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Daily Business Report — Aug. 4, 2011

New SDSU Library Dean Reveals Ambitious Plans

Gale Etschmaier

By Golda Akhgarnia

Upon assuming the position of SDSU Dean of Library & Information Access on June 30, Gale Etschmaier immediately had big plans for the library that will benefit the entire campus. “San Diego State is positioned in a terrific place,” said Etschmaier. “As the university continues to emphasize research and increased graduation rates, the library can play a key role.”

Working together

For Etschmaier, cross-campus collaboration is an important key to success. Her first goal is to meet with faculty and staff across campus and eventually put together a shared vision. “It’s critical to align the work and goals of the library with that of the campus, and I am looking for opportunities to collaborate in order to develop that shared mission. The library can play a bridge role by bringing people together in a unique way, blending academics, student services and business services. I’m really looking forward to integrating the library across campus.”

Fostering student success

Etschmaier sees the library as a place to bring students in and foster their success—especially for at-risk students. Among potential plans for the library are incorporating tutoring centers and blended learning environments in order to create a sense of community and excitement about learning.

She also pointed out the unique physical beauty of the library and campus and expressed interest in enhancing the outdoor area with added learning spaces, as well as meeting spaces for students and faculty.

Role of technology

As media becomes more important in teaching and learning, Etschmaier believes that libraries are in a distinct position to use technology.

“There is a strong information technology component at SDSU. We have unique research collections, rare materials and papers from scholars—digitizing these creates access and provides resources to people worldwide. Making these materials more visible in turn makes the university more visible.”

Etschmaier’s background

Prior to arriving at SDSU, Etschmaier served as the associate university librarian for public service at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. since 2001. During this time she also held one-year appointments as the acting associate university librarian for collection development and acting associate university librarian for library information technology. 
Etschmaier received a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York Stony Brook, a master’s degree in library science from SUNY Albany and a doctor of education degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

(Courtesy of SDSU News Center)

SOHO Sues City Over Plaza de Panama Proposal

Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) has filed a lawsuit against the city of San Diego alleging that the City Council on July 19 failed to comply with state environmental laws in approving a Memorandum of Understanding with the Plaza de Panama Committee over a controversial Balboa Park parking and circulation proposal. SOHO is requesting San Diego Superior Court to set aside the MOU while the environmental review process is pending. “The MOU is not needed prior to conducting environmental review,” said SOHO. “It is a detailed agreement delineating terms for funding and constructing the $40 million Balboa Park Circulation and Parking Project. Scores of San Diego residents and organizations contend that the project would have devastating impacts on the iconic architecture and cultural landscapes of Balboa Park, a national historic landmark.” At the July 19 council meeting, District 3 Councilman Todd Gloria, whose district includes Balboa Park, said the MOU does not commit himself or the City Council to supporting the project once the EIR is completed. “While I have strong concerns about the potential impacts of the Plaza de Panama Committee’s proposed project, I am interested in having the analysis of the project and alternatives so that when the time comes I can weigh all of the possibilities in the correct context,” said Gloria.

Supervisors Approve General Plan Update

The county Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 on Wednesday to approve the General Plan Update, the first sweeping upgrade in 30 years of the county’s growth and development plans. The board also voted 3-2 to direct county staff to hold a board workshop Nov. 9 to provide a comprehensive review of property specific requests submitted during the General Plan Update hearings. General plans guide community development. Generally, they set the philosophy and policies that determine what gets built where. The update accomplishes that in part by shifting an estimated 20 percent of the development expected to occur in the future to western unincorporated communities with established infrastructure such as roads, fire protection and sewer services.

Benefits of the plan when compared to the previous plan include:

• Accommodating a roughly 41 percent increase in population in unincorporated communities while still cutting projected growth in the old general plan by 15 percent.

• Cutting potential greenhouse gas emissions by 550,000 metric tons a day by reducing new road construction by 780 lane miles and eliminating up to 3 million vehicle trips a day.

• Reducing wildfire threats by locating more growth closer to existing fire stations.

• Reducing potential direct effects of development on biological habitat.

To see the plan, go to sdcounty.ca.gov/dplu/gpupdate.

Brookfield Homes Reports Strong Sales

Brookfield Homes has reported 19 gross sales in San Diego in one month — its strongest sales month since August 2009. Lora Heramb, vice president of sales and marketing, said several key factors are responsible. “Brookfield Homes is assisting buyers with the purchase of a new home by paying closing costs and providing funds to upgrade flooring,” said Heramb. “Buyers who qualify for a VA loan get the added advantage of Brookfield Homes helping them pay off their debt. With low interest rates holding, we’re seeing more consumers with the confidence to buy a new home. Most of our buyers tell us they feel that they’re getting a great deal on the most important purchase of their lifetime.” According to Heramb, one outcome of this recession is the return to the true values of home ownership. “Our buyers are no longer caught up in the real estate frenzy, but are focused on the inherent value of a new home,” she said. “Here’s where they’ll be raising their families and creating a lifetime of memories. It’s gratifying to see so many people finding a Brookfield home that fits their long-term needs at price they can afford.” Brookfield Homes communities in the county are in Chula Vista, Carlsbad, San Marcos and Scripps Ranch.


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.

• Aug. 5 ­ Business Basics 101 ­ 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; no charge ­ please pre-register).

• Aug. 6 ­ 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 Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $79, $89 at the door).

• Aug. 6 ­ Costing, Pricing, Break-Even Analysis ­ 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Aug. 8 ­ Introduction to Starting Your Own Business ­ 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Aug. 10 ­ Internet Marketing 303: Social Media for Small Businesses ­ 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Aug. 11 - Effective Marketing: Identify and Target Your Customers ­ 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Aug. 12 ­ Import/Export ­ 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Aug. 13 ­ QuickBooks Basic ­ 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Aug. 15 ­ Business Basics 101 ­ 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; no charge ­ please pre-register).

• Aug 16 ­ Legal Issues for Small Business: Organizational Structure ­ 9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Aug. 17 ­ Internet Marketing 304: Cost-Effective Internet Marketing Tools ­ 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Aug. 18 ­ Good Governance for Nonprofits: Effective Board Performance ­ 9 to 11:30 a.m. at The San Diego Foundation in Point Loma (2508 Historic Decatur Rd., #200, San Diego 92106; pre-paid registration $39, $49 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 at manny@sandiegometro.com or (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