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Daily Business Report-May 1, 2014

Daily Business Report-May 1, 2014

Geoff Wahl leads a research team at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Salk Institute Researcher Studying

Origin And Progression of Cancer

Geoff Wahl, a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, has been involved in various aspects of cancer research for his entire 40-year career.

At Salk, he and his team are studying the genetic basis of the origin and progression of cancer and developing new strategies to tailor-make drugs based on the genetic signature of a patient’s tumor.

Recently, they discovered striking similarities between genetic signatures found in certain types of human breast cancer and those of stem cells in breast tissue in mouse embryos. These findings suggest that cancer cells subvert key genetic programs that guide immature cells to build organs during normal growth. Their work may provide new ways to predict and personalize the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

San Diego to Explore Raising Minimum

Wage Without Going to a Public Vote

The debate over whether to raise the minimum wage in San Diego took a new turn Wednesday when a City Council committee asked for details on whether the pay hike could be enacted without a public vote.

City Council President Todd Gloria’s original proposal was to place a measure on the November ballot to increase the compensation for the lowest-paid workers to $13.09 an hour over three years. San Diego currently recognizes the state minimum of $8 an hour, which is due to climb to $9 in July and $10 in two years.

On a 3-1 vote, the council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee voted to have Gloria work with the City Attorney’s Office to continue work on developing a ballot initiative. But the committee also instructed Gloria and the city attorney to provide details on how the City Council could approve the increase without putting the proposal to a public vote.

The idea to have the hike approved via ordinance was brought up by Councilman David Alvarez. Councilman Mark Kersey, who cast the dissenting vote, said he didn’t have enough data on how the proposal would affect San Diego. — City News Service

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Solana Beach Council Approves

Affordable Housing Project

SOLANA BEACH — Although neighboring residents packed City Hall to halt the proposal of an affordable housing project, the Solana Beach City Council on April 23 unanimously approved the development and a more than $2 million loan for the developer.

Called “The Pearl,” the three-story building will feature three one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging from 505 to 1,032 square feet, one 1,383-square-foot four-bedroom unit and 795 square feet of commercial office space. In addition to the 10 apartments and office space, the project will provide 53 parking spaces in structured parking, replacing the existing 31 spaces and adding 22 residential and commercial spaces.

Prior to the council’s vote, many neighboring residents argued against the project during the meeting. Some spoke in favor of affordable housing but argued the development is not suitable for the specific property. Other feared the project would increase crime and traffic while decreasing property values. — Del Mar Times

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Qualcomm Establishes Retail Solutions

Subsidiary as Standalone Company — Gimbal Inc.

Qualcomm Inc. announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies Inc., has signed a definitive agreement with a group of third-party investors to establish Qualcomm Retail Solutions Inc., an existing subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies, as an independent, standalone company. The third-party investors will collectively assume a controlling interest in the business. Qualcomm Technologies will remain a substantial investor.

All aspects of Qualcomm Retail Solutions, including the Gimbal technology platform, will be part of the transaction. The QRS entity will be renamed Gimbal Inc.

“Enabling proximal, contextually relevant experiences is an important element of our vision to bridge the digital and physical worlds across retailing, advertising, social networking and other use cases, and Gimbal, Inc. is well positioned to continue to drive industry leadership,” said Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm.

State Data Confirms County Getting More Crowded

You’re not imagining it. San Diego County, from its urban boulevards to the backcountry, is getting more crowded. That’s according to data from the state’s Department of Finance, released Wednesday as part of a demographics and housing report.

Overall, the state’s population grew by a tiny bit in 2013: slightly less than 1 percent over the previous year. The population of San Diego County grew as well, by a bit more: 1.3 percent.

This means the county is getting more renters, more homeowners, more taxpayers, more shoppers, and more people finding work here. That’s good news, says Marney Cox, chief economist with the San Diego Association of Governments, or SANDAG. More importantly, it points to a sustained economic recovery after the recession that drove people to more affordable parts of the country, he said.

Cox said that until now the population growth was due to births, but he expects upcoming studies to confirm that recent growth is due to job-related migration.

The state’s data show that in cities all across the county, households got a little more crowded — small increases in many cases — but that density uptick was widespread. Compared with last year’s estimate, this year there are more multi-unit apartments, and more people living in each unit.

— U-T San Diego

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SDG&E Awards Cal State San Marcos

$96,274 for Energy Efficiency

San Diego Gas & Electric presented California State University San Marcos with a $96,274 check representing energy efficiency incentives earned through the building of the University Student Union. The student union,

built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification standards, opened to students during spring semester. The four-story, 89,283-square-foot building is located near the center of campus, adjacent to Cesar Chavez Circle, with the fourth floor entrance opening onto Kellogg Plaza. The $43.9 million project was funded through student fees.

New CEO for Pro Kids | The First Tee

Pro Kids | The First Tee of San Diego has named Keith Padgett as its new chief executive officer.  Padgett joined the organization in early April. He holds a master’s degree from National University and has more than 40 years of experience working in youth-serving organizations.

Padgett served as president/CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito for 11 years. During his tenure, the number of children served by the organization increased from 8,000 to 20,000 annually, and the budget increased from $2 million to $5 million.

Padgett also has 13 years of experience as CEO of three Big Brother Big Sister agencies: Sacramento, Seattle, and Los Angeles. He succeeds Marty Remmell, who departed in April after a 10-year tenure.

College District Names Auxiliary Executive Director

Sally Cox

Sally Cox

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District has named fundraiser Sally Cox as its new auxiliary executive director, a position responsible for securing and managing millions of dollars in grants each year. She most recently served as a fundraiser for The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in San Diego and was the executive director at San Diego County Crime Stoppers.

The Auxiliary has secured more than $55 million for the college district over the past decade, averaging about 50 grant agreements annually to bolster college programs. For example, a three-year, $3.5 million regional grant awarded in 2004 by the state Chancellor’s Office helped pay for $100,000 high-tech, lifelike mannequins used in lab classes at Grossmont College’s Nursing and Allied Health Program.

Torrey Pines Bank Hires Real Estate Manager

Greg Klima

Greg Klima

Greg Klima has joined Torrey Pines Bank as real estate development and construction risk manager in its Carmel Valley office. Klima will mainly be responsible for real estate investment due diligence, project analysis and cost validations, in addition to the management of construction loan funding and disbursement operations. Klima has 30 years of experience in the industry.  He has held numerous positions with high-profile real estate development and investment firms, lending institutions and renewable energy industry firms, with several being large, public companies.

Meb Keflezighi Will Run in Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

Meb Keflezighi

Meb Keflezighi

Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi has entered the half-marathon event at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego, the organizers of the June 1 race announced Wednesday. Last week, the San Diego High School graduate became the first American man to win the Boston race since 1983.

“To return to the streets of San Diego for the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon after winning the Boston Marathon will be something special for me and my fellow runners,” Keflezighi said. “This year I look forward to sharing my experience and knowledge to help more athletes achieve their goal in the city where I grew up. To have that opportunity amongst so many friends and family is something I’m really looking forward to.”

The 2004 Olympic silver medalist has twice won on the 13.1-mile course in San Diego. He is also scheduled to make several public appearances before the race.

Bands and cheerleaders line the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon course as it winds through Downtown San Diego, neighborhoods around Balboa Park and Mission Valley. The title sponsor is a San Diego producer of organic fruit juices.

— 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: