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Daily Business Report-March 30, 2017

Daily Business Report-March 30, 2017

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Pyoung K. Yi)

Leap Frog Landing

Senior Chief Special Operator Bill Brown, assigned to the U.S. Navy parachute demonstration team, the Leap Frogs, prepares to land during a skydiving demonstration Wednesday at the USS Midway Museum.

The Leap Frogs are based in San Diego and perform aerial parachute demonstrations around the nation in support of Naval Special Warfare and Navy recruiting.


One of the restored gate houses. (Photo by Richard Seignious)

One of the restored gate houses. (Photo by Richard Seignious)

Restoration of Historic Gate Houses

Hailed by Friends of Balboa Park

Friends of Balboa Park hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday to commemorate the restoration of the historic gate houses that welcome visitors into the park on the west side of the Cabrillo Bridge.

“The gate houses have been restored to their original splendor from the 1915 Exposition, thanks to donors, volunteers and local preservation experts,” said Friends of Balboa Park Executive Director John Bolthouse. “Beautiful structures now welcome visitors to the west end of the Park, just as was intended more than a century ago.”

The structures were originally installed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition as ticket booths for the main entry to the park. Over the decades, they fell into disrepair until Friends of Balboa Park accepted them as a restoration project in 2014. The project took an estimated 18 months and cost approximately $140,000. One of the primary volunteers involved in the project was local philanthropist and Friends board of directors member Jim Hughes, who helped see the project through from beginning to end.


SoccerCity Developers Gather

Needed Signatures in Record Time

Developers proposing the $1 billion SoccerCity project in Mission Valley said Wednesday they’ve gathered enough signatures to force the San Diego City Council to approve the project or submit it to city voters.

The signatures will need to be validated by the Registrar of Voters, but a spokesman said the developers have gathered 108,000 — far more than the 71,646 required under city law for initiatives and higher than their own goal of 100,000.

— San Diego Union-Tribune

Read more…



ViaCyte Working with Gore & Associates

to Improve its Synthetic Pancreas Device

Xconomy San Diego

San Diego-based ViaCyte said today it is collaborating with W.L. Gore & Associates, the privately held company that makes Gore-Tex fabrics, medical devices, and other products, in a bid to improve its stem cell-derived treatment for diabetes.

Under their collaborative research agreement, ViaCyte said it will work with Gore to develop a next-generation version of the bio-engineered packet that ViaCyte fills with stem cells that have been engineered to become pancreatic cells. The packet, currently about the size of a stick of gum, is designed to be implanted just under the skin.

Read more…


Airport Authority’s Thella Bowens

to Receive Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award

Thella Bowens

Thella Bowens

The San Diego Regional EDC will honor Thella Bowens, retiring president and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, with the Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award on April 20.

The award will be presented at the EDC’s annual dinner at SeaWorld San Diego.

Bowens, whose retirement is effective on Friday, has been head of the Airport Authority since 2003. Under her leadership, San Diego International Airport has grown to become the busiest single-runway in the country. San Diego now has non-stop daily service to London, Tokyo and Los Cabos. Beginning later this year, non-stop daily service to Frankfurt and Zurich will be added. The airport has expanded Terminal 2 and added a new Rental Car Center.


Rendering of the Estates at Canyon Grove in Escondido

Rendering of the Estates at Canyon Grove in Escondido (Courtesy of Shea Homes)

Shea Homes San Diego to Open

Five New Neighborhoods in April

Five new communities and 16 new model homes will be unveiled across San Diego next month by Shea Homes, which will celebrate grand opening events from Chula Vista to Mission Valley to Escondido.

On Saturday, April 22, as Shea will introduce new model homes at Lucent II at Civita in Mission Valley, and at Element and Z at Millenia in Chula Vista. The following Saturday, April 29, the company will open model homes at Heritage Collection and The Estates at Canyon Grove in Escondido.

The openings offer a full range, from attached homes from the high $300,000s to spacious country homes in a more rural setting, according to Vanessa Linn, vice president of sales and marketing at Shea Homes San Diego.

Lucent II is comprised of several five-story buildings with interior elevator access and an enclosed two-garage on street level. Lucent II lives like a single-level home, in a penthouse configuration with wrap-around balconies.

It is now priced from the high $600,000s, with no Mello-Roos fees.

At Element and Z in Chula Vista, VA and FHA financing is available for urban homes priced from the high $300,000s. It s one of the first new neighborhoods in the Millenia master-planned community.

At Element, Shea Homes is building 70 detached residences configured in a motor court design. Ranging from 1,775 to 2,248 square feet, Element offers three to five bedrooms, two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half baths, and a two-car side-by-side garage. Z features 106 row homes ranging from 1,288 to 1,475 square feet with two to three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, and a two-car side-by-side garage.

New homes in The Estates and Heritage Collection are priced from the $600,000s and do not have Mello-Roos fees.


Veteran Hotelier Tuni Kyi Appointed

to San Diego Convention Center Board

Tune Kyi will join the seven-member board that sets policy for the corporation

Tune Kyi will join the seven-member board that sets policy for the corporation

The San Diego City Council approved Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s appointment of Tuni Kyi to the San Diego Convention Center Corporation Board of Directors. The council also voted to reappoint Gil Cabrera and Candace M. Carroll to the board.

Kyi will join the seven-member board that sets policy for the corporation and fills the vacancy left by Mohsen Khalegi, who stepped down to become its senior vice president of business development.

Kyi retired from Marriott International after 37 years of service and started a consulting firm in January 2017. He has served on the boards of the San Diego Tourism Authority, San Diego Lodging Industry Association, and Tourism Marketing District.

Kyi joined Marriott in 1979 at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Missouri and most recently was general manager at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. Over the years, Tuni has held a variety of key property and regional positions, including chief lodging services officer for the Americas Division of Marriott International.

Carroll, an appellate attorney with more than 30 years of experience handling appeals in the federal, state and bankruptcy appellate courts, has been named the 2017 chair of the Convention Center board. Cabrera serves as the board’s vice chair.


Another Tax Day Deadline

There’s more than one important Tax Day in April. The second installment of the 2016-2017 secured property taxes is due on April 10, San Diego Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister reminded taxpayers.

On April 10, the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s five branch locations will be open for their usual business hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. instead of offering extended hours.

“E-pay is what we’re all about. More than half of taxpayers now pay their property taxes electronically. Join the movement and pay online at our website,,” said McAllister.

Any payments made after the close of business on April 10 will incur a 10 percent penalty plus a $10 fee. Avoiding late penalties is simple; just log onto to pay your property tax bill right away. Online payments are free, fast and secure if made by electronic check (e-check).


SDSU Grad Programs Ranked Among Nation’s Best

San Diego State University’s graduate programs in education and aerospace engineering are ranked among the nation’s best in the latest U.S. News & World Report issue of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

SDSU’s College of Education ranked No. 57 in the nation among all universities and No. 39 among public universities, making it the highest ranked graduate-level education program in San Diego and 8th in California. The college’s online master’s degree program also ranked among the best at No. 22 in the nation.

SDSU’s aerospace engineering program in the College of Engineering ranked No. 37 in the nation and No. 7 in California among all universities.

Other graduate programs currently ranked in the top 25 include rehabilitation counseling (No. 10), speech and language pathology (No. 24), and clinical psychology (No. 25).


Personnel Announcements

Veteran San Francisco Nonprofit Executive

Named CEO of Jewish Community Foundation

Beth Sirull

Beth Sirull

The Board of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego has appointed Beth Sirull as the new president and CEO, and holder of the Miriam and Jerome Katzin Presidential Chair. Sirull most recently served as president and CEO of Pacific Community Ventures, a combined for-profit/nonprofit organization based in San Francisco dedicated to creating jobs in low-income communities.

Active in her Jewish community, Sirull served as chair of the board of the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay and on the boards of the Tzedek Economic Development Fund and her temple sisterhood. She is a published author and an accomplished public speaker.

Sirull received the 2015 James Irvine Foundation California Leadership Award, recognizing Californians who are advancing innovative, proven and replicable solutions to critical issues facing the state. She was named to Forbes’ list of 30 Top Social Entrepreneurs in 2012 and to the San Francisco Business Times’ list of Most Influential Women in Business in 2013.

Jeremy Pearl will serve as the foundation’s executive vice president and will continue to serve as chief financial officer.


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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: