Stories for January 2009
Friday, January 30
Failure to receive a $1.3 million fee has led Image Entertainment Inc. to allege a breach of its merger agreement with Nyx Acquisitions Inc.
Three government reports on unemployment, housing and durable goods are evidence of the recession's depth.
The latest media company to make cutbacks as advertising falls says it will eliminate 400 jobs by letting go 200 employees and leaving another 200 positions unfilled.
Registrations of new cars and light trucks declined 23 percent in 2008, compared to 2007. California new vehicle registrations totaled about $1.5 million last year, a figure that lines up with new car sales from 1993.
In October 2008, Californians used 67 million fewer gallons of gasoline than they did a year earlier, a decline of 5.1 percent, according to the State Board of Equalization.
Thursday, January 29
Businesses along the right-of-way of a proposed extension of the Orange Line busway will be given a 90-day notice to relocate now that the Metro Board approved a final environmental report that clears way for construction to begin later this year.
The Thousand Oaks City Council briefly pondered salary freezes as a way to fix a $3.2 million budget deficit before voting unanimously Tuesday night to have its finance committee begin prioritizing potential cuts to close the gap.
Dole Food Company Inc.'s asset sale transactions are expected to generate net proceeds of $130 million.
A House vote to expedite the extension lacks the needed two-thirds majority, but proponents expect it to pass soon.
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority approved 9-0 submitting its application for a mandatory nighttime curfew of arrivals and departures at Bob Hope Airport.
Kreido Biofuels Inc. will leave Camarillo once its sale to a Kentucky bioenergy company is completed.
Calabasas-based homebuilder Ryland Group announced a fourth quarter net loss of $59.9 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, on revenues of $528 million compared to the same period of 2007 when the company had a whopping $201.9 million loss, or $4.80 per di
Wednesday, January 28
Over the past four months, three Valley hospitals announced that they were cutting staffers and departments, alike.
Shoppers will notice lower prices on some discounted items at Circuit City stores as the chain continues to liquidate its inventory as it goes out of business.
State Controller John Chiang has directed the Franchise Tax Board to stop sending requests for tax refund payments to the Controller's office as of the end of business Jan. 27.
Tuesday, January 27
The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed employees who have cooperated in a sexual harassment investigation have the right to sue their former employers for retaliation if they believe they were fired because of their participation in such investigations.
Fifth District Councilmember candidate Adeena Bleich received the backing of the lobbyist group sponsored by the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce in the city election in March.
Test tools and services provider QualityLogic Inc. has named WeSoft as its testing center for the imagining industry in Asia.
AeroVironment Inc. received a $17 million contract from the U.S. Army to upgrade the digital data link for the unmanned Raven aircraft.
Karen Davis has been named as the vice president for Administration and Finance at California Lutheran University, the school announced.
Projects must meet funding guidelines to receive part of $825M package.
Doug Allen is ousted as executive director, improving the odds of a new contract.
Flamemaster Corp. reported a 68 percent increase in net income for the 2008 fiscal year when compared with 2007.
Amgen Inc. just missed some Wall Street targets for the quarter and the year but overall rode through 2008 well after undergoing a major restructuring in 2007.
Woodland Hills is the site of the first U.S. branch of the British-based Homeopathy Study Club.
Monday, January 26
Project slated for Foothill Building and Lumber space is expected to face City Council appeal.
First California Bank has made inroads into the Inland Empire, Orange County and San Diego County with the acquisition of 1st Centennial Bank in Redlands.
In light of an increase in medical helicopter crashes last year, safety precautions will be the focus of medical helicopter safety hearings before the National Transportation Safety Board.
Providence Holy Cross has received the Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence Award from HealthGrades, a health care ratings company.
A host of ideas about how the region might solve its transit problems in ever greener ways , from commuter rail and biofuels to better land use and housing policy , were voiced by a panel that convened Saturday in Santa Barbara.
Firms are boosting customer service and rethinking their business models and products to survive and even grow.
With the economy on everyone's minds, prospective council officials and educators present ideas for city.
Friday, January 23
Semiconductor manufacturer Semtech Corp. lowered its fourth guidance 5 percent to 12.5 percent due to cuts in demand for its products.
IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc. has received the "Best IPO" award from the Los Angeles Venture Association, which recognizes Southern California's best growth companies annually.
A former Moorpark businessman was convicted of five counts of tax evasion in Los Angeles federal court.
Art director asks Glendale City Council for a cash infusion. Company reticent to sign new lease
The Motion Picture & TV Fund's decision to close the actors' care facility was 'made in a vacuum,' they say.
Thursday, January 22
Teledyne Technologies Inc. ended its fiscal year with a strong finish despite the sluggish economy weakening the commercial business in the fourth quarter.
Careful planning will help Calabasas get through the current recession, Mayor Mary Sue Maurer said during the annual state of the city address.
Now is the time to find out if you have any character, says IHOP president.
Los Angeles needs more oversight for the hundreds of take home and pool vehicles used by elected officials, staff, and fire and police department brass, City Controller Laura Chick said.
Valley residents Huey P. Cotton and Michael Terrell have been appointed to judgeships in the Los Angeles County Superior Court by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
LANCASTER - During ceremonies to install its new officers, the Antelope Valley Bar Association on Wednesday presented an award to Justice Frank Jackson, whom past association President Avrum S. Harris called "the local boy who made good - very good."
LOS ANGELES , A dozen state legislators have challenged a proposal to drill for oil off the coast of Santa Barbara, saying it could set a precedent for more drilling along the 1,100 miles of California coastline.
Wednesday, January 21
A brand of frozen cookie dough distributed to local schools, including Melvin Avenue Elementary in Reseda, has been recalled because of potential contamination with Salmonella.
The state will likely delay individual and business tax refunds in order to preserve money for education and paying off debt, State Controller John Chiang said.
Online real estate firm Move Inc. named Steven Berkowitz as its new chief executive officer.
Tuesday, January 20
A majority of board members of the Screen Actors Guild has continued to pursue ousting the union's director.
The number of bankruptcies in Ventura County for 2008 doubled from the previous year as more people and businesses ran out of hope.
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank has cut 94 staff members and closed five health programs amid concerns about rising costs and a decline in patient admissions and surgical volume, not to mention the economic recession.
LOS ANGELES , The Walt Disney Co.'s chief executive, Robert Iger, received a compensation package valued at $51.1 million in fiscal 2008, up 85 percent from a year earlier, according to an Associated Press calculation of figures disclosed in a regulatory
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. will eliminate about 10 percent of its worldwide workforce through layoffs, freezing positions and outsourcing.
Bargain hunters snag foreclosures, sending overall purchases up 51% from a year earlier as house values sink.
LANCASTER - City officials are reviewing plans for a 22-acre shopping center to be built on the former links of the nine-hole Meadowlark Golf Course on the northwest corner of 60th Street West and Avenue K.
The Cheesecake Factory Inc. has named W. Douglas Benn executive vice president and chief financial officer.
Monday, January 19
PALMDALE - As part of this year's celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the B-2 stealth bomber's first flight, manufacturer Northrop Grumman Corp. commissioned a special-edition motorcycle which echoes the iconic aircraft's design.
Guest columnist Marty Cooper reflects on the benefits of giving
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
All four Applebee's restaurants in Ventura County were shut down as of Friday, falling victim to the financial woes of an Orange County restaurant operator who filed for bankruptcy.
Linda Coburn outlines changes in title company ethics rules.
Photographs of business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.
Mark Madler reports on inauguration coverage, Daily News layoffs and Sun Newspapers personnel changes
Amid recession, even GCC swap meet vendors with low-price items are feeling the pinch.
A Ventura County specialty practice has merged with a national firm.
Mercedes Benz chose Woodbury University as the location for its Smart Car launch into China.
Mayor Villaraigosa's list of shovel-ready projects is perceived by many to give the Valley less than its fair share.
Some Valley companies are benefiting from increased investment in clean-tech
Nadra Kareem writes about a new service for seniors, fundraising success in Newhall, and low-cost plastic surgery
A study recommends ways Van Nuys Airport can be financially self-sufficient.
The son and daughter of Flip Smith stepped in after their father's death to run the business he founded.
A half dozen small local companies have received NASA contracts through an innovative program
The North Hollywood company, which is making cookies for an inaugural gala, has grown thanks to the Internet.
Guest columnist Richard Rosenberg on drug testing legalities
Superior Industries is closing its Van Nuys Plant and laying off workers
The state has opened a tourism office in China.
Here's What We Have Planned For This Year. Column by SFVBJ editor, Jason Schaff.
Friday, January 16
Harman International Industries Inc. will relocate administrative functions from a New York office to Northridge in the coming months, the company announced.
Jittery workers might need a vacation, but it's not exactly a priority.
The agreement ends a nearly yearlong legal battle and paves the way for Warner to release the highly anticipated superhero movie March 6 as planned.
Bankrupt Circuit City Stores Inc., the nation's second-biggest consumer electronics retailer, said it failed to find a buyer and will liquidate its 567 U.S. stores. The closures could send another 30,000 people into the ranks of the unemployed.
Six Sperry Van Ness commercial real estate offices, including the Woodland Hills location, will be folded into the West Los Angeles operation.
Thursday, January 15
WASHINGTON -- Another huge plunge in energy costs sent wholesale inflation down for a fifth straight month in December, closing out a year in which prices dropped by the largest amount in seven years.
Glendale Memorial hopes 8-foot-tall announcements of its top rating will attract patients.
Online wagering firm Youbet.com expanded its offerings with the addition of four racetracks, the company announced.
LANCASTER - Several Antelope Valley infrastructure projects might be in line to receive funding from the economic recovery package being prepared by President-elect Barack Obama's financial team.
Wednesday, January 14
A contract with a Nashville-based company to develop a branding project for the city of Thousand Oaks was set aside for 60 days by the City Council at its meeting on Jan. 13.
Starting in March, each of Burbank's 6,300 businesses will need faucet attachments that help conservation.
Costco Wholesale has withdrawn an application to open a warehouse store in Newbury Park.
The Motion Picture & Television Fund will shut the doors of its Woodland Hills hospital by year's end to instead concentrate on serving patients living at home, in retirement communities or long-term care facilities.
The lead negotiator for the Screen Actors Guild remains in his position after his backers on the union's board was able to rebuff an attempt to fire him.
Staples Inc. wants to open one of its 2-year-old print and copy sites on Brand Boulevard.
Tuesday, January 13
On-location filming in the Los Angeles area dropped slightly in 2008, the result of the Hollywood writers strike and a slowdown in production over the contract stalemate between the Screen Actors Guild and the major studios.
Lower demand for aluminum wheels has forced Superior Industries International Inc. to close its manufacturing facility in Van Nuys.
Percentage of customers who defaulted or fell behind went way up in 2008.
PALMDALE - The Palmdale City Council could become a stakeholder in the High Desert Green Jobs Initiative.
A coalition of members of the Screen Actors Guild seeks to oust the union's chief negotiator over handling of contract talks with the major Hollywood studios.
WASHINGTON -- The trade deficit plunged to the lowest level in five years in November as a deepening recession slashed demand for oil by a record amount. Imports from China also fell by the largest amount on record.
Monday, January 12
Official tally isn't in yet, but authority says Bob Hope Airport could have a 10% drop from 2007.
Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank is looking to cut staff and outsource the jobs to India and Poland.
Limited liability companies that have failed to file required forms or pay fees and taxes face suspension.
The Thousand Oaks City Council will be asked to approve an $89,000 contract with a Nashville-based company to develop a branding project for the city as it did for Santa Rosa, Sebastopol and other clients in six states.
Munchkin Inc., a designer and manufacturer of infant and toddler products in North Hills, will partner with Church & Dwight Co. Inc., the makers of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, for a line of deodorizing products for nurseries.
Friday, January 9
Area medical centers offer buyouts, eliminate jobs; layoffs could be next
PALMDALE - The City Council on Wednesday met in closed session with City Manager Steve Williams and Director of Personnel Bill McLeod for an update and discussion on the possibility that city maintenance workers could join the Teamsters union.
Chatsworth company IRIS International Inc. has entered into a manufacturing and supply agreement with IDEXX Laboratories Inc. in a deal worth $1.5 million.
Millions lack the necessary gear and risk blank screens when the switch occurs. Obama seeks a postponement.
Construction began on a $78-million retail project that will bring much needed jobs and stores to Pacoima.
A burgeoning retail hub in Newbury Park might soon add a Costco store to its roster.
Thursday, January 8
Council president skeptical until store is actually built because of the previous delays.
Equipment to map the lunar surface developed by a subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. is aboard the first-ever Indian mission to the moon.
IPC The Hospitalist Company Inc. acquired the hospitalist practice of Midwest Acute Care Consultants Inc. in St. Louis.
MGA Entertainment Inc.'s Bratz dolls, which were found to infringe Mattel Inc.'s copyrights, can be sold this year, a federal judge ruled, modifying a decision that could have resulted in an earlier ban.
Gangi Development of Burbank received a sixth extension to its exclusive negotiating agreement with the City of San Fernando for a 100-unit affordable senior housing project.
Wednesday, January 7
Americana at Brand developer Caruso Affiliated will be receiving a settlement of $48 million from Glendale Galleria mall owner General Growth Properties.
The California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC) announced Jan. 7 that it has opened an office in China.
Woodland Hills-based Western Commercial Bank has received approval to change its stock symbol to WCBH. It was formerly WCBC.
Failure to have an annual meeting for its shareholders has further put MRV Communications Inc. in non-compliance with Nasdaq rules that can lead to a delisting of its stock.
Tuesday, January 6
Kythera Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. of Calabasas has successfully completed two Phase 2 clinical studies of its lead product candidate.
LTC Properties, Inc. of Westlake Village has announced it will pay a monthly cash dividend of $0.13 per common share in January, February and March of 2009.
Test systems manufacturer Ixia fell short of its expected revenues in the fourth quarter, the company said.
The Cheesecake Factory Inc. in Calabasas Hills has amended its revolving credit facility.
Digital technology company DTS Inc. acquired Washington State audio technology firm Neural Audio in a deal worth $7.5 million.
Monday, January 5
This regular feature focuses on philanthropic activities by Valley-area companies and businesspeople.
The state's budget gridlock is affecting local businesses in many ways.
Capstone Turbine Corp. entered the megawatt market with the shipment of a new microturbine to a Spanish textile manufacturer.
Scott Harris continues his series on marketing for small businesses
Guest columnist Greg Lippe has a proposal to fix the State's budget process
A local staffing service received a critical certification.
New rules and regulations going into effect this year
The economic downturn has changed the job applicant pool.
WASHINGTON -- Construction spending fell less than expected in November as record activity on nonresidential projects helped offset another steep decline in housing. The outlook, however, is for significant weakness as the worst recession in at least a qu
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
Congressman Brad Sherman reports in from Washington
Travel agency that's been around for half a century says advertising is the key to success.
PALMDALE - Flowing from an election that turned on the public debate over whether drinking water treated with chloramines is safe, two incumbents and one newcomer will be sworn in as officers of the Antelope Valley-East Kern Water Agency this month.
Reporter Nadra Kareem writes about multiple changes in industry for the coming year
Fans of video file-sharing websites got a boost from U.S. District Court Judge A. Howard Matz, who ruled today that Universal Music Group cannot stop a San Diego company from claiming "safe harbor" protection in a copyright-infringement suit.
Reporter Mark Madler reviews a host of books about his beats
The Census Bureau commences hiring in Northridge and Van Nuys
Friday, January 2
California State University Northridge announced today that it was suspending construction activities on the $125 million Valley Performing Arts Center Project and a new $51 million science building as well as other capital improvement projects.
First Care Occupational Medical Group of Valencia has been acquired by U.S. HealthWorks Medical Group.