Friday, January 30, 2009

2/26/09 - Keynote at enXco's Shiloh II Dedication

Keynote at enXco's Shiloh II Dedication
Start: Feb 26 2009 - 3:54pm
description: General Clark will deliver the keynote at enXco's Shiloh II Dedication, at Shiloh II Wind Plant near Suisun City, California.

enXco, Inc. develops, constructs, operates and manages renewable energy projects throughout the United States.enXco has grown to be a significant owner and developer of wind-energy installations in the United States, and is the largest third-party operations & maintenance provider for wind farms in North America.

Shiloh II Wind Plant near Suisun City, California

Dixon's annual 'State of the City' event planned for February

Dixon's annual 'State of the City' event planned for February
By Reporter Staff
Posted: 01/30/2009

Dixon's annual "State of the City Address" will be given at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 12 at the Senior Multi-Use Center, 201 S. 5th St.

The event, hosted by the Governmental Affairs Committee of the Dixon District Chamber of Commerce, features guest speakers Mayor Jack Batchelor, City Manager Nancy Huston, Engineering Director Royce Cunningham, Economic Development Director Mark Heckey, Gregg Atkins of the Dixon Public Library, and Dixon Unified School District Superintendent Roger Halberg.

Open to the public, the event will be catered by the Firehouse Café. Cost is $20 per person and is payable in advance to the Dixon Chamber of Commerce.

The deadline to register is Feb 9. For more, call 678-2650.

Solano poised for growth

Solano poised for growth
By Richard Bammer/
Posted: 01/30/2009

Jay Adair, Copart president, shared his story with local business leaders Thursday. (Courtesy photo)

Despite the thrum of adverse economic news, some Solano success stories can still be told, as the area has largely avoided the worst ravages of the ongoing recession, a county business leader said Thursday.

"Looking back at 2008, it's not all that bad," said Michael Ammann, president of the Solano Economic Development Corporation.

Speaking at the 26th annual EDC meeting in Fairfield, he said interest in wind-energy development and the presence of major biotech concerns, among them Genentech, Novartis and ALZA, employing thousands of workers and boasting multimillion dollar payrolls, will help nurture the local business climate beyond the economic downturn.

Additionally, the county is poised to grow well into the future, for the next 20 years, with an updated general plan, Ammann noted in his remarks to some 250 people, mostly business owners but including a smattering of elected officials.

Ammann -- as head of an organization that promotes growth and economic vitality -- then went through a laundry list of decidedly upbeat news and information about the county's seven cities, most of it centered on growth or development in business parks, major construction under way and planned, and infrastructure improvements.

In his remarks about Vacaville, Ammann noted the $1 billion Leisure Town corridor along Interstate 80, the newly built State Compensation Insurance Fund building, which derives some of its electricity needs from solar panels, and the new Kaiser Hospital, now slated to open in the fall.

Of the EDC, he said its vision is to have its newborns "grow up and be educated, find a partner in life and have a career" in Solano County.

"We have to have those young people" for the county to thrive in future, Ammann added just before introducing the keynote speaker, Jay Adair, president of Fairfield-based Copart, which has become a worldwide leader in the selling of wreck and used cars through its online auction services, to the tune of $3 billion in annual sales.

Adair noted that Forbes magazine recently ranked Copart among the best small companies in America. Its Fairfield headquarters boasts 400 employees.

He said his top priority was "protecting our balance sheet," but did not sound any fiscal alarm bells.

"We are a company that has no debt," he said, then quipped, "I'm in the car business -- things are not that good right now, but I've got no debt."

Hard work and luck figure into the success equation for any business, said Adair.

He said it was important for business owners to "take care of the employees -- they take care of the company."

Lake Solano backdrop for tourist hub

Lake Solano backdrop for tourist hub
By Danny Bernardini/
Posted: 01/30/2009

Paint, electrical and landscaping crews were busy Wednesday at The Lake Solano Nature Center. The center located on the southwest side of the Putah Creek bridge on Pleasants Valley Road is scheduled to open this spring and is nearing completion. (Rick Roach/The Reporter)

Planned to be a tourist hub to attract guests young and old to the area, the Lake Solano Nature Center is getting closer to opening its doors to the public.

Electrical workers and painters said they would be wrapping up their jobs today, while work on the building's empty interior and landscaping will continue until it opens sometime in spring.

The Solano County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a piece public art for the center, a large sculpture highlighting several environmental aspects of the area. It will stand in front of the center.

Artists Diane Ullman and Donna Billick were chosen after their 12-foot "totem pole" free-standing creation was judged to reflect the history, flora and fauna of the area.

Starting with a base of the threatened pond turtle, the artists included an oak tree ball, an Indian basket, a large ball of blue water, topping it with a multicolored Swainson's hawk. The elements of the piece get larger as it gets taller.

The Lake Solano Nature Center, scheduled to open this spring, is nearing completion. The $1.6 million project will consist of 5,000 square feet that will house educational exhibits, meeting space and a new office for park rangers. (Rick Roach/

Ullman, who has lived near and visited the park for years, said the piece would not only be art but it would also be an educational tool, teaching visitors about the lay of the land and the area's history.

"It translates the natural balance with our hands to visual literacy," she said.

At 5,000 square feet, the nature center sits at the opening to the campgrounds near the end of Pleasants Valley Road in Winters. Costing $3 million, it will house 4,000 square feet of exhibit space, along with offices for park rangers and storage space, said Dan Sykes, Solano County Parks Services manager.

The center will offer a wide variety of educational components, Sykes said, including an aquarium featuring native species and even help toward water safety. Sykes said he also hopes the center will become a meeting place for volunteers, park stewards and field trips to the area. He said his agency may also may be able to rent the area to make some money for the parks.


University of California, Davis
January 29, 2009

Underscoring the importance of leadership in business education at the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis, Stephen G. Newberry and his wife, Shelley, have pledged $1 million to endow a faculty chair in leadership, as well as $500,000 to create a fellowship that will support MBA students who have great potential as business leaders.

Stephen Newberry is president and CEO of Fremont, Calif.-based Lam Research Corp., a leading supplier of wafer fabrication equipment and services to the semiconductor industry.

Newberry says that business schools can help to develop a new breed of leaders at a time when those skills are desperately needed. On many occasions, Newberry has shared his leadership message with UC Davis MBA students, stressing the benefits of building a strong, values-based company and the critical importance of values to personal success. He also is a member of the Graduate School of Management Dean's Advisory Council, lending his 25 years of experience in the high-tech industry.

The $1 million Newberry Chair will enable the management school to recognize an outstanding faculty scholar and support excellence in research on leadership issues. Interest earned on the investment of the endowed gift will provide an ongoing source of funding for the chair holder's professional activities, including support for teaching, research, equipment and specialized materials, student support, and academic travel.

"Endowed chairs honor our best faculty, which is important in keeping them at UC Davis, and chairs provide critical research funding," said Nicole Woolsey Biggart, dean of the management school. "This is a wonderful gift from the Newberrys and it will support research about what it takes to successfully lead our complex modern institutions."

The Newberrys also have established the $500,000 Stephen G. and Shelley A. Newberry Distinguished Student Fellowship fund to support MBA students each year who have demonstrated leadership abilities, but who may not be at the top of their class academically.

"We attract amazing students who already have distinguished themselves as leaders," said James Stevens, assistant dean of student affairs. "The Newberry Distinguished Student Fellowship will allow us to continue to attract and recognize these future business leaders in an increasingly competitive environment."

Newberry said the inspiration for the scholarship came from his real-world experience. The greatest performers in business, he believes, often possess equal measures of academic knowledge and leadership ability.

"How you're evaluated in a company depends on your ability to apply your knowledge and skills both as a team member and a team leader, and in some cases as an individual contributor," Newberry said.

"For the past few years, Dean Biggart and I have been exploring the critical role that business schools can play in developing strong leaders," Newberry said. "I'm impressed by the Graduate School of Management's entrepreneurial orientation, its responsiveness to the business community and, specifically, its recognition of the importance of leadership."

Newberry, who is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Harvard Business School, said a focus on leadership opens up an opportunity for the UC Davis MBA program to differentiate itself from other business schools in today's challenging economic environment.

"Because it's a smaller business school, it can move faster and be more innovative, which appeals to me," he said.

Leadership education is sorely needed, according to Newberry.
"Certainly, part of leadership involves personality, which is significantly shaped in early childhood. Other aspects are inherent, or the result of an individual's life experiences," he said. "But there is no question that the fundamental principles of successful leadership can be taught. If you ask business executives what skills could better prepare MBA graduates, leadership would be one of those, yet it just isn't taught."

Media contact(s):
* Tim Akin, Graduate School of Management, (530) 752-7362,
* Claudia Morain, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9841,

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Touro: Outlook bright for pharmacy students

Touro: Outlook bright for pharmacy students
By SARAH ROHRS/Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 01/29/2009

Kaiser Permanante recruiter Gilda Goodrich, left, talks with Touro Pharmacy students Thu Dinh and Rika Fukumuro during a career fair at the Mare Island campus. (Sarah Rohrs/Times-Herald)

As the economy takes a beating and many face the headache of finding work, job prospects are promising for those who dispense medications to help make people well.

The job market for pharmacists has grown over the last 10 years and demand is still high, even in the economic downturn, said Touro University's College of Pharmacy Dean Katherine Knapp.

Hundreds of Touro's pharmacy students crowded into a career fair last week on the Mare Island campus. There were nearly 20 companies and more than a dozen hospitals offering many employment opportunities.

"There is a slight decrease in pharmacy openings, but I think the career fair is evidence there is a need for pharmacists both locally and nationally," Knapp said.

The increased use of medications to treat illnesses and the aging "Baby Boomer" population is helping keep demand high for pharmacists, she said.

Though Stephanie Johnican still has two years left in school, she said it's exciting to know a wealth of job possibilities await her and other graduates.

First-year pharmacy students Thu Dinh and Rika Fukumuro eagerly checked out the Kaiser Permanente table to learn more about hospital residency programs and job opportunities at the health care giant.

Other students talked to recruiters from Wal-Mart, Rite Aid, Safeway, Walgreens and Lucky's Supermarket, among other companies. They also learned more about residency programs at area hospitals.

Fourth year pharmacy student Lisa Bui said she wants to focus on helping patients with chronic health conditions, and is pursuing a hospital residency program.

Touro officials will be paying particular attention to June graduates who comprise the College of Pharmacy's first graduating class. "We'll be anxiously waiting to see which career choices they make," Knapp said.

In early June, 61 students will graduate in the charter class. There are about 350 students enrolled in the program, she said.

Touro's pharmacy students receive a doctor of pharmacy degree after undertaking a four-year program which includes direct pharmacy practice and training.

Pharmacy graduates have several options, Knapp said, such as community practice in corporate companies, or opportunities at hospitals and clinics. Some graduates may also go into teaching or research.

Contact Sarah Rohrs at or 553-6832.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Table of Contents
- Real Estate Roundup (December 2008)
- AAA Expands Fairfield Operations
- Annual Meeting
- Did you know?

Real Estate Roundup (December 2008)

- 400 Crocker Drive, Vacaville – 40,000 s/f lease to Pacific Cycle
- Building 507 Mare Island, Vallejo – 27,784 s/f lease to Alamillo Rebar

Colliers International (
- 537 Stone Road, #A Benicia – 15,488 s/f lease renewal to Velan Valve Corporation
- 6210 Goodyear Road, Benicia – 14,400 s/f lease renewal to MB Contract Furniture Inc.
- 505 Lopes Road, Fairfield - ±13,573 s/f lease to Universal Plant Services, Inc.
- 480 Chadbourne Rd (Busch Campus Park), Fairfield - 9,694 s/f sale to Geisse, LLC

Cushman & Wakefield (
- 2445 S. Watney Way, Fairfield - 30,000 s/f subleased to ABS Logistics
- 2445 S. Watney Way, Fairfield – 18,000 s/f subleased to The Olive Oil Factory
- 4885 Fulton Drive, Suite D Fairfield – 5,200 s/f lease to Clear Memories, Inc.
- 495 Edison Ct, Suite A in Fairfield – 5,100 s/f lease to Euro Closures

Grubb & Ellis (
- 6210 Goodyear Road, Benicia – 14,400 s/f lease renewal to MB Contract Furniture Inc.
- 3333 Vaca Valley Parkway, Vacaville – 7,100 s/f lease to Novartis

225 Employees Will Move Into New Facility by Mid 2009

AAA Northern California has announced that 225 employees will be moving into a new facility at 5251 Business Center Drive in Fairfield. Of those employees, about 165 will be relocating from the San Francisco headquarters, and about 60 others will relocate from their current office in Fairfield.

“Where we locate specific functions is based on what makes the most sense for the business unit and the company, and the new Fairfield location is a perfect fit,” said Matt Skryja, AAA Northern California spokesperson. “The addition of more jobs in Fairfield means not only an economic boost for the Solano County economy, but it also is the most efficient and cost-effective way to organize our work groups.”

AAA needed a larger facility in Solano County given that AAA is joining its business fulfillment center operations, already in Fairfield, with business fulfillment center employees currently working in the San Francisco headquarters. This includes employees from accounts receivable, billing services, copy center, corporate mail, membership operations, records services, and travel accounting. Other teams coming from headquarters will draw from the information technology, human resources and finance divisions. The new office location is a 104,000-square-foot, single-story building, of which AAA will lease 52,000 square feet. Employees are scheduled to begin phased relocation to the new facility in March 2009 and complete the move by June 2009.

AAA Northern California offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance, DMV, financial services and consumer discounts to more than 4 million members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.

26th Solano EDC Annual Meeting – Thursday, January 29, 2009

Jay Adair, president of Fairfield headquartered Copart, the nation's largest remarketing vehicle company, will key note Solano Economic Development Corporation 26th Annual Meeting on January 29 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fairfield, CA.

Adair will talk about how Copart has changed since it opened in 1982 in Vallejo to becoming the leader in selling more than one million vehicles annual through Copart’s unique online internet auction.

This event will also include Solano EDC’s annual review of successful 2008 community development highlights as well as introduction of the newly elected Solano EDC Board of Directors for 2009.

The annual meeting will be held at the Fairfield Hilton Garden Inn. Registration and networking begins at 11 a.m. with lunch and program at 11:30a.m. Cost is only $45 per person or $350 for a table of eight. Please call Pat at 707-864-1855 for reservations or additional event information.

Sponsors include: CPV Vaca Station, enXco, Kaiser Permanente, NorthBay Healthcare, Pacific Gas and Electric, Sutter Health and Travis Credit Union.
All Solano EDC monthly programs are underwritten by Chairman's Circle Members including Potrero Hills Landfill, Solano Garbage Company and Touro University.


Did you know?

The Economic Impact of the Super Bowl for the Host City.

Tampa Bay is in for scaled back spending on the Super Bowl because of the current economy, a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP says.

Hospitality and other tourism activities surrounding Super Bowl XLIII will generate approximately $150 million in direct spending, nearly $45 million less than the past two championships, held in Phoenix and Miami. Super Bowl XXXVII, played in Tampa in 2001, brought slightly more than $140 million in direct spending to the area.

But the $150 million is still better than the game generated in Detroit in 2006 ($118 million), Jacksonville in 2005 ($124 million) and Houston in 2004 ($135 million).



The Solano Economic Development Corporation’s mission is to enhance the economic vitality
and quality of life in Solano County communities through the attraction,
growth and retention of business and industry.

Solano EDC Team

Mike Ammann, President (
Sandy Person, Vice-President (
Pat Uhrich, Office Manager (
Andy Turba, Special Projects (

Solano Economic Development Corporation
360 Campus Lane, Suite 102, Fairfield, CA 94534
Phone: (707) 864-1855 Fax: (707) 864-6621

At UC Davis, Bishop said his security class covers both robust and secure coding.

Educators see secure coding training challenges, improvements

By Robert Westervelt, News Editor
27 Jan 2009 |

Security Wire Daily News

College-level courses designed to train aspiring application developers in the latest secure coding practices are generally hard to find, but professors that run two of the most prestigious security training programs in the United States say course offerings are improving and students are lining up to take them.

Secure coding training courses often take a back seat to other material that competes for inclusion in the curriculum, said Pascal Meunier, a visiting assistant professor at Purdue University's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS) program. Meunier said more security experts need to become teachers and join in the effort in creating and maintaining course material.

Secure software development is a relatively early discipline that is rapidly changing, making it difficult for colleges and universities to create courses that can be repeated from semester to semester. Institutional knowledge is scattered. There are few centralized resources for university professors to draw upon to reduce duplication, collect relevant material and identify funding sources. Meunier, whose secure coding class was one of the first in the country taught at a university level, said he hasn't found a book that could serve well in his programming class on its own.

"My secure programming class requires a good revision and updates every time I teach it, so it is a lot of work, especially compared to more established areas that are more or less static in the material taught to undergraduates," Meunier said. That makes secure programming less popular to teach, and it requires more money for upkeep and for creating new labs and projects."
Cybersecurity research feels pinch:

In this podcast, Ravi Sandhu, director of the Institute for Cyber Security at the University of Texas at San Antonio, paints a bleak picture of the state of security research in academia.

Information exchange and money would help provide consistent secure programming education throughout the United States, Meunier said. The SANS Institute held a Faculty Workshop on Secure Software Development last spring to exchange information and tips between universities on the subject of secure coding. The workshop should be an annual event, he said.

"In general, I believe that people willing to teach secure programming and develop new material are insufficiently funded and the task is under-prioritized," he said.

The interest in secure coding classes is rising among aspiring developers. While many are focused on learning effective coding techniques, some turn to secure programming to make them more attractive to prospective employers.

"Some are overwhelmed by the sheer number of ways in which it is possible to mess up a program's security, and all they need to care about," Meunier said. "From what I can tell, they become much more cautious afterwards. It's an interesting area because surprises are always around the corner."

Secure coding:
Security experts identify 25 dangerous coding errors: A new list of common programming errors could give non-experts the ability to demand higher coding standards.

Should static analysis be avoided during the software development process?: When the cost of addressing security issues increases as the software design lifecycle proceeds, see why expert Michael Cobb says that using static analysis early on can benefit your organization.

SANS: New exam program about more secure code: The SANS Institute has unveiled a skills assessment and certification exam program designed to test the secure coding skills of software programmers.

Software still plagued with security holes, researcher says: In this podcast, noted security researcher Greg Hoglund, who specializes in Windows rootkits and secure coding, explains why software is just as vulnerable today as it was in 1999.

When the CWE/SANS Top 25 Dangerous Programming Errors list was announced, security experts hoped it would increase the level of attention paid to security by software developers and also be used as a tool in academic environments. Meunier, who has been on the board of editors of the CVE at MITRE since 1999, helped develop the Top 25 list. He said the list could be helpful to highlight the fundamental problems with coding.

"It is a preventative effort which gets an amplified impact through the software lifecycle," he said. "Given this amplification effect and the costs of patching and poor security, I believe that it should be put on a poster and framed in every software development company, and covered in secure programming classes."

Matt Bishop, a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of California at Davis, also worked on the list's creation. He said the list has potential, but will have only a minimal effect.
"What's depressing in a way is that all of these things in this list have been around since I've been doing computer security in 1979," Bishop said.

Bishop is one of the co-directors of the Computer Security Laboratory at UC Davis. He helped organize the SANS faculty secure coding workshop last year. Adding secure programming courses at universities is difficult because computer science curriculums are already very full at many schools, he said.

"More funding and getting people with experience will really help," Bishop said. "You can't require this without support because university budgets are really stretched tight."

At UC Davis, Bishop said his security class covers both robust and secure coding. The students are told every program they write will have unusual stuff thrown at it.

"With aspiring software developers there's an intense emphasis on getting it finished and getting the requirements of the project satisfied," Bishop said. "Once they see what happens when you don't code robustly, they become quite interested and enthusiastic about it."

Will the Top 25 Errors list have any impact on education? Meunier said we'll have to wait and see.

"How much impact it will have depends on how much developers will pay attention to it," he said.

Tags: Secure Software Development, VIEW ALL TAGS

Dredging is final hurdle delaying use of dry docks

Dredging is final hurdle delaying use of dry docks
By JESSICA A. YORK/Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 01/28/2009

Mare Island's Dry Dock No. 2 is idle now, but that may be about to change. (Mike Jory/Times-Herald)

Mare Island's long unused dry docks could be restored to service by March -- if the company striving to use them for ship dismantling can knock down what a representative says is its final hurdle.

After years vying to reopen the former naval base's potential water-tight dock inlets, the end finally is in sight, said California Dry Dock Solutions President Jay Anast.

Company workers' last big concern involves dredging the Mare Island Strait deep enough for the passage of at least four giant merchant ships. The silt and mud removal permit it needs is subject to approval from the state Department of Toxic Substances Control -- an agency concerned about potentially hazardous mud near the former naval base.

The ships whose passage remains in question are in the federal government's aged "Mothball Fleet," formally the National Defense Reserve Fleet in the Suisun Bay. The ships are considered unretainable and are set to be removed and dismantled. California Dry Dock Solutions, also known as Allied Defense Recycling, has already secured a $4 million-plus federal contract to eradicate the vessels, potentially loaded with toxin-laden paint and internal chemicals that are slowly leaking into the bay.

"The DTSC thinks that there's possible contamination in the waterway (and) they want a profiling, a characterization of the materials that would be dredged," said Anast (last) week. "We've come to an impasse because the additional fees, $1.2 million, is exorbitant."

Charles "Chip" Gribble, Mare Island project manager for DTSC, said his agency has not put the onus of sampling the Navy property on California Dry Dock Solutions, but is willing to work with those interested in accelerating the Navy's own cleanup schedule.

Anast said separate work with the city to receive proper permitting and planning documents has been flowing smoothly, and property owner Lennar Mare Island representatives are ready to sign a lease with the company.

Jason Keadjian, a Lennar Mare Island spokesman, agreed, saying the lease is pending some final issues, including city planning approval and the company's receipt of dredging permits.

Anast said he believes any potential contaminant found in the dredged material, once mixed with clean soil, would disperse down to acceptable levels for disposal sites.

"Everybody wants this to happen, but there's some regulatory agency capable of stopping it at every turn," Anast said.

Gribble said there may be significant contamination in the proposed dredging area that would bar dumping the material in the bay. Dredge sampling would remove further doubt, Gribble said.

The state agency recommended the company leave dredging to the Navy, which has funding for dredging in the coming year, Anast said.

The lack of a detailed timeline for the operation by the Navy worries Anast. The Navy has submitted a draft sampling plan for the area, and the DTSC is working out some planning kinks, Gribble said.

Anast said the DTSC has bent over backward to help the company get the necessary go-ahead, but dredging requirements for contaminated sites are much more stringent, and costly. The $800,000 his company has budgeted for dredging could easily bloom into a $15 million to $20 million cost, he said.

Contact Jessica A. York at 553-6834 or

E-Waste Event Benefitted Suisun City Community

E-Waste Event Benefitted Suisun City Community

Dan O. Root II Elementary School held its first Free E-Waste Recycling event on Saturday and Sunday. While Suisun City has held community clean-up days for various neighborhoods, this was the first e-waste recycling event we've had in Suisun City for the general public. It will definitely not be the last.

The event had several goals: raise money for the school, remove e-waste for free, and collect food for the Solano Contra Costa Food Bank and coats for One Warm Coat Project.

The final statistics are still being compiled, but it's clear from the early figures that your response was fantastic, and your generosity was tremendous! Here are some specifics:

- $2,000 donated to Dan O. Root's PTO for student computer equipment

- Seven truck loads of e-waste
- Approx. 34,000 pounds of TVs, computer monitors and other devices with cathode tubes
- Approx. 20,000 pound of other e-waste
- Four barrels (that's 400 pounds) of food for the Food Bank. Enough to feed 300 people!
- Approx. 250 coats and other clothing items for One Warm Coat

Thank you so much for helping to keep electronic waste out of California's landfills and from being dumped illegally along local roads! Your outpouring of support for organizations that help the most needy among us also was fantastic.

Thank you Dan O. Root II Elementary School & PTO for sponsoring and hosting this important community event. Of course, thanks to Universal Waste Management for running the operation and handling all the e-waste.

We'll keep you posted about additional e-waste events as they are planned!


University of California, Davis
January 27, 2009

George Perle, a Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who helped to establish the University of California, Davis, as a significant center for new music composition and performance, died last week at his home in Manhattan. He was 93.

Perle taught music at UC Davis from 1957 to 1961 and returned to campus several times in recent decades to work with music students.

In a 2008 review, New York Times music critic Bernard Holland noted that Perle's work with atonal music "flourished just as space travel was coming along."

"He and eminent colleagues like Milton Babbitt and Elliott Carter were our musical astronauts," Holland wrote. "They defied gravity and left Mother Earth behind. Music soared into space."

Widely known as a music theorist and author as well as composer, Perle was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1978 and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1985. In 1986 he won the Pulitzer Prize in music for his composition, "Wind Quintet No. 4"
and was named a MacArthur Foundation fellow.

"He was really one of the top composers of his generation. He was always finding new ways to think about music," said Jerome Rosen, an emeritus professor and founding chair of the UC Davis Department of Music.

In addition to his contributions to the UC Davis Department of Music, Perle helped to make the University of California Press a "powerhouse in music" publishing, said D. Kern Holoman, professor of music at UC Davis and a University of California Press author.

Among the books Perle published through the University of California Press are "The Operas of Alban Berg" (2 volumes), "Twelve-Tone Tonality," and "Serial Composition and Atonality," now in its sixth edition.

Perle was well known as a composer and musicologist with special interest in 12-tone theory when he joined UC Davis, the year before the Department of Music was formally established. During his tenure on campus, Perle conducted the University Chorus, served a one-year stint as acting chair of the music department, and helped to create an integrated sequence of courses in music theory. According to UC Davis music department records, Perle was last on campus in November 1986, when American pianist Michael Boriskin performed a Noon Concert devoted to his works.

During his years in Davis, Perle lived in a house on M Street, where he spent long hours composing at the piano, recalls his stepson, Davis resident Max Massey.

"He was a very nice man, funny, easy to talk to -- pretty obsessive about his music," said Massey, who stayed in Davis, earning an undergraduate degree in English from UC Davis, after his stepfather left for the East Coast.

>From UC Davis, Perle joined the faculty of Queens College at the City
University of New York, and later held visiting professorships at UC Berkeley, the University of Southern California, Yale, Columbia and other universities around the country, according to New Grove. He was a visiting composer at California State University Sacramento in 1986, according to Massey. He also served as composer-in-residence at the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra in 1989.

Perle was married three times. His first marriage ended in divorce.
His second, to Barbara Wharton Massey in 1958, ended with her death in 1978. He married the former Shirley Gabis Rhoads in 1982.

In addition to wife Shirley and stepson Massey, Perle is survived by two daughters, Annette Wolter of Sacramento and Cathi Perle of Long Island; stepson Paul Rhoads of Chinon, France; stepdaughter Emma Rhoads of New York City; two grandchildren; and three step-grandchildren, two of whom live in Davis.

Media contact(s):
* Claudia Morain, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9841,

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fairfield community hospital to double lab facilities

Fairfield community hospital to double lab facilities
Monday, January 26, 2009

FAIRFIELD – Northern Solano County’s sole community hospital will soon break ground on the latest in more than $15 million in expansions aimed at increasing revenues and adding advanced cardiac services to the region for the first time.

The most recent project, a $5.5 million, 4,000-square-foot lab, will break ground at NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield this week and double the size of the current facility when it is completed in about a year.

“Planning, permits and funding have held up the project in the past, but the new lab is a necessity,” said Bridgit Strachan, vice president of quality and professional support services.

The new building will be located at the front of the campus near the emergency department, and the vacated 1,800-square-foot lab will eventually be transformed into a pharmacy when funding is available. Though some patients will receive care at the site, the building will primarily be used for blood work and other analysis.

The lab construction comes on the heels of the groundbreaking for the center’s new complex-procedure cardiac center, which will officially open in April. Planning for the NorthBay Heart & Vascular Center began more than two years ago, but funding for the $10 million planning and construction price tag did not become available until last July.

Two operating rooms were merged to form one 8,000-square-foot surgical suite and cauterization labs, and equipment was also upgraded. When completed, the facility will allow the hospital to see an estimated 1,400 more patients a year that were previously turned away. NorthBay spokesman Steve Huddle-ston said in addition to offering complex heart surgeries locally for the first time, the center will also be an important new source of revenue for the hospital.

As the area’s community hospital, Medi-Cal and Medicaid patients account for about 25 percent of its revenue, but the hospital was reimbursed at a rate lower than what it costs to provide the care. Mr. Huddleston said heart procedures are generally well-funded and will help the hospital stay afloat for anticipated future state reductions.

“The greatest challenge for a nonprofit community hospital is Medicare and Medi-Cal, and it’s not looking any better,” he said. “They are talking about another 10 percent reductions. … That is another $3 million right off the top.”

In addition to the Fairfield hospital, NorthBay Healthcare also operates the VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville as well as the NorthBay Cancer Center and NorthBay Center for Primary Care.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Office Developer Gets LEED Certification

Office Developer Gets LEED Certification

Early on in the rebuilding of the Suisun City Waterfront District, the Wiseman Company bought into the vision with a major investment in One Harbor Center, a fantastic office building overlooking the Suisun City Waterfront. Wiseman also developed 333 Sunset, an office complex in the Sunset Avenue/Highway 12 Commercial Hub.

Last week, this item appeared in the Woodland Daily Democrat announcing Wiseman's Director of Properties has been certified as a LEED accredited professional.

Here's the Daily Democrat's piece headlined "Wiseman Company Goes Green":

Doyle Wiseman, CEO of The Wiseman Company, announced today that Elliot Jorgensen, Director of Properties, has been certified as a LEED accredited professional. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a building standard created by the United States Green Building Council. LEED buildings go above and beyond city, state or federal building standards to emphasize energy efficiency and environmental design that promotes healthy and sustainable infrastructure and communities.

Elliot has been the Wiseman Company's Director of Properties since January 2008. As a LEED AP, he now has an in-depth knowledge of the LEED system and will begin applying that to The Wiseman Company's current portfolio of buildings. As the head of the Wiseman Company's property management department, Elliot has worked to "green" the properties that he manages through the installation of window film, new building energy management systems and new, highly-efficient lighting systems.

The Wiseman Company LLC is a Fairfield-based, full-service commercial real estate firm offering brokerage, development, investment and management services to Solano, Napa and Yolo counties.

Lab work

Lab work

Work will begin this month on a long-awaited laboratory building at NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield.

NorthBay Healthcare has received the last of the necessary state and city permits for the $5.5 million project, which will involve building a 4,000-square-foot facility on the front side of the hospital near the ambulance entrance to the emergency department.

The space being vacated by the current laboratory will remain unused until funding is secured and planning is done for a new pharmacy in the Fairfield hospital. That project, hospital officials said, will be affected by the economic downturn, especially the cuts that community nonprofit hospitals are experiencing from state and federal governments.

Groundbreaking will be the final week of January, with construction taking a year. The laboratory is expected to be operating by January 2010.

Vacaville is a bold, new Camping World

Vacaville is a bold, new Camping World
By Ben Antonius | Daily Republic | January 26, 2009

FAIRFIELD - Camping World has pitched its tent at a new site in Solano County.

The company, a longtime tenant of the Cordelia area, recently opened the doors to a prominent, freeway-facing new facility at 5065 Quinn Road in eastern Vacaville.

Camping World didn't outgrow its Cordelia location as much as it expanded its focus to more space-intensive niches, said Paul Inman, regional vice president for the company.

Historically, Camping World focused on selling accessories for recreation vehicles.

'We wanted to add and offer our customers not only RV accessories but to be able to offer them a value on RV rentals and a value on RV sales,' he said.

In recent years, the company has also been expanding the number of stores it operates. However, the store in Vacaville on the Leisure Town Road exit on Interstate 80 will remain the only one in the region. The next-closest store is in Rocklin, Inman said.

Employees from the Cordelia site shifted to the new location, which is now fully staffed, he added.

The new site will allow the company to expand its offerings, although the store itself is not much larger than its previous site on Central Place in Cordelia.

'The acreage is really what is bigger,' Inman said. 'It was more suited to have an all-in-one shop. You will have RV sales, RV spas and details and . . . we also plan on having RV rentals.'

Travis' jewel hits 20 years

Travis' jewel hits 20 years
Hospital has vital role locally, worldly
By Brian Hamlin
Posted: 01/25/2009 07:43:00 AM PST

Assistant Surgeon General, Maj. General (Dr.) Thomas J. Loftus (left) and Staff Physician, Maj. Charles Mahakian, talk Friday inside the Air Medical Staging Facility at David Grant Medical Center on Travis Air Force Base. (Rick Roach / The Reporter)

With nearly 2,500 staff members and a constantly changing patient population, the 55-acre David Grant Medical Center site at Travis Air Force Base is like a city-within-a-city - a city that never sleeps.

Located just a short distance from the base's main gate, the center not only handles all the medical and dental needs of personnel at the bustling Air Force base but it also serves military beneficiaries throughout eight Western states, providing care to the combat-wounded and offering medical support worldwide during times of natural disaster.

The multifaceted medical center's vital role is being recognized during its 20th anniversary celebration this month. Festivities included a VIP tour for former medical center commanders and personnel on Friday afternoon, followed by a ball at the base's Delta Breeze Club Friday night.

Ret. Maj. Gen. Vernon Chong the former and final commander of the old David Grant Medical Center visits with reporters at David Grant Medical Center on Friday. (Rick Roach / The Reporter)

The sprawling medical facility opened its doors in 1988, succeeding the old David Grant Medical Center that was built in 1947, known for decades as "the hospital on the hill."

Retired Maj. Gen. Vernon Chong, the last commander of the old hospital, said he was gratified to see the progress made at the new medical center.

He described the old hospital as a challenge to operate, with open bay wards, mass restroom facilities, scattered two- and three-patient rooms and a detached emergency room that wasn't actually part of the main medical center structure.

"I was glad when this was finally built," Chong said.

And there was a time, he recalled, that it almost wasn't built.

During the 1970s, he said, the Air Force was considering downgrading the Travis hospital to a smaller, community-type medical center without the many specialties David Grant Medical Center now offers.

Fortunately, Chong said, former U.S. Rep. Vic Fazio, the mayors of nearby cities, state legislators and neighboring community activists joined forces to rally behind the building of the new medical center.

"There was a lot of lobbying going on for a new hospital," Chong explained.

When the dust cleared, Travis had a $193 million, state-of-the-art military medical center.

The center - named after the late Maj. Gen. David N.V. Grant, first air surgeon for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II - handles roughly 1,306 outpatient visits a day as well as 167 dental appointments and 13 admissions.

Speaking during Friday's tour, current 60th Medical Group commander and physician Col. Lee Payne pointed out that medical center statistics indicated the hospital also averaged 1.4 babies delivered daily during 2008, up from 1.2 babies delivered the previous year.

The center also provides an emergency room, cancer center, family practice medicine and ophthalmology as well as a sleep center, thoracic surgery and magnetic resonance imaging.

Medical center personnel, Payne said, regularly travel the globe to support military and humanitarian missions, with 120 medics deployed every six months to overseas combat zones.

The center also serves as a training ground for graduate medical students, and cooperates with the University of California, Davis, Medical Center in Sacramento to provide hands-on educational opportunities for personnel.

"We want current, competent, well-trained medics," Payne said. "Across this organization, there's training going on every day."

The medical center also serves as a midpoint for those wounded in combat. Injured soldiers, after being cared for and stabilized at East Coast medical facilities, are flown to Travis before being transferred to more long-term facilities and clinics, such as the Palo Alto Veterans Administration hospital.

Also operating from David Grant are Air Force Critical Care Air Transport groups. According to physician Maj. Charles Mahakian, the unit consists of three-member medical teams trained to turn a transport aircraft into a flying critical care unit to get seriously injured military service members safely out of a combat zone for advanced life-saving care.

Five such advanced medical teams operate from Travis.

David Grant Medical Center also boasts a multi-patient hyperbaric chamber. A critical tool in dealing with decompression sickness experienced by high-altitude pilots as well as divers, the chamber can handle as many as 18 patients. It's also used in the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning and diabetic wound care.

Dover Park reopens after renovation

Dover Park reopens after renovation
By Ben Antonius | Daily Republic | January 23, 2009

FAIRFIELD - Dover Park is once again open and could soon even have fish swimming in its ponds.

The park on Travis Boulevard reopened to the public on Jan. 16, about a year after closing for major renovation work. The last phase of the $1.8 million project was planting trees and waiting for a new layer of sod to take root.

A grand opening ceremony may be held in the spring, when weather is more pleasant, parks planner Fred Beiner said.

The project included draining the park's two ponds so the bottoms could be resurfaced and the banks reinforced. The park also received soft rubber surfaces in the playgrounds instead of the normal processed wood material, a lighted concrete perimeter path and play equipment for young children.

The next development might be the stocking of fish in the ponds, Beiner said. That would resurrect an old practice that has fallen by the wayside.

The charity group Kids Day of Fishing, Inc. has expressed interest in stocking the ponds for a fishing event, Beiner said. The group has partnered with the local Kiwanis service club and the Police Activities League. The event is tentatively scheduled for April 25.

An annual fishing derby was why ponds were stocked in the past, with the fish not hooked living in the ponds year-round.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.

Nugget, Genentech rank high

Nugget, Genentech rank high
By Reporter Staff/
Posted: 01/24/2009

Fortune Magazine has announced its list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For," and it includes some names Solano County residents will recognize.

Ranking No. 10 on the top 100 list is Nugget Market. It had ranked No. 12 on last year's list.

The magazine said the Woodland-based company, which operates a store in Vacaville, moved up the list because, "sales have yet to slump at this crazy-fun supermarket chain which in 81 years has never had a layoff."

In addition, it noted the store's $273 million in revenues in 2007 and the fact that it showed a 22 percent growth rate. The chain currently has nine locations and employs 1,536 people.

In the No. 7 spot on the Fortune list is Genentech, which previously was ranked No. 5.

"The biotech leader continued to resist a takeover by shareholder Roche; it also implemented retention bonuses and severance ranging from 18 to 52 weeks' pay for anyone terminated after a merger," noted the magazine.

Genentech, headquartered in South San Francisco, and which operates a manufacturing facility in Vacaville, reported more than $11.7 billion in revenues in 2007 and employs 10,969 people.

Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation was ranked No. 34 on the annual list.

Umpqua, with branches in Vacaville, was the only Oregon company and community bank to make the list.

"Umpqua's 147 branches in three Western states look like Internet cafes -- with coffee on the house," the magazine noted.

"One prized perk: Employees get 40 paid hours a year to volunteer for the cause of their choice."

The bank reported $353 million in revenue in 2007 and employs 1,707 people.

"It's an incredible honor to be recognized for the third year in a row by Fortune,'" said Ray Davis, president and CEO of Umpqua Bank.

Ranking No. 93 on the list was Valero Energy, which operates a refinery in Vallejo.

"Hurricanes Gustav and Ike whiplashed refineries, but CEO Bill Klesse assured employees that Valero would not be severely impacted by financial storms," noted Fortune. "Employees received financial assistance from the company to rebuild their homes."

The company reported $95.3 billion in revenues in 2007 and employs 16,881 people.

The full list will appear in the Feb. 2 issue of Fortune Magazine.

Copart continues to evolve

Copart continues to evolve
By Ben Antonius | Daily Republic | January 23, 2009

Jay Adair is the president of Copart will deliver the keynote address at the upcoming 26th annual meeting of the Solano Economic Development Corporation. Photo by Chris Jordan

FAIRFIELD - The $4 billion corporation that Copart is today looks nothing like the local operation called Bob's Towing Services from which it sprouted in the 1980s. In fact, the international firm even bears little resemblance to itself of a decade ago.

Jay Adair, longtime president of the Fairfield-based company, will deliver the keynote address on Thursday for the 26th annual meeting of the Solano Economic Development Corporation. He will discuss his firm's penchant for remaking itself.

'You have to be married to change,' Adair said earlier this week. 'When you're in the service business, you don't have the flexibility to say, 'This is how we're going to do it.''

Copart's headquarters are located on Business Center Drive in Fairfield, but the company also operates 145 facilities in 43 states, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. It is one of the largest companies to base its operations in Fairfield.

Change has been a constant for Copart, which over the years has dramatically changed the way it conducts its relatively simple core business --- linking buyers with the sellers of wrecked or damaged cars.

Founder Willis Johnson has boasted that the company opens a new yard for cars every six weeks, and seemingly as frequently Copart rolls out a new service for customers.

However, they are all essentially accessories to a greater fundamental change that began in 1998 and largely ended in 2003, when Copart abandoned in-person car auctions in favor of Internet-based bidding.

Adair, Johnson's son-in-law, has been on board since nearly the beginning. He was the fledgling company's manager of operations in 1989 and 1990, and then began moving up through the ranks.

He said he will exhort other business owners to be open to changing the way they do things and to also be willing to stop doing things when they are failing.

'If you are willing to take a risk and it doesn't work, because you have this change-centric attitude, you can go back the other way,' he said.

Copart's future involves the continuing evolution of the profile of customers who use the car sales service.

Insurance companies have long been the major sellers of cars through Copart, but recent moves have let individuals sell their own vehicles. Adair said the next step will be to launch a similar service that will make it easier for them to buy cars.

'We are really changing who we are selling products for or who we sell products to,' he said. 'Are we at the end of that game? No.'

For more information on the meeting or to purchase tickets, call 864-1855.

Reach Ben Antonius at 427-6977 or

At a glance
Who: Solano Economic Development Corporation
What: 26th annual meeting
When: 11 a.m. Thursday
Where: Hilton Garden Inn, 2200 Gateway Court, Fairfield
Tickets: $45
Info: 864-1855

Friday, January 23, 2009

UC Davis applications increase to a record high of 51,298 high school seniors and college transfers

UC Davis applications increase
By Laurel Rosenhall
Published: Friday, Jan. 23, 2009
More students than ever have applied to attend UC Davis in the fall, according to figures released today by the university.

A record high of 51,298 high school seniors and college transfers have applied to the campus. That marks a 5.4 percent jump in applications compared with last year.

UC Davis and UC Riverside had the largest increases in application numbers among the nine undergraduate UC campuses. By contrast, the number of applications was down at UC Santa Cruz and UC Santa Barbara.

Across all campuses, applications for the fall were up 4.7 percent from last year, with 126,701 students applying to at least one UC school.

Ruling clears Suisun City in Walmart approval

Ruling clears Suisun City in Walmart approval
By Ian Thompson | DAILY REPUBLIC | January 22, 2009

SUISUN CITY - Suisun City has met all legal obligations in its approval of a Walmart Supercenter, a Solano County Superior Court judge ruled this week.

Judge Paul Beeman ruled in favor of Suisun City against the Suisun Alliance, a citizens group that opposes allowing Walmart in Suisun City.

'We are very pleased to have this litigation behind us and look forward to this project moving forward,' City Manager Suzanne Bragdon said.

The Suisun Alliance had sued Suisun City, contending city leaders didn't have enough sufficient evidence to overrule a Solano County Airport Land Use Commission decision against the project.

The attorneys who represented the Suisun Alliance hadn't yet received a copy of the ruling, and the alliance's representative couldn't be reached for comment.

Beeman's final decision mirrors the tentative one he issued in early November.

The judge also ruled the findings in the project's environmental impact report in regard to a nearby jet fuel line, wetlands and the potential for urban decay didn't violate the state's Environmental Quality Act.

Beeman's decision came as no surprise to Anthony Moscarelli of Save Our Suisun, another group that has opposed the Walmart Supercenter.

'We figured he would go with the local government,' Moscarelli said.

There is no word yet whether Beeman's decision will be appealed. If it is, Moscarelli expects that Walmart opponents will have a better chance of seeing Beeman's ruling overturned.

Walmart still needs the approval of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board before it can break ground on the project.

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.

Wiseman Company goes green

Wiseman Company goes green
Daily Democrat
Created: 01/23/2009 02:31:34 AM PST

Doyle Wiseman, CEO of The Wiseman Company, announced today that Elliot Jorgensen, Director of Properties, has been certified as a LEED accredited professional. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a building standard created by the United States Green Building Council. LEED buildings go above and beyond city, state or federal building standards to emphasize energy efficiency and environmental design that promotes healthy and sustainable infrastructure and communities.
Elliot has been the Wiseman Company's Director of Properties since January 2008. As a LEED AP, he now has an in-depth knowledge of the LEED system and will begin applying that to The Wiseman Company's current portfolio of buildings. As the head of the Wiseman Company's property management department, Elliot has worked to "green" the properties that he manages through the installation of window film, new building energy management systems and new, highly-efficient lighting systems.

The Wiseman Company LLC is a Fairfield-based, full-service commercial real estate firm offering brokerage, development, investment and management services to Solano, Napa and Yolo counties.

Vallejo planners OK changes in Touro cancer center

Vallejo planners OK changes in Touro cancer center
By JESSICA A. YORK/Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 01/23/2009

The Vallejo Planning Commission has given its unanimous approval to tweaks in Touro University's plans for its cancer treatment and research center.

University officials also announced the Mare Island center's likely new treatment technology provider, which is being tapped to step in after last year's withdrawal of medical supplier Siemens.

Bruce Lang, chief executive officer for Touro Mare Island LLC, said the university is finalizing agreements with clinical operator U.C. San Francisco and technology provider Compact Particle Acceleration Corporation (CPAC), which specializes in proton therapy.

The technology is being developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Security Laboratory, officials said.

In using its planned cancer treatment technology, Touro's center will be the world's first carbon treatment center with real-time imaging, Touro officials boasted Wednesday night.

The project changes require City Council approval and includes reducing the size of a parking garage, adding a surface parking lot and breaking the center into two smaller buildings instead of an initially planned 125,000-square-foot building.

The first building, a one-story, 40,000-square-foot building with four treatment rooms, could be opened as early as 2010, according to Lang.

The 85,000-square-foot second building and its attached parking garage would come later, and serve as an "incubator" housing seminars and likely medical conventions to help spread the technology.

Cancer center work is tentatively slated to begin in March, starting with the razing of existing buildings, Lang said.

Construction could follow within four months, and the whole project is expected to take four years to complete, officials said. The center could be treating its first patients up to two years earlier than planned, officials said.

"We're going to be able to deliver this far earlier than if we would have been able to bring the Siemens technology," said Touro Vice President Dick Hassel."

Commissioner Wanda Chihak questioned university officials on why the updated plans showed a reduction in parking spaces. City staff responded that the center's original plans had more parking than necessary.

Chihak and other commissioners also complimented the updated structural design.

• Contact reporter Jessica A. York at 553-6834 or

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Solano County wins award for budget document

County wins award for budget document
By Reporter Staff
Posted: 01/22/2009 01:01:28 AM PST

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada selected Solano County to receive its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 2008-09 fiscal year.

To receive the award, the county had to publish a document that met criteria as a policy document, as an operations guide for the organization, as a financial plan and as a device to communicate to the public.

In addition to the financial budget for the fiscal year, Solano County's budget document outlines its goals and objectives for the year. The document also details how the organization managed the budget from the prior year, explaining how the county achieved its stated goals in the previous budget document.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving 17,500 government finance professionals throughout North America. The GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.

Solano's fiscal year 2008-09 budget document is available on the county Web site at under Special Reports.

Re-fi frenzy

Re-fi frenzy
By Richard Bammer/
Posted: 01/11/2009 01:05:41 AM PST

Interested in buying a home or refinancing? All signs seem to be saying it's time to make a move.

Vacaville mortgage lenders, citing national trends and the lowest borrowing costs in five years, report a rise of applications to buy a home or refinance the loan.

Bobbi Stokes, manager of the mortgage department at Kappel & Kappel Inc. on Main Street, said the number of applications to buy or refinance in December was nearly double the amount that crossed her desk in November.

Likewise, Nolan Solano, a mortgage broker and president of Norcal Home Loans, said it was a favorable time to buy or refinance a home, condominium or farm.

They attributed the rise to a hefty drop in loan rates for a conventional 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage, which earlier this week fell below 5 percent -- that is, for those with good credit and at least a 720 score out of 850 points.

Solano, who works out of his office at 187 Butcher Road, said the opportunities for borrowers "are the best I've seen in 18 years" in the mortgage loan business.

Their cheery outlook comes on the heels of recent good-news, bad-news reports from the U.S. Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors.

In late December, the MBA reported the average rates on a conventional 30-year, fixed-rate loan dropped to the second-lowest level on record, giving owners a chance to lower their monthly payments, while the industry trade group's refinancing gauge rose 63 percent and purchases gained 11 percent. The MBA also reported late last month that the share of homeowners seeking to refinance a loan jumped to a record 83.2 percent from 76.9 percent a week earlier.

At the December rate for mortgages, roughly 5 percent, monthly borrowing costs for each $100,000 of a loan, for example, would be about $540, almost $100 less than in mid-July, according to MBA figures.

But analysts noted that even with the increase in purchase applications, the gauge was still close to an eight-year low, suggesting the sales slump would last well into the new year.

Yet the grim national home-sales reports are at odds with Solano County figures cited earlier this week by local real estate agents.

Kathleen Ramos, a realtor with Kappel & Kappel, said the number of for-sale residences tops 400 in Vacaville. Some 200 residences are in escrow and 245 have been sold in the last 90 days, she noted.

The president of the Solano Association of Realtors, George Oakes, said sales increased markedly in 2008 compared to the previous year. An agent with Twin Oaks Real Estate in Vacaville, he noted that in December 2007, 173 units were sold countywide compared to 504 last year, as the median sales price dropped from $392,000 in 2007 to $261,000 last year.

"We had nothing below $400,000 three years ago in Solano County," added Stokes, an air of disbelief in her voice.

As home prices drop amid the recession, and while the U.S. dollar remains weak and foreclosures and bank-owned sales increase, Solano said, "Mortgages are plentiful and we can refinance all kinds of people here."

He said that even for those who cannot obtain a conventional loan, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans offer "much more flexibility in the down payment and credit score ... the debt-to-income qualifying standards are a little bit looser."

Additionally, for those financing through the Veterans Administration (VA) home loan program, loan limits have risen from $240,000 to $417,00, an amount more in line with housing costs in California and other populated areas of the nation, noted Solano.

"What's helping out right now is the direct purchase (by the federal government) of mortgage-backed securities," said Solano, noting the Treasury Department's recent infusion of billions of dollars into the market.

President-elect Barack Obama has promised a $1 trillion economic stimulus to restore growth and, on Dec. 13, pledged to limit home foreclosures, noting that 1 in 10 American families who own a home are in financial distress.

Any such stimulus would be a boon to the cash-hungry securities markets, said Solano, adding that it would "create the desire to own the mortgage-backed securities," because the yields would rise.

But Stokes said many banks -- many of which have received millions through the U.S. government's Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) -- have been reluctant to back mortgages.

"Last year, none of the lenders were willing to work with the homeowner's (FHA) program," she lamented. "As far as what the government has done, I've seen nothing. The investors, the banks, are not working with their clients. The way it is being perceived -- they'd rather foreclose on the property."

While the rise in mortgage applications is hopeful news, it comes as job losses persist and the global economy continues to spiral downwardly, with the pain likely to stretch well into the new year, many economists predict.

Additionally, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson last week said mortgage-packaging giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in U.S. government conservatorship since September, cannot be allowed to operate as they were before the housing bubble burst.

"My concern is, what is going to happen in the next six months," said Solano. "We've got a little inventory (of unsold homes on the market) and a lot of people are under water (owe more on their current loans than the home is worth) and the values are not going to return to anywhere to what they were any time soon."

The newly low mortgage rates, he said, "are a bright spot and people need to take advantage of it but it's not going to last."

"I think it's going to last through the spring," added Stoke

M.I. utility receives $3 million loan

M.I. utility receives $3 million loan
By JESSICA A. YORK/Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 01/22/2009

Mare Island's energy needs may increase exponentially one day, and the island's Pittsburg-based power company plans to be prepared.

On Tuesday night, the Pittsburg Power Company, comprised of members of the Pittsburg City Council, agreed to lend energy provider Island Energy on Mare Island $3 million to upgrade its equipment.

While the island's current primary power transformer is sufficiently serving energy needs, planned development -- particularly Touro University's upcoming cancer treatment center -- may require higher capacity machinery, according to Pittsburg city staff reports.

Also, the power company needs a backup transformer to replace one that went out of service last year.

With the approved loan, the company plans to move an idle transformer from elsewhere on the island into the primary substation within the next four months, said Pittsburg Power's general manager, Garrett Evans.

The loan will be repaid through customers' regular energy rates, which are not expected to be raised to cover costs, Evans said.

"The loan repayment would be worked into existing rates -- not as an add-on item," Evans said. "We would carry it out in probably 30 or 40 years."

The funds are expected to cover the replacement of one of two major island power substations, containing more than 40-year-old equipment, according to city staff reports.

Contact Jessica A. York at 553-6834 or at

National Heritage Area designation could enhance Delta

National Heritage Area designation could enhance Delta
By Barry Eberling | DAILY REPUBLIC | January 21, 2009

A boat moves through the Suisun Marsh earlier last year. Photo by Chris Jordan

FAIRFIELD - Three words could help boost the profile of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and such towns as Rio Vista: 'National Heritage Area.'

No longer would the region merely be the Delta, a place that remains unknown to many Californians. Supporters say a national designation would give the Delta the type of cachet and image that attracts both attention and tourists.

Linda Fiack, executive director of the Delta Protection Commission, compared the possible designation to a scenic highway sign.

'It's part of marketing the Delta,' she said.

The commission today will consider seeking a consultant to help with a National Heritage Area feasibility study. The commission meets at 5:30 p.m. at the San Joaquin County WorkNet Building, 56 South Lincoln St. in Stockton.

Congress bestows National Heritage Area status. The nation has 37 designated areas such as the Silos and Smokestacks area in Iowa that highlights that region's agricultural heritage.

'These areas tell nationally important stories about our nation and are representative of the national experience through both the physical features that remain and the traditions that have evolved within them,' according to the National Park Service.

National Heritage Areas can receive financial assistance and advice from the National Park Service, as well as use the National Park Service arrowhead logo in marketing efforts.

A Delta National Heritage Area could start at Sacramento and extend south along the Sacramento River, including such cities as Rio Vista, Isleton, Clarksburg, Walnut Grove and Courtland.

A National Heritage Area could possibly extend all the way to the Carquinez Strait in San Pablo Bay, west of Benicia. The Carquinez Strait Preservation Trust has broached this idea with Fiack.

The federal government doesn't impose land use controls along with the designation, according to a report to the commission.

Promoting the Delta

Supporters say the Delta should be considered a National Heritage Area for the following reasons:
- Second largest estuary in the United States
- Pacific Flyway stopover
- Gold Rush corridor between San Francisco and mountains
- Center for water-based recreation
- Agricultural region that ships products throughout the world
- Multicultural, rural landscape
- One of the world's largest inland deltas
- Engineering feat, with 1,100 miles of levees creating existing Delta environment
(Delta Protection Commission)

See the complete story at the Daily Republic online.

County wins award for budget document

County wins award for budget document
By Reporter Staff
Posted: 01/22/2009

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada selected Solano County to receive its Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the 2008-09 fiscal year.

To receive the award, the county had to publish a document that met criteria as a policy document, as an operations guide for the organization, as a financial plan and as a device to communicate to the public.

In addition to the financial budget for the fiscal year, Solano County's budget document outlines its goals and objectives for the year. The document also details how the organization managed the budget from the prior year, explaining how the county achieved its stated goals in the previous budget document.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving 17,500 government finance professionals throughout North America. The GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.

Solano's fiscal year 2008-09 budget document is available on the county Web site at under Special Reports.

Supporting Our Economic Partners

Supporting Our Economic Partners

Moving redevelopment projects forward during a time of economic turmoil is one of the most challenging aspects of any long-term effort.

Since 1989, Suisun City has rebuilt the Waterfront District into a terrific regional destination. We've seen many successes:

- Established restaurants with solid regional reputations,
- A new hotel expected to open this summer,
- Harbor Square, with 40,000 square feet of restaurant, retail and office space, is nearly complete, and
- Totally unique Class A office space overlooking a scenic marina yet just a short walk from the nation's third busiest commuter rail line.

But there is more to be done.

Since 2005, the Suisun City Redevelopment Agency has worked with Main Street West Partners to convert 13 long-vacant parcels into active restaurant, retail, office, residential and live-work uses. We are looking at more than 60,000 square feet of new restaurant and retail space, plus more than 32,000 square feet of office space. This is a true public/private partnership in which each party builds on the strengths and resources of the other to create a strong economic engine for the entire community.

On Tuesday, the Redevelopment Agency Board took steps to better position our Waterfront District to take advantage of the future recovery from the current nationwide economic challenge. We will spend $722,000 to buy back parcels previously sold to Main Street West Partners, and provide a $500,000 line of credit against future proceeds of housing units to be built within the Waterfront District. (The original agreement required Main Street West Partners to provide this money to assist new businesses as the new homes were sold.)

This will have three major benefits:

- All the parcels originally owned by the Redevelopment Agency will remain within its control.
- It will allow Main Street West partners to work with private investors and banks to secure financing to proceed with planning other parts of the project.
- Main Street West Partners will have access to cash to help lease existing space within Harbor Square.

Main Street West Partners has secured approvals to build a second retail, restaurant and office building on Main Street across from Harbor Square, a two-story restaurant on Solano Street and the Promenade, and a 16 home subdivision on Lotz Way east of Civic Center Blvd. When the economy rebounds, those parcels will be sold back to Main Street West and the projects are ready to go.

During this slack time in the housing market, Main Street West Partners can work on the process of entitling the former Crystal Middle School site on Cordelia Road and vacant land along Civic Center Boulevard for future housing. When demand for new housing returns, those projects would be ready to build.

We've worked our way through several recessions in the past. We are confident we will successfully navigate this one, too. When the recovery comes, we're determined to be ready to pounce.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Vallejo real estate investor markets rent-to-own homes

Vallejo real estate investor markets rent-to-own homes
By RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN/Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 01/19/2009 09:58:32 AM PST

Caroline Hegarty goes through a property book inside one of the home that she will turn into a rent-to-own property. Hegarty is the owner of Vallejo's Regal Capital Holding. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)

Jamai Demery of Vallejo didn't think she'd ever own a home. But the single mother of two moved into her own place last month thanks to a project conceived by a Vallejo real estate investor.
"My two kids and I were living with my mom, and I really needed my own place," Demery said.

"Now I have one, and it really means a lot. It's stability to have your own place."

Caroline Hegarty, owner of Vallejo's Regal Capital Holding, LLC, is not only making lemonade out of the city's sour economy, but she's trying to serve it to as many people as possible through real estate joint ventures. She matches investors who have affordable properties with people who want to buy or rent to own homes.

So far, the Ireland native has put together deals

Caroline Hegarty is the owner of Vallejo's Regal Capital Holding, a company that buys and fixes properties to be rent to own homes. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)on 16 homes - 12 in Vallejo and four in Suisun City. They are now occupied by first- or second-time homebuyers or people renting to own.
Hegarty bought 11 properties in Vallejo in 2008 and expects that number to triple this year.

"I'm finding investors, locally and from out of town, who I partner with to fix up a reasonably priced home and put people who have lost homes to foreclosures into them on a rent-to-own basis," Hegarty said. "Right now, the prices work for this."

The benefits are obvious, she said. "The rent-to-own payment is usually about the same as rent, and about 25 percent per month goes toward the down payment," she said. "It helps create pride in ownership and improves the neighborhood spirit."

One family that lost its home to foreclosure in another city and faced homelessness was able to find a rent-to-own home in Suisun through the program.
"Our payments went from $1,800 to $2,900 per month overnight, and we lost the house," said the wife, whose family asked that their name not be published. "It was a little devastating.

"But we worked with Caroline, and she found us this place, and I love it. I love the neighborhood, and I love that fact that it's mine. It's a blessing we found Caroline."

Each transaction has a sense of urgency, since many of the renter-buyers, like this family, are in foreclosure or otherwise in trouble.

Aisha Mitchell said she moved into her rent-to-own Vallejo property on New Year's Eve.

"I was a renter before," Mitchell said. "This is a great opportunity. Caroline has this whole team, and they can help people like me who don't have perfect credit."

Besides finding homes for struggling families, the project helps investors get an income from their properties, the value of which improves with the repairs, thereby helping the entire neighborhood, Hegarty said.

"Changing the community is a team sport," she said. "And investing in real estate now is better than the stock market. It's a tangible asset. You can drive by it."

Local Realtor Rosanna Souza of Tipp Realty has worked with Hegarty on the project and said it's working great, though it admittedly will likely last only as long as property values stay low.

"It's fantastic," Souza said. "Some of these properties looked terrible, but what she's done has brought up the whole area."

Because many of the properties need work, the project is helping the community in other ways, as well, she said.

"We use the House of Acts (a Christian-based drug rehabilitation residence) for cleanup of the property," Hegarty said.

Hegarty, who has lived in Vallejo for a decade, said she's able to find investors willing to make some money while helping a family own a home because she believes in the city and its future.

"I really love this town," she said. "There are some great people here, and it's a great location, and that's what I tell investors."

Hegarty has assembled a "power team" to make these transactions go quickly and smoothly. These include a credit repair expert, a mortgage broker and a contractor to help fix the properties.

The team will assemble at 52 Baldwin St., Vallejo - an available property - from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, when Hegarty hopes to bring together potential investors and renter/buyers as well as those who have already benefited from the program.

"We bring together people who want to make this happen, and then we go out and find the properties," she said. "We're trying to create a win-win situation to help the community and have investors make some money."

Admittedly, Hegarty said, there's a little bit of hope and positive thinking at work here, as well.

"Maybe I'm idealistic, but we're going to give it a shot," she said. It gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling to be able to do this."

• E-mail Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at or call 553-682

Vallejo tourism agency's new intern concentrates on Internet marketing

Vallejo tourism agency's new intern concentrates on Internet marketing
By RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN/Times-Herald staff writer

Posted: 01/21/2009 01:01:39 AM PST

It was a match made in cyberspace -- where tourism officials hope to bring Vallejo to the attention of the growing multitude for whom the Internet is a main information source.

Vallejo Convention and Visitors Bureau officials recognized the need to market the city online, but lacked the expertise in-house, said executive director Mike Browne.

So the agency put an ad on an Internet advertising site and found the perfect candidate, he said. On Jan. 6, Sarah Rutan started working part time for the agency, to bring its marketing campaign into the 21st century, he said.

Rutan is a 21-year-old San Jose State University student from Vallejo who, ironically, found the job online.

"I found the job on Craigslist, and when I saw it, I knew it was the perfect internship for me," said Rutan, a Napa Valley native whose family moved to Vallejo a few years ago. "It's down the street from my house, and it's exactly what I wanted to get into."

Rutan is majoring in public relations with an eye to working for a nonprofit agency. The paid visitors bureau internship also fulfills a graduation requirement for Rutan, who is on track to graduate this spring, she said.

Browne, too, is pleased with the match.

Visitors bureau officials have been considering "for some time" finding an Internet-savvy young person familiar with social networking Web sites, he said.

"She's getting us on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, Ning, Wikipedia,, all those sites,"

Browne said. "We're putting 'Visit Vallejo' up there, and adding pictures and events where you can, and putting what we have to offer on the sites to promote Vallejo as a destination."

Besides attracting Internet-focused people to Vallejo, the plan is also to get reaction and feedback from them -- something possible through the networking sites, he said.

"And we're putting links to our Web site," Browne added. "It's relatively new for businesses to be part of these sites, but it's where the future is going. We're really excited about it."

Though she's been plastering Vallejo all over the Internet for only a couple of weeks, Rutan said her work is already generating buzz. Since she started Jan. 6, Vallejo's MySpace page has gotten 220 hits -- a number Rutan said she fully expects to grow as its number of network "friends" expands.

"It's been wonderful," she said. "So far, I've created networking sites for the city, and we have a 2009 Destination Vallejo photography competition coming up that I'm putting on the sites."

Rutan said she's confident the social networking Web sites are the way to market Vallejo, a city she said she's grown to love.

"I think it will work," she said. "So many people are finding their information online now. So more people will learn about our events and, hopefully, attend them."

Contact Rachel Raskin- Zrihen at or 553-6824.

Revised M.I. cancer center plans may move at faster pace

Revised M.I. cancer center plans may move at faster pace
By JESSICA A. YORK/Times-Herald staff writer
Posted: 01/21/2009

The cancer treatment center planned for Mare Island may arrive in sooner than planned, due to changes in technology.

The Touro University project may be split in two after receiving public and city scrutiny.

The project, whose center will use accelerated heavy ion particles, or pencil laser beams, for treatment, is a bright spot in an economically struggling city.

The Vallejo Planning Commission will get first crack at the proposed project adjustments, which call for the cancer center's separation into two buildings instead of one, a smaller parking garage and a surface parking lot.

The commission holds a public hearing on the matter at 7 tonight at 555 Santa Clara St.

"In a sense, this has accelerated the schedule in being able to start treating patients sooner," said city-hired planning consultant Dina Tasini.

The overall Touro project is alreadytwo phases, the first being the cancer center and the second a university village extending the school's campus.

Part of the impetus for the proposed cancer center project change, Tasini said, is the new technology the center plans to use. With last year's announced withdrawal of support from medical equipment supplier Siemens, a former project partner, the center will no longer use a huge piece of machinery known as a synchrotron.

Siemens' promise of cutting- edge technology for the center disappeared when the company, based in Germany, pulled out of the world market.

In some ways, the removal of the Siemens machinery has opened new doors for the university, officials have said. Confidential talks with an unnamed Northern California clinical partner could ensure the center obtains "the next generation of the same technology Siemens was going to use," said Touro University Vice President Dick Hassel in an earlier interview.

Touro Public Relations Director Jim Mitchell said the more advanced technology would also come with real-time imaging, allowing doctors to see their progress live. Plus, the new technology is expected to be available earlier than Siemens would have provided it, university officials have said. A first proton machine may arrive as early as 2011, when the center could start treating patients in four separate rooms. The cutting-edge technology, a carbon-heavy ion machine, might arrive as early as 2013, Mitchell said.

If the project is given an eventual City Council go-ahead to split the cancer center into two smaller buildings, the first building would contain treatment rooms and doctors' offices, mainly, while the second building would focus on conference rooms and extra doctors' offices, Mitchell said.

The surface parking lot is planned for the first phase and the parking garage for the second phase, Tasini said.

The number of patients seen or doctors employed will not be changed to adjust to the new project plans, Tasini said.

Contact reporter Jessica A. York at or 553-6834.

UC Davis MBA Program Ranks Among Nation's Best for 13th Consecutive Year

UC Davis MBA Program Ranks Among Nation's Best for 13th Consecutive Year

For 13 consecutive years, the UC Davis Graduate School of Management has been ranked among the top 50 business schools in the nation by U.S.News & World Report.

The magazine's latest survey, released March 28, 2008, places the UC Davis MBA program 20th among business schools at public universities and 44th overall.

The UC Davis Graduate School of Management has been ranked in the top 50 every year since 1996, and continues to be the youngest business school within a public institution ever ranked by the magazine. With 120 full-time MBA students, UC Davis is the smallest business school ranked in the top 50.

The UC Davis MBA program also remains one of the country's most selective. About 26 percent of applicants to the Daytime MBA program are accepted, the 13th lowest acceptance rate in the nation. UC Davis MBA students enter with an average GMAT score ranked among the top 25 schools.

UC Davis is one of only 35 business schools to be ranked in the top 50 for 13 consecutive years.

Our most recent accolades also include:

U.S.News & World Report: One of the nation's most selective MBA programs. About 26 percent of applicants to the Daytime MBA program are accepted, the 13th lowest acceptance rate in the country.

The Wall Street Journal 2007: Corporate recruiters surveyed by the Journal rank the Graduate School of Management among the top 30 regional business schools in the nation, and #6 worldwide for preparing graduates for the technology, Internet and telecom industries.

The Financial Times' Global MBA 2008 survey ranks the Graduate School of Management #2 in the field of Organizational Behavior. The UC Davis MBA program ranks 28th among U.S. programs (up from 47th last year) and 58th in the world (up from 76th last year).

The Economist Intelligence Unit, a division of The Economist magazine group, ranks the UC Davis MBA program among the top 40 in North America and among the top 70 in the world in its global business school survey.

Beyond Grey Pinstripes: The Aspen Institute's Center for Business Education ranks the UC Davis MBA program among the top 30 in the world for integrating issues of social and environmental stewardship into curricula and research.

The Princeton Review - #7 in the U.S. with greatest opportunity for women
Forbes' “Best Business Schools” ranks the UC Davis Working Professional MBA program 16th among part-time MBA programs nationwide based on graduates' five-year return on investment.

About Us

The UC Davis Graduate School of Management offers an interactive and collaborative learning environment distinguished by world-class faculty members renowned for their research and teaching, highly selective admissions, innovative and entrepreneurial students, and prime locations in Northern California’s economic hubs. Established in 1981, the school provides management education to more than 400 full-time and Working Professional MBA students on the UC Davis campus, in Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Area.