Stories for November 1999

Tuesday, November 30


Like many business people, apartment owners have started to notice a decline in the number of desirable applicants for administrative positions, apartment managers and other related jobs. In the November issue of Apartment Owner, a Van Nuys-based trade pu

Monday, November 29

HMOs Not Just for Humans Anymore

A number of local companies are offering membership services for dogs and cats that operate somewhat like a health maintenance organization including concerns among experts about billing procedures and what's covered.

Despite New Stages, Demand Stays Strong for Production Space in L.A.

Demand remains strong for sound stages throughout Los Angeles, even though nearly two dozen stages have opened in the past 18 months and some television movie production has fled to Canada.

Plan to Redo Valley

A developer once thought to be a contender for turning around the struggling Valley Plaza shopping center in North Hollywood appears to be out of the picture now that his bid to acquire a key parcel has fallen through, sources said.


Jim Presnal was named executive director of the Themed Entertainment Association in Burbank. He will be responsible for managing day-to-day operations and chapter liaisons while assisting with strategic planning. Presnal was previously an instructor for U

Merchants Having a Pajama Party in New Fashion Trend

At just-opened Pajama Party in Sherman Oaks Fashion Square, flannel PJs will set you back 70 bucks.


Ernie Taylor first came across karaoke 15 years ago and turned the experience into a business. Taylor, who owned a piano store in Sherman Oaks at the time, began adding karaoke and other sing-along equipment to his product lines and it soon took over the

Valley Talk

Did Coca-Cola create Santa Claus? Did Neil Armstrong really say, "One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind?"

Accounting Services: The Essential Element

Statistics show that the second leading reason why businesses fail (undercapitalization being first) is inadequate accounting procedures. There are many parts of a business that can be done "solo," but experts agree that few entrepreneurs are equipped w

Private Prisons Trust Looks Like a Profitable Investment

Looking for the impossible, like a growth investment with income that has great benefits for society?

Sunkist, Ventura Farmers Apt To Gain From U.S.-China Pact

San Fernando Valley-based Sunkist, one of the nation's largest citrus growers' cooperatives, stands to be among the big gainers if the World Trade Organization approves the U.S.-China trade deal, making China a WTO member. Is Guardian of Intellectual Property on Web

You're in a band with your high school buddies and you've just written a song that you're convinced has platinum potential. You record the song into MP3 and soon thousands are downloading it. Fantasies of a nationwide concert tour and hordes of screaming

Revolution eyewear's clip-on sunglasses won FIRM award for innovation, and LOTS of business

When he was a salesman for an eyeglass frame wholesaler, Gary Martin Zelman kept nagging his boss to add more clip-on sunglasses to the line. But his boss wasn't interested.

The Planner

U.S. Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-California, discusses the last session of Congress with the Valley Industry and Commerce Commission. Lunch begins at noon at the Sportsmen's Lodge, 12833 Ventura Blvd., Studio City. Information: (310) 914-7300.


It's hard to make generalizations about the Valley's 15 fastest growing companies. By industry, they range from high-tech firms to construction companies and home health care providers; by age, they range from 50 years to three. (To qualify for the list,

San Fernando Valley Business Journal

MARKETS A slew of Latino grocery stores are starting to compete against one another in the Valley.

Get Rid of ATM Surcharges?

A move by Santa Monica to ban surcharges on the use of bank ATMs by non-customers has sparked a legal battle over whether the new law qualifies as a consumer protection measure. So the San Fernando Valley Business Journal asks:

Daum Expanding Services, Beefing Up Valley Office

As part of a company-wide effort to diversify its services outside of the industrial sector, Daum Commercial Real Estate Services has added five brokers to its newly expanded retail and office divisions in the San Fernando Valley.

City Audit Vindicates Former Chief Of VEDC Accused of Irregularities

A draft audit by the city of Los Angeles found no financial irregularities by the Valley Economic Development Center and concluded that its former president, John Rooney, did nothing illegal by accepting consulting fees while on the job.

Networks Scramble Lineups as Defense Against Hit Quiz Show

Talk about your chess games. ABC's monster hit "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" has created a range of programming strategies by the other three networks in a high-stakes bid to stem the tide of lost viewers.

Simplified Employee Pensions

Smaller businesses seek alternatives to defined benefit plans because of the high administrative costs incurred. Simplified employee pensions (SEP) fill the needs of employers with few employees and limited financial resources. The financial commitment is

Researchers Strike Gold With Zinc Cold Remedy

In 1994, two Los Angeles researchers hit upon an idea while debating studies that showed natural remedies could slow the common cold.


Banks and institutions that lend money have a lot of knowledge about the success rate of small businesses. Bankers are often overly cautious in making loans to small businesses. For that very reason, it makes sense to study their approach, even though it

How to Reduce Transaction Costs

For many years, organizations have been concerned about the cost of transactions involving the purchase or sale of goods. Companies have reduced their sales forces and eliminated routine calls on customers. For example, the large steel producers no long

Computing in Foreign Languages Is Getting Easier

For all the talk about globalization and the "world wide" reach of the Web, computers traditionally have had trouble dealing with languages other than English.

The Digest

The California State Board of Trustees named Jolene Koester as the new president of Cal State Northridge. Koester, who has spent her entire administrative career at Cal State Sacramento, will officially take the post in June.

Latino-Flavored Grocery Boom

Refugio Reynoso, the chief financial officer of El Gallo Giro Corp., has been especially busy lately.

Be a Cost-Effective Borrower

Your business plan is working and your company is growing. Now you realize that the second most important ingredient to fueling growth is raising capital.

Laws Against ATM Charges Actually Hurt Consumers

In a movie theater near my home, an ATM machine charges a whopping $2 for withdrawals. This is on top of the $1.50 fee my bank will tack on for the transaction if I am past my allowance of four "foreign" money-machine visits per month.

School Reformer


Tuesday, November 16

Market Column

For Pete Noyes, a longtime TV news director who now teaches at Loyola Marymount University, the low point of the November sweeps came when KCAL-TV Channel 9 aired a segment on its nightly news about an obese man complaining he was too fat to have sex.

Tuesday, November 2


Xylan Corp. reported record third-quarter sales and profits after nearly doubling the size of its workforce.

Monday, November 1


After plans to build a retail mall were hammered by the surrounding community, Cal State Northridge is looking at alternative projects including motion picture sound stages.