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Daily Business Report-Dec. 10, 2014

Daily Business Report-Dec. 10, 2014

Driverless vehicles were a main topic of conversation at the Smart Cities Now Forum at Qualcomm headquarters in Mira Mesa.

‘Smart’ Conference Plans

For City of the Future Now

Imagine using your smart phone to arrange for a driverless ride to your destination. While it’s not exactly the moving sidewalks or flying cars of the Jetsons, it is one of the many ideas discussed Tuesday for planning the city of the future at the Smart Cities Now Forum held at Qualcomm headquarters in Mira Mesa.

About 200 elected officials, policy and tech experts are attending the three-day conference, hosted by the Smart Cities Council, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank that seeks to accelerate the growth of smart cities worldwide by providing guidance on technology, policy and citizen engagement. It is being held in San Diego for the first time.

Transportation was a big topic of discussion on Tuesday. Up until a few years ago, scientists and engineers were still contemplating on when driverless vehicles would be a reality, now they’re working on ways to make it a reality, said Stan Caldwell, executive director of Traffic21 Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

“The question is how. How do we deal with it? We have to plan for 5, 10, 20 years in the future,” he said. “This will change the fabric of cities.”

The millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 2003, are not interested in owning cars, former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said. “The direction now is technology,” LaHood said.  And it needs to happen at the local level.”

“Cities are the incubators,” he said. “When you look around America today, most states are still in the road building, bridge building business. Where is the innovation taking place? It’s being implemented in the cities by young energetic mayors, city councils and city planners.”

— Times of San Diego


Hargreaves Associates/Schmidt Design Group won the Award of Honor for the County Administrative Center Waterfront Park.

Hargreaves Associates/Schmidt Design Group won the Award of Honor for the County Administrative Center Waterfront Park.

Outstanding Works of Landscape

Architecture Receive 2014 Awards

The County Administrative Center Waterfront Park and the driving force behind its creation — County Supervisor Ron Roberts — were among honorees at the 2014 Design Awards presented by the San Diego chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

County Supervisor Ron Roberts

County Supervisor Ron Roberts

Hargreaves Associates/Schmidt Design Group won the Award of Honor for the Waterfront Park. Roberts was presented the San Diego Stewardship Award for leading the efforts to build the 16-acre park.

The awards were held Dec. 4 at the new Central Library.

Program co-chair Joy Lyndes, principal landscape architect of Coastal SAGE Landscape Architecture, called the awards “the ultimate recognition of design achievement for firms and projects in the San Diego region.”

     The Awards

• Spurlock Poirier won the President’s Award for the Palomar Medical Center.

Mesa College Student Services Center

Mesa College Student Services Cente

• Hargreaves Associates/Schmidt Design Group won the Award of Honor for the County Administrative Center Waterfront Park.

• The Office of James Burnett won the Award of Honor for La Jolla Commons

• Estrada Land Planning won the Award of Honor for Tweet Street Linear Park

     Awards of Merit

• Delorenzo International for La Mesa Cliffs Family Housing Gray Water System and WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Series.

• Deneen Powell Atelier Inc. for Tiger Trail.

• Grounded Landscape Architecture for Project Pennsylvania and Project Mozart.

La Jolla Commons

La Jolla Commons

• KTU+A for City Heights Urban Greening Plan, the Junipero Serra Museum Historic Landscape Assessment and Documentation, and the Main Street Promenade.

• landLAB Landscape Architecture for California State University San Marcos Student Union, and Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility.

• MLA Design Studio for Mesa College Student Services Center.

• Rooted in Place Landscape Architecture for Manzanita Gathering Place.

• Spurlock Poirier for the United States Courthouse Annex.

• The Office of James Burnett for Mesa College Quadrangle Master Plan, and UCSD Structural Engineering and Materials Lab

Jurors’ Commendations

United States Courthouse Annex

United States Courthouse Annex

• Estrada Land Planning for Azalea Park Drought-tolerant Garden, Barrio Logan Community Entry Sign, and Chollas Creek Segment 5 Restoration Project Study.

• Rooted in Place Landscape Architecture for Barrio Logan Child Development Center.

• Sotelo Landscape Architecture for Paseo Chapultepec.






San Diego’s New Data Chief Wants to Get

Government Records in Public’s Hands

The city of Boston lets citizens track its spending online. In Oakland, public records requests are posted on the city’s website. Government tools like these may be coming to San Diego. Local officials are pushing policy to open more of the city’s information to the public.

Maksim Pecherskiy

Maksim Pecherskiy (Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Ben Katz of Open San Diego said identifying and releasing city records in a format San Diegans can use is crucial.

“The city is sitting on a huge amount of data about our streets, about our police, our fire, about our libraries — everything that the city does, there’s data about it,” said Katz, a web developer. “And that data can help us improve decision making. It can help us find out what’s happening well, what’s happening badly. It can help us do things better.”

The job to do this comes down to one man: Maksim Pecherskiy. He’s San Diego’s newest hire and its first chief data officer — a 27-year-old Russian-born, Chicago-raised web developer who intends to single-handedly crack open the city’s data. (Katz actually helped the city hire him.)

“One of the things I’m hoping to do is allow citizens to engage with the city,” said Pecherskiy, whose job pays $100,000 a year.  “One of those things is building apps or also increasing internal efficiencies in government.”

Read more from KPBS…


San Diego Employers Association Presents

35th Annual Employment Law Update

Rich Paul

Rich Paul

Lonny Zilberman

Lonny Zilberman

Christopher Olmsted

Christopher Olmsted

The San Diego Employers Association will present its 35th annual Employment Law Update — an opportunity for employers to obtain latest labor and employment law news — on Jan. 14 at Crown Plaza San Diego, 2270 Hotel Circle North, Mission Valley. Hours: 7:30 a.m. to noon. Breakfast included.

The event will summarize the latest labor and employment law news that directly affects employers. Attendees will learn about the latest rulings and legislative developments in California and about their impacts on businesses in San Diego.

Topics include Key Legal Developments, Top Employers’ Mistakes of 2014, and Headline News for Employers.

Speakers include Rich Paul  of Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton; Lonny Zilberman of Wilson, Turner, Kosmo; and Christopher Olmsted of Ogletree Deakins.

Cost: Early Bird Registration (before Dec. 27): $105 SDEA members/$125 nonmembers. Regular rates: $125 members/$145 nonmembers.

To register, visit or call (858) 505-0024 or email

Walden Family Services Gets National Accreditation

Walden Family Services, a nonprofit foster care and adoption agency, has been nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Walden is one of the first foster family agencies in California to receive the accreditation.

CARF’s accreditation is typically for only one year, but Walden received a three-year accreditation, based on its exceptional work, according to the organization.

Walden provides foster and adoptive homes to many children including those with developmental disabilities and special health care needs and prepares and supports youth to successfully transition from foster care to adulthood.

Jacobs Center's new hires, from left: Martin Furey, Beatriz Garcia, Angela Titus, Bennett Peji

Jacobs Center’s new hires, from left: Martin Furey, Beatriz Garcia, Angela Titus, Bennett Peji

Jacobs Center Hires Four Key Staff Positions

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation announced the hiring of four key staff positions to further its mission of driving positive change, building community and expanding economic development. The new staff members are: Angela Titus, vice president, impact and marketing; Bennett Peji, director of marketing; Beatriz Garcia, director of organizing and civic engagement; and Martin Furey, senior director of development.

Angela Titus will head the center’s community programs, civic engagement, strategic planning and marketing.

Bennett Peji will be responsible for branding and strategic marketing, including digital and communications

Beatriz Garcia will oversee relationship building with community stakeholders and institutions to support leadership development and community action for positive change.

Martin Furey spent six years as the senior grant writer for the county’s largest Federally Qualified Health Center. In that capacity, he secured over $55 million in funding from the federal, state and county governments, as well as private foundations.

METRO Movers

METRO Movers

METRO Movers

We’ll introduce METRO Movers for 2015 in our February issue, and now’s the time to turn in your nominations. The deadline is Jan. 20, 2015. These are men and women who have made outstanding contributions to their professions and who are poised to add to their achievements in the new year.

To nominate, visit, click on the Nominate button at the top of the page and fill out the form. Or, send your nominees to Rebeca Page at

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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: