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Daily Business Report-March 11, 2016

Daily Business Report-March 11, 2016

South Park business owners, C-3 board members, city of San Diego’s Neighborhood Investment Manager Liz Studebaker and Mexico-based members of the Barrios Hermanos project tour Tijuana.

‘Barrios Hermanos’ — Brother Neighborhoods

South Park forges business ties with Tijuana

By Paulina Velasco

Over the past year, Tijuana and the border region have been trying to recuperate from years of bad public relations highlighting its challenges and disadvantages.

But things are looking up: South Park is collaborating with its neighbor across the border to inspire development and positive change.

South Park has connected with Colonia Federal in Tijuana in an informal partnership called “Barrios Hermanos” — or brother neighborhoods. The project seeks to improve the quality of urban life on both sides of the border.

The idea was hatched during an event by Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3), a prominent San Diego planning and governance group that hosts monthly Breakfast Dialogues and invites local leaders and concerned members of the public to discuss topics of importance in San Diego County.

On Sept. 24, 2015, after a Breakfast Dialogue about the resurgence of Tijuana and the border region, a group of motivated Tijuana-based planners approached Jean Walcher and Roger Lewis, South Park residents and business owners.

The planners, most of whom are associated with the urban development group Centro Ventures, wanted to organize a tour of the South Park neighborhood for Tijuana business people interested in revitalizing Colonia Federal.

Colonial Federal in Tijuana is an emerging district in the early throes of development, situated a stone’s throw from the border. It is home to a collection of new galleries and development projects, including La Casa del Túnel, a new art gallery/café, and Estación Federal, an exciting mixed-use project. There is much to accomplish still, and Barrios Hermanos organizers were hoping that entrepreneurs from Tijuana could learn from the success stories of business owners in South Park.

So Barrios Hermanos invited a group of brewers, restauranteurs, investors, artists, government representatives and others from across the border to tour South Park. The goal was to hear from some of South Park’s “pioneering” business owners, many of whom were critical to the rebirth of the neighborhood, and to learn about best practices for creating a vibrant arts and business district.

In November 2015, South Park business owners hosted the Colonia Federal group, including two representatives from Mexico’s Secretaría de Turismo. The group toured Progress, Café Madeleine, Whistle Stop, South Park Brewery, and West Grove Collective. Members of C-3 hosted them for lunch at The Rose Wine Bar. The Tijuana group heard from Jean Rivaldi of the South Park Business Group about the creation of the Walkabout, and about how it is operated and promoted. Elizabeth Studebaker, the Neighborhood Investment Manager for the city of San Diego, spoke about the grants from the city supporting South Park’s development over the years.

South Park business owners shared the lessons learned and challenges faced in building up their businesses. Participants provided real life examples of what worked and what didn’t, and of how they continue to support business and arts in South Park. A small-scale, frontier-spanning sister city partnership was formed.

“Barrios Hermanos wants to become better neighbors, hermanos, bros —whatever you want to call us! — by building community, communication, and collaboration on both sides of the border,” said Miguel Marshall, CEO of Centro Ventures and main organizer of the visiting Colonia Federal group. The next step was for South Park residents to visit their neighbors to the south.

On Jan. 28, South Park business owners, C-3 board members and others invested in the project took a trip to Colonia Federal. They toured the neighborhood and its surroundings, visiting Galería Mariposa, La Casa del Túnel, Pasajes Rodríguez, and Avenida Revolución. The Tijuana-based group was able to share their progress and their challenges with their South Park “hermanos.”

“Barrios Hermanos is about communities sharing culture, forging relationships, and developing neighborhoods,” says C-3 board president Roger Lewis. “That’s what C-3 is all about: making a difference through education and inspiration. With Mexico’s proximity to us, it’s to everyone’s advantage to strengthen our relationships on many different levels, and we are excited about this partnership where we share ideas, projects, and people across the border.”

The sharing is not over. Next up: Chelsea Coleman from Rose Wine Bar is meeting with an art collective based in Colonia Federal to discuss an art exchange, and Miguel Marshall from Centro Ventures is bringing a group from Mexico for the South Park Walkabout on March 19.

For more information about Barrios Hermanos, “like” its Facebook page.



A home in California under foreclosure. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

A home in California under foreclosure. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Only 6 Percent of San Diego

Metro Homes Still ‘Underwater’

Times of San Diego

Some 17,000 home in the San Diego metropolitan area regained equity in 2015, bringing the percentage of homeowners “underwater” down to 6.0 percent, according to a report released Thursday.

Irvine-based  CoreLogic said 34,671 local homes were underwater in the fourth quarter of 2015, compared to 51,821 in the same quarter of 2014, when 8.9 percent of all San Diego-area homes had negative equity.

Nationwide, some 1 million borrowers regained equity in 2015, though 8.5 percent of all homes remain underwater in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Nevada and Florida still had negative equity rates near 20 percent.

“In Q4 of last year home equity increased by $680 billion or 11.5 percent, the 13th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth,” said Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “The improvement in equity reflects positive home prices and continued deleveraging of mortgage balances by households.”

“The number of homeowners with more than 20 percent equity is rising rapidly,” added Anand Nallathambi, president and CEO of CoreLogic. “Higher prices driven largely by tight supply are certainly a big reason for the rise, but continued population growth, household formation and ultralow interest rates are also factors.

“Looking ahead in 2016, we expect home equity levels to continue to build, which is a good thing for the long-term health of the U.S. economy,” she said.

CoreLogic is a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled services provider.


Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal

On Suit Challenging Bond Financing

The California Supreme Court on Thursday declined to hear San Diegans for Open Government’s final attempt to prevent the city of San Diego from using lease-revenue bonds to improve streets and build neighborhood infrastructure such as fire stations, lifeguard towers and libraries.

The decision leaves intact lower court rulings that upheld the constitutionality of the bond financing mechanism, which has been used by local governments throughout California since it was ruled constitutional in 1998.

SDOG and lawyer Cory Briggs had sought to invalidate lease-revenue bonds to finance library projects in Skyline, Mission Hills/Hillcrest, San Ysidro and San Carlos; fire station projects in City Heights, Hillcrest and Skyline; sea wall repairs in Mission Beach, and other neighborhood projects.

The bonds were delayed by the lawsuit, but eventually issued after a lower court and appellate court rejected SDOG’s arguments. A parallel action to prevent the city from refinancing of Petco Park bonds was dismissed but remains pending on appeal.

Briggs had previously lost a case that similarly challenged the validity of lease-revenue bonds issued by the city of Anaheim (Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers, etc. v. City of Anaheim) but that case was not appealed by his client, Inland Oversight Committee.


Local Supplies from Desalination

Plant Certified as Drought-Resilient

State regulators have certified the supply of potable water from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant as drought-resilient, reducing the regional impacts of emergency water-use mandates the state imposed in June 2015, the San Diego County Water Authority reported.

Certification by the State Water Resources Control Board lowers the regional aggregate water conservation goal from 20 percent to about 13 percent, though water-use targets will continue to vary by local water agency.

On Feb. 2, the State Board extended mandatory conservation measures for water agencies statewide through October and said it would reconsider the regulations after assessing reservoir levels as well as snowpack and regional water supply conditions in April. The State Board also approved supply credits toward meeting conservation targets for agencies that have developed local, drought-resilient supplies since 2013.

“The state’s approval of local supply credits means that our local communities’ investments in drought-resilient water supplies will be rewarded during dry periods, and reinforces our region’s supply diversification strategy to improve water reliability,” said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors.


One LLP Law Firm Opens Del Mar Office

One LLP an intellectual property, technology and media law firm, has opened a new office in the Del Mar area and has added partners Nicholas Janda and Neil Ray. Janda and Mr. Ray will be joining attorneys Mitchell Brook and Stephen Lobbin.

With offices in Newport Beach and Beverly Hills, One LLP handles patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret cases; patent prosecution; entertainment and media litigation; and entertainment and technology transactions.

Mr. Janda brings nearly a decade of IP counseling experience, and has represented clients in matters of biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and telecommunications patent litigation.

A technology and IP transactional attorney, Ray focuses his practice on data privacy and cyber-security. He was formerly with Sheppard Mullin.


USD School of Business to Host

International Business Summit

The University of San Diego School of Business will host the inaugural Procopio International Business Summit March 17-18. The summit will bring together executives, investors and advisers from Mexico and countries in Central and South America who are interested in learning how to do business in the United States.

Jaime Alonso Gómez, dean of the USD School of Business, and Mike Lawless, clinical professor of management, will give opening remarks, followed by a series of panels on investing in the U.S. real estate market, tax planning and immigration considerations as well as a feature session on how Brazil can penetrate the U.S. market and case studies on entrepreneurs in the United States.

School of Business alumnus Fernando Carrillo, with Ibarra CPA, will lead a panel discussion on structuring cross-border deals and School of Business alumnus Sioma Waisburd, director of Chosen Foods and Founder and CEO of Whole e Nature, will lead a panel discussion on developing an international intellectual property portfolio.

Registration is $600 for general attendees and $450 for USD alumni and faculty and government employees. For more information or to register, visit the USD-Procopio website:



Tidewater Goby. (Photo: Brenton Spies)

Tidewater Goby. (Photo: Brenton Spies)

Endangered Gobies Find Temporary Refuge

From El Niño at Birch Aquarium at Scripps

Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography is temporarily housing 300 Gobies — an endangered fish species native to California — to shelter them from the impacts of El Niño.

El Niño storms have the potential to inundate the habitat of these small coastal fish (Eucyclogobius newberryi).

“Birch Aquarium at Scripps is proud to participate in the Tidewater Goby conservation efforts to help protect this endangered species,” says executive director Harry Helling. “Conservation is a critical component to our mission and this initiative is just one way we demonstrate our commitment to protecting the planet, especially the ocean, for future generations.”

Nearly 300 fish were collected at multiple locations at Camp Pendleton by biologists and brought to Birch Aquarium. The number of animals collected represents less than 10 percent of the total population of the species, but will serve as an important safeguard during the rest of the El Niño season.

Members of the public can see the fish in the aquarium’s nursery, located in the Hall of Fishes. In addition, the public is invited to learn more about how they can help save threatened and endangered ocean animals on Endangered Species Day on May 20.

The Tidewater Goby will be returned to the wild once the current El Niño storm season has passed, May. Each population will be returned to the particular lagoon from which they were collected. “We hope that the population will continue to grow upon return to the wild,” says Helling.

Former SDSU Football Coach to Lead

San Diego Bowl Game Association

City News Service

Ted Tollner (Photo:

Ted Tollner (Photo:

Former San Diego State University head football coach Ted Tollner has been elected president of the 2016 San Diego Bowl Game Association, organizer of the annual Holiday Bowl and Poinsettia Bowl college football games.

The nonprofit organization’s board of directors elected Tollner to succeed Kimberley Layton, who becomes chairwoman of the board.

“I am honored to be a part of the bowl games and look forward to another terrific year for our region,” Tollner said. “I am excited to work with a civic-minded group of leaders and to continue a great college football tradition here in San Diego.”

The Holiday Bowl is in its 39th year and will once again bring to San Diego a match-up of top teams from the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences. The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, in its 12th year, will feature a Mountain West team against bowl-eligible BYU. Tollner served as head football coach at the University of Southern California and San Diego State University.

At USC, he led the Trojans to the 1984 Pac-10 Championship and a Rose Bowl victory over Ohio State. He was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year for 1984. In 1994, Tollner took over an SDSU team that had posted just four winning seasons in the previous eleven and led the team to their first post-season bowl game in seven years.

He also coached in the NFL for 15 seasons, at both the assistant level and as offensive coordinator for various teams, including the San Diego Chargers.

Tollner retired in 2011 after a 48-year coaching career. He was elected to the bowl association’s board of directors in 2013.

Other 2016 elected officers include Marlee Ehrenfeld, president-elect; Paul Hering, treasurer; and Dan Moore, secretary.


Record Membership Reported

At San Diego Credit Unions

City News Service

Mission Federal Credit Union in El Cajon

Mission Federal Credit Union in El Cajon

Membership in local credit unions hit a record in San Diego County, indicating a new trend in personal banking, according to fourth quarter 2015 figures released Thursday by a credit union association.

More than 947,900 individuals are members of credit unions headquartered in the county, an increase of almost 52,000 or 5.2 percent over the year before, according to the most recent publicly-filed data.

“This continued growth of consumers selecting credit unions as their financial institution is pushing more money into the San Diego County economy in the form of first mortgages, home equity lines of credit, new and used auto loans, business loans, and credit cards,” Matt Wyre of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues said in a statement. “It’s also expanding the opportunity for local residents to financially educate themselves and independently make informed choices as they work, attend school, and live in the community.”

The concept of consumer-owned banking is making its mark on communities across San Diego County and California as the state’s economy continues outpacing national economic growth and local credit unions experience an influx of new members, according to Wrye.

Credit unions in many of the state’s regions are collectively experiencing record highs in membership, a trend continuing in the fourth quarter of 2015 even as a multitude of banking options exist, Wrye said.

In San Diego County, deposits hit a record $14.1 billion (increasing 6.8 percent) fueled by checking, savings, and money market accounts, while loans hit a record $11 billion (increasing 18.2 percent) driven by first mortgages, autos, and business lending.

Out of 348 credit unions in California, 19 are headquartered in San Diego County.


Personnel Announcements

Sarah Kinsella Joins Crowe PR

Sarah Kinsella

Sarah Kinsella

Crowe PR, a San Diego-based public relations firm, has named Sarah Kinsella as junior account executive. In her new role, Kinsella will support the team with media relations, writing and research. She will also participate in creative concept development and social media campaigns. She will be based out of the company’s Downtown San Diego offices.

Kinsella previously was a junior account executive at Olive PR Solutions, where she worked with local media on building brand awareness for a variety of clients, and was involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives. Kinsella began her public relations career at Havas Formula, where she supported the team with media relations campaigns and expert positioning programs.

Kinsella holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of San Diego.


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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: