Stories for February 2020

Friday, February 28

Valley Area Stocks Down Big in Selloff

At the end of the worst week the stock market has seen since 2008, companies in the San Fernando Valley area suffered in the selloff that was attributed to the fear of coronavirus.

Amazon to Set Up Delivery Center in Palmdale Inc. has announced it will open a Delivery Services Partners center in Palmdale before the end of this year.

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Preview: Slide Out of Control?

Fast-casual dining sensation Burgerim appeared to be one of the restaurant world’s most extreme overnight success stories, with hundreds of locations open in more than 35 states in just a few years.

Preview: Law Firms Special Report

Rising attorneys at some of the Valley region's largest firms talk about changes afoot in their profession.

Thursday, February 27

Galpin’s Long Streak as No. 1 Ford Dealer Ends

After 29 years of being the No. 1 Ford dealership in the world by volume, Galpin Ford has lost that title.

Courier Trucker Signs San Fernando Lease

Regional parcel courier trucking company 1st Choice Delivery has signed a 25,202 square-foot industrial lease for an undisclosed cost at San Fernando Business Center in the city of San Fernando.

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Two Sentenced in Medicare Fraud

Two San Fernando Valley residents on Wednesday were sentenced to 12 years behind bars after being found guilty of running a multimillion-dollar fraud that billed Medicare for medicines never delivered.

Wednesday, February 26

Glendale Video Firm Partners Up

Short-form video distributor Loop Media Inc. has inked a partnership with Jukin Media, the owner and operator of a portfolio of digital video properties that reach 190 million followers across social media.

Sylmar Apartments Sold Under Court Order

An investor paid $17.4 million, or about $285,000 a unit, for a 61-unit apartment building in Sylmar put on the market by court order, according to CoStar.

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Amgen in Project to Root Out Counterfeits

Thousand Oaks-based Amgen Inc. was among 24 pharmaceutical companies to participate in a blockchain project, titled MediLedger Network, which released its final report to the Food and Drug Administration on Friday.

Tuesday, February 25

Developer Plans Project at Fry’s Electronics Site in Woodland Hills

Warner Center has another mixed-use project coming soon on the site of the Fry’s Electronics store at 6100 Canoga Ave.

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Disney Selects New Chief Executive as Iger Steps Down

The Walt Disney Co. board of directors named Bob Chapek as the new chief executive, effective immediately.

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BlackLine Names Huffman President

BlackLine Inc. Chief Operating Officer Marc Huffman has been promoted by the board of directors to the position of president.

Monday, February 24

Ramada by Wyndham Burbank Airport Completes $7 Million Renovation and Rebranding

Ramada by Wyndham Hotel/Burbank Airport has announced the completion of a nine-month, $7 million property overhaul which includes a new name.

Fuelster to Deliver Gas to Cars at Staples Center

Mobile fuel provider Fuelster has partnered with sports and entertainment company AEG to provide on-demand gas delivery to vehicles at Staples Center and L.A. Live.

Valley Stocks Fall Along With Market

Public companies in the Valley region traded lower on Monday as the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 1,000 points.

Friday, February 21

Updated Promenade 2035 Plan Features Smaller Stadium, Affordable Housing

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has amended its plans for the Promenade 2035 project, which aims to overhaul the Woodland Hills shopping mall into a 34-acre mixed-use center featuring street-side retail stores and restaurants as well as apartments, hotels and an entertainment stadium.

Panel Discussion Delves into Ventura County's Slow Economy

The Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks sponsored a breakfast Friday on the economic outlook for Ventura County and the city of Thousand Oaks.

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Thursday, February 20

Massive Camarillo Industrial Buildings Sell for $88 Million

STAG Industrial Inc. has sold a pair of massive free-standing industrial buildings in Camarillo for $88 million.

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ServiceTitan to Collaborate With Garage Door Maker

Contractor and home-repair software developer ServiceTitan Inc. has signed a collaboration agreement with Clopay Corp., a garage door manufacturer and supplier.

Kenn Phillips Stepping Down at Valley Economic Alliance

Valley Economic Alliance Chief Executive Kenn Phillips will step down next month as head of the San Fernando Valley business attraction and retention organization.

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Wednesday, February 19

Gaspar Insurance Opens Simi Valley Office

Woodland Hills-based Gaspar Insurance Services has opened new offices in Simi Valley

Income, Revenue Decline at Cinedigm

Cinedigm Corp. missed Wall Street expectations on earnings and revenue for the fiscal third quarter.

Teleperformance Closes in Burbank

French outsourcing services company Teleperformance USA-FHCS is shuttering its Burbank office, according to a filing with the California Employment Development Department.

Party Rental Company Signs 60,000-Square-Foot Lease in Valencia

24/7 Events Inc., a rental company for corporate and sporting events, has leased 50,930 square feet at a newly constructed industrial property in the Valencia Commerce Center complex.

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Tuesday, February 18

Capstone Sells Turbines for Russian Railroad Project

Capstone Turbine Corp. has secured a repeat order for five of its microturbines for a railroad project in Russia.

Bank of America’s Westlake Village Campus Sold

Drawbridge Realty, a real estate investment firm in San Francisco, has purchased an office campus in Westlake Village that is fully leased to Bank of America through 2031, the company announced Tuesday.

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BioSolar’s Improved Battery Near Completion

BioSolar’s second prototype for a lithium-ion battery is due to complete testing within a month, the Santa Clarita tech company announced on Tuesday.

Loop Media Goes Public Via Reverse Merger

Short-form video distributor Loop Media Inc. has completed a reverse merger with a Las Vegas company.

Monday, February 17

Enhanced Film Management Software Coming from Entertainment Partners

Entertainment industry accounting firm Entertainment Partners has joined with a New Jersey company to create software to enhance cross-studio management of film projects.

Santa Clarita Business Owners Released from Quarantined Princess Ship

The owners of a Santa Clarita radio station were among hundreds of passengers released this weekend from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, on which hundreds of cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed.

Where Is Workforce for Olympics?

The San Fernando Valley specifically will be faced with a daunting challenge leading up to and through the 2028 Olympics: building a massive workforce of employees and volunteers.

Boy Scouts’ Board Looks for Diversity

West L.A. Council wants directors to reflect market.

The Boy Scouts of America look to diversify its local governance board and raise presence in greater Valley region.

Tech Expedites Non-Traditional Home Sales

REAL ESTATE: Entrepreneurs disrupt brokerage business.

How proptech is changing the way people buy a new home.

Vehicle Storage With Clubhouse

AUTOMOTIVE: Moorpark facility designed for collectors.

Barret Automotive Group rents space to collectors of vintage cars.


SHE’s Going Public

Lupe Rose readies her SHE Beverage Co. to go public.

CBD-Infused Pillow For a Good Sleep

Camarillo manufacturer debuts all-night pain relief product for $129.

Camarillo manufacturer debuts pillow infused with CBD as an all-night pain reliever.

‘Shark Tank’ Stint Gives Fresh Capital

Mark Cuban invests in Encino company Ready, Set, Food.

Mark Cuban of ‘Shark Tank’ puts money into Encino food allergy prevention company, Ready, Set, Food.

The Valley’s Future Economic Hub

If you read the previous issue of the Business Journal, you may have seen the Valley Economic Forecast section in which economists forecast 3.4 percent GDP growth this year in the Los Angeles portion of the San Fernando Valley – faster than about any other region in the state not named Silicon Valley.

Rebrand on Air

MEDIA: Burbank broadcaster Estrella Media takes new direction after emerging from Chapter 11.

LBI Media Inc. changes its logo and name to Estrella Media Inc.

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Diversification Working for B. Riley Financial

FINANCE: Company’s four operating divisions collaborate on deals.

B. Riley Financial Inc. firing on all cylinders as it pushes subsidiaries to create wealth for shareholders.

Industrial Hemp on Hold in Ventura County

REGULATION: Newly legalized crop banned in Moorpark, Thousand Oaks.

Ventura County cities pass ordinances to ban production of industrial hemp within their borders.

Around the Valleys

Around the Valleys

Amgen’s Call Sparks Buyout Talk

Biotech giant seeks to boost nephrology research.

Stock for a drug discovery company out of Plano, Texas soared following analyst talk that it might be the right fit for Thousand Oaks biotech giant Amgen Inc.

City OKs Remake of Former Sunkist HQ

Offices to remain, flanked by two new buildings.

Developer IMT Capital’s mixed-use re-imagining of the former Sunkist Growers headquarters in Sherman Oaks has secured approval from L.A. City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

NAI Capital Brokerage in Chapter 11

Reorganization to grow company for next 40 years

NAI Capital has filed for Chapter 11 in a move to reorganize the company.

Cedars-Sinai Opens Offices in Tarzana

Presence near hospital further expands Valley reach.

Cedars-Sinai on Jan. 29 opened its flagship medical offices in the San Fernando Valley

Warner Bros. Signs Roth to Extension

Studio head takes leadership of television group.

Peter Roth, the long-time head of television production at Warner Bros. Entertainment in Burbank, signed a contract extension early this month that makes him the first-ever chairman of the Warner Bros. Television Group.

Lancaster to Host Mental Health Clinic

Antelope Valley will be home to an urgent care center.

An urgent care center specializing in mental health will open later this year in Lancaster.

Home Feel at Total Senior

Resource center connects the elderly to services.

Total Senior, a community-based resource center that connects seniors and their families to needed services, opened last month in Tarzana

TV Academy Inducts Iger into Hall of Fame

Chief executive joins four Disney/ABC executives.

Robert Iger, chief executive at Burbank-based Walt Disney Co., was inducted last month into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

Kuehl Wants County to Get Creative

Study to look at job development in industry.

With Los Angeles County the largest hub in the country for film and television production, it is not unusual that the county supervisors would target the entertainment industry to create jobs and foster trade.

Mamba Fund For Victims After Crash

Sports Academy, widow of Kobe Bryant establish charity.

Mamba Sports Academy and Vanessa Bryant have formed Mamba on Three, a charity for the families of the victims of last month’s tragic helicopter crash in Calabasas that killed nine people, including NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant.

Hospital Gives to Nonprofits

Grants support ‘continuum of care’ at Valley organizations

Northridge Hospital Medical Center has awarded grants to three Valley nonprofits

Emerging Practices

Valley CPAs find new business catering to clients in the cannabis, virtual currency and streaming entertainment sectors.

Valley CPAs find new business catering to clients in the cannabis, virtual currency and streaming entertainment sectors.

Pot’s Special Problems

Cash and taxes complicate financial services for the sector.

With heavy cash flows and strict, complicated tax structures, cannabis businesses are in dire need of specialized accounting services. But the instability that comes along with marijuana’s classification as a federally illegal Schedule 1 drug has led many CPAs to turn their backs on the industry despite high demand.

Costs of Streaming

Video producers learn to film for the season, not by episode.

Accountants entrenched in the entertainment industry have started providing peripheral services to streaming platforms, as the relatively new industry vies for consumer attention.

Virtual Taxes

Valley CPAs track clients’ digital currency deals.

People filling out a Schedule 1 for their taxes this year will notice an additional question at the very top of the form.

Accounting Firms Feel ‘Era of Consolidation’

LIST: Mergers, acquisitions and fintech will drive the business in 2020.

Certified public accountants identify a surge in merger and acquisition activity as the defining theme of the Valley’s accounting industry in 2020.

Gold Coast: Mergers Still Strong

At Gold Coast Executive Forum, financial experts say business valuations often ‘astronomical.’

The economy has been expanding for more than a decade, yet company valuations remain high – astronomically high, by some measures – and corporate transactions are brisk. But everyone knows that a downturn will come eventually, so those contemplating selling their business or making some other big transaction might consider acting soon.

Adler Sells Bakersfield Office Towers

Woodland Hills firm gets $26 million in Kern County

Adler Realty Investments Inc. has sold its Cal Twin Towers office complex in Bakersfield to local investor Steve Blumer for roughly $26 million.

Friday, February 14

Preview: TV's Newest 'Star'

Coming out of a Chapter 11 reorganization, LBI Media Inc. has a new logo, a new chief executive, a new program lineup – and a new name.

Preview: Accounting Special Report

CPAs find new business in emerging sectors of the Valley economy.

Boutique Hotel Proposed in North Hollywood

Developers have filed paperwork with the city of Los Angeles to turn a former club in North Hollywood into a hotel.

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Cast & Crew Acquires Payroll Firm

Entertainment accounting firm Cast & Crew announced Friday an agreement to acquire Media Services, a production payroll and management company for the entertainment industry.

Kobe Bryant-Affiliated Sports Foundation Takes New Name

The Mamba Sports Foundation at Mamba Sports Academy in Newbury Park has been rebranded Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation.

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Thursday, February 13

Year-End Surge Delivers Strong Quarter to BlackLine

BlackLine Inc. beat Wall Street expectations on revenue and adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter.

Simi Valley Firm Launches New Lines in Ulta Beauty Stores

Simi Valley-based Derma E, a skincare brand focused on all-natural products, launched two product lines exclusively in Ulta Beauty Inc. stores.

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Blackrock Divests 20 Percent of PennyMac Stock

Blackrock Inc., a New York asset management firm, has contributed its 20 percent of outstanding stock in PennyMac Financial Services Inc. to two charities.

Wednesday, February 12

Encino Insurer Partners with Digital Platform

Encino-based insurance company Answer Financial on Wednesday announced it will be partnering with CoverWallet, a digital insurance platform in New York.

Award Earned by SCV Economic Development Corp.

The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. announced Wednesday that it has received a significant honor from the California Association for Local Economic Development.

AMC at Promenade Moving

The AMC theater, among the last tenants in the Promenade shopping mall in Woodland Hills, will move a couple of blocks north to the Westfield Topanga shopping mall, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield announced Tuesday. The company owns both shopping centers.

Tuesday, February 11

Drone Software Firm Signs German Partnership

Auterion Government Services Inc. has partnered with a German company to provide software for two of its drones.

Providence, Cedars Break Ground on Hospital Patient Tower

Providence St. Joseph Health and Cedars-Sinai officially broke ground on a patient tower in Tarzana on Monday evening, as part of the hospital’s Tarzana Reimagined project.

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Animation House Titmouse to Expand into Burbank

Cartoon studio Titmouse has leased space at Media Center North, an office building located at 2835 N. Naomi St. in Burbank.

Monday, February 10

Coronavirus Cases on Diamond Princess Climb to 135

Princess Cruises on Monday confirmed an additional 65 people on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan have tested positive for Coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases onboard to 135.

Simi Valley Circles Back to Approve Mixed-Use Housing Project

A proposed four-story, 278-unit apartment complex has been approved in Simi Valley under pressure-filled circumstances.

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Clay Lacy Aviation to Develop Sustainability Program

Clay Lacy Aviation has hired World Kinect Energy Services to develop a sustainability program to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

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Friday, February 7

20-Unit Apartment Building in Sherman Oaks Sells for $9.1 Million

A 20-unit multifamily property at 15323 Weddington St. in Sherman Oaks has sold for $9.1 million, or $455,000 per unit.

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Music Rights Firm Haawk Acquires Keyframe

Music rights management startup Haawk has acquired Keyframe Audio, a music licensing platform that provides premium quality royalty free music.

Capstone Comes Up Short on Quarterly Revenue, Net Income

Capstone Turbine Corp. missed Wall Street estimates on earnings and revenue in the fiscal third quarter.

Thursday, February 6

Former Sunkist Headquarters in Sherman Oaks Wins Redevelopment Approval

Developer IMT Capital’s mixed-use re-imagining of the former Sunkist headquarters in Sherman Oaks has secured approval from Los Angeles City Council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

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Real Estate Brokerage NAI Capital Files for Chapter 11

NAI Capital has filed for Chapter 11 in a move to reorganize the company.

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Princess Ship Quarantined for Coronavirus Outbreak

Princess Cruises has quarantined its Diamond Princess ship in the port of Yokohama, Japan, after Japanese officials found several guests tested positive for Coronavirus.

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Wednesday, February 5

George’s Greek Grill Signs First Valley Lease in Sherman Oaks

George’s Greek Grill has leased 3,105 square feet at the Sherman Oaks Galleria in Sherman Oaks, marking the regional chain’s first San Fernando Valley restaurant.

Semtech Sensors Detect Fires, Grow Houses on Electricity Grid

Semtech Corp. has developed a smart energy consumption system to detect abnormal spikes in energy usage in city substations.

Tuesday, February 4

Disney Revenue Jumps 36 Percent in Fiscal First Quarter

Walt Disney Co. beat Wall Street expectations on adjusted earnings and matched on revenue for the fiscal first quarter.

Adventist Health to Outsource 60 Jobs

Adventist Health in Glendale and Simi Valley will eliminate certain in-house facility staff positions in favor of hiring Chicago-based commercial real estate services firm Jones Lange LaSalle Inc.

Simulations Plus to Develop Software to Study Heart Failure

Dilisym Services, a Simulations Plus company based in North Carolina, on Tuesday announced new software in development to treat heart failure.

NoHo Hosts $5.7 Million Sale of Industrial Building

The multi-tenant industrial building at 13026 Saticoy St. in North Hollywood has sold for $5.7 million.

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Monday, February 3

LBI Media Renamed Estrella Media

LBI Media has rebranded itself as Estrella Media effective immediately, the company announced Monday.

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Record Passenger Count at Hollywood Burbank Airport in 2019

Hollywood Burbank Airport handled nearly 6 million passengers during 2019, the highest total ever recorded at the Valley’s only commercial airfield.

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Developer Seeks Industrial to Office Conversions in Glendale

A developer wants to convert four Tri-Cities industrial buildings into leasable office space, according to an environmental impact report filed with the city of Glendale.

Analyst Sees Solid Returns Ahead for BlackLine

SOFTWARE: Revenue per customer predicted to rise for next decade.

Analyst predicts BlackLine Inc. will see increased revenue per customer through the decade.

Firm Taps Legal Talent From Within

Two Lewis Roca IP attorneys make partner.

Dustin Szakalski and Martin Regehr have been promoted to partner at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie

Parsing AB5’s Impact

Lewitt Hackman puts anti-gig law at centerstage.

Lewitt Hackman hosts seminar to parse impact of AB5 on gig workers.

Recruitment at Barrister Band Session

Woodland Hills firm brings on a trial associate.

Barry Goldberg met his latest trial associate through the Big Band of Barristers,

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley.

Bold Screen’s BestSelf TV For Women

Ad company gets user data through streaming channel.

Bold Screen Media in Thousand Oaks is bringing short-form women’s lifestyle video content to your big screen TV.

$3.5 Million in VC Pushes U-Nest Ahead

College savings app ramps up in North Hollywood.

College savings app U-Nest gets $3.5 million in venture capital investment.

Peacock Unveils a Few Details

NBCU platform announces pricing and programming.

NBCUniversal revealed at an investor’s conference last month new information regarding its streaming platform Peacock

Retail Jobs at High Risk, Study Finds

Cashiers and clerks vulnerable to computer replacement.

The workforce in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim area most vulnerable to automation can be found in the retail sector,

FloQast’s Growth Plan With New $40 Million

Software firm wants new products, international sales.

FloQast gets $40 million in Series C to create close management and automation products.

The Quiet Before the Storm

Valley’s office market held steady in quarter, but change is on the horizon.

Across the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, the drivers of office and industrial leasing continue to be the twin E’s — entertainment and e-commerce.

Valley Economic Forecast

Valley Still ‘True Economic Hotspot’

Economists at Business Journal breakfast say the San Fernando Valley’s economic growth will slow in 2020.

Mian Dynasty Expanding in Ventura County

From Calabasas to Camarillo, developer has big plans for hotels.

Across from Camarillo Premium Outlets, tractors work away on a busy construction site.

Real Estate Crystal Ball

What to expect in 2020 for the Valley’s office, industrial, retail and multifamily markets.

2020 marks a new decade – and possibly a turning point for the commercial real estate market.

Real Estate Quarterly

Real Estate Quarterly

Real Estate Quarterly

Valley Economic Forecast

When Added to Valley, Volatile Burbank and Steady Glendale Boost Overall Economy

we combine the San Fernando Valley, Glendale, and Burbank into a larger geography that we call the Greater San Fernando Valley economy.

Valley Economic Forecast

Valley’s Home Prices High Despite Weak Sales

The San Fernando Valley’s housing market continues to become more expensive.

Hospital Needs Building Funds

HEALTH CARE: AV’s replacement facility may cost $650 million.

Antelope Valley Hospital anticipates a $600 million overhaul.

Valley Economic Forecast

Industrial Inventory Very Low; Office Vacancy Tightening Again

Our review of San Fernando Valley commercial real estate activity includes data through the third quarter of 2019.


New PR Council Member

Musella Group president joins Forbes Agency Council.

Viking Expeditions Seek Distant Shores

Ships take small groups to rugged destinations for a higher price.

Viking Cruises launches “Expeditions” division with smaller ships and extreme locations.

Cedars-Sinai Opens Offices in Valley

Cancer center in close proximity to Providence Tarzana hospital.

Cedars-Sinai opened its flagship medical offices in the San Fernando Valley


AUTOMOTIVE: Former owners of Universal City Nissan claim Carlos Ghosn and cronies pushed them out.

Local auto franchisee claims former Nissan chief executive Carlos Ghosn and his cronies forced it to sell dealerships.

Valley Economic Forecast

Valley Still an Economic Star But Will Grow Slower This Year

When our team from the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting first set out to analyze the discrete economy of the San Fernando Valley, we didn’t quite know what to expect.

Ghosn Blowing Whistle on Japan

Japanese business and governmental systems look and feel Western. But they operate quite differently.

It’s interesting that a bit of the incredible international saga that is Carlos Ghosn has popped up in the San Fernando Valley.

Mamba Sports Academy’s Future Uncertain

TRANSITION: What will become of center without partner Kobe Bryant?

What will become of Mamba Sports Academy in Newbury Park without partner Kobe Bryant?

A Peek Inside Skunk Works

AEROSPACE: Lockheed expands secret R&D operation.

Lockheed Martin’s secret Skunk Works research and development center in Antelope Valley gets bigger.

Let’s Repair Minimum Wage Law

Last week, I was up in Sacramento speaking with legislators on one of our monthly advocacy trips with our members of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association.