Stories for January 2000

Monday, January 31

Model Inc.

The bright afternoon sun warms the faces of Rosemary Ryan and Eric Osland, two members of L.A. Models who are strolling down Santa Monica Pier, showing off clothes that will appear in an accessories catalog for Saab motor cars.

Econowatch L.A County

Residential (Dec.)8 1,199.4 1,194.2 +0.4 1,189.5 +0.8 Commercial (Dec.) 175.2 173.0 +1.3 174.0 +0.7

Downtown Redux

There's a Starbucks and a bookstore on one corner, an Italian restaurant on another, a piano bar on another, and soon a microbrewery will be on the last corner of the intersection.

Firms Will Benefit If Solutions 'Evolve' From Workers

There are many things that companies can do to aid service delivery, such as creating improvement teams and redesigning processes to prevent errors, increase revenue and boost employee morale.

Staples Center Faces the Music

At the Grammy Awards later this month, nominees like Carlos Santana and teen pop star Britney Spears won't be the only ones holding their breath.

Women Making Strides in The Surf Apparel Business

Marta Bhathal and her daughter Lisa are not household names, but the swimwear lines of their 30-year-old company Raj Manufacturing Inc. surely are: BCBG Max Azria Swim, Guess?, Athena and Barefoot Miss.

An Industry That Seemed Lost to Orange County Is Shifting Back to L.A. Tech Center

For years Mimi Grant and Bob Kelley were Orange County's ultimate high-tech duo. Yet in the past year the peripatetic networkers and consultants have been spending an increasing amount of their time commuting north up the 405.

Ads Make It Hard to Tell What's for Sale

I was 6 years old, and my sister and I were selling lemonade on the curb in front of our house. In order to attract people driving by not that there were many driving by we needed a sign. So we got a piece of cardboard, a red Magic Marker and wrote


Chapter 7: a "straight" liquidation bankruptcy involving an appointed trustee to sell all assets by auction or other means to pay creditors and trustee fees.

Well-Known Securities Law Firm Merges With Outsider

Known to a generation of Los Angeles dealmakers, the name Freshman, Marantz, Orlanski, Cooper & Klein was taken off the door of the Beverly Hills law firm last week as part of a merger and replaced by Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP.

Ahead of The Curve

Summer preview: John Mauceri conducts the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Feb. 9. The Valentines concert features music from stories of classic lovers like Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, Caesar and Cleopatra, and Tony a

Our view: Politically Incorrect

At a minimum, the federal government's intervention in the proposed purchase of L.A.-based Atlantic Richfield Co. by BP Amoco has further delayed the deal's closing and raised the specter of further concessions that will result in the acquisition being

L.A. stories

Mayoral hopeful Antonio Villaraigosa was no doubt hoping for a three-peat when he arrived at Dr. Gary Gitnick's annual Super Bowl party in Encino.

Dot-Coms Aim Their Sights on Young Lawyers

Top law firms are dramatically raising the salaries of associates at least in part to stem defections to Internet companies.

Jury Still Out on Benefits of Tax-Managed Mutual Funds

Are you getting a taxable capital gain from your mutual fund for 1999, even though the fund paid a disappointing return?

Powerful Runners-Up

With more than 600 judges hearing cases in various courts throughout Los Angeles County, selecting the 25 most powerful was a challenging task, to say the least. There are several judges not on the Business Journal list who some legal observers might effe


A key event for L.A.'s biotech industry takes place today with the Southern California Biomedical Council's second annual conference on Biomedical Investment and Strategic Partnership Opportunities. Eighteen promising local biotech firms will present thei

UCLA Retooling Troubled System For Tech Patents

Amid a growing chorus of complaints from top researchers and business executives, UCLA officials are vowing to overhaul the university's much-maligned technology-transfer program through which research findings are developed into commercial products and s

The Roving Eye

Whether it's called filleting or hollowing or pulling the insides out, the bagel as we know it is undergoing a liposuction of sorts.

Cabernet with Oysters?

As sommelier at Spago in Beverly Hills, he is responsible for procuring wine for the world-famous restaurant, as well as crafting the wine list and advising customers on what wines to pair with what foods.

Zapping Computer Bugs at Nation's Major Virus Center

In 1986, there was one known computer virus. Today there are 50,000 and between 10 to 15 new ones are being discovered every day.

Wheel of Fortune Turns to Game Channel

The folks at Sony Pictures Entertainment's Game Show Network should be cheering each "final answer" on ABC's "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?"

Worst Airplane Experience?

Last week's Alaska Airlines crash off the Southern California coast gave Angelenos a deadly reminder of the hazards of air travel. So the Business Journal asks:

Power Couple: Wardlaws Known as L.A.'s Kingmakers

He's the L.A. mayor's closest adviser. She performed the marriage ceremony for the mayor and his wife.

Disney's Retail Division on Tear, Thanks to 'Millionaire'

Executives at Walt Disney Co. aren't thanking Santa Claus for their happy holidays. Instead, they're grateful to Regis Philbin and Buzz Lightyear.

Handling a Tough Judge

OK, so you and your client are set to go to trial and you get the word: you've drawn the "judge from hell" one of those jurists who takes a dim view of cases like the one you're about to try.

Women Entrepreneurs Take Their Shot at Venture Funds

Mona Lisa Wallace, chief executive of, raised eyebrows when she pushed a shopping cart piled high with "green" products into the first venture forum designed exclusively for women.


Fed up with domestic agencies, Debbie Kelly Campos started using her Spanish-language skills and community connections to find housekeepers and nannies for relatives and friends. Initially working free of charge, the demand for her services was such that

Online Stock-Trading Frenzy Bypasses Mutual Funds

True to their reputation as cautious, long-term types, fund investors have been slower to buy and sell shares on the Internet than investors who trade in stocks directly.

Resisting Temptation Is Only Way to Rid Web of Spam

Who doesn't want to "Earn Big $$$$$$$$$ at Home"? Or take advantage of an "AMAZING ONE TIME OFFER"? And on those dark, lonely nights when it's just you and your mouse, who wouldn't be seduced by a subtle invitation like "Get Raunchy SeXXX Now"?

The TV Judges

From "Judge Judy" to "Divorce Court" to "Judge Wapner's Animal Court," the airwaves are rife with ex-judges and judge wannabes.

Rough Justice: Lawyers Must Learn to Deal With Odd, Abrasive Judges

On a recent episode of ABC's "The Practice," the group of immaculately coiffed Boston attorneys encountered a sneering, condescending judge who ruled against them on every single motion and snidely referred to their home state as "Mass-ACHOO-setts."

United's Plan for L.A.-Argentina Flight Hits Turbulence

United Airlines' plan to introduce the first nonstop L.A. flights to Argentina and Brazil later this year was unexpectedly thrown into doubt last week when the Argentine government announced it would indefinitely suspend its agreement with the United Stat

Immigrant Plans to Create Hub for Filipino Community

Having lived in L.A. since high school, Nino Jefferson Lim speaks fluent English and feels quite at home here. But his roots are never far away. "My day is not complete without a dish of rice," said the USC graduate.

Law Firms: Ranked by number of attorneys in L.A. County offices

L.A. County has more lawyers by far than any other county in California in fact, it has three times the number of the next biggest county for lawyers, San Francisco. And if the top 50 firms in L.A. are any indicator, the local ranks are swelling; com

BP-Arco Deal Has Parallels to Northrop-Lockheed

Last week's decision by the Federal Trade Commission to block BP Amoco's $27 billion acquisition of Arco raises the prospect that the long-awaited deal may not go through and with it, curious parallels with 1998's failed purchase of Los Angeles-based


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Show Biz:

Given the success of "Judge Judy," it's no surprise that syndicated TV court shows have become a hot item for next fall. One that has TV stations around the country scrambling is "Power of Attorney," which features Gloria Allred, Christopher Darden and F.

L.A.'s Most Powerful Judges

When federal judge Kim M. Wardlaw and her attorney husband, Bill, stole away for a quiet weekend in Napa Valley several years ago, they helped chart the future of Los Angeles.

Dean Drama

In 33 years as artistic director and producer for the Mark Taper Forum, Gordon Davidson has shocked, entertained and entranced Los Angeles theater-goers

Unification: Challenges of Making Municipal, Superior Courts One

It's been a long time coming, but L.A.'s trial court system is about to undergo the most extensive restructuring in its 150-year history: a revamping that will be felt most by judges, but also by attorneys and hundreds of thousands of citizens.

Profits May Be on Horizon for Ticketmaster-CitySearch

Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch Inc. may have the most ungainly name of any Internet company around, but that hasn't stopped it from retaining market interest.

First-of-Its-Kind Study Turns Up Key Valley Economic Data

As the first bits of data emerge from an ambitious two-year study of the San Fernando Valley economy, officials are trying to figure out the best way to use the information.

Now Out of Limelight, Lance Ito Gets Back to Business

So whatever happened to Superior Court Judge Lance Ito, whose face was on worldwide television every day just a few years ago when he presided over the "Trial of the Century?"

'Reality Row' a Magnet for TV Production Companies

It's a typical work day for Robb Weller and Gary Grossman, who are training a future host of a new cooking show and maneuvering to get a film crew into Jordan for a television special.

It's Job of Owner to Care for Workers Facing Tragedy

I've run into a disturbing situation after many years of having my own business. One of my key employees my right-hand person, actually has suffered a personal tragedy. This has been very traumatic for me as well as others in the firm. We care a lot a

The Business Digest

The race for mayor of Los Angeles is off to an early and vigorous start, with campaign disclosure statements showing that the principal candidates raised more than $2.8 million during 1999.


25years ago this week: Suffering from declining sales and lingering debt, Mattel restructured its credit arrangements and decided to close a manufacturing plant in Mexico The United Auto Workers refused to join a strike by McDonnell Douglas machinists

An Early Berry Season

CAMARILLO A light rain falls as a crew of about 40 men and women slog through the muddy furrows in a field here, pushing wheeled carts as they go.


It started out as an intriguing idea: With cities running out of landfill space, why not recycle asphalt, rather than haul it to dumps, and then reuse it on other roads in need of repaving?

Who's Who: 25 of the Most Influential, High-Profile Judges in L.A.

Background: Law degree from UCLA in 1963 Served as president and counsel for Casualty Insurance Co. of California, and later as counsel for Great Western Savings & Loan Association Went into private law practice in 1971, specializing in general civil li

The Labj Stock Index

Amid continuing fears of inflation and another interest-rate hike by the Fed the past two weeks have been fairly unsettled on Wall Street. After an up-and-down week, the LABJ 100 finished down 0.9 percent. L.A.'s major e-commerce company, eToys, conti

Letters: Light Rail Viable in L.A.

As former chair and a current board member of the Los Angeles to Pasadena Blue Line Construction Authority, I write to properly put into context Howard Fine's recent article, "Ridership Projections Raise Questions About Light Rail" (Jan. 10). After a numb

Ifilm Puts Together Quick Lease Deal in Hollywood

The online movie company recently announced plans to move its headquarters from San Francisco to Los Angeles. But where exactly?

New Site Takes Business Bartering Into 21st Century

Bartering is a business practice brilliant in concept, but limited in practicality. If the accountant doesn't need a new suit, the tailor is out of luck at tax time.


Henry J. Kupperman was promoted to Western region managing director at Kroll Associates, a corporate investigations and security firm in Los Angeles. He specializes in conducting internal and intellectual property investigations and handling due diligence

Political Campaigns Spend More on Reaching Latinos

While English-language media slaver over all the ad money pouring in from dot-coms, one of the biggest growth areas for local Spanish-language media is an entirely different segment: politics.

What's Your Wu-Name? Site Gives Answer

Developed as an homage by British fans of the rap group Wu-Tang Clan, the Wu-Name Generator is now housed on the Web site of Santa Monica-based

Saturday, January 29

RETAIL---Retailers Get Buried Under Unsold Goods

Retailers throughout Los Angeles are struggling to find ways of coping with nagging holiday hangovers.

HOUSING---Community Appreciation

The heat in L.A.'s housing market is migrating to some unlikely places. A study of median home values conducted for the Business Journal by DataQuick Information Systems found that several areas long considered too gritty or crime-infested to entice many

Friday, January 21

My Favorite Sites

We started doing "Which Way, L.A.?" in 1992, and it seems to me that I started using the Internet right around the time we began that show. We do two shows a day now and I really think the Internet is one of the principal reasons it is possible for us to

Saturday, January 15

Political Pulse---City Hall Standoff Putting Official's Future in Doubt

It's not just the energy producers and wholesalers who are making a mint off the state's energy crisis. The lawyers are cleaning up, too, including some right here in L.A. And L.A.-based entities are either on the filing or receiving end of many of these

Saturday, January 8

RADIO---New Radio Players Enter Competitive All-Sports Market

What will it take to rule the sports radio airwaves in Southern California? Controversy? Style? Personality? Credibility?

POLITICAL PULSE---Onslaught of Lobbyists Unlikely to Slow at City Hall

If you thought all those telecom lobbyists would leave City Hall once the L.A. City Council and the courts ruled on the high-speed Internet access issue, think again.

COURTS---Signs of Progress, Problems In Merged Court's First Year

A year after taking effect, court unification seems to be working, according to many local officials. But inadequate court technologies and facilities could cause major problems in the future, they say.

Backlot Buzz---Looming Strike Disrupting Film Casting

The impending strike by actors is creating a nightmare for production company executives in search of A-list talent for film projects.

My Favorite Sites

Charles koones, group vice president and publisher,

Roving Eye

Long before he reached the lofty status of party planner to the stars, Randy Furhman of Creative Concepts planted the seed for his newest venture what he envisions as the perfect brownie.

Saturday, January 1

POLITICAL PULSE---Will L.A. Business be Led by Mega-Advocacy Group?

Rumors are flying that the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, which has seen its membership decline in recent years, may merge with the Central City Association, the L.A. Economic Development Corp. or both to form a "super" business advocacy organizati



MUSEUM---County Museum Runs Into Tough Times

Despite record-breaking attendance and membership in recent years, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is struggling with a series of challenges that are beginning to cloud the museum's future.

My Favorite Sites

This is the site that I use the most. I'm on and off of it all the time, both at home and at work and I use it for a number of different things. I use it sometimes as a search engine, as well as to get my news updates and stock updates and a variety of ot

BIGGEST---Top 50 Deals in L.A.

What was once inconceivable happened last year the Chandler family sold their crown jewels, the Los Angeles Times and other holdings of the Times Mirror Co.

The 100 best-paid public co. executives

The 100 best-paid public co. executives

HEALTH---Childrens Hospital Web Site Tries New Tack on Internet

Can Childrens Hospital Los Angeles find the cure for the ailing Internet medical sector?

EPICENTER---Broad Settles In Westwood, And Riordan Could Follow

SunAmerica Inc. Chairman Eli Broad is moving from his Century City skyscraper to the 12th floor of Murdock Plaza in Westwood and might be taking Mayor Richard Riordan with him.

DISRUPTIONS---Construction Disruption

At 25 acres, The Grove at Farmers Market is one of the biggest retail centers to rise from the ground in the last 20 years. And when it opens in 2002, anchored by a Nordstrom, several movie theaters, 50 retail stores and tons of office space, it will be o

DIGITAL---Firm Expands Digital Magazine Realm

In a new year where established music companies are bound to be even more worried about digitally distributed music, and the difficult ways to "monetize" such technology, one L.A.-based company is betting that the music biz in particular and entertainme

ENGINEERING---Infrastructure Boom Gives Boost to Engineering Giant

AECOM Technology Corp. the parent of architecture and engineering giant Daniel Mann Johnson & Mendenhall and already one of Los Angeles' largest privately owned companies is going through a major expansion to take full advantage of the glut of infrast

Travel Agents

Travel Agents

BOWEN---Energy Panel Chief Grapples With Power Mess

When state Sen. Debra Bowen, D-Redondo Beach, took over as chair of the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee two years ago from San Diego Democrat Steve Peace, the chief architect of the state's electricity deregulation law, she had littl

RISK---Firm Is Expert At Preventing Security Risks

In the recent Hollywood movie "Proof of Life," a daredevil professional hostage negotiator, played by Russell Crowe, rescues a kidnapped American executive in Latin America. It's an action picture that hasn't resonated much with audiences, and many critic