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Daily Business Report — Dec. 5, 2012

Ratepayers Fear SDG&E End-Run
On Costs of the 2007 Wildfire

Consumer advocates are worried that California regulators may be quietly finding a way to allow San Diego Gas & Electric to recoup its uninsured 2007 wildfire costs from customers, KPBS reports. They point to a delay in a scheduled vote on the matter and an off-the-record meeting held last week. California Public Utility Commissioners summoned ratepayer representatives and SDG&E executives last week for the off-the-record meeting. Commissioner Timothy Simon in October recommended a rejection of SDG&E’s bid to have ratepayers cover hundreds of millions of dollars in uninsured fire losses from 2007. But Simon allowed for ratepayers to be charged for future costs under certain circumstances. Last week, regulators directed Simon to make certain changes to his recommendation. Ratepayer advocates worry the meeting was a pretext and the changes may be more expansive to favor SDG&E. They also say commissioners focused no attention on another opinion, written by an administrative law judge, that rebuffed customer reimbursement of both past and future uninsured wildfire costs.

14 Businesses Honored for
Ethical Business Practices

Fourteen San Diego County businesses were honored Tuesday for ethical business practices by the San Diego Better Business Bureau. Six for-profit companies and one nonprofit organization were top winners of the 2012 BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics. Seven others were named as finalists. The winners: On-Site Tech Support; Dream Design Builders; Reilly Financial Advisors; Quality Controlled Manufacturing Inc.; Coles Fine Flooring; JW Floor Covering; and Pacific Safety Council.

Finalists: Milholland Electric Inc. ; San Diego Law Firm; Action Air Conditioning, Heating & Solar; ASI Heating and Air;  Ideal Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical; Anderson Plumbing Heating and Air; and Bill Howe Family of Companies.

SDSU Undergraduate Applications Set Record

San Diego State University received a record 74,458 undergraduate applications for the fall 2013 semester, the most applications ever received by the university and an 8 percent increase from last year at this time. Among the fall undergraduate applications are 53,913 freshmen, a seven percent increase over last year at this time. Upper-division transfer students accounted for 20,545 applicants, a 12 percent increase over last year.

SDSU Alumnus Kathleen Kennedy
Gives a $100,000 Gift for Theater

Kathleen Kennedy

Kathleen Kennedy, one of Hollywood’s most accomplished film executives, is enabling SDSU students to make the films that could launch their careers.

 Kennedy,  a 1979 graduate, together with her husband and business partner Frank Marshall, has renewed her support for SDSU’s School of Theatre, Television and Film with a $100,000 gift. 

Her previous gift established the Kathleen Kennedy Student Awards, which offset production costs and film festival fees. “Students need opportunities to pursue their own creative interests while getting meaningful glimpses at the professional world, and where their careers might be headed,” said Kennedy, who became co-chair of Lucasfilm this summer. Walt Disney Co.’s recent acquisition of Lucasfilm means Kennedy will be executive producer of the new “Star Wars” films planned by Disney.

 As co-founder of Amblin Entertainment with Marshall and Steven Spielberg, Kennedy produced “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “The Color Purple” and “Back to the Future.” She is also co-producer with Spielberg of the new film “Lincoln,” which opened in theaters this month. (SDSU NewsCenter)

NASSCO to Build LNG-Powered
Container Ships With TOTE Inc.

Container ship rendering

General Dynamics NASSCO announced that it has finalized a contract with TOTE Inc. for the design and construction of two 3,100 TEU LNG-powered container ships.  When completed the 764-foot-long container ships are expected to be the largest ships of any type in the world primarily powered by liquefied natural gas.  Construction of the first container ship is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2014, with delivery to occur by the fourth quarter of 2015. The second ship will be delivered in the first quarter of 2016.  The contract includes options for three additional ships. “This project breaks new ground in green ship technology,” said Fred Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. The vessels will operate on either fuel oil or gas derived from LNG, which will significantly decrease emissions while increasing fuel efficiency as compared to conventionally-powered ships.

The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe Hire Tennis Director

Sara Stablein

Sara Stablein, named 2011 Southwestern Pro of the Year by the U.S. Professional Tennis Association, has joined The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe as its new tennis director. Stablein will oversee instruction and programming at The Bridges’ $5 million Tennis & Recreation Centre. Stablein spent the last nine years of her career rising through the ranks at the Phoenix Country Club. She was the club’s tennis director as well as tournament director of the Goldwater Women’s Tennis Classic Pro Circuit event. Stablein’s competitive achievements include her 2011 ranking as USPTA International Women’s Open Double Champion and co-ranking as the No. 1 Women’s Doubles Player of the Year. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico.

New Director Joins Cushman & Wakefield

Jean-Paul de Kervor has been hired by Cushman & Wakefield as a director, focusing on industrial properties and tenant representation in the Northern Mexico border markets. De Kervor has more than 25 years of international commercial real estate experience. He specializes in new manufacturing start-ups in Northern Mexico. De Kervor is also an instructor of Mexican Real Estate at University of San Diego and the former president of Maquila Properties Inc.

Free Rental Owner Education Seminar

The San Diego County Housing Authority is offering a free Rental Owner Education Seminar on Jan. 16, 2013. Topics include Section 8 Program Overview, Waiting List Preferences, Housing Quality Standards, Family Responsibilities, Landlord Responsibilities, and Section 8 Lease-up process. The Seminar will be held at 10 a.m., with registration at 9:30 a.m., at the offices of the Housing Authority, 3989 Ruffin R0ad, San Diego. Rental Owners should contact Felecia Mack at to confirm attendance.

Movers & Shakers

We’re seeking nominees for our sixth annual Metro Movers awards. Please submit your nominations by Dec. 20 to Rebeca Page at or fax to her at (858) 759-5755 or mail to

SD METRO at P.O. Box 3679, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067.

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?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: