Daily Business Report — Aug. 12, 2014
Natalie Larson is studying for her Ph.D. in computer science at the UC San Diego.
UC San Diego Student’s Unconventional
Odyssey to a SMART Fellowship
Natalie Larson has three years to finish her Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California, San Diego, and she wasn’t entirely certain where she would find the support to complete her degree. But now she is. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Larson a Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Fellowship, which will cover all of her costs for the next three years in return for a commitment to work the next two summers and at least three years in a DoD lab after graduating in 2017.
“After graduating I hope to continue doing work in the field of Internet science,” says Larson. “It’s an area whose importance to the Department of Defense’s science and technology enterprise should only grow with time, and the work I will be doing – ensuring national security – will be important and meaningful.”
After being interviewed by an Air Force office in New York and a Navy research center in California, Larson was paired by the DoD with her first choice: the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Corona, 92 miles north of San Diego.
Larson will be doing classified research at NSWC Corona, so all she knows is that it will involve mathematics and computer science. She has not yet finalized with her CSE advisors the exact scope of her dissertation, but she hopes to select a topic in the general field of Internet congestion that would tie into the work she will be doing at NSWC Corona.
“There are no formal constraints on the research I do while at UCSD,” says Larson. “However, I am hoping that new research directions will emerge from my interactions with NSWC Corona, and that the work I do in the coming years can be beneficial for both UCSD and the Navy.”
Construction Completed on Family Health Center
Suffolk Construction has completed the new $13 million Diamond Neighborhoods Family Health Center, a 23,000-square-foot medical office building developed and owned by Family Health Centers of San Diego.
The facility provides affordable, medical, mental health, dental and supportive services to the local community, with a special commitment to uninsured, low income and medically underserved persons. The center is also home to the San Diego County’s Black Infant Health Program.
An official ribbon-cutting celebration was held Monday and included remarks from state Sen. Ben Hueso, Assembly member Shirley Weber, Councilmember Myrtle Cole, and 2014 Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi. Meb’s sister, Dr. Bahghi Keflezighi, is one of the physicians who provide care for the community at the Family Health Center.
Construction team members included construction Manager Hughes Marino, project architect Davy Architecture, and consultants SWS Engineering Inc., HTK Structural Engineers, T-Squared Professional Engineers Inc., and Marum Partnership.
Pathfinder Partners Acquires Vista Retail Center
VISTA — Pathfinder Partners LLC, a San Diego-based investment firm, has acquired Breeze Hill Promenade, a 40,500-square-foot retail center in Vista. Built in 2007, Breeze Hill — with European village-style architecture and landscaped grounds — is comprised of three buildings on three separate parcels. The 5.74-acre property includes a 15,708-square-foot building leased to CVS Pharmacy; a 3,329-square-foot building leased to Comerica Bank; and a 21,552-square-foot multi-tenant building with inline retail space, leased to several tenants including Submarina, Via Sicilia restaurant and King’s Stationers. Both the CVS Pharmacy and the Comerica Bank buildings are equipped with a drive-through.
Brown, Lawmakers Extend Water Bond Talks
The clock was about to run out for Gov. Jerry Brown and California lawmakers, so they’ve bought themselves more time to reach a deal on a replacement to the $11 billion water bond on the November ballot. As the clock ticked towards 5 p.m. Monday — the deadline for the Secretary of State’s office to start printing voter guides for the November election — politicians, staffers and lobbyists scrambled throughout the Capitol to figure out what was in the latest water bond draft, and whether there was enough momentum to extend the deadline.
“It’s not a finished product. And we’ve communicated that to the governor and to the Dem(ocratic) leaders,” Senate Minority Leader Bob Huff (R-Diamond Bar) said, referring to Brown’s new $7.2 billion water bond proposal, negotiated with Democratic legislative leaders.
Huff says the $2.5 billion for surface storage like dams and reservoirs falls short of the $3 billion that water agencies say they need for two key projects. Republicans voted with majority Democrats to extend the voter guide deadline by 48 hours to allow more time for negotiations. Lawmakers now have until 5 p.m. Wednesday to reach a deal — or push the deadline back again.
— Capital Public Radio
SD Sport Innovators Accepting Springboard Applicants
SD Sport Innovators is accepting applications for Springboard 2.0 — a no-cost, four-month intensive business accelerator program that pairs entrepreneurs with industry veterans for hands-on mentoring. Class 5 will run from Aug. 1 through Sept. 7. The program is for sports and active lifestyle startups.
To date, more than 40 companies have graduated from the Springboard program since it became a standalone program from Connect in 2011. Recent graduates include Intelly Surf, Ground-Based Nutrition, FITzee Foods, GrassAds Inc. and Lunatec.
The mentoring group includes more than 50 industry veterans and experts who volunteer their time to help gude the up-and-coming sports and active lifestyle companies become sustainable businesses.
Audit Recommends New Contracts
With Garbage Haulers to Boost Recycling
San Diego should revise its contracts with private garbage haulers to boost recycling rates, an audit of the city’s waste collection system recommended Monday. Only about a quarter of the 1.3 million tons of refuse generated annually in San Diego is recycled, according to the City Auditor’s Office. A recent study, however, found that about three-quarters of the refuse generated can be recycled or used as compost.
City officials are hoping to increase recycling rates to meet state mandates and reduce the amount of garbage going to landfills. The Miramar Landfill is projected to be full in 11 years, according to the report.
City official should require incrementally higher recycling rates to divert 50-60 percent of refuse by 2020, the audit suggested. The authors of the report also suggested ending San Diego’s non-exclusive area system, where several contractors range across the entire city and can make pickups in the same area. The companies would provide more efficient, cost-effective service if given exclusive access to districts within the city, the report said.
— City News Service
Convention Center Plan Includes Stadium
The builders of Petco Park have unveiled a $1.4 billion plan that could produce more space for conventions and a new stadium for the Chargers at less cost than if built independently. The plan, shared with U-T San Diego last week, comes just as city officials and the hotel industry are trying to decide what do about an Aug. 1 appellate court decision that threw the proposed $520 million San Diego Convention Center expansion into jeopardy. It also offers the chance to solve the Chargers’ objections to playing at Qualcomm Stadium. There are least five other alternatives available to the city.
JMI Realty, former Padres owner John Moore’s real estate company that oversaw the ballpark district master plan, has shared its ideas with the city, Chargers and other stakeholders, and plans to meet with other groups in coming weeks.
The JMI concept, with multiple options, may not please everyone, but if offers at least one way out of the legal limbo for the convention center, which tourism industry leaders say needs to be bigger to accommodate growing convention business.
San Diegans Paying Property Taxes at Record Rate
San Diegans are paying their property taxes at a record rate, with 99.1 percent of the annual amount collected for the fiscal year ended June 30.
County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister said his office has collected approximately $4.77 billion of out a total owed of $4.81 billion for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.
“I am ecstatic with our 99.1 percent collection rate. It is evident that property owners are placing great importance on protecting their real estate investments. Add to this an improving economy, and all of a sudden our San Diego County collection rates have hit a new mark,” McAllister said.
A total of 981,829 tax bills were mailed to San Diego County property owners last October. The first installment was due Nov. 1, 2013 and the second installment was due Feb. 1, 2014. The new property tax bill is expected to be mailed out in early October.
McAllister’s office is responsible for tax collection, banking, investment, disbursement and accountability of public funds.
— Times of San Diego
Vietnam Veterans Group to Get $1.02 Million Grant
Vietman Veterans of San Diego will receive a $1.02 million grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help combat veterans homelessness. The grant is part of the VA’s Supportive Services for Veterans Families program.
Funds from the grant will allow Vietnam Veterans of San Diego to offer veterans and their families temporary financial aid on rent payments, security deposits and moving costs.
Acting CEO Selected for Scripps Research Institute
James Paulson, chair of The Scripps Research Institute’s Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, has been appointed acting president and CEO to replace Michael Marletta, who is stepping down in response to faculty anger over his attempts to quietly sell or merge the financially troubled center to the University of Southern California.
“I would like to thank Michael for his service to the institute and commitment to its scientific excellence, and to Jim for his willingness to step into a leadership position during this transitional period,” said Richard Gephardt, chair of the TSRI Board of Trustees.
Paulson, whose research program focuses on roles of glycan binding proteins in the immune system and adaptation of avian influenza viruses to humans has been a full-time member of the TSRI faculty since 1999. In 2001, he became principal investigator of a large multi-year grant to create the Consortium for Functional Glycomics now an organization with more than 650 participating investigators worldwide.
Patrick Monroe Joins Best Best & Krieger
Patrick Monroe has joined the Best Best & Krieger LLP law firm as of counsel. He has more than 15 years of legal and business experience. Monroe provides legal services to privately owned businesses and nonprofits, with a focus on mergers and acquisitions, corporate transactions and intra-company dispute resolution..
Prior to joining Best Best & Krieger, Monroe was the founding and principal attorney of Monroe Law APC, a law firm specializing in corporate law. He also held senior management positions for 10 years in both small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.
Monroe received his law degree from California Western School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University.
NoteVault Selects V.P. of Marketing
Communications veteran Rebecca Ehlinger-Janzon has joined NoteVault as vice president of marketing. Ehlinger-Janzon has more than 24 years of experience in marketing and communications. She was previously with SKF as global director of press and media relations.
Prior to that, she served as the marketing and PR manager for Ascom, a provider of on-site wireless communications, where she managed the public relations for its wireless division, oversaw product launches, developed online and offline marketing plans. Janzon also has worked for the Swedish industrial engineering giant Atlas Copco, where she managed communications and product launches into the construction and mining segments.