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Daily Business Report-Jan. 7, 2014

Daily Business Report-Jan. 7, 2014

Aerial rendering of proposed Otay Mesa plant.

Judge Tentatively Approves SDG&E’s Plan

To Purchase Power from Proposed Otay Mesa Plant

San Diego Gas & Electric’s plans to purchase power from a proposed power plant in Otay Mesa were given tentative approval by an administrative law judge, the California Public Utilities Commission announced Monday.

The approval was granted Friday by Administrative Law Judge Hallie Yacknin, according to the CPUC. Environmentalists have bitterly fought the development of the Pio Pico Energy Center, contending that it conflicts with their wishes for cleaner energy.

The CPUC had previously rejected the plant, but plans were amended after Southern California Edison decided to retire the reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station. San Diego Gas & Electric, which received 20 percent of the power from San Onofre, would get the energy from the Pio Pico plant.

The judge’s decision tentatively allows SDG&E to purchase power from the 305-megawatt plant for 25 years, beginning in 2017, and charge its customers accordingly, subject to a cap.

The plant is slated for 10 acres along Alta Road, adjacent to the Otay Mesa Generating Project. It’s known as a “peaker” plant that would kick into operation during periods of high demand on SDG&E’s system.

“This proposed plant is a giveaway to SDG&E,” said Emily Wier, a member of San Diego 350, an environmental group focused on climate change. “The investor-owned utilities are feeling threatened by the growing rooftop solar revolution and are trying to lock us into a dirty energy future we don’t want and we can’t afford.”

The earliest the commissioners can hear the issue will be Feb. 5.

Employment Law Update Set for Jan. 15

Mike Sullivan

Mike Sullivan

Lonny Zilberman

Lonny Zilberman

The San Diego Employers Association will host the 34th annual Employment Law Update on Jan. 15 at AMN

Christopher Olmsted

Christopher Olmsted

Healthcare, 12400 High Bluff Drive, San Diego. Speakers will include San Diego County’s top labor and employment attorneys Mike Sullivan of Paul Plevin Sullivan & Connaughton, Lonny Zilberman of Wilson Turner Kosmo, and Christopher W. Olmsted of Barker Olmsted & Barnier.

The event will cover cover recent rulings and legislative developments in California and the ways in which they impact companies. “The Employment Law Update provides San Diego business owners the opportunity to learn about legal developments and new laws that will impact the way their business is run now and throughout 2014,” said Chris Bryant, president of SDEA. “This event is particularly useful to business owners because it provides access to current information in a succinct, half-day format, highlighting the most important and impactful legal developments every business owner needs to be aware of.”The registration fee is $125 for SDEA and SDCBA members and $145 for nonmembers. For more information and to register, visit

Mayoral Candidates Set Debate Schedule

The first of a half-dozen mayoral debates between David Alvarez and Kevin Faulconer takes place Jan. 15 with five more crammed in by the end of the month, the U-T San Diego reports. The campaigns announced the debate schedule Monday with local television stations and community groups hosting the series. First up is KGTV 10 News and KPBS News next week with the broadcast time to be determined. Vote-by-mail balloting begins next Monday and there are five weeks until the Feb. 11 Election Day.

Alvarez announced a slew of Democratic state legislators as backers, including Assembly Speaker John Pérez, San Diego Assemblywomen Toni Atkins, Shirley Weber and Lorena Gonzalez and Sen. Marty Block.

Meanwhile, the Faulconer camp resurfaced the endorsement of the Latino American Political Association of San Diego, a business-oriented group. The campaign said its endorsement along with the opening of a second campaign office in southeast San Diego on Saturday reinforces efforts to connect and communicate with Latinos.

Click here to read more…

Jim Madaffer Appointed to California Transportation Commission

Jim Madaffer

Jim Madaffer

Publisher Jim Madaffer, 53, of San Diego, has been appointed to the California Transportation Commission by Gov. Jerry Brown. Madaffer has been president of Madaffer Enterprises since 2009 and publisher at Mission Publishing Group LLC since 1995. He was a San Diego city councilman from 2000 to 2008, chief of staff to San Diego city councilwoman Judy McCarty from 1993 to 2000, owner of JVM and Associates from 1988 to 1993 and general manager at the Delta Coast Corp. from 1981 to 1988. The appointment requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Madaffer is registered decline-to-state.


Three County School District Each Receive $50,000 Grant

Three school districts in San Diego County will receive $50,000 grants each to develop specialized high school instructional programs, the state Department of Education announced Monday. The money earmarked for the Coronado Unified, Grossmont Union and Valley Center-Pauma Unified school districts is intended to develop advanced instruction programs in a variety of subjects. The state allowed the money normally used for the grants to be redirected into general education programs beginning in 2009 to help districts having budget problems. That flexibility has expired.

“This grant has a long history of helping support innovative high school programs that help students develop real-world 21st century skills,” said Tom Torlakson, the state superintendent of public instruction. “Now that these funds are available again, California will carry on its work of developing cutting-edge programs so students can explore areas of study in a deeper way while developing their talents and skills for college or career.”

–City News Service

Cavignac & Associates Names Account Manager

Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson has been appointed an account manager in the employee benefits department of Cavignac & Associates, the San Diego-based commercial insurance brokerage firm. Johnson will be charged with educating the agency’s clients about the changes ahead with health care reform, helping them budget for health insurance renewals, and developing employee benefit packages. Johnson has more than 16 years of insurance industry experience. Most recently, she served as the senior benefits consultant for Digital Insurance in North County. Her previous career experience includes having served as a senior sales associate at Blue Shield for three-and-a-half years, an account executive for Employer’s Choice Insurance Services for four years, and an insurance agent for D&A Insurance for another two years.


Amanda Harris and Angela Ward Join Solomon Ward Family Law Practice

Amanda Harris

Amanda Harris

Angela Woolard

Angela Woolard

Amanda L. Harris and Angela A. Woolard have joined the family law practice at Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith LLP.

Harris is certified as a family law specialist by the State Bar of California. Her practice focuses exclusively on family law matters with an emphasis on complex, high net-worth marital dissolutions. Prior to joining Solomon Ward, Harris was a partner at Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek. Shereceived her J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of Law and a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis.

Woolard joins Solomon Ward as an associate. Her practice focuses exclusively on family law matters, including assistance with dissolution of marriage proceedings and family law appeals, as well as the preparation and negotiation of prenuptial and marital settlement agreements. Prior to joining the firm, she was an associate at Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek.Woolard received her J.D. from California Western School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University.

Steve Gamer Appointed Vice Chancellor

for Advancement at UC San Diego

Steve Gamer

Steve Gamer

UC San Diego has appointed Steve Gamer as vice chancellor-advancement with responsibility for leading campus fundraising efforts and alumni relations. He will also serve as president of the UC San Diego Foundation. An associate vice chancellor for development at UCLA, Gamer will begin his service at UC San Diego this month. Gamer, who has been at UCLA for 11 years, has more than 20 years of experience identifying, cultivating and soliciting individual donors, corporations and foundations with a tailored approach to philanthropic giving. His senior leadership career includes the planning and execution of major fundraising campaigns, including the upcoming UCLA Centennial Campaign ($4.2 billion) and the successful Campaign UCLA which raised more than $3 billion.

Gamer joined the UCLA development program in 2002 and served as the director of development and external affairs for the International Institute until 2006. In 2011, Gamer led UCLA’s development program.

TSA Contracting Adds

Marketing Director

And Project Engineer

Darlene De La Paz

Darlene De La Paz

Tracey Johnson

Tracey Johnson

Darlene De La Paz, has been named marketing director at TSA Contracting, a San Diego-based construction company. Tracey Johnson was named project engineer/coordinator at the company.

Previously De La Paz was sole proprietor at PAZable Solutions where she assisted small local and international business owners in implementing process, procedure, organization and marketing. She was the administrative business/office manager for H2 Hawkins & Hawkins Architects.

Johnson is a 15-year construction industry veteran. Previously she was project engineer where she assisted the project manager and superintendent on a $ 54 million ground up high school. At TSA, She will be responsible for maintaining contract documents, providing engineering services, and assisting project managers.

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