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Daily Business Report-June 24, 2013

Daily Business Report-June 24, 2013

A San Diego City Council committee on Tuesday will consider a one-year extension of the city’s emergency medical services contract with Rural/Metro Ambulance, a private company that works with several cities in the region.

San Diego Council to Consider Taxicab

and Ambulance Contract Extensions

While San Diego studies the effects of bringing the administration of taxicabs under the auspices of the city, the City Council is set to extend San Diego’s contract with the group that currently runs the cabs. The San Diego Metropolitan Transit runs cabs and other for hire services for the city. Its contract will likely be renewed for another year, but it could be the last time that happens. That is because the city is engaged in a $100,000 study to see whether the cabs would be better run by the city.

Also up for a temporary extension is the city’s contract with private company Rural/Metro, the company that operates ambulances in San Diego. There have been complaints about service and Mayor Bob Filner has suggested he wants to study them, as well.

If passed, both contracts will extend through next June. However, the council has indicated it will use the next year to explore alternatives.

— (KPBS report)

BioMed Realty Trust Completes $52 Million Acquisition

BioMed Realty Trust Inc. of San Diego has completed the acquisition of 320 Charles Street in Cambridge, Mass., in a transaction valued at $52 million.  The property comprises approximately 99,500 square feet of laboratory and office space currently leased to The Whitehead Institute for BioMedical Research. In connection with the acquisition, BioMed Realty issued 2 million operating partnership units in BioMed Realty L.P. to the seller, with the balance of the purchase price paid in cash.

Breakfast Dialogue Addresses Our Food Movement

Everything you wanted to know about food — where it comes from, how it was processed, hands that have touched it — could be answered at a June 27 Breakfast Dialogue sponsored by Citizen’s Coordinate for Century 3 (C3). It will be held at 7 a.m. at the Wyndham Hotel, 1355 N. Harbor Drive, in Downtown San Diego. The public is welcome.

A panel of local experts, led by moderator and food writer Caron Golden, include: Noel Stehly, Stehly Farms; Priya Reddy, New Roots; Julianna Arnett, San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative / Community Health Improvement Partners; Trish Watlington, Red Door Restaurant; and Lucila De Alejandro, co-owner, Suzie’s Farm.

The panelists will describe the role that their organizations play in shaping San Diego’s food economy and culture, and present a discussion around such issues as the barriers to food access and production, the state of the farm-to-table movement, reserving land for agricultural uses, among others.

Researchers Discover New Player Critical to Unleashing T Cells Against Disease

A major study from researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology provides new revelations about the intricate pathways involved in turning on T cells, the body’s most important disease-fighting cells. The findings were published in the scientific journal Nature.  The La Jolla Institute team is the first to prove that a certain type of protein, called septins, play a critical role in activating a calcium channel on the surface of the T cell. The channel is the portal through which calcium enters T cells from the blood stream, an action essential for the T cell’s survival, activation, and ability to fight disease.   Patrick Hogan and Anjana Rao are senior authors on the paper and Sonia Sharma and Ariel Quintana are co-first authors. Hogan describes the discovery as another important step in understanding the overall functioning of T cells – knowledge from which new, more precisely targeted drugs to treat diseases ranging from cancer to viral infections can emerge.

Daryl O’Donnell Named Executive Chef of Centerplate

Daryl O’Donnell

Daryl O’Donnell

A lifelong passion for creating extraordinary food and beverage experiences has landed Daryl O’Donnell the top job as executive chef of Centerplate at the San Diego Convention Center. Born and raised in San Diego, O’Donnell is a veteran in the kitchen, serving most recently as senior executive sous chef at the facility. 

O’Donnell has been with Centerplate for 14 years and received a formal education through San Diego Mesa College’s culinary arts program. As executive chef, he will lead a team of 135 full and part-time employees.

Peters and Vargas Call for Action on Student Interest Rates

The interest rates for federally-subsidized student loans are set to double July 1 — to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent — unless Congress can compromise. Two local Democratic representatives are calling on their colleagues to act. KPBS reports. So far, there are three competing plans to keep federal student loan interest rates from making that dramatic jump next month. One Democratic proposal would extend the current rate for two more years, while plans from the White House and Republicans in the House of Representatives would tie future rates to 10-year treasury bonds. The Republican add-on to the treasury bond rates would be higher and their plan would allow rates to fluctuate annually. The White House proposal would set fixed rates for each loan. San Diego Congressman Scott Peters was one of just four House Democrats to vote for the Republican measure. He joined fellow San Diego Congressman Juan Vargas at Mesa College on Friday to call for Senate action and House votes on the other proposals. “Students are facing a lot of debt now,” he said. “It’s no time, when the economy is like it is, for us to be adding to that burden. And at a time when the country is challenged by global competition, we have to compete on our brain power. And we shouldn’t be discouraging qualified kids from getting educations.”

Federal Contracts

Oceanside Photo & Telescope

Oceanside Photo & Telescope Inc. dba OPT, Oceanside, won a $91,051.89 federal contract from the U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command, Norfolk, Va., for telescope and accessories.

Adconian Direct CEO Named an Entrepreneur of the Year

Kim Perell, CEO of Adconian Direct, has been named one of seven winners of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for San Diego. The national final will take place in November 2013, and the winner will compete for world Entrepreneur of the Year against 50 other countries. Prior to Adconion Direct, Perell was the CEO and founder of Frontline Direct, a marketing company which was acquired in 2008 by Adconion Media Group.  In 2011, Frontline Direct and the Adconion Audience Network merged to become Adconion Direct and appointed Perell as CEO.

The other winners:

Tom Tullie, CEO and chairman of the board, ecoATM San Diego; Gary Rayner, former CEO, LifeProof, San Diego; Gerald Proehl, president and CEO, Santarus Inc., San Diego; Mary Fisher, former CEO, SkinMedica, Carlsbad; Kelly Grismer, president, and Chad Grismer, CEO, The Wheat Group Inc., San Diego.


Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark working with students on her energy-saving light installation project.

San Diego State Sustainability Star

By Hallie Jacobs

Shannon Clark, a recent SDSU alumnus, is a sustainability warrior.

During her time at SDSU, the political science major served as the Green Campus project coordinator for the Division of Undergraduate Studies, where she worked with the university and its auxiliaries to identify ways to help make the campus more sustainable.

As a Green Campus intern, Clark teamed up with SDSU Dining Services to establish composting services in East Commons, one of SDSU’s busiest dining areas. She also helped Dining Services save energy by performing a lighting retrofit and installing night covers for appliances which help keep refrigerated cases cooler and reduce the energy needed to maintain the cold temperatures.

Clark is also a recipient of the Udall Scholarship which is awarded to students who have demonstrated significant commitment to environmental or Native American issues.

Before graduating in May, Clark initiated a redesign project for SDSU buildings and parking structures harboring out-of-date lighting — a design that saves roughly 1,337,088 pounds of carbon dioxide and $293,864 per year.

A significant difference

SDSU is one of 23 schools participating in PowerSave Campus, a student-driven energy efficiency education program that promotes energy savings and the importance of energy efficiency. As a PowerSave intern, Clark decided to focus on a project that would be cheap enough to be realistic, but also make a signigicant difference.

With a grant from SDG&E and help from SDSU Facilities and Services, Clark and a team of five PowerSave interns installed $50,000 worth of new and improved lighting around campus. The success of Clark’s program contributed to increased funding for new lighting in several buildings on campus.

Clark’s efforts were acknowledged at the California Higher Education Sustainability Conference last month, where she and her team took home the Best Practices in Student Energy Efficency award.

Clark credits her passion for the environment to Mariah Hudson, the director of the SDSU Center for Regional Sustainability.

“Mariah was a tremendous inspiration for me,” Clark said. “She got me really interested in the sustainability field and made it easy for me to get involved and pursue opportunities in the sustainability realm.”

Moving forward

Clark’s sustainability efforts have inspired her to pursue a career in environmental law.

Clark is taking the year off to study for the LSAT exam and prepare for law school. She hopes to study at the University of California, Berkely.

“SDSU made it easy to take what I learned and apply it to the real world,” Clark said. “I’m excited to see what I can accomplish next.”

About the SDSU Center for Regional Sustainability

The center’s mission is to advance sustainability through regional collaborations in higher education, research, stewardship and outreach to ensure that generations of students will gain the skills and abilities that will allow the region to grow, prosper, and sustain itself in the long term.

(SDSU NewsCenter Feature)


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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.

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