Stories for February 2015

Friday, February 27

Signature Completes Metal Recycler Acquisition

Signature Group Holdings Inc. announced Friday it has completed the acquisition of Global Recycling and Specification Alloys for $525 million.

Update: Driver in Metrolink Crash Released

The driver of the truck that collided with a Metrolink chain in Oxnard has been released from custody as officials continue to investigate the accident that injured 28 passengers, including three critically.

Thursday, February 26

Atlanta Bank Buys DreamWorks Campus

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. has sold its Glendale campus for $185 million to the investment arm of SunTrust Banks Inc., an Atlanta bank holding company, according to a studio regulatory filing on Thursday.

Briefs: Tutor Perini, LTC Properties

Tutor Perini and LTC both miss earnings estimates.

VICA PAC Makes Council Endorsements

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association PAC has endorsed three incumbents from the San Fernando Valley running for re-election to the City Council in the March 3 primary.

Viking to Launch Domestic River Cruises

Viking River Cruises will offer cruises in North America for the first time in 2017 along the Mississippi River.

National Technical Makes Acquisition

National Technical Systems Inc., a Calabasas engineering and testing company, announced Thursday it has acquired Trace Laboratories in Baltimore.

Wednesday, February 25

DineEquity Juiced by IHOP Sales

A sharp increase in same store sales at IHOP restaurants drove fourth quarter earnings at DineEquity Inc.

Briefs: Ixia, Apollo Medical, Signature Group

Ixia's preliminary results beat The Street. Apollo Medical reports wider losses. Signature Group completes secondary offering.

Tuesday, February 24

DreamWorks Selling, Leasing Back Glendale Campus

During a conference call to discuss DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.'s poor fourth-quarter earnings, Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said the studio plans to sell and lease back its plush, shaded campus in Glendale.

State Plastic Bag Ban on Hold

Plastic bag manufacturers and other opponents of a statewide ban on plastic bags have qualified a referendum for the November 2016 ballot, thereby putting the ban on hold, the California Secretary of State’s office said Tuesday.

Encino Hospital Opening Geriatric ER

Encino Hospital Medical Center plans to unveil the first Geriatric Emergency Room, or “senior ER,” in Southern California on Wednesday.

MannKind Meets Wall Street Estimates

Inhalable-insulin maker MannKind Corp. reported on Tuesday financial results for the fourth quarter in line with analyst estimates.

Monday, February 23

Machinima Lays Off 10 Percent of Staff

Machinima, an online gamer network backed by Warner Bros., has laid off 13 full-time employees, about 10 percent of its staff, in an effort to “focus its resources on high-growth opportunities,” the company said in a statement.

Disney Names Resorts Chief

Bob Chapek, a veteran Walt Disney Co. executive with broad experience, was named Monday as head of the company’s sprawling parks and resorts division.

Garcetti Opens NoHo Public Space

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti visited North Hollywood on Monday to officially open NoHo Plaza, a public space developed by the NoHo Business Improvement District.

L.A., Long Beach Mayors to Cooperate on Ports

Amid a backlog of shipping containers amassed during the recent labor strife at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, mayors of both cities say they will work together rather than compete to improve competitiveness of the twin facilities.

Special Report: ‘Thought Leader’ Tactic Goes Viral on Social Media

How Nick Roxborough became a “thought leader” on workers comp.

Unlocking Potential

Councilman says gritty Reseda ready for makeover.

L.A. Councilman Bob Blumfield has a plan to remake Reseda.

Tease photo

Special Report: Courting Opinion

The old days when attorneys hid in yellow page ads are long gone. Today, they are venturing out into TV, the Internet and, now, social media.

From TV spots to social media, welcome to the new world of legal advertising.

Business Not So Friendly in Race

Politics: Crowded L.A. Council primary draws few endorsements.

Business donors are spending little on primary candidates for a Valley City Council seat.

Diagnosing the Anthem Data Breach

Anthem shows dangers of big data.

Making Room for the Middle Class

A “not-in-my-backyard” mentality has limited construction and raised the prices of Ventura County homes.

NIMBYs hurt the middle class.

Just Go Ahead and Swipe

Data breach? Who really cares


Calendar of Events

Arts Colony Finally Flourishing in Glendale

Residential: Work begins on YMCA project for low-income artists.

Construction gets underway this month in Glendale on an innovative, $30 million project that will provide 70 units of affordable housing to struggling artists, actors and musicians.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

About a dozen RadioShack stores in the greater Valley are expected to close due to the electronics chain’s bankruptcy.

Special Report: Uncuffed Success

Darren Kavinoky beat addiction to become a top criminal attorney – a little celebrity marketing didn’t hurt.

A television gig helps DUI attorney Darren Kavinoky market his firm.

Santa Clarita Movie Ranch Sale Action Heats Up

Filming: Buyer said to be ready to strike deal for 94-acre Blue Cloud property.

After two years on the market, the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in the Santa Clarita Valley may have found a new buyer.

Pizza Chain Adds Item to Menu – Fresh Decor

Restaurants: California Pizza Kitchen will update all Valley stores this year.

California Pizza Kitchen is rolling out new décor and a fresh menu to rebrand 60 restaurants in the chain, and already customer counts are rising.

Taking His Swing

Manufacturing: Ty Knutson’s X-Pole is a leader in the ‘pole fitness’ movement.

X-Pole gains a foothold with the health club crowd.

The Number

L.A. has more “advanced industry” jobs than Silicon Valley.

Please Kids, Exercise Mind Control!

Jedi-like toy tracks brain waves to move Star Wars holograms.

Mind-controlled toy teaches Star Wars fans the way of the Force.

A Berry New Way to Fight The Drought

Company claims soil additive cuts water use by strawberry farms.

Water conservation gets high tech in strawberry industry.

Drivers, Stop Spinning Your Wheels

Electronic parking-space signs coming to Glendale intersections.

Will electronic parking signs keep drivers happy in Glendale?

Anthem Breach Far From Fatal

A hack attack on Anthem Inc. hasn’t hurt its share price.

Shuttle Finally Touches Down

Transportation: Privately funded vehicle to serve Warner Center.

Westfield Corp. funds a trolley to move pedestrians around Warner Center.

Friday, February 20

Update: Weddingtons Vow to Proceed With L.A. River Development

The developers of a proposed 200-unit senior condo project along the L.A. River on the Weddington Golf & Tennis complex vowed on Friday to push ahead with the project – despite opposition from area Councilman Paul Krekorian.

Disney Sells N.Y. Radio Station

Walt Disney Co. was expected to close Friday on the sale of its AM Radio Disney station in New York for a reported $13 million – which would amount to a sharp discount from its acquisition price eight years ago.

Issue Preview: Anthem Data Breach Not Fatal

Will the massive data breach at Anthem Inc. shrink its market share? Probably not, says one expert. And an analyst who follows the company foresees no impact on its share price, either.

Issue Preview: Unlocking Potential

L.A. City Councilman Bob Blumenfield has a plan to revitalize central Reseda - and some $26 million to make it happen. Community members are taking notice.

Briefs: Crown Media, Machinima, IPC

Profits higher at Crown Media. Warner Bros. leads Machinima funding round. IPC Healthcare reports earnings, acquires practice.

Thursday, February 19

Moorpark Grants Extension to Sound Stage Project

The Moorpark City Council on Wednesday night approved a three-year extension through 2019 for permits connected with a $200 million sound-stage project

Amgen Tour Pulls Up Short in Valley

The 10th edition of the Amgen Tour of California will bring the world’s top cyclists to Southern California, but with fewer Valley area stops than in years past, according to route details released on Thursday.

Wednesday, February 18

BP to Supply Biofuel to Westlake Village Firm

Applied LNG announced Wednesday an agreement to purchase biomethane from BP Energy Co. for use in the transportation fuel market.

On Assignment Reports Strong IT Business

On Assignment Inc. fell short of fourth-quarter profit estimates but beat revenue forecasts on Wednesday, citing growth in its IT business.

Torrance Refinery Fire Pushes Up Gas Prices

A Wednesday morning explosion at the Exxon Mobil Corp. refinery in Torrance injured four workers and pushed up the local price of wholesale gasoline.

Briefs: PS Business Parks, United Online, Harman Press

PS Business Parks and United Online beats estimates, Harman Press makes acquisition.

Tuesday, February 17

Universal Studios Tour Goes High Tech

NBCUniversal is making over its popular tour at Universal Studios Hollywood with more comfortable and high-tech tram vehicles and a new 3-D attraction based on the “The Fast and the Furious” films.

Earnings: Trio-Tech, Research Solutions

Trio-Tech International reports lower revenue.

Monday, February 16

Aerojet Rocketdyne Chief Resigns

Warren Boley has abruptly resigned as the president of the Aerojet Rocketdyne, the rocket engine manufacturer with facilities in Chatsworth.

Management Changes at Tutor Perini

Tutor Perini Corp. has promoted longtime company executive James Frost to president and chief operating officer.

Friday, February 13

Burbank Calls for Airport Authority Reforms

The city of Burbank released its official response on Friday afternoon to a proposal from the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority for restarting plans to build a replacement terminal at the airfield – and called for changes in the authority's voting procedures.

Kythera Licenses Hair Loss Treatment

Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc., best known for its pipeline double-chin treatment, has signed licensing agreements with Swiss drug maker Actelion Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and the University of Pennsylvania to develop a new treatment for hair loss.

Encino Apartment Complex Sells for $44 Million

A 120-unit luxury apartment complex in Encino has sold to a private investor for $44 million in a yet another deal illustrating the “frothy” nature of the multifamily market this year.

Briefs: Avery Dennison, Qualstar

Briefs: Avery Dennison names CFO. Qualstar narrows net loss.

Thursday, February 12

Virgin Galactic Moving Some Operations to Long Beach

Virgin Galactic is moving the development and manufacturing of its LauncherOne satellite-carrier rocket from the Mojave Air & Space Port to Long Beach.

BofA Laying Off Valley Loan Servicers

Bank of America will lay off up to 113 employees this spring at its West Hills mortgage loan processing center – the latest in a series of cuts the bank has made as the housing market has improved.

Sun Valley Studio Complex Proposed

A Hollywood film and television production and rental company is proposing to build a 220,000-square-foot studio complex on 10 acres in Sun Valley.

KABC-TV Names General Manager

Cheryl Fair, the long-time news director at KABC-TV, has been named president and general manager of the Glendale station.

Reports: Anthem Hack Breached Past Customer Data

The data breach at Anthem Inc. could affect customers as far back as 2004, according to media reports on Thursday.

Wednesday, February 11

Garcetti Signs Ordinance Lowering Business Tax

Delivering some relief to local businesses, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Wednesday signed into law a reduction in the top rates businesses pay in gross-receipts taxes to the city.

State Fines Woodland Hills Kaiser Hospital

Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Woodland Hills was among 10 hospitals fined by the state on Wednesday after investigations found the facilities out of compliance with some licensing requirements – to the point patients faced serious harm or death.

Cheesecake Misses Earnings Estimates

Cheesecake Factory Inc. on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that missed analysts’ estimates.

Burbank Council, Airport Authority at Odds

The Burbank City Council has rejected terms proposed by the joint powers authority that owns Burbank Bob Hope Airport for building a replacement terminal at the airfield.

Valley-Area RadioShacks to Close

About a dozen RadioShack stores in the greater Valley are expected to close their doors due to the bankruptcy of the electronics chain.

ReachLocal's Losses Grow

ReachLocal Inc. reported fourth-quarter and full-year results that underwhelmed on Tuesday – including widening losses that missed analyst expectations.

Tuesday, February 10

Health Net Beats Street

Health Net Inc. on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter earnings that exceeded Wall Street expectations after excluding the expenses for a cost-cutting initiative.

DreamWorks Wins Technical Oscars

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. received two technical achievement awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for its global hit "How to Train Your Dragon 2."

Monday, February 9

Burbank Airport Authority Pushes for New Terminal

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority Commission is aggressively trying to jump start plans this month to build a new terminal at Burbank Bob Hope Airport.

Chatsworth 'Movie Producers' Sent to Prison in Fraud

Two executives of a Chatsworth production company that defrauded hundreds of investors were sentenced on Monday to federal prison terms.

Lancaster Man Pleads to Business Fraud

A Lancaster man pleaded on Monday to creating fake businesses and misappropriating peoples’ identities to receive fraudulent tax refunds and unemployment insurance benefits.

Now, Watch Bad TV Anywhere

From the jungle, to the Arctic, to the backyard, these sets are a turn on.

Outdoor TVs put big-screen entertainment on the deck.

Stretching Creativity to Its Limits

Development: Firms building trendy offices in gritty Van Nuys.

Creative offices in Van Nuys? Two developers think it will work.

Tease photo

When ‘Free’ Costs Real Money

California has a very affordable community college program. Annual tuition can cost students less than $1,500 a year. You’re actually likely to spend more on books than on classes, which is part of the reason California struggles with accommodating all of the students who want to attend community college.

Tax the Rich but All Will Pay

President Obama’s plan to raise the capital gains tax will cut investment and slow needed economic growth.

Obama’s Robin Hood economics; Is free community college a bad idea?

Bob Iger’s ‘Frozen’ Gusher

Is Bob Iger deserving of his “excessive” pay?


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

This summer travelers can spend time with Elsa, Anna and other characters from the hit animated film “Frozen” on Disney Cruise Lines.

Moorpark Multifamily Given Multiple Looks

Residential: Developer given another two years to revise plans for parcel.

Plans to put a mix of single-family homes and condominiums on a large, untouched parcel on the west end of Moorpark could get back on track after a six-year battle with residents.

Roughing It?

Jack Cole started on the line and eventually took over Lance Camper. Along the way, he’s witnessed a growing desire for outdoor luxury.

Jack Cole has manufactured campers and pickup shells since 1966.

Monetary Injection Gets Hospital Van Rolling

Health care: Glendale Adventist vehicle offers checkups across city.

Haven’t had your blood pressure checked recently and feeling guilty about it? Glendale Adventist Medical Center is trying to address that problem.

U.S. Customs Arriving at Van Nuys Airport

International: Agency will open single-agent office at Signature Flight Support.

After more than seven years of behind-the-scenes negotiation, customs service for international flights will return to Van Nuys Airport in the next month.

Lancaster College to Award B.A.

Antelope Valley College will offer bachelor’s degree in airplane manufacturing.

Fix My Drain – Now!

Marketing: Serviz is a VC favorite with its business model: Be the Uber of home repair.

Venture capital-backed startup Serviz hopes to become the Uber of home repair.

The Number

Valley home sales slowed last year.

City Takes Fresh Look at Old Signs

Burbank weighs law giving historic status to business landmarks.

Burbank seeks to preserve historic business signs.

Shake and Rattle but Hold the Roll

City installs temblor- resistant water mains around Valley hospital.

Northridge Hospital gets special pipes that can withstand an earthquake.

Piece of The Pie

Chatsworth confection maker winning shelf space.

A dinner-party disaster inspired Jennifer Constantine to start JC’s Pie Pops.

Loss of Anchor Unmoors Mall

Tenant defections and month-to-month leases fuel uncertainty at Westfield Promenade.

Layoffs – Not Really a Nightmare

Entertainment: Job losses at DreamWorks should be backfilled.

Looming job cuts at DreamWorks may not hurt the Valley economy.

Friday, February 6

California Insurance Commissioner Starts Hack Probe

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has launched an investigation into the Anthem Blue Cross security breach that allowed online hackers to steal personal data from 80 million individuals –believed to be the largest-ever cyberattack on the insurance industry.

Clay Lacy Kicking Off Airport Development

Clay Lacy Aviation will break ground Feb. 12 on a $10 million hangar and terminal project on the last vacant parcel at Van Nuys Airport.

Valley Businessman Arrested in Crackdown

A San Fernando Valley immigration consultant is facing multiple charges for the unlicensed practice of immigration law in Van Nuys.

Issue Preview: Van Nuys Creative Office

Two of the San Fernando Valley’s most ambitious creative office projects are set to come online in the next few weeks just a block apart in a neighborhood few associate with cutting edge companies – Van Nuys.

Issue Preview: JC’s Pie Pops

The odds are stacked against small businesses jostling for space on crowded grocery shelves. But there is a way to change those odds: Invent something new. Just ask Jennifer Constantine, chief executive of JC’s Pie Pops, a three-year-old Chatsworth company about to triple its production.

Thursday, February 5

Disney Promotes Potential Iger Successor

Studio veteran Thomas Staggs was named Thursday as chief operating officer at Walt Disney Co. – a promotion that puts him in line to succeed Robert Iger as the next leader of the Burbank media and entertainment giant.

Woodbury President Departs Suddenly

Woodbury University in Burbank on Thursday announced the sudden departure of school President Luis Ma. R. Calingo, who will relinquish his responsibilities at the end of this month.

Sony's Pascal Steps Down

Sony Pictures co-chair Amy Pascal is stepping down following the hack on the studio that became a global incident. But she will remain on the Culver City lot to start her own production company, which is to be financed by Sony.

'Big Hero 6' Sweeps Visual Effects Awards

Walt Disney Co.'s “Big Hero 6” was the clear favorite at the Visual Effects Society awards Wednesday night with a sweep of the five categories in which it was nominated.

Earnings: Capstone, Wesco

Losses widen at Capstone Turbine. Wesco Aircraft misses estimates.

Wednesday, February 4

Disney Hits All-Time High

Shares in Walt Disney Co. hit a new all-time high Wednesday, the day after the reporting strong quarterly earnings.

PennyMac Reports Lower Revenue, Earnings

PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust reported much lower fourth-quarter revenue and income, citing the slowdown in home price gains as the reason.

Valley Home Brokerages Merge

The stabilizing San Fernando Valley housing market has prompted a merger of two local real estate companies, A Team Realty of Woodland Hills and WG Financial of Canoga Park.

Helinet Aviation to Operate Film Drones

Helinet Aviation Services LLC and its owner have received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to use drones for film and TV production.

Tuesday, February 3

Disney Reports 'Frozen' Fourth Quarter Results

The financial bonanza to Walt Disney Co. from its blockbuster animated hit “Frozen” appears not to be melting anytime soon.

Afrezza for Sale in U.S.

MannKind Corp. announced on Tuesday that its Afrezza brand of inhalable insulin is now available by prescription at U.S. pharmacies.

LAWA Chief to Retire

Gina Marie Lindsey, who has led Los Angeles World Airports for nearly eight years as executive director, said she will retire this spring “to move on to other adventures.”

Briefs: Interlink, Teledyne

Interlink declares a stock split, Teledyne makes an acquisition.

Monday, February 2

Valley Homes Prices Up, Sales Down

San Fernando Valley home sales ended the final month of the year the same way they started – on a downturn, even as the median price climbed 5.6 percent, according to a report released on Monday.

Westlake Village LNG Firm Secures Financing

Applied LNG received a $22.5 million loan to construct a liquefier to process liquid natural gas in Midlothian, Texas, the company announced Monday.

County Dismisses AHF Legal Threat

Los Angeles County is disputing allegations by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation that it is failing to enforce Measure B, which requires mandatory condom usage on adult film shoots.

Briefs: Avery Dennison, Ryan Herco

Avery Dennison beats earnings estimates. Burbank manufacturer Ryan Herco Flow Solutions completes acquisition.