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Daily Business Report-Feb. 20, 2015

Daily Business Report-Feb. 20, 2015

A rendering of the new NFL football stadium proposed for Carson by the owners of the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders. (Manica Architecture)

Chargers, Raiders Lay Escape Route,

Propose Shared New Stadium in Carson

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders announced that they are working on a plan to build a $1.7 billion NFL stadium to share in the city of Carson  south of Los Angeles.

LA Stadium rendering

LA Stadium rendering

On its website, the Los Angeles Times reported that both teams plan to continue seeking public subsidies for new stadiums in their respective home markets, but they are pursuing the Carson proposal in case they are unable to finalize any deals.

“We are pursuing this stadium option in Carson for one straightforward reason: If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises,” according to a statement from the teams provided to The Times.

Chargers officials are meeting with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and a group of civic leaders about possible locations for a new stadium, but the discussions have been contentious.

According to The Times, the teams are working with a business group known as Carson2gether, which plans to offer details of the proposal Friday at the proposed 168-acre site near Del Amo Boulevard and Interstate 405. The group plans to begin a petition drive to either place the proposal on the ballot or have the project approved by the Carson City Council.

Adam Day, chairman of the Citizen’s Stadium Advisory Group, issued this statement Thursday night:

“This news came as a complete surprise to the Advisory Group, and while it’s disappointing to hear the Chargers are moving forward with plans in Los Angeles, we remain committed to finding a solution in San Diego. “We’re working toward selecting a site and developing a financing plan for a stadium, and we’re going to stay focused on that.”

— City News Service

Click here to read the Los Angeles Times article

The program will emphasize research devoted to studying the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs -- and related social and health consequences.

The program will emphasize research devoted to studying the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs — and related social and health consequences.

SDSU and UC San Diego Collaborate On

New Doctorate Focused on Substance Abuse

San Diego State University and UC San Diego have launched a joint doctoral program that is the first in the nation to emphasize substance abuse research.

The new Joint Doctoral Program in Interdisciplinary Research on Substance Abuse is being carried out by SDSU’s School of Social Work and the Division of Global Public Health in UC San Diego’s School of Medicine.

The program will emphasize research devoted to studying the use and misuse of alcohol and drugs — and related social and health consequences.

“This program is the first of its kind,” said program co-director Steffanie Strathdee, professor and head of the UC San Diego Global Health Initiative. “Given that substance use has a growing health and societal impact in the U.S. and globally, this program could not come at a better time.”

The program will focus on research designed to identify and assess substance use risk and create intervention programs for preventing or ameliorating high-risk behaviors related to substance use. It will include training to craft and evaluate disease prevention and health promotion recommendations and help guide public health policies.

“This new doctoral program is designed to train the next generation of researchers to lead interdisciplinary research efforts that will meaningfully address substance use issues of national and global impact,” said Maria Luisa Zuniga, program co-director and associate professor in SDSU’s School of Social Work. “Our graduates will be highly sought after in fields including medicine, social work and public health, as well as research firms and governmental health departments.”

Funding from SDSU Division of Academic Affairs and College of Health and Human Services will cover tuition fees and a teaching associate stipend for four students per year for up to four years. Students will spend the first year of study at SDSU, the second at UC San Diego and subsequent years working with faculty from both campuses.

Rob Schupp of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System will discuss the success and impact of Trolley Dances.

Rob Schupp of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System will discuss the success and impact of Trolley Dances.

C-3 Breakfast Topic:

‘The Future of Our Neighborhoods’

Attendees can get breakfast and chew on this topic — “The Future of our Neighborhoods: Stories that Create a Vision” — at a Feb. 26 Breakfast Dialogue sponsored by Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3).

With San Diego neighborhoods growing and changing at an unprecedented rate, some projects enhance the neighborhoods; others detract.

Moderator Joan Isaacson will set up the stories of projects that advance the future of our neighborhoods — through performance and visual art, architecture and design — while fostering economic and community development. Speakers include:

• Mike Burnett, principal at Foundation for Form, will discuss the You Got Mail residential project in North Park, an urban, mixed-use concept that incorporates the neighborhood’s now defunct landmark post office.

• Rob Schupp, director of marketing and communications at the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, will discuss the success and impact of Trolley Dances, in which patrons board the MTS line for site-specific dance.

• Helen Ofield, president of Lemon Grove Historical Society and former Lemon Grove Planning Commissioner, will explain the five-panel Lemon Grove History Mural, awarded the 2014 Governor’s Historic Preservation Award.

• Brad Lents, project manager at Spurlock Poirier, will provide background on the Paradise Creek Housing Project and Park in National City where the city and the community have jointly embarked on a new neighborhood plan.

• Kathy Dodson, assistant city manager at the City of Carlsbad, will walk us through “Carlsbad Village: Authentic and Successful” and discuss some of the local changes that are keeping the area vibrant.

The program will be held from 7 to 9 a.m. in the Loggia Room of the Prado Restaurant in Balboa Park. Cost is $30 for C-3 members, $40 for nonmembers.

CDC Small Business Finance in San Diego

Selected for National Assistance Program

CDC Small Business Finance in San Diego has been selected as one of 24 small business lenders nationwide to participate in the Small Business Finance Collaborative, a technical assistance program designed to increase small business capacity in lending in underserved communities in the U.S.

The announcement was made by the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.

“Capital fuels small business growth which translates into job creation and strong, healthy economies,” said Robert Villarreal, senior vice president of community development for CDC Small Business Finance.  “This program will enhance our financing capabilities so we can help more small businesses.”

Responsible, affordable credit is not readily available for small businesses, especially minority and women-led businesses, due to the decrease of mainstream finance serving this market, according to Goldman Sachs. This new program will build the capacity of community development financial institutions and other mission-driven lenders to deliver responsible, affordable loans to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the nation.

Water Usage Drops 28 Percent

In January as Drought Continues

Year-over-year water use in San Diego County declined by nearly 30 percent for the second straight month in January, another sign that the residents and businesses are taking additional steps to conserve water and comply with mandatory water-use restrictions during what’s shaping up to be a fourth consecutive dry year, the San Diego County Water Authority reported Wednesday.

The savings occurred despite continued high temperatures and economic growth putting upward pressure on water consumption.

Regional water use dropped by 28 percent in January compared to January 2014 — a savings of 12,000 acre-feet of water, enough to serve approximately 24,000 typical four-person households for a year.

“Clearly, the region is embracing the challenge to conserve, and we appreciate all the efforts to cope with ongoing drought conditions,” said Mark Weston, chair of the San Diego County Water Authority’s board of directors. “It’s critical that residents and businesses continue to limit their water use, particularly on landscapes, as the weather warms up. The more we can cut back now, the better off we will be this summer and fall.”

The decrease in water use last month followed a 29 percent decrease in year-over-year water use in December. It was achieved even though the average daily maximum temperature at Lindbergh Field in January was 4.3 degrees above average and rainfall was only 21 percent of normal. January was the fifteenth consecutive month of above-average temperatures in San Diego.

Rendering of a new room at the hotel.

Rendering of a new room at the hotel.

Hotel Palomar San Diego

Getting Refurbished Rooms

Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar San Diego has started construction on a new 50-room collection of guestrooms, suites and Penthouses on floors 16 through 20 at the Downtown hotel at 1047 Fifth Ave. Completion is expected in April.

The redesign is under the direction of the hotel’s new general manager, Jim Hollister, who joined the hotel in early February from Hotel Palomar Phoenix.

The new Skyline Collection will include 30 guestrooms 12 junior suites, six suites and two penthouses. Stay dates start April 13.

USS Vandegrift Decommissioned

The guided-missile frigate USS Vandegrift was decommissioned Thursday at Naval Base San Diego.

Frigates are being phased out in favor of littoral combat ships, which are maneuverable vessels designed for fighting in coastal waters.

The 30-year-old Vandegrift returned to San Diego in December from a deployment to fight narcotics smuggling in Central America. The crew intercepted nearly 20,000 pounds of cocaine and disrupted numerous other illegal drug shipments, according to the Navy.

Sailors also participated in community relations projects in Panama City — helping to build a workshop for the blind, assisting an outreach group in refurbishing its building and spending time with children in the Aid for AIDS community.

The ship, commissioned Nov. 24, 1984, was named after Gen. Alexander Vandegrift, who led the 1st Marine Division to victory in the World War II Battle of Guadalcanal. He later became the 18th commandant of the Marine Corps.

Maj. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, current commander of the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, delivered the principal address at the decommissioning ceremony.

 ‘Cookies on Tap’ Correction

The “Cookies on Tap” fest at Mike Hess Brewing in North Park Feb. 27-March 1 is open to all ages. But visitors must be 21 or over to be able to partake of the craft beer.

Girl Scouts San Diego is pairing with Mike Hess Brewing and Cohn Restaurant Group on the craft beer, cookie and cuisine fest .

Cookies on Tap will take place during the Mike Hess Brewery’s regular business hours, noon-midnight Friday and Saturday, and noon-10 p.m. Sunday. For more information, go to  or call (619) 255-7136.

County Launches Fuel-Efficient

Taxi Program at Lindbergh Field

San Diego County is launching a program today designed to give owners of older taxi cabs serving the airport incentives to switch from gasoline engines to hybrid or alternative-fuel vehicles. The program was approved unanimously last month by the county Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Greg Cox said most, but not all, of the approximately 350 taxis permitted to serve Lindbergh Field have already converted to alternative fuels under the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s incentive program. The county program is designed to change the rest of the vehicles.

An entire fleet of fuel-efficient airport cabs would not only improve air quality but also serve as a visible example of the region’s commitment to sustainable practices, Cox said. Reductions in vehicle emissions would also help the region meet federal and state air pollution goals.

Nick Cormier of the county’s Air Pollution Control District said the remaining taxis that transport airport passengers — 83 Ford Crown Victorias and passenger vans, which only get about 13 miles per gallon — were becoming less fuel efficient and polluting more. He said the county should encourage operators to scrap their older cars by offering an after-purchase rebate for a new hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle.

— City News Service

Personnel Announcements

Bourque and Strom Join AKT


Ryan Bourque has joined the AKT accounting firm’s Carlsbad office as a senior manager in growth services, and David Strom has joined as director of client services.

Bourque has more than 10 years experience working in the tax field, primarily as a tax director for a CPA firm in Irvine. Since 2009, he has been an instructor for the Becker Professional Review and has worked with UC Irvine Extension in designing the school’s curriculum for their accounting certificate program.

Strom previously was with United Retirement Consultants where he was the vice president and regional chief operations officer for the national firm. Earlier he worked at Kravitz as a member of the firm’s management team and the director of client relationships.

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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: