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Daily Business Report — Dec. 18, 2012

San Diego City Council Creates Standing
Committee to Address Infrastructure Needs

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Monday to create a committee to deal with a backlog of infrastructure improvements, including streets that need to be repaved and flood channels that need to be cleared, City News Service reports. “By creating a standing committee that focuses on this issue, my expectation is this committee will continue to work on what this council had been doing in terms of streamlining our road repairs, trying to process contracts faster and get more of this work out on the street,” council President Todd Gloria said. Freshman Councilman Mark Kersey, who made “Rebuilding San Diego” the theme of his inauguration address, will head the the Infrastructure Committee. Council members Marti Emerald, Sherri Lightner and Scott Sherman also are expected to serve on the panel. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, but I think we’re going to do a lot of long-overdue things that the city needs done,” Kersey said. He promised to catalog all the jobs that needed doing and to develop a five-year construction schedule. Kersey put the cost of catching up on capital improvements and maintenance at $900 million, but he conceded the actual figure was probably higher.

Council Committee Assignments

The City Council  also voted to combine the Rules and Economic Development and Strategies committees under Lightner, who narrowly avoided defeat in the June primary and came back to win a second term last month. Lightner will replace Councilman Kevin Faulconer as City Council president pro tem —becoming the first woman to hold the position. She will review the council’s committee structure and report back in six months, around the time a successor to outgoing Councilman Tony Young would take office. Other committee heads will remain in place — Gloria for Budget, David Alvarez for Natural Resources and Culture, Emerald for Public Safety and Housing, Faulconer for Audit, and Lorie Zapf for Land Use and Housing.

San Diego Stone and Tile Contractor Ordered to Pay
$504,000 in Wages and Fines for Labor Law Violations

California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su ordered Wirtz Quality Installations Inc. to pay $102,292 in wages and $402,450 in fines for labor law violations committed on a Palomar Pomerado Health Systems public works project in Escondido. The commissioner issued a civil wage and penalty assessment in an effort to collect all wages owed to workers. The San Diego-based stone and tile contractor failed to pay 55 employees the proper wage for their work on the Palomar Medical Center West Project, according to the commissioner. The commissioner’s action came after an investigation uncovered evidence that Wirtz willfully violated the law by failing to pay proper prevailing wages on the project.

Cubic Corp. Acquires NEK Operating Assets

Cubic Corp. has acquired from NEK Advanced Securities Group Inc. the operating assets of its NEK Special Programs Group LLC subsidiary, their Special Operation Forces training business based in Fayetteville, N.C. and Colorado Springs, Colo. The all-cash transaction closed on Dec. 14 with a total consideration of $52 million subject to the terms of the purchase agreement. The assets are being acquired by NEK Services Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cubic Corp., and will operate under the leadership of Jim Balentine, president of Cubic Mission Support Services.  The more than 200 operational and technical experts of NEK’s Special Operations Forces training business will become employees of Cubic.

Cubic Defense Applications
Receives New U.S. Army Order

Cubic Defense Applications, the defense systems business of Cubic Corp., has received a new $12.5 million order for its Instrumentable MILES Tactical Vehicle Systems from the U.S. Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation. Cubic delivered more than 1,000 kits to U.S. Army installations in November, with the U.S. Army Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif., receiving most of Cubic’s production.

 The first six tactical vehicle systems went to Fort Carson, Colo., where they will be used to train end users. Cubic is to deliver over 3,000 systems under the first option of its 2010 contract with the Army’s Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation. The company will conclude deliveries under the first option in May 2013, then commence work on a second option, which includes the $12.5 million order.

Quidel Receives FDA Clearance for Diagnostic Test Sale

Quidel Corp. announced that it has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the sale of its non-instrumented molecular diagnostic test — the AmpliVue C. difficile Assay — for the detection of bacterial infections. C. difficile infection is frequently associated with antibiotic therapy and prolonged hospital stays. Typical symptoms include nausea, fever, watery diarrhea and abdominal pain due to inflammation of the colon. Detection is achieved using a hand-held, fully contained cassette.

Defense and IT Conference Returns to San Diego

The largest defense and IT conference and exposition on the West Coast returns to the San Diego Convention Center, Jan. 29-31. Senior military leaders and defense industry experts will address the theme “Pivot to the Pacific: What are the Practical and Global Implications?”  The 22nd annual conference, which is expected to draw more than 12,000 people, covers key issues facing the military including defense budgets, fiscal cliff, cybersecurity, innovation, and retention. Attendees can see, touch and try out the latest communications, homeland security, biometrics and defense technologies from 400 exhibitors. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

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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