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Daily Business Report-Dec. 23, 2013

Daily Business Report-Dec. 23, 2013

$215 Million County Operations Center Now Complete

The recent completion of construction of the new Registrar of Voters building marked the final phase of the $215 million San Diego County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa.

The completion brings an end to the work done by Suffolk-Roel since 2009 to consolidate multiple county functions on a 30-acre site.

Besides the 118,000-square-foot Registrar’s building, previously completed facilities include four separate 150,000-square foot, four-story office buildings, a 30,000-square-foot conference center with a cafeteria and public auditorium, and a central plant with 3,600-ton cooling capacity; totaling 780,000 square feet of new space.

Because the project came under budget, the money saved allowed the county to add tenant improvements to existing buildings and various site improvements, county officials said.

All buildings have received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, including the Platinum-certified conference center.  The entire campus achieved LEED Gold certification.

The project team included the San Diego County Department of General Services, Lowe Enterprises, RJC Architects and Project Management Advisors Inc.

Suffolk-Roel is the result of Suffolk Construction’s 2011 acquisition of family-owned Roel Construction.


California’s First Robotically Assisted Coronary

Procedure Performed at UC San Diego Center

A cardiology team at UC San Diego Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center has successfully completed the first two robotically assisted coronary

Physician Ehtisham Mahmud led the team.

Physician Ehtisham Mahmud led the team.

angioplasty/stent procedures in California. Patients with coronary artery disease now have access to this new technology that puts the precision of a robot in the hands of interventional cardiologists during procedures to open clogged heart arteries, said physician Ehtisham Mahmud, who led the cardiology team.

The CorPath System designed by Corindus Vascular Robotics offers interventional cardiologists unparalleled control in catheterization laboratories (cath labs) while performing coronary angioplasty and stenting.

“Sitting a few feet away from the patient’s bedside at a computerized work station, I was able to navigate and advance the guidewire, balloon catheter and stent through the coronary artery,” said Mahmud. “The ability to accurately measure lesion length with this technology enabled me to identify the exact length of the stents required and precisely place them.”

The first patient treated was a 66-year-old woman who had previously undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery and required stenting of a 90 percent blockage in her native artery. The second patient was a 61-year-old man with a severe 95 percent blockage of his right coronary artery who presented with unstable angina.

The new robotic system acts as an “extra hand” that holds cardiac devices in place during the entirety of an interventional procedure. The entire procedure is performed with minimal radiation exposure to the operator.

City of San Diego’s Credit Rating Upgraded

Standard & Poor’s Rating Services has raised the city of San Diego’s credit rating that could potentially save the city money when, for example, it sells bonds to pay for future infrastructure projects. The agency raised San Diego’s issuer credit rating to AA from AA- on Friday. The agency raised the city’s lease-revenue-bonds rating to AA- from A+ and also confirmed its outlook of “stable” for San Diego. “This is huge and tremendous news for San Diego,” said interim mayor Todd Gloria. “We have a strong financial management team in place, the local economy is improving and we have a healthy general fund reserve.Our city has come a long way.”

Scientists Demonstrate Drug Discovery Strategy

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have demonstrated a drug-discovery strategy with a double payoff — it enables the rapid selection of chemical compounds that have a desired effect on cells and also highlights how the compounds work. To illustrate the power of the innovative technique, the TSRI researchers used it to identify a compound that shows promise for treating obesity-linked diabetes. At the same time, they were able to identify the fat-cell enzyme that the compound inhibits –an enzyme that has not yet been a focus of diabetes drug development.

“This integrated strategy we’ve developed has the potential to accelerate the discovery of important biological pathways and may lead to faster development of new drugs for multiple diseases,” said TSRI Associate Professor Enrique Saez.

Saez and his colleague Benjamin F. Cravatt, chair of TSRI’s Department of Chemical Physiology, were the senior authors of the new study, which is reported in an online issue of Nature Chemical Biology.

Grossmont College Nursing Students Pinned

Amid Drive for Four-Year BSN Degrees

Thirty Grossmont College nursing students were welcomed into the profession in a traditional pinning ceremony on Dec. 11, as efforts are under way in California to allow community colleges to grant four-year degrees in high-demand workforce fields such as nursing.

Associated degree nurses are registered nurses qualified to work in hospitals. Once the associate degree graduates have passed their national licensure examination they will become registered nurses, and are qualified to work at hospitals.  However, not all positions will be open to them unless they go onto four-year colleges to obtain a BSN (bachelor of science nursing) degree.

Many hospitals in metropolitan San Diego are magnet hospitals, which seeks to hire a certain percentage of their nursing staff with at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. 

“The community college movement toward technical baccalaureates is a practical cost-effective answer to critical workforce needs. We are eager to answer that call,” said Cindy L. Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

Above: The littoral combat ship USS Freedom arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled port visit during a March 2013 deployment to the Asia Pacific region.

Above: The littoral combat ship USS Freedom arrives at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for a scheduled port visit during a March 2013 deployment to the Asia Pacific region.

USS Freedom Scheduled to Return From Maiden Deployment

The littoral combat ship USS Freedom is scheduled to return to its home port of San Diego today, completing its maiden deployment. The Freedom, a new style agile vessel designed to fight in coastal waters in various configurations, patrolled Southeast Asia, took part in exercises with allied navies and helped out with typhoon relief efforts in the Philippines, according to the Navy.

The vessel has two crews of 53 sailors each, plus air and other detachments.

The Freedom left San Diego March 1 with its “gold” crew, which was relieved in August by the “blue” crew.

Cmdr. Dale Heinken succeeded Cmdr. Patrick Thien as blue crew commander on Dec. 15 during a port call to Honolulu.

It was the first lengthy deployment by the new type of ship, which was plagued by structural and mechanical problems during its development.

The USS Freedom had to undergo maintenance in port three times during the deployment, according to Stars and Stripes. The publication reported that the next LCS to deploy would be the San Diego-based USS Fort Worth, late next year. — City News Service

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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: