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Daily Business Report-Nov. 13, 2014

Daily Business Report-Nov. 13, 2014

Ballpark Village would be located on the triangular-shaped block across from Petco Park. (Carrier Johnson + Culture)

Developers Hire Brownfields Expert

To Clear Site for Giant Ballpark Village

A man who has been digging in Downtown’s East Village for 16 years has been hired by the developers of the giant Ballpark Village project to perform environmental and construction services on the 3.9-acre site.

Chris Spengler, who formed C. Spengler Strategies to expedite the redevelopment of brownfields, was retained for the work by Ballpark Village LLC, a partnership between JMI Realty and Lennar Corp. His company will collaborate with Leighton & Associates on an environmental assessment and remediation aspects of the mixed-use Ballpark Village project.

Chris Spengler

Chris Spengler

The Ballpark Village site is located along the east side of Park Boulevard, north of Imperial Avenue. The developers plan to build 713 residential units and 50,000 square feet of commercial space on the site, along with 1,220 parking stalls in three underground levels and one partial at-grade level.

Spengler is no stranger to the task. He managed the majority of the environmental remediation work for the Petco Park and East Village Redevelopment Project between 1998 and 2004, and continued managing remediation and grading projects in Downtown, including the Downtown Main Library, Mercado del Barrio and the new Sempra Headquarters.

Over the past two decades, he has assessed and remediated over 1.7 million square feet of real estate, turning brownfields into properties supporting their highest and best use, according to the developers.

“Spengler will apply his unique skill set derived from combining remediation and grading activities and his extensive knowledge of the site to guide the remediation efforts for Ballpark Village in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible,” the developers said in a report.

The Ballpark Village site was previously owned by San Diego Gas & Electric as part of the facilities associated with the historic manufactured gas plant located on the south side of Imperial Avenue, which was constructed in the late 1800s. After the closure of the plant, these properties continued to support SDG&E’s operations through to the late 1990s.

Aerial view of the Ballpark Village site

Aerial view of the Ballpark Village site

The developers said the Ballpark Village project will be largest undertaking in Downtown since the construction of Petco Park. Preconstruction work is scheduled to start during the first quarter of 2015 with demolition and grading set to start in March. Project completion is estimated for late 2017.

“I’ve been studying and excavating the East Village since 1998,” said Spengler. “Understanding the history is as important as understanding the environmental data. For proper planning, one must understand how and why the contamination came to be, and to not only rely on the data at face value.”

Historic Britt-Scripps Inn Sold for $2.9 Million

The Britt-Scripps Inn

The Britt-Scripps Inn

The historic Britt-Scripps Inn, a 127-year-old house in San Diego’s Bankers Hill, has been sold for $2.9 million to Neo Romax Inc., which intends to reopen it as a bed and breakfast. It has been closed for three years. The seller was the Alec H. Esker Living Trust.

The three-story, nine-bedroom property at 406 Maple St. was originally built in 1887 and received its historical site designation in 1971. Two San Diego luminaries — Judge Eugene W. Britt and Edward W. Scripps — have owned the property.

The house  underwent extensive, Queen Ann Victorian-style renovations between 2002-2005 to become a bed and breakfast. The property features a lobby, parlor, dining room, commercial grade kitchen, carriage house, garage storage, garden wedding and reception area, and the first ever camphor tree planted in North America.

“It is seldom that a property with such historic San Diego significance comes to market,” said Bud Marsh, senior vice president at Colliers International. “The Britt-Scripps House is an important piece of Bankers Hill and the community is passionate about the long-term preservation of this property, which the buyer intends to do.”


Four New Members Join Connect

Board’s Executive Committee

Four new members have been added to the executive committee of the board of directors of Connect, the San Diego startup accelerator organization. The new members are James Mackay, president and chief operating officer at Ardea Biosciences, a wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca; Alex Kunczynski, president and co-founder of D&K Engineering; Tim Scott, co-founder and president of Pharmatek Laboratories Inc.; and Donald J. Rosenberg, executive chairman and chairman of the board, Qualcomm Inc.

“All four new committee members are strong and accomplished leaders within the technology and life sciences space and our innovation ecosystem,” said Greg McKee, chief executive officer at Connect. “They represent Connect’s new direction and focus on providing meaningful content to our entrepreneurs and innovators in San Diego.”

Postal Connections to Hold

Grand Re-Opening Celebration

 Ann Marie Marvin owns the franchise with her husband, Darin.

Ann Marie Marvin owns the franchise with her husband, Darin.

A grand re-opening celebration of the Postal Connections of America store in Clairement will be held on Nov. 22 from noon to 3 p.m. “We moved our store 100 yards from Clairemont Drive, next to Starbucks, where we were for five-years, to the Garfield Shopping Mall on Balboa,” said store owner Ann Marie Marvin. “This move gives customers better parking and provides more space for us to offer additional products and services. The move improves our service to Clairemont, which is an excellent community for business and has supported our store over the years.”

“This will be an unusual, fun event as we are teaming up with our neighbor Rawmana Fitness and presenting  Polynesian dancers, refreshments, door prizes, face painting and balloons for children,” said Marvin.

Marvin and her husband, Darin, have operated the PCA franchise in San Diego for nearly five years. Ann Marie, a former Navy lieutenant commander with six years active duty and four years in the reserves, was deployed to the Gulf twice. Darin is a former Navy commander.


Cal Western School of Law

Wins Mock Trial Competition

The winning team, from left: Madelynn Woodhall, Jordan DuBois, Melissa Mack and Sarah Reeb. (Photo courtesy of California Western School of Law).

The winning team, from left: Madelynn Woodhall, Jordan DuBois, Melissa Mack and Sarah Reeb. (Photo courtesy of California Western School of Law).

California Western School of Law has won the first-ever head-to-head mock trial competition between San Diego’s three law schools.

 The trial advocacy team of Jordan B. Du Bois, Melissa M. Mack, Sarah E. Reeb and Madelynn F. Woodhall won the trophy and a $5,000 prize competing against teams from Thomas Jefferson School of Law  and the University of San Diego School of law. Du Bois and Mack are third-year students and veteran competitors. Second-year students Reeb and Mack are competition rookies. In the finals, held Nov. 10, they took on a team from Thomas Jefferson, which finished second in the spirited competition.

The event was sponsored by the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and held at California Western, with the final round at the Edward Schwartz Federal Courthouse Downtown.

“It is exciting to win this very first ABTL trial tournament against USD and TJSL who are two very fine teams,” said Professor Mario Conte, adviser to the law school’s Moot Court Honors Board. “It is a real tribute to the hard work of our coaches and competitors that we were able to prevail.”

The competitors had high praise for their coaches —  attorney Jim Mangione of Wingert Grebing and San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Clayton Carr.

The competition was judged by a panel of San Diego attorneys, but U.S. District Court Judge Anthony J. Battaglia  presided over the session in the ceremonial courtroom—not knowing until later which team represented which school in the blind competition.

Reception Tonight for Women PeaceMakers

The San Diego Women’s Foundation, in partnership with the University of San Diego Institute for Peace and Justice, will host a special reception and discussion with the 2014 Women PeaceMakers from 6 to 8:30 tonight at the university.

The PeaceMakers, Robi Damelin, Israel; Nimalka Fernando, Sri Lanka; Ashima Kaul, India (Kashmir); and Margaret Arach Orech, Uganda, will participate in a special reception and discussion. These individuals, selected from hundreds of applicants from conflict zones around the globe, have overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges to build peace under the most trying of circumstances.

Tickets are $25 each. For more information, call (619) 235-2300.

Northrop Grumman Signs

$350M Global Hawk Contract

Northrop Grumman’s Rancho Bernardo-based unmanned aircraft division won a $306 million contract Wednesday for support of the high altitude, long endurance RQ-4 Global Hawk drone.

The agreement with the Defense Department continues an existing contract for Global Hawk maintenance, inventory management, parts procurement and other tasks necessary to ensure the availability of the aircraft system.

“In a turbulent world, Global Hawk’s unparalleled reliability has made it an indispensable asset to the U.S. Air Force,” said Mick Jaggers, director of the Global Hawk program for Northrop Grumman. “Our team takes great pride in supporting the warfighter with an aircraft system that is ready and available whenever and wherever it’s needed. We look forward to continuing this relationship with the Air Force.”

Global Hawk aircraft have exceeded more than 130,000 total flight hours on anti-terrorism, anti-piracy, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, airborne communications and information-sharing missions.

— Times of San Diego

The San Diego Pride rainbow flag is unfurled on University Avenue in Hillcrest. (Photo courtesy of San Diego Pride.)

The San Diego Pride rainbow flag is unfurled on University Avenue in Hillcrest. (Photo courtesy of San Diego Pride.)

San Diego is LGBT-Friendly, Says

Human Rights Campaign

San Diego received a perfect score Wednesday on a list of gay and lesbian equality, while medium-sized local cities fell below the state average.

The 2014 Municipal Equality Index, put out by the Human Rights Campaign, measures LGBT inclusion in municipal law and policy.

“In just three years, the number of municipalities earning top marks for their treatment of LGBT citizens has more than tripled,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Simply put, in this country there is an ongoing race to the top to treat all people, including LGBT people, fairly under the law, and it’s time our state and federal laws caught up.”

San Diego was one of 38 cities in the U.S. to receive a perfect score.

Other cities in the region included in the rankings were Chula Vista, 61; Escondido, 60; and Oceanside, 57.

The state average score was 73 and the national average was 59, according to the HRC.

Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California, said the study shows two Californias.

“Most of our larger cities and more progressive municipalities like Los Angeles, Long Beach and San Francisco have perfect or near-perfect scores, while many other cities — particularly in the Central Valley, Orange County and more rural areas — fall far short of the mark,” he said.

The rankings included the 200 largest cities in the U.S., all 50 state capitals, the four largest cities in each state, the municipalities with a state’s largest public university, and a mix of large, medium and small communities with concentrations of same-sex couples.

— City News Service

Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Port Drop

Greenhouse gas emissions caused by operations at the Port of San Diego dropped by 42 percent between 2006 and 2012, according to a report released Wednesday by the agency. Emissions of other harmful air pollutants were also significantly reduced, including nitrogen oxides by half, diesel particulate matter by 75 percent, and sulfur dioxide by 94 percent, according to the port.

“By reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, we have a positive impact on climate change while also improving air quality for local communities,” said Bob Nelson, chairman of the port’s Board of Commissioners. “This environmental monitoring shows that our strategies have been effective as we strive for green maritime operations.”

According to the port, emissions were measured in 2006 to provide a baseline, and were followed by steps to reduce air pollution.

The actions taken to cut back on emissions included asking cargo ships to reduce their speed to 12 knots, and cruise ships to 15 knots, while in the bay and 20 miles out to sea from Point Loma.

The port also set pollution standards for trucks the drop off and pick up cargo at the port, and installed pierside systems that provide power to ships, so they don’t have to keep their engines running while tied up.

Port officials also credited state pollution control regulations, the use of cleaner fuels and the recession that took place during the period that was studied.

— City News Service

San Diego Grantmakers Hold Annual Conference

San Diego Grantmakers will hold its annual conference Friday at various locations in Balboa Park to bring  philanthropic leaders together to focus on philanthropy and its benefits to the community. The theme is “Nurturing Our Community Garden.”  Sessions will last from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

During the morning session, six prominent thinkers from the philanthropic field will respond to critical questions about the practice of philanthropy. The afternoon session — moderated by SDG board chair and civic leader Connie Matsui — will explore how to spark transformative change in the region by linking philanthropy with other sectors and stakeholders.

San Diego Grantmakers will hold a networking reception from 5 to 7 p.m. today at the Timken Museum. John Kobara of the California Community Foundation will speak.

Grantmakers is a membership association of organizations and individuals that carry out $25,000 or more annually of charitable giving to multiple nonprofits.

City Council to Revisit Mini-Dorms Issue

A City Council committee today is scheduled  to take up the controversial issue of mini-dorms — houses near college campuses in San Diego that are rented out to large numbers of students and, in some cases, become a neighborhood nuisance. According to the College Area Community Council,  the definition of a rooming house in the municipal code is vague, making the current rules difficult for city officials to enforce. The group has proposed changes to the code to clarify the meaning.

Near San Diego State University, around 700 single-family homes are rented to students, according to a CACC memo to Councilwoman Marti Emerald, whose Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee will discuss the proposals at a special meeting. Of those houses, 40 percent have between five and 10 bedrooms. — City News Service

 Personnel Moves

Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge Hires Associate

Rhonda Adato

Rhonda Adato

Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge, a Downtown San Diego law firm, has added Rhonda Adato as an associate attorney.

Prior to joining KNL&H, Adato was an associate at a full-service San Diego law firm where she focused on various San Diego housing issues, including labor laws, homelessness and civil liability. She also held five legal intern positions, including at the Office of the Chula Vista City Attorney, Office of the San Diego County District Attorney and AT&T Services Inc.

Adato earned her J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, where she was the articles editor for the Federal Communications Law Journal and vice president of the Law Association for Women. She received bachelor of arts degrees in English and history of art from the University of California, Berkeley.

Sandra Joan Morris Joins Seltzer Caplan

Sandra Joan Morris

Sandra Joan Morris

Sandra Joan Morris has joined the San Diego law firm of  Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek as of counsel to the firm’s family law practice. Morris, who has been practicing law for 44 years, has extensive experience in a broad range of family law issues both as a counselor and litigator. Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan, Morris had her own practice, which she established in 1970.

Morris has long been recognized as one of the preeminent family law attorneys in the United States. In 1981, she was the second attorney in San Diego, and first woman, to be admitted as a fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, serving as the second chair of the Southern California chapter, and as president of the national organization in 2002. In 2004 she was chosen as the organization’s Family Law Person of the Year.

Morris is a “Founding Mother” of Lawyers Club of San Diego.The recipient of many honors, she has been listed in Best Lawyers in America since 1995, and was chosen as their San Diego Family Law Attorney of the Year in 2010.


The Cloister of Gloucester Cathedral in England, the film location for Hogwarts.

The Cloister of Gloucester Cathedral in England, the film location for Hogwarts.

Cal State San Marcos Offers

Study-Abroad Course on Harry Potter

Hogwarts is a long way from North County, but Cal State San Marcos will take you there through a study-abroad course on Harry Potter and British Culture.

The three-week program next June will take students to nearly every site that inspired novelist J.K. Rowling or was used to film the scenes in the Harry Potter series.

“Students will identify and critically analyze one significant way in which culture and location in Great Britain shaped the Harry Potter series,” according to the course description. Professor Linda Pershing, who teaches a

popular folklore course at the university, will lead the trip.

Among the stops are Scotland Yard (the inspiration for the Ministry of Magic), King’s Cross Station (the location of Platform 9 ¾) and Borough Market (where filmmakers shot scenes of the Leaky Cauldron Inn).

Also on the tour are Gloucester Cathedral (a stand-in for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the first two films) and the Australia House (aka Gringotts Wizarding Bank), along with a ride through the Scottish Highlands on the Jacobite steam train used for the Hogwarts Express in the movies.

The course costs $4,900 — not including air fare — but offers three units of course credit. The course is open to students and community members through the Extended Learning program. The deadline to apply is Dec. 1.

— Times of San Diego

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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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