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Daily Business Report-June

Daily Business Report-June

Example of an Implantable Miniature Telescope is this one manufactured by VisionCare Opthalmic Technologies of Saratoga, Calif.

Kaiser Permanente Specialists Offer Implantable

Miniature Telescopes to Improve Vision

A team of specialists in Kaiser Permanente San Diego’s ophthamology department is the first of all Kaiser Permanente facilities to offer Implantable Miniature Telescopes (IMT) that are surgically placed in the eye during an outpatient visit to improve vision. Nationally, there are only 50 sites to provide the cutting-edge technology, and approximately only 200 IMTs have been implanted around the world since the pea-sized device became available in 2010. Under the direction of Dr. Peter Custis, chief of ophthalmology for KPSD, and Drs. Leslie Purcell and Tim Yee, who are the only two certified low-vision specialists at KPSD, the technology offers invaluable benefits for the right candidate. For example, it could allow a person to see their family member’s face at the dinner table again. However, not everyone with low-vision is a good fit for the procedure.

“The screening of endstage macular degeneration patients for the new implantable telescope requires a very specific battery of tests, and not every patient is a good candidate for this technology,” said Purcell. She added that an ideal candidate would be someone who is in stable health, mobile and motivated to do the pre-and post-training necessary to fully utilize the IMT. That training can take up to a year to complete.

Mayor Hires New Planning Director

Bill Fulton, former mayor of Ventura

Bill Fulton, former mayor of Ventura

In his campaign and since taking office, Mayor Bob Filner promised a City Hall focused on improving quality of life in San Diego’s neighborhoods. Today he hired the man whose job it’ll be to make that happen, reports Voice of San Diego. He is Bill Fulton, former mayor of Ventura, nationally recognized sustainable development expert and the author of the pre-eminent textbook on planning in California. Fulton is the new head of the city’s planning department. Filner’s calling it the Planning and Neighborhood Restoration department. Fulton’s hire will also allow Filner to make good on his promise to separate the city’s planning division from the Development Services Department, after they were consolidated by Mayor Jerry Sanders. Kelly Broughton, the leader of that department, left last week and has not been replaced. Now, development services will focus on issuing permits and enforcing code violations. Planning will evaluate the merit of major development proposals and steer the city’s long-term growth.

Majority of San Diego County Employers Don’t Expect to Increase Workforce

Employers in San Diego County are expected to hire at a solid pace during the third quarter of 2013, according to the Manpower Employment Outlet Survey. From July to September, 19 percent of companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 69 percent expect to maintain their current workforce levels. On the other end of the job spectrum, 8 percent of area companies expect to reduce staff and 4 percent are simply not certain of their hiring plans. All of this action yields a net employment outlook of 11 percent.

“Employers’ hiring expectations for the third quarter are the same compared to second quarter when the outlook was also 11 percent,” said Manpower San Diego President Phil Blair. “Compared to one year ago when the net employment outlook was 13 percent, employers are slightly less optimistic about their staffing plans.”

On the state level, 21 percent of California companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 70 percebt expect to maintain levels and only 6 percent plan to reduce staff.

San Diego’s City Budget Passed; City Attorney Funding Maintained

The City Council Monday passed a $2.75 billion budget for the city of San Diego for the 2013-14 fiscal year and rejected a cut proposed for the City Attorney’s Office, City News Service reports. The vote on the overall budget was 7-2, with Councilmen Kevin Faulconer and Scott Sherman opposed. Among the additions to the spending plan submitted by Mayor Bob Filner in April are a bonus fund meant to retain police officers — who have been leaving the San Diego Police Department to nearby agencies in large numbers, an increase in operating hours for libraries and improvements to the visitors center at Mission Trails Regional Park.

Once the overall budget was passed, the council members took up a proposed $1.4 million cut to the office of City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Filner’s top political rival in municipal government. Goldsmith said he needed $500,000 to avoid layoffs in the city’s Neighborhood Prosecution Unit, which handles minor offenses without clogging up the court system.

On a 5-4 vote, the council passed an amendment to provide the funding for the City Attorney’s Office. Council members David Alvarez, Myrtle Cole, Marti Emerald and Sherri Lightner dissented.

City Council Unanimously Approves 5-Year Contracts With Unions

The City Council gave final approval Monday to five-year labor agreements with the six unions that represent city of San Diego employees, City News Service reports. The deals are expected to generate nearly $110 million for the city’s general fund, which pays for basic services like public safety and libraries, over the life of the contracts, as well as gradually restore most of a 6 percent pay cut faced by workers since 2009 and implement terms of a pension reform initiative passed by voters last year. Tim Davis, a consultant on the city’s negotiating team, called the deals a “historic achievement.” The contracts were approved by most of the labor organizations last week.  Councilman Kevin Faulconer said negotiations in the final weeks were “very intense” but produced deals the city could afford. Council President Todd Gloria acknowledged that employees weren’t going to get rich off the contracts, but can now take part in the city’s fiscal improvement after having shared the “down side.” The city expects the general fund to save $19.5 million in the fiscal year that begins July 1, incrementally increasing to $23.4 million in savings by the end of the five-year period.

Rose Wine Pub in South Park Named Small Business of the Year in the 78th Assembly District

Susan Prise and Toni Atkins

Susan Prise and Toni Atkins

The Rose Wine Pub in South Park has been honored by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins as the Small Business of the Year for the 78th Assembly District. The recognition was celebrated at a special luncheon and ceremony in Sacramento, attended by the pub’s owner, Susan Prise, and Atkins. “Rose Wine Pub is place to gather and relax with neighbors and friends in a pleasant, warm atmosphere of good food and drink,” says Atkins.  “This local establishment captures the essence of the surrounding area and exemplifies why San Diego is known as a cosmopolitan city of neighborhoods.” The Rose Wine Pub is named for the historic location it occupies, the restored 1927 Rose Grocery building, and in honor of the owner’s grandmother, Rose Miranda. The wine storage was constructed by a local craftsman and made from the reclaimed redwood of a historic South Park home. The wine selection features many small productions vineyards all over the world, offering customers the opportunity to taste options they may not find elsewhere.

Home Sales Rise in San Diego County

San Diego home sales were strong in May and median prices continued to rise steadily, according to the latest housing statistics from the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. Detached home sales increased 15 percent in May compared to April, and about 10 percent from last year. Properties also continued to be scooped up fast, with an average of only 54 days on the market.

The median price of detached homes increased to $466,000 in May. That’s up 4 percent from the previous month, and 22 percent from May of 2012. The median price of attached properties was up nearly 6 percent from April, and 33 percent from a year ago. Condos and townhomes surpassed the $300,000 median price, which, according to SDAR’s statistics, hasn’t been topped since March 2008.

“The market trends we’re seeing in San Diego, fueled by high demand and tight inventory, are surfacing elsewhere in California and across the country,” said Linda Lee, SDAR’sbBoard president.

The strengthening of the market is apparent across San Diego County, particularly in Chula Vista, El Cajon, La Mesa, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Escondido and Rancho Bernardo.

Sonic Drive-In to Build Restaurant in Kearny Mesa

Sonic Drive-In’s owner has signed a 20-year lease for 36,590 square feet of space at 5247 Kearny Villa Road in Kearny Mesa for operation of the fast-foot restaurant. It will be Sonic Drive-In’s fifth restaurant in San Diego County. Construction will be on the site of a former Black Angus restaurant.

The lease was handled by CBRE San Diego and Coldwell Banker. Westbrook Ventures 1 LLC is the lessor.

Danielle Royal Joins Union Bank’s Retail Consumer Lending Team

Danielle Royal

Danielle Royal

Danielle Royal has joined Union Bank’s retail consumer lending team as a mortgage consultant in San Diego. Royal is responsible for assisting clients with their home mortgage needs in the greater San Diego area, with a focus on East County. Royal has 15 years of lending experience. Before joining Union Bank, she served as divisional manager at American Mortgage Network. Prior to that, Royal was regional manager at 360 Mortgage Group.  Previously, she served as divisional manager at Wachovia Mortgage/Wells Fargo. Royal earned a bachelor’s degree in finance at San Diego State University.

Jones Lang LaSalle Hires New Executives

 Chris Ross

Chris Ross

Paul Braun

Paul Braun

Jones Lang LaSalle has hired Paul Braun as managing director and Chris Ross as vice president to head the firm’s health care brokerage team in San Diego. Both Braun and Ross have a history of advising some of the biggest names in health care, both nationally and locally, on medical office and health care real estate leasing, investment sales, owner-user sales and occupier services. Notable clients, past and present, for Braun and Ross include Scripps Health, Sharp HealthCare, Rady Children’s Physician Management Services, Palomar Health, Kilroy Realty, Finest City Realty, Newport National Corporation, Surgical Care Affiliates, Imaging Healthcare Specialists and Graybill Medical Group.

National Funding Appoints Bob Sweeney Chief Financial Officer

Small business financial services company National Funding, announced today its appointment of Bob Sweeney as chief financial officer. Sweeney has served in the financial services industry for 27 years.  As a member of the executive team, he plays a key role in the company’s economic forecasting in order to ensure National Funding’s financial foundation. He has served as CFO, controller and global analyst positions for large and small companies, both public and private. Some of the companies Sweeney has held financial positions with are Citicorp Equipment Finance, Sequa Capital Corp., Rockford Industries/ American Express Business Finance to name a few. Sweeney received his B.B.A. in accounting and M.B.A. in management information systems from Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y.

Federal Contracts

Epsilon Systems Solutions

Epsilon Systems Solutions Inc., San Diego, was awarded a $6,937,467 federal contract by the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, for professional and engineering support services for the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center. Places of performance will be in Apra Harbor, Guam; Bremerton, Wash.; Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; San Diego; Sasebo, Japan; and Yokosuka, Japan.

Sygnos Inc.

Sygnos Inc., San Diego, won a $4.78 million federal contract from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Network 22 Logistics Office, Long Beach, Calif., for the conversion of T-1 area to long-term care unit.


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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: