Stories for August 2014
Friday, August 29
Bank of America Corp. has asked for a federal judge to overturn a jury verdict that found it liable for thousands of bad mortgages sold by its Countrywide unit, leading to a $1.3 billion judgment.
A moratorium on adult film production remained in effect on Friday after a testing center reported a possible positive HIV test for an adult performer
Thursday, August 28
Crunchies Food Co. LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in response to what it said was a small group of investor-creditors taking hostile and aggressive actions.
Six Flags Magic Mountain unveiled plans Thursday to revamp its famous Colossus roller coaster and turn it into a hybrid coaster, Twisted Colossus, which will open next spring
Amgen Inc. announced on Thursday that it will seek U.S. government approval to sell pipeline drug evolocumab that has significantly reduced cholesterol for patients in clinical trials.
The value of L.A. County taxable property rose 6 percent this year to its highest valuation ever.
AmaWaterways adds to fleet. Capstone Turbine secures Russian contract.
Wednesday, August 27
Gov. Jerry Brown worked out a deal with the Legislature on Wednesday that would more than triple funding for California’s film and TV tax-credit program to stem runaway production.
Glendale Adventist Hospital reached an agreement on Wednesday to pay $700,000 to settle a city lawsuit accusing it of discharging patients from its emergency room to L.A.'s Skid Row.
Shares of NetSol Technologies Inc. rose 40 percent on Wednesday after the software developer secured a $16 million contract.
Amgen heart drug gets priority review. Vitesse Semiconductor appoints director.
Tuesday, August 26
The $150 million Talaria at Burbank mixed-used development was unanimously approved on Monday night.
Monday, August 25
Walt Disney Co. has filed three patents to use unmanned aircraft in entertainment productions at its theme parks.
Stabilizing home prices and increased inventory fueled more San Fernando Valley homes to close escrow in July in more than a year, according to a report released Monday by the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
MRV names CFO. Ixia receives another warning letter. Discovery Cube museum names director.
Pilot invests in cable show on best vittles at community airports.
Aviation: A new cable TV show features restaurants at small airports across the country.
Real Estate: Animation studio leases in highrise for growing television unit.
Despite a falling share price and some serious box office bombs, DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has increased its office space in Glendale.
Valencia offices playing key role in resurgent Cunard Line
Tourism: Historic cruise line Cunard proves an old company can learn new marketing tricks.
The War on Poverty was won by senior citizens, who will continue to move here and change our economy.
Op-ed: The aging Valley.
Market Watch Summary
Stocks showed a rebound in the two-week period ended Aug. 20 as a quarterly earnings period ended and international tensions eased in the Ukraine and Middle East.
News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley
The physician operator of an Encino medical clinic was arrested earlier this month for selling narcotics at his business while awaiting trial on another narcotics charge.
The community of Chatsworth is noted for its rocky peaks and equine neighborhoods, where residents still board and ride horses as if it were a century ago.
Diane Taylor is a rarity in the pawn industry: a female shop owner – who also happens to head the state’s trade group.
Q&A: When banks are leery, pawnshop owner Diane Taylor becomes lender of last resort.
Finance: Veteran financial manager shuts Rocky Peak fund.
Veteran financial manager Tom Kerr took a shot at going out on his own – and it didn’t work out.
Entertainment: Early stage tech-oriented media firms received studio mentoring.
The principals of six start-up tech companies came to Burbank this summer to attend camp but it wasn’t filled with canoeing, crafts time or roasting hot dogs around a bonfire.
Giving: Local businesses, residents save season for Cabrillo Musical Theatre.
Back in April, Cabrillo Musical Theatre wasn’t sure if it would see the opening of another show.
Biotech: Al Mann firm tapping public markets to advance bionic eye.
Biotech: Second Sight Medical Products, maker of the “bionic eye,” files for an IPO.
Retail: Michelle Schwabe is profitably operating brick-and-mortar bookstores in an industry dominated by Amazon.com.
Retail: One local chain sees future profits in opening old-fashioned bookstores.
Palmdale’s Northrop plant makes seaworthy surveillance craft.
Innovation: Northrop Grumman refits a drone to find submarines.
Ventura County city surprises with high score on LGBT index.
Hospitality: Oxnard wins recognition as a gay-friendly tourist destination.
Development: A mixed-use project in San Fernando draws mixed reviews from city officials.
Entertainment: Industry veteran bucks closure trend.
Entertainment: Origin Digital Studios hopes to defy the trend of closures among FX firms.
Internet: Woodland Hills marketer gets turnaround exec.
Internet: The evolution of online marketing has left ReachLocal playing catch-up.
Friday, August 22
Ixia has named a technology industry veteran Bethany Mayer as its chief executive and president.
A $75 million Warner Center luxury apartment building that opened less than a year ago has been sold to an undisclosed institutional investor.
Governor signs bill allowing dogs on eatery patios. IPC acquires two more doctors' groups.
Thursday, August 21
Bank of America has agreed on the largest settlement ever reached between the government and a company, largely due to its acquisition of Countrywide Financial.
Three cities in the greater Valley were among 10 named on Thursday by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. as finalists for its award given to most business-friendly cities.
Nestle USA pledged on Thursday to improve the welfare of the farm animals in its supply chain by implementing stricter standards on its 7,300 suppliers.
Superior Industries International Inc. announced final proxy vote results, with the company’s slate of four candidates elected to the board of directors.
Bob Deyan, who grew his San Fernando Valley business into one of the largest independent audiobooks producers, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica from complications of ALS. He was 56.
Wednesday, August 20
Avery Dennison Inc.’s Retail Branding and Information Solutions announced a joint venture for the company to provide embellishments and labels to a Chinese knitwear manufacturer.
The number of passengers using Burbank Bob Hope Airport decreased about 1 percent in June compared to the same month a year ago, the airport announced on Wednesday.
Apollo Medical reports 56 percent revenue growth; Ryland announces new development.
Tuesday, August 19
Financial services provider Intuit Inc. will lay off employees at its Woodland Hills location as it moves to cloud-based services.
Monday, August 18
The owner of a Glendale medical clinic was sentenced on Monday to eight years in federal prison for orchestrating a prescription drug fraud that bilked the government out of more than $9 million.
Shares of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. closed up nearly 10 percent on Monday after the company appointed a new chief financial officer and saw its latest movie open strong in China.
Sport Chalet Inc. shareholders have approved a $70 million acquisition of the La Canada Flintridge retailer by a Connecticut sporting goods company, the companies announced Monday.
Friday, August 15
Unemployment in Los Angeles County held steady at 8.1 percent in July even as the county lost 58,000 jobs due to schools letting out for summer, according to state figures released Friday.
Customers at Albertsons supermarkets in Los Angeles County may have had their credit and debit card information comprised by a wide data breach, the chain's owners said Friday.
A bill requiring mandatory condom usage on adult film sets in California died Thursday in the Senate Appropriations Committee, but backers plan to re-introduce it next year.
The 69-year-old physician operator of an Encino medical clinic has been arrested for selling hydrocodone at his business while awaiting trial on another narcotics charge, officials said.
Thursday, August 14
The Senate Appropriations Committee voted on Thursday to approve a bill that would extend and sharply expand California’s film and television tax credit program.
Shares of American Homes fell Thursday after the single-family home landlord priced its $230 million public offering.
L.A. County foreclosures rose in July after falling for more than two years, according to a report released Thursday.
Shares of Amgen Inc. rise despite a double dose of bad news in the form of a trial setback and a recall.
Workers’ compensation insurance rates may go up 11 percent next year from current levels following a vote by a key state board.
Valley Village apartments sell. Cunard refits ship. Talon executive agreements. Conversant hires VP.
Wednesday, August 13
Second Sight, a Sylmar company founded by billionaire Alfred Mann to develop an artificial retina for blind patients, filed paperwork for a $32 million initial public offering on Tuesday.
Walt Disney Co. is selling off 23 of its Radio Disney stations and laying off about 200 employees as it moves to digital distribution of its radio content, according to media reports on Wednesday.
American Homes 4 Rent announced on Wednesday a public offering of shares as it continues to acquire rental homes across the country.
The brand name established by WellPoint Health Networks Inc. in Thousand Oaks is disappearing from the corporate landscape.
DineEquity Inc. announced Wednesday plans to refinance $1.4 billion of debt and credit, as the company looks to take advantage of low interest rates.
Home sales in Southern California fell to their lowest number for a July in three years, as affordability issues and weak supply slowed the market, according to a report released Wednesday by real estate data firm DataQuick.
Tuesday, August 12
The sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has closed, the National Basketball Association announced Tuesday.
The Assembly has approved a bill offering tax credits to Northrop Grumman Corp. should the company build an advanced bomber for the Air Force – and do some work in the Antelope Valley.
More than a year after selling its landmark Sherman Oaks office building, Sunkist Growers Inc. announced Tuesday it will begin moving to its new home in Santa Clarita in September.
Tylt opens headquarters. Northrop Grumman wins contract. Interlink, Mission Valley and Electro Rent report earnings.
Monday, August 11
MannKind Corp. announced on Monday it has signed a $925 million agreement with French drug company Sanofi to market and sell is Afrezza inhalable insulin worldwide.
Private membership airline Surf Air has ordered 15 new Pilatus PC-12 aircraft in a deal valued at $65 million.
Austin Beutner, a former investment banker and Los Angeles deputy mayor, was named publisher and chief executive of the Los Angeles Times Media Group, the Times announced Monday.
DisneyToon layoffs. United Online accounting issue. DTS and Talon earnings.
Retail: Target, other stores tone down logos at Shoppes outdoor mall.
Retail: Shoppes at Westlake Village brings Santa Barbara style to the Conejo Valley.
Trade group seeks to reverse trend that has seen state regain only a fraction of jobs lost since recession.
OP-ED: Let’s boost California manufacturing
Market Watch Summary
The seasonal wave of earnings reports and tensions in the Ukraine and Middle East contributed to a drop in the stock market during the two-week period ended Aug. 6.
News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley
A coalition formed to bring light rail projects to the San Fernando Valley has added a significant number of members.
Real Estate: Kythera moves from Calabasas to larger space in Westlake Village.
As Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. waits on the Food and Drug Administration to make a decision on its new drug to eliminate chin fat, the biotech is expanding its office footprint.
Technology: At Solid Concepts, 3-D printing only makes sense when making big-dollar items.
Aviation: Frazier Aviation uses state-of-the-art technology to machine new parts for old airplanes.
Defense: Natal EMS has built a hands-free assembly line to produce microscopically small parts.
A manufacturing rebound has helped the recovery despite little job growth. One answer to the riddle can be found in new technologies boosting shop-floor efficiency.
Productivity: Sophisticated machines and few workers is the new business model for manufacturing.
Bill Watkins went back to school in his 40s to earn his Ph.D and now leads Cal Lutheran’s economic forecast – when he’s not playing blues or climbing rocks.
Q&A: Cal Lutheran Professor Bill Watkins left banking to become an economic forecaster.
Law: City legal staff had tried to organize after dissatisfaction over pay.
An 18-month campaign to unionize lawyers at the Burbank City Attorney’s Office came to an end last month as the group announced it would disband.
Retail & Hospitality: Applebee’s asks diners to post their own pics on firm’s Instagram.
Applebee’s International Inc. is letting its customers get behind the camera and be the sole source of photos to its Instagram account for the next year.
Real estate: Biotech leaders say bigger firms may fit on headquarters campus.
Real Estate: As Amgen downsizes, what will happen with its Thousand Oaks campus?
Employment: Up to 600 workers could lose jobs at St. Jude and Nestle USA.
Employment: Nestle and St. Jude Medical announce layoffs at local manufacturing plants.
Transportation: Ron Weaver and his staff at Automotive Design and Fabrication turn heads transforming plain Sprinter vans.
Transportation: Ron Weaver performs high-end remodels on Sprinter Vans.
Winning team makes use of slick covering by Avery Dennison.
Innovation: Solar-powered car gets the aerodynamic treatment from Avery Dennison.
Sherman Oaks outfit scores show’s biggest- ever investment.
Entertainment: Spooky-attraction production house scares up $2 million on “Shark Tank.”
Business-plan event in Burbank attracts eager entrepreneurs.
Events: Would-be entrepreneurs aired their ideas at Startup Weekend.
Development: Big plans for the former Sunkist headquarters may get squeezed down by neighborhood groups.
Real Estate: Developer about to break ground in Chatsworth.
Real Estate: One developer thinks the Valley market is ripe for new industrial projects.
Investments: Mario Gabelli seeks voice at wheelmaker.
Investments: Factory executives face off against Wall Street financiers in Superior Industries’ proxy battle.
Friday, August 8
A San Francisco man has been sentenced to three months in prison for insider trading connected to Walt Disney Co.’s acquisition of Marvel Entertainment Inc.
Adult film production has sharply declined in the Valley and Los Angeles County in the two years since the passage of a law requiring the use of condoms on set.
Kythera shares pop. Acquisitions cut Salem income. Signature reduces losses.
Thursday, August 7
Bank of America is close to reaching a record $16 billion to $17 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over toxic mortgages issued by its Countrywide Financial unit and other mortgage lenders it acquired.
The Calabasas commercial real estate brokerage reported on Thursday soaring first quarter revenue, citing a substantial increase in brokerage commissions
Wednesday, August 6
Health Net Inc. on Wednesday announced quarterly earnings nearly triple what analysts expected, sending the stock higher.
PennyMac Financial beats earnings estimates, PennyMac Mortgage grows its loan portfolio and LTC increases revenue.
ReachLocal widens its losses, Conversant misses estimates and Vitesse boosts new product sales
The loss of 29 one-hour dramas over a two-year period has cost the Los Angeles region up to $1.2 billion in production spending, a new report from FilmL.A. Inc. released on Wednesday concluded.
Tuesday, August 5
Up to 360 workers could lose their jobs after Nestle USA announced on Tuesday that it is shutting down its Chatsworth Hot Pockets plant and moving operations to Kentucky.
21st Century Fox on Tuesday formally withdrew its offer to acquire Time Warner Inc., parent of Warner Bros. Entertainment in Burbank.
The World Cup soccer games gave a kick to Walt Disney Co. earnings in the second quarter as results outperformed analyst estimates.
Dr. Walter De Logi, co-founder and chairman of Ceres Inc., has died unexpectedly, the company announced Tuesday.
MannKind discloses insulin manufacturing pact. Tutor Perini reports mixed earnings. DineEquity declares dividend.
American Homes 4 Rent reported late Monday second-quarter funds from operations in line with Wall Street expectations, as the company remains aggressive in expanding its housing portfolio.
Los Angeles once again received a grade of D for its overall friendliness to small business, according to a report to be released Tuesday.
Monday, August 4
Sport Chalet Inc. shareholders received a deadline extension until midnight Aug. 15 to approve the sale of the sporting goods retailer at the highest price being offered by a Connecticut sporting goods company.
Amgen Inc. announced on Monday positive human trial results for a cancer drug that was the focus of a multibillion dollar acquisition last year.
The Terrace, a 40,000-square-foot shopping center in Thousand Oaks, has sold for $13.5 million.
Friday, August 1
A coalition formed to bring light rail projects to the San Fernando Valley has added a significant number of members, the Valley Industry and Commerce Association announced.
Low-budget Burbank production company The Asylum scored a big hit this week as its “Sharknado 2: The Second One” drew in a viewership of 3.9 million.
Crown Media and Public Storage release earnings. Cherokee declares dividend.