Stories for February 2002

Monday, February 25

O' Melveny Profits Are Outpacing Large Firm Rivals

LAW: plus Sun Setting Aside Managing Duties For Lawsuit Work

Disney's Departure is Bad Timing for Westwood Market

Real Estate Column by Danny King

Small Business Profile: Laughing Matter

M.D. Sweeney has turned a bug for comedy from his college days into a theater where aspiring comics hone their skills preparing for bigger stages

Weekly Briefing: Light Touch Has Firm Active in Remodeling

Weekly Column by David Greenberg

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Appeal of Conventional Insurance Plans Fades

HMO Backlash Seeking Alternatives: When it came time a year ago to renew their health insurance with Kaiser Permanente, executives at Matteo LLC, a small downtown Los Angeles manufacturer of luxury linens, had second thoughts.

State Gauges Sentiment on Universal Health Coverage

HMO Backlash Seeking Alternatives: As employers scramble to find ways to cut health care costs by trying new plans offered by insurers, there's a little-known state effort that could lead to far more radical change.

Providing Timely Feedback Important Role of Manager

Entrepreneur's Notebook by Stephen Xavier

Firms Battle for Jackpot: $100 Million Lottery Account

Two of the area's largest advertising agencies are gambling that the lottery can help pull them though an industry-wide slump that has forced others to lay off workers or close up shop.

New Rules on Third Street Are Rotten for Apple's Retail Plans

Apple Computer Inc. is forbidden fruit on the Westside at least for now.

Attendance Down at Showcase for Independent Films

Consolidation among foreign distributors and the sluggish international economy have thinned the crowds at the world's largest film market ending this week in Santa Monica.

National Golf Shareholders Wary of Restructuring Plan

Corporate Focus by Anthony Palazzo

L.A. Stories/The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns

Dating Service Finds Match With International Backers

Back in 1997, the heyday of dot-coms, Joe Shapira was one of those lonely Internet entrepreneurs whose ideas could not lure the scads of available venture capital.

Independent Producer Poised for Material Gain

If it's do or die time for producer Jorge Saralegui, you wouldn't know it from his body language. His legs are draped over the arm of a green leather chair in his modest office on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank

Battle Over Losses at Trade Center Step Up

The first significant moves in the complicated dance over insurance claims resulting from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will be made in the next few weeks as depositions are taken in Westfield Corp.'s suit against World Trade Center insurers.

Winter Games Fail to Supply Big Wins for KNBC News

Media News by Claudia Peschiutta

People Interview: Paying the Piper

Andy Schuon heads a record industry-backed effort to head off peer-to-peer Internet music swapping

LABJ Forum: Getting a Gauge on Election Season

It's been an interesting time for news lately. From Enron to the Olympics, not to mention the war on terrorism, most Americans have been paying close attention to current events. But here in California, and Los Angeles in particular, several political rac

Secession Backers Fighting Police, Fire Bond Measure

Primary 2002: Backers of a bond measure to upgrade and expand police and fire facilities hope that increased public concern for safety prompted by Sept. 11 will boost their campaign despite the failure of similar such measures twice before.

Executive Summary: Hospitals

Summary of this Week's List

Scientology In Property Tax Dispute

The Church of Scientology is behind in real estate tax payments and faces the forced sale of two Hollywood properties.

Two-Man Race, But Which Two?

Primary 2002: Republican Battle for Gubernatorial Nomination Tightens as Vote Nears; A tight Republican gubernatorial primary election heats up in advance of the March 5 vote.

Building the Last Mile, Patiently

Another local fiber optic cable business is up and running, but Altrio Communications is banking on slow growth to avoid pitfalls.

Executive Summary: Health Maintenance Organizations

Summary of this week's List.

Buyer Sought for Slumping Airline Servicing Facility

The Palmdale plant of SR Technics, a commercial airline maintenance facility that just last year had lofty expansion goals, will shut down if a buyer isn't found by March 15, company officials said.

Artisan Signs Content Deal With New DVD Magazine

Technology Column by Christopher Keough

People: Newsmakers

People in the News

Dot-Com Bastion Sets Sights on Patentable Technologies

Idealab, badly battered after the Internet crash, is now setting its sights on what some consider a similarly challenging sector: robotics.

Spotlight on Azusa: Pro-Development Approach Creates Housing Land Rush

Azusa, long a working-class community with older, inexpensive housing stock, is trying to change its image. And with $1 million homes currently under construction in one section of the city, it may just succeed.

Home Values in North County, Fringe Areas Increase Most Steeply

A booming aerospace market and an influx of upwardly mobile Latino families are driving up home prices along the fringe of South Central Los Angeles and in the Antelope Valley at a pace greater than gains seen in the rest of the county.

COMMENTARY: Election Patriots

Comment by Mark Lacter

Tax Amnesty Fails to Pull in Expected Revenues

The City of Los Angeles took in $14.7 million from its most recent business tax amnesty initiative, well short of the $20 million goal city officials had set.

GOP Candidates Push for More Business-Friendly State

Primary 2002: The Business Journal interviewed the three Republican candidates for governor last week to get their views about the waning days of the campaign and their stands on business and economic issues. The interviews, which were conducted by staff

Legal Publisher's Software Project A Big Cash Drain

Daily Journal Corp. is known for its legal newspapers and magazines. But a good part of the L.A. company's efforts are now being focused on software development and that's resulting in the loss of millions of dollars.

$2.6 Billion Bond Measure for Parks Has Familiar Look

Primary 2002: Two years after California voters approved a $2 billion bond measure for parks and open space acquisition, voters are being asked to approve another $2.6 billion bond measure on the March 5 ballot Proposition 40 for much the same thing.

Monday, February 18

Who's who at Global

The Rise & Fall of Global Crossing: The Players; a look at those with key roles at Global Crossing.

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns

Agreement Near in Suit for Control of "Lampoon" Brand

An end appears to have come to the months of legal squabbles over control of J2 Communications, owner of the National Lampoon brand.

Defaults Decline as Rates Drop, Values Climb

Lower interest rates and a surprisingly buoyant housing market got many troubled homeowners off the hook in 2001, driving loan defaults in L.A. County to a 10-year low.

Small Business Profile: Design Remedies

Architectural firm builds a reputation as it supports health care facilities faced with seismic upgrades, planning tasks

L.A. Newspaper Group Debuts Entertainment Section

The Los Angeles Newspaper Group has eliminated entertainment sections for individual papers.

Analysis: When the Bottom Line Isn't a Top Priority

The Rise & Fall of Global Crossing: Focus on the wrong set of numbers helped lead many an investor astray.

Monster Telecom Network Draining Oceans of Capital

The Rise & Fall of Global Crossing: At an asking price of $1.4 billion, Global Crossing's 100,000-mile fiber-optic network is either the bargain of the century or the most rapidly devalued product since the Pony Express.

Kevles Expected To Be Appointed Business Deputy

After a six-month wait, L.A. Mayor James Hahn is close to announcing Jonathan Kevles as his selection for the administration's top business post, knowledgeable sources told the Business Journal.

Makeover on Tap for Robert F. Kennedy Medical Center

Less than two months after taking over operations of Robert F. Kennedy Medical Center, the Daughters of Charity Health System is signaling that it's not afraid to take on Tenet Healthcare Corp.

Viacom Says KCAL Won't Become a UPN Station

Now that Viacom Inc. has snapped up L.A.'s last independent VHF station and created yet another local television duopoly the waiting game begins.

Commentary: Don't Let Enron's Directors Off the Hook

Opinion by GORDON BAVA, chairman of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.

Proposition Would Reserve Gas Taxes for Transportation

Searching for ways to close the gap on an estimated $100 billion backlog of transportation projects throughout the state, legislative leaders earlier this year got a little creative.

Spotlight on PARAMOUNT: Tired Industrial Zone Reborn

A big-box store might be a threat to some communities, but to the southwest section of Paramount, it's the best thing that's happened in years.

Benchmark Study to Rely on Input From County's Businesses

The Milken Institute and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. will team up to study and then offer recommendations on the Los Angeles County economy.

Billions Already Pocketed, Late Insider Sales Draw Ire

The Rise & Fall of Global Crossing: Insiders at Global Crossing Ltd. sold billions of dollars worth of shares over the course of the company's three-and-a-half year run, from public offering to last month's Chapter 11 filing.

Earnings Outweigh Loss of Contract as Overture Climbs

In jittery markets, investors shoot first and ask questions later. This appears to be the case with Overture Services Inc., the paid-search service whose stock fell into a tailspin two weeks ago, but somehow fired back.

Rise and Fall of Global Pipe Dream

The Rise & Fall of Global Crossing: In 1996, AT & T; Corp. decided to dump some dud assets, including a unit that laid telecom cables under the ocean. Financier Gary Winnick and partners at his Beverly Hills investment firm, Pacific Capital Group, decided to

People Interview: Squeeze Play

Dodger President Bob Graziano, a 17-year team veteran, faces pressure from all sides as he seeks to build a winner on both the field and at the bottom line

Entrepreneur's Notebook: Companies Shouldn't Ignore Low-Tech Yellow Pages

Despite all the talk about a new economy and technology changing the world, there's one old-fashioned marketing tool that's still around Yellow Page advertising.

Tenants Are Flocking to New Hughes Center Component

Latest news in Real Estate; Weekly Column

World Cup Deal Has Wireless Gamer Kicking Into High Gear

Just in time for this spring's World Cup in Japan and Korea, JAMDAT Mobile Inc. has inked a deal with software publishing giant Electronic Arts Inc. to deliver a World Cup 2002 game for mobile phones.

L.A. Apparel Firm Bisou Bisou Plans To Close 8 Stores

Bisou Bisou, the Los Angeles-based manufacturer and retailer of trend-setting clothing, has decided to close eight of its 19 stores after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last month.

Pentagon Will Not Fund Northrop's Unmanned Decoy

In the wake of poor early test results, the Air Force has pulled the plug on Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Miniature Air-Launched Decoy program, dealing a blow to the company's status as the industry leader in unmanned aerial vehicles.

Winnick Perceived as Brash Benefactor

The Rise & Fall of Global Crossing: Winnick, now under fire for his role in the collapse of Global Crossing Ltd. is a man who has amply demonstrated both his generosity in giving away millions of dollars and his ego in making sure he is recognized for d

Global Crossing's Investors Say They Were Kept in Dark

The Rise & Fall of Global Crossing: Many smaller investors lost life savings when the company filed for bankruptcy protection.

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My Favorite Sites

My Favorite Web sites - Steve Nissen, Partner, Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP

Company Critic Puts Blame On Winnick, Weak Board

The Rise & Fall of Global Crossing: Nell Minow, editor of watchdog Web site The Corporate Library, says Global Crossing was plagued by "chaos at the top."

Moviola Begins Plan For Expansion With N.Y. Firm Purchase

Post-production services company Moviola Inc. has purchased a competitor.

Deal for Refinery Latest in Push for Industrial Property

Televangelist Pat Robertson has struck a deal to sell a portion of the Powerine Refinery site in Santa Fe Springs to an Irvine-based developer.

Worker Comp Law Gets Snub From Business

The landmark workers' compensation package just signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis does more than raise benefits for injured workers. It makes sweeping changes to the workers' compensation system, reforms intended to offset the rise in benefits costs for

Commentary: Ire Over Hahn's Decision on Parks is Misplaced

Opinion by author and columnist, EARL OFARI HUTCHINSON

LABJ Forum: 'Tis the Season for Hollywood Hype

Oscar nominations are out and the entertainment press hasn't wasted any time playing up the competition between the various nominees. After Sept. 11, though, some folks might have lost their appetites for what could, under normal circumstances, be deemed

Insurance Firm Unravels Quickly

When a Nebraska judge one Friday last December declared that all bail bonds from Amwest Insurance Group Inc. would be insolvent in two days, 100,000 criminal defendants nationwide suddenly faced the prospect of being hauled back to jail.

COMMENT: Not Suitable For Broadcast

Commentary by Mark Lacter:

Port Decides to Move Forward on Dredging Project

After a record-setting year for container traffic, the Port of Los Angeles is going ahead with a controversial $153 million plan to dredge its main channel in the hopes of attracting oversized container ships that have begun to flood the market.

Hunger for News Propels KCRW Subscription Drive

KCRW-FM (89.9) raised a record $1.8 million during its annual winter subscription drive that ended last week.

Orange County Outpacing L.A. in Creating New Jobs

As the California and U.S. economies gird for more job losses this year, Orange County is projected to grow its employment base by about 1 percent, an extra 9,000 to 16,000 jobs, depending on who you ask.

Weeky Briefing: Tenant's Success Lures Designer to Try Futons

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Commentary: Applying Effective Security Measures Requires Profiling

Opinion by KATHLEEN PARKER, columnist with the Orlando Sentinel


People in the News

Hollywood & Highland Retail Woes Mount as Parking, Layout Criticized

The stairway leading up to the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland complex is called Awards Walk. But merchants whose stores line that area have their own name for it: the "Corridor of Death."

Downtown BID Pays $10,000 to Settle Suit Brought by Homeless

The Historic Core Business Improvement District has become the second downtown BID to settle a complaint that it violated the civil rights of area homeless.

Councilmembers Wrangling to Keep Downtown on Their Side

The tussle between L.A. City Councilmembers Nick Pacheco and Jan Perry over the redistricting of downtown council seats has been depicted by some as a referendum about which ethnic community has the strongest ties to downtown.

Monday, February 11

Entrepreneur's Notebook: Web-Based Marketing Remains Viable if Well Executed

These past two years have seen the fall of the New Economy and a return to traditional business fundamentals. The buzz words have changed: No longer is B-to-B, B-to-C or P-to-P guaranteed to secure funding or company valuation. The dot-com hype is gone, a


General Indicators

EUniverse Chief Holds Hope for L90 Deal

Euniverse Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Brad Greenspan said he isn't walking away from L90 Inc., even as he watches eUniverse shares take a beating as a result of its deal to acquire a business under SEC investigation.


Weekly Column: People in the News

Telemundo Making Changes to Meet New Competition

Telemundo Communications Group Inc. is quietly making management changes at its local television stations, KVEA-TV (Channel 52) and KWHY-TV (Channel 22) as the network gets a strong early challenge by the TeleFutura network, a product of rival Univision

Corridor to Offer No Traffic Relief

Motorists who were expecting relief from the worsening traffic congestion on the Long Beach (710) Freeway once the Alameda Corridor opens this April are in for a nasty surprise.

Bargain Seeking Investors Step to Front of the Line

As fire sales go, this one's a scorcher. A letter of intent filed in bankruptcy court last week calling for Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. and Singapore Technologies Telemedia to buy a 79 percent equity stake in Global Crossing Ltd. for $750 million translates to


Calendar of Business Events, Feb 11 thru March 11. Register or Sign On to view. It's FREE!

Pouring Profits Into R & D;, Biotech Firm Seeks Payoff

CORPORATE FOCUS: Its first time up to bat, Chatsworth-based radiopharmaceutical developer North American Scientific Inc. (Nasdaq: NASI) hit a solid single with brachytherapy seeds used in the treatment of prostate cancer.

L.A. Ranks First in State With Highest Business Taxes

Business taxes in Los Angeles remain the highest in the state, potentially handicapping the city's retention and development efforts, according to an annual tax rate survey released this week by Kosmont Cos., a real estate consulting firm.

INTERVIEW: Exiting the Podium

After leaving post of speaker, Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg still faces budget, other big battles.

Emmys to Move if Hotel Project Is Built

Officials of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences want to host the Emmy Awards at a theater planned to be developed next to the Staples Center downtown but only if a major hotel and ballroom are part of the project

L.A. Stories/The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns

Recession Is Not Hurting L.A.'s Top Law Firms

A slumping economy did nothing to squeeze the pocketbooks of partners at L.A.'s largest law firms, which saw both revenues and profits per partner climb in 2001.


Niche: Ariella Lehrer's Legacy Interactive has eschewed shoot 'em up games to pursue a smaller market. After a couple fitful starts, Ariella Lehrer is on a roll with her life-based computer simulation games, including licensing rights to a major TV show.

Spotlight on Monrovia: Smaller Retailers See Boom As Chains Flock to Pasadena

Overshadowed by Old Pasadena, its neighbor to the west, merchants in this pedestrian-friendly shopping, restaurant district seem content to be second. Mom and pop establishments, not chain stores, give Old Town Monrovia its character and local businessp

Manufacturer Plans To Close South Gate Components Factory

Thomas & Betts Corp. will close its South Gate facility this month as part of a company-wide restructuring effort expected to save the electrical components manufacturer $45 million to $50 million annually.

Record Label Jazzed About Move to L.A.

After nearly three decades in its namesake Bay Area town, jazz label Concord Records will move its headquarters this spring to Beverly Hills.

Overture Chief Tries to Reassure Investors

Shares of pay-per-click Internet search engine Overture Services Inc. had a tumultuous two days last week when the loss of Internet service provider EarthLink Inc. as a client apparently spooked investors.

Ports and Union Prepare for Early Bargaining Talks

The union representing workers at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is signaling that it will agree to early negotiations on a new three-year contract as a July 1 deadline looms.

Parks Reappointment Stirs City Hall Drama

Now that L.A. Mayor James Hahn has announced he will not support the reappointment of Police Chief Bernard Parks to another five-year term, the city is in for an extended period of political wrangling involving factions within and outside City Hall.

Pump Delay Spurs Lawsuit Between Tech Competitors

Alfred Mann had to have seen this coming. Mann is co-chief executive and chairman of Valencia-based Advanced Bionics Inc., which has sued Medical Research Group for reneging on a contract to develop a neural pump.

LETTERS: Convention Bureau

Letters to the Editor

Undeclared Voters Will Have Free Rein in 2002 Primary

POLITICS: With the registration deadline for the March 5 primary next Tuesday, (Feb. 19), there's still confusion about cross-over voting in partisan primary races.

COMMENTARY: The Hahn Decision

Comment by Mark Lacter: "As expected, all hell has broken loose among African American activists, who called it a betrayal to the black voters who got Hahn elected just a few months back."

LABJ Business Hall of Fame

Awards Event Announcements

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The LABJ FORUM: The Mayor vs. the Chief

Citing higher crime rates and slipping morale, Mayor James Hahn last week said he would not support the bid by L.A. Police Chief Bernard Parks for a second five-year term. The move sparked outrage from some in the African-American community, which had sta

Latino-Targeted Discount Club Will Try Again

Pueblo Corp., a Century City-based company that was selling an affinity card to Latino consumers in Southern California, last week filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

El Segundo Maker Of Semiconductors Raises $22.5 Million

A wireless communications company spun off from Raytheon Co. has raised $22.5 million, demonstrating that substantial pots of venture capital are available for certain types of projects.

Olympics Will Mean Easy Sledding for NBC Station

The athletes in Salt Lake City aren't the only ones going for the gold. KNBC-TV (Channel 4) has a major head start in the February sweeps as the local television station for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

Newport Company to Acquire Citadel Stores

Craig Realty Group has entered into an exclusive negotiation agreement to purchase the Citadel Factory Stores and adjoining office buildings from City of Commerce for about $50 million.

Paseo Colorado Sale Seen Near as TrizecHahn Divests

Real Estate: TrizecHahn Corp., which has announced a years-long plan to exit the retail property business, is looking at a faster exit for one of its local developments.

My Favorite Sites

Favorite Websites of Rob Eshman, Editor-in-chief, The Jewish Journal. Register or Sign On to view. It's FREE!

Blue Cross Targeted With Fines By County Medi-Cal Manager

For the first time in its five years of operation, L.A. Care Health Plan has fined a subcontractor for allegedly violating its regulations.

WEEKLY BRIEFING: Cup of Joe and Advice Basis for Pair's Venture

Weekly Column

Calendar: Conventions

Calendar of Convention dates, Feb 11 - March 10

Voters To Be Presented With Term-Limit Compromise

Ever since California voters enacted term-limits in 1990, there have been periodic attempts to modify them, to no avail. Now, a coalition of elected officials and business, labor and civic leaders is trying again, with a measure on the March 5 primary bal

Small Health Care Campus Finds Success in Lynwood

The campus of St. Francis Career College is not much to look at. Stuffed into the fifth floor of a medical office building in Lynwood, the school for nurses and health care technicians has desks crammed in odd spots, paint chipping off the wall, and plain

Art of Cash Accounting: Global Woe

Accounting has always been an obtuse art and in the case of Global Crossing Ltd., a seemingly simple determination in how to measure cash flows can be interpreted in any number of ways.

City Working on Hotel Financing

In order to attract more business and conventions to L.A., the city may end up owning a new hotel.

Veteran's Departure Leaves Management Gap at SBS

MEDIA NEWS; The nation's largest Spanish-language radio broadcaster is searching for someone to oversee its L.A. operation following the recent departure of veteran Bob Visotcky. ... and More

Hahn Defends City's Role in Delivery of Valley Services

As the push for San Fernando Valley secession started to heat up last summer, L.A. Mayor James Hahn announced his own plans for keeping the city together. His strategy was highlighted in November with the formation of his political action committee, L.A.

Monday, February 4

Business Joins Fight Against Storm Runoff Regulations

Business and construction industry groups have joined local governments in seeking to overturn new storm water runoff regulations that they contend would unnecessarily stifle the region's development including a possible ban on grading during the rainy

UC System's Role in Enron Suits Gets Murky

With a federal judge about to name a lead plaintiff in the numerous class action suits against Enron Corp., the University of California system, out $145 million in the massive collapse, finds itself at a crossroads.

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Weekly Column

Manager Who Criticized KPFK Owner Put on Leave

The longtime director of KPFK-FM (90.7) was placed on administrative leave by the Pacifica Foundation following a month of changes at the troubled radio network.

Undersea Pipe Still a Good Idea

Yes, Global Crossing Ltd. used some questionable accounting tactics. And its founders cashed in on hundreds of millions of dollars worth of stock when the company still looked like a new-economy powerhouse.

LABJ Forum: What Did the White House Know?

While President Bush's approval rating still looks cushy, the continuing saga of Enron must be causing some unease. Polls show that many Americans, even Republicans, believe that the White House is not disclosing some of its dealings with the energy compa

Small Business Profile: Shingle Minded

Two-year-old ForSight Creations has boosted its profile by landing some of the premier signage assignments in L.A.

More Outlets for Gay-Oriented Film Fare Lure Producer

Santa Monica independent producer and distributor Regent Entertainment is the latest entertainment company to create a division dedicated solely to gay and lesbian fare.

VICA Position on L.A. Business Tax Ills: Toss the Whole System

After more than five years of supporting efforts to reform the city of L.A.'s labyrinthine business tax code, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association has decided it's better to throw out the whole thing and start over.

LABJ Front Page

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Riordan Watchers Hold Their Breath for Major Stumble

Heading down the home stretch of the Republican gubernatorial primary, former L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan is way out in front, both in the polls and in fundraising.

Visitor Woes Spark Shifts For Bureau

Faced with a downturn in convention bookings and a shrinking budget, the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau is an organization with problems.

Differing Failures

Commentary by Mark Lacter

Effective Marketing Means More Than Advertising

Entrepreneur's Notebook by Sharon Berman

Global Crossing: Choosing a Path

Global Crossing Ltd.'s major creditors have hit a long-dreaded crossroads. After last week's announcement of plans to sell a controlling equity stake to two affiliated Asian companies for $750 million made in conjunction with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy fil

Having Slashed Staff and Costs, Expects Profitability Inc., once mentioned in the same breath with eToys Inc. as a prime example of the misplaced enthusiasm for unproven Internet business models, is now promising a profit.

Undeterred, Flynt Vows to Keep Up Struggle for Slots

Larry Flynt hasn't turned in his chips yet. The Hustler publisher recently lost his case in San Francisco Superior Court over the right to add slot machines and house gambling games at his two Gardena venues, Hustler Casino and Normandie Casino.

Retailers See Benefit, Threat In Re-emergence of Galleria

Spotlight on Sherman Oaks

Furniture Company Will Leave South Bay For Mexican Factory

Douglas Furniture of California LLC has notified the state that it will lay off 165 employees and move a large portion of its manufacturing to Tijuana.


People in the News

Speculation Focuses on Hollywood & Highland Sale

TrizecHahn Corp.'s announcement that it was taking a $217 million write-down on its Hollywood & Highland project has some real estate experts suspecting that the developer might want to unload the property sooner than planned.

Touch for Texture Has Business All Sewn Up

Weekly Briefing by David Greenberg

People Interview: Health Care Agenda

Former Assemblyman Martin Gallegos steps into new state position as head of Patient Advocate office.

Global Crossing Bankruptcy Clouding Future of Spinoff

Corporate Focus by Anthony Palazzo: In declaring bankruptcy, Global Crossing Ltd. left an orphan Asia Global Crossing Ltd., operator of Global Crossing's undersea fiber-optic system to Asia.

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns

My Favorite Sites

Favorite Website by Lee Marc, founder & managing director,

Bypassing Venture Capitalists, Area Tech Firms Boost Funding

While the Department of Justice holds up the major studios' plans to offer video-on-demand, Intertainer Inc. has extended its reach to 300,000 customers and rounded up another $15 million to help foot the bill.

L.A. Ports Drawing Shippers, West Coast Competition Slips

The Port of Los Angeles has been grabbing market share from other West Coast ports as cost pressures force shippers to decrease the amount of cargo going to smaller destinations.

Northeast Valley Getting Hit Hard as Jobless Rate Climbs

The Northeast San Fernando Valley has one of the highest concentrations of unskilled, low-wage earners in Los Angeles County, many of whom have been affected by the decline in manufacturing jobs over the last few years, as well as more recent cuts by hote

Flag Waving Laws Impact Patriots as Well as Protesters

Guest Commentary By LEONARD PITTS

Down-Home Success

Nimble community newspapers ride out publishing industry woes.

Splichal Jumps Pond to Infuse New Spot With European Flavor

Through his Patina Group, which was acquired three years ago by Restaurant Associates, Splichal is sinking $3.1 million into his newest downtown L.A. restaurant at 801 S. Figueroa St. It's called Zucca, which means "pumpkin" in Italian.


Letters to the Editor

Court Consolidation Could Be Slowed Due To Federal Budget Ills

Federal funding for a proposed $400 million federal courthouse in downtown L.A. could be delayed by a year or more due to budget concerns.

Developers Boost Culver City Theater Project

Pacific Theatres and developer OliverMcMillan LLC will increase the size of a theater complex at Culver City's Town Center in an effort to pick up more customers from Westwood and Century City where a number of movie houses are closing.

Change of Stance as Davis Agrees to Hike For Workers' Comp

Gov. Gray Davis, state Sen. President John Burton, D-San Francisco, and state labor leaders have agreed to a $2.5 billion hike in workers' compensation benefits paid out by employers to injured workers.

Internet System Aims to Free Up Port Congestion

Looking to alleviate the massive gridlock of trucks entering the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, a Web-based scheduling system will be installed by terminal operators to spread out container pickup times.

Retrofitting Tab at County Hospitals Over $156 Million

As if it weren't bad enough that Los Angeles County faces a $700 million annual deficit in its health department operations, the cost of seismically retrofitting its hospitals is now coming in.

Tenant Issues Clouding Future of Constellation Project

Real Estate: While it's business as usual at the 700,000-square-foot office project, which is scheduled for completion mid-2003, questions surround the stability of its two anchor tenants Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and International Lease Financing Corp.

L.A. Company's Software Survives and Thrives After New York's Terror Ordeal

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center put E Team on the map when it thrust Walton and his Canoga Park company's Web-based emergency management software into a must-perform operation.