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San Diego Scene 11.09

RD Riccoboni’s paintings on canvas and paper depict his travels and local interests — landscapes, cityscapes, street scenes and public events, among others. Riccoboni’s studio and Beacon Artworks Gallery is located in Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Riccoboni says his palette is derived from the bold colors of the original rainbow flag. “These colors represent sexuality, health, sunshine, nature, art, harmony and spirit,” he says. He is currently working on drawings and paintings of vanishing historic American buildings and landscape. Riccoboni’s Website is

To improve the educational experience for real estate students at San Diego State, the College of Business Administration has launched The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate with the help of funds donated by the McMillin family. The center will focus on academic research in the area of real estate and act as a liaison with real estate professionals, government and industry organizations. Michael Lea, a principal of Cardiff Economic Consulting who has 30 years of experience in the financial and real estate industries,  became the center director in October. He will begin teaching classes during the spring semester of 2010. Lea formerly taught at Cornell University, UCSD and the Wharton International Housing Finance Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

The future of Hillcrest’s business district is the focus of the Hillcrest Business Forum on Nov. 18, the first in a series of neighborhood workshops
sponsored by the Hillcrest Business Association. The initial workshop will be a discussion of the economic revitalization of Hillcrest. The program will be from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bombay Restaurant, 3960 Fifth Ave. Keynote speaker for the evening will be Mirle Rabinowitz Bussell, professor of urban studies at UCSD. The Hillcrest Business Association is organizing the workshop series as part of the city of San Diego’s pending neighborhood plan update process for Uptown.

“Imagine if you could get together with a bunch of really bright folks over cocktails, invite the foremost experts in the field and plan the future of Hillcrest,” said committee chair and business owner Glenn Younger. “Well, that’s what we’re planning on doing.”
A community workshop will be held each quarter on a different topic.  Experts will be invited to speak. Topics will include parking, transportation, density, design, crime prevention, economic development, zoning and infrastructure. Association board members Bob Grinchuk and Glenn Younger will chair the forum. For more information, call (610) 299-3330 or visit

The San Diego City Attorney’s Office will move its  Domestic Violence Unit out of the San Diego Family Justice Center to its offices at Civic Center Plaza in December — a move it says will save the city $217,000 a year. “We’ve concluded that we can save the city money and improve efficiency of domestic violence prosecutions,” said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. “We will not reduce our commitment to the SDFJC one bit. We will be there for victims and hold perpetrators accountable. We’ll just be more efficient.” The Domestic Violence Unit consists of attorneys, investigators, victim advocates and other support staff.
Goldsmith said the City Attorney’s Office will continue to maintain desk space at the SDFJC and the lawyers, investigators and victim advocates will continue to meet with witnesses, police and victims helping the victims understand the court process, keep them on board for trial and provide them with information about resources. All operations of the Domestic Violence Unit, however, will be housed with the balance of the office. “I try to avoid splitting a law office if possible. When there are branch offices there are duplication costs in management, legal books, supplies and equipment,” said Goldsmith. “Now, we will be more team based and can better use our resources.”


Mosaic Wine Bar in North Park will host Planned Parenthood’s next “Cocktails for Choice” networking event on Nov. 12, a program aimed at 25-40 year olds who support a woman’s right to choose. “Young people are especiallypassionate about reproductive rights, and we wanted to give them a social environment to come together, discuss issues of the day and exchange professional information,” said Darrah DiGiorgio Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of San Diego & Riverside Counties. Program coordinator Ratri Lertluksamipun said the group meets in a different location for each event.
“We try to find a hip place where not everyone in the world is already going,” said Megan Moses, co-organizer. “In November, we’ll have free appetizers, a DJ and prizes people can win. Plus the first 50 people to register online will receive a gift from Planned Parenthood.”
Online registration for the event is $15; visit
Admission at the door is $20. The first 50 people to register online will receive a small gift bag. Mosaic Wine Bar is at 3422 30th St.

Planned Parenthood also reported that Angela Reed, senior vice president of patient services, has become a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the national professional society for health care leaders. Fellow status represents achievement of the highest standard of professional development. To obtain Fellow status, candidates must fulfill multiple requirements, including passing a comprehensive examination, meeting academic and experiential criteria, earning continuing education credits, and demonstrating professional and community development.

The new $260 million Rady Children’s Hospital Patient Care Pavilion now under construction is on track to become one of the state’s first LEED-certified health care facilities under guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council, according to Tim Jacoby, vice president of facilities. The 279,000-square-foot facility is about 70 percent completed. It is scheduled to open in summer 2010. The Patient Care Pavilion will house a surgical center, 84 medical-surgical beds, a neo-natal intensive care center and cancer center. It will have 16 operating rooms with associated support departments, a 28-bed hematology and oncology unit and 10-bed bone marrow transplant intensive care unit. The new four-story building is at 3020 Children’s Way, adjacent to the existing Rady Children’s Hospital Rose Pavilion. A bridge will connect the two.
The Patient Care Pavilion is a project of McCarthy Building Companies Inc. and was designed by San Francisco-based architectural firm Ashen + Ashen. Sustainable features include a reflective “cool roof” that will minimize heat gain and control rainwater runoff; recycled and locally obtained steel, concrete and other building materials; water-efficient landscaping and high-efficiency air conditioning and mechanical systems, among others. Nearly 80 percent of construction waste materials at the job site is being recycled, said Jacoby.
“Our construction team is inspired by the passion and commitment of the Rady Children’s Hospital staff to bring this project to life,” said Ron Hall, executive vice president at McCarthy. “We understand this is not just another construction project, but rather a life-saving mission on behalf of parents and their children.” Central to the theme of the hospital are “Carley’s Magical Gardens,” a series of mythical healing gardens designed through the collaboration of artists T.J. Dixon, Kim Emerson, Albert De Matteis and James Nelson.

High-speed rail, magnetic levitation and “personal rapid transit” are some of the alternative transit systems that will be explored at Design Innovative Institute’s (Dii) High Speed Transit Forum Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. at Point Loma Nazarene University’s 1,800-seat Brown Chapel. The aim of the forum is to bring together students, public and private sector leaders and the general public interested in recent federal and state endorsements of high-speed transit alternatives. California has put in a bid for $4.7 billion in federal stimulus funding for design, engineering and construction of the state’s high-speed train system — an investment that would balloon to $10 billion when state, local and matching funds are added.
Gov. Schwarzenegger, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders have been invited to speak at the forum. Panelists will include Alan Gin, economics professor at San Diego State; American Magline Group principal M. Neil Cummings; urban designer Rich Flierl; transportation designer James McJunkin; Transit Hub project manager Eric Anderson and California transportation leader Sarah Catz.
“California is now moving forward to be the leader in the nation and the world in high speed transit,” said Calvin Woo, co-founder of Dii and president of CWA Inc., a brand consulting and environmental design company.
General admission tickets are $10. For additional information or to purchase tickets visit or call (619) 299-0433, Ext. 13. Point Loma Nazarene University’s Brown Chapel is 3900 Lomaland Drive, San Diego.

The photographic work of Duane Michals, an artist, lecturer, photographer and poet, will be featured at a Nov. 4 program at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla sponsored by the San Diego State University Art Council. The 7:30 p.m. program is titled “Duane Michals: A Visual Journey.” “In a manner at once childlike and profound, Michals addresses the deepest issues: memory, desire, death, and sex,” said Arthur Ollman, director of the School of Art, Design and Art History at SDSU. “He has also prodded his medium to see below the surfaces and understand far more than a camera can show.”  Michals’ photographs have been shown in exhibitions around the world and are in private and museum collections including the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park, the Getty Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Israel Museum. General admission tickets are $20; SDSU Art Council, supporting organizations and SDSU faculty, $15; SDSU students, $10.
Tickets are available through Kim Wright at the SDSU School of Art, Design and Art History (619) 594-1213. The Neuroscience Institute is located at 10640 John Jay Hopkins Drive, La Jolla California.

Mark Stepka, a partner in the CPA and consulting firm CEA LLP, heads a new board of directors for the Association for Corporate Growth San Diego for 2009-2010.  He’s president. Stepka has been an ACG San Diego member for five years and was the past president of the ACG Cleveland chapter and served on its board for almost 10 years. Serving on the board with Stepka are Jim Stewart of JH.H. Cohn LLP, president-elect; Lee Duran, BDO Seidman LLP, treasurer; Keith McKenzie Bernstein, membership co-chair; Cheryl J. Bostater, Vantage Point Advisors Inc., membership co-chair; Maureen Sullivan, US Bank, awards dinner co-chair; Todd G. Poling, Vantage Point Advisors Inc., programs co-chair; John C. Henberger Jr., 
Henberger Group Inc., programs co-chair; Andre D. Guardi, B Riley and Co. Inc., special programs co-chair; Stephen C. Jones, Mesirow Financial Consulting LLC, special programs co-chair; Wade Hansen, Cabrillo Advisors LLC, awards dinner co-chair; Peter D. Schuster, SAIC, corporate affairs; Mark C. Neilson, Tatum LLC, sponsorship chair; Jennifer Martino, Project X Media, marketing/communications; P. Blake Allen, Duane Morris LLP, immediate past president; Richard L. Kintz, Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, and Dino D’Auria, San Diego National Bank, past presidents; and Steve A Arman, Grant Thornton LLP, board member.

Pardee Homes’ Manzanita Trail was named Community of the Year for detached homes priced at $500,000 and above and Buyer’s Choice Community of the Year for San Diego County and Southern California in the SoCal Awards program competition of Sales and Marketing Councils throughout Southern California. Pardee Homes took a total of eight SoCal Awards. In addition to its community accolades, Manzanita Trail won a SoCal Award for landscaping design and architecture, and was a finalist for model home interiors, print advertising and sales office design. Manzanita Homes, located in North County, offers homes ranging from 2,357 square feet to 3,230 square feet with four to six bedrooms, three to four baths and two-bay tandem and three-bay garages. Pricing starts from the low $700,000s.

David Nuffer, chairman of Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, has been awarded the University of Redlands’ Career Achievement Award in honor of his success during a 50-year career in public relations. The Alumni Awards, hosted by the university’s Alumni Association, recognizes distinguished alumni who have made an impact on their profession, the community and/or the university. “Dave was one of the pioneers in public relations in the San Diego area, having started our firm 35 years ago,” said Bill Trumpfheller, president of Nuffer, Smith, Tucker. “His knowledge of effective communications and his knack for successfully building relationships throughout the years has positioned Dave as a true leader in the public relations profession and the San Diego business community.” Nuffer began his career in public relations in 1959, founding the firm now known as Nuffer, Smith, Tucker with business partner, Robert Smith, on April 1, 1974.

Higgs, Fletcher & Mack now has a Marine lieutenant colonel in its San Diego office. Sarah T. Schaffer was promoted to that rank in the Marine Corps Reserves. She is a 15-year military veteran and served on active duty for six years. Schaffer was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and in Virginia and
served for a year on active duty as a judge advocate at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. She currently serves as a reservist with the Western Area Counsel Office at Camp Pendleton. Schaffer completed undergraduate work at Stanford University and received her law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law.

The San Diego City Council has moved ahead on two major Downtown building proposals — a new main library and new City Hall.  It voted to put a plan out to bid for a new library, estimated to cost close to $200 million, and, in a separate action, entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with Gerdling Edlen Development to evaluate a proposal to build a new City Hall at an estimated cost of $440 million.
The library, designed by Rob Wellington Quigley and Tucker Sadler Architects, would include space for a school for 450 students. It will cost the city $500,000 to open the bidding process.
Gerdling Edlen Development has submitted a proposal to build a new 33-story, 964,000-square-foot tower to replace the Downtown City Hall. An adjacent first-floor building would house City Council chambers. The City Council voted last monthto approve the ENA and allowed up to 12 months for its completion. The ENA has generated support from the San Diego County Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the SanDiego Regional Economic Development Corp. and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. They claimed the City Hall project would not only save money, but would create 4,250 jobs, and would have a $5.8 billion economic impact on the region.
Studies by Jones Lang LaSalle and Ernst & Young estimate that building a new City Hall would save between $16.7 million and $77.8 million in the first 15 years and would save as much as $235.6 million by consolidating city workers into one structure, as opposed to leasing Downtown office space. The city currently leases 550,000 square feet of office space, spending $13 million a year in rent to five separate Downtown landlords. Short-term repair and maintenance on the current civic center complex buildings is estimated to cost more than $40 million over the next 10 years.

Architect Graham Downes, whose design projects have included the Hard Rock Hotel and the renovation of the historic Wonder Bread Factory in Downtown San Diego, has launched a new Phoenix design company focused on sustainable design for hospitality, spa, multi-family and residential clients. Overseeing the new firm — MoranDownes Architecture — is Gregoria Moran, who was previously with Moran Architects. “Attracting Gregoria Moran and several key former managers from Moran Architects bolsters our overall group’s sustainable design expertise and aids our penetration into the spa and wellness market,” said Downes. MoranDownes Architecture currently employs a staff of five. As CEO and principal, Downes directs operations of the firm.

Brookfield Homes has started construction on The Foothills, a 400-home development on 157 acres off Cannon Road in Carlsbad. The 2.6-acre recreation center now being built will have a resort-style swimming pool, children’s pool, picnic area, paddle courts, grass playing areas and a yoga exercise circle. The first phase of home construction will include four neighborhoods of single-family homes ranging from 1,700 square feet to more than 3,000 square feet and ranging from the low $500,000s to mid-$700,000s. The grand opening of The Foothills is expected in the first quarter of 2010. An information center is to open onsite at the same time.
Along with recreation center and neighborhood construction, Brookfield Homes will build several neighborhood pocket parks and a trail system at The Foothills. Across the street from the community, Carlsbad Unified School District plans to break ground in 2010 on a new high school campus that would open in fall 2013. Future phases are expected to include a fourth single-family new home neighborhood, a commercial office building and an RV storage facility. Another future amenity is a new 13.5-acre city of Carlsbad community park, planned as a lighted, multi-field soccer complex.

A new physics oncology center led by Scripps Research Institute scientists will conduct research into the behavior of cancer cells during metastasis — the spread of cancer from a tumor to other sites in the body — funded by a $10 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The intent of the study is to determine more effective methods to manage cancer. The American Cancer Society says about 1.5 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States and cancer is responsible for about 23 percent of all deaths in the country, second only to heart disease.
“We hope that by uniting an outstanding translational team of scientists and clinicians in different specialties we can make rapid headway in filling in the large gaps in our knowledge about the behavior of cancer cells that circulate in the bloodstream,” said Scripps Research Professor Peter Kuhn, the principal investigator. “We hope this information will ultimately help clinicians determine who should be receiving aggressive treatments and who should not, as well as laying the groundwork for the development of novel therapeutic approaches.”
The grant was awarded under the first round of funding from a new initiative of the National Cancer Institute that creates a series of 12 Physical Sciences-Oncology Centers whose aim is to advance the understanding of the physical laws and principles that shape and govern the emergence and behavior of cancer. “By bringing a fresh set of eyes to the study of cancer, these new centers have great potential to advance, and sometimes challenge, accepted theories about cancer and its supportive microenvironment,” said National Cancer Institute Director John E. Niederhuber. “Physical scientists think in terms of time, space, pressure, heat, and evolution in ways that we hope will lead to new understandings of the multitude of forces that govern cancer—and with that understanding, we hope to develop new and innovative methods of arresting tumor growth and metastasis.”
The Scripps Research-led consortium is dubbed the “4DB Center” after the project’s full name, “Focusing on Four Dimensional Heterogeneity of Fluid Phase Biopsies in Cancer.” The project brings together oncologists pathologists, and at Scripps Clinic, UCSD’s Moores Cancer Center, and Billings Clinic (Montana) with physicists and biologists at Scripps Research, applied mathematicians and engineers at the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California and biomedical engineers at Oregon Health & Sciences University. For more information, visit

William Lyon Homes will debut Blossom Grove at The Foothills in Carlsbad early next year, which it describes as the first neighborhood to be unveiled in the first new master-planned community to be built in the county since 2006. Blossom Grove will have four single-family detached floor plans ranging from 1,992 square feet to 2,822 square feet. One- and two-story designs will offer three to four bedrooms, two to three bathrooms and two-car garages. Brian Doyle, division president for William Lyon Homes, said prices are expected to range from the high $600,000s to the high $700,000s. The development is located along Cannon Road, just east of El Camino Real.
Homeowners will have access to a private recreation center with a swimming pool, barbecue/picnic area and fireplace, paddle courts and a yoga exercise circle. The development will include neighborhood pocket parks and a trail system. A new high school is to be built across the street from The Foothills. It is set to break ground next year. The city of Carlsbad has plans for a 13.5-acre community park nearby that will include a lighted, multi-field soccer complex.
Buyers can register their interest in advance of the neighborhood’s February grand opening by visiting

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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.

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