Stories for August 2009

Monday, August 31

Private Industry Is Navy’s De Facto Shipyard

DEFENSE: $550M Year Sector Employs 10,000 Locally

After fire broke out aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington off South America in 2008, Navy brass decided the ship should head to San Diego for emergency repairs.

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DivX Inks Video Licensing Deal With NEC

With 300 employees and $50 million in declared cash on its balance sheet, DivX is swiftly gaining status as one of San Diego’s small media giants.

Better Times Ahead?

RETAIL: Discount Chain Stores

Judging by the anticipated attendance for the annual International Council of Shopping Centers Western Conference from Sept. 2-4 at the San Diego Convention Center — half what it was last year — retail is still in the pits.

Banks Branching Out to Help Troubled Borrowers Modify Loans

FINANCE: Foreclosures Are Dropping From Year-Ago Peak

Some of the largest mortgage servicers in the region added lots of jobs to deal with an ongoing wave of defaulting mortgages, and increased requests to amend loan terms.

SDBJ Insider - Women Who Mean Business Event Set

SDBJ Insider - It’s going to be a really big show. Aug. 31 is the deadline to nominate candidates for the annual Women Who Mean Business Awards sponsored by the Business Journal!

Takeda Inks New Lease in La Jolla

BIOTECH: Spent Billions to Boost Drug Pipelines in 2008

Japan’s largest pharmaceutical company has been seeking lucrative opportunities in the United States lately in an effort to come up with new, potentially blockbuster drugs.

Ethos Shifts Into Gear With Multilevel Marketing Model

TRANSPORTATION: Local Firm Distributing Fuel, Oil Additives

The Cash for Clunkers program may have reached the end of the road, but Ethos Environmental is test-driving a new business model to sell more of its oil and fuel additives and arrive at the same goal: increase gas mileage while reducing emissions.

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Travel Industry Keeps Pace With Big Apple, Baghdad By the Bay

HOSPITALITY: Room Demand Was Up 2.3 Percent in July

Before the economy started to nosedive last summer, county innkeepers were able to raise room rates, thus increasing profitability, for several years running.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Cardinal Health Spinoff Heading for New York Stock Exchange

Unless you’re in the health care or medical device industries, you probably haven’t heard of CareFusion, but that’s about to change.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: The state Supreme Court said recently that it will review Vista’s decision not to pay prevailing wages as a result of its status as a charter city.

Biogen Idec Goes With the Flow, Joins Guaranteed Water Program

It takes a lot of water to grow a biotech. Take the San Diego offices of behemoth Biogen Idec, for example.

Executive Says La Jolla Bank Struggling in ‘Extraordinary Times’

La Jolla Bank, the largest savings and loan bank based locally with $3.9 billion in assets, reported holding $262 million in nonaccrual loans at the end of the second quarter.

Startup Aims to Spread Wealth of Promotional Videos

The successful advances of Web 2.0 — the concept responsible for the overhaul of thousands of Web sites into interactive, rich environments — have made it clear that standing still on the Internet is bad for business.

Restaurants Showing Signs of Recovery From Sales Slump

HOSPITALITY: Hard Hit, High-End Eateries Adjusting

The local lodging industry isn’t likely to run out of pillow mints — occupancy is expected to be down this year compared to last. But the outlook is for improvement in 2010.

Cracking the Lease Deal Takes Finesse and Concessions

REAL ESTATE: Tenants Hold Cards in Negotiations During a Down Economy

Last November, just as the economy had entered the throes of a recession, Evan McDonald of Lee & Associates was close to signing a tenant to fill a 5,000-square-foot industrial warehouse space in the Miramar Industrial District.

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Region’s Commercial Market Expected to Dodge Foreclosures

REAL ESTATE: Conditions Not Likely to Improve for a Year or Two, Broker Says

While a large wave of commercial real estate foreclosures is anticipated in Southern California markets and others in coming months, San Diego is expected to escape with only a few.

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Douglas Wilson a Go-To Guy for Managing Distressed Properties

REAL ESTATE: Staff of 50 Handling 60 projects, Assets of $2B-Plus

Business is booming for receivers — now that commercial real estate defaults are on the rise. California Receivers Forum, a 550-member trade association, has added 250 members since 2007.

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Real Estate Profile - Ken Kornberg

Ken Kornberg is president of Kornberg Associates/Architects.

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Real Estate Roundup

Leading off this week's real estate news from around the county: Citing the difficulty of getting financing, hotel developer Pacifica has postponed plans to build a $20 million, 78-room hotel on the site of Seacoast Inn in Imperial Beach.

Sales and Leases

Springfield Ventures purchased a 3.89-acre parcel of land at the southwest corner of San Marcos Boulevard and Las Posas Road in San Marcos for $2,665,000.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Frank Christian

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Frank Christian

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Qualcomm Awards $150,000 to the San Diego Police Foundation

The San Diego Police Foundation is awarding nine local fire agencies financial support totaling $150,000, which represents a grant from Qualcomm.

Where Were the Democrats at Hispanic Convention?

The California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which represents the interests of 720,000 California-based, Hispanic-owned businesses, was in San Diego last week for its 30th annual convention.

Hispanics Need Health Insurance Reform

The debate over medical health reform is divided into warring camps as to whether we should or should not keep the present system.

Dismal Year Costs County Pension Fund $2.2B

The county's pension fund, which serves some 36,000 active and retired county workers, lost about $2.2 billion for the year ended June 30, according to a report filed Aug. 28.

Restaurants Showing Signs of Recovery From Sales Slump

The local lodging industry isn't likely to run out of pillow mints , occupancy is expected to be down this year compared to last. But the outlook is for improvement in 2010.

Douglas Wilson a Go-To Guy for Managing Distressed Properties

Business is booming for receivers , now that commercial real estate defaults are on the rise. California Receivers Forum, a 550-member trade association, has added 250 members since 2007.

Medsphere Gets $12M in Funding

Medsphere, a Carlsbad-based provider of software involved in electronic health records, said Aug. 31 it has secured $12 million in venture financing.

Private Industry Is Navy's De Facto Shipyard

After fire broke out aboard the aircraft carrier USS George Washington off South America in 2008, Navy brass decided the ship should head to San Diego for emergency repairs.

Biogen Idec Goes With the Flow, Joins Guaranteed Water Program

It takes a lot of water to grow a biotech. Take the San Diego offices of behemoth Biogen Idec, for example.

Where Were the Democrats at Hispanic Convention?

The California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which represents the interests of 720,000 California-based, Hispanic-owned businesses, was in San Diego last week for its 30th annual convention.

Sales and Leases

Springfield Ventures purchased a 3.89-acre parcel of land at the southwest corner of San Marcos Boulevard and Las Posas Road in San Marcos for $2,665,000.

Region's Commercial Market Expected to Dodge Foreclosures

While a large wave of commercial real estate foreclosures is anticipated in Southern California markets and others in coming months, San Diego is expected to escape with only a few.

Startup Aims to Spread Wealth of Promotional Videos

The successful advances of Web 2.0 , the concept responsible for the overhaul of thousands of Web sites into interactive, rich environments , have made it clear that standing still on the Internet is bad for business.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Ethos Shifts Into Gear With Multilevel Marketing Model

The Cash for Clunkers program may have reached the end of the road, but Ethos Environmental is test-driving a new business model to sell more of its oil and fuel additives and arrive at the same goal: increase gas mileage while reducing emissions.

Banks Branching Out to Help Troubled Borrowers Modify Loans

Some of the largest mortgage servicers in the region added lots of jobs to deal with an ongoing wave of defaulting mortgages, and increased requests to amend loan terms.

Qualcomm Awards $150,000 to the San Diego Police Foundation

The San Diego Police Foundation is awarding nine local fire agencies financial support totaling $150,000, which represents a grant from Qualcomm.

Takeda Inks New Lease in La Jolla

Japan's largest pharmaceutical company has been seeking lucrative opportunities in the United States lately in an effort to come up with new, potentially blockbuster drugs.

DivX Inks Video Licensing Deal With NEC

With 300 employees and $50 million in declared cash on its balance sheet, DivX is swiftly gaining status as one of San Diego's small media giants.

Executive Says La Jolla Bank Struggling in 'Extraordinary Times'

La Jolla Bank, the largest savings and loan bank based locally with $3.9 billion in assets, reported holding $262 million in nonaccrual loans at the end of the second quarter.

Women Who Mean Business Event Set

It's going to be a really big show. Aug. 31 is the deadline to nominate candidates for the annual Women Who Mean Business Awards sponsored by the Business Journal!

Cardinal Health Spinoff Heading for New York Stock Exchange

Unless you're in the health care or medical device industries, you probably haven't heard of CareFusion, but that's about to change.

Cracking the Lease Deal Takes Finesse and Concessions

Last November, just as the economy had entered the throes of a recession, Evan McDonald of Lee & Associates was close to signing a tenant to fill a 5,000-square-foot industrial warehouse space in the Miramar Industrial District.

Travel Industry Keeps Pace With Big Apple, Baghdad By the Bay

Before the economy started to nosedive last summer, county innkeepers were able to raise room rates, thus increasing profitability, for several years running.

Friday, August 28

Property Tax Refunds Go Unclaimed

The county is holding $576,000 in unclaimed property taxes and other fees it is attempting to return within the next 45 days.

Submarina Has New Chief

San Marcos-based Submarina California Subs said Aug. 28 that it has promoted Mimi Zeller to president and CEO.

Thursday, August 27

Midas Co-Brands Stores, Enlarges Service Offerings

Eleven Midas-owned auto service shops in San Diego received about $1 million in renovations and hired nearly 50 workers as Midas added SpeeDee Oil Change to its offerings, the company said Aug. 26.

Local Economic Index Tips Up Slightly

An index measuring San Diego's economy rose a tenth of a percent in July, marking an increase for the fourth consecutive month and prompting "a cautiously optimistic" future outlook.

Real Estate Group May Join Colleagues

Members of the Coronado Real Estate Association may now become members of San Diego Association of Realtors or another Realtor association, according to a vote by the 200-member Coronado group in late July.

East County Chamber to Host Job Fair

The East County Chamber of Commerce and Rep. Duncan D. Hunter will host a job fair Sept. 2, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Ronald Reagan Community Center in El Cajon.

Wednesday, August 26

A Free Lunch for Henrys

Henry's Farmers Market, a San Diego-based grocery chain that specializes in fresh produce, plans to open its 31st location in Carlsbad on Sept. 2 and all the Henrys that come through the door that day will be treated to a free deli sandwich.

PacWest Bancorp Sells $50M in Stock

PacWest Bancorp, parent of San Diego's Pacific Western Bank with $4.5 billion in assets, said after the market closed Aug. 25 that it was raising $50 million in new capital through a stock sale to several institutional investors.

Chipmaker Sequoia Goes Out of Business

Sequoia Communications, a San Diego manufacturer of chips for mobile phones, has shut down after failing to raise enough venture capital to keep it afloat.

Nassco Lays Keel for 11th Navy Supply Ship

General Dynamics Nassco laid the keel of its 11th Lewis and Clark-class Navy supply ship during ceremonies Aug. 25.

Publicity Firm Makes Debut

Public relations industry veteran Scott A. Rieger announced on Aug. 26 the creation of a new investor and public relations agency, Access IR/PR.

Financing Woes Halt Imperial Beach Hotel Project

Citing the difficulty of getting financing, hotel developer Pacifica has postponed plans to build a $20 million, 78-room hotel on the site of Seacoast Inn in Imperial Beach.

Financial Firm Opens Downtown Office

Opes Advisors, a Palo Alto-based financial advisory firm, opened its first Southern California office in downtown San Diego at 1850 Fifth Ave., the firm said Aug. 25.

Monday, August 24

Amid Doom and Gloom, a Ray of Hope in California

It is easy to be pessimistic about the economy these days, with stock market shifts, earnings reports up then down, retail sales plummeting and unemployment climbing.

A Safe Public Waterfront That Works for All

What happened to the vision? A grand public gateway consisting of a continuous 10-acre park and gathering place at the foot of Broadway was promised to San Diegans in the Port of San Diego’s Master Plan, or PMP.

100th Downtown Rotary President to Lead Club in Centennial Year

Real estate developer Richard Troncone has been installed as the 100th president of the San Diego Downtown Rotary Club.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Bruno Rodriguez

Sales and Leases

A 6,000-square-foot office and retail building at 1215 San Elijo Road in the community of San Elijo Hills, in San Marcos, sold for $1.95 million.

Real Estate Roundup

Leading off this week's real estate news from around the county: Barnhart said recently that it landed a series of military construction contracts totaling $35.7 million.

Nonprofit Profile - Travelers Aid Society of San Diego

A conversation with Kathleen S. Baldwin, president of Travelers Aid Society of San Diego.

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Proprietors Rolling Strikes With Bowling Alley/Eatery Concept

When Dan Hurd moved to San Diego four years ago from Chicago, where he tended bar at an uber-chic bowling alley and sports bar, he didn’t understand why the latest trend in kegler aesthetics hadn’t caught on here.

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Executive Profile - Henry Preiss

Henry Preiss is chief executive of Preiss Imports, an importer of spirits from family owned producers.

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Missouri Firm Finds Downtown a Good Fit for West Coast Base

Kansas City, Mo.-based business and commercial litigation law firm Stueve Siegel Hanson has established a West Coast presence with an office in downtown San Diego.

Lackluster Small-Biz Lending Sends Signals Pointing to Recovery

It would be hard to find a slower year for local small-business lending than this one, and the latest report from the San Diego District office of the U.S. Small Business Administration proves it.

SSI-Racing Gets All Charged Up About Electric-Only Vehicles

While plenty of commuters are gleeful about their hybrids — or PHEVs (plug-in, hybrid electric vehicles) as they’re known in the industry — SSI-Racing is even more charged up about pushing the technological limits of BEVs (battery electric vehicles).

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Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Minnesota-based IntriCon said Aug. 13 that it is purchasing Datrix, which makes portable heart monitors, for $2.5 million.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

UCSD Medical School Works With Counterpart … in India

UC San Diego Health Sciences has entered into an agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur to help establish a medical center in the region.

Startup Works on Getting Injectable Migraine Treatment to Market

BIOTECH: Flush With Funding, Zogenix Advances FDA-Approved Product

Like many other local life sciences businesses, Zogenix, a small, privately held pharmaceutical firm testing migraine painkillers, had grand plans for raising money through the public markets last year.

Alaska-Based Business Strikes Up Sizable Deals in Region

DEFENSE: Obscure Industry Player Lands $87M Contract to Provide Navy IT Services

A survey of defense contracts flowing into the San Diego economy shows one of the biggest deals struck so far this year didn’t go to a usual recipient such as General Atomics, General Dynamics Nassco or Northrop Grumman.

Betting, Attendance Run High in Del Mar Track’s 70th Year

SPORTS BIZ: Promotions Help Thoroughbred Club Compete for Gambling Dollars

As the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s 70th race meet heads to the finish line, attendance figures and the betting handle are outdistancing last year’s numbers.

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HUD Rules May Hurt Builders

Some new rules scheduled to go into effect this fall on condominium loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration are discriminatory, bad for the environment, and could make affordable housing more difficult to build.

Foreclosures to Keep Residential Market Down

REAL ESTATE: Housing Prices Increasing Artificially

Despite positive signals that the region’s housing market is at or near the bottom, there’s plenty of evidence of more foreclosures on the way, which would depress prices, say industry observers.

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Xenonics Expects Brighter Sales With Exclusive Military Deal

MANUFACTURING: Aardvark To Distribute Night-Vision Products in Battlefield Kits

As a manufacturer of low-light vision systems, it’s fitting that Xenonics Holdings is peering right through the darker days of the economy.

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City Likely to Make Changes to CCDC’s Structure, Oversight

REAL ESTATE: Agency Looks to Regain Public’s Trust, Acting Chief Says

It’s been more than a year since Nancy Graham resigned from her job as president of the Centre City Development Corp., but the downtown redevelopment arm of the city has yet to find a replacement.

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Feds Urge Employers to Prepare for Flu Season

HEALTH CARE: Influenza Costs Businesses Billions in Lost Wages

As federal officials encouraged employers to review their strategies for the upcoming flu season last week, at least one of the county’s large employers had already considered its plans.

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Proprietors Rolling Strikes With Bowling Alley/Eatery Concept

When Dan Hurd moved to San Diego four years ago from Chicago, where he tended bar at an uber-chic bowling alley and sports bar, he didn't understand why the latest trend in kegler aesthetics hadn't caught on here.

City Likely to Make Changes to CCDC's Structure, Oversight

It's been more than a year since Nancy Graham resigned from her job as president of the Centre City Development Corp., but the downtown redevelopment arm of the city has yet to find a replacement.

SSI-Racing Gets All Charged Up About Electric-Only Vehicles

While plenty of commuters are gleeful about their hybrids , or PHEVs (plug-in, hybrid electric vehicles) as they're known in the industry , SSI-Racing is even more charged up about pushing the technological limits of BEVs (battery electric vehicles).

A Safe Public Waterfront That Works for All

What happened to the vision? A grand public gateway consisting of a continuous 10-acre park and gathering place at the foot of Broadway was promised to San Diegans in the Port of San Diego's Master Plan, or PMP. Now we have the old "bait and switch."

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Startup Works on Getting Injectable Migraine Treatment to Market

Like many other local life sciences businesses, Zogenix, a small, privately held pharmaceutical firm testing migraine painkillers, had grand plans for raising money through the public markets last year. But plans to carry out an $86 million initial public

Missouri Firm Finds Downtown a Good Fit for West Coast Base

Kansas City, Mo.-based business and commercial litigation law firm Stueve Siegel Hanson has established a West Coast presence with an office in downtown San Diego.

UCSD Medical School Works With Counterpart in India

UC San Diego Health Sciences has entered into an agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur to help establish a medical center in the region, officials said Aug. 18.

Amylin Names New Chairman

Former Novartis CEO Paulo Costa, who was elected to Amylin Pharmaceuticals' board during a highly publicized proxy fight, will serve as the company's new board chairman, Amylin said Aug. 24.

Stadium Eyed as World Cup Venue in 2018 or 2022

Qualcomm Stadium may be old at 41, but it's still in the running as one of 32 stadiums that made a second cut as part of the United States bid to host the World Cup soccer tournament in 2018 or 2022.

Alaska-Based Business Strikes Up Sizable Deals in Region

A survey of defense contracts flowing into the San Diego economy shows one of the biggest deals struck so far this year didn't go to a usual recipient such as General Atomics, General Dynamics Nassco or Northrop Grumman.

Lackluster Small-Biz Lending Sends Signals Pointing to Recovery

It would be hard to find a slower year for local small-business lending than this one, and the latest report from the San Diego District office of the U.S. Small Business Administration proves it.

100th Downtown Rotary President to Lead Club in Centennial Year

Real estate developer Richard Troncone has been installed as the 100th president of the San Diego Downtown Rotary Club.

Foreclosures to Keep Residential Market Down

Despite positive signals that the region's housing market is at or near the bottom, there's plenty of evidence of more foreclosures on the way, which would depress prices, say industry observers.

Feds Urge Employers to Prepare for Flu Season

As federal officials encouraged employers to review their strategies for the upcoming flu season last week, at least one of the county's large employers had already considered its plans.

Betting, Attendance Run High in Del Mar Track's 70th Year

As the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's 70th race meet heads to the finish line, attendance figures and the betting handle are outdistancing last year's numbers.

Amid Doom and Gloom, a Ray of Hope in California

A recent bright spot has emerged in a potentially overlooked industry that is contributing greatly to our local economy and our ports , the cruise industry.

Nonprofit Profile - Travelers Aid Society of San Diego

A conversation with Kathleen S. Baldwin, president of Travelers Aid Society of San Diego.

Ligand to Buy Neurogen

Ligand Pharmaceuticals entered into a deal Aug. 24 to acquire Brandford, Conn.-based Neurogen for $11 million in stock plus future payments tied to real estate sales, licensing deals and other developmental milestones.

Charlotte Russe Agrees to Sale

Charlotte Russe Holding said Aug. 24 that it agreed to be sold to Advent International, a Boston-based private equity firm, for $17.50 a share.

Xenonics Expects Brighter Sales With Exclusive Military Deal

As a manufacturer of low-light vision systems, it's fitting that Xenonics Holdings is peering right through the darker days of the economy.

Friday, August 21

July Jobless Rate at 10.3 Percent

San Diego's jobless rate rose to 10.3 percent in July, up from 10.2 percent in June, as the region shed 15,400 nonfarm jobs during the month, according to the California Employment Development Department report of Aug. 21.

Cox Communications Taps Qualcomm's BREW

Cox Communications said Aug. 21 that it will adopt Qualcomm's BREW technology to help power and expand its wireless data services.

Thursday, August 20

Comic-Con Scene Bound for Big Screen

San Diego is the backdrop once again for another major movie that was filming here Aug. 20, according to the Port of San Diego.

Economists Predict Seven More Months of Job Loss

San Diego County's shrinking employment base won't stabilize until the second quarter of next year or show any net gain in new jobs until the third quarter, according to an economic analysis done by USAToday.com and Moody's Economy.com released Aug. 20.

In a Good Year, Pension Fund Strategist Could Earn $1.4M

The board that oversees San Diego County's $6.3 billion employee pension fund approved changing the job description and compensation for the portfolio strategist position, giving the person a chance of earning more than $1.4 million annually.

Radisson Reports Data Theft

Computers at Radisson Hotels and Resorts in the Unites States and Canada were hacked during a six-month period in 2008 and 2009, putting credit card and debit card information in jeopardy, HotelBusiness.com reported Aug. 20.

Hong Kong Group Will Talk Trade

Those who feel daunted about the prospect of doing business in China or Asia may want to consider an invitation from the Hong Kong Trade Development Council. The group offers a luncheon seminar Aug. 28.

Despite Downturn, San Diego Ranks as a Labor Day Getaway

San Diego was No. 9 on a list of top 10 Labor Day weekend travel destinations ranked by the online travel agency Orbitz.com.

Harper Reels in Barracks Work

The Pentagon has tapped Harper Construction to build homes for the next generation of Marine recruits.

Investment Fund Took $70M from 300 Investors, SEC Says

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission obtained a court order freezing the assets of a San Diego man and an investment fund he ran , a fund that, by the agency's account, defrauded 300 investors of $70 million.

Two Plead Guilty in Spawar Bribery Case

A Chula Vista couple pleaded guilty to wire fraud Aug. 19 in federal court in connection with a widespread bribery case involving the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command that's based in San Diego.

Tuesday, August 18

Regulators Put Limits on Imperial Capital Bancorp

Imperial Capital Bancorp said in a securities filing of Aug. 3 that it signed a written agreement with regulators restricting the company from certain things such as paying dividends or incurring debt without getting regulator approval.

UCSD Teams Up to Build Medical Center in India

UC San Diego Health Sciences has entered into an agreement with Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur to help establish a medical center in the region, officials said Aug. 18.

Energy Producer Royale Takes a Net Loss

Royale Energy reported Aug. 14 that it had a net loss of $295,000 on revenue of $1.3 million during the three months ended June 30. In the year-ago quarter, Royale reported net income of $760,000 on revenue of $4.7 million.

Monday, August 17

United Way Gives $550K to Agencies Offering Food, Shelter, Basic Services

United Way of San Diego County made a funding opportunity available on a one-time basis to nine agencies that are providing basic services, including food and shelter.

Long Time Needed to Right the Economic Ship

Witnessing the strident debate over health care reform initially caught me by surprise.

Sunrise Opponents Attempt to Block High-Voltage Line

Sempra Energy CEO Donald Felsinger says he is confident that necessary regulatory approvals are lined up and construction will begin next summer on the $1.9 billion Sunrise Powerlink transmission project.

Nassco Launches Ninth Navy Cargo Ship

The USNS Matthew Perry, the latest Navy cargo ship built by General Dynamics Nassco, was christened and launched in a ceremony Aug. 16 attended by some 2,000 people, the company said.

Problem Loans Growing at San Diego National Bank

San Diego National Bank, one of the region's largest local banks with $3.4 billion in assets, reported a net loss of $40.6 million for the first half of the year, causing a severe hit to its capital base.

Last Lesson for College Grads: How to Find a Job in a Recession

The number of people joining the ranks of the unemployed has softened, but the job outlook for students fresh out of universities is still grim.

A Few Bright Spots Remain as Industrial Leasing Declines

Downsizings, short-term lease renewals and relocations to less expensive space dominated the county's industrial real estate market during the first half of the year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Meg Whitman to Keynote SDBJ Event

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Meg Whitman, former eBay CEO and California gubernatorial candiate for the Republican Party, has been tapped as the keynote speaker for this year's Women Who Mean Business luncheon slated for Oct. 27 at Town and Country Re

Leap Wireless Asks for Stimulus Funds

Cricket Communications said Aug. 17 that it applied for $8.6 million in federal stimulus funding to extend broadband wireless services to low-income residents.

Language Skills Pencil in Positively on Legal Resumes

Lawyers who speak more than one language have an advantage in the job market, a new survey by staffing firm Robert Half Legal shows.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: David Rova

Real Estate Roundup

Leading off this week's real estate news from around the county: Jones Lang LaSalle has opened an office on the fourth floor of La Jolla Commons. The building is located at 4747 Executive Drive.

Las Vegas Business Recruitment Ad Stirs the Pot

Yes, the cash for clunkers program is a big success. But who pays? Well, the answer is obvious. We pay.

Cash for Clunkers a Hit

The recession's impact on car-buying habits caused lots of headaches at National City's Pasha Automotive Services. With so many cars piling up at the dock, it leased a nearby lot to handle the overflow.

ViaSat Profits Soar Into Orbit

ViaSat, a producer of satellite and wireless communications systems, is boasting strong earnings growth while looking ahead to a robust order pipeline as the launching pad for what company officials predict will be a skyward year.

Cubic Approaching $1B Sales Mark

Cubic, a Kearny Mesa electronic equipment maker and defense contractor, may reach the $1 billion sales mark when its fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Nonprofit Profile - San Diego Habitat for Humanity

A conversation with Bradford W. Bates, executive director, San Diego Habitat for Humanity.

Private Universities Keep Enrollments Up in a Down Economy

Michael Bevis, business school chairman at the University of Phoenix, San Diego, is looking forward to a higher enrollment this year compared to last.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

PepperBall Technologies Wants to Put Spray in Every Pocket

If you had to endure it, would you rather be tasered or pepper sprayed? Think about it, because if you answered "pepper sprayed," then you'll want to avoid riots and aggravated situations. All the better to keep your eyes clear while keeping a watch on Pe

1st Pacific Banks on Downsizing Strategy to Complete $7M Sale

1st Pacific Bank of California, which announced its sale to First Business Bank last month, is shrinking to improve its capital position, cutting back on real estate lending and no longer accepting brokered deposits, all to make the transaction more palat

Sales and Leases

West Side Building Materials has purchased 16,000 square feet of office space at 500 W. 16th St., in National City, for $2.3 million.

New Layoffs Announced at the Union-Tribune

In yet another round of layoffs, The San Diego Union-Tribune handed pink slips to at least 112 people during the week of Aug. 10, according to sources.

Kaiser Cutting 1,850 Jobs Statewide, 650 in Region

Kaiser Permanente's surprising announcement last week that it would eliminate 650 jobs in Southern California and 1,850 statewide created concerns among health care analysts, who anticipate further job losses among hospital districts as the economy takes

State's Budget Woes Hurting Regional Safety Net Providers

First, came a deepening recession, and, with it, layoffs and an influx of newly uninsured patients. Now, state budget cuts have created added challenges for San Diego's safety net health care providers, which offer medical care to the uninsured and workin

Executive Profile - Tom Karlo

Tom Karlo is general manager of KPBS.

Cal State San Marcos Starts Furloughs, Cuts Services

Cal State San Marcos has implemented a Reduced Days of Campus Operation Plan in response to the California State University system Board of Trustees' decision to reduce student enrollment and cut campus budgets.

Colleges Contend With Higher Fees, Lower Enrollments

While the down economy currently has little room for recent college graduates, at least one research organization is looking ahead to a time when in-state demand for individuals with degrees exceeds the supply

Sandag Approves $70M for Transportation Projects

The San Diego Association of Governments agreed to set aside $70 million for infrastructure projects in a decision made July 24 to position itself to seek federal or state funding for the actual construction of the projects.

Social Media Tour Brings Gnome's Fame to Mission Beach

Travelocity's "Summer of Possibilities" marketing campaign made a little happy happen here when the online travel agency's fictitious Roaming Gnome chose to visit Mission Beach recently over his other choices , Miami's South Beach and L.A.'s Venice Beach.

Friday, August 14

Minnesota Company Buys Datrix

Datrix, an Escondido-based maker of portable heart monitors, has been purchased by Minnesota-based IntriCon for $2.5 million, IntriCon said Aug. 13.

Salk President Joins Stem Cell Board

The state's stem cell agency has a new San Diegan on its 29-member oversight board. Salk Institute President William Brody was selected to serve the panel by Lt. Gov. John Garamendi Aug. 13.

Alamo Bowl Lures Teams From Pacific Life Holiday Bowl

San Diego's biggest postseason college football game got thrown for a loss recently when the two athletic conferences demanded higher payouts for their teams' appearances.

Thursday, August 13

Two San Diego Firms Are Tops on the Inc. 500

Two San Diego companies cracked the top 50 of the Inc. 500 list, which was released Aug. 12.

Union-Tribune Announces New Layoffs

The San Diego Union-Tribune said in its Aug. 13 issue that it had eliminated 112 more positions and was making other changes to make its business more viable.

Infosonics Leaves Net Losses in the Past

Infosonics, a San Diego-based distributor of cell phones mainly in Latin America, reported Aug. 13 second quarter net income of $230,000 compared to a net loss of $2.2 million for the like quarter of last year.

Wednesday, August 12

Class-Action Suit Against Qualcomm Dismissed

Qualcomm said Aug. 11 that a California court has granted its motion to dismiss a consumer class-action lawsuit that accused the chipmaker of antitrust violations and unfair competition.

Kaiser Cuts Jobs, Blames Several Factors

Kaiser Permanente said Aug. 11 it was eliminating 1,850 jobs throughout the state, including 650 in Southern California, in anticipation of reduced Medicaid reimbursements, declining membership and other financial concerns.

Tuesday, August 11

Management Changes Hands at Mintz Levin's Local Office

Corporate and securities attorney Eddie Rodriguez will take over the management of Mintz Levin's San Diego office, replacing the firm's original manager Craig Hunsaker, the firm said Aug. 10.

Anadys Drug Has Potential, Early Stage Study Says

Anadys Pharmaceuticals said Aug. 11 its experimental hepatitis C drug ANA-773 showed promising results compared with placebo in reducing the virus in a small, early stage study.

DriveCam Collects $19M in Financing

DriveCam, a San Diego firm that provides video camera systems for transportation fleets, said Aug. 11 it secured $19 million in series D financing led by new investor Triangle Peak Partners.

Monday, August 10

Kohl’s Moving in Where Mervyns Failed to Succeed

Retail: Fifth Largest U.S. Chain Adding Stores in County

Kohl’s Department Stores, which announced plans to open three San Diego locations in space formerly occupied by Mervyns, likely got a honey of a deal on the leases.

The Early 1990s Still Holds Record for Local Bank Failures

Four more local banks failed at the end of July, bringing the total this year to 69.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Lee Rice.

Discovery Channel Offers Content on Qualcomm's Flo TV

Qualcomm is slowly building content for its Flo TV mobile service for cell phones with the recent announcement that Discovery Communications launched a Shark Week Mobile Channel.

News in Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Executive Profile , Marie Betts-Johnson

Marie Betts-Johnson spawned the idea for the International Protocol Institute of California during her work with the United Nations and her former experience while in the employ of the late King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan.

Chicken of the Sea Comes Out of Its Shell

Remember that "catchy" jingle from the early days of commercial television? Well, it's back in the news!

Rail Stops Envisioned as Starting Points for Development

As the nation and California work on financing a proposed high-speed rail project, developers, though cash-strapped, are eyeing the HSR as a promising business venture.

Car Dealerships Take a Shine to Building Green

Some car dealerships are finding that economic pragmatism and environmental stewardship can coexist as they embrace green construction practices.

Extraordinary Expenses Created High Loss, 1st Pacific Says

1st Pacific Bank of California, which announced the sale of the bank last month to First Business Bank, reported a second quarter net loss of $855,000, compared to a net loss of $429,000 for the like quarter of last year.

Sales and Leases

Sales and Leases

Positive Sign for New Home Sales

Purchases of new homes jumped 97 percent last quarter, the highest percentage increase in a three-month period ever recorded by MarketPointe Realty Advisors.

Power Couples

Dr. Nazli Keri and Dr. Kami Hoss, high school sweethearts, have been serving the San Diego community since 1996 through their pediatric dentistry and orthodontic treatment practice, The Super Dentists.

Science Foundation Awards $900K for Students Pursuing Teaching Careers

The University of San Diego has been awarded a $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program to help combat the shortage of mathematics and science teachers.

Hospitals Are Under Pressure to Improve Quality of Care

As federal lawmakers consider ways of squeezing the most value out of the U.S. health care system, San Diego hospitals and others nationwide are preparing for higher fines and additional scrutiny from government and private payers.

The Shape of Things to Come in Health Plans

The Shape of Things to Come in Health Plans

Stimulus, Bond Funds Send High-Speed Rail On Its Way

Piggybacking on President Obama's stimulus package, a high-speed rail system, similar to those in Europe and Japan, is being proposed in California to alleviate the load that existing transit lines such as highways and airports are under.

No Small Tasks for New Kaiser Head

Kaiser Permanente's newly elected executive director for San Diego County health plan and hospitals oversees more than 7,000 staff members and 830 physicians who care for nearly 500,000 members.

Real Estate Roundup

Leading off this week's real estate news from around the county: The San Diego County office market continues to experience rising vacancy rates.

Vaccination Collaboration: Inovio Teams Up With NIH

DNA vaccine developer Inovio Biomedical has entered into a research collaboration agreement with the National Institutes of Health's Vaccine Research Center to develop influenza vaccines, it said Aug. 10.

MTS Recognized as 'Outstanding Transit System'

San Diego's Metropolitan Transit System was honored with the Outstanding Transit System of the Year award by the American Public Transportation Association on July 30.

North County Redevelopment Plans are Plentiful

Nearly the last major piece of oceanfront real estate in Carlsbad is beginning its redevelopment process.

Six Leases Brings Office Project to 82% Occupancy

Progress Report

Life Technologies Wraps Up Information Systems Sale

Life Technologies of Carlsbad has completed the sale of its SQL*LIMS business to New Jersey-based LabVantage Solutions for an undisclosed sum, finalizing a deal struck in late June.

Facebook Offering Second Chance to Protect Trademarks

Minutes past the stroke of midnight June 13, millions of Facebook users rushed to claim unique Web addresses that identify them by name.

Counselors, Coaches Can Help Ease Job Stress

Counselors, Coaches Can Help Ease Job Stress

MedImpact Reports Growth, on Course for Healthy Future

Prolonging its prognosis for economic health and wellness, MedImpact Healthcare Systems recently renewed its contract to provide pharmacy benefit services to Health Alliance Plan, a Detroit-based nonprofit health plan serving 500,000 members.

Arena Pharmaceuticals Cuts Loss, Focuses on Obesity Drug

Arena Pharmaceuticals, which plans to submit a new obesity drug to the FDA this year, posted a smaller second-quarter loss Aug. 3 as it shifted focus toward its lead drug candidate.

Nonprofit Profile , St. Madeleine Sophie's Center

Mission of organization: To empower adults with developmental disabilities to discover, experience and realize their full potential as members of the greater community.

The Good News, and the Bad

Despite a hobbled economy, military spending has been growing locally, but this year's apparent leveling off might indicate a peak.

Builder Expanding With Military Projects

It's news that seems to have come out of another decade: A construction company adds middle managers to better handle a growing volume of work.

Kohl's Moving in Where Mervyns Failed to Succeed

Kohl's Department Stores, which announced plans to open three San Diego locations in space formerly occupied by Mervyns, likely got a honey of a deal on the leases.

Friday, August 7

County's Crops Worth $1.55B

San Diego County growers produced crops worth $1.55 billion in 2008, a record number despite a lackluster economy and drought conditions, county agriculture officials said Aug. 6.

Leap Wireless Posts $61M Loss

Leap Wireless International, the San Diego parent of Cricket cell phone service, said Aug. 6 that it added a net of 203,000 customers, but also took a net loss of $61.2 million for the second quarter.

Problem Loans Grow at San Diego National Bank

San Diego National Bank, among the city's largest with $3.4 billion in total assets, lost more than $40 million in the second quarter, dragged down by a stunning addition of $115 million to its problem loan portfolio.

U-T Owner Eyes Boston Globe

The Beverly Hills-based private equity firm that recently bought the county's only major metropolitan daily newspaper, The San Diego Union-Tribune, has made a bid to buy The Boston Globe.

Thursday, August 6

County Sends Out Fewer Delinquent Property Tax Notices

A possible sign the economy may be stabilizing here: fewer delinquent notices on county tax bills were sent out, according to county Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister.

Foundation, Research Institute Target Type 1 Diabetes

La Jolla's Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation said Aug. 5 it has entered into a research agreement with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to push treatments for type 1 diabetes into the clinic at a faster pace.

Special Assessment Cuts Into Security Business Bancorp Profit

Security Business Bancorp, parent of Security Business Bank of San Diego, reported Aug. 6 second quarter net income of $209,000, down from $276,000 in net income for the like quarter of 2008.

ViaSat Sales, Profit Fly Slightly Higher

ViaSat, the Carlsbad maker of satellite equipment, reported 2010 fiscal first quarter net profit of $8.3 million, up from the like quarter of the prior fiscal year when it posted $6.3 million in net profit.

Wednesday, August 5

Smart Charger Rolls Out as Part of Electric Vehicle Test

San Diego Gas & Electric said Aug. 5 it will test and evaluate Plug Smart, a mobile smart charging device for plug-in electric vehicles. It's part of a larger initiative that will test 5,000 electric vehicles in five cities.

DJO Acquires Two Canadian Distributors

DJO, the Vista-based maker of prosthetic devices, said Aug. 5 its Canadian subsidiary acquired two Canadian distributors of DJO products in separate transactions.

Buick Nameplate Comes Off Torrey Pines Tournament

San Diego's long running pro golf tournament, the Buick Invitational that's held at the beginning of the year at Torrey Pines Golf Course, is seeking a new sponsor after General Motors and Buick severed all ties with the Professional Golfers Association's

Decline in Discretionary Spending Hits Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box reported reduced profits and sales for its third quarter in a press statement Aug. 4.

Cubic Earnings Go Higher

Cubic reported net earnings for its third quarter of $14.9 million, up 76 percent from net earnings of the same quarter last year.

Tuesday, August 4

Arena Pharmaceuticals Cuts Loss

Arena Pharmaceuticals, which plans to submit a new obesity drug to the FDA this year, posted a smaller second quarter loss Aug. 3 as it shifted focus toward its lead drug candidate.

Kohl's Coming to Three Former Mervyn's Locations

Wisconsin-based Kohl's Department Stores says it plans to open three San Diego locations in storefronts formerly occupied by Mervyn's, and hire 450 workers.

American Technology Cuts Expenses, Breaks Even

American Technology, which makes acoustic devices that can direct sound over long distances to deter sea and land attacks, posted another profitable quarter as naval forces and maritime shipping companies fought off pirates.

Adventrx Lays Out Strategy for Chemotherapy Drug

San Diego-based Adventrx Pharmaceuticals said Aug. 4 it intends to submit its experimental chemotherapy drug ANX-530 to the FDA before the end of the year.

Rubio's Earnings Perk Up

San Diego-based Rubio's Restaurants, traded on Nasdaq as RUBO, reported net income of $512,000, or 5 cents a share in the second quarter, an increase of 53 percent from $335,000, or 3 cents per share in the same quarter a year ago.

Monday, August 3

CommerceWest Hires Former Discovery Bank CEO Jim Kelley

Jim Kelley, pushed out the door several years ago as CEO of Discovery Bancorp, was recently hired as regional vice president at CommerceWest Bank, the Irvine-based lender that officially acquired Discovery for $9.1 million last month.

Cal Bank & Trust Might Shutter 4 Newly Acquired Branches

San Diego's largest lender, California Bank & Trust, which boosted its assets to $12 billion with the acquisition of failed Vineyard Bank last month, says it may close three to four of 16 branches it assumed.

Hotel Occupancy Increases But Room Rates Take Dip

After witnessing steady declines in occupancy, room rates and revenue since last summer, local inns logged a 2.5 percent increase in occupancy to 85.4 percent for the week ended July 18, according to Smith Travel Research.

Genentech Ramping Up North County Manufacturing

About 500 Oceanside workers responsible for producing batches of Genentech's best-selling cancer drug Avastin will keep their jobs under a plan to merge the biotech behemoth into Swiss drug maker Roche and align the businesses' manufacturing sites worldwi

Veteran Lender Says Home Market in a Boom, Bust Cycle

Given the bursting of the housing bubble and the worst recession since the Great Depression, mortgage lender Craig Brown seems unflappable regarding the industry he's been a part of for a quarter of a century.

Power Couples: Yehudi and Pam Gaffen

Yehudi and Pam Gaffen

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Jamie B. Zamoff

Commercial Tenants Are Enjoying 'Salad Days'

These are the dark days for commercial property. That is, if you own any of it.

Real Estate Roundup

Leading off this week's real estate news from around the county: Convenience store giant 7-Eleven said July 24 that it plans an aggressive expansion push throughout Southern California that calls for 100 new stores within the next three years.

Qualcomm Declares Victory in Dispute With South Korea

Qualcomm on July 23 proclaimed victory in a large headline that the Korea Fair Trade Commission dismissed claims alleging unfair business practices, which is an interesting way to report a $208 million fine levied against the San Diego wireless chipmaker

Speaker Urged Phil Knight to 'Just Do It'

Pacific Northwest advertising guru Dan Wieden appears before members of the San Diego Ad Club on Aug. 6 at the University of San Diego campus to talk about the business.

Wireless World

Qualcomm's vision for a wireless future includes smart devices on home appliances, self-operating cars and body sensors that monitor and share information with businesses and organizations that provide services.

Pt. Loma Treatment Plant Lauded By EPA

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave San Diego props last week for the city's renewable energy projects at the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Executive Profile - Elizabeth Rice

Elizabeth Rice is president of Innovative Employee Solutions.

B Street Pier Project Still in the Preliminary Stages

While work on the long-awaited, much-debated cruise ship terminal for the Broadway Pier gets under way with official wharf breaking scheduled for Aug. 4, a much grander and costlier terminal at the B Street Pier remains on the drawing boards.

More Condos Becoming Apartments in a Slow Sales Market

Technically speaking, Mira Bella, a shiny, new four-story multifamily project on Kearny Villa Road, belongs in the category of condos-turned-apartments.

Scripps Reports Breakthrough With Skin Cells

Scientists with The Scripps Research Institute of La Jolla have reported breeding live mice using skin cells, progress that could one day lead to using a patient's own cells to grow replacement organs.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Regulators Charge Investment Fund Operators With Fraud

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two San Diego men and a Mexican national, along with the four businesses they controlled, with securities fraud and operating a Ponzi scheme that collected investor funds by promising excessive returns, and u

Absorption of Perry Scientific Is Completed by Pennsylvania Firm

Perry Scientific, San Diego's oldest preclinical outsourcing specialist, became part of Exton, Penn.-based Absorption Systems last month in a deal that creates a 100-employee contract research organization.

Resistance to 'Super-Size' Wal-Marts Slows Progress in Region and State

The recent expansion of Wal-Mart Stores' Oceanside store marks the mega-retailer's first full-service grocery division within the county, but more are on the way.

Feeding America Donation to Provide Food for School Children

Ralphs Grocery Co. donated $110,000 to Feeding America San Diego.

Vibra Bank Finishes First Year, Looks Ahead to Break Even

Vibra Bank, the sole bank to open last year, recently announced the completion of its first full year of operations.

Housing Remains in Deep Slump Despite Recent Uptick

Three months of gains in the San Diego housing market has spurred cautious optimism among real estate professionals. Yet choppy waters ahead could sink the recovery before it starts.

Sales and Leases

DEI LLC has purchased La Pacifica, a 226,220-square-foot industrial project in Oceanside.

'Cash for Clunkers' Revs Up Car Buying

It may not be the salvation of the auto industry, but the government's offer to buy gas guzzlers for up to $4,500 apiece is bringing buyers into San Diego County new car showrooms.

Nonprofit Profile - American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter

A conversation with Joe W. Craver, CEO, American Red Cross