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Daily Business Report — Oct. 22, 2012

Balboa Park Plaza de Panama Plan
Postponed Until February 2013

The Plaza de Panama Project — a plan to remove parking from the central area of Balboa Park and to build a bypass bridge off the Cabrillo Bridge and an interior parking structure — won’t begin until February. It was supposed to start this fall. The postponement was announced by the Plaza de Panama Committee, the group headed by Qualcomm co-founder Irwin Jacobs. The committee said the delay was necessary to allow for the resolution of litigation filed by opponents of the project. The Save Our Heritage Organisation sued the city, alleging the bypass bridge would ruin the historical character of the park. A final hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 1 on the lawsuit. “Despite the shorter construction period, the project is still scheduled to be completed in early October 2014, in time for the 2015 Centennial Celebration in Balboa Park,” the committee said.

Poll Shows DeMaio 10 Points Ahead of Filner

A poll commissioned by U-T San Diego indicated that Councilman Carl DeMaio leads Rep. Bob Filner (D-San Diego) by 10 points in their race to become mayor of San Diego. The accuracy of the poll, conducted by the Glover Park Group, was questioned by the San Diego LGBT Weekly, which contended that no other poll has placed DeMaio in the lead. The publication also noted that U-T San Diego has endorsed DeMaio.

San Diego County Unemployment Rate Falls

The San Diego County unemployment rate fell to 8.4 percent in September as nonfarm employment grew by 200 jobs over the month and 28,000 jobs over the year, the state Employment Development Department reported. The jobless rate was the lowest since January 2009.

California’s unemployment rate for September was 9.7 percent while the national jobless rate was 7.6 percent.

Between August 2012 and September 2012: Total nonfarm employment increased from 1,254,000 to 1,254,200 jobs, a gain of 200 jobs. Agricultural employment gained 100 jobs, or 1.0 percent. Government reported the greatest month-over gain, adding 6,400 jobs.

Between September 2011 and September 2012: Total nonfarm employment gained 28,000 jobs, or 2.3 percent. Agricultural employment increased by 100 jobs, or 1.0 percent. Professional and business services posted the greatest year-over gain, adding 9,200 jobs.

San Diego Arts Funding Could Go Up

In the early 2000s, things were good for local arts organizations. The city of San Diego distributed nearly $11 million in arts funding in 2003. But through the years, that amount has decreased. Now it stands at just over $7 million, reports KPBS. Today the City Council will consider a plan to get the funding levels back up. That involves allocating a larger portion of hotel room taxes to arts and culture. The five-year blueprint seeks to get funding to about $18 million a year by fiscal year 2017. The blueprint does not bind the council to any action; it would simply serve as a guideline.The issue has received support from Mayor Jerry Sanders as well as several council members.

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: