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BART What’s in its future Page 18

East Bay Women in Business Featuring Kathy Lancaster: Health and your employees Page 20

Oakland budget Boosts police and growth Page 21

July 2012

Inside Oakland Hear from Dr. Joel Parrott, Oakland Zoo Page 23

Oakland Business Review

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A changing of the gavel at 107th Annual Meeting > Outgoing Chamber Chairman of the Board John Nelson (murakami/ Nelson) passes the gavel to Shannon Pedder of BRAND: CREATIVE at the Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon that was held on June 27. Pedder, who served as co-chair during the past year, has taken the reins of the Chamber for the 2012-13 fiscal year. ■

Celebrating the award winners Celebrate the award winners at the Annual Meeting (front row, left to right) Lee Richter (Holistic Veterinary Care), new Chamber Chair of the Board Shannon Pedder, Cesar Villalpando (Kaiser Permanente) and Dr. Bert Lubin (Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland). (Top row, left to right) Tim Foley (Wells Fargo), Solomon Ets-Hokin (Colliers International) and Romeo Garcia (ARISE High School). ■

> From the new Chair Editor’s note: Shannon Pedder of BRAND: CREATIVE was named the Chair of the Chamber at the Annual Meeting on June 27. The following are excerpts from her remarks:

“I am excited and honored to accept the position of Chair. I’ve been a member of the Oakland Chamber for almost 15 years. I started as an Ambassador – and I still am – and have worked my way through this dynamic organization ever since. I have met many of you over the years and look forward to meeting those of you that I haven’t yet. We have a lot of work to do together.”

“I am an Oakland native – born and raised here – so my love for and my commitment to this community and this city run deep. Oakland is an incredibly vibrant and compelling place to work, live and play. Our business community is dynamic and diverse – we continue to propel things forward with everything we bring to the table.

“A strong business community is one of the main engines leading us to a better Oakland. To keep the engine running, we need your expertise, enthusiasm, effort, ideas and financial support. I look forward to working with you throughout the next year to really get things hopping around here. We have an amazing restaurant scene, a burgeoning tech sector, including bio and green, a dedicated health care community and other exciting economic development opportunities like the Oakland Army Base which are really going to make this city even better.”

April 2010 |



| OBR Oakland Business Review |

From the president | Joe Haraburda

We celebrate the winners and welcome new Board members

This year we are particularly proud of the award recipients who were honored at our 107th Annual Meeting. The winners represent a particularly impressive group and represent the growth of Oakland as well. Consider these Oakland champions – • Solomon Ets-Hokin, Volunteer of the Year. Solomon has shepherded the implementation of the Oakland Retail Advisory Committee (ORAC) since April 2010 and has proven to be a true leader since its inception. • Holistic Veterinary Care, Small Business Innovator. Dr. Gary Richter’s new approach typifies the new ideas of small business – a new method, a new approach to build a new, strong business in a competitive climate.

• Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, Nonprofit Impact. The only independent children’s hospital in the Bay Area, Children’s Oakland is one of the few in the nation to combine a social mission to care for all children, regardless of their ability to pay, with a commitment to excellence in medical education and research. • Wells Fargo, Education First. Since 2009, Wells Fargo has donated more than $13.3 million to schools and nonprofit organizations for educational purposes in the Bay Area. • Kaiser Permanente, Community Contributor. Oakland’s nonprofits and community projects have been the benefactors of the company’s philosophy of giving, reaching such groups as the Oakland School of the Arts, the Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation, and Mario Chiodo’s “Remember Them” monument. • Romeo Garcia, Leadership Alumni. A past graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Oakland program, Romeo is the co-founder and executive director of ARISE High School, a charter school in Oakland. • Best Oakland Dish – A new award category reflecting Oakland’s popular restaurant scene, it involved the signature dishes of four local restaurants and a caterer. Those winners are Chop Bar, Brown Sugar Kitchen, À Côté, MUA and Blue Heron Catering. A special thanks to VISA, “More people go with VISA,” our presenting sponsor, and to the many other sponsors who made the Annual Meeting such a splendid event. Harminder Bains

Ron Forest

Welcome new Board members The Chamber thanks the outgoing members of our Board of Directors for their dedication and commitment to making our organization the finest in the East Bay. It’s because of their hard work over the years that this Chamber has climbed to even greater heights. The outgoing members are Terry Brady, president of Securitas; Ana Chretien, president of ABC Security; George Granger, executive director of external affairs for AT&T; and Emily Shanks, the channel integration executive for small business and borrowing at Bank of America. Please join me in thanking our outgoing members and welcoming our incoming community leaders: • Harminder Bains, area vice president, Securitas. Harminder began his Securitas career in 1999 and has moved up the ranks from account manager and branch manager. He was named area vice president in 2006. • Ron Forest, senior vice president of operations, Matson Navigation Company. A former Chamber Board member, Ron is back to add his experience and expertise. At Matson he’s responsible for all of the company’s operations, including vessels, terminals, container equipment, labor relations, purchasing and engineering. • Gary Foss, company manager, Recology East Bay. Gary has helped Recology build a recycling business concentrating on food waste recycling and construction and demolition recycling, as well as developing and implementing reuse and energy renewal programs. • Barbara Leslie, external affairs manager, AT&T. Also a former Chamber Board member, Barb has held positions of increasing responsibility in the East Bay’s public and private sectors for the past 18 years. She is currently responsible for all political, business and community activities for AT&T in Alameda County. • Ken Lowney, chief executive officer and design director, Lowney Architecture. Ken, who founded Lowney Architecture in 2003, focuses his practice on the entitlement phase of projects, particularly site utilization studies, building design, community public hearings and city presentations. • Robert Schmitt, branch president and general manager, Clear Channel Outdoor. With more than 20 years of outdoor industry experience, Bob has an established track record of growing revenue through a strong sales culture at the national and local level. ■

Gary Foss

Barbara Leslie

Ken Lowney

Robert Schmitt

July 2012 | 3

The stars come out at Chamber’s 107th Annual Meeting The Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Solomon Ets-Hokin, a senior vice president of Colliers International. Other award winners were Holistic Veterinary Care (Small Business Innovator), Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (Nonprofit Impact), Wells Fargo (Education First), Kaiser Permanente (Community Contributor) and Romeo Garcia (Leadership Alumni). A seventh award, a new category reflecting Oakland’s popular restaurant scene, was “Best Oakland Dish,” which involved four local restaurants and a caterer and their signature dishes. Those winners were Chop Bar, Brown Sugar Kitchen, A’ Cote, Mua and Blue Heron Catering. “Our Board members, staff and volunteers are here today to thank the hundreds of local businesspeople who continue to work on the critical issues that make this Chamber the finest and most diverse business organization in the most diverse city in America,” said Chamber President Joe Haraburda. The meeting also featured a change in Chamber leadership, with Chairman of the Board John Nelson, a partner in the architectural firm of murakami/Nelson, stepping down after two years and passing the gavel to Shannon Pedder, owner of BRAND: CREATIVE. During his remarks, Nelson said, “We have emphasized the importance of many issues during the past year.” They include: • A balanced budget for the city and pension reform statewide. • Defended property rights for individuals and businesses. • Recommended long-term thinking and vigilance to prevent unintended financial consequences to decisions made without consulting the business point of view. • Advocated for the speedy appointment of our new police chief, Howard Jordan. • Fueled the discussion to expand police academies, and thankfully three are being planned. • Encouraged the federal monitor to seek a solution to an end to the federal oversight. • The gang injunction in Fruitvale and North Oakland Solomon Ets-Hokin and believe more should be implemented. If you stop and think • Supported technology about it, just about everyupgrades including shot spotter thing we do in life is and improved in-car computers. voluntary. And it seems like • Supported education, we are always compensated collaborating with Tony Smith of the Oakland Unified School District one way or another for our and the Peralta Community College voluntary actions. District’s parcel tax initiative. “Sometimes our compen• Advocated to end the Occupy sation comes in the form encampment. of consequences. And • Encouraged business savvy sometimes it comes in the appointments to the Port form of that satisfaction Commission. you get when you do someThe event was sponsored by thing that is important and Visa, Inc., “More people go with impactful for the greater VISA,” and was attended by nearly good. 400 local businesspeople at the “The Oakland Oakland Marriott City Center. Metropolitan Chamber Accepting the Volunteer of the of Commerce, which is Year Award, Ets-Hokin said, “If you effectively the business stop and think about it, just about everything we do in life is voluntary. community that is sitting And it seems like we are always here in this room today, is compensated one way or another truly a wonderful greater for our voluntary actions. Somegood to serve and be a times our compensation comes in part of. the form of consequences. And “I am thrilled and sometimes it comes in the form of honored to receive this that satisfaction you get when you award…thank you all very do something that is important and much. impactful for the greater good. The – Solomon Ets-Hokin Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, which is effectively the business community that is sitting here in this room today, is truly a wonderful greater good to serve and be a part of.”

The 107th Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce recognized and celebrated its members, the lifeblood of the organization.

THE WINNERS • Volunteer of the Year – Solomon Ets-Hokin started the Oakland Retail Advisory Committee (ORAC) in April 2010, in answer to a recommendation within the Oakland Retail Enhancement Initiative, which was adopted by the City Council in 2009. The committee consists of some 15 members with deep experience and varying backgrounds in all aspects of retail leasing and development. Its members meet once a month with elected officials and


| OBR Oakland Business Review |

community stakeholders to review projects and plans to enhance retail in Oakland. • Education First – Wells Fargo has a long-standing commitment to local education. In November 2011, the company announced $1 million in new grants to benefit education throughout the Bay Area, and including the $1 million, Wells Fargo has donated more than $13.3 million to schools and nonprofit organizations for educational purposes in the Bay Area since 2009. • Best Oakland Dish – Chop Bar (Oxtail Poutine with oxtail gravy, French fries, and Fiscalini cheddar), Brown Sugar Kitchen (cornmeal waffles with tarragon-laced buttermilk fried chicken), A’ Cote (mussels with Pernod from the wood oven), Mua (kabocha squash tempura) and Blue Heron Catering (roasted filet of fresh Pacific salmon with chardonnay oak salt finished with creamy fresh herbs and lemon butter). • Small Business Innovator – Dr. Gary Richter at Holistic Veterinary Care and his holistic approach typify the new ideas of small business, developing a new model to meet the needs of his customers and helping to build a new method, a new approach to build a new, strong business in a very competitive climate. • Community Contributor – In the spirit of industrialist Henry J. Kaiser, Kaiser Permanente has continued to demonstrate to Oakland and the region the same commitment to humanity as its founder. Kaiser Permanente has continued to follow the philosophy of giving, demonstrating tolerance for all people. • Nonprofit Impact – Community service and social justice have been an essential value at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland for 100 years, and today the facility continues to provide equal access to exceptional health care for kids in our communities and beyond – regardless of their ability to pay. The Chamber thanks the many sponsors that made the Annual Meeting such a great event: • Presenting Sponsor: VISA, The Preferred Card • Award Sponsors: The Clorox Company; Kaiser Permanente; Oakland Restaurant Association; Southwest Airlines; Visa; Wells Fargo • Inner Circle Sponsors: Buttner Properties; Port of Oakland • Table Sponsors: Alameda County Medical Center; Alta Bates Summit Medical Center; Bank of America; Barney & Barney LLP/Pankow Builders; Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland; Chiodo Art Development; Colliers International; East Bay Regional Parks; Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLP; Full Court Press/murakami/Nelson; Jack London Gateway Shopping Center; KTVU/Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP; Matson Navigation; McGuire & Hester; PD Wolf Law; Recology East Bay; Securitas; Visit Oakland ■

And, the winners are . . .

1) Solomon Ets-Hokin

2) Holistic Veterinary Care

1) Volunteer of the Year Award – Volunteer of the Year Solomon Ets-Hokin of Colliers International is honored by Kim Delevett of Southwest Airlines. 2) Small Business Innovator Award – Award winner Lee Richter, representing Holistic Veterinary Care, accepts the Small Business Innovator Award from Nathan Nayman of Visa. 3) Community Contributor Award – Cesar Villalpando of Kaiser Permanente (right) accepts the Community Contributor Award from Micky Randhawa of Wells Fargo. 4) Leadership Oakland Alumni of the Year Award – Romeo Garcia (right) of ARISE High School receives his Leadership Oakland Alumni of the Year Award from Zack Wasserman of Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP. 5) Best Oakland Dish Award – The Best Oakland Dish Award was presented to local restaurants and a caterer for their signature dishes. Michael LeBlanc (Picán, far left) and Mark Everton (Miss Pearl’s, far right), co-chairs of the Chamber’s Oakland Restaurant Association, present the awards to (left to right) Humberto Villalobos (Blue Heron Catering), Tanya Holland (Brown Sugar Kitchen), Daphne Knowles (À Côté) and Chris Pastena (Chop Bar). Not pictured: Mua. 6) Education First Award – Victoria Jones of The Clorox Company presents the Education First Award to Tim Foley, who accepted the award on behalf of Wells Fargo. 7) Nonprofit Impact Award – Dr. Bert Lubin of Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland accepts the Nonprofit Impact Award from Dr. Deborah Gould of Kaiser Permanente.

3) Kaiser Permanente

4) Romeo Garcia

5) Best Oakland Dish

6) Wells Fargo

7) Children’s Hospital & Research Center

Explaining the Best Oakland Dish Award

> Best Oakland Dish – Served up at 107th Annual Awards Luncheon The New York Times selection of Oakland as one of the top five destinations to visit in

the world was influenced, to a great degree, by the incredible culinary experience that has evolved in Oakland. In recognition of Oakland’s notoriety that has arisen from its food scene, the 107th annual Chamber Awards Luncheon created a separate category to recognize the Best Oakland Dish. The selection process was grueling with the diversity and excellence of Oakland’s restaurants. This year’s Best Oakland Dish award winners: Chop Bar – Chop Bar scratched out its reputation from a corner spot in the gritty produce area of Jack London Square. Owners Chris Pastena and Lev Delaney felt that Oakland needed a restaurant that filled the need as a community gathering spot. A chop bar, in West African parlance, is a roadside bar/restaurant that also serves as a gathering place for the community. Chop Bar’s Best Oakland Dish – Oxtail poutine with oxtail gravy, French fries and fiscalini cheddar. Brown Sugar Kitchen – Travel and Leisure magazine wrote about Brown Sugar Kitchen, “In fact, if you judge a city’s appeal by its restaurants, Oakland just made the big leagues.” Oprah recently said about this restaurant, “(Tanya) Holland treats the restaurant like her living room, introducing regulars to one another from the open kitchen.” Brown Sugar Kitchen is located in the heart of West Oakland, which has

become the place to be if you want cornmeal waffles with tarragon laced buttermilk fried chicken. The success of Brown Sugar Kitchen has led Holland to open a second restaurant on San Pablo Avenue, the B Side Bar-B-Que. À Cote – A’ Cote is a “small plates” restaurant located in Oakland’s Rockridge district. The philosophy of this restaurant is best described by the quote, “We do not sit at a table to eat, but to eat together.” A Cote’s Best Oakland Dish of mussels with Pernod from the wood oven is truly a favorite of fans and critics alike. Mua – Mua set itself apart from the other restaurants receiving awards. Located at the intersection of Webster and Broadway, the building is labeled Oakland M & N with the Mua name spray painted on the industrial roll up door. Mua’s Best Oakland Dish of Kabocha squash tempura could be one of Google’s top searches. Blue Heron Catering – In selecting the 5th Best Oakland Dish award winner, the judges took a side step away from the conventional restaurant track. The decision to select Blue Heron Catering was based on the fact that Blue Heron has been managing events throughout Oakland and the East Bay for the last 24 years. Blue Heron has fused the cultural delicacies of both cultures to provide an amazing culinary experience. Blue Heron’s roasted filet of fresh Pacific salmon with chardonnay oak salt finished with creamy fresh herbs and lemon butter places the caterer firmly in the culinary award-winning seat of amazing Best Oakland Dishes.


Quality service since 1995 Specializing in business meetings & corporate catering OAKLAND CITY CENTER • 510.451.6400

The Fountain Café

July 2012 |



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Small business


> Sweeping new construction law changes have arrived by Garret Murai

When you think of July you usually think about fireworks, barbeques and kids dressed in red, white and blue. You don’t think about new laws. But, not so fast, if you are planning or already involved in any construction projects. This year sees many new laws affecting public and private property owners, tenants improving leased space, contractors and others involved in the building trades. July 1, 2012 marked the effective date of the most sweeping changes to California’s construcGarret Murai tion laws since they were first enacted over 40 years ago. Some changes went into effect in January, but the remainder will go into effect in July. Among the changes are speedier payments by contractors, caps on the amount of retention that can be withheld on public projects, new requirements that must be met in order to make claims on payment bonds, and changes to the statutory language and notice requirements for 20-day preliminary notices, waivers and releases, mechanics liens, and stop notices. Speedier payments by contractors Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, prime contractors, i.e., those contracted directly with the project owner, must make pay progress payments to subcontractors and vendors no later than seven days after receipt from the project owner. Previously, progress payments were required to be made no later than ten days after receipt from the project owner. Prime contractors who fail to make progress payments within this deadline are subject to penalties of 2 percent per month, disciplinary action by the Contractors State License Board, and attorney’s fees. Caps on retention on public projects Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, for public works contracts entered on or after Jan. 1, 2012 through Jan. 1, 2016, public owners, original contractors and subcontractors may not withhold more than 5 percent retention (amounts withheld to ensure a project is satisfactorily completed), with certain exceptions. Previously, there was no cap on the amount of retention that could be withheld, although it was typical for public owners, original contractors and subcontractors to withhold 10 percent until the end of a project. Payment bond claims Although less common on private projects, contractors with a direct contract with a public owner are required to provide a payment bond on public projects exceeding certain dollar values. The payment bond is intended to protect the public owner from claims by subcontractors and vendors of the original contractor. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, for public works contracts entered on or after Jan. 1, 2012, payment bond claimants who do not have a direct contractual relationship with the original contractor, may pursue a payment bond claim without having first served a preliminary notice, with certain exceptions. Notice, however, must be given within 15 days after a notice of completion is recorded or, if no notice of completion is recorded, within 75 days after completion of the project. Preliminary notices, waivers and releases Beginning July 1, 2012, the construction payment provisions formerly found beginning at Civil Code section 3081.1 will be re-codified to new Civil Code sections 8000-9566. Among the changes contained in the new code sections are changes to the statutory required language for preliminary notices, waivers and releases, and mechanics liens. Preliminary notices on private projects will now have to include a statutorily prescribed “Notice to Property Owner,” the statutory language required to be contained in conditional and unconditional waivers and releases on progress payments and final payments have been revised, and mechanics liens will now have to include a statutorily prescribed “Notice of Mechanics Lien.” The manner in which preliminary notices, mechanics liens and stop notices will be required to be served will also change.

So, as your mind wanders to the lazy days of this coming summer, don’t forget to think about these changes if you’re involved in a construction project. Otherwise, sit back, have a cool lemonade, and enjoy the summer. ■ Garret Murai is a partner in the construction practice group at Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP, representing owners, design professionals and contractors in construction matters and disputes. He is the author of the blog and can be reached at (510) 834-6600 or at


> Now is the time to consider Long Term Care insurance by Paula Taylor

Long Term Care is the largest unfunded liability in the country. Studies show that, over age 65, one out of two women and one out of three men will eventually need some type of long term care.

The surprising fact is that almost 40 percent of those needing care are working adults under age 64. The average cost of this care is now pushing $75,000 annually and increasing every year. Long Term Care insurance is one option to handle this need. The others are personal savings and retirement accounts, family members or MediCal. The impact of the burden of care and cost can be devastating to an individual, wiping out life’s savings and the dream of a comfortable retirement. The biggest impact on employers is the loss of productivity. Studies show that over 60 percent of caregivers are already working, on average more than 36 hours a week. These working caregivers experience increased stress, lost wages and lower productivity. They often refuse promotions or relocation. More employers are now offering Long Term Care insurance (LTCi), as both a voluntary and/or employer paid benefit. Among the reasons are: • Employees can focus on work versus caregiving. • Employers LTCi plans include discounts, simplified underwriting and carve-outs. • LTCi plans can be offered to employees’ immediate family members. • Employers can buy the insurance for themselves and key employees. • LTCi helps protect employees’ retirement funds. • LTCi policy premiums can be tax deductible for the employer. Selfemployed individuals also can benefit from tax deductions. • LTCi is a strong recruiting and retention strategy. The Long Term Care plans being introduced in the worksite today are multi-life plans, which offer discounted pricing and simplified underwriting, yet can be tailored to the individual rather than “one-size fits all” traditional group plans. Multi-life plans are usually handled by LTC insurance specialists, which means only a small number of company employees are needed for implementation. Overall, Long Term Care insurance can be a very powerful benefit to offer employees. In addition to the tax deductions and simplified underwriting, employees will feel secure and loyal knowing that their company is considering their future care needs and protecting their retirement funds from any potential long term care events. Now is the right time to consider Long Term Care insurance. ■ Paula Taylor Paula R. Taylor is a partner at LTC Financial Partners LLC (LTC Partners & Insurances Services LLC). She specializes in Long Term Care insurance.

Other significant changes The July 1, 2012 revisions will also bring about other changes too numerous to include in this article, including changes to the definition of “completion,” changes to the rules governing notices of completion, elimination of the design professional lien, and a reduction of the amount required for statutory lien release bonds.

July 2012 | 7


> Economic Development Forum explores the Pop Up ‘Hood by Eleanor Hollander

The Chamber’s Economic Development Committee recently hosted a discussion expanding on the theme of “Work” in Oakland.

The forum featured the creators of “Pop Up ‘Hood,” local Oakland entrepreneurs Sarah Filley and Alfonso Dominguez, and Martin Ward, an asset manager at Peter Sullivan Associates (PSAI), the firm that owns the property in Old Oakland. Together this team took an innovative approach to kick-starting more retail development in the Old Oakland neighborhood. Filley and Dominguez launched “Pop Up ‘Hood” in September of 2011. The pilot location served as a testing ground for an initiative to rethink retail and the role it plays in revitalizing our cities. The folks behind the Pop Up ‘Hood are passionate urbanists committed to creating partnerships to solve “epic problems,” starting with a city they know and love while participating in the global conversation of social entrepreneurship and positive impact. Featured on National Public Radio, this project has garnered international attention and will soon be featured at the “Spontaneous Interventions: design actions for the common good” themed U.S. Pavilion at the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale in Italy later this year. Ward gave an overview of the property that is owned and managed by PSAI, enumerating that the property includes ten full buildings, the last of which was built in the late 1880s. The property has about 73,000 square feet of retail, including 30,000 square feet of basement space (at the garden level), part of which is now occupied by Air Lounge. At the suggestion of some of the restaurant tenants in the area, the remaining unleased four or five vacant spaces in the fall of 2011 (approximately 4,000 square feet) were donated as retail space to the Pop Up ‘Hood tenants for six months of free rent in exchange for lively activity in the windows and an enhanced offering of “soft (retail) goods” for PSAI’s existing office tenant mix. Ward acknowledged that the opportunity cost was a gamble by providing free rent with no strings to the Pop Up tenants for six months, but the risk paid off. Immediately the benefits were tangible, the Old Oakland site benefited from great publicity, a livelier street scene, a marked improvement of business for the existing food and beverage tenants, and an enhanced overall “vibe” of the area. The unique tenant mix for the first installment of Pop Up ‘Hood was curated by Filley and Dominguez, which Ward praised, stating that the group has made the of-

▲ At the Economic fice space more attractive to other tenants Development Forum (left to (who like the amenity that the Pop Up shops right) – speaker Martin bring), which in turn has allowed PSAI to boost Ward, Chamber Economic rents on some of their remaining office space Development Director due to the improved street dynamic. Eleanor Hollander, As of early June, three of the five initial Pop committee member Up retailers are signing long-term leases, and Anthony Thompson, Chamber Economic two new Pop Up tenants have been selected to Development Department rotate into the newly vacant spaces for a reChair Charissa Frank, and newed six-month run. speakers Sarah Filley and Following presentations, the 35 attendees Alfonso Dominguez. in the audience had a robust round of questions for the speakers and discussion amongst themselves about scalability of this type of project. Also, ideas for future economic development at the local level were discussed. For more information on the creators of Pop Up ‘Hood, view the online film by Eva Kolenko at ■ Eleanor Hollander is the Chamber’s director of economic development.

> A new ‘Hive’ looking to open The Oakland Retail Advisory Committee (ORAC) a group of 15 expert retail, development, and leasing professionals, recently hosted Signature Properties’ Patrick Van Ness and other city policy stakeholders for an informational discussion on the forthcoming development at the 2400 block of Broadway. The project, described as “a sustainably developed new downtown Oakland community” and called “The Hive,” will feature residential flats, retail, office, restaurant and art events on the block bounded by Broadway, 23rd Street, Valley Avenue and 24th Street. According to Van Ness, the project is going to have more than 2,700 square feet of retail space available, and host HUB Oakland, a collaborative workspace designed for small businesses and freelancers. The discussion of the project, including the committee’s feedback on the concept, was targeted, organized, and informative. ORAC committee chair Solomon Ets-Hokin noted that the experts in the room “represented a consultant with 350-plus years of experience” working in retail, and that the group was pleased to hear from Van Ness at such an early stage in the project. Van Ness couldn’t reveal all of the tenants that were lined up to move into the space at The Hive on Broadway, but he could reveal that a boutique brew pub was close to finalizing a deal, and an innovative urban grocer and purveyor of specialty heirloom goods (such as beekeeping supplies and canning equipment) is lined up to lease space in the facility as well. The meeting continued with a fishbowl-style panel discussion that chiefly praised the thoughtful project, and commended Signature Properties for continuing to improve a formerly neglected stretch of Broadway. At the conclusion of the meeting, outgoing chair Ets-Hokin underscored that the ORAC was “here to help” guide the city towards achieving its stated retail goals. The committee thanked him for more than two years of service, and Ets-Hokin introduced the new chair of the group, Ken Lowney of Lowney Architecture, and Erika Elliott of Cornish & Carey Commercial, a new ORAC member. Future topics for the ORAC summer meeting series call for an evaluation of specific sites and areas including the already “retail successful” Hegenberger Corridor and leveraging the success of the Mandela/Emeryville border areas. More information on ORAC’s members and meeting agenda topics can be found on the ORAC page under the Chamber’s economic development section of the website at: ■

> Capture Technologies donation With food trucks, music, prizes and a donation to Oakland Police Athletic League (PAL), Capture Technologies recently celebrated its annual open house for customers, friends and representatives from local businesses. An open house highlight was the presentation of a check to Oakland’s PAL by chief executive officer Lou Parrague (right). “Capture Technologies proudly supports Oakland PAL and the Oakland community,” said Parrague. “This is just a small token of our appreciation.” Capture Technologies, based in Oakland, is a leading provider of security integration and identification solutions for public safety, government, health care and educational institutions. ■


| OBR Oakland Business Review |


> Fledgling Express Lane network writes new chapter for regional transportation

stretch of southbound Interstate 680 over the Sunol Grade from State Route 84 to State Route 237. The next

Photo by Noah Berger


additions are slated for by John Goodwin

Interstate 580 in eastern

Marking the biggest advance in freeway operations since the launch of

Alameda County, State Route

the FasTrak electronic tolling system at Bay Area toll bridges in 2000,

85 in Santa Clara County and

the Oakland-based Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)’s

U.S. 101 in Santa Clara and San

continuing effort to improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of local

Mateo counties.

travel begins shifting into higher gear this summer as the Commission

▲ The Bay Area's first Express Lane opened in 2010 on a 14-mile stretch of southbound Interstate 680 between Sunol and Milpitas.

The Transportation 2035

moves to add 290 miles of Express Lanes to the region’s freeways in

Plan adopted by MTC in 2009 calls for using Express Lane revenues to

the coming years.

close gaps in the Bay Area’s existing carpool lane system in order to:

The new Express Lanes will be established primarily along the

• Boost travel time savings for carpools and buses

Interstate 80, 680 and 880 corridors in Alameda, Contra Costa and

• Increase the efficiency of freeway operations; and

Solano counties along with the East Bay approaches to and from the

• Provide reliable, congestion-free transportation.

Dumbarton and San Mateo-Hayward bridges.

“Express Lanes provide a form of congestion insurance,” explained

Also known as high-occupancy/toll lanes, Express Lanes allow solo

Alameda County Supervisor and MTC Commissioner Scott Haggerty.

drivers who choose to pay a toll to take advantage of unused capacity

“Usage data shows that the typical solo driver in the I-680 Express Lane

in high-occupancy vehicle lanes. Tolls, which are paid electronically via

uses the lane just once or twice a month. We presume these customers

FasTrak, vary with congestion levels to keep the lanes free-flowing at

are using the adjacent toll-free lanes on other days, and that they opt to

speeds of 45 miles per hour or higher. Carpools, buses, motorcycles and

use the Express Lane when they absolutely, positively can’t afford the

qualifying low- or zero-emission vehicles with valid access stickers will

unpredictability that comes with congestion.”

continue to have toll-free access to the Express Lanes.

MTC expects capital costs for the design, construction and operation

The 290 miles of Express Lanes to be operated by MTC were green-

of the regional Express Lane network to total $3 billion to $3.6 billion,

lighted by the California Transportation Commission last fall. Plans call

depending on the speed of implementation. While it is far too early to

for the conversion of 150 miles of existing carpool lanes plus select

determine actual toll rates, MTC’s analysis shows the new Express Lanes

freeway widening projects to accommodate another 120 miles of new

will be financially feasibility based on toll rates of 14 cents to $1 per mile

Express Lanes. The remaining 20 miles involve both directions of

in 2020. This range is comparable to current tolls on the I-680 Express

Interstate 880 through Oakland – a corridor that cannot physically

Lane, where the average peak-period toll for the entire 14-mile corridor

accommodate Express Lanes per se, but is targeted for a variety of

is $3, and on the State Route 91 Express Lanes in Orange County, where

advanced operational strategies to

tolls average $10 for 10 miles.

smooth traffic flows.

MTC is now working with

These lanes, which are slated for full

Caltrans, the Alameda County

“buildout” by 2035, will be integrated

Transportation Commission and other

with up to 280 miles of Express Lanes

regional partners to conduct detailed

previously authorized under state law in

analyses of traffic, toll policy, revenue

Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo

and financing options; devise and

counties to create a seamless regional

implement a public outreach process;

network totaling 570 miles.

develop project study reports (PSRs)

Though transportation agencies in

for each construction project (with each PSR followed by a complete

operated Express Lanes for more than a

project report with required

decade, and similar lanes also have been

environmental documentation and

established in metro areas as diverse as

companion studies); determine the

Denver, Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul

best approach to delivering each

and Seattle, the Express Lane concept is

project; assign project development

still somewhat novel for many Bay Area

responsibilities and coordinate

drivers. The region’s fledgling system

operating policies for each segment.

Photo: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

Orange and San Diego counties have

network took a small but important step forward this spring with the late March opening of a three-mile Express Lane segment connecting Interstate 880 and State Route 237 in Santa Clara County. This marked the first new addition since Express Lanes made their Bay Area debut in late 2010 along a 14-mile

■ John Goodwin is a public information officer for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Toll Authority.

▲ Signs of change on Bay Area freeways: New overhead signs were installed to help motorists access the Express Lane that opened this past March on State Route 237.

July 2012 | 9



> New cars – Smaller, lighter, safer? by Ron Vincenzi

Ever wonder if you and your family are safe in the new smaller cars of today? The answer is a resounding “yes!”

If this fact seems to go against logic, check out a video on YouTube that’s sure to change your mind. Just type in “crash test 1959 Chevy” and you won’t believe your eyes. You will be amazed at how great a new model smaller Chevy Impala performs in a crash test against its much larger and heavier classic Chevy from the late 1950s. How can this be? It goes against all laws of physics. Our senses and experience tell us when something large runs into something small, the large item always wins. How did the automobile manufacturers achieve this high level of crash worthiness? Certainly new technology has played a part in this along with the

ever increasing use of special steels and composites at the assembly plants in building the vehicles. The United States Government and the driving public are demanding smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles without sacrificing safety and performance. That’s a tall order, but believe it or not auto manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad are constantly working on developing vehicles to meet these demands. They have to or else they won’t be able to sell their cars here. A few years ago, our government put into effect something called CAFÉ Standards. It stands for Corporate Average Fuel Economy. Simply stated, an auto manufacturer’s fleet of cars needs to reach a certain level of miles per gallon average or face the certain possibility of not being able to do business in the United States. This fuel economy average increases every five years. Couple this fact along with the driving public’s demand for a five-star crash rating when purchasing a vehicle and you can appreciate the challenges they have in the future. Car crash fatalities and injuries are decreasing every year as a result of these improvements, and we look forward to safer and more fuel-efficient cars in the future. The vehicles being built today and into the future are going to require extensive training for technicians and specialized equipment in order to assure a safe repair for the driving public after the vehicle is involved in an accident. Oakland Auto Body has been aware of this changing landscape for years and our facility and staff are fully prepared to repair these vehicles to their preaccident condition. ■ Ron Vincenzi is the president and owner of Oakland Auto Body at 149 11th St. in Oakland.

Oakland Auto Body President and Owner Ron Vincenzi at 149 11th St. in Oakland.

> The convenience of a mobile detailer Deciding to get your car detailed is a great idea during the summer and winter months, but when do you have time to leave your car at the detail shop or wait for the detailer to work on it at the car wash?

Your safety is personal to us, and so is your peace of mind. Professional auto body repairs and helpful service. • Our staff speaks numerous languages. • Call us anytime – (510) 444-4574.

Oakland Auto Body

A family-owned business for more than 50 years. 149 11th Street, Oakland, CA 94607

10 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

You don’t! Your life is busy and your car is a part of that busy life. Scheduling with a detail shop can be a hassle and the estimated time always takes longer. And if you don’t have an appointment and want to drop your car off as a walk-in, that can be nerve-wracking! If you do choose to leave your car at the detail shop for your appointment and you can get someone to pick you up while they work on your car, that’s ideal, but if not, then you’ll be wasting valuable hours. The answer to these problems is mobile detailing. Mobile detailers come to your car. Most mobile detailers carry water and power in their vans so they can tackle jobs anywhere. If you’re at work and your car is just sitting for hours, then call a mobile detailer and they can come and detail your car while you’re working. That’s multi-tasking. If you’re at home on a Saturday completing chores around the house, call a mobile detailer and they can come and detail your car at home. Magic Detailings has been in the mobile detailing industry for more than nine years. They’ve had hundreds of successful mobile detail jobs in the Bay Area and understand the convenience of coming to their clients. Call Magic Detailings and schedule an appointment, then a mobile detailer will show up to your car and ▼ Founder Ryan Woodlee complete your detail. That’s it. It’s and Magic Detailings offer a 10 percent discount to all very easy and catered to the busy Chamber members. businessperson. ■



> Transportation Expenditure Plan approved for November ballot

> Airport Connector on schedule

by Tess Lengyel

The Alameda County Transportation Commission (Alameda CTC) plans, funds and delivers transportation improvements throughout the county, using and leveraging our local transportation sales tax and the vehicle registration fee, as well as regional, state and federal funds.

Alameda CTC is comprised of elected representatives from each city in the county, AC Transit and BART, and the Board of Supervisors. The city of Oakland’s representatives are Councilmembers Rebecca Kaplan and Larry Reid.

This spring, after an extensive two-year, county-wide public engagement process, the Alameda CTC finalized the 2012 Transportation Expenditure Plan (TEP). The TEP responds to Alameda County’s transportation needs by extending and augmenting the current ½ cent sales tax (approved by 81.5 percent of voters in 2000), in order to continue to fund critical transportation infrastructure and programs. Over the past ten years alone, this sales tax has generated over $1 billion in revenue to improve our transportation system throughout the county, and every project approved by voters is complete or underway – ten years ahead of schedule. Alameda CTC has paid over $325 million to Alameda County businesses to implement these valuable transportation projects and programs. Additionally, $756 million has been allocated to capital projects, which has been leveraged into more than $3 billion in major infrastructure projects, creating ▼ Alameda CTC plans, funds and thousands of local jobs each year. delivers transportation projects and On June 5 the Board of programs that expand access and Supervisors voted to place the improve mobility to foster a vibrant and livable Alameda County. 2012 TEP on the Nov. 6 ballot. If

approved by two-thirds of county ▲ The 2012 TEP includes funding voters, the TEP will provide an estito improve major commute corridors and streets in all cities mated $7.8 billion in funding over in Alameda County, including the next 30 years to increase mobility, paving, resurfacing and safety reduce congestion, protect the envienhancements. ronment and create jobs in Alameda County. The TEP is important for Oakland businesses because it provides a locally controlled, predicable funding stream to deliver projects, at a time when state and federal funding are declining significantly, and are unreliable. The TEP includes funding to restore and expand transit services, fix potholes and reduce highway congestion, expand pedestrian and bicycle access, ensure the safe and efficient movement of goods, and connect transit, housing and jobs – all of which contribute to a vibrant and livable Oakland. I invite you to join me at the Oakland Chamber’s Economic Development Steering Committee meeting on Wednesday, July 11 at 1:30 p.m., where I will be giving a presentation on the 2012 TEP. For additional information in the meantime, please visit and follow us on CTC and Twitter @AlamedaCTC. ■ Tess Lengyel is the deputy director of policy, public affairs and legislation for the Alameda County Transportation Commission.

The Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) is a 3.2-mile extension of BART from the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART Station to Oakland International Airport via a new Automated Guideway Transit system.

The driver-less, cable-propelled vehicles will travel from BART to the airport in about eight minutes, primarily on an elevated guideway structure along the median of the Hegenberger business corridor.

Construction began in March 2011 and is underway on the Hegenberger Road median from San Leandro Street to Airport Access Road, the Oakland Coliseum parking lot, the Interstate 880 median, shoulders and Hegenberger Road on and off-ramps, the tunnel structure under Doolittle Drive, in Oakland International Airport on outbound Airport Drive, and at the site of the system's two new stations and maintenance facility. To date the project has driven 1,808 concrete reinforced support piles, installed more than four million pounds of reinforcing bar steel cages, placed more than 14,000 cubic yards of concrete, and received more than 10 million pounds of steel for the guideway’s fabrication. This summer will also witness the first installations of the prefabricated steel trusses that make up the guideway along which the OAC vehicles will travel. Construction thus far represents $219 million of the project’s $484 million project. BART has undergone extensive and successful coordination with the city of Oakland, as well as the cities of Alameda and San Leandro, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Port of Oakland, and local businesses, community organizations and other stakeholders. The OAC project has also contributed to the community’s economic development, and employed 516 construction workers. Nearly two-thirds of these workers are from the Bay Area, 110 are Oakland residents, and 75 are from the communities that surround the project (ZIP codes 94601, 94603, 94605 and 94621). These workers do not include design, management, fabrication, and public agency support staff. The OAC project also paid more than $19 million in subcontracting opportunities to 25 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) through May 2012. Once in service the OAC is expected to carry as many as 10,000 passengers a day by 2020. Construction is scheduled to be complete in late 2013, and, after several months of systems testing, OAC will open for service in late 2014. ■ Personal Car Care at Your Fingertips! Complete Mobile Auto Detailing

Available now at City Center Garage!! Every Thursday. • 510.248.9222 10% Discount for Chamber members!

July 2012 | 11


Transportation reach environmental programs. Every year, a large number of Matson employees and their families participate in the Port of Oakland’s Coastal Cleanup effort, which is organized by the California Coastal Commission and serves as an excellent educational tool to increase awareness on the amount of trash and waste that accumulates along our shorelines. ■


Seeing the bay by water

The San Francisco Bay Ferry offers a unique water transit experience for Bay Area travelers.

> Matson’s Green initiatives – Going beyond mere compliance A leader in Pacific shipping for 130 years, Matson has had an enduring, distinguished presence in the Bay Area maritime community.

One of its key areas of focus today involves actively supporting and implementing a number of industry leading environmental management practices. In May 2012, Matson was honored for the second time with the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2012 Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Marine Environmental Award for Excellence. The Benkert Award was created to recognize outstanding achievements in marine environmental protection that go beyond mere compliance with industrial and regulatory standards. Matson first received this bien-

nial award in 2006. “As a company that has a long history of serving some of the most pristine environments in the world – including Hawaii, Guam and California – Matson has quite naturally evolved into a carrier focused on setting a high bar when it comes to environmental stewardship,” said Ron Forest, senior vice president, operations and Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Board member. “For example, Matson is the only carrier in the world to have a zero discharge policy – this means that nothing is discharged into the ocean, with the exception of food scraps. Our philosophical approach to environmental and most other regulatory issues is to meet or exceed federal, state and local legislative and regulatory requirements. We also believe that where existing laws and regulations do not provide adequate controls to ensure the protection of the environment, we establish and adhere to our own more stringent standards.” One environmental initiative underway at the Port of Oakland involves using electrical shoreside power for vessels in port – known as “cold ironing” – which is designed to reduce air emissions. The regulations set by the California Air Resources Board require that ocean carriers have half of their diesel-powered fleet converted to cold ironing by 2014 and 80 percent by 2020. Matson is in the process of working with the Port of Oakland to adapt the technology at its Howard Container Terminal, operated by SSAT. Matson has already converted its terminal operations in Long Beach to the new technology and will be well ahead of the compliance deadline as it pertains to its fleet. “When we were first honored with the Benkert Award in 2006, Matson and SSA Terminals had just signed a new ‘green port’ lease agreement with the Port of Long Beach, which involved a commitment to reduce air emissions in port by shutting

off our vessel diesel generators and plug▲ Matson employees and their ging into the local electrical grid – known families participate in the Port of as cold ironing,” said Forest. “This techOakland’s Coastal Cleanup effort. nology set a new standard for terminal leases in Long Beach. Because the concept of using a dockside electrical infrastructure to power ships while in port was new, the project involved innovative engineering work. By the end of this year, all of Matson’s diesel-powered ships that call Long Beach will plug in – making our terminal facility a 100 percent cold ironing operation, far ahead of the regulations set by the California Air Resources Board.” The Port of Oakland distributed their proposed construction project plan for the $70 million Shore Power System project in May. The one-year construction project includes six terminals with constructing beginning in June 2012 and concluding in May 2013. Matson’s terminal is scheduled to begin excavation on July 16 and complete the entire project by Nov. 9. Beyond its business operations, Matson promotes a number of community out-

12 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

With eight ferry terminals located around the bay and a fleet of 11 vessels, the ferry experience is enjoyed by more than 1.4 million riders per year.

Not only do thousands of commuters use the ferry to get to work each day, but thousands of people ride the ferry to experience such attractions as Angel Island, AT&T Park and Pier 39 each year. The ferry operates four routes serving Oakland’s Jack London Square, Alameda Main Street, Harbor Bay, the San Francisco Ferry Building, San Francisco’s Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf area, South San Francisco’s Oyster Point, and Vallejo. Seasonal service is also provided to Angel Island and AT&T Park. In addition to the sea level view of the bay, riders can enjoy the onboard full service beverage and snack bar, free WiFi, and free parking at East Bay and Vallejo ferry terminals. For more information, visit ■



> It’s the 50th anniversary at Mercedes-Benz of Oakland When a couple has been together for 50 years, you know they were meant to be together. That’s how it is for Mercedes-Benz Oakland and the local community.

Mercedes-Benz of Oakland is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, and for the last five decades, has not only served generations of MercedesBenz owners and enthusiasts, but the community around them. Since the 1950s, the Barsotti family has owned what has evolved into Mercedes-Benz of Oakland. While the vehicles and building have gone through many changes over the years, the dealership’s commitment to the values that have contributed to their success has never wavered, earning them a reputation for excellent customer service. In fact, Mercedes-Benz of Oakland has continued to grow, with 2012 being one of their most successful years ever. Part of their success has been their willingness to offer innovative, new incentives to customers. Recognizing the scarcity of pre-owned luxury vehicles, Mercedes-Benz of Oakland recently launched a program to buy back leased, late-model, import vehicles, offering to pay off the leases. This has been highly successful. The management at Mercedes-Benz of Oakland also attributes the Mercedes-Benz line of BlueTec clean diesel vehicles to their recording-setting year. But ultimately, says Mercedes-Benz representatives, it’s the shopping experience that sets them apart. From the moment you step into the showroom, you’ll enjoy the car buying environment. The sales staff has years of expertise and are committed to satisfying customers’ needs. Together with their sister store, Mercedes-Benz of San Francisco, Mercedes-Benz of Oakland offers one of the largest selections of new and certified pre-owned Mercedes-Benz vehicles in the Bay Area. Their combined inventory is more than 400 vehicles. It’s the reason they say, “Your Mercedes is waiting at Mercedes-Benz of Oakland.” One of the keys in helping any car buyer is financing. For years, Mercedes-

▲ The 2012 GLK 350 is now available Benz of Oakland’s Finance Department for viewing at the Mercedes-Benz of has helped those seeking an affordable Oakland showroom, 2915 Broadway. car loan or lease. Their commitment to their customers continues long after the sale. With the VIP Mercedes Service Department, they offer one-of-a-kind personal treatment, 23 service bays, free shuttle pick-up, and complimentary Enterprise Rental car with select scheduled maintenance, just to name a few highlights. There is only thing that makes the team at Mercedes-Benz of Oakland as proud as satisfied customers, and that’s happy neighbors. As one of the oldest family-owned Mercedes-Benz dealerships in all of Northern California, they have been contributing to the Oakland community for generations. The dealership continues to serve and support those around them, and are pledged to continuing to do their part in the growth and enrichment of local institutions and charities. Mercedes-Benz of Oakland has been proud to support local institutions like Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland and the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. They have also contributed to worthy endeavors such as local theater, music programs and small business groups. ■

July 2012 | 13



> A go-ahead for Bus Rapid Transit by Clarence Johnson

The AC Transit Board of Directors has approved a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan that will make bus service cleaner and more efficient – reducing commute times and vehicle traffic – in Oakland and San Leandro. By certifying the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR), the Board moved the $153 million BRT project a step closer to construction that will yield as many as

night to connect the seven cross passages between Bores Three and Four. These passages, which look like smaller siblings of the main tunnel, will eventually serve as safety pathways for motorists between the • 30,677 cubic meters of two bores. concrete is being used for the Although these and other features concrete final lining. This is of the new tunnel will benefit many, the equal to the volume of more project’s primary purpose is to ease traffic than 12 Olympic-sized swimcongestion in the off-peak direction. With the addition of the Fourth Bore, there will ming pools. be two permanently dedicated tunnels in • The Fourth Bore is 3,389 each direction, and the need to shift the feet long, more than three times direction of traffic in the Second Bore will the height of the Transamerica be permanently eliminated. Pyramid in San Francisco. ■ The Caldecott Tunnel was built in 1937 during and because of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Project Administration (WPA). Another major effort, in the form of the Caldecott Fourth Bore, is also made possible through a significant infusion of federal (Stimulus) funds. Only this time, state, local and regional agencies are also contributing substantially to the project’s funding. Also unlike the 1930s tunnels, the Fourth Bore is not being dug by hand!

> Fourth Bore stats

▲ A rendering of the Bus Rapid 300 jobs over a two-year period and Transit station at 98th Avenue prompt other local economic and International Boulevard in development. Oakland. "We are happy to embrace a project that improves bus service, creates employment opportunities and helps to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” said AC Transit Board President Elsa Ortiz. “But more than that, this BRT project will add beautiful streetscapes to the neighborhoods as it brings a new level of service reliability for our riders.” Of all the transit projects in the nation, AC Transit’s BRT plan has the highest overall rating by the Federal Transit Administration. Aside from dramatically improving East Bay public transportation, the BRT project is certain to enhance the local economy, creating construction jobs and other employment indirectly related to the building effort. “This is a major milestone,” said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo. “Our vision of improved bus service, reduced traffic and lower vehicle emissions along that often snarled corridor is moving toward reality.” AC Transit’s vision is to provide a truly world-class transit service that is convenient, reliable and safe while enhancing the quality of life and improving the health of the environment. The BRT fits the bill as a high-capacity transit system with dramatically reduced travel times. With dedicated lanes, signal priority, and artistic stations for convenient boarding of buses, BRT will be a viable alternative to driving on congested city streets. It is essentially light rail without the track, combining the speed and capacity of light rail with the affordability of riding the bus. But maybe even more importantly, the BRT project can be built more quickly and much less expensively than any light rail system. Indeed, with construction expected to begin in 2014, the system could be fully operational in 2016. For more information about AC Transit’s BRT system, visit ■ Clarence Johnson is the media affairs manager at AC Transit.

> The Caldecott Tunnel – A work in progress This August marks the twoyear anniversary of the start of excavation on the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore.

In late 2011 Caltrans and project partners celebrated a significant project milestone with the breakthrough of the tunnel’s top portion. Thanks to the use of both cutting-edge technology, as well more traditional surveying methods, the tunnel was within a half an inch of alignment – a far cry from tunnels of the past. Since the breakthrough, crews have continued to excavate the tunnel’s bottom portion, which is slated for completion later this year. They have also begun work on the cast-in-place concrete final lining using a system of gantries that glide on train-like tracks from west to east. This work will progress until a total of 69 pours have been completed. Motorists may have recently noticed more visible signs of progress in the third and (currently) northernmost bore. Crews have been working through the

14 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

▲ (Top) Breakthrough – when

Tunnel methods have in fact advanced considerably since the 1930s. In order to excavate the Fourth Bore, which reaches over ▲ (Bottom) A crane near the 3,000 feet from Orinda to Oakland western portal is used to move and traverses the abruptly changing equipment and materials for the geological conditions of the East final lining pours. Bay hills, miners use a tunneling method known as sequential excavation, which enables them to tailor the length of each advance and amount of structural support to the immediate ground conditions. This method has proven to be both safe and efficient. The Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Project is funded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, as well as a half-cent sales tax measure passed by Contra Costa voters in 2004, Regional Measure 2 (bridge toll) funds, and other local and state funds. It would not be possible without a partnership between the Federal Highway Administration, the California Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Alameda County Transportation Commission. ■ east met west – near the Oakland portal in November 2011.



> There’s more to choose from at Honda of Oakland Honda of Oakland, now in its seventh year at its location at 3330 Broadway, continues to grow. In 2010 they opened the very first “Honda Green Center” at 3362 Piedmont Ave., located directly across from their main showroom. The Green Center is an educational and sales facility with regard to Hybrid vehicles and their evolvement in transportation.

Honda of Oakland’s Service Department has also grown. It has extended hours Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and now operates two customer shuttles to keep up with demand. No appointment is necessary and it offers “Honda Express Service,” which includes a 30-minute oil changes in addition to its full range of preventative and maintenance service for all makes and models including Honda. The customer service lounge has also recently been remodeled and now features HDTV, a game room including video games, children’s TV/movies, and a host of international coffees, treats and snacks. Honda of Oakland also offers a selection of more than 350 new and pre-owned cars, trucks and SUVs to choose from, one of the largest selections in the Bay Area. New Hondas in stock for immediate delivery include the gas-saving Hybrid, the Ridgeline pickup truck, Odyssey minivan, and all of Honda’s top-rated SUVs including the Pilot and the 2012 redesigned CR-V. They also feature a selection of CR-Zs in their Green Center. The pre-owned department features an expanded inventory of Honda certified pre-owned models to choose from. Certified Hondas are select, inspected and specially warranted pre-owned Hondas that offer great value. ■

July 2012 | 15



> Shore power phase 1 at Port of Oakland nears completion The need for shore power has come in response to the growing public demand in California and internationally to reduce pollutants caused by diesel emissions when a vessel is docked.

While a ship is at berth, it requires electricity for minimal functions (called “hotelling”). Shore power (also known as “cold-ironing”) is a land-to-vessel connection that provides electrical power to the ship. It enables the ship to switch off its onboard generators while docked. The first phase of shore power construction, at three of the Port of Oakland’s berths, started in spring 2011 and is close to completion this summer (2012). The second phase of construction is scheduled for completion by winter 2013. The Port of Oakland took on the cost and initiative to install a shore power system not only to assist carriers with

the strands together every 1.5 meters along the length of the cable to eliminate any loose space between them, leaving behind a tight sinew measuring 2.6 feet in diameter. Nearly all of the 114 steel bands that will wrap around the main cable had been installed by press time as well. The main cable for the new East Span is the largest self-anchored suspension bridge cable anywhere in the world. Each of the 137 cable strands is comprised of 127 separate five-millimeter steel wires, each of which in turn can support the weight of a military grade Hummer. Workers used a state-of-the-art hauling system designed specifically for this operation to pull each of the 2.5-inch cable strands from the east end of the span up and over the bridge’s tower, then down to loop around the west end, then back over the tower and down to re-anchor in the east end. Unlike traditional suspension bridges where the cables are anchored into the ground, a self-anchored suspension bridge’s cable is anchored in the road decks, thus making this section of the new East Span much like a giant sling. Anchoring the main cable in the bridge deck itself puts the span into compression and enables it to remain standing. In a traditional suspension span, tension created in the main cables is resisted by anchorages in the ground. Preparation for the cable installation began in December 2011, when a temporary footbridge tracing the path of the main cable was installed to allow ironworkers clear access to the cable during the placement process. To mark completion of the intricate cable installation process this past April, an American flag came along

the financial burden to comply with California’s new regulation, but also to minimize the diesel emissions to nearby residents. In addition, unlike filtration devices, shore power eliminates the need for a combustion engine to be running on the ship while berthed, which reduces greenhouse gases in addition to all other combustion byproducts. Shore power is a key element of the state’s Goods Movement Emission Reduction Program and one of the principal methods of compliance with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulation for “vessels at berth.” At the Port Eagle Marine Services EMS/APL has already completed its shore power infrastructure at its Global Gateway Central Terminal, and Ports America will soon be building its own shore power system at its Ports America Outer Harbor Terminal. The Port of Oakland’s Shore Power Program is estimated to cost approximately $70 million. To help fund this work, the Port has been awarded approximately $33 million in grants, of which $12.8 has been applied towards the first phase. The shore power infrastructure generally runs from the Port’s main substations to on-terminal substations and then to the terminal wharves. Power is extended down the wharves, where vaults with electrical connections will provide the interface (outlets) for ocean going vessels (plugs). In California a new regulation requires that all operators of container vessels that have more than 25 cumulative visits annually to California ports employ an emission reduction system to their fleet. ■

> Bay Bridge East Span replacement nears home stretch by John Goodwin

Work on the signature self-anchored suspension portion of the new East Span of the Bay Bridge heads into the home stretch this summer, with construction crews eyeing final completion of the roughly $6.2 billion project in September 2013.

Nearly all of the 200 vertical suspender cables, which connect the nearly 5,300-ton main cable to the twin 2,047-foot-long bridge decks, had been installed by press time, and bridge engineers are now preparing for the next big task – transferring the weight of the decks to the cable system from the temporary scaffolding that has supported them since the first deck section was lifted into place in February 2010. Once the delicate process of transferring the load is completed early this fall, the deep waters east of Yerba Buena Island will at last be spanned by a true suspension bridge. Construction workers labored through most of June to uncoil the all-steel suspender cables from giant spools, hoist them up and over special saddle-like fittings on the main cable, and then pull them back down to the bridge deck. This followed the early June completion of a careful effort to compact the 137 hexagonal strands of the main cable into a giant steel cylinder measuring nearly a mile in length. Starting at the top of the span’s single, 525-foot tower, a specially crafted device squeezed

16 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

for the ride on the final strand’s ▲ (Top) Workers attached an Amerroller-coaster journey. As Old Glory ican flag to the final strand of the approached the zenith of its first asnew bridge's main cable for its cent, crews pounding the giant nearly mile-long voyage from ancable into a custom-built saddle chorage to anchorage. atop the tower stopped for a few ▲ (Bottom) Shown from the top of minutes to hold a private celebrathe 525-foot single tower, the main tion and pose for commemorative cable for the new Bay Bridge East photographs. Span measures 2.6 feet in diameter While the remaining work to and is comprised of 137 hexagonal complete the world’s largest self-anstrands. chored suspension bridge will be visible from the original 1936 span in the coming months, motorists are urged to keep their eyes on the road to maintain safe driving conditions for all travelers. Progress on the Bay Bridge project can be viewed safely from a new publicly-accessible interpretive display located on Treasure Island, and via construction cameras accessible online at Completion of the load transfer process later this year will pave the way for the eventual dismantling of the temporary support structure. ■ John Goodwin is a public information officer for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Bay Area Toll Authority.



> City CarShare – Committed to the community In 2001, a handful of independent, transportation activists saw the Bay Area crying out for a smart alternative to car ownership, so they leased a dozen VW Beetles, and voilà: City CarShare was born. Today, City CarShare

has thousands of members, hundreds of fuel-efficient cars, and programs that give back to local communities with the ultimate goal of making the Bay Area a better place to live for all of us. To celebrate the success of launching carsharing in the Bay Area a decade ago, City CarShare announced three goals at its 10-year anniversary event: 1. By 2020: Reduce traffic by removing 20,000 cars off Bay Area roads. 2. By 2015: Reduce the environmental impact of our cars by converting half of its fleet to electric or alternative fuel. 3. By 2020: Reduce the members’ collective driving costs by $1 billion (vs. car ownership). City CarShare provides 24/7 hourly access to hundreds of fuel-efficient vehicles from hundreds of locations throughout the Bay Area, including Oakland, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Albany, Alameda, San Francisco and Daly City. Whether signing up as a business or as an individual, by sharing City CarShare vehicles, members save, money, time, and hassle – while being greener along the way. As a nonprofit, City CarShare invests every dollar it earns back into the communities that it serves through special programs and a sustainable carshare model. It also aims to keep their rates as low as possible, to make carsharing available to as many people as it can. To expand access to carsharing, City CarShare has community programs to serve more people: AccessMobile – City CarShare launched the nation’s first wheelchairaccessible carshare vehicle. More than 100 people monthly use this AccessMobile, a vehicle that is located in Berkeley. And they are working to expand the AccessMobile program by adding more vehicles in other locations later this year. CommunityShare – City CarShare also partners with other organizations (including affordable housing programs) to serve those in the low- to moderate-income bracket by subsidizing their membership service fees and

driving costs. A Greener Ride – In an effort to

▲ City CarShare members have access to a range of fuel and

emissions-efficient vehicles, shrink the Bay Area’s carbon footprint, such as a Prius. all City CarShare vehicles are fuel and emissions efficient, and at least 1/3 of its fleet is made up of hybrids, Electric Vehicles (EVs), and Plug-in Electric Hybrids (PHEVs). The City CarShare team continues to share the word on what carsharing can do for urban hubs and our planet at many Bay Area events. They also work directly with policy makers, urban planners, developers, and researchers to support smart, alternative mobility policies. City CarShare is the only nonprofit carsharing service in the Bay Area. Its mission is to improve the environment and quality of life in our communities by promoting innovative mobility options. It provides convenient, affordable access to carsharing to reduce car dependency – and have a measurable impact in the way all of the communities live, breathe, work, and play. ■

July 2012 | 17




At Oakland International Airport, it’s all about the numbers

We’re not talking Mega Millions, but our winning numbers are 85, 41, 4, 30, 10, 2014, 350, and 500! And, they all add up to growth for Oakland International Airport (OAK), with more nonstops than ever before. • 85 years old … and we’re just getting started. OAK marked its 85th anniversary in June, 1927-2012. • 41 is the number of nonstop destinations served from OAK, which is an all-time high. It includes four international destinations – Amsterdam, Terceira (Azores), Mexico City, and Guadalajara. Development of more international services is a top priority for Port of Oakland staff. • 4 Hawaiian Islands served nonstop from OAK, 1,200 daily seats in the market and still room to grow. This is a record high number of seats in our 85-year history. • 30 is the number of miles away that you can view from OAK’s new FAA tower, and 4 is the number of transbay bridges you can also see. The tower is well under construction, with an anticipated opening in 2013. • 10 destinations on Allegiant from OAK. 34 is the number of Bay Area hotels that travelers can book at This is in addition to an already significant investment to Bay Area tourism that arriving passengers from the other 31 destinations make to the local economy, estimated at over $1.5 billion annually. • The BART Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) will open in 2014. Together, the new tower and BART OAC stimulus projects have put 350 people to work. • Now, if there were only really “500 Days of Summer,” you’d have enough time to explore all the places you can get to nonstop from Oakland International Airport. ■

> What’s in the future for BART? On May 30, the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce hosted a meeting where BART staff asked for thoughts from Chamber members and others on how BART should develop over the next 40 years. At 40 years old this year, BART is seeking input on how future investments could be made – how reinvesting in the existing system and future expansion projects should be prioritized. The Chamber meeting was part of BART’s “early listening” in its Metro Vision study. Approximately 20 people attended the meeting, representing the Oakland, Hispanic, Chinatown, and African American chambers; the Downtown Berkeley Association; the East Bay EDC; the Port of Oakland; the Oakland YMCA; La Clinica de la Raza; the Board of Education; Transform, and the Sierra Club. BART staff described the BART Metro concept, which would be a new service plan. Under this plan, Metro Core would offer frequent service to large numbers of people traveling in all directions all day long in the “core” of the Bay Area, while Metro Commute would primarily improve peak period service from the outer Bay Area to the biggest job centers. In order to provide both types of service, BART would need to invest in significant new infrastructure (track, systems and turnback locations) as well as consider new infill stations and new lines. The foundation for these improvements would be the State of Good Repair projects, involving replacement of many system elements such as rail cars, trackwork, parts of stations, and the electrical operating system. BART is considering the new service plan because of natural population growth and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) One Bay Area study. One Bay Area intends most future development to be located close to the Bay Area’s rail lines, including BART. Meeting participants offered many comments and suggestions, including: • Develop BART’s plan for achieving State of Good Repair before considering expansion projects • Focus on the core of the system, not extensions at the edge of the system • Define fiscal impacts of each proposed project • Define ridership benefits for each proposed project • Look at examples of innovative projects around the world • Increase use of BART by improving access to stations, including shuttles • Prioritize and define funding for station projects, including escalators/ elevators, multimodal access and more intense development at stations • Increase service to suburban job centers, either through BART expansion or shuttles The public will have a chance to participate in the study as well. In November, BART will host a series of public discussions on the Metro Vision as well as other important topics, including the Fleet of the Future, and the capital improvement budget. Some of the meetings will be located in public spaces, and others in BART stations, so riders can stop briefly on the way home from work to talk to BART directors and staff, and learn about and offer opinions on BART’s programs. BART will have a laptop-based choice exercise that allows a participant to select priorities, and then see how projects and their necessary funding match or miss those priorities. ■

> Ale Flint honored Deborah Ale Flint, director of aviation for the Port of Oakland, which owns and operates Oakland International Airport (OAK), joined the first meeting of the Aviation Consumer Protection Committee, created to advise the Department of Transportation (DOT) on protecting and strengthening the rights of consumers when they fly. Ale Flint, the primary executive responsible for the operation, management and development of OAK, is part of the newly-formed four-person committee to Deborah Ale Flint evaluate current aviation consumer protection programs and make recommendations to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood for improving them. The agenda for the kick-off meeting, held in the U.S. DOT headquarters building in Washington, D.C., included the opportunity for input by representatives of airlines, travel agents, airport operators, state and local governments, and consumer and other public interest groups. On behalf of OAK and other airport operators, Ale Flint said, “It is truly a privilege and an honor to be a part of this advisory committee and recommend policy and procedures that ensure aviation consumer rights are protected. My focus as the representative of airports is to promote collaboration on these important issues. Airports are powerful economic engines across this country and, at OAK, we strive to meet the needs of passengers and to promote a business environment that offers choice, fairness and value to all.” Ale Flint was appointed to the Aviation Consumer Protection Committee in May 2012, and will serve her term until it expires on Sept. 30, 2015. ■

18 | OBR Oakland Business Review |



> Grant awarded to Port for Army

> Produce pushes exports

Base First Phase Rail Project

at Port of Oakland

“This is great news for Oakland,’’ said Mayor Jean Quan. “This grant is another giant step forward toward implementing a transformative project at the Port of Oakland, which will translate into thousands of jobs for our city and will spur economic growth for generations to come. We are grateful to Secretary LaHood and the Obama Administration for their leadership in creating jobs. I also want to thank all of the supporters who helped us secure this grant, starting with Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Governor Jerry Brown, U.S. Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and a long list of business, labor, community, and local government partners.” The Department of Transportation awarded a total of $79 million for port freight projects across the nation. The $15 million for the Port of Oakland’s rail development represents nearly 19 percent of that total and demonstrates the federal government’s recognition of this critically important infrastructure project. These funds, along with additional local and state funding, will improve rail access to and from the Port and

No surprise that the rest of the world likes to consume California produce! In 2007 the value of all fruits, vegetables and nuts being exported through the Port of Oakland was $1.3 billion. That figure has more than doubled since 2007 with $3.05 billion in produce being exported through Oakland in 2011. The Oakland seaport is the only California container port that handles more exports than imports (about 55 percent exports / 45 percent imports). This supports the National Export Initiative (NEI) and American jobs, like that of Grant Parnagian, farm manager at Fowler Packing. The company was founded more than a half century ago by his family. They’ve cultivated a successful business growing thousands of acres of fruits. Fowler Packing employs about 1,000 people and most of their citrus crop is exported through the Port of Oakland. Agriculture is the Port’s biggest exporter representing about 40 percent of the Port’s total value of exports. Produce is shipped through Oakland to Japan, Hong Kong, Germany, South Korea, UAE, Spain, China, Turkey, India, Italy, Taiwan and the UK. Some of the Port’s major agricultural exports are almonds and citrus fruits grown in the Central Valley as well as wine crafted in Napa and Sonoma valleys. Oakland is the gateway for 90 percent of California wine exports. Passenger vehicles, medical apparatus, and raw materials, including lumber, cotton, and wastepaper all exit Oakland to overseas markets. The latter come back as finished products like furniture and jeans and wastepaper is used to package imports. Raw materials represent approximately 11 percent of the Port’s total export value. It may be surprising to note that a very small percentage of U.S. businesses export. The Port is encouraging more American businesses to export by sponsoring a trade development program familiarizing potential American exporters with procedures, policy, and international

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a $15 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant to the Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal (OHIT) Rail Access project of the Port of Oakland.

expand the Port’s rail capacity, ▲ (Top) Local and state funding will be combined with the TIGER grant to transform leading to faster and cleaner part of the former Oakland Army Base into goods movement, while also the new rail project, providing vital rail providing vital rail access for access for Port customers. the proposed Oakland Army Base development. ▲ (Bottom) A huge ship at the Port of “Close collaboration Oakland is stacked with goods and ready to between the city and Port sail. Plans for a new rail project will support has made this possible, and the flow of containers to and from the Port. I have to thank Council President Larry Reid and Mayor Jean Quan’s stellar team of City Administrator Deanna Santana and Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell for their commitment and support,” observed Port Board President Calloway. “This federal commitment is also essential in helping preserve our $242 million in state funding, as this demonstrates to the California Transportation Commission the significance and momentum of this project.” Enhanced rail capacity means the Oakland seaport can accommodate more goods by rail rather than by truck, resulting in less truck traffic, congestion, and emissions, while lowering costs for trade-dependent businesses, especially the Port’s vital agricultural export partners. “We need support from every level of government if we are going to make this project a reality. The state is heavily invested in the OHIT along with the local, public, and private sectors because this project will deliver future benefits locally, regionally, and nationally,” said Port Executive Director Omar Benjamin. “Additionally, these funds will help create good-paying construction jobs.” ■

It’s great to live in California and have access to the delicious, high quality fruits, vegetables and nuts grown here.

transactions; developing ▲ Stacked containers at the Port of Oakland are often filled with international agreements; exports about to be shipped to learning the role of freight overseas markets. The Port is the forwarders and customs only California port that exports brokers; and financing more than it imports. international transactions. http://www.eastbayscore. org/workshop_export.php) What else is on the move coming into the U.S. through the Port of Oakland? Imports include bicycles, linens, sports equipment, apparel, kitchenware, and footwear. The most valuable imports relative to U.S. dollars is “parts and accessories,” which includes printers, fax machines, and copy machines equaling almost 8 percent of the Port’s total value of imports. The total value of exports and imports moving through Oakland in 2011 was $41 billion and is tied to supporting nearly 29,000 jobs in our region connected to the Port’s maritime activities. ■

July 2012 | 19


Women in Business


> Investing in local businesses is about to get easier by Kim Arnone & Ally Fattore

Jenny Kassan, managing director of Katovich & Kassan Law Group and co-founder of Cutting Edge Capital, spoke at the recent East Bay Women in Business Roundtable (EDWIBR) luncheon at the Waterfront Hotel on non-traditional sources of capital for businesses. Kassan was the third speaker of the group’s 2012 speaker series, “Women Defining the East Bay’s Future.” Thinking of starting or expanding a business? Beware! Before you go around asking your family and friends to help you with the costs, understand the laws regarding raising capital – there are limits as to who can invest in a business, particularly where the investment is deemed a “security.” Kassan explained that under current law, accredited investors are usually the only ones who can invest in business “securities,” and such investors must meet certain stringent wealth and income requirements, thus limiting potential investors to the very wealthy and usually excluding friends, family and community investors. An investment in or loan to a business is considered a “security” and thus highly regulated by the SEC if it meets the follow criteria: • Are the funds being raised for a business venture or enterprise? • Is the transaction offered indiscriminately to the public at large? • Are the investors substantially powerless to affect the success of the enterprise? • Is the investor’s money substantially at risk because it is inadequately secured? If an investment in a business is considered a “security” under the law, a business owner must spend a significant amount in filing, legal and accounting fees just to comply with SEC rules in order to offer the investment to accredited investors. But, what can a small business owner do to offer investment in its business to unaccredited investors (folks like you and me)? Kassan answered that question by discussing the various options for obtaining local investments from community members. Initially, she highlighted the federal exemptions to the SEC filing requirements, but noted that even complying with the exemptions can be burdensome, difficult and costly. But the exemptions do offer a way to let locals (even those who are not extremely wealthy accredited investors) invest in local small businesses. So, how do new enterprises set themselves up (without spending a fortune) to allow local investors to keep their investment dollars local? Kassan discussed ▲ At the Women in Business luncheon, guest speaker Jenny Kassan (center) is such exemptions as private placements welcomed by Steering Committee (allowing up to 35 unaccredited investors but members (left to right) Cherie Carter, with significant restrictions on resale and Allison Rodman, co-chair Ally Fattore, advertising) and the Intrastate/Rule 147 Dawnn Hills, co-chair Kim Arnone and exemption for businesses with over 80 percent Gini Graham Scott. of revenues, assets and proceeds located within one state. Other exemptions are available for charitable, educational or agricultural businesses. Kassan then reviewed the various ways to raise funding from unaccredited and other nontraditional investors without falling under an exemption. First, Kassan highlighted non-security offerings including certain types of “crowdfunding” options (i.e., Kickstarter, Indiegogo), zero interest loans, memberships/discount cards and pre-sales/gift cards, but cautioned that such offerings needed to be crafted in such a way as to be sure not to fall into the definition of “security” under the law. Second, Kassan discussed other alternatives to traditional business formation which allow more easy community investing including public-private partnerships and cooperatives. Third, Kassan discussed private offerings to a limited number of individuals if certain rules are met. Fourth, Kassan discussed Direct Public Offerings, which allow a security offering to be made to the public to an unlimited amount of unaccredited investors without an investment banking firm – which offering usually raises less funds than an initial public offering (IPO) and usually limits how investors may sell their interest in the business. There can be benefits and drawbacks to each option depending on the type of business and the business’s and investor’s goals. Finally, Kassan discussed the new and exciting Crowdfund Act, which was signed by the President on April 5, 2012, but which is not yet in effect. This law creates new opportunities for funding for small businesses by creating a federal exemption for offerings of $1 million or less. Investors can invest up to 5 percent of their annual income or net worth in such businesses. The offerings will be handled by a registered intermediary and there will be certain financial reporting requirements that businesses will have to meet. While this is promising for small businesses, this law is not expected to go into effect for approximately one year while the SEC reviews the law and drafts rules regarding its enforcement. For more details on Kassan’s presentation, please see her slide presentation at Kassan provides legal support in promoting just and sustainable economic development of local communities. Her law office and her capital consulting firm are located in Oakland. ■

Kim Arnone, co-chair of the East Bay Women in Business Roundtable, is senior counsel at Buchalter Nemer in San Francisco. Ally Fattore, co-chair of the East Bay Women in Business Roundtable, is vice president and relationship manager at Sunwest Bank in Oakland.


Total health – It’s good for business

by Amanda Medina

The East Bay Women in Business Roundtable (EBWIB) will kick off the fourth luncheon of its “Women Defining the East Bay’s Future” speaker series on Friday, Aug. 3 at the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square with an address by Kathy Lancaster, the executive vice president of Strategic Planning and chief financial officer for Kaiser Permanente. She will speak about a holistic approach to health to make your employees hapKathy Lancaster pier and healthier. As a part of Kaiser’s innovative leadership team, Lancaster will present how her organization is taking a prominent role in the health care industry to make their members and employees live healthier and perform better. Kaiser Permanente has several customized workforce health programs, such as Thrive Across America, to help businesses reduce absenteeism, “presenteeism” and other hidden costs that can add to the bottom line. The company’s integrated care and groundbreaking electronic health record and other online tools help create effective employee wellness programs with measurable results. For more than two decades Lancaster has partnered with employers, providers, and members in health care delivery, focusing on new product development, network management, and health plan operations. She joined Kaiser Permanente in 1998, and was promoted to chief financial officer in 2005. She oversees the SPONSORED BY controller’s office, treasury, finance operations (including procurement and supply and financial shared services functions), and Kaiser Permanente’s strategic planning, as well as the finance teams of the revenue cycle function, and the organization’s Sarbanes-Oxley implementation. Lancaster also provides financial leadership for the pharmacy group, national facilities organization, and each of Kaiser Permanente’s eight geographic regions. Registration and networking for the EBWIB luncheon will begin at 11:15 a.m., with the program beginning at 11:45 a.m. The program concludes with additional networking until 1 p.m. The cost is $35 for Chamber members and $45 for non-members. Same day registration increases the price by $10. The event will be held at the Waterfront Hotel at 10 Washington St. in Jack London Square. For questions or to register, visit, call (510) 874-4800, ext. 319 or email ■ Amanda Medina is the operations coordinator for the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

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20 | OBR Oakland Business Review |


> Budget boosts police and growth – but not as much as expected by Paul Junge

Proposals to make more police officers available for patrol duties and provide more resources to attract and approve business growth were slimmed down by the Oakland City Council as it approved changes to the new fiscal year budget. Mayor Quan and City Administrator Deanna Santana proposed the budget adjustments in May aer the city realized about $9 million more than expected in tax revenues were coming in to city coffers. In proposals made for the first time at the final budget meeting on June 28, several Councilmembers decided to cut those investments in public safety and economic development and divert the money instead to increased pay for public employees. The proposal came from Councilmembers De La Fuente, Brunner and Brooks and was ultimately supported by Council President Reid and Councilmember Kaplan. Councilmembers Kernighan, Nadel and Schaaf voted against the budget changes. They had been supporting efforts to stay closer to the Mayor’s proposal. In just one example of the changes that occurred, the proposed budget established the position of a Director for Economic Development. Aer previous budget cuts and losses due to the end of Redevelopment, this position was needed to help Oakland seize business opportunities, thereby creating jobs and actually enhancing revenues without raising taxes or fees. Instead the Council only funded this position at 60 percent. As a result, economic development projects could be missed or delayed. This action also sets up the problem of appearing to create a position (although funding it at only 60 percent) but creating at the same time a structural deficit because next year and every year thereaer 100 percent of the money must be found to maintain the position. The proposed budget also included $300,000 to add other economic development staff, a proposal rejected with little comment by the Council. The proposed budget included an effort to free up sworn police officers to improve public safety. Specifically the proposal would “civilianize” the Office of Inspector General. Currently a police captain, lieutenant and one officer (as well as six civilian employees) conduct this work. By moving this function from police to the City Administrator it is hoped that not only will there be cost savings, not only will there be more sworn officers available to do police work, but that this may help improve OPD culture and achieve compliance with federal oversight. The change adopted on June 28 provided just less than half the funding requested to make this change. This could delay or prevent increasing available police officers who are available for patrol or other functions. It also creates the problem noted above of creating a structural budget problem in future years. The proposed budget maintained fiscal discipline by honoring agreements made with all public employee unions. This approach was abandoned. And it was abandoned in ways that cannot be measured. A parenthetical note called for a furlough day equivalent for police and fire. While it is difficult to know what that will eventually mean, it does impact the current general fund and all future budgets negatively, and it may also impact pension obligations which the Council addressed by issuing $250 million in bonds in a separate action. Much of the savings ($1.5 million) in what was adopted on June 28, compared to what had been proposed, comes from funding only $300,000 for the Coliseum City EIR instead of the $1.8 million. ■

of the Port there are challenges. ▲ Some two dozen While Oakland is the number one air cargo Chamber members airport in the Bay Area, passenger levels on and guests were on hand at the recent commercial flights are down to levels not seen Inside Oakland since 1997. After hitting a peak of 14.6 million Breakfast Forum to passengers in 2007, the number of people flyhear guest speaker ing Oakland was down to 9.3 million last year. Isaac Kos-Read. And fewer passengers impact not just revenue from the carriers using the airport, but parking revenue collected by the Port. On the bright side here, Kos-Read pointed to the Airport Connector, which is currently under construction and will connect the airport to BART by 2014. Kos-Read, also a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, spoke about the investments made to expand the maritime capacity at the Port. Unfortunately the economic downturn means the growth levels anticipated have not been realized, leaving the Port at 55 percent capacity. But the debt taken on to build that capacity still has to be paid. And the contracts for five of the seven major operators at the Port expire over the next five years. The third major business branch for the Port is commercial real estate. The Port manages nearly 20 miles of waterfront property along the bay. Like any landlord, the Port has had a tough time over the past couple years, but today, Kos-Read said, commercial properties are 99 percent leased. In the face of these marketplace challenges, Kos-Read broke down the cost structure of the Port. Operating expenses (salary and benefits, contracts with outside vendors) make up 45 percent of all costs. Debt service at 35 percent and capital expenses at 20 percent complete the picture. As Kos-Read explained, the Port incurred that debt “as a result of our need to invest heavily on infrastructure improvements.” Paying off that debt and maintaining it will continue to be a challenge for the Port – especially throughout this decade. The Chamber’s next Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum will be held on Friday, July 27 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Dr. Joel Parrott, the executive director of the Oakland Zoo, will be the guest speaker. ■ Paul Junge is the Chamber’s vice president and director of public policy.

Dr. Joel Parrott, executive director, Oakland Zoo, will speak about the zoo’s expansion.

Paul Junge is the Chamber’s vice president and director of public policy.

> Port of Oakland faces

Come to “Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum” and hear from people who affect the policies and progress of the city in which we live and do business.


F r i d a y, J u l y 2 7 • 8 : 3 0 – 1 0 a . m .

by Paul Junge

The Port of Oakland is a critical part of the regional economy. The fifth busiest container port in the United States, the only port in California that exports more than it imports, the Port generates more than 73,000 jobs in the region. But according to Isaac Kos-Read, director of external affairs for the Port of Oakland, and the guest speaker at the June Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum, it is not all smooth sailing ahead. Although a public agency, the Port receives no tax revenue, which means it has to earn all its income. It does this by attracting customers to its three main business functions – the airport, the container port and its commercial real estate properties. And like any player in a market economy, price and service make a difference. Kos-Read explained that in all three business lines


Chamber members for this informative breakfast at the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, 475 14th Street. This event is free to Chamber members and $10.00 for non-members. To attend, you must RSVP by Wednesday, July 25.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE AND REGISTER ONLINE Have questions? Contact Paul Junge at (510) 874-4817 or at

June 2012 | 21


Oakland-Fukuoka sister cities to celebrate 50th anniversary

A celebration of the 50th anniversary of the signing of Oakland’s Sister City Agreement with Fukuoka, Japan will be held from Aug. 17-20. Fukuoka’s Mayor Soichiro Takashima will lead a delegation of more than 30 public officials and citizens to Oakland for a series of events. The general public is invited to attend any of these events, some of which are free-of-charge. A similar delegation from Oakland and the East Bay is scheduled to travel to Fukuoka in early November. Local and regional businesspeople interested in commercial exchanges are invited to join the delegation to explore economic opportunities in Fukuoka City and Prefecture areas. Fukuoka’s International Economic Promotion Department, led by executive director Sam Takashima, is willing to assist our businesses with government and commercial entities in their area, and will help facilitate introductions and trade transactions. The 50th anniversary celebration will be the 45th such sister city golden anniversary out of several thousand relationships around the globe. Fukuoka is Japan’s sixth largest city with a population of 1.5 million people and is situated on the west coast of the southernmost island of Kyushu, Fukuoka. The sixth largest major container ports of Japan, the Port of Hakata in Fukuoka and the Port of Oakland recently opened direct shipping routes to each city. In 1960, Frank Ogawa, then-Oakland Parks Commissioner, accompanied Oakland Mayor John Houlihan to the Japanese-American Conference in Portland along with Oakland Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Nils Eklund, the vice president of Kaiser Industries. The conference leaders were encouraging sister city relationships and it was there that they met Fukuoka’s Mayor Genzo Abe and his Chief of Staff, Motohiro Otsuka. Several other cities, including Houston, were also courting Fukuoka, but Mayor Abe flew to Oakland and chose it because of the many similarities between the cities, including our major ports and the large Japanese-American population in our region. Otsuka, currently the Japanese Honorary Consul General to Malaysia, will be coming to Oakland in August for the celebration. One popular aspect of the sister city relationship has been the High School Student Exchange, now in its 42nd consecutive year, whereby 15 students from each city in alternate years would visit its twin city. The students have a week-long series of language courses, civic lessons, fun events and make lifetime friendships with their host families. Indeed, in anticipation of the 40th anniversary exchange in 2002, more than 200 former Fukuoka students who came to Oakland since 1970 formed a

▲ A bust of Frank Ogawa at the citizens group, “Fukuoka Oakland Port of Hakata, Chuo Wharf, Friendship Association” (FOFA). Japan, dedicated in 1997. Since that time, there have also been several “adult exchanges” organized by Oakland Fukuoka Sister City Association (OFSCA) and FOFA. As part of the August festivities there will be a dedication of ten fourfoot-tall Japanese lanterns posted near the Torii Gate at Lakeside Gardens on Bellevue Avenue across from Lake Merritt. Local businesses can sponsor the lanterns to help offset the costs of the celebration. For more information and ticket reservations, email ■


New book available on Oakland landmarks

Local columnist and walking tour leader Annalee Allen, and Heidi Wyckoff, a well-known Bay Area watercolor artist, have joined forces to publish a tribute to Oakland landmark buildings and places. Their book, “Oakland Landmarks,” is available now at selected local bookstores, or through their website, “We decided to celebrate the fact that Oakland’s 160th year as a city is happening this year, in 2012,” said Allen. “We had many well known buildings to choose from, and this book features 35 landmarks, along with a brief history of each one.” According to Wyckoff, “I am known for my watercolors of fruits, vegetables and other produce because I sell my paintings and cards at local Farmers’ Markets in the Bay Area. As I got to know Annalee, I started paying more attention to Oakland’s wonderful historic architecture. I agreed to work with her to carry out her vision to illustrate the city’s amazing heritage.” Examples include the Tribune Tower, City Hall, Heinold’s Saloon, and the Necklace of the Lights. To purchase a copy of “Oakland Landmarks,” visit the website, or call Heidi Wyckoff at (415) 368-9626. ■


Ambassador of the Month

Dawnn Hills, a seasoned Ambassador and sales representative for Vantage Business Support & Insurance Services, and who takes pride in her community and the well-being of her clients, has been named the Chamber’s Ambassador of the Month. She sincerely believes in what she calls “PHP” – People Helping People! She volunteers 20-25 hours per month with numerous organizations in addition to running a fullservice insurance practice. Dawn Hills Hills’ primary focus is business owners and entrepreneurs/individuals. She provides professional liability, personal lines and health care … which why her tag line is Dawnn Hills, “Insurance for your every need!” Dawnn Hills has offices in both Alameda and San Ramon to accommodate her clients. She looks forward to learning more about you and your business ■


ResCare HomeCare in Oakland

ResCare HomeCare, which has opened a new office at 166 Santa Clara Ave., suite 200 in Oakland, provides personalized home care services to people of all ages, physical conditions and cognitive abilities. It offers quality in-home senior care, including professional nursing, personal care, Alzheimer’s care, dementia car, homemaking, companionship, respite and other services in the home, hospital, long-term assisted living facility and other places of residence. Above, client services manager Tim Johnson, holding the scissors, cuts the ribbon to signify the opening of a new Oakland business. For information, call (510) 653-7242. ■

22 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

All events held at Chamber offices, 475 14th Street, unless otherwise noted. Call 874-4800 to confirm dates and times. Meetings are open to all Chamber members.

Young Professionals July 14 |

Breakfast at the Chamber July 19 |

Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum July 27 |

Women in Business Roundtable August 3 |

Downtown clean-up

sponsored by KBLX Radio 102.9 FM

featuring Dr. Joel Parrott

featuring Kathy Lancaster

Keeping you connected and informed



19 | Breakfast at the Chamber

| 7:30 - 9 a.m. 11 | Ambassador Committee

an update of Chamber activities for prospective, new and long-time members, sponsored by KBLX Radio 102.9 FM

meeting | noon - 1 p.m. EX ECUT IV E CO MM I TTE E



RON FOREST Matson Navigation Co.

Vice Chair MARIO CHIODO Chiodo Art Development DAN COHEN Full Court Press CHARISSA FRANK Swinerton Builders ERIC KISSHAUER Pankow Builders DICK SPEES Honorary Member DAVID TUCKER Waste Management of Alameda County ZACK WASSERMAN Ex Officio Corporate Counsel Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP KEN WHITE Fidelity Roof Company MICHAEL ZIEMANN Summit Bank Immediate Past Chair JOHN NELSON murakami/Nelson

B OAR D OF DI R ECTO RS HARMINDER BAINS Securitas ALICIA BERT PG&E DAVE CANNON Barney & Barney LLC KIM DELEVETT Southwest Airlines JOHN DOLBY Cassidy Turley SOLOMON ETS-HOKIN Colliers International MARK EVERTON Waterfront Hotel / Miss Pearl’s

GARY FOSS Recology East Bay JOHN GOODING The Quadric Group STAN HEBERT California State University, East Bay MICHAEL HESTER McGuire & Hester VICTORIA JONES The Clorox Company ISAAC KOS-REED Port of Oakland

11 | Economic Development Forum | 3 - 4:30 p.m. featuring guest speakers Pat Kennedy, Lit San Leandro and Ruth Miller, Walk Oakland Bike Oakland to discuss The New Urban Recreation – Fast Broadband + Parklets

14 | Young Professionals

| beginning at 9:30 a.m. Downtown clean-up

17 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting

26 | After Five Reception

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Z Café & Bar, 2735 Broadway, no charge for Chamber members, $15 for non-members

27 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum | 8:30 - 10 a.m. featuring guest speaker Dr. Joel Parrott, Oakland Zoo, no charge for Chamber members, $10 for non-members

3 | East Bay Women in Business Roundtable luncheon

| 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. featuring guest speaker Kathy Lancaster, executive vice president of Strategic Planning and chief financial officer for Kaiser Permanente, discussing a holistic approach to health to make your employees happier and healthier, Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square, $35 for Chamber members, $45 for non-members

8 | Ambassador Committee meeting | noon - 1 p.m. 16 | Breakfast at the Chamber an update of Chamber activities for prospective, new and long-time members


ART MARTINEZ Bank of America


| 7:30 - 9 a.m.

| 2:30-4:30 p.m.


KEN LOWNEY Lowney Architecture




After Five Reception

21 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting

| 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. 23 | After Five Reception

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.


San Leandro Marina Inn, 68 Monarch Bay Drive, no charge for Chamber members, $15 for non-members

IKE MMEJE Alta Bates Summit Medical Center

24 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum | 8:30 - 10 a.m.


no charge for Chamber members, $10 for non-members



ROBERT SCHMITT Clear Channel Outdoor ELÑORA TENA WEBB, PH.D. Laney College RICHARD WHITE Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLC

12 | Ambassador Committee meeting | noon - 1 p.m.

Z Café & Bar 27 3 5 B ro a d w a y


The purpose of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is to promote commerce and industry, to advance economic growth and to enhance the quality of life in the city of Oakland.

OBR OAKLAND BUSINESS REVIEW (ISSN 1092-7220) is published monthly at $100.00 a year by the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 475 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612-1903. Membership dues include subscription. Periodicals postage at Oakland, CA. Contents can’t be reproduced without permission. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to OAKLAND BUSINESS REVIEW, 475 14th Street, Oakland, CA 94612. Editor


12 | Economic Development Forum | 3 - 4:30 p.m. 18 | Nonprofit Roundtable Committee meeting

| 2:30 - 4:30 p.m. No charge for Chamber members. $15 for non-members.

20 | Breakfast at the Chamber

| 7:30 - 9 a.m. an update of Chamber activities for prospective, new and long-time members

27 | After Five Reception

| 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Sequoyah Country Club, 4550 Heafey Road in the Oakland hills, no charge for Chamber members, $15 for non-members

HANK MASLER, (510) 874-4808 |

Design/Production Editor


28 | Inside Oakland Breakfast Forum | 8:30 - 10 a.m. no charge for Chamber members, $10 for non-members

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July 2012 | 23


The Oakland Restaurant Association

> Chef’s Corner –

less possibilities of creativity and the rewards from it.

Chef Eric Parada

plaints by the people that are being paid to work. If you

Eric Parada, Seison Restaurant, within Washington Inn,

thing about it! Don’t just sit there and complain. Be

495 10th St., Oakland,



was it served? While working in a resort in West Marin

What do you like least about your job? Comdon’t like what you are in the food chain, then do some-

Best meal/dish you ever created and to whom First job? Harrah’s Hotel & Casino, Reno

County, one day we ran out of crab for crab cakes. I de-

Education? San Francisco CCA, Culinary Institute of

cided to create crab cakes using Coho salmon, pepper,

America, Napa

Residence? San Francisco

cilantro and other ingredients. We put them as a special of the day; we have great reviews about that. Fortunately on that day Sean Penn (actor) and Chef Tyler Florence had

I would like to encourage you to experience our food at Seison. By writing us at www.seison@the washingtoninn. com, you will get 20 percent off your dinner.

– Eric Parada, Chef

BUSINESS STRATEGY How’s business? We are in the process to re-launch “Seison” with a new and fresh concept, so the business is

lunch at the restaurant. They really enjoyed it. Most respected competitor? Compton Place in San Francisco

pretty good considering that we are still in the process. Biggest challenge that you face? Getting diners to explore ethnic-global flavors. Personal goal yet to be achieved? I like to create an organization committed to local, seasonal and organic, whenever possible, to service needy families who

PREFERENCES Stranded on a desert island, what cookbook would you want? “Eat Raw, Eat Well” by Dough McNish. Lunch with Julia Child - a question for her? Why you never cook any other ethnic food other than French?

need to meet nutritional goals, and anyone who is look-

Favorite cause? Meals on Wheels in the Napa Valley.

ing to maintain a healthy diet.

Favorite movie? “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”

Why people like working with you? I motivate my cooks to achieve excellence, not perfection, which is an impossible target. I reward them for what they do and give them a massive sense of achievement. Mentor? Hubert Keller from Fleur De Lys in San Francisco and Michael Mina for his love of seafood. What do you like most about your job? The limit-

24 | OBR Oakland Business Review |

with Clint Eastwood.

Favorite restaurant? Former Aqua in San Francisco. Favorite way to spend spare time? With my wife, kids and grandkids in the outdoors or working on late ‘60s cars. What’s on your ipod? Everything from Led Zeppelin, Muddy Waters and Frank Sinatra. ■

Oakland Business Review July 2012  

Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce monthly newspaper, July 2012 Issue. Contains a special section on Transportation

Oakland Business Review July 2012  

Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce monthly newspaper, July 2012 Issue. Contains a special section on Transportation