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Daily Business Report — June 1, 2011

Economic Indicators Move Up

The USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose 0.9 percent in April.  The increase was led by sharp gains in building permits and help wanted advertising and was supported by moderate gains in initial claims for unemployment insurance, local stock prices, and local consumer confidence.  These far outweighed a decline in the outlook for the national economy to push the USD Index to its 22nd gain in 25 months with the other three months unchanged. The outlook for the local economy remains unchanged from recent months. “Positive economic growth is expected for the local economy for the rest of 2011, even though the economic news is decidedly mixed,” said Professor Alan Gin, author of the Index. “The national economy is growing, but that growth slowed in the first quarter due to high gas prices and cuts in government expenditures. Local employment is increasing, but the increase is slow when compared to the job losses the local economy suffered during the downturn. Housing prices in San Diego are up since the 2009 lows as measured by the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index, but have fallen in each of the last three months. The latter comes despite the fact that interest rates are at historic lows, employment is picking up, and new home inventory is low due to low single-family home construction.” April’s increase puts the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County at 116.3, up from March’s reading of 115.3.

NASSCO Gets Big Navy Contract

NASSCO has been awarded a $744 million contract from the Navy for the construction of the first two ships in the Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) class.  Construction of the first ship will begin immediately, with delivery to occur by the spring of 2013. The contract includes an option for the construction of a third MLP which, if exercised, will increase the total contract value to about $1.3 billion. “The first MLP ship will start production with more design, engineering and planning work complete than any ship that NASSCO has constructed since World War II,” said Fred Harris, president of NASSCO. The Mobile Landing Platform is a new class of auxiliary ship for the Navy. Once delivered to the fleet, these ships will join the three Maritime Prepositioning Force squadrons that are located around the world to enable rapid response in a crisis. NASSCO said the new contract will significantly reduce the number of employees affected by the previously announced potential layoffs.  As ship construction gets under way in earnest, the total number of employees at the shipyard may increase by the end of 2011.

Union Bank and KPBS Honor Local Heroes

As part of its commitment to cultural diversity, Union Bank has partnered with KPBS to honor Thomas E. Hom, Robin Tarr, Jackie Gmach and Dr. Edith Eva Eger as part of its Local Heroes program. The 2011 Cultural Diversity Partnership will pay tribute to these and 12 other local heroes at the Union Bank-sponsored 14th annual Local Heroes Awards in January. Each of the persons cited are being recognized for their outstanding contributions to their communities.

Robin Tarr

Robin Tarr is founder of the Jonathan Tarr Foundation, an education-based nonprofit that provides scholarships to a diverse population of underserved boys and girls. The foundation was established in memory of her son, Jonathan, who died in a tragic car accident at 17. Tarr has drawn strength from her children and her Chinese-Hawaiian heritage to help handle adversity and changes in her personal life. She has received numerous awards, including the Hometown Hero Award, Making a Difference for Women Award and His Excellency Award from Fidel V. Ramos, former president of the Philippines.

Tom Hom

Thomas E. Hom is a community leader and philanthropist. He was the first Asian-American elected to the San Diego City Council in 1962 as deputy mayor, and later served in the stateAssembly. Hom is also a successful entrepreneur, having been president of Tom Hom & Associates Realtors, Tom Hom Investment Corp. and chairman of The Tom Hom Group. He is also the founder of the Hom Family Foundation that has helped launch the Chinese Historical Museum. Hom serves on many community boards, including the board of San Diego Television Inc., where he’s director and chairman, and BSD Bancorp as director and vice-chairman.

Edith Eva Eger

Edith Eva Eger, Ph.D., was 16 when she was sent to Auschwitz with her family in 1944. Eger survived the imprisonment but lost her family. After World War II, she moved to Czechoslovakia and eventually to the United States to pursue a medical career. Eger has always found ways to use her personal experiences to inspire, educate and help others. She is a prolific author, lecturer, a member of several associations and has appeared on numerous television programs and documentaries. Eger has a clinical practice in La Jolla where she uses her past as a powerful analogy to inspire people to reach their potential and shape their destinies.

Jackie Gmach

Jackie Gmach is the community outreach coordinator for San Diego State University’s Initiative for Moral Courage (IMC). The new interdisciplinary think-tank focuses on the critical study, promotion and recognition of moral courage through a mentoring project that brings together academics, world leaders and students. During Gmach’s 20-year tenure at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center and the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, she developed the San Diego Jewish Book Fair, the Music Festival and two national exhibits: “Inside Anne Frank’s House” and “DAVKA, The Survival of a People.”  She is involved in numerous community organizations, including American Friends of Magen David Adom and the Agency for Jewish Education, where she serves as the 2011 volunteer chair of Yom Limmud, a day of Jewish learning.

Kyocera Solar and IES Complete Solar Installation

Kyocera Solar Inc. and Independent Energy Solutions Inc. have completed a 358 kilowatt solar electric (photovoltaic) shade structure installation for the county of San Diego. The system, owned by San Diego Gas & Electric and installed on the county’s new Operations Center parking facility, is capable of generating nearly 650,000 kilowatt-hours of clean, green electricity annually while providing cover for parked cars. The energy benefits the surrounding community and is now the largest solar energy structure on county property. The system, designed and built by IES, consists of 24 custom steel shade canopies, 1932 Kyocera solar modules, an inverter and a customized racking system. It produces enough power for 107 average single-family homes in San Diego County and will offset about 376 tons of greenhouse gases annually – equivalent to not driving 1 million miles. According to county Board of Supervisors Chairman Ron Roberts, “This project is an excellent example of how the county finds creative opportunities to incorporate green building and energy efficiency into our work. Projects like this make both environmental and financial sense.” SDG&E oversaw and funded the system’s construction, and has a 10-year lease agreement for the solar facility on the county’s new parking garage.

Real Estate EXPO & Conference June 24

The San Diego Association of Realtors will host its 2011 Real Estate EXPO & Conference on June 24 to help those in the real estate industry enhance their knowledge, learn about new products and services and network with their colleagues. The event will take place at the Town and Country Resort from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. SDAR’s Expo & Conference is expected to attract thousands of attendees from all over Southern California for the keynote luncheon led by experts from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, District Attorney’s Office, Department of Real Estate, Freddie Mac and Bank of America discussing fraud in today’s marketplace. The event will offer an expo including up to 100 companies exhibiting real estate-related products and services, free educational breakout sessions, networking opportunities and both a commercial and international section. The Expo & Conference is free of charge with the exception of the keynote luncheon, which costs $29 per person. For more details and to pre-register, visit sdarexpo.com.

SAIC Subsidiary in Tumor Analysis Collaboration

SAIC-Frederick Inc., a subsidiary of Science Applications International Corp., and Biomatrica have launched a collaboration to improve molecular analysis of tumors, which the companies said is becoming increasingly important in cancer research and in the design of the next generation of targeted therapies. The two organizations will focus on developing better processes to isolate nucleic acids from tumor samples collected by pathologists in the clinic. Preserving nucleic acids, particularly RNA, is important for correlating histology of tumor tissues and molecular analysis, according to the companies. Traditional methods for preserving these nucleic acids are not well adapted to the clinical setting, however, so their usefulness in research has been limited. The collaboration was developed under the Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiatives of the National Cancer Institute.

Economist to Speak to Investor Group

Frank Hatheway, chief economist for the Nasdaq OMX Group, will be the principle speaker at a June 23 program sponsored by the San Diego chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute. The event, titled “The New Global Economy,” will be at 5 p.m. at San Diego-based Websense Inc. With a focus on the San Diego market and its industries, the program will provide an overview of the relationship between the markets and the global economy, a look at capital formation, how to read the market indicators about the state of the recovery and how to think about the implications of the current round of proposed exchange mergers. Before joining Nasdaq, Hatheway was a finance professor at Penn State University and a researcher in market microstructure. He has authored academic articles in the Journal of Finance, Journal of Financial Intermediation and other leading finance journals.


Small Business Workshops

SCORE San Diego continues its series of low-cost workshops. Fees range from $29 to $109, depending on the program. To register online, visit score-sandiego.org. For more information, call (619) 557-7272.

• June 3 – Leasing Strategies – 9 to 11:30 a.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $39, $49 at the door).

June 7 – Internet Marketing 304 – Cost-Effective Internet Marketing Tools – 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

June 8 – Business Plan 101: How to Develop Your Best Competitive Advantage – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $79, $89 at the door).

June 9 – Internet Marketing 201 – Build Your Business through Search Engine Optimization – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

June 9 – Financial Statements – What They Mean, How to Use Them – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

June 10 – Hiring and Managing Employees – 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).


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. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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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