KB Home Records Decline in Orders

KB Home said the number of canceled home orders rose in December and January while net orders for new homes fell , a trend that, if it continues, could force the company to adjust revenue projections. The Los Angeles company pointed out the shift in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday. KB Home began fiscal year 2006 with a seven-month backlog of new-home orders with a projected revenue value of $6.76 billion, the Associated Press reported. Last year, KB Home generated sales of $9.44 billion, a 34 percent increase over 2004.

Munitz Promise Angered Board
A month before he resigned as chief executive of the J. Paul Getty Trust, Barry Munitz angered some board members by promising his controversial chief of staff a severance payment in excess of $350,000 without informing the board. Munitz promised Jill Murphy severance worth twice her annual salary at a time when he was under investigation by the state attorney general and the Getty board, and despite a clear warning from the board that he should seek prior approval for any controversial moves, the Los Angeles Times reported. The board approved Murphy's payment, agreeing with the recommendation of its outside attorney, who felt Munitz had made a legally binding agreement with Murphy that could be costly for the trust to fight in court.

L.A. Could Lose if Site Bought for Shelter Is Sold
The city of L.A. could lose up to $3 million if it sells a block of land after spending $6 million in voter-approved bond money to buy it for use as an animal shelter. Members of the City Council's Public Safety Committee demanded a written report to explain why the city used its powers of eminent domain to force a furniture maker to sell the South Los Angeles parcel so the city could build an animal shelter , only to now propose selling it to a competing furniture manufacturer. Councilman Bernard C. Parks, who has received $1,000 in political contributions from the co-owners of Cisco Bros., has been leading the push to have the parcel sold to Cisco so the company can expand its furniture mart, the Los Angeles Times reported.

C-17 Halt to Cost $8.4 Billion
The Pentagon's plan to mothball production of the C-17 cargo plane in Long Beach would have a devastating effect beyond Southern California, sucking about $8.4 billion from the economy and eliminating more than 25,000 jobs nationwide. The report by the U.S. Department of Commerce said suppliers from Gardena to Virginia would be forced to cease operations; the production of the Apache helicopter and other aircraft tied to the C-17 would have to move; and plans to make the aircraft commercially available to foreign buyers would be quashed. The report comes on the heels of the Pentagon's decision to shutter the line once the current order of 180 planes is delivered in 2008, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.

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