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Daily Business Report — Dec. 15, 2009

Groundwork Laid for New Central Courthouse Downtown

An agreement between the California Judicial Council and the county of San Diego lays the groundwork for a proposed new courthouse in central San Diego — a project that will house 71 courtrooms in 704,000 square feet and consolidating operations from the current Central Courthouse in Downtown as well as the Madge Bradley and Family Court buildings.  The State Public Works Board approved title transfers and agreements between the county and the Judicial Council. “We are grateful for the collaboration we have experienced with the county of San Diego in completing these transfers,” said Kenneth K. So, presiding judge of the Superior Court. “This new courthouse will meet a critical need for a comprehensive, safe facility which provides more access to those who need our services.”

The long-negotiated settlement agreement was prompted by the transfer in September 2008 of six San Diego court facilities from the county to the Judicial Council.

The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is proceeding with site feasibility analysis for the proposed new Central Courthouse.

The proposed project, with an estimated total cost of $633.9 million, is the largest to be funded by Senate Bill 1407. It was ranked as a “critical need” by the Judicial Council, making it among the highest priority capital-outlay projects for the judicial branch of California, and the State Public Works Board authorized its funding plan in November, marking the formal start of the project.

SB 1407 was enacted by the Legislature last year to provide up to $5 billion in funding for 41 new and renovated court facilities using court user fees rather than the state’s general fund. It is estimated that the proposed project in San Diego could create more than 15,000 direct and indirect jobs as it progresses through design, construction, and completion.

Through the exchange agreements, the Judicial Council will receive title to three blocks of Downtown San Diego property: two of the three blocks on which the existing Central Courthouse sits, as well as the block bounded by Union, West B, State, and West C streets, known as the Stahlman Block. This block, directly adjacent to the existing Hall of Justice and across the street from the Central Courthouse, is a preferred site for the proposed new courthouse.

The council will also be entitled to use, and also possibly ultimately obtain, the county’s equity interest in 20,000 square feet of space in the Chula Vista Regional Justice Center, for much-needed additional court operations to address large increases in caseload in southern San Diego County.

In exchange, the Judicial Council will take on seismic liabilities in five San Diego court facilities rated as Risk Level V. These buildings include the existing County Courthouse, East County Regional Center, North County Regional Center Buildings F2 and F3 and Kearny Mesa Traffic/Small Claims Court.

The Judicial Council also will return to the county two Downtown court buildings once they are vacated by the court: the Madge Bradley and Family Court buildings. The council also agreed to include in its plans for a proposed Downtown courthouse the construction of a secure tunnel to transport prisoners from the Central Jail to the planned new building, in consideration for the county’s equity in the Chula Vista court building.

The AOC must perform environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act before finalizing a site for the proposed new courthouse. This environmental process is still in its earliest stages and could range from eight to 18 months. The current project schedule is six years, with completion scheduled for January 2016, but the project team will seek ways to accelerate that schedule if possible. The architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill has already been selected as the architect and engineer for the proposed new courthouse. More information about the project is at www.courtinfo.ca.gov/programs/occm/projects_sandiego.htm.

Cubic Supplies Air Combat Training System to Egyptian Air Force

Cubic Defense Applications Inc., the defense systems business of Cubic Corp., is supplying its latest-generation air combat training system to the Egyptian Air Force. Cubic and principal subcontractor DRS Technologies Inc. will provide the new “rangeless” P5 Combat Training System to Egypt under an $8.5 million contract.

“Cubic installed the Egyptian Air Force’s original air combat training system more than 20 years ago. With our long history in Egypt, it is fitting that Egypt will receive the Middle East region’s first P5 Combat Training System,” said John Naff, vice president of business development for Cubic Defense Applications.

Egypt is Cubic’s third international sale involving the P5 system through the 675th Air Armament Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base.

Planned for delivery in 2011, Egypt’s new P5 system will supplement an existing Cubic air combat training system that has been in operation since the early 1990s. Egypt’s Abu Suer and Fayid air bases will receive the initial P5 components, including airborne instrumentation pods and debriefing stations, but the goal is to eventually replace the earlier system with the new high-performance P5 technology.

With their new “rangeless” system, Egypt’s F-16 pilots will have anywhere, anytime training capability using GPS-enabled airborne instrumentation pods that track and record weapons engagements and can be monitored in real time from a ground station. P5 also includes an advanced debriefing system — the Individual Combat Aircrew Display System.

Scripps Memorial La Jolla Physicians Elect Chief of Staff

Physicians at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla have elected Dr. Marc Sedwitz as the new chief of staff of the 372-bed facility. Sedwitz will take over as head of the 900-member physician team on Jan. 1, 2010. During his two-year term, Sedwitz will serve as medical staff liaison to Scripps La Jolla’s administrative staff and its board of directors. Scripps La Jolla cares for more than 130,000 patients annually.

Sedwitz said he plans to continue working on the numerous patient care enhancement and physician communication initiatives that were started by outgoing Chief of Staff John Spinosa during his tenure. He will also provide medical staff input into the major expansion and renovation projects under way on the hospital’s campus.

As a practicing vascular and trauma surgeon, Sedwitz has been a member of the medical staffs at Scripps La Jolla and Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas since 1985 and has held numerous medical staff leadership positions. He served as the section chief of general surgery, was chairman of the Quality Council, and has been a member of the executive medical committee and the Physician Leadership Cabinet.

Sedwitz received his MD from Boston University, following a bachelor’s of science degree from Haverford College. He also completed a fellowship in vascular surgery at the University of California San Francisco. He completed his general surgical residency at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center and began his career on staff at UCSD Medical Center.

Plant With Purpose Earns 4-Star Rating

Plant With Purpose, a San Diego nonprofit organization working internationally to reverse poverty and deforestation among the rural poor, has earned its fourth consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator. The rating puts the organization in the top seven percent of organizations that Charity Navigator rates. Charity Navigator, a charity evaluator in America, highlights the work of various nonprofits, providing donors with essential information needed to give them confidence in the charitable choices they make. Plant With Purpose was given an “exceptional” designation.

Plant With Purpose Executive Director Scott Sabin said the organization has planted over 4 million trees worldwide since 1984. The organization currently has programs in six countries, including the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Tanzania, Burundi, and Thailand. Just one dollar plants a tree which starts the process of reversing deforestation and poverty.

Procopio Partner Elected Chair of Conflict Resolution Center

Thomas W. Turner Jr., managing partner of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, has been elected chairman of the board for the National Conflict Resolution Center based in San Diego. His term began Dec. 1 and will run for two years. Turner has been on the board since 2007. “Tom Turner’s outstanding record of community leadership and unsurpassed reputation in both the business and legal communities will be an invaluable asset to the National Conflict Resolution Center.” said Steven Dinkin, president of the NCRC. The NCRC provides and promotes collaborative dispute resolution and conflict management to individuals, organizations and society through education, training and client services.

As managing partner of Procopio, Turner serves as the firm’s chief executive and chairs the management committee. In addition to his involvement with the NCRC, He has served as the president of numerous local organizations, including the San Diego League, a group of young professionals serving various children’s charities; Home Start, a child abuse prevention and family support agency; and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, a “fiscal watchdog” organization that promotes efficiency in local government.

Fish & Richardson Adds New Associate

Fish & Richardson, an intellectual property and business litigation firm, has added Hwa Lee as an associate in the firm’s San Diego office. Lee will practice in patent prosecution in the area of electrical engineering, medical devices and life sciences. Prior to passing the bar exam, Lee worked as a technical specialist for Fish. He is also a former patent examiner with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Lee has technical experience as a postdoctoral fellow in the Molecular Physiology and Biophysics Unit at the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke/National Institute of Health. Lee received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1995. He earned a master’s degree and a doctorate degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia in 1998 and 2002. He received his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2009.

Silvergate Bank Hires Branch Administrator

Sharon Hazen Tropolino has joined Silvergate Bank as vice president and branch administrator in its La Jolla headquarters. Trapolino has extensive commercial banking management experience in the San Diego area providing business banking products and services to a variety of local companies. She was most recently vice president and branch manager of San Diego National Bank’s Escondido office.

Frazier Farms to be Anchor Tenant at Bay View Plaza

La Jolla developer C.W. Clark Inc. has signed Frazier Farms to be the anchor tenant at Bay View Plaza, a shopping center overlooking Mission Bay. Bruce Schiff and Phil Lyons of Grubb & Ellis represented the parties in the 20-year lease. C.W. Clark  in concert with the Bruce Burgener family, has been pursuing redevelopment of the 1950s-era shopping center for several years. Pending financing and city of San Diego approvals, the $33 million redevelopment of Bay View Plaza will get under way in the first quarter of 2010, with projected store openings planned in the first quarter of 2011.

The 4.5-acre Bay View Plaza property will be updated into a 66,000-square-foot urban contemporary retail, commercial and office complex. Located on Clairemont Drive, the property is adjacent to the 102-room Best Western Mission Bay Hotel.  Frazier Farms will occupy 44 percent of the shopping center. The Vista-based family-run business offers conventional services as well as an extensive health food and vitamin component. The first Frazier Farms opened in Escondido in 1971.

Approved for demolition and renovation by the San Diego City Council in May 2008, Bay View Plaza is planned to include restaurants and coffee and retail shops in addition to Frazier Farms. Simultaneously with the Bay View Plaza project, C.W. Clark also was approved to complete a $215,000 median improvement project on Clairemont Drive.

Java Mama Signs Lease for SR Ranch Shopping Center

JM North County, doing business as Java Mama, leased 2,291 square feet of retail space at SR Ranch Shopping Center, 9880 Hibert St., in San Diego. The five-year lease is valued at $391,279. The tenant will operate as a cafe created especially for parents and caregivers. Matt Shope and Reg Kobzi of CB Richard Ellis represented the lessor, Coast Income Properties Inc. Steve Florentino of Coldwell Banker Commercial represented Java Mama. SR Ranch Shopping Center is a 70,720-square-foot neighborhood shopping center in Scripps Ranch. Other project tenants include Trader Joe’s, Chuck E. Cheese, Chicago Title, Supercuts, Sombrero’s Mexican Food and Mathnasium.

McCarthy Executive Ron Hall Gets a Green Honor

Ron Hall, executive vice president for the Southern California division of McCarthy Building Companies Inc., has been honored as one of California’s top leaders of the sustainable building movement by the California Real Estate Journal as part of its inaugural “Green Leaders 2009” awards program. Hall was among 16 industry professionals who were selected for having helped establish new sustainable-oriented markets, transform corporate sustainable practices and build the green industry itself.  A 20-year veteran of McCarthy, Hall is a founding member of McCarthy’s Green Team, and serves as the Southern California representative on the company’s green steering committee. He also chairs McCarthy’s sustainable marketing committee. Hall also is overseeing construction of the new 180,000-square-foot Math and Science Building at San Diego Mesa College, designed to achieve LEED Silver certification. He is spearheading construction of the $90 million UCSD Health Sciences Biomedical Research Facility, which is aiming toward LEED Gold or possibly Platinum certification. He is principal-in-charge for the design and construction of a new 828-space parking structure and adjacent 6,000-square-foot police substation at Miramar College, designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification.

E.W. Scripps Kin Donates $100,000 for UCSD Field Lights

By Jade Griffin

The UCSD baseball team has something new to cheer about. A generous $100,000 gift from campus supporter and Athletic Board member William Scripps has helped launch an initiative to purchase and install lighting on UCSD’s baseball field. Scripps is the grandson of Robert Paine Scripps and the great-grandson of E.W. Scripps, founder of the Scripps-Howard newspaper company, United Press International and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

“It’s important for the baseball team to have lights for their field,” Scripps said.  “Lighting will give Triton athletes more play time, which is key to their success.  It will serve as a great boost for the baseball program and our players.”

Last year, the UCSD baseball team placed fourth in the nation among Division II baseball teams, making it to the semifinals of the College World Series.

In addition to more practice time, field lighting will give UCSD’s baseball team the opportunity to host championships — something that has not been possible to date. Since the baseball field is also open for use by members of the community, the option of holding night games would allow the university to accommodate play for more youth groups and other college-age teams from off-campus as well.  The total cost of the baseball field lighting is estimated at $450,000.

“This donation and support for the lighting initiative illustrates just how supportive our campus and the local community is of our student-athletes’ success, both on the field and off,” said Earl Edwards, director of UCSD Intercollegiate Athletics.  “These upgrades will provide our players with the opportunity for home field advantage at championships — with parents, alumni, friends and fellow students rooting from the sidelines.”

Although he never played intercollegiate athletics during his undergraduate years at the University of San Diego, Scripps has a strong affinity for sports and appreciates its value for a well-rounded college experience. Scripps has served on the UCSD Athletic Board for five years. Last year, he gave $50,000 to help install the utilities needed for the baseball lights. While Scripps admits that baseball is his favorite sport — he owned a minor league baseball team in Georgia for several years in the 1980s — he is an avid advocate of the entire athletics program.

“This is a great time to be involved in athletics at UCSD,” said Scripps.  “The success of the program is impressive.  It’s a testament to the caliber of UCSD’s student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

The 2009 National Collegiate Scouting Association’s Collegiate Power Rankings recently placed UCSD first in Division II, and seventh overall, based on student-athlete graduation rates, academic strength and athletic prowess.

To learn more about the fundraising campaign, call (858) 534-3540 or e-mail dphilippi@ucsd.edu.

The Daily Business Report is a product of REP Publishing Inc.,

publisher of San Diego Metropolitan magazine and the North Park News.

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