Daily Business Report-Dec. 24, 2013
Rendering of a park proposed for East Village at Market Street and Park Boulevard
East Village Urban Park Project
Clears Fundraising Hurdle
A group of recent architecture school graduates now have all the money they need to turn a vacant lot in the East Village into a park. But they still have a few hurdles to clear before construction can begin. The group, called Research Architecture Development Lab, or RAD Lab, wants to convert a vacant lot at Market Street and Park Boulevard into an urban park. It’ll have a beer garden, farmers markets, food trucks, a coffee shop and a dog run.
The lot is owned by Civic San Diego, the nonprofit created to replace the city’s dissolved redevelopment agency. But Civic San Diego doesn’t plan to use the land any time soon. So the graduates of the NewSchool of Architecture and Design want to borrow it, leasing the land instead of buying it and setting up a temporary park.
Now Andrew Canter, CEO of local investment firm Canter Companies, has made a big investment in the project.
Phillip Auchettel, one of the RAD Lab founders, wouldn’t say how much Canter invested, but said it’s enough to see the project through to completion. The group already raised $60,000 through Kikstarter.com to pay for initial expenses.
Landmark Trial Over Metropolitan Water District
Rates Concludes in San Francisco Superior Court
Lawyers for the San Diego County Water Authority on Monday wrapped up their case against the Los Angeles-based Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, concluding a five-day trial with more than $2 billion at stake for county residents, the County Water Authority reported. Judge Curtis E. A. Karnow requested post-trial briefs from both parties by Jan. 17, with a hearing on those briefs scheduled for Jan. 23. Following theJan. 23 hearing, Karnow will take the matter under submission before issuing his decision.
Over the five-day trial in San Francisco Superior Court, the Water Authority’s attorneys presented evidence and witness testimony that they claimed proved MWD’s rates artificially inflate the cost of its water transportation services by improperly including unrelated expenses. Numerous California statutes, the California Constitution and common law all require that public agencies such as MWD base their rates on the actual costs of the services provided.
MWD’s rates – challenged in two lawsuits that were coordinated for trial – overcharge the San Diego County Water Authority, which relies on MWD to transfer large volumes of independent water supplies from the Colorado River. Other MWD member agencies benefit from corresponding undercharges, which totaled $57 million this year and are projected to reach $217 million annually by 2021.
“There aren’t any seriously disputed facts in these cases; there is a serious dispute about whether Metropolitan can set rates any way it wants,” said John W. Keker, special counsel for the Water Authority with the law firm of Keker & Van Nest in San Francisco. “Over the past five days of hearings, we have conclusively shown that MWD set rates to preserve its revenues, and that is flatly illegal. We believe the judge will direct MWD to reformulate its rates consistent with what the people of California have long demanded – that public agencies set their rates no higher than needed to cover the costs for each service.”
Poinsettia Bowl Pits Aggies Against Huskies
The Utah State Aggies and Northern Illinois Huskies are set to play in the ninth annual San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Qualcomm Stadium.
The bowl game matches division winners from the Mountain West Conference and the Mid-American Conference.
Utah State (8-5, 7-1) will play in its third straight bowl game, a school record. After starting the season with a 3-4 mark, the Aggies won its final five games of the regular season to win the Mountain Division of the Mountain West Conference.
Northern Illinois University (12-1, 8-0), ranked No. 23 (USA Today Coaches’ Poll) and No. 24 (Associated Press), will play in a MAC record sixth-straight bowl game with a school-record 12 consecutive victories.
The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN-TV and ESPN-Radio.
Tickets for the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl can be purchased by calling Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3500, or by visiting www.sdccu.com/community.Tickets also can be purchased through the bowl’s ticket office at Qualcomm Stadium, Window B, or by calling (619) 285-5039.