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Daily Business Report — March 25, 2011

What Moves The San Diego Real Estate Market?

In 2009, a prominent insurance company started an ad campaign whose message struck a chord with the recession-stricken American public: that despite economic turmoil, there were still going to be graduations, weddings, babies,

Zach Todaro

birthdays and anniversaries. Likewise there will always be someone, somewhere, looking to buy, sell or lease real estate. New milestones bring new motivations, new needs and new desires. Understanding the timing of these motivations is key to moving or obtaining property in a tough market. Zach Todaro, real estate columnist for SD METRO, gives a comprensive explanation in the current issue and online (sandiegometro.com).

Water Authority Moves on Salton Sea Restoration Plan

Long-delayed plans to restore the Salton Sea were brought to the fore Thursday by the San Diego County Water Authority board of directors, which approved a resolution urging the state to move forward on the restoration plans. “For nearly adecade, the Water Authority and other water agencies have successfully collaborated on and funded efforts to help the Salton Sea as part of a broader strategy to manage California’s limited water resources and to help us improve water reliability in San Diego County,” said board chair Michael T. Hogan. “To ensure that strategy will continue to benefit water users around California, including our region’s 3.1 million people and $186 billion economy, we need our governor and our leaders in the Legislature to help the state of California live up to its obligations to identify, fund and carry out a Salton Sea restoration program.”

The board linked a successful restoration program for the sea to the “continued viability” of several long-term Colorado River water conservation and transfer agreements that are essential for meeting the San Diego region’s present and future water supply needs, as well as to statewide efforts to help California live within its share of Colorado River water.

As far back as 2003, legislation was passed and approved by the governor that committed the state to take Salton Sea restoration actions and to identify a funding plan. However, after a lawsuit was filed challenging a Colorado River water apportionment agreement, a Sacramento Superior Court judge

invalidated portions of it after declaring the state’s obligation to pay Salton Sea mitigation costs was unconstitutional. The Water Authority and other parties involved in the litigation have appealed the judge’s ruling and an appellate court decision is expected sometime in 2011.

The Salton Sea is a desert lake below sea level that was accidentally created in 1905. Although it became an important habitat for birds and fish, over the past few decades it has slowly shrunk and become more saline because of evaporation and salt deposited by agricultural water draining into the lake.

Dust blowing from the exposed parts of the sea bed also is a health concern to Imperial Valley communities, according to the Water Authority.

The Water Authority, the Imperial Valley Irrigation District and the Coachella Valley Water District have previously committed $30 million to the Salton Sea Restoration Fund to jump-start the state’s restoration efforts, and provide $133 million more to support mitigation efforts. “Our agencies have lived up to our obligations to help protect the Salton Sea, but the state has yet to act on its responsibility to adopt and fund a Salton Sea restoration plan,” Hogan said.

Del Mar School District Purchases Condominiums

Two office condominiums at Venture Sorrento Office Park in Sorrento Valley have been sold for $1.3 million. Located at 11189 Sorrento Valley Road, units 104 and 105 total 6,204 square feet and were sold to the Del Mar Union School District for use by its facilities department. Phillip Linton of Cassidy Turley BRE Commercial is the listing broker for the project. The buyer was represented by Chuck Wasker of Colliers International and Mark Kagan of Tenant Rep Real Estate. There are 14 separate units in the office park, 10 of which have been purchased. Available units range in size from 1,767 square feet to 6,051 square feet. They look over the adjacent Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve.

Museum Program to Focus on Japan’s Multiple Crises

The San Diego Museum of Man will offer a March 29 program to give local residents and visitors a better understanding of the multiple crises faced by Japan in the wake of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor  catastrophes. The program will run from 5 to 7 p.m. in Gill Auditorium in the museum. It is co-sponsored by the Japanese Friendship Garden and the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana. Admission is free. Panelists will include Takeo Hoshi (Pacific Economic Cooperation professor in International Relations/UCSD) — an economist who will discuss the economic implications of the disaster; Stefan Tanaka (professor of history/UCSD) — a historian who will speak about the lessons that can be learned from Japanese responses to prior disasters; Joseph Hankins (assistant professor of anthropology/UCSD) — an anthropologist who will discuss the uneven distribution of the damaging effects of the disaster and the implications of the breakdown of supply chains for Japan and the rest of the world; Michael Inoue (president emeritus of the Japan Society of San Diego and Tijuana) —a member of the San Diego Consular Corps who will provide an analysis of the cultural implications of the disaster; Kazuyuki “Kaz” Abe — a former Imperial Guard raised in Miyagi prefecture in Northern Japan who will speak about his connection to the people of the impacted region and their extraordinary resiliency. Micah Parzen, the museum’s executive director, will moderate the panel discussion. For more information, call Cynthia Dillon at (619) 239-2001, Ext. 25.

SCORE San Diego Small Business Workshops:

• March 30 – 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 preregister).

• March 30 – How to Start a Nonprofit – 9 to 11:30 a.m. at The San Diego Foundation – Liberty Station (2508 Historic Decatur Road, #200, San Diego 92106; pre-paid registration $39, $49 at the door).

For more information, call (619) 557-7272 or visit score-sandiego.org.

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:

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.

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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