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Daily Business Report-July 25, 2013

Daily Business Report-July 25, 2013

 Institute Discovery Could Lead to

New Therapy for Parkinson’s Disease

Biologists at The Scripps Research Institute have made a significant discovery that could lead to a new therapeutic strategy for Parkinson’s disease. The findings, published online ahead of print in the journal Molecular and Cell Biology, focus on an enzyme known as parkin, whose absence causes an early-onset form of Parkinson’s disease. Precisely how the loss of this enzyme leads to the deaths of neurons has been unclear. But the TSRI researchers showed that parkin’s loss sharply reduces the level of another protein that normally helps protect neurons from stress. “We now have a good model for how parkin loss can lead to the deaths of neurons under stress,” said TSRI Professor Steven Reed, who was senior author of the new study. “This also suggests a therapeutic strategy that might work against Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.”

San Diego North Chamber of Commerce Leads

‘Think Local First’ Initiative to Strengthen Economy

The San Diego North Chamber of Commerce on Friday will launch a “Think Local First” initiative to encourage local purchasing, hiring and contracting of services. “When the general public, government agencies and school districts purchase products, services and hire within the region, they have a tremendous impact on the strength and success of the businesses and communities involved,” according to a report prepared by the chamber. Chamber officials and elected officials will kick off the campaign at a 10 a.m. press conference Friday at the Courtyard by Marriott in Rancho Bernardo. Scheduled to attend are Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, County Supervisor Dave Roberts, San Diego Councilman Mark Kersey, and Debra Rosen, president and CEO of the chamber.

According to the chamber report, the San Diego region loses $18 million in sales tax because of purchases made outside of the county. “In recent budget recommendations,” the report said, “San Diego City Council members advocated for a number of new expenditures to enhance the quality of the region — such as $1 million to evaluate the condition of sidewalks throughout San Diego, another $3 million to expand library hours to their 2009 levels and $2 million to combat the number of police officers leaving the San Diego Police Department for higher-paying jobs in other forces. The SDNCC believes San Diego can address these projects and more through an increase in purchases from local vendors, which will generate up to $18 million in additional sales tax revenue.”

Collaborating with the chamber in the “Think Local First” initiative will be local businesses, business organizations and associations and elected officials.

Scripps Health Closes Escrow on Former San Diego Hospice

Former San Diego Hospice

Former San Diego Hospice

Scripps Health has closed escrow on the former San Diego Hospice hospital and eight-acre property in Hillcrest, which it purchased at auction in federal bankruptcy court for $16.55 million in April. Scripps will use the facility for in-patient hospice care. The sale has been approved by federal bankruptcy court and San Diego Hospice’s creditors’ committee. Scripps launched its hospice program in February to provide options for the hundreds of patients annually that had been referred to San Diego Hospice from Scripps hospitals and physicians. Scripps currently provides home-based care to about 200 hospice patients.

Third Woman Accuses Filner of Sexual Harassment

A third woman stepped forward Wednesday to accuse San Diego Mayor Bob Filner of sexual harassment, while a group of women military veterans announced that it has rescinded an invitation for the former congressman to speak at its conference next month, City News Service reports. According to KPBS, San Diego Unified School District psychologist Morgan Rose said she met with Filner in 2009 at a restaurant across from his congressional office to discuss her initiative dedicated to the well-being of America’s children. She said that during their discussion, he told her “your eyes have bewitched me” and moved next to her. Rose said Filner tried to kiss her four times and only stopped when he received a phone call. She told the station that he said he wouldn’t move until she kissed him.

Meanwhile, the National Womens Veterans Association of America announced that it has rescinded an invitation to Filner to speak at its conference in San Diego next month in light of the sexual harassment allegations against him. Read more…

Filner Elevates Woman to be his Chief of Staff

Lee Burdick

Lee Burdick

Despite the crescendo of voices calling for Mayor Bob Filner to resign from office over allegations of sexual harassment, his deputy chief of staff — Lee Burdick — has accepted a promotion to be the embattled mayor’s chief of staff. “I am taking on this responsibility fully aware of the allegations and concerns confronting the mayor and the city at this moment in history,” said Burdick in a press release. “After serious introspection, I must step forward to help the city through these challenging times.” Burdick was initially hired as the mayor’s director of legal affairs. She had previously represented the city as a commissioner on the Board of Port Commissioners.

Ad Club Launches New Awards Program

The San Diego Ad Club is launching a new awards program called The Brand Diego Awards. Nominations are now being accepted for 14 awards designed to recognize outstanding San Diego brands and the marketing professionals that help build those brands, according to Sheila Fox, Ad Club executive director. An awards presentation dinner is scheduled for mid-October. Nominations close on Aug. 15. Awards will be presented in the following categories: Agency of the Year. Agency Professional of the Year, Media Company of the Year, Media Professional of the Year, Brand of the Year, Brand Professional of the Year, Emerging Brand of the Year, Hispanic Marketer of the Year, Hispanic Marketing Visionary Brand of the Year, Industry Affiliate of the Year, Corporate Responsibility Award, Leadership Award, Young Achiever Award and Paula Sullivan Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, a college-age student planning a career in advertising will be awarded with a Sheila Fox Scholarship grant. More information:

Days Inn Building Sold for $2.3 Million

The building housing the Days Inn at 833 Ash St. in Downtown San Diego has been sold for $2.3 million. The buyer is Share and Be Fair LLC. The seller: Jan. L Johnson Trust and the Estate of Lois Gentry. The site is improved with a 27,468-square-foot hospitality building that is currently leased by the hotel operator. Cushman & Wakefield represented the buyer. Keller Williams Realty represented the seller.

Manager of S.D. Foundation Environment Program Gets Fellowship

Marisa Aurora Quiroz, manager of the San Diego Foundation’s environment program, was one of 19 persons selected nationwide for a summer fellowship aimed at “engaging the next generation of conservation leaders across the country to support their efforts to make nature accessible and relevant to every generation.” The fellowship is sponsored by 2042 Today, a training initiative, in collaboration with The Center for Whole Communities and the Center for Diversity and the Environment, that is aimed squarely at young conservation leaders. As manager of The San Diego Foundation’s Parks for Everyone Initiative, Quiroz works with donors, volunteers and nonprofits to advance regional conservation efforts, ensure that all communities have access to clean air and water, parks and open space, and promote local action on climate change.

Hypertension research

Hypertension research

UC San Diego Research Could Lead to ‘Switching Off Hypertension’

A team of UC San Diego researchers is breaking ground when it comes to artificially regulating blood pressure. The team has designed new compounds that mimic naturally occurring compounds used by the body to regulate blood pressure. The most promising compound may literally be the key to controlling hypertension, switching off the signaling pathways that lead to the deadly condition. The research has a great deal of potential to aid in the development of a new class of treatments for hypertension, a disease in which a large population of Americans (about one in three adults) seek relief from. “This approach demonstrates the effectiveness of rational design of novel drug candidates,” said lead author Igor F. Tsigelny, a research scientist with the university’s San Diego Supercomputer Center.

Raymond Weber Joins Southwest Securities Group

Raymond C. Weber has joined Southwest Securities’ private client group office in San Diego as vice president-financial adviser. Weber previously was associate vice president-financial adviser with Morgan Stanley. Weber earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa.

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Voice Your Opinion

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: