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Daily Business Report-Dec. 12, 2013

Daily Business Report-Dec. 12, 2013

 ‘Balboa Park Experience’ was designed by a team from the NewSchool of Architecture and Design.

Balboa Park Gateway Design

Receives Special Recognition

Architectural students from the NewSchool of Architecture and Design were given special recognition for a design they submitted in a competition to create new gateways to Balboa Park. The team of David Garcia, Mariano Ramirez and David Harrison proposed a pedestrian bridge on the Park Boulevard overpass of Interstate 5. The design is titled “Balboa Park Experience.”

The Balboa Park Gate Competition was sponsored by the San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Balboa Park celebrates its centennial in 2015.

All of the designs in the competition are on display at the San Diego Museum of Art.

San Diego Businesses Protest ‘Jobs Tax’

Members of the Jobs Coalition raised signs in protest in Downtown Wednesday in opposition to the San Diego City Council’s vote to increase the linkage fee, or “jobs tax” — a tax charged to developers of non-residential projects that raises money for subsidized affordable housing.

The tax was once about 1.5 percent of the overall development costs, but was cut in half in 1996. Council’s vote will return the tax to the 1.5

Jobs in jeopardy?

Jobs in jeopardy?

percent rate. The Jobs Coalition is made of up more than 50 local organizations and companies, including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. The group also announced Wednesday the beginning of a signature drive campaign to overturn the council’s ruling.

Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the chamber of commerce, and former San Diego mayor, said the council should have money for affordable housing from previous years. “We built a lot of affordable housing over the last several years, we used the 20 percent set-aside from redevelopment, and all of a sudden, council finds themselves without that money,” Sanders said.

Councilman David Alvarez, a current mayoral candidate, voted in favor of the fee increase. “Nothing was done for 17 years. The council finally acted on something, and now again, big Downtown corporate interests are going to fight another decision the council has made,” Alvarez said.

The council vote was split along party lines, with five Democrats voting in favor of the increase, and four Republicans voting in opposition.

— KPBS Report

San Diego Workforce Partnership Program Helps Prevent Business Layoffs

From January 2009 to present, SDWP has received a total of 387 layoff notices from employers, with 34,156 positions laid off in San Diego. With so many San Diegans losing their jobs, the San Diego Workforce Partnership decided to invest in the prevention of layoffs. It recently initiated its pilot program called Layoff Aversion Services (LAS), which provides intervention services to small and medium-sized businesses that are at risk of laying off 10 or more employees.

To accomplish this, California Manufacturing Technology Consulting,

the Workforce Partnership contractor, assesses companies’ needs and provides services on a case by case basis. CMTC provides free business process improvement services, which assists companies to meet their financial obligations and, in return, these businesses must retain employees who were originally at-risk of losing their jobs.

In addition, CMTC provides services which may include support with marketing, sales, achieving industry specific certifications, and much more, designed to help businesses be more competitive.

“Large employers typically explore other options before resorting to layoffs,” said Tina Ngo, research manager for the Workforce Partnership. “A few thousand dollars from SDWP may not make a difference for a large employer, but this investment can go a long way for small and medium-sized enterprises struggling to meet payroll. We think that Layoff Aversion Services will help our region retain existing jobs and allow the many small and medium-sized enterprises in San Diego to gain the competitive skills they need to thrive.”

Vista Equity Laying Groundwork to Move Three San Diego Companies

Vista Equity Partners, the private equity firm that spent $2.8 billion this year acquiring San Diego’s Active Network, Websense and Omnitracs, intends to move all three companies to Texas, according to a source in senior management who is familiar with the plans, reports Xconomy San Diego. The relocation would be completed in 2014, affecting a total of up to 1,700 San Diego-based employees at all three companies.

“The wheels are in motion,” said the source, who would only speak anonymously about Vista Equity’s plans. “They don’t like California because of the tax structure. They like to hire young, aggressive, incredible talent on the cheap, and get them in there to drive up the earnings or cash flow. They basically take out the costs, increase the cash flow, get the debt down, and look for a sale.”

Vista Equity did not respond this week to requests for comment that were left Tuesday by phone and through the firm’s website. Vista Equity is based in San Francisco, and has offices in Chicago and Austin, TX.

Read the Xconomy report…

Governor’s Office Holds Tax Credit Workshop

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) will be conducting a public workshop on the proposed draft regulations for the California Competes Tax Credit program, an income tax credit available to businesses that want to relocate or stay and grow in California. At the  Friday workshop, GO-Biz will provide an overview of the enacting legislation, discuss the proposed draft regulations, and welcome feedback from the community. The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Corporate Ed Center at San Diego City College.

SDG&E and U.S. Forest Service Enter Partnership

To Preserve the 66-Acre Descanso Junction

San Diego Gas & Electric and the U.S. Forest Service have partnered to preserve a 66-acre parcel known as Descanso Junction in the Cleveland National Forest. The land borders a one-mile stretch of Highway 79 on the western slope of Guatay Mountain. It protects a part of the upper Sweetwater River watershed, the largest of three local watersheds.

The acquisition of the Descanso Junction property also preserves a stand of rare Engelmann oaks. Engelmann oaks grow in the mountain foothills of southern California and northern Baja California, Mexico, and are one of the rarest tree-oak species in the United States.

“The addition of Descanso Junction is a vital part of our land conservation efforts that will forever preserve more than 11,000 acres of critical ecosystems throughout San Diego and Imperial County,” said J. Chris Baker, senior vice president of SDG&E.

“SDG&E worked closely with us to acquire this parcel as public land for the benefit of future generations,” said William Metz, forest supervisor for the  Cleveland National Forest-U.S. Forest Service.

New York Firm to Acquire Kyalin Biosciences Inc.

Kyalin Biosciences Inc., a San Diego-based company that develops therapies targeting the symptoms of autism and related conditions, is being acquired by Retrophin Inc. of New York, a pharmaceutical company. Srinivas Rao, founder and president of Kyalin, becomes executive vice president and head of neuroscience for Retrophin as part of the transaction. Rao has more than 13 years in the biopharmaceutical industry. Kyalin’s lead product is a highly optimized intranasal delivery form of carbetocin, the latter a synthetic version of the natural occurring peptide hormone oxytocin.

Community College District Hires Police Chief

Raymond Aguirre

Raymond Aguirre

The San Diego Community College District has named Raymond Aguirre as chief of police. Aguirre will oversee public safety for the district, which enrolls 130,000 students at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges, and the seven campuses of Continuing Education.

Aguirre has served as chief of police for the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District since 2006. He began his service there as a police sergeant in 2002.  Prior to that, he  was a police officer in the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and a police officer in the Palo Alto Police Department.

Aguirre was one of four finalists for the position.  He earned a B.A. in sociology from the University of the Philippines, and an M.A. in public administration and international affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.


Stutz Artiano Law Firm Names New Associate

Amir Azimzadeh

Amir Azimzadeh

Amir Azimzadeh has joined the Stutz Artiano law firm’s San Diego office as an associate. Azimzadeh concentrates on education law and civil litigation. He graduated from California Western School of Law in 2013 and obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from University of California Irvine.  While in law school, he received an Academic Excellence Award in Insurance Law and Litigation and served as the p resident of the Education Law and Policy Society. Azimzadeh is a member of the California Western Pro Bono Honors Society for his involvement in the Education Law Advocacy Project of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers and the California Western Community Law Project. Prior to joining Stutz Artiano, he completed an internship with the Legal Services Office of the San Diego Unified School District.


San Diego Foundation Named VP of External Affairs

Theresa Nakata

Theresa Nakata

The San Diego Foundation has named Theresa Nakata vice president, external affairs officer. She will serve on The foundation’s executive leadership team. Nakata has 22 years of marketing and communications experience as well as community and government relations experience. For the last seven years, she was senior vice president of marketing for Pierce Education Properties. Before that, she worked for six years as the senior communications adviser at San Diego State University Research Foundation.

Nakata was the national public relations manager for P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Corporate in Scottsdale, Ariz., and director of marketing at Downtown Tempe Community, a volunteer-based nonprofit management organization.



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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: