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Send Business News items to the North Bay Business Journal, Attn: Business Register, 427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, CA 95401; fax 707-521-5292; or e-mail news@busjrnl.com.

Automotive Retail

Used car dealer Skyline Auto Sales of Santa Rosa is allowing auto shoppers to use their state or federal return check directly as a down payment. Skyline is not charging any fees for the convenience.

Green

Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park earned the highest rating – Platinum – from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Neighborhood Developments for its neighborhood design.

Health Care

Sonoma County employers are urged to sign up for iWALK Sonoma, a county-wide initiative for people to get 150 minutes of exercise each week, sponsored by the Volunteer Center. To register go to www.iwalksonoma.org and click on the iWALK Challenge button. Registration is free and those signing up will be entered to win various prizes.

Hospitaltiy & Tourism

Napa-based VinoVisit.com, a winery tour reservations site, agreed with West Hollywood’s CityGrid Media to provide and distribute winery profiles and listings through content and ad network

Technology

Based on analysis of the electronic test and measurement market, Frost & Sullivan recognized Agilent Technologies Inc. with the 2010 Global Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Value Enhancement of the Year for its ability to continuously evolve and adapt to external market changes. Agilent’s Electronic Measurement Group is headquartered in Santa Rosa. Also, Agilent was named 2010 Company of the Year by Instrument Business Outlook. Agilent’s Electronic Measurement Group is headquartered in Santa Rosa.

Petaluma-based Calix Inc. was selected by the Scott County Telephone Cooperative in rural Appalachia to bring Active Ethernet solutions to over 18,000 residences, businesses, and community institutions. The projects are funded by grants from the Broadband Stimulus and Broadband Initiatives programs and private investors.

Spectra Watermakers Inc. in San Rafael, a manufacturer of reverse osmosis desalination systems and energy recovery pumps, launched the SP-20 Pearson Pump, a system that combines feed water pumping and energy recovery into a single unit, recapturing up to 80 percent of the energy wasted in a conventional system.

Banking & Finance

For the second year in a row, Sandler O'Neill & Partners recognized Bank of Marin as being among the top 32 best performing banks and thrifts in the nation with a market capitalization of less than $2 billion.

Green

Infineon Raceway in Sonoma collected more than 67 tons of materials during the 2010 Big O Tires racing season, including 9,209 pounds of glass, 9,594 pounds of plastics, 37,210 pounds of single stream overages, 12,740 pounds of metal debris, 49,880 pounds of cardboard and 14,000 pounds of tires.

Assemblymember Jared Huffman presented his monthly Sustainable North Bay Award to Liberty Valley Doors of Cotati, a custom wood stile and rail door manufacturer committed to accelerating the transition to sustainable building, energy, and economic practices.

Hospitality & Tourism

Bardessono in the Napa Valley earned a 2011 Travelers' Choice award from the TripAdvisor travel site, which named it the best relaxation and spa in the U.S.

Manufacturing

Jelly Belly Candy Company in Fairfield and Cold Stone Creamery announced a three year extension of their licensing partnership, making the special Cold Stone Creamery Jelly Belly jelly beans available at retail locations nationwide.

Real Estate

The developer of the Calistoga Ranch, an Auberge Resort Napa Valley residential community in Calistoga, announced that more sales were closed in 2010 than in the past two years combined.