Stories for February 2005

Monday, February 28

Council Candidates Talk Business, Traffic

Two Valley Council members being challenged for their seats discuss local business and traffic concerns.

Vision Quest

Mayoral candidate Antonio Villaraigosa says the city needs to take better advantage of its economic opportunities.

Groups Putting Heat on Developers of Projects

Developers can expect to assume greater and greater costs in order to satisfy the many and varied interests of community groups.

Groups to Receive Hearing on Best Buy Project

Neighborhood groups are getting at least one more chance to convince the city that more traffic improvements are needed before the Best Buy electronics store set for Sherman Oaks opens.

Workers Being Retrained to Meet Burgeoning Biotech

Academic institutions, businesses and government officials are undertaking an organized effort to train employees for the area's biotech industry.

Puttin' on the Glitz

Calabasas-based RPMC spans the globe with its travel and event productions for major corporations and radio and television broadcasters.

Who's the Ideal Mayor for Valley Business Community?

Staff Reporter Jonathan D. Colburn tries to build the perfect mayor for the Valley business community

CSUN Conference to Take Look at Valley Real Estate

CSUN panel of experts will discuss the Valley's real estate outlook.

Hospitals Increase Training to Boost Nurse Retention

Hospitals are stepping up their orientation and education programs for new graduates, hoping to keep nurses happier.

DTS Opens Paris and Rome Offices

The two offices will coordinate the company's business in France and Italy.

Developers Rushing to Condos

Just a few years ago, developers wouldn't go near condos. Now there are more than 3,000 new condos or conversions in the Valley.

Development Boom Brings Change in Valley Character

Senior Reporter Shelly Garcia reports that the development boom underway in the Valley illustrates a big change in the makeup of the area.

Success of Core Product Line Keeps THQ Near New Highs

Success of its core products has helped bring THQ Inc. stock close to new highs.

Beverly Hills Bancorp Names CFO

Takeo Sasaki will take over for Joseph W. Kiley III, who will remain president and CEO.

Salem Beats Industry Rivals With Diversification Plans

Christian Broadcaster Salem Communications has diversified its portfolio as it distinguishes itself in the industry.

WellPoint Plans Clinic Funding

WellPoint says it will invest $35 million in community clinics throughout California.

Wednesday, February 23

Public to Sound Off on Van Nuys Airport Master Plan

Residents can give their opinion on the proposed master plan before it heads to the Planning Commission and City Council committees.

Need a Laugh?

The wife of comedian Adam Carolla and ex-wife of Jimmy Kimmel, along with publicist Kim Sudhalter, have opened a new spa. The three partners will hold a grand opening on Friday at 8 p.m.

ReachLocal Launches New Online Advertising Product

The Encino-based company says it can target local customers for advertisers on a budget.

Sunrise Set to Open in Woodland Hills

The new facility has 85 suites and a resident capacity of 102.

Tuesday, February 22

Valley Hotels: December Rates are Up, Occupancy is Down

December average room rates in the Valley rose over last year, while occupancy fell.

Monday, February 21

Baby Einstein to Introduce Apparel and Bath Toys Line

The Glendale-based company was recently named the number one infant/preschool video brand in 2004.

GoZing, GoZing Gone

Zing Wireless was sold to a similar business in Connecticut for $30 million.

Thursday, February 17

Westfield Kicks Off Topanga Redo

The Topanga redevelopment will create one of the five largest shopping centers in the United States.

Looking Good Now Magazine Moving to Florida

The magazine, owned by American Media Inc., will move from Woodland Hills to Florida.

Wednesday, February 16

Dianne Feinstein to Deliver Her Washington Report at VICA Forum

Feinstein will give a report on state and national issues at a forum for businesses to learn more about recycling opportunities.

Tuesday, February 15

Youbet.com Goes After Chinese Market

The Woodland Hills-based online wagering company will launch a horse racing Web site in March exclusively for customers in mainland China.

VICA Supports Greuel's Plan to Place Ads on City Vehicles

Councilmember Wendy Greuel is proposing that the city sell advertising space on vehicles and use the money to hire new police officers.

Sizzler Sells Properties

Properties sold include one location in Van Nuys and three others in the Los Angeles area.

Monday, February 14

For Now, Productions Stay Home

The weak dollar is keeping more productions at home in Los Angeles, but it's not expected to last.

AAA Cites Two LA Bottlenecks Among the Country's Worst

Federal funding is vital in fixing Southern California's traffic crisis, according to the Auto Club.

Valley Adult Industry Firms Focus on Diversification

Staff Reporter Jeff Weiss writes that the Valley's adult industry is doing much more than just making movies.

Scorecard: Where Mayoral Candidates Stand on Business Issues

The Business Journal presents a compilation of each mayoral candidates' specific views and records on taxes, public safety, land use and traffic.

Parks Puts Emphasis on Business Retention

Bernard Parks has made business interests a pillar of his campaign for mayor, speaking out for landlords, and promising to encourage industrial companies to set up shop in Los Angeles, rather than relying on service industries as the primary economic move

Salem Buys Christian Web Site

Salem Communications Corporation will pay about $3.4 million for Christianity.com

New Credit Union to Open in Pacoima

The Valley Economic Development Center has announced it has received a federal charter to open a credit union in Pacoima

Officials Wait on Rocketdyne's Fate

Local officials are waiting and hoping that an impending sale of Boeing Co.'s Rocketdyne unit in the Valley will not have a major impact on the company's local facilities.

Developer Forced Into Chap. 11

A bankruptcy court judge last week granted a motion to put Gold Mountain Enterprises LLC into Chap. 11 bankruptcy, a move that could speed up the timetable for the sale of the development company's Ventura Boulevard property in Encino.

Tighter Market Brings Changes to Leasing Scene

With vacancy rates dropping and construction costs rising, office rental rates could rise.

Getting More Control Over Workers' Comp

The California Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) has approved new regulations that offer employers more control over medical care than ever before

Valley Business Organizations Gaining Clout

Some of the Valley's local business organizations are quietly advancing their own agendas as they grow into stronger political players.

Boulevard Boom in Upscale Eateries

With supper clubs and other trendy spots opening, it's not your father's Ventura Boulevard anymore.

Early Small Cap Earnings Reports Dim in Valley

Valley small cap companies may be suffering through a difficult fourth quarter.

Report: Workers' Comp Crisis Not Over

Recent drops in workers' compensation rates in California may not signal an end to the statewide crisis, according to a report.

File Sharing Firms Confront Companies

Local file sharing companies wage battle in digital music industry.

Dollar's Decline Yet to Affect Many Valley Companies

Due to several factors, many local firms have yet to feel the effects of the drop in the dollar.

Business Vs. Politics: Different Sides of Leadership

In doing their jobs, where do council members with politics in their blood diverge from their colleagues who come from private sector backgrounds?

Thursday, February 10

PMC Global Sells its Subsidiary for $45 million

Sun Valley-based PMC owns and operates over 30 companies in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, machinery and plastics worldwide.

Health Net Launches a New HMO Plan

Health Net of California's new HMO will offer employers in eight counties savings between five and 14 percent off the current statewide network.

New Theme Restaurant Opening

TOP DOGG Grill & Ice Cream Parlor will recreate the feel of an early 20th Century soda shop.

Wednesday, February 9

Chad Therapeutics Reports 21 Percent Increase in Third Quarter Earnings

The Chatsworth medical device manufacturer expects to finish its fiscal year with a net earnings increase of at least 80 percent.

United Online Reports Earnings Increase on Record Sales

The Woodland Hills company reported revenues of $119.6 million, up 23 percent from $96.9 million the year before.

Sport Chalet Sees Sales, Net Rise

The La Canada-based retailer opened two new locations during the quarter, and plans to open three stores in the Arizona market this year.

21st Century Reports Net Increase

The Woodland Hills-based insurer said that full year earnings were impacted by recent legislation related to taxes on dividends.

Guitar Center Acquires Maryland Retailer

The company's share rose on news that it was acquiring Maryland-based Music & Arts Center.

Tuesday, February 8

Health Net Posts $86 Million Fourth Quarter Loss

The Woodland Hills-based company reported that $252 million in special expenses dragged its earnings down, but predicted a more stable 2005.

Monday, February 7

American Reprographics Begins Trading

Shares in the Glendale-based company began trading on the New York Stock Exchange today, the shares closed at $13.80, up 80 cents.

Fewer Californians Have Job-Based Health Coverage

Over 6.5 million Californians under 65 went without health insurance at some point in 2003.

Diodes Reports its Fourth Quarter Earnings

The Westlake Village-based semiconductor manufacturer reported a 113 percent increase in net income for its fourth quarter.

Friday, February 4

Burbank City Council Approves Airport Development Agreement

The Airport Authority will vote next week on an agreement that will postpone any terminal expansion or new airline gates for seven years.

Ixia Reports Fourth Quarter Earnings

The Calabasas provider of IP network testing reported earnings of $7.6 million in its fourth quarter compared with $2.3 million the year before.

Thursday, February 3

First California to Acquire Orange County Bank

If approved, the acquisition would increase the Camarillo bank's assets to over $450 million and bring the number of banking offices to 10.

Power-One Announces Fourth Quarter Earnings

The Camarillo company reported losses of $9.1 million in its fourth quarter.

Earnings Soar at K-Swiss

The Westlake Village-based company reported its fourth quarter earnings jumped nearly 80 percent.

Bank of Santa Clarita Reports First Two Months of Operation

After two months, the bank reports over $22.2 million in assets.

Today's Valley Business

Agoura/Oak Park/Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce's Installation Luncheon

Wednesday, February 2

Target to Open at Topanga Mall

The discount retailer will be the fifth anchor at Topanaga, the store is scheduled to open in the fall of 2006.

THQ Doubles Fourth Quarter Profit

The Calabasas video game publisher exceeded analysts expectations and posted record sales in its fourth quarter.

Countrywide Misses Analysts' Estimates in Fourth Quarter Earnings

The Calabasas-based company reported a 39 percent drop in net earnings for the fourth quarter.

Health Care Cost Sharing Increasingly Common for California Employers

California employers more likely to spread health care costs among employees, but worry about workers going without coverage and losing productivity.

Tuesday, February 1

Image Entertainment to Open London Office

The Chatsworth company's newest office will open on February 7.