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Delta fish dwindling

(AP) -- The latest trawl-net fish count shows the population of California's six species of Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta fish are dwindling.

A population crash started in 2002 for the six species, including the protected Delta smelt.

A wet winter in 2011 halted the decline.

But the Sacramento Bee said the California Department of Fish and Wildlife count in fall 2012 shows those gains have been erased.

All six species returned to their prior low numbers. One species, threadfin shad, set a record low population in the latest survey.

The Delta fish population is considered an important barometer of estuary health.
Toll promotion

(AP) -- Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc. on Tuesday promoted Richard T. Hartman, giving the company's chief operating officer the additional title of president.

Hartman, 56, had previously held the title of executive vice president. He was named to that position and the COO role in January 2012.

Hartman succeeded Zvi Barzilay, who retired as president and COO at the end of 2011.

Hartman joined Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) in 1980. He rose to increasingly senior positions in the company, and was named regional president in 2005.

Toll Brothers shares are trading near the high end of their 52-week range of $21.31 to $37.08 per share.
Congested cities

(AP) -- A company that makes a vehicle navigation device said when it comes to traffic Los Angeles is ties for the most congested city in North America. San Francisco is third.

Navigation device-maker TomTom compared travel times during congested periods, to times of day when traffic is flowing freely to come up with an index of 57 metropolitan areas.

The index was compiled from information obtained between July and September of last year.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser said TomTom found that Los Angeles and Vancouver, Canada, were tied for most congested, followed by San Francisco, Honolulu and Seattle.
Louisiana wetlands

(AP) -- Louisiana has acquired more than 11,000 acres of wetlands in Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes as part of a conservation project funded by a settlement over the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana said Monday that the $6.7 million purchase of the forested wetlands on the north shore of Lake Maurepas is funded by MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC, which was a minority partner in BP's (NYSE: BP) blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.

MOEX agreed last year to pay $90 million in a settlement with the federal government and Gulf states over the massive 2010 oil spill.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will manage the property as part of its existing Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area.
Critic passes

(AP) -- Ada Louise Huxtable, who turned her love and appreciation of the built environment into a pioneering and prize-winning career as an architecture critic, has died at age 91.

Her attorney, Robert Shapiro, said Huxtable died Monday at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan after an illness.

Huxtable began working at The New York Times in 1963 and was a groundbreaker in bringing architecture criticism to an American newspaper. In her time there, she also was the first winner of the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, in 1970.

Huxtable, a native New Yorker, later went to work for The Wall Street Journal and had pieces published as recently as last month.

She looked at buildings and architecture for more than the actual physical design but also for the meaning and importance of the structures in their environment.

It wasn't only in the journalism world that she was recognized. In 1981, she was awarded a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.”

Huxtable's husband died in 1989, and she has no survivors.
Manhattan vacancies

(Bloomberg) -- Manhattan's office-vacancy rate rose to 9.4 percent at the end of the fourth quarter from 9.1 percent a year earlier, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

The market had 6.4 million square feet of leasing in the last three months of 2012, the highest quarterly total of the year, the broker said in a report Monday.
PennyMac cancellations

(Bloomberg) -- The Nasdaq Stock Market said it will cancel some trades in PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust after the shares jumped 12 percent in a few seconds.

The exchange will reverse trades that were executed at or above $28.23 between 10:39 a.m. and 10:40 a.m., Tuesday, New York time, Nasdaq said.

PennyMac rose as much as 12 percent to $29.62 in the minute after 10:39 a.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock was up 1.8 percent at $26.89 as of 11:36 a.m.
No arena deal yet

(AP) -- Virginia Beach doesn't have a deal in place yet for an NBA team to relocate to the city if it builds an 18,500 seat arena near the oceanfront, Mayor Will Sessoms said on Tuesday.

That lack of a commitment a day before the General Assembly convenes jeopardizes the city's chances of receiving state money to help build the arena and pay for the unidentified team's relocation costs, which city officials have said is necessary to get the team to move to Virginia's largest city.

Virginia Beach wants the state to contribute $150 million toward the project, with $70 million of that going toward arena construction costs.

The other $80 million would go toward an expected $30 million league relocation fee, $8 million in corporate relocation costs and $42 million to offset lost revenue while the team plays in smaller arenas in Virginia for two years while a new arena is built.

The city would pay $242 million and sports and entertainment company Comcast-Spectacor would contribute $35 million.
Portuguese performance

(Bloomberg) -- Portuguese real estate had its worst performance in decades in 2012 after investment in commercial property dropped by 50 percent from the previous year, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

Spending on commercial property in Portugal, which got a 78 billion-euro ($102 million) bailout in 2011, fell to about 100 million euros last year from 200 million euros in 2011 and 700 million euros in 2010, Eric van Leuven, managing partner at the New York-based property broker, said.

“The year 2013 should not be much different from last year as austerity continues,” van Leuven said. “We will also witness a strong increase in taxes that may further accentuate the contraction in consumption.”
Chinese carbon

(Bloomberg) -- China, the world's largest carbon emitter due to its dependence on coal, plans to add 49 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity this year in an effort to boost power production without increasing its reliance on fossil fuels.

China will add 21 gigawatts of hydroelectric capacity, 18 gigawatts of wind generation and 10 gigawatts of solar, according to a statement Tuesday on the website of the National Energy Administration.

That will exceed other forecasts for China's wind and solar development.

The country is expected to surpass Germany to become the largest solar market by installing as much as 5.39 gigawatts of photovoltaic panels this year, according to a November report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The London-based research company anticipates 16.3 gigawatts of new, land-based wind capacity in China this year.
Shipping desalination

(Bloomberg) -- South Korean power equipment maker Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. said its Vietnamese unit is shipping its second locally made water desalination plant, one the size of a soccer field, to Saudi Arabia.

The three-story, single-piece “plug and play” unit built at Doosan Vina's complex in Quang Ngai Province in central Vietnam weighs 3,500 tons and when operational will produce about 91 million liters (24 million gallons) of drinking water a day from salty seawater, the Viet subsidiary said.

The plant is part of a $1.2 billion contract between Doosan and the operator of the Ras Al Khair desalination project on the Red Sea in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, that's envisioned as the world’s largest.

Shipping this unit to Saudi Arabia will take a month.
KKR upping stake

(Bloomberg) -- KKR & Co. has agreed to increase its stake in United Envirotech Ltd., a membrane-based water and water treatment provider in China's chemical, petrochemical and industrial park sectors, boosting its investment by $40 million.

KKR's share purchase agreement with United Envirotech is the second water-related investment by the private equity firm since Dec. 20, when KKR (NYSE: KKR) and United Water, a subsidiary of France’s Suez Environnement Co., formed a partnership to operate a water and wastewater system in Bayonne, N.J.
Merging developers

(Bloomberg) -- Aldar Properties PJSC and Sorouh Real Estate Co., Abu Dhabi's two biggest developers, agreed on merger terms and are expected to announce a deal in about two weeks, according to two people with knowledge of the transaction.

The agreement in principal between the two developers now awaits approvals from a committee monitoring the transaction as well as the United Arab Emirates' market regulator, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

The developers have played an integral part in Abu Dhabi's drive to turn itself into a tourism and business hub.

The companies said in March that they were studying a possible combination with the blessing of the emirate's government.

Abu Dhabi bailed out Aldar in 2011 after house prices in the emirate slumped about 50 percent during the global financial crisis.

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