PRICE HIKE: Walt Disney Co.’s Disneyland Resort division has raised its ticket prices to $96 for a one-day, one-park ticket for visitors 10 and older. The $4 boost in ticket prices at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure is consistent with the company’s price hikes of recent years. Single-day ticket prices have more than doubled since 2003. The rising prices come as Disney’s parks are facing problems with overcrowding. Since opening Cars Land in 2012 at California Adventure, attendance at the parks has hit record levels.
HACKED?: A Camarillo solar panel company was among the targets of hacking by Chinese military officers, the Department of Justice announced last week. Thousands of files were stolen from SolarWorld Industries America Inc. in Camarillo and a manufacturing facility in Oregon in 2012, according to a grand jury indictment. The documents were related to cash flow, production-line information and privileged attorney-client communications in trade litigation by SolarWorld against competing Chinese companies. They were alleged to have been taken by an officer named Wen Xinyu. The widespread indictment also alleges Chinese officers hacked into nuclear and metal companies as well as a steel workers union.
GRANT: The “Subway to the Sea” that would stretch from Mid-Wilshire to Westwood received a $1.25 billion grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. When combined with an $856 million federal loan, the controversial subway extension has now brought in $2.1 billion of federal funding. The money will be used by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build the first phase of the extension of the Purple Line to the Westwood area.
LICENSING: OriginOil of West Adams has made a licensing deal to bring its water cleanup technology to the Middle East. The deal calls for the company, led by Chief Executive Riggs Eckelberry, to license its Electro Water Separation process to oil and gas services firm Burgan One of Kuwait City. Burgan One will design, manufacture and distribute water treatment products using the technology. Burgan One handles tasks such as soil remediation, cleaning oil-contaminated lakes and desalination of high saline water.
JUMP BALL: The National Basketball Association has announced it is moving forward with a plan to strip Donald Sterling of his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. The NBA has scheduled a hearing June 3 on charges of damaging the league. At that time, Sterling can tell the board of governors – the majority owners of each team – why he should keep the team. For Sterling to be stripped of his ownership, a 75 percent majority, or 22 of 30 team owners, would have to vote to force that action. Commissioner Adam Silver has said that he is confident the owners will vote to oust Sterling, who has owned the team since 1981. The vote hasn’t been scheduled.
FACE OFF: Two prominent L.A. businessmen are trying to bring a National Hockey League franchise to Seattle. Victor Coleman, chief executive of L.A. real estate investment trust Hudson Pacific Properties and L.A. hedge fund manager Jonathan Glaser would be lead partners in the team’s ownership. Coleman and Glaser were in on a meeting with Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and others to discuss building a hockey arena in that city.
JOBS RISE: Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent in April as 30,000 more residents found jobs during the month, according to state figures – a noteworthy drop from March’s unemployment rate of 8.7 percent. Just a year ago, the rate stood at 10 percent. The 30,000 more residents who found jobs was the highest figure in more than 20 years. Employers in the leisure and hospitality sectors added many of the jobs. Other industries reporting gains in April were private education and construction, which were offset by a drop in the entertainment sector as more jobs in that industry shift out of state. State jobless figures were even lower, at 7.8 percent in April, as was the national rate of 6.3 percent.
PORTS: Traffic at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach rose 10 percent in April compared with the same month last year. The jump was in part due to an improving economy and the prospect of labor problems at the ports pending a new contract. More than 706,000 containers went through the Port of Los Angeles in April, up 10.3 percent from April of last year and the highest number since September. Nearly 570,000 containers moved through the Port of Long Beach in April, up 9.7 percent from April of last year.
TICKETING: West L.A. online movie ticketing firm Fandango has made deals with three new theater chains, adding 1,000 screens to its ticketing service. Fandango will begin selling tickets for Harkins Theatres of Scottsdale, Ariz., the largest independently owned theater chain in the country. It will also do ticketing for Digiplex Destinations of Westfield, N.J., and Premiere Cinemas of Big Spring, Texas.
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