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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, July 14, 2014, 5:00 am

Business News: Week of July 14, 2014

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    Energy

    Vallejo City Council unanimously approved a $1.73 million contract with Tanko Lighting of San Francisco to convert about 8,000 high-pressure sodium streetlights to LED fixtures. It is estimated to result in annual energy savings of $392,764. The project is fully funded by Measure B, the city’s 1 percent sales tax. The Public Works Department will dedicate staff to convert all streetlights into LED fixtures before Dec. 31 in order to qualify for a $650,000 PG&E rebate, awarded in the third quarter of fiscal 2014–2015. The city owns and maintains about  9,300 streetlights, of which 1,000 were already converted over the last two years.

    Technology

    TriVascular Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:TRIV), of Santa Rosa was added to the Russell 2000 and Russell 3000 indexes following the reconstitution of global asset manager Russell Investment Group’s family of U.S. indexes after market close on June 27. The Russell 2000 Index measures the performance of the small-cap segment of the U.S. equity market and is a subset of the Russell 3000, representing about 10 percent of the total market capitalization of that index. TriVascular is a maker of medical devices designed for minimally invasive treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms.

    Transportation

    ZAP, a Santa Rosa-based maker of electric and high-fuel-mileage gasoline vehicles, received a volume purchase agreement from the Chinese company, SunRa for ZAP’s low-energy car, Urbee, through its subsidiary Jonway Auto. The contract calls for SunRa, aka Xinri Electric Vehicle Company, to purchase 1,000 Urbee vehicles per month from Jonway Auto to sell through its distribution network in China beginning last month. This long-term strategic partnership as electric vehicle supplier to SunRa further reinforces the expansion of ZAP and Jonway Auto’s distribution network in China and provides additional opportunities for expansion of the Urbee product line and models. The objective is to sell more than 8,000 vehicles through SunRa’s network over the next 12 months.

    Rep. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, hosted a North Bay Transportation Summit in Petaluma to discuss problems facing transportation infrastructure in the North Bay, including the congested Highway 101 Sonoma–Marin “narrows” and the impending insolvency of the federal Highway Trust Fund. Also in attendance were representatives from Caltrans, SMART, Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District as well as elected officials. The trust fund is estimated to go broke this August, potentially hampering North Bay transportation via funding for public transit, road maintenance and urgent road and bridge safety projects.

    Wine

    The Pedroncelli family’s 2013 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel wine won the Best of Show Varietal Rosé category at the California State Fair Wine Competition in Sacramento. It is one of the fair’s top five commercial wine awards. The wine was also awarded a Double Gold Medal, Best of Class of Region and 98 points. The wine was also the only top award-winner made from Sonoma County grapes. The winery, founded in 1927, has been making rosé since 1954 winning state fair awards since that time.

    Culinary Institute of America said half the most recent class of 24 graduates of its St. Helena-based Accelerated Wine and Beverage Program elected to take the Court of Master Sommeliers level 2 certified sommelier exam and passed. In the last four years, program graduates have earned a pass rate on that exam that is 20 percent higher than the national average. Over eight months, students taste more than 1,000 wines in class, take dozens of field trips and learn from the CIA’s faculty of wine experts plus more than 50 guest speakers. Classes focus on wines of the world, sensory analysis, business of wine, spirits and mixology.

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