Daily Business Report-Aug. 28, 2013
Installing solar panels on a San Diego home
San Diegans Mount Attack on Bill
They Say Will Kill the Solar Industry
Consumer advocates, environmentalists and solar producers have mounted an attack on an Assembly bill they say will kill the solar movement in California. AB 327 is backed by California electric utility companies. Opponents say it is designed to kill the solar industry by stripping away the laws that currently protect solar producers. “It changes the existing rules; rooftop solar generators would no longer get full credit for the energy they provide to the grid,” states a petition being circulated by the bill’s opponents. “AB 327 would funnel solar energy savings and investment back into the utilities’ pockets, permanently killing solar energy as an alternative to fossil fuel in this state.”
According to AB 327 opponents, non-solar ratepayers are also under attack. They say the bill would tack on a $10 per month additional fee for all ratepayers, hurting low-income households and discouraging energy conservation. Energy conscious homeowners would be forced to pay an additional $120 a year, regardless of how much they conserve, according to the opponents.
In San Diego, AB 327 is being opposed by a group that includes County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. A protest in front of Sempra headquarters in Downtown San Diego was scheduled this morning. Besides Jacob, others attending included Lori Saldana, chair of Sierra Club San Diego; Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood; Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power; solar homeowner Nathan Meyers; and Tim O’Neil, a Chula Vista solar homeowner.
The bill’s opponents are demanding that AB 327 be amended or be killed. The petition states:
Demand that Governor Brown and the Legislature oppose AB327 unless the following conditions are met:
1. Preserve the existing legal protections that protect NEM (net-energy metering) solar customers from being unfairly targeted with special charges.
2. Ensure that existing NEM customers continue to get full credit for the energy they send back to the grid.
3. Removed the fixed fee provision.
J. Craig Venter Institute Receives Grant for Study on Aging
The Ruggles Family Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Rudy L. Ruggles Jr. have made a $1.25 million donation to the J. Craig Venter Institute of La Jolla to identify and study biomarkers associated with healthy aging. As part of the grant, the institute will collaborate with the Western Connecticut Health Network in Danbury, Ct. The study, conducted by a team of scientists and clinicians from the two organizations, will focus on two groups of elderly individuals aged 65 to 85 years. One group will consist of healthy individuals, and the other will have individuals with a variety of diagnosed health conditions. The team will then compare the profiles of the healthy aging group with those of the non-healthy aging group to identify biomarker candidates. The investigators hope that in the future these data can be used to develop cost-effective, clinically relevant tests.
Eight Candidates So Far Declare Intention to Run for Mayor
An eighth candidate declared his intention Tuesday to run in the special election to replace outgoing San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, City News Service reports. Paul Michael Dekker, who according to his website is director of information technology at the San Diego-based nonprofit Global Energy Network Institute, filed a notice of his intention to run with the City Clerk’s office. Dekker, a Canadian native, ran unsuccessfully for the 53rd Congressional District as a Libertarian three years ago. He joins Jared Mimms, who says on his Linkedin page that he has founded or co-founded four companies; psychiatrist Ashok Parameswaran; website owner Tobiah Pettus; Kurt Schwab, who founded an organization for veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq; Mark Schwartz, a Libertarian activist who created a Facebook page for his campaign last month; and David Tasem, who operates a taxicab business. FormerAssemblyman Nathan Fletcher has gone a step further than the others and formed an exploratory committee. The Qualcomm executive finished third in the June 2012 mayoral primary election. The City Clerk’s Office has proposed that a primary special election be held on Nov. 19.
Fleet Week’s Navy Open House Receives Pentagon Approval
The Pentagon has given the green light for the Navy Open House at Naval Air Station North Island Sept, 21-22, a Fleet Week San Diego event. “I’m excited that Naval Base Coronado has obtained approval to host the 2013 Coronado Speed Festival,” said Commanding Officer Captain Gary Mayes. “This open house event is an excellent opportunity for San Diego and the surrounding communities to come out and tour Navy ships and aircraft, as well as see some unique cars and racing.” This year, Coronado Speed Festival pays tribute to the 40th anniversary of the release of the Vietnam POWs. San Diego-area members of that group will represent the vets as military Honorary Grand Marshal and will be honored during the Opening Ceremonies on Sunday.
Biomedical Research Pioneer Lillian Fishman Dies
Lillian Fishman, co-founder of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and a pioneer of biomedical research, died at her home in La Jolla on Aug. 24. She was 98. Lillian and her late husband, Dr. William Fishman, worked side-by-side for more than 45 years to advance biomedical research.
“Lillian Fishman was a scientific trailblazer in every sense, and she was a beloved presence here at the institute,” said Kristiina Vuori, Sanford-Burnham’s president and interim CEO. “Her extraordinary vision will continue to guide us as we move Sanford-Burnham into a new era of translational research advances.”
The Fishmans launched La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation in 1976 on a single National Cancer Institute grant of $180,000. Their founding vision of understanding disease development by investigating cell development through collaborative basic research fueled the foundation’s growth and achievement. Renamed Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in 2010, it is now one of the largest and most prestigious independent medical research institutes in the world.
As the institute evolved, Mrs. Fishman played the central role in developing active community support networks. For years, she edited the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation newsletter and contributed articles. She was integral to building collaborations between the four Torrey Pines Mesa institutions: the Salk Institute, Sanford-Burnham, the Scripps Research Institute, and UC San Diego. She remained active in the Sanford-Burnham community until the end of her life, honoring young research scientists with the annual Fishman Fund Awards and hosting a series of educational events.
Lillian Waterman was born in Calgary, Alberta on April 28, 1915. She was training to be a dietitian when she met and married William Fishman, a cancer researcher at the University of Toronto. In 1948, William joined Tufts University Medical School, where he established and served as the first director of Tufts Cancer Research Center. When he reached mandatory retirement age in 1975, the couple decided to pursue their dream of creating a basic research institute. They were eager to explore the then-new field of oncodevelopmental biology, which studies the link between cancer and developmental biology.
Mrs. Fishman’s own scientific output included published research papers on mammalian placental alkaline phosphatases, which demonstrated the importance of understanding normal cell development to understanding cancer development. She and William believed passionately in high-impact science conducted in a culture that fosters creativity. “Our ‘big idea’ was to create an independent medical research Institute dedicated to the emerging field of Oncodevelopmental Biology,” she told tU-T San Diego. “We wanted to hire bright young scientists and give them the freedom to do their research, unencumbered by administrative bureaucracy and departmental politics.”
Gerson Law Firm Adds Attorney
Erin Funderburk has joined Gerson Law Firm APC in its commercial real estate and commercial real estate finance practice groups. Funderburk previously was with Gordon & Rees, where she practiced real estate and employment law. She graduated from law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received her undergraduate degree at the University of Georgia, Athens, where she graduated magna cum laude. She is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association and American Inns of Court.