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Daily Business Report-Aug. 15, 2013

Daily Business Report-Aug. 15, 2013

 San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria is considering having the council assume some of the mayor’s authority.       (File photo)

Council President Suggests Stripping

Mayor Filner of Some Responsibilities

Complaining that Mayor Bob Filner has failed to replace the city lobbying firms that he fired in January, City Council President Todd Gloria is suggesting moving some of the mayor’s responsibilities to the City Council. In a memorandum sent to the mayor’s office on Wednesday, Gloria requested an update on contracts for the city’s representation in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. “As a former member of Congress, Bob Filner knows that major decisions are made daily in Washington that impact cities and their citizens. It is beyond me why he has allowed San Diego to not be represented over the last eight months,” said Gloria.

Filner had promised to replace the firms, but never did. The beleaguered mayor is the subject of a recall campaign resulting from a series of sexual harassment claims made against him. A growing chorus of political and government officials have demanded that he resign.

The lobbying firms that were fired by Filner had made key contacts that benefited San Diego, such as the successful passage of a state bill preserving local canyonlands and appropriations for transit projects like th Mid-Coast Trolley extension, Gloria said.

“The city’s current lack of representation could have a major impact on the city’s finances,” Gloria said. “A future round of military base closures, federal sequestration, the unwinding of redevelopment, a future water bond, and conflicts between SB 820 and Proposition A are ongoing concerns… Each could impact the city’s budget and force the city to make reductions that could harm neighborhoods, and justify the need for professional services to articulate the city’s position to lawmakers and bureaucrats.”

Gloria said he will visit Washington, D.C. at the end of September to meet with federal representatives and advocate for programs and projects important to San Diego.

Cubic Corp. Receives $54.5 Million Contract Extension From LA Metro

Cubic Corp. will be continue a 21-year relationship with the LA Metropolitan Transportation Authority with the receipt of a six-year, $54.5 million, extension of its fare collection support contract with the Metro. The contract covers numerous repair and maintenance costs as well as costs for the systems that process smart card data for the bus and rail system and 10 regional operators.

The Cubic-designed TAP system supports six rail lines, 80 stations, and over 4,000 buses regionally. Cubic maintains and supports more than 2,000 devices under this service contract. Since the start of 2013, 21 million TAP boardings are recorded monthly on the Metro network including about 16 million on buses and 5 million on the rail system. Also during this time, in a typical month, almost 1.5 million transactions are made on the rail ticket vending machines resulting in over $6 million in revenue, according to the company.

San Diego Catering Company Awarded Contract for Olympic Games

Behind The Scenes (BTS), a catering and events company headquartered in San Diego, has been awarded the contract with NBC to manage the culinary and logistic needs for the upcoming 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia as well as the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. BTS will be providing catering and hospitality services, feeding nearly 4,000 members of the U.S. broadcast and international media as well as corporate sponsors each day at a majority of the 14+ Olympic competition venues for the next two Olympic Games. The catering company is led by John Crisafulli, president and CEO.

Visiting Scholar to Describe Vienna’s Progressive Public Policies

Manuel Ziegler

Manuel Ziegler

Manuel Ziegler, a visiting scholar from Vienna, will discuss the progressive public policies that make Vienna one of the world’s most livable cities during the Aug. 22 Breakfast Dialogue hosted by Citizen’s Coordinate for Century 3. It will be held at Downtown’s Wyndham Hotel, 1355 N. Harbor Drive. Doors open at 7 a.m. The program starts at 7:30 a.m. Ziegler, from the Global Energy Network Institute and World Resources Sim Center, will reveal Vienna’s “best practices” for which it was ranked No. 1 in the Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey. A local panel will participate, including Elyse Lowe (Move San Diego), Scott Anders (USD Environmental Policy Initiatives Center) and Bill Anderson (AECOM and president of national APA). Tickets are $25 for C3 members and $35 for nonmembers. For reservations, visit or call (858) 277-0900.

Local Residents to Get Pro Bono Surgery

Ten uninsured local residents will have life-changing surgeries performed pro bono on Aug. 24 thanks to a partnership between the San Diego County Medical Society Foundation  and Surgery One’s Carlsbad Surgery Center. Surgeons Adam Fierer and Eileen Natuzzi and anesthesiologists Mark Ransom and Jenny Parker will provide free surgical services to assist 10 adults regain their health and return to work. Surgeries will be performed at the Carlsbad Surgery Center in Carlsbad.   Four of the 10 individuals will have hernias repaired.

Justine Phillips Joins Sheppard Mullin

Special counsel Justine M. Phillips has joined Sheppard Mullin’s Del Mar office as a member of the firm’s labor and employment practice group.  Phillips previously was with McKenna Long & Aldridge. She focuses her practice on employment litigation and counseling, and commercial litigation. Phillips received a J.D. from the University of San Diego Law School in 2005, magna cum laude, and a bachelor’s degree from University of San Diego in 1999.

Simon Dolinky Named Executive Chef at Kelvin

Chef Simon Dolinky has been named executive chef of Kelvin at the W San Diego. Dolinky previously was executive chef of Saltbox Dining & Drinking in the Hotel Palomar. He began his culinary career under the tutelage of James Beard award-winning Chef Sanford D’Amato of Coquette Cafe in Milwaukee. Locally, Dolinky has served as executive sous chef to Chef Christian Graves of the JSix restaurant at the Hotel Solamar in San Diego.

Laurie Berman Reappointed to Transportation Commission

Laurie Berman, 53, of San Diego, has been reappointed to the Imperial County Transportation Commission By Gov. Brown, where she has served since 2010. Berman has been director of the California Department of Transportation District 11 since 2009, where she served in multiple positions from 1994 to 2009, including chief deputy director of project delivery, State Route 125 south toll road corridor project manager, design manager and senior transportation engineer. Berman served in multiple positions at the California Department of Transportation from 1983 to 1994, including senior transportation engineer, associate bridge engineer and junior civil engineer. The position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Berman is a Democrat.

Pathway Genomics Names Executive Director of Managed Care

Pathway Genomics Corp., a San Diego-based clinical laboratory that offers genetic testing services, has appointed Karl Odquist as executive director of managed care. Based at Pathway Genomics’ San Diego headquarters, Odquist will be responsible for managed care contracting, reimbursement, government affairs, and clinical evidence generation for the company’s diagnostic services. Odquist has more than 20 years of experience working with payers in the pharmaceutical and medical benefit side of the health care field. Prior to joining Pathway Genomics, he served in various leadership roles for leading pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, including Prometheus Laboratories.


Filner Recall Effort Gets Boost — The campaign to oust San Diego Mayor Bob Filner got a boost Wednesday as members of a local entrepreneur organization pledged to make recall petition forms available to individuals or workers at startup businesses who want to assist in gathering signatures, City News Service reports. Gabriela Dow and Robert Reyes, cofounders of StartupCircle, called on Filner to resign amid allegations he had sexually harassed numerous women and said they would “work to remove one disgraced man who has only held mayoral office for a few months.”

Police Chief Staying Put — Bill Lansdowne, San Diego’s low-profile police chief, could quit his job later this month and take home a full pension. But he says he’s sticking around during a mighty challenging time. “I’m very comfortable right now and this is a time where I think you need some seniority and experience to manage the city in some trying times,” he tells Voice of San Diego reporter Lisa Halverstadt. The chief, who is 69 and has spent 45 years in law enforcement, has said he’ll give six months’ notice before resigning. Things may get more dicey for Lansdowne as various investigations of Mayor Bob Filner continue. His officers provide security for the mayor, and he says they’ll step in if they see a crime being committed. Have they said anything to the chief? He wouldn’t say.

Pentagon Exends Benefits — The Pentagon announced Wednesday it will extend benefits to same-sex military spouses, retroactive to June 26, 2013 — the date the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, KPBS reports. Benefits start for couples wed after June 26 on the date they were married.


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Voice Your Opinion

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: