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Car trouble hits Haas – Oxnard toolmaker revamps strategy after layoffs

By   /  Sunday, May 10th, 2009  /  Top Stories  /  Comments Off on Car trouble hits Haas – Oxnard toolmaker revamps strategy after layoffs

When the global economy crashed last fall, Oxnard-based Haas Automation found itself in the middle of the worst crisis in the history of American car-making. Demand for its machine tools plunged 60 percent and Haas had no choice but to cut 400 workers — a quarter of its employees. But here’s where Haas and General Read More →

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Hospitals overhauled – Three area facilities plot expansion plans

By   /  Sunday, May 3rd, 2009  /  Top Stories  /  Comments Off on Hospitals overhauled – Three area facilities plot expansion plans

For nearly 70 years, the Lompoc Valley Medical Center has provided medical services for residents of northern Santa Barbara County. Now it — and other tri-county hospitals — will spend tens of millions to relocate, remodel and renovate their facilities in order to meet the state’s stringent seismic regulations. Four years ago, California passed a Read More →

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Think fast – Goleta firm unleashes tiny systems

By   /  Friday, April 24th, 2009  /  Top Stories  /  Comments Off on Think fast – Goleta firm unleashes tiny systems

For John Foster, thinking big means thinking small. Really small. Foster heads Innovative Micro Technologies, a Goleta-based firm that makes machines the size of a few human hairs built with some of the same techniques and materials as computer chips. Called micro electromechanical systems, or MEMS, the devices combine the “thinking” tasks of computer chips Read More →

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Driving the future – BMW

By   /  Sunday, April 19th, 2009  /  Top Stories  /  Comments Off on Driving the future – BMW

With the automobile market fragmenting into smaller niches, companies that survive will be able to place multiple bets, gauge market response and move quickly if demand materializes for a new technology. The pursuit of the next niche in advanced car design — and in alternative power supply — is an increasingly bigger part of the Read More →

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Benched – Semi-pro teams struggle to stay in the game

By   /  Sunday, April 12th, 2009  /  Top Stories  /  Comments Off on Benched – Semi-pro teams struggle to stay in the game

We all know there’s no crying in baseball, but maybe — just maybe — some regional teams can have some time to wallow. The Santa Maria Indians have been active for 65 years, making them the longest-running semi-pro baseball team in the state, one of only two California teams to win the prestigious National Baseball Read More →

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A Danish twist – Solvang keeps curious visitors coming

By   /  Sunday, April 5th, 2009  /  Top Stories  /  Comments Off on A Danish twist – Solvang keeps curious visitors coming

Don’t be fooled by the puff pastries and windmills. The whimsically Danish town of Solvang is a lot stronger than it looks. The Santa Ynez Valley community of 5,000 is defying the recession, roping in more and more visitors ­­— and tourism dollars — as the economy sinks. “Tourism is our bread and butter — Read More →

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Facing the music – Area theaters scale back their budgets

By   /  Sunday, March 29th, 2009  /  Top Stories  /  Comments Off on Facing the music – Area theaters scale back their budgets

Performing arts centers in Santa Barbara have managed to keep steady attendance rates, but the trickle of ticket sales hasn’t been enough to save them from slashing staff and postponing productions. “This is a time when we, like many others in the performing arts, have very real challenges in terms of staying a viable business,” Read More →

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