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Daily Business Report-Dec. 19, 2013

Daily Business Report-Dec. 19, 2013

The NASA Global Hawk built by Northrop Grumman Corp.

Northrop Grumman’s Global Hawk Flies Over

Canadian Airspace to Collect Environmental Data

Northrop Grumman Corp., the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center and a team of international science organizations successfully flew a Northrop Grumman-produced NASA Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system through Canadian airspace as part of a mission to collect environmental data in the Canadian Arctic.

The Global Hawk was equipped with an Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) as well as a high-resolution camera to conduct ground mapping and visual observation of Arctic ice caps during the approximately 21-hour flight. Information collected during this flight will be used by American and Canadian scientists to study changes in topography and Arctic ice caps.

“Flying high and long missions with advanced scientific equipment over the Arctic provides scientists with real data to better understand the changes that are affecting our world,” said Janis Pamiljans, Northrop Grumman’s sector vice president and general manager of unmanned systems. “The high-altitude, long-endurance NASA Global Hawk is one of the best tools researchers have to study weather phenomena.”

This flight marks the first time the NASA Global Hawk has flown through Canadian civil airspace. Global Hawk’s high-altitude, long-endurance capabilities enabled the aircraft to depart from NASA Dryden, based at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and fly over several predetermined key areas in the Arctic before returning to NASA Dryden.

Northrop Grumman, NASA Dryden, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Canadian science counterparts worked together to enable the mission.

The flight over the Canadian Arctic comes after the recent five-year renewal of the Space Act Agreement, a partnership between Northrop Grumman and NASA that allows sharing of NASA Global Hawks for science missions and flight demonstrations.

The Parc Riviera in Pacific Beach has been completed.

The Parc Riviera in Pacific Beach has been completed.

Canadian Developer Moves into San Diego

County Residential Market With Upscale Homes

Icon Properties, a subsidiary of British Columbia-based Regent International, is moving the parent company into the U.S. housing market with three upscale developments in San Diego County.

The development company has already completed one project — Parc Riviera — three detached homes at 4048 Riviera Drive in Pacific Beach that will sell from $875,000 to $995,000. The homes range from 1,600 to 1,800 square feet, two or three bedrooms, two-car garages and tiled rooftop decks.

Technological features include wireless thermostats and an optional automation feature that controls lighting and entertainment systems. Architect Al Di Donato designed the homes.

Icon is under way on two other projects in the county:  a townhome community a block from Carlsbad State Beach and a 38-unit luxury condominium mid-rise in planning stages in Bankers Hill. The Bankers Hill project is near the Prado at Balboa Park and adjacent to Bertrand at Mister A’s.

“San Diego is a unique American city that offers an exceptional lifestyle, particularly in areas like Pacific Beach where Parc Riviera is making its debut,” said Al Tangsoc, president of Icon Properties based in San Diego. “We wanted our first foray into the U.S. housing market to be in San Diego, which we are now proud to call our second home.  He said the company has

acquired numerous sites in coastal Southern California and Scottsdale, Arizona and is seeking to acquire more land for development in the near future.

United Way Selects Carlsbad Fire Chief as New CEO 

Kevin Crawford

Kevin Crawford

Kevin Crawford, fire chief of the Carlsbad Fire Department and the interim city manager for the city of Carlsbad, has been selected as the new president and CEO of United Way of San Diego County. Crawford has been on the United Way board for the past five years and has been involved in several of its community fundraising campaigns. He will take the helm of the organization early next year.

Beginning his career as a paramedic for the Carlsbad Fire Department in 1983, Crawford advanced through the ranks to become fire chief. He also spent two years as a firefighter for the Poway Fire Department. He created partnerships with 10 North County fire departments to increase disaster response capabilities, standardize systems, enhance communication and reduce operating expenses. He also has worked to consolidate the fire services in the unincorporated areas of the county.

UC San Diego Ranks 5th Nationally in Federal R&D Funding

UC San Diego again ranks fifth among top U.S. universities in federal research and development dollars, with $1.07 billion in expenditures for fiscal year 2012, according to figures released by the National Science Foundation. Sandra A. Brown, vice chancellor for research, noted that UC San Diego has consistently ranked among the top 10 research universities in R&D obligations and expenditures for more than a decade.

The university had federal R&D expenditures of $943 million in fiscal year 2010 and $1 billion in fiscal year 2011. The fiscal year 2012 number of $1.07 billion is an increase of 6.4 percent over the previous year.

Johns Hopkins University led the survey, followed by the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Washington, and UC San Diego. UC San Francisco is ranked sixth, and UCLA is ranked eighth among the nation’s top 20 in the current NSF rankings.

More Local Groups Add to Debate Over Plastic Bag Ban

The San Diego City Council is considering adopting a policy that would ban single-use plastic bags, but a group that represents San Diego’s  neighborhood markets is speaking out against the proposed plan, KPBS reports. The council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee passed the proposed bag ban in October, and city staff are now working to conduct an economic review and draft language for the ordinance.

The proposed ordinance would not only ban plastic bags, but would enforce a 10-cent charge for paper bags, and require shopkeepers to keep records for three years.

Mark Arabo, president and CEO of the Neighborhood Market Association, which represents grocery, liquor, and convenience stores, said the 10 cents charge for paper bags is a tax and a hardship for consumers. “It’s a classic case of a politician pretending to do something for the environment, in part to appease some environmental groups, without seeing the bigger picture. Without seeing they’re hurting working families,” Arabo said.

City officials have said they spent $160,000 cleaning up the bags last year, and that the ban makes economic sense.

City Council is expected to vote on the ordinance in nine months to a year.

SDSU Gets Record Number of Applicants

The number of applicants to San Diego State University is at an all-time high, the university reported. A record 77,959 freshmen and undergraduate transfer students applied for fall 2014 admission to the university. That is a nearly 5 percent increase from last year at this time when SDSU received what was then a record 74,458 undergraduate applications for fall 2013.

Among the nearly 78,000 fall undergraduate applications are 55,719 freshmen and 21,221 upper-division transfer students, both up more than 3 percent over last year. The application period for fall 2014 closed on Saturday, Nov. 30.

Bill Would Let Community Colleges Award 4-Year Degrees

State Sen. Marty Block of San Diego plans to introduce legislation that would allow community colleges to award four-year degrees in vocational majors such as nursing and information technology. Although similar measures in the past have failed, Block says times have changed.

Local Arts Groups Rewarded With Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded seven local groups with grant money to be used for specific projects. Among the recipients are the San Diego Opera, which will use its $45,000 grant to fund a production of Verdi’s “A Masked Ball,” Media Arts Center, which will spend its $10,000 on the Latina Film Festival, and AjA Project, which will put its $30,000 grant into a visual arts-based after-school program for underserved youth.

SDG&E Donates Oak Ridge Ranch Land to Forest Service

San Diego Gas & Electric has donated the Oak Ridge Ranch land, 448 acres between El Cajon Mountain and El Capitan Reservoir, to the U.S. Forest Service for the protection of native Engelmann oak trees and other sensitive habitat. The trees only grow naturally in a narrow band that stretches along the mountain foothills of Southern California and Baja California. Oak Ridge Ranch serves as the “front yard” for the golden eagle, which nests in the adjacent El Capitan area. The land also supports the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher, and a variety of sensitive plants, such as the Moreno currant and the San Diego milkvetch.

“SDG&E’s donation of the Oak Ridge Ranch to the Cleveland National Forest will secure much needed habitat for wildlife and enhance the scenic value for forest visitors to experience America’s great outdoors,” said Donn Christiansen, Descanso district ranger for the U.S. Forest Service’s Cleveland National Forest.


Mintz, Levin Law Firm Adds Two Associates

Thomas Jackman

Thomas Jackman

Jenna M. Shaffer

Jenna M. Shaffer

Thomas Jackman and Jenna M. Shaffer have joined the San Diego law office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo. Jackman joins as an associate in the firm’s intellectual property section. Previously, Jackman was an associate at Irell & Manella. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a law degree from UCLA. Shaffer is an associate in the corporate and securities section. She previously was junior corporate counsel for Innovus Pharmaceuticals. Shaffer holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Redlands and a law degree from the University of San Diego.

Halozyme Therapeutics Names New President/CEO

Helen Torley has been named president and chief executive officer of Halozyme Therapeutics Inc., a San Diego biopharmaceutical company. Torley previously was executive vice president and chief commercial officer at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Amgen. The company announced that Gregory Frost is leaving to become head of the health sector of Intrexon. He will continue to lead Halozyme’s scientific advisory board.

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