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Daily Business Report-Aug. 30, 2013

Daily Business Report-Aug. 30, 2013

Council President Todd Gloria becomes interim mayor at 5 p.m. today.

Todd Gloria Announces Staff

Appointments for the Mayor’s Office

Irene McCormack-Jackson

Irene McCormack-Jackson

On the eve of taking over as interim mayor following Bob Filner’s exit later today, City Council President Todd Gloria announced a series of staff appointments and promised that “the office of the mayor will be staffed by experienced, responsible and responsive individuals who share my goal of moving the city forward in a transparent, collaborative way.”

Gloria’s announcement on Wednesday did not mention whether he would be a candidate to replace Filner in a special election that has been scheduled for Nov. 19. It dealt only with the people who would be working in the mayor’s office.

The mayor’s office will be led by Jamie Fox, who keeps her role as chief of staff.  Katie Keach, who served as deputy chief of staff to Gloria in

Katie Keach

Katie Keach

Council District 3, will be chief of communications. Irene McCormack-Jackson, the first woman to sue Filner for sexual harassment, will remain director of communications. Venessa Jackson, the council president’ executive administrative assistant, will move to the Office of the Mayor to assist with office administration.

Jamie Fox

Jamie Fox

The Council District 3 office will be led by Stephen Hill, who has served as Gloria’s senior policy adviser. Dion Akers, Anthony Bernal, Adrian Granda, and Courtney Thomson will remain in their positions assisting neighbors with issues of concern, Gloria said.  Jessica Lawrence will remain as the budget and finance committee consultant.

“As part of the transition, some remaining employees in the Filner administration were informed today by Human Resources staff that they may continue to serve in the Office of the Mayor while job duties and staffing needs are determined during the interim period while the election for a new mayor is pending,” Gloria said. “This process is being overseen by the Department of Human Resources with the advice of the city attorney.”

Gloria said more  staff decisions will be announced next week.

Governor Appoints Two to San Diego Superior Court

Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Pamela M. Parker and Michael D. Washington to judgeships in the San Diego County Superior Court.

Pamela M. Parker

Pamela M. Parker

Michael D. Washington

Michael D. Washington

Parker, 56, of San Diego, has served as a senior appellate attorney at the Fourth District Court of Appeal of San Diego, Division One since 2012. She was an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego Law School from 2010 to 2012 and at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2011. Parker held multiple positions at Robbins Geller Rudman and Dowd LLP from 1991 to 2011, including of counsel, partner and associate. She was a litigation associate at Lankenau Kovner and Bickford LLP from 1988 to 1990 and at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton and Garrison LLP from 1983 to 1988. Parker earned her law degree from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from State University of New York at Binghamton. She fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Luis R. Vargas. Parker is a Democrat.

Washington, 54, of Temecula, has served as a deputy public defender at the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office, Office of the Primary Public Defender since 1994 and has been an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law since 2003. He earned his law degree from California Western School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge George W. Clarke. Washington is a Republican.

The compensation for each of these positions is $178,789 annually.

Church of Scientology Sells La Mesa Property for $9.3 Million

The Church of Scientology of San Diego has sold La Mesa property that was the former home of Coleman College for $9.3 million to Fairfield Residential, which plans to redevelop it into a 198-unit apartment complex. The property at 7380 Parkway Drive has two commercial buildings on it. The Church of Scientology was represented by SENTRE Partners.The buyer was represented by American Pacific Investments.


Atria on Market

Atria on Market

Atria on Market Sells for $2.45 Million

Atria on Market, an 11,261-square-foot retail property on the ground floor of a 149-unit condominium project at 101 Market St. in Downtown San Diego, has been acquired for $2.45 million by Steven Schorr. The seller was Torchlight Investors, represented by Cushman & Wakefield. The retail space was built in 2002. The commercial condominium consists of three retail spaces with Lion Coffee, Abbott Realty Group and Chase Bank as tenants and 6,110 vacant square feet.

La Mesa Office Building Sold for $2.23 Million 

A 9,935-square-foot office building at 7051 Alvarado Road in La Mesa has been sold for $2.23 million to Friska Globa Enterprises and Co., which plans to operate the space for general office and medical purposes. The seller was Alvarado Building LLC, represented by Colliers International. Century 21 Award represented the buyer.

Free Tours of Energy-Efficient Homes Set for Saturday

2909 Juniper St.

2909 Juniper St.

1421 Grove St.

1421 Grove St.

San Diegans have been invited to tour two older houses in North Park and South Park on Saturday that have been transformed into energy-efficient homes. The free home tours are sponsored by the California Center for Sustainable Energy, a nonprofit organization that helps homeowners save energy, primarily through the statewide Energy Upgrade California Home Upgrade initiative. The homes are at 2902 Juniper St. in North Park and 421 Grove St. in South Park. The tours last from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “Both of these homes are prime examples of how vintage early 20th century houses can be upgraded to meet the energy and efficiency standards of today,” said Bob Coleman, the center’s demonstration home program manager. “Visitors will learn firsthand how they can make their homes more comfortable, safer and energy efficient.” For more, call Coleman at (858) 737-1583.


New Grant to Fund Autism Research at UC San Diego

A researcher at UC San Diego School of Medicine is among principal investigators at 10 California institutions receiving research grants totaling $40 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Alysson R. Muotri, assistant professor of pediatrics and cellular and molecular medicine, will receive $1.85 million for his research using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, with the aim of identifying novel small molecule drugs with the potential to treat autism spectrum disorder. Muotri said the work is important because “it helps expand and deepen our understanding of autism, from a behavioral disorder to a developmental brain disorder. We can now look for and test drugs and therapies and see what happens at a cellular and molecular level.”

Planned Parenthood Welcomes New Binational Affairs Manager

Urban planner and reproductive rights advocate don’t usually go hand in hand. Then again, Claudia Huerta is not your typical poverty reduction advocate.

Claudia Huerta

Claudia Huerta

Born in Mexico, raised in San Diego and educated in New York City, she is the new binational affairs manager for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, where she manages the day-to-day operations of its Binational Affairs Program. As part of her role, Claudia identifies key reproductive health issues, initiatives and legislation impacting the border region and binational communities; strengthens relationships and partnerships for binational initiatives; organizes binational events; and represents PPPSW on advisory boards and external committees at a binational and international level.

Her priorities for the department include building and strengthening relationships on both sides of the border. On Oct. 3, the fifth annual Binational Dialogue on the Status of Women’s Reproductive Health and Rights in Mexico and the United States will take place in Chula Vista, where national leaders from both countries will have a forum to discuss reproductive health care and share strategies to increase access to reproductive health justice in the border region.

From Claudia’s point of view, urban planning, though sometimes spatially oriented, is as much a policy oriented issue, and directly impacts those who typically lack access to family planning services.

“I am really looking forward to being on the front lines of economic and gender equity with Planned Parenthood’s binational program,” she says.

Claudia has extensive experience working and advocating for low-income and marginalized communities in California, New York, Mexico and Brazil.

During her tenure at the Center for International Trade Development in Orange County, she coordinated the first two joint binational conferences of Southern California and Baja California mayors, elected officials and business leaders, which has helped to facilitate continued dialogue between both sides of the border.

Huerta earned her Masters of Science in Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Spanish Literature at Columbia University.

Sunrun Launches Solar ‘Pop Up’ at Fashion Valley Mall

Solar company Sunrun will launch a solar-focused, interactive installation “pop up” experience called Powerhouse in San Diego beginning today at the Fashion Valley mall. Sunrun introduced the solar service model in 2007.

With solar service, Sunrun owns, insures, monitors, and maintains the solar panels on a homeowner’s roof. Families pay a fixed rate for the clean energy they use, often at a rate lower than what they’re currently paying their local utility, according to the company.

Vista Manufacturing Company Expanding Operations

American Peptide Co. is expanding its large scale cGMP synthesis capabilities at its 35,000-square-foot Vista production facility, with the addition of a 300-liter solid phase synthesis reactor and a 294-liter tray lyophilizer. The 300-liter solid phase synthesis reactor is one of the largest in the U.S. peptide contract manufacturing industry.

Fixtures Living Inc. Changes Name to PIRCH

Home furnishings retailer Fixtures Living Inc. is changing its name to PIRCH, a name coined by brand agency MiresBall. A play on “perch,” the new name “will reflect a brand that is whole-heartedly committed to helping its customers live joyfully through its groundbreaking approach to shopping for the home,” said John Ball, partner and creative director at MiresBall.

“Our goal was to create an identity that offers a more emotional connection for consumers as the company enters new markets.”

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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: