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Daily Business Report — Oct. 27, 2010

San Diego Metropolitan Magazine is soliciting nominations for the 15 Most Admired Companies in San Diego County. The winning companies will be profiled in the December issue of the magazine. To nominate a company, fill out the form on our Website: sandiegometro.com. The deadline is Oct. 30. For more information, call Rebeca Page at (619) 906-4104 or send an e-mail to her at rebecapage@sandiegometro.com.

Society of Neuroscience Delegates to Empty Wallets Here

Big-spending members of the Society of Neuroscience are expected to dump $132 million at San Diego restaurants, stores and attractions when the organization holds its annual convention Nov. 13-17 at the San Diego Convention Center, according to center officials. The event is expected to draw 32,000 medical and scientific delegates. The Society of Neuroscience holds the sixth largest medical convention in the country.

San Diego apparently is the No. 1 medical convention and meeting destination in the country. According to the Healthcare Convention and Exhibitors Association, the San Diego Convention Center has hosted or holds future dates for more than half of the conventions on its list of the 50 largest medical conventions.

“While all conventions generate enormous business for San Diego, medical conventions are the most lucrative in the industry,” said Bob Nelson, chair of the San Diego Convention Center Corporation board of directors. “These events are high performing and generate millions of dollars in economic impact and tax revenues for the city of San Diego.”

Tax revenues generated by the Society of Neuroscience are estimated to amount to $1.9 million.

Officials said fiscal year 2011 will be the Convention Center’s second highest achieving year for hosting medical conventions. Seventeen medical events will deliver $652 million into the regional economy, generate $9 million in tax revenues and provide 370,000 room nights for local hoteliers, according to center officials.

3rd Quarter Foreclosure Notices Drop

The number of foreclosure proceedings initiated by lenders in the third quarter of the year declined by 32.6 percent from the third quarter of last year in San Diego County, according to MDA Data-Quick of La Jolla, a real estate information service. Foreclosure proceedings begun during this year’s third quarter numbered 5,869 compared to 8,702 for the same period of 2009.

Statewide:

Foreclosure proceedings initiated by lenders between July and September edged higher on a quarter-to-quarter basis for the first time since early last year. But the number of homeowners who went all the way through that process to foreclosure dipped from the previous quarter and a year ago.A total of 83,261 Notices of Default (NODs) were recorded at county recorder offices during the July-through-September period. That was up 18.9 percent from 70,051 in the prior quarter, and down 25.5 percent from 111,689 in third-quarter 2009, according toMDA DataQuick.

The effects of the current turbulence in the nation’s foreclosure processes aren’t yet apparent. “Over the past year, with some minor ups and downs, financial institutions and their servicers have been processing a fairly steady number of defaults each quarter. That probably has more to do with their capacity to process defaults than with higher or lower levels of incoming distress,” said John Walsh, DataQuick president.

South Bay Power Plant to Cease Operations Dec. 31

Dynegy has withdrawn its application to renew its operating permit for the South Bay Power Plant, ending the plant’s five decades on San Diego Bay on Dec. 31. “The defeat of the power plant is a significant victory in that the power of community unity carried the day,” said Laura Hunter, associate director for programs at Environmental Health Coalition. “It was the pulling together of the residents, the organizations and governments that, in the end, brought about improvements to our community and the bay.”

Some groups have focused attention on the discharge permit renewal and the perceived need to keep the plant operating to produce power for the region. They hailed the California Independent Systems Operator’s (ISO) recent decision to remove “reliability must run” status from the plant, which led to Dynegy’s withdrawal. The ISO, a state agency charged with keeping electric grid liability, had determined in September that the aging power plant was necessary to keep San Diego’s power flowing in 2011. However, the ISO reversed its decision on Oct. 15.

“This is such a victory for the communities impacted by the plant for the past half-century,” said Coastkeeper Legal Director Gabriel Solmer. “We are finally able to give this part of the bay back to the people and wildlife to enjoy.”

The plant used an antiquated technology that required massive amounts of water, along with the aquatic life contained in the water column, to be sucked into the plant and spewed out 10 to 15 degrees hotter. This super heated water has created a dead zone in the South Bay where eelgrass, a key habitat and food source for bay species, could grow.

 “This plant has been more than an eyesore,” said Solmer. “The air quality impacts on downwind residents and the heat and pollution in the water have taken their toll on the health of the bay. Hopefully with the closure of the plant, we will start to see life returning to this incredible area of San Diego.”

NASSCO Lays Keel for USNS Medgar Evers

NASSCO laid the keel for the USNS Medgar Evers on Tuesday, the 13th ship of the Lewis and Clark class of dry cargo-ammunition ships. The ship is named in honor of Medgar Evers, the African-American civil rights activist whose 1963 murder prompted President Kennedy to ask Congress for a comprehensive civil rights bill. Gina Buzby, wife of Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby, commander of the Military Sealift Command, was the honoree for the keel-laying ceremony. Mrs. Buzby authenticated the keel of T-AKE 13 by welding her initials onto a metal plate that will be permanently affixed to the ship. Construction of the Medgar Evers began in April. When it joins the fleet in the first quarter of 2012, the 689-foot-long ship will be used primarily to stage U.S. Marine Corps equipment abroad and to deliver as much as 10,000 tons of food, ammunition, fuel and other provisions at one time to combat ships at sea.  The vessels are also equipped for use in humanitarian aid missions.

In another milestone, NASSCO began construction of the 14th T-AKE ship on Oct. 21.  The yet unnamed ship is scheduled to be delivered to the U.S. Navy in the fourth quarter of 2012. NASSCO has already delivered the first 10 T-AKE ships to the Navy’s Military Sealift Command.

Laura Buckley Elected to County Bar Taxation Section

Laura L. Buckley, an attorney with Higgs Fletcher & Mack, has been elected chair of the San Diego County Bar Association Taxation Section.  Buckley represents individuals and businesses in resolving tax issues with the IRS, California Franchise Tax Board and various other taxing agencies. She also represents creditors and debtors in bankruptcy matters, including Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. She is also the current chair of the San Diego Young Tax Lawyers Committee for the California State Bar. A San Diego native, Buckley spent two years at Oxford University in Oxford, England, prior to attending law school, and three years teaching reading at local schools, including Hoover High School. Buckley served as a full-time judicial extern to Judge Arthur L. Alarcon of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Program Launched for Dislocated Workers

SDSU’s College of Extended Studies, in partnership with San Diego Workforce Partnership and Cal State University San Marcos, is offering a Career Transition & Development program intended for dislocated workers currently receiving unemployment benefits with at least five years of professional work experience and a bachelor’s degree. This program meets twice weekly, three hours a day, for seven weeks. “At the end of seven weeks, individuals will be able to assess their talents and skills, identify and match the best prospects and jobs for themselves, and, based upon an action-oriented career plan, engage in a successful job search,” said Dean Joe Shapiro. The fall dates for this program are Nov. 16-Jan. 18 at SDSU or Nov. 15-Jan. 17 at CSU San Marcos.  The spring schedule is Feb. 1-March 17 at SDSU or Jan. 31-March 16 at CSU San Marcos.

Admission to the program requires San Diego Workforce Partnership One Stop Career Center approval. Prospective students should go to a local One Stop Career Center to see if they are eligible or visit sandiegoatwork.com.

Once the eligibility request form has been approved and signed by the Career Center, students may either bring the application and approved form to SDSU’s College of Extended Studies, (5250 Campanile Drive, San Diego 92182, Gateway Building, Room 2503) or complete the participant profile application form online at neverstoplearning.net/career.

Program to Train Students in Ship Maintenance and Repair

Southwestern College is partnering with the U.S. Navy and Department of Labor to train students for long-term, well-paying careers in ship maintenance and repair. The new program is the only one of its kind in California and open to anyone interested in becoming part of the Navy’s civilian work force. The Southwest Regional Apprenticeship Program is based at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado. It includes academic and trade-based training, and provides its graduates U.S. Navy and Department of Labor Journeyworker certifications and a Certificate of Proficiency from Southwestern College. The classroom instruction includes three years of academics, including English, science, math, computer skills and leadership development. The trade-based training prepares students for a long-term career as a sheet metal mechanic, ship fitter, marine pipefitter, temporary service pipefitter, machinist, marine machinery mechanic and lifting and handling mechanics (rigger). Additional trades, including electrical, are planned for future years.

Vacant Poway Auto Dealership Properties Sold

Toyota of Poway has purchased a 19,000-square-foot vacant auto dealership and a 6,500-square-foot service building  from a private seller for $5.7 million. The vacant auto dealership at 13631 Poway Road was formerly occupied by Poway Dodge. The service center at 13611 Poway Road was previously occupied by Midland Auto and JR Auto Sales. Paul Komadina and Jim Rinehart of CB Richard Ellis represented the buyer.

In another transaction, the city of Poway Redevelopment Agency purchased a 16,500-square-foot auto dealership from Chrysler Realty Company LLC for $2.8 million. Located at 13655 Poway Road, the vacant dealership was formerly occupied by Wes Hinkle Chrysler/Jeep. Paul Komadina and Jim Rinehart of CB Richard Ellis represented the seller. The city of Poway Redevelopment Agency represented itself. The Redevelopment Agency will lease the facility at 13655 Poway Road to Toyota. Toyota of Poway is currently in the preliminary stages of a significant renovation to the property and plans to combine both properties into one facility.  Toyota plans a grand re-opening of the new dealership in mid-2012. Once Toyota of Poway relocates, its old location will be demolished to make way for a new Lowes Home Improvement store and other retail tenants.

Better Business Bureau Mixer

The San Diego Better Business Bureau will host a business-to-business networking mixer from 4 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Bernardo Winery, 13330 Paseo del Verano Norte, San Diego. The public is invited to attend. More than 300 business and community leaders have attended previous BBB mixers held in various locations around San Diego County. Admission cost is $25 per person. For mixer event information, visit sandiego.bbb.org or contact Andrea McNelis at the BBB offices, (858) 637-6199. Program underwriters for the BBB’s 2010 mixers are Gaslamp Insurance of San Diego and AFLAC Insurance.

Vista Firm to Build Solar Electric System

Independent Energy Solutions Inc. of Vista, a solar energy development and construction firm, has been awarded a major contract by the U.S. General Services Administration to design and build a 914-kilowatt solar electric system on the rooftop of the Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel. When completed, the installation should produce more than 1.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually or enough to power roughly 130 homes. It will also save about 1.8 million pounds of CO2 gas yearly — equal to taking 800 cars off the road. Funding is coming from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the project will be used by the GSA as a case study and reference point for possible future solar projects. When finished, the system will be the second largest photovoltaic installation in Orange County.

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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Voice Your Opinion


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