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Daily Business Report-Aug. 13, 2013

Daily Business Report-Aug. 13, 2013

 A fairway on the golf course near the Sycuan casino on the Sycuan Indian Tribe’s reservation in rural El Cajon.

Sycuan Indian Tribe to Sign

Historic Land Transfer Agreement

Tribal leaders from the Sycuan Indian Reservation will sign a land transfer agreement on Thursday that will nearly triple the size of the reservation. The tribe has scheduled a 10 a.m. signing ceremony that will include officials from the Department of the Interior and representatives from the governor’s office.

In the last decade, the Sycuan Band of Kumeyaay Indians has used profits from its successful casino to buy about 2,000 acres of land surrounding the reservation. Now, the federal government is to designate and additional 1,400 acres.

Tribal officials said the land transfer may be the largest of its kind in the United States. The 1,400 acres acquired will nearly triple the size of the Sycuan reservation in rural El Cajon. About 85 percent of the land will be preserved in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state Fish and Game, according to a tribal release. The tribe has sold another 600 acres of land to the Kumeyaay-Diegueño Land Conservancy for permanent cultural and open space protection. Tribal leaders said they will work with local agencies such as the county of San Diego, Sweetwater Authority, Dehesa School District and the          Environmental Protection Agency to ensure the protection of vital Kumeyaay cultural and archeological sites located within the newly acquired land. Tribal leaders will also mitigate fiscal impacts to local agencies.

Last March, the local planning group opposed the land transfer, as did County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who represents the East County.

Life Sciences Trade Group Biocom Calls for Mayor’s Resignation

The trade organization for San Diego’s life sciences industry made the latest call for Mayor Bob Filner to resign over allegations that he made numerous unwanted sexual advances toward women, City News Service reports. The board of directors of Biocom unanimously voted on Monday to lend its name to the chorus of calls for the mayor to step down. “The allegations against the mayor are very grave, and while there will be a time and place for him to receive the due process he has called for, there also comes a point where civic paralysis can no longer be tolerated,” said Bicom Chairwoman Magda Marquet. “We are well beyond that point already.” Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom, said Filner’s behavior around women is unacceptable in a professional setting and civilized society. “Nothing even vaguely resembling this level of behavior would ever be tolerated in the private sector,” Panetta said.

Governor Signs Atkins Bill to Support Base Thrift Stores

Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 163, a bill by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins to extend for 10 years the sales and use tax exemption for Navy Marine Corps Relief Society thrift stores on military bases.  These stores are volunteer-operated establishments offering used donated items to military base communities. Proceeds support financial literacy programs and emergency financial assistance for active and retired members of the Navy and Marines. These thrift stores have provided $13.4 million in financial assistance and 3500 military families have taken part in financial education classes offered by this program. Navy Marine Corps Relief Society thrift stores are currently exempt from sales and use tax under a law that is due to sunset in 2014. Atkins’ measure would extend the exemption to 2024 at the request of Navy Region Southwest.

Mortgage Delinquencies Fall as Housing Market Bounces Back

The number of mortgage defaults in California has fallen so much that the housing market is once again being considered in balance, KPBS reports. The nation’s Mortgage Bankers Association said mortgage delinquencies have hit a five-year low. The group’s latest survey finds only about 6 percent of loans on one- to four- unit homes were entering or in the foreclosure process. That’s the lowest level since 2008. San Diego State University real estate lecturer Dana Kuhn said that trend is also reflected in San Diego. The rebounding economy and rising prices get a lot of the credit. “People who literally haven’t been able to make payments, they’ve held on this long and gotten jobs and now they can,” said Kuhn. “Along with that, increased confidence creates hope that if they can just get through the next few months, then they’ll be okay. And, of course, higher prices mean fewer homes are upside down.” Mortgage Bankers said the foreclosure rate in California has come down so much that it is close to pre-recession levels.

New Way to Keep Tuberculosis Patients on Track With Smartphones

Despite the fact that tuberculosis is curable, drug-resistant strains of the bacterium are become more common due to inappropriate treatment regimens and poor medication adherence. A new treatment system is addressing this issue and will be demonstrated by UC San Diego and the Verizon Foundation on Thursday. The therapy system, Video Directly Observed Therapy (VDOT), enables patients to record their daily treatments on smartphones and enables health departments to monitor them remotely. The program was created by researchers at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine and Qualcomm Institute/Calit2. The demonstration will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Calit2’s Black Box Theatre in Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego, Voigt Drive and Engineer Lane, La Jolla.

Wang’s to Host Wedding Expo

Wang’s North Park will host its first Wedding Expo on Wednesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and will feature a variety of vendors. Featured vendors will include Francine Ribeau Events (wedding planner); The Creative Music (DJ); Twiggs Café and Bakery (wedding cakes); Sara France Photography; San Diego Event Décor (design and floral); Raphael’s Party Rentals; plus jewelers, wedding officiants and others. Reservations can be made at: The restaurant is at 3029 University Ave.

BOMA Offering Course on Managing

The San Diego Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) will host a Building Owners and Managers Institute International Inc. course, “Managing the Organization,” for commercial real estate professionals wanting to further their professional education. There has been a change in venue from the item that appeared in this report on Aug. 9.

The course will take place Sept. 19-21 at 4350 La Jolla Village Drive, in the training room at the second-floor conference center. The course is designed to help commercial real estate professionals be effective managers and leaders in their organizations. For additional information, visit

Kimpton’s Hotel La Jolla Names New Sales Manager

Ruth Maldonado

Ruth Maldonado

Kimpton’s Hotel La Jolla has promoted Ruth Maldonado to sales manager, responsible for group and event sales for the 110-room coastal boutique hotel. Maldonado first started with Hotel La Jolla as an interim sales coordinator in November 2012. In  January 2013  she was offered a position of front office manager on duty, which she was working prior to her promotion as sales manager. Maldonado started her hospitality career in 2008 with Virgin America Airlines as a guest service agent until 2012. The hotel reopened in August 2012 following a $4 million renovation.

CaseyGerry Law Firm Adds Associate Attorney

San Diego law firm CaseyGerry has promoted former law clerk Nicole Cusack to the position of associate attorney. Cusack will work with partner Robert Francavilla on cases related to head trauma and serious personal injury and will also specialize in product liability litigation. Cusack has worked at CaseyGerry for more than four years. She previously worked as a judicial extern for the chambers of Judge Stephanie E. Joannides in Anchorage, Alaska. Cusack received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law. She also earned a master’s degree in business administration St. Ambrose University. Prior to graduate school, she received her bachelor’s degree in political science and English from the University of Washington.


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