Stories for August 2010

Tuesday, August 31

Index Shows Economy Improving at a Snail’s Pace

San Diego’s economy continued to plod along, but is moving up, albeit by dribs and drabs, according to the July Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego released Aug. 31.

Monday, August 30

Woman Charged With Wrongly Collecting Katrina Aid

Federal prosecutors charged a San Diego woman with fraudulently obtaining relief in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in a six-count indictment Aug. 27 in a San Diego federal court.

Overland Storage Cuts Yearly Net Loss

Overland Storage Inc., a San Diego maker of data storage systems, reported a fiscal year fourth quarter net loss of $4.2 million, compared to a net loss of $2.6 million for the like quarter last year.

Carlsbad Resort’s Loan Placed in Special Servicing

A $186.5 million loan on the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, previously known as the Four Seasons Aviara, has been placed in special servicing due to imminent default, according to an Aug. 25 alert issued by Fitch Ratings.

Drug Developer Otonomy Collects $38.5M

Otonomy Inc., a San Diego company developing drugs to treat disorders of the inner and middle ear, said Aug. 30 that it closed a $38.5 million series B financing round.


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Executive Profile: Renée Schor

Renée Schor is partner of Schor & Freeland LLP, an employment law firm dedicated to helping create sustainable workplaces.

Communication Is Key to Avoiding Legal Conflict in the Workplace

WORK FORCE: Strategies Include Open Door Policies And Honest Evaluations

he most effective strategies for preventing labor problems involve maintaining good communications with employees and providing clear expectations for performance.

Books to Blogs Toss Legal Lifelines to Businesses on a Budget

WORK FORCE: Public, Private Resources Can Save A Trip to Lawyer’s Office

When employers start to look for the best advice about following the law and the best avenues for taking care of employees, they soon realize there are lots of questions and lots of places to look.

When Workers Go Mobile, Employers Navigate New Labor Laws

TECHNOLOGY: Companies Confront Legal Issues Tied To Managing Remote Staff

As new technologies make it easier for employees to do their jobs outside the traditional workplace, employers increasingly find themselves navigating through unfamiliar legal waters.

Tease photo

Sometimes, You Get What You Pay for From Civil Servants

Until a couple of weeks ago I had never heard of the city of Bell in California. When the story of outrageous public employees’ salaries there hit the streets the fatal bell tolled for the top executives running the city

Bank’s Capital Ratios, Lack of Problem Loans Lead to Big Year

As some banks stumble, others seem to get stronger.

Building Blues Could Spur Housing Shortage, Economist Speculates

Could today’s sluggish pace of new-home construction help create tomorrow’s housing shortage in the San Diego County market?

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Business Awards to Honor Women for Courage, Leadership

Laura Farmer Sherman and Mary Walshok are among the people who will be honored in late October during the San Diego Business Journal’s 17th annual Women Who Mean Business Awards.

Tourism Bureaus Ready to Seal Marketing Pact

HOSPITALITY: ConVis Set to Promote Hotels in The North County Region

San Diego’s two city-focused tourism bureaus are nearing completion of arrangements to have the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau take over the bulk of duties in promoting northern hotels.

PacWest Bancorp Expands Market Share To Central California

BANKING: Pacific Western Parent Buys 3rd Failed Bank

PacWest Bancorp, parent of Pacific Western Bank, expanded its market share to Central California, picking up 14 branches and some $800 million in assets from failed Los Padres Bank, a savings and loan based in Solvang, in a regulator-assisted deal Aug. 20.

Engineer Shapes Toy Company Out of Educational Building Blocks

TECHNOLOGY: Creator Breaks Into Children’s Market With $300K

Engineer Scott Seligman of San Marcos always enjoyed watching his children play with building blocks, but it seemed to him that the toy could be improved to encourage them to learn more while they were having so much fun.

Tease photo

Answer to Fiscal Woes Can Be Found Within Us

We are now bouncing along the bottom of the economic cycle, worrying — as if it matters — whether the economy is now mired in a “double dip” recession or just continuing along its slow, miserly pace presumably to recovery.

Tease photo

Grants Supply $400K for Upgrades to 26 Historic Navy Buildings

The NTC Foundation received grants to provide funds for the renovation of the next phase of 26 historic buildings at the former Naval Training Center.

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

CNO Sees Little Change for Military

DEFENSE: Chief of Naval Operations Positive About County’s Future Role in Nation’s Defense

The military’s $26.5 billion annual economic impact on San Diego is not likely to change significantly as the years progress, the Navy’s top officer, Adm. Gary Roughead, told a group of reporters Aug. 26 during a visit to San Diego.

Tease photo

Supporting Scouts

NONPROFIT: S.D. Firms Make Key Contributions to Girl Scouts

When land was set aside for scout camps in Balboa Park just after World War II, the story goes, the boys program got there first. The Girl Scouts arrived a few years later and took up residence on an adjacent site that was largely a canyon.

Tease photo

Bonds Approved for Airport Terminal Expansion

FINANCE: Interest Rate On 30-Year, $600M Issue To Be Determined Soon

The agency that oversees San Diego International Airport approved issuing up to $600 million in revenue bonds Aug. 23 to finance most of the $1 billion terminal expansion and improvement project.

U.S. Trauma Care Facing Its Own Trauma, Doc Says

Physician Brent Eastman, Scripps Health’s chief medical officer who also chairs the American College of Surgeons’ board of regents, pens a study for the college that says trauma care is in big danger of expiring nationwide.

Investors See Value in Mexican Commercial Real Estate Market

REAL ESTATE: Residential Side Called Dead; Leasing Activity Up

While its once-high-flying residential condo market is being pronounced dead, Mexican real estate still has pockets of activity — in selected industries in certain geographic areas — that continue to draw investors on the commercial side.

Friday, August 27

Deadline for Innovative Product Award Draws Near

The deadline for Connect’s Most Innovative New Product Awards, which the organization touts as San Diego’s Oscars for new technology gizmos, is Sept. 2.

Pentagon Work Propels Firm’s Fast Growth

Lexicon Consulting, an El Cajon-based firm that trains Department of Defense and military personnel before they’re deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, was ranked fourth fastest growing company in the nation by Inc. Magazine in its September issue.

Wednesday, August 25

SDSU President Sets Retirement Date

Stephen Weber, president of San Diego State University since 1996, announced Aug. 24 he’s retiring from the job effective July 5.

Tech Incubator Hosts Debut Ceremonies at UTC

Business and civic leaders on Aug. 24 held opening ceremonies for a new technology company incubator in La Jolla. A ribbon-cutting and open house took place at the new 18,000-square-foot headquarters of CommNexus.

Fitch Ratings Reevaluates Port District Bonds

Fitch Ratings affirmed an A+ rating on the San Diego Unified Port District’s $43.5 million in outstanding revenue bonds but bumped the outlook on the agency down from stable to negative in an Aug. 24 report.

Tuesday, August 24

County Home Construction Permits Rise From 2009

Construction permits pulled for single-family homes in San Diego County during July rose 3.3 percent from a year ago, but totaled less than half the number seen in June, according to data reported Aug. 24 by the California Building Industry Association.

San Diego Bank Acquires Failed Bank’s Assets

PacWest Bancorp, parent of Pacific Western Bank, said it acquired most of the assets and deposits of Los Padres Bank, based in Solvang and seized Aug. 20 by federal regulators.

Spring Valley Industrial Park Sold for $12.25M

Dentt Properties, a San Diego-based real estate investment and development firm, has sold a 94,698-square-foot industrial park in Spring Valley for $12.25 million.

Monday, August 23

SBA Kicks Off Week With Programs

The San Diego office of the U.S. Small Business Administration holds two free workshops this week.

Old Globe Raises $1M While Celebrating Its 75th Anniversary

The Old Globe celebrated its 75th anniversary on July 31 with the world premiere of “Robin and the 7 Hoods,” which was followed by a dinner on The Old Globe’s Copley Plaza. Audrey Geisel, Marion Ross and Darlene Shiley were the 2010 Honorary Chairs.

Marketing Matchmaker Pairs Consumers to Entertainment Discounts

HOSPITALITY: Online Surveys Help Target Offers To Compatible Recipients

Marketing discounted restaurant offers and theater tickets is nothing new, but Steven Persitza, president of San Diego-based Just My Ticket, has added a new twist by closely matching the offers with the recreational habits of participating consumers.

Tease photo

Fresh Start for Apartments At Spectrum

Atlanta-based Wood Partners LLC, which develops multifamily projects, has purchased a 5.9-acre apartment site in San Diego’s Kearny Mesa area, where it plans to build a 379-unit luxury apartment community.

As Hotel Industry Improves, Buyer Interest Rises

REAL ESTATE: 1st-Half Sales Transactions Up About Two-Thirds Locally

As the fortunes of the long-battered hotel industry steadily improve, San Diego County is among the markets riding a significant increase in hotel property sales transactions.

Tease photo

University Club Redesigned for Modern Times

CONSTRUCTION: Patrons Will Mix Work, Play in Posh Panoramic Tower

The downtown space that houses San Diego’s century-old University Club has embarked on a 21st century renovation, targeting the social networking needs of time-strapped, multitasking business professionals who can’t avoid taking their work beyond the office.

Tease photo

Voice of Padres: Get All You Can Eat Before Fasting

Eat, drink and then fast? Ted Leitner, the play-by-play voice of the first-place San Diego Padres, is often heard these days on the radio extolling the virtues of a quick weight-loss program in one commercial while urging fans to partake in the $28 all-you-can-eat special at Petco Park in another commercial, sometimes even running back-to-back.

Contests Produce Ad Designs on a Dime

MARKETING: 1-Man Operation Helps Generate New Logos for U.S. Postal Service, Small Biz

Small businesses seeking a new print ad, logo or Web site to attract attention but lack a marketing budget may find an alternative at

Proposed Budget Cuts Not a Big Concern for Local Defense Industry

DEFENSE: Region’s Robotics, Ship Repair Sectors May Grow

Despite Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ statements this month about reining in the Pentagon budget — partially by cutting defense contractor budgets — San Diego County’s military-related economy should remain robust, according to a trade group executive.

Builder Planning 700-Home Project

REAL ESTATE: Standard Pacific Takes Over Stalled Development

Developer Standard Pacific Homes said recently that it is investing at least $150 million to move forward on what would eventually be more than 700 homes on 468 acres in North County, reviving a project stalled by financing issues faced by its original developer — and stoking optimism about local recovery in the still moribund home-construction industry.


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Driven to Sell

RETAIL: Brecht Brothers Are Passionate About Cars

Tim Brecht was back at work on a Monday after spending the night at a major Southern California traffic artery. Brecht had parked his motor home in a spot near Interstate 5 on the grade of Tejon Pass, aka the Grapevine, midway through his drive home from Northern California.

Tease photo

Art Mirrors Science in Exhibition at Museum

In an extraordinary exhibition called “Here Not There” at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Associate Curator Lucia San Roman claims: “I had no point to make other than that San Diego is in fact made of distinct groupings of artists. Metaphorically, I think of them as a group of satellites. They may know each other, but don’t really overlap.”

Promote New City Hall — When Time Is Right

There’s no question that something has to be done about the decades-old firetrap our city’s political leaders and bureaucrats call home. The present City Hall is undeniably overcrowded, obsolete and unsafe physically.

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

Lessons in How to Close the Sale Put a Premium on Open Dialogue

EDUCATION: Training Programs Give Students Guidance in Art of Selling

Local sales coaches and consultants are making it their mission to help professionals rethink and fine-tune sales strategies in the midst of a terrible recession that has shattered bottom lines and slowed accounts receivable.

Executive Profile: Stephen L. Weber

Stephen L. Weber is the seventh president of San Diego State University in its 113-year history.

An M.B.A. Is Cherished Commodity in Competitive Job Market

EDUCATION: Specialty Programs Give Students Flexibility for Career Goals

The M.B.A., or Master of Business Administration degree, is in big demand these days as students with and without management experience look to polish their resumes in an unsteady job market.

Emerging Jobs Elevate Higher Education’s Selection of Courses

WORK FORCE: Colleges Endeavor to Fill Demand For More Complex Skills

San Diego universities and colleges are responding to major changes in the economy by creating new programs of study designed to help students qualify for jobs that likely didn’t exist a few years ago.

Tease photo

Nonprofit Profile: Joe Horiye

Joe Horiye is executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corp. LISC-San Diego invests financial resources and community economic development expertise to revitalize neighborhoods and create desirable communities in which to work, do business and raise families.

Ground Breaking: San Diego Miramar College’s Arts and Humanities Building and Business and Mathematics Building

The Arts and Humanities Building will consist of 45,000 square feet of new construction, including space for English, visual arts, music, speech and foreign language classrooms.

Tease photo

Executive Profile: Thomas J. Fine

Thomas J. Fine is president and chief executive officer of J.E. Moore Consulting Inc., a design and construction management consulting firm.

Merger of 4 Banks Not Yielding Good Returns for Sunrise Bank

Sunrise Bank, which merged four smaller community banks into one bank this year, is finding more isn’t necessarily better.

County Bucking Trend of Distressed Commercial Property Loans

A new report by the local office of brokerage firm Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial notes that of all U.S. regions, the West accounts for the largest share of nationwide commercial property loan distress.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Friday, August 20

Biotechnology Company Garners Patent for Protein

Halozyme Therapeutics said Aug. 12 that it received a U.S. patent for a protein.

Local Receivership Firm Wins Arizona Court Case

The Arizona Superior Court has sided with Trigild, ruling that the San Diego-based receivership and loan recovery services firm can sell seven distressed Arizona apartment complexes for $123 million to Standard Portfolio.

County’s Unemployment Number Grows

San Diego County’s jobless picture got worse in July with the unemployment rate rising to 10.8 percent, up from a revised 10.5 percent in June.

Sempra Declares Dividend

Sempra Energy said Aug. 19 that it will pay a 39-cent dividend for each share of common stock.

Thursday, August 19

HomeTown Buffet Owner Sprucing Up its Stores

Buffets Inc., the parent of HomeTown Buffet, said Aug. 18 it is transforming all 10 of its San Diego restaurants with “an entirely new look and feel, with updated design and fresh, new décor.”

Wednesday, August 18

First PacTrust Bancorp Reports Quarterly Net Loss

First PacTrust Bancorp Inc., parent of Chula Vista-based Pacific Trust Bank, reported Aug. 16 a second-quarter net loss of $2.5 million, compared with a net profit of $685,000 for the like quarter of 2009.

Builder Buys Site for $90M Apartment Project

Atlanta-based Wood Partners LLC, which develops multifamily projects, has purchased a 5.9-acre apartment site in San Diego’s Kearny Mesa area, where it plans to build a 379-unit luxury apartment community.

Monday, August 16

Port Plans Public Meetings on Embarcadero Development

The Port of San Diego will hold a series of public meetings to review the latest revisions to the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, covering proposed future development of downtown’s waterfront area.

Minor League Baseball Team Becoming a Major Topic in Region

Escondido is in the middle of an approval process to build a professional baseball stadium for the relocating Portland Beavers Triple-A team.

Tease photo

Venture Capital Investment Declines; Most Going to Life Sciences Sector

FINANCE: Early Stage Firms Getting Lion’s Share of Money

Venture money going into San Diego-based companies continued to lag in the second quarter compared with the pre-recession years, with $171 million invested, most of it going to firms connected to the life sciences sector.

Acquisition for ‘Pennies on The Dollar’ Boosts Small Business’s Fortunes

TELECOM: Industry Shrinks as Fewer Firms Expand, Relocate

Bruce Madden said his company’s recent acquisition of failed Teldata Enterprise Networks was an incredible bargain.

Single-Family Homes Take Wide Lead in County Sales

REAL ESTATE: Marketing, Price Adjustments Help Move Condo Inventory

San Diego County home sales spent the first half of 2010 on a decided upswing compared with a year ago. But the recovery has benefited detached single-family homes much more than attached units such as condominiums.

‘Beautiful Little Film Noir’ Wins Honors at Fest

And the winner of the most recent San Diego 48 Hour Film Project is (the envelope, please!) …

Bridgepoint Adds Space for Burgeoning Business

REAL ESTATE: Company Leads Growth Trend Among Educational Organizations

Already among the region’s largest employers, San Diego-based Bridgepoint Education Inc. will begin operations later this month in its sixth location in the city.

Tease photo

Program Helps Give UCSD the Power to Conserve

ENERGY: Facilitated By SDG&E Incentives, Project Saves School $900K a Year

Energy Dashboard, a research project at UC San Diego, is helping to conserve energy on the campus by allowing students, faculty and administrators to continually monitor the electricity being consumed.

Tease photo

Torrey Pines Bank Opens L.A. Branch

Torrey Pines Bank, a locally based institution with about $1 billion in assets that had planned to open a full-service branch in Los Angeles a year ago, obtained approval from regulators last week to open its eighth office Aug. 4, its first outside of San Diego County.

Managing Companies’ Growing Pains Involves Team Effort

WORK FORCE: UCLA Basketball Coach’s Wisdom Inspires Business Consultant

In order to make companies more efficient and profitable, The180Group LLC founder Peter O’Sullivan finds that it’s not enough to work with management.

Council to Weigh in on Equalizing Benefits for Contract Workers

GOVERNMENT: State Already Ensures Fair Access Regardless of Marital Status

San Diego may soon join a growing list of cities requiring municipal contractors to provide their employees involved in domestic partnerships the same workplace benefits offered to married workers.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Companies Not Filling Up Vacant Space in 4 Main Biotech Centers

San Diego County has one of the nation’s largest concentrations of biotech firms — more than 500 companies generating an estimated $9 billion impact on the local economy. But its size couldn’t overcome what was a lackluster second quarter for the sector when it came to property leasing activity.

Tease photo

Cal Bank & Trust Stays Profitable, Hires Bankers

California Bank & Trust, the largest bank based in San Diego, has continued on a profitable path this year, reporting $14 million in net income for the second quarter, compared with $18.8 million in net profit for the like quarter of 2009.

Executive Profile: Yukon Palmer

Yukon Palmer is president of Field Technologies, the provider of FieldLogix, a green GPS fleet management product that helps companies reduce their fossil fuel consumption, and particulate emissions.

Tease photo

Nonprofit Profile: Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson

Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson is president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of San Diego & Riverside Counties, a provider of reproductive health care, sex education, and advocacy.

Executives Exercise Flextime Options With iPads

TECHNOLOGY: Tablet Computers Emerge as Next Generation Business Tool

Who knew a slim computer with a 9.7-inch display would be such a big hit?

Tease photo

E-Devices Prove Their Mettle in Vigorous Health Care Settings

TECHNOLOGY: PPH Is First U.S. Hospital System to Try Tablets

Pairing tablet computing and wireless communication has the potential to push health care into new realms of quick and portable access to information and response, and San Diego stands to be at the epicenter.

Executive Profile: Rory Moore

Rory Moore is the chief executive officer of CommNexus San Diego and was the seed round investor, co-founder of Peregrine Semiconductor Corp., one of the world’s leading providers of radio frequency integrated circuits. He was the seed round investor and CEO of Silicon Wave Inc., owned by Qualcomm Inc. Moore surfs, scuba dives and flies unlimited aerobatics.

Tablets Bring an Interactive Dimension to Classroom Teaching

EDUCATION: College Instructors Find New Ways To Lecture With E-Devices

For the past several years, Beth Simon has been trying to make the case that tablet computers can do wonders to improve teaching effectiveness by bringing more student interactivity to the classroom.

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

United Through Reading Salutes USO Chief at Storybook Ball

Sloan Gibson, president and chief executive officer of the national USO, is being honored by United Through Reading at its Storybook Ball scheduled for Nov. 14 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.

Proposed Commercial Legislation Is Wrong

A congresswoman from Nevada recently introduced legislation dubbed the Community Recovery and Enhancement Act of 2010 to provide short-term tax incentives to jump-start reinvestment in commercial real estate.

Northern Exposure

INTERNATIONAL TRADE: Companies in San Diego, Canada Working Together on Science and Technology Projects

The San Diego region’s Canadian Consulate is making its presence felt by fostering partnerships between local and Canadian companies, particularly in the fields of science and technology.

Tease photo

Friday, August 13

Horton Leaving Post at Downtown Partnership

Shirley Horton, a former member of the California Assembly and former Chula Vista mayor, will leave her post as president of the Downtown San Diego Partnership later this month.

Local Firm Lands 6 Deals Worth $2.33M

San Diego-based DR Systems Inc., which provides information technology to hospitals, said Aug. 11 that it received six contracts totaling $2.33 million.

Retail REIT Reports Net Loss

Excel Trust Inc., a San Diego-based real estate investment trust, posted a net loss of $1.8 million for the quarter ending June 30.

Thursday, August 12

Destination Hotels Tapped to Manage Paradise Point

Colorado-based Destination Hotels & Resorts is the new manager of the 462-room Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego, the company said in an Aug. 11 statement.

Wednesday, August 11

CareFusion to Lay Off 700

CareFusion Corp., a San Diego-based medical device manufacturer spun off last year from Cardinal Health, said Aug. 10 it plans to cut 700 jobs from its global work force including 180 in the San Diego area in a restructuring effort to reduce costs.

NextWave Posts $71M Quarterly Loss

NextWave Wireless Inc., which announced earlier this month it is selling the remaining 65 percent of PacketVideo to NTT Docomo for a net gain of $107 million, reported Aug. 10 a second quarter net loss of $71.2 million.

Tuesday, August 10

Cypress Reports Net Loss, Prepares to Cut Back

Cypress Bioscience Inc., a San Diego-based drug maker, has shaken things up, taking significant actions recently in a strategy of reducing costs, conserving cash and focusing on other drug development.

Monday, August 9

North County Tourism Bureau Contracting Out Services

The San Diego North Convention & Visitors Bureau, which promotes hotels in northern San Diego County, announced Aug. 6 it is finalizing plans to contract sales and marketing efforts with the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Executive Profile: Charles Lundy

Charles Lundy is president of Mexico Insurance Services Inc., a provider of insurance to travelers going to Mexico.

Stress Reduction Techniques in the Workplace

Where you work can be stressful, but stress is not always a problem. A certain amount of stress provides better thinking and actions among workers.

Economic Recovery Must Begin With Small Businesses

As a businessman, I know firsthand the stress and hardships of owning your own business.

Mama’s Kitchen Applies $50K Cosmetics Grant to Food Programs

M*A*C Cosmetics, through its charitable M*A*C AIDS Fund, announced a $50,000 grant to Mama’s Kitchen, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

Ground Breaking: San Diego City College Facility Master Plan/16th Street Precise Plan

The Facility Master Plan and 16th Street Precise Plan are guiding the revitalization of San Diego City College to redefine the college as a pivotal member of downtown San Diego’s core through enhancement of green space, pedestrian access, creation of academic neighborhoods and development of the campus’ peripheral image.

Nonprofit Profile: Antonio V. Pizano

Antonio V. Pizano is president and CEO of MAAC Project, a multipurpose social services agency that focuses on promoting self-sufficiency for low- and moderate-income families through nutritional and home weatherization and improvement programs, affordable housing complexes and a charter school.

Special Report Profile: Michael R. Doerr

Michael R. Doerr is founder and president of Air2Air Corp., a short-range air charter airline established in 2008, which provides on-demand air travel. Air2Air currently operates out of San Diego airports, primarily McClellan-Palomar Airport and Montgomery Field.

Corporate Travelers Have Great Expectations for Road Trips

TRANSPORTATION: Executive Drivers Go the Extra Mile on Cushy Rides

Whether it’s arranging trips to distant offices for meetings and conferences or taking a spur-of-the-moment ride home after some corporate wranglings, private drivers and private cars are a luxury that business travelers can’t live without.

Coastal Business Commuters Hop on the Rail Lines in Droves

MARKETING: Train Operators Toot Their Horns About Services

Business people in San Diego are increasingly using intercity and commuter rail to get to and from their jobs in Orange County and Los Angeles.

Charter Flight Services Steer Clear of Economic Turbulence

HOSPITALITY: Corporate Aircraft Still Offer Flexible Alternative to Airlines

San Diego-area charter aircraft operators hired for corporate executive travel are facing headwinds as the economy has prompted companies to hire smaller, less expensive jets or choose more economical modes of transportation.

Tease photo

First PacTrust Bancorp to Raise $60M in Capital, Reports Q1 Profit

Finding investors for a bank these days is about as tough as finding a happy banker, but one community lender has apparently convinced several private equity groups that it’s going to be a long-term winner.

Institute Mulls Lively and Artistic Scene at the Embarcadero

How to turn San Diego’s downtown waterfront into a vital hub for arts and entertainment will be a key focus of a conference — dubbed “Art in the City” — set for Sept. 4, sponsored by the Urban Land Institute’s San Diego/Tijuana District Council.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Investors Take Notice of Local Apartment Buildings

REAL ESTATE: Properties In Multifamily Segment Getting Multiple Bids

Potential sellers of well-located San Diego County apartment buildings in 2010 likely have been seeing things differently from their counterparts in other real estate segments, such as offices and hotels.

Tease photo

Web Site Speaks Volumes to People Who Learn Things Visually

INTERNET: San Marcos Biz Posts Promotional Videos For Free, Offers Paid Extras

In an effort to establish its own business niche, HandBookLive has created a Web site for companies that want to use online videos as marketing tools that showcase their products.

Tease photo

Philanthropist, Police Veteran To Be Honored

Darlene Shiley and Shelley Zimmerman will receive top honors during San Diego’s 17th annual Women Who Mean Business Awards on Oct. 28.

Civic Groups Have Doubts About Homeless Center

GOVERNMENT: Debates On Location, Security Issues Expected at Future Forums

With conditional support slowly building among city officials and the business community, advocates are moving closer to establishing a one-stop service center that would partially relieve downtown San Diego’s chronic homeless problem.

Tease photo

As Hotel Check-Ins Rise, Room Rates Likely to Follow Suit

HOSPITALITY: Higher Occupancies Could Take Awhile to Register as Profits

San Diego County hotel operators had reason to breathe a sigh of relief at the halfway point of 2010, with industry indicators pointing to rising occupancy rates, as revenue emerged from its free fall of the past several months.

Tease photo

Bits of Good News Popping Up for the Region’s Jobless

Well, there is some encouraging news here and there on the job hunting front.

Entrepreneurs Start Fresh With Laundry Service

ENERGY: Water-Saving Machines Wash Big Loads For Commercial Customers

Two San Diego executives who made their names in the real estate and hospitality industries are getting into the laundry business.

Diversity a Key to REIT’s Success

FINANCE: Realty Income Provides Safe Harbor for Investors, CEO Says

Some people may have been puzzled by the recent announcement that Realty Income Corp., the Escondido-based real estate investment trust that’s been focused on retail properties for 40 years, would be acquiring Napa Valley winery holdings from Diageo PLC for $269 million.

Sandag Rolls Out Recharging Network

TRANSPORTATION: All Charged Up, County Is Early Adapter

The folks in charge of rolling out a network of electric car battery charging stations in San Diego over the next few months aren’t shy about talking of the magnitude of the task.

Making Their Pitch

SPORTS BUSINESS: Firms Get 15 Minutes to Impress Potential Investors

There was a day when he stood up to pressure on a basketball court. Today, Bill Walton is a coach, talking executives through another type of pressure: Standing before potential investors and making a 15-minute pitch about why one of them should fund their young business enterprises.

Tease photo

Friday, August 6

Five Teams Vie for Convention Center Project

The field of architectural teams in the running to design a proposed, $750 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center has been narrowed to five.

Jack in the Box Lowers Forecast

San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc. reported net profit of $24.2 million for its third quarter ended July 4, up from the net profit of $19.9 million reported in the like quarter of 2009.

Rubio’s Reports Loss

Rubio’s Restaurants, which is being acquired by Mill Road Capital of Connecticut for $91 million, reported Aug. 5 a second quarter net loss of $387,000 on revenue of $48.5 million.

Construction Under Way on $185M Proton Therapy Center

Health care leaders broke ground Aug. 5 on a $185 million proton therapy center that Scripps Health will use to treat cancer patients.

Thursday, August 5

Cross-Border Airport Terminal Advances Another Step

A cross-border airport terminal connecting Tijuana’s Rodriguez International Airport with Otay Mesa received a much-anticipated presidential permit, according to the South County Economic Development Council.

Sunstone Seeks Controlling Interest in Grand Hyatt Hotel

Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc., which last year stopped making loan payments on the W Hotel in downtown San Diego, is now looking to acquire a controlling stake in the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

St. Bernard Buys Northern California Software Firm

St. Bernard Software Inc., a maker of security software, said Aug. 4 it acquired all the assets of Red Condor Inc., a provider of managed e-mail security software.

Tuesday, August 3

Sempra’s Second Quarter Improves Over 2009

Sempra Energy, the corporation that runs local utilities as well as unregulated energy businesses, reported second-quarter earnings of $222 million on revenue of $2 billion.

Bridgepoint Education Earnings Climb

Bridgepoint Education Inc., the for-profit provider of online college classes based in San Diego, reported second quarter net income of $35.3 million compared to net income of $1.3 million for the like quarter of 2009.

Docomo to Buy PacketVideo

PacketVideo, the main subsidiary of San Diego’s Nextwave Wireless Inc., said it is selling the remaining 65 percent of the company to Japanese carrier NTT Docomo Inc. for $111.6 million, the companies said Aug. 1.

Monday, August 2

Nonprofit Profile: Joe Panetta

Profile of Joe Panetta from Biocom.

Tease photo

Biotechs Cautious About Cultivating New Product Pipelines

FINANCE: Patent Reforms, Wavering VC Activity Rein In Big Pharma Buyouts

Mergers and acquisitions in the biotech industry have come at a slower than expected rate during the economic downturn.

Research Grants Ebb and Flow to Region’s Biotech Nonprofits

FINANCE: Wave of Stem Cell Funding to Replace Stimulus Void

Nonprofit biotech research is a robust sector in San Diego, and grant recipients leading the way include a constellation of well-known names such as The Scripps Research Institute, UC San Diego, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and San Diego State University.

Billionaire Benefactor Boosts Medical Research

PHILANTHROPY: T. Denny Sanford Shares His Fortune Made in Finance

Although T. Denny Sanford came late to the party that is San Diego, he arrived with the resounding boom of $100 million in donations to scientific and medical research that will echo for decades to come.

Tease photo

Nonprofit Profile: Leane Marchese

Leane Marchese is executive director of ElderHelp of San Diego, a provider of free personal assistance to seniors to help them remain in their own homes and communities.

Tease photo

Executive Profile: Allan Camaisa

Allan Camaisa is chief executive officer of Anakam Inc., a provider of authentication solutions for government, banking, health care and commercial institutions. Camaisa is also publisher of a Christian magazine, Risen.

Tease photo

Escondido Fields Notion of Building Ballpark for the Beavers

Play ball! That may be the sound coming out of Escondido pretty soon if the City Council decides to enter into an agreement with the San Diego Padres to build a new $45 million baseball stadium for the Padres’ Triple-A baseball club.

After Two-Year Break, La Costa Serves Up Big-Time Tennis Again

It may not have the star power of the past, when the likes of Steffi Graf, Jennifer Capriati, Martina Hingis and Venus Williams drew crowds, but this year’s Mercury Insurance Open features plenty of top tennis talent.

Report: Commercial Real Estate Lenders Re-entering Market

There’s still plenty of financial distress in the U.S. commercial real estate market, and a continuing “pretend and extend” approach by many lenders who haven’t pulled the trigger on borrowers behind on payments.

Tease photo

Silvergate Recovers Losses as It Turns the Tables on Real Estate Lending

In the earlier part of the decade when the economy was roaring, Silvergate Bank retreated from lending, saying the underlying real estate values were rising far beyond the norm, and deals represented too high a risk.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

A Deal on a Meal: TipCity Inc. Launches Restaurant Coupon Biz

NEW MEDIA: Tech Veterans Bring Targeted Restaurant Promotions to Market

A San Diego startup is harnessing the power of cell phones to boost traffic to restaurants, providing discounted deals when and where the eateries determine those discounts make the most sense.

Tease photo

Connect Names President, Unveils New Initiatives

Connect has named Camille Sobrian as its president.

Corporate Sponsorships Proposed for Area Beaches

MARKETING: Measure Before City Council; Ads on Lifeguard Towers

“This day at the beach is brought to you by The Coca-Cola Co.”

Tease photo

Local Grower Ships Fresh, Ocean-View Strawberries ‘in 24’

San Diego-based grower Andrew & Williamson Sales Co. Inc., or A&W, is participating in Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc.’s “Farm to Store in 24” program, which seeks to get fresh produce to customers in the shortest amount of time.

Callaway Cuts Jobs, Moves Some Work to Mexico

MANUFACTURING: Golf Club Maker Says Strategy Was Initiated in 2006

Callaway Golf Co.’s announcement last week of a global restructuring — which slashes most of its assembly line work in Carlsbad and moves it to Mexico — is part of a reorganization the company started in 2006 and has little to do with the lousy economy, the company said.

Surge in Residential Construction Lifts Building Activity

REAL ESTATE: Commercial Side Not Faring as Well Locally

San Diego County residential construction led a continued rebound in overall building activity during the month of June, helping the region post an overall 24.9 percent increase in new permit valuations from June 2009.

Poway Has Right Climate to Help Solar Company Grow

MANUFACTURING: Business Says It Expects Rapid Expansion

Energy Innovations Inc., the latest solar energy company to set up shop in the area, has ambitious plans for its new 60,000-square-foot plant that officially opened in south Poway last month.

Tease photo

New Energy

ENERGY: SDG&E’s Knight Reflects on the Future and Where He Is Headed With Local Utility

The electric utility industry is transforming, Jessie Knight maintains, making a shift as marked as the one corporations made when they put their electric typewriters into storage and brought in personal computers.

Tease photo

City Confronting a Problem of Historic Proportions

Even though Juan Cabrillo initiated Western civilization in San Diego in 1542, the irony of San Diego is that it is perceived as a new city, at least in terms of its urban development. It is because of this that the city has become zealous about preserving the old.

Tease photo

Women’s Group Awards Eight Grants to Arts and Military Nonprofits

The Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund awarded eight grants totaling $260,055 to nonprofit organizations in San Diego County.

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

Tease photo


Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Ground Breaking: San Dieguito Academy Performing Arts Center

The San Dieguito Academy Performing Arts Center is a 17,120-square-foot facility that will incorporate theater and music wings to serve the needs of both drama and music students.

Tease photo

Chula Vista Firm Delivers 1st of 3 Boats to Navy

DEFENSE: Contract Worth More Than $30M for Builder

At 114 feet long, it’s a small craft in the U.S. Navy fleet.