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Francisco Vara-Orta

Stories by Francisco

Entrepreneurial Spirit Reveals Itself at Early Age

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

Gabe Kadosh said that he’s aspired to be a businessman since childhood and even found a way to explore his entrepreneurial side on the playground.

Team Effort Delivers Deals in West Los Angeles

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

As founder and president of Conroy Commercial, Brad Conroy has spent the last decade of his life working on real estate deals worth millions of dollars.

Taking Flights

Long Beach Airport’s multimillion-dollar upgrades help it to land two low-cost air carriers.

Long Beach Airport has launched an upgrade plan and has landed more flights.

Checked In For Hotels’ Long Haul

SPECIAL REPORT: COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE AWARDS

When Ted Tanner first started working on AEG’s downtown Los Angeles Convention Center hotel, the world was a very different place.

Algae Biofuel Firm Dives Into Production Phase

MANUFACTURING: OriginOil in talks with wastewater agencies to set up system at plants.

OriginOil, an L.A. startup working on technology that can extract oil from algae, is looking to turn a profit.

Buzz Builds for Firm’s Home Charging Stations

MANUFACTURING: Nissan turns to AeroVironment to power new electric car.

AeroVironment Inc. has received a lot of press for its unmanned aircraft systems such as the Raven, which is launched by hand, and changed the rules of the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Shaping Future

Hawthorne bio-plastics maker Cereplast will save 70 percent on electricity by moving to Indiana.

Reducing and relocating staff is helping the future take shape at bio-plastics maker Cereplast.

L.A. Extends Hand to Business

City taps outsider to help shed unfriendly reputation.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has turned to outsider Austin Beutner to make L.A. work for business.

AeroVironment Wins Nissan Contract

AeroVironment Inc. said Nissan North America will use the Monrovia company’s electric vehicle home-charging stations and installation services for the all-electric Nissan Leaf.

Truck Dump

Thousands of port rejects swamp salvagers

Local scrap yards are feasting on trucks scuttled by the ports’ clean air standards.

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Analysts Expect Wave of Business to Hit Ports

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Improved consumer confidence helps fuel optimism.

After almost two and a half years of slumping imports, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are poised for a slight recovery within the next few months, according to local economists and industry analysts.

L.A. May Burn Eatery Owners

A city of L.A. proposal to ban smoking on outdoor patios is drawing fire from some local restaurants.

Investors Like Look of Airport Security Screeners

MANUFACTURING: Shares of machine maker OSI rise after Delta attack.

The failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner has led to more interest in machines that can better detect potential explosives hidden on passengers’ bodies.

Some Port Truckers Face End of Year, End of Road

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Many older rigs won’t meet clean air standards kicking in Jan. 1.

It will be an unhappy new year for thousands of truck drivers who work the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with older vehicles: The latest stage of the Clean Trucks Program takes effect Jan. 1, banning as many as 8,000 of their rigs.

Long Beach May Jump Line on Alcohol Sales Ban

City may beat state in restricting use of self-checkout lanes

Long Beach looks to be first in line in the state to ban alcohol sales at market self-checkout stands.

Exports Up at Ports

A weaker dollar drove up exports at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in November, according to new figures, but overall traffic remained down.

Soda Company Making Four-Packs for Pharmacies

MANUFACTURING: Reed’s will also double capacity for more private-label beverages.

People who drink Reed’s Ginger Brew have long been telling Chris Reed that his beverage cures what ails them.

Room to Grow

INTERVIEW: S. Gail Goldberg, who attended college in her 40s, has become an advocate for transit-based development as L.A. city’s planning director.

L.A. City Planning Director S. Gail Goldberg launched her career in her 40s after the sudden death of her husband.

Fixture Makers Must Get the Lead Out

PLUMBING: Suppliers benefit by going with the flow.

An L.A. maker of plumbing fixtures literally got the lead out to meet a state deadline.

Gas Company Says There’s No Alternative to L.A.

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Seal Beach firm fills up its hottest market with 17 stations.

L.A.’s thirst for energy is pumping the growth of alternative fuel – and that has the industry’s leading provider hoping to burn it up here.

Still Throwing Heat

SPECIAL REPORT: Eight Over 80

It only seems like Tommy Lasorda has been working all these decades for the city’s beloved Dodgers. But he hasn’t been working at all, as he sees it.

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Parts Dealer’s Stock Revs Up

Do-it-yourself firm no fixer-upper

Do-it-yourself car owners are fueling sales for Carson-based U.S. Auto Parts Network.

Billionaire’s New Interest in Bookseller a Thriller

INVESTMENT: Ron Burkle ups Barnes & Noble stake; retailer drafts poison pill.

L.A. billionaire Ron Burkle may have booked Barnes & Noble for acquisition.

Stamps of Authenticity

PROFILE: Original Wine of the Month Club looks to expands its mail-order service as new rivals enter the business.

Competition: The Original Wine of the Month Club is relying on vintage appeal to fend off new competitors.

Port Program Powers Liquefied Natural Gas Trucks

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Operators are making switch despite cost and reliability issues.

As truckers increasingly invest in alternative-fuel vehicles, Los Angeles County has become the hottest market for heavy-duty liquefied natural gas, or LNG, trucks in the country.

Clear Track for Rail Car Bids

Manufacturing: New names may pursue contract.

The collapse of a deal with an Italian firm has put a rail car contract and a green tech corridor on different tracks.

Chatsworth Firm Has Inside Track With Trolleys

MANUFACTURING: TIG/m hopes to ride wave of cities’ interest in streetcars.

A San Fernando Valley manufacturer of hybrid and electric trolleys is gearing up for the vehicle’s anticipated comeback.

Long Beach Cargo Drops in Normally Brisk Month

At the end of the traditional holiday shipping season, Port of Long Beach reported a decrease of 24 percent in the number of cargo containers shipped in October compared with the same month a year ago, according to figures released Friday.

Mining Gold

TRANSIT: East L.A. merchants and developers hope to catch a lift with new light-rail extension.

Hopeful East L.A. merchants and developers see Gold in the opening of a light-rail extension.

Sun Valley Firm Has Ticket to Ride With Bus TVs

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Tezo channels content and advertising for Metro passengers.

A Sun Valley company has started producing video programming – including news reports and trivia games – for a very specific audience: bus riders.

Furniture Maker Brings Cost Savings to the Table

MANUFACTURING: San Fernando’s Caluco navigates recession with lower-priced products.

San Fernando outdoor furniture manufacturer Caluco isn’t exactly sunbathing in today’s economic climate as much as trying to avoid being burned by the real estate bust.

Shining Example

Azusa pet products maker now 100 percent solar powered.

An Azusa maker of pet products has flipped the switch on solar power.

Still Driven

79-year-old owner Bert Boeckmann remains a daily fixture at Galpin Ford, the No. 1 volume Ford dealership in the world.

San Fernando Valley mainstay Bert Boeckmann still has lots to do at his auto dealerships.

Kind of a Drag

Hot rodders trying to outrace recession

The slow economy has the National Hot Rod Association spinning its wheels.

Overseas Markets a Good Fit for Clothing Maker

RETAIL: City of Industry’s Leg Avenue plans new Asian distribution center.

A local intimate apparel wholesaler best known for its provocative Halloween costumes is continuing its push into foreign markets in order to keep a leg up on the competition.

L.A. Port’s Lobbying Sets Off Waves of Criticism

TRADE: Some truckers, shippers say money wasted in push to rewrite U.S. law.

Businesses don’t like the Port of L.A.’s decision to boost payments to a lobbying firm to push a rewrite of a federal law that will work against businesses.

L.A. Port's Lobbying Sets Off Waves of Criticism

Businesses don't like the Port of L.A.'s decision to boost payments to a lobbying firm to push a rewrite of a federal law that will work against businesses.

Northrop Soaring Sky High After Moon Project

AEROSPACE: Company lands satellite to search for presence of water.

With the successful landing of its Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite on the moon this month, Northrop Grumman Corp. scored a publicity coup – and possibly pushed science a big step forward.

Northrop Soaring Sky High After Moon Project

With the successful landing of its Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite on the moon this month, Northrop Grumman Corp. scored a publicity coup and possibly pushed science a big step forward.

L.A. Cargo Handler Anticipates Wave of Growth

EXPANSION: American President plans massive build-up at Pier 300.

Container traffic may be down, but that’s not holding back American President Lines Ltd. from expanding its presence at the Port of Los Angeles.

Driver’s Seat

Art Leahy, the son of streetcar operators, has gone from working a bus route to running the MTA.

His experience as a bus driver helps MTA Chief Executive Art Leahy get a line on the job.

Update: September Cargo Volume Down at Ports

Cargo volume at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach slowed in September, a normally busy shipping month, indicating the economy remains weak, according to new figures.

Update: September Cargo Volume Down at Ports

Cargo volume at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach slowed in September, a normally busy shipping month, indicating the economy remains weak, according to new figures.

Chief Exec’s Success Well-Documented

Most Admired CEOs

When Jason Nazar was in his last year at Pepperdine University getting his dual J.D.-MBA degree, he spent much of his time working as a consultant to startups.

Bicycle Station Builder Switches Into High Gear

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Long Beach firm unveils facility near Union Station in D.C.

With some Americans increasingly living a more active lifestyle less dependent on cars, a Long Beach company that develops commuter bike stations is pedaling to fast growth.

Driven Away

Ports’ clean air program shuts down some truckers.

The ports’ clean air program has meant the end of the road for some drivers and small trucking companies.

Bicycle Station Builder Switches Into High Gear

TRADE & TRANSPORT: Long Beach firm unveils facility near Union Station in D.C.

With some Americans increasingly living a more active lifestyle less dependent on cars, a Long Beach company that develops commuter bike stations is pedaling to fast growth.

Bicycle Station Builder Switches Into High Gear

With some Americans increasingly living a more active lifestyle less dependent on cars, a Long Beach company that develops commuter bike stations is pedaling to fast growth.

Frozen-Food Maker Looks to Light Fire Under Sales

Private label frozen-food manufacturer Overhill Farms Inc. announced last week that it has signed a sales and distribution deal with McDonald's French fries supplier J.R. Simplot Co.

Featured Profile: Government Affairs Attorney George Kieffer

WHO'S WHO IN LAW - Government Affairs

George Kieffer has been with Mannatt Phelps & Phillips since graduating from UCLA law school 36 years ago.

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