Stories for April 2008

Wednesday, April 30

Temecula Valley Bancorp's Profit Declines With Interest Margins

Temecula Valley Bancorp Inc. reported April 29 net income of $1.5 million in the first quarter, compared with $4.2 million in the prior year's first quarter.

Building Permits, Other Economic Indicators Drag USD Index Down

Dragged down by sharp drops in the number of building permits, consumer confidence and help-wanted ads, a local economic index dropped 1.4 percent for March, the sixth straight decline for the number.

Cytori Gets Second $6M Installment

Cytori Therapeutics Inc. of San Diego said April 30 that it received its second $6 million payment from Green Hospital Supply Inc. of Japan. Green received 1 million shares of the company in exchange.

Tuesday, April 29

Dr. Bronner's Sues Over 'Organic' Labels

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, an Escondido-based company, sued 10 competitors and two certifying organizations April 28, saying they are incorrectly using the label "organic."

Executives Stung By 'Subpoena' E-mail Scam

An e-mail scam targeted at executives and other high-profile individuals involves a fake subpoena from what appears to be the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California.

Monday, April 28

Money Managers Send Up Flare to Wealthy Investors

While consumer confidence tumbles down with housing prices and portfolio values, financial advisers are reassuring investors about sticking to long-term planning goals even if that means holding onto declining assets.

Cymer's Stock Takes Off on News of $124M First-Quarter Revenue

Despite reporting lower sales and profits, laser equipment maker Cymer Inc.'s stock soared nearly 20 percent April 22 after it reported its first quarter results.

Kyocera Wraps Up a $12.9B Year, Forecasts 14 Percent Growth

Kyocera Corp., which is based in Kyoto, Japan, and operates several San Diego-based subsidiaries, reported April 25 net income in U.S. dollars of $1.07 billion on revenue of $12.9 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31.

U-T, North County Times Churn Out Fewer Papers

Circulation at San Diego County's two major daily newspapers declined in the past year, particularly their Sunday editions, the Audit Bureau of Circulations reported April 28.

Circle Foods Heading South to Expand

Not every business is going into a slow-down mode. In Otay Mesa, construction continues on a manufacturing/warehouse facility for Circle Foods that began in February.

Tribal Casinos Strive to Sustain Good Times Amid Economic Woes

Who are you really, Maria Elena Smith? That's what the marketing people at Santa Ana Star Casino, on a pueblo near Albuquerque, N.M., spend their time trying to figure out.

Budget Cuts Put Hospitals and Lives at Risk

Budget Cuts Put Hospitals and Lives at Risk

Henry's Markets Find Local Soil Fertile Ground for Organic Produce

San Diego County is home to the largest community of organic farming in the country, according to the most recent San Diego County Crop Statistics & Annual Report compiled in 2006.

27 Percent of Area Kaiser Members Accessing Records Online

Nearly 160,000, or 27 percent, of Kaiser Permanente's 600,000 members in San Diego County have registered to access their health records online.

Wealth Planners a Calming Influence in Stormy Market

Wealth management professionals stress that before investors make major decisions about their portfolio they meet with an adviser; otherwise, they should stick to their long-term plans.

County's Hotels Retain Room Value Despite Declining Sales

San Diego's hotel buying frenzy that peaked in late 2005 and ran full steam the following year is apparently over.

For Community College District, the Time to Build Is Now

Despite the fallout in the housing and capital markets , or perhaps because of it , landowners are receiving lower prices on construction bids, dampening a five-year trend of escalating construction costs.

Entrepreneur Profile - Anthony Thornburg and Jeffrey Litteken

Anthony Thornburg and Jeffrey Litteken are principals of General Ledger Resources, a staffing agency that specializes in placing temporary workers and full-time hires into accounting firms.

Podcast: Preview the San Diego Business Journal

Web Editor Brad Graves provides highlights from the April 28, 2008 issue of the San Diego Business Journal.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Tory Nixon

ConVis Enlists MeringCarson Ad Agency for New Campaign

The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau has named MeringCarson its new advertising agency of record.

Leap Expands Into Oklahoma City, Enters 'Major Growth Phase'

Leap Wireless International Inc., the parent company of San Diego-based Cricket Communications Inc., expanded its service to yet another city this month.

National City Building Projects Retain Momentum

What housing slump?

Craft Beers Taking Larger Gulps From Brewery Markets

Perhaps it's the climate or the inclination of its residents to experiment with novelties, but for whatever reason, San Diego is a hotbed for craft beer making, and now home to 20 different breweries.

Biotechs Surviving VCs' Cutbacks Better Than Other Sectors

San Diego's biotech sector raised more venture capital dollars than any other local industry in the first quarter of the year, according to two recent venture capital spending reports, but it suffered big year-over-year declines.

After February Blues, County Home Sales Numbers Pick Up Tempo

After months of decline in home sales volume, median sales prices and total listings sold, March real estate statistics took a turn for the positive.

PreCYdent Legal Research Web Site Takes on LexisNexis, Westlaw

A San Diego- and Milan, Italy-based startup company recently launched its version of a legal research Web site and is quickly growing its number of searchable cases.

Check-Cashing Service Goes Public With Multiple Branches

Gil Partida says his business does a better job helping the "unbanked," or those who eschew traditional banks in favor of check-cashing outlets.

Construction Groups Work to Change Chula Vista City Charter

Two local construction trade groups want to amend the Chula Vista City Charter to prevent the city or its redevelopment agency from funding projects that require that construction employees belong to a union.

Week In Review

Top Business News: April 18 - 24, 2008

Executive Profile - Jackie Jennings

Jackie Jennings is owner and president of Johnson & Jennings General Contracting.


Juice It Up! has leased 871 square feet of retail space from Westcore Rosecrans LLC for $479,281.

Union Bank Expanding Wealth Management Services Locally

San Francisco-based Union Bank of California is planning to expand its wealth management operations in San Diego as part of the company's growth strategy, which includes adding wealth management offices in multiple markets in California and the Pacific No

Irwin, Joan Jacobs Commit $10M for Endowed Chairs at Salk Institute

The Salk Institute received a commitment for $10 million in matching funds from Irwin and Joan Jacobs to support 10 endowed chairs for senior scientists.

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Chula Vista - Demolition of three industrial buildings on the city's bay front began this month as part of a master plan redevelopment project that would include a convention center

Steep Gas Prices Exerting Wide Strain On Local Companies

For the past few years gasoline prices have spiked in the spring and gone down at the beginning of the summer driving season. But as oil prices continue to break record highs, analysts predict that relief at the pump is further off.

UCSD to Lower Its SDG & E; Bills, Energize Renewable Resource Plan

As part of its effort to promote renewable energy, UC San Diego will gradually reduce the amount of electricity it purchases from San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and replace it with "green" power produced from fuel cells and solar sources on campus.

Dianne Jacob: 'I Won't Be Sued Into Silence'

Dianne Jacob: 'I Won't Be Sued Into Silence'

Scripps Health's Carlsbad Medical Center Set to Open in October

Progress Report: Construction is nearing completion at Carlsbad Medical Center.

Nurses Oust Union at Scripps Memorial Encinitas

Nurses at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas voted in late April to end their relationship with the California Nurses Association, a health care union that has represented them since 2004.

Friday, April 25

EMC to Pay $213M for Iomega Shares

Massachusetts-based EMC Corp. said April 25 that it commenced its tender offer for all outstanding shares of Iomega Corp., a San Diego-based storage device maker. EMC is paying $3.85 per share, or $213 million.

New Vista to Help Countrywide Sell Foreclosed Properties

Countrywide Financial, the nation's largest mortgage lender, has joined with New Vista Asset Management, a San Diego real estate management and marketing company, to find qualified buyers for the many homes that Countrywide recently took back in foreclosu

Branch Opening Cuts Into California Community Bank's Profit

California Community Bank, which is based in Escondido and has three branches, reported April 24 net income of $13,000 for its first quarter, compared with $110,000 in the like period of 2007. Offers Rides on 'Virtual Foreclosure Tour Bus' has launched an online foreclosure search tool.

Thursday, April 24

Administrative Expenses Tip Javo Into a Loss

Javo Beverage Co. Inc., the Vista-based provider of dispensable coffee drinks, reported April 24 a net loss of $1.8 million for the first quarter compared to a net profit of $409,473 for the like quarter of 2007.

Qualcomm Reports Higher Earnings

Qualcomm Inc. said April 23 it had net income of $766 million, or 47 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $2.6 billion for the quarter ended March 30.

Chamber Opposes Propositions 98 and 99

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce board voiced its opposition on April 24 to state Proposition 98 and Proposition 99.

Parking Meters Soak in Sun Rays, Take Plastic

San Diego's downtown parking meters are getting an upgrade to solar-powered devices that accept credit cards.

Wednesday, April 23

Charlotte Russe Clothiers Reports Sales Growth

Charlotte Russe Holding Inc., which operates a chain of mall-based clothing stores, reported April 23 that it had net income of $4.2 million, or 17 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $185 million during the quarter ended March 29.

Navy Picks Northrop for Eye in the Sky

Northrop Grumman Corp. has landed a $1.16 billion contract for an unmanned Navy reconnaissance aircraft, company officials announced April 22.

Tuesday, April 22

Rhino Linings Expands to Cover Garage Floors

Having staked its claim in truck beds and industrial environments, San Diego-based Rhino Linings Corp. is going for the garage floor market.

Cymer Profit Dips, But Share Price Surges After Hours

Cymer Inc., the locally based maker of laser equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing, reported first-quarter net income of $12.8 million compared with net income of $20.2 million for the like period of 2007.

Monday, April 21

Charging Stations for Hybrids the Next New Feature for Buildings

Want to lower air pollution, greenhouse gases and dependence on petroleum? Well, plug in. More and more residential developments and commercial complexes are installing electric charging stations.

Hotelier Manchester Divests Remaining Interest in Marriott

Hotel owner and developer Doug Manchester has divested his remaining share in the 1,362-room San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina , a hotel credited with contributing to the success of the San Diego Convention Center.

Developer, SDG & E; Offer Incentives to Convert to Solar Power

Homeowners who buy one of the Del Sur homes built with photovoltaic solar arrays find that money saved by using solar power exceed their expectations and offer a deeper sense of satisfaction.

Tougher Emissions Standards Driving Sales Higher at ISE

To create a prototype hybrid bus that runs on compressed natural gas, or CNG, and electric power, it took Poway-based ISE Corp. a year, and more than $1 million, but transit officials say it'll be well worth it if tests prove the technology is reliable.

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Lemon Grove has signed a one-year, $33,565 contract with a new street sweeping vendor that will coordinate its services with garbage pickup.

Law Firm Eliminating Paper Chase

The end of the paper trail is near, at least for one local law firm that has converted its documents into a digital format.

Security Business Bank's Profit Declines

Security Business Bank of San Diego reported un-audited first-quarter net income of $309,000, down 11 percent from the 2007 first quarter, the result of reduced interest margins on loans, the bank said April 21.

Pond Scum Has Potential in Push For New Bio-Fuels

A slippery, slimy organism with a natural ability to grow rapidly is gaining respect among researchers who hope to one day harness its potential in mass amounts for the creation of bio-fuels.

Open to the Public, Solar 2008 Turnout to Be Even Sunnier

As many as 10,000 people are expected to attend a six-day solar conference in San Diego, beginning May 3.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: David Boatwright.

Earth Fair Draws Businesses on Mission to Advance Green Efforts

Mother Earth has much to be pleased about as hundreds of local businesses and residents gear up to celebrate and advance green efforts in honor of Earth Day on April 22.

What China, World Must Do on Olympics

What China, World Must Do on Olympics

Padres Batting .400 When It Comes to Recycling at Petco Park

One benefit of having a new ballpark like San Diego's Petco Park is using the latest nifty energy-saving devices.

Not the Best Time Could Be Best of Times for Three Startup Banks

Some argue that this isn't the best time to start a bank, but at least three groups would respectfully disagree.

Sales and Leases

Guilford H. Whitney Trust has purchased the Sorrento Plaza Retail Center, located at 9245 Scranton Road in Sorrento Valley for $7.1 million. And other sales and leases.

Del Mar Mom-Daughter Duo Assuage Green Guilt, Start Baggu Business

Joan Sugihara knows it takes awhile to change a habit, even if it's a relatively easy change to make.

Stewart Title Cutting Down Paper Waste on Mortgage Transactions

Saving trees by converting what have traditionally been paper-heavy transactions like documents in home sales has been a big goal of Stewart Title Co. in recent years.

Executive Profile , Stuart Grauer

Stuart Grauer is founder and head of The Grauer School, a private college prep school in Encinitas.

Blogging Habits Show Consumers Raising Environmental Consciousness

According to Nielsen Online's "BuzzMetrics," an analysis of blogger topics, protecting the environment is becoming increasingly important to consumers. Case in point: Blogging about sustainability grew 50 percent last year compared with the year before.

City of Hope Honors 2 Coronado Residents With Spirit of Life Award

Coronado residents Kent Aden and Jim DiMatteo will receive the Spirit of Life Award from the City of Hope's San Diego Construction Industries Alliance.

SAIC Wraps Up Icon Systems Purchase

SAIC, a San Diego research and engineering firm, said April 21 that it completed the purchase of Icon Systems Inc., a defense contractor specializing in laser technologies, for an undisclosed price.

Raking It In: Synthetic Grass Maker Carpeting San Diego

What surface is rugged enough to withstand athletic games, fine enough to carpet LaDainian Tomlinson's yard and environmentally friendly enough to meet the needs of SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo and Quail Botanical Gardens? Synthetic grass.

HP Finds Way to Recycle Plastics From Discarded Printer Cartridges

Hewlett-Packard Co. is putting old plastic to new use.

Scripps Research Team Reexamines MicroRNA Profile

An international team of researchers, led by the Scripps Research Institute, used a new approach in discovering that human embryonic stem cells share the same profile of microRNAs.

BioMed Realty Sets Pricing of 5.7M Shares

Rancho Bernardo-based BioMed Realty Trust Inc. priced its public offering of 5.7 million shares of common stock at $25.50 as of April 17.

Week in Review

Top Business News: April 11 - 17, 2008

'No Furniture Is as Expensive as a Government Bureau'

This is update No. 2,000 on the Carlsbad desalination plant approval process, which began in 1999.

Meeting Planners Spreading the Word: 'Green Is the New Gold'

Planners mull 12 ways to make meetings green.

Thread San Diego Struts Couture

Three times a year local independent fashion designers get ready for their close-up and showcase their lines to some of the country's top-name retailers.

Clean Tech Focus Helps Law Firms Clean Up

As more money flows into green technologies, law firms have increasingly adopted clean tech practice groups dedicated to guiding emerging companies and venture capital firms.

Commercial Vacancy Rate Reaches Highest Level in Over a Decade

With weak pre-leasing in new office buildings coming to market after construction, San Diego's vacancy rate reached its highest level in more than a decade.

Property Managers Host Green Upgrades to Maximize Efficiency

Whether constructing energy-efficient and environmentally friendly new buildings, or retrofitting existing ones to have those advantages, San Diego area property managers are thinking green.

Barnhart Starts Work on $129 Million Santee School District Project

Progress Report: The Santee School District has broken ground on a $129 million construction project to improve facilities at each of the district's nine schools.

New Green Ratings in the Offing for Health Care Facilities

In late 2007, the U.S. Green Building Council said that it and the Green Guide for Health Care reached an understanding to create a new rating system called LEED for Healthcare.

Setting the Green Standard

The developer of the 1,800-acre Del Sur community says that like seat belts in cars, which were once resisted by the automotive industry, residential construction is adopting environmentally friendly practices that will eventually become a matter of cours

Local Bicycle Groups Schedule May 16 for Bike to Work Day

Though their numbers are small and not easy to count, more folks are forsaking their cars and bicycling to work as gas prices hover near the $4 mark.

Biotech Means Business in San Diego and Berlin

Biotech Means Business in San Diego and Berlin

Hotel Occupancy Was Flat for Most of March, Part of April

If spring break was any indication of how tourism will go this summer, it's off to a rather ho-hum start.

Panel Addresses Comments on $700M Airport Expansion

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the agency that manages Lindbergh Field, released a final environmental impact report April 18 for an expansion and renovation project.

June BIO Convention's Focus on Sustainability

This year's gathering of everything biotechnology, the 2008 Biotechnology Industry Organization Convention, will highlight the industry's contributions to a cleaner, more sustainable world.

Doug Manchester Sells Pricey Racing Yacht

Ghosts of the sailing yacht "America" and the Great White Fleet.

Nonprofit Profile , Second Chance/Strive

A talk with Scott H. Silverman, executive director and founder of Second Chance/Strive.

Friday, April 18

More Jobs and More Seekers Make March Jobless Rate Rise

San Diego's unemployment rate for March was 5.3 percent, up from February's 5 percent and more than the 4.2 percent figure in March 2007.

Thursday, April 17

Glaxo Signs Drug Development Deal With Regulus

Pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline inked a deal with Carlsbad-based Regulus Therapeutics LLC valued at up to $600 million to develop new microRNA drugs that target inflammatory disease, the companies said April 17.

Redevelopment Agency Bonds Get Favorable Rating

Fitch Ratings assigned an A+ rating to the city of San Diego Redevelopment Agency's $69 million in tax allocation housing bonds that will be issued through the Centre City Development Corp. this year, Fitch said April 16.

First Community Bancorp Opts for Goodwill Write-Off

First Community Bancorp, parent of San Diego-based Pacific Western Bank, reported a net loss of $273 million for the first quarter, caused by a $275 million write-off of goodwill it had to take in response to the volatility in the banking industry, the ba

Food Distributor's Accounts and Revenue Mushroom

Nascent Wine Co. Inc., a San Diego-based distributor of food products in Mexico, reported on April 16 that it had 2007 revenue of $42.4 million, or about nine times its 2006 sales of $4.7 million.

Craft Beer Makers Talk Shop, Talk Hops

The epicenter of the nation's craft beer industry gathered in Mission Valley this week at the Town & Country Hotel for the 25th annual Craft Brewers Conference.

Solar Projects Hinge on Proposed Powerlink

NTR, an Ireland-based company that specializes in renewable energy and waste management, plans to invest $100 million in Phoenix-based Stirling Energy Systems Inc. However, the move requires the construction of the proposed Sunrise Powerlink to transfer a

Wednesday, April 16

Tesco Declares Sales Are Strong in Its U.S. Market

British retailer Tesco PLC said April 15 that sales at its U.S. chain, Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Inc., are exceeding $20 per square foot weekly at its most successful stores.

Assets Climb, Earnings Drop at San Diego Trust

San Diego Trust Bank said April 16 that it had net income of $150,000 for the quarter ended March 31.

State Cites 28 Local Auto Body Shops

State labor investigators issued 41 citations for violations by 28 San Diego auto body businesses April 15.

Tech Coast Angels Give Dayak a Lift

The San Diego Tech Coast Angels, a group of seasoned investors that offers advice and funding for start-up businesses, said April 16 that it led a round of seed funding for the Carlsbad-based Dayak Online Employment Marketplace.

Tuesday, April 15

Shares Drop as Novatel Looks Ahead to Lower Revenue

Shares of Novatel Wireless Inc., a San Diego maker of wireless modems, were down 21 percent, or more than $2, April 15 after the company said its first-quarter revenue would fall short of guidance it provided several months ago.

Shake a Leg: Get Your Healthy Business Recognized

The California Fit Business Awards program says it is accepting applications until June 16.

May Brings Honors for Two Military Installations

Five military bases have been singled out for the Commander in Chief's Annual Awards for Installation Excellence. Two of the bases are in San Diego County.

Monday, April 14

Encinitas Planners Send Pacific Station Project Back to Developer

Pacific Station, a proposed $20 million commercial and residential project in Encinitas that would be anchored by a Whole Foods Market, has been sent back to the developer by the city's planning commissioners.

Sales and Leases

The last office condominium in Oberlin Park II, a three-story, 25,182-square-foot office building comprised of 12 units ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 square feet, has sold for $340,045. And other sales and leases.

Jack Abandons Java Only Cops Would Drink for Better Brews

News of Jack in the Box's BBQ sirloin burger with bacon, available for a suggested price of $4.59, failed to whet the appetite of Wall Street when the new menu item was introduced.

Fertile Business Plan Grows Decade-Old ProFlowers to $300M

With $300 million in revenues, one local company is more than just a flower shop. ProFlowers, an e-commerce business that ships products directly from growers to consumers, celebrated its 10th anniversary this year with a party April 4.

Executive Profile , Debbie Neuman

Debbie Neuman is partner of Neuman & Neuman, a residential real estate agency.

With the Going Tough, One Broker Gets Going With More Sales

Though home sales are slow and foreclosures continue at record rates, a few brokers and agents are actually picking up business.

Job Seekers With Security Clearances Command Better Pay, Says Web Site

Help-wanted advertising for specialized defense sector work is rising steadily by about 6 percent per year, according to one barometer.

Spinal Cord Injury Inspires Executive to Help Others

Eric Northbrook's life was forever changed the day he suffered a spinal cord injury on Jan. 27, 2006. Today, the now 42-year-old founder of the Del Mar-based HeadNorth Foundation raises funds to support people with spinal cord injuries and for spinal cord

James Irvine Foundation Gives $450,000 Grant to San Diego Foundation

The San Diego Foundation received a $450,000 grant from the James Irvine Foundation to support regional arts efforts as part of their Communities Advancing the Arts initiative.

E-letter from the Editor

Hello there! We thought we'd change up our format a bit, and send you an e-letter directly from my office about what to expect in the April 14 edition of the Business Journal. Needless to say, it's packed full of news.

Ioko Establishes North American Beachhead

Ioko, a London-based designer and builder of information technology platforms mainly for media and entertainment companies, set up its North American headquarters in Solana Beach, the company said April 14.

The Iraq War and Former POW John McCain

The Iraq War and Former POW John McCain

Nonprofit Profile , Rebuilding Together San Diego

A talk with Pamela Thorsch, executive director of Rebuilding Together San Diego.

Cross-Border Health Plans Becoming Viable Choice for More Insured

Insurers that offer cross-border health plans are reporting growing member numbers. Other insurers are looking at expanding along the U.S.-Mexico border and some are entering into the medical tourism market.

Concerns About Axesstel Growing

Axesstel Inc., a San Diego distributor of fixed wireless phones mainly in developing countries, said in an April 11 filing for its 2007 financials that its auditors, Gumbiner Savett Inc., issued a going concern opinion on the company's ability to continue

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Construction work on the $11 million, 29,000-square-foot alumni center at San Diego State University is expected to begin in May, the project's architect said.

Airport Hires PR Firm to Work on Looming Lindbergh Project

To help educate city residents about a planned $700 million improvement project at Lindbergh Field, the agency that manages the airport recently hired a public relations firm for a $4.5 million, three-year contract.

Buildings for Sale at $20M Medical/Office Park Under Way in Vista

Progress Report: Framing is complete for buildings located at Premier Crossing, a $20 million medical and professional office park located at the corner of South Melrose Drive and Sycamore Avenue in Vista.

Week in Review

Top Business News: April 4 - 10, 2008


For April 7, 2008.

Software Promises to Save Billions on Hospital Upgrades Statewide

The state's recent adoption of a seismic assessment tool , called Hazus , could save California hospitals billions of dollars in replacement costs mandated by the Hospitals Facilities Seismic Safety Act after the Northridge earthquake in 1994.

Mesa Distributing To Be Sold to Global Food Service Provider

One of San Diego's largest and oldest beer distributors, Mesa Distributing Co., is being acquired by a unit of the nation's largest distributor, Reyes Holdings.

Nowhere to Go But Up: Nassco Lays Keel

Workers at General Dynamics Nassco laid the keel April 14 for the Navy's newest large cargo ship, the USNS Wally Schirra, according to the company.

The Mighty Have Fallen; EMC to Acquire Iomega Corp.

Storage device maker Iomega Corp.'s announced sale to EMC Corp. on April 8 for $213 million brings an end to a public company that had more than $1.7 billion in sales and employed more than 5,000 workers a decade ago.

SEC Charges Point Up Power of Labor at City Hall

SEC Charges Point Up Power of Labor at City Hall

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: John Alessio.

Podcast: Preview the San Diego Business Journal

Web Editor Brad Graves provides highlights from the April 14, 2008 issue of the San Diego Business Journal.

Funding Cancer Research Critical Issue at Meeting

The world's oldest and largest organization dedicated to cancer research is convening in San Diego this week for its annual meeting.

Mortgage Debacle Strikes Auto, Student Loan Businesses

The home mortgage crisis is rippling throughout the county's financial services industry, affecting local operations that make home, auto and student loans.

Hospitals Brace for Earthquake Upgrades

Legislative mandates requiring the state's hospitals to replace or retrofit buildings has caused fear and trembling in the industry ever since the Northridge earthquake knocked 23 facilities out of commission in 1994.

Criticisms of British Retailer Tesco 'Foolishly Premature'

Having opened 59 stores in the region since November, British retailer Tesco PLC says it is taking a three-month break in its rapid expansion of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets.

Merger and Acquisition Activity Plummets, But More Deals Coming

Data released last week by Mergermarket revealed that mergers and acquisitions experienced "something of a death rattle" in the first quarter of 2008.

City Attorney Trumpeted Alcohol Ban on Local Beaches

Some Pacific Beach barkeepers blamed a decline in the number of spring breakers they'd seen this year on an e-mail or letter they had heard a local chamber of commerce sent to colleges warning of the city's new beach booze ban. They were right on one scor

Mesa Distributing Close to Being Sold

Talks between Mesa Distributing and Harbor Distributing, a unit of Reyes Holding of Chicago, continued April 11, but the anticipated acquisition of Mesa has yet to close, said Nick Gagliardi, president of Mesa, the largest beer distributor in San Diego.

Naming Rights Available for Orange, Speckled Nudibranch

It's an orange, speckled sea slug, and it could bear

Local Doctor Opens Arthritis Treatment Center in Del Mar

A new center offering traditional and alternative treatments for arthritis opened April 7 in Del Mar.

County's Growers Scaling Back Crops as Water Shortages Loom

Avocado grower and grove manager Al Stehly said impending water shortages left him no choice but to cut back on the number of trees that line his hillside Valley Center groves.

Programmer Calls on Tech Skills to Improve Health Care Collections

Wunderkind Tyson McDowell never wanted to be a tech guy, despite his obvious gift with computers and creation of a software platform that helps hospitals recapture millions of dollars in denied claims.

Online Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Buys REApplications

LoopNet Inc., which publishes a commercial real estate Web site, has acquired San Diego-based REApplications Inc. for $9.4 million.

Splish, Splash: Belmont Park Owner Is Making Waves, Literally

Tom Lochtefeld likes to create waves. After spending years rehabilitating the once-closed Belmont Park, he's now launching more improvements, thanks to $17 million in refinancing.

Could Port Say Bon Voyage to Hawaiian Cruises?

The sun would likely set on the West Coast's Hawaii-bound cruises if a controversial federal rule governing port calls is changed.

EBS Sees Opportunity in Storage Units

Equity Based Services of San Diego said April 14 that it acquired two self-storage properties owned by Storage One in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nev., for $12 million.

$2B Quarry Falls Project Offers Valuable Lessons for Students

The next wave of architectural professionals has the opportunity to provide design input on a proposed charter school in Mission Valley.

Friday, April 11

Coastal Commission OKs Imperial Beach Hotel

The California Coastal Commission on April 10 approved plans for a beachfront condominium hotel in Imperial Beach.

Mitchell to Merge With Rival Company

Mitchell International Inc. , a San Diego firm that provides data management software to the insurance and car repair industries, said April 11 it signed a definitive agreement to merge with CCC Information Services Inc. of Chicago, a similar software com

Thursday, April 10

Hedge Fund Partner Receives Six-Year Sentence

A San Diego hedge fund partner accused of diverting investor money for his personal use was sentenced to six years in federal prison and ordered to pay $49 million in restitution to victims, the U.S. Attorney's office said April 7.

Union Recognizes Tri-City Medical Center Workers

Health care workers at Oceanside's Tri-City Medical Center joined the SEIU United Healthcare Workers , West, United Healthcare said on April 9.

San Diego Business Journal Podcast for April 7

Web Editor Brad Graves provides highlights from the April 7, 2008 issue of the San Diego Business Journal. Plus archived podcasts.

WD-40 Reports Income, Trims Earnings Forecast

WD-40 Co. said April 9 that it had net income of $8.67 million, or 51 cents per diluted share, on sales of $78.9 million during the quarter ended Feb. 29.

Qualcomm Declares 16-Cent Dividend

Qualcomm Inc. on April 10 declared a quarterly cash dividend of 16 cents per share, up from 14 cents.

Wednesday, April 9

Judge Blocks Medicare Lab Pilot Program

A federal judge granted an injunction April 8 blocking a program that would introduce competitive bidding for Medicare among labs.

SAIC Gets Computer System Work

SAIC said April 8 that it will upgrade Department of Defense computer systems with names like the Industrial Security Facilities Database under a contract received from the U.S. General Services Administration.

Port Anticipates Ballot Initiative Over Marine Terminal

San Diego Unified Port District commissioners want to challenge a proposed ballot proposition that, according to the port, calls for turning over the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal to other uses, including possibly a sports stadium.

Tuesday, April 8

Iomega Accepts $3.85 Per Share to Become Part of EMC

Iomega Corp., the San Diego-based maker of Zip drives and other data storage devices, signed a definitive agreement April 8 to be acquired by EMC Corp. of Hopkinton, Mass. for $3.85 per share or $213 million.

St. John's San Ysidro Plant Closing Means Layoffs

St. John's Knits, a maker of luxury women's wear based in Irvine, is closing its San Ysidro plant effective May 19 and laying off its 240 workers, the company said.

Monday, April 7

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Tom Blair.

Report Finds Job Growth in State's Technology Sector

Technology jobs and wages are up. California's high-tech sector added 21,400 jobs in 2006, the most recent data available, according to a report released April 2 by the AeA, a technology trade association.

Recruiting Generation Y

A new generation is entering the work force with a rather peculiar set of expectations and behavior patterns.

Doggie Day Care Stakes Out Franchise in El Cajon Neighborhood

Boulder, Colo.-based Camp Bow Wow opened the dog day care company's first San Diego franchise in El Cajon on March 12, with plans to open four more.

Coffee and Pie: Locals Play Key Role on Jitters Radio System

The next-generation Defense Department radio system will have San Diegans' fingerprints all over it.

Legal Work Fails to Pick Up in the Slowing Economy

Legal activity typically associated with an economic downturn has yet to gain momentum, according to industry observers.

Powerlink Backers Launch $45K Promotional Campaign

The Community Alliance for the Sunrise Powerlink launched a $45,000 advertising campaign on April 1 in support of the proposed transmission line, according to chamber officials.

Seeds of Green Roofing Sowed in Kearny Mesa

One year after planting his first commercial green roof, Jim Mumford's business is also growing green.

New Crow's Nest Yachts Fitted for Fishing

It's hard to get a good look at a boat running at 42 knots, so Crow's Nest Yachts displayed its latest $3.3 million yacht at its Shelter Island dock March 29.

Cricket Name Goes on Concert Venue

San Diego's largest concert arena, formerly branded by one of the world's largest breweries, is now taking on the name of a cell phone company.

Beach-Side Bars Cite E-mail as Cause for Spring Break Lull

The beach booze ban has a twist, in the form of mysterious e-mails.

Young Professionals Cope With Dramatic Work Force Shifts

This latest generation of workers, aged 21 to 28 and known as Generation Y, shows about as much loyalty to corporate America as corporate America seems to deserve.

Listen Up: Local Radio Audience Moving to the Web?

San Diego County's radio stations saw revenue drop 2.5 percent, to $198.6 million in 2007 from $203.7 million in 2006.

Score Seeks Volunteers to Help With Counseling

In conjunction with National Small Business Week and National Volunteer Week, Score San Diego chapter is offering a series of informational recruiting sessions to expand its base of volunteer small-business counselors.

Dean Spanos Stakes Claim in Donovan's; Horton Plaza Schedules Remodel?

Horton hears remodeling rumbles, plus elephant and panda news.

Life Sciences Firms Rejoice Over Patent Ruling

A U.S. court decision to toss out proposed U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rules limiting the size of patent applications was met with collective relief last week from the life sciences industry.

UCSD Strives to Be 'Greenest' University

Administrators at UC San Diego say the school will soon lead the nation's universities in the use of renewable energy sources.

Home Buyers, Stimulus Package Could Put Wind Back in Economy's Sails

Here we are at the end of the first quarter of 2008 and the economy seems to be crawling along looking for some place to hide from investors.

Geary Interactive Acquires Search-Engine Marketing Firm

Geary Interactive, a San Diego-based digital marketing agency, on March 27 acquired and absorbed Fathom Online of San Francisco, a search-engine marketing and technology services firm.

$2.4M Construction at Pen Co.'s Headquarters Nearly Completed

Progress Report: Johnson & Jennings General Contracting is continuing construction on the corporate headquarters of National Pen Co. LLC.

District Awarded $10.5 Million for Tech Programs

More than $10 million in grant money was given to the technical education programs associated with the San Diego Unified School District, it said April 3.

Sales and Leases

Stanford Hotels Corp. has purchased 20,000 square feet of land at the northwest corner of Sixth Avenue and E Street in downtown San Diego for $8.5 million. And other sales and leases.

Property Taxes Due, County Pitches 'Tax Tent'

San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister reminded property owners April 7 that the second installment of their 2007-08 taxes will become delinquent if not paid by April 10.

Week in Review

Top Business News: March 28 - April 3, 2008

Herbert G. Klein Award Goes to Barney & Barney COO/CFO

Hal Dunning, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Barney & Barney LLC, received the 2008 Herbert G. Klein Visionary Award from LEAD San Diego Inc.

Revisiting Home's Value Could Ease Property Tax Burden

Concerned that the market value of your property has fallen below the assessed value shown on your property tax bill? If you purchased a residence at the height of the real estate market, you may be eligible for relief.

Job Seekers More Often Submit Credit Scores With Applications

Forget about government wiretaps. It's the business sector that will likely peer into the lives of most Americans in any given year, according to recent reports that show a growing trend of employers routinely checking a job applicant's credit score among

Partnership Promotes Plastic Recycling at State Beaches

Partnership Promotes Plastic Recycling at State Beaches

FirstAgain Reaches Lending Milestone

FirstAgain LLC, a San Diego online consumer lender that started making loans last year, said April 7 that it passed $100 million in loan originations.

Charlotte Russe to Buy Back $73M in Shares

Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. said April 3 it expects to buy $73.4 million in shares through a stock repurchase offer that expired April 2.

Web-Based Software Provides Details About Foreclosed Properties

San Diego-based HomeFeedback Inc., which provides Web-based software tools for residential real estate professionals, has launched a new service aimed at the foreclosure market.

Vertex's Cystic Fibrosis Drug Shows Promise in Patient Trial

A midstage trial of an investigational drug being developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. showed significant improvements in patients with cystic fibrosis, the company said March 27.

SEC Levels Charges Against Five Former City Officials

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed securities fraud charges April 7 against five former San Diego city officials, including former City Manager Michael Uberuaga and former Auditor and Comptroller Edward Ryan, for their roles in filing inadequate

Southwest Launches Five Flights to Denver

Southwest Airlines Co. was scheduled to kick off five new nonstop daily flights scheduled to fly from San Diego to Denver on April 4.


Rubio's Article Offers Solid Pointers for Entrepreneurs; Baja Safer Than San Diego Despite Negative Publicity?

DR Systems Adds $3.2M in Contracts

DR Systems Inc. will provide its medical imaging and information system contacts to seven more health care facilities nationwide, the San Diego-based company said April 2.

Nonprofit Profile , Canstruction San Diego

A talk with Julie King, chairwoman of Canstruction San Diego.

UCSD Medical Center Expands Neonatal Unit

A new neonatal intensive care unit at the UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest opened April 2.


For March 24, 2008.

Growing Biotech Firms Take Reverse Course in Going Public

Reverse mergers, used as techniques to allow private companies to acquire or merge with public companies, are common practice in San Diego's abundant biotech community.

HP, State Partner for Cartridge Recycling

Hewlett-Packard Co. and the state of California are rolling out a printer cartridge recycling program, the company said April 7.

Executive Profile , Lynne Fruehling

Lynne Fruehling, president of Red Lizard Creative, would probably be a chef if she was not so passionate about marketing communications.

Preserving, Maintaining Balboa Park Becomes Urgent Concern

Preserving, Maintaining Balboa Park Becomes Urgent Concern

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: The Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians began construction of a $30 million bay-front project in National City on April 1.

Friday, April 4

Mitchell International to Buy Fair Isaac Unit

San Diego-based Mitchell International Inc. said April 3 that it planned to buy the medical bill review business unit of Fair Isaac Corp.

Qualcomm Pays $558M for Airwave Licenses

Qualcomm Inc. said April 3 that it bought eight wireless spectrum licenses in a federal government auction for $558.1 million.

SkinMedica Has New Chief

SkinMedica Inc. said April 3 that it hired Mary Fisher as its new chief executive officer.

City Gets Attorney's Fees in de la Fuente Dispute

The city of San Diego will recover a combined $1.26 million in attorney's fees from two lawsuits filed by South Bay developer Roque de la Fuente II which were dismissed last year.

Thursday, April 3

Executives Grab Top Honors at Upcoming SBA Luncheon

The U.S. Small Business Administration of San Diego announced April 2 that it will honor local small business owners and advocates at a luncheon on May 28.

Charlotte Russe to Buy Back $73M in Stock

Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. said April 3 it expects to buy $73.4 million in shares through a stock repurchase offer that expired April 2.

Event Turns Cans Into Art, Then Charity Then Dinner

Local architects, engineers and designers are fighting hunger with creativity at the fifth annual San Diego Canstruction event.

RF Industries Gets New Purchase Orders

RF Industries Ltd. announced its move to the Nasdaq Global Market Exchange as well as $423,000 in new purchase orders for Bioconnect, one of its seven divisions, on April 1.

Wednesday, April 2

Pure Bioscience Makes Its Way Back to Nasdaq

Pure Bioscience, an El Cajon-based maker of disinfectants, began listing its stock on Nasdaq on April 2 under the symbol PURE.

Sempra Plans to Buy Back $1 Billion in Shares

Sempra Energy said April 2 that it has initiated a $1 billion stock buyback program.

Fast-Expanding Fresh & Easy Takes a Breather

A British supermarket chain that has been opening two to six new stores weekly since November is taking a three-month pause.

Tuesday, April 1

Sempra Energy Launches Joint Venture With Scotland Bank

San Diego-based Sempra Energy said on April 1 that it had completed the transaction forming its commodities-marketing joint venture with the Royal Bank of Scotland.

$30M Marina Gateway Plaza Enjoys Groundbreaking Moment

The Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians began construction of a $30 million bay-front project April 1. Marina Gateway Plaza consists of a 173-room Best Western Hotel and 16,000 square feet of commercial, retail and restaurant space,

Kyocera's New Handsets Mark a Departure

San Diego-based Kyocera Wireless Corp. announced that it will begin making GSM mobile phone handsets.