Stories for August 2008
Friday, August 29
Nearly 1 million vehicles are being voluntarily recalled by General Motors Corp. due to a problem with a heated washer fluid system that could short circuit and potentially cause a vehicle fire.
Thursday, August 28
Builder of condo project on Brand Blvd. gets a partial waiver on fees for affordable housing.
WASHINGTON The number of people signing up for jobless benefits declined last week, the third straight drop from a six-year high reached earlier this month, the government said.
Nestle USA Inc. in Glendale has notified the state of layoffs at its Glendale headquarters to take place through October.
The board of directors and stakeholders of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley voted to change the name of the organization slightly as part of a re-branding campaign.
Stuart Waldman, who served as chief of staff for two members of the California Assembly, has been named as the new president of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association.
Commissioner Steve Poizner releases proposed regulations. The plan is considered to be more accurate, and it would give a financial incentive to California motorists to drive less.
The Camarillo Community Development Commission, which is made up of all five members of the City Council, approved the purchase of 12 acres of land that could provide a new site for the Channel Islands Ice Center.
Wednesday, August 27
WASHINGTON -- Orders for big-ticket manufactured goods turned in a second consecutive strong monthly performance in July, a far bigger-than-expected gain led by a huge jump in demand for commercial aircraft.
Large number of names gathered may trigger costly special election
Council directs staff to work on La Crescenta residents' ideas for buildings in area.
EDWARDS AFB - An experimental laser device that has the ability to detect potential hazards at a lunar landing site for future robotic spacecraft was flight-tested at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center.
A hearing will take place this week in federal court to determine the amount of damages levied against MGA Entertainment in its copyright infringement case involving the popular Bratz doll line.
Manufacturer Solid Concepts Inc. has acquired a Michigan firm that supplies the automotive and other industries with fabricated components.
Tuesday, August 26
Capstone Turbine Corp. received a $1.3 million order for power generators to be used at data centers in Texas and Virginia.
In a symbolic vote today, officials probably will support offshore drilling. Supervisor Brooks Firestone says new, safer technology is one reason he's reversing his previous opposition to drilling
Production was ramped up in anticipation of a possible actors strike, with most big-budget movies for next year wrapping by June 30.
United Online Inc. completed its purchase of florist company FTD Group Inc. for $441 million.
When it comes to developing wind energy, there's too much emphasis on capacity and not enough attention to efficiency, said Gene Kelley, founder of W2 Energy Development Corp.
Monday, August 25
WASHINGTON -- Sales of existing homes rose 3.1 percent in July, easily beating Wall Street's expectations, as buyers snapped up deeply discounted properties in parts of the country hit hardest by the housing bust.
North American Scientific Inc. has six months to regain compliance or else face delisting from The NASDAQ Stock Market.
The Food and Drug Administration has approved Nplate, a drug Amgen developed to produce platelets in those with low amounts of the substance in their blood.
A round-table gathering of seven business and economic leaders from Los Angeles County and the region gathered in Pasadena to address concerns about the economy, energy prices and the recent closure of 33 IndyMac banks throughout California.
LANCASTER - The inability of Democratic and Republican legislators to resolve differences over the state's budget is costing the Antelope Valley Healthcare District more than $1 million a week.
Businesses in Van Nuys will be among those visited by state inspectors in a crackdown on non-compliance with licenses and paying sales tax.
Friday, August 22
WASHINGTON -- Boeing Co. is considering bailing out of the politically-charged bidding for a $35 billion contract to build aerial refueling tankers for the Air Force, if it does not receive an additional four months by the Pentagon to put together a compe
MOJAVE - The East Kern Airport District Tuesday approved a lease in the Mojave Air and Space Port's industrial park for a landscaping bark business.
Thursday, August 21
NEW YORK (AP) _ A private business group's measure of the economy's health showed the largest drop in one year as stocks fell, new building permits declined and unemployment rose.
Image Entertainment Inc. has made feature films, television episodes and specialty programs available through iTunes.
Zipper-maker Talon International reported second quarter earnings were moving in the right direction, with net income rising 22 percent higher than in the same period in 2007.
LANCASTER - Percy "Steve" Malicott announced Wednesday he will resign as president and CEO of the Antelope Valley Chambers of Commerce to take a similar position in Great Falls, Mont., where his wife has family.
Mattel Inc. seeks $1 billion in profits that MGA Entertainment Inc. has made from its popular line of Bratz dolls.
Chrysler and three lead wheel weight makers agree to the phaseout in a settlement of a suit brought by an environmental group, which contended the car parts threatened drinking water.
The Cheesecake Factory Inc. has received the platinum award in casual dining from Restaurants & Institutions magazine.
Wednesday, August 20
Semiconductor manufacturer Semtech Corp. improved its net income for the second quarter when compared to the previous year.
Glendale officials are worried the design of the helipad at Embassy Suites veered from plans.
Burbank's new Community Services facility meets a number of strictly enforced environmental standards set by LEED.
Health Net Inc. signed a five-year agreement to have IBM manage the entire information technology system.
PALMDALE - Starting next month, travelers wanting to use the free Palmdale Flyer bus service, which shuttles airline passengers between the Palmdale and Van Nuys airports, will need to call ahead for reservations.
Tuesday, August 19
WASHINGTON -- Wholesale inflation surged in July, leaving prices for the past year rising at the fastest pace in 27 years, according to government data released Tuesday.
Glendale City Council will mull reducing amount paid in lieu of the affordable housing requirements.
MRV Communications has asked for a hearing over non-compliance with NASDAQ rules for a delay in filing a quarterly financial report.
An Oxnard Spanish-language radio station is so popular that a loss of nearly 2 percentage points of its audience share couldn't topple it from the No. 1 spot.
Superior Industries International Inc. will close a Kansas facility and make other additional layoffs to reduce spending and excess manufacturing capacity, the company announced.
PALMDALE - Antelope Valley farmers believe passage of Proposition 2, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, would place greater financial burden on the state's egg industry and leave consumers shell-shocked.
Monday, August 18
PALMDALE - Employment at Air Force Plant 42 and its adjacent defense contractor facilities appears to have decreased slightly in the first six months of 2008, but two of the major contractors are hiring.
Firms are getting tough with clients to help them survive. By Thom Senzee.
For a look at the future of development in Simi Valley, take a drive on Madera Road and across the street from the Madera Royal Plaza shopping center and in various stages of construction are the 26 professional and medical office buildings of the Woodranch Professional Center.
Simi Valley could become the home of Ventura County's largest Habitat for Humanity housing project.
The group, alleging 'willful inaction,' calls for a mediator if no progress is made by Aug. 25.
Countrywide remains the city's largest employer and real estate holder.
Companies going from the depths of despair to financial health
A new reader-driven feature: photographs of Valley business people being feted, awarded, commended or just taking part in interesting regional events.
The greater Valley Top CFOs Honorees Represent Variety, Strength of Local Business.
The chief financial officer is often an unsung hero at many companies both public and private. But these professionals are an integral part of a business' operation and there are very few CEOs who don't credit their CFO for successes in their companies. B
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and nine other chief executives who govern states along the U.S.-Mexico border signed a joint declaration to work together to outline future policy priorities for the border region during a conference at Universal Studios.
The 101 Corridor has plans for a crucial incubator building.
NBC Universal, California United Bank, Topco support area charities
Reporter Nadra Kareem covers a variety of changes at area medical facilities.
VICA is pushing the city to make a concerted effort to collect unpaid bills.
Assisted living, skilled nursing facility opens in Thousand Oaks
A subsidiary of entertainment organization Tix Corp. will produce a Broadway series at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
Reporter Linda Coburn details California First Bank's move to Westlake Village and other transactions
Robert Green begins a series of articles on strategic solutions to help grow a business
Weston-Benshoof Westlake Village Office Seen as Critical in Alston & Bird Merger
The increase, which appears to be spurred by the ongoing decline in prices, is the first in nearly three years.
Reporter Mark Madler writes about local companies finding Dubai a source of revenue
View of the Valley - Elaine Freeman, land use consultant, discusses the city's future
VICA Prompts Action on Huge Problem. Column by SFVBJ Editor, Jason Schaff
Turning the Page on the Los Angeles Times. Column by Martin M. Cooper
Friday, August 15
Nearly 15,000 jobs were lost in July because of ongoing slowdowns in construction, real estate and the financial services industries.
Brand Boulevard lots are suffering as fewer customers are showing the drive to buy.
LANCASTER - Mayor R. Rex Parris on Tuesday scheduled a closed-session discussion for the council's next meeting to explore efforts to recoup a portion of the money granted as severance to former City Manager Bob LaSala.
Thursday, August 14
Software developer CaminoSoft Corp. returned to profitability for the third quarter when compared to a year ago.
The governors of 10 states along the U.S.-Mexico border gathered in Universal Studios for a conference on environmental protection, climate change and building commerce in the border region.
Cherokee Inc. of Van Nuys has signed a sponsorship agreement that will have beach volleyball Olympian Todd Rogers promoting its SIDEOUT brand in Beijing.
Wednesday, August 13
Strong sales by QPC Lasers Inc. into the consumer electronic market did not help the company turn a profit in the second quarter.
Elecronic Sensor Technology received an order from China for six of its detection units.
It's a natural pairing, Longs' CEO says. For shoppers, it might mean fewer choices.
Arc Machines Inc. has formed a new subsidiary to market and sell welding products in new markets and industries.
Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. received final approval to settle lawsuits stemming from allegations of stock option backdating and accounting manipulations.
California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks received a $100,000 grant from retailer Wal-Mart to enroll, retain and graduate first-generation college students.
Troubled Ventura builder R.W. Hertel & Sons Inc. has not renewed its business license, according to the city licensing department.
WASHINGTON -- Retail sales fell in July, the weakest performance in five months, as a variety of economic woes combined to blunt the impact of billions of dollars in government stimulus payments to U.S. households.
The City of Palmdale has joined a federal program to promote water conservation and help residents identify water-efficient products.
Tuesday, August 12
Five candidates have worked locally; 2 days of interviews set
Advertisers without official ties to the Games are elbowing in. Some analysts wonder whether sponsorship is worth the hefty fees.
The release of feature films contributed to Image Entertainment Inc. posting positive income results for the first quarter.
Residents in northwest area are ready to lash out again against six-story project.
LOS ANGELES - County supervisors Michael D. Antonovich and Gloria Molina - two leaders often at political loggerheads - will join forces today in asking their fellow supervisors to oppose a sales tax increase.
KCLU increased its broadcast signal in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties with the purchase of KIST-AM 1340 in the city of Santa Barbara.
Voting software developer Vote Power Corp. restructured itself through a stock split as a means to raise capital and win government contracts.
Two renowned technology universities will do research and development of computer animation, robotics and autonomous characters in new labs funded by The Walt Disney Co.
Strong sales in team and action sports equipment contributed to Easton-Bell Sports Inc. reporting a 28 percent increase in net income for the second quarter when compared with the previous year.
Monday, August 11
Small businesses should take steps to minimize injury and damage in the next temblor.
Renovations could include hands-free faucets, recycled paper and solar tubes over baggage claim roof.
The City of Palmdale has submitted an application to the California Energy Commission for certification for a 570-megawatt hybrid power plant.
Capstone Turbine Corp. narrowed its net loss in the first quarter when compared to a year ago.
The dollar's rebound and oil's tumble breathed some serious optimism into Wall Street last week. But no one knows for sure yet whether the two trends are truly antidotes for what's been ailing the stock market.
Friday, August 8
Los Angeles would create a new position to oversee the collection of unpaid bills in a motion brought Friday by City Councilmember Wendy Greuel.
The probe is focused on whether he violated insider-trading law and whether the mortgage lender's disclosures misled investors, sources say.
Digital technology company DTS Inc. is on track to meet its forecast revenue for the year helped along with a positive second quarter.
The cutback follows the dismissal of 700 employees, or nearly 8% of its workforce, because of the state budget battle.
Thursday, August 7
The Los Angeles Department of City Planning chose a Santa Ana-based company to update the plan guiding development at Warner Center in Woodland Hills.
VEVEY, Switzerland (AP) _ Nestle SA, the worlds biggest food and drink company, reported 6.1 percent growth in first-half net profit Thursday despite rising transport and raw materials costs and slowing bottled water sales amid criticism from environmenta
NEW YORK -- The outlook for the back-to-school shopping season looked grim today, as retailers' July sales reports showed an increasing shift toward buying necessities like food and household supplies at discounters and away from discretionary splurges on
For the last seven summers, the Ventura-based band Army of Freshmen has hit the road in an RV to showcase its energetic pop-rock sound at clubs, festivals and fairs throughout the United States.
Image Entertainment Inc. has three months to meet a minimum market value of its shares or face delisting from the Nasdag Global Market.
The Glendale Galleria has pumped up its tenant roster with two new apparel stores, a new beverage provider and a new restaurant.
Call them office supplies with personalities.
Wednesday, August 6
The Palmdale City Council approved using FilmLA to handle permitting for on-location filming in the city.
Crown Media Holdings narrowed its net loss for the second quarter when compared to a year ago.
Orbis Education students and staff will have to pay for parking in nearby public garages.
Burbank airport turns to other revenue sources to make up for falling passenger counts and a drop in overall revenue.
Business Journal reporter Mark Madler takes a quiet, smooth flight aboard a luxury airliner.
The Ventura County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to buy a software system that will cost $5.4 million, but it should save nearly $6 million over the next four years.
Net income jumped by 20 percent in the second quarter for Christian media company Salem Communications Corp. when compared with the prior year.
Tuesday, August 5
Munchkin Inc., launched its third annual Project Pink campaign to spotlight early breast cancer detection and urging women to have breast exams.
Thousand Oaks biotech firm Amgen recently licensed a clinical stage molecule for the treatment of chronic and neuropathic pain to Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company.
The narrow focus of real estate investment trust PS Business Parks has proven to be a winner with the company posting a 21 percent gain in net income for the second quarter of 2008.
Monday, August 4
Changes in probate laws are causing major changes in the law and accounting industries.
Shops that specialize in customization have become popular in the Conejo Valley
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center has made several changes since it received an unsatisfactory rating in November.
Entrepreneur looks for efficiencies while gas is high. But he's still investing in new vehicles.
NEW YORK -- Verizon Communications Inc. and two unions representing some 65,000 of its workers remained in talks after agreeing to "stop the clock" on contracts that were set to expire late Sunday.
Ways Lawmakers can Balance the State Budget. Column by Gregory N. Lippe.
A federal judge ruled that a racial slur by a juror was not cause to declare a mistrial in the lawsuit between MGA Entertainment and Mattel Inc.
Summary of the Largest Valley Retail Centers; Pacesetter - Northridge Fashion Center
The poor economy and heavy competition resulted in high tech equipment renter Electro Rent Corp. in posting a 16 percent decrease in net income for the fourth quarter when compared with the previous year.
NEW YORK , Franca Tantillo puts rising fuel prices in the same category as the springtime hailstorm that wiped out part of her strawberry crop. Both cut into the profit she can make at the farmers markets she sells at in New York City, about 135 miles sou
Area hospitals adding technology and expanding facilities. Column by Nadra Kareem
Two Valley companies make headway in 3D advertising.
One broker addresses the medical marijuana dispensary challenge.
Reporters losing jobs, but will Times owner Zell follow. The MEDIA Column by Mark Madler
Valley Chambers credited with Los Angeles Mixer success. Plus: North Valley Regional Clusters Aid Referrals
Friday, August 1
Sunbelt Enterprises, the real estate firm owned by local philanthropist Fred Kavli, has opened its latest office center in Oxnard and just received permits for two other projects.
Attendants in city-owned garages are awaiting a possible change in management.
LTC Properties, Inc. of Westlake Village announced a drop of about $1 million in net income from the same reporting period in 2008. In the second quarter of 2008, net income was $7.5 million, or $0.33 per diluted share.
A Los Angeles aerospace company will develop the next generation of very light jets at its hangar at Whiteman Airport in Pacoima.
Design review panel likes look of project that would replace market; residents don't.
Gross domestic product expands at a 1.9% annual pace. The recession was 'interrupted by the rebate checks,' an economist says.
A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. has purchased the defense electronics business of a British-based company for $25 million.
Athletic footwear company K-Swiss announced second quarter net earnings increased significantly from the previous year thanks to $30 million it received from the settlement of a lawsuit.