Stories for October 2009

Friday, October 30

Regulators Close San Diego National Bank, U.S. Bank Takes Over

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said late Oct. 30 that regulators closed San Diego National Bank. The federal agency said San Diego National branches will reopen as branches of Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank. 

Thursday, October 29

Smashburger Bound for San Diego, Seven Locations Planned

Smashburger, a Denver-based fast-casual restaurant, and commercial developer Smash Bros. LLC said Oct. 28 they plan to open seven Smashburger locations in San Diego within the next two years. 

Net Income Shrinks at PacWest Bancorp

PacWest Bancorp, the San Diego parent of Pacific Western Bank, reported net income of $2.7 million for the third quarter, compared to a net profit of $9.5 million for the like quarter of 2008, according to an Oct. 27 release. 

Stem Cell Agency Funds Area Labs

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state agency providing money for stem-cell research, said Oct. 28 that it awarded $230 million in grants and loans. 

Wednesday, October 28

California Community Bank Generates Small Profit

California Community Bank, based in Escondido and with four branches, reported third quarter net income of $21,000, compared to a net loss of $51,000 for the like quarter of 2008. 

Regents Bank Gets Federal Funding

Regents Bank, based in La Jolla and with $327 million in assets, said Oct. 28 it received $12.7 million in federal funding through the government’s healthy bank provisions of the Troubled Asset Relief Program. 

Tuesday, October 27

Qualcomm Puts New Emphasis on Open-Source Projects

Qualcomm said Oct. 26 that it has built a new subsidiary to better integrate its products with open-source software, in an effort to take advantage of the trend toward open platforms within the mobile industry. 

USD Economic Index Makes Big Jump

While a regional economic index rose for a sixth straight month in September, the overall picture for San Diego remains weak and the slump will likely continue until next year. 

Port Sets Nov. 6 Deadline for Financial Assistance Requests

The Port of San Diego reminds community organizations that the deadline for filing requests for funds from its financial assistance program is Friday, Nov. 6. 

Ligand to Buy Metabasis

Ligand Pharmaceuticals said Oct. 27 it has agreed to buy struggling San Diego biotech Metabasis for $3.2 million cash. After factoring in liabilities, Metabasis will receive approximately $1.8 million. 

Nirvanix Eyes More Ways of Going to Market

San Diego-based Nirvanix, a provider of cloud-based storage services, said Oct. 27 that it has launched a channel partner program to strike up business arrangements with resellers, integrators and IT consulting firms. 

Monday, October 26

Three Plead Guilty in Satellite TV Hacking Case

Three men indicted on a single count of violating the federal copyright law pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia Oct. 23. 

Seacoast Commerce Bank Reports $1.6M Net Loss

Seacoast Commerce Bank reported an unaudited net loss of $1.6 million for the third quarter, compared to a net profit of $222,000 for the like quarter of 2008. 

Getting to the Nexus of Things

TECHNOLOGY: Trade Group Launches Innovative Incubator

EvoNexus, a nonprofit incubator focused on high-tech startups, is on track to officially open its doors and become one of the nation’s first technology incubators funded almost entirely by contributions from the community, including corporate and private donors.

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FDIC Seeks Bids for San Diego National Bank’s Parent Company

Regulators Shopping FBOP Amid Below-Standard Capital Ratios

Federal bank regulators were reviewing bid packages last week for Chicago’s FBOP Corp., including subsidiary San Diego National Bank, in what may be the second-largest bank to fail this year, according to several local bank sources.

Navy Secretary Calls for Greening Of the Fleet

DEFENSE: Building a Sustainable Navy

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus laid out a vision for a greener Navy during a visit to San Diego last week.

With $53M Acquisition, Kaiser Permanente Expands to New Facility

HEALTH CARE: Nonprofit to Offer Specialty Services in UTC Area

Beginning next year, Kaiser Permanente will start moving specialty services out of its Zion Avenue hospital to make room for an expanded neonatal intensive-care unit and postpartum maternity suites.

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Manchester’s $33M Mansion in Escrow?

Doug Manchester, the controversial mega-hotel developer who’s involved in a hotly contested divorce, is apparently close to closing the deal on the sale of his palatial oceanfront digs in La Jolla, apparently for nearly the $33 million he’s been asking.

Colocation Takes on New Meaning With Trade Show

TECHNOLOGY: AIS Brings Vendors and Buyers Together in Innovative Setting

Whether measured by attendance, exhibitors or location, the American Internet Services Second Annual Technology Expo held Oct. 15 will go down as one of the year’s most innovative local trade shows.

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Legal Victory Brings More Slots to Local Casinos

GAMING: Two Tribes to Spend Millions on New Machines

A summer court decision combined with state action this month gives two San Diego County casinos the opportunity to expand their gambling businesses 25 percent.

TEDMED Returns To San Diego With Exclusive Conference

HEALTH CARE: Luminaries From Silicon Valley and Hollywood Come Together to Brainstorm

After a seven-year hiatus, the founder of one of the technology industry’s most popular, albeit exclusive, conferences has returned with a San Diego-based event focused on emerging ideas in health care and medicine.

Startup Aims to Protect Household Data at Risk in Disasters

TECHNOLOGY: Company Offering New Way to Shield Personal Information

In the wake of the charred devastation wrought by the Witch Creek fires in San Diego two years ago this week, Dina Moskowitz and Marc Zimmerman saw something that made them wonder.

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News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Recession Takes Its Toll on Cal Bank & Trust’s Bottom Line

San Diego County’s largest bank, California Bank & Trust, which added some $1.8 billion in assets this year from two regulator-assisted purchases of failed banks, is still making profits, just not as much as last year, according to its third-quarter report.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Escondido City Council members paved the way for the town’s first In-N-Out Burger on Oct. 14 after making special considerations for the restaurant’s large signage.

Genoptix Ranks as a Rising Star on Deloitte Fast-Growing List

Carlsbad’s Genoptix Inc., which specializes in laboratory testing and diagnosis for community physicians working to identify blood-based diseases, has earned the No. 15 spot on Deloitte LLP’s ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America.

Small Biz Not Tweeting Its Way to Fast Track, Survey Says

Ever since Facebook, Twitter and other social outlets made a splash in the business end of the pool, media reports and testimonials have done little but gush about the tangible benefits of these free, crossover marketing tools.

Executive Profile - Didi Discar

Didi Discar is the managing partner of MedAccess, a company that specializes in marketing and communications within the pharmaceutical and medical device industry.

Nonprofit Profile - Access to Independence of San Diego Inc.

A conversation with Louis Frick, executive director of Access to Independence of San Diego Inc.

Luxury Home Sales Vulnerable to Credit, Foreclosure Woes

REAL ESTATE: Sellers’ Unrealistic Expectations About Value of Their Houses Leads to Glut of Inventory

Challenges in the luxury housing market have included a lack of available financing for qualified buyers coupled with just enough distressed properties to sink overall property values.

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Business of Appealing Property Assessments Not Without Controversies

GOVERNMENT: Partners Say They Help Obtain Refunds for Residential, Commercial Owners

Two Carlsbad property experts are finding that the crashing market for all classes of real estate is a boon for their business. But it’s a business not without its critics, or controversies.

Realty Group Owner Turning Out Short Sales in Short Order

FINANCE: Strategy Keeps Homes Out of Foreclosure, According to Agency Chief

Marian Anthony is building his startup, Anthony Realty Group in Carlsbad, using a strategy he came up with to convince banks not to foreclose on a home, but sell it to ready buyers instead.

In the LEED: More Home Builders Following Green Practices

CONSTRUCTION: Higher Prices for Materials Can Be Offset By Lower Labor Costs

The U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification has become the pre-eminent standard for green projects since it was established in 2000 by a group of commercial architects, developers and other stakeholders to foster sustainable building methods.

Real Estate Roundup

Real estate news from around the county.

Sales and Leases

Two bank-owned apartment complexes in El Cajon sold for $2.19 million.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Jonathan Freeman

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Jonathan Freeman

Wells Fargo Pitches in $100K for Affordable Housing Effort

Wells Fargo contributed $100,000 to San Diego Community Housing, which helps families find affordable places to live.

New Economics of Commercial Real Estate Is in Retrofit

In a quest to discover a new economic proposition, at least one major office building owner has connected the dots.

Friday, October 23

Army, Marines Put SGIS to Work

The San Diego-based firm said Oct. 22 that it received $2.6 million in delivery orders to help the U.S. Marine Corps upgrade mass notification systems on several bases — including Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic awarded the prime contract, which runs until September.

Thursday, October 22

Cricket Cuts Ribbon on New Building

Cricket Communications, the main subsidiary of San Diego’s Leap Wireless International, christened its new headquarters office Oct. 22 at 5887 Copley Drive in Kearny Mesa.

Waterworks Doubles as Productive Solar Energy Plant

Kyocera Solar said Oct. 21 that its solar array at the Alvarado Water Treatment Facility in San Diego has consistently exceeded performance expectations since it began operating in February 2007, as documented by power generation data.

Cricket Cuts Ribbon on New Building

Cricket Communications, the main subsidiary of San Diego’s Leap Wireless International, christens its new headquarters office Oct. 22 at 5887 Copley Drive in Kearny Mesa.

Wednesday, October 21

Imperial Capital Bancorp Has New Deadline

Imperial Capital Bancorp was given another deadline to boost its inadequate capital levels. It now has to do it by Nov. 12.

Cymer's Leaner Operation Yields Positive Signs

Cymer, the San Diego maker of laser equipment used to produce semiconductors, reported third quarter net income of $10.8 million, compared with net income of $5.3 million for the like quarter of last year, the company said Oct. 20.

Tuesday, October 20

From Rancho Bernardo to Warsaw: PCN Goes Overseas

San Diego-based PCN Technology will soon dispatch a team of workers across the Atlantic to PGE, the largest utility in Poland and one of the biggest in Europe. PGE recently chose PCN to help launch its smart grid project in Warsaw.

Executive's New Task: Take Burnham Science to Market

Paul Laikind, who most recently served as CEO of San Diego biotech Metabasis, has been appointed to serve as head of business development for the nonprofit Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the institute said Oct. 20.

Roel Brings Cornerstone Under Its Roof

San Diego-based Roel Construction said Oct. 15 that it finalized its acquisition of Cornerstone CMS, also of San Diego. Cornerstone provides construction management and general construction services throughout the state.

Monday, October 19

Getting More Defensive

LABOR: Defense Industry Provides Bright Spot in Region’s Dark Employment Picture

San Diego County’s jobs picture looks bleak these days with an unemployment rate in double digits — unseen since the early 1980s — but the defense sector is bucking the trend.

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Biotechs Weigh Options as IPO Market Hints at Rebound

Virtual, Low-Overhead Business Model Offers Promise for Firms

When prospects for raising money on the public markets dimmed late last year, San Diego biotech Phenomix pulled its planned $86.25 million initial public offering.

Fans Demand It

User Participation Site Helps Make Horror Flick a Hit

Suddenly, San Diego is snatching a bit of tinsel from Tinseltown.

Sony Reads Between Lines on e-Books

TECHNOLOGY: New Editions Coming Online

Sony Electronics is on course to further transform the economics of book sales.

Does the Name Dominelli Ring a Bell?

Remember that 21-plus-acre plot for sale for $22 million high above La Jolla Village? Well, the seller is none other than David Copley, who sold The San Diego Union-Tribune to a Beverly Hills private equity firm, Platinum Equity, this year.

Small Business Coping With Flu Threats

As the traditional flu season merges with H1N1 swine flu, small-business owners say they’re not taking any chances when it comes to employee health.

Group Files Lawsuit to Stop Lindbergh Field Demolition Project

LAW: Port, Airport Authority Did Not Comply With State Rules, Historic Preservationist Alleges

A local historical preservation organization’s lawsuit filed recently seeks to stop the demolition of 50 buildings at Lindbergh Field once used by Teledyne Ryan Industries.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Spinners Mediterranean Grill, a fast-food restaurant in Rancho San Diego, celebrated its debut Oct. 6.

Low Rates Not Enough to Bring Housing Out of the Doldrums

Interest rates are at historic lows and property values are at levels not seen for nearly a decade, but that still won’t be enough to prod the stagnant housing market out of its funk, according to a recent report from the Mortgage Bankers Association, which held its annual convention here last week.

’Tis the Season to Be Hunting for Bargain Businesses

The availability of capital is scarce, but to some companies this is hunting season. Armed with lots of cash, the hunters are plucking prize game left and right.

Out With the New: Patent Rules Changes to Benefit Life Sciences

A joint decision to dismiss new rules limiting the size of U.S. patent applications was met with relief from the life sciences industry.

Nonprofit Profile - Chicano Federation of San Diego County

A conversation with Raymond Uzeta, president and CEO of the Chicano Federation of San Diego County.

Tech Titans Align Their Ad Strategies With Online Spending

More high-tech companies are putting together advertising budgets that reflect a faith that the Internet is one smart way to reach their target audience.

Executive Profile - Joby O’Brien

Joby O’Brien is vice president of development for BP Logix.

Providers Fear Costs of Medical Reform Could Outweigh Benefits

GOVERNMENT: Also of Concern, System May Be Burdened By More Insured Patients

While health care reform legislation is taking shape in Congress, San Diego’s hospitals and health care experts are contemplating how their systems could be affected.

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Unemployed Relying on ERs, Other Safety Nets for Care

WORK FORCE: Clinic Opens in National City to Serve Rising Number of Patients

San Diego’s double-digit unemployment rate and economic woes have put added strains on hospital emergency rooms and health centers.

Long-Time Foundation Steers Health Grants in Bold Directions

NONPROFIT: New Competition Emerges for $1M; Nine Agencies Also in the Running for $500K

The 21-year-old Alliance Healthcare Foundation has changed the way it offers financial support to organizations that primarily serve uninsured and indigent populations.

Health Care Profile - David L. Schlotterbeck

David L. Schlotterbeck is chairman and CEO of CareFusion, a $4 billion medical device company based in San Diego.

Health Butler Takes Care of Reminders to Get Regular Screenings

HEALTH CARE: Firm Encourages Prevention, Sends E-mail Prompts to Schedule Doctors’ Appointments

Preventative health care services are key to a balanced, comprehensive health care plan.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Wendy Endsley

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Wendy Endsley

Real Estate Roundup

El Cajon general contractor Hamann Construction said it has achieved LEED Gold certification on a 135,000-square-foot, build-to-suit cold storage facility occupied by Innovative Cold Storage Enterprises.

Sales and Leases

Stoneridge by the Lake Condominiums in La Mesa sold for $6.7 million.

UCSD Celebrates Chamber Music Season in New Hall

The music department at UC San Diego opened its chamber music second season on Oct. 5 in the new Conrad Prebys Concert Hall.

Old Cell Towers Protect Our Health and Safety

San Diego is home to the largest cluster of wireless companies in the world and a growing wireless health cluster of innovation. This burgeoning industry features 200 companies, making it a vital part of our local economy.

Nursing Shortage: Implications for Quality Health Care

The availability and quality of nursing is the cornerstone of health care in any community, including the San Diego region.

Friday, October 16

Acadia Cuts Work Force in Half

Just days after warning it would have to make cost-cutting moves on the heels of a failed late-stage drug trial, Acadia Pharmaceuticals said Oct. 15 it would trim its work force in half to 28 employees.

Jobless Rate Declines, But Remains Higher Than 10 Percent

San Diego's unemployment rate dipped to 10.2 percent in September from August's revised rate of 10.6 percent as the region showed a net gain of 900 jobs.

Thursday, October 15

Seminar Looks at Green Career Path

Educators are considering ways to train the work force that will one day move the green economy.

Callaway Golf Expects Loss of 25 Cents Per Share

Callaway Golf, the Carlsbad-based maker of clubs, balls and golf accessories, said Oct. 15 that it expects to report a net loss of 25 cents per share in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared to a loss of 12 cents in the like quarter of 2008.

Cannon Power Gets Financial Lift: $178M in Funding

Cannon Power Group, a San Diego wind energy business, said it recently closed a $178 million financing deal with Siemens Financial Services, allowing it to expand an existing wind generation project in southern Washington.

Wednesday, October 14

Fourth-Quarter Net Income Grows at WD-40

WD-40, which markets its namesake lubricant as well as soaps and household cleaning products, reported Oct. 14 that it had quarterly net income of $7.6 million on net sales of $77.8 million.

Beat Goes on, Revenue Keeps Growing at Jazzercise

Carlsbad-based Jazzercise said Oct. 14 that it posted record sales of $94 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, up from $93 million the previous year.

Rubio's Shares Rise on Private Equity Group Offer

Rubio's Restaurants, the San Diego-based fish taco chain, said Oct. 14 its board of directors received an unsolicited offer to acquire the company for $8 per share or an aggregate $80 million.

Charlotte Russe Completes Transformation Into Private Firm

Boston-based Advent International Corp. completed the acquisition of Charlotte Russe Holding Inc., the San Diego young women's clothing retailer, the company said Oct. 14.

Report Has Skype Courting Gizmo5

Beset by lawsuits that could threaten its future, Skype is reportedly looking for a way to secure its standing as a monolithic VoIP provider of full-service phone operations over the Internet.

Illumina Fires Back at Life Technologies

The battle over the rightful owner of certain genetic sequencing technologies intensified Oct. 14 with San Diego's Illumina filing countersuit against Carlsbad-based Life Technologies.

Tuesday, October 13

Fortune Smiling on San Diego Trust Bank

San Diego Trust Bank reported third quarter net profit of $166,000, compared with $112,000 for the like quarter of 2008.

Moores UCSD Cancer Center Lands $6 Million NIH Contract

Researchers at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center will spend the next five years testing adjuvents, or chemicals to enhance vaccine effectiveness, under a $6 million National Institutes of Health contract.

Monday, October 12

Intellectual Power Helps Make County a Clean Tech Leader

ENERGY: The Coming Generation of Renewable Fuels Might Be a Boon to Regional Economy

San Diego County, long known as fertile land for biotechs and academic scientists, has sprouted the biggest cluster of green technology companies focused on developing fuel from algae than any other region, industry leaders said last week.

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One Big Change on the Horizon at SeaWorld San Diego

TOURISM: Show to Debut After Park’s Sale to Blackstone Group

SeaWorld San Diego visitors won’t see many changes following The Blackstone Group’s acquisition of the Mission Bay park and nine other theme parks.

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Broker Seeking Alliance of Condo Owners Downtown

REAL ESTATE: Boards Could Share the Pain in a Down Market

Residential real estate broker Gregg Neuman has been working behind the scenes for the past six months to organize an alliance of homeowners associations drawn from downtown San Diego’s 48 largest condominium buildings.

Institute Offers Its Vision of Wireless Health Care

TECHNOLOGY: Remote Monitoring Systems to Help Lower Costs, Improve Care

The health care industry cannot continue the way it is, according to the founder of the West Wireless Health Institute.

New York Times Columnist Coming to UCSD

A favorite quote comes from controversial 1960s UC San Diego professor Herbert Marcuse: “It is for the sake of those without hope that hope is given.”

New Home Construction Appears To Be in a Modest Rebound

REAL ESTATE: Industry Posting Modern Lows for New Starts

Longtime real estate observers would have to scour fading records to find a worse year for home building in San Diego County.

Anakam Breaks Out of Stealth Mode Onto Multiple Awards Lists

TECHNOLOGY: New Contracts Also Raising the Visibility of Fast-Growing Software Firm

It’s fitting that Anakam, a San Diego-based software security company, would spend years flying under the radar, building out its product line and procuring clients. But its impressive uptake in the market is moving the small security giant into the national spotlight.

iPhone’s Handy Business Tools a Hit in Corporate World

TECHNOLOGY: Application Developers Are Creating More In-Demand Apps for Industries

For years, hardly a week went by when someone didn’t whip out their iPhone and evangelize the unconverted about how amazing it is. Nowadays, that’s happening more often at the workplace, as executives switch from their old standbys — typically the BlackBerry — to Apple’s alluring smartphone.

Medfly Discovery Causes North County Quarantine

State agricultural officials announced a new quarantine for San Diego County on Sept. 29 following the early September discovery of a single mated Mediterranean fruit fly in a trap in Escondido.

Airport Expanding Contractor Pool for ‘The Green Build’

GOVERNMENT: Outreach Helps Increase Bonding Capacity for Small Firms

As a 20-year contractor, Mark Atefi was already qualified to be bonded and bid on public works projects, but his bidding capacity tripled thanks to an innovative outreach program aimed at small contractors at San Diego International Airport.

With Cash on Hand Growing Short, Transdel Seeks a Partner

BIOTECH: La Jolla Firm Has Burned Through $13.2 Million Pursuing Lead Drug Candidate

Transdel, a tiny La Jolla biotech with plans to bring the first FDA-approved topical painkiller to market, said last week it will require additional funding.

Wireless Devices Tested, Programs Launched

Media types recently toured the Nokia San Diego Test Center — a mechanical, environmental and analytics lab — where the mobile giant puts devices through their paces.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Chula Vista's longtime dream of getting a California State University campus received support from San Diego City Councilwoman Marti Emerald.

Sequenom’s Woes Extend to SEC, FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office

The troubles keep mounting for San Diego-based Sequenom, which fired its CEO and head of research after a five-month internal investigation found a lack of controls surrounding its Down syndrome test.

Cricket Cell Phone Service Enters Target Stores

The international spotlight on innovation and business development in the wireless arena swept across the skies last week as exhibitors packed the San Diego Convention Center for the CTIA Information Technology & Entertainment trade show, held Oct. 7-9.

Despite Stimulus Package, SBA-Backed Loans Declining Locally

The U.S. Small Business Administration churned out a press announcement this month noting the big turnaround in lending activity as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the $787 billion stimulus program.

Executive Profile - Rick DiRienzo

Rick DiRienzo is president and founder of Rockin’ Baja Coastal Cantina, a restaurant chain that serves Baja-style seafood, chicken and meat.

Running Up Against Oil

ENERGY: Alternative Fuels a Viable Contender for Investor Dollars

San Diego is such a heavyweight in biofuel research that a cluster of labs and experimentation sites that cropped up in La Jolla in recent years has taken on the name Biotech Beach.

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Pearson Pumping Out 55 Ethanol Stations for Flex-Fuel Cars

ENERGY: Multimillion-Dollar Expansion to Help State Meet Its Renewable Resource Goals

Pearson Fuels General Manager Mike Lewis has poured plenty of work over the years into building ethanol stations around California.

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State Grant Powers Up Menon’s Biowaste-to-Biofuels Technology

ENERGY: DoD Contract Also Spurs Firm’s Development of Plant-Based Jet Fuel

San Diego contractor Menon & Associates, which has developed various methods of producing biofuel from organic waste, recently won an $800,000 grant from the California Energy Commission to convert California almond husks and grape pulp into feed stock for biodiesel.

Algae on Front Lines of Search for Fossil Fuel Replacements

ENERGY: Local Firms Help Kickoff Clean Tech Conference

As America’s dependence on foreign oil continues to grow, investors are looking to alternative fuels to usher in a new age of energy usage.

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Region Gears Up for Possible $260M in Solar Power Projects

ENERGY: Application Effort for Stimulus Funds Involves Multiple Organizations and UCSD Students

A joint effort coordinated by nonprofit CleanTech San Diego has a good chance of bringing $260 million worth of federal stimulus funding for photovoltaic solar power production to various municipalities in the region.

Energy Profile: Kent Harle

Kent Harle says the motto of Stellar Solar is, “Power, Pure and Simple.” Harle is president of the firm, which sells and installs solar electric systems for homes, businesses and institutions.

Real Estate Roundup

Burger Construction, a Solana Beach tenant improvement general contractor, has completed a four-floor project for the state Appellate Court in Symphony Towers. The seven-month effort totaled $2.2 million.

Sales and Leases

MeadsDurket purchased a 6,000-square-foot building at 502 10th Ave. in downtown San Diego for $1.35 million.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Joye Blount

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Joye Blount

Gift That Keeps on Giving to Help Jewish Community Foundation

Miriam and Jerome Katzin have established the Miriam and Jerome Katzin presidential chair at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego.

New Developer Takes on Infill Projects

Commentary - Gary H. London

In what will undoubtedly become a milestone of local developer chutzpa, a progeny of the venerable urban developer Olson has started a business to build homes.

Broadband Is Helping to Connect the Unconnected

Commentary - Jim Conran and Tracy Stanhoff

Two major events that may have a huge effect on your cell phone went on in San Diego last week.

Broadband Is Helping to Connect the Unconnected

Two major events that may have a huge effect on your cell phone went on in San Diego last week.

One Big Change on the Horizon at SeaWorld San Diego

SeaWorld San Diego visitors won't see many changes following The Blackstone Group's acquisition of the Mission Bay park and nine other theme parks.

With Cash on Hand Growing Short, Transdel Seeks a Partner

Transdel, a tiny La Jolla biotech with plans to bring the first FDA-approved topical painkiller to market, said last week it will require additional funding.

Anakam Breaks Out of Stealth Mode Onto Multiple Awards Lists

It's fitting that Anakam, a San Diego-based software security company, would spend years flying under the radar, building out its product line and procuring clients. But its impressive uptake in the market is moving the small security giant into the natio

Running Up Against Oil

San Diego is such a heavyweight in biofuel research that a cluster of labs and experimentation sites that cropped up in La Jolla in recent years has taken on the name Biotech Beach.

Fallbrook Nursing Home Cited in Patient's Death

State health regulators issued a maximum citation and $90,000 fine against Fallbrook Hospital District's skilled nursing facility for failing to keep a patient out of harm's way.

Despite Stimulus Package, SBA-Backed Loans Declining Locally

The U.S. Small Business Administration churned out a press announcement this month noting the big turnaround in lending activity as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the $787 billion stimulus program.

Algae on Front Lines of Search for Fossil Fuel Replacements

As America's dependence on foreign oil continues to grow, investors are looking to alternative fuels to usher in a new age of energy usage.

iPhone's Handy Business Tools a Hit in Corporate World

For years, hardly a week went by when someone didn't whip out their iPhone and evangelize the unconverted about how amazing it is. Nowadays, that's happening more often at the workplace, as executives switch from their old standbys , typically the BlackBe

Institute Offers Its Vision of Wireless Health Care

The health care industry cannot continue the way it is, according to the founder of the West Wireless Health Institute.

Intellectual Power Helps Make County a Clean Tech Leader

San Diego County, long known as fertile land for biotechs and academic scientists, has sprouted the biggest cluster of green technology companies focused on developing fuel from algae than any other region, industry leaders said last week.

Gift That Keeps on Giving to Help Jewish Community Foundation

Miriam and Jerome Katzin have established the Miriam and Jerome Katzin presidential chair at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego.

Airport Expanding Contractor Pool for 'The Green Build'

As a 20-year contractor, Mark Atefi was already qualified to be bonded and bid on public works projects, but his bidding capacity tripled thanks to an innovative outreach program aimed at small contractors at San Diego International Airport.

New Developer Takes on Infill Projects

In what will undoubtedly become a milestone of local developer chutzpa, a progeny of the venerable urban developer Olson has started a business to build homes.

Sequenom's Woes Extend to SEC, FBI, U.S. Attorney's Office

The troubles keep mounting for San Diego-based Sequenom, which fired its CEO and head of research after a five-month internal investigation found a lack of controls surrounding its Down syndrome test.

Waterfront Construction Foes Get Lawsuit Tossed

A lawsuit that opposed the first phase of remaking of San Diego's waterfront was dismissed by a Superior Court judge, the port announced Oct. 9.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Pearson Pumping Out 55 Ethanol Stations for Flex-Fuel Cars

Pearson Fuels General Manager Mike Lewis has poured plenty of work over the years into building ethanol stations around California.

Ship's Moniker Honors Civil Rights Activist

Nassco's 13th cargo ship for the U.S. Navy will be named the Medgar Evers in honor of the slain civil rights activist.

Region Gears Up for Possible $260M in Solar Power Projects

A joint effort coordinated by nonprofit CleanTech San Diego has a good chance of bringing $260 million worth of federal stimulus funding for photovoltaic solar power production to various municipalities in the region.

New York Times Columnist Coming to UCSD

A favorite quote comes from controversial 1960s UC San Diego professor Herbert Marcuse: "It is for the sake of those without hope that hope is given."

Broker Seeking Alliance of Condo Owners Downtown

Residential real estate broker Gregg Neuman has been working behind the scenes for the past six months to organize an alliance of homeowners associations drawn from downtown San Diego's 48 largest condominium buildings.

New Home Construction Appears To Be in a Modest Rebound

Longtime real estate observers would have to scour fading records to find a worse year for home building in San Diego County.

LHV Power Spins Off Flux Unit

Power technology company LHV Power announced plans to spin off its lithium battery technology unit, known as Flux Power.

State Grant Powers Up Menon's Biowaste-to-Biofuels Technology

San Diego contractor Menon & Associates, which has developed various methods of producing biofuel from organic waste, recently won an $800,000 grant from the California Energy Commission to convert California almond husks and grape pulp into feed stock fo

Friday, October 9

Sempra Closes on Sale of $750M Notes

Sempra Energy, parent of San Diego Gas & Electric, closed the sale of $750 million in senior secured 30-year notes carrying a 6 percent interest rate Oct. 8, the company said in a securities filing.

Thursday, October 8

ViaSat Lands $46M Contract

ViaSat, a Carlsbad-based supplier of networking equipment for the satellite communications market, said Oct. 8 that the firm has received a $46 million contract award from Star Satellite Communications.

Cart Mart Aquires Pacific Golf Cars

Cart Mart, a San Marcos-based distributor of golf and industrial carts, said Oct. 8 that it acquired Pacific Golf Cars for an undisclosed price.

Wednesday, October 7

Blackstone Group Set to Buy SeaWorld

Blackstone Group has agreed to buy the 10 amusement parks owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, including SeaWorld San Diego, for $2.3 billion in cash and an additional payout that's capped at $400 million.

Brookfield Builders Betting on Housing Comeback

Brookfield San Diego announced Oct. 6 it broke ground on the first master planned community since 2006 in Carlsbad, east of El Camino Real.

Acadia Testing Parkinson's Drug at Higher Dose

Following the failure of its Parkinson's disease psychosis drug in a late-stage trial, Acadia Pharmaceuticals said Oct. 6 it plans to continue testing the drug at a higher dose.

Qualcomm Debuts Its Own Handheld TV

Qualcomm's FLO TV subsidiary said Oct. 6 that it has entered into the handheld TV market with the launch of its own device that lets viewers watch programming anywhere they go.

Tuesday, October 6

Transdel's Topical Painkiller Sees Mixed Results

An experimental topical painkiller in development by Transdel Pharmaceuticals produced mixed results in a late-stage clinical trial.

Ex-Chula Vista Mayor Serving on Port Board

Steve Padilla, the former mayor of Chula Vista, was sworn in Oct. 6 as the city's representative on the Board of Port Commissioners for the Port of San Diego.

Cricket Cell Phones Chirping at Target

Leap Wireless, parent company of the Cricket flat-rate service, has announced the availability of its Cricket PayGo prepaid service in 650 Target locations within Cricket service areas, including 18 stores in San Diego.

Acquisition Boosts Gen-Probe's Flu Test Products

Gen-Probe said Oct. 6 it has acquired a privately held Milwaukee-based biotech that makes molecular flu tests.

Monday, October 5

Partners Making a Name for Themselves With IT Startup

TECHNOLOGY: Despite Economy, Business Off to Wild Start

The definition of the American dream may be getting lost in transition, but if it still involves leaving your job and starting your own wildly successful business with expertise honed in your former corporate days, then the three founders of Aeon Computing are living the good life.

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Merger in the Works for Three Community Banks?

BANKING: Consolidation Would Reduce Overhead

Three community banks owned by Capital Bancorp plan to merge into a single entity and reduce staffing by a third, or 20 workers, according to local banking industry sources.

Smart Corner Not Looking so Smart

If you build it, they will come. Well, not always, in the case of the struggling Smart Corner project in downtown San Diego.

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Big Bros., Big Sisters to Honor the Pickens

SDBJ Insider

Local radio personality Mark Larson (the 33-year veteran now has the morning slot on the politically conservative KCBQ 1170 AM) presents the 2009 Persons of the Year award to Madeleine and T. Boone Pickens at the Big Bros. Big Sisters annual dinner Oct. 22.

Recession Good for Self-Storage Sector?

Equity Based Services Sees Sales Rise, Others Don’t

Self-storage operator Equity Based Services counts itself among the few winners in this recession.

Alliances Help Lenders Manage Foreclosed Commercial Properties

REAL ESTATE: Brokerages Getting Assets Stabilized in Preparation of Selling Them

It’s widely speculated that a tidal wave of delinquent commercial property loans and foreclosures will give the economy another wallop.

Assault at Pendleton

DEFENSE: The U.S. Marines Are Spending $4.4 Billion On New Construction Projects in the Region

Utilities aren’t sexy, admits Maj. Gen. Michael Lehnert. But in a place like Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, an expanse of land that hearkens back to a much less developed California, a new utility system is a foundation for growth.

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Massive Study Tracks Women’s Health To Improve Breast Cancer Care

In what could be the biggest study of its kind, UC San Diego and four other schools have joined resources to track 150,000 California women for decades in order to better understand and improve care for breast cancer patients.

Carmel Valley Startup Unveiling Device to Treat Sleep Apnea

HEALTH CARE: ImThera Medical Gains European Regulatory Clearance

Keeping on top of the nighttime routine can prove daunting for the millions of people who wear pressurized air masks to manage obstructive sleep apnea, which causes the upper airways to collapse, often repeatedly, during sleep.

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News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Ever heard of an interactive shower bar? That’s a place where home remodelers and construction professionals can see how the various shower heads on the market work.

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Media-Shy Lawyers Nudged Into Social Networking Realm

Drumming up business through word-of-mouth referrals is one way to grow your client base, but social networking enthusiast Justin French is encouraging lawyers to go after new clients through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Region’s Tech Community Averts National Job-Loss Disaster

The job scene in the high-tech world is still stormy. Fortunately, San Diego appears to be providing a safe harbor.

Executive Profile - Jim Matthews

Jim Matthews is president and chief executive of Matthews Evans Albertazzi, or MEA, a marketing agency working with companies ranging from golfing product manufacturers to television channels.

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The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

The recovery is under way and even the Fed chairman has said so in his latest remarks to Congress. If that is true, and I believe it is, then what is stopping us from planning for better times ahead?

Executive Profile - Jeff Goldberg

Jeff Goldberg is founder and chief executive of Cali Bamboo, a provider of eco-friendly bamboo building products such as fencing, flooring and decking.

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Nonprofit Profile - United Jewish Federation of San Diego County

A conversation with Steven J. Morris, CEO, United Jewish Federation of San Diego County

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Cashed-Out Insurance Policies Find New Investment Life in Bundles

FINANCE: Small Firm Says Brokering Life Insurance Policies Has Sent Revenues Soaring

Just as stocks, bonds and real estate have markets where the assets are readily bought and sold, there’s a market for life insurance policies, and some brokers are finding it fairly lucrative.

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Finance Profile - Doris Roper

Doris Roper is owner of Roper Success Track in Carlsbad. She says she helps clients who have no financial life plan to immediately set out with a road map to achieve financial success even if they have been on the wrong track their entire life.

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Startups Connect With Investors on Their Way to Market

FINANCE: Seed Track Program One of Many Resources Available to Fledgling Firms Such as AgileNano

Even inventors of breakthrough technologies need help getting discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. It’s simply not enough to have a great idea.

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Real Estate Roundup

Bright Green Future, a two-day conference discussing global challenges and solutions, is scheduled for Oct. 23-24 at UC San Diego.

Real Estate Sales & Leases

Aztec Retail purchased a 21,000-square-foot, multi-tenant retail center at 6354-90 El Cajon Blvd. in the college area for $1,009,625.

San Diego People

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Teri Argabright

Key hires and promotions. Executive Spotlight: Teri Argabright

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Milton Roelfs Donates $2M to The Elizabeth Hospice in Escondido

The Elizabeth Hospice in Escondido received a $2 million gift from benefactor Milton Roelfs to establish the Dorothy S. Roelfs Education Endowment, which will provide palliative care education for hospice staff and volunteers.

Foreclosure Suggestions to Keep San Diegans in Homes

Signs of recovery are starting to show, but it may be too late for many home­owners facing the reality of missing a mortgage payment or having to foreclose on their home.

What to Do About the 4th-Grade Slump

“Principals and teachers around the country,” according to Newsweek magazine, “are growing increasingly concerned with what they call the ‘fourth-grade slump.’ ”

Partners Making a Name for Themselves With IT Startup

The definition of the American dream may be getting lost in transition, but if it still involves leaving your job and starting your own wildly successful business with expertise honed in your former corporate days, then the three founders of Aeon Computin

Region's Tech Community Averts National Job-Loss Disaster

The job scene in the high-tech world is still stormy. Fortunately, San Diego appears to be providing a safe harbor.

Recession Good for Self-Storage Sector?

Self-storage operator Equity Based Services counts itself among the few winners in this recession.

Carmel Valley Startup Unveiling Device to Treat Sleep Apnea

Keeping on top of the nighttime routine can prove daunting for the millions of people who wear pressurized air masks to manage obstructive sleep apnea, which causes the upper airways to collapse, often repeatedly, during sleep.

What to Do About the 4th-Grade Slump

"Principals and teachers around the country," according to Newsweek magazine, "are growing increasingly concerned with what they call the 'fourth-grade slump.' "

Startups Connect With Investors on Their Way to Market

Even inventors of breakthrough technologies need help getting discoveries from the laboratory to the marketplace. It's simply not enough to have a great idea.

Achates Power Gets $12M Surge in Funding

San Diego-based Achates Power, a firm that develops clean diesel engine technology, has raised $12.1 million in a $20 million funding round, according to a regulatory filing by the firm Oct. 5.

The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

The recovery is under way and even the Fed chairman has said so in his latest remarks to Congress. If that is true, and I believe it is, then what is stopping us from planning for better times ahead?

Big Bros., Big Sisters to Honor the Pickens

Local radio personality Mark Larson (the 33-year veteran now has the morning slot on the politically conservative KCBQ 1170 AM) presents the 2009 Persons of the Year award to Madeleine and T. Boone Pickens at the Big Bros. Big Sisters annual dinner Oct. 2

Milton Roelfs Donates $2M to The Elizabeth Hospice in Escondido

The Elizabeth Hospice in Escondido received a $2 million gift from benefactor Milton Roelfs to establish the Dorothy S. Roelfs Education Endowment, which will provide palliative care education for hospice staff and volunteers.

Foreclosure Suggestions to Keep San Diegans in Homes

Signs of recovery are starting to show, but it may be too late for many home & #173;owners facing the reality of missing a mortgage payment or having to foreclose on their home.

Sandag Seeks Share of Bullet Train Funding

San Diego officials from the San Diego Association of Governments were in Sacramento on Oct. 2 meeting with Gov. Schwarzenegger on behalf of a $4.7 billion application for federal stimulus funds for the state's bullet train that would initially run from L

Cashed-Out Insurance Policies Find New Investment Life in Bundles

Just as stocks, bonds and real estate have markets where the assets are readily bought and sold, there's a market for life insurance policies, and some brokers are finding it fairly lucrative.

Media-Shy Lawyers Nudged Into Social Networking Realm

Drumming up business through word-of-mouth referrals is one way to grow your client base, but social networking enthusiast Justin French is encouraging lawyers to go after new clients through Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

San Diego, State Rank High in Livable Places Poll

Despite a 10.4 percent unemployment rate and little evidence that its economy will rebound anytime soon, San Diego ranked No. 4 on a list of cities that people would like to live if they could live somewhere else, according to a Harris Poll released Oct.

Region Could House Algae-Based Fuels Research Hub

San Diego is a step closer toward establishing a key research hub for algae-based fuels.

SeaWorld Joins Parks on Buying Block

Blackstone Group, one of the world's largest private equity groups, is nearing the purchase of Anheuser-Busch InBev's 10 theme parks, including SeaWorld here and in Florida.

U.S. Attorney, FBI Probing Sequenom

Sequenom, the San Diego-based maker of genetic tests for Down Syndrome and other disorders, said in a regulatory filing that it met with officials from the U.S. Attorneys Office and the FBI following last week's firing of top executives.

News In Brief

Top business news from around the county.

Assault at Pendleton

Utilities aren't sexy, admits Maj. Gen. Michael Lehnert. But in a place like Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, an expanse of land that hearkens back to a much less developed California, a new utility system is a foundation for growth.

Nonprofit Profile - United Jewish Federation of San Diego County

A conversation with Steven J. Morris, CEO, United Jewish Federation of San Diego County

ResMed Acquires French Manufacturer

San Diego-based ResMed, maker of sleep breathing devices, has acquired a French company specializing in nighttime dental repositioning devices.

Alliances Help Lenders Manage Foreclosed Commercial Properties

It's widely speculated that a tidal wave of delinquent commercial property loans and foreclosures will give the economy another wallop.

Massive Study Tracks Women's Health To Improve Breast Cancer Care

In what could be the biggest study of its kind, UC San Diego and four other schools have joined resources to track 150,000 California women for decades in order to better understand and improve care for breast cancer patients.

Imperial Capital Bancorp to Install New CEO

Imperial Capital Bancorp said it terminated President and CEO George Haligowski effective Oct. 31.

Merger in the Works for Three Community Banks?

Three community banks owned by Capital Bancorp plan to merge into a single entity and reduce staffing by a third, or 20 workers, according to local banking industry sources.

Friday, October 2

Overland Makes Changes in Executive Suite

Overland Storage, a provider of data storage and backup systems, fired its president, Vern LoForti, and replaced him with Kurt Kalbfleisch, the firm's chief financial officer, the company said in an Oct. 2 securities filing.

Costa Mesa Business Buys Local Printer

C2 Reprographics of Costa Mesa said Oct. 1 that it acquired Universal Reprographics, a San Diego printing company with locations in Old Town and Sorrento Valley.

County Coffers Contain Unclaimed Refunds

Dan McAllister, the county's treasurer and tax collector, is putting on his tax giver hat as he announced Oct. 2 that his office holds $657,000 in unclaimed funds that he's trying to return to residents.

Thursday, October 1

Airport Authority Mulls Work for Local Contractors

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, the agency that operates Lindbergh Field, approved a policy aimed at improving the number of local contractors it uses. The action came at the authority's Oct. 1 meeting.

Semtek Has Round B Funding in Hand

San Diego-based Semtek, a developer of security technology used for protecting magnetic stripes on credit cards, landed an investment from VeriFone Holdings, VeriFone said Sept. 30.

ViaSat to Acquire WildBlue for $568M

Carlsbad-based ViaSat, a developer of wireless and satellite communications systems, said Oct. 1 that it has acquired Colorado-based WildBlue Communications.

Orexigen Drug Appears to Exceed FDA Benchmarks

San Diego-based weight loss drug maker Orexigen Therapeutics reported positive results Sept. 30 for the second of two weight loss drugs the company has in development.