Stories for April 2007

Monday, April 30

Port Puts $9M Into Navy Pier Renovation

The $9 million renovation of the Navy Pier, started last year and continuing through December, includes an advanced storm water surface drainage system

Non-English Speakers Costing Physician Practices $19,000 a Year, Study Finds

Treating patients who speak little-to-no English costs individual physician practices on average $19,000 a year, according to a report released here last week.

San Diego Performing Arts League Recognizes Volunteer Dolly Woo

During the San Diego Performing Arts League's annual tribute to volunteers, Dolly Woo was recognized as the 2007 Gold Star honoree for her commitment to cultural arts in San Diego.

SDG & E; a Partner on Solar Conversion Project at the Science Center

The rooftop of the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center was luminous last Monday, when the center, San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and the city of San Diego unveiled more than 10,000 square feet of solar panels recently installed atop the Balboa Park building.

San Diego School Buildings Going Green With Photovoltaic Roofs

The San Diego Unified School District is saving some green by going green. Identified as the largest photovoltaic initiative among school districts in the nation, the city's school district has, so far, installed solar roofs on 24 of its schools.

San Diego Food Bank Makes Move Toward Independence

The San Diego Food Bank is going out on its own as a nonprofit organization, with help from parent Neighborhood House Association.

Nonprofit Profile , Girl Scouts, San Diego-Imperial Council Inc.

Girl Scouts, San Diego-Imperial Council Inc.

Regional Roundup

Construction on phase one of the $18 million Pacific Street Bridge project in Oceanside finished up April 17. And other news from around San Diego County.

Letter

North County to Be Well Represented on Airport Board

San Diego Detached Home Sales for March Lag State, Report Finds

While median home prices are increasing statewide year over year, San Diego is not so fortunate.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Timothy "Jay" Payne

Local Solar Turbines Unit Helps Caterpillar Spin Out Bigger Profits

While Caterpillar Inc. doesn't break out financials for Solar Turbines, it's safe to say business is faring well. According to Caterpillar's quarterly report, the prospects for growth outside North America "are very positive."

Downtown Library Designed to Be a Model of Efficiency

The $184 million San Diego main library, scheduled to be completed in 2009, will include everything from water-efficient systems to natural lighting and electric vehicle charging systems.

Qualcomm Reports Healthy Earnings Despite Legal Battles

Despite reports about Qualcomm's mounting legal fees, the battle over who owns wireless technology didn't keep the San Diego firm from coming out on top in the second quarter.

Public's Need to Know Often Clashes With Right to Privacy

It was a difficult decision, and one that had to be made on deadline.

Schools Provide Financial Platform for Investing in Solar Power

Since the early 1990s, schools across the nation have been installing solar roofs for educational, financial and environmental rewards, making them community platforms for clean energy technology.

Correction

For April 23, 2007.

Student Lending Kickback Scandal Spreads To Rancho Bernardo Lender

The scandal involving kickbacks to college financial aid officials by student loan companies that surfaced last month has affected a second San Diego lender that specializes in providing government guaranteed student loans.

McDonald's Doesn't Quite Respond to Questions About Transfats

On my way home from the doctor's office, I stopped at McDonald's and asked, as the company announced in January, whether it stopped using oils containing artery-clogging, heart-threatening transfats.

Wine Dinners, Tastings Helping to Boost Sales, Bottom Line for Restaurant Industry

Interest in wine is exploding. Sales are growing and the public demands greater variety. Says one restauratuer, "Wines are a savvy thing to know, especially in the business realm."

Intuit to Consolidate Workers at $40M Environmentally Friendly Campus

Intuit Inc., a Mountain View-based software developer, is preparing to move its San Diego employees to a new green campus in Carmel Valley.

Cohu Sales Slow Down; CEO Cites Soft Market

Cohu Inc., a Poway-based manufacturer of semiconductor test handling equipment, reported first-quarter net income of $1.7 million on revenue of $53.4 million.

Voluntary Breathing Machine Recall Causes ResMed Shares to Plummet

ResMed Inc. stock sank more than 10 percent April 23 as the company recalled 300,000 machines used to help patients with breathing disorders such as sleep apnea.

Sanders Names Four to Ethics and Arts Commissions

Mayor Jerry Sanders has nominated Clyde L. Fuller to the Ethics Commission, subject to City Council confirmation.

Online Crooks Attempt to Steal Personal Information From NICU Customers

Online crooks, possibly based in China, have been using North Island Credit Union's logo and Web address to attempt to steal personal information from customers, a phenomenon also known as "phishing."

Business Delegation Finds Support for Cross-Border Airport Terminal

Momentum for a cross-border airport terminal in Otay Mesa may have gained a bit after a recent mission by officials from both sides of the border to Mexico City.

Halozyme Moving to the Nasdaq

Executives at Halozyme Therapeutics Inc. expect company stock to begin trading on the Nasdaq exchange May 10.

Acura TL Delivers Luxury for a Reasonable Price

Acura TL Delivers Luxury for a Reasonable Price

Coles Rolls Out Red Carpet For Customers for 60 Years

Family-owned Coles Fine Flooring, also known as Coles Carpets, is turning 60. The icing on this anniversary cake: a growing interest in home improvement that has netted this homegrown company its best years ever.

Executive Profile , Dirk Broekema

Having worked in the loan servicing department at mortgage company for a decade, Dirk Broekema decided to pursue something new rather than relocate when his company sold.

Three Charged in Alleged 'Pump and Dump' Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed civil fraud charges April 30 against three people, including one San Diego resident, and three penny stock issuers for an alleged "pump and dump" stock market manipulation scheme.

'Green' Construction Becomes Second Nature to Building Industry

What do the Supreme Court and San Diego's construction industry have in common? They're both taking steps to address global environmental concerns.

SBA of the Year Honors Go to SkillStorm

In recognition of Small Business Week, April 22-29, the local office of the U.S. Small Business Administration announced 10 award winners, plus the creation of a new award whose winner has yet to be announced.

Entrepreneur Profile , Joe Mackey

Remember the days when downtown bouncers were inked-up men wearing reflective security jackets? So does Joe Mackey. To create a new look, the owner of XL Staffing and Excell Security sat down with nightlife impresario Mike Viscuso about seven years ago.

Friday, April 27

Websense To Buy Overseas Competitor

Websense Inc. on April 26 announced plans to acquire England-based SurfControl PLC in an all-cash transaction valued at $400 million.

Hollis-Eden Lays Off 25 Percent of Staff

Hollis-Eden Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced on April 27 that, in line with strategy restructuring, the company will lay off 25 percent of its employees.

Thursday, April 26

Biosite Calls Inverness Offer Superior

Biosite Inc. has determined the $90 per share offer to be acquired by Inverness Medical Innovations is a "superior proposal" to the $85 per share offer made by Beckman Coulter Inc.

Holiday and Poinsettia Bowls Make $41M Impact

San Diego's two postseason college football games generated a combined $41 million in economic impacts to the region, according to a report released April 26 by the San Diego Bowl Game Association.

Hospitality Program Gets School Status at San Diego State

San Diego State University's Hospitality and Tourism Management Program just graduated. Established in 2001, the program, which grew from 13 students to 500 at present, was elevated in status to an official SDSU school earlier this month.

Wednesday, April 25

Jarden Corp. to Buy K2

Jarden Corp., a publicly traded company specializing in consumer products, has agreed to buy K2 Inc., the Carlsbad-based sporting goods company, for $15.50 per share.

Qualcomm's Earnings Jump 22 Percent

Qualcomm Inc., which makes chips used in wireless devices, announced a 22 percent increase in net earnings for the second quarter compared with the same period in 2006.

Sequenom Puts Shares on the Market

Sequenom Inc. stock jumped more than 12 percent April 25 on the news that it is raising $20 million in a sale of common stock.

Tuesday, April 24

Hotel Occupancy Falls Off Slightly from 2006

San Diego's hotel lobbies saw a little less activity in the first quarter of the year than they did during the same quarter a year ago, according to Smith Travel Research, which tracks the industry nationwide.

California Tech Industry's Job Count Surpasses 900,000

California again led the nation in terms of new technology jobs, and was by far the largest state in terms of technology workers, according to a Cyberstates report done for the AeA.

SBA and Black Business Association Announce Alliance

One is an advocate for San Diego's Black business community. The other is the federal government's liaison to San Diego's small business community. Now these two local leaders are teaming up.

Cymer's First Quarter Nearly a Repeat of Last Year

Cymer Inc., the San Diego manufacturer of excimer laser equipment used by the semiconductor industry, reported first quarter net profit of $20.3 million on revenue of $126.7 million, the company said April 24.

Shares Fall After ResMed Announces Recall, Financial Results

ResMed Inc. shares sank more than 10 percent April 24 as the company recalled 300,000 of its machines used to help patients with breathing disorders, like sleep apnea.

County Retirement System Settles With Rocaton

San Diego County's retirement system accepted a $2.75 million settlement with Rocaton Advisors, the Connecticut-based investment consultant that steered the county's retirement board in selecting Amaranth Advisors, the hedge fund that lost about $6 billio

Monday, April 23

China-Based Scammers Pose as Local Credit Union

North Island Credit Union's logo and Web address were reproduced in a recent attempt to acquire personal information via e-mail, also known as "phishing."

New Proxies Contain Eye-Popping Detail About Executive Pay

Shareholders upset about excessive compensation paid out to top executives are likely to get even angrier once they see the proxy statements soon to be mailed.

Cap on Visas for Skilled Foreign Workers Stifling Biotech, Tech

The local biotechnology and technology industries, highly dependent on very highly skilled workers, are waiting to see if their foreign job applicants have been awarded work visas.

Annual Nunn-Perry Awards Honor Outstanding Mentor-Prot & #233;g & #233; Teams

The latest Nunn-Perry Awards, which recognize outstanding mentor-prot & #233;g & #233; relationships, were given out March 7 at a ceremony in Temecula.

San Diego Foundation's New Green Offices Awarded the Silver

The San Diego Foundation's Liberty Station offices have been awarded a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Pala Takes Gamble With New Pitchman, Eight-Time Loser Hoyt Monroe

About a month ago I got a handwritten vanity postcard from Hoyt Monroe telling me "How to Win Zip at Pala," and I wondered who in the heck is this?

Public Private Partnerships: Life Improvement, or Easy Investment?

Public Private Partnerships: Life Improvement, or Easy Investment?

Boom in New Hotels Bringing Boom in Old Hotel Renovations

Out of deference to the guests, the construction crew at the Hyatt Regency Islandia holds off pounding nails before 9 a.m.

Firms Share Wealth With Small Businesses in DoD-Sponsored Program

Big fish don't spend all of their time gobbling up the small fry. Sometimes, they help balance the scales, sharing territory that benefits them both.

Supervisor Asks Lawmakers to Delay Ratification of New Gaming Pact

San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob has asked the state Legislature to hold off ratifying the new American Indian gaming agreement , or compact , between Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation.

Rady Children's Hospital Combines Urgent Care, Psychiatry in North County

Consolidation is the name of the game at Rady Children's Hospital, as San Diego's sole pediatrics-only health provider consolidates North County operations.

Nonprofit Profile , Computers 2 SD Kids

Computers 2 SD Kids provides low-income families with computers to help them achieve success. Our goal is to place refurbished computers into the homes of those who cannot afford this essential educational tool.

Lucrative Awards Set Stage for Assembling Successful Mentor Teams

Thai Nguyen, chief executive officer of Sorrento Valley-based Hi-Tech Electronic Manufacturing Inc., marvels at how, in less than two years, his startup has morphed from a "garage shop" to a "world-class manufacturing business." He credits his good fortun

Acquisition Positions Software Firm for Expanding Its Services

The $20,000 of credit card debt that served as the catalyst for DefenseWeb Technologies has paid for itself long ago.

Athena Strives to Prepare Female Members for Top Executive Roles

The Athena group has moved from a networking outlet to one focused on equipping women with the skills they need to climb a corporate ladder often shaped around schmoozing at golf outings, post-work cocktails and power lunches.

Banks Find Executive Talent Thinning as Baby Boomers Hit Retirement

Financial Women International released a study earlier this month detailing concerns related to 78 million retiring baby boomers and the resulting toll on the banking industry.

Correction

For April 16, 2007.

Week in Review

Top Business News: April 13 - 19, 2007

Number of In-House Lawyers Growing as Cost of Outside Counsel Goes Up

In the past two years, budgets for in-house legal departments have increased by more than 20 percent, which excludes the costs of litigation.

Qualcomm, SAIC, Sempra Have the Good Fortune to Be on Top 500 List

Fortune magazine came out with its annual 500 largest corporations ranking last week, and it contained no major changes from the year before for San Diego-headquartered companies.

Century Club Gives $35K to Charities Supporting Wounded Military

The Century Club of San Diego, the nonprofit that manages the annual Buick Invitational PGA Tour golf tournament, has made five separate contributions totaling $35,000 to nonprofit groups supporting military personnel and their families at the Wounded War

Entrepreneur Profile , Richard Manzo

While attending a food industry trade show, Richard Manzo noticed vendors were using paper , a practice he felt was archaic. So the New York City native set out to update how orders are taken at trade shows.

Calendar

Business Events , April 24 - 28

Executive Profile , Dr. Coleman Furr

Dr. Coleman Furr says he has only made it this far in life because he had plans, one for every decade of his adult life.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight , Don Gerould

Wal-Mart Says La Mesa Is No. 1 Among 1,100 Stores Nationwide

They won't tell us about sales and profits, but the La Mesa Wal-Mart store apparently did well enough in 2006 to earn Store of the Year honors from its parent in Bentonville, Ark.

Strike Would Be Disaster for Grocery Stores, Workers, Customers

Strike Would Be Disaster for Grocery Stores, Workers, Customers

$38M Award Upheld Against the Irvine Co.

A local Superior Court judge denied Newport Beach-based the Irvine Co.'s efforts to set a December jury verdict in a case involving San Diego-based real estate development and investment company Cisterra Partners LLC.

Sound of Music: Why the U.S. West Coast Is Very Different

Sound of Music: Why the U.S. West Coast Is Very Different

City Attorney Steps Into the Mini-Dorm Spat

The fight to control the spread of mini-dorms in the neighborhoods around the San Diego State University campus has prompted City Attorney Michael Aguirre to seek tighter residential zoning regulations.

CEO Departs Neighborhood National To Help Launch Startup Bank

Neighborhood National Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Adkins has stepped down to launch another bank with a group of investors in San Diego.

Tech Coast Angels Pray Early Stage Investments Will Be Heavenly

The name Tech Coast Angels might be reminiscent of a certain motorcycle gang. But these angels aren't raising Cain at rock concerts. They are a 270-member-strong group of early stage "angel" investors at the ready with their checkbook for good investments

Regional Roundup

Next year's opening of the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and the final three rounds of the 2008 U.S. Open at La Jolla's Torrey Pines Golf Course are scheduled for the same weekend, June 13-15. The overlap of events is causing concerns f

Room Rates Will Fall in Step With Occupancy Rates, Expert Predicts

While San Diego's lodging industry has enjoyed a trend of continually increasing room rates during the past couple of years, at least one prominent hotel owner foresees a decline on the horizon.

Survey Finds Nurses More Concerned About Workplace Than the Pay

Environment, not pay, attracts nurses to new job opportunities, according to a survey released by AMN Healthcare.

Air Transport, Water Desalination Top Topics in North County

Two key business mainstays are in the limelight again: air transportation and water.

Executive Search Firm Qualifind Scours Mexico for Best Candidates

Changing times don't hamper growth at Qualifind, a Chula Vista executive search firm focused on cross-border manufacturing operations.

Kyocera to Expand Tijuana Factory, Double Solar Panels

Wireless giant Kyocera Corp., which employs 1,300 in San Diego, recently announced plans to double its solar panel manufacturing business due to a big jump in global demand for the equipment.

Letter

Residents Against Gaming Expansion Oppose Proposed Compact, Second Casino

Friday, April 20

Overland Storage Cuts 14% of Work Force

Overland Storage Inc. announced April 20 that it cut 54 jobs, or 14 percent of its work force, as part of a push to reduce costs.

Hospitality Industry Serves Up More Job Opportunities

San Diego's unemployment rate dipped to 4 percent in March, down from 4.2 percent in February but above the 3.9 percent for March 2006, according to the report from the state Employment Development Department released April 20.

Inverness Offers More Details on Biosite Bid

Biosite Inc. announced that on April 19, Waltham, Mass.-based Inverness Medical Innovations Inc., which previously bid on the company, provided Biosite with revised commitment letters from Inverness' potential financing sources.

Thursday, April 19

Chula Vista Names City Manager

The city of Chula Vista announced April 18 that the City Council unanimously selected David R. Garcia for the position of city manager.

Intuit Issues Apology as IRS Extends Deadline for Online Filing

Tax filing day was April 19? It was, for customers who experienced problems with Intuit's TurboTax software and related programs.

SAIC Lands Air Force Work

Science Applications International Corp. announced April 19 that it won a contract worth a potential $394 million from the U.S. Air Force, Pacific Air Forces.

Earnings Rise at First Community Bancorp; Loan Portfolio Slimmer

First Community Bancorp, the holding company of Pacific Western Bank, announced first-quarter earnings April 18.

Wednesday, April 18

ATyr Pharma Gets Series B Funding

San Diego-based aTyr Pharma Inc. announced April 18 that it received $10.5 million in Series B financing.

Kyocera Eyes Expansion for Tijuana Plant

Kyocera Corp. announced April 18 that it plans to double solar module manufacturing operations by 2011, and that it plans to expand its Tijuana factory's capacity nearly fivefold.

Tuesday, April 17

PepperBall Sues Colorado Company

PepperBall Technologies Inc. said April 16 that it filed a patent infringement suit in San Diego federal court against Security With Advanced Technology Inc., also known as SWAT, of Westminster, Colo.

Callaway Golf Expects Improved First Quarter

Shares of Callaway Golf Co. were trading more than 7 percent higher April 17, after the company offered an estimate of its first-quarter earnings. Callaway plans to report its earnings May 3.

Eldorado Stone Claims Victory in Trade Secret Case

A San Marcos company that manufactures artificial stone veneer, Eldorado Stone LLC, said April 12 that it is the victor in a $21 million trade secret case.

Glasses Half Full? Orange 21 Increases Sales , and Loss

Carlsbad-based Orange 21 Inc., which markets glasses to youths under the Spy Optic brand, announced fourth-quarter and year-end financial results April 17, for the period ended Dec. 31.

Monday, April 16

Executive Profile , Kathleen Cochran

Once on track to be a stockbroker, Kathleen Cochran instead went into hospitality after working for the Hyatt for four years to pay bills during college. Once clued into the business side of the hotel world, Cochran said she never looked back.

Residents, Businesses Ask If Industry, Homes Can Coexist in Otay Mesa

While many officials believe more land could be zoned industrial in Otay Mesa, a plan now under consideration may convert land available for industrial into residential.

Private Rating Firm Awards San Diego Trust Bank Highest Designation

The most recent Findley Reports has designated San Diego Trust Bank as a "Premier Performing Bank," the highest designation a bank under 5 years old can receive.

Tax Breaks, Wage Credits, Low-Cost Bonds Spur South County Boom

More companies are moving to Otay Mesa, thanks to lower cost land and a variety of government incentives geared to spur commercial development.

Holiday Bowl Berth Is Worth $2.3M

Checks to the two football teams appearing in last year's Pacific Life Holiday Bowl were recently mailed with a record $2.3 million each going to UC Berkeley and Texas A & M; University.

Entrepreneur Profile , John Butcherine

Thirty-one-year-old John Butcherine tends to move with light speed. He started Home Loan Consultants Inc., San Diego's second largest mortgage brokerage, when he was 26 years old.

Staging Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit at Balboa Park Historic Business Decision

The San Diego Natural History Museum's $10 million investment in the Dead Sea Scrolls Exhibit sounds like a lot of money to spend on a temporary attraction. But the Balboa Park museum's officials aren't lacking in business savvy.

It's for Those Without Shelter That Shelter Is Given

Homeless Use of Public Libraries Shouldn't Prevent Building of New Ones

Apartment Market Sales Slow, But Rent Increases Predicted in '07, '08

Following two years of record sales, prices in the San Diego apartment market continue to slow down, according to Hendricks & Partners, a Phoenix research firm focused on the multifamily industry.

Union Bank Names Executive Vice President

Bob McNeely, longtime banker for Union Bank of California and on the board of directors of the Centre City Development Corp., the city's redevelopment arm for downtown, was promoted to executive vice president, the bank announced April 16.

No Time to Keep on Truckin' When Weather Strikes

No Time to Keep on Truckin' When Weather Strikes

Week in Review

Top Business News: April 6 - 12, 2007

Illumina Shuttering Connecticut Plant, Relocating 50 Employees

Illumina Inc. is closing its Wallingford, Conn., facility, which has around 50 employees. The company will begin making the BeadXpress system, a platform for gene analysis that it sells to researchers, in San Diego.

Nonprofit Profile , San Diego Center for Children

Edwin G. Kofler, CEO, San Diego Center for Children

HSBC Supports Junior Achievement's In-Class Volunteer Program to Ensure Kids' Economic Success

HSBC Supports Junior Achievement's In-Class Volunteer Program to Ensure Kids' Economic Success

Region Lost 800 Manufacturing Jobs in Past Year, Including 500 in January

It's nothing like the exodus of aircraft and defense companies during the early 1990s, but an increasing number of manufacturers are leaving San Diego County, taking with them their above-average salaries.

Final Buyer of Biosite Remains an Unknown as Bidding War Continues

Biosite Inc.'s board did right by shareholders in announcing it would begin negotiations with the company that offered an additional $5 per share over the first offer last month to purchase the medical device company. But the decision didn't come without

Job Seekers Can Correct Inaccuracies in Credit Reports

Trying to protect your business by screening job applicants can be a balancing act , one that comes with a strict set of rules. The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act sets a number of regulations for consumer reporting agencies.

Carrier Johnson, Blokhaus Have Designs on New Revenue Streams

Two of San Diego's top architectural firms recently expanded design services offered to clients with the start of new multidisciplinary firms.

Hot Rods Streak Into El Cajon

The Cajon Classic Cruise, the largest weekly classic car show in Southern California, has returned to downtown El Cajon's Main Street.

San Diego State Alums to Honor Outstanding Class Members on April 21

The San Diego State University Alumni Association will honor nine alumni for their outstanding work at the 35th annual Monty Awards Gala scheduled for April 21.

Taylor Guitars, Greenpeace Singing a New Tune About Sitka Spruce

Along with guitar makers Fender, Gibson, Martin and Guild, Taylor Guitars is joining Greenpeace in trying to spread awareness about increasingly rare tree species.

Correction

For March 26, 2007.

Regional Roundup

What is being billed as the largest epoxy-lining project ever done in North County is under way in Oceanside by Brinks Services and CuraFlo of San Diego. And other news from around San Diego County.

Local '06 Hotel Transactions Lagged San Francisco, the Bay Area

While San Diego was considered the hottest hotel market in the country during the last couple of years, with many major properties changing hands, the county is apparently losing that reputation to the northern part of the state.

It's Also Important to Screen Applicants for Temporary Positions

Outsourced and temporary employees have become a major presence in many companies in recent years, and they have their own set of security risks.

Elvis Sightings in Legoland?

Legoland California holds the distinction of growing its attendance by a wider margin , 16 percent , than any other theme park in the nation.

USD Law School Wins a Big Award, No. 85 Ranking on U.S. News List

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of San Diego School of Law No. 85 among U.S. law schools. In addition, Thomas Jefferson School of Law's legal writing program ranked among the top programs in the nation.

HR Detectives on the Case to Prevent New-Hire Nightmares

Most companies that engage in employee background checks have their own stash of horror stories to tell, but those businesses actually ordered the screenings. What about those that don't?

'07 Eos Convertible Drives Volkswagen Into New Era

'07 Eos Convertible Drives Volkswagen Into New Era

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Keith Schneider

Though Not Easy, People Who Disagree Can Listen to Each Other Respectfully, Seek Resolution

Though Not Easy, People Who Disagree Can Listen to Each Other Respectfully, Seek Resolution

Governor Appoints Four to Bench

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed four local residents to judgeships in the San Diego Superior Court.

General Atomics Receives Contracts To Pursue All-Electric Warship

General Atomics has another in a series of contracts to help the Navy crack the puzzle of creating a reliable, flexible, all-electric warship.

Friday, April 13

Broadcom Taking Qualcomm to Court Again

Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. has sued Qualcomm Inc. again , this time alleging that the chip-making giant has broken California's unfair competition laws, breached contracts and committed fraud.

Entropic Buys RF Magic

Entropic Communications, a San Diego semiconductor maker producing chips that deliver multimedia content to home entertainment networks, agreed to purchase RF Magic Inc., another chip maker based here.

Longs Drugs Settles Case for $1M

Longs Drugs has agreed to pay $1 million to settle charges that it overcharged customers, including some in San Diego County.

Maxwell Technologies Wins Preliminary Injunction in Patent Case

Energy storage company Maxwell Technologies Inc. announced April 12 that a federal district court issued a preliminary injunction against South Korea-based Nesscap Inc. and Nesscap Ltd., which have been accused of infringing on Maxwell's patents for ultra

Historic Preservation Group Welcomes San Diego's Sofia Hotel

The National Trust Historic Hotels of America has announced six new members, including the Sofia Hotel in San Diego, formerly known as the Pickwick Hotel.

Thursday, April 12

Panel Lays Out Case for Clean Technology

A vision of San Diego as a hub for "clean technology" businesses will be the subject of a panel discussion April 12 at City Hall.

Wednesday, April 11

Revenue Bulks Up While Net Income Slims Down at SAIC

Science Applications International Corp., a San Diego engineering and research firm, reported net income for its 2007 fiscal year ended Jan. 31 of $391 million, down from $927 million in net profit for the 2006 fiscal year.

Illumina Folding Connecticut Operations Into San Diego Office

San Diego-based Illumina Inc., which makes products for the life sciences industry, announced April 11 that it is consolidating its Wallingford, Conn.-based operations into its San Diego facility.

ViaSat Aids Army in Satellite Network Upgrade

Carlsbad-based ViaSat Inc. announced on April 11 that it received a $9.3 million contract from Northrop Grumman Corp. to improve performance for a satellite network.

Tuesday, April 10

Street Scene Heads North for 2007

San Diego's annual Street Scene music event is moving farther from the streets in 2007, by relocating to the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Commercial Real Estate Sale Brushes the $300M Mark

Los Angeles-based Maguire Properties Inc. announced April 10 that it has entered into an agreement to sell two San Diego properties for more than $298 million to an unspecified buyer.

Monday, April 9

Service Providers Put Life in Life Sciences

Hundreds of companies in San Diego County make their money by servicing the life sciences industry. Industry groups say there are three service provider jobs created for every one life sciences company job.

Renowned Physician Embarks on Scripps' Huge Genomics Project

Dr. Eric Topol, the newly appointed chief academic officer for La Jolla-based Scripps Health, is working to dramatically reduce the rapidly increasing cost of medicine while enhancing its benefits. How? Through genomics , the study of the genome.

35-Room Keating Hotel Enters Downtown's Hospitality Fast Lane

Edward Kaen, whose family owns the Keating Hotel, and Paolo Pininfarina, vice chairman of Turin, Italy-based Pininfarina, are taking their act on the road. They said they plan to roll out several hotels across the country bearing the Keating Pininfarina b

Week in Review

Top Business News: March 30 - April 5, 2007

Foreign Exchange Students Secure Hospitality Jobs During Summer

A hospitality job gives foreign students, many of whom are enrolled in hospitality programs, a chance to live temporarily in California, improve their English and gain firsthand knowledge about the local hotel industry.

Fiscal Tide to Rise When North Island Is Home to 3rd Aircraft Carrier

The Navy plans to send the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson to a new home in San Diego in 2010. Its arrival will send ripples through all corners of the San Diego economy.

Ex-Cop Deserves Badge of Honor for Scripps Health Reforms

Chris Van Gorder has always straddled two worlds , health care and law enforcement , and still does to this day.

Correction

For March 26, 2007.

Scripps' Campuses Make Strides Toward Achieving Balance of Power

One of Chris Van Gorder's notable innovations as chief executive officer of Scripps Health was the creation of the Physician Leadership Cabinet, which provides a forum for doctors to share their views and air their grievances.

Regional Roundup

Pedestrians get a chance to hoof it over the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and enjoy bird's-eye views of the waterfront May 20. And other news from around San Diego County.

Travel Nurses Offer Temporary Relief to Hospitals Short on Staff

Travel nurses who take on 13-week jobs at hospitals around the country and overseas have become a hot commodity in the health care world, where a shortage of full-time nurses continues.

Entrepreneur Profile , Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards may have planned every party in high school and college but she didn't realize until much later that her hobby might turn into a career , and a very successful one at that.

CIT Places Student Loan Xpress Leaders on Leave

Three top executives of Student Loan Xpress, a San Diego-based student loan firm, were put on a leave of absence April 9 in response to a recent investigation into alleged misdeeds involving the sale of stock and the provision of gifts to college financia

County Retirement Group Seeks $150M in Suit Against Amaranth

Details about Amaranth Advisors' meltdown are contained in a lawsuit filed March 29 by the San Diego County Employees Retirement Association.

Tremble Not at the Rising Sun's Decision to Bolster 'Defense'

Tremble Not at the Rising Sun's Decision to Bolster 'Defense'

Concrete Plans Taking Shape for 32-Story Sapphire Tower Project

Months of organizing, planning and calculating paid off for Newport Beach-based Centurion Partners and Avion Development. The development companies, with San Francisco-based general contractor Swinerton Inc., poured hundreds of truckloads of concrete into

Executive Profile , Joey Nerenberg

With a background in corporate development and finance, Joey Nerenberg did not go to culinary school until 2001, when he was 41 years old. He founded Infusion Culinary with the understanding that not all serious cooks desire to go pro.

Revenue, Net Income Both Rise at WD-40 (April 2007)

For the second quarter ended Feb. 28, San Diego-based WD-40 Co. announced net sales of $79.3 million, up 11 percent from $71.5 million a year ago.

UCSD to Use Foundation's $400K Gift for Telescope, Observatory

The James B. Ax Family Foundation has given a $400,000 gift to the UC San Diego Division of Physical Sciences. The gift will go toward funding a proposed $1 million telescope and observatory.

Selfless CEO Makes Time for Search and Rescue Volunteer Work

While other folks in high-powered jobs might spend their downtime golfing or puttering around in the garden, Chris Van Gorder, the president and chief executive officer of the $1.7 billion Scripps Health system, logged in 1,200 hours of volunteer time in

New Deal With Greek Officials Eases SAIC's Olympic-Size Headache

Science Applications International Corp. officially acknowledged resolving a long-standing billing dispute with the Greek government regarding the security system it developed for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Real Estate Pros Not Getting Blogged Down By Negative Industry Trends

Brokers, real estate agents and builders used to hold the key to decoding the myths and facts of the market bubble and market booms. But now, bloggers are offering an alternative voice in a turbulent real estate market.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Cathy Sang

Vista's Cardiff Inks Software Deal With Pharmaceutical Giant Pfizer

A Vista company signed an agreement to provide software for one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer Inc.

New Postal System to Impact Many Businesses

The U.S. Postal Service is reshaping its business model and the changes could have a significant effect on local companies.

San Diego Is Locale of Choice for Families Making Spring Break Trek

Whatever their stripe , families or college kids , vacationers appear willing to shell out some extra dough on gas to get here and spend more on hotel rooms.

Aurora Capital Wraps Up Mitchell Acquisition

Mitchell International Inc., a San Diego-based maker of software serving the auto insurance and collision repair industries, was acquired for $500 million by Aurora Capital Group, according to a story last month by The Deal.com.

Renegotiated Compacts Between Sycuan, Four Other Big Tribes and Governor's Office Deserve Legislative Approval

Renegotiated Compacts Between Sycuan, Four Other Big Tribes and Governor's Office Deserve Legislative Approval

NextWave's Next Acquisition? It's IP Wireless

NextWave Wireless Inc., a San Diego-based provider of mobile broadband products and technologies, said it signed a definitive agreement April 9 to acquire IP Wireless, a San Bruno-based supplier of telecom network equipment.

Federal Law Says Employers Must Rehire Returning Service Personnel

It's anyone's guess when U.S. troops will pull out of Iraq. Whatever happens, however, employers should understand their legal obligations to re-employ troops returning to the civilian labor force.

Shortage of Tax Funds Leads to Shortage of Water for Region

The ebb and flow of the economy in the region has focused on the housing price decline and the gasoline price incline. Now, two other shortages are popping up: water and tax money.

Friday, April 6

Qualcomm Lashes Back After Nokia's $20M Payment

Saber rattling between Qualcomm Inc. and Nokia Corp. continued April 5 when chip-maker Qualcomm filed an arbitration demand with the American Arbitration Association, regarding Nokia's payment of $20 million to Qualcomm for use of Qualcomm's patents in th

Thursday, April 5

Nanogen Gains Federal Contract

Shares of Nanogen Inc. jumped on April 5 after the company announced that it obtained a United States General Services Administration schedule contract for its NanoChip 400 microarray instrument and reagents.

Nokia Makes Payment to Qualcomm

Espoo, Finland-based handset maker Nokia Corp. announced April 5 that it paid chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. $20 million for patent licenses to cover the second quarter of 2007.

SAIC Reaches Pact With Greek Government

Science Applications International Corp. officially acknowledged resolving a long-standing billing dispute with the Greek government regarding the security system it developed for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Inverness Makes Unsolicited Offer for Biosite

Biosite Inc., a San Diego maker of medical diagnostic kits, which announced last month an agreement to be sold to Beckman Coulter for $1.5 billion, said on April 5 that it received an unsolicited offer for $5 more per share.

Wednesday, April 4

Stadium Event Sends Old Electronics Out to Pasture

Folks wondering what they can do about those old televisions or PCs they've been hanging onto for months can dispose of the items at a free electronics recycling event Saturday, April 7, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium.

Growing Mintz Levin Sees 'Unbelievable Opportunity' in San Diego

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo PC expanded yet again, taking on a group of former Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney attorneys.

Tuesday, April 3

Santa Ysabel Casino Poised to Open

San Diego County's 10th American Indian gaming venue opens to the public April 12 on a hilltop near Lake Henshaw, a short drive from Julian.

Qualcomm's Legal Battle Against Nokia Intensifies

Qualcomm Inc. filed two suits against cell phone maker Nokia Corp. on April 2, alleging that Nokia infringed five patents.

Monday, April 2

Nonprofit Profile , Sharp HospiceCare

Suzi Johnson, vice president of Sharp HospiceCare

VCs, Startups Starting to Hum Words to 'O Canada'

Local observers credit Canadian Consul Sunil Sharma's office for the surge in collaboration between life science communities in San Diego and Canada.

Big Grocers Discovering Ice Cream's Talent for Taste

Zambeedo is derived from the Spanish word "zumbido," which means "buzzing." And that's exactly what buyers for retail stores are doing when it comes to a local business well on its way to helping feed the $21 billion-a-year U.S. appetite for ice cream.

San Diego Spins 'Wheel of Fortune,' Wins Free PR for Area Economy

Who needs a Super Bowl when you've got "Wheel of Fortune" providing the kind of destination marketing that money can't buy. And, unlike the Super Bowl, it cost the city nothing in the way of services.

Qualcomm, Kyocera Ring Up New Wireless Technologies at Orlando Show

Tech companies having anything to do with wireless communications saw the big annual trade show in Orlando, Fla., as the place to make a splash last week.

Luncheon Mulls State of San Diego, From Miramar North

A panel of speakers plan to comment on the state of San Diego's northern business districts during the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce community luncheon April 3.

Human Infectious Diseases Remain Focus of Vical's Vaccine Research

In the public's eye, human vaccine developer Vical Inc. might seem to be undergoing an identity crisis. But, make no mistake, Chief Executive Officer Vijay Samant said Vical is focused on battling human infectious diseases.

Apartment Property Prices Still Setting Records, Burnham Report Shows

San Diego-based Burnham Real Estate reported that the average selling prices of San Diego County apartment properties are resilient despite steady declines in sales volume the past two years.

Steve Jobs Has It All Over Captain Kirk When It Comes to the Communications

Steve Jobs Has It All Over Captain Kirk When It Comes to the Communications

Executive Profile , Jon Baker

One way to jump-start a career path is to start at age 14. Such was the case for Jon Baker, NTDStichler Architecture president and chief executive officer, who said his ninth-grade drafting class was the most fun thing he had ever had.

Residential Boom in Baja Benefiting North-of-Border Economy

Development in Baja California is big business for San Diego. Baja Diamante, a $2 billion mixed-use residential project in San Felipe, is just one of many projects cropping up in Northern Baja, which is pumping millions of dollars into San Diego's economy

Regional Roundup

A coalition of groups is offering free, behind-the-scenes tours of San Diego's working waterfront during April and May. And other news from around San Diego County.

Redevelopment Arm OKs Proposal for Historic Block on Market Street

A downtown city block once slated to become little more than another reinforced-concrete parking lot may soon host apartments, condos, a hotel and a police substation, as well as public art and retail space.

Pita Customers Getting Nutritional Details When They Belly Up to the Counter

In the race to feed demands for healthier fast-food meals, a local franchisee is adding a detailed chart of nutritional facts to its purchase receipts.

Executives Who Sold Cabrellis Hope They Have Another Winner in Tragara

The management team at Tragara Pharmaceuticals Inc. is hoping it can create another winner.

Rising Delinquencies Send Shockwaves Through Credit Strata

The collapse of the subprime mortgage market is starting to have an effect on other credit strata.

Week in Review

Top Business News: March 23 - 29, 2007

Old Uses Versus New Powers Debate About Electric Plant on Chula Vista Prime Beachfront Site

Old Uses Versus New Powers Debate About Electric Plant on Chula Vista Prime Beachfront Site

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions

Channel 4, XX Radio to Broadcast Games Till 2011

Two local media outlets get tuned into the Padres.

Honda S2000 Needs to Change With the Times

Honda S2000 Needs to Change With the Times

Entrepreneur Profile , David Anthony

A 17-year-old David Anthony built and sold his first motorcycle for $375. It was an experience that ignited a passion that has stretched into a full-time career.

Wealthy Home Buyers Treated to First-Class Banking Services

Wealthy home buyers need special attention, and this is what the private banker has traditionally done for them.

SpaceDev Revenue Roars Higher, But Firm Ends Year With a Loss

SpaceDev Inc., a Poway-based space technology company, reported a net loss of $952,372 on revenue of $32.6 million for 2006.

AT & T; Exec to Reach Out, Touch Employers on United Way's Behalf

For 15 years, charitable fund-raising efforts contingent on local employers encouraging their staff to OK automatic payroll deductions have become increasingly less fruitful. Poised to break that trend is Mark Leslie.

Padres Swing for Home Run in the Ticket Selling Game

The Padres are a winning team, one that has made the playoffs for two consecutive seasons for the first time in their history. Yet team officials are well aware of a losing trend they intend to stop, declining attendance at Petco Park.

LS, SDG & E; Sign Short-Term Power Deal

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. announced March 30 that it has contracted with LSP South Bay LLC to provide San Diego with energy from the South Bay Power Plant in Chula Vista through 2009.

Banks Offering Specialty Services Once Reserved for Elite Clients

Private banking , the Tiffany of financial services , has been evolving. Even ordinary banks are courting the high-end client.

Feminist Gloria Steinem Gives Keynote Address at Tea By the Sea Gathering

The local Center for Community Solutions recently honored businesses and community members as well as volunteers at the Eighth Annual Tea By the Sea, which featured Ms. Magazine co-founder and feminist leader Gloria Steinem as keynote speaker.

Restaurants, Shops Learning to Play the Petco Game

Although more parking has come on line for the Padres' fourth season at Petco, which starts April 6, game-goers still show a preference for hot dogs and beer. But some high-end restaurants are learning to play ball.