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Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023

Morning Headlines

A Sporting Gesture to a Pair of Execs

Sporting goods retailer Sport Chalet Inc. proposed Tuesday a recapitalization plan that would shift most of founder Norbert Olberz’s 65 percent stake to the company’s top two officers , for free. Based on Tuesday’s closing price, the value of the shares given to Chairman and Chief Executive Craig Levra and Chief Financial Officer Howard Kaminsky would be more than $60 million. In a statement, Sport Chalet said the stock transfer also “eliminates uncertainty regarding a management succession plan” because the two executives would own a combined 45 percent of the company. The recapitalization plan also would create two classes of stock and increase the number of total shares outstanding, which Sport Chalet hopes will drive up investor interest.

The La Ca & #324;ada Flintridge-based company, which operates 34 stores in California, also said Tuesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier on a 14 percent gain in sales. Sport Chalet reported net income of $721,726 (10 cents per diluted share) for the quarter ended March 31, compared with $330,142 (5 cents) for the like period a year earlier. Sales rose to $79.2 million from $69.4 million.

Hahn Gets City Hall Send-Off

With only days left in his term, Mayor James Hahn wrapped up a farewell tour of the city Tuesday with a City Council tribute recognizing his 24 years in elected office and life dedicated to public service, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported. Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa praised Hahn despite the criticism and accusations made during their bitter campaign in 2001 and rematch this spring. His appearance before the council was the last major event for Hahn, who has been calling supporters to thank them and appearing at a variety of events. Hahn said he has not decided yet what he will do after he leaves office.

LAUSD Proposes ‘Parcel Tax’

Homeowners would be hit with a $150 annual “parcel tax” to help fund Los Angeles public schools on top of the hundreds of dollars they already pay annually for construction under a proposal introduced Tuesday. Under the draft plan, the tax would be in effect for six years, and the funds would be intended for use to reduce class sizes, improve libraries, bolster campus safety and provide more nurses and counselors. The proposal would be the first time the Los Angeles Unified School District would ask voters to approve such a fee and comes as the nation’s second-largest district also is considering a fourth construction bond issue for the Nov. 8 special-election ballot to raise $3.85 billion, the Daily News of Los Angeles reported.

L.A. County to Reorganize Health Care

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion Tuesday to split the health department so that its two independent branches can devote more attention to their main goals, the Daily Breeze reported. Supervisor Don Knabe, who authored the motion, said the vote was needed to prevent public health from being marginalized by personal health. The personal health portion of the Department of Health Services, which serves the uninsured by overseeing the county’s hospitals is teetering on the brink of financial disaster and struggling to bring order to the troubled Martin Luther King Jr.-Drew Medical Center. The motion calls for developing a separation plan that could be implemented by October without increasing the county’s health budget.

Law Firms’ LAX Pacts Extended

The Airport Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved a $750,000 contract extension with two law firms defending the city against lawsuits challenging its modernization plan for Los Angeles International Airport. The money brings the total for the 18-month contract with environmental attorneys at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and the firm of James A. Geocaris to $5 million. The increase comes days before Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa, who has said that he favors only part of the $11-billion modernization plan, takes office. The City Council is expected to take up the matter today, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Chapter 11 Protection Sought by Aura Systems

Aura Systems Inc., an El Segundo-based company with a history of run-ins with regulators, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, the company said. Aura has been trying to develop commercial products based on electromagnetic technology. The company’s longtime chief executive, Harry Kurtzman, quit in 2002 as the Securities and Exchange Commission was preparing accounting fraud charges against him. He was barred for life from serving as a corporate officer. Aura, now led by Chief Executive Raymond Yu, said that “a lack of adequate funding and an excess of debt necessitated the bankruptcy filing,” the Los Angeles Times reported.


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