Stories for May 2006

Wednesday, May 31

Cardiac Programs Come Together

Scripps Health has announced it will combine cardiac programs at its Scripps Memorial La Jolla and Scripps Green hospitals and build a multimillion-dollar building to house them.

New Guilty Plea in PinnFund Case

Christopher Belaire, a waiter working at PinnFund USA, the now-defunct Carlsbad mortgage bank that morphed into the state's largest Ponzi scheme, pleaded guilty May 30 in U.S. District Court to two counts of filing false tax returns.

Tuesday, May 30

Business Journal Names Editor

Thomas York of San Francisco has been named editor in chief of the

Twin Office Buildings Fetch $32.2M

The Monarch Corporate Center, a 112,404-square-foot, two-building office project in Scripps Ranch, has sold for $32.2 million.

DJ Takes New Name: DJO Inc.

The Carlsbad company formerly known as DJ Orthopedics, Inc. announced May 30 it had changed its name to DJO Inc.

Air Canada Reintroduces Toronto Route

Air Canada plans to add nonstop, round-trip flights from Toronto to Lindbergh Field beginning July 1.

Corporate Center Sells for $41.5M

The Copley Corporate Center, a 120,483-square-foot building overlooking the interchange of state Route 52 and Interstate 805, has sold for $41.5 million.

Breach Plans Sales Push With VC Funds

Breach Security, Inc., a Carlsbad maker of Web application firewall appliances, received $6 million in Series B financing from Sid R. Bass Associates and Enterprise Partners Venture Capital.

Monday, May 29

Educational Contributions

San Diego colleges turn to businesses for funds to upgrade facilities.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

S.D. Meetings Focus on Stem Cell Institute's Future

About this time last year, San Diego faced the Bay Area in a high-profile battle for the controversial stem cell institute. While San Francisco came out on top, claiming the coveted stem-cell hub as its trophy, San Diego will nonetheless play an important

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones.

Small Business Spotlight: Clean Power Systems

Kirk Mulligan, president and chief executive officer, Clean Power Systems.

Basic Web Site Is Better Than No Site at All

Question: I have limited resources when it comes to building and maintaining a Web site. When I see how sophisticated other sites are, I can't help but wonder: Why bother?

Executive Profile , Craig Cornell

Craig Cornell, president, Net Cost Advisors, Inc.

Putting Leather to Pavement Won't Happen in These Shoes

In an attempt to prove you can have your cake and eat it too , or in this case, your sexy Italian stilettos , one San Diego businesswoman is venturing into the animal-safe, eco-friendly footwear industry.

Japan's New Pride of the Yankees

Japan's New Pride of the Yankees

Attorneys Help Firms Avoid Corporate Fraud

The post-Enron scrutiny on businesses might not be making them more honest, but many of them are taking great pains to police themselves. Giving them a seasoned hand is former U.S. Attorney Chuck La Bella, now in private practice.

California Hospital Pricing Data Now Available Online

Data from a new California law that requires hospitals to disclose their prices, shows San Diego facilities charge below the state average for nearly all of the most common procedures.

Week in Review

Top Business News: May 19 - 25, 2006

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Marc Baumgartner

A Sharper Image

As the movie industry's most lucrative season gets under way, San Diego theater owners eager for that competitive edge are increasingly turning to a new form of attraction , digital projection.

Affordable Housing Plan Gets Costly

The long-simmering debate over how to solve San Diego's housing affordability dilemma is raging again now that the city's controversial inclusionary housing ordinance has been shot down by a court ruling.

Letters

'One and Done,' Cut and Run; Trails , More Than Scenery

SpaceDev Launches Its Bid for New Shuttle

When the time arrives to replace the aging space shuttle, a Poway-based firm wants to be involved in its delivery. SpaceDev, Inc. was named one of six finalists to develop a replacement shuttle for NASA.

No Lack of Deals Happening Across S.D. County

Big deals have been plentiful for San Diego's real estate industry of late. Among them: the sale of the Merrill Lynch Building in La Jolla.

Adventrx Cancels Stock Offering

Adventrx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. canceled a second public offering of common stock recently, citing "adverse market conditions."

Bank for Sale? List of Candidates Few and Far Between

The most recent bank acquisition of Escondido-based Community Bancorp by First Community Bancorp will probably not be the last bank deal in the county, although most local bankers say the field of possible targets is shrinking.

South County Makes Push For Companies Big and Small

Would-be small-business owners looking for a place to set up shop or simply a change of scenery are being encouraged to consider calling South County home.

Biz Group Wants to Make Pacific Beach Clean and Safe

Discover Pacific Beach wants to improve that community's look and reputation by picking up trash, eliminating unsightly graffiti, deep cleaning the sidewalks and hiring some non-threatening security patrols to walk the beat.

Ramona National Bank Looks to Get Healthy

Ramona National Bank, operating under a consent order from the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for the past five months, continues to make mandated changes from its primary regulator.

Biz Leaders: Miramar Vote Would Divide City

Asking voters to approve the continued pursuit of a portion of Miramar Marine Corps Air Station to relocate San Diego International Airport from Lindbergh Field is likely to divide business groups and San Diegans, in general, into two camps.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: May 30 - June 5

Official Earns Award for College Research

Donations, contributions and good deeds.

Universities, Companies Benefit From Partnerships

One development that is changing the face of course work and becoming overwhelmingly popular at colleges is the creation of partnerships between local businesses and schools.

General: Intelligence Plays Bigger Role in War Effort

Army Brig. Gen. John Custer, director of intelligence for U.S. Central Command in Florida, was in San Diego on May 18 to advocate expanding intelligence and diplomacy efforts for the war on terror.

Proxy , Wireless Facilities, Inc.

Wireless Facilities, Inc.

Friday, May 26

Gas Prices Inch Downward

San Diego gasoline prices declined slightly during the week preceding Memorial Day weekend, to an average of $3.40 per gallon on May 26.

Qualcomm TV Chip Has Power of Three

Qualcomm Inc. on May 26 announced plans for a new microchip: a modem that allows people to watch television on their mobile handset.

Thursday, May 25

UCAN Reflects on Enron Verdicts

A local utility watchdog group responded to the conviction of former Enron Corp. Founder Kenneth Lay and Former CEO Jeffrey Skilling on May 25 with a call for stronger patrols of corporate malfeasance.

Accredited to Buy Aames

Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co., a San Diego-based mortgage bank specializing in non-prime mortgages, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Aames Investment Corp. in a stock and cash deal valued at $340 million.

Sanders Won't Take Sides on Miramar

If officials running San Diego International Airport expect local politicians to persuade federal officials about annexing part of Miramar Marine Corps Air Station as a spot on which to relocate the airport, they'd be wasting their time knocking on San Di

Petco Store Openings Eat Into Profits

Petco Animal Supplies Inc., a San Diego-based pet retail chain, reported net income of $11 million on revenue of $521 million for the first quarter.

Pipeline Repair Work Under Way

Construction to repair a damaged, untreated water pipeline at Mission Trails Regional Park could take several weeks, according to the San Diego County Water Authority. Repairing pipes and installing the bypass pipeline will cost about $860,000.

Wednesday, May 24

Allstate Gives S.D. Drivers Good Marks

San Diego drivers were ranked the second safest in the nation among cities with more than 1 million people, according to a report done by Allstate Insurance Co.

Procopio Hits the Mark

Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP has been named the top San Diego trademark law firm for the second year in a row by

Youths Ready for Summer Work

The San Diego Workforce Partnership, a regional job-training agency, launched its 2006 summer jobs and internship program May 24, calling on local businesses to help youths prepare for their futures.

Smyth Nominated to Civil Service Board

Attorney Nora L. Smyth has been nominated to serve on the San Diego Civil Service Commission by Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Credit Unions' Future on Regulator's Mind

Visiting San Diego on May 22, Rodney Hood, the vice chairman of the National Credit Union Administration, told a group of credit union executives they "can't let the banking community chart our destiny."

New Leader for U-T's Spanish Weekly

Longtime McClatchy newspaperman Francisco Mata has been chosen to lead Enlace, a weekly published in Spanish by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Chargers, County Officials Talk May 25

Now that the city of San Diego has officially given its blessing to the San Diego Chargers to talk to other cities in the county, the team plans to meet with two elected county supervisors May 25 to explore possibilities.

Housing Law Ruled Unconstitutional

The San Diego Superior Court on May 24 ruled that the city of San Diego's inclusionary housing ordinance is unconstitutional.

Qualcomm Takes Nokia to Court

San Diego-based wireless firm Qualcomm Inc. is suing cell phone manufacturer Nokia Corp. in the United Kingdom for alleged patent infringement.

Tuesday, May 23

Avanir Acquires Alamo's Assets

San Diego's Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has acquired Alamo Pharmaceuticals, gaining Alamo's recently approved drug for schizophrenia.

Medical Professionals To Converge Here

San Diego will be home to the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 53rd annual meeting June 3-7.

Genentech Resumes Sign-Ups for Avastin

Genentech, Inc. announced it is resuming patient recruitment for testing a cancer drug despite 18 deaths of enrollees , including some sudden fatalities and some among young patients.

Airport Planners Narrow Focus to Miramar

Instead of saying yea or nay on a specific site, voters may be asked to decide if it makes sense conceptually to pursue using a portion of Miramar Marine Corps Air Station for an international airport.

Monday, May 22

SmartDraw Gives a Little Ink to Nation's Legal Eagles

The Department of Justice , arguably the world's largest law office , has signed up to use graphics software created by the local company SmartDraw.com.

Week in Review

Top Business News: May 12 - 18, 2006

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

Maritime Industry Contributions Need to Be Recognized

Maritime Industry Contributions Need to Be Recognized

Troubled Firm AMS Taps New Chief Executive

Advanced Marketing Systems has hired its fourth president since FBI agents raided the company's Sorrento Mesa headquarters in 2003.

Execs Go Full Throttle on Rescues

When they aren't running multi-billion-dollar companies or hearing federal immigration cases, several San Diego professionals are saving lives by volunteering on the Sheriff's Department's Search and Rescue team.

Economic Investment Beats New Gas Taxes

Economic Investment Beats New Gas Taxes

San Diego's Hotel-Sales Market Remains Red Hot

High gas prices and inflation fears may have local tourism officials fretting about the summer visitor count, but the situation apparently hasn't dampened the desire for San Diego hotel properties.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: May 23 - 27

Water Pump Opens in Chula Vista

A dedication ceremony for the recently completed Eastlake Greens water pump station in Chula Vista was held in mid-May.

BID Stands for a Bad Idea

BID Stands for a Bad Idea

Firms Look to Benefit From Desalination Plant

A proposed large-scale desalination plant in Carlsbad has suppliers lining up to offer their new technologies and equipment.

Putting Tribes First

Tribal First, an insurance company, has found itself a niche serving American Indian governments and their business enterprises.

Shileys Give To Alzheimer's Association

Donald and Darlene Shiley donated $65,000 to the Alzheimer's Association's seventh annual Memories in the Making.

Citizens Group to Discuss Water Resources

Citizens Coordinate for Century 3, or C-3, will hold a breakfast meeting at 7:30 a.m. May 25 on the subject of "Water for Future Growth: Where Will It Come From?"

First Community Grows Locally With Acquisition

Sometimes timing is everything, and that appears to be the case in the sale of Escondido-based Community Bancorp to Rancho Santa Fe-based First Community Bancorp, the parent firm of First National Bank in San Diego.

ConVis Hopes the Ahhhhs Have It

The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau will spend $2.9 million on an advertising campaign that was launched in April and runs through June. The TV spots will air on national cable channels as well as regional cable stations in nearby markets.

Ponder This: Why Do Lawmakers Reinvent the Wheel?

John Schlicher, newly ensconced as a partner in the San Diego office of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP, wonders why some lawmakers think it's necessary to keep reinventing the wheel.

Company Chief Is Master in Art of Persuasion

Tony Aquila, a California native, went from early work in his uncle's body shop to being a serial entrepreneur , in businesses that dealt with making wrecked cars whole again.

Seminar Is A 'How to' for Networking

Small-business owners who often feel out of place at social networking functions are invited to attend "Walk the walk, talk the talk," a fund-raiser at UC San Diego.

Executive Profile: Marc Cummings

Don't look for chef Marc Cummings' face on a bottle of marinade, not for a while anyway. But his cooking show, which could be characterized as a veritable moveable feast, may soon take off in a new direction.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Joseph Snyder

Think Taxes in May? It Will Help With Finances

Question: I want to organize my finances, but where do I start?

Poll: Reforms Lowering Workers' Comp Rates

In a recently released poll, nearly 70 percent of California business owners surveyed reported a decrease in workers' compensation rates from 2004 to 2005.

Plans to Be Unveiled for SR-52 Widening

The San Diego Association of Governments and the California Department of Transportation on May 25 plan to unveil plans for the long-anticipated expansion of state Route 52.

REITs on the Rebound

San Diego's roller coaster real estate market is enough to make investors queasy, as they feverishly hunt for a relatively safe place to put their money these days. But some of them have found the REIT stuff.

Small Business Spotlight: What's Here!, Inc.

Patience may be a virtue to some, but for Jamie Sutton, being impatient has been the key to success.

Local Tech Firm Scores Big With Pro Hoops Owner

Mark Cuban, the billionaire entrepreneur owner of several media and Internet companies including HDNet, is an angel investor in Goowy, a Downtown San Diego-based maker of a computer desktop application device.

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

Building a Life After Military

Military veterans around the county are finding promising career prospects with the building trades industry, thanks to Carlsbad-based Helmets to Hardhats.

Proxy , Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Station Takes a Chance By Letting Artists Run Airwaves

It's not often that management will invite outsiders to take control of company operations. But that's exactly what happened this month at 91X when hometown rock celebrities were given full content control for seven full daytime hours.

Mayor Appoints Designee for SDCERS Board

Jo Anne SawyerKnoll has been appointed by Mayor Jerry Sanders to serve as his designee on the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System board of administration.

Neurocrine, Pfizer to Stay Connected

Pfizer, Inc. said it won't cut its relationship with San Diego's Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc., even though federal regulators gave the sleeping pill the firms co-developed only a lukewarm response.

Friday, May 19

Local Employment Figures on the Upswing

San Diego's unemployment rate declined again in April, to 3.7 percent from March's 3.9 percent, according to the latest report from the state's Employment Development Department.

Gas Prices Begin to Level Off

Relief is in sight for drivers as gas prices began to level off this week after nine weeks of increasing prices.

La Jolla Office Building Sold

The Merrill Lynch Building in La Jolla has been sold by KC 7825 Fay Ave. for $28.4 million to PERA 7825 Fay Avenue, Inc.

Thursday, May 18

Lawyers to Be Memorialized Downtown

The San Diego County Bar Foundation is scheduled to induct seven attorneys to the Distinguished Lawyers Memorial on May 24 in a ceremony at the Bar Center in Downtown San Diego.

Local Telecom Firm Acquired By Israeli Co.

a San Diego maker of telecom equipment used for voice-over Internet networks, was recently acquired by AudioCodes Ltd., an Israeli public company that is in the same business.

Government Practices Awarded Honors, Fleeces

Those brave souls who are minding the store, and those other folks who are fleecing the public coffers, all got their due May 17, courtesy of the San Diego County Taxpayer's Association.

Governor Talks of Legislation at CalBio Conference

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed San Diego's life sciences community May 18 at the 13th annual CalBio conference, encouraging companies to keep operations in San Diego.

Carlsbad Firm Hires Agency of Record

announced May 18 that the Hoffman Agency will serve as the Carlsbad-based company's public relations agency of record.

Team Promotes Fair-Housing Practices

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition and NRT Inc. parent company Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage San Diego/Inland Empire announced May 16 what they are calling an unprecedented alliance to promote best fair-housing practices in more than 35

CEO Replaced After Wireless Earnings Plummet

., a San Diego-based provider of wireless telephone equipment mainly to Third World countries, appointed Marv Tseu as its new chief executive officer and director, replacing Mike Kwon, the company's founder, who becomes honorary chairman.

Texas Firm to Build Liberty Station Hotels

The Huntington Hospitality Group has paid $6.5 million for the right to develop two hotels at Liberty Station, the former Naval Training Center site in Point Loma.

Wednesday, May 17

PR Firm Hires Veteran Journalist

San Diego-based Gable-Cook-Schmid Public Relations announced May 17 that it hired award-winning business journalist and author Larry Edwards to serve as the 4-year-old firm's senior writer.

Firm Under Legal Pressure to Sell or Close Hospital

Tenet Healthcare Corp. must sell Alvarado Hospital Medical Center by February, or the facility faces closure.

County Selects Local Banks for Investments

In an effort to publicize a strategy of investing locally, the county's investment pool announced it is depositing $1.7 million into 17 different local banks in equal, $100,000 one-year certificates of deposit.

Mayor in Step With Tourism

Many tourism officials have characterized San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders as a politician who "gets it."

Tuesday, May 16

Sempra Plans LNG Plant Expansion

Sempra LNG, a unit of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, announced May 15 increased expansion plans for its liquefied natural gas terminal in Baja California, Mexico.

SAIC Opens Virginia Facility

San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp. will support more military customers with the opening of a facility in Dumfries, Va.

SmartDraw.com Signs Deal With Feds

Scripps Ranch-based SmartDraw.com signed a licensing agreement May 16 to provide its graphics software to 25,000 legal professionals at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Neurocrine Stock Plummets on Indiplon News

Neurocrine Biosciences, Inc. received news from federal regulators that it will likely be able to sell its sleeping pill, Indiplon, but only in low doses , causing its stock to drop more than 60 percent May 16.

City Takes Legal Action to Recover Losses

With the city of San Diego on the hook for more than $100 million resulting from a 2001 case it lost to developer Roque De La Fuente, the City Council devised a strategy to recoup some of its legal costs.

State Names SDG & E; a 'Climate Leader'

A state environmental registry recently listed San Diego Gas & Electric Co. as a "Climate Action Leader."

Monday, May 15

Having the Write Stuff Could Lead To $10,000 Prize

Break out your writing utensil of choice; penning a 500-word essay could be worth $10,000 in cash to one lucky San Diego business owner.

Small Business How To

Question: How do you recognize a natural-born salesperson?

Gas Card Plans Could Keep Hotels Packed

Despite an optimistic forecast for summertime travel, several local hotel operators said they will offer gas cards and other perks , which essentially lower room rates , to lure visitors.

Mortgage Banks Cash In on New Business

While the market for home loans nationally has started to slow, several mortgage banks are still enjoying healthy increases in business.

'Megabank' Not Seen as Threat to Local Banks

Wachovia Corp.'s proposed blockbuster purchase of Golden West Financial Corp., the Oakland-based parent of World Savings Bank, probably won't have much effect on San Diego's smaller community banks, but will certainly be noticed by the larger mortgage len

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

Survey: Fewer Small Doctor Groups Take Medi-Cal

A recent survey by the San Diego County Medical Society reveals that trends among small physician practices here are creating a Catch-22 for doctors and patients.

New Study Predicts Rising Rents in Downtown

Downtown San Diego has been the site of some serious sales activity in the past 12 months, with seven high-rises changing hands for a combined value of $1.1 billion.

Qualcomm, Microsoft Have New Pact

San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. is combining its hardware with Microsoft Corp.'s software to expand their positions in a growing wireless telephone market.

Alvarado Hospital Might Be Forced to Shut Down

San Diego County could be facing the fifth closure of a local hospital in the last 10 years.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Richard Middleberg

Firm Follows Secure Route to Profitability

A huge influx of federal funding for the Department of Homeland Security since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 has boosted the fortunes of companies such as Mattman Security Vehicles.

City Pursues, Settles Junk-Fax Suit

San Diego city officials announced the settlement of a junk-fax lawsuit against Orange County-based Fax.Com, Inc. on May 15 for $428,000.

Feds Call Retirement Fund a Ponzi Scheme

A federal grand jury has indicted a La Jolla attorney and two other men, alleging their involvement in a Ponzi scheme.

Week in Review

Top Business News: May 5 - 11, 2006

Qualcomm City Emerging in Sorrento Valley

In Sorrento Valley, Qualcomm holds the keys to the county's two largest construction projects under way.

Mack Barclay Sold

Mack Barclay Inc., a San Diego accounting firm specializing in damages analysis and forensic accounting analysis, was sold to LECG LLC, a public accounting firm based in Emeryville, for a package valued at $22 million.

Look for 5 Qualities When Hiring Salespeople

Question: How do you recognize a natural-born salesperson?

San Diego Businessman Has Street Smarts

One key to the concept of new urbanism is narrow streets with parking on at least one side. James Hagey compares wider streets, like those now found in today's suburbs, to 'sewers.'

Burnham: Local Office, Industrial Vacancy Rates Still Dropping

San Diego County's office and industrial vacancy rates continue to decline, driven by healthy supply and demand in both sectors.

Ability Center Modifies to Meet a Growing Demand

Auto manufacturers aren't the only companies accommodating the demand for modified vans. San Diego-based Ability Center, Inc. has been installing adaptive equipment on vehicles for a dozen years.

The Unexamined Mystery of Japan's Koizumi

The Unexamined Mystery of Japan's Koizumi

Carlsbad Importer Gives SoCal a Taste of Costa Rica

Carlsbad-based Black Eagle Imports, LLC, which has exclusive rights to import Costa Rica's No. 1-selling beer in California, announced this month that Imperial Cerveza is now available in 10 Southern California counties.

Investors Dream of What May Be With Imagine

With $10 million in hand, Imagine Communications looks to create personalized television.

Executive Profile , Jamie Ogle

James Albert "Jamie" Ogle III, president and chief executive officer of Lloyd Pest Control.

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: May 16 - 22

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

New Kyocera Wireless Boss Is Making Global Wireless Footprint

Rodney Lanthorne is leading the charge to steer San Diego-based Kyocera Wireless Corp.'s technology through a global expansion.

Pfizer Exec, Others to Speak

The Sino-American Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Professionals Association is holding its fifth annual bio-pharma conference, titled "Challenges to the 21st Century Medicine," on June 10.

San Diego's Nurse Ratio Is Ailing, Study Says

The greater San Diego area received a "D" grade for nurse ratios in a recent study that looked at 24 metropolitan areas in California.

Small Business Spotlight: Aesthetyx

Judy Compton, owner of Aesthetyx.

First Banks Finds A Good Deal in S.D. Community

The sale of San Diego Community Bank to St. Louis-based First Banks Inc. had been in the works for about a year. San Diego Community, which has three offices and $92 million in assets, was acquired for $9 per share in cash, or about $25.5 million.

Architecture Firm Gains Gold Award

Architecture Firm Gains Gold Award

Home Foreclosures Grow

San Diego County's foreclosure rate rose by 59.7 percent during the first quarter of 2006, according to a new report by DataQuick Information Systems, while San Diego's home values increased by 4.8 percent.

Stepping Back in Time

James Hagey has plans to bring "new urbanism" , a housing and commercial real estate development trend that replicates historic neighborhoods , to San Diego County.

Swinerton Building Onto Century-Old Legacy

Not many companies in California can claim the distinction of a century-old reputation, but Swinerton Inc. can.

Voit Builds Its Business Despite Land Crunch

It hasn't taken Voit Development Co. long to amass $100 million in assets in San Diego County.

Fix the Region's Sewer Pipes Before They Break

Fix the Region's Sewer Pipes Before They Break

Judge and Counsel

Legal superstar Bill Lerach and prominent Judge Lawrence Irving, now colleagues in Lerach's San Diego-based firm, are mutually committed to slaying dragons in corrupt corporate kingdoms near and far.

Proxy

K2 Inc.

Troubled AMS Taps New Chief Executive

Advanced Marketing Services Inc., a San Diego-based book distributor that works mainly with club warehouse chains, named Gary M. Rautenstrauch as its new president and chief executive.

San Diego National Starts Year on a Down Note

San Diego National Bank reported net income for its first quarter of $7.4 million, down 8 percent from 2005's first quarter.

Friday, May 12

Cubic's Quarterly Sales Are $206.6M

San Diego-based Cubic Corp. reported earnings grew by 32 percent on sales of $206.6 million for the quarter ended March 31.

Thursday, May 11

Stock Cost Dampens BofI Earnings

B of I Holding Inc., parent firm to the Bank of Internet USA, reported net income for its third quarter ended March 31 of $828,000, down 3.6 percent from the like period of 2005.

Panel Puts Forth Options to Keep Chargers Local

With talk of the San Diego Chargers possibly leaving San Diego, a May 13roundtable discussion at the San Diego Hall of Champions produced a number of new scenarios to explore.

Study Predicts Rising Rents Downtown

Downtown San Diego has been the site of some serious sales activity in the past 12 months, with seven high-rises changing hands for a combined value of $1.1 billion.

Assets, Loans Up at Pacific Trust

First PacTrust Bancorp Inc., the holding company for Chula Vista-based Pacific Trust Bank, reported net income of $1.11 million for the first quarter, down from $1.15 million in the prior year's first quarter.

Air Travel Levels Off in March

After posting monthly gains of 6 percent throughout most of 2005, the passenger count at Lindbergh Field eased up during the first quarter.

Navy Says No To Airport, Again

Just in case the agency responsible for recommending a new site for San Diego International Airport forgot what the Navy has been saying all along, its top official repeated the message last week: None of the county's military bases are fair game.

Wednesday, May 10

Chula Vista Bank Sale Marks End of Era

San Diego Community Bank, based in Chula Vista with $92 million in assets and three offices, is being sold to First Banks Inc., a St. Louis-based commercial lender with a single office in Downtown, for $9 per share in cash or an aggregate $25.5 million.

Customer Base Grows at Leap

Leap Wireless International Inc., a San Diego provider of flat-rate wireless service mainly in middle markets, reported net income of $17.7 million for the first quarter, compared with $7.5 million for the like period of 2005.

Piracy Fight Goes To Flea Market

A San Diego Superior Court judge has ordered an Oak Park flea market to curtail the sale of pirated music and movie products, and has ordered its owner to install 24-hour surveillance cameras in an attempt curb other criminal behavior.

Hotel Occupancy Off Slightly

Occupancy at San Diego's inns was off slightly during the 28 days ending May 6 versus the same year-ago period. Nevertheless, innkeepers charged higher rates.

County Inches Toward Immigration Study

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors decided May 9 to compile a preliminary report to determine the scope and cost of evaluating the fiscal impact of illegal immigrants on county services.

Tuesday, May 9

Cubic Lays Off 25

Cubic Corp. said a recent consolidation within its defense applications division resulted in the layoff of 25 employees last week.

Monday, May 8

Proxy , Document Sciences Corp.

Document Sciences Corp.

Consider Financial Wellness Programs Too

Question: An obviously embarrassed employee in need of cash fast came to me asking for a payday advance. While I feel for him, I'm concerned his money troubles could be affecting his productivity and I'm in no position to give him a raise. Am I right to b

Is China Trying To Fool The West On Korea?

Is China Trying To Fool The West On Korea?

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: May 9 - 15

Good Times Forecast for Landlords

Occupancy rates should remain high in San Diego County's apartment market, thanks to rising rental demand and a shortage of new supply, according to a forecast from Hendricks & Partners.

Feds Threaten to Withhold Alvarado Payments

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced May 8 that it intends to exclude Alvarado Hospital Medical Center from the federal Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs, which could cause the hospital to close.

Illegal Immigrants Aren't the Issue; It's Their Families

Illegal Immigrants Aren't the Issue; It's Their Families

Progress Report

Sales and Leases.

Changes to Patent System May Harm Biotechs

The patent system , called the "backbone" of drug development , may be in for its biggest changes in a half-century.

Wachovia Buys World Savings Parent

Wachovia Corp. agreed May 7 to acquire Golden West Financial Corp., the parent of World Savings, which has seven branches in San Diego.

Museum Blows New Life Into Wind Tunnel

The San Diego Air & Space Museum recently rescued a low-speed wind tunnel from demise at the hands of former owner Allied Aerospace of Newport News, Va.

Sempra Follows Lead of Others With Director Elections

Predicting the future is always best left to clairvoyants, but a proposal contained in Sempra Energy's May 4 annual shareholders meeting is about as close to a slam-dunk as it gets.

The Boutique Fisherman

Matt Rimel, who has built a successful restaurant business focusing on fresh seafood, has found a way to work both sides of the food chain. Rimel and his wife, Jacqueline, recently launched Ocean Giant, a commercial fishing venture with a difference.

High-Profile Lodge at Torrey Pines Is Up for Sale

The Evans Hotel Group, an independent San Diego-based lodging company, has apparently placed the crown jewel of its three hotels, the Lodge at Torrey Pines that rims the famed Torrey Pines Golf Course, on the block.

Pet Magazine Finds a Good Home to Publish

The wait is over for San Diego pet lovers; a monthly magazine devoted entirely to them and their furry, feathery or perhaps even scaly companions is back.

Advertisers Claim They're Loyal to Channel 10

Mad as hell. That pretty much sums up how at least one local retailer is feeling this week after becoming one of more than 100 advertisers caught in the middle of a labor dispute at KGTV Channel 10.

Hotel BID Slowly Gains Citywide Backing

A plan to boost tourism marketing by letting local hotels ante up a pot of funding and charge it off to their customers may soon make its way onto a San Diego City Hall agenda.

Local Bank Gives $500K For Project

Local Bank Gives $500K For Project

Air Force Deal Could Boost Local Staffing In Aerospace

Global defense firm Northrop Grumman Corp. will compete against the Boeing Co. for a multi-billion-dollar Air Force contract that could bring thousands of jobs to San Diego during several decades.

Space at a Premium in San Diego's Industrial Market

Supply and demand was key to San Diego's industrial market during the first quarter of 2006, with demand rising, while vacancy continued to tighten.

BMW M5 a Delight for Techies, But Not Drivers

BMW M5 a Delight for Techies, But Not Drivers

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Anna-Marie Marchesi

Issues to Ponder When Employing Your Children as Summer Help

Small-business owners in San Diego can face Internal Revenue Service penalties if they fail to properly pay their summer help.

Amylin Posts Strong 1Q Sales

Better than expected sales of Byetta, an injection to treat diabetes made from the saliva of a Gila monster lizard, have left Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. panting to keep up with manufacturing demand.

Construction Journal

Contract awards and construction milestones.

Executive Profile , Bill VanDeWeghe

When Bill VanDeWeghe advises a government contractor or other defense-related firm on financial strategies, he often considers how the transaction would be affected from a tech standpoint.

New Navy Ships Set for Assignment in San Diego

The Navy's first four high-speed littoral combat ships designed to counter terrorist warfare close to shore will be home-ported at Naval Station San Diego.

Small Business Spotlight: Groovy Like a Movie

Brent Altomare knows all too well that the downside of having grown up surrounded by success is that it can hide the many pitfalls on the bumpy ride to the top.

Viejas Rolls Out Its New $25 Million Gaming Wing

Viejas opens a casino expansion with a style all its own.

Adventrx Completes Merger With Private Firm

Adventrx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. recently announced that its merger with privately held SD Pharma is final.

What Our Tax Dollars Pay For

What Our Tax Dollars Pay For

If You Own It, Will They Come?

To own or not to own, that is the question many San Diego businesses are asking themselves these days as they cope with rising rents and shrinking office space , especially Downtown.

Kelly Seals The Deal On Envelope Unit Sale

Kelly Capital, a San Diego-based holding company, sold its Atlantic Envelope Co. to National Envelope Co. in a deal that netted the local firm about $70 million.

Biological Confusion

A sticky concoction of innovation, intellectual property, generic drugs and money is brewing in the biotechnology industry.

Clarivest Touts a New Vision for Investments

The former leader of an equity unit of San Diego-based Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management, who said he was unable to obtain better compensation for his team, decided earlier this year to set up his own shop and took five of his team members with him.

Week in Review

Top Business News: April 28 - May 4, 2006

Sundays Just Got a Bit More Pricey at Qualcomm

San Diego Chargers management promises this season fans will see an improved parking situation at Qualcomm Stadium, but it'll cost more too.

Friday, May 5

Horn Calls for Immigrant Study

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors on May 9 is expected to consider a request by its chairman, Bill Horn, to authorize a comprehensive report on the fiscal impact of illegal immigrants on county services.

Qualcomm, Microsoft Have New Pact

San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc. is combining its hardware with Microsoft Corp.'s software to expand their positions in a growing wireless telephone market.

Thursday, May 4

Desalination Plant Takes Another Step

Carlsbad's planning board on May 3 gave its wholehearted support for the construction of a large-scale desalination plant.

Calbio on Calendar for May 18

Biocom will hold its 13th annual Calbio 2006 biotechnology conference May 18 in San Diego.

Advanced Marketing Exec Resigns

Advanced Marketing Services Inc., a San Diego book distributor to large club warehouse stores such as Costco, announced CEO and President Bruce C. Myers resigned effective May 3.

DJO Posts Earnings, Stock Climbs

Dj Orthopedics Inc., a Vista manufacturer of medical rehabilitation products, reported net income of $5.9 million on revenue of $82.6 million for its first quarter ended April 1.

Wednesday, May 3

Viejas, Manchester Team Up for Project

Hotelier Doug Manchester has carved out another piece of the real estate pie on San Diego's bay front.

Tech Companies to Beckon Backers

Five San Diego companies will share information about their technologies at the eighth annual AeA Micro Cap Financial Conference from May 7 to 9 in Monterey.

Kendrick Completes 47-Year Career

Veteran San Diego banker Ron Kendrick retired from Union Bank of California on May 1, ending a 47-year career at the lender.

Qualcomm Sets Sights Higher

Qualcomm Inc., which makes microchips and licenses technology for wireless communications, bumped up its earnings forecast May 3 in advance of a meeting with analysts.

Tuesday, May 2

Commodities Are Kind to Sempra

Sempra Energy, parent to San Diego Gas & Electric Co., reported first-quarter net income of $255 million, up 14 percent from the first quarter of 2005.

Trizec Makes San Diego Debut

Trizec Properties, Inc., based in Chicago, on May 2 announced that it has completed the acquisition of two Downtown high-rises and 11 other Southern California office properties from Arden Realty Inc. for about $1.6 billion.

One More Role for Kyocera's Lanthorne

Rodney Lanthorne, the president of Kyocera International Inc., has been appointed president of the firm's San Diego-based Kyocera Wireless Corp. division.

Chargers Get Room to Negotiate

Are you ready for Chula Vista Chargers? It could happen after the San Diego City Council approved a measure May 1 amending the football team's contract to allow discussions with other cities in the county.

Monday, May 1

For the Record

Business Events Calendar: May 2 - 8

No Red Herring Here: S.D. Tech Firms Seek Honors

Eight San Diego technology and biotechnology firms are among 200 finalists in the annual Red Herring 100 North America competition.

Casually Clad Attorney Serious About Small-Claims Court

There is three-piece-suit law, and then there is blue-jeans law. Jeffrey A. Isaac subscribes to the latter. San Diego's famed "lawyer in blue jeans" and prodigious author has released his latest book, "Blue Jeans Law: Guide to Winning in Small Claims Cour

Hu Jintao's Slide Show Dinner Party

Hu Jintao's Slide Show Dinner Party

Running an Ethical Firm a Key for Local Handyman

For small-business owner Mike Khodaey, basic business ethics are a matter of civic pride.

Pair of Businesses Add Colombian Flair to El Cajon

It was literally a life or death scenario that led small-business owners Antonio Gomez and Ofelia Nieto, his wife, to seek refuge in the United States.

Southwest Community Deal Is Likely to Close By June

The acquisition of Carlsbad's Southwest Community Bancorp announced in February is on the fast track and should happen by June 9.

New ConVis CEO Brings 'Remarkable' Background

A successful executive leaves a company he helped take to new heights to run a tourism bureau that has been embroiled in a political tug of war and suffered significant revenue cuts. The money is good, but it's average compared with a cross section of bur

Mom Finds Joy in Caring for Other Parents' Children

Lia Woldu, who legally emigrated from Ethiopia as an adult, holds a special, empathetic place in her heart for children.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Marian Marum

Leap Wireless Finally Connects Locally

Leap Wireless International Inc., the locally based flat-rate wireless carrier primarily offered in middle market cities, is rolling out its low-cost service called Cricket in San Diego.

New Leader, More Cash for PhotoThera

PhotoThera Inc., a Carlsbad company developing a laser treatment for stroke patients, will end the month with a new leader and a $30.5 million infusion of venture capital.

Wachovia Corp. Pulls the Plug on Lending Unit Here

AmNet Mortgage Inc., the San Diego-based mortgage bank that was acquired by Charlotte, N.C.-based Wachovia Corp. in December, discontinued its subprime lending unit and eliminated about 100 positions earlier this year.

Construction Journal

Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

PR Firm Up For National Recognition

PR Firm Up For National Recognition

Assess Risk Before Obtaining Financing

Question: What are my options for financing the growth of my business?

Refugee From Bosnia Finds the Good Life in S.D.

Homeownership, a prospering small business and his only daughter about to graduate from college; refugee Will Deretic knows he could not ask for a better life.

Week in Review

Top Business News: April 21 - 27, 2006

Kashi Takes Its Roots on the Road

Kashi executives Jeff Johnson and Greg Fleishman are convinced that the best way to grow their business is by using one of the ad industry's trendiest new buzzwords , massroots.

Telcordia Sale Boosts SAIC's Profit

Science Applications International Corp., a San Diego-based research and engineering firm, reported net income of $144 million for its fourth quarter that ended Jan. 31, up 7 percent from the previous year's fourth quarter.

Reliable Electricity Is at Risk in California

Reliable Electricity Is at Risk in California

Is the Small Business Administration Overdue for an Overhaul?

Is the Small Business Administration Overdue for an Overhaul?

Winery Downsizes to Go Back to the Basics

Callaway Vineyard & Winery, which had one of its brands on major retailers' shelves, is going back to its roots.

Jimsair Seeks FAA's Help in Airport Dispute

Jimsair Aviation Services, which has been trying unsuccessfully for nearly a decade to get approval to build a new terminal at Lindbergh Field, has alleged that the agency running the airport is discriminating against it and has asked the federal governme

Businesses Brace for the Fallout From Boycott

Come the morning of May 1, more than a few San Diego businesses could be short-staffed because of a planned economic boycott to dramatize the need for immigration reform.

City in Line to Participate in Health Cost Project

San Diego could be one of about a dozen American cities selected for a federal project to make more health pricing information public.

Callaway's New Executive Asks Analysts to Be Patient

Sales were flat but net income was up during the first quarter at Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf Co.

Insurance Bill Would Affect State's Small Firms

Historic federal health care insurance legislation to be considered as early as next week would have a major impact on California's small businesses. The type of effect depends on whom you ask.

Electrical Engineer Runs Dry Cleaning Business

Raisa Annenkova runs Sunbeam Cleaners in Oceanside, a business she chose to start after a language barrier stopped her from reviving the electrical engineering career she once had in her native Ukraine.

A Market for Mansions

While the luxury home might stay on the market longer these days, many well-heeled homebuyers seem to be insulated from San Diego's softening real estate market.

Caterer Discovers African Spice Is Hot in North County

At an age when many American youths are pushing away from their family ties in search of their own independence, 21-year-old Kamse Karie is a devoted player in his family's budding catering business.

Legal Angles of the Web Is Focus of Discussion

Internet and the law will be the topic in an upcoming free, two-hour seminar designed specifically for small-business owners interested in beefing up their online operations.

Chicken Helps Fatten Jack's Bottom Line

Skittish customers could pose a serious threat for San Diego-based Jack in the Box, which introduced several chicken dishes recently as part of a five-year plan to fatten its bottom line.

Proxy , Vical Inc.

Vical Inc.

New Partnership Adds a British Touch to UCSD

A partnership with Great Britain being launched in San Diego holds potential for local researchers and businesses to develop technology for commercial markets.

Executive Profile , Richard P. Rojeck

Whenever Richard P. Rojeck tells people he's been working at the same place for more than 25 years, they're more than a bit surprised.

Small Business Spotlight: Firenze Trattoria

Barry Podwell, owner of Firenze Trattoria in Encinitas.

Confidence in Local Economy Prompts Office Market Demand

Prognostications and first-quarter reports continue to trickle in. Grubb & Ellis/BRE Commercial reports that, during the first quarter of 2006, San Diego's office market experienced a strong demand for space.

Data Storage Becomes Manageable With Software

Resources are available to store and manage millions of gigabytes of data being produced in the private sector, as well as government, public and academic institutions.

Community Bancorp Improves Net Income in First Quarter

Escondido-based Community Bancorp had another nice quarter, improving its net income to $3.6 million in the first quarter compared with $2.5 million for the same period of 2005.

International Aid

The San Diego office of the International Rescue Committee is an unlikely contributor to the county's small-business community.

Judge Rules in Favor of Stem Cell Research in State

The judge hearing the lawsuits to repeal $3 billion for stem cell research in California has sided with voters.

Progress Report

Sales and Leases

San Diego Experiences A Condo Commotion

An effort by a San Diego City Council committee on April 26 to rein in condo conversions is "a small, but positive step, since developers put the kibosh on settlement talks," said San Diego attorney Cory Briggs. But a coalition of San Diego builders doesn