Stories for January 2014

Friday, January 31

Rams Confirm Inglewood Purchase

The St. Louis Rams confirmed Friday that team owner Stan Kroenke bought a 60-acre vacant lot from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in Inglewood, as the Business Journal reported on Thursday.

Holiday Barbie Sales Hurt Mattel Earnings

El Segundo toy manufacturer Mattel Inc. reported higher fourth quarter net income for the period ended Dec. 31 despite a decrease in sales.

Green Dot, Mattel Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed lower for the week.

Stocks Drop

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 150 points, or 0.9 percent, to 15,699. The Nasdaq lost 19 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,104. The S&P 500 dropped 12 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,783. The LABJ Stock Index was down 2 points to 178.

Ouya Releases Upgraded Console

Ouya’s gaming system is nearing its first birthday, and the console maker is celebrating by releasing a new product line with some upgrades.

CytRx Hopes to Raise $75 Million in Stock Offering

West L.A. biotech firm CytRx Corp. has announced a $75 million public stock offering.

L.A.'s NFL Hopes Turn to Inglewood

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this month sold a vacant 60-acre parcel in Inglewood, renewing speculation that the site could become a National Football League stadium. One team official last week said there is suddenly a lot of “chatter” in the NFL that a team owner may have made the purchase, the Business Journal reports.

Garcetti Names New DWP Head

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday stepped up his effort to overhaul the leadership of the city’s much-criticized municipal utility and curb the influence of its powerful employees’ union by nominating a new agency boss and dismissing a top-ranking executive, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Economy Grew 3.2 Percent in Fourth Quarter, Fueling Hopes for Faster Recovery

The nation’s gross domestic product grew at a solid 3.2 percent annual rate during the fourth quarter. Strong consumer spending, investments by businesses and a pickup in exports boosted the results. But the pace of growth would have been a percentage point higher without the political chaos on Capitol Hill, the Washington Post reports.

Many Expected to Vie for Waxman Seat

The sudden retirement of Rep. Henry A. Waxman on Thursday set off a land rush among potential candidates eyeing an exceedingly rare shot at an open congressional seat, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Writers Guild Says Production Companies Seeking $60 Million in Rollbacks

Setting the stage for contentious bargaining, leaders of the Writers Guild of America have told members that production companies are proposing $60 million in rollbacks at upcoming negotiations, Variety reports.

Sales of $1-Million-Plus Homes Soar in State

Crowned by the sale of a Malibu estate for $74.5 million, the number of houses sold last year at $1 million and above statewide jumped to a six-year high, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In-N-Out's Burger Queen

Lynsi Snyder, the youthful president of Irvine-based In-N-Out Burger, is one of America’s wealthiest women but has tried to keep a low profile. Orange Coast magazine tries to get more personal.

Anthem Asking Big Boost in Some Premiums

Thousands of Anthem Blue Cross individual customers with older insurance policies untouched by Obamacare are getting some jarring news: Their premiums are going up as much as 25 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Big Companies Join Obama Initiative to Help Long-Term Unemployed

President Obama has persuaded some of the nation’s largest companies, including Wal-Mart, Apple, GM and Ford, to avoid discriminating against applicants who have been out of work for a long time, The New York Times reports.

Obama Signals Flexibility on Immigration

President Obama signaled flexibility on immigration legislation in an interview that airs today, saying he doesn’t want to prejudge legislation that doesn’t explicitly include a pathway to citizenship, The Hill reports.

American Apparel CEO Dov Charney on Pushing Boundaries

In an interview with Marketplace, Charney explains his edgy advertising strategy and why he still makes clothing in the United States.

Stocks Fall

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 168 points, or 1.1 percent, to 15,680. The Nasdaq fell 31 points, or 0.8 percent, to 4,092. The S&P 500 lost 14 points, or 0.8 percent, to 1,780.

Thursday, January 30

L.A.'s NFL Hopes Turn To Inglewood

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. this month sold a vacant 60-acre parcel in Inglewood, renewing speculation that the site could become a National Football League stadium.

CBRE Buys German Consulting Firm

CBRE Group Inc. of downtown Los Angeles announced Thursday it has acquired Valteq Gesellschaft, a German real estate consulting firm.

Ryland's Quarter Beats Wall Street Estimates

Ryland Group Inc. on Thursday announced strong fourth quarter results as the company rides the resurgent residential real estate market.

Cal Lutheran Launching Business Incubator

California Lutheran University is opening an off-campus business incubator this summer in Westlake Village as part of an expansion of its School of Management, the college announced on Thursday.

Stocks Up

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 110 points, or 0.7 percent, to 15,849. The Nasdaq ticked up 72 points, or 1.8 percent, to 4,132. The S&P 500 climbed 20 points, or 1.1 percent, to 1,794. The LABJ Stock Index rose 3 points to 180.

Henry Waxman to Retire

Los Angeles congressman Henry A. Waxman, one of the most prolific lawmakers of the modern era, has decided to retire at the end of this congressional session, The Washington Post reports.

Fed Again Cuts Monthly Bond Purchases

In its final major decision under the leadership of Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it would continue to slowly dismantle its stimulus campaign, The New York Times reports.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca’s Last Day

Sheriff Lee Baca retires at noon on Thursday — in disgrace, some would say — but even his critics cannot deny his legacy includes impressive declines in crime, the Daily News reports.

As Movie Production Leaves, So Do Tinseltown's Hired Hands

As film and TV production scatters around the country, more workers are packing up from California and moving to where the jobs are, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Vine Street Resurgence Continues With $285-million Mixed-use Project

Another vast complex of apartments, offices and stores may be coming to the heart of Hollywood in the block just south of the ArcLight Cinema complex, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Academy Disqualifies Oscar-Nominated Song

In a move with few precedents in the 86-year history of the Academy Awards, the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has decided to disqualify an Oscar nominee prior to the Oscars ceremony itself, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

More Than a Fourth of Orange Line Passengers Ride For Free

More than one-quarter of passengers on the Metro Orange Line may be riding for free, according to the most extensive study to date of fare evasion along the San Fernando Valley bus line, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New Owner of Patch Media Lays Off Hundreds

Patch's new owner, Hale Global, announced Wednesday that hundreds of Patch employees were to be laid off in a reorganization, The New York Times reports.

Google Sells Handset Business to Lenovo

Google’s experiment making Motorola phones has ended after just 22 months, with the company unloading the handset business to China's Lenovo Group Inc. for $2.91 billion but keeping a valuable trove of patents, The Wall Street Journal reports.

That Mystery on Sunset

Just before Pacific Palisades proper, there is a curve around a hill, and clinging to that hill is a house gingerly balanced on massive concrete stilts. While many are familiar with it, very few people know that the guy who lives in it, designed it, The New York Times reports.

Stocks Rise

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 86 points, or less that 1 percent, to 15,825. The Nasdaq rose 58 points, or 1.4 percent, 4,109. The S&P 500 ticked up 14 points, or less than 1 percent, to 1,789.

Kilroy Purchases Hollywood Film Academy Site for $46 Million

West L.A. real estate company Kilroy Realty Corp. announced today it had purchased a four-acre development site in Hollywood from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences for $46 million. The off-market deal closed in November.

Wednesday, January 29

NBCUniversal Laying Off 164 Workers in Burbank

The move of “The Tonight Show” to New York City will result in the elimination of 164 positions at NBCUniversal's Burbank studio.

Lloyd Braun Takes Sole Ownership of BermanBraun

Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun, co-founders of Hollywood production BermanBraun, are breaking up.

Markets Fall

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 188 points, or 1.2 percent, to 15,739. The Nasdaq dropped 47 points, or 1.1 percent, to 4,051. The S&P 500 was down 18 points, or 1 percent, to 1,774. The LABJ Stock Index lost 1 point to 177.

Obama Strikes Tough Tone for Modest Agenda

President Obama’s State of the Union address represented a study in scaled-down ambition, The New York Times reports. The speech had three particularly notable anecdotes, according to the Times.

Former Academy President Tom Sherak Dies at 68

Tom Sherak, the charismatic and charitable studio marketing and distribution executive who recently took the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences through some tumultuous times, has died, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Sherak's passing will likely affect Mayor Garcetti's agenda to keep production in Los Angeles, The Wrap reports.

L.A. Region Plays Big Role in Super Bowl Ads

As the Super Bowl grows in value, big flashy commercials have become more prevalent, a trend that has benefited the Los Angeles area, where most of the commercials are filmed, the Los Angeles Times reports.

TV Stations in Los Angeles to Share a Channel to Free Up Spectrum

Two broadcast TV stations in Los Angeles will become the first participants in a pilot test of the government’s plans to eventually free up and auction off more airwaves for use in wireless broadband, The New York Times reports.

D.A. Joins Battle Over DWP Non-profit Spending Records

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has confirmed its prosecutors and criminal investigators are joining a City Hall effort to determine how two controversial Department of Water and Power nonprofits have spent more than $40 million in ratepayer money, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. and Long Beach Port Competitiveness Examined at Conference

The president of the Pacific Maritime Shipping Association is set to discuss current issues affecting the shipping and logistics industry key to the economies of the region when he delivers the lead address during the State of Trade and Transportation Conference on Thursday, the Daily Breeze reports.

California Senate Approves Bills on Voter Registration, Guns

Californians would be able to preregister to vote at age 16 and BB guns would have to be painted bright colors under two of the many pieces of legislation approved Tuesday by the state Senate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Taiwanese President Greets Supporters During Chinatown Visit

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou was greeted in Los Angeles Chinatown on Tuesday by lion dancers and hundreds of flag-waving supporters, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Airport Leader Set to Serve on Federal Board

Gina Marie Lindsey, the head of the city's airport department was recently appointed to the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's Los Angeles branch, according to Patch.

Netflix Gears Up to Expand in Europe

As streaming-video juggernaut Netflix Inc. plots an expansion in Europe, media companies across the continent are girding for battle, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Markets Dip

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 112 points, or 0.7 percent, to 15,817. The Nasdaq dipped 23 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,075. The S&P 500 lost 10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,782.

Tuesday, January 28

HomeHero Brings New Life To Elder Care

The knock on the current boom in tech is that most companies are started by (male) 20- or 30-somethings attempting to solve problems for 20- or 30-somethings. Ergo the handfuls of food delivery startups or laundry pickup services.

Minimum Wage Violations Withdrawn Against BYD

Minimum wage violation charges against Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. were withdrawn Tuesday by the California Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement, according to the law firm representing BYD.

L.A. Register Starts Social Media and Ad Campaign

Freedom Communications’ soon-to-launch Los Angeles Register is ramping up its social media presence.

Calacanis Launches Inside, a Newsreader App

Serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis has finally lifted the veil on his newest product, Inside, which he says is the best thing he’s ever done.

Wilshire Bank Profit Narrows

The parent company of Koreatown lender Wilshire Bank announced after the close of the markets Monday that its profit narrowed in the last quarter of last year as it closed on two acquisitions.

Hudson Pacific Raises $196 Million

Hudson Pacific Properties has raised $196 million in a public stock offering, the company announced after the close of the markets Tuesday.

Amgen Earnings Rise

Amgen on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter results that beat earnings expectations on a pro forma basis that excludes acquisition costs.

Semtech Lays Off 6 Percent of Workers

Semiconductor maker Semtech Corp. is laying off 6 percent of its workforce due to softer demand for its chips used in smartphones and other devices.

Markets Make Gains

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 91 points, or 0.6 percent, to 15,929. The Nasdaq was up 14 points, or 0.4 percent, to 4,098. The S&P 500 ticked up 11 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,793. The LABJ Stock Index was up 1 point to 179.

Obama to Raise Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

President Barack Obama will announce in tonight’s State of Union that he is raising the minimum wage for federal contractors, The New York Times reports. The address will lay out his agenda for the year to an audience increasingly worried about his abilities, dissatisfied with the economy and fearful for the country's future, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Theater Owners Call for Shorter Movie Trailers

In a move sure to ignite plenty of debate in Hollywood, the National Association of Theater Owners has released voluntary guidelines calling for movie trailers to be no longer than two minutes - 30 seconds shorter than is the norm, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

A Fed Policy Maker Urges More Stimulus

Narayana R. Kocherlakota, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, was once a leading opponent of the Federal Reserve’s efforts to stimulate the economy. Today, he has emerged as the only senior official arguing publicly that the Fed should do even more, The New York Times reports.

Seahawks and Broncos Sports Bars to Battle

The Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos will be facing off in New Jersey in Super Bowl XLVIII this weekend. Here in Los Angeles there will also be a contest, of two rival sports bars, KPCC reports.

Madeleine Brand Returns to Radio

Longtime L.A. radio figure Madeleine Brand returned to the airwaves Monday with a new show for her former competitor KCRW-FM (89.9), broadcasting from its home in the cramped basement of Santa Monica College's cafeteria building, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Tarantino Sues Gawker

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino has alleged that the gossip site Gawker posted his unproduced film script. The site denies the charge, according to The Wrap.

Assembly OKs Bill to Allow California Beach Bonfires

The state Assembly approved legislation Monday that would preserve the Southern California tradition of bonfires on the beach, despite concerns that they can contribute to air pollution, the Daily Breeze Reports.

Cachuma Lake Is Disappearing

Cachuma Lake, the source of drinking water for 200,000 people on the southern coast of Santa Barbara County is disappearing. It is becoming a startling emblem of California's debilitating drought, with little hope that conditions will improve soon, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Unified Unprepared for Computerized State Test

The nation's second-largest school district is woefully unprepared to administer new state standardized tests by computer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Divorces Rise as Economy Recovers

Married couples promise to stick together for better or worse. But as the economy started to rebound, so did the divorce rate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bitcoin Entrepreneur Charged With Money Laundering

The vice chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, a trade group promoting the adoption of the digital currency, has been charged by U.S. prosecutors with conspiring to commit money laundering by helping to funnel cash to illicit online drugs bazaar Silk Road, Reuters reports.

Markets Rise

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 86 points, or 0.6 percent, to 15,924. The Nasdaq was up 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 4,095. The S&P 500 ticked up 10 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,792.

Monday, January 27

Ceres Announces Secondary Offering

Agricultural biotech Ceres Inc. is planning a secondary offering of its common stock that could bring in up to $20 million.

Rexford Buys $9 Million Industrial Park

Los Angeles real estate investment firm Rexford Industrial Realty Inc. announced on Monday it has added to its fast-growing Valley portfolio with a nearly $9 million purchase in Van Nuys.

Markets Fall Again

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed down 41 points, or 0.3 percent, to 15,838.

TigerText Closes $21 Million Series B Round

If TigerText did nothing else as a company, it could forever be known as the company that birthed teen-friendly privacy app Whisper.

Dearth of Industrial Space Fuels Rental Rates, Development Plans

High demand for industrial property in the San Gabriel Valley continued in the fourth quarter, pushing the vacancy rate down and rental rates up.

Re-Digging Westwood

REAL ESTATE QUARTERLY: Developers’ ground-up and renovation projects aim to draw crowds back to village.

Developers launch projects to rebuild Westwood Village’s appeal as a destination.

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Westwood Takes Constructive Approach to Change

SPECIAL REPORT: Real Estate Quarterly

Westwood Village residents and business groups, particularly those who remember its glory days, have a lot of pride in their neighborhood.

‘A City in Decline’? Not L.A.


Russell Goldsmith lists the assets that L.A. leaders should bank on as they look to improve the economy.

Firm Fails to Make Case to Retain Trial Lawyer

Law: Exit of Marshall Grossman seen as as blow to Bingham.

One of the biggest trial lawyers in Los Angeles has a new home.

New Awards Show Aims to Polish Image of GIFs

Internet: Crispin Porter’s event to salute range of categories – including cats.

GIFs, animated online video clips, have proliferated as a means to share moments from favorite TV shows, films and sporting events.

Accelerator’s Full Speed Ahead on Demo Days

Online: MuckerLab sticks by tradition as latest startup class meets with investors.

Accelerator MuckerLab sticks with demo days, saying the events still click with the tech community.

Hooking Up to Ethernet Pays Off With Investors

Telecom: New focus on hardware spurs increase in Vitesse’s share value.

Vitesse Semiconductor connects with investors as its shift into Ethernet hardware takes off.

Dialed Into Group TV Viewing

Evite taps app to let users invite friends to real or virtual parties.

Evite hopes smartphone users answer call for TV clip-sharing parties.

San Jose’s minimum-wage increase a cautionary tale for Los Angeles.

OP-ED: Two Views

Two Views: Reiko Roberts and Michael Saltsman check in with opposing points on a city of L.A. proposal to raise the minimum wage for hotel workers to $15 an hour. - Con

Small businesses will benefit from raising pay for hotel workers.

OP-ED: Two Views

Reiko Roberts and Michael Saltsman check in with opposing points on a city of L.A. proposal to raise the minimum wage for hotel workers to $15 an hour. - Pro

Tipping Scale

TRANSPORTATION: Dependable Cos. loads up on overweight trucking business through another acquisition.

Logistics business Dependable Cos. goes heavy into overweight trucking with its latest acquisition.

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Wall Street Gets With Software Maker’s Program

Technology: Shares of Mandalay Digital surge after deal with Verizon.

Investors ring up stock of Mandalay Digital after Verizon signs up for its products.

New Magazine Pages Film, TV

Entertainment: California agency looks to keep productions.

California Film Commission turns the spotlight on the state’s production advantages with a new magazine.

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El Segundo Spurs Office Market While Industrial Space Stays Tight

The South Bay office market, led by accelerated demand in El Segundo, improved quite a bit in the fourth quarter, while the already tight industrial market remained flat.

Pasadena Paces Submarket With Rehab, Construction Projects

Efforts to reposition Pasadena as a technology hub to rival the Westside gained momentum as 2013 came to a close.

Purchase of Bank of America Property Stands Out in Slow Quarter

Santa Clarita’s office and industrial markets came to a quiet close in 2013, but brokers expect this year to be more lively.

Doughnut Company Sees Holes to Fill in SoCal

Food: Krispy Kreme’s area franchisee plans to open 20 shops in next seven years.

Krispy Kreme plans to go hole hog in Southern California with 20 new stores.

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Vacancy Rate Remains Steady After Strong Year of Absorption

It was status quo in the San Fernando Valley during the fourth quarter, with the vacancy rate for the region as a whole remaining at 14.8 percent, unchanged from the third quarter.

Park Mile Campus Seen as Big Draw for Deal-Hunting Tenants

From east to west, the Wilshire Corridor performed steadily in 2013.

Spike Pushes West Hollywood’s Rate Into High-Priced Neighborhood

West Hollywood appears ready for its close-up. Of all the Westside markets, the city posted the most marked increase in asking rates for Class A space, jumping over the course of the year to an eye-popping $4.37 per square foot from $3.32, according to research by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Flood of Small Leases Ends Yearlong Run of Rising Vacancies

A flurry of small lease deals last quarter helped turn around what had been a year of rising vacancy in the Hollywood office market.

Tenants Stay Put, But Smaller Renewals Drive Up Vacancy Rate

Downsizing defined downtown Los Angeles last quarter.

Deals by Small, Midsize Firms Feed Steady Office Market Recovery

The Los Angeles County office market continued its tepid but steady recovery last quarter.

Data Bank Conventions


Data Bank Calendar

Calendar of events

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Going East: Live Nation Entertainment Inc. continues to expand in Asia, signing a joint-venture agreement with B’In Music International to form Live Nation Taiwan.

L.A. Restaurant Group Finds Japan to Its Taste

Dining: Patina chooses Tokyo for the company’s first overseas outpost.

Dining: Patina Restaurant Group serves up its first overseas location in Tokyo after a special order from its largest shareholder.

regional report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Firm Acquisition: Bolton & Co., a Pasadena insurance brokerage, has acquired Universal City’s Rick Gombar Insurance Services Inc., which works with the security industry.

Ad Career, Flower Business Cross-Pollinate

David Plafchan, senior copywriter at ad agency Deutsch LA in Playa Vista, was leading a double life until one day the two merged.

Sweet Twist on Chicken

Restaurateur’s latest concept brings chocolate to table as ingredient.

Dining: Umami’s Adam Fleischman braves new take on chicken: chocolate flavoring. 3

Tackling Football Injuries

Iron Neck exercises muscles to help protect head in collisions.

Sports: Mission Competition’s Iron Neck exercise device looks to head off football injuries.

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Entrepreneur Making News

Internet: Jason Calacanis looks to deliver in journalism.

Online entrepreneur Jason Calacanis’ latest move takes him into the bustling field of mobile news delivery.

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Former Phone Exec Taps Parents

Technology: Lin Miao gets family loan to keep incubator alive.

Former executive charged in cellphone scheme is allowed to get line on loan from parents to keep his incubator online.

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New Interest

Investor says it’s finally time to bet on L.A. banking

California Business Bank’s owner looks to be L.A.’s first new player in banking in almost five years.

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Friday, January 24

L.A. Unemployment Down, But Few New Jobs

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell to 9.2 percent in December, its lowest point in more than five years, according to state figures released Friday.

Nova, Herbalife Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down for the week.

Markets Fall Again

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 318 points, or 2 percent, to 15,879. The Nasdaq fell 91 points, or 2 percent, to 4,128. The S&P 500 fell 38 points, or 2 percent, to 1,790. The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 4 points, more than 2 percent, to 178.

Poll: Your View of Runaway Film and TV Production?


The Los Angeles Business Journal has posted a new weekly poll for readers on issues in the news.

AOL Buys Santa Monica’s Gravity for $90 Million

Gravity, a Santa Monica startup that sells a content discovery service for news sites, has been acquired by AOL Inc. for $90 million.

Metro Shelves Direct Rail Line to LAX

A decades-long effort to bring rail service directly to Los Angeles International Airport hit a roadblock on Thursday when Metro officials delayed action on a proposal for a light-rail tunnel under the terminal area, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Holder: Legal Pot Businesses Should Have Access to Banks

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Thursday that lawful marijuana businesses should have access to the American banking system and that the government would soon offer rules to help them gain it, the New York Times reports.

Studios, Networks to Speed Screenwriters Payments

Hollywood’s studios and networks said Thursday that they’re on board with the Writers Guild of America West’s call to correct the problem of late payment to screenwriters, the Wrap reports.

Meeting Set With Herbalife Critics

California Atty. Gen. Kamala D. Harris’ staff has agreed to meet today in Los Angeles with a coalition of critics who believe that Herbalife preys on poverty-stricken immigrants, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Financial Companies in ‘Street Fight’ with Cybercriminals

MasterCard’s top executive says financial companies are engaged in an escalating battle with criminal organizations and some governments trying to hack into electronic payment systems, the New York Times reports.

JPMorgan’s Dimon Gets More Money

Last year, an embarrassing trading blowup led to millions of dollars being docked from Jamie Dimon’s paycheck. This year, the chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase is getting a raise, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Microsoft Posts Record Sales as Ballmer Prepares to Exit

Microsoft Corp.’s customers flocked to game consoles and cloud software last quarter, helping Steve Ballmer deliver results that topped projections in his final months as chief executive, Bloomberg News reports.

Domestic Oil Production Rises Beyond Forecasts

The International Energy Agency says oil production in the United States rose by a record 992,000 barrels a day in 2013, the New York Times reports.

David's Bridal Experiments with Upscale Image

About a year after being bought by a private equity firm for $1.05 billion, David's Bridal is trying to establish itself as a more upscale player, evidenced by its more elegant new Beverly Hills-adjacent store, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Celebrities Swarm Super Bowl Ads

Under pressure to catch viewers’ attention, several advertisers are using multiple celebrities in their Super Bowl commercials, USA Today reports.

'Tsunami' of Store Closings Expected to Hit Retail

Get ready for the next era in retail, one that will be characterized by far fewer shops and smaller stores, CNBC reports, citing recent announcements from major chains such as Sears, J.C. Penney and Macy’s.

Celebrity Agent Ed Hookstratten Dies at 83

Ed Hookstratten, a “king-making” lawyer and agent whose powerful roster of clients included Elvis Presley, Johnny Carson and Vin Scully, died Wednesday at his Beverly Hills home of complications related to congestive heart failure, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Internet to Get a Whole Lot Bigger

Having a website ending in .com and .org is so last decade. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers says 100 different generic top level domains are on track to join the Internet universe, ABC News reports. The Los Angeles Times says seven new Web domains including .bike, .guru and .clothing are scheduled to be released next week alone.

Market Decline Continues

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 173 points to 16,024. The Nasdaq fell 65 points to 4,154. The S&P 500 fell 24 points to 1,805.

Thursday, January 23

Top Three L.A. Banks Report Strong Earnings

Last year was a good one for Los Angeles County’s big banks, as the three biggest local lenders all reported solid earnings for 2013. All announced growing profits, assets and loan volumes.

Soon-Shiong Joins Huffington Publication

Arianna Huffington has signed West L.A. billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong as contributing editor in healthcare and technology to her new World Post online publication.

Boeing Contract Boosts Teledyne's Quarter

Teledyne Technologies Inc. beat analysts' estimates on fourth quarter revenue and earnings, the aerospace, marine and energy products manufacturer said Thursday.

Gores Group Makes Tech Acquisition

Gores Group on Thursday said that it has acquired Zmags Corp., a digital publishing and ecommerce software company

Markets Decline

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 176 points to 16,197. The Nasdaq fell 24 points to 4,219. The S&P 500 fell 16 points to 1,828. The LABJ Stock Index fell nearly 2 points to 183.

Senator Wants Herbalife Investigation

Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey is asking for more information about the business practices of nutrition company Herbalife, which has been accused of running a pyramid scheme by prominent hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, the New York Times reports. Shares fell 13 percent in early trading.

Hollywood's 'Friends of Abe' Under a Lens

The Internal Revenue Service, which is reviewing the low-profile conservative group Friends of Abe in connection with its application for tax-exempt status, is demanding the L.A. group's membership list – information that’s not normally required, sources tell the New York Times.

Justin Bieber Arrested on DUI, Resisting Arrest Charges

Justin Bieber has been charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license after Miami Beach police saw the Calabasas pop star street racing early Thursday morning, CNN reports.

Brown Heralds California 'Comeback' But Urges Caution

Positioning himself in his State of the State address for a likely re-election bid this year, Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday heralded a California “comeback” marked by budget surpluses and an improving economy, the Sacramento Bee reports. The Los Angeles Times points out that Brown also ignored some important economic issues.

Sony Pictures Lays Off Employees in Technology Group

Sony Pictures Entertainment has laid off an undisclosed number of people from its Sony Pictures Technologies group, including the unit's president, Variety reports.

Laurel Plaza Shopping Center Is Sold

Local real estate developers have purchased Macy's Inc.'s Laurel Plaza shopping center in North Hollywood with the intention of building on the 25-acre site hard hit by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the Los Angeles Times reports.

U.S. Judge Bars "Big Four" China Units

Chinese units of the "Big Four" accounting firms should be suspended from auditing U.S.-listed companies for six months, an SEC judge ruled in an escalation of a long-running dispute over regulators' access to documents, Reuters reports.

Construction Begins on Crenshaw/LAX Line

Heavy construction began this week on Metro's 8.5-mile Crenshaw Line, a light-rail line that will connect the Mid-City area to the South Bay by the end of the decade, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Study: Upward Mobility Has Not Declined

The odds of moving up — or down — the income ladder in the United States have not changed appreciably in the last 20 years, according to a large new academic study that contradicts politicians in both parties who have claimed that income mobility is falling, the New York Times reports.

Brewery on Tap for Port of Los Angeles Project

Master beer brewer Brian Mercer and Dave Holop are transforming an aging port warehouse into a brewery and restaurant called Brouwerij West in San Pedro, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Background Check Firm Hit with Government Complaint

In a civil complaint filed Wednesday, the Justice Department says U.S. Investigations Services Inc. defrauded the government by submitting more than 650,000 investigations that had not been properly completed, including that of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, the Associated Press reports.

Lenovo to Buy IBM Server Unit for $2.3 Billion

Nearly a decade after Lenovo Group bought IBM's loss-making ThinkPad business for $1.75 billion, the Chinese PC maker has agreed to buy IBM Corp's low-end server business for $2.3 billion in what is set to be China's biggest technology deal, Reuters reports.

Pimco's Gross Seeks Push Beyond Bonds

A day after his partner at Pimco stepped down, Bill Gross said he wants to double down on its efforts to turn into more than a bond shop, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Icahn’s eBay Talks Show Boards Listening to Activists

Corporate directors, who for years often dismissed activist investors as quick-profit seeking gadflys, are starting to listen when opinionated shareholders like Carl Icahn, Nelson Peltz and Mason Morfit come calling, Bloomberg News reports.

Markets Fall

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 168 points to 16,206. The Nasdaq fell 38 points to 4,205. The S&P 500 fell 17 points to 1,828.

Wednesday, January 22

Latest Class Presents at MuckerLab Demo Day

MuckerLab stands alone among the top tier accelerators in Los Angeles. While Launchpad and Amplify have done away with their demo days, the Santa Monica outfit co-founded by Erik Rannala is holding fast to the tradition.

Kennedy Wilson Acquires Shopping Center

Kennedy Wilson on Wednesday said it has acquired an aging 132,995-square-foot retail center in North Hollywood that includes undeveloped property.

Cast & Crew Launches Production Loan Unit

Cast & Crew Entertainment Services has started a new division to provide government incentive-backed financing for film and television productions.

Hudson Pacific to Sell Stock, Buy Seattle Property

Hudson Pacific Properties Inc. on Wednesday said it has commenced an underwritten public offering of 8.25 million shares. The Los Angeles real estate company also announced an agreement to purchase a waterfront office and retail property near Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square.

Dow Falls; S&P, Nasdaq and LABJ Rise

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 41 points to 16,373. The Nasdaq rose 17 points to 4,243. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to 1,845. The LABJ Stock Index rose more 2 points to 184.

UC Gives L.A. List of Quake-Vulnerable Buildings

The University of California has released to Los Angeles city officials a list of about 1,500 old concrete buildings that quake researchers say are potentially at risk of collapse during an earthquake, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Flight Cancellations from Latest Storm Top 4,400

Air travelers face another rough travel day Wednesday as airports dig out from the East Coast snowstorm that snarled flights on Tuesday, USA Today reports.

Dodgers Lose Tanaka Bidding War to Yankees

A free-spending off-season overhaul came to a dramatic conclusion Wednesday when the Yankees agreed to a seven-year, more than $155 million contract with Masahiro Tanaka, a prized right-handed pitcher from Japan who is only 25, the New York Times reports.

Buffett Offers $1 Billion for a Perfect N.C.A.A. Bracket

Quicken Loans announced on Tuesday a $1 billion prize paid out over 40 years — insured by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway — to anyone who pulls off the ultimate forecasting feat in sports: predicting every tournament game's winner, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Bill Gross Heir Apparent El-Erian Quits Pimco

Mohamed El-Erian, widely viewed as the successor to Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Bill Gross, has resigned after six years as the firm struggles to stem record redemptions from the world’s largest bond fund, Bloomberg News reports.

Obamacare Enrollees in California Hit Million Mark

Halfway through the federal health care law's enrollment period that began Oct. 1, more than a million Californians have signed up for some form of health insurance, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Anthem Blue Cross is holding on to a slim lead among chosen health insurance providers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

State of the State: Brown Expected to Stress His Gains

With the state's finances in the black and a probable reelection bid to come, the Los Angeles Times reports that Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address Wednesday is expected to call on the need to stay the course.

VMware to Buy AirWatch for $1.18 Billion

Hoping to bolster its mobile portfolio in response to a changed technology landscape, Palo Alto cloud computing company VMware said it will buy Atlanta mobile computing start-up AirWatch for about $1.18 billion in cash, the New York Times reports.

Region's Foreclosure Rate Plunges Again

Foreclosures plunged more than 60 percent across Southern California in last year’s fourth quarter as the housing market continued healing from the Great Recession, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Casino Bus Boom Creates Challenge for Regulators

Since 2000, curbside tour buses have become more commonplace on Southern California’s freeways. But a recent series of accidents raises questions about the regulation and safety of curbside buses, especially those that go to casinos, Southern California Public Radio reports.

Amazon Considering Online Pay-TV Service Inc. has approached big entertainment companies about licensing their television channels for a possible new online pay-TV service, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Verizon to Buy Intel's TV Business

Verizon Communications Inc. has agreed to pay less than $200 million to buy Intel Corp.’s Internet-television startup, sources tell Bloomberg News.

Weather Channel Asks DirecTV to Waive Cancellation Fees

The Weather Channel wants DirecTV to waive its steep cancellation fees for customers seeking to drop the satellite service because it no longer carries the network, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Gates: 'Almost No Poor Countries' by 2035

It is a myth that "poor countries are doomed to stay poor" and by the year 2035, "there will be almost no poor countries left in the world," says Bill Gates in his annual letter about the work of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, National Public Radio reports.

Some Companies Wipe Personal Cellphones Clean After Workers Leave

As more companies allow, and even encourage, employees to use their own devices for work activities, a troubling consequence has arisen for some workers who have seen their entire device wiped clean, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Dow and S&P Down; Nasdaq Up

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 69 points to 16,345. The Nasdaq rose 6 points to 4,232. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,842.

Tuesday, January 21

Local Krispy Kreme Franchisee Plans Major Expansion

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. on Tuesday announced that its longtime Southern California franchisee plans to develop 20 new doughnut shops in the region in the next seven years.

Albertsons to Close Six L.A. County Stores

Six of the 11 markets to be closed by Albertsons in Southern California are in Los Angeles County.

Nasdaq Warns Daily Journal Corp.

The Nasdaq Stock Market has warned Daily Journal Corp. that it is out of compliance with the exchange’s listing requirements because of the company’s delay in filing its year-end report with regulators.

Dow Falls; Nasdaq, S&P and LABJ Rise

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 44 points to 16,414. The Nasdaq rose 28 points to 4,226. The S&P 500 rose 5 points to 1,844. The LABJ Stock Index rose 1 point to 182.

Crime at LAX Jumps 10 Percent

Led by a considerable increase in the number of property thefts reported, crime at Los Angeles International Airport jumped 10 percent in 2013 while the number of arrests climbed 17 percent, the Daily Breeze reports.

Visual Effects Protest Planned for Oscars

Visual effects workers are planning a demonstration in Los Angeles next month to protest foreign tax subsidies they argue are destroying their industry, the Wrap reports.

Thousands of Flights Canceled by Another Storm

Nearly 2,200 flights in the United States had been cancelled by early Tuesday as another fast-moving cold front hits the Midwest and East Coast, Reuters reports.

Meruelo Media Prizes L.A.'s Diversity

Old-school hip-hop radio station KDAY has lots of Latino listeners, and new owner Meruelo Media, which also owns a Spanish-language TV station, hopes to capitalize on that cultural mix, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Del Amo Stores Make Way for Remodel

Stores will begin moving out of the northern portion of Del Amo Fashion Center this month for an ambitious construction project to renovate the aging shopping mall, the Daily Breeze reports.

Awards Season Pumps Up L.A. Economy

The big winner in this year's Hollywood awards season is the local economy as hundreds of millions of dollars are funneled into hotels, restaurants and limousine companies during a typically slow period for tourism, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Making Colorado Boulevard a Pedestrian Haven

Pasadena is considering a plan to narrow portions of Colorado Boulevard to widen sidewalks and create tiny parks with seating and greenery, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Staffing Shortage Blamed for EDD Non-Response

As many as 90 percent of callers to the Employment Development Department seeking information about missed payments or unprocessed claims failed to reach a live worker, according to records obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

Twitter's Diversity Becomes Selling Point

Needing to generate revenue, Twitter is moving to capitalize on the fact that its user base is more racially diverse than U.S. Internet users as a whole, the Wall Street Journal reports.

HP Again Promoting PCs with Windows 7

Hewlett-Packard has begun heavily promoting its Windows 7 PCs over those that run Windows 8, the newer but far less popular version of Microsoft's operating system, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lenovo in Talks to Buy IBM Server Business

Lenovo's talks to buy part of IBM's server business reveal the Chinese company's ambition: challenging U.S. rivals to provide products and services for corporate clients, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Conference to Ponder Porn Industry's Future in L.A.

With the adult film industry facing a critical challenge to its continued existence in Los Angeles, more than 2,000 industry members will gather this week in Hollywood for an annual conference on topics from legal issues to technology, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Albertsons to Close Nearly a Dozen Southland Stores

Albertsons will shut down 11 Southern California stores by the end of next month, most of them in the Los Angeles area, the Long-Beach Press-Telegram reports.

Roots of the Tax Reform

Tax reform is long overdue, and lessons on how to go about it can be learned from the Reagan-era Tax Reform Act of 1986, the New York Times reports.

Demand Grows for Humanely Sourced Pork

Some farmers are raising their pigs more humanely in wide open spaces and selling them to restaurants and grocers increasingly interested in how animals are treated, the New York Times reports.

Market Grows for Wedding Insurance

With the cost of the average American wedding reaching about $26,000, insurers have been selling a growing number of policies to protect against losses from extreme weather, illness and, in one firm's case, even a sudden change of heart, the Associated Press reports.

Markets Slide

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 116 points to 16,342. The Nasdaq fell less than 1 point to 4,197. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,834.

Monday, January 20

Kennedy Wilson Acquires Pasadena Office Building

Kennedy Wilson said Monday it was part of a partnership that acquired a 175,000-square-foot Class A office complex at 245 S. Los Robles Ave. for $39 million.

East West Completes MetroCorp Acquisition

East West Bancorp Inc. said it had completed its acquisition of MetroCorp Bancshares Inc. in a deal that deal increases its presence in Houston and gives it its first branches in Dallas and San Diego.

FutureLogic Hires CEO

Glendale thermal ticket and receipt printer manufacturer FutureLogic Inc. has named a new chief executive and made other changes to its senior management.

Machinima, Microsoft Deal Makes it Pay to Play

If you’re among the ranks of Machinima’s YouTube channels and you say something nice about the Xbox One in a video, Microsoft is going to make it worth your while.

Shriver to Announce for Supes Seat

Former Santa Monica City Councilmember Bobby Shriver on Tuesday will formally jump into the race for a seat on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles Times reports, injecting the Kennedy-family mystique into the contest to replace termed-out Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

Europe May Drop Climate Protection Goals

The European Commission wants to forgo ambitious climate protection goals and pave the way for fracking, Spiegel reports, jeopardizing Germany's energy revolution.

Brewer AB InBev Makes Korean Buy

Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, the world's biggest brewer, agreed to buy back South Korea's Oriental Brewery Co. Ltd for $5.8 billion including debt, returning to a large Asian market at a time of strong industry growth across the region, Reuters reports.

Publisher Struggles in Wild Chase for Growth

Aaron Kushner, publisher of the Orange County Register and a growing number of Southland daily papers, sees himself as a smart entrepreneur making bold bets. But a profile in the New York Times also sees a man on a wire, with millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs at stake.

Farewell to Film at Paramount

Paramount Pictures has become the first major Hollywood studio to stop delivering movies on 35-millimeter film in the United States, offering them only in digital format, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Venice Wants More Control over Its Development

Leaders in the trendy beachside community of Venice no longer wants to answer to both the city of Los Angeles and the California Coastal Commission and are proposing ways to streamline the permitting process, the Los Angeles Times reports.

South Park Catches Wave of Development

More than half a dozen major construction projects are underway and several others are in the works in South Park, a collection of blocks east of Staples Center dismissed for decades as an asphalt-laden wasteland, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Work at Supervisor’s Home Went Beyond Security

A taxpayer-funded project to provide a home security system for County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas included improvements to his converted garage and upgrades to the building's electrical service, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Exchanges See Little Progress on Uninsured

Early signals suggest the majority of the 2.2 million people who sought to enroll in private insurance through new marketplaces were previously covered elsewhere, raising questions about how swiftly this part of the health overhaul will be able to make a significant dent in the number of uninsured, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Law Squeezes Bottle and Can Recyclers

Wine, liquor, milk and certain containers previously accepted at a higher redemption value are no longer so eligible, hurting small independent recyclers who rely on recycling for income, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Unions Angered by USPS' Staples Outlets

The opening of Postal Service retail centers in dozens of Staples stores around the country is being met with threats of protests and boycotts by the agency's unions, the Associated Press reports.

Appeals Court Accused of Favoring Hollywood

Does the 9th Circuit Court favor Hollywood studios? The question arises as a screenwriter's daughter wages a copyright battle with MGM, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Entertainment Attorney Don Engel Dies at 84

Attorney Don Engel, who represented some of the biggest pop stars of the 1970s, '80s and '90s in contract negotiations, died last week at age 84 after suffering from leukemia for many years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Earnings a Wild Card for Stocks

Stocks could feel a few more jolts in the coming week, as earnings season trumps just about everything else and some high profile names have already disappointed, CNBC reports.

Markets Closed Today

Financial markets are closed Monday for the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday.

Trustee Sought In EB-5 Case

Law: Creditors of jailed lawyer Justin Lee file as feds probe.

Clients claiming they were defrauded by lawyer Justin Lee, now in jail and awaiting trial in South Korea, have asked for a trustee to take over his assets.

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It’s Up Stream At Beats Music

Entertainment: Startup service enters noisy marketplace.

You’ve seen the Beats headphones. Now the company that makes them wants into the music streaming business. Can it succeed in this already noisy segment?

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Fitness Company Pumps Up Its Teacher Training

HEALTHCARE: Santa Monica firm sets up Beachbody Live to certify new instructors.

Direct marketer Beachbody made its name bringing the health club experience to the living room.

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Distributor Shooting for Stars on Bigger Screens

Entertainment: Gravitas expanding into theatrical releases for bigger upside.

Video-on-demand distributor Gravitas is expanding into indie theatrical films, a more expensive proposition but with a bigger potential upside.

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Startup Gets Location-Based Deal With Google

Advertising: NearWoo will sell the Internet giant’s ad space to local businesses.

NearWoo launched its location-based mobile ad platform only four months ago, and it now has 4,000 clients. It may grow again as Google signed on.

Pouring It On Thick

Construction: World-record concrete base designed to support Wilshire Grand.

AC Martin and the architecture firm’s partners are getting ready to set a world record: the longest continuous concrete pour in history for the foundation of the new Wilshire Grand.

Namvar Victims Say They’re Being Ripped Off Again

Bankruptcy: Creditors protest as lawyers, others submit huge bills.

Ezri Namvar’s investors were ripped off when his Ponzi scheme collapsed, and now they say they’re getting shorted again by the professionals in charge of recovering their money.

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Kombucha Craze Has Soda Firm Ready to Pop

Beverages: Sales of Asian tea drink projected to double; Reed’s may attract buyout.

Reed’s Inc. has been riding the wave of the kombucha craze. But that means bigger drinkmakers might want to swallow it up.-

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Hot House

Unusual L.A. incubator hatches restaurants

Pizza maker Paul Hibler is launching the first venture out of an unusual restaurant incubator that he modeled on those of the tech world.

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Creativity From Chaos

Comment: It’s time to get organized, some believe. But not Charles Crumpley. He writes that creativity springs from chaos.

Pre-Sales Spark Start of Industrial Developments

Construction: Lack of Class-A space, tight market spur Vernon groundbreaking.

Housing: December home and sales in L.A. County by ZIP code.

Data Bank Conventions


Data Bank Calendar

Calendar of Events

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Minimum Wage: A battle is brewing over a call by organized labor to raise the minimum wage to $15 at hotels in the city of Los Angeles with more than 100 rooms.

Amazing L.A. Sequel – Return of the Drive-In

Retro: Property owner is targeting family audiences in revival of Paramount site.

Some movie theaters are installing 3-D projectors or high-tech sound systems.

Nasdaq Looks Like Right Place for Furniture Firm

Investing: Shares of Nova LifeStyle soar after announcement of listing.

Investing: When Nova LifeStyle announced it would begin trading on the Nasdaq, investors got very comfortable with the furniture company

regional report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Apartment Sale: The Echo Park Del Mor Apartments, at 1549-51 Echo Park Ave., has been sold to Echo Park Pacific for $9.3 million in a deal brokered by Sperry Van Ness.

Competitive Juices Flow at Firm

As founding partners of their own law firm in Century City, Keith Elkins and Scott Kalt don’t just divvy up attorney pay or recruit new partners. Some days, you’ll find them planning relay races.

Riding of the Bulls to Hit Los Angeles

AEG sets up new tour and hopes local stop will create big bucks.

Sports: AEG is bullish on bull riding, so it’s participating in a new tour and will soon schedule PBR’s first stop in L.A

This Machine Makes One Mean Burrito

West Hollywood firm introduces dispenser that’s really cookin’.

Food: West Hollywood’s Box Brands makes the Burrito Box, an automated food kiosk that cooks $3 dollar burritos in under a minute. CEO Denis Koci says burritos are “sexy.”

Feel of Santa Monica Goes To Olympics

Russian city of Sochi gets local influence of Jerde Partnership.

Architecture: Angelenos in Sochi, Russia, for the Winter Olympics may feel they’re in a familiar place: Jerde Parntership, which designed Santa Monica Place, built a similar complex there.

Friday, January 17

Reyes Completes Acquisition of Allied Beverage

Reyes Beverage Group said Friday that it has completed its acquisition of Allied Beverages Inc., a major Southern California beer distributor based in Sylmar.

Live Nation Launches Joint Venture in Taiwan

Live Nation Entertainment Inc. continues to expand in Asia, signing a joint venture agreement with B'In Music International to form Live Nation Taiwan.

K&B and RBZ Merge

Kaufman + Bernstein Inc. in Century City announced Friday that it has merged with West L.A.'s RBZ, one of the largest accounting and business management firms based in Los Angeles County.

Capstone Gets Big Order from Oil and Gas Customer

Shares of Capstone Turbine Corp. jumped Friday after the Chatsworth firm announced it received multiple orders.

Nova, MannKind Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies closed down slightly for the week.

Dow Rises; Nasdaq, S&P and LABJ Fall

In Friday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 41 points to 16,459. The Nasdaq fell 21 points to 4,197. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,839. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to 181.

Venture Capital Upswing Bypasses L.A.

Venture capital activity in the United States increased overall last quarter and last year, but that trend skipped Los Angeles.

Dozens Laid Off at Freedom Papers

Freedom Communications Inc. owner of the Orange County Register and Riverside Press-Enterprise laid off dozens of employees at the two papers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Porn Production Grows in Vegas After L.A. Condom Law

USA Today reports that tighter regulation of the adult film production in Los Angeles has pushed the industry into the welcoming arms of Las Vegas.

Calmer Winds Expected to Aid Fire Crews

Firefighters battling the Colby fire in the hills above Glendora and Azusa should benefit from calmer winds Friday as they work to increase containment around the blaze that so far has destroyed five homes and several other structures, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Small Quake Hits on 20th Anniversary of Northridge

A shallow magnitude 2.6 earthquake centered near Universal City provided a wake-up jolt Friday morning for many Angelenos on the 20th anniversary of the devastating Northridge quake, the Los Angeles Times reports. Both the Times and the Los Angeles Daily News also look back at the 1994 quake.

Nickelodeon Shakeup Continues

The management shake-up at Nickelodeon continued late Thursday, with the departures of two senior executives, Paula Kaplan and Sal Maniaci, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Herbalife Shares Fall as Competitor is Investigated in China

Herbalife shares declined Thursday after China said it would investigate whether multi-level marketing company Nu Skin Enterprises Inc. operates a pyramid scheme, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Two Supes Want Metro to Reconsider LAX Link Rail

Two members of the county Board of Supervisors moved Thursday to require Metro to continue exploring ambitious plans to tunnel beneath Los Angeles International Airport to connect light rail to one or more stations in the Central Terminal Area, the Daily Breeze reports.

Sony and Warner Tie for Most Oscar Nominations

Following Thursday's announcement of nominations for the Academy Awards, the Los Angeles Times looks at how each studio fared in the race for Oscar gold.

Apollo Global to Buy Chuck E. Cheese Owner

Chuck E. Cheese's party pizzas and arcade games will soon be in the hands of one of the world's biggest private-equity firms, after New York's Apollo Global Management announced a deal Thursday to buy the owner of the struggling family-restaurant chain, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Worker Advocates Raise Ire of Business

Business officials say advocacy groups often demonize companies unfairly and inaccurately and are fronts for organized labor, while the groups question why corporations have attacked such fledgling organizations, the New York Times reports.

Banks Criticized for Keeping Mortgage Litigation Reserves a Secret

Some investors are upset that banks will not divulge the amount of money set aside, but some banks say they don’t want regulators to know the number lest the authorities increase settlement totals, the New York Times reports.

Google Developing Glucose-Monitoring Contact Lenses

Google is working on a smart contact lenses embedded with ting sensors and an antenna that could potentially help diabetics monitor their glucose levels, CNN Money reports.

Bumps on Road to Yahoo's Revival

Yahoo's announcement this week that Chief Executive Marissa Mayer had fired her top lieutenant was her first public acknowledgment that turning around Yahoo would be far more difficult than has sometimes been suggested, the New York Times reports.

Air Quality District Sues Exide

The South Coast Air Quality Management District on Thursday sued Exide Technologies, seeking up to $40 million from the operator of a Vernon battery recycler accused of posing a health risk for emitting too much lead and arsenic, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Dow Rises, Nasdaq and S&P Fall

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 63 points to 16,480. The Nasdaq fell 4 points to 4,215. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,845.

Thursday, January 16

BBCN’s Min Steps Down as CEO

BBCN Bank on Thursday announced that Chief Executive Soo Bong Min had retired.

December Activity Higher at Ports

Cargo volume at the Port of Los Angeles increased 11 percent in December over the year earlier, while the Port of Long Beach saw a less significant increase of 4 percent.

Florida Investors Acquire Burbank's Ameriflight

Air charter and cargo services provider Ameriflight LLC has been acquired by Pebbles Aviation LLC, an investment group in Sarasota, Fla., the companies announced on Thursday.

Rexford Industrial Makes Two L.A. County Buys

Rexford Industrial Realty Inc. on Thursday said it had acquired two industrial properties in South Bay and the San Fernando Valley for a combined $8.3 million.

Dow, S&P, LABJ Drop; Nasdaq Rises

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 88 points to 16,417. The Nasdaq rose 4 points to 4,219. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,846. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 182.

Kings First Pro Sports Franchise to Accept Bitcoins

The Sacramento Kings announced Thursday that the team will now accept the online currency Bitcoin, the Sacramento Bee reports.

United to Furlough Flight Attendants

United Airlines is preparing to furlough 685 flight attendants after offers of leaves and part-time work failed to produce enough volunteers to forestall job cuts at the world’s second-largest carrier, Bloomberg News reports.

EPA Accuses Allenco of Endangering Health

The Environmental Protection Agency has cited Allenco Energy Inc. of putting the health and safety of nearby residents at risk by failing to maintain safe operations at its South L.A. oil site near USC, the Los Angeles Times reports.

BNSF Railway Settles over Chemical Spill Near Port

BNSF Railway has pleaded no contest to criminal charges and agreed to pay $140,000 in penalties, medical expenses and emergency response costs stemming from a 2012 spill of hazardous chemicals near the Port of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

'American Hustle’ and 'Gravity’ Tie for Most Oscar Nominations

Nominations for the 86th Academy Award nominations were announced in Los Angeles, with “American Hustle” and “Gravity” receiving 10 nominations each, including best picture for both of them, the New York Times reports. Variety looks at the biggest surprises on — and not on — the list.

China’s Treasury Holdings Hit Record

China’s holdings of U.S. Treasuries increased substantially to a record $1.32 trillion in November, Bloomberg News reports.

Gallup: More Americans Say They're Financially Worse Off

A new Gallup poll finds that more than 40 percent of Americans say they are financially worse off now than they were a year ago, reversing a two-year trend, Fox News reports.

Obamacare Site Still Vulnerable to Hackers

A group of cyber security professionals is warning that the U.S. government has failed to implement fixes to protect the website from hackers, some three months after experts first pointed out the problem, Reuters reports.

U.S. to Require Tougher Policing of Risk at Big Banks

The nation's biggest banks and their boards will have to take additional steps to police risk-taking, and banks could face quicker enforcement action for missteps, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Jobless Claims Fall, Gasoline Bumps Up Inflation

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell for a second week last week, suggesting a sharp slowdown in job growth in December was likely to be temporary, Reuters reports.

State Energy Commission Demands More Efficiency

Facing growing demands for electricity in the years ahead, the California Energy Commission has declared that making buildings, appliances, lighting and electronics more efficient should be a priority, the Los Angeles Times reports.

AOL Hands Over Patch to Investment Firm

AOL is handing over operations and a majority stake in its struggling hyper-local news business Patch to turnaround firm Hale Global, the Associated Press reports.

BlackRock CEO Sees 'Great Rotation' in Bonds

The long-discussed "Great Rotation" won't be from bonds to stocks, but will be within the bond market itself, BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink told CNBC.

Republican Trade-Bill Sponsor Wants Obama Action

The Republican co-sponsor of a bill key to President Barack Obama's effort to boost exports to Asia says it won't pass unless the administration supports it more actively, the Associated Press reports.

Netflix Stock Dives After Net Neutrality Ruling

If there's one major Internet company that may be threatened by a court ruling striking down net neutrality, it's Netflix, which in terms of bandwidth accounts for nearly a third of downstream Internet traffic in North America. Mashable explains why.

Stocks Drop

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 88 points to 16,394. The Nasdaq fell 4 points to 4,211. The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,843.

Wednesday, January 15

Ouya Co-Founder Muffi Ghadiali Departs

Muffi Ghadiali, one of the founding members of Santa Monica video game console maker Ouya Inc. has left the company, according to website TechCrunch.

Amplify Announces New $8 Million Fund

Startup Accelerator Amplify has announced a new $8 million funding round.

Amgen Announces Partnerships

Amgen Inc. on Wednesday announced two partnerships that the Thousand Oaks biotech hopes will eventually expand its product offerings to treat bowel disorders and colorectal cancer.

Pizza Rev Expands Outside California

Fast-casual pizza chain PizzaRev has signed franchise agreements for more than 20 new outlets in five states.

Stocks Rise

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 108 points to 16,482. The Nasdaq rose 32 points to 4,215. The S&P 500 rose 9 points to 1,848. The LABJ Stock Index rose less than 1 point to 182.

Supernova, Successor to Viddy, Sold to Fullscreen

Venice video app maker Supernova, which began its life as Viddy, was acquired today by YouTube network Fullscreen.

Obama to Nominate L.A. Businesswoman to Lead SBA

President Obama plans to nominate Maria Contreras-Sweet, co-founder of L.A.'s Latino-owned ProAmérica Bank and a former California cabinet secretary, to head the Small Business Administration, sources tell the Associated Press.

Redesigned Grand Avenue Project OK’d

Los Angeles County supervisors gave their blessing Tuesday to a revised design for a proposed mix of high-end apartments, businesses and public space across from Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Revamped Forum Hopes to Create New Music Memories

The Forum in Inglewood tonight unveils the results of a $100 million renovation with the first in an Eagles concert series, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The Hollywood Reporter looks at plans by the venue’s new owner, Madison Square Garden, to try to take back concert business from Staples Center.

BofA Earnings Surge

Bank of America on Wednesday said its quarterly earnings were stronger than expected, driven by decreasing expenses in its mortgage business. The New York Times reports this is a further sign that the bank has dug out from the worst of its housing problems.

L.A. May Get $130 Million for Transit Projects

An eagerly awaited subway extension to the Westside and a downtown tunnel to link light-rail lines would be almost certain to each receive $65 million under a spending bill coming before Congress this week, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Unemployment Benefit Extension Deal Collapses

Efforts to reach a bipartisan deal extending emergency jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed collapsed in the Senate on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reports. Benefits expired at the end of last year.

Obama to Announce Program to Create Jobs

President Obama today will announce the establishment of the first of three planned manufacturing institutes around the country to help create well-paying jobs, the New York Times reports.

Labor Report Touts $15-an-Hour Minimum Wage

Promoting its campaign to bring higher wages to Los Angeles workers, the county labor federation released a study Tuesday that says 810,864 Angelenos live with wages of less than $15 an hour, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Report: TWC Investors Want at Least $160 a Share

Time Warner Cable Inc.’s management wants Charter Communications Inc. to tack on almost $8 billion to its takeover bid, Bloomberg News reports.

CBS, Reliance End India Joint Venture

CBS Corp.'s CBS Studios International and Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. have ended their three-year joint venture, Big CBS Networks, the Hollywood Reporter says. The venture operated three entertainment channels, featuring hit series such as "CSI."

Why Isolating China in Trade Talks Could Backfire

Michael Froman, the U.S. trade representative, is in the midst of negotiating two of the largest trade bills ever envisioned, both of which largely exclude the world’s largest and fastest-growing economy: China. Time looks at why this is a bad idea.

As Refinancing Wanes, Banks Still Wary of New Loans

Many potential borrowers are shut out of the mortgage market, despite evidence in earnings reports that banks are strong enough to provide them with credit, the New York Times reports.

Study: Tax-Reform Proposals Would Put 1.7 Million Jobs at Risk

Advertising is now treated as an ordinary business expense, fully deductible in the year incurred. The Association of National Advertisers says tax proposals in Congress, which would allow businesses to deduct only 50 percent of their advertising expenses in a tax year and amortized the rest over five years, are job killers, Ad Age reports.

Stocks Gain

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 99 points to 16,473. The Nasdaq rose 21 points to 4,204. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,847.

Tuesday, January 14

NantWorks Announces Two Health Care Partnerships

Two units of Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks holding company have announced new collaborations in health information technology and cancer drug development.

Location Filming Rose Last Year

More TV shows, movies and digital videos were filmed on location in Los Angeles last year than in 2012, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A. But the long-term trends aren’t as encouraging.

LTC Drops Assisted-Living Operators

LTC Properties Inc. said Tuesday that it will not renew leases with two Wisconsin firms that operate more than a third of its assisted-living facilities.

President Named at Phelps

Marketing and advertising veteran Mike Jackson was named president of Santa Monica marketing agency Phelps on Tuesday.

Stocks Rise

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 116 points to 16,384. The Nasdaq rose 70 points to 4,183. The S&P 500 rose 20 points to 1,839. The LABJ Stock Index rise nearly 2 points to 182.

L.A. May Hike Hotel Worker Minimum Wage to $15

Labor leaders want to hike the minimum wage for workers at large L.A. hotels to roughly $15 an hour, the Los Angeles Times reports. Opponents, including other business leaders concerned that the law will spread, prepare for battle.

TWC Rejects $61 Billion Offer

Time Warner Cable Inc. rejected an acquisition offer from Charter Communications Inc. valued at more than $61 billion including debt, the biggest unsolicited takeover bid since 2008, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

ArcLight to Open Santa Monica Theater

L.A. luxury theater chain ArcLight Cinemas plans to open a new theater on the third floor of Santa Monica Place by spring 2015, its sixth location in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

'Net Neutrality' Rules Struck Down

A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the Federal Communications Commission's open Internet rules on Tuesday, in a decision that could give broadband providers more room to charge for faster speeds, the Wall Street Journal reports.

DirecTV Customers Lose Weather Channel

About 20 million DirecTV customers nationwide will lose access to The Weather Channel at midnight because of a dispute over fees between the channel and the satellite service, the Associated Press reports.

Rodeo's Gucci Building Sold for $100 Million

The building housing the expansive Gucci store on Rodeo Drive has sold for more than $100 million to Spanish fashion mogul Amancio Ortega, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Google Makes a Play for Your Home

Google made its way a bit further into people’s homes on Monday when it agreed to pay $3.2 billion in cash for Nest Labs, which makes Internet-connected devices such as thermostats and smoke alarms, the New York Times reports.

JPMorgan's Profit Falls

Legal costs from a series of government settlements continued to weigh on earnings at JPMorgan Chase, the New York Times reports, with the nation’s largest bank reported 7 percent lower net income, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Wells Fargo Profit Beats Estimates

Wells Fargo, which has come to dominate mortgage lending since the financial crisis, said Tuesday that its fourth-quarter earnings rose 10 percent from a year earlier, the New York Times reports.

Those Shivering Cattle Are an Industry Problem

The deep freeze that swept across the U.S. in recent weeks, disrupting travel and boosting fuel use, also is compounding stress on a shrinking domestic beef industry, Bloomberg News reports.

Airbus Leads in Orders But Boeing Leads in Deliveries

In their rivalry as the world’s leading makers of passenger aircraft, Airbus captured the lead in jets ordered last year, but Boeing delivered more planes to customers, the New York Times reports.

Criminal Charges Not Expected in IRS Probe

The Federal Bureau of Investigation doesn't plan to file criminal charges over the Internal Revenue Service's heightened scrutiny of conservative groups, a move that likely will only intensify debate over the politically charged scandal, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

Are Southland Homes Any Safer Now Than Before Northridge?

The Northridge earthquake which shook Southern California 20 years ago Friday caused $20 billion in damage, much of that to buildings. Southern California Public Radio reports that while cities have encouraged homeowners to voluntarily retrofit their dwellings, there is no state standard for such work and as many as half of all retrofits likely wouldn't survive a strong quake.

Stocks Rising

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 80 points to 16,338. The Nasdaq rose 52 points to 4,165. The S&P 500 rose 15 points to 1,834.

Monday, January 13

MGA Files Another Case Against Mattel

MGA Entertainment Inc. said on Monday it had sued rival toymaker Mattel Inc. for trade-secret theft related to the two companies’ longstanding battle over MGA’s popular Bratz doll line.

Caruso Calls for New Kind of Mall

In his keynote address to the National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & Expo on Saturday, developer Rick Caruso said the traditional American mall will soon disappear.

Cherokee Acquires Tony Hawk Line From Quiksilver

Cherokee Inc., the Sherman Oaks apparel and accessories brand-licensing company, has acquired the Tony Hawk and Hawk Signature apparel brands from Quiksilver Inc. of Huntington Beach for $19 million.

Stocks Fall

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 179 points to 16,258. The Nasdaq fell 61 points to 4,113. The S&P 500 fell 23 points to 1,819. The LABJ Stock Index fell 3 points to 182.

Beats Electronics To Launch Streaming Music Service

Beats Electronics has unveiled the start date for its Beats Music service, announcing yet another entry into the popular if financially troubled category of online radio.

Gary Michelson Makes Major USC Gift

Billionaire surgeon and inventor Gary K. Michelson is giving $50 million to USC to construct a building for bioscience research, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Salem Buys Conservative Media Powerhouse

California Christian and conservative talk broadcaster Salem Communications Corp. on Monday said it has acquired the assets of conservative publisher Eagle Publishing, whose brands include Regnery Publishing,, and, the Washington Times and Publisher's Weekly report.

Golden Globes Ratings Hit 7-Year High

Audiences tuned in to the Golden Globes in record numbers to watch Amy Poehler and Tina Fey skewer Hollywood, according to preliminary numbers, the Wrap reports.

Suntory to Acquire Maker of Jim Beam

Family-owned Japanese drink maker Suntory Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy Beam Inc. for about $13.6 billion in cash, creating a powerful global spirits and whiskey portfolio, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NBCUniversal Takes Stake in NowThis News

NBCUniversal News Group on Monday unveiled a deal with short-form video news network NowThis News that focuses on mobile and social media users in an attempt to reach younger audiences, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Development Plans Near Hollywood Sign Produce Sour Grapes

Development Plans Near Hollywood Sign Produce Sour Grapes Neighbors aren't happy about a Glendora ophthalmologist's plans for a massive estate next to a vineyard he planted years ago under the Hollywood sign, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Charmed Life Continues for Disney's 'Frozen'

Walt Disney Co.'s animated musical has been a surprise blockbuster, the Wall Street Journal reports. Despite opening before Thanksgiving, what became a holiday season hit just enjoyed the rare success of ranking No. 1 on its sixth weekend playing nationwide.

Cigna Told Not to Use 'Covered California' Name

California Attorney General Kamala Harris has told insurance giant Cigna Corp. — which opted out of participating in the Covered California exchange — to stop selling health plans bearing the name of California's health exchange because it was deceptive, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Hanmi CEO Charts Course for Growth

Chong Guk "C.G." Kum, president and chief executive of Hanmi Financial Corp., says he's working toward making the oldest bank based in Koreatown "what it used to be: the premier Korean American bank,” the Los Angeles Times says in a company profile.

What High Court Case Means for Future of TV

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to consider a lawsuit brought by the nation’s largest TV broadcasters against upstart streaming video service Aereo Inc. lays the foundation for a landmark verdict with important implications for Internet streaming, cloud computing, and the future of the TV industry itself, Time reports.

EU Launches Antitrust Probe into European Pay TV Deals

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, Time Warner’s Warner Brothers unit, NBCUniversal's Universal Pictures, Sony Pictures and Viacom's Paramount Pictures face a European Union antitrust probe into film licensing deals with pay TV operators in Europe, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Windows 9 to Be Unveiled in April

Microsoft will attempt to distance itself from Windows 8 by announcing its successor, Windows 9, at the company's annual Build conference in April, GameSpot reports.

Solar Revival Sends Stocks on a Tear

Even as the U.S. churns out more fossil fuels, evidence abounds that alternative energy in general—and solar in particular—is staging a comeback of sorts. CNBC reports that the halo effect has spread to solar stocks.

Retailers Look for Tougher Security

A top retail trade group executive on Sunday called for tougher security standards that could mean more spending for the industry, its banks and business partners after a series of data breaches at major merchants, Reuters reports.

Dow and S&P Down; Nasdaq Rises

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 27 points to 16,409. The Nasdaq was up 1 point to 4,176. The S&P 500 fell 2 points to 1,840.

Business Missing Message on Communication


Business has learned some pricey lessons on the value of communication, writes David Silver

Fundraiser Ready to Sit and Spin

Tour de Pier to set up stationary bikes by beach for benefit.

Tour de Pier offers a different spin on cancer fundraisers with its stationary-bike benefit by the beach.

Moving In

Retail: Niche-focused online furniture dealers work to click with Internet-cautious manufacturers.

Retail: Furniture dealers aim to cultivate online business while not driving off brick-and-mortar-focused manufacturers.

Paper Claims Right Focus for L.A.

Publishing: Register promises libertarian leanings, local stories.

Publishing: Orange County Register owner hopes to make news in Los Angeles with a locally focused, libertarian-leaning paper.

Anonymous-Forum App Maker Pulls in Big Name

TECH: Whisper draws traffic-generating writer away from Gawker.

App maker Whisper Inc. rang in the new year by making a high-profile hire and signaling a new initiative for the company.

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High Times

Soaring stock mints first legal pot billionaire

Marijuana dispensing machine maker Medbox has turned into a pot of gold for its newly minted billionaire owner.

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High Lease Rates Drew Big Interest From Bidders

Real Estate: Invesco arm buys five-building office campus for $100 milllion.

Real Estate: Institutional investor scoops up Westlake Village office property with high lease rates.

Firm Built Up, Out on Broadened Customer Base

PR: Murphy O’Brien now plans digital arm to help clients connect online.

PR: Murphy O’Brien launches digital arm to get the word out for clients online.

Special Delivery

Trip to fertility clinic gives birth to new business for attorney.

Law: Attorney Evie Jeang looks to deliver for Chinese couples seeking U.S. surrogates to carry their babies.

Mergers, Acquisitions Back in Business in Big Way

Mergers & Acquisitions: End-of-year activity marks decline in number of deals but spike in value.

Mergers & Acquisitions: Pickup in deals at end of year might point to bounce-back in mergers and acquisitions for the year ahead.

Legal Newspaper’s Quick Rise Leads to Decline

Publishing: Shares fall after Daily Journal misses new filing deadlines.

Publishing: Missed filing deadline turns into bad news for legal newspaper Daily Journal’s stock.

Same-Store Struggles Still Hurt Clothing Maker

Manufacuring: Shares of American Apparel dip after sales fall last month

Manufacturing: Investors check out of American Apparel after another month of declines in same-store sales

Dallas Duo Lassoes Fourth Santa Monica Building

Acquisition: Lincoln and Centennial buy Promenade property for $20.3 million.

Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade, a top destination for tourists visiting the region, seems to hold a similar allure to out-of-town investors.

Driver’s Seat

Victoria Rusnak worked as an environmental attorney and even ran for office before taking the wheel of her father’s car dealership group.

Interview: Former environmental attorney and Assembly hopeful Victoria Rusnak now steers her father’s auto dealership group.

Radar Company Has Overseas Customers in Sights

Defense: $76 million deal with Polish military latest Euro contract for Exelis.

Reflecting the need to find new revenue streams amid ongoing domestic budget cuts, the Van Nuys division of defense contractor Exelis Inc. last week announced that it had secured a $76 million contract with the Polish military.

Local Firm Sees Ripe Time for Big Apple Office

Expansion: Recession had stalled D’Orazio’s plan for East Coast outpost.

The folks at D’Orazio & Associates, a Beverly Hills public relations firm specializing in fashion and jewelry, wanted its second office to be a New York branch, but the timing wasn’t right until now

Revived Real Estate Sector Could Spur Buying Binge

Engineering: Psomas says BonTerra deal marks return to ‘growth mode.’

Engineering: Psomas homes back in on acquisitions as the real estate market picks up.

Fundless Firms Hunt for Money

Investments: Diversis found target then lined up backing.

Investment: No money was no problem when fundless sponsor Diversis Capital went looking for its first deal.

Suit’s Funding Courts Trouble

Law: Former clients no longer want to foot bill for other case.

Law: Former Cohen & Lord clients have gone on the offense over paying for the defense in another of the firm’s cases.

Poor Snap Decision


Charles Crumpley thinks Snapchat may have committed a business blunder for the books.

Talk About ‘Regulation’ That Thwarts New Business …

Tom Nix, 65, has lots of tales to tell from his days building and running Nix Check Cashing, a chain he founded in South Los Angeles in 1978 and sold in 2007.

regional report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Sounded Out: Line 6 Inc., a Calabasas maker of audio products, has been acquired by Japanese conglomerate Yamaha Corp. Line 6, which develops guitar-processing and professional audio equipment as well as computer audio accessories, will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Yamaha. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

News of the Week

Last week’s major news from and other sources

Quick Fix: Snapchat in Venice is updating its popular vanishing-message app to let users opt out of a feature that was exploited by hackers on New Year’s Eve.

Data Bank Conventions

Upcoming Conventions

Data Bank Calendar

Calendar of Events

Driving Up Costs

Taxes must be reassesed to make sure motorists pay more for using and damaging L.A.’s streets.

Motorists are leaving Los Angeles in the hole on street repairs, according to Richard Risemberg.

Fashion In Tune With Rock Icon

Janis Joplin’s family cues up clothing line inspired by singer.

Fashion: Clothing line Made for Pearl takes its style cues from rock icon Janis Joplin.

Friday, January 10

FDA Panel to Consider Afrezza in April

Mannkind Corp. said that a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is scheduled on April 1 to review an updated application for its Afrezza inhalable insulin product.

Signature Completes Maguire Aviation Deal

Signature Flight Support Corp. has closed on its deal to acquire the assets of Maguire Aviation Group LLC at Van Nuys Airport.

Medbox Among Week’s Biggest Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of largest local public companies rose for the week.

Dow Falls; LABJ, Nasdaq, S&P Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average closed down almost 8 points to 16,437 in Friday trading. The Nasdaq rose 18 points to 4,175. The S&P rose more than 4 points to 1,842. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2.11 points to close at 183.12.

U.S. Hiring Slows Sharply

U.S. job growth slowed sharply in December, potentially complicating the Fed's plan for winding down its bond-buying program, the Wall Street Journal reports.

'Promise Zone' Excludes South L.A.

When President Obama announced Thursday that low-income Los Angeles neighborhoods could get grants as part of his poverty initiative, some officials were shocked that none of the areas were in South L.A., the Los Angeles Times reports.

Car Dealerships Settle with FTC

Four Southland car dealers, including Honda of Hollywood and Norm Reeves Honda in Cerritos, have agreed to a federal settlement over alleged deceptive advertising, the Los Angeles Times reports, as part of a nationwide sweep.

DirecTV Rethinks Relationship with WWE

Satellite broadcaster DirecTV said it's concerned by the WWE's plans to launch an online network, and is considering whether it will continue to offer franchise's pay-per-view specials, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Awards Shows Bring Clark Firm Bouncing Back

Dick Clark Productions has become more valuable as its product live award shows has become more attractive to TV networks desperate to ward off the dreaded DVR, the New York Times reports.

Amgen CFO to Leave Company

Amgen Inc. said that Chief Financial Officer Jonathan M. Peacock is leaving to pursue other career opportunities, the Wall Street Journal reports. The biotech named Michael A. Kelly as acting CFO.

YouTube, DreamWorks to Produce Daily Web Shows

YouTube and DreamWorks Animation will co-produce a series of daily shows called “YouTube Nation,” the Wrap reports.

Brown: Better Earthquakes Fault Maps Needed

Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday vowed to increase funding to map California earthquake faults, calling the effort an important public safety measure, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Air Mile Gap Widens

Consumers saving up their airline miles for a free trip may find that ticket is getting further out of reach, CNBC reports.

Exide Recycling Plant Again Exceeds Lead Limits

A Vernon battery recycler has once again exceeded South Coast Air Quality Management District lead limits, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Banks Face New Crackdown on Laundering

A top Justice Department official told the Wall Street Journal that the government plans additional enforcement actions against banks that haven't done enough to stem the flow of illicit funds into the U.S. financial system.

Mortgage Suit Settlements Could Hit $50 Billion

Wall Street could pay nearly $50 billion to buy peace from federal authorities who are taking aim at the banks over their role in the mortgage crisis, the New York Times reports.

Your Body Is Now Your Password

Tired of remembering dozens of passwords? A lot of tech companies at this week's Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas were touting biometrics as a way to make authentication easier and safer, CNBC reports.

Data Breach Hits More Target Customers Than Expected

Target says personal information was stolen from as many as 70 million customers in a previously reported pre-Christmas data breach substantially more customers than the retailer earlier said were affected, the Associated Press reports.

'Francis Effect' Sparks Papal Onesies

Pope Francis may attack the 'tyranny' of unfettered capitalism, but savvy retailers are unashamedly peddling pope-themed infant wear, cuff-links and cookie jars to the pope's fans around the world, CNBC reports.

Stocks Slip

In Friday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 54 points to 16,390. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to 4,151. The S&P 500 fell 4 points to 1,838.

Thursday, January 9

Los Angeles DWP Chief Ron Nichols Resigns

Department of Water and Power head Ron Nichols on Thursday announced his resignation amid growing financial and administrative controversies at the agency.

American Apparel Stock Falls on Sales Drop

Shares of American Apparel Inc. fell more than 18 percent on Thursday after the apparel company said same-store sales fell 6 percent last month.

Ceres Reports Loss; Simulations Plus Sees Profit

Energy crop developer Ceres Inc. reported deeper losses than expected, but beat Wall Street's revenue expectations. Software maker Simulations Plus Inc. announced fiscal first quarter results that also beat analysts' revenue estimates.

Dow, Nasdaq Fall; S&P, LABJ Rise

In Thursday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 18 points to 16,445. The Nasdaq fell 9 points to 4,156. The S&P 500 rose less than 1 point to 1,838. The LABJ Stock Index rose more than 1 point to 183.

Snapchat Updates to Fix Security Flaw

Snapchat has released an update to its popular photo-sharing app, aimed at patching a security flaw that left users’ names and phone numbers exposed.

Fault Maps Could Alter L.A. Development

State geologists on Wednesday unveiled two new maps of active earthquake faults running through a handful of Southern California cities that could alter development — most notably in Hollywood, the Wall Street Journal reports.

SBE to Replace Variety at 5900 Wilshire

Growing hotel and nightclub owner SBE will replace venerable entertainment industry chronicler Variety as the top tenant at the well-known 5900 Wilshire Boulevard office high-rise across from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Brown to Propose Billions in New Spending

When he unveils his new budget plan today — a day early due to leaks — Gov. Jerry Brown will propose billions of dollars in new spending on schools, healthcare, social services and environmental programs as California reaps the benefits of an economic turnaround, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Macy's to Lay Off 2,500

Macy’s Inc., the second-largest U.S. department-store company, forecast profit for its next fiscal year ahead of analysts’ estimates and disclosed a program to cut costs that includes eliminating about 2,500 jobs, Bloomberg News reports.

L.A. Woman Sues McDonald's Over Hot Coffee

A woman has filed suit against McDonald’s Corp., saying she was burned by hot coffee that spilled on her at one of the fast-food chain’s Los Angeles restaurants, the Los Angeles Times reports. The lawsuit comes 20 years after a jury in a notable case awarded $2.9 million to a woman who was badly burned after she spilled hot coffee at a McDonald’s in Albuquerque.

Revamped City Club Aims to Attract Younger Members

Born in reaction to other private clubs in Los Angeles, the City Club recruited women and minorities when it opened in 1989. Now the downtown institution hopes to bring in more people under 50, the Los Angeles Times reports.

City Wants $21.5 Million from American Over Airport Costs

Only a month after emerging from bankruptcy, American Airlines faces a claim from the city of Los Angeles for $21.5 million in fees charged to operate out of LAX, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sumner Redstone Uncensored

The Hollywood Reporter sits down with Sumner Redstone as the combative 90-year-old media mogul expounds on whether CBS should buy Sony's studio, why Rupert Murdoch was right to divorce Wendi Deng and why he hasn't named a successor: "I'm not gonna die."

S. Korean Tycoon Has High Hopes for Downtown Hotel Project

Yang Ho Cho, chairman of Hanjin Group, dismisses suggestions that it may be a bad time to build the 73-story Wilshire Grand Hotel, saying the U.S. economy will improve, the Los Angeles Times reports.

WWE to Launch Online Video Channel

World Wrestling Entertainment is sidestepping its longtime venue on traditional TV to launch a subscription-based, online video network with around-the-clock entertainment, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Internet TV Dispute May Hit High Court

The Supreme Court could announce as soon as today whether it will consider a claim by media companies, ranging from Walt Disney Co. to 21st Century Fox Inc., that Barry Diller-backed Aereo Inc. is built on copyright violations, obtaining broadcast signals for free and distributing them for a profit, Bloomberg News reports.

Disney Family Organization Fires Back Over Streep Comments

The Walt Disney Family Museum is fighting back in the wake of remarks by actress Meryl Streep that characterized the late Walt Disney as a "gender bigot" who backed an anti-Semitic lobbying organization, Fox News reports.

The PC Is Dead, and This Year’s CES Proves It

A decade ago, the PC was still the center of the digital world. But today, conventional PCs face a growing army of cheap, special-purpose rivals, and this week's Consumer Electronics Show demonstrates just how far that trend has developed, the Washington Post reports.

Yes, Your Boss Probably Is Happier Than You

A Pew Research Center report released Thursday found that bosses are more likely than workers to be satisfied with their family life, current job and financial situation, CNBC reports.

Stocks Fall

In Thursday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 73 points to 16,390. The Nasdaq fell 19 points to 4,146 The S&P 500 fell 6 points to 1,832.

Wednesday, January 8

Obit: Former Northrop Chief Tom Jones, 93

Thomas V. Jones, the maverick chief executive who grew Northrop Corp. into an aerospace giant over his 30 years at the helm, died Tuesday of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 93.

CytRx Shares Rise on Cancer Drug Data

Shares of CytRx Corp. rose 6 percent on Wednesday after the biotech company released additional data from a human study of its highly anticipated experimental cancer treatment.

Advisory Council Signs Off on Van Nuys Aviation Project

The Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council on Tuesday voted to recommend acceptance of a report that a new hangar project would not cause any environmental impacts.

Dow, S&P and LABJ Fall; Nasdaq Climbs

In Wednesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 68 points to 16,463. The Nasdaq rose 12 points to 4,166. The S&P 500 fell less than 1 point to 1,837 The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 181.

Fullscreen Settles Music Royalty Dispute

YouTube network Fullscreen has settled its lawsuit with a music publisher’s association over the use of unlicensed music in its channels’ videos.

JustFab’s Chief Named in FTC Action

When the Federal Trade Commission announced late last year that it was going to crack down on deceptive weight loss campaigns, the assumption was that Herbalife Inc. would be the most likely local company to be singled out.

Loveroom Signs Deal to Develop Reality TV Show

Loveroom, the site that pitched itself as an “Airbnb for attractive people,” is buzzy, somewhat controversial and probably overexposed. Those descriptors, of course, are catnip for reality television, and so it feels preordained that Loveroom would be courted by production companies.

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Min Named Co-President of Guggenheim's Entertainment Group

Guggenheim Media announced that Janice Min has been tapped to lead Billboard and the Hollywood Reporter as co-president/chief creative officer of the company’s Entertainment Group, part of a wider reorganization, the Reporter says.

Record Freeze Puts $5 Billion Chill on Economy

The record cold spell that has put half of the United States in deep freeze could cost the nation’s economy up to $5 billion, NBC News reports.

Analysis: California Exports Booming

California businesses shipped merchandise worth $15.2 billion in November, a 14 percent jump from a year earlier, according to a Beacon Economics analysis of Commerce Department numbers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

State Income Tax Revenues Beat Projections

As the Brown administration prepares to release its proposed budget on Friday, the Sacramento Bee reports that California income tax collections in the typically strong month of December came in above projections at $1.6 billion.

Report: L.A. a City in Decline

The Los Angeles 2020 Commission on Wednesday released a report warning that the city is in decline. It is strangled by traffic, weighed down by poverty and suffering from "a crisis of leadership and direction," the Los Angeles Times reports.

FTC Warns Media Outlets About Deceptive Diet Ads

The Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday called on media companies to more carefully scrutinize weight-loss product ads, while ordering $34 million in deceptive ad settlements against makers of food additives, skin creams and dietary supplements, Ad Age reports.

Regulator: Blue Shield Rate Hike Excessive

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones criticized Blue Shield of California for an "unreasonable" rate hike affecting about 81,000 individual policyholders, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Probe Targets Banks' Handling of Bonds

Federal investigators are probing whether Wall Street banks cheated clients in the years following the financial crisis by deliberately mispricing a type of mortgage bond that was central to the economic turmoil, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Private-Sector Hiring Strengthened in December

Businesses added jobs at a quick pace last month, notably in construction and manufacturing, according to a tally of hiring released Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

McDonald's Promising 'Sustainable' Beef

McDonald’s, the biggest buyer of beef in the United States, has set a goal of eventually buying all its beef from sustainable sources. Bloomberg BusinessWeek notes that this is an ambitious goal for lots of reasons, not least of which is an absence of any standards for just what makes beef sustainable.

Security Plan Risks Killing the Olympic Spirit

Facing the clear threat of terrorism, the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia will open amid an unprecedented security lockdown that may make the experience of the event far from cheerful for fans and athletes, Time reports.

Because Nothing Enhances a High Like Raw Fish...

Now that pot has been legalized for recreational use in Colorado, the pro-weed Boulder-based chain Hapa Sushi has launched an advertising and in-store marketing campaign that even includes a "pairing menu," AdAge reports. Meanwhile, Time looks at how some retail dispensaries in the state are resorting to rationing to avoid running out of inventory in the midst of a white-hot market.

Dow and S&P Fall, Nasdaq Rises

In Wednesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 80 points to 16,450. The Nasdaq rose 12 points to 4,165. The S&P 500 fell 1 point to 1,837.

Tuesday, January 7

L.A. City Attorney Sues Allenco Energy

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer on Tuesday filed suit against the operators of a controversial South Los Angeles oil field with operations that have been blamed for noxious vapors causing health problems.

Kennedy-Wilson Prices Stock Sale

Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc. on Tuesday priced a public offering of 8 million shares of its common stock at $21.45 a share, a 3 percent discount to Monday’s closing price.

New CEO at Community Bank

Pasadena-based Community Bank has named David R. Misch as its chief executive, replacing David Malone.

Stocks Gain

In Tuesday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed up 106 points to 16,531. The Nasdaq rose 39 points to 4,153. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,838. The LABJ Stock Index rose 2 points point to 182.

Report: Sheriff Baca Plans to Retire

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, facing a tough battle for re-election amid scandals in his agency, plans to announce his retirement as early as today, sources told the Los Angeles Times.

Boeing Contract Underscores Decline of Union Clout

A Seattle-area union's close vote — ceding hard-won benefits to keep production of a Boeing airliner in the area — underscores organized labor's increasingly uphill battle at the bargaining table, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Digital Video Breathes New Life Into Home Entertainment

Digital sales have nearly doubled in the last year, becoming the fastest-growing source of home entertainment revenue for Hollywood studios and a prominent presence at this week's International CES trade show in Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Yellen a Fed Leader for the Real, Everyday Economy

While Janet Yellen’s confirmation Monday as chairwoman of the Federal Reserve marks continuity with the Ben Bernanke era, she’s also considered reform-minded, Time reports.

U.S. Trade Deficit Smallest in Four Years

The Commerce Department on Tuesday said that the U.S. trade deficit fell to its lowest level in four years in November as exports hit a record high and weak oil prices restrained import growth, Reuters reports.

A Bone-Chilling Blow to Air Travel

Airlines canceled 4,400 flights on Monday, bringing the total to more than 17,000 over the last week, as brutal winter weather engulfed much of the country, the New York Times reports. In addition, nearly three dozen flights at LAX have been canceled since midnight, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sonic Drive-Ins to Boom in California

The slushies and skating carhops at Sonic Corp.'s drive-ins are a relative rarity in Los Angeles County, but the iconic Midwestern chain is planning to open 300 franchised restaurants around the state by 2020, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Snapchat Seeks Help in D.C.

Venice's mobile photo-sharing startup Snapchat has hired its first Capitol Hill lobbyists following a New Years data hack that exposed the personal information of some 4.6 million users, the Silicon Valley Business Journal reports.

Villaraigosa to Advise Estrella TV

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has joined Spanish-language broadcaster Estrella TV as a senior adviser, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fracking Protested at Cal State Long Beach

Environmental activists assembled at Cal State Long Beach on Monday to demand an end to the oil and gas extraction technique known as fracking, as state officials begin a process to regulate the controversial practice, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

TiVo Reveals Network DVR Plans

TiVo, which built its business selling physical DVRs, now wants to sell pay-TV operators on technologies that would eliminate the need to send hardware into consumers’ homes, Variety reports.

Swisher and Mossberg 'Recode'

The Wrap interviews Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, the now-departed founders of popular media blog AllThingsD, on their latest venture,

Restaurants Fear Clout of a New Food Giant

Restaurants say the competition between Houston-based Sysco and US Foods, of Rosemont, Ill., is one of the few weapons they have against the companies' pricing power. That could all change if the two food distributing giants merge, the Wall Street Journal reports.

JPMorgan Settles in Madoff Case

JPMorgan Chase has reached settlements with federal authorities who suspect that the bank ignored signs of Bernard L. Madoff’s vast Ponzi scheme, the New York Times reports.

Sony Pictures Names New Chief of Home Entertainment Unit

Man Jit Singh has been hired by Sony Pictures Entertainment to head its home entertainment division, replacing longtime chief David Bishop, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Legendary Producer Run Run Shaw Dies at 106

Influential media mogul Run Run Shaw, one of the founding fathers of the Hong Kong entertainment industry, has died, the Hollywood Reporter says. He was 106.

Colorado Pot Prices Double as Demand Soars

People looking to buy marijuana in Colorado, where recreational use became legal last week, are facing steep price hikes, long queues and shuttered stores as demand outstrips supply, the Financial Times reports.

Selling 'Clicks' Becomes Big Business

An Associated Press investigation has found a growing global marketplace for fake clicks. Online records, industry studies and interviews show companies are capitalizing on the opportunity to make millions of dollars by duping social media.

Stocks Rebound

In Tuesday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 120 points to 16,545. The Nasdaq rose 36 points to 4,150. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 1,838.

Monday, January 6

LegalZoom Decides Against IPO

LegalZoom plans to sell $200 million worth of its privately held shares to an affiliate of a British private equity fund, rather than go public as previously planned, the company said Monday.

Crash City Guide Acquired by

The life of any startup comes with a definite end-point, but most don’t expect them to arrive soon after launch. Such is the case with Pasadena’s Crashworks Inc., maker of a free city-guide app for iPhones.

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Clearlake Capital Merges Two Retail IT Consultancies

Clearlake Capital Group on Monday said that it has acquired outsourced IT retail consultant Tolt Service Group and was merging it with a portfolio company acquired last year.

Levine Leichtman Acquires Craft Supplier

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners on Monday said it partnered with the management of craft clay maker Polyform Products Co. to acquire the company.

Prospect Mortgage Acquires Connecticut Firm

Prospect Mortgage on Monday said it has acquired Diamond Mortgage Group in Connecticut.

Stocks Decline

In Monday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 45 points to 16,425. The Nasdaq fell 18 points to 4,114. The S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1,827. The LABJ Stock Index fell less than 1 point to 180.

Brown Wants Cap-and-Trade Money for Bullet Train

Gov. Jerry Brown will ask state lawmakers to use money raised from the sale of pollution credits to help pay for the state's struggling high-speed rail program, sources tell the Los Angeles Times.

Yellen Expected to Be Confirmed Today

The Senate is expected to vote Monday evening for Janet Yellen to become chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Long Beach Officials Bemoan Boeing 777X Vote

State and local officials on Sunday said they were disappointed that the state failed to snag a coveted Boeing plane contract and must now ramp up efforts to replace jobs being phased out by the company, the Associated Press reports.

Housing Tear-downs on the Rise in Southland

With little vacant land left, developers and wealthy buyers are razing small, older houses in sought-after Southern California neighborhoods to build modern mansions, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Men's Wearhouse Boosts Bid for Jos. A. Bank

Men's Wearhouse is raising its offer for Jos. A. Bank Clothiers to about $1.61 billion and taking the bid directly to its rival's shareholders, the Associated Press reports. It also plans to nominate two people to the Jos. A. Bank board.

Frigid Air Threat Continues

The coldest air in almost 20 years is sweeping over the central United States toward the East Coast, threatening to topple temperature records, ignite energy demand and damage Great Plains winter wheat, Bloomberg News reports.

Google Goes for Drive with Automakers

Google today announced formation of the Open Automotive Alliance, a group of technology and automakers — including General Motors, Honda Motor, and chipmaker Nvidia — that want to customize Google’s mobile operating system for vehicles, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports.

How Wall St., Main St. Are Faring 6 Years Later

Heading into a new year and six years after the beginning of the Great Recession, small-business owners are modestly growing and adding jobs but not roaring back to life like the stock market, CNBC reports.

New Consumer Electronics Products Waiting in the Wings

More than 20,000 new products could be unveiled at this week’s International CES, Consumer Electronics Association chief economist Shawn DuBravac predicted during his opening "‘trends to watch" talk, the Hollywood Reporter says.

Factory Orders Rebound

New orders for U.S. factory goods rose 1.8 percent in November, adding to signs of strong momentum in the economy in late 2013, Reuters reports.

Airbnb 'Party House' Shuts Down

The owner of a Glendale home advertised as “party central” on online vacation rental platform has agreed to stop renting the house specifically for parties after six festivities were shut down by Glendale police since October, the Los Angeles Times reports.

This Hollywood Competition Fueled by Tax Incentives

The competition for Hollywood’s cash has become more and more frenzied as states and foreign countries increasingly try to outbid each other with tax incentives, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

For Zuckerberg, Tumult and Turnaround

In taking Facebook public and reshaping it around mobile phones, Mark Zuckerberg, the often-stubborn, idealistic 29-year-old chief executive, has shown growing attention to the bottom line, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Drop

In Monday morning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 55 points to 16,415. The Nasdaq fell 27 points to 4,105. The S&P 500 fell 7 points to 1,824.

High Riser

Jim Thomas went from a small North Carolina town to shaping L.A.’s skyline as a real estate developer.

Interview – Jim Thomas’ towering real estate career includes developing some of downtown L.A.’ s landmark buildings

Energy Company Dives Into Aquaculture

Technology: OriginOil’s water treatment process may point way to profit.

OriginOil has stepped away from energy to wade into aquaculture with its water treatment process.

Ad Space

Agencies home in on Playa Vista

Advertising agencies have shored up Playa Vista as their L.A. industry hub.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Retail Property: HKRM has purchased a Temple City retail property for $5.2 million from TC Associates.

New York Firm’s L.A. Office Sheds Eighth Partner

Tom Stromberg’s departure from Kaye Scholer is the latest high-profile exit from the New York firm’s L.A. office, which has lost half its partners in six months.

Buyout Firm Molds Deals for European Plastic

Investment: OpenGate sees cars, homebuilding driving up market.

The folks at Century City buyout shop OpenGate Capital think Europe’s automotive and homebuilding industries are primed for recovery, so they’ve lately been investing in manufacturers of plastics that go into cars and houses there, announcing three deals in the European plastics market last year.

Mobile Wallet App Whips Out the Plastic

Finance: Wipit looks to connect to underbanked with cards.

Finance – App developer Wipit issues debit cards to spur customers to open their mobile wallets.

Food Firms Go Hungry Online

iInternet: Tech companies fail to bring home the bacon.

Internet – Attempts to reinvent the food business have chewed up several tech companies

Checking Into History

Beverly Hills hotels to mark city’s centennial with themed rooms.

Hospitality – Beverly Hills hotels make room for the city’s centennial with themed décor based on different decades.

Is TV Worth Second Look?

Television: DirecTV seeks to pair mobile device, home set.

Television– Satellite provider DirecTV hopes customers won’t think twice about adding a second screen to their viewing.

Kids’ Payment Service Picks Up Short-Term Loan

Internet: Virtual Piggy deal anticipates possibility of additional stock sales.

Finance - Online shopping service Virtual Piggy takes out short-term loan but won’t squeal on the possibility of a future

Put to The Test

Education: Mathnasium sees gap in students’ skills as plus for business.

Education – Mathnasium multiplies locations as college-hopeful students are increasingly put to the test.

Go West, Not-So-Young Man and Woman

Ellen Landau, 66, and her husband, Howard, 68, moved to Pasadena last summer after 30 years in Cleveland. She left behind a tenured professorship teaching art history at Case Western Reserve University for an opportunity to strike out on her own, writing and lecturing at various cultural institutions in Southern California.

Auctioneers See Time For Change

Sellers may pocket pretty penny with rare half-cent coins.

Auction – Ira and Larry Goldberg expect penny-wise collectors at the sale of rare half-cent coins

Getting a Handle on E-Cig Style

Ophis looks to draw in customers with pricey leather-clad dispenser.

Smoking – Ophis helps e-cig users get a grip on style with its leather-wrapped dispensers

News of the Week

Data Breach: Snapchat, a Venice online service famous for its disappearing messages and photos, suffered a security breach that enabled hackers to collect the user names and phone numbers of millions of its users.