Stories for March 2006

Friday, March 31

Leaders Push for Anti-Terror Funds

At the request of local politicians, national defense agencies are re-evaluating the formula for awarding federal grant money to San Diego for homeland security.

Manchester In Line to Redevelop Navy Broadway Complex

The Manchester Financial Group L.P., dba Federal San Diego LLC, has been selected to redevelop the Navy Broadway Complex on San Diego Bay.

Thursday, March 30

PSA Colors Fly Again

In a nod to San Diego's business heritage, US Airways has dressed an aircraft in the colors of Pacific Southwest Airlines, the locally based carrier that merged out of existence in 1987.

Procopio Helps Sale of Unique Mexican Firm

The San Diego law firm Procopio served as counsel to Banco Nacional de Comercio Exterior, S.N.C. on the recent sale of Ocean Garden Products, Inc.

Barnhart Tapped for Association Job

San Diego builder Douglas E. Barnhart has been elected to serve as the vice president of the Associated General Contractors of America in 2006-2007.

Electronic Waste Bill Clears Hurdle

Legislation proposing to expand existing laws for phasing out hazardous materials in electronic devices sold in California was passed by the state Assembly's Natural Resources Committee March 28.

Wednesday, March 29

USD Law Professor Dies

Bernard H. Siegan, a professor at the University of San Diego School of Law, died March 27. He was 82.

County Shifts Direction on SDG & E; Suit

In an attempt to assist criminal charges against San Diego Gas & Electric Co., the county of San Diego is withdrawing its civil suit filed in state Superior Court.

Qualcomm Claims Infringement Again

San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. announced March 29 that it has filed another patent infringement case against Broadcom Corp. of Irvine.

Pension System Files Cross-Complaint

The San Diego City Employees' Retirement System board of administration has filed a cross-complaint in what it termed a "protective action" in the case of SDCERS vs. the city of San Diego.

Tuesday, March 28

Sanders Scores With Ballot Measures

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders won a major victory March 27 after the City Council agreed to place his two proposals on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.

Voss to Lead Manchester Grand Resorts

Thomas Voss has been promoted from managing director to president of Manchester Grand Resorts.

Irvine Co. Hires Black, Sullivan

Charles Black and Thomas Sullivan, who have both contributed to recent major developments in Downtown San Diego, have taken executive jobs with the Irvine Co. in San Diego.

Judge Says City's Insurer Must Pay

The city of San Diego's insurer, American International Group, is responsible for legal costs related to three cases involving plaintiff Roque De La Fuente and business entities he owns, according to a federal judge's ruling.

SGX Stock Climbs With Novartis Deal

San Diego's SGX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. saw its shares surge almost 45 percent on news of a partnership with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis to develop a drug to treat blood cancer.

Monday, March 27

Many Going on Road to Homeownership in S.D.

For San Diegans squeezed by the housing crunch, mobile homes are becoming an increasingly attractive option.

Public Works Are Part of Doing Business Here

Builders are pouring money into the communities that will be hosting their brand-new projects. For some, it's all part of the cost of doing business in 21st century San Diego.

Proxy , Orange 21 Inc.

Orange 21 Inc.

CCAT Teams With Military to Beef Up Funds for Defense Firms

Four local firms are receiving a combined total of $277,000 through a Department of Defense-sponsored program to develop technologies needed for defense and homeland security.

Innovative 2-Car Garage a Part Of Condo Project's Features

It's billed as the first posh condo project in its neighborhood, and it boasts hydraulic car lifts in the units' attached garages.

Fish Taco Swims Into Rough Seas

What seems to be troubling those who follow the industry in general and Rubio's in particular is the fast-casual chain's current growth pattern , or rather, its inability to expand much beyond its core California and Arizona markets.

Local Firm Fights Rising Tide of Mortgage Fraud

Three former employees of HNC Software, a San Diego company that made credit card fraud detection software, are now taking aim at a rise in fraud occurring in the mortgage lending industry.

Mercedes Is Already Looking Ahead to '07 With New S550

Mercedes Is Already Looking Ahead to '07 With New S550

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Mairead Hennessy

Seven Sentenced in Investment Fraud

Seven former employees of a telemarketing operation based in Los Angeles with a boiler room in San Diego that took about 700 investors of more than $18 million were sentenced March 24 to time in prison.

Home Buyers Do Their Research on the Internet

In the 21st century, larger and more diverse segments of the population are discovering that the Internet has an ocean of information, and a majority of home buyers are diving in.

Tons of Food, Flights of Fancy

A dozen San Diego designers assembled structures using only cans, tape and foam-core board to "defy the laws of gravity" , and benefit charity.

Executive Profile , Dr. Gabriel Garzo

Dr. Gabriel Garzo's love of delivering babies led the OB-GYN to specialize in fertility and, in 1998, become a partner in the Reproductive Partners-UCSD Regional Fertility Center in La Jolla.

Small Firms Wearing SOX On Sleeves

Despite a decision last year by government securities regulators to postpone a deadline to comply with tougher accounting rules put in place after a flurry of high-profile corporate meltdowns, smaller companies are still feeling squeezed.

Net Income

Firms benefit from home buyers who use the Internet as a key part of their house hunting search

Hospitals Protect Data By Erasing Old Hard Drives

When hospitals get rid of outdated computers, it's not just a matter of tossing them into a trash bin in the alley. Federal patient privacy laws mean that hospitals must ensure that patient information is not leaked.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: March 28 - April 3

Job-Posting Site Makes the Military Its Top Priority

When Oceanside residents Mark Baird and his wife, Tori, plunged into creating a job-search Web site for the military a year ago, they didn't know anything about online job boards.

Media Firm Dresses Up Its Client List

Encinitas-based Artichoke Creative became its own newest client when it announced the launch of Artichoke Apparel.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

Week in Review

Top Business News: March 17 - 23, 2006

Small Business Spotlight: Rebecca Norman, Inc.

Rebecca Norman, president, Rebecca Norman, Inc.

Balancing Credit and Debt Always a Tricky Issue

Question: I recently used a small-business loan to start my company and things are running smoothly, but I know how crucial a first year can be. Is there a smarter way to use credit to my advantage as a new small-business owner without going too far into

Web Site Proving to Be a Hit With Builders

The Internet has become a desirable place for niche marketing, as two San Diego entrepreneurs discovered when they launched in June.

Firms Reap Benefits From Military's Mentor Program

Northrop Grumman Corp. will give brotherly guidance to a local manufacturing firm as a million-dollar mentoring program unfolds during the next several years.

S.D. Firm Partners With Arm & Hammer Maker

A local diagnostic firm known for its flu test and the company of Arm & Hammer baking soda fame are partnering in the field of women's health.

Chargers and the City Finally Find a Reason to Agree

Perhaps there's a thaw in that icy relationship between the San Diego Chargers and their landlord at Qualcomm Stadium, the city of San Diego.

New Program Aims to Help Biotechs Get on Fast Track

Regional life sciences trade group Biocom and Connect, a local high-tech networking organization, are forming an "incubator" to assist biotech startups with funding, lab space and organization.

Hospitality Has a Healthy 2005 in North County

While San Diego enjoyed a healthy bump in its overall tourism numbers last year, North County did a bit better.

Cox Channel 4 Has a New Boss Behind the Camera

Behind the scenes of Cox Channel 4 San Diego is a man who appears to have taken the career equivalent of a FasTrak lane into the local cable TV market.

Sempra Subsidiary Inks Deal With Honeywell

Sempra Generation, an arm of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, will be selling its energy services group to Honeywell Building Solutions, a business unit of Honeywell International Inc.

San Diego Shows Well on an International Stage

In the long run, the World Baseball Classic is more apt to be measured in terms of the national and international publicity it garnered for San Diego rather than the taxes it generated, tourism officials are saying.

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones.

Take 2 For ... Outta Left Field

Makeovers and Major League Baseball don't typically go together. But in the world of cable television pre-game sports shows, a makeover is exactly what Cox Channel 4 San Diego executives have in mind for "Outta Left Field."

Taiwan's Story One of Prosperity

Taiwan's Story One of Prosperity

Fill 'er Up With Hydrogen Soon Coming to S.D.

Camp Pendleton is on board with the state's plans for developing a network of hydrogen fueling stations that will support energy-efficient autos by 2010.

WaMu Makes a New Push With Checking Accounts

Washington Mutual Bank, the Seattle-based savings bank that began the free checking account movement a decade ago, is at it again, offering an array of free services for which it previously charged fees.

Small Business Help Line

Question: Is there a smarter way to use credit to my advantage as a new small-business owner without going too far into debt?

Friday, March 24

Unemployment Fractionally Higher

San Diego's unemployment rate in February came in at 4.1 percent, just a tenth of a percent above the January rate, according to the monthly report released March 24 by the state Employment Development Department.

Tri-City, Blue Cross Seal Deal

Tri-City Medical Center announced March 23 that it has signed a new reimbursement agreement with Blue Cross of California, retroactive to Jan. 1.

Thursday, March 23

SeraCare Files Chapter 11

SeraCare Life Sciences Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection March 23 after a tumultuous week that included announcements of restating past financial reports and the firing of its top four executives.

Banking Expo to Focus On Tech Trends

Technology and security products and services for the real estate finance industry will be showcased at a banking technology conference in San Diego next week.

Mayor Meets With President

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders addressed immigration reform and the region's homeland security grant proposal at the White House on March 23.

Wednesday, March 22

Fast-Growing Firm Snapped Up

Client Shop Inc., a San Diego-based Internet firm that provides leads to mortgage brokers and lenders, was acquired by Internet Brands Inc., a Los Angeles-based operator of media and e-commerce sites.

Interim College President Named

Dean C. Colli, the vice president of academic affairs at Grossmont College since 1999, has been named interim president while a search continues for a new leader.

Brennan Takes Reins at CryoCor

San Diego-based CryoCor, Inc., a medical device company, has announced that Edward Brennan has been promoted to chief executive officer.

Tuesday, March 21

Rubio's Reports Loss in 2005

Rubio's Inc., the Carlsbad-based fast casual restaurant chain that popularized the fish taco, did not have a great Christmas. For the quarter ending Dec. 25, the company reported a loss of $2.46 million, or 26 cents a share.

SAIC Public Offering Delayed Again

Science Applications International Corp., a San Diego-based research and engineering firm, will delay its initial public offering until the fall , the second time it has done so after announcing the intention of going public in September.

Cohu Buys Unisys Assets

Cohu Inc. said it acquired patents, intellectual property and certain other assets from Unisys Corp.'s Rancho Bernardo office for $8 million.

Office Outlook Favors Investors

Demand is expected to outpace new supply in the San Diego office market this year, as employers continue their expansion efforts.

Monday, March 20

Power Shift

For the past two years, the retirement of former Sempra Energy CEO Stephen Baum has been imminent and Donald Felsinger has been waiting in the wings. "My entire career has been part of my preparation (for this role)," said the 58-year-old chief executive

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

Affordable Housing Part of CCDC's Agenda

Downtown San Diego continues to percolate with news of several new projects from the Centre City Development Corp., which oversees redevelopment in Downtown for the city.

Execs Find a Day of Exams Worth a Lifetime of Health

Executives who care to spend a few thousand dollars get a detour from the disarray of fussy babies, contagious sneezes and mountain of paperwork that make for seemingly endless waits in an average physician's lobby.

Financials Show Favorably For Once-Bankrupt Leap

Leap Wireless International, Inc. finally churned out its 2005 annual financial report following weeks of notices it would have to restate prior results. Though it sounded ominous, the restatement proved anti-climactic.

Hot-Shot Hoteliers

You won't see San Diego-based Bond Urban Habitat's name emblazoned on hotel towels or property signs. Yet the company has an impressive list of projects in two states and in Mexico.

Exchange Listing Troubles Tech Firm

A San Diego telecom distributor is demanding that its stock be delisted from the Berlin-Bremen Stock Exchange, complaining that unauthorized trading of its shares is hurting the firm's stock price.

Anti-Business Attitude Wears on Mall Tenants

Few things are coming up roses at Flower Hill Promenade these days, as what's becoming a long-running feud between the shopping center's owner and nearby Del Mar homeowners threatens to wilt tenants' spirits.

Sky's Not Falling on Real Estate Values in San Diego

Sky's Not Falling on Real Estate Values in San Diego

Federal Economic Official Likes Region's Balance

Q & A; With Sandy K. Baruah

Ex-College Administrator Gets San Diego City Hall Job

Ted Martinez Jr., former president of Grossmont College, was appointed by Mayor Jerry Sanders to serve as head of the city's recently created Department of Customer and Neighborhood Services.

Control Freaks Need to Watch for Danger Signs

Question: How can a "control freak" type-A personality business owner tell the difference between serious threats to the business and events that are not good but are just part of being in business?

Three Navy Submarines Prepare To Make a Move to San Diego

Defense forces will be boosted locally with the Navy's positioning of three nuclear-attack submarines in San Diego as part of a global plan to shift defense capabilities from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Teri Hudson

Prosecutors Eager to Get Peregrine Trial Docketed

San Diego prosecutors working on this area's most spectacular corporate accounting scandal, involving Peregrine Systems Inc., say defense attorneys are purposely delaying the case filed almost two years ago.


For March 13, 2006.

AT & T;'s Offer For BellSouth Makes Sense

AT & T;'s Offer For BellSouth Makes Sense

Sixty Jobs Leaving Town With Software Firm's Move

CompassLearning, a San Diego-based educational software firm whose roots go back to the 1980s, is relocating its headquarters to Austin, Texas , a transition that will result in the loss of about 60 local jobs.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

From Schnitzel to Smoothies, S.D. a Target For Franchisees

San Diego appears to be a tasty target for growing food businesses these days, as at least three franchise companies set their sights on the region.

N.Y. Times Covers S.D. Fine Dining, Fish Taco

A couple of San Diego's restaurants that have lured chefs from the gourmet dining destinations of San Francisco and New York have hit the food critics' radar screen.

Tribes Here Seek a Seat on the Sandag Board

American Indian leaders and regional government representatives plan to talk further about how they might bring more transportation funding to San Diego County.

A Financial Concierge? Banks Coddle Ultra-Rich

The graying of the baby boom generation and an increase in the number of sales of private businesses are generating a big uptick in new clients for private banks catering to the rich and ultra-rich.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: March 21 - 27

Builders Focusing on Energy-Efficient Structures

New construction projects throughout San Diego County are increasingly making use of solar power, natural lighting and renewable energy.

Let's Look at the Current State of the 'Axis of Evil'

Let's Look at the Current State of the 'Axis of Evil'

Small Business Help Line

Question: How can a "control freak" type-A personality business owner tell the difference between serious threats to the business and events that are not good but are just part of being in business?

Week in Review

Top Business News: March 10 - March 16, 2006

Proxy , Applied Micro Circuits Corp.

Applied Micro Circuits Corp.

Executive Profile , Deborah Martin

When people ask Deborah Martin what she does and she tells them she's the chief operations officer for a destination management company, they usually give her a blank stare.

Major Power Line Route Staked Out

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. has publicly revealed its preferred route for the high-voltage power line it wants to build from the Imperial Valley to northern San Diego.

Two Generals Team Up for Canadian Surveillance

You won't see a Canadian flag flying outside Rancho Bernardo-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., but the company will team with General Dynamics Canada to provide surveillance support to the Canadian government.

Small Business Spotlight: MPE Consulting, Inc.

Randy Minnier of MPE Consulting, Inc.

Pension Fund Number Comes Into Focus

The contracted actuary for San Diego's city employees' pension fund told its board March 17 that the city's contribution to the fund for the upcoming fiscal year should be $162 million, or $1 million less than the city's contribution for the current fisca

Scripps CEO's Passion Leads to State Appointment

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has named Scripps Health President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Van Gorder to the state Commission on Emergency Medical Services.

Noted Institutes Unite for Stem Cell Funding

The fate of a historic collaboration among four major research centers here to build a stem cell institute will likely have to wait for the outcome of two lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of a law voters approved in 2004.

Friday, March 17

Petco Reaches $2 Billion in Revenue

Petco Animal Supplies Inc., a San Diego-based pet store chain, reported net income for its 2005 fiscal year that ended Jan. 28 of $75.2 million on $2 billion in revenue.

Thursday, March 16

Cole Named Dean at USD

Kevin L. Cole has been named the new dean of the University of San Diego School of Law effective April 1.

Changes at the Top for Two Biotechs

Chief executives have been replaced at two San Diego-area biotechs, while trading in one of the companies' stocks remained at a halt.

Kintera Reports Loss for Year

Kintera Inc., a San Diego provider of software that helps nonprofits manage fund raising, lost a little more than it generated in sales last year.

Wednesday, March 15

City Sees Billion Dollar Headache

March 17 will mean the wearing of the green for St. Patrick's Day celebrants, but for the city of San Diego, it will mean finding out how much it will be required to pay into its troubled pension system in fiscal 2007.

One Out of Two Employers Set to Hire

Fifty-three percent of San Diego-area employers expect to hire more employees in the upcoming three months, while only 9 percent say they plan to reduce their payrolls, according to a new survey.

Vons Gets Berth at Liberty Station

The newly signed Vons and Postal Annex will be joining Trader Joe's at Liberty Station Marketplace, which broke ground March 15 , part of the $850 million mixed-use redevelopment of the former Naval Training Center in Point Loma.

Freeway to Close

Caltrans has three words for people wanting to travel Interstate 15 Saturday night and Sunday morning: Cut your losses.

Tuesday, March 14

Sempra to Sell Cooling Business

San Diego-based Sempra Energy has agreed to sell its energy facilities management group to Boston-based Thermal North America Inc.

Sempra Mulls Bigger LNG Terminal in Baja California

Sempra Energy sees a bigger role for the liquefied natural gas terminal it is building on the coast of Baja California north of Ensenada.

Monday, March 13

Week in Review

Top Business News: March 3 - March 9, 2006

Construction Journal

Contract awards and construction milestones.

North Park Businesses Finally Get More Parking

The revitalization of North Park has reached another milestone with the completion of a $7.6 million, 149,000-square-foot parking and retail facility on the corner of 30th Street and North Park Way.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: March 14 - 20

Van Gorder Lends Emergency Expertise

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has named Scripps Health President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Van Gorder to the state Commission on Emergency Medical Services.

Small Business Spotlight: Blue the Salon, Inc.

Thomas Leach, president, Blue the Salon, Inc.

Analyze the Basics When Evaluating Marketing

Question: How can I tell if my branding campaign is working?

Diet Fads Don't Always Eat Into Restaurants' Profits

Carol Blomstrom, who built her family-style Pacific Beach restaurant by serving heaping portions of spaghetti, has weathered the rise and fall of the no-carb diet craze. With claims and counterclaims about healthy diets, the restaurant industry is caught

San Diego State Foundation Bids Adieu to Two

The San Diego State University Research Foundation has announced that Chief Executive Officer Frea Sladek and Chief Operating Officer Steven Bloom are retiring.

Let the Madness Begin as NCAA, WBC Hit Town

San Diego will be getting both national and international exposure this weekend thanks to the first World Baseball Classic at Petco Park, as well as the NCAA men's basketball tournament at San Diego State University's Cox Arena.

SBA Steps Up in Disaster Response

SBA Steps Up in Disaster Response

Wal-Marting California Small Biz Another Way

Wal-Marting California Small Biz Another Way

Today's Local News Tries to Get in the Zone Again

If at first you don't succeed, try again. That's the motto being followed at San Marcos-based Today's Local News, a 16-month-old publication making its second pass at zoning , printing different editions for different communities.

Port Wary of Inspection Call

Legislation inspired by the controversial Dubai port deal promises change in San Diego as well as all other communities with land ports or seaports, if it passes.

BMW's 3-Series Launches New Era With a Nod to the Past

BMW's 3-Series Launches New Era With a Nod to the Past

Telecom Group Makes One-on-One Connections

Making new friends is always good, but when new friends lead to new business opportunities, something good can quickly become something profitable , and in turn, something great. Such is the mission of CommNexus San Diego.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: David Twedt

Advertising , To Go

Mobile marketing, or text messaging advertisements to cell phones, is rapidly gaining acceptance as the next big advertising medium and garnering serious attention from San Diego professionals.

City Hall Post for College Administrator

Ted Martinez Jr., former president of Grossmont College, was appointed by Mayor Jerry Sanders on March 13 to serve as head of the city's recently created Department of Customer and Neighborhood Services.

Signature-Gathering Effort Begins

A broad coalition of business and civic leaders is gearing up March 13 to gather signatures for a package of ballot measures designed to reform San Diego's city government.

The Fact Is, Faxing Firms Get Reprieve From the Feds

Small businesses in San Diego that hoped a new state law would free their fax machines of unsolicited advertisements are not going to see any relief anytime soon now that a federal court judge has ruled against Senate Bill 833.

Expedia Has Westgate Gazing at Stars, Diamonds

Bellevue, Wash.-based Expedia has followed in the footsteps of Mobil and AAA by publishing its own list of top-ranked hotels. And in so doing it has placed a spotlight on San Diego's Westgate Hotel.

No Need for A Middleman In Eminent Domain Flap

No Need for A Middleman In Eminent Domain Flap

City Heights Square Being Touted as National Model

Paul Downey will be heading to the American Society on Aging conference in Anaheim in mid-March to showcase what he considers to be a national model: the City Heights Square affordable senior project.

Executive Profile , Hal Sadler

Veteran architect Hal Sadler, who has left his mark on many prominent structures in San Diego throughout his long career, believes that the city still is searching for an architectural identity.

Diversity Helps, Hinders Area's Tech Growth

North County's prosperity is linked to growing its high-wage, high-tech sector, said industry leaders who made a push for attracting and retaining high-tech businesses in the region at a recent round-table discussion.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases.

Diamond's Emergence a Boon to Neighborhood

To get residents to feel this shopping center really is theirs, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation floated a radical concept: spinning off 20 percent of ownership of the center.

Carlsbad Company Joins Battle Against Bird Flu

Invitrogen Corp. announced recently that Irving, Texas-based DelSite Biotechnologies will use some of Invitrogen's technology to develop a nasal vaccine to treat avian flu.

Genentech Buys Building In Oceanside

Genentech, Inc. purchased another building in Oceanside from Biogen-Idec, Inc. and will be adding 60 new biomanufacturing employees, the company announced.


For March 6, 2006

UTC Housing Occupancy Is Feverish

San Diego County's multi-housing occupancy rate stood at 96.5 percent at the end of 2005, with the La Jolla/University City region scoring the highest at 98.6 percent. This and other highlights of the fourth-quarter market report by CB Richard Ellis.

Friends Take Trip Back in Time to Open New Hotel

A 17-room lodge scheduled to break ground in Coronado will hardly make a blip on the radar screen of the county's hotel room inventory. But to the tony and tightly knit community of 24,000, the renovation is a significant project indeed.

Bush's Passage to India Had Little Historic Significance

Bush's Passage to India Had Little Historic Significance

Hoping for a Classic

It's no accident that Major League Baseball chose San Diego to host the finals of the inaugural World Baseball Classic, the international tournament that concludes here March 18-20.

Vision for North Embarcadero Is Still Evolving

San Diego's long-neglected bay front , if done right , could evolve into another Kalakala Avenue, a red-hot shopping and dining destination in Honolulu. If not, it could become another glitzy, over-developed Miami Beach.

Firms Find Benefits in HSA Plan

California is one of only seven states that prohibit a tax exemption for health savings accounts, but that isn't stopping several local companies from offering the increasingly popular tool to employees.

Unique Customer Base a Plus for Borrego Springs Bank

Borrego Springs Bank, fully owned by the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians since last year, has been shrinking in recent years, but growing really isn't that important to the lender.

Glasgow to Lead Sony Electronics

Sony Electronics Inc., the Sony subsidiary based in San Diego, has named Stan Glasgow president and chief operating officer.

Proxy , Invitrogen Corp.

Invitrogen Corp.

Small Business Help Line

Question: How can I tell if my branding campaign is working?

Key PinnFund Executive Sentenced

James Hillman, a key figure in the spectacular PinnFund USA fraud case, was sentenced to 46 months in prison followed by three years supervised probation by federal Judge Marilyn Huff on March 10.

Friday, March 10

Aradiant Changes Again; Now It's Telisimo

A San Diego call center that moved its operations to Tijuana last year after acquiring a call center in that city changed its name from Aradiant Corp. to Telisimo International Corp.

Tri-City Bond Goes to Ballot

The Tri-City Healthcare District board became the second such entity in San Diego County this week to ask voters to approve a major bond issue.

More City Hall Papers Subpoenaed

Yet another subpoena has been issued regarding the city's financial disclosure practices and troubled pension system.

VR Shouts, 'We're No. 3!'

VR Business Brokers' San Diego office, one of 98 offices of the brokerage company headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., said it was ranked the third highest in terms of transaction dollar volume last year.

Thursday, March 9

Survey: CEOs' Outlook More Sunny

Chief executives of small and medium-sized businesses are more optimistic about the national economy than they were a few quarters ago, according to a recently released survey.

Kudos for Knobbe

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear, a prominent intellectual property law firm in San Diego, took the brass ring in an international survey.

Wednesday, March 8

Neurocrine Halts MS Effort

Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. is halting development of a drug to treat multiple sclerosis after a midstage clinical trial missed its mark.

Studley Opens San Diego Office

Studley, a New York-based commercial real estate services firm specializing in tenant representation, has announced the opening of its first office in the San Diego market.

Study Quantifies Immigrant Labor

A new study by the Pew Hispanic Center estimates the number of "unauthorized immigrants" between 11.5 million and 12 million, and account for nearly 5 percent of the working population in this country.

Tuesday, March 7

Foundation Will Bid Adieu to Two

The San Diego State University Research Foundation has announced that Chief Executive Officer Frea Sladek and Chief Operating Officer Steven Bloom are retiring.

North County's Future Tied to Tech

North County's prosperity is linked to growing its high-wage, high-tech sector, said industry leaders who made a push for attracting and retaining high-tech businesses in the region.

Qualcomm Raises Earnings Forecast

Wireless technology company Qualcomm Inc. raised its second-quarter earnings forecast March 7.

Monday, March 6

Proxy , Jack in the Box Inc.

Jack in the Box Inc.

Tech Hall of Fame Adds Walter Zable to Its Roster

Walter Zable has been honored for his achievements as founder and chief executive officer of Cubic Corp. by the Connect business and technology development group

Genentech Buys More Space in Oceanside

Genentech, Inc. purchased another building in Oceanside from Biogen-Idec, Inc. and will be adding 60 new biomanufacturing employees, the company announced.

State's Employers Can Lead Nation Out of Health Care Crisis

State's Employers Can Lead Nation Out of Health Care Crisis

Week in Review

Top Business News: February 24 - March 2, 2006

Don't Turn Off the Gas That Fuels Our Economy

Don't Turn Off the Gas That Fuels Our Economy

Local Hotels Rank 6th in U.S. Occupancy Rates

San Diego County's lodging industry finished 2005 with an occupancy rate of 72.3 percent, up 1.7 percent from 2004, while absorbing a 1 percent increase in the supply of rooms, bringing the total to 54,000.

Construction Journal

Contract awards and construction milestones.

San Diego State University to Honor Rising Stars

Ten executives who graduated from San Diego State University's College of Business Administration will be recognized with the inaugural Charles Lamden Rising Stars of Business Award.

Small Firms Facing Familiar Foes

The cost of workers' comp insurance, an inability to offer employees health care benefits and stifling government regulations are among the biggest concerns of small-business owners this year. Still, they see opportunity.

Lobbying for Changes

Hoteliers nationwide are expected to gamble $5 billion this year upgrading their properties to draw more customers. Some of that dough, which will be spent on the latest trend of making lobbies more lively and upbeat, has already found its way to San Dieg

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Bob Morris

Chairmen's RoundTable Greets Four New Execs

The Chairmen's RoundTable has added four new executive members: John Reardon, Dennis Bertken, Steven Osinski and Bill Lennartz.

Great Walls No Longer Block Deals With China

San Diego businesses can reap big rewards in China, despite growing concerns in the United States over piracy and patent infringement. But they'd better be careful about covering their bottom lines.

Palomar College Looks to Pass Bond

For its 60th anniversary, Palomar College is facing some interesting challenges. One in particular is convincing voters in its 2,555-square-mile community college district to approve a facility bond measure.

Small Business Spotlight: Airsis, Inc.

Dean Rosenberg, chief executive officer, Airsis, Inc.

Power Lines Add High Tension to Julian Tourism

Julian merchants are concerned that San Diego Gas & Electric Co.'s proposed high-voltage electric transmission line might spoil the scenery their economy is built on.

Software Offers Internet Voice Communications

Peter Csathy can't hide behind his desk for long while working from home. Almost daily he uses his company's product, a desktop videoconferencing software tool named after the company, SightSpeed.

Silvergate Bank Deal Breaking New Ground

More than a month after a definitive agreement to sell San Diego-based Silvergate Capital Corp. to Pasadena-based Wescom Credit Union, neither party has submitted its application to regulators for approval , a signal that the deal is breaking new ground.

Ashworth's Investor Group Seeking New Directors

Golf apparel manufacturer Ashworth Inc. is facing a proxy battle from a shareholder group that is soliciting other shareholders to join its quest to change the way the company is run.

Emergence Of the Medi-Spa

Hybrid medical spas boom as doctors boot insurance. Regulations still are fuzzy.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: March 7 - 13

Nereus Proceeds With Human Testing

Nereus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. will be able to draw upon $18.3 million of $43 million it raised in 2004 to begin human trials for cancer drugs now that the FDA approved its investigational new drug applications.

Gas Prices Likely to Spike As Spring Draws Near

Gasoline prices across the state and particularly in San Diego County are predicted to climb again as refineries switch over to summer gas blends and seasonal demand increases.

Racetracks Tie Up Bonds Over Gaming Compacts

A group of horse-racing tracks has sued the state over Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's 2004 gaming deals with five American Indian tribes , and now it's hampering the state's ability to borrow.

Escondido's Downtown Taking on a New Look

With the scarcity of land and growing populations in some urban areas of the county, more developers are going the infill route.

Executive Profile , Ken Bender

It was when Ken Bender's company changed its focus that things really began to take off.

Hospital Upgrade Plan Goes to Voters

Grossmont HealthCare District officials decided March 6 to ask voters to consider a $247 million general obligation bond measure on the June ballot.

Santarus Is 1st S.D. Firm to Earn FDA OK in '06

Santarus, Inc. is the first San Diego-based company to win approval for a drug this year from the Food and Drug Administration.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases.

Addy Awards Gravitate to Greenhaus

With 20 Addy awards, Greenhaus Advertising easily walked away with the most awards at the 2006 San Diego Creative Show event, hosted by the San Diego Ad Club on March 3. Also honored at this year's ceremony was Bev Oster.

Tee Times at Torrey Pines a Value to Visitors

Business interests and visitors are split about eliminating tee-time brokers and other potential changes at the popular Torrey Pines Golf Course.

North Park Gets More Parking

The revitalization of North Park has reached another milestone with the completion of the North Park parking structure, a $7.6 million, 149,000-square-foot parking and retail facility on the corner of 30th Street and North Park Way.

Friday, March 3

Hunter Says He'll Oppose Ports Deal

Rep. Duncan Hunter, the San Diego County Republican who chairs the House Armed Services Committee, has weighed in on the Dubai ports controversy, and has promised legislation to block the deal.

Cunningham Sentenced

Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham on March 3 was sentenced in U.S. District Court in San Diego to eight years and four months in prison for corruption.

With Holidays Done, Jobless Rate Rises

San Diego's unemployment in January rose to 4.1 percent from 3.6 percent in December, reflecting a large drop-off in temporary jobs connected to the Christmas shopping season.

Thursday, March 2

Mayor Vows Changes in Real Estate Portfolio

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders , standing before "the infamous La Jolla Rat House" on March 2 , declared a call to arms to fix what he said has been serious mismanagement of the city's real estate assets.

Sawyer to Oversee Bowl Games

Doug Sawyer, the chief executive officer for United Way of San Diego, was elected president of the 2006 Pacific Life Holiday Bowl and the San Diego County Poinsettia Bowl by the board of directors of both bowl games.

Inn's Owner Plans $20M Upgrade

La Jolla-based JC Resorts has announced plans to begin a $20 million capital improvement plan at its Rancho Bernardo Inn this month.

Gateway Settling HP Patent Dispute

Gateway Inc. said it has agreed to pay $47 million to settle its two-year patent dispute with Hewlett-Packard Co.

50th District Hopefuls Debate March 9

With competition heating up for the vacant seat of Randy "Duke" Cunningham, the Lincoln Club of San Diego is hosting a 50th Congressional District candidate forum March 9.

Davis, Kennedy Are Pension Board Nominees

San Diego banker Peter Q. Davis and administrator V. Wayne Kennedy have been nominated to the board of the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System by Mayor Jerry Sanders.

U.S. Grant to Reopen Nov. 1

Upon completion of its $52 million renovation the U.S. Grant Hotel will reopen Nov. 1.

Bard Buys Venetec for $166M

C.R. Bard, Inc. has agreed to buy Venetec International, Inc., a San Diego medical device maker, for $166 million in cash.

Callaway Has New Marketing Exec

Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf Co. has appointed Bill Knees as senior vice president of marketing.

Wednesday, March 1

Invitrogen Shares Get a Lift

Stock in Carlsbad-based Invitrogen Corp. rose 5.26 percent March 1 following earnings news and an announcement about efforts to make a bird flu vaccine.

Council OKs Downtown Blueprint

Following a marathon session, the San Diego City Council on Feb. 28 approved the updated Downtown Community Plan, establishing a framework for development over the next 25 years.

Strong Start for Airport Stock

Shares in Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico SA, a public firm that operates 12 Mexican airports including Tijuana International, have risen following their initial offering debut on the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 24.