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OCBJ INSIDER

With more than 70 books to his name, prolific author Dean Koontz has looked to the future for the plots of many of his thrillers.

Among notable if not exactly prescient works: The Eyes of Darkness, a 1980s-era book in which a Chinese scientist brings a biological weapon called Wuhan-400 to the United States.

The book’s concept got noticed on social media in the early days of the pandemic; Koontz said during a press tour for his latest novel, Elsewhere, that suggestions he predicted the coronavirus are wildly overblown.

He and his wife Gerda are helping bring the future to OC, though. Their $9M gift to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, announced in late 2019, resulted in the hospital renaming its radiation oncology center in Newport Beach after the Shady Canyon couple.

This week comes word that some of that funding has gone to Hoag’s new ViewRay MRIdian, described as the first MRI-guided radiation therapy system to provide real-time view of tumors during radiation treatment.

Hoag says it is the only hospital in OC, and one of the first in the nation, to get the system.

“We are fortunate to have the community support that allows us to be early adopters,” said Dr. Craig Cox, medical director of Hoag Radiation Oncology.

Plans for the $3 billion mixed-use development being funded by Henry and Susan Samueli around Anaheim’s Honda Center continue to move ahead.

A recent update has cut back the apartment portion of the project dubbed ocVibe for the time being. The project also is now focused on a 95-acre collection of land around the stadium, down from 115 acres.

Hopefully the new plans call for an expansive trophy case to be built at Honda Center—for the Samuelis, if not the Ducks themselves.

IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization for electrical and electronics engineers, last week announced it had chosen Broadcom co-founder and current chairman Henry Samueli as the recipient of the 2021 IEEE Founders Medal.

Others getting the distinction over the years include HP founders William Hewlett and David Packard; and Intel co-founder Gordon Moore.

In June, the Samuelis also were among several OC execs awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which are awarded to distinguished U.S. citizens who exemplify a life dedicated to community service.

Fellow UCLA alum, one-time Broadcom colleague, and 2020 Business Journal Innovator of the Year winner Reza Rofougaran was also among the local Ellis Isle honorees this year.

See Peter J. Brennan’s front-page feature on the progress of the Orange County Museum of Art’s new home in Costa Mesa.

OCMA’s old home in Newport Center, once eyed for a high-rise condo project, now looks set to become a mid-rise senior living facility after community push-back to the initial condo plans.

Elsewhere in Newport Center, plans for another notable condo project have been scaled down. At the 1.3-acre home of the Newport Beach Car Wash, a proposal for nearly 50 condos was scuttled a few years ago after local opposition.

Now, city filings indicate the ownership group is looking to revive the project, with just 28 luxury condominium units being considered. See next week’s print edition for more.

Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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