Wednesday, June 12, 2013


(Sacramento)  Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins announced today that she has successfully persuaded the Legislature’s Joint Budget Committee to transfer the former CalTrans headquarters near Old Town State Park in San Diego to the state parks system.  This move will ensure the preservation of historic structures and artifacts known to be below the building’s foundation and that the site will remain in the public’s hands.

“This is a three-way win for the people of California and San Diego,” says Atkins.  “This action preserves a site rich with our heritage and removes an eyesore from the historic center of our city, all without cost to taxpayers.”

CalTrans abandoned the 2.4 acre site in 2006, when it moved to a new headquarters building.  The building sits on the location of the first permanent European settlement in California and of a Kumeyaay Native American village dating back to AD 500.  The Committee’s action ensures that it will remain in the hands of the people and will not be sold for private development.

The decision by the Joint Budget Committee opens the door for creating an historic park that is part of or adjacent to Old Town State Park.  Local community open space and preservation activists envision this piece of land as a new entry way to Old Town State Park that would tie together the San Diego River, the Kumeyaay village, and the early California settlement in an integrated interpretive display.

“I am grateful to the leaders of the State Assembly for prioritizing this transaction within the state budget process and for effectively communicating its importance to the entire legislature,” says Atkins.

The Joint Budget Committee’s recommendation will be reviewed by the entire legislature as part of the state budget and will then be sent to Governor Brown.

Block names Ocean Beach Hotel as Small Business of the Year

Proprietors Rich and Donna Grosch join honorees to celebrate California Small Business Day

 SACRAMENTO – State Senator Marty Block (SD-39) recognized on Monday the Ocean Beach Hotel as his district’s California Small Business of the Year as part of an annual event which honors small businesses across the state.

Dozens of small businesses and legislators participated in the celebration. Small businesses contribute 75 percent of California’s Gross State Product. California Small Business Day was created by Assembly Resolution 5 in 2000. Volunteer small business organizations throughout the state work together to host the event in Sacramento.

            “Even through the challenges of the recession and the toll that took on our tourism industry, Rich and Donna Grosch practiced creative marketing to keep the rooms occupied and bring tourism into Ocean Beach,” Block said in recognizing the Groschs and their hotel.

            In addition, the high quality restoration and repair of the OB Hotel has catalyzed the redevelopment and revitalization of the entire Ocean Beach community.

            Block praised Rich Grosch for his history in developing and enhancing the quality of life in Ocean Beach. “As chair of the Ocean Beach Community Development Corporation, Rich led the effort to create a pedestrian park at the entrance to the Ocean Beach community, created two business improvement districts and developed a comprehensive development plan for the district.”

            Grosch’s civic and business accomplishments include his current service as President of the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Community College District.

Proudly representing the cities and communities of San Diego, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Coronado

$30 million approved in joint budget plan for disabled and disadvantaged community college students

Block led effort to fund programs through his budget subcommittee

SACRAMENTO – Senator Marty Block (SD-39), chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee #1 which deals with education financing today issued the following statement following approval of $30 million dollars for disabled and educationally disadvantaged students:

“I was heartened and excited today by action taken to assist the most vulnerable community college students by the Legislature’s Joint Conference on the Budget.

“Although I sought a larger amount, I know this funding will mean more tutors, note takers, counselors, audio books, and other services for students who have cognitive or physical disabilities or who have overcome tremendous obstacles to attend college. Many are also disabled veterans struggling to transition successfully to civilian life after service to their country.

“The committee approved $15 million each for the Disabled Students Programs and Services (DSPS) and the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (DSPS).

The committee, charged with reconciling the Assembly and Senate actions on the state’s fiscal plan for 2013-14, recognized that these students have been especially hard hit by the cuts to community colleges. While community colleges have suffered approximately a 12 percent cut in recent years, services to the disabled and disadvantaged have been reduced by about 40 percent.

            “I will continue to work towards restoring services to these students. As the governor noted, treating unequals equally is not justice. He is right.”

Proudly representing the cities and communities of San Diego, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Coronado

Joint Budget Committee approves land transfer for San Diego Old Town State Historic Park

Swap would preserve Native American and early settler artifacts at San Diego Old Town historical park

SACRAMENTO – State Senator Marty Block (SD-39) announced today that the Joint Budget Conference Committee approved transfer of a former, now vacant, Caltrans office site located in San Diego’s Old Town State Historic Park to the state parks system. Transferring the 2.4 acres will result in improvements and cultural preservation at the park and save California $80,000 a year it now spends in annual upkeep for the vacated building.

            Block proclaimed it a “win-win” for both the park and Caltrans. “The Department of Transportation will save hefty maintenance costs that total $500,000 to date, and the park and people of California gain an opportunity to enhance and preserve a historic and cultural treasure,” Block said.

            In a recent letter to Senate Budget Committee Chair Mark Leno (SD-11), Block argued for the land transfer because of its historic value to the area and state. The historic park is the site of California’s first permanent European settlement and a Native American village dating to A.D. 500.

            Located on the southwest corner of Juan and Taylor Streets, adjacent to the Old Town park, the Caltrans buildings sit atop historic structures and cultural resources that could be unearthed and made available to the public.

            “Retaining the site in public ownership has statewide significance because of its historic, archaeological and interpretive significance,” Block said. He credited his predecessor, former State Senator Christine Kehoe and other local officials and residents who have worked for years to realize the site transfer.

            “The joint budget action was a major step forward in securing the property and preserving this significant site in California’s history.”

Proudly representing the cities and communities of San Diego, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Coronado

Block: Protect San Diego’s leadership in worldwide climate research

SACRAMENTO—Senator Marty Block today announced that $5 million was included in the state budget by the Joint Conference Committee to replace the aging Nimitz Marine Facility (MarFac) pier maintained by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

The funding is from Proposition 40, approved in 2002. Proposition 40 allowed the state to borrow up to $2.6 billion for parks and other projects. The $5 million will be used to draw down federal funds.

“MarFac has served well beyond its original lifespan,” Block said. “It was constructed more than 50 years ago and designed to serve 25 to 30 years with the U.S. research fleet mission requirements of the time. Today, replacement is critical to meeting future research demands and to support the U.S. Navy’s R.V. Sally Ride which is scheduled for delivery in 2015.”  The Sally Ride will engage in a broad scope of science studies in physics, chemistry, biology, geology and climate science, including research missions with Navy relevance.
Scripps’ pier and wharf play a valuable role in marine research and education because of their geographical, logistical and infrastructure advantages. Each year, more than 1,200 UC scientists sail on Scripps research vessels on more than 90 individual research missions.

Currently, MarFac employs more than 150 technicians, engineers, crew and administrators for ship operations. A proposed pier and wharf restoration project is expected to support approximately 440 direct jobs and include up to 150 onside construction jobs. Other benefits to the state include:

·         The California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) which studies the marine environment along California’s coast and monitors El Niño and climate change.

·         The UC Ship Funds Program – unique to California that offers students leadership opportunities at sea and supports the development of the next generation of UC-trained scientists.
 “San Diego is a vital part of the state and nation’s science hubs; we are the idea incubators and job creators of the future,” Block said. “MarFac is a key element of our research prowess, and we must maintain its ability to serve the needs of the many scientists, educators and students who use the facility to benefit California and the U.S.” 
Proudly representing the cities and communities of San Diego, Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Coronado

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Assembly Majority Leader honored The Rose Wine Pub owner Susan Prise during Small Business Appreciation ceremonies in Sacramento

(Sacramento)  The Rose Wine Pub, a small neighborhood establishment in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego, was honored today by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins as the Small Business of the Year for the 78th Assembly District.  The recognition was celebrated at a special luncheon and ceremony in Sacramento, attended by the pub’s owner, Susan Prise, and the Majority Leader.

“Rose Wine Pub is place to gather and relax with neighbors and friends in a pleasant, warm atmosphere of good food and drink,” says Atkins.  “This local establishment captures the essence of the surrounding area and exemplifies why San Diego is known as a cosmopolitan city of neighborhoods.”

The Rose Wine Pub is named for the historic location it occupies, the restored 1927 Rose Grocery building, and in honor of the owner's grandmother, Rose Miranda. The wine storage was constructed by a local craftsman and made from the reclaimed redwood of a historic South Park home.

Designed to encompass aspects of all four seasons, The Rose envelops customers in a mixture of materials such as reclaimed wood, stone, and metal. The wine selection features many small productions vineyards all over the world, offering customers the opportunity to taste options they may not find elsewhere.


San Diego Employers Expect to Hire at a Solid Pace for Third Quarter 2013

Anticipated local hiring rate below state level, but above Los Angeles

 June 11, 2013 — San Diego — According to the Manpower Employment Outlet Survey, employers in San Diego County expect to hire at a solid pace during the third quarter of 2013.

From July to September, 19% of companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 69% expect to maintain their current workforce levels. On the other end of the job spectrum, 8% of area companies expect to reduce staff and 4% are simply not certain of their hiring plans. All of this action yields a net employment outlook of 11%.

“Employers’ hiring expectations for the third quarter are the same compared to second quarter when the outlook was also 11%,” said Manpower San Diego President Phil Blair. “Compared to one year ago when the net employment outlook was 13%, employers are slightly less optimistic about their staffing plans.”

On the state level, 21% of California companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 70% expect to maintain levels and only 6% plan to reduce staff.

Results from neighboring Los Angeles reveal that 13% of companies surveyed in its metropolitan area expect to increase staff levels, while 74% plan to maintain current staff levels and 6% plan to reduce staff.

The survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforces during the next quarter.

About Manpower San Diego
Manpower of San Diego was started in 1977 and is owned by Phil Blair and Mel Katz. The franchise consistently ranks as one of the largest employers in San Diego and southern Riverside Counties and supports businesses through their many offices. Each day, Manpower has approximately 2,500 skilled associates on jobs in office, retail, industrial, technical and healthcare areas. All Manpower offices are registered and certified to ISO 9002 by the Quality Management Institute (QMI). ISO 9002 is one of five standards associated with the ISO 9000 series, the international standard of quality for all businesses.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Assemblymember Weber Recognizes Diamond Pacific Construction As Exceptional California Small Business

SACRAMENTO, CA-   In an official ceremony today hosted by the California Small Business Association, Assembly Member Shirley N. Weber (D-San Diego) honored City of La Mesa’s Gregg Torwick of Diamond Pacific Construction, Inc. at the Sacramento Convention Center.  The California Small Business Association sponsors this annual event to provide a platform for legislators to recognize the significant contributions small businesses make to California.

“I am proud to recognize the continued dedication and efforts of Navy veteran Gregg Torwick and the Diamond Pacific Construction, Inc. to bring jobs and commerce to the 79th District. Small businesses are the driving force of our economy:  local, state and nationwide,” stated Assembly Member Weber. 

Mr. Torwick has garnered multiple awards from the construction community, including the AGC Specialty Contractor Award, the ABC Excellence in Construction Award and the AGC Build San Diego Award in his strive for excellence, safety and community awareness. He is also an active member of both the City of San Diego Unified School District Outreach Council and the City of San Diego-Citizens Equal Opportunity Council.  Mr. Torwick is currently the San Diego Chapter President to the Elite Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business.

The Diamond Pacific Construction Executive team brings 80 years of construction combined experience, on more than $250 million of projects, including demolition, site work, utilities, concrete placement, and horizontal & vertical construction.  It also has completed projects throughout California’s 79th District that include Sharp Hospital Chula Vista, San Diego State University and the San Diego Academy in National City.