Daily Business Report-May 21, 2015
Rendering of the Carnitas’ Snack Shack café that will be built at the Downtown waterfront. Construction is expected to take about six months.
Lip-Smacking Carnitas’ Snack Shack
Fare Coming to the Downtown Waterfront
For the last few years, North Park residents and others have been smacking their lips over the food offered at Carnitas’ Snack Shack, a modest walk-up restaurant on University Avenue that often has patrons lining up along the sidewalk to make their orders.
But soon, the Carnitas’ brand will enliven the Downtown waterfront, giving Downtown residents, workers and tourists a taste of its popular food fare.
Earlier this month, the Board of Port Commissioners approved a lease to Carnitas’ Snack Shack III LLc to operate a new café at 1004 North Harbor Drive.
Carnitas’ original North Park café opened in 2011 and its success led to the opening of a second location in the Del Mar area, and now a third one at the waterfront.
The waterfront café will include a locally-sourced craft beer garden component to augment its successful “pork centric” menu. Its menu will include as many locally sourced ingredients as possible.
The new Carnitas’ will be housed in an artistically designed structure that is part of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase 1 project. It includes multiple, angled glass panels of varying colors. Carnitas’ will be responsible for tenant improvements, which include exterior glass, interior finishes including restaurant equipment, flooring, ceiling, heating and air conditioning equipment, utilities, millwork and interior
walls. Construction is anticipated to take about six months.
Since the new Carnitas’ will be a walk-up café, its lease with the Port will allow the restaurant to utilize adjacent jacaranda groves and seating areas for customers to enjoy their food.
The Port said the new café is one of the final components of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase 1 project, which broke ground in January 2012 and was opened to the public in November 2014.
The project encompassed an area on the waterfront from Navy Pier to B Street Pier and a portion of West Broadway from North Harbor Drive to Pacific Highway.
The project created new public plazas, public art, jacaranda groves, new lighting and landscaping, a new public restroom and traffic improvements. New ticket kiosks for bay tour operators were also part of the improvements, as well as a new visitor information center.
Carnitas’ will be the only permanent food service within the boundaries of North Embarcadero Visionary Plan Phase 1.
Los Angeles School Chief Gets
Grossmont College Presidency
Nabil S. Abu-Ghazaleh, president of West Los Angeles College, has been named president of Grossmont College effective July 1. He replaces Sunita “Sunny” Cooke, who left to take over as superintendent/president of MiraCosta College in San Marcos.
Abu-Ghazaleh was born in Jordan and raised in Jordan and Qatar in the Persian Gulf. He attended two years of boarding school in England before moving to the United States to begin college at UC San Diego.
Before taking leadership of West Los Angeles College in 2011, Abu-Ghazaleh served as vice chancellor of educational services and technology at Coast Community College District in Costa Mesa; vice president of academic affairs at Pierce College in Woodland Hills; dean of student learning at Moorpark College near Simi Valley; and interim dean of engineering and technology at Pasadena City College.
Abu-Ghazaleh holds a doctorate in educational leadership from California State University, Fullerton; a master’s in education from UCLA, a master’s in engineering sciences from UC San Diego; and a bachelor’s in engineering sciences, also from UC San Diego.
Grand Jury: San Diego Council Needs
Audit on Failed Balboa Park Committee
A report from San Diego’s city auditor on a volunteer committee that tried to put together a yearlong celebration of Balboa Park’s centennial hasn’t been brought before the full City Council — but needs to be, the county grand jury said Wednesday.
In a report on lessons learned on the failed attempt to orchestrate a series of major events for the 100th anniversary of the Panama-California Exposition, the grand jury recommended that the report receive a full airing before the City Council. The council members should then discuss how not to repeat the mistakes that were made, the grand jury said.
The auditor’s findings went before the Audit Committee, which accepted the document last October but didn’t forward it to the full council. Reports from the auditor are frequently heard by both the committee and the full council.
A statement from council President Sherri Lightner’s office said the issue was also heard by the Environment Committee. Between the two, there was sufficient public comment and media coverage, and neither committee recommended it to be forwarded to the full council since it was considered to be fully vetted, the statement said. Her office also said Lightner agreed with the committee members.
The grand jury said the city should revamp the way future civic projects are carried out under memorandums of understanding or contracts with nonprofit corporations.
— City News Service
Despite Repeated Pleas, San Diegans
Only Reduce Water Use by 3.5 Percent
San Diegans reduced their water use by only 3.5 percent last month when compared to the same month last year, despite a drumbeat of stories about the drought and pending statewide mandates, the director of the city’s Public Utilities Department said Tuesday.
Halla Razak said she was troubled by the mild response to demands to use less water, especially now that state officials have ordered the city to cut back water deliveries by 16 percent.
At a meeting of the City Council’s Environment Committee, she said the result made her question the city’s effort to encourage customers to use less water.
She said that last weekend, she knocked on the doors of residents irrigating their lawns even though it was within 48 hours of the last rainfall.
“A couple folks are like ‘what’s the big deal?’ type of thing,” Razak said. “It really dawned on me that maybe we’re not reaching everybody.”
Committee Chairman David Alvarez noted the consumption drop was “not going as aggressively as we would have hoped.”
Razak, however, said unusually heavy and frequent rains in the San Diego region this month should result in steeper declines in water use.
Enforcement should also make a difference, and her department has 19 employees in trucks with “Waste No Water” logos patrolling the city, she said.
More than 800 water use violations were noted in April, and nine citations were issued, according to Razak. The rest get warnings.
— City News Service
Arts Generate $119 Million for Local Economy
Arts and cultural organizations funded in part by the city of San Diego generated $191 million for the local economy in 2014 and employed nearly 6,300. That was the conclusion of a report released Wednesday by Council member Lorie Zapf and the city’s Commission for Arts and Culture and partner organizations.
“World-class arts and cultural programs are a vital component of a great city, not only because they enrich the lives of our residents, but because they also support thousands of good paying jobs and attract millions of dollars for our economy,” said Zapf. “When the arts and cultural organizations thrive, so does the city.”
Joining Zapf were representatives of the arts commission, the San Diego Tourism Authority and the San Diego Regional Arts and Culture Coalition.
“A dynamic arts and culture community keeps visitors coming back to enjoy San Diego,” said arts commissioner Rebecca Smith, who noted that arts-oriented visitors stay longer and spend more.
Last year attendance at arts and cultural institutions totaled 4.25 million people. The city assisted with funding for 80 arts and culture organizations and 43 neighborhood events.
The city contributed $6.4 million from its tax on hotel visitors, and that was matched with $7.1 million from national, state, county and tribal governments. Officials said they are seeing a modest increase in matching funds.
Smith said it’s important for San Diego’s students to encourage not just the knowledge of STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — but STEAM — which adds arts.
“These organizations also stimulate the minds of our youth, teaching them critical skills necessary to become future leaders and innovators,” she said.
Registrar Cleaning Up Voter Rolls
The Registrar of Voters is sending 143,000 postcards out to voters who haven’t voted in the past four years or whose election material, such as a sample ballot pamphlet, has been returned to the Registrar as being undeliverable.
If the voter has moved and the U.S. Postal Service has a forwarding address on record, the postcards will be forwarded to the new address.
Voters will be asked to reply back to the Registrar’s office if they want to remain on active status. If they fail to return the postcard, they’ll be placed on inactive status.
“It means they are still eligible to vote, but they will not be receiving any election materials such as sample ballots and mail ballots from our office,” said Registrar of Voters Michael Vu. “It is a way to properly maintain the voter rolls while saving taxpayer money.”
Postcards will begin showing up in mailboxes this week. The mailings will give a more accurate picture of the voter population in the county and better accuracy when it comes to actual voter turnout.
Currently, the Registrar has 1.5 million registered voters on its active list but expects to see that number drop by nearly 143,000 voters.
“For some of these voters, there is a clock that is ticking,” said Vu. “If they don’t have any election activity in two federal general elections, a time period of approximately four years, we have the ability to remove them off the voter rolls completely.”
North County Health Services Receives $1 million
North County Health Services received a nearly $1 million grant to expand its health care services. The San Marcos-based nonprofit was among 164 community health centers across the country to receive a New Access Point Grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration and Bureau of Primary Health Care.The $983,333 grant was among the largest and is was given to bring primary care services to new areas where it is most needed.
MCAS Miramar Earns EPA
Award for Saving Fuel Oil
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar was awarded the 2015 EPA Federal Green Challenge award for Energy on Wednesday for having the greatest percentage reduction in energy use nationally, cutting its fuel consumption by 98 percent in 2014. That was achieved by building a new aircraft hangar that brought a natural gas system to the installation and eliminated the old diesel fuel system.
The award was presented to MCAS officials by U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. After the presentation a tour of the green facilities was given, including a new Zinc Bromide Flow Battery for renewable energy storage to support energy security and cost savings through peak load reduction. The battery has 250KW/1 MWH capacity, and is 40 feet long, 10.5 feet tall and 8 feet wide.
The Federal Green Challenge is a national effort challenging federal agencies to lead by example in reducing the federal government’s environmental impacts in six target areas: energy, water, waste, electronics, purchasing and transportation. The base had the greatest percentage reduction in energy use of over 400 Federal Green Challenge participants nationally.
General Atomics and DOE Discover Process
To Quicken Development of Fusion Energy
Scientists from General Atomics and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) have discovered a phenomenon that helps them to improve fusion plasmas — a finding that may quicken the development of fusion energy.
Together with a team of researchers from across the United States, the scientists found that when they injected tiny grains of lithium into a plasma undergoing a particular kind of turbulence then, under the right conditions, the temperature and pressure rose dramatically. High heat and pressure are crucial to fusion, a process in which atomic nuclei — or ions — smash together and release energy — making even a brief rise in pressure of great importance for the development of fusion energy.
“These findings might be a step towards creating our ultimate goal of steady-state fusion, which would last not just for milliseconds, but indefinitely,” said Tom Osborne, a physicist at General Atomics and lead author of the paper.
Physicists have long known that adding lithium to a fusion plasma increases its performance. The new findings surprised researchers, however, since the small amount of lithium raised the plasma’s temperature and pressure more than had been expected.
General Dynamics NASSCO Starts Construction
On Fourth American Petroleum ECO Tanker
General Dynamics NASSCO has started construction of a fourth “ECO” tanker to be built for American Petroleum Tankers at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard. U.S. Rep. Susan Davis helped signal the beginning of construction by pressing a button to cut the first piece of steel.
As part of a five-tanker contract, the new ECO tankers solidify a mutual commitment between General Dynamics NASSCO and American Petroleum Tankers to design, build and operate innovative and increased energy efficient and fuel-saving products. Each of the five 50,000 deadweight ton product carriers to be constructed by NASSCO will be LNG-conversion ready and will carry 330,000 barrels of cargo. With a specialized ECO design, the tankers are more energy efficient and incorporate environmental protection features, including a Ballast Water Treatment System.
“These Jones Act-qualified tankers are some of the most energy-efficient, fuel-saving and cost-effective tankers in the world. They are also instrumental in providing high-quality, good-paying jobs,” said Kevin Graney, vice president and general manager of General Dynamics NASSCO.
Qualcomm Accelerates Stock
Repurchase With $5 Billion Deal
Qualcomm announced Thursday it is accelerating its stocks buyback program through agreements with two financial institutions to purchase $5 billion of the San Diego-based company’s common stock.
“We are pleased to initiate this accelerated share repurchase as we continue to execute on our enhanced capital return program,” said Steve Mollenkopf, CEO of Qualcomm. “These repurchases represent a significant step toward meeting our goal of repurchasing $10 billion of common stock by March 3016, in addition to our commitment to return a minimum of 75 percent of free cash flow to stockholders through dividents and repurchases.”
Stock repurchase programs are a common way for companies to increase the value of their stock. Buying stock reduces the number of outstanding shares and thus raises the price.
— Times of San Diego
Burnham-Moores Center Hires Jacqueline Greulich
The Burnham-Moores Center for Real at University of San Diego has appointed Jacqueline Greulich as student and career services manager. Greulich is responsible for connecting undergraduate and graduate students with professionals in the commercial and residential real estate industry. Additionally, she oversees the coordination of student mentorships, internships and career placement initiatives.
Greulich has more than 20 years of human resource experience, most recently as the human resources director for the San Diego Center for Children. She also has more than 20 years of experience within commercial real estate, manufacturing and biotech industries. Previous employers include Westcore Properties, Burnham Real Estate and Cushman and Wakefield.
Marc Taylor Named Catering Sales Manager
Marc Taylor has been appointed catering sales manager of the Homewood Suites and Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar “Campus,” owned and operated by RAR Hospitality.
A professional with more than six years of experience in the industry, Taylor previously held similar positions at the Bristol Hotel in Downtown San Diego, Freebirds World Burrito in Orange County and Windmill Banquets and Catering in Carlsbad. While at Windmill, the company was nominated as a Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year finalist under his leadership.
Linda G.H. Prosi Hired by Presidio Residential Capital
Presidio Residential Capital has hired Linda G.H. Prosi, a veteran real estate executive with experience in acquisitions, due diligence and portfolio administration, to help with legal entity formation, loan review and tracking, audit compliance and transaction closings.
Prosi has experience in all aspects of land acquisitions and real estate loan administration. She has established and managed an acquisition services department for a national diversified real estate company; coordinated due diligence, approval and closing of more than 90 transactions totaling more than $1 billion, and supervised administration of a $700 million multi-state real estate loan portfolio
Most recently, Prosi was a reasonable accommodation facilitator for Warren Properties, where she handled all matters pertaining to reasonable accommodations and fair housing law for the privately owned national property management firm.