BREAKING CHAINS?: Malibu’s city clerk presented the City Council with 1,400 verified signatures from a residential group calling for an ordinance to limit chain stores to 30 percent of any Malibu shopping center. The City Council will review an economic impact study July 14 and then decide whether to adopt the proposal or send it to the voters on a future ballot.
PASSING: Paula Kent Meehan, co-founder of hair products company Redken Laboratories and owner of the Beverly Hills Courier, died at 82. Meehan started Redken in 1960, when she saw a need for hair products that were less irritating for the people who used them. Redken was later purchased by L’Oreal in 1993. Meehan’s philanthropic endeavors included her leadership of the Beverly Hills Pet Care Foundation, an animal rescue group also known as Pets 90210, and donations to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and the Beverly Hills 9/11 Memorial Garden.
FASHION CASE: American Apparel turned to New York advisory firm Peter J. Solomon Co. as the company’s new leaders try to run the business without controversial founder Dov Charney. Solomon’s specialties include recapitalizations. Dow Jones reported that American Apparel is pondering a debt or equity offering. Charney, suspended from his chief executive’s post pending termination, has signaled that he will fight to regain control of the company.
FAIR PAY: Los Angeles City Council is poised to consider criminal penalties for employers who illegally deprive their workers of pay. A plan introduced by Councilmen Gilbert Cedillo and Paul Koretz would give the City Attorney’s Office authority to prosecute wage theft as a misdemeanor. That means guilty parties could spend up to six months behind bars in addition to paying fines.
ACTION: A bill aiming to keep film and television shoots in California made it through a California Senate committee. The film incentives bill, sponsored by Assemblymen Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, and Raul Bocanegra, D-Pacoima, would extend the state’s tax credit program. The extension would allow producers of feature films or hourlong TV episodes claim the credit irrespective of whether productions are shown on broadcast television, cable or Internet. FilmL.A. reported that the percentage of new pilots shot in Los Angeles has dropped below the 50 percent threshold as incentives offered in places including New York and Georgia lure producers away.
OVERCHARGED: Upscale grocer Whole Foods has agreed to pay nearly $800,000 to settle allegations that customers were overcharged at California stores. The Austin, Texas, grocer will pay to resolve claims that customers frequently paid too much when buying food that is sold by weight. Whole Foods cooperated with the investigation, which resulted in a settlement accord reached with authorities in Los Angeles, Santa Monica and San Diego. The company will be responsible for assigning employees at each of its 74 California stores to ensure that prices are accurate.
FAREWELL: Harris Shepard Public Relations has closed shop after nearly three decades. Company founder Harris Shepard started the firm with an IBM typewriter in 1987 and eventually moved the business to a Century City office. The firm specialized in representing clients in the beauty and health industries, and its portfolio included the likes of nail polish maker OPI Products Inc., Murad Skincare, Alterna Professional Haircare and Jenny Craig. Shepard said he was looking forward to checking out a side of life that does not include managing a PR agency.
REPORTING IN: Ixia, a Calabasas company that produces computer networking software, filed its previously delayed annual report and restated earnings reports for the first and second quarters of 2013. The filings are expected to help the company comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission and remain on Nasdaq. Ixia ran into trouble after former Chief Executive Vic Alston resigned from the firm in the fall because of false information on his resume. As a result, the firm said that it was unable to report its finances on time. A subsequent audit found accounting errors in earlier filings. In its new report, Ixia showed net income of $11.9 million for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with $45.5 million in 2012.
SUBSIDY TIME: The Los Angeles City Council may provide subsidies to major downtown hotel projects, while also setting the stage for other hotel deals across the city. The council’s Economic Development Committee will consider a plan that includes providing $138 million in assistance to the Frank Gehry-designed Grand Avenue project, which would bring housing, restaurants and a four-star hotel to a site across from Walt Disney Concert Hall. Under that plan, developer Related Cos. would keep the lion’s share of hotel tax revenue generated by the development until 2043.
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