Stories for April 2015

Thursday, April 30

Boingo, Sprint Partner for Wi-Fi Calls at Airports

Boingo Wireless of Los Angeles announced today that it would offer free Wi-Fi coverage at 35 U.S. airports to 40 million Android handsets on Sprint’s cellular network.

Judge Halts Millennium Hollywood Project

A state judge on Thursday halted plans for two massive and controversial skyscrapers in Hollywood, ruling that the city of Los Angeles failed to adequately assess the $1 billion project’s traffic and neighborhood impacts.

Sears Sells Stake in Stores to Macerich

Santa Monica mall operator Macerich Co. will redevelop nine Sears stores in its malls under the terms of a $150 million deal the two companies announced today.

Briefs: Tetra Tech Shares Jump, Executive Moves at AeroVironment

Tetra Tech Jumps on Earnings Shares of Pasadena engineering firm Tetra Tech Inc. climbed 11 percent Thursday, a day after the company reported quarterly earnings.

Hawthorne Woman Sentenced in Medicare Scam

A Hawthorne woman has been sentenced for submitting more than $7 million through her company in fraudulent claims to Medicare primarily for power wheelchair that patients did not need.

Kroenke Adds to L.A.-Area Portfolio

St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s Kroenke Group, a Columbia, Mo., real estate investor and developer, acquired a portfolio of five retail properties in the San Fernando Valley last month for $115 million.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 195 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,841. The S&P 500 fell 21 points to 2,086. The Nasdaq fell 82 points to 4,941. The LABJ Stock Index fell three points to 228.

Breaking Ties

Officials in the City of Industry hope to cancel or at least renegotiate a $12-million-a-year city contract made with Valley Vista Services, a trash collection company headed by ex-Mayor Dave Perez and his family members who kept a tight rein on city coffers for decades through companies they controlled, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Port Problem

It is a problem for ports across the nation, including here on the West Coast: as container volumes grow because of bigger ships, the costly delays are adding up, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Not in Key

The president of the Blue Ribbon, the Music Center's oldest and largest fundraiser, and Music City administrators are not harmonizing as Blue Ribbon President Carla Sands says last year's 50th anniversary celebration was too expensive and not enough money was raised, which led to staff layoffs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Rising Out of the Ashes

Out of the wreckage of the 1992 riots in South Los Angeles, construction is just beginning on a $200 million retail and entertainment shopping center being built on the site of a former indoor swap meet that was destroyed by fire during the riots, LAist reports.

CBRE Celebrates

Los Angeles-based real estate giant CBRE saw its first-quarter profits shoot up 37 percent to $93 million compared to a year ago, thanks to commercial mortgage services and leasing growth, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Joel Silver's Sad Saga

While his film series "Matrix" and "Lethal Weapon" were big moneymakers, producer Joel Silver has had to struggle in recent years for financing, including borrowing millions against his own homes, as he keeps up a lavish lifestyle, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Better Economy?

There is good news on the economic front with jobless claims falling to a 15-year-low as of last week, and consumer spending up in March which shows some improvement after a slow first quarter, CNBC reports.

No Interest Rate Hike for Now

Federal policymakers will most likely not raise interest rates given the fact the gross domestic product advanced only 0.2 percent in the first quarter, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Slippery Slope

With more than 30 percent of all of the Eurozone's government debt trading on a negative interest rate, it could put the world's economy on a slippery slope, the UK Telegraph reports.

Reprieve for Redstone

It looks as if the 91-year-old Sumner Redstone can breathe a sigh of relief after his 44-year-old girlfriend has decided to drop a lawsuit that could have made private photos of a sexual nature public, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

No Go

Who can afford to go to Vegas this weekend for the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight? Ticket prices are so expensive that even the prices of hotel rooms in Sin City are dropping, Bloomberg reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 104 points in Thursday trading to 17,925. The S&P 500 was down 13 points to 2,094. The Nasdaq was down 38 points to 4,985. The LABJ stock index was down two points to 229.

Wednesday, April 29

Whisper Appoints New President, Reveals Use Stats

Whisper, the anonymous social media website and app company, has revealed its number of monthly active users for the first time.

El Super Hit With Labor Violations

About a hundred employees of the Mexican-based supermarket chain El Super and their supporters on Wednesday celebrated a step forward in a 19-month battle with the chain for a new labor contract.

Brown Orders Big Carbon Cuts

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday issued an executive order on calling for the state to cut back on carbon emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, exceeding cuts proposed in other states and matching the carbon cuts set by the European Union.

City Charges a Hawaiian Gardens Hospital With Patient Dumping

City Attorney Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit against Gardens Regional Hospital and Medical Center Inc. for alleged patient dumping on Skid Row.

Kythera Drug Gets FDA Approval

A fat-dissolving drug from Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. that reduces double chins was approved by the Food and Drug Administration Wednesday.

N.Y. Investor Enters L.A. Market With Record Deal

Joss Realty Partners, a New York real estate investment firm making its first investment on the West Coast, has entered the market in a big way, buying a Santa Monica office building for the highest price per square foot ever in Los Angeles County.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 75 points in Wednesday trading to close at 18,036. The S&P 500 fell eight points to 2,107. The Nasdaq fell 32 points to 5,024. The LABJ stock index fell one point to 231.

Dun & Bradstreet Buys Back Former Unit

Dun & Bradstreet, which sold its Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. unit to private equity group Great Hill Partners for $10 million in 2010, announced yesterday it would buy back the Malibu company for $320 million.

Bumpy Start

The nation's economy got off to a slow start this year as the gross domestic product advanced only 0.2 percent in the first quarter compared to 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. The sluggishness was a result of cautious consumers and businesses cutting their investments, according to the Commerce Department, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Big Deal

Hulu, the video streaming service, has signed a $180 million licensing deal with Sony Pictures to stream all 180 reruns of the popular NBC sitcom, "Seinfeld," Variety reports.

Greek Theatre Plan Moves Ahead

Should the city run the Greek Theatre? Some city council members seemed skeptical at a Tuesday meeting of the Board of Recreation and Parks' plan, but it appears to be going forward, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Revised Water Cuts Out

It was good news on Tuesday for some after state water regulators released revisions to their drought plan that would reduce the amount of cuts some water agencies would have to meet, the Los Angeles Times reports.

NFL Surrenders Tax Exemption

The $10-billion-dollar a year National Football League has announced it will give up its tax-exempt status, calling it a "distraction," the Wall Street Journal reports.

Supreme Division

While Supreme Court Justices appear to be divided over gay marriage, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy may be providing some optimism for gay rights advocates, the New York Times reports.

'Furious 7' Tops Record in China

"Furious 7" is racing to break records in China, becoming the highest grossing film ever in that country, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Big Meal

How much would you pay for a meal? Try $4,200 if you're prize fighter Manny Pacquiao preparing to go into the ring this weekend. That's how much he plopped down at the Kabuki Japanese Restaurant in Hollywood this week, LAist reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 43 points in Wednesday trading to 18,067. The S&P 500 was down four points to 2,111. The Nasdaq was down seven points to 5,048. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 232.

Tuesday, April 28

Farmer Bros. Taps Texas for New HQ

Torrance coffee roaster Farmers Bros. Co. will relocate to Northlake, in Denton County, Texas, company officials announced Tuesday. The choice of Texas was announced after an incentive package was officially approved by local authorities.

Live Nation Buys Bonnaroo Music Festival

Entertainment giant Live Nation has increased its portfolio of music festivals by buying a controlling stake in Bonnaroo, one of the largest in the country.

LAX Traffic Continues to Rise

The number of passengers traveling through Los Angeles International Airport continued to climb last month. More than 6 million travelers passed through the airport in March, up 4.2 percent from 5.8 million travelers in the same month in 2014.

Long Beach Bookstore Owner Sentenced in Textbook Theft Ring

A Long Beach bookstore owner was sentenced to state prison Tuesday after pleading no contest to charges he orchestrated a scheme to steal thousands of textbooks with the help of employees from four school districts.

Microsemi Corp. Completes Acquisition of Vitesse Semiconductor Corp.

Semiconductor manufacturer Microsemi Corp. closed its acquisition of Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. on Tuesday in a deal valued at $389 million.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 72 points in Tuesday trading to close at 18,110. The S&P 500 rose six points to 2,115. The Nasdaq fell five points to 5,055. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 232.

City National Sued by Labor Department

The Department of Labor announced Tuesday that it has filed a lawsuit against downtown L.A.’s City National Bank and several of the company’s officers, alleging the bank charged the company’s retirement plan excessive fees that cost employees more than $4 million, violating the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Might Airbnb be Grounded?

Airbnb and other short-term rentals could be banned in Santa Monica. At least, that's what city officials are considering as well as possibly establishing new regulations for people who want to rent out their homes, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Volunteers to Help in Nepal

As the death toll climbs past 3,700 in Nepal after the weekend's devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake, local doctors, medical technicians and Los Angeles County firefighters are heading to the South Asian country to help, Redlands Daily Facts reports.

Bad Blood

A lawsuit filed by a dock official against a labor leader claims that bad blood between them worsened the shutdown of West Coast ports in February, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Money Trail

An audit of the finances of the City of Industry's ex-Mayor Dave Perez and his relatives has found that city contracts with companies tied to Perez and his family made them about $16 million a year for the last 20 years, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Electric Buses Coming to Long Beach

Electric buses will soon be rolling onto the streets of Long Beach as city transit officials have approved an $11.7-million contract to BYD Motors Inc. to manufacture them, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Up to the People?

Greek voters may get to decide whether to approve an agreement with creditors to help fix that country's debt crisis, but it may not be in line with what Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wants, Bloomberg reports.

Oil Headed Up? Yep, Says Pickens

Oil entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens is standing by his call that the price of oil will rise soon, predicting $70 a barrel oil by the end of this year and $90 to $100 within 12 to 18 months, CNBC reports.

SEC Eyes Bank of America

Did Bank of America break rules designed to protect customers by using funds that were off-limits in order to generate more profits? That is what the Securities and Exchange Commission is now investigating, the Wall Street Journal reports.

High Court Weighs Same-Sex Marriage

The age-old debate over same-sex marriages is headed to the Supreme Court as justices are scheduled to hear a debate Tuesday on whether there is a constitutionality right to same-sex marriage, the New York Times reports.

Brian Williams Returning?

NBC News chief Andrew Lack wants Brian Williams back pronto, and Williams has told friends he won’t leave the network unless he’s fired, the New York Daily News reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 43 points in Tuesday trading to 17,995. The S&P 500 was down six points to 2,103. The Nasdaq was down 40 points to 5,020. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 232.

Monday, April 27

Santa Monica Wellbeing Study Finds Unease

As part of what is becoming a worldwide trend, the City of Santa Monica released the results of a Wellbeing Index Monday to rate local levels of contentment.

Anthem Finishes $1.1 Million Drought-Tolerant Landscaping

Anthem Blue Cross on Monday showed off a $1.1 million landscaping project at its Woodland Hills offices that replaced an expansive lawn with drought-tolerant plants.

Contract Truckers Picket L.A., Long Beach Ports

Drivers at several trucking companies serving the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach picketed four trucking companies Monday, pressuring them to hire them as full-time staff rather than as independent contractors.

Community Bank Reports Profitable Quarter

Pasadena’s Community Bank reported strong first quarter earnings after markets closed Friday, growing its net income by 8 percent from the same period last year.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 42 points in Monday trading to close at 18,038. The S&P 500 fell nine points to 2,109. The Nasdaq fell 32 points to 5,060. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 232.

Snapchat Hires a CNN Reporter to Lead News Team

Further expanding its editorial team, Snapchat has hired a prominent CNN political reporter.

School’s Out for Good

What do you do if your college closes? That's what more than 10,000 students statewide are finding out now that Corinthian Colleges Inc. has announced it will shut down more than two dozen of its remaining schools, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Unimaginable Tragedy

The death toll now tops 3,700 people, including a Santa Monica-based filmmaker, after a 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday which also triggered an avalanche in Mount Everest and is leaving survivors reeling from aftershocks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Help is On the Way

How can you survive on $15 a day? That’s the salary of a 79-year-old downtown street vendor who, to make matters worse, has amassed possibly hundreds of dollars in fines but now is thankful she has a legal team backing her up, including some UCLA law students, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Drought Woes

The Central Valley is sinking at a faster rate than before, and it’s being blamed on farmers who are drilling for water during the drought, KPIX reports.

Should Regulators See Doctors’ Prescription Database?

A “five-bite” diet program? That’s what one California doctor prescribed his patients, and that led to an issue now being taken up by the California Supreme Court. The court may determine whether regulators should have unrestricted access to a state database describing doctors’ prescribing practices, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Bad News for Japan

Fitch Ratings has downgraded Japan’s credit rating one notch. That will make it more challenging for Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to deal with the country's debt, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Plea for Compromise

The majority of Greeks want Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to bite the bullet and compromise, according to recent polls, as talks with European leaders continue to try to find a solution to Greece's debt problems, Bloomberg reports.

Boycotting 'Avengers'

The super heroes from Disney-Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron" won't be making an appearance on nearly 700 screens in Germany as independent movie theater owners there are protesting Disney's booking terms which include raising rental fees from 47.7 percent to 53 percent of ticket sales, Variety reports.

No Stopping Dodgers Fans

Inventive Dodgers fans are getting around the TV blackout by subscribing to virtual private networks, or VPNs, on the Internet and accessing games through Major League Baseball's online platform, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Wiener Dogs Race

What’s more adorable than wiener dogs racing? Such a race happened in Santa Anita Park when a slew of dachshunds turned out to compete in the Wiener Dog Races at the track which is usually home to horse races, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 66 points in Monday morning trading to 18,146. The S&P 500 was up 7 points to 2,124. The Nasdaq was up 25 points to 5,117. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 235.

Banks Pursue Big Payoff in Private Equity Firms

LENDING: Local institutions to challenge national names for piece of growing sector.

Private equity firms have built a reputation of moving fast and doing big, flashy deals that banks can’t – or won’t – do.

Network Hopes to Take Shorter Series on Long Run

TV: ‘Pines’ format offers Fox lower costs, chance to draw movie talent.

Fox aims to change the small screen’s big picture with limited-run series that cut costs and pull in film stars.

Geared Up

MANUFACTURING: Exxel Outdoors blazes trail into more rugged, pricey brands with acquisition of American Recreation.

Exxel Outdoors hopes to hike up its gear’s appeal with the acquisition of more rugged, higher-priced lines.

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Pensions Leaving Cities in Holes

Why aren’t potholes filled? Charles Crumpley says maybe because cities are spending too much on pensions.

Vegas Casinos Won’t Bet on ‘Salome’ Production

THEATER: Al Pacino plans to move his take on Wilde’s tale to London’s West End.

Acting legend Al Pacino’s plan to launch a lavish stage show in Las Vegas has been dashed.

Musical App Gets Seniors Tuned Up

Startup SingFit looks to cue up song-based therapy at centers.

SingFit hopes senior center operators like the sound of its song-based therapy.

Ad Service Takes Off With Drones

Hoovy founder says customers get lift from hovering banners.

Hoovy founder Eugene Stark sees sky-high opportunities for his company’s banner-bearing drones.

Spirit Moves Actress Into Business

Sabrina Machado taps into resurrected faith to create clothing line.

Model and actress Sabrina Machado has been born again as a businesswoman with a Christian clothing line.

Greece Trip Finds Shaq at Road Loss

As the longest tenured photographer working for the National Basketball Association, 57-year-old Andrew Bernstein has seen his share of playoff action.

Household Names Feed Niche for Home Brokers

REAL ESTATE: L.A. fertile field for buyers hungry for famous architects’ projects.

Some agents thrive on servicing wealthy buyers with designs on architecturally significant homes.

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U.S. Surveys Patients to Nurse Hospital Service

SERVICE: None of L.A.’s reviewed facilities achieved top five-star rating.

Five-star ratings are handy when you’re Yelping for a sports bar, a Thai food joint or a nearby manicurist. But one-size-fits-all feedback gets a little more complicated when it comes to ranking health care services, particularly hospitals.

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Rate Runoff

Building owners look to tap tenants for water bills

Drought concerns open the door for landlords of older buildings to pass bills on to tenants.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Fliptu, a Hollywood developer of social media aggregation tools for brands, has raised $1.2 million in seed funding and has exited from beta phase into full release.

Anonymous Blogger Kicks Sand at Desert Aquifer

WATER: Cadiz’s shares hit by claims that pipeline plan heading for failure.

Anonymous blogger sinks stock of Cadiz on claims its desert aquifer plan is doomed to fail.

Sterling Attorney Made His Case Against Mistress

LAW: Pierce O’Donnell says obscure statute helped Shelly win lawsuit for millions.

Pierce O’Donnell talks netting a big win for former Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling over Donald’s ex-mistress.

Drug Study’s Results Test Investors’ Confidence

BIOTECH: Kite Pharma’s stock slides on rival’s report, but analyst still optimistic.

Shares of drug developer Kite Pharma fall on mixed prognosis from rival’s data.

Suitor Hopes to Provide Support for Bra Maker

FASHION: Authentic Brands Group sees Frederick’s of Hollywood as online vendor.

Suitor looks to retailor struggling Frederick’s of Hollywood for online-only sales.

Shareholders Challenge Board of Garment Firm

CLOTHING: Duo alleges American Apparel wrongly removed Dov Charney.

American Apparel shareholders look to refashion board, claiming Dov Charney was deceptively dumped.

State Bill Would Blaze Road for Electric Vehicles

Mike Meador endorses AB 1005 as a means to steer the state into a future filled with electric vehicles.

Making Waves in Drought

California leaders must ditch reactive approach to water shortage in favor of creative thinking on problem.

John T. Boal hopes to plumb the depths of California’s creative tech scenes to find answers to the drought problem.

Investor’s Santa Monica Move a Record Setter

ACQUISITION: Joss Realty pays $1,004 a square foot for creative office property.

Joss Realty Partners, a New York real estate investment firm making its first investment on the West Coast, has entered the market in a big way, buying a Santa Monica office building for the highest price per square foot ever in Los Angeles County.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Real Estate Broker Says Ports Losing Little Ground

SHIPPING: Eastern rivals’ rise fails to move supply chain, according to review.

Amid the congestion and labor strife that tied up the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach late last year and early this year, frustrated importers threatened to start moving their overseas’ goods through other ports.

Friday, April 24

Future Comes Down to Wire

FINANCE: Startup hopes to spur remittance shops to jump online.

WireCash looks to help remittance shops get a line on the future by translating their business to the Internet.

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Blogging a Case Of Advertising?

LAW: Attorneys’ Internet entries may clash with state bar rules.

Blogging attorneys may be courting trouble with the California State Bar’s advertising rules.

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L.A. Angel Investor Named Chair of Troubled Bitcoin Foundation

Los Angeles angel investor Brock Pierce has been named chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, a Washington, D.C., crypto-currency industry group.

Mattel Partners With Warner Bros.

Following several recently announced new partnerships, El Segundo toy maker Mattel Inc. said it would team up with Warner Bros.’ DC Entertainment and consumer product and animation divisions to launch a product line based on DC Comics’ female super heroes and villains.

Ducommum Lands Multiyear Deal with Rolls-Royce

Carson aerospace manufacturer Ducommun Inc. this week inked a multiyear contract with Britain’s engine maker Rolls Royce to provide systems for use in Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner.

USC Keck to Eliminate 92 Jobs as Expenses Rise

USC Keck School of Medicine said it would eliminate 92 positions across the organization.

Planning Commission OKs Sun Valley Sound Stage Complex

The Los Angeles Planning Commission unanimously recommended on Thursday that a proposed sound stage complex in Sun Valley receive a conditional use permit and required variances from zoning rules.

Skechers and Cheesecake Factory Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies rose for the week. The weighted LABJ index rose 2 percent to close at 234, with winners outpacing gainers 98 to 51. Eight companies closed the week unchanged.

L.A. Launch List: April 24

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. tech launches. This week's list includes several Apple Watch app launches.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 21 points in Friday trading to close at 18,080. The S&P 500 rose five points to 2,118. The Nasdaq rose 36 points to 5,092. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 234.

New Look

After getting the go ahead from the Carson City Council this week, the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders showed off a revised, open-air design for their $1.7 billion stadium to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and six NFL team owners in New York, the Los Angeles Times reports.

More Water Rules

Preparing for a worst-case scenario, the city’s Board of Water and Power Commissioners unanimously approved restrictions Thursday that would require residents to cover swimming pools or limit watering to two days a week if conservation efforts stretch into the summer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Looking to the River

Could the L.A. River be the answer to the city’s housing problems? The answer is yes, according to a Los Angeles Business Council report released Friday. The report says the river could help Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti reach his goal of creating an additional 100,000 housing units by 2021, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Tuning Out

In the face of mounting resistance from federal regulators, Comcast is saying farewell to its plans to take over Time Warner Cable, the Wall Street Journal reports.

No Hope for Greek Deal

Greece is at the top of the agenda as euro zone finance ministers gathered for a meeting in Latvia Friday, but no one involved is holding out hope for a deal for Greece, CNBC reports.

Record High

Driven by strong earnings and a surge in tech stocks, the Nasdaq reached a record high Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Don't Sue or Pay Up

It’s decision time for a former associate who unsuccessfully sued Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers for gender discrimination: the firm is offering her an option to drop the case against them or cover its $1 million in legal fees, the New York Times reports.

Racing On

If fans were looking forward to “Furious 7,” hold onto your seatbelts because “Furious 8” is already being planned for a 2017 release date, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Happy Birthday, YouTube!

As YouTube celebrates its 10th birthday, it has the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to thank for its success, Ars Technica reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 18 points in Friday morning trading to 18,041. The S&P 500 was up two points to 2,115. The Nasdaq was up 28 points to 5,084. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 234.

Thursday, April 23

Earnings Roundup: City National, Skechers and Reliance Steel Perform Well

City National Reports Strong Earnings Downtown Los Angeles’ City National Corp., parent of City National Bank, reported first-quarter earnings on April 23 that met analyst expectations.

Disney Pulls Verizon FiOS Ads

Television ads for Verizon’s new pay-TV package service, FiOS Custom TV, have been pulled from Disney-owned channels.

Technicolor, Deluxe Create Joint Venture

Technicolor S.A. and Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. announced Thursday an agreement to create a digital cinema joint venture.

AwesomenessTV Will Launch Channel for Moms

DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV online teen network will launch a second network later this year aimed at mothers in the millennial generation.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 20 points in Thursday trading to close at 18,059. The S&P 500 rose five points to 2,113. The Nasdaq rose 21 points to 5,056. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 234.

Cornerstone OnDemand Expands Board

Cornerstone OnDemand, the Santa Monica cloud-based human resources software company, announced today it is adding an additional seat to its board.

NFL Must Pay Up

The National Football League should pay former players for concussions they sustained while playing the sport. So says a federal judge who has approved a plan to resolve thousands of NFL concussion lawsuits which could cost the League $1 billion over 65 years, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Topless in Venice?

Venice Beach may soon resemble some European beaches if the Venice Neighborhood Council has its way. Council members voted this week to support a move to allow women to sunbathe topless, the Los Angeles Times reports.

DWP Rewriting the Water Rules

In an effort to fight the drought, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will rewrite the water conservation rules. In the end, locals may only water their lawns twice a week instead of three, the Los Angeles Daily News.

California Raisins Before Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court may be ready to rule in favor of a Fresno raisin farmer who is fighting a Depression-era law that allows a government-backed board to take part of a farmer’s crop in an effort to stabilize prices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Hotel Figueroa Gets Re-do

It's makeover time for one of the oldest hotels downtown, the Hotel Figueroa, as its new owners are planning a $30-million renovation to restore it to its original Spanish Mediterranean glory, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Saying ‘No’ to Tobacco – at the Ballpark?

Chewing tobacco and baseball have always seemed to go hand in hand, but possibly not for much longer in San Francisco as local officials are considering an ordinance that would ban smokeless tobacco from baseball fields around the city, including AT&T; Park where the Giants play, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Roadblock for Comcast

The Federal Communications Commission’s staff is recommending that Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner Cable should go to an administrative law judge, a procedural road block that indicates the FCC doesn’t think the deal would be in the public interest, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Last Ditch Effort

As the clock winds down for Greece, the Greek Prime Minister is scheduled to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Thursday to discuss Greece's bailout program one day before the euro zone's finance ministers meet, CNBC reports.

Big Fine

New York State’s superintendent of financial services is ordering DeutscheBank to pay up in the amount of $2.5 billion as well as fire some employees and ban others who participated in rigging interest rates, CNBC reports.

Hefty Plane Tab

The chief executive of Philadelphia-based Aramark Corp. racked up a nearly $800,000 plane tab last year, beating out all of the nation’s 100 top-paid executives, Bloomberg reports.

You Stole My Pet Chicken!

It's a lawsuit perhaps like no other. Ukrainian pop singer Kristina Karo is suing actress Mila Kunis for $5,000 for allegedly stealing her pet chicken when they were children. The singer says it has caused her decades of grief, LAist reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 26 points in Thursday morning trading to 18,012. The S&P 500 was down one point to 2,107. The Nasdaq was flat at 5,035. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point at 233.

Wednesday, April 22

Nurses Authorize Two-Day Strike of Kaiser, Providence

The California Nurses Association is calling on more than 2,400 nurses to strike Providence Health and Services hospitals in Santa Monica and Torrance and at Kaiser Permanente’s Los Angeles Medical Center next week over staffing levels and retention rates.

Ares Chief Antony Ressler to Buy Atlanta Hawks

Antony Ressler, the chief executive of Century City private equity and debt firm Ares Management, has agreed to buy the National Basketball Association’s Atlanta Hawks for about $850 million, sources told ESPN.

Mitch Englander Declares for Antonovich's Seat

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander announced on Wednesday that he is running for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Gensler to Design Port Research Center

Downtown Los Angeles architecture firm Gensler will design three buildings planned at the 28-acre AltaSea marine research and interpretive center at the Port of Los Angeles.

DirecTV, AT&T Aim to Sweeten Proposed Merger for Regulators

In a quest to make their merger more attractive to the Federal Communications Commission, telecom giant AT&T and El Segundo satellite TV provider DirecTV are stressing to the commission how their combined assets would be beneficial to consumers.

Unified Grocers Sells Insurance Operations

Unified Grocers Inc. in Commerce, the largest wholesale grocery distributor in the Western U.S, announced Wednesday it will sell its Springfield Insurance Co. and Unified Grocers Insurance Services – both of which provide insurance to grocery stores that work with Unified – to New York’s AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.

Jacobs Engineering Takes Controlling Stake in Chinese Firm

A subsidiary of Pasadena-based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has acquired a controlling interest in China’s Suzhou Han’s Chemical Engineering Co. Ltd., a firm that holds special licenses needed to perform engineering work for chemical industry projects, Jacobs announced Wednesday.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 89 points in Wednesday trading to close at 18,038. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 2,108. The Nasdaq rose 21 points to 5,035. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 232.

Flush with Cash, AssetAvenue Joins an Accelerator

Despite $15 million in investments and 40 employees, commercial real estate loan crowdfunding website AssetAvenue of Los Angeles announced today it has joined real estate accelerator Reach.

RadPad Gets $9 Million to Grow Apartment Listings the Old-Fashioned Way

Apartment search and rent payment app RadPad of Santa Monica announced it raised a $9 million Series A investment round today to expand listings and grow the company’s local promotional teams.

Go Teams

It's a go. The Carson City Council has unanimously approved a $1.7 billion stadium for the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Pay Raise for Teachers

Good news for local teachers as the Los Angeles Unified School District has tentatively approved pay raises of 10.36 percent, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Ex-CBS Exec Joins Interlude

Nancy Tellem, a former executive at both CBS and Microsoft, has been named chairman and chief media officer of media and technology company Interlude, working out of its Culver City office. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.

Pulling the Plug on Greece?

Will the European Central Bank finally pull the plug on Greece's lenders? In anticipation of the move, shares of Greek banks plunged to an all-time low Tuesday, the Telegraph reports.

Merger Trouble

Half a dozen Senators are saying not so fast to Comcast Corp.’s proposed $45-billion bid to take over Time Warner Cable. They’re urging Attorney General Eric Holder and Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to deny the merger, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Investigating Email Trail

Emails from Brian Cherry, a former PG&E; chief lobbyist known for his powers of persuasion and close ties to officials with the California’s Public Utilities Commission, have helped lead to the biggest investigation of a state agency in the last decade, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Trader Arrested

A trader in London has been charged by federal prosecutors for his role in the 2010 stock market "Flash Crash" but is now fighting extradition, CNBC reports.

Another Day, Another Bank Fine

More bad news for Bank of America Corp. as Britain's markets regulator has fined the bank a record $20 million for failing to properly report millions of transactions, Bloomberg reports.

Deadly Drone?

It could have been a close call for the Japanese prime minister as a drone carrying a tiny amount of radiation landed on his roof Wednesday, the Guardian reports.

G-Word a No Go

Genocide? President Obama is stopping short of using that word in reference to the 1915 Armenian massacre, prompting anger from some this week which marks the massacre’s 100th anniversary, the Guardian reports.

Earth Day’s Great, but Gimme an SUV

It might be Earth Day, but research is showing a record numbers of drivers are getting rid of their hybrids in favor of SUVs, the Daily Caller reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 30 points in Wednesday trading to 17,920. The S&P 500 was down two points to 2,095. The Nasdaq was down 14 points to 5,000. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 232.

Executive Nancy Tellem’s Next Move

Former top CBS and Microsoft executive Nancy Tellem has joined Interlude, a media and technology company, as executive chairman and chief media officer.

Tuesday, April 21

Northrop and Caltech Explore Solar Power from Space

Aerospace manufacturer Northrop Grumman and the California Institute of Technology of Pasadena have partnered to research and develop a system of outer space solar panels that will transmit energy back to earth.

Carson Council Could OK NFL Stadium Tuesday

Carson’s City Council could decide Tuesday evening to approve the construction of an NFL stadium jointly proposed by the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

American Apparel Faces New Suit

Less than a week after a group of former American Apparel Inc. employees sued the company on claims that the downtown L.A. apparel maker violated federal and state labor law, another former employee has accused the company of religious discrimination related to his firing nearly a year ago.

Earnings: Amgen, Jakks and East West Beat Estimates

Amgen Boosts Profits Amgen Inc.’s first quarter results beat analyst expectations Monday and the company raised its guidance for the rest of the year.

Markets Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 85 points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,950. The S&P 500 fell three points to 2,097. The Nasdaq fell 20 points to 5,014. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 232.

Good News for Jobs

The San Gabriel Valley economy will add more than 10,000 jobs and increase its total payrolls by $1.2 billion, according to an economic forecast that is to be released Tuesday morning by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.

San Gabriel Valley Growth to Continue

The San Gabriel Valley economy will continue its robust growth this year, adding more than 10,000 jobs and increasing total payrolls by $1.2 billion, according to an economic forecast to be released Tuesday morning from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Tiered Water Rates Illegal?

In a move that could impact water reduction efforts statewide, a state appeals court ruled Monday that a tiered water rate structure used by San Juan Capistrano to encourage local customers to save water was unconstitutional, the San Jose Mercury News reports.

More Water Pressure

The pressure is on in Beverly Hills to get tough on water rules which could lead to a ban on refilling swimming pools and fines of $1,000 for water wasters, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Mohammed Morsi Sentenced

If you do the crime, you must do the time, as ex-Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has found out. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for cracking down on a protest outside of his palace, Bloomberg reports.

Fandango Makes Deal

Los Angeles-based Fandango has just signed on the dotted line with Milwaukee’s Marcus Theaters, the nation’s fifth-largest chain with 685 screens, Variety reports.

CEOs Getting More Cash

Chief executives of major companies are seeing their cash payments rise with total compensation climbing 37 percent last year, a higher rate than it has been since 2010, according to a survey by the Hay Group for the Wall Street Journal, that newspaper reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 24 points in Tuesday morning trading to 18,011. The S&P 500 was up one point to 2,101. The Nasdaq was up 17 points to 5,011. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 232.

Monday, April 20

Theater Coalition Launches Live Event Streaming

Going to the movies may no longer be a prerecorded affair.

Regulators Revise Proposed Water Cuts

After receiving more than 250 comments about the state-imposed water restrictions, the State Water Resources Control Board has released a revised list of proposed mandatory water cuts, giving some cities a break while hammering others where water usage is highest.

Earnings: Wilshire Beats, BBCN Meets Street Estimates

Koreatown’s Wilshire Bancorp Inc. reported second-quarter earnings Monday that beat Wall Street expectations by 20 percent.

Daily Breeze Wins Pulitzer

The Daily Breeze, the daily newspaper coving Los Angeles County’s South Bay, has won a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.

Big Movies Strike Big Screen Deal

Imax Corp. and Burbank’s Warner Bros. Pictures have extended their partnership for a further five years with a deal to release up to 30 of the studio’s biggest upcoming films in Imax’s special presentation format.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 209 points in Monday trading to close at 18,035. The S&P 500 rose 19 points to 2,100. The Nasdaq rose 63 points to 4,995. The LABJ Stock Index rose three points to 231.

Weighing Tips

Restaurant owners are hoping to turn to tips to help reduce the financial strain on their businesses when it comes to raising the minimum wage. They want tips to count toward calculating the wait staff’s minimum wage, but critics are arguing against it, the Los Angeles Times reports. See the Business Journal’s earlier coverage here.

Ex-Disney Head Launches Studio

Former Walt Disney Co. studio chairman Dick Cook is launching his own entertainment company, Dick Cook Studios, with $150 million from a Chinese investment group, the Los Angeles Times reports.

$675 Million Worth of Gifts

Nothing like hundreds of millions of dollars in gifts to celebrate a birthday. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s star-studded 50th-anniversary gala yielded $675 million in donated art over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Closer to a Deal

After marathon talks over the weekend, Japanese and U.S. negotiators are steps closer to a Pacific free-trade agreement, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Clock Ticks

Time is running out for Greece as Eurozone officials meet to talk about a possible rescue deal to help keep that country from defaulting on its debts and being forced to leave the Eurozone, the Guardian reports.

Sitting at the Table

Time Warner Cable and Comcast Corp. executives are expected to meet with officials from the Justice Department Monday to discuss the proposed $45.2 billion merger of the two companies, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Big Purchase

Massachusetts-based arms maker Raytheon Co. has announced it will buy cybersecurity provider Websense Inc. in San Diego from San Francisco private equity firm Vista Equity Partners LLC for $1.9 billion, Reuters reports.

Racing On

“Furious 7” is racing to a record, hitting $1.15 billion worldwide and topping the box office for a third weekend, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 209 points in Monday morning trading to 18,035. The S&P 500 was up 17 points to 2,098. The Nasdaq was up 40 points to 4,971. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 230.

Hefty Lease Deal Has Brokers Bullish on ‘Other Valley’s’ Prospects

The year is off to a strong start for the San Gabriel Valley, where its commercial real estate market is once again demonstrating prerecession activity.

Medical School Graduates’ Second Opinion: M.B.A.s

HEALTH CARE: Business degrees offer shot in arm to varied careers in medicine.

Medical school graduates check into M.B.A. programs to bolster business careers in medicine.

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Reel Teaser

Film, TV work drives Trailer Park’s draw with brands

Trailer Park has leveraged its knowledge of TV and film promotion to hitch up to brands pursuing creative videos.

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Wrong Prescription

Charles Crumpley renders a second opinion on the state attorney general’s decision regarding a hospital sale.


Upcoming conventions

Calendar of Events

Upcoming events

Landlords in Money as Asking Rents Recover to Prerecession Highs

The South Bay industrial market has rebounded to the point that average asking rents have matched prerecession highs.

Studio Lease Lifts Burbank; Glendale Continues to Take Back Space

The Tri-Cities submarket saw some of the county’s largest deals last quarter, as investors and tenants alike committed to the area.

Brokers Look Forward to New Developments as Supply Dwindles

It might be small, but the Santa Clarita Valley office submarket is punching above its weight.

6300 Wilshire Talk, Departure of E! Boosts Profile of Miracle Mile

While the klieg lights were shining in Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles for awards season, Miracle Mile was getting ready for its close-up as the E! Entertainment space at Tishman Speyer’s Wilshire Courtyard complex, 5700-50 Wilshire Blvd., hit the market and word of a deal for 6300 Wilshire sent ripples of anticipation up and down the corridor.

Submarket Notches Two Years of Steady or Declining Vacancies

The first quarter was a watershed for the San Fernando Valley’s commercial submarket. For the eighth consecutive quarter, vacancies either declined or remained steady in the Valley’s office sector.

Property Owners Push Up Rents Despite Rare Negative Absorption

Absorption. It’s not sexy, but it’s one of the key through-lines in the first-quarter Westside story.

Lesser-Quality Product Struggling in Face of Development Projects

After a strong finish last year, Hollywood’s office market took it easy in the first quarter.

Property Owners Turn to Creative Options as Submarket Slows

Downtown Los Angeles continued its tepid recovery in the first quarter of 2014 as developers bet on its future as a bastion of creative office space.

Sale, Lease Activity Continues to Bolster Recovery

Large sale and lease deals across Los Angeles County last quarter helped further cement the notion that the county’s office market has recovered.

SPECIAL REPORT: Building costs

While construction booms, bills zoom as higher pay for experienced personnel pushes up price of projects.

Rising labor costs work to drive up expenses as momentum builds for more multifamily projects.

Oil Firms Pumped Up to Fight Ban on Fracking

ENERGY: Industry groups ready to file suit if city of L.A. proposal goes through.

Oil industry opposition to a proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” in the city of Los Angeles has ramped up, as trade groups have threatened to sue if such a ban is enacted.

Founder of Small Firm Finds Way Back to Big Law

ACQUISITION: Integer’s Gregory Evans, staff join up with McGuireWoods in deal.

When Gregory Evans left his post as an equity partner at Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy in 2010 to found Integer Law Corp., he was looking for an opportunity to become his own boss.

Video-Editing App Proves Cut Above for Investor

INTERNET: Developer says Ferris eventually won over Upfront’s Mark Suster.

When music-video director and tech entrepreneur Paul Boukadakis landed a pitch meeting with Upfront Ventures partner Mark Suster in early 2014, he knew it would be a tall order to convince the famed venture capitalist that his mobile video app was the next big thing.

New Accounts, Hires Put Deutsch LA in Top Spot

ADVERTISING: Playa Vista agency looking for more space after hiring spree.

It’s almost a game of musical chairs at the offices of Playa Vista ad agency Deutsch LA: The firm has hired so many employees lately that some of them are having to share desks.

Aerospace Company Doesn’t Pay for Overbilling

MANUFACTURING: Strong earnings report offsets bad news from Ducommun.

Ducommun’s shares get a big lift from the aerospace firm’s full-year and fourth-quarter earnings.

Union Group Chief to Wage Pay-Hike Campaign

POLITICS: Rusty Hicks of labor federation backs bigger increase than L.A. mayor’s.

Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s new chief, Rusty Hicks, says a minimum-wage hike will pay off in more jobs.

Re-Evaluation Tough to Swallow for Drug Maker

BIOTECH: Arrowhead’s shares tumble after new analyst lowers target price.

Arrowhead Research’s stock hits a rough patch after a new analyst lowered target price.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

20th Century Props, a film industry prop maker has signed a lease deal valued at $896,367 for a Van Nuys warehouse with landlord Simon Cohen.

Ex-Mayor Pushes It With Trainer

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is certainly fit for whatever challenge he takes on next – at least physically.

Site Joins Hunt For Job Seekers

RampUp helps health care workers while hiding their searches from current boss.

Website RampUp nurses health care job seekers’ hunts while keeping searches hidden.

Kicking Luxury Into High Gear

Fast Toys Club’s event to put public behind wheel of exotic, expensive cars.

Fast Toys Club looks to buckle up fans of fancy cars with its driving tour of Los Angeles.

Quake Movie Takes Crack At Summer Ticket Sales

FILM: ‘San Andreas’ looks to shift focus from march of superheroes, sequels.

Quake movie “San Andreas” hopes to generate shock waves at the box office as it battles superhero tales and sequels.

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Split Decision

REAL ESTATE: Furniture maker buys Rosemead portion of former Wham-O lot shared with San Gabriel home project.

Buyer of industrial building that’s in two cities splits the structure in two and pursues different strategies for each side.

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Investor Betting on Troubled Bank

LENDING: Alex Meruelo looks to vault NCAL into billion-dollar tier.

Alex Meruelo is ready to invest in transforming troubled NCAL Bancorp into the base of a larger institution.

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Sunday, April 19

Payment App Short on Cash

FINANCE: Virtual Piggy’s fate muddy as reserves dwindle.

Developer of online payment system for kids Virtual Piggy in search of money as cash dwindles.

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Medical Site Alive, Kicking

INTERNET: Ex-partner sues over project reportedly killed.

Ex-partner in medical website checks back in with a big bill, claiming he was told the venture was dead.

Friday, April 17

L.A. Launch List: April 17

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. tech launches.

L.A. Launch List: April 17

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. tech launches.

County’s Unemployment Drops to 7.6 Percent

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.6 percent in March as the county added 28,400 jobs, according to state figures released Friday.

Mattel Wants Your Help to Reinvent Toys

With declining sales of its core brands and a new focus on innovation, El Segundo toy maker Mattel Inc. is calling on the public to help it invent new toys.

True Religion Subcontractors Arraigned on Insurance Fraud Charges

Two subcontractors working with Vernon denim company True Religion Apparel Inc. were scheduled to make a court appearance Friday following their arrest earlier this week on workers’ compensation fraud charges.

L.A. Venture Capital Investment is Up

Venture capital investment in Los Angeles and Orange counties nearly tripled to $1.6 billion in the first quarter, according to the Money Tree report released Friday by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and the National Venture Capital Association.

Kite Pharma, California Resources Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell slightly for the week. The weighted LABJ index fell less than 1 percent to close at 229, with losers outpacing gainers 95 to 55. Seven companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 279 points in Friday trading to close at 17,826. The S&P 500 fell 24 points to 2,081. The Nasdaq fell 76 points to 4,932. The LABJ Stock Index fell three points to 229.

Nestdrop Expands Medical Marijuana Delivery to 10 New Cities

A legal battle with the Los Angeles city attorney isn’t slowing Nestdrop down.


Did L.A. school officials comply with legal restrictions when they used bond funds to pay for the district’s now abandoned $1.3-billion iPads-for-all project? That’s the question the Securities and Exchange Commission is now informally investigating, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lawsuit Over Layoffs

American Apparel employees are not taking the recent layoffs of nearly 200 lightly as they are now suing the downtown L.A. apparel maker, with the help of ousted founder Dov Charney’s attorney. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.

Push for Drought Relief

Desperate times call for desperate measures, as California lawmakers are now pushing legislation to try to speed up the construction of water storage facilities, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Neverending Drama

The Sony Pictures hacking scandal is back in the headlines, as leaked information from the the studio has now been republished by Wikileaks, a move Sony condemns, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Unfair Advantage?

If you wondered why you couldn’t catch your favorite flick at the neighborhood movie house, here’s why: the big theater chains have exclusivity deals with studios that place limits on the number of theaters that can screen some movies, a policy that is now facing scrutiny from the Department of Justice, Deadline reports.

Making a Deal

Congress may be closer to a Pacific Rim trade deal after leaders reached a bipartisan agreement Thursday, helping President Barack Obama reach his foreign policy goals but possibly pitting him against some in his own party, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bloomberg Outage

Morning traders had a shock on Friday when Bloomberg’s popular trading terminals experienced a worldwide outage, causing a U.K. treasury auction to be postponed, CNBC reports.

Verizon Unbundles

Verizon Communications Inc. will soon offer its customers new TV packages, allowing them to buy only certain groups of channels they want to watch, in a move the company hopes will help it stay ahead of competition from streaming services, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Force is in Anaheim

Star Wars fans. There’s nobody quite like them, as the city of Anaheim is finding out this weekend with the kickoff of the biennial “Star Wars” Celebration, which is expected to draw 45,000 fans to the area, the New York Times reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 265 points in Friday morning trading to 17,841. The S&P 500 was down 24 points to 2,081. The Nasdaq was down 76 points to 4,932. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 229.

Thursday, April 16

Through Charney Attorney, Workers Sue American Apparel Over Layoffs

American Apparel Inc.’s recent layoffs of nearly 200 workers have sparked another backlash from employees, this one in the form a lawsuit against the downtown L.A. apparel maker.

True Religion Subcontractors Charged With Insurance Fraud

The California Insurance Commissioner announced Thursday that two subcontractors working with Vernon denim company True Religion Apparel Inc. and their accountant had been arrested and charged on 18 felony charges. The three are accused of having engaged in a conspiracy to conceal hundreds of employees and $78.5 million in payroll to avoid paying workers’ compensation premiums and payroll taxes.

Mattel’s Shares Rise on Mixed Earnings

Shares of El Segundo toymaker Mattel Inc. climbed 7 percent in after-hours trading Thursday, following the company’s release of first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ revenue expectations, but fell short on net-income estimates.

Ports Saw Cargo Surge in March

The amount of cargo flowing through the local ports surged last month as tentative labor agreement reached in late February and operational changes at the harbor eased the gridlock that had gripped the ports for the past several months.

Katzenberg Takes Pay Cut

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg took a 53 percent cut in his salary in 2014 after not receiving performance-based incentives, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell seven points in Thursday trading to close at 18,106. The S&P 500 fell two points to 2,105. The Nasdaq fell three points to 5,008. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 232.

No Easy Sell

More than 200 letters of complaint have already been sent to state regulators over their plans to reduce water usage statewide in order to enforce Gov. Jerry Brown's mandated 25 percent water reductions, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A Browner Beverly Hills

And those statewide water reductions may mean goodbye to Beverly Hills' lush, manicured lawns as even the wealthy are forced to cut back, Yahoo reports.

The Push Back

Allowing Uber and Lyft to pick up passengers from Los Angeles International Airport, as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is proposing, is not sitting well with local taxi companies, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Protesting for Higher Wage

They marched, chanted and showed up in droves as nearly 1,000 fast-food workers flooded downtown Los Angeles Wednesday as part of a nationwide protest, calling for a $15 minimum wage, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Big Payback?

Filmmaker George Lucas' Marin County neighbors may have been upset when he wanted to expand his Skywalker Ranch studio, but Lucas may be one-upping them with his new plans for one of the biggest affordable housing projects in the Bay Area, KPIX reports.

Was Shelly Just Shaming V.?

After ruling that V. Stiviano, the companion of ex-Clippers owner Donald Sterling, must return $2.6 million in gifts from him, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge blasted his wife, Shelly Sterling, for the amount of money she spent suing Stiviano, whom the judge said has seen the end of her "15 minutes of fame," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Japan Bumps China

Move over China. Japan is now the biggest foreign owner of U.S. Treasury debt, according to the Treasury Department, the Associated Press reports.

Good News and Bad

Jobless claims nationwide unexpectedly rose last week, but the total number of people actually receiving unemployment benefits is the lowest it's been since December 2000, CNBC reports.

Etsy Goes Public

Etsy, the e-commerce marketplace for vintage and handmade offerings, is set for a $267-million IPO with its stock market debut Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 15 points in Thursday morning trading to 18,095. The S&P 500 was down four points to 2,103. The Nasdaq was down three points to 5,008. The LABJ stock index was flat at 231.

Wednesday, April 15

Snapchat Presses Pause on First Advertising Product

Snapchat of Venice has put its first advertising product “Brand Stories” on hold.

City Might Run Greek Theatre

In the latest twist in the saga of who will get to operate the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, a city commission on Wednesday voted to not extend its contract with operator Nederlander Concernts and to instead turn over operation of the venue to the city.

Macerich Pressured to Reconsider Simon Bid

Investors are leaning on Santa Monica’s Macerich Co. to reconsider a buyout offer from rival mall operator Simon Property Group of Indianapolis.

Appeals Court Approves Wal-Mart Store

A state appeals court has decided in favor of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s proposal to build a superstore in Burbank.

Life Science Incubator Finds Home in Monrovia

Fledgling life science incubator Lab Launch Inc. has signed a lease for almost 11,000 square feet in the heart of Monrovia.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 76 points in Wednesday trading to close at 18,113. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 2,107. The Nasdaq rose 34 points to 5,011. The LABJ stock index rose one point to 230.

Snuffing Out Underage Smoking

California could become the first state to raise the smoking age as lawmakers are backing proposals that would raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 21 as well as hike cigarette taxes by $2 a pack, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Garcetti’s Promises

In his State of the City address on Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti promised to make Los Angeles a greener and safer city that pays a higher minimum wage and is welcoming to businesses, KPCC reports.

Speaking Out

More than 140 people spoke out at a Public Utilities Commission hearing to protest the proposed merger of Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable, saying it would hurt state consumers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fighting the Drought

The chairwoman of California's Water Resources Control Board Felicia Marcus is determined to fight the drought as the state’s top water regulator, the Los Angeles Times reports. The board is scheduled to issue new regulations on Friday, requiring many Californians to use 25 percent less water.

Hand It Over

Revenge may be sweet for the wife of ex-Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling as a Los Angeles judge has issued a tentative decision ordering Sterling’s companion, V. Stiviano, to return more than $2.6 million in gifts and cash she received from the former NBA team owner to his wife, Shelly Sterling, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bank of America Posts Profit

After a surprise loss a year ago when it took charge of $6 billion for litigation expenses, Bank of America has posted a first-quarter profit, CNBC reports.

Kerry Confident in Obama on Iran

Secretary of State John Kerry says he is confident President Obama can get a nuclear deal approved by Congress after the President said lawmakers would have the power to review the agreement, Reuters reports.

Google Charged By EU

Did Google Inc. cheat its competitors? The European Union thinks so as it has accused the company of distorting Internet search results in favor of its shopping service, Reuters reports. The EU has also launched another antitrust investigation into Google’s Android mobile operating system.

Nokia Buys Alcatel-Lucent

Nokia has signed on the dotted line to buy its rival, the telecommunications-equipment firm Alcatel-Lucent in an all-stock deal, valuing the French company at $16.6 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NBC’s Reign Ends

After a strong couple of months, “NBC Nightly News” has come in second to ABC’s “World News Tonight” for two weeks in a row as the most watched evening newscast in the nation, Deadline reports. ABC reportedly beat NBC by 228,000 viewers last week.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 93 points in Wednesday morning trading to 18,129. The S&P 500 was up 10 points to 2,106. The Nasdaq was up 18 points to 4,996. The LABJ stock index was up two points to 230.

Tuesday, April 14

The L.A. Dodgers Launch Tech Accelerator

The Los Angeles Dodgers are getting into the game of building tech companies with the launch of an accelerator.

L.A. Airline Catering Workers Strike Outside Kitchen

Saying they don’t have enough tools or manpower to do their work, about 175 employees of Chicago, Ill. airline catering company Flying Food Group protested Tuesday outside one of the company’s kitchens in Los Angeles.

Anthem’s California Chief Departs

The president of Anthem Blue Cross in California is leaving the insurer for a different gig in the health care industry.

World’s Fair Crowdfunding Its Way to Los Angeles

A group of business owners, executives and county officials want to bring a world’s fair to Los Angeles, and they’re starting their campaign with a fundraising drive on crowdfunding site Indiegogo.

Location Filming Declines in First Quarter

Location filming in the Los Angeles area dropped 3 percent in the first quarter of 2015, with the biggest decrease coming from feature film production, according to a report released Tuesday by FilmL.A.

Ares to Trim Stake in Smart & Final

With shares of warehouse grocer Smart & Final Stores Inc. up more than 50 percent since the company’s initial public offering last year, the chain’s biggest shareholder is taking some of its chips off the table.

Surf Air Expands to Four New Cities, Adds Leisure Travel

Citing growing capacity and demand, Surf Air is expanding to four more cities for business and leisure travel.

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Soho-Adjacent Site Downtown Trades for $11.5 Million

In addition to attracting bold-face names, London private club Soho House, which opened a West Hollywood outpost in 2010, has apparently become a magnet for real estate investment.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 60 points in Tuesday trading to close at 18,037. The S&P 500 rose three points to 2,096. The Nasdaq fell 11 points to 4,977. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 229.

Water: Use Less, Pay More

Get ready for water rationing as the Metropolitan Water District’s planning committee is recommending reducing water deliveries by an average of 15 percent which could lead to higher rates, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Less Pain at the Pump

Ready for a road trip this summer? Expect to pay less as gas prices should be the lowest in a decade, according to, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

More County Jobs

More jobs are on the way primarily for social workers, nurses and sheriff’s deputies as Los Angeles County officials just voted to fund 1,300 positions as part of a proposed $26.9 billion budget, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Zillow Shares Halted

Shares of Zillow were halted Tuesday morning in pre-market trading after a company conference call included guidance substantially below Wall Street estimates, CNBC reports.

Expensive Drugs

Those trips to the pharmacy added up for consumers last year as spending nationwide on prescription drugs jumped 13 percent up to $374 billion, thanks in part to new, expensive Hepatitis C drugs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Nice Boost for Big Bank

The biggest bank in the country, JPMorgan Chase and Co., just got a big boost as profit is up 12 percent, beating analysts’ estimates, Bloomberg reports.

Yet More Time for Iran Nuke Deal?

Secretary of State John Kerry is asking Congress for more time, about two and half months, to make a nuclear deal with Iran, Reuters reports. Kerry has already met with the House of Representatives and is expected to brief the Senate on Tuesday.

The Power of the Pope

The “Pope Francis effect,” which includes repeated references to the devil, has helped cause a recent surge in exorcisms, the Telegraph reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 61 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,917. The S&P 500 was down eight points to 2,084. The Nasdaq was down 33 points to 4,955. The LABJ stock index was down one point at 228.

Monday, April 13

Short on Cash, Sales Virtual Piggy May Be Eyeing Sale

With little cash left on hand, Virtual Piggy of Hermosa Beach announced it has hired investment bank Viant Capital “to explore strategic alternatives.”

Arrowhead Shares Rise on Study Greenlight

Shares of biopharmaceutical company Arrowhead Research Corp. rose 1.1 percent to $8 Monday on news that the Food and Drug Administration has greenlit a new clinical study of the Pasadena firm’s most advanced drug candidate.

Orange Line Conversion is Too Pricey

Converting the Orange Line busway into light rail would cost at least $1.2 billion and should not be pursued until ridership grows, according to a study by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Capstone Turbine Eliminates Three Executive Positions

Struggling Capstone Turbine Corp. has eliminated three executive positions in a management shakeup expected to reduce expenses.

Second Geffen, Mani Malibu Deal Hits Record Price

Billionaire entertainment titan David Geffen and West Hollywood investor Mani Bros. Real Estate Group have continued their Malibu swapathon.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 81 points in Monday trading to close at 17,977. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 2,092. The Nasdaq fell eight points to 4,988. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 229.

Possible Pall Over State of the City

As Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti puts the finishing touches on tomorrow’s State of the City speech, city workers could cast a pall over the address with the threat of a strike, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Shake, Rattle, Roll

If you felt some shaking and rattling Sunday night, you’re not alone as a 3.5 earthquake struck about a half mile from Baldwin Hills in South Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Solution to Water Woes?

Will Southern California be able to tap into the ocean to solve our drought problems? We may soon find out as a $1 billion desalination plant is under construction in San Diego County and could open in November, the New York Times reports.

Candidates Line Up to Succeed Antonovich

Termed-out Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s hotly contested seat has already drawn seven candidates even though Antonovich won’t actually leave office until the end of next year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Doctors’ Strike Will Not Close UC Clinics

Student health centers will remain open as doctors walk picket lines over stalled contract negotiations, according to university officials, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sears Teams Up with Simon Property Group

Illinois-based Sears Holdings Corp. has joined formed a joint venture with Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., transferring 10 of its properties, valued at $228 million, to the new entity, Bloomberg reports.

Sprint Will Test Home Deliveries

Don’t bother dropping by your local Sprint store for a new cell phone as the company will soon test hand delivering them, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Breaking Records

‘Furious 7’ roared into the lead again over the weekend, making nearly $61 million at theaters and bringing the box-office total to $252.5 million, according to studio estimates, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 42 points in Monday morning trading to 18,099. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,107. The Nasdaq was up 26 points to 5,022. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 230.

Tips on How to Pay Staff

California should table a proposal to exempt tipped wait staff from minimum-wage hikes, write Claudia Lopez, Estefanie Lopez and Hassan Del Campo Nicholas.

Second-Half Run

Life’s midpoint offers baby boomers opportunity to evaluate, refocus personal, career priorities.

Rod Stewart sees life’s second half as full of promise for baby boomers.

Possible Protections Against Impossible Customers

The impossible customer is a scary possibility for any business, warns Steve McFarland.

Expanding Hollywood’s Small Picture

Arena Cinema makes a little room for indie films, healthy snacks.

Arena Cinema sees a big opening to serve indie movie lovers with its microvenue and healthy snacks.

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Jamison gets creative in bid to woo tech firms, boost rep

The daughter of Jamison Properties’ founder looks to connect with L.A.’s tech scene by expanding into creative space.

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Bread Maker Eyes Roll for Northeast

FOOD: King’s Hawaiian hopes to find sweet spot in new market.

King’s Hawaiian undergoes a sea change in sweet-roll sales strategy as it expands into the Northeast.

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Medical Imaging Firm Likes Look of Sales Deal

DISTRIBUTION: Radlink teams with DePuy Synthes to push implant system.

When Radlink Inc. decided it was ready to make a marketing push for its operating room imaging system, the 26-person El Segundo company enlisted a sales force of 2,400. But it didn’t hire a soul and actually made money in the process.

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Geffen Sells Second Malibu Site to Mani Bros.

INVESTMENT: Price for beachfront multifamily shatters per-unit record.

Billionaire entertainment titan David Geffen and West Hollywood investor Mani Bros. Real Estate Group have continued their Malibu swapathon.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Shipper Will Box Up HQ, Move to Long Beach

RELOCATION: Nautilus breaks ground on larger facility adjacent to airport.

Nautilus International Holding Corp. is bursting at the seams at its current home in Wilmington, so the stevedoring and terminal management company, which traces its history back more than 150 years, is building a headquarters in Long Beach’s Douglas Park to handle the growth that it expects to come from future acquisitions.

Money Manager’s App Declares War on Robots

INVESTMENT: Chief exec of Gerber Kawasaki promises customers real-life advisers.

Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management in Santa Monica is the latest money management firm to adopt an automated financial adviser product.

‘Lego’ Duo Pieces Together Alternate Project Slate

MOVIES: Writer-directors pass on sequels to pursue range of creative endeavors.

Everything is not awesome for the “Lego Movie” franchise now that the co-directors of the smash hit Warner Bros. film have decided against directing the planned sequels.

‘American Idol’ Cues Up Mentor for Record Revival

TV: Fading reality contest turns to Taylor Swift adviser to help scale music charts.

“American Idol” brings in Taylor Swift adviser to tune up record sales for the reality competition’s performers.

Small Business Administrator Sees Big Role to Play

LENDING: Cabinet member talks jump to private sector, L.A.’s bank consolidation.

Small Business Administration’s Maria Contreras-Sweet discusses how her agency sows seed money.

Mall Owner Sold on Neighboring Masonic Temple

REAL ESTATE: Rick Caruso plans to refashion property as mixed-use building.

Caruso Affiliated strikes a deal for Glendale’s Masonic Temple, stays mum on tenant plans.

Wi-Fi Provider Details Deals to Investors’ Delight

INTERNET: Boingo shares rise after analyst praises strength of revenue sources.

Boingo Wireless’ breakdown of financial details helps the Wi-Fi provider’s shares break out on Wall Street.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

IPC Healthcare Inc., a North Hollywood-based provider of doctors and nurses to health care facilities, has acquired Geriatrics Associates, an Albuquerque, N.M., provider of doctors to nursing homes and hospices.

Beginners for First Time Again

Samantha Barbera found herself rocking out, again, at the Austin, Texas, music festival South by Southwest last month.

Pizza Shop Offers Slice Of Midwest

Former Detroit Lions player looks to tackle market in Los Angeles.

Ex-football pro hopes to score L.A. customers with Midwest-style Happy’s Pizza shop.

Dialing Up Power For Smartphones

Nanotech Energy gets line on business with UCLA supercapacitors.

Nanotech Energy looks to ring up sales to smartphone makers with its long-lasting supercapacitors.

Buses, Retailers Look for Break

TOURISM: Shops fear drop-off if Beverly Hills relocates stops.

Rodeo Drive businesses fear relocation of tour bus loading zones risks driving off potential customers.

Venice Mulls BID for Safety

COMMERCE: Violent transient attack may boost call for district.

Venice café owner’s violent loss of a finger may help the funky neighborhood gain a business improvement district.

Sunday, April 12

Capital Gain?

FINANCE: Local tech executives divided over whether changes to crowdfunding rules will pay off in more money for startups.

Local tech execs are split on whether new crowdfunding rules will link startups with investors.

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Attorneys Hack Away at Cybersecurity Exposure

LAW: Attack on Sony spurs business for field that had taken while to click.

Computer attack on Sony has helped cybersecurity attorneys bring new business on line.

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Friday, April 10

Accounting, Worker Errors Behind Ducommun’s Reporting Delays

After delaying the release of its fourth quarter and annual earnings twice, aerospace and defense manufacturer Ducommun Inc. of Carson released its earnings and explained on a conference call Friday that the company had to recalculate and restate certain financial data because of internal errors.

L.A.’s Chief Technology Officer Resigns

Steve Reneker, chief technology officer and general manager of L.A.’s Information Technology Agency said he would resign May 1, leaving to take a similar job in Riverside County, where he lives.

American Apparel to Add Paid Holidays

Production workers at American Apparel Inc. in downtown Los Angeles will now receive paid holidays, a first for the company.

Former Wham-O, Sriracha Factory Gets New Lease on Life

Olson Co., the largest residential developer in San Gabriel, has sold part of the property that used to house the Wham-O toy factory and was later occupied by Sriracha maker Huy Fong Foods.

Ikea Paid $46 Million for Property in Burbank

Home furnishing retailer Ikea paid $46 million for the 22-acre Burbank site where it has begun demolition in preparation for constructing its largest U.S. store.

Second Sight, Staar Surgical Among Week’s Big Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies rose for the week. The weighted LABJ index climbed 2 percent to close at 230, with winners outpacing gainers 84 to 66. Seven companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 99 points in Friday trading to close at 18,058. The S&P 500 rose 11 points to 2,102. The Nasdaq rose 21 points to 4,996. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 230.

L.A. Launch List: April 10

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. tech launches.

Spare the Rod?

State water officials are debating whether stern measures should be imposed to ensure residents will conserve water, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Teaming Up

Warner Bros. Entertainment and the Lego Group hope that if you liked the “Lego Movie,” you’ll love “Lego Dimensions,” a new interactive game the companies have teamed up to make that combines digital gaming with the brick toys, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Good News for Ports

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are making headway in clearing out months of congestion, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California, with fewer ships left idling at sea, the Long Beach Press Telegram reports.

Low Ratings

Two stadium sellouts greeted the Los Angeles Dodgers at the opening of the 2015 season, but Opening Day ratings on the team-owned cable channel, SportsNet LA, didn’t come close to a home run, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Record Fine

The California Public Utilities Commission is slapping Pacific Gas & Electric Co. with a record $1.6 billion fine, questioning the utility’s commitment to safety after violating state and federal pipeline safety standards it says led to the explosion of a natural gas transmission line in 2010. The blast killed eight and leveled parts of a San Bruno neighborhood, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Richard Dreyfuss Sues Disney

Actor Richard Dreyfuss is suing the Walt Disney Co., saying it has denied him the opportunity to audit the books for the film “What About Bob?,” in which he had profit participation, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

That Queasy Feeling

If motion sickness isn’t your thing, you may want to steer clear of self-driving, robotic cars. A study from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute says that while the cars free people to read, text or watch videos while riding, these activities can also lead to motion sickness for some, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 40 points in Friday morning trading to 17,999. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,096. The Nasdaq was up six points to 4,980. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 228.

Thursday, April 9

Mattel Discloses Stockton Was Fired

In a late January press release, El Segundo toymaker Mattel Inc. announced the resignation of Chairman and Chief Executive Bryan Stockton.

JibJab Dances Into Marina

JibJab Bros. Studios, a digital media production company known for comical e-cards, has relocated from Venice into a 21,000-square-foot Class C freestanding office in Marina del Rey.

Dentons, McKenna Long to Merge This Year

Law firms Dentons US and McKenna Long & Aldridge will merge later this year, the firms announced late yesterday.

Briefs: City Attorney’s Office Closes 500 Medical Marijuana Shops, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. to launch Comic-Con channel

Feuer Touts Medical Marijuana Store Closures Around 500 medical marijuana shops have been closed by the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office over the past 12 months, City Attorney Mike Feuer announced on Thursday.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 56 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,959. The S&P 500 rose nine points to 2,091. The Nasdaq rose 24 points to 4,975. The LABJ stock index rose one point to 229.

Zefr Takes to SoundCloud, Platforms

YouTube video and music copyright management firm Zefr is spreading to new platforms.

No Place is Sacred

Water conservation rules aren’t just for your lawn anymore: California officials will now set limits for water flow for all new toilets, urinals and faucets as part of the statewide water cuts, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Yes Vote to Vaccinations

After an almost four-hour hearing, a state Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would make it harder for parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children when they’re enrolled in school, the Sacramento Bee reports.

On His Own Terms

Iran’s supreme leader said in a televised speech on Thursday that his country will only sign a nuclear accord with the United States and other world powers if all sanctions imposed on Iran are lifted the same day, Reuters reports.

Retaking the Reins

The games are over at San Francisco’s Zynga Inc. as Mark Pincus, the founder of the mobile-games company, is retaking his post as chief executive, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Higher Fees on the Way?

Your monthly internet bill could soon go up, thanks to the newly adopted net-neutrality rules, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Waiting for Payout

Downtown L.A. investment firm Oaktree Capital Management and a few other private equity firms are still waiting for their ship to come in: Firms that bought cargo ships and other commercial vessels at low prices over the past few years have yet to see those investments pay off as buyers are scarce and freight rates are falling, Bloomberg reports.

Cheaper Tesla

If you’ve been admiring Tesla’s sleek electric cars from afar, now may be your chance to own one: A a new version of Tesla’s Model S sedan, the 70D, carries a cheaper price tag of less than $70,000, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Walgreens to Close 200 Stores

Despite a better-than-expected quarterly profit, Chicago-based Walgreens Boots Alliance has announced it will close around 200 stores nationwide as a way to help save $1.5 billion by the end of 2017, the New York Times reports.

China is a Girl’s Best Friend

Step aside, Mickey Mouse: Mini Marilyn, a cartoon version of Marilyn Monroe, is about to be unveiled in China, thanks to a deal struck between DMG Entertainment, a Chinese film company and New York-based Authentic Brands Group, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was down seven points in Thursday morning trading to 17,896. The S&P 500 was flat at 2,082. The Nasdaq was up one point to 4,952. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 228.

Wednesday, April 8

20,000 Green Jobs Among Garcetti’s Environmental Goals

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday announced an ambitious plan to make the city more environmentally sustainable and to create 15,000 more “green” jobs by 2017.

Lions Gate’s Shares Tumble on Stock Sale, Guidance Update

Shares of Santa Monica studio Lions Gate Entertainment took a hit Wednesday, a day after the company’s biggest shareholder, Chairman Mark Rachesky’s MHR Fund Management, announced plans to sell a big chunk of its stake.

Garment Factory Manager Indicted on Bribery Charges

The manager of a La Puente clothing factory was indicted by a federal grand jury for offering bribes to a United States Department of Labor investigator as a way to get an investigation into wage violations closed.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 27 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,903. The S&P 500 rose six points to 2,082. The Nasdaq rose 41 points to 4,951. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 228.

Real Estate Crowdfunder Raises $23.6 Million

Patch of Land, a Los Angeles real estate loan website that raises money through crowdfunding, today announced a $23.6 million Series A funding round. Funding in the Series A round was led by SF Capital Group, with Ron Suber, president of Prosper Marketplace, participating. After issuing $17 million in short-term commercial real estate loans without a default, Patch of Land said it is ready to make its case to institutional lenders; financiers it believes are the key to its future.

Steep Water Cuts Coming

Get ready, the water cuts are coming. California regulators are proposing that cities with the highest rates of per-capita water consumption, including Newport Beach and Beverly Hills as well as some rural towns, should cut their water usage by as much as 35 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Trouble for PG&E

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. could face a $1.6 billion penalty for violating both state and federal natural gas pipeline standards, which led to a natural gas explosion in San Bruno nearly five years ago, killing eight people and injuring dozens of others, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Waging War on Unlicensed Payday Lenders

Microsoft and Google are coming to the aid of state officials to help block Internet ads by unlicensed payday lenders, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Good News for Gas Prices

Time to gear up for those summer road trips. Gas prices could drop to an average of $2.45 a gallon between now and September, according to a report released by the U.S. Energy Department, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Small Show of Support

About one-third of Republicans polled support an Iran nuclear deal, Reuters reports.

Big Buyout

Royal Dutch Shell is ramped up to buy the BG group for nearly $70 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Rand Paul Revs Up

Republican presidential contender Rand Paul is kicking off his campaign to the White House by visiting New Hampshire, the Associated Press reports.

It's Over

No more laughing at Rob Lowe’s alter egos on the popular DirecTV commercials. The El Segundo company ended the successful campaign as complaints that its claims were misleading were detailed in a report, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 64 points in Wednesday morning trading to 17,939. The S&P 500 was up seven points to 2,082. The Nasdaq was up 28 points to 4,937. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 227.

Tuesday, April 7

AssetAvenue Raises $11 Million for Real Estate Lending Platform

AssetAvenue, a Los Angeles located online commercial real estate lender, said it had completed an $11 million Series A round to fuel growth and further develop its products. The company crowdfunds investor money into commercial real estate loans for borrowers that traditional banks won’t fund.

SEC Charges L.A. Firm With Fraud Over Life Settlements

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday that it has charged Century City firm Pacific West Capital Group Inc. and its owner, Andrew Calhoun IV, with fraud related to the sale of life settlements to investors.

Rocketdyne Receives $18 Million Space Flight Contract

Aerojet Rocketdyne received an $18 million NASA contract to develop an electric propulsion thruster that can be used on future unmanned deep-space missions.

Briefs: UCLA Study Rates L.A. a C+, Lions Gate’s Largest Shareholder Sells

UCLA Environmental Study Gives L.A. County a C+ Los Angeles County has work to do when it comes to the environment, according to a UCLA study released on Tuesday that rates the county’s environmental performance as a C+.

Foursquare Church Lists Echo Park Portfolio

The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, founded by evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson in 1923, put 14 of its properties in Echo Park up for sale last month.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell five points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,875. The S&P 500 fell four points to 2,076. The Nasdaq fell seven points to 4,910. The LABJ stock index was flat at 226.

Still in Testing, Hail Pay Is Snatched Up by Reserve

Restaurant reservation and meal payment app maker Reserve announced it had purchased Santa Monica restaurant payment app company Hail Pay for an undisclosed amount. Hail Pay was still being privately tested, but Reserve Chief Executive Greg Hong said the company’s group check splitting feature was impressive enough to make the deal worthwhile.

Caruso to Buy Glendale Masonic Temple

Caruso Affiliated has struck a deal to purchase the former Masonic Temple in Glendale and plans to repurpose it as a mixed-use building.

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Hollywood Stands Up

Hollywood is telling Democratic lawmakers to back President Obama’s pro-trade proposal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal that could benefit the entertainment industry, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Looking Good for L.A.

Los Angeles County will continue to post strong economic growth this year and in years to come, according to a report released this morning by Loyola Marymount University and Beacon Economics, the Los Angeles Business Journal reports.

Forecast: L.A. Economy to Continue Strong Growth This Year

The Los Angeles County economy will continue its strong growth this year and beyond, according to a forecast to be released this morning from Loyola Marymount University and Beacon Economics.

Herbalife’s New Strategy

Downtown Los Angeles supplement company Herbalife is now selling its products on its website, a first for the multi-level marketing company, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Rand Paul is a Go

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is throwing his hat in the ring, declaring himself a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination for president, the New York Times reports.

Viacom Takes $785 Million Write-Down

After recent layoffs and restructuring, New York’s Viacom has announced it will take a $785 million pre-tax charge in the second fiscal quarter of this year, citing underperforming programming and restructuring expenses, the Wrap reports.

Fraternity Will Sue Rolling Stone

The University of Virginia fraternity named in a now rescinded Rolling Stone article, accusing its members of a gang rape on campus, has announced it will sue the magazine, the Associated Press reports.

New Faces Boost Dodgers on Opening Day

The Dodgers may have trailed through six innings in Monday’s game, but they came out victorious with a three-run home run in the eighth inning by newcomer Jimmy Rollins, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 54 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,935. The S&P 500 was up four points to 2,085. The Nasdaq was up 18 points to 4,934. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 227.

Monday, April 6

J2 Shopping Spree Continues

J2’s acquisition streak has continued unabated in the first quarter, as the Internet service provider said today it had added nine more companies to its portfolio.

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Metro Makes First ‘Business Interruption’ Payouts

A fund set aside by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to help businesses affected by the construction of transit projects made its first payments Monday, paying a combined $66,310 to four Crenshaw Boulevard businesses.

Disney, DreamWorks Antitrust Case is Dismissed

A federal court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc., Walt Disney Co. and several other media companies over allegations they broke antitrust laws by conspiring to not hire each other’s animators and visual effects artists in order to keep salaries down.

Mattel’s Stock Climbs on Dividend Prediction

El Segundo toymaker Mattel Inc.’s stock rose 6 percent in Monday trading after Linda Bolton Weiser, an analyst with Los Angeles-based B. Riley & Co., upgraded Mattel to a “buy.” Weiser had previously given the stock a neutral rating, according to Bloomberg.

Comic-Con’s WonderCon is Coming to Los Angeles

Los Angeles has long sought to woo Comic-Con, the blockbuster annual pop-culture convention, away from San Diego.

MakerSquare to Set Up Shop in Los Angeles

MakerSquare, a coding “boot camp” operator, has set its sights on Los Angeles and expects to launch its first set of classes in June. The company, based in Austin, Texas, is expected to sign a lease for space in Venice or Santa Monica in the coming weeks.

Law Firm Gets Creative – Space

Downtown L.A.’s PacMutual, which has been repositioned to appeal to creative office tenants, last month signed its second-largest lease with an unexpected tenant: a new law firm.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 118 points in Monday trading to close at 17,881. The S&P 500 rose 14 points to 2,081. The Nasdaq rose 30 points to 4,917. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 226.

More Trouble for Herbalife

Top Herbalife salespeople are being investigated by federal law enforcement agencies over their business practices, CNBC reports, and the downtown L.A. supplement company is offering them assistance in securing legal counsel.

Hardly a Home Run

When the Dodgers start the season today, most fans won’t be able to tune in - the second season in a row that a pricing dispute between Time Warner Cable and other providers has kept some 70 percent of area homes Dodgers-free, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Luck Runs Out

He may be known for such films as "Lucky Number Slevin," but producer Christopher Eberts is not feeling so lucky these days. Eberts pled guilty to 10 counts of a fraud and money laundering in a case related to a movie he said he was making that never materialized, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Far From the Truth

First, they stood behind it. Now they take it all back. Rolling Stone magazine has retracted its article on a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia, the New York Times reports.

Switzerland Not on Apple Bandwagon

The Apple Watch has hit a snafu in Switzerland as a patent issue is preventing the company from launching its smartwatch in that country until at least the end of this year, CNBC reports.

Ventas to Buy Ardent Medical Services for $1.75 Billion

Chicago-based Ventas Inc. has agreed to buy hospital operator Nashville’s Ardent Medical Services, Inc. for $1.75 billion in cash, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Furious Fortune

After breaking records by making $384 million its opening weekend, “Furious 7” could be on the road to making $1 billion for Universal Studios Inc., the only major Hollywood studio never to have a movie earn at least $1 billion at the box office, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 83 points in Monday morning trading to 17,846. The S&P 500 was up 10 points to 2,077. The Nasdaq was up 19 points to 4,906. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 227.

PacMutual Draws Startup With Different Brief

LEASING: Proximity to courts, creative space lure white-collar defense firm.

Downtown L.A.’s PacMutual building, which has been repositioned to appeal to creative office tenants, last month signed its second-largest lease with an unexpected tenant: a new law firm.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

PBB Bancorp, the parent of downtown L.A.’s Premier Business Bank, has joined the over-the-counter banking marketplace.

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Growth Drive

DEVELOPMENT: Can the BID behind Third Street Promenade steer Lincoln Boulevard businesses to similar success?

BID behind Third Street Promenade looks to put Lincoln Boulevard’s businesses on the map.

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Golf Course Owners Still in Hole

REAL ESTATE: Ex-Lehman exec among partners back in Chapter 11.

Lack of green forces Malibu Golf Club’s debt-laden ownership to file for Chapter 11, again.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Business Groups Battle Bill on Schedule Changes

RETAIL: State lawmaker pushes penalties for chains that don’t provide notice.

It’s shaping up as one of the biggest battles between business and labor in Sacramento this year: AB 357, brought by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, would enact a “Retail Workers Bill of Rights” modeled on a law recently passed in San Francisco.

Math-Science Campaign Could Add Up to Job

EMPLOYMENT: Team One uses educational promotion to learn about applicants.

Ad agency Team One in Playa Vista wants its new round of job applicants to ditch the traditional process of submitting a resume.

Music Startup Tunes Up Online Platform for Bands

INTERNET: WorldArts hits stage at South by Southwest festival to push service.

Culver City startup WorldArts Media Inc. is trying to fill a similar role to the one occupied by Myspace Music in the mid-2000s by giving bands an online platform to promote themselves, post a variety of content and interact with fans.

Judge Scales Back Claims on 840-Pound Emerald

LITIGATION: Setback for Brazil moves ownership fight closer to conclusion.

A long-running legal battle over ownership of the world’s largest emerald – a tale with more twists than a pulp novel – appears to be nearing a resolution.

Collapse of Stock a Game Changer for Toymaker

MANUFACTURING: Mattel faces new investors, volatility with loss of large-cap status.

Stock erosion for Barbie maker Mattel drops its market cap below that of rival Hasbro.

Multifamily Veteran Gets New Lease on Career

REAL ESTATE: Robert Hart discusses starting own firm, appeal of Class B apartments.

Multifamily maven Robert Hart discusses his move into his own investment firm and why he thinks lower-end apartments are top notch.

Oil Company Finds Backer but Investors Back Off

ENERGY: BreitBurn’s plan to cut distribution trumps $1 billion investment.

$1 billion investment in BreitBurn fails to light a fire under shares of the oil and gas company.

Facilities Manager Key to Broker’s Stock Bounce

REAL ESTATE: CBRE’s deal for GWS opens door to steady revenue stream.

Interest in CBRE’s stock picks up with the broker’s acquisition of a facilities management company.

Lawsuit Comes to Reel Life

When Brentwood lawyer E. Randol “Randy” Schoenberg decided to help a family friend retrieve a painting stolen by the Nazis during World War II, some joked that the tale could be made into a movie.

App Has Line On House Calls

Developer says Heal service provides scheduling boost to practitioners, patients.

Smartphone app Heal gives house-call service shot in the arm.

Movie Family Expands Frame

Auction of Goldwyns’ art collection offers look into life of ‘Hollywood royalty.’

Family looks to make a scene with auction of works collected by Hollywood legend Samuel Goldwyn Jr.

Clothing Firm Stretches Credit

FASHION: Suppliers in fits as American Apparel strays on pay.

Late payments and smaller orders have suppliers questioning the depth of American Apparel’s pockets.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Seeding the Future

A rush of angel and VC investment in L.A. means fast times for local tech startups, but speedbumps for the region’s once-hot accelerators.

An expanded field of seed money options is powering up startups while forcing accelerators to shift strategy gears.

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Saturday, April 4

System Puts Social Media To Work for Employers

INTERNET: SpringRole taps networks for data, feedback to identify job candidates.

SpringRole employs big data and social media to help tech companies find job candidates.

Is Bionic Vision Worth a Look?

BIOTECH: Second Sight eyes small market for pricey prosthetic.

A steep price and limited customer base may limit the big picture for Second Sight’s vision prosthetic.

Doesn’t Stack Up

Florida governor calls for poaching L.A.’s cargo business but Sunshine State just can’t handle it.

Florida’s cargo-coveting governor has gumption, but his state lacks infrastructure, writes John McLaurin.

Punched Up

DirecTV boxing dons high-tech gloves, ditches ring

DirecTV’s boxing series throws high-tech gloves into the ring – and throws out the ring.

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Friday, April 3

L.A. Tests Bluetooth-Enabled Parking Signs

To tackle public confusion around street parking restrictions, the City of Los Angeles announced Friday it will attach electronic beacons to 100 new parking signs as part of an experiment. The city envisions using the Bluetooth-equipped beacons to communicate parking restriction information to yet-to-be-developed apps for mobile phones and connected cars.

Disney Invests $250 Million in Sports Gambling Site

Walt Disney Co. is getting into the sports-betting business with a $250 million investment in Boston startup DraftKings Inc., according to media reports on Friday.

Dockworkers to Vote on Port Labor Deal

A longshore union caucus voted Friday to recommend approval of the West Coast port labor agreement reached in February, sending the deal on to rank-and-file union members for a vote next month.

SBE Heads to Mexico as Nazarian Returns

Days after Sam Nazarian’s return to SBE Entertainment Group, the company announced that it will be expanding into Mexico.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Publicly traded Santa Monica real estate investment firm Colony Financial Inc. announced Thursday that it has completed its combination with related Santa Monica private equity and investments firm Colony Capital.

CBRE, DreamWorks Among Week’s Big Movers

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

L.A. Launch List: April 3

The Los Angeles Business Journal brings you a weekly roundup of L.A. launches.

Battling It Out

Creative Artists Agency is not taking the mass exodus of at least 10 agents from its ranks lying down. The talent agency is now suing United Talent Agency and two former longtime agents who jumped ship for the smaller shop for organizing an “illegal and unethical conspiracy,” the New York Times reports.

The End is Near?

Perhaps, but whether that’s a good thing depends on your perspective. Iran and six world powers have hammered out a framework agreement on how to curb the Iran’s efforts to gain a nuclear weapon for at least a decade, Reuters reports.

Out with the Old

The California Film Commission has held its last film tax credit lottery, phasing out its old program to make way for a new one which aims to keep more film production in California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Sweet Deal

Sending a child to college just got sweeter for parents who make up to $125,000 as Stanford is now extending financial aid to those families, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Slowdown in Hiring

Just when the job creation numbers were looking good, March saw a slowdown in hiring with a gain of only 126,000 jobs, according to the U.S. Labor Department, the New York Times reports.

Bad Credit, No Problem

Good news for credit card consumers - maybe. Major banks are now raising borrowing limits, including for those without perfect credit, even though banks will now face higher risks as a result, the Los Angeles Times reports. Among those risks: unwise spending sprees.

Protesting Pay

Some employees are not lovin’ McDonald’s these days. Workers in L.A. and dozens of other cities nationwide held protests to voice displeasure with the fast food chain’s decision to give pay hikes only to those who work at company-owned locations and not franchises, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bidding Adieu

Michael DeLuca is saying farewell to his job as president of production at Sony’s Columbia Pictures and hello to producing movies for Universal Pictures, Variety reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 65 points in Friday morning trading to 17,763. The S&P 500 was up seven points to 2,067. The Nasdaq was up seven points to 4,887. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 226.

Thursday, April 2

Chicago’s Avant to Build R&D Team in Playa Vista

Fast growing online consumer lending company Avant of Chicago, fresh off the acquisition of online personal debt management company ReadyForZero, said it would be expanding its Los Angeles presence, making the region a hub for development of new products.

Interim Chief to Stay On at Mattel

El Segundo toymaker Mattel Inc. has named Christopher Sinclair as its new chief executive, the company announced Thursday.

Satellite Contractors Charged in Kickbacks Case

Six men were arrested this week for allegedly paying kickbacks to an official at a Boeing Co. subsidiary in El Segundo that supplies satellites and related parts to NASA and other federal government entities, the U.S. Department of Justice said Thursday.

Legendary Entertainment Seeking $700 Million Refinancing

Independent production company Legendary Entertainment is seeking $700 million to strengthen its film financing business, according to media reports on Thursday.

Forecast for Local Hiring Optimistic

Prospects for job seekers in Los Angeles look promising for the next six months.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 65 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,763. The S&P 500 rose seven points to 2,067. The Nasdaq rose seven points to 4,887. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 226.

Layoffs at Mattel

More than 100 employees have been laid off at El Segundo-based Mattel just months after its chief executive resigned following slow holiday-season sales, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Step on a Crack…

It’s hard not to. Los Angeles has pledged to spend $1.4 billion over the next 30 years to fix miles of broken sidewalks across the city after being sued by disabled locals who blamed the poor condition of the sidewalks on their inability to get around, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Chinese Connection in Herbalife Investigation?

Herbalife seems to make as much news as it makes nutritional supplements. Now the federal probe into the Los Angeles company is investigating whether it is violating China’s laws prohibiting pyramid sales due to claims made by hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Something New in DTLA

A historic neighborhood downtown is about to get a facelift as Chicago-based Equity Residential plans to build a $200-million, 33-story apartment tower just below Bunker Hill, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Still Stalled

Six world leaders claimed they made progress but there is no deal yet after overnight meetings about Iran’s nuclear program, Reuters reports.

Lawmakers Scramble to Change Law

Arkansas and Indiana lawmakers are now in a hurry to revise recent religious protection laws that critics say could be anti-gay, Yahoo News reports.

Stock Split Gone Bad

A stock split that aimed to guarantee that Google Chief Executive Larry Page and co-founder Sergey Brin maintained control of the company could cost Google more than $500 million, CNBC reports.

Raises at McDonald’s

Maybe it will pay to work at McDonald’s. About 90,000 workers will soon see their wages rise 10 percent and get vacation time, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The Pressure is On

Did he know, or didn’t he? Those are some of the questions facing the chief of Lufthansa in the wake of the investigation of the condition of the co-pilot who downed the Germanwings plane in the French Alps last week, the Wall Street Journal reports.

On the Market

If you want to live like a president, now’s your chance. President Nixon’s San Clemente house is about to hit the market for $75 million, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 72 points in Thursday morning trading to 17,774. The S&P 500 was up eight points to 2,067. The Nasdaq was up 11 points to 4,892. The LABJ stock index was up one point to 226.

Wednesday, April 1

MarketShare Purchases San Francisco Rival

Westwood’s MarketShare has purchased fellow marketing attribution company DataSong of San Francisco for an undisclosed amount. With the purchase, MarketShare will integrate DataSong’s software into its own, expand its employee count by 50 and grow its number of retail customers.

Struggling Mattel Dethroned – Again

Just a few months after Denmark’s Lego dethroned El Segundo’s Mattel Inc. as the world’s biggest toymaker by revenue, Mattel this week took another hit: On Monday, rival Hasbro Inc. of Pawtucket, R.I., surpassed Mattel’s market cap, becoming the most valuable publicly traded toy company.

Brown Orders State’s First Mandatory Water Cuts

It is a first for the state, but Gov. Jerry Brown said he had no choice but to issue mandatory water restrictions to force Los Angeles and other cities to reduce their use of drinking water by 25 percent.

FAA Will Track Helicopter Noise

The Federal Aviation Administration launched on Wednesday a new system for logging complaints about helicopter noise in Los Angeles County.

Burbank Passes Limits on ‘McMansions’

The Burbank City Council unanimously approved a temporary ordinance tightening restrictions on single-family home construction Tuesday after a contentious public hearing that stretched past midnight.

Pacshore, Canyon Make Creative Office Grab

Pacshore Partners, an L.A. real estate investment firm run by Philip Orosco, and Canyon Catalyst Fund, a joint venture between L.A.’s Canyon Capital Realty Advisors and California Public Employees’ Retirement System, have partnered to acquire creative office buildings in Malibu and Playa Vista in two separate transactions totaling $36 million.

Poll: Would you be more interested in boxing if matches were shorter, or resulted in more knockouts?

Every week the Los Angeles Business Journal asks readers their views on a variety of business and economic issues. A running tally is available on the site and later will be published in the Commentary section of our print edition. Our latest poll is available on the bottom right column of our home page.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 78 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,698. The S&P 500 fell eight points to 2,060. The Nasdaq fell 21 points to 4,880. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 225.

Rubicon Will Buy Chango to Go After ‘Intent Marketing’ Dollars

The Rubicon Project, an automated online advertising platform, announced an agreement Tuesday to buy online intent marketing business Chango for $122 million mostly in stock.

American Apparel Begins Layoffs

Layoffs have arrived at American Apparel as 180 employees, who mainly work in manufacturing, are starting to receive pink slips, according to American Apparel Chief Executive Paula Schneider, the New York Times reports.

Macerich Says ‘No, Thanks’

Santa Monica-based Macerich Co. has thumbed its nose at Simon Property Group Inc.’s “best and final” takeover bid of $16.8 million, so now Simon has withdrawn the offer to purchase its rival, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Raise the Wage?

Should the minimum wage be raised in the county? The L.A. County Board of Supervisors has taken a step in that direction by voting unanimously to at least study the issue, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Keeping Tabs on Krekorian

When it comes to paying off campaign debt and even personal loans, Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian is turning to special interest groups for help, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Prepare to Pay

Californians are paying up at the pump even though gas prices nationwide are down, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Money Talks

The Hollywood Reporter has signed a content deal for an undisclosed sum with Chinese online giant Tencent which is known to censor content, the New York Times reports.

Oil Baron Heir Andrew Getty Found Dead

Andrew Getty, the grandson of oil baron J. Paul Getty, has been found dead at his Hollywood Hills home, the Los Angeles Times reports.

‘Proceed with Caution,’ Republicans Say

President Obama’s plan for U.N. climate change could be an undone deal, Republicans are warning other countries, Yahoo News reports.

Video of Downed German Plane Discovered

Screams, shouts and utter chaos were all captured on video, thanks to a recently recov