Stories for October 2001

Monday, October 29

US Labs get another $15 million in venture funding

US Labs Inc., an Irvine medical testing company, has received $15 million in late-stage venture capital funding.

Hobby Products is moving from the Spectrum to bigger digs in Foothill Ranch

Hobby Products International, an Irvine maker of remote-controlled miniature race cars, is moving from the Irvine Spectrum to bigger digs in Foothill Ranch early next year.

Rapid Expansion of Chain Fuels Growth at Chicago Pizza

Chicago Pizza & Brewery hasn't commanded a dazzling stock price from Wall Street, with market value of about $38 million last week. But it has seen steady growth in its store locations, employee count and, more to the point, revenue in the past few years.

State Sen. Dick Ackerman joins Rutan & Tucker

Costa Mesa-based Rutan & Tucker said last week that State Senator Dick Ackerman has joined the firm. Ackerman has been a member of the California Bar since 1968 and has maintained a private legal practice in Fullerton.

Calendar

- "Cable Business Journal" guest Matt Massengill, CEO of Western Digital for Oct: Sue Parks, Exec. VP of Gateway for November. Check local listings for dates and times

The Insider's credit cards are primed for the Robinsons-May coming to Irvine Spectrum Center

You read it here first (June 4) that a major department store was on its way to the expanded Irvine Spectrum Center. And now you've got the name: Robinsons-May. The Irvine Company is expected to announce this week that a 140,000-square-foot, two-level R-M

Micro General Continues to Grow With Acquisition

It may still be one of Orange County's fastest growers, but Micro General isn't king of the hill anymore.

Local chipmakers' reports fuel hope of recovery, in the Technology column

Orange County's two largest chipmakers have done their part to help the beleaguered Nasdaq.

The OC Weekly so far is riding out the downturn in the publishing industry

OC Weekly,which just a few years ago brought an edgy, often controversial style to the staid Orange County newspaper scene,is raising eyebrows again by bucking the downturn better than many publications.

Vengroff Williams takes more space

Vengroff Williams & Associates Inc. has moved to larger space in Irvine to accommodate its staff growth.

Cogent Healthcare gets a new chief executive

Alan Puzarne, a former executive at Blue Shield of California and FHP International Corp. (now PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.), is the new chief executive of Cogent Healthcare Inc. of Laguna Hills.

Some Other Ways of Slicing It!

1) EXULT INC.: 774%

Broadcom's Growth Slowing, But Gains Still Enviable

Perhaps only Broadcom Corp. could see its sales growth rate halved and still make it into the top tier of Orange County's fastest-growing companies.

Other El Toro view, in Letters

I have listened ad nauseam to scare stories about noise, property values, congestion and smog if El Toro becomes an international airport. Let's take them one at a time:

The Knott family donates $1 million to build a women's medical center

A new women's medical center is going up in Orange, with a million dollars in seed money from the Knott family.

Safi Qureshy is keeping close tabs on developments in his native Pakistan

Safi Qureshey was one of the first Americans to have the ear of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in the critical days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Western Digital hopes to ride Microsoft's Xbox wave

Catching a wave was the mindset a year ago when Western Digital Corp.'s sales staff worked double time to land an account to make drives for Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox video game console.

The tech slowdown shows up on the list of OC's fastest-growing firms

Tech companies still dominate the Business Journal list of Orange County's fastest-growing public companies, but their hold has weakened as the sector's downturn stretches into its second year.

Allergan is moving to expand its skin-care lines, in the Healthcare column

Irvine's Allergan Inc., the specialty drug maker, is eyeing the market for prescription acne medications with its Tazorac cream.

Special Report: Starbase Uses Acquisitions, New Products to Grow 15-Fold

Starbase, a maker of a software that allows Web page builders to manage both code and content at the same time, grew sales 1,481% over the past three years, going from $2.95 million in the 12 months ended June 30 1998 to $46.65 million in the 2001 period.

Fast-growing Ceradyne and Dynatem see opportunity in military gear

No one likes war. But excuse Ceradyne Inc. Chief Executive Joel Moskowitz for talking shop in the context of current events.

The El Toro airport plan will need more lift to clear looming hurdles, an Editorial

NOTHING ABOUT EL TORO CAN EVER BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED. THAT'S why last week's 3-2 vote by the supervisors to move forward with a commercial airport, while expected, still elicited a collective sigh of relief from airport supporters. It's a significant achie

People

PWC & Associates in Newport Beach hired Lorraine Quintanar and Peggy Olson as executive recruiters.

Executive Summary

Boeing Co. plans to sell 38 acres adjacent to its Huntington Beach plant for development into a 600,000-square-foot addition to the McDonnell Centre Business Park The Board of Supervisors approved an environmental report on the proposed El Toro airport

Fastest Growing Companies

Fastest Growing Companies

PacifiCare is planning a $20 million ad campaign to reposition itself

PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Santa Ana, could be gearing up to spend as much as $20 million on an advertising and marketing campaign designed to recast its image.

Revenue shortfalls are forcing state and local governments to plan cuts

Revenue Shortfalls Forcing State, County and City Governments to Make Trims

Financial Statement Services Inc. triples its space by moving next door

Santa Ana-based Financial Statement Services Inc. needed room to grow, so it moved into a newer space three times the size of its former headquarters,and right next door.

Caliber Collision Centers raises $40 million in a private placement

Caliber Collision Centers, an Irvine-based operator of collision repair shops, said a group of investors including Zurich Financial Services Group has bought $40 million in the company's stock.

Capstone Studios opens an OC office, in the Marketing & Media column

Slow economy or not, new ad agencies and public relations firms continue to stake their claim here. In the past few months, a handful of new firms have opened up in various parts of Orange County.

Low-rise absorption rose as lease rates fell in the third quarter

Construction of one-, two- and three-story properties has been rampant in the past three years. Since the beginning of 1998, more than 9 million square feet of low-rise space, including flex space, has been added to the Orange County office market. Nearl

Birtcher buys a Rancho Cucamonga business park, in the Real Estate column

Laguna Niguel-based Birtcher Real Estate Group has acquired the Arrow Business Park in Rancho Cucamonga for $17.4 million.

OC's industry is on a roller coaster

Just this summer, Orange County's tourism industry was hanging on to good times, despite a softening economy.

Ritz Interactive's parent buys a competitor

Ritz Camera Centers, a photography specialty retailer and major investor in Irvine-based Ritz Interactive Inc., recently acquired bankrupt competitor Wolf Camera for $84.7 million.

Kaiser Permanente buys the Cinram site in Anaheim for a new hospital

Compact disc maker Cinram International Inc. has sold its 15.5-acre Anaheim plant site to Kaiser Permanente, which intends to raze the existing buildings and erect a new hospital and patient-care complex there.

Foundstone Inc. receives a $2.5 million investment from a German firm

Foundstone Inc., an Irvine network security company, has received a $2.5 million investment from Germany's Articon-Integralis AG.

Auto Loans Power Growth of WFS Financial, Westcorp

Its cross-holdings might be distantly similar to the Kairitsu system in Japan or the Chaebol industrial empire in South Korea, but whatever the case, Westcorp has posted recent growth that few mid-size and large banking institutions have been able to matc

Real Estate Deals

Tho Luu, owner of Century TV and Appliance Corp., paid $2.3 million for a 39,089-square-foot building at 302 N. Townsend St. in Santa Ana from Marlin-Davidson, an investment group that owns Santa Ana-based Marline Manufacturing. Liem Nguyen of Prudential

Zero-percent financing offers jump-start sales at OC car dealerships

Orange County auto dealers are sitting pretty,but it took a jaw-dropping bargain to get them there.

Laser Maker Biolase Moves to Expand Its Dental Niche

Biolase Technology Inc., while relatively small in terms of revenue, has been one of the fastest-growing companies based in Orange County. The San Clemente-based medical device manufacturer ranked No. 4 on the Business Journal's annual list of fastest-gro

Bistango slates a Red Cross benefit costume party

Dress up for a very good cause this Wednesday, Halloween night. It's a special fund-raiser. Adults seem to want to have fun on this holiday, but don't usually know where to find that frivolity. At Bistango, you can combine an evening of good food, music a

Monday, October 22

Watch out, Argus is back

++Secretary of State Colin Powell said he sees a postwar U.N. role in Afghanistan. However, U.N. officials said they don't want to be responsible for running a country that's proven to be impossible to govern. This is a job for Rudy Giuliani.

Broadband Interactive Group has begun liquidating its assets

The Irvine-based action sports media company, which owns Bluetorch TV, an extreme sports show that airs on Fox Sports Net, recently laid off all but a handful of its staff and retained Chicago-based Development Specialists, a reorganization and bankruptcy

A printing unit of Boeing Co. is moving to Cypress

Continental Data Graphics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based Boeing Co., is consolidating two smaller offices in Santa Ana and Culver City and expanding its operations by taking a 63,235-square-foot office for its corporate headquarters in the Wa

Extended Stay America opens a 124-room hotel in Orange

The four-story Extended Stay America Efficiency Studios is at 1635 W. Katella Ave. and is the Spartanburg, S.C.-based chain's 46th California property and 412th companywide. The company operates hotels under the StudioPLUS Deluxe Studios, Extended Stay Am

The Capital Group is planning a million-square-foot campus in Irvine

Los Angeles-based The Capital Group Companies Inc. is in talks with The Irvine Company to buy 52.5 acres along Jeffrey Road near the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway, with plans to develop nearly 1 million square feet of office space.

Cardinal Logistics picks up the lease on the former Webvan distribution center in Fullerton

Bankrupt Internet grocer Webvan Group Inc. transferred its lease on a 125,000-square-foot Fullerton distribution facility to Cardinal Logistics Management, which runs food for convenience store giant 7-Eleven Inc., according to real estate sources.

People

N.A.D.A. in Costa Mesa appointed Jennifer Lange director of public relations. Lange previously was investor relations manager for Autobytel Inc. in Irvine. Alison Cooper was named director of new-car data. Before joining N.A.D.A., Cooper was director of n

CooperVision will make NFL team-logo contact lenses

Lake Forest-based CooperVision Inc. has signed an agreement with the National Football League to produce a line of cosmetic contact lenses with NFL team logo imprints.

St. Jude is planning a three-story center for its cancer programs

St. Jude Medical Center is gearing up to build a three-story medical office building near its main campus in Fullerton.

Microsemi lands a contract for military-grade chips, in the Technology column

SiteLite Takes Up in University Research Park; Sage Licenses Accounting Code

RiechesBaird lands the Pacific Life & Annuity account, in the Marketing & Media column

Irvine-based RiechesBaird isn't waiting for business to knock on its door in these tight times.

The OC Register lays off 85, including seven in the newsroom

The effects of a slow economy and the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have hit the Orange County Register.

Third-quarter construction starts outpaced deliveries in office and retail

Despite the fact that the Orange County office market has entered the maturation phase of the real estate cycle, construction on projects planned during the previous years of high activity continued through the third quarter. Approximately 600,181 square

OC agencies are cautious about clients' waving the flag in ads

It's everywhere you look: flags and patriotic signs are being displayed in an unprecedented wave of patriotic fervor in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

Real Estate Deals

Hyundai Motors of America purchased a 7.4 acre parcel of land on the northeast corner of Bake Parkway and Irvine Center Drive in the Irvine Spectrum from The Irvine Company for $8 million. Hyundai plans to build the 90,000-square-foot Hyundai/Kia Design C

Calendar

- "Cable Business Journal" guest Matt Massengill, CEO of Western Digital. Check local listings for dates and times

OC Based Banks

OC Based Banks

Beyond Sept. 11, in Letters

It's been so gratifying to see the flag fly in so many places these days. I think bin Laden and his gang thought they could demoralize Americans, but I think they have brought us closer together and reminded us of what a great country we live in. God bles

ALWAYS COMING AND GOING

The List of OC-Based Banks Lost Last Year's Top Two, but Gained Four Newcomers; First Fidelity No. 1

UCI breaks ground on a building for its Earth sciences department

The University of California, Irvine earlier this month started building a $19.6 million, 68,000-square-foot Earth sciences research center, which also is one of a handful of research centers in the U.S. focusing on the study of ways various physical aspe

Beech Street Corp. takes more space in Lake Forest

Beech Street Corp., one of the nation's larger preferred-provider-style managed-care organizations, has taken about 70% more office space in the Pacific Vista development in Lake Forest.

BAX Global earns expedited entry into China

Irvine transport and supply chain management company BAX Global last month grabbed the first-ever Class A award from Chinese Customs in China's Xiangyu Free Trade Zone. By winning this award, BAX will get faster release of goods, duty and tariff reduction

The parent of The Clubhouse files for bankruptcy as a prelude to a sale

The parent of one of Orange County's swanky celebrity-backed restaurants, The Clubhouse at South Coast Plaza, has filed for bankruptcy as a prelude to being bought.

Special Report: Banking -- NOW WHAT?

Banks and Financial Institutions Had Big Plans for OC Last Year,but That Was Then

QLogic is still riding the network attached storage wave

When Costa Mesa-based Emulex Corp. spun off QLogic in 1993, the company only sold small chips that controlled disk drives. Now the company has virtually eclipsed its former parent with a strategy that has served some companies well in the tech industry: B

Flex absorption in South County improved in the third quarter, in the Real Estate column

Vacancy rates in South Orange County have risen consistently over the past 12 months according to a third quarter report released by Irvine-based Lee & Associates, climbing from 7.22% during the second quarter 2000 to 15.11% in the third quarter of this y

BOB & WEAVE

Local shops aren't immune to the broader slowdown in investment banking and corporate finance activity. In September, there were no initial public offerings of stock anywhere in the country, let alone in Southern California. Bond deals are less common too

Executive Summary

Gov. Gray Davis vetoed two bills that would have increased workers' compensation benefits Sicor Inc., Irvine, raised $203 million in a secondary offering Boeing Co. said it may halt production of its 717 jetliner, the last plane being made at the comp

Enfrastructure lays off half its staff

After a year of lukewarm response to its business of building and running high-tech campuses for startup companies, Aliso Viejo-based Enfrastructure has restructured its business, including layoffs and strategy changes, said company founder Scott Blum.

A UCI center gets $2.8 million to study the effects of information technology

The National Science Foundation has awarded $2.8 million to a UCI group to study how the Internet, personal computers and cell phones are affecting individuals and organizations.

The California Association of Health Plans is meeting in OC this week, in the Healthcare column

The California Association of Health Plans has a tough job,it is one of the public faces of an industry that takes heavy poundings from politicians, consumer groups and the media.

Vicarious dining trips to Thailand and Italy benefit a good cause

The "Sharing Chefs" fundraising cooking classes continue. They benefit Share Our Selves, a nonprofit organization in Costa Mesa that provides food, medical, dental and financial aid for those in need. Two more classes are scheduled at area restaurants, an

The flow of visitors from Japan has fallen off precipitously since Sept. 11

On a recent visit to South Coast Plaza, Japanese tourist Hiromi Umemoto said her reservations about coming to Southern California in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had been eased.

Nick Yocca and his partners have seen their firm grow with OC

The founders of Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth have seen a lot of changes in Orange County since the firm opened its first office in a two-story building behind Edwards Theatres in Newport Beach back in 1975,an office the founders had to refurbish all by

OC is a center of breast cancer awareness and treatment

Breast cancer treatment has always been big in Orange County, which has more than its share of affluent, educated women possessing above-average interest in healthcare issues. But it has picked up steam in recent years, with certain events serving as cata

Construction is under way on an 80,000-square-foot medical office complex in Orange

Construction is under way on an 80,000-square-foot medical office complex in Orange.

Monday, October 15

Real Estate Deals

K & M Royal Group LLC bought the 61,706-square-foot Alicia Valencia Plaza in Laguna Hills from Save-Most Alicia Hills Ltd. for $12.1 million. One Properties represented K & M Royal Group LLC. Matt Pipkin and Stephen Grossman of Lee & Associates' Newport B

Venture capitalists rely on their 'tech gurus'

Lawyer and investment banker Jim Watts said he learned something about promising technology companies a while back.

ThinkTank takes a breather as Scott Blum returns to buy.com

That's a term for the folks who build companies on other people's ideas. ThinkTank, which Blum started two years ago with $40 million of his own money, dreams up business ideas internally and helps them through the startup process. A razor-thin difference

Styles for Less will move from OC to Santa Fe Springs

Anaheim-based clothing retailer Styles for Less plans to move its headquarters and about 50 employees to Santa Fe Springs.

Hospitals, lawmakers fight proposed Medicaid rule change, in the Healthcare column

A good part of California's congressional delegation,including several Republicans representing Orange County,are getting behind hospital organizations in their bid to halt a federal proposal they claim threatens Medicaid funding.

The T & O; Group launches a pro bono campaign, in the Marketing & Media column

Irvine-based T & O; Group is looking to stir some imagination. But the images it's seeking to conjure up aren't so pleasant.

Fifi's Best---SOLID ROCKS AMID THE SHIFTING SANDS

In this issue, I have covered some of the legends of Orange County dining. There are more than those I could fit within this space, but all of the ones I have included have special meaning. They offer a variety of dining styles and almost all are family r

Calendar

- "Cable Business Journal" guest Matt Massengill, CEO of Western Digital. Check local listings for dates and times

Beyond Sept. 11, in Letters

No one is really sure what the long-term consequences of the terrorist actions against the U.S. will be. Much depends on the way in which we respond. So far, Bush has taken a very measured course by isolating the Taliban from other nations and from the Af

Fluor Corp. and a partner win a $53 million plant project in Mexico

Germany's BASF AG has tapped a Fluor Corp. joint venture to build a $53 million polymer plant in Altamira, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

SMC Networks is moving to larger space in the Spectrum

SMC Networks Inc., a networking products maker that's part of Taiwan's Accton Technology Corp., is expanding in the Irvine Spectrum.

Sunwest Bank unveils a new look and eyes South County

Tustin-based Sunwest Bank, the largest Orange County-based bank, has changed its logo and unleashed a new marketing campaign aimed at a younger crowd and decision-makers to help it compete in an increasingly contested local market.

Little-known Melmarc is a big name among T-shirt makers

Brian Hirth's work is key to the wardrobes of millions of teenagers and young adults across the U.S. But it's unlikely any of them have heard of his Santa Ana company, Melmarc.

CommerceWest Bank opens its first branch

Startup CommerceWest Bank, coming off a $10.2 million public offering, has opened its first banking center in MacArthur Court in the airport area of Newport Beach.

People

Cynthia Foster joined Poole, Rasmussen Accountants Inc. in Santa Ana as a partner. Foster currently is the chairwoman for the ambassadors of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.

THE LEGENDS OF OC

This is, hands down, the county's definitive contemporary Italian restaurant. It's situated in a Victorian-esque mansion with a rolling meadow of lawn with a winding pathway leading to a columned verandah furnished with beautifully napped tables. Open the

Employment at OC's largest apparel makers rose 2% in the past year

The 25 largest apparel companies in Orange County notched a slight gain in local employment in the past 12 months but are heading into an uncertain holiday season and 2002.

The Insider sees Mark Chapin Johnson as Richard Riordan's finance chairman

OC doesn't produce California GOP gubernatorial candidates, just their rainmakers. The latest is businessman-philanthropist Mark Johnson (Chapin Medical), who is gearing up to be Dick Riordan's state finance chairman. Johnson knows how to raise money (see

Crazy Shirts is set to be acquired by Big Dog out of bankruptcy

Hawaii-based Crazy Shirts Inc., which has about 100 people in Tustin, has been sniffing around for a life preserver,and found one.

Back to school was a good move for LPA

Five years ago, Irvine-based architecture firm LPA Inc. had never designed a school. Today, the firm has done a hundred of them.

Executive Summary

Gov. Gray Davis proposed a 15% cut in state spending next year, with law enforcement and fire agencies excepted An FAA report said that an airport at the former El Toro base could be operated safely but flights at El Toro and neighboring airports could

Filter maker Sionix reports a surge in interest from water agencies

Sionix Corp., an Irvine maker of water filtration systems, said it has seen a surge in calls from municipalities nationwide after a Florida death due to anthrax.

El Toro has 3 million square feet of space, but who wants it?

For lease: vintage World War II-era offices, warehouses, other buildings. Great location, rich in local history, potential. Site of former military base. Code-challenged.

Commentary

SO MUCH FOR EL TORO BEING UNSAFE FOR COMMERCIAL JETS. The Federal Aviation Administration hopefully has dispelled that myth once and for all with the release last week of its report concluding the county's proposed airport "can be conducted in a safe mann

The deal to keep Edison out of bankruptcy will cost the state's businesses

For City of Industry meat processor Frank Pocino, this month's settlement between Southern California Edison and state regulators aimed at keeping the utility out of bankruptcy confirmed his worst fears.

Edwards Lifesciences looks beyond heart valves for growth

Artificial heart valves can sustain life for cardiovascular patients. They play a similar role for Edwards Lifesciences Corp.

Craig Realty buys a Phoenix outlet center, in the Real Estate column

Newport Beach-based Craig Realty Group has paid $31.5 million for Phoenix's Prime Outlets at New River shopping center. Craig Realty bought the center from St. Louis-based developer and construction firm Fru Con Development Corp.

Apparel Companies

Apparel Companies

Linksys inks a deal with Verizon, in the Technology column

It looks like Irvine's Linksys Group Inc. could show Intel Corp. or 3Com Corp. a thing or two about home networking.

Things are looking up for Guardian Parachute

Santa Ana military parachute maker Guardian Parachute is preparing to set up a 20,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Mexico City that will churn out 1,000 parachutes a year for the Mexican military.

Taylor-Dunn makes the first of a planned series of acquisitions

Anaheim electric vehicle maker Taylor-Dunn Corp. said it has made the first in a series of planned acquisitions as part of an expansion.

The Mid-Counties office market added space in the second quarter

The Mid-Counties office market is a specialized market consisting of 12 cities along the border of Orange and Los Angeles counties. Due to its small size, the Mid-Counties market is prone to greater fluctuations in market indicators than larger markets.

Monday, October 8

A glimmer of hope for telecom, in the Technology column

Broadcom Develops Third-Generation Bluetooth Chip; REDSonic Teams With MIPS

OC firms are taking a close look at their international supply chains

Orange County companies with global operations report that they have for the most part worked through the disruptions caused by the suspension of air service that followed in the immediate wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Most of the companies say

Ford enlists celebs in Race for the Cure campaign, in the Marketing & Media column

Ford Motor Co. units in Dearborn, Mich. and Anaheim looked to Hollywood for its latest campaign promoting the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure breast cancer event, recently held at Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Executive Summary

Southern California Edison agreed to settle a lawsuit against the Public Utilities Commission on terms that would see Edison suspend dividends and Edison customers continue to pay current rates until the utility's debt is paid off; the share price of pare

Real Estate Deals

Duane and Martha Robinson bought a 9,113-square-foot industrial building at 16511 Burke Lane in Huntington Beach from Richard Houston for $0.9 million. David Cox and Greg Johnson of Ashwill Associates represented both parties.

The Newport Coast project has been a boon for architects

The Newport Coast development has been a boon to area architects, with thousands of custom-designed, multimillion-dollar homes going up on the seaside hills between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach.

A UCLA program takes up residence in Santa Ana's trade center

UCLA has subleased an office on the top floor of Santa Ana's International Business Center to house the North American Integration and Development Center, whose purpose is to help create joint ventures between American and Mexican companies and organizati

Calendar

- "Cable Business Journal" guest Matt Massengill, CEO of Western Digital. Check local listings for dates and times

OC Shares Pounded; Decline Began Well Before Sept. 11

Didn't think so. It's a forgotten memory, buried beneath an avalanche of economic setbacks and world turmoil.

Edwards Theatres retains Jones Lang LaSalle to manage its properties

In a further effort to streamline its operations and boost its bottom line, Edwards Theatres Circuit Inc. has awarded a two-year contract to Jones Lang LaSalle Americas Inc., to manage the Newport Beach-based theater chain's 3.4 million-square-foot real e

Slew of Warnings Sets Stage for Meager Earnings Season

Starting this week, companies will begin announcing their third quarter results. For most of the companies in Orange County, this earnings season could be best classified as miserable. Already, one by one, companies here have announced warnings of their t

Piper Jaffray is shuttering its year-old OC operation

Barely a year after opening a stock brokerage office in Orange County, U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray has decided to shut down its operations here completely.

Shea signs its first tenant for Vantis, in the Real Estate column

Vantis, the 40-acre, $350 million Class A project under construction at the Aliso Viejo Town Center, has landed its first tenant.

Not much of the post-Sept. 11 increase in defense spending is likely to trickle to Southland firms

When it comes to the Southland's defense industry, this is not Pearl Harbor. Nor is it even the Reagan-led military buildup in the 1980s. Area defense contractors, in fact, are not likely to see much business in the short term from any U.S. military build

People

H. Tony Rahimian was appointed senior vice president at CH2M Hill in Santa Ana. Rahimian has been with the company for five years and was alternative project delivery director before the promotion.

Post-Sept. 11 blood donations are replenishing local stocks

The surge in blood donations following last month's attacks in New York and Washington is going to beef up local supplies, as East Coast facilities report they have all they need.

Temp Agencies

Temp Agencies

Canon readies a printer that can link directly to a digital camera

The Costa Mesa-based Digital Home and Personal Systems division of Canon U.S.A. Inc. is getting ready to roll out the first ink-jet printer that can connect directly to a digital camera to print photographic images.

Pacific Bell is expanding its DSL infrastructure into North County

Even as Pacific Bell prepares its latest salvo in a longtime battle with competing Internet service providers, it's also taking the offensive against high-speed cable companies and Orange County is one of the battlegrounds.

Woody's at the Beach is an eatery of rare timber

Early this summer, after we and the three other couples returned from the Loire Valley in France and we needed to have a post-trip get-together to laugh and look at pictures and reminisce, one of the couples suggested we go to Woody's at the Beach in Lagu

Filmmaker MacGillivray Freeman is sticking with the IMAX format for now

You can't see any of their films at multiplexes in Orange County,at least for now.

Access360 has two contracts delayed by the Sept. 11 attacks, forcing layoffs

Upstart security software maker Access360 Inc. will lay off an undisclosed amount of sales and engineering staff after the company saw two major deals with firms based in the World Trade Center,which was destroyed in last month's terrorist attacks,put off

Boeing and Nabisco both take OC space to consolidate some regional operations

Chicago-based Boeing Co. and Kraft Foods unit Nabisco both have leased 100,000-plus-square-foot Orange County facilities, and each will consolidate some regional operations here.

OC's temp agencies are seeing the effects of the downturn

Temporary staffing agencies in Orange County reported some revenue growth and modest growth in demand for temporary workers during the 12 months ended June 30, according to this week's Business Journal list. But much of that growth occurred in the last tw

Mr. Kimchi hopes to interest U.S. diners in Korean barbecue-style fare

A new Korean barbecue restaurant chain, Mr. Kimchi Inc., has come to Orange County.

Letters

More thoughts on what lies ahead for our economy and society in the wake of the terrorist attacks:

The West County industrial market was strong in the third quarter

During the second quarter of 2001, despite the relaxation of industrial activity, the West Orange County industrial market improved with a 21% increase in gross activity and the highest absorption in both the manufacturing-and-warehouse and research-and-d

The Insider hears Palley-Needelman is a shell of its former self

Once celebrated as one of Orange County's biggest money managers, Palley-Needelman Asset Management is a shell of its former self. The firm was hit in the past year and a half by key personnel departures and institutional withdrawals. Assets under managem

Monday, October 1

When will it be time to laugh again? An editorial

YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED THAT ONE OF OUR MOST POPULAR contributors to this page, Los Angeles comedian Argus Hamilton, hasn't appeared for the past three weeks. The reason should be obvious,we think it's still too early to poke fun at the nation's predicament.

SolarFlare Communications is keeping a close eye on its burn rate

It may have a flair for chip designing, but Irvine-based SolarFlare Communications Inc. is taking it slow when it comes to funding.

Calendar

- "Cable Business Journal" guest Matt Massengill, CEO of Western Digital. Check local listings for dates and times

Palomar Ventures has a new fund and a tried-and-true strategy

Venture capital firm Palomar Ventures likes to keep behind the scenes. The firm, founded in 1999, has bankrolled several startups that offer software, chips, networking gear and other products that help other companies do business or develop better produc

FCB trio forms a new shop, in the Marketing & Media column

The trend of top executives defecting from large agencies to start their own shops is continuing in Orange County as three former bigwigs at FCB Southern California, Irvine, have started their own gig.

Saddleback Memorial's new critical-care building will open next year

A new $25 million pavilion is coming into the homestretch at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center and is set to open for emergency and critically ill patients next year.

The North County industrial market has entered a 'mature' phase

The North Orange County Market continued to relax from the fast-paced activity seen this time last year as local companies responded to the economic downturn by scaling back on expansion and relocation plans. Companies clearly are taking a more conservati

Multimedia Companies

Multimedia Companies

Executive Summary

The Conference Board reported its index of consumer confidence fell from 114 in August to 97.6 this month, the biggest one-month decline since 1990 The Orange County Transportation Authority adopted a strategic plan that calls for spending $4.6 billion

Sept. 11 highlighted the need for data backup, in the Technology column

Last month's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., changed many perceptions. Among them could be how businesses see an industry that had seemingly stalled in Orange County,data centers.

SimpleTech back-burners its acquisition strategy

Santa Ana-based SimpleTech Inc., which had been weighing a bid for fellow Orange County computer memory products maker Viking Components Inc., said it's pulled back from any deals in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

More thoughts on the meaning of Sept. 11

More thoughts from prominent Orange Countians about what they think lies ahead for our economy and our society in the wake of the terrorist attacks:

PacifiCare pulls back further in the Medicare market, in the Healthcare column

PacifiCare Pulls Out of Medicare Market in More Areas Survey Finds Nearly Half Have Had Problems With Their Health Plans

Real Estate Deals

Santa Ana-based Triple Net Properties LLC purchased a 106,717-square-foot industrial distribution building in Las Vegas and the 75,257-square-foot Trademark building in Reno from Kilroy Realty LP for $12.3 million. Alan Pekarcik of Voit Commercial Brokera

People

Sonace of San Clemente appointed Chip Brown chief executive officer. Brown joined Sonace in 1999 and was chief operating officer prior to the promotion.

VSK Photonics moves to Lake Forest and gears up for production

VSK Photonics Inc., a startup designer of optical networking components, has moved from Irvine to a new facility in Lake Forest where it plans to make the super-secret gear the 10-month-old company has kept under wraps so far.

AccentCare and its investors see gold in the senior home-care market

Joe Davis sees a business opportunity in helping senior citizens around their houses.

OC's network-security firms expect a surge in business

Orange County's network security companies,one of the larger technology sectors here after communications chips and computer products,are banking on paranoia at some of the world's largest businesses.

Bills passed in the Legislature's final days could cost business $6 billion a year

California businesses, already reeling from higher energy costs and a slowing economy, could get hit with up to $6 billion in added annual costs if bills passed by the state Legislature last month get signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis.

The Insider---They Sized Up Citron, Now They Want at Edison

What are the chances that Southern California Edison will wind up in bankruptcy court? "Nine out of 10," says OC treasurer John Moorlach. What are the chances he, Moorlach, will succeed in his bid to become chairman of the creditors' committee? "Three out

Trammell Crow breaks ground on a major expansion of Park Place

The Irvine office of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co. has broken ground on a six-story Class A office building in the Park Place office campus, the first of a new phase of development at the former Fluor Corp. headquarters site.

A Santa Ana office tower is sold, in the Real Estate column

Mission Hills-based Asset Management Consultants Inc. sold the 12-story, 113,000-square-foot building at 2700 N. Main St., a property known for its time and temperature readings.

Two partners leave Street Asset Management

Two executives and partners of Corona del Mar money manager Street Asset Management LLC have left the firm in a bitter split.

The Ritz sets October wine tastings

Address: 1287 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach (in La Casa del Camino Hotel)

Multimedia firms are riding out the marketing slowdown, so far

New media technology continues to be a hot spot in an otherwise slumping advertising and marketing economy, according to several firms on the Business Journal's directory of Orange County multimedia companies.

Newly formed Chicago-based Foran Glennon Palandech & Ponzi opens an office in OC

Foran Glennon Palandech & Ponzi PC, a newly formed, Chicago-based law firm, has opened its first branch office in Laguna Hills.

Santa Ana is drawing a hip crowd of artists, multimedia firms and ad shops

Santa Ana doesn't come close to rivaling the concentration of advertising, marketing and graphics firms found in Irvine, but it is developing its own population of artsy types.