Los Angeles Business Journal

Coastal Commission Fires Executive Director

The California Coastal Commission voted 7-5 on Wednesday evening to fire Executive Director Charles Lester. The move came despite the objection of hundreds of Lester supporters, many of whom characterized the decision as a boon for developers, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Southwest Airlines at Long Beach Airport?

Southwest Airlines has submitted an application to begin daily service out of Long Beach Airport later this year, according to the Los Angeles Times. The carrier would join JetBlue, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines at the airport.

Los Angeles: Solar Job Capital

Los Angeles County had more people working in the solar industry last year than anywhere else in the country, with Orange County a close second, City News Service reports. The Solar Jobs Census tallied more than 15,00 solar industry jobs in L.A. County and 6,100 in Orange County.

SBA Disaster Loans Available for Porter Ranch Businesses

Federal financial assistance will be made available to Porter Ranch businesses impacted by the natural gas leak in Aliso Canyon, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The businesses will be eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Obama Traffic: It’s Back

Los Angeles motorists should brace for heavy traffic as President Obama heads to town for a two-day visit, according to the Los Angeles Times. Obama is scheduled to attend an afternoon taping of “Ellen” in Burbank before heading to Hancock Park in the evening for fundraisers.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 252 points in early trading Thursday to 15,614. The S&P 500 was down 29 points to 1,817. The Nasdaq was down 59 points to 3,908. The LABJ Stock Index was down 2 points to 201.

Big Sale: Runway Playa Vista

If you want to know how much Playa Vista is taking off, consider this: A mixed-use project there has been sold to a Dallas investment firm for $475 million, according to the Los Angeles Times. The retail, residential and office development known as Runway Playa Vista, only cost about $300 million to develop.

Redstone Revoked Bequest to Former Companion

Manuela Herzer, the jilted companion of Sumner Redstone, was set to receive $50 million and his $20 million Beverly Park mansion, but she was abruptly removed from his estate plan in October, the New York Times reports. The assets will now go to Redstone’s charitable foundation after his death.

L.A. Teachers Union Wants to Raise Dues

Needing money to fight charter schools, the Los Angeles teacher´s union has asked its 32,000 members to raise dues by nearly a third, to about $1,000 a member annually, the Los Angeles Times reports. A previous attempt to increase dues failed in 2008.

ESPN Blunts 'Star Wars' Success

Although the Walt Disney Co. reported earnings that beat expectations on Tuesday, its stock declined more than 5 percent in after-hours trading, Reuters reported. Investors appear jittery about ESPN’s decline in profit, which overshadowed the success of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."

Disney Parks Ride Popularity Wave

Speaking of Disney, the Burbank company reported a 10 percent increase in attendance at the company's domestic theme parks and a 7 percent rise in per-capita spending on food, drinks, admission and merchandise in the most recent quarter, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Small-Business Optimism Falls

Optimism about the economy by U.S. small-business owners has slipped to a recent low, according to the Los Angeles Times. The monthly optimism index from the National Federation of Independent Business declined by 1.3 points to 93.9 last month, which suggests small business owners feel uncertain about the economy.

Stan Kroenke Buys Texas Mega-Ranch

Los Angeles´ Rams owner Stan Kroenke, who already owns 11 ranches, has agreed to purchase a ranch in Texas that’s bigger than Los Angeles and New York put together, Bloomberg reports. The 520,000-acre estate had been listed for $725 million.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 56 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,070. The S&P 500 was up 13 points to 1,866. The Nasdaq was up 51 points to 4,319. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 203.

Coastal Commission Battles Over Development

A battle over whether to fire the executive director of California Coastal Commission is really about whether the commission will allow more development along the coast. According to the Los Angeles Times, the commission will consider ousting Charles Lester, a 23-year veteran of the agency, during its regular meeting in Morro Bay on Wednesday.