Stories for November 2009

Monday, November 30

REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

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D.C. in OC as Pols Come Calling; Curious Case of Pang, Irvines

OC Insider column by Rick Reiff

Spoils of War

Blizzard Marks Anniversaries for Games Rooted in Geek Love of SciFi, Fantasy

A look at a Blizzard’s bread and butter franchise

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Four Generations United at Anaheim’s Hilgenfeld Mortuary

LONGEVITY AWARD - Hilgenfeld Mortuary

Four generations of Hilgenfelds have worked at the mortuary, which is one of a dwindling number of smaller, privately owned mortuaries.

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Our Costly Choice for Energy

VIEWPOINT

A local executive thinks the U.S. has made some poor energy choices,

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REAL ESTATE WATCH: Orange County Retail Market

Retailers Look to Holiday Season as Momentum Builder

Retailers are looking to the holiday season as a momentum builder, in Real Estate Watch

Irvine Co. Points to Stability With Commission Program

Thompson National Completes First Deal; Anaheim’s Harbor Lofts Opens for Sale in December

Irvine Co. is trying to get the word out to brokers that it’s the most financially stable building owner in town, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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Hyundai: First Super Bowl, Oscars, Now Times Square

Venice Production Shop Opens Irvine Office; Autobytel, Kelley Blue Book Share Buyer Leads

Hyundai Motor America is capping a big marketing year with a billboard in Times Square, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe

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TTM Buys Printed Circuit Board Unit for $521 Million

Ex-Jazz CEO Amelio Advises at Newport’s InteliCloud; Broadcom Foundation Hires Director

TTM Technologies recently agreed to buy the printed circuit board business of Hong Kong-based Meadville Holdings, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

National Equestrian Center Isn’t One to Horse Around

Huntington Beach Park Runs Rescue Center, Rentals; Produced Film for Sundance FestivalHuntington Beach Park Runs Rescue Center, Rentals; Produced Film for Sundance Festival

FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS AWARDS - SMALL BUSINESS

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Silver Star’s Unconventional Family: Tattoos, Former Playmate

FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS AWARDS - UP AND COMING BUSINESS

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Fruits of Labor

Frieda Caplan Grew Exotic Fruit, Vegetable Stand into Company Now Run by Daughters

FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS AWARDS - MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESS

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AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around OC

NEWS OF THE WEEK

This past week’s news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

Nonprofits Steady as Services Groups Offset Arts Giving Slump

evenue at OC’s largest nonprofits was relatively steady in the past year

Strategic Storage Trust Rolls Up 24 Properties, Rebrands

Ladera Ranch-based Strategic Storage Trust Inc. is snapping up self-storage businesses with the nearly $100 million that it has raised from investors.

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Insurer Pacific Life Sees AIG Hangover, Policy Sales Strong

Pacific Life has been on a wild ride with its investments in the past year but its mainstay life insurance business appears to be holding

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County’s Newest Chipmaker Grabbed in Buyout

TECHNOLOGY: Sierra moved here in August, selling for $180M

A company that quietly moved to Irvine in August is ending its short run as an OC-based company

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Alaska Corp. Nabs Majority Share in Office

REAL ESTATE: Federally created co. eyeing nearby development work

An Alaska Native Corporation made its first move into OC,

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Building a Business for Family

Reluctant Heir Rises After Olen Properties Tragedy

FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS AWARDS - LARGE BUSINESS: OLEN PROPERTIES

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Home Auctioneer REDC to Sell Commercial

Irvine’s REDC is diversifying from home auctions into commercial sales and a title business

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Mindspeed Moving HQ to Aliso Viejo

TECHNOLOGY: Chipmaker leaves Conexant-spawned hub in Newport

Mindspeed Technologies is leaving the nest

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Allergan, Others Fight Tax on Botox, Cosmetic Surgery

Analyst: Masimo’s Oxygen Monitor Best in Market; Edwards Lifesciences Fund Grants $1.8M

Allergan, its competitors and cosmetic surgeons are gearing up for a battle, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

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Monday, November 23

Netlist Sees Stock Run After Targeting Niche Sales

TECHNOLOGY: Sales rocky since 2006 IPO; seeks turnaround

A turnaround is in the works for Irvine’s Netlist

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Inflation or Deflation? Take Your Pick; Détente in Anaheim

OC Insider Column by Rick Reiff

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Liquor Marketers Switch from Dutch Vodka to Tequila

Johnson Gray Lands Tommy Bahama Account as Part of Its Push for Retail, Restaurant Work

Two former executives of Nolet Spirits have traded martinis for margaritas, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe

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City Ventures Buys 34 Lots from BofA; Building Homes

Capital Group Takes Part in Big Industrial Deal; RREEF Switching Up Brokers In Aliso Viejo

A Santa Ana builder that began operations this year has been ramping up work, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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Big Employers Cut Jobs; Hospitals Lessen Impact

ECONOMY: Workers shed at 1.8% rate, slower than county as a whole

Job losses for OC’s largest employers weren’t as bad as in the overall economy

Broadcom vs. Emulex Lives on in Litigation

World War III has broken out between Broadcom and Emulex

Quality Pushing Deeper Into Doctors’ Offices

HEALTHCARE: New offerings aimed at wave of ‘digitization’

A look at Quality Systems’ plans for growth

REAL ESTATE DEALS

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

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Missionary Man

Devout Catholic Busch Runs Hotels, Winery, Supermarkets

A look at a local hotel magnate whose religion drives his business

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How Chinese Can Openers Destroyed America

VIEWPOINT

A historian and a local executive think that Chinese can openers are ruining America, in Viewpoint

REAL ESTATE WATCH: LOW-rise office SPACE

Low-rise office space is seeing a slower decline, in Real Estate Watch

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Device Makers Weigh Pros, Cons of Healthcare Reform

Spectrum Reports Improved Sales of Cancer Drug; United Health Awards $600,000 in Grants

Healthcare reform remains on the brains of local industry executives, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

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Broadcom’s McGregor on OC: ‘Culture of Creativity’

Ingram Inks Deal With Cisco to Push Sales of Networking Gear; Skullcandy Opens OC Office

The chip industry is slowly emerging from its worst downturn since 2001, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

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Corona del Mar Banking on Annual Christmas Walk

Kovet Boutique Opens Second Location in San Clemente; Costa Mesa Attracts Car Enthusiasts

Corona del Mar is hoping its annual Christmas Walk will inspire attendees to open up their wallets, in the Marketplace column by Sherri Cruz

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Sunglass Maker Turns Sights to Artistic 1980s-Style Bikes

Cardboard Box Maker Slims Down With Sales; Retired Professor Multiplying Teaching Aids

Jack Martinez is switching gears after selling sunglasses maker Fly Industries LLC, in the Small Business column by Dan Beighley

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NEWS OF THE WEEK

This past week’s news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

Bank Focused on Equipment Finance Going After Local Business Lending

BANKING: Profitable CalFirst takes deposits nationally; no bad loans

California First National Bank wants to become more of a local bank

Grubb’s Moves

Brokerage Could Be Looking at HQ Move to Chicago, NY, After Month of Changes

Santa Ana’s Grubb & Ellis is rumored to be moving to either New York or Chicago

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Yorba Linda Building Going Up for Doctors

HEALTHCARE: Medical group plans early 2011 move to building

A $20 million medical office building is going up in Yorba Linda

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BofA Back on Top in Local Deposits

Bank of America has regained its spot as largest holder of deposits in the county

KBS Gets Irvine Tower After Owner Defaults

REAL ESTATE: Building about 40% full, down from 90% at peak

An affiliate of KBS Realty quietly took over ownership of an Irvine office tower last month,

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Monday, November 16

Contract Electronics Makers Shed Jobs, Lose Big Co. to L.A.

A relocation and other layoffs caused a huge drop in local employees at contract electronics makers here

Holiday Hopes

Hotels See Some Party Interest Return; Frugality, Caution Still Hold Sway Hotels See Some Party Interest Return; Frugality, Caution Still Hold Sway

Hotels are seeing a subtle return of the company holiday party after a rash of cancellations a year ago

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Mortgage Company Strikes Large Lease

REAL ESTATE: Subprime vets hiring at startup Kondaur Capital

Mortgage loan investor Kondaur Capital has struck one of the larger office leases of late

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Sunstone Sheds Hotels as It Eyes Others

LODGING: Unwanted hotels are given back; stock sale to drive buys

Sunstone Hotel is looking to buy even as lenders may take back 11 hotels

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Grubb & Ellis Reports Smaller Loss

Santa Ana-based real estate brokerage and investor Grubb & Ellis Co. reported a smaller third-quarter loss last week

Fairgrounds Deal Loses Ground; Professor Has Cautions for California

Inside OC Column by Rick Reiff

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Valeant Aims for $500M in Skin Care Sales

HEALTHCARE: Drug maker buying dermatology companies

Valeant is buying up skin drug companies

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Prosthetic Device Maker Unifies in Foothill Ranch

HEALTHCARE: Ossur moving jobs from Aliso Viejo, Camarillo

A local maker of prosthetic lower limbs is moving its headquarters and combining operations in Foothill Ranch

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STEC’s Stock Runup Reverses on Outlook

TECHNOLOGY: Fears of slower sales to EMC prompts sell-off

The wind has been let out of STEC’s sails

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Chipmaker Mindspeed Fixes Balance Sheet, Grows in Asia

TECHNOLOGY: Ex-Conexant unit turns profit, amasses backlog

Mindspeed Technologies worked its way out of a funk faster than many on Wall Street expected

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Chipmakers: Broadcom Pauses, Microsemi up on Acquisitions

TECHNOLOGY: Local workers down 3% amid industry slowdown

For the first time in recent memory, Broadcom didn’t buoy hiring on the Business Journal’s annual list of OC’s largest chipmakers

NEWS OF THE WEEK

This past week’s news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

Security Software Maker M86 Buys Israeli Company

Kingston Selling Movies on USB Drives, Memory Cards; Universal Electronics Adds Director

A local maker of Web filtering servers and software for small businesses and schools has acquired an Israeli company, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

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AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around OC

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Suzuki Switches Ad Buys to Later Rather Than Sooner

Juxt Does Black Travel Site; Rick Warren Magazine Now Just On Web, Reader’s Digest Out

American Suzuki has changed the way it buys its TV, print and online ads, in the Media and Marketing column by Michael Volpe

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Masimo Win Over Covidien Upheld by Appeals Court

Edwards Valve Implanted in Japan; UCI Researchers: Stem Cells Help Brain Tumor Recovery

Masimo again prevailed in court over a longtime rival, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

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Signs Point to Impending Grubb & Ellis Board Shakeup

Parker Properties Finding Tenants for Summit Campus; Top Voit Brokerage Team Changing

Grubb & Ellis appears to be smoothing the way for a shakeup of its board, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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VIEWPOINT

Healthcare Ponzi Scheme

One local doctor says Medicare is a Ponzi scheme, in Viewpoint

Distressed Office Buildings Dominate Local Transactions

REAL ESTATE: Local sales due to the ‘Maguire Effect’

How distressed office buildings are dominating local transactions;

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Industrial Market Hit by Oversupply

INDUSTRIAL SPACE

At the close of the third quarter, the Orange County industrial market posted slightly higher activity figures than in the previous quarter.

Office Market Hit Hard by Economy

OFFICE SPACE

The Orange County economy continues to struggle with the impact of a nationwide downturn.

Retail Sees Start Of Long Recovery

RETAIL SPACE

The recession is technically over, but there is a long road ahead for a full economic recovery.

Jazzing Up Chipmaker Tower

TECHNOLOGY: Look at combination, year later

Jazz Semiconductor says it has found its way out of its turnaround

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GIVING

Fundraisers and charitable donations from companies and people

Port Problems

Lower Cargo Shipments Changing Demand for Warehouse Space Across the Southland

How the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are affecting the industrial market

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Monday, November 9

Local Banks See 13% Boost in Assets, Drop in Income

FINANCE: Growth from failed bank takeovers, customer defecting

The county’s 25 largest banks based here saw a decent boost in assets through June as they weathered a harsh economy.

Downey Savings Buyer U.S. Bank Acquires Closed Cal National

California National Bank is being taken over by U.S. Bank after being closed by regulators at the end of October.

Bair: End Too Big To Fail, FDIC Model for Non-Banks

A speech by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair at Kansas State University last week.

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Anaheim Electronics Maker Opening Mass. Factory

Mag International Sells Hybrid Trucks to Resorts, Military; RedLine’s Sights on Big Growth

An Anaheim electronic connectors maker is expanding by leasing a factory in Massachusetts, in the Small Business column by Dan Beighley

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Startup Thinking Behind Irvine Co.’s Homes Project

Land Broker Opens Vegas Office for Troubled Assets; Haskell & White Expands in Spectrum

Executives at Irvine Co. would like to be thought of as entrepreneurs, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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Lending Drag

Banks Blame Lower Demand for Fewer Loans; Pick Up Business from Failed Competitors

Lending is slow as local banks claim less borrower demand, but borrowers claim that there are fewer loans available.

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Ingram Makes Small Storage Buy; Optimistic Outlook

Microsemi Cutting Costs in Arizona Plant Closure ; Vizio, Sony License Other’s Technology

Ingram Micro recently made a small acquisition, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolkoff

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Allergan Claims Victory in Patent Suit Over Generics

TriZetto Offering Free Medical Records to Spur Use of Health Plan Administrative Software

Allergan has won a pair of patent lawsuits over one of its eye drugs, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

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Private Equity Firm Buys Majority of Irvine’s MyPrint

El Pollo Loco Spars with KFC in 3rd Chicken Promotion; Freedom Continues Spanish Weekly

A private equity firm recently acquired a majority interest in Irvine’s MyPrint, in the Media & Marketing column by Michael Volpe

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REAL ESTATE WATCH: High-rise Office Market

High-Rise Office Space Still Feeling Effects of Recession

High-rise office space is still feeling the effects of the economy, in Real Estate Watch

PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

2010 Auto Sales Could See 16% Rise After Dismal 2009

Saab Dealer Goes Mitsubishi; Shoppers Expect Holiday Discounts; Looking to Black Friday

Local auto dealers have something to look forward to next year, in the Marketplace column by Sherri Cruz

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NEWS OF THE WEEK

This past week’s news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

Diedrich Buyout Caps Comeback, Wild Runup on Wall Street

Last week’s $213 million deal to acquire Diedrich Coffee Inc. caps a turnaround—complete with a big Wall Street runup—for the Irvine-based coffee products company.

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Newport Beach Startup Leases Towers to Cell Phone Carriers

Mobilitie Aims to Undercut Big Competitors; Sees $100M in Yearly Sales on 2,500 Towers

Mobilitie Partners operates more like a real estate developer than a telecommunications startup

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Cancer Device Maker Expands with Funding

HEALTHCARE: Cianna Medical battles better-known competitors

What an Aliso Viejo device maker is doing with the $11 million it recently received in funding

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Troubled Gold Trader, Auctioneer Moves to Irvine

COLLECTIBLES: Spectrum has $4B in sales, moving past scandal

Gold trader and auction specialist Spectrum International has set up shop in Irvine

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Boost $50 Campaign Bright Spot for Sprint

TECHNOLOGY: Prepaid phone customers help stop the bleeding

Boost Mobile is a bright spot for Sprint

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Recession Hits Golf Club Members, Too; Carly’s Biz Backers

OC Insider Column by Rick Reiff

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Standard Pacific Starts Acquiring Land Again

REAL ESTATE: Move is big shift for homebuilder once left for dead

Standard Pacific appears to have its own house in order after a year of balance sheet restructuring and corporate downsizing

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Allergan Marketing Spurs Sales, Snags

A look at Allergan’s marketing strategy in light of a recent backlash on its ads

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Dance Dance Revolution

Nonprofit Turns Poor Kids into Coeds

A look at a Santa Ana after-school dance program for needy kids, known as The Wooden Floor

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Bank Holdup

Many Distressed High-End Homes Going Unsold as Lenders Work Out Strategy for Sales

There are nearly 1,000 distressed homes spread among some of Orange County’s most desired coastal neighborhoods

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Hiked FDIC Fees Start to Show, Three-Year Prepayment Looms

Banks Pay Charge, Increased Quarterly Fees; Could Get Accounting Break on Prepayment

Orange County bankers are facing higher fees from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on several fronts.

Credit Unions’ Asset Growth Stopped, Income Drops

FINANCE: Point to drop in loans, members; high regulatory fees

After years of growth, the county’s largest credit unions were held to a 1% increase in assets as their customers dealt with a shaky economy.

Sources: Opus Tower Going for $56 Million

REAL ESTATE: Tower’s price at fraction of construction cost

An Irvine office tower built in 2007 by bankrupt developer Opus West is nearing a sale

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Monday, November 2

Irvine Co. Bets on Pent-Up Demand for Irvine Homes

Why Irvine Co. thinks now is the time to start building again on the Ranch

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Wet Seal Turnaround Enters Critical Stage

RETAIL: Wet Seal stores limp into holidays, Arden B. chain stronger

In the words of one analyst, Wet Seal is in the running to become the turnaround story of retailers,

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Irell & Manella Renews Lease for Fashion Island Office

Shea Properties Sells NorCal Apartments at a Loss; High-End Irvine Condos Garner Interest

A look at the largest lease for a law firm in OC this year, in the Real Estate column by Mark Mueller

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State Fund Plan Draws Fears of Higher Workers’ Comp Rates

Workers’ compensation insurance rates could soar if a plan to sell part of the State Compensation Insurance Fund comes to fruition.

Backing Off Benefits

Employers Cut Perks, Travel, Healthcare to Save Money; Cuts Expected to be Temporary

After layoffs, employers are looking to benefits as a place to cut costs.

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Insurance Brokers See 4% Revenue Drop, First in Years

Insurance brokers have turned to consulting work as a parachute to slow a drop in their business

Benefits Consultants, Insurers Guide Clients through Reform

HEALTHCARE: Hard to predict changes to mandated coverage

As the year winds down, Orange County benefits consultants and providers are waiting to see how national healthcare reform plays out.

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Former U.S. Attorney Gross Leaves Snell for Greenberg’s Irvine Office

Greenberg Traurig has hired former U.S. Attorney Wayne Gross at its Irvine office

Relationships in Global Warming

VIEWPOINT

One local executive thinks that the relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature needs to be re-examined, in a Viewpoint

REAL ESTATE WATCH: Orange County Construction

Construction Declines Seen Across the Board

Construction declines are being seen across the board, in Real Estate Watch

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Buy.com Launching Sites for Canada, France, Others

Three Local Cos. Land on Fast 500 List; Semicoa Plugging Away After Private Equity Sale

Buy.com is launching Web sites for international shoppers, in the Technology column by Sarah Tolfkoff

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AROUND THE COUNTY

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around OC

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Santa Ana, Anaheim Among Cities With Most Uninsured

UCI Eye Regeneration Project Profiled on NPR; Irvine’s U.S. Dermatology Sees Funding Round

U.S. Dermatology has received an undisclosed round of funding, in the Healthcare column by Vita Reed

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Director Hooks Up WebVisible With NetZero Cofounder Burr

Vodka Seller Markets on TV’s “White Collar”; OC Bride Magazine Sees Hotels Come Calling

WebVisible has named a NetZero cofounder as its chief operating officer, in the Media & Marketing column

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PEOPLE

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Holiday Time Brings Special Events, Meals to Eateries

French Restaurants Having Fun with Their Menus; Anaheim Hilton Delights with Decor, Menu

The latest in OC’s dining scene, in the Executive Dining column

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Investment Advisers on Wall Street’s Wild Year, New Thinking

A look at how financial advisers have been faring since the downturn

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Lawyer to Law

Judge Sentenced Carona, Handles Business Spats

Judge Andrew Guilford is becoming famous with several prominent OC cases

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MagTek Hunkers Down, Pushes Better Bank Card Security

TECHNOLOGY: Maker of card readers sells to hurting customers

MagTek has hunkered down to weather the recession

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NEWS OF THE WEEK

This past week’s news from www.ocbj.com and other sources

Grubb Focusing on Long-Term Viability after Cash Infusion

Grubb & Ellis is still looking to solve its long-term problems

Stores Hoping for Less Gloomy Holiday Sales

RETAIL: Sellers not relying on discounts; malls boost entertainment

What retailers are expecting this holiday season

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Ingram Micro Looks to Windows 7 for Sales Boost

Ingram Micro is looking for a sales boost with Windows 7

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Claim Jumper Founder Eyes Buyback Bid

RESTAURANTS: Nickoloff sold in 2005; big expansion unrealized

Claim Jumper Restaurants is on the auction block

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Buffett, Gross Top Bloomberg Survey; Playoffs Sans Pringle

OC Insider Column by Rick Reiff

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Mission Hospital Expansion: Intensive Care, Diagnostics

A look at Mission Hospital’s multimillion-dollar patient tower,

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