Stories for November 2009

Monday, November 30

Credit Crunch Still Constraining Region’s Small Businesses

Finance — Mike Allen

The latest numbers provided by the regional office of the U.S. Small Business Administration prove that the credit crunch has not ended, nor will it end anytime soon.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Brian Verhoeven

Better Business Bureau To Salute Ethical Firms

The San Diego Better Business Bureau presents its 12th annual Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics during a noon luncheon Dec. 8 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley.

$25M in Venture Funds Lets Startup Set Sights on New Target

Biotech — Heather Chambers

Now backed with $25 million in venture funding, privately held biotech startup Receptos Inc. said last week that it will move forward with an FDA application that aims to begin testing its multiple sclerosis drug in a small number of people.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: ArchAngel Partners Inc., a San Diego-based security company serving celebrities and executives, said Nov. 22 that it has opened a sister company called Poway Weapons and Gear Inc.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Taking Care of Environment Drives Search for Green Composite Alternatives

MANUFACTURING: Company’s Ideas Borne Out of Surfboard Industry Experience

Ned McMahon is not only passionate about the environment, he also plans to nab a piece of the multibillion-dollar, global clean technology market at a time when energy efficient and green building materials are at the forefront of government mandates and funding.

With Bond Sales Imminent, Poseidon Moves On Desal Project

INFRASTRUCTURE: 11-Year Odyssey Comes to a Close

After 11 years of intense planning, California Coastal Commission hearings and related regulatory hurdles, Poseidon Resources is ready to break ground on the $360 million Carlsbad Desalination Project.

Sprawling 210-Acre Eastern Urban Center Features Walkable Design

CONSTRUCTION: Corky McMillin’s $4B Otay Ranch Community to Be Built Out Over 20-Year Span

It will take 20 years to build and its first phase will have to wait for the construction market to return. The 210-acre Eastern Urban Center, a planned $4 billion, mixed-use development intended to be the focal point of the Otay Ranch communities, was approved Sept. 15 by the city of Chula Vista.

Rising Underemployment Figures Create Ripple Effect

LABOR: Workers Have Less Income, Less Spending Power

After completing a fast-track doctoral program for cell and molecular biology, Julia Patrick thought her professional future was secure, but this recession has destroyed any such feelings.

Cosmetic Surgeons See Wrinkles in Proposed ‘Botax’

HEALTH CARE: Plan Aims to Raise $6B in 10-Year Span

Cosmetic surgeons performing breast implants, tummy tucks and dermal fillers have come across an unfamiliar foe. And it’s not fat, wrinkles or shapeless figures.

One Page Is Worth $1,000 to Startup

SDBJ Insider — Tom York

Got a great idea for a new business? Well, test it out here! The UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge is accepting entries for its $1,000 elevator pitch competition.

New UCSD Med Center CEO to Lead Ambitious Agenda

HEALTH CARE: Restructuring, Expanding, Improving Reputation Among University’s Priorities

Amid the challenges facing the health care community, and with an eye on continued growth and institutional reputation building, a veteran UC San Diego administrator has stepped into the role of CEO of the UCSD Medical Center.

Convention Center Secures Expanded Footprint

REAL ESTATE: Adding Exhibit Space Would Generate $372M In Direct Spending, Task Force Says

Expanding the San Diego Convention Center would seem to be a no-brainer, but there’s nothing simple about financing the $750 million project.

Need for Mechanics Drives Students To Community College Facility

EDUCATION: $22M School Features Business Computer Technology Lab, Repair Bays

Despite the slump in the auto industry, demand for certified auto mechanics is forecast to continue, and a newly built San Diego mechanics school is fully enrolled with a waiting list of students.

Real Estate Roundup

Work has begun on the newest branch of the San Diego County Library in the East County community of Ramona.

Negotiating Leases Heats Up as Commercial Lending Cools

REAL ESTATE: Tenants Should Know How to Protect Themselves in the Event a Landlord Defaults

While the commercial real estate world has cooled off so fast that it’s on the verge of a trillion-dollar implosion, instability is the only certainty. Trillions of dollars of commercial building debt is going to come due in the next few years, and not every property owner is going to be able to hang on.

Handy Innovations Add Muscle to Construction Workers’ Tool Kits

TECHNOLOGY: Virtual Data Helps Streamline Processes to Save Time, Money in the Field

As the construction industry recovers from the hard economic punches of the last two years, businesses will look more and more to technology for greater efficiency, better communication, less time spent on the road and on delays, and to keep clients better informed about projects.

Green Code Aims to Reduce Commercial Buildings’ Carbon Footprint

CONSTRUCTION: New State Guidelines Set Standards Equal to Achieving LEED Silver Rating

California’s Green Building Standards Code, the first to be implemented in the nation, is expected to improve public health and safety by enhancing the design and construction of buildings through the use of building concepts that have a positive environmental impact.

Real Estate Market Trends Don’t Matter Anymore

Real Estate Market Trends Don’t Matter Anymore

New UCSD Med Center CEO to Lead Ambitious Agenda

HEALTH CARE: Restructuring, Expanding, Improving Reputation Among University’s Priorities

Amid the challenges facing the health care community, and with an eye on continued growth and institutional reputation building, a veteran UC San Diego administrator has stepped into the role of CEO of the UCSD Medical Center.

Tease photo

Wednesday, November 25

Enigma Diagnostics Picks San Diego to Commercialize Technology

Enigma Diagnostics Ltd., a British company that specializes in rapid point-of-care tests, said Nov. 25 it is recruiting scientists to work in a newly formed San Diego R&D and commercialization site.

Tuesday, November 24

Private Equity Lets Home Builder Finish Project

Local builder Cornerstone Communities is moving ahead on completing 45 houses in the Andorra development in Chula Vista after the firm obtained an $11 million loan from Presidio Residential Capital, a San Diego private equity firm.

Monday, November 23

Receptos Receives $25M in Financing

Privately held biotech startup Receptos Inc. said Nov. 23 it has closed a $25 million Series A financing round it will use to advance its lead drug candidate into human trials.

Cubic Prepares Warriors for Action

DEFENSE: U.S. Army Contract Worth Up to $468M

Bill David is an executive with San Diego-based Cubic Corp., in charge of producing war games. He gives U.S. Army units their final training before they face real combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.

UC Board May Require Insurance for Grad Student Enrollment

Eight years ago, University of California officials noticed an unsettling statistic that prompted a rewrite of the rules on campus health care.

Real Estate Profile - Jaimi Julian Thompson

Jaimi Julian Thompson is president of Artisan Design Group, an urban design trendsetter based in downtown San Diego since 2003.

Real Estate Profile - Fred Maas

Fred Maas, managing director of Pacific EcoCompanies LLC, serves as chairman of the board and CEO for the Centre City Development Corp.

Tough Market Conditions Put Apartment Projects on Hold

CONSTRUCTION: Finding Favorable Financing Options a Challenge for Developers

A handful of apartment projects are planned for downtown San Diego’s East Village, as developers see it as a way to plug into the area’s strong market for rental units.

Gaslamp Quarter Association Opposes City’s Plans for Asian Theme

CONSTRUCTION: Chinatown District Created in ’87 On Track for $2.6 Million Enhancement Project

An Asian-themed district reminiscent of a big city’s Chinatown could be incorporated in select areas of San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and Marina District if the Centre City Development Corp.’s $2.6 million construction proposal is approved.

Navy Keeps the Faith in Building Waterfront Complex Downtown

CONSTRUCTION: Down Economy, Litigation Stall Massive $1.5B Civilian-Military Broadway Project

The proposed Navy Broadway Complex project would “yield a new front porch with real benefits” for San Diego and its downtown waterfront, said retired Rear Adm. Len Hering, an ardent champion of the project.

Going Green Means More Profits, Protecting Planet

Commentary - Jim Simcoe

Tree hugging capitalism is good for San Diego.

If Not Overtaxed, Small Biz Can Be Top Job Creator

The discussion of solutions for job creation now that the recession is waning appears to be missing the obvious.

Sales and Leases

Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial arranged the sale of two triplexes in Oceanside for $1,050,000.

Real Estate Roundup

Real estate news from around the county.

Imperial Capital May Face ‘Extreme Action’ From Regulators

Joe Kiley, the new chief executive of Imperial Capital Bancorp, said Nov. 17 that there’s a chance the $4 billion bank could find the capital it needs to stay alive, but he’s not sugarcoating anything.

Teens to Benefit From The Hearst Foundations’ $75K Grant

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego received a grant of $75,000 from The Hearst Foundations.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Michael Smith

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Michael Smith

Executive Profile - Jeff Nobbs

Jeff Nobbs is the founder and chief operating officer of

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Aldila Inc., a locally based producer of carbon fiber golf club shafts and other composite materials, reported a third-quarter net loss of $571,000 on net sales of $10.7 million.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Region in Line to Receive Substantial Funding for Water Programs

INFRASTRUCTURE: Drought Emphasizes Need to Boost Supply Chain With Series of Bond Projects

If California voters approve the $11.14 billion bond proposal to fund long-term water projects statewide, the San Diego region would get $227 million as its share.

Advanced Hepatitis Drug Nears FDA Approval

BIOTECH: Telaprevir for Patients Who Have Failed Standard Treatments

Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc., maker of the HIV treatment Lexiva, has made a business of tackling some of the world’s most difficult-to-treat diseases.

Credit Card Dispute Plagues Torrey Pines Bank

BANKING: Feds Give Institution ‘Need to Improve’ Rating

Torrey Pines Bank, based in Carmel Valley and with $1 billion in assets, received a “needs to improve” rating from federal regulators because of its alleged discriminatory underwriting at its credit card division.

Kleiner Perkins Plans to Invest $1B in Cleantech

FINANCE: S.D. Carmaker Garners Venture Capital

The nation’s largest and most influential venture capital firm is betting big on cleantech.

Donations Are Music to Lyric’s Ears

SDBJ Insider - Tom York

Offstage drama is under way at Lyric Opera San Diego, but it’s for a good cause.

CleanTECH San Diego Wins Big With Solar Funding

ENVIRONMENT: Trade Group Leads Effort to Secure $154M for Local Projects

Less than three months after coordinating Aug. 4 applications for $260 million in federal stimulus funds for photovoltaic solar power production at various San Diego public facilities, CleanTECH San Diego got the news.

Distracted By Merger, Pfizer Waffles on Future Of La Jolla Incubator

LIFE SCIENCES: What’s Next for Incubating Firms?

Two years ago, Pfizer Inc. dedicated a building on the campus of its La Jolla laboratories to fledgling life sciences companies where they could focus on research without worrying about raising money or buying expensive equipment.

SDG&E Seeks $100M Grant for Upgrade to Smart Grid

ENERGY: Company Teams With SAIC, Qualcomm, GE, IBM

When it comes to developing a smart grid, or a more intelligent system of using and distributing electric power, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. appears to be in the vanguard.

Friday, November 20

Nissan Goes Electric: Automaker Introduces the Leaf

Nissan Motor Co. rolled out its first electric car in San Diego at the headquarters of San Diego Gas & Electric Nov. 19, promising customers that their orders should be ready for delivery by late next year.

Unemployment Rate Inches Up in October

San Diego’s unemployment rate rose to 10.5 percent in October, up from September’s revised rate of 10.4 percent, and the prior year’s October rate of 6.7 percent, according to the state Employment Development Department.

S&P Upgrades Downtown Redevelopment Bonds

A group of bonds issued by the Centre City Development Corp., the downtown division of San Diego’s Redevelopment Agency, received higher ratings from Standard & Poor’s, the city said Nov. 20.

Thursday, November 19

Jack’s 2010 Expectations Don’t Match Analysts’

Shares of Jack in the Box fell by about 8 percent Nov. 19, the day after the fast food chain reported fourth quarter earnings and forecast reduced earnings for its 2010 fiscal year.

UCSD Medical Center Promotes From Within

Thomas Jackiewicz, who has been serving as associate vice chancellor and chief financial officer of UC San Diego Health Sciences, has been appointed CEO of UCSD Medical Center, the university said Nov. 19.

Cubic Delves Into Games at Naval War College

Cubic Corp. said Nov. 17 that its Cubic Applications business unit received a five-year, $6.5 million contract to research, design, execute and analyze a series of war games for the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

City Explores Football Grid Next to Petco Park

The city’s downtown redevelopment arm hired a consultant Nov. 18 to investigate the feasibility of a football-only stadium just east of Petco Park.

Wednesday, November 18

Nassco Lays Keel for Fifth Tanker

General Dynamics Nassco, based in San Diego and the last large shipbuilder on the West Coast, said Nov. 17 that it laid the keel for the fifth product carrier ship it’s building for American Petroleum Tankers LLC.

Tuesday, November 17

City Pushes for Piece of World Cup

San Diego is vying to become one of about a dozen U.S. cities to host the World Cup should this nation be selected for the 2018 and 2022 soccer tournament.

Isis Turns in Good Test Results, Delays Market Entry

Carlsbad-based Isis Pharmaceuticals said Nov. 17 that its cholesterol-lowering drug mipomersen met all its goals in a late-stage trial, cutting levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol by an average of 25 percent in people genetically inclined to develop high cholesterol.

Sunwest Finds Opportunity in Encinitas

Orange County-based Sunwest Bank, which acquired Pacific Coast National Bank Nov. 13, said it plans to retain its two new branches, including one in Encinitas.

Monday, November 16

From Spawar To Marketplace

On occasion, technology pioneered in Navy labs makes a foray into the civilian space.

U.S. Bank Moves Decisively in Buyer’s Market, Plans to Expand

FINANCE: More Is Better, Bank Considers Additional Acquisitions

U.S. Bank may not be through buying yet.

Combining Water Filtration, Solar Power, SPX Global Slakes the Thirst of Iraqis

CLEANTECH: System Assures Clean Water Supply

A newly formed San Diego business is helping to provide water filtering systems to war-torn Iraq.

Local Companies Focus on Rapid Response to Flu Threat

Responding to the emerging threat represented by exotic viral strains, local companies are focusing their efforts at finding new, faster and more efficient ways of producing vaccines.

Fred Maas Departs Black Mountain Role

High-profile politico Fred Maas, chairman of the Centre City Development Corp., the city’s redevelopment arm, is no longer president and CEO at Black Mountain Ranch, developer of the luxurious, but environmentally sensitive Del Sur housing project.

Chargers’ Stadium Drill Circles Back to Petco Park Neighborhood

SPORTS BUSINESS: Team in Talks With Mayor, But Proposed 15-Acre Site Would Have Limitations

After searching throughout the county for a new stadium site, the San Diego Chargers have come full circle and are now exploring a stadium next to Petco Park.

Health Net Adds Cross Border Coverage

HEALTH CARE: Lower Costs Drive Consumers to Mexico for Medical Services

Americans in need of low-cost health care without the wait used to cross the U.S.-Mexico border carrying little other than identification and dollar bills. But as growing numbers of health insurers extend their coverage into Mexico, U.S. workers are finding themselves carrying health insurance cards, too.

La Jolla Bank Struggling to Comply With Cease And Desist Order

La Jolla Bank, the area’s fourth largest local bank with $3.8 billion in assets, is taking a number of corrective actions, including increasing its capital, after receiving a cease and desist order from its primary regulator.

Online Educator Building a List of Top-Drawer Business Clients

TECHNOLOGY: KESDEE Wins Leadership Honors From the World Trade Center

In the marketplace for online education, a rapidly growing outfit called KESDEE is staking its claim as a front-runner.

No Shortage of Paid Parking Spaces in a Down Economy

TRANSPORTATION: San Diego Ranks Sixth Most Expensive in U.S. Based on the Daily Rate

A new survey by the National Parking Association shows San Diego has the sixth-highest maximum daily parking rate in the nation at $36.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: The Grand Del Mar has entered an exclusive club: It received a five-diamond rating from AAA.

First PacTrust Posts Consecutive Quarterly Profits

First PacTrust Bancorp Inc., holding company for Chula Vista-based Pacific Trust Bank, reported net income of $1.5 million for the third quarter, compared with a net profit of $1.4 million for the like quarter in 2008.

Local Attorney Wins $16.6M Verdict in Sacramento Radio Contest Death

A Sacramento jury returned a $16.6 million verdict Oct. 29 against Entercom Broadcasting in the case of Jennifer Strange, a 28-year-old mother of three who died two years ago after drinking too much water while trying to win a Nintendo Wii on the radio.

USD Launches Green Academic Journal for Real Estate Professionals

EDUCATION: Industry Publication to Cover Water Savings, Other Facets of Sustainable Construction

The University of San Diego has launched a new academic journal aimed at publishing research that furthers the science of green building and its business ramifications.

The Poseidon Adventure: Desalination Project Gets Final OK

Business in the North County - Ted Owen

I got the most inspiring e-mail Nov. 4 from Peter MacLaggan, senior vice president of Poseidon Resources, saying the following: “It is with an immense sense of shared accomplishment that we inform you that the California Coastal Commission issued Poseidon Resources’ Coastal Development Permit for the Carlsbad Desalination Project.” What a message!

Nonprofit Profile - San Diego Center for Children

A conversation with Rana Sampson, director of development at the San Diego Center for Children.

Executive Profile - John Strockis

John Strockis is executive managing director of asset services for Voit Real Estate Services, a full-service commercial real estate brokerage.

Real Estate Roundup

Real estate news from around the county.

Sales and Leases

Jett Holdings LLC purchased 0.8 acres of land at North Avenue in Vista for $897,000.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Tina Marie Koch

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Tina Marie Koch

A Neighborly Gesture: BofA Gives $400K to Two ‘Builders’

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation awarded two San Diego organizations $200,000 each through the bank’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative program.

Use New Approach to Upgrade Commercial Assets

Transformational changes are taking place in the real estate market, and new strategies are required. We have been there before.

FDA Delays Review of Cadence Drug

Cadence Pharmaceuticals said Nov. 13 that the FDA has delayed review of the company’s intravenous pain relief drug, Acetavance, by three months.

InfoSonics Generates Six-Figure Profit From Latin America

InfoSonics Corp., a San Diego distributor of cell phones in Latin America, reported third quarter net income of $185,000 compared to net income of $101,000 for the like period of 2008, in a Nov. 16 report.

Alfonso’s Hosts La Jolla Town Council

The La Jolla Town Council presents its SunSetter Community Happy Hour from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 19 at Alfonso’s, 1251 Prospect St. in La Jolla.

Horsman Takes Leadership Role With U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank said Nov. 16 that it has appointed Robert B. Horsman to the position of regional chairman for U.S. Bank in San Diego.

Fate Meets Its Series B Funding of $30M

Stem cell startup Fate Therapeutics said Nov. 16 it has completed a $30 million Series B financing led by Kirkland, Wash.-based OVP Venture Partners.

Friday, November 13

Washington Beckons BB&K Attorney

San Diego attorney Ricardo Soto, who has represented school districts including San Diego Unified, has been appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

Senator Visits UCSD, Views Stimulus-Funded Programs

On a short stopover to witness firsthand the effects of federal stimulus package funding, Sen. Barbara Boxer toured the laboratories at UC San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center Nov. 12.

S&P Rates County Investment Pool High

San Diego County’s investment pool received the highest rating for credit quality and volatility from Standard & Poor’s for the ninth consecutive year, said county Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister.

General Dynamics Contract Wins Could Exceed $75M

General Dynamics Information Technology, which has some 400 people working in San Diego, said it recently won three separate contracts from the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command here totaling $75 million.

Thursday, November 12

Raytheon Reels in $197M Deal to Support Amphibious Ships

Raytheon said Nov. 12 that it received a $197 million, five-year contract to support electronics on one of the Navy’s newest ships, the San Antonio-class amphibious transport docks.

College Officials Dedicate $35.7M Skills Center Addition

The largest automotive teaching facility in the nation was officially dedicated Nov. 5 on the campus of the Educational Cultural Complex in Southeast San Diego.

Wednesday, November 11

Investors Open Wallets for Altair Therapeutics

San Diego-based Altair Therapeutics said Nov. 11 it has secured $17 million in Round A financing.

HSBC to Exit Auto Loan Servicing, Sells to Texas Firm

HSBC Finance Corp., based in Illinois and part of one of the world’s largest banks, said Nov. 10 that it agreed to sell its U.S.-based auto servicing operation, part of which is based in San Diego.

Tuesday, November 10

Kyoto Prizes Honor the Work of Fou

The Inamori Foundation announced winners of the Kyoto Prizes on Nov. 10 in Kyoto, Japan. The laureates are scheduled to appear in San Diego for the ninth annual Kyoto Prize Symposium from April 20-22.

Life Technologies Makes Buy, Hits 52-Week High

Carlsbad-based Life Technologies said Nov. 10 it has agreed to purchase BioTrove, a Massachusetts-based maker of high throughput gene expression and genotyping analysis systems.

Monday, November 9

PacTrust Bancorp Posts $1.5M Profit

PacTrust Bancorp, holding company for Chula Vista-based Pacific Trust Bank, reported net income of $1.5 million for the third quarter, compared to a net profit of $1.4 million for the like quarter of 2008.  

Barona Tribal Dictionary Goes On Display

The Barona Inter-Tribal Dictionary, years in the making and running close to 700 pages, is now on display at the Barona Cultural Center & Museum in Lakeside throughout November.  

Sempra Earnings Beat Expectations

Sempra Energy reported third quarter net earnings of $317 million, or $1.27 per diluted share, up 2.9 percent from the like quarter of 2008, the San Diego-based power company said Nov. 9.  

Carlsbad Semiconductor Outfit Files for IPO

MaxLinear Inc., a developer of semiconductors for broadband communications and electronic equipment, announced on Nov. 6 that it is planning to go public.  

Copying His Way to Success

RETAIL: Founder to Continue Running 15-Year-Old Business

Bob Leone doesn’t hesitate when asked what makes him a successful businessman.

Tease photo

Despite Subsidies, Push for Electronic Health Records Prompting Cost Concerns

HEALTH CARE: Government Funds Will Not Cover All Expenses

There’s one aspect of health care reform that appears to contain a rare element of consensus: the push to digitize patient records.

CIRM Loan to Boost Diabetes Research

Stem cell engineering company Novocell Inc. has an ambitious goal. It aims to bring the first human embryonic stem cell therapy for diabetes into the clinic in just four years.

Tease photo

As U.S. Bank Integrates SDNB, Questions Arise

Patrons of San Diego National Bank, seized by regulators Oct. 30, will continue to work with familiar faces as U.S. Bank integrates the failed financial institution into its system.

Barona Tribal Dictionary Goes On Display

The Barona Inter-Tribal Dictionary, years in the making and running close to 700 pages, is now on display at the Barona Cultural Center & Museum in Lakeside throughout November.

Callaway Golf Reports a Loss for the Quarter

SPORTS BUSINESS: Maker of Clubs, Apparel Sees Upswing as 2012 Olympics Approach

Asian sales were a bright spot in an otherwise subdued quarterly financial report from Callaway Golf Co.

Europeans Want to Sever Sempra’s Partnership

The ruckus over bank bailouts in Europe got so noisy last week that echoes reverberated as far away as San Diego.

Eli Lilly Units Pumping Up Drug Pipeline

BIOTECH: UTC Center Home to Two Subsidiaries Working on New Products

For more than a year, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly & Co. has quietly been piecing together a pool of biomedical researchers who specialize in discovering, engineering and testing new biotech drugs.

Banks Starting to Lend Again on Local Apartment Complexes

REAL ESTATE: Owner-Occupied Commercial Property Sales Also Starting to Thaw

Apartment complex sales have begun to show signs of life in San Diego County, as banks are beginning to show more interest in making loans to sell distressed properties.

Tech Awards Throws Spotlight on Nine Prize-Winning Companies

The turnout at TechAmerica San Diego’s annual awards ceremony this year was incredible.

Amylin Obesity Drug Grabbing the Attention of Analysts, Investors

In recent months, much of the attention on Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. has been focused on its highly publicized proxy fight and the push to get its once-weekly diabetes drug past regulatory muster. Far less attention has been paid to its obesity pipeline, which includes two mid-stage drugs with data due out this year.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: ViaSat Inc., a developer of satellite and wireless communications systems, reported Oct. 30 that it has been granted an early termination by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice on its Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust waiting period.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Stuart Mackey

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Stuart Mackey

Real Estate Roundup

Real estate news from around the county.

Real Estate Leases

L-3 Communications Corp. renewed 123,440 square feet of office and research and development space at 10770 Wateridge Circle, Suite 100, in Sorrento Valley.

Wishes Can Come True When Starry Night Gala Raises $500K

Voices for Children held its annual Starry, Starry Night Gala on Sept. 26 at the La Jolla home of Joan Waitt.

Protecting San Diego Business More Pressing Than Ever

The San Diego North Chamber of Commerce has taken a position opposing a rise in linkage fees — fees that are charged to businesses and developers that pull building permits — believing that any increase in the current linkage fees will have a negative impact on new development and building in San Diego.

Using Median Sale Price Is Misleading Measurement

Both real estate newsletters and the popular press commonly use the median price of houses to infer the direction of the real estate market. Unfortunately, such inferences can be very wrong.

Friday, November 6

Leap Wireless Expands Customer Base, Posts Loss

Leap Wireless, which offers cell phone service under the Cricket brand, reported a net loss of $64.6 million in the third quarter, on revenue of $599 million. 

Nextwave Takes Smaller Loss as It Navigates Roiling Market

Nextwave Wireless, a wireless technology company that operates PacketVideo, reported a net loss of $100 million for the third quarter, compared to a net loss of $233 million for the like quarter of 2008. 

Thursday, November 5

Qualcomm Net Income Slips 9 Percent

Qualcomm announced Nov. 4 that earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter slipped nearly 9 percent on lower sales of its wireless chipsets and related technology. 

North Island Credit Union Lands New Leader

North Island Credit Union hired John Tippets as its new president and chief executive officer, filling the vacancy after former CEO Mike Maslak retired in January, the credit union said Nov. 5. 

Rapid Rise: Bridgepoint Education Revenue Surges 111 Percent

Bridgepoint Education said it had third quarter revenue of $127.4 million, compared to $60.3 million in the third quarter of 2008 — making for a rise of 111 percent. 

Tuesday, November 3

Poseidon Wins Key Permit, Desalination Plant Work Imminent

The California Coastal Commission issued a Coastal Development Permit to Poseidon Resources Corp. on Nov. 3, clearing the way for the firm to build its proposed Carlsbad Desalination Plant. 

Monday, November 2

Obesity Drug Deal Potentially Worth $1B for Amylin

Amylin Pharmaceuticals said Nov. 1 it has partnered with Japan’s biggest drug maker to co-develop obesity drugs in a deal worth an estimated $1 billion. 

USD Economic Index Makes Another Jump

While a regional economic index rose for a sixth straight month in September, the overall picture for San Diego remains weak and the slump will likely continue until next year. 

Students Keep Eyes on Prize, And on Application Deadline

Six Kyoto Scholarships of up to $10,000 each are available to promising high school seniors. But the deadline to apply is soon. 

TedMed Explores Future of Health Care

Event Attracts Martha Stewart, Goldie Hawn, Local Innovators Seeking Answers to Global Challenges

Amid a glittering, eclectic gathering of technologists, futurists, media personalities, leading health care practitioners, business leaders and scientists, all mixed with a sprinkling of Hollywood stardust, the four-day TedMed conference was held last week at the Hotel del Coronado.

Evolving Threats Spur Local Defense Unit to Speed Weapon Development

DEFENSE: Northrop Grumman Adapts Quickly to Changing Needs of War Fighter

Buying military hardware can be a long-term process.

Smart Phone to Smart Wallet: New Device Enables Payments By Cell Phones

With the unveiling of a slim, matchbook-sized device that adheres to the back of a smart phone, Tranzfinity Inc. is bringing the concept of the “smart wallet” closer to reality.

Tease photo

Thanksgiving Arrives Early For Food Bank

Just in time for the holidays. Thirty local labor union apprentice students from Cement Masons Local No. 500 and a Spring Valley construction firm donated time and materials Oct. 24 to repair the San Diego Food Bank’s aging 65,000-square-foot warehouse.

No-Win Situation: Region Could Not Keep SAIC

DEFENSE: Local Leaders Had Little Chance to Change Execs’ Minds

When SAIC Inc. said it was leaving San Diego for a suburb of Washington, D.C., most of the region’s business leaders barely blinked.

Investors Learn of the New Normal for Biotech

LIFE SCIENCES: More Companies Are Focusing on Projects That Might Pay Off in the Short Term

Among the many uncertainties surrounding the future of health care, one thing holds true: the old ways of doing business have forever changed, leaders in the life sciences arena say.

‘San Diego’s Bargain Mama’

Carlsbad housewife-turned-entrepreneur Stacey Ross has taken the informality of a neighborhood mothers group to the Internet to build a thriving new business.

Startup Helps Firms Give Back to Community

TECHNOLOGY: Software Boosts Businesses’ Donation and Collection Efforts

Anyone who’s been in charge of maintaining a corporation’s outreach programs knows it’s not a job for wimps. And without the right tools, it can be an ongoing exercise in frustration.

USD Economic Index Makes Another Jump

While a regional economic index rose for a sixth straight month in September, the overall picture for San Diego remains weak and the slump will likely continue until next year.

In Sizable About-Face, Banks Call It Quits on Unusual Merger

FINANCE: First Business to Continue Relationship With Giant Counterpart While Keeping Options Open

The planned merger of First Business Bank and 1st Pacific Bancorp, one of the more unusual in local banking history because the smaller bank was buying the larger, is off.

Declining Dollar Adds Value to Some Exporters’ Goods

Some Companies Reporting Higher Sales as Foreign Currencies Outpace Dollar

As the value of the U.S. dollar continues to slide against foreign currencies, some local businesses that export products overseas are enjoying increased sales.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Southwest Airlines Co. said it plans to add a daily nonstop flight from Lindbergh Field to St. Louis.

No Worries: Salary Limit Has Little Impact on Local Bankers

The federal government’s recent crackdown on excessive executive compensation may cause huge ripples on Wall Street, but the top tier executives at most San Diego community banks aren’t too worried.

Qualcomm Advances Open-Source Efforts With New Subsidiary

In an effort to take advantage of the trend toward open platforms within the mobile industry, Qualcomm Inc. has launched a subsidiary to better integrate its products with open-source software.

No Bones About It, Law School Construction Back on Track

Officials with the Thomas Jefferson School of Law said they have reaped cost savings and remain on schedule for building a new law school in the East Village even after prehistoric findings stalled construction crews this summer.

Say Hello to an Old Friend: Construction Crane Comes Back

Business in the North County - Ted Owen

A good sign that an economic recovery is beginning to occur is when vacant lots in your neighborhood start to turn into building sites, and the construction crane is no longer an endangered species.

Executive Profile - Fred Koller

Fred Koller is president and CEO of Cyntellect Inc.

Cash-Strapped Public Colleges Accommodate Influx of Students

FINANCE: State Budget Cuts Force Reduction in Classes

In a uniquely American reaction to job losses and worries, a record number of San Diegans are seeking the education and training offered by local colleges and universities — at a time of terrible budget cuts for publicly financed institutions of learning.

Tease photo

Private Schools Capture Overflow From Packed Universities

EDUCATION: Programs Expand to Satisfy Growing Demand for College Credits

While harsh budget cuts leave publicly funded colleges and universities staggering under increased demand triggered by a troubled economy, privately funded schools continue to grow as students look elsewhere for education.

CSUSM Pushes the Limit of Preparing Students for the Future

EDUCATION: Aptitude Tests to Etiquette Lessons Foster Professional Development

A two-year pilot program at Cal State San Marcos seeks to prepare business majors for real-world challenges ahead.

Workshop Focuses on Career Planning for an Aging Work Force

In an effort to help this aging but still active segment, AARP, the San Diego Workforce Partnership, and several other public and private groups designed a forum to promote the concept of lifelong learning

Alliant’s Sample U Puts Try Before Buy Spin on Advertising

MARKETING: Consumers Invited to Test Products in an Educational Setting

Tryvertising, a relatively new try before you buy concept, allows companies to receive real-time consumer feedback on new products, advertising campaigns and branding.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Robert Nascenzi

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Robert Nascenzi

Real Estate Roundup

Real estate news from around the county.

Sales and Leases

Pacific Maritime Industries Corp. purchased a 57,600-square-foot building at 1790 Dornoch Court in Otay Mesa for $4.7 million.

Foundation Takes the Initiative to Help 3 Local Arts Groups

Three San Diego County arts institutions received grants from The James Irvine Foundation as part of $4 million in grants to the Southern California region.

Algae Industry Already Contributing to Local Economy

It was more than the sunny weather that brought 700 scientists, financiers, entrepreneurs and policymakers to San Diego recently for the third annual Algae Biomass Summit.

Universities Must Learn Lessons on How to Change

Universities in America (California in particular) face a challenge unparalleled in the history of higher education.