Stories for September 2007

Friday, September 28

Ceres Receives $75 Million For Biofuel Crop Research

Ceres Inc. raised $75 million to fund research and product development of biofuel crops.

Layoffs Result from Insurance Firms Merger

Layoffs are on the horizon now that a subsidiary of American International Group Inc. has completed its merger with 21st Century Insurance Group.

MTA Picks Developer Lowe For NoHo Project

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority agreed to negotiate with Lowe Enterprises on the development of a 15.6-acre mixed-use project near the North Hollywood Metro Red Line station on Lankershim Boulevard.

Interlink CEO Resigning in 2008

Interlink Electronics Inc. CEO E. Michael Thoben will leave the daily operation of the company early in 2008.

Thursday, September 27

Warner Bros. In Entertainment Deal in Abu Dhabi

A theme park, hotel, and co-financing of feature films are part of a partnership between Warner Bros. Entertainment and two companies in Abu Dhabi.

Disney Hangs Up on Mobile Phone Service

The Walt Disney Co. will cease its mobile phone service at the end of the year and re-evaluate its place in the competitive mobile phone industry.

Kreido Plant Moves Forward

Construction has started on the first production plant for Kreido Biofuels Inc.

Tuesday, September 25

Nasdaq Notifies North American Scientific of Non-Compliance

North American Scientific Inc. is ineligible for listing on the Nasdaq Global Market for failing to meet minimum requirements, the company announced.

"Green" Furniture Store Opens in Valley

A building formerly used in an auto plant in Panorama City has been turned into an environmentally-friendly furniture store.

Amgen to Cut 675 Positions in Thousand Oaks

Biotech giant Amgen will lay off 8 percent, or 675 workers, at its Thousand Oaks headquarters. About 8,300 people in total work at company headquarters.

Software Firm Announces $400K in Funding

iPhotoMeasure received $400,000 in funding for testing and development of its measurement-by-photo software, the company announced.

Monday, September 24

Santa Clarita Launches Enterprise Zone Outreach

Business owners can learn more about the benefits of the Santa Clarita enterprise zone at an outreach event taking place Sept. 26.

Lost: Recent Tweaks Part of Restructuring

Irvine's Lost Clothing has been revamping under a new president

Capstone Agreement Opens Western Canada

Capstone Turbine Corp. signed a distribution agreement for the oil and gas sector in Western Canada, the company announced.

County, State Officials Kick Off Interchange Project

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich kicked-off the $41 million construction on the I-5/Hasley Canyon Road Interchange improvement project.

Power-One Introduces Commercial Solar Product

Power-One Inc. unveiled its first commercial-grade solar inverters at Solar World 2007, an industry trade show and conference taking place in Long Beach.

Friday, September 21

Santa Clarita Economic Development Department Receives Three IEDC Awards

The City of Santa Clarita's Economic Development Division received three awards for outstanding marketing efforts from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Sept. 18.

North American Scientific Reports Fiscal Third Quarter 2007 Results

North American Scientific Inc. has announced financial results for its fiscal third quarter ended July 31. For the third quarter of fiscal 2007, the company reported revenues of approximately $3.4 million, a net loss from continuing operations of approxim

Thursday, September 20

Disney Shows to Stream on AOL

The Disney-ABC Television Group will make available more than a dozen of its new and continuing comedy and drama series online via AOL.

Oncology Business Sale Completed

North American Scientific Inc. completed the previously announced sale of its Nomos Radiation Oncology business to privately-held Best Medical International Inc.

Wednesday, September 19

Valley Cities Nominated as "Business Friendly"

The cities of Burbank, Lancaster, and Palmdale are among the six cities that have been selected as "Most Business-Friendly City" by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

Guitar Center Merges with Bain

Guitar Center announced Wednesday that its merger with Bain Capital Partners, LLC, a global private investment firm, was approved by its stockholders.

WGA Leadership Re-Elected

Patric Verrone was re-elected as the president of the Writers Guild of America along with other members of the "Writers United" slate.

Tuesday, September 18

E. Coli Discovery Prompts Dole Recall

Dole Food Co. issued a voluntary recall of its "Dole Hearts Delight" salads after the E. coli bacteria was found in a bag in Canada, the company announced.

House Committee Backs Fuel Tax

The U.S. House Ways & Means Committee approved on Sept. 18 a bill rejecting a user fee from commercial and general aviation to fund the Federal Aviation Administration.

Monday, September 17

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Stage 2 Ban Unreasonable. Letter to the Editor

ABC, Warner Strike Deal

ABC, Warner Strike Deal

C.A.R.E. Appeals Holy Cross Expansion

Community Advocates for Responsible Expansion at Providence Holy Cross has appealed the Los Angeles City Planning and Zoning Commission's July 26 decision to allow the hospital to build a 101-bed South Addition without an environmental impact report.

Comerica Opens New Office

Comerica is expanding and Western Commercial Bank is changing its look.

Countrywide Woes Ripple Through Office Market

Layoffs at Countrywide and Amgen should free up office space.

Floods, Fires, Flu Pandemics: Readiness Is Key to Survival

If disaster were to strike tomorrow, would your business survive? This was the question broached at the Regional Business Preparedness Summit presented by the Valley Industry & Commerce Association on Sept. 11 in Studio City.

Homes Dressed for Success

Home stagers are decorating homes to help sellers get an edge in a tight housing market.

Valley Fights Whites-Only Image

Valley Fights Whites-Only Image. Column by Martin Cooper, President of Cooper Communications, Inc., marketing and strategic planning.

Pentadyne Receives $14 Million

Energy storage systems manufacturer Pentadyne Power Corp. received $14 million in funding from Loudwater Investment Partners.

Masterson Takes Charge of Grant Thornton Office

Grant Thornton LLP recently named Stephen V. Masterson partner in charge of its Woodland Hills office.

Antonovich Grants $200,000 to Glendale Shelter

Antonovich Grants $200,000 to Glendale Shelter

Seizing the Day

Although facing serious changes in the mortgage industry, LoanToolbox is growing as it continues to help mortgage lenders do their job faster.

NowLive Takes Internet Chat to a Whole New Level

Social networking and online broadcasting come together to form a new means of mass communication.

Brand Name Entertainment

Thinkwell Design & Production in Burbank comes up with ways to add value to its clients' properties by creating branded entertainment experiences.

VALLEY, L.A. COUNTY ECONOWATCH

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

Film Permit Coordination Up For Grabs

Recently the city of Los Angeles took the first step in possibly requesting competitive bids to contract out coordination of permits for on-location filming.

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Taking Niche Service Public

IPC The Hospitalist Company in North Hollywood is going public.

Trio-Tech Posts Profit for Year

Trio-Tech International reported a $3.3 million net income for fiscal 2007 fueled by expansion into Chinese and Southeast Asian markets.

BofA hikes ATM Service Fee

Bank of America announced that it was raising its rate to $3 for non-Bank of America customers withdrawing money from one of its 10,300 branch-location machines.

Wine Fest Pours Profits Into Area

Santa Clarita city and economic officials look forward to the annual Loose Goose Wine Festival next month.

Pollack Wins Fernando Award

Gloria Pollack received this year's Fernando Award during a dinner Sept. 7 at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills.

Rocketdyne Enacts Plan for Future

A recent job fair strived to meet the needs for talent on NASA projects.

VALLEY BRIEFS

San Fernando Valley news briefs for the week

Countrywide Corp. Employees File Suit

A number of employees participating in Countrywide Financials's 401 (k) plan filed Tuesday in Santa Ana a class-action lawsuit

Providence in Talks to Buy Encino-Tarzana

Providence Health & Services is in negotiations with Tenet Healthcare Corp. to buy Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center, Encino-Tarzana CEO Dale Surowitz has confirmed.

Home Repair Grants For Lower Income SCV Residents

Santa Clarita offers $175,000 in grants for low- to moderate-income residents in need of various repairs.

As Writers' Talks Resume, Business Leaders Worry

Talks are scheduled to resume this week to hammer out a new contract between the major studios and the Writers Guild of America.

AROUND THE VALLEYS

Learning Early Lessons of Business. A look at the people, places and things that make our valleys tick.

Adult Entertainment Industry Leaders Move to Combat Piracy

Producers and filmmakers in the adult entertainment industry are taking more aggressive steps to go after pirates.

After 5 Years, Antelope Valley Hospital Signs Union Contract

Two area hospitals have reached agreements with Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers-West.

Pending SB836 Adds "Familial Status" to Protected Class

The list of employers' reasons to be sued will get even longer, says Richard S. Rosenberg.

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; Market Summary / Indexes

North Valley Chamber Head Resigns

After six years of service during which he helped transform the North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce into one of the largest chambers in the area Wayne Adelstein stepped down as president Sept. 14.

Old Tapes Made New Again

Mark Madler finds a Valley company putting to use thousands of deteriorating videotapes.

Indie Record Label Makes Major Contributions

How do you remain a practical and profitable small business while giving nearly 10 percent of your gross annual revenues to support a variety of charitable organizations? Ask Louis Posen.

818 Just Some More Negative Numbers

Jason Schaff discusses the proposed addition of a new area code to the Valley.

Santa Clarita Considered Good Business

Santa Clarita Considered Good Business

Friday, September 14

TVN Inks Distribution Deal with ResearchChannel

Programming showcasing research developments at top universities and institutions will be available on demand following an agreement between TVN Entertainment Corp. and ResearchChannel.

New CFO Named For United Online

United Online Inc. has appointed Scott Ray as its new chief financial officer effective Oct. 1.

Retail Spending Up Slightly in August

Strong auto sales helped in a modest gain for retail spending in August although the final numbers still fell short of expectations.

Thursday, September 13

Santa Clarita Among Top 5 Most Business Friendly Cities

Santa Clarita was named among the most business friendly cities in the Los Angeles region by the Los Angeles Economic Development Commission.

Countrywide Employees File Suit

A number of employees participating in Countrywide Financials's 401 (k) plan filed Tuesday in Santa Ana a class-action lawsuit, alleging that illegal actions by the company caused thousands to lose millions of dollars during the recent stock collapse, acc

Disney Site Hits Record with Visitors

Disney.com drew 23 million unique visitors to the website in August, an all-time traffic record according to Nielsen/NetRatings data, The Walt Disney Co. announced.

Wednesday, September 12

North American Scientific Sells Radiation Oncology Business

North American Scientific Inc. sold off its radiation oncology business to privately-held Best Medical International Inc., the company announced.

"Near recession" Predicted by UCLA Economists

The U.S. economy will spiral down over the coming months but a recession will be narrowly avoided, stated the UCLA Anderson Forecast released Wednesday.

Income Skyrockets for NTS

Net income rose by more than 200 percent in the second quarter for engineering and evaluation services firm National Technical Systems Inc.

Tuesday, September 11

Xirrus Wi-Fi Used in Geneva Center

Installation takes place this month at the International Conference Centre Geneva of Wi-Fi equipment developed Xirrus Inc.

Monday, September 10

Image Acquires Rights to Two Odd Films

Image Entertainment Inc. made a move toward entering the feature film business by signing an agreement with Odd Lot Entertainment.

Mobile Firm Receives $19.5 Million in Funding

Mobile entertainment company Twistbox Entertainment Inc. received $19.5 million in funding to be used to launch new products.

Sunday, September 9

Gloria Pollack Wins Fernando Award

Gloria Pollack was chosen the winner of the 49th Annual Fernando Award Friday night recognizing volunteerism in the Valley.

Friday, September 7

Association Backing Governor's Health Reform Proposal

The California Hospital Association Board of Trustees reached an agreement Sept. 6 to support Gov. Schwarzenegger's health care reform proposal.

Qualstar Reports Net Loss for Fiscal '07

Qualstar Corp. narrowed its net loss for its just completed 2007 fiscal year when compared with the previous year.

Thursday, September 6

Providence Saint Joseph and SEIU Reach Agreement

Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and workers represented in bargaining by SEIU 121 RN and SEIU United Healthcare Workers West have ratified a tentative contract agreement reached by bargaining teams for the medical center and SEIU on Aug. 29.

New Animation Site Fits Warner to a "T"

Warner Bros. Entertainment unveiled its new online site that gathers in one place content featuring all its classic animated characters.

Countrywide Eliminates about 900 Jobs

In another sign of the slumping housing market, Countrywide Financial Corp. announced Wednesday that it would cut 900 jobs, including about 380 in California.

Wednesday, September 5

New Publisher Named for Daily News

An advertising and marketing executive has been named as the new publisher of the Los Angeles Daily News the fourth person to hold that position in less than a year.

IPC The Hospitalist Company Going Public

IPC The Hospitalist Company in North Hollywood announced it filed a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with a proposed initial public offering of its common stock.

Growth Spurs Kreido Move

Kreido Biofuels Inc. moved to a new facility in Camarillo to accommodate additional staff and equipment, the company announced.

Tuesday, September 4

Amplifier Firm Gets $2.6 Million Order

AML Communications Inc. received a $2.6 million contract from the Raytheon Co. for amplifier products.

Monday, September 3

School Funding: Where Does the Money Go?

School Funding: Where Does the Money Go? Guest Column by Gregory N. Lippe

Businesses Tap Into Schools To Get Future Employees

A high school program allows businesses and schools to work together to build a better workforce.

College Stations, Others Bring Mix to Broadcasting

Local universities and Internet radio facilities offer an eclectic mix of programming.

Planting Seeds of Change in Freeway Landscaping

Planting Seeds of Change in Freeway Landscaping. Guest Column by Rickey M. Gelb

Jill Casagrande: Radio Disney Puts Kids in 'Control'

Jill Casagrande: Radio Disney Puts Kids in 'Control'. Corporation's Station Provides Point of Entry

Joe D. Davis: Salem Official Oversees Christian Themes

Joe D. Davis: Salem Official Oversees Christian Themes

THE CHAMBER REPORT

Chamber of Commerce briefs and announcements

CenterStaging Rehearsals to be Televised, Monetized

CenterStaging Rehearsals to be Televised, Monetized. Column by Mark Madler

Supreme Court Addresses Vertical Price-Fixing Pacts

Ira Rosenblatt discusses a ruling on vertical price-fixing pacts.

Anatomy of a Format Change: Station Movin On

Anatomy of a drastic format change at one of the local stations in a bid for higher ratings and higher revenue.

New Kind Of Senior Facility Opens in Thousand Oaks

University Village Thousand Oaks, a new retirement community, offers an untraditional financial model.

Small Northern California Thrift Enters Valley Market

Luther Burbank Savings, a small Northern California thrift, has entered the competitive Valley-area market.

Macy's Opens Men's, Home Location at Fashion Center

Macy's has added another location at Northridge Fashion Center.

Valley Home to Hot Radio Companies

L.A.'s the hottest radio market in the country, and it's competitive and fragmented.

Program Helps Companies Donate Old Computers

Program Helps Companies Donate Old Computers. Low-Income Families Get Refurbished Equipment

U.S. Rep. Howard Berman: Watchdog on Royalty Rates

U.S. Rep. Howard Berman: Watchdog on Royalty Rates. Congressman Oversees Radio Industry Rules

Head of Santa Clarita Chamber Gets Post

The head of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce has been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the state's economic strategy panel.

Jafra CEO Wants Bigger U.S. Focus

Westlake Village-based Jafra Cosmetics International Inc. has a new president and CEO who is going to focus more on the homefront.

Van Nuys Day Laborer Center

A new day laborer center in Van Nuys has local businesses upset.

Rate of Increase in Rents Slowing Down in Valley Area

The rate of rent increases in the San Fernando Valley has slowed.

Starpups Depot in Stevenson Ranch Caters to

Starpups Depot in Stevenson Ranch Caters to People Whose Canines Are Like Their Kids

Venues Provide Place for Firms to Meet, Play

Several local venues offer places for companies to hold team-building events.

Area Takes Local Giants' Woes in Stride

Those people guarding the local economy are taking the problems at Amgen and Countrywide Financial in stride.

Estate Tax Will Return as Big Issue in Next Few Years

As the presidential race heats up, all is relatively quiet on the issue of repeal or elimination of the estate tax...

AROUND THE VALLEYS

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

But How Relevant Is Radio Music?

There's a difference of opinion as to whether traditional radio still drives consumption of music in the U.S.

Recent Events Are Telling for Employment Base

Recent Events Are Telling for Employment Base. Editorial by Jason Schaff

Martin Perlich: Interviewer Has Handle on Medium

Martin Perlich: Interviewer Has Handle on Medium. KCSN Producer Known As Expert in Industry

Michael Sheehy: Radio Veteran Adapting to Changes

A look at some of the people, based in the Valley, who drive L.A. radio.