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Daily Business Report — Feb. 24, 2011

United Arab Emirates to Get General Atomics’ Predator XP

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. has made an agreement with International Golden Group to offer the Predator XP unmanned aerial vehicle to the United Arab

Predator XP

Emirates government. International Golden Group is a supplier of defense systems in the Middle East. J. Neal Blue, chairman and CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical, said the agreement will help the United Arab Emirates strengthen its national security and protect infrastructure. Because of U.S. government export restrictions, sales of all General Atomics Aeronautical unmanned aerial vehicles had been limited to the U.S. government, NATO and other allied nations. However, General Atomics Aeronautical recently expanded its aircraft portfolio to offer an export version of its flagship Predator UAS — the Predator XP.  Offering comparable ISR capabilities as Predator, Predator XP has been licensed by the U.S. government to be proposed for sale to a broader customer base, including countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Predator XP exhibits the same physical dimensions, altitude, speed, and long endurance (up to 40 hours) as the original “RQ-1” Predator aircraft first flown by the U.S. Air Force.

Contaminated Soil Cleanup Begins

Contaminated soil removal

OliverMcMillan is coordinating the removal of about 30,000 tons of petroleum-contaminated soil at the former John Hansen House moving site at 15th and Island in Downtown San Diego. City officials said the project will reverse decades of blight by transforming the two adjoining parcels into a five- and 10-story mixed-use building that will have 238 residential units and more than 23,000 square feet of commercial space. The project is financed by $2.5 million in grants from the Orphan Site Cleanup Fund through a stimulus grant provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Federal officials say leaking underground storage tank systems pose a significant threat to groundwater quality in the United States.  In the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congress appropriated $200 million from the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund to EPA for assessing and cleaning up leaks from underground storage tanks. “East Village has come a long way through redevelopment, but sites like this contaminated lot show how far we still have to go,” said Mayor Jerry Sanders. “These funds will jumpstart development and job creation at the site and help us complete our vision of a safe, vibrant Downtown San Diego.”

OliverMcMillan has retained AMG Demolition & Environmental Service Inc. to provide management services and cleanup of an estimated 30,000 tons of impacted soil on the property.

Pauma Indians Fund Language Preservation Program

The Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians has awarded $40,000 to the California State University San Marcos California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) to create technology-based language learning devices that will preserve and teach the Luiseño language to tribal members. “We are passionate about this project and its potential for finding a practical way to help preserve the Luiseño language for future generations — not just for our tribe but for all Luiseño tribes,” said Patricia Dixon, education committee chair of the Pauma band. The collective $50,000 grant is shared between the university and Palomar College’s American Indian Studies Department. The CICSC will serve as the lead organization for the Luiseño Language Preservation Project.

Receivers Forum Networking

The San Diego Receivers Forum is inviting accountants, property managers, brokers, attorneys and other professionals involved in receivership to attend a networking meeting on March 8 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 5010 Mission Center Road, in San Diego. Advance tickets are $15 for members, $20 for government employees and $25 for nonmembers.  Tickets at the door are $5 higher. Parking is complimentary. For more information, visit or call Gail Squar, (949) 497-3673, Ext. 620.

Tracy Johnson Joins Local Media San Diego

Local Media San Diego (LMSD), a San Diego-based broadcasting company, has teamed with programmer and digital media professional Tracy Johnson to help spearhead a number of the company’s programming and digital media initiatives. Johnson will provide exclusive Group Brand Manager services to LMSD, including participating in the oversight of programming, promotional, and digital development efforts, and will have responsibility for bridging the gap between the on-air and on-line initiatives for the LMSD properties. Johnson, who formerly held the position of vice president and general manager of KFBM AM/FM in San Diego from 1998-2007, left to become chief operating officer of M2O Media and eventually became the executive vice president of Audience Engagement for Triton Media.

Clearity Foundation Names New Executive Director

Hillary Theakston has been appointed executive director of The Clearity Foundation, a nonprofit that provides personalized treatment information to women with ovarian cancer. Theakston has more than 15 years of experience in leading communications programs for health care companies. She has led investor relations, marketing and public relations initiatives as both a consultant and employee. She was previously director of communications for ResMed and before that led investor relations and public relations for Diversa Corp.

La Costa Resort and Spa Hires Executive Meetings Manager

Emily Koch has been appointed executive meetings manager of La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad. In this role, Koch will handle groups from the East Coast and selected parts of California. Koch joins La Costa from Hotel Del Coronado where she was part of the rooms division and sales teams for nine years. Prior to Hotel Del Coronado, Koch worked for Evans Hotels in San Diego. She received a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. La Costa is undergoing a series of renovations in 2011. Meetings and conventions, along with group business and events, are among the first priorities addressed by the renovations. The renovations include redesigned guest rooms and suites, a complete conference center makeover, new outdoor function venues and the introduction of meeting planner suites.

Acute Care Pavilion Gets LEED Certification

The $260 million Rady Children’s Hospital Acute Care Pavilion in San Diego has been LEED certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, meaning it meets the occupant health and environmental sustainability standards of the council. The building, built by McCarthy Building Cos. Inc., houses a surgical center, 84 surgical beds, a neonatal intensive care unit and a cancer center. Occupancy sensors were incorporated in operating rooms to reduce the ventilation rate by 60 percent when unoccupied, yielding a 45 percent annual energy savings. A 24,000-square-foot cogeneration plant provides free heating and high temperature water, and contains two 700-ton natural gas-fired absorption chillers. Variable frequency drives were also built into cooling tower fans and hot water pumps. The project team utilized recycled and locally obtained steel, concrete and other building materials; low VOC-emitting paints, glues, carpet, and wood; and water-efficient landscaping. A reflective concrete “cool roof” system helps minimize heat gain and control rainwater run-off, while painted steel screens conceal rooftop mechanical systems. A dedicated bicycle storage area is built into the employee courtyard area. Nearly 80 percent of construction waste materials at the job site was recycled.

Upcoming SCORE San Diego Workshops:

• Feb. 25 – QuickBooks Advanced – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Feb. 25 – Business Basics 101 – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; No charge – please pre-register).

• Feb. 28 – Restaurant 201 – 9 a.m. to noon at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

North County:

The Business & Entrepreneur Center and the Small Business Development Center at MiraCosta College will offer free upcoming workshops to help businesses succeed. The workshops will be held at Vista City Hall, 200 Civic Center Drive, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on the following dates:

March 1: Increase Sales Using Social Media: Learn how to incorporate social networking into a business.

April 5:  Financing Options for Businesses: Direct lenders and the SBA will discuss financing options for a business.

May 3: Ways to Market A Business: Learn to identify the “right” customer for a business and easy ways to market your business to them.

June 7: Marketing A Business Using Google Tools: Learn how to use Google tools such as ad words, ad sense, Google trends and more.

Bring a lunch to the workshops. Drinks will be provided.

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of SD METRO, 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: