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Daily Business Report — Nov. 4, 2009

Poseidon Gets Clearance For Desalination Plant

Poseidon Resources announced Tuesday  that it has been issued its coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission to clear thw way for the start of pre-construction activities for the Carlsbad Desalination Plant. The desalination project involves a public-private partnership between Poseidon Resources, the city of Carlsbad and eight other public water agencies to construct a 50-million-gallon-per-day seawater desalination facility. Once operational, the Carlsbad Desalination Plant will provide enough drinking water to serve 300,000 residents annually at a guaranteed price.  The Project is scheduled to be operational in 2012.

The plant faced several hurdles before it gained all the required official approvals that delayed the construction. Some of the hurdles included desertion by the San Diego County Water Authority in July 2006, a petition against the project’s brine discharge by environmental groups in 2007,and opposition regarding energy, climate and marine impacts.

Surfrider Foundation claimed approval by the Coastal Commission violated California law because it was not designed or located to avoid the unnecessary destruction of marine life.

“I want to thank the thousands of San Diegans whose staunch support over the years made today’s milestone possible,” said Poseidon Resources’ Senior Vice President Peter MacLaggan. “I also want to recognize the hard work the Coastal Commission staff dedicated to processing our permit in a timely manner. With this permit in hand, the Project’s pre-construction phase formally begins now with the initiation of site demolition and preparation.” The plant is scheduled to be operational in 2012.

Poseidon first introduced its Carlsbad Desalination Project in 1998 and initiated the permitting process in 2003. Poseidon spent the past six years permitting the project, a process that included over 15 public hearings and 80 hours of public testimony and deliberation. Over this period, the city of Carlsbad, California Coastal Commission (two hearings), State Lands Commission (two hearings) and the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board (six hearings) all approved the project.

Get A Peek At Alternative Fueled Vehicles

On Nov. 21, the public will get a look at the electric and alternative-fueled vehicles that are or will soon be mass-marketed in San Diego, which leads the nation in creating electric-vehicle charging stations. The San Diego Alternative Fuels Education Day is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center on Fashion Valley Road. The free event marks the first time that all mass-market electric vehicles will be displayed together in one place, along with the electric charger vendors who will be part of a more than $100 million infrastructure investment in the San Diego region starting next year.

Panel discussions will highlight current and planned efforts to put alternative fuels to work in our region, including presenters from San Diego Gas & Electric, Nissan, E-Tec and others who are helping to transform the San Diego region into the country’s leading zone for clean vehicles. Actual vehicles such as the Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, the Anyev, and others will be on display.

“San Diego is getting the largest vehicle electric charging infrastructure deployment project in the United States next year, with the first units coming in June and July,” said Joel Pointon, clean transportation program manager at SDG&E. “SDG&E began working with Nissan two years ago and secured our region the inside track for early rollout, which includes a $100 million dollar investment from the Department of Energy plus another $8 million from the California Energy Commission.”

The first deliveries of the Nissan LEAF are expected in December 2010 and continuing through 2011. In San Diego, the first 1,000 LEAF buyers will get free installation of infrastructure in their home.

The San Diego Regional Clean Fuels Coalition (sdcleanfuels.org) is an organizational partnership dedicated to reducing the San Diego Region’s dependence on conventional-petroleum-based fuels in order to improve the region’s air quality. More information is available by contacting Greg Newhouse at gnewhous@sdccd.edu or (619) 388-7673.

Journalist Chapter Launches Mentor Program

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), San Diego chapter, is launching a mentor program that connects journalism/communications college majors in San Diego with working professionals in the local media industry – and is looking for mentors.  Mentors are encouraged to offer insight, advice, networking and real-world experiences when they have the time. Informal meetings can take place over coffee, over the phone at media organizations. The chapter will launch the program in January but wants to match mentors and their students now. It has a long list of students from local colleges who requested mentors. To volunteer contact San Diego Pro Chapter board member Ana Tintocalis at atintocalis@kpbs.org or (619) 572-3488.

Project Concern Receives $100,000 Grant

Project Concern International (PCI), a San Diego-based nonprofit health and humanitarian aid organization, has received a $100,000 grant from UnitedHealth Group. The grant will help fund PCI’s Ventanilla de Salud (Window of Health) program — a collaboration between PCI and the Mexican Consulate of San Diego — focused on preventive health care programs aimed at San Diego’s underserved Hispanic populations. Each year, Ventanilla de Salud reaches thousands of Hispanics who visit the Mexican Consulate of San Diego. Although diverse, this population qualifies as “vulnerable” due primarily to a collective lack of access to health care and comparatively poor health indicators throughout the population. By leveraging the Mexican Consulate’s reputation as a trustworthy source of information, PCI’s Ventanilla de Salud cost-effectively brings health information and referrals to this vulnerable population in order to improve their access to preventive health care, including issues related to substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence.

Expert on Genetics of Algae Joins UCSD Faculty

Stephen Mayfield, an expert on the genetics of algae who heads a regional consortium seeking to develop new biofuels from algae, has joined the faculty of UCSD. Mayfield, who since 1987 had been a professor of cell biology and associate dean of graduate studies at The Scripps Research Institute, or TSRI, is now a professor of biology in UCSD’s Division of Biological Sciences. He also holds the John Dove Isaacs Chair of Natural Philosophy at UCSD. Mayfield was a co-founder of the San Diego Center for Algae Biotechnology, or SD-CAB, a regional partnership of research institutions, companies and governmental organizations seeking to develop innovative ways to turn algae into biofuels.

As the current director of SD-CAB, Mayfield says his move from TSRI to UCSD made sense because of the large number of world renowned plant geneticists at the university and the recent arrival of a critical mass of biologists whose basic research could be applied to the problems of developing biofuels from algae.

Orchids & Onions Awards to be Presented Nov. 12

The San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Orchids & Onions awards program will be staged Nov. 12 at the On Broadway Event Center, 615 Broadway, in Downtown San Diego. The awards are for the best and the worst new architecture, urban design and planning project. Voting ends Friday for the People’s Choice Awards, which are nominated by the public. These awards will be announced at the end of the awards ceremony. The awards ceremony is at 7:30 p.m. There will be an after-party in On Broadway’s Karma Lounge. Tickets for the awards are $40 for SDAF members and $50 for nonmembers. Prices for the after-party are $70 FOR SDAF members and $80 for nonmembers. For tickets, visit orchidsandonions.org.

Tina Marie Koch Heads ASID San Diego Chapter

Tina Marie Koch, ASID, has been elected president of the San Diego chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers for 2009-2010. Koch is the owner of Design Perspectives, an interior design firm specializing in hospitality, restaurant and food service design. Koch has more than 20 years experience in the food service industry.  Before starting her own firm in 1990, she was associated with Fiesta Dinner Theater and Marie Callender’s Corp. She has been honored with several Design Excellence Awards from the San Diego chapter of ASID. Koch has been a juror for the National Council for Interior Design Certification, the examination that serves as a qualifier for professional membership within interior design organizations and is required by states and provinces that regulate interior design.

Other board members are Kellie McCormick, Bast/Wright Interiors, president-elect; Robin Wilson Carrier, Robin Wilson Interior Design, director of communications; Mark Gauvin, Discount Glass & Mirror, director of financial oversight; Christy Mitchell, Christy Mitchell Designs, director of membership; Lindsay Hester, Hester Interiors, director of professional development and programs; Stefanie Wenceslao, allied member, Drawings For Design, director at large-legislation; Nina Punzi, student member, San Diego State University, student representative.

Pie in the Sky Thanksgiving Bake Sale

Mama’s Kitchen will present the fifth annual Mama’s Pie in the Sky Thanksgiving Bake Sale benefiting Mama’s Kitchen now through Nov. 22. Mama’s Pie in the Sky is offering fresh pumpkin, pecan, apple and sugar-free apple pies for $20. Pies can be purchased online at mamaskitchen.org or by calling (619) 233-6262. All proceeds from pie sales go directly into funding thousands of free, hot and nutritious Mama’s Kitchen meals, which help ensure that no one living with AIDS or cancer will go hungry in the San Diego community. Many of San Diego’s top pastry chefs, caterers, and bakeries donate traditional Thanksgiving pies for this annual Mama’s Pie in the Sky Bake Sale. Mama’s Pie in the Sky volunteers will deliver the pies to more than 20 sites throughout San Diego County for pickup on Nov. 25. “Last year we sold an impressive 3,600 pies through the Mama’s Pie in the Sky Bake Sale and we hope to increase that number this year,” said Alberto Cortés, executive director of Mama’s Kitchen.

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 manny@sandiegometro.com. For advertising, send to cyndi@sandiegometro.com.

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