Stories for January 2016

Sunday, January 31

Brothers Divided by Air Line Feud

AVIATION: Surf Air co-founder alleges stake devalued in scheme.

Lawsuit by Surf Air co-founder David Eyerly alleges investors schemed to devalue his stake in the company.

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Friday, January 29

Dov Charney Refuses to Fold

CLOTHING: Founder to start rival to American Apparel?

Dov Charney and his backers look to stitch together a future in fashion for the founder of American Apparel.

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Chargers Will Stay in San Diego – For Now

The Chargers will not be joining the Rams in Los Angeles after all – at least not yet. Dean Spanos, owner and chairman of the San Diego NFL team, announced Friday that the Chargers will play in San Diego next season.

Joe’s Jeans Merges, Gets New Name

Joe’s Jeans Inc. in downtown Los Angeles announced Friday it has merged its Hudson Jeans brand with Robert Graham and has changed its name to Differential Brands Group Inc. Joe’s bought the Hudson brand in 2013 and sold its Joe’s Jeans brand in September.

Battery Company Sonnen Plugs Into L.A.

Sonnen, a German residential energy storage developer, has opened its U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles in its bid to become a big player in the home battery market in America, according to Greentech Media. It counts Tesla as its chief rival in the residential solar energy storage market.

StartEngine Shifts Into Crowdfunding Market Gear

Santa Monica's StartEngine announced Friday it intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a registered funding portal. According to the Los Angeles Times, the funding portal will function in a similar fashion to stock exchanges where, starting in May, small companies will be able to sell shares directly to the masses.

A Christian Future for Variety Arts Center

The Variety Arts Center, a Figueroa Street landmark in downtown Los Angeles that has remained idle even as billion-dollar projects bloomed all around it, is moving into the future and closer to heaven, the Downtown News reported Friday.

Boxer, Feinstein Seek Probe of Gas Leak

Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein called on federal regulators to investigate the cause of Southern California Gas Co.’s massive natural gas leak at its Aliso Canyon storage facility, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Friday.

What to Watch This Weekend

Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

West L.A. private equity firm Brentwood Associates announced Thursday that its portfolio company, Monterey-based maker of pre-Kindergarten and grade school educational products Excelligence Learning Corp., has acquired Really Good Stuff Inc. of Monroe, Conn., a marketer of primarily grade school classroom tools. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 397 points in Friday trading to close at 16,466. The S&P rose 47 points to 1,940. The Nasdaq rose 107 points to 4,614. The LABJ Stock Index rose 5 points to 217.

Differential Brands, OSI Among This Week’s Movers

Differential Brands Group Inc., a new downtown Los Angeles apparel firm that grew out of Joe’s Jeans, made a different kind of fashion statement Friday when shares of the new company rose 26 percent for the week, closing at $8. Tutor Perini Corp., a Sylmar company specializing in general contracting, building and civil construction, rose 24 percent this week, closing at $13.21. The week’s biggest loser among stocks trading above $1 was OSI Systems, Inc. is Hawthorne developer and marketer of security and inspection systems, fell 30 percent this week, closing at $54.82.

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Jan. 29

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

Susa Ventures Starts Fundraising $50 Million Fund

Early stage investing firm Susa Ventures has started raising its second fund, worth $50 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Silicon Beach Launch List: Jan. 29

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

StartEngine Shifts Into Crowdfunding Market Gear

Santa Monica's StartEngine announced Friday it intends to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission to become a registered funding portal.

Way In on Way Out?

FINANCE: Developers fear short stay for EB-5 visa program that serves as low-cost funding source for projects.

EB-5 visa program’s financial benefit to developers could be scrapped over fraud concerns.

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Would you seriously consider living in downtown Los Angeles (assuming you don’t now)?

New Fees for California Solar Owners

California regulators have passed rules that will increase costs for owners of rooftop solar systems, the Los Angeles Times reports. But the state's investor-owned utilities said the added charges, which passed by a 3-2 vote Thursday, do not go far enough.

SoCalGas to Pay for Gas Leak Repairs

Southern California Gas Co. said Thursday that the utility can pay for all costs associated with the natural gas leak at Porter Ranch, the L.A. Daily News reports. However, SoCalGas President and Chief Executive Dennis Arriola did not guarantee that there would be no cost to the public.

Audit: City of Industry Didn´t Track Millions

A state review said that the City of Industry paid tens of millions of dollars to city contractors without keeping track of how the money was spent, according to the Los Angeles Times. Auditors found that city officials charged expensive meals, wine tastings, massages, an iPad and a 65-inch television to city credit cards, noting that a total of 83 percent of all charges over the period reviewed were "questionable."

LA Vacancy Rate Falls

The rental vacancy rate for Los Angeles was 2.7 percent in the last quarter of 2015, compared to 3.8 percent in the first three months of the year, according to KPCC. That makes Los Angeles one of the tightest rental markets in the country.

Commercial Tenants to Stay on Veterans Campus in Westwood

A plan to overhaul the V.A.'s Westwood campus was unveiled Thursday, showing that some commercial tenants will likely be allowed to stay, KPCC reports. The V.A.'s proposal includes 1,200 units of permanent supportive housing for veterans and allows UCLA and the Brentwood School to keep their facilities.

Vin Scully Avenue?

The street leading to Dodger Stadium may be renamed in honor of the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, the Los Angeles Times reports. Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo plans to make a motion Friday to rename Elysian Park Avenue after the 88-year-old play-by-play announcer who has been with the team since 1950.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 95 points in early trading Friday to 16,164. The S&P 500 rose 8 points to 1,902. The Nasdaq rose 9 points to 4,516. The LABJ Stock Index fell slightly to 211.

Thursday, January 28

Jukin Media Inks Deal with Huffington Post

Jukin Media of Culver City has signed a deal with the Huffington Post to supply it with licensed user-generated videos.

Barbie: You Can Stop Talking About My Body, Now

Barbie, long criticized for her perfect figure, is putting on weight – and coming in several more diverse versions. Mattel Inc., the El Segundo maker of Barbie, said Thursday it will begin selling the iconic doll in “curvy,” tall, and petite body types, according to The Daily News.

Hyperloop Technologies in Talks with Chinese Rail Company

China’s biggest maker of railway equipment, CRRC Corp., is in talks for a potential investment in downtown’s Hyperloop Technologies Inc., reports Bloomberg.

3BD Connects Dots With Legendary Entertainment

As Angelo Pullen sees it, everybody from infancy to 80 is a gamer…they just don’t know it yet. The co-founder of downtown Los Angeles gaming and entertainment startup 3BlackDot, points out that if you’ve downloaded Candy Crush or have played Angry Birds, there’s a good chance you may be a gamer. And that’s a good thing.

Charter to Give Fast Internet to Low-Income Customers

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday that a four-hour hearing in Downtown L.A. staged by Charter Communications to get public reaction to its $67-billion plan to buy Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks drew dozens of enthusiastic supporters – and some vocal critics. During the session, Charter discussed plans to provide affordable Internet service for some of Southern California's poor residents, a key selling point for community group leaders in attendance.

Amgen Beats 4Q Expectations

Amgen Inc. reported fourth-quarter financial results on Thursday that beat analyst estimates, at least on earnings. For the fourth quarter, the Thousand Oaks pharmaceutical company reported adjusted net income of $2 billion ($2.37 a share), compared to $1.7 billion ($1.68) for the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue increased 4 percent to $5.5 billion.

PKF Rebrands After CBRE Merger

Nearly a year and a half after downtown Los Angeles commercial real estate services firm CBRE acquired PKF-HR, an advisory and real estate firm specializing in the hospitality industry, PKF-HR announced Thursday it would be rebranded CBRE Hotels officially in February, according to real estate trade web site Thursday.

Excellent Adventure in ‘Quantum’ Filmmaking

A video starring Stephen Hawking and Paul Rudd engaged in a game of Quantum Chess premiered Tuesday night in Caltech’s Beckman Auditorium as part of “One Entangled Evening,” a celebration of past and present quantum science. The event tribute to the legacy of the late Caltech physicist Richard Feynman, who received the Nobel Prize in physics 50 years ago.

Stocks Mostly Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 131 points in Thursday trading to close at 16,075. The S&P rose 12 points to 1,895. The Nasdaq rose 39 points to 4,506. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points to 211.

High Speed Train Slowed Down

California’s bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco could take longer to build than previously estimated but may cost less than originally planned, state legislators heard Wednesday. Despite already being two years behind schedule, the complex project could come in at less than the originally proposed $68 billion, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Aliso Canyon Closure Considered

State commissioners are examining whether the Aliso Canyon natural gas field near Porter Ranch should be permanently shut down following the massive leak there, the Los Angeles Times reports. One element is seeing whether Southern California Gas Co. can find alternative storage sites and delivery systems to compensate for possible gas shortfalls.

Kings´ broadcaster to Take Leave

Los Angeles Kings broadcaster Bob Miller, who has been the hockey team’s play by play announcer since 1973, is taking a leave of absence to undergo heart surgery, reports the Washington Post. The 77-year-old is in his 43rd season. It could be weeks if not months before he is back behind the microphone.

L.A. Commuting Made Easier

Xerox has partnered with the city of Los Angeles to make a new transportation app which promises to change the way Angelenos commute. The Go LA app lists route options for public transit, ride-hailing services, taxis, driving, bicycling, and motorbikes, and says which is cheapest and fastest, according to CBS.

Self-Driving Cars Seek Green Light in California

Self-driving car companies want government regulators to clear the road. But California's Department of Motor Vehicles is currently determining how to keep the public safe as the technology emerges, the AP reports.

Costs for Solar Owners

California regulators will vote on new rules for compensating owners of rooftop solar systems, the Los Angeles Times reports. The California Public Utilities Commission proposed increased fees on rooftop solar owners, while Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Pacific Gas & Electric asked the commission to charge solar owners hefty fees. The proposed decision expected Thursday is viewed as a compromise

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 98 points in early trading Thursday to 16,042. The S&P 500 was up 12 points to 1,894. The Nasdaq was up 30 points to 4,498. The LABJ Stock Index was down slightly to 214.

Wednesday, January 27

SteelHouse Revenue Grows 170%

Advertising software company SteelHouse of Culver City grew revenue last year by 170 percent to a $130 million revenue run rate.

Snapchat Adds Cosmopolitan Editor to Board

Snapchat added Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles to its board of directors, reports Women's Wear Daily.

Vivid, AHF Reach Condom Settlement

A settlement has been reached between Vivid Entertainment and AIDS Healthcare Foundation over a Los Angeles County law requiring mandatory use of condoms in adult films. The Cahuenga Pass adult film production company and Hollywood-based advocacy group have a March 31 deadline to finalize the agreement, according to a story posted at XBiz, an adult industry news website.

Would you seriously consider living in downtown Los Angeles (assuming you don’t now)?

LAX Lands Second Year of Record Passengers

Los Angeles International Airport officials announced late Tuesday that the airport saw a second consecutive year of record-setting passenger volume. Year-end statistics showed the airport served 74,936,256 passengers in 2015, 6 percent greater than the 2014 record.

‘Critical’ Moment for Relativity TV With Relaunch

Critical Content, borne out of the October bankruptcy of Relativity Media, was formally launched Wednesday as an independent content studio producer that will, in part, replace Relativity’s television division.

New Mercury Policy Rises For Uber, Lyft Drivers

Drivers seeking extra income have embraced Uber and Lyft as much as their customers have embraced the convenience of the ride-hailing apps. However, ride-hailing drivers also face the problem of insurance.

Montage Hotels and Ares Management Strike Deal

The Orange County Business Journal reported that Montage Hotels & Resorts LLC in Irvine said a real estate fund affiliated with Ares Management in Los Angeles will buy up to 20 percent of the company and, in addition, “provide up to $200 million in future growth capital” to acquire and develop properties Montage would operate.

KCRW Host Warren Olney Retires

“Which Way” do we turn for civil discussion on current events in L.A.? That’s a question followers of Warren Olney will ask when “Which Way L.A.,” his KCRW public affairs-focused radio, signs off for the last time Thursday.

Smokeless Tobacco Tagged Out at Dodger Stadium

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance banning the use of smokeless tobacco products at all baseball fields and other sports venues in the city, according to the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday.

Barabas Shirts a Fashion Sensation

A photograph of drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman wearing a Barabas shirt with actor Sean Penn made him an accidental fashion icon and Barabas one of the world’s hottest men’s labels. And the momentum is growing, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday in a follow-up to its original coverage two weeks ago.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 223 points in Wednesday trading to close at 15,945. The S&P fell 21 points to 1,883. The Nasdaq fell 99 points to 4,563. The LABJ Stock Index fell 4 points to 213.

Shrinking Ridership for Metro

Boardings on mass transit lines operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority declined more than 10 percent from 2006 to 2015, despite $9 billion in investments in new subway and light rail lines. According to the Los Angeles Times, Metro now has fewer boardings than it did three decades ago, when buses were the county's only transit option.

Up Next: Expo Line

Maybe this will increase ridership. Metro announced Tuesday that the western leg of the Expo Line will open for business in May, MyNewsLA reports. The completed train line, which has been in the works for decades, will run from Downtown to Santa Monica through Culver City.

Yoga Guru to Pay $6.4 million

A jury has decided that Bikram Choudhury must pay $6.4 million in punitive damages, the Los Angeles Times reports. The case involved a lawsuit by Choudhury´s former legal advisor who alleged that Choudhury sexually harassed her and that she was fired after investigating claims that Choudhury raped a yoga student.

VIP Lounge at LAX Approved

The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved plans to create a private lounge at Los Angeles International Airport for celebrities who want to avoid the paparazzi. According to the L.A. Daily News, the council voted 10-0 to concur with the airport commission’s approval of a lease with Gavin de Becker & Associates, a security firm, to create the lounge.

Paramount Sued by Production Assistants

Four production assistants have sued Paramount Pictures, saying they were not paid minimum wage or overtime despite working "round-the-clock," nor were they allowed to take bathroom breaks, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Save Water, Drink from the Toilet

Officials spoke about a toilet-to-tap water recycling program at the Long Beach Hotel on Tuesday, the L.A. Daily News reports. Lots of people may struggle to get over the eww factor, yet state and federal officials believe in the water reuse system as drought conditions have pressed agencies to come up with new ideas.

Doomed Sixth Street Bridge Draws Last-Minute Fans

A crowd gathered on the Sixth Street Bridge Tuesday night to bid the viaduct farewell. The bridge will close to traffic on Wednesday so Bureau of Engineering crews can prepare the bridge for demolition, according to the L.A. Daily News. Demolition will be followed by a $449 million project to build a replacement bridge.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 97 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,070. The S&P fell 4 points to 1,899. The Nasdaq fell 27 points to 4,540. The LABJ Stock Index fell slightly to 217.

Tuesday, January 26

MannKind Looking to Sell Itself?

MannKind Corp, the Valencia manufacturer of inhaled insulin drug Afrezza, reportedly is exploring strategic options, including the possible sale of itself, according to Reuters. MannKind has not commented on the report.

Academy’s New Rules Not a Hit With All Members

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences late Monday disclosed new guidelines, including the elimination of lifetime membership in Hollywood’s exclusive professional association. The New York Times reported that the new provision was drawing backlash from long-time members.

AECOM to Build Hyperloop Test Track

Thanks to a nod from SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Century City’s AECOM is on the fast track to being a player the future of high-speed ground transportation.

Maid Service Accused of Fraud

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Tuesday that his office has filed criminal charges against the owner of West Coast Maids, an online maid service, for allegedly over-charging the credit cards of customers as punishment for writing negative online reviews.

Will Amgen Make Humira-Like Drug?

The Food and Drug Administration has accepted for review an application from Amgen for a biosimilar drug to compete with AbbieVie Inc.’s Humira.

ULCA Anderson Opens an Accelerator

UCLA Anderson School of Management has launched an accelerator. The 10,000-square-foot UCLA Anderson Venture Accelerator is housed within the Rosenfeld Library and is open to Anderson MBA candidates, undergraduate students, graduate students from other UCLA schools and faculty researchers.

Parental Leave for City Employees Proposed

The Los Angeles City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee recommended Monday that the city look into providing city employees who are new parents with four weeks of paid leave to bond with their children.

UCLA Anderson Opens an Accelerator

UCLA Anderson School of Management has launched an accelerator.

HopSkipDrive Raises $10.2 Million

Child transportation startup HopSkipDrive of downtown raised a $10.2 million Series A round.

Stocks Rebound

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 267 points in Tuesday trading to close at 16,153. The S&P rose 24 points to 1,902. The Nasdaq rose 45 points to 4,563. The LABJ Stock Index rose 3 points to 217.

Coming Soon: Chargers Decision on L.A.

The San Diego Chargers may not be indecisive for much longer. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, a decision on whether the team will ultimately join the L.A. Rams in Inglewood could come this week.

Porter Ranch Businesses Sue

A couple of business owners in Porter Ranch have filed a class-action lawsuit against Southern California Gas Co., its parent company and state regulators that seeks to recover damages from the months-old natural gas leak. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, a real estate agency and a nail salon said they’ve lost “massive” business.

Verdict Reached for Bikram Yoga Guru

Bikram Choudhury must pay more than $900,000 to a lawyer who said she was fired for investigating allegations of sexual harassment against the yoga guru, the AP reports. The jury will consider whether to award attorney Minakshi Jafa-Bodden with punitive damages on Tuesday.

HopSkipDrive Snatches Uber Exec

Los Angeles-based HopSkipDrive plans to announce Tuesday that Eyal Gutentag, Uber's former general manager for Los Angeles, will join the company. The “Uber for Kids” company plans to fingerprint all drivers and offer an app which allows parents to monitor each ride, according to Business Insider.

OPI to Move From North Hollywood

The global beauty company behind OPI Products is moving OPI’s nail polish operations to North Carolina from North Hollywood, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The company said Monday that manufacturing will now take place in Sanford, N.C., where the owner, Coty, has its largest U.S. plant. The company did not say how many jobs would be affected.

O’Hara’s Out, Rocco`s In

Westwood Village bar O’Hara’s will close Saturday to make way for Rocco’s Tavern, which has three locations in Los Angeles. According to The Daily Bruin, the tavern will move in at Gayley and Weyburn avenues after three years of negotiations.

Carol Burnett to Receive Lifetime Award

A trio of female comedians will unite. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will present a Life Achievement Award to Carol Burnett at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles. The prize is given to an actor who embodies the "finest ideals of the profession," the AP reports.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 114 points in early trading Tuesday to 16,000. The S&P 500 was up 8 points to 1,884. The Nasdaq was down 6 points to 4,512. The LABJ Stock Index was up slightly to 215.

Monday, January 25

Starbreeze to Open Virtual Reality Arcade

Video game studio Starbreeze of Stockholm, Sweden announced plans on Saturday to launch a virtual reality arcade in Los Angeles.

L.A. Tech Calendar Jan. 25 – Feb. 7

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

Breitburn Receives Warning Notice of Future Delisting from Nasdaq

Breitburn Energy Partners of Los Angeles on Monday received a warning notice of future delisting from the Nasdaq exchange should its stock price fail to rise above $1 for 10 consecutive days over the next six months.

L.A. Olympic Bid Highlights Roles for USC and UCLA

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles 2024, the nonprofit agency leading L.A.’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games, announced Monday that local universities are playing a major role in the proposal.

Farmers Insurance Exits Stadium Name Game

Farmers Insurance once aimed to flaunt its name across a football stadium in downtown Los Angeles at a cost of $700 million. But the firm said it would not pursue that privilege at a planned NFL stadium in Inglewood.

Green Dot Investor Seeks to Remove Chairman

Harvest Capital Strategies, one of the biggest investors in Pasadena prepaid debit-card issuer Green Dot Corp., is seeking an immediate replacement for that company’s chairman and president, Steve Streit, according to Reuters.

Pacifica Buys Downtown’s Ritz-Milner Hotel

Pacifica Hotels has purchased the Ritz-Milner Hotel in downtown Los Angeles from Milner Hotels Inc., the Irvine hospitality arm of Santa Barbara real estate developer Invest West Financial Corp., for an undisclosed amount.

Sushi Chain Fined For Slicing Worker Wages

The U.S. Labor Department has ordered Gatten Sushi and sister company GTN, both of Cerritos, to pay nearly 400 workers more than $620,000 in back wages and damages.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 208 points in Monday trading to close at 15,885. The S&P fell 30 points to 1,877. The Nasdaq fell 73 points to 4,518. The LABJ Stock Index fell 215 points.

SPECIAL REPORT: New Scene Checks In

Once known for rock ‘n’ roll excess, Sunset Strip now making room for hotel developments aimed at reviving area as must-visit destination.

Hoteliers are setting projects in famed rock ‘n’ roll mecca the Sunset Strip.

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Designs on Growth

ENGINEERING: Parsons puts together new business plan based around standalone units in bid to boost revenue.

Parsons splits its business into five standalone units as part of a new blueprint for growth.

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Hanging in There

L.A. denim makers still look to button up future in jeans despite rise of athletic wear.

Denim makers remain confident in a future thick with jeans despite the surging popularity of athletic wear.

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Charney Out; Judge Accepts American Apparel Bankruptcy Plan

A judge on Monday approved American Apparel’s plan to exit bankruptcy, wiping out the prospects for an alternative proposal that would have put ousted chief executive Dov Charney back at the helm of the struggling clothing company. Judge Brendan Shannon said in Delaware Bankruptcy Court that American Apparel’s reorganization plan satisfied the court’s requirements by winning stakeholder support and providing enough liquidity to reboot the business.

Porter Ranch Well Must Permanently Close

California regulators have ordered SoCal Gas to permanently close a well in Porter Ranch once the company seals the current leak, NPR reports. In the meantime, the company will have to minimize air pollution and fund an independent study on potential health impacts on the surrounding community.

Saved: Circus Disco

Many features of Circus Disco will be spared as developers build hundreds of new apartments on the site, the Los Angeles Times reports. Under the agreement, AvalonBay Communities has promised to incorporate many of the features of the gay disco, including the dance floor, neon ceiling lights and clown entrance into the development.

Sriracha On the Go

No more carrying around that bottle of Sriracha sauce. A marketer has introduced 5-gram packets of Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha sauce, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Through a partnership and licensing agreement with Huy Fong, Sriracha2Go now offers the hot chili sauce packets in quantities of 50 for $14.99, and 200 for $34.99.

‘Revenant’ Survives the Snow

The ‘Revenant,’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio, took in $16 million in its third week of wide release to lead the weekend box office take, the AP reports. Moviegoing took a hit as would-be theatergoers on the East Coast hunkered down for a winter snow storm that forced theater closures in Washington, D.C., and New York.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 39 points in early trading Monday to 16,055. The S&P 500 was down 16 points to 2,072. The Nasdaq was down 18 points to 4,573. The LABJ Stock Index was down 1 point to 217.

SPECIAL REPORT: Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown Los Angeles is in the midst of a remarkable renaissance, with retail, residential and hospitality development driving the transformation – and the office market is finally showing signs of joining the resurgence as well.

Oscar ‘Race’ a Global Issue

Charles Crumpley opines on why no black actors were nominated for Oscars.

Front, Center

Downtown L.A. booster Carol Schatz sees area’s strides as opportunity to step back.

Central City Association’s Carol Schatz thinks downtown will prove its mettle by boosting L.A.’s Olympic bid.

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Soccer Team Taking Field

The return of pro football’s Rams won’t alter the way new soccer franchise LAFC will shoot for fan base.

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Santa Clarita Valley

The Santa Clarita office market continues to remain very tight, with Class A vacancy at 6.6 percent.


Strong demand from creative, tech and media tenants continued in the fourth quarter with rental rates for open, innovative office space among the highest in Los Angeles County.


While downtown L.A.’s Arts District has received a lot of recent fanfare, Hollywood remains the core of the entertainment industry and the place most sought after by tenants and investors.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

SPECIAL REPORT: Office Market Closes Year Strong; Tight Space Lifts Industrial Rents

An overview of real estate activity in Los Angeles County in the fourth quarter, broken down in three categories: office, retail and industrial.

New Fund to Put Its Dollars on Foreign Currencies

INVESTMENT: DoubleLine to pursue debt issued by governments across globe.

Downtown L.A. investment manager DoubleLine Capital has been getting attention for all the investor cash its funds have been garnering – its open-end mutual funds posted net inflows of $1.03 billion last month, marking 23 straight months of inflows.

Developers Don’t See ‘Mansionization’ as Big Deal

REAL ESTATE: Businesses fear restrictions on lot size would lock out projects.

Developers are speaking out against city efforts to curb “mansionization” – the expanding size of homes in single-family residential neighborhoods.

Nail Care Firm Gets Dramatic With Partnership

BEAUTY: OPI taps actress Kerry Washington for hand in creating names, shades.

OPI Products Inc., a North Hollywood nail products firm, is getting the celebrity treatment.

Actor Takes Cut to Hear Filmmakers Call ‘Action!’

MOVIES: Chance to work with Coen brothers worth reduced paycheck for many.

Starring in a movie alongside superstars George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum would normally be a chance for a big payday.

Investors Take Shine to Silver, Gold Wholesaler

METALS: A-Mark has seen shares soar despite overall turmoil in stock markets.

A-Mark’s stock has soared as the gold and silver wholesaler has raised the bars with investors.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Century City private equity firm OpenGate Capital has acquired power transformer manufacturer Power Partners Inc. of Athens, Ga., from PPI Inc., a manufacturing company with related holdings.

Side Gig Offers Bass-Line Satisfaction

Andrew Thomas, 44, says he enjoys nothing more than the sight of a dance floor filled with women and men grooving to the beat.

Mall’s Events Shooting For Moon, Asians

Beverly Center plans offerings to help ring in Lunar New Year.

Beverly Center hopes to ring up sales at its shops with special events to ring in the Lunar New Year.

Game Maker’s House Home To Big Score

Creator of ‘Minecraft’ to donate $400,000 in furniture to charities.

Video-game maker Markus Persson has homed in on nonprofits in giving away more than $400,000 in furniture from his new mansion.

Hack of Sony Big Break For Security Firm

DZ Solutions locks up new showbiz clients with low-cost service.

The hack of Sony studios played a big role in landing showbiz clients for security firm DZ Solutions.

Firm Digs In On Gas Wells

Termo airs out its intention to expand its facility in Aliso Canyon despite fallout over the gas leak there.

Marketer Sticks With Faddish Products

RETAIL: Noah Bremen has had hits with Snuggies, ThighMasters.

Noah Bremen’s Bdirect works to extend the shelf life of fad items such as Snuggie blankets and Razor scooters.

Sunday, January 24

Powering Up

Faraday’s electric cars may hit hurdles on road

Some industry analysts question the map Faraday Future is following to produce electric cars.

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Friday, January 22

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Jan. 22

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

Silicon Beach Launch List: Jan. 22

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

County Unemployment Rate Unchanged Despite Broad Hiring Gains

L.A. County’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.9 percent in December even as local employers added 26,000 payroll jobs across a broad spectrum of industries, according to state figures released Friday. Employers added nearly 94,000 jobs in 2015, the biggest gain in many years, according to figures from the state Employment Development Department.

Academy Changes Rules in Response to Oscars Diversity Uproar

Sweeping changes to membership and voting rules have been made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in response to the outcry over a lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations.

Tinder Now Includes STD Testing Information

Bowing to pressure from a healthcare group, dating app Tinder of West Hollywood has added a link within its app directing users to testing facilities for sexually transmitted diseases.

Hainan Airlines Launches Changsha-Los Angeles Route

Hainan Airlines has launched a route between the Chinese city of Changsha and Los Angeles, the company's eighth North American route. The airline will use the Boeing 787 Dreamliner for the new, twice-weekly service operating every Monday and Thursday, which will have a flight duration of approximately 13.5 hours.

L.A., Beverly Hills Hotels Shut Out of ‘Top 25’ List

There’s no room at the inn for the numerous luxury hotels in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles on TripAdvisor Inc.’s list of the top 25 hotels in the Unites States. The only Southern California hotel in the top 25 was the Ponte Vineyard Inn in Temecula, which ranked sixth.

What to Watch This Weekend

Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Century City private equity firm OpenGate Capital announced Tuesday it has acquired power transformer manufacturer Power Partners Inc. of Athens, Ga. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 211 points in Friday trading to close at 16,094. The S&P 500 rose 38 points to close at 1,907. The Nasdaq rose 119 points to close at 4,591. The LABJ Stock Index rose 6 points to close at 219.

Big Movers: California Resources, Tutor Perini Among This Week’s Movers

California Resources Corp., a producer of oil and natural gas, ended the week on a high note. On Friday, shares of the Los Angeles company rose 21 percent, closing at $1.56. Shares of Marathon Patent Group, a Los Angeles company that acquires patent assets from patent holders, rose 15 percent, closing the week at $1.74.

Parking Reform In the Works

An L.A. lawmaker has proposed a “Parking Bill of Rights” to make parking in California “more fair and affordable.” Put forth by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, it would provide “relief from unjust citations” for motorists, according to KTLA.

Suit Filed Over Rams Move

A second lawsuit has been filed over the Rams' move to Los Angeles, ESPN reports. Holders of personal seat licenses in St. Louis say they should retain their right to season tickets even in California because an agreement did not stipulate that the games had to be played in St. Louis.

SoCal Gas Walks on Thin Ice

Southern California Gas Co. must continue offering rental houses to Porter Ranch families dislocated by the nearby gas leak, the Los Angeles City Attorney said. The company had tried to stop placing residents in rental houses because they are increasingly hard to find and expensive for short-term lease, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Stocks Make a Rebound

Global stocks bounced back on Friday, with Japan´s Nikkei having its best single day in four years. According to the Los Angeles Times, stocks were buoyed by higher oil prices and the prospect of more monetary stimulus from the European Central Bank.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 190 points in early trading Tuesday to 15,977. The S&P 500 was up 26 points to 1,886. The Nasdaq was up 71 points to 4,201. The LABJ Stock Index was up slightly to 213.

Thursday, January 21

Snapchat Opening Office in Seattle

Snapchat of Venice is opening an office in Seattle, according to a report by Geekwire.

Frank Lloyd Wright House to Be Auctioned

A Frank Lloyd Wright house in Brentwood will be auctioned next month and is expected to sell for $2.5 million to $3 million, reports the New York Times. The so-called George Sturges House is 1,200 square feet, has four rooms and is perched on a hillside. The wood-and-brick house was built in 1939.

Charney: ‘No Shot’ for Fair Chance to Buy Company

American Apparel’s ousted chief executive Dov Charney lashed against the clothing company’s board and investors in Bankruptcy Court on Thursday, claiming they had thwarted his numerous efforts to return to the company.

Young, Fabulous and Living Downtown

A pair of reports released by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District Thursday morning says those living downtown are well educated and earn a median income over $99,600, according to the L.A. Downtown News. One of the biggest differences in this survey is that there are thousands more people living in condominiums and apartments than when the first survey was done in 2007

BizFed Installs Officers for 2016

Chairing BizFed this year is Gilbert Ivey, former chief administrative officer of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The chair-elect for next year is Mike Lewis, a consultant and senior vice president of the Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition.

Drones Grounded in Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach officials are moving to crack down on the use of drones, even though the unmanned aircraft are popular among photographers capturing aerial shots of the scenic beach town. Because of the drones’ potential for collisions and invasions of privacy, members of the City Council backed a set of regulations mirroring those of the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the Daily Breeze.

NBA Team Values Double Since Ballmer’s Entrance

The value of the average NBA franchise has nearly doubled in the last two years in the latest valuation released by said the biggest factor was the $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers by former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

Stocks Mostly Up

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 116 points in Thursday trading to close at 15,883. The S&P 500 rose 10 points to close at 1,869. The Nasdaq stayed flat to close at 4,472. The LABJ Stock Index stayed flat to close at 213.

Rams´ Value Doubled by L.A. Move

The Rams have doubled their value to almost $3 billion with the move to Los Angeles, the Washington Post reports. While in St Louis, the NFL franchise was valued at $1.45 billion. Now it has become the third valuable team in the league.

Huge Demand for Rams Tickets

Fans are already lining up to see the L.A. Rams, even though their first preseason game isn't for another seven months. The team has received 45,000 season ticket deposits in two days, reports the LA Times. The $100 deposits give fans a place in line for 2016 season tickets.

Academy to Tackle Diversity Controversy

Faced with growing outrage over the lack of diversity in the Oscar nominations, the board of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will meet to consider changes to membership and voting rules, reports Variety.

American Airlines Expands at LAX

American Airlines will add 25 new daily flights at Los Angeles International Airport, according to the Los Angeles Times. The new routes represent a 10 percent increase in service from LAX, and also mean that American Airlines will hire 200 additional workers this year, the airline said.

The Force’s Next Awakening Delayed

Star Wars fans will have to wait for the sequel to mega blockbuster "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." The next chapter of the space saga, "Star Wars: Episode VIII," will hit theaters on Dec. 17, 2017, instead of the previously scheduled May 26, 2017, Disney announced, reports CNN Money.

Lifeline For Porter Ranch Businesses

A total of $5 million in loans and other financial assistance will be available for businesses in Porter Ranch, City News Service reports. The Valley Economic Development Center will offer a range of loans to businesses that have lost revenue due to the gas leak at the Aliso Canyon Gas Storage Facility and need to pay their bills.

Viacom CEO on Strategy and Sumner Redstone

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman discusses the state of the media empire, the governance of executive chairman Sumner Redstone and future plans. In 2015, Viacom's market value fell 45 percent as investors worried about tumbling television ratings in a new era.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones Industrial average fell 53 points in early trading Thursday to 15,714. The S&P 500 fell 8 points to close at 1,852. The Nasdaq fell 33 points to close at 4,439. The LABJ Stock Index fell 2 points to close at 211.

Wednesday, January 20

FreedomPop Raises $50 Million

Free wireless cellphone company FreedomPop of West Los Angeles has raised a $50 million round.

Long Beach Raises Minimum Wage

The Long Beach City Council early Wednesday voted on raising the minimum wage to $13 an hour and created a pathway to $15 an hour. The 6-2 vote followed two hours of testimony from workers and community members and another hour of debate by council members.

DWP Approves Rate Hikes

The Los Angeles Water and Power Commissioners announced Tuesday they unanimously approved power rate increases. The proposed hikes will now be sent to the City Council for consideration.

UberX Can Pick Up at LAX on Thursday

After months of negotiations, political infighting and traveler frustration, drivers for UberX, the company’s lowest-cost ride service, will be allowed to pick up travelers at Los Angeles International Airport starting at 8 a.m. Thursday. Uber is the second ride-hailing company to be granted full access to one of Southern California's most lucrative ride markets. Its main rival, Lyft, started working at LAX in December.

American Apparel Resists Charney Takeover

American Apparel fought in Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday against ousted CEO Dov Charney’s aim to re-take the company, saying that his plan would land the company in extensive litigation, Reuters reported.

Penalties Approved for Racist LAX Taxi Drivers

Taxi drivers who discriminate based on race may face revocation of their permit to operate at Los Angeles International Airport. The stiff new penalties were approved late Tuesday by a Los Angeles City Council committee, according to FOX-LA (Channel 11).

Sitrick Boosts Team With Veteran Journalists

Crisis communications firm Sitrick and Co. is building on its roster of veteran former journalists with three hires from the news industry. Dennis Kneale, a former CNBC and Fox Business Network correspondent, and Stuart Pfeifer, recently a Los Angeles Times health care reporter, are joining as firm members, the company said

Recruiting Startup Gets ‘Magic’ Touch

Jopwell, a recruitment and hiring platform start-up in New York City serving the tech industry, announced Wednesday that it got a boost from Magic Johnson Enterprises, which joined a group of prominent backers who invested $3.5 million in the firm.

Variety Gets New Managing Editor

Variety announced Wednesday that it has hired veteran journalist Carolyn Horwitz as managing editor. Horwitz previously was executive editor at Entrepreneur magazine, where she had served since 2011. Before that, she had key editorial roles at Billboard, and authored and edited several books on design and architecture.

Team Trademarks ‘LA Chargers’

While the Chargers are still in San Diego, the team took another step toward a move to Los Angeles. The team has filed to trademark the names “Los Angeles Chargers” and “LA Chargers,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones Industrial average fell 249 points in Wednesday trading to close at 15,767. The S&P 500 fell 22 points to close at 1,859. The Nasdaq fell 5 points to close at 4,472. The LABJ Stock Index fell 1 point to close at 212.77.

CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann Combine Southern California Offices

National accounting providers CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann today announced the realignment of their eight Southern California offices, consolidating leadership and creating the companies’ largest single business unit after operating as separate entities for a decade. This alliance makes CBIZ the 9th largest accounting provider in the United States.

Charney Takes the Stand

Ousted CEO Dov Charney is expected to take the stand in Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday in a last-minute attempt to retake control of American Apparel, Reuters reported. Last week the company's board rejected a $300 million takeover bid involving Charney. The company now is trying to get its bankruptcy plan approved by the court, and Charney is trying to stop it.

Development Proposed in Valley Neighborhood

A $150-million mixed-use project has been proposed at a vacant site in Panorama City, according to the Los Angeles Times. The former Montgomery Ward site was bought by a Beverly Hills developer who plans to turn the nearly 9-acre location into an apartment and shopping complex, the largest development in years in that working class area.

Rams´ Move Sparks Real Estate Interest

The Rams´ forthcoming move to Los Angeles has sparked interest in commercial real estate surrounding the team´s future stadium, the Los Angeles Times reports. The gritty auto repair shops and strip shopping centers in Inglewood suddenly are attracting interest from real estate investors.

Orange Chicken Meets Pizza

An unlikely alliance has formed. Panda Express will now have a minority stake in Los Angeles-based Pieology Pizza, according to the Los Angeles Times. The founder of the pizzería said his company will be able to leverage Panda's buying power among distributors and manufacturers.

Pinecrest Schools to Close

A private school that has become the largest family-held coeducational school system in the United States is set to close its doors, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. Pinecrest Schools, which opened 65 years ago in Van Nuys, will shutter its last five campuses at the end of the school year.

Yoga Guru in Court

Bikram Choudhury, who built a global yoga empire headquartered in Los Angeles, is facing a lawsuit for sexually assaulting women. The lawsuit was brought by Choudhury´s former general counsel, who said she was sexually harassed after investigating claims from a student that Choudhury had raped her, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Viacom and CBS Face Shareholder Lawsuit

Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. directors are facing another problem as a result of Sumner Redstone, 92. A stockholder has sued, alleging that the interests of the media mogul are being protected at the expense of shareholders.

Businesses Tied-up at Porter Ranch

Small businesses in the community of Porter Ranch are being pinched as residents move away. A massive gas leak has sent business down by about 60 percent, according to a source quoted in the Los Angeles Times.

Tuesday, January 19

OpenX Revenue Climbs 40%

Advertising marketplace OpenX of Pasadena brought in more than $140 million in revenue last year, the company announced Tuesday.

Studio Vet Makes ‘Astute’ Move

Fred Bernstein, a former studio executive at Columbia and Universal, announced Tuesday that he has launched Astute Films, which aims to make quality movies along the lines of “Stand by Me” and “Hope and Glory,” which he was involved with during his studio years. Those kinds of films are struggling to find financing and distribution today.

Long Beach’s Minimum Wage May Go Up

A proposal to incrementally raise the minimum wage in Long Beach to $13 an hour by 2019 will be considered by the Long Beach City Council Tuesday night, said KCBS (Channel 2). The minimum wage, which increased statewide to $10 an hour on Jan. 1, would go up to $10.50 in Long Beach at the beginning of 2017. It would then jump to $12 an hour at the start of 2018, and to $13 an hour on January 1, 2019.

IndieWire Acquired by Penske

Penske Media Corp. has acquired, which provides coverage of independent film and television production, said the Los Angeles Times. Terms of the purchase from SnagFilms Inc., the site's owner since 2008, were not disclosed.

High ‘Tee’ With Hyundai at the Riviera?

In the wake of Northern Trust relocating its title sponsorship of the PGA Tour from Los Angeles to New York, Hyundai Motor America has been talking with the PGA Tour about becoming title sponsor in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Daily News, Northern Trust, headquartered in Chicago, was credited for upgrading the tournament at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades since it became a title sponsor there in 2008.

Pot Shops’ Licenses May Go Up in Smoke reports there will be draft ordinance up for a vote by the Los Angeles City Council Tuesday that would require the city to stop issuing business tax certificates to medical marijuana dispensaries.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones Industrial average rose 28 points in Tuesday trading to close at 16,016. The S&P 500 rose 1 point to close at 1,881. The Nasdaq fell 11 points to close at 4,477. The LABJ Stock Index fell .28 points to close at 213.82.

Gas Leak May be Stopped Early

It depends on your definition of “early,” but the three-month old Porter Ranch gas leak should be stopped by February instead of March, according to an Associated Press article posted on the ABC News website. Meanwhile, the Southern California Gas Co. said it has abandoned efforts to trap and burn off the gas.

Now DWP May Raise Electricity Rates

Los Angeles Board of Water and Power commissioners will weigh a plan Tuesday to raise electricity rates for customers, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The proposed hike would raise rates by 21 percent over the next five years. The board already has proposed raising water rates

Rams to Boost Local Housing Market

Rams employees could bring up to $400 million to the L.A. home market with their move, according to the Real Deal. Home investments would likely be split between luxury leases and home sales as approximately 100 people associated with the franchise scramble to find L.A. pads before the season starts.

Penthouse Move Good for L.A.

The adult magazine Penthouse has announced that it will close its print edition after 50 years, according to the International Business Times. At its peak, the magazine sold over five million copies, but now has a circulation of just 800,000. Penthouse also will close its operations in New York and relocate to the publication´s owner, FriendFinder Network, in Los Angeles.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 133 points in early trading Tuesday to 16,121 The S&P 500 was up 18 points to 1,894. The Nasdaq was up 40 points to 4,528. The LABJ Stock Index was up 1 point to 215.

Monday, January 18

SpaceX Water Barge Landing Fails

Following a successful rocket landing last month on land, Space Exploration Technologies Corp.’s attempt to land a rocket on a floating barge failed on Sunday.

Internet Brands Buys Demandforce

Internet Brands of El Segundo signed an agreement to acquire marketing platform Demandforce from Intuit Inc. on Friday for an undisclosed amount.

Incubator’s Seaside Links Help Shore Up Clients

TECHNOLOGY: PortTech’s connections valued more than ability to land funding.

Client firms of PortTech Los Angeles hope to buoy their business with the incubator’s seaside connections.

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L.A. Tech Calendar: Jan. 18 – Jan. 31

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

Kroenke to Borrow $1 Billion For Inglewood Stadium

Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke is borrowing roughly $1 billion from JPMorgan Chase & Co. to finance his planned stadium project in Inglewood scheduled for a 2019 opening, according to SportsBusiness Daily.

Spike Lee, Jada Pinkett Smith Join #OscarsSoWhite Boycott

Director Spike Lee has slammed the “lily white” state of the major Oscar nominations in an Instagram post published this morning alongside a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. Lee, whose most recent film “Chi-Raq” was released in December, received an Honorary Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in November. However, the director said he said he and his wife would boycott the Oscars ceremony this year.

Surging Netflix Strikes Fear into Hearts of Hollywood Rivals

Entertainment juggernaut Netflix is growing into a much feared force in Hollywood. Rapid expansion from a perceived minor player to a major threat to the status quo, now with more than 70 million subscribers in nearly 200 countries, has struck fear into the rest of the industry, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The Force Is Now With …‘Ride Along 2’?

In this weekend’s box office tally, Universal’s “Ride Along 2” overtook Disney’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Daily Variety reported the comedy sequel picked up a commanding $34 million over the four-day holiday weekend. Fox’s “The Revenant” came in second, bolstered by its strong showing at the Oscar nominations on Thursday. The space opera took third place.

SpaceX: Mission Not Exactly Accomplished

Elon Musk’s SpaceX successfully launched its Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base Sunday morning but failed to land its first stage on a drone-operated ship off the Southern California coast, the Los Angeles Times reported. It’s the third failed attempt for a sea landing. However, SpaceX successfully delivered a payload via the second stage of the rocket

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines After All

While the Toyota Grand Prix will roar through the streets of Long Beach streets in April, getting to the starting line took some compromises among city officials, the Grand Prix and the Aquarium of the Pacific this year, reported the Los Angeles Daily News. Like many businesses there, the aquarium doesn’t like the interruption during the three-day event, and the compromise allows greater access to it.

About That Gas Plant Next Door…

City officials, builders and citizens debated lots of aspects of the 3,395-home development that would become Porter Ranch, the Los Angeles Daily News reported. But everyone seemed to overlook the development’s proximity to a natural gas facility.

Litigation Costs Way Up in L.A. County

Los Angeles County spent a five-year high of nearly $119 million last year on lawsuits, judgments, settlements and attorneys’ fees – a 24 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. The litigation cost will be discussed at Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting.

Luxe’s ‘Club Fee’ Confuses Travel Sites

Membership has its price…and its own inconveniences. The Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel has instituted a “club fee”; guests who pay an extra $35 a night get breakfast and other goodies. The problem, the Los Angeles Times reports, is that travel search engines cannot distinguish the Luxe’s optional fee from the mandatory resort fees many charge.

Microbudget Filmmakers Dream of Making It Big

MOVIES: Low-cost efforts can pay off by reeling in future Hollywood projects.

Money plays a small role for aspiring filmmakers looking to make their names with microbudget productions.

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Sizing Up L.A.’s Growth

Opponents of development ignore history, positive impact of projects

Leron Gubler warns that the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative will stifle growth.

Sizing Up L.A.’s Growth

Residents should run neighborhoods, not city officials, real estate businesses

Michael Weinstein pitches the proposal as a means for residents to control development in their neighborhoods.

Foreign Affairs

Tennenbaum Capital Partners steps into Germany, Canada to pluck fruitful exits.

Tennenbaum Capital Partners sidestepped turmoil in U.S. markets with lucrative foreign investments.

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Developers: Will We Be Stunted in L.A.?

REAL ESTATE: Two anti-growth measures could drive off projects.

Developers say anti-growth proposals would leave Los Angeles short on housing.

Dov Charney Back in Fashion?

CLOTHING: American Apparel bidder wants ex-CEO’s return.

Bidder has a recovery plan for American Apparel that includes bringing Dov Charney back into the fold.

NFL’s Pass Lets Site Field Bids

DEVELOPMENT: Carson says it’s playing ball with new suitors.

Carson officials say an infill site pitched for a football stadium could still score a major mixed-use project.

Tech Service Gives Artists Line on Pirates

Muzit helps content makers recover money for illegal downloads.

Tech firm Muzit helps artists extract payment from fans who have purloined their property online.

Ex-Waitress Offers Tips On Law Hires

Lisa Munyon’s online database helps users order legal services.

Former Las Vegas waitress Lisa Munyon is now rolling the dice on expanding her legal services business.

O.J. Simpson Case Courts More Fame

FX sets series as firms battle to use name of late Johnnie Cochran.

O.J. Simpson series stirs memories of lawyer “dream team” as ex-partners of the late Johnnie Cochran fight over his name.

Law Career Yields Passport to Berlin

This New Year’s was one to remember for entertainment executive Steve Nissen.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Holly and Tom Gores, chairman-chief executive of Beverly Hills’ Platinum Equity, have made a $5 million commitment to establishing a pediatric allergy treatment center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles in Los Feliz.

Formerly Struggling Bank Now Touted as Asset

LENDING: Pan American of East L.A. picked up by Oakland’s Beneficial State.

Once-struggling Pan American Bank now finds itself in Beneficial State after acquisition.

Former Debate Opponents Resolve to Join Firms

MERGER: Paul Skiermont first ran into Paul Derby when facing off in college.

Once fierce competitors, Paul Derby and Paul Skiermont are now partners.

Crowdfunder Site Putting Money on Unaccredited

INTERNET: Chief exec of Flash Funders sees SEC’s new rules aiding startups.

Crowdfunding website Flash Funders of Santa Monica is hoping for a big boost Jan. 29.

City Mulls Rules for Bidders Looking to Land Park

DEVELOPMENT: Plans for Angels Knoll expected to lean toward mixed use.

City officials are preparing to decide the fate of Angels Knoll – a small, hillside park along Olive Avenue in Bunker Hill that was made famous in the film “(500) Days of Summer.”

Terrorist Assault Tested Mettle of Veteran Firm

COMMUNICATION: Value, clarity key issues in tragedy says Hoyt Organization.

Leeza Hoyt is no stranger to disaster. Her Torrance PR firm, Hoyt Organization Inc., has represented companies reeling from kidnappings, hurricanes and earthquakes.


Calendar of events


Upcoming conventions

Multifamily Pickup Makes Splash in Long Beach

ACQUISITION: $42 million surprises sellers, easily tops local average unit price.

At a whopping price of $42 million, this month’s sale of the 129-unit Urban Village Apartments in Long Beach towers above other recent multifamily property sales in the area.

Taking Pass on NFL Debate

Charles Crumpley is relieved the city didn’t have to debate whether the return of football would be good for the economy.

Sunday, January 17

Riding Ads

Electric fleet bears billboards to cover free rentals

Free vehicle rental service WaiveCar hopes to line up roof-borne ads to drive its business model.

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Friday, January 15

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Jan. 15

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

Silicon Beach Launch List: Jan. 15

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

Disney Stock Drops

Share prices of the Walt Disney Co. dropped 5.3 percent Friday to $93.90 after Barclays downgraded the stock among heightened concerns about the decline in cable subscribers.

Big Movers: California Resources Corp. Falls, Big 5 Rises

This week’s biggest loser among stocks trading above $1 was California Resource Corp., a producer of oil and natural gas. Shares of the Los Angeles company fell 26 percent, closing at $1.28 a share. Big 5 Sporting Goods in El Segundo sprinted ahead this week with a 22 percent gain, closing at $11.62 a share.

Wal-Mart to Close 269 Stores, Including Nine in California

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will close 269 of its stores globally, including 154 in the United States and nine in California, the company said Friday. About 1,780 California employees will lose their jobs, including 1,040 in Los Angeles County, the Los Angeles Times report

Edison to Install 1,500 Charging Stations

Southern California Edison is planning on installing 1,500 electric car charging stations throughout Southern California.

Rams Make Name Change Official

While the move is still to come, the name change is official. According to ESPN, the Rams will henceforth be referred to as the Los Angeles Rams, but will likely operate out of their current Rams Park facility in St. Louis for at least the next two months.

Supervisors Boost Small Business Contracts

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has approved a plan to award more contracts to small businesses, according to EGP News.

Another Boutique Hotel for DTLA

Private investment firm Ennismore of London bought a property at 1060 S. Broadway, formerly known as the Los Angeles Railway Building, for $30 million, the Los Angeles Downtown News reported. Ennismore plans to convert the 1922 building into a Hoxton Hotel, a posh boutique.

Virgin Galactic Getting Stylish

Mojave-based Virgin Galactic, the commercial spaceflight and tourism venture of Richard Branson, may not be launching into space just yet. But when it does, it will be done with out-of-this world style thanks to its collaboration with Adidas.

Pagers, Fax Machines Getting Challenge From TigerText

Tiger Text of Santa Monica, a provider of secure messaging apps for health care industry users, has launched TigerPage and TigerFax, which will allow users to receive and respond to pages and faxes from their smartphone, reports.

Valley Dingbats Have Their Day

“Dingbat-style” apartments, the charmingly boxy and quirky post WWII apartments which define the architectural character of the San Fernando Valley, are getting a boost from a new earthquake law passed by the Los Angeles City Council.

What to Watch This Weekend

Sandro Monetti’s business take on this weekend’s new movie releases

PE Roundup: Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Real estate private equity firm Ethika Investments announced Friday the acquisition of Vail Cascade Resort and Spa in Colorado. The Century City firm added it will allocate additional capital as part of an expansive $35 million property renovation that will begin in the second quarter of 2016. No other financial terms were disclosed.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 391 points in Wednesday trading to close at 15,988. The S&P 500 fell 42 points to 1,880. The Nasdaq fell 127 points to 4,488. The LABJ Stock Index fell 5 points to 214.

American Apparel Board Rejects Takeover Bid

American Apparel Inc.'s board has rejected the latest takeover offer involving the company's founder, Dov Charney, Reuters reports. The Los Angeles clothing company had received a $300 million bid from a group of investors who backed Charney`s return.

Porter Ranch: Worst Yet to Come?

The situation at Porter Ranch could get worse. In addition to plugging its natural gas leak, Southern California Gas Co. is also trying to avoid a blowout, which is now a significant concern, the Los Angeles Times reports. If a blowout occurs, highly flammable gas would vent directly up through the well, rather than dissipate.

Real Estate Agents Celebrate Rams` Move

The NFL and local football fans aren´t the only ones celebrating the Rams’ move to L.A. Real estate agents are scrambling to court the dozens of players, coaches and executives who will be looking for a place to live before the 2016 season kicks off, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Mixed Port Trade in December

Port data for December has been released. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Port of Long Beach reported a 7 percent increase in imports, while neighboring Los Angeles reported a 4.5 percent decline from a year earlier.

Exxon Defends Its Refinery Management

Exxon Mobil Corp. is defending its management of the Torrance oil refinery as regulators probe last February’s explosion. According to the Los Angeles Times, Torrance refinery manager Brian Ablett told the U.S. Chemical Safety Board on Wednesday that Exxon Mobil “didn't find any evidence that the Feb. 18 incident posed any danger to the community.”

Local Powerball Winner Still Unidentified

Reveal thyself. The Chino Hills 7-Eleven is still waiting to discover the identity of its Powerball winner, according to the Los Angeles Times. The store´s owner will receive $1 million for selling one of the three tickets that won the $1.5-billion Powerball jackpot, but the person who holds the winning ticket remains a mystery.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 347 points in early trading Friday to 16,031. The S&P 500 fell 40 points to 1,883. The Nasdaq fell 118 points to 4,496. The LABJ Stock Index fell 5 points to 215.

Thursday, January 14

J2 Global Bought 24 Companies Last Year

Cloud services company J2 Global Inc. of Hollywood gobbled up four more companies in the fourth quarter, bring the total number of companies it acquired last year to 24.

L.A. County Joins Suit Against SoCal Gas

Los Angeles County has joined a lawsuit filed by the L.A. City Attorney’s Office against Southern California Gas Co. due to the three-month-old Porter Ranch gas leak, according to the San Bernardino Sun.

Office Managers Arrive on ‘Q’

Managed by Q, which employs cleaners, handymen, and assistants to help companies offload typical office-management duties, has expanded into Los Angeles in response to the city’s thriving technology scene.

L.A. Bags No. 3 Ranking Among Best Shopping Cities

Los Angeles is one of the world’s great shopping cities, according to an Expedia survey posted today in the Los Angeles Times.

‘El Chapo’: Fashion Icon?

Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán has started a new fashion trend. The drug lord was photographed wearing a paisley shirt designed by the Barabas boutique in Los Angeles’ Fashion District, causing sales to skyrocket.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 230 points in Thursday trading to close at 16,381. The S&P 500 rose 31 points to close at 1,922. The Nasdaq rose 89 points to 4,615. The LABJ Stock Index was up four points to 220.

Oscar Nominations Announced: The Revenant Leads Pack

Harrowing survival epic “The Revenant,” starring Leonardo Di Caprio, leads this year’s Oscar race with 12 Nominations, NBC News reports. “Mad Max: Fury Road” follows with 10 nominations. The Academy Awards will be held on Feb. 28 in Hollywood.

Jubilation at Local 7-Eleven

The lottery has brought some luck to the Los Angeles area. A winning ticket for the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot was sold in Chino Hills, California lottery officials said, according to ABC7. The 7-Eleven store will get a $1 million bonus for selling the ticket.

The Stan Plan: Kroenke Speaks

In his first wide-ranging interview since getting the NFL’s go ahead to move the Rams to a multibillion-dollar stadium in Inglewood, Stan Kroenke discussed his final pitch to league owners, the emotional relocation process and his ambitious vision with the Los Angeles Times. "You don't get too many shots like this in life," he told the publication.

Could Fracking Have Contributed to Gas Leak?

State regulators are investigating whether the controversial drilling practice contributed to the massive natural gas leak near Porter Ranch, according to the Pasadena Star-News. Fracking is common at California’s underground gas storage facilities.

Council Approval Gets Quake Retrofits Underway

The Los Angeles City Council has agreed that renters and apartment owners must share the financial burden of earthquake retrofitting equally, according to the Los Angeles Times. The agreement allows the city to begin implementing the most sweeping mandatory seismic laws in the nation.

Uber and Out?

Uber may be fined $7.6 million by a California administrative law judge for failing to report vast amounts of data about riders’ trips to regulators, the San Francisco Examiner reports. If fines are not paid, Uber’s license to operate in California would be suspended 30 days after the decision.

Shake Shack Bringing Its Burgers West

The Shake Shack invasion in L.A. begins, according to Zagat. The burger shack is opening its first West Coast location in West Hollywood this spring, with another opening at the new annex at The Americana at Brand in the fall.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 21 points in early trading Thursday to 16,172. The S&P 500 was up 3 points to 1,893. The Nasdaq was down 1 point to 4,525. The LABJ Stock Index was up slightly to 216.

Wednesday, January 13

Head in the SoundClouds, Feet on Universal Ground

Popular online music service/streaming site SoundCloud has reached a licensing deal with Universal Music Group, which will allow the record label giant collect revenue from the streaming site, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Latino Online Media Startup Mitu Raises $27 Million

Latino online media company Mitú Inc. of Santa Monica has raised a $27 million Series C round.

Valley Shopping Center Sells

A shopping center named Warner Plaza with about 115,000 square feet of retail space, has sold in a non-cash deal worth $76.3 million.

Former Mirae Bank Exec Charged with Bank Fraud

A former executive at the now-defunct Mirae Bank was arrested Wednesday after federal officials charged him with arranging $150 million in fraudulent loans which ultimately contributed to the bank’s failure in 2009.

Tom Steyer’s Bank to Acquire L.A.’s Pan American

East L.A.’s Pan American Bank is to be acquired by Beneficial State Bank, founded by Democrat donor and environmental activist Tom Steyer and his wife, it was announced Wednesday.

Snapchat Snaps to Appealing to Users 35+

You look as if you’ve seen a ghost. And if that ghost was on a billboard, it probably came from text and photo messaging application purveyors Snapchat in Venice.

Friends in High Places

The Television Critics Association announced at a press gathering in Pasadena Wednesday that the cast of ’90s sitcom “Friends” is reuniting for the first time since the series ended, according to MSN.

Freehand and Broken Shaker Cause a Stir Downtown

Freehand, known for transforming office buildings into upscale hostels for budget-but-style minded travelers, announced Wednesday that the James Beard-award winning Broken Shaker Bar will part of the complex opening this fall at Olive and 8th Streets in downtown Los Angeles.


How disappointed would you be if Los Angeles does not get a second football team?

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 365 points in Wednesday trading to close at 16,151. The S&P 500 fell 48 points to 1,890. The Nasdaq fell 160 points to 4,526. The LABJ Stock Index fell 7 points to 216.

Santa Monica Raises Minimum Wage

The Santa Monica City Council approved a minimum wage ordinance on Tuesday, putting it in line with Los Angeles city and county. According to the Los Angeles Times, the law would raise the minimum wage at most businesses to $15 by 2020 but pay at hotels and motels will rise to $15.37 an hour by 2017.

Fans Celebrate Rams Return

Los Angeles football fans are rejoicing at the news that the Rams will move back to the city. According to the Los Angeles Times, Angelenos – some with a tear in their eye – celebrated in the streets after league owners approved the Rams proposal to relocate to Inglewood from St. Louis. The San Diego Chargers may also move to the new stadium, which is set to open in 2019.

Chargers Fans: Regret That Tattoo?

Woe is the tattooed Chargers fan. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, some fans have said they will remove or modify their tats if their NFL team moves to Los Angeles. One tattoo parlor in San Diego is offering to remove Chargers tats for free.

Oil Prices Slip Lower, But Gas Still High Here

Oil prices have fallen to their lowest levels in 12 years, briefly dipping below $30 on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times. But you wouldn’t know it looking at gasoline prices here. California is alone in “experiencing increasing prices and higher prices than at the same time last year,” says the Energy Information Administration.

Officials to Present Report on Refinery Blast in Torrance

One reason for California’s stubbornly high gasoline prices is the downed refinery in Torrance. Investigators from the U.S. Chemical Safety Board are expected to discuss their findings today about the explosion there. According to the Associated Press, the Feb. 18 blast injured four contractors but could have been much worse.

Hollywood’s New Power Broker: Wang Jianlin

Wang Jianlin is becoming one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, according to the Los Angeles Times. His company, Dalian Wanda Group, already a player here, just acquired Legendary Entertainment, one of the production companies behind "The Dark Knight," "Jurassic World" and "Godzilla" movies, for $3.5 billion.

‘Machete’ Man Now Chopping in Kitchen

Danny Trejo may be a tough-guy actor known for his “Machete” role but he promises to serve “the most delicious tacos known to man” when his restaurant, Trejo´s Tacos, opens on La Brea Avenue in coming weeks, according to ABC-7.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 36 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,552. The S&P 500 was up 5 points to 1,944. The Nasdaq was up 9 points to 4,694. The LABJ Stock Index was down slightly to 223.

Tuesday, January 12

Rams Coming Back to L.A.

It’s official: The Rams will return to Los Angeles for the 2016 season.

Healthcare Messaging Startup MPulse Raises $10 Million

Messaging system developer mPulse Mobile of Encino has raised a $10 million Series A Round.

Grindr Sells Majority Stake to Chinese Gaming Company

Gay men’s dating app Grindr of West Hollywood has sold a 60 percent stake to Chinese gaming company Kunlun Tech Co. for $93 million.

SpaceX to Launch Again This Weekend

Elon Musk and his team are looking forward, not back. Just weeks after SpaceX successfully launched 11 satellites into orbit on its Falcon 9 rocket, the Hawthorne-based company is preparing for another launch this weekend.

WOW Air Flights on Sale for $99

For a $99 ticket price – including taxes – Iceland just got a lot closer.

L.A. Pot Shops: Don’t Bogart Our Permits

Marijuana shops may find themselves in a classic Catch 22: Under a new law, they can’t get state permits to sell medical marijuana unless they also have permission from local government. But local rules don’t provide any license or permit to authorize marijuana shops, the Los Angeles Times says.

A Tree Grows in Downtown as L.A.’s First Parklet Opens

The Hope Street Parklet opens Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It is the first parklet – or small park – commissioned by the city Department of Transportation’s People Street Program, designed to create more public space, according to LA Downtown News.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 118 points in trading Tuesday to close at 16,516. The S&P 500 was up 15 points to 1,938. The Nasdaq was up 48 points to 4,685. The LABJ Stock Index was up three points to 223.

NFL Teams Still Scrimmaging for L.A. Touchdown

The battle for the ultimate football “trophy” — relocation to Los Angeles — was still underway Tuesday afternoon as NFL owners and Commissioner Roger Goodell were meeting in Houston.

‘Consensus’: Rams-Chargers in Inglewood

According to the Los Angeles Times, a consensus is building within the NFL for the St. Louis Rams and San Diego Chargers to share a stadium in Inglewood. Pairing the two could be a “transformational” project, one franchise owner said before owners meet today.

Chinese Firm Buys Legendary Entertainment

China’s Dalian Wanda Group acquired Burbank’s Legendary Entertainment on Tuesday for as much as $3.5 billion in cash. According to the Los Angeles Times, the deal is the largest acquisition to date of a U.S. production company by a Chinese firm. Legendary is behind “The Dark Knight,” “Jurassic World” and “Godzilla.”

UCLA Most Popular for Applicants

A record number of applicants have applied to UCLA. According to KPCC, the school is currently reviewing 119,000 applications for its fall 2016 class, which makes it the most applied-to four-year university in the country.

Officials Resurrect Transit Plan in Southeast L.A.

Officials are once again attempting to connect the Metro Green Line in Norwalk to Metrolink. The 2.8 mile gap is one of the largest in the region’s public transit system, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Business Mind of David Bowie

David Bowie, showing business acumen, once turned the income stream from his hit albums into a type of security, offering what became known as Bowie bonds. According to the Los Angeles Times, the rock musician raised $55 million from the bonds, which were backed by his record label and paid by future royalties.

Engaged: Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch and actress-model Jerry Hall are getting married. The BBC reports that the couple got engaged over the weekend in Los Angeles, where they attended the Golden Globe awards. The marriage is the fourth for Murdoch, 84, and the first for Hall, 59, who lived with Mick Jagger for 23 years and bore four children by him.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 164 points in trading Tuesday to 16,562. The S&P 500 was up 20 points to 1,943. The Nasdaq was up 66 points to 4,706. The LABJ Stock Index was up three points to 223.

Monday, January 11

Tinder Adds Office in Delhi to Support Local Growth

Dating app Tinder of West Hollywood has opened an outpost in Delhi, India, its first international office, reports Quartz.

L.A. Tech Calendar: Jan. 11 – Jan. 24

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

White House Joins Snapchat

As part of its social media push prior to President Obama’s last State of the Union speech, the administration has joined Snapchat as the user “WhiteHouse.”

Reader Poll

Would you go to an outdoor shopping mall if it was raining?

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 52 points in trading Monday to close at 16,398. The S&P 500 was up two points to 1,924. The Nasdaq was up six points to 4,638. The LABJ Stock Index was down slightly to 220.

United Online Names CEO

United Online Inc. has named an e-commerce industry veteran as its interim chief executive starting Monday.

Amgen and Soon-Shiong Team Up on Cancer Trials

A group of pharmaceutical companies plan to work together to test existing and experimental cancer drugs, the Los Angeles Times reports.

WaiveCar Launches in Santa Monica

WaiveCar, a car-sharing program that is fueled by advertising dollars, launched Monday in Santa Monica with the slogan, “We waive the fee; you drive for free.”

Investors Offer to Buy American Apparel, Bring Back Dov Charney

Two investors aligned with Dov Charney have submitted a $300 million offer to buy American Apparel Inc.

Bruin Biometrics Raises $9 Million

Bruin Biometrics, a Los Angeles-based developer of sensor-based diagnostic products, announced Monday that it has raised $9 million.

L.A. Breaks Tourism Record

Tourists flocked to Los Angeles last year in surging numbers that beat last year’s record.

L.A. Hosts ‘Sex and City Zoo’

Chimps, orangutans, and gorillas can replace your clichéd chocolates and roses this Valentine’s Day.

For Sale: Playboy Mansion, Comes With Hef

The Playboy mansion in Holmby Hills is being put up for sale for $200 million – among the highest prices ever for a residence, Reuters reported. The main condition: Playboy Founder Hugh Hefner can stay there as long as he lives.

Crime Way Up in DTLA

Violent crime in Downtown Los Angeles last year was way up – as in by 52 percent – over 2014 levels, according to Downtown News. Overall in the city, violent crime was up 20 percent. A police captain said the jump downtown was due to increases in business and residential communities as well as to the decisions to release inmates.

Musk Prediction: Self-Driving Cars in 2 Years

Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk predicts that within two years a customer will be able to summon an electric car to drive autonomously from Los Angeles to New York, according to Bloomberg. The comments came after the company announced a software upgrade that will enable Model S sedans to park themselves.

Sean Penn in Trouble for Article?

Rolling Stone’s decision to publish Sean Penn's October interview with the drug lord known as El Chapo in Mexico has raised a firestorm of both legal and ethical issues. According to the Hollywood Reporter, both U.S. and Mexican authorities are said to be interested in speaking with Penn.

‘Star Wars’ Blasts Off in China

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had the biggest two-day opening ever in China, according to the Los Angeles Times. It performed 70 percent better than the record holder: Paramount Pictures’ “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.”

Teachers Union Case Before SCOTUS

A major case concerning the California teachers union goes before the Supreme Court on Monday, according to the Los Angeles Times. The justices will hear a First Amendment challenge brought by nine teachers who object to the “fair share fee” they must pay to their union. The subtext is a Republican-Democrat fight.

David Bowie Dies

David Bowie, the British rock musician and actor, has died at the age of 69 after a battle with cancer. The star, who released an album on Friday, is being mourned by international leaders and stars.

Surprises at the Golden Globes

“The Revenant” won Best Motion Picture at the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards Sunday evening. Jennifer Lawrence was recognized for “Joy,” while USA’s “Mr. Robot” took best television drama. According to MSN Entertainment, a number of performers and films left the Globes with momentum heading into the Oscars.

Stocks Down

’The Dow Jones industrial average was up 17 points in early trading Monday to 16,363. The S&P 500 was up one point to 1,923. The Nasdaq was down five points to 4,638. The LABJ Stock Index was down slightly to 220.


Upcoming conventions

Divorcing Couples Court High Legal Fees

Divorcing couples might want to rule out heading to court with its crushing fees, counsels Steve Mindel.

Labor Exam

High court case on fair-share fees could upend working relationship between union, health system.

Dr. Mitch Katz warns that a Supreme Court case could get in the way of management nursing positive relationships with unions.

Crossing Over

Mall developer Rick Caruso is sold on bringing concierge service to office workers

Rick Caruso is confident tenants are ready to buy into his retail approach to providing service at his office property.

Tease photo

Raising Image

New blockbusters’ use of film spurs some projects to roll with format over digital.

Use of celluloid in “The Hateful Eight” and “The Force Awakens” plays lead role in directing productions away from digital.

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Businesses Work to Cover Losses From Rainy Days

RETAIL: Outdoor operators particularly exposed with string of storms on way.

El Nino’s first storms point to a cloudy future for businesses that rely on an outdoors component.

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Trainer Sees Pilates Machines as Healthy Pursuit

FITNESS: Latest creation of Sebastien Lagree designed for mind-body connection.

Sebastien Lagree aims to pump up his exercise business with a new studio and high-tech Pilates machine.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Biggest Deals of the Year

Los Angeles saw $439 billion in M&A activity in 2015 – the most in 8 years. ‘It’s a go-go market,’ expert says.

Local businesses joined in a record year of U.S. dealmaking, including the $6.8 billion purchase of Health Net by Centene.

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Cloudy Future

SMOKING: Fate of e-cigarette business up in air as federal, state regulations could drive up costs for vaping vendors.

E-cigarette business owners fear looming regulations could drive up costs and snuff out the industry.

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Life Left in Biotech?

Charles Crumpley doesn’t think it’s too giant a leap for MannKind to find success, despite last week’s breathtaking news.

L.A.’s Oldest Operating Hotel Welcomes Bidders

LISTING: Broker expects buyer to reposition Barclay similar to boutique Ace.

The oldest L.A. hotel in continuous operation, downtown’s Barclay Hotel, has been listed for sale.


Calendar of events

Four Held in Embezzlement of Industrial Laundry

FASHION: Complaint says CM lost over $8 million in years of fraudulent billing.

The seams have unraveled for four Southern California men arrested on charges of embezzling more than $8 million from CM Laundry, a Gardena launderer owned by denim maker Citizens of Humanity.

Restaurateur Offers Tip to Patrons: No Gratuities

DINING: Eatery owner raises menu prices to help cover minimum-wage hike.

When the California minimum wage jumped from $9 to $10 on Jan. 1, Susan Disney Lord decided the time was right to introduce a new policy at her Bel Air Bar + Grill: no tipping.

Nonunion Contractors Still Don’t Work for L.A.

CONSTRUCTION: City’s Public Works Department renews labor-favoring deal.

Nonunion contractors are once again frozen out as the city of L.A.’s Public Works Department has renewed its project labor agreement with the Los Angeles and Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council for five years.

Small Firms Could Get Line on High-Speed Rail

GOVERNMENT: Workshops aim to assist businesses in landing jobs with project.

Small businesses in the L.A. area can get on the fast track to revenue from the state’s high-speed rail project.

Air Goes Out of Inhalable Insulin on Wall Street

BIOTECH: MannKind’s shares plunge 51 percent as drug licensee ditches deal.

The loss of its inhalable-insulin marketing deal leaves MannKind with little breathing room to recover.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Safco Capital Corp., a West L.A. investment firm, has acquired a Hawthorne retail property for $15.3 million from downtown L.A.’s Primestor Development Inc.

Wrong Brand of Awkwardness

It can be hard to know you’re wearing a designer knockoff, unless the designer points it out.

Matchmaker Attracted To Real Estate

Melanie Mar follows her passion to hook up houses, homebuyers.

Matchmaker Melanie Mar expanded her focus to help customers connect with homes.

Yoga Studio Bends Rules On Music

New venture’s classes cue up range of tunes, including pop hits.

Playlist Yoga doesn’t see modern tunes as too much of a stretch for its classes.

Golf Club Bagged

DEVELOPMENT: Owners fail to save property from foreclosure.

Debt-laden owners fail to drive a deal to save bankrupt Malibu Golf Club from foreclosure.

Sunday, January 10

Publisher Makes Play for E-Sports

Activision Blizzard looks to score more e-sports opportunities with pickup of Major League Gaming.

Friday, January 8

Schatz to Step Down as CEO of Central City Association

Carol Schatz, who for 20 years has headed the powerful downtown business group Central City Association, announced Friday that she is stepping down from her post later this year.

Dov Charney Makes Bid With Investors for American Apparel

Even in bankruptcy, American Apparel Inc. is still fraught with conflict. On Thursday, Dov Charney, ousted chief executive and founder of the downtown L.A. apparel maker and retailer, filed an objection to the company’s reorganization plan in a Delaware bankruptcy court.

Arts District Building Sells for Record Price

A building in Los Angeles’ Arts District sold for a record price on Friday, highlighting the skyrocketing demand for space in the downtown area. The 5,000-square-foot industrial building at 802 Mateo Street was sold by NBVBN through Jones Lang LaSalle for $3.5 million – a cost of $700 a square foot.

Long Beach Oil Firm Delays Porter Ranch Well Construction, For Now

Long Beach oil and gas exploration and production company Termo Co. will temporarily postpone the expansion of an oil production site in the San Fernando Valley near Porter Ranch, where a gas leak has forced thousands of residents to relocate.

Navigating This Weekend’s Golden Globes Parties

As Hollywood stars and moviemakers battle it out for Golden Globe Awards this Sunday, another fight is underway in Los Angeles – to throw the best entertainment industry party of Globes weekend.

Disney Holds Breath Before Star Wars’ China Release

Walt Disney Co.’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has already become the top film of all time in North America and is set to extend its domestic earnings total through the $800 million barrier this weekend — but it’s anyone’s guess how the movie will perform in the crucial market of China. According to Variety, the uniqueness and unpredictability of China’s movie market has made it highly difficult to foresee how well the movie will fare when it opens there tomorrow, Jan. 9.

Private Equity Deals Announced This Week

Kayne Partners, a growth private equity division of Century City’s Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, announced Thursday it has invested $17.5 million in Carlsbad’s Source Intelligence, maker of a platform to support supply chain compliance. Levine Leichtman Capital Partners of Beverly Hills announced Thursday it had completed the sale of London private education provider Mander Portman Woodward Limited to Kaplan International, a division of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based education and career services company Kaplan Inc., which is owned by Graham Holdings Co. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

What To Watch This Weekend

As “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” continues to dominate the box office, this week becoming the biggest hit ever in the United States, a couple of much lower budget new releases are bidding to compete with the blockbuster. Sandro Monetti looks at the business angles of their plots.

Silicon Beach Deal Flow: Jan 8

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

CES Los Angeles Tech Launch List: Jan. 8

A roundup of L.A. tech product launches at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show this week.


Would you go to an outdoor shopping mall if it was raining?

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 168 points in Friday trading to close at 16,346. The S&P 500 fell 21 points to 1,922. The Nasdaq fell 46 points to 4,644. The LABJ Stock Index fell two points to 220.

Gov. Brown Calls for New Health Care Tax in State Budget

The $171 billion state budget includes a tax on health insurers that the governor says would raise $1.1 billion to fund specific health care programs, according to the L.A. Times. Without the tax, California risks losing federal funding when the existing managed care tax expires June 30.

Stocks Rise

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 54 points in early trading Friday to 16,569. The S&P 500 rose six points to 1,949. The Nasdaq rose 18 points to 4,708. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point at 223.

Porter Ranch Leak Could Cost SoCal Gas Co. Billions

The ongoing Aliso Canyon natural gas leak that began Oct. 23 could wind up costing Southern California Gas Co. billions of dollars, including regulatory fines and legal costs, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Thursday, January 7

Chernin Group Invests in Raunchy Barstool Sports

Peter Chernin’s tech investment firm Chernin Group of Santa Monica has taken a 51 percent stake in raunchy men’s website Barstool Sports.

City of L.A. Sells Yacht at Big Loss

The City of Los Angeles has sold its 73-foot yacht Angelena II for $100,000 after investing $4.1 million in the ship, reports CBS Los Angeles.

Local Banks Vault to Top on Forbes List

Forbes came out with its 2016 list of America’s Best Banks on Thursday, and local banks fared well.

Los Angeles Football Club Unveils Colors, Logo and Will Ferrell

Los Angeles Football Club unveiled its colors and logo on Thursday, as well as a roster of owners that includes comedian Will Ferrell, reports ESPN.

KB Home Misses Analysts’ Expectations

KB Home blamed harsh weather and labor shortages for weak fourth-quarter profits early Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Top Resolution in L.A.: Improve Finances

Improving personal finances is the top New Year’s resolution for Angelenos, according to a survey conducted by VeraQuest Inc., a research firm. According to the survey, 30 percent of L.A. respondents hope to focus on finances in 2016, which was higher than family, health or fitness. Roughly 28 percent of respondents named health as their top New Year priority, while 10 percent named fitness.

Restaurant Moves Headquarters to L.A.

A salad chain founded in Washington, D.C. is moving its headquarters to Los Angeles in a move to help it expand along the West Coast, the Washington Post reports.

Scott Disick Buys Home Near Kardashians

Scott Disick, whose on-again, off-again relationship with Kourtney Kardashian has been a story line in “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” has bought a house in Hidden Hills, an enclave near Calabasas where many of the Kardashian-Jenner clan live. According to the Los Angeles Times, the television star paid $5.96 million for a two-story traditional-style home that opens to a formal entry with herringbone wood floors.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 392 points in Thursday trading to close at 16,514. The S&P 500 fell 47 points to 1,943. The Nasdaq fell 146 points to 4,689. The LABJ Stock Index fell four points to 222. Thursday’s biggest losers were Nantkwest, a clinical stage immunotherapy company, and KB Home, a home building company. Shares of Nantkwest fell 14 percent on the day, closing at $12.96. Shares of KB Home fell 15 percent on the day, closing at $10.06. Nova Lifestyle. was Thursday’s biggest local gainer. Shares of the company rose 8 percent on the day, closing at $21.91

Chinese Stocks Plummet

Turmoil in the Chinese stock market is spreading around the world as investors worry about the superpower’s currency woes and declining economic health. Chinese stocks plunged on Thursday by more than 7 percent, forcing officials to halt trading shortly after the market opened, according to The New York Times.

California Governor Declares State of Emergency in Porter Ranch

Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency in Porter Ranch over the leaking of methane gas from an underground storage field, according to the BBC. Brown ordered "all necessary and viable actions" be taken to stop the leak, which has forced more than 2,000 families to relocate from their homes.

Spacey to Run Relativity

As it emerges from bankruptcy, Ryan Kavanaugh’s Beverly Hills mini-studio Relativity Media has recruited actor Kevin Spacey and his business partner, producer Dana Brunetti, to run its film and scripted TV business, says the Hollywood Reporter. The duo previously turned out such hits as Netflix’s “House of Cards” and Spacey recently completed a role running London’s Old Vic Theatre.

Bill Cosby Will Not Face Charges in L.A.

The Los Angeles District Attorney will not pursue sexual assault charges against Bill Cosby, the International Business Times reports. The decision comes just days after the 78-year-old comedy star was arraigned in Pennsylvania on charges stemming from a separate case.

Long Beach Officials Call for Minimum Wage Hike

The Long Beach City Council will consider a compromise proposal to raise the minimum wage within Long Beach’s city limits to $13 an hour by 2019, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. On Wednesday, the city’s Economic Development Commission recommended that the minimum wage be raised.

Disneyland Offering Cheaper Tickets for Locals

Just days before it shutters several attractions to begin construction on a new “Star Wars” themed land, Disneyland has announced a new round of specially discounted tickets for Southern California residents, reports KTLA.

Clippers Search for New Radio Home

The Clippers will have to find a new radio home. The radio station that carries Clippers games, KFWB-AM (980), is expected to abandon its all-sports format next month in favor of foreign language programming, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Clippers have been on KFWB since 2009 and are in the first year of a five-year contract with the station.

L.A. Weekly Editor To Step Down

L.A. Weekly managing editor Jill Stewart is leaving her post to become campaign director for the Coalition to Preserve L.A., according to the Los Angeles Times. The Hollywood-based nonprofit group seeks to crackdown on real estate "mega projects."

Coachella Tickets: Going, Going, Gone

The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which will feature Guns N’ Roses, LCD Soundsystem and Calvin Harris, sold out Wednesday in about an hour, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. Passes for the music festival ranged from $399 to $899, in addition to more expensive passes costing more than $2,300.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 219 points in early trading Thursday to 16,688. The S&P 500 was down 29 points to 1,962. The Nasdaq was down 94 points to 4,742. The LABJ Stock Index was down three points to 224.

Wednesday, January 6

Bitcoin Development Platform Gem Raises $7.1 Million

Bitcoin development platform Gem of Venice has raised a $7.1 million Series A round.

Snapchat to Shutter Lens Store

Snapchat of Venice announced Wednesday that it is shutting down its lens store on Friday to focus its efforts on advertising.

Glendale Man Convicted of Stealing Trade Secrets

A Glendale electrical engineer and former employee of Pasadena’s Rogerson Kratos aircraft avionics company was found guilty in federal court Wednesday of 32 counts of economic espionage, according to the assistant U.S. attorney’s office.

An NFL Team Worth $1 Billion More in L.A.

The three NFL teams that submitted applications to the NFL seeking permission to move to Los Angeles might have a lot to gain if their proposals are approved. The San Diego Chargers, the Oakland Raiders and the St. Louis Rams would each see their revenue boosted by hundreds of millions a year, according to a report by WSBT-TV.

Wounded Warriors Opens in L.A.

The Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit veteran's service organization, has opened a Los Angeles office for wounded military veterans in Southern California.

Medbox Appoints New CEO

Medbox Inc., a provider of specialized services to the cannabis sector, announced Wednesday that Jeff Goh has been promoted to chief executive.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 252 points in trading Wednesday to close at 16,907. The S&P 500 was down 26 points to 1,990. The Nasdaq was down 56 points to 4,836. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 226.

Reader Poll

What's your most important New Year's resolution?

Housing Perks Under Scrutiny

If you work in the City of Industry, you might get to rent a city-owned three-bedroom home for $700, roughly one third of the market rate. But some are questioning why the city has not paid taxes on those benefits all these years, the Pasadena Star News reports in an investigative story.

Burbank: We May Ban Pot

The Burbank City Council is considering a proposal that would formally prohibit all businesses involving pot, including marijuana delivery services and dispensaries. All those grow lights create a fire hazard and the cash-only aspect of some dispensaries make them robbery targets, city officials reason.

How Imperiled is MannKind?

After MannKind Corp.’s only product was dropped Tuesday by the company that was marketing it, execs said the Valencia company was not running out of cash nor was the company for sale, the Los Angeles Times reports. Still, the news was a rare but big setback for the company’s founder, Alfred Mann, 90, whose personal investment of nearly $1 billion in MannKind now appears in danger. Some investors think there’s no silver lining and, like the writer of a post on Seeking Alpha, believe MannKind is circling the drain.

Netflix-DreamWorks Partnership Boosted

Netflix and DreamWorks Animation announced Tuesday they are expanding their partnership, giving the Glendale studio a presence on the small screen. According to the Los Angeles Times, Netflix plans to launch several new series produced by DreamWorks this year. DreamWorks’ stock jumped on the news.

Oversight of Alcohol Businesses Weakened

The number of California agents who enforce state liquor laws is lower than it was a decade ago, the Sacramento Bee reports. That is irking many in the industry because, they claim, unlicensed competitors are operating unchecked.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 208 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,951. The S&P 500 was down 22 points to 1,994. The Nasdaq was down 50 points to 4,842. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 226.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 208 points in early trading Wednesday to 16,951. The S&P 500 was down 22 points to 1,994. The Nasdaq was down 50 points to 4,842. The LABJ Stock Index was down two points to 226.

Tuesday, January 5

Snapchat Enhancing Advertising Platform

Snapchat is building a platform with a plug-in tool for brands and agencies to automate advertising purchases on its app, according to a source for Digiday.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 10 points in trading Tuesday to close at 17,159. The S&P 500 was up 4 points to 2,017. The Nasdaq was down 12 points to 4,891. The LABJ Stock Index was down one points to 229.

Qatar Airlines Begins Flights to L.A.

Qatar Airlines has launched nonstop daily service between Los Angeles International Airport and Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, the company announced Monday. The new route, which is flown with a Boeing 777-200, is the airline’s first passenger service to the West Coast.

Garcetti Names New Planning Director

Bertoni returns to L.A.’s planning department after five years as Pasadena’s planning chief, where he oversaw that city’s general plan update. As a deputy planning director in Los Angeles, he oversaw the formation of 16 historic preservation overlay zones, new guidelines for the Broadway Historic District and a Hollywood community plan.

Marijuana Consultant Buying Land for Cultivation

Pineapple Express, a Los Angeles company that offers consulting to the cannabis industry, announced Tuesday that it has agreed to purchase nearly 4 acres in Desert Hot Springs. According to the company, the new land would be leased to tenants to grow marijuana.

Skechers Sued by Nike

Nike Inc. filed a lawsuit against Skechers on Monday, alleging that the Manhattan-based shoe company has infringed on its patented designs.

NantHealth Acquires NaviNet

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s health care technology holding company NantWorks has completed the acquisition of NaviNet, Inc., a platform which connects patients and insurers, the company announced Tuesday.

MannKind Shares Plunge With End of Sanofi Deal

MannKind Corp. announced Tuesday that Sanofi-Aventis U.S. has terminated its agreement to manufacture and market MannKind’s sole commercial product, Afrezza Inhalation Powder, an inhalable insulin.

Chinese Firm to Buy Legendary?

Burbank-based Legendary Entertainment could soon be bought by Dalian Wanda Group, the Chinese media and real estate conglomerate, according to the Los Angeles Times. Legendary's best known films include “Jurassic World,” ¨The Dark Knight” and “The Hangover.”

It’s Official: NFL Teams Ask to Move to L.A.

The Chargers, Rams and Raiders filed relocation applications with the NFL on Monday, ESPN reports. The filings were expected but make the requests official. A six-member NFL committee, presumably weighing which two of the three teams can move, will make a formal recommendation to the rest of the NFL’s ownership at or before a meeting in Houston on Jan. 12 and 13.

Apartment Complex Sold for Big Price

A Los Angeles investment firm has bought a Warner Center apartment complex for $163 million, which was one of the largest recent deals for an L.A. County rental community, according to the Los Angeles Times. Rents for a one bedroom at the Erwin Street and De Soto Avenue complex, which was bought by TruAmerica Multifamily, start at $2,064.

Faraday Future, ‘Fighting Ugliness,’ Unveils Its Car

Faraday Future, the secretive Gardena automaker, unveiled its first concept car: A silver-and-black Batmobile-esque electric vehicle called the FFZERO1, according to the Los Angeles Times. Richard Kim, Faraday's head of global design, called the vehicle a “high-performance electric dream car” designed to “fight ugliness,” according to the publication.

Legislators Propose Homes for the Homelessness

State senators proposed $2 billion to build or rehabilitate permanent housing for mentally ill people living in the streets, according to the Los Angeles Times. Legislators also called for $200 million over four years for temporary rent subsidies to bridge the gap until the new housing is completed.

Stocks Up

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 11 points in early trading Monday to 17,160. The S&P 500 was up 7 points to 2,020. The Nasdaq was up 23 points to 4,925. The LABJ Stock Index was up a quarter of a point to 230.

Monday, January 4

Faraday Future Accidentally Releases Car Design

Electric car designs for secretive automotive startup Faraday Future of Gardena were published today on the company’s app, according to website Engadget.

StartEngine Raises $5.5 Million

Equity crowdfunding platform StartEngine of Santa Monica has raised $5.5 million from two investors, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

L.A. Tech Events Calendar: Jan. 4 - Jan. 17

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

Stocks Plummet

Stocks worldwide continued to slide in the first trading day of 2016, after a sell-off in China prompted markets to close early. The sell-off was triggered by a bleak economic outlook in China, partly exacerbated by weakness in the country’s currency, as well as the escalation of Middle East tensions, according to the New York Times.

Sonic Signs on Franchises Throughout California

Diet Cherry Limeades and Watermelon Slushes are coming to Los Angeles.

CBRE Acquires Memphis Affiliate

Downtown L.A. real estate giant CBRE Group Inc. has acquired CBRE/Memphis, the firms announced Monday.

Stocks Slide

The Dow Jones industrial average plunged 276 points in Monday trading to close at 17,148. The S&P 500 fell 31 points to 2,012. The Nasdaq fell 104 points to 4,903. The LABJ Stock Index fell five points to 230.

Activision Buys Major League Gaming Assets

Activision Blizzard Inc. of Santa Monica has purchased most of the assets of e-sports league Major League Gaming for $46 million, according to shareholder documents obtained by blog eSports Observer.

Study: Start-ups Brisk in California

California might not be as inhospitable a place to do business as people think. A study from Beacon and Next 10, a California public policy research group, looked at annual census data and found California has spawned new businesses at one of the fastest rates in the nation over the last decade, the Los Angeles Times reports.

California´s Tough Fair-Pay Law in Effect

Workers across California will return to their jobs Monday under the nation’s toughest fair pay law. The law requires employers to show that male and female employees are paid equally for “substantially similar” work.

First Nanjing Massacre-themed Museum Opens in L.A.

The first Nanjing Massacre-themed museum in the United States, the L.A. Memorial Hall of American Heroes during Nanjing Massacre, has opened in Los Angeles. The hall honors 22 Americans who helped the Chinese during the massacre by the Japanese army, according to the Business Standard.

Southern Californians Flock to Snow

Business is booming in the mountains. As temperatures cool down, people from across Southern California are trekking to the San Bernardino and San Gabriel mountains to spend time in the snow, according to the Los Angeles Daily News. A series of El Niño-related rainstorms and snowfall could last through Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Boffo Year-end for Hollywood

Although the “Hateful Eight” came in a disappointing third place, holiday weekend box office receipts were up a whopping 44 percent from last year, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” enjoyed the biggest third weekend for any film in history.

JPL to Get Boost

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena may be a winner of NASA´s unusually high budget approved by Congress, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The omnibus spending bill increased NASA’s budget by $1.3 billion and earmarked funds for two of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s future robotic missions to Mars and Jupiter’s moon, Europa.

Stocks Dive

Trading was off to a very rocky start on the first working day of 2016. On Monday, China’s Shanghai composite index nosedived 6.9 percent, sending European stocks and U.S. market index futures sharply down, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That Leaking Gas Well? No Safety Valve

The leaking natural gas well that has displaced thousands in Porter Ranch lacked a working safety valve, the Los Angeles Times reports. Attorneys for residents suing Southern California Gas Co. said the company failed to replace the safety valve when it was removed in 1979. SoCal Gas has confirmed that the well did not have a deep subsurface valve.

Stocks Fall

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 353 points in early trading Monday trading to 17,072. The S&P 500 fell 39 points to 2,005. The Nasdaq fell 116 points to 4,895. The LABJ Stock Index fell 5 points to 230.

Firm Expects More Business as Drones Take Off

AVIATION: Practice unit at Morrison Foerster foresees work from new FAA rules.

While the popularity of drones continues to soar, a practice group dedicated to unmanned aircraft systems at Morrison Foerster is also taking off.

New Sci-Fi Program Hits Brakes on L.A. Car Scene

TV: Alien invaders control Angelenos by taking away their wheels on ‘Colony.’

Los Angeles looks very different in the new science-fiction TV series “Colony,” which sees the city of angels occupied by aliens in the near future.

Local Tech Executives See Steady but Cooling Sector

FORECAST: Fewer IPOs, higher wages among issues expected to arise this year.

The L.A. tech industry had a great run in 2015 and is set to keep that going this year.


Calendar of events


Upcoming conventions

Seller Walks Away From Santa Monica Promenade

SALE: Joint venture scores $96.3 million for building bought for $13.8 million.

It’s not every day that large properties on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade become available.

Court Hounds Out Homes

Big real estate developments may be a thing of the past in California, Charles Crumpley writes.

Tapping In

Arts District bottling up craft breweries

Brewers crowding into downtown L.A.’s Arts District aren’t worried about tapping out the craft trend.

Hospital Checkup

New chief exec gives his prognosis for making Daughters of Charity still work as nonprofit.

New chief exec discusses nursing the former Daughters of Charity hospitals back to health.

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Who’s Who in Los Angeles Business

Top executives of L.A.’s biggest companies and organizations.

From aerospace/defense to software industries, top executives at L.A.’s biggest companies and organizations.

Real Estate Site Won’t Sweeten Flipper Offerings

ONLINE: puts focus on bottom rung of residential fixer-uppers.

New real estate service sniffs out the bottom of the home-flipping market.

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Pollution Firm Cleans Up at Ports

TECHNOLOGY: Company rides wave of work from state rules.

Emissions-control rules for seafaring ships have buoyed business for Advanced Cleanup Technologies.

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Selling Revival

RETAIL: New shops, restaurants angle to make Westwood competitive with popular malls in Santa Monica, Century City.

Business owners and developers feel a new lineup of shops and eateries will get customers to buy into Westwood.

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Long Beach Businesses Counteroffer on Wage Hike

POLITICS: Proposal aims to head off $15-an-hour spike with $12.50 plan.

Long Beach business groups’ proposal urges the city to step back from a $15 minimum-wage hike to $12.50.

Vintage Makeup Finds New Life in Distribution

BEAUTY: Niche strategy of looking toward past pays off for Besame Cosmetics.

Besame Cosmetics’ future is looking brighter after scoring distribution deals for its vintage-styled products.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities across Los Angeles County

Grupe Properties Inc., a unit of Stockton’s Grupe Co., has acquired a Long Beach apartment property for $2.2 million from private investor Donna Runyon.

Mount Rainier Climb Gets a Little Hairy

When Coby King, 55-year-old chief executive of downtown L.A. PR firm High Point Strategies was planning to scale the tallest mountain in Washington state, he didn’t need much help.

Local Firms Take Pride In Company Joy

Amgen, Parsons make list of 50 happiest businesses in U.S.

Biotech giant Amgen and engineering firm Parsons are pleased to crack list of happiest places to work.

Clothing Firm Forges Ties With Africa

American Apparel’s colorful T-shirts to aid Sierra Leone artisans.

American Apparel says its new philanthropic shirt line fits the company to a T.

Story of Boy Meeting Girl A Real Treat

Romantic relationship results in business of frozen-pudding cups.

Jason Kessler and Hannah Canvasser’s picnic date led to the hot idea of launching a frozen-pudding business.

IP Focus Ruled Positive Pursuit

LAW: National firm chooses Glendale boutique for merger.

Christie Parker & Hale made a case for its IP focus after drawing interest from national firm Lewis Roca Rothgerber.

Sign on Building Points to Bigger USC Presence

REAL ESTATE: University adds name to property in lease deal for more space.

If you’ve driven by the 32-story office tower at Olive and 12th streets in downtown L.A.’s South Park neighborhood in the last week or two, you might have noticed there’s a new sign at the top.