February 2009

Greg Lucier: Carlsbad Businessman Of The Year

by The Editors on February 21, 2009

Last night was a big night in Carlsbadistan business and though we were graciously invited (thanks, Angela) we sadly didn’t make it. It’s hard to go undercover when all the heavy hitters are in the room. What did we miss? The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Awards Dinner at The Four Season’s Aviara. And our favorite Carlsbad-based life sciences company CEO Life’s Greg Lucier was the big winner. Here’s how it went:

• Businessperson of the Year – Greg Lucier, CEO of Life Technologies Corp.
• Small Business of the Year (1-15 employees) – E-World Recyclers.
• Medium Business of the Year (16-99 employees) – AKT, LLP.
• Large Business of the Year (100 or more employees) – Legoland California.
• Lifetime Achievement in Business – Jim Smith, owner of Jim Smith Realty.
• Entrepreneur of the Year – Brett Hanley, president and CEO of SeaShell Awnings USA Inc.
• Community Leadership – Julie Nygaard.

In addition, two special awards of recognition also were given out:

• Green Technology Advocate – Aptera Motors.
• Environmental Spirit – Wyland.

The winners got engraved crystal awards (which we don’t have pictures of) and everyone got to check out the new Aptera Motors car and watch famous whale painter Wyland paint whales on a wall. Let’s put it this way: we’re not going to miss this event next year.
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The Carlsbad Crew At ASR 09

by The Editors on February 20, 2009


A friend of ours snapped this photo at the Action Sports Retailer Show at the San Diego Convention Center last month. Apparently, these girls are all from Carlsbadistan and were at the show to load up on free stuff. Looks like they did a pretty good job.


Powerplant Squeezes Caltrans’ Pavement Plans

by The Editors on February 19, 2009


The City of Carlsbadistan is now getting anti-power plant support from the California Department of Transportation according to a letter sent to the California Energy Commission on February 5, 2009.

As stated in the letter, Caltrans’ flexibility to construct the I-5 North Coast Corridor widening project is severely limited by surrounding land uses. The impetus is on NRG West, the power plant company, to demonstrate how the area can accommodate both a widened freeway and a new power plant. The letter also states that the I-5 widening project will remove existing landscaping and berm, creating significant visual impacts should both projects go forward.

We can’t help but laugh to ourselves at the ecological irony in the letter. This is probably the first time in our lives that we’ve wanted to make sure there was enough room to add more lanes to an already monstrous freeway. It’s almost like the pavers are the good guys if they keep another power plant out of Carlsbadistan.

Follow the jump for the entire release from the City.
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GIA Cuts More Than Diamonds. . . Again

by The Editors on February 19, 2009

Gia-Logo-TmThe Gemological Institute of America announced today that it is cutting 71 employees from their Carlsbadistan office in a nine percent cut across the company according to a story on National Jeweler.

A GIA spokeswoman said the cuts, announced on Wednesday, would impact 103 GIA employees in the United States, 71 at the company’s Carlsbad, Calif., headquarters and 32 at its New York offices. . . . The GIA employs a total of 1,143 workers in the United States. . . . In addition, all salaried employees will take a pay cut of up to 20 percent, while hourly employees will lose workdays. . . .The company’s pension plan is frozen, the spokeswoman said.

This comes after the cutting 11 percent of their staff in December. Pretty soon there will be nothing left to cut.

[Link: National Jeweler]


Stand Up Fishermen Land In LA Times

by The Editors on February 17, 2009


Carlsbadistan’s Calvin Toms and Chris Perret (pictured above) ended up on Pete Thomas’ LA Times blog for catching some pretty nice fish while angling from their stand-up surfboards.

Stand-up fishing has new meaning for a couple of Carlsbad anglers, who recently visited Rancho Leonero in Baja California’s East Cape region and tackled several big-game species while atop surfboards designed for stand-up paddling. . . . That’s Calvin Toms (above) with a nice roosterfish, and Chris Perret (below) with a very impressive sierra mackerel, which presumably was prepared as ceviche for an afternoon snack by the sleepy resort’s chef.

Wonder if Toms and Perrit know that for a little more money could buy a boat with a motor and stand up and fish in it any time they wanted? They must, right?

[Link: LA Times]


Student Documentary On The Holocaust

by The Editors on February 16, 2009


This Thursday, February 19, 2009 the Carlsbad Education Foundation is holding a special Carlsbadistan “red carpet premiere” of the Carlsbad High School student produced Holocaust documentary We Must Remember: This film chronicles the experience of 16 Carlsbad High School students as they research, conduct interviews, and learn about the Holocaust. The premiere will take place at the MovieMax Theater (we call it the Plaza Camino Real 4) located at 2385 Marron Road, Carlsbad. Tickets are $9.50 each.

[Link: Carlsbad Education Foundation]


Trader Joe’s Bressi Ranch Opens Today

by The Editors on February 16, 2009

In recognition of Trader Joe’s opening their first Carlsbadistan location at Bressi Ranch today at 9 AM, here is a little of what we all can look forward to thanks to Carl’s Fine Films.

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The Riehl World: Carlsbad’s Money Game

by Richard J. Riehl on February 15, 2009

BlackburnHow much does it cost to buy a seat on Carlsbad’s city council? If you’re Keith Blackburn, it comes to $100,932 in donations from supporters, plus another $11,875 in loans he gave his own campaign, according to the city clerk’s office. That’s a record for city council campaigns, coming to about six dollars a vote.

It pays to be an incumbent. Anne Kulchin spent only $32,411, or $1.58 per vote, to retain her seat on the council.

Farrah Douglas missed capturing a seat by coming in third. She spent $83,787, or $4.38 a vote. She left another $1,462 remaining in her campaign chest, vowing to keep her options open for future elections. She lost to Blackburn by only 1,321 votes. Makes you wonder if she’d be on the council now if she’d spent the money she saved.

What this all means is that Carlsbad has entered the big leagues in campaign spending. Mayor Bud Lewis’s $65,000 campaign in 2006 set a record. That seems a paltry sum compared with the 2008 big spenders. And history shows political corruption grows when it’s generously irrigated by big money. Illinois’ impeached ex-governor Rod Blagojevich’s attempt to sell President Obama’s senate seat is the latest example.
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Desalination Plant Trudges Ahead

by The Editors on February 13, 2009

Poseidon Resources seems to be moving ahead like the Frankenstein monster over everything that gets in the way of it’s plans for a desalination plant in our lagoon. Most recently the San Diego Regional Water Quality board gave the company two months to “wrap up conditions of its permit” according to as story in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The board’s executive director, John Robertus, said developer Poseidon Resources had addressed some of the agency’s concerns before Wednesday’s meeting, and the two sides would resolve a list of outstanding issues by the board’s meeting on April 8. . . . The board gave Poseidon a permit in 2006 to discharge effluent from its plant into the ocean, but required a plan to offset fish and other marine life deaths caused by the desalination process. . . . Under a “Marine Life Mitigation Plan,” Poseidon would restore 55 acres of wetlands as nurseries for marine organisms and plants.

We still don’t like it.

[Link: San Diego Union-Tribune via Watertech Online]

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Life Technologies Posts $108 Million Loss

by The Editors on February 13, 2009

LifetechCharges associated with the November 2008 purchase of Applied Biosystems brought our favorite Carlsbadistan-based life sciences company Life Technologies profits down to a quarterly loss of $106.9 million, according to a story on Genomeweb.com.

The Carlsbad, Calif.-based firm brought in total revenues of $540.6 million for the three-month period ended Dec. 31, compared to revenues of $336.4 million for Invitrogen alone in the 2007 fourth quarter. That tally fell short of analysts’ consensus estimate of revenues of $572.6 million for the quarter.

The stock opened today at $30.64 so it looks like everyone is pretty happy with the numbers anyway.

[Link: Genomeweb.com]