As California Chrome tries to become the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown, the three-year-old thoroughbred is already carrying plenty of California horse racing history on his back.
The horse has become famous for bucking the establishment by being bred in California from very modestly priced parents and being owned by people who've chosen to call themselves "Dumbass Partners." His success, meanwhile, comes at a pivotal moment for the horse-racing industry in Southern California.
Saturday's Belmont Stakes is the culmination of an historic winning streak that California Chrome started the day horse-racing ended at Hollywood Park. On December 22nd, he won the last stakes race at the 75-year-old race track in Inglewood.
"I’ve had a lot of ups and downs here, but this is where I started," said California Chrome's jockey Victor Espinoza that day. "When I moved to California, this is where I won my first race."
Copies of the Orange County Register slide through the presses. The newspaper is the country’s 20th most-read daily, with a circulation of about 285,000.
Less than two months ago, I had a lengthy conversation with Orange County Register publisher Aaron Kushner right before he launched the Los Angeles Register, and I asked him about the financial health of his company:
You’ve had to make layoffs, you had to stop matching employee retirement contributions, you had trouble putting up the money for the Press-Enterprise sale, you’ve been sued by the Register’s former owner’s for not making a payment. … All these things suggest that your company is not in great financial shape.
To the contrary, we closed the Press-Enterprise transaction in six weeks, which anyone who has purchased large complex businesses knows is really quick. And we did close it. The proof is in the pudding. When you look at the facts of what we have accomplished and what we are accomplishing, we are a very dynamic and growing business and expect to continue to grow.
Are you profitable?
We’re very happy with where we are. We expect that we’ll have a very healthy and profitable year this year.
Car2Go’s North American CEO Nicholas Cole compares his company to iTunes, where instead of buying the whole album you just buy a few songs.
What if you could rent a car by the minute and leave it in any parking space when you’re done?
That’s the pitch behind a new car-sharing service, backed by German luxury carmaker Daimler, that launches in the South Bay Friday.
When Car2Go asked Redondo Beach mayor Steve Aspel permission to operate in his city, to say he was skeptical would be putting it mildly.
“When I first heard about it, I thought they were out of their mind,” recalled Aspel.
Then, he began to come around. The company would pay his city so that its 150 cars could occupy any public parking spot without customers having to feed the meter.
“It’s a new concept," said Aspel. "Guys like me, I’m 61 years old, and we don’t think of this sort of stuff. That’s why the world needs stuff like Car2Go. If you notice, the representatives of Car2Go are all young.”
File photo: The presses at the OC Register.
More cutbacks are coming for the Orange County Register and other newspapers owned by Freedom Communications.
Both OC Weekly and media observer Jim Romenesko report obtaining an internal memo from Freedom owners Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz notifying employees of newsroom staff buyouts, a mandatory two-week furlough in June and July and a "restructuring" of the sales team.
The memo also indicates that the Long Beach Register will go from a standalone daily edition to a weekly edition with a daily insert in the Los Angeles Register.
The OC Register had already laid off 32 employees in January.
Kushner's company has pursued an aggressive strategy to expand across Southern California while emphasizing its print product in Orange County.
City controller Ron Galperin said Tuesday an audit showed that L.A.'s foreclosure registry program failed to achieve its goal of preventing blight
Los Angeles' four-year-old foreclosure registry program has been flawed and "never operated effectively," according to a sharply critical audit released Tuesday by city controller Ron Galperin.
"My audit found that the program did not achieve, unfortunately, a good return on investment for the money, and the city has been ineffective in both tracking foreclosures and preventing and abating neighborhood blight," Galperin said at a press conference at City Hall Tuesday.
The registry was created in 2010 under then-mayor Antonio Villaraigosa with the aim of reducing blight in L.A. neighborhoods as a result of the foreclosure crisis. But by then it was too late, according to the audit. The worst of the foreclosure crisis had passed, and the registry never achieved its goals.
From 2007 through 2013, more than 56,000 homes and apartments were foreclosed, according to the audit.