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Thursday, Aug 18, 2022
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AROUND THE VALLEYS

Antelope ValleyLANCASTERAn emergency field hospital erected in the parking lot of Antelope Valley Hospital to care for the influx of COVID-19 patients in January officially closed last month as cases declined. The 50-bed temporary hospital provided care to 167 patients during a period of just over a month. It was a joint effort of AV Hospital, North Carolina nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse and the City of Lancaster. Samaritan’s Purse medical personnel provided care to COVID-19 patients at the site. “This marks a significant turning point in the coronavirus outbreak in Southern California. The case numbers are declining to the point that the local health care system will be able to meet the needs,” the City of Lancaster said in a statement. According to state data, the number of hospitalized COVID patients decreased 40.3 percent over a two-week period last month.Lancaster became one of the first cities in the country to debut the new Toyota Mirai hydrogen-powered car. Lex Heslin, senior project developer for Hitachi Zosen Inova, the Swiss/Japanese energy and engineering company, took delivery of the latest model of the Mirai – which means future in Japanese – last month. Hitachi Zosen Inova is developing a $100 million anaerobic digestion plant to convert organic waste into hydrogen fuel at the City of Lancaster’s landfill in partnership with another company. Heslin is working with city officials to advance their plans to make Lancaster a Hydrogen City and to expand the use of hydrogen-powered cars. “The Mirai is proof that hydrogen works,” Heslin said in a statement. “It has a much longer range than any of the current electric vehicles and takes only minutes to fill up.”  San Fernando ValleyCHATSWORTHRaytheon Technologies Corp. will contest the acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings Inc. by Lockheed Martin Corp., according to media reports. Raytheon Chief Executive Greg Hayes was quoted in a Bloomberg story as saying that the deal gives them pause based on competition going forward. “They (Aerojet) are a huge supplier to us, and if that merger actually happens, you don’t have an independent supplier on the solid-rocket-motor side,” Hayes said at the Barclays Industrial Select virtual conference. Lockheed in Bethesda, Md., announced back in December it was acquiring Aerojet Rocketdyne in El Segundo in a transaction valued at $5 billion. Aerojet Rocketdyne has a long-time presence in the San Fernando Valley where its Chatsworth campus is currently making the rocket engines for NASA’s Space Launch System that will take humans back to the moon and possibly to Mars.VAN NUYSCapstone Turbine Corp. will receive $5 million in a settlement with a former parts supplier that took a dispute to arbitration. The proceeds will go toward the microturbine manufacturer providing additional resources to improve reliability and performance of its C200 and C1000 products, the company said. Chief Executive Darren Jamison said in a statement that the settlement is a positive result for Capstone, and he was proud of the team effort to reach a resolution in the highly technical case. “Having this case settled not only lets us increase our focus on our core business but also provides the required financial resources necessary to put the issue fully behind us,” Jamison said.WOODLAND HILLSMedical insurer Health Net has partnered with L.A.-based nonprofit Wesley Health Centers to conduct a study assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on racial minorities and underserved communities. The partnership is part of a broader, national study by Health Net parent company Centene and the National Minority Quality Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based research and educational nonprofit. Wesley will offer free COVID-19 screenings as part of the partnership at sites in Lancaster, Lynwood and Bell. Quest Diagnostics will provide molecular diagnostic testing. Those who test positive will receive monitoring kits to track symptom progression and daily calls from a study nurse during the first 14 days in quarantine. The study is scheduled to continue for five years, with participants receiving monthly check-up calls.

 Santa Clarita ValleyVALENCIASix Flags Entertainment Corp. announced plans to reopen its Magic Mountain theme park this spring, one year after the business was shuttered due to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The park didn’t disclose the specific date of its reopening, but said in a statement that its “comprehensive reopening plan, which the company developed in consultation with epidemiologists, meets or exceeds federal, state and local guidelines for sanitization, hygiene and social distancing protocols.” Magic Mountain is not yet selling tickets to the public, but has begun marketing on social media a return to semi-regular activity with roller coasters and other thrill rides resuming operation.

  Tri-CitiesGLENDALELabel and packaging materials maker Avery Dennison Corp. has announced it will buy a similar company headquartered in Tennessee. The manufacturer has entered a deal to acquire JDC Solutions, a Mount Juliet, Tenn.-based producer of pressure-sensitive tapes, for $24 million. JDC brings in revenue of about $30 million a year by selling its products to customers in the automotive, appliance and construction industries. When it closes, JDC’s roughly 75 employees, product portfolio and manufacturing assets will join Avery Dennison’s Performance Tapes North America line of business.

Ventura CountyTHOUSAND OAKSThe Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting, or CERF, a $250,000 research grant to identify the total economic contribution of Hispanics by U.S. state. This new data will build on CERF’s ongoing work on the national-level Latino Gross Domestic Product Report, with the most recent edition published last September. Executive Director Matthew Fienup told the Business Journal “With this research, we turn our attention to the eight largest U.S. states by Latino population, which together contain nearly three-quarters of the nation’s Latino population. Those states are California, Texas, Florida, Arizona, New Mexico, New York, New Jersey and Illinois.” Fienup said the team will calculate state-level Latino GDPs for each of the targeted states, benchmarked to the U.S. Latino GDP, and then produce a report with detailed analysis of state-level data including population, age distribution, educational attainment, household formation, labor force participation, income growth and real consumption. The report will be released this summer.WESTLAKE VILLAGEDole Packaged Foods has built its third frozen fruit factory in the U.S. The sorting and packaging facility opened Jan. 28 at 1273 Medline Place in McDonough, Ga., boasting four automated manufacturing lines in 60,000 square feet of space. At full capacity, the center will be able to produce 60 million pounds of frozen fruit products a year, the company said in a statement. It will be fully operational by September and will employ more than 100 workers. Fruit packaged at the facility will be distributed to Dole’s retail, food service and private label customers on the East Coast. United States Cold Storage will handle warehousing and distribution in an adjacent building.Brent Reinke, partner at Musick Peeler Law Firm, announced he will join Stradling Yocca Carlson and Rauth as a corporate shareholder, effective March 1. The Newport Beach firm is known for its expertise in representing life science companies, a perfect fit for Reinke, founder of the BioScience Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting life science companies along the 101 Corridor in the Conejo Valley. In conjunction with the hiring, Stradling will open an office at 2945 Townsgate Road in Westlake Village, providing “another critical piece of the puzzle towards developing a vibrant life science cluster in the region,” Reinke said. The firm also has an office in downtown Los Angeles. Reinke’s experience at Musick involves mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, advising emerging growth companies, securities and finance, strategic alliances and licensing for multiple industries, including life sciences.

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