Stories for August 2017

Thursday, August 31

Settlement Reached Regarding Criminal Activity at Motel 6 in Sylmar

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced Thursday that his office has reached a $250,000 settlement with the owner of Motel 6 in Sylmar that will also include operational and management changes.

Ember Technologies Raises $13 Million in Latest Funding Round

Temperature control technology developer Ember Technologies has received $13 million in a Series C funding round, the company announced. The Westlake Village startup said it will use the money for research, development and sales and marketing programs for new products to come out in the next six to nine months.

Westfield to Partner with Uber for Service at Retail Centers

Tracking down an Uber after a day at the mall is about to get a little easier.

Bioelectronic Therapy Firm Gets $30 Million in Funding

SetPoint Medical has raised $30 million in Series D funding, the company announced this week.

Wednesday, August 30

Internet of Things Helps Semtech

Semtech Corp. beat Wall Street estimates on adjusted earnings and revenue for the second quarter.

Electric Bus to Start Rolling in Lancaster

The world’s first all-electric articulated bus will roll into service Friday in Lancaster, the Antelope Valley Transit Authority has announced.

Nestle Employees Still Unsettled: 612

The fate of about half of the employees of Nestle USA’s Glendale headquarters apparently has yet to be settled as a result of the food and beverage giant’s decision to relocate to Virginia, the company said Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 29

Hurricane Harvey Prompts Response from Local Real Estate Companies

Two real estate companies headquartered in the Valley region have announced efforts to help customers affected by Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

Limoneira Signs Collegiate Tennis Marketing Sponsorship

Limoneira Co. has formed marketing partnership with the Intercollegiate Tennis Association to sponsor the organization’s upcoming community service month, the Santa Paula citrus grower announced Tuesday.

Applebee's Hires Chief Culinary Officer for 'Menu Innovation'

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill + Bar has hired Stephen Bulgarelli as chief culinary officer, the company announced Tuesday.

AeroVironment Narrows Loss, Beats Wall Street Estimates

AeroVironment Inc. beat Wall Street estimates on earnings and revenue in the fiscal first quarter.

Monday, August 28

Van Nuys Manufacturer to Cut 155 Jobs

Clover Imaging Group will eliminate 155 positions from its Van Nuys location as it consolidates its production and packaging operations closer to its manufacturing centers.

Choice Plans to Open Burbank Hotel

Choice Hotels International Inc. and a developer have agreed to build a Cambria-branded hotel in Burbank, the company said Monday.

FDA Approves Trials for Second Sight's New Prosthetic Eye

Second Sight Medical Products Inc. on Monday announced that it has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin a human clinical study for its latest visual prosthesis system, Orion.

Friday, August 25

Dole Plans to Move Farming Out of Southern California

Dole Food Co. Inc. in Westlake Village will shrink its Oxnard berry operations as part of a plan to move its farming operations out of Southern California, the company said in a recent letter to the state.

Monster Digital Shares Soar After Prospectus Filing

Monster Digital Inc. filed a preliminary proxy statement on Friday for its planned merger with a North Carolina biopharmaceutical company, sending the price of shares up more than 60 percent.

Disney Funds Musicals in Schools

Walt Disney Co. has awarded Los Angeles Music Center resident company Center Theatre Group a $100,000 grant to bring the Disney Musicals in Schools program to the Los Angeles area.

Thursday, August 24

General Motors CEO Joins Disney Board

Walt Disney Co.’s board of directors has elected Mary T. Barra, chief executive of General Motors Co., to join the board immediately, the company announced Thursday.

Amgen Expands Science Education Program

Amgen Inc. on Thursday announced its foundation will expand the Amgen Biotech Experience program to nine new markets worldwide.

Valencia Kmart to Close

A new wave of Sears Holding Corp. closures will include a Kmart location in Valencia.

Wednesday, August 23

Year-Round Magic Mountain Will Benefit Santa Clarita

Six Flags Magic Mountain will welcome guests 365 days a year beginning Jan. 1, the Valencia theme park announced Wednesday.

Burbank Hosts 'Pop Up' Flights for Football Fans

JetSuiteX will fly football fans this fall out of the Hollywood Burbank Airport to two USC and UCLA games in the Bay Area and Arizona, the company announced Wednesday.

Hilton Foundation Gives $2 Million to Bangladesh Research Group

The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has awarded its $2 million Hilton Humanitarian Prize to International Center for Diarrheal Disease Control, Bangladesh, or iccdr,b, an international research institute focused on improving public health in developing countries.

B. Riley Advises Luna in Tech Divestiture

B. Riley Financial served as an advisor for Luna Innovations Inc.’s sale of its high-speed optical receivers business, the company announced Tuesday.

Tuesday, August 22

Fitness Franchisee Takes Over Thousand Oaks Bay Club

The Thousand Oaks Bay Club, a luxury athletic club that is part of a chain of country clubs in California, has been taken over by a local sports and fitness franchisee.

L.A. County Approves Adult Film Permit System

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a new permit and fee system for making adult films.

Atara Biotherapeutics Hires Chief Medical Officer

Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. announced Tuesday the hiring of Dr. Kanya Rajangam as senior vice president and chief medical officer.

Monday, August 21

Van Nuys Conference Addresses Air Traffic Privatization

Privatization of the nation’s air traffic control system was a main topic of discussion among representatives of aviation trade organizations at a conference Monday in Van Nuys.

HemaCare Turns Profitable in First Half of 2017

HemaCare Corp. announced Monday a 50 percent increase in revenue and a swing from losses to profits during the first six month of the year.

Bowling Tournament Attracts Cops, Firefighters

Tourism: Studio City alley hosts hundreds for the World Police & Fire Games.

More than 150 police and firefighters from 20 countries around the globe descended on Pinz Bowling Center in Studio City Aug. 9 to 11 to take part in the World Police & Fire Games bowling tournament, one of 65 athletic events held throughout the Los Angeles area.

Making Way for Workouts

FITNESS: Country club operator exits, gym firm takes space.

Bay Club’s Valley facilities to be taken over by gym operator.

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Manufacturing 661

Northern L.A. County is a bright spot for factories.

MAIN: The cities of Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster have made manufacturing a mainstay of their economies.

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House-Flip Lender

Anchor Loans built its business providing money for rehab home deals. Now it’s looking to expand into rental financing.

It’s taken 19 years for Anchor Loans to expand into the fast-growing home rental market from fix-and-flip loans.

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Aliso Reopens

ENERGY: SoCalGas renews operations at methane leak site.

Residents express concerns over reopening of Aliso Canyon gas storage facility.

Manufacturing Profiles: Dale Ray

Executives on what attracted them to north L.A. County.

Manufacturing Profiles: Geoff Folkes and Chris Henson

Executives on what attracted them to north L.A. County.

Manufacturing Profiles: Joseph Avila

Executives on what attracted them to north L.A. County.

Manufacturing Profiles: Chuck Alexander

Executives on what attracted them to north L.A. County.

Disney Splits With Netflix for Content Streaming

DISTRIBUTION: Media giant’s BAMTech acquisition puts focus on sports audience.

With its announcement that it would start its own direct-to-consumer streaming service, Walt Disney Co. will end its distribution agreement with Netflix Inc. for subscription streaming of new releases, beginning with the 2019 movie slate.

Can Timer Cap Put a Lid on Opioid Epidemic?

SAFETY: Moorpark firm finds abuse prevention market for a convenience product.

Timer Cap isn’t trying to solve the opioid epidemic. But it does think it can help when it comes to prevention.

DineEquity CEO Starts With Restaurant Closures

HOSPITALITY: Investors react positively to same-day hire and location shrinkage.

DineEquity hires new CEO and closes more locations.

The Number

36th: Los Angeles’ ranking for stress

Where L.A. ranks in the most-stressful cities list.

Growing Out of a Niche

INTERNET: Scorpion began marketing law firms but acquisition takes firm into new verticals.

Web marketer Scorpion grows beyond law customers and acquires competitor.

Plane Passes Milestone at High Altitude

Burt Rutan’s Proteus makes 1,000 flights for research missions.

A research aircraft lands its 1,000th flight.

Firm Makes Digital Music Easy on Ear

Bambu’s software adds highs and lows to compressed audio.

Bambu returns quality to compressed audio files.

Beauty Pros Eagerly Take Eye Test

Survey results give Glad Lash insights into customer base.

Eye makeup company connects with customers through survey.

Turnover at the Top for VEDC

NONPROFIT: Organization loses three executives in a month.

What’s behind the executive exits from VEDC?

The Coming Jobs War

OP-ED: Acknowledging and addressing impacts of automation on the local economy.

Desalination’s Slipping Resistance

ONE MORE THING: Desalination may be on its way.


Calendar of Events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Friday, August 18

JPL Launches ‘Eyes on the Eclipse’ App

Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada-Flintridge has developed an app so people can preview Monday’s solar eclipse, the aerospace research and development facility announced Thursday.

Condo Sales Drop in Valley, Climb in Santa Clarita

Condominium sales trended in opposite directions in July in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors Inc.

L.A. County Unemployment Inches Up

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles County inched up to 4.5 percent in July from a revised 4.4 percent in June, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

Preview: Manufacturing 661

The cities of Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster have made manufacturing a mainstay of their economies

Preview: Turnover at the Top for VEDC

Valley Economic Development Center is navigating a bout of executive instability, having lost three top officers – including the chief executive – in the last month.

Thursday, August 17

Trammell Crow Plans to Build Industrial Park in Santa Clarita

Fifty-four acres of land have sold in Santa Clarita for the development Center at Needham Ranch, according to one of the buyers, Trammell Crow Co. of Dallas. The acquisition price was not disclosed.

Sherman Plaza Office Complex Sold for $62 Million

The two towers comprising the Sherman Plaza in Van Nuys have sold for about $62 million, according to CBRE Group Inc. in Los Angeles.

Burbank Aerospce Manufacturer Acquired by Private Equity Firm

A private equity firm has acquired a Burbank aerospace parts supplier.

Wednesday, August 16

Simi Valley School District Buys New HQ Building

The Simi Valley Unified School District has bought a specialty building in the city previously used for entertainment production to house its district operations.

Celebrity Pastry Chef to Move in Moorpark

Carrara Pastries in Moorpark has signed a long-term lease for a larger location in the city, according to Daum Commercial Real Estate Services.

County Tries to Halt Aliso Canyon Gas Operations

Los Angeles County has asked the California Supreme Court to stop Southern California Gas Co. from continuing to resume operations at the natural gas facilities in Aliso Canyon.

Tuesday, August 15

CEO to Fill in as Finance Officer Leaves PS Business Parks

PS Business Parks Inc., the Glendale investor in office and industrial parks, announced Monday that its chief financial officer has stepped down.

FilmTrack Secures $5.5 Million in Venture Capital

Entertainment industry technology company FilmTrack has received $5.5 million in series C funding from Insight Venture Partners.

Earnings: Apollo Medical Holdings, ImmunoCellular Therapeutics

Apollo Medical revenue grows 236 percent, ImmunoCellular trims losses.

Monday, August 14

Cherokee Jumps on Amended Debt Deal

Cherokee Global Brands has amended its credit facility with Cerberus Business Finance, sending the company’s stock up more than 10 percent.

Buyout Takes MRV Private

The acquisition of MRV Communications Inc. was finalized Monday by a German telecommunications supplier.

First Solar Project at Van Nuys Airport

Aeroplex/Aerolease Group announced Monday the first solar power project at Van Nuys Airport.

Friday, August 11

Regulators Approve Palmdale Power Plant

The California Energy Commission has approved certification for a Seattle alternative energy company to build and operate a proposed natural gas power plant in Palmdale.

L.A. City Council Authorizes 2028 Olympics Bid

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday unanimously authorized the city’s Olympic bid committee to sign a contract with the International Olympic Committee to host the 2028 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Viking Expands Cultural Marketing Partnerships

Viking Cruises has expanded its portfolio of marketing partnerships with the announcement of three new agreements with cultural institutions.

Thursday, August 10

DineEquity Appoints New CEO

Shares of DineEquity Inc. jumped more than 4 percent Thursday after the release of the company’s second-quarter financial results and the news of hiring a new chief executive.

MannKind Moving to Westlake Village

Valencia biopharmaceutical company MannKind Corp. is relocating its corporate headquarters to Westlake Village, the company confirmed Thursday.

Earnings: Interlink, Talon

Interlink reports higher revenue, while Talon’s revenue declines.

Wednesday, August 9

Provision Letter Clarifies Rite Aid Deal

Provision Holding Inc. anticipates the number of 3D shopping kiosks it will install in Rite Aid Corp. stores may stay at 700 rather than the 4,500 it once anticipated, the software and technology firm announced Wednesday in a letter to shareholders.

Wesco Dives After Disappointing Quarter

Shares of Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. dropped more than 24 percent the day after the company reported adjusted earnings and revenue that missed Wall Street estimates in the fiscal third quarter.

Earnings: LTC Properties, Capstone Turbine

LTC Properties reports profitable quarter, Capstone Turbine has a loss.

Tuesday, August 8

Marcus & Millichap Ahead of Expectations

Marcus & Millichap Inc., the commercial real estate brokerage firm in Calabasas, jumped Wall Street expectations for its second quarter despite weaker year-over-year results.

Disney Reports Lower Profits, New Streaming Strategy

Walt Disney Co. missed analyst expectations on revenue for the fiscal third quarter but beat them on adjusted earnings.

DineEquity Appoints IHOP Chief Marketing Officer

DineEquity Inc. in Glendale has appointed former CKE Restaurants Inc. executive Brad Haley to oversee marketing initiatives for its IHOP brand. He will assume the post Aug. 14.

Glendale Apartments Fetch $20 Million

A 63-unit apartment complex in Glendale has traded for $20 million, delivering a 60 percent gain to the sellers, according to Encino commercial real estate firm Investment Real Estate Associates.

Monday, August 7

Glendale Hilton Sold

The 351-room Hilton Los Angeles North in Glendale sold for almost $73.5 million, or more than $209,000 per room last month, according to commercial real estate database Real Capital Analytics.

Three Valley Shopping Centers Sold

Three Valley shopping centers have been sold by an L.A. retail developer as part of a $345 million portfolio sale and joint venture formation.

Tutor Perini's Mixed Quarter

Tutor Perini Corp. announced quarterly results Monday that exceeded Wall Street expectations on net income but fell short on revenue.

Earnings: Salem Media, B. Riley, MannKind

Salem Media income falls, B. Riley revenue triples and MannKind posts another loss.

Industrial Scarcity Prompts Building Purchases

Trends stirring up Valley markets.

Ringing the Bell

Dr. Frederick Beddingfield III closed the Nasdaq on July 27, the first trading day for Sienna Biopharmaceuticals.

Q&A: Dr. Frederick Beddingfield III, chief executive of Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc., just took the company public.

Trains, Buses, Housing

Public transportation plays a central role in North Hollywood’s vision for the future.

North Hollywood’s transit station, culture and lifestyle attracts developers and investors.

Q&A: Dr. Klein

Q&A: Bernie Klein talks about diabetic care at Holy Cross Providence Medical Center.

The Diabetes Puzzle

Local hospitals grapple with the care and cost of a national epidemic.

How Valley providers grapple with the diabetes epidemic.

Goodwill Launches Youth Program in Valley

CAREER: Dual approach serves both job-seekers and companies with positions.

The Southern California branch of Goodwill Industries International Inc. is extending a helping hand to the Valley’s struggling teens and young adults through its new YouthSource Center in Panorama City.

Satisfied Customers Inspire FloQast Investors

SOFTWARE: Funding round of $25 million will finance international expansion.

Accounting software developer FloQast Inc. received $25 million in a second funding round.

Ban the Box Stipulation Becomes L.A. Law

EMPLOYMENT: For criminal history, liability goes beyond just job applications.

If you ever applied for a job that required you to fill out an application, you may have seen a checkbox next to the question “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?”

Radio’s Squeeze Play

Stations want to carry live broadcasts from Sports USA, but advertisers have other options.

Sports USA recruits a top sportscaster.

Does MRV Buyout Benefit Its Shareholders?

TELECOM: Companies will combine strengths, but price yields a small premium.

MRV Communications is acquired at low premium.

A Success at Succession

AEROSPACE: When her father died, she had to run the business. But preparation paid off.

Founder’s daughter hopes to propel Caps Aviation to new heights.

Theft Leads To Art at PALS Auction

Motley Crue member, NoHo designer donate items for sale.

Police and artists come together for a fundraiser.

Tastes of the Tropics Mix In Ice Cream

Belize native brings fresh flavors to frozen dessert shop.

How making tropical ice cream became an obsession for owner of Helados Pops.

Students’ Cyber Skills Win Contest

High schoolers take top honors en route to lucrative careers.

North Hollywood High Schoolers’ win at cybersecurity contest could blaze career path.

Feed an E-tailer

TECHNOLOGY: Firm positions products on e-commerce sites.

Feedonomics sees growth developing software for online retailers.

Ventura Opens Office in China

TRADE: County to promote exports, investment in Shanghai.

Ventura County’s Small Business Development Center expands to China. What’s the benefit for local businesses?

Food Trucks Serve Dinner on Doorstep

Why Cook Wednesdays offers convenience at Glendale apartments.

App developer partners with apartment manager and food trucks to bring tenants dinner.

How Workers Naively Let Hackers In

OP-ED: Employees often open the door for cybersecurity hacks.

Housing Shortage to End Soon. Maybe.

ONE MORE THING: Newhall development could end L.A.’s housing crisis.


Calendar of Events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Antelope Valley

SUBMARKET REPORTS: How does your area measure up?

Real Estate Quarterly: Santa Clarita Valley

SUBMARKET REPORTS: How does your area measure up?

Real Estate Quarterly: Conejo Valley

SUBMARKET REPORTS: How does your area measure up?

Real Estate Quarterly: San Fernando Valley

SUBMARKET REPORTS: How does your area measure up?

Real Estate Quarterly: Burbank and Glendale

SUBMARKET REPORTS: How does your area measure up?

Friday, August 4

Warner Center Office to Make Way for Apartments

Residential developer California Home Builders in Canoga Park, a division of Evenhaim Industries Corp., has bought an office building for $16 million in Woodland Hills as the site for its next mixed-use project.

Lancaster JetHawks to Host All-Star Game

The Lancaster JetHawks has announced that it will be hosting next year’s California League All-Star Game and Festivities at the Hanger.

BlackLine Falls on Quarterly Loss

Shares of BlackLine Inc. fell nearly 19 percent Friday even though the company released second-quarter financial results the previous day that topped Wall Street estimates for both revenue and earnings.

Preview: Trains, Buses, Housing

Public transportation plays a central role in North Hollywood's vision for the future.

Preview: Food Trucks Serve Dinner on Doorstep

Why Cook Wednesdays offers convenience at Glendale apartments.

Thursday, August 3

Tutor Perini Building Palisades Village Project

Tutor Perini Corp. has begun construction on the Palisades Village project in Pacific Palisades.

PennyMac Performance Disappoints

PennyMac Financial Services Inc., the non-bank mortgage lender in Westlake Village, disappointed Wall Street Thursday.

CRC's Loss Widens, Revenue Grows

California Resources Corp. reported mixed second-quarter results, falling short of analysts’ expectations on a widened net loss while surpassing them on revenue.

Teledyne Shares Up on Strong Quarter

Teledyne Technologies Inc. beat Wall Street estimates on revenue and earnings in the second quarter, sending up its share price.

Wednesday, August 2

Political Leader Gets Earful About PAGA

Businesspeople irate about California’s so-called PAGA law got a sympathetic hearing Wednesday from Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian during a breakfast meeting organized by the Valley Industry and Commerce Association.

Cheesecake Reports Mixed Results

Cheesecake Factory Inc. on Wednesday released preliminary financial results for the second quarter, beating Wall Street estimates for earnings but missing on revenue.

Tuesday, August 1

SoCalGas Resumes Operations at Aliso Canyon

Southern California Gas Co. has resumed limited operations at its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility in Porter Ranch, the site of a massive methane leak in 2015 that forced more than 8,000 residents from their homes.

Feds Join Lawsuit Against L.A. Over Housing Funds

The United States has joined a lawsuit against the City of Los Angeles and the defunct Community Redevelopment Agency alleging that they fraudulently obtained housing grants, according to the Department of Justice.

Crednology to Buy Cloud Company

Crednology Holding Co. announced Tuesday it plans to acquire a company that provides cloud computing based services.