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Daily Business Report-May 20, 2014

Daily Business Report-May 20, 2014

The San Diego County Water Authority has been upgrading its water storage facilities to decrease reliance on the Metropolitan Water Authority. This 2009 photo shows construction at the San Vicente Dam.

San Diego Water Rates Could Go

Up By Almost 4 Percent Next Year

The San Diego County Water Authority announced Monday that it is preparing to raise water rates as high as 3.8 percent for next year. The increases proposed by staff would be 2.9 percent or 3.8 percent for untreated water, and 2.6 percent or 3.3 percent for treated water. The actual figures would vary between member agencies.

The percentage increase is smaller than from earlier this decade, said Sandy Kerl, the Water Authority’s deputy general manager. Kerl said rates jumped by double-digit percentages in 2010 and 2011.

Kerl said the rate proposal also includes for the first time the cost of water from the Carlsbad desalination plan. That water is twice as expensive as imported water. “It is a drought-proof supply of water. And any new increment of supply, meaning any new source, that provides that reliability is in that same ballpark, cost wise,” Kerl said.

The Water Authority, which is fighting the Metropolitan Water District in court over its wholesale rate structure, said the MWD is responsible for 74 percent of its water costs.

The rate plan does not include any potential rebates from the rate case being argued in the courts. If the Water Authority prevails, that could send millions of dollars back to San Diego water customers.

The proposal will go before the agency’s board of directors on Thursday but won’t be voted on until after a public hearing scheduled for June 26.

The Water Authority receives water from the MWD, the primary wholesaler for the region, and distributes it to local agencies like the city of San Diego or Helix Water District. It’s those local agencies that deliver water to residential and commercial customers.

“These proposed rates reflect the cost of investing in a safe and reliable water supply for San Diego County,” said Maureen Stapleton, general manager of the SDCWA. “That strategy has worked well to help us avoid the worst impacts of the current drought, and it will continue to protect our region’s economic health and quality of life.”

– KPBS and City News Service

Donors Save the Day for San Diego Opera

Exactly two months after a vote to shut down shop, directors of the San Diego Opera on Monday announced the show will go on.

“The public spoke, we listened, and we’re open for business,” board President Carol Lazier said in a statement quoted by U-T San Diego. “And do we have some great news to share with you.”

A 50th anniversary season will open Jan. 24 with “La Boheme,” followed by “Don Giovanni” and “Nixon in China.” Gala concerts will close the series of performances in April 2015.

“This isn’t just for 2015,” Lazier said. “We’re looking for the company to survive many years into the future.”

In a posted message, Lazier also said: “Thanks to the overwhelming support you’ve shown to San Diego Opera, the $500,000 challenge match has been met — what an amazing feat! You’ve helped us reach our initial fundraising goals, but there is still much work to be done to sustain opera in San Diego and we must keep up our efforts.”

“The opera met (its) $1 million crowdfunding goal 10 days early, and last week surpassed the $2 million mark in a drive that was primarily online,” the U-T said. “In all, the opera will need to raise an estimated $6.5 million in contributed income toward a projected operating budget of $10.5 million for 2015 (ticket sales and other earned income are expected to make up the difference).”

Ticket prices were lowered, starting at $35 per opera for subscribers and $105 for the three-opera season, KPBS said.

– Times of San Diego and City News Service

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Office building at 9320 Chesapeake Drive

Office building at 9320 Chesapeake Drive

Office Building Sells for $2.34 Million

Fenway Asset Acquisitions LLC has purchased a 21,260-square-foot, two-story, multi-tenant office building at 9320 Chesapeake Drive in San Diego for $2.34 million. The building was constructed in 1980 and is fully leased. The seller was Chesapeake Management LP. CBRE represented the seller and buyer.

Rady School of Management Gets Ernest Rady Gift

The Rady School of Management at UC San Diego announced a $1 million matching gift donation from local philanthropist and campus supporter Ernest Rady. The gift will fund fellowships. Rady has pledged to donate one dollar for every sixty cents raised by the school for fellowships, up to $1 million. Fellowships provide merit-based funding for talented students interested in attending the Rady School.

Rady currently serves as executive chairman of the Board for American Assets Trust, a publicly traded real estate investment trust that was formed in 2011 from the real estate business of American Assets Inc. Rady also is chairman and founder of ICW Group and the founder of several other successful companies.

Jenna Spittler

Jenna Spittler

L’Auberge Del Mar Hires Leisure Sales Manager

DEL MAR –L’Auberge Del Mar has hired Jenna Spittler as leisure sales manager for the 120-room hotel. In her new role, Spittler will be responsible for the leisure and individual business travel markets. Spittler began her career in the hospitality industry in 2007 as sales and marketing coordinator for the Four Seasons Worldwide Sales Office in New York.  In 2011, she moved to California to join the team at La Costa Resort and Spa as travel industry sales manager. Most recently, Spittler served as director of leisure sales for both Omni La Costa Resort and Spa and Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa. She is an honors graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Chef Giuseppe Ciuffa

Chef Giuseppe Ciuffa

Sonata Bistro and High Note Café

To Open at Symphony Towers

Chef Giuseppe Ciuffa of Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering is preparing to open Sonata Bistro and High Note Café at Symphony Towers in Downtown San Diego on June 9.  The newest additions to his collection of restaurants, including the Bottega Americano in which he is a partner, Sonata Bistro and High Note Café will offer a selection of dishes sourced from local ingredients for breakfast and lunch.

“Downtown diners are hungry for more trend-forward eateries,” said Ciuffa.  “When the spaces became available at Symphony Towers it was music to my ears.  I love to locate my restaurants within centers of entertainment and culture.”

At Sonata Bistro, guests will be treated to American fare with an international twist for breakfast and lunch High Note Café, a casual coffee shop, will be located on the 12th floor of Symphony Towers and boasts views of Downtown San Diego.  Offerings will include “farm to cup” coffee and espresso drinks from Bird Rock Coffee Roasters, fresh baked pastries from Bread & Cie and other items.

Sonata Bistro and High Note Café will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Pauline Foster Donates $7.5 Million for New Cancer Care Unit

Pauline Foster

Pauline Foster

Pauline Foster, longtime supporter of the UC San Diego, is donating $7.5 million in support of the new cancer care hospital at the Jacobs Medical Center. The new cancer center will be named The Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care, in honor of her contribution. Both Pauline’s husband and brother died of cancer. The $7.5 million gift is combined with the Jacobs Medical Center one-to-one match grant challenge, bringing the project total to $15 million. The center is currently under construction and is expected to open on the east side of campus at UC San Diego in 2016.

Encompassing three floors of Jacobs Medical Center, The Pauline and Stanley Foster Hospital for Cancer Care will be home to medical staff specially trained in caring for the complex needs of patients with cancer. It will be the only in-patient facility of its kind in San Diego County, which has the fifth largest U.S. population, and where cancer is the No. 1 cause of death. With 108 dedicated beds, the hospital will double UC San Diego Health System’s capacity to treat patients with every form of malignancy.

Scripps, Rady Children’s Hospital Enter Hospice Pact

Scripps Health and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego have reached an affiliation agreement to treat children in need of end-of-life care. “We are proud to partner with Rady Children’s Hospital to help care for these young patients,” said Scripps President and CEO Chris Van Gorder. “These children and their families are facing an incredibly difficult time. With Scripps and Rady Children’s working together, we can make it a bit easier by providing the best care possible.”

Through the affiliation, a specialized team of clinicians from Scripps and Rady Children’s will work together as part of a program to provide pediatric hospice care services tailored to what’s best for each patient. The program will be operated under the Scripps Hospice license and will be under the medical direction of Kim Bower, M.D., a pediatric hospice and palliative care expert at Rady Children’s.

Social Venture Partners Launch ‘Advance San Diego 2014’

San Diego Social Venture Partners (SVP), a nonprofit giving organization, has called upon local nonprofits to apply for the third annual “Advance San Diego” event and compete for more than $75,000 in cash and services. Advance San Diego is modeled after the popular “fast pitch” venture capital funding competitions.

San Diego nonprofits selected for the Advance San Diego competition can be awarded thousands of dollars in cash and consulting services. Applications are due by June 6.

From the applications 30 nonprofit finalists will be chosen to work with a SVP mentor and attend two workshops.  Finalist will present their fast-pitch compelling story to an audience of influential funders, philanthropists, businesses and community leaders in October. A panel of independent judges will determine cash awards and a separate award for an audience vote will also be available. This final event is the culmination of the Advance San Diego program and showcases what these finalists have learned and how they have found innovative ways to improve and transform the lives of San Diegans.

For applications and more information, visit www.sdsvp.org.

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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: info@probolskyresearch.com