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Howard Fine

Stories by Howard

L.A. County Unemployment Rate Dips to 4.4 Percent in April Amid Modest Job Growth

L.A. County’s unemployment rate dipped to 4.4 percent in April after three straight months at 4.5 percent as local employers added a modest 5,000 jobs to their payrolls, according to state figures released May 18.

Live From LAX!

Terminal renovations bring bright spot for travelers, local performers

Dragons, music, dancing. What’s going on at LAX?

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L.A. Area Inflation Rate Rises to 4 Percent; Highest in Decade

The local inflation rate rose to 4 percent year-over-year in April, the fastest rate in a decade, according to federal data recently released.

Petersen Foundation Donates $1M to Altadena Child Services Nonprofit

The Margie and Robert E. Petersen Foundation has awarded $1 million – the largest gift ever – to Five Acres, an Altadena-based child and family services nonprofit.

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State Pot Revenues Lag Way Behind Projections

Black market, licensing holdups blamed

California took in $61 million in revenues during the first quarter from the legalized marijuana industry, far below projections, state officials reported May 11.

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Karshes Lead $44 Million Donation to UVA Law School

Oaktree Capital Management’s Bruce Karsh and his wife Martha have announced plans to donate $25 million towards a $44 million total gift to the University of Virginia Law School, where the couple first met as law students.

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Court Ruling Reveals Data Gap on 500,000 Jobs

New standard could open door for lawsuits

California Supreme Court ruling shines light on sizeable yet mysterious segment of workforce in L.A. County.

United Adds to Summer Schedule

Airline’s plans follow $600 million terminal renovation

No summer break for United Airlines’ operation at Los Angeles International Airport.

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Long Beach Airport Slated for $59M Improvements

The Long Beach City Council on May 8 voted unanimously to award a three-year, $59 million contract for terminal-area improvements at Long Beach Airport.

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Two Former Tetra Tech Supervisors Sentenced for Falsifying Records at Cleanup Site

Two former Tetra Tech Inc. supervisors have each been sentenced to eight months in federal prison for falsifying records for a nuclear radiation cleanup at a San Francisco naval shipyard, federal prosecutors announced May 3.

Ralphs Exec's Estate Gives $1M to USC Food Business Program

The estate of the late Ralphs Grocery Co. chief executive Byron Allumbaugh has donated $1 million to establish a scholarship program for students in the USC Marshall School of Business’ food industry leadership program.

Air Quality Board Orders New Rules to Reduce Emissions

Impacts new development and certain facilities

Local air quality regulators on May 4 ordered the development of new rules targeting warehouses, rail yards, the San Pedro ports, airports and new development.

Long Beach Q1 Airport Traffic Up Nearly 10 Percent

Passenger traffic at Long Beach Airport rose 9.7 percent during the first quarter to nearly 1 million, according to figures released May 4 by airport officials.

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Cargo Crunch

First phase of LAX plan for revamp could cost $425 million

Los Angeles International Airport outlines designs to double its cargo facilities.

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SWA Aims for Altitude in LB

TRANSPORTATION: Will seek to add as competitor cuts

Southwest Airlines hopes to take up the slack that will be left when JetBlue reduces daily flights at Long Beach Airport.

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Three Charter Schools in L.A. Join Teachers Union

The teachers will join the United Teachers Los Angeles union

Teachers at three charter schools in the Alliance College Ready Public Schools network opted May 2 to join the United Teachers Los Angeles union, marking a major breakthrough in the union’s four-year effort to unionize the largest local charter network.

L.A. City Council Passes Short-Term Rental Rules

The Los Angeles City Council on May 2 unanimously approved the first set of proposed rules to govern Airbnb Inc. and other companies in the short-term rental industry.

LAUSD Board Names Beutner as Next Superintendent

The Los Angeles Unified School District board on May 1 named former investment banker and L.A. mayoral aide Austin Beutner as the district’s next superintendent.

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Calif. Supreme Court Sets More Stringent Standards for Independent Contractors

Decision seen as setback for gig economy companies and platforms

The California Supreme Court on April 30 set more stringent standards for determining whether workers can be classified as independent contractors, handing a victory to worker advocates and dealing a setback to gig economy companies and platforms.

Air Agency Committee Decision Aimed at Toxic Chemical Used at Area Refineries

A South Coast Air Quality Management District committee on April 28 ordered agency staff to develop rules or reach an agreement to reduce the risk of accidental releases of a toxic chemical at two local refineries.

Tailwind Pushes LAX Hotels Ahead

HOSPITALITY: Higher room rates draw new development

LAX hotels have enjoyed a good run, but that may change with new competition.

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LAX Passenger Traffic Up 6.6 Percent; International Jumps 12 Percent

Passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport rose 6.6 percent in March – including a nearly 12 percent jump in international travelers – and was up 6 percent for the first quarter, according to figures released April 26 by airport officials.

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L.A. Forecast: Moderate Job Growth, Continued Rapid Rise in Home Prices

Los Angeles County will see moderate job growth of just over 1 percent for the rest of this year, but the median home price will rise as much as 10 percent.

JetBlue Returns to Ontario Airport; Reduces Flights at Long Beach

JetBlue Airways Corp. is returning service to Ontario International Airport in September as part of a regional flight shuffle in which the carrier is adding flights at Hollywood Burbank Airport but sharply reducing flights at Long Beach Airport, the airline announced April 25.

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Homelessness Policy Research Institute Launched at USC

USC is launching a research institute devoted to policies to reduce homelessness in L.A. County, the university announced April 23.

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L.A. Jewelry Co. Fined $1.6M for Lead, Cadmium in Products

A downtown Los Angeles jewelry distributor has been fined $1.6 million for selling products with lead and cadmium levels exceeding state limits, state regulators and the state attorney general announced April 24.

L.A. County Unemployment Rate Continues Steady at 4.5 Percent

L.A. County’s economy continued to coast near full employment in March as the unemployment rate held steady at 4.5 percent for the third straight month and local employers added a relatively small 13,000 jobs, according to state figures released April 20.

Market Volatility Shakes Confidence

ECONOMY: Worries increase especially for older Angelenos

Consumer sentiment for Q1 is down, particularly among older Angelenos.

Breitburn Out of BK as Maverick Natural

ENERGY: New name, trimmed operations for downtown-based oil firm

Breitburn Energy emerged from bankruptcy with new name: Maverick.

Passenger Traffic Up 10 Percent at Ontario Airport

Passenger traffic at Ontario International Airport surged 10 percent during the first quarter over the same period a year ago, airport officials announced on April 19.

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Ares Energy Fund Buys Majority Stake in N.J. Solar Firm

Ares Energy Infrastructure Fund, a unit at Century City-based private equity firm Ares Management, has acquired a majority stake in Conti Solar of Edison, N.J, the parties announced April 17.

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Breitburn Energy Exits Bankruptcy With New Name: Maverick

Downtown oil company Breitburn Energy Partners said late April 12 that it has emerged from its two-year bankruptcy and has renamed itself Maverick Natural Resources.

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Lights Dim for SCE?

ENERGY: Caught between new players, long-term pacts

A customer exodus at SoCal Edison has the utility looking to recoup some of that loss.

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Passenger Tax Fails in Avalon

Voters in Avalon on April 10 rejected a tax of $1 on every cruise ship, ferry and helicopter passenger to fund a larger and seismically up-to-date replacement building for Catalina Island’s only hospital

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L.A. City Council Approves $4.9B Contract for LAX People Mover

The Los Angeles City Council on April 11 unanimously approved a $4.9 billion contract with a private consortium to build and operate an automated people mover to connect Los Angeles International Airport to nearby planned rail and car rental facilities.

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L.A. Council Committee Caps Short-Term Rentals at 120 Days

Decision affects home-sharing through companies like Airbnb, Homeaway

A Los Angeles City Council committee on April 10 approved a home-sharing ordinance that places a citywide cap of 120 days out of the year during which Airbnb and other short-term rental hosts can rent out their units, with the right to appeal for an extension.

MWD Commits Up to $10.8B for Two-Tunnel Water Project

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California board of directors on April 10 voted to commit up to $10.8 billion in funding for two water tunnels to carry water under the San Joaquin/Sacramento River Delta to Southern California.

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LAX Expectations Outpaced by Gains

TRANSPORTATION: Surge amid $14B in renovations

Passenger traffic at LAX could exceed capacity right before the 2028 Olympics.

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LAX Board Approves $4.9B People Mover Contract

The Los Angeles World Airports Board of Commissioners on April 5 voted to award a $4.9 billion, 30-year contract to a contractor consortium to design, construct and operate the planned people mover at Los Angeles International Airport.

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SolarReserve Inks 20-Year Deal for South Africa Solar Plant

A consortium led by Santa Monica-based SolarReserve Inc. has signed a 20-year agreement with South Africa’s public electric utility company, Eskom, to supply power from a planned solar thermal power plant.

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State Chamber Lists 21 Bills as ‘Job Killers’

The California Chamber of Commerce released its annual initial list of 21 “job killer” bills on April 4.

Steady Growth Seen in San Gabriel Valley

Jobless rate to dip; wage gains expected

San Gabriel Valley’s unemployment rate is expected to dip below 4 percent this year as the region gains about 7,500 jobs, according to a forecast released last month by Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Banks Get Behind East L.A. Incubator

Focus on several groups seen as underserved

A general business incubator is coming to East Los Angeles, putting it in the mix of a trend that has already touched nearly every other area of the region.

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Long Beach Airport Passenger Traffic Soared 11 Percent in February

Passenger traffic at Long Beach Airport jumped 10.9 percent in February from last year to more than 306,000, airport officials reported March 28

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OP Bancorp Sets Price for IPO

OP Bancorp, parent of Open Bank, set a price of $11 per share for its initial public offering of 2 million shares, which would yield a total offering size of $22 million, the downtown bank holding company announced March 27.

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Paramount Refinery Sold as Part of $72 Million Deal

A renewable diesel and jet fuel refinery in Paramount has been sold to Boston-based biofuel producer World Energy as part of a deal reportedly worth $72 million.

American Airlines Will Fly Non-Stop to Buenos Aires from LAX

First carrier to offer non-stop service from L.A.

American Airlines announced March 27 that it will launch in December the first-ever non-stop service between LAX and Buenos Aires.

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Linda Oubré Named President of Whittier College

L.A. native and San Francisco State University business school dean Linda Oubré has been named president of Whittier College, starting in July.

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SoftBank’s Service Station

Long Beach-based chain has Tokyo powerhouse in corner, big ambitions

Long Beach’s United Pacific is the largest independent gas station/convenience store chain in the Western U.S. with annual revenue topping $3 billion.

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La Brea Bakery Parent Closing Vernon Plant, Laying Off 109

The parent company of La Brea Bakery Café is closing a distribution plant in Vernon in late April and laying off 109 employees, according to a notice the company filed with the state.

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