LAX Runway Project Advancing

A project that will shift a busy LAX runway closer to the homes of El Segundo won a key endorsement Monday from the commissioners who oversee the airport. Their approval of the project came just days after a legal settlement cleared away the stack of formal challenges that had threatened to snare it. The runway work is scheduled to get under way next month, the Daily Breeze reported. On Monday, the Los Angeles airport commission voted 5-0 in support of the project. That sends it to the Los Angeles City Council for a final vote. The airport commission could award a contract for the work later this month.

Weinsteins Sign Distribution Deal With Genius Products
Miramax Films co-founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein have linked up with a little-known San Diego County video distributor to release their films on DVD in the U.S. The brothers' recently formed Weinstein Co. will own 70 percent of the new joint venture, Genius Products, with its publicly traded parent Genius Products Inc. retaining the remaining third, the Los Angeles Times reported. Solana Beach-based Genius Products has never distributed videos for major movie releases. It has concentrated on low-cost specialty films, TV shows and children's programs such as Baby Genius. The move was unexpected, given that the Weinsteins had aggressively sought a video distribution deal with a major studio after their split this year with Walt Disney Co.

Funding for L.A. Misses Bull's Eye
Despite being one of the top three terrorist targets in the nation, Los Angeles does not receive nearly enough federal funding to protect the city against an attack, according to a report released Monday. Los Angeles received less per-capita funding than Vermont, Wyoming and other low-risk areas in a funding system that leaves the area and the nation vulnerable, said a follow-up report issued by the commission that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2005, L.A. County received $92 million in two federal grants money shared among the Sheriff's Department, the LAPD and 16 other cities, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. The former 9-11 commission released a scathing report Monday criticizing the federal government's response in the years since 9/11.

DreamWorks Fills a New Post
In a move to take some of the burden off Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. named former Bank of America Corp. executive Lewis Coleman to a new role as president, The Wall Street Journal reported. DreamWorks Animation said executives who had previously reported to Katzenberg would now report to Coleman. Katzenberg will have only one direct report: Coleman. Coleman will take on a lot of the day-to-day responsibilities of running a public company and "allow me to focus more of my time on partnerships, marketing of our movies and the movies themselves," Katzenberg said.

Water Future of L.A. Now Under Review
To serve an estimated 700,000 new residents over the next 20 years, the city of Los Angeles is developing a massive blueprint of new sewer lines, treatment plant expansions and more water recycling that could signal the return of the once-disdained "toilet to tap" system. The new environmental impact report for the city's 20-year Integrated Resources Plan outlines four alternative plans to manage wastewater, storm water and drinking water. Residents and environmentalists pushed the city to consider using highly treated sewage water to replenish groundwater and drinking water supplies in the report, but there's no plan to resurrect "toilet to tap," the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. The environmental report outlines four alternatives that range from $2.9 billion to $3.6 billion.

College Picks San Jose Educator as President
Chui L. Tsang, 54, president of San Jose City College, was chosen Monday to be the next president of Santa Monica College, effective in February. Tsang previously was dean of the school of applied science and technology at the City College of San Francisco. She also has taught at Stanford University and San Francisco State. At Santa Monica, he will succeed Piedad F. Robertson, who left in January to become president of the Education Commission of the States, a Denver-based nonpartisan education group, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Executive Ousted at Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures Entertainment, suffering a prolonged box-office slump, has ousted Geoffrey Ammer, its president of marketing. In a statement released late Monday, the studio acknowledged that Ammer was stepping down and that a successor would be named shortly. Industry sources speculated that Valerie Van Galder, who is president of Sony's recently revived TriStar Pictures movie label, would replace Ammer. Ammer, who for the last four years had served as president of worldwide marketing for Sony's Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, will continue to oversee the studio's marketing campaigns on the upcoming holiday releases "Fun With Dick and Jane" and "Memoirs of a Geisha," the Los Angeles Times reported.

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