Stories for September 2016

Friday, September 30

L.A. Downtown News Publisher Looking for Buyer

The Los Angeles Downtown News might soon have a new owner. After 44 years, its editor and publisher Sue Laris on Friday announced the free weekly paper is up for sale.

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 30: Honest Co. to Drop Disputed Ingredient from Laundry Detergent

Honest Co. to drop disputed ingredient from laundry detergent, Event Farm acquires Attend, and native virtual reality ad startup Vertebrae raises $10 million.

L.A. Council Places Building Moratorium Initiative on March Ballot

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday voted to place on the March ballot an initiative from neighborhood anti-development activists that would impose a two-year moratorium on most major building projects and sharply curtail major projects going forward.

Movers for Week Ending September 30, 2016

Commerce-based Nova Lifestyle Corp. was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 83 percent to end at $3.63. Emcore Corp. of Alhambra was also among the week’s movers. The technology manufacturing company gained 9 percent to end at $5.70. Beverly Hills-based biotechnology company Capricor Therapeutics Inc. was this week’s biggest loser, dropping 8 percent to end at $3.24.

FTC Charges Owner of Sage Auto Group with Practicing Deceptive Sales Tactics

Sage Auto Group in Universal City has found itself in the hot seat. The Federal Trade Commission charged the owner and nine of its auto dealerships with using the term “yo-yo” financing tactics on customers and practicing unfair and deceptive sales on Thursday.


From a USC professor teaching students about TV and film to a senior director of surgery, the Business Journal spotlights octo- and nonagenarians who refuse to call it quits.

SPECIAL REPORT: Dr. George Berci

George Berci started working at Cedars-Sinai in 1970 and helped introduce endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures to a number of fields, including gynecology, urology, and pediatrics.

SPECIAL REPORT: Sister Alice Marie Quinn

St. Vincent Meals on Wheels began with a pot of stew cooked by Sister Alice Marie Quinn for more than 80 senior citizens one night in 1977 while she was working in St. Vincent Medical Center’s dietary department.


Jaime Jarrín, the “Spanish voice of the Dodgers,” is one of the most recognizable voices in all of Spanish-language broadcasting.


Howard Ruby invented the corporate housing industry by launching Oakwood in 1968 after completing several other niche residential projects earlier that decade, including the South Bay Clubs for singles.

SPECIAL REPORT: Jose-Luis Saavedra

Jose-Luis Saavedra founded Tapatio Foods in 1971, creating the recipe for the famous Tapatio hot sauce and selling it internationally.

Some For-Profit Schools Flunk Out

EDUCATION: Rule changes make it harder to pass muster.

Some for-profit schools shutter after failing to make the grade under new financial aid rules.

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Buyer Charged Up Over Electric-Car Storefront

ACQUISITION: Deal grows KLM’s landlord presence at Third Street Promenade.

The sleek storefront that is home to Tesla Motors Inc.’s showroom on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade has sold for about $15.6 million, or roughly $5,200 a square foot, to the same company that purchased the Promenade’s Apple store in 2014.

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Power Companies Charge Into Storage Ventures

ENERGY: Tesla’s batteries drive SoCal Edison’s plan for Mira Loma facility.

Tesla’s battery plant for SoCal Edison is part of a wider industry push to put more into storage.

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Incubator Hopes to Sow Field of Green Ventures

TECHNOLOGY: Campus to offer 60,000 square feet to eco-conscious businesses.

New incubator hopes to egg on green businesses.

Russian Firm’s Bid For Rocket Launcher Comes Under Fire

Deals of the Week: A look at the companies that signed on the dotted line last week

Russian private aviation holding company CJSC S7 Group’s purchase of Sea Launch, a rocket launch company that operates out of the Port of Long Beach, is making waves in the Southern California aerospace industry, with a legal challenge by the Boeing Co. and concerns about the Russian company’s involvement.

Software Firm Works to Get on Track With Weed

TECHNOLOGY: Kind Financial aims to keep pot firms compliant.

Kind Financial switched focus to also put money on pot tracing and tracking software.

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Dion Neutra has spent 85 of his nearly 90 years in Silver Lake.

SPECIAL REPORT: Maryanne Hayashi

Maryanne Hayashi’s Central City Action Committee has offered kids from low-income families in Echo Park homework tutoring and job training, and brought them on field trips for about 45 years.


Larry Turman has produced 40 feature films and directed two during his career in Hollywood, and he’s also executive produced a number of projects for television.


Upcoming Conventions


Calendar of events

Founder Files Manicure Business Under ‘Guys’

BEAUTY: Michael Elliot’s Hammer & Nails buffs up service for male clientele.

Dudes across the country will now have their very own man cave-like space to get a manicure and pedicure.

Former Solicitor General to Lead Drive in D.C.

EXPANSION: Munger hires Donald Verrilli Jr. to run the firm’s third outpost.

For more than a half-century, downtown’s Munger Tolles & Olson has defied the geographic expansion that many of the firm’s big law competitors used as a mechanism for growth.

A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

APPAREL: Fashion Market tailors events to put focus on business for attendees.

Apparel designers and retail buyers will descend on downtown’s Fashion District on Oct. 17 to scope out upcoming trends for the spring 2017 season and place orders to stock their stores accordingly.

Buyer May Home In on Times Mirror Property

REAL ESTATE: Residential plan could drive up cost for Onni to $115 million.

Onni Group might shell out more to move Times Mirror building into residential use.

Pasadena Wades Into Debate On Streaming Levy

Pasadena may tune into streaming video services such as Hulu as a source of tax revenue.

Japanese Cheesecake Makes Cut

Panda Express parent introduces Uncle Tetsu to family of chains

Panda Restaurant Group hopes to find a sweet spot stateside for Japanese cheesecake chain Uncle Tetsu

Lawyer Checks All Boxes

Every day for the last two years, Nimish Patel has poured over both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times crossword puzzles, turning to his teenage son and daughter for help with the clues he can’t quite get.

Right Hook

MEDIA: Breitbart soars by taking swing at mainstream news.

Breitbart News Network has scored with liberal servings of conservative-minded news and analysis.

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Digital Resolution

ArbiClaims pitches speedy online deliberation as alternative to state’s crowded courtrooms

ArbiClaims believes it has settled on a successful strategy in providing speedy online arbitration

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Life Sciences Get Shot In Arm in L.A.

Trade group pumped about prognosis for local industry’s future.

Trade group California Life Sciences Association pursues healthy returns at a new L.A. outpost.

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Wrinkle in Time

Three habits seem to portend a long and productive life. The fourth key may be harder to grasp.

Thursday, September 29

U.S. Bank Agrees to $13.5M Settlement Over Foreclosed Homes Upkeep

The L.A. City Attorney’s Office has reached a $13.5 million settlement with U.S. Bank to resolve allegations that the bank allowed hundreds of foreclosed properties in Los Angeles to fall into disrepair, officials announced Thursday.

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 29: Legendary Digital Launching Paid Streaming Service

Legendary Digital launching paid streaming service, Adam Carolla launches car maintenance management app, and Warner Bros. launches slots mobile game with Mario Lopez.

California Pledges $250M Backup for L.A. 2024 Olympic Games

California Governor Jerry Brown signed state bill 1465 into law on Thursday, which would provide up to $250 million in state financial support to L.A.’s bid to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

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Wells Fargo Pays $4 Million to Settle Claims of Auto Loan Abuses

Wells Fargo has yet again found itself in hot water. In what is just the latest incident in a string of bad publicity, the bank has agreed to change its policies and pay more than $4 million in a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly violating a federal law by repossessing hundreds of cars owned by military service members.

Wednesday, September 28

Inglewood Apartments Draw Investor Universe Holdings

Two Inglewood apartments sold this month to an investor planning to renovate the units and lift rents as part of a plan to capitalize on the city’s appeal to residents priced out of neighboring Westside markets.

Panda Express Grows Alternative Investment Platform

The Panda Restaurant Group announced plans today to expand their family office’s investment platform by bringing in Founding Partner and Managing General Partner of Breakaway Capital Warren Woo, and former Managing Director at Wells Fargo & Co. Carey Do Kim to the investment arm of the Cherng Family Trust Office in Los Angeles.

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 28: SpaceX’s Musk: Less Than 5 Percent of Company Working on Mars Mission

SpaceX’s Musk says less than five percent of company working on Mars mission, Telesign joins ‘Lock Down Your Login’ initiative, Tinder starts testing ‘Boost’ feature, and more.

Tuesday, September 27

Banker Charged with Allegedly Taking Bribes from Santa Monica Company

Executives at Santa Monica-based ServiceMesh Inc. raked in nearly $100 million in bonus cash by bribing a former Australian banking executive, according to charges filed Tuesday by federal prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission against the banker.

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 27: SpaceX’s Elon Musk Reveals Mars Mission Plans

SpaceX’s Elon Musk reveals Mars mission plans, Jukin Media adds marketing division, Peter Guber and investors buys e-sports team.

Wells Fargo Faces Class-Action Lawsuits from Shareholders, Workers

One week after Wells Fargo’s chief executive faced a federal hearing over the bank’s numerous transgressions, the company now faces a multitude of lawsuits filed by customers, shareholders, and former employees.

Monday, September 26

Muirfield Acquired by New York Public Relations Powerhouse

Public relations powerhouse Prosek Partners has acquired Westwood-based Muirfield Partners for an undisclosed amount of cash and equity from Muirfield founder Mickey Mandelbaum.

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 26: Snapchat Changes Its Name, Unveils Sunglasses with Camera

Snapchat changes its name and unveils sunglasses with camera, Disney in talks to buy Twitter, SpaceX test fires Mars rocket and more.

Tesla’s Santa Monica Shop Sells for $15.6M

Tesla Motors’ sleek storefront on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade has sold for about $15.6 million, or roughly $5,200 a square foot.

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Onni Closes Monday on $105M Purchase of Times HQ

Tribune Media Co. finalized its sale of the Los Angeles Times building to Onni Group on Monday for at least $105 million.

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Friday, September 23

Councilman Calls for Autonomous Driving in Los Angeles by 2035

L.A. City Councilman David Ryu filed a motion Wednesday requesting that the Los Angeles Department of Transportation examine the effects of having an “autonomous transit city” and suggest steps needed to ensure the city is driverless by 2035.

Movers for Week Ending Sept. 23, 2016

Century City-based Ritter Pharmaceuticals was this week’s biggest mover.

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 23: SpaceX Rocket Explosion Investigation Makes Some Progress

SpaceX rocket explosion investigation makes some progress, IGN launches channel to cover virtual reality, and Gamblit Gaming adds racing game to casino floors.

L.A. Garment Manufacturers Fined for Labor Law Violations

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office fined 18 Los Angeles garment manufacturers and contractors more than $682,000 this month for labor law violations, the office announced Friday.

New York Investor Nabs Hollywood Apartments for $109 Million

New York Life Real Estate Investors picked up the Rubix Hollywood apartments this month for $109 million.

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Beverly Grove Retail Buyer Has Bigger Plans

An 8,800-square-foot retail site in Beverly Grove just sold for $7.5 million with plans for a larger development.

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Echo Park Retail Revival in the Works

A retail complex on a gritty stretch of Glendale Boulevard in Echo Park is prepping for a makeover.

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Incentive Program Proves Costly in Bank Fraud

FINANCE: Fake accounts at Wells Fargo show risk of pushing performance.

Wells Fargo’s fraud fallout underlines how businesses may pay for incentive programs.

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Lakers President Jeanie Buss Gets in Ring with Women’s Wrestling

A Look Ahead: What's on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

Jeanie Buss knows a thing or two about entertaining basketball fans downtown, but now the Los Angeles Lakers president is bringing a different sport to the area: professional wrestling.

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Real Deal Eludes Parent As Paper Pursues Digital

MEDIA: Shares of tronc still up from Gannett bids while Times presses into future.

Los Angeles Times embarks on digital future as acquisition bid for parent tronc has yet to click.

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Explosion, Crash Shake Up Firms’ Race to Stars

INSURANCE: Rocket policies spread out risk.

A complex system of factors goes into landing coverage for rocket launches.

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Explosion, Crash Shake Up Firms’ Race to Stars

AEROSPACE: Virgin banks on tiny satellites.

Virgin Galactic’s satellite program could be the warm-up to getting its space tourism business off the ground.

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Laser Focus Feeds Facial Clinic’s Expansion Plan

BEAUTY: Skin Laundry sees low-cost service as opportunity to clean up.

Skin Laundry has fleshed out a business strategy with a focus on low-cost laser facials.

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UPS Signs Largest Industrial Lease in Compton

REAL ESTATE: Hub site offered rare space in SoCal

New Compton megawarehouse proves shipshape for UPS in $44 million lease deal.

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Measure Aims to Steer Path Through Congestion

James de la Loza sees Measure M easing traffic in Los Angeles.

Keeping Energy Plan Grounded

Closing Aliso Canyon would only drive up already sky-high prices paid for natural gas in Los Angeles.

Closing the Aliso Canyon facility will only serve to drive up natural gas prices, warns Tracy Hernandez.

In a Golden State

Sure, taxes and regulations are a burden, but California remains a draw to entrepreneurs.

Hollywood Pickup Moves Into Record Territory

ACQUISITION: Multifamily sale price sets per-unit high mark for submarket.

New York Life Real Estate Investors picked up the Rubix Hollywood apartments this month for $109 million.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Connected-Car Company Picked up by Map Maker in Real-Time Drive

Abalta Technologies Inc., which makes a platform to hook up people’s cars to their phones, has a new owner after receiving an investment of an undisclosed sum from Japan’s biggest digital map maker, Zenrin Co.

Showbiz Panel Casts China as Emerging Player

FILM: Execs, academics frame growing market as salve for U.S. stagnation.

It seems the word on everyone’s lips in Hollywood is “China” – and for good reason.

Los Angeles May Have Virtual Edge on Content

TECHNOLOGY: Demand from VR firms could yield studio production boost.

The virtual reality industry is in experimental mode and facing challenges, but that might be to the advantage of L.A.-based companies, according to Don Karl, partner and lawyer at Perkins Coie’s Century City office.

2016 Could Wrap With Healthy Holiday Season

RETAIL: Election results may throw chill on plans for spending, however.

Positive economic factors could add up to a strong holiday shopping season in Los Angeles.

Out of This World

International Space Station guest Dennis Tito is still high on the future of space travel

Finance exec Dennis Tito talks whether it was worth the $20 million to hitch a ride to the International Space Station.

Teslas Rev Up Driving Service

MotEV sees high-end cars as means to make inroads with eco-conscious crowd.

Driving firm MotEV has charged into the sector looking to tap positive buzz for Tesla’s electric vehicles.

Exhibit to Draw On Animation

California Science Center will team up with Pixar to spotlight STEM concepts.

California Science Center enlists Pixar to frame STEM concepts as an exhibit.

Smoked Out?

Legal weed could test companies’ hiring policies

Legalized recreational weed could put employers’ drug policies to the test.

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Thursday, September 22

American Apparel Chief Executive to Step Down

Paula Schneider, chief executive of American Apparel, will reportedly step down from her post next month less than two years after taking the job.

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Silicon Beach Report Sept. 22: SGN Renames Itself Jam City, Acquires Rights to ‘Peanuts’ Franchise

SGN renames itself Jam City as well as acquires rights to ‘Peanuts’ franchise, ULA sends Pentagon letter criticizing SpaceX explosions, Tinder invests in Hey Vina!, and more.

SGN Renames Itself Jam City, Acquires Rights to ‘Peanuts’ Franchise

SGN has renamed itself Jam City in a rebranding effort aimed at better reflecting its portfolio of games.

Nine Local Cities Named Finalists for Most Business-Friendly City Award

Nine cities in Los Angeles County have been named as finalists for the most business-friendly award to be handed out this fall by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

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Port of Long Beach Names New CEO

The Port of Long Beach is getting a new interim chief executive.

Wednesday, September 21

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 21: Faraday Future’s Main Backer Receives $1B to Pursue Electric Cars

Faraday Future’s main backer receives $1 billion to pursue electric cars, Hulu orders two virtual reality shows, job candidate screening startup Imbellus raises $4 million, and more.

Faraday Future’s Main Backer Receives $1B to Pursue Electric Cars

Le Holdings Co. of China, the main backer of electric car startup Faraday Future, announced on Monday that it raised $1.08 billion from a group of Chinese investors to develop an electric car. Le Holdings Co. of China, the main backer of electric car startup Faraday Future, announced on Monday that it raised $1.08 billion from a group of Chinese investors to develop an electric car.

NGKF Recruits Another Veteran Broker

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank has nabbed another power broker.

L.A.’s Sports Museum Closes and Hopes to Relocate

The sprawling two-month-old Sports Museum of Los Angeles, which chronicles baseball from its infancy and details the Dodgers move from their Brooklyn beginnings to Chavez Ravine, has closed its doors to the public.

Tuesday, September 20

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 20: TX Zhuo and Eva Ho Raising $50M for Fika Ventures

TX Zhuo and Eva Ho raising $50M for Fika Ventures, Gamblit Gaming to add gambling to virtual reality game, Tinder adds music matching from Spotify to profiles, and more.

Digital Studio Gunpowder & Sky Acquires FilmBuff

Gunpowder & Sky, Van Toffler and Floris Bauer’s recently launched digital content studio, announced today that it has acquired independent content sales and distribution company, FilmBuff. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Broad Museum Smashes Attendance Projections in First Year

Downtown’s Broad Museum of Contemporary Art had a banner inaugural year, drawing in more than 820,000 visitors, according to figures the museum released Tuesday.

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Signatures Submitted for Measure for March Ballot; Another Measure Certified

Medical marijuana dispensary owners submitted more than 100,000 signatures Monday in their bid to place a measure on the Los Angeles city ballot in March to give the 135 dispensaries in operation before a 2007 moratorium priority in bidding for dispensary licenses.

Monday, September 19

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 19: Elon Musk Says Spacecraft Could Go Beyond Mars

Elon Musk announces spacecraft could go beyond Mars, Beats Electronics lawsuit continues, and Riot Unveils college League of Legends competition.

Garcetti Names Administrator to Oversee Local Oil Operations

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday named the city’s first-ever oil administrator to regulate the safety of oil operations within the city.

Saban ‘Blank Check’ Offering Seeks $235M

Media mogul Haim Saban has priced an initial public offering for his Saban Capital Acquisition Corp., seeking to raise $235 million for the “blank check” company that would acquire an as-yet unidentified media business.

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Friday, September 16

Emmis’ Texas Monthly Nearing a Sale, Confirms Smulyan

Emmis Communications Corp., parent of Los Angeles Magazine, is about to close a sale of one of its other crown jewels: Texas Monthly.

Movers for Week Ending September 16, 2016

Glendale-based healthcare company Apollo Medical Holdings was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 22 percent to end at $5.00. Xencor Inc. of Monrovia was also among the week’s movers. The antibody drug company gained 20 percent to end at $24.63. Los Angeles-based niche-focused online brand company Spark Networks Inc. was this week’s biggest loser, dropping 8.62 percent to end at $1.59.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Ticks Up to 4.9 Percent in August

L.A. County’s unemployment rate inched up to 4.9 percent in August even as employer payrolls grew, state figures released Friday showed.

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 16: Newegg Receives Investment from Hangzhao Interactive

Newegg receives investment from Hangzhao Interactive, Ted Cruz fights ICANN’s transfer, Demand Media acquires The Other Art Fair for $1.5 million, and more.

Unilever Reportedly Looking to Buy Playa Vista’s Honest Co.

Unilever is reportedly in talks to purchase Honest Co., the consumer-products retailer co-founded by actress Jessica Alba. The deal, according to the Wall Street Journal, values the privately held Santa Monica firm at $1 billion, significantly below the $1.7 billion the company was priced at last year when it raised some $200 million from outside investors.

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Fender Turns to Hollywood, Internet to Lift Sales

Fender turns to Hollywood, internet to lift sales

Guitar maker Fender looks to crank the volume on sales with a new outpost in Hollywood.

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Signs of Battle On Billboards

ADVERTISING: Summit fears cutback cuts out smaller firms.

Summit Media sees a city of L.A. plan for more digital billboards as a bad sign for small firms.

Music Exec Folds In New Venture

Russell Simmons hopes to get people bent into shape with yoga studio Tantris.

Music giant Russell Simmons has thrown a twist into his business portfolio with yoga studio Tantris.

Studio Plunges Into Streaming

Lions Gate doubles down in space with pair of deals to launch platform, TV store.

Lions Gate dives into streaming with Univision and Vimeo projects.

Reason for Lawyer’s Rhymes

The legal profession is not typically viewed as fertile territory for poetic interrogatories.

L.A. Chamber: Yes on Tobacco Tax; No on Pot

POLITICS: Organization neutral on keeping higher levy rates on high income.

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce this month took positions on several measures on the November ballot, most notably in support of a tobacco tax but opposing marijuana legalization.

SPECIAL REPORT: Grouped Together

Ad agency CrowdfundX has created space online through social media outreach to unaccredited investors.

CrowdfundX helps clients get friendly with financial backers through social media campaigns.


Calendar of events


Upcoming conventions

Working on Small Business

City of L.A. launches online tool to help entrepreneurs get started

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti touts new online tool to jump-start new businesses.

Working on Small Business

Latino Democrats may take lead in pushing positive state policies

Moderate Latino Democrats are ready to speak out on California’s regulations and taxes, writes Hector Barreto.

SPECIAL REPORT: Crowdfunding Slow on Draw

New crowdfunding rules have yet to stir big numbers of unaccredited investors.

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A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

FINANCE: Congress mulls pulling plug on visas tied to foreigners’ investments.

A controversial federal program that rewards foreign investors with visas in exchange for investments in economically depressed areas is set to expire at the end of the month if Congress doesn’t intervene.

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Business District Eyes Alleys to Field Green Space

DEVELOPMENT: Project seeks to generate room for gatherings in South Park.

South Park, home to just a couple of small parks, is rich with construction but poor on green space.

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Brokerage Sells Another Vet Exec on Relocating

EMPLOYMENT: Brad Feld latest score in Newmark’s stretch of power pickups.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank has nabbed another power broker.

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Dead in the Water

The bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping may seem like an isolated event, but expect it to have a major impact on the economy.

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Security Systems Maker Locks Up Industry Peer with $269 Million Deal

X-ray system manufacturer OSI Systems Inc. completed its $269 million, all-cash purchase of American Science and Engineering Inc. on Sept. 12.

Postproduction House’s Founder Calls for Action

ENTERTAINMENT: Fall of Modern Videofilm pitched as sabotage by hedge fund.

Founder of Modern Videofilm frames the postpoduction firm’s collapse as a hedge fund scheme.

Bankrupt Shipping Line in Fight Over Fuel Bill

TRADE: Federal marshals arrest Hanjin cargo ship as creditors pursue payment.

U.S. marshals placed hold on Hanjin ship over bankrupt company’s fuel bill.

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Ad Technology Could Join Fold At Paper Parent

Idea of owning ad technology firm clicks with Los Angeles Times owner tronc.

Auction House Sees Lots of Advantages in IPO

ART: Investment could lift Carlyle’s business but firm faces online sales risks.

Auctioneer Carlyle Galleries International is bidding on going public to boost its business prospects.

Shops Still Game to Trade on Departed Brand Name

RETAIL: Owner of Fred Segal wants moniker gone on Melrose.

Owner of Fred Segal name says Melrose shopping district property needs to drop the moniker.

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News Site Dials Up Digital Content

MEDIA: sees bigger role to play under Jeff Skoll’s Participant.

Jeff Skoll’s TakePart plans more content to differentiate the activist news site from parent Participant.

Thursday, September 15

Port of LA Cargo High in August; Long Beach Cargo Numbers Drop

The Port of Los Angeles had its second-busiest month in its 109-year history in August, while neighboring Port of Long Beach saw overall cargo numbers decline year-over-year for the month.

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Silicon Beach Report Sept. 15: Tesla Motors to Build 20MW Battery Storage Facility for SoCal Edison

Tesla Motors to build 20MW battery storage facility for SoCal Edison, Citi Ventures backs FastPay, first Hyperloop One likely to be built overseas, and more.

USC School of Social Work Gets $60 Million Donation and a New Name

University of Southern California alumni Suzanne Dworak-Peck donated $60 million to the private university’s school of social work on Wednesday, one of the largest contributions in history to a school of its kind. With Dworak-Peck’s hefty gift came a change to the school’s name, which has now been dubbed the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work.

Tesla Motors to Build 20MW Battery Storage Facility for SoCal Edison

Southern California Edison has selected Tesla Motors Inc. to build a 20-megawatt battery storage facility in Mira Loma for an undisclosed amount.

Wednesday, September 14

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 14: Comparably Hires eHarmony’s President Armen Avedissian

Comparably hires eHarmony’s president Armen Avedissian, LeEco buys production studio Dichotomy Creative Group, and Snapchat increases ad targeting.

Comparably Hires eHarmony’s President Armen Avedissian

Comparably of Santa Monica announced it has hired eHarmony’s former President Armen Avedissian as it as its chief marketing officer.

L.A. Promises Free Year of Community College Tuition for LAUSD Graduates

L.A. city officials launched a program Wednesday to guarantee all high school graduates within the Los Angeles Unified School District at least one free year of tuition-free community college education.

Tuesday, September 13

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 13: Defy Media Raises $70M

JibJab launches sticker and animation apps, Defy Media raises $70 million, and SpaceX plans to launch again in November.

SoCal Gas CEO to be Replaced; Utility Agrees to Pay $4M in Penalties for Leak

Just hours after agreeing to pay $4 million in penalties for the massive Aliso Canyon gas leak, SoCal Gas’ parent company announced the utility’s chief executive is being replaced as part of a major corporate shakeup.

Rams to Cover Cost of Police, City Services for Home Games

The Los Angeles Rams reached an agreement with Los Angeles city officials to pay for the cost of police and other city services for home games, Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Tuesday.

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L.A. Employers to Increase Hiring in Third Quarter

More LA employers say they plan to add workers during the fourth quarter, but more also plan to reduce payrolls in the third quarter, according to a survey to be released Tuesday from Manpower Inc.

Monday, September 12

Hanjin Ships Finally Dock at Port of Long Beach

Two Hanjin Shipping Co. vessels that had been waiting for more than a week to unload their cargo at the Port of Long Beach after the company filed for bankruptcy have finally been allowed to dock.

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Silicon Beach Report Sept. 12: OSI Systems Completes $269 Million Acquisition of American Science and Engineering

OSI Systems completes $269 million acquisition of American Science and Engineering, Lionsgate and Univision team up for Spanish-language streaming service, artificial intelligence startup Oben raises $10 million, and more

OSI Systems Completes $269 Million Acquisition of American Science and Engineering

X-ray system manufacturer OSI Systems on Monday completed its acquisition of American Science and Engineering Inc. for $37 a share, a cash deal worth $269 million.

Lionsgate and Univision Team Up For Spanish-Language Streaming Service

Santa Monica-based movie and television studio Lionsgate Entertainment Corp. and New York City-based media company Univision Communications Inc. announced they will debut a premium Spanish-language subscription video on demand service in the United States early next year.

Friday, September 9

Creative Office Project Slated for Century-Old Downtown Building

A creative office developer is the latest company to envision a transformation for an aging downtown building. West L.A.’s Urban Offerings Inc. purchased the Norton Building, a five-story office on Los Angeles Street built in 1914, with plans to do a drastic redesign. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but the asking price was $21.5 million, according to CoStar records.

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Silicon Beach Report Sept. 9: Honest Co. in Sales Talks

Snapchat takes on credit line, Honest Co. in sales talks, Elon Musk says SpaceX’s explosion investigation is complex, and more.

San Gabriel Valley Industrial Property Sells for $29M

The San Gabriel Valley just saw one of the biggest industrial sales in recent years. A new industrial property of 168,000 square feet in the City of Industry sold for $29 million, or $173 a square foot, to AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust, based in Pittsburgh.

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Movers for Week Ending Sept. 9, 2016

Los Angeles-based Differential Brands Group, which has a portfolio of apparel lines, was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 33 percent to end at $6.40. West L.A.’s B. Riley Financial Inc. was also among the week’s movers. The financial advisory group gained 31 percent to end at $12.57. West L.A.-based Spark Networks Inc., which owns dating websites JDate and Christian Mingle, was the week’s biggest loser, dropping 12 percent to end at $1.74.


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Cities Mull Means to Smoke Out Tax Revenue From Recreational Weed

Measure offers two streams: state fund for law enforcement as well as additional local business levies

Some local cities are looking to potential pot taxes to blunt lingering budget deficits.

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Cocktail Offers Taste of Luxury

Restaurant taps rare rum in whipping up mai tai that will set you back $26.

Restaurant Here’s Looking at You has uncorked a $26 mai tai reliant on rare rum.

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Sinking Shipper Receives Bailout

Parent plans to sink $90 million into bankrupt Hanjin to get cargo moving at ports.

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Survey Maps Out Business Cities

Brand, livability help land Los Angeles at No. 13; top performer remains London.

Study of globe’s top business cities puts Los Angeles on the map at No. 13 out of 30.

Hitting Turbulence at LAX

All USC sociology professor Manuel Pastor wanted to do was catch some Z’s before having to give a keynote speech at the annual meeting of the National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations in Cleveland a couple of weeks back.

Academy Looks to Spread out Emmys Action with Three Award Nights

TV: Academy looks to spread out Emmys action with three award nights.

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Broadcasters Set to Tackle Rams’ Regular Season

SPORTS: Local offerings include new radio show with coach Jeff Fisher.

The Los Angeles Rams are ready for regular season football – and so are its broadcast partners.

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Streaming Services Make Local Production Splash

TV: Need for programs at digital platforms channels pilots to L.A.’s facilities.

Content demand from streaming services has taken a lead role in boosting local pilot production.

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New Practice Speaks to Ex-California Governor

CONSULTING: Pete Wilson splits Morgan Lewis for Browne George Ross gig.

Former California Gov. Pete Wilson is setting up a consulting practice at Century City law firm Browne George Ross, leaving downtown’s Morgan Lewis & Bockius shortly after coming onboard during that firm’s takeover of now-defunct Bingham McCutcheon.

San Francisco Buyer Scales Palms Office Tower

ACQUISITION: Swig pays $68.2 million to expand presence in Los Angeles.

The Sepulveda Center, a shiny blue tower in Palms emblazoned with the TrueCar Inc. logo, has been sold to San Francisco real estate investment firm Swig Co.

High Reward, High Risk

The tallest tower in the West offers risk for its developer, but makes a significant statement about Los Angeles.

Firm Offers Cut Suits as Real Plus to Medical Training

HEALTH CARE: Firm offers Cut Suits as real plus to medical training.

Cedars-Sinai helps medical staff make the cuts with the use of lifelike educational body suits.

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Solar Costs Feeling Heat

Rayton may have a hot ticket for the solar industry with its tech to lower panel production costs.

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New Tower in Downtown Piles Up Office Space

REAL ESTATE: Skyscraper Wilshire Grand facing challenges on leasing front.

Towering Wilshire Grand Center could prove a tall order to fill in downtown’s office market.

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Jewelry Wholesaler Takes Shine to Flagship Shop

RETAIL: Dogeared forges $25 million in yearly sales with simple necklaces.

Jewelry wholesaler Dogeared’s efforts to polish its line’s prospects include a brick-and-mortar outpost.

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Business Groups Take Bruising From State Bills

POLITICS: Measures seen as ‘job killers’ include wage hike, farm overtime.

Business groups had a hit-and-miss session in laying to rest state “job killer” bills.

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Private Equity Firm Opts for Dough, Sells Stake in Pretzel Chain

Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, a Beverly Hills private equity firm, cashed in its chips – or pretzels – when it sold its majority stake in Pasadena pretzel chain Wetzel’s Pretzels to CenterOak Partners, a Dallas private equity firm.

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Pot Investors Try to Get Jump on Budding Market

MARIJUANA: Recreational use could spark range of ventures.

The prospect of legal recreational pot has lit a fire under some investors.

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Calendar of events

Thursday, September 8

Port of Long Beach CEO Departing

Port of Long Beach chief executive Jon Slangerup announced his resignation Thursday, just as the global shipping industry is in turmoil following the bankruptcy of the world’s seventh-largest cargo carrier.

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Silicon Beach Report Sept. 8: Virgin Galactic Begins Test Flights of Commercial Spaceship

Indeed launches recruitment website for L.A. tech positions, Kin Community hires Shauna Miller as head of programming, and Virgin Galactic begins test flights of commercial spaceship.

Palms Office Sells for $68 Million

The Sepulveda Center, a shiny blue tower in Palms emblazoned with the TrueCar Inc. logo, has sold to San Francisco-based real estate investment firm Swig Co.

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Virgin Galactic Begins Test Flights of Commercial Spaceship

Virgin Galactic’s commercial spaceship, VSS Unity, took to the skies above the Mojave Desert on Thursday, the craft’s first test run since its predecessor SpaceShipTwo crashed and killed one of its pilots in 2014.

Wells Fargo Slapped with $50 Million Fines in L.A. Settlement

The L.A. City Attorney announced a record-breaking settlement on Thursday in which Wells Fargo Bank was ordered to pay customer restitution and $50 million in civil penalties for opening unauthorized customer accounts.

Stranded Hanjin Vessels to Get Aid from Hanjin Group

Stranded Hanjin Shipping vessels, including three ships anchored off the Port of Long Beach, were expected to start moving again after the bankrupt carrier’s parent company pledged $90 million in aid last week.

Wednesday, September 7

USC Unveils New Business School Home

USC has officially debuted the new, state-of-the-art building that houses its Marshall School of Business.

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 7: Snapchat Eyeing IPO

Snapchat eyeing IPO, Activision hires new Major League Gaming chief, Crackle to make original virtual reality content, and more.

Echo Park Demolition Plans Put On Hold

As soon as Beverly Hills developer Palisades Capital Partners announced plans in July to demolish a chunk of the former Metropolitan Water District building just outside of downtown, historic architecture buffs sent up the alarm.

Tuesday, September 6

Port of Long Beach Harbor Commission to Discuss Sale of Hanjin Terminal

Stranded Hanjin Shipping vessels may soon start moving again after its parent company pledged $90 million Tuesday, but the company’s future at the Port of Long Beach may be in question.

Rams Final 53-Man Team Roster Introduced at Charity Luncheon

Today marked the official first day of the Los Angeles Rams’ return home for the regular season. Its “Kickoff for Charity” luncheon, benefitting the Los Angeles Rams Foundation, presented its new 2016 team for the first time.

Malibu Golf Club Back in Play After $30 Million Sale

The Malibu Golf Club is finally emerging from the financial muck of the recession. The 650-acre property sold for $30.5 million to Chinese company Shinhan Golden Faith International Development Ltd. after being in the hands of a court-appointed receiver.

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 6: Snapchat Projected to Generate Nearly $1 Billion Next Year

Snapchat projected to generate nearly $1 billion next year, Fullscreen’s chief marketing officer exits, Snapchat hints at move into augmented reality, and more.

Snapchat Projected to Generate Nearly $1 Billion Next Year

Snapchat is projected to generate nearly $1 billion in advertising revenue next year, according to a report by eMarketer.

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Friday, September 2

Movers for Week Ending Sept. 2, 2016

West L.A.-based Spark Networks Inc., which owns dating websites J Date and Christian Mingle, was this week’s biggest mover, gaining 26 percent to end at $1.97. Los Angeles-based Reed’s Inc. was also among the week’s movers. The craft soda company gained 13 percent to end at $3.53. Monrovia-based energy tech company AeroVironment, Inc. was the week’s biggest loser, dropping 16 percent to end at $24.83.

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 2: DropIn Inc. Launches Drone Video-Streaming for Insurance Industry

DropIn Inc. launches drone video-streaming for insurance industry, Best Fiends hires celebrities for promotion, and Atom Tickets expands to more theaters.

Wetzel’s Pretzels Acquired by Private Equity Firm CenterOak Partners

The smell of soft baked pretzels by Pasadena chain Wetzel’s Pretzels has made its way to Dallas-based private equity firm CenterOak Partners.

Banc of California Named Banking Sponsor of LA Rams Foundation

The Irvine-based Banc of California will be the official banking partner of the Los Angeles Rams Foundation, the football team’s charitable organization.

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Retailers’ Concerns Mount as Hanjin Bankruptcy Delays Trade

The fallout from Hanjin Shipping filing for bankruptcy and ceasing operations this week was immediate, as cargo ships sat off the California coast unable to dock and freight companies scrambled to move their cargo.

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Pet Feeder Maker Petnet Raises $10 Million

Pet-care technology is a booming business. Just ask Carlos Herrera, chief executive of automated pet feeder maker Petnet, whose downtown company just received a $10 million Series A round led by San Diego’s Petco Animal Supplies Inc. Online financial services firm Aspiration Growth and other undisclosed investors also participated.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Christopher Meany

Business Journal spotlights the players fielding projects in Inglewood beyond the football stadium development.

SPECIAL REPORT: Hitting The Field

Rams’ stadium project in Inglewood joins city teeming with range of real estate developments.

Business Journal spotlights the players fielding projects in Inglewood beyond the football stadium development.


Upcoming conventions


Calendar of events

Cell Service Provider Rings Up $50 Million to Support Growth Plan

West L.A. cellphone service provider FreedomPop scored a $50 million investment last week, which will be funneled toward growing the 5-year-old company’s international presence.

Suitor Makes Headlines Chasing Paper’s Owner

MEDIA: Gannett improves tronc offer, boosting battle to run Los Angeles Times.

Gannett refuses to turn page on tronc pursuit, boosting offer for parent of Los Angeles Times.

Agency Searches Online for Lasting Influencers

MARKETING: Galore links female social media stars, brands in long-term deals.

Galore Media thinks long term in its efforts to link female social media influencers with brands.

Drug Developer Given $45 Million Shot in Arm

BIOTECH: Funding round may position Arrowhead as target for acquisition.

Drug developer Arrowhead gets $45 million funding infusion from industry investors.

A Look Ahead: What’s on the agenda for Los Angeles business in the coming week

LAW: New courthouse set to open after judges made federal case for facility.

Construction on the new $340 million federal courthouse in downtown is complete, but the process of moving legal documents, dozens of judges, and more than one hundred staff members into the shiny 10-story silver cube is just beginning.

Ad Campaign Helps Size Up Rams Players

Art Machine pumps up team’s biggest stars with billboard series.

Art Machine’s billboard campaign positions Rams’ biggest stars to scale Los Angeles.

Magazine Gets Pot Ready for Hollywood Close-Up

MEDIA: High Times to launch outpost with eye on legalization.

Pot magazine High Times plans L.A. office to potentially tap budding recreational use in California.

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Games Still on for PR Vet

It was 16 years ago that Charley Cullen Walters touched down in Sydney as a college student about to spend the school year studying abroad.

Record Sale Could Cost House of Bijan Home

Last Rodeo?

House of Bijan could be left homeless on Rodeo Drive as the new owner may tear down its storefront.

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Wave of Holiday Business Has Yet to Hit Ports

SHIPPING: Strike fallout, shakeup in retail outlook contribute to slowdown.

Slowdown in retail orders has put the brakes on the traditionally active holiday season for cargo movers.

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Development Measure Yet to Find Poll Position

REAL ESTATE: Battle over restrictive initiative yields rival claims of support.

The L.A. city election might not be until March, but both sides of the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative battle have released polls showing completely opposite results.

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Nontraditional Gets Workout

EMPLOYMENT: L.A. County fertile field for self-employed.

Entertainment and shipping industries have boosted Los Angeles as a home to nontraditional jobs.

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App-Based, On-Demand Laundry Service Folds

INTERNET: shuts down in face of lawsuit over driver classification.

On-demand laundry startup Inc. has been hung out to dry.

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Ports Awash in Bankrupt Shipping Line’s Cargo

TRADE: Hanjin’s collapse could prove big blow to Long Beach operations.

Bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping leaves cargo shipments adrift at ports.

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Pot o’ Gold

Entrepreneurs are seeing green as they anticipate a gold rush with the looming legalization of recreational marijuana.


Business Journal spotlights the players fielding projects in Inglewood beyond the football stadium development.


Business Journal spotlights the players fielding projects in Inglewood beyond the football stadium development.

SPECIAL REPORT: William Shopoff

Business Journal spotlights the players fielding projects in Inglewood beyond the football stadium development.

SPECIAL REPORT: Amy Forbes, Doug Champion

Business Journal spotlights the players fielding projects in Inglewood beyond the football stadium development.


Business Journal spotlights the players fielding projects in Inglewood beyond the football stadium development.

Chinese Developer Bags Golf Course in Malibu

SALE: Shinhan shells out $30 million for property; may tee up residences.

The Malibu Golf Club is finally emerging from the financial muck of the recession.

Augmented Reality Helmet Heads Into Industrial

TECHNOLOGY: Daqri sees product guiding workers through variety of jobs.

Daqri pitches its augmented reality Smart Helmet as a good fit for engineering and industrial jobs.

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Social Media Pet Project Goes to Dogs

HelloSociety to enlist four-legged influencers for brand marketing.

HelloSociety hopes to collar famous pets for use in social media marketing campaigns.

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Thursday, September 1

Silicon Beach Report Sept. 1: SpaceX Rocket Explodes, Destroying Facebook’s Satellite

SpaceX Rocket explodes and destroys Facebook’s satellite, Hyperloop One lawsuit accusations grow, Fandango expands service to Arclight Cinemas, and more.

Green Dot Bank Names Mary Dent as New CEO

Green Dot Bank in Pasadena announced yesterday that board member Mary J. Dent would become the bank’s chief executive. She succeeds Lewis Goodwin, who will remain as the bank’s president, according to a press release.

City Sued Over Use of LAPD at Rams Games

A lawsuit filed Wednesday by former City Councilman Dennis Zine accuses the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck of illegally deploying police officers as security for pre-season L.A. Rams games, calling the action an “unlawful gift of public funds.”

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Modest Salary Raises on Tap for Next Year

Looking for a big raise or to jump ship for a much higher-paying position next year? Not likely to happen, according to a survey released this week from Robert Half International.