Stories for August 2000

Monday, August 28


Parents need to have a frank talk with their children, as the kids approach puberty. No, it's not what you're thinking. I'm talking plastic.

106th Congress Moves to Expand Government Regulation of the Internet

The 106th Congress has confronted a rapidly expanding agenda of Internet and e-commerce issues that reflects U.S. lawmakers' growing awareness of the vast political and economic impact of such issues.

TELEVISION---More Mergers Likely in Television World

The same thing is happening in the TV broadcast world. After the Federal Communications Commission loosened curbs on ownership in major markets in August 1999, six big TV station group owners started getting cozy.


There's a line from the movie "Stand By Me," a line written by Stephen King, which says, "I never had any friends like the ones I had when I was 12 years old."


AIDS Project Los Angeles has sold its headquarters at Vine Street and Fountain Avenue for $11 million to Accord Interests, an urban redevelopment firm that plans to develop creative office space to cash in on the Hollywood revival.


From architect Richard Neutra's "mid-century" Kester Elementary School in Van Nuys to the "Spanish Revivalism" of the Carthay Center School on Olympic Boulevard, the Los Angeles Unified School District owns a host of largely unrecognized architectural tre

JANE APPLEGATE---Entrepreneur Cashing In on Thirst for Healthy Drinks

Denise Devine's young son, Nicholas, would drink a gallon of fruit juice a day if she'd let him. His thirst for sweet drinks inspired her to start a Pittsburgh-based nutritional foods company aimed at boosting the grain and fiber content of juices and fro

Online Competitive Advantage Is All About Your CRM Systems!

"There are only two ways to establish competitive advantage. Do things better than others, or do things differently" Karl Albrecht. With today's ever changing new digital economy, this means having access to customer-related information and a solid Cus

APARTMENTS---High L.A. Rents May Spark San Gabriel Valley Projects

What's the next apartment-development hot spot in Los Angeles? The most likely place is the western San Gabriel Valley, industry experts say.

PLAYBOY---Turn It Down, Hef

While U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez was forced to cancel her Playboy Mansion gala during the Democratic National Convention this month, the estate is jam-packed on just about every weekend.

DISNEY---Deal With Cell Phone Giant Lets Japanese Dial Up Disney

Equally obsessed with all things high-tech and pop-culture cute, young Japanese consumers might soon find themselves in heaven or at least in the Magic Kingdom.

TECH---'Tech Coast' Brand Name Not Getting Much Mileage

For millions of technology workers and hundreds of New Economy companies that dot Southern California's shores, the Tech Coast already is a place bristling with economic activity. But can it become a brand name, too?

SCHOOLS---School District's Architectural Gems


TIMES---Times Makes Key Changes Among Editorial Ranks

Last week marked another change in the masthead at the Los Angeles Times, but the shuffling of titles isn't over yet.

CSC---With Y2K Bug Dead, CSC on Winning Streak

Computer Sciences Corp., the No. 3 computer services company in the country, is on a roll after a lull caused by Y2K worries.

Enabling Your Customers Through Online Order Management

Customers are becoming more and more critical and demanding regarding online purchasing as the Web revolution sweeps through industry after industry. Not only is the Internet dramatically accelerating business processes, it is also increasing the complex

Technological Advancement: Where is it Taking Real Estate Today?

Just what is all the buzz about technological advancement and its impact on the real estate industry? E-Buildings? I-Buildings? The most widely used term in many technology hubs is "Smart Building." Building owners and developers must anticipate how a


The Wilshire Grand Hotel in downtown Los Angeles is bucking the trend of the traditional hotel cocktail area by opening up a tiki lounge, reminiscent of the Polynesian bars that were popular in the 1950s.

SCREENWRITERS--Movie Screenwriters Quietly Crowing

As Hollywood studios and producers scramble to get their projects completed before a possible labor action next spring, few are benefiting more than local screenwriters. But you'd never know it by talking to them.

HEALTHCARE---IPC-The Hospitalist Co.


Harnessing the Power of The e-Business Marketplace

The supply chain is going online, with lightning speed and dramatic results. That's the finding of a recent Deloitte Consulting study, "Leveraging the e-Business Marketplace: Business-to-Business e-Procurement Trends, Opportunities, and Challenges," which

CARS---SUV Buyers Not Frightened By Bad Press

It seems all the bad press in the world can't slow down the popularity of sports utility vehicles in Los Angeles.

TECH TALK---Wiring L.A. Schools for Net Access Is Boon for Firm

Officials from Inc. met with the Los Angeles Unified School District last week to get the ball rolling on a project in which Wareforce will wire 102 L.A. schools with high-speed Internet access.

WORKING AT HOME---Places to Look for Those Hard-to-Find Service Providers

Every home-based business owner I know is looking for some kind of professional service provider. Some need long-term help from accountants or attorneys; others want short-term project work from graphic artists and printers.

User Experience: What is it? Who needs it?

User Experience is the latest hot debate in the Web site development arena. Some say it's a farce, just another way for consultants to make their big bucks. Others insist that it's the most important part of a company's Web site, more important even than

Technology and Employment

Technology has changed the nature of recent job growth and the composition of the workforce. From 1970 to the mid-1990's, high-tech information processing equipment grew from seven percent to more than 50 percent of business equipment investment. As a r


Fake Cubans: New York mainstay and guitarist Marc Ribot creates his own sound with the Cubanos Postizos (or Fake Cubans), whose music is an homage to the legendary Cuban bandleader Arsenio Rodriguez. They play at the Conga Room on Sept. 6. More informatio

Top Residential Developers

Top Residential Developers


Bad press has caused vitamins and other nutritional supplements to fall out of favor. And that's very bad news for Chatsworth-based Natrol Inc.

WAGES---Restaurateurs Brace for Minimum-Wage Hike

Local restaurant owners are resigning themselves to tightening their belts as they face an almost certain hike in the state minimum wage sometime next year.

INTERVIEW---Jeff Schwartz, The Big McCheese

As McDonald's top executive in L.A., Jeff Schwartz oversees 360 franchises for the fast-food chain, where he has worked since he was 15. And he still flips burgers every once in a while.

SATELLITE---Satellite Venture Attracts Big-Name Investors

AssureSat Inc. of El Segundo is planning to launch two satellites in the coming years that will be stationed in orbit for use as backups if and when one of its clients' communications satellites malfunctions.

The Business Behind e-Business

The Internet Economy seems to have emerged in the blink of an eye, with a few savvy businesses propelling themselves at rocket speed, while other companies are simply left in their wake. Competition is fierce, and traditional brick-and-mortar businesses m

REAL ESTATE---AIDS Center Is Purchased For Creative Office Space

AIDS Project Los Angeles has sold its headquarters at Vine Street and Fountain Avenue for $11 million to Accord Interests, an urban redevelopment firm that plans to develop creative office space to cash in on the Hollywood revival.

ENTREPRENEUR'S NOTEBOOK---Precautions to Protect Your Identity From Being Stolen

From fraudulent credit card purchases and unauthorized cell phone charges to the ultimate nightmare of comprehensive identity theft, the Information Age provides fertile ground for the growth of this crime.

JANE BRYANT QUINN---Credit Card Firms Aim to Put Plastic in Hands of Kids

Parents need to have a frank talk with their children, as the kids approach puberty. No, it's not what you're thinking. I'm talking plastic.

COFFEE---Small Coffeehouses Sticking It to Starbucks

Inside a popular coffee hangout, where patrons sit in overstuffed armchairs and thumb through the morning paper, three men are plotting a caffeine war.

Anyone Can Start An e-Business

$15 off $15.01, $20 worth of free postage, and a chance at $10,000,000 just for using a, search engine. Only three years ago these business tactics would be considered ludicrous; now, they are considered legitimate ""growth strategies." Most large and "gr

REAL ESTATE---L.A. Buyers Circling as REIT Considers Liquidation

With Burnham Pacific Properties Inc.'s shareholders expected to approve a total liquidation of the company's assets at an Oct. 18 meeting, local investors are preparing to bid on the properties, which include 13 shopping centers in Los Angeles County and

INTERVIEW---The Big McCheese

As McDonald's top executive in L.A., Jeff Schwartz oversees 360 franchises for the fast-food chain, where he has worked since he was 15. And he still flips burgers every once in a while.

The Top 10 Ways to Create A Successful E-Business

The Internet presents a tremendous opportunity to extend your business reach. The old axiom on the key to business success the right product, at the right price, at the right place and time - still holds true. Except now the right place is the global on

Protecting Your Company From Unwanted Web Site Litigation

As more and more businesses join the high tech information age, the number of lawsuits associated with the high tech exchange of information will continue to rise. It is therefore becoming increasingly important for companies who have or intend to create


For many Angelenos, the contemporary art scene can seem intimidating and overwhelming. After observing this for 15 years, Michael Collins set out to use his skills and artistic eye to help ease the process of buying art by starting artFORM, a contemporary

User Experience:What is it? Who needs it?

User Experience is the latest hot debate in the Web site development arena. Some say it's a farce, just another way for consultants to make their big bucks. Others insist that it's the most important part of a company's Web site, more important even than

Small Business Grows On The Web

When Stuart Felman first considered establishing a web presence for his Beverly Hills store, Stuart Felman's Custom Tailors, his goals were to grow his company and achieve global exposure at a low cost. After more than two years on the web, he believes he

CYBERSENSE---Providing Links to Renegade Sites Could Be Big Trouble

The difference between merely typing the address to a Web site and linking to it comes down to some simple HTML code.

POWER---Electricity Rate Hikes Slam L.A. Businesses

San Diego companies aren't the only ones getting shocked by huge hikes in their power bills. At least 75 major companies in L.A. County all customers of Southern California Edison have seen their electric power bills skyrocket over the last couple mon

WALL STREET WEST---Doing Dot-Com Valuations Lands Financier in Hot Spot

New York City may have Mary Meeker, the queen of Internet analysts who works for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, but Los Angeles has Debbie Simon, the doyen of dot-com valuations, roll-ups and mergers.

Nine Tips For Selling On The Internet

Can you make money on the Internet and the World Wide Web? Certainly. Thousands of other small business people are making money and saving money right now in this new marketing medium.

MITCH ALBOM---Joys of Youth Live in Childhood Friends

There's a line from the movie "Stand By Me," a line written by Stephen King, which says, "I never had any friends like the ones I had when I was 12 years old."

CHET CURRIER---Tips to Put Your Mind at Ease About Mutual Funds

While it makes money for you, an ideal strategy for mutual fund investing shouldn't cost you much sleep.

CHEESECAKE---Popular Eatery Opening Upscale Version in L.A.

Riding high on the popularity of its upscale casual restaurants, Los Angeles-based Cheesecake Factory Inc. is scheduled to open a new concept called Grand Lux Caf & #233; in the Beverly Center this coming spring.


New York City may have Mary Meeker, the queen of Internet analysts who works for Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, but Los Angeles has Debbie Simon, the doyen of dot-com valuations, roll-ups and mergers.


Kip Dellinger has been named partner-in-charge at Gaytan Kallman & Co., a management consulting, taxation and financial accounting firm in Los Angeles. He specializes in tax controversy matters and business consulting with an emphasis on real estate and a


For many Angelenos, the contemporary art scene can seem intimidating and overwhelming. After observing this for 15 years, Michael Collins set out to use his skills and artistic eye to help ease the process of buying art by starting artFORM, a contemporary


While it makes money for you, an ideal strategy for mutual fund investing shouldn't cost you much sleep.

Monday, August 21

INTERVIEW---Spider-Man's Business Brain

Peter Paul has handled the financial affairs of Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. Now he's the strategist who's building the multimedia cartoon empire of Stan Lee.

CHET CURRIER---Bonds Have Taken a Beating but Now Show Promise

Past time, probably, considering the sad state of muni funds' affairs. In the midst of a roaring financial boom, their assets are falling, their market share is shriveling and their cash flow is going the wrong way.

JANE APPLEGATE---Effective Planning Can Help Company Survive a Crisis

When the Air France Concorde crashed in late July, killing 113 people, airline officials were immediately on the phone, radio and television, explaining, consoling and commenting on the tragedy. They were prepared for the worst and executed a detailed cri

LAPD---World's Toughest Ad Job: Promoting LAPD

Here's a challenge for any advertising firm: make the Los Angeles Police Department look warm and fuzzy to entice more people to become cops. That was the assignment for Duncan & Associates, a Santa Monica advertising agency that developed a series of TV

JANE BRYANT QUINN---High-Rate CDs Might Not Deliver What You Expect

Beware, beware, of financial firms selling high-rate certificates of deposit. I don't mean banks, I mean brokers. They're advertising terrific deals, on what seem to be one-year CDs. In fact, these CDs may not mature for 20 or 30 years. I'm especially wor

ENTREPRENEUR'S NOTEBOOK---Tips for Getting Some Credit From Asset-Based Lenders

Perspective, according to Webster's Dictionary, is "the interrelation in which a subject or its parts are mentally viewed; the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance."

CYBERSENSE---Owners Turn Boring Computer Shells Into Works of Art

With computers, as with people, it's what's inside that counts. But everybody could use a makeover now and then. For some, a new haircut or cooler clothes will suffice. Others feel the need for a trip to the tattoo parlor or a plastic surgeon. The same so

MITCH ALBOM---Signal Fading Fast for Homegrown Radio

I say this because, having traveled recently through Detroit, Dayton, Atlanta, Charlotte, Orlando and Tallahassee, I have heard them all, the same six stations.

CASA---Realtor Launches Division to Reach Spanish Speakers

When the doors opened at Jim Dickson Realtors in 1952, most of the people who lived in the San Gabriel Valley area were whites riding the post World War II economic boom.

ONLINE---DotTV Domain Names Fetch High Prices

Pasadena-based DotTV, a hatchling of the Idealab incubator, will announce Aug. 21 that it has sold three of its new dot-tv Internet addresses for $100,000 apiece, company officials confirmed. Those prices, the most expensive deals to date for DotTV, were

SOUND---Souped-Up Sounds


SHOPPING---New Robinsons-May Campaign Sets Sights on Youths

With retail sales statistics painting a grim picture for conventional department stores, as young consumers flock to boutiques and discount outlets instead, Robinsons-May is fighting back with a major marketing push.

WATERFRONT---Union Election Heightens Tension at Seaports

With the election of James Spinosa earlier this month as president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the group has a powerful, unified front office for the first time in years. And shippers and local port officials aren't the least bit h

It's Never Too Late to Learn: Executives Should Try to Avoid These Common Mistakes at All Costs!

Everybody makes mistakes. Anyone in business for any length of time knows this is true. What counts is what one does with those mistakes , how well we learn from them and how well we learn from the mistakes of others so that we can hopefully avoid making

Top Auto Dealers

Top Auto Dealers

CATALINA---Spate of Housing Construction Hits Crowded Catalina Island

Considered by some Angelenos as just a place to escape for a weekend of scuba diving, Catalina is experiencing growth in new home construction for permanent residents.

SACRAMENTO---Business Bills Confront Final Hurdles in Sacramento

The Democratic National Convention wasn't the only political hot spot for business leaders last week. Some of them were focused on Sacramento, where their attention will remain as the Legislative session winds down.

KVEA---Executive Comes Back to Tackle Problems at KVEA

A young man sets off to make his mark in the world, then returns home to find it near ruin, and vows to restore his homeland's past glory.

Innovative Education Spotlight: New Guidance for a Changing World

No matter how innovative today's organization is, there are still many obstacles to achieving the goals of a healthy business. Mounting risks, fast-paced and increasing complex environments, vicious competition for hiring and retaining qualified employees

AUTOGRAPHS---Confessions of an Autograph Hound



NOTES ON THE NEW AND IN VOGUEFlashback: The trials and tribulations of high school in the 1950s are brought to life in the hit musical "Grease" at the Greek Theatre on Aug. 22 and Aug. 23. This stage production features the same popular soundtrack as the

IMAGES---Visitors Praise City, but Pan Police

The major purpose for bringing the Democratic National Convention here polishing L.A.'s world image as a good place to vacation, live and do business was largely achieved last week. Visitors from around the world, on average, related pleasant surpris

Are You Suffering The Symptoms of Burnout?

Are you bored by your job? Do you find yourself looking at your watch every ten minutes, eagerly awaiting the arrival of 5 o'clock?

SEAGRAM---Despite Records, Movies, Seagram Reports Net Loss

Seagram Co., the media company being bought by Vivendi SA for about $40 billion, said its fiscal fourth-quarter loss was little changed from a year ago even as it sold more records and produced a string of hit movies by its L.A.-based Universal Studios In

TRADE---Burbank Airport Sees Cargo Total Take Sharp Drop

While cargo volume is soaring at other local airports, it has suddenly and inexplicably taken a nose-dive at Burbank Airport.

INTERNET---Quiet Computer Powerhouse Takes Next Step

Why doesn't L.A.'s tech industry get the national media recognition it perhaps deserves? Blame people like James Chu.

CORPORATE FOCUS---Firm Struggling to Rebound After Failing to Go Private

Despite steady growth and strong cash flow over the past year, dental management services company InterDent Inc. in El Segundo just can't seem to get a smile out of Wall Street.

MORTGAGES---Mortgage Program Targets Buyers Along Transit Lines

A new program that loosens the home mortgage lending requirements for those who are willing to locate close to public transportation is about to roll out in Los Angeles. The program, developed by two environmental groups along with Countrywide Home Loans

PHYSICIANS---Medical Group Picks Leader With Unusual Background

As a physician, Dr. Kenneth Hoffer is a bit of an oddity. He has never had to wrangle with health maintenance organizations or managed care contracts. He hasn't had to deal with the AIDS epidemic or the uninsured, and he hasn't been affected by the county

EDISON---Edison Can't Cash In on Increased Demand for Power

With its rates frozen, Edison International is feeling the heat. The Rosemead-based utility can't raise the prices it charges customers for electric power, despite exploding demand, until it pays off the billions of dollars in debt on alternative energy i

LEGAL---Ruling Allows Rival Access to Ticketing Site

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc. can't stop another online seller of tickets from entering its Web site to collect basic information about upcoming events, a federal judge ruled.

Executive Mentoring: A Valuable Business Tool

You've been the CEO of a $60 million manufacturing concern for five years. Lately the ride has been bumpy, and upcoming earnings forecasts aren't encouraging. Your Board has discussed downsizing. You have concerns about losing key people and their know-ho

BASE---Air Force Wants City to Help Pay for Base Renovations

Faced with a declining budget and outdated buildings at its El Segundo base, Air Force officials are seeking as much as $40 million in local government subsidies to help pay for a new $85 million research-and-development facility there. Leaders in the are

CINEMAS---Theater Chains Falling on Tough Times

Say it ain't so! Carmike Cinemas Inc., a longtime Wall Street favorite, filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors this week in a Delaware federal court, just a week after insisting that it had enough cash to make debt payments for the next 12 to 24 m

PROJECT---New Project Sparks Conflict Over Parking

The city of Beverly Hills has approved a mixed-use development project for the "Golden Triangle" commercial area that will include a flagship Crate & Barrel store along with parking, office and retail space.

Learn to Grasp The E-Commerce Revolution

There once was a time when consumers woke up at the break of dawn to race to the local toy store to buy the year's hottest trend. Years ago, housewives across the country eagerly awaited the debut of hefty department store catalogs to order everything fr

Getting That Resume On The Internet

When it comes to resumes, there's a right way and a wrong way, especially in the HR industry where the people you are trying to reach are likely to be resume experts. The right way, obviously, is the one that works best for employment managers and recrui

TECH TALK---Convention Webcast Led List of Creative Planet Deals

The online marketing arm of e-business consulting firm iXL Inc. is spinning off from its Atlanta-based parent company to become an independent entity based in Culver City.

REAL ESTATE---Creative Office Renovations Creeping Farther to the East

Beverly Hills-based PMI Properties purchased the 24,400-square-foot office building at 10951 Pico Blvd. in West L.A., a block west of the Westside Pavilion. The Center for Law in the Public Interest Foundation sold the building for about $3.55 million.


Located along Ocean Front Walk in the heart of the Venice boardwalk is a little eclectic bookstore, known for it's extensive poetry section and books on vampires.

IMPRESSIONS---What Were All Those Events Really Like?

Last week's Democratic National Convention in L.A. produced some stunning contrasts, from the staged coronation of Al Gore on the Staples Center floor to chaotic clashes between protesters and police outside, from rather subdued delegate parties around to


One of the best journalistic perks of the Democratic National Convention wasn't all the free food and drink or the possibility of rubbing shoulders with the political and powerful.


Richard A. Greene has been appointed partner at Macias, Gini & Co., an accounting and consulting firm in Los Angeles. He specializes in operations and compliance of California government, special districts, redevelopment agencies, retirement systems and n

WALL STREET WEST---Identity of John Doe Suing Winnick Is a Real Mystery

In Los Angeles financial circles, that was a parlor game played last week, much as Washington insiders have long ruminated about the true identity of "Deep Throat," the man who leaked details about a troubled Nixon White House to reporters Woodward and

Monday, August 14

SMALL BUSINESS---Biodegradable Bonanza

Business owner Frederic Scheer has a lot on his plate. Make that on his biodegradable plate. Scheer is founder and chief executive of Biocorp Inc., a 4-year-old company that manufactures garbage bags, paper plates and plastic-like cutlery that unlike re


After 10 years as a satisfied customer of Roommate Matchers, a placement service in Los Angeles, Andrew Gombiner decided to buy the company through which he had found a number of compatible people to share housing.

Station Hopes Well-Heeled Listeners Tune In on Web

Local radio station Channel 103.1 FM thought its fate was sealed after its parent company, Clear Channel Communications, and the AMFM Inc. radio network announced their merger last fall.

Clothes on the cheap

So in Santa Monica, where public schools rely on ocean breezes to keep students cool, it almost goes without saying that officials looked forward to replacing aging windows, many of them thick with layers of paint, aged by years of salty ocean air, and ha

Pace of VC Deals Picks Up as Focus Reflects a Change

Venture capital firms kept pouring money into Los Angeles growth companies in the second quarter, but preferred to invest in previously funded enterprises rather than in brand-new ones.


If you have an outgoing personality and a tuxedo or evening gown, consider attending benefits as a way of meeting wealthy people who may be interested in financing your dreams.


A landmark clock tower where time has stood still for more than six years is finally on its way to being renovated.

Labor Wins Key Concession Over Project at Airport

Labor unions have won a major victory by convincing Los Angeles city officials to agree that only union workers will be employed on an important project at Los Angeles International Airport.


I was catching up with my bookkeeper last week when she told a story that scared me. Another client of hers had recently been audited and paid a hefty fine due to shoddy documentation relating to her business's independent contractors. The client hadn't h

Redpoint Now Gold Standard For VC Firms

On July 28, Massachusetts-based Avici Systems Inc. finished its first day of trading at $96.75, more than triple its initial public offer price of $31. Late last week, it was trading at around $133 a share.

OUTLYING AREAS---At Peak of Tourist Season, Conventioneers Unnoticed

The convention is dropping an avalanche of media attention and thousands of visitors into the heart of Los Angeles this week. But many restaurants and shops outside the downtown area are too busy to notice. While Los Angeles is expected to get a $135 mill


Janet Kirker has been appointed executive vice president of the interactive division at the Cimarron Group, a Hollywood-based producer of advertising and marketing campaigns for the entertainment industry. She will oversee production and day-to-day operat

Redone Downtown Apartments Draw Upscale Tenants

Last week, Gilmore Associates' pioneering renovation of the San Fernando Building at Fourth and Main streets was officially unveiled, with high hopes that it will spark a broad renewal of downtown's urban core.

PEOPLE---Minding Chandlers' Money

As managing partner of TMCT Ventures, Tom Unterman is in charge of a $550 million fund financed for the most part by one of the most prominent families in Los Angeles

SHOWTIME AT STAPLES---Convention Reportcard

After two and a half years of toiling, the Democratic National Convention is finally here, as L.A. takes its long-sought place in the national spotlight. The road leading up to this moment has been full of bumps, some of which still cast a shadow over the


Maybe New York City has Wall Street, but Los Angeles or at least Santa Monica seems to be stepping up to the plate when it comes to owning the title of "Virtual Wall Street."

DEMONSTRATIONS---Wary Businesses Bracing for an Onslaught of Protesters

The Los Angeles Police Department and L.A. city officials are expecting around 37 different protest groups ranging in size from three people to some 15,000 strong to demonstrate during the Democratic National Convention. And how peacefully, or violent

CONTRACTS---These Firms Were Among Major Convention Winners

The most commonly used estimate of the Democratic National Convention's economic impact on Los Angeles is $135 million. Those dollars will be spread around among hotels, retailers, party planners and contractors hired to prepare for or staff the big event


Normally, I am depressed by America's fascination with TV ratings. But in the case of the now-completed Republican convention, the ratings were instructive.


Something bad is happening in these mad-rush-to-nowhere times. Summer is ending earlier every year.

Industrial Complex Sees Lots of Action as an Entertainment Hub

A 1960s-era industrial complex may seem an unlikely hot spot for Westside entertainment and new-media types, but the Lantana complex in Santa Monica has become just that.

INVESTMENTS & FINANCE---Health Scare Sends Shiver Through Sizzler Comeback

A lethal case of food poisoning may have, at least temporarily, derailed plans by Sizzler International Inc. to reinvent itself.

Builders Boost Price of School Construction

So in Santa Monica, where public schools rely on ocean breezes to keep students cool, it almost goes without saying that officials looked forward to replacing aging windows, many of them thick with layers of paint, aged by years of salty ocean air, and ha

Writers Vying Over Internet Contracts

Online content is not only a major factor in the Screen Actors Guild's strike against commercial producers, it's a key point in current contract negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the makers of Internet entertainment.

Gen-X Looks To Buy Their Own Homes

Despite their slacker image in popular culture, Gen-Xers are becoming a major force in the home-buying realm.

STYLE---A Taste of Paris

French cooking hasn't been big in Los Angeles in the past, but that's no longer the case. Some popular bistros are changing the way Angelenos look at Gallic cuisine


Which do you consider more private: The programs you watch on TV or the e-mail you exchange with your friends and co-workers?

PARTIES---Convention Brings Bashes That Will Rival Oscar Night

It's convention time, and that means L.A.'s rich and famous are hopping between parties like never before. From Beverly Hills mansions to studio back lots, in posh downtown hotel rooms and in many of L.A.'s hottest clubs, the champagne is flowing and mill

Firms Aim to Create Online System to Aid Producers

As entertainment executives grapple with how to best use the Internet to capture an online audience, two local companies are battling it out to bring some of Hollywood's more archaic practices up to speed.


What's this year's hottest item for the back-to-school season? According to some big retailers, it's luggage.

L.A. Firm Makes Deal for Exhibits At London Dome

Los Angeles-based Hyper Entertainment Inc. has beat out 70 competitors to develop attractions and exhibits for the widely criticized Millennium Dome in London.

Lender Manages to Grow in Rocky Sub-Prime Market

In the recent rough-and-tumble times of sub-prime lending, Fremont Investment and Loan hasn't just survived, it's grown.


Keeping employees healthy, happy and productive should be every company's first priority. But is it? If your company is suffering from high turnover, high absenteeism and low employee morale, you can help lead the way to effect real change within your cor

UNIONS---Despite 'Peace' Plan, Labor Will Make Presence Known

When AFL-CIO chief John Sweeney promised labor peace at Democratic National Convention 2000, it appears that all he meant was that union demonstrations wouldn't target Democratic policies or disrupt the convention. But even that may be a stretch. Last wee

Actors' Strike Boosts Local Production

The increasingly nasty strike by commercial actors, now in its fourth month, is inadvertently pushing the Hollywood production machine into high gear.

REFORM PARTY---Another Convention Fails To Make Dent in Economy

That kind of sums up the reaction in Long Beach, which hosted the National Reform Party convention last week. Though the bash generated a few headlines, it was expected to have little impact on the city's economy and nowhere near the public relations clou


I'm trying really hard to feel sorry for the rich. When they die, their estates have to pay a "death" tax, which means less for their heirs.


Prime Advantage Corp., founded in 1998, runs a business-to-business online marketplace for the industrial manufacturing industry and recently secured $23 million.

Venture Funding Studies Can Show Different Results

Santa Monica-based Xdrive got $47 million in venture capital funding during the second quarter ended June 30, or maybe it was $26.8 million.

SAG Recruits Union Help in Strike

Screen Actors Guild leaders have vowed to escalate their strike against the advertising industry, recruiting the powerful AFL-CIO to join the fight.

MEDIA---Little TV Coverage Hurts Effort to Enhance L.A.'s Image

Los Angeles officials sought to host the Democratic National Convention largely because of the event's global image-boosting power, but L.A. may get less exposure than it bargained for. TV coverage of the Democratic convention isn't going to be much bette


Tinseltown Tunes:What would the summer be without John Williams conducting the L.A. Philharmonic in "John Williams' Movie Memories" at the Hollywood Bowl? It's on for two nights, Aug. 18 and 19. Williams has composed the music for more than 80 films inclu

Winnick Is Sued In Dispute Over Stake in Network

Global Crossing Ltd. Chairman Gary Winnick is being sued by an anonymous Los Angeles venture capitalist who is seeking a stake in the company, which owns a worldwide telephone and data network.

Wednesday, August 9

25 Largest Private Schools

25 Largest Private Schools25 largest private schools in LA

Monday, August 7


A recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals against Microsoft Corp. was a wake-up call to businesses that use temporary staffing services.

ELI BROAD---Artsy, Streamlined Command Center

Getting off the elevator on the 37th floor at SunAmerica Center in Century City, Eli Broad's taste in art grabs the visitor almost immediately. A gigantic conglomeration of overlapping sheets covered in silvery graphite splashes across the walls and hangs

SPORTS---Missing the Goal

The most viable option for keeping the L.A. Coliseum financially productive during the absence of a National Football League franchise is crumbling.

HOUSING---City of Industry's Ironic Role In Affordable Housing in L.A.

Why would the City of Industry pay $61 million to build homes in places like Pomona, Norwalk, Pasadena, and Los Angeles?

ART---The Changing Nature of L.A.'s Corporate Art Collections

Jose A. Collazo takes a personal interest in Native American art, and he's brought that interest to the workplace.

AEROSPACE---Web Deal Worries Aerospace Subcontractors

The aerospace/defense industry has been very slow to adapt to the world of e-commerce, but that is about to change and L.A.'s community of aerospace subcontractors isn't very happy about it.

VINTAGE---Thrift-Store Chic

The evidence? Along with the fact that thrift stores are more popular than ever among people who can afford to shop at boutiques, high-end department store Barneys New York is now selling vintage pre-owned clothes.


With help from Global Crossing Ltd., an L.A.-based digital broadband services provider is poised to grow.


For 23 years, Gene Van Grevenhof drove a truck from the East Coast to the West Coast, hauling meat for Decker Truck Lines. Then, one day, at age 45, Van Grevenhof bent over to pick up a small, five-pound box and broke his back.

FINANCE---L.A. Wins, S.F. Loses in BofA Executive Shift

Last week's appointment of Liam McGee to the newly created position of president of the bank's California operations puts the longtime Los Angeles resident in charge of the biggest banking presence in the state, one whose national headquarters may be in C

TROUBLES---Long Beach's Redevelopment Plans Running Into Trouble

Long Beach's much-touted downtown development plans have hit rough waters recently, leaving the impression that the city's economic outlook is much like its maritime icon the Queen Mary: stuck in port.

INCUBATOR---Big Biotech Incubator Project Gets the Nod in Pasadena

Pasadena's aspiration to become a biotech hub just got a little closer to reality, with a $125 million biotech incubator/office project being approved for a site next to a future Blue Line station on the city's east side.

RETAIL---Dillard's Attempts To Expand in L.A. Being Thwarted

With more than 300 stores throughout the United States but only one in the Los Angeles area, Dillard's Inc. is making a serious bid to open new stores here, industry observers said.




Like all good mysteries, the ending of Stephen King's latest experiment in online distribution is far from clear.

NO FRILLS---Some Prefer No-Frills Approach

When it comes to office d & #233;cor, Al Mann, the CEO of Sylmar-based MiniMed Inc., isn't into frills.

REHAB---Apartment Renovators Look to Inner-City Districts

Waiting outside his Pico Rivera apartment building for a ride to work, Jose Olloa says he isn't thrilled about the neighborhood where he lives.


"Don't you want a career?" they ask. "Are you really taking those kids into that restaurant?"

RICK CARUSO---The Ocean View

Rick Caruso, developer of upscale shopping centers, has a Santa Monica office with a view that stretches to Catalina Island and beyond. But his desk faces away from that seascape.


For high-net-worth individuals, the action has shifted from Wall Street to, well, let's call it "Off Wall Street."


In their own words, prominent business and political leaders describe their offices, and tell how the environment reflects their personality.


Simon M. Cheng was promoted to principal at the Los Angeles office of Charles River Associates, an economics, finance and business consulting firm. He specializes in the analysis of complex investments. Cheng was previously a principal at FinEcon Consulti

PROTEST---August 13 Protest Seen as Indicator Of Confab Trouble

Wondering if there's going to be trouble during the Democratic National Convention? The answer may come the day before the big event starts, on Sunday, Aug. 13.


If you want to start an angry conversation, just bring up the subject of long-distance telephone bills. The companies have all but squandered their public trust.


Bull and bear markets the traditional terms investors use to classify broad rising and falling trends in security prices don't happen the way they used to any more. Today stock-price trends most often occur in fragmented patterns within the market, a

BLOCKBUSTER---Viacom, Studios Wrestle With the Blockbuster Dilemma

Viacom Inc. Chairman Sumner Redstone, 77, has had an extraordinary year. He acquired CBS Inc., found a likely successor in Chief Executive Mel Karmazin, and whipped two younger media moguls, Barry Diller and Herb Siegel, in court battles over broadcast as


After graduating from UCLA in 1988 with a sociology/business degree, Sharon Elias soon concluded that her best options would be to either go back to school or go out on her own. During a brief stint catering parties around L.A., Elias realized that becomi

LARRY FLYNT---Colorful Velvet Victorian Fantasy

The Victorian era was the height of prudishness, when all things sexual were harshly repressed. And that makes the inner sanctum of Larry Flynt the height of irony. America's most notorious pornographer has decorated his office in over-the-top Victorian s


three months after Regent Properties pulled the plug on plans to develop a $100 million mixed-use project in Burbank's downtown core, another developer has stepped up to the plate.


Politically artistic: Just in time for the Democratic convention, the Hollywood Entertainment Museum has an exhibit running until Aug. 31 of original poster art and photographs that chronicles movies made with a political theme. They range from Frank Capr

SPECIAL REPORT---Seats of Power Overview


BOB MALONE---BP's Man in L.A.

Atlantic Richfield Co. was once a model corporate citizen and a major presence in downtown Los Angeles. It wasn't just that its corporate headquarters employed hundreds of people and leased huge blocks of office space the company was also generous on th


Family-run Bruno's Ristorante has had a storied past at the corner of Centinela Avenue and Venice Boulevard in Mar Vista.

BIKES---L.A. Electric Bike Company Finds Big Market in Asia

Electric bicycle maker Currie Technologies Inc. appears to be shifting into high gear. In June, the Van Nuys-based company reported sales of nearly $1.6 million, compared with only $600,000 for all of last year.

HAPPY WALTERS---Comfy Hangout

Happy Walters practically lives at work, so it only makes sense that the Immortal Entertainment president's office feels like a cozy living room.

EARL JEAN---Couture Denim

Like many births, that of Earl Jean involved a certain degree of discomfort around the waist.

TICKETS---A Mad Dash For Tickets To Confab

With the Democratic National Convention just a week away, L.A.'s rich and powerful (and those aspiring to be) are desperately seeking tickets to the big event at Staples Center.

MEDIA---A New Start For Troubled Media Buyer

As the new chief executive of the world's largest media-buying agency, Lou Schultz's first directive when he took over the big office on Wilshire Boulevard was this: Dress casually, everyone. Forget the ties and high heels.

JOHN CUSHMAN---Wild West Refuge

Commercial real estate broker John Cushman grew up in Montclair, N.J., but he has always been in love with the Wild West. So when faced with choosing a style for his 800-square-foot office on the 48th floor of the Sanwa Bank Plaza in downtown Los Angeles,

DISPUTE---Group Urges School Board to Stop Targeting Business

Valley business owners are more than a little tired of the Los Angeles Unified School District's efforts to take over commercial sites to build new schools. So they're fighting back.

FENG SHUI---Feng Shui Craze Making Its Way to Corporate Suites

Two years ago, negative energy stalked the city of Gardena. Bad business deals had created a budget deficit of $4.7 million, and a former city manager was suspected of embezzlement.

PIONEERS---L.A.'s Buried Treasures

In a city where celluloid creates an illusion of life eternal, where an enthusiasm for the future often uproots the past, it's easy to forget that Los Angeles is like other places in one way: When its citizens are finished making history, they often end u

CORPORATE FOCUS---East West Bank Cranking on All Cylinders, Analysts Say

East West Bancorp Inc., parent company of East West Bank, is gradually getting the attention of Wall Street. As the San Marino-based commercial bank has reported quarter after quarter of strong earnings growth, its stock price has picked up steam and has

PUBLISHING---How Many Magazines About the Net Is Too Many?

Tech insiders are already inundated with industry-related mail flooding their desks and e-mail inboxes. But that's not stopping yet another technology-related magazine from hitting the market.