Stories for July 2008

Thursday, July 31

San Diego Voters to Weigh Extending Beach Alcohol Ban

Voters will have a chance to say yea or nay on retaining the city's controversial beach booze ban.

London Column to Now Appear in the Business Journal

Gary H. London, a noted real estate economist and expert whose client list includes banks, businesses, developers and public agencies, brings his column to the Business Journal on a semimonthly basis beginning with the Aug. 18 issue.

Unclaimed Refunds Gather Cobwebs in County Coffers

The county has about $145,000 in unclaimed money it has in form of overcharges and refunds that it wants to return to individuals and businesses, said county Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister on July 31.

Future of Lindbergh Field Draws Diverse Agencies Together

Policymakers across a wide spectrum of government agencies are convening Saturday, Aug. 2 for a half-day, public workshop to talk about the future configuration of Lindbergh Field.

CCDC Delays Groundbreaking on Pedestrian Bridge

Centre City Development Corp., a part of San Diego's redevelopment agency, postponed the groundbreaking of its high-priced pedestrian bridge.

Homeowners Insurance Goes Green, Auto Coverage May Be Next

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced on July 31 the state's first green homeowners insurance policy, which enables homeowners to rebuild to environmental standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council after a loss.

Clear Channel Sale Closes

San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation's largest radio station operator, has finally been taken private.

Wednesday, July 30

$900M Project Will Remake UTC Mall

The San Diego City Council approved a $900 million mixed-use expansion project at Westfield UTC in University Towne Center July 29.

Bennigan's Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Casual dining chains Bennigan's Grill & Tavern and Steak & Ale filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection July 30, and stores owned by its parent company are set for closures.

San Diego Poised to Raise Water Rates

Water rate increases adopted by the San Diego County Water Authority will affect San Diego users, Mayor Jerry Sanders said July 28.

Nonprofit Biocom Institute Sets Up Shop

A program dedicated to raising awareness of the life sciences gained nonprofit status July 30.

SAIC Has Piece of $6.9B Air Force Contract

SAIC said July 29 that it was one of 12 defense contractors awarded a $6.9 billion contract from the U.S. Air Force for aircraft services.

Tuesday, July 29

Podcast: This Week's Front Page, at a Glance

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

City Sues Bond Counsel, Ends Up With $1.88M

The city of San Diego received a payment of $2.88 million from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP as part of a settlement in a case against the firm, City Attorney Michael Aguirre said July 29.

Indicators Drag USD Economic Index Down; Building Permits Rise

Sharp drops in local stocks and consumer confidence combined with moderate declines in other measures caused a regional economic index to fall 1 percent in June.

Stars Weren't Aligned for La Valencia, Rancho Valencia Sale

The historic La Valencia Hotel is officially off the block, but industry sources say that if the right buyer came along with the money to acquire it in a package deal with Rancho Valencia resort in Rancho Santa Fe, they would be sold.

Verve Wireless Ropes in $3M in Venture Capital

Encinitas-based Verve Wireless Inc. said July 25 that it closed its $3 million Series B round of financing.

Monday, July 28


Collaborations in the field of stem cell research are evolving alongside the research itself, producing the kind of progress scientists say is necessary for moving potential cures into the clinic and eventually onto the market.

KMA-Designed Border Patrol Facility in Imperial County Completed

The developer of the new Gateway at Torrey Hills in Del Mar, a two-building, 200,000-square-foot campus, said July 17 that the project was 50 percent leased.

Real Estate Sales & Leases

Sales & Leases: Demilie Gedalew Farise has purchased a 10,650-square-foot, two-building retail property at 2505-2509 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park for $950,000.

Aspiring 'Management Consultant' Named Ernst & Young Managing Partner

Mark Stephens has been through a few down economic cycles during his 30-plus years in accounting and knows the drill.

Entrepreneur Profile - Paul Jester

Paul Jester is chief executive officer of Miramar Sign Works & Graphics.

Surge in Jobless Rate Surprises Even Veteran Economy Watchers

The San Diego region lost more ground to an economy that now appears mired in a recession, as more than 7,000 people joined the ranks of the jobless in June, pushing the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent, compared with 5.5 percent in May and 4.6 percent in

Finance Profile: Joseph J. Cohen

Profile: Joseph J. Cohen is a founding principal of San Diego-based HoyleCohen LLC

County's Hotels Learn Dynalectric Will Leave the Light on for Them

With the recent completion of five projects in San Diego County, Dynalectric Co. says it has now wired more than 5,000 local hotel rooms.

UTC Expansion Will Boost Economic Health, Sustainability

If the regional economy could ever use a shot in the arm, it's now. That's why projects such as Westfield's planned $900-million revitalization of the UTC shopping center are more important than ever.

Allied Insurance No Longer Ally of County Farm Bureau Members

Farmers with fire insurance policies coming up for renewal say they're being burned by an insurance company reluctant to back them unless they take some major steps to mitigate risk of fire damage to their properties.

Veterans Return to 'Boot Camp'

Whoa! It's slow out there! Where has everyone gone? Well, anyway ...

Finance Profile: Kevin D. Hoyle

Profile: Kevin D. Hoyle is the founder and president of HoyleCohen

Enviance Helping Utilities Meet Pollution Regs

A Carlsbad company has created a browser-based software system to help clients, many large electric utilities, better meet and comply with government environmental regulations.

With the Dollar Well Drying Up, Businesses Look to Bartering

Tough economic times are a magnet for new members ,if you're running a commercial or retail barter exchange.

Sempra to Pay $510M for EnergySouth

Sempra Energy and EnergySouth Inc. jointly announced July 28 a definitive merger agreement for Sempra to acquire Alabama-based EnergySouth for $510 million in cash.

Minority-Owned Jimsair Bails, Ending Lindbergh Lease Dispute

Jimsair Aviation Services Inc., which has provided refueling and related services to privately owned planes at Lindbergh Field since 1952, ended a long-standing lease dispute by selling out to a Houston firm that operates similar airport businesses.

Go Back to the Basics for Success in a Troubled Economy

How do you have fun in your community when every day the news headlines shout about how the economy is in the tank? For the folks in Carlsbad, it's as simple as tugging on their community involvement chain.

We Cannot Drill Our Way to Lower Gas Prices

President George W. Bush announced recently that he is lifting the presidential moratorium on exploration and drilling on the outer continental shelf.

Grantville Businesses Opposing Proposed Land-Use Changes

A group of small-business owners in the Grantville community, just east of Interstate 15 and Qualcomm Stadium, are opposing efforts by the San Diego Redevelopment Agency to implement sweeping land-use changes to the area that could be enforced through emi

Clean Energy, Tech Firms Vie for VC Attention Devoted to Life Sciences

The amount of venture capital investment flowing into companies slowed in the second quarter, but San Diego is still getting a nice share, according to the latest MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association, w

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Katy Fallon has put her stamp on the business she bought two years ago, renaming it Katy's Caf & #233; recently.

Religious Leaders and the Shaping of a New World Order

We are fools indeed if we continue to look for overarching solutions or persuasive new directions from the political leaders of the world.

Week In Review

Top Business News: July 18 - July 24, 2008

Ground Breaking

A look at projects, planned or under construction.

Accion Micro-Loans Can Be Major Boost to Startups Without Collateral

Despite running a house-cleaning business with increasing revenues and clients for more than two years, Christine McDannell couldn't get a business loan from a bank.

Transdel Seeking Partner to Help Advance Platform Technology

Juliet Singh, chief executive officer of La Jolla-based Transdel Pharmaceuticals Inc., says her company is seeking a corporate partner to help it move its platform technology, which facilitates the passage of drugs into the body through a topical cream, t

Xerox Corp. Again Honors Mr. Copy as National Dealer of the Year

The Xerox National Dealer of the Year Award was recently presented to Bob Leone, president of Mr. Copy, for the 12th consecutive year.

Qualcomm, Nokia Settle Feud

News that Qualcomm Inc. and Nokia Corp. settled their high-profile patent feud with a 15-year licensing agreement drove Qualcomm shares up more than 19 percent to the $53 range on the first trading day after the news.

Union-Tribune on the Block

Copley Press Inc., the San Diego parent firm to The San Diego Union-Tribune, said July 24 that it hired an investment banking firm to sell the company.

East County Chamber Adding Lemon Twist to Mix

Board members with the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce approved a proposal to merge the Lemon Grove Chamber of Commerce into the East County organization July 23.

IT Solutions Firm TIG Growing Operations at Home and Abroad

With 11 acquisitions, numerous office expansions and profitability every year since forming in 1981, Technology Integration Group is charting a steady growth plan.

Stock Not Coming Up Roses for Clothier Charlotte Russe

Women's clothier Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. caught a snag when its stock tumbled to a six-month low July 21, citing a weak economy as the cause for the low display.

NTD Architecture Gets Contract to Design High School in Escondido

Progress Report: NTD Architecture has been awarded a contract by the Escondido Union High School District to provide architectural and engineering services for a new concept high school.

La Jolla Retail Building Sells for Eye-Popping Price

There is no doubt that the overall weakness in the housing market, rising gas prices and decreased levels of consumer spending have affected San Diego's retail market.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions. Executive Spotlight: Jeffrey Block

Risk-Averse Lenders Take Their Credit Options More Seriously

Burned by an escalating rise in foreclosures mainly in subprime mortgages that reset to higher interest rates, many banks, savings and loans, and even credit unions are cutting back on lending this year.

Solera Buys German Software Company

Solera Holdings Inc., a San Diego maker of software for the auto insurance industry, said July 28 that it acquired UC Universal Consulting Software GmbH, a German software firm.

Cubic Transportation Wins Bid to Upgrade L.A.'s Transit Fare System

Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Corp., was awarded $68 million in con & #173;tracts from the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to enhance its automated fare system.

iPhone Turns Attention Toward Qualcomm's Forte: Wireless

Apple's iPhone 3G has arrived, and mobile users have a date with data.

Friday, July 25

Cymer's Quarterly Profit Dips

Cymer Inc., a San Diego maker of laser equipment used to manufacture semiconductor chips, reported July 24 net income of $14.3 million in the second quarter, compared with net income of $24.9 million for the like quarter in 2007.

NuVasive Shares Hit 52-Week High

Shares of San Diego-based NuVasive Inc., which makes spinal devices for minimally invasive procedures, soared to a 52-week high of $55.89 on July 25 following a strong quarterly earnings report and a raised earnings outlook for the year.

$24M in New Funds to Drive Aptera's Growth

Carlsbad-based Aptera Motors Inc. said July 24 that it received $24 million in Series C venture funding.

Torrey Pines Bank Caps Off Quarter With $1.3M in Profit

Torrey Pines Bank, a subsidiary of Western Alliance Bancorporation of Las Vegas, reported July 25 net income of $1.3 million for the second quarter, compared with $1.5 million in net earnings in the first quarter.

Auberge to Manage La Valencia, Sister Hotel

Auberge Resorts will take over management of La Jolla's iconic La Valencia Hotel , as well as the Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe , on July 28, company officials said.

CCDC Hiring Outside Attorney to Investigate Contract

The Centre City Development Corp. board of directors will hire outside legal counsel to investigate a contract awarded by CCDC to a developer with ties to the CCDC's former director.

Thursday, July 24

Chamber Opposes Port Redevelopment Ballot Measure

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted July 24 to oppose a November initiative amending the Port of San Diego's master plan.

Sempra Chooses Nevada for First Solar Power Project

Sempra Generation, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, said July 24 that it will develop the company's first solar energy project.

Aguirre Sues Countrywide

City Attorney Michael Aguirre filed a civil suit July 23 against Countrywide Financial Corp.

Union-Tribune on the Block

Copley Press Inc., the San Diego parent firm to The San Diego Union-Tribune, said July 24 that it hired an investment banking firm to sell the company.

CCDC President Nancy Graham Resigns

Centre City Development Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Nancy Graham has resigned, effective July 24.

KBS Sells Del Mar Heights Complex for $148M

Newport Beach-based KBS Realty Advisors made a $27.9 million profit selling a commercial office property in Del Mar Heights recently.

Qualcomm, Nokia Come to Terms

Qualcomm Inc. said late July 23 that it settled its intellectual property fight with Nokia.

Wednesday, July 23

Weight-Loss Business Co-Founder Sid Craig Dies

Sid Craig, who co-founded Jenny Craig Inc. with his wife in 1982, died July 21 at the age of 76, the Carlsbad-based company said July 22.

Cubic Cuts 110 Jobs

Cubic Corp., the San Diego defense contractor and transit equipment maker, said July 23 it cut 105 employees and five corporate executives from its defense division following a cost-cutting initiative to streamline its operations.

Pechanga to Give 400 Pink Slips

Pechanga Resort & Casino said July 22 that it plans to lay off as many as 400 employees, citing the flagging economy.

Qualcomm Postpones Earnings, Shares Rise

Qualcomm Inc. postponed a quarterly earnings conference call that had been scheduled late in the day July 23, and shares rose in after-hours trading.

Community Banks Squirrel Away Earnings

Two San Diego community banks reported second quarter profits recently. San Diego Trust Bank reported July 23 net income of $150,000 for the second quarter, matching the same profit for the first quarter.

Tuesday, July 22

Wachovia To Cut Jobs

Wachovia Corp., based in Charlotte, N.C., and with 11 banking offices in San Diego, reported July 22 a second quarter net loss of $8.9 billion or $4.20 per share, causing the nation's fourth largest bank to eliminate 10,750 jobs.

Dayak Pairs Headhunting With Online Business Model

Dayak, a Carlsbad firm that operates a Web site that links employers and professional recruiters, launched a full service site,, just when the unemployment rate is increasing, the company said July 21.

Podcast: This Week's Front Page, at a Glance

Web Editor Brad Graves provides highlights from the July 21, 2008 issue of the San Diego Business Journal.

Illumina Makes $25M Buy

San Diego-based Illumina Inc. said July 22 it will buy privately held Avantome Inc. for $25 million upfront in an effort to secure its position as a leader of genetic sequencing technologies.

Monday Tumble: Charlotte Russe Shares Decline

Charlotte Russe Holding Inc., the San Diego young women's retailer, said its third quarter profits are 31 cents per share on revenue of $193.2 million, which fell short of analysts' expectations, and drove down its stock by 20 percent July 21.

$42M Magnet School Project Draws NTD Architecture

NTD Architecture has been awarded a contract by the Escondido Union High School District to provide architectural, programming, planning and engineering services for a $42.2 million project, the firm said July 22.

Monday, July 21

Auto Dealers Combat Sputtering Sales With Market Research, Flexibility

With new vehicle sales down, gas prices up and credit crunched indefinitely, auto dealers are struggling to understand a swiftly changing market in time to provide customers with relevant inventory.

Making Compromises Within Two Political Systems

Making Compromises Within Two Political Systems

Huya Targeting China to Accelerate Drug Production

Risk reduction has always been an attractive business practice, but it has an especially sweet-sounding ring for drug firms looking to bring new medicines onto the market.

Qualcomm and Sony Electronics in Blanket Advertising Mode

If you haven't already heard the marketing message for Qualcomm Inc.'s MediaFLO USA this summer, you may want to brace yourself.

Jimsair Sold in Landmark Deal

Landmark Aviation, a business aviation services company, said July 21 that it acquired Jimsair Aviation Services Inc. of San Diego for an undisclosed amount.

National University's New Campus Includes a Health Sciences Center

National University is offering a hyperbaric medical technology program and other health care courses at its new Technology and Health Sciences Center, which opened earlier this month in Kearny Mesa.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions. Executive Spotlight: Ray Atkin.

Command and Control System Could Bring Northrop $218M

Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. said July 21 that the U.S. Navy selected the company to develop the next-generation command and control data processing systems.

Gas Pump Hikes Driving Airport Shuttle Owners to Despair

Two of the largest shuttle companies serving Lindbergh Field said higher gas prices recently forced them to hike their rates, and they may have to do so again soon.

Video Camera Focusing on Action Sports Enthusiasts

Stealth Cam LLC, a Texas firm with an office in Oceanside, is hoping its new video camera benefits from the trend in sharing videos on social networking sites and people documenting their sporting exploits.

Having Lunch Amid Steel Coils and Windmills

Having Lunch Amid Steel Coils and Windmills

SDBJ Staffers Take 10 Awards in Competition

The staff of the San Diego Business Journal was honored with 10 awards from the San Diego Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists at its annual banquet July 16.

The James Irvine Foundation Gives to Old Globe

The James Irvine Foundation has awarded the Old Globe Theatre a $750,000 grant to support programming efforts in southeastern San Diego.

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: An initiative to increase the time and cost of large local developments is set to go before San Marcos voters Nov. 4.


The 24 Hour Fitness health club chain has signed a $13.9 million, 15-year lease to move into the Imperial Marketplace shopping center.

CCDC to Unveil Concepts for Civic Center Makeover

Centre City Development Corp. plans to release portions of the two proposals to redevelop the San Diego Civic Center at a July 23 news conference.

Economic Outlook Is Vibrant for Chula Vista Startup Bank

What a wonderful time to open a bank. Despite the bad news swirling about the industry, the folks at Vibra Bank in Chula Vista, which opened its doors July 10, think exactly that.

Kaiser Unlocking Medical Records

Just as conducting business from shopping to banking has become standard practice online then so, too, could managing health care records become another cyberspace convenience.

Cell Phones Can Now Serve Up Souplantation Locations, Phone Numbers

No frills. Just the basics. That's what a locally based restaurant chain and its Web developer reached for when adapting a Web site for the small screens on wireless devices.

Green Leaders Schedule Forum to Promote 'Clean' Investing

When meeting with potential investors, Yeves Perez spent more time explaining the meaning of "green" than raising capital for the industry.

Alcohol Ban on Beaches Hurting Sales at Area Bars

The booze ban on local beaches may have simplified the task of picking up trash after the Fourth of July , the area's biggest annual picnic , but many barkeepers there say it's also cleaning cash out of their tills.

Three County Spas Rate Highly With Travel Magazine's Readers

The county sports three of the nation's top 10 places to go for a pampering retreat, according to Travel + Leisure magazine.

Barnhart Completes Work on 2 New Buildings for the Hemet School District

Progress Report , Barnhart Inc. has completed work on the Professional Development Services Center complex for the Hemet Unified School District.

Vincomm Lands New Contracts, Promotion Deals

Despite fierce nationwide competition, Vinculum Communications Inc., a San Diego-based VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) provider, recently signed three contracts to convert traditional telecom services to Internet-based calling capabilities.

Health Providers Carefully Weigh Patient Access to Online Medical Data

According to a recent survey conducted by Jackson & Coker, a Georgia-based physician recruitment firm, 46 percent of 1,000 physician respondents said that automating patient records is key to streamlining health care and driving reform.

Week in Review

Top Business News: July 11 - July 17, 2008

Broker Pushing Clients Away From Housing Purchases in North County

For the past five years, Joseph Galascione, president of ERA Metro Realty of San Diego, has issued a quarterly report to clients, sorting out loans he considers to be at high risk, medium risk and low risk for foreclosure.

Week of the Good, Bad and Ugly

This week's entry comes under the heading of the good, the bad, the ugly and the so-so.

Universities Help Health Care Workers Serve Aging Population

Responding to the demand for services among a growing aging population, two local universities have launched programs to support the pharmaceutical and health care industries.

Fitch Assigns County Bonds an AA

Citing San Diego County's low debt and high reserves, Fitch Ratings assigned $343.5 million in pension obligation bonds an AA rating, the company said July 21.

Getting in the Game

Virtually everyone in the video gaming industry is working overtime these days, and for good reason.

Executive Profile , Luis Maizel

Luis Maizel is the co-founder of LM Capital Group LLC.

Health Organizations Pull Together to Form Pediatric Dental Center

San Ysidro Health Center has assumed operations of the Pediatric Dental Clinic at Rady Children's Hospital.


Business Events: July 23 - 24

Magazine Names Fish & Richardson Top IP Firm

IP Law and Business, a monthly trade magazine focused on the law and business of intellectual property, recently named top-performing IP law firms of 2007.

Equastone Seeking $1 Billion Worth of Distressed Properties

La Jolla-based private equity firm Equastone said July 14 that it intends to make $1 billion in opportunistic investments nationwide during the next 12 months.

Veoh Networks Amassing Media Contracts for Online Venture

Veoh Networks Inc. is making television viewing on computers easier than ever. The San Diego company is becoming one of the most popular video-hosting services on the Web, attracting 28 million unique users each month.

Island Data Drops Anchor in Bay Area, Has New CEO

Island Data Corp., a Carlsbad-based provider of text analytics software, said July 21 that it relocated its sales, marketing and executive headquarters to San Francisco.

Engineering Firm Designs Olympic-Class BMX Track

Athletes clock speeds of 40 mph weaving around the quarter-mile bicycle motocross course designed by local firm Rick Engineering Co. as an exact replica of the Olympic course in Beijing.

Legal Fight Over Stem Cell Patent Heads Into New Round

Two taxpayer advocacy groups said July 18 that they had filed an appeal with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office challenging the University of Wisconsin's rights to all embryonic stem cells used for research in the United States.

Friday, July 18

Starbucks to Close 12 Local Stores

Starbucks plans to close a dozen stores in San Diego County, according to a list made public July 17.

Reports Offer Two Perspectives of Housing Market

The state of the housing market changes like a chameleon depending on who's telling the story. A pair of home sales reports issued July 16 and July 17 recite very different tales.

Wireless Telecom Captures VC Interest

What does the future hold for wireless communications? That was the topic of the San Diego Venture Group's panel discussion July 17.

June Jobless Rate Climbs to 5.9 Percent

San Diego County's unemployment rate rose to 5.9 percent in June, increasing for the second consecutive month, up from May's 5.5 percent, as the area shed nearly 5,000 jobs in the past 12 months, according to the state's Employment Development Department'

Cosmetic Surgery Business Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty in Tax Evasion Case

Marjan Pousti, a bookkeeper for her husband's cosmetic surgery business, pleaded guilty July 17 in federal court in San Diego to attempted tax evasion in 2005, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Losses Declining for Coronado First Bank

Coronado First Bank, founded in late 2005, reported on July 17 that it had a second quarter net loss of $127,000.

Thursday, July 17

UCSD Forms Research Unit Combining Engineering and Medicine

A newly formed research unit at UC San Diego will combine advanced engineering and medicine to tackle some of the challenges facing research and drug development today.

National University System Adds JFK University

Trustees of the National University System were to vote July 17 on adding John F. Kennedy University as an affiliate, La Jolla-based National University System said July 16.

SAIC to Build on Air Force Bases

SAIC said July 17 that one of its subsidiaries received a $55 million contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Savannah, Ga. district to design, engineer and construct two buildings at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.

Software Maker Takes Aim at Credit Score Fraud

Cogent Road, a San Diego maker of software for the mortgage industry, launched an automated fraud detection tool to help lenders see if a borrower's credit score is being artificially inflated, the company said July 16.

Retail Space on Girard Avenue Sells for $616 Per Square Foot

A multi-tenant retail building in the 7600 block of Girard Avenue in La Jolla was sold for $6.6 million in cash, or about $616 per square foot, the broker Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial said July 17.

PacWest Bancorp Writes Down Goodwill

PacWest Bancorp, the San Diego banking company formerly called First Community Bancorp with $4.3 billion in assets, reported July 17 a second quarter net loss of $474.5 million, mainly due to a write-down of nearly $487 million because of lost goodwill in

Rosarito Beach Hotel Celebrates New, 17-Story Tower

Builders celebrating the opening of the 271-room expansion of the Rosarito Beach Hotel Aug. 2 are not planning just one, but four themed fiestas.

Wednesday, July 16

Qualcomm Declares 16-Cent Dividend

Qualcomm Inc. said July 16 that it will pay shareholders a dividend of 16 cents per share, an amount unchanged from April. The dividend will be payable Sept. 26 to shareholders of record Aug. 29.

Combined Iomega/EMC Product Hits Market

Iomega Corp., which completed its $213 million sale to the much larger EMC Corp. last month, said July 16 that it will roll out external hard drives with a new downloadable bundle of EMC software.

NewSchool Has New Owner

The NewSchool of Architecture and Design, which has been operating in San Diego since 1980, was sold to Laureate Education Inc. for an undisclosed price, the company said July 16.

Scripps Bonds Get Healthy Rating

International credit rating agency Fitch Ratings said July 15 that it assigned an A+ rating to $101.6 million in California Health Facilities Financing Authority fixed-rate revenue bonds issued on behalf of Scripps Health.

Imperial Capital Amasses Quarterly Profit of $2.4M

Imperial Capital Bancorp Inc., a La Jolla bank that's heavy in land development and construction lending, reported second-quarter net income of $2.4 million, down from $6 million in net income for the second quarter last year.

Tuesday, July 15

24 Hour Fitness Moving Into Imperial Marketplace

The 24 Hour Fitness health club chain has signed a $13.9 million, 15-year lease to move into the Imperial Marketplace shopping center, broker CB Richard Ellis said July 14.

Oceanside Coca-Cola Workers Approve Contract

Teamsters Local 683 reported July 15 that workers at the Coca-Cola warehouse in Oceanside voted 64-6 in favor of their first contract on July 13.

Starbucks to Pull Plug on National Avenue Store

Starbucks Corp. named the first store it will close in San Diego County , at 3506 National Ave. , in a list of 50 store closures released July 11.

McMillin, Wells Fargo Cement Mortgage Banking Alliance

McMillin Homes and Wells Fargo have formed a joint venture to provide mortgage banking services for new homes, the companies said July 15.

Monday, July 14

Let's Make a Deal

At the height of the real estate market a few years ago, downtown developers began building up.

Renters Start Filling Vacant Condos Glutting the Market

Renters who are interested in moving into brand-new space downtown can thank the overstocked condominium market, which has begun to offer up some of its inventory for rent to recoup building costs and pay debts.

Barnhart Views Recent Company Sale as Ticket to Work Less

Doug Barnhart, who just sold San Diego's largest building and construction management company, Barnhart Inc., says the move wasn't so he could retire.

More Housing Headaches Loom While Economy Is in Flux

After predicting that home foreclosures would peak in mid-2008, economists are now bracing for a second wave of bank takeovers.

Week In Review

Top Business News: July 4 - 10, 2008

Northrop Grumman Tapped for Project

The San Diego facility of Northrop Grumman Corp. was tapped to develop technologies for the Airborne and Maritime Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System, or AMF JTRS.

Sales and Leases

Sales and Leases: The 51-unit Paseo Vista Apartments in Oceanside has been sold for $7 million.

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Chula Vista hosts the first of three off-road motor sports racing events at an area known as "the Quarry" on July 26-27.

Eli Lilly Cuts $64 Million Deal to Acquire SGX Pharma

In a move to bolster its efforts in biotechnology drug discovery, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. will acquire SGX Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a cash transaction valued at $64 million.

ImpediMed Sets Up West Coast Operations

ImpediMed, the maker of a hand-held device used to detect an often debilitating condition in breast cancer survivors who have undergone surgery or radiation treatment, is expanding its U.S. presence with an operations site based in San Diego.

Concept of Sustainability Alive and Well in Business

There seems to be a renewed awareness about our environment lately.

Flicker of Light at the End of the Iraqi Tunnel

A measure of self-delusion can be healthy if it deters the outbreak of another round of perhaps even more dangerous and destructive self-delusion.

Padres Owner Playing Ball With Senate Leader

San Diego Padres owner John Moores is among high-profile donors helping to reinvigorate a legal fund established to help Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata fight a four-year-old FBI corruption probe.

Parkside Adds 77 Units to Downtown's Affordable Housing Mix

Efforts to increase affordable housing in downtown San Diego are stepping up with yet another apartment complex under construction, the six-story, 170,000-square-foot Parkside

Downtown Condo Development Scales Back Considerably

The number of high-rise condominiums under development downtown has noticeably declined compared with just a few years ago.

1st Pacific Bancorp Now Hiring: President and CEO

1st Pacific Bancorp announced the resignation of CEO and President Vince Siciliano on July 3, after the close of business and before the long holiday weekend.

Del Mar's Retooled Track Surface Could Improve Running Times

When the ponies break out of the gate at the Del Mar Racetrack on July 16, odds are they'll be healthier, and that the recently tweaked synthetic track will provide faster running times than last year.

Barnhart Launches Construction of a New School Science Center in Tustin

Progress Report: Barnhart Inc. began construction on a new Science Center at the Tustin Unified School District's Foothill High School.

Abbott Clears Key FDA Hurdle for New Artery Device

A long-awaited device made by Abbott Laboratories Inc. in Temecula passed FDA approvals July 2.

Spending Cuts Put Health Care for the Poor at Risk

California's looming state budget crisis is putting our most vulnerable patients at even greater risk.

Stone Brewing Expects to Shave 40% Off Its Energy Bills By Going Solar

For nearly three years, Stone Brewing Co. has considered investing in solar energy, and with monthly electricity costs averaging about $20,000, the company made the switch to solar on July 1.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions. Executive Spotlight: Mike Howard

IndyMac Concerns Spill Over to San Diego County

IndyMac Bank's 33 retail branches opened for business July 14 after being closed since July 11 when federal regulators seized the savings and loan and put its assets under a conservatorship of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Entrepreneur Profile - Philippe Beltran

A chat with Philippe Beltran, owner of Bleu Boh & #269;me.

Border Agents Will Soon Be Tuning Into Wireless ID Cards

Six border crossings in San Diego and Imperial counties are upgrading to new technology this summer as part of a plan to improve security and travel times at the nation's 39 busiest entry points.

Public Relations Society Honors Scripps Health HR Team

Jane Hong, director of performance management at Scripps Health and the human resources team, received a 2008 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence, sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America in recognition of a work force communications campaign.

Grant Gives Globe New Lease on Life as Technical Center

The Old Globe Theatre, which recently acquired a 43,000-square-foot structure on Market Street in southeast San Diego, has received a $750,000 grant from The James Irvine Foundation to support programming efforts there during a three-year period.

Podcast: This Week's Front Page, at a Glance

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

Kyoto Symposium Society Picks Bank Chairman

Robert Horsman, chief executive at San Diego National Bank, was named chairman of the Kyoto Symposium Organization, the group announced July 1.

3 Factors Causing Problems in Commercial Real Estate Market

The combination of a credit crunch, high gas prices and consumer worries is taking a toll on the commercial real estate market.

Lay of the Land: Taxable Property Valued at $409 Billion

Assessed value of taxable property in San Diego County increased $17.9 billion in fiscal year 2007-2008 to $409.3 billion, a 4.59 percent increase, despite the severe housing downturn, the Assessor's office reported June 30.

Santee Class A Office Sells for $1.75M

The first building at RiverView at Santee, a master planned business park, has sold for $1.75 million, the brokers on the deal said July 14.

Port's & #8201;'Economic Tide' & #8201;Ebbs and Flows

The Port of San Diego, which manages regional tidelands, anticipates reduced revenue and higher expenses in its 2008-2009 budget, resulting in a lower net gain for the agency.

Potential Actors Strike Poses Little Threat to Comic-Con

The buzz surrounding Comic-Con International wouldn't eclipse Madonna's divorce rumors. But recent news about the annual gathering, which draws legions of pop culture fans, as well as the cartoon characters' creators and the Hollywood talent that brings t

Inovio Merges With East Coast Firm to Advance Vaccine Development

Inovio Biomedical Corp., developer of a technology capable of delivering DNA vaccines into the body using brief electrical pulses, said July 7 it will merge with privately held DNA vaccine maker VGX Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Pennsylvania.

Housing Crisis Turning Many Homeowners Into Landlords

Rather than selling for a loss in the downturn, homeowners who have to relocate because of job transfers or other reasons are renting out their properties, typically for less than their monthly mortgage.

With $12M Deal, ViaSat to Help Test Next-Generation Fighter Jet

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. awarded ViaSat Inc. a $12 million contract to build avionics test gear, ViaSat said July 14.

Friday, July 11

SAIC Supports Army Brass With $6.2M Deal

The Army on July 9 awarded SAIC a $6.2 million contract for professional support services.

Staubach Co. Buyout Complete

The buyout of a Dallas-based real estate consulting and brokerage firm, Staubach Co., by Jones Lang LaSalle has been finalized under a $613 million cash and stock deal, the two companies said July 11.

U.S. News Survey Applauds UCSD, Scripps Hospitals

UC San Diego Medical Center and Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla earned top marks in the latest edition of U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Hospitals issue, which hits newsstands July 14.

Transit System Steers $45M Project to Cubic

Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Corp., was awarded a $45 million contract to replace a transportation fare collection system in Florida.

Thursday, July 10

City Attorney: Lawsuit Possible Against SDG

San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre issued a report July 8 threatening to sue San Diego Gas & Electric Co. if it fails to comply with a state mandate to generate 20 percent of its power from renewable energy by 2010.

Home Prices Continued Their Slide in June

Sales of existing homes rose in June as median prices continued to fall, according to the North San Diego County Association of Realtors.

Upgrades to Navy Ships Could Bring Nassco $210M

General Dynamics Nassco said July 9 it received a contract from the U.S. Navy to modernize two classes of San Diego-homeported amphibious assault ships. The value of the contract if all options are exercised through 2014 is $210 million.

Express Jet to Leave San Diego by Early September

Express Jet said July 9 it plans to cut all 10 of its routes serving Lindbergh Field, amounting to 16 daily flights. The carrier put the blame on escalating fuel costs.

Saturday Night Spectacle: Mexican Soccer Returns

Another big soccer match takes place at Qualcomm Stadium at 8 p.m. July 19 when two heavyweights from the Mexican Primera division, Club Americas and Cruz Azul, take the pitch.

Wednesday, July 9

Consumer Spending Cools, Auto Sale Downturn Hits Cities

Given the crummy economy, it's no surprise that local consumers are cutting back on spending, and the July 8 report from the San Diego Institute for Policy Research confirms that.

Quarterly Profit More Than Doubles at PriceSmart

PriceSmart Inc., the San Diego operator of 25 warehouse retail stores in the Caribbean and Central America, reported July 8 third-quarter net income of $10.6 million, more than double the $5.2 million reported for the like period of 2007.

Blackbaud Completes Kintera Acquisition

Blackbaud Inc. completed the acquisition of San Diego-based Kintera Inc. July 9 in a cash deal that valued the software maker at $46 million or $1.12 per share.

Eli Lilly Cuts $64 Million Deal to Acquire SGX Pharma

In a move to bolster its efforts in biotechnology drug discovery, pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. will acquire SGX Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a cash transaction valued at $64 million. Lilly will pay SGX $3 a share.

Realtors' Golf Tournament and Auction to Benefit Police Officers

The San Diego Association of Realtors will host its second annual Everyday Heroes Golf Tournament on Friday, July 25 to benefit the SDAR Ambassadors Foundation.

Tuesday, July 8

Toshiba Wants Multiple Light Sources From Cymer

Cymer Inc., the Rancho Bernardo-based maker of laser equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing, said July 8 it had reached a multi-unit agreement with Toshiba.

Active Network Stays Active in Acquisitions Market

The Active Network Inc., a La Jolla-based provider of software and technology services to sports and recreational organizations, said July 8 that it acquired Hy-Tek Sports Software. The businesses did not disclose the purchase price.

PacWest Bancorp Declares 32-Cent Dividend

PacWest Bancorp, the holding company for San Diego-based Pacific Western Bank, said July 8 that second-quarter net operating earnings should be in a range from $12 million to $13 million.

Inovio Biomedical to Merge With East Coast Firm

Inovio Biomedical Corp., which developed a technology capable of delivering DNA vaccines into the body using brief electrical pulses, said July 7 that it will merge with privately held DNA vaccine maker VGX Pharmaceuticals of Pennsylvania.

Eli Lilly to Acquire SGX Pharma for $64M

SGX Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego biotech company focused on developing treatments for various cancers, said July 8 that Eli Lilly and Co. will acquire the company in an all-cash transaction valued at $64 million.

$7M Buys 51-Unit Apartment Complex in Oceanside

The 51-unit Paseo Vista Apartments in Oceanside have been sold for $7 million, the broker on the deal said July 8.

Monday, July 7

Networkcar Fueling Greener Fleets

With gas prices close to $5 a gallon, fleet managers of trucks and delivery vehicles are investing in technologies to pump more money into their bottom line while pumping less pollution into the atmosphere.

Executive Profile: Bill Garland

Bill Garland is owner of NiteLites of San Diego, a company that provides outdoor lighting services to commercial and residential clients.

Office Space in Golden Triangle Worth Its Weight in Gold

Genesee Executive Plaza has been purchased for $56 million in a joint venture between Janez Group of San Diego and PCCP LLC of El Segundo, the companies said July 1.

Week in Review

Top Business News: June 27 - July 3, 2008

Dataskill to Purchase Silicon Space, Acquire New Technical Talent

Two longtime local technology companies are joining forces.

Podcast: This Week's Front Page, at a Glance

Web Editor Brad Graves provides highlights from the July 7, 2008 issue of the San Diego Business Journal.

TAG Accountancy Acquires Local Software Outfit

TAG, a San Diego-based accounting and accounting software consultancy, announced on June 30 its acquisition of Contractor Software Corp., a local accounting software developer for the construction industry.

Sales and Leases

Shoreham-Viewridge LLC sold the Governor Tech Center, located at 5010 Shoreham Place in University City, to DPR Construction Inc. for $6.85 million.

Manchester Financial Group Scouting Investment Partners

For anyone with the ability to obtain some serious financing, developer Doug Manchester is offering a piece of the action in his hotels.

Century 21 CEO Paints Too Bright a Picture for Home Sales

Century 21 CEO Paints Too Bright a Picture for Home Sales

Homeowners, Renters Eligible for State Assistance

The Franchise Tax Board is mailing out forms to state residents who are disabled or older than age 62 and may be eligible for payments from California's Homeowner and Renter Assistance Program.

Pettit Kohn Moves To Carmel Valley

Pettit Kohn Ingrassia & Lutz PC has relocated its San Diego office to the Torrey Reserve business complex in Carmel Valley. The firm said the additional space will accommodate the growing demands of its expanding client base. The new address is 11622 El C

SDG & E; to Buy Energy Fueled By Wood Waste

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. said July 3 that it has signed a power-purchase agreement with Arcata-based Blue Lake Power LLC to supply 11 megawatts of biomass energy from Blue Lake's facility in Humboldt County, after the facility is refurbished.

Attending Event Would Be Music to Chamber's Ears

The Chamber of Commerce in National City plans to host its next monthly breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. July 17. The event is set for the Holiday Inn on National City Boulevard. Call 619-477-9339 for more information.

Computer Tech's Novel Take on IT Services Has Caretaker Applications

It's funny how one thing can lead to another.

Video on the 'Net Is Light Years Away From Its Precursor, the Newsreel

Internet video is a burgeoning cultural phenomenon.

SAIC Hits the Mark on Gun Test

SAIC said July 7 that it successfully tested a new large-caliber gun at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Va.

Hidden Tax on Carbon Trading Is a Bad Idea

California is leading the way in implementing a strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, California's AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, requires the state to achieve a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020.

Ports-to-Plains Corridor Secures Trade, Prosperity

At a time when security threats, global instability and economic uncertainty dominate the headlines, a highway project seems an unlikely topic as a good news story.

San Diego People

KMA Architecture & Engineering has promoted Andrew Carlos and William Karrasch to associates. Carlos brings 17 years of commercial and retail design, and historical residential preservation experience to the firm.

Corvette Diner Moving to Liberty Station

The Cohn Restaurant Group is moving its popular '50s-themed eatery Corvette Diner to Liberty Station from Hillcrest next summer, reports Chief Executive Officer David Cohn. He blames the lack of parking in the current neighborhood for the move, which will

Leap Takes on $550M in Debt to Expand in St. Louis, Las Vegas

Leap Wireless International Inc. needs cash, lots of it, as its subsidiary Cricket Communications expands into new wireless markets like St. Louis and Las Vegas.

Silvergate Cites Banking Woes for Losing $6M Deal

Silvergate Capital Corp., parent of Silvergate Bank in La Jolla, said a potential investment of $6 million arranged last year was terminated partly because of ongoing credit problems at many banks.

Peripheral-Maker Mad Catz Closes Out Year With Reduced Sales, Net Income

Mad Catz Interactive Inc., a San Diego maker of computer peripherals mainly for video games, reported net income of $3.2 million for its fiscal year ended March 31 in a report on June 30.

American Red Cross Receives $1.65M for Disaster Preparedness

The American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter received $1.65 million in grants from the Akaloa Resource Foundation, including $1 million that will go toward the startup of Prepare San Diego, a disaster preparedness initiative. Red Cross also

Local Entrepreneurs Want to Do More Than Just Have Fun

The former owner of Family Fitness Centers, which was acquired in 1995 to create 24 Hour Fitness, is applying her business background and prowess to something a little more glittery.

Let the Buyer Seeking Bargains on Foreclosed Homes Beware

Bank-owned homes recycling back into the market after foreclosure are being priced well below market value in order to solicit multiple bids, which in some cases exceed their original asking price, agents and analysts say.

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Encinitas paid $730,000 for a study recently to convince the California Department of Transportation to help pay for more design improvements to the Encinitas Boulevard interchange

Atlanta Law Firm Merges Into West Coast Market

Top Atlanta law firm Troutman Sanders LLP is coming to Southern California.

Region's Recent World-Class Events Show Real Economy

San Diego has recently been center stage for two world-class events , the U.S. Open and BIO 2008 gathering

Local Gyms Not Feeling Crunch of Recession So Far

As businesses tighten their belts while riding out rocky times, San Diegans remain worried enough with their waistlines to keep the health club industry afloat.

Internet Ad Execs Conflicted Over Proposed Top-Level Domain Name Changes

On June 26 in Paris, Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, approved expanding Web address extensions, or "top-level domains," to include generic words and names in international scripts.

Jet Source Acquiring Aviation Firm

Jet Source, a Carlsbad-based corporate jet charter company, said July 1 it is acquiring Western Flight, another fixed-base charter operator, for an undisclosed amount.

New Wave of Video Firms Enhance Mobility and Motion of Internet

In the years ahead, watch for the Internet to move away from content that stands still.

Air Travelers Irked

One day in early spring Dennis Lombardi thought he'd seen it all as far as airline industry woes go. When 2,500 American Airlines flights were canceled during a 72-hour Federal Aviation Administration audit in April, Lombardi's was one of them.

Thursday, July 3

Linux Software Firm Linspire Sold

San Diego-based Linspire Inc. was acquired by Xandros Inc., another creator of Linux-based operating systems and products. The announcement was made July 2.

Third-Quarter Profit Increases at WD-40

WD-40 Co. reported net income of $8.1 million, up 5.6 percent, for its third quarter ended May 31. Revenue grew 5.8 percent to $82.1 million for the same period, according to a report released July 2.

Mayor Hires New Press Secretary

Fred Sainz, who has served as Mayor Jerry Sanders' press secretary since the mayor took office in December 2005, has resigned his position and is being replaced by longtime political operative and San Diego County native Darren Pudgil.

Pennsylvania Company Buys Hillcrest Rehabilitation Hospital

Vibra Healthcare LLC of Mechanicsburg, Pa., said July 3 that it has acquired Continental Rehabilitation Hospital, a 110-bed long term acute care hospital in San Diego's Hillcrest neighborhood.

Wednesday, July 2

Two Commercial Properties in San Diego Change Hands

Arden Realty of West Los Angeles fetched more than $90 million in two property sales announced the week of June 30. Both are multitenant office buildings.

Vista Medical Complex Set for January Completion

Construction is under way on the 63,000-square-foot CreekView Medical Park at Via Centre Drive in Vista.

Kyoto Symposium Organization Names New Chairman

Robert Horsman, chief executive at San Diego National Bank, was named chairman of the Kyoto Symposium Organization, the group announced July 1.

Equity Based Services Acquires Nashville Storage Facility

Equity Based Services Inc. of San Diego said June 30 it acquired Silo Self Storage in Nashville, Tenn. for $3.8 million.

Jet Source Acquiring Aviation Firm

Jet Source, a Carlsbad-based corporate jet charter company, said July 1 that it is acquiring Western Flight, another fixed-base charter operator, for an undisclosed amount.

Drivers, Warehouse Workers Walk Off Job

About 600 drivers and warehouse workers at Coca-Cola Enterprises in San Diego walked off the job July 1 in solidarity with Coca-Cola workers who went on strike in Oceanside over wage disparities, according to Teamsters Local 683.

Podcast: This Week's Front Page, at a Glance

Web Editor Brad Graves provides highlights from the June 30, 2008 issue of the San Diego Business Journal. Or listen to archived podcasts.

Tuesday, July 1

Economist: Real Estate Dragging Down California Economy

It's hardly a surprise, but California's lagging economy will likely continue that trend for the rest of the year, according to Dana Johnson, chief economist at Comerica Bank in a report issued last month.

Starbucks Closing 600 Stores in United States

Starbucks Corp. said July 1 it plans to close 600 underperforming company-owned stores and eliminate up to 12,000 full- and part-time positions, the most in its history.

Dataskill Makes Room for Silicon Space

Dataskill Inc., a provider of data management and software that's operated in San Diego since 1984, said July 1 it signed a definitive agreement to buy Silicon Space, a local software and Web development firm, for an undisclosed price.

Mad Catz Closes Out Year With Reduced Sales, Net Income

Mad Catz Interactive Inc., a San Diego maker of computer peripherals mainly for video games, reported net income of $3.2 million for its fiscal year ended March 31 in a report on June 30.