Thurday morning headlines

Market opens higher: New jobless claims fell last week and retail sales were higher in May. On the other hand, continuing claims keep going up and it was the higher price of gas that boosted the retail numbers.

Arnold talking shut down: He tells the LAT that he would rather see state government come to a "grinding halt" than agree to a high-interest loan.

Schwarzenegger challenged legislative Democrats to resist the influence of special interests fighting the deep program cuts he has proposed to help balance the budget. Clearly alluding to labor unions that oppose the cuts, the governor said: "Do they want to protect the workers that provide the services, or do they want to protect the people that get those services? The choice is up to them."

More ideas to solve crisis: The Daily Show's John Hodgman takes a crack at the problem.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
You're Welcome - California Budget Crisis
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorNewt Gingrich Unedited Interview

New warning system at LAX: Status lights along a runway and eight taxiways will be hooked up to radar. If there's a potential conflict between two planes or an aircraft and a motor vehicle, the lights automatically turn red. From the LAT:

Federal Aviation Administration officials say the warning lights should further reduce the chance of collisions as aircraft move around busy LAX. A similar system at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport has reduced the number of close calls from 10 to three during 2 1/2 years of operation.

Green jobs in CA: More of them, in fact, than any other state in the country, according to a new Pew study. VC investments in California totaled nearly $6.6 billion from 2006 to 2008, about five times greater than runner-up Massachusetts.

Vegas construction drought: The bankruptcy filing by Fontainebleau Las Vegas LLC, a $3 billion resort going up on the Strip, will not help matters. From the WSJ:

The Fontainebleau, a lavish resort hotel and casino, was expected to employ 6,000 casino and hotel workers once it opened later this year. About 3,000 construction workers were employed at the project, in a region where the jobless rate is 10%. "We are seeing a complete shutdown of any project that is privately funded," said Steve Redlinger, a spokesman for the Southern Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council, whose 22,000 members have seen thousands of jobs lost. "It's devastating."

Honda anniversary: The Japanese automaker marks its 50th year in the U.S. It's a big economic engine for Torrance, where the American operations are based. From the Daily Breeze:

In 1963, America Honda moved its headquarters to Gardena, where it would stay until 1990, when the company relocated to Torrance. While in Gardena, Honda introduced its first vehicle to the American market, the N-600, a compact car that started selling in Hawaii in 1969 and on the mainland a year later. But it was not until Honda introduced the Civic in 1973 in the United States that the company's car sales soared.

Dave edges past Conan: After a strong start, "The Tonight Show" ratings are beginning to slip. For the first time since the switch from Leno to O'Brien, Letterman won the time slot. The concern is that NBC will lose the older, faithful Leno crowd. (Variety)

Strips clubs pare down: They're apparently not recession proof. Gentlemen's clubs are catering to a thriftier clientele by offering less expensive drinks and waiving cover charges. From the WSJ:

At the Lodge, a privately held upscale club in Dallas, management lowered drink prices and extended the club's happy hours in a program marketed as "the Lodge stimulus package." Even so, alcohol sales there were down 10% in the first quarter from a year ago, according to the Texas Bar & Restaurant Report. Amid the hard times, club owners say they have found some benefits. Several report that it's easier to hire "exotic dancers" now that many women are being laid off from more buttoned-down, white-collar jobs. Among the new recruits at Rick's and VCG are a laid-off paralegal, a laid-off fashion designer, a Bank of America banker, a former paralegal and two Los Angeles real estate agents.

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?
Recent stories:
Letter from Down Under: Welcome to the Homogenocene
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'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
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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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