Stories for July 2001

Monday, July 30

'Final Fantasy' could use a human touch, a Briefcase

Columbia Tristar; Rated PG-13; starring Ming-Na Wen, James Woods, Steve Buscemi and Donald Sutherland; directed by Hironobu Sakaguchi

OC's low-rise vacancy went up in the second quarter

The low-rise office market has been leading construction activity in the Orange County office market for the past five years. In the second quarter, more than 1.1 million square feet of new low-rise office product was delivered to the market, 22% of which

Another labor bill that Gov. Davis should flush, in Letters

As a former businessman, I am amused by how often Legislature just doesn't get it.

Calendar

- "Cable Business Journal" guest: Maria Chavez-Wilcox, through Aug. 31, check local cable listings for channels, dates and times

The Coachella Valley is attracting power projects

The first of several new power plants at various stages of development in the Coachella Valley is poised to generate, but most of its fellows are not expected to arrive for a year or more.

CSUF's new computer school dean wants to involve industry

The engineering and computer science department at California State University, Fullerton, is getting a new dean this week bent on developing closer ties between the school and local industry.

The Insider tells how Tony Moiso gave Gov. Gray Davis his drive

Tony Moiso is one Republican who isn't likely to badmouth Gov. Gray Davis, and not because the cowboy-landowner needs all the friends he can find in order to push through his bold plan for developing and preserving the final 25,000 acres of the O'Neill fa

Broadcom is upbeat about the second half, in the Technology column

Broadcom Sees Signs of Light in Second Half Odetics Unit Iteris Lands Financing, Credit; QLogic CFO Retiring

Eldorado is folded into California Bank

Since it's been acquiring other banks from the time it was born in 1998, California Bank & Trust says it has the process down pat.

Tech-shy OC money managers lagged in the second quarter

OC's money managers, who had shied away from tech stocks in recent quarters, found themselves behind the curve in the second quarter, when the techs led a market upswing.

Kingston shift gears to shore up its slowing memory sales

It's easy to feel sorry for memory companies these days. But Kingston Technology Co. doesn't want pity.

Richard Gadbois is joining some Wall Street heavyweights in a new fund

Richard Gadbois, one of the super brokers at Merrill Lynch & Co.'s Newport Beach office, is setting out on his own with two big Wall Street names.

Real Estate Deals

Irvine-based Standard Pacific Homes purchased the Moncado Springs project in Vista from The Olson Co. for $16 million. Moncado Springs, off Highway 78 at Emerald Drive, includes 195 single-family residential lots. Roland Chavez and Craig Atkins of O'Donne

Charles Dunn's new premier services group closes two deals, in the Real Estate column

Charles Dunn Co.'s newly formed Premier Services Group has closed on its first two deals, totaling $11 million.

UCI's engineering department works to keep up with technology

The input of Orange County's medical device industry in the University of California, Irvine's biomedical engineering efforts is key to teaching what's current, according to the dean of the university's Henry Samueli School of Engineering.

Lightwave's founder dropped dentistry for Web design, in the Marketing & Media column

Dr. Robert Strain has swapped dentistry for Internet marketing after 28 years of working on teeth.

Disney says attendance is creeping up at California Adventure

Walt Disney Co. officials say they're seeing an uptick in visitors to Disney's California Adventure after making some tweaks to counter a slow start at the new park in Anaheim.

Giant Fluor and midsize ARB are cashing in on demand for power plants

Officials at Duke/Fluor Daniel like to brag they built one out of every three megawatts of new electricity capacity last year in the U.S. This year, the joint venture of Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp. and Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy Corp. is even bus

Executive suite operators are holding off on expansion as vacancies rise

The majority of the largest Orange County executive suites companies showed little or no change in total leasable square feet in OC, according to this week's Business Journal list, with the total leasable square feet nudging up 4% to a total of 824,050 sq

Alliance Imaging bows on the public market again

Anaheim-based Alliance Imaging Inc. , a provider of magnetic resonance imaging systems , is hoping to resonate with investors.

Two tasty and healthful fast-food restaurants

Prandium Inc., Irvine, is a restaurant holding company that owns the Koo Koo Roo chain and a new prototype, Mesquite Beach, in Orange. And while the parent firm may not be healthy,its shares have fallen to penny-stock status and it defaulted on some debt

Executive Suites

Executive Suites

People

Lawrence Mayo & Ponder, Newport Beach, promoted Barbara Wartman to account supervisor. Wartman joined the agency in 1996 as an account coordinator. The company also named Renee Craig account executive. Before joining the company, Craig was an account coor

A U.S. unit of Taiwan's Acer Group moves south from San Jose

A $2.3 billion division of Acer Group of Cos. of Taiwan is moving its U.S. headquarters from San Jose to the city of Industry to pare costs and be closer to distribution companies and the Port of Long Beach.

Executive Summary

Rainbow Technologies Inc. cut 65 jobs at its Irvine headquarters, about 20% of its North American work force QLogic Corp., Aliso Viejo, said its fiscal second-quarter sales will fall short of estimates and its share price dropped 15% to 34.44 on the new

Versant and other investors put $6 million into two medical device firms

Versant Ventures' Newport Beach office has taken part in $6 million worth of funding for a pair of Orange County medical device companies.

Bergen forum looks at generics, in the Healthcare column

The running battle between brand-name drug makers and their generic rivals got big play at an educational forum put on as part of a Las Vegas trade show by Orange-based drug distributor Bergen Brunswig Corp.

UCI is seeking industry help to build its biomed department

The University of California, Irvine, is looking to develop a full-fledged biomedical engineering department to go along with its 3-year-old research and teaching center. To do so, the university plans to reach out to Orange County's extensive medical tec

Gil Amelio makes first OC investment

Orange County has a new fiber optic gear maker on the block,with an investment from OC's newest venture capitalist.

Rusty tries to burnish its image with new lines and marketing

Irvine-based Rusty Apparel has overhauled its look with hopes of jump-starting sales and rejuvenating the brand.

Monday, July 23

Morning exercise and tackling new markets are daily fare at Kyoai USA

Mariko Kobayashi has brought a bit of her native Japan to Stanton-based Kyoai USA Inc.

Krispy who? Winchell's sees an opportunity for growth

Santa Ana-based Winchell's Donut House has a red-hot rival but doesn't seem to mind.

Office construction fell in the second quarter

In response to heavy demand in recent years, office construction activity has been rampant, adding more than 9.6 million square feet to the Orange County base from 1999 to date. However, activity has begun tapering as the market moves further into the mat

The Insiders hears that T & O; has landed In-N-Out

The wait is over for Irvine ad shop T & O; Group, the Business Journal's Jennifer Bellantonio hears. T & O; beat out two other finalists to win Irvine-based In-N-Out Burger's reported $5 to $10 million creative advertising account "Which Way LA" host Warren O

An industry group urges HMOs and doctors to get along, in the Healthcare column

For years, California's prominent healthcare delivery model has centered on organized groups of doctors accepting the responsibility for managing the care of health maintenance organization enrollees.

Special Report: Public Relations Crisis communicators are the bad news bulls

As the sole owner and employee of Tustin-based Furlow Corporate Communications, he makes a living off other businesses' calamities.

Public Relations Firms

Public Relations Firms

Lantronix refills its war chest with a share offering and is looking for acquisitions

Lantronix Inc. says it is looking to expand through acquisitions after a public offering last week that raised about $48 million for the maker of electronics that link vending machines, thermostats and other devices to the Internet.

The Irvine Company breaks ground on Crystal Cove Promenade

The Irvine Company has started building Crystal Cove Promenade, a shopping mall a few miles from Fashion Island and a few more,and more important,miles from South Coast Plaza.

Hunter Wise helped pull the trigger on the Smith & Wesson acquisition

In the movies, Clint Eastwood took out his enemies with seeming ease using his trademark Smith & Wesson .44 Magnum handgun. Working on the sale of Springfield, Mass.-based Smith & Wesson Corp. wasn't so easy, says Fred Jager.

The investors in Viacore's latest round reflect its changing direction

Just ask Viacore Inc., an Irvine-based company trying to build electronic exchanges for large companies looking to buy and sell components and supplies online.

Pacific Properties adds to its OC apartment portfolio

Palo Alto-based Pacific Properties Co. continued its move into Orange County's apartment market by acquiring the 104-unit Rancho Palisades Apartments in Costa Mesa for $9.9 million.

OC stocks bounced back some in the second quarter

If investors had put their money in Orange County's biggest stocks in the second quarter, they would have beat the major indexes with a bounce in beaten-down technology shares and the continued revival of healthcare stocks.

Corporate giving gives way to cause marketing

It would seem like a no-brainer for companies: partner with a philanthropic cause and bask in the limelight when the nonprofit takes center stage in the media.

Insignia/ESG opens an OC office, in the Real Estate column

Continuing the expansion of its Western U.S. operations, New York-based Insig-nia/ESG Inc. has launched a brokerage office in Newport Beach.

Le Jardin reopens 18 months after it was hit by fire

One of our favorite little gems, Le Jardin, the Saigon-esque caf & #233; in Fountain Valley, has reopened after a devastating fire caused by lighting enveloped the strip mall it is in 18 months ago.

Real Estate Deals

Wohl Investment Co., Irvine, acquired the 30,000-square-foot Barclay Plaza at Newport Boulevard and 17th Street in Costa Mesa for $4.5 million from Herman Barros. Carol Springstead of Pentz & Co. of Newport Beach represented both parties in the deal.

ABX Diagnostics' new parent broadens its U.S. product offerings

Montpelier, France-based ABX Diagnostics Inc., a maker of blood analyzer equipment with its U.S. headquarters in Irvine, earlier this month announced that the company had become part of Horiba Medical Group, a subsidiary of Kyoto, Japan-based analyzing eq

Another whopper from the anti-airport group, an Editorial

Here's another whopper from ETRPA, the group opposing the proposed El Toro airport.

Reaction to what Simon said, in Letters

No matter where one stands in the El Toro Airport controversy, Gary Simon's letter on July 9 was very, very troubling. We should be able to expect more from the executive director of a county agency.

Calendar

- Looking Smart on Paper (American Business Women's Association Thalia Chapter meeting) Irvine 6 p.m. $20 (714) 237-7831

Square Soft pulls out of OC

Square Soft Inc., a unit of Japan's Square Co., has closed its Costa Mesa facility and moved into Square Co.'s North American headquarters in Culver City.

Irvine Sensors is seeking more funding to develop a 'super router,' in the Technology column

Irvine Sensors Corp., the 21-year-old Costa Mesa electronics maker, has been busy trying to secure more government funding for its year-old bid to develop a new "super-router."

Parker Stephens recaptures the Raytheon account, in the Marketing & Media column

Costa Mesa-based Parker Stephens Inc. advertising recently wooed back former longtime client Raytheon Co.

Executive Summary

Edison International repaid in full and on time a $20 million note held by Orange County and said it expects this month to collect more money from customers than it will spend on electricity for the first time in the past twelve months A special state S

People

Fortis Benefits Insurance Co. promoted Christopher Brno to sales manager in the group sales office in Newport Beach. Brno has been with Fortis since 1997 as senior sales representative and district manager.

PR firms feel the pinch of the tech downturn

Orange County's largest public relations firms continued to feast on the good times, according to this week's Business Journal list, with total fee incomes jumping 16% to $77.6 million for the 12 months ended March 30.

Layton-Belling is planning an airport area office project

The airport area landscape may change slightly, if Layton-Belling & Associates goes ahead with plans to develop a four-story, 80,000-square-foot office building.

Lennox Hearth Systems moves to a new building in Orange

Lennox Hearth Products, a maker of fireplaces and freestanding stoves, late last month completed a move from Fullerton,where it had been for 50 years,to a new 66,000-square-foot facility in Orange.

How OC will fit into the new AmeriSource-Bergen is still being worked out

AmeriSource Health Corp.'s pending buy of Orange-based Bergen Brunswig Corp.,which could close next month,stands to create a healthcare products distributor with $35 billion in annual sales and headquarters in Valley Forge, Pa.

Monday, July 16

Asian foods distributor Walong targets mainstream supermarkets

Buena Park-based Walong Marketing Inc. hopes to become the biggest Asian food distributor in the country by working its way up to mainstream American supermarkets.

Real Estate Deals

Paub Enterprises LLC bought a 19,220-square-foot office building at 8700 Warner Ave. in Fountain Valley from Providential Holdings Inc. for $2 million. Todd LaPlante of Prima Properties represented Paub. Anthony Phan of Pacific Properties represented Prov

A Q & A; on the state of the market

The economy is no longer humming. The indicators are out there that OC's commercial real estate industry is staring at a slowdown. But is it just a dip we soon will snap out of? Or has it gone beyond that? The Business Journal's Daniel D. Williams asked a

FileNET cuts sales goals but sees a fourth-quarter turnaround

After cutting second-quarter employee bonuses and dropping sales targets, FileNET Corp. says it still expects a turnaround in the fourth quarter and doesn't plan to lay off workers. In fact, Orange County's largest software company says it plans to hire a

Commercial Developers

Commercial Developers

OC's big sales and leases of the past year

19100-19200 Von Karman Ave.

Experian is moving into a new headquarters and new markets

Broadcom Corp.'s campus at the gateway to the Irvine Spectrum depicts the chipmaker's brash, rule-the-world attitude. First American Corp.'s neocolonial digs in Santa Ana reflect a company that's as old as Orange County itself.

Freedom won't make its budget goals this year, in the Marketing & Media column

The three months ended March 31 was one of the most challenging quarters in Irvine-based Freedom Communications Inc.'s history, according to a company newsletter.

No matter how you slice the numbers, OC needs an airport, an Editorial

THE LATEST FLIGHT OF ANTI-AIRPORT IRRATIONALITY CONCERNS AIR passenger estimates for the Southern California region.

Balboa Dessert Co.'s R & D; helped it win a big contract

A baker smoothes and presses graham cracker crumbs into molds. Another pours chocolate batter into a man-size mixer and watches as the blades twirl. In another room, two women use large flat knives to slather white frosting onto giant vanilla cakes.

Ceradyne adds space and workers as contracts pick up

Industrial ceramics maker Ceradyne Inc. is nearing the end of a $2.5 million expansion of its Costa Mesa headquarters driven by an expected increase in defense and other work.

Sicor readies a new Mexico plant to produce generic biotech drugs

Irvine-based Sicor Inc. has finished building a new plant in Mexico and launched an outside review of the site as the next step in its bid to enter the market for generic biotechnology drugs.

Japanese food that's outside the box

Address: 3831 Alton Parkway (at Culver Drive in the Westpark Village Center), Irvine

Developers put up less with more projects

While the commercial real estate market continued experiencing a boom in 2000, major developers brought less product to market than in red-hot 1999. And that was before predictions of a slowdown in the economy brought on a wait-and-see attitude among buil

The Pageant of the Masters spruces up, a Briefcase

Nightly at 8:30 p.m. at the Festival of Arts, Laguna Beach, through August 31; tickets $10 to $60; (800) 487-3378; Festival exhibits open daily 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; $5 season pass

Special Report: Commercial Development The latest high-rise cycle may be over

Koll Development Co. and Opus West Corp. led the way in 1998 in the current high-rise building cycle, and many market sources believe they also will be the last ones through the door with their current projects in Irvine.

The Insider considers Sen. Joe Dunn's political future

Joe Dunn, who has been at odds with both power producers and Gray Davis, has carved out an independent image for himself in the energy debate. That could be a plus if Dunn someday runs for governor,and the buzz in political circles is that the Garden Grov

OC's big completions in the past year

18111 Von Karman Ave.

Construction firms brace for a slowdown

Reviewing the numbers from 2000, it is apparent that Orange County's largest builders enjoyed the last moments of go-go growth before the economy put on the brakes.

People

Airshow Inc., Tustin, appointed Victoria Bock product director of commercial airline systems, Jana O'Guin product director of corporate aviation systems, and Chris Merry product director of communications systems. In customer service, Bob Hopkins has been

Intersil has built a war chest for acquisitions

What to do with more than a half-billion dollars,that's the enviable question facing Irvine chipmaker Intersil Corp.

The service and construction sectors are expected to pace job growth in OC

When Chapman University issued an upbeat forecast on job growth in Orange County last month, it likely raised some eyebrows among those grappling with a slowing economy and their own efforts to cut costs.

Executive Summary

Assembly Democrats proposed a rescue plan for Southern California Edison that could triple rates for some businesses but hold residential rates steady; other lawmakers have proposed letting the utility fall into bankruptcy Gov. Gray Davis late last week

The Mid-Counties market lost ground in the first quarter

The Mid-Counties office market is a specialized market consisting of 12 cities straddling the border of Orange and Los Angeles counties. Sixty-five properties totaling 5.5 million square feet comprise the base. Since it is relatively small, the Mid-Counti

Conexant layoffs followed reports of sale talks, in the Technology column

It seems no one may want the massive Newport Beach chip making facility owned by Conexant Systems Inc., which rumors had the company trying to unload on Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp., the world's second-largest contract chipmaker.

Koll signs Avaya at its Dublin project, in the Real Estate column

Newport Beach-based Koll Development Co. has landed a big tenant at Koll Dublin Corporate Center, a 620,000-square-foot, 700-acre masterplanned business park in the Bay area city of Dublin.

Park Place lands another major tenant: Balboa Life & Casualty

Insurer Balboa Life & Casualty plans to move from its Teller Avenue site in Irvine across the street to larger quarters in the Park Place Office Campus, where it plans to expand from 350 to about 500 workers.

Calendar

- TECH 2001 Technology Trade Show (Technology Integration Group) Anaheim 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Free (800) 858-0549

CHOC sees an operating gain and resumes managing itself, in the Healthcare column

Hospital administrators and board members charged with stopping financial bleeding often have to make tough choices, such as reducing or cutting services. That wasn't an option for Children's Hospital of Orange County, according to its Chief Executive Kim

Surfwear makers sharpen their competition for retail space

Flashy ads and in-store displays are reaching new heights as surfwear makers jockey for prime positioning in front of shoppers in retail shops.

Monday, July 9

An Orange industrial parcel sells for $16 a square foot

Tulsa, Okla.-based Matrix Service Co. has paid $4 million,$16 a square foot,for a 5.6-acre parcel in Orange in a move brokers say sets a new standard for industrial land sales in Orange County.

US Labs is moving to larger space to make room for expansion

Irvine-based medical testing company US Labs Inc. says it plans to double its space in a cross-town move that stands to make way for up to 80 new workers in the next year and a half.

Real Estate Deals

Eastern Express bought an 80,220-square-foot industrial facility at 4325 Artesia Ave. in Fullerton from Lennox International Inc. for $3.9 million. Bob Goodmanson, Ian Britton, Brian DeRevere and Brad Bierbaum of CB Richard Ellis brokered the transaction.

Canon launches a $20 million ad campaign for its new printer

The Costa Mesa-based Digital Home and Personal Systems division of Canon U.S.A. Inc. has launched a $20 million advertising and marketing blitz in a bid to gain ground on industry leader Hewlett-Packard Co.

Just the facts on El Toro, in Letters

In response to recent articles and letters suggesting that Orange County is using tax dollars to fund public relations efforts for the county's proposed reuse plan for El Toro, we wanted to set the record straight.

Analysts are looking for signs of revival in OC's tech sector this earnings season

As Orange County's technology companies prepare to report earnings for the June quarter in coming weeks, analysts and investors are hoping for clues to a key question: Even if earnings come in as poorly as expected, will the outlook for the next six month

Nichols Institute Diagnostics will move to Talega

Nichols Institute Diagnostics, a maker of medical test kits and supplies, plans to move from its longtime base in San Juan Capistrano to a planned 85,000-square-foot building within San Clemente's Talega development.

Calendar

National Association of Women Business Owners meeting,speaker: Melinda Lee Irvine $35/$45 (888) 281-0001 You and Your 401k Rollover Workshop (Salomon Smith Barney) Irvine 5:55-7:15 p.m. Free (949) 955-7562 eBusiness Models and Practices (Cal State Ful

Title companies are bouncing back from a pinched 2000

Getting ready for this: Even with Federal Reserve Bank interest rate cuts in the past 12 months, the dollar value of Orange County transactions insured by title companies fell through March because of lower refinancing activity.

A couple of OC businesses say they're leaving for more energy-sufficient climes

At least two Orange County businesses have relocated or shifted some operations to other states, citing California's power shortage as a factor for ditching the Golden State.

Title Companies

Title Companies

Certus Corp. gets an additional $7.5 million from its principal investors

Certus Corp., an Irvine-based hospital consulting and business services company, has raised an additional $7.5 million from its principal investors.

Executive Summary

State Controller Kathleen Connell said long-term power supply contracts entered into by the state could cost more than the $43 billion estimated by Gov. Gray Davis; meanwhile, Davis offered to reduce California's $9 billion in refund claims against power

Billy Fried leaves Doner, in the Marketing & Media column

Billy Fried, a former senior executive at W.B. Doner & Co.'s Newport Beach office, has pulled away from the corporate pack and started his own ad agency.

Louise E. Pomeroy, founder of Abigail Abbott Staffing Services Inc., has died

Louise E. Pomeroy, founder of Abigail Abbott Staffing Services Inc., died late last month.

Paul Frank will open two shops in Japan

Newport Beach apparel designer Paul Frank, best known for the monkey logo on its clothes and accessories, plans to open its first shops outside the U.S. when it debuts a 200-square-foot Tokyo outlet and a 700-square-foot free-standing shop in Osaka in Sep

Allergan teams for dry-eye treatment, in the Healthcare column

Irvine-based specialty drug maker Allergan Inc. is working with Inspire Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Durham, N.C., to develop two treatments for dry eye syndrome. About 9 million people suffer from moderate-to-severe dry eye, also known as keratoconjunctivitis

Al Beaudette is named COO of Griffin Holdings, in the Real Estate column

After stepping back from real estate to earn his master's of business administration from Pepperdine University, Al Beaudette has resurfaced, joining Laguna Beach-based Griffin Holdings as its chief operating officer. Beaudette also will serve as presiden

State Treasurer Phil Angelides talks about bonds, the power authority and the future

State Treasurer Phil Angelides has emerged as one of the key players in the state's ongoing power crisis.

A summer of fun looms, with wine, lobster and 50 close friends

I am one of those who commented vehemently on the Disney decision to dismantle the Electrical Parade two years ago. I disliked the fiber optics flop that followed it. In a great incentive to get customers into the new California Adventure, the Disney offi

The Mall of Orange is ready with a three-year remodeling plan

The Mall of Orange plans to revamp its look and store mix under a three-year remodeling plan.

Ocean Pacific jumps into the wetsuit market

The apparel maker recently entered into a licensing agreement with Carlsbad-based Neoprene Tech Inc. to produce a line of beach-oriented neoprene wetsuits under the OP label, according to Dick Baker, CEO of OP.

SRS Labs has slowed the bleeding with a back-to-basics strategy

Like a beaver patching up a dam, audio technology company SRS Labs Inc. has worked feverishly to stem gushing losses.

The West OC industrial market continued strong in the first quarter

Despite speculation of the industrial market turning in the first quarter, the West Orange County market held strong with positive absorption and stable vacancy rates.

Shakey's new management team plans to spice up the chain

Shakey's Inc.,a pizza parlor pioneer that hit its stride in the 1970s and has seen its share of ups and downs since,is set to undergo a facelift.

People

First American Title Insurance Co., Santa Ana, named Alan K. McCall state counsel for Florida. The 25-year industry veteran has been chairman of the Florida Land Title Association Forms Committee. His responsibilities include responding to questions, draf

The state's energy crisis has juiced up some law practices

At San Francisco-based Morr-ison & Foerster LLP's Irvine office, energy development and litigation issues now account for about a quarter of the office's caseload by revenue, according to Carl Steen, a partner in Morrison's corporate and project finance g

Plaza Garibaldi restaurant offers Mexican culture as well as food

On Saturday nights, Bolivian immigrant Mike Helguero recreates a bit of Mexico City revelry for tourists and other visitors in the shadow of Disneyland.

Fluor CFO Ralph Hake becomes chairman and chief executive of Maytag Corp.

Ralph F. Hake, Fluor Corp. executive vice president and chief financial officer, has taken over as chairman and chief executive of Maytag Corp., the Newton, Iowa-based appliance maker.

The news at Dense-Pac has been good lately, in the Technology column

Only two weeks after the company's shares jumped 24% to 2.66 on rumors it could be bought by memory maker Micron Technology Inc., Dense-Pac said it needs more hired hands to deal with a big order for its Memory Stack products,a deal valued at $850,000. Th

Monday, July 2

The state ended talks on a long-term power contract at AES's Huntington Beach plant

AES Corp. said the state has broken off talks to buy power from two Huntington Beach power units currently undergoing improvements.

NMS closes its Tustin R & D; facility and lays off 30

Framingham, Mass.-based NMS Communications Corp. has closed its Tustin research and development office, laying off 30 engineers here.

People

Fairmont Private School, Anaheim, added 16-year education veteran, Abdi Lajevardi, as chief operating officer. Previously, Lajevardi was chief executive of the International Education Corp. Lajevardi will concentrate his efforts on distance education and

Communication Advocates' boxer rebellion, in the Marketing & Media column

Communication Advocates in Costa Mesa, a nine-person public relations firm, got hits from national and international media for its wacky promotion of client Long Beach-based Interactive Health Inc.

Beaten down dot-coms may be attracting buyer interest

Shares of struggling Internet retailer buy.com Inc. got a jolt last week the likes of which they haven't seen much of lately.

Morpho Technologies is seeking a $10 million second round of funding

Chip upstart Morpho Technologies Inc. hopes to land $10 million in a second round of funding, slated to close this September, according to Chief Executive Fhahriar Sadri.

Summer Hot Spots for Family Dining

OC Has No Shortage of Great Restaurants for Family Dining, Patio Dining or Brunch

The energy Bolsheviks in Sacramento, in Letters

DID YOU CATCH THAT PHOTOGRAPH OF A SMILING GRAY DAVIS STRUTTING and waving in front of the new power plant in Bakersfield? I haven't laughed that hard at a posturing pol since Michael Dukakis climbed inside a tank.

Firms are boosting R & D; spending, hoping to find new markets to get through tough times

While Orange County's technology engineers may not be in the money like last year, most of them still are in the labs.

What science knows about global warming, a Viewpoint

Dr. Ralph Cicerone, chancellor of the University of California, Irvine, chaired a National Academy of Sciences committee that prepared and last month released a report for the White House on global warming. Cicerone founded UCI's Department of Earth Syste

Makar Properties picks up the Cerritos Corporate Tower, in the Real Estate column

The 187,000-square-foot Cerritos Corporate Tower has sold to Makar Properties LLC for an undisclosed amount. The Newport Beach-based real estate development and holding company purchased the nine-story high-rise building from the Krausz family of San Fran

Raytheon's Fullerton group will work on a German air-traffic system

Raytheon Co. has been awarded a $20 million air traffic system contract from Germany's Deutsche Flugsicherung GMBH with about 10% of the work set to be done at the company's Fullerton facility.

Real Estate Deals

J & A; Investments purchased the 36,654-square-foot Greenleaf Square in Whittier from Greenleaf Equities LP for $4.3 million. Michael Lawrence of Marcus & Millichap's Newport Beach office and David Black of Marcus & Millichap represented Greenleaf Equities L

OC's largest malls saw slower sales growth in 2000

Sluggish retail sales fueled by consumer uncertainty and a slow economy first appeared in 2000, with Orange County's largest shopping centers seeing a 7% growth in taxable sales for the year,a two percentage point drop from 1999.

Toshiba will wait for a better market to roll out new PCs, in the Technology column

Pity personal computer makers. Just like a chess player wondering whether to castle a king or use a rook for an offensive move, the PC business is part luck, part strategy.

Merrill Lynch is closing two OC offices in a consolidation

Merrill Lynch & Co., the largest stock brokerage firm operating in Orange County, plans to consolidate some operations here and across Southern California to bring down costs in a slowing economy.

Vitalcom acquirer Data Critical is moving to Tustin

Another medical industry player is moving to Orange County in the hopes of righting its financial ship.

There's been no slowdown in South County retail development

South Orange County has been one of Southern California's strongest retail markets from the late '90s to the present. Despite the uncertainty in the marketplace today (i.e., an unpredictable stock market, escalating energy costs and national retailer earn

Special Report: Fifi's Best Chef of the year

Chef of the Year Bret Thompson Is a Well-Traveled and Experienced Culinary Hand

Two dental insurers grow their OC enrollments, in the Healthcare column

Coastal Communities Hospital Adds a Senior Center; Botox OK'd for New Use in Japan

Sares-Regis is building 272 luxury apartment units in Rancho Cucamonga

Irvine-based Sares-Regis Group has acquired 20 acres in the Inland Empire community of Rancho Cucamonga with plans to develop luxury apartments.

Insider trades in OC have dropped off sharply in the down market

Trading by insiders at Orange County companies declined sharply in the first five months as executives and employees chose to wait out depressed share prices on Wall Street.

Peter Ueberroth is named to Bank of America's board

Peter Ueberroth, the former Los Angeles Olympics czar, ex-baseball commissioner and current head of Newport Beach-based investment firm The Contrarian Group, has been appointed to Bank of America Corp.'s board of directors.

Quest's Nichols Institute is at ground zero in the development of gene-based diagnostics

If genomics is ushering in an era of personalized medicine,where diagnostic tests predict diseases and determine the best drugs for patients,then you might say a 100-acre campus of futuristic buildings near the Cleveland National Forest is the testing gro

Calendar

Systematic Selling an Overview of Sandler Selling System (Bailey Marketing Concepts and Sandler Sales Institute) Irvine 4-6 p.m. Free (800) 422-4539 Financial Planning for People in Personal Transition (Merrill Lynch) Anaheim 10 a.m. Free (800) 234-7

MALLS

MALLS

Broadcom Corp. has laid off engineers, marketers and other workers

Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. said it has laid off engineers, marketers and other workers companywide, following up on its earlier vow to slash costs in the face of declining sales.

The state's purchase of SDG & E;'s power lines will relieve customers of balloon payments

Some South Orange County businesses could be in for relief from a looming electricity debt that many say they weren't even aware they could soon face.

Executive Summary

Mission Energy Holding Co., Irvine, completed the sale of $800 million in bonds at 14% and obtained a $385 million bank loan, with the proceeds going to pay off debt of parent Edison International; meanwhile, Edison sold its Edison Select home security un

CEO Michael Quinn has moved CardioGenesis from Sunnyvale to OC

Michael Quinn is back in Orange County, and he's brought a medical device company with him.

Two New Restaurants

Remember Byron Gemmell? He was the very young chef in the early '80s who was written up in Gourmet magazine when his cooking put La Cuisine of Newport on the national culinary map. As a young man of Scottish ancestry from Guatemala, he trained under some

Dense-Pac Microsystems will add workers

Garden Grove computer memory products maker Dense-Pac Microsystems Inc. said it plans to increase its workforce by up to 15% based on three months' worth of orders from a major, unnamed computer maker. Dense-Pac employs 110 people.

The Insider bids farewell to some Times sportswriters

The LA Times' new regional focus has struck the sports department of the Times OC, which is no more. A dozen or so editorial employees have been reassigned, spelling an end to game-by-game prep coverage. (Angels and Ducks coverage isn't affected.) OC spor