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Daily Business Report — Feb. 11, 2010

Coastal Commission Upholds Permit for Desalination Plant

The California Coastal Commission on Wednesday voted to dismiss a request filed by opponents of seawater desalination to revoke the Carlsbad Desalination Project’s Coastal Development Permit. The vote marked the second time in as many months that the commission rejected an attempt by a group of opponents to revoke the permit issued to Poseidon Resources for the project in November 2007. The commission has now voted five times since 2007 to affirm its support for the Carlsbad Desalination Project. Numerous supporters testified and/or submitted letters on behalf of the project, including the California Air Resources Board, which refuted opponents’ claims that Poseidon intentionally misrepresented and/or omitted material information from the commission when it approved the Energy Minimization and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan in August 2008. The permit revocation request marked the 10th legal challenge brought against the desalination project by seawater desalination opponents led by environmental litigator Marco Gonzalez. All legal challenges heard to date have been dismissed.

Poseidon Resources has said the project will create 2,100 jobs and hundreds of millions in economic stimulus during the two and a half-year construction and startup of the plant. It is scheduled to be operational in 2012 and will produce 50-million-gallons-per-day of high quality drinking water and serve 300,000 residents annually.

Appeal Hearing Set for North Embarcadero Visionary Plan

The California Coastal Commission today will consider an appeal to the Port of San Diego’s coastal development permit for the first phase of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan. The commission meeting will be at 9 a.m. at the Oceanside City Council Chambers, 300 North Coast Highway, Oceanside.

An appeal challenging the project was filed with the California Coastal Commission in August by Don Wood and other citizen activists. According to the appeal, the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan is inconsistent with the Port’s master plan. The appellants state that although the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan does involve substantial public access improvements, the nature and usefulness of the proposed improvements are different than the original improvements in the certified Port master plan.

The North Embarcadero Visionary plan is a collaboration between the Port of San Diego, the Centre City Development Corp. and the city and covers about a mile and a half of waterfront on Harbor Drive from Laurel Street to the G Street Mole.

Plan supporters said it will enliven the embarcadero with widened sidewalks, landscaping, public art and gathering spaces. “A yes vote at (today’s) Coastal Commission meeting will ensure even more public access,” said Robert DukieValderrama, chairman of the Board of Port Commissioners. “The project will transform a concrete and asphalt corridor into a 105-foot-wide esplanade with gardens and paths.”

The first phase of the project includes an area on Harbor Drive from the Navy Pier to the B Street Pier and a portion of West Broadway from the railroad tracks, just past Pacific Highway to the intersection of Harbor Drive. The Board of Port Commissioners approved an appealable coastal development permit for this phase in July 2009. Funding had already been approved and a groundbreaking was anticipated for late last year.

The Port argues that the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan was not submitted to or certified by the California Coastal Commission as part of the Port master plan. Instead, it said, an amendment to the master plan was submitted and approved by the Coastal Commission on March 14, 2001. The amendment included many of the elements and development identified in the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, including the redevelopment of Lane Field, the narrowing of Harbor Drive, the construction of a new 105-foot wide pedestrian esplanade on the water, the replacement of three existing industrial piers with one new public pier at Grape Street, modernization of the B Street Cruise Ship terminal and other improvements.

If the Coastal Commission denies the coastal development permit for the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan’s first phase, the Port of San Diego would have to redo the master plan. This would take a minimum of 18-24 months and the Port could lose its funding opportunity with CCDC, which is helping to finance the project’s first phase, Port officials said.

Wendy Behan Elected President of Lawyers Club of San Diego

Wendy Behan

Wendy M. Behan, a longtime associate with Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, has been elected president of  Lawyers Club of San Diego, which seeks to advance the status of women in the law and society. Behan will serve as president for one-year for 2010-2011. She will spearhead the board of directors for the organization, a voluntary bar association comprised of female and male attorneys, judges, law students and others in the San Diego community.  She previously served as Lawyer’s Club’s vice president of finance. Behan, whose practice is concentrated on personal injury and pharmaceutical products liability, has been an attorney with Casey Gerry since 1999. She currently represents clients injured by the supplement Hydroxycut and young women injured by Yaz, in addition to serious personal injury cases, such as motor vehicle accidents, dog bites and premises liability cases. She is a cum laude graduate of California Western School of Law and completed her bachelor’s degree in law and society from UC Santa Barbara.

SAIC Completes Acquisition of CloudShield Technologies

Science Applications International Corp. has completed the acquisition of CloudShield Technologies Inc., a cybersecurity and management solutions provider headquartered in Sunnyvale. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. CloudShield’s deep packet inspection platform and applications enable customers to inspect, analyze and control all network traffic, helping lower costs, secure infrastructure and generate new revenue streams. The acquisition will enhance SAIC’s cybersecurity offering, and help the company bring to market solutions for high-speed networks, according to the company. CloudShield’s 115 employees will join SAIC’s Intelligence and Information Solutions Business Unit led by Larry Cox.

Johnson & Jennings Hires Mike Stout as a Project Superintendent

Mike Stout

Mike Stout, a 40-year veteran of the construction industry, has been hired as a project superintendent by Johnson & Jennings General Contracting. Stout will focus on the company’s ground-up, design-build and shell projects. He is responsible for project-specific onsite operations, including daily production, subcontractor coordination, safety, cost control and field quality control. He previously worked seven years at Roel Construction Co. and multiple years at Reno Contracting, BSD Builders Inc. and Jaynes San Diego. Stout is currently working on Johnson & Jennings’ Harbor Point project at 5055 N. Harbor Drive along the San Diego Bay. The new mixed-use building is designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification for Core & Shell from the U.S. Green Building Council. Slated to complete in August, the project includes construction of nine office suites above three ground-floor retail suites.

Two-Story Office Building Sells for $3.5 Million

Office building at 10803 Thornmint Road

A 12,760-square-foot, two-story office building located at 10803 Thornmint Road in the 4S Ranch community of San Diego has sold for $3,501,500. The buyer, 10805 Thornmint Road LLC, was represented by Marc Posthumus of Cushman & Wakefield. The seller, Mission Federal Credit Union, was represented by Brian Driscoll and Brian Starck of Cassidy Turley/BRE. The buyer purchased the building as an investment. J. Reese Construction Inc. will be updating the building for new tenants. Posthumus is now marketing the building for lease.

Business Datebook

Feb. 16

CELEBRATION: The Asian Business Association of San Diego holds its 16th annual Lunar New Year Celebration featuring Lucky Lion Dancers, a casino night with prizes and Chinese cuisine. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., dinner from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m., no-host bar, Fat City Steakhouse/China Camp Restaurant, 2137 Pacific Coast Highway, San Diego. Cost: before Feb. 16, $30 to ABA members, $35 for nonmembers; at the door, $40 members and nonmembers. Register online at abasd.org. For more information, call (858) 277-2822.

Feb. 18

ROUNDTABLE: Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, will speak on “Predicting the Present with Google Trends” at the Economics Roundtable, 7:30 a.m., UCSD Faculty Club. Admission is $50 per person, includes continental breakfast and parking. For more information and registration, call (858) 822-0510.

Feb. 23

LUNCHEON: State Controller to Speak at Asian Business Association Luncheon State Controller John Chiang will be the guest speaker at the Asian Business Association’s Rice Club Luncheon at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park. Chiang will discuss the financial condition of the state and how it impacts small business. Registration is at 11:45 a.m. followed by networking and buffet from noon to 1 p.m. and the program from 1 to 1:30 p.m. The cost is $25 for ABA members, $30 for nonmembers and $35 at the door. To register online, visit abasd.org.

Feb. 24

DIGITAL FORUM: A forum on social media marketing will feature social media strategist and coach Jason Baer, who will lead a panel discussion on the topic. Sponsored by LEAD San Diego and Bailey Gardiner. 7:30 a.m., continential breakfast and networking; 8 a.m., presentation by Baer; 8:45 a.m., panel discussion. USD’s Joan B. Kroc Theatre, San Diego. $20 general admission, $15 for LEAD San Diego members. For more information, call (619) 280-5323.

Feb. 27

WORKSHOP: The San Diego chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers sponsors a “Day with Designers,” a public workshop to provide information on practical interior design basics and how to select an interior designer, among other tips. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Art Institute, 7650 Mission Valley Road, San Diego. Advanced tickets available for $35 by visiting ASIDSanDiego.org. Tickets at the door are $45. For more information, call (858) 646-9896.

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of San Diego Metropolitan magazine and the North Park News. (619) 906-4104.

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