Stories for September 2006

Friday, September 29

La Jolla Homes No Longer the Priciest

The San Diego neighborhood of La Jolla, for three years running the most expensive neighborhood in America, has fallen to third place among the nation's 317 largest housing markets.

Chamber Rates Elected Officials

San Diego City Councilmen Kevin Faulconer, 2nd District, and Brian Maienschein, 5th District, earned perfect scores from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce based on how they voted on key business issues.

Banks Draw Closer to Merger

First Community Bancorp of Rancho Santa Fe and Community Bancorp of Escondido said each company's shareholders approved separate actions Sept. 27 sought in connection with First Community's acquisition of Community Bancorp.

Magazine Lauds HSBC for Going Extra Mile

HSBC North America, based in Chicago and operating an auto finance unit in San Diego, was ranked by Working Mother magazine among the top 10 on a list of 100 best companies in the nation in its October issue.

Economist Doesn't Share Anderson Forecast's Gloom

Ken Simonson, chief economist for the Association of General Contractors of America, doesn't share the gloomy view of the future spelled out by the UCLA Anderson Forecast.

Convention Center Gains Top Ranking

Despite having less exhibit space to offer and fewer downtown hotel rooms to accommodate meeting-goers than many of its chief competitors, the San Diego Convention Center managed to capture the lion's share of highly sought-after event business this year.

Thursday, September 28

City, County Pledge Joint Work to Retain Chargers

The ruling bodies for the city and the county of San Diego approved a memorandum of understanding, a pact that commits the agencies to work cooperatively to see what can be done to help keep the Chargers football club in San Diego.

Novatel Shares Fall

San Diego-based modem manufacturer Novatel Wireless Inc. took a 17.7 percent hit in its share price Sept. 28, following a downgrade from "outperform" to "neutral" by research firm Cowen & Co.

Growing SYS Posts Net Loss

SYS Technologies, a San Diego-based defense contractor specializing in technology services, reported Sept. 28 a net loss of $1 million on $16.9 million in revenue for its fourth quarter ended June 30.

Kaiser Scores High as State Ranks HMOs

The state Office of the Patient Advocate released its 2006 health care quality report card, giving star ratings to health maintenance organizations for their quality and service.

Institute Basks in Florida Incentives

The Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies announced Sept. 26 that it has picked up $88.5 million in Florida state and local incentives for the research institute to set up shop in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

NFL Star Aligns With DJO

Vista-based DJO Inc. is moving the markers with its marketing plans by announcing a sponsorship agreement with standout NFL quarterback Carson Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals.

SpaceDev's Founder on New Trajectory

SpaceDev Inc., a Poway-based space product developer, announced Sept. 28 that founder James Benson has left the company to pursue an alternative business venture.

Anderson Forecast Offers Realty Check

California's real estate sectors will continue to decline, and some 100,000 construction jobs could be lost through 2008, according to the UCLA Anderson Forecast released Sept. 28.

Wednesday, September 27

Digital Orchid Acquires Spain's Blue Tech

San Diego-based Digital Orchid, which specializes in games and other programs for wireless phones, announced Sept. 26 that it has acquired a similar company, Madrid, Spain-based Blue Tech.

$48M Infusion Fuels NovaCardia

NovaCardia Inc., a San Diego company developing drugs to fight cardiovascular diseases, announced this week that it has closed a $48 million Series B financing.

SAIC Travels Farther Down IPO Path

Science Applications International Corp. announced Sept. 27 that shareholders approved a merger agreement and two new stock-based compensation programs. The moves are important steps toward the company's initial public offering.

Frost Gives Kudos to Detectent

Escondido-based Detectent Inc. announced Sept. 27 that it has been awarded the 2006 Frost & Sullivan Entrepreneurial Company of the Year award in the U.S. energy management services market.

Tuesday, September 26

Northrop Gets Global Hawk Work

Northrop Grumman Corp. received contracts totaling more than $42 million for the company's Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle program, the Pentagon announced Sept. 26.

DJO Gets Sole-Source Supply Deal

DJO Inc., a Vista medical device maker, announced Sept. 26 that it has signed a three-year, sole-source deal to supply Consorta Inc., an Illinois-based health care purchasing organization, with its products.

Sanders Will Speak at Finance Gathering

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders will be the keynote speaker for the 16th annual California Public Finance Conference, scheduled for Sept. 27 in San Francisco.

SDG & E; Faces New Deadline

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 107 on Sept. 26, pushing forward the deadline for San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and other utilities to generate 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources.

Bilbray to Speak Oct. 19

Several North County chambers of commerce are sponsoring an appearance by Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Escondido, Oct. 19 at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.

SDSU Program Gets New Leader

Patric Hendershott has been tapped to serve as visiting chairman in the real estate program of San Diego State University's College of Business Administration.

Monday, September 25

Solar Energy Week to Shine Light on Ways to Save Money

Alternative uses of the sun's rays have been heating up discussion for Solar Energy Week, hosted by the nonprofit San Diego Regional Energy Office.

Planning at Every Stage Is Key to Expanding, Selling a Business

Question: How can I best position my company for growth throughout its various life cycles?

Buyers to Reap Benefits of Slowdown in Residential Housing Sales

With the real estate market slowing due to decreased demand and increased supply of listings, the once-robust sellers' market is transitioning to a buyers' market, say experts.

'Be Prepared' More Than a Motto, It's a Rags-to-Riches Story for Encinitas Duo

Pacific Pathway Inc. turns 1 year old next month, and oh, what a happy first birthday it'll be.

Executive Profile

San Diego-based Sony Online Entertainment LLC is part movie studio, part video-game developer, formed in 1995 as an online collaboration of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Sony Corp. of America.

When Homes Don't Budge From Listings, Bring in the Auctioneer

With more homes going into foreclosure, owners having difficulties making their mortgage payments, and sellers owing more than their house is worth, sellers are seeking alternative and fast ways to sell their homes.

Construction Journal

Lyons Warren in San Diego is providing engineering services for Butterfield Station, a new 75,000-square-foot retail center now under way in Temecula.

Progress Report

Property: 2025 Gillespie Way, El Cajon.

Imagine Having $915M to Spend , UCSD Can

A campaign to generate funds for UC San Diego called Imagine What's Next has raised $915 million since being launched in July 2000. During the 2005 fiscal year, $160.7 million in private donations were received.

No Clowning Around: Ronald McDonald, Scripps Join Forces

Imagine Ronald McDonald working side by side in a laboratory with scientists from the Scripps Research Institute.

Destination Management Firms Still at Odds With Convention Center

The destination management firms that protested the San Diego Convention Center Corp.'s decision to give preferred status to a competitor in December are not letting go. They continue to argue that the process was flawed, and they are fighting back.

Escondido's Community Bancorp, Rancho Santa Fe's First Community to Tie Knot Sept. 27

Before Escondido's Community Bancorp agreed to be acquired by Rancho Santa Fe's First Community Bancorp, it was in talks with another institution in mid-2005. But discussions went nowhere, according to a prospectus issued on the pending acquisition.

Despite Team Effort On the Part of Local Banks, 'Participation Loans' Have Downside

Because of their size and limited capital, many local community banks can't meet customer loan requirements, so they often join forces with other banks to make larger loans.

Security Industry Secures Spot at Convention Center

Behind the walls of Qualcomm Inc.'s main offices in Sorrento Valley is Steve Harvey, a South African who specializes in counter-terrorism.

'Stealing' Free Newspapers to Become a Crime

Newspaper publishers from around the county are cheering a new law that makes it illegal for any one person to take more than 25 copies of a free publication.

Chargers, City, County Disagree Over What Play to Call for New Stadium

As the clock ticks down on the moment when the San Diego Chargers can begin talking to other cities outside the county about a new stadium, city and county officials are taking steps toward a joint-powers authority aimed at keeping the franchise here.

Pension System Has New General Counsel

Christopher W. Waddell has been named general counsel for the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System.

Hospital PR Execs Say Crisis Management Plan Critical When Bad News Strikes

When police arrived at Rady Children's Hospital in May to tell executives they believed a hospital employee was molesting children there, public relations chief Tom Hanscom knew a floodgate was about to burst ...

Nonprofit Profile

Name: Scott H. Silverman.

Unlike San Antonio's Robert E. Lee, San Diego's 96-Year-Old U.S. Grant Gets New Lease on Life

I celebrated my 21st birthday in the Rendezvous Caf & #233; at the U.S. Grant Hotel back when a larger-than-life oil painting of the Civil War general-turned-president hung prominently against a backdrop of red-flocked wallpaper in the lobby.

Shell Oil President Says Industry Less Profitable Than Banks, IT

Shell Oil Co. President John Hofmeister stopped off in San Diego on Sept. 13 as part of a 50-city tour the oil giant is conducting to talk about gas prices and other issues related to energy. He was accompanied by Robert Pease, president of Shell Oil Trad

Small Business Profile

Brothers in life and in business , that's the story behind Greg and Mike Loring.

Children's Museum in Place, Thanks to Largest Crane in the West

A bounty of buildings around San Diego County are either going up, grandly opening or getting greenlighted

Regional Roundup

NeoStem Inc., a publicly traded company specializing in adult stem cell collection and banking service for long-term storage for therapeutic uses, has signed an agreement to open collection and storage centers nationally and internationally.

SEC Sanctions Dunham & Associates

The Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned Jeffrey Dunham, his San Diego investment company Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel Inc., and its related entities, for violating federal securities laws by improperly soliciting more than $350 million

Week In Review

Friday, Sept. 15

New Local Publications to Put County's Businesses in Spotlight

Two new business publications are coming to town this fall.

Governor's Minimum Wage Hike to Hit Eateries Harder Than Hotel Owners

Businesses never like to see an increase in the minimum wage.

Web Site Is the Big Kahuna in Matching Corporate Sponsors, Athletes

In just five years, Oceanside's has become the online networking service in which athletes, amateurs, as well as pro- and semi-pro in many nontraditional sports, can connect with sponsors, friends and fans.

Intelligent Automation Uses Bluegills to Test Drinking Water Supplies

"Tough" fish are protecting public drinking water from terrorist contamination and San Diego-based diagnostics firm Intelligent Automation Corp. is helping them do it.

City Council's Handling of Wal-Mart Supercenters Doesn't Reflect True Wishes of Voters, Consumers

Well, if you ask me, Wal-Mart's getting impaled right here in the nation's finest city.

Singlefin Bytes a Bit of Success in Cyberworld of e-Mail Filtering

Troy Saxton-Getty doesn't skip a heartbeat talking about spam, spam filtering, anti-spam software and e-mail filtering. He's too giddy about his company's massive 21 percent compound annual growth rate.

Plan to Fly? Rules Change for Latte, Other Liquids

The Transportation Security Administration announced adjusted guidelines for plane passengers traveling with liquids. The new rules take effect Sept. 26.

Friday, September 22

Software Firm Takes Off With IPO

Shares of DivX Inc., a San Diego-based maker of video compression software, sprinted to an opening price above $19 on Sept. 22, up $3 from its initial day's trading price on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Navy Christening San Diego-Based Ship

The Navy is set to christen its first multi-mission combat ship Sept. 23, transforming the U.S. Navy fleet one ship at a time.

Thursday, September 21

UCSD Appoints Stem Cell Research Director

UC San Diego announced the appointment of professor Lawrence S.B. Goldstein to the new position of director of the UC San Diego Stem Cell Program.

Organ Network Puts Sharp on Probation; Two Patients Involved in Controversy Died Waiting for Transplants

Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego has been placed on probation by the national organ procurement network and the agency says two people died while waiting for pancreas transplants from the hospital.

Cotton to Become Encinitas City Manager

Phil Cotton, public works director for the city of Encinitas, will receive a $30,000 salary bump when he begins his new job as its city manager early next month.

Decision on Navy Complex Development Delayed

The Centre City Development Corp., San Diego's redevelopment agency for downtown, said Sept. 20 that it needs more time to evaluate a project for the Navy Broadway Complex site, and postponed any decision at its Sept. 27 meeting. The proposed project by t

Wednesday, September 20

Two Staffing Firms Consolidate

Dalrada Financial Corp., a San Diego staffing company, said it acquired All Staffing Inc., a Pennsylvania staffing and employer organization firm, for $3.5 million in cash and common stock.

City Vindicated in Business Park Appeal

A state appellate court panel Sept. 19 upheld a tentative ruling from earlier this year that overturns an earlier judgment against the city of San Diego in a case involving developer/car dealer Roque de la Fuente.

Navy Awards Construction-Related Contracts

Four local contractors and one out-of-town contractor were awarded an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity construction contract by the U.S. Navy that could yield each company up to $100 million.

Tuesday, September 19

Neurocrine Repositions Management

Neurocrine Biosciences Inc., developer of the experimental sleeping pill Indiplon, announced changes in executive management Sept. 19.

Local Deal Brings Clean-Water Aid to China

Carlsbad-based environmental consultant Assure Controls Inc. announced a distribution agreement with Asia Water Solutions Co. for the use of Assure's licensed products to address China's water contamination issues.

Leap Gains $1B in Spectrum at Auction

Bidding at the Federal Communications Commission's wireless spectrum auction closed Sept. 18 after 161 rounds, with San Diego-based Leap Wireless International Inc. walking away with close to $1 billion in new spectrum between its two bidding entities.

Mission Bay Resort Renovated

A $9 million renovation project to upgrade 32,000 square feet of conference and event space has been completed at the 462-room Paradise Point Resort & Spa on Vacation Road at Mission Bay.

USD Dean Arrested on Drug Charges

Mohsen Anvari, dean of the University of San Diego's School of Business Administration, was arrested on drug charges in Beachwood, Ohio, on Sept. 18, according to a media release from the Beachwood Police Department.

Monday, September 18

Let Your Fingers Do The Walking When Searching Through The 'Wireless Pages'

A new player in the $7.2 billion-a-year coupon business has emerged locally, offering a new way to advertise local businesses to cellular phone users.

Top Local Public Firm Plans to Stay at the Top By Expanding

San Diego-based Sempra Energy's playing field is expanding rapidly beyond its utility business, and extending into liquefied natural gas and pipeline infrastructure ventures.

Sunstone Sells Off Holiday Inn in Mission Valley, Other Properties

San Clemente-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. has sold the 175-room Holiday Inn in Mission Valley as part of a portfolio of 13 lodging properties that went for a total of $144.1 million to Trinity Hotel Investors LLC, a private New York City-based fund

Molina HealthCare Suffers Painful Drop In Medi-Cal Patients

The Spanish-, Russian-, Vietnamese-, Hmong-speaking health plan supposedly with a knack for making its members feel at home has many of them running away.

New Boutique Hotels Find Place to Stay in Urban Core

One boutique, two boutique, three boutique, four

San Diego People

Wells Fargo & Co. has appointed John Sotoodeh to president of community banking for the Southern California region. He will be responsible for leading more than 2,000 Wells Fargo team members and 141 banking branches in San Diego, Imperial, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Most recently, Sotoodeh served as the regional president for the Peninsula market in San Francisco. He has been with Wells Fargo for the past 16 years, starting as a teller, then serving as store manager and district manager.

Teams of Runners to Represent Area Firms in Race for the Cure

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's Race for the Cure set for Nov. 5 is bringing together employees from San Diego-based public companies who want to show their support for cancer research.

Week in Review

Top Business News: Sept. 8 - 14, 2006

Local Leader Lands on National Top 10 List

The American Business Women's Association has selected Pattie Vargas as one of the "2007 Top Ten Business Women." The ABWA recognized Vargas for outstanding achievement in her career, community involvement and educational development. Vargas has served as vice president, newsletter editor and scholarship chairwoman for the ABWA. She is principal of the Vargas Group, a local management consulting company.

Copley Lays Off 26 at Today's Local News, Combines Operations With Union-Tribune

Less than two months shy of its second anniversary, Today's Local News is laying off half its staff, some of whom helped launch the paper.

Boston Investment Fund Pays $38 Million for Scripps Wateridge Corporate Center

Big deals coming down Cruzan-Monroe in San Diego has sold the Scripps Wateridge Corporate Center in Sorrento Mesa to Boston investment fund Colony Realty Partners for $38 million.

Many Retirees Soon Abandon the Rocking Chair, Return to Work World

Frank Mercardante had it all planned out. Once the sale of his bank was completed in June, he'd take a part-time job outside of banking , and take more time to smell the roses.

One Giant, One Would-Be Giant Killer Compete in Web Filtering Market

Websense Inc. and St. Bernard's Software both operate in the same space called Web filtering software. But comparing the two really isn't fair.

With Pension Crisis, America's Finest City Lost Its Way on the Road Ahead

Well, if you ask me, what's missing here in America's Finest City is the lack of vision.

10 Out of Top 100 Local Public Firms Are Industry Leaders

Profits at San Diego's public companies are down overall for the year but are still growing, financial experts say, and of the county's 100 or so public companies, at least 10 continue to be market leaders in their industries.

Nonprofit Profile , Alannah Sinclaire

Title: Founder and executive director.

Executive Profile , David R. Snyder

David R. Snyder is a man of contradictions. A partner at the law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in San Diego ...

Anti-Virus Chip Maker Tarari Beats Bad Guys to the Punch

Startup Tarari Inc. is defeating computer viruses one chip at a time.

Regional Roundup

San Diego developers Farshad and Farzad Yaghouti have broken ground on a three-story retail, office and medical building in Coronado.

Local Business Vows to Be Acquired for $3.5 Million in Stock

San Diego-based iVow Inc., a provider of disease management services to treat chronic obesity, said it has agreed to be acquired by Crdentia Corp. for $3.5 million.

Local Unemployment Remains Below National Levels

San Diego's unemployment rate for August dropped to 4.1 percent, down from 4.3 percent in July. It was at 4.4 percent in August 2005, according to the latest report from the state Employment Development Department.

Small Business Profile

A product of the Aloha State, entrepreneur Leana Hosken did more than just launch her own business five years ago. She made a lifestyle choice rooted in an island-style upbringing that celebrates all things natural.

Poll: CEOs' Confidence in Local Economy Hits Three-Year Low

Confidence levels among CEOs of small- to mid-sized U.S. businesses are at a three-year low. In San Diego, the No. 1 cause for concern is staffing.

Expo Sports Plenty of Action, Not a Lot of Sales for Local Firms

Another Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo has come and gone in San Diego, receiving a passing, albeit somewhat lukewarm, grade from local businesses.

USD, Human Systems Consulting Chief Look to Help Small Biz

The area's thousands of small businesses are a driving force for the San Diego economy, and now because of a local partnership, these business owners have an opportunity to participate in training programs to help increase their ability to plan, manage an

Small Business Help Line

Question: I have an opportunity to partner with another consultant on a client project. What are some of the risks with this venture?

Rather Than Sell in Slumping Market, Many Homeowners Opt to Remodel

Many San Diegans who remodeled their homes last year more than recouped their investments, a rarity among cities across the nation.

Progress Report


Friday, September 15

Building, Realty Industries Promote Homeownership

San Diego's once overheated real estate market is cooling down , a perfect time for consumers to take advantage of this new "buyer's market."

Mortgage Lender Buys Investment Company

Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co., a San Diego-based mortgage lender specializing in sub-prime home loans, said its shareholders overwhelmingly approved the $340 million purchase of Aames Investment Co. of Los Angeles on Sept. 15.

Thursday, September 14

Cable Company's Profits Leap Sky High

RF Industries Inc. Ltd, a San Diego distributor of communications connectors and cables, reported net income of $407,000 for its third quarter ended July 31, more than double the profits earned in the like period of 2005.

Desalination Plant Wins Water Award

Stamford, Conn.-based Poseidon Resources Corp. announced that the Poseidon Desalination demonstration facility in Carlsbad has been awarded the most prestigious award in the water industry.

Golf Apparel Firm's CEO Resigns

Ashworth, a Carlsbad-based maker of golf apparel, said its chairman and chief executive officer, Randall L. Herrel, will resign effective Oct. 17.

ViaSat Accepts $10.9M Orders

Carlsbad-based communications device company ViaSat Inc. announced two orders for its jam-resistant communications terminals totaling $10.9 million.

Mercy Hospital Receives $10 Million, Its Biggest Donation Ever

Scripps Mercy Hospital has received the largest donation in its 116-year history , $10 million from local millionaire developer Conrad Prebys.

Gas Prices Crawl Down

Those tumbling gas prices in recent weeks are the result of increased supplies due to oil companies stockpiling larger volumes, anticipating another major hurricane season, plus the decrease in purchases caused by the end of the driving season ...

Council Approves Homes in Hillcrest

The San Diego City Council on Sept. 12 approved a $98 million development that will "provide desperately needed housing" in Hillcrest, according to Councilwoman Toni Atkins, whose 3rd District covers the area.

Home Prices Going Down

The median price for all homes in San Diego County dipped 2.2 percent in August 2006, from $493,000 last year to $482,000.

Wednesday, September 13

Jack in the Box Sells Hawaii Restaurants for $19M

Restaurant operator and franchiser Jack in the Box Inc. announced Sept. 12 that Scanlan Management LLC has acquired 25 of its restaurants in Hawaii for some $19 million in cash.

Sempra Acquires Salt Mines for Future Storage

Sempra Energy's Pipelines & Storage unit announced Sept. 13 that it has acquired 75 percent ownership of three salt mines and more than 150 acres of property in Cameron Parish, La.

Fairgrounds Getting New Look

Jaynes Corp. in San Diego has completed construction on two major facilities at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, marking the beginning of a $50 million plan for the site.

Tuesday, September 12

Home Prices Slip in North County

The median price for all homes in North County , single-family detached and single-family attached , decreased from $565,000 in July to $555,000 in August.

FDA Wants More Information From Genentech

Genentech Inc. must provide further proof of safety and efficacy to the Food and Drug Administration before the agency approves use of the company's cancer drug, Avastin, in combination with chemotherapy for first-line metastatic breast cancer.

It Pays to Drink? Study Finds Link

An economic study released Sept. 12 concludes that alcohol drinkers are taking home more pay compared with those who shun the sauce.

EDC Open to Miramar Airport Idea

The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. has given a thumbs up to the notion that the county's regional airport might one day be moved to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

Governor Signs Minimum Wage Law

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a minimum wage increase Sept. 12 that, in two years, will make California's minimum wage the highest of any state.

Copley Press Cuts Staff at Today's Local News

Half the staff at Today's Local News is being laid off, Copley Press Inc. has announced.

MyNuMo Joins Forces With AOL

An Internet-based San Diego company is offering its users an opportunity to make money in a multi-billion-dollar market and has announced a partnership to provide that service more widely.

Monday, September 11

Agriculture Revenue at All-Time High

Revenue generated by San Diego County's agricultural industry reached an all-time high last year, climbing to $1.5 billion, statistics released by the county this week show.

Ophthonix Eyeglass Firm Sets Sights on Race Track Visibility

San Diego's Ophthonix Inc. is racing to the finish line to increase its own visibility. The privately owned firm was scheduled to make its debut at Chicagoland Speedway as the sponsor for driver Sarah Fisher in the Peak Antifreeze Indy 300 in Joilet, Ill.

Charter Air Service in Carlsbad Offers Flights to Mexico's San Felipe

On a clear morning Sept. 1, Grey Eagle Aviation Inc. launched its charter air service to San Felipe in Baja California, Mexico with a nine-passenger Cessna Caravan that took flight from McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

Small Business Spotlight: A-1 Hearing Aid Centers Inc.

When asked, many entrepreneurs will say the path to small-business ownership was one they were born to take. Maxine Glazebrook is not one of those types of people.

Rapidly Shrinking Talent Pool the 'Quiet Crisis'

Rapidly Shrinking Talent Pool the 'Quiet Crisis'

Report: Corporations Setting Up Shop in Kearny Mesa Sub-Market

Falling vacancy rates and rising appreciation highlighted Kearny Mesa's research and development/industrial sub-market during the first half of 2006, according to CB Richard Ellis' midyear report.

Ligand Sells Rights to Painkiller

Ligand Pharmaceuticals announced Sept. 7 that Bristol, Tenn.-based King Pharmaceuticals has purchased the rights to Ligand painkiller Avinza for $265 million.

San Diego People

Key Hires And Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Jane Ogle

Next Pharmaceuticals Wonders What's Next for Its Herbal Remedies

Next Pharmaceuticals Inc. may have opportunities to edge toward a more biotech-centered pipeline ...

Executive Profile , Robert Pinnegar

Robert "Bob" Pinnegar knows what it means to work for employers who aren't held in high regard. Early on, he was a field representative for several local politicians. Today, he works for apartment owners.

Regional Roundup

The Santee City Council has approved a 20-unit condominium project on 2 acres along Fanita Drive near Paseo Ladera. And other news from around San Diego County.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

TV Commands 90 Percent of Ad Revenue But Online Sales Gaining Fast

Search engine optimization, click-through rates, consumer generated marketing , get to know these key terms, because in the next 36 months, two-thirds of TV advertising power will drop, leaving ample room for interactive online ads to take charge.

National City, Port Officials Charge Into New Stadium Fray

A move to attract the San Diego Chargers to National City got a boost last week when the seven-member Port Commission agreed to look at building a new stadium on a 52-acre waterfront parcel.

New Keating Hotel a Lady in Red, Thanks to Famed Italian Designer

Paolo Pininfarina, who heads the Italian family-owned company famous for designing the Ferrari, insists that while the d & #233;cor ...

Index Shows Local Economy Lags

San Diego's economy is in the doldrums, and not looking at turning around anytime soon, according to the index of leading economic indicators released Sept. 6.

FDA Seeking More Information on Neurocrine's Sleeping Pill

The Food and Drug Administration has asked Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. to study how its experimental sleeping pill, Indiplon, reacts with certain foods before the agency reconsiders market approval.


Sunrise Powerlink Premature, May Not Be Necessary at All; Proposition 86 Would Save Lives, Discourage Smoking Among the Young

SAIC Eyes Homeland Security Deal

Science Applications International Corp. announced Sept. 11 that it is part of the Lockheed Martin Corp. team that will compete for the Department of Homeland Security's Secure Border Initiative Program contract.

Qualcomm Donates $250K for Training Center

Qualcomm Inc. has granted Kids Included Together $250,000 to help with opening its National Training Center on Inclusion in Point Loma's NTC Promenade at Liberty Station.

Wal-Mart's Industrial Loan Controversy Tarnishes Silvergate Deal

Silvergate Bancorp Chairman and CEO Dennis Frank said the banking industry's fear of Wal-Mart's entry into retail banking prompted the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to suspend approval of transactions involving industrial loan companies for six months.

Mexico's Top Tequila Brand Hoping Local PR Firm Has Right Mix

San Diego-based public relations firm Formula is now representing the No. 1 tequila in Mexico. Case Herradura has asked Formula to handle a media relations and promotions campaign for its brands, Herradura Tequila and El Jimador.

Coronado's New Beach 'N Diner Steals Favorite Dish From Cincinnati

After the owners of the Beach 'N Diner in Coronado completed its renovation that is definitely "Kiss-my-grits-Mel" retro, they hired a chef to revise the menu with the type of cuisine they expect will entice more San Diegans to cross the bridge.

Local Civilians Spend a Day Aboard Pinckney, Observe Commitment, Dedication of U.S. Sailors

Local Civilians Spend a Day Aboard Pinckney, Observe Commitment, Dedication of U.S. Sailors

Dodge Charges Forward With Car Built for Speed

Dodge Charges Forward With Car Built for Speed

Kelly Capital Sells Linen, Uniform Business to Salt Lake City Firm

Kelly Capital, a local private equity fund, sold its largest company, National Linen & Uniform Service, last month to a private Salt Lake City company in the business.

Forecast Calls for Brisk Hiring Climate

Some 44 percent of San Diego employers say they'll be hiring more staff for the fourth quarter, according to a new Manpower Employment Outlook survey.

Millions Spent on Securing Lindbergh Field Since Terror Attacks

In the five years since Sept. 11, 2001, Lindbergh Field has spent more than $5 million trying to improve security at the nation's busiest single-runway airport.

Unwinding Around Wireless Gadgets

The emergence of reliable wireless technologies, specifically those that keep laptop computers and cell phones working virtually everywhere, it seems, has made it possible for small business owners to leave town without feeling totally disconnected from t

Consulting Firm ACI Offers Stress Counseling on Sept. 11 Anniversary

Employee assistance provider ACI Specialty Benefits Corp. said it is offering mental health counseling to those businesses whose workers may be feeling anxiety or post-traumatic stress due to the five-year anniversary of Sept. 11 this week.

Gathering to Examine Pros, Cons of Building, Designing Green

Green is good. That's the underlying message of the 2006 San Diego Green Conference, which will be examining environmentally friendly design and building, along with decision-making, at the University of San Diego, from Sept. 13-15.

San Ysidro School Has Tech Connection With Smart Boards

Getting students who attend Ocean View Hills school in San Ysidro excited about learning and improving lives are important to Smart Technologies Inc., producer of interactive whiteboards.

Padres Owner Going to Bat for Two Hotel Brands Under One Roof

JMI Realty, the real estate arm of San Diego Padres owner John Moores, could gain the distinction of building the nation's first ...

$120M Business Park Could Shine Spotlight on Santee

The official Web site of the city of Santee proclaims that it is "San Diego East County's Best Kept Secret."

Court Rules in Qualcomm's Favor

A federal judge in New Jersey dismissed Irvine-based Broadcom Corp.'s antitrust case against San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. on Aug. 31.

Week in Review

Top Business News: Sept. 1 - 7, 2006

Travel Agencies Morph Into Destination Managers

When Joanie Ogg, president of the National Association of Certified Travel Agents, began her career 35 years ago, she would spend hours poring over brochures and printed publications. The Internet has transformed travel agencies for the better.

Nonprofit Profile , San Diego Foundation

San Diego Foundation

Banking Strategy Establishes Foundation for Cash Management

Question: How do I choose the right banking strategy for my small business?

A Rose By This Name Helps Companies Refresh Software

Rose Business Solutions , considered a small business itself with 27 employees , provides services to more than 200 small to midsized businesses throughout California that have outgrown financial software such as Microsoft QuickBooks.

Sundt, Artist Work Together On Carlsbad Flower Mosaic

Normal Heights artist Kim Emerson and San Diego-based Sundt Construction Inc. are teaming up to create mosaic artwork for Carlsbad's Pine Avenue Park.

Friday, September 8

Carlsbad Expo Set for Sept. 20

The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce will hold its 16th annual Business Expo in the parking lot of Westfield Plaza Camino Real from 1 to 7 p.m. Sept. 20.

PostalAnnex+ Acquires Sunshine

PostalAnnex+, the San Diego-based franchisor of shipping and packaging stores, announced Sept. 6 that it has acquired the franchise system of Florida-based Sunshine Pack & Ship USA Inc.

Fifteen Attorneys Judged the Best

Fifteen attorneys from the San Diego office of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP have been selected by their peers as some of the best lawyers in America for 2007.

Sales Reshape Ligand

San Diego-based Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. has announced two sales that will divest its commercial drug operations in return for $518 million in cash and cash consideration.

Iomega Unveils Dual Drive

San Diego-based Iomega Corp. is lending a hand to hard-drive abusers , specifically those with Macs , with the release of the UltraMax 640 gigabyte desktop hard drive.

Boston Firm Buys Sorrento Mesa Center

San Diego-based Cruzan-Monroe has sold the Scripps Wateridge Corporate Center in Sorrento Mesa to Boston-based Colony Realty Partners for $38 million.

Survey: Fish Swims Past Foes

Fish & Richardson P.C., with offices in San Diego, has been ranked the law firm with the best intellectual property practice in the 2007 edition of the "Vault Guide to the Top 100 Law Firms."

Realty Income Prices 4.1 Million Shares

Escondido-based real estate investment trust Realty Income Corp. announced Sept. 8 that it is offering 4.1 million shares of its common stock at $24.32 per share.

Thursday, September 7

Another Local Institute Ready to Head for Florida

Leadership at the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies is on the verge of accepting an offer to expand in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

Barratt Division President Retires

G. Jack Becker, president of Barratt American's San Diego division, on Sept. 6 announced his retirement following 25 years with the company.

New Law Office Targets Elder Abuse

San Diego attorney Ramon Lewis, a veteran defense counsel for nursing homes, is switching gears.

Wednesday, September 6

Board OKs New Plans for Otay Plant

The California Public Utilities Commission OK'd a revised deal between San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and bankrupt Calpine Corp. allowing SDG & E; to purchase a power plant in the future.

Workers Picket Children's Hospital

Unionized workers at Rady Children's Hospital and Health Center held a one-day picket Sept. 6, citing frustrations arising from contract negotiations with hospital management.

Rubio's CEO Joins Board

Carlsbad-based Rubio's Restaurants announced Sept. 6 that its recently appointed chief executive officer, Daniel Pittard, has been appointed to the company's board of directors.

Novatel Taps Sprint's New Network

When Sprint Nextel Corp. upgrades to a faster wireless network during the fourth quarter, hardware from San Diego-based Novatel Wireless Inc. will help people get online.

Prudential California Realty Gets New Chief Executive

Stephen C. Games, chief executive officer of Del Mar-based Prudential California Realty in Southern California, announced on Sept. 1 that he is handing over his title to longtime business partner Nyda Jones-Church, while he will assume the mantle of compa

Index Shows Local Economy Lags

San Diego's economy is in the doldrums, and not looking at turning around anytime soon, according to the index of leading economic indicators released Sept. 6.

SAIC Unit Announces Change at Top

Science Applications International Corp. has announced a search for a new chief executive at Amsec LLC, its joint venture with Newport News Shipbuilding.

State Parks Critical of Powerlink

The California Department of Parks and Recreation is the latest opponent to step into the ring with San Diego Gas & Electric Co. over the proposed Sunrise Powerlink.

Tuesday, September 5

Schwarzenegger Appoints Homeland Security Official

Elaine Jennings, 36, of San Diego has been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger as special assistant to the director for the Office of Homeland Security.

SAIC Earnings Grow

Science Applications International Corp., a San Diego-based engineering and research firm, reported second-quarter net income of $103 million, an increase of 6 percent above the same period last year.

FDA Asks More From Neurocrine

The Food and Drug Administration has asked Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. to study how its experimental sleeping pill, Indiplon, reacts with certain foods before the agency reconsiders market approval.

Monday, September 4

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

It's Not That Phar to Win at Del Mar, But You've Gotta Have Soul

A denim-clad reporter has a chance encounter with Phar to Win and Soul City Slew at the Del Mar Race Track.

Executive Profile , Steven Cohen

Dr. Steven Cohen had intended to be a heart surgeon , until a documentary on plastic surgery he saw on PBS tugged at his own heart.

Nonprofit Profile: Operation Homefront , San Diego

Operation Homefront , San Diego

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Joseph Campano

Scripps, UCSD Team Up to Hunt for New Antibiotics on Ocean Floor

Researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography are taking the plunge. They want to see if they can discover antibiotics at the bottom of the ocean that can battle drug-resistant bacteria.

Zogenix Bursts Onto Life Sciences Scene With $60M in Financing

A new life sciences company has been founded in San Diego and quickly raised $60 million in a Series A financing last week.

UCSD's Extension Program Opens Health Training Facility in Mission Valley

UC San Diego Extension will soon open its new doors in Mission Valley. The focus of the new facility will be health care and safety.

The Pension Crisis: Ambitious Put Ambitions First, Ignored Investing Tax Monies Into City Hall

The Pension Crisis: Ambitious Put Ambitions First, Ignored Investing Tax Monies Into City Hall

South-of-the-Border Tour to Be Highlight of Business Conference

San Diego State University's Center for International Business Education and Research is hosting this year's CIBER Western Regional Conference Sept. 6-8.

In-N-Out Options Are Many: Steady Growth vs. Private Equity, IPO

Secretive In-N-Out Burgers Inc. came out of the shadows for the second time in a year when matriarch Esther Snyder died last month.

Burnham Launches Marketing Blitz for Retail on J Near Petco Park

With current efforts by the Downtown Residential Marketing Alliance to promote living downtown , complete with TV spots and banners , the Burnham Urban Retail Group brings word that it has begun marketing efforts for Retail on J.

New School Is One Answer To Solving The Nursing Shortage

Cal State San Marcos is off-and-running at the beginning of a new school year with expanded offerings to students preparing for health care careers. After years of planning, the university's fourth college , Health and Human Services , let its first batch

Small Business Spotlight , Van Vechten Creative LLC

For small-business owner Charlie Van Vechten, the creative spirit hit at a young age. Today, Van Vechten Creative is a multimedia graphic design and advertising design company specializing in the hospitality and service industries.

MBA Schools Go to Work to Keep Students Coming

While MBA programs nationwide hold steady in terms of enrollment and offerings, schools in San Diego have to work at keeping up with bigger players by offering a number of options to prepare students for the working world.

National Companies Fill Niche Magazines With High-Priced Ads

Magazines are flattering, sure, but they've also become a replacement to San Diego's limited offering to alternative "infotainment" publications. They're no longer the shiny, fun and fully disposable lumps of recycled trees, but rather they've become a ne

Nu-Trek's New Trek: Finish Device That Thwarts Nuclear Attacks

San Diego-based Nu-Trek Inc. has developed a homeland security device that holds promise for protecting the United States against a terrorist attack. A nuclear detection device , still in prototype phase , Nu-Det can be used in missiles, satellites and ot

Building Brand Awareness Can Boost Businesses' Bottom Lines

Question: How do I build a brand that stands out?

Small Biz How To

Question: How do I build a brand that stands out?

A River Runs Through It: New Industrial Park in East County

Industrial users, accustomed to trekking to the northern and southern ends of the county, will be getting more options with the development of 1.4 million square feet of industrial space at the 100-acre River Run Business Park in Lakeside.

Tech Upgrades Push MBA Programs Into Internet Age

With any successful program, change is inevitable, required to stay on top of technology as well as the competition. The MBA programs at the University of San Diego, San Diego State University and National University are no different.

Week in Review

Top Business News: Aug. 25 - 31, 2006

We're Still No. 1 Among Top 25 U.S. Travel Destinations

San Diego County's inns ranked No. 1 among the nation's top 25 destinations during the 28 days ending Aug. 19 with occupancy of 90.4 percent.

Regional Roundup

Restaurant operator and franchiser Panera Bread Co. has opened a bakery-cafe in Grossmont Center. And other news from around San Diego County.

Citistay Hotels Penciling in Mid-2008 Arrival in San Diego

New York City-based Citistay Hotels LLC plans to develop a chain of new low-priced hotels targeting travelers between the ages of 18 to 39. The company will begin with a flagship property in Miami's South Beach, and has its sights on San Diego.

Personal Tragedy Drives San Diego Energy Firm CEO to Aid Gulf Coast

Exasperated by the government's slow response to Hurricane Katrina, San Diego executive David Perez set in motion a relief effort by the private sector that continues to gain momentum one year later.

Magazine: Foley & Lardner Law Firm Has IT

Magazine: Foley & Lardner Law Firm Has IT

Not Into Fast Food? Area Farmers, Chefs Shift Into Slow Lane

The stars at the third annual Taste of Slow Food San Diego weren't the traditional Italian singers or the breathtaking view of vineyards with a mountain backdrop.

Friday, September 1

Invitrogen to Acquire Sentigen

Invitrogen Corp. announced Sept. 1 that it has entered into a merger agreement with New Jersey-based biotech Sentigen, whereby Invitrogen will acquire the company through the purchase of Sentigen stock at a premium.

Sycuan Deal's Fate Is Delayed

The California Legislature adjourned Aug. 31 without ratifying a lucrative new gaming compact between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians. By Sept. 1, state Capitol staffers were giving mixed signals on its fate.

Torrey Pines Bank Has New Branch

Torrey Pines Bank announced Sept. 1 the opening of its sixth San Diego County branch, off Clairemont Mesa Boulevard in San Diego.

State Sets Liquor License Lottery

The state Alcoholic Beverage Control Department is expected to conduct its annual lottery for the sale of general liquor licenses in November. Applications will be accepted from Sept. 11-22.

Court Dismisses Qualcomm Case

A judge has dismissed Irvine-based Broadcom Corp.'s antitrust case against San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc.