Stories for December 2015

Wednesday, December 30

Antonovich Seeks to Halt Porter Ranch Development

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich has sent a letter to county officials asking for a moratorium on land annexations to curtail development in Porter Ranch and Chatsworth.

Cities Make Last Play to Keep Teams from L.A.

Wednesday is the deadline for cities to make their final pitches to the National Football League to keep their teams from moving to Los Angeles.

Simi Valley Hospital Relocates Child Center

Simi Valley Hospital announced Tuesday that it will move its Child Development Center to a new location at 3015 N. Sycamore Drive, across the street from the main hospital.

Tuesday, December 29

Majority Stake in Rosamond Solar Project Sold

A California alternative energy company has sold off 51 percent of its stake in a 2,000 acre solar farm currently being built in the Antelope Valley near Rosamond.

New Fund Named for Former Chamber Exec

The Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley has created a new fund in honor of Gary M. Thomas, a former chamber of commerce executive and chairman of the youth organization.

Monday, December 28

Gas Company Locates Porter Ranch Leak

Southern California Gas Co. has successfully located the leaking well at its Aliso Canyon Storage Facility in Porter Ranch at a depth of 3,800 feet.

Disney ‘Star Wars’ Sequel Reaches Billion-Dollar Milestone

The second weekend of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” pushed the sci-fi film to more than $1 billion in global box office.

Wednesday, December 23

CW Network Renews Affiliate Pact

CW Network and Nexstar Broadcasting Group Inc. reached an agreement to continue broadcasting the network’s programming on Nexstar’s nine stations.

Provision Installs 200 Kiosks

Provision Interactive Technologies Inc. announced Tuesday that the company has successfully installed 200 kiosks for one of the largest drugstore chains in the nation.

Valley Home Sales Rise Year-Over-Year

San Fernando Valley home sales in November posted a 9 percent rise compared to the same month a year ago, the Southland Regional Association of Realtors reported Wednesday.

Amgen Cancer Drug Receives European OK

Amgen Inc. announced Monday that the European Commission has approved Imlygic, a first of its kind cancer drug, to treat adults with melanoma.

Tuesday, December 22

Tax Credit Lures Disney Show Back to L.A.

Eleven television projects were selected to receive production tax credits from the state, including a Walt Disney Co.-produced series relocating from Canada.

Glendale Firm Buys Santa Monica Center

American Realty Advisors has acquired the Criterion on the Promenade, a mixed use property in Santa Monica, the company announced Tuesday.

PizzaRev Signs Second Mexican Franchise Deal

Casual restaurant chain PizzaRev announced Tuesday that it has entered into a second franchise development deal in Mexico.

Extraordinary Events Mourns Loss

Extraordinary Events, a corporate event management firm, has lost Jonathan Michaels, co-partner, who passed away Dec. 14 from intestinal complications. He was 45.

Monday, December 21

Disney's 'Star Wars' Debut Breaks Records

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” shattered box office records its opening weekend including the take for a December release and overall domestic revenue.

$100 Million Deals Sends NetSol Soaring

NetSol Technologies Inc. has secured a contract valued at more than $100 million, including license, maintenance and services for its software platform NFS Ascent, the company announced Monday.

Tutor Perini Lands Contracts Worth $102 Million

Tutor Perini Corp. announced Monday that it won contracts to carry out two civil construction projects, totaling $102 million.

Friday, December 18

ReachLocal Shares Jump 60 Percent on New Strategy Announcement

ReachLocal Inc. announced Friday that it will implement a series of strategic actions to spur future growth, sparking a significant run-up in the company’s share price.

County Unemployment Lowest in Eight Years

L.A. County’s unemployment rate dipped below 6 percent in November for the first time in eight years as holiday retail hiring led broad job gains, state figures released Friday show.

Thursday, December 17

Universal Settles Home Video Lawsuit

A final settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against Universal Studios over unpaid profits from home entertainment sales.

Panavision Opens Louisiana Storefront

Woodland Hills entertainment industry vendor Panavision has opened an expanded facility in New Orleans with its subsidiary Light Iron, a supplier of post-production hardware and software.

Ceres Raises $6.4 Million in Stock Offering

Ceres Inc. announced Thursday that it raised net proceeds of about $6.4 million from its public offering of shares on Dec. 14.

Wednesday, December 16

New Owner Buys Santa Clarita Signal

The publisher of the Santa Clarita Signal newspaper has been acquired by Paladin Multi-Media Group Inc., an investment firm based in Southern California.

City Approves Sportsmen’s Lodge Project

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a developer’s plan to demolish Studio City’s landmark Sportsmen’s Lodge event center and replace it with a nearly 100,000-square-foot outdoor mall.

Porter Ranch Declared in State of Emergency

A state of emergency was declared Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Board of Advisors in regards to the gas leak in Porter Ranch.

VEDC Names New COO

Robert Lopez is the new chief operating officer at the Valley Economic Development Center, it was announced Tuesday.

Tuesday, December 15

Businesses Quickly Adapt to LAUSD Closure

Local businesses on Tuesday responded quickly to the unexpected closing of the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Disney’s Maker Names New Leader

Courtney Holt has been named as the head of Maker Studios, the multi-channel YouTube network owned by Walt Disney Co., it was announced Tuesday.

Ferrari Dealership Planned for Conejo Valley

A Conejo Valley property has sold and is slated to become a new Ferrari automobile dealership.

Amgen Raises Dividend 27 Percent

Amgen Inc. announced Tuesday it will increase its first-quarter dividend to $1 a share, a 27 percent increase from the previous rate of 79 cents.

Monday, December 14

Interlink Prepares for Nasdaq Listing

Interlink Electronics Inc. announced Monday that it has filed paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to move its common stock from the over-the-counter market to a national exchange.

Salem Retains Mike Gallagher Show

Salem Media Group announced Monday it will retain radio talk show host Michael Gallagher through the end of 2018.

Local Builder Debuts Van Nuys Subdivision

California Home Builders, a division of Evenhaim Industries Corp. of Canoga Park, held a grand opening Monday at its new, 73-home residential subdivision in Van Nuys.

Health Reform Opens Up Options

Health reform opens up options for Valley employers.

Developer Bets On Home Run

REAL ESTATE: Cusumano moves on residential project in Burbank.

Burbank native Michael Cusumano doubles down on his home town with plans to build twin high-rise towers.

Firm Locks Up Building Sites

SECURITY: Former deputy now polices construction projects.

Company founded by ex-cops aims to convince builders they need to better protect construction sites.

Chain Offers Slice

DINING: PizzaRev in growth mode with experienced franchisees.

After establishing more than two dozen stores, Westlake Village-based PizzaRev makes a major push into franchising.

Employers Bring Health to Premises

Fitness studio offers classes for client companies’ workers.

Studio City company brings yoga, meditation and exercise classes to clients’ workplaces.

Medtronic Devices Win Trophies

Diabetic, cardiac inventions ‘solve real, major health problems.’

Two medical devices produced by Medtronic Inc. have won recognition for solving health problems.

The Number

Burbank – yes, Burbank – makes the top 10 list of local shopping cities this holiday season.

Clean Break With Past

MANUFACTURING: Meissner Filtration plans to beef up new HQ with high-tech equipment.

Camarillo filter maker Meissner Filtration Products Inc. will spend $14 million in the next five years on new equipment.

Oil Company Ups Interest Through Debt Swap

ENERGY: Stock tumbles as CRC looks for stability amid industry struggles.

Oil company based in Chatsworth struggles as crude prices have dropped significantly over the past year.

Little Details Play Big Role With Film Collectibles

DESIGN: Snap Creative turns to studios for assistance when making movie tie-ins.

One of the holiday gifts created this year by design firm Snap Creative is a replica of Nakatomi Plaza, the L.A. high-rise where the first “Die Hard” movie takes place.

LAPD Officers Round Up Seasonal Donations

GOVERNMENT: Arleta-based Foothill station partnered with area groups for drive.

Officers at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Foothill Community Police Station are going beyond protecting and serving neighborhoods this holiday season.

Medical Center Gives Nonprofits Healthy Boost

GRANT: Kaiser Permanente hands out $250,000 to aid 27 organizations in Valley.

Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center awarded $250,000 in community grant funding to 27 San Fernando Valley nonprofits last month.

SPECIAL REPORT: Buy Fever Hits Valley

INVESTMENTS: Local companies become prime acquisition targets in health, tech and finance.

What did the market tell us in 2015?

State High Court Rejects Newhall Ranch Review

RESIDENTIAL: Environmental impact ruling may change development process.

A ruling this month by the California Supreme Court will not only further delay plans for a mammoth Newhall Ranch project, but experts say it might also have a far larger impact on development across the state.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Lex Reddy will serve as interim chief executive and Pam Hinson as the new chief operating officer for Antelope Valley Hospital.


Calendar of events

Moving Needle

Record Collector News’ Jim Kaplan found his groove in publishing after being fired from L.A. Weekly.

Jim Kaplan, owner of Record Collector News, keeps an old-school print publication thriving.

Tease photo

Tail Lights Make Horses Traffic Safe

High-intensity LED strands provide better visibility for motorists.

Woodland Hills equestrian comes up with tail lights for horses after a near-tragic accident.

Tease photo

Friday, December 11

Gas Leak Prompts FAA Ban Over Porter Ranch

The Federal Aviation Administration has temporarily restricted aircraft flying over areas in Porter Ranch due to safety concerns caused by a natural gas leak.

Stimulations Plus Reports Revenue Gain

Simulations Plus Inc. announced a 17.6 percent increase in revenue in conjunction with its preliminary results for the fiscal first quarter of 2016 on Thursday.

Thursday, December 10

Store Closures Hurt Cherokee's Quarter

Cherokee Global Brands reported quarterly earnings that missed Wall Street expectations, and attributed the loss in part to the removal of brand presence in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Kirk Douglas Donates to Build Alzheimer's Facility

Three-time Academy Award nominee Kirk Douglas donated $15 million toward a new $35 million care center at the Motion Picture Television Fund in Woodland Hills on Wednesday, which was also the actor’s 99th birthday.

Salem Buys Prayer App

The online division of Salem Media Group has purchased the app Instapray, the company announced Thursday.

Wednesday, December 9

Competitor Acquires Journee Lighting

LED technology company EcoSense Lighting in downtown L.A. announced on Monday that it has acquired the assets of Westlake Village’s Journée Lighting Inc.

Ixia Wins University Contract

The University of Texas at Austin has chosen Ixia to provide visibility and security systems to enhance the school’s computer networks.

Tuesday, December 8

Gas Company Responds to Porter Ranch Leak

Southern California Gas Co. executives say they are doing what they can to ameliorate the effects of the gas leak near Porter Ranch that has been ongoing since late October and appears likely to continue for several months.

Universal Announces Harry Potter's Opening Day

Universal Studios Hollywood announced Tuesday that its attraction “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will open on April 7.

OPI Names General Manager

OPI Products Inc. has appointed Ron Anderskow as global general manager of the OPI brand.

LegalZoom Buys British Law Firm

LegalZoom Legal Services Ltd., the U.K. division of Inc. in Glendale, announced on Tuesday that it is purchasing British law firm Beaumont Legal for an undisclosed amount.

Monday, December 7

NetSol Lands U.K. Bank Client

Netsol Technologies Inc. announced Monday that a U.K. bank selected its LeaseSoft software as the new platform for the bank’s finance and leasing operations.

Cynvenio to Collaborate on Trials in Denmark

Cynvenio Biosystems Inc. will collaborate with the University of Southern Denmark to conduct clinical cancer trials using Cynvenio’s Triple Play LiquidBiopsy platform, a system that identifies tumor cells in the blood and helps physicians diagnose and treat cancer without invasive surgery.

Friday, December 4

Promotional Deals Finalized With CSUN

Airtel Plaza Hotel and In-N-Out Burger sign agreements with Cal State Northridge Athletics for advertising and giveaways at basketball games.

New Industrial Park for Sun Valley

Joint venture purchases 15 acres to put up two Class A warehouse buildings in the East Valley.

Leadership Change at Hospital in Lancaster

Irvine health care management company brings interim CEO and new COO in to lead Antelope Valley Hospital.

Thursday, December 3

American Homes Grows by Acquisition

Agoura Hills-based American Homes 4 Rent, the country’s largest publicly traded single-family home landlord, announced Thursday that it will acquire American Residential Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust based in Scottsdale, in a transaction valued at $1.5 billion.

LTC Buys Nursing Homes for $23 Million

LTC Properties Inc., a real estate investment trust in Westlake Village, announced Thursday it has purchased two skilled-nursing facilities in Texas for $23 million.

High Speed Rail Authority Tests Rock for Tunnel

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has received a special use permit to conduct boring samples in the Angeles National Forest where it proposes to put tunnels for its rail project between Palmdale and Burbank.

Burbank City Manager to Retire

Burbank City Manager Mark Scott will retire in February after a 38-year career in local government, the Burbank City Council announced Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 2

Marcus & Millichap Expands Advisory Service

Calabasas brokerage Marcus & Millichap, best known for selling apartment buildings, is expanding further into the office and industrial properties sector.

Avery Dennison Joins Carbon Pledge

Avery Dennison Corp. joined the fight for climate change this week with a pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 26 percent in the next 10 years.

Medtronic Signs Diabetic Distribution Deal

Medical technology company Medtronic announced on Wednesday that it has entered into an agreement with health care product provider Henry Schein Medical to exclusively distribute certain diabetes products to primary care doctors in the U.S.

Tuesday, December 1

Court Delivers Setback to Massive Newhall Ranch Project

The mammoth Newhall Ranch development, a proposal to build more than 20,000 residences and 5 million square feet of office space over 2,500 acres in the Santa Clarita Valley, suffered a major setback in a court decision released Monday.

UberEntrepreneurs Launches in SoCal Region

The initiative is designed to spotlight small business owners who double as Uber drivers.

Developer Buys Panorama Mall

Los Angeles shopping center developer Primestor Development has purchased the Panorama Mall at the busy intersection of Roscoe and Van Nuys boulevards in Panorama City.