Stories for June 2015

Tuesday, June 30

Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth Sells 10 Percent Stake for $200 Million

An investment from Allscripts Healthcare Solutions values Patrick Soon-Shiong’s health care IT firm NantHealth at $2 billion.

AeroVironment Posts Solid Earnings Amid Activist Push

Monrovia drone maker AeroVironment Inc. posted better-than-expected earnings Tuesday, thanks to strong sales of its unmanned aircraft.

Disney Names New CFO as Rasulo Steps Down

Walt Disney Co. on Tuesday named Christine McCarthy as its chief financial officer, replacing James A. “Jay” Rasulo, who is leaving the company after being passed over as a successor to Chief Executive Robert Iger.

Tuesday Rundown: Bank Deal Closes, Port Fees Going Up

Irvine lender Plaza Bank has closed its acquisition of Manhattan Bancorp, the El Segundo parent of Bank of Manhattan.

Stocks Rise; Portsmouth Climbs, Qualstar Dives

The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 23 points Tuesday to close at 17,620.

Chrome River Raises $100 Million for International Expansion

Expense reporting and automated invoicing software company Chrome River has raised a $100 million Series D round from private equity firm Great Hill Partners.

Nativo Raises $20 Million for Online Ads

El Segundo’s Nativo, a native advertising platform for Web publishers, has raised a $20 million Series B round led by San Francisco’s Advance Vixeid Partners.

On the Way to IPO

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth is preparing to launch an initial public offering by the end of this year, and Chicago’s Allscripts Healthcare Solutions Inc. has announced it would pay $200 million for a 10 percent stake in firm, valuing it at $2 billion, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Winner Chosen for Convention Center Re-do

A decision has been made, and the Los Angeles City Council is expected Tuesday to award architectural firms Populous and HMC Architects with a contract to redesign the Los Angeles Convention Center, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The firms’ winning bid includes a plan to add more than 300,000 square feet to the building.

L.A. Fault Line Deeper Than Thought?

A huge fault near Los Angeles is leaking helium, revealing that the Newport-Inglewood Fault Zone is deeper than initially thought, according to researchers, the Daily Mail reports.

Leap Second Coming Today to Confuse Computers

If you have any computer trouble later today, maybe you can blame it on the “leap second,” which is one second added to the official time, Sky News reports.

Living Without Water

If you thought living with the drought is a drag, consider some folks in California’s Central Valley who are striving to maintain a normal life with no water, Yahoo News reports.

Riverside Balks at Water Reduction Order

Riverside, which prides itself on being water independent, is preparing for a legal battle with state officials who are ordering the city to reduce water by 28 percent, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Fourth of July Travel Up

With lower prices at the pump, nearly 3 million Southern Californians are expected to travel for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, a 0.5 percent increase from last year, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Congressman Pushes for Waste-Water Recycling

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, traveled to Southern California this week to urge local water leaders to fight for funding projects that include waste-water recycling and desalination, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

Greek Debt Leads to Market Dive

It was a rough day on Wall Street Monday, the worst day of the year, in fact, thanks to the Greek debt crisis, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Renting Huell Howser’s Old Digs

TV host Huell Howser’s renovated “dream house” in Twentynine Palms can now be yours to play and party in – for the right rental price, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 63 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,659. The S&P 500 was up eight points to 2,065. The Nasdaq was up 28 points to 4,986. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 231.

HomeHero Raises $20 Million to Streamline Senior Care

Who said technology is for the young?

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Monday, June 29

Disney Combines Interactive, Consumer Products Divisions

Walt Disney Co. announced Monday it was combining its lagging Disney Interactive video game division with its highly profitable Disney Consumer Products division amid the conversion of digital technology and games.

Silver Lake Buys Entertainment Payroll Firm

Silver Lake Partners is increasing its focus on the silver screen.

Port of Los Angeles Plans $67 Million Terminal Upgrade

The Port of Los Angeles said it would start work this summer on a two-year, $67 million project to upgrade several berths at Yusen Terminals.

Stocks Fall; Ducommun Rises, Second Sight Slips

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 350 points in Monday trading to close at 17,596. The S&P 500 fell 44 points to 2,058. The Nasdaq fell 122 points to 4,958. The LABJ Stock Index fell five points to 230.

ZestFinance Hopes to Fill the Credit Rating Void in China

ZestFinance is headed to China in search of new borrowers.

Culver City Business Park Sold for $37 Million

Karney Management Co., a Brentwood firm run by Aliza Karney Guren and her sister, Susanna Karney Flaster, has set its sights on Culver City.

Eisner Targets Syndicated TV

Media mogul Michael Eisner is launching a new venture focused on syndicated TV shows.

Law Firms MS&K, Richardson & Patel to Merge This Week

West L.A. law firm Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp – among the largest law firms in Los Angeles County – will join forces with Westwood’s Richardson & Patel later this week, the firms announced Monday.

Trump Dumped by NBC

NBC has told Donald Trump, “You’re fired.”

SpaceX Rocket Explodes

Billionaire Elon Musk's aerospace company SpaceX suffered its third setback in eight months when a rocket equipped with cargo on its way to the International Space Station disintegrated over Florida Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reports. It’s not necessarily a critical blow for the company, but on the other hand, competing companies are clamoring for a chance to replace SpaceX.

Greek Crisis Roils Markets

As banks in Greece closed Monday and talks between the government and its creditors deteriorated, markets worldwide were rattled this morning, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Water Plant in the Works

A $600-million water treatment plant in North Hollywood that would be used to recycle more water and capture storm water runoff could be fast tracked over the next couple of years if the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power can get environmental approval, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

New Car Attitude

With the rising popularity of ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft Inc., the whole notion of car sharing is taking hold. Imagine renting out your car during down times. As a result, some car makers are creating car-sharing programs of their own, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Commutes May Worsen Nationwide

Angelenos know all about tough morning commutes, but the Transportation Department projects other places could see worsening traffic. It says over the next 30 years more than one-third of highways across the country could face much longer daily commutes, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Disney’s Downer

ESPN may be becoming more of a drag on Walt Disney Co. as the cable sports network has forced the company to pay rising costs, the Street reports.

Box office: ‘Jurassic World’ on Top

"Jurassic World" narrowly ruled the weekend box office but did hit the $500 million mark in total ticket sales, making it only the fifth film to do so domestically. Pixar’s “Inside Out” came in second place while with $52.1 million over the weekend while Seth MacFarlane’s R-rated “Ted 2” came in third, making $32.9 million, the Hollywood Reporter reports.

World Naked Day

Talk about baring it all. Hundreds rode on bikes through downtown Sunday for the annual World Naked Bike Ride with some riders completely nude, LAist reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 149 points in early trading Monday to 17,798. The S&P 500 was down 18 points to 2,084. The Nasdaq was down 45 points to 5,036. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 234.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Iris.TV, a downtown L.A. streaming video company, received a $5.3 million funding round from investors including Truckee’s Sierra Wasatch Capital and New York’s BDMI, among others.

Surprise Knock From Rent Control

REAL ESTATE: Buyer of CIM property jolted by designation.

The buyer of a Hollywood apartment just built by CIM Group was surprised to learn it was rent controlled.

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Living Doll

Mattel casts sales fortune with big-screen tie-ins

Mattel hopes to produce more sales by casting toys such as Barbie in live-action films.

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Ex-Engineer Has Designs On Salons

Amyn Sachedina hopes to make cut with men at his 18|8 outpost.

Former engineer Amyn Sachedina now hopes to build a career as an operator of salons for men.

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Troubled Toy Firm Makes Play for Private Placement

MANUFACTURING: Equity plan proposed as Wham-O creditors say owed millions.

Frisbee maker Wham-O Marketing plans to spin off some equity to boost the debt-loaded firm.

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Pot Dispensaries, Customers High on Concentrates

MARIJUANA: Range of nonsmoking products light fire under shop sales.

Concentrates help pot dispensaries cut through the smoke by providing different intake options.

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Business Burdens Head Up; Firms, Jobs Head Out

COMMERCE: Survey rates most L.A. cities as high cost.

Rising costs push more than half of L.A. cities into business-unfriendly territory, survey reports.

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Lots of Sales

AUTOMOTIVE: Dealerships’ margins have taken back seat as incentives, low interest rates have revved up business.

Dealerships have been riding a steady rise in sales, but incentives and low interest rates have driven down margins.

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County Looks to Raise Bar on Hiring Ex-Cons

Employers should unlock the formerly incarcerated as hiring options, according to Annie Lyles.

Sky-High Bill for Business

State’s cap-and-trade program to cut greenhouse gases taking $2.2 billion but giving few operational answers.

Business wants California to clear the air on how its cap-and-trade program will operate, writes Tracy Rafter.

Tips for L.A.’s Wait Staffs

Charles Crumpley serves up some tough numbers to restaurants on customer satisfaction, courtesy of a survey.

Management Firm Expands Culver City Holdings

ACQUISITION: Karney pays $37 million for business park with two buildings.

Karney Management Co., a Brentwood firm run by Aliza Karney Guren and her sister, Susanna Karney Flaster, has set its sights on Culver City.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

SPECIAL REPORT: Regulators Pitch Old Banks as Better Than New

Regulators still steer parties toward purchasing institutions rather than chartering new ones.

SPECIAL REPORT: Next Window, Please

Investors who moved early to roll up community banks left slim pickings for those looking to join market.

Investors who got a jump on rolling up small banks left little for those now looking to vault into sector.

Mall Teams With Rideshare Service to Drive Sales

TRANSPORTATION: Lyft will get special service zones at Beverly Center.

Shopping at the Beverly Center in Beverly Hills and need a Lyft?

New Practice to Mount Defense Against Hackers

SECURITY: Jeffer Mangels says high-profile incidents have helped spur business.

Nobody is safe from hackers, a fact evidenced again this month when the federal Office of Personnel Management confirmed that its network had been breached.

Youth Served as Startup Hires 12-Year-Old Exec

INTERNET: PingTank says boy will help photo app reach core kid audience.

It’s no secret that tech startups are often staffed with loads of young employees. But one local app developer is raising (or is that lowering?) the bar when it comes to hiring executives who can relate to teens.

Ex-Studio Exec Makes Grave Choice for Future

FUNERAL: Alison Bossert’s Final Bow to plan upscale farewells for famous.

A former Sony Pictures Entertainment executive is drawing on her experience running major entertainment events to launch a business planning classy funerals for the famous.

Investors Put Money Back on Debit Card Provider

FINANCE: Long-term deal with Wal-Mart helps boost Green Dot stock, prospects.

Renewal of Wal-Mart deal pays off in stock spike for debit card company Green Dot.

Drug Developer Receives Shot in Arm From IPO

BIOTECH: Ritter rings up $20 million for lactose intolerance treatment.

Lactose intolerance drug developer Ritter Pharmaceuticals’ IPO settles down Wall Street.

Toast From Top of World

Ben Stapleton opened his first bar last month, Barrel Down, a beer hall at 525 W. Seventh St. in downtown L.A.’s Financial District.

Website Aims To Court Attorneys lets lawyers pursue clients with advice videos.

Suzanne Natbony’s lets attorneys frame themselves for clients with advisory videos.

Sunday, June 28

Incubator Turns Up Heat With Additional Services

TECHNOLOGY: Science credits system for successes such as Dollar Shave Club.

Science has moved beyond an incubator model to help entrepreneurs hatch successful companies.

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Friday, June 26

L.A. Launch List: June 26

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

Steady LAX Passenger Increases Continue in May

Passengers traveling through Los Angeles International Airport grew steadily again in May, according to figures released Friday.

Disney Mulls $1 Billion Disneyland Expansion

Walt Disney Co. is proposing a $1 billion expansion at its Disneyland theme park in Anaheim that would include new attractions, parking and other infrastructure improvements – and it wants a tax break in exchange.

Green Dot, MRV Communications Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies was flat for the week. The weighted LABJ index held steady at 235, with losers outpacing gainers 87 to 58. Thirteen companies closed the week unchanged.

Friday Rundown: Disney Settles ‘Frozen’ Suit, Soon-Shiong’s Conkwest Raises $71 Million

Walt Disney Co. has settled a lawsuit alleging copyright infringement involving the trailer for its 2013 animated hit “Frozen.”

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 57 points in Friday trading to close at 17,947. The S&P 500 fell one point to 2,102. The Nasdaq fell 32 points to 5,081. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 235.

L.A. Tech Deal Flow: June 26

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Santa Monica firm Clearlake Capital Group announced Tuesday that one of its portfolio companies, Chicago legal outsourcing firm Inventus Solutions Inc., has acquired Kooby, a London software development firm that focuses on e-discovery. Terms were not disclosed.

Alibaba Signs Pasadena Lease

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is coming to Los Angeles.

NFL Looks for Temporary Digs

The NFL’s search is on for a temporary stadium in Los Angeles as league officials began issuing proposal requests Thursday to venues including the Coliseum and the Rose Bowl in the event a team returns here in 2016, the Los Angeles Times reports.

High Court Rules Against ‘Sweepstakes’ Games

The California Supreme Court has spoken: computerized ‘sweepstakes’ games played at internet cafes statewide are illegal, the Sacramento Bee reports. See previous coverage here.

New Charney Lawsuit

In the latest twist in American Apparel Inc.’s apparently never ending legal saga, former Chief Executive Dov Charney has sued the company claiming officials conspired with hedge fund Standard General to force him out of the company last June, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Emerald Transfer Halted

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has sided with the Department of Justice to halt the transfer of the Bahia emerald, the world’s largest, from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, where it has been housed in an undisclosed location since 2008, the Business Journal reports.

Waste Not, Want Not

Efforts to conserve water are getting personal as city officials start sending out letters to Los Angeles residents who are among the top 1 percent of residential water users telling them to use less, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Ban on Short-Term Rentals

Manhattan Beach has said no to short-term rental services such as Airbnb as the city council responded to resident concerns about preserving the area’s character, the Daily Breeze reports.

High Court Decision Applauded by Health Care Industry

The Supreme Court’s ruling Thursday upholding Obamacare subsidies was welcome news for health insurers and hospitals who breathed a sigh of relief at the verdict, the Los Angeles Times reports.

No Soda, Please

McDonald’s pledge to offer greater access to healthier food choices appears to be gaining traction as fewer than half of its American customers opted for sodas as the beverage accompanying their Happy Meals since the eaterie stopped listing them as a menu option last summer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 86 points in early trading Friday to 17,977. The S&P 500 was up three points to 2,105. The Nasdaq was up one point to 5,113. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 236.

Thursday, June 25

Feds Step in To Halt Bahia Emerald Transfer

The years-long saga of Bahia emerald, the world’s largest, took another dramatic turn Thursday when a federal judge in Washington, D.C., approved a request from the Department of Justice preventing anyone from removing the gem from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, where it has been housed in an undisclosed location since 2008.

Virgin Galactic Signs Contract to Launch Satellites

Outer space could soon get a little more crowded.

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Bikeshare Coming in 2016

Bikesharing might finally be coming to Los Angeles.

Second Sight Medical Products Names New CEO

Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has appointed Will McGuire to become the company’s new chief executive starting Aug. 18.

Thursday Rundown: Pot Finance Firm Makes Acquisition, Disney Box Office Tops $1 Billion

Hollywood marijuana industry finance firm Kind Financial announced Thursday that it had agreed to acquire the assets of Agrisoft Development Group, a Kansas City, Mo., company that has developed a software suite designed for the marijuana industry and its – umm – unique compliance requirements.

Work/Life Balance: Gina Raphael

The philanthropist, marketing executive and owner of Mickey Fine Pharmacies on maintaining balance, motherhood and the Sabbath.

Gina Raphael is president of Siren Marketing and co-owns the eight-location Mickey Fine Pharmacies chain with her husband, Jeffrey Gross.

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Stocks Fall; Qualstar Rises, Spark Networks Fizzles

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 76 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,890. The S&P 500 fell six points to 2,102. The Nasdaq fell 10 points to 5,112. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 235.

Tweets of the Week

Caruso says sweat the details, uBeam’s Meredith Perry moves fast.

IAC to IPO Tinder Parent Match Group

Dating app Tinder is headed for an IPO.

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Ailes to Remain at Fox

Roger Ailes has signed a multi-year deal to stay on as chief of Fox News, which he has built into a cable news powerhouse, Variety reports this morning He had been quoted as saying he would not report to Rupert Murdoch’s sons, who are set to take the helm July 1.

Change of Heart

The National Diversity Coalition is now saying “Why not?” to the Royal Bank of Canada’s plans to take over City National Corp. after the coalition had previously demanded a Federal Reserve hearing on the merger, the Los Angeles Times reports. That makes three big advocacy groups to endorse the merger of L.A.’s largest bank.

Desperate Times Call for New Plans

In an effort to rethink the way they look at storm runoff, officials of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will unveil a Stormwater Capture Master Plan Thursday which they hope will help cut back on the city’s dependence on imported water, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lights, Camera, Museum

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has gotten the green light from the City Council, which voted unanimously Wednesday to give the go ahead to a $300-million museum that will adjoin the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Wilshire Boulevard at Fairfax Avenue, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, not everyone is celebrating as the non-profit Fix the City is considering taking legal action against it.

Better Plan?

A San Francisco consumer group says it no longer supports an agreement to divide the cost of shutting shut down the San Onofre nuclear plant, the Los Angeles Times reports. The group wants a better deal for ratepayers, who are to pay 70 percent of the costs.

Brush Fire in Santa Clarita

About 1,000 people had to be evacuated Wednesday after a fire burned 350 acres in Santa Clarita, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Allergan to Remain Loyal to Irvine

After Irvine’s Allergan was acquired in March by Dublin’s Actavis, a pharmaceutical company, Allergan’s Chief Executive Brent Saunders stressed the company will remain committed to Irvine, the Los Angeles Times reports.

High Court Rulings Coming

The Supreme Court has six major decisions ahead of it, including power plant emissions, same-sex marriage and the affordable care act. The court is scheduled to start issuing those decisions on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reports.

June Box Office Could Break Records

Will June end up being the biggest month ever at the box office? Researchers say this month could top the previous record of $1.4 billion set in July 2011 especially if films, including "Ted 2," "Inside Out" and "Jurassic World" deliver, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A Pretty Penny for Beachfront Property

Talk about a hot property. A listing in Manhattan Beach is expected to set a record with an asking price of $28.9 million for the Craftsman-style home on the Strand, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 30 points in early trading Thursday to 17,996. The S&P 500 was up three points to 2,112. The Nasdaq was up 10 points to 5,133. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 236.

Wednesday, June 24

New Matter’s 3-D Printers Start Shipping

Consumer 3-D printing companies have struggled lately to balance consumer expectations and price, but New Matter thinks it has found the sweet spot.

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In Push for Millennials, Cornerstone Licenses TED Content

Cornerstone OnDemand wants to give its customers ideas worth spreading.

Trucking Groups Take Issue With Port Inspection Program

Reviving a dispute that played a role in the recently settled fight between port operators and longshore workers, two groups representing trucking companies now claim a program under which truck trailers used to haul containers are inspected by the dockworkers’ union violates federal law.

Coffee Bean Opens 1,000th Store at New HQ

Make that coffee extra large: L.A. chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, which started with a single Brentwood store in 1963, is now opening its 1,000th location.

Non-Profit Minimum Wage Exemption Moves Forward

A Los Angeles City Council committee recommended on Tuesday giving exemptions from the city’s new minimum wage ordinance to certain non-profit organizations.

Wednesday Rundown: City National Report Shows Stronger California, Disney Boosts Dividend

Downtown L.A.’s City National Bank on Wednesday released its second-quarter Economy and Jobs Report, which showed California is off to a strong start in 2015.

Chernin Signs TV Deal with NBCUniversal

Media executive Peter Chernin’s TV operation is moving from Fox to NBCUniversal under a new two-year deal.

Stocks Fall; ReachLocal Climbs, Global Eagle Sinks

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 178 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,966. The S&P 500 fell 16 points to 2,109. The Nasdaq fell 38 points to 5,122. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 235.

Coalition Pulls Opposition to City National-RBC Deal

Another advocacy group has signed off on the sale of Downtown L.A.’s City National Bank to Toronto’s Royal Bank of Canada, potentially easing the deal’s approval by regulators.

Century City Drug Maker Has IPO

Ritter Pharmaceuticals Inc., developer of drugs to treat lactose intolerance, debuted on the Nasdaq today under the symbol RTTR.

Another Hotel Coming to Beverly Hills

The Chinese firm that owns the former department store on Wilshire Boulevard next to the Beverly Hilton Hotel and the Waldorf Astoria that’s under construction has announced it plans to build a luxury hotel at the site, the Los Angeles Times reports. It will make room by reducing the number of condo units.

Possible Minimum Wage Exemptions

As if all the minimum wage requirements aren’t complicated enough, city lawmakers are now supporting a plan to exempt non-profits that hire disadvantaged workers from having to pay the new minimum wage, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The exemption will require City Council approval.

Water Battle

The tug of war over California’s water system is most pronounced in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as farmers, environmental groups and Southern California are at odds over how the water supply should be distributed, the New York Times reports.

Big Buy

Major changes are in store at Torrance’s Del Amo Financial Center as it just sold for $62.4 million, and the new owners are promising to make big improvements at the site, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Good News and Bad for Teachers

A new $7.8-billion budget approved Tuesday by the Los Angeles Board of Education includes the first pay raises in almost 10 years but also pink slips for hundreds of staff members, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Uber’s Gutsy Move into China

You thought regulators were tough here. Ride-sharing Uber, trying to penetrate China, has to contend with police crackdowns and government raids there. And then there are protests from local cab drivers and competition from Chinese ride-sharing apps, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New CEO at Boeing

There will be a different pilot in the driver’s seat at Boeing Co. as the company has announced its current chief operating officer, Dennis Muilenburg, will become the chief executive on July 1, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Trade Bill on Target?

After facing roadblocks by members of his own party, President Obama’s 12-nation Pacific Rim agreement may win a key victory in the Senate Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Spooning Up Health

Prepare for your Lucky Charms and Trix to look a little different in the near future as General Mills Inc. has decided it’s time to get health conscious and remove all artificial colors from its cereal, SFist reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 57 points in early trading Wednesday to 18,087. The S&P 500 was down two points to 2,122. The Nasdaq was down five points to 5,156. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 237.

Tuesday, June 23

Rubicon’s Chief Explains Programmatic Advertising

Frank Addante explains the basics of programmatic advertising and why it has come to dominate the online advertising world, even as it remains a largely opaque corner of the market to the general public.

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Layoff Notices Sent as Final Bars Play at WeHo House of Blues

The legendary House of Blues on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood will close on Aug. 7, according to a notice filed with the state Employment Development Department.

Budweiser Brewery Plans $20 Million Upgrade

Anheuser-Busch is investing $20 million at its Van Nuys brewery to improve water efficiency in the filtering, brewing and packaging operations.

DreamWorks Animation Hires Awesome Film Exec

DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV online teen network has created a feature film division and picked a veteran entertainment industry executive to run it.

Soon-Shiong’s NantCell Acquires Italian Stem Cell Firm

NantCell, the immuno-oncology subsidiary of billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s growing NantWorks health care technology empire, has acquired tissue and stem cell engineering firm VivaBioCell. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Snapchat Launches Ad Agency

Snapchat has partnered with British advertising agency WPP and the U.K.’s Daily Mail to launch an advertising agency called Truffle Pig.

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Magic Johnson Enterprises Buys Life Insurance Firm

Magic Johnson Enterprises, the Beverly Hills investment firm founded by the Laker legend, announced Monday that it has completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in EquiTrust Life Insurance Co. in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Mariners Bay Apartment Complex Trades for $83.5 Million

Legacy Partners has expanded its presence in Southern California with the purchase of a 31-acre apartment complex on the Marina del Rey waterfront.

Stocks Rise; Green Dot Soars, 1st Century Bancshares Falls

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 24 points in Tuesday trading to close at 18,144. The S&P 500 rose one point to 2,124. The Nasdaq rose six points to 5,160. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 237.

Minimum Wage Vote a No Go

It looks as if Los Angeles County may delay its vote to raise the minimum wage because a report drafted for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors shows that raising wages in unincorporated areas will make little or no difference in local poverty levels, the Daily Breeze reports.

Go, Teams

Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers fans were pumped up at a town hall meeting in Carson Monday in which city officials assured them plans to bring a NFL stadium to the city won’t take a back seat to Inglewood’s plans, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

This Means War

American Apparel is fighting back against lawsuits filed by former Chief Executive Dov Charney by filing documents in court that make graphic accusations against him, including allegations he was involved in derogatory and sexually inappropriate behavior, the Los Angeles Times reports.

High Court Favors Raisin Grower

In a decision that bolsters property rights, the U.S. Supreme Court overwhelmingly voted to take sides with a California raisin grower, saying he must be fully paid for his crop after a federal raisin board seized it in order to boost prices, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Water on the Way

Good news for a San Joaquin County master-planned community that was about to lose its water. The 15,000 residents of the Mountain House community will now be able to get water under an agreement reached by local officials, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Axing Confederate Flags

Both Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. are just saying no to selling any more Confederate flag paraphernalia as calls to ban the flag continue to grow across the country, CNN reports.

Tight Doesn’t Always Mean Right

What woman doesn’t like her skinny jeans? No matter how cute they look, women might want to think again before squeezing them on. A new study shows they could pose a health risk, Yahoo News reports.

Californians Less Clean?

To take or not take a shower may be the question some Californians ask themselves as drought conditions are causing people across the state to reassess their hygiene routines, Bloomberg reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 50 points in early trading Tuesday to 18,170. The S&P 500 was up four points to 2,126. The Nasdaq was up one point to 5,155. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 237.

CrossCut Raises $75 Million to Invest in Early Stage L.A. Startups

Don’t tell CrossCut Ventures about the supposed glut of seed capital in Los Angeles. The Venice venture capital firm has just raised a $75 million fund to invest in early stage L.A. startups.

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Monday, June 22

L.A. Tech Events Calendar 6/22 - 7/5

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

Green Dot Re-Ups Vital Wal-Mart Deal

Pasadena prepaid debit card firm Green Dot Corp. announced Monday that it has signed a new five-year deal with its most important customer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Kite Teams Up for HPV Drugs

Biotech firm Kite Pharma Inc. announced Monday that it will partner with leading immunotherapy developer Bluebird Bio Inc. of Cambridge, Mass. to develop and commercialize drugs directed against a cancer-causing strain of the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Monday Rundown: New CEO for Long Beach Hospitals, Gulfstream Accountant Sentenced for Embezzlement, Tutor Perini to Build Philadelphia Hotel

MemorialCare Health System has promoted John Bishop, chief financial officer of Long Beach Memorial hospital, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, Community Hospital Long Beach and Seaside Health Plan in Long Beach, to chief executive.

Penske Media Teams With Shutterstock

L.A.’s Penske Media Corp. and New York stock photo seller Shuttersock Inc. have announced plans to form a global editorial service, one that seeks to cash in on Penske’s events and photo archives.

Stocks Rise; Qualstar Climbs, Broadway Slips

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 104 points in Monday trading to close at 18,120. The S&P 500 rose 13 points to 2,123. The Nasdaq rose 37 points to 5,154. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 236.

Dollar Shave Club Reloads on Cash

Dollar Shave Club is piling up investor’s dollars.

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Cigna Snubs Anthem Bid

Health care insurer Cigna Corp. of Bloomfield, Connecticut, has said “no thanks” to a $54 billion takeover bid from Anthem Inc., criticizing the Indianapolis company and saying the offer was inadequate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Variety to Challenge Getty Images?

Getty Images’ dominance as a distributor of stock photos may soon be challenged as New York’s Shutterstock is making a deal with L.A’s Penske Media Corp., which owns Variety, to distribute photos, the Financial Times reports.

Water Wasters in Fresno, Beware

Fresno is aggressively cracking down on water wasters with officials doling out a record number of penalties. It may have helped Fresno scale back its water consumption by a surprisingly large 33 percent last month, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Model of Water Conservation

Santa Barbara may be able to teach other cities a lesson as it has one of the best water conservation records in Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports. That city’s water use dropped 28 percent in April compared to 13.5 percent statewide.

Rich Not All About Fun and Games

Today’s superwealthy don’t just sunbathe at the beach but instead crisscross the globe in what one called “the circuit,” searching for business deals and increased access, the New York Times reports.

Apple Will Pay More Royalties Now

Singer Taylor Swift spoke out against Apple Inc. and the company listened. It has done an about face, deciding to pay royalties for songs played on its streaming-music service during a three-month free trial, Bloomberg reports.

Greece Scrambles to Submit Debt Plan

Greece turned in proposals to its creditors Monday in an effort to resolve its debt crisis just hours before European Union leaders were set to have emergency meetings aimed at discussing ways to bail out the country, the New York Times reports.

Puppy Day at the Park

Dodger Stadium went to the dogs over the weekend when dog owners who bought special tickets were allowed to bring their pets to the game, and some of their four-legged friends even got to participate in a “Pup Parade,” LAist reports.

Box office: ‘Jurassic World’ Reigns

"Jurassic World" dominated the weekend box office for the second weekend in a row, raising its worldwide total to $981.3 million. But Pixar’s “Inside Out” came in at a close second, making $91.1 million while Melissa McCarthy's "Spy" was a distant third, picking up $10.5 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 123 points in early trading Monday to 18,139. The S&P 500 was up 15 points to 2,125. The Nasdaq was up 36 points to 5,153. The LABJ Stock Index was up two points to 237.

Investor Acts in Burbank as Hollywood Rents Rise

ACQUISITION: Lincoln shells out $84.2 million for three-building package.

Lincoln Property Co., sensing an opportunity to get ahead of rising rents in Hollywood, has swooped in to buy a three-building package in Burbank from Beverly Hills’ Kennedy Wilson.

Fashion Firm to Try On Retailer Business Model

CLOTHING: Analysts back plans for American Apparel but question follow-through.

New CEO aims to refashion American Apparel as a retail business.

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Online Video Firm Looks To Connect in Singapore

INTERNET: Maker holds overseas boot camp to link with tech-savvy youth.

Online video firm Maker Studios eyes Singapore’s tech-savvy youth as a major part of its big picture.

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Investors Like Look of Implantable Lens Maker

INVESTMENT: $69 million round for Calhoun includes first institutional backing.

Calhoun Vision Inc.’s future just got a whole lot brighter.

Late Billionaire’s Net Worth Likely to Stay Unknown

INVESTMENT: Analysts expect smooth handling of Kirk Kerkorian’s estate.

Analysts expect the handling of late billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s estate to provide little insight into the extent of his wealth.

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Building Blocks

ARCHITECTURE: Frank Gehry discusses how his blueprint for success includes low-cost industrial materials, chain-link fences.

Frank Gehry reveals how his friend floated the idea to design a boat and talks about why cities all look the same.

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UC Will Nurse Lab Inventions

HEALTH CARE: New fund to prep products for development.

University of California system injects itself into the tech transfer business with its UC Ventures fund.

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Rapper Puts Opposition to Beer Deal on Record

ALCOHOL: Snoop Dogg alleges Pabst sale spun to deny him payday.

Rapper Snoop Dogg alleges buyer and seller in Pabst Blue Ribbon deal are trying to do a number on his stake.

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Games Over

Empty Staples Center leaves eateries hungry for diners

Staples Center’s sports teams drop the ball as well as attendance at LA Live because of few postseason games.

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Vacationing in L.A. Will Drive Down Summer Expenses

Ted Lux urges Angelenos to give themselves a break on travel and visit nearby attractions.

Spreading Money Around

Some business leaders have backed counternarrative that wage hikes will benefit all levels of economy.

Cherri Senders says some business leaders think the minimum-wage hike will work to the economy’s benefit.

Waiting to Exhale

We’re about to find out if MannKind’s inhalable insulin is a promising product, and Charles Crumpley says that should have happened years ago.

Bus Maker Rolls Into Facility in City of Industry

MANUFACTURING: L.A. customers drive Proterra to lease local property.

Greenville, S.C.-based Proterra has leased a 157,000-square-foot facility at 383 S. Cheryl Lane in City of Industry to build its zero-emission battery-electric buses, many of which will end up on the streets of the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys.

Spirits Move Vendors to Open Arts District Shop

RETAIL: Co-owners say neighborhood now ripe for Silverlake Wine outpost.

The folks behind hipster hot spot Silverlake Wine had wanted to open a downtown L.A. location for a while, but hadn’t found the right place.

Upholstery Business Rides Pickup in Truck Sales

AUTOMOTIVE: Surge drove Katzkin Leather to shift focus from import sedans.

Katzkin Leather has seen its seat upholstery business pick up along with truck sales.

Bid Beefs Up Stock of Chin-Fat Drug Developer

BIOTECH: Acquisition by Allergan may aid Kythera rollout of Kybella product.

Kythera sees its share values swell after Allergan announces plan to buy the maker of a chin fat-removal drug.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Medbox Inc., a West Hollywood maker of marijuana dispensing machines, will get $3.5 million in committed funds from investors, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Film Star Muscles Into TV Role

Action hero Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson already rules the movie world, having scored two box-office hits this year with “San Andreas” and “Furious Seven.”

Writer Turns Page With Instagram

Ad executive to publish book one post a day on photo platform.

Jason Sperling pictures photo platform Instagram as the perfect place to publish his book.

Safety Device Helps Student Secure Future

Crystal Sanchez wins $4,000 with locket to ward off assailants.

High school senior Crystal Sanchez locked up an entrepreneur program win with her Guardian Locket security device.

App Works To Sound Out Residences

HowLoud offers home hunters guidance on neighborhood noise.

Startup HowLoud hopes to make noise in the home-hunting sector with sound ratings for neighborhoods.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Activist to Help Direct $200 Million Loan Fund

LENDING: Banc of California project part of deal to acquire Popular.

Paulina Gonzalez might be the most feared person in California banking.

Sunday, June 21

Virtual Reality Scores Points at Video-Game Expo

ENTERTAINMENT: Some developers making early play for nascent market.

Developers push the right buttons with video games for the blossoming virtual reality market.

Revenge Fuels Energy Fight

MANUFACTURING: Ex-exec looks to zap former family firm.

Rival Alex Lidow seeks revenge by converting International Rectifier’s customers to his semiconductors.

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Friday, June 19

L.A. Launch List: June 19

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

L.A. Tech Deal Flow: June 19

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Disney Consolidates Lease for Office in Burbank

Walt Disney Co. has leased 110,000 square feet at Burbank’s Buena Vista Plaza in an 11-year deal valued at $51.5 million, according to a source familiar with the transaction.

Tiny Tesla on Offer From Mattel

El Segundo toy maker Mattel Inc. has recently started selling a tiny version of Tesla Motors’ flagship electric luxury sedan, the Model S.

Kythera, Cadiz Among This Week’s 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 235, with gainers outpacing losers 94 to 59. Five companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 102 points in Friday trading to close at 18,014. The S&P 500 fell 11 points to 2,110. The Nasdaq fell 16 points to 5,117. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 235.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Century City firm Ares Management announced Wednesday that its subsidiary, Ares EIF Management, along with Genesis Power in Needham, Mass., have sold the soon-to-be-built Keys Energy Center in Maryland to PSEG Power in Newark, N.J.

County Unemployment Holds Steady Amid Modest Job Gains

L.A. County’s unemployment rate was unchanged in May at 7.6 percent amid modest job gains that left the county just short of its all-time payroll jobs peak, state figures released Friday show.

Tesla Gets $15 Million in Tax Credits

Billionaire Elon Musk is racking up taxpayer money again, this time in the amount of $15 million in state tax credits for Tesla. Tesla also said it has become the largest manufacturing employer in California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Good News for Port of L.A.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX of Hawthorne has announced it wants to base its rocket spacecraft retrieval at the Port of Los Angeles, KCAL reports.

Obama Breaks Bread with Spielberg and Katzenberg

After attending a pricy fundraiser at actor/producer Tyler Perry’s Beverly Hills’ mansion on Thursday, President Obama apparently dined privately with old friends, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg, Deadline reports.

Promenade to Get $30 Million Face Lift

It will soon be in with the new at the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center as the mall has changed hands and the new owners are planning a $30 million renovation, the Business Journal reports.

Building Records Now Online

Tired of trekking downtown to look up building records? Thanks to a new online system introduced Thursday, you can now look up construction permits and other building records on the Internet, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A Second Chance

Brian Williams may have gotten booted from the “NBC Nightly News” anchor chair, but his move to MSNBC could be advantageous for both as it might help lift the cable network’s chronically poor ratings and give him a chance at redemption, the Los Angeles Times reports.

House Approves Trade Bill

President Barack Obama’s trade bill, which would give him fast-track authority to pursue trade agreements with 11 Pacific Rim nations, got approved by the House Thursday after being derailed by his own party last week, the New York Times reports.

Hope for Greece

The European Central Bank has raised the funding cap on emergency assistance for Greece's banks by $3.7 billion, according to a source, CNBC reports. There had been questions about whether the banks would even open next week.

Thumbs Down on Clippers New Logo

The Clippers’ new logo apparently is one that everybody loves to hate. At least, it’s been ridiculed on the Internet after it was introduced this week by the team’s owner Steve Ballmer during an appearance on “Conan,” LAist reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 29 points in early trading Friday to 18,088. The S&P 500 was down three points to 2,118. The Nasdaq was down nine points to 5,124. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 235.

Thursday, June 18

Video: Evan Spiegel Explains Snapchat

Four years after Snapchat’s launch, Chief Executive Evan Spiegel abruptly released a YouTube video Tuesday explaining how the app works and why people use it.

Laurus Buys Hughes Promenade for $111 Million

Laurus Corp. has acquired the Promenade at Howard Hughes Center, a retail hub located along the 405 freeway at Center Drive, from Irvine investment firm Passco Cos. for $111 million.

Angelenos Swept Up in Medicare Fraud Bust

The Department of Justice announced Thursday it has charged eight people in Los Angeles with bilking Medicare out of about $66 million.

Thursday Rundown: Music Center Names New CEO; H&M Opens in Long Beach; Ex-BP Exec Joins Teledyne Board

Rachel Moore, the chief executive of New York’s American Ballet Theatre has been named president and chief executive of the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles. Moore has helmed the ballet company since 2012 and also served as its executive director dating back to 2004.

Tutor Perini Wins $600 Million Project

A subsidiary of Tutor Perini Corp. has won a construction management contract for a confidential research facility in California.

Work/Life Balance: Walter Hill

The founder of brand marketing company Icon Blue on setting priorities, finding balance and never having a salaried job.

Native Virginian Walter Hill started his first company at the age of 24.

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Stocks Rise; TrueCar Leads, Lion Lags

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 180 points in Thursday trading to close at 18,116. The S&P 500 rose 21 points to 2,121. The Nasdaq rose 68 points to 5,133. The LABJ Stock Index rose four points to 236.

Future of Uber in the Balance?

Uber drivers are employees, not independent contractors, the California Labor Commissioner's office has ruled, and that could hurt the ride-sharing company, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Yes to Health Care for Illegal Immigrants, Lawmakers Say

It looks as if children in the United States illegally and undocumented residents of Sacramento County will all be provided with health care, thanks to two new deals that passed in Sacramento, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Nine Dead in Charleston Shooting

An apparent hate crime, according to authorities, has left nine people dead at a Charleston, S.C., church, Bloomberg reports.

No Water Possible at Upscale Community

New drought restrictions are putting 15,000 residents of an upscale master-planned community in San Joaquin County in danger of being days away from losing all their water, the Los Angeles Times reports. The community is impacted due to the state curtailing the water rights of some senior rights holders.

Bad News for Cherry Lovers

The drought is wreaking havoc on cherry crops and putting some growers out of business due to high irrigation bills, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Allergan CEO Takes Dose of His Own New Medicine

Not only did the chief executive of Allergan decide to buy Westlake Village’s Kythera in a deal announced Wednesday, but he says he has already received injections of the company’s double-chin reducing drug, CNBC reports.

Snapchat Makes Big Bucks from Live Stories

The bet that Venice’s Snapchat made on “Live Stories,” which offer viewers photo and video montages of live events, is paying off for the company since they draw 20 million people in an average 24 hour span, Recode reports.

PennySaver on Thin Ice Before Closure

Before the advertising newsletter PennySaver USA abruptly closed last month, laying off about 680 employees, the company had been in dire straits for months though workers didn’t know it, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Top-Notch Business Still Love L.A.

Sure, it’s expensive to do business in Los Angeles. But Bill Allen, the president of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said in a Q&A; with the Los Angeles Times that “high-value companies” want to be here.

Cleaner Water at Local Beaches

Good news for beach goers as the Fourth of July holiday approaches. The water is cleaner than normal due to the lack of storm runoff, according to Heal the Bay’s annual Beach Report Card, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Reprieve for Brian Williams

Brian Williams will not be returning to “NBC Nightly News,” after all. He’ll be replaced by Lester Holt and most likely head to MSNBC instead, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Still Hope for Greece?

A deal with Greece is still possible but only if Greece finally follows through on pledges it made to creditors, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Bloomberg reports.

Doing It Her Way

What woman would you pick to be on the $10 bill? That will soon be the decision of the Treasury Department which has announced a female will grace the cover of the currency starting in 2020, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 148 points in early trading Thursday to 18,084. The S&P 500 was up 15 points to 2,115. The Nasdaq was up 50 points to 5,115. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 234.

Wednesday, June 17

Independent Virtual Reality Studios Benefit as Early Movers

As big players in the virtual reality industry try and suss out a path forward, local independent gaming studios and hobbyists are finding some early victories.

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Long Beach Cargo Traffic Rises

May container cargo movement at the Port of Long Beach reached its highest level since October, officials reported Wednesday.

Wednesday Rundown: Magic Johnson Joins Square; Ares, AIG to Make Small Businesses Loans

San Francisco merchant services firm Square Inc. is adding some star power, announcing that Lakers great and Dodgers part owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson will join the firm’s board this summer.

Tweets of the Week

Suster on 'Peter Principle,' Summer reading for the Musk kids

Stocks Rise; Kythera Soars, Lion Loses

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 31 points in Wednesday trading to close at 17,936. The S&P 500 rose four points to 2,100. The Nasdaq rose nine points to 5,065. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 232.

Kythera Purchased for $2.1 Billion

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. will be acquired by Allergan plc in a $2.1 billion buyout announced Wednesday.

FreedomPop Chooses Funding Over Exit

FreedomPop will wait a little longer before heading for the exit.

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Carson Looking Good to Chargers

The San Diego Chargers may be getting that much closer to a move to Carson after club officials say they do not believe a stadium initiative can be put in the ballot in San Diego this year, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Trouble for Street Vendors

Street vendors who hawk their wares without permits may soon face high fines and even misdemeanor charges as city lawmakers prepare to possibly reinstate the ban on park and beach vending after the City Council voted Tuesday to set new rules, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Trans Fat a No Go

It looks as if trans fats are on the way out as the Food and Drug Administration says trans fat, which reportedly raise levels of bad cholesterol, must be removed from all food, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Put Fire Safety First, City Leaders Say

After reports that the Los Angeles Fire Department is, in some cases, years behind on building inspections, city officials are calling on the department to reduce the backlog and possibly even hire outside staff to help, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Storm Water Plan to Set Statewide Example

New rules passed by California water officials Tuesday involving capturing large amounts of storm water in Los Angeles County to help boost water reserves during the drought could be a model for the rest of the state, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Kerkorian’s Gift

In addition to his deal making, Kirk Kerkorian, who died Tuesday at the age of 98, will be remembered for his legacy of generosity with his Lincy Foundation making donations over the years that totaled $1 billion, the Los Angeles Times reports.

No More Water Wasters in Santa Clarita

Santa Clarita Valley residents, beware. Water restrictions are coming that include watering yards on designated days and only twice a week with possible fines of up to $500 a day or having service shut off for those who don’t obey, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Passing the Torch

It's official. Rupert Murdoch’s son, James, will become the new chief executive of 21st Century Fox on July 1, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Will Tsipras Seal the Deal?

On the eve of what is being billed as a last chance meeting Thursday to bail out Greece, the country’s Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, is warning he'll take full responsibility for saying no to any deal offered if the creditors’ demands are not acceptable, Bloomberg reports.

Warriors Fans Rejoice

It’s celebration time in Oakland after the Golden State Warriors' big win over the Cleveland Cavaliers Tuesday evening. The Warriors nabbed the team’s first NBA championship since 1975 and some fans are still in disbelief, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 46 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,950. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,102. The Nasdaq was up 18 points to 5,073. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 233.

Tuesday, June 16

Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian Dies

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian, once ranked as the richest man in Los Angeles, has died.

Evolve Buys Martini in Push for Luxury Content

Evolve Media has purchased Martini Media, a San Francisco advertising agency targeting the luxury market in a move to position itself as a one-stop shop for marketers.

Fraud Charges for Live Nation Subsidiary, Former Tyson Adviser

The former president of a Washington, D.C., subsidiary of Beverly Hills entertainment giant Live Nation Entertainment Inc. is facing fraud charges in connection with stealing from clients.

DoubleLine Doubles Down at Wells Fargo Center

DoubleLine Capital, an investment management firm headed by billionaire Jeffrey Gundlach, is expanding its headquarters in downtown L.A.’s Wells Fargo Center.

Tuesday Rundown: Burbank Airport to Sell 59 Acres; United’s LAX Flights Head to Newark; SolarCity to Open Atwater Village Ops Center

The Burbank Bob Hope Airport on Tuesday put a 59-acre parcel of airport-adjacent land on the market for commercial and office development.

Stocks Rise; Electro Rent Surges, B. Riley Slumps

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 113 points in Friday trading to close at 17,904. The S&P 500 rose 12 points to 2,096. The Nasdaq rose 26 points to 5,056. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 232.

ServiceTitan Raises Round to Expand Market

In a push to sell its home-service provider Web platform into new markets, L.A.’s ServiceTitan has raised an $18 million investment round led by Bessemer Venture Partners.

Kirk Kerkorian, Billionaire L.A. Investor, Dies at 98

Billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian has died.

High Court Approves Mandated Affordable Housing

The California Supreme Court has spoken, ruling Monday that developers can be required to include affordable housing among the units they sell, but not everyone is applauding the decision, the Los Angeles Times reports.

How Safe is Your Building?

A large number of buildings in Los Angeles – about 6,800 – are way overdue for safety inspections by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Schools, hotels and apartment buildings that are classified as priorities, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Snapchat Cashes In on Geofilters

Do you use one of those brightly-colored digital stickers to personalize your Snapchat posts? Now the Venice company has found a way to use the geofilter stickers to make money by selling them to sponsors, the Los Angeles Times reports, and McDonalds is first up.

Gap Closing 175 Stores

Better shop at your neighborhood Gap store while you can as Gap Inc., which owns Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic, has announced it will close 175 Gap stores nationwide and shed 250 jobs at its San Francisco headquarters, the Los Angeles Times reports.

CVS to Buy Target’s Pharmacies

If you like CVS Pharmacy, you’ll now love Target’s as CVS has announced it will buy more than 1,660 Target’s pharmacies, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Big Budget Passes

A record $117.5 budget state budget was passed by California lawmakers Monday, but Gov. Jerry Brown, who wants to spend much less, could still veto it, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Saying Goodbye to Crowded Skies

How would you like to have fewer delays at the gate and spend less time on the airport runway and in the air the next time you fly? The Federal Aviation Administration is proposing a new, state-of-the-art air traffic control system for Los Angeles that would do just that, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Big Money for Universal Pictures

After a slew of blockbuster hits, including the history-making “Jurassic World,” Universal Pictures is now set to make record profits this year, racking up more than $3 billion in worldwide ticket sales, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Greece Looking for a Miracle

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is scheduled to address Greece’s Parliament this afternoon after ignoring European requests to submit a proposal in order to avoid his country going into default on its debts, Bloomberg reports.

Crabs Canvassing Shores

Crabs are blanketing beaches in a canvas of red from San Diego to Orange County, LAist reports. Scientists say they usually show up during El Nino years, and not to worry. They don’t bite much.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 63 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,854. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,089. The Nasdaq was down three points to 5,028. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point at 231.

Monday, June 15

L.A. Tech Events Calendar 6/15 - 6/28

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

Oops: Ouya’s Sale to Razer Accidentally Confirmed

Rumors of Santa Monica video game console Ouya’s imminent sale were confirmed today when MESA Global, the investment bank handling the deal, accidentally posted acknowledgement of the transaction on its website.

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Second Board Member Bails on American Apparel

Another change has hit the board of directors of embattled downtown L.A. apparel maker and retailer American Apparel Inc.

Ryland Will Merge With Rival Home Builder

Westlake Village home builder Ryland Group Inc. will merge with Irvine-based home builder Standard Pacific Corp., forming the country’s fourth-largest residential U.S. home developer.

Court OKs Affordable Housing Rules

In a decision that could impact developers across the state, the California Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday to allow Los Angeles and other cities to require that developers provide affordable housing as a condition of getting building permits.

‘Jurassic’ Makes Box Office Record

Dinosaurs ruled the weekend box office with “Jurassic World” from NBCUniversal Inc. bringing in more than $209 million to make it the highest-grossing domestic opening weekend ever.

Los Angeles Container Cargo Volume Rose in May

Every little bit helps. The Port of Los Angeles saw a less than 1 percent increase in container cargo movement last month compared to the year-ago period, though the increase was due to a large volume of empty containers heading back overseas.

Stocks Fall; Kythera Jumps, Ixia Tumbles

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 108 points in Monday trading to close at 17,791. The S&P 500 fell 10 points to 2,084. The Nasdaq fell 21 points to 5,030. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 231.

SpaceX to Build Hyperloop Test Track in Hawthorne

Not busy enough building rockets, aerospace company SpaceX has launched a hyperloop design competition and said it would build a 1-mile test track next to its Hawthorne headquarters next year.

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Home Builders to Merge

Standard Pacific Corp. of Irvine and Ryland Group Inc. of Westlake Village are set to merge and create the nation’s fourth-largest homebuilder, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Minimum Wage Officially Raised

The minimum wage hike is now official after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti signed the measure over the weekend, raising the city’s base wage to $15 by 2020, the Los Angeles Times reports. Business interests warn that the city, already struggling in the competition for jobs, will be set back.

Police: ‘Lock Your Water Taps’

If you thought the effects of the drought couldn’t get any worse, think again as police are now warning Californians to lock up their taps as thieves are stealing water like it’s liquid gold, KPIX reports.

Dodgers’ Plane Makes Emergency Landing

The Dodgers had a little excitement off the field Sunday evening as an airplane carrying the team from San Diego to Dallas was diverted to Los Angeles International Airport due to a mechanical issue, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Budget Vote Without Brown’s Blessing

State lawmakers are preparing to vote on the state’s $117.5 billion budget plan Monday without Gov. Jerry Brown signing off, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Weighing the Cost of Electricity

Do companies across the state charge customers more than public utilities? Yes, according to a survey that shows discrepancies between private and public electric companies with heavy users especially paying higher bills, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Nursing Home Chain Under Fire

Los Angeles entrepreneur Shlomo Rechnitz, who owns Brius Healthcare Service, a nursing home chain that controls around 1 out of every 14 nursing home beds statewide, has seen his homes be subject to a host of penalties, lawsuits and citations over the past few months, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Shaming Water Wasters

Public water shaming, with people posting photos of profligate water use, is reaching new heights as celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey, Sean Penn and Kanye West, are under the microscope for their lush lawns, Bloomberg reports.

‘State of Emergency’ Nears for Greece

It might be time for the European Union to declare a state of emergency as talks about how to get Greece out of default broke down over the weekend, Yahoo News reports. The news wasn’t good for stocks worldwide.

Box office: 'Jurassic World' Rules, Making Movie History

“Jurassic World” dominated the weekend box office, debuting to a record $204.6 million, making it the second biggest domestic opening in history, CNBC reports. Melissa McCarthy’s “Spy” snagged a distant second place, making $16 million while “San Andreas,” with Dwayne Johnson, came in third, picking up $11 million.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 194 points in early trading Monday to 17,705. The S&P 500 was down 21 points to 2,073. The Nasdaq was down 63 points to 4,988. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 229.

New Age For Aiding Elderly

Mobül’s home mobility shops offer welcoming shopping experience.

Mobül stores owner says he sells elderly assistance products with an age-old focus on customer service.

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Retailer Collars Deal For Dog Cops

Supply contract for airport squad big lift for small business.

Purr-fect Growlings’ sales get a new leash on life with a contract to supply airport police dogs.

Driving Traffic Fight

A brief encounter with tech billionaire Elon Musk three years ago wound up being financially fortuitous for David Murphy.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Reload Studios, a Tarzana video-game developer, has raised $2 million in a seed round funded by Palo Alto’s World Innovation Lab.

Film Studio’s Star Rises On Talk of Channel Deal

ENTERTAINMENT: Starz speculation spurs investors to rush into Lions Gate.

Studio Lions Gate channels talk of TV deal for Starz into stock surge.

Private Equity Firms Provide High-Stake Paydays

INVESTMENT: Ares exec’s compensation dwarfed by $113 million distributions.

Private equity firms’ compensation practice pays off in big distributions for executives.

Major L.A. Firm Likes Math of Merger Proposal

ACCOUNTING: RBZ to fold assets into larger business of Bay Area’s Armanino.

Merging RBZ and Armanino hope the combined firms will prove more than the sum of their parts.

New Tax Credits Produce More Programs for State

ENTERTAINMENT: Shows to relocate as accountants help direct TV decisions.

Growing field of state tax credits gives accountants key role in TV and film productions.

Fox Sees Couple of Winners in Two Talk Shows

TV: Channel to use summer to try out new programs, both with married co-hosts.

Fox TV is going back to a tried and tested policy to launch two L.A. talk shows this summer.

Firm Looks to Get Ball Rolling With Sports Clients

PRACTICE: Gibson Dunn game for cases beyond NFL’s return to L.A.

While the legal battles surrounding the possible return of professional football to Los Angeles have already begun, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher looks to capitalize on the burgeoning sports industry beyond the National Football League.

Shopping Center Looks to Have More in Stores

DEVELOPMENT: Cerritos’ Best Plaza brings in new tenants as part of renovation.

Beefed-up retail offerings are on their way to Cerritos, where the Best Plaza shopping center is being renovated and rebranded as Plaza 183.

Profitable Deal Bubbles Up for Coca-Cola Building

SALE: Partnership sells property for $50 million after $19 million purchase.

That didn’t take long. A partnership of Goldstein Plating Investments and Atlas Capital Group has flipped the Coca-Cola bottling plant at 963 E. Fourth St. in downtown L.A.’s Arts District in a $50 million deal with Hudson Pacific Properties Inc.


Calendar of events


Upcoming conventions

Suburbs’ Sweet Song

Downtown Los Angeles is thriving, sure, but that’s not hurting the popularity of the suburbs, Charles Crumpley writes.

Keep Cargo Moving

California should continue to lead on emission reduction, but goals must keep ports competitive.

John McLaurin urges regulators to shore up business at the ports as the state moves to lower emissions.

Labor Backs Rules Then Works to Avoid Them

Bill Dombrowski, Jot Condie and Gary L. Toebben blast unions for working to pass laws that they later want exclusion from.

Acquisition Fuels Up Gas Station Operator United

RETAIL: SoCal mainstay expands into new territory, triples service station count.

Acquisition pumps up reach of gas station operator United Oil.

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Largest Firm’s Split Decisions

LAW: Some attorneys rule out future at megamerged Dentons.

Dentons’ merger plans leave lawyers divided over whether to split from or join world’s largest firm.

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Rulings Button Up Battles Over Fashion Company

CLOTHING: Cases decided involved shareholders, board makeup, ex-CEO.

Court rulings zip up a string of cases involving shareholders, directors and former CEO of American Apparel.

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Solar Farm Heats Up Prospects for Job Program

ENERGY: 8minutenergy project may generate work for Homeboy graduates.

In August, Mid-Wilshire solar power developer 8minutenergy Renewables will begin construction on an $800 million solar power farm, dubbed Springbok, in Kern County, an installation that will provide electricity to about 1 million Los Angeles Department of Water and Power customers.

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Big Leap

Developers hop in, hype Frogtown as hip hot spot

Developers hope to get Los Angeles River-fronting Frogtown hopping as a new hip enclave.

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Hot Office Market Adds Retail Sizzle

DEVELOPMENT: Runway aims to fill Playa Vista’s shopping void.

Runway project looks to land retail tenants to run alongside Playa Vista’s already hot office market.

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Sunday, June 14

L.A. Seeks Line On Free Wi-Fi

GOVERNMENT: Council woos ISPs to hook up citywide access.

Los Angeles looks to link with ISPs to provide free citywide broadband access including Wi-Fi.

Friday, June 12

L.A. Tech Deal Flow: June 12

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

L.A. Launch List: June 12

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

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Wage Hike Becomes Official This Weekend

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is scheduled to sign the city’s minimum wage hike into law this weekend, capping the wage-raising campaign he started last fall.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Westwood’s St. Cloud Capital announced Wednesday that it has made an investment in Santa Fe Springs sporting goods company Bravo Sports. The investment will support the merger of Bravo and One Industries, a San Diego biking and motorcycle sports firm majority owned by Transom Capital Group in Brentwood. Terms were not disclosed.

Cherokee, Rubicon Project Among This Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies fell slightly for the week. The weighted LABJ index ticked down less than 1 percent to close at 231, with gainers outpacing losers 87 to 66. Five companies closed the week unchanged.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 141 points in Friday trading to close at 17,899. The S&P 500 fell 15 points to 2,094. The Nasdaq fell 31 points to 5,051. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 231.

Blow to Mojave Solar Farm

The answer is no to the question of whether Los Angeles will buy power from the Mojave solar farm as city officials have decided it would be too damaging to local wildlife, the Los Angeles Times reports. It could be a crippling blow to the plant.

Bad News for Mortgages

In a move that could throw a monkey wrench in the housing recovery, mortgage rates have shot above 4 percent for the first time this year, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Net Neutrality Gets Green Light

Despite industry objections, new net neutrality rules go into effect today after a federal appeals court denied petitions by AT&T; and other companies for a temporary stay, the Los Angeles Times reports.

LADWP Employee Charged with Misusing Money

A Los Angeles Department of Water and Power employee is being charged with misappropriating more than $4 million in public funds at a time when the utility hopes to raise its rates, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Trees Fall Victim to Drought

California’s trees are suffering as a result of the drought, but scientists insist it could encourage Californians to plant drought-tolerant trees instead as well as become more efficient at irrigation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Keep Playing, Nancy

Frustrated after being relegated to playing just five minutes a game, Dodgers organist Nancy Bea, the longest-tenured local stadium musician, said Thursday she’d retire at the end of the season. However, the team immediately stepped in and offered her a lifetime contract, the Los Angeles Times reports.

It’s not Mickey Mouse to the Economy

Who doesn’t love Disneyland? It turns out not many people, as the resort, which is Orange County’s largest employer, generates $5.7 billion a year for the local economy, according to an independent economic study, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Murdoch Gives Sons Power

After years of planning, Rupert Murdoch is preparing to hand over the reins of his broadcasting empire to his sons and is expected to name James as chief executive of 21st Century Fox while another son, Lachlan, will most likely become co-executive chairman, the New York Times reports.

Chinese Hack Gets Worse

The hack into government databases that was recently announced had actually been going on for more than a year with the Chinese hackers being undetected, according to sources, ABC News reports.

Day of Reckoning

It is voting day on Capitol Hill as the House of Representatives is scheduled to decide on the trade deal that would allow President Obama to have more authority to speed up passage of trade agreements, but members of his own party may block it, the Los Angeles Times reports. The measure passed the Senate last month.

Farewell to Twitter CEO

Twitter Chief Executive Dick Costolo is saying goodbye to the company, officially stepping down July 1, but the company says there will be no strategy change after he leaves, CNBC reports.

Getting Even

"If you can't beat them, shame them" is one woman's motto who has gotten so fed up with the bad parking habits of some Angelenos that she's created an Instagram account showcasing their blunders for all the world to see, LAist reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 101 points in early trading Friday to 17,938. The S&P 500 was down 12 points to 2,097. The Nasdaq was down 27 points to 5,056. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 232.

Thursday, June 11

Heinz to Close Chatsworth Plant

H.J. Heinz Co. is shutting down its condiments and sauces plant in Chatsworth and laying off 145 employees, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal has learned.

Thursday Rundown: Medbox Raises $3.5 million; NHL Settles Antitrust Lawsuit

NHL Settles Antitrust Lawsuit The National Hockey League has settled an antitrust lawsuit in which fans accused the NHL of conspiring with El Segundo satellite TV giant DirecTV, as well as Comcast Corp. and Madison Square Garden Co., to illegally use blackouts to limit the broadcasting of games outside of teams’ home markets.

Redondo Site To Get Creative Overhaul

Santa Monica investment, management and development firm Montana Avenue Capital Partners plans to turn a 50,000-square-foot Class C industrial building it purchased in Redondo Beach into creative office space.

Work/Life Balance: Antonia Lofaso

The restaurateur and former ‘Top Chef’ contestant on being a single parent, facing your fears and what it means to be a mentor.

Antonia Lofaso is living her dreams.

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Stocks Rise; Smart & Final Soars, Broadway Financial Falls

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39 points in Thursday trading to close at 18,039. The S&P 500 rose four points to 2,109. The Nasdaq rose six points to 5,083. The LABJ Stock Index rose one point to 232.

L.A.’s Newest Onramp: Easing Path to Broadband

In a move aimed at offering free Internet access to hundreds of thousands of Angelenos, the City Council yesterday proposed a plan to rent out city infrastructure to Internet service providers that agree to wire the city with high-speed broadband and a level of free Internet.

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Report: Ares in Talks to Buy Kayne Anderson

Private equity and debt giant Ares Management is close to acquiring fellow Century City money shop Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Tweets of the Week

Magic Wants Okafor, Eisner on Bullfighting

RBZ to Merge with Armanino

The two will become one as West Los Angeles accounting firm RBZ is expected to announce Thursday it will team up with Armanino of San Ramon to form a combined firm under the Armanino name. See the Los Angeles Business Journal’s coverage here.

More Condos Coming to Century City?

Whatever happened to JMB Realty Corp.'s plans to develop an office building on the Avenue of the Stars? They've now been scrapped, and the company is putting the prime land up for sale which could mean condos are on the way instead, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Make ‘Bootlegged’ Apartments Legal, Some Say

It looks as if city officials may be having a change of heart when it comes to shuttered apartments that had no city permits as some local lawmakers now want to legalize the "bootlegged" apartments in order to help with the affordable home shortage, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Drought Impact Worsens for Feathered Friends

Californians aren't the only ones who have to be worried about the statewide drought. Ducks and geese could also be in trouble as less water means fewer rice crops where the birds usually nest and feed, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Teams Duke It Out Over NFL

The bidding has begun as the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers all pitched proposals to National Football League officials on Wednesday to bring professional football back to Los Angeles, the Daily Breeze reports.

New Grocer Headed to Town

New grocery competition is coming to Southern California as German discount grocer Aldi plans to start opening 45 stores here by March, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Costly Cleanup

The cost to clean up the oil spill in Santa Barbara is getting pricier and is now more than $60 million and could go higher, according to officials, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California is Looking Good

It's been a gradual recovery, but the state is making a comeback as it would be the No. 7 economy in the world just after the United Kingdom, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Bill Gross Promises to Do Better

Bond fund manager Bill Gross says he plans to improve his underperforming Janus bond fund but tells financial advisors they must warn their clients to adjust to "a low-earning world," the Los Angeles Times reports.

Art Laboe Reconnects

The 89-year-old deejay Art Laboe, who had been dumped by what used to be called Hot 92.3 when it became a hip-hop station, has been hired by KDAY-FM (93.5), and his show, “The Art Laboe Connection,” can be heard on Sunday evenings, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Big Crowds for … Dunkin' Donuts?

The long lines of people who camped out for hours in Encino on Tuesday weren't waiting to get into a rock concert. They all showed up for the opening of a new Dunkin' Donuts, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Water at Your Own Risk

If you thought you were going to water your lawn during the day and go unnoticed, think again as drought shaming is on the rise with plenty of people these days posting such videos on Twitter and YouTube, the Associated Press reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 95 points in early trading Thursday to 18,095. The S&P 500 was up eight points to 2,113. The Nasdaq was up 17 points to 5,094. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 232.

RBZ Teams With Armanino

West L.A. accounting firm RBZ announced Thursday it will join Armanino of San Ramon, the largest accounting and consulting firm based in California by revenue.

Wednesday, June 10

Ticketmaster Looks to Dominate All Things Ticketing

Already king of venue ticket sales, Ticketmaster announced late Tuesday it was buying music festival ticketing service Front Gate Tickets of Austin and Toronto do-it-yourself ticketing website Universe. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

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American Apparel Paid $4.5 Million to End Suits

Downtown L.A. apparel maker American Apparel Inc. paid more than $4 million to plaintiffs and attorneys to resolve three lawsuits filed against the company and ousted former Chief Executive Dov Charney, according to documents that were recently made public.

SBE Moves Into Residential, Sells South Beach Hotel

L.A. hospitality giant SBE Entertainment Group, looking to push forward in a new direction in the wake of Sam Nazarian’s return as chief executive, is now in the business of flipping high-end residential real estate properties.

Wednesday Rundown: Wage Hike Almost Official, Sundance Cinema Selling, Arrowhead Drug Gets ‘Orphan’ Incentives

Council OKs Wage Hike It’s almost officially official: The Los Angeles City Council has given final approval to a minimum wage hike in the city, sending the measure to the mayor’s desk.

Disney May Lose $140 Million on 'Tomorrowland'

Walt Disney Co. may take up to a $140 million write down on its latest live-action release “Tomorrowland,” according to media reports on Wednesday.

FDA Recommends Amgen Cholesterol Drug

A regulatory advisory panel on Wednesday recommended approval for Repatha, a new cholesterol drug from Amgen Inc., although use should be limited to patients with high risk of heart disease.

Earthquake Engineers Shake Up Downtown Lease

Miyamoto International Inc., a Sacramento global structural engineering firm, will move into downtown L.A.’s Aon Center skyscraper.

Stocks Rise; Staar Surgical Looking Up, MannKind Down

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 236 points in Wednesday trading to close at 18,000. The S&P 500 rose 25 points to 2,105. The Nasdaq rose 63 points to 5,077. The LABJ Stock Index rose two points to 231.

New Class at Starting Line of Edmunds’ Tech Accelerator

Not wanting to be stuck in the slow lane of Internet publishing, car shopping information website announced its second class of Fastlane accelerator companies Tuesday.

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Musk Proposes to 'Rebuild Internet in Space'

Elon Musk’s space company has asked the government's permission to test a satellite system to beam Internet service from space, the Washington Post reports. If successful, the attempt could transform SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, from a pure rocket company into a high-speed Internet provider such as Comcast and AT&T;.

Recovery Coming to an End?

As lawmakers focus on the flush state budget, Gov. Jerry Brown warns California need to prepare for the next economic downturn, which he says is “around the corner,” the Los Angeles Times reports.

Prop 13 Again Under Attack

Will Proposition 13 be overhauled? Yes, if some state senators get their way. They are proposing it be changed so that local governments can boost taxes on commercial and industrial properties, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lackluster Summer Blockbusters

If you're disappointed so far by the summer fare at the movies, you're not the only one. Ticket sales have been on the decline, and studios have yet to release a breakout hit, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Microsoft Theater Debuts

Don't call it the Nokia Theatre anymore as the L.A. Live venue, owned by AEG, now has a new name: Microsoft Theater, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Tesla Getting Richer

The money keeps coming to Tesla as the company is now in line to get $15 million in California tax credits, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Rally for Minimum Wage

Hundreds of home services workers rallied Tuesday, saying don't leave them out when it comes to raising the minimum wage, the Los Angeles Times reports.

New Attitude

Will California make it through the drought? Yes, but it might require getting used to a more frugal way of living, according to Gov. Jerry Brown, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Trade Proposal Not Going Over Well

Most Americans, about two-thirds, are convinced the Obama-backed trade accord will not benefit American companies or their workers, according to an online NBC News survey by SurveyMonkey, NBC News reports.

Lightening the Load

Ready to pack even lighter the next time you fly? An airline trade group is proposing smaller carry-on bags for passengers, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Overpowering a Drone

In the battle of a drone versus man, an angry, shirtless man in Huntington Beach won after he swatted the drone to the ground like a fly, LAist reports.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones Industrial average was up 130 points in early trading Wednesday to 17,894. The S&P 500 was up 14 points to 2,094. The Nasdaq was up 25 points to 5,039. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 229.

Tuesday, June 9

Former KPMG Partner London Returns

Scott London, the former Los Angeles KPMG partner who pled guilty to insider trading, is out of prison – and back to work.

Banc of California Plans $200 Million Community Investment Fund

Banc of California Inc. announced Tuesday that it is committing to create a $200 million fund that will make investments guided by community leaders, including former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Jacobs Scores Long Beach Port Contract

Pasadena’s Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. is getting in on the Port of Long Beach’s $1.3 billion Middle Harbor project.

United Oil Triples Store Count with Acquisition

United Oil, a major operator of convenience stores and gas stations in Southern California, will vastly expand its operations across the Western United States after acquiring Pacific Convenience & Fuels of Pleasanton.

More Investment Sales Action in Pasadena

Pasadena is heating up. In the latest deal to hit the market, Zurich Alternative Asset Management last week sold its office building at 350 W. Colorado Blvd. for $34 million to an unnamed investment group. That deal, at $385 a square foot, was well above the average of $293 a foot paid last year in the submarket.

Tuesday Rundown: New Turner Fund Makes First Purchase, Hello Kitty Stores Coming to Universal Parks

New Turner Fund Makes First Acquisition The Turner Multifamily Impact Fund, a real estate investment fund launched last week by Santa Monica’s Turner Impact Capital, has closed on its first acquisition: Regency Pointe, a 48-building housing community in Forestville, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.

Stocks Mixed; MannKind Lags, Ceres Leads

The Dow Jones industrial average fell three points in Tuesday trading to close at 17,764. The S&P 500 rose one point to 2,080. The Nasdaq fell eight points to 5,014. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 229.

Tinder Employee Shakeups Continue

Now that West Hollywood dating app company Tinder has rebuilt its executive roster, the firm is shaking up its rank and file: The company confirmed Tuesday that it has laid off several employees.

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Calpers Cuts Could Hit L.A. Money Managers

Calpers, California’s $300 billion public employee pension fund, won’t be the toast of Wall Street this summer. On Monday, the agency announced that it plans to cut the number of external fund managers it works with by more than half, from 212 to 100, in a move designed to save on fee expenses.

‘No’ to Bullet Train Route

Rural folks have fought the bullet train and now they’re being joined by more urban interests as a coalition of community residents and officials are protesting the high-speed train’s planned route through the heart of San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles Times reports. The San Fernando mayor says the route, which would cut through that town’s downtown, could bankrupt the city. The coalition wants the route to go underground.

No Rosy Economic Forecast, CEOs Say

Hope you enjoyed the recovery. Some top chief executives say the economy is not looking up and are planning to spend and hire less over the next six months, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Disney Choosing Cheaper Labor

Criticism may be intensifying for the Walt Disney Co. for replacing some American workers with cheaper foreign ones, as the Economic Policy Institute reports.

Student Loan Debt Relief

Help may be on the way for more Corinthian College students as the Education Department has decided that tens thousands of additional students could wipe out their federal loan debt after the Santa Ana-based institution closed in April, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Blue Shield Under the Microscope

It may not be smooth sailing for Blue Shield of California's proposed $1.2 billion purchase of Care1st Health Plan, a Medicaid insurer, as one California regulator vows to get to the bottom of whether Blue Shield has a charitable trust obligation, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Can Apple Beat Spotify?

Apple Inc. joins a crowded field in the music streaming service but it has one big advantage: iTunes, CNBC reports.

Fate of Obamacare

Some could lose their health insurance if the Supreme Court rules this month that some aspects of the Affordable Care Act were illegal, but few states have made plans to deal with the dilemma, and President Obama says there won't be help from Washington, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Less Pain at the Pump

Good news for that upcoming summer road trip. Gas prices are going down with the average price dropping 26 cents in recent weeks, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

General Motors to Face Wire-Fraud Charges?

More trouble for General Motors as the Justice Department may charge the company with criminal wire fraud as a result of the car maker's failure to recall millions of cars that had defective ignition switches, the Wall Street Journal reports.

GE to Sell Lending Unit

In an effort to get out of the banking business, General Electric Co. has decided to sell its private-equity-lending unit to Canada's largest pension fund for about $12 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

HSBC to Cut 50,000 Jobs

HSBC has announced it will get rid of as many as 50,000 jobs in order to improve the company’s bottom line and put more focus on Asia, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company also plans to leave Turkey and scale back on business in Brazil.

Brian Williams Out?

BC's Brian Williams may soon be out of a job at the anchor desk permanently, so says Emily Smith, Page Six reports.

Skunk Alert at Dodger Stadium

What’s been happening lately at Dodger Stadium is smelly enough, but last week a family of skunks made the dugout at the baseball stadium their home, LAist reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 10 points in early trading Tuesday to 17,757. The S&P 500 was down six points to 2,073. The Nasdaq was down 30 points to 4,992. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 230.

Monday, June 8

Landmark to Launch Virtual Reality Theme Parks in China

The Landmark Entertainment Group of Pasadena, a company known for creating 3-D rides in amusement parks such as Universal Studios Hollywood, is creating a whole new type of attraction: virtual theme parks.

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L.A. Tech Events Calendar 6/8 - 6/21

Roundup of L.A. tech events in the next two weeks.

Murad Alleges CVS Selling Goods Without Permission

Skincare company Murad Inc. said it filed a lawsuit Monday against CVS Health Corp. alleging the retail pharmacy chain has been selling its products without the El Segundo firm’s permission.

CAA Buys into Hospitality Business

Century City talent powerhouse Creative Artists Agency bolstered its share of the sports and hospitality market by acquiring two major industry players, the agency announced Monday.

On Assignment Closes Acquisition of Creative Circle

Staffing firm On Assignment Inc. has closed its acquisition of Creative Circle LLC, a digital marketing and advertising staffing company, in a deal valued at $570 million.

FDA to Weigh Amgen’s Repatha

Health regulators have decided a new drug from Amgen Inc. reduces “bad” cholesterol, but they aren’t sure it’s for everyone.

American Apparel Board Nominees Withdrawn as Advisory Panel is Formed

A minority shareholder of embattled downtown apparel manufacturer and retailer American Apparel Inc. has withdrawn his attempt to nominate directors at next month’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

Stocks Fall; MannKind Soars, Ceres Keeps Slipping

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 83 points in Monday trading to close at 17,767. The S&P 500 fell 14 points to 2,079. The Nasdaq fell 47 points to 5,022. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 230.

TaskUs Raises Capital to Expand Outsourcing for Startups

TaskUs, a Santa Monica company that has grown exponentially by providing outsourced customer support to venture-backed startups, has taken a $15 million investment from Filipino private equity firm Navegar.

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Hudson Pacific Buys Arts District’s Coke Plant

That didn’t take long. The partnership of Goldstein Plating Investments and Atlas Capital Group has flipped the Coca-Cola manufacturing plant at 963 E. Fourth St. in downtown L.A.’s Arts District it acquired a little more than a year ago.

Water Losses Require New Attitude

Citing statistics that claim about 20 percent of the state's water supply has been lost to climate change and over demand, according to the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District, experts say everyone must rethink ways to be even more water efficient, the Los Angeles Times reports.

L.A. Market Hot for Start-Ups

Investments in start-ups in the Los Angeles area grew to $2 billion last year, up 25 percent, according to a report by researcher CB Insights and venture capital firm Upfront Ventures. Los Angeles is second only to Silicon Valley in terms of deals being made, said one venture capitalist, the Los Angeles Times reports.

But How Big is that Tech Industry?

Everyone agrees the tech industry is booming in Los Angeles. But there is no consensus on how to measure its growth, the Los Angeles Times reports. For example, is an Uber driver a “tech worker”?

FIFA Case Hitting Locally

The FIFA corruption scandal is starting to hit home as El Segundo satellite TV giant DirecTV was among media companies that worked with executives at marketing firms that are now facing bribery charges by federal authorities, the Wall Street Journal reports. However, the American companies are not being charged.

More Problems at the Ports

New inspection policies are adding wait times for drivers, some trucking industry advocates say. Procedures now require union members to inspect chassis for so-called “roadability,” the Daily Breeze reports.

Lane-Splitting Soon May be Legal, but Drivers Don’t Like It

Do you hate it when motorcyclists speed past you, splitting lanes? Join the club. Nearly two-thirds of drivers are against lane-splitting, according to a new survey by the state Office of Traffic. Nonetheless, the practice may soon be legal, the Los Angeles Daily News reports.

Saving Water on the Field

The drought is impacting some sports venues, such as baseball, golf and football, as managers are being forced to come up with new ways to make their turf green, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Slow Second Quarter Expected

Economic growth in the second quarter is expected to be much weaker than previously predicted and will probably prevent growth from going above last year's 2.4 percent, according to a forecast by some business economists, CNBC reports.

Spotify’s Controversy

Reacting to some controversy, Spotify's Chief Executive says his service will save the music business, not kill it. But he soon will face a new challenge from Apple, the Guardian reports.

Co-CEOs at Deutsche Bank to Step Down

Deutsche Bank's two co-chief executives are bidding adieu to the bank as both men have resigned, the New York Times reports.

Love in the Drive-Thru Lane

Want an engagement ring with your Big Mac? One man's girlfriend said, "No thanks," after he decided to propose in a McDonald's drive-thru by hiding her ring in a crispy chicken deluxe sandwich, LAist reports.

Box Office: 'Spy' Weekend Hit

"Spy," starring Melissa McCarthy, topped the weekend box office, taking in $30 million from its debut in the United States and Canada, the Los Angeles Times reports. "San Andreas" came in second, making $26.4 million over the weekend followed by "Insidious: Chapter 3," which came in at $23 million.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones Industrial average was down 28 points in early trading Monday to 17,821. The S&P 500 was down five points to 2,088. The Nasdaq was down 19 points to 5,049. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 231.

Freight-Forwarder Moves Up, Into Larger Facility

SHIPPING: Icat Logistics credits growth in business for need to take space.

With industrial space at a premium in Los Angeles County, Erik Jolliff can count himself lucky.

Ex-Champ Still in Boxing’s Corner

SPORTS: De La Hoya charts future after ‘fight of century’ fail.

Oscar De La Hoya weighs in with his own plan to win back boxing fans after the Pacquiao-Mayweather flop.

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Hotels Say Sustainable Moves Could Stick Around

HOSPITALITY: Some water cuts have reduced costs, generated more business.

Some hotels have no reservations over limiting water use as moves have cut costs and boosted business.

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In Beds Together

HEALTH CARE: Medical building owner revamps facility to handle rehabilitation patients of Cedars-Sinai, UCLA.

Medical building owner gets Cedars-Sinai and UCLA to check into its property as a rehabilitation facility.

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Early Kickoff For NFL Cases

LAW: Plaintiffs field suits over team relocation, stadium plans.

Attorneys are getting a jump on helping parties tackle the legal issues around an NFL team relocating to Los Angeles.

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County’s Plaza Topples Builder

CONSTRUCTION: Unpaid tab left Accent unable to cover bills.

Accent Builders is almost history after Los Angeles County refused to pay the tab for a cultural center project.

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Paying for Wage Hike: City’s Definition of Small Business Means Big Hit for Some Employers

Leron Gubler fears the minimum-wage hike will put a big hurt on L.A. businesses defined as “small.”

Paying for Wage Hike: Impact Will Land in Part on Leases As Retail Chains Will Lose Ground

Jeremy Bagott sees the increase leaving land values in a hole.

Time to Dig 710 Connection

A tunnel under Alhambra appears the best way to connect the 710 freeway to the 210, digging L.A. out of some traffic snarls, Charles Crumpley opines.

Turning Page

Playboy looks to licensing, branding as mag sales sag

Playboy has less skin in the game as its focus turns from the iconic magazine to branding and licensing.

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Investor Banks on Class B Office Space in Pasadena

ACQUISITION: Buyer pays $34 million for home to Wells Fargo, other tenants.

Pasadena is heating up. In the latest deal to hit the market, Zurich Alternative Asset Management last week sold its office building at 350 W. Colorado Blvd. for $34 million to an unnamed investment group.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Firms Help Collectors Frame Art in Terms of Loans

LENDING: Borrowers can unlock big bucks while still keeping pieces at home.

The capital of media arts is becoming a center for fine arts. Galleries seem to be popping up everywhere from downtown Los Angeles to Venice to West Hollywood.

Beach Boys Movie Shored Up Production in L.A.

FILM: Brian Wilson insisted biographical tale include local feel, landmarks.

Beach Boys icon Brian Wilson insisted on just one thing when agreeing to have a new movie made about his life: that it be filmed here in Los Angeles.

Eye Surgeon Looks to Join Board of Lens Maker

GOVERNANCE: Investor makes pitch while picturing Staar in tough position.

An investor in implantable lens maker Staar Surgical Co. is eyeing a seat on the Monrovia firm’s board.

Veteran Investor at Home With Affordable Housing

REAL ESTATE: Socially conscious impact guides Bobby Turner’s new fund.

Bobby Turner discusses how he homes in on the social impact of his housing investments.

DoubleLine Builds Bridge Loans Into Partnership

LENDING: Investment giant teams with Thorofare in pursuit of high yields.

DoubleLine rates Thorofare worthy of a partnership as it as crosses over into bridge loans.

Cancer Drug’s Little Boost Results in Big Fallout

HEALTH CARE: Puma stock falls 25 percent after report of turbulent clinical trial.

Puma stock takes a big dip after its cancer drug only gives a little boost beyond a placebo in a clinical trial.

Apparel Firm Turns Mixed Bag Into Stock Spike

CLOTHING: Guess raises guidance after surprising analysts with earnings.

Investors find Guess a good fit after the apparel maker beats earnings expectations and up its guidance.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

K-Swiss Inc., a Westlake Village apparel and footwear company, has acquired One-Distribution, a Fountain Valley skate-inspired apparel and footwear maker, from a group of shareholders including San Mateo private equity firm Bertram Capital.

No Trouble Pitching Camp to Kids

When Mike McKeever, a senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle’s downtown L.A. office, isn’t busy striking real estate deals in L.A’s concrete jungle, he likes to spend time in a real forest.

Dentist Aims To Clean Up On Airplanes

Jay Grossman hopes sales of tray covers lift his charity work.

Dentist Jay Grossman hopes the sale of pockets for airplane tray tables will help cover his charity work.

Relief For When Lifting Can’t Wait

Supplement seller SuppNow is pumped up about the prospects of its vending machines in gyms.

Program Sees Landing Job As Job One

Skillify looks to teach college students how to get foot in doors.

Skillify schools students on the importance of networking and other career builders.

Sunday, June 7

STUDY: High Housing Costs Hold Down High Tech

ECONOMY: Anderson Forecast also says sector hurt by education issues.

Despite the tech sector’s buzz, report says expensive housing and educational issues are curbing growth.

Friday, June 5

L.A. Launch List: June 5

A weekly roundup of L.A. tech company and product launches.

Senator Calls for Federal Investigation of Disney

A Florida senator has called for on an investigation into potential misuses of a controversial visa program used by Walt Disney Co. and other companies that employ immigrants to fill engineering and tech positions.

DreamWorks Shares Soar to High

Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. hit a 15-month high on Friday in response to an analyst upgrade.

Premier Business Bank, First Mountain Bank to Join

PBB Bancorp, the parent company of downtown L.A.’s Premier Business Bank, announced late Thursday that it has entered into negotiations to merge with Big Bear Lake’s First Mountain Bank.

Langer Juice Founder Dies at 86

Nathan Langer, who survived the Holocaust and went on to found Langer Juice Co., died Wednesday at the age of 86.

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Beverly Hills firm Levine Leichtman Capital Partners announced Tuesday that it has completed the sale of microwave component manufacturer Pacific Wave Systems Inc. in Garden Grove to Canadian telecom systems manufacturer COM DEV International Ltd. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mannkind, ReachLocal Among this Week’s Movers

The Los Angeles Business Journal’s index of the largest local public companies rose slightly for the week. The weighted LABJ index was up less than 1 percent to close at 232, with gainers outpacing losers 94 to 56. Eight companies closed the week unchanged.

L.A. Tech Deal Flow: June 5

A weekly roundup of must-read L.A. tech investments and acquisitions.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 56 points in Friday trading to close at 17,849. The S&P 500 fell three points to 2,093. The Nasdaq rose nine points to 5,068. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 232.

Labor Market Looking Up

Employers added a fairly robust 280,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department, but unemployment was slightly up at 5.5 percent in May compared to 5.4 percent the previous month, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Looking Good for Marijuana

Proposals to regulate medical marijuana on a statewide basis are advancing in the state legislature. It’s possible that an Office of Medical Marijuana Regulation will be created to oversee how pot is grown and sold, the Los Angeles Times reports. Local cities and counties could also choose to tax sales of marijuana.

Alternative Oil Solution

With the main pipeline out of commission in Santa Barbara, Exxon Mobil officials now hope to use a fleet of tank trucks to move crude oil through the area, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Ruptured Pipeline Owner in Trouble Before

Plains All American Pipeline, which owns the pipe that ruptured in Santa Barbara, had bought a number of smaller pipeline companies that didn’t always have good maintenance procedures. As a result, Plains has a history of fines and other spills, the Los Angeles Times reports.

What's the Fracking Fuss About Again?

While environmental groups have long protested fracking, the drilling method has been found to have no big impact on drinking water, according to a study by the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Chinese Hackers at It Again

After federal officials revealed that Chinese hackers stole the records of as many as four million government workers, the hackers may also have taken personal information from health-care companies earlier this year, according to investigators, Bloomberg reports.

OPEC: We’ll Keep Pumping

Good news for motorists. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries says it will maintain its production levels at 30 million barrels a day for at least another six months, according to Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister, CNBC reports. That means gasoline prices are likely to stay down, at least for areas outside of California, where prices are kept high because of taxes and regulations.

'Pink Viagra' on the Way?

Don't leave women out. A new “pink Viagra” has been approved by a government panel. If the FDA gives it the final go-ahead, it would be the first drug for the treatment of female sexual dysfunction, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Would You Recycle Your 'Gray' Water?

Desperate times apparently call for desperate measures as some Californians are fighting the drought by recycling their own "gray" water, the runoff from the shower, bathroom sinks and washing machines, the Associated Press reports.

Customizing Your Big Mac

The future is here, at least at McDonald's, as the fast food giant has just opened its only L.A. location, at 201 West Washington Blvd., that allows you to customize your burger with automated "Create your taste" kiosks, without having to talk to anyone, LAist reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up eight points in early trading Friday to 17,194. The S&P 500 was up two points to 2,098. The Nasdaq was down nine points to 5,051. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 232.

Thursday, June 4

Mojix Tracks Down Software Company

Not wanting to be left behind in the fast-changing Internet of Things industry, L.A.’s Mojix has purchased software maker TierConnect of Plymouth, Mich.

Lions Gate Merger in the Starz?

Speculation is growing that Santa Monica’s Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. could buy pay-tv channel Starz.

LegalZoom Alleges Federal Antitrust Violations Inc. has sued the North Carolina State Bar Association, accusing the professional organization of violating federal antitrust laws by trying to prevent the company from selling its legal services plan in the state.

Tweets of the Week: Soon-Shiong on Mutations, Amoruso on Aging

Patrick Soon-Shiong understands this tweet, even if you don’t.

Thursday Rundown: Dodgers Hit TVs Tuesday, Art Laboe Returns

Good news for baseball fans and Charter cable customers: Los Angeles Dodgers channel SportsNet LA will start airing on Charter Tuesday, marking the first time in more than a year anyone other than Time Warner Cable customers will be able to regularly watch games.

Stocks Fall; ReachLocal Rises, Trio Tech Stalls

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 171 points in Thursday trading to close at 17,906. The S&P 500 fell 18 points to 2,096. The Nasdaq fell 40 points to 5,059. The LABJ Stock Index fell one point to 232.

Minimum Wage Approved by Council

Despite warnings from the business community, the Los Angeles City Council signed off on raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Mayor Eric Garcetti is expected to sign the law by next week. Even the Los Angeles Business Council, the lone business group that supported an earlier proposal that would have raised the wage less, appears to have reservations about the new law.

State Senate Approves Climate Bill

A climate change bill has been approved by the State Senate that would boost renewable energy, increase energy efficiency in buildings and ban some new offshore oil drilling, the Los Angeles Times reports. Democrats deny that the bill is a job killer, but Republicans say it will raise fuel costs and burden businesses with more regulations.

Garcetti Taps New LAWA Head

A new air chief is headed to town as Deborah Ale Flint, director of Oakland International Airport, is expected to oversee Los Angeles World Airports and its three facilities after being nominated by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. See the Los Angeles Business Journal's coverage here.

Caruso's $25 Million Gift

Billionaire developer Rick Caruso and his wife are expected to announce Thursday a donation of $25 million to USC to aid research into how stem cells might restore hearing in light of their teenage daughter's successful hearing-loss treatment at the university last year. See the Los Angeles Business Journal's coverage here.

Don’t Mess with Proposition 13, Poll Finds

Support seems to be fading for the removal of commercial properties from Proposition 13 tax limits, according to a new poll by the Public Policy of California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Might Critics Warm Up to This Desalination Plant?

The $1-billion desalination plant being built in Carlsbad may cause some critics of the technology to change their minds, the Los Angeles Times reports. That’s because it will be less damaging to the environment.

How Many Candidates is That Now?

Rick Perry, the ex-Texas governor, is throwing his hat in the ring as he has announced a second run for the White House, the Wall Street Journal reports. Meanwhile, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is expected to kick off his presidential campaign for the Republican presidential nomination on June 15, the Journal also reports.

Hatching a Plan to Find Foreign Eggs

Are European eggs coming to your neighborhood bakery? Possibly, as the Avian flu outbreak has had bakers nationwide scrambling to buy eggs from overseas, NPR reports.

Eyeing Your Neighbor

Do most Californians believe their neighbors are doing enough to help fight the state drought? The answer is no, according to a new poll by the Public Policy Institute of California which shows that the biggest critics are in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Feds Say Pipeline Damaged

The pipeline that ruptured, spilling more than 100,000 gallons of oil all over Santa Barbara's pristine beaches last month, was corroded, according to federal regulators, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, they say that does not fully explain what caused it to fail.

Tar Balls in Long Beach

If you thought you were headed to the beach in Long Beach this weekend, think again. Four miles of it have been closed after tar balls showed up on shore, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Dish Network Merging with T-Mobile?

Another media merger may be on the way as Dish Network and T-Mobile are the latest communications companies to discuss consolidating, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Ruby Necklace Tops Christie’s Sale

At Christie’s recent $415 million sale in Hong Kong, people grabbed up art, ceramics and handbags. But jewels shined above the competition; a $13.1 million, 120-carat Burmese diamond and ruby necklace was the priciest item sold, Bloomberg reports.