Stories for October 2000

Monday, October 30

Paine & Associates will open a New York office

David Paine, president of Costa Mesa-based Paine & Associates, is expanding his public relations business into New York, with a new Manhattan office set to open in January.

A Q & A; with Bank of America's Liam McGee

In August, Liam McGee was promoted to president of Bank of America, California, a new position that consolidated under one person the operations of what is the state's largest bank. It also effectively moved the California headquarters of Charlotte, N.C.-


Howard Paull was promoted to senior manager of the customs and international trade practice for Ernst & Young, Irvine. Paull spent three years in the same division at the firm's headquarters in New York City prior to his promotion.

Executive Summary

Robert O'Leary resigned as president and CEO of PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Santa Ana, after three months on the job, saying his skills do not match the company's needs; CFO Howard Phanstiel was named interim CEO (see related story, page 4) ... Bill G


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profiles of some of OC's prominent business families

Here are a few observations from business families on "What are the biggest challenges in working with family members?"

Real Estate Deals

Don Galitzen purchased a 12-unit apartment complex on Charlene Circle in Huntington Beach from Robert Hsieh for $1.4 million. David Abu of Coastline West Realty represented Galitzen. Lorena Batchelor of Sperry Van Ness represented Hsieh.

Beckman Coulter's test for the drug ecstasy gets the FDA's OK, in the Healthcare column

The Food and Drug Administration recently cleared Beckman Coulter Inc., the Fullerton-based medical diagnostic company, to market a new test to detect the illicit drug ecstasy and other forms of amphetamines.

The seven-course beef dinner is a signature dish of Vietnamese cuisine

A group of us recently were comparing the really unique elements of various cuisines around the world. Mention France and someone immediately says foie gras. Mention Spain and the likely retort is tapas (those appetizers that the world seems hooked on now

Ballot advice, an Editorial

IT'S BEEN MY LONG-STANDING POLICY NOT TO TELL READERS HOW TO VOTE on candidates, because I assume interested people are competent enough to gather sufficient information on their own Excuse me while I sneeze ah, ah, BUSH, BUSH, BUSH!

Looking at succession issues

In the next five years, according to one estimate, 39% of family-owned firms will see the retirement or semi-retirement of their current leadership as the post-World War II generation passes the entrepreneurial torch.

Immersed in 'Dolphins,' a Briefcase

IMAX film by MacGillivray Freeman Films, produced in association with the National Wildlife Federation; at Edwards IMAX theaters at the Irvine Spectrum Center, Ontario and Valencia.

Fidelity National, Allergan and Standard Pacific post strong third-quarter numbers, in Earnings

Fidelity National Financial Inc., Irvine, reported earnings of $37.6 million on revenue of $790.1 million in the third calendar quarter, compared with earnings of $18.6 million on revenue of $341.8 million in the third quarter of 1999. For the nine-month

Parker Properties is looking for land to repeat its Summit project

Just halfway through development of the sprawling Summit Office Campus in Aliso Viejo, Parker Properties LP already is scouring Southern California for land for its next major development.

Missed ridership projections and poor public perceptions dog OC's toll roads

Ten years ago, the toll roads were seen as a way out of Orange County's gridlock and the private sector was touted as the solution.

Family business owners speak on the challenges

The husband-and-wife team of Judy and Dave Harman co-founded the Family Business Council at California State University, Fullerton, in 1994. Since then, they have been helping OC firms address the issues unique to family ownership, with an emphasis on kee

Powerski hopes its 'jet board' will be the next wave in extreme sports

And though his Powerski International Corp. doesn't have any sales yet, the Brea-based manufacturer of personal watercraft has attracted the interest of Compaq Computer Corp., France's Zodiac SA and Kevin Costner.

It's defnintely over between OC's largest HMO and its largest hospital operator

October's been an eventful month for Santa Ana-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc.

The Silver Co. opens an OC office, in the Marketing & Media column

A Seattle-based PR agency that exclusively handles Internet-based companies plans to open its first office outside of the Pacific Northwest in Irvine in mid-November.

Outsourcing of manufacturing is growing in the medical device industry

Computer companies do it all the time: outsource production of their hardware to contract manufacturers that can do it faster, better and cheaper.

SpectraSite leases a space to settle into in Irvine

Cary, N.C.-based SpectraSite Communications Inc. has leased 20,280 square feet of space near John Wayne Airport for its new Southern California regional headquarters.

The Insider goes club hopping with the GMs

Club competition: The 600-member Pacific Club in Newport Beach has filled its GM vacancy by luring Joe Gatto away from the 1,100-member Center Club in Costa Mesa. Gatto, who has been with the Center Club since its 1985 founding, succeeds Brooke Bentley, w

The CSUF Family Business Council offers advice and help

"Keeping it in the family" has become a tradition for the thousands of Orange County's family-owned businesses. The Family Business Council at California State University, Fullerton, aims to keep it that way, by helping family businesses develop solid str

How to make a space tech-friendly, in the Technology column

Contractor DMK Inc. of Tustin is working on a 68,000-square-foot, $2.5 million warehouse improvement project for Celestica Inc., a Toronto-based contract electronics manufacturer that is expanding its facilities in Foothill Ranch. The work is being done i

Temp agencies are thriving in a tight labor market

Temporary staffing agencies in Orange County have seen robust revenue growth and strong demand for workers in the past year, according to this week's Business Journal list. But just like their employer clients, the agencies are finding they need to get cr

A lot of small business owners think Internet sales should be taxed, a Survey

Forty-four percent of small business owners believe that purchases made on the Internet should be taxed vs. 33% who said the purchases should not be taxed. Of those in favor of taxation, 51% believe the tax should be at the rate in effect in the purchaser

Pointe Anaheim's developers secure a 4.4-acre parcel, but still are looking for funding

Developers Still Lack Funding; Details of Key Negotiations Emerge in Lawsuit

The November election could decide the fate of the estate tax

The Republicans and Democrats have squared off over the estate tax. Congress passed a bill calling for its gradual elimination, but President Clinton vetoed it. It's become a subplot of the presidential race.

Selling a Family Business Isn't Easy, But the Knotts Have Managed It Well

When a family has been in business for 75 years, leaving it behind isn't always easy. "It's in your blood," said Ken Knott, a grandson of Walter and Cordelia Knott, founders of Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park. But the Knott family, which now numbers more

The case against vouchers, in Letters

From 1994 through 1998, I was a member of the Irvine Unified School District's Board of Education. In that role, I hope and believe the children and voters of Irvine were fairly well represented. I know I learned a great deal about the strengths and weakn

Feinstein and Campbell make their pitches to business

We asked the major candidates for the California U.S. Senate seat, "Why should businesspeople vote for you?" Here are their submissions

Vacancy rates fell in the Inland Empire in the third quarter

Strong demand fueled approximately 6.7 million square feet of positive net absorption of industrial space, driving the Inland Empire industrial vacancy rate to 3.5% in the third quarter, from 3.8% in the second quarter. It was the 10th consecutive quarter

Strong growth is predicted for OC exports

Orange County exports are expected to surge 15% this year to more than $14 billion and top $20 billion by 2004, thanks to a rebounding Asia, a more open China and a robust Mexico, according to a report issued last week by California State University, Full

Exhibit Works has a good first year in OC

A year ago, Livonia, Mich.-based Exhibit Works joined a growing parade of exhibit builders that have opened offices in Orange County to take advantage of a burgeoning demand for trade show booths, showrooms and other public displays.

Monday, October 23

Workers' comp premiums are likely to keep rising

Despite Gov. Gray Davis' veto late last month of a proposed $1.5-billion increase in workers' comp benefits, LA-area businesses are being slammed by sharply rising premiums. The workers' comp premium crisis, which first hit employers at the beginning of t

Netlock hires a president and goes after funding

Brea-based Netlock Technologies Inc., which grew out of Hughes Aircraft Co. and relies on technology developed for the National Security Agency, has hired a new head with plans to expand the network security company.

MSC.Software is moving its headquarters to Santa Ana

Los Angeles-based MSC.Software Corp., a designer of simulation software for Boeing Co., Airbus Industrie and others, plans to move its headquarters in March to a new building in the South Coast Metro area of Santa Ana.

OC conferees will look at product development, in the Healthcare column

Developing new products is one of the overweening concerns in the biomedical and medical device industries. The University of Southern California's School of Pharmacy will examine the issue during a late October conference in Irvine.

Bad medicine from the AMA, in Letters

Most Americans cringe at the mention of the American Medical Association. Patients often see it as a powerful lobbying force that only protects doctors' interests. They might be interested to know that most physicians, ourselves included, don't think it e

Taco Bell and Carl's Jr. boost their ad spending, in the Marketing & Media column

The robust economy is giving people more spending money, but OC's two largest fast-food companies are grappling with sagging sales and low stock prices. So in a bid to turn things around, both Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. and Anaheim-based CKE Restaurants

Broadcom is now among the tech elite, an Editorial

AMID A BRUISING RUN FOR STOCKS OF COMPANIES IN OC AND ELSEWHERE, there was a news blurb by Reuters last week that underscored Irvine-based Broadcom Corp.'s emergence as a technology heavyweight. To quote:


Lawrence, Mayo & Ponder, Newport Beach promoted Andrea Caillier to senior account coordinator. Cailler, was previously an advertising assistant at Guess Handbags in LA.

Two OC firms team to buy a Riverside facility, and will move their operations there

Two manufacturers will relocate their factories and headquarters from Fullerton to Riverside, where they have purchased an industrial building together.

Newport Beach attorney David Krinsky was in the middle of the Gemstar-TV Guide deal

In the long shadows of Rupert Murdoch, John Malone and Henry Yuen, David Krinsky had a big hand in bringing TV Guide into the interactive age.

Developers are taking to the hills with Sukut Construction

When most people talk about business being an uphill battle, they mean it figuratively. Not so with Myron Sukut, founder and chairman of Sukut Construction Inc.

Employers scramble in the wake of St. Joseph's dumping of HMO contracts

Fullerton-based Beckman Coulter Inc. sells medical diagnostic equipment to St. Joseph Health System, but come next year a few hundred Beckman employees and their families won't be welcome at St. Joseph's hospitals and doctors' groups.

A good quarterly report and a deal with Toshiba buoy QLogic

QLogic Corp., an Aliso Viejo provider of infrastructure for storage area networks, last week announced the integration of its fibre channel adapters into network servers at Irvine-based Toshiba America Information Systems Inc.

Union Pacific railroad is balking at a rail-street grade-separation project

The $950 million Alameda Corridor East extension, considered a key to maintaining the economic growth of the San Gabriel Valley, could be delayed indefinitely because Union Pacific Corp. doesn't want to contribute to the project.

Cortex gets $11 million in a licensing deal

Cortex Pharmaceuticals Inc., Irvine, has entered into an $11 million licensing agreement with Servier, one of the largest privately owned pharmaceutical companies in France, and landed a $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for stroke

The hotel employees union is targeting OC

Orange County's hotels,already facing a tight labor market and increased competition,are likely to face another challenge in coming months: stepped up efforts by the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union to organize more of OC's hotel workers.

Parker Aerospace will keep its jobs in Irvine

Parker Aerospace, the division of Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin Corp. that recently sold its 42-acre headquarters property at the corner of Jamboree Road and Michelson Drive, has decided to move the roughly 450 employees there to other existing faciliti

Retail construction slowed in OC in the second quarter

The Orange County office market has been growing strongly in 2000. To date, more than 3 million square feet have been added to the office market, and nearly half that space was completed during the third quarter. The first high-rise building delivered sin

Architecture and Engineering OC architects' favorite local buildings

In terms of development, Orange County has a short history when compared to places like Boston or San Francisco. But in recent years, it has begun to take on a look of its own.

CUE Corp. teams with the U.K.'s auto association on a traffic-report system

Irvine-based CUE Corp. last week said it had signed an initial agreement with The Automobile Association of the United Kingdom to launch a real-time traffic information service for in-vehicle navigation.

Chapman Provost Hamid Shirvani is a rare bird: an urban planner who likes OC

Hamid Shirvani has always liked to shock people. As a boy growing up in England, Shirvani showed an affinity for building things,from bookshelves to a movie projector he crafted before he was 10. One day, his parents discovered the young Shirvani fiddling

Fremont Investment is managing to stay out of its parent's financial troubles

The parent of Anaheim Hills-based lender Fremont Investment and Loan has signed a critical reinsurance deal that will allow it to keep operating.

Oakley lays out its plans for 2001

Held up by the weather and his work on new inventions, Oakley Inc. Chief Executive Jim Jannard joined his company's third-quarter results announcement last week by phone from his private island in Washington.

architecture firms grow revenue and jobs

The continuing bubble of a hot economy and related real estate development has kept Orange County's architectural firms hopping, resulting in an upswing in billings and jobs for OC's largest firms.

A judge's rent control ruling is a boon for affordable housing, a Viewpoint

As everyone but Rip Van Winkle knows, home prices in California are on a gallop. In Orange County, they're up as much as 14% over last year. The need was never greater for housing alternatives for people whose bank accounts aren't bulging.

One corner of Anaheim is a hot office market, in the Real Estate column

A complex of buildings near the northwest corner of Anaheim, where the Riverside (91) Freeway and the Santa Ana (I-5) Freeway meet, has drawn increased interest from office users. Not long ago, auto insurer Coast National Insurance Co. signed a five-year

Some engineering companies report shrinking backlogs

For those trying to figure out whether Orange County's extended boom may be tapering off, a look at the largest engineering firms operating here may only add to the confusion.

The Laughlin-Wilt Group is acquired

The Laughlin-Wilt Group. Inc., a Beaverton, Ore.-based contract electronics manufacturer with a 125-employee plant in Lake Forest, is being acquired by St. Louis-based Viasystems Group Inc.

A glimpse inside the new Crowne Plaza

The movers and shakers of Orange County turned out en masse for the grand opening of Garden Grove's Crowne Plaza Resort at Chapman Avenue and Harbor Boulevard. It was quite a party and the Mexican hacienda scenario provided by this hotel is very attractiv

State and private engineers are waging a second ballot battle

Here we go again. Civil engineering companies,in LA and throughout the state,and the union for state engineers are squaring off over Proposition 35, a measure on the Nov. 7 ballot that would make it easier for the state Department of Transportation to con

Real Estate Deals

Yacoel Properties Inc. purchased an 8,630-square-foot retail space at 215 Birch St. in Brea from Pacific Brea LLC for $3.1 million. Nicholas Coo and Joe Faris of Faris Lee Investments represented both parties.

Kip Arnette is a second-generation sunglasses maker

A year ago, after the new owners of Arnette Optical Illusions laid off roughly 36 workers, Kip Arnette walked away from the company his father Greg Arnette founded.

St. Joseph Buys Second Eureka Hospital

Orange-based St. Joseph Health System soon will be the sole hospital operator in Humboldt County, a region considered the birthplace of its healthcare ministry.


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Conexant sets aside $35 million for lawsuit settlement

Newport Beach-based Conexant Systems Inc. said it reached a settlement agreement this month with Stanford University professor Brent Townshend in his suit over modem chip patents.

Patricia Frobes is named to a top spot at O'Melveny & Myers

When Newport Beach-based partner Patricia Frobes was named vice chair and a member of the office of the chair at O'Melveny & Myers LLP in the summer, she became the first woman in senior management at the firm. "Hopefully it will begin to open up even f

Executive Summary

Costa Mesa-based ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc. agreed with dissident shareholder Special Situation Partners on a new plan for splitting the company into three publicly traded units that will limit Chairman and CEO Milan Panic to a single executive position at

National Capital Cos. is growing through acquisition

Irvine investment bank and brokerage firm National Capital Cos. has bought a stock brokerage firm that will move the company up the investment-banking food chain.

Perkowitz & Ruth returns to its roots in the wake of the Edwards bankruptcy

When Marios Savopoulos came to architectural firm Perkowitz & Ruth in 1993, he led the Long Beach-based firm's entr & #233;e into entertainment center design work by landing the contract for the Edwards theater at the Irvine Entertainment Center in the Irvine Sp

Western Dig's CEO sees an upside to the Maxtor-Quantum deal, in the Technology column

Maxtor Corp.'s recently announced plans to buy Quantum Corp.'s disk drive business is OK by Matthew Massengill, chief executive of Irvine-based Western Digital Corp.

Monday, October 16


Jeff Mays joined the Irvine office of Accountemps as staffing manager and Kristine Aragon was hired as a staffing executive. Mays has four years of experience in payroll management, while Aragon brings 14 years of sales, management and recruiting experien

Fifi's Guide

Here is a directory of restaurants I've reviewed over the years. I hope you find the list a useful guide to dining adventures here in OC. I've certainly had a wonderful time researching it!

AMDL ships first cancer tests to Taiwan

AMDL Inc., a Tustin developer and marketer of tests for the early detection of cancer, earlier this month made its first shipment of cancer tests to Taichung, Taiwan-based Chinese Universal Technology Co. Ltd. The shipment is part of a recently announced

An enlightening week for El Toro, an Editorial

THERE'S NEWS, AND THEN THERE'S BURIED NEWS. Judging from the front-page headlines in the daily papers back in August, you would have thought that the FAA was ready to kill the idea of a commercial airport at El Toro. An FAA report had determined that "El gets funding for online services

Montreal-based OXBOW Equities Corp. has paid $500,000 for a 6.7% equity stake in Inc. of Huntington Beach.

Real Estate Deals

Newport Beach-based Werdin Corp. acquired a 5.3-acre industrially zoned parcel in Santa Ana from ITT Industries Inc. Kevin Turner and Mike Hartel of Colliers Seeley in Irvine represented both parties.

Senior-care firm adds OC office

LivHOME, a Santa Barbara-based company that positions itself as an alternative to nursing homes for senior citizens, is opening a Newport Beach office this month.

Cal State Fullerton study says tech boom not hurt by housing costs

Orange County remains an attractive location for technology companies, in spite of skyrocketing housing costs, a California State University, Fullerton, study reports.

local chefs share their favorite dishes and eateries

Talk about putting people on the spot. We writers have regular deadlines for articles and chefs have deadlines one or two times a day in prepping for the next meal. But in a turn of the tables, so to speak, OC's chefs last week were faxed a sheet with fi

Adjusting to American life isn't always easy.

Most Japanese executives arrive here with good English skills but many never really deal with the language on a day-to-day basis, which limits their depth of learning.

A Taste of Japan in Costa Mesa

On a recent Saturday night shopping trip, Masahiro Kiriyama examines a selection of fresh fish with his wife, Mieko. Their cart is filled with a package of saury fish, sliced salmon, packs of fermented beans, tofu, miso paste and Yakult, a Japanese drink

Biolase Technology buys building, looks for more staff

Biolase Technology Inc., a maker of dental laser systems, has purchased a 23,280-square-foot building it had been leasing in San Clemente with the intent to expand its sales and marketing team.

A 'Japanese Village'

Orange County may be 5,500 miles from Japan, but it couldn't be closer to home for the many Japanese executives stationed here. beckons last-minute travelers, a Briefcase

Did you forget your anniversary is next weekend? Need to grovel to make up for such a gaffe? Travel sites on the Internet are a dime a dozen, but not many of them give busy execs and procrastinators last-minute prepackaged options with guaranteed availabi

A Fluor Corp. exec is named CEO of TradeMC joint venture with IBM, in the Technology column

A year ago, I wrote this column for a month until Ken Spencer Brown arrived at the Orange County Business Journal. He's now at the San Jose Business Journal, where last reports were that he's looking for affordable housing. Ha! Without further ado, here w

CHOC opens clinic at Boys & Girls Club

Children's Hospital of Orange County is opening a freestanding, full-service pediatric clinic at the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Ana this month. The clinic is a first for a Boys & Girls Club in the United States, according to club officials.

Al Shugart strives to make another mark in storage

When Richard Brechtlein was working for Century Data in Anaheim in the early 1970s, he began competing against storage industry icon Al Shugart in the market for floppy diskette drives. He lost.

Studying Abroad

Sure Orange County's weather is great, its streets are safe and its high-technology economy is booming. But for many Japanese nationals here, education is king.

ID-device firm Ethentica gets fifth-round funding, new HQ

Lake Forest-based identification technology company Ethentica Inc. got some of its own authentication last week,$40 million in fifth-round financing.

Procom Technology will provide network storage devices for Hyundai

Procom Technology Inc., an Irvine provider of data server appliances, received a contract from Hyundai Group to supply the Seoul-based conglomerate with network attached storage filters.

Bank of America's premier banking chief headed to Newport Beach

In line with its recent streamlining, Bank of America is moving its top executive in Orange County, Kim Burdick, to the bank's existing offices in Newport Center.

Newport Corp.'s shares suffer though outlook is strong

For most of this year, the Irvine-based maker of production gear for fiber-optic equipment makers has seemed bulletproof. At the end of September, Newport shares were up more than 1,000% for the year, far and away the biggest surge in any Orange County st

Top Nanoscientist Takes Up Residence at UCI

The University of California, Irvine, managed a coup in grabbing top physicist Wilson Ho from Cornell University and bringing him on board this fall as a Donald Bren Professor of physics, astronomy and chemistry.

Blue Cross has a plan to lower PPO costs ,in the Healthcare column

Blue Cross of California officials are banking on a new healthcare service plan designed to attract new members and retain existing ones. The insurer has redesigned preferred-provider organization plans for more than 477,000 individual customers, includin

Kiuchi on OC

Back in 1994, Takashi "Tachi" Kiuchi wrote a book instructing his compatriots on how to adapt to life in the U.S.

Executive Summary

Shareholders of Costa Mesa-based ICN Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s former plant in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, voted to restore ICN's majority ownership, which was seized in 1999 by the government under recently deposed president Slobodan Milosevic; the company said i

PacifiCare pulls out of small-business plans

As part of a larger effort to boost lagging profitability, PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. is dropping out of small-business health insurance purchasing alliances in California and Colorado.

Medstone's gallstone treatment helps patients avoid surgery

Aliso Viejo-based medical device maker Medstone International Inc. is stepping up marketing of its kidney stone break-up machine for a new purpose: removing gallstones in a way that allows people to keep their gallbladders and without incisions.

Sage Software looks for more growth

Irvine-based Sage Software Inc., a 600-employee division of Britain's Sage Group plc, is getting a new boss whose aim is to keep growing the company's U.S. operations.

Piper Jaffray opens office in Newport Beach

As part of U.S. Bancorp's push on the West Coast, the bank's brokerage division, Piper Jaffray, has opened offices in Newport Beach and San Diego.

New Majority membership, warchest on the upswing, in the Insider column

Tom Tucker's reputation as a quick study is carrying into politics. Angel investor Tucker (JenStar Capital) is the driving force behind the executive-led, socially moderate New Majority, which made some rookie mistakes in forcing and losing a leadership b

Capistrano ad shop acquires account of K2 Corp.'s ski business, in the Marketing & Media column

Samuels Darnall & Associates, a five-year-old Capistrano Beach ad shop that specializes in marketing for youth-oriented sports companies, recently picked up a new account with a division of Vashon, Wash.-based ski manufacturer K2 Corp.

Vacancy rate down in Mid-Counties market

The Mid-Counties Market is defined as the cities along the border of Orange and Los Angeles counties. As the first half of this year came to a close, the market indicators in the Mid-Counties remained positive as vacancies fell and asking rents rose in th

Taco Bell Corp. hopes emphasis on quality and value will bring consumers back

Saying Taco Bell Corp. has let quality slip in recent years, new company President Emil Brolick said the fast-food chain plans to stress ingredients and service in order to win back customers and reverse an ongoing decline in same-store sales.

Jobs at OC's apparel companies are on the upswing

The 25 largest apparel companies in Orange County,an eclectic mix of businesses that design and produce everything from upscale dresses and suits to surfwear and sunglasses,are riding a wave.


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Wireless company gets venture funds from Laguna Beach-based Springboard Capital

Laguna Beach-based venture capital firm Springboard Capital has invested $5 million in San Diego wireless company Ameranth Technology Systems Inc.

NetGuru moves into long-distance service

NetGuru, Inc., a Yorba Linda technology and services company focused on the global Indian community, has unveiled long-distance telephone services using its own dedicated switch system.

Restaurant of the Year Antonello Ristorante Is a 22-Year OC Institution

Much of what has become the history of Orange County has unfolded at tables in this restaurant. When Antonio Cagnolo opened it in 1979 in South Coast Plaza Village, it became the immediate hangout of the rich and powerful who were shaping the future for a


LISTel listo

Gov. Gray Davis gets kudos for veto, in Letters

The California Chamber of Commerce applauds Gov. Gray Davis for vetoing SB 996 and SB 546. In his veto message the governor said the two workers' compensation bills "would have imposed excessive burdens and pressures on California businesses and public sp

The case for school vouchers, a Viewpoint

Today we are on the verge of a major paradigm shift. It is a shift away from outdated 19th century thinking, which threatens to strap California with an unprepared, unequipped workforce, to 21st century thinking, where we can demand educational excellence

Monday, October 9

Commercial construction contracts fall in August, in the Real Estate column

Looks like a seasonal slowdown is putting the brakes on Orange County's hot commercial real estate market.

The former SunBridge Care Center in Huntington Beach gets a new operator

A 144-bed nursing home in Huntington Beach and a San Diego facility are under new ownership as part of a bankruptcy reorganization at the former operator.

Wet Seal loses key executive

Just as specialty retailer Wet Seal Inc. has begun to push its head above water, the company last week was grappling with the resignation of its longtime President and Chief Operating Officer Edmond Thomas.

Straight airport talk from Sen. John McCain, an Editorial

LAST MONTH THE U.S. SENATE HELD A HEARING ON AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL delays. The opening remarks of presidential primary contender Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, are pertinent to Orange County, given the cont

The Capitalist Group sees opportunity in its affiliation with an incubator

Just a couple of years ago, Costa Mesa-based Epoch Internet Inc. put off an initial public offering and laid off employees as competition and falling prices for Internet access and other basic Web services took their toll.

LoanGenie is looking for funding as it switches business plans

Irvine-based online mortgage lender has burned through $7 million in cash and is looking for bridge financing to see it through to a second round of funding in November. At the same time, company officials say they are recovering from an emp

Expense accounts are up, a Survey

Survey of 1,400 chief financial officers of companies with more than 20 employees by an independent research firm on behalf of Robert Half International Inc.

Executive Summary

Broadcom Corp., Irvine, acquired U.K..-based Element 14 for $641 million ... Edmond Thomas resigned as president and COO of Wet Seal Inc., Foothill Ranch; no replacement was named (see story on page 15) ... Dissident shareholder Special Situation Partners


Francisco J. Valle joined Irvine-based SCDRG Inc. as chairman of the board and chief operating officer. Valle, a recognized expert in the Hispanic market, has conducted and keynoted seminars and published articles related to Hispanic marketing , communica

The governor's tax veto is a victory for e-commerce, in Letters

Will California force e-commerce companies into an antiquated sales tax system, or lead the way in creating a simple and fair tax system for the 21st century? California Governor Gray Davis chose to move the state forward by vetoing a dubious Internet tax

Fuse Interactive lands three new clients, in the Marketing & Media column

Laguna Beach-based Fuse Interactive recently designed new Web sites for Hewlett-Packard, David E. Kelley Productions/Fox Television and EncrypTix, El Segundo.

The SEC strikes a link to Bill Lerach's firm from its Web site

Score another one for Rep. Chris Cox in his long-running battle against the king of trial lawyers' strike suits, William Lerach.

Al Punto is among the OC Hispanic agencies landing big-name clients

A few months ago, Tustin-based al Punto Advertising Inc. took on a fight for the Doughboy and won. Pillsbury Co., the packaged foods division of Diageo PLC, was searching for an advertising agency to market its refrigerated dough products and Progresso So


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Willtech Inc. moves from Walnut to Santa Ana

Willtech Inc., a 4-year-old South Korean wireless communications equipment testing company, is moving its U.S. subsidiary from Walnut to Santa Ana in a bid to raise its profile alongside the area's technology companies.

The Insider hears a Register redesign is in the works

The newspaper that helped to revolutionize the look of newspapers,more color, more photos, shorter stories,is at it again. The OC Register has a management team at work on a redesign of the paper slated for the first part of next year, the Insider is told

The Register cuts 80 positions by streamlining production

The Orange County Register has recently eliminated about 80 customer-service, production and middle-management jobs in a move designed to cut costs and modernize the newspaper's operations, according to Publisher N. Christian Anderson.

Pacific Western Containers plans a 40,000-square-foot expansion

Santa Ana-based Pacific Western Containers has signed a 5-year lease for 40,000 square feet of warehousing and production space in Tustin where it plans to expand operations from the company's headquarters.

Chef Emeril Lagasse is coming to town

Get ready to meet Emeril Lagasse, the most famous of all the TV chefs in America.

The Art Institute looks to meet the needs of OC employers

The Art Institute of Los Angeles-Orange County is well under way at its new building in Santa Ana, offering classes designed to feed the appetite of OC's employers for tech-savvy workers.

Broadcom's Henry Samueli invests in a bank developing a smart debit card

Henry Samueli has bought many technology companies for Broadcom Corp., the high-flying chip maker he co-founded. Now he has acquired a personal stake in a bank with big ambitions for electronic transactions.

Up close in Eastern Europe, a Viewpoint

Franz Wisner recently took early retirement from his job as vice president for government relations at The Irvine Company to tour the world with his brother Kurt, a residential broker in Seattle. This article is adapted from two e-mail messages.

Real Estate Deals

PS Business Parks LLC bought a 160,499-square-foot office complex at Corporate Park in Irvine from Patrician Associates for $25.3 million. Michael Randall and Tom Taylor of Grubb & Ellis' Newport Beach office represented both parties.

South Coast Plaza opens a new pedestrian bridge with fanfare

Everybody was swooning at the lavish opening earlier this month of South Coast Plaza's new Bridge of Gardens, but no one cooed louder than Jerry Sullivan, chief executive of Macy's West.

Occupancy and room rates were up in OC in August

Orange County was a hotbed of tourist activity during August, according to lodging figures from Henderson, Tenn.-based Smith Travel Research.

CalPERS aligns with Tenet Healthcare against dissidents, in the Healthcare column

Santa Barbara-based Tenet Healthcare Corp., Orange County's largest hospital operator, may have dodged a possible showdown with an influential shareholder at its annual meeting last week in Beverly Hills. Tenet, the country's No. 2 hospital chain, owns ni

Koll sells its new Irvine office tower for $48 million

Newport Beach-based Koll Development Co. has sold its 178,000-square-foot office building in The Irvine Concourse business complex to Australia's Terrace Towers for roughly $48 million.

ChromaVision completes a private placement and launches two new tests

ChromaVision Medical Systems Inc., a San Juan Capistrano-based medical test company, consummated a $12 million private placement of common stock and warrants. Of the $12 million, $5 million was purchased by a wholly owned subsidiary of Safeguard Scientifi

Downey's up, for now at least

These are good times on Wall Street for Irvine-based Downey Savings & Loan and other thrifts. But is the party just getting started or winding down?

Trilogy restaurant closes

The three-year-old restaurant was housed in an office-tower space on Von Karman Avenue formerly occupied by Bistro 201. That restaurant also closed, later to reopen at its current location on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach.

Epoch Internet's new focus on data centers pleases investors

Just a couple of years ago, Costa Mesa-based Epoch Internet Inc. put off an initial public offering and laid off employees as competition and falling prices for Internet access and other basic Web services took their toll.

Industrial availability in West OC fell in the second quarter

The smallest of the office markets, West Orange County consists of 78 properties totaling approximately 4.5 million square feet. Activity in the West Orange County office market continued to increase in the second quarter, with a positive absorption of 72

Investors are not celebrating along with eMachines, in the Technology column

Struggling Irvine computer seller eMachines Inc. is celebrating its second anniversary with the announcement that it has shipped its 3 millionth PC.

Pacific Sunwear will build a new headquarters and distribution facility

On its way to building a 1,000-plus-store retail network, fast-growing Pacific Sunwear of California Inc., last week said it plans to move its headquarters late next year into a 480,000-square-foot office and distribution center to be built about three mi

Monday, October 2

Bringing the Internet to small businesses

At Taco Bell Corp., former Chief Operating Officer Tom Davin oversaw thousands of entrepreneurs who operate the Mexican fast-food chain's 1,400 or so company-owned and franchised restaurants. So the move over to head up six months ago was

Vinyl Concepts takes Kia's Fullerton distribution space

Cerritos-based Vinyl Concepts will expand its operations to Fullerton next month, taking 123,000 square feet of space formerly occupied by Kia Motors America's parts distribution operation.

Marketing Downtown Disney

So far, Walt Disney Co. officials have been mum on how they'll promote their new Downtown Disney complex, set to open in January. But already there are signs that the marketing blitz will be big. adds long-term care insurance to its offerings, an Irvine-based Internet content provider, has entered a partnership with John Hancock Life Insurance Co. to offer long-term care insurance policies.

The number of hotels in the OC pipeline has fallen from last year

The number of hotel rooms planned for Orange County has decreased by 25% in the past year, compared with 11% for Southern California overall,but that doesn't mean the news is all bad for the local tourism industry.

Tilly's is planning up to six more Southern California stores by next year

Irvine-based surf and sportswear retailer Tilly's is set to open a store in Anaheim Hills next month, with plans to unveil up to five more Southern California outlets in 2001.

Airshow Inc. is set to unveil its new cabin-control system for private jets

Airshow Inc., Tustin, will unveil its new iSYS system for managing aircraft amenities at the National Business Aircraft Association Convention in New Orleans in October. The new system will allow passengers of private jets to use a Smartscreen touchscreen


NeoTherapeutics, Irvine, appointed Rajesh C. Shrotriya, MD, president. Shrotriya brings 29 years of experience in neurology and oncology at Bristol-Meyers, SuperGen and MGI to the OC company.

CaliforniaChoice stresses health-plan options and cost control

"Defined contribution" strategies,in which employers offer workers a wide choice of healthcare plans but cap their premium contributions,have been getting a lot of attention because of their potential savings to businesses.

Caliber Collision moves into larger space in Irvine

Caliber Collision Centers, Irvine, has moved its corporate office to a new location in Irvine.

Executive Summary

Broadcom Corp., Irvine, accused Intel Corp. of stealing its chip technology and using Broadcom chips in product demonstrations ... Kraft Foods recalled taco shells made for Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp. that contained genetically engineered corn not approv

Quiksilver's top and bottom lines improved in its fiscal third quarter, in Earnings

Quiksilver Inc., Huntington Beach, posted earnings of $6.7 million on revenue of $122.0 million in its fiscal third quarter ended July 31, compared with earnings of $5.6 million on revenue of $105.2 million in its previous third quarter. For the nine-mont

TAPS is brewing an Oktoberfest blowout

Lay off the wine drinking for a while and switch to beer. It's time to have a lot of fun, European style. Oktoberfest will soon be upon us, and TAPS Fish House & Brewery in Brea will be offering five distinctive German-style lagers, which are in the brewi

Industrial availability fell in North County in the second quarter

The North and Central market areas make up approximately 28% of the total office market in Orange County. Although the northern portion of the Orange County office market is known for having rents lower than the county average, the combined average asking

The Keith Cos. lands a series of contracts from a PG & E; unit

The Keith Companies Inc., best known for its real estate engineering services, has won a series of contracts from a PG & E; Corp. subsidiary for more than a dozen "peaker projects" designed to provide additional electricity during periods of high demand.

Birtcher teams to acquire the Brookhollow Office Park for $41 million

Laguna Niguel-based Birtcher Real Estate Group and the Pradium Funds of New York have teamed up to acquire the 400,676-square-foot Brookhollow Office Park in Santa Ana for $41 million, one of the largest low-rise office transactions in Orange County this

Scott Blum talks about his latest venture, Enfrastructure

At 36, Scott Blum already is a tech industry veteran with a string of entrepreneurial hits and misses on his record. He founded OC memory maker Microbanks Unlimited and in 1987 started Rancho Santa Margarita-based optical disc drive maker Pinnacle Micro I

Real Estate Deals

Invesco Realty Advisors purchased the 220-unit Crowne Chase Apartments in Kansas from Archstone Communities for $16.8 million. Ray Eldridge, Joe Leon and Bill Powell of CB Richard Ellis' Newport Beach office represented both parties.

UPS's vice chairman likes the idea of an El Toro airport

Even though United Parcel Service Inc.'s principal West Coast facility is at Ontario International Airport, it also likes the idea of an airport at El Toro, said Michael L. Eskew, vice chairman of the world's largest courier.

Free the Bolsa Chica, in Letters

The Orange County Taxpayers Association (OCTax) participates in the debate on the Bolsa Chica wetlands.

Viva el veto, an Editorial

It's often said that Bill Clinton saved the Democratic Party nationally by pushing it toward the political center. The same could be said of Gray Davis regarding the Democrats who currently rule California. The governor's veto pen is stopping a lot of mis

Altra Broadband Inc. will move into the Spectrum

Altra Broadband Inc., a networking offshoot of Pittsburgh software maker Ansoft Corp., has set up a research and design facility in the Irvine Spectrum.

Winfire gets $80 million in funding

Winfire Inc., a high-speed Internet access provider hoping to catch fire with consumers and advertisers, has been busy trumpeting deals with businesses lately.

A new SEC disclosure rule will make analysts' jobs harder

A hint here, some direction there. It's a game company officials and analysts play when they talk about future earnings. Analysts call it "guidance," and it's what they use to formulate projections on companies they follow.

Broadband TelCom Power has funding, a new facility and a backlog

You might say Broadband TelCom Power Inc. is a power broker for the up-and-comers in the red-hot networking sector.

Danger signs in workers' comp, a Viewpoint

With all the attention focused on that other recently deregulated market in California, electricity, it's important to talk a bit about clear and present danger in the market that did it first,workers' compensation insurance.

The Lassen Cos. settles its lawsuit against EKCO Group

The Lassen Companies, Irvine, a holding company for non-chemical cleaning products, has settled its lawsuit against EKCO Group Inc.

Hedging bets---Landlord skirts healthcare's ills

As with many other real estate investment trusts, shares of Newport Beach-based Health Care Property Investors Inc. are on the upswing this year. But HCP, as the company is known, isn't like most other REITs, which have seen their shares rise along with t

NeoTherapeutics raises $5 million for gene research

Irvine-based NeoTherapeutics Inc., a development-stage biopharmaceutical company, has raised $5 million to expand research at its NeoGene Technologies Inc. subsidiary into how genes work.

The Insider hears that Broadcom's acquisition strategy is making some investors happy

Last week's $172.7 million offer by an obscure Irvine dot-com for the controlling stake in LA-based Herbalife (see page 12) was surprising; the offer's quick rejection by the Mark Hughes Family Trust was less so. The Insider hears that several more-establ

SageTree is Western Digital's first incubator play

SageTree Inc.'s Jeffrey Erle seems to get a morbid thrill from product failures,whether they involve his company's parent, Irvine disk-drive maker Western Digital Corp., or tire producer Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.

The Internet is boosting multimedia companies

Production Companies Retooling to Take Advantage of the Latest Mass Medium

MacGillivray Freeman has had a big year

At the May premiere of MacGillivray Freeman Films' latest IMAX theatre movie, "Adventures in Wild California," a team of tuxedo-clad air-surfers/cinematographers dropped from the sky, climbers scaled a banner featuring a life-like sequoia tree and world c


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Extreme sports Internet content provider closes

Just two weeks after Broadband Interactive Group handed out pink slips to 65 employees of its unit, the Web saw another extreme sports casualty last week as shuttered its virtual doors.

The former Unocal building is for sale again

The 12-story, 236,000-square-foot building at 555 Anton Blvd. is being marketed by current owner Amstar Ltd. of Denver. Asking price is believed to be about $60 million, or $254 a foot. The sale could be complicated by the large number of tech-related ten

Poling invests in

The, a Laguna Niguel firm with ties to troubled online retailer, is being touched by an angel.

FirstWorld Communications opens a data center in Irvine

Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Internet services company FirstWorld Communications Inc. has opened a 50,000-square-foot data center in Irvine, the latest in a spate of similar facilities opening across Orange County.

Verizon Wireless begins its move to a new campus in Irvine

Verizon Wireless has begun moving employees into its new Sand Canyon Avenue campus, where it will consolidate its 1,800 Orange County employees. The relocation from three current sites to the five-building, 470,000-square-foot facility is expected to be c