Stories for April 2010

Friday, April 30

Quarter Proves Kinder to Callaway Golf

Callaway Golf Co. reported first quarter net profit of $17.7 million, more than double the $6.8 million in net income for the first quarter of 2009, the golf club maker said April 29.

Bridgepoint Education to Sponsor Holiday Bowl

San Diego’s Bridgepoint Education signed a three-year agreement to become the title sponsor for the Holiday Bowl, the company and college bowl game organizers said April 29.

Local Scientists Take $12M in Round of CIRM Grants

A governing board with the state’s stem cell agency has committed $28 million to nine nonprofit biomedical institutions and one for-profit company with the goal of recruiting scientists and gaining a deeper understanding of stem cell biology.

Awarepoint Parts Ways With CEO

In a series of management changes, the CEO of San Diego-based Awarepoint Corp. has left the company.

Gen-Probe Earnings Beat Analysts’ Forecasts

San Diego-based molecular diagnostics firm Gen-Probe Inc. posted higher-than-expected quarterly earnings April 29, driven in part by the acquisitions of British diagnostics firm Tepnel Life Sciences and flu kit maker Prodesse Inc.

Thursday, April 29

California Community Bank Has $260,000 in Net Income

California Community Bank, based in Escondido and with four branches, reported first quarter net income of $260,000 compared to a net loss of $250,000 for the like quarter of 2009 in a report released April 28.

Chase Plans 10 New Branches in County

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which acquired failed Washington Mutual in 2008, said it plans to open about 90 new branches in California this year, including about 10 in San Diego County, the financial services company said April 28.

Sempra Will Take Charge to Settle Energy Crisis Suits

Sempra Energy, parent of San Diego Gas & Electric Co., said it has reached a settlement in principle with the state of California regarding longstanding state and federal lawsuits over its role in the energy crisis of 2000-01 that will result in a payment of $410 million, the company said April 28.

Wednesday, April 28

Local Economy Treads Through March Like a Lion

The USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators rose an entire percentage point in March, continuing a yearlong rise and far exceeding its 0.2 percent advance in February.

Tuesday, April 27

Vibra Bank Decreases Net Loss

Vibra Bank, a one-office bank that opened in 2008, reported a first quarter net loss of $274,000, compared to a net loss of $467,000 for the first quarter of 2009, the bank said April 26.

Panelists Size Up Water Supply Through 2060

Since the state’s formation in 1850, water has been one of the signature issues in California.

Alliant, L.A. Firm Working on Calexico Center

Alliant International University has teamed up with Los Angeles County-based EcoDynamics LLC to build a science institute and agricultural center in Calexico.

Monday, April 26

Search Marketing Firm Rides Wave of Success

TECHNOLOGY: Revenues to Grow From $12M in ’08 to $25M This Year, Covario Says

Russ Mann recalls the sultry Friday afternoon in August about five years ago when he joined several others at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla to talk about search engine marketing.

Investors Waiting To Find Bargains On Distressed Properties

REAL ESTATE: Pressure Mounting on Lenders to Unload Troubled Assets

Investment bargain hunters are itching to go shopping in the market for distressed commercial real estate assets, but experts note that real opportunities to buy — locally and elsewhere — may not be arriving for several more months.

Insomnia Drug Might Create Sweet Dreams for Firm

LIFE SCIENCES: Somaxon Estimates That It Could Capture Peak Sales of $500M

Last year’s recession forced many local life sciences companies to find innovative ways of cutting costs, regulatory rejections aside.

Office Market on the Mend as Demand Is Up Year-Over-Year

REAL ESTATE: Uptick in Leased Space Reverses Recent Trends, Expectations Remain Muted

Stubbornly high unemployment rates will keep expectations muted for San Diego’s office market in 2010.

Rady Children’s Hospital Joins Philanthropists to Open Clinic in Oceanside

HEALTH CARE: Facility Will Provide Clinical, Urgent Care and Psychological Care for Youngsters

Sanford Health, the South Dakota-based health care system named after billionaire philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego have joined for the first time to form a pediatric clinic in Oceanside.

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For Real Estate the Day of Reckoning Has Arrived

Commentary

It appears that the real estate markets have finally reached their day of reckoning.

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Benefits Specialists Are Welcome Allies In Lean Economy

HUMAN RESOURCES: Consultants Tap Expertise, Industry Connection

Why would a business decide to outsource its benefits programs — one of the top functions of its human resources department? There are lots of different reasons and lots of different ways businesses can reach out for help, analysis and expertise when they’re ready.

Administering Benefits Programs at a Public Co., Nonprofit, Government Agency

INSURANCE: Managers Try to Reduce Impacts of Coverage Increases

Running the benefits programs for employees of a company or government agency is a job that should involve close annual scrutiny as to whether purchasing insurance packages is money well spent.

Employers Pad Paychecks With Range Of Benefits Packages and Extra Perks

INSURANCE: Several Organizations Give Insight Into Types of Plans Offered

Benefits that a company or government entity offers its employees are all important and highly competitive factors in attracting and retaining a quality work force.

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Health Care Reform Holds Promise for Boosting Insurance Options

SMALL BUSINESS: Exchanges and Tax Credits Increase Purchasing Power

Whether or not the health care reform bill will bring drastic changes to San Diego County’s small businesses, many of whom cite high insurance premiums as a barrier to providing health care coverage to their employees, remains to be seen.

Rescue Mission Joins Scripps in Providing Health Care to Homeless

Health Care Column

Some have broken bones on the mend, need a change of dressing or have gone blind. Others just need rest, proper nutrition and special treatment to recover.

Go-Givers Often See Their Sales Grow Quicker Than Go-Getters

Business in the North County

As the nation’s economy continues to recover, business owners want to know why some of their competitors grow at a faster pace. What makes the difference between their sales and the other guy’s?

San Diego County-Based Lenders See Stock Prices Rebounding

Finance Column

As the Dow broke through the 11,000 mark April 13, even stocks in the heavily battered financial sector were enjoying nice increases, including some of the locally based lenders.

Anticipating Increased Demand, Scripps Encinitas Launches ER Makeover

HEALTH CARE: Aging Population, Reforms Likely to Raise Workload

A $350 million project that will more than double the size of the emergency department at Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas is under way, with construction crews beginning work on an 884-space parking lot.

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Landmark Lafayette Hotel Joins Ranks of Local Hotels Under Renovation

HOSPITALITY: Hotel Operators See Time Is Right To Refresh Properties

Operators of the historic Lafayette Hotel & Suites San Diego embarked on a $4 million renovation of the local landmark April 15, with an eye toward restoring some of its 1940s heyday luster as an entertainment hub and celebrity hangout.

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Brilliant, Determined Mind Led to Bright Light of Blue LED

TECHNOLOGY: Discovery of Blue Light-Emitting Diode Made White LEDs, Blu-ray Discs Possible

It was the missing piece of the puzzle. Semiconductor scientists had come up with light-emitting diodes, small electronic components that could produce light, in the 1960s.

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Mitt Romney Leaves Snow Behind, Moves To La Jolla

SDBJ Insider

Did you hear? Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney is now a La Jolla resident, having purchased a $12 million home there that once belonged to Hollywood star Cliff Robertson.

Coastal Commission Blocks Redevelopment of S.D. Waterfront

DEVELOPMENT: $230M N. Embarcadero Visionary Plan Now on Hold

San Diego economic development authorities are mulling their next move after the California Coastal Commission’s April 14 rejection of the first phase of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan.

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Pentagon Spending Shelters Regional Economy From Recession

DEFENSE: Military to Pump $17.3B Into County in 2010, Report States

San Diego County, home to the largest concentration of military forces in the world, continues to experience the benefits of rising Pentagon spending, a new study says.

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Building ‘Green’ Exhibit Buoys Fundraising for Military Families

Kudos/Giving

Outreach for Humanity held the LEEDing the Way in Green Solutions Vendor Exhibit on March 19 aboard the USS Midway Museum aircraft carrier.

Sales and Leases

Sales and leases in and around San Diego County

Sales and leases in and around San Diego County

Real Estate Roundup

Real estate news in and around San Diego County

Real estate news in and around San Diego County

San Diego People

New hires and promotions in and around San Diego County

New hires and promotions in and around San Diego County

Executive Spotlight: Doreen Bechard

Grand Pacific Resort Management has announced that Doreen Bechard, regional director of operations, will be leading the sourcing of best practices and implementation via standard operation procedures for the company.

Regional Report

Leading off this week's compilation of news from around San Diego County: Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported April 19 that it posted a net loss of $38.2 million on revenue of $174.1 million for the first quarter of 2010.

News in Brief

LEAD San Diego has chosen Vicky Carlson to serve as interim president and chief executive officer, effective April 19.

With Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Looming, Sandag Plans Public Meetings

PLANNING: Agency Seeks Public Input on Plan to Cut Emissions to ’90 Levels

Geographically, San Diego sits at the bottom end of the state, but when it comes to updating a long-range transportation plan that complies with yet to be determined gas emissions levels, the region will be at the top of the list of regions statewide to initiate compliance planning.

Friday, April 23

Aragon Pharmaceuticals Secures $22M in Series B Financing

Aragon Pharmaceuticals, which specializes in cancer treatments, said April 22 that it received $22 million in Series B financing.

Benetrac Sees Business Expand, Moves to Bigger Office

Benetrac, a locally based provider of employee benefits management software, said its expanding business caused a recent move to larger offices in Mission Valley from Old Town.

Cymer Reports Profitable Quarter

Cymer Inc., which makes laser light sources for semiconductor manufacturing, reported net income of $16 million on revenue of $113.8 million for the first three months of 2010.

Thursday, April 22

New Board Vote Supports Tri-City Chief

Larry Anderson, the top administrator at Oceanside’s Tri-City Medical Center, is back on the job he never left, although his contract was terminated April 19.

Federal Government Alleges Illegal Hiring at Beach Bistro

The owner and manager of a well-known Pacific Beach restaurant and catering business charged with criminal felonies in connection with the hiring of unauthorized workers pleaded not guilty April 21 in federal court, their lawyer said.

Carlsbad Resort Becomes Park Hyatt Aviara in June

The Four Seasons Aviara golf resort in Carlsbad will become the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort on June 21, according to an April 20 news release from Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Qualcomm Reports $774M in Net Income for Quarter

Qualcomm Inc. reported net income of $774 million or 46 cents per share for its second quarter ended March 28, compared to a net loss of $289 million or 18 cents per share for the like quarter of 2009.

Wednesday, April 21

Report: Pentagon to Spend $17.3B Locally in 2010

Gray ships and camouflage fabric mean green for the San Diego economy. The region continues to experience the benefits of rising Pentagon spending, a study released April 21 says.

PacWest Loses $60.5M in First Quarter

PacWest Bancorp, parent of Pacific Western Bank, the region’s second largest locally based lender, reported April 21 a first quarter net loss of $60.5 million, compared to a net profit of $1.4 million for the first quarter of 2009.

Oceanside Pediatric Clinic to Open in 2011

Sanford Health, the South Dakota-based health care system named after billionaire philanthropist T. Denny Sanford, will establish an Oceanside pediatric clinic in partnership with Rady Children’s Hopsital-San Diego, Sanford Health announced April 21.

Tri-City Board Fires Top Executive

Tri-City Medical Center CEO Larry Anderson has been ousted by the hospital’s board in a 4-3 vote, according to board chair Madeline Rodriguez.

Tuesday, April 20

Forest Splits With Phenomix

A major partnership deal struck a year and a half ago on a leading diabetes drug candidate has ended for San Diego-based biotech Phenomix Corp.

Coronado First Bank Turns a Profit

Coronado First Bank, which operates an offshore office in San Diego, reported a net profit of $64,000 for the first quarter of this year, compared to a net loss of $149,000 for the same quarter of 2009.

Update: About Our New Look

Welcome to the San Diego Business Journal’s new Web site. Check here for new features and other updates.

Monday, April 19

Amylin Pharmaceuticals Sees Net Loss, Revenue Decline

Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc. reported April 19 that it posted a net loss of $38.2 million on revenue of $174.1 million for the first quarter of 2010. One year earlier, Amylin reported a net loss of $47 million on revenue of $180.4 million.

Residential Builders Facing New Water Metering Regulations

Starting June 1, new apartment and condo projects that haven’t already received building permits in the city of San Diego will be required to include submeters, which measure water usage in individual dwelling units.

Orexigen Fixes Study Error, Seeks FDA’s OK for Obesity Drug

BIOTECH: Weight Loss Drug Would Be First on The Market in a Decade

A math error revealed in a regulatory filing last week showed that a smaller percentage of patients taking Orexigen Therapeutics Inc.’s experimental obesity drug lost weight than originally reported, calling into question the company’s chances at securing approval for the first new prescription weight loss drug in a decade.

Harte-Hanks Innovates to Drive Sales By Closely Scrutinizing Data

MARKETING: Company Looks at Customer Activity Information to Steer Marketing Programs

Today, technology marketers, like many of their industry cohorts, are being challenged to do more with less. They need a cost-effective way to identify and engage prospects for their products and services early in the purchase process.

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Unified Planning Can Lead to Construction Cost Savings

DEVELOPMENT: Building Pros Review Merits of Integrated Project Delivery

Local building experts say industries such as health care could be better poised to go green and cut operating costs — as well as meet tough new seismic standards under a 2013 deadline facing hospitals — if everyone involved in projects read from the same design playbook from the start of construction.

S.D. City Attorney Calls Bankruptcy Speculation ‘Silly’

GOVERNMENT: Mayor Remains Firmly Opposed To Insolvency Option

Speculation that the city of San Diego is contemplating filing for bankruptcy to resolve its employee pension fund problems is just that — speculation without any factual basis and just plain silly, says City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, the city’s top lawyer.

Kratos to Buy Pennsylvania Manufacturer for $133M

DEFENSE: Acquisition Gives Contractor a Chance To Grow, CEO Says

The military needs high-tech gear, low-tech gear, and places to ship and store it. Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Inc. has apparently taken that last point to heart.

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U.S. Navy Jumps On Board Earth Day With Fresh Water Dispenser

With Earth Day on the horizon, the U.S. Navy got into the act early on April 14, unveiling a new environmentally friendly water vending machine at the Navy Exchange in the Broadway Complex.

Predator Reaches 1 Million Flight Hour Milestone

DEFENSE: General Atomics Unit Leads Revolution In Unmanned Aerial War Fighting and Surveillance

Predator, the unmanned aircraft built by Poway-based General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., passed a significant milestone early this month, reaching a fleet total of 1 million flight hours.

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Hospitals Seek Extension For Seismic Retrofitting

CONSTRUCTION: 8 Complexes Are Unsafe, According to State

With a 2013 deadline looming, some of San Diego County’s hospitals are pushing for extensions that would allow them to delay costly earthquake safety upgrades until 2030.

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Doing the Right Thing

PUBLIC SERVICE: ‘Dukie’ Valderrama Brings Business Sense As Chair of the Port of San Diego

Robert “Dukie” Valderrama, the new chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners, likes to point out what differentiates him from some of his fellow commissioners.

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Commerce Secretary Pushes Exporting to Grow U.S. Employment

TRADE: Less Than 1 Percent of Nation’s 30 Million Companies Export to Foreign Markets

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke couldn’t have picked a better local venue to extol the benefits of exporting as a key strategy to returning the economy to health.

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Kyoto Prize Symposium Continues to Illuminate

LED televisions, Blu-ray technology and LED lighting with superior energy-saving qualities were made possible with the development of the blue light-emitting diode. On April 22, we will celebrate this remarkable achievement and the scientist who gave it to the world, Dr. Isamu Akasaki, the 25th Kyoto Prize laureate in Advanced Technology

Mental Health Parity Should Benefit Employers

Federal law now mandates that health insurance benefits for mental health and substance abuse treatment cannot be more restrictive than coverage of medical or surgical treatments.

Six Trailblazers Inducted Into County Women’s Hall of Fame

Six women were inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame on March 27 at the ninth annual community partners ceremony held at UC San Diego’s Price Center.

Sales and leases

Sales and leases in and around San Diego County

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Real estate roundup

Real estate news in and around San Diego County

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Wind Energy Companies Bringing Renewable Power to the Region

ENVIRONMENT: SDG&E’s Proposed Wind Farms to Spur Infrastructure, Employment Growth

As the world continues on its quest to transform from oil-dominant energy practices to the use of renewable resources, San Diego is reducing its own carbon footprint, in part, by creating wind farms in and around the region.

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UCSD to Become Testing Ground For Fuel Cell Technology

ENERGY: Alternative Clean Energy Source Catching on, Albeit Slowly

While fuel cell technology has been around for decades, it has yet to be developed on a large scale.

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Solar Installers Tap Into Lucrative Commercial Building Segment

ENERGY: Local Firms Grab Slice of California’s Photovoltaics Market

Asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton allegedly replied: “Because that’s where the money is.”

Biofuels Firms Developing Solutions for Reducing The Nation’s Carbon Footprint

ENERGY: $104M Boost Jump-Starts Algae-Based Fuel Production

The biofuels industry is gaining momentum in San Diego and efforts are under way to get Congress to speed up its development with more funding and tax breaks.

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Executive profile: Lance Kurata

Lance Kurata is partner of Mintz Levin.

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Proceeding Sheds New Light on Qualcomm-Broadcom Litigation

A San Diego federal court judge lifted sanctions April 2 on a group of attorneys who represented Qualcomm Inc. in its high-profile fight against Broadcom Corp., but not before the evidence-handling scandal had a profound impact on their careers.

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Federal Regulator Orders CommerceWest to Improve Operations

CommerceWest Bank, which is based in Irvine and has an office in San Marcos, was ordered to take a number of steps to improve its operations in a formal enforcement action levied recently by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, its main regulator.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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WD-40 Cleans Up as Its Revenue, Net Income Rise

WD-40 Co., the San Diego lubricants and cleaning products maker, reported net income of $10.7 million for its second quarter ended Feb. 28.

San Diego Trust Bank Logs Quarterly Profit Once Again

San Diego Trust Bank reported net profit of $181,000 for the first quarter.

Sorrento Therapeutics Puts Wraps on Antibody Library

Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. said April 14 that it has finished building a library of fully human monoclonal antibodies that will allow drug developers to test against an array of disease targets.

Sanford-Burnham Institute Names President, Gets Gift

The Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute said April 13 that it has promoted its executive vice president of scientific affairs to serve as its new president.

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PriceSmart Grows Revenue, Net Income, Same-Store Sales

PriceSmart Inc., the operator of 26 club warehouse stores in 11 countries mainly in the Caribbean, reported second-quarter net income of $13.7 million on revenue of $366.1 million.

Peter Preuss Headed for CONNECT Hall of Fame

Peter Preuss, who created the innovative Integrated Software Systems Corp. in 1970, will be inducted into the CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame.

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San Diego People

New hires and promotions in and around San Diego County

New hires and promotions in and around San Diego County

Seeking Capital, Local Firm Taps Toronto Stock Exchange

FINANCE: ISE Ltd. Becomes 150th U.S. Firm Listed on the TSX

Shut out from obtaining venture financing because of high costs, Poway clean-tech company ISE Ltd. sought a different path to raise money — issuing shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange where they raised some $21 million.

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Upturn in Building Activity Belies Industry Wariness

CONSTRUCTION: With Indicators Pointing Up, San Diego Far Outpaces California in New Construction

San Diego County is faring better than California as a whole, but in the early months of 2010 its building activity remains stuck in low gear, especially compared with just two years ago. That translates into wariness among local building contractors and economists regarding growth prospects in the coming year, though they agree things generally can’t get much worse than they did in 2009.

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Friday, April 16

AltheaDx Takes in $6M of Venture Capital

AltheaDx, the diagnostics spinoff of biotech contract manufacturer Althea Technologies, said it has secured $6 million in its first round of institutional venture capital investment.

Redevelopment Funds to Help $4M Lafayette Hotel Renovation

Plans were unveiled April 15 for a $4 million renovation of the landmark Lafayette Hotel, located at 2223 El Cajon Blvd. in San Diego’s North Park district.

Callaway Reports Preliminary Sales, Earnings Up in First Quarter

Carlsbad-based equipment maker Callaway Golf Co. on April 15 reported increased sales and earnings in the first quarter of 2010 compared with a year ago.

LEAD Takes on Interim Chief Executive

LEAD San Diego has chosen Vicky Carlson to serve as interim president and chief executive officer, effective April 19. The nonprofit leadership organization’s chairman, Mark Leslie, made the announcement April 16.

Stemgent to Sell Pfizer Research Products

Pfizer Inc. said April 15 that it will begin selling reagents for use in stem cell research through Stemgent Inc., a biotech with operations in Boston and San Diego.

March Jobless Rate Reaches 11 Percent

San Diego County’s unemployment rose to 11 percent in March, up from February’s revised 10.7 percent, and two full percentage points above the March 2009 unemployment rate, according to the state Employment Development Department’s April 16 monthly report.

Thursday, April 15

Coastal Commission Rejects North Embarcadero Plan

The California Coastal Commission has rejected the first phase of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, aimed at redeveloping a 1.5-mile strip of Harbor Drive from Laurel Street to the G Street Mole.

Taxes Withheld … But Don't Reach Uncle Sam

In tune with the spirit of Tax Deadline Day April 15, the U.S. attorney’s office in San Diego reported that a local executive pleaded guilty to a felony of the federal tax code.

Wednesday, April 14

Sorrento Puts Wraps on Antibody Library

Sorrento Therapeutics Inc. said April 14 that it has finished building a library of fully human monoclonal antibodies that will allow drug developers to test against an array of disease targets.

San Diego Trust Bank Logs Quarterly Profit

San Diego Trust Bank reported net profit of $181,000 for the first quarter, up 44 percent from the like quarter of 2009, and its 22nd consecutive quarterly profit, the bank said April 14.

Orexigen Revises Weight Loss Drug Data, Shares Fall

A smaller percentage of patients taking Orexigen Therapeutics Inc.’s experimental obesity drug lost weight than originally reported, sending shares of the company’s stock down 14 percent in late trading April 13.

Tuesday, April 13

Preuss Headed for CONNECT Hall of Fame

Peter Preuss, who created an innovative Integrated Software Systems Corp. in 1970, will be inducted into the CONNECT Entrepreneur Hall of Fame at a luncheon on April 22, the high-tech trade group announced April 13.

Final SPAWAR Bribery Case Figure Sentenced

The last of seven people who pleaded guilty to corruption and fraud charges in connection with a money for jobs scandal involving the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command was sentenced April 12 in San Diego, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Monday, April 12

Institute Poised to Name New President, Receives Gift

The Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is expected to announce April 13 that it has promoted its executive vice president of scientific affairs to serve as its new president.

Stem Cell Co. Broadens Territory, Begins Selling Products in Japan

A subsidiary of International Stem Cell Corp. of Oceanside has signed an agreement with Tokyo-based Veritas Corp. to begin selling its human cell culture products in Japan. The wholly owned subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology LLC, will begin distributing the products — everything from human cells to products to grow them — April 15.

1st Pacific Bank Misses Regulator-Imposed Deadline to Raise $15M

San Diego’s 1st Pacific Bank of California was unable to raise the $15 million that regulators required by the March 31 deadline, with no word from the bank about when or whether it will be able to comply with the mandates from both the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the state’s Department of Financial Institutions.

Golfing Industry Takes Big Swing Through the Local Economy

In case you didn’t catch this item … a report from the National University System Institute for Policy Research says the county’s golfing industry (on and off the green) is as valuable as 10 Super Bowls or 37 Comic-Con International conventions.

Executive Spotlight: Bill VanDeWeghe

McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (MLA), an international law firm, has announced that Bill VanDeWeghe has joined the firm.

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What Really Matters in Rebuilding Our Transportation System

I like the feeling of movement, whether in my car, on my bike, by Segway or even walking. It just seems that lately we spend a lot more time crawling slowly to our destination than actually moving.

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LEAD San Diego to Laud Visionary Leadership at 8th Annual Event

LEAD San Diego is holding its eighth annual Visionary Awards on May 27 at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina.

Local Airline Prepares for Takeoff Late This Year or Early Next

A sign of the emerging economy was showcased March 3l with the unveiling of a brand-new regional aircraft company, California Pacific Airlines.

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Moss Adams Counts Downtime Among Antidotes for Pressure-Packed Cycles

SMALL BUSINESS: Organized Activities Help Busy Accountants Enjoy A Work/Life Balance

There’s no shortage of stress that comes with crunching numbers under deadline, and the local office of public accounting firm Moss Adams LLP has a remedy to keep employee burnout at bay.

Wellness Programs a Bargaining Chip for Reducing Insurance Rates

HEALTH CARE: Employers Can Save By Engaging Staff In Making Healthy Choices

Employers pay a steep price for unhealthy habits. Roughly 87.5 percent of health insurance claims costs are due to a person’s lifestyle, according to a 2008 white paper from the American Institute for Preventive Medicine in Farmington Hills, Mich.

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Executive Profile: Alex Nester

Alex Nester is an executive consultant in the construction and development industry focused on innovative leadership and high-intensity executive coaching.

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Cost of Being a Loyal Padres Fan Declining

Apparently the San Diego Padres are serious about bringing fans back to Petco Park.

Nation Sees Large Employment Swell

Nonfarm payrolls nationally increased by 162,000 in March, the largest gain in three years, and a sign that the economy could finally be gaining some traction.

U.S. Bank Buys Building, Whale Mural to Remain

The famous Wyland whale mural on the side of the headquarters of the San Diego National Bank building on Kettner Boulevard will be preserved following the announcement April 7 that U.S. Bank purchased the headquarters building from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Census Time Is High Season for Scammers

The San Diego Better Business Bureau warns consumers not to be victims of identity theft and other scams while the federal government conducts the 2010 census.

CareFusion Makes Biotech Acquisition

San Diego-based medical device company CareFusion Corp. has made its first big acquisition since spinning off Cardinal Health in September.

Transportation Corridors Drive Commercial Real Estate Activity

REAL ESTATE: Proximity To Freeways Important to Development Countywide

The commercial real estate market remains weakened by the lingering recession, but analysts and brokers see positive trends along the San Diego region’s major transportation corridors.

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San Diego North Chamber Hosts Week of Women’s Events

WORK FORCE: Women Gather to Network and Share Their Lessons Learned

San Diego Women’s Week will take place the week of April 19, giving San Diego women an opportunity to hear from inspirational speakers, participate in forums and network with other businesswomen.

Multimillion-Dollar Investment Brings Firm to Break-Even Point

TECHNOLOGY: Startup Works on ‘Game-Changing’ Cellular Device Solution

IO Semiconductor Inc., a startup launched in 2008 that aims to develop innovative solutions to enhance the performance of existing hand-held, cellular devices while lowering production costs, announced in late March that it received “a multimillion-dollar investment” from a private stakeholder.

New Rules Help Distressed Homeowners

REAL ESTATE: Revised Regulations, Incentives, Market-Weary Lenders Speed Short Sale Process

The inventory of available homes for sale is expected to rise following changes to the short sale process that took effect April 5.

Factoring Firms See Signs of a Recovering Economy

FINANCE: Companies Seeking Loans Report Increased Demand for Products and Services

More local businesses are fielding larger orders from their customers and even have back orders, a clear indicator that the economy may indeed be recuperating, according to one longtime San Diego financier.

Hospital Execs Spar Over Expanded UCSD Medical Center

HEALTH CARE: University Makes Waves as It Strives to Advance Medical Innovation Locally

UC San Diego’s plans to establish a specialty hospital in La Jolla, by transferring certain services from its Hillcrest location, were met with criticism from competing hospital districts last week. UCSD says the planned hospital, funded in part by the largest single gift in the history of the university’s Health Sciences Department, will bring cutting-edge research to La Jolla as the only academic medical center in the area.

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Deal Helps Advance Convention Center Project

REAL ESTATE: Port OKs Lease Purchase of Site Where Facility Would Be Expanded

The Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners has approved a $13.5 million lease purchase of a 7-acre site, deemed crucial for a proposed convention center expansion.

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Feds Expand Role for Community Health Centers

HEALTH CARE: Clinics May Serve 500,000 Uninsured in County

When millions of Americans begin accessing health insurance coverage, they’ll need somewhere to go for primary care. For some, that place may mean a community clinic. The health care reform package passed by Congress on March 21 set aside $11 billion in increased funding for these community health centers, with the goal of expanding care for 20 million more people.

Office Market Anticipates Impact of Health Reform

REAL ESTATE: Impact of Legislation Is ‘Million-Dollar Question’

Barring future political or legal roadblocks, more than 30 million additional Americans will gain access to medical services as a result of new landmark health insurance reforms. What’s less certain at the moment is the impact on local demand for medical office space.

Real estate roundup

Real estate news in and around San Diego County

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San Diego People

New hires and promotions in and around San Diego County

Sales and leases

Sales and leases in and around San Diego County

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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High Achievement

NONPROFIT: Junior Achievement Instills Financial Literacy, Job Readiness

Joanne Pastula and her staff and army of volunteers at Junior Achievement of San Diego and Imperial Counties Inc. are not just grooming the next generation of workers; the nonprofit organization is also working to assure that young people have strong financial skills and are prepared to compete in an increasingly competitive economy when they enter the work force.

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Biotech Supports Workouts at the Workplace, Walks to the Beach

LARGE BUSINESS: Computers at Treadmills Make Mobility Compatible With Job Productivity

Its business is designing and building tools and supporting advanced genome and biotechnology research. So it makes sense that Carlsbad-based Life Technologies Corp. would take a special interest in its employees’ health and well-being.

Garden Fresh Competitions a Heart-Healthy Recipe for Wellness

MEDIUM BUSINESS: Tips, Discounts, Newsletters Also Promote Healthy Employees

For the past six years or so, Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., the San Diego-based chain of 114 Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes salad buffet restaurants, has been putting together a lengthening menu of wellness activities for its employees.

Sunday, April 11

Property Tax Deadline Slides to April 12

County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister reminds property owners that the deadline to pay the second installment on their annual property tax bill is Monday, April 12.

Headline-Makers of Yesterday Inhabit State Tax Board’s List

The Franchise Tax Board, the agency that collects state income taxes, released its latest list of the worst tax deadbeats April 9. Among those owing the most are two San Diego names.

Pair of Court Rulings Gives City and Five Defendants a Break

The city of San Diego doesn’t have to make a $177 million lump sum payment to its employee retirement fund following a March 16 ruling by Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Barton, the city announced April 7.

Friday, April 9

Net Income, Revenue, Same-Store Sales Grow at PriceSmart

PriceSmart Inc., the operator of 26 club warehouse stores in 11 countries mainly in the Caribbean, reported second quarter net income of $13.7 million on revenue of $366.1 million.

FDA Memo Outlines Cancer Risk for Amylin’s Weekly Drug, Others

A once-weekly version of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s diabetes drug Byetta may pose similar increased thyroid cancer risks as the recently approved drug Victoza, a top U.S. Food and Drug Administration official said in a January memo posted to the agency’s Web site April 9.

Amplyx Closes $1.5M in Financing

San Diego drug developer Amplyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. said April 8 it has closed a $1.5 million round of financing by a group of angel investors.

Fate Therapeutics Lined Up to Buy Biotech

Privately held Fate Therapeutics of La Jolla, a startup developer of stem cell technologies, said April 8 it has agreed to acquire Canadian biotech Verio Therapeutics Inc. to boost its position in the field of regenerative medicine.

WD-40 Revenue, Net Income Rises

WD-40 Co., the San Diego lubricants maker, reported net income of $10.7 million for its second quarter ended Feb. 28, compared to net income of $4.1 million for the like period of last year, the company said April 7.

Wednesday, April 7

Helix Wind Brings in $1M

Helix Wind Corp., a San Diego maker of small wind turbines, said it closed $1 million in financing from St. George Investments LLC in an April 6 announcement.

Cost of Being a Padres Fan Drops, Index Says

Apparently the Padres are serious about bringing fans back to Petco Park. According to consulting firm Team Marketing Report, a package of items to attend a Padres game this season will run $120.60, nearly 30 percent below the combined price for the same items last year.

Welcome to Our New Site

Welcome to the new Web site of the San Diego Business Journal. We are pleased to launch our new Web site. As you explore the site, you will discover many new features designed to help us deliver the latest breaking news, information and data directly to your desktop. Feel free to explore the new site and discover all that we have to offer. E-mail any questions you may have about the content or functionality of the new site to Brad Graves at bradg@sdbj.com.

U.S. Bank: The Whale Mural Stays

The famous Wyland whale mural on the side of the headquarters of the San Diego National Bank building on Kettner Boulevard will be preserved following the announcement April 7 that U.S. Bank purchased the headquarters building from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Tuesday, April 6

Port Commissioners Approve Convention Center Lease Deal

The Port of San Diego’s Board of Port Commissioners has approved a $13.5 million lease purchase of a 7-acre site, deemed crucial for a proposed convention center expansion.

Golf Beats Aerospace in Local Economic Impact

San Diego County’s golf industry had a total economic impact of $3.7 billion in 2008, making it a key driver of the region’s economy, according to a study released April 6 by the National University System Institute for Policy Research.

USS Carl Vinson Arrives April 12

The USS Carl Vinson will arrive at Naval Air Station North Island the morning of April 12, the U.S. Navy reported April 6.

Monday, April 5

Accelrys to Merge With Symyx

San Diego-based Accelrys will merge with scientific informatics competitor Symyx Technologies of Santa Clara, the companies announced April 5.

Pharmaceutical Firm Expanding Carlsbad Presence

San Diego-based BioMed Realty Trust Inc. announced April 5 an extension of its partnership with Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., under which Isis will increase its Carlsbad presence from 28,700 to 204,700 leased square feet.

Cardiologist Joins West Wireless

The West Wireless Health Institute has named a former Johnson & Johnson executive its new chief medical and scientific officer.

NextWave to Stay With Nasdaq, Plans Reverse Stock Split

NextWave Wireless Inc., which operates San Diego’s Packet Video, said in securities filing April 1 that the Nasdaq listing qualifications panel granted the company’s request for continued listing on the Nasdaq exchange.

CareFusion Makes Acquisition

San Diego-based medical device company CareFusion Corp. has made its first big acquisition since spinning off Cardinal Health in September.

New Optical Technologies Accelerate Telecommunications

TECHNOLOGY : Conference Attendees Applaud Advanced Processors, Presence of Optics Luminaries

In the end, the message at the 2010 Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition and the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC), held at the San Diego Convention Center March 23-25 and considered by photonics insiders as the largest annual industry event in the world, was that integration is the key to the future. Photonics is the science of harnessing light for application in telecommunications and information processing.

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Racing Along: Competitor Group Events Help Charities Score

SPORTS BUSINESS : Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon Series Raises $219M for Nonprofits

Peter Englehart and his team at Competitor Group Inc. are on a big roll, winning the race for market share of some of the healthiest and most affluent consumers — endurance athletes.

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Big Pharma Co. Floats Trial Balloon for Bio Incubator

BIOTECH: Johnson & Johnson Plans to Host Fledgling Biotech Companies at Its La Jolla Research Facility

Add Johnson & Johnson to the latest list of big pharmaceutical companies interested in incubating fledgling biotech companies as it prepares for major patent expirations on its best-selling drugs.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Prescription Drug Trafficking Threat to Health Care

LAW: Bootlegging Legal Drugs Through Illegal Channels a Growing Concern

With all the increased attention on drug costs, there’s one area health policy experts and law enforcement officials say is being overlooked: the trafficking of prescription drugs.

Out of Prison, Lerach Focus of A Scathing Book

Local legal types are buzzing about a new bio-exposé, “Circle of Greed,” written by California business and political journalists Patrick Dillon and Carl M. Cannon.

Job Outlook, Limited Supply Make Local Apartment Market Attractive to Investors

REAL ESTATE: San Diego Ranks No. 2 in the Nation, Marcus & Millichap States

Relatively strong employment prospects and continued tight supply helped San Diego’s apartment investment market finish second in the U.S., in a newly released ranking of the nation’s 44 major metro areas.

Hospitals Uncertain How Health Care Reform Impacts Bottom Line

HEALTH CARE: Facilities, Doctors Likely to Carry Financial Burden

In anticipation of rising health care costs following a legislative overhaul of the system, Sharp HealthCare officials say they’ll look for wiggle room in their building leases. Other hospitals are considering scaling back certain health programs.

UCSD Gets $75M Gift to Build Hospital

UC San Diego said April 1 that it will build a 10-story, 245-bed specialty medical center in La Jolla, next to Thornton Hospital, funded in part by a $75 million donation.

Merriam Mountains Falls to Environmental Laws

DEVELOPMENT: Questions Over Implementation of New State Regulations at the Heart Of Vote Against Development

As lawmakers and regional planners work to implement California laws aimed at curbing greenhouse gases, the impact on future residential and commercial developments remains murky.

Passion for Baseball

SPORTS BUSINESS: Co-Owner Jeff Moorad Says Padres Won’t Rest Until They’re World Series Bound

If there’s one trait that San Diego Padres fans can count on from Jeff Moorad, it’s listening. The current vice chairman and chief executive officer of the San Diego Padres says he’s learned from his careers in sports and business that listening is essential if you want to achieve anything.

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Teachers’ Skill, Technology Aid Troubled Students

The Juvenile Court and Community Schools have been called a lot of things: The last stop, schools of last resort, and the schools for students no one else wants. There’s truth in each of those descriptions.

FCC’s Refusal to Curb TV Violence Is Indecent

A recent study by The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation showed that, on average, white children and teens ages 8-18 spend roughly 3.5 hours a day watching TV; and black and Hispanic children spend nearly six hours a day. And research by the Parents Television Council has found that harmful messages on TV include increased depictions of violence against women, and increased depictions of sex outside of the context of marriage — often with themes of sadism, masochism, pornography, prostitution, rape, adult-child relationships and more.

Girl Scouts Honor 10 Cool Women Mentors Aboard Cruise Ship

The Girl Scouts, San Diego-Imperial Council presented its “10 Cool Women of 2010” on April 3. The event was sponsored by Holland America Line Inc. and was held aboard the ms Oosterdam. Among those being honored was Gayle Wilson, former first lady of San Diego and California. Other honorees were Madeleine Pickens, Diane Powers and Dr. Wilma Wooten. All of the honorees are recognized for their professional accomplishments, community contributions and leadership.

Executive Spotlight: Katherine Kennedy

Katherine Kennedy, founder and president of Relocation Coordinates Inc., has been named chairwoman of the newly formed Scripps Research California Council to heighten awareness of The Scripps Research Institute in the community and to help expand support for the institute.

San Diego People

New hires and promotions in and around San Diego County

New hires and promotions in and around San Diego County

Sales and Leases

Sales and leases in and around San Diego County

Sales and leases in and around San Diego County

Real Estate Roundup

Real estate news in and around San Diego County

Real estate news in and around San Diego County

New Consumer Protection Rules Change Business of Brokering

FINANCE: Short Sales And Homebuyer Incentives Add to Industry’s Turmoil

Mortgage brokers are in the middle of trying to swim through a tsunami of new regulations that have made survival in that profession no small accomplishment.

Lenders Redirect Attention to First-Time Homebuyer Segment

FINANCE : Loan Officers Embrace New Emphasis On Quality Over Quantity

Emerging from the ashes of the mortgage crisis, mortgage lenders are shifting their business models to meet the hottest new demand: first-time homebuyers.

Modest Economic Recovery to Impact Local Housing Market, Analyst Says

FINANCE: Wells Fargo Exec Predicts Continued Uncertainty with Jobs and Housing

While there is plenty of evidence that the national economy is turning around, the recovery will be modest at best, and take years before growth rates approximate those seen before the Great Recession, says Wells Fargo senior economist Scott Anderson.

Distress Signals Cloud Sales, Price Gains in Residential Market

REAL ESTATE: Default Notices Spike as Level of Home Inventory Declines

Local real estate professionals predict it will take at least until the end of 2010 and likely well into 2011 for San Diego County’s residential real estate marketplace to stabilize.

Nonprofit Profile: Kerstin Lynam, CEO of Veterans Medical Research Foundation

Kerstin Lynam, CEO of Veterans Medical Research Foundation

Kaiser Charged About Converting To Solar Power at 15 Facilities

Kaiser Permanente’s San Diego Medical Center, located off Zion Avenue, will be among 15 facilities statewide slated for a solar panel installation project aimed at reducing reliance on the power grid.

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Health Bill Takes Private Lenders Out of Student Loan Industry

Part of the massive health care bill signed into law last month are provisions that essentially nationalize the student lending industry, prohibiting private lenders from originating new college student loans.

Orexigen Asks FDA to Approve Weight-Loss Pill

Orexigen Therapeutics Inc. has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking approval for a new weight-loss pill, it said March 31. The drug, called Contrave, combines an antidepressant with an anti-addictive to reduce food cravings.

Merck Serono Breaks Off Joint Project With Lpath

Merck Serono S.A., the Swiss maker of anti-cancer drug Erbitux, has ended a partnership with Lpath Inc. on its lead drug, the San Diego-based biotech said March 30.

San Diego Posts Net Gain Of 400 Jobs in February

San Diego County’s unemployment rate for February dipped to 10.6 percent from January’s revised rate of 11.1 percent, with a net gain of about 400 jobs, according to a March 26 report from the state Employment Development Department.

Beating the Odds: Agents Win Accolades in Challenging Market

REAL ESTATE: Dedicated Professionals Put a Premium On Delivering Good Service

It’s a phrase that seems out of place in this economy: “a successful real estate agent.” Yet there are agents who are not only surviving but thriving through a combination of perseverance, hard work, good timing and occasionally, pure luck.

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Social Venture Partners Turn Focus to Education

San Diego Social Venture Partners said on March 25 that it made investments in two nonprofit organizations dedicated to education: Reality Changers and Audeo Charter School.

Airport Prepares for Work On Runway’s North Side

Environmental work that is necessary before building a new car rental facility for Lindbergh Field at Pacific Highway began recently, the agency that manages San Diego’s major airport said March 29.

Isis Pharmaceuticals Signs $1.5B Deal With Glaxo

Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc., the Carlsbad-based developer of antisense drugs, said March 31 it has struck a $1.5 billion deal with British pharmaceutical powerhouse GlaxoSmithKline plc to develop drugs for rare diseases.

San Diego Retail Real Estate Market Ranks Second Nationally

REAL ESTATE: Vacancy, Job Growth, Rents Among Factors Considered in Report

As consumers slowly make their way back to shops and restaurants, San Diego’s retail real estate market is gradually recovering from recessionary lows for in-store purchases, lease deals and building acquisitions.

Commercial Real Estate Brokerages Managing to Keep Busy

REAL ESTATE : Transaction Volume Declines, So Firms Offering Alternative Services

With transactions down sharply from pre-recession levels, commercial real estate firms are focusing on alternative services to counteract plunging revenues from property sales and leasing deals.

Friday, April 2

Census Time Is High Season for Scammers, BBB Warns

The San Diego Better Business Bureau warns consumers not to be victims of identity theft and other scams while the federal government conducts the 2010 census.

Nation Gains 162,000 Jobs

Nonfarm payrolls nationally increased by 162,000 in March, the largest gain in three years, and a sign that the economy could be finally gaining some traction.

Kyocera Merges Wireless Subsidiary With Former Sanyo Unit

Kyocera International Inc., the North American headquarters of Kyoto-based Kyocera Group that’s based in San Diego, said it has combined two of its wholly owned subsidiaries.

Hackers Succumb to La Jolla High School Tech Squad

A team from La Jolla High School was tops at fending off computer hackers during a competition that culminated March 27, winning the students the San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup.

Thursday, April 1

UCSD Gets $75M Gift to Build Hospital

UC San Diego said April 1 that it will build a 10-story, 245-bed specialty medical center in La Jolla, next to Thornton Hospital, funded in part by a $75 million donation.

Xenonics to Issue Shares, Warrants

Xenonics Holdings Inc., a Carlsbad maker of night vision products for the military, said April 1 it agreed to sell 2.9 million shares of its common stock to institutional investors at 50 cents per share, generating gross proceeds of $1.45 million.

San Diego Social Venture Partners Focus Attention on Education

San Diego Social Venture Partners said on March 25 that it made investments in two nonprofit organizations dedicated to education: Reality Changers and Audeo Charter School.