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Daily Business Report-Nov. 24, 2015

Daily Business Report-Nov. 24, 2015

A production of ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ at the Hartford Stage-Old Globe during the summer. The theater company wants to engage more San Diegans in the theater.

Old Globe Reorganization

New Department Created to Engage

More San Diegans in Theater Arts

 Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, the Globe's new director of arts engagement

Freedome Bradley-Ballentine, the Globe’s new director of arts engagement

Hoping to involve more San Diegans and San Diego communities in theater arts, the Old Globe on Monday announced a major reorganization of its education and community-based programming and the appointment of a director for the new initiative plus a $1.725 million grant to fund it.

Under the reorganization, the Globe’s Department of Education will become the Department of Arts Engagement to connect audiences to art “in innovative, interesting and unusual ways.”

The Globe appointed Freedome Bradley-Ballentine as the new director of arts engagement, “who will lead the Globe’s work of forging new and deeper bonds with all the constituencies the Globe serves — and aspires to serve — in the region.”

For eight years, Freedome Bradley-Ballentine was the director of theatrical programs for the City Parks Foundation in New York City, a not-for-profit that works closely with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation to bring a variety of programs into the hundreds of parks in all five boroughs.

He came to the Globe on Oct. 22.

Under Bradley-Ballentine’s leadership, the Department of Arts Engagement “will interact with every part of the institution as the organization imagines and rolls out innovative and exciting new ways to engage with a diverse cross-section of the county’s population,” according to the Globe announcement,

The Globe said Bradley-Ballentine will be central to the company’s work with The James Irvine Foundation’s New California Arts Fund, under which the Globe will be awarded a three-year grant of $1.725. “This will enable the Globe to bring new kinds of work into the community and to look at the institution in deep ways that will help it mean more to San Diego and its citizens,” according to the announcement. “Together these moves are significant developments for the Globe and for our city.”



San Diego-based Petco

San Diego-based Petco

Petco Sold for $4.6 Billion

New owners: CVC Capital Partners and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

City News Service

San Diego-based Petco Animal Supplies Inc. announced Monday that it was purchased by a pair of overseas investing entities for $4.6 billion.

Petco has been owned for 16 years by TPG and Leonard Green & Partners, investment and private equity firms based in San Francisco and Los Angeles, respectively.

The new owners, when the deal closes next year, will be CVC Capital Partners, based in Luxembourg, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board,  of Toronto.

“Both CVC and CPPIB have outstanding track records and deep retail experience and resources that will help support our growth initiatives,” said Petco CEO James Myers.

Chris Stadler, CVC managing partner, said Petco is an industry leader that is well-position for growth.

“The pet category is a growing and dynamic space within which we believe Petco is ideally positioned to further enhance its leadership position,” Stadler said. “We look forward to working with our outstanding partners at CPPIB to support the company’s growth as it continues to execute its strategy and plans to capitalize on promising market opportunities.”

Petco sells pet food, supplies and services at more than 1,400 locations in the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, and operates an e-commerce platform.


The center of the North Park Maintenance Assessment District.

The center of the North Park Maintenance Assessment District.

Court of Appeal Rejects Attempt to End

Neighborhood Improvement Programs

San Diego property owners can continue to assess themselves as a way to pay for neighborhood maintenance and improvement programs, California’s Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal ruled on Monday.

The Court of Appeal dismissed a suit filed by San Diegans for Open Government and attorney Cory Briggs against the city and its 57 voluntary Maintenance Assessment Districts (MADs).

In so doing, the appeals court affirmed an earlier San Diego Superior Court ruling that dismissed the case “for lack of standing and failure to state a cause of action.”

The city has approved ordinances since 1969 that form MADs and enable them to impose assessments on district property owners to pay for community improvements and maintenance programs beyond those provided by the city.

Typical enhanced services provided by MADs include: parkway landscaping and maintenance; sidewalk cleaning and litter removal; landscape and hardscape medians; graffiti removal; public right-of-way improvements; tree trimming; decorative streetlights, and security services.

SDFOG, in its lawsuit, claimed the council resolutions were flawed.  The Court of Appeal noted that SDFOG provided no “support in the record” to substantiate that claim.

The Court of Appeal also affirmed the lower court ruling that SDFOG had no legal standing to bring a lawsuit — saying that SDFOG’s “novel theories on standing” in the case were not legally supportable, as it had no “concrete and actual” interest in the MAD assessments, only a “conjectural or hypothetical” one.

Had SDFOG prevailed in the case, the 57 assessment districts would have been invalidated, and the City would have been required to issue refunds to their members, potentially involving tens of millions of dollars.


Port of San Diego Receives $6.1 Million

To Improve Shelter Island Boat Launch

The California Division of Boating and Waterways has awarded the Port of San Diego a $6.1 million grant from the Harbors and Watercraft Revolving Fund for the Shelter Island Boat Launch Facility Improvements Project.

The grant will help fund the estimated $9.5 million needed for the project.

The project will involve improving the launch ramp’s basin by enlarging the maneuvering area, replacing the worn-out launch ramp, increasing the lengths of the boarding floats, providing a concrete drop-off area for kayaks, and bringing the restroom to current ADA (Americans with Disability Act) standards.

When completed, the new launch facility basin will be 82 percent larger. The new entry/exit point will increase from its current 25 feet to 60 feet. New walkways and public viewing platforms will be added and a separate area for hand-launched watercraft will be added.

Along with the Division of Boating and Waterways grant, the Port anticipates receiving $3.35 million in funding from the Wildlife Conservation Board, which has determined that the boat launch project is aligned with its mission.

The Port of San Diego expects to solicit bids for the project in the fall of 2016.  Construction is anticipated to take place between December 2016 and December 2017.


How to Create Leukemia-Killing Cells

While studying the effects of antibodies on bone marrow cells, a team of TSRI scientists led by Professor Richard A. Lerner found that one rare antibody could turn acute myeloid leukemia cells into leukemia-killing immune cells. The breakthrough could result in an entirely new type of cancer therapy that is far more tolerable and causes far less damage to healthy cells than existing treatments.

“It’s a totally new approach to cancer, and we’re working to test it in human patients as soon as possible,” said  Lerner.

Read more…


The USS Theodore Roosevelt at home in San Diego

The USS Theodore Roosevelt at home in San Diego

From 156 Degrees to ‘Phenomenal Weather’:

USS Theodore Roosevelt Docks in Coronado

Times of San Diego

For the crew aboard the newly arrived aircraft carrier USS Rosevelt the move to Coronado wasn’t a hard sell. Not after flight-deck crews suffered through heat indexes reaching 156 degrees in the Arabian Gulf. Capt. Craig Clapperton, commander of the “Big Stick,” said Monday upon the ship’s arrival that he told the crew about the “phenomenal weather” in Southern California.

“I’m not a weatherman,” Clapperton said. “I could do the weather in Coronado — 75 degrees and sunny.”

Ship commander Capt. Craig Clapperton

Ship commander Capt. Craig Clapperton

He said he and the ship’s 4,700 sailors and Marines were thrilled to complete the swap that brang the Roosevelt to North Island Naval Air Station, where half the crew will stay.

Earlier, Rear Adm. Roy Kelley  told reporters that water temperatures in the Arabian Gulf reached 100 degrees during what he called a “historic deployment” to degrade ISIS in Iraq and northern Syria.

He said “health issues early on” led ship commanders to rotate flight-deck crews and even delay some afternoon missions because of the heat.

And if that wasn’t nuisance enough, Kelley said, when the Russians arrived as a Syrian military force, it “threw a little curveball at us.”

But he said the American military “made some adjustments,” had talks with Russian military commanders and “smoothed things out.”

The 1,092-foot-long “Big Stick” completed what amounts to an epic voyage, in which it left its old base in Norfolk, Virginia, more than eight months ago for deployment to the Middle East.

Air squadrons aboard the Roosevelt flew more than 1,800 combat sorties against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria, racking up 10,600 flight hours for the crews and dropping a million pounds of ordnance.

The carrier group also patrolled the South China Sea as a warning to China and to assert the right of ships to operate in international waters freely, Clapperton said.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter visited the ship two week ago to thank the crew.

The 29-year-old Roosevelt, named for the 26th president, was part of a three-way swap of carrier home ports. The USS George Washington, formerly based in Japan, was sent to Virginia to have its nuclear power plant refueled. The USS Ronald Reagan, based in San Diego for 11 years, replaced the George Washington in Japan.

About two-thirds of the 3,300 or so Roosevelt sailors will fly on from San Diego to Virginia, where they will take over the George Washington.

Most of the Reagan’s crew sailed the GW around the tip of South America and up to the U.S East Coast. They’ll fly back to San Diego and become the Big Stick’s crew.

Around one-third of each vessel’s sailors, mainly command staff and nuclear power experts, stayed with their ships.

The complicated process is estimated to be saving the Navy $41 million in personnel transfer costs.

But the real bottom line for the Big Stick: “It’s great to be back in the United States,” said Kelley. “The sailors are indeed happy to be back home.”

— With City News Service

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Voice Your Opinion

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: