Los Angeles Business Journal

Repurposed Parking Meters Stir Controversy in Pasadena

Fourteen repurposed parking meters in Pasadena will collect change for nonprofits that serve the homeless, and Los Angeles has been talking about trying them out downtown, the Los Angeles Times reports. In San Diego and Denver, similar meters have been used as panhandling deterrents, and some advocates are arguing that the meters monopolize money that might have gone directly to needy people.

City of Industry Sues Ex-Mayor for Back Rent

City of Industry filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court suing ex-mayor Dave Perez, saying he owes the city’s former redevelopment agency $9.6 million in back rent for using public land without permission for his waste recycling business, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports.

So Far, 2014 is California’s Hottest Year

Average temperatures during the first eight months of 2014 were the hottest in California’s history since record-keeping began in 1895, the Los Angeles Times reports. The average temperature was 62.6 degrees, which is 1.1 degrees hotter than the previous high and more than 4 degrees warmer than the 20th century average, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported.

Retails Sales Inch Up in August

Retail and food sales in the U.S. rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6 percent in August from July, the Commerce Department said Friday, quelling fears about a summer lull. Lower gasoline prices and better job growth could have contributed to increased consumer spending, according to the Wall Street Journal.

MTA Fares Rise

One-way fares on buses and trains operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority increased at midnight today from $1.50 to $1.75, KTLA reports. Monthly passes increased from $75 to $100.

Box Office: ‘No Good Deed’ Tops ‘Guardians,’ ‘Dolphin Tale 2’

The home invasion thriller “No Good Deed” claimed the box office this weekend, bringing in an estimated $24.5 million, The Wrap reports. The film’s expected contender, “Dolphin Tale 2,” trailed behind at $16.5 million, but both films beat “Guardians of the Galaxy,” which fell from the top slot for the first time in three weeks.

General Motors Admits Ignition Switch Death Toll is 19

General Motors Co. will pay compensation for 19 deaths linked to a faulty ignition switch, more than the 13 deaths the automaker had previously admitted were caused by the recalled part, Reuters reports.

Regulators Slow to Respond to Vehicle Defects

An investigation by the New York Times into the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s handling of major safety defects over the past decade found that the agency has often been slow to identify problems, tentative to act and reluctant to employ its full legal powers against companies. It recently failed to detect an ignition switch defect in several models of General Motors.

Murdock Tower Purchased

Murdock Plaza, a prominent Westwood office building on Wilshire Boulevard, has been purchased by New York real estate company Tishman Speyer for a reported $125 million, the Los Angeles Times says. Check out the previous coverage in the Business Journal.

61.4 Million Hit L.A. Beaches This Year

Attendance at Los Angeles County beaches hit a new high this year, along with the number of ocean rescues, county lifeguard officials said Friday, CBSLA reports.

Americans Won’t Relax

A new paper by economists Dan Hamermesh and Elena Stancanelli found that Americans work longer hours and are more likely to work late at night and on weekends, the Atlantic reports. They found that on a typical weeknight, a quarter of American workers did some kind of work between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., compared with about seven percent in France and the Netherlands.

Stocks Down

The Dow Jones industrial average was down three points in Monday morning trading to 16,984. The S&P 500 was down four points to 1,982. The Nasdaq was down 41 points to 4,526.

Mayor Garcetti to Consider Replacing Gross Receipts

Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday he and other elected officials are considering a ballot measure that would eliminate the gross receipts tax and replace it with a different tax on companies, the Los Angeles Times reports. Check out previous coverage of gross receipts tax receipts in the Business Journal.

Alliance Data to Buy Conversant

Alliance Data Systems Corp., a Dallas company that operates loyalty programs and private-label credit cards, agreed to buy the Westlake Village digital marketing company Conversant Inc. in cash and stock deal worth about $2.3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Santa Monica Moves Forward with Bergamot Station Redevelopment

The Santa Monica City Council gave Worthe Real Estate Group exclusive rights to negotiate with the city for the right to moved forward with an $84 million redevelopment of aging Bergamot Station, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Council viewed the Santa Monica developer’s proposal as the least threatening to the character of the historic complex.