Stories for September 2009

Wednesday, September 30

San Pedro Redevelopment Plan Approved

A $1.2 billion plan to redevelop San Pedro’s waterfront over the next decade has been unanimously approved by the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners

Northrop Grumman Gets Navy Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. has won a $20.9 million Navy contract to make radar sets for Virginia-class submarines, the Pentagon said.

Canadian Company Acquires Matchframe Video

Azcar Technologies Inc. said it has acquired a controlling interest in Matchframe Video LLC, a Burbank full-service media company serving the motion picture, television and multimedia industries, for an undisclosed amount.

Jackson Estate Sues Foundation

Michael Jackson's estate filed suit against the Heal the World Foundation, accusing the entity of trademark infringement, cyber-squatting and using entertainer’s name and likeness without permission to deceive the public into assuming that it operates a Jackson-sanctioned charity.

Poll: What is Your Weekend Getaway Preference?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. Easy access to the poll is available from links on the left column of the home page. A new poll is now online.

Golden State Mutual Seized by Insurance Commissioner

Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Co., whuch failed to make a profit for five straight years, was seized by California regulators after the insurer sold assets to cover losses.

Tuesday, September 29

Update: Advanstar Receives $35 Million Investment

Marketing company Advanstar Communications Inc. said it completed a restructuring transaction with lenders that eliminated approximately $385 million of debt, and is receiving $35 million in new capital from its principal stakeholders.

Reliance Steel Pays Off $444 Million Debt

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. said it paid off a $444 million loan and was able to most of a $1.1 billion credit facility extended. The metals processor also provided a brighter third quarter outlook.

Big 5 Sporting Goods More Optimistic

Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. said it expects third quarter earnings to be at the upper end of its previous guidance due to better merchandise margins and tighter management of expenses.

Judges Rejects Pooh Copyright Claims Against Disney

A U.S. judge dismissed remaining claims by the estate of long-time Winnie the Pooh licensee Stephen Slesinger against the Walt Disney Co in a copyright infringement case.

Northrop: Boeing Given 'Unfair' Edge in Tanker Deal

The Pentagon has given Boeing Co. an "unfair" advantage in the latest competition for a troubled $35 billion tanker contract, a Northrop Grumman Corp. executive said.

Source: No Truth to CIT-IndyMac Merger Talk

CIT Group Inc. shares surged on Tuesday following report that hedge fund Paulson & Co wants to combine the cash-strapped lender with a Paulson-affiliated bank once known as IndyMac. But a person familiar with the matter denied the report.

Reliance Steel Pays Off $444 Million Debt

Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. said it paid off a $444 million loan and was able to most of a $1.1 billion credit facility extended. The metals processor also provided a brighter third quarter outlook.

YouTube Says Warner Music Videos to Return

YouTube said music videos from Warner Music Group Corp. will return to the video site in the coming months after a nine-month dispute over deal terms.

Monday, September 28

Pacific Office Properties Trust Exchanges Shares for Debt

Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. said it issued shares of common stock to certain insiders who are creditors. In exchange, they will cancel $3 million in debt incurred by the real estate investment trust’s operating partnership.

Online Retailer Newegg Files for IPO

Internet retailer Newegg Inc. will seek to raise $175 million through an initial public offering, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bratz Judge Hired by L.A. Plaintiff’s Firm

U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Larson, who’s been overseeing the long-running legal battle over the Bratz fashion dolls, said he will be joining high-profile plaintiff’s firm Girardi & Keese on Nov. 2.

New Network to Battle Univision

Television: Estrella will offer counter-programming.

After more than a decade of preparing, Lenard Liberman has launched his Spanish language TV network.

City Hall Taking Its Battle for Bucks to Another Arena

Los Angeles is demanding that organizers of concerts, sports matches and other special events pay for traffic control

Crunch Time for Two L.A. Banks

Finance: First Fed, Cal National need cash – or else.

Two of L.A.’s largest financial institutions could face severe consequences as early as this week if they cannot find a way to raise capital.

Street Fight

L.A. cracks down on Olvera merchants

Los Angeles has adopted a tough policy toward Olvera Street merchants and they’re not happy about it.

Federal Judge Backs Billboard Ban

A federal judge has refused to halt enforcement of the Los Angeles City Council’s newest outdoor advertising law, which bars the installation of new digital billboards and multistory supergraphic signs across the city.

L.A. Toy Companies Put On Their Thinking Caps

Toy companies are lowering prices and launching new products in hopes of an improved holiday season.

Adviser to Villaraigosa Moves to Kaye Scholer

Dan Grunfeld left his post as one of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's top policy advisors to join the Century City office of Kaye Scholer LLP.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles business community.

New Network to Battle Univision

After more than a decade of preparing, Lenard Liberman has launched his Spanish language TV network.

Crunch Time for Two L.A. Banks

Two of L.A.'s largest financial institutions could face severe consequences as early as this week if they cannot find a way to raise capital.

Bratz Judge Hired by L.A. Plaintiff's Firm

U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Larson, who's been overseeing the long-running legal battle over the Bratz fashion dolls, said he will be joining high-profile plaintiff's firm Girardi & Keese on Nov. 2.

Post Office Delivering L.A. Properties to Market

It has been a tough year for the United States Postal Service, with projected losses of $7 billion for the fiscal year that ends this month.

'Always an Optimist, Always a Fighter'

Developer Sonny Astani was ecstatic over the sale of so many condos in his high-rise. But happiness turned to anger when his lender wouldn't let the sales go through.

Serious Issue, Dubious Report

Comment

A report on the cost of regulation in California is dubious, and as such it’s a missed opportunity, says Charles Crumpley.

Post Office Delivering L.A. Properties to Market

Transactions: Site in Culver City is in escrow, key lot in Venice for sale.

It has been a tough year for the United States Postal Service, with projected losses of $7 billion for the fiscal year that ends this month.

Second Read on the Alzheimer’s Association Chapter

When the Alzheimer’s Association California Southland Chapter asked Bettina Kurowski to serve as its chief executive, at first she said no.

Design Lion

Leo Marmol, who’s done architecture work for Ashton and Demi, specializes in preservation projects and prefabricated designs.

Lower Rider

Bent-Up Cycles is racing along in sales and service of recumbent bikes.

Bent-Up Cycles is peddling its recumbent models on the road to expansion.

Rare Case of Urban Blight Being Good for Business

Startup: Company has iPhone application that lets citizens report problems.

An L.A.-based startup is building a business around potholes.

Adviser to Villaraigosa Moves to Kaye Scholer

Bold Word: Grunfeld will handle health care and green technology cases.

Dan Grunfeld left his post as one of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s top policy advisors to join the Century City office of Kaye Scholer LLP.

$100 Million Stock Issue Sought by Wilshire State

Securities: Koreatown bank says it will use capital for more acquisitions.

Wilshire Bancorp Inc., the Koreatown holding company for Wilshire State Bank, is getting ready to try its hand at raising capital.

Trying to Clean Up the Mess of Clean Trucks Fee

Government: Ports end charge-and-refund policy for trucks meeting rules.

Seeking to mollify miffed cargo owners, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are working with terminal operators to eliminate the charging of a fee for cargo carried by environmentally friendly trucks.

L.A. Toy Companies Put On Their Thinking Caps

Retail: Manufacturers are strategizing in hopes of an improved holiday season.

Toy companies are lowering prices and launching new products in hopes of an improved holiday season.

National Lampoon Turns Its Least Funny Page

MEDIA: Guilty plea by its former chief executive ends stock manipulation case.

A troubled chapter in the history of National Lampoon comes to a close with the guilty plea of its former chief executive.

Inspection Rejection

ENGINEERING: Matech has the right device, but faces a tough market.

Matech Corp. was poised to cash in on concerns over infrastructure, but then the recession hit.

In the World of 'Family Guy,' Losing Feels Like Winning

When Fox television producer Seth MacFarlane’s TV series “Family Guy” didn’t win for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmy Awards last week, MacFarlane wasn’t disappointed.

Searching For Clues to Teamwork

Out of the Box Events is one company in the scavenger hunt trend.

Out of the Box is an L.A. company that organizes scavenger hunts as corporate team-building exercises.

Pouring On Counterfeit Wine Issue

Florida billionaire sues Los Angeles wine collector over bottles.

Some wine connoisseurs believe that Rudy Kurniawan is selling high-priced counterfeit bottles.

‘Always an Optimist, Always a Fighter’

Real Estate: Sonny Astani’s Concerto suddenly goes flat.

Developer Sonny Astani was ecstatic over the sale of so many condos in his high-rise. But happiness turned to anger when his lender wouldn’t let the sales go through.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

"Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns and will avoid further jail time in a tax case that spanned two states and several years.

Phone Calls Add to Din Over Loans

The discovery that Countrywide Financial Corp. recorded phone conversations with borrowers in a controversial mortgage program that included public officials -- and that those recordings have been destroyed -- has prompted new congressional calls for more

$100 Million Stock Issue Sought by Wilshire State

Wilshire Bancorp Inc., the Koreatown holding company for Wilshire State Bank, is getting ready to try its hand at raising capital.

To Make Things Real

West Hollywood Chamber schedules home-business event.

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is bringing home-based businesses to a mixer.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

“Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns and will avoid further jail time in a tax case that spanned two states and several years.

NEWSMAKERS

Raines Law Group LLP, a Beverly Hills business and real estate law firm, has named Daniel Brozost, Randal Ivor-Smith and Jennifer Tullius partners. Previously, Brozost, Ivor-Smith and Tullius were associates at the firm.

Freeway Series Would Be a Home Run for L.A.

Hotels, sports bars, team employees, suppliers would be the winners if the Dodgers and Angels go all the way.

A freeway series would be baseball’s gift to the economic health of the Los Angeles area, according to Ted Lux.

City Hall Taking Its Battle for Bucks to Another Arena

Los Angeles is demanding that organizers of concerts, sports matches and other special events pay for traffic control

Pouring On Counterfeit Wine Issue

Some wine connoisseurs believe that Rudy Kurniawan is selling high-priced counterfeit bottles.

Second Read on the Alzheimer's Association Chapter

When the Alzheimer's Association California Southland Chapter asked Bettina Kurowski to serve as its chief executive, at first she said no.

Online Retailer Newegg Files for IPO

Internet retailer Newegg Inc. will seek to raise $175 million through an initial public offering, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Pull the Plug on Energy Commission's Attack on Televisions

Restricting sales of electricity-guzzling TV sets in California would hurt businesses and wouldn't stop consumers from buying them, writes Steve Caldero.

To Make Things Real

The West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is bringing home-based businesses to a mixer.

Searching For Clues to Teamwork

Out of the Box is an L.A. company that organizes scavenger hunts as corporate team-building exercises.

In the World of 'Family Guy,' Losing Feels Like Winning

When Fox television producer Seth MacFarlane's TV series "Family Guy" didn't win for Outstanding Comedy Series at the Emmy Awards last week, MacFarlane wasn't disappointed.

Trying to Clean Up the Mess of Clean Trucks Fee

Seeking to mollify miffed cargo owners, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are working with terminal operators to eliminate the charging of a fee for cargo carried by environmentally friendly trucks.

Freeway Series Would Be a Home Run for L.A.

A freeway series would be baseball's gift to the economic health of the Los Angeles area, according to Ted Lux.

Rare Case of Urban Blight Being Good for Business

An L.A.-based startup is building a business around potholes.

Pacific Office Properties Trust Exchanges Shares for Debt

Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. said it issued shares of common stock to certain insiders who are creditors. In exchange, they will cancel $3 million in debt incurred by the real estate investment trust's operating partnership.

Saturday, September 26

A Burst of Technology, Helping the Blind to See

Advances in technology and biology, some coming from research in the Southland, are raising hopes for progress on one of science's holy grails.

When Will Hollywood's Wish Come True?

A degree of financial fizz has returned to Hollywood, but the industry is showing uncharacteristic restraint in its celebration.

Friday, September 25

Writers’ Group Film Corp. Finalizes Equity Funding

Writers’ Group Film Corp., a start-up entertainment production company, said it has executed a definitive agreement for equity financing of up to $10 million from Auctus Private Equity Fund LLC in Boston.

KB Home Has Smaller Loss in Quarter

KB Home reported a smaller third quarter loss as new home orders rose, but the per-share results still failed to meet Wall Street expectations.

This Week’s Big Movers

After a two-week rally, the Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell for the week ended Sept. 25. Disappointing economic and corporate earnings reports caused investors to worry about prospects for an economic recovery.

SAG Elects Ken Howard President

Ken Howard scored his second big win this week. Screen Actors Guild members elected the veteran character actor, who on Sunday won an Emmy, as the group's new president, capping a bitter election campaign that divided Hollywood's largest union.

Oaktree to Receive $1 Billion From Chinese Fund

Oaktree Capital Management a big winner in the high-stakes battle among some of world's best-known money managers vying for a slice of cash from China's sovereign wealth fund.

KB Home Has Smaller Loss in Quarter

KB Home reported a smaller third quarter loss as new home orders rose, but the per-share results still failed to meet Wall Street expectations.

This Week's Big Movers

After a two-week rally, the Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the largest local public companies fell for the week ended Sept. 25. Disappointing economic and corporate earnings reports caused investors to worry about prospects for an economic recove

Air Force Restarts Tanker Competition

The Air Force has launched its third attempt to award a $35 billion tanker contract to either Boeing Co. or Northrop Grumman Corp.

Thursday, September 24

Update: Industry to Pay Walnut to Drop Stadium Opposition

The Walnut City Council has settle its lawsuit against neighboring City of Industry over billionaire Ed Roski Jr.’s proposed National Football League stadium. Industry could end up paying more than $15 million in mitigation and legal fees to have stadium built in its community.

Gamma Medica-Ideas Closes Financing

Gamma Medica-Ideas, a Northridge developer of medical imaging systems, said that it has raised $24 million in financing from three funders.

Update: REIT Prices Secondary Offering

Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc. priced a larger public offering of 4 million shares at a 6 percent discount, causing its stock to fall by that amount on Thursday.

Ameron Profit 60 Percent Lower

Ameron International Corp. reported a steep decline in net income for a third straight quarter due to lower demand for its steel products in the slower economy. The earnings still beat Wall Street expectations.

Chamber Makes Council Runoff Endorsement

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed former Paramount Pictures executive Christine Essel in the Los Angeles City Council Second District runoff election in December.

Union Asks Obama for Boeing Edge in Tanker Deal

Union leaders are asking President Obama to give Boeing Co. a bargaining edge in the upcoming Air Force tanker contract evaluation, citing a recent WTO ruling that part of a competing team that includes Northrop Grumman improperly received foreign subsidi

Update: Industry to Pay Walnut to Drop Stadium Opposition

The Walnut City Council has settle its lawsuit against neighboring City of Industry over billionaire Ed Roski Jr.'s proposed National Football League stadium. Industry could end up paying more than $15 million in mitigation and legal fees to have stadium

Judge Cites Kerkorian in Pellicano Case

The federal judge in the high-profile wiretapping case of Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano said there was "reasonable cause to believe" that billionaire Kirk Kerkorian was "complicit" in some of the investigator's illegal conduct.

Wednesday, September 23

Rentech to Sell Common Shares

Rentech Inc. said it signed a deal to sell 11.1 million shares of its common stock to institutional investors, which is expected to raise about $20 million in gross proceeds.

Laikin Pleads Guilty in Lampoon Stock Case

Daniel Laikin, National Lampoon Inc.’s former chief executive, has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in connection with a scheme to manipulate the entertainment company’s stock.

Colony Financial Has IPO

Colony Financial Inc., a newly formed real estate investment trust, said it raised $255 million in an initial public offering.

Plea Deal Ends 'Girls Gone Wild' Founder Tax Case

"Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis has pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns and will avoid further jail time in a tax case that spanned two states and several years.

Disney Tells Details of Marvel Entertainment Acquisition

Walt Disney Co.'s romance with Marvel Entertainment began last February when Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger first brought up the idea of an acquisition during an otherwise innocuous business meeting with Marvel film chief David Maisel.

Laikin Pleads Guilty in Lampoon Stock Case

Daniel Laikin, National Lampoon Inc.'s former chief executive, has pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in connection with a scheme to manipulate the entertainment company's stock.

Rentech to Sell Common Shares

Rentech Inc. said it signed a deal to sell 11.1 million shares of its common stock to institutional investors, which is expected to raise about $20 million in gross proceeds.

Runoff Planned in Council Race

Assemblyman Paul Krekorian and businesswoman Christine Essell will face off in a Dec. 8 runoff for the Los Angles City Council to fill the seat vacated by Wendy Greuel's election as City Controller.

Tuesday, September 22

Rubicon Project Gets $9 Million Investment

The Rubicon Project, a Los Angeles Internet advertising company, has received a $9 million investment, led by a venture fund run by General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal unit.

Iris to Expand in Europe

Iris International Inc. said it signed a letter of intent to acquire some of its distribution business in the United Kingdom and Germany from Werfen Group, its current European distributor.

Update: AG Sues Investment Advisor Linked to Madoff

Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed suit against Beverly Hills investment adviser Stanley Chais, who is accused of directing hundreds of millions of dollars of client investments to Bernard Madoff.

Developer Puts Condo Project in Chapter 11

Developer Sonny Astani has put his Concerto condo project in downtown L.A. into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an unusual effort to hasten the completion of the $300 million development.

Vivendi May Sell NBC Stake

Vivendi SA, owner of the world's largest music company, may decide at an October board meeting to sell its stake in NBC Universal, a person with knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg News.

Iris to Expand in Europe

Iris International Inc. said it signed a letter of intent to acquire some of its distribution business in the United Kingdom and Germany from Werfen Group, its current European distributor.

Tetra Tech Wins Coast Guard Contract

Tetra Tech Inc. said that a joint venture received a U.S. Coast Guard construction contract that could be worth up to $500 million for a variety of work.

Developer Puts Condo Project in Chapter 11

Developer Sonny Astani has put his Concerto condo project in downtown L.A. into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an unusual effort to hasten the completion of the $300 million development.

Update: AG Sues Investment Advisor Linked to Madoff

Attorney General Jerry Brown has filed suit against Beverly Hills investment adviser Stanley Chais, who is accused of directing hundreds of millions of dollars of client investments to Bernard Madoff.

Why We May Pay for Tribune to Unload the Cubs

The Chicago Cubs aren't going to win anything this year despite having one of baseball's largest payrolls. But their bankrupt owner, Sam Zell's Tribune Co., may be about to hit a home run -- at taxpayer expense.

Monday, September 21

Macerich Pays Off $446 Million in Debt

Shopping mall developer Macerich Co. said that it paid off $446 million in term notes due next year.

Judge Clears Torres Convictions But Orders New Trial

A federal judge has thrown out 50 guilty verdicts against George Torres, the founder and former chief executive of Numero Uno Markets, but has ordered a new trial on several other charges.

International Rectifier Probe Ends

International Rectifier Corp. said that federal prosecutors do not plan to bring any charges against the company related to accounting irregularities that led to a restatement of financial results last year.

GEM Shifts Business Focus with Acquisition

General Environmental Management Inc. said that it has signed a definitive letter of intent to acquire Santa Clara Waste Water, a wastewater treatment business in Ventura County. Terms were not disclosed.

Bel-Air Mansion Owner Lops $13 Million Off Top

Listings and sales of L.A.'s elite executive homes.

Poker Promoter Sells Seat at Table

Struggling poker tournament producer WPT knows when to fold 'em. It has agreed to sell its assets for a fraction of its former value.

In Play

Success has been child's play for Megatoys CEO Charlie Woo.

Korn/Ferry Faces Gay-Bias Suit

A former senior client partner for Korn/Ferry International Inc. is suing the executive-search and consulting firm for allegedly firing her because she is gay.

Growth Drive Carried Culver City Bank Over Cliff

SPECIAL REPORT: Banking & Finance Quarterly

The FDIC was among those criticized in a report on the collapse of Culver City’s Alliance Bank.

Not So Hotspots

Recession chills Sam Nazarian’s growth plans

The economy has been not so welcoming to Sam Nazarian’s hotel expansion plans, so he’s focusing again on expanding his Hollywood nightclub business.

Teed Off Over Golf Carts

OP-ED: An L.A. commission’s dithering on a service contract is another example of why businesses shun the city.

The L.A. City Council put politics over public process in rejecting a golf cart contractor, says Craig Kessler.

Veteran of S&L Crisis Has Seen It All Before

SPECIAL REPORT: Banking & Finance Quarterly

The savings and loan crisis left L.A. consultant Walter Mix well prepared for today’s banking scene.

Buyer Beware

SPECIAL REPORT: Banking & Finance Quarterly

Picking up a failed institution often means pressing federal deadlines and exhausting work but increased prestige for the acquiring bank.

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

California’s Winning Prescription

COMMENT

If Washington is looking for ways to trim health care costs, Charles Crumpley says a good model would be California’s law called MICRA.

Bel-Air Mansion Owner Lops $13 Million Off Top

CHIEF DWELLINGS: Real estate developer’s home priced to move at $72 million.

Listings and sales of L.A.’s elite executive homes.

Pasadena Buildings Draw Institutional Interest

TRANSACTION: Sale of Lake Avenue structures for $52 million is year’s largest.

A $52 million office building sale, the year’s largest in Los Angeles County, closed this month in Pasadena.

Pasadena Buildings Draw Institutional Interest

TRANSACTION: Sale of Lake Avenue structures for $52 million is year’s largest.

A $52 million office building sale, the year’s largest in Los Angeles County, closed this month in Pasadena.

NEWSMAKERS

HGA Architects and Engineers has promoted Satoshi Teshima to associate in its Century City office.

Advertising Exec Takes Family Approach to Business

Robert Yallen said that he got one of his first lessons on running a company while operating a jewelry business during his college years.

In Play

PEOPLE: Charlie Woo dropped out of a doctoral physics program to help his family launch a toy company and later established downtown L.A.’s Toy District.

Success has been child’s play for Megatoys CEO Charlie Woo.

Less Joltin’ Joe

Puroast helps consumers stomach its coffee by using a roasting technique that reduces the acidity.

Puroast hopes to brew up sales with its low-acid coffee.

REGIONAL REPORT

Beverly Hills-based firm Platinum Equity will purchase controlling interest in Rio Tinto’s Alcan Cable, an Atlanta maker of aluminum cable products.

Japanese Agency Picks Up Westwood’s Mendelsohn

ACQUISITION: Hakuhodo to use firm as flagship for operations in United States.

Mendelsohn Zien advertising, the agency best known for its risque Carl’s Jr. commercials, has been purchased by Hakuhodo Inc., the eighth largest advertising agency network in the world.

Los Angeles Kings Take Sponsors Into the Boards

ADVERTISING: Team adds company names and logos to promotional signs.

Usually, when you see a sports team billboard, it shows a star player and is designed to sell tickets.

Drug Developer Tests Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

RESEARCH: Abraxis cites progress in treating disease that killed Patrick Swayze.

Pancreatic cancer, which took the life of actor Patrick Swayze last week, is a particularly intractable form of the disease.

California Lawmakers Cut Down on ‘Killer’ Bills

LEGISLATION: Only seven anti-business measures make it to Schwarzenegger.

At the close of a legislative session dominated by the deepening budget crisis, fewer bills deemed by business groups as “job killers” made it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk than in previous years.

Anti-Graffiti Company Takes Its Show on the Road

SEI Chemical, a Vernon manufacturer that started out making graffiti removal coatings, is quietly on its way to becoming a force in specialized chemical manufacturing.

Full Speed Ahead to a ‘World Class Waterfront’?

Development: Vote sets stage for San Pedro project, but financing is a question.

Waterfront businesses hope a Port of Los Angeles-backed facelift will buoy the area’s prospects.

China and U.S.’ Tit-for-Tariff Feud Rocks Ports

TRADE: L.A., Long Beach officials hope fight won’t further depress traffic.

San Pedro port officials hope the new China-U.S. feud doesn’t grow beyond tires and chickens.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Northrop Grumman Corp. said that Chief Executive Ronald Sugar plans to retire at the end of the year.

Who Wants to Miss the Million-Dollar Question?

L.A. attorney Ken Basin last month earned a dubious distinction: He became the only person in the United States to make it to the million-dollar question on the show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and give the wrong answer.

Brought To Heel

Male model relies on new angle to raise interest in lifts.

LiftKits hopes to take inserts for men’s shoes to new heights.

Charitable Efforts Left Wanting?

Philanthropist goes to court over losses from meltdown of AIG.

Philanthropist Glorya Kaufman has filed suit over trust money lost in AIG’s collapse.

Here Today And Gone Tomorrow

Mass market retailers buy into trend of using temporary retail shops.

Vendors rely on a short shelf life to generate buzz for temporary “pop-up” shops.

Few Alternatives For State Utilities

ENERGY: Deadlines loom on renewable power sources.

State mandates on alternative power are zapping Southern California Edison.

Poker Promoter Sells Seat at Table

GAMING: L.A.’s WPT folds hand after luck runs out.

Struggling poker tournament producer WPT knows when to fold ’em. It has agreed to sell its assets for a fraction of its former value.

Something to Say

MEDIA: KFI-AM and its news-talk format waltzed past music station rivals to seize the August ratings crown.

Surging talk-news station KFI has L.A. music stations dancing to its tune.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Northrop Grumman Corp. said that Chief Executive Ronald Sugar plans to retire at the end of the year.

Anti-Graffiti Company Takes Its Show on the Road

SEI Chemical, a Vernon manufacturer that started out making graffiti removal coatings, is quietly on its way to becoming a force in specialized chemical manufacturing.

Heirs File Claims to Marvel Heroes

Walt Disney Co. may not get full ownership of many of Marvel Entertainment's most famous superheroes if new copyright claims by the family of the late artist Jack Kirby have merit.

Full Speed Ahead to a 'World Class Waterfront'?

Waterfront businesses hope a Port of Los Angeles-backed facelift will buoy the area's prospects.

Something to Say

Surging talk-news station KFI has L.A. music stations dancing to its tune.

Who Wants to Miss the Million-Dollar Question?

L.A. attorney Ken Basin last month earned a dubious distinction: He became the only person in the United States to make it to the million-dollar question on the show "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" and give the wrong answer.

Los Angeles Kings Take Sponsors Into the Boards

Usually, when you see a sports team billboard, it shows a star player and is designed to sell tickets.

Few Alternatives For State Utilities

State mandates on alternative power are zapping Southern California Edison.

Macerich Pays Off $446 Million in Debt

Shopping mall developer Macerich Co. said that it paid off $446 million in term notes due next year.

Judge Clears Torres Convictions But Orders New Trial

A federal judge has thrown out 50 guilty verdicts against George Torres, the founder and former chief executive of Numero Uno Markets, but has ordered a new trial on several other charges.

Advertising Exec Takes Family Approach to Business

Robert Yallen said that he got one of his first lessons on running a company while operating a jewelry business during his college years.

Teed Off Over Golf Carts

The L.A. City Council put politics over public process in rejecting a golf cart contractor, says Craig Kessler.

Veteran of S & L; Crisis Has Seen It All Before

The savings and loan crisis left L.A. consultant Walter Mix well prepared for today's banking scene.

Disney Studios Seeks Magic Touch

Whoever takes over as head of Walt Disney Co.'s movie studio following the abrupt departure of Chairman Dick Cook last week will be tasked with making the struggling film division stand out among a growing number of corporate siblings, each with their own

Japanese Agency Picks Up Westwood's Mendelsohn

Mendelsohn Zien advertising, the agency best known for its risque Carl's Jr. commercials, has been purchased by Hakuhodo Inc., the eighth largest advertising agency network in the world.

GEM Shifts Business Focus with Acquisition

General Environmental Management Inc. said that it has signed a definitive letter of intent to acquire Santa Clara Waste Water, a wastewater treatment business in Ventura County. Terms were not disclosed.

Brought To Heel

LiftKits hopes to take inserts for men's shoes to new heights.

California Lawmakers Cut Down on 'Killer' Bills

At the close of a legislative session dominated by the deepening budget crisis, fewer bills deemed by business groups as "job killers" made it to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's desk than in previous years.

China and U.S.' Tit-for-Tariff Feud Rocks Ports

San Pedro port officials hope the new China-U.S. feud doesn't grow beyond tires and chickens.

Saturday, September 19

New Era for Disney as Studio Chief Steps Down

A new era has begun for the Walt Disney Co. following the abrupt resignation of longtime studio chief Dick Cook.

Friday, September 18

L.A. County Unemployment Rate Hits Record High

Despite signs of a stabilizing economy, Los Angeles County's unemployment rate surged to modern record high of 12.3 percent in August as state and local government budget cuts took their toll.

Point.360 Turns to Loss in Quarter

Point.360 reported losses for both its fourth quarter and 2009 fiscal year as the company recorded nearly $10 million in impairment charges.

The Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies rose sharply for the second straight week, as the markets rallied on promising economic reports.

Hythiam Raises $7 Million in Stock Offering

Hythiam Inc. said it has entered into definitive agreements to sell more than 9.3 million shares of its common stock, with gross proceeds of approximately $7 million.

Ticketmaster Finds Another Way to Bypass Scalpers

Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. has developed a new way to resell tickets that shuts out the brokers and scalpers it has long scorned.

Judge in 'Bratz' Case to Quit

Stephen Larson, the federal judge overseeing the high-profile Mattel-MGA Bratz doll case, is resigning to go into private practice, saying his salary is too low to let him support his family.

Dole Plans Debt Offering

Dole Food Company Inc., which has an estimated $500 million initial public equity offering in the works, announced a $310 million senior note offering to reorganize its debt.

Thursday, September 17

HuffPo Snags Yahoo and AOL Ad Veteran

The Huffington Post is ready to get serious about revenue, hiring former Yahoo and AOL advertising executive Greg Coleman as president and chief revenue officer.

Tetra Tech Wins $25 Million EPA Contract

Five-year commitment includes work on water pollution prevention and water infrastructure construction projects.

Insider Buy Boosts Point.360 Shares

The stock price of Point.360 shot up more than 20 percent on Thursday after filings showed the company's chairman bought 347,000 shares.

Wednesday, September 16

Hi-Shear Signs Merger Agreement

Aerospace company Hi-Shear Technology Corp. said Wednesday that it has agreed to be acquired by a British company for $132 million in cash.

TVGuide.com Spruces Up

The following observation may sound strange, but it's important to TV Guide Online's general manager, Paul Greenberg: Don't confuse TV Guide the magazine with TVGuide.com, the website he runs.

CKE Slows Net Income Decline

CKE Restaurants Inc. said its second quarter earnings fell only slightly from a year ago, with the fast food restaurant operator partially crediting a new advertising campaign aimed at cost-conscious consumers.

Hi-Shear Signs Merger Agreement

Aerospace company Hi-Shear Technology Corp. said it has agreed to be acquired by a British company for $132 million in cash.

Seafarers Center Barely Treading Water

A nonprofit facility where sailors seek respite at the Port of Long Beach after long voyages is struggling to stay open as donations from shipping firms dry up.

Northrop Grumman CEO to Retire

Northrop Grumman Corp. said Chief Executive Ronald Sugar plans to retire at the end of the year.

Gates Restores Air Force Authority in Tanker Deal

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has restored the Air Force's authority to select the winner of a $35 billion contract for aerial refueling tankers between Northrop Grumman Corp. and Boeing Co.

Forecast: State's Recovery Pushed to 2011

California's economy will continue to shed jobs at a rapid rate through the rest of this year and the job picture will remain flat for 2010. Growth will only resume in 2011, according to the latest UCLA Anderson Quarterly Forecast.

Tuesday, September 15

Udvar-Hazy Hopes To Set a New Course for Firm

Billionaire Steven Udvar-Hazy sold International Lease Finance Corp., which he helped launch in the 1970s, to AIG in 1990. Now that the insurance giant has hit major turbulence, Udvar-Hazy wants to buy it back.

Northrop Grumman Receives Military Contracts

Northrop Grumman Corp. has won contracts to supply shipbuilding and airborne communication services to two U.S. military branches.

Farmer Bros. Quarterly Loss Widens

Farmer Bros. Co. said that its fourth quarter net loss widened significantly.

Universal Lifts the Veil on Harry Potter Park

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the keenly anticipated Universal theme park, will open in the spring and allow visitors to tour Hogwarts, buy quidditch gear and drink butterbeer.

Cargo Traffic Improves at Ports

Cargo traffic at the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles has steadily increased over the summer, according to new figures.

Appeals Court Upholds Ban on Amgen Competitor

A federal appeals court let stand a U.S. ban on the sale of Roche Holding AG's Mircera in a victory for local biotech Amgen Inc., which markets a profitable line of anemia drugs.

Monday, September 14

Auto-Shopping Site’s Sales Go Into High Gear in 2009

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Zag.com even saw monthly spikes prior to clunkers program.

A Santa Monica company that operates an online car-buying site has reached profitability nearly five years after it first started its engines – and after surviving the collapse of Detroit.

L.A. Depositors Playing Safe With Credit Unions

BANKING & FINANCE: Deposits, assets and capital increase at institutions in 2009.

It turns out that the financial crisis and deep recession has been a shot in the arm lately for L.A. credit unions.

Southern California Sites In Running for Car Plant

TECHNOLOGY: Electric car maker Tesla looking at spots in Long Beach and Downey.

A defunct Boeing plant in Long Beach is back on Tesla Motors Inc.’s list of possible factory sites. Also on the list is a location in Downey.

REGIONAL REPORT

Foreign Infusion: Hanmi Financial Corp. has received an initial investment of $6.9 million from Seoul, South Korea, firm Leading Investment & Securities Co.

Turning the Page

Profile: Family-operated bookstore Hennessey + Ingalls boosts online presence to battle Internet competitors.

Art and architecture bookstore Hennessey + Ingalls is ramping up online to fight off Internet rivals.

Santa Monica Apartment Property in Lofty Place

REAL ESTATE: Tiny units fully occupied at both phases of NMS development.

Not all the news on the residential real estate front is bad these days, especially if it involves apartments.

Adding It Up

Interview: As head of the region’s broadcast association, Mary Beth Garber trains and supports L.A.’s radio ad salespeople.

Mary Beth Garber worked in advertising before dialing in to a career in radio.

Aspiring Actor Plugged Into Hollywood as Tech Exec

Featured Newsmaker

When London native Spencer Stephens moved to Los Angeles more than two decades ago, he wanted to be on screen.

NEWSMAKERS

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has named the Rev. Jeff Carr chief of staff and Jay Carson chief deputy mayor.

TRUST BUST

Recession cracks local foundations

The recession has left local philanthropic foundations with deep cracks in their budgets.

Shored Up

HOSPITALITY: Hotelier revamps a Best Western in Venice to offer lodgings that reflect the beach area’s quirky nature.

The new Hotel Erwin looks to channel the style of its quirky Venice neighborhood.

Caruso Saddles Up And Rides to Court

REAL ESTATE: Developer looks to rein in rival at Santa Anita Park.

Developer Rick Caruso has turned to the courts to get his Santa Anita project back on track.

Mergers Market Gets Boost From SPAC Acquisition

INVESTMENT: Union of Kennedy Wilson, Purpose seen as positive sign.

A Beverly Hills real estate company teams up with a special purpose acquisition company in Naples, Fla.

Mac Tablet Maker May Face Bitter Pill

TECHNOLOGY: Apple’s own device could hurt startup’s sales.

Apple’s “tablet” plan could be a tough pill to swallow for a local startup with a similar product.

Coupon Distributor Determines Print Not So Fine

ADVERTISING: Valassis opts for direct mail over Los Angeles Times inserts.

A coupon distributor has opted for the U.S. mail over the Los Angeles Times to connect with consumers.

Getting Jump on Economic Impact

Charles Crumpley calls for economic impact reports to get as much consideration as environmental impact reports.

Century City Firm Bucks Trend With New Hires

LAW

At a time when few firms are in expansion mode, Dickstein Shapiro LLP has added three intellectually property attorneys to its Century City office.

Spreading Public Knowledge

Government could offer businesses tips on balancing interests, ties to the community and long-term planning.

Rob Carpenter lists the lessons that the public sector has to teach the private.

Throwing the Book at the White Pages

Ted Lux has a hang-up when it comes to the White Pages and Yellow Pages.

L.A. Looks to Expand Collection Plate

GOVERNMENT: Businesses urge city to hit up deadbeats.

An L.A. business group has pushed the city to narrow its deficit by boosting fee collection efforts.

Disney, Union Workers Clash Over Healthcare

The Burbank entertainment giant's cost-sharing proposal is at the center of a labor dispute, which broke out into a protest at the D23 Expo in Anaheim last week.

Symark Acquires BeyondTrust and Takes Its Name

Symark International, an Agoura Hills company that manages user access to Unix and Linux systems, said it has acquired BeyondTrust, a Boston company that manages access on the Microsoft Windows platform.

Platinum Equity to Acquire Aluminum Cable Maker

Platinum Equity said it signed a definitive agreement to purchase controlling interest in Rio Tinto’s Alcan Cable division, which makes aluminum cable products.

Some Targeted ‘Deadbeats’ Dispute Debts

Cracking down on deadbeat businesses isn’t as easy as new plans might suggest.

NBC's Leno Strategy: Affiliates Pay

Jay Leno's new prime-time comedy show may turn out to be a sweet business proposition for NBC. But it could also be very bad news for NBC affiliates.

Mattel to Move to Nasdaq

Nasdaq has lured Mattel Inc. away from the New York Stock Exchange, with the El Segundo toymaker set to begin trading on the exchange’s highest-tier Global Select Market on Sept. 28.

DirecTV Group Restructures Debt

DirecTV Group Inc. said that it has launched a tender offer to buy back as much as $910 million of debt, and, according to a news report, it sold $2 billion of senior notes in a private placement.

Dropping Anchor in Echo Park

Writers’ strike spurred movie techs to open ‘Yacht Club’ eatery.

The writers’ strike provided the cue for two movie techs to open an Echo Park eatery.

Downey Regional Medical Center Files for Chapter 11

Downey Regional Medical Center Hospital Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and said the hospital and emergency room would remain open during the reorganization

Careful What You Search for ...

PAGE 3

What does the chief executive of a multibillion-dollar company do in his spare time?

CALENDAR & EVENTS

Events of interest to Los Angeles business community.

Planting Marketing Seeds

Greenroad’s freeway flower beds promote Toyota’s Prius.

A Manhattan Beach firm is planting flowers along freeways to promote Toyota’s Prius.

Channeling Recession

West L.A. electronics shop sees uptick in repair orders for TVs.

The poor economic picture has boosted the TV repair business at a West L.A. shop.

Will Work for Charity

Former charitable giving director is waiting like many Angelenos for employment picture to improve.

Joel Epstein remains positive while searching for a job in a down economy.

Platinum Equity to Acquire Aluminum Cable Maker

Platinum Equity said Monday that it signed a definitive agreement to purchase controlling interest in Rio Tinto’s Alcan Cable division, which makes aluminum cable products.

Downey Regional Medical Center Files for Chapter 11

Downey Regional Medical Center Hospital Inc. late Monday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and said the hospital and emergency room would remain open during the reorganization.

Auto-Shopping Site's Sales Go Into High Gear in 2009

A Santa Monica company that operates an online car-buying site has reached profitability nearly five years after it first started its engines and after surviving the collapse of Detroit.

Mattel to Move to Nasdaq

Nasdaq has lured Mattel Inc. away from the New York Stock Exchange, with the El Segundo toymaker set to begin trading on the exchange's highest-tier Global Select Market on Sept. 28.

Downey Regional Medical Center Files for Chapter 11

Downey Regional Medical Center Hospital Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and said the hospital and emergency room would remain open during the reorganization

Will Work for Charity

Joel Epstein remains positive while searching for a job in a down economy.

Mergers Market Gets Boost From SPAC Acquisition

A Beverly Hills real estate company teams up with a special purpose acquisition company in Naples, Fla.

Platinum Equity to Acquire Aluminum Cable Maker

Platinum Equity said it signed a definitive agreement to purchase controlling interest in Rio Tinto's Alcan Cable division, which makes aluminum cable products.

L.A. Depositors Playing Safe With Credit Unions

It turns out that the financial crisis and deep recession has been a shot in the arm lately for L.A. credit unions.

Throwing the Book at the White Pages

Ted Lux has a hang-up when it comes to the White Pages and Yellow Pages.

Southern California Sites In Running for Car Plant

A defunct Boeing plant in Long Beach is back on Tesla Motors Inc.'s list of possible factory sites. Also on the list is a location in Downey.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

Warner Bros announced a reorganization of its DC Comics unit, changing the division's name to DC Entertainment Inc. and naming movie executive Diane Nelson president.

Updated: Wells Fargo Fires Exec in Malibu Mansion Case

Wells Fargo & Co. said it fired a senior vice president responsible for commercial foreclosed properties who had been seen by neighbors using the Malibu Colony house lost by victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

L.A. Looks to Expand Collection Plate

An L.A. business group has pushed the city to narrow its deficit by boosting fee collection efforts.

Santa Monica Apartment Property in Lofty Place

Not all the news on the residential real estate front is bad these days, especially if it involves apartments.

Aspiring Actor Plugged Into Hollywood as Tech Exec

When London native Spencer Stephens moved to Los Angeles more than two decades ago, he wanted to be on screen.

Caruso Saddles Up And Rides to Court

Developer Rick Caruso has turned to the courts to get his Santa Anita project back on track.

Getting Jump on Economic Impact

Charles Crumpley calls for economic impact reports to get as much consideration as environmental impact reports.

Careful What You Search for ...

What does the chief executive of a multibillion-dollar company do in his spare time?

Dropping Anchor in Echo Park

The writers' strike provided the cue for two movie techs to open an Echo Park eatery.

Adding It Up

Mary Beth Garber worked in advertising before dialing in to a career in radio.

Shored Up

The new Hotel Erwin looks to channel the style of its quirky Venice neighborhood.

Century City Firm Bucks Trend With New Hires

At a time when few firms are in expansion mode, Dickstein Shapiro LLP has added three intellectually property attorneys to its Century City office.

Saturday, September 12

Controversial Financier Pang Has Died

California financier Danny Pang, accused of masterminding a massive international securities fraud, has died at a Newport Beach hospital.

Friday, September 11

Meruelo Maddux Project Files Chapter 11

A downtown Los Angeles high-rise being built by beleaguered commercial real estate developer Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

This Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies rose sharply for the week ended Sept. 11 after improving consumer sentiment and lower oil prices helped fuel a nearly weeklong stock rally.

Office REIT Names New Top Officials

Pacific Office Properties Trust Inc. said that its board has appointed Chairman Jay H. Shidler as chief executive and Lawrence J. Taff as chief financial officer on an interim basis.

Deckers Appoints CFO

Deckers Outdoor Corp. said it appointed Thomas A. George as chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Nirvana Members Dismayed by 'Guitar Hero 5'

Kurt Cobain's appearance in the latest "Guitar Hero" video game is not hitting the right notes with the surviving members of Nirvana.

Thursday, September 10

KB Home Names CFO

KB Home said it appointed Raymond Silcock as chief financial officer. He also will hold the title of executive vice president.

Pentagon to Release Rules for U.S. Tanker Bids

The Pentagon is putting the finishing touches on the draft rules for a new aerial refueling tanker competition.

Small Biotech Signs Pact with Roche Group

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd., a Los Angeles company developing novel cancer treatments, said that it has entered into a research and license option agreement with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Group.

Warner Bros Shakes Up DC Comics Division

A Warner Bros executive guiding "Harry Potter's" box office magic will be taking control of Superman as well, the Hollywood studio said in a shake-up of its DC Comics brand.

Wednesday, September 9

SPAC Buys Kennedy-Wilson

Kennedy-Wilson Inc., a real estate investment firm in Beverly Hills, announced it is merging into Prospect Acquisition Corp. of Naples, Fla.

Variety's Army Archerd Dies at 87

Showbiz has lost one of its defining voices, one who honed his craft in the bygone era of close-knit Hollywood and evolved through the many iterations of the industry.

KFI Tops Radio Ranking

News-talk station KFI-AM (640) slipped past perennial ratings powerhouse KIIS-FM (102.7) to claim the number one spot in the latest Arbitron radio ratings.

Meruelo Maddux Project Files Chapter 11

A downtown Los Angeles high-rise being built by beleaguered commercial real estate developer Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Council Approves Living Wage Pay Increase

The Los Angeles City Council has approved an increase in the amount of hourly wages airport contractors who don't provide health insurance must pay workers.

Skechers CFO Resigns

Shoe company's Chief Financial Officer Fred Schneider has resigned to pursue other interests.

SPAC Buys Kennedy-Wilson

Kennedy-Wilson Inc., a real estate investment firm in Beverly Hills, announced it is merging into Prospect Acquisition Corp. of Naples, Fla.

Korn Ferry Shares Gain Despite Operating Losses

The share price of Korn Ferry International increased more than 7 percent Wednesday after the company announced a quarterly operating loss that was smaller than expected.

Riot Games Raises $8 Million

Online video game maker Riot Games, which plans to launch its first product this fall, said Wednesday that it closed an $8 million follow-on round of financing.

Tuesday, September 8

Hanmi Receives Korean Investment

Hanmi Financial said Tuesday that it received an initial investment of $6.9 million from Leading Investment & Securities, a Korean securities broker-dealer.

Youbet.com to Restate Two Quarters

Online horse racing and horse betting operator Youbet.com Inc. said that it had appointed Susan Bracey as interim chief financial officer, effective immediately, and plans to restate the first two quarters of this year.

AeroVironment Posts Surprise Loss

AeroVironment Inc. said it swung to a loss in its fiscal first quarter as some customer deferred deliveries of its Raven drone aircraft.

Hanmi Receives Korean Investment

Hanmi Financial said that it received an initial investment of $6.9 million from Leading Investment & Securities, a Korean securities broker-dealer.

Dole Out to Raise Some Green

Plans by Dole Food Co. to sell shares to the public were triggered by a cash crunch for the nation's largest fresh produce business and its owner, billionaire David Murdock, according to a review of regulatory and public statements.

Airbus Ruling Fuels Critics

A World Trade Organization preliminary finding that Airbus received illegal subsidies from European governments provides ammunition to Boeing Co. supporters hoping to thwart Airbus and Northrop Grumman's bid for a lucrative Air Force tanker contract.

Sales Drop Hurts Cherokee's Profit

Cherokee Inc. said that its second-quarter profit fell 29 percent as clothing licensing revenue dropped.

Disney Acquires Video Game Developer

Walt Disney Co. said its interactive unit plans to acquire video game developer Wideload Games Inc., whose founder was co-creator of Microsoft Corp.'s popular "Halo" franchise.

Valley Merchants Upset About Meter Rates

Business owners and their patrons around the San Fernando Valley are up in arms about the increased parking meter rates that have been introduced over the past year -- and demanding something be done about it.

Monday, September 7

Blown Away

County’s permit process flattens wind turbine business

L.A. County’s permit process has sucked the air out of the wind turbine business.

Crackdown On Menu for Trucks

DINING: Councilman sides with restaurants in food fight.

A city councilman and area eateries are trying to put the brakes on taco trucks along Miracle Mile.

Herbalife Hears Familiar Chorus

MARKETING: Ex-workers allege ‘pyramid scheme.’

Nutritional supplement maker Herbalife once again faces pyramid scheme allegations.

Seafood Eatery Hopes to Hook Hipsters

HOSPITALITY: Gladstone’s takes plunge with nightlife impresario.

Seafood restaurant Gladstone’s hopes a makeover will reel in young, hip Angelenos.

Hot Rod Culture On Block

Petersen museum auction to feature era’s cars, memorabilia.

The Petersen Automotive Museum’s next auction is revving up with hot rod culture vehicles and memorabilia.

Percolating Business, Peace

Pasadena coffee maven serves up lessons to Rwandan counterpart.

The owner of a Pasadena coffee company is helping a Rwandan woman brew up business.

Check Out The Savings

Survey says L.A. beats New York and Chicago on organic food costs.

Survey finds L.A. undercuts New York and Chicago on organic food costs.

When It’s Easier Being Green

PAGE 3

Being green isn’t just a social statement for Century City attorney Brad Cohen – it’s also a business generator.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

About 1,500 factory workers at American Apparel Inc.’s L.A. facility will be laid off because they were unable to prove their legal immigration status or fix other problems with their employment records.

More in Store

REAL ESTATE: Culver City mall upgrades and expands in face of competition from the Grove and other area retail centers.

Fox Hills Shopping Center hopes to draw the attention of customers with a $180 million renovation and name change.

L.A. Buyers Flock to Low-End and Luxury Homes

HOUSING: August sales up 45 percent year to year and 5 percent from July.

L.A. homebuyers went to extremes in August, boosting sales in the high- and low-price ranges.

Comics May Draw Disney Deeper Into Video Games

ENTERTAINMENT: Marvel heroes offer licensing and development opportunities.

Disney may supersize its video game development with the pickup of comics publisher Marvel.

Local Fishermen Fear Sea Change in Ocean Access

REGULATION WATCH: California panel to get proposals for new ‘marine protected areas.’

Commercial fisherman who ply the waters off Southern California are concerned that the creation of “restriction zones” will put them out of business by blocking access to coastal seas with the most plentiful fish.

Boutique Firms Stock Up On Wall Street Refugees

BANKING: Institutions expand staff with influx of top executive talent.

Boutique operations are snapping up executive talent freed by the collapse of Wall Street institutions.

Sylmar Firm’s Solar Cells Fuel Growth of Business

MANUFACTURING: Spectrolab expects pickup in orders and additon of 50 workers.

A solar cell manufactured by Spectrolab Inc. has set a world record for its efficient conversion of sunlight into electricity, prompting the Sylmar company to increase its local production capacity and hire more workers.

Burn Center Relocation Boosts Hospital’s Profile

HEALTH CARE & BIOTECH: West Hills facility also wrapping up $60 million renovation.

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center made news last week when it announced it had lured the renowned Grossman Burn Center from Sherman Oaks Hospital.

Marketing Firm Homes In on Hollywood Office

ADVERTISING & PR Allied move allows combination of on- and offline operations.

Allied Integrated Marketing, one of Hollywood’s favorite media buyers and event producers, has moved its offices to a historic building that continually reminds employees of the agency’s entertainment-centered business.

REGIONAL REPORT

Aecom Technology Corp., a downtown L.A.-based provider of technical and management support services, has acquired Lake Forest-based Lim & Nascimento Engineering Corp.

Stocking Up Online

Profile: SharesPost serves as a sort of Craigslist in hooking up sellers of private company stock with buyers.

SharesPost’s Web site hooks up buyers and sellers of private company stocks.

L.A. Institution

Q&A: Former UCLA Chancellor Charles Young was brought in by philanthropist Eli Broad to stabilize and revive MOCA.

Former UCLA Chancellor Charles Young came out of semi-retirement to take the reins at MOCA.

Programming Class Plugs Exec Into Multimedia Career

Featured Newsmaker

It was more than 15 years ago that a five-day multimedia workshop changed the course of Karen Helweg’s career.

NEWSMAKERS

West Coast University in Silver Lake has named Barry T. Ryan chief executive.

Calendar of Events

Events of interest to Los Angeles' business community.

Sales of Downtown L.A. Lofts a One-Day Affair

REAL ESTATE: Concerto developer to use proceeds on site’s tower phase.

Real estate developer Sonny Astani sold all 77 lofts at his downtown project, Concerto – all in one day.

Investor and Wife Don’t Hedge Bet on New Home

CHIEF DWELLINGS: Porters buy Brentwood estate while old home still on market.

Listings and sales of L.A.’s elite executive homes.

Old 13 Props Up California

Political types often disparage Proposition 13, but Charles Crumpley said they should be grateful for it in down times like these.

In the Same Boat?

Anger over the Port of L.A.’s pro-union push could spill over to its sister Long Beach facility.

Randy Gordon fears that frustration with the Port of Los Angeles may spill over into the Long Beach facility.

Unhealthy Climate Changes for Small Businesses

Small businesses need a voice in California’s climate change debate, according to M.C. Townsend.

Old 13 Props Up California

Political types often disparage Proposition 13, but Charles Crumpley said they should be grateful for it in down times like these.

NEWS OF THE WEEK

About 1,500 factory workers at American Apparel Inc.'s L.A. facility will be laid off because they were unable to prove their legal immigration status or fix other problems with their employment records.

Sales of Downtown L.A. Lofts a One-Day Affair

Real estate developer Sonny Astani sold all 77 lofts at his downtown project, Concerto all in one day.

Unhealthy Climate Changes for Small Businesses

Small businesses need a voice in California's climate change debate, according to M.C. Townsend.

L.A. Buyers Flock to Low-End and Luxury Homes

L.A. homebuyers went to extremes in August, boosting sales in the high- and low-price ranges.

Local Fishermen Fear Sea Change in Ocean Access

Commercial fisherman who ply the waters off Southern California are concerned that the creation of "restriction zones" will put them out of business by blocking access to coastal seas with the most plentiful fish.

Seafood Eatery Hopes to Hook Hipsters

Seafood restaurant Gladstone's hopes a makeover will reel in young, hip Angelenos.

Investor and Wife Don't Hedge Bet on New Home

Listings and sales of L.A.'s elite executive homes.

Hot Rod Culture On Block

The Petersen Automotive Museum's next auction is revving up with hot rod culture vehicles and memorabilia.

Marketing Firm Homes In on Hollywood Office

Allied Integrated Marketing, one of Hollywood's favorite media buyers and event producers, has moved its offices to a historic building that continually reminds employees of the agency's entertainment-centered business.

Sylmar Firm's Solar Cells Fuel Growth of Business

A solar cell manufactured by Spectrolab Inc. has set a world record for its efficient conversion of sunlight into electricity, prompting the Sylmar company to increase its local production capacity and hire more workers.

Programming Class Plugs Exec Into Multimedia Career

It was more than 15 years ago that a five-day multimedia workshop changed the course of Karen Helweg's career.

Crackdown On Menu for Trucks

A city councilman and area eateries are trying to put the brakes on taco trucks along Miracle Mile.

Check Out The Savings

Survey finds L.A. undercuts New York and Chicago on organic food costs.

Stocking Up Online

SharesPost's Web site hooks up buyers and sellers of private company stocks.

More in Store

Fox Hills Shopping Center hopes to draw the attention of customers with a $180 million renovation and name change.

Boutique Firms Stock Up On Wall Street Refugees

Boutique operations are snapping up executive talent freed by the collapse of Wall Street institutions.

Comics May Draw Disney Deeper Into Video Games

Disney may supersize its video game development with the pickup of comics publisher Marvel.

L.A. Institution

Former UCLA Chancellor Charles Young came out of semi-retirement to take the reins at MOCA.

In the Same Boat?

Randy Gordon fears that frustration with the Port of Los Angeles may spill over into the Long Beach facility.

Friday, September 4

Teledyne Makes Acquisition

Teledyne Technologies Inc. said Friday that a subsidiary purchased the remaining 11 percent of Ocean Design Inc. that it didn't already own for $19.6 million.

Developer Files Chapter 11

Real estate developer Bob Bisno, who last year failed in an attempt to build a large redevelopment project in Baldwin Park, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Billboard Attacking Mercury Insurance is Removed

Consumer Watchdog paid for the sign to be up in the Mid-Wilshire area, but it was taken down early after the insurance firm complained.

The Week's Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal's index of the 200 largest local public companies rose for the week ended Sept. 4 when a light week of pre-holiday trading was boosted by a government report showing job losses slowed in August.

Teledyne Makes Acquisition

Teledyne Technologies Inc. said that a subsidiary purchased the remaining 11 percent of Ocean Design Inc. that it didn't already own for $19.6 million.

HCP Told To Pay Ventas in Acquisition Lawsuit

Ventas Inc. said that a jury awarded it more than $101 million in damages in its case against Long Beach real estate investment trust HCP Inc., which it accused of interfering with Ventas' effort to acquire another REIT.

DirecTV Sues Michigan Man

DirecTV Group Inc. said it is suing a Michigan man and has asked a court to stop him from redistributing its programming.

Thursday, September 3

Union Calls for Hotel Boycott

A local hotel workers union has called for a boycott of the Hilton Long Beach hotel, saying the hotel has blocked efforts to unionize the workers.

Economy Hurts UTi's Quarter

Long Beach logistics company UTi Worldwide Inc. reported lower-than-expected second quarter results, hurt by continued declines in freight movement due to the economic slowdown.

Macerich Sells Off Part of Colorado Mall

The operating partnership of Macerich Co. announced a joint venture that involves a private equity firm taking over majority ownership of one of the Santa Monica real estate investment trust's Colorado shopping centers.

American Apparel to Dismiss 1,500 factory Workers

Hundreds of American Apparel Inc. workers must leave the company because they were unable to prove their immigration status or fix problems with their employment records.

Apparel Sales Fall in August

The poor economy continues to take its toll at American Apparel Inc., which reported a 20 percent decline in same-store retail sales last month. Another trendy apparel retailer, Hot Topic Inc., saw a significantly smaller decline in sales.

Mattel Accused of Trying to Influence MGA Probe

Mattel Inc's security chief must appear in court this month to testify about why the toy company gave gifts to Canadian police investigating Mattel's complaints of trade secrets theft against rival MGA Entertainment.

Wednesday, September 2

SPAC to Return IPO Proceeds to Shareholders

Santa Monica Media Corp. said its shareholders have voted to end its status as a special purpose acquisition company and distribute among the shareholders the assets of an April 2007 initial public offering.

Ixia Makes Strategic Agreement

Ixia announced a strategic agreement in which technology giant Ingram Micro Inc. will distribute its Internet network testing products.

FTD Gains Exclusive Provider Deal

United Online Inc. said that its FTD.com subsidiary had signed a lucrative multi-year agreement with a subsidiary of United Services Automobile Association to be the exclusive floral provider to the association's 7.2 million members.

Push for NFL Stadium in L.A. Resurfaces

Proponents of a plan to build a new football stadium on the edge of Los Angeles County are turning to the Legislature in what could be a major, 11th-hour political battle before the end of the legislative year.

SPAC to Return IPO Proceeds to Shareholders

Santa Monica Media Corp. said its shareholders have voted to end its status as a special purpose acquisition company and distribute among the shareholders the assets of an April 2007 initial public offering.

Tuesday, September 1

American Apparel to Dismiss 1,500 factory Workers

OTHER NEWS

Hundreds of American Apparel Inc. workers must leave the company because they were unable to prove their immigration status or fix problems with their employment records.

Northrop Grumman Gets Pentagon Deals

The Pentagon has announced two supply and service contacts with Northrop Grumman Corp. totaling more than $100 million.

Fires Likely to Help Fuel Insurance Rate Hikes

As California heads into another season of wildfires that have been growing more frequent and more ferocious, homeowners are facing higher prices to insure their property.

OC Register Parent Files for Chapter 11

Freedom Communications Inc., the parent of the Orange County Register, said it reached agreement with the company's lenders on restructuring its debt and completing the process through a Chapter 11 reorganization.

Jacobs Wins Two Contracts

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has won a contract to manage the rebuilding of San Francisco General Hospital and a separate deal to provide engineering services to Manchester Airports Group in the United Kingdom

Mormons Become Victims in $50 Million Scam

A Marina del Rey record producer and his partners are accused of bilking more than $50 million from 735 investors -- mostly Mormons and born-again Christians -- which they claimed they were using to broker the sale of 20,000 tons of gold.

Businesses Make Use of Amnesty Program

Businesses in Los Angeles paid $18.6 million in taxes they owed to the city under an amnesty program that allowed them to avoid penalties, city officials said.

Grossman Burn Center Moves West

The renowned Grossman Burn Center will leave its longtime home at Sherman Oaks Hospital for West Hills Hospital & Medical Center early next year.