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Daily Business Report-Sept. 28, 2009

Comments invited on proposed high-speed rail system

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is hosting public scoping meetings this fall to invite comments about a proposed High-Speed Train System from Los Angeles to San Diego via the Inland Empire. San Diego area meetings will be held from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.:

• Tuesday, Oct. 13: Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla.

• Wednesday, Oct. 14: Ramada Limited San Diego Airport, 1403 Rosecrans St., San Diego.

• Thursday, Oct. 15: Escondido Center for the Arts, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido.

• Monday, Oct. 19: Murrieta Public Library, Eight Town Square, 24700 Adams Ave., Murrieta

A total of 12 scoping meetings are scheduled from Oct. 13 to Nov. 3 along the proposed high-speed train corridor. The meetings will provide an open forum for public information and comment for visitors. The meetings will mark the start of the project-level environmental process for this section of the High-Speed Train System. The Authority and the Federal Railroad Administration will prepare an Environmental Impact Report and an Environmental Impact Statement to meet state and federal environmental law requirements.

 “The dream that began in 1994, when President Clinton signed my legislation into law identifying the route from San Diego through the Central Valley as an official high speed train planning corridor is closer than ever to becoming a reality for California,” said High Speed Rail Commissioner Lynn Schenk.  “The section between Los Angeles and San Diego via the Inland Empire presents a vital high-speed transit connection given the growth of the inland empire and congestion on I-15.”

Visitors will be encouraged to submit written comments about the environmental scope of the project during the public scoping meetings. Comments may be submitted any time during the public comment period through Nov. 20. Public comments may be submitted on the Authority’s website or by writing to: Deputy Director Dan Leavitt, Attn: Los Angeles to San Diego via the Inland Empire Section HST EIR/EIS, California High-Speed Rail Authority, 925 L St., Suite 1425, Sacramento, CA 95814 or via email to with “Los Angeles to San Diego via the Inland Empire Section HST” in the subject line.


Community college district going solar

The San Diego Community College District has approved a 20-year agreement with Borrego Solar, a national solar power contractor based in El Cajon, to construct and maintain a photovoltaic system that will provide about 2.4 megawatts of green energy across the district. The project is one of the largest of its kind for a college or university system in the nation. The system will be financed through a Power Purchase Agreement that will enable the district to access and use solar-generated energy, without the upfront capital costs or operational expenses. Under the agreement, Borrego Solar would build, operate and maintain the solar system, and sell the generated solar energy back to the district at rates about 18 percent below those of San Diego Gas & Electric; a savings of more than $110,000 annually. The solar energy generated by the district system would be enough to meet 26 percent of current peak electrical demand, helping to reduce the increasing demand for power from San Diego’s existing utility grid. The photovoltaic program calls for the solar panels to be installed on building rooftops, parking structures and atop new solar panel shade structures on parking lots throughout the District.

The new solar energy system will generate 2.4 megawatts of energy annually, or the equivalent of powering 650 homes per year. The first 20 years of production will generate a number of environmental benefits, including:

Reduction of global warming emissions

Carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by 111,747,343 pounds. This is the equivalent of 176,169,816 vehicle miles not traveled, or the equivalent of planting 260,817 mature trees.

Reduction of fossil fuel consumption

The system will conserve the burning of 159,751 barrels of oil, substantially reducing the amount of fossil fuel typically burned for generating electricity.

Reduction of other emissions

The system will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, a major contributor to smog and air-induced respiratory problems, by 28,501 pounds.  Nitrogen and sulfur oxide emissions, primary components of acid rain, will be reduced by 31,351 pounds.

The SDCCD program will be implemented at City College, Mesa College, Miramar College, the Mid-City Continuing Education campus, the West City Continuing Education campus and the district office located in Mission Valley.


Campo Band takes top prize in Dealmaker of the Year awards

The Campo Band of the Kumeyaay Nation took home the top award for “The Collaboration of the Year” at San Diego’s Dealmaker of the Year Awards ceremony. The Campo tribe won for itscollaborative $300 million wind power project on tribal land in East County. The tribal government is conducting the project with Invenergy LLC and San Diego Gas & Electric. The wind energy project will produce 160 megawatts of renewable power that could offset as much as 57,600,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually. “We are very honored to receive this award,” said Chairwoman Monique LaChappa. “Development of this project will allow the tribe to further diversify our tribal economy while bringing further economic development to the communities of East County.” The Fermanian School of Business and Business Center of Point Loma Nazarene University and title sponsor Nielsen Construction held the “Dealmaker of the Year” Awards breakfast.


University offers lecture series on stem cell science

California State University San Marcos will hold a four-week lecture series on stem cell science in October for adults 50 and older. “Stem Cell Technology: A Medical Revolution in the Making” will examine stem cell science and discuss potential applications, controversies, challenges and the nature of research currently being conducted in the field. Lectures will be by Bianca Mothe, associate professor of biotechnology, on “Stem Cell Science Made Simple”; Louis Coffman, v.p. of the Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, speaking on “Stem Cell Development: Status? Who is Doing What? Funding? Rules?”; Uma Lakshimpathy, principal scientist at Life Technologies, discussing “Potential Applications and Prospects of Stem Cells”; and Steve Chang of Stemgent Corp. discussing “Alternatives to Embryonic Stem Cells: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.”

Lectures will be held Thursdays from Oct. 1 to Oct. 22 from 1 to 3 p.m. at National University, 705 Palomar Airport Road, No. 150, in Carlsbad. The lecture series is $50 and open to adults 50+. To register, call (760) 750-4020 or visit


Federal contracts awarded to San Diego County companies

• Geomorph Information Systems, San Diego, won a $183,639 federal contract from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, San Bernardino, Calif., for hazardous fuels reduction. Place of performance will be in Skyforest, Calif. 

• Blue Tech Inc., San Diego, won a $86,370.49 federal contract from the U.S. Army’s Contracting Agency, South Region, Fort Hood, Texas, for a general purpose information technology equipment.

(Source: Targeted News Service:


Chula Vista receives energy efficiency block grant

Congressman Bob Filner announced that a $1,974,300 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant has been awarded to Chula Vista through the U.S. Department of Energy. This Recovery Act funding will be used to improve energy efficiency, reduce energy consumption and fossil fuel emissions, and create green jobs locally. “Our community can now make strategic investments to help meet the nation’s long term clean energy and climate goals,” said Filner. “Transparency and accountability are important priorities for this Energy Efficiency Program and all Recovery Act projects.” The award can be used to create financial incentives for energy conservation improvements, to implement more energy efficient transportation programs and to install renewable energy technologies, such as solar and wind energy, onto government buildings.


Marines give back to residents at senior community

More than a few Marines from Camp Pendleton showed up at the La Costa Glen continuing care retirement community in Carlsbad last week for a thank you barbecue and appreciation ceremony. Only this time, it was the Marines who were doing the thanking. More than 100 active Marines and three retired generals were on hand for the event organized by the Rotary Club of Camp Pendleton to thank the seniors for their efforts to assist the Marines and their families with cash donations and household goods.  According to Linda Sundram, past president of the Rotary Club, the “Lunch with the Marines” barbecue provided a way for the Marines to personally express their appreciation for the seniors’ help for their families while they were away on duty. Since the program was launched three years ago, more than $100,000 in cash contributions and donations of household goods and furniture to the families have been made.

The program to help the Marines and their families was the brainstorm of La Costa Glen residents (retired) Gen. Will Simlik, 88, and his wife, Pearl, 91.  General Simlik served as a major in the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton from 1954 to 1956.

“Many times when seniors move into a community such as La Costa Glen, they need to downsize a bit and donate some of their furniture,” said Simlik.  “On the other hand, it can be a challenge to find a charity that is willing to pick up large pieces of furniture. We organized a program with the Marines and the Rotary Club that would donate our residents’ furniture and other household items to the Marines. All we asked is that they bring a truck to pick up the goods. Our residents are absolutely thrilled to be able to help our Marine families, and many of the residents have made cash contributions as well. 


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