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Daily Business Report-Nov. 7, 2014

Daily Business Report-Nov. 7, 2014

Phase 1 of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan was developed from this rendering.

Port of San DiegoHosts Grand Opening for

North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase 1

The Port of San Diego will host a grand opening celebration for the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase I on Saturday, Nov. 15,  from noon to 4 p.m. The free family event will take place on San Diego’s new and improved “front porch” at the foot of West Broadway and Harbor Drive.

Roving musical entertainment, music ensembles, street performers and exhibitors will entertain the public as they view improvements to San Diego’s newest public meeting space. Food will be available for purchase from local specialty food trucks. For younger guests, a kids’ zone will be available with an arts and crafts station.

For adult guests, San Diego craft beer will be for sale aboard a floating beer garden featuring live music on the California Spirit vessel. There will be a zip line on the pier and Flagship Cruises will be offering complimentary rides on the Patriot Jet Boat. There will also be opportunities to win passes to local attractions. The theme of the event is “San Diego’s Passport to the Waterfront.”

A formal ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. The ceremony will feature Naruwan Taiko Drummers and the Port of San Diego’s Harbor Police Department Honor Guard. Speakers include Port Chairman Bob Nelson, Port Commissioner Marshall Merrifield, Acting Port President/CEO John Bolduc, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria and Civic San Diego Chair Cynthia Morgan.

Parking for the community event is available at metered parking spots and paid parking lots near the event.

The event commemorates a historic milestone for San Diego’s most prominent waterfront site. The North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase I is a comprehensive project to enhance the waterfront and create new public open space that welcomes residents and tourists. This $31.1 million joint project of the Port of San Diego, the City of San Diego and Civic San Diego beautifies the waterfront from Navy Pier to B Street Pier. The project’s contractor, USS Cal Builders, started construction in January 2012.

San Diego County Housing Market Stabilizes

The San Diego County housing market continues to stabilize, according to new housing statistics from the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR).

The median price of single-family resale homes dipped slightly in October to just under $500,000. Sale prices of condos and townhomes held steady at $337,500. Single-family home prices are about 4.5 percent higher than a year ago, while prices of condos/townhomes are up 14 percent. Taken together, all resale home prices are up about 8 percent from October 2013.

While month-over-month sales of previously owned single-family homes increased 2 percent in October, sales of condo/townhouses decreased by more than 3 percent. Combined, sales are down about 9 percent from a year ago.

The number of active listings on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in San Diego County is just under 8,000, representing three months of housing stock. (Six months is considered a healthy inventory level.) On average, homes on the market are being snapped up within 45 of being listed.

“These new numbers are encouraging because they tell us the San Diego housing market has become more balanced,” said Leslie Kilpatrick, 2014 SDAR Board President.

“Homes aren’t staying on the market long, so homeowners who are thinking of selling are in a good position,” said Leslie Kilpatrick, SDAR board president.

In September, the ZIP codes in San Diego County with the most single-family sales were:

• 92057 (Oceanside) with 50.

• 92028 (Fallbrook) with 49.

• 92128 (Rancho Bernardo) with 45.

• 92127 (Rancho Bernardo) with 44.

• 92009 (Carlsbad) with 43.

The most expensive listing sold last month in the county: a six-bedroom, nine-bath, 12,585-square-foot home in Rancho Santa Fe that sold for $6 million.

Scripps Clinic Celebrates Grand Opening of

Newly Remodeled Musculoskeletal Center

Scripps Health on Thursday celebrated the grand opening of the Donald P. and Darlene V. Shiley Musculoskeletal Center at Scripps Clinic. The new center provides patients with access to a wide range of orthopedic and musculoskeletal services in one specially designed location on the first floor of the Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines Anderson Outpatient Pavilion in La Jolla.

The center was made possible in large part by a $5 million gift from Darlene Shiley to support advanced orthopedic care and research at Scripps Clinic.

The Donald P. and Darlene V. Shiley Musculoskeletal Center will serve as a one-stop shop for the most advanced diagnostics, treatment, surgery and rehabilitation services, as well as routine and follow-up appointments. Patients at the new center will benefit from enhanced care as a result of centralized imaging services and orthopedic specialties including sports medicine, podiatry, hand and wrist surgery, spine surgery, and total joint replacement, as well as complex foot and ankle reconstruction.

Journalist Larry Kimmel Dies of Cancer

Larry Kimmel

Larry Kimmel

Friends, family and colleagues Thursday mourned longtime San Diego journalist Larry Himmel.

The death of the 68-year-old Himmel from brain cancer was announced Wednesday night during KFMB Channel 8’s 11 p.m. broadcast. Himmel had worked for the news station since 1979.

He had been “quietly facing this disease for the last few years” and wanted to keep working as long as he could, anchor Carlo Cecchetto said.

The Chicago-born Himmel worked in radio in Illinois before moving to San Diego and working in television.

Though he sometimes covered sports and weather for KFMB, Himmel was arguably best known for doing colorful segments about San Diego and its residents on a weeknight show called “San Diego at Large.”

His sense of humor prompted one television critic to nickname Himmel KFMB’s “resident rascal.”

In a more somber moment, viewers watched Himmel’s real-time reaction to seeing his Rancho Bernardo home being destroyed by the Witch Creek Fire in 2007. Himmel was already covering the wildfire when it ravaged his home.

Despite the severe personal loss, Himmel continued to report on the fire and his reporting earned him an Emmy Award in 2008.

Himmel was survived by his wife, Joan, and adult son, Miles.

— City News Service

San Diego Police Among Lowest Paid in State

San Diego Police Detective Brenda Richmond in promotion for the San Diego Police Foundation.

San Diego Police Detective Brenda Richmond in promotion for the San Diego Police Foundation.

San Diego’s police officers are among the lowest-paid in the state, and are at the bottom in some categories, according to a salary survey released by the city Tuesday. Total compensation — including base salary and benefits — ranged from 77 percent of the average of law enforcement agencies studied for recruits to 90 percent of average for a captain.

For years now, the department has struggled to retain experienced officers, who have been poached by nearby police departments that offer more lucrative pay. The SDPD has been chronically more than 100 officers below what is called for in the city budget.

City leaders have been aware of the problem for a couple of years and have taken some steps to correct it, including the commissioning of the salary survey of 18 other law enforcement agencies statewide.

“Unfortunately, this report highlights a serious challenge that we all recognize and must overcome,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “We need to make our police department compensation more competitive with other law enforcement agencies so we can stem the tide of officers leaving.”

He said he’s committed to working with the SDPD and Police Officers Association to find solutions.

Brian Marvel, the president of the San Diego POA said, “This salary survey confirms what we’ve known for a long time — San Diego police officers are at the bottom of the market when it comes to compensation. Our officers are aware of this fact, which is why nearly 300 officers hired since 2005 have left our department for other agencies — at great expense to San Diego taxpayers.”

San Diego ranks last in pay for officers and sergeants, is second-to-last in compensating recruits, is 14th for lieutenants and 13th for captains. Because of the availability of data, only 15 of the 18 other agencies studied were included in the total compensation chart.

— City News Service

Atkins Set to Be Assembly Speaker 2 More Years

Toni Atkins, the first San Diegan to be Speaker of the Assembly, will likely remain in the position for the next two years following a unanimous vote Thursday by her Democratic colleagues. The official vote for Atkins to remain in her leadership post will come Dec. 1, when the Assembly convenes for its next legislative session. — City News Service

Scene from 'Rock the Casbah' in the San Diego Arab Film Festival.

Scene from ‘Rock the Casbah’ in the San Diego Arab Film Festival.

San Diego Arab Film Festival Returns

The third annual San Diego Arab Film Festival returns to Balboa Park Nov. 20-22 featuring seven local premiers from seven countries. The festival will be staged at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

The seven films are recipients of more than nine film awards, including: “Pieces of Lives, Pieces of Dreams” — Best Documentary, International Pan African Film Festival, Cannes, 2014, The Lukas Award; “Giraffada” — Best Newcomer, International Festival of Films for Children and Young People, 2014; “Ladder to Damascus” — Muhr Arab Award, Best Film-Feature, Dubai International Film Festival, 2013; “In My Mother’s Arms” — Best Documentary Feature Film, Asia Pacific Screen Awards, 2012; “It’s Better to Jump” — Gold Lion Award, Barcelona International Film Festival 2013.

The Arab and Islamic World Information Project is the local organizer of the festival.

The films in the festival:

• “Rock the Casbah” directed by Laila Marrakchi

• “Heritages” directed by Phillip Aractingi

• “Giraffada” directed by Rani Massalha

• “Pieces of Lives, Pieces of Dreams” directed by Hamid Benamra

• “Ladder to Damascus” directed by Mohamed Malas

• “In My Mother’s Arms” directed by Mohamed Al-Daradji and Atia Al-Daradji

• “May in the Summer” directed by Cherien Dabis

For tickets and information, visit

Eugenia Yuan and Leonard Wu, stars of 'Revenge of the Green Dragons' in the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

Eugenia Yuan and Leonard Wu, stars of ‘Revenge of the Green Dragons’ in the San Diego Asian Film Festival.

San Diego Asian Film Festival Opens

Pacific Arts Movement opened the 15th annual San Diego Asian Film Festival on Thursday with the action film, “Revenge of the Green Dragons.”

The film festival is now a teenager, executive director Lee Ann Kim joked during the opening remarks before the film screening.

“Revenge of the Green Dragons” is a crime drama set in 1980’s New York. Based on a true story, the film follows two young brothers who are pulled into the world of organized crime in Chinatown. Produced by Martin Scorcese, the film was co-directed by Andrew Lau and Andrew Loo. The film stars — Leonard Wu, Harry Shum Jr. and Eugenia Yuan — and Loo were in attendance and participated in a question-and-answer session after the screening.

Also in attendance was San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. He used the occasion to announce the reforming of the San Diego Film Commission. The commission was disbanded after its funding was cut under the short tenure of Mayor Bob Filner.

The San Diego Asian Film Festival continues until Nov. 15 at various locations. For the complete schedule, visit

Petco Park to Get Giant Video Board



Installation work on a giant video board at Petco Park will begin next week and should be finished in time for the 2015 home opener, the Padres announced Thursday. The display, which has long been near the top of fans’ wish lists, will be more than 123 feet wide and more than 61 feet tall, according to the team.

That would make it, at nearly 7,600 square feet, the third-largest screen in Major League Baseball and five times larger than the current screen.

Padres President and CEO Mike Dee said the video board is part of a multi-phase plan to improve the 10-year-old ballpark.

The Padres said the entire board can be run full-screen to show live action or video replays, or it can be split into sections for statistical information, graphics and animations.

In addition to the main board, there will be new LED ribbon boards spanning nearly 750 feet along the first and third base lines on the Toyota Terrace level and the left field grandstand fascia.

Sony, which has its U.S. headquarters in Rancho Bernardo, will provide a state-of-the-art control room, which will include in-house production, broadcast and entertainment systems.

— City News Service

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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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