Unocal Stockholder Sues Over Acquisition Deal

A Unocal Corp. stockholder filed suit against the El Segundo-based oil company, alleging that Unocal's agreement to be acquired by ChevronTexaco Corp. was unfair to Unocal's investors, the Los Angeles Times reported. The suit was filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of Unocal shareholder Michael Lieb and other investors, who are seeking class-action status.

Prosecutors Ask for Records Related to Hahn's 2002 Asia Trip
Prosecutors waging a corruption probe into city contracting have called on Los Angeles World Airports to turn over travel records from Mayor James Hahn's 2002 trip to Asia, when the mayor struck deals with companies at the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles International Airport, Copley News Service reported. Airport officials received a letter last week from the district attorney's Public Integrity Division asking for expense reports from Hahn and four current and former members of his administration. The request showed investigators are still focused on Hahn, who is running for re-election May 17.

LAPD Chief Criticizes Report Backing LAX Police Force
Ridiculing a recent study that called for maintaining an independent LAX police department, LAPD Chief William Bratton on Tuesday made his most forceful pitch yet for his agency to take over the airport force, the Daily Breeze reported. LAX police countered by urging City Council members to delay a public vote on the matter. Bratton said that the three-month, $900,000 study by Counter Technology Inc. failed to answer critical questions or clearly identify the best command structure for the airport.

Obesity Costly for California
Californians are eating more, exercising less and getting fatter, a trend that costs businesses and the state $22 billion a year in lost productivity, higher insurance premiums and medical costs, a study released Tuesday found. More than half of California adults are overweight, including many who are classified as obese. The rate of overweight and obesity is more than 60 percent among Latinos, African-Americans and men past age 25, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. Costs will reach $28 billion this year, according to the study, "The Economic Costs of Physical Inactivity, Obesity and Overweight in California Adults" by David Chenoweth.

City Eyes Housing Limit
Expansion plans for Woodland Hills' Warner Center that include hundreds of apartments and possibly an upscale hotel have prompted L.A. city officials to consider an emergency ordinance for an earlier cap on residential building limits, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. Called an interim control ordinance, it would limit to 3,000 the number of apartments and condominiums that can be built immediately, instead of in 2010 as set in the Warner Center Specific Plan. The plan was approved in the mid-1990s, but the strong demand for housing, especially multifamily and senior units, prompted a surge in project approval last year.

Inglewood Delegation Tries to Air Concerns at Wal-Mart Conference
A delegation from Inglewood didn't find what it was shopping for Tuesday near the hometown of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the Los Angeles Times reported. Hoping to meet with Wal-Mart Chief Executive H. Lee Scott Jr., the delegation , which included an Inglewood city councilman, a minister and a member of the California Assembly ,settled for a brief encounter with two of the company's corporate affairs executives at an Embassy Suites Hotel. The hotel, nearWal-Mart's Bentonville headquarters, was the site of a conference organized by Wal-Mart as part of a national program to burnish its image.

Cablevision May Bid on Its Own for Adelphia
In a move that could raise the stakes in the sale of L.A.'s largest cable operator, Cablevision Systems Corp. is preparing a $16.5-billion cash offer for Adelphia Communications Corp. Such a bid could be a setback for Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts Co. and Providence Equity Partners, the two private equity firms that had approached Cablevision about joining them in sweetening their $15-billion offer for Adelphia, the Los Angeles Times reported. The two firms are looking to challenge Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp., the two leading U.S. cable operators, whose joint bid of $17.6 billion is still considered the auction's front-runner.

Fleetwood CEO Acts to Pull It Out of Rut
At the helm of Fleetwood Enterprises Inc. for less than a month, Chief Executive Elden Smith has moved quickly to deal with the company's troubled recreational vehicle and manufactured housing units, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Riverside-based company said Tuesday that it would sell its manufactured-housing retail division and an affiliated finance business. Fleetwood has been struggling to recover from a persistent slump in manufactured housing, which represents about a third of its $2.6 billion in annual revenue. Its RV business also has been flagging.

Reds Overtake Whites as California Wine Shipments Post Gain in 2004
Americans bought more wine last year, good news for California vintners who distributed an estimated $15 billion of wine to the domestic market, the Associated Press reported. Last year also turned out to a very good year for reds: They edged out white wines by volume for the first time in at least two decades in supermarkets. Overall, California wineries shipped 428 million gallons to U.S. markets in 2004, a 3 percent increase from 2003.

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