Stories for May 2016

Tuesday, May 31

Electro Rent Acquired

Electro Rent Corp. has been acquired by private investment firm Platinum Equity in a deal valued at more than $323 million.

Cheesecake Serves Up Expansion

Cheesecake Factory is on a winning streak, and it announced it will expand in the Southeast.

Monday, May 30

Camarillo Flight School Issues First Pilot Licenses

EDUCATION: Students can take final exam in cockpit with local instructor.

Channel Islands Aviation this month started issuing licenses to students who successfully completed its private pilot course.


William “Bill” Wolf knows all aspects of income taxation, from planning and estimating income to asset sales.

Big-Screen Games Fill Cinema Seats

Simi theater offers alternatives to studio movies with popcorn.

Iconic movies and online interactive games lure audiences to Studio Movie Grill in Simi Valley.

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Team Player

From the NFL to the Metro board, Mel Wilson has gotten ahead by getting along with people who help him realize his dreams.

From the segregated South, to the NFL, to owner of a real estate company, Mel Wilson talks about how he tackles business and political challenges.

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Medical Magnet

Developers see Tarzana as hub for health care

Tarzana’s newest medical building will open doors to advanced cancer treatment for locals and could boost medical office construction in the area.

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Profit Motive Drives Racing Fund

FINANCE: Formula One fans unite passions for money and motorsport.

Formula One in Lancaster? Company floats mutual fund that attracts fans and their money.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Power Accountants

Portraits of some of the Valley region’s most powerful accountants.


As a senior partner at the firm, Barbara Luna serves as an expert witness at trials involving bankruptcy, divorce, fraud, breach of contract, wrongful termination, intellectual property, unfair competition and malpractice.


With more than 30 years as a CPA, Jay Mangel is a partner in audit and financial advisory at Crowe Horwath’s Sherman Oaks office.

SPECIAL REPORT: Jonathan Jacobs

Jonathan “Jake” Jacobs was one of those lucky children who knew what he wanted to become – an accountant.

SPECIAL REPORT: Maier Rosenberg

Maier Rosenberg often works as a management consultant with expertise in accounting, performance and compliance.

SPECIAL REPORT: Donald Garrett

Donald Garrett still remembers one day in 1992 when a client called him in a panic. The L.A. riots were occurring, and protesters were marching down the street toward the client’s business.


Robert “Bob” Grimes is the local representative of EY’s network of 28,000 tax professionals in 120 countries.

SPECIAL REPORT: Matthew A. Burke

As managing partner, Matthew Burke supervises operations of the Encino-based Singer Burke, including hiring, strategic planning and marketing.

The Adult Film Industry and You

Stuart Waldman: November ballot measure targeting adult films has broad potential impact on economy.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Lancaster’s city-run clean energy program received a $1.5 million grant from the California Energy Commission to support becoming a net zero energy city.

Retail Becomes Residential in Mall Upgrade

REDEVELOPMENT: 765 condos and apartments to replace Burbank Ikea, other stores.

Finally, Burbank is getting a bit of the retail and housing boon sweeping across other parts of L.A. County.

State High Court May Require Sitting on the Job

EMPLOYMENT: Retailers on the hot seat after decision reinterprets work order.

In drugstores and banks in the Valley region, customers might start to see more employees sitting on the job as a result of the California Supreme Court’s recent ruling.

Glendale a Good Home for Hotel Development

HOSPITALITY: Three projects are part of plan to make the city a ‘destination.’

A six-story boutique hotel proposed in downtown Glendale was unanimously approved by the city’s Design Review Board earlier this month.

Bargain Price Buys Scaled-Down United Online

INTERNET: B. Riley offers $170 million for firm after it sold off its biggest brands.

B. Riley will steady cash flow with bargain purchase of United Online.

Lots of Cars Coming to AV

AUTOMOTIVE: CarMax to open dealership and refurbishment center in Palmdale.

CarMax to boost Palmdale workforce with new center.

Kosher Meals At Fingertips With App

Users can find nearby Jewish food providers on their smartphones.

Kosher Near Me expands database and turns cash-positive.

Parking Fees Can Change On the Go

Van Nuys company’s new system enables demand-based pricing.

Sentry’s new parking system flips fees in real-time.

Tech Firm Tries Travel Site Rewrites

Search engine ranking figures into content for hospitality clients.

Moravia IT expands from technology to travel website content creation.

Walmart Preps Megastore Debut

RETAIL: Burbank location starts hiring for summer opening.

Three years delayed, Walmart is set to open its Burbank supercenter.

Drug Champs Try for Repeat

BIOTECH: Former Kythera execs unveil next billion-dollar idea.

From chin fat to hair and acne: former Kythera execs form another cosmetic treatment startup.

Friday, May 27

Real Estate Firm Expands Here, Buys First Property

An East Coast investment company closed on a North Hollywood industrial building in its first investment as a principal in Southern California.

Encino Apartment Gets Mortgage

The owners of a new Encino apartment complex refinanced their construction loan into a long-term, fixed-rate loan in a transaction arranged by Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Preview: Medical Magnet

Developers see Tarzana as hub for health care.

Preview: Profit Motive Drives Racing Fund

Formula One fans unite passions for money and motorsport.

Thursday, May 26

Troop Real Estate Joins Century 21 Franchise

Troop Real Estate Inc. signs have covered Ventura and Los Angeles counties for nearly three decades. Now, they’ll have an additional name on them.

Justice Department Sues Prime Healthcare

The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday announced that it has filed a Medicare-fraud lawsuit against Prime Healthcare Services Inc. of Ontario, which owns two Valley hospitals — Encino Hospital Medical Center and Sherman Oaks Hospital.

VICA Pushes for Speed on Transit Improvements

The Valley Industry & Commerce Association announced Thursday that potential improvements to the Orange Line busway would be moved up by five years to begin in 2019.

Wednesday, May 25

Medtronic Lands Deal to Develop Product

Medical-device maker Medtronic on Wednesday announced that it has entered into an international, multi-year contract with mobile tech company Qualcomm Inc., a subsidiary of San Diego-based Qualcomm Life Inc., to collaboratively develop future models of its continuous glucose monitoring systems.

Valley-made Microturbines Power Microbrewery

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has installed microturbines made by Capstone Turbine Corp. at its Chico brewery to generate electrical and thermal energy on site.

Pennymac Postpones Private Offering

PennyMac Financial Services of Moorpark has postponed a previously announced private sale of $300 million in senior notes.

Tuesday, May 24

Investment Group Pays $19 Million for Burbank Carmax Location

The recent purchase of a Burbank CarMax center was the third and final chapter in a series of recent acquisitions worth nearly $50 million by a group of L.A.-based investors.

Home, Condo Sales Increase in April

In April, condominiums in the Santa Clarita Valley saw hot activity with sharp jumps in prices and sales, according to the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.

Monday, May 23

IHOP Expands in Panama

DineEquity Inc. has moved forward with a franchise agreement to launch six IHOP locations in Panama in the next five years – the first opened in Panama City on Monday.

New Drone May Help Protect Government Facilities

AeroVironment Inc.’s new unmanned aircraft will be evaluated by a Pentagon office for possible use at government facilities for surveillance and reconnaissance.

Friday, May 20

Two Thousand Oaks Apartments to Be Spruced Up

Two Thousand Oaks apartment complexes will undergo improvements thanks to a $130 million loan.

Sports Authority’s 7 Valley-Area Stores Closing

Sports Authority’s decision announced earlier this week to shutter all of its more than 460 stores means seven Valley-area locations will close.

County Unemployment Drops to 9-Year Low

L.A. County’s unemployment rate continued its rapid descent in April, falling to its lowest point in nine years.

Farmers Sells Westlake Village Building

As evidence of Conejo Valley’s hot market for investors, L.A.-based insurer Farmers Group Inc. has sold its building in Westlake Village for $18.6 million, according to real estate activity tracking database CoStar Realty Information Inc.

Thursday, May 19

UPS Signs Largest Valley Lease in 2016

Package deliverer UPS is increasing its local presence with the signing of the Valley’s largest lease so far this year, according to L.A.-based CBRE Group Inc.

DaVita to Open Simi Dialysis Center

Dialyses center operator Total Renal Care Inc. has leased more than 11,000 square feet in Simi Valley, according to commercial real estate brokerage Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura in Sherman Oaks.

Lancaster Receives Net Zero Grant

Lancaster’s city-run clean energy power program received a $1.5 million grant from the California Energy Commission to support efforts at becoming a net zero energy city.

Wednesday, May 18

Amgen Researchers Discover Cholesterol Gene

A subsidiary of Amgen Inc. has discovered a rare variation in the sequence of a human gene that gives people a significant reduction in levels of “bad” cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart attacks, the company announced Wednesday.

Rehab Clinic Appoints New Chief

The Matrix Institute on Addictions has appointed Dr. Kenji Watanabe as clinical director for its Woodland Hills facility.

Tuesday, May 17

American Homes Sets Price for New Offering

Agoura Hills-based American Homes 4 Rent, the country’s largest publicly-traded, single-family home landlord, announced the pricing of a $225 million public offering of preferred stock to be $25 a share.

NetSol Names North American President

NetSol Technologies Inc. has named Jeffery Bilbrey as its president of North American operations, a new position at the company.

Monday, May 16

Applebee's Launches Marketing Makeover

Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar announced Monday it has completed a $75 million overhaul of its menu in hopes of revitalizing the chain to increase foot traffic and boost same store sales.

SpeedWeed Says It’s Still in Business

The owners of medical marijuana delivery service SpeedWeed insisted on Monday that their business remains operational.

Metro Unveils Canoga Station Access

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday had a ribbon cutting for a new access to the Canoga station of the Orange Line busway.

New Software Documents Nurse Visits Via GPS

TECHNOLOGY: Program also helps health care agencies manage their business.

Van Nuys software developer Data Soft Logic recently released a visit verification app for home health agencies that uses a Global Positioning System, or GPS, to document nursing visits.

Medical Main Street in Lancaster?

DEVELOPMENT: Officials, investors cite underserved health market.

Lancaster’s plan to become a health care hub.

Avery Expands Euro Label

Label maker Avery Dennison Corp. wants to label more of Europe.

Electronic Rocket Could Travel to Mars

Aerojet Rocketdyne wins $67 million to tackle NASA project.

AeroJet Rocketdyne tries to double thrust for Mars-bound cargo rocket under $67 million contract.

Ticket Firm Adds Social to Sports

InviteManager’s name change reflects expanded services.

It’s all in the name: why InviteManager makes more sense for TicketManager.

Butter Dish Solves the Slippery Mess

Ex-homemaker puts product on shelves of Bed Bath & Beyond.

Buttering up: entrepreneur Joelle Mertzel’s new dish cleans up countertop.

Cross-Selling Clean Clothes And Trucks?

Laundromat opens U-Haul outlet to take advantage of location.

Laundromat maximizes its prime location with U-Haul business.

Abbott’s Grab for St. Jude to Consolidate Cardio

MANUFACTURING: Sylmar plant’s heart pacemakers part of $25 billion buyout.

Cardio devices made in Sylmar to be enhanced by Abbott Lab’s acquisition of St. Jude Medical Inc.

Second Sight Gives Investors a Second Chance

FINANCE: Medical device maker offers discounted shares in $20 million deal.

Second Sight makes $20 million equity offer to stay afloat.

Red Bull Run Stretches Along Santa Clarita Roads

FUNDRAISER: Event collects money for spinal cord research foundation.

Thousands of Santa Clarita residents participated in an innovative global charity race May 8 in support of the Wings of Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation.

Valley Studios Bring Strong Summer Film Slate

MOVIES: Expectations are realistic after last year’s blockbuster performance.

Another summer movie season has started and that means multiplexes filled with tentpole superhero movies, sequels and reboots.

Low-Vacancy Market Awaits Valencia Project

CONSTRUCTION: Three new buildings will add 255,000 square feet to inventory.

The industrial market in the Santa Clarita Valley is about to get a little bit wider.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

Single-home renter American Homes 4 Rent saw profit and revenue jump during the first quarter thanks to its purchase of a competitor.


Calendar of events

Soft Story = Hard Times

Retrofit mandate hits Valley landlords.

L.A.’s new seismic retrofit law for multifamily dwellings sends tremors through Valley.

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Franchising a Slow Go for Mover

TRANSPORTATION: Growth strategy, candidate selection are challenges.

NorthStar Moving Co. moves into franchising to grow its business.

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Cosmetic Clean-Up

BEAUTY: With the Z Potter heater, consumers can reconfigure their makeup cases.

Z Palette inventor introduces depotting heater.

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Global Educator

David Steele-Figueredo left a corporate job to become an academic. Now he’s using his turnaround skills at Woodbury University.

Former Chevron exec David Steele-Figueredo now heads Woodbury University.

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Overregulation Stunts Growth

Mike Menerey: How small businesses can thrive despite regulation.

Friday, May 13

Pot Delivery Business Nipped in Bud

The Los Angeles City Attorney’s office has shut down medical marijuana delivery business SpeedWeed, the office announced Friday.

Calabasas to Hotel Developer: Build Smaller

A proposed hotel’s four-story design has been informally rejected by the Calabasas City Council, according to media reports.

Preview: Soft Story = Hard Times

Many apartment owners in the San Fernando Valley are now feeling the tremors from a law passed by the Los Angeles City Council requiring costly retrofits so buildings can better withstand earthquakes.

Preview: Medical Main Street in Lancaster?

From the top of a building on the campus of Antelope Valley Hospital, Lancaster City Councilman Raj Malhi can look out over medical office buildings, apartments, a scattering of retail malls – and 107 acres of empty land.

Thursday, May 12

Electro Rent’s Chief to Step Down After 35 Years

Daniel Greenberg will step down as the longtime chief of Electro Rent Corp. effective in July, it was announced Thursday.

Palmdale Medical Building Sells for $5 Million

A 24,000 square-foot-medical and office park in Palmdale has been sold for nearly $5 million, according to commercial brokerage firm Lee & Associates – LA North/Ventura Inc. in Sherman Oaks.

Providence Tarzana Announces Expansion

Providence Tarzana Medical Center on Thursday announced a $624 million expansion plan that calls for a new patient wing including a lobby and reception area as well as new diagnostic and treatment areas and expanded parking.

Talon Reports Revenue Gains

Talon International Inc. beat analyst estimates on revenue in its first quarter earnings, and attributed the gain to strong performance from its trim products segment.

Wednesday, May 11

Pricey Med Ineffective? Amgen Will Discount Price

Cigna Corp. on Wednesday announced that it has entered into an agreement with Thousand Oaks biotech Amgen Inc. that will directly tie the price the insurance company will pay for a pricey new cholesterol drug to its effectiveness on individual patients.

Disney’s Stock Slips

Shares in Walt Disney Co. fell by more than $4 on Wednesday, the day after the company missed Wall Street forecasts on earnings.

Tuesday, May 10

Disney Misses Wall Street Expectations

Walt Disney Co. missed Wall Street expectations on earnings in the fiscal second quarter while matching on revenue.

Real Industry Reports Quarterly Loss

Real Industry Inc. missed Wall Street expectations on net income but beat them on revenue in the fiscal first quarter.

Dilution Drops MannKind Stock 28 Percent

MannKind Corp.’s stock dropped nearly 28 percent on Tuesday, the day after the company reported its first quarter financial results followed by a conference call that never mentioned a stock dilution that was announced shortly after.

Monday, May 9

Westlake Village Campus Sold After Creative Re-do

A four-building campus in Westlake Village, renovated into creative office space, recently sold for $18.25 million, according to the sellers, Van Nuys property firm Majestic Asset Management Inc. and JS/JS Properties Inc. in Canoga Park. The buyer was L.A. real estate investor named Kids from the Valley XIV.

MannKind Misses on Earnings

MannKind Corp. on Monday announced its first quarter financial results, narrowing its net loss but missing analysts’ expectations.

DTS Beats Street

DTS Inc. beat Wall Street estimates on earnings and revenue in the fiscal first quarter.

Cherokee Signs Up Licensees

Cherokee Global Brands has inked deals with new licensees to get its Cherokee brand on the shelves of U.S. retailers.

Friday, May 6

Hasbro Expands Burbank Presence

Hasbro Inc. recently doubled its leased space in Burbank to roughly 80,000 square feet.

Acquisition Boosts Revenue at American Homes

Single-home renter American Homes 4 Rent saw profit and revenue jump during the first quarter thanks to its purchase of a competitor.

California Resources Quarterly Loss Totals $100 Million

California Resources Corp. suffered massive losses during the first quarter, yet still managed to beat Wall Street expectations on earnings.

Both PennyMacs Report Sour Quarter

The two PennyMac companies of Moorpark on Thursday reported down quarters.

Healthy Economy Helps Marcus & Millichap

Calabasas’ fast-growing commercial real estate brokerage business Marcus & Millichap Inc. ended its first quarter with a double-digit jump in profit and a new chief executive.

Wesco Results: Better Than Expected

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. beat Wall Street expectations on earnings but fell a bit short on revenues.

Thursday, May 5

Tutor Perini Shares Leap After Surprise Report

The stock of Tutor Perini Corp. soared more than 26 percent Thursday following its earnings report that crushed Wall Street’s expectations.

DineEquity Drops on Down Report

DineEquity Inc. on Thursday reported first quarter earnings and revenues that fell well short of analysts’ forecasts. The company’s stock dropped nearly 3 percent on a day when the overall markets declined only slightly.

DreamWorks Reports Dreamy Quarter

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. beat Wall Street expectations on revenue and earnings in the first quarter on the strength of television and new media.

Entertainment Business Consolidates in Sun Valley

Entertainment industry rental business SirReel Studio Rentals has leased 100,000 square feet of warehouse and exterior space in Sun Valley to merge several locations into one, according to L.A.-based CBRE Group Inc.

Amgen May Join Fray to Buy Cancer Therapy Firm

Amgen Inc. reportedly is considering a bid to purchase cancer therapy company Medivation Inc. of San Francisco.

Teledyne’s Down Quarter Still Beats Street

Teledyne Technologies Inc. beat Wall Street estimates in earnings in the first quarter while falling short on revenue.

Wednesday, May 4

B. Riley Buys United Online

Internet service provider United Online Inc. is being acquired by Los Angeles investment firm B. Riley Financial Inc. in a deal valued at $170 million.

Santa Clarita Shopping Center Sells

The Bouquet Center in Santa Clarita has been bought by San Diego real estate investment trust Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. for $59 million, the company confirmed.

Salem Misses on Earnings

Salem Media Group Inc. on Wednesday reported quarterly earnings that fell short of Wall Street expectations even though the company had a sizable increase in revenues due to the political season.

Bob Hope Airport Changes Nickname

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority selected “Hollywood Burbank Airport” as the new brand identity for Burbank’s Bob Hope Airport, the agency announced Tuesday.

Tuesday, May 3

Senior Housing REIT Beats Expectations

LTC Properties Inc., which provides senior housing and invests in health care properties, reported first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ expectations.

Ixia Earnings Top Estimates

Technology component company Ixia on Tuesday announced first-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates.

ReachLocal Meets Street Expectations

ReachLocal Inc. met analyst expectations in the first quarter, based on results announced Tuesday.

Monday, May 2

It’s ‘Game On’ in Fight for Tribune

The simmering war for ownership of the parent company of Los Angeles Times heated up on Monday.

Call Center to Hire 150 in Simi

IQor is expanding by adding 150 new employees to its Simi Valley contact center located at 2290 Agate Court.

Tenant Buys Toluca Lake Office Complex

Blueprint Post Production has bought the DES Building Park in Toluca Lake for $13 million, according to Charles Dunn Co. of Sherman Oaks.

Crown Media Absorbed by Hallmark

Hallmark Cards Inc. said Monday that it has completed its buyout of Crown Media Holdings.

Environmental Report Ready for Burbank Airport

The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Friday released a draft environmental impact report on its proposed terminal building at Burbank Bob Hope Airport.

Music Innovator Remo Belli Dies

Remo Belli, an innovator in the music industry who created and popularized the synthetic drumhead at his Los Angeles area company, died on April 25. He was 88.

City Mandates Come With a Cost

Valley Industry and Commerce Association: Employer mandates to help employees may hurt in the long run.


Calendar of events

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley

California State University Channel Islands and its communications program launched a student-run Internet radio station that will teach students the basics of running a radio station.

SPECIAL REPORT: Industrial Tightens, Office Loosens in High Desert

The industrial market in the Antelope Valley continued to show strength in the first quarter as rental prices remained high and the vacancy rate low.

SPECIAL REPORT: Lease Rates Continue to Climb in Santa Clarita

Demand for Santa Clarita Valley commercial real estate was relatively high in the first quarter, mostly because of a lack of inventory in the submarket.

SPECIAL REPORT: ‘No Up Leg’ For Buyers Looking in Conejo Valley

If investors think they can turn to the Conejo Valley or the combined Simi Valley/Moorpark market for industrial buildings to put their cash into after selling something else, they better think again.

SPECIAL REPORT: Entertainment Tenants Shrink Vacancy in Burbank

Both Burbank and Glendale saw an uptick in office investments in the first quarter.

SPECIAL REPORT: Valley Sellers Struggle to Reinvest Cash Profits

Out of roughly 109 million square feet of inventory in the San Fernando Valley’s industrial landscape, only about 1.4 million square feet, or 1.3 percent, are vacant, according to data gathered by Colliers International in Los Angeles.

Pot Market Makes Manufacturer Light Headed

AGRICULTURE: Marijuana growers can control crop with LED systems.

With the U.S. cannabis market estimated to grow to $22 billion in four years, the duo behind California Lightworks has bet some of that money will come their way.

Insurers Prepare for Influx of Medi-Cal Children

HEALTH CARE: New law extends benefits to 60,000 kids in L.A. County.

Senate Bill 75 went into effect May 1, providing full scope Medi-Cal coverage to children under the age of 19 regardless of immigration status.

Health System Touts Benefits From Dropping Insurers

INSURANCE: Adventist Health’s plan draws attention of other companies.

Adventist Health develops self-provided plan that could save companies on premiums.

Failure to Specialize Behind Sport Chalet Closure

RETAIL: Originally a tennis and ski shop, the chain will shutter in bankruptcy.

With consumers growing increasingly health conscious, sporting goods are in high demand. But it seems some retailers still aren’t making the cut.

Space Shuttle Tank Gets Treatment for Big Trip

AEROSPACE: Movie scenery firm helps in delivery to California Science Center.

At the height of a 15-story building and 66,000 pounds, the Space Shuttle’s fuel tank requires the finesse of a Sun Valley company to travel to L.A.

Simulations Plus Prospers With Diversification

BIOTECH: Company moves from software licensing to project consulting.

Simulations Plus moves beyond software to consulting and customized programming.

The Number

A lack of omnichannel-ness may have driven closing of sporting goods stores.

Toymaker Links To Connectivity

MANUFACTURING: Spiral’s app puts new spin on piggy banks.

Former Disney executive’s wireless toy startup attracts venture capital.

Radio Money Talks

Salem Media hopes to give online financial advice to its on-air audience of Christians and conservatives.

Salem Media Group expands by offering its audience financial advice.

Restaurant Fills Plate With Tech

DINING: Cheesecake Factory sees mobile as recipe for success.

New mobile app adds icing to Cheesecake Factory’s foray into technology.

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High-Tech Timecards Foil Slackers

Devices with GPS and cameras ensure employee punctuality.

Thinking about fudging hours at work? ExakTime’s new app and software uses phone GPS and cameras to keep hourly workers honest.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Camarillo Rising

The bedroom community in the middle of Ventura County is about to get a lot more bedrooms — and that’s attracting attention from retail and commercial developers.

A new freeway exit and land use changes in Camarillo puts the bedroom community in developers’ crosshairs.

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Fancy Rehab Helps Dogs After Surgery

K9 Gym caters to pet owners with penchant for trendy treatments.

There’s doggie daycare, dog parks and dog bakeries – so why not doggie rehab? K9 Gym and Rehabilitation Center helps post-surgery pups.

Glass Hospital Rises from Kuwaiti Sand

Chatsworth company ships 5,000 panels to cover exterior.

Contract for Kuwaiti hospital helps Chatsworth glass maker recover from hard times.