Stories for February 2011

Monday, February 28

Mad Catz Acquires Flight Simulator Specialist

Mad Catz Inc., a San Diego maker of accessories for video games, said Feb. 28 it acquired the assets of V Max Simulation Corp., a California provider of flight simulation services, in a stock and cash transaction valued at about $638,000.

Bluways Picks Up ISE’s Energy Storage Work and Runs With It

MANUFACTURING: Belgium-Based Firm Pays $3.72M for Bankrupt Entity

Bluways USA Inc., which acquired most of the assets of ISE Corp. in a court bankruptcy sale last month, intends to continue making hybrid drive train systems at the Poway plant.

Enterprising Firm Gives Women Online Tools to Succeed in Business

TECHNOLOGY: Training For Novices Builds Web Identity and Confidence

Women who have not grown up glued to a laptop are the focus of a Carlsbad company that teaches small-business owners how to navigate Facebook, Twitter, blogging and other tools of the online world.

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Sempra Wraps Up 2010 With $9B in Revenue

ENERGY: Firm Writes a ‘New Chapter’ as It Leaves The Commodities Business

Sempra Energy, parent to San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and other energy companies, reported net income for the fourth quarter of $280 million, down 3 percent from the like quarter of 2009. Revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 31 was $2.34 billion, down 4.5 percent from the like quarter of 2009.

Region Ranks Among Top Locations For Investing in Retail Properties

REAL ESTATE: Demand For Space Runs High as Development Slows Down

Even if more store closings follow the upcoming shutterings of 200 U.S. Borders bookstore locations, including two in San Diego County, industry observers predict that the region’s retail fundamentals will remain strong in 2011 and beyond.

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Longtime Brokerage Disbands; Executives Go Their Separate Ways

REAL ESTATE: Two New Companies Form Out Of Former Irving Hughes

Leaders of one of San Diego County’s most active commercial real estate brokerages, focused on tenant representation, have parted ways after 18 years to form their own companies. However, the two are not publicly disclosing the circumstances behind the disbanding of Irving Hughes Inc.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Real Estate Roundup

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

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Topping Off: Border View Family YMCA

A quick look at construction projects nearing completion

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Looming Federal Budget Cuts Could Impede SBA’s Effectiveness

Recent reports out of Washington, D.C., describe proposed budget cuts to one of the biggest job creating agencies supported by federal tax dollars — the U.S. Small Business Administration. Earlier this month, the agency’s top executive, Administrator Karen Mills, described what could mean a reduction in its budget of 45 percent from the level of fiscal 2010.

Grocery Acquisition Reunites Related Farmers Market Stores

Two grocery companies started in different eras by the same San Diego family will soon be under the same roof, once the private equity firm Apollo Management LP completes its recently announced acquisition of a majority stake in Sprouts Farmers Market.

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Executive Profile: Vickie Harris-Brosnan

Vickie Harris-Brosnan is the president of Therapy Specialists, the largest independently owned physical rehabilitation services provider in San Diego.

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Privacy Is Paramount as Health Care Pursues Paperless Records

TECHNOLOGY: Complex Digital Shift Balances Accessibility, Security

Since 2009, when the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act put muscle and money into moving health care records and information sharing into the 21st century, the health care industry has moved forward on converting patient records to electronic form.

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Building Owners Take Steps to Defray Costs of Water Rate Hikes

ENVIRONMENT: Energy Conservation Measures Help Make Properties Attractive

San Diego city residents and businesses will see water rates rise by about 5.9 percent on March 1, following a hike approved by the City Council in January.

Taking Accion: Nonprofit Provides Boost to Small Businesses

FINANCE: Organization Has Distributed More Than $15 Million in Loans

Mike Colvin had a concept for a small business, a plan, and a $50,000 nest egg to launch the enterprise, a European-style delicatessen.

System Aims to Deliver Medical Information Anytime, Anywhere

TECHNOLOGY: PPH’s Goal Is to Spin Off MIAA as Separate Firm, Official Says

Come this fall, doctors on the go can be doctors in the know — at least in North County..

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Cox's New Calling Card

TELECOM: Cox Communications Plans To Introduce Cell Phone Service to the San Diego Market in Mid-2011 or ’12

Cable television executive Bill Geppert got a glimpse of the future, way back in the early 1980s.

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Budget Creates Troubled Waters for Shipyards

DEFENSE: Industry Warns of Lasting Damage as Federal Funding Remains Stalled

A deadlock in Congress over the 2011 federal budget has dealt a blow to Nassco/General Dynamics Corp. and its neighboring shipyards, which now find themselves without a three-month U.S. Navy ship repair job that had been scheduled to start in May.

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This Company Is Looking for Some Good Competition

SPORTS BIZ: Firm Goes Extra Mile to Sell Marathons, Media

In the marathon business retaining customers is a recurring challenge.

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Community Building Requires Company Participation to Work Well

Google has recently invested $86 million to provide a major source of funding for the construction and operation of 480 affordable rental housing units for low-income families and senior citizens in seven communities throughout the West and Midwest.

The Good Deeds Shine at the Diamond in the Rough Fundraiser

The Century Club of San Diego hosted its Sixth Annual Diamond in the Rough Gala on Jan. 22 at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines as part of the Farmers Insurance Open PGA event.

Manufacturer: Exporting a Key to Recovery

MANUFACTURING: Paulson Increases Overseas Sales; New Machines Improve Productivity

Roy Paulson has a message for the region’s manufacturers: If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.

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These Are Signs You See on the Road to Economic Recovery

There are lots of little gems of good news popping up all over the North County.

Hospitals’ Capacity for Care Could Be Strained in a Big Disaster

HEALTH CARE: There’s An Adequate Number of Beds Currently Available

While hospital officials agree there is sufficient bed capacity at the region’s hospitals to handle day-to-day patient flows, there’s concern the facilities might not be adequate if a widespread disaster occurs or if health care reforms bring in more insured patients.

Angels Bringing Bit of Cheer to Local Economy

Well, at least one local economic indicator is positive. The Tech Coast Angels, who invest in very early stage startups, say the economy is on the upswing based on the group’s placement activities during the past year.

Friday, February 25

Jack Tallies $32.4M in Profit, Sells 88 Stores

Jack in the Box Inc. reported a net profit of $32.4 million for its first quarter that ended Jan. 23, compared with a net profit of $24.3 million for the like quarter of its 2010 fiscal year.

Retail REIT Ends 2010 With Net Loss

San Diego-based Excel Trust Inc., a retail-focused real estate investment trust, posted a net loss of $900,000 for the quarter ending Dec. 31 and a net loss of $3.9 million for the year ending Dec. 31.

Cal Community Bank Turns in $1.67M Profit

California Community Bank, based in Escondido and with four branches, reported fourth quarter net income of $544,000 compared with a net loss of $235,000 for the like quarter of 2009.

Security Business Bancorp Takes $1M Loss for 2010

Security Business Bancorp, parent of Security Business Bank of San Diego, reported Feb. 24 a 2010 fourth quarter net loss of $815,000, compared with a net loss of $230,000 for the like quarter of 2009.

Thursday, February 24

Sempra Wraps Up 2010 With $9B in Revenue

Sempra Energy, parent to San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and other energy companies, reported net income for the fourth quarter of $280 million, down 3 percent from the like quarter of 2009.

Wednesday, February 23

Local Firm Takes Over Atlanta Retail Development

San Diego-based developer OliverMcMillan announced Feb. 23 that it has reached an agreement to acquire the stalled Streets of Buckhead luxury retail development in Atlanta.

Life Sciences Venture Capital Firm Moving Its West Coast Office to San Diego

Thomas McNerney & Partners, a national venture capital firm that focuses on life sciences, said it will relocate its San Francisco office to San Diego sometime later this year.

Leap Wireless Grows Customer Base, Revenue; Net Loss Persists

Leap Wireless International Inc., the San Diego flat rate wireless carrier that operates as Cricket, reported on Feb. 22 a fourth quarter net loss of $167 million, compared with a net loss of $64 million in the like quarter of 2009.

Tuesday, February 22

Sempra Increases Dividend

Sempra Energy said Feb. 22 its board of directors approved a 23 percent dividend increase to $1.92 per share, up from $1.56 per share last year.

Monday, February 21

Belgian Firm Buys ISE

ISE Corp., a Poway maker of hybrid drive systems for buses and trucks, was acquired by a Belgium-based company in a bankruptcy court auction sale completed last month.

Four Sentenced in Mortgage Fraud Case

In yet another case of organized mortgage fraud, four local defendants were sentenced to prison time ranging from 18 months to 12 months by U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey Miller on Feb. 18.

Parking Valets To Compete in ‘Test of Wheels’

The Solana Beach-based National Valet Parking Association is sponsoring its 2011 Valet Olympics when members gather for their annual convention March 2-3 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. From 10 to 15 teams involving 40 to 60 drivers will vie for supremacy in various events, and recognition back home at their place of employment.

Shark Suit Technology Has Firm Swimming With the Big Fish

TECHNOLOGY: Handful Of Iconic Businesses, Navy Among Neptunic’s Clients

When Jeremiah Sullivan came up with the idea in the late ’70s to make a shark suit so people could interact with sharks more safely, he had no idea the technology would lead to military and commercial contracts years later.

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CarMax Looking to Increase Its Sales Traffic in the Region

AUTOMOTIVE: Used Car Company Gives 2nd Area Location the Green Light

Capitalizing on continued frugality among drivers, national used-car retailer CarMax Inc. plans to open its second San Diego County location later this year in Escondido.

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Irving Hughes Partners Split, Form Two New Businesses

The original partners in the San Diego commercial brokerage firm Irving Hughes, which specialized in tenant representation, have parted ways after 18 years to form two separate companies.

Del Mar Better Positions Itself For Purchase of Fairgrounds

GOVERNMENT: City’s Preliminary Plan Calls for Joint-Management Approach

With California’s new governor not sharing his predecessor’s enthusiasm for selling state-owned property to plug budget holes, the sale of the historic Del Mar Fairgrounds and racetrack is not the sure bet it seemed in late 2010.

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Regulators Urge Bank to Boost Its Operations

FINANCE: Sanctions Disclosed Just Before Company Raised $60M

Among the risk factors First PacTrust Bancorp Inc. disclosed to potential investors in its November prospectus was the fact that its subsidiary, Pacific Trust Bank, was operating with a memorandum of understanding, a type of enforcement action, with its primary regulator.

Wall Street Is Not Wowed By ViaSat’s Earnings

TECHNOLOGY: Chairman Sees Hope in Defense Work, And Launch of Satellite

Sometimes, when you take two steps forward, you have to take one back.

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The Active Network Takes Action Toward Raising $150M in IPO

FINANCE: Online Events Registration Firm Acquires Church Software Entity

San Diego-based The Active Network, which provides registration services for athletic endurance events, is planning to sell a ton of public stock in the near future.

Sharp’s $38M Green Medical Office Building Gets Under Way

CONSTRUCTION: Project Seeking LEED Gold Rating Scheduled to Open in 2012

Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group plans to break ground this week on the first green medical office in San Diego, replacing its 85-year-old facility across the street at the corner of Grape Street and Fourth Avenue downtown.

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Budget Earthquake Could Crack This Foundation for Growth

FUNDING: Proposed Cuts to Redevelopment Seen as Far-Reaching

If California Gov. Jerry Brown shuts down redevelopment agencies across the state, San Diego County could lose funding for improvements ranging from sidewalks and streetlights in Barrio Logan to the minor league ballpark planned for Escondido to some parts of the phased plan to redevelop 541 acres of downtown El Cajon.

Executive Profile: Steve Altman

Dr. Steve Altman is the president of NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego.

Port Doesn’t Want to Let This Fishing Opportunity Get Away

The Port of San Diego is angling for infrastructure improvements that officials hope could spur a comeback for the region’s once robust commercial fishing industry.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Real Estate Roundup

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

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Executive Profile: John M. Tippets

John M. Tippets is the president and CEO of North Island Credit Union.

Diversified Concessions Contractors Replacing Monopoly at Airport

CONSTRUCTION: Revamp Includes Expanding Number Of Eateries, Retail Outlets

Lindbergh Field’s concessions are getting a makeover in more ways than one.

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Brothers Plead Guilty in Securities Fraud Case

FINANCE: Stock Trades Used Inside Information, Federal Prosecutor Alleges

A former employee of Sequenom Inc., a San Diego biotech firm, and his brother pleaded guilty Feb. 15 in U.S. District Court in San Diego to conspiring to commit securities fraud, according to a press statement from U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

Playhouse ‘Casts’ Its Friends in Some Award-Winning Roles

The La Jolla Playhouse 2011 gala scheduled for March 19 will honor Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Doug Wright along with Tony Award-winning actor BD Wong and set designer Robert Brill. In keeping with the theme, “La Jolla Playhouse Honors,” Arthur Wagner, founding chair and emeritus professor, UC San Diego Department of Theatre & Dance, and the past board chairs of the Playhouse will also be honored.

Proposal for New City Hall Is Built on Bad Ideas

When last we met in my Jan. 10 column, I suggested one of the New Year’s resolutions San Diego politicians should make and keep is to not spend $300 million the city doesn’t have to build a new City Hall which it doesn’t need.

Economic Ecosystems Create Enterprising Environments

WORK FORCE: Sandag Identifies 16 Clusters

Despite the hammering of the Golden State by a steep recession, San Diego has more than held its own. The state’s jobless rate hovers around 12.5 percent. San Diego’s? Around 10 percent. The secret? In a word, clusters.

Top 10 Health Benefits Trends Shaping Up in 2011

The top 10 health benefits trends to watch in 2011.

Federal Contractor Charts a Course for Rapid Growth

DEFENSE: Shipboard Tasks And More Keep Privately Held Epsilon Systems Solutions Busy

Perhaps Bryan Min can be excused for some hyperbole concerning the size of his business, Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc.

Pillars of the Community

Key Business Clusters Are the Economic Backbone of the Region

The presence of Concentrix Solar Inc. speaks volumes about the San Diego business ecosystem. The German-based solar equipment company opened its U.S. headquarters in the University Towne Center neighborhood last year. The maker of utility-scale concentrated photovoltaic systems has eight employees and plans to hire four more. Future plans include a factory somewhere in the United States.

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Cities Would Lose Some Luster Without Redevelopment Agencies

URBAN DESIGN: Projects Help Increase Tax Revenue That Benefits Communities

Downtown San Diego was awash in tattoo parlors and sailor’s bars in 1984.

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Seacoast Does Some Big Business With Small-Business Loans

Seacoast Commerce Bank was one of the smallest community banks that received TARP funding in 2008, and is still holding it despite the fact that it turned a profit and appears to have weathered the downturn.

Host Hotels to Buy $570M Bay Front Hyatt

HOSPITALITY: Observers

Observers say the planned $570 million acquisition of San Diego’s largest hotel could signal a wave of similar investments in prime properties on the horizon, as investors come off the sidelines in response to a brightening hospitality climate. “By mid-2011, we’ll have a year’s worth of data showing improved fundamentals, and that’s what the investors are going to want to see,” said Robert Rauch, president of locally based hospitality consulting firm R.A. Rauch and Associates Inc.

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Stalled 2011 Budget Could Bring Nassco Layoffs

DEFENSE: Proposal for 2012 Spending Calls for New Ships and Drones

The Pentagon released its fiscal 2012 spending plan early last week, but its introduction was overshadowed by a long overdue budget for fiscal 2011.

Friday, February 18

Maxwell Grows Revenue, Cuts Net Loss

Maxwell Technologies Inc., a San Diego maker of energy storage devices called ultracapicitors, reported on Feb. 17 that it had fourth quarter revenue of $34.2 million, up 22 percent from the prior year’s fourth quarter.

EDC Hires Three, Sets 1,500-Job Goal

The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. set a goal of attracting at least 1,500 new high-paying jobs to the region this year.

Thursday, February 17

Pasha Inks Deal for Second Cargo Ship

The Pasha Group, the company that imports and exports vehicles with an office in National City, is building a second major cargo ship to handle increased traffic from Hawaii, the company said Feb. 16.

Wednesday, February 16

Two Local Stores on Borders Closure List

Two San Diego County locations are among the 200 stores that book retailer Borders Group Inc. plans to close as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing announced Feb. 16.

Two Plead Guilty to Insider Trading

A former employee of Sequenom Inc., a San Diego biotech firm, and his brother pleaded guilty Feb. 15 in U.S. District Court in San Diego to conspiring to commit securities fraud, according to a press statement from U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.

Active Network Mulls Initial Public Offering

The Active Network, a San Diego firm that provides online registration services for athletic events and recreational courses, said it plans to raise up to $150 million in a proposed initial public stock offering, according to an S-1 securities filing Feb. 15.

Tuesday, February 15

Irving Hughes Partners Split to Form New Firms

The original partners in the San Diego commercial brokerage firm Irving Hughes, which specialized in tenant representation, have parted ways after 18 years to form two separate companies.

Host Hotels Set to Acquire Manchester Grand Hyatt

Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. has agreed to purchase the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego’s largest hotel with 1,625 rooms, for $570 million, the Maryland-based investment firm announced Feb. 15.

Gross Collections, Net Income Grow at Encore Capital

Encore Capital Group, the San Diego collector of bad credit card debt, reported Feb. 14 its gross collections for the fourth quarter were $149 million, up 20 percent from the like quarter of 2009.

Monday, February 14

San Diego Ranks as ‘Brain Magnet’

San Diego ranked seventh and was the sole California city on a list of U.S. cities that gained the most college graduates compared to the population over 25 years old from 2007 to 2009.

Index Takes Pulse Of Job Market in San Diego Region

San Diego Workforce Partnership Inc., the regional job training agency, recently put together a work force index intended to provide a more accurate picture of the local job market than simply checking the area’s unemployment rate, which was at 10.1 percent in December.

New Owner Not Likely to Make Many Changes at Hotel Del

REAL ESTATE: Deal to Significantly Reduce Debt For 757-Room Property

A deal that gives a Blackstone Group LP unit a 60 percent ownership stake in the Hotel del Coronado is not expected to change how the region’s most famous hotel is run.

Local Software Developers Help Experimental Plane Take Off

DEFENSE: Navy Project Might Usher in New Generation of Unmanned Combat Aircraft

Software writers in Rancho Bernardo played a pivotal role in getting a pilotless, experimental aircraft without a tail off the ground for the first time Feb. 4.

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Carlsbad Company Buys Fanita Ranch In Bankruptcy Sale

REAL ESTATE: HomeFed Pays $11M for 2,600 Acres in Santee

Fanita Ranch, a proposed upper-end development in the northern part of Santee, got a new owner when the property was acquired by HomeFed Corp. in a bankruptcy auction sale recently.

Law Forum Features 20 Native American Women Leaders

San Diego County, with 18 Native American Indian reservations — more than any other county in the U.S. — will soon have another distinction in this realm.

Officials Cool About Premature Naming Rights Deal

SPORTS BIZ: L.A. Site For Stadium Considered as Insurance Firm Seeks Title

San Diego officials aren’t sweating the announcement of naming rights for a proposed pro football stadium in downtown Los Angeles, and the influx of new development and visitor dollars that it could bring to that city if it becomes reality.

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Venture Roundtable Program Connects Startups With Investors

FINANCE: 3 Local Firms Seeking Millions in Capital At N. County Event Feb. 23

It’s San Diego’s version of the hotly contested “American Idol” TV reality show, but with a business and technology twist.

Groups Putting Plenty of Energy Into Electric Vehicle Project

ENVIRONMENT: UCSD, GE, SDG&E Help Form Smart City San Diego

San Diego could lead the nation in how plug-in cars may become part of our daily lives.

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Motorcycle Ride Ignites Dream To Bring Spark Plugs to Market

SMALL BIZ: $95K Grant To Foster Development of Energy-Efficient Product

A motorcycle ride up the long, straight grade of state Route 52 out of Santee turned into one of the most exhilarating experiences of Scott Applebaum’s entrepreneurial life.

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Proposed Density Changes Bring Up Issue of Compensation

AGRICULTURE: Farmers Say Land Use Limits Would Affect Their Operations

As San Diego County officials commence the next round of discussion on how to update the county’s general plan, some farm owners are seeking relief from proposed density changes they say could downgrade the value of their properties for future housing and commercial development.

First PacTrust Bancorp Reports Net Profit for 2010

First PacTrust Bancorp Inc., parent of Chula Vista-based Pacific Trust Bank, reported Feb. 8 fourth-quarter net profit of $1.16 million compared with a net loss of $851,000 for the like quarter of 2009.

Part of Local Wind Blade Firm Is Sold to UpWind

ENERGY: Buyer to Retain 80 Employees and Keep National City Office Open

Part of a once promising wind blade manufacturing company in National City was sold to an Oregon wind energy company, after its investors lost confidence in the growth of the business.

Banks on Rebound Still Reserved About Lending

FINANCE: Reports Shed Light on Small Businesses’ Struggles to Obtain Loans

While many banks’ bottom lines and the quality of their portfolios are improving, lending to small businesses is still far off the levels before the Great Recession.

SeaWorld Making Tracks on Plan for Its New Roller Coaster

SeaWorld San Diego in 2012 will launch Manta, a new 30-foot-high roller coaster modeled on a similar ride at the company’s Orlando theme park.

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Golf Center Scores as an Inexpensive Getaway Experience

SPORTS BUSINESS: Attention to Customer Service Also Plays Into Stellar Success

Inexpensive pricing and great customer service are the reasons why Stadium Golf Center & Batting Cages, the driving range tucked behind the Fry’s Electronics Inc. store off Murphy Canyon Road, is doing so well when many people have far less discretionary income to spend, according to Mike Strode, one of two managing directors who built the facility in the mid-1990s and continues to play an active role in running it.

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Internet Services Firm Secures Success With Not-So ‘Secret Weapon’

SMALL BIZ: People Are Playing Big Part At Data Center Facilities

The nation has been locked in a damaging recession for several years, but American Internet Services has managed to be a profitable company by concentrating on customer services, says Chief Executive Officer Tim Caulfield.

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Executive Profile: DeLinda Forsythe

DeLinda Forsythe is president of Innovative Commercial Environments, a full-service contract furniture dealership with two showrooms located in San Diego County.

‘Privatizing’ a Bit of the Public Service Ideal Is Good for Business

As we continue to develop ways to help our businesses prosper, I thought I would share two things with you in this column.

Executive Profile: Jim Castle

Jim Castle is senior executive vice president of Alliant Insurance Services Inc. and managing director of Alliant Commercial Group. He also serves as the National Construction Practice Group leader.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Real Estate Roundup

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

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Athlete’s Amazing Accomplishments Are Well Worth Saluting

The 65th annual Salute to the Champions is set for Feb. 15 at the Town and Country Resort & Conference Center.

Focus Shifts to Rehabilitating Office Space

My firm has now completed our annual review of the real estate markets and the events and statistics that will undoubtedly catalyze or demoralize the markets and its players in the coming year.

A Cut Above

NONPROFIT: GIA Plays Key Role as Retailers Expect To Sell $1.46 Billion in Jewelry for Valentine’s Day

Sooner or later, if a person is really serious about it, Valentine’s Day comes down to jewelry. The people who deal in precious stones and the vendors who sell finished jewelry all cross paths with Gemological Institute of America Inc.

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Survey Sees Signs of Optimism in Office and Industrial Markets

Researchers are reporting signs of real, quantifiable optimism — at least for the coming three years — about California’s office and industrial real estate markets, including the San Diego County scene.

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Region’s Largest Bank Enjoys Comeback With $58.8M Profit

California Bank & Trust, the region’s largest bank with $10.7 billion in assets, reported net income for 2010 of $58.8 million, compared with a net loss of $50.2 million for 2009.

Friday, February 11

Apartment Trade Group Switches Affiliation

The San Diego County Apartment Association, a not-for-profit trade group serving rental-housing operators and suppliers, has affiliated with the Virginia-based National Apartment Association.

Quarter’s Revenue Growth Exceeds 13 Percent at Realty Income

Escondido-based Realty Income Corp., which invests in retail and related commercial properties, saw revenue rise 13.4 percent from a year ago in the final quarter of 2010, reaching $92.2 million.

Thursday, February 10

Kratos Secures Major National Security Contract

Kratos Defense and Security Solutions Inc. announced a $750 million, four-year contract in the same week it announced an acquisition.

Wednesday, February 9

First PacTrust Bancorp Reports Net Profit for 2010

First PacTrust Bancorp Inc., parent of Chula Vista-based Pacific Trust Bank, reported Feb. 8 fourth-quarter net profit of $1.16 million compared with a net loss of $851,000 for the like quarter of 2009.

Revenue Rises at BioMed Realty Trust

BioMed Realty Trust Inc., which invests primarily in life sciences real estate, saw revenue rise 19 percent from the year-ago period in the fourth quarter ending Dec. 31, reaching a company-record $105 million.

Tuesday, February 8

Coronado First Bank Reports Smaller Annual Net Loss

Coronado First Bank, founded in 2005, reported net earnings for the fourth quarter, but a net loss for 2010.

Region Ranks 3rd in National Retail Report

San Diego places third among U.S. retail markets for investment opportunities, in an annual ranking by the commercial property brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap.

Monday, February 7

Blackstone Takes Majority Stake in Hotel del Coronado

Owner Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. has announced a recapitalization of the historic Hotel del Coronado, in which Blackstone Real Estate Advisors will take a 60 percent ownership stake in the property.

Index Takes Pulse of Area’s Job Market

The San Diego Workforce Partnership, the regional job training agency, recently put together a work force index intended to provide a more accurate picture of the local job market than simply checking the area’s unemployment rate, which was at 10.1 percent in December.

Naval Aviation History Lands at Local Museums

HOSPITALITY: Aircraft From 1911, WWII, 2000s on Display

The curious and the nostalgic need not look far to find pieces of naval aviation history.

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Rarefied Air

DEFENSE: Navy to Celebrate 100 Years of Aviation Feb. 12

A would-be government contractor, a sympathetic landowner and a skeptical U.S. Navy all came together 100 years ago this month to make San Diego the birthplace of naval aviation. Humanity had cracked the secret of powered flight eight years earlier.

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Valuable Air Waves Should Have a Price Put on Them

As the long battle over frequency spectrum or airwaves escalates, consumer demand for more wireless services — from health care and safety, to news, entertainment and information products and services — will compel the Federal Communications Commission to stop the free giveaway of spectrum to broadcasters.

New Health Insurance Tax Credit Brings Change

While many of the provisions in the new health care law will not take effect for years to come, there are some parts of the provision that will take effect in this current tax year.

Day for Change Makes Lasting Contribution to the Community

Day for Change awarded grants totaling $75,000 to organizations that serve abused and neglected children in San Diego, including Casa de Amparo, Compass Family Center, Monarch School, Voices for Children and Walden Family Services.

Executive Profile: Scott Maloni

In addition to his position as vice president at Poseidon Resources, Scott Maloni led the Downtown San Diego Partnership as chair and interim president in 2010.

Real Estate Roundup

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

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Machining Business Puts Quality Stamp on Its Work

MANUFACTURING: QCMI Begins Rehiring to Handle New, Larger Orders

Quality is something Bob Grande takes seriously.

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Medical Device Maker DJO Seeking New CEO

MANUFACTURING: Firm Expects to Name Les Cross’ Successor Before June 30

The departure of DJO Inc.’s CEO raises the question of what the future holds for the Vista-based medical device manufacturer.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Executive Profile: Joe Garcia da Rosa

Joe Garcia da Rosa is chairman of Balboa Travel Management, founded in 1969. A corporate travel management company, it serves clients throughout the U.S., many with global operations, ranging in size from firms spending thousands of dollars to those spending millions.

Agents Can Smooth the Often Rocky Road of an International Journey

TRAVEL: Connections and Experience Are Valuable Resources in a Situation

Business travel overseas is a quirky matter. While a snowstorm can shut U.S. airports and strand travelers, events such as the eruption of a volcano in Iceland in April can pose special problems for the international business traveler — challenges that make working with corporate travel professionals particularly valuable.

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Travel Pros Give Pointers for Making Domestic Connections

TRANSPORTATION: Quick Trips to U.S. Locales Often Call for Backup Plans

Corporate travelers are people in a hurry — and they need a backup plan. Advance-purchase fares could be just the ticket for cost-conscious leisure travelers, but the strategy falters when it comes to corporate trips.

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San Diego Trust’s Profit Streak Lasting 25 Consecutive Quarters

Even in this still down economy, some lenders continue racking up impressive results.

Taking the Road Less Traveled, REIT Seeks Valuable Properties

FINANCE: Excel Trust Acquires Retail Centers In Smaller U.S. Towns

Since its initial public offering in April, Excel Trust Inc. has built up a nationwide portfolio of retail properties valued at approximately $414 million, targeting mostly strip shopping centers that are well off the beaten path.

Rising Water Rates Making an Impact on Region’s Economy

ENVIRONMENT: Water Authority Votes to Delay 11 Projects Costing $82M

San Diego city leaders’ recent decision to raise water rates has led to concerns about the impact of water prices on the local economy.

Futuristic Hospital Project Gets Closer to Fruition in Escondido

HEALTH CARE: PPH’s $956M Green Facility Is Expected to Open in 2012

Although completion is more than a year away, work on Palomar Medical Center West in Escondido has progressed to the point where David Tam, who oversees construction for the Palomar Pomerado Health district, can fully visualize the state-of-the-art hospital.

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Professionals Find a ‘Primer’ on the Life Sciences Industry

BIOTECH: Course Gets Variety of Students Up to Speed on Terms, Technology

Karin Lucas enjoys seeing the eyes of her students light up. The San Diego classroom she leads meets only for one day each year, but the knowledge she imparts could make a difference for business professionals working and investing in San Diego’s life sciences industry.

Ligand Sees Opportunities in CyDex Acquisition

PHARMACEUTICALS: Deal Could Help Company Diversify, Boost Cash Flow

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. of La Jolla has bought CyDex Pharmaceuticals Inc. in a deal that Ligand officials predict will more than double revenue while broadening its potential for new deals.

Resorts Are Making Efforts to Get Golfers Back in the Game

HOSPITALITY: Discounts And Course Improvements Are Used to Attract Players

Looking to emerge from a recession-stoked decline in the time and money spent by consumers on golf, local resort properties with golf amenities are taking action to lure visitors.

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Firm Helps Facebook Users Navigate a Sea of Troubles

TECHNOLOGY: Websense Product Spots Hostile Intent Among Torrent of Messages

Any Internet service that can attract 500 million users is bound to attract a few bad apples and Facebook certainly has had its share.

Casino Agrees to Promotional Deal With State Lottery

In a groundbreaking move, Viejas Enterprises and the California State Lottery will be promoting each other’s products.

Henry’s Purchase Apparently Smart, But Not So Final

It looks like Henry’s Farmers Market stores, which were started here in San Diego during World War II, could be changing hands for a second time.

Wal-Mart Wants to Go Forward With Local Developments

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. fended off a bid by the City of San Diego to toughen the process for approving big-box “superstores.”

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County’s Unemployment Rate To Remain High, Panel Predicts

ECONOMY: Region Is Expected to Add 10,000 To 15,000 Jobs in 2011

The national and local economies should rise in 2011, but the growth likely won’t be robust, and hardly enough to significantly reduce the region’s high unemployment rate, according to a group of experts at a recent economic round-table event.

Jazzercise Moves Ahead of the Pack in Franchise Rankings

SPORTS BIZ: No. 1 Fitness Business Going Strong After 41 Years

Judi Sheppard Missett is still stick kicking up her heels, literally and figuratively.

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Friday, February 4

CareFusion Reports Profit, Sells Unit for $130M

CareFusion Corp., San Diego’s third largest public company measured by revenue, reported net income of $76 million for its fiscal 2011 second quarter that ended Dec. 31.

Thursday, February 3

Cymer Sees Revenue Rise, Customer Demand Growing

Cymer Inc., the San Diego maker of laser equipment used in the manufacturing of semiconductors, reported Feb. 2 fourth quarter net income of $32.9 million, compared with $21.2 million for the like quarter of 2009.

Wednesday, February 2

ResMed Chief Named CEO at CareFusion

Kieran Gallahue, who was named to head up ResMed Inc. only two years ago as chief executive officer, is taking over as CEO and chairman at CareFusion Corp., the companies said Feb. 1.

Tuesday, February 1

Silvergate Bank Reports Record Yearly Income

Silvergate Bank, headquartered in La Jolla and with four branches, reported record 2010 net income of $3 million, up 66 percent from net income of $1.86 million in 2009.

Coastal Agency Staff Backs ‘Manta Ray’ Ride, With Conditions

California Coastal Commission staff has recommended conditional approval of plans for a new “Manta Ray” roller coaster ride at SeaWorld San Diego, apparently modeled on a similar ride at the company’s Orlando theme park.