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Monday, Jan 30, 2023
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AROUND THE VALLEYS

TRI-CITIES BURBANK Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration Dec. 12 on behalf of residents and businesses in the southeast San Fernando Valley who have endured a significant increase in airplane noise and traffic due to changes in the flight paths of planes at Hollywood Burbank Airport. While airplane noise associated with the airport has been a constant for years, there has been an uptick of complaints regarding an increased aural disruption after those flight patterns shifted to more south of the 101 and 405 freeway interchange and across the Santa Monica Mountains. The lawsuit is seeking to require the FAA to order its air traffic controllers to direct aircraft to depart the airport using historic departure tracks, according to a press release issued by Feuer’s office. Councilmembers Paul Krekorian (Council District 2), David Ryu (4) and Paul Koretz (5) joined Feuer in the announcement, which was held at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles. GLENDALE Rosa Porto, the Cuban immigrant and baker who founded Porto’s Bakery & Café, died Dec. 13 at 89. An Instagram post from the restaurant chain said Porto “passed peacefully … surrounded by her loving husband and family.” It drew a deluge of supportive responses from the restaurant’s fans and frequent patrons. No cause of death was given. In the late 1990s, Rosa retired from the business to spend more time with her family. The company was subsequently helmed by her three children, Betty, Margarita and Raul Jr. SAN FERNANDO VALLEY ENCINO Diana Dueñas, chief executive of the Encino Chamber of Commerce, on Dec. 10 announced that she will soon leave her post to pursue a position with the Gelb Group in Woodland Hills. Dueñas has been chief executive for 12 years, and was also a member before taking on the role. Her last official event as chamber chief will be the holiday party lunch on Dec. 17. There is no set timeline for when the Encino Chamber Board of Directors will choose the next chief executive, Dueñas said in an email to the Business Journal. Linda Jenkins, executive assistant at the chamber, will see to handling day-to-day operations in the interim. NORTH HILLS Nonprofit L.A. Family Housing has gained approval to build veterans affordable housing development in North Hills, according to Urbanize.LA. Dubbed The Angel, the 54-apartment complex will rise at 8547-8549 N. Sepulveda Blvd., replacing a small commercial building currently standing there. Founded in 1988 by an interfaith collective, L.A. Family Housing helps people transition out of homelessness and poverty by providing housing enriched with supportive services. The nonprofit filed its concept in June 2019 with the city of Los Angeles proposing a mix of low- and extremely low-income affordable housing units and on-site supportive services, plus parking for 20 vehicles. Partial funding for the $28.2-million development has already come in via a $1.1-million Kaiser Permanente grant from its RxHome Fund, which assists in the underwriting of affordable housing projects. The development also has a $5.6 million funding commitment from the city thanks to Measure HHH. SHERMAN OAKS Cosmetic Injectables Center, a medical spa business based in Los Angeles, has opened its first facility in the San Fernando Valley. The center is located at 14460 Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks, and provides non-invasive cosmetic injectables including Botox, Dysport and Juvederm. Treatments help smooth wrinkles and diminish other signs of aging, the company said. Other treatments include Aquagold, Kybella, and Novathreads. Cinedigm Corp. announced on Dec. 19 its intention to buy a 29 percent stake in a Chinese entertainment production company. Cinedigm, in Sherman Oaks, and Starrise Media Holdings Ltd. have worked together previously on bringing Chinese content to the U.S and in November announced a deal to release films theatrically, via broadcast television and on digital platforms in China. Cinedigm Chief Executive Chris McGurk called the latest transaction a transformative one for Cinedigm. “It is a key step in our plan to become the first true North America/China studio, uniquely well positioned over the long term to distribute premium film and TV content and launch high-growth streaming channels in the two biggest and most important entertainment markets in the world,” McGurk said in a statement. The all-stock purchase is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 STUDIO CITY NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke will step down from his position in 2020 and NBCU executive Jeff Shell is expected to replace him, according to media reports. Burke will remain at his job until August, after the NBC television network broadcasts the Summer Olympics, Variety reported. He has run the Universal City film, television and entertainment company since 2011. NBCU is a unit of Comcast Corp., based in Philadelphia. Both Variety and the Los Angeles Times reported that Shell, who currently serves as chairman of the NBCUniversal Film and Entertainment division, would become chief executive and split his time between operations in the Valley and New York. NBCU plans to launch its advertising-supported streaming service Peacock in April. Tix Corp. announced the resignation of David Saxe as a member of the board of directors. The Studio City discount ticket seller named Barry Fieldman as replacement to fill the vacancy. Fieldman serves as president of Bekam Development LLC, the master developer and owner for a 29-acre commercial subdivision in Las Vegas. Tix has kiosks under its Tix4Tonight subsidiary selling tickets to Las Vegas for shows and concerts. VAN NUYS Longtime Valley Industry & Commerce Association member Brad Rosenheim, of Woodland Hills-based Rosenheim & Associates, became chairman of VICA’s board at the organization’s 70th Annual Meeting on Dec. 13 at Airtel Hotel in Van Nuys. As incoming chairman, Rosenheim said, “I’ve been a part of VICA for nearly 40 years … and I never expected to fill this role.” Under his watch, Rosenheim pledged to continue the Women’s Leadership event started by his predecessor, Lisa Gritzner of LG Strategies. Gritzner, whom California State Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg called “a rock star,” humorously pulled out a pair of size 9 leopard-pattern pumps and placed them squarely on the podium, representing the shoes Rosenheim had to fill. WOODLAND HILLS New information has surfaced regarding Adler Realty Investments’ $1 billion mixed-use development in Warner Center. Details on the Woodland Hills project were shed by an environmental report filed with the city of Los Angeles, according to an Urbanize.LA report. Adler, which owns Warner Center Corporate Park at Burbank Boulevard and De Soto Avenue, originally announced in 2017 a plan to raze and redevelop the 24-acre site. The upcoming version of the property will see 12 buildings with 1.14 million square feet of office space, about 80,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space, 841 rental apartments, 168 condominiums and a 228-key hotel. VENTURA COUNTY CAMARILLO A Camarillo man was one of three people arrested Dec. 10 in connection with a cryptocurrency mining scheme that allegedly defrauded investors out of $722 million, according to the Justice Department. Joseph Frank Abel, 49, and his cohorts, Matthew Goettsche of Lafayette, Colo., and Jobadiah Weeks of Arvada, Colo., are accused of operating a high-tech Ponzi scheme under the guise of an illegitimate business called BitClub Network from April 2014 through December 2019. Abel was charged by indictment with conspiracy to offer and sell unregulated securities, which has a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000. Goettsche and Weeks are charged with the same, as well as conspiracy to commit wire fraud. – Compiled by Amy Stulick

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