Stories for November 2014

Wednesday, November 26

L.A. Launch List: Nov. 26

On this week's Launch List: coding for children, social shopping and KDAY's new heyday.

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More Cargo, Passengers at LAX

Los Angeles International Airport continued its growth streak last month, reporting solid gains in both passengers and cargo over October 2013, according to figures released Wednesday.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,828. The S&P 500 rose six points to 2,073. The Nasdaq rose 29 points to 4,787. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 217.

Boingo Inks $50 Million Credit Agreement

Westwood Internet service provider Boingo has finalized a $50 million credit agreement with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Silicon Valley Bank.

Poll: Have you gambled at any of the Los Angeles County card clubs?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Work/Life Balance: John Edwards

The president of Raw Inspiration on swimming, spy novels, and refusing to work in an office.

John Edwards was raised on his family’s farm in England. After spending a decade in the advertising business, then producing several documentaries, he returned to his first love: farming. Since 1998, Edwards has been president of the organization Raw Inspiration Inc. and the company California Certified Farmers Markets, which collectively run more than 20 markets in Southern California. He’s also working with developer Saeed Farkhondehpour to develop the retail portion of the $125 million Medallion project in downtown Los Angeles. It’s called The Market, and Edwards has been working to reel in chef-driven restaurants, artisans, lifestyle retail and vendors for a twice-a-week farmers market. We spoke with Edwards about his food-centric lifestyle and how he makes time for the things he cares about.

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Police Arrest 130 Protestors in Downtown L.A.

Los Angeles police arrested 130 protestors early this morning, after the second night of demonstrations against the grand jury verdict in Ferguson, Mo., the Los Angeles Times reports.

SpaceX to Disrupt Satellite Monopoly?

Elon Musk has said that SpaceX can perform a satellite launch for less than $100 million, a fraction of the price charged by a joint venture owned by Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., which currently has the exclusive right to launch the Air Force's satellites into orbit, the Los Angeles Times reports. Air Force officials will decide whether to certify SpaceX for the launches next month.

Netflix Sues Yahoo CIO

Netflix Inc. sued Mike Kail, its former vice president of IT operations, on Monday, alleging that he accepted kickbacks from vendors, Re/code reports. Kail is currently the chief information officer of Yahoo Inc.

South L.A. Residents Seek Study of Oil Drilling

Neighbors are pushing for an environmental study of oil drilling by the Freeport-McMoRan petroleum company at a South Los Angeles location close to homes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Old Pipe in Beverly Hills Water Main Break is Not Yet Up for Replacement

The latest in a stream of water main breaks took place on Tuesday, when a break caused flooding on Benedict Canyon Drive in Beverly Hills, closing the road until 8 p.m., ABC reports. The pipe in question was installed in 1953, and has had three leaks since 1997, but it is not yet up for replacement.

Google Invests in Anti-Spill Spoon

Google is funding a new spoon with anti-shake technology designed to help those who suffer from Parkinson’s and other conditions that cause body tremors to eat without spilling, the Independent reports.

Reports of Gunshots Lead Police to 152 Roosters

Police arrived at a Riverside County home on Tuesday to investigate gunshots heard in the area, and instead found 152 illegal cockfighting roosters, the Desert Sun reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 10 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,804. The S&P 500 was up two points to 2,069. The Nasdaq was up 13 points to 4,771.

Tuesday, November 25

KDAY Has a New Digital Groove

The "back-in-the-day" hip-hop radio station steps out of the digital Dark Ages.

Kinkisharyo to Keep Jobs in L.A. County

Kinkisharyo International reached an agreement on Tuesday with labor and community groups that will keep light rail manufacturing jobs in Palmdale and not take them out of state.

Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Dolls Displace Barbie as Top Gift Choice

Shoppers polled for the National Retail Federation’s annual Holiday Top Toys Survey have chosen dolls from Walt Disney Co.’s “Frozen” as their top gift choice for girls. It marks the first time in 11 years that Mattel Inc.’s Barbie doll did not take the top spot.

Markets Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell three points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,815. The S&P 500 fell two points to 2,067. The Nasdaq rose three points to 4,758. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 216.

Caruso Closes on Sale of Palisades Site

Billionaire developer Rick Caruso announced Tuesday that his real estate company, Caruso Affiliated, has completed the purchase of a portfolio of retail properties in Pacific Palisades along Swarthmore Avenue.

Montebello Man Sentenced to Three Years for Medicare Fraud

A physician’s assistant was sentenced Monday to three years in federal prison for defrauding Medicare out of millions of dollars by signing fraudulent prescriptions and other medical documents while working at two separate medical clinics in the Los Angeles area.

StyleHaul’s Stephanie Horbaczewski Talks Acquisition, E-Commerce and Garcetti

StyleHaul’s fast-talking chief executive chatted with the Business Journal about her investor-turned-buyer, whether a StyleHaul lipstick might be in store and a special phone call she received from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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Protestors Shut Down the 110 After Ferguson Verdict

After it was announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, protestors took the streets in Los Angeles and throughout the nation. Local protests Monday night following the decision extended from Beverly Hills, where demonstrators lay down in the street to emulate how Brown’s body was found, to Leimert Park. About 150 demonstrators broke through a fence and walked onto the 110 freeway near the interchange with the 10, briefly shutting it down, the Los Angeles Times reports. At least one protestor was detained in Los Angeles.

AAA Predicts More Southern Californians Will Congest Freeways on Thanksgiving

The auto club predicts that 3.5 million Southern Californians are expected to travel for Thanksgiving, the most since 2007, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sony Pictures Hacked

Culver City’s Sony Pictures Entertainment suffered a widespread hack on Monday that shut down company computers coast to coast, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Proposal Would Build Trails Where Mountain Lion Entered Griffith Park

A proposed project under consideration by the city of Los Angeles would open trails on land near Griffith Park that is considered a vital wildlife corridor and believed to be the location where mountain lion P-22 crossed the 101 freeway into Griffith Park, KPCC reports.

FDA to Require Calorie Counts at Chain Restaurants, Movie Theaters

The Food and Drug Administration announced sweeping rules on Tuesday that would require chain restaurants, movie theaters and pizza parlors with more than 20 outlets to post calorie counts on their menus, the New York Times reports.

Film Piracy Suspects Arrested in U.K.

Two men have been arrested in the north of England on suspicion of leaking copies of “The Expendables 3” online before its release, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

How to Avoid Poisoning Your Dinner Guests on Thanksgiving

Defrost your frozen turkey in its original wrapper in your refrigerator. Safe defrosting is one of five tips to avoid poisoning your dinner guests this Thanksgiving, provided by KPCC.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 17 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,800. The S&P 500 was down four points to 2,066. The Nasdaq was flat at 4,755.

Monday, November 24

Amgen Halts Cancer Drug Trials After Deaths

Amgen Inc. announced on Monday it has ended two clinical studies on an experimental cancer drug after a preliminary review showed increased deaths among one group of patients.

Tutor Perini and Partners Get Big Dig Settlement

Tutor Perini Corp. and two joint venture partners have reached a $88.7 million settlement with the state of Massachusetts over litigation on the “Big Dig” project through central Boston.

Acquisition Pumps Up Nutrition Bar Maker

Nellson Nutraceutical, an Irwindale nutrition bar and powder maker, plans to acquire Le Groupe Multibar Inc., a Montreal-based manufacturer of nutritional and snack bars, Nellson announced Monday.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose eight points in Monday trading to close at 17,818. The S&P 500 rose six points to 2,069. The Nasdaq rose 42 points to 4,755. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 215.

Port Truckers End Strike

Los Angeles and Long Beach port truck drivers ended an eight-day strike Friday after the two holdout truck companies agreed to meet with union officials about wage and labor issues, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Amgen Ends Trials After Deaths

Thousand Oaks biotech Amgen Inc. said it ended clinical studies of a treatment for advanced stomach cancer after an independent data-monitoring committee found an increase in the number of deaths in patients using a combination of the experimental drug, called rilotumumab, and chemotherapy, compared with those who received only chemotherapy treatment, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Jacobs CEO to Step Down

Craig L. Martin, the chief executive of the Pasadena construction and engineering firm Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., is retiring from the company due to health issues, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Shell Offers $90 Million in Carson Settlement

Shell Oil Corp. has offered $90 million to settle a lawsuit brought by Girardi & Keese on behalf of 1,491 current and former residents of Carson’s Carousel Tract, who have been living with petroleum contamination traced to the oil giant, the Daily Breeze Reports.

Huntington Beach Says No to Alcohol Restrictions

The Huntington Beach City Council decided against placing additional restraints on new downtown bars and restaurants that serve alcohol despite having supported the notion months before as a solution to cut down on rowdy behavior, including vandalism, in its downtown area, the Los Angeles Times reports.

‘Serial’ is the Most Popular Podcast Ever

“Serial,” by producers of “This American Life,” is the most popular podcast in the history of the form, averaging over 1.5 million listeners an episode, the New York Times reports.

Box Office: ‘Mockingjay’ is Year’s Biggest Domestic Opening

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” took in $123 million, securing the year’s biggest domestic opening weekend, while “Transformers: Age of Extinction” trailed at $100 million, Variety reports. Despite this success, “Mockingjay” took in significantly less than the $150 million plus openings of the series’ first two installments.

Valet Parking at Runyon

In a very-L.A. marketing gimmick, the parking app CurbStand offered its valet services at the hiking destination Runyon Canyon over the weekend, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 21 points in Monday morning trading to 17,830. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,069. The Nasdaq was up 26 points to 4,739.

Drug Maker’s Stock Falls After Death of Patient

Biotech: CytRx’s drop shows risk of allowing use outside clinical trials.

Biotech: Shares of CytRx fall after death of cancer patient using company’s drug outside of clinical trials.

‘Shark Tank’ Pitch a Wash

Alhambra “Dadpreneur” Ray Phillips was merely looking for a way to make baths more fun for children.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Game On: Scopely, a Culver City mobile game and entertainment company, has raised $35 million in a Series A round led by Evolution Media Partners and Highland Capital Partners.

Brands Weigh ‘Influence’ Decision

Internet: Marketers tout social media stars’ power; doubts abound.

Internet: Marketing firms compete to put brands under the influence of social media stars. But is paying these “influencers” worth it?

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Grill Maker Sees Grate Opening

Lynx customizes product to improve accessibility for wheelchair users.

Cooking: Lynx Grills didn’t focus on sizzling sales when it designed a product for customers in wheelchairs.

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Conventions

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Calendar

Calendar of Events

News of the Week

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

Fuji Food Products Inc., a Santa Fe Springs company that makes packaged sushi, plans to open a manufacturing plant in the Chicago suburbs.

Businesses May Take Crack at Streets, Sidewalks

Regulation & Policy: Property owners weigh creation of districts to pay for repair work.

Taxing yourself more for things that your city ought to be doing already might seem ludicrous at first glance, but when it comes to fixing streets and sidewalks, some major commercial and retail property owners in Los Angeles seem open to the idea.

Cable Channel Cues Up More Live Music Events

Media & Entertainment: AXS looks to tap co-owner AEG’s festival connections for shows.

AXS TV, a fledgling cable channel that counts downtown L.A.’s Anschutz Entertainment Group as an owner, is doubling down on its music festival programming.

Doctors Claim Malpractice in Condo Development

Real Estate: Trio says they lost almost $1 million in Koreatown project.

Real Estate: Three doctors say they were shortchanged after checking out of a Koreatown condo development.

City Brought Meat to Table

San Gabriel lobbied hotel for steakhouse as part of push to diversify dining.

Development: San Gabriel has so many Chinese restaurants it told a hotelier to make room for a steakhouse.

Bottleneck at Ports Has Importers Taking Flight

Shipping: High volume, labor unrest drive freight forwarders to take to skies.

Shipping: Freight-forwarder UTi says air freight has taken off in response to a backlog at the ports.

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Suits Home In On ‘USA’ Jeans

Apparel: Zippers, buttons open up label fight for manufacturers.

Apparel: Denim companies fashion new “Made in USA with imported components” label to dodge nuisance suit over some imported pieces.

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Jilted Bidders Seek State Sites

Real Estate: Revival of nixed portfolio deal sought.

Real Estate: Consortium to ask court to push through its 2010 purchase offer for a group of state-owned properties.

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Ex-FM Talk Show Host Dialed Into Fans Online

Radio: Tom Leykis finds success with subscriptions after switch to Internet.

Radio: Former FM talk-show host Tom Leykis has channeled a subscription model into success online.

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More Room To Bloom

Life Science: Lab Launch looks to help early stage firms put down L.A. roots.

Life Science: Lab Launch looks to test the real estate market by offering space to house early stage companies.

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Lots of Worry

City of L.A. looks to put brakes on parking-tax cheats

Parking: Some lot operators see no space for proposed city of L.A. revenue-tracking measures.

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Will Holiday Season Bring Deal for Mall Operator?

Real Estate: Recent stock moves by Macerich spur talk of acquisition.

Real Estate: Macerich’s stock deals may mean the mall operator is preparing for a sale – of itself.

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Brand, New Problems

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Comment: Charles Crumpley wonders if American Apparel is losing its strong brand.

Canadian Buyer High on Downtown L.A. Tower

Real Estate: Onni deal Beacon’s second in market in last two months.

A 17-story office building in downtown Los Angeles sold earlier this month for an as-yet undisclosed price.

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Market diary

Stocks did a whole lot of nothing during the week ended Nov. 19, as investors held steady after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its October meeting.

Friday, November 21

USC Releases Campus Safety App

The app includes features such as push calls to DPS or 911, anonymous reporting of crimes and a “safewalk” function that lets students track their friends as they head home.

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Disney Expands Partnership with Shanghai Media Group

Walt Disney Co. has expanded its partnership with Shanghai Media Group to create content for the Chinese market, the company announced Friday.

Macerich, Kite Pharma Among Week’s Big Gainers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies rose for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose almost 1 percent to close at 214. Losers just outpaced gainers 80 to 74. Six companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 91 points in Friday trading to close at 17,810. The S&P rose 11 points to 2,064. The Nasdaq rose 11 points to 4,713. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 214.

L.A. Launch List: Nov. 21

On this week's Launch List: A monster messaging app goes for mobile payments. Triple AAA is challenged. A startup studio steps up.

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L.A. Unemployment Rate Holds Steady Despite Jump in Employer Payrolls

L.A.’s unemployment rate held steady last month at 8 percent, even as local employers added 35,000 jobs to their payrolls, mostly in education, according to state figures released Friday.

Obama Protects Millions of Immigrants From Deportation

President Barack Obama announced Thursday a plan that will give more than four million undocumented immigrants the chance to apply for work permits, protecting them from deportation, the Wall Street Journal reports. It will also narrow the group of people who would be subject to deportation, focusing on gang members, serious criminals and those who crossed the border after Jan. 1.

Relief, Disappointment in L.A. After Immigration Announcement

As people gathered outside the federal prison in downtown Los Angeles to watch Obama’s speech on Thursday, many undocumented immigrants expressed relief to be out of the shadows, while others who wanted broader immigration reform protested, saying that Obama's plan is too limited, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Truckers End Strike at Three Companies, Still Picketing at Two

Los Angeles and Long Beach port truck drivers decided on Thursday to stop striking at three local trucking companies: QTS Inc., LACA Express, and WinWin Logistics, the Press-Telegram reports. Drivers will continue picketing at Pacer and Harbor Rail Transport.

SEC Halts Trading of Monrovia Ebola Stock

The Securities and Exchange Commission suspended trading this morning in the shares of four companies -- including penny stock outfit Immunotech Laboratories Inc. in Monrovia -- that sell products related to the recent Ebola outbreak, warning that “scam artists” often use newsy events to lure investors into fraudulent stocks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

UC Tuition Hikes Pass Despite Protests

While their decision was barely discernible over the chants of protesting students, the University of California regents voted 14-7 on Thursday to approve tuition increases of as much as 5 percent for each of the next five years, the Los Angeles Times reports. Ongoing protests of the decision led to the cancellation of UCLA's annual bonfire rally for Saturday's football game against USC.

Los Angeles Teachers Rally for Raises, Smaller Classes

Thousands of teachers across Los Angeles rallied Thursday in support of union demands for a pay raise, smaller class sizes and other demands made in contract talks with Los Angeles Unified School District, the Daily News reports.

AT&T Settles With California, But Leaves Mess

AT&T; will pay the state $52 million in penalties as part of a settlement over the illegal dumping of hazardous waste -- but the company won’t be required to actually clean up the resulting pollution, Reuters reports.

Paramount and Google to Crowdsource ‘Interstellar’ Time Capsule Doc

Paramount Pictures and Google have teamed up to promote “Interstellar” by asking fans to contribute memories and highlights of their “life on earth” for a short “time capsule” documentary, Variety reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 136 points in Friday morning trading to 17,855. The S&P 500 was up 15 points to 2,067. The Nasdaq was up 30 points to 4,732.

Thursday, November 20

VentureLab Launches Startup Studio

VentureLab Growth Partners looks like another incubator, but the startup studio promises to offer a more hands-on approach than traditional programs.

Upfront Ventures Files for Fifth Fund

Upfront Ventures is looking to raise $250 million for a fifth fund, according to a SEC filing.

Update: With Oaktree Backing, Mann Sells Two Parks

The Mann Biomedical Park in Valencia and Sylmar Biomedical Park in the San Fernando Valley, both owned by Alfred Mann, have been sold to Intertex Cos. in Valencia with financial backing from L.A. investment firm Oaktree Capital Management. Biomedical Park in Valencia has finally closed. It was acquired by Intertex Cos. in Valencia with financial backing from L.A. investment firm Oaktree Capital Management.

Galpin, Henrik Fisker to Debut Muscle Car Made of Carbon Fiber

Henrik Fisker is expected to announce plans for a new muscle car with a body made of carbon fiber during an appearance at the Los Angeles Auto Show today. Fisker is working with Galpin Motors Inc. in Los Angeles on the project, according to Beau Boeckmann, the auto dealeship’s president and chief operating officer.

City to Speed Up Building Construction Inspections

Acting on a promise to cut bureaucratic red tape at City Hall, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday announced a measure to speed up building inspections for major projects and restaurants in the city.

State Approves Edison’s San Onofre Settlement

The California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved a settlement between utilities, led by Southern California Edison, and ratepayer advocates over who should pay for the more than $4.7 billion in costs to date for shutting down the troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 33 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,719. The S&P 500 rose four points to 2,053. The Nasdaq rose 26 points to 4,702. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 213.

FastPay Gets $15 Million

FastPay has received $15 million in growth equity funding from Oak HC/FT, a new $500 million venture capital fund from Oak Investment Partners that invests in health care and financial services technology.

Activision Settles Shareholder Suit, Pays Itself $275 Million

Santa Monica’s Activision Blizzard Inc. has agreed to a $275 million settlement to end a shareholder lawsuit stemming from an $8 billion deal last year in which the company and an investor group regained majority control from French conglomerate Vivendi SA.

Work/Life Balance: Jennifer Sargent

The chief executive and co-founder of HitFix on social media, scheduling in 15-minute increments and the ever-evolving role of a startup CEO.

In 2008, Jennifer Sargent co-founded Santa Monica’s HitFix, an entertainment news site targeting a millennial audience. Today, HitFix reaches more than 2 million monthly unique users. Sargent’s career began on Wall Street, where she worked in technology and media investment banking at JPMorgan. She later moved to Hamburg, Germany, where she made early stage investments in media startups across Western Europe for Bertelsmann Ventures. Most recently, Sargent was charged with heading online marketing and development for Reed Business Information, Variety’s parent company. Today, she is a mother at the helm of her own media company, which she says is growing fast. We spoke with Sargent about how to manage a role that is constantly shifting.

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Pluto TV Rakes in $13 Million

Pluto TV, an online video curating platform, has raised $13 million in a Series A round led by USVP.

Largest Hollywood Lease in a Decade: Viacom Takes Columbia

Columbia Square, the site that was once the famed Hollywood headquarters for CBS, will become home to Viacom’s MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Spike TV. Developers are calling it the largest lease signed in Hollywood in the last decade, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Employers Expect Hike in Health-Benefit Costs

Southern California employers expect their health-benefit costs to rise 4.8 percent next year as the economy recovers and mandates under the federal health law kick in, according to a new survey released Wednesday by benefits consultant Mercer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Key Committee Votes Yes on UC Tuition Hike

Despite strong opposition from Gov. Jerry Brown, legislative leaders and students, a key UC regents committee voted Wednesday to hike tuition by as much as 28 percent, the Daily News reports. If the hike is approved today by the Board of Regents, it would end a three-year freeze on tuition.

Lawsuit to Fight Medi-Cal Cancellations

More than 91,000 Medi-Cal recipients in Los Angeles County will be sent letters this week telling them that their coverage will end on Nov. 30, the Los Angeles Times reports. Several legal groups filed a lawsuit on Monday trying to block the action, saying that the renewal packets mailed earlier in the year did not clearly explain what eligibility information applicants were supposed to provide.

Leak: Goldman’s Ties to New York Fed Questioned

Goldman Sachs hired a former New York Fed regulator who was assigned to advise the same types of banks that he once policed, according to lawyers briefed in the previously unreported leak, which is bringing a new scrutiny to the bank’s ties to financial regulators, the New York Times reports.

Obituary: Celebrated Director Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols, the acclaimed director of “The Graduate” died on Wednesday, the New York Times reports. He was 83.

Settlement Reached in ‘Midnight Rider’ Suit

The parents of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant who was killed by a train on the set of “Midnight Rider,” have reached a confidential settlement agreement with several of the defendants in their civil lawsuit, including the producers and director Randall Miller, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down two points in Thursday morning trading to 17,684. The S&P 500 was up three points to 2,052. The Nasdaq was up 19 points to 4,694.

Wednesday, November 19

Apple to Pre-Install Beats Music App for iOS

It seems Apple is ready to offer Beats Music and iTunes side by side – quite literally, in fact, in its iPhones.

Justin Timberlake Becomes Co-Owner of AfterMaster Audio Labs

Justin Timberlake can now add audio tech owner to his resume.

Fuji to Bring Packaged Sushi to Chicago

Fuji Food Products Inc., a Santa Fe Springs company that makes packaged sushi, said Wednesday it is opening a new manufacturing plant in the Chicago suburbs.

Warner Bros., WWE Strike Distribution Deal

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment announced on Wednesday a partnership to distribute programming from World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. starting next year.

Second Sight Soars in Market Debut

Shares of Second Sight Medical Products Inc. – the latest Alfred Mann company to go public – more than doubled Wednesday in its initial public offering.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell two points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,686. The S&P 500 fell three points to 2,049. The Nasdaq fell 27 points to 4,676. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 213.

Colony to Pay $1.6 Billion for Industrial Portfolio

Santa Monica real estate investment trust Colony Financial Inc. announced Wednesday that it had agreed to acquire Cobalt Capital Partners, a real estate investment trust in Irving, Texas, for about $1.6 billion.

Carbonics Secures $5.5 Million

Carbonics, whose technology improves battery life and makes devices more efficient, has launched after raising $5.5 million in funding.

Honk Takes New Turn at Roadside Assistance

Triple AAA has long been the ubiquitous go-to call for stranded drivers. But the auto insurance company’s customer is much older these days, and that’s why Honk is squarely aimed at its business.

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Poll: Radio star Tom Leykis has started charging listeners either $11 or $19 a month for premium access to his podcasts. Would you pay to listen to your favorite radio personalities?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Obama to Announce Immigration Action on Friday

President Barack Obama will announce his planned changes to the U.S. immigration system on Friday in Las Vegas. He plans to give temporary legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants, shielding them from deportation, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Port Truckers Take Strike to Rail Yards

Los Angeles and Long Beach port truck drivers took their strike to the rail yards Tuesday, demonstrating at yards serviced by Pacer Cartage and Harbor Rail Transport, trucking companies that some drivers claim misclassify workers as independent contractors instead of employees, the Daily News reports.

Two New Regents Can Vote on UC Tuition Hike

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday appointed two new members to the UC regents board, which helps govern the 10-campus university: Former Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez and Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the superintendent and president of Long Beach City College. The new appointees will be able to vote this week on a controversial plan to raise tuition, the Los Angeles Times reports. But even if they vote against the tuition hike, it may not be enough to stop it.

Regulators Demand Nationwide Recall of Takata Airbags

Expanding a recall that already existed in two states, federal safety regulators on Tuesday called for a nationwide recall of vehicles that contain driver’s-side airbags made by the Japanese supplier Takata, the New York Times reports.

Nielsen Will Now Measure Netflix, Too

Nielsen next month will begin measuring the viewership of Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other streaming video providers for the first time, according to Nielsen client documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

County Supervisors Name Fujioka’s Replacement, For Now

Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to appoint Brence Culp as acting replacement for Chief Executive William T Fujioka, who retires at the end of the month, the Los Angeles Times report. Culp is currently Fujioka’s chief deputy.

Rusty Hicks is the New Leader of the L.A. County Labor Federation

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor this week unanimously elected its current political director, Rusty Hicks, to succeed Maria Elena Durazo as executive secretary-treasurer of the organization, the Daily News reports.

Americans Accused of Trying to Ship Infant Body Parts to Vegas

Two American men stole preserved body parts from a medical museum inside a Bangkok hospital and tried to ship them to Las Vegas, according to Thai police, KTLA reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 54 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,634. The S&P 500 was down 10 points to 2,042. The Nasdaq was down 44 points to 4,659.

Tuesday, November 18

JusTagMe Launches Charity Challenge App

JusTagMe hopes to ride the feel-good wave set by this past summer’s ALS ice bucket challenge.

Rocket Explosion Delays ATK-Orbital Merger

The explosion last month of an unmanned rocket made by Orbital Sciences Corp. is delaying its planned merger with Alliant Techsystems Inc.

Disney and Wal-Mart Reach Streaming Deal

Walt Disney Co. announced on Tuesday it is making its cloud-based movie streaming service available to film titles purchased at Wal-mart stores or through the retail chain’s VUDU on-demand service.

Agriculture Shippers Call on Obama to Intervene in Port Delays

Agriculture shippers are the latest group to call on President Barack Obama to intervene in the delays affecting West Coast ports.

CytRx Plunges: FDA Halts Trials After Patient Death

CytRx Corp. shares fell 9 percent Tuesday after the company announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had placed a hold on enrolling new patients in clinical trials of its experimental cancer drug following the death of a patient.

Second Sight Delays IPO

Second Sight Medical Products Inc., a maker of an artificial retina for blind patients, delayed its planned $30 million IPO until Wednesday.

East West Bank Opens Shenzhen Branch

Pasadena’s East West Bank became the first Los Angeles bank with a branch in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, as it opened its newest storefront in the coastal boomtown on Tuesday during a ceremony attended by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 40 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,688. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to 2,052. The Nasdaq rose 31 points to 4,702. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 213.

Healthy Defense of Lawmaker

Irving Reifman defends Rep. Henry Waxman’s oversight of the health care industry during his time in Congress.

Garcetti Signs Agreement to Shuttle Chinese Patients to L.A. Hospitals

While leading a trade delegation in Asia, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed a series of agreements to increase coordination between the city and Asian countries, including a measure to streamline the process of getting Chinese patients who need medical care to Los Angeles hospitals, the Daily News reports.

Internet Strategist Nicco Mele is L.A. Times New Deputy Publisher

The Los Angeles Times announced Monday that it had named a new deputy publisher: the Internet strategist Nicco Mele.

Busy October at Port of Long Beach

The Port of Long Beach saw its busiest October in four years, due mainly to a seasonal rise in imports, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Owner of Restaurant That Served Whale Meat Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges

Brian Vidor, owner of the shuttered Hump restaurant in Santa Monica, pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges related to serving meat from the endangered Sei whale restaurant, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Despite the Weather, Southland Ski Resorts Crank Up Snow Machines

Southern California’s major ski resorts are hoping to open by Thanksgiving despite a record dry season, using round-the-clock snow-making operations that began this weekend – but they will still need temperatures to drop, the Daily News reports.

Obituary: Film Critic Charles Champlin

Charles Champlin, a film critic and arts columnist for the Los Angeles Times from 1965-91, died Sunday at his home in Los Angeles after a decade-long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He was 88.

Bob Marley Estate Launches Marijuana Brand

Bob Marley’s family estate announced today the creation of Marley Natural, a global marijuana brand that will offer “heirloom Jamaican cannabis strains inspired by those Bob Marley enjoyed,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 37 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,684. The S&P 500 was up eight points to 2,049. The Nasdaq was up 21 points to 4,692.

Thanks to Imports, Port of Long Beach Sees Busy October

The Port of Long Beach saw its busiest October in four years, due mainly to a seasonal rise in imports.

Monday, November 17

Bigger Ships Drive Up Cargo at Port of L.A.

The Port of Los Angeles saw cargo volume rise 4.6 percent in October over the same month a year ago, the agency reported Monday.

Universal Opens First Beijing Office

Universal Pictures opened its first office in Beijing on Monday to handle production and distribution of films and consumer products in the lucrative Chinese market.

Second Sight's $30 Million IPO Set For Tuesday

Second Sight Medical Products Inc., a maker of an artificial retina for blind patients, plans to launch a $30 million initial public offering on Tuesday.

Burns & McDonnell Opens Pasadena Office

Burns & McDonnell, a global engineering, architecture, construction and environmental services firm based in Kansas City, Mo., has opened a new office in Pasadena, its fourth in California.

DreamWorks Plunges After Hasbro Talks End

Shares in DreamWorks Animation Inc. fell more than 14 percent on Monday, the first trading day since reported merger talks with Hasbro Inc. ended.

Oxy Spinoff’s Shares Dropping

Thanks to falling oil prices, shares of Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s forthcoming California spinoff are trading off-exchange well below analysts’ earlier expectations.

Oaktree to Expand Downtown L.A. Headquarters

Downtown L.A. asset management firm Oaktree Capital Management has signed a lease to extend and expand its headquarters in the area.

Snapchat Launches Mobile Payments Service

Snapchat, in partnership with financial services startup Square Inc., has unveiled a peer-to-peer mobile payments product called Snapcash.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 13 points in Monday trading to close at 17,648. The S&P 500 rose two points to 2,041. The Nasdaq fell 18 points to 4,671. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 212.

Rubicon Project Buys Two Ad Tech Firms

Automated advertising provider Rubicon Project has announced it will acquire two ad tech firms for a total of less than $30 million in mostly stock deals.

Seriously Raises Another $5 Million

Seriously, the mobile game studio by former Rovio execs, has secured an additional $5 million from existing investors Upfront Ventures, Sunstone Capital and Daher Capital.

Later, Ackman: Actavis to Buy Allergan

Actavis said Monday that it would pay $66 billion in cash and stock for Allergan Inc. in a deal that would derail a hostile takeover by Bill Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc., the Wall Street Journal Reports.

Halliburton to Buy Baker Hughes

In a deal that unites two giant oil field service providers, Halliburton agreed today to buy Baker Hughes for about $34.6 billion, the New York Times reports.

Garcetti Hopes to Stir Up Trade on Asia Trip

Mayor Eric Garcetti and a delegation of four City Council members and 20 other officials left Saturday for a 12-day trade mission to three Asian countries, the Daily News reports. He arrived armed with a brochure that includes a list of multimillion-dollar real estate investment opportunities being offered by clients of Ernst & Young, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Second Viral Outbreak Does Not Look Good for Princess Cruises

A Princess Cruises ship docked in San Pedro early Sunday after nearly 170 people on board fell ill in the ship's second outbreak of the highly contagious gastrointestinal sickness norovirus this year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Tribune Company to L.A. Times Staff: No More Sick Days

Starting Jan. 1, Los Angeles Times staff will no longer automatically earn or be entitled to any vacation, sick days or floating holidays, and will have to go to a supervisor and make a case that they deserve time off based on performance, L.A. Observed reports.

NYU Breaks USC’S Streak as Top Global Recruiter

For the first time in 13 years, USC has lost its title as the leader in recruiting international students, according to a new survey of U.S. colleges conducted by the Institute of International Education, in partnership with the State Department, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Spotfiy and Uber to Announce Partnership

Streaming service Spotify has partnered with ride-sharing company Uber to allow Spotify users to play their music in Uber vehicles, the companies are expected to announce today, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Box Office: ‘Dumb and Dumber To’ Tops Disney Hit

Universal Pictures’ “Dumb and Dumber To,” starring Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey reprising their two-decade-old roles, debuted at the top of the weekend box office with $38.1 million. Disney Animation's “Big Hero 6,” took in $36 million for second place, The Wrap reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down five points to 17,630 in early trading Monday. The S&P 500 was down 3 points to 2,036. The Nasdaq was down 26 points to 4,662.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Cybergrowth: El Segundo-based Aggregage, an online publisher of business-to-business sites such as Supply Chain Brief for logistics and 3D Print Pulse for 3-D printing, has raised $1 million in a convertible note round.

Show-Biz Scribe Acts to Diversify

The Wrap saw its lead role in online show-business reporting diminish as paper rivals made the jump.

Walk of Fame Steps Up on Tech Front

Chamber hopes new star-guide app shines with tourists.

Hollywood Chamber of Commerce hopes its Walk of Fame star-guide app has legs with visitors.

Mystery Key To Event’s Attraction

Guests get 60 minutes, clues to figure way out of Escape Room L.A.

Interactive attraction Escape Room L.A.’s 60-minute mystery puts participants on the clock.

Travel Has Vintage Appeal

When Grant Kirkpatrick, partner at architecture firm Kirkpatrick Architects in Marina del Rey, decided to make his four-acre plot of land in Paso Robles into a vineyard seven years ago, his wife, Shaya, had an idea.

Brokerage’s Liquidation Business Makes Splash

INVESTMENT: B. Riley’s shares climb on strong earnings after merger.

B. Riley sees positive returns on Wall Street from the broker’s liquidation business.

Dot-Law Owner to Judge Attorneys

Websites ending in dot-com ruled the Internet for a generation.

Dwindling Traffic Puts Brakes on Site Operator

INTERNET: Demand shares fall amid company refocus on high-quality content.

Wall Street has little call for Demand Media shares after a rough quarter for the website operator.

Lender Borrows Former U.S. Chief Exec for Event

TRAINING: Bill Clinton speaks on financial literacy for Banc of California.

If you want to explain economic concepts to everyday Californians, you could do a lot worse than enlisting Bill Clinton.

Real Estate Boom Has Land-Use Practices Rising

DEVELOPMENT: Spate of ground-up projects increases demand for dormant field.

As the local real estate market has improved, local real estate attorneys practicing land-use law are seeing a resurgence in business.

News of the Week

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

Toymaker Hasbro Inc. is in advanced talks to buy Glendale’s DreamWorks Animation Inc., sources told the New York Times.

LABJ 100 Fastest Growing Companies

Special Report

Fastest Growing Private Companies #10 TK MEDIA DIRECT

Fastest Growing Private Companies #10 TK MEDIA DIRECT

Fastest Growing Private Companies #9 JUSTFAB INC.

Fastest Growing Private Companies #9 JUSTFAB INC.

Fastest Growing Private Companies #8 TONGAL

Fastest Growing Private Companies #8 TONGAL

Fastest Growing Private Companies #7 NORIBACHI

Fastest Growing Private Companies #7 NORIBACHI

Fastest Growing Private Companies #6 AUDIOMICRO INC.

Fastest Growing Private Companies #6 AUDIOMICRO INC.

Fastest Growing Private Companies #5 ZESTFINANCE

Fastest Growing Private Companies #5 ZESTFINANCE

Fastest Growing Private Companies #4 GENZUM LIFE SCIENCES

Fastest Growing Private Companies #4 GENZUM LIFE SCIENCES

Fastest Growing Private Companies #2 ESALON

Fastest Growing Private Companies #2 ESALON

Fastest Growing Private Companies #1 FUHU INC.

Fastest Growing Private Companies #1 FUHU INC.

Tractor Dealer Has Pull

Westrax helps China’s LiuGong break ground in California.

Data Bank Calendar

Upcoming local events

Conventions

Upcoming local conventions

Jeans Maker Buttons Up Manhattan Beach HQ

LEASE: True Religion to exit Vernon, signs deal valued at $45 million.

Jeans and lifestyle company True Religion Apparel Inc. will move its corporate headquarters from a known hub for apparel manufacturing in Los Angeles to the beach – Manhattan Beach.

Calling Names Can Lead to Costly Online Battles

INTERNET: DirecTV fought to stop rival Dish from acquiring dot-direct domain.

Satellite provider DirecTV scuttled rival Dish’s attempt to nab the dot-direct domain name. (Sidebar: Attorneys will have to prove their case for scoring a dot-law address.)

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Tale of Two Cities on Wage Hike

LABOR: L.A.’s increase could cost employers in Culver City.

Culver City businesses fear they will have to pay to keep up with L.A.’s proposed minimum-wage increase.

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Miracle Mile Property Faces Massive Departure

REAL ESTATE: Landlord in talks with big names to help replace media tenants.

Owner of Wilshire Courtyard may not have to go to great lengths to fill coming vacancies at the Miracle Mile property.

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LAX Doesn’t Fly in Rideshare Era

Linda Moore would like to see ridesharing services take wing at LAX

Singled Out?

Fueled by investors hungry for returns, some single-location businesses are quickly jumping into franchising. So the Business Journal asks:

Would you invest in a franchise of a business that has just a single location?

Bad for Business

Billionaire Bill Ackman will kill American jobs with anti-Herbalife crusade, focus on bottom line.

Allen Gutierrez fears Bill Ackman’s business practices will only work to kill jobs.

New Investors Follow Crowd to Startups

Crowdinvesting could actually help deflate overvalued tech companies, writes Victoria Silchenko.

Grocer Hoping for Long Shelf Life on Internet

ONLINE: Thrive plans to deliver with natural foods sold at wholesale prices.

Thrive Market hopes its Amazon-style delivery clicks with shoppers.

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Show-Biz Veteran Sees Role for Hollywood in VC

INVESTMENT: Tony Potts plans to tap connections to fund early stage firms.

The lines between Silicon Beach’s vibrant tech scene and the entertainment industry have been blurring for some time, and they’re about to get even fuzzier.

YouTube Network Looks To Channel TV Calendar

ONLINE: Machinima plans to schedule programming around high-profile events.

Video game-focused Machinima looks to score more viewers by following a TV programming schedule.

Message Received

INTERNET: Oracle vet Justin Nelson connects with TigerText’s focus on secure-messaging phone app for health care sector.

Oracle vet says he joined TigerText because it’s the right type of secured messaging for the health care sector.

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Screenwriter Homed In On Interior Decoration

Former writer-actress Meridith Baer made room for herself in home decoration.

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Raising Bar

Protein product maker Quest Nutrition among local standouts quickly bulking up their revenue.

Protein bar maker Quest Nutrition helps lead a field of private L.A. companies with pumped-up revenue.

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Friday, November 14

NBCUniversal Wants Storytelling Tech

NBCUniversal’s Media Labs, another entry in the studio accelerator arena, is looking for “new forms of storytelling driven by technology.”

Big Frame Adds Talent

Big Frame, a YouTube talent management company, has added 11 content creators to its clientele.

PCM, Demand Media Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell for the week. The weighted LABJ index fell less than 1 percent to close at 212, with losers outpaced gainers 81 to 71. Seven companies closed the week unchanged.

Markets Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 18 points in Friday trading to close at 17,635. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,040. The Nasdaq rose eight points to 4,689. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 212.

L.A. Launch List: Nov. 14

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches. On this week's Launch List: Curbstand, FreedomPop, Beats by Dr. Dre and more.

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Koreatown Apartments Flipped, To Be ‘Repositioned’

Apartment buildings in Koreatown continue to be a popular buy for investors. Murano Apartments, a 46-unit multifamily property at 342-50 S. Catalina St., was sold recently to Beverly Hills real estate company SM Management for $11.6 million, or about $252,000 a unit. The seller, San Mateo investment group TDA Inc., had purchased the building for $5.1 million in 2002, according to CoStar. The property was entirely occupied at the time of sale.

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Obama to Give Unauthorized Immigrants Work Permits

President Barack Obama will announce as soon as next week an immigration reform measure that will protect up to five million unauthorized immigrants from deportation and provide many of them with work permits, sources told the New York Times.

Incoming: More Pay Lanes on Freeways

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is studying the 405, 10 and 5 freeways, among others, to determine how to convert more free lanes into pay lanes, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Whistleblower: BP Overcharged California for Gas

A lawsuit filed by a former employee of energy giant BP alleges the company overcharged government agencies by hundreds of millions of dollars for natural gas over eight years, the Los Angeles Times reports. Los Angeles County and the state of California are both plaintiffs in the suit.

Labor Protesters Arrested Outside Wal-Mart

Authorities arrested 23 labor protesters outside a Wal-Mart in Pico Rivera, the Los Angeles Times reports. The protesters were released after they were cited for unlawful assembly and failure to disperse.

Glendale Named Most Business-Friendly Large City in L.A.

Glendale was named the most business-friendly large city in the county Thursday night by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., while Glendora was deemed the most business-friendly small city, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Feds Spy on Cell Phones From Above

The Department of Justice is sifting through the cell phone data of suspected criminals -- as well as innocent Americans -- by flying over the country with small planes outfitted with devices called “dirtboxes” that mimic cell phone towers, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Faith-Based Film Compares Itself to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

The just-released trailer for a faith-based movie called “Old Fashioned,” about a former frat boy who finds Jesus, attempts to drum up publicity by comparing the film to “Fifty Shades of Grey,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Border-Straddling Homes Catch Fire

Two vacant homes on the border between Long Beach and Signal Hill, which have a bizarre history and have never been fully permitted since their construction 10 years ago, caught fire Thursday night, the Long Beach Post reports.

Megan Ellison Backs ‘Foxcatcher’

Producer Megan Ellison, the 28-year-old daughter of Oracle Corp. founder Larry Ellison, is backing the Sony film “Foxcatcher,” the fourth Oscar contender she has supported in the past three years, Bloomberg reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down eight points in Friday morning trading to 17,645. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,040. The Nasdaq was up five points to 4,685.

Glendale, Glendora Win Biz-Friendly Cities Honors

The “Glens” have it. Glendale was named the most business-friendly large city in the county Thursday night by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., while Glendora took the honors for the most business-friendly small city.

Thursday, November 13

Mandalay Digital Buys Appia

Mandalay Digital Group, a Hollywood mobile software products company, is buying mobile user acquisition network Appia.

Feds: L.A. Drivers Stole $1 Million from Bank Shipment

Two armored truck drivers for Loomis were arrested Thursday morning for allegedly stealing more than $1 million in cash, part of a shipment that was being transported for Bank of America.

Updated: City Files Suit Against Contractors Alleging Wage Theft

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer on Thursday announced the city has filed a lawsuit against the main contractor and several subcontractors on a city animal shelter construction project, alleging the companies failed to pay their workers at least $250,000 in promised wages.

Scopely Locks Down $35 Million

Scopely, a mobile game and entertainment company, has raised $35 million in a Series A round led by Evolution Media Partners and Highland Capital Partners.

Teamsters Strike, Allege Wage Theft

Truck drivers who work at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach walked off the job Thursday to protest two trucking firms they accuse of wage theft, according to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, which organized the action.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 41 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,653. The S&P 500 rose one point to 2,039. The Nasdaq rose five points to 4,680. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 213.

Hasbro to Buy DreamWorks?

Toymaker Hasbro Inc. is in early talks to buy Glendale’s DreamWorks Animation, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Chinese Visa Change is Good for California Tourism

Chinese tourists spent more than $2 billion in California last year and that number is expected to skyrocket, thanks to a decision by the United States to allow Chinese tourists and business people multiple-entry visas valid for up to 10 years, KPBS reports.

L.A. to Audit DWP Nonprofits

A deal between L.A. lawmakers and the Department of Water and Power union gives city officials “unfettered access” to financial records held by two controversial nonprofits affiliated with the utility, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Warren Buffett to Buy Duracell

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway agreed to acquire the Duracell battery business from Procter & Gamble in a deal valued at $4.7 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Garcetti Pushes ‘Street Smart’ Program

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced plans Wednesday to increase the miles of streets set to be repaved within the next year, the Daily News reports.

Good News for L.A. Sidewalks

There are an estimated 4,600 miles of crumbling and deteriorating sidewalks throughout Los Angeles, which is why the City Council on Wednesday approved a $27 million program to fix sidewalks at city facilities, the Daily News reports.

Bad News for Health Nuts

K's Donut & Bakery in Santa Monica on Wednesday released a sandwich of Spam, fried eggs and cheese that rests between two Cronut-like buns. They are calling it, “The World's First Spam O-NUT,” LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 87 points to 17,699. The S&P 500 rose seven points to 2,046. The Nasdaq rose 26 points to 4,701.

Wednesday, November 12

Snapchat Filters Out Third-Party Apps

The ephemeral messaging app is taking a permanent stand against third-party apps.

After IPO, Smart & Final Beats Expectations

Commerce warehouse retailer Smart & Final Stores Inc. on Wednesday reported strong quarterly earnings that beat analysts’ expectations in the first release since the company went public in September.

Live Nation and Vice to Launch Digital Network

As MTV and VH1 shift away from music and more toward reality television, there’s a shortage of programming that’s actually about music – and Live Nation Entertainment and Vice Media plan to capitalize on that.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell three points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,612. The S&P 500 fell one point to 2,038. The Nasdaq rose 15 points to 4,675. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 213.

Poll: Where do you get your Hollywood news?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Report: FreedomPop in Talks with Sprint

FreedomPop, a West L.A. wireless phone carrier, is in talks with Sprint about a possible acquisition or investment, according to USA Today.

Work/Life Balance: Angela Agrusa

Liner partner on work calls at baseball games, workplace prejudice and not keeping baby photos at her desk.

Angela Agrusa is a partner in Los Angeles law firm Liner’s litigation department. Her practice focuses on consumer false-labeling claims and competitor false-advertising challenges, as well as deceptive trade practices and class-action litigation. She is the chair of Liner’s consumer marketing and product labeling practice. Agrusa joined Liner after spending 16 years at Baker & Hostetler. She’s the mother of two teenagers. We spoke with Agrusa about “powering through” the workday as a mother with places to be.

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JPMorgan, Citigroup Among Banks Fined $3 Billion

British, American and Swiss regulators fined five of the world’s biggest banks a combined $3.3 billion today for conspiring to manipulate foreign currency markets, the New York Times reports. American banks JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup were among the fined banks.

China and the U.S. Reach Climate Deal

China and the United States struck new climate, military, trade and visa agreements during two days of talks between presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping, including new commitments to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Pastor Gets Jail Time for Ponzi Scheme

Luis Serna, the pastor of a San Fernando church, has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison for duping mostly low-income families into investing in a $7 million Ponzi scheme, the Daily News reports.

China and U.S. Deal Eliminates Tech Tariffs

China and the United States struck a deal late Monday to eliminate tariffs on a wide range of tech products. Backers say the deal could generate up to $1 trillion in additional trade yearly, the Los Angeles Times reports.

UCLA Tops USC in Business School Rankings

UCLA’s Anderson School of Management made No. 10 in Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2014 ranking of MBA programs, with USC’s Marshall School of Business trailing not-too-far behind at No. 21. Another local school, Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, made its debut on this list, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Online Gambling: Tribes Plan Push

Three months after attempts to reach an agreement to establish internet poker in California collapsed, a major California gaming tribe, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, announced Tuesday that it joined a coalition with other tribes to push for legislation to bring online gambling to the state, Capitol Weekly reports.

Rebranding: Hollywood Burbank Airport

Where is the Bob Hope Airport? Many people don’t know because it doesn’t have nearly as much name recognition as LAX – which is why members of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority are considering rebranding the airport back to its pre-1978 identity as the Hollywood Burbank Airport, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Users Spend Millions on Fake Houses in ‘Kim Kardashian: Hollywood’ Game

The mobile game “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” created by San Francisco’s Glu Mobile, has generated $43.3 million in sales from its launch on June 27 through the end of September. While the game is free to play, players making in-app purchases to upgrade their characters — such as a house in Malibu for $10, Variety reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 49 points to 17,567 in Wednesday morning trading. The S&P 500 was down five points to 2034. The Nasdaq was down nine points to 4,651.

Tuesday, November 11

UCLA Beats USC in Business School Rankings

Three local business schools made Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2014 ranking of MBA programs, now in its 14th year.

Funny or Die for Sale?

Will Ferrell’s comedy video website might be looking to sell, according to Bloomberg.

Jakks Expands to China

Malibu toymaker Jakks Pacific Inc. announced on Tuesday that it has formed a joint venture with Meisheng Culture and Creative Corp. to bring its products to China.

Live Nation Expands Reach to Indonesia

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. announced a partnership on Monday with Java Festival Production that will allow the Beverly Hills company to promote concerts in Indonesia.

Aspiration Launches as Investment Firm for Middle Class

Online investment firm Aspiration wants to democratize the financial services industry.

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Baby Products Firm Leases, Expands Downtown

Premium infant products company Ergo Baby Inc. will move its downtown L.A. headquarters early next year, though only baby steps away.

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Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose one point in Tuesday trading to close at 17,615. The S&P 500 rose one point to 2,040. The Nasdaq rose nine points to 4,661. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 213.

Will Gas Prices to Drop to $2.85?

Gas prices, which have fallen more than $1 from their high for the year, may drop as low as $2.85 a gallon by the end of the year, analysts said Monday, according to the Daily News.

Latest Data Breach Victim: The Postal Service

A cyber attack on the U.S. Postal Service may have compromised the personal information of more than 800,000 employees, as well as data on customers who contacted its call center during the first eight months of the year, Reuters reports.

Energy Cuts Will Create Jobs, Garcetti Says

Mayor Eric Garcetti said Monday that Los Angeles could gain thousands of jobs if it reaches its goal of cutting energy consumption by 15 percent across the city, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New Drought Measure: Catch the Rain in Barrels

The city of Los Angles will be giving away barrels and asking residents to collect rain that can be used for irrigating crops and gardens, the Daily News reports. Now all we need is rain.

Taxpayers Foot Remaining Festival Bill

Taxpayers may pay about $170,000 to cover expenses associated with the two-day Made in America music festival that were not covered by Live Nation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Gibson to Restore Tower Records Site

The former Tower Records building in West Hollywood will be restored by Gibson Brands and turned into a guitar store and concert venue, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Oil Tycoon to Pay $1 Billion Divorce Settlement

An Oklahoma judge ordered Continental Resources Chairman Harold Hamm to pay his ex-wife nearly $1 billion to end their divorce battle, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 18 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,632. The S&P 500 was up two points to 2,041. The Nasdaq was up four points to 4,655.

Monday, November 10

Charney Investigation Costs American Apparel

American Apparel announced a substantial quarterly loss on Monday, but a large part of that was due to one-time charges relating to an internal investigation of former chief executive Dov Charney.

Paley Center Site Draws Top Dollar

The Paley Center for Media property sold last week for the highest off-Rodeo Drive price paid for a Beverly Hills retail property since 2007.

TrueCar, Investors to Sell Shares

Santa Monica car sales portal TrueCar Inc. announced in a Monday SEC filing that it plans to sell 6.4 million shares in a secondary offering.

Stocks Rise

The Down Jones industrial average climbed 40 points in Monday trading to close at 17,614.

Fullscreen Acquires Rooster Teeth

Culver City multichannel network Fullscreen said it would acquire online creative studio Rooster Teeth. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

DogVacay Digs Up $25 Million

DogVacay, the site that vets dog-sitters for owners going out of town, has raised $25 million in a Series B round led by OMERS Ventures.

Obama Asks FCC to Protect Net Neutrality

President Barack Obama today asked the Federal Communications Commission to set “the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

California Businesses Benefit From Election Results

A wide range of businesses in California will benefit from the passing of Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion bond to fund improved water storage and prevent future droughts, and Proposition 2, which will create a “rainy day fund” to cushion the blow of the next recession, as well as the rejection of Proposition 45, which would have regulated health insurance rates, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Kaiser Permanente Nurses to Strike

As many as 18,000 Kaiser Permanente nurses are preparing for a two-day strike that will start Tuesday, focusing on more than 35 proposals that remain unresolved after three months of bargaining, including a call to fill more than 2,000 vacant nursing positions, KQED reports.

Some L.A. Officials Increased Water Use During Drought

Some San Fernando Valley officials who set the city’s water policy consume more than twice the water as the average Los Angeles resident, the Daily News reports. Valley-based City Council members Mitchell Englander and Bob Blumenfield actually increased their usage after Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought state of emergency in January.

Construction Underway at $80 Million Shopping Center in El Segundo

The first tenants of an $80 million development that will become The Point shopping center in El Segundo include Athleta, SoulCycle and a Lucky Brand flagship, the Daily Breeze reports.

Hawthorne Facelift: Proposal Seeks to Restore Downtown

A $300,000 plan to transform Hawthorne Boulevard back into a destination thoroughfare, developed by Pasadena planning and design firm MIG, was released last week, and unlike other efforts to revitalize the strip, this one has political support, the Daily Breeze reports.

Who Should Trim L.A.’s Trees?

The rising cost of hiring outside companies to trim L.A.’s trees has sparked debate in City Hall about whether Los Angeles should hire its own workers for tree maintenance, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Box Office: ‘Big Hero’ Trumps ‘Interstellar’

Disney's animated film “Big Hero 6” topped the weekend box office with an estimated $56.2 million, leaving Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” trailing behind with $50 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

New York Times Publishers: Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban?

At the Israeli-American Council conference in Washington, D.C., conservative billionaire Sheldon Adelson challenged liberal billionaire Haim Saban to jointly purchase the New York Times away from the Sulzberger family to influence the outlet’s coverage of Israel, Israel USA reports. Saban expressed interest in the proposal before the conversation moved to other topics.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 20 points in Monday morning trading to 17,594. The S&P 500 was up four points to 2,036. The Nasdaq was up 16 points to 4,649.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

UBeam, a Santa Monica wireless power company, has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Upfront Ventures, also in Santa Monica. Existing investors Mark Cuban, Menlo Park’s Andreessen Horowitz and Detroit’s Ludlow Ventures also participated in the financing round.

Bit of Stretch

APPAREL: 20Jeans ditches name, $20 price tag as company looks to sew up more sales of its high-quality denim.

Newly renamed jeans maker DSTLD decided its previous $20 price point didn’t fit its expansion plans.

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Smile and Say ‘Cheese’

Six years ago, Jamie Siminoff’s newborn son, Oliver, was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that prevents him from metabolizing the sugar found in dairy products.

Life Investors

Backers, operators sue over DOA insurance fund

Investors sue operators of life settlement fund, alleging they were dead wrong on policy payouts.

Smartphone Video App Winds Up Out of Picture

INTERNET: Pioneer Viddy to shut down, lost focus on social media to rivals.

Pioneering phone video app Viddy to call it quits after losing market to bigger competitors.

Familiar Advantage

Young entrepreneurs could learn from predecessors who made small tweaks to existing businesses.

Bruce Dobb advises young entrepreneurs to avoid square one of starting from scratch and instead buy existing businesses.

Forced Wage Raise Means Job Losses

Arthur F. Rothberg sees minimum-wage raises grounding employers’ hire powers.

Turning to Hockey for Cool Factor

Lenny & Larry’s hits ice with Kings to boost sales of healthy treats.

Protein-packed baked goods maker Lenny & Larry’s hopes to break the ice with hockey fans as a Kings sponsor.

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Solo Shops Buy Into Franchises

RETAIL: Investors spur quick jump into expansion mode.

Franchising is for established, growing chains, right? Not anymore, as one-location shops are quickly getting into it.

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State’s Biggest Refinery in Pipeline

ENERGY: Greens see red as Tesoro looks to link oil facilities.

Tesoro looks to pump up its oil operations by merging two SoCal facilities into the state’s largest refinery. But environmentalists object.

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Chicago Equity Firm Shores Up Westside Office

INVESTMENT: Pritzker execs relocate to pursue business in blossoming market.

Chicago’s Pritzker Group Private Capital bets on L.A. market with beefed-up outpost.

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Slam Dunk

As the Los Angeles Lakers embark on what is expected to be another sad season, the cable channel that carries the team’s games has beefed up its offerings to draw in fans. So the Business Journal asks

Are you more likely to watch the Lakers or Clippers this year?

Purchaser Sold on Building’s Retail Potential

ACQUiSITION: Buyer pays $47.3 million for media museum in Beverly Hills.

The Paley Center for Media property sold last week for the highest off-Rodeo Drive price paid for a Beverly Hills retail property since 2007.

conventions

Upcoming local conventions.

calendar

Upcoming local events.

Born Again

Restorer of historic properties Ray Adamyk also works to help people in need start over.

Ray Adamyk helps remake history as renovator of iconic properties.

News of the Week

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

Tinder’s parent company InterActiveCorp has swiped left on 28-year-old Chief Executive Sean Rad.

Malibu Voters Put Lock On Retail Chains’ Space

DEVELOPMENT: Pair of projects to move forward despite approved limits.

Development projects in Malibu – already difficult to shepherd through – have just gotten tougher thanks to last week’s passage of Measure R.

Furniture Firm to Make Rooms With Brand Deals

licensing: Amini looks to partnerships to add lines in art, rugs, light fixtures.

It takes more than furniture to make a home feel like a home.

Studio Animated About Creating More Cartoons

PROUCTION: TV, movie projects to be generated in-house at House of Moves.

After a management-led buyout last month, Playa Vista motion-capture and animation studio House of Moves is moving in a more creative direction.

Investment Firm Keeps It in Family With Merger

REAL ESTATE: Colony Capital to unite with related REIT in $658 million deal.

Investment firm Colony Capital to merge with related trust Colony Financial in $658 million deal.

Businessman Nurses Vision of Post-Ebola Riches

mining: Tony Khodadad says quarry among projects ready to go in Sierra Leone.

Tony Khodadad foresees healthy returns from his Sierra Leone ventures: as soon as Ebola is contained.

Venezuelan Devaluation Translates Into Stock Slide

HEALTH: Herbalife shares fall 20 percent after poor quarter in vital market.

Herbalife’s share price plummets after tough third quarter thanks to Venezuela’s devalued currency.

Shaved Snow Makes Cut at Snack Shop

Co-owners see frozen version of acai bowls as potentially hot item.

Snow Flower Ice looks to heat up sales with a frozen version of acai bowls.

Who are Robert Zuckerman and Michael Meyer?

Robert Zuckerman is chief executive of Woodland Hills real estate development firm Continental Communities Group. His father, Edward Zuckerman, bought 150 acres of coastal real estate on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the 1950s.

Lawyers Work OT on Lawsuits

LAW: Nuisance cases ramp up before high court weighs in.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys court more worker lawsuits before U.S. Supreme Court possibly ends the state’s easy-sue law.

Mayor to Put Up For-Sale Sign During Asia Trip

DEVELOPMENT: City’s brochure features properties of Ernst & Young clients.

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s marketing efforts on his Asia trip will include hawking a list of real estate development sites.

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Friday, November 7

Former Trader Joe's CEO John Shields Dies

John Shields, who shepherded grocer Trader Joe’s through a major national expansion, died Oct. 31 after a long illness. He was 82.

Kite Pharma, Herbalife Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell for the week. The weighted LABJ index fell less than 1 percent to close at 213. Losers just outpaced gainers, 78 to 76, with five companies unchanged.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 19 points in Friday trading to close 17,574. The S&P 500 rose one point to 2,032. The Nasdaq fell six points to 4,633. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 213.

Teamsters Claim Victory as Port Truck Drivers Reinstated

Two previously fired port truck drivers returned to work Friday as employees of Green Fleet Systems in Long Beach, in what is seen by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters as a victory for harbor truckers.

L.A. Launch List: Nov. 7

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches. On this week's Launch List: 3BlackDot, textPlus, Thrive Market and more.

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Hollywood Skyscraper Project Sits On Earthquake Fault, State Says

The California Geological Survey on Thursday concluded that there is an active earthquake fault line running under Millennium Hollywood, a proposed two-skyscraper project that would be the tallest and largest development in Hollywood history, the Los Angeles Times reports. The developer’s consultant said the state’s conclusion is incorrect.

Trucking Group Seeks Exemption for Congestion

In an attempt to ease congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the local trade group Harbor Trucking Association announced Thursday that it will petition the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for an exemption from a federal mandate that limits when truck drivers can work, the Daily Breeze reports.

Port Delays Hurt Retailers

Delays at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are hurting retailers’ bottom lines, with some companies seeking out expensive alternatives to get holiday goods delivered on time, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Tinder to Launch Paid ‘Undo’ Function

In its first attempt to make money, Venice dating app Tinder said Thursday that it will create a paid subscription plan called Tinder Plus, which would include tools such as an “undo” feature, the Los Angeles Times reports. The news comes as Tinder’s parent company, InterActiveCorp, looks for a replacement for Tinder Chief Executive Sean Rad, the Business Journal reported this week.

Feds Say California Woman Scammed Investors with Promise of Hollywood Backing

Carissa Carpenter cheated investors out of millions of dollars with claims that she had Hollywood backing to build a movie studio complex in Northern California, according to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Dodgers Hire New GM

It’s official: Farhan Zaidi will move from the Oakland Athletics to become the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bloomberg reports.

Long Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Ponzi Scheme

John J. Packard of Long Beach pleaded guilty Thursday to an alleged $110 million property Ponzi scheme that included mail and bank fraud, the Long Beach Post reports.

Beverly Hills Has Most Expensive Home Listing in the U.S.

A 25-acre estate in Beverly Hills entered the market at $195 million, making it the most expensive home to be publicly listed for sale in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Suge Knight Pleads Not Guilty to Camera Theft

Rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to accusations that he stole a camera from a celebrity photographer outside of a Beverly Hills studio, Reuters reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 37 points in Friday morning trading to 17,517. The S&P 500 was down three points to 2,028. The Nasdaq was down 22 points to 4,617.

MiTu Goes on TV

MiTu, the Latino-oriented multichannel network based in Culver City, is adapting two of its online series for television through a partnership with Spanish-language TV channel Discovery Familia.

Thursday, November 6

3BlackDot Launches Multichannel Network

3BlackDot, an influencer-driven entertainment production company, has launched a multichannel network called Jetpak to try and put content creators’ ad money back in their pockets.

Freedom Investors Press for Receivership

Two investors who helped finance the purchase of Freedom Communications in 2012 have asked a court to put the media company’s operations into receivership.

Studio Earnings Wrap: Lions Gate, Disney

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. posted strong earnings for the quarter ended Sept. 30 that beat analysts’ expectations, driven by television operations.

Union Accused of Slowing Port Traffic

The Pacific Maritime Association is accusing the International Longshore and Warehouse Union of orchestrating a deliberate slowdown of container movement at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, after initiating similar actions earlier this week at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma.

StyleHaul Hires SVP for Strategic Partnerships

Fresh off a nine-figure exit, StyleHaul is already buckling down on e-commerce.

FloQast Raises $1.3 Million

FloQast, a software platform designed to help accountants close their books, has raised $1.3 million.

DirecTV Profits Fall on Higher Revenue

El Segundo satellite television giant DirecTV reported strong revenue in the third quarter, offset by lower net income due to negative foreign-exchange rates in countries such as Argentina and Venezuela.

Embezzlement: Former Studio Money Man Sentenced to Prison

A former finance manager at a big Culver City TV production studio was sentenced to two years in federal prison on Thursday for embezzling $2.5 million from his former employer, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 70 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,554. The S&P 500 rose eight points to 2,031. The Nasdaq rose 18 points to 4,638. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 214.

Clippers Hire Racetrack Exec

The Los Angeles Clippers announced on Thursday that they have hired Gillian Zucker as president of business operations.

Billionaire Gives LACMA Largest Donation to Date

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art will announce today that it has been promised the largest donation of art in its history, the Los Angeles Times reports. At least 47 paintings valued at $500 million, including works by Picasso and Monet, will be donated by 83-year-old former Univision Communications Chairman and Chief Executive Jerry Perenchio.

Bones of Missing Fox Exec Discovered in Desert

The remains of Gavin Smith, a 20th Century Fox executive, were discovered by hikers in the desert outside Palmdale, Los Angeles County coroner’s officials said Thursday. The remains amounted to some bones and a skull and the cause of death is still unknown, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Microsoft Office Free on Mobile

Microsoft announced today that it will give a free mobile version of Microsoft Office software for iPads, iPhones and Android tablets, the New York Times reports.

Steyer’s Millions on Environmental Candidates got Little Payoff

Billionaire Tom Steyer spent $74 million on climate change awareness in an attempt to affect ballot measures, but the payoff was paltry as voters elected a Congress largely hostile to environmental concerns, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Intern Lawsuits Change Industry Tradition

Lawsuits over unpaid internships have changed the way that Hollywood ushers in young workers. NBCUniversal and Viacom have changed their policies and are now paying interns, while Fox and its affiliated production companies have suspended internships, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Park Maintenance in Jeopardy After Proposition P Rejection

Voters rejected Proposition P, a ballot measure that would have secured long-term funding for park maintenance and capital projects throughout Los Angeles County, a decision that may lead to reductions in related services, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Tuition Hike for UC?

UC leaders are proposing tuition increases of as much as 5 percent in each of the next five years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pierce College Farm Eviction: Was it Fair?

Nearly 10,000 residents have signed a petition calling for a state investigation into what they say was an unfair eviction of Farm Center, a privately run farm stand which has popular Halloween and Christmas festivals on the Pierce College campus in Woodland Hills, the Daily News reports.

Incoming: Redondo Beach’s First Tattoo Parlor

After a zoning provision that banned tattoo parlors was deemed unconstitutional in neighboring Hermosa Beach, the Redondo Beach City Council on Tuesday began paving the way for tattoo shops to open there, too, the Daily Breeze reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 22 points in Thursday morning trading to 17,507. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,023. The Nasdaq was down four points to 4,617.

Wednesday, November 5

USC Opens Blackstone LaunchPad

USC has officially opened a Blackstone LaunchPad on its campus to help would-be student entrepreneurs hone their skills before starting their own businesses.

After Founder’s Death, Executive Changes at Laserfiche

The Long Beach software developer Laserfiche announced on Wednesday that its executive board has appointed Chris Wacker as the company’s chief executive and Karl Chan as the company’s president.

L.A. Launches Small Business Counselor Network

Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the launch of a new initiative to connect small business owners with experts who can give them advice over the phone, over video chat or in person.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 101 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,485. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 2,024. The Nasdaq fell three points to 4,621. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 213.

Popular Brentwood Retail Site Trades for $25 Million

A 12,000-square-foot retail building along a busy stretch of San Vicente in Brentwood sold last month for about $25 million, or more than $2,084 a square foot.

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Aggregage Raises $1 Million

Aggregage, an online publisher of business-to-business sites, has raised $1 million in a convertible note round.

Fullscreen’s Viddy to Shut Down

Venice social video app Viddy was once celebrated as the “Instagram for video,” a Facebook-friendly application valued at $370 million after a $30 million funding round in 2012.

Poll: Would you invest in a franchise of a business that had just a single location?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Democrats Win California Statewide Races

In California’s statewide races, Gov. Jerry Brown won reelection to a historic fourth term in a landslide, Democrat Alex Padilla was elected Secretary of State, Democrat Betty Yee was elected California controller, and incumbent Tom Torlakson declared victory in the closely contested race for state superintendent of public instruction, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Sheila Kuehl Defeats Bobby Shriver in Supervisors Race

Former state lawmaker Sheila Kuehl defeated former Santa Monica City Council member Bobby Shriver in a pivotal race for an open seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, KTLA reports.

Voters Reject Propositions 45, 46, 48

California voters rejected Proposition 45, which would have given California's insurance commissioner power to veto proposed health insurance rate hikes; Proposition 46, which would have raised the state's 39-year-old cap on medical malpractice damage awards; and Proposition 48, a tribal gaming proposal. Voters easily passed Proposition 47, which requires misdemeanor sentences rather than longer felony sentences for six crimes, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

Propositions 1 and 2 Pass

Gov. Jerry Brown’s pet ballot measures both passed, City News Service reports. Proposition 1 is a bond measure that will fund state water supply infrastructure projects to prepare the state for future droughts. Proposition 2 bolsters the state’s “rainy day” fund.

Funding From Katzenberg Failed to Unseat Mitch McConnell

DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg put a lot of financing and support behind Alison Lundergan Grimes' unsuccessful bid to defeat Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell in Kentucky's Senate race, Deadline reports.

Council Votes to Curb ‘Mansionization’ Demolitions

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted Tuesday to draft rules that would temporarily curb demolitions in more than a dozen neighborhoods where residents have complained about “mansionization,” or homes being replaced with buildings seen as too big for their lots, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bravo, Esquire, E! Leaving Miracle Mile for Universal City

Three years after Comcast acquired NBCUniversal, it is moving its networks Bravo, E!, Esquire Network and Oxygen out of the Miracle Mile and into company's Universal City headquarters beginning in 2015, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 70 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,454. The S&P 500 was up eight points to 2,020. The Nasdaq was up seven points to 4,630.

Tuesday, November 4

Ease Entertainment Finds Bison Capital Investment

Ease Entertainment Services, a Beverly Hills payroll and software services firm, has received an investment from Santa Monica’s Bison Capital Partners.

Work/Life Balance: Bob Graziano

Market Manager for J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Los Angeles on group texts, keeping in touch with his five sons and what has changed since he left the Dodgers.

During Bob Graziano’s 18 years with the Dodgers – the final six spent as club president and chief operating officer – it was easy to make time for his five sons: they always wanted to come visit him at the stadium. He left the organization 10 years ago and is now a market manager for JPMorgan Private Bank in Los Angeles. Now his effort to keep in touch with his kids is more deliberate. In his current role, Graziano, 56, oversees the private banking business for ultra-high net worth individuals and families, and drives overall strategy and growth for the market. He’s also chairman of the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission and the LA84 Foundation, which is endowed with the surplus from the 1984 Olympic Games. He serves as an advisory board member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the USC Leventhal School of Accounting and the USC Sports Business Institute. We spoke with Graziano about his team approach in matters related to both work and family.

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Warner Bros. Layoffs Begin

Warner Bros. Entertainment began on Tuesday making staffing cuts that are expected to hit about 10 percent of the company’s employees.

Intel Sounds Out Investment in Audyssey

Audyssey, an audio technology research developer, has received an investment from Intel Capital to help improve the audio performance of its desktop computers, laptops and tablet PCs.

Sean Rad is Out as Tinder CEO

Tinder founder Sean Rad will step down from his role as chief executive, according to Forbes.

Downgrade: More Bad News for Herbalife

Herbalife shares tumbled Tuesday after an analyst at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey downgraded the company from a “buy” to a “neutral” rating, and lowered his 12-month target price from $75 to $55.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 18 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,384. The S&P 500 fell six points to 2,012. The Nasdaq fell 15 points to 4,624. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 213.

Brentwood Apartment Complex Fetches Top Dollar

A 68-unit apartment complex in Brentwood has sold for $25.5 million, the highest price that Westside submarket has seen in 15 years.

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More Than Half of Californians Are Apathetic, Poll Says

Turnout in California’s general election today is expected to reach a new low, according to Field Poll estimates, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Gov. Jerry Brown Running for Reelection? News to Some

Four out of 10 voters don’t know Gov. Jerry Brown is running for another term, SFGate reports.

Apple and Google to Work Together with Disney

Walt Disney Co. has entered into an unprecedented agreement with both Apple and Google that will allow consumers who buy a Disney movie from either of their online stores to watch it on devices that use their rival’s operating system, the Wall Street Journal reports.

First-Time Homebuyers: A Record Low

The share of houses bought by first-time owners is at 33 percent this year, the lowest level in nearly three decades, the National Association of Realtors reported Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Verizon and AT&T: They’re Watching You

Verizon and AT&T; have been secretly tracking the Internet activity of more than 100 million cellular customers with “supercookies” which are hard to erase and cannot be escaped by using a browser’s “private” mode, the Washington Post reports.

Software Problems Lead to LAUSD Hiring Freeze

The rising costs of fixing problems caused by Los Angeles Unified School District’s disaster-prone computer software, MiSiS, forced the new superintendent to institute a hiring freeze, the Daily News reports.

New Wilshire Grand Design Targets Earthquake Protection

The New Wilshire Grand, which will be the tallest structure built in a seismic hot zone when it is completed in 2017, has most sophisticated earthquake modeling performed on a building in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The New Data Center: Your Local Mall?

As retailers struggle to survive, many vacant big box and department stores are becoming data centers that house computer servers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 85 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,281. The S&P 500 was down 16 points to 2,001. The Nasdaq was down 43 points to 4,596.

Monday, November 3

StyleHaul Acquired by RTL Group

StyleHaul, the multichannel network for fashion and beauty enthusiasts, has been acquired by existing investor RTL Group for $107 million, valuing the Hollywood MCN at $151 million.

Herbalife, Facing Pyramid Scheme Accusations, Comes Up Short

Embattled Los Angeles nutritional supplement company Herbalife posted earnings Monday that missed analysts’ estimates, thanks to changes in the value of Venezuelan currency and declining sales in the Americas.

Gene Simmons Gives Kiss to New CEO; Classic Party Rentals Plans Rebound

Rock & Brews, the El Segundo restaurant and venue co-founded by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, on Monday announced the appointment of Mike Reynolds as chief executive officer, a position that will largely involve seeking out franchise opportunities as the chain attempts to expand globally.

MannKind Narrows Loss

MannKind Corp. posted narrow third-quarter losses on Monday as the company winds down its research operations and prepares to start selling its Afrezza brand inhalable insulin.

Douglas Emmett Picks Up Carthay Office Property

Carthay Campus, a two-building Class A office campus in Carthay Circle, sold for $75.3 million, or about $351 a square foot.

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Markets Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24 points in Monday trading to close at 17,366. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,018. The Nasdaq rose eight points to 4,639. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 215.

Social Reality Raises $25 Million, Buys Steel Media

Internet advertising company Social Reality has announced $25 million in committed financing, a portion of which went toward acquiring New York digital ad firm Steel Media.

Herbalife to Pay $15 Million to Settle ‘Pyramid Scheme’ Lawsuit

Herbalife agreed to pay $15 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by a former California distributor of its products who alleges the same thing Bill Ackman claims: that the company’s business model is a “pyramid scheme,” Bloomberg reports.

Did a Pilot’s Mistake Cause Virgin Galactic Crash?

A co-pilot prematurely deployed tail surfaces, likely causing the crash of Virgin Galactic’s experimental rocket ship Friday, according to federal safety investigators probing the fatal accident, the Wall Street Journal reports.

L.A. Unions Urge Officials to End Wall Street Bank Deals

The Coalition of L.A. City Unions and its allies are urging City Hall managers to get out of the deals with Bank of New York Mellon and Dexia, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Money Flows Through Race for Superintendent

More has been spent on the race for California superintendent of public instruction than on all other statewide races, including the campaign for governor, EdSource reports.

Carson Just Says No, Again, to Drugs

The Carson City Council’s planning commission voted 5-4 against considering medical marijuana dispensaries for the city, which the council declared a “drug-free” zone in 2010, the Daily Breeze reports.

Box Office: ‘Ouija’ and ‘Nightcrawler’ Split the Halloween Pot

Universal Studios’ “Ouija” held strong in its second weekend, tying with Open Road Film’s new Jake Gyllenhaal thriller “Nightcrawler” for the coveted Halloween crown at the North American box office. Each film took in an estimated $10.9 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 20 points in Monday morning trading to 17,372. The S&P 500 was down up one point to 2,019. The Nasdaq was up 16 points to 4,647.

Congressman, Heal Thyself

U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman should come with a health warning, advises Bill Gunderson.

Check, Please

The city of Los Angeles has proposed nearly doubling the minimum wage over a few years. So the Business Journal asks:

If restaurants raised prices 10 percent across the board to pay for higher minimum wages, would you dine out less?

Maximum Advantage

Education, not minimum-wage hikes, real key to helping low-skilled workers prosper in careers.

Proper schooling can move employees to the head of the class in the working world, writes Christopher Thornberg.

Second Opinion on Sale of Hospitals

Dave Regan prescribes an alternative to Daughters of Charity Health System’s acquisition by Prime Healthcare Services.

Health care hospitals

Biotech sector slow to take root as businesses leave seeking seed money

Sector sees promising startups check out of Los Angeles in search of money.

Goods To Go

Online retailer ships away on partial payments

Le Jolie believes it has the goods on low-price online rivals with its partial payment financing policy.

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Different Cloth

Olivier de Givenchy saw finance career as better fit than family’s fashion, design pursuits.

Banker Olivier de Givenchy has made a name for himself outside of the fashion and beauty sectors his family is famous for.

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Wall Street Glowing Over Deal on Nuclear Plant

ENERGY: Resolution on San Onofre may free Edison to focus on dividends.

Wall Street sees resolution of nuclear power plant’s closure possibly powering up Edison International.

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Health care hospitals: Taking Shot

Investors fail to check in despite promising prognosis

Technical difficulty makes products hard to assess for venture capitalists.

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Cut Above?

COOKING: Aura Knifeworks hopes pro, amateur chefs come to grips with its blades sporting custom-fit handles.

Aura Knifeworks hopes its pricey cutlery with custom-fit handles makes the cut with chefs.

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Single Has Value For Some Banks

LENDING: Chinese-American sector bucks consolidation trend.

Chinese-American banks prefer to fly solo as consolidation gains ground among other institutions.

Lakers Channel Broadens Focus as Team Drops Ball

TV: Time Warner Cable beefs up offerings as another dreadful season looms.

Time Warner Cable SportsNet turns to a new app and other offerings to court fans of the faltering Lakers.

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Web Vendor Aims to Click With Store

Spoiled sees room to grow with chic used clothing for children.

Online retailer of used chic kid’s clothing CeCe Hendriks now styles herself as a brick-and-mortar merchant.

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Foreign Entrepreneurs Click in L.A.

TECHNOLOGY: Tapatalk joins wave rolling into Silicon Beach.

L.A.’s growing scene pushes all the right buttons for foreign-born tech entrepreneurs.

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Teenager Sows Career In Apparel

Eighth-grader already sharing knowledge of business world.

Jeremy Koven, 14, has gotten an early jump in fashioning a career out of streetwear.

Venture Firm at Home With In-House Businesses

INVESTMENT: Zuma also says ‘studio’ model to offer chance at earlier exits.

New tech-focused capital firms home in on a “studio” model in which business ideas originate in-house.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Edmunds.com, a Santa Monica car-shopping website, has acquired CarCode, its first acquisition.

Surfer Goes for Broke

A surfer for 14 years, MomentFeed Chief Executive Robert Blatt, 54, woke up before dawn about a month and a half ago to hit the waves at Topanga State Beach.

Westwood Match for Dating Site

REAL ESTATE: EHarmony to split up with Santa Monica.

Westwood’s lower rents woo dating site operator eHarmony away from Santa Monica.

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Investors Back in Sporting Goods Chain’s Camp

RETAIL: Big 5 shares climb after third-quarter numbers beat analysts’ expectations.

Ball bounces Big 5’s way as sporting goods chain beats analysts’ expectations.

Oil-Field Acquisition Fails to Pump Up Investors

ENERGY: Breitburn shares dip but quickly recover amid general sector struggles.

Breitburn quickly climbs out of hole after announcement of oil-field deal sends shares falling.

Pot Services Firm Chooses Board To Generate Buzz

Medbox brings in diverse board to light fire under its plan to move up to Nasdaq.

Pair of UCLA Ventures Dial Up Phone Services

MOBILE: Holomic works on diagnostic reader; ReVolt focuses on dirt charging.

Two groups of entrepreneurs at UCLA are using smartphones to bring key technological advancements to the developing world.

Mediation-Arbitration Firm Makes Room for Cases

REAL ESTATE: Jams sets up courtroomlike outpost for judicial system refugees.

L.A. businesses are increasingly soured by the daunting waiting game that is California’s Superior Court, so much so that several companies have recently opted to take their disputes to private mediation and arbitration firms.

News of the Week

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

Santa Monica’s Whisper suspended its editor-in-chief Neetzan Zimmerman and other editorial staffers who were involved with the Guardian’s visit to the startup’s offices – in light of the damning articles that followed.

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Upcoming local events.

conventions

Upcoming local conventions

Buyer Quickly Wraps Up Office Campus Deal

ACQUISITION: Property sells for $75.3 million after only seven days on market.

Carthay Campus, a two-building Class A office campus in Carthay Square, sold last month for $75.3 million, or about $351 a square foot.