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Regional Roundup

SAN MARCOS: Chamber’s CEO Search Leads Back to Its Home

The Chamber of Commerce’s board named Joan Priest its president and CEO on Oct. 22. Priest had been interim CEO since the abrupt departure of Sandy Reese, who resigned from the 600-member organization in March.

A native of the city, Priest previously served the chamber as a receptionist and executive administrator.

Chair-elect Sheila Brown led the search committee.

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, Ned Randolph

CHULA VISTA: Agency Offers More Services, Merger Insures

Wilson Insurance Agency, founded locally in 1951, has merged with Teague Insurance Agency in La Mesa and will provide more products and services, says Bradley Wilson, vice president of the agency now called Teague Insurance.

Teague, which provides commercial business and personal insurance services, was founded in 1954. Led by Walter O. Johnson, the firm has 38 employees, including seven who came from Wilson. Wilson has closed its office.

, Mike Allen

ESCONDIDO: Sikh Society Temple 10 Years in the Making

A new temple for the 500-member local congregation of Sikhs is expected to be ready this month.

The church’s board, called the Sikh Society of San Diego, is acting as general contractor on the project, according to board Chairman Baljit Singh Toor.

The project at West Valley Parkway and Avenida del Diablo was first approved by the City Council in 1998, despite neighborhood opposition aimed at the golden domes in the design plans.

The 7,900-square-foot project will feature a 5,000-square-foot worship hall, kitchen and rectory. The temple was financed with a three-year, $600,000 loan and $900,000 in donations, congregational leaders say. Toor says the loan will be refinanced once the building is complete.

, Ned Randolph

ENCINITAS: Summer Rentals to Tax Voters’ Strength in Fall

Voters are scheduled to decide Nov. 4 whether to tax summer home rentals to generate funds to replenish the city’s beaches.

Proposition K would include summer rentals among taxes that hotel guests already pay.

Coastal preservationists such as the Seacoast Preservation Association and California Coastal Coalition argue that Proposition K is needed because man-made projects, including harbors, jetties, river channels and sea walls, have disrupted the natural replenishment of local beaches. Without natural sand, the remaining rocks are smashed by ocean waves and erode the area’s bluffs and coastline.

Several political candidates and anti-tax groups, including the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, oppose the measure.

, Ned Randolph

VISTA: Urbn Pizza Brings Basic Approach to Main Street

Urbn Pizza, which makes thin style, brick oven baked pizza, opened its doors at 203 Main St. on Oct. 23.

Majority owner Jon Mangini says the shop is a spinoff of another business, Basic, a bar/pizza restaurant that opened in San Diego’s East Village in 2006.

Mangini has been involved in the restaurant industry for about 20 years.

, Mike Allen

CORONADO: Aircraft Repair Depot Lands ‘Nobel Prize’

The Navy aircraft repair depot at Naval Air Station North Island has garnered a prize for excellence in efficient, or “lean,” manufacturing processes.

Fleet Readiness Center Southwest has received the Shingo Silver Medallion Award from the Utah-based Shingo Prize organization. BusinessWeek has called the Shingo Prize the “Nobel Prize of manufacturing.”

The prize takes its name from Shigeo Shingo, a Japanese industrial engineer who helped develop many parts of the Toyota production manufacturing system.

The local depot performs maintenance, repair and overhaul on E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft, as well as C-2A Greyhound transport aircraft. The award recognizes how the depot fine-tuned its production line.

, Brad Graves

IMPERIAL BEACH: Some Retailers’ Dreams Might Go Up in Smoke

The City Council plans to amend its zoning law to prevent additional tobacco retailers and smoke shops from opening their doors in the city’s business districts. The measures are expected to appear on the council’s Nov. 5 and 19 agendas.

For now, the council has an interim ordinance prohibiting such retailers. The council first enacted the ordinance in October 2007 and extended it for another year Oct. 15. A staff report on the matter says the proliferation of tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia retailers, particularly on Seacoast Drive, “has the potential to have a deleterious effect on the vitality of a strong central business area.”

A permanent zoning change will take time since it needs an OK from the California Coastal Commission.

, Brad Graves

DEL MAR: Will Garden Del Mar Grow? Voters to Decide

Voters will determine if the city’s largest mixed-use project in more than 20 years will move forward.

On Nov. 4, local residents are set to vote on Proposition G regarding Garden Del Mar, a 25,500-square-foot project with restaurant and office space proposed for Camino del Mar and 10th Street.

A city initiative requires more than 50 percent voter approval for projects in excess of 25,000 square feet.

The developers are Nick Schaar and Bryn Stroyke.

, Michelle Mowad

OCEANSIDE: ConAm Buys Partially Built Project for $30M

ConAm Group said Oct. 24 that it paid $30 million for a partially built, mixed-use project on 14 acres in this city.

ConAm, a San Diego-based real estate management and investment firm, bought it from New Jersey-based K. Hovnanian Homes.

The project includes 221 multifamily residential units and commercial and retail space. ConAm will complete construction and market the units as apartment rentals. The project was started as for-sale condominiums.

ConAm said in a statement that the project was attractive because it is entitled and in a good location, at Vista Way and Rancho del Oro Drive.

, Michelle Mowad

CARLSBAD: Sun Shines on Area’s Tourism Champions

The local Convention & Visitors Bureau hosted its first Recognition Awards Luncheon in October and honored Kurt Burkhart, its executive director, with the Champion of Tourism Award for his efforts in keeping the city at the forefront of the industry.

The Shining Star Award went to Laverne Anderson as one of the bureau’s Visitor Information Center’s “hospitality ambassadors.” Douglas A. Yavanian, community affairs adviser of the La Costa Resort and Spa, received the Tony Howard-Jones Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership and vision.

, Connie Lewis

SAN DIEGO: Ground Broken on $26M Pedestrian Bridge

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Harbor Drive pedestrian bridge that will reopen Harbor Drive at Park Boulevard was held late last month.

It will connect the port’s parking garage with Park Boulevard and add public space and provide a crossing for pedestrians over Harbor Drive and the trolley and train tracks.

Estimates are that the bridge, expected to be completed in winter 2009, will cost more than $26 million to build. The project team includes architect Safdie Rabines and contractor/builder Reyes Construction.

, Connie Lewis


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