Ground has officially broken on construction for the extension of Nobel Drive to Interstate 805, with a new interchange to the freeway.
This project, scheduled to be completed in December, is the first phase in a plan to extend Nobel Drive all the way to Miramar Road, just to the west of the intersection with Eastgate Mall. That phase of the project is scheduled to begin in September, 2001.
The project will complete a main segment of the University City Community Plan, which will provide an important alternate route for local traffic to get to 805 and Miramar Road. This will help relieve congestion on Genesee Avenue and La Jolla Village Drive, helping meet the future traffic demands for the Golden Triangle area.
Deputy Mayor Harry Mathis called this a “long-awaited event.”
“I have been pushing for completion of this transportation project since I was chairman of the University City Community Planning Group, before I was elected to the City Council in 1993. After some tough negotiations with the Marine Corps and the Federal Highways Administration, all parties have joined together to build a project that protects sensitive habitat and provides increased traffic capacity for University City,” Mathis said.
The second phase will be held up until after the Marine Corps completes a gnatcatcher study. The California gnatcatcher is an endangered species, and a few nesting pair periodically locate on the base.
Road construction will be scheduled to avoid any impact on the birds, Mathis said.
The total project is estimated at about $29 million, Mathis said.
Busch Entertainment Announces New Chairman
Busch Entertainment Corp. recently announced its new chairman of the board.
Victor G. Abbey will lead the company, which is the theme park operation’s subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch Cos., Inc.
St. Louis-based Busch Entertainment owns SeaWorld San Diego and the other SeaWorld parks in Cleveland; Orlando, Fla.; and San Antonio.
Abbey succeeds John B. Roberts, who announced he would retire effective Feb. 29.
Until his appointment as chairman, Abbey had
been executive vice president and general manager of the SeaWorld Orlando park. He held the position since 1997, and was with the Cleveland SeaWorld for two years before that.
Before his senior management positions at the two parks, Abbey had been a vice president at Busch Entertainment for six years, and executive assistant to the company’s president for four years.
Lung Association Sells Its Interest in Marathon
The American Lung Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties recently sold its interest in the America’s Finest City Half Marathon to a former association employee and race founder.
Financial terms were not disclosed on the deal the association made with Neil Finn.
Finn began with the organization as a volunteer and later became special projects director.
Since the race’s inception in 1978, Finn has been the race director. The race was started in conjunction with the city of San Diego’s “America’s Finest City” week, with a purpose of showcasing San Diego as a strong locale for community racing events. The event also raised money for the local chapter of the American Lung Association.
According to the association’s CEO, Janie Davis, her group can now refocus its volunteer and administrative time on projects that involve its mission.
Donations Increase for San Diego State
SDSU raised $32.3 million in private donations during 1998-99, an 8.5 percent increase over the previous year, the university announced.
Last year, SDSU founded a new philanthropic entity called the Campanile Foundation to increase the amount of private monies raised to support a variety of educational programs, and facilities.
“Now, more than ever, the preservation and enhancement of quality academic programs at SDSU is dependent on private support,” said Theresa Mendoza, vice president of University Advancement.
State Politics Are Focus of Program
Prominent California and local officials take an inside look at the state’s political process at a six-week program beginning this week, offered by SDSU’s College of Extended Studies.
Among the speakers lined up for the Thursday evening program, “California’s Political Process, Both Public and Hidden,” are Secretary of State Bill Jones and Assemblywoman Charlene Zettel, R-Poway, who will lead a two-hour discussion on state government on Feb. 10. They will be joined by former Assemblywoman Tricia Hunter.
Other speakers slated for the program include Attorney General Bill Lockyer and state Sen. Steve Peace, D-La Mesa.
The sessions, at the Auditorium at Rancho Bernardo Courtyard, will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Cost for the program is $35 for non-credit students.
National University to Offer More Online Courses
National University recently received a grant to expand its online course offerings.
The $225,000 grant from eCollege.com will be specifically used to support the development of 46 new Web classes. The courses will be available to students pursuing a master’s degree in teacher education and educational technology, or a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
The grant will help the school pay for faculty stipends in the development of the new courses, purchasing computer equipment, and training faculty.
The fast-growing online program began in April 1999 with only 40 students. As of December 1999, more than 500 students were enrolled in Web programs.
National University now offers 11 degree programs and more than 150 classes on the Internet.