Stories for January 2002

Monday, January 28


Humor by Argus Hamilton

Parachute Maker Irvin Aerospace Billows in New, Larger Space

Irvin Aerospace Inc., a Hope Mills, N.C.-maker of parachute systems, has more than doubled the space of its Santa Ana marketing and engineering facility with a move into new, nearby digs at 3701 W. Warner Ave.

Al Punto Works With Wherehouse on Tu Musica Touches

Aquent Adds Tech to Local Offerings; El Pollo Loco Touts Free Side Orders.

Morin Out at IndX; Company "In Talks"

Dennis Morin has left Aliso Viejo's IndX Software Corp. less than a year after joining as the company's chief executive.




Letters to the Editor

ServiceCraft Opens Pennsylvania Center

Buena Park transport logistics company ServiceCraft LLC has opened a 300,000-square foot support center in Allentown, Pa., as part of a bid to regionalize operations across the U.S.


Bankruptcies Are Increasing in More Sectors, and They're Spawning More Litigation.

Buyer's Market: Hagar Looking for More Industrial Deals

Ladera's Avendale Draws Interest; South County Industrial Vacancy Rate Near 11%; More Real Estate News

UCI Researchers Examine Cancer "Sponging" Effect

Memorial's Collins Steps Back; Ista Reports on Eye Compound Trials

Wood Supplier Expands in Santa Ana

Santa Ana-based Austin Hardwood Inc., a supplier of wood to contractors, homebuilders and furniture makers, has doubled its space in Santa Ana.

Motorola Invests in Irvine-based Foundstone

Motorola Inc. recently plugged into Irvine network-security company Foundstone Inc. with an estimated $4 million investment.

OCBJ Front Page

Registered visitors can view this week's OCBJ Front Page. Registration is FREE!

ASR Convening in Long Beach With Hopes of Retail Pickup

The Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo, the annual confab for surfwear and other apparel makers, is expected to draw 20,000 people to Long Beach on Feb. 2 to 4 for a look at what edgy styles young people might be wearing a few months from now.

Mako Makes a Strong Case for Venturing Northward



People in the News

Real Estate Deals

Sales, Leases, and more


People making Business News


More Top News for the week

Conexant Could Serve as Gauge for Wireless Rebound

Iteris on Tour With Volvo Test Car; Gotcha Shacking Up With Broadband Interactive

ICN International Board Meets; BIOMED NEWS

Also: PacifiCare Adds New Financial Official;

Pacific Sunwear Slows Expansion, Boosts Girls, Revamps Men's Lines

Chief Executive Greg Weaver told a group of stock analysts and investment bankers who recently gathered at The Block of Orange to learn about the teen market.

Hispanic Home Furnishings Retailer Plans Anaheim Store

La Canasta Furnishings Inc., a retailer of furniture, electronics and appliances geared toward Hispanics, plans to open a 23,000-square-foot store in Anaheim on Lemon Street and Orangethorpe Avenue in March.

Quiksilver Planning 10 U.S., 20 European Stores This Year

Huntington Beach-based Quiksilver Inc. plans to keep opening stores throughout its divisions in 2002,albeit at a slower pace than first thought.

Japanese Visitors Face Tougher Scrutiny Following Sept. 11 Attacks

Orange County's Japanese executives are feeling the pinch of heightened security for visitors to the U.S.

SimpleTech Acquires Startup Irvine Networks

Santa Ana-based memory products maker SimpleTech Inc. has acquired Irvine-based Irvine Networks LLC for about $3 million in cash, according to sources familiar with the deal.

COMMENTARY: Bold Opinions


Out-of-State Recruiters Easing Up

One state sent flashlights and postcards to power-hungry California companies. Another put up a Web site focused on power issues.

OC INSIDER: She Does Vera's Veils: Erin Cole Ponders New Line

A hot fashion name is located in Costa Mesa, and it's not some surfer dude. OC INSIDER by Rick Reiff

Ventana Aims for $200M for U.S., Mexico Funds

Come June, Thomas Gephart hopes to be sitting on $200 million in new venture money. Gephart, the founder and chairman of Irvine-based Ventana Capital Management LLC, is looking to raise $100 million for his firm's fifth U.S. venture fund.

Projected Biomed Engineer Demand Set to Play Out

Medical device officials say new federal figures tagging biomedical engineering as the fastest-growing job category in the U.S. should boost hiring and training efforts in Orange County.

Monday, January 21




by Rick Reiff

Getting Fit: Blitz Tries Hand at "Tailored" Jeans

Jade Howe has some fashion advice for guys sporting baggy, wide-leg pants belted below the hips: it's over.

ICU Gains on Wall Street, Tussles With B. Braun

San Clemente-based medical device maker ICU Medical Inc. isn't the biggest player in its market by any stretch. But it has won over Wall Street with an emphasis on speed and an adherence to its core product.

Real Estate Watch: Low-Rise Office Space

Completions Outpace Starts Across All Sectors

Real Estate Deals

Sales and Leases

Control Components Expanding South County HQ

Control Components Inc., a Rancho Santa Margarita maker of control valves for power plants and pipelines, is expanding its headquarters based on what it calls steady growth in world energy markets.

Lantronix Starts Expected Buying With Software Maker

Epicor Shows Signs of Life After Cuts; EMachines Rolls Out Gigahertz Models.

Walong Recalls Asian Jelly Candies

Buena Park-based foods distributor Walong Marketing Inc. has recalled several brands of Asian jelly candies after the Food and Drug Administration said six children choked to death on the sweets.

Pacific Communications Enlisted for Allergan, J & J; Work

RiechesBaird Launching Bosch Appliances; Fancy Publications Picks Up Primedia Magazines

Ingram Micro Stock Up as Investors Bet on Tech Rebound

Shares of Ingram Micro Inc. have climbed steadily the past two months as investors and analysts,mindful of the company's 2001 cost-cutting,have placed bets on a technology turnaround this year.


Letters to the Editor


People in the News

Case Takes Over CB Regional Arm Looking to Add Brokers

Master Does Two Ontario Deals; Advanced Real Estate Looks to Double Down in Santa Ana


Weekly Column: Top Stories of the past week.

PacifiCare Seeks to Broaden Image with $20M Ad Campaign

Sicor Buys Back Preferred Stock, Cuts $4.3 Million in Yearly Dividend Payouts


Humor by Argus Hamilton

Story of Two Turnarounds: William Lyon Joins Homebuilding Party

William Lyon Homes Inc. is back in step with its peers, riding a wave of investor enthusiasm for public homebuilders fueled by a strong residential market.

Simulation, Design Software on a Roll

Orange County makers of industrial design and simulation software,used to make 3-D models for controlling factory production or modeling products,have seen annual sales grow by 15% on average in the past year.

Relocated Picayo Still a Moving Mediterranean Experience


OC INSIDER - Room Check: GM Leaves, Project Pauses, Elevator Traps Owners

OC INSIDER by Rick Reiff

Developers Try Hand at Main Street Concourse

Santa Ana's on-again, off-again Main Street Concourse has another developer with plans for retail, office and housing on the site.

Interplay Founder Fargo Out at Game Maker

Industry sources say Brian Fargo has stepped down as chief executive of Irvine video game maker Interplay Entertainment Corp., the company he founded in 1983.

Monday, January 14

Forrest Binkley Looking to Invest $100M War Chest

Newport Beach-based Forrest Binkley & Brown, having recently closed a fourth venture fund after a protracted and difficult fund-raising period, now is focusing on where to apply the $100 million in its war chest.

Snyder Operon Buys Industry Parcel; BRE Grabs Laguna Niguel Apartments

REAL ESTATE by Daniel D. Williams

Mission Hospital Opens New Cardiac Care Center

Mission Hospital Medical Center has completed a new $13 million cardiac care center that is set to start taking patients this week.

COMMENT: Tough Tony - He was the Unhappiest Sports Executive on Earth

Commentary by Rick Reiff

Employers Deal With Rising Health Costs

Orange County employers are being hit with increases of up to 50% for health insurance this year. But instead of dropping coverage, they say they are living with it by shopping for the best deals, scaling back coverage or passing on some of the cost to wo

Argentina Trade Comes to a Standstill

Argentina's economic woes have ground business there to a virtual halt, Orange County companies trading with the South American nation say.

Venture-Backed SenoRx Targets Breast Cancer

Count SenoRx Inc., an Aliso Viejo-based medical device maker, among Orange County's biomedical hopefuls.

SRS Kicks Off National Mobile Pact With Rose Bowl Broadcast

This year's Rose Bowl blowout may have disappointed some, but not SRS Labs Inc.


Top Stories of the past week

Real Estate Deals

Real Estate Deals

Restaurants With Comforting Menus for a Cold Winter's Night


Sept. 11 Reverses Trend at Irvine's HID

The events of Sept. 11 have had a pronounced impact on Irvine-based HID Corp., for the better.

Montgomery Returns to Agency World With T & O; Group

Marketing & Media News by Jennifer Bellantonio

Hospitalization Costs to Rise Under PacifiCare Plan

Santa Ana-based PacifiCare Health Systems Inc. is offering a new California plan that cuts employer premiums up to 20%,but only by socking enrollees with co-payments of up to $400 a day for visits to certain "pricey" hospitals.


Movie Review: "ORANGE COUNTY" - Paramount Pictures; rated PG-13; starring Colin Hanks, Jack Black; directed by Jake Kasden;

Beckman Coulter Picks Up Testing System Out of Bankruptcy



Humor by Argus Hamilton

Ocean Pacific Turns Back Clock to Lure Back Surf Shops

Irvine-based Ocean Pacific Apparel Corp. went back to its roots for its new Op Classic Collection. The goal: regain a spot in the hearts and racks of trendy surf shops, nearly all of which dropped the brand more than a decade ago after it went mainstream.

Outdoor Retailer Winter Show Sees Warm Weather for Once

There was no ice blanketing the parking lots at this year's Outdoor Retailer Winter Market,not with temperatures hovering in the high 70s in Anaheim.

Intersil Leads Investment in Arizona Chip Startup Primarion

Irvine-based chipmaker Intersil Corp. has taken part in a $47 million venture investment in Primarion Corp., a Tempe, Ariz., chip designer started by former Intel Corp. executives.

Laguna Landmark Tortilla Flats for Sale

Tortilla Flats, the landmark Laguna Beach eatery, is up for sale at an asking price of $4.75 million.

FieldCentrix Acquired by Solvent Enron Unit

A unit of Enron Corp. has bought a majority stake in Irvine-based FieldCentrix Inc., one of Orange County's most highly funded startups.

Consistent Demand Kept Market Tight in Q3

Moderate but consistent demand for research-and-development space in Or-ange County has kept the market tight, with single-digit availability rates through the slowing of the real estate market.


People in the News

Conference Set to Offer Wall Street Outlook

The Orange County Society of Investment Managers plans to probe how national and global trends could sway the stock market at its first economic forecast set for Jan. 31 in Newport Beach.

OC INSIDER: His Friend's Death Leaves Karcher as Last of a Breed

Wendy's founder Dave Thomas, who died last week at age 69, represented a passing breed of fast-food personality.

Monday, January 7

Two Cafes to Start 2002: Le Jardin and Plums

Most of us are still trying to dig out of the overeating guilt syndrome from the holidays. We might be dining at home a little more in the near future, but my bet's on all of us still ending up in restaurants several nights a week.


People in the News

Forty Hours Following Ground Zero

Robert Martini's first board meeting as chairman of AmerisourceBergen Corp. is one he'll never forget. He and the company's other directors convened in Manhattan for their first meeting and to ring the New York Stock Exchange's opening bell. Outside the

Fidelity National Exits Small-Ticket Leasing; DeVry University Center Debuts in Park Place



Awards and Recognition



OC Turnarounds Got Their Due in 2001

In a miserable year for many Orange County stocks, turnarounds stole the show in 2001.

Expected Profit Marks Milestone in Western Digital Rebound

It's not every day someone stops a ship from sinking. Matt Massengill, chief executive of Lake Forest-based disk drive maker Western Digital Corp., seems to have done it.

Taylor Woodrow Targets First-Time, Mid-Range Homebuyers

Upscale homebuilder Taylor Woodrow Homes Inc. hardly is synonymous with the first-time home market in the Inland Empire, but that's where the company's Southern California arm is headed under a new management team.

Industrial Market Loosens a Bit but Remains Tight

Activity in the industrial real estate market continued to drop throughout the third quarter, yet West Orange County has remained one of the tightest industrial markets, with a vacancy rate of less than 2%.

Ambassador Argyros Keeps OC in His World View

America's new ambassador to Spain says he wants to strengthen economic ties between the two countries, and help lure some Spanish investment to Orange County.

Strouds Looks at OC for Stores, Possible HQ

The new owners of Industry-based Strouds Inc. say they hope to revive the ailing bed and bath retailer with plans that include opening up to three new stores and possibly relocating its headquarters to Orange County.


News Summaries and Top Stories of the week.

Ad Execs: Things Could Get Worse Before Better in 2002

Advertising agencies hunkered down in 2001 trying to weather what has been dubbed the worst business climate in a decade. More...

Hong Kong's Lee Kum Kee Grabs City of Industry Warehouse

Real Estate News

Mad Cow Beef Ban Hitting Home for Japanese in OC

On a recent shopping trip to a nearby Japanese grocery shop, Irvine housewife Junko Ikuma realized her family's favorite items were missing from the shelf.

Energy Commission Sees Adequate Electricity for State Through 2004

California has all the electricity it needs from now until 2004, according to the state Energy Commission. Even so, customers may have to pay more for that power, and there is a chance that the state could experience a shortage similar to the 2000 energy

Restructuring Yields a Clear No. 2 at The Irvine Company

After a two-year shakeout, Newport Beach-based The Irvine Company has settled on its executive hierarchy.

OC Businessperson Of The Year: Robert Martini

By dollar value alone, the August minting of AmerisourceBergen Corp.,a drug distributor with $35 billion in yearly sales,will go down as the greatest deal of Robert Martini's career.

"Outsider" Leaves Fluor More Focused

Fluor Corp.'s split into two public companies early last year became the capstone of Chief Executive Philip Carroll's reign at the Aliso Viejo engineering company.

COMMENT: Looking (Relatively) Good


State-Mandated Nurse Staffing Levels Delayed Again

The New Year for California hospitals was supposed to bring state-mandated nurse staffing guidelines. But it looks like that's one more resolution deferred.

OC INSIDER: Tech Exec Hosts Davis; OC Grows Its Rag Trade

The Insider has noted the frequent sightings of gubernatorial hopeful Dick Riordan in donor-rich OC. But incumbent Gov. Gray Davis drops in, too.

Ista Looks to Fund Research With Product Sales

Irvine-based Ista Pharmaceuticals Inc., a development-stage eye drug maker, plans to start selling other products in a bid to bankroll more work on its own compounds.

Drug Distributor Moving From Irvine to Lake Forest; Laguna's Surf & Sand Opens Spa



Humor by Argus Hamilton

Government Consultant TekInsight Completes Deal, Becomes DynTek

SSP Raises $2.5M Through Notes Sale; Micro General Cuts Off Long-Distance Unit. More Technology News...

Huntington Beach Visitor Bureau Gets New Head; MTPV Gets Loan for Vegas Project


Real Estate Deals

Sales, Leases, and more...

Company Funding, Acquisition Sprees Stalled Out in 2001

2001 saw venture investing and acquisition sprees by Orange County technology companies slow to a trickle.

Hotel Brokers: From Sales to Consultants

Local hotel brokers could be busy in 2002,but not on sales as much as helping clients on survival strategies.