Stories for October 2009

Monday, October 26

Giant Amgen Has A Lot Riding on The Next Several Months

DRUG: FDA delays granting approval of Amgen osteoporosis drug, denosumab.

Valley biotech giant one step closer to commercializing osteoporosis drug denosunab

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New Firm Promoting Affordable Consumer Genetic Testing

MEDICAL: Founder of Westlake Village-based Genomic Express says strategy makes product more widely available.

Grant Bitter launches Genomic Express to perform genetic testing for athletes and health issues

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Biotech VC Dominates in Q3; Dollars Down But Deals Rise

MONEY: San Diego lands majority of SoCal dollars.

Biotech investment dollars drop but deals increase in third quarter of 2009

Valley-Area Biotech Start-ups Holding Their Own

GROWTH: Firms have been acquired, commercialized products, and secured new rounds of venture capital. received money, been acquired or commercialized products.

Valley biotech start-ups commercialized products and secured investments in the past year and a half

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City Branding Campaign to Sharpen Community Identity

MARKETING: Officials seek to attract businesses to the city and boost area awareness of shopping opportunities.

Glendale plans to embark on a citywide branding campaign to attract new businesses.

Glendale Boosts Economic Development Despite Recession

GROWTH: Car dealership, museum in the works as creative approach is taken to re-use of existing city properties.

City officials continue boosting economic growth through redevelopment projects despite recession.

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Making ‘Green’ History in City of Glendale

CEO Witkin’s Firm Lines Up at Forefront of the Industry

Loren Witkin of Citadel Environmental Services could develop Glendale’s first LEED certified space

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Downtown Merchants Seek To Form Improvement District

bid: Business association members finding increased need for marketing and promotional efforts in area.

Downtown Glendale Merchants Association moves forward with plans to create a Business Improvement District

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Pipelines Are Full

Products close-in on market

The future growth of the Valley’s biotech sector remains a question mark.

Lippe Leaving Accounting Firm

CPA: Allison Taking Over at Lippe, Hellie in Woodland Hills

Lisa Allison has been named managing partner at accounting firm Lippe, Hellie, Hoffer & Allison LLP replacing founder Greg Lippe

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Small Businesses Get $15 Million From City

loans: VEDC to administer program focused on creating jobs.

New $15 million small business loan program kicks off.

Lancaster City Officials Study Hard

classes: Staff members receive lessons in Mandarin to help boost business with Chinese.

Lancaster City employees are learning Mandarin in an effort to bring Chinese companies to the Antelope Valley

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Economist Has Grim Forecast

EVENT: VICA conference will try to focus on optimism amid turmoil.

Business Forecast Conference gathers top economists

Lancaster, Palmdale Seeking to Renew Enterprise Zone

JOBS: Incentives provided by such a designation have resulted in companies relocating to the Antelope Valley cities.

Palmdale and Lancaster will file to renew their enterprise zone

Ixia Acquires Agilent N2X Product Line

TECH COMPANY: Pays $44 million in cash deal

Palmdale and Lancaster will file to renew their enterprise zone

Local Companies Flock to Private Aviation Conference

TRADE SHOW: Despite drop in attendance, charter and management firms as well as suppliers gather at annual event.

Lower attendance does not deter from a valuable experience at National Business Aviation Association convention

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Life Changing Makeovers: Helping Victims of Abuse

EVENT: Professionals team up to help Safe Passage.

GIVING: Changing lives with makeovers to local domestic abuse survivors

Take It From Experience, Homebuyer Tax Credit Works

RESIDENTIAL: Program, combined with greater affordability, is giving further boost to improving market.

Pricing in the “starter home” category can help sell a house. Real Estate Column by Eric Billingsley

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VALLEY NEWSMAKERS

Martinez Heads Business Assistance Program

AWARDS: Americans have a flair for recognition

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Showing Their Mettle with a Medal

KALEIDOSCOPE - OUR CHANGING VALLEY

Guest Column by Martin M. Cooper

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City Threatens Financial Institutions With Divestment

VICA local update: Catching the local business issues that fall through the cracks

LA City Committee considers motion that should be setting off panic alarms for the business community

AB 1383: California Hospital’s Bitter Pill for Medi-Cal Ills

STATE: Self-imposed fee will be used as leverage for matching federal funds.

New legislation AB 1383 helps increase Medi-Cal reimbursements to hospitals. The Healthcare Column by Andrea Alegria

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Friday, October 16

ABA Committee to Examine New Consumer Protection Agency in D.C.

The American Bar Association's Banking Law Committee plans to give the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency the once over during its fall meeting in Washington.

Jobless claims fall; inflation remains muted

WASHINGTON -- New jobless claims dropped to the lowest level since January and the prices of many household goods stayed low last month, positive signs of stability for the fledgling economic recovery.

New Target likely to replace old store in Oxnard

The new Target store planned for the RiverPark in Oxnard will replace the existing location on Esplanade Drive, a city official said Thursday.

Thursday, October 15

Jobless claims fall; inflation remains muted

WASHINGTON -- New jobless claims dropped to the lowest level since January and the prices of many household goods stayed low last month, positive signs of stability for the fledgling economic recovery.

Groundbreaking for business park planned in Fillmore

The Fillmore Business Park was first envisioned in 1997 as a way to attract businesses to the city, stimulate its economy and provide thousands of jobs for residents.

Most crash cases settled

Metrolink has so far settled 21 cases tied to a crash when a man parked his car on the tracks in 2005.

Tax Amnesty Deadline Arrives for Offshore Accounts

Disclosures by taxpayers with assets in previously undisclosed offshore financial accounts continued to roll in to special agents at the Internal Revenue Service as the Oct. 15 deadline tax amnesty came to an end.

Wednesday, October 14

Glendale Hospital Ranks Number One in Gastrointestinal Surgery

Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center was ranked No. 1 in the state of California for Gastrointestinal surgery, and among the top three state hospitals for heart surgery, by the independent healthcare ratings organization HealthGrades.

Film, TV Production Continues Drop

Despite increased feature film and commercial on-location shoots, overall production dropped in the third quarter, according to statistics released by FilmL.A.

Tuesday, October 13

DeYoung Announces Run for Assembly Seat

Assemblyman Bob Blumfield will face at least one opponent in the 2010 Election, in the person of Northridge resident and certified financial planner, Dennis DeYoung.

Dole Commences Initial Public Offering

Dole Food Company, Inc. announced the launch of its initial public offering of 35.7 million shares of its common stock, in a move that hopes to raise about $500 million to help pay off company debts.

Moorpark trucking firm trying to outrun recession

Brian Urrea knows that in order to survive the recession, businesses have to adapt.

City moves on starting bids for smart meters

CITY HALL , In the next step in the city's $28.5-million project to equip customers with smart meters that track real-time water and electricity usage, the City Council on Tuesday is set to open bidding for the installation of the meters.

City of San Fernando Avoids Layoffs to Close Budget Deficit

The San Fernando City Council recently approved a labor agreement that avoided layoffs by reducing city employee benefits, in an effort to help close a projected $645,000 General Fund deficit.

Schwarzenegger signs 2 renewable energy bills, vetoes others

California will require utilities to pay consumers for generating more solar and wind power than they use and will boost the payoff for certain solar facilities. The laws take effect Jan 1.

Valley Institutions Secure $4 million in Stimulus Money

Research organizations in the greater San Fernando Valley are receiving nearly $4 million in stimulus money, according to a statement from Congressman Brad Sherman.

Monday, October 12

Chamber Page Withers Away Without Regular Input

Editor Jason Schaff explains why he discontinued chamber report

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Valley Agency Taking on Formidable Marketing Task

Advertising: Secretive Firm Gets Some Attention

Part I of a series of case-studies on GlyphixAdvertising developing a brand awareness campaign for Risk Control Strategies.

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Saturn’s Demise Distresses Dealers

Autos: Owners of outlets shocked, saddened by news.

Auto dealership owners and customers

City Successfully Navigating Turbulent Economic Waters

Santa Clarita: State of the city report reveals growth and progress despite economy.

A nautical theme, complete with seagulls and sailing ships as table centerpieces, set the tone for Santa Clarita’s recent State of the City Luncheon titled “Steering a Course for Stability.”

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Business Groups Cool to State Tax Reform Panel Proposals

government: Recommendations of governor’s group include introduction of business net receipts tax.

State recommendations on tax overhaul meets mixed response

AROUND THE VALLEYS

A look at the people, places and things that make our valleys tick.

Lancaster Team Recognized for Work on Location Filming

City: Employees helped Honda with commercial.

ENTERTAINMENT: Two Lancaster employees nominated for on-location award

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Recession Relief: Employers Allowed Salary Flexibility

Workplace: California labor commissioner approves temporary pay reduction for exempt workers

Here is some good news for California employers. Employment Law Column by Richard Rosenberg

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Sharing Their Love of Wine

Entrepreneurs Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier are looking to grow their wine store in Santa Clarita.

INTERVIEW: Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier ofVINO 100 talk about their passion for wine

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Taste of Burbank Gives Needed Exposure to Restaurants

food: For one night eating out becomes popular again at fundraiser for Burbank Community YMCA.

Burbank tour nets restaurant owner’s recipes for success. Hospitality Industry Column by Andrea Alegria

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Animated to the Max

Animax bringing its unique animated content to cable channels and websites.

Animax Entertainment, developer of animated programming, games and virtual worlds

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Local Governments Could Get Short End of Federal Stimulus funds

VICA Local Update.

Catching the local business issues that fall through the cracks

VALLEY NEWSMAKERS

Mission Valley Hires Regional Manager

New hires and appointments at Valley companies.

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How Realistic is a Part-Time Legislature?

CAPITOL OFFENSES. Pros and cons of a part-time legislature

The Innovators

Creative Ideas Help Firms Weather Construction Slump

Economic downturn forcing construction businesses to innovate.

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Leaders Cautiously Optimistic as They Look to Future

forecast: Cost-cutting has been the norm in the past year for many of them and not all see a brighter 2010.

Survey says CFO optimism about the economy on the rise, but local top financial execs aren’t so sure

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Businesses Lean on Outsourced CFOs During Down Times

part-time: Smaller companies find that ‘renting’ finance professionals helps them fill in gaps in expertise.

Businesses look to CFOs for hire in down economy to save money and shore up balance sheets

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Professionals Sound Off on Jobs, What Businesses Need

answers: Reporter poses questions to experienced local financial executives in several different industries.

Four local CFOs talk about the toughest part of their jobs and give advice to small business owners

Technology Plays Big Role in CFOs’ Daily Work Lives

changes: Working with IT departments in many cases, they take lead on innovation as they look to the future.

CFOs use modern technology to streamline and automate financial processes

Phil Marshall, Galpin Motors

Valleys’ Top CFOs - Honorees

Phil Marshall has seen a lot in his more than 50 years in the auto industry.

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Commercial Real Estate Vacancies Continue Climb in Q3

Real Estate: Bleak third quarter for office, industrial and retail markets, but some segments show improvement.

Bleak third quarter for office, industrial and retail

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Devra Shapiro, IPC The Hospitalist Company

Devra Shapiro joined IPC The Hospitalist Company as CFO in 1998. She’s been there nearly every step of the way...

Valleys’ Top CFOs - Honorees

Darren Hernandez, City of Santa Clarita;

Valleys’ Top CFOs - Nominees

The following CFOs are accomplished professionals in their own right. Their work has been vital in steering local companies through these difficult economic times.

Animated to the Max

Animax Entertainment, developer of animated programming, games and virtual worlds

Taste of Burbank Gives Needed Exposure to Restaurants

Burbank tour nets restaurant owner's recipes for success.

VALLEY STOCK WATCH

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

Valley Agency Taking on Formidable Marketing Task

Part I of a series of case-studies on GlyphixAdvertising developing a brand awareness campaign for Risk Control Strategies.

Technology Plays Big Role in CFOs' Daily Work Lives

CFOs use modern technology to streamline and automate financial processes

AROUND THE VALLEYS

A look at the people, places and things that make our valleys tick.

Recession Relief: Employers Allowed Salary Flexibility

Workplace: California labor commissioner approves temporary pay reduction for exempt workers

County picked less for location shoots

Scouting expert cites higher costs, changes in industry

Local Governments Could Get Short End of Federal Stimulus funds

Catching the local business issues that fall through the cracks

Sharing Their Love of Wine

Lil Lepore and Shari Frazier ofVINO 100 talk about their passion for wine

Lancaster Team Recognized for Work on Location Filming

ENTERTAINMENT: Two Lancaster employees nominated for on-location award

Business Groups Cool to State Tax Reform Panel Proposals

State recommendations on tax overhaul meets mixed response

City officials still fighting for curfew at Bob Hope

Group plans to meet with lawmakers to discuss options to bring noise relief to area around airport.

Commercial Real Estate Vacancies Continue Climb in Q3

Bleak third quarter for office, industrial and retail

Professionals Sound Off on Jobs, What Businesses Need

Four local CFOs talk about the toughest part of their jobs and give advice to small business owners

How Realistic is a Part-Time Legislature?

Pros and cons of a part-time legislature

Businesses Lean on Outsourced CFOs During Down Times

Businesses look to CFOs for hire in down economy to save money and shore up balance sheets

Devra Shapiro, IPC The Hospitalist Company

Devra Shapiro joined IPC The Hospitalist Company as CFO in 1998. She's been there nearly every step of the way...

"Musical Road" Brings Pair Award

Rebuilding a city street into the famed "musical road" for a car commercial earned two City of Lancaster employees a California On Location Award for Public Employees of the Year.

The Innovators

Economic downturn forcing construction businesses to innovate.

Leaders Cautiously Optimistic as They Look to Future

Survey says CFO optimism about the economy on the rise, but local top financial execs aren't so sure

City Successfully Navigating Turbulent Economic Waters

State of the city report reveals growth and progress despite economy.

Friday, October 9

Retailers see ray of hope as sales in September rise 0.6%

Many of the strongest performers are sellers of mid- or low-priced goods. Some economists say that if stocks hold up and the housing and job markets don't worsen, holiday sales could surprise.

Workforce board well running dry

Verdugo group's stimulus money is going fast, but demand for help keeps rising.

Thursday, October 8

Moorpark council defers vote on fueling station

The Moorpark City Council on Wednesday deferred voting on an application to build a commercial fueling station until next month in order to re-examine other areas to relocate the 24-hour truck fueling business.

Masten Successfully Tests Space Vehicle

Masten Space Systems qualified to win the $150,000 second-place prize in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge by completing two successful flights of its Xombie rocket.

Superior Loses Finance Chief

Superior Industries International Inc. is looking for a new chief financial officer following the resignation of Erika Turner effective later this month.

New jobless claims fall to lowest level since January

WASHINGTON -- The number of newly laid-off workers filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell to the lowest level since early January, as layoffs ease a bit amid a fledgling economic recovery.

Los Angeles boosts perks to filmmakers

The City Council adopts some incentives and will consider others to try to stem an outflow of TV and film production work.

Wednesday, October 7

California United Bank Names New CFO

California United Bank appointed Karen Schoenbaum as executive vice president and Chief Financial Officer.

Ventura panel offers suggestions for Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart's conceptual plans to renovate a former Kmart in Ventura need to do a better job of making the store stand out from adjacent stores and improving parking and circulation in the entire shopping center, the city's Design Review Committee has sugges

Hotel defaults, foreclosures rise in California

In the state, defaults and foreclosures are up fivefold since Jan. 1.

Numbers down again at Bob Hope

The traditionally well-traveled month of August has a sharp decline this year. Drop at Ontario's even worse.

Administrator Resigns From City of San Fernando

San Fernando City Administrator Jose Pulido is stepping down from that position to pursue other career opportunities.

Elecro Rent Sales Improve but Profits Still Down

Electro Rent Corp. saw a 50 percent drop in net income for the first quarter compared to the year before despite improvements in sales and leasing of its technology equipment.

Tuesday, October 6

Firm may reopen Camarillo Applebee's

Franchisee exploring options for site

Successfully Navigating Turbulent Economic Waters

Santa Clarita's State of the City Report Reveals Growth and Progress Despite Economy

Ross Named as New Head of Disney Studios

Veteran Disney executive Rich Ross has been named as the chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.

Ban on fast-food eateries is no fat cure, study says

Barring new restaurants in South L.A. is unlikely to curb obesity, Rand researchers say.

GCC food services weathering cutbacks well

Colleges at all levels across the state have been trimming their cafeteria offerings.

Holthouse Carlin Earns Top Accounting Firm Ranking

Holthouse Carlin & Van Trigt LLP, which has offices in Westlake Village and six other cities in the Los Angeles region, has been ranked as the largest CPA firm headquartered in Southern California, the second largest CPA firm headquartered in California a

Monday, October 5

KNBC workers protest contracts

Union's pact with NBC Universal expired six months ago. Members hope to return to the bargaining table.

Will Hulu make you pay to watch?

Comcast is in talks about creating a joint venture that would combine its entertainment assets with the video website's parent, NBC Universal. A deal could end free viewing of some TV shows.

Priced right for fright night

Haunts are easier to find, cheaper for seasonal stores

Friday, October 2

Trio-Tech Posts Loss for Q4, Fiscal 2009

Despite layoffs and other cost cutting measures, semiconductor testing firm Trio-Tech International widened its net loss for the fourth quarter when compared with the previous year.

Regional force of green jobs foreseen

Governor's climate summit in 2nd day

GE appears ready to hand over control of NBC Universal to Comcast

Under terms of the deal, Comcast would pool cash and its cable channels into a new company that it would control with a 51% stake. GE would contribute NBC Universal and own 49%.

Curbing layoffs in vulnerable areas

Investment board to use stimulus funds on consulting services designed to retain workers.

Thursday, October 1

Judge rejects bid to halt Wagon Wheel demolition

A Ventura County Superior Court judge on Wednesday ruled against an effort to stop the demolition of the historic Wagon Wheel Restaurant and Motel next to Highway 101 in Oxnard.

NBC Universal Moving Ahead With Studio, Residential Project

A draft environmental impact report is expected to be released this winter on a proposed project by NBC Universal to upgrade its studio and post-production facilities, enhance CityWalk and Universal Studios and Hollywood, and build a new residential neigh

Unmanned Vehicles Bringing New Business to AML

AML Communications will supply parts for use in the radar of unmanned aircraft to be built by Northrop Grumman.

New jobless claims rise; Americans' spending jumps

WASHINGTON -- First-time claims for jobless benefits increased more than expected last week, a sign employers are reluctant to hire and the job market remains weak.

Grocer sees threat in Trader Joe's, Vons

The favored chains, poised to divert customers, may be more than indie shop can handle.