Wednesday morning headlines

Stocks edging higher: Look for some reaction to the Fed's announcement on interest rates, along with comments by Chairman Ben Bernanke. Dow is up a few points.

Bernanke meets the press: Lots of attention being paid to a news conference at 11:15 by the chairman of the Federal Reserve - in part because he has not done this sort of thing before. Prior to the session, the Fed's Open Market Committee will issue a statement on interest rates. (Yahoo Finance)

Union votes on health care contributions: Tentative deal was worked out between the city and a coalition of public unions that would forestall furloughs and layoffs. Now it's time for the rank-and-file to vote. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has scheduled a press event at noon.

McCourt visits MLB officials: The Dodgers owner plans to discuss a long-term TV rights deal with Fox that he says would provide financial security for the franchise. Meantime, Tom Schieffer, who was appointed to monitor the team's operations, will hold a news conference in L.A. (Bloomberg).

L.A. most polluted area - again: The region still has the highest level of ozone nationwide, and the city of L.A. is only topped by Bakersfield for the highest year-round levels of toxic particles or soot. From the LAT:

Unlike parts of the East and Midwest, where coal-fired power plants are a primary source of toxic pollution, Southern California's chemical stew is the product of tailpipe emissions from cars and diesel pollution from trucks, trains and ships linked to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Oil refineries, manufacturing plants and residential wood burning also are significant contributors. "There has been tremendous progress in California," said Jane Warner, president and chief executive of the association's California branch. But the level of air pollution in the state remains "a critical public health issue," she added. "It is not just a nuisance that burns your eyes or stings your throat."

County supervisors approve Marina developments: Look for more apartments, stores, and office space in the already crowded part of town. From the LAT:

The decision was made despite protests from a vocal group of Marina del Rey residents and recreational boaters, who accuse the county of putting tax revenues and lease income ahead of the needs of residents and boaters. They warned that it is irresponsible for the county to add so much more development in an area at risk for tsunami. They said supervisors had made up their minds before Tuesday's meeting and failed to listen to the residents' concerns. Supervisors approved the motion with no debate.

Shipping rates on the move: Higher fuel costs are behind the increases, and at least some of it is likely to be passed onto customers. From the NYT:

Brandon Gale, the president of Retail Shipping Associates, said it was only a matter of time before the high fuel prices affected consumers. "It is a very straight-line relationship," he said. "When you see fuel at the pump going up, it is going to go up at the package, too."

LAX to keep using current concession company: HMS Host, which lost the business last year in the midst of a political kerfuffle, is the winner of the do-over bid, along with Delaware North and Camacho's Cantina. Last year's winning bidder, SSP America, was shut out. The contract includes restaurants at Terminals 4, 5, 7 and 8. (LA Weekly)

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
One last Florida photo
Signs of Saturday: No refund
'I Am Woman,' hear them roar
Bobcat crossing

New at LA Observed
On the Media Page
Go to Media

On the Politics Page
Go to Politics
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

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
LA Observed on Twitter and Facebook