Pete Weitzner

Contributing Editor

Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 216

Recent Stories

Cool Rockets

Surf City’s Rocket Lab is about to take off, aiming to scale space with frequent trips and payloads of thousands of small satellites. Some smart money is betting on this unicorn.

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The Distinguished Businessman

Congressman Ed Royce, (R-Fullerton), took a victory lap last week before an OC Forum lunch crowd in Irvine … 36 years in office, 10 Sacto, 26 D.C. “When I was 40, putting term limits on committee chairs seemed like a good idea,” Royce joked.

Optimism Stays Near Peak In Survey of OC Execs

Hiring Plans Goose Index Amid New Concerns

In looking to the second quarter, Orange County executives kept up the optimism. That’s according to California State University-Fullerton’s Orange County Business Expectations Survey, whose composite index held near its all-time high, dipping slightly quarter-over-quarter from 95.2 to 94.4.

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Edwards Pumped Up OC Publics

We look at the collective performance of OC’s largest public cos. in the trailing twelve months, which was led by the largest—after another year of healthy returns at Edwards Lifesciences Corp.

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Scorecard: Local Q1 Initial Public Offerings: 1

Slow Start, But OC ‘Set up for Strong Year’

The first quarter was OK for initial public offering activity, nationally and in the West—just not here.

Focus OC Warns of Future Without a Middle

ECONOMY: Deep, well- funded study a call to action

It wasn’t “please pass the cyanide,” but the report was largely sobering.

A Nod to Eric Church

Rsing tide of recovery hasn’t lifted all boats—2.9% growth and half of all industries undergoing disruption can reduce the boost.

Building a Brand And A Moat in Electric Bikes

RETAIL: Don DiCostanzo powers Pedego on the 4 Ps

Tom Bock had just sold his company when he heard about Pedego electric bikes. “My friend had a bad experience with service, went to see Don, and he got him squared away.

Record Year

The cycle won’t last forever, but the OC commercial real estate community will always have 2017.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% midday trading to 2,670.97.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1.5% in midday trading to 2,625.68.

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Michael Griego: To the Startup Ecosystem Borne

Degree Says UCI, Merage; Should Say ‘The Cove’ Too

A new report “Orange County Focus: A View of the OC’s Future” will be out this week.

Esprit de Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs abound in this issue, honorees of our 17th annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards—EIE.

Feting Our Next Big Thing

We feature the honorees of our 17th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Awards, including high-flying, fintech AutoGravity and hybrid digital solutions/investor-incubator Cie Digital Labs.

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Fusion Future

’93. Produced a video for local gambit into cold fusion.

Dream Fusion

Tech editor Chris Casacchia visits with the engineers and physicists at TAE Technologies—20+ years into vying for the holy grail of energy: a fusion-fired power plant.

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Feds Seek Third Try at Mazzo

Justice Department lawyers said this week they plan to try medical-device executive Jim Mazzo for a third time for violating insider trading rules after two prior efforts ended in hung juries.

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Is This New Orleans? No, Newport Beach

ENTERTAINMENT: Ron Kobayashi’s Bayside jam turns five

“We wanted a place where we could eat late, listen to live music, and actually be able to hear each other,” recalled Mark Ghoukassian, 18-year owner of Bayside Restaurant.

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Team Tan in Trouble

Hock Tan’s plucky bid for Qualcomm caught in China-U.S. crossfire.

Big Deals

We look at the biggest real-estate deals of 2017, topped by the FivePoint buy and partial leaseback of the Broadcom campus.

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GOP Throwdown: Baugh to Battle Rohrabacher

Longtime Orange County GOP Chairman Scott Baugh will challenge 15-term Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher in the 48th district.

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Irving “Papa” Gelman Dies

Irving “Papa” Gelman, the man who founded Orange County’s only independent Jewish day school, Tarbut V' Torah (TVT), has died. He was 94.

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Famous Angels, Admiral Top Cove Forum

How Stance CEO Became One of Them

In one of Jeff Kearl’s early deals, a venture capital firm pulled its term sheet in the last days. The investor/executive had an idea—go work at a venture capital firm. “Most VCs are … highly networked,” Kearl said.

OC Insider

Bill Halford

Bill Halford … death of ex-Irvine Co. office boss and Bixby Land CEO William R. “Bill” Halford hit hard (p. 1).

It All Started With a Cold Call

Marybelle and Paul Musco Lead $120M ‘Miracle at St. Michael’s’

In less than two weeks, the Norbertine priests and seminarians at St. Michael’s Abbey in Silverado Canyon will break ground on their new home. It’s a 327-acre campus around the bend from their decaying original.

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A Record-Setting Year for Transformative Gifts

Big Giving Up And Unprecedented in 2017

This is the Business Journal’s first ranking of largest charitable gifts. Was an easy inspiration. The Susan and Henry Samueli gift to the University of California-Irvine, the Fowlers’ and Kecks’ to Chapman University, the Argyros’ to Segerstrom Center (and others) were front-page stories, in some cases record in scope, even on a national level.

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Toshiba Bow

This week we look at the return of OC’s only PGA event, the Toshiba Classic at Newport Beach Country Club. Field is stellar with Daly, Couples, Singh, etc. But there will be changes in 2019, including a new title sponsor.

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Play it Again, Sam

Final dispatch Mazzo Mistrial II …

After Mistrial II, What Next for Mazzo?

LEGAL: Not unanimous, but all but 2 jurors wanted to acquit

This one wasn’t close. Sort of. The jury in the retrial of longtime Orange County medical-device executive Jim Mazzo failed for a second time to reach a verdict on insider trading charges.

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Those Cool CFOs

This week we profile the five honorees from the Business Journal’s 11th Annual CFO of the Year Awards, including Apria’s Debby Morris, a fan of military methods, big data and hiring smarter.

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Mazzo Mistrial Again

Jurors deadlocked Wednesday in the retrial of local medical device executive Jim Mazzo on insider trading and perjury charges. Judge Andrew Guilford declared a mistrial.

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Mazzo Jury, Day 4

The jury in the retrial of former Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) Chief Executive Jim Mazzo deliberated for a third day on Tuesday and went home—with reports that one was ill. Mazzo is being retried at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana on 16 counts of violating insider trading laws and four new counts of perjury.

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C Stands for Cool

“These are the coolest CFOs in the universe.”

The Executive v. The Ballplayer

For the second time in a year, the fate of Jim Mazzo is in the hands of a federal jury. Prosecutors are still alleging the founder and former chief executive of Advanced Medical Optics violated insider trading laws by telling his friend and Laguna Beach neighbor Doug DeCinces that his company was being bought by Abbott Laboratories.

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Mazzo Awaits Fate

Medical device executive Jim Mazzo’s fate is once again in the hands of a federal jury.

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Mazzo Retrial to Jury

For the second time in a year, the fate of Jim Mazzo is in the hands of a federal jury. Prosecutors are again alleging that the founder and former chief executive of Advanced Medical Optics (AMO) violated insider trading laws when he disclosed to his friend and Laguna Beach neighbor Doug DeCinces that his company was being bought by Abbott Laboratories.

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‘Let’s Get This Figured Out’

Patty. By now you know the tragic story of CDM High School student Patrick “Patty” Turner. Patty took his life on Saturday, Jan 27. The sophomore’s final exams started the following Monday.

Carson Kropfl Cruisin’ Through Growth Stage

‘Shark Tank’ Winner Shreds Sales With Sir Richard as Partner‘Shark Tank’ Winner Shreds Sales With Sir Richard as Partner

Seventh-grade entrepreneur, TED talker and Richard Branson protégé Carson Kropfl insists he “wasn’t an overnight success.”

Toll Road Turnaround

Once bitten twice in love—why Wall Street can't get enough of OC muni debt.

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How Green is Your Zone?

How Costa Mesa Dealt With Cannabis County

Costa Mesa councilman Jim Righeimer pretty much knew California’s Prop. 64 was a winner—the measure legalizing cannabis to smoke in the home and to grow, sell and distribute as a licensed business—he just didn’t want his city “to be the first to sell it in the post-prohibition era.”

Sundance, Slamdance Breakout For Chapman Filmmakers

MEDIA: Rare ‘trifecta’ latest validation of business plan

The narrative and documentary films that opened the Sundance Film Festival last month were both directed by Chapman University film school alumni.

What They Don’t Teach at M.I.T.

For the most part Orange County doesn’t have celebrities. At least not the Hollywood kind. Orange County has business celebrities.

Survey Says: OC Consumers Tad More Bullish

ECONOMY: Gen X, self- employed most sanguine

A fourth-quarter survey of Orange County consumers isn’t a total referendum on the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Hill Tops

Julie Hill has ascended to the upper echelon of Orange County business and civic life. Now the chair of the UC-Irvine Foundation faces another corporate hurdle straight ahead.

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Gray Area

In March the Business Journal debuts our list of the largest charitable gifts of 2017… long list, considering the cutoff of $1 million.

LoanDepot’s New Lines Compete With GreenSky

FINANCE: To provide home-improvement loans

Foothill Ranch-based LoanDepot LLC launched two businesses to expand its real estate lending, including one that competes against investor magnet and fintech giant GreenSky LLC.

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Opus, Banc of California to Up Lending This Year

FINANCE: Two OC banks see plenty of opportunities

Opus Bank and Banc of California Inc., which experienced turmoil last year, said they’re boosting lending this year.

New Initiative Focuses On County’s Challenges

ECONOMY: Losing our ‘seed corn generations’

Last year Chapman University researchers Marshall Toplansky and Joel Kotkin published study “OC Model: A Vision for OC’s Future.”

Always Time for Scrum

This week's issue features a diverse group of Orange County executives—bred from here to Auckland—and their common obsession beyond work: rugby.

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“Ready for A, B. Not …”

Amazon’s decision to decline the three OC bidders tickets for its Big Dance of 20 HQ2 finalists was unsurprising, still disappointing and … confusing.