San Rafael-based Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) launched Autodesk SketchBook Ink for iPad paint and drawing app, the latest release from the company’s popular SketchBook family, which has more than 10 million downloads to date. Powered by a brand new engine, Autodesk SketchBook Ink introduces unique technology for artists to create stunning, high-resolution ink-style artwork. Unlike traditional vector drawing apps, SketchBook Ink enables users to produce very fine detail in their artwork, independent of resolution, building on the intuitive freehand-drawing Autodesk SketchBook Pro platform. This new technology also supports the ability to export and print large, high-quality images right from the iPad. Final artwork can be exported at optimal sizes to the photo library on iPad, email, Dropbox, or iTunes file sharing. Images exported to Dropbox or iTunes file sharing can exceed 100 megapixels. The Autodesk SketchBook Ink App is available for $4.99 exclusively from the App Store on iPad or at www.iTunes.com/AppStore. For a limited time at launch, SketchBook Ink will be available for a special introductory price of $1.99.

Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) announced American Samoa Telecommunications Authority selected the Calix Unified Access Portfolio and Calix Professional Services to support and implement the authority's Broadband Linking the American Samoa Territory (BLAST) project. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service funded the project through a $91 million Broadband Initiatives Program award consisting of a combined grant and loan for plant engineering, materials, labor and other costs, including access equipment. The BLAST project will transform a copper network to advanced fiber-to-the-premises infrastructure.

HydroPoint Data Systems, Inc., focused on water-management solutions, is releasing three new WeatherTRAK products, extending the line of "smart" irrigation and central control products this year. The 10-year-old Petaluma-based company will add a cost-effective commercial irrigation controller, a wireless flow management product targeting retrofits and a number of mobile device-controlled applications.

Executive and entrepreneur John Kalb started EV Charging Pros (415-209-6585, www.evchargingpros.com), a Novato-based business consulting services company that advises corporations, commercial property owners and managers on how to select and implement the most appropriate electric vehicle service equipment system for commercial and community properties.Health Care

St. Helena Hospital opened Surgical Learning Institute, Napa Valley. The first surgical training program was March 30 with 43 surgeons and allied health professionals 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 taught by surgeons of the hospital's Coon Joint Replacement Institute.Endorsements

Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce endorsed for the June ballot, based on “commitment to our business community,” John Sawyer for Sonoma County Supervisorial District 1, Shirlee Zane for District 3 and Efren Carrillo for District 5.

North Bay Leadership Council endorsed Jared Huffman for Congressional District 2 and Mike Thompson for District 5; Steve Kinsey for Marin County Supervisoral District 4 and Katie Rice for District 2; Efren Carrillo for Sonoma County Supervisoral District 5, John Sawyer for District 2 and Shirlee Zane for District 3; Mark Luce for Napa County Supervisoral District 2; and state Proposition 28, which makes term limits more flexible by allowing legislators to serve a total of 12 years in any office or combination thereof.Transportation

San Diego State University's hallmark scarlet and black colors and logo will soon be featured on an Alaska Airlines 76-seat Bombardier Q400 turboprop.  Like other university-themed planes operated for Alaska Airlines by its sister carrier, Horizon Air, the Aztec aircraft will be painted at no cost to the university and will fly throughout Alaska's regional route system. People traveling through San Diego International Airport on May 31 may catch a first glimpse of the Aztec plane at an unveiling event scheduled at 10:30 a.m. The unveiling is timed to celebrate the start of Alaska Airlines' new nonstop daily service from San Diego to Fresno/Yosemite, Monterey and Santa Rosa/Sonoma County starting June 4 and 5, 2012. The San Diego State plane will be the ninth university-themed aircraft flown by Horizon Air since 2008. Other paint themes represent the universities of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, Boise State, Montana State, Oregon State and Washington State.Events

Preparations are underway for one of the summer’s biggest events, the Healdsburg Water Carnival, and organizers are calling for float sponsors to help make the July 14th celebration another rousing success. The centerpiece of the festival is a parade on the Russian River, and businesses, nonprofits and civic groups interested in participating are encouraged to secure a spot as soon as possible because space is limited. The deadline to register for one of the 30 float entries is June 30. Float sponsorships start at $500 for nonprofits and include an 8-by-12 platform for entrants to decorate. All sponsorship revenue is reinvested into Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach and dam. Sponsorship applications are available at healdsburgwatercarnival.com.Wine

The Russian River Valley Winegrows are gearing up for the annual Passport to Pinot Weekend, June 9-10. Ticket holders receive exclusive experiences throughout the weekend one of several participating wineries. Pinot is the focus, but each winery will also be providing unique offerings. Weekend tickets are $65, and $40 for a Sunday-only ticket. Registration is available at www.rrvw.org.