Healthcare

St. Helena Hospital has opened the new Surgical Learning Institute, Napa Valley, presenting its first surgical training program on Friday, March 30th. 43 surgeons and allied health professionals gathered from around the nation to participate in the MAKOplasty Surgeon Masters Course. Produced by MAKO Surgical Corp. and hosted by the Institute, the collaborative learning program focused on advanced robotic orthopedic surgical techniques as taught by surgeons of the Coon Joint Replacement Institute.Finance

Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced that it has paid franchise fees and property taxes of almost $286 million to the 49 counties and 243 cities in which it operates. The 2011 franchise fee payments total more than $138 million -- nearly $41 million for natural gas and more than $97 million for electric service. This sum is $582,308 more than last year’s payments. Franchise fees are payments that PG&E makes to cities and counties for the right to use public streets for its gas and electric facilities. Total payments for the fiscal year 2011-2012 were $296 million. The company’s property tax payments to counties for tax year 2011/12 increased by $14.6 million over the previous year’s payments as a result of an increase in assessments reflecting PG&E’s infrastructure investments and an overall increase in tax rates. Property taxes paid to North Coast counties include Sonoma, $4.1 million; Humboldt, $1.8 million; Mendocino, $1 million; and Lake, $5.6 million, totaling $7.5 million.Government

The Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce announced its endorsements for the June primary. The chamber chose its endorsements based on “their commitment to our business community,” endorsing John Sawyer for Supervisorial District One, Shirlee Zane for District Three and Efren Carrillo for District Five.

The North Bay Leadership Council has also announced its endorsements: Jared Huffman for Congressional District Two and Mike Thompson for District Five. For the Marin County Board of Supervisors: Steve Kinsey for District Four and Katie Rice for District Two. For the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors:  Efren Carrillo for District Five, John Sawyer for District One and Shirlee Zane for District Three. For the Napa County Board of Supervisors: Mark Luce for District Two. The council also endorses Proposition 28, which makes term limits more flexible by allowing legislators to serve a total of 12 years in any office or combination thereof.Technology

Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today announced that the American Samoa Telecommunications Authority (ASTCA) has selected the Calix Unified Access Portfolio and Calix Professional Services to support and implement its Broadband Linking the American Samoa Territory ("BLAST") Project, which will deliver ubiquitous advanced broadband services across the islands of American Samoa. The USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) funded the Project through a $91 million Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) award consisting of a combined grant and loan for plant engineering, materials, labor, and other costs, including access equipment. The BLAST Project will transform the islands' legacy copper network into an advanced fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure.