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Want to learn about Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. -- Let the Manions be your guide (VIDEO)
Living large with multimillion dollar real estate
Then, Shelly Curtis has got the estate for you.
That would be the mega-estate known as Montagna De La Paloma in Fairbanks Ranch encompassing 12 acres and previously owned by the late Joan Kroc.
"I'm one of the buyers' agents for the Joan Kroc House," Curtis said. "People buy the agent before they buy the house. To get the listing takes a little bit of luck, being at the right place at the right time and your being knowledgeable about the area."
The 92067 ZIP code area in Rancho Santa Fe has a mother lode of expensive properties in its flat-out high-end market. As of this month, 73 properties listed at more than $5 million. Forbes.com ranked 92067 as second most expensive ZIP code real estate market in the nation for 2005 with a median sales price of $2.45 million. This was just behind Sagaponack in Suffolk County, N.Y., at $2.79 million and ahead of Newport Beach at $2.39 million.
Topping the local price list was a modest little place at 16337 Los Arboles in the covenant referred to in its marketing campaign as The Ultimate Estate. The $40 million, nine-acre property even has its own Web site, www.theultimateestate.co
Next in line was an estate at 15651 Puerta del Sol, also in the covenant, listing for $36.5 million. The Joan Kroc estate at 17897 Cira Oriente was being offered at $28 million. Rounding out the Top 8 list, all with asking prices greater than $10 million were an El Montevideo estate at $21.5 million, the former C. Arnholt Smith estate on Calzada del Bosque at $18 million, a $14 million estate on Ladys Secret Drive in Del Rayo Estates, a $13 million property on El Camino del Nort.
With Sterling Properties, Curtis noted, as did other agents representing the most upscale homes and estates around town, the high-end homes practically sell themselves although hard work always is required in the end.
"It's harder for me to sell that $350,000 condo to a first-time home buyer than it is to sell a $10 million property," Curtis said. "The high-end buyers come in knowing more what they want."
CACHET DOESN'T FADE
While the highest end homes are caught up somewhat in a general real estate market slowdown, they also have a certain cache that never seems to fade. The $40 million estate at Los Arboles features a 12,889-square-foot main house with six bedrooms, seven full and three half-baths, a nine-car garage, horse training centers — two — as well as catering kitchen, separate two-story guest suite, caretaker house, orchid greenhouse and 50-foot pool.
Financing can be complicated, but owning "The Ultimate Estate" probably comes along with $204,371 in monthly mortgage payments, according to real estate analysts.
Michael Taylor, Andrea Dougherty and K. Ann Brizolis of Rancho Santa Fe are listing agents working out of their boutique estate division for Prudential California Realty based at Del Rayo Plaza. Prudential Orange County estate agents Nancy and Kevin Casebier also are part of the team necessary to move such a large property sale.
"We've had maybe five serious showings," Taylor said. "One person ended up buying a $19 million property in Rancho Santa Fe nearby. The Web site has had over 14,000 visitors, but it's one of those properties where your buying pool is small."
The Web site even includes an eight-minute video regaling the estate's splendors. The estate sale went through a "quiet phase" with lower-key publicizing, then went a bit more public with advertisements in the publications one expects to check for such listings, including a front cover spread in Dream Homes International showing mega-dream homes only $10 million or more, Taylor said, as well as the Wall Street Journal and Stratus Magazine that goes into upscale private airports only.
"We're trying to let the community know we've got one of the high end properties," Taylor said. "Agents need to know how to deal with high end buyers and sellers who are always very successful in what they do."
BIG PRICES = BIG PROFITS (FOR AGENTS)
Any sale can be lucrative for agents. Typically, listing agents split 3 to 4 percent of the sale price, according to Taylor, while buyer's agents split 2 to 3 percent as well. Sometimes, a top agent might luck into being both listing and buyer's agent, Curtis said.
Those trafficking in the uppermost crust of the upper crust of home and estate sales also know it can take some time sometimes to move a property. For one thing, the serious potential buyers must be separated from the general public just wanting to gawk at the fabulous estates. So, serious buyers they must be identified through rigorous financial checks. Then, estates must be prepped and readied for in-depth visits and tours.
"The Ultimate Estate" is the pride and joy of Rick Nicholas and his family. While reluctant to provide too many personal details in order to maintain family privacy, Nicholas agreed to discuss the sale to help acquaint others with the overall process of high-end real estate transactions from the seller's vantage point.
"This is not an immaculate conception," Nicholas said. "You have to open up a private part of your life and how you live when you do this, but it is part of the process. You, and your lifestyle, become a source of speculation, cocktail party chatter. Your kids hear about it at their school. People are always intrigued."
Nicholas bought the property in 1992. He and his family moved in there in 1999. His family put in considerable time and energy over the last seven years developing the property into a magnificent estate. After selling, the plan is to relocate to another Rancho Santa Fe property and do it all over again.
WAITING FOR THE RIGHT OFFER
"It's not like this is a fire sale," Nicholas said. "One of the really cool things as an owner, you are creating a canvas, your own private resort. The property is unbelievably wonderful, a great place to entertain friends, where you can put up multiple families. It's like another little, very private world."
Nicholas has been developing such properties for the last decade, including one on the ocean at Laguna Beach he sold before moving to Rancho Santa Fe. Recently, he sold a high-end estate in Aspen, Colo. That property went in two days. The $40 million Los Arboles estate will take longer, obviously.
"We knew it was not going to be a quick sale," Nicholas said. "But even though the chatter is the market is soft and on a decline, our analysis was at a certain level of the market you're selling something that is one of a kind and not so subject to the ebb and flow of market pricing…We know the process could take 12 to 24 months."
The Rancho Santa Fe multi-multi-million dollar properties rank behind the top listed property in the county. That's a $50 million, 10,700-square-foot property at 2808 Ocean Front Ave. in Del Mar with 120 feet of beach frontage, health spa, theater, pool, tennis court, greenhouse and two guest houses listed in July.
July Real Estate Sales Not So Hot:Rancho Santa Fe Down 26.7 Pct. Solana Beach Down 71 Pct...
Prospective homebuyers in July worried about national and international economic problems, from a potential U.S. government default to European debt to high unemployment, real estate agents said. Buyers who did enter the market bid low on houses attempting to score deals.
Meanwhile, some sellers decided to wait it out for better prices. Yet others decided to rent their houses instead of selling. But it all added up to a historically slow July.
"It was rough," said Fred Bradley, a Rancho Penasquitos broker. "July isn't supposed to be rough, but it was."
The 721 houses sold in July in North County were the fewest since 1984, down 11 percent from June and 8.7 percent from last July. Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Santa Fe and Carmel Valley sold 35 percent fewer homes in July than in July 2010.
Normally, summer is a real estate agent's busiest season as people try to make purchases and move before school starts.
The median price fell to $425,000, down 5.3 percent from June and 7.6 percent from July 2010, according to the assessor records.
"I think there's a lot of folks right now that are really concerned about the global economy," said Brian Westre, a Rancho Bernardo broker. "Anytime markets are rocked, they start to worry about their own job."
Overall, North County foreclosures in the first half of the year are at their lowest since 2007; mortgage interest rates are well under 5 percent; and the median price of $425,000 is at the same level it was in 2002, or 33 percent off its 2007 peak.
But prices may be too high for local buyers: Many tried to get deals with low offers.
"The buyers, by and large, are waiting for prices to go down, and sellers are waiting for prices to go up," Bradley said. "We're stuck in the middle."
Some sellers are choosing to rent their houses instead of selling. The house rental market is hot, as credit-troubled residents still need somewhere to live.
"Rents are pretty good. A lot of people are renting their property out; if they have the equity, they do it," said Sharon Johnston Mead, a Vista broker. "I'm not having any trouble renting mine, knock on wood."
ECopywriters find Solana Beach, Calif. great for farming, SEO content farming that is...
Two years ago, the Solana Beach entrepreneur launched a website to help businesses outsource content generation for the web. His website, ecopywriters.com, is already generating $1.2 million in revenue. It acts as a middleman between the clients — which include Toyota, San Diego-based ProFlowers, Victoria's Secret and 1-800-PetMeds — and his 20,000 freelance writers and editors.
Businesses turn to ecopywriters.com for original corporate blog posts, product descriptions and other written material to help them show up in search engines such as Google.
It’s one of many websites seeking to leverage the ease of communicating and delivering jobs on the web to meet business needs. Other examples include elance.com, guru.com and Freelancer....
Solana Beach, Calif. Chocolotier Jer's goes peanut butternutty w/ free Nat. Pnt. Dy. choc....
On September 13, you can finally meet your neighbor and taste his wares, in honor of National Peanut Day. If you stop by Jer's headquarters, you can get a free Peanut Butter Square candy. From here, we switch to the company publicist, live on the scene, for the full story. Don't flip -- it's a free candy, it may be worth grabbing. (Oh, I wish they'd sent me a few samples, so I could tell whether yes or no.) Take it away, publicist:
"On September 13th, National Peanut Day, Jer’s Chocolates, the San Diego-based pioneer of peanut butter and chocolate combinations, is celebrating the national “holiday” with the public launch of Jer’s Squares, a new “bite-size” portion of Jer’s All-Natural Peanut Butter Bars.
"During National Peanut Day, the public is invited to come to Jer’s Chocolate’s headquarters located at 437 S. Highway 101, Suite 105, Solana Beach...
San Diego Wine Storage Opening at Solana Beach, Calif. on Thursday, Aug. 18...
San Diego Wine Storage, a premium wine storage facility located near Old Town in San Diego, will open its second wine storage center in Solana Beach on Saturday, August 18. The new facility, located off Stevens Avenue at 742 Genevieve Street, will cater to wine collectors, investors, restaurants and wholesalers requiring temperature controlled facilities to safeguard their wine.
Customized client solutions
SDWS Solana Beach will house 540 private lockers capable of holding more than 170,000 bottles and will accommodate collections from 12 to 200 or more cases of wine. The entire facility is temperature and humidity controlled with monitored security systems and has onsite managers available to assist clients with their every need.
SDWS specializes in customizing wine lockers for its clients with case storage and bottle...
Citrus experts ask help in finding pestPsyllids are carriers of disease that kills trees, threatening state’s citrus crop
The Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program wants San Diego County residents to keep an eye out for a pest that has caused extensive damage to citrus crops in other areas.
The pest, called the Asian citrus psyllid, already has been found in Imperial, San Diego, Orange, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties, leading to quarantines in some areas. The pest can be a carrier of a fatal tree disease called Huanglongbing, also known as HLB or citrus greening disease. Once a tree is infected with the disease, there is no cure; the tree will eventually die.
While the psyllids in Californiahave not been found to be carrying the disease, the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program believes home-owners can play a critical role in keeping the disease out of California.
“The best way to protect California citrus is to inspect for the pest,” said Ted...
Downtown Encinitas Becomes a Major Destination for Businesses, Merchants Assoc. Says...
The number of service and goods merchants that have relocated to downtown Encinitas is growing by leaps and bounds. The sleepy little beach town has become a major commerce destination while maintaining its charm and unique character-two of the main reasons cited by relocating businesses.
From boutiques to branding agencies to high-end skin care destinations, downtown Encinitas has become the optimal headquarters to growing businesses. With the influx of specialty merchants choosing downtown Encinitas as a place to call home, the variety of goods and services continues to increase.
Icons, a clothing boutique established 10 years ago, with previous locations in Rancho Santa Fe and Solana Beach opened December 23, 2010 in the new Pacific Station plaza. Thanks to an established clientele, owner Jenna Motta said she chose to make the move to propel her business to the next level....
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Whole Foods Market Opens at Pacific Station, Encinitas, Calif. @ 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 29
Whole Foods Market WFM -1.06%, a leading natural and organic foods supermarket and the nation's first certified organic grocer, will open its newest Southern California store in Encinitas at Pacific Station, 687 S. Coast Highway 101, at 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 29.
Serving the local coastal and Rancho Santa Fe community, the new 23,000-square foot store will feature more than 30 local producers alongside Whole Foods Market's wide selection of the highest quality organic and natural produce, meats, seafood, beer, wine, baked goods, specialty items and prepared foods, while not forgetting pantry staples from the grocery aisles -- all without artificial colorings, flavorings, preservatives or hydrogenated fats.
A 'Whole Body' section will boast a complete selection of natural sports nutrition products including supplements, energy bars, protein bars and other functional products. The store also offers shoppers an array of all-natural and certified organic body care and beauty products. Selections range from value oriented bulk selections of natural soaps, bath salts, shower gels, shampoos, conditioners and lotion to books and makeup.
Store officials say the store will provide easy one-stop grocery shopping, the store will have a relaxing outdoor courtyard eating area where customers can enjoy a variety of freshly made salads, sushi, sandwiches, pizza and prepared foods, and refresh with cold drinks and coffee.
Exclusively for the Encinitas store, the Seaside Delight Smoothie, named by a local resident at the Rob Machado Seaside Pro Junior Experience Surf Competition held in April, is anticipated to be a local favorite. Other tasty varieties of smoothies, fresh juices and gelato will also be available daily.
"With a courtyard eating area and a wide variety of cooking, eating and educational events created to serve the healthy and active Encinitas neighborhood, we see Whole Foods Market Encinitas as a gathering hub for the local community," said Patrick Bradley, president of the Whole Foods Market Southern Pacific Region.
"Whether it's ingredients for cooking delicious meals at home or convenient snacks to take to the beach or work, we have everything our customers need, and we are excited to showcase all the best of natural and organic foods," Bradley said
Dedicated to sourcing products from the best local businesses, Whole Foods Market has San Diego-focused foragers who search for local products at farmers markets, artisan shops and community nonprofit organizations to bring products from the community into our stores. Whole Foods Market foragers Don Nishiguchi and Dwight Detter have discovered numerous San Diego growers and producers to sell their wares at the Encinitas store, including local favorites such as:
-- Archi's Acres, a small-scale organic farm that offers combat veterans meaningful employment through its Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training (VSAT), provides organic living basil.
-- Chua Chocolatier, local Venezuelan Chocolatiers who use a secret blend of premium chocolate and fresh natural ingredients to create unusual, unexpected and delicious flavors
-- Avaria Parkway Farms, located in Carlsbad, grows strawberries, and has been for more than half a century. -- Go Green Agriculture, also located in Encinitas, grows hydroponic lettuce in mini-farms near large cities, harvesting in the morning and delivering to the store within hours.
-- Backyard Bees Honeybee Rescue keeps more than 60 rescued hives from San Clemente to Fullerton, providing pure, unfiltered, treatment-free local honey.
-- Sage Mountain Farm, growing from a hobby into a local business, organically grows heirloom tomatoes, sage candy onions, and crimson red watermelons.
Party safely while partying hardy with FestQwest fun rides to Del Mar Races starting July 20 Opening Day...
Opening Day of the Del Mar races is almost here. On July 20th, thousands will pack the parking lot and jam the freeway heading into Del Mar. Finding a parking spot will be a nightmare again, but not for you. FestQwest, a cutting edge party experience, is your answer to the Del Mar races. FestQwest allows “festers” to suggest destinations, called “festinations.” The first group of festers within a neighborhood to recruit at least 30 other participants wins the fest – and the party bus to Del Mar. Check the website at FestQwest.com for pricing.
FestQwest allows groups to attend events throughout the county without the worry of a DUI. It saves money on parking fees and gas and provides for front entrance drop off and pick up to major events. Festers do not have to know each other to catch a ride on a bus, either. You can sign up for any destination you want...
Socal regional water authority standoff will not affect Carlsbad, Calif. desalination, Poseidon says...
Plus bonus coverage: EXCITING LEGO-INSPIRED INFORMATION VIDEO FROM MS. KRUEGER'S SIXTH GRADE CLASS. -- DESALINATION AND YOU.
Poseidon Resources on 16 June 2011 denied reports that the current standoff in Southern California between the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) and the San Diego County Water Authority (SDCWA) will affect the Carlsbad Desalination Project.
"This claim is incorrect and shows a disappointing lack of understanding about the project's status and financing." Poseiden officials said to the Desalination & Water Reuse Quarterly industry website.
On 14 June 2011, the MWD voted to cancel funding to increase water recycling at the San Vincente facility in the Ramona Municipal Water District and for programs to encourage local water-use efficiency and retrofit homes with low-water-use landscaping. MWD also said it would refuse to fund any pending or future local water supply projects in San Diego County.
A press release from SDCWA stated, "The pending agreements included the Carlsbad Seawater Desalination Project, which would have been eligible for up to US$ 14 million in annual payments, and an agricultural water conservation audit program, which would have been eligible for up to US$ 500,000 in annual funding."
MWD's move is the latest in a dispute about SDCWA contributions to MWD projects that goes back decades. In June 2010, SDCWA filed a lawsuit challenging MWD's 2011 and 2012 wholesale water rates. The water authority alleged that MWD improperly overcharged for the transportation of water and used that money to lower artificially the cost of MWD water.
The next hearing in the lawsuit is on 17 June 2011, and a final decision is not expected until 2012.
As water prices rise, farmers face the 'tipping point' - San Diego County farmers consider
On a rainy morning in May, San Diego County strawberry grower Fred Makauf arranged boxes at the farmstand he manages in Carlsbad. He scanned the gloomy sky and said there probably wouldn't be any children out gathering ripe berries in his U-pick fields that day.
Then a car splashed up to the stand and a family from Nevada got out. The children huddled around the trays of strawberries and eyed the fields. Their parents looked at the puddles and shook their heads. The kids frowned.
Like the family from Nevada, San Diego County residents are drawn to the beauty and nutrition found in local farm fields—rain or shine—but many farmers say they're struggling to assure that bountiful harvests of locally grown farm products can continue.
Makauf, who is general manager of diversified Leslie Farms, said there's far less farming in San Diego County today than when he started in the business 40 years ago, for reasons that include escalating water prices.
Because of rising production costs, Makauf said the farm's entire vegetable production has been moved to Mexico. Among the key costs, irrigation water that now costs $1,200 an acre-foot will rise to about $1,400 an acre-foot next year, and Makauf said that will require acreage reductions despite the farm's history of water efficiency.
"We've been using drip irrigation technology here since the mid-1970s," Makauf said. "I can't install any more water conservation technology that will save on what we need now to grow here."
Makauf said he usually plants 60 acres of strawberries at the Carlsbad farm, but this year, with the cost of water, he planted only 40 acres.
"For years, professors and think-tank environmentalists have preached that farmers would have plenty of water if they just used what they have more efficiently and grew 'high-value' crops," said California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger. "Farmers in San Diego County have done just that. But without affordable, reliable water supplies, even the most efficient farmers can't sustain their businesses."
Efficiency has its limits, Wenger said.
"Scarcity and escalating water prices will result in the permanent weakening of one of our most renewable and vital enterprises: food production," he said. "That is not a wise policy for a state like California with an ever-increasing population."
Nursery crop grower Janet Kister of Fallbrook said some segments of San Diego County agriculture "are barely hanging on by their fingernails."
"In the Fallbrook Water District where we grow, we've been told our water rates are going up another 28 percent next year and that's on top of the 63 percent in the past three years," Kister said. "These water price increases have had a huge impact on us."
She said she foresees "less and less agriculture" in the county, "which will make it more challenging for those who stay. Our infrastructure will go away—fewer packinghouses, less available labor and fewer materials providers.
"I don't know where the tipping point is, at what point agriculture in San Diego County will fail," she said.
Every region of California is different when it comes to water, Kister pointed out. There's a mix of water sources, delivery systems and prices. That means solutions vary to maintaining affordable prices and supply reliability.
But, she said, as water prices go up throughout California, farmers will have to be creative to stay in business.
Southern California farmers will likely have their creativity tested during the next 10 years, as the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California ratchets up its rates a projected 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent a year for water deliveries to its 26 member agencies.
"Last week, I met with finance managers for 20 of the nation's largest water agencies," said Deven Upadhyay, Met's water resources manager. "Of those 20 agencies, 19 are going through dramatic rate increases right now because of infrastructure and water supply availability issues. It's a very serious phenomenon that's occurring throughout the nation."
One of the main reasons for these universal water rate increases, he said, is the problem of operating and maintaining aging infrastructure.
"Here in Southern California, the boom time for building water infrastructure was right after World War II. You're looking at a lot of systems that were put in place in the 1950s and '60s that are facing the end of their useful lives. Agencies are trying to figure out how they're going to pay for the replacement and refurbishment of these facilities," he said.
Replacement costs for Met's system today are estimated at $15 billion, he said.
"Looming out there, from a reliability perspective, are issues we're facing in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta," Upadhyay said. "A tremendous investment will need to be made on the part of water users throughout California to help ensure reliable supplies and help the delta ecosystem. Without that investment, you're going to see an erosion of reliable supplies that could be damaging for our economy."
In November 2009, the California Legislature passed a package of water-related bills aimed at addressing the state's water problems. The package included provisions on delta water issues, conservation, groundwater monitoring and water rights enforcement, as well as an $11.14 billion water bond now slated for the November 2012 ballot.
Tim Quinn, Association of California Water Agencies executive director, noted the state's water plumbing is a patchwork of large and small systems that are poorly interconnected.
"Previous generations built the incredible system we operate today," Quinn said. "Now, it's up to this generation to manage it better and invest in improvements to keep it vital, especially in the delta. We need to add storage to the system. We need to manage groundwater everywhere. These are critical to leaving a long-term, stable system to a future California, one that includes agriculture."
Efforts to address these issues are under way, Quinn said, "and, I will argue that agriculture has more at risk in the development of new water policy than any other segment of our economy, by far."
From her view at the end of the pipeline, Kister said efficiencies in water distribution systems will help, as will new water conveyance systems and increased storage capacity.
"There's not one thing that will be our salvation," said Kister, who is a California Farm Bureau Federation director. "It's going to take a lot of things to provide reliable and affordable water supplies to all Californians, as well as to those of us who farm in San Diego County."
She said agriculture remains an economic engine in the county and throughout the state, "but this engine cannot continue without water.
"If we want to keep food local, keep it in this country, then we have to look at what it takes to do that," Kister said. "But, with the state budget and the economy, education and everything else, this issue has been drowned out. While everyone is fiddling, farmers are slowly disappearing."
(Kate Campbell is an assistant editor of Ag Alert. She may be contacted at email@example.com.)
Weight loss, how about real estate loss as Jenny Craig cuts Rancho Paseana sale price at Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Known as Rancho Paseana, the property's 229 acres include a ¾-mile racetrack, two guest houses, an olive orchard, five barns and a veterinarian's suite. Also for sale, for $9 million, is Ms. Craig's 3.4-acre gated estate in Rancho Santa Fe. On a bluff overlooking the equestrian estate, that property has a four-bedroom main house, gardens and a private car museum. That's a grand old place. Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News carried the Real Estalker's coverage of this continuing weigh house loss sage. For the coverage, visit here.
Mrs. Craig and her late husband, Sidney, co-founded the weight-loss company bearing her name. Jeff Hyland with Hilton & Hyland/Christie's International Real estate in Beverly Hills, shares the equestrian listing with Catherine Barry and Jason Barry of Barry Estates in Rancho Santa Fe. The Barrys also have the listing for the smaller property.
This is from the previous coverage of the "small" property at Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News. For the full scoop visit here...
Miz Craig and her deceased huzband/bidness partner Sidney founded the eponymous Jenny Craig weight loss and weight management system in Austrailia in the early 1980s and in the mid-1980s they exported their weight loss wares to the United States and around the world. In 2002 Mister and Missus Craig's lucrative diet plan enterprise was acquired by a private equity firm (MidOcean Partners) and in 2006 the company was sold to Nestlé in a deal worth approximately $600,00,000.
Your Mama does not know how much moolah Mister and Missus Craig pocketed from either transaction, but from the looks of their real estate holdings in the Rancho Santa Fe area, the company and the sale of said company was enormously profitable for the pashas of the low-cal pre-planned meal.
Certainly the Jenny Craig diet plan (or whatever it's called) has helped a lot of people down size their denims but the program is not without critics and controversies. At least one website dedicated to the fine art of dieting claims it costs a person to lose every single pound on the Jenny Craig weight reduction regimen. By the rudimentary calculations of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus, iffin a person needs/wants to lose 100 pounds–and there are an unnerving number of people who waddle the streets and clog up the drive-thrus at Mac-Donalds who need to lose 100 pounds–it'll cost them an astonishing eight thousand dollars.
Solana Beach, Calif.-based Composite Technology Investors buys Dayton, Ohio utility pole maker...
(Photo: Utility poles in the San Dieguito River Valley this week that are set for imminent replacement with metal poles by San Diego Gas & Electric Company.)
Composite Technology Investors LLC, a Solana Beach, Calif.-based company said it recently completed the purchase of assets of Dayton, Ohio's Utility Composite Solutions, Inc. for manufacturing and sales of composite-material utility poles, the former company said.
CTI has established a new wholly-owned subsidiary company, Utility Composite Solutions International, Inc. (UCSI), which will be based in Dayton, co-located with Vector Composites, Inc. (VCI), another CTI-owned company.
VCI has a 30,...
Solana Beach, Calif.-based Amsolar supplies solar panels to San Diego Unified School District...
Solana Beach-based Amsolar Corp. said June 8 that it plans to install 23,000 solar panels at 20 schools in the San Diego Unified School District. The project will generate 5 megawatts of electricity — enough to serve 64 percent of the school sites’ needs.
Amsolar will own, operate and maintain the system, selling the electricity to the schools under a power purchase agreement. Bill Kowba, the school district’s superintendent, said in a statement that the construction will require no taxpayer money.
The costs of the project were not immediately available, nor were the financial terms of the power purchase agreement.
Amsolar expects to break ground on the project in the summer. The panels will go on 80 rooftops. Amsolar will also install solar carports at six sites.
Once built, the system will be the second largest solar system in the California schools. As far as power generation is concerned, however, 5 megawatts...
Rising water costs lead to uncertain future for San Diego County farmers. Part Two of a California Farm Bureau Federation investigation...
(PHOTO: World-famous Chino Farm at 6123 Calzada Del Bosque, Rancho Santa Fe - (858) 756-3184.)
Standing in a field of flowers seems like the perfect place for Mike Mellano to be. The San Diego County flower grower comes from a family that has produced blooms and stems for several generations and he understands what ornamental plants need to thrive—suitable climate, good soil and affordable, dependable water supplies.
"We're hearing that water prices are going higher," Mellano said during a visit to the ranunculus fields he cultivates in Carlsbad. "There are growers who are turning off water to their avocado groves and I worry about what that trend means for other crops."
He said the decision to turn off irrigation water generally starts with smaller or less-efficient farms. San Diego County leads the nation in the number of family farms with nearly 6,700 operations, the majority of them smaller than 10 acres. These farms produce more than 200 different agricultural commodities.
Mellano said growers are struggling with skyrocketing water costs, in many cases with increases of nearly 130 percent in just the past five or six years. And, water agencies warn that prices will continue to escalate for the foreseeable future. Costs to deliver water have increased; supplies have been reduced in recent years due to drought and restrictions on delivering water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta; costs have risen for water from the Colorado River and for water on the spot market.
In addition, discounts once offered to farmers are ending. A program operated by the regional water wholesaler the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California provided a discount of as much as 30 percent to farmers, in exchange for interruptible service. But MWD decided to phase out the program, which farmers would have preferred had remained in place. The program will end in 2012.
The San Diego County Water Authority has an agricultural water rate that will include a small discount because farmers will not benefit from the agency's emergency water storage program, explained Ken Weinberg, San Diego County Water Authority director of water resources. The emergency supply facilities will provide stability for residential customers in the event of a major disaster, such as an earthquake damaging the authority's aqueduct.
"We've seen during the past few years a number of factors that affect agriculture," Weinberg said. "Delivery cutbacks from Metropolitan, significant cost increases, the end of the discount program and, at the same time, we've seen agricultural water use drop in half in the past few years."
Water use has dropped, he said, as local water district managers report farmers can't afford the higher water rates and are going out of business.
"Some have stumped large areas of their (avocado) groves to comply with the 30 percent cutback during the drought," he said.
The water authority is having difficulty now forecasting what the future agricultural water demand will be, Weinberg said, especially when considering avocados and citrus, which are particularly price sensitive and subject to intense market competition.
Already, citrus crops have decreased in acreage in San Diego County, and avocado acreage has fallen about 9,000 acres in the past few years. The county's largest fresh market tomato grower ceased production this spring, citing the high cost of water as one reason for not planting this year.
"We're all in agreement that because of water prices, there will be less agricultural use in our service area in the future," Weinberg said.
Under new, state-mandated water conservation requirements—20 percent reduction in water use statewide by 2020—Weinberg said the agency is looking at much lower water use by all customers.
"We're not planning for expanded agricultural water demand in San Diego County in the future," he said. "We hear from our agricultural agencies that it's hard for farmers to make investments in crop plantings for the future. That's why we're saying we're not quite sure where the future of agriculture is going to be in this county."
Gary Arant, general manager of the Valley Center Water District, said, "In essence, the very existence of permanent tree crop agriculture, including avocados, is at stake. More and more, growers are now finding it impossible to farm as their forebears had done."
He said the general public, local elected officials and community leaders have to understand that "we are on the verge of permanently losing our long-standing local avocado and citrus industry. The broader region—not just the water importers, wholesalers and retailers—needs to decide if this is an important segment of the economy worth protecting and preserving."
He points out that as demand for the district's water slackens, there are fewer customers to shoulder the costs—meaning prices will continue to spiral upward.
As water prices escalate, crop acreage shrinks.
In 2009, the San Diego County crop report showed a loss of 2,000 acres of avocados. The California Avocado Commission estimates that in 2010, another 7,000 acres went out of production.
"We're seeing attrition in our acreage base," said commission president Tom Bellamore. "We see San Diego and Riverside county avocado acreage going down and we don't see it ever coming up again."
Bellamore said Southern California avocado growers long ago invested in water-efficient technology and carefully follow water conservation practices. But that hasn't eased the economic pressure from soaring water costs—about $1,200 an acre-foot delivered now and going to about $1,400 an acre-foot next year in San Diego County.
"I don't want to suggest that agriculture in San Diego County is disappearing," said Bellamore, who grows lemons in the area. "There's every likelihood farmers there can continue with another crop. But, at the same time, agricultural water rates are going up all over California."
Mellano, who is president of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, said farmers will do what they can to cope with escalating water costs.
"My understanding from farmers who grow avocados is that there are some new technologies out there—new salt-tolerant varieties, high-density planting techniques, different approaches to managing tree canopies, emerging soil moisture monitoring devices that are much more accurate than old methods. There are lots of things that can come into play that will allow growers to go forward."
But, no matter the crop, he said farmers need certainty that they will have water available and some certainty of pricing on which to base their plans before investing for the future.
"Farming is basic," Mellano said. "We need an affordable, reliable water supply. Without affordable water or labor, there's nothing we can do."
And, he stressed, the future of farming throughout California relies on these same things, as well.
"Whether it's high value crops in San Diego County or vegetable crops in the Central Valley or the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, water is essential. Every farmer in the state is facing this issue or will be soon," he said. "That's true on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley and it's true on the east side of San Diego County.
"But here in San Diego County, we have every intention of finding a way of staying in business. I believe we will continue to be a significant component of the economy and the community—somehow, some way. It's just that people aren't making it very easy for us."
Next week: What the implications of soaring water costs in San Diego County may mean for all California farmers and ranchers.
Construction Complete for New Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas, (Calif.) Parking Structure
McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. (www.mccarthy.com), one of the nation’s leading builders, has completed construction of the new 884-space parking structure on the existing Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas campus, located at 354 Santa Fe Drive, Encinitas, Calif.
Scripps Health is the developer of the $10,278,964 design-build parking structure, which replaced a surface parking lot. The project represents the first phase of a planned $200 million expansion of the Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas campus. Future expansion plans call for construction of a two-story, 60,000-square-foot critical care building that will house 27 emergency department beds on the first floor and 36 private acute care beds on the second floor. Farther-reaching plans include expansion for outpatient services, medical office space and additional critical care and inpatient beds to serve the community well into the future.
Embedded Public Relations Dept. Pt. 1 -- 'Iconic Del Mar, Calif. hotel interior remodel under way'
Water problems persist for San Diego farmers - The word from Bill Horn and Mike Mellano at the end of the California water supply pipeline...
Water rushing in the creek below Bill Horn's 35-acre avocado grove causes him to pause and smile. After several years of drought, it's a welcome sound, although he doesn't rely on water from the seasonal creek to keep his groves producing.
Instead, he counts on a combination of well water and service from the Valley Center Water District, which supplies about 1,300 agricultural customers on the county's east side.
Farmer and San Diego County supervisor Bill Horn says blank patches on hillsides surrounding his property represent farms that used to produce avocados, but no longer do.
Horn, who chairs the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, has been producing avocados and citrus fruit on his farms since 1972. He said market prices for the fruit have gone up and down through the years, but water costs had remained fairly constant until four or five years ago.
Since just 2005, water costs for family farmers in the Valley Center Water District have risen 96 percent, and projected rates for 2012 would bring the increase to 129 percent in that period. Water that cost about $500 an acre-foot in 2005 now sells for more than $1,200 an acre-foot, once extra pumping costs are added. In 2012, an acre-foot of water from Valley Center Water District, where prices are similar to those charged by other county water districts, could sell for more than $1,400 an acre-foot after all delivery costs are included.
This escalation in price reflects the phase-out of a farm-water discount program, higher transportation and delivery costs, short supplies due to drought and restricted water transfers from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and dramatically higher prices for water on the spot market, as well as costs associated with transferring water from the Imperial Irrigation District under a multi-state agreement affecting Colorado River supplies. And, as the number of agricultural water customers in San Diego County decreases, some small water districts have raised rates on those who remain in farming.
Even with a wet winter and spring that have provided a breather for drought-weary farmers throughout the state, San Diego County water prices continue to soar and threaten the viability of a mainstay crop.
Some avocado growers have given up farming altogether, and others have stopped watering parts of their groves in hopes of producing at least a partial crop this year.
From his farm, Horn points to blank patches on nearby hillsides that used to produce avocados, but no longer. The official number of San Diego County avocado acres in production in 2010 will be released in July and crop experts anticipate a decline of 5,000 to 10,000 acres, on top of a 2,000-acre drop reported in 2009.
As water prices have increased, Horn said, water quality has become more problematic.
"We've got quite a bit of fruit this year, but now we're having a problem with sizing," he said. "We think those problems often can be traced back to the poor quality of water we're getting."
Total dissolved salts in district water have increased to about 700 parts per million, compared to about 500 ppm in the past. He said the increase, which affects salt-sensitive crops such as avocados, strawberries, cut flowers and ornamental nursery products, is due to water wholesalers' greater reliance on salty Colorado River water, instead of fresher water from the delta.
Pete Makauf, general manager of Leslie Farms in Carlsbad, notes that farmers in coastal areas face challenges similar to those confronting farmers in eastern San Diego County.
"In the past, we planted 60 acres of strawberries here, but decided to only plant 40 acres this year," Makauf explained. "The decision to reduce our planted acres is designed to give us a better overall price. Our water costs have gone up a lot."
But he pointed out that the costs of all other crop inputs have shot up, too.
"We're paying close to $1,200 an acre-foot for water now and we hear it's going to continue to go up," he said. "But transportation, labor, fertilizer and fumigation costs also have gone up."
The Ukegawa family, which owns the growing operation that includes Leslie Farms, has been a part of San Diego County agriculture since 1948. Although the family has deep roots in the county, Makauf said parts of the operation have been moved, primarily to Mexico, where growing costs are lower.
"We've moved our vegetable production—cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers—to production areas in Baja," he said. "We don't have any plans to move our strawberry production to Mexico at this time, provided we can stay profitable by rebalancing our whole farming operation."
The farm's strawberry business is a combination of wholesale shipments to supermarkets such as Henry's and Vons, and direct marketing through farmers markets, farm stands and u-pick fields.
There's a lot of strawberry production in Baja, Makauf said, adding that while he isn't seeing a big rush by California farmers to begin growing there, he does see the number of acres farmed by U.S. growers steadily increasing. Baja, too, has trouble with water quality, he noted, but lower production costs make expensive water technology, such as reverse osmosis, more affordable there.
For flower grower and San Diego County Farm Bureau President Michael Anthony Mellano, dealing with water supplies and costs has further complicated his business.
"We've had to evolve a lot over the years to stay in business," Mellano said. "Anybody who's in agriculture or in business has had to learn to do that, but the pressure to adapt has been even more intense in the past few years."
He said his family's cut flower farm must compete with Colombian producers, has needed to invest in water conservation technology, manage water quality problems, keep up with escalating input costs, find new niche crops and sharpen marketing skills.
"We currently farm cut flowers on about 400 acres on two farms in San Diego County, with our main location in San Luis Rey," Mellano said, noting that his grandfather started growing flowers in 1925. In Carlsbad, Mellano and Co. farms about 50 acres of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that serve as a focal point for The Flower Fields, which attracts more than 100,000 visitors each spring.
"Cut flowers are tricky, " Mellano said, "because each variety has different water needs, unlike acres of avocados or strawberries. All floral crops, however, thrive best with water that contains lower salt levels."
In San Luis Rey, "a couple of really good wells" provide adequate water quality. But at The Flower Fields in Carlsbad it's different, he said, noting that there are no private wells.
"When we started growing flowers here in the 1990s, water costs were maybe $400 to $500 an acre-foot," he said. "Today, it's about $1,400 an acre-foot."
In addition, Mellano said, "The frustrating thing about growing here is that we use potable water (drinking water quality) and use a fair amount of reclaimed water from the city sewage treatment plant. It's poorer quality and yet we're charged almost the same amount of money as we pay for potable water. In the end, reclaimed water costs us more than potable water, because we have to do more leaching and treatment to remove the salts."
The pricing structure for reclaimed water "is not conducive to use," Mellano said.
"We feel we should be getting a price break, especially since it appears the lion's share of treated wastewater is dumped into the ocean," he said. "When you talk about political or bureaucratic roadblocks to securing affordable water supplies, there's one example."
As county Farm Bureau president, he said he has heard farmers express concern that water prices are very high and, depending on the crop being grown, there are farmers who are simply turning off the water, particularly on less productive farms that don't have water supply alternatives.
"Highly efficient farms tend to stay in business longer, but now even those farms are struggling," he said. "The cards that have been dealt to our San Diego County growers have been pretty harsh during the past few years."
Next week: What rapidly rising water rates mean for the future of San Diego County farms.
(Kate Campbell is an assistant editor of Ag Alert. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Real Estalker Celebrity Musings: Liz Taylor, Joan Collins, The Beckhams, Prince and their real estate stuff, stuff...
1. The executor(s) of Dame Elizabeth Taylor's estate have reportedly heaved her house in Bel Air on the market with an asking price of $8,600,000. No official listing has hit the interweb but according to the Wall Street Journal Miz Taylor acquired the gated 1.2 acre estate and the approximately 7,000 square foot ranch-style house in 1981. It has previously been owned by Nancy Sinatra Sr.
The house has 5 bedrooms including a master lined with Dame Elizabeth's signature lavender, the color of her eyes, don'tcha know. The living room has a beamed ceiling and an office was fashioned from a former screening room.
The grounds include a swimming pool, koi pond, hothouse for growing orchids and a terraced English garden.
Your Mama suspects this house will be snatched up by a developer before it ever hits the open market, knocked down and replaced with something more than twice its since. Such is the residential real estate "progress" in the 90201 and 90077.
2. Joan Collins, the lacquered lady best known as Alexis Carrington on the 1980s evening soap story Dynasty, has put her New York City apartment on the market with an asking price of $2,895,000 with monthly maintenance of $2,914.
The 1,900 square foot combination spread at The Dorchester building on E. 57th Street has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, hardwood floors throughout and a lot of 1980s day-core that includes–horror or horrors–black mini blinds in the Barbie pink-colored den, a zebra-striped sofa and ottoman in the living room and–natch–a Blackamoor statue or two.
According to the New York Post Miz Collins had a going away party at the apartment attended by a bunch of old ladies like Arlene Dahl and a gaggle of gays that included Alan Cumming and Bravo's Andy Cohen.
3. According to the Daily Mail Victoria and David Beckham have leased an ocean front house in Malibu, CA to the monetary tune of more than $60,000 per month.
Listing information shows the newly built and boxy contemporary sits on 1.1 bluff-top acres, measures 10,180 square feet and includes a total of 7 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms divided between a main and guest house.
Glass panels open the house to the ocean view balconies, backyard terraces, a 50-foot long swimming pool, spa and shallow lawn the runs to the edge of the steep bluff that tumbles down to the sand.
30 Rock's Jack McBrayer Buys House in the Hills
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Emmy nominated actor/comedian JackMcBrayer began exercising his southern-accented funny bone in the mid-1990s with The Second City Theatre in Chicago where he first came into contact with comedy's reigning queen Tina Fey.MiztoobMcBrayerParcelldeMcBrayerTalladegavee
In the early- to mid-naughts, long before Miz Fey's boob-toobjuggernaut 30 Rock ever hit the airwaves, Mister McBrayer created and honed his bubbly, wide-eyed and simpleminded NBC page character Kenneth Parcell on The Conan O'Brien Show. Eventually that character, a quirky half-witted hillbilly who goes to New York with stars in his eyes and a bus ticket home in his pocket, wound up on Tina Fey's tour de sitcom force, a turn of showbiz events that earned him fame, fortune and legions of fervent fans. Mister McBrayerhas also appeared in the films Talladega and Forgetting Sarah Marshall as well as on a number of tee-vee programs including Arrested Development and Phineas and Ferb..
Given that 30 Rock tapes in New York City it seems strange that the Macon, Georgia-born Mister McBrayer would want or need a multi-million dollar house in Tinseltown but, according to our eerily well-informed celebrity real estate whistle blower Lucy Spillerguts, MisterMcBrayer recently plunked down $1,975,000 for a fully-rehabbed residence in the Hollywood Hills above the historic and charming Beachwood Canyon neighborhood.
The "contemporary" but architecturally unremarkable residence, according to listing information we cajoled from the interweb, measures 2,594 square feet over two floors and includes 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The nearly one-third acre hillside property recently underwent an extensive two-year overhaul during which the hillside at the back of the house was re-engineered and a large retaining wall added that created a flat promontory with million dollar views of the surrounding canyons, the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory and downtown. Say what you will about Los Angeles but living in LalaLand with a view like this house has is akin to living in Chicago with a view of the lake or in Brooklyn with a distant view on Manhattan.
A front-facing two-car garage dominates the narrow street frontage. The somewhat awkward entry to the house is around the side through a see-through gate that swings opens to staggering views and a wide terrace that continues past the front door and wraps around the back of the house. Iffin Your Mama were to have overhauled this house we would have done this front area differently with a walled courtyard entry that would not only provide additional semi-private outdoor space but also a gratifying sense of drama and anticipation as the eye is drawn through the courtyard to the front door and the dynamic and iconic views.
The main living space, a glass-lined living/dining room with powerful city views, connects to the updated and upgraded kitchen through a wide doorway. The honey-colored hardwood floors in the living/dining room run into the cozy but well-arranged kitchen that includes a vintage range, built-in wine fridge, pantry storage, a center work island and flat-fronted cabinets with nipple-like knobs. A day-dreamy corner window that allows the dishwasher to ponder the iconic Hollywood sign as they scrub the devil out of the frying pan.
A bank of cabinets perfect for storing bongs and board games surrounds the staircase to the lower level where a celebrity-sized master suite has a hookah lounge-sized sitting area wrapped in windows with panoramic views. Mister McBrayer's new boo-dwarincludes a walk-in closet and bathroom with double sinks, separate soaking tub, frameless glass shower with multiple shower heads and a separate cubby for the terlit. The walls into which the sinks are sunk in the master bathroom are papered with a shiny silver wall covering printed with over-scaled white flowers. Nobody loves shiny like Your Mama loves shiny so, in theory, silver wallpaper makes us pee with decorative glee. However this particular choice of wallpaper feels a little forced and trendy, particularly when paired with that snippet of electric apple green paint that surrounds the doorway into the closet.
Thankfully, a spiral staircase connects the second level living spaces with the lower level backyard, otherwise Mister McBrayer's pool party guests would be required to traipse through his private quaters in order to get from the kitchen to the pool and spa. A shallow covered patio directly off the master bedroom's sitting area looks like it barely provides any real shade. Pity that because it's damn sunny in Southern California and shade is a desirable feature for all but the most viciously over-tanned. The concrete patio extends halfway around the amoebic glass tiled swimming pool where it abruptly ends and becomes a narrow strip of lawn large enough only for small to mid-size pooches to do their dirty bizness. The strip of grass wraps around the remainder of the pool and the raised circular spa that can both be light in a variety of theatrical colors including lavender. To be honest, puppies, Your Mama isn't entirely positive that the spa is not at least partially visible from a couple of the nearby houses so it may not be the best place for Mister McBrayer to get romantic with whomever it is he gets romantic with. However, if your idea of relaxation is wallowing in a vat of near boiling water like you're a damn carrot in a stew than this is probably a perfectly impressive and glittery spa in which to do it.
Based on a few short minutes of entirely unscientific research and a leg up from a New York City-based editor, Your Mama is pretty sure that Mister McBrayer's New York City crib, a one bedroom and one bathroom condo in a fairly new and architecturally undistinguished building near Lincoln Center, was purchased in August of 2008 for $1,350,000.
Solana Beach, Calif. Earnest Eats natural foods partners with International Rescue Committee...
Earnest Eats, makers of natural and vegan foods, is partnering with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a humanitarian organization that offers life-saving care and life-changing assistance to millions of refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. The partnership will focus first on raising awareness of and funds for the IRC’s Wake Up Campaign.
The Wake Up Campaign, established on the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (March 8, 2011), centers on the challenges being faced by women in conflict and post conflict settings around the world, and what the IRC does each day to protect and empower them. The campaign’s goal is to bring attention and focus to violence against women, obstacles to girls’ education and threats to maternal health. Wake Up reaches out to the IRC’s supporters and the public with an urgent call to action to join the cause.
V's Barbershop giving Del Mar, Calif. some close shaves...and haircuts and grooming stuff...
V's Barbershop opened Saturday, Apri; 16 at 2683 Via de la Valle, Suite # H, Del Mar. This is the first V’s Barbershop to open in San Diego County, signifying the 13th location in the Phoenix-based franchise network.
“We're excited to launch the first V’s Barbershop in San Diego and plan to become an integral part of the community where men will be able to enjoy the traditional father-son barbershop experience at an affordable price," said owner Scott McDaniel. "V’s Barbershop is the leading, authentic men’s barbershop, presenting traditional barbering services in a top quality, upscale, masculine environment. We encourage everyone to stop by our grand opening event and meet our friendly barber team."
V’s offers haircuts, shampoos, hot lather, straight-edge shaves, beard and moustache trims, along with facials, face and shoulder massages and grooming products. V’s also extends a 20 percent discount...
Carbon Disclosure Project goes straight to the source-Source 44 LLC of Solana Beach, Calif.
Source 44 is one of only five CDP-accredited consultancy partners in the U.S. who will be delivering the Response Check service. The new service will support the thousands of companies that report their climate change data through CDP.
“This program dramatically expands our relationship with CDP,” said Jess Kraus, Source 44 President and CEO. “I’m pleased to be able to leverage our team of carbon experts on behalf of CDP and their reporting companies -- some of the world’s biggest brands and leading firms.”
In CDP’s announcement, the organization stated that the new service, Response Check, is a high-level quality assurance service for CDP-responding companies that have completed their 2011 CDP response. Prior to final submission to CDP, an external quality check can now be performed by Source 44 to ensure the response is as complete as possible.
Source 44 COO Matt Thorn has led the company’s efforts with CDP, and sees the new program as an outstanding means of leveraging his company’s team of carbon disclosure expertise. “This new program,” Thorn said, “gives us the opportunity to not only leverage our team of sustainability analysts, but also our technology platform and database of sustainability information.”
The Response Check offering, which will be standard around the world, features a thorough review of a company’s final CDP response, followed by a collaborative feedback session by email and/or teleconference -- depending on individual company needs and requirements.
“The opportunity to partner with CDP in this program,” said Mike Fraser, Source 44 EVP and Chief Development Officer, “further cements Source 44 as a leader in this new and growing industry. Partnerships such as this are critical to our company’s further expansion and development, and provide us with the opportunity to expose Source 44’s expertise to some of the world’s largest and forward-thinking companies.”
As one of CDP’s accredited consultancy partners, the company has received proprietary training from the organization on the Response Check methodology and process. CDP explained that while the service does not guarantee a responding company a better disclosure or performance score, it does provide an additional set of “expert eyes” reviewing a response before final submission, with an emphasis on completeness rather than the quality of the content.