Daily Business Report-May 28, 2015
County Supervisor Dianne Jacob was a private citizen 36 years ago when she led a campaign against a massive development proposed for Jamul.
Dianne Jacob’s Fight Against Casino
Resembles Honey Springs
Ranch Battle 3 Decades Ago
By Manny Cruz
Thirty-six years ago, Dianne Jacob was a private citizen leading a fight against a developer’s plans to turn the more than 2,000 acres of the pristine Honey Spring Ranch in Jamul into a development of luxury homes and commercial enterprises.
That was 13 years before Jacob was first elected to the San Diego County Board of Supervisor (1992) — her victory no doubt influenced somewhat by the successful fight she and her neighbors’ launched to preserve the Honey Springs Ranch from development, a legal fight that went all the way to the California Supreme Court in 1984.
Today, Honey Springs Ranch is part of the Rancho Jamul Ecological Reserve, forever protected from development, and Dianne Jacob is battling another developer.
Over the past several years, Jacob — who is gearing up to run for an unprecedented seventh term on the Board of Supervisors — has been trying to kill the construction of a $360 million casino by the small Jamul Indian Village. The tribe would own the facility, the Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego, located off Highway 94, which would have 1,700 slot machines, 43 table games, multiple food and beverage options and about 1,000 employees.
Although Jacob and other Jamul residents have long opposed the casino on grounds that it will create horrific traffic problems, invite crime and is not in character with Jamul’s rural environment, Penn National Gaming Inc., the company that would manage the casino and is fronting the money for construction, has already begun building the facility, saying it would open in mid-2016. The company, through its public relations representative, claims that all necessary governmental approvals have been granted.
“It appears to be a bit premature,” Jacob said Wednesday in reference to the construction going on at the Jamul Indian Village. She said a couple of lawsuits are still pending at the state level and there is a federal lawsuit pending.
San Diego County is a party to one of the lawsuits. It has sued Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation, for allowing Penn National Gaming to proceed with construction. Jacob said Caltrans is treating the casino project differently than other development projects. “They need to play by the rules, and they’re not,” she said.
Jacob took part in a flash mob of protesters against the casino project in March, unwilling to stop the campaign. “They are proceeding at a great risk,” she says of Penn National Gaming. “It’s not a done deal. It’s far from being a done deal.”
Coincidentally (or maybe not), the same attorney that handled the successful case against development of the Honey Springs Ranch in the 1980s — Stephan Volker — is representing the county in its lawsuit against Caltrans.
Meanwhile, Penn National Gaming announced that Richard St. Jean, general manager of Hollywood Casino Toledo, has been named general manager of the Jamul casino. The company also distributed a new rendering of the casino.
Dempsey Construction Finishes Renovation
Of La Plaza Boutique Shopping Center
Dempsey Construction has completed the extensive interior and exterior renovation of La Plaza, a three-story, 38,860-square-foot luxury boutique shopping center at the corner of Girard Avenue and Wall Street in downtown La Jolla’s retail corridor.
According to V.P./Project Manager Paul Prellwitz, Dempsey worked with the owner, Davlyn Investments, and architect, Perkowitz & Ruth, to completely re-brand and reposition the center.
New exterior improvements include a redesigned exterior with new entryways, new elevator and clock tower element, redesigned storefronts, with new railings, decks, exterior windows and high-end finishes throughout. Interior improvements include a complete redesign of the interior courtyard creating open seating and gathering areas, tile mosaic flooring and customized lighting.
The newly renovated and reconstructed open-air shopping center includes a selection of boutique retailers.
Qualcomm and Daimler Collaborate
To Develop In-Car Technologies
Qualcomm subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies announced a collaboration with Diamler AG to develop new technologies that will enable wireless charging of electric vehicles and in-car wireless charging of mobile devices. In the first phase of the collaboration, the companies will focus on transforming future vehicles with mobile technologies that enhance in-car experiences and vehicle performance such as 3G/4G connectivity, wireless charging technology for in-vehicle use and implementation of the Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging technology.
Qualcomm Funds 10 International Robotics Companies
Ten companies from around the world that are developing advanced robotics technology moved into offices at Qualcomm’s San Diego campus this week to begin a four-month startup program.
Qualcomm has committed $1 million to the companies in its Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator, with each of the 10 participating companies receiving an equal share.
The 10 companies chosen are: Carbon Robotics, San Francisco; CleverPet, San Diego; Ctri Works, Singapore; Inova Drone, San Diego; Reach Robotics, Bristol, United Kingdom; Skyfront, Hoboken, N.J.; Skysense, Berlin, Germany; Solencia, Rome, Italy; and Rational Robotics, Alberta, Canada.
“The diversity and breadth of focus of the robotics accelerator selectees demonstrates the remarkable innovation underway around the world in this space,” said Matt Grob, chief technology officer, Qualcomm Technologies. “Robots use many of the same technologies that are currently present in smartphones and we at Qualcomm are gratified to have the opportunity to provide entrepreneurs and innovators worldwide with the technologies and support that will help them transform our daily lives.”
The startup program will conclude on Sept. 10, with a demo day where teams will have the opportunity to pitch and demo their robotic innovations to an audience of mentors, investors and media as well as executives from Qualcomm and Qualcomm Ventures, the investment arm of Qualcomm.
Qualcomm has been actively doing research in robotics with the aim to drive innovation in robotics through a state-of-the-art computing platform, including hardware and software, built around the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.
— Times of San Diego
NAWBO Presents BRAVO! Awards
The National Association of Women Business Owners San Diego has presented six women business owners with this year’s annual BRAVO!
The awards presentation on May 20 included a keynote presentation by Ingrid Croce, author, artist and entrepreneur who implemented San Diego’s annual Restaurant Week.
The Award winners:
• Woman Business Owner of the Year: Debra Hubers, La Vita Compounding Pharmacy
• Rising Star Award: Sondra Kiss, Kissinger Group
• Signature Award: Olga Worm, Bekker’s Catering
• Green Community Award: Beth Brummitt, Brummitt Energy Associates
• Trailblazer Award: Sherry Nooravi, Strategy Meets Performance
• Women’s Advocate of the Year: Elizabeth Smith-Chavez, Smith Chavez Law
Mayor and Chargers Chairman
To Begin Stadium Negotiations
Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos will begin negotiations next week in hopes of coming up with a plan to build a new football stadium in San Diego, it was announced Wednesday.
The meeting next Tuesday was revealed by Tony Manolatos, a spokesman for Faulconer’s advisory group, which recommended locating a 65,000-seat playing facility adjacent to aging Qualcomm Stadium and came up with a framework for a financing plan.
Mayoral spokesman Craig Gustafson confirmed the meeting would take place, but details were not released.
Tiny Parasites May Contribute
To Decline In Honey Bee Colonies
Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered that a tiny single-celled parasite may have a greater-than expected impact on honey bee colonies, which have been undergoing mysterious declines worldwide for the past decade.
In this week’s issue of the journal PLOS ONE, the scientists report that a microsporidian called Nosema ceranae, which has been known to infect adult Asiatic and European honey bees, can also infect honeybee larvae. They also discovered that honey bee larvae infected with the microsporidian have reduced lifespans as adults.
Since 2006, beekeepers in North America and Europe have lost about one-third of their managed bee colonies each year due to “colony collapse disorder.” While the exact cause is unknown, scientists have speculated that pesticides, pathogens, mites and certain beekeeping practices have all contributed to this decline. Nosema ceranae, a kind of fungal pathogen spread by spores, is also implicated in colony collapse because it reduces colony health and is widespread.
“Previous research suggested that Nosema ceranae could not infect honey bee larvae,” said James Nieh, a professor of biology at UC San Diego who headed the research effort with graduate student Daren Eiri, the first author of the study. “But this was largely based upon indirect evidence: spore counts in newly emerged adult bees, which typically have low spore counts.”
Oceanside Museum of Art Seeks New Director
The Oceanside Museum of Art is seeking a new leader following the resignation last week of Executive Director Daniel Foster. The institution’s development officer, Sandra Chanis, will serve as the interim executive director while the contemporary art museum conducts a nationwide search.
Foster, who served as executive director since 2012, is pursuing new opportunities for his personal and professional growth. He will be honored at a patron party on Friday.
Foster pursued an ambitious growth plan during his time at the museum, doubling revenue each year and increasing membership by 35 percent.
“I am very proud of the tremendous, growth, accomplishments and partnerships that we have experienced at OMA during my tenure,” said Foster. “Oceanside has a special place in my heart and I will miss working with our talented staff, board, supporters and partners.”
The 20-year-old museum is dedicated to art from the 20th and 21st centuries.
— Times of San Diego
Sequenom Moving Subsidiary to North Carolina
San Diego-based Sequenom Inc., a life sciences company, announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Sequenom Laboratories, will move its laboratory operations in Grand Rapids, Mich., to its facility in Raleigh Durham, N.C. Sequenom Laboratories’ cystic fibrosis carrier screen test will now be performed at the North Carolina laboratory location.
“The expansion of our North Carolina laboratory operations to include our HerediT CF carrier screen test will enable us to continue to provide high quality and meaningful test offerings to physicians and their patients while continuing to build value for our shareholders,” said William Welch, president and chief executive officer of Sequenom.
California Water Forum June 24
The PCBC homebuilding trade show announced that Deputy Cabinet Secretary and Senior Adviser Wade Crowfoot of the Office of California Gov. Jerry Brown will provide the opening address at the California Water Forum on June 24 at the San Diego Convention Center.
Sponsored by the California Building Industry Association and held in conjunction with PCBC, The forum is an event dedicated to addressing the severe water issues challenging the state of California and the building industry at-large.
The forum will have educational sessions led by business leaders, government officials, regulatory agencies and the academic community. It will be held alongside the annual PCBC event.
Janet Beronio Chairs Business Chamber Board
Janet Beronio, general manager of Harrah’s Resort Southern California, has been elected chair of the North San Diego Business Chamber Board of Directors for 2015-2016. Mike Peters will remain on the board and executive committee as immediate past chair.
New Board Members:
Marcie Whichard, senior vice president, Petco
Susan Miller, senior vice president, Oracle
Ric Militi, CEO, InnoVision
Patricia Reilly, veterans service director, Cal State San Marcos
Richard Marks, RDM Management
Law Firm Senior Council Elected President
Of Association of Insurance Professionals
Renee Botham, senior counsel at the law firm of Balestreri Potocki & Holmes, has been elected president of the San Diego Association of Insurance Professionals for the 2015-2016 term. The association’s mission is to develop leaders in the insurance industry.
Botham’s practice focuses primarily on litigated matters involving the construction and hospitality industries. She has experience in trying and mediating complex premises and construction issues.
Botham received her J.D. from California Western School of Law in 1998. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Law & Society from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
TAG Hires Client Relationship Manager
TAG, a software consultancy firm, has hired Kristen Patterson as client relationship manager for the Family CFO division. In this role, Patterson will work directly with clients, providing controller-level services, including financial reporting and analysis for corporate clients and high-net-worth families. She will also focus on new business development and manage a team of Client Associates, responsible for bookkeeping, account reconciliation and bill pay services.
Prior to joining TAG, Patterson worked as a chief financial officer, corporate controller and financial consultant specializing in managerial accounting and financial reporting in real estate development and investment firms, asset management and property management.