Stories for June 2000

Monday, June 26

MINIMED --- MiniMed Recovering From Delay in Product Testing

The mid-June catastrophe for high-flying biotech firm MiniMed Inc. appears to be blowing over nearly as quickly as it started, with Chief Executive Alfred E. Mann saying the research report that caused the company's stock price to plummet was overblown an

Banking Tips For Women Business Owners

Here are some practical strategies for dealing with a person we all come face-to-face with sooner or later: our banker.

FOUNTAINS --- Fountains Forever

Eight years ago, Rick Moat was struggling with his Santa Clarita auto body repair shop and in search of a hobby to keep busy, when one of his customers came in looking to sell $1,500 worth of garden fountain molds, mostly cracked and aging.

Highest Paid Co. Executives

Highest Paid Co. Executives

Develop Banking Relationships That Last

Many business owners and managers today express concerns with their company's banking relationship. These concerns are legitimate.

CHAMBERS --- Three Valley Chambers to Get Together

Faced with one of the biggest issues ever to confront the Northeast San Fernando Valley, three local chambers of commerce are merging in hopes of having a louder voice when it comes to the area's pending redevelopment.

The Digest

A compromise proposal to build a new terminal at Burbank Airport may be stalled once again.

The Ultimate American Gigolo Seduces French Buyer

Frank Sinatra may have called L.A. "a lady," but I think the fabled crooner and longtime Southland resident had it all wrong. Los Angeles' essence is not that of some elegant female but her scheming opposite, a male on the make.

VENTURE --- Entrepreneurs Find Quest for Funding Getting Tougher

It hasn't been business as usual. Or maybe it's returned to business as usual, depending on how you look at it.

Community Banks Provide Specialized Valley Services

While mega-bank mergers are gobbling up banks all over the country, a small handful of "community banks" have been uniquely thriving in the San Fernando Valley, providing "old-school" service unique to community business.

Right Mayor for Valley?

In one of the first debates of L.A.'s 2001 mayoral race, candidates recently appeared before the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association and laid out their agendas. Recognizing the political importance of the San Fernando Valley, nearly all of them tried to p

Special Rates May Not Be Your Solution

It seems that almost every time you open your mailbox you find yet another invitation from yet another credit card company. Your eyes bug, your pulse races...you can't get to a phone fast enough to get that card activated.

THEATRES ---New Screens Create Dilemma for Theater Chainsyou renovate an eight-screen, slope-floor theater, at the end of the day, you've still got an eight-scr

Business is likely to be very good at the new AMC Theatre that just broke ground in Burbank.

Bankruptcies

Chapter 7: a "straight" liquidation bankruptcy involving an appointed trustee to sell all assets by auction or other means to pay creditors and trustee fees.

CORPORATE FOCUS --- Right Start's Fortunes Took Fall Along With Dot-Coms

The company's retooled retail network was pumping up its sales volume, and the Westlake Village-based retailer of children's clothing, toys and accessories was expecting to raise $70 million in the initial public offering it planned for its e-commerce di

UNIVERSAL --- Universal Deal Is Likely to Usher in Major Changes

Vivendi's $34 billion takeover of Seagram Co. and its local Universal Studios Inc. operations sent the entertainment industry buzzing last week about the probable fate of Universal's current American management and other related topics.

The Planner

The Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment holds a public meeting to explain the process for creating neighborhood councils under the new city charter. Meeting runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at CBS Studios, 4024 Radford Ave., Studio City. Infor

highest paid public-company executives Ranked by total compensation in fiscal 1999

The New Economy has had a major impact on the list of the San Fernando Valley's highest-paid public company executives.

DAY CARE --- Dearth of Day Care

NEW FACILITIES CLOSE TOO FAST TO SERVE WELFARE MOMS TRYING TO GET OFF DOLE

Columns & features --- Newsmakers

Dilip L. Nandwana was elected president of International Parking Design in Sherman Oaks. He will be responsible for all company operations. Nandwana was most recently managing partner and head of the firm's Oakland office.

PERSONAL FINANCE--- Funds Provide Benefits of Margin Deals Without Risk

How would you like to have the benefits of margin buying without the expense or risk of getting a margin call?

Credit Card Fraud Avoidance Tips

In today's "information-age" environment of internet purchasing, credit card fraud causes more financial headaches than ever before. Compiled below are twenty practical tips to avoiding credit card-related crimes being committed at your expense.

MERGER --- After Years of Pitfalls, Chambers Finally Agree to Unite

For some time now, local chambers of commerce have recognized the efficiencies of merging everything from saving on rent and salaries to the ability to attract members from a broader territory.

Does On-Line Banking Work?

Banks use a variety of names for online banking services, such as PC banking, home banking, electronic banking or Internet banking. Regardless of the name, these systems offer certain advantages over traditional banking methods.

The Briefing

The work of most balloon artists revolves around inflated dogs, giraffes and other animals. But Drake Diamond has taken his art to another level, creating everything from balloon houses to a 40-foot airplane replica.

PROFILE --- Universal Adapter

Larry kurzweil, head of l.a.'s biggest theme park and its citywalk mall, has been overseeing some big changes at the growing attractions

REAL ESTATE COLUMN--- Landlord Sees Fitness Center Pumping Up Site's Appeal

With so little office space available in the hot high-tech corridor along the Ventura (101) Freeway, landlords have no trouble finding tenants.

Valley Talk

The state Department of Consumer Affairs recently held a poetry contest for elementary school kids to promote the smog check program and to encourage people to carpool or take public transportation to work.

TELEVISION --- Uncensored TV Channel Targeting Iranian Audience

In Iran, consumers are forbidden by law from owning satellite dishes. But that isn't stopping a North Hollywood businessman from shelling out millions of dollars on a for-profit satellite TV channel he's beaming into the Middle Eastern nation sort of a

Monday, June 12

COLLECTIBLES--E-wok Commerce

entertainment earth has one of the few profitable Web retail sites out there, selling toys from 'star wars' and other hits

SUBWAY--New Subway A Gravy Train For Tourism

A coalition of local business and government officials, recognizing the vast economic potential of three new Metro Red Line stations opening on June 24, are aggressively moving to fully exploit that potential.

VENTURE--Venture Capitalists at Conference Not So Thrilled About Tech Firms

If the recent VentureNet 2000 investor conference in Laguna Niguel is any indication, it could be a long summer for local technology companies in search of funding.

PROFILE--Robert Soroka, chairman of Robinsons-May

Robinsons-May chairman robert m. soroka found himself THROWN UNWILLINGLY INTO POLITICS when the LAUSD threatened to seize his hEADQUARTERS

L.A. Power Struggle All but Over, and the Valley Won

For much of the past quarter century, the San Fernando Valley has been treated and often thought of itself as the stepsister of Los Angeles, the butt of jokes and the place the rich and famous chose to avoid. Such resentments have been one of the key

PERKS--Red-Carpet Recruiting

When Ed Garnett interviews prospective employees for Amgen Inc., he has an ace in the hole.

CORPORATE FOCUS--Strong Demand for Chips Keeps Investors Confident

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. was trading at more than $100 a share in early March. Then the bottom dropped out from under tech stocks, and the Camarillo chipmaker saw the value of its shares decline 50 percent in a matter of days.

PERSONAL FINANCE--Higher Yields Making Bank Certificates a Better Option

In case you hadn't noticed, yields on bank certificates of deposit are now at the highest they have been since 1995.

Deal Paves Way for Home Improvement Chain to Grow

Lowe's HIW Inc. has purchased an 11-acre parcel in Valencia and plans to build a home improvement warehouse on the site as part of an expansion into the Southern California market.

FOOD--Going Online Takes Toll on Markups by Food Reseller

L.A. Foods, which resells excess food from manufacturers, has over the past decade built its business from a one-man operation into one of the biggest companies of its kind in the nation, with annual revenues of $22 million.

INSURANCE--Valley Poised for More Earthquake Payments

Six years after the Northridge temblor, damage has again taken center stage this time in Sacramento, where state lawmakers are considering a bill to reopen the insurance claims process.

VALLEY FORUM--Should Quackenbush Quit?

State Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush has come under intense scrutiny over the last month, as the state Legislature investigates allegations that he used taxpayer money from an insurance-industry quake fund for his own political purposes. With ta

Thrills, Chills, Spills Not

The San Fernando Valley chapter of Executive Women International holds its monthly meeting at Cheers Catering Inc. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. and will be catered by Cheers, at 19431 Business Center Drive No. 1, Northridge. Information: (626) 564-4840.

MEDIA--Can 'Dr. Laura' Survive Storm of Protest?

Three months before Dr. Laura Schlessinger's Sept. 11 television debut, the decision to create a show around the tough-talking queen of talk radio is becoming a media firestorm.

The Digest

The city Cultural Heritage Commission was unable to reach a conclusion on a bid to designate the Chase Knolls Apartments in Sherman Oaks as a historic cultural monument. The issue will now go before the L.A. City Council without a recommendation.

Weekly Briefing

For most, a part-time college job means waiting tables or selling at a department store, but Jon Haim has successfully turned walking dogs into a profitable side business while he works his way through college. Five years ago, while working at Petco, Haim

RETAIL--Nights Perk Up When Kids Take Stage at Coffeehouse

Ever since buying a Studio City coffeehouse called Jennifer's last September, Mario and Shelly-Ann Martin have been trying to boost business through a series of comedy shows and spoken-word nights.

Valley Talk

The theme park that gave the world Space Mountain, Star Tours and even Pirates of the Caribbean has a new thrill in store: a tractor.

BILLS--Legislature Gets Kinder to Business in Choice of Bills

The legislative outlook for California businesses at mid-session following the June 2 deadline for bills to pass their house of origin is looking much sunnier than the outlook of a year ago.

CONVENTION-- Deal-Making Will Play Out at Lavish Parties

When the Democrats come to town in two months for their national convention, much of the public attention is going to be focused on Staples Center and a handful of public events in the downtown area.