Stories for February 2000

Monday, February 28

Welsh Agency Opens

The Welsh Development Agency has opened an office in Newport Beach that will be the North American headquarters for the economic development arm of the government of Wales.


Joel Kotkin's argument (Feb. 14 Viewpoint) that young Internet/high-tech innovators prefer urban areas, and thus choose Los Angeles over Orange County, is way off base.

Nexus, Koll Ready With Airport-Area Projects

The local developer, who last year announced plans to build $76 million of new high-rise office towers in Santa Ana, finally inked the last set of documents on a $62 million construction loan from Bank of America.

Hospitals Get First $2.2M of OC's Prop. 10 Funds

Thirteen Orange County hospitals have received a total of $2.2 million from Proposition 10 funds to pay for a full-time healthcare professional in each hospital to support families following the birth of a child.

High Schoolers Making Splash With Surfwear

Sure there are a lot of surfwear companies out there selling hats, T-shirts, sunglasses, surfboards and visors, but sisters Sharlene and Desi Metcalf may be the only businesswomen who launched their company while still in high school.


n Child actor Haley Joe Osment was nominated for an Oscar for "The Sixth Sense." He plays a six-year-old who can see the dead. When the kid woke up last Wednesday, George W. Bush was asking for his vote in California.


Seventy-eight percent of students and recent alums plan to stay with their first employer for three years or less. Only 17% said they would stay for five years, while 27% said they planned to stay only a year.


This is the first time I have chosen my Chef of the Year from a private club. Ordinarily, I would be weighing too heavily the fact that the general public cannot just drive up and have a meal. However, Jean-Pierre Eigenheer, the executive chef of the Balb

Ingram Micro Lands

Ingram Micro Europe, a unit of Santa Ana-based Ingram Micro Inc., said it had signed an agreement in principle for a three-year, $200 million deal to provide logistical support services to Take Care Marketing AB, the largest value-added reseller in Sweden

Security Firms Boosted by Y2K Fears

Fears of Y2K problems fueled another strong year for Orange County security guard firms, which also saw further consolidation in their ranks.

Wake-Up Call

THESE AREN'T GOOD DAYS FOR THE PRO-EL TORO AIRPORT FORCES. THE anti-airport Measure F looks increasingly like a winner at the polls next month, possibly a big winner, thanks to a rising tide of no-growth sentiment and an effective, barely-answered anti-ai


From French to Japanese to American, the County's Best Regional-Themed Fare

Birtcher Pulls Portfolio Off Market, Will Build Occupancy

Laguna Niguel-based Birtcher Real Estate Group, which has been negotiating to sell $125 million of its local assets since last year, has decided to take the properties off the market.

Shea Properties Moving From Walnut to Aliso Viejo

Shea Properties says it plans to relocate from Walnut to the $30 million Town Center Corporate Park in Aliso Viejo, which it is developing.

Coming to a Mall Near You: Billboards

Brick-and-mortar retailers are borrowing an idea from their Internet competition: in-your-face advertising.

Silicon Valley Bank Names SoCal Manager

Terry Bess was promoted from senior vice president and manager of Silicon Valley Bank's Los Angeles and Santa Barbara offices to executive vice president and manager of the bank's Southern California Division. He also was named to the bank's managing comm

Several OC Firms See Opportunity in Windows 2000

Several Orange County companies are heralding the long-promised arrival last week of the newest version of Windows 2000, Microsoft's industrial-strength operating system--and hoping to cash in on user upgrades.


Ingram Micro Inc., Santa Ana, reported earnings of $75 million on sales of $7.8 billion for its fourth quarter ended Jan 1, compared with earnings of $73 million on sales of $6.2 billion for the same quarter the previous year. For the year, the company po

Air Guidance

A group called Clergy for Healthy Communities recently denounced the proposed El Toro Airport, accusing its backers of lacking brotherly love and otherwise behaving contrary to Biblical teachings.

OC Firm Brings Pre-Paid Cards to Incentive Packages

Those words spurred Alan Safahi to start his incentive company, Cardex, with just one employee back in 1995.

Real Estate Deals

Kane Industrial Properties purchased a 20,000-square-foot industrial building at 11842 Hamden Place in Santa Fe Springs for $1.17 million. Jeff Thomas of The Seeley Co. represented Kane and Elizabeth Hughes of Lee & Associates and Joel McCabe of The Seele

PiNGPoNG.CoM Drops FCB, Switches $30M Account to Doner

Doner, Newport Beach, has taken over an estimated $30 million national advertising campaign for Fountain Valley-based Internet start-up PiNGPoNG.CoM following the Internet company's split this month with FCB Worldwide in Costa Mesa.


The Manufacturing and Warehouse sector of the OC industrial market consists of 5,392 buildings 10,000 square feet or larger, totaling more than 197 million square feet. More than 40% of this space is concentrated in North OC, and more than 25% in the Airp


HNC Software, Irvine, promoted Earl Malit from senior vice president of product management to president of HNC Insurance Solutions, the company's insurance division. Previously, Malit was vice president of business planning at Sega of America.


Following an ad campaign last fall, as well as all the free media attention it got after buying its domain name, Irvine-based has had no shortage of customer traffic. PC Data ranked it the second-most-popular online radio site, with more than 1.46

OCer Named to Head New Union Bank Unit

Orange resident Linda F. Betzer will head a new group of Union Bank of California that is merging operations and customer functions for retail, corporate and multinational clients. She will oversee a staff of 1,300 with an operating budget of $91million.

Balboa Bay Club

The First Cabin is the main dining room of the Balboa Bay Club. It has a heavenly view of all the yachts docked mere feet away. It's a linen-clad room, but exceedingly friendly in every way. There's a full bar along the front of the room, lots of wood to


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K & B; Replaces Top OC Managers

Orange County's second most active homebuilder is reorganizing its local operations and bringing in two new managers to oversee the realigned division.

OfficeClick Web Site to Offer NowDocs Service, the Aliso Viejo startup that ships documents cross-country in as little as two hours, hopes to get broader exposure through a deal with, a Palo Alto outfit that provides a variety of web-based business services.

Winchell's Drops Factory Concept, Eyes East, Midwest

Winchell's Donut House plans to grow its 311-unit chain by roughly 10% this year and is looking at entering the Midwest and East Coast markets.


For the first time since 1996, more Orange County residents left the county last year than migrated here an indication that soaring housing costs are discouraging people in other counties and states from moving here. That could threaten the county's lon

Colton Co. Buys Laguna Design Center

Irvine-based The Colton Co. has purchased a 211,000-square-foot design and office center in Laguna Niguel from Koll Bren Schreiber Realty Advisors for $21.5 million.


This time, when I chose the Chef of the Year, there were some vivid reasons. There were just so many good meals at the Balboa Bay Club. Here's one example of how Jean-Pierre Eigenheer can impress with his cooking. When the Cakebread family of Cakebread Ce

'BIG' Plans Afoot in Research Park; Scalpers Love Krall

The Insider hears that BIG will be making a big move. Broadband Interactive Group, the growing, Broadcom-backed effort to marry extreme sports with the Internet, plans to move from rented quarters in a former Westec Security facility in Aliso Viejo into l

UCI Girding for Rapid Growth in Next 10 Years

UC Irvine expects to grow about 5% a year in the new decade, adding more students than any other in the nine-campus University of California system.


Here is something new: a directory of restaurants I've reviewed over the years. I'll be revising and updating it as I go along from here on out.

Fluor Looks to Internet, Spin-offs to Add Value

Excuse Aliso Viejo-based Fluor Corp. if it has felt the Internet blues. The engineering and construction giant is Orange County's third-largest company in terms of worldwide sales. But its market cap of $2.3 billion places it only ninth among OC companies

Timeshare Firm Leases Former OCBJ Space

Laguna Hills-based Pacific Monarch Resorts has signed a seven-year lease valued at $1.7 million to take 7,932 square feet at 4590 MacArthur Boulevard in Irvine.

Investors Hear Pitches and Sugar Ray at Roth Event

If the biker theme and screaming Sugar Ray fans at last week's Roth Capital Partners stock conference weren't enough of a hint, unrestrained excitement over quirky, unproven startups was a clearer indication that in today's tech economy, even stodgy old W

Register Zeroing In on New Agency for Branding Effort

It's been roughly five years since The Orange County Register's last branding campaign "You'll Laugh, You'll Cry, You'll Know," but now eight local advertising agencies from San Diego to Los Angeles are vying for the account, whose size has not been discl

CAM's E-Commerce Play: Free Software to Small Stores

As founder and chief executive of retail point-of-sale systems maker CAM Data Systems Inc., Geoff Knapp isn't in the habit of giving away the corporate crown jewels.

Monday, February 21

New Owner Plans to Open Jaguar Lot This Year

More than two years after Jaguar Cars of North America announced it was building a prototype dealership in Mission Viejo, the U.K.-based car manufacturer has sold its concept to new owners that say the upscale South Coast Motorcars will be completed in th


n Bill Bradley and Al Gore bickered in California over abortion rights and gun control. Those aren't our issues. Californians will vote for the candidate who offers us the best car phone reception in the canyons.


With 14 million square feet of gross activity, San Diego's industrial market experienced 5.6 million square feet of net absorption in 1999. More than 1.6 million square feet of positive net absorption were generated in the fourth quarter alone, primarily

Campbell Canvasses for OC Business Support

The Silicon Valley congressman spent last week in Orange County to try to drum up support among local executives for his campaign for U.S. Senate.

AMC Stepping Out With $200M Bankroll

Mission Hills-based Asset Management Consultants is ramping up its real estate acquisitions in Orange County, which it entered nearly three years ago.

Operator Proposes One-Year Demonstration

Mari-Flite Ferries says it wants to run a commuter ferry service between Oceanside and San Diego.

Home, Sweet Home

The companies that bear his name remain headquartered in the San Fernando Valley, but Bob Voit himself is now firmly entrenched in Orange County.

OC Firms Set to Begin

Two OC developers soon will begin work on retail projects near the Ontario Mills mall in Ontario.

Option One Bucks Sub-Prime Downturn

Option One Mortgage is preparing to hire 275 new employees in Orange County and expand its Irvine-based operations.


Target stores and attorney Marjorie Mize Le Gaye both received the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's employer of the year awards. The Orange County Chapter of NMSS recognized the recipients for providing accessible work environments for employees with

U.S. Markets

In Chicago, the first half of 1999 was one of the slowest first halves in recent memory. Lease, sale and build-to-suit activity was down more than 50% from 1998. The slowdown in activity was attributable to the lack of product for purchase, the lack of la

Opportunities Coming to Sample Fine Wines and Beers

One of the premier wine events of the year will take place on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 27, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., in the Pacific Ballroom of the Hilton Anaheim and Towers hotel. The 2000 Wine Extraordinaire event is sponsored by the Orange County Wine Socie

Linda Sanchez in Line for Labor Job

Linda Sanchez, 31, will replace Bill Fogarty as head of the Orange County Central Labor Council at the end of March, and she is promising to increase organizing activity here.

Toshiba Re-Ups as Sponsor of Senior Classic Tourney

Toshiba Computer Systems Group, Irvine, has signed a three-year deal to extend its title sponsorship of the Toshiba Senior Classic golf tournament through 2003.

Conexant's Value Now Dwarfs Ex-Parent Rockwell's

Unlocking shareholder value is one thing, but holy valuation! Rockwell International Corp.'s spinoff of Conexant Systems is looking almost embarrassing for the former parent company.


It's campaign season, which means Orange County's political consultants are once again going into high gear.


The biggest deals, in square feet, in the fourth quarter:

Irvine Group Launches Online-Only Bank

Irvine-based investment banker Richard Waterfield and his brother Randy have launched National, an Internet-only bank that hopes to lure depositors with no-fee services.

DisplayWorks Beefing Up Core Business While Diversifying

Jeffrey Feltch, president of DisplayWorks, an Irvine trade show and exhibit house, knows the completion of the Anaheim Convention Center this year will mean more business for his company. But though the 20-year-old company does a lot of work in Anaheim, F

Southern California Market

The end of the millennium has finally arrived, and finds the Orange County industrial market in the best of health. The economy has injected tenants and investors alike with a bullish attitude that has stimulated feverish demand across submarkets.

Real Estate Deals

Clark Management & Development LLC, Newport Beach, purchased 2.97 acres at 12200 Florence Avenue in Santa Fe Springs for $925,000. The company is constructing two industrial buildings on the site. Steve Sprenger and L.R. Sanders of Grubb & Ellis' Anaheim


New fireworks show at 9:30 p.m. at Disneyland; Friday and Saturday through April 14; nightly April 15 through September 4.

Local Doner Office Defending Longs Drug Stores Account

Doner, Newport Beach, is defending an account with Longs Drug Stores, Walnut Creek, that has been handled the past seven years by the shop's parent in Southfield, Mich. The drugstore chain wanted to work with a West Coast agency, so Doner moved the pitch


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PacifiCare Loses Its CIO; Why Lincoln Club Snubbed Fuentes

Another change at troubled PacifiCare Health Systems: Chief information officer Jim Williams is leaving the company after six and a half years to become president and CEO of Salt Lake City-based Schimatic Cash Transactions, dba IC One. The mov

Productivity Enhancement Names CEO

Productivity Enhancement Products Inc., a Laguna Hills-based engineering service company, named Richard Dadamo of Aliso Viejo CEO. He replaces Dan Beadle, PEP's founder, who left the company when a spinoff company, BeadleNet, was acquired by Seattle-based

Burnett Set to Break Ground on Desert Project

A Costa Mesa developer plans to begin construction within days on a 1,362-home masterplanned community in the desert setting of Cathedral City.


Varco International Inc., Orange, reported earnings of $3.7 million on $144.3 million in revenue for the fourth calendar quarter, compared with fourth-quarter 1998 earnings of $10.7 million on $199.6 million in revenue. For the year, the company reported

OC Leads State in Proposed Hotel Rooms

Orange County continued to lead the state in the number of proposed hotel rooms in 1999, with 12,320 rooms in the planning stage, almost one-third of the 35,448 total rooms planned in Southern California.

Brokerages Prospering in New Internet Age

You would think that traditional brokerage firms would be dropping employees because of the increased competition from online outfits, but OC's brick-and-mortar brokerages have followed three years of increased employment with even more gains in the past

Privates, Biotech Increase Presence at Roth Conference

After more than a decade of restricting Cruttenden Roth's annual investor's conference to high-growth publicly held companies, organizers are opening the floodgates to private companies for the first time. And though the move seems a radical departure fro


As the county moved into a new century, the Orange County industrial market saw an impressive expansion to a portfolio just shy of a quarter-billion square feet. Total industrial sale and leasing activity were at the highest level of the past decade. More


To date the Orange County retail market has expanded to more than 69 million square feet of leasable shop space. At the end of the fourth quarter, the retail vacancy rate declined, lease rates stabilized, the county experienced another quarter of healthy

Cox Moves to Lure More Business Broadband Customers Reports Hacker Attack; Nexgenix Starts Financial-Services Unit

Haskell & White Completes Move

Haskell & White has moved from Newport Beach to its new headquarters in the Irvine Spectrum.

A Day With the Editor

A.J. Korn, 17, is a senior at Edison High School in Huntington Beach who has been accepted into the Air Force Academy. He visited the OCBJ recently for a class project. Not only was his resulting paper graded an "A," we thought it was good enough to earn

Cross-Border Conference Draws Mayors, Small-Business Networkers

A group of 500 business and civic leaders gathered last week in Irvine and Santa Ana for a summit of California and Mexican mayors, held to discuss technology, trade and commerce.


A group of women from the Southern California Food Industries Circle for City of Hope raised $125,000 for cancer research and treatment at their "Millennium Madness" fashion show, held at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

The JWA Tax

Toro airport, and the level of discourse ain't gettin' better. In fact, it's getting worse.

Western Markets

With sublease space increasing at dramatic rates and speculative projects, fueled by the 1997 fervor, coming on line, there was trepidation in the Silicon Valley real estate market. And for the first quarter of 1999, that fear seemed to be warranted due t

New Execs Inject Life Into San Clemente Hospital

When Nashville-based NetCare Health Systems Inc. took over San Clemente Hospital and Medical Center in mid-1998, the hospital was, to use a medical metaphor, hemorrhaging money.

LPA Acquires Office in Northern California

LPA Inc., an Irvine-based architectural firm with an office in Denver, acquired a third office, in the Sacramento area.

Voit Planning $100M in OC Developments

Voit Development Co., one of last year's most active local commercial real estate players, is negotiating to buy and develop more than $100 million worth of commercial and industrial properties in Orange County.


Pacific Life Insurance Co., Newport Beach, withdrew plans to expand its Newport Center headquarters by 420,000 square feet, citing the upcoming vote on the city's anti-growth Greenlight initiative ... Premier Laser Systems Inc., Irvine, halted production

Southern California a Player in VC Numbers Game

If venture capital investment were Major League Baseball, Silicon Valley would be the New York Yankees. But there's a lot of competition for the title of runner-up, which is one reason why interest over the data on venture money has never been higher.

Life Goes On at Levin & Hawes After Pfizer Win

The small Laguna Beach intellectual-property law firm of Levin & Hawes recently won a $143 million trademark-infringement verdict against healthcare giant Pfizer Inc., the maker of Viagra and other pharmaceuticals.


Lee Ducharme was named senior vice president of the supply chain design and implementation division of Ray Rivero & Associates Inc., an industrial engineering and management-consulting firm in Irvine. Ducharme was previously vice president of purchasing a


Runzheimer International's Guide to Daily Travel Prices based on rates for 200 domestic destinations

Exhibit Builder Changes Name

Costa Mesa-based X-zibitz Productions, which designs and builds trade show displays and booths, has changed its name to Blackline Environments.


The Orange County office market encompasses approximately 57 million square feet, including 341,505 square feet of new office space that was completed in the fourth quarter of 1999. A total of more than 2 million square feet was added to the OC office mar

Koll Planning Retail Development in Oregon

Koll Development, which has been an active player in Oregon, is planning its first foray into the state's retail marketplace.

Hitachi-UCI Joint Project Becomes Commercial Unit

Irvine-based Hitachi Chemical Research Center Inc. announced the formation of RNAture Inc., a wholly owned commercial subsidiary that will develop and manufacture gene-expression enabling products for basic research and high-throughput pharmaceutical scre


Leasing Agents: Scott Johnstone, Chris Bates, Greg Puccinelli, John Marchiorlatti

Monday, February 14


Enrollment growth at the county's largest HMOs slowed considerably in 1999, with the 10 firms on the Business Journal list showing a 4% increase in OC enrollees as of December, compared with a year ago.

Real Estate Watch

At the close of the final reporting period of 1999, industrial sale and lease activity in the Inland Empire achieved a five-year high of 24.9 million square feet transacted. Almost 5.7 million square feet were transacted in the fourth quarter alone. Net a

Call Doctor Set to Offer OC House Calls

That's what an old song says. And a prime illustration of that concept is occurring locally in healthcare: doctors making house calls.

Menlo Equities Working Two Deals Totaling $25M

Menlo Equities of Palo Alto, which has purchased $75 million in Southern Californian properties since entering the local market in July, is on the verge of closing two other office complexes.

Dock Docs: Irvine Duo Serves Shippers

David Hartman and Ken Murphy started National Equipment and Service Corporation 11 years ago, while sitting in Hartman's car outside their apartment, sharing a six-pack of Budweiser.

Logical Imaging Bought by Georgia Company

Logical Imaging Solutions Inc., a Santa Ana printing equipment maker, is being purchased by Color Image Inc., a Georgia company that makes toners for laser printers.

New Chef, New Menu, Same Peak Experience at Bistango

Bistango has a new chef directing the menu, and there are some exciting new things to try.

Doubletree Hotel Debuts $2.4M Meeting-Space Addition

The Doubletree Hotel Costa Mesa unveiled 11,000 square feet of new meeting space last week, a move it hopes will help bolster its efforts to attract more social and corporate events to the hotel.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Inc., Irvine, raised $182 million in an IPO in which shares rose from $13 to close at $25 the first day, imputing values of $3.3 billion to the company and $1.6 billion to the 48% stake held by founder Scott Blum; a hacker attack brought down the

Diedrich Hopes Moviegoers Will Want to Sip With Mel

Well, in his new movie, "What Women Want" the studly actor wants his Diedrich coffee.


Two weeks ago, the Health Care Management Program of the UCI Graduate School of Management hosted its annual Health Care Forecast Conference, bringing together academics, analysts and healthcare industry execs for two days of speeches and seminars.

Local AEA Seeking Nominees for Awards

Orange County technology enthusiasts have until Feb. 21 to nominate their favorite companies for the American Electronic Association's sixth annual High-Tech Awards on May 18.

Big Companies Back Prop. 26, Little Guys Keep Quiet

You'd be hard-pressed to find a business in Orange County that says it opposes Proposition 26, the measure that would change the state constitution to require only a majority vote to pass school bonds rather than a two-thirds vote.

Real Estate Deals

182,236-square-foot building at 7301 Orangewood Ave. in Garden Grove for $13.5 million. Roger Egge of CB Richard Ellis represented the plastics manufacturer and Greg Ozimec, Michael Bouma and Alan Pekarcik of Voit Commercial Brokerage represented the sell

Big Plans

When they first joined the Foothill Ranch development team more than a decade ago, Dougall Agan and Chris Downey faced what seemed like a huge undertaking.

They Say

At a minimum, the federal government's intervention in the proposed purchase of LA-based Atlantic Richfield Co. by BP Amoco has further delayed the deal's closing,and raised the specter of further concessions that will result in the acquisition being less

OC VC Deals Dip in 4th Quarter, but Up for Year

Venture capital deals for Orange County growth-stage companies took a year-end breather in the last quarter of 1999, totaling $126.8 million, down 40% from the third-quarter tally. But the total for the year reached $537.9 million,nearly double 1999's $27

.com-pared to LA, OC is Dullsville

For years, Mimi Grant and Bob Kelley were Orange County's ultimate high-tech duo. Yet in the past year the peripatetic networkers and consultants have been spending an increasing amount of their time commuting north up the I-405.

UCLA Overhauling Its Technology-Transfer Program

Amid a growing chorus of complaints from top researchers and business executives, UCLA officials are vowing to overhaul the university's much-maligned technology-transfer program through which research findings are developed into commercial products and s


Beckman Coulter Inc., Fullerton, reported earnings of $38.6 million on sales of $517 million for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with earnings of $18.5 million on sales of $483 million for the fourth quarter of 1998. For the year, the company p

Powerwave Hops Pond to Woo GSM Market

Powerwave Technologies, the Irvine wireless phone-equipment maker featured in this newspaper a few weeks ago, is getting serious about the European market it mentioned in that report.

Business Luring Students From Med Schools

After four hard years of medical school, pulling all-nighters and memorizing the names of 206 bones and 650 individual muscles, Susan Taylor has a $35,000-a-year job as a resident doctor at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and heavy student loans to repay


Doctors Have Been Slow to Apply the Internet, but Some OC Firms Are Trying to Change That

Polygon to Sell Holdings, Drop New Projects

With almost three-decades of experience wheeling-and-dealing across the globe, H. Gordon MacKenzie last summer decided to take a big leap.

Intel Eyes Broadcom, Conexant Turf

Have Orange County's battling broadband titans, Broadcom Corp. and Conexant Systems Inc., awakened a sleeping giant?

Arter & Hadden Adds Former Interplay President

The Irvine office of the law firm of Arter & Hadden is hoping to lure Orange County dot-coms and high-tech startups with its new recruit, former Interplay Entertainment president, Chris Kilpatrick. He will head up the firm's new Technology Company Practic


Glenn H. Carniello, a 10-year industry veteran, was promoted to partner at Singer Lewak Greenbaum & Goldstein LLP, Santa Ana. In addition, Michael D. Cohen was appointed partner and will direct the firm's business valuation and litigation services. He wor


TeleCore Has Half the National Market for Installation; Looks to Diversify Services


Physician groups were supposed to be the salvation of the medical profession in the era of managed care, a way for doctors to use their joint clout to wring more money out of health maintenance organizations.


A primary election battle over insurance law, the plaintiffs' bar legislative attack on arbitration and protective orders, and reforming California's bizarre unfair competition law rank high as civil justice issues affecting the business community as the

All Six OC-Based Carmakers Post Sales Gains in '99

OC-based carmakers had a banner year in 1999, with all six major companies reporting sales gains of 1.3% to more than 80%.


The kind of chatter Dr. Maria Minon used to hear among doctors lunching at the hospital cafeteria would be about the most interesting cases they had seen that week. Now, most of the conversations center on struggles to get reimbursed, not having enough of


And when he says, as he does in the Viewpoint on the facing page, that the Great Dot-Com Race has shifted from the nerds to the content guys, from the engineers to the entertainers, and that means hip LA is whipping vanilla OC, I take heed. And I find mys

Umberg Returns to Morrison & Foerster

Former OC assemblyman Tom Umberg has left his post as deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and will rejoin the law firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP, to practice in the firm's Washington and OC offices.

Lincoln Club Brass Discuss Fuentes; Yet Another Rail Plan

The Lincoln Club, the OC GOP's loyal business support group, has been conspicuously silent in the battle between local party chairman Tom Fuentes and the executive-led New Majority for control of the central committee. But club members, who are on both si


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Points of Light

Ricoh Electronics Inc., Tustin, donated more than $12,000 to Providence Speech and Hearing and Parents Regional Outreach for Understanding Down's Syndrome. The electronic company's Community Assistance by Ricoh Employees raised more than $6,000 though var


John B. Parker, chairman of Parker Partners (previously Parker Properties) was presented a lifetime achievement award from the UCI Graduate School of Management's program in real estate management.

Fuentes Group Says It'll Raise $300K

Tom Fuentes, chairman of the Orange County Republican Party, is throwing down the gauntlet in his face-off with the corporate executive-led New Majority.

C and C Vision Readies Trials of Implantable Lens

Last week this column brought you the news of a device in its final phase of clinical trials that is used to correct farsightedness, manufactured by Irvine-based Refractec.

New OC Chief for O'Melveny & Myers

Gary Singer, 47, is the new partner-in-charge at O'Melveny & Myers. Singer will oversee all operations and the strategic direction of the firm's Newport Beach office as well as its Irvine Spectrum office, scheduled to open in April. The firm employs 75 at

Two Sites Acquired for New Walgreen Stores

Deerfield, Ill.-based The Walgreen Co. is planning to build some 200 new stores during the next four years in the Los Angeles and Orange County markets.

Saturday, February 12

PacifiCare signs with Tenet, in the Healthcare column

More Health Networks to Rely on Beckman Instruments; Diversity Grants Awarded

Monday, February 7

Refractec Readies Machine to Correct Farsightedness

Even with warnings about possible complications and side effects associated with laser eye surgery, nearsighted people have flocked to pay an average of $2,300 per eye to get the Lasik procedure.

Voit Reselling 10 Former Fujita Properties

After completing more than $400 million in acquisitions last year, Voit Development is selling part of its portfolio in Los Angeles and Orange counties.


California Mortgage Service, Santa Ana, appointed seven loan officers to its retail lending division: Rene Solorio; Angel Cruz; Arthur Villegas; Luis Oliver; Marco Vidal; Lynn Rentie; and Ruben Duran.

CT Pulls Out of Deal to Redevelop Anaheim Site

An ambitious plan to redevelop 15 acres along the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway in Anaheim near the expanding Disneyland Resort has fallen through. CT Realty has pulled out of a tentative deal with Des Moines, Iowa-based Principal Capital Management to buy 11.7

Sam Zell: Dot-Coms, REITs, and the Coming Recession

Sam Zell is making news here with plans to develop two of his Equity Office Properties' holdings in OC, one of the first markets in which the real estate wheeler and dealer will be trying a ground-up development.


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n Barbara Streisand says she will not perform any more live concerts because they are no longer fun. Well, Babs, at $2,000 per ticket they weren't a lot of fun for us either!


St. Joseph Hospital Foundation of Orange hosted a benefit dinner at the Anaheim Hilton & Towers that raised $130,000 for the St. Joseph Hospital Heart Center. The event included a cocktail reception, book signing with KNBC-TV's Christopher Nance, dinner,

'98 Rout Planted Seeds of New Majority Challenge

It was three months before the 1998 general election and Gen. William Lyon was hosting a fundraiser for GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Lungren at Lyon's Coto de Caza estate.


Though U.S. and China relations are sometimes prickly, local trade experts agree that China is a rapidly growing market for OC, and China's entry into the World

Seafood World Shines, From Dim Sum to Dessert

The New Year's parties, such as they were, are history and this special year with all those zeroes seems to be unfolding just like any other. We already seem to be impervious to any particular attention it should be accorded.

PRG Takes First Lease in Sycamore Commons

Sycamore Commons in San Juan Capistrano, an under-construction three-building office complex totaling more than 142,000 square feet, has landed its first tenant.

Survey Says...

When asked to recall slogans identified with major beverage brands without prompting, only 15% knew the slogan for Coke ("Always Coca Cola"); 16% for Budweiser ("This Bud's for You"); and 4% for Pepsi ("The Joy of Cola"). But 50% knew the "GOT MILK?" camp

Restaurateurs Sharpe, Semler Part Ways; DeFranco Kicks Back

Restaurateur John Sharpe is out at West Coast Productions, the Newport Beach operator of upscale OC eateries Topaz, Diva and Bistro 201, as well as Sharpe's own 1998 creation, the waterfront Aysia 101. Sharpe was WCP's publicized partner, but the big-mone

Quality Varies as High-Tech Hatcheries Proliferate

At a time when these financial havens for high-tech startups,like Scott Blum's,have become all the rage, it's an important question. Trouble is, there is no easy answer.

Prices, and Buildings, Going Up in Foothill Ranch

Foothill Ranch, which has faced years of fierce competition for corporate office tenants in South Orange County, is suddenly hopping.


In the event you didn't hear the news, Le Jardin in Fountain Valley, the extraordinary and very affordable French-Vietnamese restaurant, suffered extensive fire damage last week and will be closed indefinitely until it can be rebuilt.

New Majority Sits Out Prop. 26 Fight

The New Majority Commitee, he insists, is not for higher taxes. Nor is the group staking out a position in the abortion debate, other than to express disapproval of candidates who make social issues like abortion major themes of their campaigns. Ditto for

New President Calls Times OC Assignment a Surprise

Where Were Local Dot-Coms on Super Bowl Sunday?; Wienerschnitzel Lands Arco Arena


Bergen Brunswig Corp., Orange, reported earnings of $14.7 million on revenue of $5.93 billion for the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with earnings of $27.9 million on revenue of $5.02 billion in the prior first quarter.

Executive Summary

Pacific Life Insurance Co., Newport Beach, said it will move 450 jobs to new facilities in Foothill Ranch from Newport Center and Fountain Valley (related story, page 1) ... Caltrans opened new carpool lanes on the 10-mile stretch of the Riverside (91) Fr

Hotel Information Systems Rolls Out Updated Software

Hotel Information Systems, a division of Irvine-based MAI Systems, last week introduced Paragon+, a new version of its property-management software. The new version simplifies use of the software's menu options and navigation and provides easier access to

PacifiCare Targets Small Employers

PacifiCare of California, Cypress, has launched a new line of products for small employer groups, products available via the Internet.

Who Are These Guys?

The New Majority is a group of 65 (and counting) mostly wealthy, mostly high-powered executives who want to change the direction of Orange County's Republican Party.


Michael Dewey's goals for his company this year,revenue 10 times last year's $4 million and a workforce more than quadruple its current 75,could be laughable if he didn't have a track record to back him up.

John Wayne Airport Gets Director

Alan L. Murphy, who was interim assistant airport director at John Wayne Airport since last spring, was appointed director of the airport by county CEO Jan Mittermeier. Murphy, 42, will oversee all activity at the 133-employee facility and continue as the

UCI Grad Students Share Spotlight With Microsoft Exec

A senior Microsoft Corp. researcher speaking at UCI's Information & Computer Science Research Symposium last week provided a rare glimpse into the software giant's top-secret skunkworks lab.


But let me give an attaboy to Len Kransner, who operates the anti-airport El Toro Airport Info Site, for doing what the county has chosen not to do on its own El Toro web site: Kranser is putting the county's draft environmental impact report on-line.

Entrepreneur Media Luring VC, CEO for Online Unit

Entrepreneur magazine, one of the country's best-known small-business publications, is getting a little more, well, entrepreneurial.

Newport Dunes Plugging Away on Expansion Plan

When Tim Quinn, project manager for Newport Dunes' proposed expansion, first joined the resort in 1992, he and his wife, Anne, didn't have any children and the property's expansion plans were on hold due to unfavorable market conditions.

Return Exchange Targets E-Commerce's 'Dirty Little Secret'

E-commerce merchants have thrilled investors with record-breaking revenue and seemingly unstoppable growth, but they haven't been as eager to publicize a glaring weak spot: product return rates that can reach up to 20% of total sales.

OC Women' Sports Promoter Adds Sponsors

Women' Sports Services, a Huntington Beach sports-marketing company, has added more backers to its roster.

Tourism Awards Presented

The Orange County Tourism Council hosted its second annual tourism awards dinner Jan. 25 at the Doubletree Hotel in Costa Mesa. About 500 people attended the event, twice the number who attended last year.

Capital Pacific Moves on Several Fronts

For months, real estate broker Robyn Robinson has been searching on behalf of a client for a new home near Monarch Beach that would fit the family's budget.

Banking Vet Leaves Citizen's, Starts Rival

Larry Sallinger has left his management position with the Orange office of Citizen's Business Bank to form a rival bank, Orange Community Bank. Sallinger says the new bank is in the process of raising capital and he expects to have it up and running by Au

Real Estate Deals

Smart Real Estate purchased Foothill Center, a 19,591-square-foot strip center in Rialto for $820,000. Edward Hanley and Gregory Brown of Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co. represented both the buyer and the seller in the transaction.

Foreign-Owned Firms Lag In Job Growth

With a few exceptions, there were no big gainers or losers on this year's Business Journal foreign-owned companies list, ranked by OC employees. But overall, the 34 companies,whose ultimate parents are based in foreign countries,accounted for 23,595 OC jo


The LA office market is defined as single- and multi-tenant buildings and parks of 30,000 square feet or larger, but excluding government, medical and R & D; buildings. Rental rates are full-service gross. The industrial market is defined as single-tenant M


How to Get Into Politics and Why Spkr.: Michael Dukakis: (University of California, Irvine) Irvine 2 p.m. Free (949) 824-5361 China Ancient Super Culture and Future Super Power (World Affairs Council/Bowers Museum of Cultural Art) Santa Ana 5 p.m. $45

Best of Argus

n John McCain destroyed George W. Bush in New Hampshire. Nobody saw it coming. This was the darkest moment for an heir apparent since the night Prince Charles asked Diana Spencer for her telephone number.

When Doing Business in China, Eat the Turtle Soup

Complex laws and cultural differences are perhaps the biggest obstacles American companies have to overcome when doing business in China.

Saturday, February 5

OC Insider

Democrat Dunn Helps GOP Bid to Pull Plug on Davis Bailout Plan, An Insider Report

Tuesday, February 1

Volcom Off on Q1 Outlook

Costa Mesa-based apparel designer Volcom Inc. reported strong fourth-quarter results but warned that spending on stores and a European expansion stands to impact profits for the current quarter.