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Howard Fine

Stories by Howard

Business Leaders Head in, Out of D.C.

Patrick Soon-Shiong joins panel at Paul Ryan’s behest; Elon Musk, Robert Iger resign over climate.

Paul Ryan has named Patrick Soon-Shiong to a House advisory panel; Elon Musk and Robert Iger protest President Trump’s climate stance.

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Ryan Names Soon-Shiong to Congressional Health IT Committee

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Wednesday named L.A. billionaire surgeon and cancer research leader Patrick Soon-Shiong to an advisory committee on health care information technology.

County Homeless Count Surges to Nearly 58,000

Almost 58,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles County on any given night, up 23 percent from a year ago, according to the latest count from the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority released Wednesday.

Proposed Tunnel In Funding Hole

Metro vote to pull money likely ends drive to create 710-210 freeway connector in Pasadena.

Metro vote to scrap funding may mean the end of the road for freeway tunnel project.

Los Angeles Still Has Home Rental Reservations

HOSPITALITY: City may restrict duration of stays through sharing platforms.

The battle over home-sharing in Los Angeles is about to heat up again as an ordinance to regulate the industry goes before a Los Angeles City Council planning committee as early as this week.

Cement, Concrete Firm Will Add Facility to Mix

Construction: Cemex USA says boom in building has solidified need for site.

Cemex USA plans a new facility to serve a build-up in demand for cement and concrete.

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Metro Votes to End Funding for 710 Tunnel Extension

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted Thursday to end its share of funding for a controversial proposed $3.2 billion, 4.9-mile tunnel to extend the 710 Freeway from its current terminus from Alhambra to Pasadena.

L.A. Chamber Cancels Turkey Business Forum after Protest Beating Incident

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has cancelled a forum set for this week on doing business with Turkey.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Falls to New Low of 4.5 Percent as Job Growth Weakens

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell to another new low of 4.5 percent in April, but in a sign that the local economy is close to full employment, employers in the county reversed their hiring trends and shed a net 7,000 jobs last month, state figures released Friday show.

Oil May Burn Investors

ENERGY: Chapter 11 plan for Breitburn may wipe out share value, boost tax bills.

Chapter 11 plan for oil and gas firm Breitburn could leave investors in the hole.

L.A. Council Passes $9.2 Billion Budget

The Los Angeles City Council on Thursday unanimously passed a $9.2 billion budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year beginning July 1, a 5 percent increase over the current fiscal year, and nearly $500 million more than what Mayor Eric Garcetti proposed last month.

Medical Centers Seek Healthy Boost

Cedars-Sinai, Torrance Memorial forge partnership in which both will operate under parent entity.

HEALTH CARE: Cedars-Sinai and Torrance Memorial like the prognosis for a joint medical center entity.

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City of L.A. Rewrites Environmental Report Rules

DEVELOPMENT: System will restrict EIR authors to prequalified consultants list.

In the hopes of avoiding protracted lawsuits over environmental impact reports for major projects, city of L.A. planning officials will soon start requiring that developers use only prequalified consultants to prepare those massive reports.

City of L.A.’s Rental Unit Law Proves Tough Sell

DEVELOPMENTT: New rules draw fire from businesses, which may relocate projects.

City of L.A.’s new law on rental unit requirements might spur projects to move away.

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High Court Affirms Ruling that Mercury Insurance Can't Charge Policyholders for Sponsorships

The California Supreme Court has rejected a bid by Mercury Insurance Group to charge customers for branding costs.

Cedars-Sinai and Torrance Memorial Form Partnership

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and Torrance Memorial Medical Center are forming an affiliation to share facilities and resources, the two institutions announced Wednesday.

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Logistics Loses Ground in City

SHIPPING: Carson extends moratorium on new operations.

Carson and logistics firms have yet to map out a plan to balance business and residential issues.

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Desert Project Hot Ticket

WATER: Boosted prospects for aquifer venture deliver Cadiz $300 million in credit.

Improved outlook for Cadiz’s aquifer project helps secure a loan pipeline for the company.

Cadiz Announces $255 Million in Construction Financing for Desert Water Project

With the Trump administration soon likely to approve its long-sought desert water storage and transmission project, Cadiz Inc. announced Tuesday it has arranged up to $255 million in construction financing from giant private equity firm Apollo Global Management.

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L.A. Wants Vehicle Rental Service to Curb Parking

TRANSPORTATION: City warns Turo that streets out of bounds as moneymakers.

Another sharing economy service is facing scrutiny from city of L.A. officials.

L.A. County Hits Lowest Unemployment Rate in Decades

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in March, the lowest level in at least 30 years, state figures released Friday show.

Utility: System Sale Doesn’t Point to Second Deal

WATER: Golden State plans to continue Claremont fight despite settlement with Ojai.

Utility Golden State says the sale of its Ojai system doesn’t mean a Claremont deal is more likely.

Councilman Backs Buffer Zone Study

Oil industry warns such areas could lead to city of Los Angeles losing jobs as well as tax money.

Councilman’s call for study of buffer zones around L.A. drilling sites stirs deep industry concern.

Trouble in Air?

Oil refineries fear air pollution crackdown could turn into a big turnoff for facilities.

State Chamber Expands List of Job-Killer Bills

The California Chamber of Commerce on Thursday released an expanded list of 23 “job killer” bills that it is targeting for defeat in the state Legislature.

Measure to Study the Shutdown of Oil Wells Near Homes and Schools Introduced to L.A. Council

Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson on Wednesday introduced a motion calling for a study of the feasibility of enacting a half-mile buffer zone around all oil drilling operations in the city, a move that could ultimately lead to the shutdown of hundreds of wells.

State Approves Tax Credits for Proterra, Hulu and 19 Other Companies in L.A. County

A state committee on Thursday approved $24 million in tax credits for 21 companies investing up to $314 million to add as many as 1,970 L.A. jobs.

Property Owners Trash Higher Waste Fees

New city of L.A. trash-hauling system will dump higher pickup costs on some property owners.

City Bottles Water Deal

UTILITY: Ojai's fight with Golden State ends in $34.5 million system sale

Water fight is over as Golden State agrees to sell Ojai system to Casitas municipal district.

Metal Finishers Among Toxin Target Opponents

MANUFACTURING: Call for increased facility supervision may yield speedier closures.

Manufacturers and metal finishers are concerned about a planned crackdown on toxic emissions by the South Coast Air Quality Management District.

L.A. Controller Calls for Overhaul of Police Permits for Businesses

L.A. City Controller Ron Galperin on Wednesday called for an overhaul of the city’s antiquated system of issuing police permits for movie theaters, pool halls, massage parlors, and more than 50 other types of businesses.

Report: Major L.A. Employers Concerned High Housing Costs are Barrier to Attracting and Retaining Talent

The region’s high housing costs are deterring top talent from entering the Los Angeles job market and leading to higher recruiting costs for employers, according to a survey released Wednesday from USC and the Los Angeles Business Council.

Rodney King Riots Still Cast Shadows

Some neighborhoods and properties damaged in the Rodney King riots have made full recoveries, while others are still working to bounce back from the unrest.

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Flipped Script

No sequel to 2007’s production boom as writers, producers talk contract.

Producers head into negotiations with writers without staging a ramp-up in production.

State Appeals Court Upholds Cap-and-Trade Program to Reduce Carbon Emissions

A state appeals court on Thursday upheld the state’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions, rejecting a challenge from several business and industry groups.

Revving Up Road Work?

TRANSPORTATION: State plan would pump up taxes on fuels, car registrations.

State proposal calls for fuel and vehicle taxes to pay for transportation projects.

California Bill May Cross Line on Business Taxes

POLITICS: SB 567 Measure would impose levies on companies’ affiliates outside state, U.S.

Business backers blast state bill that would scrap California’s borders in company tax assessments.

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Bill on Full-, Part-Time Hires Draws Business Fire

EMPLOYMENT: Employers say state measure would tie their hands in filling spots.

Business groups are lining up against an Assembly bill that would require employers with more than 10 employees to offer current part-time workers more hours before bringing in additional hires or contracting out work.

State Leaders Unveil Transportation Package with Hikes in Diesel, Gas Taxes

Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders on Wednesday unveiled a $5 billion-a- year plan for road and highway projects, to be funded chiefly by steep hikes in taxes for diesel fuel and gasoline, and a new tax on vehicle registrations.

L.A. Adds Solar Jobs, But Slips to No. 2 for Metro Areas

L.A.’s solar power industry grew by 11 percent in 2016 over 2015, but dropped to second place for most solar-related jobs in the nation’s metropolitan areas, according to a report issued Tuesday by the Solar Foundation, a Washington D.C. nonprofit dedicated to promoting the solar power industry.

L.A. County Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.8 Percent as 33,000 Jobs Added

L.A. County’s economy chugged along at nearly full employment in February as the unemployment rate fell to 4.8 percent and employers added 33,000 jobs to their payrolls, state figures released Friday show.

Bill May Open Residences to Prevailing Wage

CONSTRUCTION: Proposal would expand pay guidance.

Residential developers warn prevailing-wage expansion could scuttle projects.

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Affordable Housing Initiative Challenged

Out-of-state construction worker files lawsuit over Measure JJJ’s rules on local hiring preference.

Out-of-state worker has filed suit over the hiring requirements of an affordable housing measure.

Lawsuit Challenges Constitutionality of L.A’s Housing Measure JJJ

Measure JJJ, the affordable housing measure approved by nearly two-thirds of Los Angeles city voters last November, is unconstitutional because its local hiring provision discriminates against out-of-state competitors, a federal lawsuit filed last week and made public this week claims.

LAX Announces Massive Airline Relocations in May

Los Angeles International Airport officials on Tuesday announced a massive airline relocation plan for May involving 21 airlines moving to different terminals or to different locations within terminals.

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Business Groups Aim to Take Down ‘Job Killers’

POLITICS: One targeted bill looks to protect some state standards from federal shifts.

Business groups see “job killers” lurking in Sacramento.

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Delta to Lead 24 Airline Relocations to New Terminals at LAX

Up, Running

In May, 24 Airlines will do some traveling at LAX as they shift to new terminals across four nights.

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Voters Get Behind L.A. Development

WWhile restrictive Measure S goes down to defeat, weed regulation, aid for homeless move forward.

Voters elect to reject anti-development Measure S while backing pot regulation and homeless aid.

Anti-Development Measure Trounced at Polls; Sales Tax Increase for Homeless Services Appears to Squeak By

Measure S, the measure that would have restricted major developments in the city of Los Angeles, was overwhelmingly defeated at the polls on Tuesday, prompting a sigh of relief from business groups, developers and affordable housing advocates.

Southland Air Regulators Approve Tougher Emission Rules

Local air quality regulators on Friday adopted a sweeping air emission reduction plan that cracks down on industrial polluters, especially local oil refineries. In a separate action, the regulators also enacted a new rule to limit emissions from metal finishing plants, which until now have been mostly exempt from regulation.