Daily Business Report-June 19, 2013
City Council Conservatives Call to Retain Cops
San Diego is hemorrhaging police officers. Four conservative members of the City Council on Tuesday held a press conference to call for an end to the bleeding, KPBS reports. Council members Kevin Faulconer, Mark Kersey, Lorie Zapf and Scott Sherman asked for the issue be put on the Budget and Finance Committee in July so a $2 million budget item can be put to use immediately. The money may go to help officers buy uniforms and equipment in response to complaints that too many officers are paying out of pocket for basic supplies.
San Diego has always had a lean police department, but City Council members said its unacceptable that the city is next to last in officers per capita among America’s largest 20 cities. To break that down, San Diego has 14.2 officers for each 10,000 residents and the problem is getting worse. In the past decade, the San Diego Police Department lost 300 officers and about half of the force will be eligible for retirement in the next four years.
Faulconer said San Diego needs more officers and, he said, we need them now. “Our message here is very clear: we cannot wait months because we are losing officers every month,” he told reporters. “The budget was just passed a couple of weeks ago. We want to have this on the books by next month.” He said one problem is that other departments and law enforcement agencies are poaching police from San Diego with signing bonuses.
Cabrillo Bridge Closed for 25 Hours
The Cabrillo Bridge leading into Balboa Park was to be closed from 6 a.m. today to 7 a.m. on Thursday to accommodate the next phase of the Plaza de Panama improvement project. There will be no traffic circulation north of President’s Way during the same period. Access to the Organ Pavilion lot will be available only from President’s Way. The western exit from that lot will be closed. Valet services will be available on Pan American Road near the International Cottages north of President’s Way. Full pedestrian access to the plaza should be available by mid-day on Saturday.
Woman With San Diego Ties Selected as Astronaut Candidate
Jessica Meir, a 35-year-old biologist with San Diego ties, has been chosen by NASA for astronaut training, City News Service Reports. Meir, a San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography alum, is among four women and four men chosen for the 2013 astronaut candidate class following an extensive year-and-a-half search, NASA announced Monday. According to the agency, more than 6,000 people applied to be part of the class, the second largest number of applicants NASA has every received for the program. Meir and the other newly chosen astronaut candidates will begin training at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in August. Meir earned a doctorate at Scripps for research about the physiology of birds and marine animals, and how it might be applied to the fragile and taxing environment astronauts face while working and living in zero-gravity. She most recently has been serving as an assistant professor of anesthesia at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Renovation Begins on Torrey Pines Bank in Carmel Valley
Reno Contracting has begun renovating the executive and bank branch offices for Torrey Pines Bank in Carmel Valley. The project space, within an existing office building, serves as Torrey Pines Bank’s corporate office. Reno is general contractor on the tenant improvement project, a remodel of office space on two floors, totaling 23,484 square feet. It includes new executive offices as well as renovation of existing offices on the second floor, new office space on the first floor and new carpet and paint in existing areas.. Anne Sneed Architectural Interiors is architect. Reno’s Wade Richardson is project manager and Jason Bennett is project superintendent. The project is to be completed this summer.
Final Town Hall Meeting on Downtown Vision is Tonight
The Downtown San Diego Partnership will complete its final town hall meeting tonight as part of phase one of “Our Downtown” Vision, a long-term effort to plan responsibly for expected future growth in Downtown. The town hall will be held at 6 p.m. at the Logan Heights Library, 567 South 28th St. Feedback collected from these town halls and an ongoing online survey will be studied this summer. In the fall, the Downtown San Diego Partnership will unveil priorities identified by the public and an action plan for moving forward.
Final Approval Given Party Contribution Limits
Limits on the amount of money that political parties can contribute to candidates in city of San Diego elections were given final approval Tuesday by the City Council. Under the ordinance, which is expected to take effect in mid-July, parties will be able to give $20,000 to candidates for mayor and city attorney, and $10,000 to those running for City Council. (City News Service)
Debate Club Sponsors Panel on Same-Sex Marriage
The San Diego Debate Club will sponsor a panel discussion on June 27 to debate the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage. The 7 p.m. event will be at the Moose Lodge, 3636 Ruffin Road in San Diego. It will be broadcast live on KNSJ 98.1 radio. A happy hour is at 6 p.m. Supporting same-sex marriage: Julie Greenberg, professor, Thomas Jefferson School of Law; Matt Stephens, transgender lawyer/advocate; David Lock, concerned citizen, gay married man. Opposing same-sex marriage: Jennifer Roback-Morse, president of the the Ruth Institute; Woody Woodrum, president of the Eagle Forum; Eric Anderson, Republican Party Central Committee; Michale Hayudin. Moderator will be Douglas Holbrook.
Penelope Quintana, 54, of San Diego, has been appointed to the California Scientific Guidance Panel. Quintana has held multiple positions at the San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health since 1995, including associate professor. She was an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia from 1992 to 1994 and staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Indoor Environment Program from 1991 to 1992. The position does not require Senate confirmation. There is no salary. Quintana is a Democrat.
Michael Bishop, 62, of San Diego, has been appointed to the California Physician Assistant Board. Bishop has been director of anesthesia for same-day surgery at UC San Diego Hillcrest Medical Center since 2008 and an attending anesthesiologist and clinical professor of anesthesiology at the UCSD since 2006. Senate confirmation is not required. The compensation is $100 per diem. Bishop is registered decline-to-state.
J. Craig Venter Institute Hires CFO and Sponsored Projects Director
The J. Craig Venter Institute has named Harold “Hal” Davies as chief financial officer and Antony Peake as director of sponsored projects. Davies will be responsible for the financial management of the San Diego and Rockville, Md. campuses. Peake will start July 1. For the past eight years, Davies was the chief financial officer at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, an independent research institution. Before that, he was corporate controller for Alper Ink Group LLC.
Innovative Federal Operations Group
Innovative Federal Operations Group, Vista, won a $64,904.52 federal contract from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection, Indianapolis, for trash removal and recycling services. Place of performance will be in Front Royal, Va.
President Recognizes SDSU Alumnus
Ricardo Lara was a first generation college student with a passion for journalism. When he began his college experience at San Diego State University, he was immediately drawn to student government. After becoming involved with MECHA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) and Rotaract, Lara was voted the representative of the Professional Studies and Fine Arts Council.
His leadership roles with various clubs and organizations prepared him for his eventual role of vice president of Associated Students at SDSU, an experience that set the tone for his professional life after college.
Now Lara, ’99, is a state senator from the 33rd district, representing the areas of Long Beach, Signal Hill and other areas of Los Angeles. “I fell in love with public service during my time at SDSU,” Lara said. “The level of sophistication in SDSU’s Associated Students is one that is very unique, and I loved serving the students.”
Lara said that one of his favorite aspects of life as a senator is being able to inspire people to pursue public service regardless of sexual orientation or sexual identity. For this passion, Lara was recently honored by the White House as a Harvey Milk Champion of Change. The award, established in 2011, acknowledges politicians who contribute to their community, country and fellow citizens. President Obama presented Lara with the award at a ceremony held at the White House in May. (SDSU NewsCenter)