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Daily Business Report — April 9, 2013

Daily Business Report — April 9, 2013

City Faces Lawsuit Over 40-Year
Lease Extension to Bahia Resort Hotel

Voice of San Diego — An unusual lease extension granted to the Bahia Resort Hotel by the San Diego City Council has resulted in a lawsuit against the city by a local lawyer. The City Council approved the agreement, on the advice of the city attorney’s office because of  possible legal action. But Cory Briggs, a local attorney and legal activist who often challenges the city on environmental and open government grounds, filed suit last week. The lawsuit makes two specific complaints about the lease agreement, and Briggs said he will eventually add a third complaint. It alleges the property sits on “Pueblo Lands,” the city’s original geographical area under Spanish and Mexican law that was granted to California. The city’s charter says no part of the pueblo lands area can be subject to a lease of longer than 15 years. Briggs contends that all or part of the Bahia’s property is part of the original pueblo land grant, which would make the city’s 40-year lease extension illegal.

The council, in unanimously approving the deal, accepted an appraisal conducted by someone hired by the Bahia’s owner, hotelier Bill Evans. Briggs contends that renders the appraisal meaningless.

Southern California Edison Proposes Changes
To Operating License for Nuclear Generating Plant

Southern California Edison, the majority owner and operator of the idled San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, announced Monday that it has formally proposed changes to its operating license in an effort to start generating electricity at the plant, City News Service reports. SCE made the proposals at a meeting with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials last week and, at the time, said executives would decide whether to make the request official. SCE is hoping that the amendments, which authorize the plant to operate at 70 percent of generating capacity, will be approved by late May. On a separate track, the NRC has to decide whether to let the company follow through with a plan to restart its Unit 2 reactor. If the NRC grants the necessary approvals, San Onofre could start generating electricity as soon as June 1.


State Watchdog Agency Opens Inquiry
Into U-T San Diego’s Political Ad Rates

The California Fair Political Practices Commission announced Monday that it is looking into whether U-T San Diego offered an improper discount on political advertising during last year’s election. At first, calling it an investigation, and later revising it to a review, the FPPC, a state watchdog agency, said it’s reviewing whether the U-T San Diego violated campaign laws. The probe was prompted by an inewsource/KPBS Investigations Desk analysis, which found that an anti-Bob Filner political action committee paid just over $1,560 per full-page ad in the U-T during the San Diego mayoral race. Filner’s campaign consultant Tom Shepard said the U-T quoted him a price more than five times higher for one full-page ad. State law allows newspapers to offer such discounts but they must report them as in-kind political contributions, said Gary Winuk, chief of the Enforcement Division at the FPPC.

Randy Frisch Joins National University System

Randy Frisch has been named vice chancellor of business and administration for the National University system effective April 22. Frisch is joining the National University System from the San Diego Business Journal, where he has served as president and publisher since 2010. Prior to joining the Journal, Frisch established the Law Offices of Randy C. Frisch, a general business employment and labor law firm in San Diego.

AT&T Shares No. 1 Rank in San Diego

A wireless network performance study for San Diego by RootMetrics names AT&T in a tie as the overall RootMetrics RootScore Award winner for its combination of call, text and mobile Internet performance. The award is based on analysis of more than 31,800 wireless test calls, texts and mobile Internet transmissions conducted during February and March. “AT&T is tied for the highest rank in San Diego for overall network performance. We tested call, data and text performance across all networks in the San Diego area, including over 4G LTE networks,” said Bill Moore, RootMetrics president and CEO.

OnCore Manufacturing Opens Tijuana Plant

OnCore Manufacturing LLC, a Fremont, Calif.-based company that provides electronic manufacturing services to the aerospace, defense, medical device and industrial markets, is expanding its Mexico presence with the addition of a new facility in Tijuana. Located in the Otay-Caliente Industrial Park, the new 88,000 square-foot facility, with the ability to expand to 175,000 square-feet, is scheduled for volume production this month. “We are increasing our existing Tijuana capacity in response to customer demand for a robust, low-cost supply-base that has a short and flexible supply-chain able to service the US-market,” said Sajjad Malik, president and CEO of OnCore.

Northrop Grumman Receives $71 Million
Contract for Global Hawk UAV Program

Northrop Grumman Corp. has received a contract valued at more than $71 million for its Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system from the U.S. Air Force. Issued by the Global Hawk Systems Program Office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, the award is an add-on to a previous contract for block load and production acceptance infrastructure.

“This contract will enable us to continue to provide our troops with Global Hawk’s unmatched intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities for both domestic and international missions,” said George Guerra, vice president of the Global Hawk program for Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems sector.

Higgs Fletcher & Mack Awards $3,500
Scholarship to Second-Year Law Student

Thomas Wang, a second-year law student at California Western School of Law and an Asian immigrant, has received a $3,500 scholarship from the law firm Higgs Fletcher & Mack. The Higgs Fletcher & Mack Diversity Scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate ethical and/or civic leadership, as well as a commitment to providing services to underrepresented groups in the community. “This scholarship is particularly special because it is made possible by the generous contributions from the firm itself and several Higgs attorneys — not only Cal Western alumni but non-alumni as well,” said Rahil Swigart, member of the Higgs Fletcher & Mack Diversity Committee and a California Western School of Law alum. Wang was selected from a number of outstanding students. He is involved with a number of organizations including the Pan Asian Lawyer Association and Chinese Attorney Law Association. Thomas is currently an intern at the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office and is slated to graduate from California Western in 2014.

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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.

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