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Daily Business Report-Aug. 21, 2013

Daily Business Report-Aug. 21, 2013

 The Hard Rock Hotel in Downtown San Diego

Hard Rock Hotel Condo

Owners Dealt Setback

Buyers of condominium-style units at downtown San Diego’s Hard Rock Hotel were handed a legal setback last week in their quest to recoup what they claim are millions of dollars in losses, U-T San Diego reports. A three-judge appellate court panel upheld the dismissal of a class action lawsuit filed four years ago by the buyers who contend that the hotel developer broke state and federal state securities laws when it sold the units, costing them tens of millions of dollars.

The original lawsuit, filed by former San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre, alleged that Hard Rock Hotel principals never filed their offering of sales agreements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the California Department of Corporations because they wanted to avoid scrutiny of the deal.

The condo purchasers argued that the developer, Tarsadia Hotels, offered the sale of the condominium units together with a rental-management program, which they said constituted the sale of a security. The federal appellate court, however, concluded that the purchasers failed to provide any evidence that securities laws were violated.

Read more…

Study to Measure Home Energy Use One Appliance at a Time

How much energy does your microwave oven or big screen TV use? If you’re away from home, how can you tell whether you left your refrigerator door open? How much money can be saved by turning off a home computer while at work?

The answer to those questions may not be far off.

A new San Diego Gas & Electric research study plans to test technology that can measure in-home electricity consumption down to the individual circuit and appliance level. The research will be supported by the Pecan Street Research Institute, a consumer energy research organization headquartered at the University of Texas at Austin.

Between 30 and 50 SDG&E customers living in the Civita development in Mission Valley will be selected to participate in the study. Civita, a Sudberry Properties development, is an SDG&E “Smart Community” project that utilizes solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, fuel cell generation, battery storage and enhanced energy management tools for residents.

Second Day of Filner Mediation Ends With No Resolution

A second day of mediation between San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, lawyers and other city officials wrapped up Tuesday with no reported resolution regarding his political future, City News Service reports. “It can be a long process; we are in that process; it is ongoing,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said of the talks taking place on the 17th floor of a Downtown high-rise. He told reporters that retired federal judge J. Lawrence Irving ordered participants not to discuss the substance of the negotiations, which are believed to deal with conditions under which Filner — mired in investigations over alleged sexual harassment, misuse of city-issued credit cards and shakedowns of developers — would resign. Goldsmith, himself a former judge, said he would honor Irving’s request. Filner has attended both days of the talks, so he has not returned to work at the City Administration Building. Neither his spokeswoman nor his Irvine-based private lawyer, James Payne, would say when the 70-year-old former congressman might resume his mayoral work.

Carlsbad Biotech Partners with Duke University in Research Project

International Stem Cell Corp. of Carlsbad abiotechnology company developing stem cell-based therapies, has entered into an agreement with Duke University to conduct clinical trials research in Parkinson’s disease using ISCO’s neural stem cell product. Mark Stacy, vice dean for clinical research in neurology at Duke will be the study’s principal investigator.

Research will be coordinated by the Duke Clinical Research Institute, the world’s largest academic clinical research organization.

San Diego State to Welcome Highest Achieving Freshman Class

San Diego State University will welcome nearly 8,000 new undergraduate students when classes begin on Aug. 26. The entering freshman class is one of the highest achieving in the history of the university, with an average GPA of 3.61 and SAT score of 1105. Total student enrollment is nearly 32,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The new freshman class includes University Honors Program student and SDSU Merit Scholar Zachary Maches, who graduated from Patrick Henry High School in San Diego with a 4.5 GPA. He is a third generation Aztec whose parents met on campus. 

“I am really looking forward to exploring the research opportunities at State, as well as being able to try for a double-major in applied math and international security and conflict resolution,” said Maches, who chose SDSU over UCLA, UC Davis and UC San Diego.

San Diego Employers Association Offers Program

For Newly Appointed Managers and Supervisors

The San Diego Employers Association will offer the popular Supervisory Skills Certificate for Newly Appointed Managers and Supervisors beginning on Sept. 10. The program is one night a week for 12 weeks. It offers courses including effective communication in the workplace, resolving conflict, strategic interviewing, delegation, discipline and discharge, coaching, performance appraisals, safety and security and employment law. More details about the certificate program, as well as online registration, can be found at or by emailing Nicole Lucas at

Fall 2013 Strategic Leadership Series Event

San Diego Employers Association also announces the Fall 2013 Strategic Leadership Series event, “San Diego Leaders Share Their Stories: Speaking Up When The Stakes Are High” — taking place on Oct. 2 at AMN Healthcare. Presenters include businesswoman Patti Roscoe, Employment Law Attorney Dan Eaton, and Joyce Gattas, dean at SDSU. The panel will be moderated by Randy Frisch, vice chancellor of National University. Presenters will share stories from their professional lives regarding how they chose to handle situations when the stakes were high, their career or professional reputation was on the line.  Details and registration are available at or by emailing Nicole Lucas at at

Silvergate Bank Names La Mesa Branch Manager

Silvergate Bank has appointed Bryan Shull vice president and manager of its La Mesa branch, which serves East County from offices at 8530 La Mesa Blvd. Shull, a Rancho San Diego resident, has 10 years of banking experience. Shull previously was a branch manager for U.S. Bank for four years. He also served in that capacity with San Diego National Bank for five years. Shull holds a bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego.


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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.

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