Los Angeles Business Journal

Drug Company’s Stock Gets Rough Prognosis

Biotech: ImmunoCellular shares fall after missing goal of extending patients’ lives.

Biotech – ImmunoCellular Therapeutics comes up short on Wall Street after company’s drug misses longevity goal

L.A. Jobless Rate Falls to 9.5 Percent

L.A. County’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.5 percent in November, its lowest point in five years, according to state figures released Friday. The county also created 33,000 payroll jobs, many of those in seasonal retail hires.

State Drops Tax Deposit Requirement

Local startups have just been handed a bit of holiday cheer: the state will no longer require security deposits for new businesses in most cases and will refund about $300 million in deposits it’s now holding.

Eight Over Eighty Aaron Eshman and Alfred Stern

Eight Over 80 Special Reoprt

Eight Over 80: Eli Broad

SPECIAL REPORT: Eight Over 80

L.A. business leader Eli Broad turned 80 this year, but the milestone birthday hasn’t slowed him down: He still puts in 60 hours a week.

Might Oxy Ditch L.A. HQ to Hang Its Hat in Houston?

Is Occidental Petroleum Corp., L.A.’s second largest public company, planning to move its corporate headquarters to Houston? There are signs it could do so.

L.A. Employers Plan to Increase Hiring

One in five Los Angeles area employers plan to hire more workers during the first quarter, the best showing in several years, according to a survey released today from Manpower Inc.

Cities Crack Down on E-Cigarettes

City councils in both Los Angeles and Long Beach have voted to restrict sales and use of electronic cigarettes.

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Note for Note

INTERVIEW: Manatt Phelps’ George Kieffer has made time for civic affairs and music while working at the law firm for four decades.

Power broker and Manatt Phelps & Phillips Partner George Kieffer makes sure to spend some of his playtime at the piano.

Oaktree Sees Bad Loans as Good Way Into China

Investment: Firm forms joint venture with distressed asset manager.

INVESTMENT: Oaktree makes good on its plan to enter China by forming joint venture to acquire bad loans.

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Solar Customers Left Out in Cold

ENERGY: Panels off as installers fight DWP over lease language.

Energy: Some solar panel customers have been left in the cold as installation companies and the L.A. DWP wrangle over lease language.

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Cities Sticking Noses in Irwindale’s Chili Odor Case

FOOD: Officials put out welcome mat for relocation of Huy Fong’s facility.

Food: Cities outside California smell an opportunity as Irwindale residents complain about odor from Huy Fong’s chili plant.

Lancaster and La Mirada Named County's Most Business-Friendly Cities

Lancaster and La Mirada were named the most business-friendly cities in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

More Trouble

Chemicals: Oxy faces new

Chemicals: Occidental Petroleum faces new health claims from Love Canal in New York state, 20 years after the company settled lawsuits over the site.

Garcetti Names Deputy for Economic Development

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday named Kelli Bernard as deputy mayor for economic development.

Shares of Insurer Prove Too Risky for Wall Street

Insurance: Mercury stock tumbles on weak quarter, rate restrictions.

Insurance: Mercury shares fall as judge puts the brakes on rate hikes

Aquifer Operator Sinks Money Into Train

Water: Attraction could help Cadiz avoid review of pipeline.

Water: Cadiz plans railroad tie-in that could help the aquifer owner avoid full review of a pipeline project.

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State Storage Rule May Fuel Electric-Car Offshoot

ENERGY: Need to secure power could give Coda batteries inside lane.

State electricity-storage ruling could charge up business for battery maker left over from Coda Automotive.

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Content Creator Hopes to Click With New CEO

INTERNET: Shakeup in management fails to boost Demand Media stock.

Demand Media CEO loses job but Wall Street remains pessimistic about content company’s future.

Oil Company Still Digs Monterey Shale Location

ENERGY: Occidental to continue drilling efforts despite Chevron’s exit.

Occidental Petroleum sees its Monterey shale oil projects doing well enough to stay put.

Oxy to Sell Part of Mideast Operations in Restructuring

Occidental Petroleum Corp. announced on Friday it intends to sell part of its Mideast operations and part of its stake in a domestic pipeline company, as part of a planned restructuring.

Electric Plan Shocks Businesses

ENERGY: Edison customers say shift to off-peak hours unworkable.

Southern California Edison’s time-of-use plan to ration summer electricity shocks some business owners.

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Drug Company Stung as Investors Bail on Sector

BIOTECH: CytRx’s stock offering flops in industry’s biggest sell-off in two years.

CytRx’s shot-in-arm stock offering swamped by tsunami of an industry sell-off.

Done Deals

Former U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Kantor now covers lot of ground overseas for Mayer Brown.

Former Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor now handles overseas business for law firm Mayer Brown.

L.A. City Council Measure Would Curb Rogue Valets

HOSPITALITY: Nightclub and restaurant owners had long sought crackdown.

Los Angeles City Council passes measure to put brakes on rogue valet operators.

Los Angeles May Sign Off on Hefty Billboard Fines

ADVERTISING: Proposal mulled by city would raise rates by factor of 20.

City of Los Angeles may give billboard owners the higher sign by dramatically boosting scofflaw fines.

Business Owners Indicted in Seal Oil Smuggling Case

The owners of a Walnut nutritional supplement company have been indicted on charges of smuggling seal oil capsules from China.

Report: L.A. Economy Gains Steam

The economy in the city of Los Angeles grew at a faster rate than the nation last year, according to a report released by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday.

Mayor Garcetti Names Planning Commissioners

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced his nominees to the Planning Commission Monday, a list that included a Walt Disney Co. executive and several local attorneys.

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Smoked Out?

Cities’ concerns leave e-cigarette shops up in air

All the new e-cigarette shops are up in the air as local authorities try to figure out how to regulate vaporized nicotine.

Garcetti Names Hollywood Veteran Tom Sherak Film Czar

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday named veteran studio executive Tom Sherak as the city’s first film czar.

Leadership Transition at Southern California Gas Co.

Anne Shen Smith, Southern California Gas Co. chief executive, will retire next March as part of a broader management transition at parent company Sempra Energy.

Torrance Car Detailer Fined $326,000 for Wage Violations

A Torrance car detailer has been ordered to pay $326,000 in back wages and penalties for failure to pay minimum wage and overtime to employees, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Monday.

L.A. Unemployment Climbs Back Over 10 Percent

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate climbed back into double digits in August, reaching 10.1 percent, according to state figures released Friday.

Who’s on First? It’s Hello Kitty!

Baseball pitches at women and girls with Sanrio merchandise.

Hello Kitty merchandise is now on sale at Dodger Stadium, and you may very well ask why. It’s because baseball wants to sell more merchandise to gals who go to games.

‘Law of Diminishing Returns’ Hits Tax Amnesty

Government: City Hall doesn’t expect as much money the third time out.

L.A. has declared another business tax amnesty, but the city doesn’t expect as much revenue as in the past because that well is drying out.

Elimination of Retroactive Tax on Angel Investors Approved

A bill that would eliminate a retroactive tax increase on angel investors passed the Legislature on Thursday and was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown.

L.A. Hiring Holds Steady

Los Angeles area employers are expected to continue hiring workers at a modest pace during the fourth quarter, according to a survey from employment agency giant Manpower Inc.

Car Dealer Legend Cal Worthington Dies at 92

Cal Worthington, the legendary car dealer whose commercials featuring his “dog Spot” dominated local airwaves for decades, has died. He was 92.

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All In on Pot

Despite ban, bold owners open new shops

Pot shops continue to open as some owners hope the city of L.A.’s ban on new stores will go up in smoke.

Court Blocks Burbank Wal-Mart

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Wednesday blocked Wal-Mart from opening a store in Burbank, saying the city failed to conduct an adequate environmental impact review.

Councilmen Propose L.A. Moratorium on Fracking

Two city councilmen in Los Angeles on Wednesday proposed a moratorium on the controversial practice of fracking within Los Angeles city limits.

Does L.A. Need Second Opinion?

GOVERNMENT: Business rips plan for city health department.

Business groups rate plan for city of L.A. health department an “F.”

Water Company Rains on Ojai’s Takeover Vote

Golden State Water rejects Ojai vote to take control of its local system as a pipe dream.

Developers Stand Ground Against Housing Bill

REAL ESTATE: Foes warn state proposal may mean fewer affordable units.

Developers and landlords look to shut door on proposal to let cities require affordable housing set-asides.

Ojai Voters Kick Out American States Water Subsidiary

Voters in Ojai on Tuesday approved a bond measure to allow a neighboring municipal water district to take over water service from a subsidiary of American States Water Co. of San Dimas.

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‘In Shock’ From Workers’ Comp Rate Hikes

INSURANCE: Employers see rates rise while relief may be years away.

Employers are getting hit with high workers’ comp bills that they weren’t expecting.

CEQA Reform May Make Matters Even Worse

Regulation: New rules might give more ammo to project opponents.

Business groups now fear that proposed “reforms” to California Environmental Quality Act will make it easier to hold up projects.

Mall Has Tall Order for Christmas

Citadel hopes to top Grove in battle of towering fir trees.

Citadel Outlets looks to chop the Grove down to size by erecting the nation’s tallest Christmas tree this fall.

L.A. Unemployment Climbs

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate rose to 9.9 percent in July as county payrolls declined by 30,000 jobs, according to state figures released Friday.