Stories for October 2006

Tuesday, October 31

DreamWorks Animation profits up for 3Q

DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. reported a net income of just more than $10 million for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, the company announced Tuesday.

Publisher Among Layoffs at Daily News

The Daily News said today that publisher Tracy Rafter, who is among four department heads laid off from the Woodland Hills-based newspaper, will be replaced by John McKeon.

Wednesday in the Valley

The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce holds its mentor committee meeting.

Santa Clarita Still Safe, Study Says

Santa Clarita ranked 34th safest city in the country with a population of more than 75,000, according to a study by the Kansas research firm Morgan Quitno Press.

PS Business Parks Net Falls

PS Business Parks Inc. reported net income to shareholders plummeted to $3.5 million or $0.16 per share for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 compared to $14.3 million or $0.65 per share in the like period a year ago.

CB to Buy Trammell Crow

CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. has inked a deal to acquire Trammell Crow Co. in a deal the company valued at about $2.2 billion.

Monday, October 30

MovieBeam, RadioShack Start Partnership

The Burbank-based on-demand entertainment service MovieBeam has signed an agreement with RadioShack Corp. to sell its product at up to 1,700 stores in 31 major metropolitan areas, the company announced Monday.

Tuesday in the Valley

The Thousand Oaks-Westlake Village Chamber of Commerce holds its ambassadors and ambassadors-in-training meeting.

On Assignment Revenues Soar

The Calabasas staffing firm On Assignment tallied a 14.7 percent increase in revenue during the third quarter 2006 compared to last year, the company reported Monday.

Consumer Spending Slows in September

Consumer spending rose 0.1 percent in September, compared to the prior month even as income rose, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Cemex Mine Fight Goes National

The city of Santa Clarita has joined a national organization that opposes the Mexican cement company Cemex Inc. and its various mining projects.

Douglas Emmett Prices Shares at $21

Douglas Emmett, among the largest landlords in the San Fernando Valley, has increased the offering price of its expected IPO to $21, the high end of its range, according to a report by Renaissance

Cherokee Moves Into Saudi Arabia

Cherokee Inc. has inked a licensing deal with Fawaz Al Hokair Group, the largest retail group in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the company said.

Friday, October 27

3Q Income Drops for Power-One

Net income dropped in the third quarter for power conversion products designer and manufacturer Power-One.

Canyons Launches New Construction Programs

College of the Canyons in Valencia has launched a new land surveying and construction management program slated to start in the spring.

Monday in the Valley

Villaraigosa, Boxer headline news conference on traffic mobility issues.

Chatsworth Company to Distribute Supplement Brand

The Chatsworth nutritional product maker Natrol Inc. has signed an agreement with the makers of the weight control supplement Original South African H57 Hoodia.

Study: Valley Economy Holds Steady

The San Fernando Valley economy's growth since 2004 will likely ebb slightly over the next two years as manufacturing jobs decline and the housing market stumbles, according to a study of the region made public Friday.

Thursday, October 26

St. Joseph Hospital Scores High in Rankings

Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank has received top scores for its cardiac, orthopedic, stroke care and critical care services from an industry watchdog group.

Council Committee Delays Valley Tourism Bureau Vote

A City Council committee on Wednesday has delayed a motion to fund a designated San Fernando Valley tourism bureau.

K-Swiss Earnings Drop

Shoe manufacturer K-Swiss Inc. saw a small drop in its net earnings for the third quarter following the underperformance in the domestic market, the company reported Thursday.

Friday in the Valley

The Valley Industry and Commerce Association hosts its 18th annual business forecast conference.

Mayo ER to Open Next Month

The new emergency room at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia is on track to open around Thanksgiving, hospital officials said.

Metrocities Joins Latino Homeownership Initiative

Metrocities Mortgage has joined in the California Latino Homeownership Initiative, an affiliation of realtors, non-profits, title insurance providers and others that works to educate real estate professionals on how to serve the Latino home buyer market.

Wednesday, October 25

Oaks Gets Okay

The planning commission of the city of Thousand Oaks has approved the expansion of The Oaks mall as expected.

Thursday in the Valley

The Palmdale Chamber of Commerce holds its monthly mixer.

City Panel Approves Marijuana Clinic Ban

A Los Angeles City Council committee approved a moratorium on the issuing of permits for new medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

New Bank Branch in Westlake Village

Community West Bank has opened a branch in Westlake Village, its fifth branch location and the first in the greater San Fernando Valley area.

WellPoint Net Soars

WellPoint Inc. reported that its net income rose 26.5 percent to $810.8 million or $1.29 per share for the third quarter ended Sept. 30.

Tuesday, October 24

Amgen Buy Finalized

Amgen Inc. has completed the acquisition of the privately held biopharmaceutical company Avidia.

Wednesday in the Valley

The Glendale Chamber of Commerce holds its networking morning breakfast meeting.

Diodes Acquires Semiconductor Company Assets

Diodes Inc. has purchased the assets of a Redwood City semiconductor company.

Countrywide Sees 2 Percent Net Gain

Countrywide Financial Corp. reported that net earnings rose slightly to $648 million or $1.03 per diluted share in the third quarter of 2006, compared to earnings of $634 million or $1.03 per share in the comparable period a year ago.

Correction: Countrywide Cuts

An earlier update incorrectly characterized cost-cutting measures taking place at Countrywide Financial Corp.

Monday, October 23

Wells Fargo to Expand Hours Of Ventura Blvd. Branches

Wells Fargo is expanding its hours at its Valley locations.

At Issue: How Will Earn-Out as Part of Sale Be Taxed?

Columnist Ira Rosenblatt asks, 'How will earn-out as part of sale be taxed?'

Firms Get Offers They Can't Refuse

M & A; activity has been steadily increasing since the dotcom bubble burst six years ago.

Cigarette Tax Proposition Drawing Business Opposition

A measure to increase cigarette taxes to curb smoking and boost hospital funding has an improbable skeptic: healthcare officials.

Mortgage Lender Opens in Encino

American Guardian Home Loans said it opened a Los Angeles regional headquarters office in Encino.


Dole's Wellbeing Institute, a new nursing facility in Reseda, and Santa Clarita appeals to Arnold are just some of the news happening around the valleys.

Getting Feedback on Our Coverage of Business

Editor Jason Schaff wants to know, 'Is everyone happy with this publication?'

Getting the Job Done

Industry veteran Peter T. Dameris is helping rehabilitate health care temporary staffing firm On Assignment.

Often Overlooked, Location Managers Get Rewards

Oft-overlooked location managers are recognized.


Stock activity for 50 selected greater San Fernando Valley-based public companies: Bi-Weekly Top Gainers, Losers; The Valley 50 Stock Index; 52-week Performance; Market Summary / Indexes

Technicolor Installs Digital Systems in Mann Theatres

The Mann Marketplace 4 theater in Glendale is the latest movie house to receive digital projection systems from Technicolor Digital Cinema.

Santa Clarita, in Need of More Film Screens, Loses Festival

For Santa Clarita residents, seeing their city's most famous export close to home is getting harder and harder.

Cheesecake Delays Reporting

The Cheesecake Factory has delayed its third quarter financial filing pending the completion of its stock option practice review.


Valley business people in the news and on the move...

Chamber Members To Vote on Merger

The Woodland Hills and Tarzana chambers of commerce are milling over a plan to merge the two groups.

Charters Keep Family From Making Business Personal

Consultant says charters are the key to healthy family companies.

IHOP Signs New Franchise Deals

IHOP Corp. has signed franchise agreements to build 20 new restaurants over the next five years.

Santa Clarita Leads Way in Area Office Rent Increases

The housing market may be tumbling, but the Valley office market is fairing well, Shelly Garcia reports.

Problems From Domestic Violence Hurting Workplace

The impact of domestic violence on the workplace.

Amgen Earnings Up

Drug maker Amgen Inc. reported adjusted earnings per diluted share for third quarter 2006 increased 22 percent to $1.04.

Cable Execs Detail Complicated Merger

Checking in on the complex cable merger by Time Warner Cable.

Firm Pushes Ownership at Palmdale Office Development

The first commercial office condominium park in Palmdale is under construction.

Family's Sale Sets Growth Path

The founder of Dell Computers has found an unlikely new investment: the Calabasas landscaping firm ValleyCrest Cos.

Tuesday in the Valley

The Universal City/North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce holds its monthly breakfast.

Chatsworth Company Charged with Workers Comp. Fraud

Executives from a Chatsworth flooring company have been charged with workers' compensation fraud for bilking an insurance fund out of more than $7 million.

The Great Communicators

How one company helps foreign-born professionals address their accents.

Amid the Frenzy

Just what does the future of M & A; hold? We bring together five industry heavy-hitters to find out.

How to Maximize Your Price When Selling a Business

Kevin Rex has some advice for those considering selling their prized business: be prepared.

Recording Studios Growing Silent

A growing number of Valley recording studios are closing up shop.

Image Shareholders Spurn Lions Gate

Image Entertainment Inc. survived an attempt by spurned suitor Lions Gate Entertainment to pack its board of director with members of its choosing.

ISWest Plans New Data Center as It Rides Trend

A rising demand for IT equipment storage space encouraged one Agoura Hills company to construct a 16,000-square-foot data center.

Tales From the Trenches: Managing Merger Deals

CEOs who've made recent acquisitions share experiences and lessons

Electronic Clearing House Distressed Over Legislation

A bill signed by President Bush is having an effect on a pair of Valley businesses, Chris Coates reports.

Guidelines Needed for Handling Whistleblower Complaints

Guidelines are needed for handling whistleblower complaints, says Jim Pulsipher.

Precision Dynamics Case Goes to Court

The case overan alleged power grab by executives and board members of Precision Dynamics Inc. against its co-founder is moving forward.

Marketing Philanthropy: Getting by Giving

Columnist Martin M. Cooper looks at the intersection of charity and business.

Final Draft's Acquisition Boosts Firm's Script Authority

Behind the scenes of how a Calabasas publishing company acquired the publisher of one of the most widely read magazines for professional scriptwriters.

Friday, October 20

As Gas Prices Plunge, So Do Pledges of Finding Alternatives

This summer, skyrocketing gas prices had motorists fuming. Now, as gas prices plummet, some are bracing for another type of fallout.

Monday in the Valley

The United Chambers of Commerce hold its board of directors meeting.

Indications Are, We're In for Slow Growth

A small gain in consumer expectations helps cement estimates that growth will become sluggish in coming months.

Northridge Mall Launches Job Hotline

Northridge Fashion Center will launch a teen holiday-job hotline to help tenants meet hiring needs for the fourth-quarter selling season.

Court OKs Amgen Suit

A court has ruled that the Thousand Oaks drug maker can sue a competitor for patent infringement.

Credit Card Statements: Squinting Happens

A government report says credit card companies bury important information, use small type and fail to group related materials in billing statements, confusing cardholders.

Biomedical Industry Growing: Report

The state's biomedical industry has grown to become the second largest contributor to its high tech economy, behind only computer consulting, according to a report released by the California Healthcare Institute and Pricewaterhouse Coopers.

Thursday, October 19

California United Bank VP Steps Down

Bruce English has stepped down as executive vice president and director of Encino-based California United Bank.

Changes Coming to NBC Operations in Burbank

NBC Universal will consolidate its news operations in Burbank and 10 other stations as part of an overall corporate strategy to streamline and strengthen operations, assure future growth and exploit opportunities in the digital and global marketplace, the

Friday in the Valley

The North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce holds its home improvement networking cluster No. 1.

Palmdale Names New City Manager

A longtime city employee has been named the new city manager of Palmdale.

Wednesday, October 18

Six Flags Adopts Guest Rules

Six Flags Inc. on Wednesday introduced a new code of conduct for guests at its 39 theme parks, including Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia.

Thursday in the Valley

The Studio City Chamber of Commerce holds its monthly mixer.

Bank Reporting Roundup

First Commerce Bancorp based in Encino said today that net income rose 31 percent to $923,000 or $0.12 per diluted share for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, up from $702,000 or $0.07 per share in the same period last year.

Ixia Opens Overseas Headquarters

Ixia opened a new headquarters in England in response to a rapidly expanding customer base in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Tuesday, October 17

StarPoint Acquires Multifamily Portfolio

StarPoint Properties LLC has acquired a portfolio of multifamily properties for $86 million.

New LAUSD Chief Wants Businesses to Help

The new superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District said he plans to involve Valley business owners in reforming the city's troubled school system.

Monday, October 16

Study: Auto Industry Thriving in L.A. Area

Los Angeles finds itself as a center of automotive-related industries despite a difficulty in accurately knowing the economic impacts, a study released Monday by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. has found.

Adventist CEO Steps Down

Scott Reiner has stepped down as CEO of Glendale Adventist Medical Center for a job at the hospital's corporate parent.

Ralphs Pays $70 Million in Plea Deal

Ralphs Grocery Co. has agreed to pay $70 million to settle charges it illegally hired workers during the 2003-2004 grocery strike.

Tuesday in the Valley

The Encino Chamber of Commerce holds its business and professional luncheon.

L.A. Production Stats: Up for TV, Down for Film

Robust television production for the fall season helped increase overall on-location production in Los Angeles County by 7 percent for the third quarter when compared with the same period last year.

Health Net CFO Steps Down

A top executive at Health Net Inc. has accepted a position with the mortgage company Freddie Mac.

Nestle Gives Up Two Floors in Local HQ

Nestle has renewed its lease at 800 N. Brand Blvd. in Glendale through 2010 for some floors and 2015 for others.

Blue Cross Bond to Help Underserved Areas

Blue Cross of California has launched a bond-financing program to provide smaller health facilities more access to capital.

Sunday, October 15

City Cuts Business Tax

The City Council has voted unanimously to reduce the city's business tax and reconfigure the number of tax categories for businesses.

Saturday, October 14

U.S. Performs Well in Global Markets: Report

The U.S. economy has done well in the face of globalization, but a new report shows that only people with college degrees have benefited in the form of higher wages.

Friday, October 13

Natrol Adds Hair Regrowth Products

Natrol Inc. has acquired two brands, both in the hair growth area, from Biotech Corp.

Review Delays Ixia's 3Q Financial Results

Ixia announced the company is conducting an internal review of its revenue recognition that will delay releasing third quarter financial results.

Monday in the Valley

The United Chambers of Commerce holds its government affairs committee meeting.

Sensor Company Receives $2 billion China Order

Electronic Sensor Technology received a $2 billion order from China as part of that country's environmental clean up efforts, the company has announced.

Home Prices Dip in Valley

Have home prices begun to drop?

Thursday, October 12

Friday in the Valley

The Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce hosts its business after hours mixer at the Taste of Expo.

Former Homestore CEO Sentenced to 15 Years

Stuart Wolff, the former CEO of, was sentenced in Los Angeles today to 15 years in federal prison for his role in inflating the company's revenues in an attempt to make the company appear more profitable to Wall Street.

Dole Rearranges Flowers

Dole Food Co. said today that it is closing several of its flower operations in Ecuador and Colombia and downsizing several other farms in a move expected to affect 1,275 workers.

IHOP Sales Lackluster

Calling the environment "difficult," IHOP Corp. reported a 1.3 percent increase in same-store sales for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Baja Fresh Sold

An investment group has purchased Baja Fresh for $31 million.

Wednesday, October 11

Thursday in the Valley

The Mid Valley Chamber of Commerce hosts the Mid Valley police council's citizen recognition lunch.

Office Market Tight in Area

Office vacancy rates hardly budged in the third quarter, maintaining an average 6.3 percent in the greater San Fernando Valley area for the second quarter in a row, according to data just released by Grubb & Ellis.

Santa Clarita Hotels Still Packed

Santa Clarita hotels continued to register the highest occupancy rates in Los Angeles County, according to a study of August hospitality trends by PKF Consulting.

Mortgage Volume Declines at Countrywide

Mortgage lending continued its slide in September, leading to a 22 percent decrease in fundings at Countrywide Financial Corp. for the month and the quarter.

Tuesday, October 10

No Cakewalk for Cheesecake

In preliminary data for the third quarter of 2006, The Cheesecake Factory said that its comparable store sales declined by 1.6 percent, although its Grand Lux Caf & #233; saw a 6.7 percent increase in comparable store sales.

Wednesday in the Valley

The Universal City/North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce holds its networking lunch.

Industrial Sale in Santa Clarita

A multi-tenant, 30,000-square-foot industrial property in Santa Clarita has sold for $3.9 million or $133.82 per square foot.

Gov. Asked to Balk at CEMEX Meeting

The effort to squash a proposed mine outside Santa Clarita has turned to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Monday, October 9


A look at the Valley movers and shakers on the move

Colleges Need to Do Better Work On Outreach, Business Leaders Say

Some business and civic leaders say universities and colleges need to do better at getting word out about their programs to area companies

City of Santa Clarita's Program Helps Fill Management Ranks

How mentoring is helping the city of Santa Clarita fill its ranks.

Voice Print Acquires Call Center Management Firm

Voice Print International has acquired a privately owned call center management provider, the company announced Monday.

Funds Help Local Schools, Students Pursuing Professions

Best Scholarship Programs

Financial Firm Helping Students Get to College

Merrill Lynch helps educate students in finance

Despite Shortage, Hospitals Avoid Foreign Nurses

Despite a nursing shortage, some hospitals are shying away from sponsoring foreign nurses and bringing them to the states.

Teaching With an Eye On the Bottom Line

Where's the junction of education and business in the Valley? Look no further than the myriad business education and job training programs at the dozen area colleges.

Iris Takes Time Out to Put Poison Pill Measure in Place

Chatsworth-based Iris International is taking measures to prevent a hostile takeover, Chris Coates has found

The Connections Between Business, Education

The one thing business owners and managers can agree on is that having an educated workforce is a priority, says Editor Jason Schaff

Tuesday in the Valley

The Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce holds its board of directors meeting.

Former Kaiser Executive Gerlach Now At Providence

A hospital veteran who ran the San Fernando Valley operations for Kaiser Permanente has joined a local competing health care provider at its No. 2 position.

Firms Partner With Colleges To Provide Worker Training

Best Job Training Programs

Entertainment Firms Find Creative Ways to Train Workers

A 13-week "boot camp" is one way local companies are helping employees learn the ins and outs of their businesses.

Valley Finally Comes of Age for Upscale Retail Circuit

Westfield's newly remodeled and expanded Topanga mall has cornered the Valley market for luxury goods.

YouBet Purchases Production Company Inc. has completed an acquisition of a privately held broadcast production firm to create marketing and educational content, the online horse racing wager company announced Monday.

LNR Warner Center Bought By Player New to Region

Five Warner Center buildings have sold for a whopping $311 million, Shelly Garcia has uncovered

Gelb Provides Education Increase With Money, Involvement

Businessman Rickey Gelb is helping educate the Valley one donation at a time

Wells Fargo Awards Money To Several Local Non-Profits

A look at the philanthropic activities by Valley-area companies and businesspeople

Precision Dynamics Founder Files Suit

The co-founder of Precision Dynamics Corp. has filed a lawsuit against two managers and three board members alleging that they tried to prevent him from running the company.

Role of Mentor an Important Position Within Companies

Best Mentors

On Anniversary, Line Moving in New Direction

A year with the Orange Line, a pair of festivals and a way to send bedside wishes top what's happening around the valleys.

How to Prepare Your Firm for an Economic Slowdown

Columnist Jim Felton explains how prepare your firm for an economic slowdown

Professional Groups Get Active In Boosting Their Industries

Business and trade organizations are playing an increasingly important function by educating their members in their industries.

Political Motivation May Harm Auto Firms

Political motivation may harm auto firms, says Gregory N. Lippe.

Chuck E. Cheese Founder Goes for the Grownups

Leave it to the creator of Chuck E. Cheese and Atari to create a restaurant and entertainment concept for adults that uses high-tech bells and whistles.

Businesses Offer Generous Employee Tuition Programs

Best Employee Tuition Reimbursement Programs

Dell Buys ValleyCrest

The investment firm of computer mogul Michael Dell bought a majority ownership of the ValleyCrest Companies

Guitar Center CEO Gives Look at Rise of Company

A glimpse into how the company became a Wall Street star.

Local Units of Banks Provide Access to Funding, Education

How banks are making access to capital easier for would-be college students.

Area Foundations Give Large Donations to Local Colleges

Best Charitable Giving Programs

The Road to China

Ron Nechemia's company, Eurorient, is the only foreign firm to get an LNG contract with China, a deal that was 20 years in the making

Organizations Promote Links Between Business, Education

Best Business Education Programs

Pair Helps Parents Deal With Boom in Internet Sites

A Sherman Oaks company has created a tool to make sure kids stay safe online, Mark Madler reports.

The Best Internships: Rewarded With Challenges

Forget fetching coffee. The internship program at Burbank-based Aramark Uniform Services puts students in real life situations, including solving problems that help the company tick.

Friday, October 6

Crown Media Sells Library Rights

Crown Media Holdings Inc. has agreed to sell the domestic rights to its film library for an expected $160 million.

Electro Rent Posts Quarterly

Electronic equipment provider Electro Rent Corp. saw a net profit loss for the first quarter of the 2007 fiscal year due to developing its overseas operations and the integration of assets from an acquisition in January, the company reported Friday.

Health Net Prescription Drug Plan Goes National

The Woodland Hills healthcare provider HealthNet Inc. plans to expand its Medicare Part D prescription drug plan offerings to all 50 states and Washington, D.C., starting next year.

Shoe Pavilion Sales Increase 28 Percent

Shoe Pavilion Inc. reported preliminary sales for the third quarter ended Sept. 30 increased 28.1 percent to $31.8 million versus $24.8 million for the third quarter ended Oct. 1, 2005.

Monday in the Valley

The Reseda Neighborhood Council holds its planning and zoning committee discussion meeting.

Thursday, October 5

Friday in the Valley

The Studio City Chamber of Commerce holds its first Friday club meeting with special guest Richard Katz, MTA board member.

Dell Buys Majority Interest in ValleyCrest

The investment firm of computer mogul Michael Dell bought a majority ownership of the ValleyCrest Companies, the decades old family-owned landscaping firm based in Calabasas, it was announced Thursday.

BREAKING NEWS: Tribune Fires Times Publisher

The Tribune Co. has forced out Los Angeles Times publisher Jeffrey Johnson just weeks after he reportedly balked at a corporate directive to make more cuts at the newspaper.

Retail Rebounds in September

Most retailers reported better than expected sales gains in September as shoppers scooped up back-to-school items and apparel.

Guitar Center Downgrades Guidance

Guitar Center said today that it would miss its earlier guidance for earnings and sales in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2006.

Wednesday, October 4

Dole Acquires U.K. Company

Dole Food Co. said today that Jamaica Producers Group Ltd. has accepted its offer to purchase the remaining portion of JP Fruit Distributors Ltd.

Thursday in the Valley

Thousand Oaks-Westlake Village Regional Chamber of Commerce holds its Westlake business connections meeting.

Tuesday, October 3

Lancaster Company Inks Asia Contract

Simulations Plus Inc., a Lancaster provider of modeling software for the pharmaceutical industry, has received a purchase order from the National Institute of Health Sciences in Japan.

BioPharmetics Signs Distribution Deal

BioPharmetics Inc. has received an order to place its RescuDerm products in 40 Drug Fair pharmacies in New Jersey.

Wednesday in the Valley

The Encino Chamber of Commerce holds its ambassadors committee meeting.

Woodland Hills Office Building Sold

A Woodland Hills office building has sold for $3.3 million.

Navy Awards Contract to Local Firm

Woodland Hills-based Litton Systems Inc. has been awarded a $6.7 million contract modification to build an identification system for tactical ships from the U.S. Navy.

Monday, October 2

JetHawks Sign Deal with Red Sox

The Lancaster JetHawks minor league baseball team has signed a two-year player development contract and affiliation agreement with the Boston Red Sox.

Clinic Supporters Honored

A businessperson, actor and school leader will be feted as this year's Valley Community Clinic's "Laughter is the Best Medicine" fundraising gala Wednesday.

Tuesday in the Valley

The Encino Chamber of Commerce holds its executive committee meeting.

Mayo Cancer Program Honored

The cancer program Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia has once again been granted a three-year "approval with commendation" from the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.