Stories for February 2005

Monday, February 28

S.D.'s Leap Wireless Wins Four Licenses

Leap Wireless International Inc., the San Diego-based flat-rate carrier, is bringing its pre-paid service back home. The company was the winning bidder for four wireless licenses , including San Diego.

AMD Purchases Piece of Patriot Scientific Corp.

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. , the Sunnyvale chipmaker better known as AMD , has bought a stake in San Diego-based Patriot Scientific Corp. and has bought the rights to some of the company's computer technology.

Trump Tells Local Ad Agency: 'You're Hired'

Geary Interactive has been retained by the Las Vegas branch of Trump International to provide complete Web site development and online advertising initiatives for the new Trump International Hotel and Tower in Las Vegas.

High Health-Care Costs Weigh Heavily on Firms

The steadily rising cost of health insurance premiums has caused some large and small employers to defer costs on to their workers or reduce benefits altogether.

Executive Profile: Patrick Moneymaker

Retired Rear Adm. Patrick Moneymaker is chief executive of Ocean Systems Engineering Corp.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar

County Leads United States In Avocado Production

Just who was Hass? And other facts about avocado economics.

New FDA Ruling to Affect Biotech Industry

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's recent announcement of a new Drug Safety Oversight Board to review safety issues of already approved drugs aims to create "a new culture of openness, improved oversight and enhanced independence." But a local expert

Tough Times in San Diego's Avocado Groves

San Diego County's $146 million avocado industry , the No. 1 producer nationally , is facing a major shakeout due to increased competition throughout the United States from Chile and Mexico.

Office-Lease Demand Comes From Small Biz

Across Southern California, the demand for office leases came from small, rather than large businesses last year, according to Equity Office Properties Trust.

Poole To Lead V-Enable

Samuel L. Poole has replaced Fernando Corona as president and chief executive at V-Enable, Inc., the company announced Feb. 24.

Bill Would Give Port More Pension Options

State Sen. Denise Ducheny, D-San Diego, has announced she will sponsor legislation that would give the San Diego Unified Port District the ability to contract with another employee retirement system or establish an independent system.

Construction Journal

Construction Journal

UCSD Opens Washington, D.C., Satellite Office

The ceremonial first shovelful of dirt marking the start of construction of the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego was barely out of the ground before school officials celebrated another landmark event , a new satellite office in Washington, D.C.

Small Business Spotlight: Sunbelt Publications Inc.

Sunbelt Publications Inc.

New CEO at Leap Wireless

Leap Wireless International Inc., the San Diego-based wireless telecom provider, said former CEO William Freeman resigned from his position and the board "to pursue other opportunities," and named S. Douglas Hutcheson as CEO.

Businesses Taking Advantage of Legal Loophole

Captiva Software Corp., the San Diego-based maker of document management software, joined a growing list of public companies that are taking advantage of a legal loophole in the accounting regulation mandating that the value of stock options be reported o

Condo-Conversion Owners Are Surprise Happy

A survey on condominium conversions in San Diego County found that the vast majority of conversion owners, 82 percent, thought their converted condo was a good value and 97 percent said their converted condo had increased in value since they purchased it.

Quarterly Net Income, Sales Up at Jack in the Box

San Diego-based Jack in the Box racked up its sixth straight quarter of increased same-store sales, and beat the company's forecasted profits for its fiscal first quarter.

Companies Must Protect Intellectual Property

Question: As a small-business owner, what should I know about protecting intellectual property through the use of patents, trademarks and copyrights?

UCSD Students Compete in Robot Design Contest

The MAE3 Robot Design Contest doubles as the final exam for a course that Nathan Delson teaches twice a year for the Jacobs School of Engineering's mechanical and aerospace engineering undergraduates.

New Law To Help Small Biz

Small-business owners can now breathe a sigh of relief with the presidential signing of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005, which would limit class-action lawsuits.

North Korean Army Takes Seoul Hostage

The reason for continuing to talk to the North Koreans is not that we like them; it's that we care about the South Koreans.

Firms Turn to Sports to Boost Their Revenues

Corporations know that men ages 25 to 54 are big sports fans and advertising on sporting events is a great way to reach that key demographic. But how much value is it for businesses to attach their name to a stadium or tournament?

UCSD Research Center Breaks Ground

The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology and its corporate partner, Gemini Science, recently broke ground on a 145,000-square-foot research center at UC San Diego.

U.S. Bank to Pay Some Fees for Real Estate Borrowers

Attempting to maintain its profile as a major small-business lender, U.S. Bank said it would pay the guarantee fees for real estate borrowers in its Small Business Administration 7(a) program.

UC's Service Workers Expected to Call for Strike

More than 7,000 service employees in the University of California system are expected to give their union leaders the authority to call for a strike when a vote is taken in the next few weeks.

Performers Turn 'Rest Stop' Into Popular Concert Venue

Some people call it a rest stop, some call it a garage and still others call it an underground lounge. The names are different but its purpose as an on-site performance studio at the local Clear Channel Radio's building off Granite Ridge Drive in Kearny M

Web Site Helps Schools Assist Underachievers

Thanks to the friendship between a former South Central Los Angeles middle-school teacher and a Dallas attorney, California's public schools now have a way to see how some of their counterparts have helped underachieving, impoverished students work at or

Facing a Crisis

Business professors command high salaries, which is why San Diego State University may have a tough time filling the chairs of retiring faculty.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Executive Spotlight: Cybele Thompson


Government Workers Overpaid

SDSU to Showcase Computational Science

Representatives from high-tech, telecom and related industries are invited to familiarize themselves with the computer science capabilities at San Diego State University during a program in March.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

Pacific Beach to Get Small, Upscale Hotel

One of the most conspicuous tracts of the Boardwalk in Pacific Beach will become home this summer to the area's first oceanfront boutique hotel in more than a decade , Tower 23.

CD Can Help Businesspeople Navigate Internet

New technology often brings new headaches. That's why the American Bar Association techies have come up with a brand-new "ABA Model Web Site: A Knowledge Management Approach to E-Business."

Aguirre Presents Plan; Shipione Wants Board Seat

San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre on Feb. 28 presented his plan to restore the city's credit rating, and get the city back into the bond market, while "continuing to cooperate with federal investigation into the city's financial disclosure practices

Redistricting Reform Aims at More Effective Representation

Redistricting reform aims at more effective representation.

San Diego Earns No. 1 Investment Ranking

In its national retail report for 2005, Encino-based Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Brokerage Co. ranked San Diego the No. 1 investment market for retail property out of 41 retail markets studied.

Friday, February 25

Coldwell Banker Buys Clark Tess Properties

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in San Diego announced last week that it will expand its presence into the Downtown San Diego area, a market where it did not previously operate.

Aguirre Asks For Special Council Session

City Attorney Michael Aguirre is asking Mayor Dick Murphy and the City Council to call a special session later next week to consider possible solutions to the city's financial mess.

Tribe Plans to Sue State

The Pechanga Band of Luise & #324;o Indians, which owns the Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, plans to sue California for the right to use certain gambling machines and expand its operations without permission from the state.

Mayor Names Seven to Retirement Board

Mayor Dick Murphy on Feb. 25 announced his seven appointments to the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System Board of Administration.

Thursday, February 24

Sempra Earnings Grow 38 Percent

Sempra Energy on Feb. 23 reported 2004 earnings of $895 million, or $3.83 a share, up 38 percent over 2003 earnings of $649 million, or $3.03 a share.

Study: College Graduation Rates Rise Slightly

A study released Feb. 23 has found that the college graduation rate of California-born blacks and Latinos trails that of whites and Asian-Americans. On the whole, the percentage of young adults born in California who earned bachelor's degrees rose during

Cyberzone Sets Eyes on Expansion

Cyberzone, Inc., a San Diego-based manager of Internet coffeehouses, said it plans to open 10 Cyberbrew Net Caf & #233; locations in the New York metropolitan area.

Frye Supporters File Appeal

Santa Monica attorney Fred Woocher on Feb. 24 filed an appeal on behalf of three supporters of San Diego City Councilwoman and mayoral write-in candidate Donna Frye.

Small-Business Owners Optimistic About 2005

Sixty-nine percent of small business owners polled in San Diego expect this year to be better than 2004, and 37 percent said they intend to increase their staffing levels, according to a survey sponsored by Union Bank of California released Feb. 23.

Fire Coverage May Draw FCC Fines

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed fines on three local television stations stemming from their coverage of the October 2003 wildfires.

Wednesday, February 23

Westcore Expands Outside Target Area

Westcore Milford, LLC and Broadway Center Associates, affiliates of San Diego-based Westcore Properties, LLC, acquired a truck terminal totaling 24,600 square feet for $3.9 million in Milford, Conn.

Adams Appointed to State Board

Patrick Adams, 39, of San Diego, has been appointed to the state's Fair Employment and Housing Commission by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Murphy Appoints Two to Planning Commission

Mayor Dick Murphy has appointed Robert Griswold and reappointed Barry Schultz to the San Diego Planning Commission.

Six Attorneys Migrate to Baker & McKenzie

Baker & McKenzie LLP has added to its San Diego intellectual property practice six attorneys from Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP.

Aguirre Proposes His Own Action Plan

San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre has recommended to the mayor and City Council an action plan to fix the city's financial woes, and Mayor Dick Murphy has responded, saying that Aguirre's "continued grandstanding is obstructing."

Net Income, Sales Rise at Jack in the Box

San Diego-based Jack in the Box racked up its sixth straight quarter of increased same store sales, and beat the company's forecasted profits for its first quarter.

Tuesday, February 22

San Diego Stocks Slide With Market Averages

Burgers and lasers. Those were the places to put your money if you wanted to invest in San Diego stocks for the very short term.

Sempra Raises Dividend

Sempra Energy has raised the quarterly dividend on its common stock 16 percent to 29 cents per share the first change for the company since 2000.

ProfitLine Takes on Venture Capital and Software Firm

ProfitLine, a San Diego based provider of outsourced telecom expense management services, said it received $5 million in additional venture funding from its original venture investor fund, Menlo Ventures.

Monday, February 21

Company Mapping Plan for Success

Dave Lyons, founder of The Virtual Tourist, takes the concept of a Web-based map a little further, all in the name of promoting businesses.

Eating Disorder Clinic Takes New Approach

Now 21 years old and sicker than ever before, Marie, who didn't want to be identified by her full name, said she's hopeful a Swedish approach to treat anorexia brought to the Mandometer Clinic for Eating Disorders will be her doorway to normal eating.


Bank's Performing Well

Workers' Comp Is Sailing on Calmer Seas

Is California's workers' compensation crisis over?

Construction Journal

Construction Journal

Schwarzenegger Heading to China to Promote Trade

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be taking his California sales act on the road again in April with a trip to China, his office announced Friday.

Oceanside Mission Considers Planting Vineyard

California's 21 historic missions, which draw hundreds of thousands of tourists annually, are considered an important part of the state's history. But many, including Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside, have fallen into disrepair.

SDSU, National City Team Up to Aid Companies

Students from San Diego State University offer fresh perspectives to National City companies like Niederfrank's. "Who better to tell me what works for ice cream than college students?" said business owner Patti Finnegan.

Community Pans UC San Diego's Hospital Plan

UC San Diego's proposal to move its trauma center and inpatient hospital from Hillcrest to La Jolla wouldn't be realized until 2015 or 2020, but it's already drawing widespread criticism.

Rain Puts Damper on County's Tourism Business

Unseasonably heavy rainfall within the last couple of months has resulted in fewer people checking into local hotels than last winter.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

Risky Business

Perhaps it's the thrill of taking risks, a deep conviction, or the financial rewards that drive entrepreneurs to embark on risky ventures. Here are the stories of three very different San Diego-based companies that had their share of tough decision-making

Avanir Increases 1st-Quarter Net Loss

San Diego-based biotechnology company Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. said on Feb. 10 that it increased its first-quarter net loss for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31 to $7.1 million, or 7 cents per share, from $6.3 million, or 9 cents per share, in the same ye

Push for More Vocational Training

Observers applaud Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's push for more vocational training in public schools.

After Seven Years, Carlsbad Community Opens Gates

Bressi Ranch, a 585-acre master-planned community in Carlsbad, opened Feb. 12, as custom lots became available for sale.

Economy Shows Steady Growth, Index Says

San Diego's economy appears to be still growing nicely, based on the latest Index of Leading Economic Indicators released last week, but part of the report underscores the region's critical housing shortage that could result in job declines.

Providing Feedback Is Critical for Executives

Question: Why can some people give and receive feedback and others can't?

Panel: Keep Airport Out Of Borrego Springs Area

An advisory group has told the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority to rule out an airport site that is a two-hour drive from San Diego.

Firm Takes on Competitive Downtown Market

A fast-growing Silicon Valley residential real estate brokerage is entering San Diego's competitive Downtown market. Just as it did in the San Francisco Bay Area, Intero Real Estate Services is starting small but thinking big.

Small Business Spotlight: FreedomVoice Systems

Eric Thomas has grown FreedomVoice Systems into a $5.2 million-a-year company in nine years.

Kelly Capital Set to Buy Public Firm

Michael Kelly, whose business acquired a former New York Stock Exchange company two years ago, is at it again, acquiring another public firm. The pending acquisition likely won't be the last this year.

Kintera Grows Sales, Posts Loss

Kintera Inc., the San Diego-based maker of software that helps nonprofits better manage fund raising, reported a net loss of $19.2 million on revenues of $23.7 million for 2004.

Creating A District Within a District

Hoping to create a vibe all their own, merchants on Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy have banded together to form the Kettner Art & Design District, a collaboration of art and design businesses located on the boulevard.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Executive Spotlight: Andrew Dorr

Attorneys Setting Aside Household Chores

A national survey by Robert Half Legal staffing service reports that lawyers are racking up lots of extra hours on the job, and they're doing it at home , an average of nine days a month or more. But San Diego lawyers are used to the grind.

General Atomics Opens Facility in Sabre Springs

Citing an increase in its business of supplying Predator unmanned aircraft to the military, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. has expanded into the Sabre Springs Business Park.

New Law to Cost Firms, Aid Employees

Although most large firms in San Diego voluntarily offered health coverage to domestic partners before Jan. 2, many other companies have not followed suit. As of this year, employers will no longer have the option to refuse.

Executive Profile: Guy Halgren

Going global is Guy Halgren's goal. Halgren is the San Diego-based chairman of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, a top 100 law firm with nine offices throughout California, New York and Washington, D.C. But, he said, there is more room to grow.

Wells Pushes Into Minority Business Community

Wells Fargo Bank is trying to become "the bank of choice" for black business owners. This month, the San Francisco-based bank said it passed the midpoint on a promised goal of lending $1 billion to black enterprises.

FDA Makes the Right Move

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken a big step forward in ensuring not only the safety of millions of consumers, but also in monitoring the activities of companies manufacturing potentially harmful drugs.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar

North Korea: Just Allow Baby to Wail for Now

Things aren't always what they seem to be in Korean Peninsula-land. Maybe not enough people know this.

Natural Gas Provides More Options for S.D. Firms

Liquefied natural gas , better known as LNG , has become a volatile issue in Southern California and on the West Coast. But San Diego business leaders are viewing it as a key element in their energy portfolio.

Friday, February 18

TransWestern Hires Goldman Sachs

TransWestern Publishing Co., LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TransWestern Holdings L.P., a San Diego-based independent yellow page directory publisher, recently announced that it has retained Goldman, Sachs & Co. to explore strategic alternatives.

Auto Club Pegs Gasoline at $2.16

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego was $2.158 per gallon, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's Weekend Gas Watch. The Auto Club reported Feb. 18 that the price was 5.9 cents higher than it was in the prior w

Sempra to Gauge Interest in Pipeline/Terminal Proposal

Port Arthur Pipeline, L.P., a subsidiary of Sempra Pipelines & Storage and Sempra Energy, on Feb. 18 launched "open season" on its proposed $600 million liquefied natural gas receiving terminal near Port Arthur, Texas.

Ad Network Wraps Six Newspapers Together

has collaborated with four Southern California newspapers and one Nevada newspaper to launch a region-wide preprint distribution program.

Coaster Marks 10 Years and 10 Million Riders

Since its debut in 1995, the Coaster, which operates commuter trains from Oceanside to San Diego, has carried more than 10 million passengers, according to the North County Transit District, operator of the rail line.

Bookstore Building Commands $396 Per Square Foot

The building that holds Borders Books & Music in Downtown San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter was sold for $13 million or $396 per square foot, in a transaction announced on Feb. 17.

Thursday, February 17

Chargers Alter Mission Valley Stadium Proposal

The San Diego Chargers amended a key part of their plan to construct a new football stadium and surrounding urban village at the current Mission Valley stadium site.

SDSU, UCSD Join Forces on Technology Transfer

San Diego State University's Entrepreneurial Management Center, part of its business college, has teamed up with UC San Diego's Technology Transfer & Intellectual Property Services office to allow master's degree students to work with licensing officers o

Revolutionary Fire Rig Makes Debut

The San Diego-based mortgage company Accredited Home Lenders donated $275,000 to buy the new brush rig for the San Diego Fire Department.

Wireless Facilities Reports $397M Year

Wireless Facilities, Inc. of San Diego, which designs and operates a variety of wireless telecom networks for its clients, reported net income of $4.0 million on revenue of $397.0 million in the 2004 calendar year.

Slim Majority Favors Airport Relocation Poll

A survey of registered voters within the county showed that a majority would vote in favor of a new regional airport to replace Lindbergh Field.

Sempra Counters Allegation of Lying Under Oath

Sempra Energy Trading has denied charges by Sen. Joseph Dunn, D-Garden Grove, that it lied under oath before a Senate committee investigating market rigging.

Bar Association Names Battin to Board

Michael W. Battin, a business and commercial litigator with the San Diego law firm Navigato & Battin, was elected a director of the San Diego County Bar Association on Feb. 15.

IP Work Called Best in the West

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear, with offices in San Diego, has been ranked as the top intellectual property firm in the Western United States in an international survey conducted by Euromoney's Managing Intellectual Property magazine.

Mayor Calls for Sacrifice; Disclosure Irks Union

Mayor Dick Murphy, in unveiling proposals to be presented during labor negotiations, made an appeal for all city employees, including himself, the City Council and top management, "to make sacrifices in order to get our financial house in order."

Acquisitions Fuel Growth at Invitrogen

Carlsbad-based Invitrogen Corp. said Feb. 17 that it increased its fourth quarter net income to $30.5 million, up from $12.6 million for same quarter a year ago.

HP Reports Earnings, Offers Update on CEO Search

Hewlett-Packard Co. reported earnings of $943 million on revenue of $21.5 billion for the quarter ended Jan. 31.

Wednesday, February 16

Local Economic Indicators Called Strong

San Diego's economy showed solid growth for November and December, and looks to expand even more in the second half of this year, according to a regional economic index released Feb. 15.

Fitch Downgrades City Bonds

Responding to the city of San Diego's "continued delays" in releasing its 2003 audited financial report, Fitch Ratings on Feb. 16 downgraded nearly $2.7 billion in outstanding public debt, and put the city on a "rating watch negative" status.

Bill Aims to Budge Border Fence Project

A border security bill, which includes a provision to speed the construction of a triple fence at the Mexican border, was received in the Senate Feb. 14 after passing the House of Representatives 261-161.

$50M Shipboard Security Deal for Titan

Titan Corp. has received a five-year, $49.9 million contract to install security systems aboard Navy, Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command ships.

Westcore Sees Potential in $1.8M Warehouse

Westcore, LLC, a private real estate investment firm in San Diego, announced that it acquired a 47,666-square-foot industrial building for $1.8 million.

Tuesday, February 15

SDG & E; To Test Broadband This Year

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. will test high-speed Internet communications technology on its power lines by year-end, said a company spokesman.

Median Home Price at Half a Million Again

The median price of a home sold in San Diego County , including condominiums, town houses and detached housing , remained at the half-million-dollar mark in January after reaching that critical level in December.

Monday, February 14

Sexual Harassment Training Is Now the Law

The question now is not if employers will train employees in sexual harassment policy, but when.

Companies Hope to Peer Through IPO Window

Experts say firms waiting to go public face an uphill battle. "Investors' appetite for early-stage biotech companies has clearly been very, very weak," said one analyst.

Accountant on Board at City Hall

The San Diego City Council on Feb. 14 voted unanimously to spend $250,000 to hire a former chief accountant at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to help dig the city out of its financial hole.

In the Year 2015

Experts predict what software and hardware we may see in 10 years. A lot of your software might not even be inside your computer.

City Rejects Negotiation Proposal With Chargers

Given the turmoil and uncertainty at San Diego City Hall, the decision not to hire sports consultants to begin negotiations with the San Diego Chargers regarding a proposed new football stadium isn't surprising.

California's Cat Won't Take Kindly To Strolling Backward

If our Governator attempts to walk the spending cat back, he is going to find it really difficult.

San Diego Called Top Retail Real Estate Market

In its national retail report for 2005, Marcus & Millichap, an Encino-based commercial real estate brokerage firm, ranked San Diego No. 1 out of 41 retail investment markets.

Image Isn't Everything

Whether the outside world views San Diego as America's Finest City, or Enron-by-the-Sea, as the

A City's State of Emergency

San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce executives say affordable housing is their No. 1 priority in 2005, and have offered a 14-point plan to solve the crisis. Here's hoping it's not too little, too late.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Executive Spotlight: Veronica Telmosse

For the Record

Business Events Calendar

Small Business Spotlight: Andrew Barile Consulting Corp., Inc.

In one year, Andrew Barile increased his company's revenue by 33 percent, from $600,000 in 2002 to $800,000 in 2003.

Home Lending Firm's Income Climbs 31 Percent

Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co., the San Diego-based lender of non-prime mortgages, reported net income of $130.8 million for 2004, up nearly 31 percent from 2003, on revenues of $660.7 million, up nearly 52 percent from 2003.

Eateries Agree to Post Mercury Content Warnings

A settlement this month of a lawsuit filed by the state will require hundreds of chain restaurants in California to post warnings for patrons about the mercury content of fish.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

Group Makes New Call for City Hall Reform

The Performance Institute, a San Diego-based government reform watchdog group, on Feb. 14 announced the second phase of its San Diego Citizens' Budget Project initiative for 2006.

Holidays and $6 Million Later, Inn Set to Open

The Valentine's Day opening of Britt Scripps Inn in Bankers Hill, originally scheduled for late November, turned out to be a movable fest. "The original opening date was planned for Thanksgiving," said owner Gordon Hattersley III.

SAIC Promotes Three

Science Applications International Corp. has split its Research and Intelligence Group in two, and has announced the promotions of three executives: Donald Foley, Trey Smith and Larry Prior.

UAV Assembly Expanding to Sabre Springs

Citing an increase in its business of supplying Predator unmanned aircraft to the military, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. has begun moving into a new 160,000-square-foot facility in the Sabre Springs Business Park.

Titan Corp. Subsidiary Is Purchased

BeamOne LLC, a San Diego-based company established last year, has completed the purchase of most of the assets of Titan Scan Technologies Corp., a subsidiary of San Diego defense contractor Titan Corp.

Firm Accounts for Downtown Departure

When one of Downtown's better-known tenants announced plans to relocate to the suburbs, some questioned whether this business hub would ever attract and maintain major corporate tenants.

Construction Journal

Construction Journal

Stem Cell Science: Hospitals Look to Research Possibilities

Despite extensive debate about stem cells and their use, there has been considerable confusion about what they are exactly, and what they do.

San Diegan Is Considered for HP's New CEO

Carly Fiorina's departure from Hewlett-Packard Co. has some wondering whether a San Diego resident has a shot at the top job.

ViaSat Is Beaming Over Its Recent Successes

The satellite and network communications business of ViaSat Inc. has been growing at such a rapid clip, it's had to construct a fourth building at its Carlsbad headquarters.

Computer Museum of America Seeks New Home

The Computer Museum of America, where people can see relics like IBM machines as big as office desks, is at a crossroads.

Unfair-Foreclosure Bill Proposed in State Senate

State Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny, D-San Diego, unveiled a proposal on Feb. 3 aimed at protecting homeowners in common-interest developments from unfair foreclosures by their homeowners associations.

Firm Takes Human Resources Online

As companies look for ways to boost bottom lines and reduce labor costs, services such as Benetrac, which offers online human resources services, are becoming more popular.

Investors Using Tax-Deferred Strategies

Local real estate investors who focus on the apartment-building market continue to use tax deferral strategies to complete transactions.

Invitrogen Adheres to Aggressive Growth Strategy

Invitrogen Corp. agreed to pay about $386 million to get its hands on complementary technology of the closely held Norwegian biotech Dynal Biotech ASA.

North County Transit District Exec Leaves Post

After three years with the North County Transit District, Allan Hambleton, the director of fiscal and support services, is leaving.

Week in Review

Top Business News: February 4 - 10, 2005

Business Leaders Push Housing Issue

San Diego's business community has called for the city to take specific actions to combat a deepening housing affordability crisis.

Japanese Business to Buy S.D. Biotech

Privately held San Diego-based biotechnology firm Syrrx, Inc. said on Feb. 7 that it agreed to be acquired by Japanese-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for about $270 million in cash.

Executive Profile: Joice Truban Curry

Joice Truban Curry is the president and chief executive officer of c3 Communications, Inc., a public relations agency.

San Diego Firm Implicated in 'Living Trust Mill'

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi filed a $110 million lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Feb. 10 against an organization they characterized as a "living trust mill."

Maxim Lays Off 12 Staffers

San Diego-based biotechnology firm Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc. said on Feb. 8 that it laid off 12 employees in an effort to stay afloat for the next 18 months.

Qualcomm CFO Recognized by Trade Magazine

William Keitel, the chief financial officer for Qualcomm Inc., was among 62 CFOs recognized by Institutional Investor magazine in a February edition for its second annual "America's Best CFOs" ranking.

Hotel Occupancy Was 62.8 Percent in January

Smith Travel Research of Tennessee put the average occupancy rate at inns throughout San Diego County for a 28-day period ending Jan. 29 at 67.4 percent, down 5.1 percent compared with the same time frame in 2004.

Dress Codes May Cross With Harassment Policies

Do you consider every day at the office casual Friday? Do you greet visitors and VIPs at the reception desk in a halter top and Spandex shorts? If so, you could be flirting, so to speak, with a dress code violation.

Agency Offering Strategic Marketing Program

Debbie LaChusa saw that small businesses, unless they were willing to fork over a large sum of money, were left in the dark when it came to the marketing process. So she developed the 10stepmarketing system.

Cox, Tijuana Firm to Build Second Broadband Link

Cox Communications San Diego and Cablemas of Tijuana hope to create a second broadband connection at the Otay Mesa border,

Consumer Advocacy Takes on Swashbuckling Style

Michael Shames, the executive director of the Utility Consumers' Action Network, promises to reveal "devastating secrets of consumer karate" in a new book.

Businesspeople, Watch Out for Warning Signs

Question: How do I know when my business is in trouble?

New S.D. PR Agency Making a Name for Itself

Less than one year into their business, Kim Julin Guyader and Jamie Sigler, partners in J Public Relations, have already managed to retain some high-profile clients.

Friday, February 11

Bacon's Buys News Monitoring Service

San Diego-based News Monitoring Service, a broadcast monitoring company, has been acquired by Bacon's Information of Chicago.

Dam, Reservoir Gets Civil Engineering Award

The Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir project is a merit finalist in a worldwide contest sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

LaFleur to Retire; Etnyre to Take Command

Rear Adm. Terry Etnyre will relieve Vice Adm. Tim LaFleur as commander, Naval Surface Forces, on March 4.

$6B Deal for Aerostructures

In a deal with a potential value of $6 billion, Goodrich Corp.'s Aerostructures unit has agreed to provide France-based Airbus with engine housings and thrust reversers for its A350 aircraft.

Grant Subsidizes Law Week Events

San Diego Superior Court has been awarded a $6,000 grant by the Foundation of the State Bar of California to help fund Law Week 2005, scheduled for May 1-7.

Thursday, February 10

Sequenom Posts Loss; CEO Schuh Leaves

San Diego-based biotech firm Sequenom Inc. said it decreased its net loss for the fiscal 2004 to $34.6 million, or 87 cents a share, from $36.7 million, or 93 cents, a year ago.

Avanir Posts Quarterly Loss of $7.1M

San Diego-based biotechnology company Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. said today that it increased its first-quarter net loss for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31 to $7.1 million, or 7 cents per share, from $6.3 million, or 9 cents per share, in the previous yea

BIA Sells Governor Park Building For Record Price

An office building owned and occupied by the Building Industry Association of San Diego County came off the market today for $4.7 million, or $297 per square foot, which is a record price for the sub-market where it is located.

Aguirre Alleges Securities Laws Violated

In his second interim report on city finances, City Attorney Michael Aguirre turned up the heat further by accusing Mayor Dick Murphy and the City Council of civil violations of federal securities laws, and hiding significant facts about the city's anemic

Ted Roth Recruited to Lead Sports Council

San Diego businessman Ted Roth has been tapped as the new chairman of the San Diego International Sports Council.

Wednesday, February 9

San Diegan a Consideration as HP's New CEO

Carly Fiorina's departure from Hewlett-Packard Co. has some wondering whether a San Diego resident, Vyomesh Joshi, has a shot at the top job.

Pillsbury Winthrop to Merge With D.C. Firm

The law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop LLP, with offices in San Diego, has signed a letter of intent to merge with the Washington, D.C.-based Shaw Pittman LLP.

'Voice' Adds New Voice to Media Scene

Voice of San Diego, a nonprofit Web news and information source, officially launched on Feb. 9.

North County Apartments Sold

Two apartment buildings changed hands in Encinitas and Vista in deals valued at more than $6 million.

Tuesday, February 8

Local Bank's Earnings Climb 36 Percent

San Diego National Bank reported net earnings of $39.9 million for 2004, up 36 percent from the previous year's profits. Earnings for the fourth quarter were $9.7 million, a gain of 11 percent.

Sempra Increases Earnings Forecast

Sempra Energy on Feb. 8 raised its earnings-per-share estimate for 2004 to about $3.80, primarily due to the increased profitability of its commodity-trading business, company officials said.

Pentagon Proposes $419.3B Budget

The Department of Defense has released a $419.3 billion spending plan for fiscal 2006, which begins in October.

Monday, February 7

Navy Monitors Town Site At Aviation Crossroads

Navy officials from San Diego have been watching with interest as a large Central Valley landowner makes plans to continue Los Angeles' sprawl to the north.

Week in Review

Top Business News: January 28 - February 3, 2005

Sempra to Participate in Ethanol Venture

Sempra Energy's commodities unit is teaming up with a Philadelphia company to produce ethanol in the United States.

Gas Prices Are Climbing Again In San Diego

San Diego motorists are paying $2.10 per gallon, 17 percent more at the gas pump than the record-setting price of $1.80 recorded for the same time period in 2004, according to the Utility Consumers' Action Network.

Mayor Calls on Retirement Board to Waive Privilege

San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy on Feb. 7 called on the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System to waive its attorney-client privilege regarding subpoenas for documents from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. attorney for the Souther

Local Bankers And Shareholders Prosper in 2004

Undeterred by a spike in interest rates, most local banks saw loan portfolios and net profits climb by double-digit margins in 2004.

San Marcos Winemakers Having a Vine Time

The idea for Twin Oaks Valley Winery evolved from a cordial exchange between San Marcos neighbors fetching their morning newspapers.

Dry-Cleaning Discord

When veteran San Diego dry cleaner Gordon Shaw started talking up the wonders of a newfangled and Earth-friendly cleaning process , CO2 , he ran afoul of some of his more conservative colleagues. "I ruffled a lot of feathers," said Shaw, owner of Hangers

China's Image in U.S. Gets a Boost

China's image today is dramatically different from what it used to be.

Japanese Firm Acquires Local Biotech

Privately held San Diego-based biotechnology firm Syrrx Inc. announced today that it agreed to be acquired by Japanese-based Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. for about $270 million in cash.

Dura Case May Set Tone for Securities Litigation

San Diego-based Dura Pharmaceuticals Inc. vs. Broudo, billed as a landmark case that could change the landscape for future securities litigation, is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

New Attractions Send Legoland on a Thrill Ride

Legoland California has reported that 2004 was the most financially lucrative year in its six-year history.

Discovery Bank Buys Commercial Finance Firm

San Marcos-based Discovery Bank plans to offer lines of credit through its announced acquisition of Celtic Capital Corp., a Santa Monica-based commercial finance company with a loan portfolio of $23 million.

Murphy's Re-Election Confirmed By Judge

Attorneys Fred Woocher and Bruce Henderson haven't yet decided if they will appeal the Feb. 2 San Diego Superior Court ruling dismissing their arguments that Donna Frye, and not Dick Murphy, should be San Diego's mayor.

Construction Journal

Construction Journal


Madaffer's Missteps

Road Work Aims to Reduce Area's Traffic Woes

Highway travel has significantly outpaced transportation funding in San Diego County, with highway travel growing at nearly twice the rate as the construction of new highway miles.

Out-of-Towners Snatch Up Beachfront Homes

San Diego's oceanfront is becoming the destination of choice for the country's second- and third-home buyers.

Changes Are Predicted for Dry-Cleaning Industry

Centralized plants, more drop-off stores and new technology will be the future of the business.

Innovation Honor Goes To Xsilogy

Frost & Sullivan has given a 2005 product innovation award to Xsilogy, which recently became a division of publicly traded SYS Technologies.

National City Car Sales Up 8 Percent

The National City Mile of Cars Association said that sales of cars and trucks in its 22 new- and used-car dealerships increased 8 percent in 2004 vs. 2003.

Let Airport Authority Do Its Job

The people charged with relocating cramped Lindbergh Field continue to be scolded for doing their jobs.

L.A. Institutions Poised for Stem Cell Funds

While institutions in Los Angeles, San Diego and elsewhere are gearing up for $3 billion in statewide grants for accelerated stem cell research, the field is still in its infancy.

Joint Use Is No Solution for San Diego's Airport

Handling commercial aircraft at military air bases may neither be sensible nor easy to accomplish.

First Tenants Sign on at DiamondView Tower

Cox Communications and Comerica Bank will occupy space in the 15-story, $90 million DiamondView Tower.

Maguire Moving Into San Diego

Maguire Properties, Inc., a Los Angeles-based real estate investment trust that focuses on office properties in Southern California, announced it will acquire a portfolio of 10 office properties and land for development in several western U.S. cities for

Staffing Firm's Workload Reveals Telecom Uptick

Capitalizing on a push by wireless carriers to improve network coverage and retain customers, Simon Billsberry's contract staffing business is growing like never before.

Carlsbad Eyes New Assessment on Hotel Rooms

The Carlsbad Convention & Visitors Bureau is proposing a self-assessed lodging industry fee to recharge the agency's stagnant budget.

Dj Orthopedics' Building Changing Hands

Pacific Coast Capital Partners, LLC will acquire Oak Ridge Corporate Center in Vista through a joint venture.

New Rules To Affect Biotech Industry

A San Diego attorney expects the decision by the National Institutes of Health and the Office of Government Ethics to ban all NIH staff scientists from accepting consulting fees or other income from drug companies will cause an exodus of higher-level scie

SBA Provides Help for Firms Affected By Military Deployment

If a business is affected by the departure of key personnel due to military deployment, the U.S. Small Business Administration is there to help pick up the slack.

Nontraditional Revenue Becoming New Tradition

As listeners demand more music and less commercials, radio executives are turning to other means to generate revenue.

Executive Profile: Susan Ten Eyck Mallory

Susan Ten Eyck Mallory once saw her future in the U.S. diplomatic corps working in some exotic nation in Southeast Asia. But a summer job at a local bank changed all that.

Ridership Climbs on Coastal Rail Line

Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner achieved record ridership for the first quarter of fiscal 2005.

Succession Plans Are Vital to Business Owners

Question: I own a family business and want to pass the business on to my children when I retire. What do I need to do?

San Diego Company Helps Tsunami Victims

San Diego-based Barrier Products LLC borrows from clients to make a unique contribution to tsunami relief.

San Diego Firms Rake in VC Funds

San Diego's health-related industries landed the third-largest percentage of all health care-related venture capital dollars nationwide, behind San Jose and Boston, according to a survey released by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar

East County Chamber Taps Business of the Year

The Helix Water District was named Business of the Year by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce.

Small Business Spotlight: Linden Painting & Refinishing, Inc.

Linden Painting & Refinishing, Inc. is a multifaceted furniture refinishing company.

Biotech Executive Makes State Panel

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has appointed Joseph Fernandez, 45, of Carlsbad, to the California Economic Strategy Panel, designed to guide public policy decisions for economic growth and competitiveness.

Expeditionary Unit Heads for Home

More than 450 Marines and sailors from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit returned to Camp Pendleton on Sunday.

Maienschein Airs Plan to Revamp City Pensions

San Diego City Councilman Brian Maienschein has proposed a plan to revamp the city's troubled pension system a proposal he says will save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Executive Spotlight: Linda Glaze

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

KSWB to Kick Off TV Morning Show in March

"WB Morning News" will combine the "KTLA Morning News" program from Los Angeles with San Diego segments.

ResMed Quarterly Numbers Boost Stock

ResMed Inc. of Poway reported second quarter net income of $17.4 million on revenues of $103.8 million

Friday, February 4

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Coming to Pauma Reservation

The Pauma Band of Mission Indians has selected Peter Morton's Hard Rock Hotel & Casino organization to develop and operate an attraction on Pauma's North County reservation.

Energy Settlement Spawns Academic Center

A $2.7 million settlement from a lawsuit against Duke Energy will be used to establish the Energy Policy Initiative Center at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Ducheny to Lead Colorado River Committee

State Sen. Denise Moreno Ducheny, D-San Diego, will head up the Select Committee on the Colorado River.

Realty Executive Staff Defects to Open New Business

In a wholesale defection from the Downtown San Diego office of Phoenix-based Realty Executive, Jon Stenberg and his entire team of 26 staff members opened San Diego Intero.

Thursday, February 3

Stem Cell Panel Finds Temporary Home

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, meeting today in San Diego, said it picked a temporary home in the Bay Area while continuing its search for a permanent headquarters.

ConVis Mulls Convention Center Move

The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau could save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on rent in the coming years under a plan approved by its board in late January to move into the San Diego Convention Center.

Wednesday, February 2

Robertson Returns With New MP3 Venture

High-tech entrepreneur Michael Robertson is getting back into the music business with a digital music venture called MP3tunes.

County Treasurer Vows 'Zero Tolerance'

San Diego County Treasurer/Tax Collector Dan McAllister on Feb. 2 reported that "things are going swimmingly well" at his shop, while an audit of records dating back to 1999 is under way.

Water District Prizes Clear Presentations

The Padre Dam Municipal Water District has received two awards from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers for its 2004-06 budget, which totals $86.4 million.

Valeant Buying Xcel for $320M

Valeant Pharmaceuticals International of Costa Mesa said Wednesday it is spending $320 million to buy Xcel Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately held maker of neurology drugs based in San Diego.

DeMaio Tapped for White House Panel

Carl DeMaio, the president of the San Diego-based Performance Institute, a government-reform think tank, has been appointed to the Service Acquisition Reform Act Panel by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Cruzan/Monroe Sells Poway Development for $14M

In its third sale in two months, Cruzan/Monroe, a San Diego-based real estate acquisitions and development firm, announced it will sell its Parkway Centre 6 property in Poway for $14 million.

Climate Confab Set By State PUC

The California Public Utilities Commission is planning what it calls a groundbreaking conference Feb. 23 to address climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.

Tuesday, February 1

Ingenient Sues PacketVideo

Ingenient Technologies, Inc. of Rolling Meadows, Ill., is suing PacketVideo Corp., a San Diego-based company that makes software for viewing video on wireless phones.

San Diego Firms Rake in VC Funds

San Diego's health-related industries landed the third-largest percentage of all health care-related venture capital dollars nationwide during 2004, according to a survey released by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Magazine: San Diego's Blues Akin to Pittsburgh's

San Diego's financial woes were featured along with those of Pittsburgh and Atlanta in the February issue of CFO magazine titled, "Big City Blues."