Daily Business Report-Sept. 12, 2014
Casey Gwinn is president of San Diego’s Family Justice Center Alliance.
Family Justice Center Alliance in San Diego Urges
NFL to Take Stronger Stand Against Domestic Violence
In the wake of the NFL scandal involving former Ravens running back Ray Rice — shown in a video knocking out his then-fiancee-now-wife — the San Diego-based National Family Justice Center Alliance is urging NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL to take a stronger stand against domestic violence.
“The NFL, like all businesses and institutions in our country, must do more to address the social and cultural norms that continue to promote domestic violence against women, men, and children,” said Casey Gwinn, president of the Alliance in a letter to Goodell.
The Alliance made three major recommendations to Goodell:
1. Develop a program to support victims in the NFL community and provide early intervention and prevention programs for all players and league personnel.
2. dopt a “zero tolerance” policy on domestic violence and investigate all domestic violence and sexual assault cases irrespective of the outcomes of criminal or civil justice proceedings.
3. Conduct a “Go Purple” campaign to raise public awareness and a $100 million to $200 million fund for prevention efforts and intervention services to survivors and their children across the country.
The Alliance is asking the public to send letters to Goodell and NFL owners urging adoption of these recommendations.
August Water Use Drops 6 Percent in San Diego County
Year-over-year figures show region responding to calls for conservation
Water use in San Diego County dropped 6 percent in August compared to August 2013 even though temperatures last month were warmer than average — another sign that water conservation efforts are expanding countywide to combat serious drought conditions across California, the San Diego County Water Authority reports.
August was the first month after the Water Authority’s board declared a Drought Alert condition calling for mandatory water conservation measures to keep as much water as possible in storage for 2015. The Water Authority’s 24 member agencies have been adopting mandatory water-use restrictions in recent weeks if they didn’t already have them in place.
“San Diego County residents have really stepped up, and collective water-saving efforts are making a positive impact as we prepare for the possibility of another dry year ahead,” said Thomas V. Wornham, chair of the Water Authority board. “It’s critical that we all continue to look for more ways to conserve – particularly outdoors – so we can carry this momentum into the fall and winter.”
The year-over-year reduction in potable water use of 6 percent in August is based on figures reported to the Water Authority by member agencies. The savings is approximately 1.2 billion gallons — enough to serve about 20,000 residents for a year.
In Rats and Men, Nicotine
Withdrawal Casts Similar Pall
Reduced reward response in brains helps explain why it’s so hard to quit smoking
Efforts to quit smoking tend to end in failure. Almost half of smokers attempt to quit each year, but only 4 to 7 percent succeed on any given attempt without medicines or assistance, according to the American Cancer Society, and less than 25 percent of smokers who use medicines remain smoke-free for more than six months. Relapse is especially common within 48 hours of quitting when nicotine withdrawal symptoms are most acute.
In a set of novel experiments involving both humans and rats, researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, Florida Atlantic University, University of Pittsburgh, Washington University and Harvard Medical School report that the brain’s response to reward — its ability to recognize and derive pleasure from natural stimuli such as food, money or sex — is measurably reduced after nicotine withdrawal.
The findings, published this week online in JAMA Psychiatry, suggest that nicotine withdrawal significantly impacts the ability to modulate behavioral choices based on the expectancy of reward. This deficit is seen often in people who suffer from depression.
“What we saw in both humans and rats was decreased responsiveness to reward,” said Athina Markou, professor and vice-chair of research in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego. “During acute nicotine withdrawal, both people and animals attended less to positive rewards. That’s a hallmark of depression. And there is evidence that people who already express depressive symptoms and quit smoking are more likely to become clinically depressed and stay that way. These findings have an obvious bearing on how we approach cessation treatment.”
The findings could lead to clinical treatments during nicotine withdrawal.
Most Local Roads in Mediocre Condition
Or Worse — And It’s Costing You Big Time
Poor road conditions in the San Diego area cost the average motorist about $1,900 a year due to higher vehicle costs, crashes and congestion-related delays, according to a new report by a national transportation group.
According to TRIP , a Washington D.C. nonprofit, poor road conditions in the state cost drivers a total of $44 billion a year. In San Diego, the average motorist spends 37 hours a year sitting in traffic congestion.
The report, “California Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility,” found that 34 percent of the state’s major urban roads, bridges and highways are in poor condition, and more than one-fourth of bridges are “structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.”
In the San Diego area, 57 percent of major roads are in poor condition, and 28 percent are considered mediocre, according to the report.
The poor conditions cost San Diego motorists $1,886 a year, including expenses such as vehicle repairs and lost time and fuel due to congestion.
According to the report, 14,878 people died on California roadways between 2008 and 2012. Non-interstate, rural roads had a fatality rate of 2.61 traffic deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2012, four times higher than other roads and highways in the state.
— City News Service
UC San Diego Finds Chemical Cause for Schizophrenia
What could be a chemical basis for the development of schizophrenia was uncovered in a study published Thursday by researchers at UC San Diego and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
Neurons derived from stem cells secreted significantly greater amounts of dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine, which are called catecholamine neurotransmitters, than other people, according to the study, which was published online by the journal Stem Cell Reports.
The scientists also found that patients with schizophrenia — a disabling disorder that affects how a patient thinks, feels and acts — dedicate more neurons to the production of an enzyme that leads to the production of dopamine, compared to the average person.
“The study provides new insights into neurotransmitter mechanisms in schizophrenia that can lead to new drug targets and therapeutics,” said senior author Vivian Hook, a professor with the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and UCSD School of Medicine.
The regulation of dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine are known to be affected by psychiatric illnesses, and they are selectively targeted by some psychotropic drugs, according to the researchers. Discovering that more neurons are dedicated to producing dopamine, which is required to make epinephrine and norepinephrine, provides another target for potential medication.
— City News Service
La Jolla’s Orexigen Gets FDA
Approval for Weight-Loss Pill
Authorities have approved a new weight-loss drug, Contrave, developed by La Jolla firm Orexigen Therapeutics Inc.
The Food and Drug Administration, in a news release, announced the agency had given the go-ahead to Contrave, the name for naltrexone hydrochloride and bupropion hydrochloride extended-release tablets, as a treatment for those who register body mass indexes of 27 or more.
Forbes has a breakdown of the history of the drug, also known as NB32. The FDA initially rejected Orexigen’s proposal for it three years ago.
For the drug to be recommended, those who are overweight must also suffer from at least one weight-related condition. The options include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.
Contrave weds two FDA-approved drugs, naltrexone and bupropion, in an extended-release dose. Naltrexone is approved to treat alcohol and drug dependence, while bruspropion is sanctioned to treat depression, seasonal affective disorder and smoking cessation.
— Times of San Diego
Schubach Aviation Adds Three New Light Jets
CARLSBAD — Three new light jets have been added to Schubach Aviation’s fleet of executive aircraft — two Embraer Phenom 100s and a Citation CJ3 –all newer models.
A light jet developed by Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, the Embraer Phenom 100 can fly around 900 nautical miles — the distance between San Diego and Seattle — seating up to four passengers with room to spare. Its design is the result of a partnership with BMW DesignworksUSA.
Amenities include a rear private lavatory, refreshment center, stowage space, premium seating and the largest windows in its class. One of the Phenoms will be based part time in Eugene, Ore., making it available for flights out of the Pacific Northwest.
The Citation CJ3 has a maximum range of 2,000 nautical miles — the equivalent of San Diego to Miami, and can carry up to six passengers. Amenities include adjustable club seating that can be arranged around two executive foldout tables conducive to business meetings. Other features include a private lavatory, slim-line refreshment center, LED lighting, and in-cabin technology so passengers can enjoy in-flight entertainment.
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program
Presents Justice For All Celebration
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program will host its annual Justice For All Celebration on Oct. 2 at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park. Doors open at 5:45 p.m. for networking, hors d’oeuvres and a no-host bar. The event will feature as keynote speaker California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu, the son of Taiwanese immigrants. Liu attended Stanford University and Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, where he earned a masters of philosophy and also graduated from Yale Law School. He was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 2011.
Local attorneys will be honored at the event for outstanding pro bono contributions. SDVLP’s 2014 award recipients are:
• Pro Bono Publico Award: Alan Marblestone.
• Outstanding Law Firm: Foley & Lardner LLP.
• Exemplary Service Award: Heather Rosing.
Marblestone is being recognized for his caseload of SDVLP’s most complex and difficult domestic violence and family law matters.
Foley & Lardner has strengthened SDVLP’s ability to meet the growing need for pro bono legal assistance through its involvement in multiple and varied service areas.
Rosing is a shareholder and CFO at Klinedinst PC California. She has devoted significant time and effort to promoting SDVLP’s work.
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit
Achates Power Issuing $2.1 Million in Stock
Achates Power told U.S. regulators on Sept. 5 that it would be issuing $21.2 million in stock. In late August, the company issued $11.2 million to two investors and now plans to issue $10 million more. Achates Power was a 2013 Connect Most Innovative New Product (MIP) winner for its Opposed-Piston, Two-Stroke Engine: A lower cost internal combustion engine that increase fuel efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Law Library Foundation Announces
2014 Bernard E. Witkin Awards
The San Diego Law Library Foundation will hold the 2014 Bernard E. Witkin Award Ceremony recognizing distinguished service in the legal community on Oct. 9 at the downtown branch of the San Diego Law Library. The annual awards recognize distinguished service by members of the San Diego legal community.
This year’s honorees are:
• Excellence in the Adjudication of the Law: Julia Craig Kelety.
• Excellence in the Practice of Law: Thomas E. Sharkey.
• Excellence in Legal Education: Dean Stephen C. Ferruolo.
• Excellence in Civic Leadership and Philanthropy: Linda and Carlos LeGerrette.
The event is open to the public and tickets are for sale, $125 each. Proceeds support the San Diego Law Library.
CaseyGerry Partner Heads Women Lawyers Group
Wendy Behan, partner in the CaseyGerry law firm in San Diego, was sworn in Thursday as president of California Women Lawyers at the organization’s 40th anniversary annual dinner at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in Downtown San Diego.
Behan will serve a one-year term and head the organization’s board of governors — representing the interests of more than 30,000 women working in all facets of the legal profession throughout California.
She has served on CWL’s board of governors and executive committee since 2011 and is past president of the Lawyers Club of San Diego — which also seeks to advance the status of women in law and society — currently serving on their advisory board.
Behan joined CaseyGerry in 1999 and was promoted to partner in 2010. Her past experience includes co-litigating lawsuits filed on behalf of American prisoners of war who had been abused and exploited as slave laborers by Japanese companies during World War II.
Donald Moody Joins Board of
Noble Environmental Technologies
Donald R. Moody, former president and general manager of Nuconsteel, a Nucor Company, has been appointed to the board of directors of Noble Environmental Technologies. In addition to joining the board, he has agreed to join the Advisory Board and act as a consultant to assist in the company’s corporate development efforts.
Moody recently retired from Nucor Corporation after serving for more than 12 years as Nuconsteel’s president and general manager. Nuconsteel is a designer and manufacturer of light-gauge steel framing solutions for both commercial and residential markets.
During his career, Moody held a number of leadership positions in the steel industry, including serving as president of the Steel Framing Alliance in Washington, D.C., and was president and CEO of Western Metal Lath in Riverside.