Architect Curtis Owyang of Sacramento's LPAS has the magic touch when it comes to designing arts and entertainment venues.
His firm learned early Wednesday morning that the University of California, Davis, had selected Owyang's design for its $15 million Classroom and Recital Hall. If you want a taste of the design that sets Owyang apart, visit Three Stages at Folsom Lake College. He designed that $50 million arts complex.
Owyang said he paid particular attention to the surroundings for the UC Davis recital hall, scheduled for completion in 2015.
"We thought that Putah Creek is just this incredible natural resource, and we found that a lot of buildings turn their back to the creek. Well, we wanted to design a building that really engaged and embraced the creek, to make people aware of it as an amenity. So, as you approach the building, we created open spaces that engage with the creek and draw your attention to it."
Rogers wins patent fight
Coffee giant Keurig filed a patent infringement lawsuit last year in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, trying to stop Rogers Family Coffee in Lincoln from producing single-serving coffee pods.
Rogers announced Wednesday that it had foiled the legal strategy. In a ruling released Friday, Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV stated that, once consumers have bought a brewing system from Keurig, they can buy replacement coffee pods from any source.
He also ruled that Rogers' OneCup pods with their mesh bases were plainly dissimilar from Keurig's plastic K-Cup cartridge.
"You'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see the difference," President Jon B. Rogers told me. "They were trying to make the point that people would buy mine and think it was theirs."
Although Rogers has been selling their OneCup single-serve coffee pods under the San Francisco Bay and Organic Coffee Co. labels, Rogers said, the lawsuit made some retailers skittish about carrying them.
Sacramento patent attorney Andrew Stroud of Mennemeier, Glassman & Stroud described Friday's ruling as a significant victory.
"It puts a real crack in Keurig's ability to prevent others from entering this market as well," Stroud said. "I am quite certain that Keurig will appeal."
A Keurig spokesman said the company's lawyers will closely examine the judgement and determine the best path forward. Single-serve coffee has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry.
39 years for Osborn
The partners at the Plastic Surgery Center in Sacramento had state bureaucrats scratching their heads when they asked for a license to run an outpatient surgery center in California.
"My senior partners that I joined in '74 had the vision to build this building and put five operating rooms in it," Dr. John Osborn told me. " I came just in time to be a part of designing and putting this building together, but I think we were the first group in the state, and I think in the country, to get a state license as a free-standing outpatient surgery center."
They built it over on Scripps Drive in Sacramento, not far from Howe Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard, and patients have gone there for breast augmentations, face-lifts, nose jobs and more for decades.
Soon, though, the 70-year-old Osborn won't be making the short drive to work from his home near Rio Americano High School. On the verge of retirement, he looked back on how much plastic surgery has changed.
Osborn did a lot of surgeries on hands when he first came to Sacramento, but by the late 1970s, two surgeons came to town who did nothing else and they took over that business. It was Osborn's first glimpse into how medical specialization would affect his industry.
Reconstructive work cleft palates, burns, tendon lacerations, severed thumbs and the like used to make up the majority of the hundreds of surgeries he did, but that dried up in the era of managed care. Insurers didn't want to pay Osborn and his partners when they were already paying a fee to a hospital system.
"I went a year without taking money home because I was still trying to hold onto this stuff," he said.
At the same time, the cost of cosmetic surgery began to decline. Osborn still has clients who could buy and sell him, but the majority of his customers are now middle-class workers. Their cash payments make up the bulk of revenue at the Plastic Surgery Center.