Stories for September 1997

Monday, September 29


Nadine's Music in Hollywood has made a name for itself as a store "for musicians by musicians." But the guitarists it caters to will soon have to find another store to fill their needs.


Ronald Altoon, a founder of Altoon + Porter Architects, has been involved in some of the most talked-about restoration projects in Los Angeles.


The new dean of UCLA's Anderson Graduate School of Management may only be serving in a one-year interim capacity until a permanent dean is found, but he sees his role as far more than that of a caretaker.


Stepping from a nondescript lobby of a Burbank office tower into the ground-floor offices of Friedland Jacobs Communications is a jolt to the senses.


Bountiful is packed to the rafters with every conceivable piece of furniture you could want in your house.


Responding to the growing children's entertainment business, Hollywood trade magazine Variety this month launched its first new publication in more than 60 years Variety Junior.

Company Indpex

Abbot's Habit 3


Gov. Wilson should veto Senate Bill 1258, which would make it virtually impossible to break up the L.A. Unified School District or any other school district.


Mega corporations have the manpower and the financial resources to select the right locations when they enter a new city or expand inside their current marketplace. They can afford to buy the highly analytical, precision-driven computer modeling tools tha


Louise's Trattoria, the Torrance-based Italian restaurant chain that recently filed for bankruptcy protection, plans to emerge from Chapter 11 by next January and resume a modest West Coast expansion late next year.


I'm a Westwood homeowner who happens to be solidly in favor of the Village Center Westwood project as it is currently planned. I, like all of my neighbors and area merchants, want to see Westwood Village return to its status as a world-class shopping, din


While the Los Angeles Business Journal feels obliged to castigate L.A. City Councilman Joel Wachs for his actions regarding the downtown sports arena ("Delusional Wachs," Editorial, Sept. 22) I feel compelled to offer congratulations to the councilman for


After an eight-year run, Peter Griffith is leaving his job as head of capital markets (investment banking) for Wedbush Morgan Securities to return to the ranks of certified public accountants at Ernst & Young LLP, from whence he came.


In the low-fat, no-fat generation of the nervous '90s, everybody wants his or her cake but is too scared to eat it.


Local architect Ronald Altoon, president-elect of the American Institute of Architects, discusses his L.A.-area projects and the revitalization of downtown.


When it came time to figure out how to revitalize Marina del Rey once one of L.A.'s hottest areas for recreation and nightlife planners looked to the competition.


Led by new local powerhouse CUC Software, sales were up nearly across the board for L.A. County's 25 biggest software companies.


Signaling its intention to play a greater role in the debate over City Charter reform, a coalition of leading business groups weighed in last week with a series of recommendations on the issue.


In a town that salivates over bad news, embattled ABC Entertainment President Jamie Tarses became the highest-profile member of the walking dead club this summer.


Universal Studios Inc. last week finally became a player in the cable television game.


Robert Kissinger's first job in the restaurant business was washing dishes at a Chinese restaurant when he was in high school.


First in a series of articles examining the issues under review by the city of L.A.'s appointed Charter Reform Commission.


While I was happy to see Phil Berk, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, included in your "Who's Who in Entertainment" listings (Sept. 15), I was annoyed to see the unwarranted comment that HFPA members "tend to receive lavish treatment f


Nationwide, nearly 3,000 companies qualify for and choose to list on the "Big Board," the New York Stock Exchange. It is the world's premier exchange, loaded with blue chip stalwarts.


Hed: Bullish on the AMEX


The developer of one of the most eye-catching shopping centers in West Los Angeles has bought a 61,500-square-foot parcel at Wilshire Boulevard and Bundy Drive in Brentwood, where he plans to build a 200,000-square-foot shopping center.


After sitting essentially idle for nearly two decades, a project to transform Rand's 15-acre ocean view headquarters property in Santa Monica into a major office and residential park is suddenly and rapidly moving forward.


Chicago real estate magnate Sam Zell presides over a REIT that recently became the largest owner of office property in the nation. But when he addressed 1,500 members of L.A's real estate community last week, he didn't quote "The Art of War" or "The Money


Almost since the birth of the personal computer, the industry has been searching for so-called "killer applications."

St. Johns

St. John's Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica will be demolished piecemeal over the next 30 years and replaced with a new $270 million complex.


There's an inherent urge in newspapering to think in yes or no terms: Is the sheriff a crook? Will the team make it to the playoffs? Can the company emerge from bankruptcy?


Hollywood's short-lived love affair with multimedia software is drawing to a close at Virgin Interactive.


When media mogul Ted Turner made his dramatic announcement that he would give $1 billion one third of his personal wealth to the United Nations, it might have caused some of L.A.'s richest people to do some squirming.


Sonia Gutierrez-Carstensen has been named executive vice president at Vald & #233;s Zacky Associates, an advertising agency specializing in the Hispanic market. In her position, Gutierrez-Carstensen will serve as media director. She previously was vice president


In the wake of Ted Turner's pledge of $1 billion to fund the United Nations humanitarian programs, charity donations are back in the spotlight. Turner himself called on other high wage-earners to give more a particularly interesting challenge in Los Ang


Pasadena's proposed biotechnology zone, which was supposed to propel the city to the front ranks of U.S. biotech centers, has suffered a serious setback.


Six times a week, on average, Robert Bucksbaum goes to the movies but he doesn't munch popcorn. He takes notes, notes that help him cut through the smoke and mirrors that Hollywood uses to embellish its upcoming feature films.


Over the past decade, the population of Los Angeles has swelled, turning its already congested freeways into rivers of motionless slag.


In January 1996, El Monte-based Catalina Lamp & Shade Co. Inc. launched an advertising and trade show campaign to boost its business. The company buys pre-formed lampshade frames and 125-yard bolts of material for its shades and assembles them. The compan


Incidents of workplace violence are reported with such frequency that it becomes difficult to recall them individually.


Savers are buzzing about the new Roth Individual Retirement Account. Roth IRAs start up in January and will let you take investment gains from stocks, bonds, mutual funds or savings accounts entirely tax free.


Saying the supply of bargain office buildings is dwindling, some local real estate leaders are predicting that the next trend among real estate investment trusts will be to buy other REITs, or private portfolios of office space.


Tomorrow's Morning, a little-heralded weekly newspaper for kids based in Brentwood whose launch has cost its owner and investors over $5 million, has put itself on more solid footing in recent months after a major circulation increase.

Monday, September 22


For those who still can't get enough information about the life and times of Diana, Princess of Wales, and there appear to be millions of you, the Internet is a rich source. Indeed, there are so many Diana-related sites that you could spend hours searchin


Chicago has Oprah. New York has Rosie and Geraldo. But Los Angeles will soon have its own big gun in the daytime television talk-show wars Roseanne.


It is a real shame that your story on our company, Media Page, focused on our work monitoring scanner radios for the news media ("Media Page Tips Reporters on Breaking L.A. Stories," Sept. 15). That's our least important function.


Wellness is one of those words that means different things to different HMOs and health care providers. It's become a catch-all phrase that covers everything from diet programs to aromatherapy anything, really, that offers alternative or preventative he


After reading your article "Heartbreak Hotel: Virtual Office 'Hoteling' Strategy Didn't Work at TBWA/Chiat Day" (Aug. 25), I concluded that you didn't say what you thought you said. You resoundingly affirmed portions of the alternative work environment wh

Company Index

Agnew and Brufavich 7


A very nervous Robert Altman, who directed such classics as "Nashville" and "M*A*S*H," showed up at a Rodeo Drive block honoring Hermes 25th anniversary in Beverly Hills and the opening of its posh new stores last week.


When stars from the Lakers, Kings and the PGA need to fix their million-dollar bodies, they go to Centinela Hospital's Fitness Institute in Culver City, which boasts a gym as part of its health evaluation center.


Bad news for California motorists. They pay more than drivers anywhere else in the nation for car repairs almost $1.2 billion because of poor highway conditions, according to a study by the Surface Transportation Policy Project. The second highest is Ne


A prominent Century City entertainment law firm spearheaded the concept and much of the design for the latest piece of consumer technology expected to sweep the nation and it will play a major role in marketing the new disposable DVD system to studios a


The strikers earn six-figure salaries. There are so few of them that they must enlist help to mount picket lines. And although the walkout is taking place at the second busiest port in the nation, few outside of the harbor area even seem aware that it is


Everyone enjoys a loony lawsuit story, especially in Los Angeles, where lawsuit abuse is blamed for everything from higher insurance rates to unemployment.


Notorious bank robber Willie Sutton always said he robbed banks "because that's where the money is." Plaintiff attorneys apply the same rule to lawsuits they go for the deepest pocket, making sure at least one of the defendants is flush with cash so the


Los Angeles interior and furniture designer Sally Sirkin Lewis remembers taking offense over being called a good businesswoman.


As baby boomers get older and studies prove we can live longer through exercise and healthy eating, people are concentrating more on fitness and nutrition than ever before. The wellness movement is particularly powerful in health-conscious Los Angeles. Th

Q & A; Nicholaw

In his 30 years as head of KNX-AM 1070, George Nicholaw has seen it all fires, earthquakes, floods, riots and the Trial of the Century the O.J. Simpson trial.


The downtown real estate market is hardly in great shape, but it's positively robust compared to mid-Wilshire an area hit by a series of corporate defections as well as the 1992 riots.


I read your story "Is It Ninth Inning for L.A. Sports?" (Sept. 1) with interest. Clearly City Councilman Joel Wachs doesn't embrace the concept of representative democracy. If he doesn't think his role is to exercise judgment on behalf of his constituents

entrepreneur's notebook

There's a subtle change taking place in the realm of business presentations. More and more entrepreneurs have found that companies, potential customers and trade organizations are discouraging the use of slides and overhead projectors in presentations. I


Boeing Co. is looking for a few hundred good men and women and it may take them from Long Beach.


Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles


Eric Lazear started out on the ground floor in 1979, fresh out of college, as an elevator salesman.


It's not known as Ben Frank's anymore, but rather the newly opened Mel's Drive-In at 8585 Sunset Blvd. and not incidentally, the Sunset Strip's last piece of "Googie" architecture.


Ira Smedra's Village Center Westwood, as planned, is an irresponsible development that has no place in our Village. It is four times larger than the Westside Pavilion and has more movie seats than Century City. Wake up, boys! Smedra's development is inapp


You can hire your investment bankers, your accountants, your lawyers, and get "fairness opinions" what a company is worth. Or you can call James Zukin, nameplate partner at Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin, and get an answer in one minute.


A long-awaited tax equity study billed as the means to stop businesses from leaving Los Angeles was released last week to jeers from business advocates who said it was long on jargon and short on solutions.


Last year was a good one for new-auto dealers in L.A., especially those selling Toyotas.


We, the workers of the union organizing committee of the New Otani, wish to respond to the commentary about the struggle to unionize our hotel ("Time for a Hotel Union Vote," Sept. 8).


In the wake of Princess Diana's death, Los Angeles supermarket chains are playing hardball against the racy tabloids that have been a mainstay at checkout stands for decades.


The Business Journal's LABJ 50 chart for Sept. 8 misstated the percentage loss for Pinkerton's. Adjusting for a 3-for-2 stock split on Aug. 28, the closing price for Sept. 3 was 23 1/16, down 1 percent from the previous week.


J.H. Snyder Co. has announced that it will break ground on its Burbank Media Center project in November, making it the first development company to begin construction in one of the county's hottest office markets.


International trade long has been a bright spot in L.A.'s economy, a source of vitality even during the darkest days of the recession.


State lawmakers held a hearing last week to consider plans for bringing a new National Football League team to Los Angeles, but in the hearts of many L.A. football fans, the city already has a pro team:


Where's the next place mutual-fund investors might be able to find super stock market growth? Maybe in international and emerging markets funds.


Marc Berger has been named a partner at Coopers & Lybrand LLP. Berger will head up the firm's real estate advisory services group. Prior to joining the company, he was partner at Arthur Andersen. He will be based in Los Angeles.


If not, perhaps you'd better learn. Because New York agency Deutsch Inc. is very serious about raising its profile in Los Angeles and if it succeeds in winning the Mazda North American Operations advertising account currently in review, it could rocket


Two weeks after the parent company of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage announced its acquisition of the Jon Douglas Co., the merger is moving into the painful and uncertain consolidation phase.


The city of Los Angeles is embarking on its own version of "2001: A Space Odyssey."

Monday, September 15


In a Sept. 1 story on the making of the documentary "Trekkies," the Business Journal misstated that Denise Crosby was Bing Crosby's daughter-in-law. She is actually his granddaughter.


I'd love to think that's really true, but today's investors seem to be playing a different game. They're trading mutual funds instead of buying them and holding on. Traders constantly buy and sell, to chase market trends or take a quick ride on a fund tha


Looks like The Candy Factory in North Hollywood is trying to bite a profit out of the infamous ear-biting incident between Evander Holyfield and the ravenous Mike Tyson.

Company Index

ABC Inc. 49


Just a few months ago, reporters were calling Steve Sugerman. In his new job, he'll be calling them.


The same format wars that marked the early days of VCRs have hit the nascent market for digital versatile discs, or DVDs.


The business school at Burbank's Woodbury University, long eclipsed by its bigger rivals UCLA and USC, is hammering out a niche for itself by concentrating on an exploding area of business growth for Southern California Pacific Rim trade.


Not everyone is skeptical of business opportunities on the Internet. Take Luis Torrelli, founder of Glendale-based Internet Business Providers, which has developed a software package that allows Internet users instantaneous access to product photos.


Key parties in the troubled Playa Vista real estate project have signed a crucial partnership agreement for the $8 billion project, but obstacles remain that could prove major stumbling blocks to the development and its anchor tenant, the DreamWorks SKG s


They finally got at least something right over at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. With federal officials having turned down the MTA's latest budget revisions, it seems all but assured that a subway line for the San Fernando Valley, at least one


John Hartigan is sometimes called the "lawyer's lawyer" for his extensive experience, his prodigious work habits and his position as managing partner and member of the governing board of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, the nation's fourth-largest law firm.


Los Angeles hotels are less valuable on a per-room basis than those in 13 other U.S. cities including San Francisco, San Jose and New York, according to a recent study.


The last time the Business Journal did a List of post-production companies was 1995, and oh, what a difference two years makes.


Saying the agency is spinning out of control, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavksy is threatening to launch an initiative campaign to derail the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.


A budget-cutting plan for the Department of Water and Power that includes deep staff reductions will be presented within 60 to 90 days, the DWP's new chief, David Freeman, said in an interview last week.


The move by Jon Douglas Co. to merge into Coldwell Banker Residential Services' national network is part of a national trend of consolidations among real estate firms.


Obviously, the intention of the Business Journal in "A Tough Sell For Producers of 'Trekkies' (Sept. 1) was always to do a story on the trials and tribulations of the documentary genre. For such an article, however, "Trekkies" was totally inappropriate.


What the world doesn't need is another synopsis of how powerful Michael Eisner, Steven Spielberg and Rupert Murdoch happen to be. We know already.


Santa Monica landlords once derisively labeled the city "The People's Republic of Santa Monica" because of its highly restrictive, pro-tenant rent control laws.


Plans by KABC-TV Channel 7 to move its television news studios and offices to a new 100,000-square-foot facility at Taylor Yard near Elysian Park are falling apart because of noise from nearby railroad tracks.


Two major players in the planned redevelopment of Westwood are negotiating over who will end up operating the Village's movie theaters.


City National Bank will be opening a high-profile branch next week in the first two floors of the former First Interstate World Center, downtown's tallest structure.


After several years of slowed growth in health care costs for California employers and an actual decrease of 6 percent in 1994 health care costs are again on the rise, according to Foster Higgins, a health care consulting firm.


With the Fall television season about to explode into living rooms across the country, millions of dollars are being wagered on the success and failure of more than three dozen new shows on the major networks. With so much money at stake and so many caree


C. Michael Armstrong, chairman and chief executive of Hughes Electronics Corp. , based in El Segundo, is again near the top of the list to take over the helm of telecommunications giant AT & T; and according to industry insiders he is ready to go.


Universal Studios Inc., one of the few major studios that doesn't own a U.S. network, signaled earlier this month that it would switch continents rather than fight reality.


One of the most amazing areas of your local computer superstore is the aisle where they sell color printers for personal computers.


A messenger service in the San Fernando Valley was having a hard time getting a $150,000 loan. The owner had been turned down by two banks and felt that neither had bothered to understand his business or read the expensive, bound loan package he paid a co


The struggle among local elected officials over the Regional Transportation Plan brings to mind an observation by Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, chief of Naval operations in the 1970s. He noted that every CNO operates a Navy of ships built by his predecessor, and


With union and county officials at a negotiating impasse and a slew of contracts set to expire Sept. 30, L.A. County labor officials say a strike is all but inevitable.


It might be all that Wall Street money, or the arrival of New York's glitziest department store, but the poodle and parcel set in Beverly Hills has never seen a hotter shopping scene.


Carol Wolrich has been named senior vice president and director of account planning at BBDO West in Los Angeles. Wolrich will oversee account planning. She previously worked at Foote, Cone & Belding, where she managed advertising accounts.


OK, has been a huge commercial hit on the Internet, but is there room for other success stories?


A San Jose real estate investment trust has spent more than $70 million for two L.A. County apartment complexes as out-of-town REITs continue to shop for deals in Los Angeles.


They say the future is like the present, only more so. Thus, if we can understand where we are and how we got here, a picture of the future will unfold.


It's another play on the "aging baby boom" angle: Inglewood-based Signature Eyewear Inc. says in its prospectus that the graying of the U.S. population means lots of once-hip boomers are going to be groping their way to eye doctors for reading glasses or


People who have addiction problems with drugs or alcohol have a much greater chance of success in beating the habit when they recognize, admit, and correct their self-defeating behavior. In the same way, entrepreneurs will excel when they learn how to get


The city's hotels are enjoying the highest occupancy rates in the county, and visitor spending hit $700 million this year up from $288 million in 1989.


Developers are seeking to build a film studio downtown on the former Unocal Corp. headquarters site in a move symbolic of L.A.'s shift from a corporate headquarters town to one with a growing dependence on the entertainment industry.


Only once in the past 12 years have more than 40 percent of registered voters in the city of Los Angeles turned out for a city election the 1993 mayoral runoff between Richard Riordan and Michael Woo.


Many business owners have discovered that the key to success is the ability to specialize, and that's true in the world of on-line businesses as well as the traditional marketplace. Richard Janssen, president of RealSelect, founded his Westlake-based firm

Monday, September 8


Looking for the cassette section at your local music store? Good luck. Pre-recorded cassettes are going the way of the eight-track tape, despite efforts by record industry executives to save the format.


Working at O'Melveny & Myers means long and often uupredictable hours of hard work, dressing formally for meetings with big Fortune 500 clients, keeping your nose to the grindstone for hours on end, and hoping that good work will one day pay off with a pa


Digital special effects, possibly more than any other industry, has been touted as the magic engine to power Los Angeles into the 21st century.


An item in the Sept. 1 real estate column misidentified the brokers who negotiated a Pasadena lease deal for Jacobs Engineering Group. Michael Burlant and John C. Cushman III of Cushman Realty Corp. represented Jacobs, while R. Todd Doney and Nico Vilgiat


Before Bank of America goes too far trumpeting the praises of its supposedly bold marketing move ("Banks Accepting Liability on Debit Cards," Aug. 11), let us not forget that waiving customer liability for fraudulent use of debit cards is a basic element


In a potentially devastating blow to a planned downtown sports arena, L.A. City Councilman Joel Wachs said last week that he will move forward with an initiative to require voter approval for use of public funds in building professional sports facilities.


Saying that the Legislature is bad for business, three of the state's largest business advocacy groups have formed a coalition to fight some two dozen bills in the closing days of the legislative session.


As the new publisher of Petersen Publishing Co.'s Bowhunting, Hunting, Shotguns and Rifleshooter magazines, "it helps to know about the activities your magazines cover," he says.


It saddens me to read the vitriolic letters, the name-calling and accusations, in order to make a point.


Never mind the fallout over marauding paparazzi L.A.'s celebrity photo business is a profitable cottage industry that feeds off the town's Hollywood culture and no amount of hand-wringing over Princess Diana is likely to change that.


Shuttered storefronts, graffiti-covered walls and littered sidewalks dot the steets around MacArthur Park. Shops are a hodgepodge of discount stores, pawn shops, shoe stores, fast-food outlets and health clinics many of them with faded, handwritten sign


Khedouri Azair had been making his living as an independent computer consultant since 1992, operating out of a small Westwood office under the name K-Tech Computer Services.


Our planning for this week's special report, "L.A. Law," began with a simple enough question: What's it like on the inside of L.A.'s oldest and largest law firm, O'Melveny & Myers? From that, we assembled a team of writers, led by senior reporter Benjamin


Forget baggy jeans and midriff-baring T-shirts this year's back-to-school fashion craze consists of navy blue trousers and jumpers, plain white sport shirts and sensible shoes.


Position: State Senator, 26th Senate District, which includes the Crenshaw District, South Central Los Angeles, the Wilshire Corridor and Culver City


TWBA Chiat/Day Inc. has decided to leave its famed Binoculars Building in Venice and move into a warehouse near Marina del Rey.


After nearly 20 years as a fixture on the liberal stage in Los Angeles and Sacramento, state Sen. Diane Watson will be forced out of her post next year under term limits.


Law giant O'Melveny & Myers may be based in Los Angeles, but it is really a global enterprise, with nearly 1,400 employees, associates and partners in 10 cities on three continents.


An investor might be forgiven for assuming that a municipal bond, in general, is a pretty safe investment.


O'Melveny & Myers LLP is so conscious of its place in history that it has its own curator, historical archives and even a small museum in its downtown L.A. offices.


Los Angeles officials are nearing the end of their search for a new director of the Port of L.A. nearly nine months after longtime port chief Ezunial Burts resigned his post.


As expected, the Australian-born media czar announced last week that he has reached a deal to buy the Los Angeles Dodgers.


California was awarded by far the biggest share of a $1.1 billion federal pot intended to help welfare recipients find jobs but state officials nonetheless complained about the strings attached to the $189 million allocation.

Company Index

Airbus Industries 8


Dan Turner hit a hot button in the Sept. 1 issue ("Backlash Against ABC Ads Points Up Risk of Branding"). Oh boy, another chance to critique TBWA Chiat/Day! (Does part of the interest stem from envy of their billings, I've sometimes wondered?)


The Aug. 31 death of Princess Diana and companion Dodi Fayed during a cat-and-mouse chase with French paparazzi has prompted calls by state Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles, and others for new restrictions on the practice of ambush celebrity photography her


Hanging in a professor's office at UCLA is a poster from a Japanese political campaign of the last decade. The candidate, a member of the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, is pictured in a Japanese temple in a pose of reverence and prayer.


Santa Anita Cos. has entered the home stretch in its bid to be acquired by the investment firm Meditrust, a deal expected to ensure the future of horse racing at the historic-but-unprofitable Santa Anita Park racetrack in Arcadia.


A lot of new investors are playing a dangerous stock market game. They're speculating in options betting that stocks will keep going up.


International Lease Finance Corp. is as low profile as they come. Operating out of a small Century City office, the company only lists a fax number in the phone book. Its employees almost never talk to the press.


The United Parcel Service strike may be settled, but the after-effects linger on in Los Angeles.


With newspapers the world over now available on the World Wide Web and with virtually every broadcast news organization offering a large menu of news and information, a Web surfer has a lot of ways to find out what's going on. But what if you don't have t


Dan Turner's Aug. 25 column "Firms With Sacramento Ties Often Win State Contracts" made the troubling suggestion that the Department of Conservation's recent public relations contract and other similar state contracts may be "wired."


The long-running feud over a proposed expansion of the Burbank Airport returned to the courts for settlement after the city of Burbank withdrew from mediated talks with airport authorities Aug. 29.


Stephen Antion is a partner at O'Melveny & Myers, L.A.'s oldest and largest law firm as well as a part-time traffic cop.


Labor Day marked the traditional close of summer, and with it the end of tourist season. Small businesses that rely on seasonal customers face the challenge of pacing their year-long operations to adjust to the monthly ebb and flow of revenue and work.


Owners of most restaurants would be pretty pleased to show up on a List of the highest-grossing restaurants in Los Angeles, but the folks at Jerry's Famous Deli must be positively ecstatic. It shows up six times.


The Aerospace Corp. of El Segundo has announced several promotions. Michael Daugherty has been promoted to group vice president of the company's Space Systems Group. He previously was group vice president of the Engineering and Technology Group. John Pars


Tucked away in the back corner of an Encino mini-mall, between a nail salon and a hair stylist, Epicure Expressions needs all the exposure it can get.


Brooding Christopher Darden is back in front of the cameras, but this time he won't be showing up as a relentless district attorney. He's playing a cop in "One Hot Summer Night," an upcoming ABC TV movie.


Richard "Koz" Kosinski was a recording star at 16, when he played on his first gold album.


In more than 50 years of fishing the waters off Los Angeles, Dick Aker has never seen a summer like this one.


Larry Taylor was a relatively minor player in Westwood Village for the past decade owning a building that housed a pizza parlor and fast-food Asian restaurant.


A space adventure tale of an Arkansas farmer hunting down the evil aliens who stole his prize-winning pig has Xatrix Entertainment back on the road to success.

Monday, September 1


Los Angeles was the nation's second most active market for real estate investment trust purchases last quarter, according to a new report.


Radio station KTZN-AM (710) is betting that a new programming format aimed at children will be more profitable than its just-ended experiment in talk radio aimed at women.


Never mind the weather and the laid-back lifestyle things often don't come easily in L.A.


Another major lease deal and a new development project on the Westside are the latest evidence that the entertainment industry's westward expansion is far from over.


Help Wanted: Executive to turn around hopelessly derailed transit agency, mollify countless politicians with conflicting agendas, avoid getting tarred in mushrooming financial scandal, and do all of the above under intense media scrutiny.


For filmmakers Roger Nygard and W.K Border, it was at least the 20th screening of "Trekkies." This time, it was for a handful of executives from October Films, who were curious about the documentary that had been the source of some industry buzz this summ

The Electric Bike

Tucked away inside the Calstart building next to Burbank Airport, retired engineer and inventor Joe Stella is busy pushing what he terms "the perfect human hybrid vehicle" - the electric bicycle.


Maybe you sold stocks three years ago because you thought prices were "too high." Maybe you're cautious about money and feel happier with Treasuries or municipal bonds. Maybe you're just now finding the money to invest.

LABJ Forum

With Labor Day barbecues now behind us, the traditional summer season has come to an end. Many adults are heading back to work and children are going back to school. For some businesses, summer is a slow season; others see little seasonal variation. The B


Better times may lie ahead in the fourth quarter for Los Angeles job seekers, but those looking for work on the Westside may find it a little tougher going than in previous quarters, according to a new employment survey by Manpower Inc.


An article on Robert T. Walston in the Aug. 18 Special Report, Who's Who in Technology, used an incorrect surname when referring to Walston as having earned an MBA from the University of Texas.


If you untangled all the asphalt-paved roads and alleys in Los Angeles and put them end to end, the resulting roadway would stretch from L.A. to Tokyo and that doesn't include concrete freeways.


Well-known oil industry executive and civic leader Lodwrick Cook has agreed to join the Beverly Hills-based Pacific Capital Group, as a managing director and vice chairman. An announcement is expected this week.


Dan Turner's article "Firms With Sacramento Ties Often Win State Contracts" (Aug. 25) made some excellent points about the challenges facing public relations firms bidding on state government contracts.


It's happened again: Another food safety scare, making two in the last two weeks.


In one of the largest judgments ever for trademark infringement, a Los Angeles jury has awarded a Diamond Bar health food supplement company $20 million from a similar company for improper use of its Chinese icons and other slogans.


That was lesson learned by Foothills Golf Development Group, which forked over $116,788 on City Hall lobbying to build an 18-hole golf course in the Northeast San Fernando Valley a project that in late July was voted down on a 10-4 vote by the Los Ange


As the president of a public relations agency that has recently won substantial public education program contracts from a number of state and county agencies, I must take exception to the innuendoes in Dan Turner's recent column on the request for proposa


The past couple of years have been tough on travel agencies. In 1995, the major airlines placed a cap on commission payments to travel agents, a move that some say may devastate the industry. Further, the growth of the Internet has made it much easier for


It's hard not to be concerned about the changing landscape of corporate L.A. As pointed out in our package this week on the aerospace industry (and two weeks earlier on corporate flight), some very familiar names are either leaving town or being dissolved


In her Aug. 25 letter to the Los Angeles Business Journal ("Don't Believe the Spin Doctors"), Laura Lake sounds like she and her "friends" (of Westwood) have a personal vendetta against Ira Smedra, the developer of the Village Center Westwood project in W


In the year since Congress finally handed over the nation's welfare problem to the states, a lot has been accomplished and yet, with all the studies, pilot programs and legislation, two key questions remain unanswered: To what extent can welfare recipie


After being near death for much of last week, the proposed sports arena shows signs of life once again thanks to several concessions by the developers as well as City Councilman Joel Wachs' apparent willingness to exempt the arena from a ballot initiati


Position: President of The Rotary Club of Los Angeles, and founding principal of Helstrom Turner & Associates, an executive search firm in L.A.


EarthLink Network Inc., the Pasadena-based Internet service provider, is going through some growing pains as it fights for market share.


If you can't afford to live next to a celebrity, take heart: It's a lot cheaper to be dead next to one.


Not a drop of El Ni & #324;o rain has hit Los Angeles yet but forecasts of fierce winter storms have already pumped life into some local businesses and caused others to prepare for wet months ahead.

entrep notebook

Both women and men are searching for the professional and personal strategies that will yield a quality life with less stress and more enjoyment.


The Century City-based specialty investment bank Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin is slated this week to announce an acquisition of Beverly Hills-based Chelsea Capital Corp., a boutique investment bank headed by David Herman.


That was the collective message delivered to TBWA Chiat/Day Inc. by the nation's media over the past couple of weeks, following the debut of the agency's attention-stealing campaign for the ABC television network.


The hottest item in all the catalogs this summer has been the "do-anything" tool the handy pocket-sized gadget that turns into pliers, saw, screwdriver, scissors, ruler or bottle opener.


One of L.A.'s biggest independent stock brokerages will lose its independence after agreeing last week to be acquired by Pittsburgh-based Mellon Bank.


Question: I have 10 business associates who would like to invest in a new Internet business I'm about to launch. I need to raise about $250,000 initially and will match that amount with cash from my corporation. Can you suggest how I might structure the