With Donald Trump’s inauguration days away, it was no surprise that Tom Barrack, tapped to lead the festivities, was in New York last week meeting with the president-elect. He visited Trump Tower on Jan. 10, the same day Patrick Soon-Shiong paid another visit to Trump. It was Soon-Shiong’s second publicly acknowledged meeting with the incoming leader of the free world. Soon-Shiong took a November meeting with him to discuss national medical priorities and innovation in the areas of medicine. No comment from the doctor’s camp about the subject of the latest get-together. … In other political news, Steve Mnuchin outlined his holdings last week as he prepared to divest in anticipation of becoming Treasury secretary. Though not specific – he was only required to disclose minimum amounts – Mnuchin’s filing shows he holds more than $50 million in CIT Group stock; between $1 million and $5 million in Goldman Sachs Group stock; more than $1 million in Berkshire Hathaway Class A stock; and up to $1 million in Blackstone Group. He pledged to sell those stakes within 90 days of his confirmation. … Dov Charney was spotted at the undisclosed location of his nascent L.A. apparel venture, surrounded by bales of fabric. Charney has been plotting his return to the field, dropping hints about a new brand, That’s Los Angeles, since November. … Rick Caruso is on tap to receive USC’s Asa V. Call Alumni Achievement Award, the university’s highest alumni honor. Caruso, class of ’80, “stands among this university’s most passionate supporters, and plays a tremendous leadership role in our community,” USC President C. L. Max Nikias said in a release announcing the honor. The developer and his wife donated $25 million in 2015 to endow the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Other alumni in line for acknowledgement at the April event are Wanda M. Austin, former chief executive of Aerospace Corp., and Grant Gershon, artistic director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale and resident conductor of LA Opera. … Across town and to the north, Chancellor Gene Block announced that UCLA is close to fulfilling its 10-year, $16.5 million commitment to the Department of Veterans Affairs for new programs and supportive services, including $300,000 annually in fair-market rent for the continued use of Jackie Robinson Stadium. Block made the announcement after meeting with Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald at the West L.A. VA campus. … Elon Musk scored customer service points from a Tesla driver last month. Bay Area tech entrepreneur Loic Le Meur tweeted at Musk that Tesla drivers were hogging supercharging stations by leaving their cars plugged in long after they were juiced up. Musk tweeted back that he’d follow up, and within a week, the carmaker announced a policy to bill drivers for the time they idle at the stations after their cars’ batteries are topped off. … Jeffrey Katzenberg reportedly broke with his 2-year-old boycott of the Beverly Hills Hotel last month, making a one-time exception to visit the venue to join Kirk Douglas’ 100th birthday lunch. The hotel, owned by the sultan of Brunei, has been boycotted by the Hollywood community over the sultan’s anti-gay politics. … Sean and Alexandra Parker co-hosted the Haiti Rising Gala with Bryan Lourd at the Montage last week. The event was a benefit for the J/P Haitian Relief Organization, a nonprofit benefiting Haiti started by actor Sean Penn. … Might the Los Angeles Rams’ colors change to burgundy and gold? News broke last week that Stan Kroenke had taken a stake in a vineyard in Burgundy, France, that had been family run for two centuries. Kroenke already owns Napa label Screaming Eagle; the red and white grand cru wines of Bonneau du Martray are largely bottled for export and found in expensive restaurants.
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