Stories for January 2001

Sunday, January 28

Utilities---SDG & E; asks for increase in electricity rates

Customers of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. could face higher bills if the utility has its way.

Midwesterners Open Edible Delights Franchise

While working for an artist, a gift arrived that charmed Penny Young , and ultimately changed her career.

Local Firms Send Supplies to Earthquake Victims

Soon after an earthquake shattered El Salvador earlier this month, killing thousands and leaving many more thousands homeless, several San Diego-area companies and a locally based health organization sprang into action.

Tourism---SeaWorld General Manager Bill Davis leaves for Busch headquarters post

A replacement will be named in upcoming weeks for SeaWorld San Diego General Manager Bill Davis, who will be heading to Busch Entertainment's St. Louis headquarters for a newly created position.

Defense---Orincon strives for machine with dolphin sense

San Diego-based Orincon Corp. is working to mix image and sound data to one day give the Navy a better look at near-shore areas likely to hide mines.

Profile---Steven Escoboza is more than ready to take charge of the region's Healthcare Association

Steven Escoboza Is More Than Ready to Take Charge of the Region's Healthcare Association

Finance---Climate continues clouding over for tech IPOs

With the market for new IPOs nearly shut, local startups are turning to original investors for additional money, occasionally finding those doors are closing as well.

Technology---Sony announces layoff of 500 workers locally

Sony Electronics Inc. said last week it will cut 500 employees , nearly 14 percent of the existing 3,600-person staff , at its technology center in Rancho Bernardo within the next 60 days.

Commentary---Agencies take proactive role in wastewater issues

A process started more than two years ago to give a stronger voice to the cities, county and other agencies outside the city of San Diego that use its wastewater system has taken a significant step forward.

About The List---Local commercial real estate brokers foresee 2001 as a healthy year

With all the talk about inflation and recession looming around the corner, some industries may be leery of what lies in store for 2001.

Enterprise---Road Runner Sports continues to put its best foot forward

When Mike Gotfredson started Road Runner Sports 18 years ago, it was a matter of necessity.

Labor---Web site sets up worker-employer matches

New San Diego-based recruiting venture is helping connect members of the construction world to top-name companies seeking candidates for mid- to executive-level jobs.

Editorial---Placing the blame where it belongs

The state's energy crisis continues to spiral out of control. If we are to believe the power industry, the cause of this debacle is entirely the fault of us Californians.

Media---Ad firm seeks cohesive spirit as staff departs

The recent departure of president Nancy Higgins is one of several changes churning the offices of Downtown ad firm Corsi Chapman Warwick.

Small Business and Retail---Business to cope with blizzard of last-minute federal regs

Now that President George W. Bush has completed his first full week in office, small businesses and entrepreneurs are looking forward to a new administration with a more business-friendly agenda.

Source of Pain May Be a Cure

When Kevin Krause's vigorous daily exercise routine took a toll on his body, he fought the pain by exercising some more.

Redevelopment---Padres win another round against ballpark foes

Redevelopment: Opponents Said to Be Interested Only in Delaying the Project

Commentary---Energy crisis: Like a bad novel with no heroes

It has all the elements for a riveting read: greedy power companies, powerful lobbyists, near-sighted cause groups, out-of-state exploiters, incompetent bureaucracies, and plenty of small guys getting ground under the collusion of big forces.

For The Record

If you would like your business event that costs less than $50 to attend included in the calendar section, please make sure that your press release arrives at our offices at least 15 working days before the event. Send requests to:

Law---Water issues in San Diego draw professor's interest

UCSD political science professor Steve Erie recently offered his perspective on the local water industry and how he says the Metropolitan Water District subsidies have encouraged urban sprawl in San Diego.

Health Care---Trauma center shortage becoming a crisis

A recent report by a coalition of trauma experts said the dwindling number of high-level trauma care units is reaching crisis proportions in California.

Publisher's Notebook---Are you a can-do or can't-do type?

Everyday this week when I read the daily papers and listen to the radio, the message I hear is an instant flashback to l995. I alluded to that fact in an earlier column two weeks ago. People are beginning to fall back into the thought process that the do

High-Tech---Licensing technology is no kind of business plan

Building a business model by licensing technology is "a recipe for disaster" unless you are Microsoft Corp. or Oracle Corp., said Mariana Danilovic, CEO of the venture and advisory firm Digital Media X LLC.

CyberBucks---Maptrace knows the route in venture capital race

That may change this week if the local software firm makes the right impression at the Sacramento Golden State Entrepreneur Expo and Venture Capital Conference.

Real Estate---Home prices up 14 percent over previous year's figures

The average price of a single-family house sold through the San Diego Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service rose 14.2 percent in December when compared to the same period 12 months before.

Biotech---Alliance halts product testing for heart surgery patients

Alliance Pharmaceutical Inc. said it will lay off 20 percent of its work force because of a suspension of the clinical trials of its flagship product Oxygent, a blood substitute used during surgery.

Tourism---San Diego Convention Center Corp. continues search for naming sponsor

Progress continues on the San Diego Convention Center Corp.'s search for a naming rights sponsor for the center's Sails Pavilion and the Civic Theater.

Infrastructure---City offers to drop appeal of water pollution fine

San Diego officials have changed their minds about appealing a $3.4 million fine against the city.

Real Estate and Construction

Selling agents: Jim Spain, Brian Strange and Josh McFadyen of Colliers International represented the seller. Louay Alsadek and Rick Reeder of Business Real Estate represented the buyer.

Real Estate---Burnham sells off another chunk of properties

Burnham Pacific Properties of San Diego, which is liquidating its portfolio of strip shopping centers before going out of business, has announced the sale of 19 properties.

Low-Income Businesses Get Web Connections

Small businesses in targeted low-income areas of San Diego and Imperial counties will benefit from the $225,000 recently awarded to the, a Web site developed by the East County Economic Development Council.

Lead---Awards recognize building managers' efforts to keep tenants happy

Prize-winning office building managers say services to help tenants and property management staffs excel at keeping things clean and working were crucial to their successes in a recent local Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) competition.

Law---Lawyer's real estate projects span the length of California

Nancy Scull had every intention of joining a litigation practice when she graduated law school in 1982 from the University of Southern California.

Energy---Former energy commissioner cites flawed deregulation law, misleading facts from utilities as cause of crisis

Former Energy Commissioner Cites Flawed Laws, Misleading Facts From State's Utilities

Technology---Energy crisis idles some of Kyocera's employees

Kyocera America, Inc. has cut back production and idled some workers at its San Diego plant because the state's electricity crisis has cooled some of its furnaces.

Industrial---Rising rents push industrial firms into affordable areas

Traditional industrial firms will win the war with trendy start-ups over the region's industrial buildings, said local commercial realtors, but they won't win the battles in the high-tech clusters.

Sunday, January 21 Spreads the Gospel on the Web

The Gospel message predates the spoken word recording by something like 1,875 years.

Commentary---Don't be scared off by floundering tech sector

The past few months have been particularly difficult for the stock market and in particular the technology stocks.

Labor---Employment figures don't show cracks in economy

If the San Diego economy is contracting, you wouldn't know it from last month's unemployment rate.

People On The Move

Cuyamaca Bank hired Beverly Stewart as senior vice president and manager of its Small Business Association (SBA) loan department and Dick Dziezyk as senior vice president and manager of its El Cajon location. Leo Spiegel joined Mission Ventures as general

Medical Practices---Doctors groups partnering with hospitals

In the early 1990s, Sharp Cabrillo Hospital offered its specialized gastric bypass surgery to Hillcrest Surgical Medical Group, Inc.

International Trade---Local exports grow by 4 percent

San Diego's exports during 1999 reached nearly $9 billion, or about 4 percent better than the previous year.

Sports Biz---Aldila reintroduces its top-selling golf club shaft

Poway-based Aldila, which makes high-performance graphite, wood and iron shafts, recently put its HM-40 Tour Gold wood shaft back on the market. The company also released two new HM-40 models.

For The Record

If you would like your business event that costs less than $50 to attend included in the calendar section, make sure that your press release arrives at our offices at least 15 working days before the event. Send requests to:

Infrastructure---Local leaders hail the new Colorado River compact

Local officials are proud of a pact that will keep Colorado River water flowing to San Diego while also formalizing a previous agreement that will make an additional 200,000 acre-feet of water available here.

Biotech---Biotechs pick up new technology

Within a six-day period earlier this month, two San Diego-based biotech firms managed to add significant value to their technology pipelines.

Editorial---Politics shouldn't drive the Auto Club

The upcoming election of the board of directors for the Automobile Club of Southern California is drawing a lot of interest these days.

Seniors---Assisted living communities fill niche with personal care service

Experts predict that in 30 years America's 65 years and older age group will double from roughly 35 million today to more than 70 million. In San Diego County alone, there will be more than 1.29 million people over the age of 65.

Chula Vista's Past and Present Merge in Outdoor Exhibit

Downtown Chula Vista celebrated its heritage by dedicating its "Walk of History" on Jan. 12.

About the List---Dental providers upgrade tech services

Bureaucracy likely is the last thing on a person's mind when they take a trip to the dentist.

Wireless---Globalstar woes won't hurt Qualcomm

The days leading up to Qualcomm Inc.'s first quarter earnings report featured a sign from the sky: Globalstar Telecommunications Ltd., a satellite telephone company that uses Qualcomm technology, missed a debt payment.

Small Business and Retail---Small business group likes Bush's tax cut plan

President-elect George W. Bush's tax plan would greatly help small businesses and the entrepreneurial sector, as it helps boost a sagging economy.

Transportation---Reopening 'Desert Line' railroad is key to shipping increases

Transportation: Refurbishing Rail Line Would Facilitate Local East-West Commerce

Jewish Film Fest Opens 11th Year With Theme Days

Bring the bagels and shmear. The 11th annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival is coming to town in February.

Golf Course Gets A Warm Welcome

If you regularly read San Diego's largest daily newspaper and haven't heard about The Auld Course, a South Bay public golf course, you're not paying attention.

Profile---At 75, B.W. 'Stoney' Stone has forged a legacy in the El Cajon business community

At 75, B.W. 'Stoney' Stone Has Forged a Legacy in the El Cajon Business Community

Development---Port gives Manchester new extension for Hyatt expansion

For the second time, the San Diego Unified Port District extended an option agreement with hotelier Doug Manchester to arrange financing for a 750-room tower called the Manchester Grand Hyatt.

Real Estate---Lusardi sets slabs for Carlsbad office complex. By Arthur S. Grupe

Crews from San Marcos-based Lusardi Construction Co. have poured the floor slabs on a two-story office building on Aston Avenue in the Carlsbad Research Center last week.

Finance---Money managers predict stock market rebound

With the plummet in stock prices last year leaving many investors a lot poorer , at least on paper , two local investment advisers stress the importance of staying invested because they foresee a better year ahead.

Energy---Blackouts prompt state of emergency declaration

Energy: State Purchase of Power in Crisis Expected to Be Followed By Legislation

Enterprise---Tyler Blik's images stand out within a crowd

Growing up, Tyler Blik was a left-brain kind of guy. He excelled in math and science, entering Arizona State University with plans to become an architect.

Education---CSU program puts students in the hunt for business

When Temecula-based FFF Enterprises Inc. sought assistance in finding new business ventures in the vaccine industry, they called on consultants from California State University San Marcos.

Editor's Notebook---The economics of planned shortages

Classic supply-and-demand economics maintain that demand increases prices, and increased prices increases supply, while reduced demand lowers prices. Somewhere along the supply-and-demand curve, everything balances out.

Nonprofits---Vision clinic extends goodwill at community center

An ironic measure of goodwill created this past August is still going strong at a community center in Balboa Park.

High-Tech---Streaming video turns into torrent

So now you have streaming video. What are you going to watch? Most likely it's going to be music and news, according to a forecast released by DFC Intelligence.

Real Estate and Construction

Selling agents: Eric Costa and Mike Seiber of Flocke & Avoyer Commercial Real Estate represented the buyer. Mike Jordan of Jordan Bueti represented the seller.

Government---New council members get lesson in gift-getting

When San Diego City Councilman Byron Wear won two tickets to London in an opportunity drawing two years ago, he gave them back because "it didn't feel right."

Tourism---Government funds study of tourism's economic impact

The industry that's third-largest in San Diego is about to get some more attention on a national level.

Tourism---Convention Center employees get new policies on business expenses

Partly spurred along by media attention about board member- and staff-expensed meals, the San Diego Convention Center Corp.'s board of directors are revising the center's policies.

Health Care---Roger G. Lum is named new health and human services director

Rodger G. Lum has been appointed director of the county's Health and Human Services Agency.

Monday, January 15

Finance---Venture incubators succumb to dot-com realities

Business incubators may be a viable way of launching start-up firms, but two local companies that used the model recently ran into financial problems.

Economic Outlook---Diverse industries key as economy shows slowing

For the fifth consecutive month, the University of San Diego index of economic indicators has declined. But according to those at a recent economic forum, there is little reason to worry.

Contractors---Raytheon opens new naval combat systems facility

Five months after the opening of a new Raytheon Co. building in Kearny Mesa, executives at the site said they're close to hitting full stride despite a few initial stumbles.

Manufacturing---Locally built wildfire attack vehicle sits idle during Alpine blaze

SPRING VALLEY , As fires raged through Alpine two weeks ago, firefighters mobilized heroically to save the countryside and rural residents. However, one fire-fighting tool was forced to sit idle in Spring Valley, even as flames were raging only a few mile

Tourism---Proposed USS Midway museum is battle worn, but still alive

Even after recent recommendations against mooring a floating museum in San Diego Bay, the project is a little worn from battle, but still alive. In fact, a local executive who is leading efforts to establish the Midway Museum at Navy Pier along the Embarc

Commentary---Safety a bogus concern for NTC development

No one would disagree that safety is always a concern around any construction site. However, the Corky McMillin Cos., master developer for the redevelopment of the former Naval Training Center, have offended the public's intelligence by using safety as th

Real Estate and Construction

Leasing agents: Duncan Dodd of Grubb & Ellis represented the lessee. Justin Halenza and Rick Reeder of BRE Commercial/NAI represented the lessor.

Real Estate---King of the castle? How about mayor of Jacumba?

Those who have always wanted to "own the town" now have a chance, since most of the East County hamlet of Jacumba is up for sale, complete with motel and mineral springs.

Health Care---Financing offered for cosmetic enhancements

All that jogging, pumping iron and calorie-counting has paid off again: For the second consecutive year, San Diego has been ranked America's fittest city.

Real Estate---Rental rates for office space expected to climb

Local commercial tenants will pay more for new space in the coming year as high-tech companies migrating south from more expensive areas drive prices higher, a real estate brokerage predicts.

Publisher's Notebook---The only fear for economy is FEAR itself

I predicted the economy was going to remain in a growth mode for the last eight years.'s peachy vans vanish

Just a few months after the Internet grocery war came to San Diego, the company that fired the opening salvo has changed hands.

For The Record

If you would like your business event that cost less than $50 to attend included in the calendar section, make sure that your press release arrives at our offices at least 15 working days before the event. Send information to:

Technology---Maxwell Technologies puts defense division on block

Technology: Sell-Off Will Allow Company to Focus On Its Commercial Projects

SuperCamp Takes Students on Educational Vacation

This summer, for the very first time, the United States International University in San Diego will make its debut as a SuperCamp.

Enterprise---ITLA Capital's metamorphosis from thrift to commercial bank is reaping dividends

When George Haligowski first learned Imperial Thrift & Loan Association was in trouble in 1992, the bank was getting administrative guidance from the federal government and was on the verge of being seized.

Housing Project Residents Wired for Tech Training

XO Communications' San Diego office has donated equipment to help residents of a San Diego Housing Commission project receive computer training.

Energy---Gov. Davis' energy plan gets mixed reviews

Calling deregulation a "colossal and dangerous failure" that led to a "dysfunctional energy market," Gov. Gray Davis declared state ownership of power plants as a possible last-resort solution to high utility rates.

About The List---Defense contractors become more self-reliant

By 2002, Thomas Stone, vice president of San Diego operations for American Systems Corp., wants to see his company conducting business on the commercial side of things.

Profile---Publisher Dick High reaches for the stars in growing a thriving 'underdog'

Publisher Dick High Reaches For the Stars in Growing a Thriving 'Underdog'

Donations Pour in for Fire Relief

Several San Diego corporations have taken an active role in assisting those affected by the Alpine wild fire recently.

Lead---Contractors line up for multibillion-dollar Navy/Marine IT project

Apple computers, a plethora of help desks and the difficulty of jumping over multiple firewalls may soon be part of the Navy's past.

Commentary---Wonderment and apprehension ring in New Year

Buried in between the lumps of coal in the Christmas stocking the California Legislature hung out for small business were a couple of foil-wrapped candy kisses.

Tourism---Poway water park project paddles backward

POWAY , The newest challenge to a water park in Poway could be the one that submerges the project for the last time.

Online Tax Resource Links to IRS

For those who like getting the less appealing aspects of life out , like paying their income taxes , of the way quickly, a Carlsbad company has launched a site that may be of some help.

Technology---Bay area tech firms are pulling up stakes and moving south to San Diego

Faced with skyrocketing office rents and a competitive labor market that makes it tough to retain skilled engineers, some Bay area high-tech firms have pulled up stakes and moved their business south to San Diego.

Contractors---Conference to foster industry-military dialogue

The local chapter of a civilian Navy group is sponsoring a conference this month that the promoter hopes will open a dialogue between the defense industry and the military officers that use their products.

Monday, January 8

For The Record

If you would like your event that costs less than $50 to attend included in the calendar section, make sure that your press release arrives at our office at least 15 working days before the event. Send requests to:

Editor's Notebook---You never know when you'll meet your mentor

I'm not a pack rat by nature, but I still have lots of boxes to unpack after our move last summer.

CyberBucks---Maxwell sells off systems division

Portera Systems, based in Campbell in the Silicon Valley, acquired Maxwell Business Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of San Diego's Maxwell Technologies, for an undisclosed price that included cash and stock last month.

Biotech---Trega Biosciences buyout brings complementary technology together

Analysts are applauding Germany-based Lion Bioscience AG's acquisition of a local biotech firm.

High-Tech---Report shows San Diego is a must-see cybercity

It's kind of like a family gathering over the holidays. Get 'em together and the comparisons are inevitable.

Exotic Carpets Have A Ralph Lauren Label

Even the owner of the showroom selling Ralph Lauren carpet had his misgivings about the collection.

Real Estate---Firms seeing dividends from Otay Mesa projects

When Ware & Malcomb Architects closed its San Diego office in 1996, it ended a 14-year-long presence in the county.

Commentary---Reaching the 'pot of goal' in 2001 takes some climbing

Some people look forward to the new year as a time to evaluate their goals and map out a strategy for achieving them.

Health Care---Health care providers are faced with soaring prices for flu vaccine

San Clemente pharmacist David Mitchell rang in the second day of 2001 with a delivery of what has become one of last year's most sought-after commodities: flu vaccine.

Editorial---Midway Museum a salute to San Diego

San Diego has its share of tourist attractions, some of which reflect the city's history and culture.

Government---Downtown a little cleaner, safer with new program

Downtown property owners made their first assessment payments last month for a program they hope will keep city streets clean, while making the area safer for both visitors and residents.

Communications---Message system offers versatility for diverse work force

Whether faced with the need to compete more effectively, increase employee productivity, or facilitate communications among multiple office sites, more and more San Diego companies are finding that the answer lies in an emerging business tool known as uni

Retail---Movie Trader buyers to rename and rebrand stores

Under a new Oregon-based owner, San Diego's Movie Trader, Inc. will soon undergo a rebranding that will have its two locations selling CDs as well.

Restaurant Says 'Aloha' to S.D.

When asked about his company's motivation for opening one of its Hawaiian-influenced Asian-Fusion Roy's restaurants in San Diego, Russ Bendel's answer was rather simple: the market.

People On The Move

Professional Service Industries, Inc. has hired Dennis Keich as business development manager of its environmental consulting and geotechnical engineering department.

Health Care---Needle-exchange program still viable after council veto

Women First of S.D. Signs Up With Texas Supplier to Distribute Estrogen Product

Technology---Local paper's Web site is victim of domain name theft

The Web hijacking phenomenon that touched companies like Nike Inc. and during 2000 may well have affected a San Diego publisher as well.

Profile---Jim Carol's PacketVideo giving a new look to wireless communications

Well into his third year of running a high-tech start-up, Jim Carol sits in a new building with views of the Interstate 5-805 split and contemplates the notion of risk.

Small Business and Retail---Small-biz group cautiously optimistic on 2001

It may be a bit late to wish readers a happy New Year, but as 2001 begins, this may be the time to look ahead to what small business owners can expect in the coming year.

Retail---Nation's largest duty-free store opens at border

Hailed as "a new concept in duty-free shopping," the first duty-free mega-store in the nation opened last month in San Ysidro.

Energy---Deepening energy crisis sparks Governor's actions

The fact the California electricity crisis has worsened since the summer can be seen in the extraordinary moves Gov. Gray Davis took last week to bring the state's rates back in line.

Finance---Investors file paperwork for new North County bank

Called Pacific Community Bank, the newest financial institution in the making filed an application last month with the California Department of Financial Institutions to begin soliciting more investors for the project.

Tourism---Art + Sol campaign wins national heritage award

"San Diego Art + Sol," a campaign to promote San Diego to tourists as a cultural destination, has picked up national recognition and opportunities for more local exposure.

Real Estate---Barrio Logan's first new shopping center in decades due to break ground

The first new Barrio Logan retail development in decades is scheduled to break ground later this year, pending approval of government bonds to help finance the project.

Fairy Dogmother Service Carries on a Favorite Tradition

When Chris Otto bought an already existing mobile dog grooming business five years ago, she wasn't exactly sure about the name.

Enterprise---Investors dig the product made by these high-tech whiz kids

When the founders of Mohomine Inc. launched their Web site devoted to providing software code to programmers, they thought they might get some attention but were unprepared for the response it received.

Gates Fund Paves Way for Tech Student

Jose Barraza Jr. sits in his family's San Ysidro trailer home and considers the introductory line to Bill Gates' 1999 book, "Business at the Speed of Thought."

Commentary---The outlook for San Diego's economy in 2001

With the "true" commencement for the new millennium in 2001, San Diego may be in the strongest position the region has ever held for economic prosperity and growth. Combining the power and advantages of Baja California, along the Pacific Rim of the U.S. a

Airport---Government agencies mull airport of the future

There have been nearly two dozen studies over the past 20 years to determine the future of the region's passenger and air cargo service.

Tourism---Holiday Bowl dazzles millions of viewers

With high television ratings, its second-largest crowd ever and a feeling of general success, the Culligan Holiday Bowl helped usher in 2001 on a celebratory note.

Sports Biz---Indoor soccer now drills its players on CD

Professional indoor soccer has been around the United States for more than 20 years, yet many don't understand the fundamentals of the game.

Real Estate and Construction

Selling agents: Ed Rosen and John Chu of Burnham Real Estate Services represented the seller. The buyer represented itself.