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Daily Business Report — Nov. 9, 2011

Pension Reform Measure Qualifies for the Ballot

A pension reform ballot measure that Councilman Carl DeMaio has made the centerpiece of his campaign for mayor has qualified for the ballot for the June 2012 election. According to the official count by the City Clerk, a total of 115,991 valid signatures were contained on the petitions — well in excess of the required 94,500 signatures necessary to force an issue on the ballot. “This pension reform measure is the centerpiece of my plan to fix the city’s financial crisis — and I chose the initiative process because I’m not waiting to be mayor before getting this reform done,” said DeMaio in an email blast. “After years of fiscal crisis, service cuts, and higher fees, voters can now impose a comprehensive solution to end unsustainable pension payouts in city government.”

If the measure is approved by voters, it would halt guaranteed pensions for all new city hires except police officers. Employees would instead receive a 401(k). DeMaio and other supporters claim it would produce savings of between $1.2 billion and $2.1 billion over the next 30 years.

Congressman Bob Filner, also running for mayor, called the ballot measure “a complete fraud.” “On the one hand,” said Filner, “it puts city workers at the mercy of an extremely volatile stock market — without the safety net of Social Security. Remember, city workers are not part of the Social Security system. This initiative just throws them under the bus.” Filner said he will soon present his own plan that will cap pensions, free up “hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade to fill pot-holes, keep libraries and recreation centers open, enhance public safety and bring five-year labor certainty.”

Gen-Probe Blood Screening Test to Receive Award

Gen-Probe’s Procleix blood screening test, which tests blood for HIV and Hepatitis C and B, has been selected to receive this year’s William W. Otterson Award from the CONNECT organization. The award will be presented Dec. 9 at the 24th annaul Most Innovative New Product Awards luncheon at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. In addition to the Otterson Award, CONNECT will recognize innovative new products developed in the last year in eight technology categories: Action and Sports, Aerospace and Security, Clean Technology, Communications and IT, Hardware and General Technology, Life Science-Diagnostics and Research Tools, Life Science-Medical Products and Software. Approved in 2002, the Procleix assay was the first FDA-approved nucleic acid test for screening donated human glood. According to CONNECT, the assays developed by Gen-Probe “have significantly increased the safety of the world’s supply of donated blood, reducing the risk of contracting these deadly viruses from a blood transfusion in the U.S. to approximately 1 in 2 million.”

Tom Behr Named to County Mental Health Board

Tom Behr, an attorney and former executive director of Mental Health America of San Diego County, has been selected to join the county’s Mental Health Board. Behr was appointed to the 16-member board by Supervisor Ron Roberts and confirmed by the Board of Supervisors for a three-year term that begins on Jan. 2. Behr was a member of the San Diego City Council, winning in 1991 in the city’s only recall election. He also served as corporate counsel for Solar Turbines and Cubic Transportation Systems.  Behr is currently developing a non-profit concept to provide professional fiduciary-based services to those in need of assistance in managing their financial and daily matters. Behr will replace Theresa Bish on the Mental Health Board, who finishes her second term in December.

Hawthorne Announces Executive Appointments



David Ness has been promoted to vice president of sales and marketing for all of the divisions of Hawthorne Power Systems. The company also announced the addition of Kirk Fowkes as the new general manager to replace Ness. Ness recently celebrated his 10-year anniversary with Hawthorne. In his new role, he will move to the corporate office in Rancho Bernardo and have management responsibility for all general sales, rental, marketing and power systems sales managers. Fowkes will have overall management responsibility for the power divisions in San Diego, Hawaii and the Pacific Region. He previously held senior management positions at Shepherd Machinery over a 15-year period. After five years as general manager for Cummins West covering California and Hawaii, Kirk left to help start Elite Energy Systems.

Medical Director Chosen for Proton Therapy Center

Dr. Carl J. Rossi Jr. has joined Scripps Clinic Medical Group as medical director of the Scripps Proton Therapy Center, a $220 million cancer treatment and research facility being built in the Carroll Canyon area of Mira Mesa that is expected to open in spring 2013. Before joining Scripps, Rossi spent the past 20 years as chief of genito-urinary and lymphoma radiation oncology services at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, Calif. Rossi also served as facility director of Loma Linda University Radiation Medicine in Ridgecrest.  He has been an associate professor of radiation oncology at Loma Linda for the past decade. The Scripps Proton Therapy Center is being developed by Advanced Particle Therapy LLC of San Diego. The 102,000-square-foot facility will have the maximum capacity to treat 2,400 patients annually. It is being built on a seven-acre site at 9577 Summers Ridge Road.

Receivers Forum Scheduled for Nov. 17

The San Diego Receivers Forum will present its fall educational seminar, “Receiverships:  2012 and Beyond,” from 7:30 to 11 a.m. on Nov. 17 at the Sheraton La Jolla Hotel, 3299 Holiday Court, La Jolla.  The event includes breakfast from 7:30 to 8 a.m., followed by a keynote presentation by Jason Hull, managing director of commercial real estate for Trigild. A panel will examine major changes in receivership, updates on sales, changes in the courts, and changes in how banks and special services view receivership. Panelists include Fernando Landan, general counsel, Trigild; Richard Ormond, Buchalter Nemer; Stacy Rubin, Mulvaney, Kahan & Barry; and Kevin Singer, president of Receivership Specialists. Moderator will be Gordon Gerson of the Gerson Law Firm. Advance tickets, until Nov. 14, are $60 for members, $35 for government employees and $65 for nonmembers. Tickets at the door are $70 for members, $40 for government employees, and $75 for nonmembers. To register, visit

Small Business Workshops

SCORE San Diego continues its series of small business workshops. For more information, call (619) 557-7272 or visit

·  Nov. 12 – Internet Marketing 101: Use the Internet to Successfully Market Your Business – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

·  Nov. 12 – 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).

Nov. 15 – Internet Marketing 301: Increase Sales through Pay-Per-Click – 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).

• Nov. 15 – Financing Your Business – 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

• Nov. 16 – Managing Grants and Contracts (for Nonprofits) – 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).

• Nov. 16 – Business Plan 201: How to Write a Winning Business Plan – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $99, $109 at the door).

• Nov. 18 – Internet Marketing 302: Develop a Winning Email Marketing Success Strategy – 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).

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of SD METRO, the North Park News and the West Coast Craftsman. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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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: