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Daily Business Report-Oct. 18, 2013

Daily Business Report-Oct. 18, 2013

In this file photo, Councilman Todd Gloria, now interim mayor, gives a thumbs down to an ugly scar on a street in his district. (Photo/North Park News)

Todd Gloria: Improving San Diego Infrastructure

Should be The Major Issue in the Mayoral Race

Improving the city’s infrastructure is the biggest challenge facing San Diego, and it should be a key issue in the mayoral race, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said Thursday, KPBS reports.  Gloria said he hopes mayoral candidates will make infrastructure repairs a priority, and will be direct and honest about how they would go about paying for the work.

“Talk to any San Diegan and they will tell you the roads in their neighborhood are not up to code, that the sidewalk in front of their house is probably busted, that their library is probably inadequate,” Gloria said.

“Everyone sees this on a day-to-day basis in their own lives — the question is what is City Hall doing to address it.”

The mayor must be on the “leading edge” of civic leadership because the size of the overall problem is larger than what the city can control with current resources, Gloria said. He said city leaders would do what they could before the new mayor came in, but the victor in the mayoral race would ultimately “pick up the ball and run with it.”

Gloria and Councilman Mark Kersey are working to develop a roughly $100 million bond issuance to “continue our city’s investment in our deferred capital needs,” he said. The funds would go toward neighborhood infrastructure projects like repairs to roads, storm drains and public utilities.

A series of meetings to gather public input regarding the rebuilding of neighborhoods will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Santa Fe Room of the Balboa Park Club.

Frida Kahlo Exhibit Opening Delayed Until Oct. 24

Frida Kahlo self-portrait

Frida Kahlo self-portrait

The government shutdown has delayed the opening of a Frida Kahlo exhibition at NTC in Liberty Station. The exhibition was originally scheduled to open on Saturday, but instead will open on Thursday, Oct. 24.

“The Complete Frida Kahlo — Her Paintings. Her Life. Her Story” is considered the most comprehensive exhibition ever created about the life, the work and the story of the artist. It features123 precise replicas of Kahlo’s known paintings in original size and original materials, and hand-painted in the same style as Kahlo painted them. The replicas are painted by master artists. It also includesa  substantial collection of photos of Kahlo, her family, and friends and a large collection of pre-Colombian through present-day Mexican folk art.


Average U.S. 30-Year Mortgage Rate at 4.28 Percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly this week, staying near three-month lows. Rates could fall next week now that lawmakers reached a deal to avert a possible government debt default and reopen the federal government.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.28 percent from 4.23 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan edged up to 3.33 percent from 3.31 percent.

Mortgage rates began falling last month after the Federal Reserve held off slowing its $85-billion-a-month in bond purchases. The bond buys are intended to keep longer-term interest rates low, including mortgage rates. And rates stayed relatively low during the 16-day partial government shutdown.

Rates are likely to fall even lower now that Congress reached a deal to reopen the government and allow the Treasury to borrow normally until early February. Mortgage rates tend to follow the yield on the 10-year Treasury note. The 10-year note fell to 2.61 percent Thursday, down from 2.74 percent Tuesday.

San Diego Supercomputer Center Receives NSF Grant

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at UC San Diego and  the university’s Administrative Computing and Telecommunications organization have been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to connect the campus to high-bandwidth national research networks to help advance a new range of data-driven research. Named CHERuB for Configurable, High-speed, Extensible Research Bandwidth, the project is funded under a two-year, $500,000 award from the NSF’s Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure, starting Jan. 1, 2014. The initiative will provide 100Gbps (Gigabits per second) connectivity — the new high-end for wide-area research networks — to support multi-institutional data transit over networks such as the Internet2’s Advanced Layer 2 Service (AL2S) and ESnet, as well as a joint project between those networks called the Advanced Networking Initiative, the result of a $62 million grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to build a national 100G “information backbone.”

Sandra Day O’Connor to Give Keynote Address

At Lawyers Club of San Diego Annual Dinner

Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will give the keynote address at Lawyers Club of San Diego’s annual dinner in May, where she will be presented with Lawyers Club’s Icon Award. The award recognizes “exceptional achievement by individuals furthering the advancement of women in the law and in society.” The annual dinner, themed “Raising the Bar,” will celebrate Lawyers Club’s 42nd anniversary and is set for Thursday, May 8, 2014.

O’Connor was nominated by President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court in 1981, and served as the court’s first female justice. She remained the only woman jurist on the court until 1993, when she was joined by Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. O’Connor served as an associate justice until her retirement in 2006. Since retiring from the bench, O’Connor has launched iCivics, an online civics education program aimed at middle school students, and frequently speaks about civics education and judicial independence. In April, she was named honorary chair of Justice at Stake, a nonpartisan national partnership of more than 50 organizations that focuses on keeping courts fair and impartial.

The annual dinner will be at the U.S. Grant Hotel, 326 Broadway, Downtown. Registration begins at 5:30, and the dinner and program are set for 6:30-8 p.m. Individual tickets go on sale on Feb. 24, 2014 exclusively for Lawyers Club members, and on March 10 for the general public.



Image provided by Microsoft shows updated Windows 8.1. (AP Photo/Microsoft)

Image provided by Microsoft shows updated Windows 8.1. (AP Photo/Microsoft)

Microsoft Releases Windows 8.1, A Year in the Making

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Microsoft released its long-awaited Windows 8.1 upgrade as a free download Thursday. It addresses some of the gripes people have had with Windows 8, the dramatically different operating system that attempts to bridge the divide between tablets and PCs.

Windows 8.1 still features the dual worlds that Windows 8 created when it came out last October. On one hand, it features a touch-enabled tile interface resembling what’s found in tablet computers. On the other, there’s the old desktop mode where the keyboard and mouse still reign. The update adds some new finger- and gesture-friendly shortcuts for touch-based apps, while restoring some respect for the desktop mode that a billion PC users have become accustomed to.

The release comes as sales of traditional desktop and laptop computers continue to decline because consumers are spending money instead on the latest smartphones and tablets. It also comes at a time of transition for Microsoft as the Redmond, Wash., company focuses on devices and services, not just software. Earlier this month, Microsoft struck a deal to acquire Nokia’s phone business and patent rights for more than $7 billion. Microsoft is also searching for a new CEO to replace Steven A. Ballmer, who announced last month that he plans to retire within the next year.

The Window 8.1 update is free for current owners of Windows 8. Downloads started at 7 a.m. Thursday in New York, which corresponded to the start of Friday in New Zealand.

A view inside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

A view inside Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

Facebook to Let Teens Share With Bigger Audience

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook is now allowing teenagers to share their posts on the social network with anyone on the Internet, raising the risks of minors leaving a digital trail that could lead to trouble. The change affects Facebook users who list their ages as 13 to 17.

Until now, Facebook users falling within that age group had been limited to sharing information and photos only with their own friends or friends of those friends.

The new policy will give teens the choice of switching their settings so their posts can be accessible to the general public. That option already has been available to adults, including users who are 18 or 19.

As a protective measure, Facebook will warn minors opting to be more open that they are exposing themselves to a broader audience. The caution will repeat before every post, as long as the settings remain on “public.”

The initial privacy settings of teens under 18 will automatically be set so posts are seen only by friends. That’s more restrictive than the previous default setting that allowed teens to distribute their posts to friends of their friends in the network.

In a blog post, Facebook said it decided to revise its privacy rules to make its service more enjoyable for teens and to provide them with a more powerful megaphone when they believe they have an important point to make or a cause to support.

“Teens are among the savviest people using social media, and whether it comes to civic engagement, activism, or their thoughts on a new movie, they want to be heard,” Facebook wrote.

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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: