Stories for August 1999

Monday, August 30


More than 200 students from four inner-city elementary schools were on-hand recently to help install and unveil the 'Half-Mile Mural' along STAPLES Center's construction wall in downtown Los Angeles.

Commercial RE

outgrown your current space and it's starting to hurt your productivity. What should you be looking for? What are the pitfalls?

LA Pride

Lifestyles. The Los Angeles region has the richest diversity of food, clothing, architecture, entertainment, languages, world views and religions available anywhere in the world.


Valeria Ahamad may only be 7 years old, but she has become pretty specific about the clothes she likes and doesn't like.


Brad Jones for years has run the largest and one of the most successful L.A. venture capital firms, Brentwood Venture Capital.


Last week's decision by the L.A. Unified School District requiring construction jobs funded by Proposition BB to go to union workers is only the latest round in an increasingly bitter battle between union and non-union contractors.


Ten years ago, when Dan Lauer was shopping his new doll around to the big toy companies, the former bank vice president had quite a few doors slammed in his face. But when Playmates Toys Inc. finally bought Waterbabies, it was a huge success and made Laue


What do you do with a stadium that is home to only one professional sports team, has limited TV exposure and is limited to having less than 20,000 attendees per event at all but a dozen events each year?


Most day traders haven't a clue what they're doing, even if they're making money. So says investment consultant Ronald Johnson of Palm Harbor, Fla.


Dressing millions of people in high-priced, stone-washed jeans was what Georges Marciano did best during the denim wars of the '80s.


Whether you are headquartered downtown or in one of Los Angeles' many suburbs, if your company is a family business, it is much more difficult for one family member to emerge as a leader, as we have known that person since birth and we are well aware of a

LA Stories

West L.A.-based last week launched a Web site with KXTA-AM 1150, a Burbank-based sports radio station, from which local sports fans could fax letters asking the National Football League to bring an expansion team to Los Angeles.


Here are some of the social enterprises doing good work in the downtown section of los Angeles and beyond:


The Board of Supervisors banned the sale of guns and ammunition on all county property as a way to force the nation's largest gun show from the Pomona fairgrounds.


The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has singled out the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) among 100 organizations nationwide with a first-ever "1999 Best Practices Award," for its outstanding and innovative housing pro


Downtown Los Angeles has been awarded the 2002 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, it was announced recently by Jim Disbrow, President, United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA).

Company Index



While many benefited from the Van Gogh exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art ranging from local hotels to the museum itself the show might have given its biggest boost to an unlikely player: Washington Mutual Inc.

Angels Flight

The Griffith Observatory has been a major Los Angeles landmark since 1935. It is visited by nearly two million people each year end ranks seventh on the list of major tourist attractions of Southern California. It sits on the southern slope of Mount Holly


As the third generation of his family to operate the Fugetsu-Do confectionery in Little Tokyo, Brian Kito is intensely aware of the responsibility in running a family business that first opened in 1903 and which has survived the Depression, redevelopmen


Los Angeles History: The City's Founder


Got out of town guests or important clients in town from out-of-state? Sometimes living and working in downtown Los Angeles keeps us from realizing just how many great things to do and see there are in the nerve center of our great city. Below is an alp


The manufacturer of machine tools and data-collection systems was on an acquisitions tear, picking up Milacron Inc.'s tool division for $178 million, as well as R & B; Machine Tool Co. and the radio frequency identification unit of Dallas-based Amtech Corp.


When Newhall Land & Farming Co. sold its profitable Valencia Marketplace shopping center to an Arcadia businessman a little over a year ago, the developer insisted on an unusual clause in the contract language.


The County Board of Supervisors long has been considered the "fiefdom" of local politics and for good reason. The board has just five supervisors each representing a whopping 2 million people who are not bound by term limits and who almost never get


Phyllis Dubinsky-Klein has joined Perkins & Will in Los Angeles as a principal. She will focus on strategic planning and marketing, emphasizing health care, science, technology and higher-education sectors. Dubinsky-Klein was most recently a vice presiden


Despite health risks and tough anti-smoking laws, cigar sales are still going strong. Just ask Robert Fenton, who owns The Cigar Den store and smoking lounge in Encino. With inviting wingback chairs and jazz music in the background, Fenton provides everyt


Three years ago, upon completion of its initial phase of construction, Kaiser Permanente's $30,000,000 Data Center in Corona, California was hailed as state-of-the-art. Designed by WWCOT, this 120,000-square-foot building represents a high point of a lon


Businesses are expanding and relocating to Ontario, California for the same reasons Canadians George and William Chaffey founded their model colony in 1882: Opportunities are unlimited there.




It seemed like such a good idea: Allow colorful banners on street lights all over Los Angeles to promote concerts, community events and art exhibits an inexpensive way to get the word out on various non-profit doings around Los Angeles.


There's something you should know about the "Web vehicle" recently announced with much fanfare by General Motors: It won't actually be able to surf the Web.


The next several weeks could go a long way in showing how the freshman governor balances his self-proclaimed political moderation against a Democratic legislative agenda that many business groups warn would hinder and maybe eventually reverse California's

LA Storyadd

Just move from the congested climes of Los Angeles to the wide-open spaces of Sioux Falls, S.D.


Pasadena has remained a competitive place to do businesses. Over the course of the past several months, the City of Pasadena has experienced the announcement and completion of several significant developments.


Valet parking is, of course, an intrinsic part of Los Angeles life. Without giving it a second thought, Angelenos hand over their car keys to a perfect stranger and trust that it will be parked safely and returned to them.


One of the unheralded skills of a good mutual-fund investor is knowing when not to invest in mutual funds.


Forget those seductions on the silver screen. For real romancing, watch a movie company woo its lender.




UCLA needed space for its medical facilities and the newly constituted Westwood Center building at 1100 Glendon Ave. was looking for tenants. But at the 11th hour, with UCLA on the verge of signing a letter of intent with building owner Arden Realty Inc.,

Letter Farnham

The 20th Anniversary Edition of the Los Angeles Business Journal (July 19) was most interesting and well done.


UPN's decision to introduce pro wrestling to its prime-time schedule last week is being described as both.


We are guiding our corporate clients to begin facility and relocation searches sooner than otherwise might be considered normal in earlier years. The Klabin Company and our competitor colleagues all agree that vacancy rates are near 10-year lows, and sup


For Todd Hooks, late-night TV references to "beautiful downtown Burbank" aren't very funny.


In an effort to reach out to the Latino community, Newt Gingrich sent out a greeting in Spanish last year on Cinco de Mayo. It came from "El Hablador de la Casa," which Gingrich's staff thought meant "Speaker of the House," but in fact translates more pre

Tenant Priorities

The number of Latino-owned businesses in Southern California has more than doubled in the past seven years, according to a study to be released this week.


A major push launched after the 1994 Northridge earthquake to retrofit concrete buildings and apartment structures has all but come to a halt after only 5 percent of the voluntary work was done, according to the city Department of Building and Safety.

At Home

If you have had a hectic summer because the booming economy left you overwhelmed with work, it may be time to consider hiring part-time help.


It looks like a piece of Velcro. But instead of replacing shoelaces or zippers, promoters want you to stick it in your mouth.


Producing live television is the last great high-wire act of broadcasting and few live broadcasts are more harrowing than the Emmys, because the entire TV industry is looking on.


We hear a lot these days about acquisitions, mergers and consolidations. And it's not only in the banking industry; other industries are being affected as well, including professional services firms.


But to Michael Sands, chief executive of Sands Digital Media in Beverly Hills and a media consultant who represents the doctors performing the surgeries, it's nothing more than a great business opportunity.

Market Column

With publicly held communications holding companies on an acquisition tear, ever-higher prices have been paid to owners of independent agencies who are willing to sell out.


Last week's vote by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors to ban the sale of guns and ammunition on county property sparked considerable debate about the ease of buying a gun. So the Business Journal asks:

LA Mag

For the second time in three years, top executives at Walt Disney Co. have made what some consider to be a puzzling decision.


Now that the Federal Communications Commission is allowing media companies to own two TV stations in a market, New York-based Young Broadcasting Inc.'s KCAL-TV Channel 9 has become a hot commodity. Young bought the independent station in 1996 for $370 mil

Monday, August 23

Small Biz

Core Business: Selling Celtic and classical harps, along with harp recordings, sheet music and books


The National Association of Securities Dealers, known as NASD, is cleaning out its garbage pit, otherwise known as the OTC Bulletin Board.


Staff reporter Jason Booth, who left the Business Journal at the beginning of the year and came back soon after, is leaving us once again. This time, he's headed to Hong Kong to work for the Asian Wall Street Journal. For Jason, it's pretty familiar groun


California's legal industry continued to benefit from a strong U.S. economy in 1998, but firms at both ends of the size spectrum face competitive challenges that could reshape the industry in coming years.


Facing a second straight year of declining earnings, Walt Disney Co. is reportedly considering selling the Anaheim Angels and Mighty Ducks.


Local technology start-ups may not be making much money for themselves, but they are generating substantial earnings for the area's workforce.


Global Crossing Ltd., the huge undersea cable company that's the handiwork of L.A. billionaire investor Gary Winnick, is a favorite of Salomon Smith Barney's Jack Grubman, routinely ranked by Institutional Investor as the No. 1 telecommunications analyst.

Company Index



At the downtown law firm of O'Melveny & Myers, a complex battle is about to be played out.

Market Column

If 1998 was the year Internet companies really started taking off, this is the year they're starting to advertise.


"Soviet Monica," "The People's Republic of Santa Monica" this town's not-so-ingratiating nicknames point to a history of clamping down on business and development.


As a top film executive for more than 10 years, Robert Cooper played key supporting roles in any number of releases. Now he wants to take the lead.

Tech Talk

Largely due to George Lucas' cheerleading and deep pockets, digital movie projectors became a reality this summer when they were tested in several local movie theaters.

RE Column

The Conejo Valley office market is bustling, thanks to well-heeled start-ups that have been moving to the "Technology Corridor" as well as institutional-quality tenants that need substantial space.

LA Stories

In yet another bid to boost activity in the area, the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission is selling tickets to the upcoming Emmy Awards as part of a package that includes a stay at a downtown hotel.


While the early part of this decade saw one of the worst periods in the hotel industry since the Great Depression, the last several years have been among the most profitable in its history. Unfortunately, this growth has not stemmed the tide of disconten


Everyone expected the Van Gogh exhibit be a blockbuster. But who would have thought that the smaller and less-promoted Diego Rivera exhibit also would pack them in at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art?


For the last several years, pundits have used the term "convergence" to describe business trends in nearly every industry sector imaginable. Products and services in the world of computers, telecommunications, broadcasting, film, cable, retailing, music,

Fast Track

The Chatsworth company, which develops, assembles and distributes compact disc recorders and discs for computers, has no sign outside its manufacturing plant. The conference room has a modest table and chairs and not much else.

Litigation Lottery

On July 9, 1999, in the largest personal injury award in history, a Los Angeles jury ordered General Motors to pay $4.8 billion in punitive damages to six people who were burned when the gas tank of their 1979 Chevrolet Malibu exploded after a drunk drive


There actually is a place in Los Angeles where a thorn-proof tweed jacket can be had for $750 as well as a $60,000 hand-engraved hunting rifle.


Richard Hoting was promoted to director of research in the tax department of Windes & McClaughry Accountancy Corp. in Long Beach. He specializes in tax and estate planning services for partnerships and limited-liability companies. Also, James Cordova was


Timing is everything, and the youth-oriented WB Television Network is on a roll. For a TV station group of WB affiliates, what better time to offer shares to the public? And quick! Before the new TV season can deliver any untoward surprises.


Don't make the mistake of thinking that business success protects you against embezzlement. In fact, success can make you more vulnerable to this type of fraud.


State laws governing overtime, sick leave, and age discrimination in employment will change on January 1, 2000. As a result of three bills signed by Governor Gray Davis, AB 60, AB 109, and SB 26, there are substantial changes to California labor laws whi


In the lobby of a converted Hollywood hotel, a couple of twenty-something Australians are flopped on a leather couch watching a big-screen television. Several young Londoners are chatting and smoking. The front-desk phone rings constantly.

Ask Lorraine

Question: My family runs a local grocery store. Even with all of the big supermarket chains, we still do a nice business mostly because we service the needs of our community. Keeping our employees motivated, however, is a bit hard, especially since we are


It's no accident that a union-led push could raise Santa Monica's minimum wage for certain businesses to $10.69 an hour.


I cannot help but wonder why so little is heard from the public as Congress is about to tackle the issue of medical privacy.


Start-up, under capitalized, and rapid growth companies often find that their cash flow does not keep up with expanding customer orders and other business opportunities resulting in a loss of new business due to lack of satisfactory inventory levels to s

RE Columnadd

Universal Music Group inked its deal at the Arboretum Gateway last week, leasing the entire, 200,000-square-foot building in Santa Monica, which is almost completed, sources said. At one point, Symantec had considered moving there.


As Y2K approaches, pharmacists throughout L.A. keep hearing the same question from customers: Should they should stock up on medicine in case computers go down and medical records are lost?


The tsunami of venture capital pouring into Los Angeles represents what could be a critical turning point for the region and in the evolution of the high-technology industry itself. After barely accounting for 15 percent of Southern California venture mon


Good question one that executives of the Torrance-based company, the nation's second-largest provider of dialysis services, are not yet ready to fully explain.


Then again, maybe I'd rather live in Phoenix without the summer heat. Or in Alaska, perhaps, in a nice neighborhood where it never snows.


August is the perfect time to take a close look at your business and your life. At this point, there's still time to make some substantial changes before New Year's Eve.


It's 130 days and counting. Some people are still overhauling their computer systems for the millennium changeover, while others are hoarding medicine and preparing to take extra money out of the bank before the big day. So the Business Journal asks:


Shoppers are becoming more comfortable with using the Internet to buy books and CDs. But how about pointing and clicking your way to a new Honda Accord or Lexus RX300?

Monday, August 16


Welcome to the latest variation on the theme of mixed-use development in this case a retail complex combining restaurants and nightclubs with a senior citizens housing development in Burbank.


Caltrans workers are likely to be logging lots of overtime in their rush to widen an off-ramp from the Harbor (110) Freeway in time for the opening of Staples Center on Oct. 17.

Bank List

Although a wave of bank consolidation continues nationwide, the frenzy has slowed for Los Angeles-based institutions. Most of the top 10 banks this year were near the top of the list a year ago.

LA Newsmakers

Carl Meseck has been elected president of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority Commission. He will focus on the proposed replacement terminal project at Burbank Airport. Meseck was previously vice president and secretary of the commission. Pasa


Way back in May, Internet entrepreneur Alan Arkatov, then chair of L.A.'s Information Technology Commission, decided to play a little prank.


On the same week that negotiations to bring pro football's next franchise to Los Angeles seemed to fall apart, people in Cleveland were celebrating the return of the NFL.


H.L. Mencken once described the martini as the only American creation that was as perfect as a sonnet.


With, and so many others well-entrenched in the online world, do sports fans really need another Web site?


While L.A. is home to some major players in the broadband revolution, many of those having the biggest impact on local high-speed Internet access and content are from outside the area.


Created in 1991 by a Finnish student named Linus Torvalds, who was dissatisfied with the alternatives, Linux is a version of Unix that has people talking.


Last week's shooting in Granada Hills became the latest in a series of assaults nationwide. Some media critics say extensive media coverage only serves to inspire more violence. So the Business Journal asks:


Behind AT & T; Chief Executive Michael Armstrong's sweeping vision of a new cable era stands Leo Hindery.


When the hotshots of the broadband world were young, they were no doubt asked dozens of times by inquisitive adults: "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Orange County Business Journal

While Los Angeles has seen an increasing volume of broadband activity, much of the action is taking place in Orange County. And by far the largest participant there is Broadcom Corp., the Irvine-based chip maker that as of last week (even after a recent s


The California Endowment, the state's largest health-oriented philanthropy, has been doing it in bits and pieces very small bits and pieces sometimes just running into the six figures.


Horrific as they have been, the recent spate of shootings in Atlanta, Chicago, Colorado and last week in Los Angeles have relatively little in common other than the fact that the perpetrators were twisted, angry men and that their actions were incessant


Wimbledon is world renowned as a showcase for tennis, but for William H. Swegles, this summer's matches were a backdrop for new Internet technology.

Q & A

As a venture capitalist since 1981, Jonathan Funk has worked with emerging technology companies that specialize in everything from telecommunications to e-commerce.


Call it luck, or a federal bailout. Television broadcasters got a big break last week from a Federal Communications Commission ruling that will, in many cases, allow them to own two stations in a local market.


A walk down Broadway downtown is a sensory experience, with large crowds of bargain hunters shopping amid blaring salsa music and merchants hawking their wares in Spanish.


As vice president of business development at MediaOne Ventures (a subsidiary of MediaOne Group), she recommends which broadband companies receive investment capital from the firm.


After wrapping up his career as a U.S. Air Force jet fighter pilot in 1989, Tom Austin of Dallas started a business marketing art with an aviation theme.


Education: Bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University; doctorate in sociology from Washington University in St. Louis


The budding chefs at the California School of Culinary Arts will soon have some extra room to store their toques.


At the top of David A. Neuman's to-do list is "Replace Television" and he's not talking about taking a trip to the local Circuit City.

Fare War

American Airlines' pending absorption of Reno Air has touched off a limited fare war on the busy north-south coastal routes.

S & L

Of all the lists compiled by the Business Journal, the list of savings and loans in L.A. County has probably seen the most changes over the past few years.


Last year's Who's Who Technology focused on L.A.'s major Internet players; this year we're looking at the local players behind the revolution in high-speed Internet access, loosely defined as broadband. Are you starting to get an idea of where Southern Ca

Oped #1

The appointment of Bernard Parks as LAPD chief two years ago this month brought with it a huge relief to the city. This tough and savvy insider had the respect of city officials and the mayor, as well as the confidence of many African Americans and Latino

Burkle et al

One was once considered the most powerful man in Hollywood. One is a supermarket magnate turned mega-financier. One helped hatch one of the Internet's most popular sites.


Larry Kenswil sees a day when broadband technology will allow listeners to quickly download their favorite music from the Web rather than trek to music stores or be left waiting endlessly with a narrowband system.


During the past two years, Robert Tercek and his team at Columbia Tri-Star Television have created online versions of "Jeopardy," "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Dating Game."


About $150 million already has been invested in L.A.-area broadband companies, according to industry estimates, but that's only the beginning.

Corporate Focus

Kaufman & Broad Home Corp. has beaten analysts' expectations for the last five quarters in a row. Its reward from Wall Street? A tanking stock price.

Market Column

The city's only daily was shut down almost a year and a half ago, creating a news and advertising vacuum in one of the more demographically desirable communities in California.


"I want my MTV" used to be the battle cry for teen-agers in search of new music and videos. Today, teens are just as likely to conduct those searches online.


Your editorial "Belmont's End Game" (Aug. 2) correctly calls upon the Los Angeles Unified School District to wait until its commission returns in 60 days with recommendations on whether to complete or tear down the Belmont Learning Center.


On Friday, Christie's auction house in Beverly Hills will display a trove of Marilyn Monroe's treasured possessions that will go on the block later this year.


Jesse Juarros has only been with the city of Los Angeles for eight months, but as the point man for broadband access issues, he's already had a big impact.


Vice President Al Gore raised $318,050 during the first six months of the year from donors directly linked to the television, movie and music industries. He leads all presidential candidates in the race for Hollywood contributions.

Featured Newsmaker

Kelly Ann Sole wants to do for CNBC and MSNBC what she did for the Los Angeles Times increase revenues and audience.


Hank Foresta, owner of Master PI Detectives in Glendora, says being a private investigator is not as glamorous, or as dangerous, as people might believe. Most of the time, he and his investigators don't even carry guns. Foresta spoke to Jolie Gorchov abou


Following a general presentation earlier this month at a technology conference sponsored by the trade magazine Red Herring, 31-year-old David Wertheimer was inundated with job inquiries from the capacity crowd on hand.


How does a retail chain that already has scores of locations around town try to be new and different?


SANTA MONICA (Fine-Hayes) So much for business-friendly Santa Monica. The City Council in the midst of considering a series of measures that would clamp down on residential and commercial development. In addition, a union-led measure to implement a mini


Jon Middleton has seen the future of broadband, and started a company that's creating the technology to make it happen.


The Greek Theatre has become a hornet's nest of controversy as the L.A. City Council prepares to vote on whether to open up the city-owned theater's operating contract to competitive bids or grant a five-year extension to Nederlander of California Inc.

Company Index



A record $366.4 million in venture capital poured into the L.A. area during the second quarter, with three quarters of that going to Internet firms.


The city of Santa Monica is considering a "living wage" proposal that would force dozens of businesses in its trendy Third Street Promenade and beachfront resort areas to pay their workers a minimum of $10.69 an hour.

Arco Plaza

Arco Plaza, which consists of 515 and 555 S. Flower St., will be 55 percent vacant by early next year because of massive downsizing by its namesake tenant.


In fact, the 25-year Hollywood veteran just founded her own production division under the New Line Cinema umbrella with that very name to make movies targeting female audiences.


SANTA MONICA (Fine-Hayes) So much for business-friendly Santa Monica. The City Council in the midst of considering a series of measures that would clamp down on residential and commercial development. In addition, a union-led measure to implement a mini


Americans spend billions of dollars to buy movies, music and video games to take home and enjoy whenever they like.


When Michael Ovitz and Yucaipa Cos. became majority shareholders in Scour.Net two months ago, most of the company's senior managers were barely old enough to legally celebrate with a glass of champagne.


When Donald Janke was a 15-year-old in his home town of Black River Falls, Wis., he dreamed of being the deejay for an afternoon rock 'n' roll radio show. Not an uncommon fantasy for a teen-ager but unlike most other such dreamers, Janke made it happen.

Real Estate Column

It's not that unusual for the tenants of an apartment building to live above ground-floor retail or a parking garage, but a new development under construction in Redondo Beach takes that concept to a new level.


Yet L.A.'s mayor has helped shape the debate over broadband access and brought national attention to an issue that otherwise might have been a local footnote.


It's getting so that even the pros need a checklist to remember all the ways stocks and bonds can be traded these days. And Los Angeles is something of a center for alternative trading arrangements.


Who do broadband heavyweights turn to when they need guidance? Often, it's Beth Broday Gotler, an independent consultant whose client list has included Phillips Media, Tele-Communications Inc. and Capitol Records.


In his recent opinion piece ("Separate but Equal," July 26), Joel Kotkin correctly pointed out the pitfalls facing the Valley if it gains independence. Becoming the sixth largest city in America instead of half of the second won't give Valley residents th


On its face, a recent effort to restrict online liquor sales looks like the latest in a series of Net-related blunders for Congress.


Broadband access has been one of the hottest issues at City Hall this year, with the major telecom players spending more than half a million dollars in lobbying fees.


As chairman of Northwest Airlines parent NWA Inc., Gary L. Wilson would seem an unlikely player in the world of broadband.


When you open a stock brokerage account, you are safeguarded by the Securities Investor Protection Corp. But what, exactly, are you covered for? Not as much as you think.


Reading your Aug. 9 editorial "Runaway Hysterics" and the headlines and lead paragraphs of your Aug. 2 story, "Eyes Wide Shut," we hoped to be convinced that the dramatic increase in runaway film and television production was, as you stated, "not true," "


15 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: MCA Inc., then the only major motion picture company that had not changed hands in the past 18 years, amended its bylaws to discourage any unfriendly takeover attempts Unioil, a Glendale-based oil and gas exploration company, file


The Citadel, one of the first urban outlet malls in the country, drew throngs of shoppers and intense media coverage when it opened in late 1990. But today, even with consumer spending at near-record levels, the mall is fading.


During the past month, I had to call the pest control and home security people more than a half-dozen times before I could get a return call. My Sunday newspaper hasn't been delivered for weeks in spite of repeated complaints.

Monday, August 9


The 30 or so people filing out of the cardio room at the Warren Garrett Training Center in Agoura Hills hardly notice the guy who has flopped onto a chair, spent and sweaty and pulling on a sports drink.


Los Angeles-based public companies reported strong earnings gains in the second quarter ended June 30, with retail, oil and financial services companies posting some of the biggest gains.


10 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Saying he was proud to "sign this monster," President Bush approved sweeping legislation to rescue the nation's troubled savings and loan industry and put a $50-billion bailout into effect Hilton Hotels Corp. gave its financial adv


Here's a new and important reason to check your credit history: Some of your lenders may not be reporting the full status of your account.


Even without frills, renovating a big, unencumbered warehouse with no doors or corner offices will run $15 to $30 per square foot or up to $1.2 million for a 40,000-square-foot warehouse.


For a medium that's supposed to be interactive, the Web can be a pretty lonely place.


How about the Los Angeles Bills? Or Cardinals? Or even yes, once again the Los Angeles Raiders?


Thursday is production time at the Business Journal a long, often chaotic day under the best of circumstances. But in recent weeks, it's gotten just a wee bit crazier, courtesy of several late-breaking stories.


Internet stocks aren't the first to involve hype and volatility. Just look at the wacky world of "pure play" film companies, where Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Pixar have a combined stock market value of $4.6 billion on a trickle of movies.

LA Stories

Each year, the CaliforniaMart gives an award to an "entertainment entity in television, film or music that, in the past 12 months, has gained national attention and popularity through the creation of a unique perspective on fashion."


The financial services industry has gone through a number of monumental changes in the last 30 years, starting with the emergence of the commercial paper bond market in the late 1960s, followed by the securitizations of home mortgages and the elimination


There is a shift taking place. It is a change of attitude. This shift is happening throughout our culture. It is to be found both in the individual and in the company. This shift is the focus of the future. Is it the new revolution - a revolution of thoug


If you thought future rail projects by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority were dead, think again.


Telecom companies spent nearly $250,000 during the second quarter to lobby L.A. City Hall over who should have access to high-speed cable lines for Internet service, according to reports filed with the L.A. City Ethics Commission.


With the federal budget surplus expected to reach $3 trillion over the next 10 years, debate has intensified over how the windfall should be spent. The Republicans want to cut taxes and the Democrats want to boost Social Security and Medicare funds. So th


Steven Abraham will co-lead PriceWaterhouseCooper's communications and entertainment/media consulting practice in the Americas region. He will be based in Century City and continue his role as managing partner of global entertainment and media consulting.


When Windmill Lane Productions, a Santa Monica commercial production house, moved into its new digs at a derelict factory three years ago, owners Ben Dossett and Meiert Avis had as creative an idea for their work space as they for their work.


Note to production: Abrams mug last ran with Entrepreneur's Notebook column on 2/23/98


Last week's news that Los Angeles and New York would be allowed to provide charter flights to Cuba triggered an avalanche of calls to local travel agencies licensed to arrange such flights even though nothing is expected to be available until October or


The world is divided into two camps: those who believe that people are generally smart enough to take care of themselves, and those who don't.


On a day that Net stocks are taking a beating and Santa Monica is clouded in gloom, Richard Rosenblatt seems remarkably sunny. At 30, Rosenblatt has reason to be happy he just sold his Internet company, iMall, for some $425 million.


L.A. apparel prices are getting lower and lower compared to elsewhere in the nation, as a price-conscious market, coupled with the effects of a cheaper dollar last fall, have caused retailers to put out the sale signs.

Wayout Metropolitan

Except for the unusually large number of cars lining its short cobblestone driveway, there's no outward sign that the graceful gray manse is anything other than yet another Hancock Park-area home.


One of the best ways to learn all about a business before starting your own is by working in a similar business.


Perhaps raising a yellow flag for investors, New York-based tech analyst Vik Grover at Kaufman Bros., a boutique investment banking firm, recently lowered to "hold" from "buy" his rating on Westlake Village-based Coyote Network Solutions Inc.


After spending an extended stretch in the doldrums, biotech stocks have roared back over the last few weeks and helping drive that resurgence is Thousand Oaks-based Amgen Inc.


While the number of licensed beds in L.A. County's 25 largest hospitals remained essentially flat from the past year (16,281 from 16,268), the number of beds actually available fell by almost 1,000 (14,318 last year vs. 13,460 today).


Van de Kamp's Holland Dutch Bakery, the Glassell Park landmark with the distinctive Flemish gables and distinctive chimneys, may soon become home to two-by-fours and fast-food burgers rather than the bear claws and cinnamon rolls of days gone by.


The federal government announced that more than $34 billion will be spent over the next 10 years in the five-county area to help 360,000 moderate- and low-income families secure home loans.

Ask Lorraine

QUESTION: Recently I quit my job while awaiting the birth of my first baby. I decided not to go back to my "day job" and instead stay home to raise my child. However, I'm already getting antsy, and my baby hasn't even been born yet. What should I consider

Real Estate

Well, maybe not to every neighborhood, but the gourmet grocer is in the midst of an expansion around the Westside.


L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan has been credited with up-righting the Metropolitan Transportation Authority by moving the board away from subway construction and bringing in Julian Burke to stabilize the agency's sorry financial condition.


Small businesses are getting harder to define. Annual gross sales and number of employees are no longer in lock-step. One company with six computers and eight employees can generate $50M annually, while another may need 80 employees and thousands of squar


John J. Rooney, president of the Valley Economic Development Center, resigned last week and the agency's vice president, Wilma Berglund, is expected to take over as acting president, members of the group's board confirmed.

Main Office

At the Santa Monica offices of software design firm Westmark Harris Advisors, a black Labrador Retriever named Ivy pads over to the front door to greet visitors, then settles down for a nap on the concrete floor.


A Blue Ribbon Telecommunications Task Force established 18 months ago with the support of Mayor Richard Riordan and members of the City Council will issue a report Aug. 19 recommending that an industry veteran be hired to oversee the future development of


After years of squabbling over what to do with the County-USC Medical Center, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors reached what they call a compromise solution two weeks ago.

Wayout Mika

Peer through the vertical glass in the door of the Mika Co. office and you'll see the ruby red lips that frame the blue skies and marshmallow clouds of a Dali-esque painting in the lobby.

Finding a Bank

Taking the time to search for the right bank, or potential investor is critical to a company's long-term success.


The caption of a photo accompanying the June 28 story "Mall Builders Going Topless" misidentified the Plaza d' Northridge shopping center and its location. Its actual location is at the corner of Plummer Street and Shirley Avenue in Northridge.


When a wave of consolidation hits an industry - a classic example is funeral homes, but many others are developing -- an independent owner is forced into some choices. You can sell, and join the trend, or you can maintain your independence -- and face sti

Small Biz

Core Business: Offering subscribers full-service betting on horse racing over the Internet


As the new president of Food 4 Less, Dave Hirz intends to keep the company growing in the midst of the merger frenzy that has descended on the grocery industry.


Six years ago, at the age of 70, Phil Torf inherited the House of Props from his uncle. The business is located in a nondescript building in Hollywood, alongside film labs and optical houses. Its 14,000 square feet of space is packed with everything from


If the next-generation Joint Strike Fighter jets were built in Los Angeles County, it would not only add 40,000 jobs to California's aerospace industry, it would also save the federal government $2.2 billion.

Cash Flow

Edward and Jerry Tishkoff rent out pianos to shows like "ER," "Frasier," and "Mad TV," but their offices look more like "Barney Miller."


An Aug. 2 opinion column by Rohit K. Shukla ("Closed System Allows Competition") should have identified the writer as a member of the Board of Information Technology Commissioners.

Avoid Fraud

In today's "information-age" environment of internet purchasing, credit card fraud causes more financial headaches than ever before. Compiled below are twenty practical tips to avoiding credit card-related crimes being committed at your expense.


Network television's spinmeisters were out in full force during three weeks of sessions with TV critics from around the country to defend the penchant for young, beautiful and decidedly Anglo faces in this fall's programming lineup.


Local real estate values finally have caught up with the region's booming economy, with the total assessed value of L.A. County properties rising 6 percent in 1998, the sharpest jump since 1992.


Now that the smoke has cleared from the executive shuffle at Warner Bros., one executive emerging as a key Hollywood player is Richard Parsons, president of Time Warner Inc., which owns the studio.

Tech Talk

It's high time for the entertainment industry to embrace the new digital reality a sentiment reflected in this year's Herring on Hollywood conference, entitled "Convergence: Deal With It."

Wayout Picture Mill

John Parkinson, the architect who designed L.A. City Hall, Bullock's Wilshire, and other local landmarks, never would have envisioned the fate of his 1931 Art Deco-style edifice in Hollywood.

Wayout End

At The End, a commercial and music video production company, the hub of the workplace is, quite literally, a hub.

Company Index



Eduardo Quezada delivers the news to more of L.A. than anyone else, as news anchor for Spanish-language KMEX-TV, Channel 34, the flagship station of the Univision Network.


20th Century Industries TW 18.88 0.0 27.13 16.00 20.3 NYSE


The drive to unionize medical professionals in the Los Angeles area could advance this week when 250 registered nurses at a Valencia hospital vote on whether to join the California Nurses Association.

Wayout Southpark

Inside the South Park studio there's a pagoda, a recording studio with an adobe roof, an animation area with a thatched grass roof, and a shrine to the glam-rock band KISS.

Monday, August 2


Recently posted on Kik Wear Industries' Web site was a message from Christy, an 18-year-old fan of the company's youth-oriented clothing. She requested that Kik Wear start making wide-legged pants with orange stripes and yellow flames running down the leg


The same fate that struck L.A.'s aerospace giants during the past several years is now hitting the industry's next tier: local subcontractors.

Market Column

As the new Videotron on Sunset Boulevard officially opens for business this week, many might wonder how you can prop a giant video billboard beside a major thoroughfare without causing traffic tie-ups if not serious accidents.


"Open access." The term as applied to Web access and the Internet commands a huge emotional following.


FIVE YEARS AGO THIS WEEK: Twentieth Century Fox said it would build a 300-employee animation film studio in Phoenix after the state of Arizona offered about $1 million in job-training funds and low-interest loans to buy equipment Vons Cos. decided to clo

Small Biz

Recently posted on Kik Wear Industries' Web site was a message from Christy, an 18-year-old fan of the company's youth-oriented clothing. She requested that Kik Wear start making wide-legged pants with orange stripes and yellow flames running down the leg

Letter Hopkins

The July 19 issue is terrific. I read it from cover to cover. I did note a minor mistake on the piece on Lockheed Corp. ("20 Companies That Reflect L.A.") You refer to the F-19 stealth bomber as a major program in the 1980s. Actually, the F-19 was a cover

Company Index



Scott Johnston got his start as a custom furniture maker more than 20 years ago, building simple pieces out of 2-by-4s and selling them at swap meets on the weekends.


Trauma center live! Brain surgery live! Weird growths being removed from a child's ear live!


Close Pct. 52 Week


Folks sipping cocktails at the ultra-hip Fenix restaurant at the Argyle Hotel Sunset Boulevard or at the trendy Sky Bar at the Mondrian Hotel are no longer limited to actors, models, aspiring actors, aspiring models and other assorted hangers-on.


As of last week, our newspaper has a company-wide, fully functional e-mail system that allows Sara Fisher, Elizabeth Hayes and the rest of our newsroom staff to receive messages at their desks and just moments after they're sent out. How revolutionary!


Lonny Powell hopes to turn aging Santa Anita Park into a "year-round destination" after major renovations are completed in three phases over the next few years.

Letter Hudson

It's not just that the catering services in, say, Saskatchewan, aren't up to snuff compared to those in L.A. Or that the crown jewel of local retailing is a Wal-Mart rather than a Barney's.


It would be easy to write off the recent success of's initial public offering as just another chapter in Wall Street's irrational love affair with Internet stocks.

Runaway Q

Alan King is president of the Director's Guild of Canada. He has worked on various U.S. television productions ("Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Kung Fu") as well as many Canadian films and TV projects. He spoke from Toronto.


A bride-to-be can go to any newsstand and be inundated with magazines as thick as phone books. The same holds true with online companies dedicated to wedding registries, fashion and advice.


During the late-'80s boom, the high-end areas that had seen the steepest run-ups were the first to cool as the up-cycle began to give way.


A table of second-quarter statistics in the July 26 Real Estate Special Report had an incorrect heading under net absorption. In fact, the figures were year-to-date for the six months ended June 30, 1999. Total net absorption for the second quarter was 39


Atlantic Richfield Co. shareholders are expected to approve the company's takeover by BP Amoco in less than a month, leading to a question with heavy implications for Los Angeles: How much of the Arco empire will remain?


Education: B.A. in public management, Pepperdine University; master's in public administration, USC


Last month, Irvine-based launched its Web site, a network that features a variety of programming, pen pals and free e-mail, merging elements of radio, television and print on the Internet.


When 8-pound, 4-ounce Presley Walker Gerber was born last month, it was in his parents' Brentwood home, attended by a midwife.


Everyone has architectural pets and pet peeves. Los Angeles, in particular, is home to the extremes of the bad and beautiful, where among the ubiquitous mini-malls it's a real treat to come across an architectural gem. So the Business Journal asks:

Letter Sagner

The multiplex world still has room for a quirky, single-screen theater on Santa Monica Blvd.


Looking for somebody to determine the calorie content of your beer? On Assignment Inc. has your scientist.


The last major redevelopment site in downtown Burbank is about to be transformed, bringing to a close an area-wide effort that began nearly 20 years ago.


Natalie LaBran has joined Ozur Andersen & Radder in Beverly Hills as manager of the non-profit department. She will focus on audits and consulting services. LaBran was previously with PriceWaterhouse Coopers.


David Honda, chairman and chief executive of the Valley Economic Development Center Inc., has been ousted, and seven more of the center's board members have resigned, according to former and current board members.


The abrupt exit of Warner Bros. co-chairmen Bob Daly and Terry Semel has sent Hollywood rumormongers buzzing about their replacement. One executive frequently mentioned was CBS TV President Les Moonves but he took himself out of play last week by signin

At Home

The Federal Trade Commission recently focused its spotlight on Web-site scams that have duped 300,000 companies. As part of these scams, unethical site designers contact small businesses and offer to build and post Web sites for free trial periods.


Home Depot plans to boost its number of stores in Southern California as part of a national expansion, while Lowe's Cos. Inc. is entering the West Coast this year.

Q & A; adds

(Add to answer about difference between moving to Canada as opposed to moving elsewhere in U.S. )


A team of young UCLA researchers accustomed to being tucked away in a quiet laboratory on campus suddenly found themselves surrounded by TV crews shoving microphones into their faces.


Hollywood loves a good story. And what could be more gripping than the one about the United States losing thousands of high-paying production jobs to Canada, Australia and other nations around the world?


Debbie Mendelsohn has been the owner of the Happy Hands nail salon in Northridge since 1975. In spite of the proliferation of family-owned nail salons in many mini-malls, she's been able to hold onto her faithful clientele, some of them for 25 years. Mend


It's the constant refrain in Hollywood these days, as studios and production companies say they're desperately looking for ways to save a buck or two including taking their business overseas.


E4L Inc. is already one of the nation's largest infomercial producers and poised to move onto the Internet one reason Bay Area brokerage house First Security Van Kasper & Co. is high on the Encino-based company.


While Los Angeles remains a breeding ground for companies that wind up being bought by outsiders, there remains an appetite for acquisition among a number of local businesses. And the action covers an assortment of industries and various-sized companies.


In your company 401(k) retirement plan, you're offered a menu of mutual funds and other investments. How do you decide which ones to choose?