Stories for October 2000

Monday, October 30

OFFICES---New Towers May Rise on Burbank Site

Current real estate wisdom says high-rise office buildings won't fly with entertainment tenants.

DOT-KIDS---Burbank Company Seeks First dot-Kids Licensing

If finding a way to control what kids see on television and movies, hear on CDs and play on video games seems daunting, try controlling what they access over the Internet.

HMO---Wellpoint Plans to Buy Online Prescription Provider

WellPoint Health Networks Inc., the state's second largest health care company and parent of Blue Cross of California, is getting into the mail-order and online pharmacy business.

Personal Finance---Tech Stocks Still Maintain Real Value for Some Pros

Andy Garcia is sitting across the conference table, and we're having a quick sandwich while world financial markets convulse with the latest upheaval the terrorist bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.

BUILDER---Tilting Toward the Top

A Van nuys company that specializes in tilt-up construction HAS SEEN BUSINESS BOOM THANKS TO THE STRONG ECONOMY AND A PHILOSOPHY OF FINDING AND KEEPING A STRONG ROSTER OF CLIENTS

REDEVELOPMENT---Bringing Burbank Back

After lockheed and the rest of the aerospace industry left town, robert tague led the city's efforts to rebuild its economic base with entertainment and media companies

LEASING---Tenants Ready to Move Into One-Time Toxic Parcel

About a year ago, the owners of a 24-acre parcel in Van Nuys waged a heated battle with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control over developing the site.

CORPORATE FOCUS---K-Swiss Inc

After stumbling this past year in its athletic shoe sales, Westlake Village-based K-Swiss Inc. is back in the game.

KOHL'S---Midwestern Chain Plans Assault Into L.A. Area

The highly successful Midwestern department store chain is not well known in Los Angeles, even to those who follow the retail industry, but that will soon change.

LAWSUIT---Toxic Mold Charge Leads to Lawsuit Against Amgen

A worker at Amgen Inc. in Thousand Oaks has filed a lawsuit against her employer, claiming she was exposed to toxic mold that made her sick and that the company knew about the mold but covered up its findings and failed to alleviate the hazard.

Real Estate Column---Burbank Gets Backup Offer on Police Station Parcel

There's been yet another twist in the storied tale of the redevelopment of the old police headquarters site in Burbank.

The Briefing

Finding good workers and having them become loyal employees consistently ranks as a key issue for small businesses. Those concerns are no different at Sun Valley-based Transit Systems/American Fleet, which repairs buses. But Maurice Venega, owner of the n

SHOES---High-End Shoe Discounter Opens Up in Northridge

In the latest wrinkle on the ever-changing local retail scene, the discount warehouse concept is being applied to designer shoes in the San Fernando Valley.

TRANSIT---Transit Fixes Stuck in Slow Lane

For the first time in a long time, the San Fernando Valley is awash in money for transportation improvements. But if officials don't act quickly on more than $4.5 billion in state surplus funds promised by Gov. Gray Davis, it could be diverted elsewhere,

FLYAWAY---Flyaway Proposal Moves Beyond Traffic Concerns

New plans to alleviate traffic congestion on Saticoy Street could speed up a long-awaited expansion of the Flyaway facility near Van Nuys Airport.

Monday, October 16

DOCUSOURCE---Giants like Xerox have not kept this Chatsworth company from succeeding in the office copier business

docusource inc. competes with some of the largest copier companies in the United states, and manages to keep its clients coming back for more

PERSONAL FINANCE---Home Ownership Advantages Can Vary With Circumstances

Homeownership is a "sure thing," perhaps the last one. Whatever we do, whatever our income, whatever our family circumstances, we all need to live somewhere.

QUAKE---Quake Coming Back to Haunt Insurance Carriers

The Northridge earthquake is suddenly rattling insurance carriers all over again, with Gov. Gray Davis on Sept. 30 signing into law a measure giving thousands of homeowners an additional year to refile quake-damage claims.

HOMES---Kaufman & Broad is bringing custom-made homes to the middle-income market

Like the house but wish the ceiling was higher? The master bedroom was bigger? Need an extra room over the garage?

Survivor---A Burbank-based video equipment company joined the 'survivors' in the South China Sea

The on-screen contestants in last summer's "Survivor" weren't the only ones stymied by their location.

INSURANCE---21st Century's new chief executive is taking the helm at a crucial juncture for the company

challenging times for the president and ceo of an insurance company doing big business in the san fernando valley

COMPUTERS---The Wizard Gets a New Lease on Life as HarderTech

For years, Wizard of OsZ was the place small San Fernando Valley businesses went for their first computer and came back to when they didn't know how to use it.

THE BRIEFING

Franklin's Hardware has been a Woodland Hills institution since 1952. Chip Kurzeka has been part of that tradition since 1982 when he bought the business from his father.

RETAIL---The new owners of La Reina Place in Sherman Oaks are planning a major facelift for the shopping center

Free Internet service providers have traditionally offered subscriber databases as their most attractive asset to advertisers. But Westlake Village-based NetZero Inc. goes beyond that, trumping its in-depth profiles of subscribers' online behavior to th

WARNER CENTER---Group Calls For Updating Warner Plan

A business group has charged that the restrictions on development at the Warner Center are outdated and threaten to turn the premier business community into an abandoned graveyard of offices and stores.

INTERNET---Sherman Oaks' La Reina Center Getting New Look

Local developers have acquired La Reina Place in Sherman Oaks with plans to pump about $1.5 million to $2 million into a major renovation of the shopping plaza.

TRAINING---Public Dole to Private Dough

Carl Jones applied for publicity jobs at most of the major film studios and entertainment companies when he got out of prison, but prospective employers never called back. Now, Jones is about to launch his own company as one of 12 students in the first gr

CORPORATE FOCUS---MiniMed Inc.

You would think a company that has grown its revenues 273 percent since going public in 1995 would be ready for a breather, but not MiniMed Inc.

REAL ESTATE---Selleck Talking to LAUSD on Panorama City Parcel

It's finally under way...maybe. With one tenant in tow, Selleck Development Co. is set to begin construction on an industrial and retail complex on Van Nuys Boulevard in Panorama City.

SEARS---Zelman Cos.' 103-acre development in Burbank will be anchored by a new Sears offshoot, The Great Indoors

When Zelman Cos. acquired 103 acres in Burbank last year, the company was a new player on the San Fernando Valley real estate scene. Now, Zelman is bringing a new retailer along in its wake.

Monday, October 2

NEWSPAPERS---Singleton Papers React to Closure of Times Sections

Fast on the heels of the Los Angeles Times' closing of 14 community-based outlets two weeks ago, Publisher Dean Singleton's Denver-based MediaNews Group has begun shutting down sections and shuffling personnel in an apparent adjustment to the new ground r

CANOGA PARK---The L.A. City Council has passed a host of regulations designed to help the area shed its shabby image

Bud Burgquist's father, now 82, started the Green Thumb garden shop on Sherman Way in 1946.

THRIFT---Goodwill Industries of Southern California isn't just for poor people anymore

The next time you clean out your garage, don't expect Goodwill to take all your junk.

ETHNIC---Minority-owned companies may be multiplying, but many still don't have the access to capital they need to prosper

The future economic wellbeing of Los Angeles County hinges on the success of the growing number of minority-owned businesses located here. Yet a new study shows that minority-owned businesses are still finding it extremely hard to get access to capital, h

CARS---Bert Boeckmann has driven Galpin Ford to the No. 1 spot among car dealers in the country

after half a CENTURY, bert boeckmann STILL RULES the largest automobile dealership in the world

Cybersense---With Little to Lose, Lots of Government Sites Fall Short

No bureaucrat ever got fired because his or her dot-com division had a lackluster quarter.

HEALTH NET---Health Net Opts to Stay Put in Valley

Following a yearlong search that threatened to remove one of the area's largest employers and taxpayers from Los Angeles, Health Net has settled on a new home in Warner Center.

SEGREGATION---A new USC study says that as L.A. grows more ethnically diverse, it's becoming increasingly segregated

To the casual observer, Los Angeles County may appear to be an extremely diverse place. But a new USC study paints a picture of a community sharply divided by race, with ethnic and class groups clustered within their own homogenous pockets throughout the

Personal Finance---Benefit Reductions Reflect Changing Plight of Workers

You've heard it before: Corporations are no longer loyal to their employees or vice versa. Medical insurance is disappearing. Corporate pensions are dinosaurs. Future Social Security benefits will probably be lower, if they exist at all.

COUNCILS---Neighborhood Council Plan Provokes Valley Ire

Valley community leaders and secessionists have given an almost unanimous thumbs-down to a draft plan for a system of neighborhood councils, part of a charter reform effort aimed at offering more local control that some hoped would take the steam out of t

RETAIL---Project Aiming to Take Advantage of Popular Outlet Mall

Hoping to piggyback on the success of its neighbor, Vestar Development Co. has begun a shopping center next to the Camarillo Premium Outlet.

The Briefing

In today's tight job market, it's hard to find good workers. That has forced many employers to use their imaginations to find people to hire.

DEALERS---The retail car business is good, and that can be bad news for dealers looking to expand their franchises

With automobile sales up more than 20 percent in some categories, car dealers are scrambling for more space, but they're hitting a dead end. A scarcity of large tracts of available land in the San Fernando Valley, coupled with high prices for the few parc

TAXI---The city is taking a hard look at service as it gets ready to grant new taxi franchises

Ever try to catch a cab in L.A.? It can be infuriating, and even more so since local transit workers went out on strike.

DEVELOPMENT---Lancaster and Palmdale are being left behind Ontario in the ongoing economic boom

When it comes to reaping the benefits of the booming L.A. economy, Antelope Valley is losing out to western San Bernardino County.

E-COMMERCE---Firm Gets Aggressive in Assembling Internet Providers

While the mere mention of e-commerce sends many of Wall Street's brightest to duck and cover, one company is buying up e-tailers faster than you can say dot-com.

Real Estate Column---Tax Preparation Service Takes Over Old Bank Branch

More than two years ago, a spate of mergers signaling a sea change in the way banking is conducted left many San Fernando Valley retail bank branch offices vacant.

DIGITAL---Fast-Growing Amplifier Firm Is Hitting the Internet

Line 6 Inc. has already revolutionized the guitar amplifier industry. Now it's hoping do the same with the way online music is created.

SWAY-A-WAY---Brian Skipper has built a thriving business in Chatsworth from his interest in race cars

THE ATTEMPT OF A ONE-TIME CSUN ENGINEERING STUDENT TO SOUP UP HIS VOLKSWAGEN IN THE '70s TURNED INTO AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE HIGH-PERFORMANCE AUTOMOBILE WORLD

CORPORATE FOCUS---Zenith National Insurance Corp

Woodland Hills-based Zenith National Insurance Corp., a workers' compensation insurer, has been pummeled the last six years.