Stories for September 2008
Tuesday, September 30
NEW YORK -- A closely watched index released today showed home prices tumbling by the sharpest annual rate ever in July, but the rate of monthly declines is slowing.
Bio-Solar Inc. has applied for a patent for improvements to produce solar cells from renewable plant sources.
WASHINGTON - The Antelope Valley's Congressional representatives split their votes Monday on the Wall Street bailout plan being pushed by the Bush administration and legislative leaders.
Manufacturer Enable IPC acquired a Wisconsin-based company that makes ultracapacitor technology for use in the energy industry.
Technicolor opened a testing center for Blu-ray discs at its Burbank facility, the company announced.
Hotel set to debut middle of October changed original drawings former official says.
Area economists weigh in on the likely consequences here
The Los Angeles City Council used an incorrect process to vote on the $180-million expansion of Providence Holy Cross in Mission Hills, a county judge ruled.
Monday, September 29
Winning companies with 50 - 249 employees. See who made the list
Zubican Wants To Become Internet 'Business District'
Guest columnist Gene Siciliano talks about business strategies
Local companies offer employees everything from fully-paid health care to trips.
Businesspeople Bring Passion and Enthusiasm to Volunteer Activities
Kaleidoscope guest columnist Martin Cooper talks about how water is replacing oil as the hot button issue.
Winning companies with 250 or more employees. See who made the list
NEW YORK -- The government says Citigroup will acquire the banking operations of Wachovia in a deal facilitated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
When the administration came up 12 votes short of the 218 necessary to pass the proposed $700 billion financial bailout plan, the market reacted with the largest drop in the history of the Dow Jones Industrial Average: 777 points.
Winning companies with 15 - 49 employees. See who made the list
Wine festivals are proliferating across all our Valleys, the upcoming Loose Goose being the big one. A look at the business of wine locally and the little wineries here.
Wells Fargo Awards $52,000 to Nonprofits in Valleys
Guest columnist Barbara Oberman discusses steps that companies can take to reduce health care costs
Trio-Tech of Van Nuys announced a narrower net loss for their fiscal year end of June 30.
Capstone Turbine Corp. signed a distribution agreement for its low-emission microturbines in Chile.
Guest columnist Ricky Gelb comments on local response to tragedies
The cancellation of United Airlines service at LA/Palmdale Regional Airport will not put the brakes on the city securing commercial air service for the Antelope Valley.
Companies have a hard time quantifying the benefits of benefits
The owner of Serv-Ease, a Glendale-based office systems repair and sales company, has been convicted for taking part in a $1.3 million scheme to defraud the U.S. Export-Import Bank and First International Bank of Connecticut.
Oldest Living Fernando Recipient, Herb Lightfoot, 92, Reflects
The second annual "Honor a Hero, Hire a Vet" job and resource fair took place Sept. 17 at the Warner Center Marriott in Woodland Hills.
Thursday, September 25
Acting on complaints about lawyer solicitation, the State Bar of California is sending letters to victims of the Sept. 12 Metrolink accident to educate them about lawyer behavior that is unethical and, in some cases, criminal
New and existing mathematics, science and special education teachers will be paid more now that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into the law the use of state grant funds for their salaries.
Charter Communications will continue to offer the two Hallmark branded channels following a renewal of a distribution agreement with Crown Media Holdings Inc.
PALMDALE - Drought conditions and other circumstances have forced water purveyors in Southern California to wheel and deal everywhere imaginable to service their customers.
The low-interest assistance program aims to boost production of fuel-efficient vehicles.
Contaminated material to be buried, sediment cleared from Hueneme site
Wednesday, September 24
The state's housing sector will rebound next year, but its broader economy will struggle for months after that, the UCLA Anderson Forecast says.
Guy Schmidt lot on Brand Boulevard of Cars shuts down because 'business was terrible.'
WASHINGTON -- Sales of existing homes fell in August, but the number of unsold homes on the market also dropped sharply from the previous month's record high.
Tuesday, September 23
High sales of its power supply products was not enough to make a positive fourth quarter for Qualstar Corp.
Dole Food Company Inc. is selling its flowers division and fresh food subsidiary in England, the company announced.
MIAMI (AP) _ Al Ray is so strapped for cash, the only time he eats out is on Wednesday or Sunday, when the local McDonald's sells hamburgers for 49 cents
WASHINGTON , The wave of immigrants entering the United States slowed dramatically last year as the economy faltered and the government stepped up enforcement of immigration laws.
The Lancaster JetHawks minor league baseball team has changed its affiliation to the Houston Astros after two years as the West Coast Single A club for the Boston Red Sox.
Monday, September 22
Gov. Schwarzenegger hopes transit and building project bond issues will create jobs.
Online forum host CrowdGather made its second acquisition this month with the purchase of message board host FreePowerBoards.com.
Investments have remained out of the red, but the general-fund budget is less solid.
LANCASTER - Use of treated wastewater to meet all of the Antelope Valley's water demands can't be avoided, local officials say.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered several San Fernando Valley businesses to either pay $500,000 or find another way to keep chromium-contaminated groundwater out of the local water table.
Pentadyne Power Corp. will use $22 million in new financing for expanding the company into new market and for sales and production of new existing products.
Thursday, September 18
United Airlines will stop its daily service from Palmdale to San Francisco in December as the beleaguered airline cuts its least profitable routes.
Microturbine manufacturer Capstone Turbine Corp. expects to raise $29.5 million through an offering of common stock.
Repossessed properties will soon account for more than half of all sales, experts predict.
Winner will be named at Beverly Hills ceremony. Other competitors include Pasadena.
Wednesday, September 17
The Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance aircraft, built by Northrop Grumman Corp. at its Palmdale facility, has already proven a worthwhile tool for gathering intelligence over the battlefield.
San Fernando Road work has slowed traffic, and looky-loos have caused accidents.
The company releases test results showing that its Technosphere insulin delivery system is as effective for diabetics as injections. But investors are still wary about safety; MannKind's stock slumps.
Tuesday, September 16
A group of former and current Los Angeles Times employees filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell has put the company and their retirement plans at risk.
Amgen Inc.'s experimental treatment for the bone-thinning disorder osteoporosis safely prevented spine and hip fractures, according to a study that may help win U.S. marketing clearance for the drug.
Video game publisher THQ Inc. formed a joint venture with an operator of online games in China to distribute a free multiplayer game.
Initially skeptical, they find they like the cars' thriftiness and even roominess, and say their customers do too.
The Agoura Hills City Council is opposing Proposition 7, a November ballot measure on renewable energy.
In an SEC filing today, Zenith National Insurance of Woodland Hills reported the company owns approximately $12 million of Lehman Brothers senior debt securities.
The cities of Glendale and Santa Clarita are among the finalists for the most business-friendly cities with populations of more than 50,000 as named by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
Michael Dixon, formerly chief financial officer of Cheesecake Factory, is now on board in the same position of yogurt chain Pinkberry.
Monday, September 15
Internal growth and acquisitions contributed to engineering testing firm National Technical Systems Inc. to post a nearly 50 percent increase in net income for the second quarter when compared to the previous year.
PALMDALE - Patrick Powers noticed something was happening at the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce's monthly "Business for Breakfast" functions - as the economy got tighter, attendance increased.
Nordstrom opens at The Oaks and more shops are on the way
An area split betwen two counties keeps good regional relations
Playhouses Help the Homeless. Philanthropic activities by Valley-area companies and businesspeople.
Certified Information Technology Professionals enhance accounting practice
Nadra Kareem reports on an insurance bill awaiting the Governor's signature
SACRAMENTO , The state's legislative leaders on Sunday announced a breakthrough in California's record budget impasse, potentially ending a stalemate that set a new standard for dysfunction in a Capitol with a long history of blown budget deadlines.
Coverage of the Ventura County Economic Outlook conference
Mark Madler's Media & Entertainment column looks at how the performing arts center and publishers keep residents connected
European company Biovitrum acquired two cancer-related drugs from Amgen and was given an exclusive worldwide license to distribute a third drug.
Natrol's VP and General Counsel lost 90 pounds and is taking on the Ironman Triathlon
Superior Industries is closing a plant in Kansas, plans more layoffs and changes its business plan.
Recruiting, Retention Factor Into Choice of Location
The bad business climate is good for accounting firms.
Guest columnist Richard Rosenberg discusses non-compete agreements
The Valley Leadership Institute seeks candidates for new class
Chambers Going Green, Tasting Wine and Beer, Networking
The storm destroyed about 10 oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, a small fraction of the 3,800 total platforms there.
Makers, sellers and riders come together thanks to good roads, weather
Friday, September 12
Mobile entertainment provider GoTV Networks Inc. has made moves to an ad-supported model with partnerships with three mobile entertainment and advertising firms.
WASHINGTON -- Frugal shoppers cut back again in August, driving down sales at the nation's retailers for the second month in a row, further proof the economy is losing traction.
Restrictions may become necessary if requests for conservation ignored
Thursday, September 11
The Government Affairs Committee of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association recommended that its board of directors call for the California Legislature to stay in session round the clock until its members agree to a new budget.
LANCASTER - The county Board of Supervisors and Antelope Valley residents will be able to weigh in on a proposed ethanol refinery planned for a site near the Lancaster landfill.
Site due to return in April will save tens of thousands of dollars yearly, city officials say.
Online marketing firm ReachLocal Inc. has opened a sales office in Toronto to serve small- and medium-sized businesses there.
WASHINGTON -- New applications for unemployment benefits fell less than expected last week, the U.S. government said today, as the struggling economy continues to take a toll on workers.
Wednesday, September 10
Discount ticket seller Tix Corp. is eyeing the launch of an online service that will extends its network across the country.
The companies end their dispute over the pricing of TV shows downloaded from the online store.
EDWARDS AFB - Sunday's firings of a lethal, high-energy laser mounted inside a modified 747 aircraft are the first steps in the final test phase of the program, culminating in the planned shootdown of a missile in 2009, officials said.
Lemons brought big bucks for Ventura County growers in the aftermath of the 2007 freeze.
Despite county supervisors' recent vote supporting expanded oil drilling, the city, which has opposed more drilling since the infamous 1969 spill, stands firm.
Tuesday, September 9
DineEquity Inc, has announced the resignation of Thomas Conforti as the company's chief financial officer.
Tutor-Saliba Corp., the San Fernando Valley's largest general contractor, has gone public with the completion of their acquisition by Perini Corporation, based in Framingham, Mass.
Ceres Inc. will conduct trials in Georgia with its switchgrass and sorghum plants for use as bio-fuel stock.
Fewer Americans signed contracts to purchase previously owned homes in July as harder-to-get financing kept would-be buyers from taking advantage of lower prices.
Man alleges that the radio station's shows serve the Republican Party, not the public.
Meggit Fluid Controls in North Hollywood will develop and manufacturer control devices for Embraer midlight private jets.
Monday, September 8
The effort is part of a new program to catch scofflaws. Investigators will be checking for seller's permits, business licenses and evidence that firms are collecting and paying enough sales and use tax
Sport Chalet, Inc. signed a three-year exclusive sponsorship agreement as the official sporting goods retailer of the UCLA Bruins.
Online forum host CrowdGather added a website for aviation, rail and watercraft model hobbyists to its offerings.
SACRAMENTO , California farmers can grow more food more profitably if they switch to water-saving crops and change their irrigation practices in response to the state's ongoing drought, according to a study.
Kerry Killinger, CEO of WaMu, has joined the former heads of Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, Wachovia and Countrywide in the ranks of the unemployed, the Wall St. Journal reported.
GLENDALE , Permit values for construction projects throughout Glendale increased in July, a sign that while the region may be in the midst of a slow ascent toward economic health, the area is still mired in deep financial funk, officials said.
KNBC won 8 Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards, including for investigative reporting and outstanding hard news reporting.
Friday, September 5
Micro-device manufacturer Microfabrica Inc. received $22.5 million in financing that will be used to expand development of medical devices and the growing electronics and defense businesses.
Man who worked in customer service faces charges of bank fraud, filing fake tax returns.
Discounters such as Wal-Mart and some teen chains do well amid back-to-school shopping, but department stores and apparel retailers suffer as consumers scale back.
The Westlake Village and Los Angeles offices of the law firm of Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava & MacCuish LLP are officially Alston + Bird satellites, effective Sept. 1.
People waiting for the housing market to recover need to hold on a little while longer, speakers at the Ventura County Real Estate and Economic Outlook conference said Thursday
Thursday, September 4
Ambiguous language in finding could have led to intense use, some authorities say.
The oil-rich emirate is launching a production company with Hollywood partners, with more than $1 billion in financing.
Pentadyne Power Corp. was named to the 2008 Going Green Top 100 list for its energy storage systems.
After completing a reverse merger with Siclone Industries Inc., Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. will become a publicly listed company.
Wednesday, September 3
T.O. developer cites sluggish tourism trade plus downturn in the economy
A coalition of labor and industry groups tries to block a plan to replace so-called movie officers, many of whom are retired cops, with off-duty active police officers.
PALMDALE - Water supplies from the California Aqueduct will be scant in 2009: Everyone in the industry agrees.
Tuesday, September 2
PALMDALE - Lockheed Martin Aeronautics' Skunk Works has been awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in recognition of 65 years of technology development.
Video game publisher THQ Inc. has opened a new office in Shanghai to take advantage of the growing Chinese market.
NEW YORK -- U.S. manufacturing activity slipped in August and construction spending dropped to the lowest level in seven years in July as consumer spending and housing show no signs of reviving.
HomeGoods and Marshalls try to find more success than previous tenants at site.
Monday, September 1
Mixed-martial arts star Tito Ortiz pumps up Onestop
Chatsworth-based Wastech helps Burbank aerospace firm move toward zero water emissions
As Cal State Northridge begins to celebrate its 50th birthday, the economic impact of the school is measured.
Stuart Waldman is named the new president and CEO of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association.
California's legalization of gay marriage last May has led the local tourism industry to market to gay couples
The Drought Busters are out in force: what you need to know
Hard for Professionals to Get Noticed in Crowded Field
Nadra Kareem reports on noteworthy advancements at Amgen
The IEDC has awarded Jason Crawford the 2008 New Economic Developer of the Year Award.
Intuit creates a Silicon Valley atmosphere in Woodland Hills
Ways to forestall the annual state budget crisis. Column by Gregory N. Lippe
Mark Madler writes about a new group to bring together professionals in the Valley region
Wal-Mart in Panorama City is working with New Horizons in hiring disabled adults
Universal City hotel has a new GM and new management company
Jason Schaff may be growing cool toward the Orange Line. Column by the Journal Editor