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Daily Business Report — March 8, 2010

California Payroll Jobs Rise

California non-farm payroll jobs increased by 32,500 in January, with eight of 11 industry sectors showing gains, according to data  released Friday by the California Employment Development Department from two separate surveys. The unemployment rate was 12.5 percent, following an annual revision of monthly employment estimates.  The U.S. unemployment rate decreased in January, to 9.7 percent.

In December, the state’s unemployment rate was a revised 12.3 percent, and in January 2009, the unemployment rate was 9.7 percent. The unemployment rate is  derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.

Nonfarm jobs in California totaled 13,842,100 in January, an increase of 32,500 over the month, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically. The survey of 42,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over-year change (January 2009 to January 2010) shows a decrease of 701,700 jobs (down 4.8 percent).

The federal survey of households, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows a decrease in the number of employed people. It estimates the number of Californians holding jobs in January was 15,850,000, a decrease of 18,000 from December, and down 735,000 from the employment total in January of last year.

The number of people unemployed in California was 2,266,000 – up by 32,000 over  the month, and up by 488,000 compared with January of last year.

Figures for San Diego County are to be released later this week.

Corky McMillin Unveils Massive Eastern Chula Vista Development

Scott McMillin

Within the next six months, The Corky McMillin Cos. expects to start construction on “Millenia,” a massive mixed-use community in eastern Chula Vista and part of the 23,000-acre Otay Ranch. Full buildout of the new community is expected in the next 10 to 20 years. The project was unveiled last week before an audience of elected officials and civic and business leaders from the U.S. and Mexico. “This project is going to be the heart of eastern Chula Vista,” said Scott McMillin, chairman of The Corky McMillin Cos. “We wanted to develop a project where you could do it all: live, work and play.”

McMillin described the 210-acre community as roughly the same size as three Qualcomm Stadium footprints. It would include more than 3.4 million square feet of commercial space (office, civic and retail) and about 3,000 homes.

“We envisioned a dynamic and energetic community, that is safe and secure, accessible and optimistic,” said Todd Galarneau, McMillin’s project manager. “Millenia will have a strong employment and civic component, and a variety of housing types in a series of compact, walkable districts.”

Millenia would be adjacent to State Route 125 and on a planned express transit route.

Coronado Gets New Animal Care Facility

Coronado Animal Care Facility

The city of Coronado now has a new $1.6 million animal care facility to take the place of a previous shelter on Orange Avenue that was torn down to make way for senior housing units in 2006. The 3,400-square-foot, single-story facility at 1395 First St.  houses seven dog adoption areas, three cat community rooms, holding asreas, quarantine areas, examination and treatment space, and spaces for food preparation, grooming and an exterior dog exercise yard. The shelter was developed as the result of a joint-funding agreement between the city of Coronado and Pacific Animal Welfare Society, or PAWS, of Coronado. Until the new shelter was built, animal services were housed in the basement of the Coronado Police Department. Gafcon Inc. was the construction manager for the 12-month construction project for the city of Coronado. The facility was built to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification standards.

The Gafcon project team included John Wilson, project manager; Penny Kronberg, constructability review/oversight; Anthony Trinca, constructability review; and Jamie Roberts, labor compliance. Other members: Bill Cecil, capital projects manager for the city of Coronado; Davy Architecture, architect; Grahovac Construction, general contractor; Stedman Dyson, structural engineer; SB&O, civil engineer; Turpin & Rattan Engineering, electrical engineer; Rao Engineers, mechanical engineer; and Howard Associates, landscape architect.

Echo Pacific Receives School Construction Contracts

Escondido-based general contractor Echo Pacific Construction Inc. has been selected by the Escondido Union High School District to perform the expansion and modernization of Escondido High School, scheduled for completion in summer 2011. New construction will include a music/physical education building, multipurpose classroom and auto shop. Agricultural farm improvements will include two new barns. Improvements will be made to science, computer and visual arts labs and classrooms. Stadium improvements include synthetic turf and all-weather track resurfacing. Echo Pacific also has been contracted to upgrade stadiums at Orange Glen and San Pasqual high schools.

Seminar to Give Tips on Franchising

Luis Rodriguez, senior franchise consultant for Business Clon Group, will speak at a March 10 seminar on franchising. The event, sponsored by the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce and the Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce, will focus on steps a company should take before beginning franchising. It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Chula Vista Chamber, 233 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista.

Pharmaceutical Companies Terminate Merger

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co. and Adamis Pharmaceuticals Corp. have terminated a merger agreement after La Jolla announced that its common stock would be suspended and delisted from Nasdaq, effective March 4, and that it failed to get a quorum of stockholders to agree to a meeting to vote on the merger. Holders of only 13 percent of La Jolla’s outstanding common stock had returned their proxy cards or otherwise indicated their votes prior to the start of the stockholders’ meeting, according to the company, and the meeting was canceled. “Our board of directors is evaluating the options available to La Jolla, which are very limited largely because the structure of our stockholder base, 66 million shares held by thousands of small stockholders, makes it extremely challenging, if not impossible, to accomplish any transaction that requires a stockholder vote,” said Deirdre Y. Gillespie, La Jolla’s CEO.

Artist Proposals Sought for Urban Trees Artwork Exhibit

The Port of San Diego is asking for artist proposals for its seventh Urban Trees sculptural artwork exhibit for the North Embarcadero area of Downtown. Up to 30 artists (or artist teams) will be selected to create original sculptural artworks for display in Urban Trees 7 along Harbor Drive between the B Street Cruise Ship Terminal and Hawthorn Street. Download the Call for Artists brochure (in PDF format) at portofsandiego.org/public-art for detailed information regarding the exhibit and submittal requirements.

Submittals must be received by the Port’s Public Art Department no later than 5 p.m. (PDT) on May 3.

California Cruisers Leases New Space

Thornton Auto Group Inc., dba California Cruisers, has leased 2,400 square feet of retail space at 2710 Garnet Ave. in San Diego. The five-year lease is valued at $236,940. Jill Morton of CB Richard Ellis represented California Cruisers. Marc Frederick of Colliers International represented the lessor, Garnet Partners LLC.

Culinary Students Offer Five-Course Dinners for $20 Per Person

Five-course dinners prepared by students in Grossmont College’s Culinary Arts Department are being served to the public every Thursday night through the end of April at a cost of $20 per person. The money raised will be used for travel expenses for students to compete in state and national culinary competitions, to maintain kitchen equipment and to purchase supplies. Dinner service will begin at 5:30 p.m. on March 11, 18, 25, and April 8, 15, 22 and 29, at the El Cajon college’s Culinary Arts patio dining area near the Student Center. Dinners will not be served on April 1, which is during the college’s spring recess week. The dinners will features appetizer (soup or salad), intermezzo (palate cleanser), entree, dessert and coffee service. Entrees for Spring 2010 include Herb Crusted Breast of Chicken, Roasted Pork Medallions, Braised Beef with Sauteed Mushrooms, Pasta Alfredo, Panko Breaded Eggplant and Baked Fish. Vegetarian meals also are available. Reservations can be made by phoning Michele Martens at (619) 644-7550 or 644-7549,

Sleepover to be Held to Raise Homelessness Awareness

The San Diego Rescue Mission will host the fourth annual “Sleepless San Diego” on April 24-25, an all-night event to raise awareness of homelessness. Several other agencies also are participating. The event will be held at Liberty Station in Point Loma, on Historic Decatur Road. An expo fair will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday and the sleepout will be from 3 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. on Sunday. Private security will be in place continuously throughout the night. Participants should bring everything they need to spend the night outdoors.  In the event of rain, the event will not be cancelled. To register, visit sleeplesssandiego.org.


Business Datebook

March 10

SEMINAR: Franchising tips will be presented by Luis Rodriguez, senior franchising consultant for Business Clon Group at a seminar sponsored by the Otay Mesa and Chula Vista Chambers of Commerce. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Chula Vista Chamber, 233 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista.

March 11

PANEL TALK: Social media strategies to increase sales and raise brand awareness will be discussed during the Sales & Marketing Council’s “Social Media 101” event. 7:15 to 9 a.m., Building Industry Association offices, 9201 Spectrum Center Blvd., San Diego. $30 for BIA members. $60 for nonmembers. To register, call (858) 450-1221, Ext. 101. Panelists: Harley Orion of Orion Social; Jan Percival of Scribe Communications; Maria Swanson of Weston Mason Marketing.

March 17

BREAKFAST MEETING: Influenza experts will discuss lessons learned from the swine flu pandemic at BIOCOM’s monthly breakfast meeting, 7 to 9 a.m., Hyatt Regency La Jolla, 3777 La Jolla Village Drive, San Diego. Speakers: Brian Plew, head of public health, Life Technologies; Larry R. Smith, v.p., vaccine research, Vical Inc.; John D. Tamerius, senior v.p., clinical and regulatory affairs, Quidel Corp. For information, call Valerie Sanderson (858) 455-0300, Ext. 112.

MEETING: The March meeting of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) San Diego will feature Jo Dee Jacob presenting “Building and Nurturing a Winning Team.” 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sheraton La Jolla, 3299 Holiday Court, La Jolla. Jacob is CEO of The San Diego-Imperial Council of Girl Scouts. $35 for members, $45 for nonmembers. For more information, visit nawbo-sd.org.

LUNCHEON: “Retrofitting Buildings Green” is topic for presenters Sarah Friedman, Southern California sustainability director for Jones Lang LaSalle, and Dawn McFadyen, associate partner with Syska Hennessey Group, at Urban Land Institute luncheon. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 10300 Campus Point Drive, first floor conference room. Members $20, nonmembers $40. To register, call (800) 321-5011 or visit ulisd.org.

March 18

MEETING: Web content strategist Shelly Bowen, principal of Pybop LLC, will speak on “Virtual Story Telling: How to Grow Your Business with Social Media,” at the meeting of the San Diego Professional Editors Network (SD/PEN), 6:30 p.m., Joyce Beers Community Center, Uptown Shopping Center, Hillcrest. Free and open to nonmembers. For more information, call (619) 281-6951 or visit sdpen.com. $45 for BIOCOM members, $90 for nonmembers.

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

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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