Business and economy

News and observations on the economy, business, real estate, aerospace, tech, wealth, poverty and more.
Incorporating LA Biz Observed.

Dorothea Lange photos of LA poverty in 1936

dorothea-lange-la-mexican-quarter.jpg A month before shooting her famous migrant mother, Lange documented the "Mexican quarter" before it was razed for downtown's Union Station.

BuzzFeed walks away from Arts District move

ford-factory-shorenstein.jpg The web operation is still looking for the right LA headquarters, but for now BuzzFeed Motion Pictures is moving to Siren Studios.

Soon-Shiong also now interested in buying LA Times

soon-shiong-forbes.jpg Report is that LA's richest person is "seriously considering" a bid but has not contacted Tribune. Not that the Times is even for sale.

Union Rescue Mission CEO loses use of legs to infections

andy-bales-aron.jpg Andy Bales caught the trifecta of Skid Row infections — E. coli, strep and staph — and now uses a wheelchair. "Conditions on Skid Row are worse than they have ever been…"

Why LA missed the new economy

storper.jpg The Rise and Fall of Urban Economies: Lessons from San Francisco and Los Angeles, should be required reading for people who consider themselves leaders in Los Angeles.

LA's last real estate trophy?

Last_Real_Estate_Trophy_thr.jpg "This is as good as it gets," says real estate broker Jeff Hyland: 157 acres on the ridge line above Beverly Hills.

KCRW launches series on Skid Row

KCRW_Stephanie.jpg For some, "the area can be a way station to a better place. For others, it’s a place where survival means community, drugs, and a regular spot on the street."

RV encampment on Tujunga Avenue in North Hollywood

rv-nh-12.jpg The blogger at Here in Van Nuys visited with some of the homeless parked in 15 vans, campers and RVs at North Hollywood Park.

Uber gets almost-green light to pick up at LAX

LAX-terminal2-parking.jpg The City Council says OK but there are some official hurdles still to jump.

LA to give up Ontario Airport

ontario-airport-signs.jpg Reports are that Ontario will reimburse LA for its investment at the airport and settle a lawsuit alleging poor management.

Can LA County solve America's voting problem?

ballots-received-laco.jpg Los Angeles is getting credit for trying to fix the technology side of the old-fashioned and embarrassing way that the U.S. conducts elections.

Hector Tobar: LA's inequality hard to ignore anymore

homeless-virgil-avenue.jpg Los Angeles is becoming a metropolis of the developing world, the New York Times columnist argues.
Thumbnail image for homeless-pico-closer.jpg On the eve of his second anniversary in office, the mayor faces a test on the homeless issue. He changed his tune last night on Warren Olney's show.

Alessandra Stanley leaves TV beat to cover the .01%

alessandra-stanley-640.jpg Stanley is shifting to a newly created beat that will be part of the NYT's gathering coverage of income inequality in the U.S.

BuzzFeed releases long-discussed news app

buzzfeed-news-app-grab.jpg "We know a lot about the 25 million people who visit BuzzFeed News each month," says the site. "We know young people are into news."

Kirk Kerkorian, 98, went from dropout to billionaire

Kirk-Kerkorian.jpg He bought MGM three times, owned Las Vegas hotels and at times was the richest man in Los Angeles.

LA journalist gets a nice surprise on his Hanoi visit

nick-ut-hanoi-henry.jpg Henry Weinstein is traveling in Vietnam and ran into the one LA media person you might hope to see in Hanoi.

Development notes: Crossroads of the World, Windsor Square

Crossroads-Curbed.jpg One of Hollywood's most visible landmarks is the site of a proposed mega-project.
jessica-alba-forbes.jpg Take that, haters. Alba really is more than a pretty face and the Internet's favorite bikini body.

Hyperloop hoop

hyperloop-hoop.jpg Looks as if the Hyperloop engineers have made themselves at home in the Arts District.
Santa-Monica-Pier-tourists.jpg Units that are really just vacation rental businesses will no longer be allowed to take in paying guests unless the resident is there too.

Dave Goldberg's legacy in the music business

dave-goldberg.jpg The Survey Monkey chief executive who reportedly died outside the U.S. while on vacation with his wife -- no details have been released -- was a pioneer in bringing digital music to the Internet.

A Dutch woman has been photographing Skid Row for 6 years

skid-row-vanhoek.jpg Désirée van Hoek says people ask why "a relatively wealthy, white girl from Amsterdam" spends her summers in LA taking photos of the poor and homeless.

LA sidewalk homeless camp of the week (photos)

homeless-pico-expo-line.jpg Sunday on Pico Boulevard in West Los Angeles. Also: the sidewalk outside downtown's venerable California Club.

Tech website Gigaom shuts down immediately

gigaom-grab.jpg "Business, much like life, is not a movie and not everyone gets to have a story book ending," founder Om Malik posted.

Sam Simon, 59, Simpsons co-creator who gave away his wealth

SamSimon-save-the-children.jpg Simon donated his fortune from "The Simpsons" to children, animals and other causes.

Villaraigosa buys in Beachwood Canyon for $2.5 million

villaraigosa-home.jpg A year ago friends were saying the former mayor had no assets and was living in an apartment. Now he buys in the Hollywood Hills.

LAPD Skid Row shooting: justified or overreaction?

chief-beck-grab-ezellfordpresser.jpg Chief Beck opens the investigation by saying Sunday's police killing downtown appears justified, while Skid Row residents are upset.

Mark Lacter and LA Biz Observed
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006 and posted until his death on Nov. 13, 2013. His 10,000-plus posts are archived here.
'Good morning, people!'
grace-slick-woodstock-dark.jpgGrace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane at Woodstock. Turn it up.
For your consideration
bessie-still.jpgTwo costume designers who should have received Emmy nominations in our blogger's judgment.
gayley-terrace-ww.jpg Gayley Terrace in Westwood Village.
ice-cream-man-pdr.jpg By the bike path in Playa del Rey.
The edge
ocean-vdt.jpg The view at the edge of the continent. Veronique de Turenne
LA's newest mountain lions
p-43-kitten.jpgKittens P-43 and P-44 caught and tagged.
LA's lizard season
baby-lizard-nhmla.jpgBaby lizards are all around in August. Story
Studying LA coyotes
coyote-dtla-nps.jpgWhere two Central LA coyotes go. Map
Secretary by day
Jenelle-Hamilton-sumo.jpgSumo fighter by night. Story
DTLA in the rain
rain-6th-street.jpgWhen rain is this rare, we run photos.
LaBonge signs off
labonge-last-day.jpgTom LaBonge's final moments at the City Council horseshoe (with Gary Leonard in the background.) Photo: Branimir Kvartuc.
Rare frogs surviving
red-legged-frog-nps.jpgCalifornia red-legged frogs are thriving in the Santa Monicas again.
National and Sepulveda
newsstand-natl-sepul.jpgWestside newsstand keeps on selling magazines. In print.
Reverse spring
gray-over-bay-vdt.jpgMay was cooler than March in LA. Weather
Earthquake end times
san-andreas-film-grab.jpgSeismologist Lucy Jones endures 'San Andreas' so you won't have to. Her tweets
Hyperloop hoop
hyperloop-hoop.jpgHyperloop Technologies looks right at home in the Arts District. More and bigger
Grave number one
abner-prather-flags-obelisk.jpgAbner Prather was the first veteran buried at the Los Angeles National Cemetery. Backstory
Egg slutsters
egg-slutsters.jpgGrand Central Market's hottest counter. Bigger
Streetscape: Hollywood Hills
elvis-suits.jpgWe assume the Elvis suits are long gone.
'Mad Men' at the Ace
mad-men-ace-tight-iris.jpgMatthew Weiner and the cast screen the 'Mad Men' finale. Iris Schneider photos
Streetscape | Tujunga Avenue
tujunga-ave-caioti-theatre-.jpgTujunga Avenue in Studio City.
Chatsworth Lake Manor
checker-monroe-county-sheri.jpgOld Checker labeled "Sheriff Monroe County" at the northwest edge of the Valley.