Stories for September 2013

Monday, September 30

Mayor Garcetti Names Planning Commissioners

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced his nominees to the Planning Commission Monday, a list that included a Walt Disney Co. executive and several local attorneys.

Burner Looks to Expand Disposable Number Business

Last week Burner unveiled a redesigned app that focuses on allowing customers to manage more than one number.

TCW Acquires Craton Equity Partners

Downtown L.A. asset manager TCW Group Inc. has acquired Beverly Hills private equity firm Craton Equity Partners, TCW announced Monday.

Morley Builders’ Chief, Son Believed in Santa Monica Jet Crash

The chief executive of Santa Monica’s Morley Builders and his adult son were believed to have been on a private plane that crashed after landing at Santa Monica Municipal Airport Sunday night, apparently killing all on board.

Cathay Repays Its Remaining TARP Obligation

Cathay General Bancorp announced late Monday it had redeemed the last of the preferred stock it issued to the U.S. Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program Capital Purchase Program during the financial crisis.

Warner Center Apartment Complex Sells for $88 Million

The Mercer at Warner Center, a 477-unit apartment complex in Woodland Hills, has sold for $88 million in the largest multifamily sale in the San Fernando Valley so far this year.

Markets Slide

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 118 points to 15,130. The Nasdaq fell 10 points to 3,771. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 1,681. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 169.

Grand Avenue Project at Turning Point

With a key deadline set for Monday, the centerpiece of the downtown L.A.’s Grand Avenue project — two towers offering luxury condos, a hotel, and high-end shops and restaurants — is facing another critical test, the Los Angeles Times reports.

City National Chairman Stepping Down

Bram Goldsmith, 90, will resign as chairman City National Corp. as of Tuesday, but will continue serving on the bank holding company's board as chairman emeritus, American Banker reports. His son, Chief Executive Russell Goldsmith, will succeed him as chairman, the company said.

Government on Brink of Shutdown

Republicans and Democrats this morning dug in for a last-ditch battle in a fight that has brought the United States within hours of the first partial government shutdown in almost two decades, the Wall Street Journal reports. CNBC looks at a possible 11th hour solution: a "clean" bill funding the government for a few more days to allow for a longer-term solution.

In Beverly Hills, 'Buy and Demolish' Is the Norm

The recent demolition of a North Roxbury Drive residence where the late composer Ira Gershwin lived, wrote and entertained Hollywood royalty is just the latest example of how difficult it can be to preserve the past in a city where residents are accustomed to doing as they wish, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Brookfield Property Wants to Buy Brookfield Office

Brookfield Property Partners is offering to buy Brookfield Office Properties for about $5 billion in cash and stock, the Associated Press reports.

Chase Bank to Put Sign on Residential Building

In an unusual advertising deal, Chase Bank will put its name atop a luxury condominium tower in downtown L.A. near the 110 Freeway. But the Los Angeles Times reports that not all owners living there are in favor of it.

Vintage ZIP Code Always Evolving

The Long Beach Press-Telegram profiles Fourth Street’s Retro Row, home to 40 independent merchants and one of the quirkiest, entertaining and eclectic areas in Long Beach, and the soul of the 90814 ZIP code.

SpaceX Launches its Largest Rocket

SpaceX on Sunday successfully launched its most powerful rocket, the Los Angeles Times reports, marking the first time that Hawthorne rocket maker has launched one of its rockets from California rather than from Cape Canaveral in Florida.

American Airlines Plans to Hire 1,500 Pilots

AMR Corp. unit American Airlines plans to hire 1,500 new pilots over the next five years and has offered to recall all pilots who are currently furloughed, Reuters reports.

Airlines Promise Return to Civility, for a Fee

Airlines are introducing a new bevy of fees, but this time passengers might actually like them. The Associated Press reports that, unlike the first generation of charges which dinged fliers for once-free services like checking a bag, these new fees promise a taste of the good life, or at least a more civil flight.

Report: Twitter to Make IPO Filing Public This Week

Twitter Inc. reportedly plans to make its IPO filing public this week, Reuters reports, citing an industry blog.

Millennials Face Uphill Climb

The on-ramp to adulthood has become delayed and harder to reach for young people today, a reality that is changing the country's society and economy, according to a Georgetown University report issued Monday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Markets Decline

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 112 points to 15,146. The Nasdaq fell 14 points to 3,767. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 1,682.

Raised Dead

TOURISM: Olvera Street vendors tapped Kickstarter instead of using city money to keep control of Dia de los Muertos events.

Olvera Street merchants tapped Kickstarter to scare up private donations to pay for Day of the Dead events.

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Couple of Critics Savage Online Payment Service

INTERNET: Virtual Piggy stock falls after slams on revenue and shareholders.

Virtual Piggy shares dip after critics go hog wild on the online payment system for kids.

Exhibition Firm Keeps 3-D Focus

FILM: RealD projects success for format despite waning draw.

Moviegoers’ waning love for 3-D fare has analysts questioning RealD’s focus on the format.

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L.A. Tech Views New Rule as Cool

INVESTMENT: Solicitation change could jolt startup scene.

Some technology firms expect new rules allowing public plugging for private fundraising will power up the sector.

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Caught Short in Meeting, Firm Thinks Long Term

MARKETING: Starmen ditches fixed-rate jobs for retainer relationships.

Starmen co-founders shed fixed-rate work in favor of piloting long-term projects.

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Candy Maker Sweet on Hollywood

Sugar Factory opens lollipop shop featuring room for parties.

Las Vegas’ Sugar Factory to pop open a new shop in Hollywood complete with a room for bachelorette parties.

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Debit Card Company Failed by College Lender?

FINANCING: Green Dot sues Sallie Mae over deal to draw in students.

Prepaid debit card company Green Dot looks to teach college lender Sallie Mae a lesson over collapsed deal.

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Herbalife Heir Feels Low About Mountaintop Lot

REAL ESTATE: Fight over unpaid debt may squelch development.

Sale of mammoth, high-end lot by trustees didn’t go down well for Herbalife heir Alex Hughes.

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YouTube Network Pushes Play on Advertising Unit

INTERNET: Maker Studios creates division to focus on producing branded videos.

Maker Studios had a busy summer, securing a new round of financing and acquiring video streaming site Blip.

Apartment Community Welcomes New Owner

ACQUISITION: 25-acre Baldwin Hills property sells for $60 million.

Bargain hunters willing to buy in bulk might do well to look to Baldwin Hills.

Smoked Out?

Cities’ concerns leave e-cigarette shops up in air

All the new e-cigarette shops are up in the air as local authorities try to figure out how to regulate vaporized nicotine.

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Running With It

Sports: Landing marathon trials big step in bringing Olympics back to L.A.

Scoring the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials could put Los Angeles on track to host the 2024 games, according to Bob Graziano, Alan Rothenberg and Barry Sanders.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Canadian Wealth Manager Pursues Heat in L.A.

INVESTMENT: Montreal’s Fiera steps into market by acquiring Bel Air.

The firm is still called Bel Air Investment Advisors, and it’s still based in Century City. But the private wealth management firm is now owned by a Canadian company that hopes to use Bel Air to start building its presence in the United States.

Restaurateur Warms Up to Freezer-Served Vodka

DINING: Larry Nicola plans spirited move into Vodbox service, TV show.

Restaurateur Larry Nicola is putting together what could be his last menu as he goes forward in his career.

Sporting Goods Vendor Looks to Get Ball Rolling

RETAIL: Sport Chalet says hiring of adviser won’t necessarily lead to sale.

Sporting goods chain Sport Chalet hopes new financial adviser will help bounce the ball its way.

Car Parts Investor Plans to Keep Hands on Wheel

AUTOMOTIVE: Shares in US Auto Parts rise after call for Oak to sell stake.

Biggest investor in vendor US Auto Parts spurns call to sell and says it will stay in driver’s seat.

Nurturing Workforce

Laura Nix Gerson launched MomFairs to raise the job prospects for mothers.

Las Vegas’ Sugar Factory to pop open a new shop in Hollywood complete with a room for bachelorette parties.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Decades Under the Hood

The cars were the stars at a celebration last week to honor Bert Boeckmann’s 60 years in the automobile business.

Brokerage At Home In Condos

Agency sees sales soar by moving into deals for high-end units.

Brokerage Agency is putting out welcome mat for high-end condo listings.

Friday, September 27

App Will Protect You From Spoilers

Spoiler Shield, an app for Apple devices, filters out tweets related to whatever TV show or sports score you'd rather not see discussed.

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FDA Approves Medtronics' Artificial Pancreas

The FDA has approved the first artificial pancreas system in the United States, a device developed at Medtronic Inc.’s Northridge facility, the company announced on Friday.

Ironclad CEO Resigns

Ironclad Performance Wear Corp., an El Segundo maker of task specific gloves, announced that Scott Jarus, its chairman and chief executive, has resigned.

Grandpoint Completes Gilmore Bank Merger

Grandpoint Bank has completed its acquisition of Gilmore Bank from A.F. Gilmore Co.

Virtual Piggy, CytRx Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies fell for the week.

Markets Drop

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 70 points to 15,258. The Nasdaq fell 6 points to 3,782. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,692. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 171.

SEC Rule Could Boost L.A. Tech Investments

The Securities and Exchange Commission last week lifted an 80-year ban on general solicitation that forbade private companies from publicly advertising for fundraising.

Brookfield Deal Raises Tax Questions

Provisions of California's landmark Proposition 13 property tax measure are problematic again as reform activists say a high-profile commercial property deal is being structured to avoid tax increases by taking advantage of a loophole, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Michael Jackson Case Goes to the Jury

After a bitterly fought five-month trial, a negligence lawsuit by Michael Jackson’s mother against concert promoter AEG was placed in the hands of a jury Thursday after a final plea by a Jackson lawyer to punish the company he portrayed as a heartless, money-making machine, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Proposals Would Shield Ratepayers From Some San Onofre Costs

The California Public Utilities Commission has issued two proposals that would deny reimbursement to Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric for power-purchase costs incurred due to the non-operation of San Onofre, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

L.A. Times Parent Prepares for Cost-Cutting

Tribune Co., parent of the Los Angeles Times, is reviewing operations in an effort that will likely result in staff reductions at the company's daily newspapers, the Times reports.

Hertz Offering Tesla Cars at LAX, SFO

Hertz is adding electric cars from Tesla Motors to its fleets at Los Angeles and San Francisco international airports, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. It's part of a new line of higher-priced rentals that will include Ferrari and Lamborghini.

China to Lift Ban on Sales of Video Games, Consoles

China has officially approved plans to end a 13-year ban on the sale of video game consoles, opening open up a multibillion dollar market for game developers Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Iconic Proud Bird Restaurant to Close

The aviation-themed Proud Bird Restaurant, a fixture at Los Angeles International Airport for 48 years, plans to close for good later this year, the Daily Breeze reports.

BlackBerry Loses Nearly $1 Billion in Quarter

BlackBerry said on Friday that it lost $965 million on sales of $1.6 billion during its fiscal second quarter, mainly from a write-down of a growing inventory of unwanted BlackBerry Z10 phones, the New York Times reports.

FCC Orders Better Placement of Bloomberg TV on Comcast

Bloomberg Television won a hard-fought ruling at the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday when the FCC ruled that Comcast has to put the business channel alongside its affiliated news stations such as CNBC and MSNBC in its channel lineup, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Panel: Warming 'Extremely Likely' Man-Made

An international scientific group said Friday that human activity is the dominant cause of the global warming observed since the 1950s, the Associated Press reports.

McDonald’s Aims for Healthier Menu

Under pressure to provide healthier meals, McDonald’s announced on Thursday that it would no longer market some of its less nutritional options to children and plans to include offerings of fruits and vegetables in many of its adult menu combinations, the New York Times reports.

Questions Follow Lobbyist

Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price staffer Robert Katherman says he is careful to avoid conflict of interest with his wife’s advocacy firm, but some critics have issues, the Los Angeles Times reports.

'El Mandril' King of L.A. Morning Radio

KLAX-FM's El Mandril has the top morning radio show in L.A. — in English or Spanish — but Ricardo Sanchez is determined to stay true to his roots, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Gundlach: No Fed Taper Until New Chairman Starts

Jeffrey Gundlach, manager of the top-performing DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund, said the U.S. Federal Reserve likely won’t reduce its monthly asset purchases until a new chairman takes over at the end of January, Bloomberg News reports.

Mortgage Rates at Nine-Week Low

Average mortgage rates are falling again, a trend that could counteract signs of lower home sales in the next few months, USA Today reports.

TV Maker Sharp Sees Future in Desert Farming

Sharp made its name building televisions. But the company actually has its origins in mechanical pencils, and its future may be in growing Japanese strawberries in the deserts of Dubai, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Markets Slide

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 98 points to 15,230. The Nasdaq fell 8 points to 3,779. The S&P 500 fell 9 points to 1,689.

Thursday, September 26

JustFab Raises $40 Million More

This latest round brings JustFab's total raised to $149 million, making it one of Los Angeles' most heavily funded tech companies.

Garcetti Names Hollywood Veteran Tom Sherak Film Czar

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday named veteran studio executive Tom Sherak as the city’s first film czar.

Leadership Transition at Southern California Gas Co.

Anne Shen Smith, Southern California Gas Co. chief executive, will retire next March as part of a broader management transition at parent company Sempra Energy.

TCP Capital to Sell Shares

TCP Capital Corp. on Thursday priced a public offering of 3.8 million shares of its common shares at $15.76 a share, which will raise about $60 million.

ApolloMed ACO Gains OC Partner

An Orange County doctors group has signed an agreement to join ApolloMed ACO, a subsidiary of Apollo Medical Holding Inc. in Glendale.

Wilshire Bank Takes ‘State’ Out of Its Name

Wilshire Bancorp Inc. late Thursday announced that the name of its Wilshire State Bank subsidiary will change to Wilshire Bank as of Oct. 4.

Markets Rise

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 55 points to 15,328. The Nasdaq rose 26 points to 3,787. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,699. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 171.

Boehner Tries to Herd His Party to Avert Shutdown

House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday urged his unruly caucus to show flexibility over a measure to keep the government open when funding runs out in less than a week, Reuters reports. Bloomberg News looks at why, unlike previous fiscal showdowns, business interests aren’t rushing in to publicly lobby for an agreement this time.

Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Decline

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly declined last week, with the four-week average of initial filings falling to the lowest since June 2007, Bloomberg News reports.

Disney Looks Toward Bollywood Boom

Disney is making a bold move in India next year, releasing three high-profile Bollywood movies under its own label in a territory that has been notoriously tough for U.S. studios to crack, Variety reports.

Rite Aid to Pay $12 Million in Environmental Dispute

Rite Aid is the latest big chain store to pay a multimillion-dollar settlement for dumping hazardous materials from its shelves into Los Angeles landfills, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Amgen Partners with Chinese University on Research Center

Under Chief Executive Robert Bradway, Amgen Inc. has made an Asian expansion one of its top priorities this year, and it's following through with a decision to set up a new research center in Shanghai, Fierce Biotech reports.

Mortgage Relief Settlement Under Criticism

Just 20 percent of the aid doled out by five giant banks under last year's national $25-billion settlement has gone to forgiveness of first-mortgage principal that would help people to keep their homes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Can Nielsen Innovation Finally Outpace Industry Frustration?

TV ratings company Nielsen has been scrambling to launch new services as network execs seethe over money left on the table because of the inability to track multiplatform viewing, Variety reports.

White: SEC to Push Tougher Penalties

Securities regulators plan to "make aggressive use" of their authority to levy penalties, the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Mixed-Use Complex Planned for Vacant Warehouse Site

The former Megatoys property on Garey Street in the downtown L.A.’s arts district will be demolished to make way for two five-story buildings with 320 apartments, shops and restaurants, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bottega Louie Cooks Up Expansion Plan

The owners of busy Bottega Louie restaurant — one of the pioneers behind a lively strip of new bars and restaurants in downtown Los Angeles — have rented quarters in a historic office building on 7th Street. They are adding a kitchen, tasting room, training facilities and headquarters offices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Discontent Mounts Over CEO Pay at Oracle

Investors are growing more dissatisfied with Oracle Corp.'s years of high pay for Chief Executive Larry Ellison — discontent that may produce a showdown at the technology company's Oct. 31 annual meeting, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Making Crime Pay, Over and Over Again

The crime procedural has paid CBS dividends for decades, dating to the days of Murder, She Wrote. Thirty years later, as the very same network is preparing to crank out its third incarnation of NCIS, Bloomberg BusinessWeek looks at whether audiences will ever tire of the tidy 60-minute police narrative.

Markets Gain

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 32 points to 15,305. The Nasdaq rose 15 points to 3,776. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,695.

Wednesday, September 25

Brown Signs Minimum Wage Law

In a ceremony in downtown Los Angeles this morning, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that will increase California’s minimum wage to $10 an hour over three years.

Investor Wants Shake-Up at U.S. Auto Parts

A Laguna Beach private investment firm that is the fifth largest shareholder in U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc. said it wants to buy out the largest holder’s stake so it can better influence a turnaround of the Carson automotive e-commerce company.

Genesis Biopharma Announces Reverse Stock Split

Genesis Biopharma Inc. late Wednesday announced a 1-for-100 reverse stock split that will be effective Thursday. The company will change its name to Lion Biotechnologies Inc., and be run by former ImmunoCellular Therapeutics head Manish Singh.

Markets Slide

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 61 points to 15,273. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 3,693. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,761. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 170.

Cross Campus Moving to Bigger Office

Cross Campus has signed a long-term lease for a 13,000 square-foot-property at 10th Street and Colorado Avenue.

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Wanda to Compete with Shanghai Disneyland

Days after announcing the world's largest movie studio development, Dalian Wanda Group Chairman Wang Jianlin has touted another project: a multi-billion dollar theme park, just west of Shanghai, that "will surpass (Shanghai) Disney in both revenue and number of visitors," the Hollywood Reporter says.

Tower Site Runs into Quake Fault Questions

When Los Angeles officials approved plans for a 39-story luxury residential tower in Century City, they declared the site suitable for development without a review of underground earthquake faults, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Prices Set for New Health Exchanges

Americans will pay an average premium of $328 monthly for a mid-tier health insurance plan when the Obamacare health exchanges open for enrollment next week, though Reuters reports that most will qualify for government subsidies to lower that price. But Republican opponents say the premiums will be out-of-reach for many Americans who won’t qualify for a subsidy, Bloomberg News reports.

'Massive Fraud' at Center of Mortgage Trial

Bank of America Corp's Countrywide unit placed profits over quality in a "massive fraud" selling shoddy mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, a U.S. government lawyer claimed during opening remarks in a lawsuit brought under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act, Reuters reports.

New Debt Limit Deadline: Oct. 17

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warned congressional leaders Wednesday that he will exhaust emergency borrowing measures “no later than Oct. 17,” leaving him with less than $30 billion on hand to pay the nation’s bills, the Washington Post reports.

Jackson Family Seeks $290 Million in Personal Damages

For the first time, attorneys for Michael Jackson's family put a dollar figure on what they want for the singer's death. That doesn't include economic damages of as much as $1.6 billion, the Los Angeles Times reports.

What 'A La Carte' TV Would Mean for Advertisers

A new PricewaterhouseCoopers study says that 44 percent of consumers would like a total a la carte pay-TV system and 73 percent would prefer at least more customization of packages than is currently offered, the Hollywood Reporter says. But Ad Age interviewed some experts who think only 20 networks would survive such a move, drastically reducing advertisers' options for reach.

Beverly Hills High Principal Target of Complaint

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has opened an investigation into Beverly Hills High School Principal Carter Paysinger and the for-profit summer sports camp he owns, sources tell the Los Angeles Times.

Alfa Romeo Plans U.S. Return in 2014

The on-again, off-again plans by Fiat to return the Alfa Romeo lineup to the United States appear to be on again. This time, the Italian automaker is targeting sales of the sports cars to begin in the second quarter of next year, sources tell CNBC.

Relativity Extends Middle East Deal

Relativity Media LLC, the film and television studio founded by Ryan Kavanaugh, is expanding its business in the fast-growing Middle East market, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Why Twitter's Secret IPO Process Is the New Normal

Twitter recently made tech history by being the last social network of appreciable size to file for a public offering, but if you’d like more information than that, you’re out of luck. The Silicon Valley Business Journal looks at how companies are increasingly opting for confidential IPO filings.

Why the BlackBerry Deal May Be a Fake Out

The tenuous nature of BlackBerry's deal with Fairfax Financial Holding has signaled to some industry experts that the firm's offer is more like a stalking horse bid than a real deal, CNBC reports.

15 Percent Of Americans Don’t Have Internet

A new Pew Research Center report looks at the demographics of Americans without Internet service, those who resisted the siren song of cat listicles and hashtags. TechCrunch reports that 5 percent think the Internet is “irrelevant.”

America's Toilet Turnaround

After decades of losing out to foreign rivals, U.S. manufacturing of toilets is making a surprising, if modest, comeback — mostly under foreign ownership. It's a microcosm of U.S. manufacturing trends, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Hollywood's Hot New Cars Are Armored and Electrified

Celebrities from Steven Seagal to Kanye West are rolling in the latest status ride: Luxury vehicles that can take a bullet -- or shock a paparazzo, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Markets Rise

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 26 points to 15,361. The Nasdaq rose 8 points to 3,776. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,700.

Tuesday, September 24

Hollywood Startup Enters 'Shark Tank'

Josh Brooks walked away with a $300,000 investment but had to lower the valuation of his Hollywood startup, Postcard on the Run, in the process.

Profit Jumps for KB Home

KB Home on Tuesday said that it sold more homes at higher prices in its fiscal third quarter, resulting in a significant rise in net income.

Forecast Sees Residential Rents Climbing

The latest USC Casden Multifamily Forecast report predicts that rents will continue to rise in the region despite new construction, as demand for rental housing continues to increase.

Molina Loses Florida Medicaid Contract

Molina Healthcare Inc. on Tuesday said that it plans to protest its exclusion from Florida’s Medicaid managed care market, starting next year.

Nasdaq Rises; Dow, S&P, LABJ Fall

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 67 points to 15,335. The Nasdaq rose 3 points to 3,768. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,697. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 170.

Marcus & Millichap Files for IPO

Calabasas real estate brokerage Marcus & Millichap Inc. filed with U.S. regulators to raise up to $104 million in an initial public offering of common stock, Reuters reports.

AIDS Non-Profit Group Faces Union Campaign

A group of medical providers at clinics run by AIDS Healthcare Foundation have launched a bid to unionize, saying that the organization’s leadership has lost sight of its mission and patient care is suffering, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Film Studio Plan in China Has a Hollywood Following

Wang Jianlin is the wealthiest man in China, owns the biggest theater chain in the world and wants to create the world's largest movie studio in his home country. Hollywood has taken notice, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California Ban on Ticket-Buying 'Bots' Is Signed Into Law

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation outlawing the use of so-called ticket-buying software, or "bots," that can purchase hundreds of the best seats to concerts and sporting events within seconds of their going on sale online, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Struggling, San Jose Tests a Way to Cut Benefits

The Silicon Valley city’s methods may have wide influence on how governments deal with unfunded pensions, The New York Times reports.

Insurers Scramble to Keep Healthy Customers

Health insurers are making a big push to hang onto their policyholders ahead of new government-run exchanges expected to roll out next week, but state regulators have accused some of misleading those customers, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Union Push for IPO Forces Filing at Chrysler

Chrysler filed for a public stock offering on Monday, acting only under pressure from its second-largest shareholder, a trust set up to provide medical coverage for 115,000 retired autoworkers and their relatives, The New York Times reports.

Sony Ousts Marketing President Marc Weinstock

Marc Weinstock is out as president of worldwide marketing at Sony Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The studio is making changes in its marketing team following a disappointing summer.

More and More Ways to Watch TV

A range of services compete with the traditional TV networks for viewers, the Los Angeles Times reports. The networks' challenge is to figure out how to exploit these digital platforms without steering viewers away from their own channels.

Stocks Rise

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 19 points to 15,421. The Nasdaq rose 13 points to 13.44. The S&P 500 ticked up 2 points to 1,704.

Monday, September 23

NRC to Cite Edison, Mitsubishi over San Onofre

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Monday said it would cite Southern California Edison Co. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for alleged design flaws in steam generators that resulted in closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Sport Chalet Hires Advisor to Explore Options

Sport Chalet Inc. announced on Monday that it is exploring a range of options – including a strategic partner or possible joint venture – as it seeks to jump start sales that have lagged since the recession.

Torrance Car Detailer Fined $326,000 for Wage Violations

A Torrance car detailer has been ordered to pay $326,000 in back wages and penalties for failure to pay minimum wage and overtime to employees, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday.

Markets Down at Close

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 50 points to 15,401. The Nasdaq fell 9 points to 3,765. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to 1,702. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 171

Maker Studios Launches Ad Service

The Culver City multi-channel network has created an in-house advertising division called Made that will create branded videos using Maker's production resources and talent.

DogVacay Releases iPhone App

The company announced Monday that it has launched an iPhone app that lets dog owners find and book sitters.

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OpenX Names President

John Gentry will take over operational responsibility for the company and oversee its business, engineering and product teams.

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Apple Sells Record Number of New iPhones

Apple Inc. said it sold 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models in their first three days on the market, the most successful iPhone launch ever, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Global Warming 'Hiatus' Puts Some Scientists on Hot Seat

A United Nations panel had hoped this week to brief world leaders on the current state of climate science in a clear, unified voice. But experts inside and outside the process say members probably will engage in heated debate over the causes and significance of what may be a global warming hiatus, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Computer Problems Delay Unemployment Checks

A computer problem delaying unemployment benefits for thousands of Californians has grown far wider in recent days, with an increasing number of people left unpaid, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Lower Premiums to Come at Cost of Fewer Choices

Federal officials often say that health insurance will cost consumers less than expected under President Obama’s health care law. But they rarely mention one big reason: many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers, the New York Times reports.

Emmys Dominated by Upsets

Last night's Primetime Emmy Awards was filled with so many upset wins, the Hollywood Reporter says, that host Neil Patrick Harris couldn't help proclaiming late in the show, "This just in: No one in America is winning their office pool!"

Real Estate's New Frontier: Crowdfunding

It's worked for films, political candidates and disaster relief, so why not real estate? Crowdfunding has been difficult to do in real estate, but a rule change that went into effect today may change that, CNBC reports.

BlackBerry's Latest Move Unlikely to Stem Decline

BlackBerry's plan to retreat from the consumer market in favor of its traditional strength serving businesses and governments is widely seen as a desperate move that industry watchers warn will only accelerate its downward spiral, Reuters reports.

Berkshire Hathaway to Shake Up Real Estate Franchise Landscape

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the new real estate franchise debuting this month, plans to stand out among dozens of competing brands nationwide, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disney Rethinks the Blockbuster

Looking at the film industry's troubling summer and its own big-budget failure, Walt Disney Co. plans to focus on franchise films and otherwise limit the financial risks from flops, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Utilities Want Solar Customers to Pay More

People with solar panels on their roofs often get a pretty good price break on their energy bills. Too good, say some utilities, arguing that the few homes with solar power are being subsidized by everyone else, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Fed's Underlying Message a Bad Signal

The euphoria with which investors in the stock market greeted the Federal Reserve's decision to stick with its easy-money policy has begun to evaporate, Reuters reports, as the message the Fed was sending about a less-than-stellar economy sinks in.

Chamber Successful Against Most 'Job Killer' Bills

The California Chamber of Commerce may have the Capitol's deadliest aim when it comes to shooting down bills that its members don't like, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Rethinking the 30-Year Mortgage

Washington is finally talking seriously about how to replace Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage-finance juggernauts that the government was forced to rescue five years ago. Just don't expect quick action, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Mogul Plans to Build World's Biggest Film Studio in China

China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, announced plans Sunday to build what he is touting would be the world's largest movie studio, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Chocolate Prices Soar in Dark Turn

Consumers worldwide are developing a taste for dark chocolate, taking a bite out of global cocoa supplies and driving up candy prices in both high-end boutiques and mass-market drugstores, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Markets Slide

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 75 points to 15,376. The Nasdaq fell 22 points to 3,752. The S&P 500 fell 11 points to 1,699.

Marketing Firm Adds Direction

Promotional spot for gang program grows into documentary.

Omelet LA eggs on an anti-gang program by turning a commercial spot into a documentary project.

Online Exchange to Test Mettle in Robot Battle

ADVERTISING: OpenX looks to crush cybercheats driving up Web traffic.

Online network operator OpenX looks to put the brakes on bots falsely boosting website traffic.

Scoring Points

INTERNET: Startup Scopely shoots for success in mobile game industry by letting others invent apps while it markets them.

Mobile game company Scopely looks to score more as a marketer of hot titles than a developer.

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Firm Puts Money on Poor People

FINANCING: Core looks to cut into lines at payday lenders.

A. Arjan Schütte sees money to be made in saving poor customers from very high-cost lenders.

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Helping L.A. Police Itself

LAW ENFORCEMENT: City needs residents to maintain gains achieved at LAPD.

Steve Soboroff urges a uniform response from Angelenos in furthering gains made by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Century Park on Block With Sky-High Price Tag

REAL ESTATE: Owners looking to sell landmark twin-tower campus for $2 billion.

The owners of the Century Park office campus, perhaps the region’s most recognizable real estate outside of downtown Los Angeles, have put the trophy property up for sale.

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Partners Set Stage for TV, Film Industry Coverage

HEALTH CARE: Program aimed at nonunion workers who move from job to job.

A payroll services company has formed a partnership with an employee benefits consultant and a health insurer to serve a segment of TV and film workers under health care reform.

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Online System Looks to Tune Up Song Licensing

MUSIC: SourceAudio built software platform as way to save time, money.

When Geoffrey Grotz looked at the music licensing industry, he saw a low-tech exchange of hard drives mailed back and forth between buyers and sellers – with a lot of time and money wasted in the process.

Losses Fail to Sully Image of Postproduction House

MEDIA: Despite quarterly and annual losses, shares of Point.360 zoom up.

Shares of Point.360 shoot up almost 90 degrees despite quarterly and yearly losses for the postproduction company.

Ticket Seller’s System Gains Entry to Big Leagues

TICKETS: ScoreBig’s blind bid process is appreciated by pro teams and venues.

BigScore hopes its guarded bidding process gives it an in with the discount market.

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Required to Do Good While Managing Risks

Banking & Finance Quarterly

Lenders bank on a variety of ways to satisfy the Community Reinvestment Act’s requirement to support poor communities.

To the Rescue

Banking & Finance Quarterly

When Broadway Federal Bank ran into trouble, Asian-American financial institutions buoyed L.A.’s oldest and only black-owned lender.

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Seed Money

Farms feed eatery Tender Greens’ growth plan

Rooting interest from its partners – farms – has restaurant chain Tender Greens looking to grow beyond California.

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Data Bank

Calendar and Events

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

New York New Home Field for Frank McCourt?

Development: Former Dodgers owner plans huge tower for Big Apple.

Ex-Dodgers owner Frank McCourt’s new field of dreams is a New York tract targeted for a mixed-use tower.

Bond-Buying Lays Foundation for Homebuilders

CONSTRUCTION: Shares rise after Fed announces it will continue program.

Investors come knocking for homebuilders’ stock after Fed continues bond-buying program.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Former Lawyer Raises Games

Typically one of the biggest challenges in writing a book is finding a publisher. But that was the easy part for Barry Sanders.

If You Love to Run And Eat ...

Dinner Lab’s pop-up dining events only give 24-hour notice.

Dinner Lab invents a new kind of pop-up restaurant – events are announced with short notice.

Travel Magazine Rich in Readers

PUBLISHING: $20 million puts you in ARareWorld’s orbit.

Travel magazine ARareWorld looks to map out new means to tap the deep pockets of its very wealthy readers.

Sweepstakes Not Such Safe a Bet?

GAMBLING: Sheriff may pull plug on games at Internet cafés.

Some Internet cafés are betting that their use of promotional sweepstakes will be judged legal.

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Friday, September 20

L.A. Unemployment Climbs Back Over 10 Percent

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate climbed back into double digits in August, reaching 10.1 percent, according to state figures released Friday.

United Online Sees Delay in FTD Spinoff

The spinoff of FTD Companies Inc. from United Online Inc. will take a month longer than anticipated due to a delay in receiving required regulatory approvals, the company said Friday.

Virtual Piggy, Kythera Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up for the week.

Markets Fall at Close

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 185 points, or 1 percent, to 15,591. The Nasdaq fell 15 points to 3,775. The S&P 500 fell 12 points to 1,710. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 172

PUC OKs Ride-Sharing Services

California regulators have given the green light to online services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, which link passengers with private car owners, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out earlier coverage by the Business Journal.

Univision Leaning Toward IPO in 2014

U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications Inc. has in recent weeks held discussions with banks about an initial public offering next year, sources tell Reuters.

DWP Can't Track Money for Labor Relations

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has send about $40 million to two non-profit groups that handle relations with an employee union, but has scant information on how the money has been spent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disney, Bruckheimer to End Partnership

Walt Disney Co. and producer Jerry Bruckheimer will not renew their first-look deal when it expires in 2014, ending a relationship that resulted in 27 movies and lasted more than 20 years, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Easy Money Brings IPOs Out of the Woodwork

It's shaping up to be a busy week for initial public offerings, reports CNBC, which details some of the reasons why.

Company Behind Snowden Check Also Vetted D.C. Shooter

USIS, the same federal contractor that vetted Edward Snowden, who leaked information about classified U.S. spying programs, also performed a background check that enabled the Washington Navy Yard shooter obtain a security clearance, Bloomberg News reports.

Nielsen to Add Mobile Device Viewing to TV Ratings

TV programmers frustrated that shows watched on tablets and smartphones have been invisible to Nielsen's ratings may get a solution next year, Variety reports.

Lions Gate CFO to Retire

Longtime Lions Gate Chief Financial Officer James Keegan is retiring from the mini-studio and will be replaced by former Viacom exec James Barge, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Kroger CEO to Retire

Supermarket chain Kroger Co. said Chief Executive Officer David Dillon will retire in January and will be succeeded by Chief Operating Officer Rodney McMullen, the Wall Street Journal reports.

AllThingsD to Split with Dow Jones

AllThingsD, the influential tech news web site founded by Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, will part ways with Dow Jones, the Wrap reports.

Longtime Nintendo Chief Hiroshi Yamauchi Dies

Hiroshi Yamauchi, who transformed his great-grandfather’s playing-card company, Nintendo, into a global video game powerhouse, died on Thursday in Kyoto, Japan, the New York Times reports. He was 85.

Patsy Swayze Dies at 86

Choreographer and dance instructor Patsy Swayze, who trained her late actor son Patrick Swayze on his way to "Dirty Dancing" fame, has died in Simi Valley, the Los Angeles Times reports. She was 86.

U.S. Textile Plants Return, Without the Jobs

Textile factories are bustling again in the United States, but the savior has been automation, meaning few of the jobs lost since the ’90s came back with the plants, the New York Times reports.

The Dirty Honey Scam

Bloomberg BusinessWeek details a plot by alleged scammers from Germany and China to skirt high tariffs on millions of pounds of doctored honey from China by disguising its origins.

Markets Decline

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 45 points to 15,591. The Nasdaq fell 1 point to 3,789. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,718.

Thursday, September 19

West Hollywood Company to Help Students Cram

StudyMode, which operates a portfolio of study-help websites, has launched Cram.com for creating flashcards.

Ouya Changes 'Free the Games Fund' Rules

Ouya Chief Executive Julie Uhrman said the campaigns can be as low as $10,000 and must have a minimum of 100 backers for every $10,000 raised.

Stock Little Affected by Activision's Blocked Deal

Activision released a statement Wednesday evening pledging its commitment to completing the transaction, which would return 429 million shares to the Santa Monica publisher for $5.8 billion in cash.

Boingo Wireless Buys Hot Spot Competitor

Boingo Wireless Inc. on Thursday said that it signed an agreement to acquire Advanced Wireless Group, a competing airport Wi-Fi provider.

Lions Gate Signs Deal With OddLot

Santa Monica independent studio Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and Culver City production company OddLot Entertainment have signed a co-financing and distribution deal.

OpenGate Capital to Acquire PennySaver

OpenGate Capital on Thursday said that it signed an agreement with Harte-Hanks Inc., to acquire the assets of the PennySaver free shopping newspaper chain.

Amgen Will Continue Tour of California

Amgen Inc. said Thursday that it has decided to renew its sponsorship of the Tour of California cycling race.

FTC Won't Block Amgen-Onyx Deal

The Federal Trade Commission ended early its antitrust review period, enabling Amgen Inc. to proceed with its $10.4 billion acquisition of cancer drug maker Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Nasdaq Rises, Dow, S&P and LABJ Fall

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 40 points to 15,636. The Nasdaq rose 6 points to 3,789. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,722. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 173.

Court Halts Activision Deal with Vivendi

A U.S. court has halted the closing of Vivendi's $8.2 billion deal to sell most of its stake in Activision Blizzard Inc. back to the video games publisher, delaying its completion, Reuters reports.

Boeing to Close C-17 Facility in 2015

The C-17 Globemaster III plant, California’s last remaining aircraft manufacturing facility, will shutter in two years, affecting 2,200 Boeing Co. employees based in Long Beach and Huntington Beach and thousands of workers and suppliers nationwide, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Exide Ordered to Cut Production

Air quality regulators have ordered the embattled Vernon battery recycler Exide Technologies to cut production after an air monitor revealed lead emissions had exceeded health standards over a 30-day period, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Postmaster: USPS May Need Emergency Rate Hike

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told a Senate committee on Thursday that the Postal Service's cash balance next month likely will cover only five days of its average daily expenses, so the agency may need an emergency rate increase to stay afloat, the Associated Press reports.

Advantage of Home Ownership in SoCal Slipping Away

A new report says the financial advantage that Southern California home buyers hold over renters has rapidly shrunk in recent months as home prices and mortgage rates have risen, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Poverty Rises in Los Angeles Despite Recovery

U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that poverty continued creeping upward in the Los Angeles area last year, long after the declared end of the recession, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

J.P. Morgan to Pay $920 Million 'Whale' Fine

U.S. and U.K. regulators said Thursday that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay about $920 million in fines over actions tied to last year's "London Whale" trading debacle, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Proposal Would Display Boss-Employee Pay Gap

Securities regulators want to require companies to disclose the pay gap between chief executives and their employees, a move that the Wall Street Journal reports is breathing new life into the executive compensation debate.

Two Sides of Porn Safety Debate

The owner of a porn studio accused of putting actors at risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases says the AIDS Healthcare Foundation is playing "loose with the facts," the Los Angeles Times reports. But several current and former adult film actors who have tested positive for HIV now say their industry does not do enough to mitigate the risk, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Cox Pulls Plug on Internet TV Trial

After a three-month test, Cox Communications has ended the broadband-delivered flareWatch subscription TV service it launched in Southern California, Variety reports.

Movie Studios Fire Shot at Search Engines

The Motion Picture Association of America has released a report sharply critical of the role Google Inc. and other search engines play in online piracy of movies and television programs, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Sony CEO: Loeb’s Campaign a ‘Good Thing’

Sony Corp. Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai tells the Wall Street Journal that the unsuccessful campaign by billionaire hedge-fund investor Dan Loeb to persuade Sony to spin off part of its entertainment business was "a good thing" for the company.

Markets Mixed This Morning

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 26 points to 15,651. The Nasdaq was up 1 point to 3,784. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,725.

Wednesday, September 18

East West Buys Banks in San Diego and Texas

Pasadena’s East West Bancorp. said Wednesday that it will acquire a Houston bank holding company in a $273 million deal.

Pacific Coast Energy to Sell Trust Units

Pacific Coast Energy Co., a private entity run by the founders of BreitBurn Energy Partners, late Wednesday announced a secondary offering of 13.5 million existing units in its publicly traded Pacific Coast Oil Trust.

BioSig Technologies Names CEO

BioSig Technologies Inc., a West Los Angeles medical device development company, on Wednesday said that David J. Drachman has been hired as chief executive, effective immediately.

Machinima Lays Off More Employees

The West Hollywood YouTube network announced Wednesday afternoon that it had laid off 22 employees, about 10 percent of the company, from its 206-person staff.

Ryland Expands in Indiana

Ryland Group Inc. on Wednesday said that it opened a residential development in Indiana.

Markets Rise at Close

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 147 points, or 1 percent, to 15,677. The Nasdaq rose 38 points, or 1 percent, to 3,782. The S&P 500 rose 21 points, or 1 percent, to 1,726. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points, or 1 percent, to 174

GOP Has New Plan to Replace Obamacare

The Republican Study Committee in the House of Representatives will unveil a health care bill on Wednesday to repeal and replace Obamacare, the Daily Caller reports. House Speaker John Boehner predicts that House Republicans will pass a budget bill this week that withholds funding for the federal health care law, even though the effort stands little chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate, the Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Search for Film Czar Drags on at City Hall

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is still searching for a film czar to serve as an industry advocate in City Hall and to help stop runaway production, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disney, Bruckheimer to Discuss His Future

Producer Jerry Bruckheimer and Walt Disney Co. will soon discuss whether to continue a relationship that’s been in place since the 1990s or part ways, sources tell Variety.

Hulu Lines Up New Video Content

BBC Worldwide North America and Hulu on Wednesday unveiled a non-exclusive, multi-year agreement that will make current hit shows and classic series available to U.S. users of the Hulu Plus subscription service, the Hollywood Reporter says.

FedEx Plans Hike in Express Shipping Rates

FedEx Corp. on Wednesday reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on cost cuts, but said it would raise rates next year for express shipping, a business that has suffered as customers shift to slower but cheaper delivery options, Reuters reports.

What to Expect from the Fed Today

Fed officials are likely to emphasize they're moving slowly and carefully even if they do decide to start pulling back on their bond-buying program, but the outcome is still uncertain on several fronts, the Wall Street Journal reports.

J.P. Morgan 'Whale' Hunt Not Over

J.P. Morgan Chase is preparing to pay at least $800 million in fines related to the "London whale" trading fiasco, but that won't solve all the bank's problems with regulators and prosecutors over the matter, the Wall Street Journal reports.

How Warner Bros.' Tsujihara Defied Skeptics

When Kevin Tsujihara beat out film and TV rivals Jeff Robinov and Bruce Rosenblum for the top studio job at Warner Bros. in March, skeptics doubted his ability to court talent. After all, he'd worked his way up through the unglamorous ranks of home entertainment and digital distribution. The Hollywood Reporter looks at how with a couple of deft turns, many observers believe Tsujihara is turning that assessment around.

BlackBerry Unveils Z30 as New Flagship

BlackBerry launched its new Z30 flagship smartphone on Wednesday as it battles to win back market share despite uncertainty around its future, Reuters reports.

Rhapsody Lays Off 15 Percent of Staff

Streaming music pioneer Rhapsody, one of the first digital music companies to offer access to songs through monthly subscriptions, has cut its staff by 15 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

'New Day' Struggles

CNN’s “New Day” has been struggling to bring up its already ailing ratings. The new morning show fell behind its previous lows on Monday and lost to competitors Fox and MSNBC, Variety reports.

Penthouse Publisher Files for Chapter 11

The company that owns Penthouse magazine and a host of online dating and adult websites filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday. The Los Angeles Times reports that FriendFinder Networks Inc.'s move comes as many in the adult entertainment industry struggle because of an increase in free online options.

Starbucks: Guns Are Unwelcome

Starbucks' chief executive has issued an open letter asking customers not to bring firearms into its stores, responding to growing pressure from both sides of the gun debate over its policies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Markets Slip

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 37 points to 15,492. The Nasdaq fell less than 1 point to 3,745. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,703.

Tuesday, September 17

Kythera Shares Jump on Study Results

Shares of Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. soared 25 percent on Tuesday after the Calabasas biotech announced positive clinical trial results for its lead drug candidate, which reduces double chins.

ESolar Raises Additional $22 Million

Solar technology company ESolar Inc. said on Tuesday that it had raised $22 million in additional funding from existing investors.

Daily Journal Parent Expands in Legal Case Management

The Daily Journal Corp. on Tuesday said that it has acquired most of the operating assets and liabilities of ISD Corp., which provides legal case management systems to courts and other governmental agencies.

Markets Gain at Close

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 35 points to 15,530. The Nasdaq rose 28 points to 3,746. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 1,705. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 172.

WhoSay Launches Fan App

Stars who use the service include Eva Longoria, Tom Hanks and Sofia Vergara.

GM Plans Car to Rival Tesla

General Motors Co. is developing a $30,000 electric car that can go 200 miles on a charge, offering a challenge to Tesla Motors Inc., the Wall Street Journal reports. Meanwhile, a California car dealer group alleges that Tesla is violating laws in marketing its cars, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Port Traffic Strong at Long Beach, Slower in L.A.

Cargo volume at the Port of Long Beach hit a six-year high last month, but the Port of Los Angeles was not as robust, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Yellen Now Top Fed Hopeful

Fed Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen emerged as the front-runner to become the White House's nominee to lead the central bank, a day after Lawrence Summers pulled out of the contest amid congressional resistance, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Edison Blasted Over South Bay Blackouts

Southern California Edison faces criticism “massive, recurring and unacceptable power outages” in the South Bay after a weekend blackout hit more than 100,000 residents, the Los Angeles Times reports. Meanwhile, the Times also reports the utility will pay $1.8 million to settle a lawsuit over a 2007 wildfire.

Porn Production Moratorium to Be Lifted

A two-week-old moratorium that called on adult-film studios to halt production after a third performer tested positive for HIV will be lifted on Friday, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

West Hollywood Regulates Displays of Exotic Animals

The West Hollywood City Council on Monday banned commercial displays and performances involving wild and exotic animals, including kangaroos, giraffes and bears, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Budget Deficit to Rise

The Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday that near-term improvements in the U.S. debt and deficit outlook will be more than overtaken by the rising costs of caring for an aging population over the next 30 years, CNBC reports.

Microsoft to Buy Back Up to $40 Billion of Shares

Microsoft Corp. said it would buy back up to $40 billion of its shares and raise its quarterly dividend by 22 percent, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Safeway Adopts Poison Pill

Safeway Inc., the parent of Southern California supermarket chain Vons, has adopted a plan to prevent a hostile takeover after learning of a significant accumulation of its stock by an unnamed investor, the Associated Press reports.

Onefinestay Launches in L.A.

Another way to rent your house to vacationers has launched in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports. London-based Onefinestay is focusing on popular neighborhoods and niceties such as fresh linens and snacks from trendy restaurants.

Seth MacFarlane Buys Beverly Hills Office

Actor, writer and director Seth MacFarlane has purchased a three-story, 20,000-square foot office building in Beverly Hills for $11 million, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Behind the Scenes of Bauer Probe

The Wrap details its investigation that led Bauer Media Group, German-owned publisher of In Touch magazine, to shut down a pro-Nazi publication after a suit by Tom Cruise.

Film Facility Reborn

A West Hollywood sound-editing facility — where "West Side Story," "The Godfather" and "Top Gun" were mixed — is being given new life by the Formosa Group as an audio postproduction start-up, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Founder of the Kabbalah Centre Dies

Rabbi Philip Berg, who founded the Kabbalah Centre, which combines new age teachings with ancient Jewish mysticism and counted A-listers such as Madonna and Demi Moore among its members, has died, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Toyota Leader Dies at 100

Eiji Toyoda, who spearheaded Toyota Motor Corp.'s expansion in the U.S. as the automaker’s longest-serving president, has died at age 100, Bloomberg News reports.

Markets Rise

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 37 points to 15,532. The Nasdaq rose 23 points to 3,741. The S&P 500 rose 6 points to 1,704.

Monday, September 16

Port Traffic Strong at Long Beach, Slower in L.A.

Cargo volume at the Port of Long Beach surged 16 percent in August compared to the same month last year, hitting six-year high. Traffic through the Port of Los Angeles was not as robust, rising a scant 0.4 percent.

Providence to Acquire Saint John’s Health Center

Providence Health & Services, Southern California on Monday said that it had signed an agreement to take over Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica.

Century Park Complex Put on Market

The sprawling Century Park office campus, which includes the headquarters of Creative Artists Agency and the twin Century Plaza Towers, has been put on the market by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Vance Street Capital Makes Orange County Acquisition

Vance Street Capital on Monday said it made another tech acquisition to beef up a portfolio company.

Apollo Medical Signs Orange County Hospital Deal

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. has announced that it will provide doctors and case management services for four hospitals in Orange County.

Nasdaq Closes Down, Dow and S&P Gain

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 119 points, to 15,495. The Nasdaq fell 4 points to 3,718. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 1,698. The LABJ Stock Index rose more than 1 point to 172.

Dollar Shave Club Cleans Up With Football Ads

Snappers from four football teams – Eric Wood of the Buffalo Bills; Nick Hardwick, San Diego Chargers; Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys; and John Sullivan, Minnesota Vikings – have all signed on for the "Clean Snap" campaign.

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LivingSocial Relocates Office to Torrance

Despite closing its New York and Seattle offices earlier this summer, the Washington, D.C., company last week signed a lease for 20,000 square feet at the Pacific Center in Torrance.

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JustFab Opens Retail Store

The El Segundo company opened a 3,000-square-foot flagship store at the Glendale Galleria over the weekend.

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Summers' Withdrawal Cheers Markets

Stocks and bonds staged a world-wide rally Monday after Lawrence Summers withdrew from the contest to lead the Federal Reserve, the Wall Street Journal reports. Bloomberg BusinessWeek looks at the probable reasons behind Summers' decision.

Four Killed at Washington Navy Yard

Police now believe two shooters, including one in fatigues, have killed four people and wounded eight others at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday, throwing the nation's capital into fear and chaos during this morning’s commute, the Washington Post reports.

Gates Stays Atop Forbes List of America's Wealthiest

Forbes on Monday released its annual list of the 400 richest Americans. The majority of members of the elite club saw their fortunes grow over the past year, helped by strong stock and real estate markets, the Associated Press reports, with Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates remaining America's wealthiest man.

Rich-Poor Employment Gap Highest on Record

The gap in employment rates between America's highest- and lowest-income families has stretched to its widest levels since officials began tracking the data a decade ago, according to an Associated Press analysis. The Los Angeles Times looks at why a small but surging share of Americans now consider themselves "lower class."

Hello Kitty Beer: Zen and the Art of Crass Marketing

In a country synonymous with manufacturing might and technological prowess, Japan’s Shintaro Tsuji is something of an oddity. The 85-year-old founder of Sanrio runs a character goods licensing enterprise that in 1974 introduced the world to Hello Kitty, a moon-faced cat with enough over-the-top cuteness to require an insulin shot – and one of the most bizarre marketing success stories around, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports. The Los Angeles Business Journal reports that Hello Kitty merchandise is even now on sale at Dodger Stadium.

Fallen Financial Giants Keep Up Charitable Giving

Angelo Mozilo largely disappeared from public view after the financial crisis swamped Countrywide Financial Corp., but his name now adorns a pediatric intensive-care unit at a Tarzana hospital. The Wall Street Journal looks at how many of the players at the center of the crisis are still using significant parts of their now-diminished fortunes for charitable causes.

California Lawmakers Actually Got a Lot Done

California's just-ended legislative session marks a turning point, the Los Angeles Times reports, with the dysfunction of the past left behind and some important bills passed.

Nasdaq Website Vulnerable to Cyberattacks

Nasdaq's website may be a ticking a time bomb for a major security breach, including a takeover by hackers, a cybersecurity expert warns on CNBC this morning.

Saudi Prince Sees Twitter IPO by Early 2014

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says he will not sell any of his shares in microblogging site Twitter when it goes public, and he expects the firm's IPO to hit the market later this year or in early 2014, Reuters reports.

To Playboy, Sophistication Is the New Sexy

As Playboy approaches its 60th anniversary, the magazine is drawing upon its past to try to return to the cultural forefront, the Los Angeles Times reports.

BlackBerry Bidders May Want to Carve It Up

A handful of potential bidders, including private equity firms, are lining up to look at BlackBerry, but initial indications suggest that interest is tepid and buyers are eyeing parts of the Canadian smartphone maker rather than the whole company, sources told CNBC.

Wall Street’s 2008 Plunge Into Chaos

It doesn't have a catchy name like "Black Friday" and the losses during the trading session weren't historic, but Monday September 15, 2008 was the day all hope was lost in containing the financial crisis, Yahoo Finance's Breakout blog explains.

Fox News Taps New Social-Media Tool

Fox News Channel is experimenting with an on-screen "instant poll" tabulation known as the “Bing Pulse,” which allows viewers to identify themselves by political affiliation and gender, and then vote online to “agree” or “disagree” with what different members of a panel or guests on a show say, Variety reports.

Markets Rally

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 159 points, or 1 percent, to 15,535. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to 3,733. The S&P 500 rose 14 points, or 1 percent, to 1,702.

Purchase Trumps Funding Round for Kingmaker

TECHNOLOGY: Startup opts to forgo new round for equity in competitor.

Video e-commerce firm Kingmaker Inc. has been acquired by San Francisco’s Joyus Inc., one of its largest competitors.

Bitterness Brewing in Battle Over Coffee Firm

BEVERAGES: Former chief of Marley brand boiling over ouster.

A fight is percolating between co-founders Shane Whittle and Rohan Marley over control of their coffee company.

Upscale Stores See Gold in Brentwood

RETAIL: Market pushed higher by new home for Theory, Helmut Lang.

Several upscale chains have opened in Brentwood, and now a new project is about to break ground to accommodate two more.

Isolation Is What Floats His Business

Sensory deprivation company to bring its tanks to Westwood.

Float Lab Technologies is bringing its sensory deprivation tanks to Westwood.

A Spoonful of Sugar, Plus ...

Cow Wow flavors milk with familiar taste of breakfast cereals.

Cow Wow is using more than a spoonful of sugar to help its milk go down. The downtown L.A. company is making it taste like breakfast cereal.

Bodyguard Staying Loyal to the End

The link between a bodyguard and a celebrity is a professional one, but sometimes a true friendship can blossom.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Nothing Fishy

MANUFACTURING: Taking advantage of tastes that have moved beyond sushi, Japan’s Otafuku Foods opens its first U.S. plant.

Japanese sauce company Otafuku is opening a facility in Santa Fe Springs to take advantage of the growing American market.

‘Law of Diminishing Returns’ Hits Tax Amnesty

Government: City Hall doesn’t expect as much money the third time out.

L.A. has declared another business tax amnesty, but the city doesn’t expect as much revenue as in the past because that well is drying out.

Leadership Puts Wax and Polish on L.A. Auto Show

Conventions: Car expo adds celebrity wheels and technology presentations.

L.A.’s Auto Show is shifting gears, adding a little glitz with celebrity cars and a lot of tech with a separate expo.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

Potholes Sink to New Depths

Who needs mechanical bulls in Los Angeles, Charles Crumpley asks. We’ve enough potholes on our roads for plenty of thrill riding.

Take Cash, Get Legal

Bank makes unusual loans for citizenship applications

Pan American Bank is lending money to immigrants to cover the cost of their citizenship applications. And if that wasn’t odd enough, the bank is making money by doing it.

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Was Console Maker Ouya Played on Kickstarter?

TECHNOLOGY: Matching funds for gamemakers hits glitch as questions arise.

Ouya wanted more games for its console, so it offered matching funds. Suspicions quickly arose that the Santa Monica company was being played

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Deadline Nears for L.A. Patch Sites in ‘Hyperlocal’ Fade

Many L.A. Patch sites will either be shut down or sold off as AOL’s “hyperlocal” media experiment looks like it can’t keep its profit promise.

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SEC Stocking Up on Downtown L.A. Office Space

REAL ESTATE: Executive order has agency leaving Miracle Mile for Citigroup Center.

After many years in the Miracle Mile, the L.A. office of the Securities and Exchange Commission is moving downtown.

Brown Returns to California as Partner at Manatt

LAW: Former state treasurer will counsel clients on regulatory issues.

Kathleen Brown moved to Chicago from Los Angeles in 2010 not only to pursue a “tremendous business opportunity” as chairman of investment banking in the Midwest for Goldman Sachs, but also to avoid the potential appearance of a conflict of interest.

New Owner to Dress Up L.A. Trade Magazine

Publishing: Ad sales exec buys out owners of California Apparel News.

Advertising sales exec sews up deal to take ownership of California Apparel News.

Who’s on First? It’s Hello Kitty!

Baseball pitches at women and girls with Sanrio merchandise.

Hello Kitty merchandise is now on sale at Dodger Stadium, and you may very well ask why. It’s because baseball wants to sell more merchandise to gals who go to games.

Friday, September 13

Wal-Mart Market Opens Near Chinatown

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. opened its first Los Angeles location Friday afternoon.

Oxy Considers Selling 40 Percent of Mideast Operations

Occidental Petroleum Corp. is considering selling up to 40 percent of its Middle East operations, according to a Friday news report.

MGM Holdings Adopts ‘Poison Pill,’ Stock Buyback Plans

The Beverly Hills owner of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio on Friday said that its board had adopted both a $75 million stock buyback program, and a “poison pill” plan to discourage hostile takeover attempts.

Elimination of Retroactive Tax on Angel Investors Approved

A bill that would eliminate a retroactive tax increase on angel investors passed the Legislature on Thursday and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Kythera, RealD Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed higher for the week in line with recovery in the broader markets.

Markets Up at Close

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 75 points to 15,376. The Nasdaq rose 6 points to 3,722. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,688. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 170.

Legislature Approves Minimum Wage Hike

A bill to boost California's minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016 was OK’d by the state Legislature on Thursday and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown, who said he would sign it, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Los Angeles Daily News reports on the criticism from business groups.

Mattress Recycling Program OK’d

Furniture Today reports that lawmakers gave final passage to a bill to create a mattress recycling program. Check out earlier coverage by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Twitter Tweets IPO Plans

Twitter fittingly resorted to a tweet to titillate its more than 200 million users and a flock of potential investors on Thursday with its long-awaited plans to pursue an initial public offering, the Associated Press reports. Bloomberg News looks at why Twitter in 2013 will not be like Facebook in 2012.

A Toxic Subprime Mortgage Bond's Legacy Lives On

Mortgage-backed securities became synonymous with the 2008 global financial crisis. Five years later, the Wall Street Journal tracked the mortgages in one subprime bond -- comprised of loans from Countrywide Financial Corp. -- and what happened to some of the families tied to it.

Exide Plant to Pay for Blood Tests

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will offer free blood testing to address worries that Vernon battery recycler Exide Technologies has jeopardized the health of nearby residents, the Los Angeles Times reports. Exide will cover costs.

Retail Sales Fall Short in August

U.S. retail sales rose less than expected in August even as demand increased for automobiles and other big-ticket items, the latest sign that economic growth slowed in the third quarter, Reuters reports.

West Hollywood Considers Ban on Exotic Animal Displays

Circus acts, carnival performances, trade shows and parades featuring wild and exotic animals would be banned under a proposed ordinance that the West Hollywood City Council will consider Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Cesar Conde Named NBCU Executive Vice President

Cesar Conde is resigning as president of Univision Networks to become an executive vice president a NBCUniversal, the Wrap reports. In this newly created role, he will focus on business development, strategic priorities and special business projects across the NBCUniversal portfolio.

Public Health Department, L.A. Restaurants Promote Healthier Dining

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health launched a partnership with restaurants throughout the region to promote healthier options for customers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sound Pioneer Ray Dolby Dies

Ray Dolby, the inventor and engineer who founded Dolby Laboratories and pioneered noise-reducing and surround-sound technology widely used in the film and recording industries, has died in San Francisco at 80, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Production Manager John J. Smith Dies

John J. Smith, a production manager on such films as “Sister Act” and “Waterworld,” has died at his home in Northridge at age 69, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Armenian Gang Members Plead Guilty

Eight members and hangers-on of an Armenian gang pleaded guilty to racketeering charges, including stealing $2 million by putting skimming devices into cash registers at 99 Cents Only Stores across Southern California, Courthouse News Service reports.

The Fine Art of Spying

So-called "surveillance art" is landing in major museums, appearing at high-profile galleries and fetching more than $60,000 — even if some of it is lifted straight off the Internet, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Dow, S&P Rise; Nasdaq Falls

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 66 points to 15,367. The Nasdaq fell 1 point to 3,715. The S&P 500 rose 4 points to 1,687.

Thursday, September 12

Three Companies Buy Into Coffee Bean

Three companies acquired a significant stake of L.A.’s privately-held International Coffee & Tea, which owns and operates Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, the companies announced Thursday.

Disney to Increase Stock Buybacks

Walt Disney Co.’s chief financial officer on Thursday said the Burbank entertainment giant plans to buy back between $6 billion to $8 billion of its stock beginning next year in an effort to increase investor returns.

Retail Sales Boost Cherokee's Earnings

Strong U.S. retail sales helped Cherokee Inc. beat analysts forecasts for its fiscal second quarter profit, the company said Thursday.

Canyon Capital Fund Makes Palmdale Purchase

Canyon Multifamily Impact Fund, a joint venture between Century City’s Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and a unit of Citibank, on Thursday said it has made its first investment, a multifamily complex in Palmdale called the Fountains.

LABJ Rises; Dow, S&P, Nasdaq Decline

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 26 points to 15,301. The Nasdaq fell 9 points to 3,716. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,683. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 169.

Upfront Adds Venture Partner

The Santa Monica investment firm announced Thursday that entrepreneur Hamet Watt will join the Upfront team as a venture partner.

Kingmaker Acquired by Bay Area's Joyus

Financial terms of the all-stock deal, which closed in early September, were not disclosed, though Kingmaker founder Guy Gal said the company, which had been based in Venice, has taken a "significant" stake in Joyus.

Maker Closes C Round With $26 Million More

Maker works with more than 60,000 YouTube channels and artists, including Swedish video gamer PewDiePie and singer Mike Tompkins.

Dell Shareholders Approve Buyout

Dell this morning said that its stockholders approved its $25 billion buyout by founder and Chief Executive Michael Dell and investment firm Silver Lake Partners, ending a bitter contest to take the PC maker private, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Legislature Passes Fracking Regulation Bill

A heavily lobbied bill that would give California the nation's toughest regulation of a controversial oil drilling technique won easy passage Wednesday from the Legislature, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Los Angeles Business Journal's coverage of efforts by local officials to regulate the practice.

State Lawmakers Reach Deal on Minimum Wage

A bill to raise the minimum wage in California to $10 an hour raced forward at the Capitol on Wednesday, with Democratic lawmakers poised to approve the measure and Gov. Jerry Brown announcing he would sign it, the Sacramento Bee reports. Check out the Los Angeles Business Journal's coverage of the issue.

Hilton Files for IPO

Hilton filed plans for an initial public offering of up to $1.25 billion in stock, as the giant hotel conglomerate aims to return to the public market after spending several years under private-equity ownership, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Forecast Predicts Slower but Steady Growth

Economists at the UCLA Anderson Forecast said Thursday that the pace of job growth has slowed in the Golden State, raising fears that structural problems in the labor market will temper future employment gains, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Warner Music, Clear Channel Make Strategic Alliance

Radio giant Clear Channel and Warner Music Group on Thursday unveiled a strategic alliance with revenue-sharing elements. The Hollywood Reporter says the deal includes allowing the record label to share in revenue from all of the radio company's platforms, particularly digital.

'Lower Westside' Booms

An area north of LAX and southeast of Marina del Rey that real estate brokers have dubbed 'the lower Westside' is drawing an influx of new housing, young-skewing firms and entertainment outlets, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Boeing to Deliver Final C-17 to Air Force

Aerospace giant Boeing Co. plans to deliver its 223rd and final C-17 cargo jet to the U.S. Air Force on Thursday, ending a 25-year relationship that has been an economic mainstay in Long Beach, the Los Angeles Times reports.

LAX Urged to Pay More Heed to Runway Critics

The county's Airport Land Use Commission County recommended Wednesday that operators of Los Angeles International Airport give more consideration to opponents of a $652-million runway move that business leaders say is essential for handling future growth in travel and cargo, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Warner Bros. Partners With J.K. Rowling

Warner Bros. Entertainment has announced an "expanded creative partnership" with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling that includes a new film series inspired by one of Harry Potter's Hogwarts textbooks, the Hollywood Reporter says.

U.S. Sees Steep Jobless Drop, But Hold the Applause

The number of new jobless claims fell sharply last week, but Reuters reports that much of the decline appears due to technical problems in claims processing, which will now cloud the last major reading of labor market health before the Fed meets next week.

Great Recession: Where Are They Now?

This weekend marks the fifth anniversary of the bankruptcy of investment bank Lehman Brothers in 2008, the largest in the nation's history, which worsened a fledgling recession and set in motion a major financial crisis around the world. Southern California Public Radio looks at how some of the major players in the catastrophe are faring today.

More Americans Exercise While They Work

A growing number of Americans are standing, walking and even cycling their way through the workday at treadmill desks, standup desks or other health-promoting workstations, the Associated Press reports.

Markets Decline

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 7 points to 15,319. The Nasdaq fell 2 points to 3,723. The S&P 500 fell 3 points to 1,686.

Wednesday, September 11

Mobile Payments Startup Raises Funding

Core Managing Partner Arjan Schütte will join the Wipit board as part of the deal.

Murdock Gets No Competition for Dole Purchase

Dole Food Co. said Wednesday that it did not receive any offers higher than the proposal from its 90-year-old chief executive to go private.

Farmer Bros. to Restate Financial Reports

Farmer Bros. Co. said Wednesday that it would restate its quarterly and annual financial statements for three full fiscal years in order to correct errors in accounting for the company's postretirement benefit obligations.

Kilroy Realty Announces Stock Offering

Kilroy Realty Corp. said late Wednesday that it has commenced a public offering of 4.5 million shares of its common stock.

Relativity Media Expands Into Fashion

Relativity Media, the Beverly Hills media company led by Ryan Kavanaugh, has launched a fashion talent representation arm.

Nasdaq Falls; Dow, S&P, LABJ Gain

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 135 points to 15,327. The Nasdaq fell 4 points to 3,725. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,689. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 168.

Assembly Rejects Coastal Commission Bill

The California Assembly on Tuesday killed a bill granting the California Coastal Commission the authority to impose fines on violators, a victory for business groups and agricultural interests that say the agency already has too much clout, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Los Angeles Business Journal's earlier coverage.

New LAX International Terminal to Open

Los Angeles International Airport will open a key piece of its new $1.9 billion Tom Bradley International Terminal on Sept. 18, considerably behind the initial estimated completion date, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

NFL Reconsiders DirecTV Deal

The National Football League is in talks with a number of providers interested in replacing DirecTV of El Segundo as distributor of “Sunday Ticket” in a new contract, Bloomberg News reports.

New iPhones Mark Shift From Pioneer to Emulator

Apple Inc.’s stock fell after unveiling two iPhones that were criticized by analysts and reviewers as lacking enough new features or a low enough price to attract a broad range of first-time users, Bloomberg News reports.

Colorado Lawmakers Ousted in Recall Over Gun Law

Two Colorado Democrats who provided key support for a slate of tough new gun-control laws were voted out of office on Tuesday in a recall vote widely seen as a test of support for gun restrictions after mass shootings in Colorado and elsewhere, the New York Times reports.

Richmond Advances Mortgage Reduction Plan

Richmond, a refinery town east of San Francisco, is moving toward setting up a mortgage principal reduction program to help homeowners with troubled loans, while leaving the door open to using its eminent domain powers to acquire the debt, Bloomberg News reports.

Coastal Residents Could See Energy Bills Rise

California lawmakers are poised to pass legislation that could dramatically affect bills for millions of residential customers of SoCal Edison Co. and other state-regulated utilities. The Los Angeles Times reports that people living in temperate climates along the coast would probably see higher bills.

California Takes Steps to Ease CEQA

A landmark law that has been a symbol of California’s tough environmental philosophy for more than 40 years is facing an unlikely challenge from Democrats, including Gov. Jerry Brown, who contend that regulations protecting the environment have been abused and are thwarting legitimate development, the New York Times reports.

Disney Delays ‘Pirates of the Caribbean 5’

Coming off a summer that saw numerous big budget films flop spectacularly, Walt Disney Co. has pushed back the release of the fifth “Pirates of the Caribbean” installment from the summer of 2015, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Moody's: Recession Risk Gone in All But One State

A Moody's Analytics report says that all states except Delaware have escaped the possibility of falling back into recession, as they reap the rewards of strong private-sector employment and a burgeoning energy sector, Reuters reports.

Long Beach to Draft New Medical Pot Ordinance

The Long Beach City Council voted Tuesday to draft an ordinance to allow and regulate medical marijuana collectives within the city, opening another chapter in the years-long saga over whether the city has the authority to control pot shops, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Office Robots: No More Hiding from the Boss

It sounds like the stuff of science fiction, but robots could be strolling past you as you make your way out to lunch, CNBC reports.

Digital Domain Names Execs for Vancouver Studio

Los Angeles visual effects studio Digital Domain is bulking up, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company, recently acquired by a Chinese investor and now operating under the name Digital Domain 3.0, is expanding its Vancouver studio with new leadership.

Sign of an Art Bubble? Jay Z Raps about Warhol

Plenty of economists, art dealers and collectors have warned of an art bubble over the past year. But there is one sure sign that the art market is overdone, CNBC reports: Jay Z is now rapping about Warhol, Basquiat and Art Basel.

Markets Mixed in Morning Trading

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 60 points to 15,251. The Nasdaq fell 16 points to 3,713. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,682.

Tuesday, September 10

Yucaipa Buys Fresh & Easy

An affiliate of Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos. said that it had agreed to purchase the Fresh & Easy chain from British supermarket firm Tesco.

Kennedy-Wilson Prices Stock Offering

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. on Tuesday priced an offering of 6 million common shares at $18.50 per share. The offering is expected to take in more than $111 million.

Clearlake Capital Completes Australian Acquisition

Clearlake Capital Group on Tuesday said that it completed the acquisition of Futuris Automotive from Elders Limited.

Markets Rise at Close

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 128 points to 15,191. The Nasdaq rose 23 points to 3,729. The S&P 500 gained 12 points to 1,684. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 167.

Ticket Startup Scores $10 Million More

ScoreBig announced Tuesday that the money comes from Checketts Partners Investment Fund, a New York partnership run by longtime sports executive David Checketts.

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Dow Drops BofA, H-P, Alcoa; Adds Goldman, Nike, Visa

Alcoa Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Bank of America Corp. will be dropped from the Dow Jones industrial average next week. In their place will be Goldman-Sachs, Nike and Visa. It’s the biggest shake-up of the index in almost a decade, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Survey Indicates L.A. Hiring Plans Hold Steady

Employment agency giant Manpower Inc. says Los Angeles area employers are expected to continue hiring workers at a modest pace during the fourth quarter, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Jeff Shell Takes Over at Universal

Universal Pictures chairman Adam Fogelson has been forced out of his post amid a major management shakeup that puts NBCUniversal International president Jeff Shell in charge of worldwide operations for the studio’s motion picture group, Variety reports.

Verizon Plans Largest Debt Sale Ever

In a development that is sending ripples throughout the corporate-bond market, Verizon Communications Inc. is expected to raise $20 billion or more Wednesday in what would be the largest-ever debt sale by a company, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Two AEG Execs Dismissed from Jackson Suit

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge dismissed the case against two AEG Live executives, Randy Phillips and Paul Gongaware, in the Michael Jackson wrongful death suit. But the judge ruled that there was enough evidence to let jurors decide the lawsuit against their employer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Esquire Network to Take Over Style, Not G4

The forthcoming Esquire Network will take the place of Style Network instead of G4, as was long planned at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Jamie McCourt Loses Bid to Throw Out Divorce Deal

Jamie McCourt has no legal basis to force her ex-husband to share his record profit from the sale of the Dodgers, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Monday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fourth Porn Actor Reveals HIV Status

Another adult-film performer has reportedly tested positive for HIV, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Internet Companies to Disclose More on NSA Requests

Some of the world's biggest Internet companies on Monday increased efforts to disclose more about their forced cooperation with U.S. spy agencies, Reuters reports.

Invasive Tactics in Foreclosures Draw Scrutiny

Faced with more than 10 million foreclosures that have piled up since the start of the mortgage crisis, the nation’s largest banks have turned to property management firms to help them navigate the wreckage. But the New York Times reports that some of those firms are coming under fire for using questionable and possibly illegal tactics.

High Hopes at AFL-CIO Meeting

At a time when only about 11 percent of U.S. workers are unionized, the quadrennial convention of the AFL-CIO has attracted a diverse crowd from across the nation and around the world to the Los Angeles Convention Center for discussions of new opportunities, the Los Angeles Times reports.

El Rey Network Is Coming

El Rey Network, which debuts in December as a cable channel carried by Comcast Corp. with backing from Univision Communications Inc. will reach more than 20 million homes. The Los Angeles Times reports that it’s the brainchild of two partners who at first may seem unlikely co-chief executives.

Market Rises

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 104 points to 15,167. The Nasdaq rose 22 points to 3,728. The S&P 500 gained 11 points to 1,682.

L.A. Hiring Holds Steady

Los Angeles area employers are expected to continue hiring workers at a modest pace during the fourth quarter, according to a survey from employment agency giant Manpower Inc.

Monday, September 9

Car Dealer Legend Cal Worthington Dies at 92

Cal Worthington, the legendary car dealer whose commercials featuring his “dog Spot” dominated local airwaves for decades, has died. He was 92.

Oaktree Opens Auction for Furniture Giant

Furniture Brands International Inc., the St. Louis owner of several well-known furniture lines, on Monday said it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization, and that Oaktree Capital Management has placed an opening bid for most of its assets.

Brookfield Extends MPG Tender Offer Again

Brookfield Office Properties Inc. on Monday extended for another week its cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding preferred shares of MPG Office Trust Inc.

Disney Signs Online Distribution Deal with China's Tencent

Walt Disney Co. on Monday said that it signed a deal to make live-action and animated feature films available online through Chinese social-media and entertainment company Tencent.

General Finance Reports Higher Net Income

General Finance Corp. on Monday reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter revenue, but earnings per share missed Wall Street forecasts.

NFP Acquires Entertainment Industry Brokerage

Insurance and wealth-management firm NFP Corp. has expanded its West Coast presence with its acquisition of Insurance West Corp. in Simi Valley.

Markets Rise

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 140 points to 15,063. The Nasdaq gained 46 points to 3,706. The S&P 500 rose 16 points to 1,672. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 166.

Russia Urges Syria to Give Up Chemical Weapons

Russian officials on Monday reportedly have backed a U.S. demand that Syria put chemical weapons under international control and then destroy them, a rare sign of apparent agreement between Moscow and Washington, the Wall Street Journal reports. Meanwhile, a CNN/ORC International poll shows that while most Americans believe Bashar al-Assad's regime gassed its own people, they don't want a U.S. military strike against it, CNN reports.

Senate OKs Bill to give Coastal Commission New Power

The state Senate has approved a measure that would give the California Coastal Commission the ability to directly impose fines instead of having to go to court to collect penalties from those who harm coastal habitat, build without permission or block public access to the beach, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out the Los Angeles Business Journal's earlier coverage in which businesses fret this expanded power.

Neiman Marcus to Be Sold for $6 Billion

A consortium of Ares Management LLC and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on Monday said that they had reached a deal to buy luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Inc. for $6 billion from its current private equity owners, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

Icahn Ends Takeover Battle for Dell

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn on Monday ended his bitter takeover fight for Dell Inc. a few days before shareholders are scheduled to consider the latest buyout offer from the struggling computer maker's founder, Michael Dell, the Associated Press reports.

Harder Edge at Vanity Fair Chafes in Hollywood

For years, the relationship between Vanity Fair and Hollywood was like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: the magazine gave the movie business class and Hollywood gave Vanity Fair sex. But the magazine has toughened its coverage of Hollywood, and now some stars are fighting back, the New York Times reports.

Latest Overhaul of MGM Appears to Be Moneymaker

After emerging from bankruptcy and cutting costs, the venerable Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio is generating cash and has a number of movies and TV shows in the works, the New York Times reports.

L.A. Only 17th Destination for Business Meetings

A Cvent Inc. survey says Los Angeles might be the second-most-populous city in the nation but falls far down the list of most popular destinations for business meetings, the Los Angeles Times reports, a ranking that Los Angeles tourism leaders want to change.

Apple Set to Announce Two iPhones

The handset market has become so brutally competitive that Apple Inc., the most successful smartphone maker, is preparing to step up its game on Tuesday by offering two new iPhones instead of one, the New York Times reports.

Term Limits to Dramatically Change County Board of Supervisors

Los Angeles County's supervisors enjoy an unusual level of power with little oversight, making the five positions ones that politicians especially covet, the Los Angeles Times reports. Now four of the "five kings," as board members sometimes are called, will be gone by the end of 2016 because of voter-imposed term limits, bringing a shift not seen in more than a generation.

How to Shut Down Fannie and Freddie

Crushed under the weight of thousands of defaulted mortgages and bleeding cash, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were put into government conservatorship five years ago. Now they are making billions of dollars in profit that goes straight to the U.S. Treasury -- just as lawmakers are setting to shut them down, CNBC reports.

Kathleen Brown Takes L.A. Job

Former state Treasurer Kathleen Brown is moving from Chicago back to Los Angeles, taking a job as partner in the local office of law firm of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, the Los Angeles Daily News reports

Hedge Funds Cut Back on Fees

Pressure from disappointed investors is forcing hedge funds to roll back their fees, putting the standard charge of 2 percent of assets under management and 20 percent of investment profits on the endangered list, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Some Fliers Would Give Up Onboard Bathrooms for Wi-Fi

A survey indicates that wireless Internet access on planes has become so essential that some travelers are willing to give up comfort, sustenance and even peace and quiet to get it, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Dow Inches Above 15,000

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 823 points to 15,005. The Nasdaq rose 24 points to 3,684. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,663.

San Gabriel Takes Shine To Jewelers

City may rename street after relocated Hing Wa Lee shop.

Hing Wa Lee’s new location could have an extra ring to it if San Gabriel renames the street for the jewelry shop.

Utilities Turn Up Heat on Solar Rooftops

OP-ED

Matthew Sperling is shocked by utilities’ efforts to cool off the solar power market.

Female Governance

OP-ED: California blazes trail with state Senate’s resolution in support of adding women to company boards.

Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire applauds state lawmakers for getting on board with supporting more women in corporate governance.

Speaking Up

ADVERTISING: Launchpad hopes localized spots on its national podcasts will appeal to marketers.

Launchpad hopes localized ads for podcasts turn out to be more than just talk

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Data Firm Mines Repeat Business

Internet: Retention Science helps e-tailers keep customers.

Retention Science pursues repeat success by helping e-commerce sites bring back customers.

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Recapitalization Generates Interest In Bank’s Parent

LENDING: Recent deal vaults value of Broadway’s shares with investors.

Broadway Financial’s recapitalization pays off with increased investor interest.

Activision Draws Cheers for Vivendi Emancipation

Video Games: Santa Monica publisher’s stock rises as buyback nears.

Activision scores hit on Wall Street with its plan to buy back control of the company from parent Vivendi.

All In on Pot

Despite ban, bold owners open new shops

Pot shops continue to open as some owners hope the city of L.A.’s ban on new stores will go up in smoke.

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CEQA’s Union Shop of Horrors

Oh, sure, businesses are hurt by California’s environmental law commonly called CEQA. But so are workers, Charles Crumpley writes.

Buyer Drawn by Prognosis for Medical Offices

INVESTMENT: Long-term UCLA lease for Santa Monica building aids deal.

Opportunities to acquire medical office buildings come along only rarely, and when they do they command steep prices.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

Play Maker

Bryan Stockton decided he was game for toy business after more than two decades in the food industry.

Mattel Chief Executive Bryan Stockton beefed up his business resume with an early career stint at Oscar Mayer.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

New Health Plan Will Look for Obamacare Boost

INSURANCE: Seaside from MemorialCare will operate in state exchange program.

MemorialCare Health System last week launched Seaside Health Plan, part of the hospital operator’s efforts to adapt to national health care reform.

Startup Tunes Up New Second Screen Attraction

TV: Actv8.me program will allow viewers to give money to street musicians.

The so-called second screen experience, or “social TV,” has grown in popularity, at least among more tech-savvy TV watchers.

Nozawa Now Demanding Fun at New Sushi Concept

DINING: Famed chef fishes for fewer menu items at expanding Sugarfish chain.

Sugarfish’s local growth spurs the Nozawa sushi chain to consider expanding on a national scale.

Family-Run Car Business Expands Piece by Piece

AUTOMOTIVE: Morosans add parts fabrication to body, customization work.

Family-run car business took a turn into parts fabrication to drive revenue.

L.A. Stations Improve Reception of Ad Dollars

RADIO: Local market’s improvement in contrast to flat national picture.

L.A. market continues to dial up the ad dollars while the rest of the country remains static.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Pregnant Pause for Family Attorney

When attorney Rose Pondel, founder of Santa Monica’s Family Formation Law Center, was interviewed by ABC’s “Good Morning America” for a story about fertility after age 35, she thought she’d be cited as an expert source.

App Offers DJ Spin on Mobile Music

Thomas McAlevey crafts Radical.FM after radio stations.

Radical.FM dials in to a radio DJ wavelength with its programmable mobile music app.

L.A. Firm Finds Hostess Filling

INVESTMENT: Hackman takes big bite of bakery’s portfolio.

Hackman Capital sees a sweet opportunity in the assets it acquired from Twinkie maker Hostess.

Too Many Hands in ‘Pockets’?

REAL ESTATE: Agents squabble over celebrity ‘pocket listings.’

Rival agent alleges Ben Bacal had his hand in too many exclusive “pocket listings” of high-priced homes.

Friday, September 6

Kinkisharyo Plans to Move U.S. Headquarters to El Segundo

Kinkisharyo International Inc., which plans to open a Palmdale factory to build light rail cars, is moving its U.S. headquarters to El Segundo from Masssachusetts, according to a Friday news report.

UTI Worldwide Swings to Loss

UTI Worldwide Inc. reported a second-quarter net loss of $4.4 million (4 cents a share), compared with net income of $18.9 million (18 cents a share) in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue of the Long Beach logistics company fell 4.5 percent to $ 1.13 billion.

Korn/Ferry, Thomas Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed up for the week in line with the recovery in the broader markets.

Dow and LABJ Fall, S&P and Nasdaq Gain

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 15 points to 14,922. The Nasdaq rose 1 point to 3,660. The S&P 500 rose less than 1 point to 1,655. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 164.

Microsoft Opens Playa Vista Office

The company held a grand opening event at the property Thursday morning that included visits from Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin.

Nikki Finke Wants to Buy Back Deadline

Deadline editor-in-chief Nikki Finke has spoken out on her feud with site owner Jay Penske, saying she wants to buy Deadline.com back from Penske Media Group, the Wrap reports.

21 Arrested in Wal-Mart Protest

Los Angeles police arrested 21 people who were part of Thursday rally and march downtown to call for better wages and improved working conditions at Wal-Mart stores, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Rail Car Maker Moving HQ to El Segundo

Kinkisharyo International Inc., the No. 1 supplier of low-floor light rail vehicles in North America, is moving its U.S. headquarters from Massachusetts to El Segundo, bringing about 25 jobs to the South Bay city and another 250 positions to the Palmdale area, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

VW Explores Union at Tennessee Plant

Volkswagen is working with the United Automobile Workers at its Chattanooga, Tenn., assembly plant on how to unionize the plant, the New York Times reports. It would be the first German automaker to have a “work council” at a U.S plant.

Villaraigosa Takes Job With Herbalife

Herbalife Ltd. announced it has hired former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to serve as a senior adviser to Chief Executive Michael O. Johnson and the company's board, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Some Workers Push Back on DWP Contract Deal

Weeks after city officials announced a new employee contract proposal for Department of Water and Power workers, some union members are criticizing the deal or calling for an outright rejection, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Jobs Data May Slow Fed on Bond Cutbacks

August's mediocre employment report is not expected to deter the Federal Reserve from taking the first step toward slowing its bond purchases in September, CNBC reports, but the central bank may cut back the $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program more slowly. The Wall Street Journal looks at five takeaways from the report.

Virgin Space Ship Blasts Through Sound Barrier

British billionaire Richard Branson's commercial space venture Virgin Galactic took one step closer to carrying tourists into space with its latest supersonic test flight, hitting Mach 1.43 in the skies above the Mojave Desert in a Thursday test flight, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Arsenic Emissions From Exide Pose Chronic Hazard

Air district officials say more than 250,000 people living in a broad swath of eastern Los Angeles and neighboring southeast cities face a "chronic hazard" from exposure to arsenic emissions from Vernon battery recycler Exide Technologies, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bill Aims to Block Malkenhorst From Regaining Pension

State lawmakers have drafted an urgency proposal that would block former Vernon administrator Bruce Malkenhorst from forcing the city to restore a $545,000 pension, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Rolls Out Business-Tax Amnesty Program

Business-tax scofflaws in the city of Los Angeles can catch a break on their financial misbehavior, the Los Angeles Daily News reports: fess up now, and shave your bill under the city’s Tax Amnesty program.

Markets Gain

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 33 points to 14,971. The Nasdaq rose 8 points to 3,667. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,660.

Thursday, September 5

Whisper Confesses Funding Round

Whisper Inc., the Santa Monica startup behind a fast-growing anonymous messaging app, has recently closed a $21 million B round of funding, led by Menlo Park firm Sequoia Capital.

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Bay Area Firm Acquires Gradient X

The Gradient X team will remain local and Amobee - which is owned by Singapore's SingTel - will open a sales office in town.

Thomas Properties Acquired

Real estate investment trust Thomas Properties Group Inc. announced today it has been acquired by Parkway Properties Inc. in all stock transaction valued at $1.2 billion.

Gores’ Firms Sell Media Distributor

The billionaire Gores brothers’ private equity firms have sold Alliance Entertainment LLC to smaller Irvine music and video wholesaler Super D, the firms announced Thursday.

Viking River Cruises to Add Ships

Viking River Cruises announced on Thursday that it is increasing its ship order for next year.

True Religion Names New Creative Director

True Religion Apparel Inc. on Thursday named Gary Harvey its creative director.

Markets Make Small Gains

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 7 points to 14,937. The Nasdaq rose 10 points to 3,659. The S&P 500 rose 2 points to 1,655. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 165.

L.A. Insurance Rates Highest in State

The 10 most expensive ZIP Codes for car insurance in the state of California are all in the L.A. metro area, the Los Angeles Times reports, citing a new survey.

Court Blocks Burbank Wal-Mart

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Wednesday blocked Wal-Mart from opening a store in Burbank, saying the city failed to conduct an adequate environmental impact review, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

U.S. Stimulus Pullback Dominates G-20 Talks

Russia and China warned on Thursday that the end of the Federal Reserve's bond-buying program could have a profound impact on the global economy and urged caution, CNBC reports.

FHA Eases Rules for Some Troubled Borrowers

The Federal Housing Administration wants to make it easier for people who have defaulted on their mortgages to get a new home loan with FHA backing, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Azoff Teams With Madison Square Garden

In his first major move since leaving Live Nation Entertainment last year, music power Irving Azoff is taking the reins of a multi-dimensional new-look joint venture with the Madison Square Garden Co., Variety reports.

In Good News, Private Sector Adds 176,000 Jobs

U.S. private employers added 176,000 jobs in August and new claims for jobless benefits fell last week, which the Associated Press reports could bolster expectations the Fed will begin winding down a bond-buying stimulus program this month.

In Bad News, Planned Layoffs Jump

The number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms surged in August to their highest in half a year, with industrial goods manufacturers the hardest hit, a report on Thursday showed, Reuters reports.

Consumer Comfort Declines for a Fourth Straight Week

Consumer confidence fell for a fourth consecutive week to its lowest level since early April as Americans’ views on the economy and buying climate deteriorated, a Bloomberg News survey says.

Michael Jackson Wrongful Death Case Nears End

After more than four months of testimony, the Michael Jackson wrongful death case against AEG Live could finally go to the jury later this month, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Big Hedge Funds Rake in Cash

CNBC reports that largest hedge fund firms in the Americas kept adding assets in the first half of the year, according to Absolute Return's twice-annual Billion Dollar Club.

Survey: Obamacare Insurance Costs Affordable

A 25-year-old New Yorker earning $25,000 a year will pay as little as $62 a month for health insurance next year while a peer living in Vermont may pay nothing, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation 17-state survey of premiums under the U.S. health care overhaul, Bloomberg News reports.

It's OK to Be an Older Worker; Just Don't Lose Your Job

While the jobless rate for older workers is lower, when they do lose a job the length of time that person will stay unemployed is typically much longer than for any other age group, CNBC reports.

Markets Continue Gains

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 12 points to 14,943. The Nasdaq rose 8 points to 3,657. The S&P 500 rose 3 points to 1,656.

Wednesday, September 4

Court Blocks Burbank Wal-Mart

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Wednesday blocked Wal-Mart from opening a store in Burbank, saying the city failed to conduct an adequate environmental impact review.

Platinum Equity Closes $3.75 Billion Fund

Platinum Equity announced the closing of its third buyout fund, giving the company about $3.75 billion to acquire and turn around undervalued businesses.

Councilmen Propose L.A. Moratorium on Fracking

Two city councilmen in Los Angeles on Wednesday proposed a moratorium on the controversial practice of fracking within Los Angeles city limits.

Southwest Reduces Burbank Schedule

Southwest Airlines is eliminating seven daily non-stop flights from Burbank Bob Hope Airport starting this month.

Markets Gain

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 97 points to 14,931. The Nasdaq rose 36 points to 3,649. The S&P 500 rose 13 points to 1,653. The LABJ Stock Index rose more than 1 point to 165.

West L.A. Startup Enters Cluttered Storage Market

Clutter houses boxes – which come in only one standard size – at a warehouse in Los Angeles until a customer needs to access a box.

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Porn Star Says He's HIV Positive

A second adult-film performer revealed Tuesday that he has tested HIV positive, the Los Angeles Daily News reports, two weeks after his girlfriend said she was infected with the virus, a disclosure that led to a weeklong shutdown of adult film production across the San Fernando Valley.

More Employers Overhauling Health Benefits

This fall, tens of thousands of U.S. workers will learn that they're getting their health benefits next year in a radical new way: Their employers will give them a fixed sum of money and let them choose their plan from an online marketplace, the Wall Street Journal reports.

S&P Accuses U.S. of Vengeance

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has escalated its legal battle with the Justice Department, accusing it of filing its $5 billion lawsuit against S&P; in retaliation for the company's downgrade of America's debt in 2011, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Raising Hell Over the 'Raisin Reserve'

The federal government can forcibly take up to 47 percent of a farmer's raisin crop without paying them, in order to put it in a raisin reserve, CNBC reports. Farmers argue that the program violates the Fifth Amendment.

Emerging Markets Woes May Dominate G-20

For the first time in several years, the annual G-20 summit won't be dominated by the Eurozone's debt troubles, the Los Angeles Times reports. An expected cutback in Federal Reserve stimulus lowers growth prospects in developing countries such as India, Turkey, Brazil and South Africa.

Broadcast Dinosaurs Still Scary

Broadcast TV networks may be viewed as dinosaurs in the new media frontier, but CBS just proved that a Tyrannosaurus Rex is still pretty scary, especially to a big cable operator like Time Warner Cable, the Los Angeles Times reports.

LinkedIn to Offer $1 Billion in Stock

Professional social network LinkedIn Corp., looking to capitalize on a strong run-up in its share price, on Tuesday filed to raise $1 billion in a follow-on stock offering, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Hunger Games Fashion Line to Launch

The Wrap reports that Lions Gate is partnering with online fashion retailer Net-a-Porter on a new line of ready-to-wear pieces inspired by the hit "Hunger Games" franchise.

Why Nokia's Elop Could Become Microsoft's Next CEO

When a British bookmaker said Stephen Elop is the favorite to take over the soon-to-be-vacant CEO slot at Microsoft Corp. last week, most tech observers laughed it off. But Reuters reports that Microsoft's just announced purchase of Nokia's handset business has suddenly made Elop one of the most visible candidates for the top spot.

Insurer's Goal Is to Keep Cameras Rolling

The Los Angeles Times profiles Fireman's Fund, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary and today covers more than 80 percent of the $200 million or more in policies Hollywood spends each year to insure movies and TV shows.

How Cable, Netflix Are Strangling the Broadcast TV Drama

The explosion of cable and digital outlets is causing a talent drain that could upend the broadcast business, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Kodak Is Back, Sorta

There’s a new Kodak in town, and it doesn’t look much like the one you might remember, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Markets Continue Rise

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 88 points to 14,922. The Nasdaq rose 30 points to 3,643. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,651.

Tuesday, September 3

New USC Health Official Dies in Tanzania

Dr. Thomas McAfee, who was set to begin a new job today beefing up the USC health system’s pool of physicians, died over the Labor Day holiday following an accident while on vacation in Africa.

Kennedy Wilson Makes North Hollywood Purchase

Beverly Hills real estate investment firm Kennedy Wilson Holdings Inc. announced Tuesday that it has purchased a four-story Class A office building and accompanying seven-story parking structure in North Hollywood at 5161 Lankershim Blvd. for $45 million.

Regulators Ease Oversight of Pacific Commerce Bank

Pacific Commerce Bank on Tuesday announced that it had been released from its final set of regulatory restrictions.

RGEB Acquires Competing Valley Insurance Broker ArcherWeiss

Insurance broker RGEB Employee Benefits expects a 50 percent increase in revenues following its acquisition of group and individual clients from ArcherWeiss Insurance & Financial Services Inc.

Markets Gain

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 24 points to 14,834. The Nasdaq rose 23 points to 3,613. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 1,640. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 163.

ReachLocal Chief Executive Resigns

Chairman David Carlick will serve as interim CEO while the board searches for a new chief.

CBS, Time Warner Cable Reach Agreement

A corporate standoff that prevented viewers from watching hit shows and Dodger games and threatened to interfere with the start of football season has ended after Time Warner Cable and CBS Corp. agreed to a new deal, the Associated Press reports. CNBC says CBS won.

Microsoft to Buy Nokia's Mobile Business

Microsoft Corp. has agreed to pay $7 billion to acquire Nokia Corp.'s struggling cellphone business. The Wall Street Journal says it’s a bold move to try to catch up in a fast-growing mobile market now dominated by Samsung and Apple.

Vodafone Exits U.S. Wireless Market

Verizon Communications Inc. has agreed to buy Vodafone’s 45 percent stake in their U.S. mobile venture, Bloomberg News reports.

Recession Reverses Growth at Ontario Airport

Los Angeles World Airlines' Ontario International Airport has experienced a 40 percent drop in passenger traffic since its 2007 peak, as airlines shift flights away from smaller airports to larger ones like LAX, the New York Times reports.

Five Lessons from Hollywood's Summer Box Office

Despite some spectacular flops, summer box office totals set a record with help from 'Iron Man 3' and 'Despicable Me 2.' The Los Angeles Times looks at lessons Hollywood should learn from the results.

L.A. Replaces Parking Pay Stations in Larchmont

Sixteen kiosks in the Larchmont have been removed after motorists complained of lines and tickets while waiting in them, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Key Manufacturing Index Jumps in August

A key reading on the health of U.S. manufacturing inched higher in August, USA Today reports, topping Wall Street expectations and signaling that the expansion continues as the U.S. economy looks to regain speed in the second half of 2013.

Some Have Reservations About Vacation Rental Website

Silver Lake officials contend that Airbnb, a website that links vacationers seeking an alternative to hotels and homeowners with rooms to rent, has taken over their community. A crackdown is under consideration, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Starz Partners with LeBron James

Starz is developing a half-hour scripted comedy series, "Survivor's Remorse," which will be executive produced by NBA superstar LeBron James, Variety reports.

Craft Brewers Find Easier Going Outside L.A.

An often arduous city approval process and other factors have given Los Angeles a rep that leads mom-and-pop craft bear brewers to set up shop in neighboring communities, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Bezos Aims for New 'Golden Era' at Post

In his first interview since his purchase of the Washington Post was announced last month, billionaire Jeff Bezos says his major contribution to the paper will be offering a fresh view about how the print publication should evolve, the Post reports.

Markets Rise

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 92 points to 14,902. The Nasdaq rose 45 points to 3,635. The S&P 500 rose 15 points to 1,648.

Monday, September 2

Timely Separation

Mintie’s temporary isolation units help fight viral outbreaks.

Sales have broken out in the Middle East for Mintie’s virus-fighting temporary isolation units.

To Russia, for Love

Arty Maharajh, 39, likes to travel off the beaten path.

Clean Break on Water

OP-ED: Los Angeles sees recycling as means to keep aquifers full while reducing dependence on importing.

Los Angeles is plunging into recycling to cut down on its need for imported water, writes Calvin Naito.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

A Handle On Reuse

Plastics: Bag maker to recycle farm sheeting to cover supermarkets’ needs.

Command Packaging fields a response to the city of L.A.’s bag ban by recycling sheets from strawberry farms.

Cancer-Test Pickup Makes Grade on Wall Street

BIOTECH: Acquisition of diagnostic tool powers up Response Genetics’ stock.

Response Genetics gets healthy boost from investors after buying cancer-test company.

Does L.A. Need Second Opinion?

GOVERNMENT: Business rips plan for city health department.

Business groups rate plan for city of L.A. health department an “F.”

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: John L. Strauss

Broker Got Jump On Hospitality

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

Checking Back In

Special Report: Who’s Who in Real Estate

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

This Amazon May Flow Nowhere

Charles Crumpley thinks Amazon.com is amazing, but in the wrong way

Dallas Duo Kicks Up Sand With PCH Purchase

INVESTMENT: Partners see turnaround opportunity in Pacific Palisades complex.

Fabulous beachside homes are not the only desirable properties along L.A.’s coast.

Data Bank

Calendar and Events

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from labusinessjournal.com and other sources

Korean-American Lender Hangs Its Hat in Texas

EXPANSION: Hanmi joins L.A. rivals in setting up outpost in Dallas.

Koreatown lender Hanmi Bank recently opened a loan production office in Dallas, its second location outside of Southern California.

Water Company Rains on Ojai’s Takeover Vote

Golden State Water rejects Ojai vote to take control of its local system as a pipe dream.

Clothing Chain Deal Gets Inventory System on Track

RETAIL: Senitron signs up American Apparel as first customer for radio-ID tech.

Senitron fashions deal for use of its radio-tracking technology in inventory control at American Apparel stores.

Short Sales

Collab sees money in six-second videos

Collab is confident it will prove a quick study when it comes to helping talent make ad money off six-second Vine videos.

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Toyota Acceleration Claims Lead to Job Break

EMPLOYMENT: Work for car company lands lawyer position at Skadden Arps.

When Toyota Motor Corp. was able to put an end to most claims related to unintended accelerations with a settlement valued at up to $1.6 billion last year, it marked a milestone for Toyota lead counsel Lisa Gilford.

TV Fattens Up on a la Carte

ENTERTAINMENT: M-Go looks to make move into home market.

M-Go pictures itself as a player in the home market with its a la carte offering of films and TV shows.

Car Battery Maker May Have Some Juice Left

ENERGY: Coda offshoot to adapt technology for vehicle-charging station.

Car-charging station deal could rev up interest in battery technology from failed auto maker Coda.

Developers Stand Ground Against Housing Bill

REAL ESTATE: Foes warn state proposal may mean fewer affordable units.

Developers and landlords look to shut door on proposal to let cities require affordable housing set-asides.

Small Plots Pull Lots of Attention

DEVELOPMENT: Lennar plans residences for urban infill areas.

Lennar is going for small-lot residences in a big way with its projects in Hollywood.

Developer Makes Meal Of Downtown

Howard Klein orders up Italian eatery to add to Factory Place complex.

Developer Howard Klein looks to set the table for downtown L.A. inhabitants with a new Italian eatery.

Treat Shop Homes In On Delivery

Frog Frozen Yogurt Bar hopes customers throw open doors to service.

Frog Frozen Yogurt Bar looks to get a leg up on dessert store rivals with its new delivery service.

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: Avi Brosh

Hotelier Still Making Rooms

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: Rene G. Kaerskov

Growing Firm Has Designs on Globe

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: Christopher C. Martin

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: Joseph C. McCarthy

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate:Alex Jacobs

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: Jim Butler

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: Bruce Baltin

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: Edward Kirk

Contractor Shares L.A. Stories

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: Patrick Deming

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: Bill Walshe

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.

Special Report Who’s Who In Real Estate: Michael Zislis

Restaurateur Relies on Gut

From an interior designer to a real estate developer, the Business Journal speaks with a dozen local players who have no reservations about checking back into L.A.’s hotel market.