Los Angeles Business Journal

City Ignoring Phone Overcharges?

A Calabasas company named Cost/Benefit Corp., which was hired by the city of Los Angeles to audit cell phone bills, claims Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer failed to take action after finding out the city was overcharged by about $12 million and could recover as much as $39 million from its phone providers, the Los Angeles Times reports. Instead, the company claims it has not been paid, so it is suing the city. The city intends to countersue.

Katy Perry vs. Local Restaurateur

The controversy that pits pop singer Katy Perry against local restaurateur Dana Hollister, who has a a tentative deal to buy a hilltop Los Feliz convent from an order of nuns, is headed to a Los Angeles County Superior Court, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is fighting the agreement, saying Hollister took advantage of the nuns, and it wants to sell to Perry. The dispute centers on who has the authority to actually sell the nunnery.

Netflix Possibly Moving to Hollywood

As Netflix continues to make gains in Hollywood, the company may soon try to take up residence there as it’s looking into relocating its Beverly Hills office to a building being built at Sunset Bronson Studios that would double its office space, according to the Los Angeles Times. Such a move would indicate Netflix has likely outgrown its current building and could be making plans for new hires soon.

Winemakers to Fight

Vineyard owners aim to appeal to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ ban on new vineyards and extensions of old ones in the Santa Monica Mountains, the Los Angeles Times reports. While the supervisors cite concerns about the amount of water being used and pesticides in runoff, the owners say they’ve already been working with county officials to address the issues.

Vote Sets Limit

Long Beach Harbor Commissioners voted unanimously Monday to set a $206 million limit for their part in financing a new downtown civic center that would house the Harbor Department as well as a new main library and City Hall, the Press Telegram reports. The new headquarters could possibly be completed by the end of 2019 if all goes according to plan.

Make a Wish

The Griffith Park Teahouse, which popped up on a ridge in the park about a month ago, has become a mecca for collecting wishes written on its walls with appeals for everything from more rain to less pollution in the city, LAist reports. The time may be limited for writing a wish, however, because the city is planning on taking down the teahouse soon.

Stocks Mixed

The Dow Jones Industrial average was up 40 points early trading Tuesday at 17,481. The S&P 500 was up five points to 2,072. The Nasdaq was down two points to 5,038. The LABJ Stock Index was up one point to 239.

New Minimum Wage Battle?

Even though the city’s minimum wage was hiked in May, now some labor leaders are expected to ask the City Council this week to consider exempting union workers from that new law, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some critics argue the move is designed to appeal to business owners who would prefer to have employees organize unions than pay them more money, thereby boosting dues to the unions.

Yes, We’re Saving Water

Although the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power does not separate water use by neighborhood, some other water districts do, and an early report indicates many customers are using less. In June, the first month water regulators compared regional water use, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Carson and Torrance all saved 20 percent or even more of the water used two years ago, the Daily Breeze reports.

Are Apartment Renters Shower Lingerers?

Incentives do matter. A new study shows apartment renters – who make up about 62 percent of Angelenos – may be doing little to cut back on water use to meet the state’s mandated reductions. But there’s not much incentive for them since most apartments don’t have meters that break down the usage by unit, the Los Angeles Times reports. However, state legislators are expected to consider whether to require possible “submetering” for new apartment buildings. Read the Business Journal’s earlier coverage here.

Uber’s Big Fight

Talk about a big spender. Ride-sharing service Uber has spent about $200,000 on lobbyists in Sacramento so far this year – more than Bank of America and Wal-Mart – to fight state regulatory hurdles, the Los Angeles Times reports. At issue is whether Uber drivers should be reclassified as employees instead of independent contractors, and whether Uber drivers discriminate.

Teva to Buy Unit of Allergan

Israeli drug maker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said it would buy Allergan’s generics unit for $40.5 billion in a deal that would make it one of the biggest drug makers in the world, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Box Office: ‘Ant-Man’ Still Dominates at No. 1

Disney’s Marvel super-hero movie, "Ant-Man," ruled the box office this weekend for the second weekend in a row, bringing in $24.8 million, beating Sony’s “Pixels” which made $24 million. The animated film, “Minions,” came in third place, grossing $22.1 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Corgi Love

Corgi Beach Day didn't disappoint with more than 800 Corgis in attendance at the event over the weekend in Long Beach, LAist reports. There was even a Corgi kissing booth, a costume contest and the corgi limbo contest.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 125 points in early trading Monday to 17,444. The S&P 500 was down 11 points to 2,069. The Nasdaq was down 36 points to 5,053. The LABJ Stock Index was flat at 237.

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