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Daily Business Report — June 8, 2012

Planning Commission Backs
Plaza de Panama Proposal

The city Planning Commission voted 7-0 Thursday to approve the Plaza de Panama project, a proposal by Qualcomm Inc. co-founder Irwin Jacobs to clear vehicles from the center of Balboa Park. The action sets the stage for a vote by the City Council on July 9. The most controversial aspect of the $45 million proposal is the construction of a bypass bridge off of the Cabrillo Bridge that would direct traffic to a multiple-level parking garage in the interior of the park. The Save Our Heritage Organisation and several other groups have objected to the plan, saying it would ruin the character of Balboa Park, which will have its centennial celebration in 2015.

Appeals Court Asked to Rule on Pension Measure

The City Attorney’s Office asked the state’s 4th District Court of Appeal Thursday to hear all five pending court cases involving Proposition B, the pension-system-overhaul measure overwhelmingly passed by voters this week. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said he also sent a pair of letters to each of the six unions that represent municipal workers — one asking for a required meet-and-confer process to implement the provisions of the ballot measure and the other inviting them to discuss a global settlement for all outstanding issues between the city and its employees. “The city got the message from the voters on June 5,” Goldsmith said. He said he wants to avoid the type of delay that dogged implementation of managed competition, which was approved by voters in 2006 but was only implemented two years ago. Labor leaders filed lawsuits and campaigned intensely against Proposition B, but it was approved by two-thirds of San Diego voters. Lorena Gonzalez, the CEO of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, told City News Service on election night the measure would be overturned by the courts.

Program Director Appointed for
S.D. Medical Society Foundation

Carmel Valley resident Francesca Mueller has been appointed program director of the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation, responsible for supervising its flagship program, Project Access San Diego. Mueller is the former project manager at the Center for the Promotion of Maternal and Infant Health at UC San Diego and previously held the position of advocacy and Ccommunications manager at the Health Care for All New York Coalition in New York. She holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from New York University.

RF Industries Reports 2nd Quarter Results

RF Industries Ltd. reported preliminary results for the second quarter of this year. Net income increased 48 percent to a second quarter record of $602,000 or eight cents per share, compared to net income of $407,000 or six cents per share in the same period of last year. Net sales increased 52 percent to a record $6.7 million compared to $4.4 million in the same period last year, reflecting additional sales of $1,836,000 from Cables Unlimited Inc., which was acquired in June 2011. The company also announced that its board  has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.05 per common share, payable July 16 to shareholders of record on June 30, 2012.

Northrop Grumman Demonstrates SmartNode Pod

Northrop Grumman Corp. completed a series of test flights May 17 that demonstrated the transmission of imagery, video, voice and digital messages using a pod-based airborne communications system, the company reported. The SmartNode Pod is based on the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node technology that allows real-time information to be exchanged among many different military and commercial radios and relays full-motion video — a critical capability for deployed warfighters. Northrop Grumman’s Firebird aircraft flew the pod during the demonstration effort at Mojave, Calif. Firebird is an optionally piloted aircraft that operates multiple intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance payloads simultaneously. “The lightweight SmartNode Pod is ready to mount on many different military aircraft and provides a much-needed capability controlled by the deployed commander,” said Claude Hashem, vice president of network communications systems for Northrop Grumman Information Systems.

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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: