Los Angeles Business Journal

Downtown Businesses Fined for Selling Tainted Jewelry

State regulators announced Thursday they have levied more than $200,000 in penalties against four downtown retailers for selling jewelry tainted with lead and other toxic metals.

State Cites Vernon Exide Plant for Waste Violations

State regulators on Wednesday issued eight violations of state hazardous waste laws against Exide Technologies’ battery recycling plant in Vernon.

Injunction Seeks to Block L.A. From Implementing Hotel Wage Law

Two trade groups representing large hotels in Los Angeles announced they have filed for a preliminary injunction to block the city from implementing its hotel wage hike until their lawsuit against the city is resolved.

California Resources Drops Massive Carson Oil Drilling Plan

California Resources Corp. announced Monday that it has dropped plans for a major drilling project in Carson because of low oil prices.

Chilly Reception for Packers Fan

Donald Bizub is such an avid Green Bay Packers football fan that he purposefully seeks out advisory clients in cities where the Packers will be playing in a given season.

Businesses See New Notices as Hazardous to Health

CHEMICALS: Coalition says proposed changes to state rules will spur lawsuits.

State regulators have proposed new rules for posting toxic chemical warning notices in workplaces and other public places, stirring opposition from a coalition of chemical industry and business groups that contend the rules will spur a new round of frivolous lawsuits.

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Whole New Drill

ENERGY: Drop in oil prices has left some oil-related businesses in hole.

Steep drop in prices is not going well for oil-related businesses.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Dips Below 8 Percent for First Time in Six Years

L.A. County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in December, the first time it was below 8 percent since mid-2008, state figures released Friday show.

Model Guest Plans Stay at Ocean Liner

Queen Mary to host toymaker’s miniature take on fabled ship.

Model of the Queen Mary prepares to drop anchor at its life-size inspiration in Long Beach.

Stilled Drilling Rigs Don’t Work for Oil Investors

energy: Shares tumble after California Resources plans production cutbacks.

Report of idled derricks doesn’t sit well with investors in California Resources Corp.

Oil Company Drops Plan to Expand Drilling in South L.A.

Oil company Freeport McMoran is dropping its controversial plan to expand its drilling operation near USC, blaming the recent oil price collapse.

BizFed Opposes L.A. Minimum Wage Hike, Berkeley Study

The Los Angeles County Business Federation, or BizFed, on Wednesday formally announced its opposition to proposals to hike the minimum wage in the city of Los Angeles to at least $13.25 an hour.

Mercury Insurance Hit With $27.5 Million Fine Over Broker Fees

State Insurance Commissioner David Jones on Monday ordered Mercury Insurance to pay a $27.5 million fine for charging policyholders unauthorized broker fees.

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Positive Signs For Billboards

ADVERTISing: City of L.A. may flatout forgive scofflaws.

ADVERTISING: City of Los Angeles appears ready to sign off on giving a pass to rule-breaking billboards.

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Breitburn Halves Distributions to Shareholders Amid Oil Price Collapse

Rocked by the oil price crash and its own plummeting stock price, Breitburn Energy Partners has sliced its distributions to shareholders by just over 50 percent.

Developers Fight Malibu Measure with Federal Lawsuit

Two property developers on Monday filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Malibu to block a ballot measure voters approved in November to limit chain stores and large commercial projects.

Buyout Talk Gives Shot in Arm to Drug Developer

BIOTECH: Arrowhead’s RNA treatment reportedly draws Gilead’s attention.

Arrowhead Research moves into investors’ bull’s-eye on talk of an acquisition by a larger competitor.

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Hotels Say Wage Law Works in Favor of Labor

HOSPITALITY: Groups claim union exemption undercuts bargaining by businesses.

Hotel owners say a city of L.A. wage ordinance makes too much room for union organizing.

Star a Deal at Any Price

Filming the new low-budget movie “The Humbling” turned out to be a humbling experience for movie superstar Al Pacino.

Biomed Project Gets New Life

DEVELOPMENT: Supervisor switch may power up park plan.

New Eastside county supervisor may provide a shot in the arm for biomedical park project.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Holds Steady Despite Job Gains

The California Employment Development Department reported that Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate remained stuck at 8 percent last month as the number of residents reporting they were working barely budged.

L.A. Chamber Endorses Councilman Huizar’s Re-election Bid

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce has endorsed L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar’s re-election bid against challenger Gloria Molina, Huizar’s campaign announced Thursday.

Hotel Industry Sues L.A. over Minimum Wage Law

Hotel industry groups on Tuesday sued the city of Los Angeles in federal court over the city’s enactment of a minimum wage ordinance requiring large non-union hotels to pay their workers $15.37 an hour.

Small Business Seeks Bigger Piece of County’s Pie

CONTRACTING: Sector gets less than 1 percent of deals; 25 percent sought.

It’s an embarrassing statistic: In the small-business capital of the nation, less than one half of 1 percent of all Los Angeles County contracts and purchase orders go to small businesses.

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Oil Firm’s Stock Trapped in Hole

ENERGY: Price hedge can’t buoy BreitBurn in sinking sector.

Price hedge fails to power up shares of oil and gas company BreitBurn.

L.A. Hiring to Stay Steady in First Quarter

Local employers plan to hire at a solid, steady pace during the first quarter of next year, according to a survey released Tuesday from Manpower Inc.

Oxy’s Spinoff Opens Wobbly

ENERGY: California Resources’ stock value in tough state early.

Oil and natural gas producer California Resources Corp. quickly loses ground in its first days of trading.

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Will NFL Team Link to Carson?

SPORTS: County golf course joins potential stadium sites.

Carson park and golf course could join field of stadium candidates looking to score a pro football team.

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Legal Tide Rises Against Utility

WATER: Golden State heading to court to fend off sales to cities.

Golden State prepares to dive into litigation to fight cities’ attempted takeovers of its systems.

Businesses May Take Crack at Streets, Sidewalks

Regulation & Policy: Property owners weigh creation of districts to pay for repair work.

Taxing yourself more for things that your city ought to be doing already might seem ludicrous at first glance, but when it comes to fixing streets and sidewalks, some major commercial and retail property owners in Los Angeles seem open to the idea.

‘Shark Tank’ Pitch a Wash

Alhambra “Dadpreneur” Ray Phillips was merely looking for a way to make baths more fun for children.

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Lots of Worry

City of L.A. looks to put brakes on parking-tax cheats

Parking: Some lot operators see no space for proposed city of L.A. revenue-tracking measures.

L.A. Unemployment Rate Holds Steady Despite Jump in Employer Payrolls

L.A.’s unemployment rate held steady last month at 8 percent, even as local employers added 35,000 jobs to their payrolls, mostly in education, according to state figures released Friday.

City to Speed Up Building Construction Inspections

Acting on a promise to cut bureaucratic red tape at City Hall, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday announced a measure to speed up building inspections for major projects and restaurants in the city.

Oxy Spinoff’s Shares Dropping

Thanks to falling oil prices, shares of Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s forthcoming California spinoff are trading off-exchange well below analysts’ earlier expectations.

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Tale of Two Cities on Wage Hike

LABOR: L.A.’s increase could cost employers in Culver City.

Culver City businesses fear they will have to pay to keep up with L.A.’s proposed minimum-wage increase.

Glendale, Glendora Win Biz-Friendly Cities Honors

The “Glens” have it. Glendale was named the most business-friendly large city in the county Thursday night by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., while Glendora took the honors for the most business-friendly small city.

Updated: City Files Suit Against Contractors Alleging Wage Theft

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer on Thursday announced the city has filed a lawsuit against the main contractor and several subcontractors on a city animal shelter construction project, alleging the companies failed to pay their workers at least $250,000 in promised wages.

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State’s Biggest Refinery in Pipeline

ENERGY: Greens see red as Tesoro looks to link oil facilities.

Tesoro looks to pump up its oil operations by merging two SoCal facilities into the state’s largest refinery. But environmentalists object.

Malibu Voters Put Lock On Retail Chains’ Space

DEVELOPMENT: Pair of projects to move forward despite approved limits.

Development projects in Malibu – already difficult to shepherd through – have just gotten tougher thanks to last week’s passage of Measure R.

Oil-Field Acquisition Fails to Pump Up Investors

ENERGY: Breitburn shares dip but quickly recover amid general sector struggles.

Breitburn quickly climbs out of hole after announcement of oil-field deal sends shares falling.

Council Asks for Minimum Wage Study

A Los Angeles City Council committee on Tuesday called for an independent study of two proposals to raise the minimum wage, delaying consideration of a wage hike until at least early next year.

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Minimum Wage Maximum Headache

Restaurateur: 35% price hike may be needed.

Restaurateur George Abou-Daoud fears a minimum-wage hike would add too many extra costs to his plate.

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Brewery Looks to Tap Longer-Term Use Permit

BEER: Eagle Rock hopes to bottle up costs by extending license beyond five years.

Eagle Rock Brewery hopes to draft better terms for conditional use permit.

Profit Drops for Local Oxy Unit Amid Rising Production Costs

Thanks to rising production costs and softening oil prices, profits fell during the third quarter at California Resources Corp., the oil producer that is to be spun off from Occidental Petroleum Corp. next month.

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New Life

Bioscience incubator homes in on CSULA

BIOSCIENCE: Cal State Los Angeles has made the grade as the new home for an ambitious incubator project.

L.A. Unemployment Dips to 8 Percent

L.A.’s unemployment rate dipped to 8 percent last month as the county gained 28,000 jobs, mostly from teachers returning to schools after summer vacation, according to state figures released Friday.

Taking $64,000 Shot for Charity

At $64,000, it’s the most expensive shot of whiskey in the world.

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Vote on Drilling Might Cost City

Oil: Hermosa Beach could hit gusher – or pay big breakup bill.

Oil: Rejection of drilling project could leave Hermosa Beach facing a big financial hole.

Council Votes to Extend Lower Tax Rate for Internet Businesses

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday voted to extend the major reduction in business tax rates for Internet companies for four more years.

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