Stories for February 2002

Monday, February 25

Ritz-Carlton Plans to Spend up to $30M on Upgrades

The owner of the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel said it plans to shell out $20 million to $30 million this year to upgrade and expand the luxury resort.

COMMENT: Endgame


Campbell Mithum Expands in Irvine, Boosts Roster

New Breakaway Ad Shop Launched; Del Taco Looking to Sports Marketing. Marketing & Media by Jennifer Bellantonio


Humor by Argus Hamilton

Volatility on Tap for Forum

The Orange County Public Company Forum plans to look at how market volatility affects valuations at its annual breakfast seminar on Thursday.

Anniversary Triggers Edwards Takeover Speculation

Two years after spinning off from Baxter International Inc., Edwards Lifesciences Corp. is the subject of industry speculation that the Irvine heart valve maker once again could become part of a larger company.

COMMENT: Tale of Two Offices


Local Businesses Cautiously Upbeat About First Quarter

Orange County small businesses as well as large corporations are more optimistic about the current quarter as the economy shows initial signs of revival

Sanmina-SCI Shutters Irvine Facility, Shifts Workers to Costa Mesa

San Jose-based Sanmina-SCI Corp. has closed its 400-person Irvine plant and shifted most of the workers to Costa Mesa as part of a consolidation resulting from Sanmina Corp.'s December buy of SCI Systems Inc.

Former Ingram Micro Chief Gives $2.5M to Chapman

Also: Human Options Teams With National University

Real Estate Watch: The Retail Market

Absorption Positive, Lease and Vacancy Rates Steady


Brobeck Phleger: Six Attorneys Laid Off. Levin & Hawes: IP Firm Plans Expansion.

Scarcity of Developable Land Fuels Drop in New-Home Sales

Orange County's top homebuilders saw new-home sales drop 21% to 6,203 in 2001, though it wasn't from lack of demand, they say.

MSC's Perna is OC's Unlikely Brash Tech Executive

DPAC Targets Aerospace, Again; SSP Securing Venetian Data

Backyard Politics


His Majesty

Paul Goldenberg is Big in Big Screens, Charitable, Political Contributions


People in the News

Q & A; With the Men Who Would Be Governor

INTERVIEWS with the candidates. Three Republicans are vying in next week's primary election for the right to challenge the vulnerable incumbent, Gov. Gray Davis, who is unopposed on the Democratic side.

Andersen Clients in OC Out Shopping; Desai Lauds Liebl

OC INSIDER by Rick Reiff

Apria Eyes Deals, Internal Growth Under New Chief

Apria Healthcare Group Inc. can lay claim to a turnaround, but the Lake Forest-based home healthcare provider's new chief executive says he plans to stay a course of internal growth, acquisitions and cost cutting.

Trammell's OC Unit Sells Apartments

REAL ESTATE by Daniel D. Williams

Real Estate Deals

Real Estate Sales and Leases

Temp Agencies Report Flip-Flop From "90s Downturn

Temp workers have been on the receiving end of layoffs, with companies reluctant to shed permanent employees, a stark contrast to what took place a decade ago.

Sybron Gets Dental Telescope, Fiber-Optic Company

Medical Offices Planned for Irvine; Cooper Cos.-Biocompatibles Deal Set to Close. HEALTHCARE by Vita Reed

The Fisherman is Catch From Old Days


Access360 Could Go Public by the End of the Year

Access360 Could Go Public by the End of the Year;


Weekly Column of Top Stories

Monday, February 18

Standard Pacific Reports Record Orders for New Homes in January, Led by Southland

Irvine-based homebuilder Standard Pacific Corp. said it saw a record number of new home orders in January, led by a near doubling in Southern California.

Irvine Sensors Looks to Fund "Super Router"

Last year, the Costa Mesa-based developer of chips and other electronics saw the bankruptcy of its once-promising Silicon Film Technologies subsidiary, which offered a canister that turned film cameras into digital ones.

COMMENT: Numbers Game

Editorial by Rick Reiff. To view now, Register or Sign On. It's FREE!


Humor by Argus Hamilton

Fluor Jockeying for Eventual Afghanistan Work

Fluor Corp.'s new chief is jockeying for eventual Afghanistan work.

Disney Targets Summer Travelers

Earlier this month, the Walt Disney Co. announced new additions to be added to California Adventure in the next two years to lure both the pre-school set and thrill-seekers.

Development Along Alameda Corridor Slow in Coming

The $2.4 billion Alameda Corridor project, long heralded as a major turning point for the Southland's economy, is heading toward a lukewarm debut in April.

Growing Linksys Moves Into Expanded Headquarters

Carlsbad's Greenland Buys OC's W3M; Odetics Unit Grabs Video Gear Maker Assets

Fifi's Smorgasbord: Lunches, Wine Dinner, New Teas

EXECUTIVE DINING by Fifi Chao - Sign On or Register now to view for FREE!

Sares Regis Starts Work on Irvine Luxury Complex

Smaller Industrial Deals Still Swift; Studley Handles Sybron's Ormco Expansion

Stock Brokerages Log Another Year of Cuts

If the market is humming, then brokerages are hiring like crazy. But if the stock market is down,like it has been for the past two years,then they resort to hiring freezes and layoffs.

Workers' Comp React

Business Groups Push for Legislative 'Clean up'; The landmark workers' compensation package just signed into law by Gov. Gray Davis does more than raise benefits for injured workers.


OC Warehouse, Manufacturing Holds Its Own, Shows Some Cracking Signs

Executive Briefcase - Movie Review: COLLATERAL DAMAGE

Weekly Column

Motorola's Ax Ready: OC Operations Brace For Possible Layoffs

Motorola Inc.'s cost cutting could slice into its Orange County operations.

Melding on Track, AmeriSource Puts Mark on New Company

Nearly six months into the combination of Bergen Brunswig Corp. and AmeriSource Health Corp., company officials say they are satisfied with their progress integrating the drug distributors into AmerisourceBergen Corp.

Biotech Startup Licenses CSUF Research

A venture capital-backed Costa Mesa company has signed a licensing deal for research done at California State University, Fullerton, with hopes it could lead to a new class of antibiotics.

PIMCO's El-Erian Handles $7 Billion; Dodged Argentina

Not long ago, Mohamed El-Erian was big on Argentina. In early 2000, the bond fund manager for Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co. counted $2 billion in Argentine bonds,or about a third of his funds under management.

O.C. INSIDER: Nichols' Quest for Life Never Ended; Waitress Celebrity

By Rick Reiff - As an internist, endocrinologist, medical testing pioneer, entrepreneur, outdoorsman and philanthropist, Al Nichols spent a lifetime living life and discovering its inner workings...

OCEANSIDE SWELL; Growing Market, Competition Drive Refurbishing

Various Oceanside retail real estate owners, such as Alex Zirpolo, are redeveloping their properties in hopes of taking advantage of strong residential and office construction in the city on Orange County's southern border.

Investor Buys Texas Instruments Site, Seeks Tenant

Newport Beach real estate investor and developer The Hamilton Co. has paid $7 million for Texas Instruments Inc.'s former Tustin facility and is in talks to lease the 85,514-square-foot building.

Atairgin Teams With UCI

Atairgin Technologies Inc., an Irvine-based company targeting women's health issues, is using an internship program to help develop a system for the early detection of ovarian cancer and breast cancer.

Real Estate Watch: Los Angeles County

Los Angeles Office, Industrial Markets Stabilize


People in the News

Real Estate Deals

Real Estate Sales and Leases

Concessions Spur Mid-Cities Leases, Sales Set to Increase

Industrial real estate in the Mid-Cities area on the Orange County-Los Angeles border has become a tricky business.

OC Patent Figures: Good Reading But Not Whole Story

Orange County's most inventive company? Broadcom Corp., Conexant Systems Inc.? Try Allergan Inc.

Light Rail Cont'd; El Toro Cont'd.



Weekly Column: Top Stories

Ruby's Outlines 60-Store, Five-Year Expansion Plan

The Newport Beach-based owner of the 1940s-style Ruby's diner chain said it expects to open up to 60 new restaurants in the next five years, including in Orange County.

Toshiba Taps PainePR, Seeks "Aggressive" Shop

Rubio's Mantra: More-for-Less; Mendoza Touting Spanish Comic Strip 'Los Kitos'

Monday, February 11


INTERVIEW: Martin Gallegos is the state's first Patient Advocate

Andersen's OC Office: No Losses So Far, Tough Road Ahead

Arthur Andersen LLP's Orange County office hasn't lost any clients in the wake of the Enron Corp. scandal but faces a critical test in coming weeks.

Talking It Out: OC Conferences Focus on Healthcare

Children's Hospital Adds Institute to Research Pediatric Medicine

Two Defense Contractors See More Work Coming

A couple of Santa Ana defense companies, Wyvern Technologies Inc. and Commerce Overseas,both licensees of Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman,are forecasting an uptick in work as a result of increased spending by the Defense Department.


As Cost Containment Becomes a Big Concern of Business, HMOs Stand to Gain


View the O.C. Insider by Rick Reiff. Register or Sign On now - it's FREE!

Housing Lot Sales Surged in January

Homebuilders snatched up entitled lots at a record pace in January, according to one land brokerage firm.

Executive Briefcase: Monster's Ball

Movie Review - A MUST SEE!

Al Punto in Universal Finals

Pacific Sunwear Tries to Widen Appeal; Mouse Alum Vandermost on His Own

Anthrax Precautions Delayed Word of Exult Stock Sale

Norstan Moves From Brea to Irvine; IMC Networks Fills in Map with East Coast Office

Real Estate Watch: Inland Empire

Positive Absorption in Both Industrial and Office


Firm Sees Demand for Sales of Uncollectible Accounts

Under New Management, Cannery Melds Old and New

View EXECUTIVE DINING by Fifi Chao. Register or Sign On now - it's FREE!

They Say: Enron, Gramm, Cox and the New York Times


As Measure W Looms, County Offers Look at El Toro Terminal

A critical vote on El Toro is just a month away, but county officials say they're pressing on with plans for an airport at the former Marine base. Their latest effort: an initial rendering of what a terminal at El Toro might look like.

OC's Enviable Paradox: Jobs in a Downturn

As the California and U.S. economies gird for job losses this year, OC is projected to grow its employment base by about 1%, an extra 9,000 to 16,000 jobs, depending on who you ask. The gain, albeit small, comes after four years of OC outpacing the nation

Alpha Systems Lab Buys Costa Mesa Building

Expands With Demand for Surveillance Gear. Video surveillance gear maker Alpha Systems Lab Inc. has more than doubled its space with the buy of a 35,000-square-foot building at 1690 Scenic Ave. in Costa Mesa for $3.4 million

Continuing High-End Weakness Seen for Apartment Market in 2002

Master Development Sells Spec Buildings; New Lowe Unit Lands Its First Project

COMMENT: Laguna Autobahn



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Letters to the Editor

Hydraflow Breaks HQ Ground

Hydraflow Inc., a Cerritos maker of hydraulic lines for defense and commercial aircraft, has broken ground on its new headquarters in Fullerton, a move the company expects to complete by year's end.

Longtime Bren Ally McFarland Joins Real Estate Investor

McFarland: Post-Irvine Co. life includes Internet bid, a home in Maui and joining a real estate fund manager.


Top Stories summaries

Bates Loses Hyundai Media Buying, Must Defend Creative Account

Bates USA West may be struggling to keep its biggest client, Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America, but it has no plans to give up the fight, according to company officials.


Under Physician Ownership, San Clemente Hospital Has More Services, Less Red Ink

OCBJ Front Page

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OC Bond Managers Beat Stock Counterparts Again

For the second year in a row, Orange County bond managers did better than their counterparts who invested in stocks in 2001, according to local money managers.


Despite Some Churning, HMOs Grew Memberships 6% in OC in 2001

Real Estate Deals

Sales, Leases, and more...

Venture Funding Picked Up in Fourth Quarter

Orange County venture funding rebounded in the fourth quarter after hitting its lowest level in three years in 2001.

Taylor-Dunn Nixes Expansion, Cites Workers' Comp

Electric vehicle maker Taylor-Dunn Corp. is scrapping an expansion of its Anaheim headquarters because of the state's recently passed workers' compensation bill, Chief Executive Jim Goodwin said.

Downtown Disney Hits Attendance Target

Downtown Disney is shaping up as the gem of Disneyland Resort's recent expansion.

Monday, February 4

Foreign Cos. Shrink With Economic Downturn

Orange County's largest foreign-owned companies shed nearly 1,000 jobs last year, lead by technology companies and makers of industrial goods.

People in the News

People in the News

AQMD's Glover Looks to Update Credit System, Seeks Flexibility

Norma Glover's credentials as new chairwoman of the South Coast Air Quality Management District's Governing Board couldn't be more different than those of her predecessor, William Burke.

Humphreys Leaving Shea Homes Bigger Than When He Joined It

Hendricks & Partners Handles Aliso Viejo Apartment Sale; Voit's Year-End Report Details Decline.

OC INSIDER: Chapman's B-School Dean Steps Down; McKenna's Hollywood

OC INSIDER by Rick Reiff

Viking Still at Sea as Far as New Lease Goes

Viking Components Inc. has widened its search for a new home to Foothill Ranch and Rancho Santa Margarita, even as it still weighs details for a facility in Aliso Viejo, a company spokesman said.

Commercial Capital Rides Apartments to High-Rent District

4-Year-Old Bank Holding Company Targets $1B in Assets by Year's End

Remote Maker Aims to Take It Off Pause

After a year of rewinding, Universal Electronics Inc. is ready to hit play.

Real Estate Deals

Real Estate Sales and Leases

Davis, Labor Agree on Workers' Comp Increase

Gov. Gray Davis, state Sen. President John Burton, D-San Francisco, and state labor leaders have agreed to a $2.5 billion hike in workers' compensation benefits paid out by employers to injured workers.

Rubin Postaer Buys OC's Open Minds and Ponzi Group

NeoBrands Wins a Shootout; Del Taco Sticking With Dan

COMMENT: Work-Comp Cave-In

Commentary by Rick Reiff

New Home Sales Reported Strong Last Month

Orange County real estate sources say they expect to see a big spike in January new home sales when numbers start coming in later this month.

Epicor Opens Center for Latin America

Irvine-based Epicor Software Corp., a maker of accounting and other software for small and midsize businesses, said it has opened a new learning center in Boca Raton, Fla.

Cox Web Woes Have DSL Rivals Courting Disgruntled Surfers

As Cox Communications Inc. struggles to switch users from the now-defunct @Home cable Internet service to its own system, high-speed Internet rivals are circling.

Is Corning Seeing the Light at the End of the Tunnel?

Emulex Raises Cash for Possible Acquisitions; Former Fujitsu Phone Gear Unit Gets New Name

Quiksilver Adds Space, Employees Near Headquarters

Quiksilver Inc. has added 112,000 square feet to its Huntington Beach campus, hired 50 warehouse workers and plans to add up to 30 more, according to a company official.

IRS Says Olen Owes $148M in Taxes, Penalties

What builder Olen Properties Corp. developed with some overseas entities apparently includes a $148 million tax headache. The Internal Revenue Service has demanded that much in back taxes and penalties from Newport Beach-based Olen Properties and its Ole


Top Stories of this past week

Real Estate Watch: Low-Rise Office Space

REAL ESTATE: Continuing Trends: Vacancy Up, Rates Down

Cooper Sees Fuzzy-Sighted Teens Driving Growth

The Cooper Cos., a Lake Forest-based contact lens maker, is looking to a generation of children and teens who watch tons of TV, surf the Internet and play video games to fuel its growth.

Lady Chef Cooking up Savory American Cuisine at Zax

Generous Portions, Homestyle Ingredients Highlight Restaurant Near Brentwood


Humor by Argus Hamilton

Watson Gets Generic Prozac, Diabetes Drug Nods

Gambro Opens Fullerton Dialysis Center; ChromaVision Teams Up on Reagents.