Daily Business Report-Dec. 17, 2015
Passengers disembark from a jet at the McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad.
County Considers Lengthening
Palomar Runway for Bigger Jets
City News Service
San Diego County supervisors Wednesday directed staff to launch a study on possibly moving and extending the runway at McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, which could improve the facility’s usefulness for larger business jets and small commercial airliners.
The Board of Supervisors chose from among three options for a new master plan to guide development of the general aviation airfield over the next two decades.
McClellan-Palomar Airport is currently rated as a B-II class facility by the Federa Aviation Administration, meaning it can accommodate approach speeds and wingspans of midsize business jets. However, county staff says a significant number of larger jets are using the airport, which is near a center of high-tech businesses and exclusive Rancho Santa Fe.
The supervisors unanimously accepted a staff recommendation for a modified step up to class C/D-III that would allow for physical changes to better provide for the larger aircraft. The staff recommendation doesn’t exactly fit existing federal criteria, so the county would have to seek an FAA waiver.
Among other things, the single runway would be shifted to the north by 123 feet to increase separation from the main parallel taxiway.
The estimated $73 million in upgrades could also lead to a runway extension of up to 800 feet. Some aircraft now using McClellan-Palomar can’t take off fully loaded and fully fueled.
A 2013 feasibility study found that a 900-foot extension could add more than $162 million in economic benefits to the region over 20 years.
Staff also said an extension to the east would let many aircraft take off earlier, thereby reducing noise in neighborhoods to the west of the runway, which would maintain its 150-foot width.
With the supervisors’ approval in hand, staff will conduct environmental studies that will look at noise effects and various runway lengths. They’re scheduled to return with a full master plan and draft environmental impact report in early 2017.
“I think this is moving the process along, we’re going to find out what the impacts are and then we can make a decision (on airport plans) at that point,” Supervisor Dave Roberts said.
Top of the Market Restaurant
Reopens Today with New Look
Fish Market Restaurants is reopening its upstairs restaurant — Top of the Market — today, after a fire forced its closure earleir this year. The company’s sister restaurant downstairs, The Fish Market, also closed following the fire and reopened in early August.
The restaurant’s owners and management team took the opportunity to update and refresh Top of the Market with everything from a new color palette, fabrics and wall coverings to new lighting, ceiling treatments, furniture and seating. The restaurant’s re-opening coincides with its 26-year anniversary.
As gratitude to first responders that helped save the building, the restaurant will donate a portion of its initial sales following re-opening to the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, which has kicked off a fundraising campaign to purchase life-saving devices for firefighters.
“We are grateful to those who helped us during the fire and its aftermath and in getting us back open, including the San Diego Fire Rescue Department, Harbor Police, Port of San Diego and City of San Diego,” said Jim Wendler, the company’s president. “Given what we experienced, we are excited to support a cause for our first responders.”
Top of the Market will resume regular operating hours for lunch and dinner. The restaurant is located on at 750 North Harbor Drive, next to the USS Midway Museum. For more information about The Fish Market or Top of the Market, go to www.thefishmarket.com, or call (619) 232-8862.
Cubic Opens London Innovation Centre
Cubic Transportation Systems, a business unit of Cubic Corp., announced the opening of its Cubic Innovation Centre in London for the advancement of mobility solutions that address the global transportation needs of the future.
Through the Cubic London Innovation Center, Cubic and its partners will work together to find solutions to challenges that affect the quality of life in metropolitan areas, such as urban growth, congestion of transportation across travel modes including roads, bikes, walking, rail, metro, bus and ferry and the interaction between those modes, the company said in a release.
“The future of transportation infrastructure hinges on the effective application of technology and practical solutions for mobility issues. We selected London for the Innovation Centre because of the city’s reputation for ground-breaking developments, including work by our customer Transport for London,” said Matt Cole, president of Cubic Transportation Systems. “Through the Centres work, we hope to improve services and reduce costs for more customers while enhancing the traveler experience in line with our NextCity strategy, which integrates payment and information systems across all transportation methods.
Public Safety Spending in County
Rises for the Fourth Straight Year
Spending by public safety agencies in San Diego County edged up slightly in FY 2014-15, marking the fourth straight year that expenditures have increased, according to a report released Wednesday by the SANDAG Criminal Justice Research Division.
Combined, agencies across the region spent nearly $2 billion, up 2 percent from the previous year and 11 percent higher than five years ago, according to the report: Public Safety Allocations in the San Diego Region: Expenditures and Staffing for Fiscal Year 2015.
“These increases are due in part to the region’s strengthening economy and higher labor costs,” said Cynthia Burke, SANDAG Criminal Justice research director. “They are also due to an infusion of state funding intended to help local agencies address the impact of AB109 — the state’s prison realignment.”
The annual report examines how dollars are invested across the region’s criminal justice system. It documents how jurisdictions allocate funds for law enforcement; how these figures relate to recent crime rates and population numbers; and how staffing figures are related to expenditures.
The report found that approximately one-third of general funds for all incorporated cities with their own police departments were dedicated to law enforcement costs.
Almost half — 47 percent — of public safety dollars spent in FY 2014-15 were allocated for law enforcement activities, with the other half divided across the six remaining categories: corrections, court-related costs, prosecution, probation, public defense.
Other notable facts in the report:
• A total of $616 per resident was spent for public safety in FY 2014-2015 in San Diego County.
• In the last five years, some of the largest expenditure increases went to public defense and probation field services and administration.
• Regionally, there were 1.31 sworn officers per 1,000 residents. That average, which remained unchanged for the second consecutive year, is well below the recent national figure of 2.3 per 1,000 residents.
• During the past five years, the ratio of sworn officers-to-population decreased for more than half of the region’s law enforcement agencies.
Snoopy License Plate
Campaign Reaches Goal
A statewide campaign to put Snoopy on California license plates and help fund the state’s museums has achieved its goal. More than 7,500 Californians have submitted pre-paid applications for the Snoopy license plate, which clears the way for the California Department of Motor Vehicles to make the license plate available to California motorists for $50. A portion of the cost of the initial plate and all proceeds of Snoopy plate renewal will be used to help support California’s museums.
Even though the 7,500-plate goal has been reached, it’s not too late to pre-order a Snoopy plate and get one-time discounted or free admission to over 85 participating museums for a year. The opportunity to pre-order a Snoopy plate and get these “Beagle Backer” benefits has been extended to Dec. 18.
“Beagle Backer Passes are an attractive benefit for people who care about museums,” said Celeste DeWald, Executive Director of the California Association of Museums. “We want Snoopy plate holders to explore many of the museums they’ve supported with their purchase.” The Beagle Backer Pass currently has a retail value worth nearly $1,200. The benefits are valid during the first year that the Snoopy license plate is in production.
Visit www.snoopyplate.com to pre-order.
UC San Diego and El Centro Regional
Medical Center Expand Clinical Affiliation
UC San Diego Health and the city of El Centro have entered the next phase of a comprehensive management services relationship with El Centro Regional Medical Center (ECRMC). Under a new agreement, UC San Diego Health will provide strategic planning and management and consulting services to the ECRMC Board of Trustees and hospital leadership. UC San Diego Health and ERCMC will align administrative expertise, business and clinical initiatives with the goals of enhancing ECRMC’s ability to deliver high-quality, integrated and cost-effective care to patients in the Imperial Valley.
“With UC San Diego Health, we have a strong, strategic clinical and business partner that is committed to enhancing the availability of high-quality health care services in the Imperial Valley,” said Efrain Silva, El Centro City Councilman. “The health of the community and the region is a shared priority. We expect to see great results through this collaboration.”
UC San Diego Named Best Value Public College
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named the University of California, San Diego the 20th best value public university in the nation based on its academic quality and affordability.
UC San Diego was praised for its high four-year graduation rates, low average student debt at graduation, student-to-faculty ratio, the availability of financial aid, low sticker price and overall great value.
Kiplinger’s annually ranks best values in public and private colleges and universities that combine outstanding economic value with high-quality education.
Kiplinger’s recognized UC San Diego for the number of students on campus who receive federal Pell Grants (need-based grants for low-income students). According to the 2015 UC San Diego college profile, 68 percent of undergraduates received financial aid (including student and parent loans), and 58 percent were awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid.
Audio Associates to Relocate to Chula Vista
Audio Associates, an audio/video engineering contractor, has purchased a new 5,000-square-foot building in Chula Vista to house its San Diego County headquarters. Audio Associates has been in business since 1980 and employs more than 30 people in San Diego.
“We are really excited about our new location in South Bay,” said Audio Associates President Pete Spencer. “We will be officially all moved in by Jan. 1, and are looking forward to growing into our new space.”
Audio Associates’ portfolio includes Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego Main Central Library, San Diego Airport Authority Terminal 2, Petco Park, SeaWorld, and numerous projects with the San Diego Unified School District, among others.
The company’s new headquarters will be located at 1497 Jayken Way in Chula Vista. Audio Associates had previously occupied a building off Center St. in La Mesa since 1993.