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Daily Business Report — Sept. 27, 2012

Ruben Barrales to be Ousted as President/CEO
Of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

Ruben Barrales, 50, president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce for the past six years, is being ousted, according to a report in the San Diego Business Journal. The newspaper reported that Barrales will not have his employment contract renewed, effectively terminating him Dec. 31. An announcement was expected today. The chamber management committee wrestled with renewal of Barrales contract three years ago, according to some sources, the newspaper reported. Members complained the chamber’s focus had drifted from small business and city issues while Barrales was in Sacramento or Washington, D.C., or Mexico.

Qualcomm Co-Founder Irwin Jacobs to Endorse DeMaio

Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs, a major contributor to Democratic political campaigns, is set to endorse Republican mayoral candidate Councilman Carl DeMaio, according to the DeMaio campaign. Jacobs would be the second big public figure to endorse the councilman in the last few days. Termed-out Mayor Jerry Sanders, also a Republican, also has endorsed DeMaio over Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego).

In a poll released Tuesday by SurveyUSA, conducted for 10News, Filner had a lead over DeMaio of 50 percent to 38 percent. Since the last 10News poll one month ago, Filner gained three points and DeMaio lost three.

Filner said the results of the poll “indicates my message of putting neighborhoods first, not special interests, is resonating with San Diego voters, and may have been the catalyst for today’s (endorsement).” The data showed the 10-term congressman leads by three points among men and 21 points among women.

Scripps Ranch Recreation Center Can Keep the Lights On

The Scripps Ranch Community Recreation Center in San Diego could become a major community focal point during a disaster. That’s because the center has a brand new solar power array on its roof that could help keep the lights on while the rest of the region struggles in the dark, KPBS reports.

The solar panels have cut the buildings power bill from $2,000 a month to next to nothing, but the system’s real value will be realized during an emergency. “The power grid on top, as well as the energy back-up system with our battery system would be able to continue to power this building while we were off the grid, so it is a self sustainable energy system,” said Chris Gonover of the San Diego Environmental Services Department. Because the building will have power, the recreation center could serve as a gathering place for residents or a communications center for first responders. State and federal dollars paid for the $545,000 project, with the hopes it will serve as a model for other communities. It is the first of its kind in Southern California.

Ashford University Accreditation Clarified

An item in the Sept. 25 Daily Business Report twice stated that Ashford University, the main college of Bridgepoint Education, had lost its regional accreditation. That was incorrect. Ashford University is currently accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Earlier this year, Ashford applied for accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), but that application was initially rejected. WASC has permitted Ashford to appeal its decision and undertake the parallel process of reapplying for accreditation, noting that Ashford has already initiated many of the processes required to achieve WASC accreditation. Ashford has begun both the review and reapplication process.

Marks, Finch, Thornton & Bird
To Add Three New Partners

The law firm of Marks, Finch, Thornton & Baird will admit three new partners effective on Jan. 1, 2013. The new partners are Danielle C. Humphries, David W. Smiley and Nowell A. Lantz. Humphries is a trust and estate lawyer who was previously associated with two boutique trust and estate planning firms. She is president of MAMAS (Mother Attorney Mentoriing Association of San Diego). Smiley practices in the areas of business litigation, construction law, construction defect and insurance coverage. He was previously with a Denver, Colo. firm and is currently co-chair of the Construction Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association. Lantz practices in the areas of construction law, business litigation and government and regulatory. He started with Marks, Finch, Thornton & Baird as a law clerk and has spent his entire professional career with the firm.

Rosenberg Reappointed to California Horse Racing Board

Richard Rosenberg, 73, of Solana Beach, has been reappointed to the California Horse Racing Board by Gov. Jerry Brown. He has served on the board since 2009. Rosenberg was executive vice president at the William Morris Agency from 1992 to 2005. He held multiple positions at Triad Artists Inc. from 1984 to 1992, including founding partner and president. Rosenberg was founding partner at Regency Artists Ltd. from 1974 to 1984. He earned a law degree  from the UCLA School of Law. The position requires Senate confirmation and compensation is $100 per diem. Rosenberg is a Republican.

Ryland Homes and SJA Landscape Architecture Honored

Ryland Homes and SJA Landscape Architecture were honored for landscape architecture at Bella Vista Homes in San Elijo Hills at the recent Icon Awards sponsored by the San Diego Building Industry Association. Russ Johnston, partner at SJA Landscape Architecture, designed the exterior to include colorful, drought-tolerant landscaping and gabions filled with local stone. Bella Vista features three two-story floor plans ranging from 3,461 to 3,776 square feet, with five bedrooms and four to 5 and a half baths. The homes, which feature dramatic indoor/outdoor spaces, are priced from the $700,000s. For information, visit or

Chalk Artists in Demand

The City of San Marcos and the San Marcos Arts Council are seeking beginner through advanced chalk artists for the San Marcos Alive Artwalk scheduled to take place at Old California Restaurant Row on Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  There is no fee for chalk artists. The arts council is also seeking sponsors who would like to acknowledge their businesses by having their name listed above a street painting. All donations will be used to support the arts in San Marcos. For information: (760) 744-9000 or visit

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.

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?

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