Daily Business Report-Dec. 11, 2014
Sherri Lightner becomes the first woman to serve as the president of the San Diego City Council.
Gloria Ousted as San Diego Council President;
Fellow Democrat Sherri Lightner Takes Post
Despite more than an hour of public speakers supporting him, sitting San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria did not get enough votes for a third term. Fellow Democrat Sherri Lightner was elected instead on a 7-2 vote, making her San Diego’s first woman to be City Council president.
Gloria and Councilmember David Alvarez were the only no votes against Lightner’s presidency.
In a statement released after the vote, Gloria said the decision was driven by “politics, not performance.”
“While, of course, I am disappointed by the outcome, San Diegans know that I’ve never needed a title to accomplish important things for our city,” he said. “I’ve always asked people to just call me Todd.”
The vote came hours after council members celebrated the beginning of a new term at an inauguration ceremony. Rumors had swirled that Republican council members wanted to trade Gloria for Lightner, and that Lightner was on board with the decision.
Lightner did not speak in deliberations over the election. The vote came after more than 30 public speakers stood before the council to support Gloria.
Stampp Corbin, the publisher of LGBT Weekly, said citizens don’t usually turn out for council votes for their own president, and said the number of people present showed the strong support for Gloria.
“He’s a shining example of what our city can do,” Corbin said. “You’ve already made your minds up, but the citizens are speaking, and we’re asking you to reconsider. We’re asking you to respond to the citizens who have taken time out of their day to come ask you to support Todd Gloria for City Council president.”
Alvarez nominated Gloria first, saying he was disappointed with the expected result.
Councilman Scott Sherman said Gloria had done a great job but it was someone else’s turn. He said he was praised as being nonpartisan when he voted for Gloria as president last time.
“Am I going to be partisan if I vote for a different Democrat this time?” Sherman asked.
Some in the crowd called out, “yes.”
Sherman said he disagreed.
Qualcomm Cuts 178 Jobs
In San Diego, 600 Worldwide
San Diego-based Qualcomm is laying off close to 200 workers in San Diego and around 300 workers in California, according to official fillings with the California Employment Development Department.
A company spokesperson confirmed the layoff Wednesday. Qualcomm is also laying off approximately the same number of people from its global workforce, the spokesperson said.
“We regularly evaluate our businesses to determine where efficiencies can be obtained and priorities addressed,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “On occasion, that requires we adjust the size or skill mix of our work teams in order to shrink or eliminate some projects and start and grow new projects.”
According to its Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filed Wednesday with EDD, 178 workers in San Diego will get the pink slip and 111 in its San Jose and Santa Clara locations.
The layoff will begin around Feb. 11, 2015, according to the WARN filing.
The story was first reported by the technology news website, CNET.
According to regulatory filings, Qualcomm has 31,300 full-time, part-time and temporary employees as of September.
The spokesperson said some employees will be moved to other parts of the company and the rest will receive severance and transition packages but did not specific which areas are being cut or expanded.
Qualcomm is the world’s largest maker of computer chips for mobile and electronic devices.
–Times of San Diego
Zephyr Building 10 New Custom Homes
In ‘Most Desireable’ Locations in San Diego
San Diego-based real estate development and investment company Zephyr is building 10 new custom spec homes in locations throughout the region as part of its “Signature Series.” “We’ve identified San Diego’s most desirable residential locations by examining their geographical footprint, which encompasses views, walkability, available square footage, proximity to neighborhood amenities and the local community,” said Brad Termini, Zephyr’s co-CEO.
The custom homes include:
• Zephyr Signature Del Mar — two ocean-view homes located in Old Del Mar near the downtown village and The Del Mar Plaza. Starting at 2,600 square feet, the three-bedroom homes have 3.5 baths and amenities that include views, rooftop decks, a large media room, private en-suite baths for both secondary bedrooms and disappearing doors that bring the outdoors into the main level great room. Homes are set for early 2015 completion.
• Zephyr Signature Carlsbad — four homes with 3,278 to 4,281 square feet, four and five bedrooms, 3.5 baths, cul de sac living and oversized two- to three-car garages. The homes are inspired and designed by award-winning architect Mark Gross and will be completed in early 2015.
• Zephyr Signature Coronado — two homes near the beach starting at 3,300 square feet with four bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms and detached casitas. The expansive floor plans will feature gourmet kitchens, creative designs and the latest in finishes. Homes will be completed in late 2015.
• Zephyr Signature Neptune — two homes in Leucadia with contemporary and Balinese architecture. The four-bedroom homes offer 3,800 square feet, 4.5 baths, two-car garages, large gourmet kitchens, spacious master suites, numerous indoor/outdoor living spaces and a large game room with a balcony and disappearing doors. Homes are slated for spring 2015 completion.
Zephyr is also building The Block Downtown — planned for a mixed-use retail and residential community, and The Park in Bankers Hill — 60 high-end luxury condominiums and townhomes, opening in early 2015.
Chris Cate and 3 Re-Elected
Council Members Sworn In
Newly elected San Diego City Councilman Chris Cate and three re-elected members were sworn in Wednesday in a special ceremonial meeting of the council in Golden Hall.
“I’m really excited to begin serving the neighborhoods and residents of District 6. I’m honored to be your council member” said Cate, who received a standing ovation. Also sworn in to new terms were David Alvarez, Myrtle Cole and Lori Zapf.
Council member Sherri Lightner led the Pledge of Allegiance before a crowd of hundreds of government and civic leaders, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer thanked Ed Harris for his eight months of service representing District 2 following redistricting.
Harris called the service a “deeply rewarding” experience, and was given a standing ovation after brief remarks.
“Somebody wondered why a lifeguard would leave the beach and come down here for a short assignment,” said Harris. “I’ll return to the water, but I’ll still be a constituent of District 2.”
Cate, who was the vice president of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, won the runoff election last month for District 6, which includes Mira Mesa, Miramar, Kearny Mesa and parts of Clairemont Mesa and Rancho Penasquitos. He is a former council staff member for Faulconer.
Sworn in for second terms were former mayoral candidate Alvarez, who represents Barrio Logan and South San Diego communities, and Zapf, who had represented District 6. She shifted over to District 2 — Point Loma, Mission Bay, Bay Park — for re-election because of a shift in City Council boundaries.
“I believe the role of government is to be a bridge, not a barrier, to our neighborhood businesses,” Zapf said in her remarks. “We need more certainty to provide our local businesses.”
Alvarez thanked his staff and voters and called for new investment in his district. “We need to do the basics better,” he said. “Throughout District 8…we must address the long-standing under-investment.”
— Times of San Diego
Cubic Wins $12 Contract Amendment
From Canadian Dept. of National Defense
Cubic Corp. has been awarded a $12 million contract amendment from the Canadian Department of National Defense for the initial phase of the Urban Operations Training System (UOTS) capability.
The UOTS complements the Weapon Effects Simulation force-on-force engagement training system deployed by Cubic in 2006 by adding an urban village training capability in several regions throughout Canada. Under this first phase, Cubic will complete the integration and validation tasks for the system instrumentation utilized in the UOTS environment.
Local Professor Receives Grant to
Study Music’s Effect on the Brain
A UC San Diego professor who uses music to understand the human brain won a $300,000 grant Wednesday from the University of California.
Professor Scott Makeig was one of five winners of the first President’s Research Catalyst Awards, chosen from a pool of almost 200 proposals.
“The President’s Research Catalyst Awards will spur UC research and offer our faculty and students new opportunities for cross-campus, multi- disciplinary collaboration,” UC system President Janet Napolitano said. “We want to support research endeavors that have real-world impact in areas with critical needs.”
Makeig’s UC Music Experience Research Community Initiative brings together experts on music listening, performance, neuroscience, brain imaging and data science to understand the potential of music for health and cognition.
Other grantees will research how California’s ecosystems will be affected by climate change, how to address a healthcare crisis in prison, use of quantum emulation to study the smallest matter in the universe, and tapping big data to look at questions of health, poverty and social justice.
UC officials said the application period for the next round of grants will begin during the winter.
— City News Service
Scripps Clinic Pathologist Named
An Editor of New Cancer Journal
Scripps Clinic pathologist and researcher Kelly Bethel has been selected as a founding editor of Convergence Science Physical Oncology, a new journal of IOP Publishing that is the first and only interdisciplinary title dedicated to bringing together all researchers in the field of cancer research from a physical sciences perspective.
From oncologists, cancer biologists, patient advocates, pharmacologists and physicists, to scientists working in biophysics, mathematics, chemistry and bioengineering, the journal will help researchers address the major questions and barriers in cancer research.
Currently, interdisciplinary papers arising from this research are published in a diverse range of subject-specific journals, but authors face multiple challenges during the peer-review process because of a lack of common language between the disciplines. Once papers are eventually published, they often do not reach their full audience.
To help address this problem, IOP has recruited four equal founding editors: an oncologist (Jorge Nieva, University of Southern California); a physicist (Peter Kuhn, University of Southern California); a patient advocate (Carole Baas, National Cancer Institute); and a diagnostic pathologist (Dr. Bethel).
The team of founding editors will be supported by a group of section editors and an international editorial board.
“This new journal developed by IOP Publishing will serve researchers who are attacking the problem of cancer from new and innovative angles originating in the fields of physical sciences, such as engineering, mathematics and physics,” said Bethel. “While these areas have always contributed to the foundational activities of medical care for cancer patients, such as radiological imaging and instrument development, there is an exciting new generation of cancer researchers who approach persistent and thorny biological cancer questions from a perspective that has a deeply informed understanding of the physical sciences. Their work provides hope for new progress against cancer.”
Two Connect Springboard Companies
Win Organization’s Plug and Play Pitch Event
Two Connect Springboard companies — eLux Medical and nPruv — were selected as winners of the fourth Plug and Play San Diego pitch event on Tuesday. The companies were awarded $25,000 each.
Adah Almutairi leads eLux Medical as founder, chairwoman and CTO and successfully pitched on stage at the event. Together, with scientists and engineers from UC San Diegoand the top U.S. doctors in liposuction, eLux Medical is developing NanoLipo, a novel gold assisted liposuction, which allows double the amount of fat removed and half the procedure time.
Chief Executive Officer J. Summer Rodgers pitched on stage for nPruv, an online marketplace and in-clinic solution that match patients and doctors with available clinical trial opportunities.
“We are extremely proud of our Connect Springboard companies and the work they are doing to improve the world,” said Greg McKee, Connect chief executive officer. “Both eLux Medical and nPruv provide solutions to real problems in the marketplace in truly groundbreaking ways. We are excited to track the progress of their growth and expansion, as we continue to support and guide them along their journey.”