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Daily Business Report — March 7, 2012

Daily Business Report — March 7, 2012

Sad Departure

Audrey Crossgrove comforts Olivia Suddreth with a hand on the elbow as they watch their fathers depart San Diego aboard USS Topeka on Tuesday. Topeka left for a scheduled six-month deployment. The submarine, commissioned in 1989,  has a crew of nearly 140 sailors and is one of six Los Angeles-class, fast-attack submarines homeported in San Diego.  U.S. (Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Shannon Warner.)

Scripps Research Institute Work Leads to New Drug for Infants

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug to treat infant respiratory distress syndrome as a result of advances made at the Scripps Research Institute. The new drug — Surfaxin — helps pre-term infants breathe. “Our scientific findings will help save lives,” said Charles Cochrane, professor emeritus at Scripps Research. “Many years of work in our basic research laboratory at The Scripps Research Institute made this landmark development possible.” Respiratory distress syndrome (also known as neonatal respiratory distress syndrome) is a life-threatening condition affecting pre-term infants. The more premature an infant is, the more likely he or she is to suffer from it and die. The condition occurs when infants are born prior to the time when natural surfactant is made in their lungs. Surfactant is a liquid that coats the inside of the lungs, helping to keep the air sacs open and making normal breathing possible.

Qualcomm Inc. Hikes Dividend, Offers Stock Repurchase

Qualcomm Inc.’s board of directors has approved a 16 percent increase in the company’s quarterly cash dividend and, effective immediately, a new $4 billion stock repurchase program to replace the prior $3 billion stock repurchase program, which had $948 million of repurchase authority remaining. The cash dividend will increase from $0.215 to $0.25 per share of common stock and will be effective for quarterly dividends payable after March 23, 2012. The dividend increase will raise the annualized dividend payout to $1 per share of common stock. Paul Jacobs, chairman and CEO, said the company has returned $16.8 billion to stockholders since the programs began in 2003 through a combination of stock repurchases and cash dividends.

Cal State Indian Center Awarded $455,754 Grant

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians has awarded a $455,754, three-year grant to the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at Cal State San Marcos to pay for a full-time grant writer/program coordinator, a full-time research assistant and six graduate/undergraduate assistantships. San Manuel has pledged up to $500,000 in additional donations to establish an endowment contingent upon the university securing a dollar-for-dollar match in cash donations and pledges over the next three years. The university celebrated the grand opening of the center in November 2011.  Located in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Building, the center serves as a focal point for native studies and American Indian activities on campus.

PriceSmart Reports February Sales

PriceSmart Inc. reported today that for the month of February 2012, net sales increased 23.2 percent to $152.9 million from $124.1 million in February a year earlier. February had 29 days in the current year compared to 28 days in 2011. Excluding the one extra day in the month, net sales would have increased approximately 19.0 percent. For the six months ended February 29, 2012, net sales increased 23.1 percent to $1,006.1 million from $817.6 million in the same period last year. There were 29 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of February 2012 compared to 28 warehouse clubs in operation in February 2011.

PERSONNEL MOVES ____________________________________

San Diego — Cynthia J. Dillon has  been appointed managing director of Malashock Dance following a national search. For the past five years, Dillon was director of interpretation and visitor experience at the San Diego Museum of Man in Balboa Park. She holds a master’s degree in anthropology from San Diego State. As a long-time member of the San Diego Junior Theatre Auxiliary Board, Dillon served as a production chair during numerous seasons, coordinating several volunteer committees. She also supervised actors and dancers backstage during many productions at Junior Theatre and City Ballet of San Diego.

San Diego — Tom Sinnott has been named chief operating officer and Steven Wolkenstein has been named chief financial officer of Legend3D Inc. Company founder Barry Sandrew, who previously held the COO position, continues as president, chief creative officer and chief technology officer. Sinnott joined the company in 2010 as vice president and general manager. Previously, he was vice president and general manager of Technicolor’s West Coast Digital Intermediate Facilities.

SDSU Students Screen Films at Latino Film Festival

Seven San Diego State students and alumni will screen their films in the San Diego Latino Film Festival, which runs March 8-18 at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas at Hazard Center. The Aztec artists are among 160 filmmakers whose works were chosen for the 19th annual festival. KPBS is a showcase sponsor of the event. “Land of the Free,” directed by Ron Najor, ’99, is the first of the Aztec-made films to screen. The fictional story revolves around two Arab Americans seeking refuge in Mexico from an American government bent on rounding up and imprisoning Muslims. Kicking off the Borders on Film category of the festival, “Land of the Free” will screen  at 6 p.m. on March 9. The Frontera Filmmakers section of the festival begins at 6 p.m. on March 14, and includes short films by six SDSU students and alumni.

SDSU Featured Films

• Neil Kendricks, ’94, film curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, directed “Comics are Everywhere,” a look at the contributions of comic art to society.

• Brian Garcia, ’11, directed “No Way Home” about a young girl’s attempt to escape an abusive uncle.

• Stephen Crutchfield, ’11, directed “El Abuelo” about an autistic boy befriended by an elderly Mexican laborer.

• Magdalena Ramirez, a current student, directed “Fausta Cheats Death,” a black comedy about the unexpected arrival of death in a young woman’s life.

• Juan Guardado, a current student, directed “La Llonora,” a film about a woman’s agony at her husband’s desertion.

• Dexter Gareau, also a current student, directed “Fatal Fetish” about two lawyers and a fetish that threatens to destroy them.

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 8 – Sales Skills 101 – Business to Business and Business to Consumer – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University – Kearney Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

March 9 – Business Basics 101 – 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; No charge – please pre-register).

March 10 – Introduction to Starting Your Own Business – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University – Kearney Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

March 12 – Financing Your Business – 9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C. St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $29, $39 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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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: