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Howard Fine

Stories by Howard

Covid-19 Cuts Deep Into LA Jobs

Hospitality, entertainment sectors drive record unemployment results

It’s no surprise that L.A.’s economy has been walloped by coronavirus-driven business shutdowns, but the extent of the damage and how much worse L.A. County has fared only became apparent with the release of data for April.

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LAX Traffic Tumbles 96% in April

Slight rise is anticipated for May

Passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport dropped nearly 96% in April, to less than 300,000, as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the air travel industry with full force.

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Edison International Completes $800 Million Offering

Utility's parent company plans $5B annual investment

Rosemead-based Edison International recently completed a private placement of common shares worth $800 million, with proceeds destined for the company’s mandated wildfire fund contribution and other infrastructure investments for its Southern California Edison utility subsidiary.

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Purple Line Is on Track

Metro taking advantage of Wilshire Blvd. lockdown

Call it an unanticipated silver lining of the Covid-19 pandemic: Construction of the Metro Purple Line extension’s station in the heart of Beverly Hills is now running about seven months ahead of schedule.

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Cadiz Finds New Focus

Management restructuring puts emphasis on agriculture

Downtown-based water infrastructure company Cadiz Inc. has codified through a management reorganization a shift in focus for its massive Mojave Desert land holding.

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United Against a Common Foe

LA's hospitals and biotech companies look toward treatment, tests and tools in fight against Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic has put L.A.’s health care sector in an unprecedented spotlight.

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Care Agencies Struggling

Crisis slows flow of new patients

At first glance, the home health care industry would appear to be one of the winners during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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LA County Unemployment Reaches Record 19.6% for April

L.A. County’s unemployment rate jumped to a modern-day record of 19.6% in April amid the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fulgent Quickly Shifts to Testing for Covid-19

Company makes two kits available and works on a third

The Covid-19 pandemic has proven a double-edged sword for Temple City-based genetic testing company Fulgent Genetics Inc.

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ChromaDex, Byte Expand Overseas

Companies extend their reach to Australia, United Kingdom

Despite the global Covid-19 pandemic, two local companies have cut deals in recent weeks to expand their products’ international reach.

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Molina Pivots to Fight Virus

Exec shifts his focus to support startups

For the next chapter in his extensive career in health care, Mario Molina had planned to serve as the first dean of a new local medical school.

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Partnerships Improve Telehealth

GoodRX, Get Heal team up to offer new patient services

In another sign of telehealth’s growing momentum in the age of Covid-19, two local companies were part of recent launches for new telehealth services.

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Sick Days

Area hospitals are ailing in the face of virus-driven losses

The Covid-19 crisis that hit the nation in March has slammed the finances of Los Angeles-area hospitals.

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Capricor Shares Surge on Test Results

Stock skyrockets 253% after clinical trial news

Shares of Beverly Hills-based biotech firm Capricor Therapeutics Inc. surged 253% on April 29 after the company announced test results for a drug to treat Covid-19 patients.

Long Beach Bridge Hits a Milestone

Shimmick unit leads on Gerald Desmond project

Construction crews led in part by Century City-based Shimmick Construction on April 21 lifted the final floor beam into place for the main span of the Gerald Desmond Bridge replacement at the Port of Long Beach.

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Which Way, LA?

Forecasts for city’s economy range from dire to cautiously optimistic

Experts have differing views on how business closures and other factors will affect the local economy in the short and long term.

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Crisis Units Underway

AECOM backs conversion of sites in Chicago, NY

Century City-based infrastructure giant AECOM has a new line of work during the Covid-19 crisis: overseeing the conversion of major public spaces into hospital wards capable of handling hundreds of patients.

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Crane Trainer Is Thinking National

Remote learning opens doors for Gardena firm

For local construction crane operator Payam Dehesh, Covid-related physical distancing requirements are providing an unexpected opportunity to grow his Gardena-based crane operator training business.

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Molina to Buy Magellan Managed Care Unit for $820 Million

Molina Healthcare Inc. has agreed to buy the Magellan Complete Care managed health care unit for $820 million in cash.

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Capricor Shares Surge on Test Results for Covid-19 Treatment

Shares of Capricor Therapeutics Inc. surged 253% on April 29 after testing a drug to potentially treat Covid-19 patients.

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Oil Price Drop Hits Businesses

Companies close wells and slash production

The sudden collapse in oil prices has roiled the local oil industry, prompting producers to start shutting down wells, oil well service companies to lay off staff and refineries to reduce operations.

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Social Firm Symplur Is Acquired

W2O buys medical analytics company

Pasadena-based Symplur, a health care social media analysis company, has been acquired by digital marketing firm W2O Group of San Francisco.

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City of Hope Receives Grant for Covid-19 Study

A research team at Duarte-based City of Hope has received a $750,000 grant to conduct a clinical study into a Covid-19 treatment.

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L.A. County Unemployment Could Hit 32% in May, Estimate Says

Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate could surge to a record high 32% by May, according to an estimate released by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

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OriginClear Moves HQ to Texas From DTLA

OriginClear Inc., a downtown water treatment technology business, has moved its corporate headquarters to the company's manufacturing site in McKinney, Texas.

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LAX Posts Sharp Drop in Traffic

Car rental, storefront operators also hit hard in early April

The Covid-19 crisis is taking a severe toll on every aspect of business at Los Angeles International Airport.

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Soon-Shiong Sets Sights on Virus

Hospital, companies look to treatments

Patrick Soon-Shiong, the billionaire biomedical entrepreneur and owner of the Los Angeles Times, has moved on two fronts to fight the Covid-19 pandemic in recent weeks.

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ScaleHealth Launches Innovation Partnership

Bioscience incubator expands to Orange County, rebrands

The operator of a bioscience incubator in Palms has taken on a new name, ScaleHealth, and has expanded into Orange County through a partnership with the La Palma-based Innovation Institute.

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Dermavant Drug Enters New Phase

Psoriasis treatment ready for large-scale testing

Dermavant Sciences Ltd. of Long Beach has completed patient enrollment for a Phase 3 trial of a therapeutic cream to treat the skin disease psoriasis, the company said.

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Needed Shifts From Supplements

Startup broadens approach to cover health and wellness

Just as Brentwood-based startup Needed wrapped two years of development and began marketing its first product — a nutrition supplement for women of childbearing age — Covid-19 hit, prompting the company onto a different path.

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County Unemployment Rate Jumps to 6.3% in March

L.A. County’s unemployment rate surged to 6.3% in March as the area felt the initial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Molina Scraps $50 Million Deal to Buy NextLevel Health

Molina Healthcare Inc. has called off its deal to buy Chicago Medicaid managed care insurer NextLevel Health Partners Inc. for $50 million.

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Patients Turn to Telehealth

Companies experience a surge in demand

Local telehealth companies, experiencing a big boost in both hospital clients and patients, are rapidly adjusting their business models to seize the opportunity as the impact of Covid-19.

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Positive News Boosts Molina to Record High

Analyst upgrade lifts insurer

While markets have swooned in recent weeks, shares of Long Beach insurer Molina Healthcare Inc. surged to an all-time high April 8 after an analyst raised its rating two notches to the equivalent of a “buy” and news that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was ending his presidential bid.

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Prime Healthcare Gets OK to Buy St. Francis Medical Center for $350 Million

Ontario-based Prime Healthcare Inc. has received approval to purchase St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood from bankrupt Verity Health System for more than $350 million.

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Traffic Drops and Terminals Close at LAX

A sharp drop in passenger traffic has prompted steep reductions in the number of flights and the closure of terminals at LAX.

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LA Consumer Sentiment Plunges in First Quarter

L.A. consumer confidence plunged in the first quarter to a record low as the impact of Covid-19 began to be felt.

Work Begins at LAX

Crews pour first concrete for car rental facility

Construction crews in March completed the first concrete pour for the foundation of the $1 billion consolidated car rental facility east of LAX.

Medical Companies Quickly Pivoting

LA firms seeking ways to fight virus

As the coronavirus pandemic rages, many local biomedical and health care companies are rapidly turning their businesses toward fighting Covid-19.

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Soon-Shiong Bids for St. Vincent

Seeks to reopen Westlake hospital

Patrick Soon-Shiong has submitted an offer to buy the recently shuttered St. Vincent Medical Center in Westlake for $135 million.

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Major Projects Remain on Track

Work for LAX, Metro is considered essential

While work has shut down across much of the region as shelter-in-place restrictions have taken hold, construction on several of the area’s largest infrastructure projects has mostly continued apace.

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Risks and Rewards

Oskouian likes her chances when it comes to growing Ship & Shore

Ship & Shore has 90 full-time employees and pulls in between $20 million and $25 million a year designing and making a range of air pollution control devices.

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Burke to Remain CEO at AECOM

Hunt will continue for replacement

Michael Burke, who had been expected to step down as chief executive at Century City-based engineering company AECOM at the end of March, will remain at the helm of the company for the foreseeable future.

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LAX Posts Traffic Dip for February

Drop is expected to worsen in March and April

Passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport fell nearly 4% in February with international traffic plunging almost 10% as the first impact of the coronavirus pandemic was felt.

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LA County's Pre-Covid-19 Unemployment Rate Held Steady at 4.3% in February

L.A. County's unemployment rate held steady at 4.3% in February, the last reporting period before the arrival of Covid-19.

Local Biomed Companies Using New Tech to Combat Covid-19

A pair of San Gabriel Valley biomed companies have announced progress in technologies that can be used to fight Covid-19.

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LA BioSpace Names First Director

Cal State LA facility will anchor bioscience corridor

Local bioscience entrepreneur Alan Horsager has been named the first director for LA BioSpace, the soon-to-open bioscience incubator at Cal State Los Angeles.

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KabaFusion Expands

Lincare purchase increases pharmacy footprint

Cerritos-based KabaFusion has expanded by acquiring the home infusion operations of Lincare Holdings Inc. of Clearwater, Fla.

Cedars-Sinai, Huntington Reach Partnership Pact

Hospitals will share resources, research

Cedars-Sinai Health System and Pasadena Hospital, also known as Huntington Memorial Hospital, have agreed to share medical and research resources.

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Air Lease Navigates Headwinds

Company offers cash for aircraft or lease extensions

Century City-based Air Lease Corp. has been making course changes to navigate airline industry headwinds from the coronavirus.

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