Stories for January 2006

Tuesday, January 31

Geico at 1,800 and Growing

Geico, which has a regional office in Poway, said it is hiring an average of 30 new workers a month, mostly in sales, service and claims.

Websense Caps Year, Splits Stock

Software-maker Websense reported quarterly net income of $11.1 million, or 45 cents per diluted share, on revenue of $40.1 million. It also announced a two-for-one stock split.

Bottom Line Grows at Escondido Bank

Community Bancorp, Inc., the Escondido holding company of Community National Bank, reported net income of $3.8 million in its 2005 fourth quarter, up 54 percent from the like quarter of 2004.

Company to Catch Rays on City Property

The San Diego City Council approved a five-year solar energy deal between the city and Sun Edison SD LLC to provide about 5 megawatts of photovoltaic systems at city-owned facilities.

Monday, January 30

Albertsons, Sav-On Deal to Cause Changes

The county's food and drug retail scene is about to get some new players now that the second largest grocery store chain has agreed to be acquired by a consortium of investors to the tune of approximately $17.4 billion.

Qualcomm Earnings Rise Amid Licensing Concerns

Qualcomm Inc. opened fiscal 2006 by posting $620 million in net income, a 21 percent jump from a year earlier, powered by demand for cell phones in emerging markets and increasing use of third-generation cell phone technology in established markets.

Project to Create Jobs, Produce Taxes for City

Here's the status of the Liberty Station project to date, according to the San Diego-based builder Corky McMillin Cos.

Costs Mounting as City Tries to Finish Audit

Making sense of the bills paid to consultants hired by the city of San Diego to resolve its billion-dollar pension scandal is like falling into a pit of quicksand. The more you move around, the deeper it gets.

Foreign Investors Like Lay of San Diego's Land

For the first time, San Diego has been named one of the top five cities in the United States for foreign investors to spend their commercial real estate dollars.

Reo Carr to Join Business Journal In February

Editor in Chief Reo Carr is leaving his post to become the associate publisher of the

Longtime Local Banker Eyes the Embarcadero

The former chief executive at First National Bank, who abruptly left that job in 2003, is organizing another community bank, this one located in Downtown.

Image Isn't Everything When Advertising

Question: I have a limited marketing budget. Which is more important, brand awareness or response?

Threat of BlackBerry Shutdown Leaves Doubt

Local attorneys don't think the BlackBerry device will be shelved for good.

Commercial Market a Mix of Steady, Strong, Flat

The San Diego office market was relatively steady for the fourth quarter of 2005, the retail market continued to show solid leasing and investment performance, and the industrial market posted rather flat numbers across the board. Plus other news.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: Jan. 31 - Feb. 6

Ex-Navy Base Goes for Greatness

Troubled as its transformation may have been, the $850 million Liberty Station project is being touted as a national role model for other communities.

Biotechs Suffer Slide in '05 Venture Funds

San Diego high-tech and biotech firms attracted less venture investment funding last year, but the majority of money is still flowing to biotechnology companies.

Site's Revival Adds to Airport Relocation Battle

Authorities are giving a potential airport site near Valley Center a second look.

Breaking News a Hit on the Web

When disaster happened on a local freeway and an airport runway last week, media outlets, from newspapers to television stations, fed the public's interest by turning to the No. 1 venue for breaking news these days , the Internet.

Executive Profile: Melissa Ford

Melissa Ford is part of a small minority , a woman CEO in the male-dominated world of high-tech.

Proxy , BofI Holding, Inc.

BofI Holding, Inc.

Ads as Crucial to Big Game as the Game Itself

Ads as Crucial to Big Game as the Game Itself

Moms Have An Eye for Dressing Up Bottom Line

With sassy phrases like "Don't ya wish your mommy was hot like mine?" and "Baby's Mama," paired with "Mama's Baby," one of San Diego's newest small businesses is eager to become a nationally recognized clothing supplier.

Cross-Border Airport Terminal Plan Gains Steam

The idea of an American terminal for Tijuana International Airport has a following in San Diego that endures to this day.

Callaway's Record Earnings Come Despite Difficulties

Despite record earnings, Callaway Golf Co. ran through a gauntlet of challenges during 2005.

A Model Project

SPECIAL REPORT , The Liberty Station mixed-use project emerges , slowly and sometimes painfully , from the former Naval Training Center in Point Loma.

Yet Another Needless State Gas Tax Plan

Yet Another Needless State Gas Tax Plan

Promenade to Be High-Tech, Arts, Science Hub

A major feature of Liberty Station's historic district is the NTC Promenade, being billed as the new flagship for arts, culture, science and technology.

Campaign Promotes Discount Drug Program

Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are boosting visibility of their discount drug programs , specifically with an orange bus and talk-show host Montel Williams.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

S.D. Organization Rails Against Waterfront Plan

Save Our NTC has been at loggerheads with the developer of Liberty Station and the city of San Diego Redevelopment Agency since the project's inception in 1999.

Councilmen Add Polish To Tarnished Image of City

A new year, a new strong mayor, and two new city councilmen in place have many in the business community hoping that the bad old days that have plagued San Diego for so long will soon be a fading memory.

Guide Points Visitors in North County's Direction

Visitors destined for North County may now obtain the latest edition of a travel guide that provides planning tools for both leisure visitors and business travelers.

Tech Group Links With Canadian Counterpart

CommNexus San Diego, a local technology advocacy group, has signed an agreement with a similar Canadian organization to form an international alliance.

Construction Journal

Contract awards and construction milestones.

Corrections

For Jan. 23, 2006.

Small Business Spotlight: Artisan Design Group

Jaimi Julian Thompson, president, Artisan Design Group

Mercedes CLS55 a Beast That Offers a Lot of Beauty

Mercedes CLS55 a Beast That Offers a Lot of Beauty

Week in Review

Top Business News: January 20 - 26, 2006

County Hospitals Feeling Pinch of Charity Care

Following a statewide survey of California hospitals, executives of several large local facilities have revealed how much they spend on discounts to the poor and how they make up for the expense , or, in some cases, never see the money again.

Construction Firms May Get Stretched Too Thin

With all the focus in Sacramento on infrastructure funding, an extended boom period appears in the offing for the region's engineering and construction firms.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Scott Alevy

Catching Up With China's Version of Henry Kissinger

Catching Up With China's Version of Henry Kissinger

Friday, January 27

Gas Prices Rise After Year-End Respite

San Diego County gasoline prices rose 4.2 cents during the week of Jan. 21-27, to an average of $2.548 per gallon of self-serve regular, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California's weekend gas watch survey.

Thursday, January 26

Players Stake Out Positions on Condo Conversions

The Building Industry Association of San Diego will have no problem with the new laws that were proposed by the San Diego City Council on Jan. 24 to protect consumers involved in condo conversions , unless those laws turn out to be retroactive.

Add This to City's Acclaim: Bike Friendly

Bicycling Magazine named San Diego as the best cycling city among cities with at least 1 million in population.

Wednesday, January 25

Callaway's Yearly Sales Almost $1B

Callaway Golf Co. on Jan. 25 reported a net loss of $18.7 million on net sales of $154.5 million in the final quarter of 2005.

Southwest Adds Direct Route

Beginning Feb. 5, Southwest Airlines will offer new, nonstop, round-trip service between two of the nation's oldest mission cities , San Diego and San Antonio.

Qualcomm Has $1.74B Quarter

Qualcomm Inc. opened fiscal 2006 by posting $620 million in net income, a 21 percent jump from a year earlier.

Carr Joins San Diego Business Journal

Editor in Chief Reo Carr is leaving his post to become the associate publisher of the

Tuesday, January 24

$667M County IT Deal Goes to Northrop

The county Board of Supervisors on Jan. 24 awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. a contract to manage the county's information technology and telecom services.

Ace Parking Expands to Palm Springs

Ace Parking Management, San Diego's biggest parking lot operator, said it won a new airport contract for Palm Springs International Airport, taking over from an operator that held the prior contract for 29 years.

Airport Reopens After Crash

McClellan-Palomar Airport has reopened following a Jan. 24 plane crash that killed all four passengers on board.

Monday, January 23

Firms Look to Get Noticed at Health Care Event

Biotech executives compare the annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference to a high school or family reunion, a "coming out party" or even a "mosh pit of biotech companies."

Substantial Support for Small Shops

Small-business owners have plenty of places to turn for assistance.

Executive Profile: Judd Canepari

A native of Connecticut who grew up in a large Italian family, Judd Canepari, the executive chef at the landmark La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, credits his grandmother and aunt for inspiring his lust for the culinary arts.

SDG & E; Sees Sun Rise on Solar Firm

Phoenix-based Stirling Energy Systems Inc. has agreed to provide enough solar energy to San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to potentially power 180,000 homes during the daytime. But some are skeptical.

Small Business Spotlight: Peak Health Solutions

Justin Schmidt, president, and Gabe Stein, chief executive officer, Peak Health Solutions.

Calculating a CEO's Earnings a Tough Exercise

While some people would argue that many are overpaid, figuring out just how much CEOs and other top executives of publicly traded companies earn can be a challenge in itself.

Small Businesses Urged to Show Off Their Excellence

If you're a small-business owner who also happens to use technology in innovative ways, you might want to consider nominating yourself for the third annual Small Business Excellence Award program.

High Dollar Del

Deutsche Bank's $610 million floating-rate mortgage loan on the historic Hotel del Coronado places its value at $745 million , more than $1 million per room , and has set an all-time high for any hotel in the state.

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones.

Nassco Names Three VPs

National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. President Frederick J. Harris has appointed three new vice presidents.

Two Marquee High-Rises Sold Downtown

One America Plaza, considered Downtown San Diego's premier office building, and the 21-story Koll Center are being sold to the Irvine Co. for a sum that could turn the Downtown market on its ear.

Judge to Settle State's Junk-Fax Measure Debate

The fate of a controversial new state law designed to bring better relief to small-business owners tired of receiving junk faxes is in the hands of a federal court judge this week.

Military Quashes Thought of Joint-Use Airport

The chance, however slim, that the Navy or Marine Corps might free up a portion of a local base for joint use as a regional airport seems to have dwindled to none.

Baseball Tourney Selling Well Despite Curves

Questions surrounding the inaugural World Baseball Classic, an international tournament that concludes March 18-20 at Petco Park, continue to hamper sales at other venues, but not locally.

Nonstop at 90

Walter J. Zable won't entertain the concept of retiring from Cubic Corp., the company he founded in 1951.

Mayor: Horizontal Growth Is a Thing of the Past

There is trouble ahead if San Diego doesn't start tending to its housing issues and long-term growth, warned Mayor Jerry Sanders at a recent gathering.

Venture Capitalists Cut Back

San Diego companies raised 25 percent less venture capital in 2005 than they did in 2004, according to a report released Jan. 23 by Ernst & Young LLP and Venture One.

Online Coupons Find Way to Print

High-tech coupon clipping might just be the next big thing now that San Diego-based Consumer Networks, in just one year, has managed to sign deals with newspapers covering more than 100 markets.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

New Owners for Albertsons, Sav-On

The second-largest grocery store chain in San Diego County has agreed to be acquired by a consortium of investors to the tune of $17.4 billion.

Credit Checks on New Customers Just Part of Doing Business

Question: As a small supply business, one unpaid-for customer order can make a big difference when it comes time to pay our own bills. How do we protect ourselves without alienating new customers looking for credit?

Great Geisha Controversy

Great Geisha Controversy

Proxy , PriceSmart, Inc.

PriceSmart, Inc.

1,200-Room Convention Center Hotel Secures Funding

The financing package for the long-awaited $348 million Hilton San Diego Convention Center Hotel has been completed.

Tijuana Truck Factory Expanding

Toyota plans to increase the capacity of its Tijuana truck factory, the company announced Jan. 20.

Solar Gets Shot in the Arm With $3B Program

With more incentives for consumers to switch to solar energy, Aaron Hall expects his business to grow as much as 25 percent to 50 percent next year.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: Jan. 24 - 30

Week in Review

Top Business News: January 13 - 19, 2006

Firms Team Up to Work on Hepatitis C Vaccine

Inovio Biomedical Corp. announced a partnership recently with Sweden-based Tripep AB to develop a vaccine for the hepatitis C virus.

Panelists Differ on Issues, Aligned on Housing

A panel of local experts forecasting what's in store for San Diego's economy this year was unanimous in making housing affordability the critical issue facing the region.

Alevy to Be Voice of the Chamber

Scott Alevy has been named vice president of public policy and communications for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, effective Feb. 1.

No Shortage of Construction Dispute Suits

Legal specialties may ebb and flow, depending on which way the economic stars are aligned, but there is one area that continues to be "recession proof" in Southern California , construction disputes.

Faulconer, Hueso Sworn In

The San Diego City Council on Jan. 23 swore in its two newest members Kevin Faulconer of the 2nd District, and Ben Hueso of the 8th District.

Tribes Want Feds to Rule on 'Bandit'

Six American Indian tribes have sounded an alarm over a type of one-armed bandit that, in the eyes of the group, straddles the line between bingo and slot machines.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Lonie Cyr

Governor's Political Moves Better Suited For Dance Floor

Governor's Political Moves Better Suited For Dance Floor

Friday, January 20

Picture Tube Factory Shutting Down

Sony Electronics Corp., which began making Trinitron cathode ray tubes in Rancho Bernardo in 1972, said it is discontinuing the remaining two production lines for the product, eliminating some 400 jobs.

Roger Ball to Lead Rick Engineering

Lyle F. Gabrielson, the president and chief executive officer of Rick Engineering Co., billed as San Diego's largest civil engineering firm, will be retiring effective Jan. 31.

Jobless Rate Is Among State's Lowest

San Diego's unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in December, a full point below November's rate, and tied for third lowest in the state with three other counties.

Pension Report Released

Misleading disclosures and statements have characterized the city pension board's financial reports and actuarial valuations, according to a massive report released Jan. 20 by Navigant Consulting.

Thursday, January 19

Legoland Calls Carlsbad Its Beachhead

England-based Merlin Entertainments Group said 2005 was a year of growth for its Legoland theme park in Carlsbad. The company called the site "a launching pad for expansion into the North American market."

Home Sales Dip

San Diego home sales dipped by 11.3 percent in December, while median home prices rose 5.1 percent, according to DataQuick Information Systems.

Convention Center Awash in Surf Culture

Skate and surf apparel makers, and their counterparts who sell the necessary hardware, are getting ready to show their goods at the San Diego Convention Center.

Wednesday, January 18

Avanir Bulks Up Shares

Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced Jan. 17 that it will change its Nasdaq ticker symbol as a result of a stock split approved in March by its board of directors.

Half-Done Dream: 330 MPG Vehicle

Accelerated Composites, LLC said Jan. 18 it has designed a two-seat passenger car that can achieve up to 330 miles per gallon and could be priced less than $20,000.

Educator Snags State Job

Paula Cordeiro, dean of the School of Leadership and Education Sciences at the University of San Diego, has been appointed to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

H & R; Block, Intuit Spar Over Ads

Intuit Inc., which develops TurboTax software in San Diego, is changing television and radio commercials for TurboTax in response to a lawsuit by competitor H & R; Block.

Tuesday, January 17

Red Door Names New Director

New position emphasizes Internet search marketing.

VCs Give Sky a Boost

Sky MobileMedia, Inc., a San Diego-based provider of mobile application software platforms, said it closed a $15 million, second round of venture financing Jan. 17.

New Nassco VPs From GenDyn Units

National Steel and Shipbuilding Co. hires vice presidents from Freeman Energy and Electric Boat. All three companies are units of General Dynamics.

It's That Time: Earnings Season

Public companies will announce their quarterly earnings from now through late February.

Monday, January 16

A New Lesson in Loans

A New Lesson in Loans

Satisfaction a Key Reward for Sempra Plaintiff

The energy crisis pushed Hillcrest hairstylist Andy Berg to the forefront of the recently settled Sempra lawsuit.

Big Business Aids China's Censorship

Big Business Aids China's Censorship

Week in Review

Top Business News: January 6 - 12, 2006

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: Drexel DeFord

Thailand Slowly Rebounding as Asia Banks on the West

Thailand Slowly Rebounding as Asia Banks on the West

Accounting for a Crisis

While the spotlight on San Diego's ongoing financial crisis remains on the city's pension deficit of some $1.4 billion, the underlying cause for the city's problems stems from a systemic failure to fully disclose its financial information, said City Audit

S.D. Scientists May Have a Major Breakthrough

Researchers at the Burnham Institute have discovered a potential treatment for stroke, Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's disease, multiple sclerosis and other neurodegenerative disorders.

S.D. Tech Firm Secures $5.8M in Funding

Syntricity, Inc., a San Diego-based provider of software tailored to the semiconductor industry, said it obtained $5.8 million in second round venture funding Jan. 11.

High Moon Video Games To Brighten Vivendi Line

High Moon Studios, an independent Carlsbad video game developer, has been purchased by Vivendi Universal Games.

Tour Agencies On the Hunt for Funding Streams

Reint Reinders needed no rehearsal when he addressed a panel on the topic of doing more with less in financially tough times at the annual meeting of the Professional Convention Management Association in Philadelphia recently.

Analyst Predicts Drop in Housing Prices

San Diego has long been one of the priciest and least affordable markets in the nation, but one housing expert says this year will see home prices depreciate as the costs continue to rise and the number of buyers dwindles.

Small Business Help Line

Question: We try to use more than one interview event for the managers and salespeople we hire. Is it appropriate to evaluate these candidates in a social setting, such as over lunch?

Lunch With Potential Hires a Good Idea

Question: We try to use more than one interview event for the managers and salespeople we hire. Is it appropriate to evaluate these candidates in a social setting, such as over lunch?

Agents Toast Forecast of Strong Year Across the Board

This is shaping up to be a healthy year for several San Diego real estate markets, according to Grubb & Ellis' newly released 2006 Real Estate Forecast for Southern California.

Small Business Spotlight: Epiphany Marketing

Ron Marcus, principal, Epiphany Marketing

Power Plant Project On-Line Despite Bankruptcy

Construction of a Calpine power plant in Otay Mesa will continue despite the company's recent bankruptcy filing, a company official said.

If You Build a Bank, Your Rivals Might Help

When Steven Broidy became chairman of the startup Private Bank of California, he did what few executives outside the banking industry would ever consider: He sat down and talked strategy with his closest competitors.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: Jan. 17 - 23

Chargers Stadium Referendum Thrown for Loss

Thwarted in their quest to get a new stadium on the November ballot, the San Diego Chargers elected to punt, setting in motion a flurry of possible new game plans, including amending the team's contract to permit the football club to at least talk with ot

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

Sale of 'Fake Health Insurance' Concerns BBB

The San Diego Better Business Bureau has received complaints about more than a dozen local companies selling "fake health insurance."

Hotel Del Hits Historic Mark: $1M Per Room

A new $610 million mortgage loan on the historic Hotel del Coronado places its value at $745 million. At more than $1 million per room, that sets an all-time high for any hotel in the state.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

Biotechs: Importing Drugs Bad Medicine

Some local life science leaders recently called for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to rethink his proposal to legalize importation of prescription drugs.

Congestion Relief on the Way for I-15 Commuters

New business parks in the vicinity of Poway and Rancho Bernardo will likely add to the commuter crush on Interstate 15. Yet relief may be on the way.

Conversion in the Corridor

The Interstate 15 corridor , billed as the fastest growing area in the region , is shaping up to be a prime location for office space.

Gaslamp Night Life Goes Underground With Belo

Having undergone a $2 million renovation, the Gaslamp Quarter's newest nightclub, Belo Restaurant + Nightlife, is a transformation of the former E Street Alley.

Large Firm Buys Local PR Agency

San Diego is less one small business with the recent acquisition of Atkins and Associates by public relations giant Porter Novelli.

Beleaguered National City Mayor Resigns From Bank

National City Mayor Nick Inzunza, whose troubles with maintaining his rental properties have been well-publicized, resigned as director from a host of public and private organizations, including Seacoast Commerce Bank in Chula Vista.

Proxy , Pico Holdings, Inc.

Pico Holdings, Inc.

Supply and Demand Works in Accountants' Favor

Salaries in accounting are rising faster than ever thanks in part to the Sarbanes-Oxley law, and a dearth of qualified professionals, said industry sources.

Local Cable Company Finds Name Is No Game

The local division of a national cable television provider has filed suit against a Santa Ana-based satellite TV company, claiming the company unfairly used names too similar to its own.

A Busy 2005

Recent Sales, Leasing and Construction Activity in the Interstate 15 Corridor.

Invest in Preschoolers

Invest in Preschoolers

Executive Profile: David Bourne

David Bourne, chairman of the real estate investment firm Equastone.

More Visitors Finding San Diego a Winter Haven

While San Diego, a peak summertime destination, tends to seesaw during the winter months with such cities as Phoenix that attract higher numbers of visitors seeking the warm, dry climate, at least one expert thinks that trend is reversing.

Friday, January 13

State of the City: Sanders Gives Bleak Assessment

Don't expect any easy fixes, said Mayor Jerry Sanders in his inaugural State of the City speech at Golden Hall on Jan. 12.

Faulconer Takes 51 Percent of Vote

Kevin Faulconer drew 51.23 percent of the votes cast in the Jan. 10 special election for the 2nd City Council District seat, defeating Lorena Gonzalez, who had 48.77 percent after all the votes were tallied Jan. 12.

More Moving Vans Head Out of County

San Diego saw the numbers of people moving out of the county last year exceed the number moving here from other states, according to a recent survey from United Van Lines, the St. Louis-based mover that is the nation's largest.

Thursday, January 12

A Simple Rule for a Complex Field: Service

Oratorical skills, a keen mind and a dapper wardrobe may help lawyers climb the legal ladder. But if they really want to shine, they'd better keep those clients happy.

Disney Family Fund Invests in East Otay

Genesis Real Estate Fund II, LLC, managed by Shamrock Capital Advisors, has provided Paragon Management Co. $5 million in equity funding to buy 161 acres adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Cush Auto Sale Closes

Michigan-based United Auto Group said Jan. 11 that it closed its acquisition of Cush Automotive Group and has given the six Cush dealerships new names.

Wednesday, January 11

Ex-McAfee Exec Joins Websense

, a San Diego-based maker of Web filtering software, named Gene Hodges as its president and chief executive, succeeding John Carrington, the company's CEO since 1999 who announced last year that he was resigning.

Tech Firm Secures $5.8M in Funding

, a San Diego-based provider of software tailored to the semiconductor industry, said it obtained $5.8 million in second round venture funding Jan. 11.

Hueso Wins Race for 8th District; Faulconer Leads in 2nd

San Diego businessman Ben Hueso, 36, won more than 71 percent of the vote in the Jan. 10 special election to complete the term of Ralph Inzunza in the City Council's 8th District.

Tuesday, January 10

AeroMexico Expands Local Service

AeroMexico announced the expansion of services from San Diego to Mexico City beginning Jan. 12.

Passenger Counts Climb at Lindbergh

Lindbergh Field served 6.1 percent more passengers during November than during the previous November. The tally also rose 6.2 percent during the first 11 months of last year vs. the same period in 2004.

Neurocrine Waits on FDA Review

The Food and Drug Administration has extended its time to review Neurocrine Bioscience's application for its sleeping pill Indiplon, but the company reports that it is moving forward with marketing the drug.

Sanders Rounds Out City Hall Team

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders on Jan. 10 announced the appointments of Jim Waring as the city's new deputy chief operating officer for land use and economic development and Ellen Oppenheim as the deputy chief for neighborhood services.

Chargers Won't Send Stadium Plan to Voters

Citing a lack of a development partner and a lack of cooperation at City Hall, the San Diego Chargers have abandoned putting their new stadium project on the November ballot.

Monday, January 9

Investment Fund Makes Move on Bancorp

A San Diego-based investment fund is trying to oust the entire board of directors of one of its holdings by charging the firm's board with ignoring its own bylaws.

There Was More Than One Suitor for Provide

Before Provide Commerce Inc. struck its deal to be acquired by Liberty Media Corp. last month, the San Diego-based parent of ProFlowers.com was courted by IAC/InterActive, a media company that owns the Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, Ask Jeeves and L

Survey Says Payrolls Will Climb in '06

It looks as if 2006 is going to be a pleasant year for local business owners, according to a recent survey that found a large number of respondents expect to see increased sales and employee numbers.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Philanthropy; Executive Spotlight: William Polito

Biosite Squares Off With European Pharma Giant

Biosite, Inc., the county's life science company with the most employees, is under fire from a division of Basel, Switzerland-based pharmaceutical giant F. Hoffman-La Roche, Ltd.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

Sycuan, Property Manager Sue Each Other in Hotel Dispute

On the surface, a lawsuit filed by the Sycuan Tribal Development Corp. against San Diego-based American Property Management LLC, and the subsequent countersuit against the tribe are about which entity breached a management contract for the historic U.S. G

New Arrival to Infuse Jack-FM With Personality

Nine months after adopting a radical new music format and ditching its on-air personalities, Jack 100.7 is ready to re-enter the morning radio show market with a stand-up comic at the microphone.

New Bar Designed to Serve Up Shots of Denim

L.A. Fairchild Denim Bar has been open less than three months and is already gaining attention in national press for its unusual retail design.

Biotech Scene Has Taiwanese Accent

Like many Taiwanese scientists here, Wan-Ho Shu began to think that starting his own firm was the only way to reach the executive chair. So the eager scientist became a determined entrepreneur.

Turning Creativity Into Profits Takes a Team

Question: How can a small business turn creative ideas into logical profits?

Avo Farmers Hope to Harvest Big Crop Here

This season's avocado crop is expected to be California's biggest since 1992-93. "We will probably pick three times as much fruit as we did last year," said grower Jerome Stehly.

Week in Review

Top Business News: Dec. 30, 2005 - Jan. 5, 2006

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: Jan. 10 - 16

Construction Journal

Contract awards and construction milestones

San Diego May Be Shorted By Homeland Security Fund Cuts

The San Diego region may lose millions of dollars in federal anti-terrorism grants, after the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to trim the city from a list of at-risk metropolitan areas.

State's Preschool Plan Flies on a Wing and a Prayer

State's Preschool Plan Flies on a Wing and a Prayer

Phones Offer More Than Call Options

A good cell phone plan is nothing without a quality phone. As phones continue to sport new bells and whistles, it'll take a discerning eye to pick and choose what is best for business needs.

Gadgets Spurring Demand; Tough Going for PCs

Forget Corporate America. Consumers and gadgets are expected to spur technology sales in 2006.

Will 2006 Prove to Be a Big Year for India?

Will 2006 Prove to Be a Big Year for India?

Despite Low Profile, Ag Industry in a Growth Spurt

Eric Larson, executive director for the San Diego County Farm Bureau, predicts that while profits will continue for the agriculture industry into 2006, they could be threatened by short- and long-term challenges.

Small Business Spotlight: Sigalert.com

Joel Johnstone and Jonathan Berke, owners of Sigalert.com.

CancerVax, German Firm to Merge

San Diego's CancerVax Corp. has announced a planned merger with European biopharmaceutical company Micromet AG.

Univision Courts Older Radio Audience

Fans of VIVA 102.9 FM are in for a surprise this week as the Spanish-language radio station changes formats to cater to a more mature audience.

Hybrids Get an Upgrade With Toyota Highlander

Hybrids Get an Upgrade With Toyota Highlander

Paying a Higher Price for Education

Paying a Higher Price for Education

Tijuana-S.D. Relations Are Beginning to Warm

Early indications that Mayor Jerry Sanders will make relations with Tijuana a priority include an official meeting with Tijuana Mayor Jorge Hank Rhon several days before Sanders was sworn in.

Sanders Confronts a Long List of Challenges

Accountability, accessibility and efficiency. That's what several San Diego executives hope will come from the new administration of Mayor Jerry Sanders, the city's first strong mayor.

Executive Profile: Judy Walsh

Judy Walsh is in her second year as president of Time Warner Cable's San Diego division.

Small Business Help Line

Question: How can a small business turn creative ideas into logical profits?

Economist Predicts 'Orderly' Home Price Shift

California's economy should grow about the same rate as the nation's economy this year, or at about 3.25 percent, despite an expected slowdown in the housing market, said economist Dana Johnson.

Seeking Coverage

Many in the business world take advantage of the fresh start in January to look at their expenses and to find ways to be more efficient. For mobile professionals and small-business owners, one of the prime targets for re-evaluation is their cell phone ser

Sempra: Bankruptcy Was Too Big a Risk

The risks were easy for Sempra Energy Chairman Stephen L. Baum to see. Putting his company's future in the hands of a San Diego jury could've left the energy provider bankrupt. So rather than risk the company, Baum instead chose to settle a class-action l

Bubble Discussions Are So 2005, Panelists Say

How to sum up the residential real estate market? Says one observer, "I am weary of bubble discussions."

Proxy: Charlotte Russe Holding, Inc.

Charlotte Russe Holding, Inc.

Aerospace Giant Could Supply County's IT Needs

The county could turn to Northrop Grumman Information Technology Inc. to provide the county's IT services. The Board of Supervisors is expected to take up the seven-year, $667 million contract when it meets Jan. 24.

Friday, January 6

Pension Officials Indicted

Three former trustees and the administrator of the San Diego Employees' Retirement System and its lawyer have been charged by a federal grand jury with wire fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in a 20-count indictment.

Vivendi Buys Video Game Developer

High Moon Studios, an independent Carlsbad video game developer, has been purchased by Vivendi Universal Games.

Diversa Cuts Jobs, Shifts Focus

Diversa Corp. is cutting 85 employees as it eliminates some less-promising products and programs.

Office Tower Plans Unveiled

The San Diego office of Hines, an international real estate firm, on Jan. 6 announced its purchase of a 3-acre site along La Jolla Village Drive for development of a 450,000-square-foot high-rise office tower.

Financing Lined Up for Palomar Development

Chicago-based Wrightwood Capital has provided $25.5 million to finance the construction of 14 industrial buildings in Carlsbad, part of the 50-acre Palomar Forum Business Park.

Leadership Change at Grossmont College

Grossmont College staff began the year with news that Ted Martinez will no longer serve as college president.

DJ Grows By Acquisition

DJ Orthopedics Inc., a Vista-based maker of prosthetic devices, said it completed the acquisition Jan. 6 of Newmed SAS, a French maker of orthopedic rehabilitation devices.

Thursday, January 5

Offbeat Job for Temp Agency

For those who have always dreamed of running away and joining the circus, Manpower's San Diego office is offering the next best thing.

Qualcomm Buys Chip Maker

Qualcomm Inc. has acquired Silicon Valley-based Berkana Wireless Inc. for $56 million in cash. Berkana makes radio-frequency chips.

Council President Sketches Vision

Scott Peters, serving as San Diego's first City Council president under the new strong mayor system, introduced his action plan for 2006, noting in a Jan. 5 speech that "Our great city has not lived up to its potential."

Economist Predicts Year With 'Orderly' Home Price Shift

California's economy should grow about the same rate as the nation's economy this year, or at about 3.25 percent, despite an expected slowdown in the housing market, said economist Dana Johnson.

Wednesday, January 4

Univision Courts Older Radio Audience

Fans of VIVA 102.9 FM are in for a surprise this week as the Spanish-language radio station changes formats to cater to a more mature audience.

Florida Company to Run Jail

The federal government has renewed its contract with the Florida company that runs its 700-bed Western Region Detention Facility in Downtown San Diego.

Sempra Settles Class-Action Lawsuit

Sempra Energy reached a $377 million settlement Jan. 4 that will effectively end a massive class-action lawsuit that threatened the solvency of the region's largest energy provider.

USS Reagan and Strike Group Deploy

The USS Ronald Reagan, the Navy's newest aircraft carrier, departed San Diego on its maiden deployment Jan. 4.

Tuesday, January 3

Trial Begins Over U.S. Grant Upgrades

Jury selection concluded Jan. 3 and opening statements are set to begin Jan. 4 in San Diego Superior Court on cross complaints filed by the Sycuan Tribal Development Corp. and San Diego-based American Property Management LLC, which formerly managed the U.

San Diegan Gets Homeland Security Post

Jessica Cummins, 42, of San Diego, has been appointed deputy director of planning, research and emergency preparedness for the state's Office of Homeland Security.

Global Hawk Logs 5,000th Hour in Combat

Northrop Grumman Corp. announced Jan. 3 that its Global Hawk unmanned spy plane surpassed 5,000 hours while flying in combat.

Cherashore to Advise the Fed

Grace Evans Cherashore, the president and CEO of San Diego-based Evans Hotels, was named to the advisory council to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Monday, January 2

Hong Kong the Latest War Zone For Globalization

Hong Kong the Latest War Zone For Globalization

South Bay to Finally Get Its Expressway

The commute changes slowly, so 2006 does not promise sweeping relief from traffic congestion. Yet there is a big change coming to the southern part of San Diego County.

Cost of, Access To Health Care Among Concerns

Local and national health care industry leaders expect the cost of health care to rise in the new year , both for businesses and consumers.

2006 Predictions From San Diego Pundits

Academics from four major San Diego universities give their thoughts on the business climate for 2006.

Small Business Spotlight: Southcoast Welding & Manufacturing Inc.

Patrick Shoup is the president of Southcoast Welding & Manufacturing Inc.

Firms Just Beginning to Realize Value in the Internet

Like a thirsty man squeezing the last drops of juice from an orange, companies are increasingly looking to their Internet presence to eke out just a little more productivity from their work forces.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Awards and Recognition; Executive Spotlight: Rosa Ana Lozada

Review Might Alter Military Spending Here

As 2006 dawns, the defense industry waits for the Pentagon to unveil long-range plans. Changes could be in store, but none appears as worrisome as a potential base closure had been in 2005.

Customers, Prospects or TWIRPs: There's an Important Distinction

Question: Our inbound telemarketing salespeople have long conversations with potential customers. They provide a lot of information, which the prospects who call seem willing to hear. But these efforts rarely turn into sales. What's happening?

Turnaround Specialists

A new strong mayor form of government, an aggressive advertising campaign to buff San Diego's tarnished image, and a Downtown that continues to reinvent itself , all that and more lie ahead in this new year. Facing those challenges in strategic positions

Seminars Help Small Firms Get a Jump on Competition

A new year calls for new lessons; the Small Business Development and International Trade Center at Southwestern College is offering several one-session seminars to the public this month.

S.D. Biotechs to Change Strategies in '06

San Diego biotechnology companies will go public later and outsource more science in the new year, say analysts and executives. Industry experts say venture capital funds will be plentiful and could surpass even 2000 and 2004, landmark years for investmen

Still Unsure About Condotels? Stay Tuned for '06

Hotel development could change radically in the near future if the new condotel trend, which is making hotel owners out of average investors, spreads as quickly as some expect it will.

Firms Getting a Break on Workers' Comp Rates

While liability and health insurance costs continue to rise for businesses, workers' compensation rates could continue leveling off in 2006, say industry leaders.

Small Business Help Line

Question: Our inbound telemarketing salespeople have long conversations with potential customers. They provide a lot of information, which the prospects who call seem willing to hear. But these efforts rarely turn into sales. What's happening?

A Tough Climate to Negotiate

A Tough Climate to Negotiate

Online Shopping Aside, Malls Bullish on New Year

Despite a surge in online shopping, San Diego mall and outlet center operators are forecasting strong returns in 2006 from shoppers who prefer to peruse the racks and store shelves in person.

Looking Back With an Eye Toward 2006

The San Diego Business Journal surveyed top executives from local, high-profile companies. We believe their current business success came from an ability to budget, brainstorm and maintain visionary leadership and that their predictions may accurately ref

New Lexus IS250 Facing Some Stiff Competition

New Lexus IS250 Facing Some Stiff Competition

As Goes Construction, So Goes Job Growth

Thanks to still relatively low interest rates and a generally growing economy, San Diego continued to add more jobs than it lost in the past year.

Acquisitions a Growing Trend Among Large Corporations

Flush with lots of cash from improved balance sheets and increased productivity, public companies found buying up smaller companies a popular way of growing last year.

Satellite Unlikely to Take Bite Out of San Diego Radio

In 2005, local affiliates of TV networks raced to reach the Hispanic market with Spanish-language broadcasts and daily newspapers coped with shrinking circulation rates. But perhaps the busiest media outlet in 2005 was terrestrial radio, and it looks like

Little to Cheer With Price of Gas in the New Year

After a year that saw oil prices hit $70 a barrel, the U.S. Department of Energy says there's not much relief in sight in 2006.

Proxy: WD-40 Co.

WD-40 Co.

Casino Growth Apparently No Gamble in S.D. County

American Indian tribes could lay the foundations of one or more new casinos in San Diego County during 2006, but the real action may be in government buildings.

Quotes of the Year

Quotes of the Year

Airport Panel, Port District Build for Future

The port district works to replace a cruise ship terminal as the airport panel continues a search for sites.

Newsroom Naming Rights to Be a Hot Topic

A controversial branding trend involving newsroom naming rights is likely to garner much attention in San Diego this year. Meanwhile, new client opportunities for local public relations and marketing types are expected to be abundant.

Forecast Calls for Cost of Building to Stay High

Builders, plagued by rising construction costs, just might have a solution staring them right in the face , all they have to do is lower their standards and convince their clients to lower their expectations.

The Urge to Merge Likely to Continue With Local Banks

Banking, one of the economy's most merger-prone industries, will continue that trend as most banks' profit margins shrink, and smaller, weaker banks look for exit strategies.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: Jan. 3 - 9