Stories for May 2004

Monday, May 24

Improved Aerospace Industry Boosts Manufacturers

Valley aerospace-related manufacturers are churning out more parts these days at faster rates and many report revenues are returning to levels not seen since before the events of Sept. 11 dragged the industry down.

CardService International Lays Off 84 After Merger

CardService International, a Moorpark-based credit card payment services company, has laid off 84 employees about 20 percent of its workforce, a company spokesperson said.

Warner Center Street Closure for Transit Hub Criticized

The closure of Owensmouth Avenue between Oxnard and Erwin streets by the city Department of Transportation is drawing fire from the Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council.

Drawn to the Business

Mark Taylor, head of Nickelodeon Animation Studios, says the creative atmosphere at the Burbank-based facility has made the Viacom unit a leader in the industry with such children's favorites as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer

Costs Jeopardize Growth of Housing

L.A. Family Housing has been building affordable housing for more than 20 years, but last month, David Grunwald, CEO of the not-for-profit company, had to do something he's never had to do before go back to the well to get more financing on a project he

NEWSMAKERS

Valley Businesspeople in the news, on the move...

Still No Takers for Ventura Boulevard Mixed-Use Project

Still No Takers for Ventura Boulevard Mixed-Use Project

Neighbors Seek Slowdown of Growth in Warner Center

The Woodland Hills-Warner Center Neighborhood Council is asking the city to place a cap on residential building in the area, fearful that the balance of homes to working spaces could be tipped beyond what the area's infrastructure can bear.

Smokey Robinson Gets Valley Help on New Food Line

When most people think of Smokey Robinson they don't think of seafood gumbo. Not yet at least.

VALLEY, L.A. COUNTY ECONOWATCH

Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

THE LIST - CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES

The Business Journal's list of the top Construction Companies, Greater San Fernando Valley firms ranked by total revenue in 2003

Traffic School Takes High-Tech Approach

THE BRIEFING: Armen GeoSimonian was in a quandary after he dissolved his business Traders Online.

Forecast: Valley to Add 11,000 New Jobs

The San Fernando Valley economy will get a substantial boost this year, as a recovery that began in 2003 moves into full swing.

Valley May Be Key to Determining L.A.'s Next Mayor

Guest Column By Gregory N. Lippe, managing partner of the CPA firm of Lever, Lippe, Hellie & Russell LLP (LLHR) and a director of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA)

Foot Locker Finds Fit in Footaction

For years Footaction stores and Foot Locker stores competed side by side in many of the same malls in the San Fernando Valley. The rivalry will continue, but now the two retailers share a common ownership.

Local Firms Grabbing Piece of Wi-Fi

As wireless high-speed Internet technology booms, several Valley companies are grabbing a piece of the action.

K-Swiss Slowed In Footwear Race After Giant Feud

A long-running feud between the world's biggest athletic footwear maker and the country's largest athletic footwear retailer left K-Swiss Inc. wide open to score big over the past year and a half.

VALLEY STOCK WATCH

Stock activity for 50 selected greater San Fernando Valley-based public companies

Hertzberg, Alarcon Outline Views for L.A. Business

How would Valley residents Robert Hertzberg and Richard Alarcon govern Los Angeles if elected mayor next year especially as it relates to business?

No Little Achievement

Poquito Mas, one of the first in the 'Fresh-Mex' restaurant market, finally takes its proven concept into the world of franchising

Northridge Article Full of Problems

Letter to the Editor

Hearing Postponed for Ex-Sunquest Developer

A hearing to consider a Chap. 11 reorganization petition for Randall Roth Capital Corp. and a personal bankruptcy filing for its principal Randall Roth, was postponed until May 25

Hands-On Experience the Best Strategy for Succession

FAMILY BUSINESS - Kristin Gangi Saroukhanioff and her brother Paul Anthony Gangi got involved in the family business in completely different ways.

Dept. of Commerce Setting Up Valley Site

Starting next month, the U.S. Department of Commerce will for the first time have a Valley presence at Pierce College.

Tax Reform Panel Could See Life Beyond June 30

The citizen's committee that spearheaded the efforts to reform business taxes in Los Angeles could get a second lease on life, if City Councilman Tony Cardenas has his way.

Monday, May 10

Taking a Big Step: Hiring the First Non-Family Member

OUTSIDERS It's often a big deal when owners of a family business hire their first non-family staff member.

Real Estate Gets Jitters From Rates

A bump in commercial mortgage interest rates that's occurred over the past few weeks is fueling speculation that the real estate market could be in for some long overdue right-sizing.

Mannkind Making Another Attempt to Launch IPO

Al Mann, the irrepressible godfather of the biotech industry, is getting ready to drive yet another company onto center stage.

Valley Events Set For Week's Focus On the Uninsured

Several Valley events are scheduled to take place this week to mark a national campaign to promote the cause of Americans who do not have health insurance.

Valley Briefs

Medical Services Acquisition; Salem Issues Offering; Gravel Brouhaha Continues; CSUN Honors GSBB; Acquisition Complete; Label Forms DVD Division; IT Firm Heads Downtown; ValueClick Raises Guidance; Wells Lights Madrid Marquee

Honeywell's Simi Division Will Close Laying Off 85

Honeywell Airport Systems, a Simi Valley-based division of the defense contractor's aerospace businesses, will close resulting in the layoffs of 85 employees, a company spokesperson confirmed.

CSUN Puts Focus On Geography in Admission Policy

In response to an expected budget shortfall from the state, California State University Northridge is reconfiguring its enrollment policy for freshman admissions this fall by geography while simultaneously accepting fewer first-time freshmen.

Firm Racking Up Sales

You can call Jeff Salmanson the Colonel Sanders of the reverse logistics industry.

Makeup Academy Follows Changes in Market

Perhaps the best definition of the archetypal entrepreneur is someone who can shift business strategies and goals quickly in order to meet constantly changing marketplace conditions.

Copying Firm Finds Niche Among Large Competitors

NICHE One Valley company has found a place in the highly competitive copying business.

Spike in Food Prices Eats Up Profits for Restaurant Chains

CORPORATE FOCUS: The jury is still out on the question of whether high-protein diets will slim you down, but one thing for sure is getting thinner restaurant profit margins.

A State of Turmoil

As Director of the California Economic Forecast, Mark Schniepp says developing a business-friendly environment is crucial for the state and Valley's long-term economic health

Profiting From Good Ideas

It is a widely held belief that everyone has a few good ideas in their lifetime. But ideas alone do not guarantee success when it comes to marketing a product.

Northridge Says It's Leaving Valley Chamber Alliance

The Northridge/Porter Ranch Chamber of Commerce is pulling out of the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley, citing ineffectiveness, cost and a duplication of services provided by other groups, according to Northridge chamber officials.

You Can't Start a Business by Yourself

Genius has finally struck. You've done significant research into your product and its competitors and the world seem ready for your newest idea.

NEWSMAKERS

Valley Businesspeople in the news, on the move...

Grocery Store Component Added to NoHo Commons

Grocery Store Component Added to NoHo Commons

healthnet healthnet

Workers at the Woodland Hills headquarters of Health Net Inc., will bear only a small burden of the layoffs the company plans to offset a decline in earnings.