Los Angeles Business Journal

Council Rethinking Uber at the Airport

Six council members, citing fairness and safety concerns, are now saying “not so fast” to a decision earlier this month by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners to allow ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft to pick up riders at LAX, the Los Angeles Times reports. The council members want to closely examine the airport’s news rules, and if the motion passes next week, it could override the pro-Uber policy.

Unpermitted Park Vending Ban Back

The ban on vending at parks and beaches without a permit was reinstated by the Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday, meaning sellers could face fines and possibly misdemeanor charges, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some complain the ban targets mom-and-pop vendors and could make it difficult for immigrants facing such charges to become citizens.

Sluggish Economy

Economic growth is still slow going with the gross domestic product growing just 2.3 percent in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning. The expected growth rate was 2.7 percent – itself modest. Some economists expect growth to pick up in the second half of the year. Then again, they’ve been predicting that for years.

Greenspan: Entitlement Spending at ‘Extremely Dangerous’ Level

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan warns an increase in government spending on social benefits is at “extremely dangerous” levels for the economy, CNBC reports. Such spending was 19.2 percent of the gross domestic product last year, up from 15.5 percent in 2005, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Feinstein’s New Drought-Relief Bill

In an effort to get Congress to pass legislation to help California, Sen. Dianne Feinstein is proposing a drought-relief bill which would include using $1.3 billion over the next decade for storage, desalination and other projects, the Los Angeles Times reports. Still, questions remain, including whether environmentalists will support it, and if a compromise can be reached with a Republican-backed bill that has been approved by the House.

Oil Slick Spotted in Santa Barbara

Just when things were looking up in Santa Barbara, now a nearly 4-mile long oil slick is back, sparking new concerns in the area, the Los Angeles Times reports. Officials say it could be natural seepage or possibly a remnant of last May’s oil spill caused by a ruptured pipeline which spilled more than 21,000 gallons of crude into the ocean, but they’re awaiting test results to find out for sure.

Export-Import Bank Fails to Get Revived

Those hoping for the reopening of the Export-Import Bank were given bad news Wednesday when the House approved a highway funding bill that excluded a reauthorization of the bank's charter, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Senate is expected to follow the footsteps of the House. Supporters argue the Ex-Im bank helps companies sell their products abroad. Opponents argue the bank mainly helps big businesses, which donate to politicians to keep the bank’s spigot open for them.

Steps Closer to Rate Hike

Although it didn’t happen this week, the time could soon be approaching when Federal Reserve policymakers raise the federal funds rate for the first time since 2006 since they seem to be indicating the economy is getting better, the Los Angeles Times reports.

A New Beginning

In anticipation of next year’s opening of the Expo Line, a Metro train drove into the downtown Santa Monica terminal this week, LAist reports. It marked the first time in more than 60 years that a passenger train has reached downtown Santa Monica.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 75 points in early trading Thursday to 17,676. The S&P 500 was down nine points to 2,100. The Nasdaq was down 26 points to 5,086. The LABJ Stock Index was down one point to 242.

Rough Times for Relativity

Ryan Kavanaugh's financially embattled Relativity Media may be cutting up to 50 jobs and possibly filing for bankruptcy as early as today, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Beverly Hills production company is said to owe at least $320 million and has faced a lack of box office hits over the past year.

Edison Wants More from Mitsubishi

Southern California Edison is asking for $3 billion more – now a total of $7.6 billion – from Tokyo’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which manufactured the faulty steam generators that led to the permanent shutdown of the San Onofre nuclear power plant, the Los Angeles Times reports. The amount the utility wins would be split 50-50 with customers. However, Mitsubishi maintains it owes no more than $137 million, according to the agreements that were signed.

Some Drought-Struck Towns Could be ‘Wiped Off the Map’

The state’s drought crisis, which centers in the Central Valley, could possibly erase some towns from the map as wells and jobs dry up and farmers struggle, CBS Sacramento reports. However, the possibility of a new well in Tulare County might bring a glimmer of hope.

Malibu Winemakers Will Toast This

In a surprising move, a compromise was reached Tuesday by Los Angeles County Supervisors who voted to allow pending applications to establish vineyards to proceed instead of continuing to ban them, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. County officials say the ban on new applications would just be extended for four months instead of 10.

Weighing the Safety of Local Oil Fields

After a recent report claimed fracking fir oil may be unhealthy and hurt water and air quality, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors called for an inventory of all operating oil fields in the county, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. It is unclear what the supes intend to do with the information. County officials also want legislative advocates to push for consistent state legislation to fund studies on the health and environmental impacts of oil and gas production.

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