Stories for February 2001

Monday, February 26

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Technology Carlsbad's Document Services Corp. hopes to buy back stock from Xerox

CARLSBAD , Document Sciences Corp., a Carlsbad-based software firm whose majority owner is Xerox Corp., has embarked on a stock purchase plan to reduce Xerox's stake.

Video Production Seaport Village is final star of ShopAround infomercials

A local video production company that made infomercials featuring dozens of San Diego businesses ceased operations recently without telling many of their clients.

Real Estate & Construction

Selling agents: Phil Monroe and Adam Edwards of Burnham Real Estate Services, and Jay Borzi and Steve Silk of Secured Capital Corp. represented both the buyer and the seller.

Enterprise Innovative designs make Burkett & Wong valuable team players

When Robert Burkett and Frank Wong struck out on their own as structural and civil engineers in 1971, their first big project required innovative design, Burkett said.

Trade Sempra gets green light from Mexico to build power plant

San Diego-based Sempra Energy, the parent firm of San Diego Gas & Electric Co., recently received approvals from the Mexican government to construct a $350 million power plant near Mexicali in Baja California.

Editorial Elections that are worth watching

While the races to fill seats in San Diego's 6th and 8th City Council districts likely won't match the drama of last November's elections, they nonetheless will complete the roster of this fledgling group.

Tourism Tourism in 2000 breaks all records

Year-end statistics for the local tourism industry revealed 2000 as another record-breaking year, according to the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Personality Financial journalist George Chamberlin follows his calling for broadcasting

Local broadcaster George Chamberlin knew he wanted to be in radio even before he graduated from high school. And aside from a few "side trips," Chamberlin has stayed the course.

High-Tech Datel sells CTSnet to Allegiance Telecom

The area's No. 5 Internet service provider, ranked in the San Diego Business Journal 2001 Book of Lists, has been sold.

Infrastructure The County Water Authority turns to litigation to ensure San Diego's water supply

The County Water Authority is pinning its hopes on litigation to settle a years-old dispute over how much water it's entitled to from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. But what that lawsuit would do is not clear.

Publisher's Notebook Buckle down to cope with energy crisis

I sat in on an energy discussion with our editorial board and two members of senior management of San Diego Gas and Electric Co. last week.

Small Business and Retail Energy woes only one worry for state's small biz

As if energy woes aren't bad enough, California businesses are being saddled by massive red tape and other factors that are taking the "luster" off the Golden State.

Environment New stormwater regulations will impact everyone

San Diego's beaches could be cleaner and freer of pollution over the next two decades , which is good news for tourism and beach-based businesses.

People On The Move

Union Bank of California and KPBS honored Dr. Rodney Hood, William D. Jones, Sandra Foster-King, Walter Kudumu and Dr. Shirley N. Weber for distinguished accomplishments in honor of Black History Month. San Diego National Bank promoted Karen Brassfield to

Commentary Businesses suffer most from NTC demolition

Imagine New Yorkers asking for the Statue of Liberty to be moved elsewhere, allowing condos to be built on Ellis Island (which developers attempted to do), or telling the United Nations that New York is the wrong place for their headquarters.

Technology Carlsbad chamber prepares to celebrate its tech appeal

CARLSBAD , Over the past several years, numerous high-tech startup and established companies have opened offices here.

Banking Officials eye launch of new bank in La Jolla

Officials of a new La Jolla bank have filed an application with federal banking agencies and expect to begin operation later this year.

Law Second lawsuit seeks to halt NTC redevelopment

One week after an heir to a family that originally owned 135 acres of the Naval Training Center sued the city of San Diego to stop redevelopment plans on the former Point Loma base, opponents of the project filed a second lawsuit with the same plans.

Real Estate Vacancy rates down, but rents up countywide

Apartment rents are continuing to rise around San Diego County, according to a recent report by Hendricks & Partners.

Exhibit Packages San Diego's Best Design Firms

When Laura Coe Design Associates was asked to create packaging for TaylorMade Golf's player's glove, the firm made a dual-purpose carrying case.

Government Panel debuts to discuss new regional agency

Government: Commission Focuses on Airport Issue, Other Transportation Topics

Biotech Tijuana cancer clinic under fire rethinks business plan

An officer of BioPulse International Inc., the controversial Tijuana cancer clinic recently shut down by Mexican authorities, said the firm is considering selling its interest in the clinic to the Mexican doctors who run it.

Wireless French Telecom giant signs deal with RC Networks

Alcatel, the giant French telecom network builder, will distribute broadband communications equipment made by RC Networks of San Diego, the local company announced earlier this month.

Aerospace Goodrich Battles IRS over $85.3 million tax ruling

WASHINGTON , Chula Vista-based BF Goodrich Aerospace Aerostructures Group, formerly Rohr, Inc., has found itself with an $85.3 million problem.

Commentary California's electricity plan still falls short of goal

For the second time in five years, California has adopted Few rules to restructure the electricity industry.

Biotech Isis reports 2000 losses due to restructuring

San Diego-based biotech firm Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc. said net loss for the year ended Dec. 31 fell by 8.9 percent to $54.7 million from a year ago, reflecting restructuring efforts and revenues from patent sales.

Tourism Complex RFP process delays Old Town concession contract

With the request for proposal process taking longer than expected, Diane Powers' operation of Bazaar del Mundo will continue several months past the end of Powers' current contract with the state.

Construction Watt gets green light on Downtown apartment plan

A residential developer with several other San Diego County projects will start construction in June on a 389-unit, 18-story twin-tower apartment building in Little Italy.

Media 'Cityscape' offers a glimpse of life in San Diego

City Access, San Diego's government cable television channel, recently debuted a new magazine show, "Cityscape."

UCSD Grads Take the Load Off of Moving Files

Webmasters, graphic artists and scientists looking to move large files over the Internet frequently have to choose between the complicated road or the indiscreet road.

Workplace Domestic violence is no longer a private affair

For some women, the workplace is a haven , not because they are workaholics, but because they don't want to go home for fear of being beaten.

Nursing Students Find Mannequin Is No Dummy

Grossmont Community College and two local health care organizations pooled $162,500 in funds to buy a state-of-the- art-patient: A life-sized mannequin that can mimic real-life health problems.

Officers Hooked By Invisible Ink Pens

Michael Senoff isn't in business to give money away, but he knows a good idea when he sees it.

Profile The military precision of fighting fires honed Steven TeSam's skills as Viejas tribal Chairman

The Military Precision of Fighting Fires Honed Steven TeSam's Skills as Viejas Tribal Chairman

Monday, February 19

Telecom Shift in D.C. politics means change for FCC

New technology and shifting customer preferences make constant, incremental changes in the wireless telecom world.

Retail Montgomery Ward prepares for final sale

In a matter of months or even weeks, a department store that has been in existence for more than a century will close its doors forever.

Health Care Research finds information gaps on low-income health programs

A recent study from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation on how low-income California parents view two government-funded health care programs for children may give rise for concern.

Editorial Will the genome map help us discover ourselves?

NASA scored two historic firsts: one when astronauts aboard the space shuttle Atlantis successfully attached the command and laboratory module Destiny to the international space station, making it the world's largest orbital spacecraft; and again when the

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For The Record

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Editor's Notebook Trading in a computer for a table saw

I was in my mother's kitchen the other day, and sure enough, there was the cutting board I made for her some quarter-century ago in my seventh-grade wood shop class.

Development El Cajon project stalls in City Hall

EL CAJON , The city and a developer are still working on details of a development agreement for a two-acre site Downtown, officials of both sides said.

Sports Biz WildFire gets official welcome from San Diego

After two months of play, the San Diego WildFire pro basketball team finally was officially welcomed to the city of San Diego.

About The List Software firms integrate Internet in their offerings

Many local software companies integrated Internet platforms to offer improved services, customer relations and new product offerings.

NTC Plans Meet High Standards

When it comes to historic rehabilitation, few can claim the credentials of San Diego architect Milford Wayne Donaldson.

Biotech Revelations about human genes usher in era of research

For German-born Toni Schuh, the recently published interpretation of the human genome sequence ushers in a new era of biotechnology.

Viruses Corporate defense is weak against virus invasions

As careful as I usually am, I didn't think before trying to open what I thought was an electronic picture of a 19-year-old female tennis star. Before I knew it, my mail server sent e-mails with the picture to every person in my address book.

Art Museum to Display Local Firm's Portable Keyboard

Carlsbad-based Think Outside Inc.'s award-winning Stowaway Portable Keyboard has been selected for the Workspheres exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

Energy Energy firms bet prices would rise with deregulation

There were many causes of California's energy crisis, but whatever the solution, it's not going to come without pain for local ratepayers.

Telethon on Fox To Benefit Animals

Fox TV and Pasadena-based PetSmart are sponsoring a local telethon inviting people to make a pledge to help cats, dogs and even rabbits in San Diego's animal shelters.

Tennis Fest Offers Lessons From the Pros

Tennis enthusiasts will have the chance to learn the basics of the game from top professionals at Tennis Fest 2001 this spring.

Telephony Internet phone service becomes viable as infrastructure costs decline

According to local executives and independent industry analysts, the voice-over Internet protocol is the most misunderstood niche in the telecom industry.

Office Software options cut down on paper in the office

FALLBROOK , Timely Technologies is lending its services to help the environment.

Profile Michele Haines set out in life to lend a helping hand. Now in the building trade, she does just that

Michele Haines Set Out in Life to Lend a Helping Hand. In Building Trade, She Does Just That

Redevelopment Heir suit should slow NTC redevelopment

A lawsuit filed by an heir to an original owner of land on the former Naval Training Center is not expected to delay development of the former base.

Finance Local banks buck loan-loss trend

Several local banks said 2000 was a great year for them, as their assets and incomes grew while loan losses fell.

Real Estate Single-family homes top $381,000 in January 2001

Resale residential real estate prices are continuing their double-digit annual price rise, statistics from the San Diego Association of Realtors show.

Home Developers Donate to Their Communities

Four residential development companies active locally have made contributions to the community in recent weeks.

Commentary Making the Electoral College work for California

The confusion, accusations, and counter-accusations of the 2000 presidential election revived the call to abolish the Electoral College. Some polls indicate 61 percent of the people want direct election of the president.

Small Business and Retail Time is now to fine-tune next year's tax plans

The first months of the year are especially valuable for small-business owners to look at tax liabilities for the last year, with a view to reduce taxes and enhance profits for 2001.

CyberBucks Cuts in staff likely as Daou begins retooling

Reorganizations, restructurings, and/or consolidations are cropping up among many San Diego high-tech firms, but whatever phrase is used, it usually means there are job cuts.

Software Software firm 'furloughs' staff after funding disappears

In a move that's becoming common, another San Diego company operating in the Internet industry laid off employees after failing to secure additional capital investment.

Real Estate

Selling agents: Timothy Vaughn of CB Richard Ellis represented the buyer. Nick Psyllos, Bret Gossett and Ty Moffat of CB Richard Ellis represented the seller.

Media Newspapers exchange staff; management team hired

With a new editor at the helm and a new management team at its parent company's headquarters, there is a new sense of excitement at the Star-News in Chula Vista.

Tourism Merging firms to give local tours by land and sea

"Amphibious" sightseeing? It's a combination of land and water tours, and it's heading this way.

Telecom Requirements for next generation wireless are debated

Telecom: Japanese I-Mode Technology Offers Glimpse Into Future of Hand-Helds

Monday, February 12

Commentary High-tech power: Grow your own, not the grid

As rolling blackouts threaten power shut-offs to millions of individuals, families and businesses, Californians are turning to everything from candles to mini-generators to help keep the lights on.

Enterprise Trident keeps in form by making forms for jets

SAN MARCOS , "Tools," the forms around which plastic parts are made, weigh down a big crate in the warehouse of Trident Products, Inc.

Transportation Automakers debut new Poway fuel-cell facility

Transportation: Production And Design Center Will Make Emission-Free Motors

Energy Technology vendors tout wares to save volts

From Real-Time Metering to Performance Monitoring, Devices Designed to Increase Efficiency

Real Estate Realty Income, as well as subsidiary, report profit

Realty Income Corp. managed to increase its monthly dividend last year by 2.8 percent, as the company continued to buy single-tenant retail properties across the United States.

Loans Insurance plan may be alternative to SBA Program

SOLANA BEACH , A Solana Beach firm has come up with a new insurance program for commercial loans that may make more money available to small businesses, a company executive said.

Profile Mary Ball advocates government relations on the job at Cox Communications

Relations on the Job at Cox Communications and as New Head of Taxpayers Association

Biotech New visa policy a boon to biotechs hiring foreigners

New legislation that raises the number of foreign workers admitted to the United States through the H-1B visa program and eases restrictions on job transfers is welcome news for the local biotech industry as well as job applicants.

Small Business and Retail Chamber cautiously optimistic with energy bailout

Businesses are having mixed feelings about a new state law that will allow the state to buy electricity through long-term contracts.

For The Record

Leasing Agents: Dave Steffy of BRE Commercial/NAI represented the lessor. Martin Alfaro of Award Commercial represented the lessee.

Wireless Qualcomm brews up new wireless computer platform

The company that gave us CDMA is trying to lay a new cornerstone , one for running computer programs on wireless phones.

Travel Airlines up fees for changing non-refundable tickets

With increased charges for changing bookings and multiple layoffs indicating a possible recession, business travelers will have to become increasingly organized and savvy about their arrangements.

Small Business North County community helps businesses destroyed by fire

ENCINITAS , Four downtown Encinitas businesses devastated by a fire late last year have reacted to the blaze in different ways.

Magazine Honors Local Career Women

Three San Diego women entrepreneurs have been selected from among 100 of their West Coast peers for running businesses of excellence, according to Working Woman magazine.

CyberBucks Software firm trims staff, refocuses on 'shrink wrap.'

La Jolla-based eHelp Corp., a designer and manufacturer of software that makes Web sites easier to use, recently laid off 14 staffers, including CEO Christopher Calisi.

Health Care Abroad Alternative resources for medical care abroad

A business traveler or vacationer's worst nightmare can be needing emergency medical attention in a strange city or country, only to find that their employee benefits don't cover them more than 100 miles from home.

Publisher's Notebook Time to 'play ball' with ballpark issues

Now that the long-awaited district attorney's report is out on the Valerie Stallings issue, it is time to put the ballpark project into overdrive and get on with the construction.

Sony Puts 'Jeopardy!' Game for Tekkies Online

Then San Diego-based Sony Online Entertainment Inc. wants to test you with a recent addition to its online gaming site, The Station (www.station.com).

High-Tech Roadway deploys Qualcomm's OmniExpress

Cubic Transportation Wins $20 Million 'Touchless' Transit Ticketing Contract

Biotech Maxim delayed, but not out of drug approval race

One analyst said Maxim Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s decision to lay off an undisclosed number of salespeople resulting from a failed drug approval is not a sign of fiscal trouble.

Media San Diegans on the sofa for Super Bowl, 'Survivor.'

Compared to almost every other market in the country, San Diego was particularly attentive to this year's lackluster Super Bowl and the post-game, much-hyped premiere of the second season of "Survivor," both of which aired Jan. 28 on CBS.

Letters

We have no one to blame but Democratic Gov. Gray Davis and the majority Democratic state Legislature for our energy crisis.

Economic Development State expands special tax zones to NTC and Chula Vista

In separate actions, the state has extended tax incentives to companies in two very different areas near San Diego Bay ,Point Loma's Naval Training Center and certain South Bay neighborhoods.

Lead Cap on malpractice awards under the microscope

In June, fourth-year UCSD medical student Kendal Hamann will be one step closer to realizing her dream of becoming an internist.

Editorial Tax cuts must be judicious and fair

President George W. Bush wasted no time in attempting to make good on his campaign promise of massive tax cuts. In the few weeks he's been in office, Bush has concentrated his efforts on promoting his $1.6 trillion tax cut package. He's even been able to

Real Estate Barnhart completes Sharp construction project

Two commercial construction contractors finished up large projects recently, while smaller jobs kept their competitors busy.

Ballpark Council mulls new ballpark money plan

San Diego city officials are considering an alternate finance plan for the Downtown ballpark involving a private bond placement that would circumvent the project's litigation problems.

Designers Mingle in New Networking Group

Local designers of all kinds now have a chance to get together and network and discuss industry trends , while banging on drums and playing pool.

People On The Move

Christopher L. Phelps has been named a partner of Rowling, Dold & Associates LLP.

Sports Insuring sports teams can be costly in California

But is it a non-contact sport? Hardly, according to an official with the World Indoor Soccer League. And it definitely isn't a non-contact sport on artificial turf, where the playing surface has less "give."

Romancers Raise Their Glasses to Donate To Charity

Try sipping good wine and watching the sunset while having dinner for two on this special day.

Hospitality Restaurants dishing out more for workers' comp coverage

In an industry that's never been known for high profit margins, the rising cost of energy and the state's minimum wage policy for wait staff have proven potentially devastating to local restaurants.

Economy Positive outlook for local job climate

Judging from the latest Occupational Outlook report, the San Diego region has little to worry about when it comes to future job growth.

Politics Special elections set for Vargas, Stallings posts

With the recent resignation of City Councilwoman Valerie Stallings and former Councilman Juan Vargas' election to the state Assembly, two seats on the San Diego City Council are vacant for the first time in more than 10 years.

Law Awards for business-negligence cases climbs again

The latest report by Pennsylvania-based Jury Verdict Research shows juries across the nation awarded nearly $342,000 to plaintiffs in business-negligence cases , that's a 37 percent increase from 1998, and 128 percent since 1994.

Monday, February 5

Commentary The millennium presents promise for change in health care

Much has been written about the new millennium and the promise it brings. In terms of health care, there is much to be encouraged about in San Diego County. We also have much to do.

Technology Speculation surrounds Gateway's future

The new leaders at Gateway Inc. looked out on a landscape of stunted earnings and organizational storm damage last week, and said a proper assessment of the San Diego-based computer-maker would take a month.

About the List Private schools make room for larger enrollments

With education on the minds of parents and politicians, many local private schools look forward to expanding their programs and facilities to meet those needs.

Technology IBM exec touts the wireless revolution

Stopped in thick traffic on Torrey Pines Road, a commuter taps into the Net on his wireless computer-phone and starts a ticklish financial transaction.

Arts Arts education may have bottom line benefits

Most people agree that in order to be successful in business, a person should be well-educated in business administration, finance and his or her area of expertise.

A Word of Caution About Beer

The most infrequent beer brewed at Stone Brewing Co. in San Marcos is once again available, just like it is for the first quarter of every year.

Government Councilwoman Stallings steps down after lengthy investigation

In her only public statement following her Jan. 29 resignation, former San Diego City Councilwoman Valerie Stallings said she decided to give up her seat "to conclude this matter for all of us."

Credit Union to Serve Low-Income Community

Low-income communities will soon benefit from San Diego's Faith Based Community Development Corp., a nonprofit credit union that will provide service and information to underserved populations.

Editorial Once and for all: Build the ballpark

The developments at San Diego City Hall last week could not have been more emphatic: It is time to get beyond the squabbling, bickering and petty political games and build the new Downtown ballpark.

Health Care Health system seeks financial boost for trauma care

Palomar Pomerado Health System officials said they will turn to the county Board of Supervisors to provide funding for its trauma-care center.

Software Business schools hop on board with Orenburg program

When students enrolled at the A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management at UC Riverside start applying for jobs, they'll have a heads-up in how to manage and use business applications.

Ballpark City opts to re-vote ballpark issues

Attempting to eliminate any possible taint related to former city councilwoman Valerie Stallings' plea bargain and resignation, the San Diego City Council is scheduled to take another vote on the Padres ballpark plan.

Tourism Golf Fest moves closer to sports fans in Del Mar

For the last three years, Golf Fest has been held at the San Diego Sports Arena in July and attracted between 8,000 to 10,000 people.

Cooking Show Treats Viewers To Chocolate

Timed for Valentine's Day, County Television Network has produced an all-chocolate edition of its program, "The County Cooks! With Chef Larry."

Lawyers Speak Out On-the-Spot for Charity

The stage is set for the fifth annual Silver-Tongue competition, hosted by the McAlister Institute.

Environment EPA emission standards likely for large ships

In a move that could affect ships that dock locally, the Environmental Protection Agency pledged to establish tougher emission standards for large seagoing vessels such as oil tankers, cruise ships and cargo vessels.

Finance Local REIT reports fourth quarter losses, files suit

American Residential Investment Trust Inc. lost money in the fourth quarter of last year, its president said.

Enterprise Wheeling and dealing take on new meaning at Gold 'N West

Sid Gowdy, owner and designer at North Park-based Gold 'N West, measures his success on a slightly different scale.

Law Judge leads the way for instructional tape

After seven years of explaining America's criminal court system with a video made in the early 1980s, federal magistrate Judge Leo Papas decided he needed new material.

Tourism New general manager appointed at SeaWorld

Weeks after its third developer abandoned the project, the possibilities for a water park in Poway are still afloat, said Deborah Johnson, director of redevelopment services for the city.

Profile The charm of Mexico put John Riley on lifelong quest to boost the nation's prosperity

The Charm of Mexico Put John Riley on Lifelong Quest to Boost the Nation's Prosperity

High-Tech Sensoria aims at self-serve tech fill-up

There was a time when you pulled into a California gas station and an attendant filled your tank. It was nothing special. It was just the way they did things.

Hotels Hotels crucial to ballpark funding still in limbo

As prospects for the Padres ballpark begin to take shape once again, the hotel that has been integral to plans for paying for the ballpark remains caught up in infrastructure and development issues.

Tourism Water park proposal surfaces again in Poway

Weeks after its third developer abandoned the project, the possibilities for a water park in Poway are still afloat, said Deborah Johnson, director of redevelopment services for the city.

Editor's Notebook The real designers of our energy woes

We know by now California's experiment with deregulating the electricity industry is an unmitigated failure, making a handful of corporate energy giants rich at the expense of our economic well-being.

Biotech Local biotechs worried by northern California blackouts

As Silicon Valley's high-tech community suffered through rolling blackouts last month, scientists in San Diego's biotech cluster watched anxiously, knowing they soon could be the ones left in the dark.

High-Tech Leap secures two major markets in Texas

A San Diego-based wireless telecom carrier left the recent federal spectrum auction committed to spend $350 million on wireless operating licenses in 22 markets nationwide.

CyberBucks Use of 'pro forma' creeping into earnings reports

In its first-quarter results last month, Qualcomm Inc. used the words "pro forma" quite a bit, and for good reason.

Health Care Medical centers test online insurance applications

More than 177 applications have been submitted via an Internet-based pilot program that seeks to facilitate enrollment for children of low-income families into two public health insurance programs.

Curriculum Tech leaders + educators equals math, science emphasis

It was clearly a study in contrast. In one of the most neglected communities in San Diego, the chief executives from two local technology firms joined their counterparts from the area's largest public university and school district to announce a joint pro

Media KOGO is tops among general listeners according to Arbitron ratings

In a ratings period buoyed by post-election drama, news-talk outlet KOGO-AM continued to reign as the top-rated radio station among general listeners in the San Diego market last fall.

Small Business/Retail Alan Greenspan's support of tax cuts a boon to small biz

Alan Greenspan's support for tax relief will help small businesses survive the challenges of the new economy.

Sports Biz Padres hope to add to their coffers with fantasy camp

Callaway Golf Releases Clubs While Joint Venture Debuts Graphic Alloy Shafts