Stories for October 2007

Wednesday, October 31

U.S. HealthWorks Makes Acquisition

U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group acquired Trinity Occupational Health in Turlock.

"Shrek" Brings in Green for DreamWorks Animation

The international box office receipts for "Shrek the Third" helped drive profits to $47 million for the third quarter for DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.

Deadline Looms for Writers Guild Contract

Representatives of the Writers Guild of America and the major studios met with a federal mediator in negotiations over a new contract.

Tuesday, October 30

Applebee's Stockholders Approve IHOP Merger

Restaurant chain will be subsidiary of IHOP

Monday, October 29

State Faces 'Astronomical' Shortage of Auto Techs

With automotive technicians approaching retirement age and opportunities for automotive training drying up in the Valley, area insiders in the field are concerned about the industry's future here.

County Board Backs Hospital Expansion

County Board Backs Hospital Expansion

Gov. Schwarzenegger Aids Small Businesses Affected by Wildfires

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has directed the Employment Development Department to extend payroll tax deadlines by up to 60 days for small businesses hit hardest by the wildfires.


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; Market Summary / Indexes

Development Head Hitts Leaving Post

Development Head Hitts Leaving Post

Around the Valleys

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

Buff Up Auto Resale Value With Paint, Detailing

Buff Up Auto Resale Value With Paint, Detailing

Health Net: "Good" HMO Report Card

Health Net: "Good" HMO Report Card

Out of the Film Can and Into the Music Box

In the hills above Calabasas, Joel Goodman and Dan Stein play their part in shedding the old image of production music as cheap and throwaway.

Buy-In By Employees Seen As Crucial to Companies

Buy-In By Employees Seen As Crucial to Companies

Sun Valley Plan A Realistic Approach

Jason Schaff says the Sun Valley redevelopment plan can be a model for the entire Valley.

Hybrid Cars Now Available In All Shapes and Sizes

The hybrid vehicle industry continues to grow rapidly.

Pressing On

The fourth publisher of the Daily News in a year, Douglas Hanes vows commitment to the Valley community as well as a focus on growing the newspaper's online and niche publication products.

Christmas in October? Retailers Say Not So

Christmas in October? Retailers Say Not So

Sun Valley Plan Would Repurpose Land

A recently released plan attempts to lay out a strategy for redeveloping Sun Valley.

Conflict Can Be Used to Help Some Firms Grow

Conflict Can Be Used to Help Some Firms Grow

Red Cross Donations Accepted at ATMs

Wells Fargo Bank will accept donations for the American Red Cross at its ATMs throughout Southern California.

Laser Firm Receives $750,000 Contract

QPC Lasers Inc. was awarded a $750,000 contract for high power fiber laser pump engines for a major U.S. defense customer.

Sub-Par Thinking on Sub-Prime Loans

Marty Cooper discusses the underlying problems with sub-prime loans.

Storage Products Sale Finalized

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. completed the $63 million sale of a portion of its storage products business.

Warner Celebrates Eighty Years of 'Quiet on the Set'

Mark Madler writes about Warner Bros.' celebration of 80 years of sound in movies.

Executives Relate War Stories of Hiring Workers

Executives Relate War Stories of Hiring Workers

Companies Present Alternatives at Transportation Expo

The AltCar Expo brings transportation options to local residents.

Despite National Statistics, Valley Strip Malls Still Strong

What's the future for Valley strip malls?

'Alternative' is the Key Word for Auto Industry

Burbank finds itself at the center of a large-scale test of alternative fuel cross-over sport utility vehicles

Tax Battle Put on Back Burner

Tax Battle Put on Back Burner. VCs Get a Break, but Worry About 2008

Accept No Substitute

Ira Lapides got his start at Replacement Parts Industries (RPI) when he was a boy, folding and stuffing envelopes for just 1 cent per parcel. Today, he is president and CEO of the company.

State Auto Sales Down, Rebound Possible by 2009

California automakers expected to rebound from a sales slump.


Valley Businesspeople in the news, on the move...

October Disasters A Major Test for Local Businesses

The I-5 tunnel tragedy and Santa Clarita wildfires bring trouble for businesses.

Great Leaders Aren't Necessarily Great Managers

Great Leaders Aren't Necessarily Great Managers


Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

Warner Bros. Goes Green

Warner Bros. helps students and the environment at the same time.

Moving Up: Making The Leap to Executive

Attitude is the No. 1 thing hiring managers are looking for.

Giving Each Person a Role Important in Teambuilding

Giving Each Person a Role Important in Teambuilding

Friday, October 26

Ground Broken on Disney Cancer Center

A groundbreaking ceremony was held for Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center's Roy and Patricia Disney Cancer Center Oct 25.

No Stockpiling in Film, TV Production

Overall on-location filming dropped 6.5 percent in Los Angeles for the third quarter.

Billion Dollar Loss for Countrywide

The downturn in the lending industry has led Countrywide Financial to post its first quarterly loss in 25 years.

Thursday, October 25

United Online Gains in Profits

Net income increased slightly for Internet and media services provider United Online Inc. in the third quarter.

Consolidation cuts into Power-One Profits

The closure of domestic and overseas plants contributed to a net loss for Power-One Inc. in the third quarter.

Teledyne Profits Rise in 3Q

Teledyne Technologies Inc. saw a drop in sales for aircraft engines and commercial and government purchases of its hydrogen generators for the third quarter.

Ixia Net Income Drops in Q3

Net income dropped 76 percent in the third quarter for Ixia when compared with the previous year.

Disney Pledges $2 Million in Fire Aid

The Walt Disney Co. pledged $2 million in aid toward relief efforts for victims of the recent wildfires in Southern California.

Wednesday, October 24

Red Cross Seeking Blood Donors

With wildfires canceling American Red Cross blood drives throughout Southern California, donors are being sought in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Restructuring Costs Hurt Amgen Profits

Write offs related to restructuring and the acquisition of two pharmaceutical companies led net income to plummet by 82 percent for bio-tech giant Amgen.

Counterfeit Troll Leads to Lawsuit

DIC Entertainment alleged in a federal lawsuit that its Trollz doll brand has been harmed by illegal knockoffs.

Credit Union Offers Loan Program for Fire Victims

Matadors Community Credit Union is offering a low-rate, no-fee Fire Relief Loan to victims of recent fires.

Tuesday, October 23

Debate Expected on Mortgage Bill

Democrats introduced on Monday a bill that would tighten mortgage lending standards to help avoid the mortgage meltdown of foreclosures and defaults that have swept the housing market.

Shareholders Approve Image Sale

Image Entertainment Inc. shareholders approved an agreement resulting in a buy out by a private investment firm.

Businesses Disrupted by Wildfires

Business was returning to normal in some areas of the Santa Clarita Valley following two days of wildfires in the hillsides and canyons surrounding the city.

Hearing Scheduled on North American Scientific Delisting

A hearing has been scheduled in November for the appeal by North American Scientific Inc. on its delisting from The Nasdaq Stock Market.

Jury Rules Roche Infringes Amgen's Patents

A jury in the U.S. Federal District Court in Boston has ruled that Roche's anti-anemia drug MIRCERA infringes 11 Amgen patent claims.

Monday, October 22

Wells Fargo Unveils Text-Message Banking

Wells Fargo customers can access account information via mobile devices through a new service announced Monday.

Weak Sales Leads to Revenue Restatement for THQ

Poorly selling racing games led THQ Inc. to restate revenues for the second quarter and for its full fiscal year.

Zenith's Third Quarter Net Income Drops from Last Year

Woodland Hills-based Zenith National Insurance Corp. reported net income for the third quarter of 2007 of $64.5 million, or $1.73 per share, compared to net income for the third quarter of 2006 of $72.2 million, or $1.94 per share.

Valleys Feel Heat of Wildfires

Roads were closed, homes evacuated and classes cancelled in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando Valley areas due to out-of-control brush fires fed by strong winds.

Investors Worried About Economy as the Dow Drops

The Dow Jones industrials were down more than 4 percent from Oct. 9, when it posted a record high, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

Salem Buys Miami Radio Station

Salem Communications Corp. acquired Miami radio station WTPS-AM in a deal worth $12.25 million.

Friday, October 19

Construction Down More than Predicted

Construction of new homes fell in September by a greater margin than predicted, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

'Good' Rating for Health Net in HMO Report Card

Health Net Inc. was ranked as among having the best clinical care in an annual government report.

Unemployment Highest Since February

Unemployed workers at their highest last week since early February, the Associated Press reported.

Strike Disrupts Valley Trash Pickup

Portions of the San Fernando Valley face a disruption in garbage collection following a walkout by employees of Waste Management.

Aetna Cuts Back on Drug Reimbursement for Amgen

Amgen's woes are not over yet.

Bank of America' Profit Loss Worries Investors

Bank of America Corp.'s poor third quarter surprised Wall Street, resulting in Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis to imply that the company may leave investment banking.

Thursday, October 18

Board Supports Providence Hospital Expansion

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously backed the expansion of Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.

Wednesday, October 17

Disney Announces Makeover for California Adventure

Attractions based on "The Little Mermaid" and "Cars" will be part of a multi-million dollar expansion at Disney's California Adventure, The Walt Disney Co. announced.

Tuesday, October 16

Baja Fresh Signs Deal with Seacrest, KIIS FM

Thousand Oaks-based Baja Fresh Mexican Grill announced Oct. 16 that it has begun a local radio campaign on KIIS FM.

Skybus Eliminating Burbank Flight

Budget air carrier Skybus Airlines cut one of its two daily non-stop flights between Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and Columbus, Ohio.

Hitts to Leave Economic Alliance to Join City of Glendale Staff

Ken Hitts is stepping down as director of Economic and Business Development at the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley to be the economic development manager for the City of Glendale.

More Valley Office Space Coming on the Market

Occupied office space in the Valley and Ventura County shrank by 328,700 square feet during the third quarter, according to a study by Colliers International, largely due to vacancies brought about by shuttered mortgage finance companies.

Recoupment Plan Dropped by Studios

Negotiations between the major studios and the Writers Guild of America took an upturn Tuesday after the studios withdrew a proposal to pay residuals only after recouping their costs of production.

ValueClick Revenue Falls Short of Guidance Range

Weak lead generation led ValueClick Inc. to report preliminary third quarter revenue falls short of its guidance range.

Monday, October 15

THQ to Show Off Holiday Offerings at Video Expo

THQ Inc. previews its new holiday game offerings at the E For All video game show taking place at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Pepperdine Offering MBA Program at Antelope Valley Site

Pepperdine University offers an MBA program in the Antelope Valley.

Road to the Future?

A new study finds much opportunity along the I-5 corridor from Burbank-Glendale to Highway 126 in Santa Clarita Valley.

Virtual Tape Measure Software Sizes Up Photographs

Tarzana-based DigiContractor Inc. finds itself in an advantageous situation with its new construction product.

Signs of the Times

Reseda store owner runs a one-man printing shop that's experienced steady growth for 10 years

The Art of Banking

Banking and art blend together through the efforts of Western Commercial Bank.


Stock activity for 50 selected greater San Fernando Valley-based public companies.

Manufacturers Deal With Dilemma?

Manufacturing firms look for ways to attract and retain workers.


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

Manufacturers Bring Out Their High-Tech Gadgets

Reporter Mark Madler writes about Panavision's debut of new high-tech camera equipment.

Full EIR for Hospital May Cost Lives

Full EIR for Hospital May Cost Lives. Commentary by Kerry Carmody, an administrator at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center.

Job Fair Makes Frontal Assault on Veteran Unemployment

Oct. 25 event will focus on helping veterans get jobs.

Burbank Hopes Large Media Player Will Replace NBC

The exit of NBC from Burbank is expected to change the look and feel of one part of that city.

FAA Funding Still Leaves Uncertainty In Aircraft Industry

The private aviation industry remains cloudy over the funding method for the Federal Aviation Administration.

1105 Media Acquires Federal Publications Firm

1105 Media Inc. acquired Federal Employees News Digest Inc., owner of two print publications and websites.

Plenty Playing the Blame Game in the Mortgage Mess

Senior Reporter Mark Barna discusses the blame going around in the mortgage mess.

Committee Will Tackle Business Issues

A standing city council committee will focus on business interests.

Reducing Pollution . . . One Soybean At a Time

A Woodland Hills company becomes biodiesel source for Hollywood.

Banks Creating Fund to Help Lower Debt

Three large investment banks, all of which are active in the Valley, announced Monday that they would create a large fund to serve as a buyer of debt that includes bonds in an effort to help SIVs, or structured investment vehicles, sell securities, the Ne

Plant Moving Midwest Jobs To Camarillo

Advanced Photonix closing Wisconsin plant and moving jobs to Camarillo.

You Don't Have to Know All the Details to Enjoy Wine

You Don't Have to Know All the Details to Enjoy Wine

Automatic Enrollment Gets Workers to Save

Automatically enrolling eligible employees in a retirement program is catching on and resulting in more people saving early

Hotels Find Green Shows Up as Black on the Books

The hospitality industry is paying closer attention to how it can "green" up its properties.

Taking Another Ride Through NoHo

Taking another ride through NoHo. Commentary by Jason Schaff, Editor of the Business Journal


Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

Big Bucks From Little Images Retail Apparel May Be Next

Big Bucks From Little Images Retail Apparel May Be Next

Wells Fargo Gives $55,000 to 55 Valley Nonprofits

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

New Audit Standards Pricey for Clients

Companies being audited this year can expect an increase in accounting fees due to new regulations.

Friday, October 12

IPC Launches Program at Florida Hospital

IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc. announced Oct. 11 that it would implement a new program at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center in Bradenton, Fla.

Boeing Site Donated to State for Open Space

A former rocket testing site in the Santa Monica Mountains has been donated to the state for undeveloped open space.

Vitesse Settles Stock-Related Lawsuits

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. has settled all legal claims connected to allegations of stock option backdating, the company announced.

Thursday, October 11

Countrywide Cuts Nearly 5,000 Jobs in September

Countrywide Financial Corp. cut nearly 5,000 jobs in September, and funded 44.3 percent fewer mortgage loans, the company told Reuters on Thursday.

NBC Moving Out of Burbank

The Peacock is flying from its long time nest in Burbank.

IHOP's Same-Store Sales Increase

IHOP Corp. announced its system-wide same-store sales increased 2 percent for the third quarter ended Sept. 30. For the first nine months of fiscal 2007, system-wide same-store sales increased by 1.8 percent.

Valley Community Clinic Honors 'Visionaries'

About 400 people attended Valley Community Clinic's "Laughter is the Best Medicine" fund-raising event Oct. 10 at the Sheraton Universal to honor two people who are advocates for access to health care Vince Liuzzi, regional president San Fernando Valley

Wednesday, October 10

No Progress in Writer Contract Talks

Negotiations continued this week between the Writers Guild of America and Hollywood producers although both sides were not close to reaching agreement on a new contract.

Realtor Group Forecasts Poor State 2008 Housing Market

Home values will continue to fall in 2008 for the first time since 1996, according to a forecast released Wednesday by the California Association of Realtors.

Wolfman to Head Providence St. Joseph

Barry Wolfman will be the new hospital executive of Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, beginning Jan. 1.

Guitar Center Completes Merger

Guitar Center Inc. announced Wednesday the completion of its merger with affiliates of Bain Capital Partners, a private investment firm.

Tuesday, October 9

Drop in Imports Poor Harbinger for Holiday Retail

U.S. imports have dropped 1.4 percent in what analysts say is another sign of economic problems, the Los Angeles Times reported. The downturn is being viewed as a poor harbinger for retail as the holiday season approaches.

NBC Puts Spanish Station on the Block

NBC Universal will sell a Spanish language television station in Burbank to help fund its purchase of Oxygen Media, a cable TV network with programming geared toward women.

Title Insurance Website Launches

California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner and the California Land Title Association will announce TitleWizard, a first-in-the-nation searchable website that will enable consumers to review title insurance rates from nearly 100 companies when buying,

Investors Put $55 Million Toward Search Engine Marketer

Search engine marketing firm ReachLocal Inc. received $55.2 million funding for the expansion of its digital advertising and marketing operations.

Sipes Named Head of North Valley Chamber

Joyce Sipes has been named interim President and CEO of North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, October 8

Dole Phasing Out Use of Paraquat

Dole Food Company started a phase out of using paraquat in its agricultural operations worldwide beginning with its pineapple operations.

FAA Bill Stalls in Senate

The private aviation industry remains cloudy over the funding method for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Unemployment Up in September

Unemployment rose in September 4.7 percent, the highest in more than a year, the U.S. Labor Department reported.

Feinstein Speaking in Santa Clarita

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will deliver a "Washington Report" speech at the Santa Clarita Regional Chamber of Commerce Luncheon at noon on Oct. 9 at the Hyatt at Valencia Town Center.

Friday, October 5

Cherokee Signs Brazilian Deal

Cherokee Inc. signed a deal to distribute its clothing, footwear and accessories in Brazil through the Extra retail chain.

Corwin Acquires Special Education Publications

Corwin Press has acquired 30 special education publications from Peytral Publications, the company announced.

Thursday, October 4

Valley Firm Acquires School Purchasing Company

1105 Media acquired Education Plaza, a web-based service assisting elementary through high school administrators with their purchasing decisions.

Countrywide Ordered to Reveal Documents

Countrywide Financial Corp. must submit confidential information about its stock-granting practices to a police-pension fund that says the mortgage company gave stock rights to executives at "unusually suspicious and lucrative times," the Los Angeles Time

Baja Fresh Launches Strategic Expansion Plan

Baja Fresh Mexican Grill will roll out smaller versions of its two branded chains as part of expansion efforts in six states as well as internationally.

Warner Home Video Goes Nuts

Warner Home Video struck a deal with the owners of the popular "Peanuts" comic strip characters to distribute classic television specials and new direct to video programs.

Wednesday, October 3

Morgan Stanley Cutting Jobs

Morgan Stanley is cutting 600 jobs and downsizing its mortgage business in the wake of the credit crunch, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Capstone Receives $3.8 Turbine Order

A European distributor has ordered $3.8 million in microturbine systems from Capstone Turbine Corp. for use in biogas applications.

Tuesday, October 2

WaMu Requiring Brokers to Disclose More in Loans

In the wake of the mortgage loan crisis, Washington Mutual Inc. is requiring its brokers to disclose lending terms, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday.

Wall Street Rallies, But Some Wonder for How Long

Tensions eased on Wall Street early this week as investors' trading was brisk due to the belief that the worst of the financial crises had passed.

Home Sales, Manufacturing Down

The future looks bleak for home sales, according to a report from the National Association of Realtors released Tuesday.

Guild Asks For Strike Authorization

The Writers Guild of America asked its members for authorization to strike, Daily Variety reported on Tuesday.

IHOP to Eliminate Oil With Trans Fats

Glendale-based restaurant chain IHOP announced that it will eliminate the use of frying oil with trans fats by Dec. 31.

CARE Members Protest Hospital Expansion

Valley residents opposing an expansion at Providence Holy Cross urged Los Angeles City Council members to reject the Planning Commission's decision to allow the hospital's $146 million project to proceed without an environmental impact report.

LAUSD Taps Valley Firm for Notification Services

The Los Angeles Unified School District contracted with the NTI Group Inc. to provide emergency notification to parents through e-mail, text messages and voice messages, the company announced.

Monday, October 1

One Office Closes but Two Open

Grubb & Ellis is closing its Sherman Oaks office but is opening two other Valley offices.

Leases, By-Laws and Liability, Your Legal Questions Answered

Leases, By-Laws and Liability, Your Legal Questions Answered. Column by Ira Rosen

Mid-Life Career Changes Yield Unexpected Benefits

Meet five people who made mid- and late-life career changes and survived to tell the tale.

Creation of CUB's Advisory Board

Creation of CUB's Advisory Board

Insurance Won't Pay? Doctors May Have a Way

It's becoming increasingly common for medical practices to offer patients lines of credit to pay for medical work that insurance doesn't cover and to people who simply don't have insurance.

Building, Safety Chief Touts Faster Service

L.A. Building & Safety GM spoke to the Valley Economic Alliance group.

It's Prime Time for Prime Loans

An area realtor and lender both say the time is ripe for prime-loan-worthy borrowers to buy.

NxTV Delivers Next Stage of In-Room Entertainment

Woodland Hills business-to-business provider of Internet Protocol television is expanding into the healthcare and cruise markets.

Home Sales Way Down Nationwide

Home sales nationwide were down 28 percent in August from a year ago, the California Association of Realtors reported last week.

October Is a Month of Festivals Across Valley Area

Learn about the latest Chambers of Commerce news and events.

Donovan Chosen CEO

The Encino Chamber has recently hired a new chief executive officer, Diana Donovan.

Air Charter IJM Acquires Van Nuys Outfit

An East Coast-based aviation company has acquired an aircraft charter and management company based at Van Nuys Airport.

Film Tax Break Petition Puts Canada Back in the Spotlight

Film Tax Break Petition Puts Canada Back in the Spotlight

Unsettled Housing Market Still a Major Wild Card

Senior Reporter Mark Barna finds the silver lining in the credit crunch.

Sylmar's QPC Laser Focus: Medical Tech

QPC Lasers in Sylmar is taking technology developed for military and industrial applications and commercializing it for medical use.

Bill Would Help Save Burn Centers

Bill Would Help Save Burn Centers. Column by Gregory N. Lippe

Several Chambers to Host Other Activities

Although there are festivals scheduled for October by area chambers, many other events are scheduled.

He's In It For The Green

Eco-Conscious Environmental Home Improvement Turns Drafty, Moldy Homes Into Energy-Efficient, Allergen-Free Oases

Career Change vs. Retirement

More workers are making mid-career changes, working longer.

Career Counseling

Considering a change? We've compiled a list of resources to help.

The Lights Are On But Nobody's Home at DWP

When it comes to common sense on the part of our municipal leaders, the lights are on, but no one's at home.

Van Nuys Airport Council Gets 3 New Members

Reporter Mark Madler reports on Valley aviation activities.

Siegel Group Supports Valley Cancer Center 9

Siegel Group Supports Valley Cancer Center 9

A Passion for Property

Stephen Siegel's real estate development firm is one of the fastest growing companies in the United States

Job Change May Require Significant Investment

Deciding whether to change careers requires some introspection and investigation.


Valley High School Magazine by and for High Schoolers.

VICA Votes against Term-Limits Measure

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association board of directors came out in opposition to a term-limits initiative slated for the February 2008 ballot and to generally oppose such term-limits extension proposals, especially those that do not include a redi

Chamber Members to Gather For UCC Mayor's Event Oct. 1

Chamber Members to Gather For UCC Mayor's Event Oct. 1

Families Must Be Comfortable With Succession Issues

Coverage of the monthly CSUN Family Business seminar.

Dismissal of Royalties Fraud Case Against Disney Upheld

Dismissal of Royalties Fraud Case Against Disney Upheld

Nomination for COLA Award

Nomination for COLA Award

Workplace Wants Mature Workers

Companies actively recruit older workers, capitalizing on their experience and work ethic.

Gov. Cuts $2 Million from Healthy Children Outreach

Three Valley nonprofit medical clinics lose $2 million due to governor's line-item veto.

Real Estate: Positive Signs Ahead

Today we are in a buyer's market & #65533;the inventory of homes is high. Column by Mel Wilson

CEO Sells Countrywide Stock as Company's Financial Woes Developed

In a continuation of the woes of mortgage-lender Countrywide Financial Corp., company CEO Angelo Mozilo has raised questions about his cashing stock options at a time when the company was beginning a financial collapse as myriad subprime borrowers default

Small Business Feels Fallout of Credit Crunch

The credit crunch is hitting local small businesses.