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Daily Business Report — April 5, 2012

40 Under 40 Nominations Open

Nominations are now open for SD METRO’s annual 40 Under 40 Awards recognition program. Nominate a man or woman you think has made outstanding contributions to his or her profession, industry or to San Diego County as a whole. We will announce the winners in September. Either fill out the nomination form at or send your nomination to Better get crackin’!

County Water Authority Alleges ‘Secret Society’ in Water Dealings

The San Diego County Water Authority filed suit against the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power on Tuesday for allegedly failing to release public documents which it claims provides evidence of a “secret society” or shadow government that has influenced major policy decisions and water rates in Southern California. The lawsuit is an outgrowth of a Water Authority campaign to limit water rate increases being considered by the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). The suit was in response to a Public Records Act request that the Water Authority made in October 2011 to the MWD and several member agencies, including the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power. “Other MWD member agencies that responded to the Water Authority’s request produced tens of thousands of pages of documents, including documents that evidenced the existence of a Secret Society that has been in place since 2009,” the Water Authority said in a statement. “The lawsuit alleges that the records produced by other public agencies ‘paint a startling portrait of a shadow government with its hands on virtually every major important policy decision to be presented to the MWD board, including the setting of MWD’s water rates and charges. Those documents also confirm that employees of Los Angeles Department of Water & Power played an especially active role in this MWD Member Agency Managers Working Group, the formal name for the Secret Society.”

“It appears that LADWP is illegally withholding hundreds, if not thousands of additional documents that are responsive to the Water Authority’s request related to the secret meetings and activities of the manager’s group,” said Kelly A. Aviles, one of the attorneys representing the Water Authority.

Free Business Financing Workshop Offered

California Bank & Trust will partner with Accion San Diego in sponsoring a “Business Financing & Your Options” workshop on April 12 from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, 195 E. Douglas Ave., in El Cajon. The free workshop is an opportunity for small business owners and those interested in starting a business to gain insight into various financing options including traditional financing from banking institutions. Continental breakfast will be provided and parking is free. Those interested in attending can RSVP by calling Jan Henson at (619) 593-4416 or speaking with any bank representative.

Douglas Wilson Companies Finishes Washington, D.C. Projects

Douglas Wilson Companies of San Diego has completed two Washington, D.C. building projects — the new home for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Opus East Half Street office building — as the receiver for the projects. Douglas Wilson, chairman and CEO of the company, said the firm had to take on the role of developer, working with construction companies, architects and engineers to ensure that the buildings would get on track and completed. The projects had stalled two years ago.

Scripps Health CEO Named Volunteer of the Year

Scripps Health President and CEO Chris Van Gorder has been named Volunteer of the Year for 2012 for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department. The San Diego County Board of Supervisors presented Van Gorder the award in recognition of his public service to the region as reserve commander for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department’s Search and Rescue Unit. The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Detail has primary responsibility for all search and rescue missions involving lost or stranded persons within the unincorporated areas of the county as well as certain contract cities the department services.

SCORE Small Business Workshops

• April 10 – Business Basics 101 – 9 to 11 a.m. at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; no charge – please pre-register).

• April 11 – Import / Export – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• April 12 – Legal Issues for Small Business – Contracts and Leases – 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).

• April 13 – Internet Marketing 303 – Social Media for Small Businesses – 9 a.m. to noon at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• April 14 – Business Plan 101: How to Develop Your Best Competitive Advantage – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University – Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Rd., Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $79, $89 at the door).

The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO. 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: