Stories for February 2001

Monday, February 26

Real Estate Deals

TDK Semiconductor acquired a 164,330-square-foot industrial building at 3190 Miraloma Ave. in Anaheim from The Hamilton Co. for $12.4 million. Mark Larson and Gary Stocke of CB Richard Ellis represented TDK. Jeffrey Chiate, Bob Griffith and Rick Ellison o

Conexant cools its acquisition strategy, in the Technology column

If anyone's noticed that Newport Beach-based Conexant Systems Inc. has lost its appetite for acquisitions, they aren't whistlin' Dixie. As Wall Street sours on chipmakers, Conexant has gotten off the buying binge in the past few months and most likely wil

OC's M & W; sector went out with a bang in 2000

The Manufacturing and Warehouse sector, which makes up the majority of the Orange County industrial market, has grown to 5,451 buildings totaling approximately 200 million square feet. North Orange County accounts for nearly half of the entire M & W; base, a

The local investment landscape

Southern California's Investment Banking Market is Served Mostly by Regional Firms

Quiksilver's Roxy division broadens its toiletries line

Quiksilver Inc.'s Roxy division has put plenty of boardshorts, T-shirts and shoes into girls' closets, but this year the company's junior's division is aiming for the bathroom with a new cosmetics line.

Executive Summary

For the first time in more than five weeks, the state's electrical grid operated free of an alert or emergency declaration; Gov. Gray Davis said the state could seize Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s power lines using eminent domain if negotiations for a stat

LeadersOnline goes from 'Internet dependent' to 'Internet enhanced'

Chicago-based Heidrick & Struggles International Inc., an executive search firm with 50 years under its belt filling top positions at big companies, couldn't say no to a little online action.

Medical offices are planned next to Western Medical Center-Anaheim

Come next year, physicians wanting to practice near Western Medical Center-Anaheim stand to have more office space options.

The Insider recalls when two El Toro airport combatants fought on the same side

Sleeping with the enemy: With former El Toro commander Art Bloomer back from a gig in Washington, D.C. to head the pro-El Toro-airport Orange County Regional Airport Authority in Garden Grove, where has he chosen to live? In the anti-airport hotbed of Irv

Tenet names three local executives

Tenet Healthcare Corp., Orange County's largest hospital operator, named chief executives last week to head three of its 10 local facilities.

Hotels see energy surcharges as an alternative to room-rate hikes

Like other industries, Orange County hotels have been hit with a dramatic surge in the cost of power in the current crunch, but hoteliers are holding the line on room rates, at least for now.

Coast lures 714's editor, in the Marketing & Media column

There's a whole lot of shaking going on with publications aimed at Orange County's glitzy gold coast.

Community leaders look for ways to boost Little Saigon

Westminster Councilman Tony Lam, the nation's first Vietnamese elected official, sounds tired and a little exasperated these days.

OC banks' deposit growth slows

Deposit growth at OC's largest 24 banks has slowed almost to a standstill, which bank officers attribute to a slowing economy and the movement of depositors' dollars to other investments.

Pacific Theatres is redeveloping an Anaheim drive-in into a business park

Los Angeles-based Pacific Theatres Corp. has broken ground on a $60 million, 275,000-square-foot retail complex on the site of a former Anaheim drive-in.

Sanmina opens a 100,000-square-foot plant in Costa Mesa

San Jose-based contract electronics maker Sanmina Corp. has opened a 100,000-square-foot plant in Costa Mesa with plans to hire at least 40 employees initially, according to plant manager Jim Ryan.

City National is the largest independent bank left standing

With the Detroit-based Comerica Bank's recent acquisition of Imperial Bancorp of Los Angeles, eyes have turned to City National Corp., essentially the last Southland-based independent banking survivor of significant size.

TriZetto's more modest acquisitions are winning analysts

A year ago, Newport Beach-based healthcare software service provider TriZetto Group Inc. unveiled plans to buy Westport, Conn.-based IMS Health Inc. in an $8.2 billion stock deal. The staggering price tag led many investors to cut and run,TriZetto's share

OC is becoming an increasingly important hub of the auto industry

A cold winter rain is falling and a stiff wind is rattling a tent set up for the re-dedication of Ford Motor Co.'s ancient Rouge Center complex in Dearborn, Mich.

Demand for back-up energy systems is spiking

Power uncertainty, high energy costs, the threat of rolling blackouts. Things have never looked so good for makers of uninterruptible power supply systems and anyone else offering alternative power gear.

The Davis power plan draws fire, in Letters

California Gov. Gray Davis' plan to tax ratepayers to pay for a $9 billion acquisition of the state's power grid is an economic lunacy of staggering proportions. If there's one thing the California electricity crisis should have taught us, it's that the p

CSUF's leading indicator showed 0.7% growth in the fourth quarter

Southern California's economic growth is slowing but not as quickly as in the rest of the country, according a fourth-quarter analysis by California State University, Fullerton.

Commercial Banks

Commercial Banksel listo

Roial is on the block and Quiksilver may be interested

About four years ago, surfers Bobby Knudtson and Casey Wheat were newly minted entrepreneurs about to take the plunge into the competitive surfwear manufacturing business.

Calendar

Mastermind Group (South Orange County Regional Chambers of Commerce) Laguna Niguel 7:30 a.m. $7 (949) 635-5800 Best Ways to Invest Internationally (Salomon Smith Barney) Laguna Hills Noon-1 p.m. Free (949) 206-5015 Community Breakfast (Deloitte & Touc

El Cholo Cantina offers diners the whole enchilada

There's some very good news for diners in the Irvine and South County areas. The El Cholo Cantina at the corner of Jeffrey Road and Alton Parkway in Irvine is now serving the whole menu of authentic unadulterated food from the other famous El Cholo restau

Odetics is looking to sell its Anaheim property near Disneyland

Technology incubator Odetics Inc. may sell its Anaheim property and Walt Disney Co. could figure into a possible sale.

People

Tustin-based Rankin Group Ltd. named Roger Giese public relations specialist. Previously, Giese was president of PRSSA at Chapman University.

Regulators warn about inflated loan portfolios

Regulators Have Begun Warning About Inflated Loan Portfolios in a Slowing Economy

The bell could be tolling for eMachines

At least that's how it seems after Stephen Dukker, Irvine-based eMachines chief executive, set a conference call for as early as this week to elaborate on the company's dismal fourth-quarter results and its plans to make a profit selling cheap personal co

Steven Fillet leaves Roth Capital to join CIBC

Stephen Fillet has joined the technology investment banking arm of CIBC World Markets as an executive director heading up a sub-sector in the Internet equipment and data services group of CIBC.

Wholesale changes in Medicare are unlikely this year, in the Healthcare column

Remember last year's election campaign, when then-candidate George W. Bush and others were calling for sweeping Medicare reforms? Well, a big overhaul isn't likely this year, but incremental change may be down the road.

Disney is considering handheld devices to augment its new park

Forget those folding maps. Visitors to Walt Disney Co.'s new California Adventure could be using handheld electronic gadgets to find their way around and learn more about rides and attractions.

Burke plans a Talega Business Park project, in the Real Estate column

More news out of San Clemente and the Talega Business Park: In December, Burke Real Estate Group acquired 13.78 acres from Talega Associates LLC for $2.3 million.

Norman Yu & Co. finds success with technical analysis

Investors long have considered technical analysis mumbo jumbo compared with fundamental analysis, much as astrology is to astronomy.

IndyMac sees opportunity in lower interest rates

The $1 trillion-a-year home loan industry is in the midst of a shakeup, fueled by an increasing number of consumers picking and choosing their mortgages online.

Monday, February 19

OC's largest stock brokerages had a rough ride in 2000

As good an indication as any is hiring at stock brokerage firms. If the market is humming, investors are buying stocks and fueling brokerage hiring. If investors are suffering losses,like they have in the past year,firms may have to resort to hiring freez

CHOC and Mission Hospital plan South County facilities, in the Healthcare column

Children's Hospital of Orange County at Mission and Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center, both of Mission Viejo, are expanding in neighboring Rancho Santa Margarita.

Microsemi so far is bucking the semiconductor slowdown

While Conexant Systems Inc. and Broadcom Corp. have declared slowdowns in their businesses, Microsemi Corp.,Orange County's third-largest chipmaker,isn't joining the chorus just yet, according to company officials.

Former Gov. Pete Wilson criticizes a proposed state purchase of transmission lines

State officials are going down the wrong path in their attempt to address the state's energy crisis, says former Gov. Pete Wilson.

Pacific Sunwear earmarks $90 million for expansion this year

Despite signs of a slowing economy, Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. is stepping up its expansion.

PacifiCare's stock price has rebounded, but its new CEO still has work to do

Howard Phanstiel will have to contend with a lot of things beyond his control as he looks to reinvent Santa Ana-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.

Executive Summary

Gov. Gray Davis endorsed a plan calling for the state to buy utilities' power-line networks and land around power plants for about $7 billion and to allow a ratepayer surcharge; meanwhile, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said the state Independen

Manhattan is an island with a French accent

This is Part 2 of my dining adventures in New York. We arrived in Manhattan midday and after hanging a few clothes in our hotel room, we walked the seven blocks to Patrick's sister's apartment. We stayed in that afternoon and evening, munching on some rat

LA County posted a big year in 2000

During 2000, the Los Angeles office market outperformed the previous year and achieved record levels in the process. Despite 800,000 square feet of new construction that entered the market, vacancy held firm at 10.46% in the fourth quarter, just above the

The market is slowing, but how much and for how long are not clear

With the economy in a down cycle nationally and an energy crisis crunching Southern California locally, most commercial developers believe the county's days of "blue sky" expansion are over, at least for now.

OhGolly.com reinvents itself again

Newport Beach-based OhGolly.com Inc., a provider of Web hosting and e-mail for small businesses, is hoping the fourth time is a charm.

Real Estate Deals

Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. acquired a 19.2-acre parcel in Anaheim from Boeing Co. for $12.1 million. Brian DeRevere, Bob Goodmanson, Brad Bierbaum and Ian Britton of CB Richard Ellis' Anaheim office represented both parties.

HOK designs a compact facility for Compaq, in the Real Estate column

In this week's Commercial Real Estate Update that begins on page 19, we talk with industry leaders to take the pulse of the Orange County real estate market. Though most remain bullish, they're also wary of a slowdown in the national economy and the ongoi

The struggling Kaleidoscope center's owner sues a tenant

Samsung Pacific Construction Inc. of La Mirada, owner of the Kaleidoscope shopping center in Mission Viejo, has filed suit against a tenant at the struggling mall.

Hawaii-based Crazy Shirts has retooled its mainland strategy

After retreating from its retail expansion in the continental U.S., Hawaii-based Crazy Shirts Inc., which employs 175 people in Tustin, is expanding its distribution through San Francisco-based Duty Free Shops.

NetCom changes its name and eyes debt financing, in the Technology column

Driving through the maze of Orange County freeways for the first time, the rows of offices housing technology companies reminds me of the view from the catbird seat where I covered the tech boom of the late 1990s: San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Before

PictureMark offers digital mementos, in the Marketing & Media column

Since leaving myOC.com in the fall, Paul Thiel has been busy with another online venture,selling technology that turns pictures from restaurants and other places into digital mementos.

Calendar

Apartment Market (Cal State Fullerton College of Business and Economics) Irvine 7:15-9:15 a.m. $50 (714) 278-4049 A Real Estate Space Odyssey,A Preview of the Orange County Marketplace (Commercial Real Estate Women) Newport Beach 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. $30/$

MSC.Software lands a distribution deal

Costa Mesa-based MSC.Software Corp. signed a reseller agreement with Collaborative Solutions America Inc. to distribute MSC's computer-assisted engineering software in the Western U.S., especially its simulation products.

The Marines won't surrender Camp Pendleton, in Letters

Professor John L. Graham has just discovered four old Southern California Association of Governments reports evaluating Camp Pendleton as an alternative airport site. He states that Pendleton is back on the table and represents the people's choice. He is

Green Mountain pulls out of California

Green Mountain Energy Co., an Austin, Texas-based electricity provider, has scaled back its California operation, returning most of its customers here back to their previous electric utilities.

Overviews of the OC office, industrial, retail and hotel markets

The year 2000 proved to be a prosperous one, as vacancy rates in the office market remained in single digits, annual absorption topped 4 million square feet, and average asking lease rates reached an all-time high in Orange County.

OC's biggest third-quarter deals and construction projects

The biggest deals in the third quarter in OC. Sales are ranked by price, leases by square footage.

People

Fred Ameri, senior vice president at Irvine-based RBF Consulting, was appointed by Gov. Gray Davis to the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana region.

Atairgin Technologies nears $20 million in funding

Atairgin Technologies Inc., an Irvine-based biotechnology company targeting women's health issues, is nearing completion of a $20 million round of funding, according to officials.

The Insider sees buys times at Roth Capital Partners

A lot's happening at Roth Capital: This week's annual glitzy stock conference at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, new equity partner Zions Bancorporation, restructuring at online affiliate Freerealtime.com, and the return of Patrick Allen to become the fir

What's happening in the Southern California, Western and U.S. markets

The year 2000 witnessed explosive activity in the Orange County industrial and R & D; markets. Tenant demand rose well above forecasts for the year, causing a critical shortage of available product across the county, especially in certain size ranges. As a r

Asia's tiger economies are back and that's good news for OC firms

The Asian economic crisis a few years back may have declawed the region's so-called tiger economies, but now South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong have regained lost ground and then some for Orange County companies.

Boeing eyes the next level: space-based services

The Boeing Company is synonymous with jets. But with profits harder to come by amid increased competition for planes,and bluer skies in space operations,Boeing is stepping up its move into new orbits.

LIST

LISTel listo

Monday, February 12

Trying two new New York restaurants

They've been having pretty inclement weather there this winter. But before we left for our 10-day sojourn, I asked my guardian angels to provide pleasant weather. They complied since it turned lovely the day we arrived and now that we're back here, snow i

Calendar

Why Salespeople Fail (Bailey Marketing Concepts) Irvine 4:30-6 p.m. $49 (800) 422-4539 Excel 2000 Intro (School of Continuing Education) Yorba Linda 3:30-6:30 p.m. $51 (714) 779-8279 Toastmasters Water Meeters Irvine 7:10-8 a.m. Free (949) 453-5712

People

Corbin & Wertz hired Scott L. Capifoni as principal in the business management consulting practice. Capifoni, a 10-year accounting professional, previously worked in the technology consulting department at Haskell & White. In addition, Greg Arbues was nam

The energy crunch is giving a boost to data centers

For years, data center operators have made the pitch that it's better to outsource electronic commerce operations to their servers instead of doing it internally. Now California's power crunch is doing the big sell for them.

With leaders like Burton, an Editorial

During the 1980s the Japanese changed the game. Before then, international competitiveness was measured in missiles, soldiers, and ships. However, Japan dominated the decade with almost none of each. They spent more money on business entertainment than na

Winchell's Donut House names a new president and CEO

Bob Zanolli has replaced President and CEO E. Thomas Dowling in the top position at the 52-year-old Santa Ana chain.

Y & R; lands a Jaguar project, fueling rumors of an agency switch

Ford Motor Co. recently tapped Young & Rubicam Inc. to handle a project for its Jaguar North America brand, but those plans do not include the ad shop's Irvine office, the agency-of-record for Ford's Lincoln Mercury brands.

Bodywaves discontinues its Elleven juniors' line

Less than a year after it was launched to much fanfare, Garden Grove-based Elleven's parent company has abandoned the junior's surfwear brand after slower-than-expected holiday sales and prospects of a slow economy.

The Inland Empire industrial market exploded in 2000

The Inland Empire industrial market exploded in 2000. Almost as fast as product was built, steadfast demand snapped it up off the market. Record-breaking activity catapulted sales and leasing volume to 36.5 million square feet, a 32% increase from the 199

New El Pollo Loco campaign stresses pollo, not the loco, in the Marketing & Media column

The scene: A family huddles around the dining room table and digs into some chicken, salsa, tortillas and rice as festive Latin music plays.

NetGuru's diversification has investors wary

If investors rewarded diversification, then Yorba Linda-based netGuru Inc. would be a darling. But rising losses and falling sales margins seem to have convinced many that spreading too thin is not the best strategy for NetGuru.

Marketing health plans to Latinos

Various Southland businesses,from radio stations to grocers and apparel stores,have tapped into eye-popping growth in recent years by orienting themselves to appeal to the swelling Latino population.

Seeing and being seen at ASR

A trip to the Action Sports Retailer Trade Show is like stepping forward in time for a glimpse of what edgy styles young people might be wearing a few months from now. And what a strange trip it can be.

Zions Bancorporation will invest an eight-figure sum in Roth Capital

Salt Lake City-based Zion Bancorporation is taking a sizeable minority stake in Newport Beach-based investment bank Roth Capital Partners Inc., according to industry sources.

The Insider spots a second Sim at The Irvine Company

Don't expect the Irvine Co. to be without a Sim any time soon. While major domo Dick Sim, 64, scales back, daughter Danielle Sim, 40, is just arriving. She leaves Insignia ESG, where she's been managing director of OC and San Diego, to fill a new post of

Bad news doesn't dent Disney, but a slowing economy may

The ballyhooed opening of Walt Disney Co.'s new California Adventure theme park last week came on the heels of two years of mishaps and bad news for the happiest place on earth.

Champan U.'s Esmael Adibi says the sales tax cut will largely offset energy prices rises

Esmael Adibi, director and professor of economics at Chapman University in Orange, believes the increases in California's electrical rates this year will be largely offset by the 0.25% reduction in the state sales tax that took effect at the beginning of

Billabong USA is developing a retail division

Surfwear maker Billabong USA in Irvine is developing a retail division to support a handful of specialty stores, and has contracted with an operator for a chain of outlet stores, two of which recently opened.

Pending state regulations may exacerbate the nursing shortage

Hospitals in OC and the state, already facing a shortage of nurses, are warily eyeing a looming state mandate that almost certainly will require the hiring of more.

HMOs shifting to shared risk

Many Hospitals Are Demanding Shared Risk, but Some Providers Prefer Capitation

The St. Joseph solution

Like rolling blackouts or lake-effect snow, hospital networks walking away from certain HMO contracts seems to be a regional phenomenon, but that could change as the trend seeps from California to regions with less HMO penetration.

Newspapers are bracing for another newsprint price hike

Orange County newspapers and other publishers, already stinging from softening advertising revenue, are bracing for a second year of rising newsprint prices.

A Quiksilver suit is the latest salvo against cyber-harassment

The brewing legal conundrum over online message board postings recently washed ashore at Huntington Beach-based surfware maker Quiksilver Inc.

Marvin Winkler is looking for an operating partner for Gotcha

Marvin Winkler, chairman and CEO of Irvine-based Gotcha International, is reviewing four offers to buy a significant stake in the company, including one by rival surfwear maker Ocean Pacific in Irvine. Winkler said he is looking for a partner to focus on

Venture capital investment in OC fell in the fourth quarter

For two quarters now, venture capital investments have slowed in Orange County and elsewhere. Venture financiers, usually big risk takers, have mellowed as the stock market slumps and many startups teeter on the brink of bankruptcy.

TeamFuel receives $5.5 million in an oversubscribed first round of funding

Kristen Irvin just received $5.5 million in an oversubscribed first round of funding for her fuel procurement company.

Contract manufacturers defy the downturn, in the Technology column

There's a glut of chips out there, clouding the prospects of semiconductor makers. The once soaring fiber-optic sector has been grounded by a credit crunch at big telecommunications companies. And PCs, well, forget about it.

And then there's Camp Pendleton, in Letters

As a former teacher, I have been concerned about Sen. Joe Lieberman's question, "What will we tell our children if every vote is not counted?"

Anderson J. Ray buys a South County retail center

A partnership led by Anderson J. Ray Development Co., Irvine, has acquired the Santa Margarita Town Center retail center in Rancho Santa Margarita from the Koll Co. and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. for $22 million.

OC exporters' hopes for a free-trade deal with Chile are high

Orange County companies doing business with Chile have been waiting seven years for South America's most advanced economy to join the North America Free Trade Agreement. Now they're betting their waiting days are numbered.

Medical provider groups seek financial relief

Financial Relief Sought for Medical Groups, Trauma Centers and Emergency Rooms

Executive Summary

In an effort to ease the energy crunch, the state began signing long-term contracts with power generators to stabilize supplies; Edison International chairman John Bryson said his company would be willing to sell its power transmission grid to the state f

OC's HMOs and dental plans added members in 2000

Orange County's largest health maintenance organizations continued to grow enrollments in 2000, with the 10 plans on the Business Journal's list reporting a 7% membership hike as of December, compared with a year ago.

Powerturbine buys a La Habra HQ, in the Real Estate column

Powerturbine Inc., an aviation products company, is moving its corporate headquarters from Brea to La Habra. The company has bought an 18,876-square-foot industrial building at 1801 Lambert Road. The deal is valued at $1.1 million, and Powerturbine plans

Monday, February 5

Freedom Communications will relaunch its MyOC.com site

Freedom Communications Inc. has a new executive in charge of its struggling myOC.com with plans to relaunch the Web site in March and unveil a series of other changes in coming months.

UCI's Graduate School of Management is rated No. 1 for information technology training

Last week the London-based Financial Times ranked the University of California, Irvine, Graduate School of Management No. 1 for information technology training and No. 38 overall internationally.

El Toro Gourmet Meats is a top-of-the-line market

We've just come from New York and while you are reading this, I am writing next week's column on some of my dining in that great city, just in case you find yourself there and want to follow in my footsteps. Cold and wintry still, but it's always full of

People

Ernst & Young announced that Peter Zofrea, a partner in the firm, has moved to the technology and communications practice in Orange County from the real estate practice. Zofrea will work with start-up technology companies and retain several real estate cl

Don't blame deregulation, blame 'reregulation,' in Letters

So far, the media has blamed free markets and "deregulation" as the cause for the power shortages, even though California's energy market is by no measure free and was not "deregulated" in 1996, but actually "reregulated," with one set of regulations subs

OC's low-rise market added 3.5 million square feet in 2000

The largest and fastest-growing sector of height-classified buildings in Orange County, the low-rise market, which includes "flex" space, accounts for more than 50% of the office product here. The low-rise market continued to grow throughout 2000, with th

A Christian credit union is putting up a 120,000-square-foot building in Brea

Anaheim-based Evangelical Christian Credit Union is building a new 120,000-square-foot Brea headquarters with plans for two more buildings.

Calendar

U.S. & Southern California Economic Outlook (California Society of CPAs) Irvine 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. $45 (714) 545-6717 Information Technology Consultants,Network and Grow Your Business (Networking Technologies Channel) Irvine 6:30-8:30 p.m. $25 (310) 8

Orange Coast Memorial turns its first monthly profit in more than two years

Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center has gone from losing more than a million dollars a month to its first monthly profit in more than two years,without layoffs.

Executive Summary

Gov. Gray Davis authorized the state to sell up to $10 billion in bonds to buy electricity and issued an emergency order requiring retailers to cut outdoor lighting in half or face fines of up to $1,000 Gary Hunt resigned as executive VP of The Irvine Co

Ticketing software firm Paciolan Systems is moving to Irvine

Paciolan Systems, a ticketing software provider, plans to move its headquarters from Long Beach to Irvine this month, just a few freeway exits away from one of its biggest competitors, Costa Mesa-based Tickets.com Inc.

Cypress OK's construction of a 155-room Residence Inn by Marriott

The Cypress City Council has approved the construction of a 155-room Residence Inn by Marriott on Katella Avenue near the Cypress Golf Club. The project, within what is known as the PBP Planned Business Park Zone, is expected to be open for business in 20

What will the summer bring?

California's power crunch has meant a cycle of interruption notices, power cutbacks and work stoppages for Jody Callahan and some 150 workers at Astech Manufacturing Inc. in Santa Ana.

OC's largest foreign-owned firms added jobs at a brisk clip in 2000

Orange County's largest foreign-owned companies added 1,320 new jobs last year for a 7% job-growth rate, more than double the countywide clip, according to this week's Business Journal list.

Kawasaki shuffles its management and space

Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. is reorganizing its management and the Irvine space that houses it.

OC firms see expanded business in Mexico, no matter the state of the economy

Orange County companies doing business on the ground in Mexico say they aren't overly worried about a slowdown in the U.S. economy spilling southward.

Radiance Medical's chairman launches a biomedical VC fund

Orange County, a nerve center for medical device companies, just got a new incubator fund that aims to speed development of new biomedical businesses.

Corning will make optical switches in Fountain Valley, in the Technology column

"We should be able to generate a lot more revenue than these strawberries," says Kevin McCarthy, plant manager for Corning Inc.'s Orange County optical networking device unit.

OC's penny stocks got a bigger-than-usual January bounce

While many of Orange County's top stocks are in the doldrums, shares in the lowest-priced public companies based here had an eye-catching bounce in the past month or so.

How Mexico became OC's biggest export market

Just a few hours to the south by car is the unheralded story of how Mexico became Orange County's largest export market. On the Mexican side of the border with California sit the cities of Tijuana, Mexicali and Tecate, which together make up a dynamic man

PacifiCare and Sutter Health come to terms, in the Healthcare column

As officials of Santa Ana-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. work to turn the company around, PacifiCare of California, the company's Cypress-based HMO subsidiary, is firming up pacts with some of its core providers around the state.

OCNow.com is sticking to its business plan

One of myOC.com's closest competitors, literally, says it's plodding along even as other consumer sites shift gears or even fold.

Real Estate Deals

Top Year International purchased a 7,700-square-foot industrial building at 22425 E. La Palma Ave. in Yorba Linda from Mudge Fasteners for $0.7 million. Chris Migliori of Daum's Anaheim office represented both parties.

A recent court ruling won't necessarily spur condo development, in the Real Estate column

December's California Supreme Court ruling in the construction defects case Aas vs. Superior Court sent a ripple of relief through the state's homebuilders. Temporarily.

Hagerty, Stewart & Associates is acquired by The Seidler Cos.

Irvine investment bank Hagerty, Stewart & Associates Inc. has been acquired by The Seidler Companies, a Los Angeles-based investment bank.

Earnings

Bergen Brunswig Corp., Orange, reported earnings of $21.6 million on revenue of $4.8 billion in its fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with earnings of $14.7 billion on revenue of $4.5 billion in its prior first quarter.

Chapman University boosts its fundraising goal to $200 million

After meeting and surpassing a $160 million fundraising goal, Chapman University's Board of Trustees late last month voted to expand the school's largest-ever fundraising campaign to $200 million.

Surfing magazine will debut a new publication for older, upscale surfers

The average Bohemian 20-something surfer who subscribes to Surfing magazine may be totally stoked with its edgy content, but the endless summer lifestyle it depicts is less relevant to those in their 30s and 40s.

Entrepreneur.com boosts its ad staff, in the Marketing & Media column

Irvine-based Entrepreneur.com, a Web site for small businesses, is ramping up its advertising and sales team in a bid to boost revenue.