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Northrop Grumman to Produce More Fire Scout Helicopters for the Navy

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corp. a contract valued at more than $71 million to produce six additional next-generation Fire Scout
unmanned helicopters. The Fire Scout endurance upgrade, designated the
MQ-8C and based on Bell Helicopter’s 407, will provide ship commanders with increased range, endurance and payload capacity over the current MQ-8B variant. The Navy plans to purchase a total of 30 aircraft under a rapid development effort. Northrop Grumman is currently under contract to produce 14 Fire Scouts that are scheduled to begin deploying in 2014. Manufacturing and assembly operations of the new Fire Scout variant are under way across the country.

Corporate Directors Forum to Present Governance Training

Corporate Directors Forum’s Governance Academy is now offering a two-day training course geared toward expanding directors’ boardroom competencies, confidence and personal network. “The Essentials of Corporate Governance” training course, to be held May 16-17 at the University of San Diego, will be an interactive learning experience led by nationally respected directors and boardroom leaders drawing from real-life experiences and including relevant, recent business developments. Lead instructors will include Suzanne Hopgood, president and CEO, The Hopgood Group LLC; and Michael J. Berthelot, director, Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. To see the full agenda and register for the event, contact Corporate Directors Forum at (858) 455-7930 or visit

Governor Jerry Brown, San Diego Metro MagazineGov. Brown Convenes State Military Council

Gov. Jerry Brown announced the creation of a state military council, which includes several San Diego-area officials and is aimed at protecting the 29 installations around California and expanding defense-related jobs and investment, City News Service reports. “California plays a crucial role in our nation’s defense, and military bases and activities are vital to our state’s economy,” Brown said. “As federal priorities shift to cyber security and new military technology, this council will work to expand defense-industry jobs and investment in California.” The governor said the council will work to protect California’s military installations and operations amid ongoing Department of Defense budget cuts, and take advantage of changes in federal military strategy to position the state to continue innovation and leadership in its military mission.

San Diego elected officials and defense industry leaders lobbied hard against the automatic spending cuts to defense that were part of sequestration, citing potential job losses and economic damage. Some of them expressed concerns that a round of base closings could be ahead.

Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside, state Parks and Recreation Director Anthony Jackson, San Diego Military Advisory Council President James Jackson and University of San Diego President Mary Lyons were among those named to the panel.
Chavez is a former Marine colonel, Jackson a retired Marine major general and Johnson was a Navy rear admiral. Lyons rose to a captain during 25 years in the Naval Reserve and taught at the old Naval Training Center in Point Loma. The council will be chaired by ex-Rep. Ellen Tauscher.

Jill Secard, San Diego Scene, San Diego Metro Magazine

Jill Secard

Jill Secard Appointed Executive Director of the San Diego Diplomacy Council

Jill M. Secard has been appointed executive director of the San Diego Diplomacy Council (SDDC), a North Park-based nonprofit that works with the public and private sector to bring emerging world leaders to San Diego each year for professional and cultural exchanges. A former Foreign Service officer, Secard brings more than 10 years of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising and development, public relations, and special events production. She has been associated with Project Concern International, Just Like My Child Foundation, and A Reason to Survive, Inc. (ARTS). For 12 years she served in a variety of management positions for Hewlett-Packard Co. in the United States and France. Secard has an MBA degree in international business from the University of San Diego and a bachelor’s degree in business finance from California State University, Chico. She speaks French, Spanish and some Arabic.



Scripps Ranch to Boast the County’s First All-Solar Apartment Community

The first units of the county’s first all-solar apartments — Solterra EcoLuxury Apartments — will be released in May in Scripps Ranch, with full completion by early summer, according to developer H.G. Fenton Co. The “smart” community, as described by the developer, will not only allow residents the benefit of “zero” electricity bills, but will give them added conveniences that include garages that are pre-wired for electric vehicle charging and in-home Virtual Net Metering displays that let them easily monitor their kilowatt usage. “We are very proud to offer San Diegans the first market rate, 100 percent photovoltaic apartment community that will provide solar generated electricity for all 114 units as well as common areas,” said Mike Neal, H.G. Fenton president and CEO.

Solterra San Diego, San Diego Metro Magazine

Located at the intersection of Scripps Ranch Boulevard and Erma Road, Solterra will have a mix of one- and two-bedroom floor plans offering 741 to 1,127 square feet. Rental rates will range from $1,495 to $2,255 per month. The focal point of Solterra is a 3,200-square-foot Club Room for residents to socialize, work-out or entertain. The heart of the clubhouse is a restaurant-style bar and professional culinary kitchen that can be used for gatherings and events. Solterra was designed by Architects Orange of Orange County. The general contractor is Ledcor Construction Group.

Northrop Grumman’s Rancho Bernardo Plant Designated as a Center for its Drone Business

Northrop Grumman has designated its Aerospace Systems Rancho Bernardo facility as its new Unmanned Systems Center of Excellence (the drone business), bringing in a number of jobs to San Diego from its facilities in Bethpage, N.Y. and Melbourne, Fla. It is one of five centers the defense firm has designated as centers of design and integration excellence. The company says that consolidating to San Diego will allow the team to grow efficiencies, performance and innovation to address the continued needs of domestic and international customers. The Rancho Bernando site employs 2,200 people. “Consolidating these centers of excellence will improve our strategic alignment with our customers’ need for increasingly innovative and affordable products, services and solutions,” said Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman. The company will close its Dominguez Hills, Calif., facility as part of its consolidation.


Schubach Aviation Adds CessnaCessna Citation Sovereign, San Diego Metro Magazine
Citation Sovereign

Schubach Aviation has added a 2005 Cessna Citation Sovereign jet to its fleet of private aircraft, bringing the number of super-midsize and heavy jets the company now offers to five. The Sovereign’s 25-foot cabin seats up to eight passengers. The jet can climb to 43,000 feet and can travel 2,847 nautical miles nonstop at a cruising speed of 458 mph. “The new Citation Sovereign is ideally suited for trips coast-to-coast, to Hawaii, or Europe with one or two stops,” said Henry Schubach, company president.


U.S. Bank Giving Employes Tools and Funds to Help Implement Sustainability Programs

Beginning this month, U.S. Bank employees serving on any one of the bank’s 30 “Green Teams” across the country can apply for grants of up to $250 to help implement sustainability programs that their teams develop. “Over the past few years, our Green Teams have inspired creative and unique ideas,” said Lisa

U.S. Bank’s sustainability kit, San Diego Metro Magazine

O’Brien, director of environment affairs for U.S. Bank. “By providing this grant opportunity, we believe the Green Teams can have an even greater influence on employee education and engagement, resulting in a direct benefit to our environmental impact.”

In addition to the grants program, U.S. Bank will distribute sustainability kits to Green Team leaders. The kits are designed to educate employees and help them identify ways to optimize energy and water efficiency both in the office and at home and will include: a Kill-a-Watt meter to measure energy consumption and costs for individuals electronic devices; water usage gauges and leak indicator tablets to measure how much water is potentially being wasted by anything from a running faucet to a leaky toilet; infrared thermometer to record surface temperatures to find out where air may be escaping or entering a house; and instructions and educational materials to help employees understand and impact their results.


Unmanned Aircraft Industry Poised to Create 70,000 New Jobs in the U.S. in Three Years

If Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones, are integrated into the U.S. national airspace system by the target date of 2015, the unmanned aircraft industry would be poised to create more than 70,000 new American jobs in the first three years following integration. That’s the conclusion of a new study by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Beyond the first three years, the study projects that more than 100,000 new jobs will be created by 2025. In San Diego, the UAV industry includes General Atomics and Northrop Grumman Corp.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for an industry developing technology that will benefit society, as well as the economy,” said Michael Toscano, president and CEO of the association. “In recent years, unmanned aircraft technology has grown remarkably and is already proving useful in a range of domestic applications. Integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace will lead to new and expanded uses, which means the creation of quality, high-paying American jobs.”
In the first three years following integration, the total economic impact is projected to surpass $13.6 billion, growing to more than $82 billion between 2015 and 2025, the study said. Additional economic benefit will be seen through tax revenue to the states, which will total more than $482 million in the first decade following the integration.

Nationally, the precision agriculture industry is expected to be the largest market for UAS technology, the study found. UAS will help farmers monitor crops and distribute pesticides, which could not only help improve efficiency, but also reduce the total amount of pesticides sprayed, saving money and reducing environmental impact. The public safety sector is another area that will benefit from the tremendous potential for UAS technology, according to the association.

A study by the General Accounting Office found that much work is needed to overcome many of the obstacles to the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems into U.S. airspace — including the inability for UAS to sense and avoid other aircraft and airborne objects in a manner similar to manned aircraft. Congress set specific guidelines for the integration when it passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, setting a target date of December 2015 for the Federal Aviation Administration to meet those guidelines.

Elena Pacenti to Join the NewSchool of Architecture and Design

Elena Pacenti will join The NewSchool of Architecture and Design in August as director of the recently created Domus Academy School of Design. Pacenti comes from Domus Academy in Milan, Italy, one of the top-ranked design schools in the world. She will lead the development of new global design education programs, such as NSAD’s Bachelor of Interior Design that prepare students for careers in international design. The interior design program launched last fall, and classes begin in October 2013. Pacenti currently directs the Design School at Domus Academy. She was director of the Domus Academy Research Center from 2002 through 2009. In 2011, she established the Master in Service and Experience Design program at Domus Academy.

Tom Ham’s Lighthouse Undergoing Renovation

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.

Unveiling of the New Sunroad Resort Marina

In May, The Sunroad Resort Marina will unveil many new enhanced resort aspects and features. Located on Harbor Island, the marina is currently undergoing a renovation to increase the tenant and guest resort experience.

The best feature is the new pool and spa area. Cabanas and deck chairs will soon be surrounded by landscape and a new resort-style setting. The community pavilion is to be expanded with a new kitchen, TVs, furniture and more for tenants to mingle and entertain. These are in addition to the upgraded common areas, including a renovation of the gym and the business center within the marina. “We are excited to unveil the new marina,” said Jim Behun, marina manager. Other amenities include: being pet friendly, free WIFI and ample parking with walking distance to restaurants.

The marina has over 600 boat slips ranging in length from 30 feet to 65 feet and end ties up to 120-foot. And all of the slips are single slips. Boat dock services include electrical hookups, satellite television, fresh water service and a waste pump-out station. The docks are also access card controlled and security patrols the parking lots and grounds.

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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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