Pacific Coast Business Times

Affinity refinances $144M in debt

Ventura-based Affinity Group, which faces nearly $700 million in debt payments in coming years, closed a deal for a new $144 million loan on March 3 to refinance debt due at the end of this month…Affinity Group is part of the business empire built by Montecito resident Stephen Adams…Adams is believed to be the anonymous donor who defaulted last year on a $75 million gift he made to Westmont College in 2006 more

Mexican ex-president calls for free trade, legal drugs

The United States needs to strengthen its economic alliances with Mexico and Canada to compete with emerging markets in Asia, former Mexican President Vicente Fox said Feb. 19 in Santa Barbara. “I hope that the present [U.S.] administration has vision and learns that to recover — to fully recover — the competitiveness of this nation and the future growth of gross domestic product, we have to work together. We have to have a vision of a NAFTA-plus,” he said. more

Westmont neglected as donor defaults on $75M

By any account, $75 million is a lot of money. If you are a small, Christian college laboring with recovery from a major fire and an ambitious expansion plan, it’s an enormous amount of money. Which is why the report in this issue of the Business Times that Westmont College’s mystery donor won’t be able to honor the full $75 million he pledged for campus expansion several years ago is both baffling and frustrating. more

Donor in default on $75M gift

Stephen Adams, owner of Affinity Group in Ventura and former owner of the failed Affinity Bank, appears to have defaulted on his $75 million gift to Westmont College, slamming the brakes on the school’s most ambitious building project in a quarter century. Though Westmont could not confirm it, Adams is believed to be the man behind the massive donation to the Montecito school in 2006. more

Westmont remembers Fire

The Westmont College Student Association will host a free community reception, “One Year Later: A Tea Fire Commemoration.” The event will take place on Nov. 13, from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Voskuyl Prayer Chapel on campus, and will feature light refreshments, prayer and worship along with a video and photo display. more

$1.5M for Westmont chair

Westmont College received $1.5 million from The T.B. Walker Foundation, an anonymous donor and other supporters to create the college’s first endowed chair in the natural and behavioral sciences. The T.B. Walker Chair in the Natural and Behavioral Sciences will honor the work of an outstanding professor in biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering-physics, mathematics or psychology. more

Power tools may have sparked Jesusita Fire

Fire investigators announced May 10 that power tool equipment used to clear vegetation likely sparked the 8,700-acre Jesusita Fire. On May 8, Westmont College was ordered to evacuate for the second time in six months. In November, the Tea Fire scorched several parts of campus and burned down several of its structures. more

Who's Who in Advertising, Marketing & PR

Scott Craig, Westmont College manager of media relations, has been the face and voice of the Montecito college for nearly four years. Craig, a Santa Barbara native, worked long, hard hours during the November 2008 Tea Fire, updating local and national news organizations while flames destroyed eight structures  on the Westmont campus and 15 nearby faculty homes. more

Westmont plan approved

California’s Second District Court of Appeal unanimously supported Westmont’s plan to update its campus facilities, reaffirming a December 2007 Santa Barbara County Superior Court ruling that upheld unanimous approvals by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors and the Montecito Planning Commission. A three-judge panel issued its finding after hearing arguments in Santa Barbara Oct. 22. more

Alum reflects on Westmont

As diverse as Los Angeles is, there is one thing all good Angelinos do. We wait. We wait in our cars, stuck in traffic on the 10, the 110 and the 405. We wait in line to get into a club, a bar, a concert venue. We wait for a table at one of our favorite restaurants. As busy as this city is, we spend a lot of time waiting. This past Thursday night I was doing exactly that. While waiting for a table at a popular pizza place in Eagle Rock, my friend Kris called me. Westmont College, my alma mater, was on fire. Students were being evacuated from their dorms. It was not looking good. more

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