PRN: Temporary Lane Changes at Benicia-Martinez Bridge Toll Plaza

Temporary Lane Changes at Benicia-Martinez Bridge Toll Plaza

FasTrak® to the Left, Carpools to the Right

OAKLAND, Calif., July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Motorists may experience brief delays during off-peak hours at the Benicia-Martinez Bridge toll plaza each day from Saturday, Aug. 4 through Friday, Aug. 10, as Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) make temporary lane changes in order to install a new automated toll collection and accounting system.

Beginning Saturday evening, Aug. 4, the two FasTrak Express lanes at the left side of the toll plaza will be closed daily from 8 p.m. until 12 noon the following day. The toll plaza’s standard lane configuration will then be reinstated to accommodate northbound traffic during the peak period of 12 noon to 8 p.m. This pattern will be repeated each day until the toll collection upgrades are completed. Installation of the new toll system is slated for completion by 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10.

During the 16-hour lane closures, FasTrak-only traffic will be shifted to the single lane on the far left side of the roadway that bypasses the toll plaza altogether. This far left lane normally is reserved for buses and carpools during the weekday morning (5 a.m. to 10 a.m.) and evening (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.) commute periods, and serves as a third FasTrak Express lane at other times. During morning commute periods from Monday, Aug. 6, through Friday, Aug. 10, changeable electronic message signs on the toll plaza approach will redirect carpools, buses and other qualifying vehicles to toll lane #3 near the right side of the toll plaza.

Because carpool volume at the Benicia-Martinez Bridge normally totals no more than about 50 vehicles per hour during the morning commute, BATA and Caltrans expect little or no delay next week for FasTrak-equipped high-occupancy vehicles. But with the number of FasTrak-only lanes for solo drivers reduced by half during this time, the agencies advise motorists to be prepared for delays of up to 5 or 10 minutes, especially on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Motorists are advised to call 511 or check for current traffic conditions and driving times while the temporary lane changes are in effect.

BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), administers toll revenues from the region’s state-owned toll bridges. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Caltrans owns, operates and maintains the state highway system, including seven Bay Area toll bridges.

SOURCE Bay Area Toll Authority


PRN: Smart Destinations and the California Academy of Sciences Launch Adventure Giveaway

Smart Destinations and the California Academy of Sciences Launch Adventure Giveaway

Celebrate Summer in San Francisco with an Exclusive Trip for Two and a Behind-the-Scenes Tour at the Iconic Academy

BOSTON, July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Summer is the perfect time for adventure and exploring, for visiting new places and learning new things. In this spirit, Smart Destinations and the California Academy of Sciences recently introduced a new Go San Francisco Adventure Giveaway. This special contest will give one lucky winner and a guest the chance to explore the streets and sights of San Francisco plus the inner workings of the Academy with an exclusive prize package worth $1900.

San Francisco is the ideal vacation destination; with a wide array of attractions and a wealth of cultural institutions, this city has something to offer for everyone. With its deep commitment to research and education coupled with the excitement of its multifaceted exhibits and spaces, the Academy is the perfect example of the diversity and uniqueness that San Francisco embodies.

The California Academy of Sciences is available with Smart Destinations’ Go San Francisco Cards, which allow visitors to gain entry to 46 area attractions for one low price. The Academy can also be added to a custom Go Select pass, an option on the Smart Destinations website where visitors can build their own pass for specific attractions in San Francisco.

To celebrate the expansion of their Behind-the-Scenes tour options, the California Academy of Sciences teamed up with Smart Destinations to give away one three-day, two-night trip for two to San Francisco, complete with airfare and hotel accommodations at select Personality Hotels, a boutique hotel group that reflects the hip vibe of San Francisco culture. This exciting prize package also includes two 3-day Go San Francisco Cards and a special Behind-the-Scenes tour at the California Academy of Sciences, which showcases the best this prestigious San Francisco institution has to offer. Visitors have a choice between an exclusive in-depth tour of the Academy’s research facilities or of the Academy’s Steinhart Aquarium.

“The California Academy of Sciences has been called one of the ‘New Wonders of the World’ by Conde Nast Traveler,” said Cecilia Dahl, President and founder of Smart Destinations. “This is a truly unique institution among science museums and it’s a must-see attraction in San Francisco. And now one of our travelers can enjoy this special opportunity to explore the Academy behind the scenes as part of their total San Francisco experience.”

In addition to the included admission to the Academy, Go San Francisco Cards also allow free entry to the Golden Gate Bay Cruise by Red and White Fleet, a historic cable car ride, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and more than 40 other major attractions in and around the city.

“We’re proud to be part of the Smart Destinations family in San Francisco,” said Deleyse Langdale, Associate Director of Sales at the California Academy of Sciences. “Many of their customers come to this city to experience its culture and diversity and we feel like our institution truly represents the spirit of inquiry and adventure that San Francisco is all about. We have a lot to offer and our recently revamped Behind-the-Scenes tours are a great way to see everything we’re working on.”

For more information about Smart Destinations, and to enter to win the Go San Francisco Adventure Giveaway, visit or

About Smart Destinations

Smart Destinations provides the only multi-attraction passes that maximize the fun, savings and convenience of sightseeing with flexible purchase options for every type of traveler. Available online and at walk-up retail outlets, Smart Destinations passes, including Go City Cards, Go Explorer and Go Select, provide admission to more than 400 attractions across nine North American destinations, including New York, Orlando, San Diego, Chicago and Boston. All passes come with valuable extras, including the ability to skip the line at select attractions and comprehensive city guides that offer insider tips and bonus discounts on shopping and dining. Smart Destinations passes leverage the company’s patented technology and the industry’s largest network of attraction partners to save consumers up to 55% compa red to purchasing individual tickets. The company is headquartered in Boston, MA. For more information, visit

About the California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a leading scientific and cultural institution based in San Francisco. The Academy recently opened a new facility in Golden Gate Park, a 400,000 square foot structure that houses an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a 4-story rainforest all under one roof. The facility is also home to the Academy’s scientific staff, an education department that provides a wide range of student and teacher services, and an extensive research collection with over 26 million specimens and artifacts.

About Personality Hotels, San Francisco

The San Francisco properties of Personality Hotels bridge the gap between residence and hotel by providing guests the best of home life in the most desirable environment away from home. They create harmony with elements of style and real living in prime locations. With the collaboration of A-list architects and interior designers, Personality’s boutique hotels showcase a diverse palette of “personalities.” Each property features a distinctive style complemented by polished service and is within walking distance of Union Square shopping, theaters, restaurants and the Financial District.

Media Contact: Cecilia Dahl, Smart Destinations, Inc., 617-671-1009, cdahl

News distributed by PR Newswire iReach:

SOURCE Smart Destinations, Inc.

PRN: AFS BioOil is on track to produce biodiesel at $2 per gallon in a commercial system.

AFS BioOil is on track to produce biodiesel at $2 per gallon in a commercial system.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — AFS BioOil has announced that initial tests conducted by the company since startup of the system confirm that production costs of biodiesel will be in the range of $2 per gallon when produced in a commercial system of 1 millon gallons/yr and greater. “Next project for us is one to three million gallon/yr system,” said CEO Vadim Krifuks, “and we are putting all our efforts in preparing to execute it. We are inviting interested parties from around the world to join our development.”

AFS BioOil has recently partnered with a renewable electricity company that has the technology to convert waste heat into electricity at a cost of 6 cents/kWh and potential of reducing the cost to 4 cents/kWh in the future. Both companies are planning an integrated project of 5 MWe of renewable electricity and 1-3 millon gallons/yr of biodiesel. This will pave the way for future deployment of combined systems producing renewable low-cost electricity and biodiesel. The companies are at a design stage and will release the actual scope of the project in Q3.

About AFS BioOil:

AFS BioOil was formed in 2010 as a spin out of Algae Floating Systems, Inc. The company is focused to use AFS technologies to produce traditional biodiesel at points of high demand. FAME biodiesel is produced by processing algae oil through a chemical process known as transesterification. The fuel can be used in its pure form as a diesel substitute or added to diesel to produce a biodiesel blend, such as B-5 or B-20. The strategic goal of the company is to become a major algae biodiesel supplier.


Vadim Krifuks, CEO




PRN: Pinkerton-Led “Federation” of Security Companies Moves to the Cloud

Pinkerton-Led "Federation" of Security Companies Moves to the Cloud

Six security leaders to offer a single integrated online service.

SAN FRANCISCO, July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — A coalition of security technology companies today unveiled The Vigilance Federation—an online intelligence service available through a single subscription out of the cloud. The service offers security intelligence tools and capabilities previously found only in government agencies and very large multinational corporations.

Led by Pinkerton Corporate Risk Management—the nation’s oldest professional protection firm, and one whose pioneering use of security technology dates back to the telegraph—The Vigilance Federation provides “a digital utility belt for people who take enterprise security risks seriously,” said Robert Dodge, Senior Vice President of Pinkerton. “The Federation delivers technology, information and analysis from six different companies, fused together as a service. We’re breaking new ground in the security industry—and are excited to be extending the reach of potentially life-saving security information and services to a full spectrum of large, mid-sized and small companies, and even individual customers.”

The Federation uses Swan Island Networks’ TIES® software as its common technology platform. TIES® was developed during six years of government-sponsored research projects, funded by U.S. defense and intelligence agencies. The Federation’s TIES® platform is hosted in Windows Azure because, according to Swan Island Networks CEO Charles Jennings, “Windows Azure provides us with the highest possible security. And, it offers full cloud agility and scalability—both of which are critical in emergencies.”

Hosted in Microsoft’s highly secure Windows Azure cloud, The Vigilance Federation’s features include global situational awareness dashboards; GPS tracking; targeted global satellite imagery; explosives detection service; cloud-based video surveillance; real-time cyber intelligence; “person-of-interest” link analysis visualization…and a whole menu of security services never before available to small and mid-sized businesses.

The Vigilance Federation recently passed its first real-world test when it was used extensively and successfully at the recent G8/NATO Summit in Chicago. It will also be used by a group of large company customers, and certain government agencies, and at both the Democrat and Republican conventions later this summer.

“Pinkerton’s new federation is an example of the kind of collaborative innovation that is now possible in the cloud,” said Microsoft Corp.’s Bill Hamilton, Director, Product Marketing, Windows Azure. “We are pleased this group of security companies chose Windows Azure because of its high security standards.”

Examples of how The Vigilance Federation has been used by commercial customers during its development phase include:

  • Supply Chain Security: Tracking cargo shipments across the US/Mexican border on Bing maps, using mobile GPS transponders.
  • Facility Protection: Providing all-hazards alerting (from severe weather to local crime) within a specified radius of individual facilities.
  • Event Management: Integrating both internal and external video surveillance cameras from multiple companies into a single neighborhood surveillance service during a civil disruption.

“We joined the Federation,” said David Ly, CEO of Iveda Solutions, an international cloud video surveillance company, “because the concept of bundling a wide variety of security services in one integrated feed made a lot of sense. Our customers want agility, economy and a single point-of-purchase, and the Federation delivers all three.”

The six founding companies in The Vigilance Federation are: Pinkerton, Swan Island Networks, Iveda Solutions, Breadcrumb, Advantage Factory and DetectaChem.

About the partners:


Pinkerton Corporate Risk Management is a leading global provider of security, investigations and risk management services, with offices in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Pinkerton is a division of Securitas, a global leader in security services with 295,000 employees in over 60 countries. For information, contact Robert Dodge at 415-808-1730 or email globalrisk.

Swan Island Networks, Inc.:

Based in Portland, Oregon, Swan Island Networks is a cloud services provider specializing in business intelligence solutions and cloud federation systems. Its flagship technology, TIES®, is a highly secure Software-as-a-Service for integrating, displaying, and sharing data from both open and confidential sources. For information please call 503-796-7926 or visit

Iveda Solutions:

Iveda Solutions, Inc. (OTCBB:IVDA) is a premier online surveillance technology innovator and Managed Video Services provider. Based in Mesa, AZ, with a subsidiary in Taiwan (MEGAsys), the company develops and markets enterprise-class cloud video surveillance services; and is a DHS Qualified Anti-Terrorism Technology provider. For information call 800-385-8618 or visit

Breadcrumb, LLC:

Breadcrumb is a Location Based Services (LBS) Company that utilizes GPS transponder technology for executive protection, global workforce locator, vehicle and asset location and tracking. The company’s proprietary Intelligent Location Engine (ILE) resides in the Cloud where it communicates with smartphones, satellite phones, personal trackers and vehicles.

Advantage Factory:

Advantage Factory is a trusted Microsoft Silver Partner providing professional software development and consulting services. The company provides Microsoft platform development services with a special emphasis on Fusion Core Solution and Fusion Advantage for Public Safety; SharePoint for collaboration; and BizTalk for service-oriented architecture, enterprise service bus and application integration.


DetectaChem manufactures the Seeker, which is a rapidly deployable, hand-held, intelligent explosive and drug detection system. The Seeker provides trace-detection capability in a portable, fully automated, easy to operate device. The Seeker has been deployed and tested by multiple government agencies. For information contact Mark Kisner at 713-821-3230 or visit

SOURCE Swan Island Network, Inc.

Company Codes: OTC-BB:IVDA

PRN: Nordstrom Rack To Open In Palm Desert

Nordstrom Rack To Open In Palm Desert

SEATTLE, July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Seattle-based Nordstrom, Inc., (NYSE: JWN) announced today plans to open a new Nordstrom Rack at One Eleven Towne Center in Palm Desert, Calif. The approximately 34,000-square-foot store is scheduled to open spring 2014.

Nordstrom Rack is the off-price retail division of Nordstrom, Inc., carrying on-trend merchandise from Nordstrom stores and at 50 to 60 percent off original Nordstrom prices. Nordstrom Rack also offers a wide selection of apparel, accessories and shoes from many of the brands carried in Nordstrom stores. These items are purchased specially for Nordstrom Rack, with most at savings of 30 to 70 percent off.

One Eleven Towne Center is conveniently located off Hwy. 111 next to Westfield Palm Desert and one mile north of The Gardens on El Paseo. The new Nordstrom Rack will be located in the former Best Buy space and join the center’s other anchor tenant, Whole Foods. One Eleven Towne Center is owned and operated by Portland, Ore. based Harsch Investment Properties.

The new Rack location will be the retailer’s first store in the greater Coachella Valley. “We are very excited about bringing a Nordstrom Rack to Palm Desert,” said Geevy Thomas, president of Nordstrom Rack. “We are fortunate to have many longtime customers living in the desert and we are thrilled to be moving forward with a store at One Eleven Towne Center.”

“We are pleased to have helped bring Nordstrom Rack to Palm Desert,” said Jordan D. Schnitzer, president of Harsch Investment Properties. “It is in our opinion the premier off-price retailer in the country that will offer a dynamic new retail experience for our friends in the desert.”

About Harsch Investment Properties
Harsch Investment Properties is a 60 year real estate investment, development and management company, which owns and operates more than 100 properties throughout six Regional offices: Portland, Seattle, San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, San Diego and Las Vegas. The portfolio consists of over 21 million square feet of Office, Industrial and Retail commercial properties. In addition to One Eleven Towne Center, Harsch also owns Plaza La Quinta shopping center at the intersection of Highway 111 and Washington in La Quinta.

About Nordstrom
Nordstrom, Inc. is one of the nation’s leading fashion specialty retailers. Founded in 1901 as a shoe store in Seattle, today Nordstrom operates 231 stores in 31 states, including 117 full-line stores, 110 Nordstrom Racks, two Jeffrey boutiques, one treasure&bond store and one clearance store. Nordstrom also serves customers through and through its catalogs. Additionally, the Company operates in the online private sale marketplace through its subsidiary HauteLook. Nordstrom, Inc.’s common stock is publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol JWN.

Kendall Ault
Nordstrom, Inc.
(206) 303-3019


SOURCE Nordstrom, Inc.

Company Codes: NYSE:JWN

PRN: Don’t Take Head Lice Back to School

Don’t Take Head Lice Back to School

Hair Fairies Can Eliminate Your To-do-list Nightmare

LOS ANGELES, July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Hair Fairies is ready for back-to-school children to be screened for head lice they may have picked up outdoors over the summer holiday. The salons with locations in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York City and Fairfield, Conn., have trained technicians who know how to detect head lice and eliminate them, usually in one treatment.


“Summer is a busy season for head lice,” said Maria Botham, CEO of Hair Fairies. “Kids spend a lot of time together in summer camps or at sleep-overs, sharing pillows, sheets, brushes, headphones and hats and team sports have them sharing towels, protective headgear and caps. Our treatments are the safe solution for frantic families because everything we use is USDA organic certified.”

Hair Fairies has a high success rate because its three-step process has been proven for more than a decade. The technicians evaluate the stage of infestation, physically “nit-pick” the active lice and eggs from the head and provide treatment to condition the scalp and discourage immediate re-infestation. Manual removal of the lice is the only sure way to stop the parasites. This is done based on scientific research and with proprietary non-toxic products such as shampoos, combs and rinses developed and produced to USDA organic certification in the company’s laboratory in Riverside, Calif. Harsh chemicals are never part of Hair Fairies’ product ingredients. Hair Fairies is in its second decade of success with clients.

The company’s trained professionals treat clients in efficient sessions of one to three hours. This eliminates parents’ guess work that usually relies upon over-the-counter chemical-based shampoos that may be unnecessarily irritating and not effective. Families who wish to treat head lice at home may purchase Hair Fairies exclusive products and a “How To” video online.

Most insurance companies approve partial payment of Hair Fairies treatments that also qualify for Flexible Spending Accounts, a validation of the treatments’ success. More information about Hair Fairies, including its at-home program, is available at

SOURCE Hair Fairies

PRN: Zoosk “Romance Awareness Month” Survey Finds That Couples Enjoy More Romance In Their Lives Than Singles

Zoosk "Romance Awareness Month" Survey Finds That Couples Enjoy More Romance In Their Lives Than Singles

SAN FRANCISCO, July 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — In celebration of Romance Awareness Month, which is observed during the month of August,, the romantic social network, recently surveyed more than 2,300 Americans including those who are single and in a committed relationship, to gather their thoughts about modern day romance. Zoosk’s survey findings show that while the single life may sound glamorous, couples in committed relationships experience more romance in their lives. Specific survey findings include:

Singles may be more carefree, but couples in committed relationships have more romance!

  • 71% of couples say their significant other is romantic, while only 41% of singles on the dating scene say the same about their “other.”
  • 59% of couples are satisfied with the amount of romance in their lives, whereas only 20% of singles say the same.

What is deemed “romantic” changes as your status moves from “single” to “in a relationship.”

  • Couples prefer a “hug and a kiss” (41%) over a romantic candlelit dinner (39%) as the most romantic gesture from their partner.
  • Singles, on the other hand, prefer a candlelit dinner (44%) over a hug and a kiss (32%).
  • And while taking out the garbage without being asked is appreciated, only 2% of couples and singles, respectively, say this qualifies as the most romantic thing their partner could do.

Americans agree: romance is important.

  • 78% of those polled agree that they consider romance in a relationship to be “very important.”
  • 20% say it is “somewhat important” and only 2% say it is “not important.”

Americans say the most romantic occasion is their anniversary!

  • 42% of Americans say that an anniversary is the most romantic occasion with their other half.
  • 34% of Americans say a summer vacation delivers the most romance.
  • 24% of Americans say Valentine’s Day is the most romantic occasion in their lives.

Zoosk recently introduced its Couple Profiles offering, providing a dedicated place for couples to create, store and share their relationship milestones and memories with friends and family. With the ability to share photos and note important dates in the relationship (such as anniversaries, engagements, etc.), couples are able to document their romantic journey (while never again forgetting anniversary and birthday dates!). When members of Zoosk declare they are in a relationship, they are led to a separate area of the site allowing them to create a Couple Profile without the dating functionality that is available to single members.

The Zoosk poll was conducted online, among users of Zoosk who reside in the United States, in July 2012 and fielded 2,304 responses from people who are single and in committed relationships.

About Zoosk
Zoosk is the romantic social network that helps members create and share their romantic journeys, with millions of members from around the globe enjoying the service each month. Zoosk provides members at different stages of their romantic journey with a fun and social set of tools such as Romantic Moments, Couple Profiles, and the Personals application. Members can easily access Zoosk’s services from its website, its Facebook app, mobile devices, and a downloadable desktop application. Zoosk is available in 25 languages and has members in more than 70 countries. Founded in 2007 by Shayan Zadeh and Alex Mehr, Zoosk, Inc. is based in San Francisco and backed by Canaan Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and ATA Ventures.