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Daily Business Report-Sept. 13, 2013

Daily Business Report-Sept. 13, 2013

Artist’s rendering shows a promenade on the bay side of the proposed Convention Center expansion. (Photo: San Diego Convention Center Corp.) 

Backers of Convention Center

Expansion Rally

A broad coalition of civic, business, labor and elected leaders rallied their troops Thursday in advance of a critical California Coastal Commission next month on the proposed expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.

In a news conference designed to show broad support of the $520 million project, backers reiterated the economic arguments in favor of enlarging the 24-year-old center.

Thursday’s demonstration of unity came as Coastal Commission staff is preparing a final report and recommendation on the bayfront project that would add 400,000 square feet to the center, which was last expanded in 2001. The presentation also comes a week after the San Diego Chargers renewed their push for a combined Downtown football stadium and convention in lieu of an expansion on the existing Convention Center site.

The team has made clear its intention to oppose the expansion and argue instead for an East Village alternative that it says would not have the environmental impacts of a waterfront project.

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Todd Gloria

Interim Mayor Todd Gloria reported several changes to former Mayor Bob Filner’s policies.

Interim Mayor Acts to Clean Up Bob Filner’s Mess

The city of San Diego has resumed enforcing medical marijuana zoning restrictions, will rehire lobbyists let go by former Mayor Bob Filner and will work toward increasing the public’s access to city data, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said Thursday in his first weekly media briefing, KPBS reports.

Gloria presented several changes and updates to Filner’s policies and repeatedly pointed out what he said were gaps or inconsistencies in Filner’s programs.

The city’s homeless shelters may have to close in April because Filner did not provide enough funds to keep them running year round, Gloria said. “It’s extremely unfortunate that Mr. Filner allotted insufficient funds to keep our shelters open year-round as he had promised,” he said. “The lack of adequate funding for homeless programs is another example of a mess that was left by the previous administration that I must now clean up.”

Filner also “fired (the city’s) lobbyists” for apparently no reason,” Gloria said, leaving San Diego unrepresented in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. Gloria will put out a request for proposals to hire new lobbyists, but in the meantime has renewed contracts with the city’s previous lobbying firms, Patton Boggs and Sloat Higgins.

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NRC Schedules Public Hearing on San Onofre Shutdown

A Sept. 26 public meeting on the decommissioning of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has been scheduled by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The hearing at the Omni La Costa Resort and Spa will examine issues brought about by the decision of Southern California Edison, the plant’s operator and majority owner, to shutter the two reactors. Rosemead-based SCE announced in early June that it would retire both reactors. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. at the hotel at 2100 Costa del Mar Road. The doors will open at 5 p.m. to allow for security screening. — City News Service

Faraday Research Center Sold for $12.7 Million

CARLSBAD — The Faraday Research Center, most of it leased by Abbott Labs, has been sold for $12.7 million to Alvarez & Marsal Capital Real Estate. The seller was IDS Group. The single-story, 65,840-square-foot building is located at 2252 Faraday Ave. About 18,000 square feet are available for lease. Cassidy Turley represented buyer and seller in the transaction.

Progress Made Toward Developing an Effective HIV Vaccine

Scientists led by Shane Crotty at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunization have taken a significant step toward developing an effective HIV vaccine by discovering how some HIV-positive people make powerful antibodies against the virus that causes AIDS. A newly discovered type of immune system cell helps make these antibodies, which neutralize a broad range of HIV strains. The new information has potential in developing a vaccine that would stimulate the production of these immune system cells.

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Four Mayoral Candidates to Debate on Oct. 30

San Diego mayoral candidates Mike Aguirre, David Alvarez, Kevin Faulconer and Nathan Fletcher  are scheduled for an Oct. 30 debate sponsored by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. The event will be noon to 2 p.m. at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside hotel, 1355 North Harbor Drive. Cost is $40 for SDTA members, $50 for nonmembers. A luncheon is included.

Booze Brothers Brewers to Open in Late September

VISTA — Brothers Donny and Dave Firth are putting the finishing touches on a new, industrial-loft brewery they plan to open in late September at 2545 Progress St., Suite D. It’s called Booze Brothers Brewers.

Booze Brothers

Building Booze Brothers Brewery

“In 2009, we bought a small brew kit with the intention of making beer and other alcoholic beverages for our sister’s wedding,” said Donny Firth.  “By the time of the wedding, we had hard apple cider, mead, and a strawberry Belgian Dubbel. The response was amazing. From five-gallon batches we quickly expanded until we ran out of space in the garage. By that time, we had realized that we had found something special and marketable – particularly with the growing popularity of craft breweries in San Diego.”

The 3,647-square-foot space has been designed to accommodate a 600-gallon brewing system. The space also includes a gated yard with an outside patio that will host live bands in the future.

“Our goal for the tasting room is to create the type of place where we personally would like to spend time,” said Dave Firth.

The brewery will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 3:30 to 11 p.m.


American Heritage Charter Schools Launches New School

ESCONDIDO — The American Heritage family of Charter Schools will open its newest school, Heritage Digital Academy Charter Middle School, located in Escondido, on Sept. 26. The address is 2255 East Valley Parkway. Ceremonies will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. “We’re excited to have received this charter from the state of California, which enables us to offer our parents another outstanding school of choice,” said Dennis “Coach” Snyder, executive director of the American Heritage family of Charter Schools.

Heritage Digital Academy was first established in 2004.  In response to parent demand, Heritage K-8 Charter School created a classroom-based version of the program in 2010. It is an independent study program for grades 6-8.  It features a blended learning model which operates alongside of the K-8 traditional classroom program. The program has grown from 90 to nearly 300 students in recent years.

Escondido Charter High School, the first American Heritage Charter School to be founded, also launched Heritage Digital Academy High School which currently serves grades 9-10.

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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: