L.A.'s New Mayor-Elect Plans Shakeup at Airport

Changes are in store for LAX with this week's mayoral victory of Antonio Villaraigosa, who is promising to shred the current airport modernization plan and replace most of the commissioners whom James Hahn appointed to run the department, the Daily Breeze reported. Villaraigosa has opposed several of the major projects in Hahn's $11 billion LAX Master Plan, including the new airport entrance in the Manchester Square neighborhood east of the airfield. He said before the March primary that he would scrap the projects, and on Thursday he vowed that his administration's actions will reflect his position on the plan. The City Council approved Hahn's LAX modernization in December.

Carson Looking Like a No-Go
The NFL executive overseeing the Los Angeles stadium search said Thursday that he expects at least one of the four sites to be eliminated from consideration next week when league owners meet in Washington, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. While the NFL wouldn't say which sites are on the chopping block, all signs point to Carson, where the league has spent two years exploring the feasibility of constructing a stadium on a 157-acre former dump site. Although the Coliseum and Anaheim ironed out many of the terms they've been negotiating and the Rose Bowl appears to have been given a reprieve while the Pasadena City Council deliberates whether to go forward, the picture in Carson appears clear: Carson officials, who have had little contact with the NFL since traveling to New York in early April, already are planning for life without the league.

Pacheco Wants Mayor-Elect's Old job
Former City Councilman Nick Pacheco announced Thursday he plans to run for the seat he previously lost to Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa, setting the stage for a closely contested special election, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. No date has been set yet for the election to succeed Villaraigosa, who must resign his 14th District seat when he is sworn in on July 1. The successor would fill out the two years left on the term. Pacheco said he wants a chance to finish programs he had started before being defeated by Villaraigosa in 2003. LAUSD board President Jose Huizar said he will announce next week whether he will run. State Sen. Gil Cedillo also is said to be studying a run.

Indictment Targets Getty's Acquisitions
A senior curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles has been indicted on criminal charges involving the acquisition of precious antiquities in the archeologically rich country of Italy, authorities in Rome said. Marion True, curator for antiquities at the museum and director of the Getty Villa, is accused of criminal conspiracy to receive stolen goods and illicit receipt of archeological items, the Los Angeles Times reported. It is also alleged that True laundered goods that were purchased by a private collection and then sold to the Getty in paper transactions that created phony documentation. Getty officials said they had cooperated in the investigation and defended True.

Hotels Break Ranks on Union Contract
A coalition of prominent Los Angeles hotels has suffered a double blow in its power struggle with the hotel workers' union, as two of nine original members publicly broke ranks on the crucial issue of the contract expiration date, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Unite Here union is demanding that the contract end in 2006 as part of a campaign to line up expiration dates across the country. That could allow the union to call a national strike as it goes up against national chains, leaders said. The expiration date has been the key point of contention between the two sides, with the Los Angeles Hotel Employer's Council pushing for a longer deal.

A Glut in the Market for Homes
One of the few things increasing faster than house prices in California is the supply of agents licensed to sell them. More than 22,000 applicants took the state's real estate exam in April, nearly three times as many as in April 2003, according to the Department of Real Estate. The last time so many people wanted to sell real estate in California was in 1990. In what might be an ominous sign for the current boom, that year marked a peak in the housing market. There are 437,000 agents in California, enough to form the state's eighth-largest city. But with only 680,000 home sales a year, competition for listings can be savage, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Sex Offenders Not Welcome, Specify Six Flags Season Passes
Season passes to Six Flags California now feature a warning stating the theme park's right to refuse entry to anyone convicted of a crime that endangers other park guests, with a specific mention of sex crimes convictions, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. Officials at the amusement park said they do not plan to screen park visitors' histories for possible criminal convictions, but any guest seen acting inappropriately could be detained and subjected to a background check. The season passes have long included literature detailing the park's rules and terms of use, however, the specific mention of convicted sex offenders was added early this year at the direction of Six Flags' attorneys.

Weinsteins Announce New Film Backers
No longer able to rely on the hefty allowance supplied by Walt Disney Co., Miramax Film Corp. co-founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein announced financial alliances Thursday that they said would help jump-start their new entertainment venture, the Los Angeles Times reported. During a conference call with reporters at the Cannes International Film Festival, the brothers said investment banking house Goldman, Sachs & Co. had agreed to help finance their emerging enterprise, now called Weinstein Co. In recent weeks, the Weinsteins have moved swiftly to put their company together. They have told potential investors that they hope initially to raise $1 billion.

Oaktree, Others Settle Charges
Los Angeles-based Oaktree Capital Management and two other hedge fund advisors settled charges that they engaged in improper "short selling" trading tactics, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday. The cases center on alleged violations of an SEC rule that prohibits what the agency considers potentially manipulative trading of a stock just before a company issues more shares to the public via a secondary offering. The largest settlement Thursday was with New York-based Galleon Management, which agreed to disgorge $1,040,882 in profit and pay a $870,247 civil penalty. Oaktree agreed to disgorge $169,773 in profit and pay a penalty of the same amount.

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