KB Home Reviews Stock Options Given to CEO

Several past stock-option grants to Bruce Karatz, the highly paid chief executive of KB Home, were dated at unusually low points in the home builder's stock price, and the company said it has commenced a review of the awards, the Wall Street Journal reports. Four grants to Mr. Karatz between 1998 and 2001 were propitiously timed. One was dated at the stock's lowest closing of the year, another at a quarterly low, and the remaining two at monthly lows. That pattern raises questions about whether the grants were made on the fortunate dates specified in company filings.

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Affordable Homes Still Scarce Here
The Los Angeles area remained the nation's least-affordable housing market for the seventh consecutive quarter in the April-through-June period, according to survey results released Tuesday, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. And the 10 least-affordable large-market and small-market areas were all in California, said the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo in its Housing Opportunity Index. In the Los Angeles-Glendale-Long Beach area, just 1.9 percent of new and previously owned homes were affordable to those earning a median family income of $56,200. The median sales price during the period was $521,000.

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USC Seeks Sale of Hospital by Tenet
USC filed suit Tuesday in an effort to force Tenet Healthcare Corp. to sell its ownership and control of USC University Hospital, contending that the troubled hospital operator had not adequately invested to improve the facility, the Los Angeles Times reports. The 269-bed hospital near downtown Los Angeles is staffed by USC medical personnel and is also used as a teaching facility. The university owns the land and Dallas-based Tenet manages the hospital and owns the buildings and equipment.

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Plan Puts Marina in Fast Lane
At a smidgen over 1.5 miles long, the Marina Freeway is the shortest freeway in Los Angeles County. It's notable for another reason as well, the Los Angeles Times reports: It doesn't actually go to the place for which it's named. In fact, this lightly traveled spit of road has long been viewed as the freeway that starts nowhere and ends nowhere but at least doesn't take long to traverse. The county, which owns Marina del Rey, wants to change that , the part about the road's going nowhere, that is. With the county planning a massive redevelopment of the marina and with traffic in the area growing ever more congested, plans are afoot to extend the east-west Marina Freeway past Lincoln Boulevard and directly into the marina, allowing motorists to avoid that often jammed thoroughfare.

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Vitesse Shares Sink on Trustee Dispute Over Debt
Shares of Vitesse Semiconductor Corp., a supplier of chips used in the communications and storage industries, sank Tuesday after the company said a trustee moved up a debenture bond due date and called for payment of $96.7 million in principal, plus interest, immediately, the Ventura County Star reports. Shares of Camarillo-based company fell 7 cents to 85 cents on over-the-counter trading. The stock, which was delisted from the Nasdaq National Market in late June, has traded between 69 cents and $3.79 over the last year.

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Launch Is Delayed for Boeing's GPS Satellites
Technical issues have caused a delay of more than a year in a Boeing Co. contract to build a new generation of global positioning system satellites, the Pentagon said Tuesday, as reported in the Los Angeles Times. The first of 12 new GPS satellites is now scheduled to be launched in May 2008, the Air Force said. The initial launch had been planned for January. The satellites are being built at Chicago-based Boeing's manufacturing facility in El Segundo, while engineering work for the program is performed in Huntington Beach.

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