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Daily Business Report-Oct. 22, 2014

Daily Business Report-Oct. 22, 2014

California Tower at Museum of Man

To Reopen to Public After 80-Year Closure

Closed for 80 years, the California Tower at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park will reopen to the public on Jan. 1, museum officials announced Tuesday.

“This is transformational not just for the Museum of Man, but also for all of Balboa Park,” said museum CEO Micah Parzen. “This will be the one experience all visitors, tourists and residents alike remember forever.”

The 150-foot tower, which offers sweeping views of San Diego and can, in turn, be seen from many points in the city, was closed after the second Panama-California Exposition in 1935.

The museum’s Grant Barrett told City News Service that there are no records that adequately explain why the tower was sealed off. The structure has undergone a seismic retrofit and, while it might need another retrofit in 2016, it appears to be in pretty good condition.

The tower is 100 years old and, like many of the original structures in the park, was built for the first Panama-California Exposition in 1915. The reopening is expected to be a major attraction for the celebration of the park’s centennial next year.

The museum also announced a campaign to raise $3 million to pay for remodeling of the tower, safety improvements, a long-term tower fund and for investments in other parts of the institution.

— City News Service

The survey is being undertaken to better understand LGB service members

The survey is being undertaken to better understand LGB service members ,

Navy Center in San Diego to Study

Psychological Health of LGB Service Members

The Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control in San Diego, in partnership with Palo Alto University, will launch a study to examine the psychological health and well-being of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) service members.

The survey is being undertaken to better understand LGB service members since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” according to Capt. Scott Johnston, director of the Naval Center and Navy Medicine’s specialty leader for psychology. “The repeal of this policy really implemented a culture change for the U.S. military and it’s incredibly important to comprehend how this shift is not just impacting our people, but also affecting readiness,” said Johnston.

In addition to studying the overall psychological health and emotional

well-being of service members, the survey will examine their experiences

serving in the military, LGB identity, relationships and social support,

discrimination and access to health care.

According to Dr. Jagruti Bhakta, a research psychologist at the Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control and an associate investigator for the study, one of the reasons this study is being done is becase there has been limited research and published scientific knowledge about the psychological health and well-being of LGB service members. “It will be imperative to understand the needs and struggles of LGB service members in order to effectively support and enhance their well-being,” said Bhakta. “Results from this study will be made available to the public, including health care providers, civilian organizations, and the military community, to help educate and inform clinical practices, advance research, and guide policy.”

Researchers are expecting to recruit approximately 400 study participants

serving on active duty, in the reserves, or in the National Guard. Participants will be asked to take an anonymous, web-based survey, which

will take 30-45 minutes to complete. A link to the survey can be found on

the Naval Center for Combat & Operational Stress Control website at

Commuters using the Green Line.

Commuters using the Green Line.

Trolley’s Northern Extension Gets Key Fed Approval

The Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project, which will extend the San Diego trolley to University City, reached a significant milestone with the Federal Transit Administration signing off on environmental issues. The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement received federal approval last week and is expected to be followed in November with certification of a similar document from the state.

“This is great news for our region,” said Supervisor Ron Roberts, a member of the Sandag board. “Obtaining the Record of Decision from the FTA brings us closer to providing fast, reliable transit service to dozens of communities and regional assets like the VA Hospital and UC San Diego.”

As an extension of the Trolley’s Blue Line, when complete it will provide a no-transfer ride from the international border all the way to University City.  It is projected to increase daily transit ridership by 21,000 people.

Construction is expected to start in late 2015, with service beginning in 2019.

— Times of San Diego

Council Approves Linkage Fee Compromise

The San Diego City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to a compromise plan for a fee increase on commercial construction to fund the city’s affordable housing projects. The deal, approved on an 8-1 vote, should end a struggle between housing advocates and business leaders over the future of the fee, which was instituted in 1990. Six years later, the levy was halved as an economic stimulus.

Last year, the City Council approved restoring the charge to its original level — but as the city’s independent budget analyst pointed out, the hike would have ranged from over 300 percent to more than 700 percent on certain types of building projects. Opponents collected enough petition signatures to get the council to rescind the increase, which led to the compromise passed Tuesday.

Provisions include returning the fee to its 1990 level, phased in over three years beginning on Jan. 1; exempting developers of manufacturing, warehouse and nonprofit hospital projects from paying the fee as an economic development incentive; and maintaining current fee levels for research and development construction for the same reason.

— City News Service

Apricus Acquires $10 Million

to Pursue Finland Licensing Deal

San Diego-based Apricus Biosciences Inc. has licensed the U.S. development and commercialization rights for an investigational treatment for urological conditions in men from Finland-based Fordeno Pharma.

Apricus also announced that it has secured $10 million in venture debt financing from Oxford Finance LLC and Silicon Valley Bank to fund the cash portion of the acquisition of treatment rights and to fund the Phase 2b clinical development program during 2015.

Last Voyage

USS La Jolla

USS La Jolla

The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS La Jolla departs the submarine piers at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for the last time. After 34 years of commissioned service, with the last 14 years based at Pearl Harbor, La Jolla is scheduled to be decommissioned and converted to a moored training ship, serving as a training platform for nuclear power training at Naval Support Activity Charleston in South Carolina. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jason Swink)

Charles Bell Elected President

Of Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association

 Charles Bell

Charles Bell

Deputy City Attorney Charles Edward Bell has been elected president of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association. He will be inducted at the association’s annual awards and scholarship dinner on Nov. 8 at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter.

Bell holds a bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University and a law degree from California Western School of Law. From 2008 until this year, he worked as an associate attorney in the civil litigation law firm of McCarthy & Holthus LLP where he managed a contract and real property litigation caseload. In July 2014, Bell was hired as a deputy city attorney for the city of San Diego, assigned to the Special Litigation Unit.


Alaska Airlines Adding 3 Weekly Nonstops to Kona

Alaska Airlines said Wednesday it will add three weekly nonstop flights between San Diego and Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii. The flights start March 5, and the airline is offering an introductory fare of $219 one way.

“We’re growing and adding flights in important West Coast markets to give our customers more opportunities to explore the great places we fly,” said Joe Sprague, the airline’s senior vice president of communications and external relations. “We are thrilled to bring the white sand beaches, black lava fields and unique Polynesian culture of Kona and Hawaii’s Big Island to our San Diego customers.”

The carrier has 74 weekly, peak-season flights to and from Kona to Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, San Diego, Oakland and San Jose.

— Times of San Diego

National Directory of Cannabis Products Launched

Ramona-based Mentor Capital Inc., a public company that invests in medical and social use cannabis companies, announced that one of its company holdings — MicroCannaBiz LLC — has launched the online National Directory of Cannabis Products and Services. The business-to-



business directory covers all marijuana-related companies with direct or indirect business participation in the medical and recreational marijuana industry, including third-party product and service providers as well as associations, industry organizations and not-for-profit organizations.

The directory has more than 4,500 listed cannabis companies distributed across 22 industry classifications. There is no cost for medical marijuana or casual use cannabis organizations to be included as a listing.

“We are extremely pleased to have launched this comprehensive first of its kind publication for the cannabis industry and are excited about the early industry and market acceptance,” said David Dube, MicroCannaBiz chairman.

Dube also said the firm has started development of a consumer and conference-related publication “to solidify our market position as a leading publisher of information for the cannabis industry.”

Mentor Capital Inc. acquired a 51 percent equity interest in MicroCannaBiz in February. MicroCannaBiz is based in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Women in Real Estate Conference

The University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate will host its fourth annual Women in Real Estate Conference Wednesday, Nov. 5 on USD’s campus. The event is a gathering of real estate and financial services professionals addressing tomorrow’s important real estate issues today. The keynote speaker, Jean Kane, CEO of Welsh & Colliers International, will address “The Changing Face of Commercial Real Estate: How to Stay Relevant and Capitalize on an Evolving Client Base.”

Bess Wakeman, executive vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle, will moderate a panel titled “Millennials: Their Impact on Real Estate Markets and Opportunities.”

Registration for the event, including breakfast, is $50 for an individual or $500 for 10 reserved seats.

To register, click here.

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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: