Stories for January 2007

Wednesday, January 31

Ligand Cuts 76 Percent of Staff

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego public company developing a variety of new drugs to treat different diseases, slashed 267 people, or about 76 percent of its total staff, in a stunning move announced Jan. 31.

Sanders Cuts, Reshuffles Departments

The city of San Diego's Office of Neighborhood and Customer Services and its deputy chief are being cut, according to Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Super Bowl Preoccupies Cubicle Dwellers, St. Bernard Survey Says

St. Bernard Software says according to a survey the company recently did, 32 percent of employees plan to visit a Web site this week that has either a connection to the Super Bowl or the National Football League.

Military Contributed $11.7B to Area Economy in 2004

The U.S. armed forces , the second largest employer in San Diego County , pumped $11.7 billion into the region in 2004, according to a report released Jan. 31 by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Cymer Reports Best Year in Company History

Cymer Inc., a San Diego maker of excimer laser light sources used in semiconductor manufacturing, reported fourth-quarter net income of $25.4 million on revenue of $137.4 million Jan. 31.

SKF Celebrates a Century With Swedish Party

It's not often that a local company can raise the roof on reaching the century mark, but that's what the folks at SKF Reliability Systems in San Diego plan to do Feb. 16.

Tuesday, January 30

ExpressJet Sets Its Sights on San Diego

Houston-based ExpressJet Holdings Inc., a regional airline, apparently plans to introduce service to an array of U.S. cities, including San Diego.

Monday, January 29

Architect 'Dennie' Smith Draws Success in Commercial Real Estate

Architect Cheryl "Dennie" Smith has quite a few qualities that client Charlie Abdi says make her a real go-getter , she's incredible with business development and relationship-building, and she's a redhead.

Week in Review

Top Business News: Jan. 19 - 25, 2007


For the Jan. 22, 2007 issue and the 2007 Book of Lists.

Nonprofit Loans Women in Mexico Modest Sums to Start Businesses

A local nonprofit is helping poor women in Mexico by loaning them as little as $300 to put them on the road to running self-sustaining businesses.

Poseidon Resources Tabs Project Team for Desalination Plant in Carlsbad

Connecticut-based Poseidon Resources Corp. has selected its team to design, engineer, build and start up its $270 million seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad. It consists of American Water, Pridesa America Corp., J.R. Filanc Construction Co. and PBS

New Survey Rates Petco Among Most Competitive Retailers in U.S.

San Diego's own Petco Animal Supplies Inc. is among the top 10 most competitive American retailers, according to a recent National Retail Federation study.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Steve Nataupsky

Women Build Careers in a Man's World

Women construction workers are continuing to knock down walls to earn their place in a male-dominated industry.

'Wrap-Up' Insurance Becomes the Preferred, Affordable Option

Wrap-up insurance programs that protect owner, developer, general contractor and subcontractors involved in large construction projects have become standard as the cost of traditional coverage has skyrocketed.

Qualcomm 'Disappointed' in Court Ruling

Qualcomm Inc. issued a statement Jan. 29 expressing "disappointment" regarding a jury's decision in Qualcomm's litigation against Broadcom Corp.

San Diego Metropolitan, Cabrillo Credit Unions to Share Two Branches

San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union and Cabrillo Credit Union have entered into a rather unusual agreement. The two have decided to share the same retail outlets at two locations in the city.

Area's Hotel Occupancy Rates Vary During November, a 'Shoulder' Month

November is one of those "shoulder months," as people in the local lodging industry like to say in reference to the off-season. Compared with the like year-ago month, though, occupancy rates were a mixed bag.

Close, But No Cigar: Rancho Bernardo Chef Places No. 14 in Cook-Off

Gavin Kaysen of Rancho Bernardo Inn's El Bizcocho restaurant beat out 400 chefs nationwide to represent the United States at the Bocuse d'Or competition.

Small Business Spotlight , McCullough Landscape Architecture

Even before they became parents, Catherine and David McCullough knew they wanted careers that would allow them ample family time. To turn the dream into a reality, the couple drew on Catherine's experience as a marketing professional and David's passion f

Executive Profile , Frederick J. Harris

After 33 years at the same firm, Fred Harris decided it was time for a change, and moved from one division of General Dynamics in Connecticut to another in San Diego, National Steel and Shipbuilding Co.

Trade Groups Recruit Women in Construction to Patch Industry Shortage

The bad news: Women continue to be "substantially underrepresented" in the construction trades, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The good news: Nationally, the largest startups of women-owned businesses are in the construction industry.

Irvine Co. Execs Take Over as New San Diego Skyscraper Takes Shape

The first project for Rick Gilchrist and Val Wheeler in their new roles at the Irvine Co. is a tall order. The two are set to oversee one of the company's biggest office projects, a skyscraper planned for downtown San Diego.


Many Area Businesses Unprepared for Disaster, at Risk; Water Quality Control Board Rules Could Harm Economy


Developers and contractors charge North County to capitalize on a gold mine.

Chicago Real Estate Mogul Sam Zell to Speak at Conference

Chicago real estate mogul Sam Zell, chairman of Equity Residential and Equity Office Properties Trust, is scheduled to serve as the keynote speaker at the University of San Diego's Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate 11th annual real estate conference J

Nonprofit Profile , Forgotten Victims

Forgotten Victims

UC San Diego Medical School Names New Dean From Columbia University

UC San Diego has named a replacement for Ed Holmes, former vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine. He is David Brenner, a gastroenterologist who is professor and chairman of the Department of Medicine at Columbia University

Legal Bills Mounting as Qualcomm Litigates Patent Disputes

Like ants on a picnic blanket, legal troubles are creating an unpleasant diversion in a year of moneymaking at Qualcomm Inc.

Like a Tornado, Freeze Slammed Avocado Groves, Left Others Untouched

San Diego's loss may be Mexico's gain when it comes to peddling avocados this year. And new market opportunities for imported flowers and soft plants may also be opening as county growers recover from the recent freeze.

Rich, Famous Steer Yachts to Marine Group Boat Works

The Marine Group Boat Works built it , the nation's largest lift for mega yachts , and more of the super-rich who own such vessels are coming to town for refitting.

Despite Price Declines, Homeowners Still Sitting on Gains

Land prices in the San Diego region won't be going down anytime soon, nor is housing expected to become more affordable. But the region does have some assets to balance the deficits, according to Lynn Reaser, chief economist for Bank of America.

Equipment Sold at Losses Could Lead to Higher Construction Costs

At an auction held in December in Perris, $48 million in aging diesel-powered equipment was sold off by state contractors needing to upgrade their fleets. But because the off-road equipment has been rendered obsolete in California because it belches too m

Grand Designs Under Way for Ambitious 'Pacific Gateway' Complex

With a 99-year lease from the U.S. Navy for a prime chunk of bay front real estate in downtown San Diego, the Manchester Development Group is refining designs for 2.8 million square feet of development on a 14-acre parcel.

Owners of Pony Sneakers Dig Heels Into East Village

Jim Stroesser hopes to reclaim Pony's original stature on the $16.5 billion-a-year branded athletic footwear field.

Schwarzenegger in San Diego

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger met with San Diego business leaders at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 29 to get feedback on his health care initiative to ensure coverage for all Californians.

Forget Football, Viewers Want to Watch Those Wacky Super Bowl Spots

Forget Football, Viewers Want to Watch Those Wacky Super Bowl Spots

Stephen Ferruolo to Be One of Heller Ehrman's Bridges to London Office

Attorney Stephen C. Ferruolo, a partner in the San Diego office of international law firm Heller Ehrman LLP, has been tapped to help launch its new office in London.

Regional Roundup

Sweetfields Inc., a family-owned business with a 33-acre flower farm in Jamul, announced Jan. 15 that it has created an edible, candied flower that can be dusted with precious metals. And other news from around San Diego County.

Hope Diamond Lecture, Reception, Signing Raises $15,000

The Hope Diamond Event, which celebrates the legendary history of a cursed gem, was held Jan. 20 at the Museum of San Diego History. It was part of a benefit for San Diego Historical Society Costume Council.

Commercial, Industrial Real Estate Projects Providing Boon For North County's Economy

Commercial and industrial real estate projects are providing a boon For North County's economy.

Benefits That Reduce Employee Stress Prove Beneficial to Employers

In a job market that is clearly tightening in terms of skilled workers, more companies are incorporating greater benefits to gain a competitive edge.

By a Stroke, Callaway Golf Joins Exclusive $1 Billion in Sales Club

By virtue of its rise in revenues to above $1 billion for 2006, Callaway Golf Co. joins a fairly exclusive club, becoming the eighth local firm to pass that financial threshold.

Contractors Push to Delay Costly Regulations for Controlling Pollution

Contractors using off-road diesel-powered equipment in California estimate that they are looking down the barrel of $21 billion in extra costs during the next several years. That's the price tag they've estimated it will collectively take to replace or up

Dental Plans Can Be Affordable for Employers, Employees Alike

Question: How do I make dental benefits available to my employees without breaking the bank?

Nonprofit Seeking Families Who Want to Move to Better Habitats

Low-income families are waiting years for housing assistance, yet one local nonprofit is seeking families to move into affordable town houses in North County.

Friday, January 26

Poseidon Resources Tabs Project Team For Desalination Plant in Carlsbad

Connecticut-based Poseidon Resources Corp. has selected its team to design, engineer, build and start up its $270 million seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad.

Charlotte Russe Racks Up $209M in Sales

Charlotte Russe Holding Inc. announced financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2007, ended Dec. 30. Net sales for the first quarter were up to $209.2 million from $178.5 million for the first quarter 2005 , a 17.2 percent jump.

San Diego Hotel Occupancy Grew in 2006

The county's inns finished 2006 with an occupancy rate of 73.3 percent overall, placing the region in the No. 4 spot among the nation's top 25 destinations, according to Smith Travel Research.

17.5 Million Tramped Through Lindbergh's Gates in 2006

The number of passengers who flew in and out of Lindbergh Field last year was up by 0.6 percent from 2005 to 17.5 million, according to an air traffic report from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority released this month.

New Chief at World Trade Center

S. Elizabeth Foster, a partner in the San Diego office of Luce Forward, has been elected to a two-year term as chair of the San Diego World Trade Center.

Overland Loses $8.9M in Quarter, But Stock Rises

Overland Storage Inc., a San Diego-based provider of data storage systems, reported Jan. 25 a net loss of $8.9 million on revenue of $46.8 million for its second quarter ended Dec. 31.

Hunter Makes White House Run Official

It's official: Rep. Duncan Hunter is running for president. The Republican lawmaker, whose 52nd Congressional District covers eastern and northern San Diego County, made the announcement Jan. 25 at a breakfast rally in Spartanburg, S.C.

Urban Corps Reclaims More After Chargers Football

The slew of sellouts at Qualcomm Stadium for Charger games this past season helped to nearly double the amount of recycled cans, bottles and other materials collected by a local nonprofit serving young people.

Thursday, January 25

Navy Deal Could Be Worth $52.9M to SAIC

Science Applications International Corp. said on Jan. 25 that it won a contract to provide information technology support services for the Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tenn.

Qualcomm Pegs Net Income at $648M

Record shipments of third-generation cell phones and microchips drove Qualcomm Inc.'s performance during the first quarter of fiscal 2007, company officials said Jan. 24.

Wednesday, January 24

Cubic Gets Weapons Training Work

Cubic Corp. announced Jan. 24 that its defense segment has received $24.2 million in contracts.

Mobile Home Park Removed From Sale List

The Linda Vista Mobile Home Park has been removed from the initial list of city properties being considered for sale, according to City Councilwoman Donna Frye, 6th District.

Chargers Pay Bill for Chula Vista Study

The Chula Vista City Council approved a three-party consulting agreement to help city officials evaluate a site analysis for a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers on Jan. 23.

Cylene Receives $44M in Venture Funding

San Diego-based Cylene Pharmaceuticals Inc. has raised $44 million in a series C financing, the company announced Jan. 23.

Ecotique Attracts Buyer

Carlton Hair announced Jan. 23 that it acquired the Ecotique Salonspa in Carmel Valley for an undisclosed sum.

Facelogic and Its Founder Get Noticed

Carlsbad-based facelogic International is a finalist in the competition for best new business in the third annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Tuesday, January 23

SmartDrive Gets Series C Funding

San Diego-based SmartDrive Systems Inc. announced Jan. 23 that it closed Series C funding with four venture capital firms participating in the round. Financial details are undisclosed.

Pfizer's Big Restructuring Plan to Sweep Through La Jolla

An undisclosed number of jobs will be cut or changed at Pfizer's La Jolla research facility due to potential outsourcing and a switch in focus, officials at one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies said.

Cingular Spent $129M in Region During 2006

Cingular Wireless announced Jan. 23 that it spent $129 million on improving and expanding wireless service in San Diego County during 2006.

Survey Pegs Venture Capital Increase at 20 Percent

Led by major investments into two local biotech firms, venture capital in the San Diego area grew in dollars by about 20 percent last year, according to a Jan. 23 MoneyTree Report by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

Sanders Bound for Washington

Mayor Jerry Sanders heads to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 23 to meet with White House officials and members of the region's congressional delegation.

Earnings Grow at First Community Bancorp

First Community Bancorp announced financial results Jan. 23 for the year and quarter ended Dec. 31. Net earnings for the year were $76 million, or $3.21 per share, up from $50.4 million, or $2.98 per share, for 2005.

Monday, January 22

All Is Not Lost, Despite the Bitter End of the Football Season

As sales of yellow and blue face paint drop off the charts, I'd like to suggest 10 things to do in San Diego since post-season football ended in tears and before baseball begins.

National Manager of Homeowner Associations Expands Client Base

One of the nation's largest managers of homeowner associations has expanded its client base into San Diego County.

Retired San Diego Superior Court Judge Working to Resolve Jams

When push comes to shove, that's usually the time when a little problem solving might come in handy. Just ask retired San Diego Superior Court Judge William J. Howatt Jr., who is now a mediator and arbitrator.

Airgain's New 'Smart' Antenna Hones in on Residential Wi-Fi Market

Carlsbad's Airgain Inc., which has developed a "smart" antenna to access wireless broadband networks, says its new product is connecting with the fast-growing Wi-Fi residential market.

Executive Profile , Anthony Balistreri

Like many who have grown up in the restaurant and hospitality business, Anthony Balistreri has known no other line of work.

Week in Review

Top Business News: Jan. 12 - 18, 2007

New City Hall Complex Could Save $13 Million Spent Each Year on Space

San Diego business leaders agree there is no "silver bullet" to magically reverse the city's misfortunes. Instead, a probable cure appears to be a mix of belt-tightening, streamlining and consolidating.

Heart Association Is Jump-Starting Wellness Among Employees

The American Heart Association is offering a free supplemental benefit-type service to employers for which many wellness companies charge sizable fees.

Small Business Spotlight , Joy Acupuncture

Small-business ownership and stress go hand in hand, especially for Jocelyn Joy, whose success literally hangs on how much stress she can handle. Only instead of her own stresses, Joy makes a living helping rid others of their aches, and pains.

Organizer Hoping Rugby Fans Will Have a Ball at Petco Park

Ray Peterson has signed a five-year agreement to stage rugby matches at Petco Park.

PineappleHut to Take a Slice Out of Commissions for Home Sales

Startup brokerage does away with flat-rate fee, offers a la carte menu.

Natural History Museum Sets Workshop on Protecting Against Wildfires

An area museum has created a wildfire seminar in an effort to train professionals who work in and around San Diego County's undeveloped wild lands.

Ford Shelby GT500 Has Sex Appeal to Burn

Ford Shelby GT500 Has Sex Appeal to Burn

Entrepreneurs Learn How to Win at All Stages of the Game

Although their businesses broke into the local economy three decades apart, three entrepreneurs all faced the same basic hurdles to starting a small business.

Golf Firms Attempt to Edge Ahead With New and Unusual Technologies

Small San Diego golf companies are working with technologies that are both long established and somewhat innovative.

Success in Football, and Business, Requires Persistence and Patience

Success in Football, and Business, Requires Persistence and Patience

Nonprofit Profile , Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County Mentoring Group

Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County Mentoring Group

County Receives Two Distributions Totaling $48M From Amaranth

San Diego County's employee pension fund received $48 million in two distributions from Amaranth Advisors late last year, far less than its original investment of $175 million in the failed hedge fund.

Baja Officials Are Crossed Over New Rule Requiring U.S. Passports

A change in rules covering documents required for air travelers to Canada, Mexico and Bermuda is causing confusion , and lost business , for the tourist industry in Baja California.

Connect Honors Verimatrix With Most Innovative Product Award

Connect Honors Verimatrix With Most Innovative Product Award

Pauma Peels Back Curtain on Casino Plan

The Pauma Band of Mission Indians has offered a few more details of the expanded casino it would like to build. Plans call for 2,500 slot machines and a 400-room hotel.

Regional Water Quality Board Should Hold Off on New Runoff Permits

Regional Water Quality Board Should Hold Off on New Runoff Permits

Ilumina to Shine Light on Buying, Financing Homes for Immigrants

Ilumina Mortgage LLC has begun hiring bilingual loan consultants, with the goal of keeping immigrant borrowers from getting swindled and educating them on the process of home buying in the United States.

Tax Breaks May Complement National Minimum Wage Hike

The recent passage of a federal minimum wage act is expected to have little, if any, impact on San Diego employers. But rumored amendments in the Senate may prove otherwise.

Marketers Miss Big Target When Aiming Too Young

Researchers estimate that the national baby boomer market is worth $2.3 trillion a year. With 780,000 boomers calling the county home today, San Diego retail and service businesses eager for a piece of that pie need look no further than their own back yar

Long-Shot Odds Give Golf Boutiques an Incentive to Specialize

Small companies clustered here in the epicenter of the golf industry are trekking to Florida this month to show off their sports-related gear , from hand-held tools that repair delicate putting greens to stylish clothes that are worn on and off the course

Attorney General's Consultant OK's Paradise Sale With Conditions

Prime Healthcare has received conditional approval to purchase the South Bay's Paradise Valley Hospital based on a consultant's report conducted for the state Attorney General's office.

Regional Roundup

Members of the American Society of Interior Designers plan to redesign all 24 doggie apartments and 15 cat habitats at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. Plus other news from around San Diego County.

PR Practitioner Opens Doors With Different Model: Pay on Publication

New marketing firm Stalwart Communications claims to be the first to offer a pay-for-performance business model in the San Diego market.

Media Coverage Can Transform a Company's Event Into a Happening

Question: How do I get media attention for an upcoming event?

Biomatrica Goes After $34B Market For Preserving Lab Samples

San Diego firm's dry-storage technology requires no refrigeration.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Larry Hofer

Friday, January 19

Callaway Shares Rise

Shares in Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf Co. rose more than 11 percent from the previous close during midday trading Jan. 19.

Chicken of the Sea Cuts Ties to Supplier

Chicken of the Sea International called on tuna suppliers to suspend business practices with Far Ocean Sea Products of Singapore on Jan. 17, citing concerns about destructive fishing methods allegedly practiced by the company.

Asymtek Recognized for Export Growth

Asymtek, a Carlsbad manufacturer of dispensing and coatings systems for the semiconductor industry, was recognized for export achievement by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Jan. 18.

Chargers Keep Schottenheimer in Charge

The speculation is over. Marty Schottenheimer will stay as the Chargers' head coach next season, team President Dean Spanos said Jan. 17.

Construction Jobs Decline, But Overall Job Number Rises

Despite shedding 1,800 construction jobs in December, the San Diego area still had a net gain of 300 jobs, and posted an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent, below the state's rate of 4.6 percent and the 4.3 percent for the nation for the same month.

UCSD Names Health Sciences Chief

UC San Diego has named a replacement for Ed Holmes, a former vice chancellor for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at UCSD, the school announced Jan. 18.

Thursday, January 18

Goodrich Gets New Nacelle Contract

Charlotte, N.C.-based Goodrich Corp., with more than 2,000 employees based in Chula Vista, announced Jan. 18 that it will be supplying systems in support of a U.S. Air Force surveillance program.

Carlsbad Chamber Chooses Chairman

The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce announced Jan. 19 that Paul Thompson has been tapped to relieve exiting chamber Chairman Tim Stripe, who completed a two-year term in 2006.

Wednesday, January 17

City Council OKs Ballpark Refinancing

The San Diego City Council on Jan. 16 approved a refinancing of the city's high-interest bonds for Petco Park through a private placement arranged with Bank of America.

National City Sales Tax Puts Group on the Offensive

Prominent San Diego Libertarian Richard Rider, chairman of San Diego Tax Fighters, and National City Mayor Ron Morrison are again butting heads over the city's 1 percent sales tax hike.

South Bay Power Plant Plans to Be Aired

Port commissioners and Chula Vista City Council members will hear plans for a replacement power plant during a joint meeting Jan. 18 in Chula Vista.

La Invasora Claims Top Radio Ratings

For the first time in eight years, it would appear there's a new ratings leader in the San Diego Hispanic radio scene. La Invasora 99.7 FM self-reported Jan. 17 that it was the most popular radio station among San Diego Hispanics according to the most rec

Consumer Attorneys Heap Praise on Peer

Attorney John Gomez, who has his own law firm in downtown San Diego, has been named Trial Lawyer of the Year by the 750-member Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.

Tuesday, January 16

UCSD Students Push Boundaries in Business Plan Contest

Students at UC San Diego will compete for their share of $50,000 in prize money during a business plan competition that culminates in May.

Orange 21 Settles Two Lawsuits

Orange 21 Inc., a Carlsbad-based maker of sunglasses, said it reached a settlement in two lawsuits Jan. 16.

AMS Reports Director's Departure

Advanced Marketing Services, the San Diego-based book distributor that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Dec. 29, said that recently appointed director Robert Robotti resigned from the board Jan. 16.

Irvine Co. Plans Downtown High-Rise

The Irvine Company announced Jan. 16 that it has purchased a downtown lot from Bosa Development, adjacent to the Santa Fe train depot, where it intends to build an office high-rise.

Ligand Names Chief Executive

Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced Jan. 16 it has appointed John L. Higgins as chief executive officer, president and a member of the company's board of directors.

Lam to Leave U.S. Attorney's Post

Carol Lam said Jan. 16 she is resigning her position as U.S. attorney for the southern district of California, effective Feb. 15.

City Council Approves Monitor

The San Diego City Council Jan. 16 unanimously approved Mayor Jerry Sanders' recommendation to hire Stanley Keller as city monitor.

Monday, January 15

La Posta Tribe Opens Casino

San Diego County has a new casino. The La Posta Band of Mission Indians opened the venue Jan. 15 on its reservation near Boulevard, east of San Diego along Interstate 8.

Another Executive Sentenced in Peregrine Systems Accounting Scandal

Another executive was sentenced to federal prison time last week in the accounting fraud case involving Peregrine Systems, once the largest software firm in San Diego.

Active Network Makes Cool Deal

Active Network, a San Diego-based firm that provides online registration and marketing services, said it acquired Cool Running, an online site dedicated to runners of all abilities that is based in Londonderry, N.H.

Week in Review

Top Business News: Jan. 5 - 11, 2007

Many Firms Need to Be More Successful in Crafting Succession Plans

Potentates, presidents and other poobahs usually have a plan of succession once they exit. But that apparently doesn't hold true for a majority of law firms recently surveyed by Robert Half Legal.

Nonprofit Profile , Combined Health Agencies

Susan Day, president of Combined Health Agencies.

Despite Push for Diversity, Hotels Struggle to Find Qualified Applicants

Hotel executive Joe Terzi says he's trying to attract more qualified minorities and women to move into management, but the "applicant flow is not as strong as we'd like to see it."

Grice, Lund & Tarkington Merges With Oregon Firm

San Diego-based accounting firm Grice, Lund & Tarkington announced Jan. 8 that it has merged with Salem, Ore.-based Aldrich Kilbride & Tatone, effective immediately.

Test Gives Direction to SDSU Students Uncertain About Career Interests

CPP Inc., a Mountain View-based work force development company, is providing an 80-year-old test to San Diego State University students that could reduce the number of times they change majors.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: John Reardon

New Home Production in the County Falls 58 Percent in November '06

Due to ongoing efforts to reduce inventory, new home production in San Diego County plummeted 57.9 percent in November compared with October, according to a report from the California Building Industry Association.

Schwarzenegger's Plan for Health Care for Everyone Good Starting Point for Debate

Schwarzenegger's Plan for Health Care for Everyone Good Starting Point for Debate

Annual Restaurant Week Transforms County Into a Movable Feast

San Diego's restaurateurs put on a moveable feast of the first order.

Despite Stability in Fuel Prices, Airfares Predicted to Climb This Year

For David Cohn, who heads the San Diego-based Cohn Restaurant Group, which opened its first eatery in Maui recently, a projected hike in airfares is a double-edged sword.

Small Business Spotlight , Total Tech LLC

Kenneth Hamilton runs Total Tech LLC, a 2-year-old Kearny Mesa company with revenues of $1.25 million last year. And he has tough love to thank for it.

Stock Compensation Hits Bottom Line Under New Rules

Private companies with a desire to go public are following the lead of their public counterparts in applying new accounting rules that will hit their bottom lines in 2007.

Record Profits Lead to Record Bonus for Goldman Sachs CEO

A news item that many missed during the busy holiday season concerns the bonus collected by the chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Wall Street's prominent investment bank.

Regional Roundup

You've heard of speed dating? The Oceanside Chamber of Commerce is offering "5-Minute Networking." Plus other news from around San Diego County.

Daughter's Legacy Is Thriving Family Securities Business

Richard and Kaye Woltman have spent a lot of time in the securities industry, but their current enterprise carries special meaning to them.

Watchdog Groups Taking Last-Ditch Stand Against Broadway Complex

With the new year under way, the debate over the Navy Broadway Complex is heating up.

Hospitals Could Save, if State OKs New Software to Predict Seismic Damage

California's hospital building regulator says San Diego County hospitals could save money if the state begins using advanced software to reclassify seismic compliance.

Althea Technologies' Series C Financing to Fund Expansion Project

Althea Technologies Inc. received $23 million in series C financing this month from San Francisco-based Telegraph Hill Partners.

L.A.'s Kilroy Realty Building Local Portfolio of 5 Million Square Feet

Los Angeles-based Kilroy Realty Corp. has begun construction on a commercial real estate project in Sorrento Mesa.

Sundt Construction Grants to Help Five Nonprofit Groups Shine

Sundt Construction Inc. has selected five nonprofit organizations to receive grants totaling $8,000. And other news.

One World Seeking to Expand Beyond Its Local Universe

One world, multiple locations. One World Fine Foods, a downtown San Diego retailer, is entering the franchise market.

Reforms Promise Relief for Small Firms Burdened By Sarbanes-Oxley

Small public companies clamoring for reform of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, known as SOX, are beginning to see some assistance on the issue from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Executive Profile , Kay Wagner

When Kay Wagner steps down early next year as executive director of the Children's Museum/Museo de los Ninos, she will leave quite a legacy , a new $25 million, 50,000-square-foot complex.

Friday, January 12

Chargers 'Eager' to Work With Oceanside

Chargers President Dean Spanos said in a letter to Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood that an initial review by consultants on a proposed site in that city for a new football stadium was positive.

NCR Plan Would Affect 1,000 Workers

Dayton, Ohio-based NCR Corp. announced plans Jan. 8 to spin off its Teradata Data Warehousing business unit to its shareholders, a move that would affect roughly 1,000 employees in Teradata's Rancho Bernardo facility.


Business Events , Jan. 16 - 20

Born to Be Wild? El Camino Offers Fitting Memorial

El Camino Memorial Park announced Jan. 9 that it is offering a funeral service in which a souped-up Harley-Davidson Road King turned into a motor-tricycle , with license plate reading "FNL RYD" , pulls a funeral coach.

Thursday, January 11

U.S. Secretary Announces Tech Partnership

U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez visited Gary and Jerri-Ann Jacobs High Tech High School in San Diego on Jan. 11 and announced a partnership between the school and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA.

Sunroad High-Rise Has New Legal Opponent

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has joined with the city of San Diego and the California Department of Transportation in litigation against developer Sunroad Centrum.

Aplus.Net, With New Leadership, Prepares for Move

Aplus.Net, a local Web hosting company that was acquired by a New York-based private equity fund last month, is making preparations to move its headquarters to Kansas in February.

Sanders Calls 2007 a 'Year of Action'

No bankruptcy, no new taxes and a balanced budget were among the pledges made by Mayor Jerry Sanders during his State of the City speech Jan. 11. What he didn't promise were "any dramatic new initiatives that cost a lot, dream big, but result in little,"

Wednesday, January 10

Institute's Poll Gives Sanders High Marks

The San Diego Institute for Policy Research released initial findings of its first "Barometer of San Diegans' Opinions" on Jan. 9. The results showed strong support for Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Escondido Lawyers Open New Firm

Attorneys Carl J. Skaja and Robert M. Daniels have opened a new Escondido law firm, Skaja & Daniels LLP.

Bilbray Tapped for Committees

Rep. Brian Bilbray, R-Solana Beach, announced Jan. 10 that he has been appointed to serve on the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs.

Wells Fargo to Buy Southwest Community Bank Parent

Wells Fargo Bank agreed to purchase Placer Sierra Bancshares, including nine offices operated by its local division based in Carlsbad, Southwest Community Bank, in an all-stock deal valued at $645 million.

Ashworth Loses $4.4M in Fourth Quarter

Ashworth Inc., a Carlsbad apparel company, reported a $4.4 million loss on revenue of $50.2 million in the fourth quarter ended Oct. 31. The company made the announcement after the market closed Jan. 10.

Tuesday, January 9

Gwynn Named to Baseball Hall of Fame

Tony Gwynn, who collected eight National League batting titles and retired in 2001 with a career .338 batting average, all of it with the San Diego Padres, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Goodrich Garners $10B Contract

Aircraft supply manufacturer Goodrich Corp. announced Jan. 9 that it has won a contract from Airbus with an expected value of $10 billion over two decades.

Peregrine Figure Gets Prison Time

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. Whelan sentenced Michael Danny Whitt, a software consultant connected to the Peregrine Systems accounting fraud case, to six months in prison, six months in a halfway house, and two years of probation Jan. 8.

Sports Council Names New President

Dick Semerdjian was named the new chairman of the San Diego International Sports Council on Jan. 8. He takes over the post vacated by Doug Barnhart, who completed his term.

Althea Picks Up $23M in Series C Finance Round

Althea Technologies Inc. received $23 million in financing Jan. 9. The series C financing was made possible through funds managed by San Francisco-based Telegraph Hill Partners.

Continuous Computing Names Chief Executive

San Diego-based Continuous Computing Corp. announced Jan. 9 that it has appointed Mike Dagenais as chief executive officer and board member.

Margin Tightens at WD-40

WD-40 Co., a San Diego-based lubricant and cleaning product manufacturer, revealed first-quarter earnings for the period ended Nov. 30 in a statement released Jan. 9.

Monday, January 8

Times Are Good for North County Daily

While the county's largest newspaper struggles, the little-daily-that-could is sporting a well-deserved grin.

Maglev Trains Proposed as Solution to Easing Traffic, Pollution

Sparked by his fascination with high-speed magnetic levitation trains and fueled by his frustration with traffic and pollution, renowned developer Sandor "Sandy" Shapery is seeking ways to ease roadway congestion.

Grand, Soft Openings Fill Social Calendar in Gaslamp

The guys who make those giant scissors and big, fat ribbons for grand openings must be working overtime to fill orders for downtown and the Gaslamp Quarter.

Projects Might Aid National City's Paradise Valley Hospital

Hidden in the shadows of the controversy surrounding the sale of Paradise Valley Hospital to a for-profit company and a discouraging Medicare report are two major projects that could help revitalize National City and the money-losing hospital there.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry, Trans Fats or No: Everything in Moderation, Including Moderation

Eat, Drink and Be Merry, Trans Fats or No: Everything in Moderation, Including Moderation

Push for Diversity in Hospitality Industry Falters

The future for increased diversity among the highest ranks of the county's hospitality industry is uncertain.

Jeep Adds to Legacy of Federal Program Gone Well

Jeep Adds to Legacy of Federal Program Gone Well

Low-Income Residents First to Access Free Internet Services

Since 2003, has set up wireless network nodes in low-income areas of San Diego County.


Business Events , Jan. 9 - 12

Calling All Doctors: Can Anybody Treat the Uninsured?

Arriving at the emergency room with your severed finger in a Ziploc , your faith rests in a plastic surgeon who can reattach the appendage you unwittingly chopped instead of the carrot for which you were aiming. But you may be disappointed.

S.D. Foundation Finds a New Home at Liberty Station

The San Diego Foundation, which provides funding to hundreds of local nonprofits, has moved its headquarters to Liberty Station in Point Loma.

High Salaries, Cost of Living Continue to Plague Economy

The New Year has rung in a mixed bag of predictions for San Diego's commercial real estate market. Investment activity is still solid, if slower than times past.


For Jan. 1, 2007

Vice President Scores Award for Thousands of Hours of Volunteerism

Earl Jacobsen, a volunteer counselor and vice president of programs for Score, was honored with the President's Volunteer Service Award.

Union-Tribune Says Goodbye to Several Well-Known Staff Members

The final tallies are in, 48 of the San Diego Union-Tribune's longest-serving employees will be absent in '07.

Grice Lund & Tarkington Merges With Oregon Firm

San Diego-based accounting firm Grice Lund & Tarkington announced Jan. 8 that it has merged with Salem, Ore.-based Aldrich Kilbride & Tatone, effective immediately.

Governor's Health Proposal Would Put New Mandate on Employers

California employers with 10 or more workers would be required to provide health insurance or pay into a state insurance fund if a proposal unveiled Jan. 8 by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is approved by the Legislature.

Fitzmaurice Demergian Looks to Solve South Bay Firms' Legal Woes

Fitzmaurice, Demergian & Palaganas has opened a second office in town.

Executive Profile , Larry Hartwig

Growing up on a cattle ranch in Nebraska that his great-grandfather received in a land grant after the Civil War taught Larry Hartwig a great deal about life.

Series A Funds to Propel Proprius

Proprius Pharmaceuticals Inc., a San Diego company developing a drug to treat osteoarthritis, announced Jan. 8 that it has received $11 million in Series A venture capital. The sum may grow as high as $17 million.

WFI Lays Out Restructuring Plan

Communications infrastructure designer and provider WFI , a company previously known as Wireless Facilities , announced Jan. 3 that it would undertake an aggressive plan to restructure.

Week in Review

Top Business News: Dec. 29, 2006 - Jan. 4, 2007

Small Business Spotlight , Houman Jewelry Design

To most of us, a doodle is just a doodle. But for Houman Omidifar, a childhood attraction to drawing without rules has led to success as a small-business owner. The Iranian born entrepreneur owns Houman Jewelry Design in Coronado.

AMS Shareholder Says Bankruptcy Was Best Course

The largest shareholder , and newest board member , of Advanced Marketing Services saw his investment decimated when the company filed for bankruptcy Dec. 29. But he said he supports the decision to file.

South Korea Sets Up Panel to Review Qualcomm

South Korea's antitrust agency has set up a task force to investigate Qualcomm Inc., the New York Times and Reuters reported at the beginning of the week.

Regional Roundup

A destructive beetle that threatens the state's nursery industry has prompted a quarantine of three nurseries in San Diego County. And other news from around the county.

Regulators Issue Cease and Desist Order to La Jolla's Silvergate Bank

Federal and state regulators have put Silvergate Bank on notice.

O2 Interactive Realizes Profits as It Builds Relationships

San Diego-based o2 Interactive, which makes customer relation software for the homebuilding industry, recently launched a product that it says can sell more homes.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Lyle Sprung

Construction Journal

Construction Journal , Contract Awards and Construction Milestones

Regulators, Shareholders Give OK to 1st Pacific Bank

1st Pacific Bank of California, a 6-year-old community bank based in University City, has obtained shareholder and regulatory approval to form a holding company. Community banks use the strategy to more easily raise capital by issuing common stock or trus

Friday, January 5

Navy Broadway Complex Challenged

Worries about the potential for terrorist attacks, earthquakes and a host of other environmental woes have led to a lawsuit being filed to challenge the planned $1.2 billion redevelopment of the Navy Broadway Complex on 4.7 prime acres in downtown San Die

Manpower Staffing Receives Follow-on Grant To Help 90 Unemployed Workers

The San Diego Workforce Partnership, a regional job-training agency that obtains nearly all its funding from the federal government, awarded TechReach Training, a division of Manpower Staffing, a grant of $284,250 to help unemployed workers find new jobs.

Chargers Get a Call From Vegas Mayor to Relocate

The Chargers said they received a phone inquiry from Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman expressing a desire to explore the football team's relocation there.

Man Sentenced in 2002 Qualcomm Incident

A federal judge sentenced a San Diego man to probation Jan. 3 after the man pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets from Qualcomm Inc.

Thursday, January 4

SAIC Gets Chemical Weapons Work

Science Applications International Corp. announced Jan. 4 that it was awarded a contract from the U.S. Army Research and Development Command Acquisition Center with a ceiling value of $250 million.

WFI Lays Out Restructuring Plan

Communications infrastructure designer and provider WFI , a company previously known as Wireless Facilities , announced Jan. 3 that it would undertake an aggressive plan to reduce operating expenses, increase profitability and free cash flow by divesting

Sweetwater Signs Up for Poseidon Water

The Sweetwater Water Authority in Chula Vista announced Jan. 4 that its board of directors approved an agreement with Poseidon Resources Corp. to purchase water from Poseidon's planned desalination plant in Carlsbad.

NextWave to Buy Go Networks, Lists on Nasdaq

San Diego-based NextWave Wireless Inc. said Jan. 3 that it inked a definitive agreement to buy Go Networks Inc. of Mountain View.

Wednesday, January 3

South Korea Sets Up Panel to Review Qualcomm

South Korea's antitrust agency has set up a task force to investigate Qualcomm Inc., the New York Times and Reuters reported at the beginning of the week.

Fire Reported at Chicken of the Sea Offices

Fire investigators suspect an arsonist began a fire around 7 p.m. Jan. 2 on the fifth floor of a Sorrento Valley office building, in the offices of Chicken of the Sea International.

Chargers Huddle With Oceanside Mayor

San Diego Chargers President Dean Spanos met with Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood on Jan. 2 regarding an alternative site for a new football stadium.

Tuesday, January 2

Alvarado Hospital Sale Closes

Plymouth Health of Los Angeles finalized its purchase of Alvarado Hospital Medical Center on Jan. 1. The seller was Tenet Healthcare Corp. of Dallas.

Rogers-Quinn Gets $19.8M Job at Amphibious Base

The Department of Defense announced Dec. 29 that Bonsall-based Rogers-Quinn Construction Inc. has been awarded a $19.8 million contract for design and construction work to be performed at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado.

Oasis Buys Kelly Staff Leasing

West Palm Beach, Fla.-based Oasis Outsourcing announced the acquisition of Kelly Staff Leasing , which includes Kelly Staff's primary facility in San Diego , from Kelly Services Inc. for $6.5 million.

Prudential California Realty Bound for Baja

Carmel Valley-based Prudential California Realty announced the opening of its newest affiliate, Prudential Baja, Jan. 2.

Union-Tribune Names Circulation Director

The San Diego Union-Tribune has named Frank Horvath its circulation director. Horvath previously worked for the Alameda Newspaper Group in Oakland.

Monday, January 1

Getting Defensive Is a Good Thing for Cubic, Northrop Grumman

San Diego's defense companies are expected to continue producing more goods and services to meet the demands of their main customer, the U.S. military, in 2007.

Looking Back on 2006 With a Watchful Eye Toward 2007

The San Diego Business Journal asked local executives for their thoughts on what occurred in 2006 and what may happen in 2007. Here are their comments.

Days of Making a Quick Buck on a House Might Not Return for Years

A leaking balloon, the threat of recession, and the eternal mystery of the Federal Reserve System have real estate insiders pondering the coming year with a mix of hope and anxiety.

Casinos Ready to Roll Dice on New Projects, Despite Some Opposition

With demand high, San Diego County's relatively new American Indian casino industry seems poised for more growth in 2007.

Marketing Firms Better Get Tech Savvy or Risk Getting Left Behind

Marketers may be facing a pivotal year as technological advances give advertisers virtually unlimited opportunities to persuade the public. Cell phones that play videos and Web sites that run TV shows are just a couple of examples of how traditional venue

Natural Gas Rates Expected to Remain Steady for a While

Gas prices are projected to increase, energy utility rates are anticipated to remain relatively flat for the first half of the year and more people are expected to go green in 2007.

New Chamber Leader Ruben Barrales to Focus on Small Business

As San Diego heads into 2007, the city continues to dig itself out of a long-term mess. But some leaders think that it's time to get down to business.

Region Destined to Stay a Top 10 Destination for Nation's Travelers

The outlook for San Diego's lodging industry for 2007 can be summed up in one word: boom. The same as 2006, or two words if you want to get technical: continued boom.

Real Estate Could Rock in '07 Depending on Interest Rate Swings

A new day dawning or a day of reckoning? That's the big question facing those in the commercial building industry.

Chargers Seeking to Complete Pass to Chula Vista, National City

As the final days of 2006 wound down, San Diego Chargers fans were in a merry mood, basking in the glory of a storybook season. But tempering the good vibes is the reality that the Chargers' days in San Diego may be numbered.

Things Will Be Great When You're Downtown, CCDC Chief Predicts

If 2006 proved to be a year of heavy lifting in downtown San Diego, 2007 is being heralded as a time for planners to start lightening up.

Officials Seeking Methods to Make Health Care More Accessible

In 2007, health care leaders in San Diego County expect more legislation geared toward reducing the number of uninsured residents, and many experts disagree about the future growth of health savings accounts and high deductible health insurance plans.

Labor Troubles Beset La Jolla's American Property Management

A San Diego hotelier who recently acquired a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport and increased workers' minimum pay rates to meet a living wage ordinance that has yet to take effect in that city, says a coalition of nearby hotels bent on getting

After a Calm 2006, Rough Waters Could Be Ahead for Local Banks

Bankers may have grumbled as interest rates rose and squeezed profit margins, but it was a rare local bank that didn't grow or report higher profits in 2006 than the year before. Yet all that could change this year.

It's the Cataclysmic Event That We Can't Predict

Well, you know the caveat in the investment world "Past performance may not be indicative of future returns." In other words, we can't look at where we've been to see where we're going.

Avocados From Mexico to Start Appearing in Local Supermarkets in February

Agriculture insiders are watching issues in 2007 like how imported avocados from Mexico will affect the San Diego avocado industry.

Quotes of the Year

The San Diego Business Journal's Week in Review page includes the Quote of the Week, an insightful look into the events and people making news in San Diego County. Here are some of the best from 2006.

Biotech Industry Experts Expect More New Startups to Launch in 2007

Since most life science companies in San Diego County are startups, industry leaders say raising capital to continue tests on drugs or other products will continue to be the biggest issue in the New Year.

More Wine Drinkers Pop Up; Some of What's Consumed Is Made Here

Some of the wine consumed in San Diego County is made here. The local industry needs a large-scale operation to grow exponentially.

Multimedia to Ascend From Buzzword to Major Focus of Newsroom

Print and broadcast journalists may find more in common this year as multimedia technology abounds, changing the way almost everyone approaches news.

Area Remains a Tempting Retail Market, But May Be Out of Reach for Some

Expect national retailers to vie for more San Diego dollars in '07, if they can find room to grow.

Free Public Wireless Internet Access: Boon or Boondoggle?

A Mountain View-based Internet service provider is going around the county making politicos swoon with a promise of free public wireless Internet access at no cost to taxpayers.

San Diego People

Key Hires and Promotions; Executive Spotlight: Pamela Maes

Area Courts on Their Way to Becoming Hubs for Patent Cases

Sweeping changes are in store for the law community in San Diego this year, starting with patent reforms approved by the U.S. House of Representatives and under consideration by the Senate.

Local Economy to Do Better Than State, Nation in '07

San Diego County has a treasure chest full of bragging rights. Among them: a strong economy.

Tijuana's Industrial Plants Shielded From Mexico's Political Unrest

The violence and political instability in Mexico last year may have hurt tourism, but not Tijuana's industrial sector, which continued to expand.