Daily Business Report — Oct. 3, 2014
Above: The seafloor spreads along tectonic ridges and faults, marked by the red dots overlaying this region of the Indian Ocean, Oct. 2, 2014.
San Diego Scientists Map Unseen
Features of the Ocean Floor
Eighty percent of the seafloor remains unmapped, including part of the Indian Ocean where a missing Malaysian Airlines jet went down earlier this year. Put another way, we know more about the terrain of Mars than we do about two-thirds of the Earth’s surface.
Our map of the seafloor just got a bit more detailed though, thanks to the San Diego scientists behind a new study published in Science.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor David Sandwell and his colleagues discovered features of the ocean floor never before seen in previous maps. That includes thousands of underwater mountains, an ancient tectonic ridge in the Gulf of Mexico and continental connections between Africa and South America.
The researchers found all this without research vessels at sea. Instead, they repurposed satellites initially designed to monitor polar ice caps and El Niño events.
Sandwell says these satellites beamed radar signals from hundreds of miles above Earth down to the ocean’s surface, which then allowed them to trace the outline of the ocean’s depths.
“You think the ocean’s surface is pretty flat or spherical,” Sandwell said, “but it has these bumps and dips that mimic exactly what’s at the bottom of the ocean.”
Sandwell’s findings will soon show up on a higher-resolution version of Google Earth.
Freshman Class is Highest-Achieving
In San Diego State University History
San Diego State University’s incoming class of freshmen is the highest-achieving in the history of the university, the university reported.
Classes began on Aug. 25, but a complete census could not be taken until after the final add/drop deadline. Final numbers show that among the 4,976 first-time freshmen, the average high school GPA is 3.69 with an average SAT score of 1112, up from 3.60 and 1103 the year before.
The incoming class is also highly diverse, 58.8 percent of first-time freshmen are students of color.
“We are delighted by this development as it shows that the strategic plan to advance student success, diversity and academic quality continues to yield the desired results,” said SDSU Provost and Senior Vice President Chukuka S. Enwemeka.
The application pool was more competitive than ever before, with a record 79,137 undergraduate applications received for the 2014/15 academic year.
First-time freshmen continue taking on high unit loads, averaging 15 units in their first semester. The most popular majors for freshmen are kinesiology (384), biology (381), management (314), psychology (305), mechanical engineering (293) and marketing (224).
SDSU’s one-year continuation rates also continue to climb with 87.5 percent of first-time freshmen from the 2013/14 academic year returning to campus. The one-year continuation rate for students of color is at an all-time high of 87.6 percent.
This semester, SDSU also welcomes the largest incoming class of University Honors students in the history of the university. In addition to a minimum high school GPA of 3.7 and SAT score of 1200, these 226 students from all over the country also show a commitment to achievement and to giving back to the communities in which they live and work, said Enwemeka.
Restaurants Will Give Diners Water
Only on Request During Drought
Dine-out San Diegans will soon see table-top “tents” aimed at reminding them that water is served only on request. Members of the San Diego County Water Authority and two restaurant associations gave away thousands of the reminders at restaurants and at San Diego Restaurant Week.
The table toppers, developed by the water authority and local chapters of the California Restaurant Association and the Food & Beverage Association, are part of a countywide outreach campaign.
“Serving water only on request is a visible sign of water conservation efforts that our members have made in day-to-day operations that patrons rarely see,” said Chris Duggan, the local government affairs director for the San Diego County California Restaurant Association. “These table-top tents will serve as reminders about the need for everyone to do their part.”
Water officials said they did not anticipate cutbacks in supplies of imported water this year that would trigger mandatory rationing affecting member agencies. But rationing could be instituted in 2015 if conditions fail to improve.
“A safe and reliable water supply is critically important to our industry — from the crops grown at local farms to preparing food and drinks for our guests,” said Stephen Zolezzi, president and chief executive of the Food & Beverage Association of San Diego. “We’re asking residents to join us as we look for ways to trim water use while maintaining the quality of life that defines our region.”
The table toppers were funded by a grant from the state Department of Water Resources.
— City News Service
Free Estate Planning Workshop Series
Girl Scouts San Diego is hosting “Estate Planning 101” workshops on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Nov. 4, 6, 11 and 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. The free series will take place at Girl Scouts’ Balboa Park headquarters, 1231 Upas St., San Diego. This is an educational program with no sales presentations.
Participants will learn how to create estate plans and work effectively with legal and financial professionals. Topics include powers of attorney, conservatorships, advance health directives, charitable giving and trustee responsibilities. Marguerite Lorenz, Certified Trust and Financial Advisor, will conduct the four classes with professionals from their respective fields.
To reserve a spot, call (888) 701-1954. For more information, visit www.sdgirlscouts.org or contact Merle Brodie, (619) 610-0804 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SB Capital Partners Acquires
Lawn Care Company Aerations Only
SB Capital Partners of San Diego has acquired Aerations Only Inc., a San Diego-based lawn care company has been servicing more than 10,500 households regionally on a regular basis since 1994. Today, SB Capital Partners has stepped in with a mission. “Our mission is to transform this proprietorship into a dominant lawn care enterprise and become a household name,” said Daniel Shkolnik, co-founder of SB Capital Partners. “We want to be the one-stop-shop for lawn care and landscaping.”
Since its inception, Aerations Only Inc. has primarily focused on core lawn aerations while offering an array of lawn care products, including pre-emergent weed control, gypsum, targeted insect control, as well as fertilizer and over-seeding products. The new owners said they would add new products.
The company will operate under a new name, The Lawn Guys LLC. Financial terms of the sale were not disclosed.
San Diego’s Monarch School Receives
$50,000 From Clearinghouse CDFI
Clearinghouse Community Development Financial Institution has donated $50,000 to Monarch School in San Diego, a portion of which sent its eighth grade class on a three-day science camp at the Catalina Island Marine Institute.
“Since our students are homeless, their families don’t have the resources to provide them with adventurous, educational experiences that many of their peers enjoy. Trips to an island, boat rides, snorkeling, kayaking and hiking are out of their reach while they’re living in shelters and focusing on day-to-day survival,” said Stacy Marshall of Monarch School. “This science camp offers not only these enriching activities, but also a hands-on science field experience that enhances their education.”
The remainder of the $50,000 contribution will support of the work of Monarch School to fund programs providing off-campus learning opportunities, college preparation and campus site visits, family assistance and parent training workshops. The trip to Catalina Island is the first of many student activities planned.
Specialized HIV Clinic Opens in Hillcrest
AIDS Healthcare Foundation opened its first specialized HIV clinic at 3940 Fourth Ave., Suite 140, in Hillcrest. The AHF San Diego Healthcare Center began offering specialized, client-centered HIV/AIDS care through the Hillcrest location. Michael Weinstein is president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Dr. Adam Zweig is medical director of the AHF San Diego Healthcare Center.
Beginning Oct. 8, AHF will also be offering free testing and treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis to San Diego men through its soon-to-open AHF San Diego Men’s Wellness Center, which will be housed in the same location as the health care center and pharmacy.
According to a report from the County of San Diego HIV/AIDS Epidemiology Unit, there were 1,819 HIV diagnoses between 2007 and 2011, 91 percent of which occurred in men. Though the African-American community carries the heaviest HIV burden in the county, 43 percent of the 1,819 recent diagnoses were white, 36 percent were Hispanic, and 15 percent were black.
Brown Veto of Drone Bill
Concerns Privacy Advocates
Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill this week that would have required California law enforcement agencies to obtain warrants before using drones for surveillance. That pleases law enforcement agencies, but leaves privacy advocates worried.
Elk Grove Police Chief Robert Lehner is with the California Police Chiefs Association, which opposed the bill. He says the bill would have allowed a hobbyist to fly drones but not police. “These are valuable tools to aid us in our mission to protect the public,” he said. “And what it comes down to is good law and good policy to go along with the tool.”
Lehner says privacy concerns are overblown because drones don’t do anything helicopters or satellites can’t do.
“In terms of the capability of a camera system, you can see into people’s backyards from space,” he says. “So the issue of what can you see, versus how high are you really is irrelevant.”
But the ACLU’s Natasha Minsker says satellites can’t see inside her house.
“A drone you can use to actually peer inside someone’s window and get up close and personal,” she said. “It’s really a new technology that allows law enforcement to invade your privacy in ways that are unprecedented and potentially terrifying.”
In his veto, Brown said the bill placed too many restrictions on law enforcement.
— Capitol Public Radio
Tony Young Heads New Nonprofit, Rise San Diego
Tony Young was president of the San Diego City Council until the end of 2012, when he left to become executive director of the American Red Cross chapter for San Diego and Imperial counties. He left that position six months ago and now he’s back in politics as a lobbyist. He’s also founded Rise San Diego, a new nonprofit group.
Young was born in raised in Southeast San Diego, an area that has many problems with poverty, crime and lack of services. He wants Rise San Diego to be a vehicle for recruiting and mentoring neighborhood leaders who can improve urban life.
Former council candidate Dwayne Crenshaw will serve as the organization’s chief executive officer.
Rise San Diego is partnering with the University of San Diego to develop the RISE Urban Leadership Fellows Program, which aims to develop new leaders who could bring those skills back into San Diego’s urban communities to effect change.
Rise San Diego’s first event is Oct. 17. The website is www.riseandiego.org.
Brunson Howard Promoted
At Cushman & Wakefield
Brunson Howard has been promoted to director of San Diego brokers by Cushman & Wakefield. Brunson will be responsible for all aspects of San Diego brokerage operations, including client development, recruiting, and training.
Howard began his career at Burnham Real Estate (which was acquired by Cushman & Wakefield in 2008) where he specialized in institutional landlord representation. He joined the firm following a career as a Marine aviator. where he flew a variety of aircraft including AH-1W Cobra attack helicopters and F/A-18D strike fighters
Howard will also maintain his current role in Cushman & Wakefield’s Capital Markets Group with a focus on investment sales for office, industrial and R&D property throughout Southern California.