Daily Business Report-Dec. 4, 2013
Potential Drone Test Site Worries Back Country
The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to decide this month whether to designate San Diego County as one of six test sites for unmanned aerial systems known as drones. While business groups are elated at the prospect, back country residents are raising concerns, KPBS reports.
In Julian, activists with Back Country Voices are hosting a public meeting tonight aimed at getting answers about safety and privacy issues. The public meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Julian Town Hall at 2129 Main St.
“The purpose of the meeting is to illuminate and educate the public and to let the people know they have a voice,” said John Raifsnider, a Julian resident. He worries that if San Diego becomes a test site for the technology, the government might use it to spy on local citizens.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. views a drone test site designation for the region as a bonanza. The group says the drone industry could inject $90 billion into California’s economy over the next decade, create 18,000 jobs and generate $70 million in tax revenue.
A posting on the organization’s website in October stated that San Diego is a good fit for drone testing. “Not only do we have one of the most diverse testing sites in the U.S., but we also have a strong private sector that would help support a testing site. Companies such as 3Drobotics, Northrop Grumman, General Atomics and 5d robotics provide a well-qualified talent pool to help the sector thrive.”
The organization believes drone technology could be the next big thing since the Internet. “Much like the Internet is now used for everything on the Earth, unmanned systems have a pretty wide breadth of potential uses,” said Matt Sanford, manager of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. “Public safety, surveying natural disasters, power line checks, making agriculture more efficient.”
Mayoral Candidates to Appear at World Trade Center Meeting
San Diego Mayoral candidates David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer will give their views on San Diego’s international outlook on business and trade at the annual business meeting Friday of The World Trade Center San Diego. “Breakfast Atop the City” is from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the University Club, 750 B Street, in Downtown. The two City Council members — Alvarez from District 8 and Faulconer from District 2 — will compete in a runoff election for mayor sometime in February.
The annual business meeting attracts international executives, entrepreneurs, and visionaries from private, community, and political sectors. The public is invited to attend, prices are $35 for members, and $45 for nonmembers. Call (619) 615-0868 or register at www.wtcsd.org.
Judge Denies Restraining Order Against
Barrio Logan Community Plan Referendum
A bid to invalidate signatures on petitions seeking to overturn new zoning regulations in Barrio Logan was rejected Tuesday by a San Diego judge, City News Service reports. Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Barton denied a request by the Environmental Health Coalition for a temporary restraining order that would have prevented the city of San Diego from taking action on the petitions.
The San Diego Ship Repair Association submitted the signatures, contending the update to the Barrio Logan Community Plan — which was approved by the City Council on a pair of 5-4 votes in September and October — will drive suppliers to shipyards out of the area.
The coalition, which helped developed the zoning regulations and supports the update, accused the association’s signature gatherers of falsely representing the issues.
The judge acknowledged a high legal standard for intervening in electoral and legislative processes. A statement of reasons urging people to sign the petitions contained opinions, but not falsehoods, while signature gatherers who were videotaped mainly went “off script” during a heated debate over merits of the new zoning regulations, the judge said.
“To intervene solely based on the evidence of a few misstatements made in heated exchanges with referendum opponents without an objectively false Statement of Reasons is contrary to the judicial restraint described in the appellate case law,” Barton wrote in his ruling.
The ship repair association turned in two sets of petitions, one challenging each City Council decision.
Jack McGrory Donates $1.2 Million to San Diego State
Well-known San Diego executive and former city manager Jack McGrory has donated $1.2 million to The Campaign for SDSU, bringing the fundraising program to $435 million of its $500 million goal. McGrory earned his master’s degree in public administration from San Diego State in 1976.
The gift will be divided among three areas of the university that are especially meaningful to McGrory: the Joan and Art Barron’s Veteran’s Center; the School of Public Affairs and the Department of Classics and Humanities.
“I’m proud of my education at SDSU,” said McGrory, who is CEO of La Jolla MJ Management, Inc. “I would not be where I am today without my education, and I am thrilled to be able to help the programs that have meant so much to me thrive at San Diego State.”
McGrory has a distinguished resume that includes serving as chairman and CEO of Price Legacy Corp., chief operating officer of The San Diego Padres, manager of the Price Group, executive vice president and director of Price Charities and San Diego’s city manager. He also teaches a graduate-level course in public administration at SDSU.
Balfour Beatty Chosen to Design and Build College Project
The San Diego Community College District has selected Balfour Beatty Construction to design and build a new Cafeteria/Bookstore/Stockroom at San Diego Mesa College. The $36.4 million project includes the design and construction of a 65,000-square-foot building that will house a food service facility, bookstore, and stockroom that will serve the entire Mesa College campus.
With design by SGPA/Miller Hull, the Cafeteria/Bookstore/Stockroom will be equipped with multiple food stations focused on exhibition cooking. The Culinary Arts Program will include classrooms, a cooking laboratory, a demonstration kitchen, a rooftop vegetable garden, and “M‐Fusion,” a student-operated restaurant. An open and flexible plan is being developed for the bookstore to accommodate current and future technologies. The reprographics area is being designed to accommodate campus mail and reprographics services for campus staff.
Construction is scheduled to begin in February 2014 with an estimated completion in July 2015.
County Supervisors Back Olympic Exploratory Committee
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday unanimously backed the efforts of a committee that is exploring whether San Diego should bid for the 2024 summer Olympic and Paralympic games. The idea of a local Olympic bid is not new. Chairman Greg Cox brought up the idea in 1998, and more recently former Mayor Bob Filner, suggested San Diego and Tijuana jointly host the games, but that would violate Olympic rules. The San Diego 2024 Exploratory Committee has refocused on San Diego as the official host, with events spread throughout the region. — City News Service
San Diego Zoo Global Joins Cheetah Breeding Coalition
San Diego Zoo Global, which has been breeding cheetahs for more than 40 years, yielding more than 130 cubs, has recently joined the national cheetah Breeding Center Coalition (BCC) to create a sustainable cheetah population that will prevent extinction of the world’s fastest land animal. In addition to the nine breeding facilities, it is expected that more than 100 other organizations accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums that already house cheetahs will also join this coalition in a nonbreeding capacity.
There are eight other organizations participating in the breeding program for this endangered species: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas; White Oak Conservation Center in Jacksonville, Fla.; The Wilds and the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio; the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Va.; the St. Louis Zoo; the Wildlife Safari in Ore.; and Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo in Neb. The BCC was borne out of discussions at an AZA Species Survival Program (SSP) meeting when participants agreed that current breeding efforts were not yielding a sustainable population.
“Assessment of North American breeding protocols by the cheetah SSP revealed that if we continued with our current breeding plans we would no longer have cheetahs in our collections within the next 50 years,” said Matt Anderson, director of behavioral biology for the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.
Former Astronaut Visits SDSU
Former NASA astronaut Joseph Tanner will give a lecture on the assembly of the International Space Station and life in space on Dec. 5 at San Diego State University. The event is part of a distinguished lecture series hosted by the SDSU chapter of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The event, taking place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center, is free and open to the public.
Regents Bank Promotes Michael Caffall to Regional Manager
VISTA — Regents Bank has promoted Jon Michael Caffall to regional manager of its Vista office, located near the intersection of South Santa Fe Avenue and Civic Center Drive in Vista. Caffall assumed the post after stepping into the position on an interim basis after the death of Mike Cavataio in April. Caffall joined Regents Bank in 2012. In addition to his role as regional manager, Caffall is responsible for developing and managing commercial loan and depository relationships for small and midsized businesses throughout San Diego.
Callan Capital Appoints Robert Mikulski to Senior Client Position
Callan Capital has appointed Robert Mikulski to the position of senior client service administrator. Mikulski spent the past 10 years focused on client service and portfolio analysis for two major Registered Investment Advisory firms. His work was focused on portfolio performance management, client reporting as well as team management. Massachusetts area, Mikulski holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts.