Stories for April 2001

Monday, April 30

A former Hurley team surfer sues the company

Surfer Noah Johnson has filed suit against Hurley International, claiming that the Costa Mesa-based surfwear company did not have grounds to cancel its three-year contact with him and continue promoting products using his name and photographs.

Real Estate Deals

Kenton Properties acquired a 16,000-square-foot industrial building at 20431 Barents Sea Circle in Lake Forest from Ryadon Inc. for more than $1.5 million, then leased it to Rapid Conn Inc. for three years at $0.6 million. Andhi Wiranantha of Indo Realty

The Hoag Hospital Foundation has raised $37 million toward a new women's health facility

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian is three-quarters of the way toward its goal of raising $50 million for a planned 309,000-square-foot, eight-story women's pavilion on its Newport Beach campus.

Broker Art Okun's niche is getting small investors into private placement deals

Art Okun says finding a niche, whether in his career or investments, is his specialty.

IStarSystems is one dot-com that's hiring and proceeding with its business plan

While most Web companies are laying off people and trying to redefine themselves, iStarSystems is working with headhunters to hire more people.

Clothestime nears a settlement in a trademark suit

Clothestime Stores Inc. is close to settling a trademark dispute with a Florida-based exotic-clothing company over the use of the name Eye Candy, according to an attorney for the Anaheim-based retailer.

UCI joins a national cancer database, in the Healthcare column

The University of California, Irvine, College of Medicine now is part of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Data Network. The school's inclusion in the database came about after UCI received $1.2 million from the California Public Health Institute to

A chip-market rebound can't come too soon for OC, in the Technology column

Some commentators and researchers see at least part of the chip industry coming back in the third quarter,an event that would surely benefit Broadcom Corp. and Conexant Systems Inc. The recent quarterly reports out of the two largest OC chip makers retold

Gary Liebl talks about his cancer, in Letters

Thirty-four days. That is the number of days this summer California's Independent System Operator has estimated that we Californians will see rolling blackouts.

Gov. Davis plays the blame game on energy, an Editorial

ANOTHER BELL TOLLED FOR ENERGY-STRAPPED CALIFORNIA AS Standard & Poor's lowered the state's bond rating by a couple of notches, down to the same level as during the early '90s recession.

Demand for low-rise space remained strong in OC in the first quarter

The low-rise office market (one to three stories) continues to be the tightest sector of office product in Orange County. This historical trend has resulted in stronger construction activity and lower vacancy rates than in other office sectors. More than

Businesses target a law that prevents them from buying from outside power producers

Major businesses throughout California,already nervous about pending electricity rate hikes,are up in arms over state legislation that could end their ability to sign contracts with outside electricity providers and leave them stuck paying high electricit

Microsemi is shopping for acquisitions

As Broadcom Corp. and Conexant Systems Inc. have lost their appetite for acquisitions, Microsemi Corp.,Orange County's third-largest chip maker,has sounded hungrier in recent months.

TriZetto Group acquires a healthcare information technology firm

TriZetto Group Inc., Newport Beach, acquired Infotrust Co., a healthcare information technology company, from Trustco Holdings Inc. TriZetto bought Infotrust for shares valued at $12.5 million to $13.5 million as of last week.


Neil H. Cogen was named dean of Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa. Previously, Cogen was professor of law at Quinnipiac College School of Law in Connecticut.

A Wild Artichoke grows in Yorba Linda

Come along with me this week to a kitchen in Yorba Linda that is bringing in rave reviews. It's a place called Wild Artichoke that has an owner well-versed in the restaurant field.

A state report rates HMOs on how much of their premium dollars go to medical care

The top seven health maintenance organizations operating in Orange County vary by how much of their premiums are pumped back into medical care, according to a state professional association's report.

Executive Summary

Mixed: New-home sales, prices and inventory in OC in the first quarter, according to The Meyers Group, which reported a 17.7% drop in homes sold compared with the first quarter of 2000, a 9.5% rise in median price to $399,000, and a year-to-year drop in i

The power crisis had Lawrence, Mayo & Ponder pitching in the black

Newport Beach-based Lawrence, Mayo & Ponder was in the dark last week about whether it had won a $20 million chunk of business from the California Department of Health Services. But then again, the ad shop was in the dark when it pitched the agency, too.

Voit Launching Massive Brea Industrial Park

Woodland Hills-based The Voit Cos. plans to break ground this summer on a 500,000-square-foot, $35 million industrial complex in Brea, one of Orange County's largest speculative projects in recent memory.


Information Technology Consultants-Network and Grow Your Business (Networking Technologies Channel) Irvine 6:30-8:30 p.m. $25 (800) 701-4289 South Coast Metro: A Diamond in the Rough Realized (Commercial Real Estate Women) Newport Beach 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m

Skateboarder Tony Hawk enlists in a public service campaign, in the Marketing & Media column

Newport Beach-based Lawrence, Mayo and Ponder recently broke a TV spot for Read California in Sacramento featuring pro skateboarder Tony Hawk,a teen favorite in focus groups, according to Lynda Lawrence, agency president

Recent Census figures are a boost to Hispanic agencies

Orange County's advertising shops have been preaching for years that the Hispanic population,and its spending potential,can't be ignored. Now they can tell their clients "Yo te lo dije",I told you so.

Armstrong-Butcher is developing four small South County office buildings for sale

In their 60 years of combined experience in Orange County commercial real estate, Blair Armstrong and Greg Butcher crossed paths often.

MSC.Software takes more space at its under-construction Santa Ana headquarters

Los Angeles-based MSC.Software Corp. hasn't even moved into its new Santa Ana headquarters yet but the software developer already is expanding.

Newport Generation is building a 1000-megawatt power plant in Washington state

Irvine-based independent power producer Newport Generation Inc. is building a power plant in eastern Washington that won't be able to help California this summer but could play a part in the state's long-term power fix.

Odyssey Strategic Partners plans a $300 million venture fund

If everything goes as planned, Odyssey Strategic Partners LLC soon could be one of the largest Orange County-based venture capital firms.

Venture capital money has shifted from Internet content to infrastructure

If venture capitalist investments say anything about what Orange County's technology world might look like in a few years, then signs for chip and photonics companies could be even more prominent than they are today.

A Tennessee delegation pushes that state's pitch to energy-starved OC firms

After sending flashlights to power-sensitive California companies earlier this year, recruiters from the Volunteer State were in Orange County last week pitching companies on relocation.

An OC firm helps landlords meter tenants' water use, in the Real Estate column

Shea Completes Office Building; OC Pair Write Book on Construction Defects

The LA Times has cut its local news staff and will revamp its OC section

As part of ongoing restructuring efforts by its new owner, the Los Angeles Times is refocusing its news coverage to concentrate on regional and national news, officials at the newspaper said. The move by Tribune Co., which will be formally unveiled May 6,



Monday, April 23

The Pointe Anaheim plan is being retooled

The developers of the oft-delayed Pointe Anaheim project are retooling plans for their $545 million outdoor shopping and entertainment center across from the Disneyland Resort.

Small businesses are cautiously upbeat about prospects for this year

But if the confidence of small businesses is anything to go by, then Orange County could dodge the economic storm lingering over other parts of the country.

Salt Creek Grille puts a focus on wine

Prices: lunch appetizers $4.95 to $11.95, entr & #233;es $7.95 to $15.95; dinner appetizers $4.95 to $13.95, entr & #233;es $11.95 to $25.95; Sunday brunch $21.95 adults, $8.95 children

Dot-com firm names have gone from hip to hinderance

Eric Bauer has seen popular opinion swing hard when it comes to Internet-related companies like his.

OC business people offer tips for dealing with China

The federal government could learn a thing or two from Orange County businesses on how to deal with the Chinese government.

DMK is refurbishing the airport-area Commerce Plaza, in the Real Estate column

After reviewing economic indicators, hearing about early first-quarter results from analysts and listening to prognostications from real estate execs, it's safe to say the commercial market is slowing. Most believe the downturn will continue through the s

A proposed Huntington Beach hotel gets city approval and an operator

After six years of planning, The Robert Mayer Corp. is poised to build the next phase of its 50-acre resort in Huntington Beach.

Jeremy Hogue represents billion-dollar fund firm in OC

After studying business at the University of Southern California, starting his own company and then getting a law degree from Harvard University, Hogue now runs the West Coast office of the Audax Group, a Boston- based venture capital and investment firm.

OC construction continued strong in the first quarter

As the Orange County office market showed signs of settling in the beginning of 2001, construction remained active. Approximately 640,000 square feet were added to the office base in the first quarter as development wrapped up on 22 buildings, contained w

Texas Instruments will drastically curtail its Tustin operation

Texas Instruments Inc. plans to pull all but a handful of its 250 people out of Orange County amid soft demand for chips in a slowing economy.

Radiance Medical prevails against its former parent

In a medical-device family feud, Radiance Medical Technologies Inc. has won a court battle with its former parent.

Hyundai goes with Ketchum, in the Marketing & Media column

The Los Angeles office of Ketchum has been tapped to handle Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America's national public relations account.

An OC Hispanic leader backs a bill to help the uninsured, in the Healthcare column

Some 43 million Americans, including about 35% of the country's Latino population, lack health insurance. A new federal bill aimed at helping the uninsured obtain coverage is getting backing from the Hispanic Business Roundtable, a Washington, D.C.-based

PacifiCare takes sole possession of

Santa Ana-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. has taken the reins of senior Web site and laid off 18 of its 20 workers.



OC is getting more expensive for business travelers

Orange County has become a more costly place for business travelers this year, ranking as the No. 24 most-costly area nationally, up from No. 45 last year.

The estate of Nellie Segerstrom is appealing a $18.2 million IRS bill

The Segerstrom family empire partly owned by Nellie Ruth Segerstrom may be worth more than her estate said it was.

The Insider gets an earful from PUC chairwoman Loretta Lynch at UCI

UCI prof Mark Petracca laments that he usually fills only a few seats for his Friday afternoon symposiums. Not so on Good Friday, when about 175 people, including chancellor Ralph Cicerone, jammed a lecture hall to hear guest speaker Loretta Lynch, contro

A Softbank exec called his exit from's board a routine move

Struggling online retailer Inc. may need all the help it can get, but a recently departed director calls his move a natural one and not a rush for the exit.

Executive Summary

Up: Employment in OC in March, at 1,420,200 jobs, up 46,000 from March 2000. Unemployment was 2.4%, the same as February and down a tick from March 2000's 2.5%.

Alternative-fuel-system maker Quantum Technologies sees opportunity in air-quality mandates

When the California Air Resources Board in September reaffirmed its mandate that 10% of cars sold in the state be electric or hybrid vehicles by 2003, automakers grumbled. Not Cerritos-based Impco Technologies Inc.

U.S. Bank offers loans for energy-saving improvements

As the state's energy woes increase electricity bills for businesses from Eureka to San Diego, U.S. Bank is stepping up to help shoulder some of the burden.


DGWB Advertising, Santa Ana, promoted Dave Swartz and Enzo Cesario to co-creative directors. Prior to joining DGWB, Swartz was senior copywriter for Mullen Advertising in Wenham, Mass. Previously, Cesario was a partner at The Central Agency.

The city of Industry forms a utility and may build a power plant

The city of Industry has set up its own utility and is eyeing a possible power plant in the west end of town.

Paul Frank's monkey business does $10 million a year

Paul Frank is part rock star, part Forrest Gump. The 33-year-old designer is an artist and reluctant businessman whose quirky cartoon characters are loved by grownups who refuse to grow up. With annual sales of more than $10 million, his Newport Beach-bas

Real Estate Deals

G & K; Investments acquired a 64,403-square-foot industrial center at 1251-1291 Sunshine Way in Anaheim from Sunshine Way LLC for $4.9 million. Jeff Chiate of Cushman & Wakefield represented G & K.; Allen Buchanan and Sonya Grech of Lee & Associates' Orange off

Will the Residential Market Survive?

Q & A;: Industry Leaders Weigh in on Low Interest Rates and a Slowing Economy

Residential Real Estate Homebuilding is going strong in OC, but for how long

With low interest rates and demand continuing to outstrip supply, they can't produce homes fast enough. It doesn't matter that developable land has become scarce, driving home prices through the proverbial roof. Demand has not flagged.

Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo acquires a Singaporean design firm

Architectural firm Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo has acquired Singapore interior design firm Interior Design Network International Pte. Ltd.

OC's middle-tier public companies are a fast-growing group

Size does matter, at least when it comes to sales. The smaller the company, the faster its revenue growth rate typically is.

Enfrastructure sets an open house, in the Technology column

Technology campus operator Enfrastructure Inc. plans to follow up its initial launch last September with an open house tour of its new Aliso Viejo facility. With invites sent out, Enfrastructure hopes to showcase its swank facilities that seek to give you

Cisco is reconsidering its planned OC expansion

Networking gear maker Cisco Systems Inc. is reconsidering plans to take more space in Irvine's University Research Park as it undergoes dramatic cuts to weather a sharp economic slowdown, according to a company spokesman.


Change is the one constant at The Irvine Company. In the past 50 years, the company has transformed the appearance and economy of Orange County, while undergoing its own periodic transformations in ownership, management and/or organizational structure.

Powerplant Maintenance Specialists is at ground zero in the local power debate

Richard "Dick" Engel has two passions: driving muscle cars and rebuilding power plants.

City of Industry's Ironic Role in Affordable Housing in L.A.

Why would the city of Industry pay $61 million to build homes in places like Pomona, Norwalk, Pasadena, and Los Angeles?


Marketing and Promotion (SCORE) Costa Mesa 9 a.m.-Noon $25 (714) 550-7369 2001 Orange County Executive Survey (Multiple hosts) Irvine $20/$50 (949) 380-3308 How the Internet is Changing the Corporate Real Estate Transaction (UCI Graduate School of Man

Gigante is trying to end a union dispute that has slowed its entry into the area

Santa Ana-based Gigante USA Inc. is nearing an agreement that could quell labor protests that have dogged the Mexican retailer's U.S. expansion.

Realtor Launches Division to Reach Spanish Speakers

When the doors opened at Jim Dickson Realtors in 1952, most of the people who lived in the San Gabriel Valley area were whites riding the post World War II economic boom.

Broughton Hospitality Group moves to Huntington Beach

Broughton Hospitality Group has joined a growing list of hospitality brokerages and consultants in Orange County.

More on El Toro and energy, in Letters

I continually receive propaganda from opponents of the proposed El Toro airport. Recently, a flurry of mailings suggests to readers that in order for Orange County to be a premier location, just like LA, San Francisco and San Diego, we "need" a Great Park

Monday, April 16

The Largest Flex Space

Nine Flex Spaces, Existing and Under Construction, Ranked by Contiguous Square Feet Available (CA)

OC's Busiest Brokerages


The Camp, a planned outdoors-oriented retail center, has landed several tenants

Lab Holdings LLC has signed several tenants for its planned outdoor-sports oriented The Camp retail center, including Irvine-based Billabong USA, which will open its first retail outlet at the mall.

Local firms eye Intel's communications-chip strategy, in the Technology column

Sean Maloney, executive vice president of Intel Corp.'s communications products group, recently talked up his company's ambition to dominate the communications chip industry.

Property Managers+Commercial Brokers

Property Managers+Commercial Brokers

Go2Systems lays off 27 and throttles back its expansion plans

Lee Hancock, president of Irvine-based Go2Systems Inc., says he is letting up on the gas pedal,for now.

OC's 23 largest public firms lost $26 billion in market cap in the first quarter

Orange County's largest public companies saw nearly $26 billion in market capitalization wiped away in the first quarter.

More on energy and Amelio, in Letters

California's energy crisis is very real,all too real for the thousands of businesses throughout the state which entered into the I-6 or other Interruptible Service Programs. Promoted to businesses as a way to reduce expenses on energy usage with minimal r

Executive Summary

Gov. Gray Davis and Southern California Edison reached a deal for the state to buy Edison's power-transmission grid for $2.76 billion; the move puts Edison on a separate track from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., San Francisco, which filed for Chapter 11 bank

Rusty Pelican and Landry's are back in court

Just months after announcing a settlement, the owners of the Rusty Pelican restaurants in Newport Beach and Glendale and Houston-based Landry's Seafood Restaurants Inc. are back in court.

Apparel designer John Bernard has moved into furnishings and home accessories

The fashion industry knows John Bernard as the guy who created such youth apparel brands as 26Red, Sugar and Suburban, but now the OC entrepreneur has established a new line of business.

Hot and Maybe Not?

Orange County's top commercial brokerage firms concluded a sizzling three-year run in 2000 and, for the second consecutive year, the top producers increased their aggregate revenue by 18%, according to figures compiled by the Business Journal.

Westminster Press buys an 85,000-square-foot Santa Ana buildings

Westminster Press Inc., a Vietnamese family-owned printing company, has bought an 85,000-square-foot Santa Ana industrial building from ConAgra Foods Inc. for $3.7 million.

Corning's under-construction Fountain Valley plant may face layoffs

Plopped in the middle of strawberry fields, construction crews are scrambling to bring up the walls on Corning Inc.'s new Fountain Valley manufacturing plant.

Taco Bell names a new chief marketing officer

Greg Creed will become Taco Bell Corp.'s third chief marketing officer in four years, replacing Kip Knight who left quietly several months ago.

What the Cushman deal means for OC, in the Real Estate column

Cushman & Wakefield Inc. stole the national spotlight with its announcement last week that it plans to acquire Cushman Realty Corp.

Real Estate Deals

Irvine-based Sares-Regis Group purchased the 376-unit Northridge Apartments in Phoenix from Unum Life Insurance Co. for $15.4 million. Terry Biehn and Joseph Blegan of Camidor Property Services represented both parties.

Largest Buildings Under Construction


Walter Cruttenden's firm is buying Strouds

After running a stock brokerage, investment bank and private equity firm, longtime Orange County money man Walter Cruttenden is heading into something new.

David Dunn of Steinberg, Moorad & Dunn may form his own agency

David Dunn, a partner in the Newport Beach sports management firm of Steinberg, Moorad & Dunn since 1997, has set up an office with two other Steinberg associates and is in talks with parent Assante Corp. about his future role.

Mazda is increasing its TV buy, in the Marketing & Media column

Mazda North American Operations, Irvine,the largest client at the Newport Beach office of Doner,is moving ahead with plans to hike its TV media buy.

The Mid-Counties market posted strong fourth-quarter numbers

The Mid-Counties Market is defined as the cities straddling the border of Orange and Los Angeles counties. The strength of the Mid-Counties market continued through the fourth quarter, as the market indicators remained positive in both the office and indu

California Agribusiness Credit Union buys an LA credit union

California Agribusiness Credit Union in Buena Park is adding 1,000 members and $2.2 million in assets by acquiring Los Angeles-based Carnation Southern California Federal Credit Union.


How to Use Your Personal 30-Second Commercial to Supercharge Your Job Search (Forbes High Tech Career Development Institute) Irvine 6:30-9:30 p.m. $29/$39 (949) 222-4284 Communications and Conflict Resolution (Family Business Council) Orange 7:30-11 a.m

The Largest Industrial Space

10 Largest Buildings, Existing or Under Construction, Ranked by Contiguous Square Feet Available (CA)


Dora Taylor has joined the Costa Mesa offices of IA as project manager. Taylor has 12 years of experience in architecture and interiors.

The Hyatt Regency Irvine went kosher to host Passover celebrants

At a slow time for local hotels, last week's Passover holiday attracted Orthodox Jews from around the country to Orange County searching for warm weather and the happiest place on earth, Disneyland.

Commercial Leasing Guide The Largest Office Space


TransDimension lands $13 million in funding

When judging whether Irvine's TransDimension Inc. may survive the economic downturn and soured technology market, consider this: the company recently turned down extra funding.

LuLu's Dessert Factory moves to Vernon

LuLu's Dessert Factory Inc., which makes Mexican-style gelatin desserts and frozen fruit bars, has relocated from Huntington Beach to a 54,000-square-foot plant in Vernon.

Consolidation Is Key Word for Property Managers

Being in the property management business wasn't for the faint of heart this past year. Consolidation,real and rumored,dominated the playing field. And, at least going by the numbers, consolidation proved a useful maneuver in moving past the competition.

Calpers has set up a $500 million private equity fund

The California Public Employees' Retirement System,the nation's largest pension fund,has launched a Los Angeles-based private equity fund, called Global Innovation Partners LLC, to invest in later-stage growth businesses and buyout situations.

PacifiCare's turnaround continues, in the Healthcare column

Shares of PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Santa Ana, got a bounce recently when the health maintenance organization said its first-quarter and full-year earnings would come in at the top of the range of analysts' estimates. Those estimates are 35 cents a

Safi Qureshey's life after AST is a busy one

These days, you'll find Safi Qureshey at an office in the shadow of the Irvine Spectrum building that used to house his AST Research Inc.

Nuke the power providers, an Editorial

RAY BRADBURY, THE OCTAGENARIAN WRITER, VISIONARY AND SOUTHERN California treasure, made some provocative points at KOCE's Aristeia Awards program the other night.

You can go home again, to Prego

Prices: Entr & #233;es $10.95 - $24.75; Sunday Brunch $25.75, including Proseco sparkling wine; children under 12 are free

Largest Full Buildings

26811-26891 Aliso Creek Road

Generic drug maker Sicor Inc. has as much work for lawyers as for researchers

Several big conventional and biotechnology drugs are set to lose patent protection in the next few years,creating a potential bonanza for generic drug makers.

An OC firm with San Diego operations sees a long, costly summer ahead

Across Orange County, businesses are bracing for higher energy bills in the weeks ahead. But they haven't seen anything yet, according to Susan Corrales-Diaz.

Monday, April 9

Little Saigon's two waves of immigrants disagree on its future

To outsiders, Little Saigon may appear little more than a monolithic array of strip malls packed with noodle soup restaurants and trinket shops. With most signs in Vietnamese, Little Saigon seems a tight-knit enclave.

The West County industrial market remained tight in the fourth quarter

West Orange County is the smallest of the office submarkets, with 5% of the total net rentable office space in Orange County. The West Orange County market area performed well throughout 2000, with steadily tightening vacancy rates and four quarters of po

Executive Summary

Gov. Gray Davis proposed a tiered electric rate increase under which large users' rates would increase the most; the plan is likely to be merged with a similar PUC rate hike The PUC approved a restructured "interruptible" program for the state's large p


USC Marshall School of Business Alumni Breakfast Newport Beach 7-9 a.m. $20/$30 (213) 740-7900 RSVP Secrets of Power Negotiating (Sales Training Camp) Long Beach 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. $189 (800) 755-1325 Networking Luncheon (Westminster Chamber of Commerce

Bisum Components found sales growth south of the border

While computer manufacturers and distributors like Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM Corp. and Dell Computer Corp. took control of the billion-dollar American market for desktop computers and peripherals, Imad Boukai took his computer-and-pony show on the road. Hi

Coto de Caza reaches the final phases, in the Real Estate column

La Jolla Sport USA Inc. has found a new corporate headquarters building in Irvine. A licensee of O'Neill sportswear, La Jolla Sport has acquired a 75,567-square-foot building, according to a spokesperson at Grubb & Ellis Co.

Oakley sues a San Clemente sunglasses maker

Just like his father did before him, Kip Arnette is facing a legal dispute with the second-largest U.S. maker of sunglasses, Oakley Inc. in Foothill Ranch.

Real Estate Deals

The Howell Trust acquired the 20-unit Lake Forest Villas Apartments at 23442-23452 Packer Place in Lake Forest from Balata Investments LLC for $2.1 million. Don Readinger of Readinger Realty represented the trust. Grant Hahn of Morgan Skenderian Investmen

Anaheim is surging as last year's hot spot, Long Beach, bogs down

During the late 1990s, Anaheim struggled to attract more visitors during the city's massive remake. Meanwhile, Long Beach, with a revitalized downtown and harbor, was the Southland's redevelopment darling.

Stefano il Ristorante adds a new twist to lunch

Reason: Gourmet Italian food every Thursday; appetizers $5 to $11, entr & #233;es $12 to $21

Two OC law schools are rated among the nation's most diverse

Two Orange County law schools made it into the Top 10 most culturally diverse law schools in the nation, as ranked by U.S. News and World Report.

Rexco Real Estate Development breaks ground in Corona

An Orange County developer has started construction on a 70,000-square-foot office building in Corona.



Y & R;'s David Murphy wants to diversify his client list

David Murphy, chief executive of Y & R; Companies in Irvine, strolls casually into the advertising agency's Lincoln Mercury team room carrying a small bottle of water.

The Steelbergs' customers are fuming, in the Technology column

Newport Beach brothers Chad and Ryan Steelberg last year launched free high-speed Internet provider Winfire Inc. and closed it down a little more than a year later. Now the defunct company's customers are still holding the bag. Even though Winfire recentl

New funding kick-starts a motorcycle aftermarket manufacturer

The White Brothers' headquarters sits in a Yorba Linda business park surrounded by green hills that taunt the off-road enthusiasts who work at the maker of motorcycle accessories.

Brobeck's OC office has nabbed two top attorneys from competing firms

San Francisco-based high technology and litigation law firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP recently has been beefing up its Orange County operations with two key additions.

The acquisition of Bergen Brunswig stands a good chance of getting anti-trust regulators' OK

Three years back, Orange-based Bergen Brunswig Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc. of Dublin, Ohio, were gearing up to be a greater force in the wholesale drug distribution industry.


FCB Southern California hired Scott Anderson as director of public relations. Before joining FCB, Anderson was account supervisor, public relations at the Detroit office of FCB Worldwide.

Nurses and hospitals square off over overtime, in the Healthcare column

The hospital industry and nursing groups are continuing their war of words. This time, the question of mandatory overtime for workers is the target.

Contrary to popular belief, the number of lawsuits in OC has come down over the years

The number of lawsuits filed annually in Orange County has dropped 50% over the past decade or so,a statistic that runs counter to the popular idea of the state and nation as lawsuit-happy.

Y & R; launches a campaign for the new Mercury SUV, in the Marketing & Media column

Young & Rubicam in Irvine recently unveiled a new campaign for client Lincoln Mercury and its new sport utility vehicle, the 2002 Mercury Mountaineer. This is the first Lincoln Mercury campaign developed by John Doyle, the OC agency's new executive creati

Harbor National Bank is looking for investors to fund an expansion

Harbor National Bank, which added a second branch in 2000 and nearly doubled its assets in the past year, is seeking capital for further expansion.

So, who told companies to get into the interruptible program? Mel Horwitt did

Back in the days before electricity deregulation, Mel Horwitt and his Utilities Resource Management Group helped technology and other companies cut power bills by joining the now infamous "interruptible program."

The Newport Technology Center gets around the Greenlight Initiative

When the St. Clair Co. LLC broke ground on the Newport Technology Center last month, it began one of the largest projects in Newport Beach since the community began pushing for limits on growth.

The AQMD is easing air-quality regulations to help companies deal with the power crunch

Regional air quality officials have undertaken a piecemeal rollback of several environmental regulations to help companies deal with the state's energy crunch, sparking the ire of local environmentalists.

Business needs to confront Gov. Davis on the power crisis, an Editorial

IN THE ADJOINING COLUMN ARE TWO LETTERS ADDRESSING THE STATE energy crisis. One, from an academician, rips California for proposing more government to solve a problem that government created in the first place.

OC's largest public companies saw good times and bad in 2000

2000 will go down as a transition year for Orange County's largest public companies, which saw the heady growth of 1999 start to give way to the economic uncertainty that's now reigning in 2001.

Fidelity National files a $500 million shelf registration

One of the largest title insurance companies in the nation, Fidelity National Financial Inc., has filed to offer $500 million of debt securities, common and preferred stock and depository shares.

Boeing's Delta IV program is back on track to fulfill a $1.67 billion Air Force contract

After stumbling badly in early tests, Boeing Co. looks to be back on target with the development of its next-generation Delta IV rocket, potentially pulling a $1.67 billion Air Force contract back from the brink of being handed over to a competitor.

Public Companies Close-ups of OC's 10 largest firms

Whether through restructuring, deals or old-fashioned product development, most of OC's 10 largest public companies improved their financial pictures in a trying 2000. Following the national trends, OC's financial services giants Fidelity National Financi

Conexant's woes present CEO Dwight Decker with his biggest challenge

Twelve months ago, investors interested in communications chips could have made a lot of money,unless they invested in Conexant Systems Inc.

Five OC firms again make the Fortune 500, but four slip

Orange County companies are losing their shine. The moderate growth in revenue posted by OC's largest public companies did not help them retain their rankings on the latest Fortune 500 list.

Some new OC hospital programs target the Asian and Hispanic communities

U.S. Census figures out this month show that Latinos and Asians are the fastest-growing ethnic communities in Orange County. Some local hospitals, having already seen the demographic shifts develop in their areas, have introduced programs and services to

Yard House Restaurants is moving to Irvine

Investors who lose their shirts on Wall Street still need a place to sit down and drown their sorrows.

The Insider says Gary Liebl is fighting prostate cancer with educated decisions

Some top OC executives aren't waiting for the economists to revise their forecasts; privately, they say a recession is already here When tech guru and former QLogic chairman Gary Liebl was diagnosed with prostate cancer in September, he decided to deal

Monday, April 2

Chip maker Microsemi sees increased revenue, in the Technology column

Though its stock has tanked, Santa Ana-based Microsemi Corp. has managed to offer up some good news as its Orange County cohorts continue to do the opposite. Just as Conexant Systems Inc. said last week its second-quarter revenue would be down almost 40%

FCB, DGWB and Casanova Pendrill take the top Ad Awards, in the Marketing & Media column

The Register's New Front Page Includes Ad Space; ASG Renaissance Opens OC Office

Micro Therapeutics gets the FDA's OK for a clinical trial

Micro Therapeutics Inc., Irvine, received FDA approval for a clinical trial of its Onyx system for brain aneurysm treatment.

Panattoni Development will help build out a Riverside logistics center

Panattoni Development Co. LLC, Newport Beach, has partnered with San Francisco-based Bristol Group Inc. to construct build-to-suit distribution and manufacturing facilities on the remaining 140 undeveloped acres of the Sycamore Canyon Logistics Center in

The county's busiest restaurants have gotten busier

The 15 busiest full-service restaurants in Orange County cooked up a 4% gain in meals served last year to 5.7 million compared with those served by the top 15 eateries on last year's Business Journal list. In the past 12 months, the 15 restaurants cut emp

Cal West Credit Union is bought by a Downey institution

The credit union that serves Conexant Systems Inc.'s employees, Newport Beach-based Cal West Credit Union, has been acquired by Financial Partners Credit Union in Downey.

Del Taco taps al Punto Advertising to create its first Hispanic campaign

Laguna Hills-based Del Taco Inc. has tapped al Punto Advertising Inc. of Tustin to launch its first Hispanic advertising campaign.

House of Blues is a red-letter venue, a Briefcase

Music venue and restaurant. At Downtown Disney, Anaheim. For more information, (714) 778-2583 or With the same hip folksy d & #233;cor as the LA location, the new House of Blues at Downtown Disney showcases both local and world-class musicians suita

The Insider says the Edwards family will lose control of its theater chain

The Insider has pried enough snippets out of the tightly guarded Edwards Theatres Circuit bankruptcy proceedings to surmise how the deal with Denver-LA mogul Philip Anschutz will work. The informed speculation is that Anschutz Corp. and partner Oaktree Ca

OC car dealers don't like a proposal to keep them closed on Sundays

For some Orange County auto dealers, asking them to back a proposal to close on Sundays is like asking them to shoot themselves in the foot.

Executive Summary

The state Public Utilities Commission, which approved a power rate increase of up to 46% last week, will consider reinstating the right of utilities to levy fines on customers in the so-called "interruptible" program in a bid to counter predicted summer p

Verteq receives a 'significant' funding from Japan's Seki Technotron Corp.

Verteq Inc., a Santa Ana maker of gear used to clean silicon wafers, has received an undisclosed amount of funding from Japan's Seki Technotron Corp., a supplier of chips and other electronics.

Mark IV Capital plans a 40,000-square-foot medical building in Laguna Woods

Real estate investor Mark IV Capital of Newport Beach has bought 2.69 acres in Laguna Woods' Town Centre for $1.5 million from Costa Mesa-based Polygon Development and plans to break ground on a 40,000-square-foot, three-story medical office building this

North and Central County industrial vacancy hit a record low in the fourth quarter

The office markets of North and Central Orange County total about 27% of the total net rentable office square footage in Orange County. Both markets prospered in the fourth quarter, with a sharp increase in net absorption of 253,980 square feet, bringing



California Agribusiness Credit Union is growing by acquisition

Banking for the agricultural industry has not made many ripples in tech-heavy Orange County. But the largest credit union in California for farm employees has its headquarters in Buena Park and has been making its own fanfare.

Cha for Tea offers an Asian tea room, OC-style

It's lunchtime and Cha for Tea in Irvine is brewing with students and workers waiting for their orders, each carefully mixed in a cocktail shaker to the beat of jazz music.


The Peaks and Valleys of Taking Your Company Public (UCI Graduate School of Management) Irvine 7:30-9:30 a.m. $75 (949) 824-1147 How to Use Your Personal 30-Second Commercial to Supercharge Your Job Search (Forbes High Tech Career Development Institute)

LA-Area M & A; Activity Seen Slowing This Year

After several years of feverish deal making, Los Angeles merger and acquisition activity is poised for a substantial drop-off in 2001 as a result of the slowing national economy.

The Newport Beach Film Festival is under way

The Newport Beach Film Festival, featuring 56 films from around the world, kicked off Thursday and will continue throughout this week with screenings, seminars and parties.

Drive Servicing moves to larger quarters in Cypress

Drive Servicing, a sub-prime auto finance company headquartered in Dallas, has moved 140 employees into a 26,000-square foot office in Cypress. The firm formerly occupied 9,000 square feet, and the new office will allow for a planned expansion to 280 empl

The federal government has become a big player in local land planning

Forget about the county supervisors and city halls, Orange County land planning has a new sheriff,the federal government.

Comerica is working to integrate Imperial Bank's operations

"More of the same," David White regional president of Comerica Bank-California, said jokingly, when asked what the effect his bank's $1.3 billion acquisition of Imperial Bank will have on Orange County businesses.

Value investor Metropolitan West is among OC's biggest managers

Beverlee Scalise, the concierge at MainPlace/Santa Ana, received the Walter Knott Award for overall service excellence from the Orange County Tourism Council at the industry group's third annual awards dinner on March 22.

Real Estate Deals

Sav-Most Desert Rancho LLC bought the 55,282-square-foot Summit Plaza at 23272-23282 Mill Creek in Laguna Hills from Capital Pacific Holdings for $9.6 million. Al Pekarsik and Rob Mitchell of Voit Commercial Brokerage represented Sav-Most. Jeff Hanson and

Mergers and Acquisitions -The effects of the market collapse on M

M & A; Activity Mutes as Share Prices Fall, but Firms Find Other Ways to Make Deals

Where Agran can put his Great Park, in Letters

I find it interesting that the City Council of Irvine, as directed by Mayor Larry Agran, has eagerly spent over four million of their constituents' tax dollars to poll all residents of Orange County as to what imaginative things should be built within the


Porter Novelli Convergence Group, Irvine, added vice president Lance Allega to its senior management team. Previously, the 10-year industry veteran was director of corporate communications for Oakley Inc. Allega will work with the Hewlett-Packard digital

Dental X Change lands $5 million in funding

Dental X Change Inc., an Irvine-based provider of software and Internet-based services for the dental industry, has closed its third round of venture financing worth $5 million.


The IPO Market Is Dead and Acquirers Are Getting Harder to Find, Leaving Some Private Company Founders and Investors With No Way Out

Caf? Tu Tu Tango offers its own tax-relief package

Reason: To weave a meal of various small plates of food and tastes of unique wines

Some firms are picking up the pieces of the dot-com implosion

A sharply dressed Mike Manser sits at his desk and clicks through digital images on his computer.

A new Allergan drug raises eyebrows at Pharmacia, in the Healthcare column

Allergan Inc., the Irvine-based drug maker, had a busy March on the glaucoma treatment front. Last month, the Food and Drug Administration approved Allergan's Alphagan P pharmaceutical for treatment of elevated interocular pressure in patients with open-a

Tech firms are bracing for another energy crunch in the summer

Rising electricity prices that are smacking companies across Southern California have Orange County technology companies adhering to the age-old energy-saving adage: turn the lights off behind you.

OC led the region in office construction last year, in the Real Estate column

If this is the real estate column, then it must be time for another market report. This week's entry comes courtesy of Colliers Seeley, which looks at the Greater Los Angeles Basin and reveals a few interesting tidbits about Orange County.

Pacific Southwest Realty Services moves to Irvine

Mortgage banker Pacific Southwest Realty Services is moving its OC office from Orange to Irvine.

Guthrie Development plans an industrial park in Rancho Santa Margarita

Laguna Hills-based Guthrie Development Co. has outbid seven other developers for one of the last parcels of industrial property in Rancho Santa Margarita. Guthrie paid $2 million for the land and plans to develop an industrial park of six small buildings,

St. John Knits rolls out new lines and its new CEO

They were dressed to the nines but acted like groupies muscling their way into a rock concert.

Franz Wisner's take on South America

Wisner, a former Irvine Co. spokesman, is traveling around the world with his brother Kurt. This is the third installment about their journeys.

The spinoff of Sybron Dental has investors smiling so far

The prospect of getting pushed out of the corporate nest as a public spinoff is apt to send shivers down the spines of executives these days. But the timing couldn't have been better it seems for Orange-based Sybron Dental Specialties Inc.