Stories for February 2006
Tuesday, February 28
Stephen Baum, who recently retired from his positions as chairman and chief executive officer of Sempra Energy, received a $3 million bonus in 2005 on top of $1.13 million in salary.
Rear Adm. Michael C. Bachmann, who recently assumed command of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (known as Spawar) in San Diego, will receive a second admiral's star.
Lacrosse, a fast-paced game invented by American Indians, makes a big-time collegiate splash March 10 and 11 at the University of San Diego's Torero Stadium.
Monday, February 27
The long-awaited $348 million Hilton San Diego Convention Center Hotel is being billed as "a true urban resort" by John Portman & Associates of Atlanta, the architectural arm of its co-developer, Portman Holdings.
Alan Bersin, California's secretary of education, has been reappointed to the state Board of Education for a four-year term by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Seeing that the economy has made a strong comeback, college students who are graduating this spring can take a sigh of relief when starting the job search.
Anti-Competitive Student Loan Plan Takes Historic Hit
The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority backs down from a statement regarding joint use of a military base.
When Pacific Coast National Bank decided it wanted to explore a new potential market in North County, it turned to an unlikely marketing research group: students.
Tom Cobb, operations manager-partner, Lightning Express Delivery Services.
A former employee for Imperial Capital Bank in San Diego was awarded more than $900,000 in an arbitration case after she contended that she wasn't promoted or given stock options because of her gender.
Come March 31, the fate of the Navy Broadway Complex could finally be sealed following years of planning and negotiation. But some Downtown development interests are optimistic that they'll still have a voice in shaping what has been called the "front por
Bryan Min has made some notable transitions in his life, from living aboard a Trident nuclear submarine to getting in the driver's seat of a fast-growing private company.
An Internal Revenue Service regulation covering how companies should value stock options is causing some privately held startups to hire experts to ensure that those values are accurate and don't trigger further tax liability.
Retailers nationwide are beginning to see a new shade of green that's as good for the environment as it is for their profit margins: apparel made of organic cotton.
The county's office market posted its best year since 2000, according to Colliers International's fourth-quarter report, while relatively sunny days should continue for the county's industrial market into 2006.
High-tech workers displaced by a proposal to make Nokia's local outpost into a separate company could do far worse than live in San Diego County.
A fishing expedition during the fifth grade just might be a metaphor for the life of 58-year-old Steve Games, the San Diego real estate mogul.
Local doctors will see more reimbursement again from the government for treating low-income, elderly or disabled patients now that the state Senate unanimously voted to restore Medi-Cal cuts. But medical officials here say it's still not enough.
Hospitals countywide will collectively spend at least $2 billion to meet state earthquake building codes, but that isn't stopping them from planning unprecedented facilities expansion projects , some as high as $1 billion. To pay for them them, hospitals
Sempra Energy announced Feb. 22 that it had 2005 net income of $920 million, or $3.65 per diluted share.
Local schools say America's nursing shortage is largely due to a scarcity of nursing school faculty.
Goal Financial, a San Diego-based student lender, said it purchased eStudentLoan.com from Alloy Inc., a New York-based teen marketing and media company.
College students don't just go to school, study and party on campus. They also dine and drink at local eateries and constitute a vital consumer group for businesses surrounding the area's campuses.
Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Craig Hunsaker
Small-business owners eager to improve their marketing plans while simultaneously helping nonprofit agencies boost their fund-raising efforts have a new option.
Dj Orthopedics Inc., a Vista-based manufacturer of prosthetic rehabilitation devices, said Feb. 27 that it signed a definitive agreement to acquire Aircast Inc., a New Jersey-based maker of orthopedic devices, for $230 million in cash.
Santarus, Inc. is the first San Diego-based company to win approval for a drug this year from the Food and Drug Administration.
Ramona National Bank Chairman John Farkash announced his board's choice for new president and chief executive officer: John F. McGrath.
Question: What kinds of employee reward or incentive programs work best?
Friday, February 24
Members of the National City Mile of Cars auto park collectively have nearly 600 million reasons to smile this week. Combined, the members made close to $600 million in taxable sales in 2005.
Sexton Communications plans to help a San Marcos nonprofit raise $9 million.
Thursday, February 23
Gregory J. Smith, San Diego County's assessor/recorder/clerk, issued a news flash for business owners Feb. 22 , file your own fictitious business name statements and save yourselves some big bucks.
Described as the "Godfather of Engineering in San Diego," Cubic Corp. founder Walter J. Zable was inducted into the Connect Entrepreneur Hall of Fame on Feb. 22.
Gafcon, Inc., a San Diego-based construction management company, has landed a mega-contract , managing a team of international firms to build a $28 billion city on an island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Consumer prices in San Diego increased 3.7 percent during 2005, faster than the 3.4 percent rise for all large cities in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor.
Eugenia Eyherabide of San Diego has been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to a judgeship in the San Diego Superior Court.
Wednesday, February 22
Sempra Energy announced Feb. 22 that it had 2005 net income of $920 million, or $3.65 per diluted share. Net income is up from $895 million, or $3.83 per diluted share, in 2004.
While net earnings in San Diego-based Jack in the Box Inc. slipped slightly on a legal settlement charge during its first fiscal quarter, a revenue increase that outpaced Wall Street expectations triggered a surge in trading on the day of the company's an
Tuesday, February 21
A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle, developed in part by Northrop Grumman Corp.'s Integrated Systems sector in San Diego, recently returned to Edwards Air Force Base after completing 167 missions and more than 4,800 flight hours in Southwest Asia.
Community businesses will connect with utility representatives at a Small Business Expo in San Diego on Feb. 23.
Jim Turley, editor of Silicon Insider, has been named to Patriot Scientific Corp.'s board of directors.
The San Diego Convention Center Corp. announced Feb. 21 that it has hired Steven B. Johnson as its vice president of public affairs.
Monday, February 20
Despite little support from local hospitals, the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation has licensed software to share patient information among medical professionals.
Noted San Diego newspaperman Neil Morgan's venture into nonprofit online journalism is celebrating its first anniversary this month, and the columnist is giving much of the credit to his up-and-coming young staff.
Dan Martin, the president and chief executive officer of San Diego-based IFX Online, is expected to be named to the board of the International Franchise Association.
On Super Bowl Sunday, hot Santa Ana winds and the temporary shutdown of a water treatment plant for long-planned maintenance converged, making some water-intensive businesses in San Diego County mighty anxious.
Little did anyone realize as the wildfires of October 2003 scorched San Diego County that from the ashes would rise homeowners and businesses intent on saving energy.
San Diego's Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which sells two diabetes drugs, Byetta and Symlin, reported fourth-quarter and year-end financial results recently.
Buying futures in real estate drawing some investor interest.
Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Stephen Haase
Women love to shop. It's an old stereotype that apparently has never gone out of style, which is good news for San Diego businesses marketing to women.
Businesses Need Creative Clusters to Draw Best, Brightest
It's a store shuffle at Westfield. The Australia-based mall operator plans to acquire five San Diego County store buildings from Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores, Inc.
Bev Oster Ornelas, president of Oster and Associates.
Once a haven for budget-conscious lodgers seeking out 2- and 3-Star hotels, San Diego is sprouting new properties where the rich and famous can empty their wallets.
The Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley has begun construction on a 41,000-square-foot exhibit hall.
With one product on the market and no others in the pipeline, Patientline's focus is as clear as the display screen on its bedside unit: to penetrate San Diego hospitals and those in other U.S. markets.
This just in: San Diego County's real estate market is "taking a breather," following several record-breaking quarters this decade.
It was a deal they couldn't refuse. When Placer Sierra Bancshares offered more than three times book value for the stock of Carlsbad-based Southwest Community Bancorp, Chief Executive Officer Frank Mercardante dropped everything and began talking.
A $270 million desalination plant planned for Carlsbad, which has navigated a number of permitting hurdles in past months, is flowing smoothly and harpooning a few sales.
The common knowledge that investing in San Diego banks is a safe bet was driven home by a recently compiled stock index of local institutions that demonstrates just how good it is.
Anyone who knows much about the data storage industry knew the handwriting was on the wall long before Iomega Corp. dispatched former Chief Executive Officer Werner Heid this month.
China Currency Critics: Be Careful What You Wish For
From experimenting in his bathtub to being named Inventor of the Month by the world's best-selling 3-D software maker, Tom Lochtefeld has come a long way.
Scott Jones, the king of San Diego's parking lots, now runs an empire that stretches over five states and employs more than 6,000 workers. But as his favorite rock band, the Rolling Stones, sings, he can't get no satisfaction.
The regional Airport Authority releases a statement on its prospects of using a military base in cooperation with the Navy or Marines. What sounded like a definite maybe was really a "no."
International border waits of two hours or more drain the local economies, according to research released last week by the San Diego Association of Governments.
Wireless Facilities Inc., a San Diego-based integrator of telecom network equipment, said it agreed to sell its Mexican operations to Sakoki LLC, a newly formed entity controlled by Massih Tayebi.
The leader of a business group monitoring the progress of the agency charged with moving San Diego International Airport from its cramped quarters at Lindbergh Field was openly critical last year that its public relations push lacked steam. Now he gives i
Nimbus Water International is set to expand Chinese operations.
Friday, February 17
Kenneth Slaght, who led the San Diego-based Navy command known as Spawar from 2001 to 2005, is poised to take the top San Diego job for Fairfax, Va.-based Anteon Corp.
Chula Vista Mayor Stephen C. Padilla on Feb. 17 announced his plans to ask the City Council to support him in placing a measure on the June 6 ballot that would strengthen private property rights.
A former female executive at Imperial Capital Bank was awarded about $900,000 in damages and court costs in a mediated settlement Feb. 16.
Thursday, February 16
Trying as hard as he can to find something positive about San Diego's financial mess, Mayor Jerry Sanders issued a statement Feb. 16 that said the city's current bond rating was affirmed, rather than downgraded or upgraded, by one of three major bond rati
Local business leaders and tax advocates on Feb. 13 filed with the San Diego city clerk to circulate four ballot initiatives affecting the work and benefits of public employees.
San Diego will not respond to bid requests from either the Republicans or the Democrats for their 2008 national conventions, according to Mayor Jerry Sanders' office.
George Chamberlin, a longtime financial columnist and business reporter for the
Carlsbad-based Southwest Community Bancorp signed a definitive agreement Feb. 16 to be acquired by Sacramento-based Placer Sierra Bancshares in a stock transaction that values the local bank at about $175 million.
Wednesday, February 15
A former consultant to Maxim Pharmaceuticals settled an allegation by the Securities and Exchange Commission that he capitalized on inside information.
Hewlett Packard Co.'s Imaging and Printing Group brought in quarterly revenue of $6.5 billion, up 8 percent over the same quarter one year ago.
Tuesday, February 14
Los Angeles-based Griffin Capital Corp. on Feb. 10 announced the purchase of Carlsbad Pointe, a 328,665-square-foot flex office building in Carlsbad, for $48 million on behalf of 29 tenant-in-common investors.
San Diego-based Continuous Computing Corp., a maker of hardware and software platforms used by major telecommunications manufacturers, named PJ Go its permanent CEO on Feb. 13.
A safety review board has halted enrollment in a clinical trial involving Avastin, a colon cancer drug manufactured by one of the world's largest and oldest biotechnology companies in its San Diego plant.
Monday, February 13
California Bank & Trust turned in another nice performance last year with net income rising 13 percent to $165 million.
Battling businesspeople, nervous property owners and looming legal actions are hanging over Chula Vista like a blanket of fog these days.
A quick-service restaurant chain is taking a self-serve approach to help its Spanish-speaking employees improve their English skills.
Under the direction of owner James Brennan and Executive Chef Antonio Friscia, the Stingaree nightclub's 90-seat, main-level dining area opened in early January.
Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Daniel Redfern
MultiCell Technologies, Inc. is changing its approach to selling human liver cells, which biotechs use in testing toxicity of potential medications.
Since he stepped into the position of director of life sciences programs at UC San Diego Extension in September, Delbert Foit said there are not enough hours in the day.
Researchers at UC San Diego are creating a massive database that scientists worldwide will use to identify new genes in microscopic marine life.
Carlsbad , and North County in general , emerged as the hot spot for development during the Feb. 2 confab of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties' San Diego chapter.
Conventional wisdom holds that phone calls for computer support go halfway around the world to a big room in India. But they might land as close as Sorrento Valley or Mira Mesa.
An Internet business that claimed to help consumers rectify past problems on their credit report agreed to pay $150,000 in civil penalties and restitution to resolve allegations of false advertising and unfair business practices.
Another place to relocate , or in this case augment , San Diego International Airport has failed to make it onto a short list of possible sites. But at least one airport official has hinted that there may be better, if not bigger, things to come.
Here's Hoping Schwarzenegger Won't Deliver a Bond Bombshell
The Old Spaghetti Factory Corp. tries a new concept in the Downtown building it has occupied since 1974. Dussini aims for a different demographic than the previous eatery.
The natural and organic food market in San Diego County is, in a word, healthy. And one chain feeling extra well these days is Henry's Farmers Market.
For more than 40 local small-business owners, the ordinary trials of starting a new company were only half the entrepreneurial fight. Fleeing a war-torn country was, in fact, priority No. 1.
San Diego's pension fund may be in a hole last measured at $1.4 billion, but its investment portfolio has generated stellar returns in recent years , among the best of any public fund in the nation.
The University of San Diego's School of Business Administration will be launching a full-time master of business administration program this fall.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.'s sale of the 264-room Sheraton Suites San Diego means that the White Plains, N.Y., firm currently has full ownership of only one property in the county: the Westin Horton Plaza Hotel.
In the San Diego advertising community, understanding the commercials shown during this year's Super Bowl may hold the key to understanding what's being shown during the 2006 Winter Olympics, which run through Feb. 26.
A UC San Diego study suggests that more collaboration among life science companies and research institutions on both sides of the border could fuel the San Diego-Baja California region into the largest, most appealing biotech hub in the world.
Question: How can you put business tax planning into perspective?
Friday, February 10
San Diego-based Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc. has opened new offices in Texas and Tennessee.
San Diego County gasoline prices rose 1.3 cents from their Feb. 3 price to $2.612 per gallon on Feb. 10, the Auto Club reported.
Thursday, February 9
A San Diego company is poised to acquire a unit of a Fortune 500 corporation , and 2,000 new employees , with the help of a Chicago venture capital firm. The partnership will pay close to $1 billion cash.
Call it a case of dueling studies. According to a report released this month by the Convention Center Corp., a mammoth hotel and convention center proposed for Chula Vista's bay front would snag a significant amount of the Downtown San Diego facility's bu
Mattman Specialty Vehicle Inc. of San Marcos said it completed production of the first nine armored vehicles for the U.S. State Department, part of a 12-car deal that is worth $2 million.
The San Diego city attorney's office on Feb. 9 filed a lawsuit against more than a dozen online hotel booking companies.
San Diego's Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which sells two diabetes drugs, Byetta and Symlin, reported yearly revenue of $140.5 million and a net loss of $206.8 million, or $1.96 per share.
Wednesday, February 8
County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Horn, in the annual State of the County address Feb. 7, pledged to help San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders in his efforts to turn around the ailing city.
Jamison Properties, Inc., a Los Angeles-based real estate and management company, has made its first foray into the San Diego market with the $50.9 million purchase of Executive Complex, a 324,000-square-foot office building in Downtown San Diego.
Tuesday, February 7
StoneFly Networks, a San Diego-based provider of storage area networks using Internet protocol, was acquired by Dynamic Network Factory Inc. of Hayward for an undisclosed price.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders on Feb. 7 signed a new law designed to beef up the city's ability to clean up blighted properties.
San Diego's Nanogen, Inc. has purchased a series of medical diagnostic tests for about $7.8 million from Toronto-based Spectral Diagnostics, Inc., edging closer to the company's goal of being a major provider of small tests.
Profitline, a San Diego-based services firm that manages telecom bills, said the Department of Homeland Security renewed a one-year, $3 million contract to manage the agency's telecom expenses.
Monday, February 6
Archaeological finds mean a loss of more than $1 million for landowners who want to turn a citrus ranch into a housing tract. Their story is not unusual, said environmental consulting and planning experts.
The proposed acquisition of San Diego-based Silvergate Bank by Wescom Credit Union is causing some local bankers to call for a halt on the scope of activities permitted by credit unions.
Despite last week's congressional vote to cut some $12 billion from the federal student loan budget, local lenders specializing in the line are enjoying fatter portfolios and expanding operations.
Another small San Diego firm, Sagient Research Systems, decided to call it quits as a public company and went back to operating as a private company.
Legoland is going on a seven-city tour spanning the country in search of someone to join its master builders team, expecting thousands of adults to respond to the challenge.
At least six San Diego biotech executives have come from Cornell University's masters in business administration program , which is more selective than a similar program at Harvard.
San Diego and Imperial counties are on the brink of becoming part of a "mega-region," relying more on collaboration than competition, while serving a global economy.
Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Craig Ramseyer
Students and small-business owners alike might want to take note of a new partnership between a Downtown San Diego-based marketing firm and a Normal Heights-based nonprofit.
Attorneys for San Diego-based American Property Management Corp. contend that they will appeal a jury's verdict that awarded Sycuan Development Corp. nearly $1.4 million after Sycuan fired the firm as manager of the U.S. Grant Hotel.
Most everyone wants to know the secret to life. For those still seeking answers, San Diego life sciences firms are sharing a bit of their knowledge.
Financial projections may change as the debate continues over the notion that a massive hotel and convention center proposed for Chula Vista's bay front would take business from the San Diego Convention Center and Downtown's hotels, depleting the stream o
Question: As a business owner, when is it a good idea to invest in real estate?
Stephen L. Johnson, administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, will deliver a keynote address Feb. 7 at the 2006 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo at the San Diego Convention Center.
The owner of a San Diego-based firm that plans to build a hotel touted as the first step in the upgrade and renovation of Westfield Horton Plaza says it will be Downtown's first "true" luxury lodging facility.
San Diego's apartment market is expected to be "a top performer" in 2006, helped along by job growth and rising tenant demand.
They say all good things must end, and for at least two older Downtown San Diego businesses, the end of an era is near as they say goodbye to their urban digs.
Local environmental consultants say their occupation is often confused with that of a "tree hugger." On the contrary, they say, they are creative scientists.
Friday, February 3
Werner Heid has stepped down from his positions as president and chief executive at computer peripheral maker Iomega Corp. and has resigned his seat on the Iomega board, the company announced Feb. 3.
In an event called the San Diego Low-Car Diet, organizers trotted out a brave group of 14 people who deposited their car keys in a lockbox for the month of February and pledged to use alternative modes of transport.
The 6,000-member San Diego Municipal Employees Association is unhappy that they were not given the chance to read or comment on Mayor Jerry Sanders' two proposed ballot measures that would directly impact the union.
Thursday, February 2
Websidestory Inc., a San Diego-based Internet analytics firm that went public in 2004, said it acquired Visual Sciences, based in McLean, Va., for an aggregate $57.3 million.
Cymer Inc., a San Diego-based maker of laser equipment used to make semiconductors, reported net income for the fourth quarter of $16.4 million on revenue of $102.8 million.
Wednesday, February 1
The Mighty 1090 , San Diego's only local all-sports radio station , is expanding at the expense of its Spanish-language sister station, La Pantera.
The new head of San Diego-based Sempra Energy has jump-started his tenure by vowing to spend $4 billion in the next two years on capital projects.
The Navy has exercised another option to buy a T-AKE-class cargo ship from National Steel and Shipbuilding Co.
Defense contractor Epsilon Systems Solutions, Inc. has expanded its ship-repair capabilities with the acquisition of the West Coast operations of Earl Industries, LLC.
San Diego-based Tarari Inc., which designs specialized semiconductors and software, has completed a series C round of venture capital funding, raising $14 million.
Jason Hughes, the president of the San Diego Children's Museum board of directors, has announced that the museum has received a donation of $5 million from Joan and Irwin Jacobs.
Gina Lombardi, a high-ranking executive with Qualcomm Inc., has been named chief executive of MediaFLO USA Inc., where she will help launch the company's TV-over- wireless-phone service.
A transplant specialist working part-time at UC Irvine Medical Center's troubled liver transplant program is being asked to step down as director of UC San Diego's abdominal transplant program.