Stories for April 2009
Thursday, April 30
Postponing the big early-summer films because of the swine flu epidemic could cost tens of millions in revenue at a time when studios are increasingly relying on international box office.
The future of network television will be one of event programming, water cooler shows like "American Idol" and news, an executive with NBC Universal said at a conference on digital entertainment and media.
Dole Food Company called "baseless" the allegations of illegal activity in Colombia made in a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.
National accounting giant of J.H. Cohn LLP is appealing to the Securities and Exchange Commission to phase in the immanent adopting in the U.S. of international financial reporting standards, an advent which will fundamentally change the way financial rep
A decrease in orders and the bankruptcy of a major client contributed to National Technical Systems Inc. reporting lower income in the fourth quarter when compared with the previous year.
Full-length episodes of "Lost," "Ugly Betty," and "Desperate Housewives" will be made available online following The Walt Disney Co. becoming an equity partner in Hulu.
Wednesday, April 29
Personal injury lawyers and other plaintiffs' attorneys spent more than $4.1 million on incumbents and candidates in California during a two-year period studied by the Civil Justice Association of California.
The actuation division of Teleflex Aerospace received a contract to provide equipment for aircraft used in close support of ground forces.
Have neighborhood efforts to attract more shoppers paid off since last year? The City Council wants to know.
DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. reported a strong first quarter primarily from continued box office from "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa."
PALMDALE - City officials have geared up to fight water rate increases proposed by the Palmdale Water District and are urging all property owners within the water district boundaries to join the battle.
The former headquarters and tire distribution warehouse for Am-Pac Tire Distributors Inc. in Simi Valley will close down in the coming months, eliminating 63 jobs.
Workshop offers small businesses some advice on cutting costs amid difficult times.
Employee and operating cuts contributed to Zenith National Insurance Corp. reporting a 93.8% drop in net income for the first quarter 2009, compared to the same quarter last year.
The Santa Clarita City Council recently approved a 21-Point Business Plan for Progress, which calls for investing more than $5.1 million in new programs and incentives to boost the local economy.
FirstFed Financial Corp., parent company of First Federal Bank of California, experienced a net loss of $53.4 million or $3.90 per diluted share of common stock in the first quarter of 2009. The loss resulted primarily from a $75 million provision for loa
Tuesday, April 28
Valencia-based line monitoring swine flu situation closely
Monday, April 27
Lawyers for competing companies plead their case in a three-hour meeting, favoring the city's top operator.
Commercial real estate pros talk about concessions
Profile of Toluca Woods eco-friendly fashion designer Deborah Lindquist. She has dressed Hollywood A-listers and sells her clothing worldwide.
Webinars popping up everywhere in the accounting and legal industries locally. They're a sophisticated marketing tool and source of revenue.
Should we care about America's newspapers dying? Column by Martin M. Cooper
Valley shop owners turn to organic materials and recycled fibers for eco-friendly clothing - Rebe in Canoga Park, Green and Greener in Valley Village, and Green Cradle in Sherman Oaks.
Bank of America is dropping the Countrywide name at mortgage offices nationwide after acquiring the Calabasas company linked with subprime loans.
What opportunities does the federal stimulus package present to the legal industry?
Glendale Council will begin to outline the framework of $7M in slashes to the city budget.
Woodbury University's school of fashion and design integrating sustainability into its curriculum. This year's senior project is titled "Viva Verde."
Conflicting observations about the poor economy. Editorial by Jason Schaff.
Stock activity for 50 selected greater San Fernando Valley-based public companies: Bi-Weekly Top Gainers, Losers; The Valley 50 Stock Index; 52-week Performance; Market Summary / Indexes
Photographs of business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.
Medical-related commercial real estate holding relatively stable compared to conventional office and industrial markets.
Many of the Valley's top businesspeople have their local schools to thank for giving them the skills they need in order to be successful.
State of local professional staffing and executive search industries during the economic downturn.
Steve Tannehill left private industry to head the Small Business Development Center in Santa Clarita.
Bank of America and Countrywide mortgage brands have combined to become Bank of America Home Loans, a company executive announced.
The X-51A project is stepping stone to future of air travel.
Wine company owner cites the economy as reason for business closing
The economy's strain on the labor markets was a leading factor in Manpower Inc. reporting a 97 percent decrease in earnings for the first quarter of 2009 compared to a year earlier.
Purchase of Santa Clarita aerospace parts maker part of expansion strategy.
Pre-used clothing stores were recycling long before "green" was hip. Valley shops say they the economic downturn has spurred business.
Holistic Health Institute of Encino experiencing big demand as a training ground for massage therapists. People looking for different professional avenues in the down economy.
Rep. Adam Schiff had positive news for songwriters and composers about copyright protection and establishing a performance right royalty for songs played on terrestrial radio.
Post-production house opens new all-fiber facility in Burbank
Friday, April 24
Power-One Inc. received $60 million in new capital from Silver Lake Sumeru, an investment fund for middle-market technology companies.
Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown says the banking giant's subsidiaries told buyers that $1.5 billion of risky auction-rate securities were safe. Wells says it tried to help customers when the market collapsed.
Wednesday, April 22
WASHINGTON -- Northrop Grumman Corp. reported Wednesday its first quarter profit rose by nearly 50 percent, boosted by higher sales of its electronic systems and progress made in its shipbuilding sector.
Shrinking commercial markets contributed to Teledyne Technologies Inc. reporting a 25 percent decrease in net income for the first quarter when compared to a year ago.
U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group, the largest operator of occupational health care centers in the state of California, will add another medical center to its network with the purchase of Memorial Maritime Clinic in Long Beach.
The city of Thousand Oaks will seek grants under the federal stimulus program to fund 21 projects and programs, ranging from expanding free access to computers and the Internet at city libraries to citywide solar projects and improvements to the wastewate
Economic officials attribute Glendale and Burbank's location to skirting regionwide dive.
Tuesday, April 21
Rate mirrors trend throughout the nation, officials say. Entertainment jobs rise in the area.
Sherman Oaks-based ABCSearch, an Internext Media Corp. company, has acquired Advertise.com. As of April 21, 2009 all ABCSearch solutions will be transitioned over to the Advertise.com, Inc. brand.
Train safety focus of presentation by official at Simi Valley meeting
LOS ANGELES - Most government programs and departments in Los Angeles County will cut their budgets in the coming fiscal year, though how large those cuts will be is not yet certain.
Hollywood's largest actors union is suffering from a drop in investment income and shrinking dues, which are based on how much members earn.
An appeals court has upheld the legality of a 2007 City of Los Angeles ordinance, which to the chagrin of the Apartment Association of Los Angeles County enforces rent-control regulations on multi-family units constructed on land where the demolition of a
A Los Angeles Superior Judge could dismiss two lawsuits accusing Dole Food Co. of exposing plantation workers to pesticides, on the basis of fraud.
Monday, April 20
The first phase of a 20-acre high-tech industrial and office park in Moorpark opens this week.
Construction of the $125-million 1,700-seat complex at Cal State Northridge is back on track after a budget-induced hiatus.
Image Entertainment Inc. has ended its merger agreement with Nyx Acquisitions Inc. due to a lack of financing.
Lancaster-based Simulations Plus, Inc. received a $525,000 federal grant to develop software for the pharmaceutical industry.
In a split vote reflecting ongoing fissures within the union, the board votes 53% in favor of a new two-year contract that is largely modeled on one forged last year by other Hollywood talent guilds.
BioSolar Inc. nears completing commercializing a component for solar panels made from renewable plant sources.
Vacancy rates have climbed as high as 30% in some areas, and landlords have been offering deep discounts or such perks as a year of free rent as an incentive to sign leases.
Friday, April 17
Los Robles Hospital & Medical Center in Thousand Oaks has hired a veteran hospital executive from Arizona as its new CEO, the hospital announced.
Unemployment in Los Angeles County reached 11.4 percent in March, the highest recorded level in decades.
The West sees a 67% drop in the groundbreaking of new homes. Nationwide, starts are down by nearly half.
Valley Presbyterian Hospital President and CEO Albert Greene, who helped make the hospital one of the fastest growing in the area, died April 16 from pancreatic cancer. He was 59.
Thursday, April 16
Northridge-based JBL, Inc., a unit of Harman International Industries, Inc., and Roxy, a brand of Quicksilver, Inc., have joined forces to create a new line of branded headphones and portable audio products.
The parent company of Farmers Insurance may pay up to $2 billion for the Woodland Hills unit.
General Growth Properties, Inc. announced it is seeking relief to reduce and restructure its debts under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
CALIFORNIA CITY - A 250-megawatt solar power plant proposed for a former agricultural site north of the city has run into obstacles in the state permitting process.
In a $1.9 billion dollar deal, Farmers Group Inc. will buy 21st Century Insurance, AIG's personal auto insurance group.
U.S. House Committee on Small Business chair, Nydia M. Velasquez (D-New York), has issued a set of 10 recommendations to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman aimed at easing tax burdens on America's small businesses.
John Spoor Broome, an Oxnard rancher and avid sportsman whose philanthropy helped fund the library at CSU Channel Islands in Camarillo, has died at the age of 91.
Wednesday, April 15
Capstone Turbine Corp. has signed a new distributor in India that will assist the company in gaining a larger share of the growing private sector power generation market.
Simulations Plus Inc. moves ahead with expansion plans that include new hires and an acquisition.
Tuesday, April 14
Television made up more than half of the on-location filming in the City and County of Los Angeles in the first quarter, according to recent figures released by FilmLA.
Agoura Hills-based Motor Vehicle Software Corporation has been granted an honorable mention in the 2009 Automotive News PACE Awards for its DMVDesk Registration Management System.
The deadline to participate in the 2nd annual Best Place to Work Awards Reception has been extended to Friday, April 17.
Monday, April 13
HAWSE: The recession has not put the brakes on a $5 million renovation and expansion of Jim Hawse's Toyota dealership.
California Leads with Inspector General Position. Commentary by Gregory N. Lippe
Stock activity for 50 selected greater San Fernando Valley-based public companies:
Photographs of business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.
The phasing out of noisy older jets at Van Nuys Airport could begin this summer
How to know when it's best to rely on your accountant, a collections agency, an attorney, or your own internal resources for collections. What does each profession bring to the table?
A bill to give class-action defendants the right to challenge class certification before cases go to trial died in committee in Sacramento.
The federal jobs program otherwise known as the U.S. Census has already started injecting thousands of higher-than-minimum-wage jobs into the Valley.
Glendale City Council likely to approve new site that is expected to drastically reduce city fueling costs.
Valley IT staffing firms are still crying foul about what they call manipulation of the H-1B work visa program.
AEROSPACE: The Mojave Air and Spaceport has become a center of the New Space industry.
Several new multi-family projects are underway in the San Fernando Valley.
Bob Trautman, the chief executive for the past seven years at Lancaster Community Hospital, will oversee the new Palmdale Regional Medical Center.
The longtime assistant to the late Lew Wasserman says the studio mogul would be furious if he knew the facility he championed was closing. Wasserman's heirs defend the decision.
If at least $2 million can't be shaved from Target's plan to build in the west end of Simi Valley, store officials say they might have to scrap the project.
The commercial real estate climate in the greater Valley area continues to be dismal in general but some industry professionals say there are glimmers of hope on the horizon.
Camarillo Airport could see improvements on its grounds as early as this summer once it receives its cut of the $1.1 billion in federal stimulus money.
The change in direction in the federal government's approach to California's marijuana laws causes confusion but also brings opportunities to the real estate sector.
STIMULUS: Both Palmdale and Lancaster have implemented stimulus plans to increase spending in their respective cities.
State Constitution Summit Highlight of Upcoming Chamber Activities. Promotions and Elections
Friday, April 10
Publisher Eddy Hartenstein defends his decision to run the ad for a new NBC show, which resembled a news story.
Shareholders in auto paint and collision repair center company Earl Scheib Inc. approved a merger with Kelly Capital LLC.
LANCASTER - Cuts to the F-22 Raptor fighter jet program could endanger pilots of other U.S. military jets, U.S. Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon said.
Despite the objections of the Oxnard City Council and misgivings of some of their own members, the California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved plans to build a "peaker" power plant at Mandalay Beach in Oxnard.
Longtime locals are stunned at loss of burger joint and its chubby '50s-esque icon in overalls.
Thursday, April 9
NEW YORK -- March same-store sales fell for the sixth straight month, as consumers continued to shop cautiously and stick mostly to necessities such as food, but there were some glimmers of stabilization in retailers' reports today.
National Technical Systems Inc. received a $9.5 million contract for engineering services and testing support for the U.S. military.
Nine Valley region business people have been named as semi-finalists for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority will resubmit its application for a mandatory nighttime curfew of arrivals and departures at Bob Hope Airport.
LANCASTER - Architectural drawings and information about a proposed Wal-Mart-anchored shopping center lined the walls of the board of trustees' chambers at Antelope Valley College.
LOS ANGELES (AP) , A federal judge in Los Angeles has thrown out claims of insider trading against all but one former executive of Countrywide Financial Corp.
Wednesday, April 8
WASHINGTON -- Wholesalers cut their inventories in February by the steepest amount in more than 17 years, while sales rose for the first time since the summer, encouraging signs that companies may be getting their inventories under control.
Capstone Turbine Corp. cut its operating expenses in March by reducing its workforce by 22 employees.
Amgen Inc. wants to know what its shareholders think of how it pays its executives.
A phase out of noisy older jets at Van Nuys Airport would begin in July under an ordinance that goes before the Board of Airport Commissioners next month.
Tuesday, April 7
Encino-based law firm, Michelman & Robinson, LLP is expanding into New York City with a new office led by former Duval & Stachenfeld corporate partners, David Schwartz, Douglas Morea, and Charles Friedman.
Monday, April 6
The agreement would come as a breakthrough for the union, whose members have been working without a contract for nine months as various attempts at negotiations collapsed.
WCB Holdings, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Western Commercial Bank, experienced growth in total assets, loans and deposits in 2008, the company announced.
Electronic Sensor Technology received an order for 35 of its odor detection units for use in homeland security applications in Mexico.
A federal compensation program for workers sickened by radiation or chemical exposure at Cold War-era facilities has paid only 125 claims filed by former Santa Susana Field Laboratory workers or their survivors, and California's two U.S. senators are tryi
Friday, April 3
Satisfaction with health care coverage and customer service contributed to Kaiser Foundation Health Plan ranking the highest in California in a study done by J.D. Power and Associates.
Eclipsed by news from the G20 Conference in London yesterday, the Financial Accounting Standards Board here in the U.S. voted to loosen so-called Mark-to-Market rules, which value distressed assets held by banks and other financial institutions.
NEW YORK -- A private trade group's measure of the strength of the services sector shrank for the sixth straight month in March and at a faster pace than expected.
Economy may have dropped during his term, but there were positives, too, he says.
21st Century Insurance, has laid off 7 percent of its workforce nationwide, 50 of whom worked in Woodland Hills.
A joint venture that includes Great American Group will begin selling off merchandise from more than 300 Ritz Camera stores as part of the bankruptcy reorganization of the specialty camera and accessories retailer.
Thursday, April 2
PALMDALE - The city is shifting $760,010 from its financial reserves to come up with the $2 million needed to design a municipal conference center intended to accommodate business meetings.
Only 16 of Ventura County's 188 service station operators failed to meet Wednesday's state-imposed deadline for starting to install mandatory but costly fueling system upgrades to reduce air pollution, a county official said.
Weak equipment leases and sales contributed to a 60 percent drop in third quarter net income at Electro Rent Corp. when compared to a year ago.
Council tells traffic commission to look into reducing meter times by two hours downtown.
The Walt Disney Co. strengthened its family-friendly online content with the acquisition of websites from Canadian-based Kaboose Inc. in a deal worth $18.4 million.
The contract would provide a 5% pay raise and $21 million more in health and pension contributions. It also outlines a pay structure for work made for the Internet and other new media.
Cal State University Channel Islands will dedicate the first named building in the business school on April 3.
A veteran television executive has been named as the new president and chief executive at camera and lens developer Panavision Inc.