Mixed market: After a higher opening, stocks are moving back to the line. Dow is up about 2 points.
Last year of mega-deficits?: That's certainly not what L.A. budget officials have been forecasting, but it's what Mayor Villaraigosa promised at a Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Daily News. "The next two years, I expect it to go down," he said last night.
California losing people to Texas: The Lone Star State gained 61,270 California residents in 2009 and lost 35,104 residents to California for a net gain of 26,166, according to Census data. From the OC Register:
Overall, California in 2009 -- by Census math -- lost 546,589 residents in 2009 to other states. On the flip side, Census found 460,161 new Californians from other states. Thus, by our calculations, California suffered a net loss of 86,428 folks to other states in 2009. (Note: In total, California had 36.59 million residents in 2009 -- up 171,000 due to net growth of foreign immigrants and births.)
L.A. housing official under investigation: The District Attorney's Public Integrity Division is looking into whether Beatriz Stotzer violated state laws by working for New Capital, a company that manages apartments for affordable housing developers. The feds are conducting their own review of Stotzer. From the LAT:
In disclosure forms filed with the city, Stotzer said she earned more than $100,000 in 2010 as chief executive of New Capital. That entity paid Stotzer $150,000 in the fiscal year that ended June 2009, according to state documents. Records show that Stotzer's sons, Antonio Stotzer and Nicolas Stotzer, live in separate subsidized units at Tierra del Sol, a 119-unit project that opened in Canoga Park in 2005. New Capital screened their tenant applications and determined that both men were eligible to live there, said Roberto Lara, a lawyer for New Capital.
Gifts to pension officials under investigation: The list of 49 Calpers officials and former officials being investigated includes four of the 13 board members. At issue is whether they failed to properly report gifts from private equity fund managers. (LAT)
Amazon overloaded on Lady Gaga promotion: Servers couldn't handle all the traffic from the sale of her new album, which Amazon was offering as a download for 99 cents. Amazon is pushing its Cloud Drive service, which allows users to store music files on remote servers and stream them to their computer or smartphone. (NYT)
New Nook makes debut: Barnes & Nobles' Simple Touch Reader has a 6" black and white touch screen, weighs 7.5 ounces, and promises up to 2 months of battery life on a single charge. It retails for $139. (paidcontent.org)
L.A.'s foreign contingent: The area saw a 33 percent jump in the number of overseas visitors last year, behind only NY. International travelers tend to stay longer and spend more money. (LAT)
JetBlue to Alaska: The carrier begins nonstop service from Long Beach to Anchorage. The flights will last through at least Sept. 5, though they could be extended depending on demand. (Press-Telegram)
Volcanic ash halts flights: Northern Europe is expected to bear the brunt of the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland, forcing flight cancellations. From the NYT:
The authorities ban travel through airspace where the density of ash in the atmosphere is sufficient to damage jet engines. Brian Flynn, chief of network operations for Eurocontrol, said that the experience last year had led European officials to study regulations governing flight in ash-contaminated airspace and that carriers are now allowed to operate in substantially higher ash concentrations, making a repeat of the mass grounding of 2010 much less likely.