Stories for January 2009

Friday, January 30

Border Agency Job Fair Set for Jan. 31

Layoffs may be picking up but not at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which recently said it plans to hire 11,000 front line, mission and operations support people this year.

Gen-Probe Offers $132M Cash for Tepnel

Gen-Probe, the San Diego-based maker of test kits used to screen human blood and diagnose diseases, offered to acquire British diagnostics company Tepnel Life Sciences in an all-cash deal valued at $132.2 million Jan. 30.

Jamba Juice Squeezes Into Lindbergh Space

Jamba Juice held an official opening of its newest outlet at Lindbergh Field Jan. 28, the first such organic juice bar opened at a California airport.

Bell Boyd Becomes Part of K & L; Gates

Partners at the law firms of Bell, Boyd & Lloyd and K & L; Gates voted to merge the companies Jan. 30 in a deal that would establish K & L; Gates' presence in San Diego.

Doors Closed at Two Hard Rock Hotel Bars

Tarsadia Hotels, developer and manager of the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego, has locked restaurateur and nightclub owner Rande Gerber and 150 of his employees out of the Sweetwater and Moonstone bars.

Thursday, January 29

New Car Registrations Decline to 1993 Level

More Toyota Camrys drove off California car lots in the fourth quarter of last year than any other single make and model.

Icahn Capital Seeks Five Seats on Amylin Board

Amylin Pharmaceuticals confirmed Jan. 29 that shareholder Carl Icahn's group Icahn Capital intends to nominate a slate of five directors for election at the company's annual meeting.

Morrison & Foerster Joins Law Firm Cutbacks

Adding to the mounting list of local law firms that have announced job cuts in recent months, Morrison & Foerster said Jan. 28 it eliminated 53 lawyer positions and 148 staff jobs firmwide.

Survey Puts Restaurant Work Force at 105,000

More than 6,500 food and beverage establishments in San Diego generated $300 million in sales, according to a survey taken last summer.

Kyocera Wireless Cuts 250 Local Jobs

Kyocera Wireless Corp., based in San Diego and a unit of Kyocera Corp., said Jan. 29 it cut 360 jobs, including 250 based at its San Diego office on Campus Point Way in La Jolla as a result of a global reorganization affecting its mobile handset business.

USD Index Shows December Decline

An index measuring San Diego's overall economy showed the largest drop in more than a year in December with decreases felt in five of six components that make up the index.

RF Industries Reveals Record Year

RF Industries Ltd., a San Diego distributor of radio frequency coaxial connectors and cables, reported fourth quarter net income of $446,000 on revenue of $4.7 million for the quarter ended Oct. 31.

Prebys Gives $10M to Burnham Institute

The Burnham Institute for Medical Research, one of San Diego's top-ranked nonprofit biomedical research hubs, received a $10 million gift from millionaire builder Conrad Prebys, it said Jan. 29.

Wednesday, January 28

New Data Bolsters Sequenom Test

Sequenom released further results of a study in pregnant women showing that its prenatal blood tests proved between 99 and 100 percent accurate in detecting Down syndrome in early-stage fetal development.

Qualcomm's Earnings Carry Overtones of Recession

Qualcomm earnings fell dramatically last quarter as the global recession weakened demand for CDMA cell phones and severely eroded the value of its investment securities, the wireless chipmaker reported after the close of New York markets on Jan. 28.

Kaiser Provides $1M to City Heights Clinic

Kaiser Permanente said Jan. 28 it will provide $1 million to La Maestra Community Health Center for the construction of a new "green" community health clinic.

Second Wave of Starbucks Closures Coming

Starbucks plans to slash 6,700 jobs and close 300 stores, including 200 in the United States, the struggling Seattle-based coffee giant announced Jan. 28.

Sequenom Reverses Course on Exact Sciences Bid

A day after Sequenom went public with its intent to buy Massachusetts-based Exact Sciences for $41 million, the San Diego company withdrew its offer after Exact made a $24 million deal with a collaborator.

Marriott Foundation Donates $2.4M to San Diego State

San Diego State University's School of Hospitality and Tourism Management has received a gift of $2.4 million from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.

Bio-Matrix Moves Into Stem Cell Storage

San Diego-based Bio-Matrix Scientific Group, the publicly held maker of disposable instruments for plastic surgeons, said Jan. 28 it is branching into the stem cell storage business.

Tuesday, January 27

Encinitas Apartments Sell in All-Cash Transaction

An 18-unit apartment complex in Encinitas sold for $3.2 million.

MyOffice Stays on Fast Track

A San Diego-based turnkey moving service, MyOffice Facility Solutions, said Jan. 27 that it has acquired Tri Space Group, a 16-year-old Long Beach office furniture and corporate relocation firm.

New Public Relations Firm Sets Sights High

Denise Herich and Michelle Francis Munroe announced the formation of their new public relations firm, Peak3 Communications, on Jan. 26.

Del Mar Restaurant Gets Five Stars from Mobil

Addison, the fine dining restaurant in the posh Grand Del Mar resort, has earned a Five-Star rating from Mobil Travel Guide, considered in the hospitality industry to be the highest rating of excellence.

Corner Bakery Cafe Comes to National City

A Corner Bakery Cafe opened Jan. 26 in National City's Westfield Plaza Bonita Shopping Centre.

Profit Small, Portfolio Growing at Security Business Bancorp

Security Business Bancorp, based in San Diego and with total assets of $204 million, reported a net profit for the fourth quarter of $40,000, compared to $451,000 for the fourth quarter of 2007.

Monday, January 26

San Diego Collects $1.2B of Venture Funding in 2008

The San Diego region bucked a nationwide trend as venture capital investment increased by 5 percent last quarter over the third quarter of 2008, according to a Jan. 26 report.

Most Forecasters at USD Panel Pessimistic About 2009

The consensus among the six speakers at the 2009 County of San Diego Economic Roundtable was to expect more of the same, and hope that a promised federal stimulus package gets approved quickly and filters down to the local level.

Dogged Determination

Petco, which has been private since 2006, is the biggest it has ever been, with 960 stores in all 50 states. The chain had a net gain of 60 stores last year and expects to add 50 stores this year, says Myers.

Contractors Oppose County's Proposed Permit Fee Increases

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors plans to consider increasing building permit fees Jan. 28.

Report Paints Rosy Picture of Cut Flower Industry

As water shortages and looming cutbacks have local crop owners prepared to scale back operations, the state's cut flower growers have made a concerted effort to remind local decision-makers of their value to the community.

Development Site Sand Replenishing Encinitas Beach

Sand excavated from a development project in downtown Encinitas is being used to replenish an eroding beach area in the city.

School District Gears Up to Spend $2.1 Billion on Repairs, Upgrades

Although the slowdown in home construction is expected to continue, business is picking up in the public sector.

Real Estate Profile - Peter Middleton

Peter Middleton is president of Middleton & Associates Keller Williams La Jolla, a real estate company.

Wells Fargo Shows Industry How to Conduct a Merger

In an industry that continues to undergo shocking change, Wells Fargo Bank still remains standing, getting larger and now among the largest banks in the nation, with more than $1 trillion in assets.

Lawyer to Help Find U.S. Attorney, District Judge Nominees

David Casey Jr., an attorney with the local law firm of Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, is involved in the process to determine appointments of U.S. attorneys, district court judges and marshals who will serve under the new president.

Ground Breaking: Rachel's Women's Center

Rachel's Women's Center

Connect to Induct GA's Blue Bros. Into Hall of Fame

Connect, a nonprofit supporting local technology and biotechnology startups, is scheduled to induct brothers Linden and Neal Blue, who turned General Atomics into a government contracting powerhouse, into its Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

Concept of Sharing Incorporated in Brand

San Diego-based L.W.P. Group opened another residential project this month.

GSA Takes Pride in Its Local Operations

The next time you see a car, van or truck driving by you with a government license plate, look closely. Chances are there's a GSA logo in the corner.

Lights, Cameras, But Little Action in Local Film Industry

As Hollywood goes, so goes San Diego's fledgling film industry.

Grantville But One Star in the Redevelopment Constellation

Grantville , a 990-acre hodgepodge of auto-related, industrial, commercial, fast-food restaurants, gravel extraction, hospital, neglected creek and wetland, trolley stop and lots of busy auto and truck traffic located off the Fairmont Avenue exit along In

BOMA Collects Gifts for Abuse Prevention Foundation

The San Diego Building Owners and Managers Association, or BOMA, collected more than 12,000 gifts for the 15th annual Give Your Heart to Kids gift drive to support the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation's Polinsky Children's Center.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions. Executive Spotlight: Jon Cook

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has formed a partnership with Darley, an internationally known horse breeder.

Landlords Eager for Early Renewal of Office Leases

With office vacancy rates hitting 15 percent, landlords are reaching out to tenants to renew leases early, sometimes three years early.

Legal Obstacles Delay Financing of $400M Lane Field Project

With the California Coastal Commission's recent approval of the $400 million Lane Field waterfront development, financing for the downtown San Diego project , while not yet inked , inches closer.

U.S. Bank Boosts Its Slice of the Pie With Downey Branches

U.S. Bank gained a bit of market share in San Diego last year when the Minneapolis-based bank acquired Downey Savings & Loan and PFF Bank & Trust from federal regulators.

Week In Review

Top Business News: Jan. 16 -22, 2009

Carlsbad Celebrates President Obama's Inaugural in Miniland

In the heart of Legoland California stands Miniland, where Lego-brick-built cities are occupied by Lego residents who drive Lego cars, work in Lego buildings, relax at Lego hotels. And when the time comes, inaugurate a new president, Lego style.

$20M-Plus Hotel Project a Catalyst for Imperial Beach Redevelopment

Hotel developer Pacifica Cos. is raising hopes in Imperial Beach while razing the Seacoast Inn to build a four-story, 78-room hotel.

Hospitals Seeking Financial Cures for What Ails Them

The nation's troubled economy has taken a toll on hospitals statewide, causing many to rethink equipment purchases, scale back construction plans and consider work force reductions.

Qualcomm's Hiring Spree

Most companies, and even entire industries such as banking, are in a free-fall, but one of San Diego's largest private employers, Qualcomm, has been increasing its payroll at a stunning pace in recent years.

Home Depot to Close Expo Stores

Home Depot said Jan. 26 that it plans to close its 34 Expo Design Center stores in 13 states, including the one on Convoy Street and Othello Avenue in Kearny Mesa, and a second store on Leucadia Boulevard in Encinitas.

Haddad Is Chamber Chairman for 2009

Benjamin Haddad is set to be inducted as 2009 chairman of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce during its 138th annual dinner Jan. 27.

Sales and Leases

The 89-unit apartment community of Buena Vista, at 405 Autumn Drive in San Marcos, was sold for $8,990,000.

News Web Site Launching

Good news surfaces on the local media scene. There's a new "publication" on the horizon that will feature a big helping of community news, including sports and business.

Music Instrument Retailers Still Drumming Up Good Business

"Flat is the new up," was emblazoned on T-shirts worn at the National Association of Music Merchants' tradeshow held recently in Orange County.

HouseRebate.com Targeting Banks With Short Sale Program

As the housing crisis enters another calendar year, local online discount brokerage HouseRebate.com believes lenders may be more willing to approve "short sales" by delinquent homeowners.

High-Voltage Merger

UltraLast Batteries is increasing the voltage of its sales and marketing efforts by adding a new line of rechargeable products that have a remarkably long life span, with the added consumer appeal of being environmentally friendly.

Entrepreneur Profile - Nadav Wilf

Nadav Wilf is CEO of Matrix Media Technologies, which manages online advertising efforts.

Myth of the Markets as U.S. Economic Barometer

I'm not an economist, but based on 35 years of observing the stock markets as a business journalist, I think I can comment on this one sector of the U.S. economy.

Northrop's Global Hawk Gets Work in the Sciences

The U.S. government is planning to send a specially equipped Global Hawk spy aircraft aloft in the spring, this time in the interest of science.

Replacing Miracle Mini-Mall Has Mixed Reviews

Imperial Beach is spending $11 million to clean up what some consider a blighted area.

Discovery Bank, FDIC Strike Deal

Discovery Bank, based in San Marcos, said Jan. 23 it has entered into a cease and desist agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to take a number of steps to improve its operations, focused mainly on reducing its problem loans.

North Island Credit Union Chief Retires

Michael Maslak, president and chief executive of North Island Credit Union, the county's third largest with $1.6 billion in assets, retired effective Jan. 12, the San Diego credit union said Jan. 26.

New Mayors for Carlsbad, Escondido to Be Elected in '10

The country has been waiting for weeks, perhaps years, for the new president and his team to take office in the hope that major changes, financial stimulus programs, tax rebates and other important steps will be forthcoming to take the economy up a notch.

Ground Breaking: Turnagain Arms Apartments

Turnagain Arms Apartments

Friday, January 23

December's Jobless Rate Heads in Unfamiliar Direction

The recession has taken a firm hold, judging from the December unemployment for San Diego, which shot up to 7.4 percent from a revised November rate of 6.9 percent.

SkinMedica Files Patent Suit Against Histogen

SkinMedica, a privately held Carlsbad-based skin care company, said Jan. 22 it filed a lawsuit against San Diego-based biotech company Histogen seeking unspecified damages and an injunction against the company.

Active Network Acquires ReserveAmerica

The Active Network will acquire the national campground reservation service ReserveAmerica in a stock swap with publicly traded IAC/InterActiveCorp of New York, the two companies said Jan. 23.

Thursday, January 22

Charlotte Russe Considers Offer to Buy

In two separate announcements on Jan. 21 San Diego-based apparel retailer Charlotte Russe, which targets teenage girls and women in their 20s, reported a loss and said it is considering selling the chain.

Seacoast Commerce Bank Reports $1.6M Net Loss for Year

Seacoast Commerce Bank, based in Chula Vista and with a single office, said Jan. 21 that it had net income of $58,000 for the fourth quarter, compared to a net loss of $668,000 for the like quarter of 2007.

Eight Local Attorneys Cut from Cooley

Eight attorneys in the San Diego office of Cooley Godward Kronish were laid off as part of a firmwide restructuring announced Jan. 22, according to a spokeswoman with the law firm.

Legoland Hotel Idea Clicks With Planning Commissioners

Plans for a hotel on the grounds of Legoland California cleared a first hurdle with approval by the Carlsbad Planning Commission.

PacWest Bancorp Earns $9.6M in Quarter

PacWest Bancorp, the $4.5 billion holding company to San Diego-based Pacific Western Bank, reported fourth quarter net earnings of $9.6 million, down from $17 million in net profit earned in 2007's fourth quarter.

Management Team Buys Pat & Oscar's

Pat & Oscar's, a San Diego-based restaurant chain with 19 locations, was acquired from Australia-based Pacific Equity Partners in a management buyout led by its CEO John Kaufman and Vice President Tim Foley.

Net Income Grows at Northern Trust

Northern Trust Corp., based in Chicago and with two offices in the La Jolla area, reported on Jan. 21 that it had net income of $342 million for its fourth quarter, up from $125 million in the prior year's fourth quarter.

Wednesday, January 21

Akesis Headed for Chapter 7

Akesis Pharmaceuticals said Jan. 21 it has ended its only drug development program and intends to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.

Tuesday, January 20

Clear Channel Radio Cuts 40 Jobs

Roughly 40 workers, including on-air personalities and salespeople, lost their jobs at local Clear Channel radio stations in sweeping staff cuts made Jan. 20 by the nation's largest radio broadcaster.

Workshop Lays Out Path for Nonprofits

Score San Diego and the San Diego Foundation are again hosting their "Start a Nonprofit" workshop.

Qualcomm Buys Business From Chipmaker AMD

Qualcomm, the San Diego wireless chip maker, said Jan. 20 it acquired some handheld graphics and multimedia assets it was previously buying from AMD for $65 million.

Metabasis Cuts 43 Percent of Staff

Metabasis Therapeutics, the maker of experimental drugs for diabetes and liver disease, announced a corporate restructuring Jan. 20 that will eliminate 38 jobs, or 43 percent of its work force.

Monday, January 19

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions. Executive Spotlight: Sunita Cooke

KidZui Recognized for Child Friendly Online Entertainment

KidZui's CEO Cliff Boro lives on a sailboat, but don't let that fool you. Boro is anything but laid-back when it comes to his passion for helping children have fun on the Internet while assuring parents of a safe experience.

SD Foreclosure Rate Lower Than Santa Clara, Fresno

Finally, some better news in the foreclosure market!

Drug Deal

Underscoring a growing trend between nonprofit research institutions and big pharmaceutical firms, La Jolla's Burnham Institute for Medical Research entered a two-year commitment with Johnson & Johnson on Jan. 13 that will drive research into inflammatory

ConVis Earmarks $3.5M Hotel Funding for National Campaign

The county's tourism marketing agency recently got a $3.5 million shot in the arm to get travelers in a San Diego frame of mind.

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Nico's Steak & Chop House held its grand opening last month at Otay Ranch Town Center.

Pala Takes a Gamble, Continues $100M Casino Expansion

Two county casinos are swimming against the recessionary tide, venturing into 2009 with capital improvement projects and modest staff increases.

'Bloblive' Invades Gaslamp, Much to Entrepreneurs' Delight

Ideablob.com, a social Web site for entrepreneurs, brought its "Bloblive" brainstorming event to the Gaslamp Quarter Jan. 7 as part of its 2009 kickoff.

No Love Lost Between Hedgecock, Valentine

The struggling Birch North Park Theatre celebrates its 80th anniversary with a town meeting to discuss the future of the remodeled venue, which is home to Lyric Opera San Diego.

The Age of Creation and Age of Innovation?

John Howkins, author of "The Creative Economy," says that anyone with a good idea can make money.

Illumina Helps Shed Light on Giant Panda

Using genetic analysis tools made by San Diego-based Illumina, China's Beijing Genomics Institute in Shenzhen announced last week that it had mapped the entire genetic code for the giant panda.

Ball Proceeds to Benefit Pavilion

The 100th Anniversary Charity Ball Committee reached its fundraising goal of $500,000, which included a matching grant from the Ernest Rady family.

President of Questionable Investment Fund Offers Guilty Plea

Donald Manning, who was president of an investment operation called the Brixon Group, described as a Ponzi scheme by federal prosecutors, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges in U.S. District Court Jan. 16.

Texters Flock to Globaltel's New Two-Way Communication Tool

San Diego's Globaltel Media had something to crow about as it launched Cherple , which allows two-way text chats between online computers and cellular devices , at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Fallbrook Gears Up After $25M VC Investment

Fallbrook Technologies, which makes the NuVinci manual transmission that improves torque efficiency in bicycles and electric vehicles, recently fetched $25.4 million in venture funding.

Wind Blows Renewable Energy Provider Back Home

Cannon Power Group, a veteran developer of wind and solar projects, recently moved its headquarters from Madrid, Spain, to Del Mar, so it can more closely manage several construction projects in the region.

Executive Profile - Cadie Browne

Cadie Browne is CEO of Parisi Portfolio, a Del Mar-based interior design firm that focuses on restaurants, boutique hotels and luxury residential living.

Live Mobile TV Service Enhances Qualcomm's Image

San Diego's Qualcomm has yet another award winner , FLO TV, the live mobile television service demonstrated at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month.

Sony Arms Itself With Octopi's Assets

Sony Online Entertainment, a San Diego-based producer of online video games, said Jan. 19 that it acquired the assets of Octopi of Tucson, Ariz., closing the deal Jan. 16. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Human Resources Veteran Offers Alternatives to Layoffs

The Business Journal caught up with Doug Sjoberg, a consultant and lead trainer at the Employers Group office in San Diego, to find out how firms are dealing with the recession and what they can do when cutting staff is the only solution.

Life in the Fast Lane Treating Hotelier, Restaurateur Well

Downtown hotelier and restaurateur Edward Kaen is on a roll with Italian automobile designer Pininfarina, famous for the Ferrari.

Week In Review

Top Business News: Jan. 9 -15, 2009

'Breaking the Buck'

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, which manages Lindbergh Field, said it has not received all of the $12 million it invested in the Primary Reserve Fund, the money market fund that "broke the buck" in September.

Ground Breaking: Palomar College's Multi-Disciplinary Instructional Building

Palomar College's Multi-Disciplinary Instructional Building

Tapping TARP

Seacoast Commerce Bank in Chula Vista would seem an unlikely candidate to receive U.S. Treasury Department funds through the $700 billion stimulus package intended to jump-start the stalled economy.

Dynalectric Putting Its Energy Into UCSD Solar Project

Dynalectric is working on UC San Diego's Solar Grove project, which consists of a series of steel-framed structures supporting photovoltaic solar panels, called Solar Trees.

Escalating Costs Drives PPH to Scale Back Construction Plans

Faced with significant cost increases to build a new hospital in Escondido, Palomar Pomerado Health officials are seeking ways to trim $184 million off the project's estimated $957 million price tag.

Don't Knock Out Athletic Center Legal Case

San Diego area business owners, be warned. Constitutional rights on paper may not stop tax hungry California governments from taking what is rightfully yours.

Sales and Leases

The San Diego-based Conrad Prebys Trust bought Trilogy on 5th, a 25-unit apartment complex in the 3200 block of Fifth Avenue in San Diego, for $10.25 million, or $410,000 per unit.

Poway Business Park Sees $15M Building Sale

An industrial building in the 12400 block of Stowe Drive in Poway sold for $15 million. Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial announced the sale Jan. 16.

Slump Puts Bite on Gaslamp Bistros

Downtown's dining scene has undergone a lot of changes recently, and the economy is the main reason, says Jimmy Parker, director of the Gaslamp Quarter Association, a trade group that promotes businesses within the district.

Friday, January 16

National University Absorbs Think Tank

The San Diego Institute for Policy Research, a think tank funded by two-time mayoral candidate Steve Francis, is now a part of National University, the university announced Jan. 16.

Nanotech Group Casts Wider Net

NanoBioNexus, the local nonprofit group representing the nanotech industry, said it has reorganized in an effort to expand its services beyond life sciences into energy, optics, food and safety, water and defense applications.

Thursday, January 15

Cypress Drug Gets Green Light From FDA

The FDA has approved a drug made by Cypress Bioscience of San Diego for treating widespread fibromyalgia pain.

Barnhart Businesses Put Down Roots in 4S Ranch

Douglas E. Barnhart's latest firms, Makena Consulting Group and J. Reese Construction, will have a new home.

PacWest Bancorp Takes in $100M Private Placement

PacWest Bancorp, holding company for San Diego-based Pacific Western Bank, said Jan. 14 it completed a private placement stock offering with CapGen Capital Group II LP for abut $100 million in 3.8 million shares of PacWest.

Linda Vista Office Building Sells for $6.6M

A Class B office building on Morena Boulevard near Naples Place in San Diego sold for $6.6 million.

Cymer, Overland Cut Staff

Two San Diego high-tech public companies announced personnel cuts Jan. 15, citing the deteriorating economic conditions.

Wednesday, January 14

S & P; Gives High Marks to County Investment Pool

San Diego County's investment pool, which passed the $6 billion mark last year, was reaffirmed by Standard & Poor's with an AAAf credit quality rating, the highest accorded to similar funds.

Office Vacancy Rate Rises to 17.8 Percent

Effects of the national credit crunch and housing correction have trickled down into the local office market, according to CB Richard Ellis' fourth quarter office market report released Jan. 13.

TaylorMade-adidas Golf to Cut 70 Jobs

TaylorMade-adidas Golf of Carlsbad said Jan. 9 that it plans to reduce its work force by 70 employees.

Tuesday, January 13

San Diego Gets Back in the Bond Market

The city of San Diego jumped back into the municipal bond markets this week after being locked out for about five years because the city omitted significant financial data about its employee pension fund deficit in bond disclosure documents, the city anno

Exact Sciences Says 'No Thanks' to Sequenom Offer

Exact Sciences has rebuffed an offer from San Diego-based Sequenom to buy the company, saying it would seek additional offers that promised better value for the company's shareholders.

Burnham, Johnson & Johnson Sign Pact

Signaling a growing trend between nonprofit research institutions and private industry, Burnham Institute for Medical Research entered an agreement with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development that will allow the companies to collaborate

NuVasive Puts Money Into Dutch Biotech

San Diego-based spinal device maker NuVasive entered an agreement with a Netherlands biotech that will allow it to expand its offering of bone graft products to surgeons, the company said Jan. 13.

Medtronic to Buy Ablation Frontiers

Medical device giant Medtronic entered into a deal with privately held Ablation Frontiers of Carlsbad to acquire the company for more than $225 million, Medtronic said Jan. 12.

Kaiser Inks 10-Year Rancho Bernardo Lease

Health care provider Kaiser Permanente signed a $13.8 million lease for 31,108 square feet of medical office space in Rancho Bernardo.

Monday, January 12

Topping Off: Villa Nueva Community Center

Villa Nueva Community Center

Sequenom Makes Offer for Exact Sciences

Sequenom, a San Diego-based genetics test maker, offered to buy Exact Sciences Corp. Jan. 9 in an all-stock deal valued at $41 million.

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Edible Arrangements, maker of fresh fruit bouquets, opened its newest franchise store at 8237 La Mesa Blvd.

Week In Review

Top Business News: Jan. 2-8, 2009

Several New Laws to Watch Out for in the New Year

Hundreds of laws took effect Jan. 1, many that impact businesses.

16 Lending Offices Shuttered

Temecula Valley Bancorp shuttered 16 loan production offices outside California and laid off 36 employees, or 12 percent of its staff, last week in an effort to ride out the dismal economy.

The EastLake Co. President Adds New Title

The EastLake Co. President Bill Ostrem is now chairman emeritus of the University of San Diego's Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

New Stock Offerings Dried Up in Fourth Quarter of '08

A poll conducted by the National Venture Capital Association confirmed the view that 2008 financial carnage was equally punishing on venture-funded startups.

Executive Profile - Ed Sternagle

Ed Sternagle is principal of Creative Professional Services, which provides management consulting services to small, rapidly growing companies.

Managed Solution Teams With IT Vendors, Doubles Sales in '08

For a guy who started a business walking from office to office in San Diego's Mission Valley, asking people how they got their computer support, Sean Ferrel has gone far.

Hardware Device Secures Internet for Small Business, Home Users

A local Internet security company appears to be bucking the downturn.

Shopping Selectively for Financial Services Is Time Well Spent

When selecting a financial planner, it's wise to shop around and ask questions upfront, say advisers.

Group Pushing for Center to Research Algae-Based Fuels

A consortium of academic researchers is pushing to make San Diego a hub for research on algae-based fuels, a task that, if successful, could pour more jobs and funding into the area.

Shock Waves

Declining revenue has changed the local radio landscape dramatically in the last few weeks.

Sales and Leases

Phillip Dickinson has purchased 2,273 square feet of office space located at 8550 La Mesa Blvd. in La Mesa.

$9M Buys Apartment Site in San Marcos

An 89-unit apartment complex in San Marcos sold for $8.99 million.

Restaurateur Opens His Latest Eatery in Oceanside

Local eateries are dropping like, well, flies, but longtime restaurateur David Cohn continues to expand his namesake business.

CCDC Assumes Bond Payments for Petco Park

The city of San Diego isn't immune to the growing list of government entities and industries looking for a bailout, and it received one of sorts last week when the Centre City Development Corp. agreed to assume bond payments for Petco Park for five years.

Fallbrook Moves Ahead With $25M in Venture Capital

Fallbrook Technologies, a startup company that designs energy-saving transmissions, announced on Jan. 12 that it completed the first close on a $25.4 million financing round to continue the commercialization of its NuVinci transmission.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions. Executive Spotlight: Bill Murphy

Stem Cell Research Lab OK'd

The California Coastal Commission issued final approvals last week to build a $115 million, four-story stem cell research lab on Torrey Pines Mesa in La Jolla.

Nassco Delivers Tanker

General Dynamics Nassco, the last full-service ship construction yard in San Diego, delivered the first ship of what now stands at nine product carriers to its customer, U.S. Shipping Partners, on Jan. 10.

SDG & E; Powering Ahead

With the state Public Utilities Commission's December approval of its Sunrise Powerlink project, San Diego Gas & Electric is moving forward with plans for a $1.9 billion, 123-mile high-voltage transmission line that would connect solar, wind and geotherma

ParAccel Mines Fast-Growing Market for Data Management

Despite the recession, database management firm ParAccel recently said it was continuing to grow, doubling its work force to 60 employees and moving into new facilities in Sorrento Valley.

Bureaucracy's Benefactors Are Mean to Business

I read where state energy regulators want retailers to start peddling only the most energy-efficient flat-screen TVs in two years.

Financial Planners Catch Lofty Draft in Market Tailspin

Whether running their own firms or working for a larger firm, financial advisers were on the hot seat last fall as investors took a bath in the worst market in decades.

Pair Sentenced in Fraudulent Investment Case

Two men found guilty by a San Diego federal jury of conspiracy and wire fraud charges in June were sentenced Jan. 12 for their roles in a widespread investment fraud case.

Barracks Renovated in Time for Marine Recruits' Arrival

Barnhart has completed two barracks renovations at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot for the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Division.

Hotel Industry Singing Rainy Day Blues

Just when it looked like things couldn't get much worse for the local hotel industry, they did.

Off the Field, Athletes Coached in Wealth Management

Along with coaches who guide professional athletes toward success are those who train them in financial fitness , their accountants.

Legislative Remedies in Works for Access Lawsuits

When Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, the intent was to ensure that Americans who have disabilities would be able to access public buildings and be treated fairly in the workplace. Lawmakers surely did not anticipate the uninte

Tech Firms Converge in Vegas

It was an important roll of the dice for San Diego companies attending the lavish 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Stimulus Packages to Budget Cutbacks Affecting Tax Strategies

In 2009, business owners will be challenged by two conflicting forces , federal attempts to stimulate the economy against state efforts to make up for lost tax revenues, two tax experts say.

Riding the Wireless Wave Costs Doug Manchester Millions

Thanks to the stock market crash last year, everyone's portfolio took a big hit, but some took bigger hits than others.

As Economy Slows, Celebrate Victories, Work Together

The reduction of FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) we all are laboring under starts with each of us sitting down and laying out a plan to move forward this year.

Contemporary Art Museum Receives $225K

The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego was awarded a $225,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation in support of the exhibition titled "Phenomenal: California Light and Space," which opens in 2011.

Science Center Brings the Far Out Close In

Magazine executive gets a new title.

Closing Up Shop

With major retailers closing their doors in the past few months and more expected to follow in 2009, commercial brokers are scrambling to fill storefronts left empty at area shopping malls.

Friday, January 9

Coastal Commission Approves Lane Field Hotel Plan

The California Coastal Commission on Jan. 8 unanimously approved a $400 million, two-hotel and retail development at a 5.8-acre site that was once the home of Lane Field, the ballpark for the minor-league San Diego Padres.

Salk Receives $5M Grant

Seeking to advance research into the molecular mechanisms behind aging, the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research committed $5 million over five years to the Salk Institute Jan. 8 to launch the Glenn Consortium for Research on Aging.

Thursday, January 8

Tech Firms Converge in Vegas for CES

It's an important roll of the dice for San Diego companies attending the lavish 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, a city notorious for exhibitionism and long-shot odds.

Sharp Shows Off New, $194M Hospital

Sharp Memorial Hospital debuted its latest expansion Jan. 8 with a sneak peek into its Stephen Birch Healthcare Center.

Overseas Sales Boost WD-40

WD-40 Co., the San Diego household lubricant maker, reported Jan. 7 net income of $7.7 million for its first quarter ended Nov. 30, up 23 percent from the like quarter in 2007.

Orexigen Shares Fall as Drug Trial Results Made Public

Shares of Orexigen Therapeutics fell sharply in after-hours trading Jan. 8 after results of a late-stage obesity drug trial failed to meet FDA standards of weight change in patients compared with a placebo.

Snap-on to Close Escondido Factory

A large public tools manufacturer is closing its Escondido plant and laying off about 80 employees, some of whom will be rehired at other facilities.

Wermers Establishes Division for Troubled Real Estate Assets

Wermers Corp., a San Diego-based general contractor, announced Jan. 8 the creation of a new division to offer services for troubled real estate assets.

Milwaukee Strikes $6M Deal for Padres Pitcher

"Hells Bells" won't be ringing anymore at Petco Park.

Home Prices, Resales Turn a Corner in December

The median price of existing homes and condos ticked upward in December from the month before, the San Diego Association of Realtors reported Jan 8.

Peregrine General Counsel Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

The former general counsel for Peregrine Systems Inc., Richard T. Nelson, pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court Jan. 8 to one count of bank fraud in the accounting scandal that drove the software firm into bankruptcy in 2002.

Coastal Commission OKs Stem Cell Lab

The California Coastal Commission issued the final set of approvals necessary Jan. 8 to begin the building of a four-story stem cell research lab on the Torrey Pines Mesa in La Jolla.

Wednesday, January 7

Miralani Drive Building Sells for $2.2M

A research and development building on Miralani Drive near Camino Ruiz in Mira Mesa sold for $2.2 million. Roanoke, Va.-based defense contractor ITT Night Vision sold the 17,600-square-foot building to Wrapfiber LLC.

ParAccel Expands Into New San Diego Offices

Database management company ParAccel said Jan. 6 it has doubled its work force to 60 employees in the past year in both San Diego and Cupertino, and is moving into a new facility in the Sorrento Valley area.

La Jolla Pharmaceutical, Bay Area Firm to Jointly Develop Riquent

La Jolla Pharmaceutical entered an agreement Jan. 6 with a Bay Area biotech to co-develop and market its experimental lupus drug Riquent.

Venture Capitalists Give Anaphore a $25M Boost

La Jolla biotech company Anaphore said Jan. 7 it raised $25 million in a Series A financing round.

LM Capital to Manage Pension Fund Portfolio of $18M

LM Capital Group LLC, a San Diego institutional manager of fixed-income investments, said Jan. 7 that Attucks Asset Management selected LM to manage an $18 million portfolio.

Fox Foundation Fights Parkinson's With Grant to Acadia

Acadia Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based biotech developing drugs to treat central nervous system disorders, won a grant Jan. 7 from the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Tuesday, January 6

Bank-Owned Apartments in Uptown Sell for $410,000 Per Unit

Trilogy on 5th, a 25-unit apartment complex in the 3200 block of Fifth Avenue, sold to San Diego-based Conrad Prebys Trust for $10.25 million or $410,000 per unit.

Temecula Valley Bancorp Lays Off 10% of Staff

Temecula Valley Bancorp laid off 36 employees, or about 10 percent of its staff, closed all its business loan production offices outside California, and essentially shut down its construction lending in reaction to an awful 2008.

Allen Group Moves Main Office to Dallas

The Allen Group, which developed more than 2 million square feet of office space in Del Mar and Carmel Valley since its inception here in 1992, said Jan. 6 it is relocating its headquarters from San Diego to Dallas.

Kratos Subsidiary Gets State Government Work Worth $6.8M

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions said Jan. 6 that its Haverstick division received a five-year, $6.8 million contract with the state of Indiana.

Monday, January 5

SBA Partner Scores With Small-Business Classes

Despite the shaky economy, 21 percent of small-business owners nationwide polled in December believe conditions are getting better.

Callaway Buys uPlay, Signs New Pro

Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf said Jan. 5 that it acquired consumer electronics maker uPlay for an undisclosed sum.

The 2009 Real Estate Market Is About to 'Reset'

Prediction is an elusive thing. No one knows what the New Year will bring.

Home But Not Alone

It's the upside of the downside: While the hotel business has taken a nose dive, local amusement parks are expected to log 2008 attendance that is flat or down slightly from 2007.

$8.2M Industrial Park Opening in Otay Mesa

Design and construction work have been completed for Britannia Industrial Park, Phase I.

Law Firm Courts Biotech Startups For Booster Shot

Small paper signs tacked outside doorways hint of new occupants at the Carmel Valley law firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw and Pittman.

Law Firm Saves Kids' Holiday Fun

A couple of surprises on the local radio dial.

Apartment Vacancy Rates Expected to Languish

Two local commercial brokerage offices reported mixed reviews for the San Diego apartment market.

Attention to Detail Sends Staffing Firm's Revenues Soaring

Karen Conde has staying power.

Nonprofit Profile - Burn Institute

A conversation with James Flores, executive director and CEO of the Burn Institute.

Sales and Leases

Challenged Athletes Foundation has purchased a 14,000-square-foot office building at 9591 Waples St. in San Diego for $1.66 million.

Legend Films, PassmoreLab Revive 'Night of the Living Dead'

Two San Diego production companies, Legend Films and PassmoreLab, are teaming up to convert the cult classic "Night of the Living Dead" into 3-D.

Roll 'em!

The founder of a Solana Beach startup that provides film editing software to Hollywood has come up with a template for surviving hard times.

As Losses Mount, Temecula Valley Bancorp Downsizes

After it gave the boot to its chairman, CEO and president, Steve Wacknitz, last month, Temecula Valley Bancorp replaced him with three executives, but Wacknitz still has a seat on the board.

Week in Review

Top Business News: Dec. 25-31, 2008

Sustainability Is High on GSA's List of Priorities

President-elect Barack Obama recently announced an economic recovery plan that includes a massive effort to make public buildings more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

Wildfires Underscore Importance of Emergency Planning

The wildfires that ravaged California in 2008 , burning more than 800,000 acres throughout the state, destroying hundreds of homes and displacing thousands of residents , have reminded us of something that, perhaps, we knew all along: Teamwork is everythi

Partnership Helps Omega Cruise Into Rising Revenues

A National City marine maintenance firm is bucking the downsizing trend, recently hiring 10 new workers.

International Stem Cell Using New Funding to Retire Debt

International Stem Cell, an Oceanside-based company that derives human stem cell lines from unfertilized human eggs, said Dec. 30 that it received the first $1 million of $5 million in private equity financing.

Looking to Do More With Less

Local nonprofits are staying afloat by finding new ways to breathe life into their sails.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions. Executive Spotlight: Bill Garrett

Port's New Executive Is a Coast Guard Veteran

Charles D. Wurster, a retired Coast Guard admiral, was named president and chief executive for the San Diego Unified Port District, its board of port commissioners announced Jan. 5.

SeaWorld Must Ride Out Economic Storm

The stormy economy will likely keep SeaWorld San Diego under the umbrella of Anheuser-Busch InBev, at least until conditions improve, analysts say.

Zell Hotel Deal Would Touch Four Downtown Properties

Investor Sam Zell's increased stake to more than 8 percent in Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has fueled rumors that he may attempt a takeover of the company.

Realty Firms Splitting Away From Old Commission Models

Drew Burks, owner of Dream Design Realty, is using an alternative commission model between brokers and agents.

Negotiations for Padres Sale Under Way

Jeff Moorad, former chief executive for the Arizona Diamondbacks, has entered into negotiations with John Moores, the primary owner of the San Diego Padres, to purchase the franchise along with other investors, Moorad said Jan. 2.

Executive Profile - Janet Deering

Janet Deering is president of Spring Valley-based Deering Banjo, which has been making banjos for 30 years.

Regional Roundup

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: The current state of the economy is weighing heavily on an island restaurateur's budget.

Foundation Gives $3M to Senior Center Agency

The Gary and Mary West Foundation donated $3 million to Senior Community Centers to help fund the opening of a center at Fourth Avenue and Beach Street.

Sunny Outlook

Even under mostly gray economic skies, the sun is shining on one industry in particular.

Ex-Juvenile Delinquent Becomes Mastermind in Legal Affairs

Eddie Rodriguez used to spend his time avoiding the law. Today, his life revolves around it.

Homebuilder Files Bankruptcy

One of the county's largest homebuilders, Carlsbad-based Barratt American and three of its subsidiaries, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Dec. 24.

Executive Profile - Ed Muscat

Ed Muscat is president of All-Ett Billfolds, which manufactures specially crafted, ultra-thin wallets.

Friday, January 2

Downtown Business Group Gets New Leader

Former state Assemblywoman Shirley Horton, who was termed out of her seat in the 78th District last year, was named president of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, a business advocacy group, on Jan. 2.

Legoland California Names New GM

Peter Ronchetti, formerly the GM of Thorpe Park in England, succeeds John Jakobsen as GM at the Carlsbad theme park.