Stories for March 1999

Monday, March 22


The city's experiment in privately run mass transit is sputtering in the West San Fernando Valley.


Veronica Villaclara, an accountant by trade, always had a love of lingerie, and now it's become the underpinning of a new career.


Having failed to secure a single entertainment-industry tenant for its North Campus development, officials at Cal State Northridge are expanding their search to include more biotech firms.

SFV Newsmaker

David H. Johnson has been named executive vice president and general counsel at Warner Music Group. Based in Burbank, he will be responsible for a broad range of music and entertainment matters for the Time Warner Inc. division. Johnson was previously sen


In the March 8 issue, Chris Funk was misidentified in the Valley forum. He is a partner with the law firm of McClintock, Weston, Benshoof, Rochefort, Rubalcava & MacCuish LLP.


John Parezo has been promoted to principal at Ware & Malcomb Architects Inc. He is responsible for managing and expanding the Woodland Hills regional office. Parezo has been regional director for the Woodland Hills office for the past three years.


Trend analysis has been a domain reserved for the large corporate marketer. But nowadays, even small businesses can have access to protocols and technologies that help foresee where marketing is headed, according to Minneapolis-based marketing experts Vic


With Democrats in control of Sacramento for the first time in 16 years, labor and trial lawyer lobbyists are pushing their advantage by sponsoring scores of bills that business groups say they will try to dilute, if possible.

Women's Health

Imagine walking through a door, leaving the stress and strain of a typical day behind you and entering a world where everything exists for your comfort, your needs, your satisfaction. That's the world you should discover at a health spa. It's a world mu


After a nationwide drop in amusement-park attendance in 1998, Valley parks are positioned for an improved year, thanks in part to dry weather, industry experts say.

Chest Pains

"Should I go to the ER, or shouldn't I?" "These chest pains could be just indigestion." "I don't have time to deal with this problem." "It's probably nothing." Sound familiar?

Health and Clean Air

The symptoms are familiar to all those who live in cities where the air is polluted: aching lungs, wheezing, coughing, headache. Millions of residents of the South Coast Basin (which includes Los Angeles, Orange, and parts of San Bernardino and Riverside


The next L.A. mayoral election may be more than two years away, but jockeying already has begun for the open seat.

Prop BB

The Los Angeles Unified School District board is scheduled this week to consider a measure that would likely steer some $2 billion worth of contracts to firms employing union workers.


Late last year, the Studio City Chamber of Commerce tapped Michael L. Klausman to become its next president.

Re Column

Dolby Laboratories Inc. has the kind of problem a lot of other companies might envy.

Eat Your Vegetables

The Surgeon General recommends that we get 3 to 5 servings of vegetable group items per day. A serving size equates to 1/2 cup of chopped raw or cooked vegetables or 1 cup of leafy raw vegetables. In your serving selections it is important to include a va


A whopping $4 million a year in sales taxes flow into Glendale coffers from car dealerships, and Burbank wants a piece of the action.


When Willy Gonzalez opened Willy's Bikes in the Lake View Terrace Shopping Center three years ago, dope dealers were operating a kind of illicit bazaar in the parking lot, selling everything from narcotics to food stamps.


Now that Vestar Development Co. has backed away from its plan to redevelop Lockheed Martin Co.'s 103-acre Burbank property, a half-dozen other developers are expressing interest in building a retail/office project there.


There is a strip along Ventura Boulevard where no quaint antique shops or vintage clothing boutiques are in business, where the coffee houses and outdoor cafes give way to auto repair centers, adult motels and tattoo parlors.

News Summ

REVAMP Commercial development could mean a turnaround for a seamy section of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City.

Fast Track

Top Executives: Nissan Pardo, CEO and CFO; Carol Silver, president and administrator

Busy People & Exercise

There is a term used to describe the lives of people who live in our society - BUSY. People who work, go to school, raise a family, or are involved in any other normal life activities often find that trying to fit new habits, such as exercise, into their


As a conflict over the possible banning of some older, noisy U.S.-made jetliners in Europe looms as one of several issues threatening U.S.-European trade, a similar conflict in the San Fernando Valley has pitted residents against businesses and community


The last time Los Angeles County saw secession was in 1920, when Montebello detached from Monterey Park. The two sides simply sat down and worked out a quickie divorce that allowed each city to go its own way.

Monday, March 8


A $750 million movie studio and commercial complex will put North Hollywood on the entertainment industry's map, creating up to 14,000 permanent jobs and sparking economic renewal in one the Valley's most depressed areas.

News Summary

AUTOMOTIVE A North Dakota car dealer is shaking up the San Fernando Valley dealership scene, but is GM providing the newcomer special favors?


Education: Bachelor's degree in sociology and master's degree in educational psychology, CSUN. Doctorate in higher education administration, UCLA.


It is expected to take six months for Cal State Northridge University officials to find a replacement for departing President Blenda J. Wilson, with a new president unlikely to start until next January.

Edit Letter

We at the Valley Industry and Commerce Association urge the L.A. City Council to support a resolution calling on the State of California to begin acquisition of the CL-415 SuperScooper aircraft similar to those now used on a temporary basis by the Los Ang

Fast track

When Russell West was an Atlanta car dealer, it took him up to 10 minutes to calculate a lease rate for each buyer. Finding comparative rates from other lenders took even longer. And then there was the time it took to redo the calculation if a customer de

Valley Talk

The atmosphere was tense when a group of independent car dealers from throughout the greater San Fernando Valley gathered at the Warner Center Marriott to complain to state regulators about General Motors Corp.


In the '50s, mothers made birthday cakes lovingly by hand. In the '60s, they bought a cake mix. During the '70s, they scoured bakeries to find a cake that looked homemade, and in the '80s, they bought theme cakes with their child's favorite character.


The controversial Ahmanson Ranch project, a $1 billion development that would sit at the eastern border of Ventura County, has hit yet another obstacle the brick wall that is known as Los Angeles.


With his string tie, big belt buckle and jeans, Wes Rydell looks more like a cowboy than a car dealer, but the North Dakotan has hit the San Fernando Valley's car-dealing community like a twister on the plains.


Drive down Ventura Boulevard and for the most part you won't find merchandise for sale outside stores, or sidewalk signs beckoning passersby to check out the latest sales inside.


Every neighborhood that has tried to launch a business improvement district knows it can be a long, drawn-out affair filled with pitfalls and frustrations.


Lockheed Martin Co. has averted what could have been costly delays on its efforts to sell its 103-acre site in Burbank after an earlier sales agreement fell out of escrow.


The decision by Lockheed Martin Co. to choose a new developer for a 103-acre retail-office project in Burbank means Phoenix-based Vester Development Co. is out a whole lot of money and time.

Re Column

Luxury homes may be in the offing for a picturesque canyon in northern Los Angeles County, where Special Devices Inc. has maintained a headquarters and manufacturing facility for the past 38 years.

Tax Reform

When Mayor Richard Riordan unveiled his business tax reform proposal last December, he told reporters there would be little problem in getting it through the City Council. This was, after all, no fly-by-night proposal; it had been in the works for more th


The good news is that PacTen Partners finally snagged a tenant for its pricey new Glendale Plaza office tower. The bad news is, that tenant the State Compensation Insurance Fund is hardly one of the high-rent entertainment clients the developer had ho


Success in running a business means knowing how to solve problems. Business owners at Van Nuys Airport are now faced with a problem: the possibility of severe restrictions on their operations at the airport.


San Fernando Valley retail sales are expected to slow in 1999 due to an expected drop in consumer spending both locally and nationwide, according to a report by Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co.


Walt Disney Co. officials confirmed last week that the company is in talks to build a theme park and resort in Hong Kong.


The Business Journal's list of the 15 largest women-owned businesses in the San Fernando Valley mostly held steady, though several companies saw their revenues jump sharply from a year ago.