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Daily Business Report — July 12, 2012

Gov. Brown Signs ‘Homeowners Bill of Rights’
Package to Curtail Unfair Lending Practices

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed new legislation intended to help struggling homeowners avoid foreclosures. Democratic lawmakers in California passed the “Homeowners Bill of Rights” package last week over the objections of the banking industry and most Republicans. KPBS reported that the signings are a victory for Attorney General Kamala Harris. She lobbied heavily for the bills and said they’ll help end unfair lending practices. The new laws take effect on Jan. 1. They will bar foreclosures while loan modifications are pending and offer homeowners a single point of contact with lenders. Homeowners will also be allowed to sue banks, with certain restrictions, if they believe they’ve been wrongly foreclosed upon.

Two Tactical Setbacks in Court for San
Diego in Proposition B Pension Reform Cases

A San Diego judge issued a temporary restraining Wednesday order that bars immediate implementation of a voter-approved pension reform initiative. The written ruling issued by Superior Court Judge Luis Vargas was one of two procedural setbacks in the city of San Diego’s defense of Proposition B, which passed on June 5 with the support of 66 percent of voters. In the other decision, the state Supreme Court rejected a bid by the city to consolidate litigation over the initiative and place it before the 4th District Court of Appeal. Vargas said the TRO will be in place until July 27, when he will reconsider his decision. The request to slow down implementation of Proposition B was made by lawyers with the state Public Employment Relations Board, which is set to hold a hearing on the initiative before that date. A complaint was brought to PERB by unions that represent city employees, who claim city officials should have consulted with them before placing the initiative on the June 5 ballot. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said the city was only required to meet and confer with its unions before implementing the measure. —City News Service

County Supervisors Approve Program
to Assign Letter Grades to Food Trucks

The county Board of Supervisors has approved a program for assigning letter grades to the fleet of food trucks and other mobile food operators. Supervisor Ron Roberts, board chairman, brought the idea of letter grades to his colleagues in February. The board directed the county Department of Environmental Health, the agency that regulates restaurants and mobile food operators, to develop an inspection program that included letter grades. The board officially adopted the program.  Of the 1,100 mobile food operations that San Diego County now inspects through its Department of Environmental Health, 550 are in the business of preparing food for sale to the public, according to Roberts’ office. While the inspections ensure that operators comply with the highest levels of food safety, especially when it comes to refrigeration and preparation, the results were not prominently displayed for customers.

Jamul Acreage Purchased by SANDAG and
Interior Department for Species Protection

SANDAG and the U.S. Department of the Interior have purchased a 1,905-acre property in the Hidden Valley area of Jamul for open space preservation and the protection of endangered and threatened species. Those include the Quino checkerspot butterfly and California gnatcatcher. The newly-acquired land is now part of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge, an 11,000-acre block of habitat long recognized for its rich and unique biodiversity. The Hidden Valley site fills in the missing links between the National Wildlife Refuge managed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve managed by the California Department of Fish and Game.


San Diego — Torrie Dunlap has been named chief executive officer of Kids Included Together (KIT), an organization that trains youth organizations in how to accommodate children with disabilities into their programs. Dunlap is executive director of the National Training Center on Inclusion. Dunlap has previously been associated with KIT, both as a board member in 2001 and as a staff member beginning in 2003. She was a contributing author for a college textbook titled “Inclusive Recreation,” published in 2010 by Human Kinetics Publishing.

San Diego — Kate Leonard, partner in the Hutchinson and Bloodgood CPA firm, has been appointed honorary consul general of Japan in San Diego. The appointment has been recognized by the U.S. State Department. Leonard was once the only American CPA working for Asahi Kaikeisha, Japan’s largest audit corporation. She has been active in San Diego’s Japanese business community.

The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO. 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.

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