Daily Business Report-July 30, 2013
Michael Pallamary announces the start of a recall campaign for Mayor Bob Filner at a press conference Monday. (Photo: Michael Cali)
Filner Recall Leader Gives Competitor 24 Hours to Withdraw
The leader of a drive to recall San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced Monday that his campaign was officially underway, and he called for the leader of a competing effort to withdraw within 24 hours, City News Service reports.“We have to rid the city of this mayor,” land use consultant Michael Pallamary said at a news conference. “He is committed to destroying this city day by day and hour by hour.” His recall effort is the second filed against Filner, behind that of Stampp Corbin, the owner and publisher of LGBT Weekly. He has been accused of trying to derail Palamary’s campaign because it’s unclear whether it’s legal to have two recall bids that target the same elected official. An opinion on that question by the City Attorney’s Office is expected later this week.
Pallamary said tactics like Corbin’s are “standard practice” and not unexpected. He gave Corbin, who he hasn’t spoken to, 24 hours to drop his campaign or he would file a complaint with the District Attorney’s Office, charging him with violations of the state elections code. City Clerk Elizabeth Maland said Pallamary filed a recall notice with the clerk’s office, and participants will be able to start collecting recall petition signatures Aug. 18.
Recall Process May Be Unconstitutional
There are now two efforts underway to recall embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. But according to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and Council President Todd Gloria, they may not stand up in federal courts, KPBS reports. The problem, they say, is not with the signature collection part of the recall, which is already getting underway. Two recall efforts are unprecedented, said Gloria. He said they don’t know if it’s even legal because the city has never been in this situation before. Glora added that what really worries him is the legality of San Diego’s recall procedure. The issue comes after the signatures are collected and when the voting begins. Voters must vote on the recall before they are able to cast their ballot for the mayor’s successor. According to a memo from the city attorney, a near-identical law was struck down by a federal district court in 2003 because it was found to restrict the constitutional right to vote and violate the First Amendment’s free speech clause.
Gloria said that is why the council is trying to fix the process. He said he is working with the city attorney and other council members to change the voting requirements so that they are in compliance with the law.
Filner Wants Taxpayers to Pay His Legal Fees
City Council President Todd Gloria said Mayor Filner has made a formal request for taxpayers to pay his legal fees to defend himself against a sexual harassment lawsuit. The request is to be discussed by the council today.
San Diego County Economic Index Rises
The USD Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County rose 0.1 percent in June. The gain was led by big increase in consumer confidence and smaller positive moves in help wanted advertising and building permits. These were nearly counterbalanced by drops in initial claims for unemployment insurance and local stock prices. The outlook for the national economy was unchanged. The five advancing components outweighed the one declining one to push the USD Index to its ninth straight gain and 17th in 18 months.
June’s advance was the 10th straight for the USD Index and the 18th gain in 19 months. The outlook remains for solid growth in the local economy through the end of 2013 and into at least the first half of 2014. Average wage and salary job growth in San Diego County in the first half of 2013 was up over 26,000 compared to the first half of 2012. If that pace could be maintained over the second half of the year, it would be the best annual job growth since 2000.
There is some concern about whether the pace can be maintained, as recent year-over-year growth comparisons have been weak. While every sector in the local economy experienced some job growth, the biggest gains were in administrative and waste services (+4,900), leisure and hospitality (+4,700), heath care (+3,300), professional, scientific, and technical services (+2,850), non-public educational services (+2,200), and government (+1,300).
SCS Engineers Selected for Project Excavation
BRIDGE Housing Corp. and general construction contractor Cannon Constructors have selected environmental consulting firm SCS Engineers to conduct mass and fine grading, plus environmental monitoring services for the COMM 22 affordable housing complex. Value of two contracts totals $2 million. Located at Commercial and 22nd streets in San Diego, COMM 22 is a 130-unit, four-story affordable family housing apartment complex with a two-level underground parking structure. SCS designed the excavation and mitigation program, secured regulatory agency approvals and will oversee and conduct the excavation of about 50,000 cubic yards of soil to facilitate development of the subterranean parking garage.
USC Ross Minority Program Expands Into San Diego
The University of Southern California Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, a program to give women and minorities real estate knowledge and leadership skills, will launch its first-ever San Diego program this fall. The program addresses the lack of diversity in commercial real estate, which was 89 percent white and 76 percent male in 2012, according to the National Association of Realtors. The program, which has taught about 700 students who are now working in all aspects of the industry, increases diversity among future leaders in real estate and teaches the fundamental skills needed to develop affordable housing, retail, mixed-use, office and community facilities in underserved communities. With the support of a grant from the Price Charities, the two-week San Diego program will enroll up to 25 students from Oct. 7-18. The program’s application deadline is Sept. 26. It’s free to apply. For more info, or to apply, visit www.usc.edu/schools/price/lusk/ross. Or call program manager Mary Peralta at (213) 821-1031.
Sapphire Energy Pays Off Government Loan Guarantee
San Diego-based Sapphire Energy Inc. announced that it has paid off the entire loan guarantee awarded to the company by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In Dec. 2009, the company was awarded a $54.5 million loan guarantee through the Biorefinery Assistance Program, administered by the USDA Rural Development-Cooperative Service, to build an algae-to-crude oil commercial demonstration facility in Columbus, N.M. In partnership with the USDA and the U.S. Department of Energy, Sapphire Energy developed and implemented its facility, known as the Green Crude Farm, on time and on budget. Today, the farm is operational and producing renewable crude oil on a continuous basis.
Corporate Directors Forum to Present Director of Year Awards
Corporate Directors Forum will recognize six San Diego directors for their high standards in corporate governance at its annual Director of the Year awards program on Sept. 18 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla. The directors being recognized are:
• Jack R. Blair director, NuVasive, honored as Director of the Year for Corporate Governance.
• Greg T Lucier, president and CEO, Life Technologies, honored as Director of the Year for Enhancement of Economic Value. Also serves on the board of CareFusion.
• Stanley T. Crook, chairman and CEO, Isis Pharmaceuticals, honored as Director of the Year for Companies in Transition.
• Jessie J. Knight Jr. chairman and CEO, San Diego Gas & Electric, honored as Director of the Year for Corporate Citizenship. Also serves on the board of Alaska Airlines.
• Lauree M. Sahba, director, Voices for Children, honored as Director of the Year for Corporate Governance, Not-for-Profit Board. Also is the chief operating officer at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
• Timothy Wollaeger, director, various boards, recognized for Lifetime Achievement in Corporate Governance.
The Director of the Year Awards dinner is open to the public and ticket prices are $250 per person. To make reservations, call (858) 455-7930 .
SCORE San Diego Offering Low-Cost Workshops in the Evening
SCORE San Diego is now offering low-cost workshops in the evening, covering subjects such as insurance, organizational structure and customer service. Entrepreneurs can select times and locations they want for free, one-on-one mentoring sessions. SCORE San Diego’s nearly 40 low-cost workshops are located throughout San Diego County — in Downtown, central San Diego and Carlsbad. SCORE San Diego will continue to offer daytime workshops. For a complete list of upcoming workshops, or to sign up for a low-cost workshop or request a free one-on-one mentoring session, visit www.sandiego.score.org or call (619) 557-5894.
National University Fundraiser to Benefit Veterans Program
National University will hold its second annual fundraising dinner, Visionary Voices, A Tribute to Our Veterans, on Oct. 19 at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina. E. Marie Landers, senior vice president and regional manager of the commercial banking group for Wells Fargo, will serve as the dinner’s chair. Proceeds from the dinner will fund the Veterans’ Victory Scholarship program. Individual seats are $250. For information, call Melissa Wells at (858) 642-8093.
Tristan Prettyman to Perform at
Benefit for Rachel’s Women’s Center
Singer, songwriter and former model Tristan Prettyman, a Del Mar native, will perform at a Sept. 15 fundraiser brunch to benefit Rachel’s Women’s Center, a center opened by Catholic Charities in 1984 as a safe home for homeless and low-income women. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will be hosted at the estate of Joan Waitt. All ticket sale proceeds will go directly to Rachel’s Women’s Center. The goal is to raise $500,000. Individual tickets are $425. The Estate of Joan Waitt is at 7243 Encella Drive in La Jolla. Semi-formal attire. Valet on site. For tickets, call Casey Blatt at (619) 704-1733 or visit www.ccdsd.org/rachels-brunch-2013.
Services provided by Rachel’s Women’s Center include a day center providing humanitarian services and counseling for homeless women, an emergency night shelter, longer-term housing and counseling, an independent living program and financial literacy training.
Tristan Prettyman was born and raised in Del Mar, attended Torrey Pines High School and began her career playing in local clubs and bars in San Diego County before being invited to join San Diegan Jason Mraz on his national tour. “Twentythree,” her first album, was released in August 2005. A second, “Hello,” was released in April 2008. Her third studio album, “Cedar + Gold,” was released in October 2012. “Say Anything,” a track from that album, will be featured in the upcoming 2013 adaptation and accompanying sound track of Nicholas Sparks’ novel, “Safe Haven.”