Daily Business Report-May 27, 2015
The printing presses of the Los Angeles Times, where the Union-Tribune will be printed.
Union-Tribune Lays Off 178,
Moves Printing to Los Angeles
The San Diego Union-Tribune is laying off 178 employees — nearly a third of its total workforce of 600 — just days after the newspaper’s $85 million sale to Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Publishing Co. was completed.
The majority of the cuts will affect employees who work to print and deliver the newspaper, such as drivers, electricians and pressroom staffers.
The sale allowed Tribune Publishing to move printing from Mission Valley to Los Angeles and consolidate it with that of the Los Angeles Times and national publications delivered to local markets, the Union-Tribune said. Some operations employees will be able to apply for work at the Los Angeles printing plant.
The change is expected to be completed in the next month and may cause a short-term delivery disruption, but executives said the quality of printing would improve.
The Union-Tribune reported that 36 workers in advertising sales and finance, 29 employees in the circulation department and nine newsroom positions were cut. Laid off employees were given two months notice and a severance package.
The majority of the laid off newsroom employees worked for the newspaper’s cable television venture. The sale did not include the television studio or control room.
Union-Tribune Editor Jeff Light said the layoffs would not affect readers. “For readers of the newspaper, they will notice zero impact from today’s layoffs,” he was quoted as saying.
— Times of San Diego, with City News Service
Underwater Robot from Scripps
Aids In Santa Barbara Oil Spill
An underwater robot from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is aiding in the Santa Barbara oil spill.
An onshore pipeline in Santa Barbara ruptured and leaked more than 100,000 gallons of crude on coastal lands and into the ocean, the oil company said.
The robots, referred to as “spray gliders,” can dive 3,000 feet under water. The gliders are able to go anywhere and are directed through a built in GPS system similar to a smartphone.
There is currently one glider approximately 30-miles away from the oil spill.
“It’s 7-feet-long, weighs about 100-pounds,” said Dan Rudnick, professor at Scripps. “It flies on wings.”
The spray glider’s purpose is to take temperature, salinity and ocean current measurements. The data is collected and fed back via satellite.
“You can think of it sort of like the National Weather Service. It predicts the wind in the atmosphere and we use this data to predict models for weather in the ocean,” said Rudnick.
With the data, crews are able to gauge where the oil is likely to flow next depending on the ocean’s current.
Scripps has five underwater robots dispatched near the California coast at all times.
Civita Celebrates Apex Grand Opening
Civita is celebrating the grand opening of Apex by Ryland Homes, a collection of 58 single-family detached homes near the summit of the community.
Prices start in the high $700,000s. Homes range from 2,092 to 2,229 square feet with up to five bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Highlights include luxurious finishes and expansive windows that connect to dual outdoor entertaining areas. Apex’s kitchens feature stainless appliances and a choice of granite or quartz countertops. Homes are equipped with energy-efficient LED fixtures throughout. A number of personalization options are available, including spa bathrooms, contemporary fireplaces, multigenerational suites, bonus rooms and designer stair railing.
Long-range plans for the 230-acre Civita call for 4,780 residential homes and apartments, approximately 480,000 square feet for a lifestyle retail center and 420,000 square feet for an office/business campus.
For information visit www.civitalife.com
Audit Says Development Opportunities
Missed at City of San Diego Airports
The city of San Diego should update plans and goals for its Airports Division, which operates the Brown Field and Montgomery Field general aviation airports, according to a city auditor’s office report.
In its 43-page report, the auditor’s office said the airports offer significant potential for development, but city officials have not seized on the opportunity to maximize revenue, improve facilities or create a long-range plan for the facilities.
The report criticized the Real Estate Assets Department for missing opportunities and having insufficient planning and oversight of Brown Field, in Otay Mesa, and Montgomery Field, in Kearny Mesa.
Among the problems uncovered in the audit:
• The Airports Division doesn’t have a master list of renters.
• Many airport leases are in holdover status.
• Lease revenues have not increased with the local market or have errors.
• Maintenance and inspections of leased areas are inconsistent.
• Various fees have not been reviewed and adjusted as called for by City Council policy.
Airport lessees include individual aircraft owners, flight schools and fixed-base operators, which provide fuel, maintenance and storage facilities, among other things.
The auditors discovered that more Montgomery Field revenue is derived from non-aviation sources, including a hotel, restaurant, business park, office space and the U.S. Border Patrol.
The auditors said Montgomery Field earned $3.7 million in revenue in Fiscal Year 2014. While the facility brought in $1 million from aviation leasing, nearly $1.6 million came from non-aviation leasing.
Brown Field generated more than $932,600 in the same time period, with $374,000 from aviation leasing and $265,000 from commercial leasing.
Montgomery Field hosted more than 215,000 flight operations last year, up from 182,000 or so two years earlier, according to the audit. Brown Field had over 90,000 operations, down from 92,000 in 2012.
The report recommended that the Airports Division determine the costs and a timeline for updating airport planning documents; develop an annual planning document that sets short-term and long range goals for development and revenue; and review, update or develop policies and procedures that govern department operations.
Management for the division agreed with all three recommendations.
— City News Service
Museum of Photographic Arts
Offers New Membership Program
The Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park is launching a new monthly membership program today that gives people the opportunity to choose how they want to be part of the museum.
The program is called MOPA Crew, an alternative to traditional membership models. For $5 a month, museum members choose between the Photography Crew and Film Crew, or an All-Access Pass to to both crews for $8. The program is an alternative to the standard annual commitment.
MOPA’s Director of Development Operations Selina Hudgins explained how museums must be nimble and adapt to stay relevant to younger audiences in the evolving philanthropic landscape.
“This hands-on, social audience expects more than the traditional museum membership,” Hudgins said. “They want to feel involved and know they’re contributing to their cultural community in San Diego.”
People may sign up for Crew at www.MOPA.org/Crew, starting today. The traditional annual museum membership will continue to be available.
Thursday, May 28:
Mark Rios of Rios Clementi Hale Studios, who was formally trained in both architecture and landscape architecture, will speak at the May 28 meeting of the San Diego chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architecture. His topic: the interrelationships among design disciplines.
The ASLA meeting will begin with a 6 p.m. reception. Rios’ talk begins at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Botanical Reference Library at Casa del Prado, Balboa Park. ASLA members are free. Everyone else, $10. More info, call (619) 283-8818.
Wednesday, June 3:
Civic San Diego will hold a community workshop for the 14th Street Promenade Master Plan on June 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at San Diego City College (Room MS 140-Mathematics and Social Sciences Building, corner of C and 16th streets.
The primary objective of the 14th Street Promenade Master Plan is to create a north-south pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly linkage in the heart of East Village through the reclamation of under-utilized public right-of-way.
Attendees can provide input on developing design concepts and amenities for the Promenade focused on pedestrians, green streets and bicycles.
Saturday, June 13:
The Parkinson’s Association will present “Partners in Parkinson’s,” an initiative to provide educational tools and resources for Parkinson’s disease patients and their families to optimize care at every stage of the disease. It will be held on June 13 from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, 1 Park Blvd., Downtown San Diego. The event is free and includes breakfast and lunch for all registered attendees. RSVP at www. partnersinparkinsons.org.
This initiative is a collaboration between the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and AbbVie.