Stories for August 2000

Monday, August 28

HEALTHCARE---N. County Hospital District Mulls Nurse-Retention Plan

Palomar Pomerado Health System officials are hoping to gain approval for an incentive-driven plan to both retain skilled nurses and attract those in training to their hospitals in Poway and Escondido.

Monarch High Metamorphosis Nearly Done

A school serving homeless teens is on the move, preparing to leave its old quarters Downtown for new ones.

Entrepreneur Is Honored By Women Business Owners Group

Janie Emerson, president of La Jolla-based JEM Enterprises, was recently recognized as the 2000 National Association of Women Business Owners National Public Policy Advocate of the Year.

HEALTHCARE---Hospitals Trapped By Rate Hikes

Gary Stephany's warning of perilous effects on San Diego's health and safety triggered by high electricity costs went unheeded by the California Public Utilities Commission.

PUBLISHER'S NOTEBOOK

San Diego is experiencing major growing pains as it continues to find its place in the world economy. This little military town by the Mexican border is rapidly becoming one of the great cities in the new economy.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

Katherine Delacruz-Smith has been promoted to branch manager of Neighborhood National Bank's Paradise Valley branch. Larry Carlos has been appointed as a new partner in Deloitte & Touche's Management Solutions & Services Practice. Deborah L. Huffman has b

FINANCE---Firms Ink Financial Transaction Deals With Banks

Three local companies said they've signed up more banks to use their technology to speed financial transactions.

PUBLIC TRANSIT---Schools See Rewards Ahead With MTDB Plan

The Metropolitan Transit Development Board is prepared to launch a pilot program later this month that could save the public agency money and benefit university students who participate.

PROFILE---Ericsson's ?ke Persson adapts to San Diego's cultural and corporate challenges

From an intellectual property fight to a major corporate acquisition to employee retention, Persson, president of San Diego-based Ericsson Wireless Communications, Inc., has seen his share of challenges in the Southland.

This Racing School Is No Kiddie Ride

Nestled in the mountains on the La Jolla Indian Reservation, Don Swanson's Racing School teaches students how to go really, really fast.

Airlines + Cars

Airlines + Carstop air + cars

BIOTECH---Biotechs Feel Electric Shock, but Have Few Options

Skyrocketing energy costs will not likely break biotech start-ups, but they could stall their research and development efforts.

CONSTRUCTION---Construction Firms Grin and Bear Electric Costs

There's not much they can do about it, so local construction companies are just learning to live with higher electricity costs, officials of several companies said.

EDITORIAL---Report: State Energy System Runs Amok

The California Public Utilities Commission's and Gov. Gray Davis' half-hearted responses last week to San Diego's energy crisis do little except possibly postpone the region's bankruptcy. The fact is, San Diego's excessive electricity rates are a symptom

LEAD---Southern California Continues Push for Alternative-Fuel Vehicles

As smog continues to plague Southern California, and drivers slowly awaken to the possibility of vehicles that run on something other than gasoline or diesel, could environmentally clean natural gas be in the pipeline for San Diego drivers?

ENTERPRISE---Local Firm Helps Skateboarding's Revival Roll On

One of the most prominent skateboard executives in the country skipped the X Games last week in San Francisco.

MEDIA---Clear Channel's Deal With AMFM Nearly Done

New ownership of KYXY-FM, KPLN-FM and KSDO-AM could come as early as this week if Clear Channel Communications Inc.'s buy of AMFM Inc. is completed as expected.

Tinkering Around His Shop Leads to a Book and Web Site

Tom Rauscher isn't afraid to say it. He's an inventor. But to the expected query of how many patented inventions he's created, he answers, "None."

SMALL BUSINESS & RETAIL---State Chamber Pushes Initiative gainst 'Hidden' Taxes

The California Chamber of Commerce is urging its members to support a move to eliminate unfair "hidden" business taxes.

COMMENTARY---A Happy Fourth Anniversary for Welfare Reform?

Corks flew in Washington last week as politicians celebrate the fourth anniversary of legislation supposedly "ending welfare as we know it."

FOR THE RECORD

If you would like your business event that costs less than $50 to attend included in the calendar section, please make sure that your press release arrives at our offices at least 15 working days before the event. Send information to:

ABOUT THE LIST

The recent increase in travel has produced unwanted results of flight cancellations, crowded flights, and angry passengers.

ENERGY---Local Firm Rolls Out New 'Personal Power Source'

CARLSBAD , A company based here announced it has successfully demonstrated the world's first fuel-cell based "personal power source," using zinc as an energy source.

TOURISM---Hospitality Execs Call Rate Hikes 'Devastating'

Between lowering the air conditioning, sometimes curtailing hours of operation, and considering charging consumers more, this summer's jolt to electricity rates isn't leaving much room for San Diego's hospitality industry to be, well, hospitable.

BALLPARK---Padres Make Some Gains in East Village project

Though the future of the Padres ballpark remains clouded by litigation and an ongoing criminal investigation, the baseball club's development arm continues working on the $1 billion project as if everything is coming up roses.

TOURISM---Foreclosure Hearing Set for the High-Tech eHotel

EHotel, which features business-friendly high-speed Internet access and fax machines, appears a far less friendly business to actually operate.

COMMENTARY---Watch for 'Midnight Regulation' at Administration's End

Late summer and early fall should be a "safe" time for America's small business owners. By "safe" I mean protected from cumbersome, expensive new laws and taxes.

ENERGY---Whirlwind Legislative Week Seeking Energy Relief

Some Relief Seen; Questions Remain Over Who Ultimately Pays for Dereg's Mistakes

GOVERNMENT---Publicly Owned Utilities Studied

Citing "outrageous" electricity rates, the city of San Marcos has taken a step toward creating a municipal utility. Chula Vista may do the same, while county officials have declared they will pay no more than last year's price for power.

CYBERBUCKS---What's in a Name? Cyberworks Worth $1 Million

In a sale that gives some inkling about how valuable a good dot-com name is, a local firm sold a domain name for a cool $1 million earlier this month.

LAW---Downtown Firm Honored for Its Volunteer Work

The San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program has announced Latham and Watkins as its Pro Bono Law Firm of the Year.

Monday, August 21

ENVIRONMENT---Private Investor Offers Solution to Tijuana Sewage

For more than 70 years, untreated sewage from Mexico has been carried northward into the United States by the Tijuana River. As the river empties into the sea, and ocean currents spread the sewage northward, beaches from Imperial Beach to Coronado have ha

NEWSMAKERS---Graphics Firm Takes a Stand

It's an evocative image: a boy standing next to a pillar and behind a brick wall, back turned, staring at whatever lies beyond. The Internet image calls to mind people whom a particular group of social workers at San Diego State University would like to h

COMMENTARY---Truth Is Not Always an Environmental Value

If you are one of the many people who casually calls yourself an environmentalist, maybe it's worth a second to figure out what kind of environmentalist you really are.

RESTAURANTS---Anthony's Scales Down for Take-Out Restaurant

Anthony's Seafood Group of La Mesa, Inc. is casting its line into the increasingly popular "express" market. The company known for its Star of the Sea and Anthony's Fish Grotto restaurants recently announced plans to open a less formal restaurant with ext

CHARITABLE GIVING---Charities Are Getting Better at Raising Money

If your good fortune in business or the stock market has you thinking about giving more to a nonprofit charity, you're not alone.

POLITICS---Warden Takes Job With Cable Firm

Former San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Warden's new employer, Western Integrated Networks, may be an unknown entity locally, but the Denver-based cable company aims to change that. "We will be competing with both Cox Communications and Time Warner in

REAL ESTATE---Burnham REIT CEO Resigns as Firm Liquidates

Real Estate: Falling Stock Prices, Angry Investors Plague Embattled REIT J. David Martin is stepping down as president and CEO of Burnham Pacific Properties Inc., the shopping center real estate investment trust beleaguered by falling stock

EDITORIAL---Energy Cartels Speed Toward Re-regulation

As the cost of electricity continues to grow, so does the magnitude of the power industry's deceptions, which still sticks to its same lame excuses for the outrageous rate hikes.

TOURISM---Soak City to Stay Open After Summer's End

Basking in warm summer temperatures and reportedly strong attendance, Chula Vista water park Knott's Soak City USA has extended its season into October. The season was originally scheduled to end Sept. 24, operating on weekends after Sept. 9. Now, the par

PROFILE---Lynn McDougal

A Confident Air Attorney Still Rises to The Challenge After Years In the Government Arena

RESTAURANTS---Closed Franchises in Mexico

At the request of Jack In The Box, Inc., Mexican authorities closed down five Jack In The Box franchises in Tijuana and Mexicali that were being run under another company.

RETIREMENT ADVICE---Taking Your 401(k) Assets When You Retire

With the spectacular returns the stock market has provided the past few years, many people have seen a dramatic increase in the assets in their 401(k) accounts. In a survey last year, the Employee Benefits Research Institute found that the average 401(k)

SAVINGS ADVICE---Planning Ahead to Ensure Retirement Security

The chance of outliving your retirement funds, or not having enough to retire comfortably, is more probable than ever. The average life expectancy is 77 years in 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Most people will live, on average, about three yea

REAL ESTATE---Residential Home Sales Drop Off Torrid Pace

Rising prices and interest rates are slowing local residential real estate's price appreciation, figures from the San Diego Association of Realtors show.

MEDIA & MARKETING---Drivable Egg Campaign to Arrive in a VW Beetle

A 2000 Volkswagen Beetle with a yolk-yellow interior and an eggshell-white exterior. If it sounds like the center of a campaign for a certain dairy product, you're right.

CYBERBUCKS---Five Companies Take Plunge Off Springboard

For high-tech start-ups seeking capital, the place to be earlier this month was UCSD Connect's Springboard luncheon at the Hilton La Jolla. Just ask Jerry Skillett, founder of 24-7-digital.com, an Encinitas business to business company that sells digital

LAW---Trade Secret Battles Are More Like Marathons

Here's a bad idea: Publish your trade secrets on the Internet. Or show them off at trade shows. Or throw a hard copy in the trash without shredding it first.

MORTGAGE BROKERS---Broker Association Sets Up Code of Conduct

The California Association of Mortgage Brokers, an industry group representing lenders, brokers and other real estate services companies, is looking to get members to sign off on an internal code of conduct designed to counter fallout from well-publicized

REAL ESTATE---New Home Sales Are Still Running Hot Countywide

Rising interest rates on loans haven't quelled the new home-ownership urge among local buyers, several developers said recently.

TOURISM---Drivable Egg Campaign to Arrive in a VW Beetle

A 2000 Volkswagen Beetle with a yolk-yellow interior and an eggshell-white exterior. If it sounds like the center of a campaign for a certain dairy product, you're right. A $300,000-plus statewide push , dubbed "The Incredible Drivable Egg" , is planned t

BIOTECH---O'side, Idec Deal Could Be Model

OCEANSIDE , The deal struck by the Oceanside City Council and Idec Pharmaceuticals Corp. could be a model for future incentive packages designed to keep biotechnology firms in San Diego. On Aug. 16, the Oceanside City Council unanimously approved an incen

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

Neighborhood National Bank promoted Yolanda Ambriz to manager of its National Avenue headquarters branch.

AGRICULTURE---Power Rates Threaten Local Farms

ESCONDIDO , Bob Crouch grows mushrooms, but he's the one who may soon be in the dark.

INTERNET---Music Store Taps MP3.com's Online Catalog

San Diego-based MP3.com, Inc. is teaming up with a Minnesota-based retailer to sell songs in a brick-and-mortar environment. Right now MP3.com lets computer users download tracks from its Internet site. It is among several Web music services that have cha

TECHNOLOGY---Titan Eyes Spinoff of SureBeam

The future plans of the Titan Corp. and San Diego Mayor Susan Golding have converged.

TAX ADVICE---Take a Mid-Year Review of 2000 Tax Situation

Although you'd probably prefer to forget about taxes at this time of year, you certainly don't want to pay underpayment penalties next April. But that's what could happen if you don't set aside some time to check your tax withholding and/or estimated tax

LEAD---Hotel Financing Stacks Up Like A Fragile House of Cards

When Doug Manchester held a roundbreaking on St. Patrick's Day for the 750-room Hyatt Regency expansion, most attending the event assumed construction would begin soon.

ABOUT THE LIST---Investors Use Online Outlets to Manage Their Money

Times have changed since Wall Street only catered to rich men in three-piece suits reading results coming from a stock ticker. Today, millions of people can rely on the technology of computers and the Internet to manage their money for long- and short-ter

EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK---Warden's Resignation a Disappointment

Like most everyone else, I was caught off-guard when San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Warden abruptly resigned from her 5th District seat. Her announcement Aug. 11 must come as a bit of a shock to constituents as well. Shock, and probably disappointmen

BANKING---First Community Acquires L.A. Banks for $16M

First Community Bancorp, the local parent company of Rancho Santa Fe National Bank, will acquire a five-branch bank in the Los Angeles area under terms of an agreement reached earlier this month. First Community will acquire Professional Bancorp Inc. and

DEFENSE---Annual Defense Spending Increases to $9.7 Billion

Following three years of gradual decline, San Diego County defense industry spending shot up during 1999, pumping more than $9.7 billion into the local economy. An annual assessment of the topic released by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce showe

COMMENTARY---What Vicente Fox's Election Means to San Diego

A glimpse of what Vicente Fox, the new president of Mexico, did as governor of Guanajuato tells volumes in terms of his potential impact on San Diego and the border region.

ENTERPRISE---Entreprenuer Sharpens Skills With a Laser

CARLSBAD , Fritz Brauer loves Southern California, because "as a boy from Hamburg, you like the sun." The German native also once loved American venture capitalists, who, contrary to the stodgy bankers in his homeland, thrive on funding risky yet promisin

TAXATION---Local Author Advocates Alternative Tax

A San Diego computer system consultant developed a tax system he believes could benefit businesses by replacing the current federal income tax code. Aides to a local U.S. representative, who believes the current tax system stifles businesses, have yet to

TECHNOLOGY---It's the Plane Truth CEO Enjoys Rush Hour

Three or four days a week, Steve Hamerslag makes his way from Rancho Santa Fe to his job in Los Angeles. But don't pity him for such a hellish commute. Hamerslag, CEO for j2 Global Communications Inc., takes to the air to get from here to there and back h

SMALL BUSINESS & RETAIL---EStoreManager.com Puts Small Firms on the Web

Want to start selling on the Internet, but find yourself holding back because you're afraid you don't have the techno-savvy? A San Diego-based company bills itself as a full-service provider of online-store solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses.

ACCOUNTING---CPA Association President to Clear Path for Students

The road to becoming a certified public accountant is one filled with bumps, curves, detours and even a few roadblocks for aspiring young professionals.

Credit + Management Firms

Credit + Management Firms

ENERGY---Legislative Action Pending on Electricity Costs

For San Diegans racked by high electricity rates, relief could come as early as Aug. 21.

BIOTECH---Quidel Begins Selling Osteoporosis Detection Device

Quidel Corp.'s Food and Drug Administration approval for an ultrasound machine that diagnoses osteoporosis, should improve the company's bottom line, said a financial analyst.

FOR THE RECORD

If you would like your business event that costs less than $50 to attend included in the calendar section, please make sure that your press release arrives at our offices at least 15 working days before the event. Send information to:

Monday, August 14

ABOUT THE LIST---Largest Landscape Contractors

Even as seasons change, a landscaper's work is never finished. Local landscapers enjoy the fruits of their labor with a good economy, but several cost factors prevent the landscapers from earning significant profits in their business. The San Diego Busine

COMMENTARY---Tender to the Engine of the California Economy

That a government can tax its people to a point where revenues actually decrease and the services it seeks to provide cannot be done without a secure base of low-levied taxpayers is the most salient economic lesson of the 20th century. A lesson, it is to

ELECTRIC RATES---Energy Solutions Proposed at State, Federal Levels

Solutions are like opinions. Everybody's got one. As families and small businesses are socked with high electricity rates, politicians and industry leaders are rushing to the rescue with a slew of potential solutions to the problem of high electricity rat

TELECOM---San Diego's Telecom Bandwidth Grows a Little Larger

A Colorado company is celebrating completion of a high-volume Internet and telecommunications network in San Diego, predicting it may eventually bring streaming video and other bandwidth-hungry technology to the masses. Representatives of Level 3, headqua

GROWTH---Fate of Escondido Development in Hands of Voters

ESCONDIDO , This November, residents of one North County city will determine future growth in the city for the first time ever. In addition to voting for a new president and statewide initiatives, voters in Escondido will decide the fate of development pr

LEAD---Builders Hurry up and Wait on Implementing Technology

New technology is making a dramatic impact on the local construction industry, but builders are proceeding slowly with introducing it because of potential litigation, several local contractors said. The construction industry is one of those fields where m

ELECTRIC RATES---Energy Prices Hurting Local Small Businesses

James Ikeda knows he's one of the lucky ones, although with today's high utility rates, "lucky" is a relative term. He's seen his electricity bill shoot up to $6,300 this month.

NEWSMAKERS---Corporate Jungle a Breeze Compared to Rainforest Race

Forget "Survivor." The race a San Diego team is competing in next week would blow the folks on the television series out of the water on the first day. The four-member team along with one alternate is the sole local entry in this year's Eco-Challenge, a r

TRADE---Ericsson's S.D. Division Inks $200M Pegaso Deal

In a move being duplicated in many other regions around the world, Pegaso, a Mexican telecommunications carrier, said it is buying another $200 million in wireless network equipment from the Ericsson CDMA Systems unit. Yes, the same Ericsson that's headqu

FINANCE---Bank of Coronado Posts Solid First-Half Results

Several locally based lending institutions have good financial news for their shareholders.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

Janeen A. Pizzagoni has been promoted to assistant vice president at the Bank of Coronado. USE Credit Union appointed Gay Peterson as its La Mesa's branch [what job?] . Arden Peterson was named president of Community First National Bank. Jassoy, Graff & D

ZONING---Supervisors Settle Lakeside Zoning Dispute

The county Board of Supervisors approved the status quo as the final zoning answer to a parcel of land in East County last week. The decision to either zone all of the Upper San Diego River Improvement Project for heavy industrial use or down zone it for

Commercial Realestate---Builders Hurry Up and Wait on Implementing Technology

New technology is making a dramatic impact on the local construction industry, but builders are proceeding slowly with introducing it because of potential litigation, several local contractors said. The construction industry is one of those fields where m

ABOUT THE LIST---Property Managers Set Themselves Apart with Technology

With so much property in the county, local property management companies look to improve themselves by distinguishing their holdings from the rest of the pack. The San Diego Business Journal's List of the Largest Property Management Companies is ranked by

PUBLISHER'S NOTEBOOK---Economy Healthy Despite Electric Shock

The talk around any table these days is the cost of water, then gasoline, and now natural gas and electricity. The common denominator is the dramatically increasing price for each commodity. We can't live with them, and now it seems we can't live without

LAW---Legal Arts Multimedia Draws Lawyers' Attention

It's been a busy year for Legal Arts Multimedia, which serves attorneys by providing visual elements , like illustrations, charts, animation, video editing and interactive presentations , for trials. The past 12 months have seen Downtown-based Legal Arts

PEOPLE---Fighting the Good Fight

For Nearly Two Decades UCAN's Michael Shames Has Been the Utility Consumer's Knight-Errantt's

BIOTECH---Partners Make Another Attempt at Creating Blood Substitute

For two decades, scientists' attempts to create a viable artificial blood substitute that reduces the need for blood transfusions during surgery have seen discouraging results. In the mid-1990s, it appeared as if Deerfield, Ill.-based health care giant Ba

ENTERPRISE---Providing High-Tech Services Produces a Case of MassHysteria

"We have about 30 job openings right now. We should be at 125 people," said the president and CEO of MassHysteria Inc., a Downtown based high-tech firm. Like everyone else in high-tech these days, Phillips is looking for engineers , at least 10 of them. B

MEDIA---Copley May Sell Illinois Papers After Buying One in Ohio

The Copley Press, Inc. might sell several newspapers it owns in northern Illinois.

REDEVELOPMENT---One Ballpark Suit Settled as New One Is Filed

The Padres and the city settled one lawsuit last week concerning the ballpark, but got hit with another suit filed by Bruce Henderson.

GOVERNMENT---The Fate of the USS Midway is in the Hands of the California Coastal Commision

Aircraft Carrier Museum Plan at State Level Government: Officials Provide Additional Info To Coastal Commission

INTERNET---R.E. Firm Moves Closer To Online Opportunities

9keys.com Inc., a real estate services company with big online ambitions, has moved its headquarters from San Diego to Newport Beach. "San Diego was a little slower," said Stefan J.M. Swanepoel, 9keys' founder and chief executive. "If we want a statewide

EDITORIAL---Don't Expect FERC to Lower Energy Costs

The conclusions of a federal government probe into the causes of what it called a "dramatic" jump in electricity prices can be summed up in one sentence: An unusual and unexpected reduction in generating capacity coupled with unseasonably hot summer tempe

Property Management Firms+ Landscape Contractors

Property Management Firms+ Landscape ContractorsBoth Lists

SMALL BUSINESS & RETAIL---Feds Make It Easier for Small Firms to Get Conntracts

The U.S. Small Business Administration, along with the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council, issued a final regulation July 26 to provide American small businesses with more opportunity for participation in the $200 billion a year government contracting

TOURISM---Grand Prix Leaders Look for Permanent Location

As a temporary race track is being completed in upcoming weeks at the former Naval Training Center, new leadership at the Grand Prix of San Diego will be sizing up a path of a more permanent nature. They are developing long-term plans for the race's busin

REDEVELOPMENT---El Cajon Eyes Further Revitalization Downtown

A neglected street corner in downtown El Cajon will soon be the site of new houses and retail space, a San Diego-based developer said. The two-acre parcel at the southwest corner of Main Street and Magnolia Avenue will hear the din of hammers and electric

HEALTH CARE---Kaiser Announces Medicare Premium to Cover Rising Costs

Two weeks ago, Kaiser Permanente alerted some 25,000 Medicare patients in San Diego they will have to pay a premium to help offset rising health care costs starting this December. The news that Medicare patients will have to pay a $30 premium had some peo

COMPUTERS---Gateway Aims to Cut Tech Overload

San Diego-based Gateway Inc. is embarking on a new marketing campaign aimed at educating the technological layperson on the potential of his or her desktop computer.

Monday, August 7

HOW TO---Creating an E-Training System to Meet Objectives

"Build it, and they will come" may have worked for Kevin Costner in "The Field of Dreams," but it's the wrong mantra for online training.

MEDIA & MARKETING---Downtown Becomes Stage Scenery to Channel 7/39

Much like the studios of its top-rated national counterpart, NBC's "The Today Show," KNSD Channel 7/39's newly announced Downtown digs will offer a window-on-the-world view of San Diego, say station executives.

EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK---Dare We Ask the Question: Is Deregulation a Failure?

Dare I ask it? Dare I ask the question no one in the business community dares ask? Is deregulation a failure?

HIGH-TECH--- Qualcomm, Ford Join In Auto Venture

Looking to a day when auto-based Internet will be as common as the car radio, Qualcomm Inc. and Ford Motor Co. are at work in San Diego on a multifaceted wireless communication service for vehicles.

BIOTECH---Four Local Biotech Firms Make Debut on the Nasdaq

On the Nasdaq stock exchange, however, the IPO thermometer has been sizzling hot. No less than a dozen biotech firms made their debut on the Nasdaq stock exchange within the last two weeks.

ENERGY---Lowered Energy Price Cap Impact Uncertain

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. customers might benefit from two recent votes affecting local energy prices, but the effects remain to be seen.

ENTERPRISE---Trigild Makes Mark Running Properties

Asked about an average day at Trigild Corp., executives Bill Hoffman and Karl Winston describe an office that's usually half empty because employees are out in the field.

HOSPITALITY---Proposed Ordinance Has Coffeehouses Singing the Blues

At Claire de Lune, a coffeehouse in North Park, the beat of Miles Davis rules on many nights.

REAL ESTATE---Local Developments Honored for Design Work

The Meadows Del Mar by Del Mar-based Davidson Communities received a Gold Nugget award for Best Single Family Detached Home Over 4,500 Square Feet from the Pacific Coast Builders Conference for Plan 3 at the development, said William Davidson, president.

ENERGY---Energy-Saving Programs Pay Off Businesses Twice

Stung by high utility rates? Imagine lowering your electricity bill while getting San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to pay you.

SOFTWARE---Acquisitions Prove Profitable for Local Firm

SVI Holdings Inc., a publicly traded maker of software geared to the retail industry, is finding growth through acquisition a profitable strategy.

PEOPLE ON THE MOVE

Jeff Cochran has joined Lavine, Lofgren, Morris & Engelberg, LLP as an audit professional. R. Russel Slaughter became a partner at the San Diego office of KPMG. Ron A. Phillips was appointed vice president and private client services officer for Northern

LETTERS---Better Education, or Less?

In response to Managing Editor Rick Bell's column ("Looks Like Our Kids Are Passing the Stanford 9 Test," July 24), the statement: "The bottom line is, our children are finally starting to receive a better education in the public school system" is just pl

COMMENTARY---State Investments Can Help Struggling Communities

We enjoy the unparalleled bounty of the most economically vibrant state in the richest nation on earth. Scarcely a week passes without new reports of prosperity , unemployment at new lows, personal income at new highs and state revenues registering dramat

ABOUT THE LIST---Universities Make Room for Tech Courses

The Internet has transformed the way people seek information, purchase goods and improve communication, which led to thousands of business start-ups focused in this new medium.

PROFILE---Dodging Critics in Defense of Scripps Health's Vision

In 1976, after years of wrestling with his career options, Chris Van Gorder started what he thought would be a long-term police career.

TRAVEL---Acquisition Could Put Travel Agency at the Top in San Diego

San Diego Travel Group has agreed to acquire a fellow top agency, Travel Connoisseur, in a deal that could have the buyer's revenues possibly exceed $100 million this year.

Education

The National Education Association, the teacher's union, reports that California faces a $32.9 billion price tag to modernize its schools. That breaks down to $22 billion for infrastructure and $10.9 billion for technology needs.

EDITORIAL---San Diego Gets Some 'Foreign Aid

Concerns over the day-to-day operation of a business are a lot more complicated these days thanks to skyrocketing electric rates. Instead of concerning themselves with how to grow their business during these boom times, executives instead are fretting ove

CYBERBUCKS---PeopleFirst Driving Internet Car Loan Industry

It doesn't have the high profile of an eBay, or Amazon.com, but San Diego-based PeopleFirst.com is making a name for itself as the nation's premier Internet auto lender.

INTERNET---Local Grad School Attracting More Online Students

These days it seems anyone interested in a promotion needs a master's degree. The problem is, few people have the time to earn one.

REAL ESTATE---Otay Mesa Warehouse

R.G. Petty Construction has reached the halfway point on Bee International's 94,000-square-foot concrete tilt-up building at the Ocean View Hills Corporate Center, 6180 Business Center Court in Otay Mesa, a spokeswoman said.

GOVERNMENT---RITA Has Competition for Regional 'Superagency'

San Diego transportation and land-use officials looking to revamp the way decisions are made locally, are considering several proposals for a "superagency" consolidating several jurisdictions under one roof.

INTERNET---High-Tech Solution to Time and Distance Challenges

Online learning is hardly new, but it is getting the attention of business in a big way.

LAW---Intellectual Property Considered Hottest Practice

At the risk of starting another debate along the lines of when the millennium begins, a legal staffing firm has weighed in with poll results on "the practice of the decade."

ADMINISTRATION---Principals Train to Be Leaders on an Executive Level

An executive training program originally created for scientists, engineers and health care administrators is changing the way local school principals manage their institutions.

NEWSMAKERS---Entrepreneur Cleans Up Dirt That Slips Into Computers

Like any machine, PCs work a heck of a lot better when they are free of dirt, grime, dust or other nasty stuff that can slow them down, or cause them to crash.

FINANCE---Schools Can Be Proactive About Ensuring Payments

They compete to attract top-level students and faculty. Schools need to provide state-of-the art learning tools. They also need to reduce the default rate of student loans.

BANKING---Sunrise Is Set This Fall for New Local Bank in UTC

Hoping to capitalize on recent acquisitions of local banks by large out-of-town financial institutions, an Arizona-based finance company is planning to open a new community bank in San Diego.

SMALL BUSINESS & RETAIL---Local Small Firms Make Top Companies List

Small high-tech firms and small biotech firms dominate the list of the Top 50 companies to watch out for in San Diego.

INTERNATIONAL STUDY---SDSU Develops Exchange Program With University in Turkey

San Diego's oldest and largest university is ready to embark on a student exchange program with one of the world's mega universities.

HOSPITALITY---City Streets Now a Little Cleaner, and a Little Safer

Downtown property owners paying into a new assessment district are seeing the results of their contribution: uniformed "Clean and Safe ambassadors" are now on the streets, supplementing the work of police and city crews.

INTERNSHIPS---CSUSM Students Team

SAN MARCOS , San Diego businesses have an opportunity to employ energetic workers for their marketing, customer service, accounting and other departments , for free.

JOB SKILLS---Veterans Look to Training Program to Improve Prospects

Part of Sonya Surita's job as a case manager is to administer a 160-question psychology test. The test determines the mental state of an applicant and is very important.

REDEVELOPMENT---New Hotel Won't Fix Tax Shortfall

The San Diego Padres are boosting the number of hotel rooms to be built in the ballpark redevelopment district, expanding a boutique hotel by 88 rooms and bringing the team's total commitment to more than 950 rooms.