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Daily Business Report — July 7, 2014

Daily Business Report — July 7, 2014

San Diego Water Use Rises Amid Drought

San Diegans have significantly increased their water use despite pleas from the governor and other officials for Californians to reduce consumption amid the third straight year of dry conditions.

Water use in the region between January and May of this year rose about 10 percent compared with the same period in 2013, according to the San Diego County Water Authority.

In January, Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared a drought in the state and set a conservation goal of 20 percent.

The statewide picture since then isn’t much better. A report set to be finalized soon might very well show that Californians have failed to exact any savings — and may have actually upped their usage during the first five months of 2014.

Such a pattern could prompt water supply managers in Sacramento to take the highly unusual step of mandating rationing across the state. They’ve already stopped or dramatically curtailed water deliveries to parts of Central and Northern California.

“We’re going to the board on July 15 with a proposal for emergency regulations,” said Max Gomberg, senior environmental scientist for the state Water Resources Control Board.

— U-T San Diego

Read more…

Rendering of Zephyr Partners' SummerHouse project.

Rendering of Zephyr Partners’ SummerHouse project.

New Condos to Offer On-Site Concierge

Want to enjoy the ocean view from your million-dollar home, but the dog keeps yapping for a walk? No problem. Call the concierge to do the walking chores.

According to Zephyr Partners, that’s what’s in store for people who buy into its luxury ocean and lagoon view homes. The real estate company is building

an enclave of 35 homes in Carlsbad that will sell for upwards of $1.3 million each and feature an onsite concierge to perform a range of tasks for the residents — like walking the dog or scheduling surfing lessons. The site is at 2303 Ocean St. on three acres adjacent to the Buena Vista Lagoon, an ecological reserve and wetlands area. It is called SummerHouse.

The first homes will be ready for move-ins late this year and in 2015.

The compnay said each of the 35 floors plans vary from building to building, with eight general styles. The single-story homes range from 1,800 to 2,700 square-feet, with two and three bedrooms and 2.5 or three bathrooms. Each will feature a water view from a large private balcony.


For more information, visit

Teledyne Invests in Designer of

Marine Autonomous Vehicles

Ocean Aero's Submaran design.

Ocean Aero’s Submaran design.

Teledyne Technologies Inc. of Thousand Oaks announced that it has invested in and entered into a strategic partnership with San Diego-based Ocean Aero Inc., which is designing an unmanned surface vehicle that will also have the ability to descend subsea. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Unlike traditional unmanned surface vehicles or autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), Ocean Aero is designing the Submaran, a vehicle capable of operating in both surface and sub-surface environments. While still in development, the Submaran would provide a unique set of capabilities to the scientific, defense, and oil and gas communities, the company said. For example, the vehicle would have efficient propulsion and communication while on the surface, and the ability to dive could provide water column analysis, stealth and hazardous weather avoidance.

“Ocean Aero’s planned unmanned underwater/surface vehicles, powered by wind and solar, complement Teledyne’s battery-powered Gavia AUVs and market-leading autonomous gliding vehicles using buoyancy-based propulsion,” said Robert Mehrabian, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Teledyne.

ACTIVE Network to Move Headquarters to Texas

ACTIVE Network, which was purchased in November by a Austin-based Vista Equity Partners, will move its headquarters to Dallas over the next year. “We see Dallas as an opportunity to centralize our location as we expand globally, recruit great talent, and increase our operational excellence,” said Darko Dejanovic, chief executive officer of the Sorrento Valley-based company.

Texas reportedly is providing $8.6 million in incentives to assist the relocation.

ACTIVE said the transition will take place over the coming year and the company will keep a presence in San Diego.

ACTIVE provides software for managing activities, events and organizations. Customers include marathons, athletic clubs, churches and tourist attractions.  The company was founded in San Diego in 1999.

— Times of San Diego

Genentech to Acquire Seragon Pharmaceuticals

Genentech has entered into anagreement to acquire Seragon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately held biotechnology company based in San Diego. Genentech obtains rights to Seragon’s entire portfolio of investigational next-generation oral selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs) for the potential treatment of breast cancer.

“This year, breast cancer will claim the lives of nearly 40,000 women in the United States, and up to half of these women will have a disease that is driven by the estrogen receptor,” said Richard Scheller, executive vice president and head of Genentech Research and Early Development. “We believe these investigational oral SERDs could one day redefine the standard of care for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Genentech will make an upfront cash payment of $725 million, plus additional contingent payments of up to $1 billion based on achievement of certain predetermined milestones.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014.

Bradley Feldmann Takes Reins of Cubic Corp.

Bradley H. Feldmann

Bradley H. Feldmann

Bradley H. Feldmann will move from president and chief operating officer of Cubic Corp. to president and chief executive officer, the company announced.  Feldmann succeeds William W. Boyle, who is retiring after a career of more than 30 years of service to the company. Boyle served most recently as CEO and previously as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He will be an adviser to the CEO.

“I am pleased to have had the opportunity to guide Cubic through the past two years following the passing of our founder and CEO of 62 years, Walter J. Zable. Walter left behind an entrepreneurial legacy that has allowed Cubic to establish leading positions in our markets around the globe,” said Boyle.


Sharp Grossmont Nurse Manager

Wins Top Honor in Nursing Field

Teri Armour-Burton

Teri Armour-Burton

Teri Armour-Burton, a nurse manager at Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa, has received top honors in a awards program to reward nurses at the top of their professions. Armour-Burton received the GEM award — it stands for Giving Excellence Meaning — for her patient and staff management. She is studying for her doctorate in nursing at the University of San Diego.

Two others were honored as finalists in their categories — another nurse manager from Grossmont, Sheila Erickson, for volunteerism and service, and Shari Moseley of the UC San Diego Health System in La Jolla, for clinical nursing.

SDSU-Scripps Study: Commercial  Fishing Harms Coral Islands

A new study by biologists at San Diego State University and Scripps Institution of Oceanograqphy shows that inhabited coral islands that engage in commercial fishing dramatically alter their nearby reef ecosystems, disturbing the microbes, corals, algae and fish that call the reef home.

The study’s lead author, Linda Wegley Kelly, is a postdoctoral scholar in the lab of SDSU virologist Forest Rohwer.

“Corals are fierce competitors for space on the reef,” Kelly said. “In a healthy marine environment, reefs support a vibrant population of corals and other calcifying organisms that continuously build the reef skyward.”

If reefs are dominated by algae, however, the entire habitat dissolves over time and the fish don’t have anywhere to go, Kelly said.

Her results have implications for conservationists looking for ways to improve strategies for managing coral reef ecosystems. “How do you create an environment for corals to thrive?” Kelly said. “In addition to practicing sustainable fishing, one way to rehabilitate a reef would be to transplant corals to the site. This should promote an environment more conducive to coral growth by fostering a beneficial community of microorganisms.”

Ariel Suites Ground-Level Leases Completed

Location Matters Brokerage Services announced that it has completed the last remaining restaurant lease on the ground level of Ariel Suites, the 22-story luxury apartment Tower at Beech Street and Kettner Boulevard in Little Italy in Downtown San Diego. A new 10-year lease was signed by Mexiterranean Hospitality LLC as lessee and Ariel Suites L.P. as landlord.

The restaurant will feature “Baja Mediterranean” cuisine from Chef Javier Plascencia.

Another restaurant leased by Location Matters is Pan Bon, a bi-level restaurant that will be an authentic Italian bakery café on the ground level and a restaurant on the second floor. A portion of the space will be used as a bakery commissary for the wholesale operation.

Hanson Market, a gourmet and organic natural foods grocer, will occupy approximately 8,500 square feet.

Bicycling commuters

Bicycling commuters

San Diego Named One of 10 Best Cities for Bicycling

The national newspaper USA Today included San Diego in its list of the ten “best bike-friendly” communities in the United States.

The article cited San Diego for “year-round mild weather, a terrain that’s not too hilly or too flat, and loads of distinctive neighborhoods…The Silver Strand on the island of Coronado runs parallel to San Diego Bay and is one of the most beautiful cyclist-friendly routes in Southern California.”

According to the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition,  the recognition is warmly welcomed but long overdue. “San Diego is making great strides and we’ve got even more on the way to be excited about including CicloSDias, bike share and the regional bike plan,” said Executive Director Andy Hanshaw.

CicloSDias is an annual open-streets celebration. The USA Today article also noted San Diego’s bike share programs.

The newspaper didn’t rank the cities, but said ” with these ten spots you’re sure to find your pedal passion.” Here’s the list:

Austin, Texas; Boulder, Colo.; Jackson Hole, Wy.; Louisville, Ky.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Portland, Ore.; Roanoke Valley, Va.; San Diego; Tucson, Ariz.

City Finds More Money for San Diego Opera

San Diego arts commissioners gave an extra $100,000 to the resuscitated San Diego Opera just two months after they cut the company’s funding for fiscal 2015, saying it was unstable.

“Between that point and recently there’s been a lot of progress internally in the opera to bring stability to the organization,” said Robert H. Gleason, chairman of the Commission for Arts and Culture, an advisory group the mayor appoints.

The City Council found the extra cash after revising the city’s budget. Council President Todd Gloria and Councilwoman Lori Zapf strongly encouraged the arts commissioners to give the opera’s allocation another look.

When they did, the commissioners voted unanimously to increase the opera’s funding to $260,000 for the fiscal year that began July 1.


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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?

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