Daily Business Report — June 26, 2014
Hillary Clinton speaks at BIO International Convention in San Diego. (Photo/Chris Stone)
Hillary Clinton Cheers Biotechers,
Backs GMOs and Federal Help
It was red meat for the biotech base. Hillary Rodham Clinton, in a 65-minute appearance at the BIO International Convention on Wednesday, voiced support for genetically modified organisms and possible federal subsidies to keep U.S. companies from leaving for tax havens abroad.
Clinton told thousands at the San Diego Convention Center she understood what stage partner Jim Greenwood, the BIO CEO, called the “high-risk, high-reward” nature of the industry.
“Maybe there’s a way of getting a representative group of actors at the table” to discuss how the federal government could help biotechs with “insurance against risk,” she said.
Without such subsidies, she said, “this is going to be an increasing challenge. … I think we should have that kind of intensive discussion.”
She said the debate about GMOs might be turned toward the biotech side if the benefits were better explained, noting that the “Frankensteinish” depictions could be fought with more positive spin.
“I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record,” she said, citing drought-resistant seeds she backed as secretary of state. “There’s a big gap between the facts and what the perceptions are.”
But Clinton also noted the gap between state efforts — such as California in stem-cell research — and the federal steps taken for biotech.
Minutes earlier, Gov. Jerry Brown made a rousing three-minute pitch for companies to see California as biotech-friendly.
“You’ve come to the right place,” he told the vast second-floor ballroom. “They were saying three years ago that we were a failed state … Now we’re recovering much faster than the national average.”
He added: “Don’t worry. I’m holding the line (on taxes and regulations).”
Brown had some competition for biotech boosterism in the form of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the longtime Clinton ally who pitched his own state as best for biotech.
In an easy chair conversation with Greenwood, a former Republican congressman from Pennsylvania, Clinton also was pitched questions on foreign policy, women’s roles and climate change that brought sporadic applause.
Her answers and confident delivery underscored wide interest in her San Diego visit as she moves closer to a decision on whether to make a second run for president. Earlier, she signed books at Warwick’s in La Jolla, where 1,100 people in line were given wristbands for a chance to meet the former first lady.
— Times of San Diego
Want to Search Cell Phones?
Get a Search Warrant, Supreme Court Says
Wednesday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling — stemming from a 2009 San Diego case — that police must get a search warrant before searching the contents of smart phones seized from arrestees was called “revolutionary” by the national legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union. A San Diego police officer seized reputed gang member David Riley’s cellphone and found images that depicted gang activity. An attorney argued that the search was unconstitutional, but a judge rejected the argument.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court held that smartphones contain a wealth of personal data and shouldn’t be treated the same as other physical evidence or weapons seized during arrests.
“By recognizing that the digital revolution has transformed our expectations of privacy, today’s decision is itself revolutionary and will help protect the privacy rights of all Americans,” said Steven R. Shapiro, national legal director of the ACLU. “We have entered a new world but, as the court today recognized, our old values still apply and limit the government’s ability to rummage through the intimate details of our private lives.”
State authorities argued that if police had to wait for a warrant to search cell phones, evidence could be erased remotely.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the high court’s opinion. The case also involves a Boston legal challenge.
“Modern cellphones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may reveal, they hold for many Americans ‘the privacies of life.’ The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the founders fought.”
Lt. Kevin Mayer, a spokesman for the San Diego Police Department, said the agency was preparing a directive to send to all its personnel outlining requirements for searching mobile phones, based on the high court’s decision. “Obtaining search warrants is an investigative tool, and cellphones will simply be incorporated into this process,” Mayer said
— City News Service
Cubic Creates Subsidiary: Urban Insight Associates
Cubic Transportation Systems has created a separate subsidiary — Urban Insight Associates Inc. — with the promise of delivering big data and predictive analytics in the transportation industry. The operation will be headquartered in Washington, D.C. with the mission to deliver data-driven insight to shape the urban transportation network of the future, enable greater mobility, and make cities more efficient in the provisioning of transportation services. By running Urban Insights as a separate association, CTS hopes to avoid conflicts in the transit market. CTS is the leading integrator of payment and information solutions and related services for intelligent travel applications.
‘Street Store’ to Open Downtown to Help Needy
San Diego will see its first “Street Store” this Saturday, June 28, in Downtown San Diego. The Street Store consists of a portable, pop-up store set-up on a public street with donated clothing hanging on cardboard hangers and socks and shoes in boxes marked according to size. Needy people are then invited to browse and choose items they want and like for free.
“Anyone can download the artwork and host their own Street Store, but this will be the first time for the Street Store brand name to appear in San Diego,” said Nicole Pearson, event organizer.
Saturday’s clothing giveaway will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Alpha Project, 1625 Newton Ave. Pearson said volunteers are needed on Saturday to arrange clothing according to sizes and serve as one-on-one shopping concierges. She said donated clothing can be dropped off any day this week at the La Jolla Community Church or Alpha Project offices.
Report Says Life Science Industry
A Major Economic Engine for State
California’s life science sector is an economic engine for the state, creating $258 billion in economic activity, generating more than $1 million jobs that pay $76 billion in salaries, wages and benefits, according to a report issued Wednesday at the BIO International Convention at the San Diego Convention Center.
The California Economic Report was issued by Biocom, the association for Southern California, and BayBio, the association for the Northern California life science community.
Other highlights from the report:
• California companies introduced eight new therapeutics to patients in 2013, representing nearly half of the new molecular entities launched last year.
• California continued to lead the nation in funding innovative science. National Institutes of Health funding topped $1.3 billion for San Francisco Bay institutions, while San Diego organizations received $938 million. More than $1.4 billion in venture capital funding poured into California life science companies to drive the development of new innovations.
• Between 2010 and 2012, total science, technology, engineering and math degree completions grew 21 percent in San Diego and 13 percent in the San Francisco Bay Area.
EdgeWave Hires Cyber Security Director
EdgeWave, a San Diego-based cyber security firm, announced the appointment of U.S. military cyber warfare veteran and former combat naval aviator Mike Walls as managing director of cyber security operations and analysis. In this role, Walls will lead the firm’s deployment of a national defense-class security platform for companies and organizations that are battling against cyber-attacks and data theft.
Walls previously served as Commander Task Force 1030/Commanding Officer, Navy Information Operations Command Norfolk, where he led cyber warriors supporting Navy war fighting objectives during real-world cyber operations. He also directed the Navy’s cadre of sophisticated cyber security trainers and assessors conducting cyber readiness assessments across the global Navy cyber infrastructure.
Electrical Workers Union Hires Political Director
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 569 has hied Gretchen Newsom as its new political director. As a community and labor advocate, she will organize efforts to invest in good paying jobs, workforce development, civic engagement, and alternative energy. Newsom was previously employed at LeSar Development Consultants, a social innovation firm that assists clients with creating physically, socially, and economically sustainable communities.
Newsom also served as special sssistant to Chairman Phil Angelides of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a bipartisan body charged with conducting the nation’s official inquiry into the causes of the financial and economic crisis and reporting its findings to the president, Congress, and the American people. She advised the Commission on organizational matters, managed day-to-day operations, and guided the commission’s external and congressional relations.
OneAmerica Buys City National Bank Unit
Indianapolis-based OneAmerica has reached agreement to acquire City National Bank’s San Diego-based retirement services recordkeeping business, the companies announced Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed.
The transaction is expected to close later this year. At that time, the business will adopt the name OneAmerica Retirement Services LLC. OneAmerica will continue business operations from the current San Diego location and clients will continue to work with their current service team.
“OneAmerica is a respected, vibrant and financially strong organization,” said Rich Gershen, executive vice president of wealth management services at City National Bank. “The alliance with OneAmerica will serve our clients well as their needs and the industry continue to evolve.”
Compromise Possible in Funding for
Affordable Housing Projects in San Diego
A compromise was in the works Wednesday over funding for affordable housing projects in San Diego. The City Council, faced with opposition from business leaders, agreed to rescind an effort to raise commercial development fees, which fund affordable housing in the city, and put the issue to a public vote.
Supporters of raising the so-called “linkage fee” say it was halved in 1996 and supposed to be reviewed annually. They also say the city’s lack of affordable housing impedes economic growth. Opponents, however, argue that the proposed hike was structured in a way that would have more than doubled fees for certain types of projects, while doing little to increase affordable housing.
After reversing course, the City Council urged business groups to work with the San Diego Housing Commission to come up with a compromise. Council President Todd Gloria said the City Council could take up the issue before members take their summer break at the end of July.