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Daily Business Report — Jan. 7, 2013

Desalination plant site

Desalination Plant to Generate
Jobs and Probably Lawsuits

Within three months, drivers on Interstate 5 should see signs of the new desalination plant going up next to the Encina power plant in Carlsbad, KPBS reports. Peter MacLaggan of Poseidon Resources said more than 2,000 jobs will be created over the three-plus years of construction. An Isreali firm with three successful desal plants already under its belt will design the plant and operate it when its complete, but much of the technology will be made locally. “San Diego County is the world’s leader in reverse osmosis technology, so here’s an opportunity to put this homegrown technology to work,” he said. Construction on 10 miles of pipeline to carry the desalinated water from Carlsbad through Vista to San Marcos will close some lanes on North County roads for several weeks at a time.

Concerns about damage to marine life persist. The desal plant will use the ocean intake built to cool the neighboring Encina power plant. But state law prohibits Encina from using ocean water for cooling after 2017. Livia Borak of the Coast Law Group said the Regional Water Quality Control Board will need to reassess the desal permit. She said environmental groups plan to file suit to force Poseidon to convert to “subserface” intake, which would damage marine life less. It would also reduce the amount the company can desalinate from about 50 million to about 15 million gallons a day. Poseidon plans to spend $25 million to mitigate damage to fish and micro organisms in the ocean by creating 66 acres of wetland in San Diego Bay.

SDSU to Host Program to Help Veterans
Find Employment in the Green Industry

San Diego State University’s Extended Studies will host a veterans sustainability event, “Discover Green Careers, Entrepreneurship & New Trends,” on Jan. 11 from 8-11 a.m. in the SDSU Extended Studies Center. The moderator will be Dylan Ratigan, a New York Times best-selling author and former host of MSNBC’s “The Dylan Ratigan show. Wendy Evers, executive director of new initiatives for Extended Studies, said the program will help transitioning veterans and military personnel better understand how to use their skills to get into the green industry. Capt. James C. Goudreau, director of the Navy Energy Coordination office in Washington, D.C., will be the keynote speaker. The panel for the fifth annual event includes Matthew Burkhart, a vice president at San Diego Gas & Electric; and Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power. Veterans will be admitted free; cost for the general public is $25. Breakfast and beverages will be served. For more information, call (619) 594-3047 or visit

San Diego Office Leasing Market Stuck

San Diego’s office leasing market is still stuck in a slowly recovering economy despite encouraging economic indicators, according to the Jones Lang LaSalle fourth quarter (2012) office market report. After reaching a recent bottom at last quarter at 8.5 percent, the unemployment rate in San Diego county slowly ticked back up to 8.6 percent but will likely diminish slightly because of seasonal hiring. However, optimistic employment outlooks continue to permeate into various industries including professional and business services, education and health services, and trade, transportation and utilities — all which have recorded the highest year-over-year changes compared to other industry groups. The technology and scientific sectors, which have historically played a significant role in San Diego’s growth, remain strong as professional, scientific, and technical services added 1,700 jobs in the last 12 months. Looking at the region’s year-over year change, 23,500 jobs have been added over the last 12 months, bringing the unemployment rate to 8.6 percent. This compares to 9.8 percent for the state and 7.5 percent for the United States as a whole.

U.S.-Japan Outreach Tour Explained

With the advent of the new Japan Airlines direct service to Japan and several other new non-stop flights between the U.S. and Japan, U.S. Ambassador John Roos is leading the first-ever U.S.-Japan Outreach Tour. The tour aims to increase awareness among American companies of opportunities to ramp up trade, investment and tourism, as well as on-going and future U.S.-Japan technology collaboration. The tour will be outlined at a Jan. 9 lecture at the UC San Diego Faculty Club at 2 p.m. The free program is open to the public.

Venture Capital Outlook for 2013

The outlook for venture capital in 2013 is the topic of a Jan. 24 program sponsored by the San Diego Venture Group. It will be held from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Del Mar Marriott. Among the speakers will be Jason Mendelson, managing director of Foundry Group and Joshua Green, general partner of Mohr Davidow.

Construction of Fowler Park at USD Reaches Halfway Point

Construction of Fowler Park at the University of San Diego is 50 percent complete, Turner Construction Co. announced. Topping out is scheduled for later this month and completion in February. The new Fowler Park will be home to Cunningham Field, built in the 1960s.  The new $11 million facility includes seating for 1,700, a clubhouse for the players, two suites, a press box, restrooms, concessions, stadium lighting, new sod, and synthetic turf.  Constructed with local and recycled materials, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and a sustainable design, the project is designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.

Jones Lang LaSalle Opens Downtown Office

Jones Lang LaSalle has opened a Downtown San Diego office at 450 B Tower, 450 B St., to serve its Downtown clients. The company also brokered two leases in the same building on behalf of the landlord, BCL. The new leases are for A.V. Arias & Co. for 60 months at $925,000 and James & Waddle PC for 40 months at $175,000.

Labor Leader’s Assembly Campaign Tops $125,000

Lorena Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO, says she has raised more than $125,000 for her campaign for the 80th Assembly District seat. The incumbent, Ben Hueso, will run for the state Senate district seat left vacant by Juan Vargas’ election to the House of Representatives. Gonzalez said the total, $126,276, came from a variety of sources – students, teachers, small business owners, conservationists, firefighters, construction workers, local San Diego companies, as well as Democratic and Republican elected officials.

The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO.

Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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