Daily Business Report-April 16, 2014
Mayor Faulconer’s proposed budget would concentrate on getting people off the streets.
San Diego Budget Proposal Shifts
Money from Shelters to Services
Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s proposed city budget would shift homeless services in San Diego away from year-round shelters in favor of programs focused on getting people permanently off the streets, the U-T San Diego reports.
Nearly $2 million devoted this fiscal year to making local shelters 12-month operations would be redirected next fiscal year to seven existing programs that focus on intervention, treatment and assistance with job seeking.
“We’ve prioritized funding for programs that actually end homelessness,” Faulconer said Tuesday.
The mayor, a Republican, credited City Council President Todd Gloria, a Democrat, for spearheading the shift in focus. Gloria, whose district includes Downtown San Diego and its chronic homeless problem, proposed such a revamped approach this winter.
“It’s taking funds we’re already spending and redirecting them to proven solutions,” Gloria said. “Year-round shelters aren’t a solution to homelessness. The solution is supportive services that keep people off the streets.”
The shift was praised Tuesday by the Police Department’s homeless outreach team and organizations that provide services to San Diego’s estimated 6,000 homeless people, such as Father Joe’s Villages.
But advocate for the homeless Bob McElroy said moving away from year-round shelters could be a mistake.
2 San Diego Firms Make Smartest Companies List
Two San Diego companies made the MIT Technology Review’s list of the 50 smartest companies based on momentous strides made in the past year. Illumina took the No. 1 spot for driving down the prices of DNA sequencing just as the market is about to take-off, and Qualcomm snagged the No. 18 spot for its continued growth revenue and breakthroughs in neuromorphic computing. MIT Technology Review focused on companies that are making important innovations happening right now.
County Eases Homeowner Path to Solar Power
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday extended a solar energy financing program to homeowners, making it easier for consumers to tap into solar and other energy-saving improvements. The board voted 5-0 to expand an initiative known as PACE, or the Property Assessed Clean Energy program, to homes in the region’s unincorporated communities.
The program will allow homeowners to install or upgrade solar projects and make other energy-efficiency improvements with the help of private loans from designated vendors. The money is repaid through a surcharge on property tax bills.
“This is a huge breakthrough because it will provide another path for homeowners to tap into solar energy and to unplug themselves from SDG&E,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob, board chairwoman. “This brings us closer to a vision many of us share – rooftop solar all across sunny San Diego County.”
Under the expanded program, homeowners will be able to apply for PACE loans starting within the next few months. Information on the vendors can be found at
heroprogram.com, figtreefinancing.com and californiafirst.org.
The county program previously applied only to commercial properties.
Bond Oversight Panel for Grossmont Healthcare District Issues Annual Report
The Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (ICBOC), a group of volunteers monitoring how the Grossmont Healthcare District is spending millions of dollars for new and improved patient care facilities at Grossmont Hospital, has issued its 2013 Annual Report to the Community. The ICBOC’s seventh annual report says that 2013 was a year of milestone events, including the groundbreaking for the state-of-the-art Heart and Vascular Center in April and construction progress on the Central Energy Plant that features a new co-generation unit capable of providing more than 90 percent of the hospital’s electricity needs through on-site generation.
Housing Federation Names New Executive Director
Bruce Reznik, former executive director of San Diego Coastkeeper who left the organization to lead the Sacramento-based Planning and Conservation League, will return to San Diego to become executive director of the San Diego Housing Federation. He starts May 1.
As the executive director of the Planning and Conservation League, Reznik directed the organization’s efforts to promote sustainable water, land-use and transportation policies for California.
During his eleven-year tenure at San Diego Coastkeeper, Reznik developed it into one of the region’s largest advocacy organizations. He also has worked to promote sustainable land-use and transportation planning for Sustainable San Diego, as well as Gladstein, Neandross & Associates, a Los Angeles-based consulting firm.
Reznik is an attorney specializing in environmental law and policy. He holds an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and a law degree from the University of San Diego.
Balboa Park Sprucing Up for EarthFair 2014
The annual EarthFair in Balboa Park is supposedly the largest free annual environmental fair in the world. This year, the 25th annual event will be on Sunday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Planning to go? You’ll be joined by about 60,000 other visitors.
Produced by 400 volunteers, EarthFair 2014 will have more than 300 exhibitors, special theme areas, a food pavilion, a children’s activity area, five entertainment venues, the Children’s Earth parade, the eARTh Gallery art show and the Cleaner Car Concourse.
The exhibitors represent every type of environmental organization, governmental program and commercial enterprise with goods, services and causes that address the environment and quality of life.
EarthFair will feature five stages. Besides the Children’s Stage, which feature song and storytelling aimed at the younger set, there will be The Moon Stage (at Park and Presidents Way). The Sun Stage (behind the Federal Building), will feature a variety of contemporary music by local artists. The Folk Music Stage (by the U.N. building), hosted by the San Diego Folk Music Heritage Society, will feature folk music artists.
The eHome exhibit area showcases products and technologies that can make a home more environmentally sustainable. If you’re building a new structure, or adding to an existing home, alternative home-building technologies, such as straw bale and steel-frame construction, will be of interest. Find out about energy- and resource-saving products and materials, like energy-efficient appliances and low-E windows. A wide variety of solar electric systems — available now, to help you get off the grid — will be shown.
A word to attendees: Don’t sit in traffic, take a shuttle, ride transit — and avoid 163.
Attractions mentioned here are just some of the attractions.