Business News: Week of Dec. 3, 2012

Banking and Finance

Altus Equity Group, LP, in Santa Rosa announced that it funded and closed its latest investment fund last month. The fund is a real estate focused private equity fund, focused on the distressed single family asset class in Northern California. This proprietary model developed by the company enables investors to enjoy asset-backed periodic returns along with capital growth generated both at the purchase and by the market over time. The firm is confident the space will continue to afford opportunity to acquire distressed assets below replacement cost and below market. To learn more about Altus Equity Group, LP and other opportunities, accredited investors may contact the company at 760-651-2727 or

Bear Republic Brewing Company in Cloverdale brought home a silver medal at the 2012 Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer, the country's largest celebration of wood and barrel-aged beer. Presented by the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild, the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer (FOBAB) Competition spotlights and celebrates beer that has been aged in a wooden barrel or in contact with wood. Winners in ten categories, as well as two Best of Show winners, were announced Nov. 17th at the Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer awards ceremony held at the Bridgeport Art Center-Skyline Loft in Chicago, Illinois. Cuvee de Bubba was awarded Silver in the Wild Acidic Beer Category and was up against 26 other entries. Cuvee de Bubba, a custom blend of the beers of Bear Republic, is refermented in oak barrels using only the wild microflora and fauna native to the Sonoma County Alexander Valley.Construction

Sebastopol-based Leff Construction has been awarded Residential Design+Build’s national 2012 Design Excellence Award for innovative technology integration for a custom residence project located in Cazadero. The nearly 3,500-square-foot hilltop home is situated on a remote 775-acre property and presented a variety of challenges due to the owner’s concerns for achieving a near zero-net-energy rating and the area’s harsh winter storms that often result in extended power outages. The combination of building design and the technology incorporated into the home addressed all concerns. Working with a team of subcontractors and consultants, a highly complex series of systems to control heating, cooling, power and lighting were intertied and are controlled remotely via the owner’s Apple iPad tablet computer with the Savant system. Their work will assure the home maintains a level of comfort, regardless of weather conditions.Hospitality

Marin County and Napa Valley restaurants will be participating in California Restaurant Month ( for all of January, and those in Vacaville during Jan. 18--27. Visit California invites visitors to sample and savor the Golden State's internationally renowned wine and food this January during California Restaurant Month. As one of the nation's most diverse and agriculturally bountiful states, diners can expect delicious dining opportunities across California in an unprecedented 33 destinations, including nine new destinations, making 2013 the largest California Restaurant Month to date.Transportation

Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit announced that it has been selected by The Bond Buyer as the Far West finalist for its “Deal of the Year” Award, recognizing SMART’s 2011 $191 million Measure Q Sales Tax Revenue Bond issuance for innovation in public finance. More than 90 nominations were made nationwide for transactions ranging in size from a few million to billions of dollars. The national “Bond Buyer Deal of the Year” awardee will be selected from the five regional finalists and announced December 5 at a ceremony in New York City.

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