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Daily Business Report — March 28, 2013

Workshop to Help Small Business Owners
Get Answers on New Healthcare Reform Act

Small business owners can learn how the new Healthcare Reform Act will affect their business at an April 11 luncheon workshop presented by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development. The workshop, hosted by CDC Small Business Finance and other agencies, will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Liberty Station Conference Center in Point Loma. The workshop also will provide information about workforce training funds and resources to help grow small businesses.

Michael Lujan from California’s Health Benefit Exchange, will explain how the Healthcare Reform Act will affect small businesses in California. Other speakers will be Robert Meyer of the California Employment Training Panel, and Barbara Vohryzek, small business advocate from GO-Biz.

The cost to attend the event is $25 and includes lunch.  To register, go to www.cdcloans.com/san-diego-brown-bag-it-event Small business owners with questions can contact Erin Hebert at (619) 243-8624.

City Council to Consider Changes to
Tourism Marketing District Agreement

City News Service — The San Diego City Council is scheduled to hold a special meeting this afternoon to consider changes to an operating agreement for the city’s Tourism Marketing District. The City Council re-authorized the district in November, but Mayor Bob Filner has refused to sign the deal, which would start the flow of funding. The TMD is funded by a 2 percent surcharge on hotel rooms and uses the money to advertise San Diego as a tourist destination. Filner called the agreement bad for taxpayers and proposed his own revisions, which the TMD board rejected. A judge sided with Filner last week, ruling that it was up to him to sign the agreement as it was first proposed — or not. The City Council responded Tuesday by passing a resolution that requires Filner’s signature on the agreement.

Most of the amendments proposed by the council members deal with indemnification, one of Filner’s main concerns. Separate lawsuits have been filed over how the tourism district is funded. City officials want to ensure the general fund is protected in case of adverse legal rulings. The proposed amendments include having the tourism district post its meeting agendas, provide backup materials and annual reports, as well as a performance reviews of groups that get public funds.

Extra Pay to City Employees Increasing
Says Report by Taxpayers Group

Employees of the city of Chula Vista can earn an extra $100 a year if they pass a test showing they’re bilingual. Firefighters and police officers in Coronado get $775 and $850 a year, respectively, to spend on their uniforms. And National City police officers get an extra 7 hours of overtime a week for taking care of their police dogs. These costs may not seem like much, but a new report from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association shows they add up — and are steadily increasing. Data from the taxpayers association — which was independently verified by the inewsource and KPBS Investigations Desk — shows these types of “specialty pay” increased by 60 percent between 2000 and 2011 in 16 San Diego County cities. The report only looked at cities that belong to the California Public Employees Retirement System, or CalPERS.  (Read the full story at www.kpbs.org).

Cushman & Wakefield Forms Team to Serve
Real Estate Needs of Religious Organizations

Cushman & Wakefield has formed the North American Religious Facilities Group, a specialized team devoted to the real estate needs of religious organizations in the U.S. and Canada. The San Diego-based group is headed by Eric Knowles and Robert Fletcher, real estate professionals with extensive knowledge in the specialized field. They recently joined Cushman & Wakefield from CBRE, where they formed and subsequently directed its religious facilities group. Knowles, whose commercial real estate career spans 30 years, serves as senior director and practice leader of the new group. Fletcher, with eight years of real estate experience, serves as associate director. Advisory, acquisition, disposition and real estate consulting services are offered by the group.

Tom Ham’s Lighthouse
Undergoing Renovation

Tom Ham's Lighthouse rendering

Tom Ham’s Lighthouse,  a fixture on San Diego Bay for 42 years, is undergoing a $3.5 million makeover designed by architect Graham Downes. The restaurant closed on Jan. 2 and will reopen by May.The renovation will reposition Tom Ham’s Lighthouse as a dining destination by adding an outdoor dining deck along the entire bayside of the building. A new bar and cocktail lounge will take full advantage of panoramic views of San Diego Bay and the city skyline. The design team led by Downes, who also oversaw the Bali Hai Restaurant renovation, will lower the windows to improve the scope and size of the bay view. The family-owned landmark was opened in 1971 by the late Tom Ham. Today, the restaurant is owned and operated by his daughter, Susie Baumann, and her husband Larry, along with their three sons. The family also manages and owns the Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island, which underwent its own renovation in 2010.

Jacqueline Jackson Receives
Gubernatorial Appointment

Jacqueline Jackson, 57, of San Diego, has been appointed to the California State Independent Living Council by Gov. Brown. Jackson has been an independent nonprofit management consultant since 1994. Previously, she was development director and consultant for the San Diego Center for the Blind from 2002 to 2004, director for charter school development at Norman and Norman Inc. from 1996 to 2005 and an education consultant for the Schools Future Research Foundation from 1994 to 1996. Jackson was director of education, health and family support services for the Urban League San Diego from 1988 to 1994. The position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Jackson is a Democrat.

Filner Says Confrontations Part
Of Changing Status Quo in City

Mayor Bob Filner said Wednesday he didn’t plan on a series of “polarizing” confrontations with members of the City Council and other interests when he took office, but conceded it was the result of trying to change the status quo in San Diego, City News Service reports. “I would have hoped for a more tranquil first 100 days,”Filner said at his monthly informal gathering with reporters. Filner has had public spats with City Council President Todd Gloria and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, and also angered leaders of the hotel industry by refusing to sign an operating agreement that activates the Tourism Marketing District. Besides the TMD issue, he has also butted heads with the City Council over appointments to the commission that oversees the Port of San Diego, and nominees to the San Diego Association of Governments, a regional planning body. He said he will work to repair relationships.

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County Supervisor Ron Roberts (far left) chats with constituent at last year's lawnmower exchange.

Lawnmower Exchange Moves To
Qualcomm Stadium on May 11

Residents can exchange gasoline mowers for $400 models from Black & Decker

San Diego residents are invited to join County Supervisor Ron Roberts on May 11 in helping clean the air by exchanging old gas-powered lawnmowers for new electric rechargeable models. For the cost of an old mower and $99.99 in cash or on a credit card, residents can take home a quality Black & Decker rechargeable mower that retails for $420. This year, the event has moved from the parking lots surrounding the County Administration Center to Qualcomm Stadium.

The 14th annual Lawnmower Trade-In Event takes place Saturday, May 11, at the Qualcomm Stadium, 9449 Friars Road. The location offers ample space for people to line up with old mowers and later, with a receipt in hand, cue-up in their cars to have a new mower loaded. Folks always arrive early for this event, which begins at 8 a.m. Lineups can begin at 4 a.m.

Since 2000, 6,457 zero-emission mowers have been distributed in San Diego County, removing more than 64,550 pounds of pollutants from our air, according to Roberts. “In one year, most conventional lawn mowers spew more pollution into our air than a car driven more than 20,000 miles,” he said. “San Diego’s air is now the cleanest it has been in decades. Programs like this are improving the quality of life for our residents.”

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The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO.

Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865. manny@sandiegometro.com.

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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: info@probolskyresearch.com