Stories for January 2005

Monday, January 31

Cisneros Forms New Company to Build Homes

Former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros has formed a new company to take aim at the housing shortage in L.A.

Hertzberg Says He'll Run L.A. Like a Business

Robert Hertzberg, one of five major candidates running for Los Angeles mayor, says he would run the city "like a business" if elected.

Aircraft Firm Ends Long Legal Battle With Deal

After 13 long years packed with contentious negotiation, litigation and steep legal fees, the saga between Van Nuys-based Syncro Aircraft Interiors and Los Angeles World Airports is over.

Attorney Reinke to Help Set Up New Office for Firm

Attorney Brent Reinke will join the law firm Musick, Peeler & Garrett LLP, marking the opening of the first greater Valley office for that firm.

Growth in Venture Funding Bypasses Corridor

While venture capital investments nationally rose by 5 percent to 8 percent in 2004, after three miserly years, the companies along the 101 Tech Corridor were treated far less generously.

101 Corridor Companies Take World View

Global is the word for many of the companies in the 101 Tech Corridor who are peddling their products overseas, discovering new revenue streams and revolutionizing the way they conduct business.

Cuts Could Hurt Public Hospitals, Private 'Safety Nets'

Upcoming changes in the California Health and Human Services budget could put the funding of public hospitals in jeopardy and place even more pressure on private safety net hospitals.

Disney Earnings Beat Estimates

Buoyed by its network and theme park performance, the Walt Disney Co. sees boost in quarter.

Valley Firms Take Advantage of Growth in Digital Industry

Some of the biggest players in the fast-growing digital film finishing industry have set up shop in the Valley.

Hertzberg Factor Being Watched in Mayor's Race

In the next few weeks of campaigning for the L.A. mayor's race, pundits are watching Bob Hertzberg very closely, Staff Reporter Jonathan D. Colburn reports.

Valencia Building Boom Meets Needs for Larger Space

Several industrial land purchases close

Promotions Firm Profits From Studio Demand for Creativity

Under the Sun Promotions has profited off of studios' demands for more complicated and creative promotional items.

Museum Visionary Says Art Could Tie in With 101 Firms

Jeff Phillips is convinced that the technology companies along the 101 corridor may also be a canvas for one of the newest trends in contemporary art.

Amgen Drops Off S & P; Top 10 List

Standard & Poors Drops Its Rating From "Strong Buy" to "Hold."

Thinking About the True Power of Personal Computers

Columnist Mike Newman puts in to perspective the power of personal computers.

Companies See Full Speed Ahead in Tech Corridor

After three fiscally moribund years, the 101 Tech Corridor seems poised for economic growth.

Struggling With an Identity Crisis

Six years after it was named to reflect a burgeoning cluster of high technology companies along a stretch of the Ventura (101) Freeway, the 101 Tech Corridor has become more a state of mind than of place.

Thursday, January 27

CSUN Reports Its Best Fundraising Year

CSUN raised $28.8 million last year and plans to use future donations to build a performing arts center.

Amgen Reports Fourth Quarter Earnings

Fourth quarter earnings per share increase to $0.53 from $0.41 last year.

Wednesday, January 26

Hahn Delivers the State of the Valley

Mayor James K. Hahn praised the work of the LAPD and said quality of Valley life has improved in delivering his State of the Valley Speech at VICA's Committee Fair at the Airtel Plaza Hotel at Van Nuys Airport.

Tuesday, January 25

Cherokee to Represent ESSENCE magazine

The Van Nuys-based marketing company will represent the 35-year old magazine in developing licensing opportunities.

Superior Court Says Mattel Has No Claim Against Brawer

Ronald Brower, an MGA Entertainment employee formerly employed by Mattel saw a suit brought against him by his former employer thrown out by the Los Angeles Superior Court.

Apartment Rents Continue to Rise

The fourth quarter saw average rents for Valley apartments climb, while occupancy rates remained stable.

Salem to Broadcast Iraq Vote from El Toro

Southern California radio stations will broadcast live as Iraqi citizens living abroad cast their votes in the country's elections.

Southern California Economy to See Modest Growth Next Year

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation reports that Southern California will see some job growth in 2005-2006, mostly powered by aerospace, international trade, the entertainment industry and tourism.

Richman Launches Campaign Web Site

The Valley Assemblyman is making a run at the Treasurer's office, and seeking campaign contributions.

Monday, January 24

ValueClick Combines Mediaplex and AdWare Brands

The online advertising company's two subsidiaries will operate out of San Francisco, with offices in New York and Kentucky.

UCC To Honor Board Chairman and Laura Chick in Friday Ceremony

Laura Chick will receive the first "Woman of Valor Award" ever presented.

Friday, January 21

Cuda Electronics Named Finalist in Consumer Electronics Association Awards

Project nominated in Production Home of the Year category is "the platinum collection at Robinson Ranch," located in Los Angeles.

Schaffer Assumes Chairmanship of Hospital Association

Arnold R. Schaffer, CEO of Providence Health System San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys Service Area begins a year as Chairman of the Hospital Association of Southern California's Executive Committee next week.

Thursday, January 20

Semtech Announces New Memory Card Protection

A new device can protect digital memory cards in mobile phones, touch screens and other devices from static discharge.

Mayoral Candidates Debate in Sherman Oaks

Four of the five candidates running for mayor met last night to debate each other and address the concerns of Sherman Oaks residents.

Wednesday, January 19

Wells Opens Store in Lake View Terrace

The store is part of a program to establish 30 retail mortgage stores in ethnic neighborhoods throughout the state.

Troika Networks Announces Collaboration With Technica Corporation

Technica, an IT systems company with military, security and civilian government agencies, will be able to sell and support Troika's network solutions.

Padilla Names Committee To Search For Deaton's Replacement

The City Council President named four councilmembers to join him on an ad hoc committee charged with finding a replacement for former Chief Legislative Analyst Ron Deaton.

First Security Production Soars

The Burbank company announced that its loan volume increase 19 percent in 2004, while the company's banking business exceeded its brokerage business in units for the first time.

Tuesday, January 18

Diodes Predicts Fourth Quarter Revenue Drop

The Westlake Village-based semiconductor manufacturer expects fourth quarter revenues to be about three percent lower than record revenues of $49.4 million in the third quarter.

Informa Acquisition Adds to Research Services

The acquisition is Informa's third in as many years.

Technology-Art Hybrid Museum Proposed for Valley

Jeff Phillips met with the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley to propose an art museum that would sit squarely at the intersection of technology and fine art.

Ryland Beats Estimates

Calabasas homebuilder reports earnings rose 31.5 percent to $108.7 million in the fourth quarter.

Monday, January 17

Seventh Day Adventist Plans Simi Valley Development

Senior Reporter Shelly Garcia reports that a development is being planned in Simi Valley by The Seventh Day Adventist.

Felton Leading Greenberg Management

A new generation of business takes a new generation of leadership. That underlying principal has led to a changing of the guard at Encino law firm Greenberg & Bass.

Valley Companies Join in Efforts for Tsunami Victims

Large Valley companies are leading the way locally in efforts to help victims of the South Asia tsunami.

Hahn Pushes Safety, 'Results' in Mayor's Post

Mayor James Hahn pushes his record on safety and neighborhood-based government in his run for re-election.

Mid Valley Gets Name Change, Renovation and New Focus

In order to better compete in an increasingly cutthroat health club industry, Mid Valley Athletic Club in Reseda will be undergoing its second renovation in two years and changing its name to 360 Health Club sometime during the first quarter of this year.

Knowledge Gap Drains Firms

Community leaders say the local economy is being hurt by a labor force that is poorly trained, lacks basic literacy skills and knowledge of business etiquette and has a questionable work ethic.

Colleagues Don't Receive Padilla Plan With Open Arms

The Valley's city council representatives all agree that L.A. needs more police, but a proposal by City Council President Alex Padilla to add more cops is falling short of full-scale support,

Local Colleges Bring Aid to Firms

The area's community colleges offer low-cost and varied job training assistance for businesses, but sometimes companies aren't aware it's there.

Security Connection

Encino-based 4Service Inc. helps small and medium-sized businesses when disaster strikes.

Van Nuys Firm To Be A Leader in Music Publishing With Deal

Alfred Publishing of Van Nuys is expected to become a leader in the music publishing business with its purchase of Warner Bros. Publications.

Health Care Temporary Staffing Companies See Growth

Hospitals are instituting a variety of programs from recruiting to mentoring in order to attract more nurses to meet new nurse-patient ratios.

Gold Mountain Project Could Land in Trustee's Lap

The long-idle Gold Mountain development site in Encino has landed at the center of a partnership dispute.

Youbet.com Signs Deal, Looks Toward Expansion

Woodland Hills-based online gaming company Youbet.com has taken steps that officials hope will result in an expansion of the firm's presence in the industry.

Generation Y Proves Challenge for Boomer Managers

As "Generation Y" enters the workplace, baby boomer managers deal with a host of new issues.

Problem of Job Skills Traced to K-12, Many Believe

Many people attribute the Valley's weak labor pool to the K-12 schools' growing emphasis on college preparation.

Valley Companies Still Assessing Impact of Record Rain on Business

Most Valley residents probably remember the two weeks of holiday rain with a grimace, as the weather tied up roads, made driving even more hazardous than normal and made people wonder whether the sun would ever shine again

Different Needs of Borrowers Reshape Mortgage Industry

The changing needs and lifestyles of borrowers is reshaping the mortgage industry.

Jobs Recovery Stalls in December

Non-durable manufacturing and education and health care are the only sectors to add jobs in December.

Creative Computer Applications Announces First Quarter Net Loss

The Calabasas-based healthcare information technology service provider reported improved sales over last year, but did not turn a profit.

Rose to Focus on Alliance Funding

Judi Rose, former communications director at the Valley Community Clinic, is the new director of fund development and investor relations at the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley.

Growth in Tech Stocks Expected to Cool Long Term

The Nasdaq, long viewed as a high-growth index, is likely to slow considerably as the technology companies that comprise the majority of those listed reach maturity.

Friday, January 14

Youbet.com drops bid for American Wagering Shares

Woodland Hills online wagering company reports it dropped its bid to acquire American Wagering, Inc. because of shareholder objections.

Amgen Adds Warning About Higher Doses of Anemia Drugs

Studies on similar drugs show that off label dosages can put patients at risk.

Thursday, January 13

Image Entertainment Projects Strong Third Quarter

Chatsworth-based entertainment programming distributor expects 34 to 38 percnet increase over last year.

Salem Communications Corp. to Buy Nebraska Radio Station

Camarillo-based broadcaster plans to buy AM radio station in Nebraska for $3.1 million in the second quarter.

CPI Solutions Completes Merger with eDistrict

Both IT consulting companies have offices in Camarillo and Thousand Oaks

Today's Valley Business

North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce Mixer

Wednesday, January 12

Health Net Announces Northeast Division President

Woodland Hills-based health care company charges Steven Hale Nelson with re-establishing its northeast health plan.

Cherokee Strikes Deal in Middle East

Van Nuys company secures international distribution agreement for L.A. apparel manufacturer.

IO Film Announces New Deal With Film Duplication Firm

The North Hollywood firm will relocate to a new, more spacious, Hollywood facility in the summer to accomodate its increased workload.

Tuesday, January 11

IHOP Sales Increase

Glendale-based family restaurant operator reports 5.3 sales increase for 2004.

Interlink Electronics to Announce Fourth Quarter Loss

Camarillo-based interface designer expects to report a net loss of $350,000 to $450,000 for the fourth quarter of 2004.

Younan Adds in Phoenix

Younan Properties purchases 138,000-square-foot office property.

Amgen Increases Patient Assistance Grants

Thousand Oaks biotechnology company will donate $18 million for co-payment assistance in 2005.

Monday, January 10

Sales Soar at Guitar Center

Guitar retailer beats its own estimates to increase fourth quarter sales 18.5 percent.

Providence St. Joseph Plans All-Day Celebration for New Building Opening

Hospital says the 128-room patient tower is the largest to open in the Valley in years.

Creative Computer Applications to Merge With Florida Company

Calabasis computer company has announced its plans to merge with StorCOMM, Inc. of Jacksonville.

Friday, January 7

Power-One Inc., Receives Product of the Year Award

The Camarillo-based company was recognized by Electronic Products Magazine

Shopping Center Sold

Orange Country firm buys North Hollywood Shopping Center with plans to upgrade.

North Hollywood Satellite Company Sold

The SpaceConnection was sold to Telesat, a Canadian satellite operator, for an undisclosed sum.

Thursday, January 6

Bob Hope Airport Installs Chargers for Electric Vehicles

Southwest agreement to convert to electric vehicles will significantly lower air pollution from the airport, officials said.

IHomeowners, Inc. added to Inc. 500 List

The Calabasas marketing firm was named one of the fastest growing private companies in America.

Digital Theater Systems buys Burbank Company

Burbank-based Lowry Digital Images has been purchased by Agoura Hills-based DTS.

A Vote Against Inclusionary Zoning

Chair of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils said the group is opposed the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance in its current form.

Wells Fargo Announces CSUN Branch Grand Opening

Student Union branch is the bank's first on a California college campus.

Wednesday, January 5

Investment Outlook Bright in L.A.

Grubb & Ellis expects Los Angeles to produce great returns on industrial and office real estate investments.

Dreamworks Names New President

New president Rick Sands previously worked for Miramax.

21st Century Opens Texas Office

The Woodland Hills company starts selling auto insurance in Texas.

Tuesday, January 4

Felton Named Managing Partner at Greenberg & Bass

James R. Felton has taken over managing partner responsibilities at Encino law firm Greenberg & Bass.

Hahn Discusses State of the Valley

Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn will deliver his annual "State of the Valley" address at the Valley Industry and Commerce Association Membership Committee Fair on Jan. 26.

Green Light for Burbank Development

Construction on Burbank Entertainment Village to begin this fall.

Dole Completes Acquisition

Dole Food Co. Inc. has acquired the remaining shares in Saba Trading AB.

Valley Tutoring Company Launches Web Site

Academy123.com launches in Israel to offer lesson overviews and solutions for problems in common textbooks.

Monday, January 3

Valley Chamber of Commerce Changes its Name

The Agoura/Oak Park/Las Virgenes Chamber of Commerce has changed its name to the Agoura/Oak Park/Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Mortgage Executive's Gospel of Home Ownership Grows

Ken Michaels, the host of Burbank-based KZLA-FM radio's "Mortgage Makeovers," is growing his call-in show nationally.

Owner of Encino Hospital Sells Hollywood Facility

Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital has been officially sold to CHA Medical Group.

21st Century Exec Departs

Marketing VP leaves 21st Century with a severance package.

Longtime Valley Effects House Closing Down

The 78-year-old North Hollywood-based effects house, the Howard A. Anderson Company, is going out of business.

Executives Search for Glimmer of Hope

In 2005, Valley health officials will fight to get government help to improve access to care and to try to shore up hospitals for another year of skyrocketing costs.

Good News, Bad News Scenario Greets Year

Getting a handle on what to expect in local business in the new year is difficult.

On the Road With the Red Team: Trying to Stop the Bleeding

Reporter Jeff Weiss goes along with a local "red team" made up of business and civic officials as they try to convince a Canoga Park business not to move out of town.

Amgen Donates $1 Million to Tsunami Relief

Valley biotech company will match donations made by its employees

LAVC Joins Universities With Nanotechnology Offering

Los Angeles Valley College is offering a course for the first time on the cutting edge topic of nanotechnology -- a science that promises to yield many jobs in California.

High-Tech Influence on Manufacturing Growing

Manufacturers will increase their reliance upon software programs in their operations in the new year.

Alarcon Putting Focus on Quality of Life in City

Mayoral Candidate Richard Alarcon said he plans to expand the police force, the city's middle class and improve attendance in the city's schools.

Valley Hotels Planning for More Business

After a year of recovery, hotel operators are predicting that rising occupancies and room rates will continue into 2005.

Small Firms Offered Program, But Is Anybody Really Listening?

Blue Cross of California made a push into one of the most resistant segments of the health insurance markets this year, that being small business. It released a new package in December aimed at attracting owners of companies with fewer than 50 employees, and last week announced a new plan to partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration, aimed at educating small business owners on their insurance options, and probably a little bit at marketing for their own new program titled BeneFits.