Stories for August 2006

Thursday, August 31

Interthinx Absorbs Housing Data Collector

A Los Angeles company providing automated compliance and reporting services to the affordable housing industry will become part of fraud detection provider Interthinx, the company announced Thursday.

Maverick Angels Goes North

Investment group Maverick Angels has opened a Silicon Valley chapter.

Friday in the Valley

The Studio City Chamber of Commerce hosts a breakfast event with guest speaker Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles Catholic Archdiocese.

Wednesday, August 30

Thursday in the Valley

Chatsworth/Porter Ranch Chamber of Commerce hosts its mixer and 15th year business anniversary celebration.

Insurance Company to Open West Coast Office

The New York-based insurance company WKF & C; Agency Inc. has opened a Southern California branch in Warner Center.

HemaCare Expands into Florida

The Woodland Hills manufacturer of blood products and services HemaCare Corp. has purchased Teragenix Corp., a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., provider of human biological samples, for $4.8 million.

Economy Slows in Second Quarter

Statistics just released by the Commerce Department show that the nation's economy grew at a 2.9 percent rate in the second quarter, slightly more than the pace first reported a month ago, but off considerably from the pace of growth during the first quar

Cherokee Signs Deal for Camp Beverly Hills

Cherokee Inc. has inked a deal to license the Camp Beverly Hills brand in Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, August 29

Technicolor Reaches Digital Cinema Pact

Thomson and its Technicolor Digital Cinema division locked into an agreement with National Amusements Inc. to install digital cinema equipment in 14 theaters, the company announced Tuesday.

Assembly OKs Health Insurance Plan

The state Assembly approved a bill Tuesday that would create a state-ran, single-payer health insurance program to provide healthcare for all Californians.

Wednesday in the Valley

The Mid Valley Chamber of Commerce hosts its network connection breakfast.

Monday, August 28

Financial Shuffle

A top performing financial advisor in Woodland Hills has jumped over to Smith Barney.

All Quiet on the Home Front

Buyers were conspicuous by their absence at open houses on a recent Sunday, even as prices are moderating.

Blue Cross Funds Healthcare Fellowship

The philanthropic activities by Valley-area companies and businesspeople.

Training Facility Shuts Doors

One of the few local training facilities for manufacturing workers has closed its doors to make way for a new shopping center.

Tuesday in the Valley

The City of Glendale holds a study session to review community input on its long range plan.

Auto Stiegler Sold; Firm Changes Name

Auto Stiegler Mercedes-Benz has passed out of the family after 40 years.

Burbank Neighborhood Getting BID

Property owners in the Magnolia Park district of Bubank approve a new business improvement district in hopes of drumming up attention for the area.

Emmy Winning Performance in Control Room

Reporter Mark Madler takes a look at who rolls the videotape during the annual Emmy Awards.

Mission Valley Bank Robbery Investigated

Police are investigating a robbery of the Mission Valley Bank Aug. 23.

School Reform Bill Passes Senate

The State Senate on Monday narrowly approved a bill that gives Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa more control over the troubled Los Angeles Unified School District.

Semtech Chairman Resigns

The board of directors of Semtech, Corp. appointed Rockell N. Hankin as its new chairman of the board, succeeding John D. Poe, the company announced Monday.

Training Head Will Cater to Needs of Business

Kristin Houser takes over directing the Employee Training Institute at the College of the Canyons Sept. 5.

Santa Clarita Pushing for Enterprise Zone Designation

Santa Clarita is one of 35 California cities hoping to get an enterprise zone classification.

21st Century Moves to Change Grading of Insurance Policies

21st Century Insurance Group is the latest auto insurer to switch to premium rates based on driving records, Staff Reporter Chris Coates has found.

Google, eBay Partner to Sell Ads

The internet search engine Google will start selling online ads outside the U.S. for eBay.

Cool Economic Winds in Hot Valley

Signs that the economy is softening are showing up at many Valley companies.

Mel and Andy: Two Birdbrains of a Feather

Martin M. Cooper explains what actor Mel Gibson and Andrew Young, Jr. of Wal-Mart have in common.

A Mixed Bag for Kmart and Sears

A year after the two retail giants merged, neither have made headway forming a new identity.

Sport Chalet Ranks No. 1 in Study

The sporting goods chain Sport Chalet Inc. has been ranked as the most desired retailer in the 2006 Retail Demand Today Report issued by Kanbay Research Institute.

Getting Ready for Prime Time

John Maatta, COO of The CW, talks about his aspirations for the new television network and the pain of paring the merged staff down to size.

Pacific Sunwear Opens First Valley Urban Wear Outlet

A young men's and juniors urban wear concept from Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. called d.e.m.o. has opened its first San Fernando Valley store at General Growth's Northridge Fashion Center.

Restaurant Robberies: News Vs. Information

Editor Jason Scaff discussses the rash of restaurant robberies in the Valley.

Law Prompts Fewer Bankruptcy Filings

Bankruptcy filings fell to a five year low after a federal law made it tougher to seek protection.

Laying the Groundwork

How a former CPA built a $14 million company one roll of carpet at a time.

Purchase Will Help Company Multiply

The math at two-year-old Academy123 made sense to Discovery Education, which acquired the company last month.

CityWalk Gets New Anchor Restaurant

Empty for about a year, the largest storefront space at CityWalk is finally getting a new tenant.

Valley Pushes for Tourism Money

L.A. City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel thinks Valley hotels will sleep better knowing the city's bed taxes are funding Valley-specific tourism efforts.

Locking in the Value of Your Equity in Any Type of Market

Bruce M. Weide on home equity values and the bumpy real estate economy.

Around the Valleys

A look at what's happening in the communities of the Santa Clarita, Conejo, San Fernando and Simi valleys.

Hilton Burbank Airport Hotel Sold

The Hilton Burbank Airport & Convention Center hotel has been sold for $125 million.

MTA Pushes Orange Line Mixed-Use Development

The MTA is looking for a developer to tackle a 17-acre site adjacent to the Red Line in North Hollywood.

Bids for L.A. Times Chatsworth Property Under Review

Those said to be bidding for the Los Angeles Times printing plant site in Chatsworth "reads like a who's who of local development," reports Shelly Garcia.

Friday, August 25

Macy's Rolls Out National Brand

Transformed Robinsons-May stores will make their official debut as Macy's units on Sept. 9 as parent Federated Department Stores rolls out a series of special events to mark the transition.

Monday in the Valley

The Sherman Oaks Neighborhood Council hosts a forum for candidates running for council seats.

Thursday, August 24

Hilton Burbank Sells for $125 million

The Hilton Burbank Airport & Convention Center hotel has been sold for $125 million.

Trio-Tech adds on to China Plant

Trio-Tech International is expanding its Suzhou, China, semiconductor testing facility to meet the growing need in the Asian market, the company announced Thursday.

Friday in the Valley

The San Fernando Valley Employee Assistance Professionals Association hosts a training session on ethics.

Vera Wang Teams With Kohl's

Kohl's shoppers may not be able to find her wedding gowns, but they will be able to select other Vera Wang offerings under a deal just announced.

Wednesday, August 23

Thursday in the Valley

The Calabasas Chamber of Commerce hosts a luncheon to discuss the state of the Valley's economy.

Music Exec Donates $10 million to CSUN

Music impresario Mike Curb has donated $10 million to California State University Northridge to endow the school's arts college.

Airport Earns Marketing Awards

Van Nuys Airport won two first place awards in the 2006 Excellence in Marketing and Communications from the Airport Councils International North America.

Late Quarterly Filings Escalate

A record 138 companies were late filing quarterly financial reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the second quarter, according to a report just released.

Shurgard Acquisition Completed

Public Storage Inc. has completed the acquisition of Shurgard Storage Centers Inc. in a deal valued at about $5.5 billion.

U.S. Sweet to Nestle

Nestle SA reported an 11 percent increase in first-half profit, thanks in part to what the company said was strong performance in the U.S.

Tuesday, August 22

Wednesday in the Valley

The Glendale Chamber of Commerce hosts its networking breakfast focusing on vacations.

Aramark Expands Cleanroom Facilities

Aramark Cleanroom Services added two new facilities in Puerto Rico and Toronto to provide sterile and non-sterile reusable cleanroom garments.

Cheesecake Gets Delisting Notice

Cheesecake Factory Inc. is the latest company to receive notice that it could be delisted from Nasdaq as the company investigates its stock option practices.

Sport Chalet Opens New Store

Sport Chalet Inc. on Friday will hold grand opening ceremonies for its 42nd location in Vacaville, Calif.

Monday, August 21

LAEDC Adds Another Economist

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. has added a new economist to its stable of number crunchers.

Vivid Inks New Licensing Deal

Vivid Entertainment Group Inc. signed an agreement with ICup Inc. to distribute its apparel and novelty gifts, the company announced Monday.

Judge: 200 City Workers Can't Strike

A Superior Court judge has granted a temporary restraining order that bars certain members of the city's Engineers and Architects Association from walking off the job.

Dole: Recall Rumor Unfounded

Dole salad products are safe to eat and are not subject to a recall, the Dole

Tuesday in the Valley

The Valley Economic Development Center hosts a workshop on business loans.

IHOP to Borrow $200 Million

IHOP Corp. said it plans to borrow about $200 million in private securitization to repay the company's existing debt and repurchase the company's stock shares.

Friday, August 18

Monday in the Valley

The Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council holds its monthly transportation and traffic committee meeting.

Digital Insight Anchors New Client

An Alaska bank has chosen Digital Insight Corp. to provide its Internet banking, business banking and online bill payment services, the company announced.

Image Projects Revenues on Newest Deal

Image Entertainment Inc. said its recent agreement with Relativity Media LLC will net DVD revenues in the range of $60 million to $90 million in calendar 2007 and $140 million to $210 million in 2008.

Thursday, August 17

Fernando Finalists Announced

Five well-known community volunteers were chosen on Thursday as the finalists for the 48th Annual Fernando Award given for an outstanding record of volunteerism in the San Fernando Valley.

Santa Clarita Launches Anti-Mining Ads

The city of Santa Clarita has launched a billboard advertising campaign condemning the Cemex Mining Co. in its bid to construct a 69 million ton mining project just east of city boundaries.

Younan Buys Again in Dallas

Woodland Hills-based Younan Properties has acquired a 190,000-square-foot office building in Dallas, bringing to 3.7 million square feet its Dallas-area holdings.

Friday in the Valley

The Calabasas Chamber of Commerce hosts a business networking mixer and bowling tournament to benefit its education committee's awards and scholarship program.

Wednesday, August 16

Judge OKs Santa Clarita Subdivision

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has given the go-ahead for a Saugus subdivision that environmental groups had tried to block.

Thursday in the Valley

SCORE offers a workshop on creating a successful business plan presented by Ralph Horwitz, former comptroller, IHOP Corporation.

Energy Biggest Concern for Small Businesses

Passing along rising energy and fuel costs is no longer solving the problem of rising prices for many small businesses, according to a report released by the International Profit Associates Small Business Research Board.

Chatsworth Chamber Backs School Reform

The Chatsworth/Porter Ranch Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday tossed its support behind Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's reform proposals for the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Tuesday, August 15

Cost of Building Materials Increase

Construction materials prices rose in July in spite of an easing in price increases elsewhere in the industry, a trade group reported.

Cheesecake Will Likely Restate Results

The Cheesecake Factory said today it expects to restate past results based on preliminary findings of its investigation into its past stock option practices.

Wednesday in the Valley

The Valley Economic Development Center offers a workshop on how to get your business online.

Monday, August 14

Packed and Ready

NorthStar Moving Corp. went from a one-man moving company to one that did 5,000 moves and $5 million worth of business last year.

Hospital Plans Draw Criticism

A plan to turn a Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital facility into an acute-care ward is drawing the ire of community groups.

Organizations Try to Salvage Valley Enterprise Zone

Can business and civic leaders save a Northeast Valley enterprise zone?

Preserving Home Equity Values if Real Estate Declines

What happens to home equity values if the real estate market declines?

Laser firm filing late with SEC

QPC Lasers, Inc. notified the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday that it would file late its second quarter financial statement.

Newsmakers

People on the move.

In Major Menu Redo, Cheesecake Factory Lightens Up

Calabasas-based Cheescake Factory is reducing the portions on its menus as business at casual restaurants thins.

Developer Watches Over Neighborhoods in His Projects

Even though he's a developer, Michael Resnick likes to preserve existing buildings instead of tearing them down, Shelly Garcia reports.

Tuesday in the Valley

The Encino Chamber of Commerce hosts a business and professional development luncheon on identity theft protection.

Teledyne Officials Expect No Changes at Rockwell Sites

Thousand Oaks-based Rockwell Scientific Co. has a new owner.

Manufacturers of All Sizes Take Software to New Levels

While use of software programs in machine shops is not new, its application is pushing into new areas.

Tales From the Trenches: Some Manufacturer Feedback

A look at the changing climate for small manufacturing companies.

Term Limits: Is it Time to Give More Time?

Gregory Lippe questions whether term limits are working.

Around the Valleys

A look at the people, places and things that make the San Fernando, Conejo, Antelope and Santa Clarita valleys tick.

Companies Work to Meet Environmental Regulations

New regs are causing headaches for those who use electrical equipment and components.

Earnings Soar at Scheib as Sales Decline

Earl Scheib Inc. reported net income rose five-fold to $2.9 million or $0.65 per diluted share for the company's fiscal fourth quarter, compared to earnings of $452,000 or $0.10 per share in the comparable period a year ago.

Valley Company Took Bite of 'Snakes on a Plane' Project

Snake bites and wrangling are all in a day's work at MastersFX, an effects company that worked on "Snakes on a Plane," writes Mark R.Madler.

Boost for Biotech Firms

A move to change requirements for some SBA loans could make millions available to biotech startups.

Santa Clarita Seeing Major Hotel Construction Activity

A number of hotels are being constructed in Santa Clarita even though the nearby Magic Mountain theme could be closing.

Gym Business Pumping Up

Once a niche business, the fitness industry is now attracting mainstream attention and funding.

Long-Stalled Development Has New Hurdle With Homeowners

The developers of a Sherman Oaks site are facing yet another delay.

Mayor's Liaison Addresses Fundraising Professionals

A Villaraigosa advisor speaks to Valley fundraising group, plus a look at others in the Valley who are giving.

Mind Over Business Matters

Phillips Graduate Institute President Lisa Porche-Burke helps school with roots in psychology develop business training programs.

A New Battle of the Sexes? Retirement Strategies at Odds

When it comes to planning for retirement, men and women have a different set of goals, according to a recent study.

New SBDC Management Gets Off to Slow Start With Services

The new managers of the local Small Business Development Center have had a rocky start.

Shoe Pavilion Net Rises

Shoe Pavilion Inc. reported net income for the second quarter ended July 1 rose 43 percent to $1.0 million or $0.10 per diluted share, up from $704,000 or $0.10 per share in the second quarter of 2005.

Valley Figures Prominently in Spanish Firm's U.S. Growth

Fast fashion, the next thing in retailing, is coming to the Valley as Zara gets set to open in two Westfield malls.

Putting a Focus on Role of Business in Education

It's impossible to seperate the education and business, says Jason Schaff.

State Arts Budget Is Music to Ears of Guitar Center

A newly rich state budget for music and arts education may be good news for Guitar Center, Chris Coates reports.

Search for Managers Proves Difficult Task

The lack of qualified employees has many manufacturers seeking out both internal and outside training programs.

Friday, August 11

Monday in the Valley

City of Glendale

Henry Mayo Ward Closure More Likely

The head of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital has recommended converting a hospital unit used by recovering patients into one for emergencies, a controversial decision that had been met with fierce opposition from some in the community.

Home Sales Register Big Drop

Home buyers were scarce in July.

Earnings Soar at FCB Bancorp

FCB Bancorp reported its net income for the second quarter ended June 30 rose to $1.1 million or $0.33 per share, a 70 percent increase from the like period last year when the bank earned $629,000 or $0.29 per share.

Staffers Sound Off About Labor Dispute

About 75 community members, hospital staffers and union members gathered Thursday at a Canoga Park church to discuss the ongoing labor dispute at three area hospitals, including West Hills Hospital and Medical Center and Los Robles Regional Medical Center

Thursday, August 10

Women's Health Center Opens

The new Los Angeles County Canoga Park Health Center women's health annex opened Thursday.

Electro Rent Reports Net Income Gain

Electronic equipment rental and leasing company Electro Rent had a nearly 4 percent increase in its net income for the fourth quarter ended May 31.

Burbank Airport Affected by New Rules in Response to Terror Plot

Passengers at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank experienced some delays Thursday following a last-minute change for more thorough screening of carry-on baggage, an airport official said.

Judge to Let Car Insurance Policy Stand

A Superior Court judge said Thursday that she plans to reject an injunction questioning the legality of a policy that determines auto insurance rates by where a person lives.

Healthcare Partners Gets New Offices

Healthcare Partners Medical Group will open its new office in West Hills on Aug. 21.

Bubba Gump to Open at CityWalk

A 9,500-square-foot Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant is scheduled to open Aug. 26 on CityWalk at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Losses Continue for Crown Media

For the second quarter in a row, Crown Media Holdings Inc. reported a net loss.

Personnel Shifts at Providence

There's been a shake-up at Providence Health System.

Friday in the Valley

San Fernando Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, August 9

Santa Clarita Tax Creates $6.5 million

Additional retail and transportation pushed Santa Clarita's first quarter sales tax figures higher by 8.2 percent over last year, the city announced Wednesday.

Disney Income Jumps 39 percent

The Walt Disney Co. reported a 39 percent jump in its net income for the quarter ending on June 30 when compared with the same period from 2005.

Thursday in the Valley

West Hills Hospital Community Forum

Countrywide Loan Fundings Down

Countrywide Financial Corp. said today that mortgage loan fundings decreased to $36 billion in July, a 19 percent decline compared to the prior July period.

Capstone Posts Lower Net Loss

Capstone Turbine Corp. reported a net income loss of $9.3 million for its fiscal year first quarter ended June 30.

Study Recommends Local Nursing Homes

Two nursing homes in the San Fernando Valley received recommendations in a study by the magazine "Consumer Reports."

Burbank's Magnolia Park Receives BID

The Burbank City Council Tuesday night approved creating a business improvement district for the Magnolia Park neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 8

Wednesday in the Valley

Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce

2 Valley Intersections to Get Traffic Cops

Traffic officers will be posted at two additional Valley intersections under the terms of an expanded plan to address traffic congestion in Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Tuesday.

Net Flat at Beverly Hills Bancorp

Beverly Hills Bancorp Inc. reported net income was flat for the three months ended June 30 at $3.3 million or $0.15 per diluted share, reflecting a decline in net interest income.

Expanding MERIT Moves to Larger Quarters

The MERIT Companies, a provider of professional community association services, has expanded its regional office in Valencia.

Monday, August 7

Tuesday in the Valley

The Agoura/Oak Park Conejo Valley

TVN to Distribute Lionsgate Films

TVN Entertainment will distribute films from Lionsgate Entertainment via video-on-demand, the company announced Monday.

THQ Hit by Stock Probe

Video game publisher THQ Inc. became the latest San Fernando Valley business turning over documentation to federal authorities on its stock option practices.

Insurance Ad Campaign Garners Awards

The marketing campaign for Blue Cross of California's young adult health insurance program Tonik Health has won a national Gold Effie Award and a AAAA Jay Chiat planning award from the American Marketing Association.

Local Firms Get Venture Funding

Two local biomedical companies helped drive the biggest quarter for investments since the first quarter of 2002, a report on venture capital investments revealed.

Valley Dump To Receive Less City Trash

The Los Angeles Board of Public Works have approved a five-year contract to divert 20 percent of the city's trash from the Sunshine Canyon Landfill in Granada Hills.

Friday, August 4

Move Takes Downward Turn

Move Inc. reported net income plummeted 94 percent to $1.7 million or $0.01 per share for the second quarter ended June 30, versus net income of $3.3 million or $0.02 per share for the same period last year.

Judge Strikes Down Blue Cross Suit

A superior court judge has rejected a request by the California Hospital Association that would have prohibited Blue Cross of California from paying different fees to doctors who perform colonoscopies in outpatient surgery centers.

NTS Buys Testing Lab

National Technical Services Inc. has acquired Dynamic Labs, an environmental testing laboratory with locations in two states, the company announced.

Monday in the Valley

Glendale Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, August 3

Image Questions Board Nominees

The board of directors of Image Entertainment has urged its stockholders to reject a slate of dissident director candidates put up by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. when the company's annual meeting takes place in October.

Superior Income Drops in 2Q

Superior Industries saw a 50 percent drop in its net income for the second quarter ending June 30, the company reported Thursday.

Friday in the Valley

Thousand Oaks-Westlake Village

Health Net Earnings Healthy

Woodland Hills healthcare insurance provider Health Net reported second quarter earnings rose 43.8 percent from a year ago.

Wednesday, August 2

Revenue Drops for Time Warner

Time Warner Inc. experienced a drop in revenues in its filmed entertainment division, primarily due to a lack of big name home entertainment releases, the company announced Wednesday.

Sport Chalet Net Rises 36 Percent

La Canada-based retailer Sport Chalet Inc. reported net income increased 36.2 percent to $530,000 or $0.04 per diluted share for the first fiscal quarter ended July 2, compared to earnings of $398,000 or $0.03 per share in the comparable period a year ago

Mayor Taps New International Trade Director

A former official in the Clinton administration has been named director of the office of international trade and development for the city of Los Angeles

Toyota's U.S. Sales Edge Past Ford's

American buyers are again flocking to Japanese companies in the wake of high gasoline prices.

GM introduces redesigned pickups

General Motors Corp. on Wednesday unveiled the new Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra -- full-size pickups that generate lots of cash and will be crucial to the company's turnaround.

Three Area Nominees for 'Business-Friendly City'

Burbank, Lancaster and Santa Clarita are finalists for the "Most Business-Friendly City" award by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

CSUN Awarded $7 million Grant

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $7 million grant to a team of professors from Cal State Northridge

Thursday in the Valley

Valley Economic Development Center

AOL scraps fees in bid to keep users

17.7 million subscribers is down 34 percent from 2002; former subscribers can reclaim e-mail addresses; changes fully effective in Sept.

Diodes Sees Growth in 2Q

Better than expected sales in the computer segment and growth in the analog product line helped Diodes, Inc. to report an increase in net income for the second quarter ending June 30, the company announced Wednesday.

Nail Polish Maker Gets Canadian Contract

BioPharmetics Inc., a North Hollywood manufacturer of drugs and cosmetic products, has secured an order for the company's Toma nail polish from the owner of Zeller's, a Canadian department store.

Tuesday, August 1

Wells to Open Facility in India

Wells Fargo & Co. said today that it plans to outsource some of its technology operations to India because of a shortage of tech workers in the U.S.

Guitar Center Reports Modest Income Growth

Calling the retail environment "challenging," Guitar Center Inc. reported net income increased 4 percent to $13.4 million or $0.47 per diluted share on revenues of $458 million for the second quarter ended June 30.

ValueClick Q2 Revenues Soar

Online marketing company ValueClick, Inc. beat expectations for its second quarter with revenues of $130 million, the company announced Tuesday.

Fernando Award Nominees Chosen

The Fernando Award, a Valley institution honoring volunteerism, has chosen 14 nominees for recognition.

Amgen Teams Up to Develop Drugs

Thousand Oaks biopharmaceutical company Amgen will develop experimental drug compounds to treat autoimmune diseases currently in the works by Predix Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Wednesday in the Valley

Woodland Hills Neighborhood Council

Entertainment Union Picks Blue Shield

The Studio City-based Motion Picture Industry Health Plan has picked Blue Shield of California as its self-funded health plan.

City to Add 3 More Cameras

Santa Clarita has added new red light cameras at three intersections.

Woodland Hills Retail Center Sold

A shopping center on Ventura Boulevard was sold to an investor for $19.7 million.