Stories for February 2008

Friday, February 29

Citing Declining Revenues, Palmdale Begins Lay Offs

The City of Palmdale will lay off 11 employees, its city manager has announced.

Metro Governance Council Meeting March 5

The governance council of the Metro San Fernando Valley Service Sector meets at 6:30 p.m. on March 5 in the Marvin Braude Constituent Service Center, 6262 Van Nuys Blvd., in Van Nuys.

Write-down Hurts DTS in Q4

A $24 million write-down of its digital cinema and images businesses contributed to DTS Inc. reporting a net loss for the fourth quarter.

Net Loss For MRV in Q4

Expenses related to the acquisition of another company contributed to a net loss for the fourth quarter at MRV Communications Inc.

Thursday, February 28

Harman Closing Northridge Plant

The closure of a car audio manufacturing facility in Northridge will result in more than 300 people losing their jobs.

New Line, Warner Bros. Merge

Film studio New Line Cinema has been consolidated into Warner Bros. Entertainment in a move to improve operating efficiencies and save money.

Disney Debuts Internet-Only Studio

The Walt Disney Co. unveiled a new studio to produce shows for distribution through the Internet.

Metro Approves Red Line Gates

Barrier gates will be installed at Metro Red Line stops in the San Fernando Valley in an effort to prevent fare skipping and improve safety.

Activist Asks For Mayoral Investigation

A Santa Clarita Valley watchdog seeks an independent investigation into alleged financial improprieties of Santa Clarita Mayor Robert C. Kellar.

Wednesday, February 27

No SEC Action Against Game Maker

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission notified video game publisher THQ Inc. that it will take no action against the company following completion of its investigation into stock option grant practices.

School Board Backs Hotel Boycott

The Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education has approved a resolution that calls for district staff to refrain from holding conferences, professional development seminars and related events at hotels involved in labor disputes with unions.

$5.5 Million Investment For Analyzer Firm

A Malaysian investor is putting $5.5 million into Electronic Sensor Technology, the developer and manufacturer of chemical vapor analyzers.

IHOP Q4 Results Drop on Applebee's Acquisition

The purchase of restaurant chain Applebee's contributed to a net loss for IHOP Corp. in its fourth quarter.

Tuesday, February 26

Satellite Communications Firm Now Owned by AML

Amplifier manufacturer AML Communications Inc. acquired the remaining 49 percent in shares of its subsidiary Mica-Tech Inc.

Hawker Van Nuys Facility Sold

Hawker Beechcraft Corp. sold its fuel and line operations, including one at Van Nuys Airport, to one of the world's largest fixed-base operators.

Writers Give Approval to New Contract

The 14-week strike by television and film writers officially ended with membership of the Writers Guild of America voting to approve a new three-year contract with the major Hollywood studios.

Kabillion, uWink Partner for Promotions

Toys and games based on characters from children's entertainment company Kabillion will be offered at restaurant chain uWink Inc. this spring.

"Shrek" Brings In Green For DreamWorks Animation

Strong sales of the "Shrek the Third" DVD contributed to a net profit of $94.1 million in the fourth quarter for DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.

Ground Broken on New Valley School

Ground was broken Feb. 25 on Valley Region Elementary School #7 in North Hollywood.

Monday, February 25

Universities Order EST Analyzers

Electronic Sensor Technology received orders for its chemical vapor analyzers from two universities for use in plant biology research projects.

Simi Valley Hospital Foundation Elects New Chair, Directors

The Simi Valley Hospital Foundation announced today that Jill Haney, vice president of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, will be its new board chair.

Friday, February 22

Bank Honored by Latino Association

Americas United Bank was named Business of the Year by the Glendale Latino Association, which will bestow the award on Feb. 29 at the La Ca & #324;ada Country Club.

Health Net to Pay $9 Million for Policy Cancellation

Health Net Inc. was ordered to pay more than $9 million for canceling coverage for breast cancer patient Pasty Bates, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Thursday, February 21

New Patent For Laser Maker

QPC Lasers Inc. received a patent that prevents a poor quality laser beam at high power, the company announced.

LTC Announces Q4 and '07 Results

Health care facilities investment firm LTC Properties Inc. reported a 10 percent drop in net income for the fourth quarter when compared with the previous year.

Auto Network Picks Market Scan

Burt Automotive Network is the latest mega-dealer to partner with Westlake Village-based Market Scan.

Wednesday, February 20

Economic Forecast 'Partly Cloudy'

The economic period ahead will be rocky for some industries and regions, but the depth and diversity of the California and Southern California economies should prevent a recession in the region in 2008-09, according to Los Angeles County Economic Developm

Tuesday, February 19

Star Cuts 7 Workers

The Ventura County Star cut seven positions as a response to shrinking ad revenue and a sluggish economy.

Major Cal Lutheran Donor Dies

Robert Samuelson, one of California Lutheran University's most generous donors, died due to complications from cancer Feb. 17. He was 81.

Disney Expands Indian Presence

The Walt Disney Co. upped its stake by $200 million in an Indian media and entertainment company to further establish itself in the market.

CHAD Therapeutics Completes Oxygen Business Sale

CHAD Therapeutics Inc. closed the $5.25 million sale of its oxygen conserving business to manufacturer Inovo Inc.

Monday, February 18

Businesspeople Mix Work, Community Interests

Who are this year's winners?

Valley Presbyterian Celebrates 50 Years of Healing

Valley Presbyterian Hospital celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The Age Issue: It's Always There

Youthful CEOs and founders of firms discuss the challenges they face in the business world.

OCP Building Sold, 124 Jobs Cut in March

Optical Communications Inc. sells its building in Woodland Hills and lays off more than 100 employees.

40 Under 40 Process: A Closer Look

40 Under 40 Process: A Closer Look. Editorial by Jason Schaff, Editor of the Business Journal

L.A. County Business Federation: Good for Business?

L.A. County Business Federation: Good for Business?

High Demand, Low Supply

Medical professionals turn landlord in buying their own buildings from which to practice.

Youthful Perspectives

40 Under 40 honorees tell what they would change in how business is done.

In Praise of the Type Cast Machine

Martin Cooper praises the virtue of the typewriter.

GM Talking With Colleges About New Auto Training

General Motors teams up with Pierce College on instruction of maintenance of alternative fuel vehicles.

Views on Mentors, Challenges, Pride, Doing Better

Honorees reveal their greatest mentor, most proud achievement.

Fernando Breaks Tradition

The Fernando Award Foundation switches gears to celebrate anniversary.

Reviewing the Strike: Some Winners, Some Losers

What resulted from the three-month writers strike.

Congressional Update on AMT, Research Credit, SOX

Guest Column by Congressman Brad Sherman

Real Estate Transactions for Non-Profits Can Be Daunting

An area Realtor specializes in the sale and leasing of buildings belonging to non profits.

Here's The Beef

Senior Reporter James Hames interviews Mike Oerun, a partner/owner of Hows Markets.

Behind the Scenes

LA ProPoint excels at design, fabrication and installation of stage and lighting systems.

Plane With a Parachute Inspires Confidence in Students

Reporter Mark Madler takes a ride aboard one of the safest planes used for flight training.

Breaching the Covenant, Nice Employer Got Played

Breaching the Covenant, Nice Employer Got Played. Column by Ira Rosenblatt

Around the Valleys

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

Neighborhood Councils: If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em

Neighborhood Councils: If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em

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

Friday, February 15

LAUSD Eyes Hotel Boycott

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association has raised concerns over a proposed boycott of hotels by the Los Angeles Unified School District.

State Funds Nurse Training Program

College of the Canyons will receive $200,000 in state funding to train registered nurses.

Airport Director Marrero Dies

Dios Marrero, the executive director of the Bob Hope Airport died Feb. 13. He was 57.

Immigration Raid Ends Up In Court

The arrest of more than 100 suspected undocumented workers in Van Nuys has been challenged by a federal lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups.

Thursday, February 14

Youbet Closes Pari-Mutuel Wagering Unit

Youbet.com Inc. will close its unprofitable pari-mutuel wagering account business due to a reduction in wagering.

Image Posts Loss for Q3

Image Entertainment Corp. narrowed its net loss for the third quarter when compared with the same period from a year ago.

Workway Forms Nursing Division

Burbank staffing firm Workway has formed the subsidiary company Workway Nursing, focused on placing skilled clinical professionals and other allied staff in hospitals and long-term and skilled care facilities.

Wednesday, February 13

ValueClick Settles Deceptive Marketing Claim

ValueClick Inc. will pay $2.9 million to settle an allegation of deceptive marketing practices lodged against it by the Federal Trade Commission.

VICA Calls for Hall Of Fame Nominations

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) is calling for nominations for its inaugural San Fernando Valley Business Hall of Fame.

Lancaster Signs FilmLA for Production Permitting

The City of Lancaster approved a contract to have FilmLA handle permitting requirements for on-location production.

Writers Call Off Strike

Television and film writers return to work after overwhelmingly approving to call of their 3-month strike against the major Hollywood studios.

Tuesday, February 12

Governor Announces $6 Million in Veterans Assistance

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has awarded more than $6 million in Workforce Investment Act funds to help veterans returning to the civilian workforce.

Net Income Drops at Semiconductor Tester

Net income for semiconductor testing firm Trio-Tech International declined by 79 percent in the second quarter when compared with the previous year, the company announced.

JetBlue Adds To Burbank Flights

Low-cost carrier JetBlue will begin daily flights between Burbank and Washington, D.C. in May, the first ever-non stop service to that city from the San Fernando Valley.

Monday, February 11

Hospitalist Co. Expands to New England

IPC The Hospitalist Company has added Innovative Physician Services LLC to its group of national affiliated practices.

Writers Strike Nears Conclusion

Striking television and film writers will cast votes Feb. 12 on whether to end the three-month strike that has crippled the entertainment industry in Los Angeles.

Capstone Posts Loss in Q3

Capstone Turbine Corp. narrowed its net loss for the third quarter, according to the company's latest financial statement.

Visuals Make "Transformers" A Winner

Alien robots bested pirates from the Caribbean and otherwise in head-to-head competition at the Sixth Annual Visual Effects Society Awards taking place Feb. 10 in Hollywood.

Friday, February 8

Immigration Raid on Toner Company

More than 100 people were taken into custody following an immigration raid at a Van Nuys printer supply company.

Greuel Pleased with Census Bureau Decision on Valley

Los Angeles City Council President Pro Tem Wendy Greuel issued a statement on the U.S. Census Bureau's decision to continue recognizing the San Fernando Valley as a unique geographical region.

Writers To Get Details of Proposed Pact

Members of the Writers Guild of America will meet on Feb. 9 to hear the points of a new contract with the major Hollywood studios.

Thursday, February 7

IHOP Kicks Off 50th Anniversary Celebration with New Web Site

The International House of Pancakes has launched a new contemporary apparel Web site, www.ihopstuff.com.

New Group Targets Piracy in Adult Industry

The adult entertainment industry took a stronger, more unified approach to taking on the companies and website illegally selling their movies and photos with the formation of a new for-profit corporation.

Q4 Net Loss for Power-One

Power-One Inc. wrapped up what is chief executive called a challenging quarter with a net loss of $6.5 million.

Image Merger Deal Over

The lack of financing led Image Entertainment Inc. to terminate its proposed merger with a private equity.

Wednesday, February 6

Takeda to Market Up to 13 Amgen Molecules in Japan

Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited will market up to 13 molecules from Amgen's pipeline for the Japanese.

Tuesday, February 5

Advanstar Acquires Bio-Med Conference Producer

Advanstar Communications added to its life sciences conferences with the acquisition of CBI Research Inc.

North American Scientific in Nasdaq Compliance

North American Scientific Inc. has received a letter from The Nasdaq Stock Market declaring that it is now in compliance with Nasdaq Marketplace rules.

California United Bank Attains Profitability in Second Full Year

California United Bank announced its net income for 2007 increased by $2.96 million over 2006, resulting in net earnings of $29,000.

Monday, February 4

Business Federation Has its Detractors

Power broker David Fleming is chairing a new alliance of business groups in hopes of gaining greater political clout for the region.

Don't Bet Against Her

Tournament poker player and painting contractor Beverly Kruskol beats gender stereotyping.

Primary 2008: Locals Opine on Best Business Candidate

With just days to go before California's primary, reporter Mark Madler surveyed Valley business leaders about which candidates they think would be best for business.

Business Group Should Be Unifying Force

Business Group Should Be Unifying Force. Commentary by Jason Schaff, Editor of the Business Journal

Insurance Commissioner Assesses Year

Insurance Commissioner Assesses Year; UCC Honorees

Overview: Tale of Two Markets

Office and industrial vacancy rates are still very low despite the stormy environment.

Building Expectations

Condos and apartments are going up all over town but that doesn't necessarily mean a glut of living spaces.

Satellites Make Sense for CPAs

Moss Adams joins several other large Westside CPA firms adding satellite offices in the Valley.

From Custom Jewelry to Jet Parts

Burbank and Glendale metalworkers fill orders for custom jewelry, trophies and even aircraft parts.

Ticket In, Ticket Out

Reporter Nadra Kareem interviews Nick Micalizzi of FutureLogic Inc.

Developer's Mall Projects Draw Top Shelf Retailers

A look at the many hats worn by developer Rick Caruso.

Adios, Amigos: Last Store of Retailer Sold

The final chapter of Amigos Flooring bankruptcy proceedings.

CHAMBER BRIEFS

Reports on past and future events hosted by chambers of commerce throughout the region

Image Merger Still Up In The Air

The Image Entertainment Inc. Board of Directors will meet this week to discuss the status of a proposed merger with a private investment firm.

Entertainment Industry is Anxious About Oscar

Industry suppliers and vendors are anxious about potential losses if Academy Awards Show is a no-go.

Sigue Fined By Feds

The Justice Department charged a San Fernando money transfer service with failing to

Around the Valleys

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

Blue Ribbon For Antelope Valley Fair Ad Campaign

The Antelope Valley Fair has won first place for the second year in a row for their creative ad campaign.

'Lifestyle' Malls Evolve, Emerge Through Region

Luxury retailers are driving major mall projects

NEWSMAKERS

FilmLA Chair First 'Outsider' in Seat. Who's in, who's out at Valley companies.

Pickets Continue Amid Talk of Deal

Striking film and television writers strengthened their resolve to continue picketing in the face of media reports of an imminent deal with the Hollywood studios.

Official Voter Pamphlet Lacks Truth

Greg Lippe warns voters that their Official Information may not be completely truthful.

Good Things, Small Packages

Small is good when you're Microfabrica of Van Nuys.

VALLEY, L.A. COUNTY ECONOWATCH

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

Labor Board Approves Restrictive E-mail Policies

Guest columnist Richard Rosenberg provides a synopsis of newly-eased NLRB employer E-mail guidelines.

Burbank Collection Adds Legendary Restaurant to Menu

Barney's Beanery Slated to Open in Burbank Collection by August.

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

Web Log Gains Respect: Q & A; with LAist Editor

Reporter Mark Madler interviews new LAist blog editor Zach Behrens.

Maguire Aviation Acquisitions Expand Van Nuys Presence

Maguire Aviation buys more FBO's, increasing its development rights and ramp access at Van Nuys Airport.

Friday, February 1

Disney Extends Contracts for Iger, Staggs

The Walt Disney Co. board of directors extended by five years its contract with President and CEO Robert Iger.

Microsoft Makes Bid For Yahoo!

Microsoft Corp. has made an unsolicited offer to buy Yahoo! Inc. for $44.6 billion, according to media reports.