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Daily Business Report — Nov. 30, 2012

County Economic Index Shows Improvement

The USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose 0.3 percent in October.  Three of the components — building permits, consumer confidence and the outlook for the national economy — were up moderately during the month.  The other three components — initial claims for unemployment insurance, local stock prices and help wanted advertising — were virtually unchanged for the month, with the latter two only slightly negative. October’s increase was the 10th gain in the last 12 months, with one of the other two months being a decline and the other being unchanged.

October’s modest gain, with none of the components advancing significantly and with three being unchanged as indicate above, epitomizes the current state of the economy.  The outlook is for more of the same, although the local economy is expected to pick up some in 2013.  Job growth for the coming year is expected to be in the 25,000 to 30,000 range, which will drive the local unemployment rate to below 8 percent. The sectors gaining the most jobs are the same ones that are doing well in 2012, namely professional and business services, health care and leisure and hospitality. A surprising sector will be construction, where employment this year was up for the first time since the peak in June of 2006.  The sector should do even better in 2013, as housing prices are expected to increase by high single digits.

County Water Authority Board Approves Landmark
Deal to Purchase Water from Desalination Plant

Carlsbad plant expected to produce first water in 2016

Plant Rendering

The San Diego County Water Authority’s board of directors on Thursday voted to approve a landmark agreement to purchase up to 56,000 acre-feet of water annually from what will be the nation’s largest seawater desalination plant in Carlsbad. The plant by Poseidon Resources is expected to start producing up to 50 million gallons a day in 2016. With the agreement approved, Poseidon and the Water Authority will approach the bond market to secure financing by the end of 2012. The next major step is constructing the desalination plant next to the Encina Power Station and a 10-mile pipeline that connects it to the Water Authority’s aqueduct in San Marcos. “We are now putting another big piece of our diversification plan in place that will help protect our region’s $186 billion economy from the potential shortages and the uncertainty created by heavy reliance on imported water,” said Thomas Wornham, board chairman.

A report commissioned by Poseidon forecasts more than 2,300 jobs in San Diego County created by the plant over the 32-month construction period. Once the facility is operating, it is projected to support nearly 600 jobs through direct and related spending.

Phil Baran

Hollis Cline

J. Lindsay Whitton

Jin-Quan Yu

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Honored

Four scientists from The Scripps Research Institute have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Chemist Phil Baran, neuroscientist Hollis Cline, immunologist J. Lindsay Whitton and chemist Jin-Quan Yu were elected by their association peers. Baran, a professor in the Department of Chemistry, was cited for outstanding contributions to the field of organic synthesis. Cline, a professor in the Department of Cell Biology, was recognized for seminal studies of how sensory experience affects the development of brain structures and function. Whitton, a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbial Science, was recognized for contributions to viral immunology and pathogenesis, for developing the first epitope-based vaccines. A professor in the Department of Chemistry, Yu was cited for distinguished contributions to the field of organic synthesis. The new fellows will be honored at the AAAS Fellows Forum during the annual meeting Feb. 16 in Boston.

BBB to Present Ethics Awards

The San Diego Better Business Bureau (BBB) will hold its Torch Awards for Marketplace Ethics at a noon luncheon on Dec. 4 at the Town and Country Resort Hotel, 500 Hotel Circle North, in Mission Valley. The program honors outstanding local companies and nonprofit organization that demonstrate a commitment to ethical business practices, Oz Sanchez, five-time world hand-cycling champion and decorated paralympic athlete, will be the keynote speaker. Five high school students will be honored with cash scholarships for writing outstanding 400-word essays on the importance of marketplace ethics and integrity. A total of 256 essays from students attending 87 different high schools in San Diego County were evaluated by judges. Admission is $75. Reservations: (858) 637-6199.

Allison Beall Honored for CREW Network Achievements

Allison Beall

Allison Beall, director of business development for Pacific Building Group, has won CREW Network’s Impact Award in the category of Member-to-Member Business. CREW is the commercial real estate industry’s business networking organization dedicated to advancing the achievements of women in the industry. The Member-to-Member Business award is presented to the national CREW Network member who consistently demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to either referring business to CREW members, connecting CREW members or doing business with other CREW members. Beall received the award for creating millions of dollars worth of business opportunities among more than 20 CREW San Diego members. She was selected from a nationwide pool of candidates from CREW chapters in 78 markets throughout the U.S. Beall was the only winner from San Diego. She joined the board of CREW San Diego in 2009. Beall was a SD METRO 40 Under 40 Award winner in 2011.

Robert Dixon Joins Wilson Turner Kosmo Law Firm

Robert K. Dixon has joined the law firm of Wilson Turner Kosmo as an associate in the product liability practice group. Dixon previously was with Tucker Ellis LP. His practice at Wilson Turner Kosmo primarily focuses on the defense of national automotive manufactures against negligence and strict products liability lawsuits in both state andfederal court. Dixon also represents automotive manufacturers in breach of warranty claims. He obtained his J.D. from the Southern California School of Law and bachelor’s degree from Loyola Marymount University.

The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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