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AROUND THE VALLEYS – October 1, 2012

SAN FERNANDO VALLEY Van Nuys The Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys launched a new weekly food truck event Runway Eats Sept. 19, aiming to draw community members to the airport-adjacent 10 acre property. Initially featuring eight trucks from the Southern California Mobile Food Vendors Association, the event will take place each Wednesday evening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., according to hotel manager Kim Cartaino. “We are reaching out to hotel guests, as this is really an added amenity for them,” Cartaino said. “But we’re also really hoping to get the community involved and attending, as well. There isn’t really much around us outside of the airport, but we can be a destination.” The gourmet food trucks, which included Cousins Maine Lobster, Don Chow Tacos and Holy Aioli, were situated on the hotel’s back lot overlooking the pool, guest rooms, restaurant and bar and the Van Nuys Airport runway. “What a great way to enjoy gourmet food trucks,” Cartaino said. “We put a little bit of a different spin on it because they can watch planes take off and land while you do it.” She said that roughly 300 people attended the first event. The hotel is planning on testing the event and its reception in the next few weeks, but Cartaino said that they plan on continuing the event. North Hollywood Century West BMW/MINI of Universal City broke ground at a new location on Lankershim Boulevard Sept. 14. The new dealership will employ around 50 people and house more than 200 cars when it is completed in the spring of next year. “The growth of North Hollywood and Universal City has always been tied to our business owners. We are excited to announce this new expansion in our community,” said Kirk Jaffe, president of the North Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. The dealership is an expansion of Century West BMW, which has existing locations in North Hollywood, Sherman Oaks and Glendale. “This will increase the creation of new jobs and sales revenue in regards to helping the economy of the area and also will help in the beautification of Lankershim Boulevard,” said Dennis Lin, president of MINI Universal City, in a statement. Calabasas Marketing and PR firm Mile 9 added a new graphic designer to its team with the hiring of Miranda Friedman. The Calabasas-based firm said Friedman will handle design components for clients including Warner Bros. Games, Pharmavite and K-SWISS. “Miranda has a strong and diverse background in creating breakthrough graphic design having conceptualized artistic, digital marketing creative for a host of leading brands – and we are very excited to have her joining our growing team,” said Jeff Smaul, president and creative director for Mile 9. “We’re always looking for top talent to help us deliver fresh and innovative work for our clients, and Miranda will be a great asset to our stellar creative team.” Friedman has previously worked at Cross Coast Interactive LACED agency and Makai Inc. Thousand Oaks Wireless network provider Xirrus received $23.5 million in its latest round of funding and will use the money for global sales growth and product innovation. The Thousand Oaks-based firm received the funding from existing investors August Capital, Canaan Partners, InterWest Partners, QuestMark Partners, and US Venture Partners. Xirrus provides Wi-Fi infrastructure products for the school campuses, hospitals, government facilities and other industries. The money will allow Xirrus to expand into the European and Asian Pacific markets, said CEO Shane Buckley. “The world has changed,” Buckley said in a prepared statement. “”We depend heavily on wireless communications, and businesses everywhere are seeking new network strategies to meet the demands for fast, secure, and reliable mobile access.” ANTELOPE VALLEY Lancaster The City of Lancaster received a World Energy Globe Award for its efforts at bringing renewable energy sources to residents and businesses. The city was recognized for its partnership with Solar City that resulted in 115 local residents and businesses converting to solar energy and for working with home builder KB Home and Chinese manufacturer BYD to design a solar-powered home prototype. The World Energy Globe Award, given out by Austrian energy pioneer Wolfgang Neumann, comes with a $10,000 prize and bronze trophy. Councilman Ken Mann represented the city at the awards event on Sept. 13 in Vienna. Having a strong foundation for renewable and clean energy resources in a mid-sized community like Lancaster is unique, said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “The many efficiencies of renewable energy as well as the monetary and environmental savings which come along with it are not only accessible to the government and larger entities; citizens in our community can now afford to take advantage of these benefits as well,” Parris said.

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