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Daily Business Report-Oct. 15, 2014

Daily Business Report-Oct. 15, 2014

Aethlon’s Hemopurifier is designed to remove pathogens, including HIV and Hepatitis C from blood. It’s currently be used to treat a Ugandan doctor who contracted Ebola and was hospitalized in Germany.

San Diego Firm’s Experimental

Blood Filtration System Used on

Ebola Patient in Germany

A San Diego-based maker of medical devices announced today that its experimental blood filtration system is being used to treat an Ebola patient in Germany.

The Ugandan doctor who contracted the often-fatal disease is at a hospital in Frankfurt, where he is attached to a Hemopurifier, which is made by Aethlon Medical. The physician became sickened while in Sierra Leone, one of the African nations that has suffered a severe outbreak of Ebola.

The device is fitted into a dialysis machine, which filters blood for people with kidney disease.

In the case of Ebola, it removes from the bloodstream viruses, plus the proteins that suppress the immune system, according to the company.

“We thank the physicians in Frankfurt for allowing us the opportunity to treat this advanced-stage patient,” said Jim Joyce, the founder and CEO of Aethlon Medical. “Details related to the patient’s response to therapy will be disclosed once hospital officials deem it appropriate to report an update on the condition of this individual.”

Aethlon Medical is the second San Diego firm to become involved in fighting this year’s outbreak of Ebola, which has killed more than 4,000 people in Africa and led to the first reported infections in the United States.

Two Americans working in West Africa were given ZMapp, which is made by Mapp Biopharmaceutical in Sorrento Valley. Both patients recovered.

USA Today reported that Kentucky BioProcessing, which makes ZMapp under a contract with Mapp Biopharmaceutical, is ramping up production of the experimental drug.

Aethlon Medical recently received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin safety testing for the hemopurifier. The company believes the device can also be used to treat HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C.

According to the firm, researchers at the Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have used the device to reduce the amount of Ebola in blood donated for testing. The device has also been tested successfully on about 100 HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C patients in India, the company reported.

— City News Service

Balboa Mesa Shopping Center entrance

Balboa Mesa Shopping Center entrance

Balboa Mesa Shopping Center

Grand Reopening Set for Nov. 15

The grand reopening of the Balboa Mesa Shopping Center in Clairemont, which has been undergoing renovation since May 2013, will be held on Nov. 15 and will feature 13 new commercial tenants.

Located at 5500 Balboa Ave., Balboa Mesa occupies over 210,000 square feet of space and serves a three-mile radius of nearly 130,000 people. Regency Centers, the owner, said it expects the revitalization will bring new life to the center with an enhanced shopping experience, and a dramatic enhancement to the Balboa and Genesee intersection, which many consider to be a gateway into the Clairemont Mesa area.

The LEED certified renovation includes new shops and restaurants, as well as enhanced pedestrian connectivity, outdoor seating areas, parking, bioswales, lighting, landscaping, signage, exterior paint, and stone accents.

New merchants include Boudin Bakery, Chicken Charlie’s FryBQ, Doctor’s Express Urgent Care, Great Clips, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Luna Grill, Ototo Sushi Company, Clairemont Smiles, Pieology Pizzeria, San Diego County Credit Union, The Habit Burger Grill, The Vitamin Shoppe, and 85°C Bakery Café.

This will be the first San Diego location for Taiwan-based 85°C Bakery Café, and the first brick and mortar location for Chicken Charlie’s FryBQ, known from the San Diego County, Orange County and Los Angeles County fairs.

Grand opening events will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Events will include

giveaways, food samples, music, kids’ activities, including face painting and a bounce house.

Barbara Bry Appointed to Council

On Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Barbara Bry

Barbara Bry

San Diego-based angel investor Barbara Bry is one of 27 individuals chosen to serve on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, aimed to spur innovation, entrepreneurship, and a globally competitive workforce. Bry is the first San Diegan to be selected for this council.

The National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship is charged with identifying and recommending solutions to issues critical to driving the innovation economy, including enabling entrepreneurs and firms to successfully access and develop a skilled, globally competitive workforce.

n the for-profit area, she was on the founding team of Provide and Atcom/Info, a software company that pioneered high-speed Internet access in hotel rooms. Currently, she is the chief operating officer of Blackbird Ventures that invests in and incubates early stage technology companies. In addition, she and her husband Neil Senturia teach entrepreneurship at UC San Diego and write a weekly column on entrepreneurship for U-T San Diego.

Commission Awards $2.3M to Health Insurer

For Investing in Low-Income Housing Project

A health insurance company was awarded $2.3 million in tax credits for making an $11.5 investment in a low-income housing project in San Diego, California’s Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Tuesday.

The Minnesota-base UnitedHealthcare invested $11.5 million in Enterprise Community Investment, which used the money to acquire Connections Housing in Downtown San Diego. The group rehabilitated the low-income housing project to provide residents access to supportive services, including mental health care, a medical clinic, substance abuse treatment, legal aid, and other services.

The project is expected to create 200 jobs in its first year.

In all, the insurance commission gave out $4.6 million in tax credit allocation to three major insurers for making $23.2 million available to Community Development Financial Institutions Program, which bridge the growing gap between the loans and services available to the economic mainstream and those offered to low-income people and communities.

— Times of San Diego

Port Begins Negotiations With Developer

On Chula Vista Bayfront Projects

The Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted to begin negotiations with a developer to build a bayfront hotel and convention center complex on a 535 acres in Chula Vista. Houston-based Rida Development Corp., which has built major hotels in Houston, Pittsburgh and Orlando, Fla., was the only firm to respond and qualify for the job, according to a report from port staffers.

Tuesday’s action authorizes staffers to work out an exclusive negotiating agreement with Rida that would last nine to 12 months.

Port officials envision a development next to the Chula Vista Marina that would include about 1,600 hotel rooms, 415,000 square feet of meeting space and 100,000 square feet for restaurants. Additional hotels and retail space could be added to the project.

In November 2008, Tennessee-based developer Gaylord Entertainment abandoned a $1 billion plan to build a 1,500-room hotel and convention center complex on the waterfront. Gaylord cited financial challenges when negotiations with organized labor stalled. The company, which runs the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, has since merged with Marriott and did not submit a bid.

The port is working off a master plan for the Chula Vista waterfront that was approved by the California Coastal Commission two years ago. The port and city government have formed a joint powers authority to handle governance, infrastructure financing and some capital funding for the convention center portion of the project.

— City News Service

Rendering of the Level 15 townhomes

Rendering of the Level 15 townhomes

Zephyr Building 63 Townhomes in Escondido

ESCONDIDO — A new development of 63 townhomes — Level 15 — is under construction on Montiel Road in Escondido and will offer units starting from the high $300,000s. Zephyr is the developer. Presales will begin Oct. 18.

The homes span 1,650 square feet to 1,950 square feet, with attached two-car garages, three to four bedrooms and 2.5 baths. They feature contemporary architecture with open floor plans, large kitchen islands, private patios and balconies.  Model homes and move-ins ready in early 2015.

This is one of several projects Zephyr has in North County, including SummerHouse — 35 ocean view, single-story condominiums in Carlsbad, and Las Ventanas — single-story view homes in Fallbrook.

The Level 15 sales center is located at 1310 Montiel Road.

Wife of Longtime SDSU President Dies in Maine

Susan and Stephen Weber

Susan and Stephen Weber

Susan Keim Weber, the wife of former San Diego State University President Stephen Weber, has died from pulmonary fibrosis, the university announced Tuesday. She was 73. Weber died Sunday in Hancock, Maine. The Webers had retired to Maine, where they had long kept a vacation home.

During her 15 years as the school’s “first lady,” Weber founded BRIDGES, a group of SDSU alumni and friends that linked the university with the San Diego region.

Susan Keim was born in Urbana, Ohio, on June 24, 1941. She met her future husband in a modern British poetry class at Bowling Green State University, where she earned a bachelor of science in education and a bachelor of arts in American studies.

She married Stephen Weber in 1965. He was the president of SDSU from 1996 to 2011.

Besides her husband, she is survived by two sons, Richard Lewis Weber, an attorney, and Matthew Keim Weber, who works in Afghanistan on projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, plus two grandsons and a daughter-in-law.

The family requests sending a gift in Susan’s name to the BRIDGES Endowment Fund, which administers the Susan K. Weber Scholarship, or the Frenchman Bay Conservancy in Hancock, Maine. Condolences may be sent to 230 West Short Road, Post Office Box 8, Hancock, Maine 04640.

— City News Service

CEO of SD Metropolitan Transit Honored

Paul Jablonski

Paul Jablonski

Paul Jablonski, chief executive officer of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), was recognized as the outstanding public transportation manager in 2014 by the American Public Transportation Association.  The award was presented to Jablonski at APTA’s annual meeting and expo in Houston. APTA represents more than 1,500 public and private sector organizations.

The award was based on Jablonski’s contributions to the transportation industry and for the achievements he has made over his 11-year career as the chief executive of MTS. business, both in the public and private sectors.

Jablonski joined MTS in 2003.

Among his major accomplishments since then are:

• Setting a record for ridership in FY 2014 with more than 95 million trips.

• Leading a capital improvement program that includes a $660 million Trolley Renewal project, an on-going bus procurement process to get more than 80 percent of the fleet on compressed natural gas and the rebuilding of two major bus maintenance facilities.

Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Awards

The 41st Annual San Diego Press Club’s Excellence in Journalism Awards honoring outstanding work in print, broadcast and online journalism, will be held Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the Jacobs Center at Market Creek.  Tickets to the event are now on sale.

San Diego restaurants, wineries and breweries are set to serve, and guests will receive a gift logo wine or beer glass, donated by the San Diego County Water Authority.

Barbarella Fokos will be the evening’s emcee. which, The evebt will include the election of the board of directors and officers, and special awards. and more.

Special awards go to KPBS’ Mark Sauer (Harold Keen Award); San Diego Fire Department, Ret. Maurice Luque (Andy Mace Award); San Diego Daily Transcript’s Joe Guerin (Jim Reiman Award); Carlsbad High School Student Filmmakers (Drew Silvern Award), and San Diego Home/Garden’s Phyllis Van Doren (Directors Distinguished Service Award).

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

River Valley Fest Raises More than $107,000

The fifth annual River Valley Fest held by the San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy on Oct. 12 raised more than $107,000 — an increase of $19,000 over last year’s event, the organization reported. The event was held at the Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa in Rancho Santa Fe.

A live and silent auction raised more than $44,000 for the conservancy’s conservation, education and recreation programs. A special “Raise the Paddle” raised an additional $63,000 to match a $150,000 County of San Diego Neighborhood Reinvestment Grant awarded to the Conservancy.

New Leader of San Diego FBI Office

Eric S. Birnbaum

Eric S. Birnbaum

The FBI said Tuesday that Eric S. Birnbaum, an agent with previous experience in San Diego, will take over as special agent in charge of the agency’s local office. He succeeds Daphne Hearn, who retired in August after a 23-year career.

Birnbaum began his career with the FBI in 1988. He has worked in the Washington Field Office, the FBI Laboratory, the Inspection Division and local offices in San Diego, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. While in San Diego, he supervised a white-collar crime squad that investigated fraud in health care and government, and also environmental crimes.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Miami University in Oxford, OH, and a doctorate in physical chemistry from Stanford University in Palo Alto.

— Times of San Diego

Ming-Hsiang Tsou, geography professor at San Diego State University

Ming-Hsiang Tsou, geography professor at San Diego State University

Going Viral With Emergency Warnings

San Diego County is partnering with San Diego State University to develop a new social media-based platform for disseminating emergency warnings to San Diego citizens. The project, spearheaded by Ming-Hsiang Tsou, an SDSU geography professor, aims to allow San Diego County’s Office of Emergency Services to spread disaster messages and distress calls quickly and to targeted geographic locations, even if traditional channels such as phone systems and radio stations are overwhelmed.

The project originates from a $1 million grant that Tsou received earlier this year from the National Science Foundation. The grant supports Tsou’s ongoing research into the ways people use social media to communicate about breaking news such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks and emerging voting patterns. Tsou directs the SDSU Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age, one of the universities Areas of Excellence.

“We want to know how people disseminate information in different kinds of situations,” Tsou said. “Why does some information go viral and other information doesn’t? By understanding the mechanisms of Internet memes, we hope to apply that knowledge to disaster awareness. We want to use technology to make emergency warnings go viral.”

Disaster Communication

At the request of Supervisor Ron Roberts, the County Board of Supervisors unanimously directed Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer to allow the Office of Emergency Services to work closely with SDSU’s Center for Human Dynamics to develop software and tools to improve the county’s ability to use social media for disaster communication and response.

“This social media technology developed by Professor Tsou adds another innovative tool to our ability to react during an emergency and even get out ahead of something before it becomes a problem,” Roberts said. “We are very excited that he and the university have chosen to partner with the county and we anticipate some great results going forward.”

— SDSU NewsCenter

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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.

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?

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