Liz Farmer: California — not for everyone, but essential for some

Business / Business News /

Its coastal cities are pricey, global hubs of talent and innovation

The state of California seems to attract apocalyptic news coverage and the way things are going, it's unlikely to let up. You may have heard about an exodus of people fleeing lengthy commutes through gridlocked traffic, unaffordable housing, high taxes, wildfires, electricity ...Read more

Carla Fried: $38 billion yearly on self-storage — better spent on retirement savings?

Business / Business News /

You likely have noticed in your town, or driving through its outskirts, that self-storage is an increasingly popular business.

There are an estimated 45,000 storage facilities across the country, and new construction has tripled in the past five years. There is now an estimated 6.5 square feet of self-storage space for every person in America. ...Read more

DirecTV says satellite in danger of exploding and must be moved

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A satellite operated by AT&T Inc.'s DirecTV unit is in danger of exploding and needs to be moved away from an orbital zone occupied by other big communications satellites.

There's "a significant risk" that battery cells aboard Spaceway-1 could burst, DirecTV said in a filing with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission seeking permission to ...Read more

'The Wolf of Wall Street' told the story of his fraud. Now he's suing for fraud

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Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street" told the story of stock broker Jordan Belfort, who, following his stock manipulation scheme, went to prison for securities fraud.

On Thursday, it was Belfort who brought allegations of fraud -- against the production company that made the movie.

Belfort is suing Red Granite Pictures, which bankrolled...Read more

Michael Hiltzik: Oil industry subpoenas aim to harass and intimidate, consumer group says

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Litigation is nobody's idea of fun (except, perhaps, lawyers), and that's certainly true for anyone dragged into a lawsuit without being either a plaintiff or defendant.

That's the situation facing Consumer Watchdog, the Santa Monica-based consumer group, which has spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of billable hours fending off a shower ...Read more

New Boeing CEO Calhoun says employee confidence 'is shaken — my job is to restore it'

Business / Business News /

New Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun gave a confident, combative defense of the company Wednesday morning while promising to focus intensely on fixing the 737 Max, improving Boeing's engineering culture and "shining bright lights on the safety process."

His first session with the press -- an hourlong teleconference -- followed a webcast with employees ...Read more

Union membership expands in California as national labor organizing stagnates

Business / Business News /

The number of Californians represented by unions rose by 139,000 last year in the wake of successful organizing campaigns across occupations as varied as nurses, electricians, animation artists, scooter mechanics and university researchers.

The Golden State's 2.72 million represented workers amounted to 16.5% of its labor force, up from 15.8% ...Read more

The US is losing big-spending foreign tourists — and Trump's one reason why

Business / Business News /

Over the past two years, Spain's national tourism agency has targeted big-spending cosmopolitan travelers from Europe and the U.S. and promoted foodie vacations in parts of Spain not typically visited by international travelers.

The work has paid off, with Spain recently surpassing the U.S. to become the second most visited country in the world...Read more

Southern California home prices and sales surged in December

Business / Business News /

Southern California home prices in December rose by the most in 19 months, the latest sign that the housing market is gaining steam after a prolonged slowdown.

The six-county median sales price hit a new all-time high of $550,000 last month, a 7.2% increase from a year earlier, according to data from DQNews. Sales, meanwhile, surged 22.1% from ...Read more

Electronic devices in the workplace adding to loneliness, which is already a big problem among young men in cities

Business / Business News /

Loneliness is having an impact on the workplace as electronic devices increasingly pull employees away from contact with others, drawing their attention to screens on tablets, phones and laptops, according to a study released Thursday by Cigna Corp.

Twitter, Facebook and other social media also create loneliness, with very heavy users "...Read more

Man settles race discrimination lawsuit, then bank won't cash his check

Business / Business News /

DETROIT -- Sauntore Thomas is reeling from a one-two punch.

First, the Detroiter sued his employer alleging racial discrimination in a lawsuit that settled confidentially. Then he went to the bank this week to cash his settlement check, but the Livonia, Mich., bank refused to cash or deposit his check. Instead, they called the cops and ...Read more

Real estate Q&A: I'm being charged tourist tax even though I live here

Business / Business News /

Q: My home was severely damaged about eight months ago due to water damage, and I have been living in a hotel suite since then. I recently noticed that the hotel is charging me for the tourist tax. I am not a tourist. Why do I have to pay this? -- Oliver

A: In Florida, along with most states, short term, or "transient," rentals of less than six...Read more

California needs clean energy after sundown. Geothermal could be the answer

Business / Business News /

After years of playing third fiddle to solar and wind power, geothermal energy is poised to start growing again in California.

Three local energy providers have signed contracts this month for electricity from new geothermal power plants, one in Imperial County near the Salton Sea and the other in Mono County along the Eastern Sierra. The new ...Read more

Toyota sided with Trump in California fight. Will it pay a higher price than others?

Business / Business News /

Over the years, Toyota has built a reputation among consumers as an auto company that pays more than lip service to environmental concerns.

Before status among green-focused consumers meant Tesla, the Toyota Prius held sway, with the likes of Larry David and Jessica Alba among the confirmed or rumored drivers.

But a science advocacy group says...Read more

PG&E makes breakthrough bankruptcy deal, but Gov. Newsom slams California utility again

Business / Business News /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- PG&E Corp. made a landmark agreement with its bondholders Wednesday that wards off a hostile takeover attempt, but the utility encountered fresh headwinds from California Gov. Gavin Newsom over its plans to exit bankruptcy.

After months of squabbling with the hedge funds that hold billions in bond debt, PG&E said it ...Read more

Hallmark Channel head resigns after same sex-ad backlash

Business / Business News /

Bill Abbott is stepping down from his post as president and chief executive of Hallmark Channel, the cable network's parent company announced Wednesday.

"I want to thank Bill for his many years of success and contributions to Crown Media and wish him continued success," said Mike Perry, president and chief executive of Hallmark Cards Inc., in a...Read more

Huawei CFO's extradition case isn't so complex, say prosecutors

Business / Business News /

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- Canadian prosecutors called for the extradition of Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on Wednesday, describing the U.S. case against her as a straightforward fraud.

"Ours is not a complex theory of this case," prosecutor Robert Frater told a Vancouver court on the third day of hearings. "Lying to a ...Read more

Disney sells 'Marvel Strike Force' game studio FoxNext

Business / Business News /

LOS ANGELES -- Walt Disney Co. is selling video game studio FoxNext in the latest example of the Burbank, Calif., entertainment company trimming assets it acquired from 21st Century Fox.

Disney is selling FoxNext Games Los Angeles, known for titles including mobile game "Marvel Strike Force," to Culver City game firm Scopely, the firms said ...Read more

Delta rolls out safer pet carriers, hoping more passengers will put animals in cargo

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- Delta Air Lines is now offering a new deluxe animal crate that can be tracked like luggage and is designed to reduce stress and prevent escape by passengers' furry friends.

After a two-month trial and five years of research, CarePod is launching its product on Delta flights that begin and end at eight different airports, ...Read more

Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak named chairman of Intel's board

Business / Business News /

MINNEAPOLIS -- California-based Intel Corp. announced Tuesday that Omar Ishrak, the chief executive of medical device giant Medtronic, has been elected as lead independent chairman of the chip manufacturer.

Medtronic, which has operational headquarters in Fridley, Minn., announced last year that Ishrak intends to retire as the company's CEO in ...Read more