The city of Palmdale is under formal evaluation by the U.S. Air Force to be the permanent headquarters for the U.S. Space Command, according to city officials. The next phase of the selection process will score communities based on how they relate to the mission, infrastructure capacity, community support and overall costs of the new military branch. The Antelope Valley city has been supported in its bid to become headquarters of the U.S. Space Command by L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Congressmen Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield and Mike Garcia of Palmdale. Mayor Steve Hofbauer said the Antelope Valley has a storied past for the development of the best air and space technology over its blue skies daily. “Presently, engineers are designing the next generation of air superiority,” Hofbauer said in a statement. “As we look to the future, we believe the U.S. Space Command belongs in the Aerospace Valley.”
San Fernando Valley
Norman’s Rare Guitars, a shop long favored by famous musicians, may be on its last legs due to the coronavirus. TMZ.com, the Hollywood website, reported that while the shop is not in financial straits, its owner, Norman Harris, may have to keep the shop closed permanently after shuttering it in March. According to his daughter, Sarah Edwards, Harris, who has Type 1 diabetes, only comes into the shop two days a week for a few hours to pack and ship out internet orders and to record video for the store’s social media sites, the website said. Edwards is producing a documentary on the shop, hoping to raise awareness about its plight. Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, the Goo Goo Dolls, Melissa Etheridge and actors Jeff Daniels and Jeff Garlin appear in the documentary, TMZ said, which is directed by Devin Dilmore, founder of 101 Exit Media LLC in West Hills.
NBCUniversal has parted ways with longtime executive Ron Meyer over allegations he was being extorted about an affair. Meyer, the vice chairman of the entertainment and media company, informed the company earlier this month that he “acted in a manner which we believe is not consistent with our company policies or values,” Chief Executive Jeff Shell said in a statement. “We have mutually concluded that Ron should leave the company, effective immediately,” Shell added. In his own statement, Meyer said he had disclosed to his family and the company that he had made a settlement under threat with a woman outside the company who had made false accusations against him. He added that his stepping down as vice chairman was a mutual decision.
Walt Disney Co. has restored executive pay levels to where they were prior to the coronavirus pandemic, according to media reports. Hollywood news website Deadline first reported that the executive pay restoration would take effect on Aug. 23. In late March, Chief Executive Bob Chapek told executives in a memo that effective April 5 all vice presidents would have their salaries reduced by 20 percent, senior vice presidents by 25 percent and executive vice presidents and above by 30 percent. Chapek reduced his salary by 50 percent, while Bob Iger, the executive chairman, would forego his entire salary. It is not known if Chapek and Iger’s salaries are being restored. Salaries were reduced to help the company as it struggled through the coronavirus outbreak that resulted in Disney theme parks and cruise lines being shut down, the suspension of film and television production and delays in the release of major feature films. Some of those operations have since resumed.
Immpact Bio USA, a biotech startup focused on treatment for solid tumors, closed its Series A financing round at $18 million earlier this month. The company was founded in 2017 in an Israeli incubator, with the core of its technology stemming from research conducted by two professors, Gideon Gross and Zelig Eshhar. The technology, commonly known as CAR-T therapies, involves engineered T-cell therapeutics. White blood cells, or T-cells, are removed from the patient’s body, modified in a lab to attack cancer cells, and infused into the body to seek out and destroy cancer cells in the same patient. “We have built a world-class team and a promising pipeline to realize Prof. Gross’ vision of targeting loss-of-gene features of solid tumors,” Immpact Chief Executive Rick Kendall said in a statement. Investors include OrbiMed; Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC; Takeda Ventures; RM Global Partners Biopharma Investment Fund; Novartis Venture Fund; Bukwang Pharmaceutical; Hayan Health Networks; and JVC Investment Partners.
Interlink Electronics Inc. has moved its corporate headquarters out of Camarillo and relocated to Irvine. The move by the sensor manufacturer took place on July 1, Chief Executive Steven Bronson said to the Business Journal. “This was done for multiple reasons,” Bronson wrote in an email. “Irvine allows us to tap into a new market of resources in an area rich with experienced technology professionals as well as surrounding universities and colleges. Irvine is also deep in regards to large corporations in the industries we serve today.” But the company is not abandoning Camarillo. “This move allows us to build out a world class R&D; and materials science lab at our existing footprint in Camarillo that will also continue to serve as a supporting office for distribution,” Bronson added.
Qualstar Corp., another Steven Bronson company, has also moved its corporate headquarters to Irvine from Camarillo. Bronson told the Business Journal that he now spends most of his time in the Orange County city after moving both his companies. Qualstar is a manufacturer of data tape storage and power supply products. Like Interlink, Qualstar will retain its Camarillo presence, which will be home to R&D; and a materials science lab as well as a supporting office for distribution and other business activities, Bronson said in an email.
Aero Precision/Kellstrom Defense has changed its name to AllClear Holdings LP, an effort to better represent its mission-ready mindset and precision focus for the aviation aftermarket industry. The El Segundo-based military aircraft parts distributor, manufacturer and repair station has operations in Chatsworth and Camarillo. Aero Precision acquired Kellstrom Defense in March, creating one of the largest private military aftermarket distribution businesses in the industry.
California Lutheran University, which has provided a training facility for the Los Angeles Rams since 2016, will begin offering sports management as a major in the fall. The Thousand Oaks campus will use the experts close at hand — representatives from the Rams — as well as officials from the Ladies Professional Golf Association and Western States Hockey League to develop the newly minted major. Classes will cover “ethical, legal and global perspectives” of sports management with such classes as Sports Media and Society, Broadcast Sports Production and Sport Facility Design and Management. Former assistant professor of business administration Bruce Gillies will serve as first program director. California Lutheran has had sports management as a minor since 2013, the university said. It has become the fifth most popular choice among 42 other minors.
Avenu Insights and Analytics has been selected as the provider of Los Angeles County’s historical document preservation and imaging services. Avenu’s software will help with document management and public access to records. Preservation of such documents is a top priority for municipal staff, Avenu said, given the state’s “growing number of natural disasters in recent years.” The business is a portfolio company of Mill Point Capital in New York, and has partnered with more than 3,000 state and local governments to provide administrative support and boost connectivity to the public with its software.