Stories for June 2002

Monday, June 24

My Favorite Sites

Favorite website of Larry Marks, partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Beach Boys Founder Sues Over Handling of Trademark Litigation

LAW by Amanda Bronstad

Autocratic Panic Exits ICN Stage, Leaves Big Hole

Editorial by RICK REIFF and MICHAEL LYSTER, Orange County Business Journal

Review & Preview

Summaries of recent top news, upcoming issues and events.

Next Wave for Mossimo is Deal With Canadian Retailer

Big 5 IPO Aiming to Raise $100 Million to Retire Debt

L.A.'s Largest Companies Manufacturing Modest Profits

SPECIAL REPORT: Scoring L.A.'s Public Companies

Change in Structure to Boost Visibility, Business of Bank

Wall Street West by Benjamin Mark Cole

Premium Film Venues Connect With an Upscale L.A. Audience

Pacific Theatres' Arclight screens, Mann Theatres, and Bridge Cinemas all have rolled out premium-price venues that offer large, plush reserved seats, top-of-the-line sound and projection equipment, and an unobstructed view of the screen.

Tech Companies Looking at Asia to Help Shore Up Sales

Orange County technology companies are counting on sales growth in the Far East to help soften the effects of a stagnant U.S. market.

Bank Deal Splits GBC Directors

GBC Bancorp, parent of L.A.-based General Bank and one of the area's most prominent Chinese-American financial institutions, is weighing acquisition offers from at least two larger banks.

Business District Faces More Changes With Airport Plan

It's been an up and down existence for business owners along Sepulveda Boulevard just south of Manchester Boulevard and north of Los Angeles International Airport.

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly LABJ special columns

South Park's Future Remains Cloudy After Anschutz Pullout

Property owners in and around South Park, thrown for a loop when Anschutz Entertainment Group announced plans for a pro football stadium at the site, were whipsawed again when the proposal was abruptly dropped a month later.



Owner of BP Plaza Shortens List of Bidders for Property

Real Estate by Danny King

L.A. Forum: Overseeing the Accountants

Proposals to increase the oversight of the accounting industry in light of the Enron and other corporate scandals are circulating in Congress and at the Securities and Exchange Commission. The plans include the creation of an independent oversight board t

Heads I Win v Tails You Lose

Comment by Mark Lacter

2 Largest Firms Put Dent in Top 200 Total Value

SPECIAL REPORT: Scoring L.A.'s Public Companies

Massive LAX Overhaul Proposal By Hahn Includes People Movers

Mayor James Hahn and airport officials are developing a massive $8 billion overhaul of LAX that's aimed at enhancing security and accommodating the next generation of super-jumbo jets.

People Interview: Stepping Into the Fray

As aide to ex-Mayor Bradley, Wendy Greuel spent years at City Hall but as L.A.'s newest councilmember, she faces whole new tempest of public issues.

Westwood Bullocks Site Going on the Market

Madison Marquette, Westwood Village's largest retail landlord, is selling its Bullocks/Macy's redevelopment on Weyburn Avenue and may be shopping the remainder of its Westwood portfolio, according to real estate sources.

Solutions Elusive as State Faces Year-End Power Ills

With federal price caps due to expire on Sept. 30 and the state's authority to buy power on the open market set to end on Dec. 31, a major battle is brewing over the future shape of the state's dysfunctional power market.

Proposal for Drastic County Health Cuts Criticized

The county's proposal to radically downsize its health department in the face of a $700 million deficit is facing sharp criticism because of fears that it could overwhelm private health care providers with uninsured patients and that supervisors are far

WEEKLY BRIEFING: Businessman Has Time For Pursuit of Lost Art

Weekly Column

Tiny UCLA Sensors Could Provide Big Help for U.S. Military

Tracking device: Computer chip can detect movement of weaponry within 100 feet.

Uncertain Labor Situation Forces Cargo Elsewhere

With only a week remaining before a strike deadline set by workers at West Coast ports, a few importers are permanently rerouting portions of their Asian cargo to less tumultuous East Coast and Gulf ports.

GOP Groups Set To End Silence on Issue of Secession

POLITICS by Howard Fine

Fast-Track Apartments Starting To Stir Up Dust in Santa Monica

After countless complaints from residents, the Santa Monica City Council has asked the Planning Department to study the fast-track program to determine whether it should be slowed down.

Hospitals Pushing Ballot Measure To Protect Trauma-Care Funding

Health-care providers are again attempting to put before voters funding for emergency care, but this time they're going with a scaled-down measure targeting only L.A. County's trauma network.


People in the News, on the Move

Projects Reveal Different Sides of Hollywood Revival

On a recent weekday evening, a steady stream of shoppers negotiated their way past a cluster of spike-haired punk rockers to join the throng inside Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard.

Retail Businesses Use eBay For Widening Market Reach

Sales assistance: Mariano Ruiz uses eBay at his surplus machinery

Playing the Numbers Game: How Many Can You Trust?

SPECIAL REPORT: Scoring L.A.'s Public Companies

SMALL BUSINESS: Testing the Waters

Biotech firm helps fund research efforts through creation of a marketing division selling consumer products that detect common contaminants.

Monday, June 17

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns

New Lawyers Graduating to Difficult Job Market

Statistics are still being compiled, but area law schools report seeing a drop in job offers from L.A. firms, particularly the larger ones.

Kid Actors From "Wonderful Life" Sue Over Privacy

LAW by Amanda Bronstad

Downturn Creates Staffing Opportunity for One Bank

Wall Street West by Benjamin Mark Cole

Settlement Possible After Huge City of Hope Verdict

Before the City of Hope was awarded $300.2 million in compensatory damages last week in its case against Genentech Inc., the talk in legal circles was that the two sides were too far apart to reach a settlement.

Looking for Space


Short Sellers See Golf Company's Outlook Improve

There's a war brewing between holders of National Golf Properties Inc. stock and short-sellers who have targeted the ailing golf course landlord as a potential bankruptcy candidate.

LABJ Forum: Heading to the Mall

Angelenos love to shop, and in recent months several new or renovated centers have opened that provide them with plenty of opportunity. Shopping centers represent economic engines for a city because of sales tax revenues. But like other cities, L.A. has b

Startup Hip Hop Channel Planning August Debut

Given an alternative, Steve Rifkind believes a new generation of music fans doesn't really want its MTV, or its BET for that matter.

The Broker


Large Shopping Center Gives New Outlook to City's Retail

What used to be a strawberry patch is turning into a 48-acre commercial development in southeast Glendora and the road to making it happen says a lot about a city's coming of age.

Univision Radio Deal Could Turn Up Off-the-Air Static

Media by Claudia Peschiutta

Plenty for Valley Voters to Mull In Secession and Borough Bids

POLITICS by Howard Fine

Fitting Into The Market

SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE: AB & R; Inc. takes a home-made approach to marketing its line of Billy Blues jeans for young girls and women.

Businesses Make Contingency Plans for Port Strike...

As a July 1 strike deadline looms at West Coast ports including Los Angeles and Long Beach, businesses are scrambling to make contingency plans to survive a work stoppage.

Fun Facts


New Retail Center Planned in Carson

A one million-square-foot retail and entertainment center is planned for a 157-acre landfill site in Carson under a joint venture of retail developer GMS Realty LLC and brownfields investment firm Cherokee Investment Partners.


Post Capitalizes on Higher Profile of IT

Bucking Trends

David Gold, Founder of the 99 Cents Only Chain, Rejects High Pay, Prices

In Search of White Hats

Comment by Mark Lacter

Making the Move


Executive Summary / The Pacesetter

Summaries of this week's List - Colleges & Universities Ranked by full-time student equivalents for the 2001-2002 average enrollment period.

Growing Firm, Exploding Offer, a New Home

SPECIAL REPORT: Real Estate - A Company Makes Its Move

El Segundo Warehouse Revived as Production Studio

Real Estate by Danny King


Letters to the Editor

Storied Gaming Firm in License Battle

Dogged by allegations that some of its executives secured prostitutes for high rollers, a hearing later this month could determine the fate of Pinnacle Entertainment Inc. as a gaming business.

Review & Preview

Summary of past week's stories; preview of upcoming week.

Weekly Briefing: Entertainer in Control Of Puppet Operations

Weekly Briefing: Entertainer in Control Of Puppet Operations

Settling In


Houlihan Cuts Jobs Amid Slowdown in Dealmaking

Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin has confirmed a round of layoffs at the Los Angeles-based investment banking firm, amid a drop in merger and acquisition activity industrywide this year.

New Law Gives Lawyers Pause to Draw Up Prenuptials

Family law attorneys are declining to draft prenuptial agreements because of a new state law that can alter terms of spousal support and exposes them to greater risk of malpractice claims.

Eastern Stereotypes, Youth Culture and Pining for L.A.

Opinion by BILL STEIGERWALD, associate editor and a columnist at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

...While Local Apparel Contractors Experience Boost

L.A. clothing contractors have never been busier. It started when retailers, who had kept their inventories lean in recent months, started boosting them in time for back-to-school sales.

Dealmaking Spree Hints at Potential Puck Stock Offer

Wolfgang Puck is on a national expansion campaign that has analysts wondering whether he is positioning his company again to go public.

Double Vision at Networks As Duopoly Era Goes Live

It's the most significant shakeup in L.A. broadcast history. It will result in job cuts, merged operations and new ways to produce television news. And if folks aren't nervous about their futures, they're certainly wary.

Skechers Striding Ahead With New Sock License Pact

Retail by Deborah Belgum

Doing the Deal


"Crossover" Consulting Firm Taps Latino Market Pro

As advertisers and broadcasters become increasingly interested in the growing Latino market, a well-known consulting firm is seeking help from a prominent Latina entertainment executive to get in on the action.

Entrepreneur's Notebook: Effective Cash Management Can Give Firms an Edge

Raising corporate capital has always been a challenge, but it is especially difficult now, when money isn't easily available.

My Favorite Sites

Favorite websites of Andrew Peterson, Partner, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

The Area


Redevelopment Agency Proposing Rebuilt Downtown Industrial Zone

The L.A. Community Redevelopment Agency, fresh on the heels of the recent L.A. City Council approval of its 892-acre City Center redevelopment plan, has proposed a new 738-acre redevelopment zone for the industrial section in the eastern part of downtown.

Debate Swirls on Motives Behind Borough Scheme

Smokescreen or compromise? With the threat of secession now looming over the City of Los Angeles, the oft-discarded notion of boroughs has suddenly become a hot concept as are the motivations behind it.

Monday, June 10

Shelter From the Storm

L.A. Companies' Shares Outperform Broad Indexes; Stocks are falling all over the place, but L.A., it seems, has an umbrella.

Review & Preview

Review of week's stories; Preview of next week.

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns


People in the News, on the Move

Dentists Alleging Defamation Over Mercury Claims

LAW by Amanda Bronstad

Reporting Suffers With Smoothing Of Rough Edges

Editorial by Kathleen Parker, columnist with the Orlando Sentinel.

Joint Promotional Effort for Fox Duopoly Bucks Trend

Media by Claudia Peschiutta

Secession Bid Raises Hopes For Resurgence of Boulevard

Spotlight on Van Nuys

"Spider-Man" Creator Stan Lee Spins New Web

Even after losing more than $1 million of his own money on an ill-fated Internet site and missing out on the profits generated by the hit film, "Spider-Man," based on the character he created, Stan Lee is back in business.

Beverly Hills Chooses Extension Instead of Renewal for Adelphia

Beverly Hills Chooses Extension Instead of Renewal for Adelphia

Deadline Set for Northrop to Slash Cost of Global Hawk

With the costs of Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Global Hawk project spiraling out of control, the Air Force is threatening to re-bid the contract or replace it with an updated version of Lockheed Martin's U-2 spy plane, which has been in use since the 1950s.

One Project Finished, Santa Monica Turns Attention to Parking

After a year of ripped-up streets and completion of a $15 million Transit Mall near Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica officials are embarking on the next step in attracting more shoppers and holding onto the ones who are losing patience.

El Paso Slide Takes Huge Toll on One of L.A.'s Richest

Back in 2000, when energy companies were hot properties, Selim Zilkha's stake in El Paso Corp. was worth nearly $1 billion. What a difference two years makes.

Business Groups Fret Over Costs Associated With New Legislation

A raft of bills is working its way through the state Legislature that opponents warn could add to the cost of doing business in California.

Proposed Sale of East Los Angeles Hospital Given Boost

The proposed sale of Santa Marta Hospital in East Los Angeles from its non-profit Catholic owner to a new for-profit operator based in Newport Beach was given the thumbs up last week in a key report to the state Attorney General's Office.

Deal Expected for Huge Warner Center

An agreement is in place to sell a bulk of Warner Center Properties, the sprawling 2.3 million square foot of office, retail and hotel complex along Oxnard Street in Woodland Hills.

Profile: A Tree Grows in Their Factory

Couple are a natural for artificial plant business as they produce customized foliage displays for hotels, restaurants and corporate offices worldwide.

Wasserman The Wizard

Comment by Mark Lacter

Interview: Legal Perspective

Once defense counsel to celebrity clients, Howard Weitzman takes new approach to law career.

Stores Retreat From Troubled Westwood

Nearly a dozen retail stores have closed their doors in Westwood Village during the past six months and another half dozen are getting ready to leave the once-prosperous village by year's end.

Rising Malpractice Coverage Rekindles Reform Push

As medical malpractice rates have soared elsewhere in the nation, California doctors have been protected by the state's groundbreaking law putting a $250,000 cap on damages for pain and suffering at least that's been the prevailing wisdom.

Broadcast Boon Anticipated as Secession Foes Spread the Word

Whether secession happens or not, local broadcast outlets are expected to reap millions of dollars from advertising as the campaign heats up between now and November.

Importers Want Federal Action in Port Labor Fight

With negotiations for a new three-year contract between ship companies and the union representing West Coast port workers apparently yielding little progress as of late last week, threats of a July 1 strike have nervous maritime officials calling for Whit

Now It's Hollywood's Turn

While attention has focused on the proposal to split off the San Fernando Valley from the city of Los Angeles, last week the Local Agency Formation Commission voted to add a Hollywood secession measure on the Nov. 5 ballot. All of which must be confusing

Good Consultants Can Boost Efficiency of Businesses

Entrepreneur's Notebook by Janet Halbert

FBI Cuts White-Collar Crime Force as Terror Takes Priority

The shift of federal resources to fight terrorism has been taking personnel away from local investigations of white-collar crime and is quietly being felt on several law enforcement fronts.

Coalition Seeking Hospital Investor, But Time Is Short

A loose coalition of community and labor groups is looking to find a buyer for Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital that Tenet Healthcare Corp. plans to close in 60 days.

Missing November Ballot May Be Final Blow to Harbor Secession

POLITICS by Howard Fine

Shareholder Seeks Halt to Tender Offer by Belzbergs

A shareholder has filed a lawsuit against Beverly Hills-based holding company Westminster Capital Inc. and members of the controlling Belzberg family, claiming that the wealthy Canadian clan is using its power over Westminster to buy out minority sharehol

Culture Clash, Opportunity Said to Lure Cox to Trammell

Real Estate by Danny King

My Favorite Sites

Favorite Websites of Larry Twersky, President, 1-800-dentist

Executive Summary / The Pacesetter

Summaries of this week's List - Money Management Firms, Ranked by assets managed as of Dec. 31, 2001

Weekly Briefing: Finding Resonance in Home Textile Business

Weekly Column

Staff Cuts Near as Channels 2 and 9 Are Consolidated

Major changes, including layoffs and the consolidation of production operations into one facility, are expected to take place at KCBS-TV (Channel 2) and KCAL-TV (Channel 9) as owner Viacom Inc. begins merging its two L.A. broadcast operations, according t

No Script for Hollywood as City Formation Makes Gains

What would the city of Hollywood look like if voters approve the proposal to secede from L.A.? For one thing, it would instantly become the fourth or fifth largest city in L.A. County

Furniture Firm Finds School Market Offsets Office Falloff

Corporate Focus by Anthony Palazzo

Pain Continues for Downtown Hotels As Business Lags

Retail by Deborah Belgum

Cheap Parking, Short Lines and the Sonic Boom at Long Beach Airport

With no more than a dozen passengers in the lone terminal at Long Beach Airport, skycaps, ticket agents and administrative employees paused for a moment as a B-1 bomber took off from a nearby airfield.

Monday, June 3

Executive Summary / The Pacesetter

Summaries of this week's List: Dental Plans Ranked by enrollment in L.A. County

Keystone Expecting to Ride Out New Wave of Lawsuits

Corporate Focus by Anthony Palazzo

Secession Sides Formulate Plan For Long Battle

With a referendum on San Fernando Valley secession already slated for the Nov. 5 ballot, and Hollywood likely to follow this week, the battle over the breakup of Los Angeles is about to begin.

Regional Airports See Upswing as Passengers Return for the Summer

Ontario, Long Beach and Burbank airports, buoyed by rebounding ridership, lower gate rates and the growth of smaller airlines, have struck a series of deals boosting the number of flights.

LABJ FORUM: Time to Make Vacation Plans

Summer is here and many Angelenos will be taking some time off. It's a crazy time to travel, what with crowded airports, weather delays and the near-daily reports of terrorist threats. Still, many are determined to take some time off and get out of town,

Product, Service Marketing Often Similar

Entrepreneur's Notebook by Sharon Berman, a principal of Berbay Corp., a Los Angeles-based marketing consultancy. Also: GAME THEORY

Comment: Paradoxes Of Fright

Commentary by Mark Lacter, editor of the Business Journal.

Business Tax Divide Widening Between VICA, L.A. Chamber

Call it another manifestation of the north-south split across Mulholland Drive. This time, it's a rift on business tax reform.

Small Business Profile: Rearranging Furniture

Company makes room for unwanted or surplus items from hotel industry reselling them to other institutions and consumers looking for bargains.

Hollywood Business Owners Cool to Idea Of Leaving L.A. City

With a measure on Hollywood secession likely to be placed on the ballot this week, proponents have their work cut out for them in the Hollywood business community.

Long-Term Redevelopment Gaining Ground at Complex

Exposition Park should be one of the shining jewels of the L.A. landscape. Inside the 160-acre park south of downtown L.A. is the historic Memorial Coliseum used in two Olympics, and the largest natural history and science museums in the western U.S.

My Favorite Sites

Favorite Websites of Christie Smith, Manager, Avalon Management

Emmis Chief, Intent on L.A. Growth, Eyes Infinity Assets

Media by Claudia Peschiutta

Coalition Asserts Big Damage Award Will Lift Insurance Costs

A court ruling that threatens to push rates higher for medical malpractice insurance is being challenged by an alliance of doctors, dentists and hospitals.

Review & Preview

Review of week's stories; Preview of upcoming week

Andersen Loses L.A. Partners, Staff to Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young has hired nine partners and 91 professional and staff members from Arthur Andersen's Los Angeles office as the hemorrhaging of the troubled accounting firm continues.

Money Managers Get Jitters As Investor Trust Weakens

Wall Street West by Benjamin Mark Cole

Investors' Group Builds Franchise In Bank Buyouts

A group of investors who assembled an Orange County-based collection of community banks and then and sold it three years ago is at it again.

Game Plan for L.A. Football Rights

Broadcast bonanza: The possibility of football in L.A. again would bring boost to TV, radio stations.

Grubb & Ellis Drama May Bring Broker Opportunities

Real Estate: That sign of relief you heard over Memorial Day Weekend was the collective exhale coming from the local offices of real estate services firm Grubb & Ellis Co.

Lower Profits Cited in Troop Defections at Akin Gump

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, the nation's 10th largest law firm, bought its way into L.A. just over a year ago, using the promise of big paydays and a national scope to acquire Troop Steuber Pasich Reddick & Tobey LLP.

French Skater Putting Sole In Lake Forest Shoe Maker

Sole is one of the hottest names in the action sports industry. The 13-year-old company started with one skateboarding shoe, Etnies, and now counts three others as well as apparel.

People Interview: Purchasing POWER

Acquisitions mogul Tom Gores, who is eyeing Global Crossing, finds value in tech market.

Doctors Guarding Their Turf as Other Practitioners Push to Expand Services

The argument from psychologists seemed reasonable to local Assemblywoman Judy Chu, herself a psychologist by training.

L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

Weekly Columns

Newsmakers: KFWB's Ad Chief Plays to Sports Strength

People in the News, on the Move

WEEKLY BRIEFING: Ambitions of Brothers Cut From Same Fabric

Jason and Rodney Carr's father ran a Montreal home fashions business for 32 years before selling out to his partner two years ago.

"Nesting" Business Draws Book Soup To Orange County

After 27 years of operating just one bookstore in West Hollywood, owner Glenn Goldman is finally expanding Book Soup.

Cultural Fascination Leads to Growing Media, Retail Firm

What started as a hobby 200 copies of a magazine dealing with underground Asian culture produced on a home computer has evolved into a holding company with a retail operation, e-commerce site and Giant Robot, a glossy, 40,000 circulation quarterly pub

Port Truckers Pressured by Rate Cuts

Trucking companies serving ports in Los Angeles, Long Beach and elsewhere in the state have been hit with a 5 percent cut in transportation rates, just as rising fuel and insurance costs already are siphoning much of their profits.

Santa Monica's Wage Keeping Eateries Out

Bill Allen, chief executive of Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, he has been slowly expanding his four-year-old chain nationwide including L.A., where he is aggressively looking for prime spots.

Alcon's Film Slate Begins to Deliver Box Office Results

The real story behind the psychological thriller "Insomnia" involves the unlikely duo who hope to ride the film's box-office success and critical acclaim to the major leagues of film production.

Cities Freezing Cable Renewals

Cable Franchises: Adelphia's system cuts a wide swath through L.A.

Stadium Planners Assembling Legal Team for Dealings

LAW by Amanda Bronstad

UCLA Medical Center Stands to Lose in Federal Program Cuts

Health Care by Laurence Darmiento