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Daily Business Report — March 2, 2012

S.D. Energy Symposium Opens March 6

Gov. Brown’s top energy adviser, Michael Picker, will keynote the March 6 San Diego Energy Symposium at the University of San Diego, an event sponsored by CleanTECH San Diego and the Solar Electric Power Association. The symposium runs from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice on campus. Picker will discuss the region’s solar market and how to build a foundation for sustainable solar energy growth. Representatives from San Diego Gas & Electric, Kyocera Solar, REC Solar, Xtreme Power Solutions, Soitec, UC San Diego and the Clean Coalition are to outline a San Diego vision for solar power generation over the next decade. Scott Anders, USD Energy Policy Initiatives Center director, and Andrew McAllister, director of policy and strategy for the California Center for Sustainable Energy, will moderate panel discussions.

CCDC Board Approves Design Review for Little Italy Apartments

The board of the Centre City Development Corp. has granted design review approval to developer DPSS Properties for Palatine, an eight-story, 101-unit market-rate apartment project planned for the L-shaped parcel along the north side of El Street, between Columbia and State streets in Little Italy in Downtown San Diego. Designed by Graham Downes Architecture, the proposed project would include studio, one-and two-bedroom units and 115 parking spaces.

Old House Fair Seeks Exhibitors For 14th Annual June 16 Event

The 14th annual Old House Fair, a day-long festival in historic South Park, is seeking exhibitor and vendor applicants.  The event will be held on Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Businesses that engage in the building or design trades, or which market products or services to those who own or appreciate older homes, are encouraged to apply for exhibit and vending space.  A 10×10-foot booth is available at $165, with early bird discounts available. An estimated 2,500 visitors attend the festival, which includes a five-house Historic Home Tour as well as guided trolley and walking tours of the historic neighborhood. More information on the event, and exhibitor applications, are available on the Website: theoldhousefair.com, or by calling (619) 233-6679.

DexCom Acquires SweetSpot Diabetes Care

San Diego’s DexCom, which makes continuous glucose monitoring devices for patients with diabetes, acquired SweetSpot Diabetes Care, a Portland, Ore., health IT company. DexCom said it will pay as much as $8.5 million in payments over time for SweetSpot, which developed a cloud-based service that helps process data from monitoring devices. SweetSpot’s service, which is aimed at the diabetes market, has been cleared under federal regulations for medical devices. (Source: Xconomy San Diego.)

Sapphire Energy Produces ‘Green’ Crude Oil

Sapphire Energy, a San Diego startup developing algal biofuel, said it successfully modified certain cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, to produce significantly higher yields of “green” crude oil. Sapphire said it aso has tapped into the deep expertise in producing blue-green algae through a licensing agreement with Irvine-based Earthrise Nutritionals, which produces food colors and nutritional supplements from a type of blue-green algae known as Spirulina. (Source: Xconomy San Diego.)

Genomatica Negotiates Asia Deal With Mitsubishi Chemical

Genomatica of San Diego said the Japanese industrial giant Mitsubishi Chemical has agreed to negotiate “definitive agreements” for a joint commercial operation in Asia, where they plan to use Genomatica’s sustainable biotechnology to produce the key industrial chemical 1,4-butanediol, or BDO. Genomatica has modified a standard strain of E. coli to produce BDO, a so-called intermediate chemical used as a raw material to make spandex clothing, skateboard wheels, car bumpers, dashboards and other resilient plastic materials. (Source: Xconomy San Diego.)

Bonita Man Appointed to Boating and Waterways Commission

Frank Peralta, 65, of Bonita, has been appointed to the California Boating and Waterways Commission by Gov. Brown. Peralta has been a deputy sheriff at the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department since 1974. He is a member of the Latino Police Officers Association. The position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Peralta is registered decline-to-state.

Gemological Institute Offers Scholarships

The Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad announced that it will accept scholarship applications for the remainder of this year through April 30. Recipients are eligible to take part in laboratory classes in the United States, web learning courses and the institute’s campuses in Hong Kong, London, the Middle East and Taiwan. A number of $1,500 awards for eLearning courses and $1,295 awards for U.S.-based lab classes are available. For more information, call (760) 603-4131.

The Plunge is Back in the Swim

The Belmont Park Plunge, closed for the last 10 months, celebrated a grand reopening this week and will offer 25-cent admission over the weekend between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The indoor heated pool is located at the Wave House Athletic Club in Belmont Park. The Plunge originally opened along with the Giant Dipper roller coaster as centerpieces of the “Mission Beach Amusement Center” (as Belmont Park was then known) by sugar magnate John D. Spreckels. The pool was at the time the largest salt-water pool in the world, holding 400,000 gallons of water. It was converted from saltwater to fresh water in 1940 and in 1986 the Plunge building was completely rebuilt.  For more information, call (858) 228-9283 or visit wavehouse.com or belmontpark.com.

Pathfinder Partners Acquires Phoenix Apartments

San Diego-based Pathfinder Partners LLC has acquired, along with Phoenix-based Ryan Hartman, an apartment project in Phoenix’s uptown neighborhood for $4.05 million. The acquisition follows the February purchase of the immediately adjacent 21-unit Shorewood Apartments. Pathfinder Partners plans to make more than $1 million in improvements, the company said.


Small Business Workshops

Helping startup and established small businesses throughout San Diego and Imperial counties prosper, SCORE San Diego continues its series of low-cost workshops. Workshop fees range from $29 to $109, depending on the program. For more information, call (619) 557-7272.

Upcoming Workshops:

March 5 – Tax Considerations for Small Businesses – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at National University – Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Rd., Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

March 6 – California Sales & Use Tax Basics – 1 to 3 p.m. at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

March 7 – Business Plan 101: How to Develop Your Best Competitive Advantage – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $79, $89 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. manny@sandiegometro.com.


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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