San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders is crowing these days, as well he should be. He issued a news release noting that the city has now refinanced 11 bond issues over the past three years, thereby saving $13.3 million in debt payments each year. Sanders said the savings will be plowed back into the general fund for such necessities as public safety and keeping the libraries open. He credits the savings to an upgrade in the city’s credit ratings after he took office in 2005, and began his effort to restore the municipal finances. Lower interest rates also helped with the savings … La Jolla-based high-profile venture capital firm Avalon Ventures has apparently begun raising capital for its 10th fund, with a target of $200 million, according to a recent report from Dow Jones. The firm has an office in Boston, where partners there have announced a number of deals over the past few weeks. Interestingly, the firm closed its 9th fund in January 2011, which means that it has been very active over the past 18 months. Avalon has a big stake in San Francisco’s online games developer Zynga, the stock price of which has cratered to around $3 a share from an offering price of $10 back in December … Several weeks ago, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office said that San Diego’s Thomas Jefferson School of Law would be the only school in California to participate in its Patent Law School Clinic Certification Pilot Program. Now the agency has announced that the East Village campus is one of nine law schools selected for a new program to allow students to practice before the patent office with a faculty supervisor. The decision will allow the school’s Small Business Law Center to better assist clients in navigating the trademark and patent application labyrinth. The decision takes effect this fall … The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, ConVis, unveils its new website at SanDiego.org, which now features a number of updates to its appearance and functionality, says President and CEO Joe Terzi. East Village-based digital marketing agency Digitaria handled the redesign duties. Terzi notes that the site draws more than 5.5 million visitors each year … San Diego Habitat for Humanity is one of 84 affiliates participating in a veterans-supported initiative funded in part with $2.7 million donated by The Home Depot Foundation. The cash donation will allow the local chapter to loan up to $15,000 interest free to veterans who need home repairs … Finally. “An Iliad: a Re-Imagined Classic” of Homer’s famous Greek epic about the decade-long siege of Troy, is now running at the La Jolla Playhouse through Sept. 9. It’s a must see, given the new twist on a very old tale. Details and ducats at lajollaplayhouse.org. Till next week.
Contributing Editor Tom York pens the SDBJ Insider, and you can reach him with column tips and tidbits at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.