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Daily Business Report-Oct. 14, 2014

Daily Business Report-Oct. 14, 2014

A boy walks past the Museum of Man in Balboa Park, Oct. 2, 2013. Associated Press

Balboa Park 2015 Centennial

Plans Announced by City

Concerts, Art and Dance Shows,

Museum Exhibits and Park

Improvements Among Programs

Plans for the 2015 Centennial celebration in Balboa Park next year have gone through a lot of changes. From the extreme of planning an international celebration that would bring the world to San Diego — to the disbanding of the Centennial planning group earlier this year, San Diegans haven’t really known what to expect.

But Monday, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and city leaders announced the official plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park.

“In 2015, San Diegans are going to fall in love with Balboa Park all over again,” Faulconer said. “We’ve brought people together to create and promote dozens of activities and improvements that will rekindle civic pride in our city’s crown jewel. This inclusive, community-driven Centennial is a reflection of how much San Diegans treasure Balboa Park and how invested they are in preserving it for future generations.”

The celebration aims to elevate, celebrate and promote the park through several improvements, special events and a long-term plan to make Balboa Park a premier cultural destination.

It officially kicks off with December Nights on Dec. 5. The 2015 edition of December Nights will bring the Centennial to a close.

Other events include a New Year’s Eve concert, a variety of art and dance shows, a spring signature event highlighting the park’s gardens and a fall signature event that will be announced at a later time.

The New Year’s Eve concert will be held at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion Dec. 31 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. It will include a processional along El Prado led by bagpipers. That will be followed by performances from a variety of musical acts.

Museums at Balboa Park are also planning special exhibits to coincide with the Centennial.

“Balboa Park is the place to be in 2015,” said Deborah Klochko, chair of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and executive director of the Museum of Photographic Arts. “Our institutions have over 100 exhibitions and programs planned, including “Gauguin to Warhol” at the San Diego Museum of Art, ‘Ingenious! The World of Dr. Seuss’ at the History Center, ‘The Discovery of King Tut’ at the San Diego Natural History Museum and ‘7 Billion Others’ at the Museum of Photographic Arts. It will be a fantastic yearlong Centennial with plenty of activities for San Diegans and visitors alike.”

Come January, park officials are reopening the California Tower to the public for the first time in 80 years. The tower offers sweeping views of the city.

Also, the city is making improvements to lighting throughout the park, enhancing the Plaza de Panama, developing a free public wireless Internet system that will be available throughout the park, and is renovating Old Globe Way, among other things.

“Just as the 1915 Panama-California Exposition spurred development of permanent assets in Balboa Park, the 2015 Centennial is a catalyst for increased investment that will preserve our park and ensure its vitality for the next 100 years,” San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria said.


The Chula Vista Bayside Master Plan as it was presented in 2012.

The Chula Vista Bayside Master Plan as it was presented in 2012.

Chula Vista’s Long-Delayed Bayfront

Development Project May Advance

Long-stalled efforts to develop Chula Vista’s bay front are expected to get a boost today from the San Diego Unified Port District. The port’s board of commissioners will consider opening negotiations with a Houston-based developer to build a hotel and convention center on San Diego’s south bay. The seven-member board will vote to select RIDA Development Corp. for the job, which includes a 1,400- to 1,600-room hotel and a 400,000-square-foot convention center. The company is currently developing a 1,000-room convention center hotel in Houston, according to its website.

Jennifer Windle, the port’s director of marketing and communications, said the board’s action doesn’t include any pricetags but allows the port to enter into exclusive negotiations with the company. “We’re not talking amounts at this point, but the negotiations would be around what the development project might look like and what might actually come from this particular developer,” Windle said.

RIDA was the only company to respond to the port’s request for qualifications, which was posted in June. Windle said the company has been thoroughly vetted.

Construction of the hotel and convention resort is part of the first step of the four-phase plan to develop 535 acres of Chula Vista bayfront property. Phase one also includes a public park, a fire station, a mixed-use residential development, an RV park and efforts to restore wildlife habitats.

The project is expected to take 24 years to complete and provide thousands of jobs, a hot topic in this year’s Chula Vista mayoral and city council races.

Chula Vista leaders have worked for decades to develop the area, including an effort begun in 2002 that led to a master plan the California Coastal Commission approved in 2012.

During that period, the city was working with Gaylord Entertainment in Nashville, Tenn. to build a bay-front hotel and convention center. But in 2008, the company walked away from the project because of regulatory challenges and labor issues.


Rendering of St. Paul's Plaza

Rendering of St. Paul’s Plaza

New Senior Retirement Community

Taking Shape in Chula Vista

St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services is building a new senior community in Otay Ranch in Chula Vista, a complex of 60 apartments and 94 assisted and independent living accommodations. The four and a half acre retirement community that started grading in January 2014 is scheduled to open in June 2015 under the name St. Paul’s Plaza.

Community leaders, elected officials, the construction team and St. Paul’s executives will attend a topping off party on Wednesday at the site, 1420 East Palomar St. in Chula Vista.

The complex will offer an indoor therapy pool, beauty parlor, chapel, pub, and extensive community areas including a 150 person multi-purpose/event room and family style gathering areas with barbeque facilities and a children’s play ground.

San Diegans to Know Soon If Minimum

Wage Hike Will be on Ballot

The results of an effort to gather enough voter signatures to undo the City Council’s vote to raise the minimum wage or force a referendum on the issue likely will be released Thursday, the county’s Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said Monday.

In July, the City Council voted raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour by January 2017, with the first hike scheduled in January. The ordinance also requires employers to give workers five paid sick days annually.

Business groups that contend an increase in the minimum wage would make San Diego uncompetitive with neighboring cities submitted about 56,000 signatures with the registrar’s office to be validated last month.

If nearly 34,000 signatures are validated, the City Council would be forced to repeal the ordinance or let voters decide the issue — by a special election or in the June 2016 primary election. Any increase in the minimum wage would be suspended until then.

Vu told City News Service that City Clerk Elizabeth Maland asked for each signature be verified. The process is slower than usual, because a few thousand people asked for their names to be withdrawn, contending they were misled by paid signature-gatherers.

Thursday is the 30-day deadline for issuing results. Typically, the registrar’s office bases the number of valid voters signatures on a sample checked against voter rolls.

— City News Service

Important Deadlines for Nov. 4 Election

You only have one more week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 Gubernatorial General Election.

Monday, Oct. 20: The deadline to register. Residents can fill out a registration form at, and if their signature is confirmed through Department of Motor Vehicles records, it will automatically be sent to the Registrar. If the signature is not confirmed, the voter will be instructed to print the form, sign it and mail it to the Registrar. For voters without access to a computer, the forms are also available at the Registrar of Voters office, US Post Offices, City Clerk offices, public libraries and Department of Motor Vehicles offices. All forms must be postmarked or delivered to the Registrar of Voters no later than midnight on Oct. 20.

Tuesday, Oct. 28: Deadline to apply for mail ballot. Voters can find the application online at or on the back of the sample ballot and voter information pamphlet sent to each registered voter. You can also request a mail ballot by sending a letter to the Registrar of Voters with your name, registered address, the name and date of the election, the address where the ballot is to be mailed and your signature. Send forms to Registrar of Voters, 5600 Overland Ave., San Diego, 92123 or fax them to (858) 694-2955. As a third option, registered voters can request a mail ballot by phone at (858) 565-5800.

Scripps Research Institute Receives

$6.6M To Investigate Deadly Lassa Virus

Professor Michael Oldstone, principal investigator of the new grant

Professor Michael Oldstone, principal investigator of the new grant

Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have been awarded $6.6 million from the National Institutes of Health to lead an investigation of Lassa fever virus, the most prevalent virus-induced hemorrhagic fever disease in Africa. The study aims to understand how Lassa fever virus causes disease and why some patients die, while others survive the infection.

“The ultimate goal is for researchers to understand the basic mechanism of how Lassa fever virus causes disease and develop new treatments to be used by clinicians to fight this malady,” said TSRI Professor Michael Oldstone, principal investigator of the new grant.

Lassa fever is spread by rodents and is common in West Africa, where it kills an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people every year—approximately 10 to 15 percent of those infected. The virus can pass from human to human, causing devastating outbreaks of a hemorrhagic disease similar to Ebola virus.

The five-year study focuses on how the immune system fights off Lassa fever virus and how the virus can confound the immune system.


Researchers Link ALS Progression

To Increased Protein Instability

A new study by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and other institutions suggests a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“Our work supports a common theme whereby loss of protein stability leads to disease,” said John A. Tainer, professor of structural biology at TSRI and senior scientist at Berkeley Lab, who shared senior authorship of the new research with TSRI Professor Elizabeth Getzoff.

Getzoff, Tainer and their colleagues, who focused on the effects of mutations to a gene coding for a protein called superoxide dismutase (SOD), report their findings this week in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study provides evidence that those proteins linked to more severe forms of the disease are less stable structurally and more prone to form clusters or aggregates.

“The suggestion here is that strategies for stabilizing SOD proteins could be useful in treating or preventing SOD-linked ALS,” said Getzoff.

Conservation Group Gets Grant to Improve

Health of Uganda People and Gorillas

ESCONDIDO — ECOLIFE Conservation in Escondido has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund to help efforts to improve the health of people and mountain gorillas in Uganda through the construction of fuel-efficient stoves. “This funding is paramount in our work to improve indoor air quality and reduce deforestation. Disney’s support is a true testament to their longstanding commitment to conservation,” said Morgan Bailey of ECOLIFE.

ECOLIFE is working in the villages surrounding Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which is home to half the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.  Here, where people rely on open fires inside their homes to heat them and to cook, ECOLIFE is building stoves that remove life-threatening smoke by 35 percent and reduce the need for fuel wood by 60 percent.  This is particularly important in a region where people must often enter the protected forest to gather fuel, and there encounter wildlife.

StriveTogether Cradle to Career

Networking Convening Oct. 15-17

More than 400 educators, elected officials, community leaders, business executives, nonprofit professionals and policymakers will attend the fifth-annual national StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network Convening Oct. 15-17 at Paradise Point Resort in San Diego. Representing more than 50 community partnerships in 28 states and Washington, D.C., attendees at the sold-out event will discuss collective impact best practices and their work to unite communities around shared goals, measures and results in education.

Speakers during the three-day convening include Cindy Marten, the San Diego Unified School District superintendent of public education; Target Senior Director of Community Relations Reba Dominski; Advertising for Humanity Founder and President Dan Pallotta; and State University of New York Chancellor and StriveTogether National Advisory Board Chair Nancy Zimpher.

Jaguar Land Rover Specialist

To Explain Firm’s Success

After years of losses and poor sales, Jaguar Land Rover is now a world-class innovator delivering quarter after quarter of profitable results. San Diego professionals looking to innovate at their firms can hear from a Jaguar leader on the keys to success at a University of San Diego School of Business Administration event on Tuesday, Oct. 21, from 8 to 9 a.m. in the university’s Mother Rosalie Hill Hall.

In the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year, Jaguar Land Rover’s segment revenue increased by 30.7  percent to $8.8 billion. During the university’s presentation, Joy Bachelor, technical specialist from Jaguar Land Rover UK, will discuss how the company has become a world-class leader in overcoming the complexity of dynamic innovation to become a highly profitable and innovative business in just a short time.

The event is free but an RSVP is requested by Oct. 16 at

Personnel Moves

Tamatha Clemens Joins Seltzer Caplan

Tamatha Clemens has joined the Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek law firm as of counsel to its family law practice.

Tamatha Clemens

Tamatha Clemens

Clemens has more than 17 years of legal experience in the area of family law. Her practice involves both settling and litigating all types of family law matters, including child custody and support issues, spousal support matters, division of property, domestic violence restraining orders, domestic partnerships and navigating through high asset, complex family law matters.

Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan, Clemens was an attorney with the Law Offices of Sandra Joan Morris.

Clemens received her J.D. from UC Hastings College of the Law and a bachelor’s degree  from UC Riverside.



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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: