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Daily Business Report-March 26, 2015

Daily Business Report-March 26, 2015

Civic San Diego’s offices are located in the Wells Fargo Building at 401 B St. Downtown.

Civic San Diego Expansion Under Scrutiny

Amid calls to investigate the legality of the city-controlled nonprofit Civic San Diego, a memo has surfaced, raising questions about how officials delegate power to the land-use agency, San Diego CityBeat reports.

The memo, issued almost a year ago by San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith’s office, recently grabbed the attention of local watchdog group Californians Aware, which advocates for government transparency.

“The implications are that the city may not be able to legally do what it is proposing to do, and it may have another legal mess on its hands,” said Donna Frye, CalAware’s president and a former City Council member.

More than a year ago, Civic San Diego announced plans to expand its authority to permit and plan development Downtown into City Heights and Encanto. However, doing so requires negotiations with the Municipal Employees Association — the union that represents the city’s white-collar employees who currently handle permitting and planning duties. Those talks abruptly stalled early last year.

Released in April 2014, the memo states that in most cases, outsourcing essential government functions–such as those Civic San Diego wants to take on — may require a competitive bidding process.

The City Attorney’s office downplayed the memo’s significance and said it was working on another report that would directly answer outstanding questions about the agency.

“The April 2014 memo is intended to provide a general overview of legal factors to be evaluated in any proposed future expansion of Civic San Diego’s services, not to address any specific proposal for expansion of Civic San Diego’s services,” said spokesperson Gerry Braun in an email.

However, the memo has raised significant concerns about Civic San Diego’s legality as a whole, said public-interest attorney Cory Briggs. “The real question is whether all functions farmed out to Civic San Diego are lawfully farmed out.”

San Diego CityBeat

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County Joins City in Chargers Stadium Drive

San Diego city and county governments will announce at a news conference today at the County Administration Building they have formed an alliance and will work in tandem to solve the turbulent new Chargers stadium project, the U-T San Diego reports. The immediate plan is to share costs to bring in consultants and attorneys.

“The city and county are going to be in this together,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “The leadership of Ron (County Supervisor Ron Roberts) and the board are terribly important. As you know, we haven’t always had everyone together.”

The marriage has been hoped for and expected, especially by those who believe nothing can get done without assistance from the county (which doesn’t have the city’s financial issues), be it by area-wide ballot or otherwise, and harbors many of the Chargers’ season ticket holders. The two partnered in 1964 on the building of San Diego/Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium.

Read more…

Water Authority’s Landmark Case Against

Regional Agency to Enter Second Phase

The San Diego County Water Authority’s rate case against the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California enters its second phase on Monday, which will determine damages the Water Authority should be awarded for the MWD’s overcharging its member agencies by millions of dollars since 2011.

The Water Authority won the first phase of the case with a court ruling that rates set by the MWD violate several provisions of California law.

The water agency said it will deduct its litigation expenses from the damages award and return remaining money to its 24 member agenices.

The second phase also will determine preferential rights — whether the Water Authority has a right to purchase more water from MWD than what the regional agency says it can purchase.

“We are eager to conclude Phase 2 so we can put an end to MWD’s illegal rates,” said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s board. “The preferential rights issue is also significant because our region is entitled to more water than MWD asserts it has a right to under preferential rights. A favorable decision for San Diego County on this issue would be important to helping maintain the economic health of our region, which relies on a dependable water supply and legal rates from MWD.”

The trial dates set by San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Curtis E. A. Karnow are March 30 and April 1, 2, 27, 28, 29 and 30. A tentative ruling is anticipated by late May, and a final ruling is expected by late June.

If allowed to stand, MWD’s overcharges of the San Diego region could exceed $2 billion over 45 years, the Water Authority said.

The Malcolm Love Library at San Diego State

The Malcolm Love Library at San Diego State

SDSU’s Love Library Gets

‘Most Amazing’ Ranking

The beautiful Malcolm Love Library at San Diego State has been recognized for something more than its aesthetically pleasing appearance. Thanks to the wealth of information that it holds, the library was ranked as one of the “most amazing” university libraries in the nation by College Rank, a website that offers students informational articles covering a wide range of topics pertaining to the college selection process.

The Malcolm A. Love Library and Information Dome came in at No. 20 of 50 on the list.

“It’s not about the number of books in the library — it’s about the services and resources we provide our students, staff and faculty,” said Gale Etschmaier, dean of the Library and Information Access.

In addition to the resources available to the campus community, library staff members are dedicated to aligning with the teaching and research mission of SDSU. Thanks to an abundance of interdisciplinary collaborations across campus — including Arts Alive SDSU and the new buildIT laboratory — these positive contributions are impacting student success.

The Love Library is also home to a number of unique collections, including the Chicano History, African American and Civil Rights and Comic Arts and Science Fiction collections.

The Library continues to adapt to accommodate the changing needs of the SDSU community. The computer labs will be updated to enable more collaborative work and ease the flow of traffic through the center. A math center will be added to complement the recently-added Writing Center.

The library serves between 12,000 and 16,000 people daily — approximately 3.7 million visitors each year. It hosts more than 2.2 million volumes, 4.6 million microform items and more than 140,000 maps.

The Technology Career Institute is housed in a building owned by the city of Carlsbad.

The Technology Career Institute is housed in a building owned by the city of Carlsbad.

Mira Costa Technology Institute Opens

CARLSBAD –MiraCosta College and the city of Carlsbad are celebrating the opening of a new Technology Career Institute in a city-owned building where workers will be trained in the skills needed to fill the growing demand for industrial technicians in North County.

The 22,627-square-foot institute opened on Monday at 2075 Las Palmas Drive. The building will also house the San Diego North Small Business Development Center, which provides resources, workshops and leadership programs for growing and established small businesses. MiraCosta’s new Technology Career Institute will train skilled workers for such industries as high-tech manufacturing, maritime technology and biotech manufacturing. The new institute expands the college’s machinist certificate program and creates industry-recognized electronics engineering technician and robotics/automation certificate programs.

Entrance to the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.

Entrance to the Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage.

UCSD, Eisenhower Medical

Center In Partnership Talks

The UC San Diego Health System is in talks with Eisenhower Medical Center that could expand the Rancho Mirage facility into a teaching and research hospital. The talks were initially reported by the Desert Sun newspaper, and confirmed Wednesday by a UC San Diego spokesperson.

The newspaper said the collaboration between Eisenhower and UCSD would focus mainly on cancer care, HIV and AIDS, and graduate medical education.

Jacqueline Carr, director of communications and media relations for the UC San Diego Health System, confirmed the talks are ongoing but declined further comment.

“UC San Diego Health System and Eisenhower Medical Center are exploring a potential clinical and strategic affiliation to enhance the delivery of quality care to patients in the Coachella Valley and neighboring Southern California communities,” she said. “UC San Diego Health System does not intend to comment further on this matter while discussions are pending.”

The hospital in Rancho Mirage dates to 1971. It was built on land donated by entertainer Bob Hope.

 Telecom Law Firm Opens La Jolla Office

Telecom Law Firm PC, a national firm representing and advising private and government clients in matters related to telecommunications infrastructure, has opened an office in La Jolla. Headed by Partner Robert C. May III, the office will serve the firm’s client base in Orange and San Diego counties. The office is at 6986 La Jolla Blvd., Suite 204.

Jonathan L. Kramer, is founder and principal of the firm.

San Marcos Resort Revamped

Locally based hospitality property operator Eat.Drink.Sleep plans an opening today for its new restaurant and renovated golf course at Lakehouse Hotel & Resort in San Marcos. Company officials said a $1.75 million revamp of the St. Mark executive golf course included a clubhouse renovation, the addition of new tee boxes, a new putting green, a full-swing golf simulator with a 12-foot screen, and an interactive practice facility. The 142-room hotel, which underwent a renovation in 2013, now has a new on-site restaurant called Tap in Tavern, envisioned as a “neighborhood gathering place” with indoor and outdoor seating and 10 craft beers on tap. Lakehouse Hotel & Resort is at 1025 La Bonita Drive, with the executive golf course located at 1556 Camino del Arroyo.

Mountain Health Honored

ALPINE — Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce has honored Mountain Health with its 20th annual Leadership and Public Service Award for Large Business.  The award recognizes and honors individuals and organizations that have demonstrated community leadership and public service for the benefit of Alpine and the Mountain Empire Communities.

Mountain Health was named in recognition of its successful efforts to provide quality health care to all members of the community with a caring positive attitude and their continued support of beneficial community programs and projects.

“We’re truly honored to receive this award,” said Judith Shaplin, CEO of Mountain Health.  “We have an outstanding staff and leadership team that has worked passionately to help us advance our mission to improve and maintain the health and well-being of the whole person by providing access to high quality healthcare and community services.”

Personnel Announcements

Katie Yee Joins CM Group

Katie Yee, a construction industry professional, has joined CM Group as director of business development. CM Group is a construction management firm based in San Diego.

Yee will be responsible for developing and implementing strategic business goals for KCM Group as well as managing key existing client relationships and creating new strategic relationships and alliances.

Yee previously was regional marketing director for Fuscoe Engineering. She is a member of the Building Industry Association, Urban Land Institute, Commercial Real Estate Women, the Downtown San Diego Partnership, and the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.

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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?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: info@probolskyresearch.com