Daily Business Report-March 19, 2014
The inaugural event in the series will explore opportunities that arise from using drones in news gathering.
SDSU Center for Science and Media
To Inaugurate Public Education Series
To combat the lack of basic scientific knowledge among Americans, the San Diego State University School of Journalism and Media Studies, College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts, and College of Sciences have joined forces to form a Center for Science & Media.
“The primary mission is to educate the public about science, through the strategic and ethical use of media,” said Bey-Ling Sha, a professor and interim director of the School of Journalism and Media Studies.
Among other activities, the center will host a 2014 Colloquium Speaker Series, with the first event on March 25. Matt Waite from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will speak on “Drones and Journalism: The Dawning Age of Robots Reporting News.” The presentation will center on challenges and opportunities that arise from using drones in news gathering and reporting, and it will include a drone demonstration. Matt Waite is a professor of practice at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at University of Nebraska-Lincoln and founder of the Drone Journalism Lab.
Waite’s presentation and drone demonstration starts at 11 a.m. in the theater of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, followed by a reception
On April 17, David Poulson, the senior associate director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University and founder/editor of Great Lakes Echo, will speak on “Eagles and Beer: Explaining the Environment in a New Media Landscape.”
This presentation centers on news coverage of the environment, and how this coverage has been affected by new media technologies. The time and location of this presentation will be announced in late March.
Additional lectures will be Oct. 2 and Nov. 5.
City Worker Spent $250,000 on Undelivered Equipment
A San Diego city employee spent almost $250,000 of public money for equipment that apparently was never delivered, according to an audit made public Tuesday and forwarded to the San Diego Police Department. Auditors found that the unnamed worker at the Public Utility Department’s Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Warehouse used city funds between March 2008 and November 2012 to buy more than $182,000 in vehicle batteries.
The batteries were never requested or received by staff at the four treatment and reclamation plants or eight pump stations supported by the facility, the report says. The department doesn’t even use the kind of battery ordered, according to officials.
Auditors also discovered that more than $17,000 in unwanted hydraulic hoses, valves and other automotive parts were bought with city funds, and invoices were found for another $44,000 or so worth of items that were requested but apparently never delivered, according to the report.
The city investigation began with a tip to a fraud hotline. The audit uncovered $243,000 of improper orders.
The Public Utilities Department said it convened a fact-finding panel more than a year ago to gather documentation for possible disciplinary measures. The department also agreed to overhaul inventory procedures.
— City News Service report
McDonald’s Workers in San Diego
Protest Alleged Unfair Wage Practices
Several class action lawsuits were filed last week against McDonald’s over worker pay, claiming the world’s largest chain of fast food restaurants is deliberately stealing employee’s income, KPBS reports. “Retaliation and the fear of being fired keeps a great deal, if not the majority of people from not reporting,” Alor Calderon with the Employee Rights Center in San Diego said.
Calderon was joined by about 20 other people some holding signs claiming McDonald’s is crossing the line when it comes to paying its workers fairly, from forcing them to work off the clock to shaving hours off their time cards and not paying overtime.
In a statement sent to KPBS, McDonald’s said:
“McDonald’s and our independent owner-operators share a concern and commitment to the well-being and fair treatment of all people who work in McDonald’s restaurants. We are currently reviewing the allegations in the lawsuits. McDonald’s and our independent owner-operators are each committed to undertaking a comprehensive investigation of the allegations and will take any necessary actions as they apply to our respective organizations.”
The suits were filed in California, Michigan and New York. A study from the San Diego Center on Policy initiatives says the average fast food worker in San Diego earns about $300 a week.
Jason Anderson Named President of CleanTECH
Jason Anderson has been named president of CleanTECH San Diego after serving in the role of interim president since Jan. 21. The organization’s board of directors voted to make his appointment permanent. Anderson previously was vice president of the organization since 2010 and will continue to serve as executive director of the Cleantech Education Foundation. “I’m grateful to the board for affording me the opportunity to lead this incredible organization,” said Anderson. “The entire CleanTECH San Diego team and I are energized and fully committed to the mission of accelerating sustainability solutions that advance business opportunities across the San Diego region.”
Dempsey Construction Finishes Work
on Frontier Market Asset Management
Dempsey Construction has completed the construction of Frontier Market Asset Management’s new corporate offices at 7776 Ivanhoe Ave. in downtown La Jolla. The space was gutted and new utilities brought in prior to starting the tenant improvements, which featured hardwood floors with carpet accents, floor-to-ceiling glass conference rooms and offices, new glass storefront entry system and windows, hard lid ceiling with new lighting, HVAC ducting throughout and a full kitchen.
Dempsey Construction worked in conjunction with Gensler, the design architect. Frontier Market Asset Management, LLC is an independent investment management firm focused on equity investments in frontier markets.
Hittite Microwave Corp. Acquires Keragis Corp.
Hittite Microwave Corp. of Chelmsford, Mass., announced that it has entered into an agreement to buy substantially all the assets of San Diego-based Keragis Corp., a provider of high power, wideband amplifier modules. The purchase price was not disclosed. The acquisition combines Hittite’s capabilities of design and manufacture of high performance integrated circuits, modules and subsystems with Keragis’ patented extremely wideband high power amplifier module products.
Keragis’ power amplifiers utilize both gallium arsenide and gallium nitride semiconductor technologies. The closing of the transaction is expected to occur within the next 90 days.
Panel Meets on Decommissioning San Onofre Plant
The public is invited to attend the first meeting on March 25 of a new Community Engagement Panel formed to advise on decommissioning the San Onofre nuclear plant. The meeting will be from 6 to 9 p.m. at the San Clemente Community Center, 100 N. Calle Seville, San Clemente. Southern California Edison and the co-owners of the nuclear plant established the panel to serve as a conduit of information between the owners and the public throughout decommissioning.
The first meeting will include an overview of plans to dismantle the facility in 15 to 20 years, as well as a public comment period. Members of the public also may sign up on the plant’s website (www.songscommunity.com) to receive regular e-mail updates about San Onofre’s decommissioning.
How Pirates Influenced Birth of Modern Natural History
Mark G. Hanna, professor of history at UC San Diego, will describe how pirates played a role in the birth of modern natural history at a lecture March 27 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. Hanna’s research reveals that pirates had the unique and rare opportunity to travel to many places forbidden to most ordinary English sailors or Royal Navy captains by international treaties. This made pirates a valuable resource to those interested in discovering new information about the peoples, flora, and fauna of regions around the globe.
Their adventures coincided with the rising interest in natural science during the late 17th century embodied by the Royal Society in London. The lecture will explain how pirates were in many respects the progenitors of citizen scientists such as those who founded the San Diego Natural History Museum. In particular, former pirate William Dampier influenced the work and writing of Charles Darwin, Daniel Defoe, Jonathan Swift, Benjamin Franklin, and many others.
FOX Sports Announces Padres 2014 TV Schedule
FOX Sports San Diego announced its 2014 San Diego Padres regular season television schedule, which begins with Padres Opening Day on Tuesday, April 1 and includes 160 games, each accompanied by Padres Live pregame and/or postgame shows. Opening Day coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. with an hour of Padres Live pregame coverage leading into the San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers game, followed by a half-hour Padres Live postgame show.
Broadcaster Dick Enberg and former Padres starting pitcher Mark Grant return to the FOX Sports San Diego booth providing play-by-play and color commentary during most live games alongside Kris Budden, who is joining the team this year as sideline reporter. Also returning to Padres Live pregame and postgame shows are host Mike Pomeranz and former Padres first baseman and the show’s analyst Mark Sweeney. Kate Osborne joins the team as sideline reporter and host of “Padres POV,” a weekly behind-the-scenes Padres show airing Fridays throughout the season.
Kaiser Permanente’s Medical Office Building to Open
OCEANSIDE — Kaiser Permanente’s new medical office building, a 21,531-square-foot multi-service facility, will open to members on March 24. Officials will hold an opening celebration Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the facility at 1302 Rocky Point Drive. The building houses 12 provider offices including pediatric and primary care as well as a pharmacy, lab and radiology.
Leeann Iacino Joins Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has recruited Leeann Iacino as vice president of operations for its Southwest Region, which includes Southern California and Arizona. Iacino most recently was chief operating officer at Prudential California Realty.
Iacino has won numerous accolades for her business acumen, including being named a Woman Who Moves the City by San Diego Magazine, an Outstanding Women in Business award from Wells Fargo and the Denver Business Journal and a Top Business Executive award from the Denver Business Journal and Power Book. She has also won a community service award from the South Metro Denver Realtor Association.