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Daily Business Report — Oct. 29, 2009

Public Meeting Set For Ruocco Park Design

The Port of San Diego will hold a third public meeting on the Ruocco Park design Nov. 2 at the Embarcadero Planning Center, 585 Harbor Lane in San Diego. The meeting is at 6 p.m. Ruocco Park is a 3.3 acre park planned for the southwest corner of West Harbor Drive and Pacific Highway on the former Harbor Seafood Mart site, north of Seaport Village. The park’s lead designer and landscape architect is Dennis Otsuji of ONA Inc., a San Diego firm that provides services in landscape architecture, urban design and land planning. The Stephen Birch Aquarium and NTC/Liberty Station are two of the firm’s projects. Otsuji and Port staff will present a summary of how the design of the park has evolved as the result of public input.

After the public meeting, the park’s design will go before the Board of Port Commissioners in December.  Following that, a fourth public meeting focusing on the park’s art concept will be held in early 2010.

Ruocco Park will be jointly funded by the Port of San Diego and $3.5 million in grant funding received from the Lloyd and Ilse Ruocco Fund.  Lloyd was a noted San Diego architect and considered the father of the modern architectural movement in San Diego.  His wife was a professor of art at San Diego State University and an interior designer. Together, they established a trust fund to provide money for building and maintaining a park in the central area of San Diego.

Tweet Your Way to Better Business

Social media strategists will discuss the art of using Twitter to professional advantage at a San Diego Press Club workshop on Nov. 11 led by Tim Wheatcroft, general manager of Allison & Partners’ San Diego office, who drives social media campaigns for the agency’s West Coast-based projects, and by Christine Benton, San Diego director at Burson-Marsteller, who leads social media campaigns for Fortune 500 software company SAP. The workshop will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Channel 10, 4600 Air Way, in San Diego. It is free for San Diego Press Club members and $10 at the door for nonmembers. To make reservations, call (619) 231-4340 or e-mail

StarMedia Founder to address Hispanic Chamber

The Hispanic Chamber of E-Commerce (HISCEC) has chosen Fernando Espuelas, founder of StarMedia and the host and managing editor of “Café Espuelas,” to deliver the keynote address at its convention in San Diego in September 2010. “Fernando Espuelas was one of the first to recognize the value of the Internet as an important business tool,” said Tayde Aburto, president of the chamber. “His experience and success will inspire all the people who attend the convention to continue to pursue their entrepreneurial goals.” Espuelas founded StarMedia, the first multi-platform digital media company for Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking people.

Espuelas is now the host and managing editor of “Café Espuelas,” a radio talk show broadcast live Monday through Friday on 1020 AM, the top-rated AM Spanish language station in Los Angeles. It is part of the Univision Radio Network.

The two-day Hispanic Business and Technology Expo will feature a Business Showcase where exhibitors will have the opportunity to increase their company’s awareness within the Hispanic community. Information about how to become a sponsor and/or an exhibitor at the 2010 Hispanic Business and Technology Expo can be found at

or by contacting Richie Matthews at (858) 456-5552.

Water Authority Hires La Mesa City Manager

The San Diego County Water Authority has hired Sandra Kerl, city manager of La Mesa, as deputy general manager, effective Nov. 30. “Sandy brings to the Water Authority more than 25 years of progressively responsible experience in all aspects of municipal management,” said Water Authority General Manager Maureen Stapleton.  “Throughout her career she has developed strong skills in strategic leadership, fiscal management, and staff development. Given the water challenges we face, these qualities are absolutely essential to help our organization succeed in its mission of providing a safe, reliable water supply for our region’s more than 3 million residents and $171 billion economy.” Kerl will replace Deputy General Manager Paul Lanspery, who is retiring in November.

Kerl has served as La Mesa’s city manager since 2003. She is the city’s chief executive and administrative officer and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city’s government, which serves a population of 56,000.  She has spent the last 22 years working for the city of La Mesa, starting as an administrative analyst and working her way up to assistant city manager in 1998. Kerl holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Redlands. Prior to working for the city of La Mesa, she spent four years as an administrative analyst for the county of San Luis Obispo.

Paul Stout Recognized as Instructor of the Year

Paul Stout of the Associated General Contractors of San Diego and six other construction professionals, companies and chapters were recognized for developing successful training programs by the Associated General Contractors of America. The construction craft, supervisory and management programs received the first-ever Education Excellence Awards as a result. The instructor of the year award went to Stout for his work for the AGC of San Diego chapter. Stout provides a range of professional development classes, including project management, ethics and LEED instruction to the chapter’s members. Since the program was started in 2006, 112 people have completed the 26-week course. Stout is currently working on an ethics workshop to help members meet Federal Acquisitions Regulations.

The San Diego chapter has been inexistence since 1927 and is dedicated to improving the construction industry by educating member companies to employ the finest skills, promoting the use of the latest technology and advocating building the best quality project.

San Elijo Hills MarketWalk Leases at 80 Percent

The San Elijo Hills MarketWalk mixed-use center, which features 11,000 square feet of retail space and 12 townhomes, has leased 80 percent of the retail space.  MarketWalk is located in the community’s Towncenter on San Elijo Road at Elfin Forest Road. Tenants now open for business in the Towncenter include Windmill Cleaners, Postal Annex, Peppertree Hills, a healthy dining and take-out eatery, Dexter’s Deli, a gourmet pet food shop, and Yogurt Utopia. Hometown Realty and the San Elijo Hills Visitor Center will be opening soon. Two retail spaces, totaling approximately 2,200 square feet, remain to be leased.

Sales have started for the collection of 12 townhomes situated above the retail spaces and five homes have been reserved. MarketWalk offers upgraded two- and three-story homes ranging from 1,200 square feet to 2,746 square feet with two to four bedrooms and 2.5 to 3.5 baths. The townhomes are priced from the high $300,000s to the $700,000s.

Smile Hair Salon Renews Lease

Smile Hair Salon has signed a five-year, $68,630 lease renewal for 720 square feet of retail space in Star Center located at 4425 Convoy St., Suite 224, in San Diego. Smile Hair Salon is a Korean-run hair salon that has been located in Star Center in Kearny Mesa since 2001. In the transaction, Smile Hair Salon and lessor Westcore Properties both represented themselves. Westcore Properties acquired the 23,874-square-foot Star Center in 1986.

Gaslamp Quarter Presents Lamplighter Awards

The Gaslamp Quarter Association hosted the 15th annual Lamplighter Awards to recognize merchants and individuals who are leaders in their community and have made a positive impact for the Gaslamp Quarter through exceptional service, high-quality products and enthusiastic concern for the historic district.

2009 Lamplighter Award Winners:

Trailblazer Award – Keiliki Rodriguez, Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation

Armond Award – Laurie Peters, San Diego Convention Center

Good Neighbor in Media Award — Kevin Sheehan,

Good Neighbor in Business Award — Eric Runyon, Southern Wine & Spirits

Good Neighbor in Government Award — Captain Chris Ball, San Diego Police Department

Chairman’s Award — San Diego Fire Department Station 4

“Best Of Awards”

Best New Retailer 2009 — Downtown Ace Hardware

Best New Restaurant, Nightclub or Bar 2009 — Side Bar

Favorite Shopping 2009 / Best Art Gallery, Furniture & Home Décor — Chuck Jones Gallery

Favorite Sushi & Asian Cuisine — Nobu San Diego @ Hard Rock Hotel

Favorite Urban Specialties & Services — Wine Bank, Inc
Favorite Pub & Sports Bar — Nicky Rottens Bar & Burger Joint

Favorite Italian Cuisine 2009 — Acqua Al 2

Favorite Beverage Purveyor — Southern Wine & Spirits

Chef of the Year – Brian Malarkey — The Oceanaire

Favorite Bar / Lounge — Altitude
Favorite Gaslamp Area Hotel — The Ivy Hotel

Restaurateur of the Year — David Cohn, Cohn Restaurant Group

Favorite Shopping 2009 / Apparel & Accessories — M.A.C Cosmetics

Favorite Contemporary or California Cuisine — Stingaree

Favorite Venue for Live Music — Henry’s Pub

Favorite Seafood Restaurant — Oceanaire Seafood Room

Favorite International Cuisine– TIE — Bandar Restaurant and La Puerta

Best Coffee House, Cafe or Quick Bite — Ciros Pizzeria

Favorite American Cuisine — Croce’s Restaurant & Jazz Bar

Favorite Steakhouse — Donovan’s Steak & Chop House

Favorite Nightclub — Stingaree

Groups Receive Bank of America Foundation Funds

The City Heights Community Development Corp. and the Urban Corps each will receive $200,000 from the Bank of America Charitable  Foundation as part of the bank’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative to help nonprofits increase their long-term viability and help them financially during the down economy.

City Heights Community Development Corp. enhances the quality of life in City Heights by working in the community to create quality affordable housing and livable neighborhoods, foster economic self-sufficiency and stimulate investment. Urban Corps provides job skills training and educational opportunities to young adults in the fields of conservation, recycling and community service.

Armed Services YMCA Seeks Toy Drive Sponsors

The San Diego Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCASD) is asking organizations and businesses to sign up to host a toy drive for enlisted military families for the holiday season. Last year, the ASYMCASD was able to provide two new toys for 1,655 enlisted military children as well as a $50 commissary gift card for each family through the SuperParent Holiday Shopping Day. In the SuperParent program, parents “shop” confidentially for toys in a “store” format broken down by age group with a personal shopper and are provided onsite child care. “The program is unique because the children have no idea, and the military families can maintain their privacy while feeling tremendous support and gratitude from the San Diego Community, not only  for their commitment to their country, but also to their families here at home.” said Development Director Brittany Catton.

Other annual San Diego Armed Service YMCA holiday programs include the confidential adopt a Family “Holiday Elf Program” and Holiday parties for military children with autism and special needs.

Community groups or businesses interested in sponsoring a toy drive for the 2009 Military SuperParent Holiday Program can call (858) 751-5755 or visit to sign up or learn more.

The ASYMCASD will open up lottery signups online Nov. 6t-13 to all area E-5 and below military families and military families will come to “shop” with their personal community shopper on Dec. 16, with the wait list being served on the 17. The amount of families served will coordinate directly with the amount of donations received by the San Diego community. Donors can drop of the toys on Dec. 14 and 15.

The Daily Business Report

The Daily Business Report is a product of REP Publishing Inc., publisher of San Diego Metropolitan magazine and the North Park News. Our offices are in Cabrillo Plaza, 3990 Old Town Ave., Suite A-201, in Old Town. To reach editorial, call (619) 906-4104. For advertising, dial (619) 906-4105. The fax is (619) 906-4106. Send editorial material via e-mail to For advertising, send to

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: