UCSD’s Marsha Chandler, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, is consulting with representatives of the 1,400-member Academic Senate on assembling a search committee to replace Robert Conn. Dean of the Irwin and Joan Jacobs School of Engineering, Conn unexpectedly announced last month he was leaving the position after eight years to return July 1 to his position as professor of engineering. Conn leaves the school in excellent shape. The engineering school has 146 faculty, 3,855 undergraduates and 853 graduate students with plans to add 100 faculty and increase student enrollment to 4,500 undergraduates and 1,500 graduates.

Observers say the time also is ripe to bring in a nationally known figure as the school’s chair, especially with UCSD expected to publicly embark in January 2003 on a $1 billion, seven-year fund-raising campaign. No rush exists to fill Conn’s slot, especially since the recent decision to name Frieder Seible, former chair of structural engineering, as the engineering school’s executive dean. It is the first such position at UCSD.

***

After months, years, in some cases more than a decade of effort, Downtown San Diego commercial interests have approved and agreed to fund an economic development program that will include its own director, staff and cost between $300,000 and $500,000 a year to run. “It is an amazing and great thing for Downtown,” says Gina Champion-Cain, the new president of the Downtown San Diego Partnership who made the program her top priority. “This whole notion of an economic development plan for Downtown absolutely facilitates the smart growth for this region.”

The program was approved following a late night meeting on Feb. 27 that included organizations such as the Partnership, Centre City Development Corp., Port District, the city of San Diego, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., and private entities like Burnham Real Estate, Grubb & Ellis, Southwest Value Partners, Lankford Development and others involved with Downtown. How much each will contribute is to be decided late this month when a detailed business plan is finalized.

At one point there was talk of putting the effort under EDC’s roof. That, however, raised eyebrows of Downtown advocates who viewed EDC as having a double-decade North City bias. EDC wasn’t thrilled with the idea either. Instead, EDC will provide dollars, contact and research services to an independent economic marketing organization is housed in Partnership offices. Champion-Cain praises EDC for agreeing to take an active role, and especially singles out Hank Cunningham, director of the city’s Economic Development Department, as a key to bringing the program about.

***

Look for news this month on the launch of a Downtown residential marketing campaign with a high-profile leader and funding from developers and the public sector.

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Interviews with Donna Alm, Arthur Laffer, George Chandler, Michael Tuck and Stephen All are featured this month on “Heart of San Diego,” the Fred Lewis-hosted television show that airs in prime time on ITV. The full schedule is on Page 21 of San Diego Metropolitan magazine.

***

The shelf life of last December’s San Diego Metropolitan is enjoying added length on the office door of San Diego Unified School District board member Frances O’Neill Zimmerman. The holiday cover features Manpower San Diego partners Mel Katz and Phil Blair together under the mistletoe, with appropriately dyspeptic grimaces. Katz led the Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce’s concerted effort in 2000 to unseat Zimmerman, who retained her school board seat by a percentage point. Now she retains the magazine, posted as keystone in her door collage with two holiday greeting cards, one with an attached address label from the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility and another from the editorial and opinion staff of The San Diego Union-Tribune, which strenuously endorsed her opponent. Zimmerman did not respond to requests for the meaning of the collage.

***

Dave Nuffer moves as close as he’ll ever get to Padres heaven on or about March 15 when Nuffer Smith Tucker Inc. takes possession of 8,703 square feet of the top floor of 707 Broadway, the old Home Tower developed by Charles Fletcher and actually starting to look good under the redevelopment of Chris McKellar. It’s a six-year lease, says Tim Cowden of Grubb & Ellis, representing the building. Randall Wood of the Sande Co. represented Nuffer. The space overlooks the Padres’ ballpark, finally under full construction again. “Mr. Tucker got THE view,” says NST President Bill Trumpfheller. “But we all have good views. Dave will be at the ballpark more than he’ll be in the office; he’ll be looking up at us.” Incidentally, business is good. “We’re growing, not shrinking,” says Trumpfheller. Cowden reports that the application of the building’s new skin should be done by mid-month, with completion of the ground floor lobby by the end of March. The building now has 108,023 square feet leased, with 58,017 still available, although a letter of intent gets dibs on 27,000.

***

Bycor General Contractors is pushing ahead toward a grand opening of the 35,000-square-foot expansion of the Southeast Medical Center at 286 Euclid Ave. Twenty-nine years ago, the building opened as California’s first medical center owned and operated by black physicians. The expansion will house primary and specialty care serves and kidney dialysis for the most medically underserved area of San Diego. “Getting the financing we needed for this project has been a 15-year uphill battle,” says Dr. Rodney Hood, an SMC Associates partner and past president of the National Medical Association. Bob McNeely at Union Bank met the need. Howard Anderson Architects designed the expansion. Gambro Healthcare, a dialysis center, will occupy the building this month. Dr. Leon Kelley, is managing partner of Southeast Medical Center Associates.

***


Lindsey Hogg (left), of Carlsbad High School and Taylor Reeve, of La Costa Canyon High School, listen as Amy Toosley from the Gemological Institute of America explains her department’s tasks and goals for the nationwide kickoff of Groundhog Job Shadow Day last month. The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Workforce Partnership and Junior Achievement helped match more than 100 local students from Carlsbad and La Costa Canyon high schools with 60 North County and San Diego businesses.

***

Set to be voted on March 19 by the San Diego City Council is a $1 million loan program to help up to 20 individuals or families buy a home Downtown. Eligible buyers must have incomes no greater than $50,000 or $77,000, depending on household size. The city will provide up to a $75,000 second trust deed loan at 0 percent interest and with no payments due for five years. The biggest catch comes when the home is sold: The city shares in any price appreciation, an amount that is in proportion to its original investment.

The program was developed by the city’s redevelopment agency, the Centre City Development Corp., and is being run by Dale Royal, an agency senior planner. Seven lenders have signed on to participate. A similar effort in the early 1990s was a bust, in part because it was very restrictive on eligible projects. This version includes any new or re-sale housing in the redevelopment areas. As the program nears reality, Royal, a senior planner, is getting popular. “The phone is ringing off the hook,” he says. “We get four or five phone calls a day. It is great. Between the real estate agents, lenders and developers, we know there is a hungry market for homes Downtown, especially for people in this income range who need this to help them make their dream come true.” For more, call Royal at (619) 533-7108.

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County Assessor Greg Smith is offering 20,000 small businesses the opportunity to file their business property statements online at www.sdarcc.com. Those eligible are getting a letter from Smith providing filing instructions and a password. Call (858) 506-6100 for information.

***

The chairs and railings went up first, but Starbucks Coffee has since applied for sidewalk permits for its two Gaslamp Quarter coffee shops., one at 345 Market St. and the other at 501 F St. (The latter is a concept store that features entertainment.) That makes five Starbucks so far Downtown, with more probably on the way. “We’ve got lots more corners,” notes Beverly Schroeder, a CCDC senior planner.

***

Five seawater desalination plants that combined could produce nearly 120 million gallons of drinking water a day have been proposed to the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California by cities and water agencies along the Pacific Coast between San Diego and Los Angeles. A proposal by the San Diego County Water Authority seeks to locate a plant at the Encina Power Station in Carlsbad. That operation would produce 50 million gallons per day, or 56,000 acre-feet per year, for use in Carlsbad, Oceanside and other county areas. “We’re really pleased by the number of proposals we received,” says Stephen N. Arakawa, MWD’s manager of water resource management. “These proposals will be reviewed, and those that are responsive will be invited to submit more detailed documents by June 28. We hope to have agreements negotiated and finalized by June 30, 2003, and we could see plants built and operating in 2007.” MWD will pay up to $250 an acre-foot for potable water produced by the plants.

***

Mike Neal of H.G. Fenton is this year’s president of the Building Industry Association of San Diego County. Kent Aden of the Otay Ranch Co. is v.p. and Carlene Matchniff of Pardee Homes is secretary and treasurer.

***

Anthony Furlano Associates, an independent real estate company in Coronado, has merged with Coldwell Banker Coronado. Furlano’s team adds 16 agents to Coldwell’s existing office of about 20 agents. Furlano worked with Coldwell Banker in 1980 and was the first Coldwell agent to serve Coronado. He created his own firm in 1999.

***


A 90-ton concrete panel is moved into place at Iron Mountain’s 187,625-square-foot operation at Siempre Viva Business Park on Otay Mesa near the U.S./Mexico border port of entry. Lusardi Construction Co.’s John Dempsey, the executive v.p. who is in charge of construction, says the international full-service provider of records and information management services will move into the building at 8661 Kerns St. during April. When complete, the building will house more than 2.7 million file boxes.

***

An annual survey released by the National Association of College and University Business Officers reports National University’s endowment continues to grow, even in a year when two out of every three college and university endowments declined in value. Among the 610 colleges and universities represented in the survey, National University ranked 226. With the market value of its endowment listed at $160.25 million as of June 30, 2001, the 30-year-old university rises nine positions from the previous year’s study.
It also surpasses the University of California at San Diego Foundation, ranked 234 at $154.5 million, to become the largest university endowment in San Diego County. The market value of UCSD Foundation’s endowment declined 2.6 percent from last year.

The University of San Diego’s endowment, ranked 311, decreased by 10.5 percent, from $107.9 million to $96.6 million. San Diego State University and Foundation, by contrast, grew 3.5 percent, from $57.1 million to $59.1 million. It is ranked 390 this year.

***

Taylor Ball of California Inc., a division of Taylor Construction Group, has changed its name to Taylor Frager. The change is in recognition of Jim Frager, who has led the California offices for four years.

***

Three San Diego-based firms were among Training magazine’s 2002 Top 100 companies unsurpassed in developing human capital. They are Qualcomm in the 28th spot; Callaway Golf Co., 83rd; and the Hotel del Coronado, 100th. These companies spent more than $6 billion on training and development initiatives in the past year. On average, these 100 firms provided 63 hours of training per employee, funded by an average 4 percent of payroll, while the industry norm is 2.6 percent. About Qualcomm, Tammy Grimes, executive editor of Training, says, “Even in these less-than-stellar economic times, Qualcomm is among those select companies that has raised the bar with its training initiatives,” and that the company “has embraced training and workforce development as a mission-critical strategy, and accordingly, has dedicated significant resources to its training efforts.”

***

The new leader of the 36-attorney intellectual property group at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison is Alexandra Mahaney, a firm partner. Mahaney has an extensive background in IP litigation. Her patent and trade secret cases have involved diverse technologies ranging from mechanical devices to biotechnology inventions, such as DNA probes and genetically engineered plants.

***

As the first resident/business to move into Sebastian & deFreitas’ Rowhomes on F project Downtown, Gary London says his London Group is now officially known as “The Village People.” The offices are on the ground floor while London, a San Diego Metropolitan Real Property columnist, lives above with all his electronic gadgets.

***

Having rid itself of its “Old” nomenclature, The Globe Theatres lost a bit of the “new” as well when Douglas C. Evans, managing and producing director since July 2000, left Jan. 16 after a mere 18 months. Reportedly suffering a kind of Connecticut Yankee homesickness, Evans becomes the executive director of the Connecticut Commission for the Arts. Inside sources describe much celebrating in the cocktail lounge at The Prado the night of Evans’ precipitous departure. Evans’ predecessor, Tom Hall, who made protracted adieus while the theater searched for his replacement, was a veteran of 20 years in the position.

Craig Noel became principal director in 1937 and artistic director in 1942 (he took the title of executive producer when Jack O’Brien arrived in 1981). Noel engendered love and loyalty, and with his Irish wit and facile tongue, O’Brien articulated that spirit of camaraderie. Whenever he was in town, staff spirits soared. Set to direct two shows on Broadway this season and currently in London rehearsing for the West End production of “The Fully Monty,” O’Brien has not been in residence at the Balboa Park complex very much of late.

Nancy Higgins is the theater’s new marketing and p.r. director, replacing Jack Eldon, who returns to his former gig at Disney Theatricals. In further developments, board member Garet B. Clark, regional president of the San Diego office of Northern Trust Bank, is interim managing director. Additionally, the board named executive committee member Sue Major, v.p. and managing director of AT Kearney, to head a search committee for Evans’ replacement. At last report, the spirit among Globe employees is optimistic.

***

The Corporate Directors Forum is honoring six San Diego business leaders for demonstrating the highest standards of ethical conduct, integrity and corporate leadership, and for making tremendous, positive contributions to the community. The honorees and their award categories are: Richard Collato, corporate governance; Peter Farrell, enhancement of economic value; Joseph Cook Jr., companies in transition; William K. Geppert, corporate citizenship; Julie Meier Wright, not-for-profit board; and Anne L. Evans, lifetime achievement.

***


Palm Plaza, a 40,755-square-foot business park in Escondido, has been sold for $3.9 million. The buyer, Smiser San Diego, was represented by Steve Rowland of Business Real Estate. The seller was Amprop Santa Fe, an affiliate of American Property Enterprises. Jay Alexander, Vic Gausepohl and Kirk Allison of Colliers International and Joe McDermott of Coldwell Banker Commercial North County Properties represented the seller.

***

Now available at bookstores is “Teach Yourself Travel Writing,” a book by local writer Cynthia Dial. Stickered at $12.95, it is published by the contemporary books division of McGraw-Hill. For more, click on www.travelwritingbycynthiadial.com.

***

The new cable channel lineup of County Television Network listed in San Diego Scene last month contained some errors. The correct spots to find the programming are: Cox North — Channel 19; Cox South — Channel 24; Time Warner — Channel 22; and Adelphia — Channel 66. San Diego Metropolitan regrets the error.

***

Allegis Development Services has been named the city’s representative and project manager for Chula Vista’s new police headquarters. The 140,000-square-foot project includes two separate building structures: a main four-level building that will accommodate all essential police functions, and a parking structure. Highland Partnership Inc. is the design builder and Carrier Johnson the architect. This is Allegis’ first project outside of Downtown since serving as construction manager on The Four Seasons Aviara Hotel in 1997. Other projects the company is involved with include Treo @ Kettner, KUSI Mixed Use, One Santa Fe Place, Renaissance and the Parkloft condos.

***

A raffle for a Kurzweil keyboard signed by Elton John and Billy Joel will take place during an April 28 concert to benefit The Storefront, a program that helps homeless and runaway youth in San Diego. The Lights of Hope Benefit Concert will take place from 6 to 10 p.m. at Buffalo Joe’s, 600 Fifth Ave., in the Gaslamp Quarter. Photocharity and the San Diego Blues Society are presenting the event. Raffle tickets are $10 each or three for $20. Concert tickets are $30 each. For more information, call (760) 967-3665.

***

Steele Canyon Golf Club in Jamul is moving from a public to private course. Priced at $25,000 each, the first 60 founding memberships for the 27-hole, Gary Player-designed course were released last month. During the transition, Steele Canyon will remain open to the public, says Larry Doyle, the club’s owner.

“Steele Canyon will be the first golf course in the East County to offer a private club membership,” Doyle says. “East County has grown and matured beautifully over the last decade. In addition, thousands of urban homes are being built Downtown with easy access to us. These markets are ready for a private club that rivals the best clubs in North County. The transition will take place over the next couple of years, so it won’t affect our regular play. We’re very excited with the new clubhouse and other course upgrades which are being planned.” For more, click on www.steelecanyon.com.

***

The Jewish Community Foundation has a new Internet address, www.jcfsandiego.org. Launched last month, the site provides an introduction to resources for Jewish and general philanthropy in San Diego as well as providing a complete overview of the foundation’s giving options. “The new site has created a more convenient way to inform donors of the numerous programs offered by the foundation,” says Marjory Kaplan, executive director.

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The San Diego Concourse and Pasadena Conference and Exhibition Center are partnering in a new Sister Centers program designed to help both improve the quality of their services to their customers and their bottom line performance. The news was announced by Rich Singer, v.p. and director of the concourse, and James Canfield, executive director of the Pasadena Center.

Pasadena offers 32,000 square feet of exhibit space and 20 meeting rooms. San Diego features 64,000 square feet of exhibit space and 18 meeting rooms. Both organizations also operate performing arts venues: the 2,975-seat San Diego Civic theater and the 3,029-seat Pasadena Civic. During a three month test, staff members from each organization will be assigned a “teammate” who shares the same professional expertise and responsibilities. Those individuals will exchange information and pay in-person visits at the sister venues. The idea is to look at each entity as an entire operation. “Taking a total view of one facility can be very insightful and, in some cases, more accurate than a single-issue survey,” says Singer.

***


Standard Pacific Homes’ newly opened Maravu development in Leucadia attracted nearly 2,000 people to its February grand opening, landing five reservations by month’s end. Priced north of $800,000, the 43 homes sit on lots averaging a half acre. All include a host of normally optional energy efficient features. Examples are a 24-panel Astropower Sunline solar system, water-saving plumbing fixtures, Takagi tankless water heater, dual glazed vinyl windows and radiant Techshield roof sheathing. Landscaping is lush and tropical — “plantation” is how the marketing folks describe it — featuring mature palms. The first home will be ready for occupancy this summer.

***

On March 12 at 7 p.m., UCSD and Salk Institute researchers present “Stem Cell Research: Where Science Meets Politics and Ethics” to discuss the debate over human stem cell research. The free public lecture will address human reproductive and therapeutic cloning, descriptions of human and mouse embryonic stem cells, cell transplantation therapy for diabetes, President Bushs stem-cell research decision and more. Speakers will include Theodore Friedmann, director of UCSD’s program in human gene therapy; Fred H. Gage, professor of the genetics lab at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Lawrence Goldstein, UCSD professor of cellular and molecular medicine; and Fred Levine, UCSD associate professor of pediatrics. For more information on the event at Price Center Theater call (858) 534-8010.

***

The Bronze Triangle CDC, a resident-led community development corporation for the neighborhoods of Grant Hill, Stockton and Logan Heights, has retained Stoorza Communications to assist with media and community relations support. The organization’s goal is to create a self-reliant, self-sustaining community through economic and community development. More specifically, the Bronze Triangle CDC strives to improve schools and neighborhood safety, create affordable housing opportunities and enhance the community through beautification and revitalization. Residents are urged to participate in the effort by utilizing their resources, talents and energy.

***

Alliant International University is offering its next Global Logistics Specialist program beginning March 27. The program is supported with funding by the Port of San Diego, Sony Technology Center-San Diego and the regional Sony Logistics Group. Registration is under way for five courses. Classes meet from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the university’s Scripps Ranch campus. Information and the schedule can be viewed at www.alliant.edu/usicb/gls/index.htm.

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As two of its top priorities for 2002, the San Diego Chapter of the Associated General Contractors plans to raise $2.5 million in funding to develop a new SDSU construction education program, as well as serve as a partner in an outreach program designed to provide training to minority- and women-owned businesses with the city of San Diego. The AGC already has raised more than $1.7 million, which will provide for faculty salaries and support program growth.

***

SDSU’s College of Extended Studies has designed a new emergency management program to help meet local business needs for crisis management preparation. The two-day program will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during disaster preparedness month, April 4-5. The seminar will help managers create a crisis management plan and provide the tools to get started. This workshop includes ready-to-use models, a complete emergency program implementation package and hands-on participation. The cost for the program is $299. Call (619) 594-6255 or visit www.ces.sdsu.edu for information.

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The Bath & Kitchen Co., a San Diego-based Peter Williams Co., has completed a $175,000 remodel of four public restrooms at the Kellogg West Conference Center in Pasadena. Subcontractors were Roma Tile of Miramar and Skip James Painting of San Diego. Project superintendent was Joe Stout.

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Two San Diego attorneys who are authorities on bankruptcy law will participate in Law Day 2002, hosted March 16 by the San Diego Central Library in Downtown. Lawyers Mark L. Miller and Michael G. Doan at 10 a.m. will present “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Bankruptcy.” The event, lasting until 2 p.m., will feature members of the California Bar Association giving free private counsel on bankruptcy, personal injury, medical malpractice, consumer protection, family law, immigration, civil litigation, criminal law and other areas of interest. For more information, call the social sciences department of the library at (619) 236-5894.

***

Hershey Technologies Inc., an imaging scanner maintenance supplier based in La Jolla, and Tri-Space Group Inc., a Poway carpet maintenance company, have received 2001 Partnership for Excellence awards from Geico auto insurance’s Office of Quality Administration. The annual awards recognize business partners that demonstrate dedication, customer focus and fanatical service to Geico.

***


Wood framing is nearly complete on the first phase of Mission Hills Commons. The building, at 726 W. Washington St., is being developed as a joint venture with Mission Hills Investor and Carter Reese & Associates. Phase I consists of two 50-unit apartment buildings.

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Alternative Strategies on April 20 presents a Women’s Health and Beauty Forum with speakers Janette Gray from the Center for Health and Wellbeing and Carol Hollan, San Diego’s first female board-certified plastic surgeon. A physiologist, chiropractor, dentist, fertility specialist, nutritionist and personal trainer also are scheduled to speak. The 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. event at the Mission Valley Doubletree includes free admission, lunch, parking and raffle prizes. Advanced registration is required at www.health-beautyforum.com or (619) 820-3677.

***

Word Transport Authority Inc., with offices in El Cajon, is working with the U.S. Department of Commerce as a global business partner in developing and marketing the WordStar Project. WordStar is an economic engine for emerging nations. The company is working directly with Julia Rauner Guerrero, international trade specialist at the U.S. Commercial Services office in San Diego, to analyze target markets.

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A Coronado woman, 17-year-old Sarah Roemer, appears on the current cover of the Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly. She already has appeared in several national publications through Nouveau Models of La Jolla.

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You don’t have to live in Hollywood to experience the magic of Oscar night March 24. San Diego’s own Academy-sanctioned Oscar Night America party at The Westgate Hotel is one of 38 official parties to be held that night across the country. The “Holiday South” atmosphere will begin with a 4 p.m. red-carpet entrance highlighted by celebrity look-a-likes. Tickets are $85 for Gold Circle seating and $150 for Platinum Circle seating. Special Westgate room rates will be available for those attending. The San Diego audience will watch the awards telecast live on large screens through the courtesy of KGTV Channel 10, the San Diego ABC affiliate. The local event will benefit the Visual Arts Foundation. For information, call the hotel at (619) 557-3655.

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Preparing for a live spot on KUSI’s morning show where she was to display Valentine’s Day dishes, Terryl Gavre was excited as she drove up to her Cafe 222 to prepare the delights. Days earlier, thieves had broken in to the restaurant and stolen some change; that night, despite a new alarm, flood lights and a heftier lock, they had returned. “They broke the door and the lock trying to get in, but failed,” says San Diego Metropolitan’s food editor. “But the door was jammed and I was unable to get in even with a key. I called the police but realized that I would never make the show unless I broke in myself. I wound up climbing in an upper window that is locked open at, no joke, a little over 7 inches. I climbed up the window panes and squeezed myself like a hamster through the opening. I got my clothes filthy. Once I got in I realized that then I was going to be locked in. I just prepped my stuff and waited for the cops who were able to get the door open. I did miss my 7:45 teaser, but called them, and did make the 8 and 8:20 spots.”

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