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Daily Business Report-June 13, 2013

Daily Business Report-June 13, 2013

The Housing Commission’s smoke-free policy will take effect on Feb. 1, 2014

Housing Commission Adopts Smoke-Free Policy at All of its Apartment Building

The San Diego Housing Commission has adopted a smoke-free policy for all of its apartment buildings, an action approved Tuesday by the San Diego City Council sitting as the city’s housing authority. The smoke-free policy will take effect on Feb. 1, 2014. The new policy prohibits smoking anywhere at SDHC-owned residential properties, which include more than 2,000 affordable housing units. Smoking is not allowed in individual apartments or within 25 feet of the buildings. The policy applies to residents, their guests, and SDHC employees or contractors working on-site. Before moving forward with the policy, SDHC surveyed tenants, and a majority who responded to the survey said they prefer a smoke-free living environment.

Sharp Hopes to Give Free Health Screenings to 5,000 People

health screening

Sharp doesn’t retain the information; just provides results

One of the keys to good health is knowing your numbers, as in blood pressure and cholesterol. Sharp HealthCare has launched an effort to give 5,000 San Diegans their numbers through free health screenings, KPBS reports. It’s the largest initiative of its kind in San Diego. Sharp HealthCare employees look for people who’d like to have a free health screening in public places, like at Grossmont Shopping Center in La Mesa. During the screenings, participants get the lowdown on five key health indicators, including cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure. Sharp doesn’t retain any of the information; it simply performs the mini check-ups, provides the results and offers a little health advice. Read more

Budget Panel Approves Land Transfer for Old Town State Historic Park

The Legislature’s Joint Budget Conference Committee approved transfer of a

Former Caltrans office

Former Caltrans office site

former, now vacant, Caltrans office site 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, according to state officials. “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,” said Sen. Marty Block (D-San Diego).
 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.

Carlsbad Game Developer Acquired by SGN in Los Angeles

Carlsbad-based Mob Science, a game development company, has been acquired by games developer SGN in Los Angeles. The deal was structured as a cash and equity purchase. “Mob Science is a proven game development company with collectively over 75 years of experience in top-tier social game creation,” said Chris DeWolfe, CEO and founder of SGN. “Both SGN and Mob Science stand for quality, enabling us to continue our strategic growth and market expansion.” Mob Science’s team will stay in their Carlsbad offices. SGN said more acquisitions will be slated for announcement later this year.

“Joining the SGN team is an amazing new opportunity for everyone here at Mob Science,” said Michael Witz, founder and CEO of Mob Science. “We look forward to bringing our games to new platforms with their cross-deployment technology as well as working together to create exciting new games throughout 2013 and beyond.”

Budget Researchers Point to Brain’s ‘Dark Side’ as Key to Cocaine Addiction

Marisa Roberto

Marisa Roberto was the principal investigator

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found evidence that an emotion-related brain region called the central amygdala — whose activity promotes feelings of malaise and unhappiness — plays a major role in sustaining cocaine addiction. In experiments with rats, the TSRI researchers found signs that cocaine-induced changes in this brain system contribute to anxiety-like behavior and other unpleasant symptoms of drug withdrawal —symptoms that typically drive an addict to keep using. When the researchers blocked specific brain receptors called kappa opioid receptors in this key anxiety-mediating brain region, the rats’ signs of addiction abated. “These receptors appear to be a good target for therapy,” said Marisa Roberto, associate professor in TSRI’s addiction research group, the Committee on the Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders. Roberto was the principal investigator for the study, which appears in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

Former Credit Union Building in Vista Sold for $1.525 Million

The freestanding pad in front of Living Spaces Furniture in the University Square project at 1960 University Drive in Vista had been sold for $1,525,000. The retail pad building with drive-through once housed the North Island Financial Credit Union and has a Nail Salon as the co-tenant. The building sits on a 42,370-square-foot parcel and is part of the greater University Square retail project that houses Target, Wal-Mart, Old Navy and other national retailers. The buyer was Valbeach Garfield LLC. with William Valaika as managing member. The buyer also owns other sections of the University Square Shopping Center. the company plans to re-tenant and redevelop the site. The seller of the property was North Island Financial Credit Union. Don Zech and Nick Zech of CDC Commercial Inc.  represented the seller and buyer.

Oceanside Hotel Sold for $3.4 Million

America Best Value Inn, a 61-room hospitality and golf property at 901 North Coast Highway in Oceanside, has been sold for $3.4 million to a limited liability company. The buyer’s name was not disclosed. The hotel is being converted to the new Motel 6 phoenix prototype, according to broker Marcus & Millichap.

Law Groups Sponsor Free Weekly Legal Workshops to San Diegans

The Earl B Gilliam Bar Association  and the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association will sponsor the annual Neighborhood Law School Program to provide free legal workshops taught by top San Diego attorneys. Workshops will be held each Monday from June 17 until Aug. 12 (with a break for July 4th weekend and Aug. 5). The courses are designed to give useful legal information on a variety of topics to the public, including employees, business owners, landlords, renters, or anyone who lives in San Diego. “This is an opportunity for regular San Diegans to learn and ask questions about legal issues in a relaxed workshop,” said co-organizer Omar Passons. All courses except Accidents & Injuries will be offered in Spanish and English. Classes will be he at the Jacobs Center for Innovation, 404 Euclid Ave., San Diego 92114.  To register, or for more information, visit

Workshops include: Accidents & Injuries; Employers & Employees; Running a Business; Landlords & Tenants; Understanding Criminal Law; and Immigration Law.

Tourism Marketing District Director: San Diego Hotels Slow to Issue Legal Waivers

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner wants major hotels to commit money to the city in case lawsuits against the Tourism Marketing District prevail, but only 10 percent have done so, the agency’s executive director said Wednesday.

City News Service reports that the low commitment level could lessen the amount of money the district directs toward promoting San Diego as a tourist destination in the coming fiscal year, according to a presentation to the City Council’s Budget Committee. “Private ownership properties were coming in the quickest,” said TMD Executive Director Lorin Stewart. “The properties that are corporate, with national brands, have to go through a process.” Only 14 hotels have provided the commitment so far, he said.

Read more:

New Sickle Cell Anemia Therapy Advances to Phase II Clical Trials

The La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology and two other medical centers are preparing to launch the second phase of a clinical trial to study a potential new therapy for reducing the severest symptoms of sickle cell anemia. The disease is a serious, painful and chronic illness that impedes blood flow and can lead to early death. The phase II trial, funded by a $10.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, is testing an already existing drug called Lexiscan, which is used for diagnosing heart disease. Researchers from the La Jolla institute, the Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center in Boston and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin in Milwaukee are exploring whether the drug’s anti-inflammatory effects will significantly reduce the pain and blood flow disturbances of sickle cell anemia. A Phase I safety study was completed earlier this year.

Glo Beauty Bar Holds June 15 Grand Opening

The blowout bar trend sweeping the nation is coming to La Jolla with the June 15 grand opening of Glo Beauty Bar at 5707 La Jolla Blvd. in Bird Rock. This is the first West Coast location for owner Jessica Hanson, a long-time San Diego businesswoman who also operates the flagship  Glo Beauty Bar in Baton Rouge, La. The grand opening will feature free blow-outs and makeup applications plus prizes and giveaways from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Complimentary food and cocktails from chef Daniel Boling will be served from 4 to 6 p.m. Hanson said the Bird Rock salon will offer custom airbrush tanning, makeup application, waxing, facials, chemical peels and eyelash extensions. For more information, call (858) 551-8477 or visit


UC San Diego

University of California, San Diego, won a $229,839 federal contract from the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., for linear and non-linear infrasonic wave field synthesis to 1,000-kilometer range.

American Innotek Inc.

American Innotek Inc., Escondido, won a $149,100 federal contract from the Defense Logistics Agency’s Defense Supply Center, Philadelphia, for disposable solid waste relief bags.

General Atomics

General Atomics Electronic Systems Inc., San Diego, won a $147,687 federal contract from the Defense Logistics Agency’s Defense Supply Center, Columbus, Ohio, for plastic dielectric fixed capacitors.

Best Tech Inc.

Best Tech Inc., San Diego, won a $147,600 federal contract from the U.S. Army Contracting Command, Anniston, Ala., for Motorola radios.


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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: