Daily Business Report-March 31, 2014
The Balboa Park lily pond and Botanical Building decked out in a past December Nights.
Balboa Park Centennial Plans Greatly Scaled Down
The Balboa Park centennial celebration will be centered on the December Nights festival and two other major special events, which should create a lasting legacy for the park, San Diego city officials said Friday.
December Nights will kick off the celebration this fall and end the festivities near the end of 2015. The other two major events will take place in the spring and summer to highlight San Diego’s culture, people and lifestyle, but details were not announced.
“This will be an event by San Diegans, for San Diegans,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said.
Plans for a yearlong series of activities that would draw national and international visitors collapsed after a citizen’s group failed to attract enough private investment. Balboa Park Celebration Inc. is in the processing of disbanding amid questions of what the city got in return for its $2.6 million investment.
The Balboa Park Conservany, which already manages December Nights, will organize the events with the city.
On Wednesday, the City Council’s Environment Committee requested financial and performance audits of BPCI.
“One of the things that I think got lost over the past several years is why we wanted to have a centennial celebration in the first place,” Faulconer said. “It’s not about holding a grand spectacle that attracts kings and queens to San Diego. This celebration is about honoring the 1915 Panama-California Exhibition that put our city on the world map.”
The mayor said the reformulated plan is “more practical and realistic.”
It also includes exhibitions already being planned by the park’s various cultural institutions, improvements to facilities and landscaping, and a collaboration with San Diego Gas & Electric and CleanTech San Diego to install energy efficient decorative lighting throughout the park.
SDG&E also committed to improving energy efficiency at 10 museums.
The city’s Tourism Marketing District — which promotes San Diego as a vacation destination — announced plans to highlight Balboa Park in future promotional campaigns.
“Together, we have committed to moving forward with a celebration that is achievable, manageable, that is good for our city and great for our park,” City Council President Todd Gloria said.
He said the celebrations, combined, should set up the park for its next 100 years.
— Reported by City News Service
Opera Drama Enters Second Act
Directors of the San Diego Opera will meet today to address mounting concern among some on the board that they did not have adequate information – including an investigation of the opera’s management tactics – before voting two weeks ago to shutter the venerable institution.
Sources on the board and opera staff told KPBS they did not have the full picture of expenses, liabilities or the results of a legal investigation that was prompted by a claim alleging a hostile work environment.
A group of board members say they hope to persuade a majority of the directors to “hit the pause button,” and rethink the decision to disband the company.
In a letter, they have requested more than two dozens documents.
David Kleinfeld, who was the single vote against closing the 49-year-old opera company, said he is one of the directors insisting on more answers.
“A decision like this cannot be made under the circumstances that evolved last week,” said Kleinfeld. “We need to take a deliberate look and exhaustively understand what the reasons were for proposing this. That has not been adequately explained.”
Hopes for saving the opera extend beyond those board members.
TakeLessons Gets $7 Million in Funding
On the heels of the company’s recent Downtown office expansion, San Diego-based TakeLessons — an online marketplace linking teachers with students – has announced it has raised $7 million in new funding. TakeLessons CEO Steven Cox said, “San Diego has been good to take lessons and we can’t imagine doing business anywhere else. With a phenomenal pool of talent to draw upon, a supportive community of civic, business, and political leaders, and the best living environment in the world, there’s simply no better place to call home.”
The 58-person company is currently the second fastest growing Internet firm in the region. — Reported by Xconomy
United Fastener Acquired by Canadian Company
Succession Capital Inc., a subsidiary of Lynx Equity Limited of Canada, has acquired San Diego-based United Fastener Inc., a wholesaler and retailer of fasteners and related products. Lynx announced that, in conjunction with the acquisition, it is creating a U.S. subsidiary, Succession Capital Inc. “Succession Capital looks forward to building on the success and experience of the Lynx Equity model and continuing to pursue acquisitions throughout the United States,” said Brad Nathan, president of Lynx Equity and Succession Capital. Nathan said United Fastener is Lynx Equity and Succession Capital’s eighth combined acquisition in 2014, increasing total revenues to over $160 million.
United Fastener, located at 2852 Market St., was founded in 1964.
San Diego Homeowners Owe $1.6 Billion
The April 10 deadline to pay the second installment of property taxes is approaching and only 30 percent of the bills have been remitted, San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister reported last week. Of the nearly 982,000 invoices that were sent out last September, 590,000 second installments have gone unpaid, with a total value of $1.68 billion, McAllister said.
McAllister said the Downtown San Diego branch of his office is the only one that will accept cash. Credit card payments are accepted online and by phone. All five offices will be open with extended hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the due date. They are located at the County Administration Center, 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 162; 9225 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. in Kearny Mesa; 590 Third Ave. in Chula Vista; 200 S. Magnolia Ave. in El Cajon; and 141 E. Carmel St. in San Marcos.
Late payments will be assessed a 10 percent penalty and $10 fee.
— City News Service
Enrollment Grows at UC San Diego Extension
Copyediting was the most popular program
Enrollment in UC San Diego Extension’s professional certificate programs increased 11 percent in 2013 over the previous year, with a total 3,633 students admitted, the university reported. The most popular certificate program was copyediting, followed by data mining, accounting, teaching English as a foreign language and paralegal studies.
Another popular new certificate program in 2013 was brewing, which debuted a year ago, followed by terrestrial carbon accounting, a first-time course that drew dozens of environmental professionals from the world’s most threatened regions.
The university said overall student satisfaction with their classes was markedly high, at 92 percent. Equally noteworthy, students’ employment status as a direct result of taking job-related courses improved at a rate of 83 percent. Overall enrollment held steady with a 2 percent gain.
San Diego Designer’s Work Featured in
What do you get when you mix Latin roots, California sensibilities and a love for New York City? For Alejandra Boggiano, a 2008 graduate of San Diego State University, the answer was Solkissed Swimwear.
Born in Peru and having grown up in Chile and San Diego, Boggiano developed a love for fashion, the sun and the Pacific Ocean. From an early age she would flip through fashion magazines with dreams of one day seeing her designs on the pages.
In February 2014, those dreams were realized when Sports Illustrated released its annual Swimsuit Edition featuring Solkissed Swimwear on models Chanel Iman and Lily Aldridge of Victoria’s Secret fame.
Boggiano graduated from State with degrees in journalism and Italian. She moved to New York shortly thereafter to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology and work in public relations.
Solkissed Swimwear was brought to life during the late nights of Boggiano’s time in New York when she would leave work at 7 p.m. and work on Solkissed until 4 or 5 in the morning.
Boggiano’s busy schedule was not a far cry from her days at SDSU, where she made balancing her school, social and professional life a priority.
“At the end of the day, the real world is not all about being stuck inside reading a book. The real world is about having time to read the book and also being outside meeting people and making connections,” Boggiano said.