Newsdigest/cw1st/mark2nd Cutline: Homes: Tejon Ranch Co. announced it will join with Pardee Construction Co., Lewis Investment Co. LLC and W.L. Homes LLC to develop a 4,000-acre master-planned community in north Los Angeles County. The project site is east of Interstate 5, north of Highway 138 on the Grapevine. Tejon Ranch Co. is also developing the 350-acre Tejon Industrial Complex and announced the opening of the industrial development’s anchor tenant, Petro Travel Plaza. Is End Near in Airport Dispute? In a possible signal of its readiness to end a long-running dispute over the expansion of Burbank Airport, the city of Burbank hinted that it would be willing to approve a scaled-down air terminal. In a July 21 letter to the Burbank Glendale Pasadena Airport Authority, Burbank City Manager Bud Ovrom said that while the new air terminal must still navigate the city’s planning process, a 14-gate air terminal is “consistent with long-standing city policy.” Ovrom warned the authority that any further expansion would subject the airport to stringent controls aimed at dealing with noise and traffic. The airport is expected to decide this week whether to make a $20 million payment to Lockheed Martin Corp. for land for the new terminal or abandon the project. Crime Down in Valley Major crime in the San Fernando Valley fell sharply in the first six months of 1999, continuing a six-year trend that has seen crime decline 55 percent. Crime citywide was down 11.9 percent in all categories in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year, with incidences of violent crime at the lowest level since 1970, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. In the San Fernando Valley, crime was down 13.4 percent in all major categories during the same period. Police Chief Bernard Parks attributed the decline to a beefed-up police force, a more aggressive deployment of officers in problem areas and tougher laws aimed at career criminals, such as the “three strikes” law. Median Home Price Soars The Southern California housing market had a record-breaking June when the median price of a resale home climbed to $204,000 in the six-county region. It was the highest median price for an existing home since May 1991, when the price was $196,000. Figures released by Acxiom/DataQuick, which monitors real estate transactions, indicate the surge was led by Los Angeles County, where the median price for an existing single-family home climbed 5.1 percent to $205,000. More than a third of the real estate transactions in Southern California took place in L.A. County. In addition to the record median price, the sheer volume of Southern California homes sold in June exceeded the number in any other month during the decade. A total of 29,305 homes were sold in the six-county region. Bill Restores Overtime Rule The state Legislature approved a bill to restore overtime pay for employees who work more than eight hours a day. The legislation is the centerpiece of organized labor’s legislative agenda this year. It was sent to Gov. Gray Davis, who has vowed to sign it into law. The measure would overturn controversial overtime pay changes made in 1997 under former Gov. Pete Wilson. It could impact millions of private employees not covered by union contracts. In a compromise gesture to some employers, the legislation would allow a workweek of four 10-hour days without overtime pay for certain employees who want to work such shifts. Top Studio Executives Resign Robert Daly and Terry Semel quit unexpectedly as co-chairmen and chief executives of Warner Bros. movie studio and Warner Music Group. Daly and Semel are known for high-budget, action-adventure movies of the late 1980s and early ’90s, including “Lethal Weapon” and “Batman.” However, many recent films have been high-profile disappointments. Some analysts point out that Warner began suffering when Daly and Semel were given the added responsibility of running the music business in 1996. Disney Buying Infoseek Walt Disney Co. accelerated its push to take a leading role on the Web by agreeing to buy majority control of Infoseek Corp., combine it with its own Internet assets and issue a new stock to track the operation. Disney already owned 43 percent of Infoseek, its partner in the Go Network portal. Disney will now acquire the remainder of the firm in a deal valued at about $1.6 billion. The new stock to be issued will be called Go.com. On another front, Disney announced plans to merge its television production studio with its ABC Television Network, a restructuring aimed at getting more Disney-owned shows on ABC’s prime-time schedule. The move is designed to produce more revenue for Disney, which owns just one of the new fall shows on ABC, though more are slated to appear in January.