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Friday, Jun 2, 2023

around the valleys

San Fernando Valley Burbank DC Comics will move its operations to the Warner Bros. Studios lot in Burbank in 2015. The move consolidates on the West Coast all of DC Entertainment operations, some of which are in New York. DC Entertainment was launched as a division of Warner Bros. Entertainment in 2009. The following year the operations responsible for development and production of filmed entertainment, video games and consumer products moved to Burbank while publishing remained in New York City, its home for more than seven decades. The combined operation employs about 100 people and puts out 1,200 titles a year. Woodland Hills United Online Inc. has completed its tax-free spinoff of FTD Cos. Inc. The floral and gifts company, based in Downers Grove, Ill., began trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “FTD.” The Woodland Hills Internet services and commerce company announced the spinoff in April. Robert Apatoff, who ran FTD under United Online, stayed on as chief executive. United Online originally acquired FTD in 2008 for $456 million, valuing shares at $15.08. Mark Goldston, the longtime chief executive of United Online, plans to step down now that the spinoff is complete. Sherman Oaks Sunkist Growers Inc. has been ordered to pay back more than $1.6 million to its employee retirement plans by a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles. Judge Percy Anderson issued the order after finding that the Sherman Oaks citrus farmers’ cooperative was using employee retirement benefits to pay for operating expenses. The decision comes after a lawsuit and investigation by the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, which found that Sunkist used retirement funds to pay salaries and benefits for employees and managers between January 2006 and April 2011. Sunkist called the violation a “basic misunderstanding.” Sunkist was founded in 1893 and is the oldest continually operating citrus cooperative in the country. The not-for-profit marketing entity is owned and operated by thousands of citrus farmers in California and Arizona. Sylmar Mayor Eric Garcetti and other officials gathered in Sylmar Nov. 5 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the L.A. Aqueduct. In 1913, an estimated 30,000 people gathered to open the aqueduct, which distributed water to L.A. County from the Owens Valley in the Eastern Sierra. The water became a catalyst to fuel the economic growth that built modern Los Angeles. Officials with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power conducted the re-enactment. Santa Clarita Valley Valencia The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted the second drug application for Afrezza, an inhalable insulin powder from MannKind Corp. The Valencia pharmaceutical company resubmitted its application Oct. 15. The first Afrezza application in 2009 was rejected by the FDA because it didn’t include data on a redesigned inhaler. But in its most recent filing, MannKind included data on the new smaller inhaler used in separate studies on patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The FDA expects to make a decision on the drug by spring. Conejo Valley Westlake Village Dole Food Co. is no longer a publicly traded company. Stockholders at the Westlake Village produce company approved the sale of the company to its 90-year-old chairman and chief executive. Less than 51 percent of stockholders not associated with David Murdock and his affiliates approved the deal to take the produce company private. Murdock, who controlled 40 percent of the stock, offered $13.50 a share to buy the company, nearly a third more than an initial $12 a share offer in June. The offer values the company at roughly $1.6 billion, including debt. Dole will now operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of DFC Holdings, controlled by Murdock. Thousand Oaks Two San Fernando Valley residents have filed a lawsuit against Thousand Oaks insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross. Paul Simon of Sherman Oaks and Catherine Coker of Glendale claim the company pushed them to give up health plans that they would have been allowed to keep under a grandfather clause in the federal health care reform law. The insurer, a unit of Wellpoint Inc. of Indianapolis, is being asked to give the customers the opportunity to switch back to their previous plans. The company has not commented and no court dates have been set. Antelope Valley Lancaster Dennis Knox has been named chief executive at Antelope Valley Hospital. Knox was chief executive at Western Medical Center Anaheim, a 188-bed acute care facility owned by Integrated Healthcare Holdings Inc. of Santa Ana. The appointment comes a couple months after pressure was put on the 420-bed Antelope Valley Hospital by credit rating firm Moody’s Investors Services Inc., which wanted a new chief executive in place by November. Its longtime leader Ed Mirzabegian resigned May 1 and later took the position of chief executive at Avanti Hospitals LLC in El Segundo. Around the Valleys To be considered for publication, submissions should be emailed to: egolan@sfvbj.com. Please put ATV in the subject line. For more information, call (818) 316-3123.

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