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Daily Business Report — July 3, 2014

Daily Business Report — July 3, 2014

The Core Structure Assembly for NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator was manufactured by ATK Space Components in San Diego. (Photo courtesy ATK)

San Diego Involved in NASA’s ‘Martian Saucer’ Test

A manufacturing facility in San Diego had a big role in NASA’s test Saturday of a so-called “Martian saucer,” officially known as the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, for landing heavy, advanced payloads on Mars.

ATK’s facility in Miramar built the Core Structure Assembly that served as the platform for two new technologies from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: a surrounding Kevlar tube called the Supersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator, and a mammoth parachute dubbed the Supersonic Disk Sail Parachute.

During Saturday’s test at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, a balloon carried the test vehicle to an altitude of 120,000 feet. Then an ATK-built rocket motor ignited to accelerate the vehicle to more than three times the speed of sound and an altitude of over 180,000 feet.

The flight test simulated the low pressure and punishing speeds experienced by payloads dropped into the Mars atmosphere.

“ATK has long supported JPL and its missions to Mars,” said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager of ATK’s Missile Products division. “ATK was an integral part of the team for Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover, providing propulsion for the Delta II launch vehicle, and retro rockets and gas generators for the entry, descent and landing system used to safely deliver the rovers to the surface of Mars.”

The core assembly made at ATK’s Space Components division incorporates features required to handle the massive loads associated with deployment of the drag devices, which would slow down a vehicle in the red planet’s thin atmosphere. Among other applications, this new drag technology would enable delivery of the supplies and materials needed for long-duration missions to Mars.

While the NASA team expects to learn a great deal from this test, two more saucer-shaped vehicles are to be tested in 2015.

ATK is an aerospace, defense and commercial products company with operations in 22 states, Puerto Rico and internationally.

— Times of San Diego

The Scripps Research Institute

The Scripps Research Institute

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Open to Partnership with Scripps Research

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute said it is open to exploring a partnership with The Scripps Research Institute to help the institute’s bleak financial situation.

Last month, there was talk of TSRI merging or becoming acquired by the University of Southern California, which caused opposition from a group of Scripps faculty. The faculty group sent an email to TSRI President Michael Marletta, expressing the potential damage an acquisition could cause.

Since then, the TSRI board of trustees has established a committee to further explore the institute’s financial woes.

UC San Diego and the Salk Institute also have voiced interest in a potential collaboration with Scripps Research.

Read more…

The office building at 2188 San Diego Ave.  is to be converted into a boutique hotel.

The office building at 2188 San Diego Ave. is to be converted into a boutique hotel.

Old Town Office Building

To be Converted to Hotel

Old Town Investments Inc. has purchased an office building at 2188 San Diego Avenue with the intention of converting it into a boutique hotel. The property was sold for $775,000.

“It has expansive vistas of San Diego Bay, the airport and Point Loma, along with its proximity to numerous entertainment attractions and restaurants, that make it well suited for hotel use,” said Jeff Gilbert of Cassidy Turley, a broker representing the seller, Brain Wave Communications. The seller was represented by Lee and Associates.

Open Data Policy Cleared by Council Committee

The San Diego City Council’s Economic Development & Intergovernmental Relations Committee has approved an Open Data Policy designed to increase efficiency and transparency in local government, and enhance access to public information. Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner, who chairs the committee, said the policy will help transform the city’s technology operations and make public information and government data available in more user friendly formats.

“Today’s action is an important step forward in creating an open data portal and providing city residents and businesses easy access to select data while still respecting security and privacy concerns,” said Lightner.

The committee-approved policy recommends hiring a chief data officer and modernizing the city’s website.

Lightner said open data advocates, technology experts, and council and mayor staffs  along with the City’s Independent Budget Analyst collaborated to bring forward the draft policy.

The proposed policy will be heard by the full City Council later this year.

Two Organizations Split $100,000 Grant

To Provide Housing for Low-Income Families

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is splitting a $100,000 grant between the City Heights Community Development Corporation and Community HousingWorks to provide good rental housing available to low-income families.

The grants are unique because they both help get construction and rehab efforts off the ground for particular projects and fund development models that can be replicated by others working to address the city’s growing housing needs, the agency said. The grants are part of national funding from JPMorgan Chase to help make sure low-income families can find safe, decent homes within their means.  San Diego is a priority market for the grant program.

City Heights CDC will acquire and rehab a “Huffman 6-Pack” — a catch-all term for the small, 1970s-era housing developments known primarily for their poor design and deteriorating quality. There are thousands of such apartments in low-income neighborhoods across San Diego.

“The ‘Huffman’ multifamily properties in City Heights — with their two-story monolithic façades and expansive concrete parking in front — stand in ugly contrast to the attractive Craftsman houses that line our streets,” said Kenneth Grimes, executive director at City Heights CDC.  “We are developing a plan to turn these apartments into quality homes and blend them into the surrounding architecture—all as part of our larger efforts to revitalize our neighborhood.”

Community HousingWorks is taking a different tack with its grant, using it to build 138 affordable apartments for seniors as part of a new complex that offers on-site health services for residents. The project is part of an intergenerational master-planned community in Oceanside and will help CHW create a model to integrate housing and health care in new development efforts.

USO San Diego Chooses New President/CEO

Judy Forrester

Judy Forrester

Judy Forrester, an executive who has worked for Bank of America and as president and CEO of LEAD San Diego, has been hired as the new president and CEO of USO San Diego.

“Her extensive background in nonprofits and other leadership positions throughout the community make her a solid choice to build on advancing our mission to serve our active-duty military, their families and our combat wounded,” said Charlotte Jacobs, former board chair.

Forrester managed Bank of America’s local community strategy and resources and sits on the boards of LEAD San Diego, the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the San Diego Workforce Partnership Workforce Investment Board and The San Diego Regional EDC Foundation.

She will be responsible for developing a growth strategy for the organization as well as managing USO San Diego’s staff and volunteers at USO San Diego Downtown Center and USO Neil Ash Airport Center.

Cal State San Marcos Names

School of Arts Director

Jacquelyn Kilpatrick

Jacquelyn Kilpatrick

California State University San Marcos has named Jacquelyn Kilpatrick the founding director of the new School of Arts in the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral, and Social Sciences. Previously, Kilpatrick was a professor and former associate vice chancellor at the University of Hawaii, West Oahu.

The School of Arts will be home to the programs delivered by the Visual and Performing Arts Department, an interdisciplinary major with distinct subjects that students may specialize in, including arts and technology, dance studies, music, theater and visual arts/visual culture.

Kilpatrick also served as a special assistant to the provost, and professor and chair in the Department of English at California State University Channel Islands. She was one of 12 founding faculty members responsible for the development of initial policies and procedures for the university, including the creation of curriculum for degree programs such as the Bachelor of Arts in Performing Arts.


Sullivan Hill Adds Associate to San Diego Office

Kevin Gupta

Kevin Gupta

Kevin Gupta has joined Sullivan Hill’s San Diego office as an associate.  Gupta practices primarily in the firm’s construction, insurance and litigation practice groups, with a focus on construction and construction related insurance cases, as well as advising commercial and residential real estate project owners and managers.

Prior to joining Sullivan Hill, Gupta worked as an associate at several national law firms where he worked with clients ranging from mid-sized construction and real estate investment firms to national developers and general contractors.

Additionally, Gupta has experience in handling high exposure environmental, catastrophic injury, and wrongful death claims, and was recognized as the Outstanding New Lawyer of the Year in 2008 by the San Diego Defense Lawyers’ Association.

Gupta earned his J.D. from California Western School of Law, and his B.A. from San Diego State University.

Didi Hakes Joins Union Bank

Didi Hakes

Didi Hakes

Didi Hakes has joined Union Bank as managing director of Small Business Administration (SBA) lending.  Hakes is responsible for leading the bank-wide SBA team, including strategy, compliance and overall growth. Hakes also manages the SBA business development efforts with responsibility for the SBA credit and loan administration teams.

Hakes has more than 30 years of banking experience and began her career at San Diego Trust and Savings Bank. Throughout her career, she has held several senior roles, including SBA group manager, community lending manager and chief credit officer.  Most recently, she served as a senior vice president and SBA manager for OneWest Bank.

StreetLights Residential Opens San Diego Office

StreetLights Residential (SLR) has opened a San Diego office led by Michael Yanicelli, vice president of development. He is responsible for multifamily developments and acquisition activity in California and the Southwest. SLR, based in Texas, identified Southern California as a desirable market for expansion due to the quality of life and the demand for apartments.

Prior to joining SLR, Yanicelli served as managing director for Alliance Residential in the Southern California region for four years, where he sourced and managed multifamily and mixed-use development in San Diego. Yanicelli has eight years of experience working with Gables Residential, in which he worked as a development associate in the Dallas region. He moved to San Diego in 2006 to oversee Gables’ development and acquisition activity in Southern California and Phoenix, Ariz.

Cubic Transportation Names V.P. of Operations

Steve Brunner

Steve Brunner

Cubic Transportation System has named Steve Brunner vice president of operations in the company’s North America branch. In this role, Brunner is responsible for implementation and delivery of all projects, leading Cubic’s business development, system implementation and integration, and customer services efforts in North America. 
Previously, Brunner was the vice president and regional director for the Eastern U.S. and will continue to be in charge of the region.

City Backs ‘Over the Line’ Tourney With Permit

The city of San Diego granted a special permit Wednesday for the 61st Over The Line tournament next month and promised to defend the event in the case of a legal challenge. Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman and other city leaders joined the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club in the announcement on Fiesta Island, where the tournament will be held on the weekends of July 12-13 and July 19-20.

Over The Line

Over The Line

The event was the target of a lawsuit last year that nearly resulted in its cancellation. The threat of litigation loomed over this year’s event as well. As a result, OMBAC — the event organizers — had planned for a modified event this year with additional restrictions on alcohol sales. However, OMBAC revised the application to reflect its traditional operations. The City approved the revised permit application earlier this week.

The special permit allows participants to bring alcoholic beverages as in the past, but no glass containers are allowed.


Adoptable Pup 

Adoptable pup

Adoptable pup

The adoptions department at Helen Woodward Animal Center will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday. The center is at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe. Call (858) 756-4117.



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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.

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