PET STORES: The Los Angeles City Council has tentatively adopted an ordinance to ban pet shops from selling dogs, cats and rabbits obtained from commercial breeders. The ban, supported by council members 12–2, still allows individuals to buy directly from breeders, but pet stores would be limited to selling animals obtained from shelters, humane societies and registered rescue groups.
JOBLESS RATE: L.A. County’s jobs recovery picked up steam last month as the unemployment rate fell to 10.6 percent and 37,000 jobs were added to payrolls. The September jobless rate is the lowest in more than three years, down from 11 percent in August and down nearly two percentage points from a year ago, according to the California Employment Development Department.
SPEAKING OUT: Nineteen local business and civic leaders last week delivered a letter to L.A. City Hall urging the City Council to pass Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s pension reform proposal. They warned that escalating pension obligations will damage the city’s fiscal stability and cripple its ability to provide essential public services and invest in infrastructure improvements. Villaraigosa’s plan calls for raising the retirement age to 65 from 55 for future city workers and requiring future employees to contribute more toward their retirement, which is estimated to save the city as much as $70 million a year.
BIG BOX: A proposal to ban major retailers from opening in the Chinatown area failed to gain sufficient support in the Los Angeles City Council, falling one vote short of the 12 needed to pass. The emergency ordinance was proposed after Wal-Mart Inc. announced earlier this year that it would convert a vacant building on Cesar Chavez at Grand Avenue into one of its smaller “neighborhood market” stores, a new concept for the Bentonville, Ark. big box retailer.
JOINT VENTURE: Century City’s Creative Artists Agency and India’s Kwan Entertainment & Marketing Solutions have formed a joint venture to represent Bollywood talent. CAA Kwan, which will be based in Mumbai, will represent artists in film and television, music and other businesses. CAA already represents actors, actresses, writers and directors in the region, and Kwan Entertainment is a top talent agency in India.
TECH INVESTMENT: The venture arm of New York telecommunications giant Verizon Communications Inc. will take an undisclosed equity stake in billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth LLC, which is developing a high-tech infrastructure enabling doctors to use smartphones and similar devices that can help doctors research the latest medical treatments and remotely monitor patients in their homes. NantHealth is a subsidiary of Soon-Shiong’s West L.A. holding company NantWorks LLC.
MALL PURCHASE: Macerich Co. has agreed to buy two shopping malls in Long Island and Brooklyn for a total of $1.25 billion in an effort to expand its presence in the New York metro market. The Santa Monica real estate investment trust will buy the Green Acres Mall in the Long Island community of Valley Stream for $500 million from Vornado Realty Trust of New York City. It is also buying Kings Plaza in Brooklyn from Alexander’s Inc. for $751 million.
EARNINGS: Occidental Petroleum Corp. reported third-quarter net income of $1.38 billion, 22 percent less than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 1 percent to less than $5.9 billion. … Amgen Inc. reported net income of $1.1 billion, 142 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue rose 10 percent to more than $4.3 billion. … Avery Dennison Corp. reported third-quarter net income of $58.3 million, 17 percent higher than in the same period a year earlier. Revenue fell 1 percent to less than $1.5 billion.
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