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Daily Business Report-Oct. 1, 2014

Daily Business Report-Oct. 1, 2014

This image provided by Aerial MOB LLC shows its eight-rotor Sky Jib Helicopter in San Diego. The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it is granting permits to six movie and television production companies to fly drones, including those from Aerial MOB of Carlsbad. The companies have been working with the Motion Picture Association of America for two years to win approval.

Carlsbad Company Among Firms Getting FAA

Exemption To Use Unmanned Aircraft in Filmmaking

A Carlsbad company — Aerial MOB LLC — is one of six aerial photo and video production companies that have been granted an exemption by the Federal Aviation Administration for the use of small unmanned aircraft systems for filmmaking in the United States.

Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, said in these cases the operation of UAS “does not pose a risk to national airspace users. It’s a crucial step for the integration of UAS into our aviation system,” and that companies seeking approval now have a model for doing so.

Currently unmanned aircraft systems generally cannot be used for commercial purposes in the United States. While rules for the safe integration of SUAS into the national airspace are not expected until later this year, the exemption is allowed under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.

This allowance does come with limitations, however as the aircraft must be operated by a three-man team, including a UAS operator with private pilot certification.  All flying must be done within line-of-sight and can’t be operated at night.  The operator must also submit a detailed plan of operations three days before any filming takes place with an inspection of aircraft before flights.

Early this summer, seven film companies filed highly similar petitions with the FAA to fly small unmanned aircraft systems less than 55 pounds to a height of no more than 400 feet on a closed set.

“As part of their petition, these firms asked the FAA for exemptions from regulations that addressed general flight rules, pilot certification requirements, manuals, maintenance, and equipment mandates,” FAA

administrator Michael Huerta said at the press conference. “To receive the exemptions the firms had to show that their UAS operations would provide an equivalent level of safety to the rules and the operations and would be in the public interest.”

Besides Aerial MOB LLC, the companies that filed petitions were Flying-Cam, HeliVideo Productions LLC, Pictorvision Inc., RC Pro Productions Consulting LLC, Astraeus Aerial and Snaproll Media LLC. The only company not to receive an exemption today was Flying-Cam, which is working with the FAA to provide additional required information.

“The FAA’s announcement represents another important milestone in unlocking the commercial potential of UAS technology,” said Michael Toscano, president and CEO of AUVSI, the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. “The film and television industry has safely used UAS technology abroad for years in the productions of movies such as ‘Skyfall’ and ‘The Hunger Games.’”

Aerial MOB’s website ( lists four members of its management team: Treggon Owens, technology/business development; Steve Blizzard, lead pilot/aircraft operations; Tony Carmean, producer/business development; and Jonathan Montague, chief engineer.

“We are innovators in unmanned aerial cinematography and unmanned aerial systems technology,” the firms says on its website.

Manufacturing Continues to Play

Key Role in San Diego Economy

Manufacturing employs more than 94,000 San Diegans and pays an annual average wage of $75,800 — figures that underscore the importance the sector plays in San Diego’s economy. That’s according to a policy brief released by

the National University System Institute for Policy Research in advance of Friday’s National Manufacturing Day.

The institute found that:

• Employment continues to shrink even while productivity goes up indicating just how much automation and advanced manufacturing exists in the region.

• The sector is extremely diverse, with strengths in both defense (aerospace, shipbuilding) and non-defense areas (computer and electronic equipment, food processing, golf).

• Productivity has dramatically increased while employment has actually fallen.  Since 2007 employment has decreased from 102,000 to 94,800 while productivity increased by 20 percent.

• The workforce is highly educated, with 52 percent of workers within the most common occupations in the sector holding a BA or higher.

•  Otherwise the manufacturing workforce is similar to the rest of the broader economy. About 56 percent of manufacturing occupations are held by men compared to 54 percent among the entire workforce.  The median age of manufacturing workers is 41, compared to 39 for the workforce as a whole.

A challenge for policy makers and economic developers, however, is that while the industry’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product has grown substantially, overall manufacturing employment fell from 102,000 in 2007 to 94,800 in 2013. Even with a modest uptick in 2012 and 2013, the region is still far below recent peaks in manufacturing employment.

“Manufacturing remains a vitally important part of the San Diego economy,” remarked Erik Bruvold, institute president and author of the policy brief. “Given its contribution of nearly $1 in $10 to the region’s gross domestic product and the dramatic growth of productivity since 2007, it isn’t surprising that the most common professions in this area demand high levels of education. This isn’t your grandparents manufacturing sector but rather an assortment of industries which place a high premium on skills and sophisticated levels of training.”

Mayor Kevin Faulconer in his office. (Photo by Chris Jennewein)

Mayor Kevin Faulconer in his office. (Photo by Chris Jennewein)

Climate Action Plan: By 2035,

All Electricity From Renewables

By 2035, San Diegans will need to reduce per capita water consumption by nine gallons a day and figure out a way to derive all the electricity used in the city from renewable resources, according to an updated climate change plan unveiled Tuesday. The draft Climate Action Plan issued by Mayor Kevin Faulconer will be reviewed in public hearings before being presented to the City Council for approval.

“By striking a balance between protecting our environment and growing our economy, San Diego can support clean technology, renewable energy and economic growth,” Faulconer said. “I’ve brought together environmental and business groups to update this plan and move San Diego forward.”

Countywide, per capita water consumption averages about 140 gallons per day.

Other 2035 goals include reducing electricity consumption in apartments and condominiums by 50 percent, by 53 percent in commercial properties and by 40 percent in city buildings; expanding the use of photovoltaic solar panels; and getting people out of cars by promoting mass transit, walking or bicycling.

Faulconer’s action plan met most of the recommendations made by the City Council last week.

“This plan demonstrates that San Diego is a progressive leader in addressing climate change, and that we value our people and our environment enough to take such decisive and strong action,” council President Todd Gloria said.

Councilman David Alvarez, who heads the Environment Committee and has called for an aggressive climate change plan, said he was pleased the mayor followed the council’s lead.

Among the mayor’s proposals are requiring developers to install conduit for solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations in new construction; changing policies so that most of the city’s vehicle fleet can be electric; converting trash trucks to run on natural gas; synchronizing traffic signals to improve the flow of traffic; and capturing methane from water treatment plants.

— City News Service

Led by La Jolla, San Diego Ranks

Ninth in Luxury Home sales

San Diego ranks ninth nationally in sales of luxury homes, with more than 900 residences valued at $1 million or more sold in the past year, according to a new report.

The real estate firm Coldwell Banker released sales information covering July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014, in its Luxury Market Report.

La Jolla alone accounted for 348 luxury sales, four of them valued at more than $10 million. The 92037 ZIP code ranked third in the United States.

Here is how cities compared nationally in number of sales of properties worth $1 million or more:

San Francisco — 2,485

Los Angeles — 2,170

New York — 2,145

San Jose — 1,119

Houston — 981

Chicago — 972

Naples, Fla. — 964

Miami — 933

San Diego — 927

Washington — 878

Coldwell Banker said the U.S. high-end residential real estate market remains strong, with 48 percent of all wealthy consumers indicating that they plan to purchase a luxury home within the next 12 months.

— Times of San Diego

Regents Bank Promotes 2 to Executive Team

Stephen Friedman

Stephen Friedman

Jon Caffall

Jon Caffall

Regents Bank has promoted Stephen Friedman and Jon Michael Caffall to the position of executive vice president/regional manager. They previously were senior vice presidents. Friedman continues to oversee Regents Bank’s La Jolla headquarters office, and Caffall continues to oversee Regent’s North County region, including offices in Vista and Escondido.

As part of the executive team, Friedman and Caffall will continue to manage their offices and are responsible for developing, managing and expanding commercial loan and depository relationships for small to mid-sized businesses as well as varied real estate transactions throughout San Diego County. Friedman joined the bank in 2009 and Caffall joined the bank in 2005.

Destination Hotels Promotes Michael Slosser

Michael Slosser

Michael Slosser

Destination Hotels announced the promotion of Michael J. Slosser to vice president and area managing director. In his new role, Slosser will lead the renovation and repositioning of San Diego’s Town and Country Resort & Convention Center. The property was acquired June 1 by a partnership comprised of AECOM Capital, Atlas Hotels and Lowe Enterprises and is part of the Destination Hotels collection. Slosser will continue to provide area leadership for L’Auberge Del Mar and Paradise Point Resort, as well as any future California properties added to the company’s portfolio.

For the past 12 years, Slosser has been at the helm of L’Auberge Del Mar Resort in Del Mar. He engineered the $27 million  renovation of the property with the closing of the hotel doors in the fall 2007 and the grand reopening in June 2008.

Slosser worked directly for the former White House Chief of Staff — H. R. Haldeman, who served President Richard Nixon.

Gov. Brown Acts on More Than 1,000 Bills

Gov. Jerry Brown’s office says in 2014 the governor signed 930 bills, let one become law without his signature and vetoed 143.

The governor also took action on several gun bills. Brown signed a bill allowing families to request a temporary restraining order preventing a family member from obtaining a gun if that person is mentally unstable. The bill stems from a deadly shooting spree in Santa Barbara earlier this year. Another measure would require BB guns to have a distinct color marking so police officers are less likely to confuse them with real guns. That bill comes after a sheriff’s deputy in Sonoma County shot and killed a teenage boy holding a pellet gun.

A third bill requires any guns bought outside of California to first be delivered to a dealer, where buyers can then pick them up.

Brown vetoed a bill that would require people who build guns at home to register them with the state.

Brown also signed a measure that expedites the testing of DNA in rape kits. He also approved a bill that requires the state’s Office of Emergency Services to develop a plan and timeline for updating the 911 system, including accepting emergency text messages.

— Capital Public Radio

Interfaith Community Services Gets

$3 Million Grant to Assist Homeless

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs awarded Interfaith Community Services of North County with a $3 million  grant through its Supportive Services for Veteran Families program to help end veterans homeless in San Diego County.

Grant funds will be used to provide wrap-around services, including rental and utility assistance, financial literacy training, transportation, and individualized case management to low-income veterans and their families who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless. The program’s goal is to provide struggling veterans and their families with rapid assistance to prevent homelessness, as well as restore housing stability for homeless veterans.

Student Activity Center

Student Activity Center

Santa Fe Christian Schools Completes

Renovation to Student Activity Center

Santa Fe Christian Schools has completed major renovations to its Student Activity Center, featuring a new outdoor facade, expanded lobby and air conditioning.

The updated gym lobby was completed over the course of three months, and provides improved lighting, flooring and a trophy case, along with upgraded ticket and snack counters. The exterior redesign includes new landscaping work, blending seamlessly with the existing campus architecture. In addition, the Upper School parking lot will be slightly reconfigured to improve traffic flow.

“This is an important first step in laying the foundation for future campus improvements,” said SFC Chief Financial Officer Steve Kuptz.

SFC’s gym renovations were funded exclusively by the Santa Fe Fund, an annual giving program that provides resources for a rich and rewarding educational experience for every student.

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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.

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