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Daily Business Report-March 13, 2014

Daily Business Report-March 13, 2014

County Supervisor Ron Roberts was first elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1994.

County Supervisor Ron Roberts Assured of Sixth Term

The San Diego County Registrar of Voters confirmed Wednesday that Ron Roberts was the only candidate to file by the March 7 deadline for election to the Board of Supervisors representing the Fourth District. First elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1994, this will be Roberts’ sixth and final term as a result of voter-approved term limits.

“I’m proud of the job we’ve done in San Diego County, creating one of the best-run local governments in America, managing the public’s tax dollars prudently, and providing high-quality, cost-effective services to our constituents,” said Roberts.  “The fact that no one felt compelled to oppose me this year confirms that view.”

Prior to his election to the Board of Supervisors in 1994, Roberts served two terms on the San Diego City Council and the city’s Planning Commission, and served as a managing partner for one of the region’s largest architectural firms for many years.

Four Assembly Members Also Have No Challengers

Incumbent San Diego County Assembly members Rocky Chávez, Lorena Gonzalez, Marie Waldron and Shirley Weber will return to the Capitol for another season next year. That’s guaranteed because none of the fresman lawmakers has an election challenger, the U-T San Diego reports. On the statewide front, former San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Horton, a Republican, filed to run for the local seat on the state Board of Equalization, which handles tax matters. Horton also served as mayor of Chula Vista.


A line forms to enter the San Diego Convention Center

A line forms to enter the San Diego Convention Center

San Diego Tourism Leaders: Uncertain Convention

Center Expansion Timeline Could Hurt Sales

Bookings for major trade shows and other meetings at the San Diego Convention Center are on pace to meet targets for this fiscal year, but challenges exist that could cost the facility large events in the future — maybe even the home-grown Comic-Con International, tourism officials said Wednesday.

In a presentation to the City Council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee, the officials said they were more than 40 percent of the way to their sales targets for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, City News Service reports.

Joe Terzi, president of the San Diego Tourism Authority, said with the number of organizations in the process of contracting with San Diego, a goal of booking 860,000 hotel room nights is in reach. Most groups book their shows late in the fiscal year, he said.

The SDTA markets the convention center to major organizations that schedule their events many years in advance.

The Convention Center Corp. handles shorter-term business, which is usually booked within 18 months. President Carol Wallace told the committee members they should meet their goal of 40,000 room nights.

The primary challenge, according to Terzi, is the litigation-driven delay in the start of construction for the center’s expansion. He told City News Service that because no one knows when the work will begin, prospective customers cannot be provided details on what conditions will be like at the facility on a given future date.

“We have to dance around the issue a little bit,” Terzi said. “We tell them we have a great building today and it will be better in the future.” However, he said he cannot promise a group right now that their show won’t be disrupted by the building project.


An example of a Distributed Antenna System atop a light pole.

An example of a Distributed Antenna System atop a light pole.

San Marcos Aiming to Limit ‘Cell Tower Farms’

SAN MARCOS — City officials say they’re exploring new legislation that could give telecommunications companies incentives to use groups of smaller, less conspicuous antennas instead of large towers. San Marcos would be the first city in San Diego County to have a cell tower ordinance that embraces a relatively new technology called a “distributed antenna system.” In such a system, a group of smaller antennas transmits the same data as one large antenna would. Mayor Jim Desmond said this week that he’d support including the smaller towers in the new ordinance as long as they close coverage gaps effectively.

President to Raise Money at

Qualcomm Co-Founder’s Home

President Barack Obama will travel to California in May to raise money for House Democrats at the home of Qualcomm Inc. co-founder Irwin Jacobs. That’s according to an invitation obtained by The Associated Press.

The May 8 lunch in La Jolla is among at least six fundraisers Obama will hold for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in coming months. House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California will also attend.

The cost: $10,000 per person. Couples who donate $32,400, the legal maximum, also get a photo op and VIP reception.

Jacobs  has given more than $2 million to super PACs supporting Obama. He’s also donated to Ready for Hillary, a group backing a potential Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential campaign.Jacobs is also a major donor to KPBS.

Zimmerman Names Three New Police Assistant Chiefs

In her first major personnel moves, newly appointed San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman named three new assistant chiefs, the department announced Wednesday. Capts. Sarah Creighton, Todd Jarvis and Terry McManus will assume their new ranks on Saturday, according to SDPD spokesman Gary Hassen. The promotions will create an additional assistant chief position in the agency, Hassen said.

Creighton currently runs a wellness unit that offers counseling and other mental health aid to officers facing job-related stress or similar issues. Jarvis is head of the SDPD Mid-City Division, and McManus is in charge of all investigations.

The department’s other assistant chiefs are David Ramirez, second in command of the agency; Mark Jones; and Walt Vasquez.

UC San Diego and Human Longevity

Collaborate on Genome Research

UC San Diego will be teaming up with genomic and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company Human Longevity Inc. (HLI) to perform extensive research on the human genome to investigate treatments of a wide array of disease. By combining HLI’s leading edge thinking in genomics technology with UC San Diego’s world-renowned researchers and physicians, the partnership will work to make a difference in human health. The initial focus will be on cancer. The UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center will work with HLI to develop protocols and procedures to conduct comprehensive genomic sequencing of consenting MCC patients. This sort of research will eventually be applied to other diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart and liver conditions, and ailments related to aging and biological decline.

Council Member to Propose Ballot

Measure on Minimum Wage, Sick Days

Four members of the City Council announced Wednesday they will try to place a measure on the November ballot that would increase the minimum wage in San Diego and allow employees to have five sick days, City News Service reports. Speaking to a rally attended by about 100 people, Councilwoman Myrtle Cole said no one should have to just scrape by if they work hard, or have to choose between putting food on the table or caring for an ill loved-one. “Making the changes that we are recommending will boost our local economy and it will improve the quality of life for people,” Cole said.

She was joined by City Council President Todd Gloria and Councilwomen Marti Emerald and Sherri Lightner.

In a memo to Mayor Kevin Faulconer and other council members, they said their goal was to place a measure before voters that:

• provides a “meaningful” but unspecified increase in the minimum wage for all people working in San Diego.

• Ties the pay rate to a cost-of-living index that would be updated annually.

• Allows a phase-in period that gives more time for small businesses and nonprofits to raise pay.

• Gives five days of earned sick leave for all employees, regardless of industry or business type.


Balboa Park Explorer Pass

Balboa Park Explorer Pass

Officials to Launch Balboa Park Explorer Pass

City officials and members of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership on Monday will announce the official launch of the Balboa Park Explorer pass, which will give purchasers admission to 17 park institutions for one year. The pass sells for $129 for adults, $99 for seniors and students, and $199 for a family.

Other passes also will be offered for sale:

• One Day, Stay-For-The-Day Pass — admission to five museums, valid for one day only. $43 adults only.

• Multi-Day Passport to Balboa Park — admission to 14 museums, valid for seven consecutive days. Adults $53. Child $29.

• Multi-Day Passport/Zoo Combo — admission to 14 museums and the San Diego Zoo, valid for seven consecutive days. Adults $89. Child $52.

Annual Balboa Park Explorer passes purchased by April 17 will receive a three-year price lock upon renewal along with an exclusive insignia “Charter Explorer” printed on their personalized pass.

For additional information, visit

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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: