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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, April 22, 2013, 5:00 am

Business News: Week of April 22, 2013

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    Education

    North Bay Leadership Council is gearing up for the third year of its Algebra Academy Program this summer in San Rafael and Novato. Education is NBLC’s top public policy priority in recognition of the need for a high caliber workforce, civically-engaged residents, and to be economically competitive. The Algebra Academy Program is a partnership between employers and school districts. The program focuses on helping English-learning students increase their college and career readiness, and interest in pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) majors. The program is funded through contributions from employers, business associations, educational institutions, local government and nonprofits. If any individuals or entities are interested in sponsoring this public/private partnership, the sponsorship levels are: Einstein ($5,000), Edison ($3,500), Newton ($2,500) or Galileo ($1,000). For more details on sponsorships, other ways to participate or information, contact 707-283-0028 or info@northbayleadership.org.

    Green

    Congressman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) visited Quivira Vineyards in Dry Creek Valley to present the winery with his Sustainable North Coast certificate in recognition of Quivira’s work in restoring salmon habitat and healthy waterways. This was the first sustainability tour by Huffman as a member of Congress; he regularly recognized outstanding sustainable local businesses during his tenure in the California State Assembly. Quivira Vineyards and Winery was founded in Dry Creek Valley in 1981. Quivira has advanced Biodynamic and organic farming of grapes and uses onsite solar panels to power almost 100 percent of its operations. In 2012, Quivira partnered with the Sonoma County Water Agency and the United States Army Corps of Engineers on the first stage of a six-mile enhancement of Dry Creek Coho salmon habitat. Last summer, project partners created a side channel on Quivira property that allows young coho and steelhead to escape fast-moving water during high-winter flows.

    Techology

    AT&T has expanded its high-speed 4G LTE network in the San Francisco Bay Area, bringing more customers the latest generation of wireless network technology. AT&T launched 4G LTE in San Francisco on January 5, 2012, and the expanded coverage is part of its ongoing rollout across the market. The high-speed wireless data network is now available for compatible smartphones, tablets and other devices in numerous areas around the North Bay.

    Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE: MDT) announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration 510(k) clearance and the first U.S. clinical uses of its new Affinity Fusion oxygenation system. This system, which is designed to serve as a patient’s lungs by oxygenating and removing carbon dioxide from blood during various open-heart surgical procedures, incorporates numerous innovations for patient safety and ease of use. Notably, system enhancements are designed to prevent and remove air bubbles that can enter the blood during the procedure, which may potentially reduce the risk of stroke.

    Novato’s LumiGrow, Inc. announced a so-called “Cash for Clunkers” program. Through the new program, commercial growers receive a $150 cash rebate for each high intensity discharge (HID) greenhouse light fixture they replace with a LumiGrow LED luminaire. Growers gain a financial incentive for recycling HID greenhouse lights in working order or not. Fixtures are sent to a recycling facility certified to safely dispose of the hazardous materials found in HID lighting. Fixture scrap metal is recycled. To date, over 1,200 growers worldwide have made the switch from conventional lighting to LumiGrow LED luminaires to improve crop health, productivity and uniformity while they reduce operating costs. Unlike the broad-spectrum HID lights historically used in greenhouses, LumiGrow LED luminaires emit only those portions of the light spectrum that trigger healthy plant responses. Growers reduce their lighting-related energy consumption and costs by 40 percent or more.

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