Los Angeles Business Journal

Los Angeles Register Will Cease Publication Immediately

Freedom Communications will stop publishing the Los Angeles Register effective immediately, according to a memo to employees that hinted at layoffs. The paper launched just five months ago as part of Freedom Chief Executive Aaron Kushner's bet on print newspapers. Freedom will now focus on core markets in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Port of Los Angeles Fire Burns On

A blaze at the Port of Los Angeles has engulfed about 150 feet of wharf since Monday night, and the firefight is expected to continue for at least another 12 hours, the Los Angeles Times reports. Employees at several port terminals were told to check with their employers before coming to work and officials closed two schools in the harbor community of Wilmington because of toxic fumes from the fire.

Treasury Acts to Curb Tax Inversions

Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew announced rules on Monday that are aimed at making it more difficult for American companies to lower their tax bills by relocating overseas and eliminating the benefits of doing so, the New York Times reports.

Water Wholesaler’s Reserves Shrink

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, the wholesaler that provides drinking water for half of all Californians, has drained most of its stored supplies over the past three years, which could mean cutbacks next year if the drought continues, the Sacramento Bee reports.

DMV Hiring 900, Awaiting AB 60

California's Department of Motor Vehicles is on a hiring spree as it prepares to start issuing driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, KPCC reports. The agency has hired more than 400 people and plans to bring on another 500 to work with an estimated 1.4 million immigrant drivers who can start applying for licenses on Jan. 1.

Chamber Lobbies Gov. Brown to Veto ‘Job Killers’

The California Chamber of Commerce is pressuring Gov. Jerry Brown not to sign two “job killer” bills currently on his desk, the Sacramento Bee reports. One measure would prohibit contracts that require someone to waive his or her right to pursue a civil action for a civil rights claim, and the other would hold businesses liable when subcontractors violate wage, workplace safety or workers’ compensation rules.

Long Beach Transit to Rebid Electric Bus Contract

Long Beach Transit will rebid a contract to build 10 battery-powered buses after its first contract with manufacturer BYD, which planned to build the buses in Lancaster, was voided by federal officials in March, the Long Beach Press-Telegram reports.

Los Angeles May Crack Down on Unlicensed Park Vendors

Los Angeles leaders could soon bar vending in public parks unless sellers have a city license or permit to do so, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Activision Hires Giuliani to Fight Dictator

Santa Monica videogame publisher Activision Bliazzard Inc. has hired former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to fight a lawsuit brought by imprisoned Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, who is suing the company over his inclusion in the hit game “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” Mashable reports.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 43 points in Tuesday morning trading to 17,130. The S&P 500 fell three points to 1,991. The Nasdaq fell four points to 4,523.

Package of Bills to Boost Electric Cars

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a package of bills Sunday to boost the state’s electric car market, including a measure that sets a goal of placing at least 1 million zero-emission vehicles and near-zero-emission vehicles on California roads by 2023, the Los Angeles Times reports. The bill assigns the state Air Resources Board the task of making sure these vehicles are more affordable to lower income residents.

Higher Minimum Wage for Hotel Workers?

Los Angeles lawmakers could vote as soon as Wednesday to boost the minimum wage for workers at big hotels to $15.37, more than the citywide wage hike proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles Times reports.

DWP to Skeptical City Council: Customer Service is Improving

Department of Water and Power officials told Los Angeles City Council on Friday that it has made dramatic improvements in its billing and customer service system, the Daily News reports. The utility has been criticized in the past year as it implemented a new billing system that resulted in thousands of customers receiving bills that were double or triple what they should have been and other customers receiving no bills and then being hit with a large payment.

Party Buses: Growth Without Regulations

A South Bay teenager’s death aboard a party bus in July shined a light upon an industry which has experienced recent nationwide growth, but is subject to very few regulations, according to the Los Angeles Times. The number of party bus carriers in California alone increased from 6,000 to 9,000 in the last five years, and more than 20 people have died in accidents.

Networks Hunt for Next ‘Seinfeld’

As the fall television season begins this week, major television networks are rolling out 18 new comedies, hoping to hit blockbuster-sitcom gold, the Los Angeles Times reports. It’s a move to dig out of a sitcom rut: Only 14 of the 82 prime-time comedies released since 2009 remain on the air.

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