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Daily Business Report — Feb. 23, 2012

Second Judge Upholds Pension Initiative

A second request for an injunction seeking to remove the Citizens Initiative on Comprehensive Pension Reform from the June 2012 ballot has been denied. In Collins vs. the City of San Diego, Judge Steven Denton ruled against Collins who challenged the initiative as being a major revision to the city charter, something that cannot be done by initiative. The initiative was placed on the June, 2012, ballot through a petition signed by nearly 116,000 registered voters. “Under the California Constitution, the people have the right to amend a city charter by initiative,” said City Attorney Jan Goldsmith. “Judge Denton’s decision means that the city must place this initiative without changes on the ballot as a matter of constitutional law.” This ruling follows a ruling by Judge William Dato rejecting an attempt by labor unions and the Public Employment Relations Board to keep the initiative from the ballot.

O’Riordan and Associates Merges With L.A. Company

O'Riordan

O’Riordan and Associates, a San Diego-based financial planning and insurance firm founded by Michael O’Riordan, has merged with Apheta, a Los Angeles company that provides advanced financial and insurance planning, including services for professional athletes. The O’Riordan and Associates name has been retired. “Michael brings to Apheta  a strong track record and solid reputation, particularly in his experience with high net worth executives, many with Fortune 500 companies, to high salaried professional athletes, who require careful and experienced guidance during their relatively short careers,” said Lalat Pattanaik, managing partner of Apheta. O’Riordan has more than 25 years of experience in the industry, beginning his career in 1983 with Prudential.

New Catholic Radio Station to Debut in San Diego

A 24-hour Catholic radio station is coming to San Diego. Immaculate Heart Radio, KCEO 1000 AM, will be launched on March 7. The station said it will offer current event and talk show programming “designed to inform and educate listeners on the beauty of the Catholic faith, its rich history and spiritual insight, plus family topics from a Catholic perspective.”  The acquisition of KCEO is the result of a four-year effort by San Diego Catholic Radio. According to Steve Beuerle, its president, San Diego Catholic Radio agreed to become an affiliate station of Immaculate Heart Radio, a Northern California broadcaster. Immaculate Heart Radio, in operation since 1997, now has a network of 26 stations in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah. KCEO will cover the greater San Diego area, including Encinitas, Escondido and Oceanside. To commemorate the launch of the station, Immaculate Heart Radio will host a March 7 celebration at 12:30 p.m. at St. Therese of Carmel Catholic Church, 4355 Del Mar Trails Road in San Diego. The launch celebration will feature Mass and a blessing of the station by the Most Reverend Cirilo Flores, Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego.

Trial Date Set for Utility Tax Issue in Chula Vista

A trial date has been set for a class action suit seeking millions of dollars in restitution for allegedly illegal utility taxes levied by the city of Chula Vista on cell phone users within its boundaries. This follows a ruling by Superior Court Judge Richard Strauss dismissing a challenge brought by the city. The lawsuit stems from a now outdated tax — levied on users of telephones, electricity and other utilities — that was introduced in 1970 and generates more than $9 million in revenue for the city each year. An attempt by the city to amend the law with Proposition H in 2010 was defeated by voters. According to Thomas Penfield, a partner with San Diego-based Casey Gerry and co-lead counsel, the city of Chula Vista recently filed a legal objection to the suit.  “The city cited its local ordinance which said you cannot file a class action for a tax refund,” said Penfield. Penfield and co-counsel James Capretz of Orange County-based Capretz & Associates argued that municipalities are not permitted to enact their own patchwork means of claiming tax refunds. “The judge agreed with our argument and ruled in our favor – stating that state procedure overrules the local ordinance,” Penfield said. The case is now set to go to trial Jan. 18, 2013.

Rancho Valencia Adds Marketing, Catering Executives

Schwartz

Sharp

Nicole Sharp and Tracy Schwartz have joined Rancho Valencia, the 45-acre luxury resort in Rancho Santa Fe. Sharp, with more than 15 years of experience in the field, is the director of marketing. She spent five years as the senior marketing manager for Hilton Worldwide and has held marketing and advertising roles with Sharp Mortgage Group and SpearHall Advertising and Public Relations. Schwartz, with more than 10 years of experience in hospitality, entertainment and wellness industries, is the resort’s catering and conference sales manager. She had previous positions at Cal-a-Vie, L’Auberge Del Mar, Wayne Foster Entertainment and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing. The resort launched a $20 million renovation program in January that includes the remodeling of guest suites and major enhancements to the restaurant, spa, fitness center and meeting spaces. Completion is expected this summer.

Cal State San Marcos to Get New Student Union

California State University San Marcos is celebrating the start of construction of its future student union, a new four-story, 89,283-square-foot building that will be located near the center of the campus, adjacent to Cesar Chavez Circle. The $43,980,000 project was made possible through student fees. When construction of phase one is complete in spring 2014, the student union will feature four different dining options, a coffee shop and lounge, indoor and outdoor fireplaces, a convenience store, a quiet lounge, a spiritual lounge, a TV lounge, activity room and commuter lounge. The union will also be the new home of Student Life & Leadership, the Tukwut Leadership Center, Associated Students Inc. and all of the social justice centers including the Cross Cultural Center, Pride Center and Women’s Center. A ballroom, meeting rooms and office space for student union operations and the university cooperation will also be included.

Congress of History Conference Set for March 2-3

The history of San Diego Normal School in University Heights, precursor to San Diego State University, will be the focus of a talk by local historian and SDSU alumnus Alexander D. Bevil at the 2012 Congress of History Conference March 2-3 at the University of San Diego. Bevil’s presentation will be March 2. He will address the conference theme: “Inkwells to Internet: The History of Learning in the San Diego Region.” More than a dozen speakers will present illustrated programs on such diverse topics as San Pasqual Valley’s historic adobe schoolhouse, the nation’s first Women’s Studies Department (at SDSU), the founding of the Grossmont High School District, learning challenges of the first Chinese in San Diego, and the Theosophical Society on Point Loma (1897-1942. There will be educational displays from local historical societies.  Collectible books on local history will also be available for purchase. Hours for the two-day conference, to be held in Warren Auditorium, Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A basic entry fee of $25 covers both days; seniors (65+) admitted for $20, and students 12 and older (with student ID) for $15. For more, call (619) 895-6282.


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: info@probolskyresearch.com