Daily Business Report-Feb. 25, 2015
Groups backing the discontinuation of plastic bag use in the state are confident that voters will uphold the ban.
California Plastic Bag Ban Delayed
Referendum Puts Issue Before Voters
With just five months until California’s statewide plastic bag ban was set to take effect, opponents of the law have successfully petitioned for a ballot referendum, delaying the law until voters have their say next year.
Opponents of the plan to phase out the use of plastic bags qualified for the referendum after they collected the 504,760 signatures needed to place the measure on the November 2016 ballot.
“California voters will now have the chance to vote down a terrible law that, if implemented, would kill 2,000 local manufacturing jobs and funnel obscene profits to big grocers without any money going to a public purpose or environmental initiative,” Lee Califf, executive director of the trade group American Progressive Bag Alliance, tells the Times.
Under the law – which was set to go into effect on July 1 – consumers would have had to bring their own reusable bag, purchase a reusable bag from the retailer or pay at least ten cents for a paper bag or a multi-use plastic carrier that meets state durability standards.
Mark Murray, a spokesperson for the campaign Californians vs. Big Plastic, tells the Los Angeles Times that supporters of the ban expected the referendum to be granted after opponents announced in December that they had collected more than 800,000 signatures.
“It’s not surprising that after spending more than $3.2 million, 98 percent of which is from out of state, the plastic bag industry has bought its way onto the California ballot to protect its profits,” he said in a statement.
Still, groups backing the discontinuation of plastic bag use in the state are confident that voters will uphold the ban.
“Every poll shows that Californians strongly support the law, and the $30 million to $50 million it will cost the plastics industry to launch a full-fledged campaign in 2016 will be proven to be an act of political malpractice, particularly since nearly half the state will no longer have plastic bags by election day,” Murray said.
The delay will give bag manufactures an extra revenue boost of two years’ worth in single-use bag sales. As the Washington Post observed, the 16-month freeze triggered by ballot qualification “will allow manufacturers to continue producing plastic bags until voters act. Sales of those plastic bags could amount to $145 million,” according to Californians Against Waste, a pro-ban group that announced its estimate.
EvoNexus Gets New Funding
Partner in Carlsbad’s ViaSat
San Diego-based EvoNexus, a leading startup technology incubator, has added Carlsbad’s satellite company ViaSat as a funding partner to accelerate economic growth in Southern California.
As an innovator in wireless and other digital communication products, ViaSat is particularly interested in startups in the area of connected services, telecommunications technology, and cyber security, said Steve Hart, co-founder, vice president and chief technical officer at ViaSat. “We’ve built ViaSat by inventing new ways to solve tough technical challenges, so we’re always looking for ways to further the growth of our region as a hub for technical innovation,” Hart said. “We look forward to working with EvoNexus to help startups with expertise, resources, and access to our markets and technologies.”
The new funding partner is ViaSat@EvoNexus. The program will help promote opportunities for further technology development in the San Diego area, and companies admitted into ViaSat@EvoNexus will receive access to mentors, opportunities to collaborate closely with ViaSat, and be considering for funding from ViaSat.
Report: San Diego Home Prices
Increased 4.8 Percent in 2014
San Diego home prices increased 4.8 percent in 2014, despite some dips near the end of the year, according to the Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Indices released Tuesday.
San Diego was one of six major cities — among the 20 studied by S&P — to lose ground in December compared to November. The monthly price drop was 0.2 percent.
The indices were created by taking the price of housing in 20 major real estate markets in January 2000, assigning them a value of 100, and tracking their subsequent rise and fall.
In December, San Diego’s index stood at 203.14, representing a more than doubling of home values over 15 years. The climb was the third-fastest in the U.S., behind Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Nationally, the 20-city index was at 173.02 in December, up 4.5 percent for the year. An index of the 10 largest cities was at 187.81, up 4.3 percent.
David Blitzer, the managing director and chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices, said the figures show that the housing market is faltering.
“While prices and sales of existing homes are close to normal, construction and new home sales remain weak,” Blitzer said. “Before the current business cycle, any time housing starts were at their current level of about one million at annual rates, the economy was in a recession.”
He said the soft real estate market is despite favorable conditions like strong job growth, a declining unemployment rate, continued low interest rates and positive consumer confidence.
— City News Service
Cubic Corp. and Kilroy Realty
Boards Declare Cash Dividends
Cubic Corp.’s board of directors has declared an increase in its regular semiannual cash dividend on common stock by 12.5 percent from 12 cents.
The 13.5 cents per share dividend will be paid on March 20, 2015, to stockholders of record on March 9, 2015. Cubic has paid consecutive cash dividends to its stockholders since 1971.
“I am pleased to announce that due to Cubic’s financial strength and commitment to deliver long-term value to our shareholders, we are increasing the dividend by 12.5 percent while continuing to invest in the future growth of our businesses,” said Cubic President and Chief Executive Officer Bradley H. Feldmann.
At the same time, Kilroy Realty Corp., whose One Paseo project was approved by the San Diego City Council on Monday, announced that its board of directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.35 per common share payable on April 15, 2015 to stockholders of record on March 31, 2015. The dividend is equivalent to an annual rate of $1.40 per share.
OMNIA San Diego Holds Job Fair
To Fill Nightclub Positions Downtown
OMNIA San Diego, a nightclub scheduled to open in Downtown San Diego in April, will hold a job fair March 18-19 to fill front and back-of-house nightclub positions.
The hiring event will be held at the San Diego Training & Conference Center at 350 Tenth Ave., Suite 950, San Diego, from 1 to 7 p.m. each day.
Available positions include: model cocktail servers, model bartenders, barbacks, steward/dishwasher, porters, beverage runners, cashier, security, security lead, security specialist, coat check/ retail, managers and mood director. All applicants must be at least 21 years old.
Interested candidates are welcome to bring a resume with them. All applications and paperwork will be available on site.
NAWBO San Diego Offers Seminar
On ‘All Day Energy the Natural Way’
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) San Diego, will continue its seminar series on March 13 with a presentation from Rico Caveglia — “All Day Energy the Natural Way.” The seminar will be held at Brandman University, 7460 Mission Valley Road, from noon to 1:30 p.m. The presentation is for those who want to learn simple, proven techniques and strategies for increasing personal energy naturally.
Caveglia is creator of The Ageless Living Lifestyle. For the past 33 years he has been a personal trainer, nutritionist, workshop leader, life coach and award winning author of 15 books on wellness.
NAWBO members have the option of attending this seminar for free (without lunch) or $10 (with a box lunch). The fee for visitors (which includes lunch) is $25.
Registration is available through noon on March 12 at www.nawbo-sd.org.
Author of ‘How to Manage Your Muck’
To Address Women Business Owners
Kathi Burns, a professional organizer and best-selling author, will be the featured speaker at a March 18 breakfast meeting of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) San Diego. It will be held from 8 to 9 a.m. at the Council for Supplier Diversity, 10679 Westview Parkway, San Diego.
Burns will talk on how attendees can eliminate distractions from the workplace, avoid “busyness” and flourish.
Burns’ book, “How to Master Your Muck,” reflects her belief: “If you add space and shine a light towards someone’s possibilities, they will transform right before your eyes.”
Registration is available through 5 p.m. on March 16. . More information, including online registration, is available at nawbo-sd.org.
Shareholders of Pacific Commerce Bank
And Vibra Bank Approve Merger
Pacific Commerce Bank and Vibra Bank announced that they have received approval from shareholders of both institutions in meetings held separately on Feb. 23 for their proposed merger originally announced on Oct. 30, 2014. The merger is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2015, and upon closing the combined bank will have $350 million in assets and operate four branches in Los Angeles and San Diego counties.
Vibra Bank has one branch office in Chula Vista, and had total assets of $140.4 million, total deposits of $125.2 million, and total loans of $89.1 million as of Dec. 31, 2014. Pacific Commerce Bank has three branch offices in Los Angeles, West Los Angeles and San Diego, and had total assets of $217.8 million, total deposits of $165.5 million and total loans of $195.8 million as of Dec. 31, 2014.
USD Honored for International Programs
NAFSA: Association of International Educators will present its 2015 Senator Paul Simon Awards for Campus Internationalization to eight U.S. universities, including the University of San Diego, for innovative international programs.
Mount Holyoke College, North Central College, University of Delaware, and the University of Virginia also will receive the award. Rice University, Virginia Commonwealth University, and Wake Forest University will receive the 2015 “Senator Paul Simon Spotlight Award” for a specific international program or initiative that contributes to comprehensive internationalization.
“It is very exciting, and an honor, to have USD included with these other institutions. Comprehensive internationalization includes such things as student mobility, faculty expertise, curriculum development, co-curricular activities, international partnerships and collaborations, leadership at the highest levels and governance structures to support all of these efforts,” said Denise Dimon, USD associate provost for International Affairs.
Stadium Issues Set for Dissection
March 18 by Council Committee
Issues surrounding the creation of a new stadium for the Chargers will be taken up by the San Diego City Council’s Budget Committee next month, Councilmen Todd Gloria and David Alvarez announced Tuesday.
The councilmen announced the hearing and outlined a series of “threshold issues” that need to be addressed in a memo to Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
“We are ready and willing to work with you, the Chargers and all stakeholders to develop a stadium plan that makes sense for everyone, and are pleased to see the expedited schedule for the mayor’s task force,” Gloria and Alvarez wrote.
“With the committee working on these issues concurrently, the city will be best positioned to meet the accelerated timeline sought by the Chargers for real progress,” they said.
Among the issues the councilmen said needed clarification:
• The funding sources for a stadium that Faulconer would find acceptable.
• The city’s capacity to issue future bonds.
• The amount the county of San Diego and other local cities are willing to contribute to the financing plan.
• How much money the Chargers will directly contribute to the project.
• The cost of moving the Metropolitan Transit System’s bus maintenance yard, which occupies one of the two sites under consideration for a stadium.
And the price tag of a playing facility on the other possible site, next to Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.
They also said the future of the proposed San Diego Convention Center expansion has to be resolved, because it could have an impact on where the Chargers stadium is located.
“Taxpayers need answers to key questions about a potential new football stadium,” said Gloria, who chairs the Budget Committee. “Recent events make it clear that the public needs this information sooner rather than later.”
He said the hearing will take place March 18.
— City News Service
Women’s Resource Fair Saturday
At Downtown’s Golden Hall
Since 1990, San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program has been addressing the needs of homeless and low-income women and children in San Diego by organizing and overseeing an annual one-day event which provides free essential social, medical and legal services.
This year, SDVLP’s Women’s Resource Fair will be held on Saturday, Feb. 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Golden Hall, located at 220 C St. in Downtown San Diego.
Up to 1,000 homeless, battered, and indigent women and children have been served each year. In 2014, more than 300 women obtained free medical services including mammograms, gynecological services, STD and HIV testing, and other screening services. More than 100 women received free legal assistance from volunteer attorneys involving family law matters, immigration, debt, housing, and other legal issues.
Hundreds of women will meet with social services providers and receive shelter referrals, mental health provider referrals, and substance abuse help. Additionally, each woman will receive a free meal and a gift bag filled with donated toiletries and other items. Transportation to and from the event will be provided to some participants living in distant areas of San Diego County. Free childcare will also be provided.
The Women’s Resource Fair Taskforce is currently assembling a team of 150 volunteers, and partnering with social services and medical organizations to provide services at the fair on Saturday.
In addition, the taskforce is collecting monetary donations and donations of full sized new toiletry items to include in participants’ gift bags.
To learn how to volunteer or where to donate, visit www.wrfsandiego.org.
— Times of San Diego
Procopio Promotes Greta Proctor
Greta A. Proctor has been promoted to senior counsel at the Procopio law firm. Proctor works primarily with charter schools and hospitals, but she counsels both public and private clients on contract issues, real property, corporate formation and planning, governance and employment compliance.
She has also represented businesses and public sector clients in all phases of civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution, ranging from contract disputes and environmental land use matters to claims made under specific ethics and transparency laws governing public agencies.