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Howard Fine

Stories by Howard

2020 Largest Employers Special Report

A diverse economy helps LA weather the coronavirus storm

Many companies in different industries were able to post significant gains in L.A. County during the pandemic so far, a sign of the local economy’s inherent strength.

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Domestic Traffic Continues to Rebound at LAX

Domestic passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport in July continued to recover from pandemic-induced lows.

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Brightline Bets on High-Speed Rail From LA to Vegas

Plans for a $5 billion high-speed rail line to connect Southern California to downtown Las Vegas have taken several steps forward in recent weeks.

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LAX Expansion Projects Are Taking Off

After nearly a decade of planning and site preparation work, the $5.5 billion program to improve ground access to Los Angeles International Airport is now moving full throttle.

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Air Lease Is Flying High Despite Airline Industry’s Troubles

Amid all the devastation in the air travel industry, Century City-based Air Lease Corp. stands out as a good news story.

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Inglewood Plans People Mover Project to SoFi Complex

A huge new sports and entertainment complex is taking shape in Inglewood, and it includes the new SoFi Stadium, a newly remodeled Forum and a proposed arena for the Los Angeles Clippers.

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LA County Unemployment Falls to 17.5% in July

L.A. County’s unemployment rate declined to 17.5% in July from 19.4% in June.

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Port of LA Awards $52 Million Contract for Waterfront Promenade

The Port of Los Angeles has awarded a $52 million construction contract to build the long-awaited Wilmington Waterfront Promenade.

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SoFi Stadium Is Ready for Everything but Fans

SoFi Stadium, the largest stadium built in Los Angeles County in nearly a century, officially arrives this month after years of development.

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Molina Healthcare Pledges $150 Million for Community Health Initiative

Molina Healthcare Inc. is pledging $150 million toward a new community health initiative.

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NantKwest Teams With Stem Cell Company on Covid-19 Treatment

El Segundo-based NantKwest Inc. and Sawtelle-based stem cell bank operator Generate Life Sciences Co. are collaborating on a stem cell-based treatment against Covid-19, the two companies announced Aug. 10.

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UCLA, Cedars Earn High Marks in National Hospital Rankings

Three Los Angeles County hospitals once again placed among the nation’s top 20 in annual rankings compiled by U.S. News & World Report.

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LA Airports See Massive Drop in First-Half Traffic

Passenger traffic at the four airports serving Los Angeles County plunged 58% during the first half of 2020, their worst six-month performance on record as Covid-19 slammed the air travel industry.

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Licensing Deals Pay Off for Arrowhead, Xencor

Two San Gabriel Valley biopharmaceutical companies recently announced that they had received substantial milestone payments from licensing and development deals with pharmaceutical giants.

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Cadiz Looks to $150 Million Mixed-Shelf Offering

Downtown-based water infrastructure development company Cadiz Inc. has filed to raise up to $150 million through a mixed-shelf offering.

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LA County Medical Association Names Shiba as President

Ophthalmologist Diana Shiba has been elected as the first Asian American woman president of the Los Angeles County Medical Association.

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Fulgent Earnings Soar on Covid Testing Surge

Earnings for Fulgent Genetics Inc. increased 10-fold, and revenue doubled in the second quarter.

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UCLA Cancer Researchers Land $3 Million Grant

Researchers from the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have been awarded a $2.97 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

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NantHealth Acquires Data Company OpenNMS

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth Inc., which uses data analysis and artificial intelligence technology to assist physicians and improve patient outcomes, is going even more high tech.

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Heal to Partner With Humana After $100 Million Investment

Sawtelle-based physician house call and telemedicine service Get Heal Inc. has received a $100 million investment from health insurance giant Humana Inc., the two companies announced July 29.

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GoodRx Adds Telehealth to Its Comparison-Shopping Platform

Santa Monica-based GoodRx Inc., which rose to prominence through its app allowing consumers to comparison shop pharmacies for prescription drugs, now wants to give consumers the power to lower their overall health care costs.

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LAX Passenger Traffic Down 87% in June

The toll from the Covid-19 pandemic continued at LAX in June as passenger traffic fell 87% from year-earlier levels.

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AECOM Secures Contract for Thames Tunnel Project

Century City-based engineering and infrastructure giant AECOM has received a contract to provide ground assessment services for the third phase of the 14.3-mile, $7 billion-plus Lower Thames Crossing highway tunnel project near the mouth of England’s famed Thames River.

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L.A.’s Publicly Traded Companies Underperform Broader Market

L.A.’s publicly traded companies have felt the sting of the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting business shutdowns, with entertainment behemoth Walt Disney Co. leading the way.

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LA Biotech Companies Post Huge Year-Over-Year Gains

Investors were bullish on several of L.A.’s publicly traded bioscience companies during the 12 months ending June 30, sending those companies soaring on the Business Journal’s annual public companies list.

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Work on Delayed Metro-LAX Connector Project to Begin Soon

After a wait of decades, work is about to begin on connecting Los Angeles International Airport to L.A.’s rail system.

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Prime Healthcare Deal for St. Francis Is Approved

Prime Healthcare received approval from state Attorney General Xavier Becerra to purchase St. Francis Medical Center.

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City’s New Procurement System Should Help Diverse Businesses

The city of Los Angeles is poised to overhaul its contract procurement platform in an attempt to bring more small and diverse businesses to the table.

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JetBlue Sees LAX as More Than Just a Hub Airport

Plans to triple flights out of the airport by 2025

For JetBlue Airways Corp., the Covid-19 pandemic has presented an unexpected opportunity to finally cut the cord at Long Beach Airport and move operations to LAX.

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Float Shuttle Acquires Alaska Carrier’s Routes, Assets

Pomona-based Float Shuttle Inc. launched in February to fly commuters over traffic-choked Los Angeles freeways for a monthly subscription fee.

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Molina Healthcare to Acquire Business Lines of Kentucky Health Plan for $20M

Molina Healthcare announced July 17 that it has agreed to buy certain business lines of Passport Health Plan for $20 million.

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Economists Say June Jobless Gain Is Only Temporary

L.A. County’s unemployment rate dipped to 19.4% in June from a record high of 21.1% in May as the economy reopened around Memorial Day and local employers added back a record 147,000 jobs in subsequent weeks.

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GoodRx Continues Expansion With Executive Hires

Hires of Voermann, Nagji continue rapid expansion

GoodRx Inc., a Santa Monica-based company that allows consumers to price shop among pharmacies for prescription drugs, has appointed industry veterans to two key executive posts to help guide the company through a period of rapid expansion.

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Consumer Confidence Reaches Record Low in Second Quarter

Jolts from Covid-19, social justice protests take their toll on LA County

Consumer confidence plunged to another record low during the second quarter as the region’s economy was ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting business shutdown orders.

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UCLA Teams Report Gains in Health Monitoring, Genetic Counseling

UCLA announced a couple of health care-related developments last month that had little to do with the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Local Clinics Receive Telehealth Grants

Pacific Clinics, Kheir Center to expand remote services

Two local health care clinics each received two grants last month to expand their telehealth services.

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DxTerity Develops At-Home Covid-19 Testing

Like many genetic testing companies, Rancho Dominguez-based DxTerity Diagnostics Inc. has pivoted to Covid-19 testing, but with a special focus on testing employees before they return to the workplace.

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JetBlue to End Service at Long Beach

JetBlue said it will end service at Long Beach Airport in October and transfer flights and crews to LAX.

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Xencor to Collaborate on Cancer Antibody Treatments

Monrovia biopharmaceutical company Xencor Inc. has entered into a strategic collaboration with Bay Area biopharma company Atreca Inc. to develop cancer treatments.

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LAEDC Fills Key Leadership Roles

Nissen, Medina, Cheung are elevated

The Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. announced last week that recently retired NBCUniversal exec Steve Nissen has been elected as the organization’s new board chairman.

Airports Post Sharp Traffic Declines Again for May

May passenger counts slide, but cargo tonnage increases

The devastation to the travel industry wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic continued to hold Los Angeles International and other local airports in its grip in May.

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LA's Bioscience Sector Sees Continued Gains

L.A.’s bioscience sector generated $44 billion in economic activity and nearly 196,000 jobs last year.

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American Drops International Flights From LAX

American Airlines is shifting its trans-Pacific flight hub from LAX to Dallas-Fort Worth International.

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Recycled Water Project Comes Online in Torrance

West Basin pipeline serves Torrance business park

The West Basin Municipal Water District announced the completion of a recycled water pipeline at Sares Regis Group’s Torrance Commerce Center on the site of the former Toyota Motor North America Inc. headquarters campus.

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County’s Jobless Picture Gets Darker

Experts divided after May rate reaches 20.9%

While the nation’s jobless picture showed signs of improvement in May, Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate continued to surge last month, sparking debate among economists about the local outlook.

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8minute Solar to Build Kern County Facility

Kern facility could power roughly 93,000 homes a year

Mid-Wilshire-based 8minute Solar Energy has signed a contract to develop a 250-megawatt solar energy and storage project in Kern County.

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Gold Line Extension Work to Resume

Glendora to Pomona might be final extension

Major construction gets underway next month on the latest — and possibly final — segment of the Foothill Gold Line Extension light rail project.

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FDA Approves Fulgent Virus Tests

Company offering home-based kits

Temple City-based genetic testing firm Fulgent Genetics Inc. is joining the rush of companies with home-based Covid-19 tests, announcing the launch of its service after receiving emergency authorization approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

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Quantgene Dials in Tests

Startup puts focus on cancer and Covid-19

Santa Monica health tech startup Quantgene Inc. is one of dozens of companies racing to revolutionize cancer detection screening by using only a drop of blood instead of the intrusive biopsies prevalent today.

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DearHealth Turns to AI to Develop Disease Management Tools

Company is addressing issues with electronic medical records

DearHealth Inc., a Venice-based health-tech disease management firm, is using artificial intelligence algorithms to develop a disease management app that crafts structured care and treatment programs tailored to individual patients.