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San Diego Scene Feb 2010

The winning design by students David Mandel, Robbie Bennett and Jason Young.

David Mandel, Robbie Bennett and Jason Yang, students at the San Diego NewSchool of Architecture and Design, won the inaugural competition in sustainable tensile architecture for their innovative design for a commercial carport that incorporates thin-film photovoltaic panels in a fabric canopy. The competition was sponsored by the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) and SKYShades of Southern California. The regional contest challenged architecture students to integrate tension fabric shade structures wih renewable energy technologies. Tension structures, also known as tensile structures, are tent-like forms of construction that provide roofing and shade in a variety of aesthetic free-form designs. The students’ model will be featured at the Energy Resource Center at CCSE. Diego Villamizar, owner of SKYShades, organized the contest, along with Ashley Watkins, CCSE program manager for the Energy Resource Center.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation has chosen the Interstate 15 corridor in San Diego as one of two national demonstration projects to receive funds for smart systems to combat traffic congestion. The federal agency awarded $8.7 million to a partnership that includes SANDAG, the California Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transit System, North County Transit District and the cities of San Diego, Escondido and Poway. SANDAG will contribute the remaining $2.1 million to the $10.8 million project. It will deploy Intelligent Transportation Systems along I-15 to enable “smart” traffic management that will combine road sensors, prediction and simulation tools and traveler information to take steps to reduce congestion. It will deliver information to commuters via the Internet and message signs, enabling managers to adjust traffic signals and ramp meters, as well as directing travelers to HOV lanes, HOT lanes, bus rapid transit, and other options.

The project’s “smart brain” technology (multi-modal decision support system) will predict problems on the freeway and nearby arterials and propose recommended strategies to address them. “I-15 is already one of the smartest freeway corridors in the world, and it’s about to get smarter,” SANDAG Executive Director Gary Gallegos said. “Our partnership will use these funds to deploy technology that will upgrade and integrate our traffic management systems — improving the flow on the freeway and nearby surface streets.”

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Scott Maloni

Scott Maloni, vice president of project development for Poseidon Resources, the company building a desalination plant in Carlsbad, is the new chairman of the San Diego Downtown Partnership. Maloni is a communications specialist with 14 years of professional experience in media relations, public affairs and government advocacy, crisis communications and national and local political campaigns. Prior to joining Poseidon, Maloni’s most recent position was vice president of Public Policy Strategies Inc., a San Diego-based public affairs consulting firm. In 2008, Public Policy Strategies was the recipient of the American Association of Political Consultants’ 2007 “Public Affairs Campaign of the Year” for Maloni’s work on behalf of Poseidon’s Carlsbad Desalination Project.

Serving on the executive committee with Maloni are Terry Arnett, TSA Contracting Inc.; Richard Bach (vice chairman) Turner Construction Co.; Gina Champion-Cain, American National Investments Inc.; Ignacio De La Torre (secretary), AT&T; Stephen Fluhr, Westfield Corp. Inc.; Kim Hale, Public Policy Strategies; Shirley Horton (president) Downtown San Diego Partnership; Michael Johnson, Carrier Johnson + Culture; Donna Jones, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton; Keith Jones, Ace Parking Management Inc.; Rob Lankford, Lankford & Associates; Robin Munro, Prairie, Schwartz, Heidel; Greg Mueller, Tucker Sadler Architects; Bill Sauls (treasurer), William H. Sauls, Attorney at Law; Nancy Scull, Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps; Jim Dawe (ex-officio), Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek; and Greg Strangman (ex-officio), L.W.P. Group Inc.

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Hacienda Del Mar

Davlyn Investments paid $15.6 million or $236 per-square-foot for the 66,010-square-foot Hacienda Del Mar office building in Del Mar Heights — the largest REO (real estate owned) sale of 2009, according to Cushman & Wakefield. The property at 12625 High Bluff Drive will be the new location for Davlyn’s corporate headquarters, currently located in Mission Valley. Chinatrust Bank (U.S.A.), the seller of the property, repossessed the building from Cardinal Investments, which had acquired it in 2007 for $27.5 million or $417 per-square-foot. Chinatrust Bank was represented by Michael Roberts, Steve Rowland, Eric Northbrook and Chris High of Cushman & Wakefield. Davlyn Investments represented itself. Davlyn Investments is a San Diego-based owner/operator of apartment communities, condominium conversion projects and office buildings throughout Southern California.  To date, the firm has acquired in excess of $750 million in real estate assets, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

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Bill Walton

Bill Walton, basketball star at Helix High who later earned two MVP awards in the National Basketball Association, has been chosen to lead a new sports and entertainment trade organization launched by CONNECT, the nonprofit group that promotes the growth of San Diego’s high-tech and life science industries. Although there are more than 600 sports and entertainment companies in San Diego, no trade organization until now has existed to help them, said Duane Roth, CEO of CONNECT. “Walton and a dynamic team of successful sports and entertainment leaders have mobilized behind this effort,” said Roth. “Thanks to their leadership and vision, young companies will now get real expert assistance with the many challenges of the sports and entertainment business economy like financing, consumer buying trends, patent protection, innovation, or outsourcing.” Roth said Walton is to build on CONNECT’s success in pioneering the growth of San Diego’s high-tech and life sciences clusters in San Diego over the past 25 years. He’s also modeling the effort on CONNECT’s successful incubation and spin-out of BIOCOM, CommNexus and, most recently, CleanTECH San Diego, which became independent of CONNECT two years ago.

Several industry leaders have been recruited as advisers to the sports and entertainment trade group. Co-chairs of the group include Ludo Boinnard, founder and former CEO of ONE Industries and an off-road motocross rally racer; Dana Shertz, former president/COO of MacGregor Golf and former vice president of sales at Callaway Golf; and Marco Thompson, managing director of Express Ventures, who originally conceived of the effort. Other industry leaders on the board include Michael Brower, GM of Power Metal Technologies Inc., former CFO of Range 21, the owner of Spy Optic and former GM of Odyssey Golf; Brian Enge, CEO of Zoot Sports, which was recently acquired by K2 Sports; Tony Finn, founder of LiquidForce and inventor of the wakeboard; Bob Rief, COO of C4 Waterman and Boardworks Surf, former CEO of Sanuk and Reef and former GM of Nike Golf and Merrell Hiking Boots; John Sarkisian, CEO of SKLZ; Mark Schmid, CEO of Form Function Technologies and former owner of Syndrome Distribution and Pro Skate Products; Jim Stroesser, former CEO of Pony; and Peter Townend, former co-owner of Converse.

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The San Diego Sports Arena floor will be customized in a traditional “Reggae-Dance” configuration — no chairs — in preparation for the 29th annual tribute to the Reggae Legends Festival on Feb. 15. Thr huge dance area is accessible only to those who purchase floor tickets. The rest of the arena will be sold as unreserved seating. Among performers this year will be
Barrington Levy, Don Carlos, Gregory Isaacs, Martin Campbell, Twinkle Brothers, Sister Carol, Cocoa Tea, Capleton, Alborosie, Tribal Seeds, Konshens, Soul Syndicate, Yellow Wall Dub Squad, Detour Posse, among others. Tickets may be purchased through all Ticketmaster locations. Prices range from $41 to $71 plus applicable service charges. Doors open at noon and the show begins at 1 p.m. For more information,  call the Festival Hotline at (619) 230-1190 or Reggae Hotline at (619) 230-1237. The festival is produced by WorldBeat Productions in association with Moss Jacobs Presents as a benefit for the WorldBeat Cultural Center.

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Jason Baer

Social media strategist and coach Jason Baer will speak and lead a panel discussion on social media marketing during a Feb. 24 forum sponsored by LEAD San Diego and Bailey Gardiner. The event will be at USD’s Joan B. Kroc Theatre. A continental breakfast and networking will be at 7:30 a.m., the presentation by Baer will be at 8 a.m. and the panel discussion is at 8:45 a.m. General admission is $20. LEAD San Diego members pay $15. For more information, call (619) 280-5323.

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A venture capital investment fund has been launched by the Rady School of Management at UCSD to give hands-on learning experience for Rady MBA students and UCSD graduate students. Rady MBAs will work with investment industry leaders to manage the fund and deploy investment capital to assist in the creation of successful companies. The Rady Venture Fund is funded by donations to the UCSD Foundation. It is the first of its kind in San Diego. “Proceeds from the Rady Venture Fund will be used for future entrepreneurial programs and also be invested in fledgling Southern California companies having a positive impact on our region’s innovation economy,” said Robert Sullivan, dean of the Rady School. Lada Rasochova, a Rady School graduate, joined the school’s staff to manage the Rady Venture Fund program. “ The Venture Fund will make one to two investments per year in seed-to-early stage companies primarily focused on high technology, the life sciences and clean technology and located in Southern California. A typical investment will range in size from $75,000 to $150,000. Any investment will require investment committee approval and syndication with at least one other direct external investor. Proceeds will be reinvested in the fund to create a growing pool of investment capital or be used to build the Rady School endowment and support entrepreneurial programs at the school.

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Helping local small business owners secure business loans in today’s economic climate is the mission of a new partnership between CDC Small Business Finance and SCORE San Diego. Their Community Express Loan Program is designed to provide streamlined business financing by taking small business owners through the pre-loan process, including a review of the business plan, loan projections and loan application. The CDC partnered with SCORE San Diego because the loan program requires each business owner to meet with a technical adviser to discuss the business plan, strategic planning, bookkeeping and other appropriate business guidance. “As technical advisers, SCORE San Diego counselors interview small business owners to determine what part of their business plan needs help, such as financial predictions and marketing plans,” said Paul Hollenbach, SCORE San Diego counselor. “The business owner is paired with a SCORE San Diego counselor whose skill set matches the needs of the business owner so that we can help him or her put together a detailed and thorough loan application package.” Adds Susan Lamping, CDC senior community loan officer,  “The CDC serves as an intermediary for the business owner and we review the business plan and projections so that they makes sense. Because of the success of this loan program, we’ve been able to process a large number of loans in a down economy.”

The Community Express Loan Program is for small business owners applying for a loan up to $250,000. The CDC and SCORE San Diego work with Borrego Springs Bank. For more information about the Community Express Loan Program, visit cdcloans.com or call Lamping at (619) 243-8639. Information on SCORE San Diego counseling and workshops is available at (619) 557-7272 or score-sandiego.org.

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“If you torture the date long enough, it will confess to anything,” says Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, who will speak at UCSD’s Economics Roundtable Feb. 18. Varian, who started at Google in 2002, will talk on “Predicting the Present With Google Trends.” The event will be in the UCSD Faculty Club from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and includes a continental breakfast. Admission is $50 per person. Varian has been involved in many aspects of Google, including auction design, econometric analysis, finance, corporate strategy and public policy. He also holds academic appointments at UC Berkeley in business, economics and information departments. Varian, a fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the Econometric Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was co-editor of the American Economic Review from 1987-1990 and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Oulu in Finland and the University of Karlsruhe in Germany. He has published numerous papers in economic theory, industrial organization, financial economics, econometrics and information economics and is the author of two major economics textbooks that have been translated into 22 languages.

Future 2010 Economics Roundtable speakers include SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter on April 23 and Takeo Hoshi, acting dean of the UCSD School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, on July 20. For more information and registration,  visit economics.ucsd.edu/roundtable or call (858) 822-0510.
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John Hanley has been named executive director of the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Clean & Safe Program, replacing Nancy Taffet, who left the position in December. Hanley was director of finance for both the Downtown Partnership and the Clean & Safe Program. Outside of his Downtown work, he was controller for the LWP Group where he managed all financial and accounting activities for the six companies within the company. Hanley holds a bachelor of science degree in hotel and restaurant management from the University of Wisconsin. The Clean & Safe Program provides maintenance and safety-related services in the Downtown public-right-of-way beyond what is provided by the city of San Diego. The service area covers 272 blocks in the Core Columbia, Cortez, East Village, Gaslamp Quarter and Marina neighborhoods. It has an annual budget of $5.9 million. Services include trash removal, sidewalk power washing, landscaping and tree maintenance. Program workers also report ongoing criminal activity to police, provide directions to Downtown visitors and work with social service providers and the homeless community.

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The La Jolla Historical Society and a team of soaring aviation enthusiasts are producing a film project that will showcase a part of La Jolla’s heritage — glider aviation at the historic Torrey Pines Gliderport. Completed in two phases, the project will produce a short 10-15 minute film, currently in production, with a planned spring 2010 release.  The second phase will encompass a more ambitious HD documentary film scheduled for completion later in 2010, depending on funding. “As a glider pilot and member of the Society, I’m very exciting to be working on this film,” said film project committee member Bruce Elder. “I meet many visitors to the Gliderport, even La Jolla natives, who come to enjoy the views or take a tandem flight, but are surprised to learn about this historical importance of the site, or that it is the last West Coast gliderport where sailplanes still fly.”

The Gliderport was established in 1928 and dedicated in 1939 to the youth of California by then-San Diego Mayor P.J. Benbough. It once served as the training ground for Charles Lindbergh. National and world soaring records have been set at the Gliderport and several innovative aircraft designs have been tested there. Today, Torrey Pines is the only coastal gliderport remaining for manned sailplane operations along the West Coast. It is listed on the local, state and National Register of Historic Places.  For more information, visit lajollahistory.org/gliderportfilm.

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William V. O’Connor, a member of the litigation department at Morrison & Foerster’s San Diego office, has been elected a partner in the law firm. O’Connor specializes in aviation matters, including treat liability for air carriers under the Warsaw and Montreal Conventions, government investigations of major aviation accidents and defense of mass tort litigation. O’Connor holds degrees from UCSD and the Georgetown University Law Center. He is a member of the Leadership Development Committee of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers (San Diego chapter), and is a barrister in the Honorable J. Clifford Wallace chapter of the American Inns of Court.

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The flower industry in Encinitas is reflected in the design of the new Cardiff fire station, which incorporates a repetitive saw-tooth roof that mimics a row of greenhouses. Domusstudio Architecture of San Diego is responsible for the design, which is intended to meet energy and environmental standards from the U.S. Green Building Council. The architects say the south-facing slopes of the saw-tooth roof will provide a platform for photovoltaic panels. Construction documents for the station are expected to continue to be reviewed through early 2010, and bidding should begin in May. Construction is expected to start in summer 2010. The 6,330-square-foot station will replace on that was originally built in 1960. It will have one fire engine, one ambulance and will house three firefighters and two ambulance personnel.

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Two leading journalism scholars — Leonard Downey Jr. and Michael Schudson — will talk on “The Reconstruction of American Journalism” at 5 p.m. on Feb. 12 in the Copley Auditorium at UCSD’s Institute of the Americas. The lecture is presented by the Helen Edison Lecture Series and is free and open to the public. Downie stepped down last year after 17 years as executive editor of The Washington Post, during which time the paper won 25 Pulitzer Prizes, to become a professor of journalism at Arizona State University. Schudson, a MacArthur fellow, is a scholar of journalism and democracy at the Columbia School of Journalism and author of “Discovering the News,” “The Good Citizen” and “Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press.” Downie and Schudson will assert that the United States must preserve independent, original, credible reporting, whether or not it is profitable, and regardless of the medium. They say it may not be essential to save or promote any particular news medium, including print newspapers.
Information on the helen Edison Lecure Series is available at (858) 822-0510.

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David Collazo, special agent supervisor for the California Department of Justice, has been appointed the new commander of the San Diego Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force, a collaboration of law enforcement agencies throughout San Diego that aims to prevent sex crimes through the monitoring of known sex offenders and enforcing sex offender registration laws. Collazo began a law enforcement career in 1997 as a correctional deputy probation officer in San Diego. In 1998 he joined the Department of Justice as a special agent in the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. When the California Anti-Terrorism Information Center Task Force was formed in Los Angeles in 2001, Collazo was assigned to that mission. He served as acting special agent supervisor there, overseeing an eight member team tasked with collecting and disseminating criminal intelligence on international terrorist and domestic gangs. The Marine Corps veteran holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from SDSU.
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The Gaslamp Quarter throws its annual Mardi Gras celebration on Feb. 16 with each block from E Street to J Street having its own festivities and entertainment on seven stages. The celebration is to include street performers, carnival action and two parades of floats, live music and animated processions. The celebrations last from 6 p.m. to midnight. The main gates will be at Fifth Avenue and Broadway and at Sixth Avenue and K Street. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event. For tickets or more information, visit gaslamp.org or call McFarlane Promotions at (619) 233-5008.

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Local Media of America, an affiliate of private equity firm Thoma Bravo,
has acquired Finest City Broadcasting, operator of three radio stations serving the San Diego market. The transaction was completed in partnership with The Broadcast Co. of the Americas, which operates three other stations in that market. LMA earlier had purchased the debt of Finest City Broadcasting and acquired the company and its assets through a foreclosure sale. LMA will be led by CEO John Lynch, who also is the CEO of BCA.  The six San Diego-area radio stations owned by the two companies will be operated as a group under Lynch’s direction. The Finest City Broadcasting stations include Magic 92.5, XHRM FM, Z-90 XHTZ FM, and 91X XETRA FM. BCA operates: XX Sports Radio XEPRS AM, the Walrus XHPRS FM and San Diego 1700 XEPE AM. With this transaction, Lynch returns to 91X XETRA FM, a station he founded in 1983 through a company he previously owned called Noble Broadcasting Group. Lynch sold Noble to Jacor Communications broadcast group in 1996. Jacor was subsequently sold to Texas-based Clear Channel Communications, which then sold it to Finest City. Carl Thoma runs Thoma Bravo as managing partner.
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Japanese art, culture, and tradition will come alive at the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park at the eighth annual Friends of Taka Sumi-e Art Show and Exhibition on March 27-28. Under the guidance  of San Diego Community College instructor Takashi Ijichi, original works of art by students and wearable art will be displayed and demonstrated. Japanese culture and traditions also will be showcased on both days through the ancient tea ceremony and performances by Japanese dancers and musicians. The free event will be from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information contact Alice Rogow at obalice@pacbell.net.

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A film by Destin Daniel Cretton, a 2001 graduate of Point Loma Nazarene University, is one of 10 live action short films in the running for a 2010 Academy Award. The nominations were announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The film, “Short-term 12,” is based on experiences Cretton had working at a residential facility for at-risk teenagers. It stars Brad William Henke, who portrays the supervisor of a facility that houses 15 victims of abuse and neglect. “Short-term 12” won the United States Jury Prize for short films at the Sundance Film Festival and was honored with awards from a number of other festivals. The Academy Awards nominees will be announced on Feb. 2 and the 82nd Academy Awards will be presented on March 7. Other PLNU alumni involved with the film include Bekah Macias (class of 2006), production coordinator; Brad Kester (class of 2007), assistant director; Jared Callahan (class of 2005), assistant director; and Whitney Ball (class of 2005), production assistant.

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Roger W. Roberts has taken over as chairman of the board of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce. Roberts is with Prudential California Realty in the East County. Roberts serves on three committees of the San Diego Association of Realtors and is a past director of the association.

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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: info@probolskyresearch.com