Stories for December 2002

Monday, December 30

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events


Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Tax Hikes to Hurt Climate For Business

As the state struggles to find ways to close its projected $35 billion budget deficit, businesses are certain to be hit with new or increased taxes and fees, a prospect that threatens to further damper California's already fragile business climate.


Summaries of this week's List - Highest assessed properties Ranked by total assessed value

Stepping Up the Pace

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 2003 - The Waiting Game

Year in Review

Corporate scandals, political turbulence and labor turmoil created unsettled times for L.A. and its citizens

L.A. Times Plans To Start Edition In Inland Empire

The Los Angeles Times plans to launch a new Inland Empire edition in the second quarter next year, taking on the entrenched Riverside Press-Enterprise and the San Bernardino County Sun.

PEOPLE - A Few Words to Live By

From start-ups to corporate boardrooms, government to the arts, an individual perspective on L.A. business; A snapshot of the past year's interviews

Garamendi Renews Call for Universal Care

Developing a proposal for universal health coverage will be one of the priorities for incoming Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi when he takes office next month.

LABJ FORUM: Promises, Promises

It's that time again. As 2003 rolls in, many of us will take at least a few moments to reflect on this past year and resolve to make changes for the new one. So the Business Journal Asks: What's your New Year's resolution?

Full Recovery Will Take Time

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 2003 - The Waiting Game

What's in, What's Out

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 2003 - The Waiting Game

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 2003 - The Waiting Game

The Business Journal recently assembled three groups of people who look at their financial lives in very distinct ways. The middle class folks in Glendale have taken huge hits in the stock market and now worry about their retirement nest eggs. The Pacific

People to Watch

ECONOMIC OUTLOOK 2003 - The Waiting Game

Beverly Connection, Del Amo on Market as Values Rise

Two longtime landlords of high-profile retail centers are preparing to sell their properties, the latest in a year-end surge of activity that is expected to continue into the new year.

Monday, December 16

Federal Court to Ease Backlog by Delaying Trials

Federal judges in Southern California, straining under an increasing caseload but faced with more civil and criminal trials given the spate of recent corporate scandals, are recommending that all complex business cases be shelved, in some cases for nearly

For Whom the Registers Toll: Tale of Two Malls at Rebuilt Galleria

A year after its $50 million reconfiguration, Sherman Oaks Galleria, immortalized in the song "Valley Girl" and the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," has performed with decidedly mixed results.

Shades of L.A. Gear as Skechers' Stock Takes a Tumble

Investors are feeling an eerie d & #233;j & #341; vu at Skechers USA Inc., the Manhattan Beach footwear company that Robert Greenberg began planning within days of his 1992 ouster as chairman and chief executive of L.A. Gear Inc.

Early Oscar Talk Shifts Studio Marketing Into High Gear

A half-dozen films are emerging as front-runners in this year's Oscar race a contest fueled by millions of dollars in studio money that has launched marketing campaigns to get noticed by critics, the public, and most importantly the 5,607 voting members

Equity Marketing Secures Long-Term Deal With Burger King

Equity Marketing Inc., a Los Angeles promotional toy manufacturer, has disclosed plans to sign a long-term contract with Burger King Corp. that would guarantee it a "significant majority" of Burger King's premium manufacturing business worldwide.

Latino Health Firm Collapses Amid Police Investigation

Latino Health Care, a medical group that billed itself as one of the nation's largest Latino-owned health care firms, abruptly shut down this month amid growing losses and a police investigation into alleged financial improprieties.


Downtown BID Director Faces Hurdles

Video Game Firms Enjoy Moment Despite Cloudy Future

Video games are shaping up to be one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lackluster holiday season. After that, however, the situation gets a little murky.

For Whom the Registers Toll: Grove's Success Incomplete

The trickle-down theory is a work in progress at The Grove at Farmers Market.

Actors Will Seek Early Advertiser Talks to Avoid Strike Repeat

Determined to avoid a repeat of a six-month strike that cost millions in dollars in lost wages and reaped only minimal contract gains, the Screen Actors Guild will push for new negotiations with the advertising industry next month, 10 months before the cu

PacificCare Cautious in Tenet Talks

PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. is hashing out a new contract with Tenet Healthcare Corp., the embattled Santa Barbara-based operator of 10 Orange County hospitals.


Summaries of this week's List - Employee Benefits consultants/managers Ranked by number of L.A. County employees involved in employee benefits services

LABJ FORUM: Santa's Annual Mad Rush

Holiday shopping can be frustrating, tiring and expensive, making it very easy to procrastinate this time of year. With the prospect of battling crowds and getting stuck with picked-over merchandise, the Business Journal Asks: Have you finished your holid

County, Cities in Rush to Replace Lost State Funds

As another round of state budget cuts ripples through Los Angeles County, local government agencies are scrambling to crunch the new numbers and figure out how and when they will pass on the cuts to local residents and businesses.

Monday, December 9

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

Retaining Key Employees Through "Phantom" Stock Plans

Entrepreneur's Notebook By Mark Lipis


Start-Up Lands Industry Vet as President

Pink Sheets Become Home to Stock Market's "Dead Dogs"

Pink Sheets Become Home to Stock Market's 'Dead Dogs'

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

Wireless Companies Protest Plan to Cut Cell Users From 310 Area Code

The 310 area code would be replaced with a new area code for all cell phone users under a plan backed by the California Public Utilities Commission that is likely to stir complaints in the politically influential Westside.

Disappearing Acts

Disappearing Acts

Executive Summary / The Pacesetter

Summaries of this week's List - TALENT Agencies, Ranked by Los Angeles County agents

Uncertain Investors Keep Drug Firm's Stock on See-Saw Path


Approval of Jurists Seen as Advancing With Senate Shift

With Republicans in control of the Senate, the logjam of federal judicial appointments is expected to loosen and could offer relief to an understaffed local bench handling as many as 15,000 cases a year.

LABJ FORUM: The Ever-Shrinking Lunch Hour

Grocery stores and fast-food chains are beefing up efforts to attract workers on the run by offering fresh, packaged food that can be eaten easily and quickly. More people, it seems, are getting tied to their desks and stuck in their cars during the lunch


Letters to the editor

Oversight Regulations Expand Market Options for Software Firm

Oversight Regulations Expand Market Options for Software Firm

Developers Shift Focus on Hollywood Office Property

Having poured an estimated $3 million into the renovation of the Hollywood Equitable office building at Hollywood & Vine, its developers have abruptly switched gears and plan to convert it to apartments.

Holiday Spirit Has Gone With the BID in Westwood

Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade is dressed up for the holidays as part of a $400,000 campaign to attract consumers.

E-Trade Unit Buys Luxury Boat, RV Finance Firm to Boost Bottom Line

The Beverly Hills-based bank subsidiary of Internet financial services company E-Trade Group Inc. plans to acquire Ganis Credit Corp. for $101 million.

City Hall Mailing Prompts Complaints Over Handling of Business Tax Issue

Last month's surprise mailing of letters from the City of Los Angeles to people it suspects of evading payment of business taxes has sparked a firestorm of criticism and renewed calls for the city to overhaul the system.

Supervisors Could Lose Health Role

Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh, D-South Gate, introduced a bill last week that would wrest control of the massive Department of Health Services from the Board of Supervisors and place it in the hands of an independent health authority

Monday, December 2

State and County to Sell Federal Officials On New Health Pact

After grinding out an agreement last week aimed at saving L.A. County's troubled health system, state and county officials must now sell the plan to the Bush Administration.

Increase in Apartment Densities Allowed by New Law

In a move to help alleviate L.A.'s housing shortage, city council has approved a measure that would increase apartment densities in certain neighborhoods.

Cautious Approach To Production Aids Remake of Artisan

Stung in its initial rush to get into the production business, Artisan Entertainment is emerging from a nearly two-year retrenchment with a pared down slate and renewed emphasis on its burgeoning library.


Businesspeople in the news, on the move

Games Site Lands VC Funding, Aims To Expand Brand

Zorik Gordon wants to build the next eBay. While he won't be going head to head with the online auction behemoth, he sees its business model as one worth emulating in his three-year-old Internet games site, WorldWinner Inc.

Review & Preview

Review of this week's other top news; Preview of upcoming stories and events

Digital Insight Shares Fall as Retention of Clients Declines

Shares of Digital Insight Corp. have been pummeled by warnings of a lower-than-expected fourth quarter as a result of budding price wars in the Internet banking industry and fears that competition will continue to take a toll on customer retention.

One of Four Marciano Brothers Will Sell Slipping Guess Shares


Best Pitch for Angels Would Be Ownership Of Franchise by Fans

Opinion by Denny Freidenrich, principal in First Strategies, LLC of Laguna Beach

Anschutz Gave to Election Fund for Mayor of Carson

Anschutz Entertainment Group and several business partners in the development of a $112 million sports complex in Carson together contributed to the election campaign of Mayor Daryl Sweeney, indicted Nov. 21 for bribery, city records show.

City Tax Bills Catching Writers, Others by Surprise

Tens of thousands of sole proprietors and other businesspeople have received an unwelcome letter from Los Angeles threatening prosecution if they don't pay business taxes.

Shippers Hail Right to Modernize, But Gain Offset by Richer Pensions

The proposed contract between dockworkers and the shipping lines offer something for both sides: financial security for the union and the promise of more efficient operations for the shipping lines.

Disney's "Bug's Land" Helps Take California Out of Adventure Park

A Bug's Land is helping revive Walt Disney Co.'s California Adventure by appealing to families with children.

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns; More news and talk from around the town, behind the scenes...

LABJ FORUM: Gauging the Effect of L.A. Crime

Violent crime is on the rise in Los Angeles, causing the national media to dub the city a "murder capital" as the killing rate soars past that of New York, a city with twice as many people. Though police suspect many of the crimes are gang-related, hittin