Stories for June 2010

Wednesday, June 30

Area’s Economic Index Makes Small Gain

An index measuring the San Diego economy rose for the 14th consecutive month in May, led by a surge of new building permits, according to a June 30 report from the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the University of San Diego.

Se San Diego Hotel Owner Files for Bankruptcy

The operator of the struggling Se San Diego Hotel in downtown San Diego has filed for protection under Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy while it reorganizes its finances.

Jack in the Box Refinances

Jack in the Box Inc. said June 29 it completed a new five- year, $600 million refinancing package made up of a $400 million revolving credit line and a $200 million term loan.

Tennis Finals on Their Way to Sports Arena

The San Diego Sports Arena was selected to host the 2010 Fed Cup Final, an international tennis tournament for women between the United States and Italy, said the U.S. Tennis Association.

Tuesday, June 29

Council OKs $185M Downtown Library Plan

The San Diego City Council has given the go-ahead to a long-discussed central library planned for downtown’s East Village neighborhood.

Figure Sentenced in Investment Fraud

Richard Hersch, a 72-year-old Rancho Santa Fe resident, was sentenced to 110 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $9.2 million in restitution June 28 after pleading guilty to felonies related to a widespread investment fraud he concocted, federal prosecutors said.

SGIS Attracts D.C.-Area Buyer

SGIS, a San Diego-based staffing firm focused on federal and defense contracts, was acquired by Salient Federal Solutions Inc., based in Fairfax, Va., for an undisclosed price.

San Diego Firm Takes Oregon Election Online

The Independent Party of Oregon has chosen San Diego-based Everyone Counts Inc. as the vendor to host the party’s primary election, which will be held completely online.

Monday, June 28

Real Estate Trust Buys Napa Wine Properties for $269M

Realty Income Corp., an Escondido-based real estate investment trust, has agreed to acquire Napa Valley winery and vineyard properties for $269 million.

PriceSmart Sets Sights on Colombia

PriceSmart Inc., the San Diego operator of club warehouse stores mainly in the Caribbean region, said June 28 it is buying a property in Barranquilla, Colombia to build the first warehouse store in that country.

High Court’s Privacy in the Workplace Ruling Favors Employers

In the latest case testing the limits of privacy and personal communications in the workplace, U.S. Supreme Court justices upheld an Ontario Police Department’s search of an officer’s text messages in a unanimous ruling June 17.

With Acquisition, Cubic Gets Deeper Into Cybersecurity

Cubic Corp.’s defense applications division said June 22 that it acquired Safe Harbor Holdings, a Vienna, Va.-based cybersecurity company for an undisclosed price.

Philanthropists Invest Again In Wireless Health Institute

Just a little more than a year after its formation, San Diego’s West Wireless Health Institute says it has raised $90 million in its quest to advance wireless solutions for the health care industry.

Lender Sells Scripps Ranch Office Campus for $40.5M

Horizon Tech Center, a three-building office campus in Scripps Ranch that is fully leased to Lockheed Martin Corp., has been sold by its lender to a real estate investment trust for $40.5 million.

Health Care Reform Offers Some Relief to Small Companies

HEALTH CARE: Tax Credits to Aid Firms, But Insurance Fee a Concern

The impact on small business became a kind of lightning rod in the health care reform debate, fueling heated dialogue about rising premiums and the high cost of providing insurance coverage during a recession.

Executive Profile: Jeff Block

Jeff Block is vice president and general manager of KGTV and KZSD. KGTV is the ABC television network affiliate in San Diego that creates 27 hours of news programming weekly.

Gaslamp’s Contribution to City Coffers Grows Fivefold in Decade

HOSPITALITY: SDSU Study Says Area Generated $86M in 10-Year Period

Downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter has contributed more than $86 million in tax revenue to the city and its redevelopment agency during the past decade, according to a newly released impact study by consultants at San Diego State University.

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Incubator Connects Clean-Tech Startups With Developers

ENVIRONMENT: Investors Exchange Office Space for Technologies

As someone who spent time educating private investors about opportunities in clean technology, Yeves Perez knew San Diego had become a hot spot for some of the industry’s emerging companies.

As Home Mortgage Defaults Decline, Short Sales Increase

REAL ESTATE: Banks Lenient on Short Sales; ‘Shadow Inventory’ Looms

Mortgage default notices have dropped significantly in San Diego in recent months, but many borrowers are still falling behind on payments and short sales are becoming a more common exit for troubled mortgage holders rather than foreclosures, say brokers and other real estate analysts.

Time Share Sales Dip as Occupancy Runs High

HOSPITALITY: Vacationers Economize By Staying in Prepaid Accommodations

Like other property segments within the travel and tourism industry, vacation time shares took their lumps in 2009 amid a steep national downturn in consumer spending.

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Tom Blair Leaves S.D. Magazine to Reprise Role as U-T Columnist

Tom Blair, who disappeared from the masthead as editor of San Diego Magazine recently, planned to return to his role as a classic three-dot columnist for The San Diego Union-Tribune on June 27.

Reduce Spending to Balance the State Budget

In what seems like a disturbing case of deja vu, the State of California is once again facing an enormous fiscal crisis.

North Island Credit Union Restructures Middle Management Ranks

North Island Credit Union, the area’s fourth largest credit union with $1.4 billion in assets, laid off 20 mid-managers over the past few weeks, continuing a staffing reduction strategy NICU undertook to deal with massive loan losses it sustained in recent years.

Food Production Has Ample Opportunity to Grow in South County

MANUFACTURING: Farm-to-Table Cluster Boosts Jobs Near Border

Long known as a place where such durable goods as Navy cargo ships and golf clubs are built, San Diego is also home to a growing cluster of food manufacturing and processing companies.

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Maquiladoras Work Around Obstacles and Ramp Up Expansions

TRADE: Proximity to U.S. Markets Gives Mexico Plants an Edge Over Asia

Maquiladoras, the Mexican manufacturing wing of many U.S. and foreign corporations, aren’t hurting anywhere near as badly as most other industries — and a few are even growing.

Assembly Lines Churn Out High Volume of Products Close to Home

MANUFACTURING: Domestic Operations Cut Overseas Red Tape

Thirty years ago, the big trend among U.S. manufacturers was to move operations to Pacific Rim countries, where the labor was cheap and more profit was possible.

Real Estate Roundup

Projects, developments and other activity in cities in and around San Diego County

Executive Profile: Steve Arnold

Steve Arnold is president of Legends Home Furnishings, a manufacturer and retailer of upholstery and furniture with showrooms in Miramar and Hillcrest.

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People

Hirings, promotions and other moves at local businesses

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Gen-Probe Contributes $50M To Biotech’s Funding Round

San Diego-based molecular diagnostics company Gen-Probe Inc. says it has invested $50 million in a Bay Area biotech to expand its genetic sequencing capabilities for better disease diagnosis.

Protecting Copyrights Key to Economic Success

As a nation, we produce more books, newspapers, movies, music, and television programs — software products and services — than any other country in the world.

Credit Union Pitches in $5,000 for Local Boys & Girls Clubs

Mission Federal Credit Union chose the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego for the Mission Fed Padres Community Home Run Challenge.

Kyoto Prize Winner’s Stem Cell Work Intrigues Local Researchers

KUDOS: Inamori Foundation Honors Trio; San Diego Symposium Slated for Spring

A medical researcher involved in creating a specialized type of stem cell — one that has captured the attention of some San Diego life sciences organizations — is among the three winners in the latest round of Kyoto Prizes.

After Companies Make Noise, City OKs Quiet Zone

DEVELOPMENT: $20.9M Project Aims to Prevent Trains From Blaring Horns Late at Night

The San Diego City Council has approved what will be among the nation’s largest quiet zones, entailing $20.9 million in spending to improve downtown railroad crossings and prevent freight trains from blaring their horns at all hours.

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Scripps Health to Build $185M Proton Therapy Treatment Center

HEALTH CARE: Advanced Technology to Target Cancerous Tumors in Head, Prostate, Neck

Three years from now, Scripps Health will offer a new service aimed at better attacking cancerous tumors of the head, neck, lung, eye and prostate using stronger, yet more precise doses of radiation.

CONNECTED!

ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Homegrown Business Organization Turns 25; Connect Model Emulated Nationwide

Connect, the San Diego organization that began by nurturing emerging businesses in the Torrey Pines Mesa technology hub, celebrates a milestone anniversary this year. It is 25.

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Economy, Simplicity Drive Information Technology Service

SOFTWARE: Beach Area Firm Sweats the Technical Details for Fortune 1000

Development of information technology in a large company can be tough enough without the extra hassle of setting up special equipment and computer programs.

Local Commercial Real Estate Market Among Least Distressed in U.S.

Halfway through 2010, the nation still hasn’t seen a crashing tidal wave of commercial property foreclosures that’s been predicted within the real estate industry for the past several months.

Friday, June 25

Accelrys Merger Makes Most Sense, Symyx Board Argues

The board of directors of Santa Clara-based Symyx Technologies urged its shareholders to vote for a proposed merger with San Diego-based Accelrys Inc., and reject a counter offer for the company made by a group led by the venture capital firm Centara Corp., Symyx said June 24.

Thursday, June 24

Downtown Redevelopment Spending to Get a Fresh Look

The San Diego City Council has approved a $500,000 study to determine whether to raise the cap on projects funded by the city’s downtown redevelopment agency.

Wednesday, June 23

Report: Cultural Events Pump $750M Into Local Economy

San Diego area arts and cultural activities helped pump more than $750 million into the local economy in fiscal year 2009, including hotel expenditures, according to a recent report released by the city’s Commission for Arts and Culture.

Tuesday, June 22

Lender Sells Scripps Ranch Office Campus for $40.5M

Horizon Tech Center, a three-building office campus in Scripps Ranch that is fully leased to Lockheed Martin, has been sold by its lender to a real estate investment trust for $40.5 million.

Cubic Acquires Cybersecurity Firm

Cubic Corp.’s defense applications division said June 22 that it acquired Safe Harbor Holdings, a Vienna, Va.-based cybersecurity company for an undisclosed price.

Monday, June 21

Mexican Court Order Targets Sempra LNG Plant

A Mexican court has ordered regulators in that country to suspend permission for Sempra Energy to operate its liquefied natural gas terminal near Ensenada because of legal proceedings against the San Diego-based corporation.

Navy Conducts Logistical ‘Symphony’ When Preparing Ships for Deployment

DEFENSE: Vendors Ease Strain of Supplying Goods, Services in Port and Abroad

From food to water, fuel, vehicles and even laundry services, providing supplies and logistical support to the crew of up to 5,000 sailors aboard a U.S. Navy ship is no small feat.

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SDG&E Asks to Move Chula Vista Substation

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. says it wants to move an electrical substation to a site south of the Chula Vista power plant, and has asked for the state Public Utilities Commission’s blessing

Righteous Acts

DEVELOPMENT: Father Joe Builds Housing, Raises Cash, Leads Social Services Network

Alonzo Horton, Ernest Hahn and John Moores have all left their marks on downtown San Diego. Joe Carroll is moving rapidly to join them.

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Firms Finding New Homes at Old Car Lots

REAL ESTATE: Some Automobile Dealerships Are Expanding Locally

While auto sales are still down considerably from pre-recession levels, San Diego County has been spared, in relative terms, from the sight of closed and empty dealerships dotting highways throughout California.

Startups, Students Benefiting From New Partnership

TECHNOLOGY: UCSD Students Evaluate Companies for Incubator

Some students at the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego are getting the type of real world experience that is hard to find, thanks to a new partnership between the school and EvoNexus, an incubator formed in San Diego last year.

Entrepreneurs DEMO Their Ideas Before VC Panel

INNOVATION: Mintz Levin Hosts Venture Capitalists Scouting for Promising Concepts, Businesses

Before TiVo or ETrade became household names, they debuted at DEMO. The twice-yearly conference, which introduces new gadgets and services likely to disrupt the market status quo, has its roots in San Diego.

Executive Coaches Advocate Two-Year Marriage Contracts

Phyllis and Colle Davis, San Diego-area husband-and-wife executive business coaches, are co-authors of the recently released, “A Two-Year Marriage License: The Commitment Contract.”

Buyers on Shopping Spree for Retail Centers

REAL ESTATE: With Limited Supply, Sellers Begin to Entertain Offers

Compared with a year ago, buyers in 2010 have gone on a veritable shopping spree for large retail centers in San Diego County.

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Convention Networking Sparks Hope for Retail Growth

REAL ESTATE: Civic Leaders Seek Deals to Boost Sales Tax Bases

U.S. retail sales figures released June 11 showed that the economy is still wobbling, as wary consumers keep their spending in check and cut down on debt. According to the Department of Commerce, retail sales in May dropped 1.2 percent from April — the largest monthly decline in eight months.

Neurocrine Cuts Major Deals With Abbott, Boehringer

Fresh from inking a $575 million deal with Abbott Laboratories, San Diego-based Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. says it has agreed to partner with German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim on a diabetes drug.

Manufacturer Charged Up About Device to Ease Arthritic Pain

TECHNOLOGY: BioniCare System Sends Low-Level Electrical Pulses to the Knee

Besides losing weight, receiving cortisone shots, taking pain pills, or getting a total knee replacement, few options exist for patients living with moderate to severe osteoarthritis.

Amylin Shares Dip Slightly As Study Results Unveiled

A once-weekly version of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s diabetes drug, Byetta, topped rival Januvia in a study released June 15, but failed to satisfy investors who noted the results were similar to a widely used generic diabetes drug.

Black Catz: Computer Game Accessory Maker Is Profitable

Mad Catz Inc., a San Diego maker of video game accessories, reported a net profit of $800,000 for its 2010 fiscal year fourth quarter ended March 31, compared to a net loss of $3.7 million for the like quarter of its prior fiscal year, the firm said June 10.

Federal Funds Stimulate Cannon Wind Farm Project

Del Mar-based Cannon Power Group has received a $200 million stimulus grant from the federal government that it will put toward a Washington wind farm project, it announced June 16.

McMillin Buys 1,481-Home Lake Elsinore Subdivision

San Diego-based builder McMillin Communities, a unit of the Corky McMillin Cos., has acquired a 1,481-home master-planned community being developed on the southeastern edge of Lake Elsinore in Riverside County.

Intercare Executives Win Power Broker Awards

San Diego-based Intercare Solutions, which pairs insurance brokerage services with employee wellness initiatives, recently claimed two Power Broker awards from Risk & Insurance Magazine, a unit of LRP Publications.

Hospital Fires 5 Employees Over Privacy Violations

Tri-City Medical Center’s chief executive says the hospital has sent letters of intent to fire five employees, and has disciplined a sixth, for allegedly posting information about hospital patients online.

Gala Benefits Air Museum, Honors Marines in Space

“A Salute to Marines in Space” is the theme of the Flying Leatherneck Historical Foundation’s fifth annual gala Saturday, June 26.

Douglas Wilson Cos. to Open D.C. Office

San Diego-based real estate services provider Douglas Wilson Cos. will open a new office in Washington, D.C., in early July.

Unemployment Affects 1 of 10 Local Workers

San Diego County’s unemployment rate was 10 percent in May, down from an unrevised 10.4 percent in April, the California Employment Development Department reported June 18.

Reframing the Dream: Time for Building Industry to Move On

There was a very large conference held in San Francisco two weeks ago. Its attendees filled the hotels, swarmed The Moscone Center, lined up to eat in the restaurants, and frequented the downtown shopping district’s boutique retailers. San Francisco was packed with attendees of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, dubbed “The Center of the App Universe,” from around the world who gathered to exchange ideas on making up software for your iPhone and iPad.

Shileys Establish Professorship in Honor of Old Globe Founder

Darlene and Donald Shiley have gifted the joint The Old Globe and University of San Diego Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Arts program $500,000 to endow the Craig Noel Distinguished Professorship in Graduate Theater.

Groundbreaking: Student Services Center at San Diego Mesa College

New construction projects around San Diego County

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Real Estate Roundup

Real Estate news in and around San Diego County

San Diego People

New hires and promotions in and around San Diego County.

Executive Profile: Shirley Adams

Shirley Adams is the vice president of technical solutions for Accenture National Security Services.

Navy Sinks $500M Annually Into Maintaining Vessels Locally

MANUFACTURING: Tight-Knit Shipyards Share Upkeep of Dozens of Ships

Signs of the military ship repair industry’s large local presence are readily apparent, from the big chunk of bayfront land and water the operations occupy, to the number of workers and sailors involved in related activities, to the sight of a destroyer hefted out of the water so its hull can be painted.

Organizational Cultures Shape Leadership Dynamics

DEFENSE: Guiding Armed Forces Takes Distinct Skill Set

The military offers myriad lessons in organizational leadership, but not every lesson transfers easily to the civilian world.

Leading By Example: Military Chiefs Share Lessons Learned

Vice Adm. Thomas Kilcline Jr. has done some difficult things in his career. He has landed on swaying aircraft carrier decks 1,150 times.

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Nonprofit Profile: Jean Palermo Pohl

The Iris Auxiliary raises money to support children’s activities at the Center.

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Chamber Golf Tourney Drives Spotlight Toward Marine Heroes

Our country is going through a major transformation. We are trying to come out of the worst recession in modern history. We are fighting two wars in far-off lands.

Executive Profile: Bernie Rosenthal

Bernie Rosenthal is president and chief executive officer of Reaction Design, a company that works with transportation manufacturers and energy companies to attain clean technology goals through software simulation tools, chemical models and expert consulting services.

County’s Hotel Operators Must Take the Good News With the Bad

Staubach Bullish on Real Estate’s Future: Though he had a big impact on the game in a 10-year National Football League career, capped with an induction into its Hall of Fame, pro football is now a distant blip in the business life of Roger Staubach, who was in San Diego recently to meet with real estate executives.

How to Beat the High Cost of DNA Service? Go See Illumina

A year after introducing its individual genome sequencing service, San Diego-based genetic analysis company Illumina Inc. has cut the cost by more than half.

Wells Fargo Bank’s Safety Net Providing Comfort to the Elderly

When Wells Fargo rolled out a new banking program aimed at seniors in 1997, it wasn’t exactly sure where it was going to find customers.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Southwest Value Partners Finalizes Real Estate Fund

Southwest Value Partners, a real estate investment firm with offices in San Diego and Phoenix, said June 15 it is in the final stages of closing a recently formed Fund XV, on the heels of closing a Fund XIV with $135 million to new acquisitions.

Friday, June 18

Donors Invest Once More in Wireless Institute

Just a little more than a year after its formation, San Diego’s West Wireless Health Institute says it has raised $90 million in its quest to advance wireless solutions for the health care industry.

Gen-Probe Invests $50M in Bay Area Biotech

San Diego-based molecular diagnostics company Gen-Probe Inc. says it has invested $50 million in a Bay Area biotech to expand its genetic sequencing capabilities for better disease diagnosis.

Thursday, June 17

Neurocrine Awash in Deals

Fresh from inking a $575 million deal with Abbott Laboratories, San Diego-based Neurocrine Biosciences Inc. says it has agreed to partner with German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim on a diabetes drug.

SDG&E Asks to Move Chula Vista Substation

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. says it wants to move an electrical substation to a site south of the Chula Vista power plant, and has asked for the state Public Utilities Commission’s blessing.

Cannon Receives Stimulus Funds for Wind Farm

Del Mar-based Cannon Power Group has received a $200 million stimulus grant from the federal government that it will put toward a Washington wind farm project, it announced June 16.

Wednesday, June 16

Amylin Shares Dip Slightly as Study Results Unveiled

A once-weekly version of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s diabetes drug Byetta topped rival Januvia in a study released June 15, but failed to satisfy investors who noted the results were similar to a widely used generic diabetes drug.

Southwest Value Partners Finalizes Real Estate Fund

Southwest Value Partners, a real estate investment firm with offices in San Diego and Phoenix, said June 15 it is in the final stages of closing a recently formed Fund XV, on the heels of closing a Fund XIV with $135 million to new acquisitions.

Tuesday, June 15

Chula Vista Shopping Center Sells for $19.8M

The Shops at San Miguel Ranch, a 103,548-square-foot shopping center at 2310-2350 Proctor Valley Road in Chula Vista, has been sold for $19.8 million.

Monday, June 14

Sales and Leases

Pete Aardema purchased an industrial building located at 3738 Ruffin Road, in Kearny Mesa, for $3,200,000. The buyer plans to hold the 28,000-square-foot property as an investment. The seller, Ruffin 4 Partners LLC, was represented by Tim Hoag of Cushman & Wakefield. The buyer was represented by Andrew Slade and Joshua Volen of Marcus & Millichap.

As Comic-Con Draws Near, So Does Fate of Its Future Home

HOSPITALITY: Three Cities Close Contenders For Hosting $40M Event

Comic-Con International organizers are looking to decide in the next few weeks on the future home for the pop-culture gathering, likely before this year’s edition gets started July 22 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Hyatt to Acquire Manchester’s Twin Bayfront Towers

Hyatt Hotels Corp. plans to acquire controlling interest in the 1,625-room Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Diego, currently owned by a partnership led by local developer Douglas Manchester.

Dry Dock Will Attract More Mega-Yachts to San Diego

MARITIME: Former Navy Dock Changes Hands; Sale Means Jobs for National City

Knight & Carver’s acquisition of a large vessel dry dock should solidify the region as a world class destination for the repair and maintenance of mega-yachts, said the firm’s chief executive Mike O’Leary.

News in Brief

The city of San Diego, now facing a long-term deficit of about $7 billion mainly related to delayed debts to its employee pension fund, needs to evaluate its entire financial structure and undertake significant changes to return to fiscal health, according to a county grand jury report released June 8.

Point Loma Seafoods Plans New Building

FOOD SERVICE: Iconic Purveyor of Fresh Seafood to Stay With Proven Formula

Point Loma Seafoods, a fixture on San Diego’s waterfront since 1953, plans to replace its aging building and erect a new one. But the folks who run the place assure their many customers it’s not changing the menu or the overall feel of the place.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Qualcomm Inc. said June 7 that its Qualcomm Ventures Europe unit has invested an undisclosed sum in Anteryon, a company based in the Netherlands. Anteryon makes miniature optical modules for mobile phone cameras.

Life on ‘The Island’ Improving as Credit Union Reports 1Q Profit

After losing a combined total of more than $100 million in 2008 and 2009, North Island Credit Union seems to have turned the corner.

Coming Soon to a Mall Near You: Microsoft Opening Store in S.D.

With a better-late-than-never approach to off-line retail, tech giant Microsoft is slowly opening mall stores to showcase its products, hoping to match the buzz of traffic that greets — and usually stays with — those stores opened by its archrival Apple Inc.

UC San Diego Study Reveals Health Savings Through Housing

A recent study conducted by UC San Diego researchers has found that subsidized, long-term housing for homeless people living with serious mental illness can reduce the cost of inpatient and emergency room care while also improving their quality of life.

Large Printing Cos. Make a Lasting Impression in the Region

MEDIA: Industry Moves to Consolidate And Run Its Operations Efficiently

Before the advent of the Internet and well before the first computer debuted, commercial printing companies set up mom-and-pop shops in San Diego to capitalize on the need for high-volume printing.

Investing in Electronic Tools Is a Sharp Move for Printers

MANUFACTURING: Industry Veterans Strike a Balance With Ink Products

With many years of experience between them, the owners of three different San Diego-based traditional printing shops have valuable lessons to teach on weathering a down economy and staying competitive in a changing industry.

Printers Go Digital as Customers Demand Faster, Better, Cheaper

TECHNOLOGY: Market Competition Drives Quicker Turnaround, Customizations

San Diego printers have embraced digital technology and other equipment upgrades to stay competitive in a tough, low-margin business made tougher by a constrained economic environment.

Executive Profile

Steve Shoemaker

Steve Shoemaker is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Advanced Web Offset, a Vista-based web printing and online publishing firm. Opened 21 years ago in North County, the company now operates in a 61,000-square-foot facility.

Real Estate Roundup

Citing the city of Encinitas’ commitment to firefighting services, superior planning and adherence to a strict budget, the American Public Works Association selected Encinitas Fire Station No. 3 as its Project of the Year.

San Diego People

Lawyer Paul Robinson has been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority board through June 2011. Robinson is a partner for the San Diego law firm of Hecht Solberg Robinson Goldberg and Bagley LLP, where he previously was an associate. Prior to joining the firm, he spent five years as the deputy city attorney to San Diego. Robinson is a member of the real property and public law sections of The State Bar of California and of the real estate and land-use sections of the San Diego County Bar Association.

Women’s Group Awards Grants to Those Focused on the Environment

Kudos/Giving

The San Diego Women’s Foundation awarded $152,700 at its 10th Annual Grants Celebration held June 1 at The Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla. The focus for grants this year was the field of Environment.

UCSD Law School Would Nourish 21st Century Industries Here

The world is changing in ways that play to our regional strengths embodied in the industry clusters of the 21st century. Consider the increasingly complex science behind nanotechnology and stem cell research, growing demands for more efficient information networking and the environmental sea change that is spurring clean tech. These are enormous areas of opportunity for San Diego…if we have the right resources.

New Chargers Stadium Belongs in Downtown San Diego

Can it be that the San Diego Chargers have found a new stadium site literally in their own back yard? I’m beginning to think so as both the club and city, along with assorted civic boosters, are continuing to snuggle up to a 10-acre site in downtown San Diego’s East Village, just a couple of blocks from Petco Park.

Scripps to Unveil Results of Medical Device Study

HEALTH CARE: Small Scanner May Help Doctors As Much as Traditional Test

Smaller, more portable medical devices aim to transform the future of health care delivery, but clinicians say they’ll need more evidence before they trade their traditional tools for new ones.

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Everyone Counts

TECHNOLOGY: Firm Provides Secure Systems for Telephone, Computer and PDA Voting

Lori J. Steele sees opportunity in giving troops stationed overseas a chance to vote in major elections. The opportunity extends to missionaries in far-flung countries — and to shut-ins in a city like San Diego.

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San Diego Franchise Looking to Have It Made in the Shade

TECHNOLOGY: Canopy Provides Power for Laptops, IPhones, Shade for Folks

Imagine sipping a frothy latte at an outdoor cafe beneath the shade of a structure that was simultaneously powering your laptop or iPhone.

Leaders Planning for New Era in Alternative Energy Industry

ENERGY: State’s Utilities Spending $1B Annually to Increase Efficiency

The next decade will usher in a new era of alternative energy solutions that could meet a growing demand for “smarter” electrical power, a group of industry leaders said last week.

CCDC Seeks Study to Raise Spending Cap on Redevelopment Projects

FINANCE: Funds Might Run Out Before Key Needs Are Addressed

San Diego city officials this month plan to take up the issue of increasing a key redevelopment agency’s spending limit, a move that has implications for projects ranging from affordable housing, to convention center expansion and waterfront development — and even for a potential downtown football stadium.

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away ...

VIDEO GAMING: Sony Prepares ‘Star Wars’ Online Game in S.D.

While consol games such as those played on a Sony PlayStation or Microsoft’s X Box still dominate the video gaming industry, a shift is under way that will result in a much larger amount of revenue coming from online games such as a new one now in beta testing at San Diego’s Sony Online Entertainment.

Lerach Speaks Out About Greed in Corporate America

Disgraced class action attorney (and San Diego resident) Bill Lerach, along with former Union-Tribune journalist Pat Dillon, appeared at City Club of San Diego recently promoting “Circle of Greed,” written by Dillon and author Carl Cannon, with Lerach’s cooperation.

Executive Profile

Steve Shoemaker

Steve Shoemaker is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Advanced Web Offset, a Vista-based web printing and online publishing firm. Opened 21 years ago in North County, the company now operates in a 61,000-square-foot facility.

Executive Profile

Jim Tenuto

Jim Tenuto is president and chief executive officer of Renaissance Executive Forums, a peer-advisory service for entrepreneurs, business owners and executives, which serves to create a safe environment for business leaders to explore issues, opportunities and challenges.

Friday, June 11

Home Builder McMillin Acquires Lake Elsinore Project

San Diego-based builder McMillin Communities has acquired a 1,481-home master-planned community being developed on the southeastern edge of Lake Elsinore in Riverside County.

Mad Catz in the Black for Quarter, Year

Mad Catz Interactive Inc., a San Diego maker of video game accessories, reported a net profit of $800,000 for its 2010 fiscal year fourth quarter ended March 31.

Five Hospital Employees to Be Fired Over HIPAA Violations

Tri-City Medical Center’s chief executive says the hospital has sent letters of intent to fire five employees, and has disciplined a sixth, for allegedly posting information about hospital patients online.

Intercare Execs Win Power Broker Awards

San Diego-based Intercare Insurance Solutions, which pairs insurance brokerage services with employee wellness initiatives, recently claimed two Power Broker awards from Risk & Insurance Magazine.

Illumina Cuts Price for Decoding DNA

A year after introducing its individual genome sequencing service, San Diego-based genetic analysis company Illumina Inc. has cut the cost by more than half.

Thursday, June 10

SAIC Computer Deal Could Be Worth $502M

SAIC said June 10 it was awarded a contract by the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command for information technology services that will be mainly provided by the local work force.

Employers Expect Pickup in Hiring Pace, Survey Says

Twenty-four percent of local employers responding to a Manpower Inc. survey say they expect to hire more workers during the third quarter, up from 15 percent who said they would hire more workers in the second quarter.

Wednesday, June 9

Hyatt Hotels to Acquire Manchester Grand Hyatt

Hyatt Hotels Corp. plans to acquire controlling interest in the 1,625-room Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Diego, currently owned by a partnership led by local developer Douglas Manchester.

Carlsbad Firm Acquires Mexican Housing Developer

Carlsbad-based Strategic Global Investments Inc., formerly known as American Consolidated Laboratories Inc., has acquired 100 percent of the shares of Punta Perfecta S.A. de C.V., a residential property developer based in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

International Stem Cell Secures Patent

International Stem Cell Corp. of Oceanside said it has been granted a patent relating to the development of human parthenogenetic stem cells, a key step toward licensing its technology to others.

Tuesday, June 8

Grand Jury Says City Needs Serious Financial Overhaul

The city of San Diego, now facing a long-term deficit of about $7 billion mainly related to delayed debts to its employee pension fund, needs to evaluate its entire financial structure and undertake significant changes to return to fiscal health, according to a county grand jury report released June 8.

RF Industries Posts Higher Net Income

RF Industries, a designer and distributor of radio frequency connectors and other electronic equipment, reported net income of $330,000 for the second quarter, up 54 percent from the prior year’s second quarter in a report released June 8.

Credit Rating Services Give High Marks to City, County

Both the city and county of San Diego received some of the highest ratings from Wall Street credit rating services recently in advance of the agencies issuing short-term debt.

SAIC’s Quarterly Revenue at $2.69B

SAIC, which relocated its headquarters from San Diego to McLean, Va. last year, reported net income of $125 million on revenue of $2.69 billion for the first quarter that ended April 30, the company said June 3.

Monday, June 7

Genomic Center Upgrade Creates Sales for Illumina

San Diego-based Illumina Inc. said June 7 that it sold 51 of its latest generation genetic sequencing machines to the Broad Institute, a Cambridge, Mass.-based genomic research center.

Sunrise Bank Operating in Unsafe Manner, Federal Regulators Say

Sunrise Bank, the result of a merger of four other banks whose majority owner is Capital Bancorp Limited of Lansing, Mich., received a consent order in April alleging that the local bank is operating in an unsafe and unsound manner, yet the bank’s chairman is downplaying the sanction.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Alvarado Hospital Steps Up Stroke Education Campaign

Alvarado Hospital Inc. said in late May that it is a Stroke Champion sponsor with the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Alvarado will sponsor a stroke patient guide and participate in other educational activities.

Petco Settles Case Alleging Overcharges, Mistreatment

Petco Animal Supplies Inc. paid $1.75 million in penalties and legal costs to settle allegations of overcharging customers and mistreating pets that it sells, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said June 2.

Life Tech Invests in Venter Enterprise, Buys Another

Life Technologies Corp. said June 3 it has made an equity investment in Synthetic Genomics Inc., the privately held La Jolla biotech founded by genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter.

Bay Area Firm to Purchase Video Software Maker DivX

DivX Inc., a San Diego maker of video compression software, agreed to be acquired by Novato-based digital software maker Sonic Solutions in a stock and cash deal that values each share of DivX at $9.83, for an aggregate price of $323 million, the companies announced June 2.

Proposed Bond Finance Package May Boost Biofuel Industry

CLEANTECH: USDA Considers Funding Source For Growing Energy Sector

A new proposal that would allow biofuels companies to seek financing through bond offerings rather than banks or government loan programs is making its way through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

FDA Requests Label Change on Medical Device

DexCom Inc., the San Diego-based maker of continuous glucose monitors for diabetes management, said June 2 it will cooperate with federal regulators seeking stronger warning labels on its devices.

Local Legal Figures Combine Forces in New Perkins Coie Office

LAW: Seattle-Based Firm Expanding Its Global IP Practice

San Diego has become home to yet another international law firm, this time adding intellectual property powerhouse Perkins Coie LLP.

Lost Your Parked Car? Poway Company Has Product to Find It

TECHNOLOGY: Pocket-Sized Device Has Half-mile Range, Works in Structures

Finder Technologies, a Poway-based startup says it has created the solution for the frequent problem of people forgetting where they parked their cars.

Ex-U.S. Attorney Accepts Post at Local Jones Day

Following the confirmation of Laura Duffy as the next U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, Karen Hewitt has resigned and will be joining the San Diego office of Jones Day.

Coalition Seeks Public Input on Waterfront Plan

REAL ESTATE: Funding Allocated to Embarcadero Project May Be in Jeopardy

A new coalition of civic organizations, led by the Urban Land Institute, has embarked on a renewed push for public consensus on the long-debated development of downtown San Diego’s North Embarcadero waterfront district.

Auction Generates $785K for Scripps Center Programs

The 19th annual Spinoff: Auction for Life was held May 6 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine.

Regulatory Agency Issues Consent Order To Local Bank

FINANCE: Neighborhood National Operating With Regulatory Sanction

Neighborhood National Bank, a community development bank owned by other banks to provide loans and services to “underserved” lower-income areas, received a consent order from its main regulator, the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Commercial Real Estate Lending Historically Low

REAL ESTATE: Financing Activity Shows Some Sectors Up, Others Lag; Residential Side Is More Active

Real estate financing experts are taking some comfort in a national trade group’s report of a 12 percent rise in commercial and multifamily mortgage loan originations during the first quarter, compared with the same period of 2009.

City to Ponder Tougher Hotel Approval Process

DEVELOPMENT: Some Say Measure Would Bolster Unions, Squelch Projects

The San Diego City Council is expected in July to consider toughening the approval process for future downtown hotels.

Wireless Carriers Race to Bring 4G Service to Market

TECHNOLOGY: Sprint Takes Early Lead With WiMax; Verizon, AT&T Pursue With Long-Term Evolution Network

Tantalizingly fast wireless data links are on their way to Southern California with the help of San Diego’s technical and sales talent.

Tease photo

Kyocera Kicks Off Solar Module Production in Kearny Mesa

Kyocera Solar recently began manufacturing solar modules at its Kearny Mesa plant, with an initial production target of 30 megawatts annually. By 2013, it should be up to 1,000 megawatts of cells, the company said June 3.

New Report Reaffirms Military Construction’s Local Impact

Military construction spending has quadrupled in San Diego County since 2007, cushioning the impact from a severe downturn in private-sector building, according to a new research report issued June 3.

There Is Little Moral Hazard in Real Estate

The currently fashionable term “moral hazard” is the idea that one is not held accountable for their mistakes

Nonprofit Profile: Sean Sheppard, CEO of Embrace

Embrace's Sean Sheppard helps the organization mobilize community efforts with the help of college students.

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.

Real Estate Roundup

Real estate news in and around San Diego County

Groundbreaking: U.S. Marine Corps Infantry Training Center at Camp Pendleton

Project description: Construction has begun on a new Marine Corps Infantry Training Center at Camp Pendleton in San Diego County with design and construction plans to meet LEED Gold standards.

Corky McMillin Cos. Takes Lead With Reborn $4B Project

REAL ESTATE: Otay Ranch Development to Combine Retail, Housing, Hotels

San Diego County’s real estate market continues to struggle, but officials at The Corky McMillin Cos. aren’t waiting for a turnaround to begin raising money for Millenia, a $4 billion commercial and residential development planned for Otay Ranch.

Tease photo

Unfazed By Economy, Sudberry Presses Forward With Civita Development

REAL ESTATE: Project Is LEED Gold-Certified, a First of Its Kind Locally

With a new name and green certification of its neighborhood plan, developers of the large mixed-use Mission Valley project now dubbed Civita will break ground on its first phase in November.

Tease photo

Military Strengthens Its Western Walls of Defense

CONSTRUCTION: County Derives Economic Benefits From Big Building Strategy

Billions of dollars in military construction projects are under way or in the pipeline throughout San Diego County, which already has among the world’s largest concentrations of defense facilities and personnel.

Tease photo

County’s Retail Real Estate Market Improving

People still aren’t shopping the way they did in the old pre-recession days, and the picture might not be changing for a while.

Confronting Unions, Carlsbad’s City Council Votes for New Pension System for Firefighters

Carlsbad as a city is looked at by many San Diegans as a model city.

Friday, June 4

ViaSat to Buy Encryption Specialist

Carlsbad-based ViaSat Inc. said June 4 that it had inked a deal to acquire Stonewood Group of Dorset, England, for $20 million in cash and stock.

Cricket Prevails in Arizona Court Case

Cricket Communications said June 2 it was awarded a summary judgment, permanent injunction and attorneys’ fees of $78,000 in a trademark infringement lawsuit it filed against Arizona-based GSM Cellular.

Thursday, June 3

Petco Settles Case for $1.75M

Petco Animal Supplies Inc. paid $1.75 million in penalties and legal costs to settle allegations of overcharging customers and mistreating pets that it sells, announced City Attorney Jan Goldsmith June 2.

Life Tech Invests in Synthetic Genomics

Life Technologies Corp. said June 3 it has made an equity investment in Synthetic Genomics Inc., the privately held La Jolla biotech founded by genomics pioneer J. Craig Venter.

Bay Area Firm to Acquire DivX

DivX Inc., a San Diego maker of video compression software, agreed to be acquired by Sonic Solutions, a Novato-based digital software maker in a stock and cash deal that values each share of DivX at $9.83, for an aggregate price of $323 million, the companies announced June 2.

Guilty Plea in Sequenom Case

Elizabeth Dragon, the former senior vice president of research and development at San Diego-based genetic analysis company Sequenom, was charged June 2 with lying to investors about the accuracy of the company’s prenatal test for Down syndrome, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Wednesday, June 2

FDA Warns DexCom

DexCom Inc., the San Diego-based maker of continuous glucose monitors for diabetes management, said June 2 it will cooperate with federal regulators seeking stronger warning labels on its devices.

Guilty Plea in Home Loan Modification Scam

A partner in a fraudulent loan modification business located in San Marcos pleaded guilty June 1 in San Diego federal court to three felony counts involving money laundering, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Tuesday, June 1

The Business of Homeless Services Has Changed

Images of homeless people sleeping in a large warehouse and loitering throughout a neighborhood are not today’s view of how homeless agencies operate. That is a 30-year-old picture of 1980s programs.

Canadians Play Crucial Role in Economic Competitiveness of Region, State and Nation

The numbers are in — 931,890 jobs in California are supported by trade with Canada. And if the U.S.-Canada border were closed today, more than 8 million American jobs would be negatively affected.

Executive Profile: Ashish Mehta

Ashish Mehta is president and chief executive officer of Zodiac Infotech, a company that specializes in medical transcription and health information management services.

Sales and Leases

Sales and leases in and around San Diego County.

Real Estate Roundup

Real estate news in and around San Diego County

San Diego People

New hires and promotions in and around San Diego County.

Retail REIT Acquires Five Properties for $28M

San Diego-based Excel Trust Inc., a retail-focused real estate investment trust (REIT), has acquired five properties in Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky, for a total of more than $28 million.

Therapeutic Protein Manufacturer Sets Up Shop in San Diego

As the U.S. Food and Drug Administration begins establishing processes for approving generic biotech drugs, companies such as Phage Pharmaceuticals Inc. are already beginning to put their manufacturing processes to the test.

SBA Q1 Lending Up Amid Strong Demand for Micro Loans

Bankers continue to sing the song that demand for loans is still tepid at best, while many small business owners say they’re getting cut off from the capital their businesses need.

San Diego Economic Index Retains Upward Momentum

San Diego’s economy seems to be moving in the right direction.

Feeling Silicon Valley’s Pull, Cymer Opens in Santa Clara

Cymer Inc., the San Diego maker of laser equipment used in semiconductor manufacturing, announced May 24 that it has opened an office in Santa Clara.

Douglas Wilson Cos. Has New Project, New Division

San Diego-based Douglas Wilson Cos. has been named court-appointed receiver for Garden Grove Galleria, an unfinished Orange County mixed-use building whose original projected cost was $50 million.

Pharma Verges on Selling off Company or Hepatitis Drug

San Diego-based hepatitis C drug developer Anadys Pharmaceuticals Inc. said May 26 that it has hired an adviser to explore “strategic alternatives” for the company.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County