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Review & Preview

Review

Nov. 29 – Dec. 5

Coastal Decision: A halt on new oil and natural gas drilling off California’s coast was upheld by a federal appeals court in a victory for state and environmental groups. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that 36 drilling leases were properly blocked because California “was not afforded an opportunity to review the leases” and a federal environmental impact review wasn’t performed. A federal district court barred the government last year from extending the leases, which blocked attempts to build the first new oil platforms off the state’s coast since 1994.

Tenet Update: Tenet Healthcare Corp. cut its forecast for fiscal 2003 earnings and now expects profit from operations of $2.38-$2.78 a share for the year ended May 31, compared with earlier projections of $2.93 a share. In addition, the Santa Barbara-based hospital company is overhauling policies that allowed Tenet to boost prices charged to Medicare. Tenet now plans to freeze some charges and offer discounts to uninsured patients.

Insurance for All?: Bruce Bodaken, chief executive of Blue Shield of California is calling for legislation that would provide public or private health coverage for every Californian. Bodaken said the plan would require most employers in the state to offer essential coverage for every employee. Smaller employers would be exempt from the plan and the state would subsidize those who could not afford the full costs.

Disney News: Besides reducing fourth quarter earnings due to the poor performance of “Treasure Planet,” (see page 31), Walt Disney Co. said it is cooperating with a non-accounting inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission related to disclosures on whether four board members met standards for independence. The four directors have family members who are employed by the company or affiliates. Separately, Burbank-based Disney named Robert Matschullat as an independent director to head the audit committee and former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell was named to a new post of “presiding director.”

Trucking Dispute: The Teamsters union and consumer groups asked an appeals court to block Mexican truckers from taking advantage of wider U.S. access, saying their vehicles don’t meet environmental standards. The union, joined by Public Citizen and the Environmental Law Foundation, said that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals should limit Mexican trucks to a 20-mile zone inside the U.S. border until federal agencies review their impact on air quality.

Desert Homes: KB Home will sell a 2,000-acre development site in Palmdale to a newly formed joint venture in exchange for $15 million in cash and a 49 percent stake. Empire Companies, a privately held development company owned by Jim Previti, will own a 51 percent stake in the venture, named Anaverde LLC. KB said the development would include 5,000 homes, 700 acres of open space and 200 acres of commercial and public buildings.

CB Japan: CB Richard Ellis Inc. plans to enter Japan’s real estate market by investing $2.4 billion over the next two years to offer services for residential and commercial properties, from development to building management.

Syncor Settles: Cardinal Health Inc. will go ahead with an agreement to buy Woodland Hills-based Syncor International Corp. at a reduced price after the pharmacy-services company settled bribery allegations with authorities. The new agreement shaves about $90 million off Cardinal’s original $1.1 billion offer. The revised agreement came as Syncor said it had reached settlements with the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission.

Preview

Dec. 9 – Dec. 15

Chamber Honors: Maureen Kindel, founder and partner of lobbying firm Rose & Kindel will be honored by the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce at its Distinguished Business Leader Award Reception on Wednesday (11th) at the California Club from 6-8 p.m. For information: 213-580-7524.

Holiday Luncheon: The annual Toys for Tots luncheon, sponsored by the Advertising Club of Los Angeles in conjunction with the United States Marine Corps Reserve, will be held on Friday (13th) at the Century Plaza Hotel. For information: 323-782-1044.

Sports Beat: Does anyone still care about basketball? For the record, the Lakers are at home on Friday (13th) against New Orleans and Sunday against Utah, while the Clippers are out of town the entire week. There could be some relief on the college front either as USC takes on Cal State Fullerton on Monday (11th) at the Sports Arena, while UCLA goes against Portland on Saturday (14th) at Pauley Pavilion. The Kings are at home on Saturday (14th) against Pittsburgh.

Meet and Greet: So you say city hall is out of touch with the needs of the average resident and makes it too difficult to do business in L.A. The mayor’s Office of Economic Development will put a human face on the bureaucracy by making staffers from seven city departments available on Thursday (12th) to talk with business owners about city resources available to them. It’s scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ramona Hall, 4580 N. Figueroa. For information: 213- 978-0695.

Post-Mortem: Now that the city has survived the secession fight, at least for now, what’s to become of Los Angeles? David Fleming, chairman of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley who was also one of the architects of Valley secession, will discuss what he believes is the future of L.A. city government as part of a forum Thursday (12th) sponsored by the Cato Institute think tank at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel downtown. For information: 202-789-5268.

Budget Debate: The state Legislature convenes on Monday (9th) in special session to address the ballooning budget deficit. The state Legislative Analyst projects that the 2003-04 budget will have a deficit of $21 billion; Gov. Gray Davis has said he expects the hole to be considerably higher. An array of tax and fee hikes and deep spending cuts are expected to be on the table. Even the once-sacred cow of education funding is in for billions in cuts.

Parade Floats: As only a place like Marina del Rey can do, the 40th annual Holiday Boat Parade will take place in the marina’s main channel from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday (14th). This year’s participants will decorate their vessels with a “Holiday Lights Across America” theme. Winners of the best decorated boats will be honored the following day at a Champagne Awards Ceremony.

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