Stories for July 2007

Tuesday, July 31

Contract Talks Boosting Production

Negotiations with film and television writers may be behind a 21 percent increase in on-location production for the second quarter.

"Shrek" Delivers Big Profits for DreamWorks Animation

DreamWorks Animation reported a net income of $61.8 million for the second quarter, driven primarily by the big box office numbers of "Shrek the Third."

Shoe Pavilion Expects Loss

Shoe Pavilion Inc. said it expects to report a second quarter loss of about $1 million to $1.2 million or $0.10 to $0.12 per diluted share, compared to previous net income guidance in the range of $0.02 to $0.02 per share.

Monday, July 30

California Oaks State Bank to Open in Simi

California Oaks State Bank said today it plans to open a permanent Simi Valley branch in April, 2008.

Name Change for Battery Maker

Battery manufacturer Zinc Matrix Power has changed its name to ZPower Inc. to better promote its brand recognition, the company announced.

VICA Scolds Lawmakers For Late Budget

State lawmakers need to make more effort to adopt a new budget, now more than four weeks behind the mandated deadline, the Valley Industry & Commerce Association said on Monday.

ValueClick Revises Full Year Forecast

ValueClick Inc. downgraded its revenue and earnings estimates for full year 2007 after missing revenue estimates for the second quarter.

Friday, July 27

Santa Clarita Hotels Rank in Top 5

Santa Clarita ranked among the top five hotel markets in the Los Angeles area for May 2007, according to a report by PKF Consulting.

Sylmar Council Rescinds Support of Hospital Expansion

The Sylmar Neighborhood Council has withdrawn its support for a $146 million expansion project at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.

Americas United Reports

Americas United Bank reported assets grew to $56.6 million in the second quarter, up from $34.4 million at year end, 2006.

Biofuels Maker CEO Resigns

Joel Balbien has resigned as CEO of Kreido Biofuels Inc., a Camarillo manufacturer of a device used in making biofuels.

Thursday, July 26

Profits Jump for Ixia

Ixia reported a net income gain of nearly 50 percent for the second quarter compared with a year ago.

Restructuring Leads to Net Loss for Power-One

Restructuring charges contributed to a net loss of $11 million in the second quarter for Power-One Inc., the company reported.

Teledyne Income Climbs in Q2

Teledyne Technologies Inc. had a 16 percent increase in net income for the second quarter when compared with the previous year, the company announced.

Planning Commission Approves Holy Cross Expansion

The Los Angeles City Planning Commission voted unanimously July 26 to approve the South Addition project at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.

K-Swiss Earnings Plummet

K-Swiss reported earnings plummeted in the second quarter of 2007 to $7.7 million or $0.22 per diluted share compared with earnings of $20.3 million or $0.58 per diluted share in the comparable period a year ago.

Wednesday, July 25

Dole Denies Antitrust Violation

European antitrust authorities have alleged violations by a subsidiary of Dole Food Company Inc.

Restaurant Chains Beat Expectations

Earnings at IHOP Corp. and The Cheesecake Factory, the San Fernando Valley's largest restaurant companies, both beat analyst's expectations for the second quarter of the year.

Mobile Content Producer Chooses New Accounting Firm

The board of directors of CinemaElectric Inc. chose Hawkins Accounting as the firm's new independent accountants, the company announced.

Disney Snuffs Out Film Smoking

The Walt Disney Co. will eliminate smoking in its Disney-branded films the first major studio to make such a move, according to news reports.

Area Residents Struggle to Find Health Care: Study

A study of healthcare needs in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys found that residents continue to face challenges having their health needs met.

$15 Million Contract for Teledyne Subsidiary

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. received a $15 million military contract to develop infrared sensor missile warning and defense applications, the Thousand Oaks-based company announced.

MRV Narrows Net Loss for Q2

MRV Communications Inc. narrowed its net loss for the second quarter compared with the previous year, according to financial statements released Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 24

Countrywide Earnings Fall Sharply

Countrywide Financial Corp. reported earnings plummeted 33 percent in the second quarter to $485.1 million or $0.81 per share on a 15 percent revenue decline.

Wells Launches Mobile Consumer Banking Service

Wells Fargo announced the launching of Wells Fargo Mobile SM service, a mobile banking service.

Cherokee Announces Dividend

VAN NUYS Cherokee Inc.'s board of directors approved a quarterly dividend of $0.75 to shareholders of record on Sept. 1, 2007.

Orange Line Extension Meetings in Valley

Two public meetings will take place for Metro to hear comments on a proposed extension of the Orange Line busway.

MyNextDeal Aligns With Florida Journal

MyNextDeal.com, the search engine for commercial real estate listings, has inked a deal with Florida Real Estate Journal.

Monday, July 23

Have You Got Class? Take This Quiz

Have You Got Class? Take This Quiz. Our Changing Valley By Martin Cooper

Mosher Loses Another Fight Over Precision Dynamics

Mosher Loses Another Fight Over Precision Dynamics

Driving E-Commerce

DRIVING E-COMMERCE - Chuck Harris adds CEO to his duties at Camarillo-based Electronic Clearing House

Tech Changes Appeal to Youth

To gain a competitive edge, banks are tapping into different forms of technology, such as mobile banking and E-Deposit, geared toward the younger generation.

Benefits For Businesses in Expanded Enterprise Zone

Businesses in the San Fernando Valley and surrounding regions can now benefit from the expansion of the Los Angeles Enterprise Zone

$5 Million in Cuts at Youbet.com Inc.

Online wager firm Youbet.com Inc. will cut $5 million from its budget following a poor second quarter from two subsidiaries.

Local Auto Dealers Address Sales Dip in Different Ways

Local car dealerships react differently as vehicle sales slow.

The Top 25: Bankers Who Think Outside the Box

A look a the Top 25 Bankers of the San Fernando Valley

Cloudy Days No Match for Solar World Products

Solar module manufacturing company Solar World California sees its home state of California as a large market for its business.

VC Funding Increases Locally

Venture capital investment in the L.A. area rose to $459.2 million in the second quarter, up from $182.5 million for the second quarter of 2006, according to a report just released by Ernst & Young LLP and Dow Jones Venture One.

They're His Kind of Dogs

QT Chicago Dogs' owner Ali Esmail talks about the serious business of Chicago-style hot dogs in Los Angeles.

Delgadillo's Opinion Draws Reaction Over Panels' Roles

Delgadillo's Opinion Draws Reaction Over Panels' Roles

Fed Up and Heading to Idaho

Jim Glenn explains the reason for moving his manufacturing company Titan Spring & Wire Products, Inc. from California to Idaho.

Education an Effective Bank Marketing Tool

Clients and prospective clients are being offered financial literacy and mentoring services by banks.

Banking's Biggest Hurdle: Finding Skilled Employees

Banks are struggling to hire people who have the right skills for the workplace.

Westfield Takes Forward-Thinking Approach

Senior Reporter Shelly Garcia writes about The Village at Westfield Topanga and the time it'll take for the project to get off the ground.

Gray Water Makes Clear Sense for Conservation

Gray Water Makes Clear Sense for Conservation. As Much as 80 Percent of Residential Waste Water Could Be Diverted From Sewers to Fulfill a Multitude of Needs

Process of Picking Top Valley Bankers

Process of Picking Top Valley Bankers. Commentary by SFVBJ Editor, Jason Schaff

Times Officials Confront Coverage Issues in the Valley

Staff Reporter Mark Madler reports on a meeting of the Valley Alliance of Neighborhood Councils and the news coverage of the Los Angeles Times.

Better Climate for Institutions

A flattening of the inverted yield curve has improved the banking climate relieving banks of some pressure.

AROUND THE VALLEYS

Community History Recalled in Book. A look at the people, places and things that make our valleys tick.

Webcasters Dodge Dead Air, Receive Royalty Reprieve

With a possible increase in music royalty rates, online music stations could close down.

New Chancellor for L.A. Community College District

Los Angeles Community College District welcomes back former chancellor Mark Drummond who leaves his current position in Sacramento as chancellor of the California Community College District.

Friday, July 20

CUB Posts First Profit

California United Bank posted net income for the first time in the second quarter ended June 30.

Western Commercial Reports Second Quarter

Western Commercial Bank said its assets rose to $62.3 million for second quarter of 2007.

Interlink Receives $5 Million in Funding

Interlink Electronics Inc. completed the sale of $5 million in convertible notes and warrants to a group of investors, the company announced.

Zenith Says Class Action Suit Has No Merit

A class action suit reportedly filed against Zenith National Insurance Corp, was without merit and the company said it intends to defend the litigation vigorously.

Thursday, July 19

Amgen Acquires Ilypsa

Amgen announced the completion of its acquisition of Ilypsa, a private company developing non-absorbed drugs for renal disorders.

Equity Firm Invests in Precision Dynamics; Faces Lawsuit

A Chicago equity firm has invested $75 million in wristband identification manufacturer Precision Dynamics Corp., giving it controlling interest in the company.

Shopping Search Service

Fashion Square and Westfield Topanga have launched a search service that allows shoppers to check on the availability of items at the mall by phone or through the Internet.

Hospital Addition Goes Before Neighborhood Council

The Pacoima Neighborhood Council will conduct a 30-day study of the environmental report for a new 101-bed patient care building at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.

The Valley's Top 25 Bankers

The following were recognized as the Top 25 Bankers in the Valley by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal:

Wednesday, July 18

Home Sales Lowest in Years

California home sales in June sunk to their lowest levels since 1995, according to data released by DataQuick Information Systems.

KKR Said to Be Eyeing Macy's

Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts Co. is mulling the purchase of Macy's Inc. for about $24 billion, according to reports in Women's Wear Daily.

Foundation Opens New Medical Facility

A new state of the art therapy and wellness center for aging entertainment workers opened Wednesday in Woodland Hills.

Deal Reached Between Grocery Chains, Workers

A strike by supermarket employees in Southern California appeared to be avoided following a deal between the union and three grocery chains, media reports said.

Tuesday, July 17

Westfield Sets Plans for New Warner Center Project

Fresh from its hugely successful remake of the Topanga mall, Westfield Corp. Inc. is undertaking an even larger redevelopment in Warner Center.

Passengers Evacuated After Security Breach

Several hundred passengers had to be re-screened at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank Tuesday morning after a passenger entered the terminal without being properly screened.

Orange Line Extension Meetings Planned

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hear public comments on the draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed northern extension of the Metro Orange Line.

Amgen Acquires Alantos

Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology firm Amgen announced the completion of its acquisition of Alantos, a private company that develops drugs for diabetes and inflammatory illnesses, is complete.

Landfill Gas Project Sold to GE Investing Firm

The energy investing unit of General Electric acquired a majority interest in a Glendale landfill used to produce energy, the company announced.

Monday, July 16

DynaPump Receives $12 Million in Funding

Three energy technology funds ponied up a $12 million investment in a Northridge manufacturer of lift systems used in the oil and gas industry.

ValueClick Acquiring Comparison Shopping Sites

ValueClick Inc. added to its comparison shopping segment with the acquisition of MeziMedia Inc., operator of two websites, the company announced.

IHOP to Buy Applebee's

IHOP corp. has agreed to acquire Applebee's International Inc. for about $2.1 billion.

Business Alliance Program to Begin in Santa Clarita

The City of Santa Clarita Sheriff's station has launched a new service to provide training programs for local businesses.

Friday, July 13

Retail Sales Off Dramatically in June

A day after chain store retailers reported modest sales growth in June, broader spending data from the Commerce Dept. revealed the biggest drop in retail sales in almost two years.

Neighborhood Councils Can Appeal Land Use Entitlements

The Los Angeles city attorney's office determined this week the city's municipal code may be changed to allow neighborhood councils to administratively appeal land use decisions.

Disney Interactive Touts New Offerings

A new interactive gaming community was announced by Disney Interactive Studios at the E3 Media & Business Summit taking place this week in Santa Monica.

NBC Flying With Virgin America

NBC Universal television shows and films were added in the lineup available to passengers through the in-flight entertainment system on Virgin America.

Thursday, July 12

June Sales Better Than Expected

With 47 chain stores reporting, retailers turned in a better than expected performance for the month of June, although most still remained under last year's growth levels.

Supervisors Approve Funding to Accelerate Water Plan

The Los Angeles Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a $450,000 plan to provide funding for the completion of the Antelope Valley Integrated Regional Water Management Plan.

United Adjusts Palmdale Flight Schedule

United Airlines adjusted its daily schedule of flights from LA/Palmdale Regional Airport so passengers can more easily make connecting flights in San Francisco.

IHOP Sales Rise in Second Quarter

IHOP Corp. reported same store sales rose 2.5 percent in the fiscal second quarter.

Wednesday, July 11

CEO Confidence Wanes

The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence Index fell in the second quarter of the year.

CEO Confidence Slides

CEOs have lost some confidence in the economy according to the latest poll by The Conference Board.

Retailers to Post Lackluster June Sales

Thomson Financial projections for same store sales in June show gains well below last year's.

Disney, Microsoft in Xbox Film Deal

The Walt Disney Co. announced this week striking a deal with Microsoft to offer feature films through the Xbox online video game service, the Associated Press reports.

Petre to Leave Providence Saint Joseph

Administrator's departure is effective next month.

Tuesday, July 10

First Commerce Earnings Rise 32 Percent

First Commerce Bancorp reported net income rose 32 percent to $932,000 for the second quarter ended June 30, compared with net income of $706,000 for the same period in 2006.

Ryland Expects Loss

Homebuilder Ryland Group Inc. said it expects to post a loss of $1.25 to $1.35 per share for the second quarter.

Correction:

A news item on the sale of Ronco Corp. (Hearing Set for Sale of Ronco, July 9, 2007) incorrectly attributed the creation of the Ginsu knife.

Chick Says City Must Prioritize Affordable Housing

City Controller Laura Chick called the shortage of affordable housing a crisis following the release of audits of the Los Angeles Housing Department.

Xirrus Co-Applicant for Wi-Fi-Related Patent

Xirrus Inc. has applied for a patent for its automated testing and self-healing capabilities of its long-range Wi-Fi products, the company announced.

Monday, July 9

Studio City Group Creates Award

Studio City Group Creates Award

Company Gets to Point B Without Corporate Offices

Point B Solutions Group hires locally so that consultants are more invested in the community.

Dispute Resolution Process Coming Under Scrutiny

A recent spate of employee-friendly decisions concerning alternative dispute resolution agreements provide a blueprint for employers.

Caruso Tenant Mix in Glendale Not the Usual

How Caruso Affiliated attracted a cream of the crop lineup of retailers for its upcoming center in Glendale.

Biotech Companies Not Looking to Locate in L.A.

Alfred Mann, granddad of the biotech industry, told BizBio Conference attendees more needs to be done to lure companies to the area.

Ventura County Small Companies Getting Support, Survey Finds

Ventura County Small Companies Getting Support, Survey Finds

CHAMBER REPORT - Valley Business Expo Attendance Higher

Valley Business Expo Attendance Higher. Greater SFV Chamber Brings Businesses, Vendors, Consumers Together for First Time

Multifamily Transactions Show Significant Decline

A new report finds that multifamily transactions are down dramatically in the Valley, Senior Reporter Shelly Garcia writes.

Cheesecake Sees Same Store Hike in Quarter

The Cheesecake Factory Inc.'s newer Grand Lux Caf & #233; division, helped drive revenues upward in the second quarter, the company said.

SBA Sets New Rules for Firms

As of June 30, new U.S. Small Business Administration regulations took effect requiring companies with federal contracts to recertify their size status as "small businesses."

Video Game Company Gets Funds From Six Firms

A Calabasas-based video game software company, Emergent Game Technologies, received $12 million in funding from six firms.

Mitigate Threats to Trade Secrets, Intellectual Property

Mitigate Threats to Trade Secrets, Intellectual Property. Don't Delay Implementation of Simple Protective Measures

Outlaw Subprime Lending?: It's Not Going to Happen

Outlaw Subprime Lending?: It's Not Going to Happen. Sector May Be Down, But Don't Count It Out Yet. Guest Column by William J. Battison

Software Firm's Income Doubles

Software Firm's Income Doubles

Valley at Mid-Year: Growth and Disparity

Editorial by SFVBJ Editor, Jason Schaff - Valley at Mid-Year: Growth and Disparity

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Hospitals and Homelessness. Letter to the Editor

Shoppers Just Can't Get Enough

Despite predictions to the contrary, consumers are still shopping 'till they drop.

Reining in California's Pension System

Column By Gregory N. Lippe, CPA, managing partner of Lippe, Hellie, Hoffer & Allison, LLP and Vice-chair of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association

Sun Valley Aerospace Firm Buys 2 More for $16 Million

Sheffield Manufacturing has acquired two companies to add to its product line and manufacturing power.

Institutional Investors Get In On Smaller Retail Centers

Why the trusts and wealthy individuals who once were the only buyers of community shopping centers are getting some new competition.

Wake Up and Smell the Business Tax Losses

Wake Up and Smell the Business Tax Losses

Valley Companies Attend Adult Trade Convention

Valley Companies Attend Adult Trade Convention

Metro Shorts Valley Employees, Diverts Funds to Other Areas

Metro Shorts Valley Employees, Diverts Funds to Other Areas

Furniture Retailers Hold Up Despite Housing Slowdown

The slowdown in home buying has not affected local home furnishings retailers as much as you might think.

Power-One Set To Cut 34 from Camarillo HQ

Power-One, Inc. will lay off 34 employees from its Camarillo headquarters this month as part of a plan to shave $20 million from its budget.

2Insure4Less.com Simplifies Questionnaire

Free online service 2Insure4Less.com shortened its insurance quote questionnaire to make the insurance shopping process easier for individuals seeking to compare insurance quotes.

Management Changes at Broadcaster

Christian broadcaster Salem Communications has made a number of management changes, but some stop short of calling it a shakeup.

Hearing Set for Sale of Ronco

Hearing Set for Sale of Ronco

Local Time Warner Employees Feted for Volunteerism

Local Time Warner Employees Feted for Volunteerism

Diodes Signs European Distribution Agreement

Diodes Inc. will distribute its semiconductors in Europe after signing an agreement with Silica, the company announced.

VALLEY BRIEFS

News briefs for the Valley

PROFILE - Changing Frequencies

Terocelo's Technology Adds Flexibility to Cell Phones

Chamber Briefs

Summaries of Chamber activities and progress around the Valley cities.

Family Business Background Gives Greuel Insight

The latest in a series of articles poses questions about how to improve the area business climate to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Wendy Greuel.

LA.Direct Taking Publication to Other Side of the Hill

Having succeeded in reaching its targeted readership in the San Fernando Valley, the team behind LA.Direct magazine is taking its publication to the other side of the hill, Staff Reporter Mark Madler learned.

Stars Will Shine at Valley Gala

A look at the people, places and things that make our valleys tick.

The Exuberance of Youth

What started out as an idea for a reality show became the backbone of an advertising business for two, twentysomething entrepreneurs.

Friday, July 6

Disney Game Studio Changes Name

Disney Interactive Studios has changed the name of its racing video game studio to Black Rock Studio from Climax Racing.

Thursday, July 5

Prices Flatten for Industrial Property

Prices for industrial properties in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County have flattened after climbing by about 90 percent in the years from 2002 to 2006, according to data just released by Colliers International.

Emergent Receives $12 Million in Funding

A Calabasas-based software company for the video game industry received $12 million in funding from six firms.

Tuesday, July 3

Disney Board Limits Shareholder Rights Plans

The Walt Disney Co. board of directors adopted a plan to limit shareholder rights plans to prevent hostile takeovers, the Associated Press has reported.

Granada Hills Chamber Approves Kohl's Plan

The Granada Hills Chamber of Commerce has given the green light to a proposal to redevelop the Granada Village Shopping Center with a Kohl's store as the anchor tenant.

Greuel Re-Elected as President Pro Tem

Councilmember Wendy Greuel was re-elected Tuesday as president pro tem of the Los Angeles City Council.

Monday, July 2

MRV Closes on Fiberxon Acquisition

MRV Communications, Inc. closed on its acquisition of Fiberxon, Inc. an optoelectronic module developer, the company said.

Metro Wins Top Honor Award

The Society for Environmental Graphic Design (SEDG) has awarded the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority with its Top Honor Award.

Nestle Completes Novartis Purchase

Nestle SA completed its $2.5 billion acquisition of Novartis Medical Nutrition.