Stories for May 2011

Tuesday, May 31

Region’s Economy Makes Great Strides in April

An index measuring San Diego’s economy increased by 0.9 percent in April, the biggest gain since January 2010 when it rose by 1 percent.

Monday, May 30

Linking UCSD, Law School Is a Golden Opportunity

Former University of California Regent John Davies has said we need to pursue the creation of a UC San Diego School of Law through an affiliation with California Western School of Law, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Sky’s the Limit and We Have Reached It on the Debt

Imagine opening your mailbox to find a letter from the U.S. Treasury Department containing an invoice demanding $14 trillion.

Legal Community Is Doing a World of Good

The San Diego legal community is full of news. This column is an attempt to share with you, in a quick-read fashion, the latest from the courtroom to the internal workings of a solo practitioner.

Two Walks Are Fundraising Feats for Local MS Society Chapter

The San Diego-based Pacific South Coast Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis Society’s walk was held April 30 at NTC Park at Liberty Station and the second Walk MS was held May 1 at the Legoland California in Carlsbad.

Real Estate Roundup

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

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Executive Profile: Mary Henrikson

Mary Henrikson, a registered nurse, is senior vice president and chief executive officer of Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women & Newborns — San Diego’s only hospital dedicated exclusively to caring for women and newborns.

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PhotoThera Advances Testing for Laser-Based Stroke Treatment

BIOTECH: Clinical Trial Pivotal for Demonstrating Light Therapy’s Value

PhotoThera Inc., a Carlsbad-based biotechnology company, has begun recruiting patients for a pivotal clinical trial of its patented transcranial infrared laser therapy for people who have suffered an ischemic stroke.

Active Network Off and Running on NYSE After Substantial IPO

FINANCE: Market Cap Places It 19th Among Local Publicly Traded Companies

San Diego’s The Active Network Inc. didn’t come close to reaching the sizzle of LinkedIn Corp.’s initial public offering earlier in the month, but did well enough to propel the online sports registration business to the top 20 of local public companies based on market value.

Company’s Traffic System Rides to the Rescue of Commuters

TRANSPORTATION: Data Show Success of Local ‘Smart Corridor’

McCain Inc., a privately held concern that builds and sells traffic lights, has given a new twist to the term “going green.”

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KAISER’S HEALTH PLAN

HEALTH CARE: Specialty Care Center Opening Marks the Start Of Its 10-Year Growth Strategy

Kaiser Permanente plans to officially open its newest San Diego medical center June 8 when patients are able to receive care at the just-completed surgical suites of the $111 million

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Bank Shoots for $120 Million Goal in Small-Business Loans

When it comes to lending to small business, the folks at Seacoast Commerce Bank are certainly doing their part.

Jobless Rate Falls Below the 10 Percent Mark

San Diego’s unemployment rate dipped below 10 percent in April, the first time that’s happened in two years, as the region added a net 2,400 jobs to bring the rate to 9.8 percent, down from 10.2 percent in March, and 10.3 percent in April 2010.

Supervisors Approve Mixed-Use Development in North County

REAL ESTATE: Other Dormant Building Projects Showing Signs of Life

County officials have approved plans for a mixed-use development in Fallbrook, proposed by San Diego-based developer Passerelle LLC, slated to include more than 700 homes and apartments.

Hotelier Bob Rauch Proves His Chops in Coronado Property

Del Mar area hotelier Bob Rauch (he runs the hotelguru.com website), whose firm has managed the boutique El Cordova Hotel in Coronado since Jan. 1, has performed a veritable miracle of sorts in difficult economic conditions.

Technology Also Brings Advances in Recovery

MEDICINE: Health System Uses High-Tech Healing As Part of Treatment Plans

Juventino Estrada said he feels like God has given him another chance. The 43-year-old Escondido resident had a stroke in June. He is slowly coming back, and is able to walk again. Notably, he is regaining use of his left arm and hand, with the help of a robotic device developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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The Nonstop Club: British Airways Prepares for Takeoff

TRANSPORTATION: Direct Daily Service to London to Have $156M Impact Locally

When British Airways returns to Lindbergh Field on June 1 with direct daily service to London, San Diego will be back in what one executive of the airline recently called “the nonstop club.”

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Healing Properties: Hospitals Expand Their Patient Care Facilities

HEALTH CARE: They Strive to Improve Their Responsiveness in ER

The top three health centers on the San Diego Business Journal’s Hospitals list — Scripps Mercy Hospital, Sharp Memorial Hospital and UCSD Medical Center — take pride in their reductions as well as their expansions.

Digital Conversion Holds Promise of Lifesaving Payoffs for Kaiser

TECHNOLOGY: Pervasive Paperless System Provides Efficient Access to Data

Dr. Jenny Devitt, an oncologist at Kaiser Permanente’s San Diego Medical Center, saw firsthand this year how electronic medical records can save a life.

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Vical Secures 3rd Patent for Herpes Vaccine

BIOTECH: Process Puts Body’s Immune System on High Alert For Introduction of the Virus

With the award of a third patent for its advances in developing a vaccine for the herpes simplex virus, Vical Inc. and its collaborators take a step closer to winning the race to immunize people against the pervasive virus — a step that moves them closer to clinical trials.

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A Grand Entrance for SDSU Campus Gets a Nod From Trustees

The California State University Board of Trustees recently approved plans for what would eventually be a $268 million, mixed-use student housing and retail development proposed by San Diego State University.

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American Theme Floated for Seaport Village Redesign

RETAIL: Adding a Pier, Improving Entrance on Wish List of Upgrades

Carlsbad-based operator Terramar Retail Centers is working with the Port of San Diego on plans to redesign and redevelop the 30-year-old Seaport Village in downtown San Diego.

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InterDigital Finds a Very Good Climate Here

TECHNOLOGY: Sense Of Community Draws Company to San Diego

A pure research business at the forefront of wireless technology since its inception, InterDigital Inc. recently opened its first office in San Diego, — its fourth overall — which makes perfect sense given San Diego’s concentration of wireless companies.

Out-of-State Incentives Steer Aptera’s Decision

MANUFACTURING: Production Plant Will Not Be in California, North County Carmaker Reports

Citing state incentive packages of up to $40 million, Aptera Motors, a North County startup electric car manufacturer, said it’s evaluating the best place to build its production plant, but it won’t be in California.

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Friday, May 27

Nassco Wins Ship Construction Deal Worth $744M

Nassco/General Dynamics Corp. said May 27 that it received a $744 million contract from the U.S. Navy that will fully fund two new ships.

Attorney Gets 10 Month Prison Sentence for Unreported Income

A San Diego attorney was sentenced to 10 months in prison May 26 in federal court after he pleaded guilty to evading payment of income taxes on at least $3 million in unreported income from 2000 to 2002, according to the San Diego office of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Job Search Website Makes Debut

Job seekers and employers seeking the same have a new website to access called metrocareercenters.org.

‘Dancing Waters’ Go Still; Replacement Project to Cost $450,000

One of the coolest water fountains in San Diego at the Gaslamp Quarter trolley stop near Petco Park will be removed following a vote by the Centre City Development Corp. board May 26.

Wednesday, May 25

Regents Bank Net Income Up Significantly Over 2010

Regents Bank reported first quarter net income of $560,000 compared with net income of $29,000 in the like quarter of 2010.

Local REIT Acquiring Portland Buildings for $92 Million

San Diego-based investment firm American Assets Trust Inc. has agreed to purchase a six-building office portfolio in Portland, Ore., for approximately $92 million.

Chula Vista Lender Branches Out in Greater Los Angeles

First PacTrust Bancorp Inc., parent of Chula Vista-based Pacific Trust Bank, said May 25 it leased space for its new branch in Santa Monica that will open in the fall.

Tuesday, May 24

Qualcomm Brings Atheros Into the Fold

Qualcomm Inc. said May 24 that it has wrapped up its $3.1 billion purchase of Atheros Communications Inc., a maker of Wi-Fi chips. The deal was first announced Jan. 5.

Siliken Sets Up Tijuana Factory

Siliken Renewable Energy, a Spanish-based company making solar panels in Otay Mesa, relocated its manufacturing operation to Tijuana recently, resulting in the loss of about 100 jobs.

Nestle Buys Prometheus

Prometheus Laboratories Inc., a San Diego biotech business that did about $500 million in revenue last year and had plans to go public since 2007, said May 24 it entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Nestle Health Science SA.

Hyatt Moves in on Sorrento Mesa

Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corp. has purchased three Woodfin Suites hotels, including a 194-room property in San Diego’s Sorrento Mesa neighborhood, for $76.5 million.

Monday, May 23

Old Town Hotels Sold for $43M

Two hotels in the Old Town area of San Diego have been sold to an investment partnership for a total of $42.75 million.

Guadalajara, Mexico City Flights Take off in July

Low-cost Mexican airline Volaris on July 15 will begin offering new nonstop fights to Guadalajara and Mexico City from San Diego International Airport.

Civic Projects Remain Vital To Construction Firms

BUILDING: The Industry Prepares to Deal With a More ‘Normal’ Market

Civic projects have played a key role in the 90-year history of C.W. Driver, a Pasadena-based general construction firm that employs 50 in its San Diego operations.

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Businesses Can Use This (Job) Opportunity to Thank a Veteran

Memorial Day is more than a day off from work. It is a day where we remind ourselves of those wonderful American men and women who have given their lives to maintain our freedom. It is also a time to consider businesses’ role in helping veterans.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Nonprofit Profile: Michele Bart

Michele Bart is the executive director of HeadNorth, a local nonprofit organization providing essential support and resources to individuals and families affected by a spinal cord injury, while championing a cure for paralysis.

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BUILDING MOMENTUM

CONSTRUCTION: Health of Industry Improving; Local General Contractors Working on Public-Sector Projects

As it grows into what will be a $500 million, six-building complex in Kearny Mesa, the County Operations Center is one of the large government-backed projects keeping Suffolk-Roel and other local construction companies busy.

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Bank Helps Operation Homefront on Its Mission to Serve Veterans

Bank of America Charitable Foundation announced a two-year, $250,000 grant to Operation Homefront for supportive transitional housing and support services for wounded service members, recently returning service members and their families.

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Real Estate Roundup

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

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Customers Key to Preventing NTN Buzztime’s Losses

HOSPITALITY: Games Provider Attempts to Increase Subscribers

Like many services that depend on recurring payments, the business of NTN Buzztime Inc. owes much to retaining its customers and minimizing losing the same, also known as keeping churn rates low.

Venture Capital Still Moving Under Caution Flag in Biomed, Life Sciences

FINANCE: Less Money Is Available; Investors Want to See Results

Is it a sign that the venture capital market is recovering from a dead standstill when at least five San Diego area companies have been able to secure venture capital funding since April?

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Venture Capital Firms Do Their Prospecting on Familiar Terrain

FINANCE: Being in The Know Gives Them A More Active Role

Growth equity firm JMI Equity is a local venture capital firms leader on several fronts.

Executive Profile: David Titus

David Titus joined the San Diego Venture Group in April as its first professional president. He has been a startup entrepreneur as a co-founder of Silicon Valley Bank and spent the last two decades in venture capital as managing director of Windward Ventures in San Diego.

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ENERGY: Vista Company Installs System at County Center; Structure Part of SDG&E’s Sustainable Communities Program

Independent Energy Solutions Inc. recently completed installation of a 358 kilowatt solar electric system, resting atop 24 steel structures, that overshadows the parking lot at the $500 million County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa.

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Auto Alarm Specialist Sold For $285M

DEI Holdings Inc., formerly called Directed Electronics and seller of such electronics brands as Viper, Polk Audio and Clifford, said May 12 it agreed to be acquired by funds affiliated with Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC of Boston for about $285 million.

SBA Loan Helps Martial Arts Instructors Move Up to Larger Digs

Getting approved for a loan to purchase a larger space for a growing martial arts studio wasn’t that difficult for one entrepreneur, although finding a purchasable building was, said David Estes, who plans to move into the new space in Carlsbad next month.

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There’s a Familiar Ring to Theater’s Phone Number

How ’bout this for a preview of a coming attraction? The 64-year-old Coronado Village Theatre, now being redone as a three-screen cineplex, has managed to recapture a bit of the past as it approaches a June reopening.

Customers Key to Preventing NTN Buzztime’s Losses

HOSPITALITY: Games Provider Attempts to Increase Subscribers

Like many services that depend on recurring payments, the business of NTN Buzztime Inc. owes much to retaining its customers and minimizing losing the same, also known as keeping churn rates low.

Chain Sees Tasty Future By Mixing Past, Present

HOSPITALITY: New CEO of Rubio’s Taps The Strengths of Brand

For the new chief executive officer of Carlsbad-based Rubio’s Restaurants Inc., the first order of business is taking the company back to its origins as California’s first popular purveyor of fish tacos.

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Let’s Turn This Idea Into Redevelopment Reality

Sometimes such a great idea is foisted upon us that one feels terrible that you didn’t think of it first.

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Stone Brewing Up Some Big Plans

Stone Brewing Co. said it will create 250 jobs and invest tens of millions of dollars in several initiatives starting with the purchase of two lots adjacent to its Escondido facility.

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Chain Sees Tasty Future By Mixing Past, Present

HOSPITALITY: New CEO of Rubio’s Taps The Strengths of Brand

For the new chief executive officer of Carlsbad-based Rubio’s Restaurants Inc., the first order of business is taking the company back to its origins as California’s first popular purveyor of fish tacos.

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Auto Alarm Specialist Sold For $285M

DEI Holdings Inc., formerly called Directed Electronics and seller of such electronics brands as Viper, Polk Audio and Clifford, said May 12 it agreed to be acquired by funds affiliated with Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC of Boston for about $285 million.

Spy Aircraft’s ‘Openness’ Is One of Its Selling Points

DEFENSE: Payloads Can Be Easily Swapped In Northrop’s New Vehicle

Flexibility is the watchword for Northrop Grumman Corp.’s new spy aircraft called Firebird. The machine can fly without a pilot, or it can carry a pilot when circumstances warrant.

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CEO Aims to Take Community Bank To Top of the Hill

FINANCE: Long Turnaround Starting to Yield Solid Results

Nathan Rogge, chief executive at the Bank of Southern California, won’t say it, but he could be considered a modern day Sisyphus, the king in Greek mythology condemned to keep rolling a boulder up a hill only to see it roll back down when he got to the top.

Aeropostale Is Taking a More Youthful Approach to Expansion

RETAIL: Two New Local Stores Target a Younger Demographic

Aeropostale Inc., the New York-based mall retailer that made its mark in the world of teen fashion and accessories, is now aiming at an even younger clientele as it seeks to expand its customer base.

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When It’s Time to Hang Up the Uniform, Veterans Get the ‘Reboot’

WORK FORCE: Demand For Civilian Transition Workshops Is Increasing

The Reboot Workshop, an innovative program launched by former “Navy mayor” Ronne Froman and retired Navy Master Chief Maurice Wilson to help veterans ease back into civilian life, is expanding.

Service Now Names New Boss to Keep Firm on Fast Track

SOFTWARE: American Express, Google Among Its Customers

Software provider ServiceNow has doubled its business annually for the past five years, according to founder Fred Luddy.

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Three MDA Companies Combine Forces Under DataQuick Banner

REAL ESTATE: TPG’s Purchases Integrate Valuable Industry Tools

In a matter of months, DataQuick has amped up its position in the real estate data space

Model Cars Make a Fun Platform For Novel Team-Building Exercise

STARTUPS: Nonprofit Helps Get Leadership Skills Up and Running

Two motorized model Mars rover vehicles roll down a racetrack until one strays from its lane, collides into the other, causing both rovers to upend while their tiny wheels continue running.

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Friday, May 20

Unemployment Rate Ebbs; Hospitality Jobs Surge

San Diego’s unemployment rate fell below 10 percent in April, the first time that’s happened in two years, as the region added a net 2,400 jobs to bring the rate to 9.8 percent, down from 10.2 percent in March, and 10.3 percent in April 2010.

Ship Makes $20M Visit to Nassco’s Dry Dock

Nassco/General Dynamics Corp., the last major shipyard on the West Coast, said May 20 it has begun the dry docking part of a $20 million repair job on the Navy amphibious warship USS Pearl Harbor.

Thursday, May 19

Jack Squeezes Thin Profit From Half Billion in Revenue

Jack in the Box Inc. reported net income of $6.8 million for its second quarter ended April 17, compared to net income of $17.7 million for the like quarter of 2010 in results released after the market closed May 18.

Wednesday, May 18

SDG&E Lines Up More Solar Power

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. said May 18 that it signed two 25-year agreements with subsidiaries of Soitec Solar Development LLC, a French company engaged in renewable energy projects, for a total of 125 megawatts of solar energy for the San Diego area.

Tuesday, May 17

Sandag Seeks Unpaid Oversight Help

The San Diego Association of Governments, better known as Sandag, the regional planning agency for the county and its 18 cities, is looking for a senior executive to fill a vacancy on a committee overseeing its $14 billion TransNet program.

InfoSonics Sees Revenue Plummet

InfoSonics, a distributor of cell phones mainly in Latin America and Asia, reported a first-quarter net loss of $894,000 on sales of $9.5 million May 16.

Monday, May 16

Contractor Pleads Guilty to Bribing North Island Official

A San Diego defense contractor pleaded guilty May 16 in federal district court to conspiracy to bribe a federal official and filing a false tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

DoubleTree Golf Resort Sells for $13M

A subsidiary of Los Angeles-based investment firm Laurus Corp. has purchased the DoubleTree by Hilton Golf Resort in San Diego for $13 million. The 174-room, hacienda-style resort is located at 14455 Penasquitos Drive.

NextWave’s Net Loss Grows

NextWave Wireless Inc., a San Diego-based holder of wireless spectrum licenses, reported a net loss of $61 million for its fiscal first quarter ended April 2, compared to a net loss of $2.9 million for the like quarter of 2010.

Sony Is Attempting to Resume Services After Hacking Events

TECHNOLOGY: Company Aims to Ensure Safety, Will Insure Customers

Customers of Sony Corp.’s PlayStation Network and San Diego-based Sony Online Entertainment were still unable to access their video gaming and movie streaming services last week, as the company continued working feverishly to restore systems and ensure their safety.

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Bankruptcy Court to Have the Say on Sale of Downtown Hotel

A bankruptcy court on May 25 will hear a motion by the owners of the struggling Se San Diego hotel to sell the property to San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group LLC for $49 million.

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Construction Start Date on Radar for $1.6 Billion Project

DEVELOPMENT: Challenges Still Exist at Pacific Gateway

The development manager for Manchester Financial Group’s Navy Broadway waterfront project says planning for

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INNOVATION: Customers Turn Up TV Ears’ Sales Volume

MANUFACTURING: Local Firm Has Made Inc. 5000 List 3 Consecutive Times

When Dennis took his mother to get fitted for a hearing aid, he was blown away by the price the hearing professional, or audiologist, quoted: $7,000 for a set of two.

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WELL-OILED MACHINE

MANUFACTURING: WD-40 Co. Treats Its Brand With Kid Gloves

Before the year is over, WD-40 Co. will apply one of its most valuable assets, its name, to a new product.

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New Trends Can Affect Office Leasing Decisions

Even in the best of times, the complexity of leasing commercial real estate makes it challenging. Add the economic stressors of the current situation and it becomes downright nerve-racking.

Vietnam Is Now Open to Investment Business

Consider the challenges facing the chief executive officer of a company re-entering a market many years after being forced to exit under a dark cloud.

Senomyx to Commercialize Sugar Enhancer

BIOTECH: Sweet Deal With ‘Major Consumer Products Company’ Expected in Q2

Senomyx Inc., the San Diego-based developer of flavor ingredients, is making headway on its program to help food and beverage companies reduce the amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners in their products.

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Drives and Determination Raise $330,000 for a Local Hospital

Edco was the title sponsor of the 27th Anniversary Grossmont Hospital Invitational Golf Tournament presented by Grossmont Hospital Foundation which was held April 21 at Sycuan Resort.

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Real Estate Roundup

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

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Local Golf Courses Land in Rough Due To Economic Woes

SPORTS BIZ: Cottonwood Club Owner Files for Bankruptcy

As the economy continues to stagnate, golf — a sport associated with deal-making and better times — has hit some rough spots.

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Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

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Executive Profile: Shannon Erdell

Founded in 1985, The Lawton Group and its divisions — TLC Staffing; Lawton Technical Solutions; Lawton Consulting Group; and C-Level Executive Search — provide temporary and permanent staffing, management and IT consulting, employee training, executive search and interim executive placement in Southern California, North Carolina and Southwest Florida.

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Placement Firms Are Again Employing Their Resources

WORK FORCE: Ways Of Recruiting Change To Fit New Realities

After weathering a rough economic patch, companies such as National Search Associates and Newport Strategic Search Inc. on the San Diego Business Journal’s Permanent Placement Services list are experiencing a turn for the better.

Pursuit of Talent Is Relentless Even as Companies Pare Down

WORK FORCE: Demand For Tech Workers Brings Its Own Hiring Challenges

San Diego brings to mind sunshine, beaches, golf courses and theme parks — a great place to vacation or retire.

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Positive Signs Point Investors to Hospitality Sector

HOSPITALITY: Numbers Improve at Hotels; More Visitors Are Expected

U.K.-based InterContinental Hotels Group is among several major industry players making big bets on a continued recovery in San Diego’s hospitality economy.

First-Quarter Net Income Triples, California Bank & Trust Reports

California Bank & Trust, the region’s biggest bank with $10.8 billion in assets, appears to have righted what was a listing ship a couple of years ago, reporting first-quarter net income of $31.6 million compared with net profit of $9.9 million in the like quarter of 2010.

Sempra Boosts Net Income to $264M in Q1

Sempra Energy, San Diego’s second-largest public company, reported May 9 that it took in net income of $264 million on revenue of $2.43 billion during the first quarter, which ended March 31.

WD-40 Co.’s Business Approach Helps Its Staff Win at Work

LEADERSHIP: Managers Help Employees Succeed; Expectations Still High

WD-40 Co. actually has two formulas.

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Bank Is Efficiency Model as It Cranks Out Loans

FINANCE: BofI Turns a Profit as It Turns Around Mortgage Deals Quickly

Bucking the trend of banks reducing lending in response to a supposed dearth of qualified borrowers, Bank of Internet USA is expanding both in loans and employees.

Homegrown Property Investment Business Has Worldly Ambitions

REAL ESTATE: Westcore Sinks Capital Into Global Portfolio Valued at $1.2B

UC San Diego graduate Marc Brutten has kept close ties to the local region in his 30-year career in commercial real estate investment.

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New President Knows Importance of Sharing Data

TECHNOLOGY: Creating Interoperability of Systems In Health Care Is the Goal

The computers managing the health care systems at the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs can’t talk to each other — not unlike the mishmash of networks in the private sector.

Tasty Kabobs Are Their Piece(s) of the American Dream

Kabob specialist Luna Grill is expanding to its fourth location, a site located at 350 University Ave. in Hillcrest. CEO Sean Pourteymour says the new site will seat 48 inside and 52 outside when the build out on the storefront is completed in July.

Friday, May 13

Partnership Aims to Boost South County Tourism

The South County Economic Development Council and San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau have formed a partnership to bolster tourism in southern San Diego County.

COMMENTARY: We Can Fully Fund Education Without Higher Taxes

Some in Sacramento have said that unless Californians pass a $55 billion tax increase, there will be draconian cuts to K through 12 education and higher education. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. There is another path.

Hotels Asked to Kick in for Convention Center Work

Local hotels would contribute up to $30 million annually to help finance a planned expansion of the San Diego Convention Center, under a proposal announced May 12 by Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Thursday, May 12

Car Alarm Maker to Go Private

DEI Holdings Inc., formerly called Directed Electronics and seller of such electronics brands as Viper, Polk Audio and Clifford, said May 12 it agreed to be acquired by funds affiliated with Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC of Boston for about $285 million.

Wednesday, May 11

Sapphire Pairs Up With Industrial Gas Supplier

San Diego-based Sapphire Energy said it entered into an agreement with German industrial gas provider Linde Group to develop a low-cost system for delivering carbon dioxide to large, open-pond, algae to fuel cultivation systems.

Monday, May 9

Mitek Earnings Rise, Considers Switch to Nasdaq

Mitek Systems Inc., which makes software allowing people to deposit checks to their bank accounts using smart phones, reported second quarter net income of $570,000, compared with $7,000 for the like quarter of 2010.

Executive Profile: Rodell Jackson

Rodell Jackson is the chief executive officer of Health Dimensions, a company that is celebrating 20 years of coordinating 3,500 health and lifestyle expos for companies and their employees.

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Debt Still Weighing Heavily on Hotel Market Recovery This Year

The latest quarterly distress report from brokerage and consulting firm Atlas Hospitality Group finds many California hotels still suffering debt hangovers stemming from the Great Recession, even though overall hotel business has been on the upswing for much of the past year.

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Subcontractors, Suppliers Feel Fuel Price Pressure

CONSTRUCTION: Costs Must Be Passed Along to Other Sectors Eventually

Rising fuel prices haven’t hit them directly just yet, but leaders of general construction firms such as Gilbane Building Co. are concerned about the potential impact on the subcontractors and suppliers who make their projects possible.

Developer’s Investments Recharge Stalled Projects

CONSTRUCTION: In 2 Years, Firm Jump-Starts Ventures Totaling $1.5B

With a combination of scouting, financing and timing, San Diego-based OliverMcMillan has become something akin to the auto club of development firms — jump-starting and driving ahead with commercial projects that stalled under their original developers.

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Real Estate Roundup

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

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Ripping Through Rough Seas

ACTION SPORTS: Sales Climbing Since Recession Impacted Industry

Like the customers who buy skateboards and related gear at his company’s eight local stores, Dave Nash said Sun Diego Boardshops has had to navigate some tricky terrain while emerging from the recession.

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Tickets to the Augmented Reality ‘Show’

TECHNOLOGY: Phones, Tablets Bring Qualcomm’s Images, Information to Life

The screen of your smart phone reveals a 3-inch-high cartoon man standing on your tabletop, shifting his weight back and forth while balancing a teacup with one hand.

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Competing Wireless Businesses Combine Forces in Major Deal

TELECOM: Acquisition Valued at $100M-Plus; Local Office to Stay Open

Continuous Computing Corp., a 13-year-old San Diego business that makes components for wireless telecommunications networks, was acquired by RadiSys Corp. in a deal that could exceed $120 million if future revenues materialize.

Reports Surrounding Possible Gen-Probe Sale Nothing New

BIOTECH: Novartis Likely to Acquire Company, Some Say

There are rumors swirling around that Gen-Probe Inc. is putting itself up for sale, but that’s nothing new.

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Moteng’s Buyer Dedicated to Rebuilding Distressed Business

FINANCE: Demise Attributed to Alleged Embezzlement, Defaults

Moteng North America LLC, a Poway distributor of knives, flashlights and sporting goods, was acquired by a private equity firm that vows to rebuild the nearly defunct business.

ResMed’s Strengths Help It Deal With Weak Dollar

BIOTECH: Company Sees Opportunities for Gaining Market Share

It’s enough to keep a CEO awake at night gasping for air.

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At Wireless-Life Sciences Event, Brighter, Not Bigger, Is Better

MOBILE HEALTH: One Of Summit’s Goals Is to Identify Innovative Firms

With roughly 200 attendees, the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance Convergence Summit in San Diego this week isn’t even close to ranking as one of the area’s largest conventions. But that’s not the organizer’s goal.

INNOVATION: Company Has Stylish Answer To ‘Paper or Plastic?’

ENVIRONMENT: Reusable Bags Appeal to Shoppers’ Fashion Sense and Values

Emily Sugihara is betting that her strong sense of fashion design will mesh with an evolving public sense of environmental stewardship

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Green Energy Gives Financial Boost to Maxwell Technologies

INTERNATIONAL BIZ: Firm’s Products in Demand Worldwide

Increased sales to companies making wind turbines and hybrid buses in China helped boost the fortunes at Maxwell Technologies Inc. in its first quarter.

Women Building Up Their Portfolios in Construction

DESIGN: Opportunities For Growth Exist Amid Economic Challenges

Women are a rare breed in the construction industry, yet, they’re represented prominently — with Coffman Specialties Inc. ranked No. 1 — on the San Diego Business Journal’s Women-Owned Businesses list.

Women Take Can-Do Spirit to New Heights

WORK FORCE: Effective Skill Sets Give Females an Advantage in Work World

Women own and run more businesses than ever before and, in San Diego, have gained better footholds in businesses that were traditionally male dominated.

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The Bucks Start Here: Needed Capital Comes From Microfinance

Can a $2,000 loan make a difference? Mario Lewis, owner of Imperial Barber Shop in Southeast San Diego, will be the first to say “absolutely.”

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Bridgepoint’s Enrollment and Earnings Rise

Bridgepoint Education, the San Diego operator of two for-profit universities that serve mainly students through online classes, reported May 3 first-quarter net income of $53.9 million, compared with net income of $29.8 million for the like period of 2010.

Sony Assesses Damage From ‘Sophisticated’ Hack

TECHNOLOGY: Attack Touches San Diego Unit’s Video Game Servers

San Diego-based Sony Online Entertainment, a division of Sony Corp., continued to grapple with a massive cyber attack to its servers that began in April

Taking Care of Business Becomes an Economic Necessity

As the national and state government leadership grapple with taxes, fees, cutbacks, layoffs and the like, local governments in North County are proceeding with making decisions necessary to get their communities moving in the right direction.

Regional Report

News and notes from communities around San Diego County

Mercy Ball Brings More Resources to the Fight Against Cancer

The 41st Annual Mercy Ball was held April 9 at Paradise Point Resort & Spa. The $260,000 raised will be used to support clinical research, education, detection and care for patients at Scripps Cancer Center at Scripps Mercy Hospital.

UCSD Grads Enjoy ‘Exceptional’ ROI, Says Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek ranks UC San Diego as a top college for an exceptional 30-year return

Court Case Over Blight Reveals Decrepit System

The recent San Diego Superior Court decision (Community Youth Athletic Center v. City of National City, et al.) to reverse the City of National City’s redevelopment plan amendment is more than meets the eye.

Friday, May 6

Court Backs Port District in Ship Terminal Suit

A court has sided with the Port of San Diego in a lawsuit filed by environmentalists over construction of a $28 million cruise ship terminal at Broadway Pier.

Region Fails to Land Motorola Mobility

Motorola Mobility, a corporation that regional leaders had been trying to bring to San Diego, will keep its headquarters in Illinois, according to a joint statement issued May 6 by the corporation and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

Life-Science REIT Reports Higher Revenue, Net Income

San Diego-based BioMed Realty Trust, which invests in life-science-related properties, reported record total revenue of $105.5 million for its first quarter ending March 31.

HP Takes Over County IT Contract

San Diego County awarded a nearly seven-year, $700 million contract for outsourced information technology services to Hewlett-Packard Co. in a deal that allowed the former provider, Northrop Grumman, to exit.

Tuesday, May 3

Enrollment and Earnings Rise for Bridgepoint Education

Bridgepoint Education, the San Diego provider of online college classes through two universities, reported on May 3 that it had first-quarter net income of $53.9 million, compared with net income of $29.8 million for the like period of 2010.

Hacker Also Hit Sony Online Entertainment

Sony Online Entertainment, the San Diego-based developer and provider of online games for multiple players, said May 2 it shut down its services and is notifying customers that their personal information may have been stolen in a massive hacking event in April.

Monday, May 2

Silvergate Reports Profit, Eyes Escondido Expansion

Silvergate Capital Corp., parent of Silvergate Bank in La Jolla, reported first-quarter net income of $635,000, up 35 percent from the like quarter of 2010 in a report released April 27.

Revenue, Net Income Rise at Realty Income

Escondido-based Realty Income Corp., which invests in retail and related commercial properties, saw revenue during the first quarter rise 18.4 percent from the year-ago period, to $97.8 million.

Rubio’s Names New CEO

Carlsbad-based Rubio’s Inc. has appointed Marc Simon to the post of president and chief executive officer. The move followed the resignation of Daniel Pittard, who led the company for nearly five years.

Funding of Program Provides Powerful Tool for Helping At-Risk Kids

Takeda San Diego announced a $250,000 gift to the San Diego Center for Children funding a new behavioral health diagnostic program

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FBI Investigating Hacking Incident at Sony

The San Diego office of the FBI, which specializes in computer crimes, confirmed last week that it was investigating a hacking incident at Sony Corp. of America’s PlayStation business.

Game on: Life Technologies Offers 7 $1M Prizes to Problem Solvers

BIOTECH: Company Opens ‘Crowdsourcing’ Contest, Aims to Improve Machine

In its quest to make a new personal DNA-decoder machine faster and more precise, Life Technologies Corp. is taking a page from the personal computing industry’s playbook.

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Security Business Bank’s Net Income Rises

Security Business Bank of San Diego reported first quarter net income of $117,000, up 28.5 percent from the $91,000 profit it made in the like quarter of 2010.

EXECUTIVE PROFILE: Linda Strand

Linda Strand is the founder, president, and majority owner of Independent Energy Solutions Inc.

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Teal Electronics Makes True Impression on Manufacturer

ENERGY: Firm Providing Solar Power Components For Energy Innovations

Teal Electronics of Sorrento Valley is well on its way to fulfilling expansion goals in the solar power market with the receipt of a $1 million order from Poway-based Energy Innovations.

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NONPROFIT PROFILE: Peggy Kidd

When Peggy Kidd joined San Diego Social Venture Partners, she wanted to ensure “partners”

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REGIONAL REPORT: San Diego

Temecula Franchisee Set to Reopen Sizzler Steakhouse

Culver City-based steakhouse restaurant chain Sizzler USA Inc. is remodeling and reopening two previously closed Southern California locations, including one in Oceanside.

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Drew Ford All Fired Up About Solar Conversion

ENERGY: Big Power Consumer Spreads the Word About Savings

It was a first for Earth Day. And though Joe Drew and his son, Bill, owners of the Drew Ford dealership in La Mesa, are the first, they don’t intend to be the last — to go solar, that is.

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Booz Allen Taking Holistic Approach to Cyberspace Work

DEFENSE: Four Firms Get Multimillion Dollar Contracts From Spawar

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., a diversified defense contractor with 800 employees in San Diego, is working to get a share of one of the U.S. military’s growing projects: preparing to win a fight in cyberspace.

Region’s Economic Prospects Continue On a Slow Climb

San Diego’s economic prospects continue to improve, however, in baby steps.

Debt Collector Defends Against Fraud Charges

LAW: Attorney General Alleges Local Company Filed False Affidavits

Robo-signing allegations leveled by the Minnesota Attorney General’s office at Encore Capital Group Inc. haven’t been resolved, but the San Diego debt collection firm says it continues to discuss the issue with officials.

Officials Looking to Attract Businesses to South Bay Harbor

DEVELOPMENT: Plan Is to Boost Revenue-Generating Tourist, Maritime Amenities

If National City and port planners are successful, the South Bay’s Best Western hotel, Buster’s Beach House restaurant and Pasha Automotive Services will be getting some new neighbors in the next few years.

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These ‘Trees’ Are Branching Out From Providing Shade to Providing Energy

ENERGY: Alliance Works on Building Unusual Solar Setups

In Bob Noble’s vision, every parking lot is full of trees that provide shade and lean toward the sun, with sturdy trunks, roots that run deep and ports that recharge electric cars.

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INNOVATION: Company Aims to Hit Pay Dirt in the Foreclosed Homes Mess

REAL ESTATE: Firm Renovates Houses So They Are Fit for Sale

There’s more than a financial mess to clean up in the wake of the ongoing residential real estate collapse.

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Firm Makes $11.9M Purchase in Strong Carlsbad Industrial Market

Peregrine Realty Partners has purchased two Carlsbad industrial parks for a total of $11.9 million

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REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: San Diego County

Construction Starts on New Biomedical Research Facility

McCarthy Building Cos. Inc. has begun construction on the new 196,000-square-foot, five-story health sciences biomedical research facility located on a 3.3-acre site within the School of Medicine

Bread Stores No Longer Serve Role

The venerable San Diego Bread Co. in Mira Mesa closed March 26, according to an outgoing message left for curious telephone inquirers.

Declining Mortgage Business Leads to Mass Layoffs at Wells Fargo

BANKING: Large Lender Remains Profitable During Company Restructuring

Citing a significant drop in demand for mortgage refinancings and originations, Wells Fargo Bank, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, laid off 173 people in San Diego in the past two months.

Firm Goes Shopping and Finds $500M in Retail-Space Opportunities

REAL ESTATE: Market Fundamentals Improve, Fueling Investor Interest

In the year since completing its initial public offering in April 2010, San Diego-based Excel Trust Inc.

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Apartments Get a Warm Reception In an Overheated Housing Climate

REAL ESTATE: Demand For Rentals Rises as Construction Levels

In the six months since it formally took over Vantage Pointe in downtown San Diego, after buying the former high-rise condo project for $200 million

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Wind Farm Deal Moves SDG&E Closer to Goals

ENERGY: Facility in Mexico Expected to Be on Line in 2014

With San Diego Gas & Electric Co.’s recent announcement of a contract to buy up to 156 megawatts of clean power from a sister corporation’s

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Amazon Failure Puts Local Firms Under Dark Cloud

WEB: Zoological Society, Web Developers Among Those Affected By Crash

Kevin Chu went to bed at 15 minutes before midnight on April 20. His pager rang about an hour later, at 12:55 a.m. It was all the sleep he was going to get for the next 24 hours.

Capital Gains

FINANCE: Tech-Savvy Startups Securing Venture Funding

While investment funding for local startups lags behind pre-recession levels, NewBlue Inc. and other San Diego startups are discovering that investment capital is available for companies with compelling technology or seasoned management teams.

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COMMENTARY: State Can Be Big Player in Clean-Energy Field

Thanks to a bipartisan effort in the Legislature and with Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature this week, California is moving forward

COMMENTARY: Technology, Finances Have Effect on Office Space

With the exception of our society’s super-sized waistlines, downsizing has become the order of the day for much of the past decade with little to no prospect of ever returning to the world of “bigness.”