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Daily Business Report-Nov. 19, 2013

Daily Business Report-Nov. 19, 2013

 San Diego Mayoral Election Today

Today is the special election in the city of San Diego to choose a replacement forBob Filner, who resigned amid sexual harassment allegations. The location of polls is is listed on the back of the Sample Ballot and Voter Information Pamphlet sent to homes. Voters may also use the polling place locator online (

If you vote-by-mail but haven’t sent your ballot yet, you will need to drop off your ballot at any polling place in the city of San Diego  or the Registrar of Voters office any time between 7 a.m. and  8 p.m. today. The office is located at 5201 Ruffin Road, Suite I, in Kearny Mesa. For more information, call (858) 565-5800.

What Happens If Election Leaves a Council Vacancy?

Two of the major candidates for mayor are city Councilmen David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer. If one ultimately wins, that would leave an empty seat on the City Council. But the City Charter says that, in these circumstances, San Diegans won’t have to face yet another election.

If either Alvarez or Faulconer is elected mayor, he will have less than a year left on his City Council term. According to the City Charter, when a council seat has a vacancy with less than a year left on that seat’s term, there isn’t a special election to fill the empty seat. Instead, the council would appoint someone to fill in for the remainder of the term. That person would not be allowed to run for re-election.

The other major candidates are former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and former City Attorney Mike Aguirre.

Delta Air Lines to Add Flights Between San Diego and Seattle

Delta Air Lines will add new daily nonstop flights between San Diego International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport beginning June 2, 2014. Delta’s new service between San Diego and Portland will be operated by Delta Connection carrier SkyWest Airlines using 76-seat, two-class CRJ-900s. Each aircraft is equipped with First Class and Economy Comfort seating, as well as onboard Wi-Fi.

Toq smartwatch

Toq smartwatch

Qualcomm Announces Release Date of Toq Smartwatch

Qualcomm announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Qualcomm Connected Experiences Inc., will release its Qualcomm Toq (talk) smartwatch to consumers on Cyber Monday, Dec. 2. Toq is compatible with Android smartphones and leverages breakthrough technologies necessary to deliver compelling user experiences on wearable devices. Toq starts at $349.99 and will be available through the Toq website:

SDSU Open Air Theatre to Get New Name

Open Air Theatre at SDSU

Open Air Theatre at SDSU

The Open Air Theatre at San Diego State University will get a new name in January and the university will get $3.2 million from California Coast Credit Union under a 10-year naming rights agreement. The on-campus amphitheatre will be renamed the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre under the agreement announced on Tuesday. As part of the sponsoring agreement, California Coast will open a branch and ATM along the courtyard within the Aztec Student Union, scheduled to open in January. The credit union will also partner with Associated Students of SDSU to provide financial seminars for students in Aztec Student Union.

The agreement will help the university make improvements to the facility, such as replacing the stage roof, seating and restrooms, and expanding the concourse. The credit union will also provide an ATM at the amphitheater.


Eric Chen is a senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego

Eric Chen is a senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego

Canyon Crest Senior Wins Top Individual

Honors at Science Research Competition

Eric Chen, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, has earned a top prize in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, the research competition for high school students. Chen won the top individual honors and a $3,000 scholarship for discovering potent influenza endonuclease inhibitors, which could be used to develop anti-flu drugs. The title of his project: “Discovery of Novel Influenza Endonuclease Inhibitors to Fight Flu Pandemic.”

Eric Chen

Pictured, from left: Jeniffer Harper-Taylor, president, Siemens Foundation; Eric Chen, individual winner; Richard Flagan, professor of chemical engineering and environmental science and engineering; Diane Tsukamaki, college board.

Eric was inspired to pursue research on influenza after the swine flu outbreak started in San Diego in 2009. He is the founder and head coach of a summer math contest program for middle school students and helped start Science Fair and Science Olympiad programs at San Diego primary and middle schools. He plans to become a college professor or an entrepreneur. His mentors were Rommie Amaro, assistant professor, and Gen-Sheng Feng, professor, both of UC San Diego.

Eric and other winners are to present their work at the national finals Dec. 7-10 in Washington, D.C.



Mountain Peak Charter School Names Acting Executive Director

School also receives six-year accreditation

Amy Heald

Amy Heald

VISTA — The Mountain Peak Charter School board of directors has appointed Amy Heald to the position of acting executive director, replacing Elmer Lee. Heald previously served as director of educational programs and services.

The school also announced that it has received a six-year accreditation from the Accrediting Commission of Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Heald has a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a master’s degree and teaching credential from Claremont Graduate School. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience, from kindergarten to adult. Her career emphasis has been on second language acquisition, particularly English and Spanish.

Heald noted that WASC accreditation brings with it many benefits to the school. Students participating in Mountain Peak’s Home High School program, for example, she said, may be eligible to enter four-year universities without having to attend community college programs beforehand.

Grant Thornton LLC Names Head of San Diego Tax Practice

Leonard Rowe has been selected by Grant Thornton LLP to lead its San Diego tax practice. Previously, Rowe worked with two international accounting firms for a total of 12 years. Before joining Grant Thornton, he was an independent consultant providing tax advice and services to multiple clients in the San Diego marketplace. Rowe is a member of the National Association of Black Accountants, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the California Society of CPAs and was previously on the board of the Union of Pan Asian Communities. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business accounting and a master’s degree in accountancy from San Diego State University.


Breakout Cover

Breakout Cover

Newt and Callista Gingrich in La Jolla for Book Signings

Yankee Doodle Dandy cover

Yankee Doodle Dandy cover

Newt and Callista Gingrich will visit Warwick’s in La Jolla today to sign their new books, “Breakout” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” The book signing is at 54 p.m. at 7812 Girard Ave. In “Breakout,” Newt Gingrich, former GOP presidential candidate, proposes a vision of America’s future: ‘the country on the cusp of a technological and scientific renaissance that will transform the quality of life of every American, unless special interest groups, powerful lobbyists, and government bureaucrats prevent these innovations.”

Callista Gingrich’s “Yankee Doodle Dandy” is the third book of the Ellis the Elephant series. Ellis is back and eager to learn about America’s most beloved patriots and their courageous fight for independence, encountering the Sons of Liberty, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, the Founding Fathers, Betsy Ross, and more.



Café Japengo Chef to Compete in Japanese Reality TV Show

Chef Jerry Warner of Café Japengo

Chef Jerry Warner of Café Japengo

Japanese television network TV Asahi/ABC Asahi has chosen Executive Chef Jerry Warner of Café Japengo to compete on “World Challenge — Pride of Japan,” a popular annual Japanese reality TV show that pits one Japanese sushi chef against one sushi chef from another country. Warner will be the sole chef representing the U.S. as he competes against Chef Toshikatsu Aoki, the owner chef of Michelin-starred “Sushi Aoki” in Tokyo, Japan. The lineup of judges will include San Diego’s Amy Finley, previously a Food Network and Cooking Channel star, author of “How to Eat a Small Country,” and currently the senior editor of Riviera San Diego Magazine.

The show will air the first week of January in Japan. In the Japanese culture sushi is simple and traditional, and the show seeks to pit that against the uniqueness and playfulness of American sushi. The competition will include each chef making 10 nigiri, two sashimi platters and three specialty rolls. The filming of the competition will take place and be filmed Wednesday in Culver City.


Public Works Dept. to Develop Five-Year Infrastructure Plan

The San Diego City Council’s Infrastructure Committee gave the Public Works Department a unanimous go-ahead Monday to develop a five-year plan to address San Diego’s crumbling roads and facilities. The plan will give city officials a roadmap for reducing a backlog of capital projects and maintenance that is believed to be valued at around $1 billion. It will be renewed every two years and open to amendments, according to the city’s Public Works Department. “As far as we know, the city has not had a five-year infrastructure plan before and, frankly, it shows,” said Councilman Mark Kersey, who chairs the committee. The plan will be drafted through March, vetted by city officials and the public, and finalized next fall. — City News Service

REVA Acquires American Care Air Ambulance

REVA Air Ambulance, a fixed-wing air ambulance service provider in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has completed the acquisition of American Care Air Ambulance, a fixed wing air ambulance provider with operations in San Diego and Spokane, Wash. The acquisition gives REVA a fleet of more than 10 aircraft at five bases. Milan Floribus, founder of American Care, will remain with the acquiring company.


SD METRO’s report on San Diego’s Most Admired Companies contained a few errors, listed here.

• California Bank & Trust: The name of the bank’s San Diego division president was misspelled. He is Tory Nixon.

• Higgs Fletcher & Mack: We misstated the amount of funds that Higgs’ attorneys have collectively contributed in Diversity scholarships. The correct amount is $50,000.

• AV Concepts: The word “solutions” was misspelled.

SD METRO regrets the errors.

Tree of Life Tree Lighting to be Held Dec. 1 in Hillcrest

Mama’s Kitchen and Village Hillcrest will host the 22nd annual Tree of Life Tree Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 7 p.m. at 3965 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest. The ceremony, which is considered San Diego County’s premiere event to commemorate World AIDS Day, honors those affected by AIDS and recognizes the ongoing leadership efforts made to end the worldwide epidemic. The event is free and open to the public.

The theme of World AIDS Day 2013 is “Getting to Zero,” which is backed by the United Nations and focuses on zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.

“The Tree of Life Ceremony is an annual event that helps us remember those who are no longer with us because of AIDS,” said Alberto Cortés, executive director, Mama’s Kitchen. “It’s also a way for us to gather and support those who are battling this horrible disease and dealing with the daily challenges it presents.”

The trees are decorated with ornaments that honor those who have been affected by HIV/AIDS and will remain on display throughout the holiday season at Village Hillcrest. Ornaments can be purchased online at prior to the event or that evening and personalized with a message. The cost is $15 each or two for $25. 

All proceeds from the Tree of Life Ceremony benefit Mama’s Kitchen.

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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: