Saturday September 21, 2002

West Coast ports  

return to normal 

LOS ANGELES — Goods flowed on schedule through the nation’s largest port complex on Friday, as West Coast operators and union dockworkers stepped back from the brink of a major work stoppage. 

The Pacific Maritime Association, which represents 87 shipping companies and terminal operators, suspended its threat to lock out workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Thursday night after it said the union had ended a three-day slowdown at a Long Beach terminal. 

The two ports were operating “relatively normally” on Friday, although cargo traffic was heavy and not all requests for labor could be filled, PMA spokesman Steve Sugerman said. 

There were no reports of slowdowns at any other of the 29 West Coast ports, he said. 

State gets tentative approval for PG&E creditor revote 

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal bankruptcy judge tentatively approved a request from state power regulators that would give creditors of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. a second chance to indicate which of two visions for the utility’s future they’d prefer. 

California’s Public Utilities Commission and a key committee of PG&E’s creditors asked the court to let thousands of businesses and individuals to whom the utility owes more than $13 billion vote again. 

The PUC’s plan won approval from only one class of creditors this summer, despite the backing of the creditors committee. However, voters had little time to digest the state’s revised plan before they had to cast their ballots. PG&E, whose plan garnered the most approval, opposes a re-vote. 

Oracle chairman resigns from Apple Computer board 

SAN FRANCISCO — Software mogul Larry Ellison resigned from Apple Computer Inc.’s board Friday in a move that analysts attributed to investors’ demands for more vigilant directors. 

Ellison, the flamboyant chief executive officer of Oracle Corp., had attended less than 75 percent of Apple’s board meetings during each of his five years as a director, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings. No other Apple director missed as many meetings during that time. 

Ellison stepped down after concluding his attendance record wouldn’t improve in the upcoming months, given his duties at slumping Oracle and his upcoming bid to win the America’s Cup yacht race. 

“My schedule does not currently allow me to attend enough of the formal board meetings to warrant a role as a director,” Ellison said.