Stories for September 2006

Friday, September 29

Feds Instruct Banks on Mortgage Lending

Federal regulators instructed the banking industry to explain the risks posed to borrowers from non-traditional mortgage loans such as interest-only mortgages and said they would use the guidance in auditing banks' operating procedures.

Amgen Buys Privately-owned Drug Maker

The Thousand Oaks drug giant Amgen Inc. has acquired a privately-held biopharmaceutical company based in Mountain View, Calif.

Women Business Center Honored

The Valley Economic Development Center Women's Business Center has received the Mentorship Award from Dialogue on Diversity, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that links global communities across ethic, cultural and racial lines.

Monday in the Valley

The Glendale Chamber of Commerce holds a city and county action meeting.

Thursday, September 28

Chick: CRA Still Troubled

A follow-up audit by Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick of the Community Redevelopment Agency has found the organization is too slow in reforming its loan programs for developers, affordable housing project and profit sharing with builders.

Power-One, Magnetek Enter $71 million Deal

Power-One Inc. signed an agreement to purchase the power electronics group from Magnetek, Inc., the company announced Thursday.

MTA Board Backs Orange Line Extension

The MTA is accepting bids in the first phase of a plan to extend the Orange Line to Chatsworth, officials said.

Broker Team Joins Colliers

Rory Ferlauto, Don Hudson and Nancy Uy have joined Colliers International as senior vice presidents.

Friday in the Valley

The North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce holds its breakfast cluster.

Wednesday, September 27

Burbank Company to Revamp Virginia, Louisiana Capitols

Burbank-based exhibit and museum designer BRC Imagination Arts has been selected to redesign the visitor centers at the Virginia and Louisiana state capitol buildings.

H & M; Logs Strong Increases

Swedish retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB, which has begun a major push into the Southern California marketplace including new stores planned in the San Fernando Valley, today reported that its third quarter earnings rose 18 percent to the equivalent of $347 m

Thursday in the Valley

The Employment Development Department hosts its San Fernando Valley community resource and career fair.

Amgen Colon Cancer Drug Approved

The Food and Drug Administration Wednesday approved a drug developed Thousand Oaks-based Amgen Inc. to treat advanced colon cancer.

Dole in Buy-Sell with Produce Company

The Westlake Village fruit giant Dole Food Co. Inc. has started a buy-sell process with the UK produce importer JP Fruit Distributors Ltd.

PriceRunner Signs New Retailers

Westlake Village-based ValueClick Inc. said today its PriceRunner engine has signed 10 new retailers.

Tuesday, September 26

Meggitt Adds to Aerospace Group

Meggitt PLC has paid $32 million for a Texas manufacturer of air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems for business and general aviation aircraft, the company has announced.

Wednesday in the Valley

The Glendale Chamber of Commerce holds its networking breakfast.

Color Me Mine to Relocate

Color Me Mine Enterprises Inc., a franchisor of paint-your-own-ceramics studios, is relocating to Glendale after purchasing a new headquarters building.

Monday, September 25

Businesses Start Crime Watch in Santa Clarita

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber has teamed with local law enforcement to help local businesses curb crime after a recent spate of property crimes.

Superior Finalizes Sale of Suspension Business

Superior Industries Inc. sold its suspension component business to a French firm, the company has announced.

Valley Firm Gets $1 Billion China Contract

A Woodland Hills global development financial firm has gotten a prized $1 billion contract to build one of just 10 terminals that will supply China with Liquified Natural Gas.

Westfield Fall Events to Benefit 25 Elementary Schools

A look at the people and groups that are giving in the Valley.

Area Sees Boom in TV Shoots -- But for How Long?

So far at least, the Valley seems to have a distinct hometown advantage when it comes to much of television's filming choices, but some wonder how long it will last.

Iger in First Year Casts Wide Net for Disney

The Walt Disney Co.'s decision to start selling a library of feature films through Apple's iTunes is off to a blockbuster start, Mark Madler reports.

PR Executive Finds Success With Line Of Kids Products

PR Executive Finds Success With Line Of Kids Products

Popular Billy Blanks Training Center To Close Location in Sherman Oaks Fernando Winner

Billy Blanks World Training Center in Sherman Oaks is moving.

Valley Film Festival Serves as Local Showcase for Filmmakers

A look at the businesses and people of the San Fernando, Conejo, Santa Clarita and Simi valleys.

Entertaining Propositions

Image Entertainment's David Borshell discusses the company's attempt to fend off suitor Lionsgate Entertainment.

Valley a Bastion for Workers In Below the Line Firms

Forget Tom Cruise. The Valley's economic wagon is hitched to a different star below the line workers from technical crews, to caterers who are the backbone of the entertainment industry.

Retail Clinics Latest Health Trend

The new trend of health clinics inside drug store or grocery markets has mostly missed California, but for how long?

Planning Director Outlines Goals, Cites Frustration

Addressing backlog of cases and crafting longterm plans top list of concerns for city planning department, new head says.

Business Involvement Crucial for Community

Jason Schaff gives kudos to the Valley Industry and Commerce Association for standing up to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

MGA Entertainment Buying Times Property

MGA Entertainment, maker of the popular Bratz doll products, is buying the former Los Angeles Times printing plant in Chatsworth, Shelly Garcia reports.

A Real Bull Story With a Moral for Business

With all the advances in technology, Martin Cooper asks, When's the last time you stopped and smelled the roses?

LAUSD, Union Hash Out Revised Benefits Plan

The Los Angeles Unified School District and labor officials have agreed to a slightly revised set of health benefits for union workers.

Agoura Hills Residents Want to Keep Things the Same

Quality of life and safety are among the top reasons Agoura Hills residents like living in the city, a study has found.

Tuesday in the Valley

The North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce holds its networking breakfast.

Cleanup Underway at Contaminated Santa Clarita Site

A brownfield in the heart of Santa Clarita has been acquired by a partnership that is expected to finally get the project moving forward.

Touchdown for Retailers

This year's TV selling season is shaping up to be a competition of Super Bowl proportions.

Countrywide Launches Auto Insurance

Countrywide Financial Corp. said today that it has introduced an auto insurance product in Arizona.

Nordstrom's Oaks Deal Official

The Macerich Co. today said it has completed a letter of intent with Nordstrom, which will be joining The Oaks mall in 2008.

CSUN Family Business Center Begins Seminar Series

The Family Business Center at CSUN kicks offs its lineup of small business seminars.

Branch Will Be Third For Young Valley Bank

California United Bank is getting ready to open its third branch after just over a year in operation.

There's a Way to Protect Your Great Ideas From Theft

Is there really a way to protect your great ideas from getting swiped?

Camera Operator Changes Cause Worry in Industry

Changes in rules governing camera operators and directors of photography have made who is behind the lens a contentious issue in the entertainment industry.

Technical Positions Take a Greater Role

While it's the director who may get most of the credit for a film, it's the colorist who is really in charge of what viewers see.

At Issue: The Lawful Use Of Celebrity Endorsements

If you spot a celebrity using a product you developed and you snap a photo, can you use it as a celebrity endorsement?

The Walking Company Setting Brisker Pace

The same turnaround specialists who took Big Dog Holding public have worked their magic on The Walking Company.

Personal Touch

How a mother of two concerned about her daughter's rash turned into a baby product chain in 400 stores.

Countrywide Reports Drop In Mortgage Loan Fundings

A report has found that weaker credit is shaping up to be a regular force in the real estate business, Chris Coates has found.

Friday, September 22

InterMetro to Start Trading Next Week

InterMetro Communications, which several months ago filed its intention to go public, said today that it planned to open on the American Stock Exchange next week.

Monday in the Valley

The Small Business Development Center and the U.S. Small Business Administration in partnership with Metropolitan Water District of Southern California hold a workshop on the government procurement market.

Thursday, September 21

Trillium Space Leased

Douglas Emmett inked a five year deal for 15,000 square feet of office space at Trillium in Woodland Hills.

CW Struts Rating Success with 'Top Model'

In its first night of new programming Wednesday, Burbank-based The CW was the top-ranked network in eight of the top 10 markets for women viewers and in seven of the top 10 for adult viewers, the network reported.

Jobless Filings Climb 7,000

A government report shows that the number of workers filing jobless benefits claims grew by 7,000, higher than expected.

VICA Backs Housing Bond

The Valley Industry and Commerce Association Thursday endorsed a $1 billion housing bond to build affordable housing in the city.

Delgadillo: End Business Tax

Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo called for an end to the city's business tax during an address to the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Thursday.

McMuffins for Dinner?

McDonald's is testing a new kitchen system that will make it possible to order breakfast all day.

CSUN School Renamed After Donor

The California State University Board of Trustees has approved renaming a CSUN school after former California Lieutenant Governor and record executive Mike Curb.

New Trend: AT & T; In-sources Jobs

AT & T; has indicated that it plans to add 2,000 technical support positions it previously earmarked to outsource.

Friday in the Valley

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce holds its health care committee meeting.

Wednesday, September 20

Apartment Sale in Reseda

A 28-unit apartment building was sold in Reseda for $2.5 million.

Thursday in the Valley

The Studio City Chamber of Commerce hosts its monthly mixer.

Tuesday, September 19

Amgen Nabs Cancer Drug Patent

Amgen Inc. on Tuesday was granted licensing rights to a patent used in the cancer drug Erbitux.

City to Offer Reward for Valley Hold-ups

Third District City Councilman Dennis Zine introduced a motion Tuesday to offer a $75,000 reward to catch a group of brazen robbers targeting Valley restaurants over the past two years.

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BREAKING NEWS: MGA to Acquire Times Site

A deal has been struck to sell the Los Angeles Times' Chatsworth facility to MGA Entertainment, the makers of Bratz dolls.

Glendale Property Sold

A retail property in Glendale was sold to a private trust for $2 million.

HorseTV Debuts Three Shows

The HorseTV Channel will launch three new series in October.

Wednesday in the Valley

The Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council holds its elections.

Monday, September 18

Panel to Address Housing Bubble

Paul Wylie, founder and CEO of Metrocities Mortgage in Sherman Oaks, will join a panel discussion addressing the housing bubble, or lack thereof.

Tuesday in the Valley

The Encino Chamber of Commerce hosts its business and professional luncheon.

Diodes makes Fortune list

Diodes Inc. was among the top 100 fastest growing companies as chosen by Fortune magazine, the company announced Monday.

Magnatek Back on the Board

Magnatek Inc., a Chatsworth-based maker of digital power controls, said today that the New York Stock Exchange has accepted its plan for continued listing.

Friday, September 15

CUB Moves Into Santa Clarita

California United Bank has received regulatory approval to open a branch in Santa Clarita Valley.

Study Finds College Among Best in Nation

California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks was ranked 17th on the list of top schools offering bachelor's and master's degrees on the west coast in a study of higher education institutions by the magazine "U.S. News & World Report."

Monday in the Valley

The Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce holds its neighborhood council land use meeting.

Study: More Motorists Turn to Metro

The number of people turning to public transportation instead of cars is on the rise.

Diodes Expects Greater 3Q Revenues

Semiconductor supplier Diodes Inc. restated its third quarter guidance this week due to higher than expected revenues, the company announced.

Thursday, September 14

Friday in the Valley

The North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts its legislative breakfast.

Valley Leaders to Tribune Co.: Stop Cutting Times Staff

Business leaders from the San Fernando Valley joined a group urging the Tribune Co. to make no additional staff cuts at the Los Angeles Times.

21st Century Changes How it Calculates Rates

Woodland Hills-based 21st Century Insurance Co. is the latest company to start basing its auto insurance premiums off a motorist's driving record instead of where he or she lives.

Mortgage Loans Still Declining

Countrywide Financial Corp. said mortgage loan fundings fell again in August to $40 billion, down 24 percent compared to August, 2005.

Acquisition Leads to Job Gains

Precision Dynamics Corp. expects to hire as many as 45 new employees following its acquisition of the wristband identification product line from an Illinois company.

Wednesday, September 13

Power Acquires Chinese Firm

J.D. Power and Associates has acquired a top market strategy and information firm specializing in Asia's car markets, the company announced.

New Glendale Health Spa to Open

HealthCare Partners Medical Group plans to open a new medical spa at its medical building in Glendale.

Thursday in the Valley

The Encino Chamber of Commerce hosts its after hours mixer.

Centex Gets Top Ranking

Centex Homes received the highest ranking for customer satisfaction in the Los Angeles and Ventura counties in the recently released New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power and Associates.

Tuesday, September 12

Judge Fast-Tracks Amgen Patent Case

A U.S. District Judge has granted an accelerated hearing for a patent-infringement suit by Thousand Oaks-based Amgen Inc.

Comerica Expands SBA Efforts

Comerica Bank has named business development officers for three of its SBA lending offices.

Union, HCA Agree to New Pact

The owner of West Hills Hospital and Medical Center and Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks and workers have agreed to a new contract after 15 days of negotiations.

Filming Fees for City Properties Waived

The city is waiving most of the fees it charges to production companies for use of city facilities to encourage more film and television productions locally.

Wednesday in the Valley

The Universal City/North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce hosts its cluster meeting.

Monday, September 11

Still an Abundance of Anti-Business Bills

It appears that the California Legislature has finally figured out how to solve the problem of illegal immigration. No, it isn't at the border.

The Hispanic Dilemma

Banks have actively cultivated retail Hispanic customers, but not so when it comes to the commercial sector.

CSUN's Family Business Center Hosts Event to Re-Launch Program

When a mixer took place recently for California State University Northridge's Family Business Center its short-term goal was to get its name out to the public and those businesses that could benefit from its services.

Saugus Becomes Baghdad as Mideast Sets Are in Demand

Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Saugus has done a steady business renting its realistic Mexican market, Army camp and countless other sets to film companies since it opened six years ago.

Banks Watch for Signs That Boom Cycle Is Waning

After riding high on a sturdy economy and low interest rates, the banking and finance industry is showing signs a shift may be underway.

Minimum Wage Hike Guidelines

With the minimum wage set to increase to $7.50 Jan. 1, what's a business owner to do?

Despite Rise in Competition, Middle Market Still Popular

Valley financial institutions are scrambling for mid-market businesses.

Valley Locations Included in H & M;'s Regional Push

The trendy mecca of fashion, H & M;, is coming to both ends of the San Fernando Valley.

Valley Cities Honored for Radio System

Burbank and Glendale were among six cities awarded the 2006 Helen Putnam award from the League of California Cities for participating in a regional radio system that allows communication across various cities in Los Angeles County.

Panorama City Apartment Sold

A 10-unit apartment complex in Panorama City was sold for $1.5 million.

Computers Given to Schools In Post-Katrina Rebuilding

This regular feature focuses on philanthropic activities by Valley-area companies and businesspeople.

Subcontractors Prepare For Life After C-17

Roger Pascoe would like to see the C-17 Globemaster III continue in production beyond 2009. It's a decision that's out of his hands.

Valley Hotels Facing Shortage of Workers

Valley hoteliers are reporting a shortage of job candidates for open positions.

Closed Hospital Campus Sold

The former Northridge Hospital Medical Center Sherman Way campus has been sold.

Home Sales Continue to Fall

The number of single family home sales in the San Fernando Valley fell nearly 33 percent to 825 in August and median home prices remained relatively stable compared to the year-earlier figures, according to data just released by Southland Regional Associa

Front Row Seat

Sunday mornings may be a time of rest but for Paul Dergarabedian it's a time to crunch numbers.

MGA to Buy Toy Manufacturer

MGA Entertainment, the creator of the popular Bratz line of dolls, entered into an agreement Tuesday to acquire the Little Tikes business unit from Newell Rubbermaid Inc.

Flying Around High Fuel Costs

The Air Group has a new program to deliver a less costly fuel to private and corporate jet owners at Van Nuys Airport.

Loans Offered To Restaurants

A Valley business group is offering loans to businesses that want to bulk up on security in light of the recent spate of restaurant hold-ups.

Santa Clarita Posts Spike in Location, Studio Productions

Television and movie productions have increased 10 percent this year in Santa Clarita.

& #65279;New Glendale Bank to Focus On Hispanic Business Market

A Hispanic-run bank is in organization in Glendale.

Reactions Vary on Hike

The legislature's move to increase the minimum wage has some local business owners worried.

Around the Valleys

A looks at what's happening in the Conejo, Santa Clarita, Antelope, San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys.

Tuesday in the Valley

California Entrepreneur Women, Inc. hosts its monthly networking dinner.

Local Group Pushes for Hike in Foreign Tech Worker Limits

The Los Angeles chapter of the American Electronics Association has taken an active role in trying to persuade federal lawmakers to increase the number of foreign workers allowed in high-tech jobs in the United States.

Semtech Restatement Plan Adds to Woes for Company

The Camarillo semiconductor company Semtech Corp. is dealt yet another blow.

Five Years Later: Remembering Sept. 11

The Business Journal contacted some local businesspeople and public officials to get their feelings on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Firm Gets Funds for Lou Gehrig Research

CytRx Corp., an L.A. drug maker with a director well known in the Valley business community, has received $24.5 million for Lou Gehrig's disease research.

French Connection

Turns out, the Original French Manicure was invented in Tarzana.

Terrorism Insurance More Popular Five Years After 9/11

Five years after Sept. 11, a report finds more companies are buying terrorism insurance.

Friday, September 8

Monday in the Valley

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Military Connection host the first annual Simi Valley Freedom Walk in observance of September 11.

Simi Valley City Director Resigns

Steve Elam will step down Sept. 22 as director of administrative services for Simi Valley, the city has announced.

Kurland Exits at Countrywide

Stanford Kurland, who has been with Countrywide Financial Corp. for 28 years, stepped down from his role as president and chief operating officer.

Comerica Continues Expansion

Comerica Bank plans to open 10 banking centers in California in the next six months.

Thursday, September 7

Housing Trust Reaches $1 Billion

The city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund, has yielded $1 billion since funding began in 2003, public officials said.

Friday in the Valley

The San Fernando Chamber of Commerce hosts its general membership luncheon.

Cherokee Net Rises

Cherokee Inc. reported net income rose 8 percent to $4.9 million or $0.56 per diluted share for the second quarter ended July 29 on revenues of $12.4 million.

Wednesday, September 6

Warner Creates Wireless Content Division

Warner Bros. Television Group this week launched Studio 2.0, a production venture to create content for broadband and wireless devices.

Thursday in the Valley

The law office of William C. Staley offers a seminar on offering stock to employees and other incentive programs.

Tuesday, September 5

Robbins Bros. Expands in Houston

CORRECTION: The new Robbins Bros. store in Houston is located near the Galleria, not in the Galleria as previously reported.

Home Prices Slow in Second Quarter

Home prices around the country registered their smallest gain in more than six years, according to a report just released by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight.

Wednesday in the Valley

The North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts its health and wellness networking cluster.

Friday, September 1

Union, City Reach Pact

Engineers & Architects Association officials and the city inked a deal Friday to keep key city workers on the job.

Weekend in the Valley

The Regional Black Chamber of Commerce San Fernando Valley hosts its annual Labor Day business expo and health street fair.

Location Shoot Insurance to be Handled by City

FilmL.A., the city-county agency that handles film permits for the region, will no longer process insurance for production companies shooting on location in Los Angeles.

Encino Clinic Closes

The Encino Wellness Center has shut down after its corporate parent terminated an agreement with the center's operator.

Fab Fourth for ISWest

Internet service provider ISWest landed for the fourth time on a list ranking the fastest growing technology companies in Southern California, the company announced Friday.