Stories for May 2000

Monday, May 29

Columns & Features - Personal Finance --- Small-Cap Stocks Help Cut Risk as Interest Rate Climbs

Now that all of us are married to the idea that stocks are the best long-term investment, we have a problem.

Disney --- Mickey Goes Undercover

Mickey, Minnie and the other Disney icons that have mugged for everything from T-shirts to ties will get a head-to-toe makeover this fall.

The pacesetter

Burbank-based Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center's licensed bed count has remained steady over the past year, at 455, slightly above No. 2-ranked Glendale Adventist Medical Center's 450 licensed beds. Providence also led Valley hospitals in its employ

Taking a Summer Vacation?

A recent Automobile Club of Southern California survey found that members' summer travel bookings are up 10 percent from last year. But high gas prices, an uncertain economy, and good old American workaholism could put a damper on this year's summer getaw

PHONES --- Irate Residents Sending Message About Internet Boxes

Those innocuous-looking phone equipment boxes you see on sidewalks throughout the city have suddenly become the center of fierce debate, as phone companies seek to install more of them to accommodate the burgeoning demand for high-speed Internet access li

RETAIL --- Stalled Land Deal Benefits Vendors At Swap Meet

Swap meet vendors in the city of San Fernando may get a permanent reprieve to sell their wares at a 34-acre site that had been slated for development.

The Briefing

Summer is one of the most popular times of the year for single men and women to enter holy matrimony. For the makers of wedding dresses, that means a rush to put the finishing touches on gowns for June ceremonies.

THEATRE --- Historic Theater Takes Center Stage in Planning Dispute

For nearly a decade, a "For Sale" sign has been hanging on the south wall of the classic Raymond Theater in Pasadena.

Effective Ergonomics: Addressing Musculoskeletal Fatigue

Ergonomics can prevent musculoskeletal injury by reducing fatigue. Musculoskeletal injuries generally occur in two basic ways: 1) from manual handling (i.e. pushing, pulling, lifting) of objects that require near maximal effort, or 2) from frequent or su

Hospitals Ranked by Number of Licensed Beds

The number of licensed beds at the 15 biggest hospitals in the San Fernando Valley declined slightly from last year's 4,946 to 4,906.

COPORATE FOCUS --- Cherokee Finds Profits, If Not Respect, as a Licensor

For the third year in a row, Van Nuys-based Cherokee Group reported record-breaking revenues and profits in 1999, and in recent months it has announced a slew of new licensing agreements.

Burbank Project Will Be Anchored by 16-Screen Theater

Center Oak Properties LLC plans to break ground in June on an $87 million retail and entertainment center in downtown Burbank.

The Dangers of Health Care

The most common New Year's Resolution that people make is to lose weight. And while not everyone sticks to their resolutions, it is certain that many thousands of diets are launched each January as a result of repenting for unwanted holiday pounds. This

The Digest

City Councilman Alex Padilla proposed prohibiting the Community Redevelopment Agency from forcibly taking residential land in the 6,835-acre redevelopment project area being considered for the northeast San Fernando Valley.

Animation --- CSUN's Animation Program Drawing Students

On the northern edge of the Cal State Northridge campus lies a group of numbered trailers spaced out in what used to be a parking lot hardly an image that would lure incoming freshmen to the campus.

POLLUTION --- Cost of Pollution Credits Fuels Turn to Cleaner Systems

That jump in the price of pollution credits in the nation's largest emissions trading program is forcing a number of firms to finally start making painful choices between buying those high-priced credits on the open market or installing expensive pollutio

Valley Talk

Entertainment can be a competitive industry in which to do business, to say the least. Witness the recent skirmish between two video duplication companies that operate out of Burbank and Hollywood.

PROFILE --- Image Builder

Building an alliance of businesses in an area as economically diverse as the San Fernando Valley can be especially tricky. But that is exactly what Bruce D. Ackerman, the new president and chief executive of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Va

What Makes An Ideal Health Center for Women?

With the specific health care needs of women, there has long been a demand for a comprehensive medical facility where women can go to have their various health-related needs addressed. The Valley is one region where its women have the option of seeking t

Companies Invest in Fitness

In 1985, it was estimated that if corporate America did not take action within the ensuing eight years, health care costs would eliminate all profits from the average Fortune 500 company. Now, as corporations reevaluate their approach to achieve a healthy

INFOMERCIALS --- TV Pitchman

Jim Caldwell first became interested in making infomercials in the late 1980s after seeing a TV sales pitch for motivational tapes.

LENDING --- Sub-Prime Lender Banking on Move Into Cyberspace

Only a year ago, officials at WMC Mortgage Co. had envisioned a vast network of retail outlets to handle their lending business.

Development --- San Fernando Retail Efforts Hitting Wall

For the last two years, the 2.4-square-mile city of San Fernando has been in an uphill battle to turn itself from a Latino small-business mecca into a center for big-name retail development.

MARKET --- Farmers Market Breaks New Ground at Office Complex

The words "farmers market" usually conjure up images of leisurely weekend strolls, latte in hand, with the smell of flowers in the air.

Healthy Business Minds: Getting Employees To Take Ownership

Businesses small and large are desperate to find new ways to adapt to the changing marketplace and stay on the cutting edge. Companies have realized that they must have people in their organizations that think with a vision and are up to the challenge of

Big Stock Options Don't Add Up to Big Performance

The $300 billion Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association College Retirement Equities Fund has criticized mega-grants of stock options to chief executives. My research shows the fund is right to do so.

The Planner

Banks, schools and many businesses will be closed today. But the Canoga Park/West Hills Chamber of Commerce will stage its 12th annual Memorial Day parade beginning at 11 a.m. along Owensmouth Avenue from Sherman Way to Vanowen Street. Councilwoman Laura

Monday, May 15

DEVELOPMENT --- Valley Plaza Redevelopment Bid Takes New Turn

A group of investors led by controversial developer Ira Smedra has snatched up a portion of the Valley Plaza shopping mall in North Hollywood, adding a new wrinkle to attempts to redevelop the 50-acre center property.

PRODUCTION --- Digital Cameras Are Here, but Is Hollywood Ready?

Last week, Woodland Hills-based Panavision Inc. shipped its first digital movie camera to crews in France, where producers of a new Gerard Depardieu movie will usher in a new era in moviemaking with cameras that don't require costly film.

Tomorrow's Jobs: A Look to the Future

Making informed career decisions requires reliable information about opportunities that should be available in the future. This article presents highlights of Bureau of Labor Statistics projections of industry and occupational employment and the labor for

To Hire the Best, Be the Best

As hiring managers compete for qualified candidates in the tightest labor market in 30 years, they're finding themselves paying closer attention to their companies' work environments. Flexible management styles that enable employees to more easily meet w

FEES --- L.A. Eyeing Fee on Projects to Create Housing Fund

Faced with the nation's worst shortage of affordable housing units, the city of Los Angeles is studying the creation of an affordable housing trust fund, to be paid for initially by hotel bed taxes and a controversial $7 per-square-foot fee on new commerc

ALEX --- Padilla Finds Success With Little Issues

Alex Padilla is ticking off his accomplishments as he approaches his first anniversary as the youngest member of the Los Angeles City Council.

Columns & features --- Personal Finanace

Question: I want to retire at 55; my husband is ready to retire now. Our home is to be paid off in September 2000, and we own an RV. We love to travel, and my husband wants to sell all of our belongings and just RV full time. I want a home base and just d

The Digest

Confirming plans for a major overhaul, the owner of the Westfield Shoppingtown Promenade mall announced a $35 million upgrade to transform the mall's ground floor into a retail/entertainment center.

Re-Entering the Workforce: Where the Jobs Are

The career scene keeps changing, especially for those who are re-entering the workforce. Organizations get flatter and leaner. Individuals are asked to do more with less. Your best way become and stay employed is by morphing yourself into a new or improve

Columns & features --- Merrill Lynch Will Move to Popular Conejo Valley Site

Westlake Plaza Centre III, an $18 million office and hotel project, has signed its first office tenant even before construction has started on the building.

FIGHTS --- Sagebrush Showdown

Rolando "El Pochito" Reyes is seated in a makeshift locker room, his face a study in quiet calm and focused intensity, while his manager tapes up his hands.

TRAVEL --- Vacations Made to Order

When Marsha Calig lost her husband, business partner and travel companion to cancer three months ago, she decided she could either sit around and grieve, or do something to start the healing process.

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.

The Pacesetter

Not only does Valencia developer Newhall Land & Farming Co. top this year's list of the Valley's most profitable public companies, it has been near the top of the list for the past five years.

CORPORATE FOCUSE --- Investments & Finance

Despite continued talk that investors are returning to Old Economy stocks, Glendale-based Public Storage Inc., a real estate investment trust that owns and operates self-storage facilities, is still waiting for acknowledgment from Wall Street.

PROFILE --- Quality of Life Gaurdian

Name a development in Southern California and chances are good there's an environmentalist group fighting it. The Santa Clarita Valley, which expects to absorb much of the growth in L.A. County over the coming years, is no different.

Columns & features --- Newsmakers

Ashok Patel was promoted to vice president of strategic planning and business development at Sunkist Growers in Sherman Oaks. He will develop and implement the cooperative's global strategic plan. Patel was formerly director of trademark licensing.

Interviewing Do's And Don'ts

Relax. The interviewer is often just as concerned with impressing YOU as you are with impressing him/her.

AFFORDABLE --- Valley Facing Historic Struggle in Apartment Dispute

The battle over Sherman Oaks apartment complex Chase Knolls Gardens has rekindled the debate over how growth and development are managed in the city of Los Angeles.

Columns & features --- In Cyberspace, Taxing Sales Is an Imperfect Science

Many people shop on the Internet to avoid paying the tax they owe on their purchases.

Briefing

When Mike O'Dell talks about growing his business, he really means it. The proprietor of Hawaiian Bonsai Nursery in Canoga Park has made a career of growing plants since he opened his first plant boutique in 1969. But his first love is bonsai trees, which

HOMES --- Homebuilding on Rise Even As Interest Rate Fears Grow

After years of sluggish growth, the Los Angeles housing construction industry is suddenly abuzz with activity.

PRODUCTION --- Good News, Bad News on L.A. Venture Capital Deals

Venture capital funding in L.A. County has exploded over the past year, but investments have slowed since the last quarter of 1999 and other regions are quickly outpacing L.A.'s growth, according to a new report.

Valley Talk

Don't give up hope if earplugs and nudging and loud coughing have done little in the battle against your loudly snoring partner.

Believe It or Not, Poll Says Voters Distrust Gore More

As poll after poll is being released so many they often blur together into meaninglessness a new Harris Interactive Election 2000 survey should give pause to the presidential campaign of Vice President Al Gore.

Hiring New College Grads?

Spring brings warm weather, flowers and a deluge of college kids hungry for that first real job. Recent graduates could be a boon to companies scrambling to fill vacancies in a tight employment market, but they seldom have any real work experience. So t

How To Focus on Taking Your Career Global

"It's a small world after all" is not only one of Walt Disney's Most famous anthems, it's a real theme song in the business world. The boundaries between countries and continents are continuously disappearing. To be successful you need to became more awar

Monday, May 1

CORPORATE FOCUS--Guitar Center Hitting High Notes as Value Stocks Rise

Guitar Center Inc., the Agoura Hills-based music store operator, appears to be striking a sweeter chord with investors.

REAL ESTATE--Sunland-Tujunga Finally Getting Retail Development

Plans for a new, $10 million shopping center are underway in the Sunland-Tujunga area, one of the few communities that hasn't been inundated with retail development.

VALLEY FORUM--Evaluating Pluses and Minuses of Irrational Exuberance

The robust economy has painted a rosy job picture throughout the San Fernando Valley. Some workers are taking advantage of the situation by jumping to new companies. Others are staying put and still others are striking out on their own to pursue their dre

PERSONAL FINANCE--Brit Predicting Tough Times For Strong U.S. Economy

The party never looks as good to a neighbor. And sometimes the neighbor is right.

Evaluating Pluses and Minuses of Irrational Exuberance

In its April 1 edition, the Economist published what it called "A Thinker's Guide" to Internet economics. It took the view that most Internet investors are probably doomed. "In all technological revolutions from the railways to the Internet, the only sure