Roundtable: Troubles At Qualcomm, San Ysidro School District, SeaWorld And The San Diego River

Friday, November 10, 2017
By Mark Sauer, Pat Finn
Photo by Associated Press
Above: The Qualcomm headquarters building in San Diego, Nov. 2, 2011.

QUALCOMM'S BIG OFFER

The Story

San Diego-based Qualcomm Inc., is a major player in the global semi-conductor industry.

It is also the current object of desire of Hock Tan, the acquisitions-minded CEO of tech giant Broadcom Ltd. This week he offered to swallow Qualcomm for $103 billion in stock and cash, or $70 a share ($60 in cash, $10 in Broadcom stock).

There are worries that, if successful, Tan would break up the company to sell for parts, that Broadcom wouldn't invest enough in research and development, or that he would simply relocate it.

Tan, however, said Broadcom is “very committed to San Diego.”

The Discussion

-What is Qualcomm’s history in San Diego?

-What impact have Qualcomm and its founders had on San Diego?

-How important is Qualcomm to San Diego’s economy and image?

RELATED: Broadcom CEO Hock Tan talks Qualcomm takeover bid, calls offer compelling for shareholders

SAN YSIDRO SCHOOL DISTRICT'S DYSFUNCTION

The Story

In a nutshell: San Ysidro School District is one of the poorest in San Diego County, yet it paid its former superintendent, Julio Fonseca, about $1 million in total compensation over the last two years.

His compensation made him the highest-paid superintendent in the county and the second highest in the state.

In 2015, the year it hired Fonseca, San Ysidro had almost worked its way out of both a scandal and a financial hole. Then it declared a nearly $1 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2016-2017.

In recent months there have been more scandals, the resignations of Fonseca and his replacement, an expensive settlement, a lawsuit filed by attorney Cory Briggs and a request for an "extraordinary state audit" of San Ysidro's finances by the San Diego County Office of Education.

The Discussion

-How did SYSD's board members not notice the scope of Fonseca's compensation?

-Could this lead to a state takeover?

RELATED: Ex-San Ysidro school superintendent’s compensation makes him highest paid in county, second highest in state

RELATED: San Ysidro superintendent resigns; board member wants DA probe of finances

RELATED: County superintendent asks state to investigate San Ysidro School District finances

SEAWORLD'S BIG SLIDE

The Story

SeaWorld has been unable to reverse a slide in attendance, which declined 9 percent company wide in the third quarter.

Falling revenue and attendance in Florida and Texas are due to recent hurricanes. In San Diego, however, they are caused by perception.

The 2013 film "Blackfish," about the orca that killed a trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, was thought by SeaWorld executives to be potentially bad for business, a concern they kept from stockholders.

The Discussion

-What can SeaWorld do to change its image in California, or is that a lost cause?

-Are investors suing?

RELATED: SeaWorld unable to reverse continued attendance slide

RELATED: SeaWorld emails show execs knew "Blackfish" bad for business before telling investors

BIG MESS AT THE RIVER

The Story

Many of the homeless who put up tents in downtown San Diego have been cleared out by the police and have moved to camps along the San Diego River.

But the camps are unsanitary, with piles of trash and drug paraphernalia and human waste everywhere.

The San Diego River Foundation, which is working toward restoring the river and creating a system of trails, says there have been homeless living along the river for many years but believes the number of camps has nearly doubled in the last year.

The Discussion

-What impacts are recent efforts to temporarily house the homeless having?

-What are the chances the Chargers' former training facility in Murphy Canyon will be used to house the homeless?

RELATED: San Diego River teeming with homeless despite city clean-up efforts following hep A outbreak