Daily Business Report-May 21, 2013
Navy-Trained Dolphins Find Rare Torpedo Off San Diego Coast
Navy-trained dolphins have discovered a rare 19th-century torpedo off San Diego’s coast, KPBS reports. The 130-year-old Howell Torpedo, one of the first self-propelled torpedoes developed and used by the U.S. Navy, was located off Coronado in early March during a mine-hunting exercise that the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific was conducting with bottlenose dolphins. During the training, one of the dolphins reported the presence of something in an area away from the training field, said Chris Harris, operations supervisor for Space and Navy Warfare Systems’ Marine Mammal Program. “When there’s an object of interest discovered, the dolphin comes over and touches the side of the boat in a manner that indicates a positive contact or a negative contact,” explained Harris. “In this case the dolphins came over and indicated to the handlers on the boat “we found something, this is interesting, you’re gonna want to check this out.”
Harris said a second dolphin then reported an object in the same location.
“At that point the determination was made to give the dolphins the marking apparatus to show us the location of the object,” said Harris, “and that was when the object was discovered.”
Harris said the recovery dive team brought the torpedo to the surface and everyone was very surprised. That’s because the Howell Torpedo was developed by the Navy in the late 1800s and used by battleships until 1898. Only 50 were manufactured and just one other has been recovered.
(NAVY FILE PHOTO ABOVE: K-Dog, a bottlenose dolphin belonging to Commander Task Unit 55.4.3, leaps out of the water in front of Sgt. Andrew Garrett while training hear the USS Gunston Hall in the Persian Gulf.)
U.S. Bank Provides Financing Help for Apartment Project
U.S. Bank says it is providing more than $23 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity to help Chelsea Investment Corp. develop Fairbanks Commons Apartments in the Black Mountain Ranch area of San Diego. Fairbanks Commons, a 165-unit complex, is under construction and will be completed by early 2014. It will consist of 13 buildings around a common courtyard. Its mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units will be available to families earning 50 percent to 60 percent of area median income.
San Diego Council Approves San Diego River Master Plan
The San Diego City Council on Monday unanimously approved the San Diego River Park Master Plan, a policy document to guide future development along the 17.5 miles of the San Diego River. The plan would create a river-long park stretching from the San Diego River headwaters near Julian to the Pacific Ocean at Ocean Beach. “A park system along the San Diego River will increase recreation opportunities for our residents, preserve and enhance the river’s natural resources and help improve the quality of life in Mission Valley and other District 7 communities,” said Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents the vast majority of communities along the San Diego River.
Sherman said implementation of the master plan will rely on both private and public investment in the river valley and includes tools such as maintenance, management and security strategies, and public outreach/education methods to make the river park a success.
South Bay Union School District Poised to Hire New Superintendent
South Bay Union School District trustees have selected Katie McNamara, assistant superintendent for instructional services for the Solana Beach School District, as their finalist to lead Imperial Beach elementary schools starting July 1. Trustees will vote on a contract with McNamara on Wednesday. McNamara has been an administrator with Solana Beach schools since 2004. Before that, she worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal in the Del Mar and Riverside unified school districts. South Bay Union paid Leadership Associates, an executive search firm, $24,000 to conduct the superintendent search. If trustees approve her appointment Wednesday, she will have a three year contract with the district and a $180,000 annual salary.
Founding Dean Chosen for Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering
Chell A. Roberts, executive dean of the College of Technology and Innovation at Arizona State University, will become the founding dean of the new Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering at the University of San Diego. Roberts has served in his present position since March 2011. Before that, he was chair of engineering at ASU from 2004 to 2011 and interim chair of technology management from 2009 to 2011. He has been a professor of engineering at ASU since 1989. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Utah and a PhD in industrial engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic and State University. He will assume his post at USD on July 1.
California Bank & Trust Names Downtown Assistant VP
California Bank & Trust has named Michelle Marcon as the bank’s Downtown San Diego office assistant vice president/relationship administrator. Formerly with CB&T as a financial services representative, Marcon returns to the CB&T team to support commercial client relationship management as well as operations for the branch. Marcon has more than eight years of banking experience. She was an assistant vice president/client services officer at San Diego Private Bank. Marcon also provides independent service as a notary public and volunteers at the San Diego Center for Children.
Harvard Graduate School of Design/San Diego Alumni Program
A new program presented by The Harvard Graduate School of Design/San Diego Alumni (GSD/SD), will bring global and local perspectives to critical issues facing the world. The DISrupt! program gets under way in San Diego with an inaugural event May 31 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the SDG&E Energy Innovation Center. Tickets are $30. Featured will be Charles Waldheim, John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture and chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Waldheim will address “The Power of Design, Energy and the Built Environment,” an overview of global and local trends related to energy innovation. For more, visit http://energycenter.org/disrupt.
Point Loma High Principal Samilson Set to Retire
Point Loma High School Principal Bobbie Samilson has announced she will retire at the end of the school year, ending a nine-year stint as the school’s point woman, the Peninsula Beacon reports. Samilson announced her decision in an email to school staff, surprising many. Appointed to lead the 2,200-student campus in 2004, Samilson has overseen the continuance of the most effective programs at PLHS and the addition of numerous changes, improvements and new programs at the school that have resulted in markedly increased test scores in recent years. The campus has seen the completion of significant construction in recent years under Proposition S funding, including a new classroom building, weight room, music center and a recently dedicated motion pictures industries facility for students.