Stories for February 2012

Wednesday, February 29

First California Adds Two Branches with Merger

First California Financial Group expanded its presence in Riverside County following its merger with Premier Service Bank.

DreamWorks Shares Slide after Earnings Drop

Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. fell more than $2 today after the studio reported a 72 percent drop in earnings yesterday.

Two Vacant Valley Condo Projects Sell For $24.2 Million

Laguna Niguel-based Raintree Partners has purchased two empty Valley luxury condo complexes for $24.2 million.

Tuesday, February 28

Remboldt Retires as President/CEO of Simi Valley Hospital

Simi Valley Hospital announced the retirement of CEO Darwin Remboldt, effective immediately.

Providence Holy Cross Medical Center First LEED Silver-Certified Hospital in Southern California

Providence Holy Cross Medical Center’s new four-story, 138-bed expansion was named the first LEED Silver hospital in Southern California, an honor bestowed on buildings that meet certain environmental standards.

New Financing Puts XCOR on Track for Space Vehicle Production

XCOR Aerospace received $5 million in private financing, enough to take the company through production of its suborbital space vehicle.

Woodbury University Appoints New University President

Burbank-based Woodbury University announced today Dr. Luis Ma R. Calingo as the newly-appointed president, effective July 1.

Monday, February 27

Teledyne Adds to Industrial Products with Acquisition

Teledyne Technologies Inc. added to its energy exploration and production business with the acquisition of a Canadian company that makes connectors and cable assemblies.

Cheesecake Factory to Lay-Off 135 Employees

The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated, a Calabasas-based operator of upscale casual dining restaurants, will be laying off 135 employees from it West Coast bakery in Calabasas.

Three Woodland Hills Office Buildings Sell For More Than $25 Million

Three Warner Center office buildings totaling 182,000 square feet have sold for $26.4 million in a deal that closed last week.

Kaiser Permanente Plans Specialty Medical Office Building

Kaiser Permanente plans to build a 100,000-square-foot medical office building in Lancaster to house some 66 specialty physicians.

Friday, February 24

Tough Economy May Force Real Estate Researcher to Close Its Doors

The Construction Industry Research Board, which compiles building permit data across the state, may close down at the end of March after nearly four decades of operation.

Camarillo-based Biotech Firm Names New Member to its Advisory Board

Camarillo-based PBS Biotech announced the appointment of the chief executive of a Palo Alto biopharmaceutical company to its advisory board.

New Standard Equities Opens Corporate Office

The San Fernando Valley has a new full-service real estate company dedicated to the multifamily market.

Antelope Valley Hospital to Open Wound Healing Center

Antelope Valley Hospital will hold a grand opening ceremony next Tuesday to celebrate its new 3,600-square-foot Comprehensive Wound Healing Center on the hospital campus.

Thursday, February 23

Prime CEO Lex Reddy Resigns

Lex Reddy, CEO of beleaguered Prime Health Care, has reportedly resigned from the Ontario-based company, according the health care industry publication Payers and Providers.

Local Nonprofit To Host Oscar Party

San Fernando-based nonprofit, MEND –Meet Each Need with Dignity- has been selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ outreach program to host an Oscar Night gala celebrating the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

MPTF Announces $350 million Campaign

The Motion Picture & Television Fund, which three years ago planned to shut its Woodland Hills nursing home, announced Feb, 23 it has raised $238 million toward a $350 million campaign to support the institution.

Disney Signs China VOD Deal

The Walt Disney Co. will make its film library available for video-on-demand in China after signing an agreement with YOU on Demand Holdings Inc.

Wednesday, February 22

Tutor Perini Subsidiary Awarded $97 Million Contract

Tutor Perini Corporation, a Sylmar-based building construction company, today announced its subsidiary, Roy Anderson Corp. has been selected as the general contractor for Margaritaville Resort Casino and Hotel Resort in Bossier City, La.

MPTV Hospital is Fined for Death of Patient

The Motion Picture & Television Hospital in Woodland Hills was fined $80,000 after an investigation by the State of California concluded that conditions at the facility led to the death of a wheelchair-bound patient with dementia who fell down a flight of stairs.

Glendale Chamber of Commerce Launches Young Professionals Program

The Glendale Chamber of Commerce has launched a new program aimed at cultivating the next generation of city leaders.

Ceres Inc. Goes Public, Sees Shares Rise 13.85 percent

After delaying its initial public offering for nearly two weeks and cutting its offer price, Thousand-Oaks based Ceres Inc. went public Wednesday and saw its stock price rise nearly 14 percent.

Tuesday, February 21

The Cheesecake Factory Reports Revenue Gain

The Cheesecake Factory of Calabasas reported positive earnings and a 15 percent revenue gain in the fourth quarter.

Local Attorneys Head Off On Their Own

A new law firm has opened up in Westlake Village.

BioSolar Executives Visit China

Executives with BioSolar Inc. visited China recently to meet with solar manufacturers interested in buying solar panel modules from the Santa Clarita company.

Hospitalist Company Announces Earnings in Line with Expectations

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. today announced a 21 percent increase in revenue, 22 percent increase in profits and a 22 percent increase in patient encounters for the fourth quarter.

Monday, February 20

Former Valencia Condos Sell For $56.65 million

Spurred by a hot multifamily market, Decron Properties Corp. recently looked outside the core coastal communities and purchased more than 260 former condos in Valencia for nearly $57 million.

Imperial Toy Recognized at International Toy Fair

North Hills-based toy maker, Imperial Toy, LLC was awarded Best In Play 2012 Toy Fair Award by Parenting Magazine for its hip new brand of launching guns, ZOOMA Splat X Smackshot at the Toy Industry Association’s 109th New York International Toy Fair.

Valley Community Clinic Announces New Corporate Partners

Valley Community Clinic of North Hollywood announced two new corporate partners who support the work of the nonprofit. The new partners are Community Bank, and David Tieu and LeVar Harris, financial advisors with Prudential, a global insurance and financial services company.

Warner Bros., JAKKS in Deal for Toy Line

Toys based on the characters from this summer’s “The Dark Knight Rises” will kick off a new product line between Warner Bros. Consumer Products and JAKKS Pacific Inc.

Doctor in the House?

Medicine: Community clinics short on physicians to care for new patients expected from health care reform.

Thanks to health care reform, community clinics suddenly have more money to take on new patients and expand their services.

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Facials for Fido?

RETAIL: Kriser’s pet store grows with high-end pet products market.

Natural pet food retailer Kriser’s expands its domestic presence.

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Menswear Retailer Closes Amid Industry Transition

Shopping: Economy, new competition prompts Mel Fox closure after more than 60 years.

After more than 60 years of business, Mel Fox, the Encino-based men’s clothing retailer, is preparing to close its doors

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Rapidly Improving Santa Clarita Industrial Market Spurs New Construction

SANTA CLARITA: Santa Clarita becomes the new hot spot for the industrial market

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Avalon Investment Readies a Third Speculative Project

Build: Developer to break ground on 45,000-square-foot industrial building this summer.

Avalon Investment Company prepares for new project in Santa Clarita

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Digital Conversion Opens New Doors for Cinedigm

STRATEGY: Firm to enter emerging markets.

Technology: Cinedigm eyes new opportunities through digital conversion.

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Valley Mall Snags New Makeover

Northridge center to get new lighting, flooring, updated food court.

Northridge Fashion Center commences renovation project

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Dino Skulls Adds Spunk to Shoes

A hit with children, Sculpted Footwear now pursues adult market.

Chatsworth-based Sculpted Footwear hits the small screen

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Neonatal Unit Close to Opening

New unit at Henry Mayo gives parents peace of mind for their newborns.

Henry Mayo hospital expects approval to open new NICU next month

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Federal Budget Cutting into Valley Business


Northrop Grumman Corp. in Palmdale has been trying to ward off the U.S. Department of Defense ax. Editorial by Editor, Jaclyn Giovis

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New Parking System Pulls Into Valley

Auto Parkit uses less space than traditional parking garages.

Sherman Oaks apartment project features automated parking garage

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Valley’s Adult Education Programs Facing Perilous Cuts


Catching the local business issues that fall through the cracks

East Valley Industrial Market to Join Rising Tide in 2012

Demand: Building owners fill space in aging structures to companies who value location.

East Valley is known as one of the Valley’s oldest industrial markets

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Nestlé USA Lands Cool Deal for Ice Cream Distribution

Lease: Route change leads to adding a third location; company will make $500,000 investment.

Nestlé USA has leased roughly two acres of land in Chatsworth to build a distribution center for its ice cream products and more.

Valley Area’s Industrial Market Rebounds

OUTLOOK: Bright future may be ahead.

SPECIAL REPORT: Commercial Real Estate - Local brokers say rents in the industrial market will rise this year.

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Real Estate Brokerage Firms Predict Bright Spots For 2012

Growth: Apartment sales will remain hot this year as other markets begin to warm up.


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Lack of Incentive Hampers Investment in Aging Properties

Lack of Incentive Hampers Investment in Aging Properties

Demand for older industrial buildings wards off redevelopment.

Private Universities Plan for Reduction of Student Aid

Education: Cal Grant cuts in proposed state budget would result in savings of $300 million.

Proposed cuts on funding for private college students raises concerns

Picture Growing Big for Replay XD’s Small Cameras

Tech: Sports enthusiasts, the YouTube generation drives sales of pocket camcorders.

Camera maker, ReplayXD releases new low- cost compact camera

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Valley Shoe Makers Aim to Win Over Fickle Consumers

Retail: Diverse selection and innovation now part of business plan to meet competition.

Valley shoe companies implement strategies to beat a challenging market

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Back to Health

Valley Presbyterian Hospital repaired its budget. Now it aims to build a stronger culture with patients.

Valley Presbyterian has shored up its fiscal house and looks to future.

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Leading the Way Home

Liz Iversen, general manager of Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems, talks about budget cuts, gyroscopes, and working in a male-dominated industry.

PROFILE: Liz Iversen, general manager of Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems.

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Dignity Meets Debt

Account Control Technology and founder Dale Van Dellen use a humane approach to collecting on student loan defaults.

ENTREPRENEUR: Collection agency, Account Control Technology focuses on student loan market

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MGA Entertainment Supports Medical Research with Dolls

Hope: Van Nuys toymaker sending message of comfort to children undergoing treatment.

GIVING: This is a regular feature on philanthropic activities by Valley-area business people and companies.

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AROUND THE VALLEYS - February 20, 2012

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area

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Motion Picture Television Fund Mends Industry Ties

Partners: Hospital joins with UCLA on inpatient unit for geriatric psychiatric patients.

HEALTH CARE Column by Judy Temes

Entertainment Partners Opens New Finance Division

Money: Burbank firm offers assistance to producers to get tax incentive funds earlier.

ENTERTAINMENT Column by Mark Madler

VALLEY STOCK WATCH - February 20, 2012

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

VALLEY BIZ SEEN - February 20, 2012

Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.

Friday, February 17

illi Commercial Adds Influential New Associate

Christopher L. Stewart—a longtime Los Angeles powerbroker—has joined Encino-based illi Commercial Real Estate, the company announced Thursday.

DreamWorks Animation Opening China Studio

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. announced a joint venture with three Chinese companies on an animation and live-action entertainment company for the Asian market.

Henry Mayo’s Stroke Program Receives Award

Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s “Get With TheGuidelines–Stroke Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.”

K-Swiss Widens Loss, Decrease in Orders

K-Swiss Inc, the Westlake Village footwear company, reported a wider loss in its fourth quarter along with a weak forecast for the current year.

Thursday, February 16

North Hollywood Health Care Company Expands in Florida

IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc. (Nasdaq:IPCM), a leading national physician group practice company that provides hospitalist services, announced two acquisitions in Florida.

Vote on Adult Education Postponed

The Los Angeles Unified School District postponed until March 13 a decision on the fate of adult education in Los Angeles.

Image Income Falls in Q3

Strong sales in DVDs and digital distribution were not enough to keep Image Entertainment Inc. from a drop in its third quarter net income when compared to a year ago.

ReachLocal Narrows Loss and Widens Revenue Gains

ReachLocal Inc. of Woodland Hills reported positive earnings and a 24 percent revenue gain in the fourth quarter.

Tuesday, February 14

CSUN Gets $1.8 Million Grant to Create Social Network for Parents

California State University, Northridge received a grant of nearly $1.18 million from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop an online social network aimed at parents who are at risk of mistreating their children.

Staffing Company Reports Big Jump in Profits on Solid Revenue Gain

Calabasas-based staffing firm On Assignment Inc. reported a steep 168 percent profit increase in the fourth quarter on a 34 percent rise in revenue.

Mission Hills Office Building Sells for $5.65 million

Santa Monica West LLC has purchased a roughly 34,000 square-foot Mission Hills office building for $5.65 million, according to the brokerage involved in the deal.

Small Business Centers Opening in Valley

The Valley Economic Development Center has been chosen as the north San Fernando Valley location of a new center sponsored by the City of Los Angeles to support small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Monday, February 13

NASA Budget Funding Pratt & Whitney Programs

The proposed NASA budget released Feb. 13 includes $1.3 billion for the agency’s newest space vehicle, a program that Canoga Park-based Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will make the engines for.

Wesco Aircraft Recognized by Boeing

Wesco Aircraft, a Valencia-based supplier of supply chain management services to the global aerospace industry, announced it has received a 2011 Boeing Performance Excellence Award.

Northridge Mall Commences Renovation Project

The Northridge Fashion Center announced plans to expand and modernize the shopping center’s interior and exterior.

Friday, February 10

Warner Bros. Partners with Electronics Company on New Line of Learning Toys

Burbank-based Warner Bros. Consumer Products has entered into a licensing agreement with Oregon Scientific, an Oregon-based designer and marketer of personal electronics.

MGA Entertainment Supports Cancer Research with New Doll Line

Van Nuys-based consumer product company, MGA Entertainment launched new hairless versions of its popular doll brands Bratz and Moxie Girlz.

BioMolded Products Opens Manufacturing Facility

BioMolded Products LLC opened a manufacturing facility in Westlake Village to make plastic parts for the biopharmaceutical and life sciences industries.

Thursday, February 9

Phototron Partners With Hearst Media Services

Phototron Holdings Inc., a Woodland Hills-based designer and manufacturer of mini-greenhouses, today announced its partnership with Hearst Media Services/Bay Area.

Ixia Introduces New Test at Barcelona Trade Show

Ixia, the $308 million Calabasas company that provides test systems for Internet Protocol (IP) and wireless networks, today announced that it will demonstrate a new test solution at a conference in Barcelona.

CBRE Names New Managing Director for Greater Valley region

Industry veteran Natalie Bazarevitsch has been named senior managing director for the brokerage’s Universal City and Camarillo offices, where she will manage more than 60 brokers.

Wednesday, February 8

Visual Effects Artists Center Stage at Awards Show

Animated feature film “Rango” swept all the categories in which it was nominated including outstanding visual effects in an animated film at the 10th annual Visual Effects Awards on Feb. 7 in Beverly Hills.

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Valley Surgical Center Halts Lap-Band Procedure amid Medical Review

The Valley Surgical Center in West Hills along with the New Life Surgery Center in Beverly Hills, have temporarily stopped performing Lap-Band surgeries.

Abercrombie & Hollister to Close Shop at Simi Valley Town Center

Apparel chains Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister will be closing their stores in the Simi Valley Town Center at the end of March.

Tuesday, February 7

Income Up, Revenues Flat in Q1 for Disney

Net income increased by 12 percent in the first quarter for The Walt Disney Co. despite poor showings in the feature film and interactive business units.

ValueClick Reports Strong Growth in Revenue and Profits

ValueClick Inc., the digital marketing company based in Westlake Village, reported strong gains in both revenue and profit for the fourth quarter and year-end 2011.

Valley Presbyterian Receives $100,000 Grant in Support of New Operating Rooms

Van Nuys-based Valley Presbyterian Hospital received a $100,000 donation from The Fritz B. Burns Foundation to support the renovation of its operating rooms.

Valley Community Clinic Gets $150,000 Grant to support Women’s Services

The California Wellness Foundation has awarded the Valley Community Clinic of North Hollywood a $150,000 grant in support of its new Prenatal Center serving low-income women.

Camarillo Man Gets Prison Term for Tax Evasion

A 76-year-old Camarillo man was sentenced to five years in prison for not paying taxes on money connected to a Ponzi scheme.

Westlake Village Company Receives Contracts for Cancer Research

Cynvenio Biosystems Inc., a Westlake Village company specializing in the development of cell isolation systems for biomedical research, has been awarded two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts by the National Cancer Institute. The contracts are for the development of novel lung cancer tests.

Monday, February 6

Sapphire Princess Sets Sail with New Amenities

Princess Cruises of Santa Clarita announced today that one of its ships, the Sapphire Princess, set sail after a three-week makeover that included a new atrium, a café and wine bar, a new pizzeria and a movie screen that will allow cruisers to watch movies under the stars.

MRV Communications Names New Chief Executive

Chatsworth-based MRV Communications Inc. has a new chief executive, the latest appointment in a string of management changes at the optical communications provider.

Eggology is First in the State to be “Certified Humane”

Canoga Park-based egg white processor, Eggology, Inc., is the first egg product company in the state to have Certified Humane eggs, a requirement set by Proposition 2.

Bank of Santa Clarita Reports Q4, Fiscal 2011 Earnings

The Bank of Santa Clarita improved its net earnings in the fourth quarter when compared with the prior year. The bank, however, saw a drop in its earnings for the full fiscal year.

SpaRitual to Hit Shelves at Sephora

BEAUTY: Van Nuys company expands sales channels to reach more consumers.

Nail company, SpaRitual, lands a deal with national retailer Sephora.

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VALLEY BIZ SEEN - February 6, 2012

Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.

NAI Capital to Benefit from New Ownership Group

REAL ESTATE: Encino firm benefits from infusion of capital, access to institutional clients.

Texas real estate firm acquires NAI Global.

VALLEY STOCK WATCH - February 6, 2012

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

Chambers Use Programs to Bring Value to Members

Assistance: Beautification efforts, and farmers markets among Valley examples.

LIST STORY: Valley Area Chambers of Commerce Listed in alphabetical order. Includes SFVBJ's 2012 VALLEY AREA CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE list for download (pdf)

Galpin Mustang Auction Benefits Children’s Hospital

Auto: Custom built muscle car sells for $160,000; proceeds to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Giving: Galpin donates proceeds from the sale of a custom-built Mustang to charity

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Parent of Area Hospitals Loosens Ties with Church

Change: Former Catholic Healthcare West gets new name, looks to grow nationally.

Parent company to Northridge, Glendale Memorial looks to grow.

Banking Ordinance Language Still Being Hashed Out

Regulate: Measure is three years in making, would grade banks city does business with.

Banking & Finance: Responsible banking ordinance on track for approval

NetDNA Finds Connection to Growing Online Games Market

Tech: Studio City company offers services to make websites with games run faster.

Content Delivery Network, Net DNA, is taking on internet gaming

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Reigning in Real Estate

Agent Matt Epstein talks about the Valley’s residential home market, serving on the city planning commission and the joys of drumming.

PROFILE: Matt Epstein, founder of real estate firm, Team 2000

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Providence Attracts Droves of Physicians to Partnership

Care: Physicians attracted by Providence picking up cost of electronic records training.

New initiative has doctors flocking to Providence Health & Services

AROUND THE VALLEYS - February 6, 2012

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area

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Valley’s Sweet Spot

Franchise: Camarillo-based company plans to add more stores, new products to mix.

Candy shop franchise Rocket Fizz launches new locations and products

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$500 Million Acquisition Opens Doors for Semtech

Manufacturing: Firm adds video surveillance market after buying Canadian company.

Semtech acquires Canadian company in $500 million deal

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Yoga Studio Moves Home to Woodland Hills

Inner Power increases its visibility with storefront on Ventura Boulevard.

Yoga studio moves from Calabasas to Woodland Hills

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Effects House Enters the ‘Underworld’

Arleta-based firm steps up to challenge of designing creatures for first 3D film.

Special effects firm MastersFX shows off its work in “Underworld Awakening”

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Trio Writes a New Story in Burbank

Gastropub will decorate with items connected with the city’s history, be modeled on Craftsman bungalow.

Gastropub with historical theme prepares to open in Burbank

Technical Oscar for Pictorvision

Engineers honored for developing aerial camera system.

Camera developer Pictorvision will receive an Oscar for helicopter camera

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ValleyCrest Hires CEO from Within

LEADERSHIP: Roger Zino rises to top of Calabasas company.

National landscaping company ValleyCrest names new CEO.

Glendale Site Sells for $18 M

DEAL: Target Corp. sells the 9.5 acre property amid cleanup efforts.

Target sells its 9.5 acre property in Glendale for $18 million.

Chopping Block

Trade School Funding in Jeopardy

The fate of adult education is uncertain as LAUSD weighs budget cuts.

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Ready. Set. Action!

Race cars, auto makeovers, and wind turbine technicians are all in a day’s work for the crew at reality production company BCII.

ENTREPRENEUR: BCII, produces unscripted shows for cable channels.

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Motion Picture Home Eyes Deal to Fill Empty Beds

Health: Nonprofit keeps long-term care for residents, works on reducing costs.

Hospital: Motion Picture & Television Fund explores options for local facility.

Shareholders Want Changes at MRV Communications

Value: Dividends, sale of subsidiaries among moves made by Chatsworth company.

Leadership unrest makes for an uncertain future for MRV Communications

Marketing Firm Puts a Spin on Virtual Dressing Room

Digital: Motion control device powers Swivel to give a 3D image of a shopper.

FaceCake Marketing Technologies unveils 3-D dressing room

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THQ Cuts More Workers Amid Financial Challenges

Video: Company battles weak game sales and possible delisting as observers question its future.

Game developer, THQ struggles to regain formula for success.

Friday, February 3

Patricia Disney Dies at 77; Made Providence St. Joseph’s Cancer Center Possible

Patricia Ann Disney, matriarch of the family whose $10 million donation helped make the cancer center that bears her name at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center a reality, died this morning. She was 77.

West Hills Hospital is Honored for 50 Years of Service

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center today was honored for 50 years of service by the West Hills Canoga Park Chamber of Commerce.

Teledyne Subsidiary Receives $7.7 Contract for Pilot Specatcles

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. has received a $7.7 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to provide eye protection spectacles.

Small Business Center Earns Job Creation Award

The Small Business Development Center of the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County earned the “Highest Job Creation 2011” award from the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network.

HealthNet Shares Fall Amid Earnings Decline

Shares of Woodland Hills based HealthNet Inc. dropped this morning on news of a 25 percent decline in 4th quarter profits due primarily to changes in its military contracts.

Thursday, February 2

Following Poor Q3 Results, THQ Restructures

Video game publisher THQ Inc. widened its net loss in the third quarter, hurt by weak sales of its uDraw game tablet and casual gaming titles.

Chief Medical Officer Named at Simi Valley Hospital

Simi Valley Hospital now has a chief medical officer, a new position.

Top Valley Broker Named President of AIR Commercial Real Estate Association

Senior Vice President David Harding of CBRE Group Inc. has been elected president of the AIR Commercial Real Estate Association.

Wednesday, February 1

Warner Bros. Consumer Products Showcases Products for New Batman Film

Gearing up for its anticipated summer blockbuster “The Dark Knight Rises,” Burbank based-Warner Bros. Consumer Products is launching a collection of products from several global licensees to accompany the film’s release.

Guitar Center Launches Music Competition

Guitar Center, the Westlake Village retailer of musical instruments, today launched the latest installment of its artist discovery program, Guitar Center Presents Your Next Record with T-Pain.

Disney Takes Controlling Interest in UTV

The Walt Disney Co. is acquiring a controlling interest in an Indian media and entertainment company that reaches more than 100 million weekly viewers.