LAX Lawsuit Deal Proposed, to Be Unveiled Today

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has struck a deal with three cities, L.A. County and a Westchester neighborhood group to end the lawsuits challenging the $11 billion plan to remake Los Angeles International Airport. The proposed settlement is designed to give Villaraigosa the power to reshape vast portions of the plan. It also speeds up $240 million worth of soundproofing in communities near the airport and improves several major boulevards. Under terms of the agreement, El Segundo, Inglewood, Culver City and the other plaintiffs would agree to drop their lawsuits and promise not to sue over the less controversial elements of the LAX plan, including the south runway realignment. The deal still must be approved by four city councils and the county Board of Supervisors, the Daily Breeze reported.

Time Warner Cable Firm to Serve Most of L.A.
Time Warner Inc. won approval Wednesday to become the cable television provider for almost all of Los Angeles after city officials helped broker a deal between company workers and management. The unanimous City Council vote smoothes the path for the local component of a multibillion-dollar deal between Time Warner and Comcast Corp. to distribute the assets of Adelphia Communications Corp. L.A. officials have been scrutinizing the deal since spring, when Time Warner and Comcast announced their plan to acquire the assets of Adelphia, which filed for bankruptcy. Both Time Warner and Comcast stand to receive Adelphia franchises. The two companies will swap various areas, with Time Warner taking over L.A., the Daily News of Los Angeles reported.

Three Cities Pool Cash for Local Transit Study
Burbank, Glendale and Pasadena have contributed $30,000 each for a study examining the feasibility of building a light-rail or a rapid-bus system between Pasadena and North Hollywood. The study, dubbed the "Missing Link" plan, would run parallel to the Ventura Freeway between the Metro Red Line station in North Hollywood, through Burbank and Glendale, connecting to the Gold Line in Pasadena, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. No cost estimates were available, but more details are expected at a Dec. 12 meeting in Glendale. City officials hope to have the study completed in six months.

MTA to Expand Rapid-Bus Service
The number of rapid-bus lines in Los Angeles County will more than double over the next three years, making it easier for commuters to rely on public transportation to move quickly around the region, the Los Angeles Times reported. On Wednesday, a court-appointed mediator endorsed a Metropolitan Transportation Authority plan to meet demands for better bus service by expanding its rapid-bus program from 14 to 29 routes by 2008. Wednesday's ruling came after the MTA and the Bus Riders Union failed to reach an agreement under the consent decree over how to improve bus service in the region. The decree was initiated in 1997 to settle a lawsuit filed by bus riders over declining service.

Toy Jewelry Is Recalled Over Lead-Poisoning Risk
A Chatsworth company is voluntarily recalling about 6 million children's necklaces and zipper pulls that pose a serious risk of lead poisoning, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday. The painted metal jewelry contains high amounts of lead, which can be toxic if swallowed. There have been no reports of incidents or injuries associated with the Chinese-made jewelry sold by Stravina Operating Co. The safety commission announced the latest recall after Stravina alerted it that the two products contained lead, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Warner Marketplace Sold
In one of the biggest commercial transactions in the San Fernando Valley this year, Warner Marketplace has been sold for $52 million to UBS Realty Investors of Hartford, Conn., officials said Wednesday. The 160,075-square-foot open-air center, a popular Warner Center shopping destination, is fully leased, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. The center fetched a premium price because this style of facility is becoming rare: a single-level retail center on expensive land. The tenant roster includes Bed, Bath & Beyond, Borders, Pier 1 Imports, Sportmart and BevMo.

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