Stories for January 2002

Monday, January 28

Martinez Farms Finds Success in Growing Slowly

Sitting in his office a half-mile from the Mexican border, Richard Martinez described one of the secrets that helped his family-owned nursery survive where so many others have failed. His flowers may grow quickly, but not his operations.

Kmarts Stay Open Despite Bankruptcy

The county's 14 Kmart stores are still open for business, despite the corporation's bankruptcy filing last week.

10 Firms and UCSD Get Anti-Terror Tech Grants

HIGH TECH: Cymer Technology Gets Record Intro Selling Price

Titan to Buy Jaycor Inc. for $95M

TECH TALK: Technology: Sensor and Communications Firm to Be Bought in Stock Trade

Liability Reduction Strategies for Real Estate Holdings

SPECIAL REPORT - Commercial Real Estate: Savvy Investors Fend Off Litigation With Agreements

Survey: No Further Job Losses Seen

There's good news for those worried the current economic downturn will get worse. An annual survey of local employers done for the San Diego Workforce Partnership, the regional job-training agency, found 52 percent plan to increase staffing this year. The

Economic Downturn Makes Subleasing "Mixed Blessing"

Rates May Be Lower With Higher Risk For Everyone Involved

COMMENTARY: State Should Approve SeaWorld Plan

When its master plan for future development goes before the California Coastal Commission next month, the future viability of SeaWorld San Diego as a tourist attraction will hang in the balance.

Construction Downtown To Continue at Rapid Pace

Six Local Firms Are Among the County's Leading Homebuilders

Don't Wait for a Sign to Start Spending

PUBLISHER'S NOTEBOOK by Ted Owen

Debate Continues Over Wireless Phone Applications

Technologies Produce Platform for Cell Phone Programs

Hospitals Noted for Effort to Reduce Errors, Improve Care

Supervisors Give $4.3M to Upgrade Emergency Services.

PROFILE: Building a Last Resort

Steve Zipfel Applies Years Of Experience in Turning Around Downtown Restaurant

Local Firms Say They Avoid Enron-Like Practices

Finance: Some Accountants Contend Off-Balance Sheet Accounting Has Increased

Opinion: One Senator's View of the State Budget Crisis

How did California go from a projected $9 billion surplus last January to a $12.4 billion shortfall in December? Opinion by Tom McClintock

Myths About Online Marketing Hinder Advertising

Targeted, Well-Written Messages Can Impact Sales

Opinion: New Funding Puts Edgemoor on Road to Recovery

Walk the grounds at Edgemoor Hospital in Santee, and if you're like me, you feel inspired by the courage of its patients and moved by the compassion of its staff. Opinion by Supervisor Dianne Jacob

County Eyes Partnership With City on Ballpark Plan

Ballpark: Supervisors Willing to Listen, but Don't Want to Get Caught in Political Fray

"WEBcard" Packs Targeted Marketing Message on Its CDs

PLUS: Kyoto Prize Winners Honored at Kroc Institute Symposium

Computer Files at Risk From Viruses, Illegal Software

Network Problems Avoided By Attention to Security

Commercial Real Estate Subleasing Market Shows Resilience

SPECIAL REPORT - Commercial Real Estate: Commercial Real Estate Subleasing Market Shows Resilience

Troubled Iomega Is Looking Ahead

Troubled Iomega Is Looking Ahead

"Liquid Art" Exhibit Celebrates Water in Southern California

PLUS: Rotary Club Backs Volunteer's Mission to Aid Afghan Refugees

KSWB Begins Search for New General Manager

New leadership is on the horizon at KSWB-TV, the local WB network affiliate.

Panel Recommends Pay Raises for Council, Mayor

Government: Hike Would Boost Mayor's Salary to Over $100,000 By 2003

HOT DEALS

Real Estate Sales and Leases

Rolling Along ... Back On Track America Can Still Help Get Your Business Back On Track

Holiday Retail Sales Were Not So Bad After All

Offroad Firm Performs Special Service for SEALS

Defense: Chenowth War Buggies See Action Again In Afghanistan Campaign

Pala Tribe to Construct 500-Room Hotel, Seeks Architect

Survey: Leisure Travelers' Fears On Decline

Local Bar Foundation Aids Law-Related Causes

Survey: State's Public School Districts Spent $80M Annually on Liability-Related Costs

Governor Announces Nurse-to-Patient Plan

Local hospital officials said they already are near compliance with Gov. Gray Davis' proposed mandatory minimum nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.

Business Intelligence Benefits From Tech Advances

Understanding the Competition Starts With Information

Energy Firms Are Accused of Gaming

Power generators are once again being accused of gaming energy markets , this time forcing the state to pay suppliers not to produce power.

Corporate America Focuses on Need for Cyber-Security

Intellectual Property, Data, and Identities Are All Vulnerable

Monday, January 21

Accounting Firms Provide Assistance and Expertise

Doctors Struggle to Meet Client, Business Demands; The last 10 years have been economically challenging for health care organizations such as hospitals, community clinics and private physician offices.

Commentary: Create Uniformity in State's Energy Policy

The state has plenty of agencies to deal with energy issues. The problem is, with all the overlapping duties, no single entity is in charge.

LETTER: Village Visionary Editor

Developer Douglas Wilson, who is building his Parkloft condominiums in the East Village despite the suspension in construction of the ballpark, is doing what all real visionaries do.

New Homes Allow Buyers Chance to Be Living Smart

Construction: Carmel Valley Project Gets Energy Star Tag; Pardee Homes is experimenting with environmentally friendly building materials and energy saving options in a new product line

Port District Launches "Big Bay" Campaign

The San Diego Unified Port District recently announced a new marketing campaign that will feature, as one general attraction, the various businesses located on the bayside properties the organization oversees.

Options Enhance Long-Distance Communications

Videoconferencing Finds New Importance As Office Tool

Los Angeles County Joins in Sempra Suit

Los Angeles County has joined an ongoing lawsuit against San Diego-based Sempra Energy.

Sports Arena Has Big Plans in 35th Anniversary Year

The San Diego Sports Arena opened for its first event in November 1966 with the San Diego Gulls taking on the Seattle Totems. Thirty-five years later, the Gulls still play in the arena ...

Updated Tech Skills Give Businesses Competitive Edge

Training Options Vary But Target Same Goal;

Local Affordable Housing Plans Get Federal Funds

Eight affordable housing initiatives in San Diego County have received $3.6 million in grants from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco's Affordable Housing Program.

HOT DEALS

Reals Estate transactions

Symphony Gift Not Only News From Qualcomm

HIGH TECH: The $120 million gift Irwin M. and Joan Jacobs have pledged to the San Diego Symphony has understandably grabbed a lot of media attention this month.

Matthews/Mark Head Steps Down, Options Assessed

For Every Golf Swing, There's a TaylorMade;

Technology Helps Reduce Escalating Health Care Costs

Physicians Find Savings Using Electronic Billing; Local private practice doctors are adapting to the wave of the future and saving a few dollars while they're at it.

Opinion: Real-Life Costs of an Unrealistic Political Bill

Assembly Bill 181 promises the ultimate high , a permanent one.

Meetings Focus on Otay Mesa Plan

The San Diego Planning Department will host a series of workshops to discuss updating the Otay Mesa Community Plan.

Balloonatics Rises To Occasion With Focus on Service, Reliability

With the shouts of employees to one another, the clamor of trucks pulling in and leaving and the phone ringing throughout, the Friday morning at Balloonatics' office in North Park had an element of madness.

SeaWorld, ConVis Take Marketing to Olympics

When the Winter Olympics take place in Salt Lake City next month, SeaWorld San Diego and the local Convention & Visitors Bureau will both be there to take part in another centuries-old competition , sales.

Santee Seeks to Avoid "Big-Box" Look With Project

Construction: Trolley Square Already 90 Percent Leased; is expected to add another level of retail in the city of Santee.

Opinion: Business Faces Dangers in Legislative Session

Real-life lawsuits last year helped maintain California's image as a litigation wonderland.

PROFILE: Paring Down the Bureaucracy

There Are Fewer Bosses and More Tangible Benefits Now for CDC Small Business Finance Corp.'s Kurt Chillcott

Sales Drop for December as Well as for 2001

Corky McMillin Buys Assets of Allen Homes In Imperial Valley

Ballpark Opponent Seeks to Have Judge Removed

Ballpark: Refusal to Move Trial Over Facility's Financing Prompts Call for Removal From the Case

Homeland Defense Test Bed?

San Diego Called Perfect for Testing New Concepts. Geography, brain power and maybe even bureaucracy converge in such a way to make San Diego an ideal "test bed" for homeland security work.

Techniques Becoming Part of Medical Mainstream

Non-Invasive Health Exams With Virtual Imaging ; The line between business and the business of health care is blurry at best.

Stickel Named to State Chamber Chairmanship

San Diego Firm Offers Weight Loss Plan on CD; Directors of the California of Commerce named a Coronado man as their 2002 chairman.

Recession Unlikely to Hurt Local Economy

As the rest of the nation feels the effects of a recession, San Diego is expected to suffer as well , but only slightly, according to analysts.

Indicast Becomes Part of Oracle Corp.

TECH TALK: Lindows Founder Says He's Not Backing Down From Microsoft Suit

Chula Vista Secures Land for Possible UC Campus

Education: The 582-Acre Site Is Near Otay Reservoir, Olympic Training Center

Building Managers, Tenants Step Up Preparedness

Effective Planning Can Save Money and Lives; The World Trade Center disaster underscored the need to have an emergency plan in place in the event of a security breach or catastrophe.

Ag Grants Help Local Farmers Conserve Water

ENCINITAS , Oliver Storm's irrigation project not only benefits the environment, it also aids his bottom line as well.

VA Statistics Show Computer Program Cuts Drug Error Rate

SPECIAL REPORT: HEALTH CARE; Pharmaceuticals Urged to Adopt Bar Code System

Tax Code Changes Benefit Self-Employed Owners

Proprietors Find New, Affordable 401(k) Retirement Plans;

FOR THE RECORD

Calendar and Schedule

Monday, January 14

Office Machine Cos. Optimistic as Clients Seek Deals

SPECIAL REPORT - OFFICE TECH: Streamlining Business Processes Key to Saving Money

HOT DEALS

REAL ESTATE SALES

New Year Means Plenty of New Laws in State

According to the local law firm of Wilson Petty Kosmo & Turner LLP, 2002 brought far fewer and less significant changes to the employment law landscape than in years past, but there were several new legal obligations facing employers.

Opportunities Becoming Apparent in Today's Cuba

OPINION by Richard Ybarra

FOR THE RECORD

WEEKLY COLUMN

Turbulence in Aerospace

For years, San Diego's economy has ridden the currents of aviation and aerospace. Now, those industries face a tricky wind shift as 2001 turns to 2002.

Office of the Future Strives to Be Flexible, Interactive

SPECIAL REPORT - OFFICE TECH: Office of the Future Strives to Be Flexible, Interactive

SAIC Hired to Conduct Regional Energy Audit

San Diego County's energy future, with all of its possibilities and variables, is the subject of a $400,000 infrastructure study to be completed in the early spring.

"Tech Toys" Turn Conference Rooms Into Playgrounds

SPECIAL REPORT - OFFICE TECH: High-Tech Meeting Rooms Address Demand for Accessibility

Marine Room Duo to Cook at N.Y.'s James Beard House

'Fun Card' Promotion Makes Return Visit To SeaWorld. Marine Room executive chef Bernard Guillas will soon make a return appearance to the James Beard House in New York City.

Hotel Parisi Changes Hands, Makes Cond? Nast's "Gold List"

Controlling ownership of Hotel Parisi, a 20-room boutique property in La Jolla, was recently sold to two of its shareholders.

International Relations Export Management Exec Matches U.S. Firms With Global Markets

PROFILE: Kimberly Benson

Law Firms Stung By Downturn in High-Tech

The recent layoffs at San Diego's largest private law firm wasn't seen by legal experts as a sign that things are going south for the local legal industry.

NEWSMAKERS

S.D. Paper Box Co. Receives International Stamp of Approval;

Murphy Sticks to His "Priorities" in Annual Speech

During his annual State of the City address, San Diego Mayor Dick Murphy announced sewer spills were down by 34 percent in 2001.

SensCom on the Ground Floor of Wireless Banking

Tarek Fouad is a guy who likes proving naysayers wrong. It's a trait the founder of SensCom Inc., a San Diego software company, has honed to a fine art and one he gets to practice in his effort to sell his company's service, wireless Internet banking.

TECH TALK: Firm Hopes Street Smarts Helps Land Deal

A local wireless technology firm is part of a team developing an onboard aircraft security system aimed at stopping jet hijackings similar to those of Sept. 11.

Legoland Moves to New Five-Day Week Schedule

As Legoland California moves to a shorter operating schedule, the children's theme park is giving its competitors a boost of sorts in an effort to maintain its own customer base.

Painful Lessons Help Red Cross Fix Disaster Services

OPINION by Charles Duddles and Dodie Rotherham

Unsafe Office Furniture Could Cost You

SPECIAL REPORT - OFFICE TECH: Work Station Safety, Comfort Key to Productivity

County, State Launch Probe Into Port Actions

Former port commissioner David Malcolm's controversial business dealings with an energy producer has sparked a wider investigation into conflict of interest allegations at the San Diego Unified Port District.

Toyota Plants Itself in Tijuana

San Diego County parts suppliers and other local companies may benefit from the manufacturing plant Japanese automaker Toyota plans to build in Tijuana.

Designing Creative Workplaces That Communicate

SPECIAL REPORT - OFFICE TECH: Office Environment Sends Message to Customers and Staff

Audit: State Pays Too Much for Too Much Power

Energy: CPUC Weighs Plan to Pass Costs on to San Diego Ratepayers

More Firms Qualify for Cash Accounting in 2002

Good news for small businesses for 2002: The number of businesses allowed to use the cash accounting method has been expanded.

Seeking Equity on the Playing Fields

EDITOR'S NOTEBOOK by Rick Bell

Padres Turn Tables and File Lawsuit Against Bruce Henderson

Arch-ballpark opponent Bruce Henderson got a taste of his own medicine when the San Diego Padres filed a malicious prosecution lawsuit against him.

The Public Need, Not Personal Greed

COMMENTARY by Martin Hill

Apartment Vacancies Climb Slightly as Rents Drop

San Diego REAL ESTATE: Almost 800 Fewer Homes Were Sold in November

Nominations Sought for San Diego Women's Hall of Fame

NEWSMAKERS; People in the News

Two Tech Firms Unlikely to Meet Aims

Shares of two of San Diego's largest tech companies, Gateway Inc. and Peregrine Systems, took big hits this month following news that neither company will meet revenue or earnings predictions.

Monday, January 7

Security vs. Trade Plagues Firms Along the Border

Reducing long waits to cross the U.S.-Mexico border is the top priority in 2002 for many San Diego County companies involved in international business.

Service Industry Likely to Draw a "Breath of Relief"

With a slowing economy throughout the last year, service industry employees have felt the heat of some layoffs and lower wages.

Defense Firms Are Optimistic About 2002 Budget

Like the mythical Tantalus, who endured a vision of fruit he could never reach, the management at SYS recognized talent but found it beyond their grasp.

Local Law Firm Contributes $2M to Boarding School

San Pasqual Academy, a newly renovated boarding school for foster children in the North County, is up and running, but there is more that needs to be done.

Baby, It's Cold Outside & #711; But Ice Cream Sales Are Up

I scream, you scream, we all scream for indulgence in these tough times.

Business Journal, Deloitte Survey Takes Pulse of Local Economy

For the 12th consecutive year, the San Diego Business Journal teamed with the national accounting firm Deloitte & Touche LLC to check the economic vital signs of the San Diego business community.

OPINION: San Diegans Should Support SeaWorld's Fireworks

SeaWorld San Diego is a national, indeed international attraction, bringing tourists to San Diego and pleasure to tourists and residents alike.

Predicted Cuts Likely to Affect Local Government

S.D. Faces Familiar Issues as Regional Panel Begins Work.

Survey Indicates Uncertainty About Tourism Industry

Jerry Morrison, a local hotel analyst, offers some relatively upbeat numbers for how San Diego's hotel industry will fare in 2002.

Ailing Health Care System Faces Multiple Challenges

The symptoms caused by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have added an extra layer of pain to San Diego's chronically ill health care industry, local experts agree.

Unique Inventory Pleases Customers, Bankers

It's yesterday's technology. It's Soviet-made. And believe it or not, it lies at the heart of a successful business banking relationship.

Outlook for Real Estate Industry Cautiously Optimistic

Local real estate practitioners and observers expect 2002 to be a modest year for business, similar to the mostly positive overall view of the region's economy uncovered by the 12th annual San Diego Business Journal/Deloitte & Touche Economic Outlook Surv

Experts Predict Generally Rosy Outlook for Biotechs

All indicators point to a promising year for San Diego's biotechnology industry, with some caveats.

COMMENTARY: Questions About Energy Issues Abound

Questions About Energy Issues Abound

Survey Shows Good and Bad News About Local Jobs

First, the good news. Companies doing business in San Diego County are generally positive about increasing employee wages in 2002.

Optimism Strong Among Electronics Executives

Executives expect a welcomed surge in San Diego's electronics and manufacturing business during 2002.

Retailers, Wholesalers Seeking a Rebound

After a tumultuous 2001, San Diego retailers and wholesalers are cautiously optimistic about what this year may hold. All expect growth over the next few years; however, some are not as bullish on 2002.

Is the Tide Rising or Ebbing?

President Ronald Reagan was fond of saying, "A rising tide lifts all boats." Yet with a slowing economy suddenly jarred by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., business executives in San Diego appear to be wondering whether the

Tech Firms Tighten Belts, Look Ahead to 2002

While some parts of California, most notably Silicon Valley, suffered escalating unemployment and huge upticks in vacant office space last year from the "tech wreck," San Diego remained largely unaffected.

FOR THE RECORD

Calendar, events, and more...

COMMENTARY: The Challenges Will Continue in 2002

Publisher's Notebook

COMMENTARY: The Economic Crisis at Our Southern Border

Editor's note: The following speech was recently made before Congress by Rep. Bob Filner, D-Chula Vista.

New Banks Bolster the Industry's Outlook for 2002

Two more new commercial banks were launched last year in San Diego, and combined with several startups from 2000 and a couple of others in the regulatory pipeline, the local finance landscape was resembling what existed here two decades ago.