Friday morning headlines

Blue Cross fined: Not a lot - $1 million - but at least state regulators acknowledged that canceling individual health coverage after the policyholders get sick (and we're talking about being seriously sick) isn't exactly the right thing to do. Bunch of California consumers have filed lawsuits in which they claim to have been unceremoniously dumped from the rolls. Consumer advocates say $1 million was way too low. LAT

Garcetti urges boycott: The L.A. councilman wants visitors to steer clear of the LAX Hilton because of the ongoing labor problems at the hotel. This, of course, stems from the efforts by LAX-area hotels to overturn a council ordinance requiring those hotels to pay the living wage to their workers. Gary Toebben, president of the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, was ticked off about Garcetti entering the fray so openly. Daily News

Race track mall approved: Rarely has so much attention been focused on the Arcadia Planning Commission, which voted unanimously to approve Rick Caruso's 830,000- square-foot complex known as The Shops at Santa Anita. Even so, there were lots of unhappy residents, who felt that the project got steamrolled in. The original proposal included housing, but that was scrapped. Pasadena Star-News

Amgen takes beating: The Thousand Oaks biotech firm is down more than 4 percent in early trading this morning - not a huge surprise considering its cancellation of a clinical trial involving a colon cancer drug because of safety reasons. Analysts slashed sales forecasts. Meanwhile, shares of ImClone, which has medicine that competes with Amgen's, took off. Reuters

New Galaxy jerseys: Herbalife has signed a multiyear, multimillion-dollar sponsorship agreement with the L.A. soccer franchise that will have the company's name splashed across the front of the team jerseys. WSJ says that L.A.-based Herbalife would pay between $3.5 million and $5 million a year through 2011. Jersey sponsorship, which used to be verboten in U.S. sports - with the exception of NASCAR and to a smaller extent golf - is becoming a popular way of picking up a few more bucks.

City Hall showdown: The Council and Mayor Villaraigosa are expected to tussle over the mayor's veto of a plan to sell air rights over the L.A. Convention Center as of way of boosting downtown development. This seems to be more of a squabble over power - specifically, the mayor's ability to review development proposals - rather than philosophical differences about the idea of throwing another 9 million square feet into the downtown mix. Not much love lost between the mayor and the council. From the LAT:

Perry, who represents much of downtown, said she worried about giving Villaraigosa too much power over land-use decisions. But she also offered Villaraigosa an olive branch Thursday, suggesting in a letter to the mayor that he use his authority to review projects before they are submitted to the city Planning Commission or Community Redevelopment Agency board, whose members he appoints. Perry needs 10 votes on the 15-member council for an override. Both she and Villaraigosa spent Wednesday and Thursday lobbying council members, with both sides voicing confidence.

More Time Warner complaints: This time, it's the city of Moorpark, which has demanded that Time Warner Cable get its act together or run the risk of being fined $25,000 or more (I bet the boys in NY are quaking over this one). Local municipalities still hold sway over their cable operators, though a new state law removes much of that control. Starting next year, cable firms can dump local contracts if new competitors enter their markets. LAT

The Martinez bounce: Not that anyone is noticing, but Tribune stock is climbing back this morning - at last check, it's up a whole 11 cents, to $29.61. Just a reminder that while the silliness over "Grazergate" knows no bounds for several hundred people with an insatiable interest in the Times newsroom, the more substantive matter of who will own that newsroom - lucky devils - could unfold over the next week. Maybe.

More by Mark Lacter:
American-US Air settlement with DOJ includes small tweak at LAX
Socal housing market going nowhere fast
Amazon keeps pushing for faster L.A. delivery
Another rugged quarter for Tribune Co. papers
How does Stanford compete with the big boys?
Those awful infographics that promise to explain and only distort
Best to low-ball today's employment report
Further fallout from airport shootings
Crazy opening for Twitter*
Should Twitter be valued at $18 billion?
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Mark Lacter
Mark Lacter created the LA Biz Observed blog in 2006. He posted until the day before his death on Nov. 13, 2013.
Mark Lacter, business writer and editor was 59
The multi-talented Mark Lacter
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