Daily Business Report-Nov. 14, 2013
Above: One of the approved concept renderings of the Chula Vista Bayfront and H Street Expansion.
Bayfront Expansion Project
Breaks Ground in Chula Vista
Wearing construction hats and holding shovels, officials from Chula Vista, the Unified Port of San Diego and a private developer broke ground Wednesday on the H Street Extension Project in Chula Vista.
The project will expand access to the Chula Vista bayfront and is part of a master plan to revitalize the area. Fifty years ago, access to the bayfront was cut off to residents after Interstate 5 was built and Chula Vista decided to focus on industrial development.
Chula Vista is San Diego County’s second-largest city with more than 250,000 residents. The bayfront is just a 15-minute drive from the San Diego International Airport and the U.S.-Mexico border.
The development plan for the area was approved last summer by the Port Commissioners. The first step, however, came in February, when the South Bay Power Plant was demolished. The next phase of the $7.2 million-project is extending H Street west from the freeway to the bay.
Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said the extension of H Street will provide beach access that has been blocked for years.
“Probably for the first time in 60 years, H Street will open from the hills to the beach. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?” Cox said.
Port Commission chairwoman Ann Moore said the changes will create a more enjoyable experience for visitors to the area.
“That means the Port of San Diego will be able to welcome more people strolling in the port’s Bayside Park, sailing from the marinas, casting a line from the fishing pier or enjoying dinner with a bay view,” she said.
The plan is also expected to create 7,000 jobs during the project and 2,200 permanent positions. The extension is due to be finished within a year. Hotels, convention facilities, homes and shops eventually will be built in the area. (KPBS)
Mayoral Election a ‘Race to the Finish Line’
With less than a week before Election Day, more than a third of all projected voters have cast their ballots in the San Diego mayoral special election. With nearly 200,000 votes left to be cast, the mayoral candidates are in a race to the finish line. That is the assessment of a new report authored by the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR), a local think-tank.
Following the resignation of former Mayor Bob Filner in late August, three major candidates have emerged to replace him. With a compressed election time frame, it is unclear how the electorate has responded to the political tactics and turnout strategies used by these campaigns. Using data from the Registrar of Voters office and GIS mapping software, NUSIPR evaluated early precinct returns in the Nov. 19 election.
Based on ballot returns as of Nov. 12th, NUSIPR found that:
• Thirty-five percent of all projected special election voters have cast their ballots. Overall, NUSIPR projects that 46 percent of the city electorate (313,000 voters) will cast ballots in the election.
• Democratic turnout is lagging Republican turnout. Despite outnumbering Republicans in the city by more than 90,000 voters, heavily Democratic precincts are returning fewer absentee ballots and fewer ballots overall than GOP precincts.
• Turnout is low in Latino precincts and south of Interstate 8 neighborhoods. In most southeastern and border precincts, more than 85 percent of registered voters have not yet cast a ballot.
Election Day voters will make an impact on Nov. 19. As many as 100,000 voters will cast ballots at polling locations on Election Day, leaving the outcome of the race unknown.
“Unlike the November 2012 mayoral general election, voter turnout has been low and concentrated in only a handful of neighborhoods,” said Vince Vasquez, NUSIPR senior policy analyst and author of the report. “With nearly two-thirds of the vote yet to be cast, candidates will need to be reaching voters and walking precincts up to minute the polls close on Election Day.”
The complete copy of the report can be found at…
Old Caltrans HQ Transferred to State Parks System
The former CalTrans headquarters near Old Town State Park in San Diego has been officially transfered to the state parks system with the recording of the transaction with the county of San Diego on Wednesday. The move will ensure the preservation of historic structures and artifacts known to be below the building’s foundation and that the site will remain in the public’s hands, said Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins. Earlier this year, Atkins persuaded the Legislative Joint Budget Committee to approve the transfer.
The old CalTrans building sits on the location of the first permanent European settlement in California and of a Kumeyaay Native American village dating back to AD 500. Under the site are Fitch’s, California’s first store; a Bowling Saloon owned by Ab Lyon, who would later become sheriff; and several adobes and homes.
Atkins said $762,000 in state parks funds have been set aside since 2009 for planning and design for the site. A total of $7.1 million in bond funds have also been designated for this project.
With the transfer, planning can begin on a new display of early San Diego life. The new installation will restore the history of the San Diego River, which originally ran past the old CalTrans building, including a representation of Kumeyaay Native American life along the river.
Procopio Expands Incubator Program
Procopio announced this week that it has expanded its Launchpad Incubator to the Del Mar Heights Office, and applications are no being accepted. The LaunchPad team helps technology start-up companies that have the potential to raise at least $1 million in funding in the next 12-18 months. Qualified start-ups are given assistance with business pitches and metrics, provided access to legal counsel from Procopio lawyers and business advice from successful entrepreneurs, and ultimately are introduced to capital sources if the company is deemed capital ready. Interested companies can apply online at www.procopiobusinessadvisors.com through Dec. 6.
Local Educators to Take Part in Special Army Leadership Training
Two educators from The Preuss School at UC San Diego will travel to one of the U.S. Army’s leadership training institutions this week to take part in the inaugural National Association of Secondary School Principals and U.S. Army Leadership and Professional Development Symposium. Principal Scott Barton and athletic director Lisa Hawk are two of 30 school leaders from around the country who will participate in this unique opportunity. Participants will spend Nov. 13-15 at the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, located outside of Kansas City, Mo., to explore U.S. Army best practices in leadership development as it applies to their role as civilian education leaders preparing today’s students to be college, career and citizenship ready.
Arrest Rate in County at 10-Year Low
Arrest rates in San Diego County were at a 10-year low last year, the San Diego Association of Governments reported Wednesday. According to the report, 35 adults per 1,000 in the county were booked for a crime in 2012, compared to 43.7 per thousand in 2003. Sandag, a regional planning agency, said the decline in adult arrest rates has been relatively steady since 2004.
The report also showed juvenile arrests at 30.8 per 1,000, compared to 53.1 per 1,000 in 2003. The rate is almost half that of 2008.
The age group with the most arrests was adults 18 to 24 years old (62.5 per 1,000). The most common reason for adult arrests was for driving under the influence. For juveniles, most were busted for so-called “status” offenses, almost two-thirds for violating curfews. Many others were for truancy. The agency also found that 231 people were arrested each day in the region in 2012, compared to 240 per day one year earlier.
Escondido Golf Course Dispute Could Become
Landmark Private Property Rights Case
A lawsuit filed by a developer against the city of Escondido is shaping up to be a landmark property rights case, KPBS reports. A headline in the U-T San Diego newspaper this week screamed, “Escondido Faces Bankruptcy.” The double-page ad was taken out by Stuck in the Rough, a developer that bought the Escondido Country Club golf course and now wants to build 283 homes on it. The city of Escondido adopted a petition from neighbors who want to block that development.
Erica Holloway, spokeswoman for the developer, said club membership has dropped off and water rates are too high to keep the golf course open. She said Stuck in the Rough is suing the city, saying attempts to block building plans amount to an illegal “taking” of property. “If the judge says, ‘I believe it is a legal taking, I believe you now own this property,’ they would have to pay,” she said, “and they don’t have the money to do it.” Holloway said that would leave Escondido on the hook for up to $100 million.
But Ken Lounsbery, an attorney for the neighboring homeowners group, ECCHO, said the ad is a scare tactic. He said the petition does not amount to a “taking of private property” because the city would allow other reasonable uses for the land, just not building houses.
If a compromise is not reached, the case could go to trial next year.
Northrop Grumman F-35 Team Honored
The National Defense Industrial Association has selected the F-35 communications, navigation and identification team from Northrop Grumman Corp. for the 2013 Ferguson Systems Engineering Excellence Group Award. The Ferguson award is given for outstanding achievement in the practical application of systems engineering principles. Northrop Grumman representatives accepted the award Oct. 29 at NDIA’s 16th annual Systems Engineering Conference in Arlington, Va.
Northrop Grumman’s integrated CNI system provides F-35 pilots with the capability of more than 27 avionics functions. By using its software-defined radio technology, Northrop Grumman’s design allows the simultaneous operation of multiple critical functions while reducing size, weight and power demands on the advanced fighter aircraft.
The Grinch Opens Saturday at the Old Globe
“Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” opens Saturday at the Old Globe Theatre for its 16th year. The whimsical musical will run through Dec. 28 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage of the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. Tickets start at $37 for adults and $24 for children 17 and under. For tickets, call (619) 234-5623.