Stories for May 2007

Thursday, May 31

DIC Launching Eloise Line

DIC Entertainment, Inc. added the girl's property Eloise to its line of products after being named as the exclusive global licensing agent, the company announced.

WellPoint CFO Resigns After Conduct Investigation

WellPoint Chief Financial Officer David C. Colby has been asked to resign, effective immediately, after an investigation concluded he violated the company's code of conduct.

La Salsa to Be Acquired by Baja Fresh Group

The owners of Baja Fresh Mexican Grill have reached an agreement to acquire La Salsa Fresh Mexican Grill restaurants from CKE Restaurants Inc.

Wednesday, May 30

Strix Wireless System in Use in Greece

A city in Greece will use equipment from Calabasas-based Strix Systems to deploy the first wireless system in that country, the company announced Wednesday.

Semtech Nets $7.9 Million in Income for Q1

Net income for semiconductor manufacturer Semtech Corp. dropped in the first quarter of fiscal 2008 when compared with the previous year.

Laser Firm Receives $9.5 Million in Funding

QPC Lasers, Inc. received an additional round of private financing in the amount of $9.5 million, the company announced Wednesday.

ValueClick Names New CEO

A senior manager at ValueClick, Inc. has been elevated to head the online marketing company.

Tuesday, May 29

Amgen to Appeal Opinion on Cancer Drug

Biotech giant Amgen will appeal the decision of a European committee over its cancer treatment drug Vectibix.

OCP Adds to Board of Directors

Optical Communications Products, Inc. will expand its board of directors with members representing its majority shareholder, the company announced Tuesday.

NBC Fires Entertainment Chief

Just months after signing a new contract, NBC Universal's top entertainment executive Kevin Reilly was fired by the struggling network, according to published media reports.

Santa Clarita to Apply for Grant to Increase Safety

The city of Santa Clarita will apply for a $35,545 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.

El Camino Adds Mexican Unit

El Camino Resources, through its El Camino Resources Mexico division, has acquired a Mexican regional leasing company, ABC Leasing, Mexico City.

Monday, May 28

Valley Jaycees Win Accolades

Valley Jaycees Win Accolades

Sorting Through Confusion in Valley Economy

Sorting Through Confusion in Valley Economy. Column by Jason Schaff, Editor of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal

Hospital Veteran Gets Valley Presbyterian Post

Hospital Veteran Gets Valley Presbyterian Post

Chatsworth Lab Taking New Products to Market

Vast Resources, well established in the adult novelty industry, is getting ready to launch a new unit, beauty supply company Basic Solutions.

Economic Summit Predicts Continued Job Growth, Falling Housing Prices

Economic Summit Predicts Continued Job Growth, Falling Housing Prices

Antelope Valley Jobs Study Surprises Some Officials

A survey has found that nearly half of the workers in the Antelope Valley commute into the area from other places.

Road Warrior

Connie Worden Roberts has garnered the nickname road warrior for her efforts to keep Santa Clarita's roadways accessible as the population grows.

Santa Clarita No. 3 in Safety

Santa Clarita No. 3 in Safety

Attitudes Don't Follow Economic Forecast

Lack of space, the high cost of doing business, problems with the labor pool and red tape were among the issues that Valley business people lamented at the recent Economic Summit.

Buyers Pay $92 Million for NoHo Lofts

J.H. Snyder Co. has sold its Lofts project for $92 million.

Northridge Fashion Center Helps Habitat for Humanity

Northridge Fashion Center Helps Habitat for Humanity

College's Program Boosts New Market

College's Program Boosts New Market

MTA, Metrolink Fare Hikes Could Cost Employers

MTA, Metrolink Fare Hikes Could Cost Employers.

AROUND THE VALLEYS

Real estate veteran Mike Zugsmith opens On Deck for those who need a little batting practice; Mayor Villaraigosa presides as grand marshal at Canoga Park's Memorial Day parade; Pacoima's new credit union holds its grand opening and other local area events

Palmdale Bets Airport Will Take Off

United Airlines next month begins daily service between Palmdale and San Francisco in the latest effort to put the Antelope Valley airport to work.

Disaster Preparedness: Not Just for Big Businesses

Disaster Preparedness: Not Just for Big Businesses. Plan Now to Protect Critical Data, Keep Operations Humming

Think of Yourself As a Talent Scout in Almost Anyplace

Think of Yourself As a Talent Scout in Almost Anyplace. Guest Column by Joel Block

Natrol Taking Global View

Chatsworth vitamin and supplement maker Natrol Inc. has inked a deal to distribute in China where, the company says, there is a long traditional of herbal medicine.

Truck Sales Down, Luxury Brands and Fuel Sippers Racing Off the Lot

Gas prices may be going through the roof, but that's not what's to blame for soft auto sales, dealers say.

Retirement Hotel Sold

A Burbank senior residence is going through a major renovation after being acquired by senior housing operator Vincal Senior Housing LLC.

Former Newhall Exec to Head CB North LA Region

Former Newhall Land executive James E. Brown will head the L.A. North region of CB Richard Ellis, Senior Reporter Shelly Garcia writes.

Alarcon Has Ambitious Plan For Northeast Valley Growth

The Business Journal sits down with City Councilman Richard Alarcon to get his ideas on improving the business environment in the Valley.

Low Vacancy Rates, Higher Rents Predicted for Valley

Low Vacancy Rates, Higher Rents Predicted for Valley. Industrial, Retail at a Premium; Residential Lending Tightens

Valley Businesses as Diverse as Population

Valley Businesses as Diverse as Population. Guest column by Martin M. Cooper

Compiling Online Video a Blast for Agoura Hills Firm

Compiling Online Video a Blast for Agoura Hills Firm. Firm Gets Most Visitors When Big Events Occur

Gov. Increases Career Tech Funds in Proposed Budget

A budget proposal will add $52 million for career technical education programs to better prepare students to enter the workforce.

Countrywide Latches Onto Trend of Reverse Mortgages

An impending surge in the population of retirees is fueling a demand for reverse mortgages, and Countrywide Financial Corp. is the latest to oblige.

Swinging for a Hole in One

Golftec uses High-tech lessons to help hackers lower handicaps

Friday, May 25

Deatsdesign Receives Small Business Award

The United Chambers of Commerce recently held an awards ceremony to make sure that small business owners get the respect they deserve.

Thursday, May 24

Metro Board Approves Fare Hike

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority Board of Directors approved Thursday an increase in fares for bus and train service beginning in July of next year.

CRA Obtains Approval to Redevelop Northeast San Fernando Valley

Seventh District Councilman Richard Alarc & #243;n won approval Wednesday for his motion to have the Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles create a master plan for the continued redevelopment of the Northeast San Fernando Valley.

Big Boost in New Home Sales as Prices Plummet

The pace of new home sales across the country soared in April while the median price dropped at a record rate.

College of the Canyons Sells $80 Million in Bonds

College of the Canyons received nearly $80 million this month from the sale of general obligation bonds.

Dell to Sell Through Wal-Mart

Dell Inc. will break its longstanding tradition of building and selling its personal computers directly to consumers and begin distributing through Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the company said.

Businessman Pleads Guilty in Tax Case

The former owner of a Valencia aerospace company faces up to 5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to taking part in a $20 million tax fraud scheme.

Krekorian Chairs Runaway Production Committee

State Assemblyman Paul Krekorian was named as chairman of the new Select Committee on Preservation of California's Entertainment Industry.

Wednesday, May 23

Santa Clarita Offering New Shuttle Service to L.A.

Santa Clarita's Transit Department will offer a new mid-day service to and from Union Station in downtown Los Angeles starting June 4.

NY Attorney General Subpoenas Amgen

Thousand Oaks-based pharmaceutical maker Amgen Inc. received a subpoena from the New York Attorney General's Office earlier this month requesting documents related to its promotional and sales and marketing activities.

SEC Eases Sarbanes-Oxley Requirements

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved revisions to Sarbanes-Oxley rules that are expected to ease somewhat the internal controls required to guard against fraud, according to an Associated Press report.

Youbet Hits Preakness Wager Record

Wagers for the Preakness hit a record $4.4 million at online wagering site Youbet.com, the company announced.

IRIS Shuts 3D Tech Subsidiary

No longer eligible to receive federal grants for its research, IRIS International, Inc. closed down its Advanced Digital Imaging Research subsidiary.

Target Net Rises 18 Percent

Despite recent indications that consumer spending may be slowing, Target Corp. today reported earnings rose 18 percent to $651 million or $0.75 per share for the quarter ended May 5, compared to net income of $554 million or $0.63 per share during the com

Tuesday, May 22

Engine Technology Firm Receives New Venture Funding

Transonic Combustion, Inc. received a second round of venture funding to continue its research of developing more efficient vehicle engines.

MyNextDeal Adds CIMLS Listings

MyNextDeal.com, a vertical search engine for commercial real estate listings, has inked a deal with the Commercial Investment Multiple Listing Service (CIMLS).

FTC Looking Into Some ValueClick Practices

The Federal Trade Commission has launched an inquiry over ValueClick Inc.'s lead generation practices, ValueClick reported.

THQ Issues Cars Video Game for PlayStation2

THQ Inc. has issued the "Cars" video game based on the Disney/Pixar film for PlayStation2.

Sales Tax in Santa Clarita Makes Gain During Fourth Quarter of 2006

Sales tax revenue generated by the holiday shopping season in Santa Clarita increased by just more than 1 percent when compared with the previous year, the city reported Tuesday.

Monday, May 21

EST to Distribute Product in China

Company's zNose product is able to analyze the chemistry of any odor or vapor in 10 seconds through high-speed gas chromatography.

City of Burbank Issues First Tobacco Retailers License

Law designed to help better control sales of tobacco products to minors.

Friday, May 18

Amgen Urging Stockholder to Reject Mini-Tender Offer

Biotech firm Amgen advised its stockholders to not tender their shares in response to an unsolicited mini-tender offer by TRC Capital Corp.

Dole Settles Antitrust Lawsuits

The Dole Food Co. has settled two class action antitrust lawsuits involving it and two other banana companies, the company announced.

Court: No Quick Trial on OCP

A chancery court judge denied a request by Oplink Communications to expedite its lawsuit challenging a "poison pill" provision by Optical Communications Products to protect its minority shareholders from a buyout.

Soil Company Completes Successful Field Tests

American Soil Technologies, Inc. completed the first stage of initial tests of two agricultural products they say are showing promise in the potato growing industry.

Easton Sees Profit After Acquisition

Easton-Bell Sports reported net income rose to $1.3 million on revenues of $174.6 million for the first quarter ended Mar. 31, compared with a net loss of $7.7 million on revenues of $111.2 million for the comparable period a year ago.

Thursday, May 17

New Vehicle Registration Drops by 7 Percent

High fuel prices, high consumer debt and a suffering residential housing market are to blame for a 7 percent decline of new-car and light-truck registrations during the first quarter of 2007, compared to the same period a year earlier.

THQ Buying Back $25 Million in Stock

Video game publisher THQ, Inc. will buy back $25 million of its common stock on the open market and in private transactions, the company announced.

No Relief in Housing Affordability

The percentage of households able to afford a home in Los Angeles County fell even further in the first quarter of 2007, according to data just released by the California Association of Realtors.

Wednesday, May 16

Energy Storage Maker Receives $4.5 Million Contract

Clean energy storage system manufacturer Pentadyne Power Corp. received a $4.5 million order for use of its products for homeland security purposes.

Glendale Adventist Patients Get Wired

Glendale Adventist Medical Center has teamed up with Novell and IBM to provide computer services with Internet access to their patients and patients' families.

QPC Narrows Loss

QPC Lasers Inc., a developer of high power semiconductor lasers in Sylmar, reported a net loss of $2.4 million or $0.06 per diluted share for the three months ended March 31 on revenues of $1.1 million.

Hows Market Opens in NoHo

The grand opening ceremony was held today for Hows Market's newest location at 5300 Lankershim Blvd. in the NoHo Arts District.

Nextera Reports Quarterly Loss

Nextera Enterprises Inc. reported a net loss of $1.3 million or $0.03 per diluted share for the first quarter ended Mar. 31 compared to a net loss of $700,000 or $0.02 per share for the comparable period in 2006.

Tuesday, May 15

Deal Makes 21st Century Insurance an AIG Subsidiary

The 21st Century Insurance Group Board of Directors unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement with American International Group, Inc. that will make 21st Century a wholly-owned subsidiary of AIG.

Interlink Posts Income Loss in Q1

Remote electronic equipment manufacturer Interlink Electronics, Inc, reported a net income loss of $2.5 million for its first quarter.

OCP Reports Net Loss in Q2

Optical Communications Products, Inc. reported a net loss of $17 million for the second quarter of its fiscal year, the company announced.

Jim Warren, 59, COO of BRC Imagination Arts

Jim Warren, who oversaw the daily operations of museum exhibit designer BRC Imagination Arts, died May 12 from cancer. He was 59.

Sport Chalet Opens Two More Stores

Sport Chalet Inc. this week holds grand opening ceremonies for two stores in Bakersfield and Phoenix.

Disney Sprints to Mobile Video Deal

The Walt Disney Co. will make available programming from its television divisions to mobile customers of Sprint, the company announced Tuesday.

Monday, May 14

'Star Wars,' Lucas Firm Born in Van Nuys Warehouse

A look at the launch of Industrial Light & Magic in Van Nuys

Fire Mountain to Bottle Bionic Energy Drinks

Fire Mountain Beverage Company has signed a joint marketing and distribution agreement with water and beverage technology developer Bionic Products, Inc.

Santa Clarita Valley Jaycees Named Top Chapter in U.S.

The Santa Clarita Jaycees made it their business to build a home in Mexico for a family in need, one of the reasons the group has been named the top chapter in the country.

Chiang to Speak at Economic Summit

State Controller John Chiang administers $300 billion in state pension funds.

Santa Clarita Launches Black Business Committee

The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce has launched an initiative to promote minority-owned businesses.

Mosaic Capital Moves to Westside

Mosaic Capital, one of a very few investment banking firms founded in the Valley, is moving to Century City.

Simi Tourism Guide Published

A trip to Mexico, a tourism guide for Simi Valley and other happenings throughout the valley chambers.

VALLEY STOCK WATCH

Stock activity for 50 selected greater San Fernando Valley-based public companies: Bi-Weekly Top Gainers, Losers; The Valley 50 Stock Index; 52-week Performance

Keeping With Tradition

Les Sisters in Chatsworth has the notable distinction of reaching its 21st birthday this month, rare among restaurants.

New Oaks Theater Gets The Glamour Treatment

Mann Theatres' newest multiplex in Thousand Oaks will be an adults-only venue providing a lounge, plush seating and grownup food like sushi.

The Basics of Fixing Workforce Problems

The Basics of Fixing Workforce Problems. Column by Jason Schaff, editor of the San Fernand Valley Business Journal

K-Swiss Slips As Fashion Trends Shift

K-Swiss Classic, a white tennis shoe, has lost some of its kick lately.

Disney Donates $1 Million

Disney Donates $1 Million... This regular feature focuses on philanthropic activities by Valley-area companies and businesspeople.

He Takes 3D Into New Cinematic Era

He Takes 3D Into New Cinematic Era

Poster Elected President of Cinematographers Guild

Director of Photography Steven Poster was elected president of Local 600, the International Cinematographers Guild.

VALLEY TALK

News briefs for the week

A Healthcare Premium Funding Proposal

A Healthcare Premium Funding Proposal. Column by Gregory N. Lippe, managing partner of CPA firm of Lippe, Hellie, Hoffer & Allison

Unico American Corp. Reports Revenue, Net Income Losses

Unico American Corp. reported a drop in income for the first quarter, the company announced.

Welding Firm Expands in Burbank

Al's Ironworks has acquired a 3,750-square-foot industrial building in Burbank to expand its welding and design business.

Local CBS Stations Now Send Out Sports, News in Digital

Two CBS-owned news stations now broadcasting out of Studio City are among just a few local stations broadcasting in digital.

Cheesecake Exec Exercises Options

Calabasas Hills-based The Cheesecake Factory Inc. reported today that its general counsel Debby R. Zurzolo exercised options for 5,000 common stock shares last week.

Four Bidders Emerge for Troubled Sun Valley Property

Four Bidders Emerge for Troubled Sun Valley Property

'This Call May Be Recorded' by Camarillo Company

A look behind VIP Inc., the company behind many of those calls that may be recorded for quality assurance.

Energy Independence Found in Solar-Electrical Vehicles

Area companies including Solar Electrical Vehicles and Pace are out in front of trends in their industries.

Governor Seeks Healthcare Reform Input from Business

Governor Seeks Healthcare Reform Input from Business

AROUND THE VALLEYS

A business-style makeover at the Sherman Oaks Galleria tops the events in and around the valleys.

Pursuing Path of Paperlessness

Allen Lund Co. hopes to gain a competitive advantage by eliminating most of its paperwork.

Oplink Files Suit Over OCP Buyout Delay Tactics

Optical Communications Products Inc. is being sued after it moved to delay a potential buyout.

Server Blades and Virtualization? It's All About Money

Server Blades and Virtualization? It's All About Money. Key Information, Others Look to Inform Businesses

Ruling Leaves Employers Vulnerable on Rest Periods

Ruling Leaves Employers Vulnerable on Rest Periods. Column by Richard Rosenberg

Charter Aircraft Offers Elite Level of Service

At Elite Aviation, the relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction means providing continual training for employees.

San Diego Train Line Installs Strix Wireless System

The North County Transit District of San Diego installed indoor and outdoor wireless networks from Strix Systems, the company announced.

Neighborhood Councils Could Get Greater Clout

Neighborhood councils could become far more powerful if a motion to give them the ability to appeal projects in their areas is approved.

Friday, May 11

Smoking Added as Criteria for Film Ratings

The glamorizing of smoking will now be considered when a rating is given to feature films, the Motion Picture Association of America announced.

DTS Misses Deadline for Q1 Financials

Spinning off its digital cinema business contributed to DTS, Inc. missing the deadline for filing first quarter financial statements, the company said Friday.

Guitar Center Board Reelected

Guitar Center Inc. said today that its stockholders have reelected its nine member board for the coming year.

Thursday, May 10

Crown Posts Income Loss for Q1

Crown Media Holdings narrowed its income loss for the first quarter, according to financial reporting documents released Thursday.

THQ Ends Fiscal Year With Profit

Video game publisher THQ, Inc. doubled its profits for its just completed fiscal year when compared with the previous year, the company announced Thursday.

Aviation Veteran Named to Head LAWA

The former aviation director of the Seattle area airport was named Thursday as the new chief of Los Angeles World Airports.

Weak April for Retailers

An early Easter, rising gas prices and a weak housing market pulled down April sales for nearly all retailers and softened the near term outlook.

Wednesday, May 9

United Online CFO Stepping Down

United Online President and Chief Financial Officer Charles Hilliard announced his resignation Wednesday from the company effective at the end of the month.

Caruso to Open East Coast Office

Retail developer Caruso Affiliated is opening a New York operation to expand its relationships with retailers and fashion houses, the company said.

THQ Buys Gaming Studio in Finland

Video game publisher THQ, Inc. acquired a Finnish mobile gaming development studio, the company announced Wednesday.

Interest Income Declines at Beverly Hills Bancorp

Beverly Hills Bancorp Inc. reported net income of $2.6 million or $0.14 per diluted share for the three months ended March 31, 2007, compared with earnings of $2.5 million or $0.12 per diluted share for the comparable period in 2006.

Amgen Stockholders Re-elect Board Members

Amgen stockholder attending the company's annual meeting overwhelmingly re-elected four directors to the bio-tech firm's board.

Warner Bros. Cancels Canadian Screenings to Fight Piracy

Warner Bros. Pictures cancelled all screenings of its films in Canada to prevent pirating of the films through the use of camcorders, the company announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 8

Shoe Pavilion Reports Loss

Shoe Pavilion Inc. lost $1.2 million or $0.13 per diluted share in the first quarter ended March 31, compared to earnings of $206,000 or $0.03 per share in the same period a year ago.

InnoZen Acquired by Supplement Maker

Edible film strips manufacturer InnoZen, Inc. has been acquired by a New York company in a deal worth about $40 million.

Disney Posts Strong Profit for Q2

The Walt Disney Co. reported strong operating results across all its business units for the second quarter resulting in a 27 percent increase in net income, the company announced.

Warner Bros. Television Shows Go Online in Joost Deal

Warner Bros. Television Group entered into an exclusive agreement to provide programming to Internet television service Joost, the company announced.

Radio Ad Auction Firm Expands to United Kingdom

Reverse auction firm Bid4Spots has expanded its marketplace for radio airtime to the United Kingdom, the company announced.

Cheesecake Gets New Director

The Cheesecake Factory has named Agnieszka Winkler to its board of directors.

Monday, May 7

Zaentz, Warner Extend Home Video Distribution Deal

High definition versions of Oscar winners "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Amadeus" see release next year following an extension of a distribution deal between producer Saul Zaentz and Warner Home Video.

Industrial Outlook Tight

The more than 1.5 million square feet of industrial space added in the greater San Fernando Valley last year does not seem to have made a dent in the availability crunch in the region.

Guitar Center Earnings Rise Nearly 10 Percent

Guitar Center Inc. today reported net income rose to $17.2 million or $0.57 per share for the first quarter ended March 31 on revenues of $534.5 million.

Friday, May 4

Shoe Pavilion CFO Steps Down

The chief financial officer of Shoe Pavilion Inc. has announced his plans to step down later this month.

Thursday, May 3

THQ in 'Big Huge' Deal

Video game publisher THQ Inc. will develop a role-playing game in conjunction with Big Huge Games to be released in 2009, the company announced.

ValueClick Profits Soar for First Quarter

ValueClick, Inc. more than doubled its net income compared to a year ago, according to financial statements released Thursday.

Diodes Income Up Despite Drop in Asia Sales

Semiconductor manufacturer Diodes, Inc. reported a 40 percent increase in revenues for the first quarter despite lower sales in the Asian market.

Judge: Santa Susana Field Lab Cleaning Inadequate

A U.S. District Court Judge ruled Wednesday that a plan to clean up part of the Santa Susana Field Lab in Simi Valley violates a federal law and ordered an environmental review before it is deemed safe.

Wednesday, May 2

Time Warner Income Drops in Q1

Lower home video sales contributed to a 1 percent decrease in revenues in filmed entertainment, Time Warner Inc. said Wednesday.

CUB Growth Continues

California United Bank reported its assets reached $199.8 million as of March 31, up 12 percent from $178.3 million as of Dec. 31, 2006.

Net, Revenues Rise for PS Business Parks

PS Business Parks saw a modest rise in net income to $5.9 million or $0.27 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31, up from $5.1 million or $0.23 per diluted share in the year ago period.

Crown Reups With Cable Cooperative

Studio City-based Crown Media Holdings Inc. renewed an agreement with the National Cable Television Cooperative, the company announced Wednesday.

Blue Cross of California Honored for Outreach Efforts

Blue Cross of California has been honored by its corporate parent for two community outreach programs last year.

Former Bermite Site Owners to Pay $100 Million for Clean Up

The owners of the contaminated Bermite plant site in Santa Clarita have agreed to pay $100 million to clean up the property as part of a settlement deal struck Wednesday.