Stories for October 2015

Friday, October 30

Silicon Beach Launch List: Oct. 30

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launch.

Tongal Partners with Facebook

Tongal, a crowdsourced content studio that connects independent filmmakers with brands, has become a Facebook Marketing Partner, the company announced on Thursday.

Work/Life: J.P. Schuerman

The public relations executive on Marina del Rey living, his open-door policy and his annual stress-clearing hike with friends

J.P. Schuerman has made it his business to help others promote theirs.

Tease photo

NantKwest, On Assignment Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies was up for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose less than 1 percent to close at 237, with losers outpacing gainers 96 to 52. Eight companies ended the week unchanged.

YogaWorks Continues Buying Spree

Santa Monica’s YogaWorks announced it has purchased seven yoga studios in Baltimore on Thursday, its fourth acquisition this year.

Game Over for ESPN’s Grantland

Walt Disney Co.-owned sports network ESPN is shutting down the influential Grantland sports and pop-culture blog headquartered at downtown’s L.A. Live.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 92 points in Friday trading to close at 17,664. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 2,079. The Nasdaq fell 21 points to 5,054. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points to 237.

Does L.A. Times Have a Conflict?

The Washington Post yesterday filed an article questioning whether the Los Angeles Times has a conflict of interest when it reports on education.

What to Watch this Weekend

Entertainment reporter Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases.

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Oct. 30

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Schmoozing for the Olympics….

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and sports entrepreneur Casey Wasserman spent this week socializing with Olympics delegates in Washington, the Los Angeles Times reports. There were no rules against lobbying, so Garcetti, along with his counterparts from other bid cities, did what political types do: campaign. Delegates will cast secret ballots in two years to decide which city will host the 2024 Summer Olympics.

…Upgrading for the Olympics

USC wants to shell out $270 million for a significant re-do of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, which could play a role in attracting the Olympics, the Los Angeles Times reports. The project would replace every seat and increase legroom, cutting about 16,000 seats in the process. The Coliseum could also be a temporary home for a National Football League team, assuming one moves here.

Why Trophy Homes Have Those Astounding Prices

Those over-the-top asking prices for princely estates in Los Angeles – such as the $115 million starting prices for mansions in still-under-construction Park Bel Air – seldom end up selling for those prices, the Wall Street Journal reports. The big numbers often are just marketing ploys to get attention. “It’s almost as if there is no shame in wildly overpricing a listing anymore,” one appraiser said.

Snapchat’s New Penthouse

Venice's Snapchat, the social-networking startup with a valuation of $16 billion, is plopping down $22,500 a month to rent a beachside penthouse apartment that used to host locally infamous late-night parties, Buzzfeed reports. However, the company has promised that the penthouse – which has a 5,000 square-foot, glass-enclosed deck with a fire pit, jacuzzi, and a geodesic dome – will not be used for parties.

More Truckers Strike

The number of truck drivers on strike at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is growing after the International Brotherhood of Teamsters threw its support behind it, the Daily Breeze reports. The drivers want to be employees (so they can unionize) instead of being classified as independent contractors.

Slowdown in South Bay?

The South Bay is expected to fall behind the rest of Los Angeles County next year since its economy could grow at less than 2 percent, according to the first economic forecast released by Cal State Dominguez Hills, the Daily Breeze reports. The area faces growth challenges partly because it is already so built up, according to the report.

Halloween ‘Carnaval’ to Close Streets

If you’re planning on making the trek to West Hollywood for its annual “Halloween Costume Carnaval,” be prepared for plenty of traffic as some major streets will be closed as early as 18 hours before Saturday night’s event, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 17 points in early trading Friday to 17,739. The S&P 500 was down three points to 2,086. The Nasdaq was flat at 5,074. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 238.

Thursday, October 29

YogaWorks Continues Buying Spree

Yogis rejoice.

App Maker Mobile Roadie Bought by Competitor Intellectsoft

App development shop Mobile Roadie, whose clients include Taylor Swift and the Dallas Mavericks, has been acquired by competitor Intellectsoft of Palo Alto for an undisclosed amount.

Thursday Rundown: DineEquity Outperforms on Earnings in Third Quarter, Teledyne Falls Short on Revenue

DineEquity Inc. reported third quarter earnings that met analysts’ forecasts but revenues that missed expectations.

Stocks Fall; On Assignment Soars, MannKind Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,756. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 2,089. The Nasdaq fell 21 points to 5,074. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 239.

Street Vendors Sue Fashion District BID and LAPD Over Confiscation of Carts

Street vendor activists filed suit in federal court Thursday against the downtown Fashion District Business Improvement District and the Los Angeles Police Department over the confiscation of carts and other personal belongs of street vendors.

El Segundo Office Property Trades at Premium

A fund formed by San Francisco real estate investment firm Roxborough Group and Santa Monica investment firm Montana Avenue Capital Partners has reeled in a big one.

‘No Way L.A.’

About 450 San Diego Chargers fans made their voices heard to National Football League executives Wednesday, criticizing the team’s possible move to Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports. The team’s special counsel, Mark Fabiani who has long pushed for the move, was met by loud boo’s. NFL officials – who have already held a meeting in St. Louis – are scheduled to meet Thursday with Oakland Raiders fans.

No Taxes from Pot Shops

Los Angeles City Councilmembers voted Wednesday to disallow new medical marijuana shops from paying city taxes because they say the businesses are operating illegally, the Los Angeles Times reports. The move would help prevent those businesses from using tax registration documents to convince customers and landlords they are approved by the city.

End of the Road

After more than 50 years, Sun Valley’s Aadlen Brothers Auto Wrecking, also known as the “U Pick Parts” junkyard, is closing, the Daily News reports. It has often been frequented by Hollywood film crews and do-it-yourselfers looking for an old part. The costs of Obamacare, higher minimum wages and other regulations were cited as the reason for the closure.

The Biggest Loser

It’s hard to tell who won Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate, but the loser is clear: CNBC. The moderators, when not snarky, asked inane questions. Here’s CNN’s version of winners and losers.

Possible Trade Trouble

If tension between the United States and China continues to escalate after a U.S. warship sailed near artificial islands in the South China Sea this week, it could threaten imports from Southeast Asia. And that could hurt the flow of goods to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Weighing Emergency Response

Torrance city officials admitted at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that the local emergency notification system failed to properly alert residents during last Friday’s pipeline leak at the ExxonMobil refinery, the Daily Breeze reports. They are now reassessing the 20-year-old system which is capable of handling only 200 calls at a time, according to the city manager.

GDP Slows in Third Quarter

If you run a business, you probably already know this: The U.S. economy’s third quarter was weaker than the previous quarter. The gross domestic product grew at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of just 1.5 percent, Reuters reports.

Uber Promotes ‘National Cat Day’

Ridesharing service Uber is celebrating “National Cat Day” today by delivering furry felines from three local shelters to businesses and homes in Los Angeles for playtime visits, LAist reports. For a $30 “snuggle fee” – which will be donated to local shelters – you can spend 15 minutes cuddling with two kittens.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 26 points in early trading Thursday to 17,754. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,089. The Nasdaq was down 16 points to 5,080. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 240.

Wednesday, October 28

Two Bit Raises $6.5 Million for More Tech-Infused Carnivals

Educational carnival producer Two Bit Circus has raised a $6.5 million to create more pyrotechnics, robots and laser shows for kids.

Wednesday Rundown: Saban’s Univison Reports Strong Revenue Gains in Third-Quarter, Drug Prices Drive Amgen Higher

Univision Communications Inc., the Spanish-language media company owned by Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban, reported third-quarter revenue rose by 10 percent compared to the same period a year before.

Vance Street Capital Sells Secure Technology

West L.A. private equity firm Vance Street Capital announced Wednesday it has agreed to sell Santa Ana’s Secure Technology Co. to Benchmark Electronics Inc. for approximately $230 million in cash.

Reader Poll

Public utilities are recommending new fees for customers who install solar panels on their rooftops for fear of declining revenue. So should homeowners who install solar rooftop panels have to pay a fee to help maintain the electric grid?

Federal Reserve Holds Interest Rates Flat, But Hints at Rise This Year

As expected, the Federal Reserve announced today it that would keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at nearly zero percent, but paved the way for a possible rate hike in December.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 198 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,780. The S&P 500 rose 24 points to 2,090. The Nasdaq rose 66 points to 5,096. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points to 240.

No Money Lessons

If you expect your child to learn about personal finance in school, think again. California is among the states that received an “F” for having minimal or no requirements for such classes, according to a Center for Financial Literacy study, MarketWatch reports. Among all states, Utah scored the highest.

Funding for Affordable Housing

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to spend up to $100 million over the next six years for affordable housing, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Don Knabe, saying he was bothered by taking numbers “out of the sky” appears to be the main supervisor concerned about actually paying for it.

Northrop Contract to Create Jobs

That huge contract awarded Tuesday to Northrop Grumman Corp. to build the Air Force’s next generation stealth bomber may bring thousands of jobs to Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports. Northrop Grumman officials have said the contract could create 1,400 new jobs at its Palmdale facility alone.

Historic Profits for Apple

Apple Inc. racked up the biggest annual profit recorded in corporate history, the Telegraph reports. Its $53.4 billion in earnings over the past year passes the previous record holder, ExxonMobil, which made $45.2 billion in 2008. However, Apple expects its holiday sales to be lackluster.

‘Close Call’ at Refinery

A leak at Torrance’s ExxonMobil refinery last Friday, which released a 200-foot-high vapor over the area, has led Democrat Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance to call for the refinery’s safety record to be examined, the Daily Breeze reports. It is also raising concerns about whether ExxonMobil can safely operate the refinery, and whether the city can handle emergencies there.

Speeding Up Exide Cleanup

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a $2 million funding request Tuesday to accelerate removing the contaminated soil around the Exide Technologies’ battery recycling plant in Vernon, City News Service reports. The company agreed in March to close its plant and to pay $50 million to clean up the site.

Walgreens to Acquire Rite Aid

The drug store scene is about to change. Chicago-based Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. has agreed to buy rival Rite Aid Corp. for $9.4 billion, which will combine two of the largest drugstore chains in the nation, the Los Angeles Times reports. Walgreens operates 637 stores in California; Rite Aid 577.

Los Feliz Record Set

Actress Lydia Hearst, great-granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst and daughter of the Patty Hearst, set a record in Los Feliz by snapping up the historic Rossetti estate for $11 million, Curbed reports. The eight-bedroom, 8,240-square-foot house – which includes a pub and a library – is also an historic monument. The purchase is the most expensive sale in that area’s history.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 67 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,648. The S&P 500 was up eight points to 2,074. The Nasdaq was up seven points to 5,037. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 239.

Tuesday, October 27

XYZ Inc. Defeats Rival Verisign’s Court Challenge

Upstart Internet domain registry XYZ Inc. has defeated a false advertising lawsuit brought by domain registry giant Verisign Inc.

Northrop Wins $60 Billion Air Force Contract

The U.S. Air Force awarded a $60 billion contract to Northrop Grumman Corp. on Tuesday to build its next generation stealth bomber.

Health Net Shareholders Approve Merger

Shareholders of Woodland Hills health insurance provider Health Net Inc. and St. Louis-based Centene Corp. have approved the two companies’ planned merger, which is scheduled to close early next year.

Kite Finds Partner for Cancer Treatment Research

Santa Monica biopharmaceutical firm Kite Pharma Inc. has inked an exclusive licensing and research deal with Alpine Immune Sciences Inc. to discover and develop T-cell therapies to treat cancer using aspects of Alpine’s protein technology.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,581. The S&P 500 fell five points to 2,066. The Nasdaq fell five points to 5,030. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 238.

Ares and Kayne Anderson Abandon Merger Deal

Private equity and debt giant Ares Management and fellow Century City finance firm Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors announced Tuesday that they have mutually agreed to forgo their plans to merge due to a difference of opinion about how to navigate the current bear market in energy.

International Travel Boosts LAX

Passenger traffic into and out of Los Angeles International Airport soared again in September, boosted by another strong month of international travel – and possibly, a favorable exchange rate for American tourists.

NFL Town Halls to Debate L.A. Move

In light of the possible relocation of the St. Louis Rams, the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles, the National Football League is hosting unprecedented town hall meetings in each of the team’s home cities this week, the Los Angeles Times reports. The meetings are required as part of the NFL’s relocation guidelines. There are stadium proposals in Inglewood that would house the St. Louis Rams and in Carson for the Chargers and the Raiders.

Possible Funding for Affordable Housing

Los Angeles County supervisors are weighing proposals for affordable housing they hope will help address the number of local homeless people which is now estimated to be 44,000, the Los Angeles Times reports. Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Mark Ridley-Thomas aim to set up a fund that would cost $20 million a year, increasing annually to $100 million over the next five years, although it is unclear where the money would come from. The board is scheduled to consider the proposal today.

Judge Rules to Penalize Edison

Southern California Edison is now possibly facing a $16.7 million fine being proposed by an administrative judge for having illegal, unreported communication with members of the California Public Utilities Commission regarding the shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear plant, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ruling must be approved by the commission.

More Bad News for Haggen

Pacific Northwest grocery chain Haggen announced last month it would close its California stores as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but layoffs continue to mount, reaching 620 statewide in October, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. Gelson’s Market and Smart & Final Stores Inc. have submitted bids to the bankruptcy court to buy 36 Haggen stores.

Fred Sands Dies

Fred C. Sands, founder of Fred Sands Realtors and Vintage Capital Group, died unexpectedly Friday at the age of 77. He built the company from a tiny Brentwood office to the second-largest real estate and financial services firm in California and the seventh-largest in the United States before selling it in 2000 for more than $100 million to Coldwell Banker. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.

Big Move for Strand Brewing

The growing local craft beer scene is gaining some momentum as Torrance’s Strand Brewing is preparing to move to a new, bigger warehouse-style headquarters 10 times larger than its former, 3,500-square-foot home, the Daily Breeze reports. Strand Brewing is that city’s first production brewery. The South Bay – and Torrance in particular – is considered to be the epicenter of Los Angeles County’s craft beer industry with the number of breweries reportedly doubling since January of last year.

House to the Stars for Sale

A Holmby Hills Mansion that was once home to Audrey Hepburn, Eva Gabor, Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow has just hit the market with an asking price of $16.95 million, Curbed reports. The house – which was designed by architect Paul Williams – has six bedrooms, four bathrooms, a tennis court, and a swimming pool.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 19 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,604. The S&P 500 was down four points to 2,067. The Nasdaq was down four points to 5,030. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 238.

Real Estate Legend Fred Sands Dies at 77

Fred C. Sands, founder of Fred Sands Realtors and Vintage Capital Group, died unexpectedly on Friday. He was 77.

Monday, October 26

PeerStreet Launches, Announces $6.1 Million Seed Round

Real estate loan marketplace PeerStreet has launched and announced it has raised a $6.1 million seed fund.

Tweet of the Day: Peter Marx

City of L.A. Chief Technology Officer Peter Marx thinks Silicon Beach might have outgrown its name.

L.A. Tech Events Calendar: Oct. 28 – Nov. 6

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

Monday Rundown: Jakks Stock Stumbles as Income Rises, Cheesecake Barely Beats Wall St. Expectations

Shares of Jakks Pacific Inc. dropped on Monday as the Malibu toy maker announced shrinking net sales this quarter compared with last year despite a boost in net income.

UCLA Acquires Oxy’s Former Westwood Home

UCLA has purchased the former headquarters of Occidental Petroleum Corp., which relocated to Houston last year, for $92.5 million.

Capital Improvement as Finance Firm Signs Long-Term Lease

Capital Group Cos., one of downtown L.A.’s biggest tenants, made a commitment last month to stay at 400 S. Hope St. for 15 more years after its lease runs out in 2018.

Reader Poll

After rising sharply for a long time, L.A.’s housing prices have been flat for a few months. Where will they go from here?

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 24 points in Monday trading to close at 17,623. The S&P 500 fell four points to 2,071. The Nasdaq rose three points to 5,035. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 237.

Chargers Eyeing L.A. Move

The San Diego Chargers will officially apply for permission to move to Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Mark Fabiani, the team’s special counsel, made the announcement on San Diego sports radio over the weekend, saying the move comes because it appears the Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams will also file paperwork. There are stadium proposals in Carson that would house the Chargers and the Raiders and in Inglewood for the St. Louis Rams.

Water Wasters, Beware

While the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has so far refused to divulge the names of the state’s biggest water users, that could all change as the DWP weighs whether to impose fines for excessive use and make the names public, the Los Angeles Times reports. After the last drought, changes were made to the water conservation ordinance which barred the release of customer information to the public.

City Leaders to Talk Street Vending

A new city report that examines possible ways to legalize street vending is expected to go before the City Council's Economic Development Committee Tuesday, KPCC reports. The possibilities include establishing specific districts for street vending, implementing it citywide or some combination of the two. Or, the council might opt to maintain the status quo and continue prohibiting it.

Bullet Train Not on Target?

California's $68-billion bullet train project could go over budget and miss the projected deadline of being completed by 2022, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some scientists and construction experts say the state has underestimated the challenges associated with the project, particularly building the tunnels for the high-speed train.

Box Office: ‘The Martian’ Returns to No. 1

Director Ridley Scott’s “The Martian” soared back to No. 1 over the weekend, making $15.9 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. Sony Pictures Entertainment’s “Goosebumps,” based on the R.L. Stine anthology and starring Jack Black, fell to No. 2, making $15.5 million. Walt Disney Co.’s “Bridge of Spies,” starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg, came in at No. 3, grossing $11.4 million this weekend.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 26 points in early trading Monday to 17,621. The S&P 500 was down seven points to 2,068. The Nasdaq was down 14 points to 5,018. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 236.

‘Star Wars’ Sequel’s Hype Force to Be Reckoned With

FILM: Record online rush to buy opening-day tickets takes down websites.

Force majeure might now be “Star Wars” fans’ only hope in scoring opening-day tickets to the new sequel.

Tease photo

Right Words

GOP adviser Frank Luntz’s approach to messaging also speaks to businesses

GOP messaging maestro Frank Luntz has some choice words for Donald Trump.

Tease photo

College Passes On Downtown

Art college decides Westchester is a better fit for its fashion program than downtown Los Angeles.

Tease photo

Packed Flight

LAW: O’Melveny & Myers looks to get new aviation group off ground with lawyers drawn from range of practices.

New group covering range of aviation industry issues takes wing at O’Melveny & Myers.

Tease photo

Surfer Aims to Shore Up Sand, Sun Clothing Sector

APPAREL: Laird Hamilton launches line despite other brands taking on water.

Laird Hamilton hopes to reverse the tide of the struggling surfwear sector with his new clothing line.

Tease photo

Playing Ball

Bronfman family’s Andrew Hauptman discusses lining up charity backing, new G.M. for struggling pro soccer squad.

Bronfman family’s Andrew Hauptman talks how school charity City Year makes the grade in Los Angeles.

Tease photo

Program Shines Up Solar Energy

Rishi Kapadia praises the incentives that are heating up the solar power market.

Position of Power

California’s economy not ready to cut ties with fossil fuels in favor of still intermittent technologies.

Ronald Stein writes that the California government shouldn’t do anything more to restrict the fossil fuels that help drive the state’s economy.

Blame Game? Pretty Lame

The shameless art of blaming your predecessor has Charles Crumpley pointing fingers.

Investment Firms Team Up for El Segundo Office

ACQUISITION: Pair go over average square-foot rate by $10 in $33.5 million deal.

A fund formed by San Francisco real estate investment firm Roxborough Group and Santa Monica investment firm Montana Avenue Capital Partners has reeled in a big one.

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

Calendar

Calendar of events

State Lawmakers Laid Most ‘Job Killers’ to Rest

POLITICS: Only one out of 19 anti-business bills made it into law in past term.

Business interests capped a relatively successful year in Sacramento: All but one of the 19 bills the California Chamber of Commerce tagged as “job killers” failed to advance and several business-supported bills were signed into law.

Doughnut Maker to Run Rings Around Downtown

FOOD: Dunkin’ franchisee hopes to have first of five shops open by Christmas.

Face it, there’s been a hole in downtown Los Angeles for a long while now.

Research Firm Catches Ride on Mission to Mars

AEROSPACE: Wyle to help NASA, astronauts prepare for demands of space trip.

While moviegoers are still abuzz about Matt Damon sci-fi flick “The Martian,” Wyle Laboratories Inc. is helping NASA figure out how to prepare astronauts for real-life flights to the Red Planet.

Pollution Firm’s Technology Cleared for Coasts

SHIPPING: Company’s devices control emissions of crafts docked at ports.

After 10 years of development and testing, Carson’s Advanced Cleanup Technologies Inc. got the green light from the California Air Resources Board to sell its emissions control technology to shipping lines for use on their ocean-faring ships.

Class Action May Have Taken Down Home Sales

HOUSING: Brokers blame September dip on families bracing for start of school.

Some analysts chalk up last month’s dip in L.A.’s median home sale price to families gearing back up for school.

Pickup Raises Imaging Firm’s New York Profile

HEALTH CARE: RadNet’s shares fit for framing after $65.5 million acquisition.

Wall Street likes the look of imaging firm RadNet after acquisition boosts its New York presence.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Cherokee Global Brands, a Sherman Oaks brand marketing firm, acquired Irvine’s Flip Flop Shops, a retail chain focused on sandals and other footwear.

Fear Arrives on Cue

It feels like Halloween every day for the L.A. composer of creepy Showtime TV horror series “Penny Dreadful.”

Special Tour Offers Dose of (Un)Reality

LA Insider’s package lets customers record trip as TV show star.

LA Insider Tours offers a fictionalized package that will cast customers as stars of a reality TV show.

18-Year-Old Makes Splash With Bikinis

Courtney Allegra says youth can hamper her being taken seriously.

Teenager Courtney Allegra has already established a beachhead in the world of bikini design.

High Costs Home In on Landlords

REAL ESTATE: Seismic retrofits, rent-control caps boost burden.

Decisions on seismic retrofits and rent-controlled units have opened the door to higher costs for landlords.

Friday, October 23

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Oct. 23

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Silicon Beach Launch List: Oct. 23

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launch.

Work/Life: Sabin Lomac

The co-founder of Cousins Maine Lobster on appearing on “Shark Tank,” working with family and taking joy in helping others.

Both Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis, cousins and co-founders of Cousins Maine Lobster, fell into the food business by accident.

Tease photo

MannKind, BBCN Bancorp Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies was up for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose 2 percent to close at 236, with gainers outpacing losers 85 to 64. Seven companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 158 points in Friday trading to close at 17,647. The S&P 500 rose 23 points to 2,075. The Nasdaq rose 112 points to 5,032. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 236.

Skechers Stock Plunges After Disappointing Earnings

Skechers USA Inc.’s stock plunged 30 percent after the Manhattan Beach footwear firm announced quarterly profits that failed to meet Wall Street expectations.

What to Watch this Weekend

Entertainment reporter Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases.

Westside VA Housing Plan Unveiled

The Department of Veterans Affairs released a draft Thursday for a plan to build 700 units of transitional housing and 900 more units of permanent housing for homeless vets on its campus in West Los Angeles, KPCC reports. However, a plan to evict commercial tenants currently on the campus who do not serve veterans – a federal judge ruled earlier this year that all tenants on the property must – will not be released until January.

Turnaround for CalPERS

The California Public Employees' Retirement System’s $27 billion real estate portfolio, which has been disastrous for the fund’s investment returns, actually posted a 15.5 percent annual return in the five years that ended June 30, the Los Angeles Times reports. The fund is also now choosing less risky real estate vehicles.

No to Moratorium

The Redondo Beach City Council this week refused to impose a 45-day moratorium on mixed-use development – as requested by City Attorney Mike Webb – and will instead revise the city’s general plan regarding density issues at its meeting next month, the Daily Breeze reports. Council members were concerned about the legality of imposing such a restriction. Webb argued that building large developments during a drought should be among the chief reasons to consider a moratorium.

Good News for Commuters

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says its $975 million Foothill Extension of the Gold Line will begin carrying passengers between Pasadena and Azusa on March 5, the Los Angeles Times reports. San Gabriel Valley residents have paid a total of more than $1 billion in sales taxes over the past six years to help fund the railway’s expansion.

Zoo’s New Giraffe Calf

The Los Angeles Zoo announced this week that a 130-pound Masai giraffe was born Oct. 9, the Associated Press reports. As part of the largest giraffe species, which hails from Kenya and Tanzania, the baby is already nearly 6 feet tall. Masai giraffes can grow to be 17 feet.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 163 points in Friday trading to close at 17,652. The S&P 500 rose 25 points to 2,077. The Nasdaq rose 109 points to 5,029. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 237.

Thursday, October 22

Activision Blizzard Launches an E-sports Division

Activision Blizzard is pushing deeper into the world of e-sports.

Nasty Gal’s Sophia Amoruso Might Launch GirlBoss Media Company

Nasty Gal’s former Chief Executive Sophia Amoruso is laying the ground work for a GirlBoss-branded media company.

Tease photo

Appellate Court Rules Controller May Audit DWP Union Nonprofits

A state Court of Appeal panel today affirmed City Controller Ron Galperin’s authority to audit two training institutes run by the powerful International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 18, and funded by ratepayer money through the Department of Water and Power.

Triton Digital Will Measure iHeart Radio Sites

Triton Digital will provide its audience measurement service to the streaming audio content of national broadcaster iHeartMedia Inc., the companies announced Thursday.

Medbox Reaches Settlement Over Restated Financials

Cannabis industry consulting firm Medbox Inc. announced Thursday that it has reached a settlement regarding lawsuits against the company and several of its insiders related to problems with the West Hollywood firm’s financial reporting over the past few years.

Edison Reaches Insurance Settlement over Shuttered Nuclear Plant

Southern California Edison and the other owners of the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant have reached a $400 million claims settlement with a national power plant consortium that provided insurance for the power station.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 321 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,489. The S&P 500 rose 34 points to 2,053. The Nasdaq rose 80 points to 4,920. The LABJ Stock Index rose four points to 236.

Garcetti’s Change of Heart

Although he was a big supporter of raising the minimum wage to $15 in Los Angeles County, Mayor Eric Garcetti now says he’s not sure he’ll back the idea statewide when it hits ballots next year, the Los Angeles Times reports. Garcetti says since different parts of the state have lower costs of living, he’s not convinced it would be appropriate. Some wonder if he’s interested in running for a statewide office.

Layoffs at ESPN

All that cord cutting by cable subscribers is starting to hurt one of media’s most valuable franchises. The Disney-owned ESPN said it will cut nearly 4 percent of its workforce, about 300 employees, the Los Angeles Times reports. Of course, lower ad revenue also smarts.

Earthquake Prediction Wrong?

Remember that report by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, saying there is a 99.9 percent chance of at least a moderate earthquake shaking Los Angeles in the next 30 months? The U.S. Geological Survey issued a statement raising doubts about that, claiming earthquakes cannot be predicted with that much certainty, the Los Angeles Times reports. But don’t relax just yet: The USGS put the odds at 85 percent.

Relativity Deal Done

A group of investors led by Ryan Kavanaugh says it has completed the acquisition of the assets of embattled entertainment company Relativity Media minus the TV unit which has already been sold to a creditors group, the Hollywood Reporter says. Kavanaugh and his investors are paying $65 million in cash and $60 million in debt which is higher than their initial proposal. The plan must be approved by a bankruptcy judge.

In Defense of Tesla

Billionaire Elon Musk is defending his Tesla Motors after Consumer Reports magazine withdrew its endorsement of the company’s Model S due to reliability issues, the Los Angeles Times reports. Musk says the problems occurred in the company’s earlier productions and have since been addressed. What’s more, another consumer site, TrueDelta.com, claims the reliability of the Model S has actually improved about 20 percent over the past year.

No More Free Parking

You no longer can park without paying at the new Village at Westfield Topanga, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Shoppers who hit the mall Monday found out that parking is now only free for the first hour and costs $1 an hour after that. And, of course, exiting takes more time.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 169 points in early trading Thursday to 17,338. The S&P 500 was up 22 points to 2,041. The Nasdaq was up 61 points to 4,903. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 233.

Wednesday, October 21

YouTube Partners With L.A. Media Companies on Subscription Service

YouTube’s much anticipated ad-free paid subscription service “YouTube Red” has launched.

Fresh & Easy Stores to Close

Fresh & Easy, the El Segundo grocery chain that debuted in 2007 to much fanfare as British supermarket giant Tesco’s entrée into the United States, is checking out.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Fills Top Gamer Post

Burbank’s Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has promoted David Haddad to president of the division responsible for video and mobile games.

UCLA Tops Business School Rankings Locally

Three local business schools made Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2015 ranking of “Best Business Schools.”

Stocks Fall; U.S. Auto Parts Network Rises, Arrowhead Research Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 49 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,169. The S&P 500 fell 12 points to 2,019. The Nasdaq fell 41 points to 4,840. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 232.

Cedars-Sinai to Launch Health Care Accelerator

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center will launch an accelerator program in conjunction with Techstars that’s focused on bringing innovative health care entrepreneurs to Los Angeles.

Universal Music Executive Steps Down

Universal Music Group International’s Max Hole is stepping down immediately as chairman and chief executive due to health reasons.

Reader Poll

After rising sharply for a long time, L.A.’s housing prices have been flat for a few months. Where will they go from here?

LAX Uber Pickups Still Delayed

Remember how Mayor Eric Garcetti said ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft could pick up passengers at the airport by summer? That didn’t happen, and now it may be the end of the year before they can do so, the Los Angeles Times reports. What’s the delay? Airport officials say they have been waiting to receive each company’s data and operational information.

Earthquake Nearing?

Chances are high that at least a moderate earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter Scale will hit Los Angeles in the next 30 months, according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. How high? Extremely, as in 99 percent, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Drought to Hike Water Bills

You could see this coming. Consumers have cut water use during the drought, which means lost revenue for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which means higher rates. The DWP’s board voted Tuesday to raise rates, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Most customers could see their water bills go up by 4 percent starting in January.

Bill Cosby Swaps Big-Name Lawyers

After being deposed by attorney Gloria Allred in the sex abuse case against him, Bill Cosby has decided to offload his attorney, Martin Singer, described as a “Hollywood pit bull” by the Los Angeles Times. He’s being replaced by Christopher Tayback of Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Tayback is a former federal prosecutor here.

Tesla’s Problems

Consumer Reports magazine – which had given the $100,000 Tesla Model S very high marks – has done a U turn, the Los Angeles Times reports. The magazine has withdrawn its recommendation, giving the car a “worse-than-average” rating on its reliability. As a result, the stock in billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors plunged as much as 10 percent Tuesday.

Making Strides in South L.A.

After three decades of delays, there is new hope for redeveloping Marlton Square in South Los Angeles. Kaiser Permanente has broken ground on a $90-million, 100,000-square-foot building at Marlton Avenue and Santa Rosalia Drive, the Los Angeles Times reports. It is scheduled to open in 2017.

Extending Halloween

If you can’t get enough of Universal Studios Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights, don’t panic. The festivities are being extended past Halloween this year for the first time, the Los Angeles Times reports. It is now scheduled to run through Nov. 7.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 10 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,227. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,029. The Nasdaq was down seven points to 4,874. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 233.

Tuesday, October 20

Viacom Pours $10 Million into DigiTour

Viacom has led a reported $10 million investment round in Culver City’s DigiTour Media, a company that runs events and concerts featuring Internet personalities.

Kite Pharma Signs New License with NIH

Santa Monica cancer drug developer Kite Pharma Inc. announced it had entered into another exclusive worldwide license with the National Institutes of Health for immuno-oncology drug candidates. This latest license covers treatments targeting tumors associated with lung, gastric, pancreatic and breast cancer, among others.

Former Broker Sentenced for Fraud

A former securities broker at a defunct Sherman Oaks investment firm was sentenced to prison Tuesday for wire fraud associated with a real estate investment scam that cost victims about $4 million, the Justice Department announced.

Sony Pictures to Pay Millions in Hacking Lawsuit

Sony Pictures Entertainment has reached a settlement to resolve a proposed class-action lawsuit brought by former employees who said the company did not sufficiently protect their personal information in the wake of last year's cyberattack.

Stocks Fall; Point.360 Soars, Ritter Pharmaceuticals Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,217. The S&P 500 fell three points to 2,031. The Nasdaq fell 25 points to 4,881. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 232.

CalPERS to Debate New Strategy

The California Public Employees' Retirement System is scheduled to discuss a plan today to move an increasing amount of its $300 billion portfolio to safer but lower yielding investments that would cause taxpayers to have to contribute more to make up the difference, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Motorists Feeling Tankful

There’s finally relief at the pump as gasoline prices are now averaging below $3 a gallon in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. But no one knows how long it will last, and the state gas supply is still being hampered by problems at Torrance’s ExxonMobil refinery. Meanwhile, the average price in the country as a whole is $2.25.

Housing Prices Down

There was a slight dip in local home prices last month, the Los Angeles Times reports. The average price was $435,000, down 0.7 percent from August, according to real estate firm CoreLogic. Prices have been pretty much flat for three months. However, September prices were still up 6.1 percent compared with the same time last year.

Rise in Venture Capital

This year is shaping up as the biggest since 2000 in Southern California and the country for venture capital investments, the Los Angeles Times reports. But some wealthy investors are beginning to exercise more caution with early stage investments.

Oprah’s Midas Touch

Monday’s announcement that Oprah Winfrey had purchased a chunk of stock of Weight Watchers International Inc. and became a director sent shares soaring –more than doubling – making it the company’s biggest trading day, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Delayed IPO

Univision Communications Inc.’s plans for a big initial public offering this month have been put off by an unfavorable market for media stocks and a tiff with Presidential hopeful Donald Trump that led him to file a lawsuit, the Los Angeles Times reports.

‘The Force’ Crashes Ticket Sites?

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” proved to be too popular for fans trying to buy advance tickets as websites, including Comcast Corp.’s online movie ticket retailer Fandango, based in West Los Angeles, crashed mysteriously Monday, the Hollywood Reporter says. The film is scheduled to open Dec. 18.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 43 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,188. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,033. The Nasdaq was down six points to 4,900. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 234.

Monday, October 19

Tweet of the Day: Nasty Gal Founder Sophia Amoruso

Author of the best-selling book “#GirlBoss” and founder of online fashion retailer Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso muses about starting a media company.

Hello Giggles Sells to Time Inc.

Millennial women’s lifestyle website Hello Giggles has sold to Time Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

L.A. Tech Events Calendar: Oct. 19 – Nov. 1

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

NantWorks Acquires Precision Biologics

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s health care technology holding company NantWorks has paid $50 million for a majority stake in clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm Precision Biologics Inc. of Dallas.

Paramount Fitness of Commerce Acquired By True Fitness

Paramount Fitness of Commerce has been acquired by exercise equipment maker True Fitness of O’Fallon, Mo. True Fitness, which makes treadmills, elliptical machines and exercise bikes, announced the deal Monday. The price was not disclosed.

Cherokee Licenses Tony Hawk Brand to Walmart

Sherman Oaks apparel company Cherokee Global Brands has entered into a licensing agreement that will bring Tony Hawk apparel to Walmart Canada stores next fall. The deal includes a broad selection of the skateboarder’s line of clothing, accessories and footwear aimed at boys and young men.

Stocks Up; Cadiz Is Up, U.S. Auto Parts Falls

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 15 points in Monday trading to close at 17,231. The S&P 500 rose one point to 2,034. The Nasdaq rose 19 points to 4,905. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 233.

CalPERS’ Snuffing Coal Investments

The California Public Employees' Retirement System is moving to get rid of its holdings in coal-producing companies as a result of a new state law, the Los Angeles Times reports. While supporters say it is a win in the fight against climate change, others are concerned that allowing political impulses to trump fiduciary duties may make it more difficult to keep fully funding retirees.

Hollywood Residents Not Digging Club Scene

As the increasing number of Hollywood residents move in near noisy clubs, city officials are trying to ensure that the nightspots are following the rules, especially since there has been a recent increase in violent crime, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Will Bullet Train Hit a Bump?

While California expects companies to pay for more than half of the cost of the proposed high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, potential investors are saying, “not so fast,” Bloomberg reports. Californians may be asked to contribute more than $10 billion in bond funds to keep investors happy, but that won’t be an easy sell to taxpayers.

Sharing Rides on Business Trips

Uber and Lyft and other ride-sharing services are becoming increasingly popular among business travelers and now rank ahead of taxicabs, according to a recent study by a software company for business expense management, the Los Angeles Times reports. Business travelers rented cars 44 percent of the time from July to September of this year compared to using ride-sharing services 34 percent of the time and cabs 22 percent.

Halloween Blues

The statewide drought keeps finding more victims. Now it is hurting small, local "agritourism" farms that grow their own pumpkins and host Halloween mazes and the like, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Getting Into the Movie Business

Netflix is now making films that studios won’t pick up such as “Beasts of No Nation,” the Wall Street Journal reports. That movie was released this past weekend on Netflix’s streaming service and in a small number of theaters although it didn’t fare well. Amazon, meanwhile, plans to release its movies in theaters for a few weeks before streaming them.

Box Office: 'Goosebumps' Debuts at No. 1

Sony Pictures Entertainment's "Goosebumps," starring Jack Black and based on the R.L. Stine anthology, was No. 1 its opening weekend, making $23.5 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. Director Ridley Scott's "The Martian," dropped to No. 2, making $21.5 million. Steven Spielberg's "Bridge of Spies," which was released by Walt Disney Studios, was No. 3 with a $15.38 million debut.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 27 points in early trading Monday to 17,189. The S&P 500 was down three points to 2,030. The Nasdaq was up 10 points to 4,896. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 233.

Survey Reveals Where Chinese Americans Save

INVESTMENT: Group more likely to rely on friends, family to guide strategy.

Plenty of business owners and real estate developers – particularly in Los Angeles – are keenly interested in the financial and investing habits of high-net-worth Chinese Americans.

Greywater Valve Swims Upstream

CONSTRUCTION: Will costs sink inventor’s recycle device?

Inventor Garry Sato is plumbing interest in his valve that diverts a home’s greywater into reuse.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

FilmTrack, a content and rights management firm in Studio City, has raised $10 million in funding.

Review Ruling a Drain on Aquifer Operator’s Stock

WATER: Cadiz shares dive after bureau rejects firm’s railroad right-of-way plan.

Aquifer owner Cadiz vows to fight ruling on needing an environmental review after stock plunges.

Fat Drug Maker’s Job Cuts May Thin Out Scene

BIOTECH: Kythera layoffs in wake of acquisition hint at sector’s growth issues.

Layoffs at drug maker Kythera is troubling news for a sector struggling to nurse startups.

Money Issues Reportedly Split L.A. Times, Parent

PUBLISHING: N.Y. Times says paper’s brass has beef with revenue revision.

Tensions are mounting between Los Angeles Times staff and bosses at Chicago parent company Tribune Publishing Co.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Central Valley Paces Field as Vacancy Tightens Across Submarket

Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the third quarter.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: East End Seeks Rent Hikes as West Eyes Infrastructure Upgrades

Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the third quarter.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Submarket Gains More Ground as Landlords Run Up Asking Rates

Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the third quarter.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Vacancy Rate Rises but Big Leases by Media Firms Steal Spotlight

Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the third quarter.

Design Firm’s Relocation Highlights Creative Draw of Submarket

Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the third quarter.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Positive Economic Signs Offset Negative Absorption

Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the third quarter.

Eco-Minded Trade Show Receives Green Light

ECOLOGY: Curated Events’ Conscious Biz LA aims to sell shops on products.

Going green could get even easier for retail buyers next year with the debut of an eco-friendly trade show.

App Sends Mixed Message on Original Content

INTERNET: Snapchat shuts division but says it could return to video production.

Venice’s Snapchat has permanently shut down its division for original content, known as Snap Channel, and laid off 15 of the group’s employees.

Star-for-Hire Firm Helps Keep Up Appearance Fees

EVENTS: Business can cue up pop singers for parties, ex-president for speeches.

Celebrity-for-hire firm SME Live Nation can arrange for stars to pop up at parties for a price: a steep one.

Tease photo

Dialed In

Phone data used to make microloans in Africa

Microlender InVenture believes reviewing its African customers’ phone data gives it a big advantage.

Tease photo

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Creative Differences

Open floor office layouts treasured by tech sector have tenants divided as questions mount over costs, impact on staff.

Tenants no longer rush to get creative as concerns arise over open floor plans’ impact on productivity.

Tease photo

Flight Path

Jet Edge International rode large-cabin focus to get aircraft repair business off ground.

A focus on large-cabin craft has helped business take off for plane manager Jet Edge International.

Tease photo

Pollution Equipment Firm Cleans Up in California

MANUFACTURING: State’s push to cut emissions buoys Ship & Shore’s business.

Ship & Shore Environmental has seen orders rise for its pollution equipment as California pushes to lower emissions.

Tease photo

Homes on Line In Sister Cities

REAL ESTATE: Beverly Hills balks on L.A.-approved condos.

A builder is finding it borderline impossible to construct a condo project straddling Los Angeles and Beverly Hills.

Tease photo

Seat at Table

NONPROFIT: Homeless participants in Chrysalis job program find employment at reopened Clifton’s Cafeteria.

Chrysalis’ job assistance program served to place homeless participants at the reopened Clifton’s Cafeteria.

Tease photo

Transit Issues Should Drive Emissions Strategy

F. Noel Perry and Manuel Pastor hope to clear the air on the importance of California cutting emissions.

Vote of No Confidence

Celebrities tout left, right side of political issues but most people prefer to vote for ‘American Idol.’

Michael Levine wonders why so many people elect to take celebrities’ advice on whom to vote for.

Good Medicine?

All those laid-off workers from Kythera could start businesses and refresh L.A.’s biopharmaceutical sector, Charles Crumpley writes.

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

Calendar

Calendar of events

Unsettling Time For Arbitration

LAW: Supreme Court may nix clauses, spurring class actions.

U.S. high court ruling could bind businesses hoping to use arbitration clauses to avoid costly class-action suits.

Pot Lights Fire Under Staffing Firm

Emerald Opportunities smokes out candidates for marijuana jobs.

Where there’s smoke, there’s hire for marijuana industry-focused staffing firm Emerald Opportunities.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Vet Broker Says Office Market Delivering Historical Performance

Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the third quarter.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Pasadena Leads Sister Cities in Leasing as Vacancies Dip Across Area

Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the third quarter.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Sales Window Opens for Investors as Owners Welcome Hot Market

Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the third quarter.

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Available Space Continues to Dwindle With Projects in Pipeline

Main events in L.A.’s submarkets in the third quarter.

Party Price Neither Trick Nor Treat

Halloween eventgoers must scare up $1,250 to $15,000 for tickets.

Karma International claims partygoers don’t say boo about its Halloween soirees’ high-price tickets.

Quiet on Vacation Plan

Local investment banker Austin Khan was tired of his vacations turning into extended workdays.

Friday, October 16

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Oct. 16

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Silicon Beach Launch List: Oct. 16

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

Tinder Parent Company Match Group Files for IPO

Match Group has just filed for a $100 million initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tease photo

RadNet to Acquire Diagnostic Imaging Group

Westwood imaging firm RadNet Inc. has acquired Diagnostic Imaging Group for about $56.7 million and 1.5 million shares of RadNet stock. The deal should give RadNet about $70 million in extra revenue annually.

Work/Life: Tayiika Dennis

The partner at Beverly Hills accounting firm NSBN on having a passion for work, taking chances and the importance of networking.

Tayiika Dennis has a lot to celebrate this year.

Tease photo

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Century City’s Breakaway Capital announced last Friday that it provided an $8.4 million senior secured credit facility to and made an equity investment in Lake Success, N.Y., urgent care clinic operator PM Pediatrics Management Group.

Second Sight Medical Products, Entravision Communications Among Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies was up for the week. The weighted LABJ Stock Index rose 2 percent to close at 231, with gainers slightly outpacing losers 75 to 74. Seven companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 74 points in Friday trading to close at 17,216. The S&P 500 rose nine points to 2,033. The Nasdaq rose 17 points to 4,887. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 231.

What to Watch this Weekend

Entertainment reporter Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases.

Flipagram Lays Off Staff Months After Raising $70 Million

Social media startup Flipagram, which raised $70 million last year, has reportedly laid off more than 20 percent of its staff.

Tease photo

County Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.5 Percent as Payroll Employment Reaches Record

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell last month to 6.5 percent as the county added 40,000 jobs to reach record payroll employment, state figures released Friday show.

Pollution Goal Met, After All

Despite the Port of Los Angeles failing to take measures it had agreed on to control emissions, it still met air pollution reduction targets at its busy China Shipping terminal, the Los Angeles Times reports. The emission levels are “even better than what we attempted to produce,” the port’s executive director, Gene Seroka, said. Still, environmental groups say public health has suffered because air emissions could have been lower.

Neighboring Officials Oppose Desalination Plant

A West Basin Municipal Water District proposal to build a desalination plant in El Segundo is being opposed by both the Manhattan Beach mayor and a Redondo Beach councilman, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. They cite environmental concerns and say they would prefer water recycling efforts.

Distillery Business is Brewing

Craft breweries have been a big thing for a couple of decades, but artisan distilleries are on the rise nationwide. California – with more than 75 of them – is leading the way, the Los Angeles Times reports. A new California law that allows distilleries to sell up to three bottles of alcohol from tasting rooms and operate on-site bars and restaurants for the first time may help broaden their reach.

YouTube Adding Subscriptions

Hoping to cash in on the popularity of its free offerings, YouTube announced Thursday it will charge a fee of $3.99 a month for some of its video game channels, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Down in the Valley, Economically Speaking

There could be a slowdown in San Fernando Valley’s economy next year, according to a forecast by the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at Cal State Northridge scheduled to be released today, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Both the Valley and all of Los Angeles are expected to have slower growth than the rest of the country due to the drought. However, the housing market should be stable.

Burbank On Tap

Don’t associate beer and Burbank? Well, big crowds are expected to head to breweries in downtown Burbank Saturday for the Burbank Beer Festival, LAist reports. The festivities will include a fall street fair and tastings of more than 85 craft beers. Seven hotels will also offer Beer Festival packages.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 22 points in early trading Friday to 17,163. The S&P 500 was up four points to 2,028. The Nasdaq was up two points to 4,872. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 231.

Thursday, October 15

Beyond Meat Raises $17 Million Investment

Beyond Meat is beefing up its bank account.

Film Director, Producer Charged in Ponzi Scheme

The Los Angeles County District Attorney has charged a film director and an insurance agent with bilking an estimated $21.5 million from people who invested in a film they produced, “Not Forgotten.”

Stocks Rise; Second Sight Up, Qualstar Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 217 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,142. The S&P 500 rose 30 points to 2,024. The Nasdaq rose 87 points to 4,870. The LABJ Stock Index rose five points to 231.

Commercial Bank of California to Acquire National Bank of California

This story has been updated from a previous version. Two banks controlled by Downey entrepreneur Alex Meruelo are set to formally join forces.

September Volume Slumps at Port of Los Angeles

September didn’t set off any bells for container volumes at the Port of Los Angeles.

Citizens Business Bank to Acquire Ventura Lender

CVB Financial Corp., parent company of Ontario’s Citizens Business Bank, announced late Wednesday that it had agreed to acquire County Commerce Bank in Ventura for $41.25 million, equally split between cash and stock.

Refinery Alternatives

Bowing to public pressure, the Torrance City Council has asked its city staff to look into the cost of studying safer alternatives to a potentially dangerous chemical used to produce gasoline at the troubled ExxonMobil refinery, the Daily Breeze reports. The chemical, called modified hydrofluoric acid, could burn people if released in the atmosphere.

Independent Truckers Better Off

There’s been a long debate over whether California truck drivers who operate and own their own vehicles would be better off as unionized employees. Inland Empire Economist John Husing weighed in Wednesday with a report that says independent drivers generally earn more, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Who Should Own Water Systems?

Some cities, including Apple Valley, are fighting private-sector firms over who should own water systems, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some residents claim they are forced to pay ever-higher water rates so the companies can maintain their returns. They’re pushing for government-owned systems.

Hawthorne Open for Beauty Business

City officials in Hawthorne, which is facing a budget deficit of more than $6 million and has many vacant storefronts, has voted to lift a ban on new hair and nail salons, including chains such as Supercuts and Fantastic Sams, the Daily Breeze reports. However, a city code that restricts new businesses that sell alcohol will remain in place for now.

Big Listing

Matt Damon, actor and star of “The Martian,” is pocket listing his house, which his broker has dubbed “the best house in Pacific Palisades,” for an asking price of about $20 million, Curbed reports. The 9,000-square-foot house boasts seven bedrooms, mahogany ceilings, a pool and a five-car garage and sits on the same block as the home of Damon’s bestie, Ben Affleck, who also just listed his.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 43 points in early trading Thursday to 16,968. The S&P 500 was up seven points to 2,001. The Nasdaq was up 31 points to 4,814. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 227.

Wednesday, October 14

Disney’s Iger to Be Inducted into Toy Industry Hall of Fame

New York’s Toy Industry Association announced today that Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Robert Iger will be inducted into its Toy Industry Hall of Fame.

Long Beach Plastics Firm Sending R&D to Texas

Long Beach’s Medway Plastics Corp. is expanding its manufacturing and relocating its research and development operations to the Lone Star State, according to Texas economic development agencies and Medway.

Reader Poll

Would you spend $1,000 extra to buy a home with a system that waters your lawn with your wastewater (but not from your toilet)?

Stocks Fall; Second Sight Soars, Green Dot Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 157 points in Wednesday trading to close at 16,925. The S&P 500 fell nine points to 1,994. The Nasdaq fell 14 points to 4,783. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 226.

Landesa Wins Hilton Humanitarian Prize

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation in Agoura Hills announced Tuesday that Seattle land rights organization Landesa had won the 2015 Hilton Humanitarian Prize. The award’s unrestricted cash prize of $2 million is the world’s largest for a humanitarian gift.

Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital Raises $46.1 Million Fund

Chris Sacca’s seed investment firm Lowercase Capital has raised a $46.1 million fund, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Disputing Tribune’s Downgrade

Tribune Publishing’s decision last month to lower revenue projections for the final quarter of this year is not sitting well with executives at the San Diego Union-Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times reports. One top exec in San Diego reportedly wrote that the reduction “does not seem realistic.” The downward guidance would appear to support the CEO’s contention that he fired Times publisher Austin Beutner last month for poor financial performance.

Bottling Up Nestle

Environmental groups sued the Forest Service Tuesday, arguing it has allowed Nestle Waters – which owns Arrowhead bottled water – to draw millions of gallons of water from a creek in the San Bernardino Mountains under a long expired permit, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pollution at the Port

The Port of Los Angeles has long said it is America’s greenest port. Yet it has not met longstanding pollution-reduction measures, according to a newly released port document, the Los Angeles Times reports. The port, not surprisingly, blames past administrators.

Lack of Enforcement

Regulations set by city officials to control noise and smells associated with oil drilling have not been enforced, the Los Angeles Times reports. The city offered a familiar rationale: It doesn’t have the expertise and thought the state was handling it.

Rate Hike Looking Doubtful

Remember Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen last month said a rate hike is likely by the end of the year unless there’s some surprise? Apparently, the anemic economic reports that have dribbled out since must constitute enough of a surprise. One Fed governor now says he doesn’t think there will be an interest rate hike this year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

So Who Won the First Democratic Debate?

While some politicos are calling former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the winner of last night’s Democratic debate, contender Bernie Sanders held his own. Here’s CNBC’s breakdown.

Fundraising for Angels Flight

In an effort to raise money to reopen Bunker Hill's Angels Flight railway – which has been closed for two years for safety reasons – some local historians are hosting a film noir screening next month, LAist reports. It will include rare images and film clips of the railway.

One Bug or Two in Your Drink?

How about a crushed cricket in your cocktail? Edible bugs – which are regarded as nutritious – are increasingly being served up in mixed drinks by some local mixologists, Time Out Los Angeles reports. We’ll pass, thanks anyway.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 10 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,092. The S&P 500 was up two points to 2,006. The Nasdaq was up nine points to 4,805. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 228.

Tuesday, October 13

Kythera to Lay Off 117 Workers

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. is slashing more than half its workforce, letting go 117 workers in the wake of its Oct. 1 acquisition by Dublin-based pharmaceutical company Allergan plc in an all-cash deal valued at roughly $2.1 billion.

Snapchat Shuts Down Original Content, Lays Off 15 Employees

Snapchat has permanently shut down its original content division known as Snap Channel and laid off 15 of the group’s employees.

L.A. Port Approves $52.7 Million Wilmington Waterfront Plan

The Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners has given the go-ahead for the design contract for the $52.7 million waterfront promenade rehabilitation in Wilmington.

New York Life Bets on Life in Culver City

New York Life Real Estate Investors has made a $131.3 million bet on Culver City.

Stocks Fall; Entravision Up, California Resources Corp. Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 50 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,082. The S&P 500 fell 14 points to 2,004. The Nasdaq fell 42 points to 4,797. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 227.

ExxonMobil Under Fire, Again

Two South Bay congress members are, for a second time, accusing ExxonMobil of failing to cooperate with a federal investigation of its Torrance refinery in the wake of a February explosion, the Daily Breeze reports. Reps. Ted Lieu and Maxine Waters say the company is blocking access to some refinery units and witnesses. Meantime, a Torrance City Council workshop is scheduled to be held today to discuss safety issues at the refinery.

Whole Foods Invests in Mendocino Farms

L.A. sandwich chain Mendocino Farms has received an investment from grocery powerhouse Whole Foods Market Inc. that will allow the 11-store operation to test new offerings in Whole Foods and its 365 by Whole Foods locations, Reuters reports. Terms of the deal, which will also help fund Mendocino Farms’ expansion into the Bay Area and San Diego, were not disclosed.

Big Tax Loophole

Billionaire Elon Musk's Tesla Motors new Model X electric SUV may cost more than $100,000, but some buyers can expect a $25,000 federal tax deduction, the Los Angeles Times reports. Critics say it is an unfair advantage for the wealthy who primarily buy the cars because they would also receive a $2,500 state rebate for buying a battery-electric vehicle and a $7,500 federal tax credit.

Shortage of Educated Workers Expected

California may face a shortage of about 1.1 million college-educated employees by 2030, according to a new report released Monday by the Public Policy Institute of California, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Just for the Articles, Really

Playboy and nudity have gone hand in hand since the magazine’s inception, but now Beverly Hills’ Playboy Enterprises Inc. has announced it will stop publishing fully nude photos of women, the New York Times reports. The changes are scheduled to go into effect next March.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 31 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,101. The S&P 500 was down five points to 2,013. The Nasdaq was down 13 points to 4,826. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 228.

Monday, October 12

L.A. Tech Events Calendar: Oct. 12 – 25

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

Lootsie Expands

Lootsie has launched a customizable third-party rewards platform for app developers.

New Lease Develops at Kodak Site in Hollywood

SIM Group, which provides services to the entertainment industry, signed a 10-year lease last month for 65,000 square feet at the Eastman Kodak Co. campus at 1017 N. Palmas Ave. in Hollywood. Sources said the lease is valued at almost $45 million.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 47 points in Monday trading to close at 17,132. The S&P 500 rose three points to 2,017. The Nasdaq rose eight points to 4,839. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 229.

Clearlake Capital Agrees to Acquire Enterprise Software Firm

Santa Monica private equity firm Clearlake Capital announced Monday that it had agreed to acquire Syncsort Inc., a Woodcliff Lake, N.J., enterprise software company focused on data processing and analysis. Terms were not disclosed.

Reader Poll

What should Dov Charney do next?

Port of Long Beach Sets September High-Water Mark

September container cargo volume broke more records at the Port of Long Beach, port officials said Monday.

American Apparel Backer Blasts Charney

New York hedge fund Standard General told a Delaware judge Friday that ousted chief executive Dov Charney is interfering with its plans to reorganize downtown L.A. apparel maker American Apparel Inc. in bankruptcy, the Wall Street Journal reports. Charney denies the allegations.

Is Your Roof Ready for El Niño?

The El Niño predictions for this winter are adding up to big business for local roofing companies, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Hiring for the Holidays

While retailers plan to recruit thousands of seasonal workers for this gift-giving season, the numbers are expected to be flat compared to last year, according to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Good News for Travel

It might be time to plan your holiday trip as airfares are down and may stay that way for the rest of the year, thanks to lower fuel prices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Box Office: ‘The Martian’ Stays No. 1, ‘Pan’ Disappoints

Director Ridley Scott's "The Martian," starring Matt Damon, took the No. 1 spot for the second week in a row, making $37 million over the weekend, the Hollywood Reporter says. Sony Pictures Entertainment's "Hotel Transylvania 2" came in at No. 2, making $20.3 million. Warner Bros. Entertainment’s big budget film“Pan” was No. 3, opening with $15.5 million.

Big Expense

Halloween is expected to add up to big bucks this year with predictions that consumers – including adults and millennials – will spend $6.9 billion, or an average of $74.34 each, according to the National Retail Federation, the Los Angeles Times reports. That’s more than double that was spent for the holiday a decade ago.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 16 points in early trading Monday to 17,101. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,014. The Nasdaq was up seven points to 4,837. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 229.

Small-Business Veteran Sees Big Future for Latinos

NONPROFIT: Ex-SBA chief hopes fellow Republicans pass on Donald Trump.

Latino Coalition’s Hector Barreto discusses Hispanic businesses and Donald Trump’s comments about illegal immigrants.

Going to Bat for Legend

Renaming Stadium Way in honor of Vin Scully would salute his long journey with Dodgers, Los Angeles.

Ritch K. Eich believes renaming Dodger Stadium’s Stadium Way for legendary broadcaster Vin Scully would be a hit with fans.

SPECIAL REPORT: Team Player

Show-biz exec Peter Guber has scored ownership deals across range of sports.

Sports fan Peter Guber has teamed up with a lot of leagues in his pursuit of ownership deals.

Tease photo

Could Dov Charney Sew Up New Gig?

FASHION: Associates say ousted clothing exec has unique traits.

Associates of Dov Charney hope the controversial exec fashions a future away from American Apparel.

Tease photo

SPECIAL REPORT: Bill Maher

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Tom Gores

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Harry Tsao

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Buss family

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Stephen Kaplan

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Steve Ballmer

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

Sacramento Firm Endorses Long Beach Outpost

POLITICS: Olson Hagel’s new office aims to score work from ballot measures.

With the 2016 election season quickly approaching, Sacramento political law firm Olson Hagel & Fishburn has opened an office in Long Beach to capitalize on an expected spike in demand.

Technology Pitch Event Connects in Downtown

INVESTMENT: Big-named backers take break from Westside for Reach NeXT.

Asked a year ago to guess the location of a competition billed as “Southern California’s biggest investor pitch event,” most would have picked a hotel in Santa Monica, perhaps Bungalow or Shutters on the Beach.

California Ponders Cure For Toxic Chemical Suits

LAW: Kamala Harris floats restricting amount, purpose of payouts to attorneys.

For years, small businesses throughout California have been targeted in shakedown schemes from plaintiff attorneys threatening lawsuits over seemingly trivial violations of the state’s Proposition 65 toxic chemical notification law.

Human-Milk Firm Buys Facility to Nurse Growth

EXPANSION: Prolacta also plans to add 120 workers to ramp up production.

Looking to feed demand for its human milk-based drinks for tiny babies, Prolacta Bioscience Inc. is doubling its footprint.

Subcontractor Hangs Foreclosure Filing on Broad

ART: Seele’s action latest in payment battle between façade designer, museum.

Broad museum faces foreclosure filing in the latest round of its fight with façade designer Seele.

L.A. Times’ Owner Spurns Mounting Press for Sale

MEDIA: Tribune moves forward on chopping jobs; talks more local outreach.

Tribune Publishing is resisting calls to deliver the Los Angeles Times to local owner.

Shares Surge as Wall Street Digs Oil Companies

ENERGY: CRC, BreitBurn receive boost from report of dwindling supply.

Report of ebbing supply fuels investor interest in shares of oil companies California Resources and BreitBurn.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Avita Medical, a Northridge technology company, has won a contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a federal agency responsible for preparing the United States for public health emergencies.

Smooth Move For Old Hands

Dermatologist uses filler to help patients get grip on conspicuous signs of aging.

Dermatologist Jason Emer helps hold back aging signs with a new filler treatment for hands.

Charity Dealt Strong Hand

Ron Burkhardt, managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s office in Century City, has worked with the nonprofit Autism Speaks on the real estate side since 2007, and has participated in its various walks and other fundraising events.

Online Heads For Subprime

Online lender ZestFinance thinks it has the subprime market’s number with its data-crunching software.

Waste Remover At Your Disposal

HazAwayToday.com offers home-pickup service for hazardous materials.

HazAwayToday.com looks to clean up with its home-pickup service for removing hazardous waste.

Tease photo

Flex Space

EXERCISE: Kinema Fitness grew its business by working out deals to operate gyms for commercial office buildings.

Kinema Fitness pumps up its revenue by managing gyms for commercial office buildings.

Tease photo

Salary-Equity Act May Equal Grief

Some business owners fear pay-equity act’s “substantially similar” wording will open the door to a different class of lawsuits.

Tease photo

Making Room for Charity

Steve Hilton reflects on foundation, family

Steve Hilton plans to still give philanthropy his focus after stepping down from his family’s foundation this year.

Tease photo

State Helps Steer Nation on Carbon

John Boesel and Ruben Guerra commend California for driving the debate on carbon restrictions.

Made in China

Charles Crumpley wonders if China will continue to be in the big picture for Hollywood.

Investment Firm Doubles Down on Culver City

ACQUISITION: Buyer pays $131.3 million for pair of Class A office properties.

New York Life Real Estate Investors has made a $131.3 million bet on Culver City.

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

Calendar

Calendar of events

SPECIAL REPORT: Who owns the teams?

Local business leaders, movie moguls and entertainment personalities explain why they bought stakes in sports teams both here and around the country. And of course there is Steve Ballmer, whose $2 billion purchase of the Clippers last year still has him excited.

SPECIAL REPORT: Jake Steinfeld

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Andrew Hauptman

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Larry Paul & Stephen Paul

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Steve Tisch

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Warren Woo

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Lew Wolff

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Stan Kasten

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Jeff Katofsky

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

SPECIAL REPORT: Marc I. Stern

From the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer to lacrosse and fitness enthusiast Jake Steinfeld, the Business Journal runs down the lineup of L.A.’s sports investors.

Sunday, October 11

Virtual Change

Blockchain Capital sees real money in bitcoin and digital currency’s tracking technology.

Investment firm Blockchain Capital is putting its money on digital currency bitcoin and its tracking technology.

Tease photo

Friday, October 9

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Oct. 9

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Silicon Beach Launch List: Oct. 9

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

UTi Shares Exceed Offer Price, Hinting at Bidding War

Shares of freight forwarder and logistics firm UTi Worldwide Inc. soared to new heights on news that it has agreed to be purchased by DSV Group, a Danish trucking company and freight forwarder, in a deal valued at $1.35 billion.

L.A. Quake Retrofit Ordinance Signed Into Law; Cost Burden Decision Deferred

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday passed an ordinance that will require landlords of thousands of apartment buildings to retrofit their buildings to better withstand earthquakes. Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the ordinance immediately afterward.

Cadiz Responds to Criticism as Stock Continues Plunge

In a bid to counter a deluge of criticism following news of a key adverse ruling this week, Los Angeles water marketer Cadiz Inc. issued a statement Friday morning attempting to get its side of the story out.

UTi Worldwide, California Resources Corp. Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies was up for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose 3 percent to close at 227, with gainers outpacing losers 119 to 30. Seven companies closed the week unchanged.

Work/Life: Nick Segal

The president of Partners Trust on the art of negotiating, following your passion and the importance of taking time to unwind.

Nick Segal knows how to make big real estate deals, but he admits he fell into the profession by happenstance.

Tease photo

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 34 points in Friday trading to close at 17,084. The S&P 500 rose one points to 2,015. The Nasdaq rose 20 points to 4,830. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 227.

Mayor Garcetti Goes Gaga for Horror Story

Hit series “American Horror Story: Hotel” is proving scarily good for the city of Los Angeles – pumping $55 million into the local economy.

What to Watch this Weekend

Entertainment reporter Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases.

NFL Owners Undecided

The 32 team owners who came together this week for NFL meetings in New York seem to be at a stalemate regarding whether to back a football stadium in Inglewood, which would house the Rams, or one in Carson, which would be a shared stadium for the Chargers and Raiders, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. It appears owners are more divided than ever. The league may vote in January.

UTi Worldwide to Be Sold

Denmark’s DSV Group, a transport and logistics company, announced Friday it has agreed to buy Long Beach logistics firm UTi Worldwide Inc. for $1.35 billion, the New York Times reports. Shareholders stand to get a 50 percent premium.

Oil Well Monitoring is ‘Inconsistent’

A new state audit shows that there has been lax oversight of oil wells in the Los Angeles region, which bolsters environmentalists’ contention of possible health risks in nearby neighborhoods, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bullet Train Needs Funding

Construction and engineering firms around the world have expressed interest in California's $68-billion bullet train project, but not many are willing to put up any money, the Los Angeles Times reports. Of course, one deterrent is that their payback prospects appear murky.

Move Over McDonald’s

LeBron James, long known as a spokesperson for McDonald’s, has ditched the chain so he can sign on with Pasadena’s Blaze Pizza, a company that the basketball great owns at least 10 percent of, Los Angeles Magazine reports. Blaze was started by Rick and Elise Wetzel of Wetzel’s Pretzels fame.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 50 points in early trading Friday to 17,101. The S&P 500 was up six points to 2,019. The Nasdaq was up 14 points to 4,825. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 227.

Thursday, October 8

Money Manager Platform InvestCloud Raises $45 Million

InvestCloud Inc. of Beverly Hills, a developer of apps for money managers, has raised a $45 million round from FTV Capital.

Century National Properties Sells Calabasas Office for $24 Million

Adler Realty Investments Inc. of Woodland Hills has purchased a 100,000-square-foot office building in Calabasas for $24 million from Santa Monica’s Century National Properties Inc.

Disney Works Box Office Magic

Hit factory Walt Disney Studios has crossed the $4 billion mark in global box office earnings this year, setting a new studio record.

SpaceX Gets Starring Role in Moon-Landing Competition

Hawthorne’s Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, and its Falcon 9 rocket launcher could have a role in helping to send the first privately-funded space team to the moon.

Stocks Rise; General Finance Corp. is Up, Cadiz Falls Again

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 139 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,051, the first time it has closed above 17,000 since August. The S&P 500 rose 18 points to 2,013. The Nasdaq rose 20 points to 4,811. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 226.

Fair Pay Act May Hit Studios

The Fair Pay Act that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Tuesday may have a big impact on Hollywood studios since female stars are routinely paid less than their male counterparts, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Earthquake Retrofit Bill Advances

A bill that would require nearly 14,000 apartments citywide to be made earthquake resistant was unanimously approved Wednesday by the Los Angeles City Council's housing committee, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The legislation is scheduled to go before the City Council Friday. What’s unclear is who’s going to pay for all that.

Betting on Ryan Kavanaugh?

It remains to be seen whether Ryan Kavanaugh can successfully engineer a reboot of financially embattled Relativity Media with the help of friends, including supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, Variety reports.

Leaving Las Vegas

L.A. nightclub, restaurant and hotel owner Sam Nazarian is letting go of his dream of running a Las Vegas casino by selling off his stake in the $800-million-dollar SLS Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Morbid Memories

Downtown’s Cecil Hotel is becoming a tourist mecca, thanks to the fact one of its recent tragedies helped inspire the new season of TV’s “American Horror Story,” Curbed reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 23 points in early trading Thursday to 16,890. The S&P 500 was down five points to 1991. The Nasdaq was down 21 points to 4,770. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 223.

Wednesday, October 7

L.A. Investors Buy League of Legends E-sports Team

A group of mostly L.A. tech investors has purchased a League of Legends e-sports team known as Team 8 for an undisclosed amount.

Ryland to Cut Jobs

All 50 employees – except the chief executive – of Westlake Village home builder Ryland Group Inc. appear likely to lose their jobs in the aftermath of the company’s $5.2 billion merger with Irvine-based Standard Pacific Corp.

Lionstone Buys One Bunker Hill, Rising Realty Will Manage

After converting downtown L.A.’s historic PacMutual building into sought-after creative space and selling it for $200 million last month, Houston real estate investment firm Lionstone Investments and downtown developer Rising Realty Partners will soon be at work on another old building downtown.

Nu Skin’s China woes send Herbalife shares down

Herbalife Ltd. shares dropped sharply Wednesday, dipping to $52.26 at one point for a decrease of 10.3 percent.

Stocks Rise; NantKwest Climbs, Cadiz Dries Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 122 points in Wednesday trading to close at 16,912. The S&P 500 rose 16 points to 1,996. The Nasdaq rose 43 points to 4,791. The LABJ Stock Index rose three points to 224.

Hakim Holdings Acquires Golden Triangle Site

Hakim Holdings has purchased a four-story, 61,000-square-foot Class B office building at 9350 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills. The firm shelled out $48 million late last month to Lexington Commercial Holdings for the property in the city’s famed Golden Triangle retail sector.

Reader Poll

What should Dov Charney do next?

City Attorney Charges Hollywood Nightclub with Probation Violation

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer accused Hollywood nightclub Supper Club of violating a three-year probation by allowing long lines outside, smoking on the site and serving alcohol in restricted areas, according to a press release issued Wednesday.

Taking Aim at Gender Gap

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday to get rid of the statewide pay gap between men and women. Some are referring to it as the strongest equal pay law in the country, the Los Angeles Times reports. But already others are saying it will create an expensive legal quagmire for businesses, encouraging them to hire fewer people or move out of state, the Washington Times reports.

Still Made in America?

Now that downtown L.A. apparel maker American Apparel Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, some analysts are saying the company may have to move out of the country to survive, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, the company plans to keep its manufacturing local.

Bringing the NFL Back to L.A.

As the National Football League's 32 owners convene in New York Wednesday for their fall meeting, the topic will center on the possibility of returning a team to Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports. The owners are debating stadium proposals in Inglewood for the St. Louis Rams and Carson for the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

Weighing Higher Rents

Rents in San Francisco are skyrocketing, but renters are still willing to pay more for earthquake retrofitting, renter advocates say. The Los Angeles Times reports that the city’s experience may be helpful to Los Angeles.

Arcadia Councilman Resigns Amid Controversy

After state and federal investigations have been launched against Gemcoin, a digital currency company that Arcadia City Councilman John Wuo had reportedly endorsed, Wuo resigned at a council meeting Tuesday night, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Female Designers at Mattel

El Segundo toymaker Mattel Inc.is now focusing on having women design the company's new dolls based on DC Comics' female super heroes. The aim is to keep the dolls beautiful with less of an emphasis on making them sexy, Bloomberg reports.

Banning Paparazzi Drones

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Tuesday that will ban paparazzi from sending drones above someone's property to take a photo or record video, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Carmike to Buy Sundance Cinemas

Carmike Cinemas, the Columbus, Ga.-based theater chain, announced it will buy upscale theater chain Sundance Cinemas, founded by movie star Robert Redford for $36 million, including the Sundance Sunset in West Hollywood, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Grown-Up Slumber Party

If you’re missing those sleepovers from your childhood, now’s your chance to reminisce as the Natural History Museum is hosting an adult sleepover for Halloween, LAist reports. Guests can bring their own pajamas and sleeping bags and participate in a gallery scavenger hunt or be entertained by a DJ while sipping on craft beer and wine.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 153 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,943. The S&P 500 was up 17 points to 1997. The Nasdaq was up 33 points to 4,781. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 223.

Tuesday, October 6

State Incentives Help Drive Increase in Location Filming

Television and commercial production contributed to increased on-location filming in the third quarter, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A.

Markets Mixed; BreitBurn Energy Partners Soars, Cadiz Tanks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 14 points in Tuesday trading to close at 16,790. The S&P 500 fell seven points to 1,980. The Nasdaq fell 33 points to 4,748. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 221.

American Apparel Inc. Trading Halted, Assets Eyed

The New York Stock Exchange, acting in the wake of American Apparel Inc.’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing, has suspended trading in the company’s stock and begun the delisting process.

Molina Signs Large Lease in Downtown Long Beach

Long Beach’s fast-growing managed care provider Molina Healthcare Inc. recently signed a deal that will expand its footprint on its home turf.

Relativity Sells TV Properties

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved the sale of Relativity Media’s television assets on Tuesday.

ZestFinance Lands $150 Million from Fortress Investment Group

ZestFinance, an online lender targeting previously untouchable sub-prime borrowers, has received $150 million from investment-management group Fortress Investment Group.

Lions Gate to Buy Starz?

Santa Monica’s Lions Gate Entertainment is in talks to merge with pay-TV channel Starz, according to sources familiar with the matter, the Los Angeles Times reports. A merger could benefit Lions Gate’s TV business and help boost Starz’s programming. However, while the two companies have been holding discussions for months, they could opt to form partnerships instead of merging.

Hurdles for American Apparel

While downtown L.A. clothing maker American Apparel Inc. has filed for bankruptcy, it may not be enough to rescue the struggling company, the Los Angeles Times reports. The company’s restructuring agreement would allow it to continue to manufacture its clothes in the United States and solve its cash flow problem, but other problems remain, including unhappy workers and – significantly – how to regain young consumers.

Varied Pricing Could Come to Disneyland

The Walt Disney Co., which on Sunday announced a new annual pass that costs more than $1,000, is now weighing whether to raise ticket prices during peak times such as Christmas, spring break and summer to help offset the long lines, the Los Angeles Times reports. While some Disney fans are not pleased about the price hikes, many do not expect attendance to drop much.

L.A. Sued Over Marilyn Monroe House

The city is being sued over the demolition of Marilyn Monroe’s former home in the San Fernando Valley so that a five-unit condo can be built, the Los Angeles Times reports. But the complaint goes beyond the loss of a potential historic spot; the lawsuit argues that the Los Angeles City Council routinely backs any development project supported by the council member representing the district. Such allegedly hasty decision-making has gotten the city in trouble – such as the time the courts invalidated approvals for a Hollywood high-rise already occupied by tenants.

Big Money for ZestFinance

Hollywood’s ZestFinance just secured a $150-million credit line from New York's Fortress Investment Group, the Los Angeles Times reports. The deal will allow the company to fund more loans at lower interest rates to borrowers who may not have the best credit and not qualify for loans from other online lenders.

Trade Deal May Be Good for California

Now that the 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal has been reached, some big businesses in California, namely pharmaceuticals and entertainment firms, could profit if the agreement is approved by Congress, the Los Angeles Times reports. Farmers statewide could also benefit since they would be able to increase their rice and dairy exports to Japan.

‘Boo at the Zoo’

Who said Halloween can only be celebrated for one day? The Los Angeles Zoo is hosting its annual “Boo at the Zoo” every weekend this month, NBC Los Angeles reports. During the event, kids can watch pumpkin-carving demonstrations, meet spooky costumed characters and visit the zoo’s “Graveyard Safari.”

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 51 points in early trading Tuesday to 16,827. The S&P 500 was down one points to 1,987. The Nasdaq was down 18 points to 4,764. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 222.

Monday, October 5

J2 Buys Nine Companies, Spends $265 Million on Purchases This Year

J2 Global Inc.’s acquisition streak rolled on in the third quarter as the Internet service provider consumed nine more companies.

Tease photo

AwesomenessTV Partners with Endemol to Push Content Internationally

Digital media company AwesomenessTV will launch content outside the United States as part of a multiyear agreement with Endemol Shine Group.

American Apparel Bankruptcy a Roadblock for Charney

Now that downtown L.A. clothing maker and retailer American Apparel has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, where does it leave its largest shareholder, founder and former Chief Executive Dov Charney?

Haggen Selling Local Stores

Troubled Pacific Northwest grocery chain Haggen announced Monday it would begin unloading some of its California stores to Commerce warehouse retailer Smart & Final and Encino’s Gelson’s Markets.

Tetra Tech Awarded $600 Million Contract

Tetra Tech Inc. has secured a United States Agency for International Development, or USAID, contract with a potential value of up to $600 million, the company said Monday.

Tribune Publishing Begins Employee Buyouts at L.A. Times

Job losses loom at the L.A. Times after parent company Tribune Publishing submitted a long-expected buyout offer to its employees this morning.

Reader Poll

Will restrictions on cars help or hurt business in downtown Santa Monica?

Stocks Up; Mattel Rises, Cadiz Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 304 points in Monday trading to close at 16,776. The S&P 500 rose 36 points to 1,987. The Nasdaq rose 73 points to 4,781. The LABJ Stock Index rose three points to 223.

Relativity Ownership Shake-up Nears Completion

Like a phoenix emerging from the flames, Ryan Kavanaugh has won back the bulk of his bankrupt mini-studio Relativity Media.

L.A. Tech Events Calendar: Oct. 5 – 18

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

American Apparel to File Bankruptcy

In a long-expected move, downtown L.A.’s American Apparel Inc. said it plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy today after reaching a restructuring deal with 95 percent of its secured lenders, the Los Angeles Times reports. Lots of old shares, including the stake held by founder Dov Charney, will be wiped out. The filing will substantially lighten the apparel maker’s heavy debt.

Haggen to Sell California Stores

Officials with Pacific Northwest grocery chain Haggen announced Monday that they have reached an agreement to begin selling some of the chain’s California stores to Encino’s Gelson’s Markets and Commerce warehouse retailer Smart & Final, the Portland Business Journal reports. Haggen has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and plans to go to court later this month to begin the process of auctioning off its other assets.

Ryan Kavanaugh Set to Return

After filing for bankruptcy earlier this year, embattled entertainment company Relativity Media is facing a turnaround as Ryan Kavanaugh reached a deal Sunday with a group of investors – including supermarket magnate Ron Burkle – to buy the company except for its TV business, the Los Angeles Times reports. Kavanaugh would remain chairman and chief executive, and the company would emerge with $30 million in debt if approved by a bankruptcy court Monday.

Olympic Plans Could Help River Restoration

The riverfront property nicknamed Piggyback Yard near downtown stands to get a huge makeover if Los Angeles secures the 2024 Olympics, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 120-acre site would become the Olympic Village, restoring the area years ahead of schedule. But that assumes its current owner, Union Pacific Corp., agrees to sell the land.

Trade Agreement Reached

A 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal was reached Monday that will help President Obama reach his foreign policy goals, the Wall Street Journal reports. And the deal could have implications for L.A.’s port complex. Congress will not be able to vote on the deal until early next year.

Big Buy in Beverly Hills

“Mission: Impossible” star Tom Cruise has put his 10,000-square-foot, Beverly Hills mansion on the market for $50 million, the Los Angeles Times reports. He bought the property, which also has a swimming pool and a tennis court, in 2007 for $30.5 million. It’s just one of several properties he’s unloading.

Pretty Penny for Disneyland Passes

Disneyland is raising the prices of its annual passes, getting rid of the Premium pass – which allowed people to attend its Anaheim theme parks with no blackout dates – for one that costs more than $1,000, the Los Angeles Times reports. Disneyland is also upping the price of all of its other annual passes. It costs $99 for a one-day ticket to the theme park, but at least it will soon include a new “Star Wars” land.

Box Office: 'The Martian' Debuts at No. 1

Director Ridley Scott's "The Martian," starring Matt Damon, beat expectations, making $55 million in its North American debut, the Hollywood Reporter says. Sony Pictures Entertainment's "Hotel Transylvania 2" came in at No. 2, making $33 million. Lions Gate's "Sicario" was No. 3, making $12.1 million.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 187 points in early trading Monday to 16,659. The S&P 500 was up 25 points to 1,976. The Nasdaq was up 50 points to 4,757. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 221.

Sold on Future

Retailer American Rag hopes to fashion e-commerce site that will click online.

American Rag Cie hopes to tailor its new e-commerce site to convey the boutique’s unique style.

Tease photo

Venture Bad Fit For Jeans Firm

APPAREL: DSTLD turns to crowdfunding for equity raise.

Jeans maker DSTLD sees equity crowdfunding investors as a better fit than venture firms hungry for profits.

Tease photo

Wages Raise Concern of Business

GOVERNMENT: Some groups move to head off hikes in cities.

Business groups in some L.A. cities are paying extra attention to heading off wage-hike issue.

Tease photo

Not Even Close

DEVELOPMENT: AvalonBay looks to revive sketchy L.A. area with project just a mile from its high-end West Hollywood site.

AvalonBay is taking mixed-use projects just a mile apart on Santa Monica Boulevard in different directions.

Tease photo

Traffic Takes Driver’s Seat

TRANSIT: Buildings, bosses to foot bill for Santa Monica plan.

Santa Monica plan to reduce traffic could drive up costs for developers and employers.

Tease photo

Haze-y Focus

Brother pitches Jimi Hendrix for licensed pot products

Sibling looks to string together pot licensing deals around guitar legend brother Jimi Hendrix.

Tease photo

Colleges Work to Close Labor Force’s Skills Gap

Community colleges are working to help the future workforce make the grade, writes Sydney Kamlager.

Sending Signals at Home

Voluntary anti-smoking program aims to snuff out costs to apartment owners, health risks to tenants.

James Clarke hopes to light a fire under a movement toward smoke-free multifamily properties.

Stop the War on Drivers

Charles Crumpley is driven to distraction by California’s war on motorists.

Buyer Homes In on Beverly Hills Building for HQ

ACQUISITION: Hakim pays $48 million for property in famed Golden Triangle.

Hakim Holdings has purchased a four-story, 61,000-square-foot Class B office building at 9350 Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills.

Conventions

Upcoming conventions

Calendar

Calendar of events

Investment Bank Exec Stakes Out Middle Ground

ADVISORY: Brean outpost to target deals between $100 million, $1 billion.

Financial advisers often talk about taking a barbell approach to building a portfolio, splitting it halfway between long-term and very short-term bonds, for example, diversifying to mitigate risk.

Rents Hit Close to Home for Technology Engineers

HOUSING: L.A. undercuts Bay Area market for staff looking to live near work.

If you want to work at and live near a billion-dollar tech company, it’s going to cost you. But less if you live in Los Angeles, rather than San Francisco.

Reality Family’s Apps Really Connect With Fans

INTERNET: Kardashians’, Jenners’ offerings ring up $1 million in subscriptions.

The Kardashians are not just keeping up with new technology, they’re dominating it.

Looming Job Cuts Deliver Bleak Mood to L.A. Times

MEDIA: More area leaders call on parent company to sell paper to local buyer.

Management proves a tough read as job cuts loom at struggling Los Angeles Times.

Celebrity Investor Puts His Money on Los Angeles

INTERNET: ‘Shark Tank’s’ Robert Herjavec says city more than show-biz glitz.

“Shark Tank” big fish Robert Herjavec talks the challenges of reeling in acquisitions and scaling unfamiliar industries.

Investor Opens Door on Way out of Development

REAL ESTATE: Alcion lists ownership stake in Runway as mixed-use site blooms.

Alcion Ventures looks to land hefty payday in cash-out of the Runway at Playa Vista mixed-use project.

Wall Street Powers Up Shares of Electricity Supplier

ENERGY: Edison’s stock shines as investors seek refuge in rough market.

Edison International’s shares rise as anxious investors turn to the electricity supplier as a utility player.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles has received $2.5 million from the Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation in Los Angeles to support the Los Feliz hospital’s Vision Center.

Looking to Do Well With Water

Manhattan Beach resident Larry Johnson said he took one look at a black-and-white photo of young African girls balancing huge containers of water on their heads while walking to and from watering holes so many times a day they couldn’t go to school – and he decided to do something about it.

Event With Pope Beyond Belief

PR vet David Herbst scored seat to see Francis speak to joint session of Congress.

PR exec David Herbst partook of Pope Francis’ mass appeal during the pontiff’s visit to Congress.

Business Series Looks to Relate

Revived program at USC’s Marshall to tackle issues particular to family firms.

USC’s Marshall School of Business brings back a program on the relative challenges of family firms.

Friday, October 2

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Oct. 2

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Silicon Beach Launch List: Oct. 2

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

Snapchat’s Ad Experiments Continue with Sponsored Lenses

Snapchat will begin selling sponsored picture and video lenses this fall, reportedly for as much as $750,000 a day.

Point.360, Broadway Financial Among Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies was up for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose 1 percent to close at 220, with losers outpacing gainers 84 to 66. Eight companies closed the week unchanged.

Kavanaugh Plots Relativity Comeback

As he grasps to retain control of his bankrupt company’s assets, Relativity Media founder and Chief Executive Ryan Kavanaugh has been thrown a lifeline by an old friend: Ron Burkle.

Brewer Signs Massive Asuza Lease as Part of Expansion

Petaluma beer firm Lagunitas Brewing Co. has signed a 254,800-square-foot lease at 10th Street Center, a new three-building, 342,600-square-foot industrial business park on 21.6 acres on 10th Street in Azusa.

Work/Life: Meredith Amdur

The chief executive of Wanted Technologies on being driven, savoring international travel and balancing it all.

Meredith Amdur seems to be an expert at juggling a lot. She runs a global company, Wanted Technologies, remotely, and often shuffles among Los Angeles, New York and Quebec City, Canada, while living in El Segundo with her husband, an artist.

Tease photo

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

West L.A.’s Caltius Equity Partners announced last Friday that it had made an investment in MC Sign Co., a Mentor, Ohio, sign and lighting repair and maintenance company. Terms were not disclosed.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 200 points in Friday trading to close at 16,472. The S&P 500 rose 28 points to 1,951. The Nasdaq rose 81 points to 4,708. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 220.

What to Watch this Weekend

Entertainment reporter Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases.

Job Cuts Coming

Now that the $5.2 billion merger of Westlake Village home builder Ryland Group Inc. with Irvine’s home builder Standard Pacific Corp. has been completed, the combined company plans to lay off about 10 percent of its total workforce, the Los Angeles Times reports. It could result in about 280 employees losing their jobs. The combined company, CalAtlantic Group Inc., is now the fourth-largest residential home developer in the nation.

Weak Jobs Report

Employers nationwide added 142,000 jobs last month, much lower than expected, according to a Labor Department report released this morning, CNBC reports. Stock plunged in early trading.

Tougher Smog Rules to Whack California

A new and stricter smog limit was adopted by the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday. It will have the greatest impact in California, which is not in compliance with the current standards, the Los Angeles Times reports. In predictable responses, manufacturers complain it will cost the industry billions while environmentalists say the new restrictions don’t go far enough.

‘Don’t Block the Clock’

Plans for the 26-story Alexan South Broadway Tower, to be built at Ninth and Hill Street in downtown Los Angeles, are not sitting well with neighbors who say it will block views of the clock that sits on top of the nearby Eastern Columbia Building and which has been a fixture in the neighborhood for decades, LA Curbed reports. A “Don’t Block the Clock” petition is being circulated by a new nonprofit.

Trade Bill Nearing a Deal?

There could be good news for President Obama's 12-nation Pacific Rim agreement as talks appear headed into a third day, the Los Angeles Times reports. Despite the fact there have been protestors outside of the meetings, there is speculation the discussion could also continue through Saturday.

Exorbitant Water Usage

The state may be in a drought, but that didn’t stop one Bel Air homeowner from using an incredible 11.8 million gallons of water over the past year – enough to supply a small town, LAist reports. Four out of the top five biggest water users statewide live in Bel Air with the other homeowner – the third worst in the state, using eight million gallons in the same time period – residing in Beverly Hills, according to the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 214 points in early trading Friday to 16,058. The S&P 500 was down 25 points to 1,899. The Nasdaq was down 60 points to 4,567. The LABJ Stock Index was down four points to 213.

Thursday, October 1

Virtual Reality Startup Vrse Lands New Executive, Seed Funding

Virtual reality media company Vrse has closed a seed round and made a key executive hire.

More Leaders Call for Change at L.A. Times

The movement to restore local ownership to the Los Angeles Times is picking up steam.

Thursday Rundown: Long Beach Pipeline Company Acquires NorCal Pipeline from Chevron, Music Instructor Snags Nationwide Licensing Deal

Long Beach’s Crimson Pipeline has reached agreement to acquire Chevron Pipeline Co.’s 295-mile KLM Pipeline in Northern California, along with related assets, the companies announced Thursday.

West L.A. Brothers Busted in Pharmacy Scheme

Two West L.A. pharmacy owners were arrested Thursday on federal drug trafficking and money laundering charges alleging they used a bogus pharmacy to divert narcotics to the black market.

Tweet of the Day

Metro and NY’s MTA engage in Twitter battle...

Westlake Hit With $44 Million Enforcement Action

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced Thursday it had ordered billionaire Don Hankey’s auto finance company to refund $44.1 million to customers it alleges the company wronged through illegal debt collection tactics.

Stocks Mixed; U.S. Auto Parts Soars, Second Sight Medical Products Falls

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13 points in Thursday trading to close at 16,272. The S&P 500 rose four points to 1,924. The Nasdaq rose seven points to 4,627. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 217.

No BuzzFeed-Ford Factory Deal

Despite months of discussion, BuzzFeed will not move into the old Ford Motor Factory Building in downtown L.A.’s Arts District. However, BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, the company’s video department, will relocate later this month from Kilroy Realty Corp.’s campus on De Longpre Avenue to Siren Studios in Hollywood. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.

Digital Currency Company Raided

The Arcadia offices of digital currency company Gemcoin were raided by federal authorities after the company’s founder was accused in federal court last week of running a pyramid scheme, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Securities and Exchange Commission also has frozen some bank accounts, including that of US Fine Investment Arts Inc., a company related to Gemcoin and which reportedly had been endorsed by Arcadia City Councilman John Wuo. He has denied any affiliation with the company.

Pricey Clean Up

Shell Oil Co. will have to spend $55 million to clean contaminated soil at the Del Amo Superfund site near Torrance after being ordered by the federal government, the Los Angeles Times reports. The site manufactured synthetic rubber, and chemical waste was dumped there. Nearby neighbors had complained of health concerns.

Record Layoffs

Layoffs nationwide rose in September to 58,877, making it the third highest monthly total this year, according to global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, CNBC reports. The computer industry had the highest number of cuts led by computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co. which announced it will get rid of 25,000 to 30,000 positions.

Taylor Swift’s Big Buy?

Singer Taylor Swift appears to be the one who bought the Goldwyn estate in Beverly Hills for $25 million in cash, at least according to an unnamed source in Variety. Swift has denied the purchase, according to LAist. But she can afford the mansion since she made a whopping $80 million between June 2014 and June 2015, according to Forbes. Not bad for a 25-year-old.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 72 points in early trading Thursday to 16,213. The S&P 500 was down six points to 1,914. The Nasdaq was down 28 points to 4,592. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 216.