U.S. automaker.

Wilshire Bancorp Has Slightly Higher 3Q

Wilshire Bancorp Inc. said that its third quarter net income rose 3 percent because it slashed its non-performing loans and became more selective about borrowers and terms.

Monday, October 20

WILSHIRE: Rental Rates Remain Stable Despite Spike in Vacancies

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Producer Chasing Mouse For His Montana Money

Hollywood studios and producers have long been accused of shady accounting methods. Now one of the producers behind the Hanna Montana phenomenon is claiming that the Walt Disney Co. isn't paying him his full royalties.

Boutique Banks Report Growth

Two Los Angeles boutique banks, Private Bank of California and Pacific Commerce Bank, announced preliminary third quarter results that showed growth despite the larger financial crisis.

DOWNTOWN: Once-High-Flying Area Dragged Down by Office Space

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

SOUTH BAY: Industrial Properties Close to Ports Snapped Up Quickly

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

We Will ID ...

Cogent Systems' Fusion device helps U.S. soldiers identify terrorist suspects on the battlefield.

Hanmi, Alliance Under Scrutiny

Korean community bank Hanmi has drawn the attention of U.S. and state regulators.

Newsmakers & Kudos

Hilton Hotels Corp. has named Thomas C. Kennedy executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Mattel's Higher 3Q Still Misses Expectations

Mattel Inc. shares dropped only slightly after the toymaker reported higher third-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street expectations. Analysts say investors are cautiously optimistic about upcoming holiday season despite the current economic uncertaint

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY: Warehouses Sit Empty as Port Business Slows

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

WESTSIDE: Blockbuster Deal Inked In Beverly Hills as Clouds Gather

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Tech Exec Shuts Off Lamp, Returns to Ad World

Joseph Poulose spent a decade as a tech manager at international agency Carat USA. But he spent the past year as an applications architect at Lamps Plus in Chatsworth.

Latest Boom-Bust Cycle Stirs Feeling of Deja Vu

Today's postboom bust resembles previous collapses in the area.

Pacesetter: Platinum Equity

Beverly Hills-based Platinum Equity tops the Business Journal's list of the largest privately held companies headquartered in L.A. County for the fourth consecutive year.

Moving Feast

Sisters Lisa and Diane Scalia serve up walking tours of L.A. eateries.

Valley Heat

Stuart Waldman has traded the political world of Sacramento for the San Fernando Valley business scene.

Playing by Mob Rules

Charles Crumpley thinks Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's methods are more "Godfather" than good government.

Today's Deals Require More Time, Less Money

Despite all the bad news coming from Wall Street, commercial real estate deals are still getting done in the fourth quarter but they are taking a lot longer to happen and the selling price isn't what it used to be.

California Regulators Get Active on Idle Exhaust

State regulators have ratcheted up their enforcement of rules prohibiting idling of diesel engines in trucks and off-road commercial vehicles for longer than five minutes. Violators can expect citations of at least $300 per day that excessive idling is ob

HOLLYWOOD: Office Submarket Boosted by Entertainment Tenants

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

At Home Abroad

Roddan Paolucci Roddan talks up foreign real estate projects.

TRI-CITIES: IndyMac's Collapse Kicks Up Vacancy Rate in Pasadena

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Future On Display

UpCode USA's bar code technology enables cell phone users to perform online transactions with the snap of a photo.

Zenith Sees 3Q Drop on Investment Losses

Zenith National Insurance Corp. said its net income dropped 74 percent in the third quarter due to charges taken for losses from bonds it held in failed investment bank Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. and common stock in troubled insurer American International

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Macrovision Solutions Corp., which acquired Gemstar-TV Guide earlier this year primarily for its interactive program guide technology, has sold the struggling TV Guide print magazine to Beverly Hills investment firm OpenGate Capital.

Unfinished Business

The Business Journal looks at commercial projects that might stay grounded because of financial issues.

Tinsel Turf

High-end retailers and hoteliers hope to make hay as the world's wealthy descend on the Southland for the Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita.

Cash would benefit Westside, L.A. to detriment of county

Paul Little argues that downtown and Westside would hog the benefits of Measure R

Aecom Announces $210 Contract with Abu Dhabi

Aecom Technology Corp. said it signed a contract with Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Co. to provide development management services for a big cultural district and for other projects in the United Arab Emirates.

Revived Palladium Gets a Good Rap

The new and improved Hollywood Palladium opened last week for a concert, but getting everything done in time was an eleventh-hour feat, said architect Christopher Coe. After all, the venue's roof was off just a few weeks ago.

SAG Wants Mediator for Talks

In a move to jumpstart stalled negotiations, the Screen Actors Guild has asked that a federal mediator join the talks , and has held off on sending out a strike authorization to members.

HIV, AIDS Therapy Developer Heads to Court in Company Feud

Bad blood between therapy developer Viral Genetics and the late founder's son has spilled into court.

SoCal Home Sales Rise Record 65 Percent

Southern California home sales rose 65 percent in September, the biggest year-over-year increase in at least two decades, as buyers took advantage of foreclosures to buy properties at discounted prices, MDA DataQuick said.

Attorneys Seek Brief Stay in Unemployment Line

San Francisco firm Heller Ehrman LLP's demise may not spell trouble for the firm's partners, but associates might have a tougher time finding a soft landing in these hard times.

REGIONAL REPORT

Capstone Turbine Corp., a Chatsworth-based manufacturer of microturbines, has signed a distribution agreement for oil and gas applications in Vietnam with Toan Thang Ltd., a supplier of energy equipment and systems.

Shoe Pavilion Closing All Stores

Shoe Pavilion Inc., a Sherman Oaks-based company once known as the largest independent off-price footwear retailer on the West Coast, has begun going-out-of-business sales at all 64 of its stores.

Ad Agency Director Mixes and Matches With Media

When Gayle Gray first came to Rubin Postaer and Associates 20 years ago, she wanted a job that would fit with her graphic design degree from UCLA. Unfortunately, the advertising agency didn't have such an opening.

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY: Region Bolstered by Western Area Rents

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Some Businesses Riding Up Side of Down Market

Some local businesses are finding ways to make the down market pay.

INLAND EMPIRE: Overdevelopment Has Submarkets Swollen With Space

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Home Theaters Heading Into Next Dimension

Panasonic's Hollywood Lab is looking to bring Blu-ray 3-D home video into focus.

MID-CITIES: Slow Economy Spurs Retailers to Shed Warehouse Space

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Airbus A380 Super Jumbo Arrives at LAX

An Airbus A380 double-deck super jumbo arrived in Los Angeles Monday morning on a flight from Melbourne, inaugurating Australia's Qantas Airways service using the world's largest-capacity commercial jet.

Credit Crisis Ends Hostile Takeover

International Rectifier may have dodged a hostile takeover when Vishay Intertechnology failed to drum up financing.

LONG VIEW

Area brokers offer long-term outlooks on the real estate market.

SANTA CLARITA VALLEY: Office Submarket Leads County in Vacancies

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Locanda Veneta Serves Up a Positive Experience

Italian eatery Locanda Veneta dishes out delightful service.

VENTURA: New Developments to Increase Already Abundant Office Space

Major events in commercial and industrial real estate across the L.A. region.

Beverly Hills Eatery Debuts After Long Simmer

Bringing another LA Food Show Grill & Bar into the world has been a labor of love for Larry Flax and Rick Rosenfield, co-chief executives of California Pizza Kitchen.

Special Report: The Big Empty

The third quarter was a dismal one for Los Angeles commercial real estate, with vacancy rates up and marquee projects mothballed. But lower lease prices are a bright side for tenants who have faced escalating rents.

Measure R an important step in easing area transit issues

Rob Carpenter and David Murphy see Measure R as essential to improve L.A.-area transportation.

Friday, October 17

Teledyne Buys U.K. Marine Sensor Maker

Teledyne Technologies Inc. said a subsidiary bought a marine sensor manufacturer in the United Kingdom for an undisclosed amount to capitalize on the boom in deep water oil well drilling.

U2 Gets $19 Million of Live Nation Stock

The rock band U2 is getting almost $19 million in shares of Live Nation Inc., the concert promoter, as part of a 12-year contract with the company signed in March.

L.A. Jobless Rate Makes Seasonal Dip

Unemployment in Los Angeles decreased to 7.8 percent from 7.9 percent in August and 29,000 payroll jobs were created, mostly in the education sector.

Fed Bans Dividends at Culver City Bank

The Federal Reserve Board said it had ordered Alliance Bancshares California to suspend dividends and shore up capital.

Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies closed up for the week ended Oct. 17 even though the overall markets ended slightly lower after a tumultuous two-week run.

Demand Strong for Oxy Bonds

Occidental Petroleum Corp has sold $1 billion of five-year notes, an increase from an originally planned $750 million sale. The sale is being seen as positive sign that the market for longer-term corporate debt is improving, even while selling short-term

Hollywood or Bust

Can a couple of Midwestern lawyers parlay their stunning defense of Wesley Snipes on tax evasion felonies into stardom in the world of L.A. law? The Bobs think so, but then they hold a lot of weird opinions.

Insurance Company to Buy 10 Percent of Kennedy Wilson

Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America said it will purchase a 10 percent interest in Beverly Hills-based Kennedy Wilson, a real estate investment firm.

Thursday, October 16

Report: Fashion Designer to Sell Firm

Christian Audigier, the Culver City-based fashion designer, is trying to sell his company, according to Women's Wear Daily.

County Signs Telecommunications Contract

AT & T; Inc. said Los Angeles County has signed a five-year contract, valued at $223 million, for the company to provide expanded telecommunications services for a variety of operations.

Traffic Drops at Ports for Imported Goods

Demand is down for expensive imported goods for the upcoming holiday season, as reflected in the latest shipping figures for the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Shari Redstone Speaks Out on Stock Sale

In a sign of renewed tension in media mogul Sumner Redstone's family, his daughter Shari issued a statement insisting that the movie theater business she runs wasn't to blame for the forced sale of a chunk of the family's holdings in Viacom Inc. and CBS C

UPDATE: Reliance Reports Strong 3Q

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. said third-quarter net income rose 63 percent from a year ago, with the company seeing additional revenue from a recent acquisition.

State's Manufacturing Activity Falters

California's manufacturing sector has slid into recession, according to the latest quarterly survey from Chapman University in Orange.

Hi-Shear Sees Slight Growth in Quarter

Hi-Shear Technology Corp. said net income rose 3 percent in its fiscal first quarter due to increased activity in its military aircraft product line.

Disney Unveils a 1920s Theme for Park

Disney's California Adventure is poised for a $1-billion makeover that's designed to give the troubled theme park the main thing it lacks -- an emotional connection to keep people coming back.

Wednesday, October 15

California Realtors Forecast 6% Price Drop in 2009

Home prices across the state will continue to drop next year, even as sales, spurred by the low prices on foreclosed properties, will keep rising in 2009, according to a new California Association of Realtors forecast.

'Clean Trucks' Supporters Lobby Commission

The Los Angeles and Long Beach ports kicked off their controversial truck replacement programs two weeks ago, but the battles over the environmental plan have not stopped.

DTS 3Q Estimates Within Wall Street Targets

DTS Inc. said it expects to report third-quarter net income of 8 cents to 10 cents per share next month, which is within the expectations of Wall Street analysts.

Mercury General Buys Aon Unit

Mercury General Corp. said it has agreed to buy the specialty insurance lines of insurance broker Aon Corp. of Chicago for $120 million.

September Sales Rise at CKE Restaurants

CKE Restaurants Inc. said that combined same-store sales at Carl's Jr. and Hardee's restaurants rose a modest 1.2 percent as business was hampered by deep discounting by rivals.

Beverly Hills Condo Project to be Revamped

The London-based owners of the former Robinsons-May department store property in Beverly Hills want to reduce the number of condominiums in their planned $1-billion residential and retail development, replacing them with hotel rooms.

Lions Gate CEO Extends Contract

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. said Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer has signed a long-term agreement that extends his employment until March 2014.

Korn/Ferry to Acquire Training Institute

Korn/Ferry International said it has agreed to buy Lore International Institute, which provides leadership development, executive education and coaching services.

Tuesday, October 14

TV Guide Sold Again

Macrovision, which acquired Gemstar-TV Guide earlier this year primarily for its interactive program guide technology, has sold the iconic TV Guide print magazine to a Beverly Hills investment firm.

Cherokee Repurchases Stock as Slow Sales Continue

Cherokee Inc. announced a stock repurchase and said it expected difficult economic times will continue to lower its apparel sales into 2010.

First Commerce Reports Lower 3Q

First Commerce Bancorp said its third quarter earnings dropped 68 percent because of a large loan loss provision.

Analyst Cuts Avery Dennison to Neutral

A JP Morgan Securities analyst cut his rating on shares of Avery Dennison Corp. to "neutral" from "overweight," saying growth for the Pasadena label and retail tag maker was expected to be flat at best next year.

Dodgers to Expand Naming Rghts

The L.A. Dodgers have formed a partnership with the William Morris Agency of Beverly Hills to identify opportunities to rename parts of the stadium and its planned $500-million addition.

New Korean Partner Contributes to Grand Avenue Project

Grand Avenue Project developer Related Companies has added Honua Group, an investment firm formed by three Korean insurance companies, as a second foreign partner to the $2 billion project's financial backing.

California Selling Short-Term Notes at Higher Yields

California sold more than a third of the $4 billion of notes it is offering this week to avert a cash shortage, with tentative yields as much as 1.1 percentage points higher than last year to entice buyers.

Monday, October 13

Newsmakers

Rich Battista has been appointed president of West L.A.-based Fox National Cable Networks.

Universal to Distribute Future DreamWorks Films

Stacey Snider and Steven Spielberg said their new motion picture company has signed a seven-year worldwide distribution deal with Universal Studios for approximately 6 films per year starting in 2009.

Hotel Chain Checks Out Overseas Markets as U.S. Scene Slows

As the domestic scene slows, the Hilton hotel chain is checking into foreign markets.

Pacesetter: Gensler

The Southern California office of architectural giant Gensler tops the Business Journal's list of the largest interior design firms in Los Angeles County.

Did Buyer of Los Angeles Times Read Fine Print?

Los Angeles Times' parent Tribune Co. may be forced to sell assets to make hefty debt payments.

ArtistDirect Sold Amid Sour Notes

The fat lady is ready to sing for once-promising online music service ArtistDirect.

Projection Systems Maker Brings Depth to Film Fest

The very first 3-D film festival in the United States is being held in Florida and it's expected to help boost the fortunes of Real D, a Beverly Hills company that is a leading provider of 3-D projection systems.

Downtown Los Angeles Developer in a Bad Spot

Many publicly traded Los Angeles real estate companies have been hit hard lately, but Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc. has suffered more than most.

Market Turmoil Pressures Redstone

After spending decades building a huge and diverse media empire, Sumner Redstone was shocked to find himself in an unusually vulnerable position late last week, forced to sell off a big chunk of his holdings in Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp.

Marketer Has Hand in Improving Sales of Bud Light

Matti Leshem has taken a hands-on approach to beer promotion with his rock-paper-scissors competitions.

Star Reborn

Hollywood Entertainment District Executive Director Kerry Morrison has that neighborhood's star on the rise.

Dow Roars Back

Wall Street bounced back after its worst week ever and staged the biggest single-day stock rally since the Great Depression on Monday, offering relief from eight consecutive days of stock market carnage.

Healthier Banks Feast in Famine

The economic fallout is strengthening already healthy financial institutions as depositors flock to the area's steadier banks.

Bailout Brings Dumping Danger

Charles Crumpley fears the federal government's bailout plan could lead to '90s-style house dumping.

Pressing Concern for Los Angeles Times

Jack McGrath offers the Los Angeles Times some tips on boosting its circulation.

Howard Stern Loses Influence After Moving to Satellite Radio

Howard Stern's move to satellite radio move left him with a fraction of his previous audience and, correspondingly, fewer top celebrities appear on his show.

Exercising Demons

A slimmed-down Sports Club Co. is showing some fight after axing its aggressive expansion policy.

Drinking In German Culture

On a recent business trip to Europe, Frank Addante made time to partake in a vital German tradition: Oktoberfest.

Jakks Makes Two Acquisitions, Gets Stock Upgrade

Jakks Pacific Inc. said it purchased privately held Tollytots Ltd. and Kids Only Inc., the later of which licenses the Batman and Dora the Explorer lines, to help broaden the Malibu toy maker's offerings.

UNDER $400,000

The median price of L.A. County homes dropped below $400,000 for the first time in more than four years.

Monrovia's 'Main Street' Copes with Tough Times

Monrovia's Old Town looks like the heartland, and its merchants have a message: Work hard, be positive and prevail.

REGIONAL REPORT

Enable IPC Corp., a Valencia microbattery manufacturer, has acquired SolRayo LLC, a technology manufacturing company based in Madison, Wis.

Accent on Ads

A growing readership has embraced classifieds-only paper El Clasificado's Spanish-language ads.

Music Executive Tries to Leave Time for Performing

Emily Weber, director of operations at Immediate Music, a Santa Monica film and commercial production music company, discusses her routine.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

The new head of troubled insurance giant American International Group Inc. did not rule out selling two of its Los Angeles-based businesses as part of an effort to pay off its $85 billion government loan.

Analyst Downgrades Ryland

Wall Street's huge market rally on Monday blunted the impact of an analyst's downgrade of homebuilder Ryland Group Inc. earlier in the day.

Fired Up

Struggling insurer AIG might be feeling the heat, but its Wildfire Protection Unit will continue to operate.

County Wants to Keep It Personal

The county is locked in a legal battle over giving employees' personal contact information to union officials.

Analyst Positive About True Religion's Prospects

True Religion Apparel Inc. rose more than 13 percent after an analyst upgraded shares, asserting that the company's premium denim sales are likely to remain strong despite the weak economy.

Vishay Ends Bid for International Rectifier

Chip maker Vishay Intertechnology Inc. said it has abandoned its $1.7 billion tender offer for International Rectifier Corp. in the face of continued opposition by International Rectifier's board and management and rejection by shareholders last week of i

Financial Sector Flops Drag Down Local Insurer

Zenith National Insurance Corp., a healthy Woodland Hills-based workers' compensation insurance provider, said its investment portfolio has taken a hit of roughly $65 million as a result of its exposure to an array of troubled financial firms.

Taking Poll Positions

The L.A. County Business Federation fills out its November ballot.

Breeders' Cup Runneth Over With Corporate Boxes

When the Breeders' Cup arrives at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia on Oct. 24-25, it will bring the largest prize purse for any sporting event in the world: $25.5 million awarded over two days of racing.

MySpace Music Hears Sour Notes From Indies

Even before its debut last month, MySpace's new music service drew fire from indies because they believe it gives a huge advantage to the big labels.

State Offers Healthy Salute to Local Employers

American Apparel Inc. and Nestle U.S.A. will be honored Monday by a state task force for the workplace wellness programs they offer employees.

Friday, October 10

Wong Sentenced in 'Pay to Play' Case

A judge has sentenced former Los Angeles city commissioner Leland Wong to five years in state prison for his role in a "pay to play" corruption scandal that plagued the administration of former Mayor James Hahn.

AIG Borrowing More While Racing to Sell Assets

American International Group Inc. drew down another $9 billion in loans from the government to meet massive demands for cash from its trading partners as the company scrambles to sell off its assets.

Amgen Wins Ruling Barring Roche Sales

Roche Holding AG was barred by an appeals court from selling the anemia drug Mircera in the United States after a judge found that the company infringes Amgen Inc.'s patents.

UPDATE: Wachovia Upgrades Public Storage

In an otherwise rough day for local stocks, Public Storage Inc. surged 20 percent on an analyst's upgrade. Conversely, the Business Journal's index of the 200 largest L.A.-area public companies closed the week down 17 percent to 103.43.

Vishay's Nominees Rejected by Rectifier Shareholders

International Rectifier Corp. said shareholders had rejected a slate of directors proposed by Vishay Intertechnology Inc., which had launched a hostile takeover bid of the power management chip maker.

Stocks End Week Mixed After Wild Session

Wall Street capped one of its worst weeks ever with a wild session Friday that saw the Dow gyrate within a 1,000 point range before closing with a relatively mild loss and the Nasdaq composite index actually ending with a modest advance.

Thursday, October 9

International Rectifier Says Sales Strong

On the eve of a shareholder vote that could strengthen the hand of a hostile suitor, International Rectifier Corp. said sales of its power management chips in the last quarter were likely at the high end of its forecast.

PeopleSupport Stockholders Approve Merger

PeopleSupport Inc. said its stockholders voted overwhelmingly in favor of the company's $250 million merger with Indian conglomerate Aegis BPO.

3Q Sales Flat at DineEquity Restaurants

DineEquity Inc. shares plunged 26 percent after the casual dining chain said same-store sales increased in the third quarter at its IHOP restaurants but declined at its Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar locations.

Bank's Net Income Up 7 Percent

Shares of American Business Bank rose 11 percent as investors reacted to a positive third quarter for the small Los Angeles business bank.

Strained Economy Boosted 2Q Sales at 99 Cents Only

99 Cents Only Stores said its second-quarter sales grew a better-than-expected 9 percent as more consumers visited the discount retailer.

American Apparel Sales Jump in 3Q

American Apparel Inc. said same-store sales grew 24 percent in the third quarter, including a 15 percent increase in the back-to-school month of September.

DreamWorks Delays Loan Pitch

Representatives of the new DreamWorks film studio will delay pitching Wall Street on a bank loan package for about one month to give the banking market time to stabilize.

Union-Tribune Sale Triggers Interest from L.A.

The proposed sale of the San Diego Union-Tribune has attracted interest from a several L.A.-connected media companies and outside investors. Potential suitors include the parents of both the Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Daily News, as well Ron Burkle

Platinum Equity to Purchase Metal Products Firm

Platinum Equity LLC said it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase SCM Metal Products Inc. from Gibraltar Industries Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

Wednesday, October 8

Image Entertainment Says Q2 Revenue Should Rise 43 Percent

Home entertainment distributor Image Entertainment Inc. said it expects to report a 43 percent increase in revenue for its fiscal second quarter.

Occidental to Invest in Abu Dhabi Oil Fields

Occidental Petroleum Corp. it will invest $500 million to develop two oil and gas fields in the Middle East country of Abu Dhabi.

ValueClick Sinks on Downgrade

Shares of ValueClick Inc. fell nearly 6 percent after an analyst said the Web display advertising market is weak and unlikely to improve the rest of the year.

Hot Topic Sales Surprise Wall Street

Hot Topic Inc. said sales at stores open at least one year fell 1.8 percent last month, significantly better than analysts were expecting.

Suit Dismissed Against Former Countrywide Directors

Former officials of Bank of America Corp.'s Countrywide Financial unit won dismissal of a federal lawsuit in which investors sought $2 billion in damages for the company based on allegations of insider trading.

LAX Agency's Money to Convention Bureau Being Probed

Federal authorities are questioning whether the agency that manages Los Angeles International Airport has illegally provided more than $40 million in revenue since 2002 to L.A. Inc., the city's convention and visitors bureau.

Studios Prep Production Despite SAG Stalemate

After mostly sitting on the sidelines since the June 30 expiration of the SAG contract, studios are preparing to put 40 or more films into production between spring and summer.

Tuesday, October 7

Developer Drops Plans for New Disney Complex in Japan

The operator of Walt Disney Co.'s facilities in Japan has cancelled plans for a new Disney-theme entertainment complex in a major Japanese city, citing the poor economy.

Sunset Strip's House of Blues May Be Sanctioned

After a series of violent incidents, the city of West Hollywood might be about to crack down on the House of Blues.

California Pizza Kitchen Stands by Q3 Outlook

California Pizza Kitchen Inc. said same-store sales fell 2.4 percent in the third quarter greater than a 2 percent decline forecast in August but stuck to its quarterly net income forecast.

Tetra Tech Announces Acquisition, Contracts

Tetra Tech Inc. said it has acquired the assets of DPK Consulting, a firm that provides consulting services for the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Perata Says State Faces $3 Billion Hole

Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata estimates the state will face a $3 billion to $5 billion deficit this fiscal year without corrective actions. That increases the likelihood lawmakers will have to consider new spending cuts or tax increases in a likely

UPDATE: CEOs Blame Each Other, Accounting for AIG's Downfall

Three former American International Group Inc. chief executive officers deflected blame for the insurer's $85 billion U.S. bailout, while a lawmaker said the firm blocked auditors from access to the unit that pushed it to the brink of collapse.

Monday, October 6

Sounding Off

A dissident Napster shareholder is claiming some of the credit for the online music service's acquisition by Best Buy.

Hefner Uncovers His Skinflint Side

Hugh Hefner has been scoring quick cash by selling tickets to Playboy Mansion parties on eBay.

Univision Fails to Reach Settlement

Univision's bid to end a feud with its main content supplier, Grupo Televisa, has collapsed.

Countrywide Settles Fraud Cases

Countrywide Financial Corp., now a part of Bank of America, will offer interest rate and loan principal reductions plus other distressed borrower relief valued at $8.4 billion to settle consumer fraud complaints from 11 states.

WHO's WHO IN L.A. LAW: SHARON RUBALCAVA

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

Crustacean Fare Inconsistent and Wildly Overpriced

Inconsistent fare and high prices at Beverly Hills' Crustacean may leave diners in a crabby mood.

Debt Attracting Buyers to Los Angeles Properties

As the credit markets worsen by the day and it becomes more difficult to obtain a commercial real estate loan, debt-assumption deals are becoming increasingly attractive. Two recent transactions highlight this trend.

Fashion District Fixture Folds Up After 58 Years

Academy Award Clothes, one of L.A. Fashion District's oldest stores, is closing after a six-decade run.

Sales of Staar's Visian ICL Climb

Staar Surgical Co. said sales of its implantable contact lens rose about 52 percent in the third quarter, primarily due to greater overseas demand.

WHO'S WHO IN L.A. LAW: BENJAMIN M. REZNIK

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

Start Making Sense on Housing

Charles Crumpley says that L.A. officials may want cheap housing, but they've been driving up costs by their actions.

Economic Fallout Fills Attorneys' Work Schedules

Attorney Paul Aronzon reported for his first day of work in the Los Angeles office of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCoy LLP on a Monday. That was the day New York financial giant Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

A ban on old and dirty diesel rigs at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports went into effect, with port officials reporting they did not have to turn away many trucks.

Up Close and Personal

Hollywood-area business improvement districts show how merchants and politicians can get things done, writes Jeffrey C. Briggs.

Paramount, DreamWorks Split

Divorce proceedings between the DreamWorks principals and Paramount Pictures took an unexpectedly amicable turn as the two sides announced a separation agreement under which they are dividing up about 200 projects in the DreamWorks development pipeline.

99 Cents Only Chairman Likes Price of Company's Texas Stores

The 99 Cents Only chain has an eyebrow-raising candidate to buy its Texas stores: the company's chairman.

On the Move

OpenX Chief Executive Tim Cadogan maps out cyberspace for ad opportunities and visits exotic locales in his down time.

Loss Leaders

Charity groups fear a dip in donations as some of L.A.'s wealthiest have been hurt by the economic slowdown.

Newsmakers

Carole Wagner Vallianos has been appointed president of Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance. Vallianos previously served as chairwoman of the institute.

Northrop Grumman Gets $128 Million Army Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. said it received a $128 million contract from the Army to provide a lightweight laser that will provide soldiers with precision targeting.

Dow Under 10,000 for First Time in Four Years

Wall Street joined in a worldwide cascade of despair Monday over the financial crisis, driving the Dow Jones industrials to their biggest loss ever during a trading day.

Sandwich With Side of Truth

It turns out that Richard Binder, co-owner of downtown's Philippe the Original, has been telling a tall tale for the 32 years he's been working at his family's restaurant.

SPECIAL SECTION: Law of Nature

Environmental lawyers have seen their stock rise as pollution regulations have become more complex.

Poking Cash Holes in Rail System Bond

Bond measure Proposition 1A's $10 billion won't begin to cover the costs of a proposed high-speed rail line, according to Adam B. Summers.

WHO'S WHO IN L.A. LAW: JOEL REYNOLDS

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

Advertising Agency Shows Game in Multimedia Era

While TV advertising has taken a hit from DVRs, online competition and economic troubles, some local ad agencies are mining the television game show genre.

WHO'S WHO IN L.A. LAW: RANDOLPH C. VISSER

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

Tetra Tech Demotes President

Tetra Tech Inc. said it demoted its president, Sam Box, to vice president of risk management in the wake of disclosures last week that Box had inflated his resume with a college degree he hadn't earned.

Regulator Takes Heat Over IndyMac Failure

As the mortgage crisis deepened in California last year, officials in Washington put the fate of thrifts in the West in the hands of a veteran regulator who had a memorable role in the last major crisis in the savings and loan industry.

A Stitch in Time?

Rory Beca started her eponymous fashion company in her mom's home and is now looking to overseas markets for growth.

WHO's WHO IN L.A. LAW: JAMES DRAGNA

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

Attorneys in the environmental practice groups at L.A.'s largest law firms:

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

Fire-Ravaged Hollywood Eatery Rising From Ashes

When an electrical fire broke out in Hollywood's Off Vine Restaurant in April, the yellow Craftsman-style house sustained $450,000 in damages. Now, owners Richard Falzone, Tony Hernandez and Greg Fedderly are close to rebuilding and hope to reopen by Janu

WHO'S WHO IN L.A. LAW: ROBERT WYMAN

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

WHO'S WHO IN L.A. LAW: KELLY McTIGUE

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

Vishay May Increase Hostile Bid for International Rectifier

Semiconductor maker Vishay Intertechnology Inc. said it may be willing to increase its $23-a-share offer for International Rectifier Corp. if the power management chip maker can demonstrate a higher price is justified.

WHO'S WHO IN L.A. LAW: JERRY BLOOM

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

WHO's WHO IN L.A. LAW: PATRICK W. DENNIS

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

Skin Game

Pro beach volleyball player Suzanne Stonebarger hopes to enjoy net gains with her skin care line.

Additions to Hazardous Material List to Continue

Regulators have rejected requests from business groups that want to make it tougher for the state to add common chemicals to its list of toxic substances under Proposition 65.

Automaker Shifts Gears

Disney Channel doesn't show advertisements, so a Santa Monica agency is getting Honda's message on the channel Trojan-horse style: It's a contest promotion, not an ad.

Web Company Eyes Green With Golf-Tracking Service

Schematic's shot-tracking service on PGA.com links fans with their favorite golfers.

Green People

The Business Journal identifies and profiles L.A.'s leading environmental lawyers.

Friday, October 3

Tetra Tech President Admits Degree Inflation

Tetra Tech Inc., which provides consulting and technical services, said President Samuel Box didn't graduate from the college listed in its annual report.

Vandeman Named Maguire's Chairman

Maguire Properties Inc., downtown Los Angeles' largest office landlord, said its board designated former Amgen Inc. general counsel George A. Vandeman as its new chairman following an election of directors at the annual shareholders meeting Thursday.

Congress Approves Historic Bailout Bill

With the economy on the brink and elections looming, Congress approved an unprecedented $700 billion government bailout of the battered financial industry on Friday and sent it to President Bush for his certain signature.

Immigrants Leaving, But Not for Good

A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center reports the number of illegal immigrants in the United States was down half a million from the previous year's estimate. The study suggests that more undocumented workers are leaving the U.S. than coming in.

Forever 21 Hopes to Buy Mervyn's Locations

Forever 21, the Los Angeles-based cheap-chic clothing store chain, has put in a bid to buy most of Mervyn's stores.

Northrop Grumman Completes Acquisition

Northrop Grumman Corp. said it has completed the acquisition of 3001 International Inc., which provides airborne imaging, surveying, mapping and the like.

Congress Approves Bistoric Bailout Bill

Amgen's Anemia Patents Upheld

In a rare piece of good news for its embattled anemia drug franchise, Amgen Inc. said a federal court upheld a prior jury decision affirming its patents for Epogen and Aranesp, and ruled it is entitled to a permanent injunction against Swiss competitor Ro

State May Need $7-Billion Loan

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, alarmed by the ongoing national financial crisis, has warned Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson that California might need an emergency loan of as much as $7 billion from the federal government within weeks.

LABJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

HEALTHCARE GUIDE 2008

Big Movers

Despite passage of the $700 billion financial rescue package by Congress, the Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies lost ground for the week ended Oct. 1 on fears the plan might not be enough to hold off a U.S. recession.

Thursday, October 2

SAG Negotiators Ask Board for Strike Vote

The Screen Actors Guild's negotiating committee has voted to support a strike authorization vote, a tactic meant to break stalled contract talks with Hollywood studios.

Judge Dismisses Hotel's Suit Against Living Wage

A federal judge has thrown out the Los Angeles Airport Hilton's suit against the city of Los Angeles over the city extending its living wage law to 12 hotels near Los Angeles International Airport.

LABJ SUPPLEMENTS and GUIDES

THE GREEN BUSINESS REPORT 2008

MagTek Moving to the OC

MagTek Inc. said that it plans to move its corporate headquarters from Carson to a newer, larger facility it has purchased in Seal Beach.

Northrop Wins Two Defense Contracts

Northrop Grumman Corp. has received two defense contracts this week totaling more than $111 million.

Best Buy Gets Antitrust Approval to Buy Napster

The Federal Trade Commission has given Best Buy the okay to proceed with its $121 million acquisition of digital music service Napster Inc.

Hollywood Could Get a Cut of the Bailout

Hollywood would get a little unexpected boost from the proposed $700-billion bailout of the nation's financial system.

Wednesday, October 1

Ryland Group Names New President

Ryland Group Inc. announced that it has named Chief Operating Officer Larry Nicholson as its new president, effective Tuesday.

Governor Signs into Law Sprawl, Water Supply Measures

California has embarked on a sweeping effort to curb suburban sprawl by rewarding communities that build homes and workplaces closer together to reduce pollution that contributes to global warming.

UPDATE: Senate Passes 'Sweetened' Rescue Package

After one spectacular failure, the $700 billion financial industry bailout found a second life Wednesday, winning lopsided passage in the Senate and gaining ground in the House, where Republicans opposition softened.

UPDATE: Clean Trucks Program Begins at Ports

A landmark ban on old and dirty diesel rigs at the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports has so far gone smoothly on the first day of enforcement Wednesday, according to port and trucking authorities.

IGA Signs In-Game Advertising Deal with Activision

Video game advertising company IGA Worldwide said Tuesday it signed an exclusive deal with Activision Blizzard Inc. to deliver in-game ads for the Santa Monica game developer's products for the Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 3 console.

Waldorf-Astoria Proposal Divides Beverly Hills

It's getting ugly in the 90210. A looming battle pits those who hope to import one of New York's most famous hotels, and build a batch of new luxury condos, against residents who say the streets of Beverly Hills already are clogged to the point of gridloc

Hollywood Studios Agree to Invest in Digital Cinemas

Walt Disney Co. and other Hollywood studios will join three major theater companies in a $525 million initial investment to show digital movies starting next year in half of all the screens in the U.S. and Canada.

Govenor Vetos Port Clean Air Tax Bill

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has vetoed a bill that would have imposed a $30 fee on cargo containers moving through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to pay for clean air programs.