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Daily Business Report-Dec. 22, 2014

Daily Business Report-Dec. 22, 2014

Boys having fun and getting hands-on learning at last year’s Festival of Science & Engineering.

Illumina Returns as Presenting Sponsor of

San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering

The Biocom Institute announced Monday that genetic research technology company Illumina will return as the presenting sponsor of the 2015 San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering March 14-21, 2015.

Youngster concentrates at last year's festival.

Youngster concentrates at last year’s festival.

Experiment with a balloon

Experiment with a balloon

The festival consists of a Festival Week March 14-20 — six days of learning and interaction for kindergarten through 12th grade students and their families in science, technology, engineering and math — leading up to Expo Day, a daylong celebration March 21 at Petco Park, the festival’s signature event. The day will include more than 130 local businesses, corporations, and organizations providing interactive, hands-on science, technology, engineering and math exhibits and activities to budding K-12 science lovers and others. Events are free and open to the public.

“The San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering is very proud to have Illumina on board as our 2015 Presenting Sponsor,” said Sara Pagano,  the festival’s managing director. “Not only are they making impact on a global scale, but recently announced their employee expansion here in San Diego which will support growth within the local economy. It is sponsors like Illumina that help bring the true passion of the industry into the eyes and hearts of our attendees.”

For more details, visit, or email Pagano at


Older students get in on the festival programs.

Older students get in on the festival programs.


County Supervisor to Seek Legislation

To Allow Permanent Outdoor Fish Markets

County Supervisor Greg Cox said he will seek new state laws that could allow for permanent outdoor fishermen’s markets and promote locally caught seafood.

The impetus for Cox’s proposal is the success of a new dockside fishermen’s market.

Tuna Harbor Dockside Market

Tuna Harbor Dockside Market

“San Diego has a rich and vibrant fishing history and we need to revive our local fishing industry,” Cox said. “With these proposals, we can create more jobs and feed more families with fish caught fresh out of local waters.”

Cox will propose to the Board of Supervisors on Jan. 6 a series of proposals that would allow for permanent open-air fishermen’s markets and promote the health advantages of ocean-to-table seafood.

The proposals result from popularity of the Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, which opened in August in Downtown San Diego, near Seaport Village. Local fishermen had been trying to open the market but had been stymied by red tape. Cox worked with the Port of San Diego and county environmental health officials to allow for the temporary opening of the market.

Since its August 2 grand opening, the Saturday-only market has averaged 1.1 tons of fish sold per week, creating a small boon for the local fishing industry.

Cox is seeking changes in state law that could allow permanent open-air fishermen’s markets with limited food preparation.

“Our local fishing industry is just one part of San Diego’s Blue Economy and we need to do everything we can to support it,” Cox said.

Philanthropist Donates $2.5 Million

To SDSU for Biomed Research

Local philanthropist Conrad Prebys donated $2.5 million to San Diego State University to endow a faculty chairmanship in biomedical research, the school announced Monday.

According to SDSU, the Conrad Prebys Endowed Chair in Biomedical Research will be filled by an expert on the genetics of viruses. SDSU researchers are studying bacteriophages, viruses that attack bacteria but not humans.

“It gives me great joy, especially at this time of year, to give to the education program at San Diego State University,” Prebys said.

The real estate developer previously gave SDSU $20 million to fund student scholarships, and his name adorns the Aztec Student Union. He’s also known for financial support of UC San Diego, the San Diego Zoo and Old Globe Theatre,  among other institutions.

SDSU said a national search will begin immediately to fill the position, which is the largest endowed chairmanship in the school’s history.

— City News Service

Workshop to Focus on New Labor and Employment Laws

Employment and business law firm Cara & Garland APLC will host “Points and Authorities: New 2015 Labor and Employment Laws,” a complimentary workshop to brief California employers and employees on new employment laws slated to take effect in 2015 on Jan. 8 at The Bristol Hotel, 1055 First Ave., in Downtown San Diego. Registration and complimentary breakfast will be served at 7:30 a.m., and the workshop is scheduled to start  at 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. Community members are welcome to attend.

Discussion will include the implementation of a new law that requires employers to provide mandatory paid sick leave to employees, and which imposes strict notice and recordkeeping requirements. Topics also include

changes to the Labor Code that require employers to provide additional paid breaks to employees, and amendments to the Fair Employment and Housing Act that expand its anti-discrimination and anti-harassment protections to unpaid interns and volunteers, employees who apply for and hold driver’s licenses designated for undocumented persons, and employees who receive public assistance.

For more information, call Cara & Garland at (858) 454-2400.


Books on sale at Mysterious Galaxy

Books on sale at Mysterious Galaxy

Independent Bookseller Thrives

In Shadow of Online Retailers

The fluctuating economy and rise of online shopping could spell doom for a bookseller like Mysterious Galaxy. But the independent bookstore in San Diego is not only staying in business, it’s thriving.

Mysterious Galaxy’s co-owner Maryelizabeth Hart

Mysterious Galaxy’s co-owner Maryelizabeth Hart

Mysterious Galaxy’s co-owner Maryelizabeth Hart, said there are signs “indie” bookstores are on the rise. She said that’s because people have a greater understanding of what their choices are and where to shop and many choose to shop where their dollars make an impact. That usually means they want to spend in their own community.

“At the end of the day, people really like the experience,” Hart said. “Every reader who comes into our shop already has something in common with us, a passion for the same type of books.”

Mysterious Galaxy opened in 1993 and recently moved to its fourth location just off Balboa and Genesee avenues in Clairemont. The new location offers more than 3,200 feet of floor space for books, including signed first editions.




Drinking red wine can keep us young, according to study.

Drinking red wine can keep us young, according to study.

Scientists Discover How Red Wine

‘Miracle Ingredient’ Helps Us Stay Young

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered that the antioxidant resveratrol, found in red wine, activates the ancient stress response mechanism in human cells that guards against genetic damage.

Their research, published Monday in the journal Nature, help explain the health benefits attributed to the chemical, commonly found in the skins of dark grapes and wines made from these grapes

Resveratrol, an organic compound also found in nuts and a variety of other edible plants, has already been linked with extending the healthy life of laboratory animals as well as decreasing the incidence of heart disease and other illnesses in humans.

Because red wine is particularly rich in resveratrol, some researchers have suggested that it could explain the “French paradox” of a relatively high-fat diet but relatively low incidence of coronary heart disease within the wine-drinking population of France.

Nevertheless, scientists have disputed whether the supposed effects of resveratrol on human health are real and, if so, how it could be so beneficial. However, researchers have now come up with a possible answer.

The study found that resveratrol mimics another molecule found naturally in the body that is involved in activating an ancient chemical pathway to limit stress and damage to the DNA of cells — which would otherwise result in ageing and disease.

“This stress response represents a layer of biology that has been largely overlooked, and resveratrol turns out to activate it at much lower concentrations than those used in prior studies,” said Professor Paul Schimmel of the Scripps Research Institute.


BAE Awarded $8.3 Million Contract

BAE Systems has been awarded an $8.3 million contract from the U.S. Navy to maintain and modernize one of its ships, the USS Wayne E. Meyer. The Southwestern Regional Maintenance Center of San Diego awarded the deal.

AMN Healthcare Acquires Avantas

AMN Healthcare announced the acquisition of Avantas, a provider of clinical labor management services, for an initial payment of $16.5 million and a potential of up to $8.5 million based on future operating performance. Avantas provides services and technology tools that help clients optimize and plan their clinical workforce to cost-effectively handle patient demand.

Avantas received the highest rating for a staff scheduling company in its category by KLAS, a health care industry research firm, which also identified Avantas as “the most promising human capital niche/focused vendor for staff scheduling.”

The 2014 projected revenue of Avantas is approximately $8 million.

NASSCO Gets $498 Million Navy Contract

NASSCO will build a Mobile Landing Ship like this one.

NASSCO will build a Mobile Landing Ship like this one.

The U.S. Navy has awarded General Dynamics NASSCO a $498 million contract for the detail design and construction of the Mobile Landing Platform.

Under this option, NASSCO will provide the detail design and construction efforts to build the second AFSB of the Mobile Landing Platform-class ships. The work will be performed at NASSCO’s San Diego shipyard and is scheduled to be completed by March 2018.

The MLP AFSB is a flexible platform and a key element in the Navy’s large-scale airborne mine countermeasures mission. With accommodations for 250 personnel and a large helicopter flight deck, the MLP AFSB will provide a highly capable, innovative and affordable asset to the Navy and Marine Corps, the Navy said.




Dr. J. Robert Beyster

Dr. J. Robert Beyster

SAIC Founder Robert Beyster Dies at 90

Dr. J. Robert Beyster, the founder of Science Applications International Corp. and a legend of the defense contracting industry, died Monday morning at age 90.

He died of natural causes at his home in La Jolla, according to a blog post by his daughter, Mary Ann Beyster, who wrote:

“Dad passed away peacefully early this morning. The family was with him. He was wearing his favorite sailing clothes, including an America’s Cup jacket and his University of Michigan cap.”

SAIC was founded in San Diego in 1969 and grew into an $11 billion company. The company later moved its headquarters outside Washington, but continues to have a major presence in San Diego.

Beyster was born in Detroit and graduated from the University of Michigan with a doctorate in physics. He worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, then joined General Atomics Corp.

He is survived by his wife Betty, sister Virginia, daughter Mary Ann, sons Jim and Mark, two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

— Times of San Diego


DMV Prepares for Undocumented

Residents Applying for Licenses

California residents who are living without documentation soon will be eligible to apply for driver’s licenses, thanks to a new law that takes effect in the new year. The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles is expecting 1.6 million immigrants to apply in the first few years, and law enforcement, community groups and others are preparing for the surge.

In central Los Angeles, about 150 parishioners recently packed into Holy Spirit Catholic Church, not for a mass but for a training session. Presenter after presenter explained the new law, called AB60, which goes into effect on Jan. 1.

“They’re driving all over the state — in California’s cities, in rural areas, commuting to work and school or just traveling. Like most people do — only in the shadows,” Juan Gonzalez, a lieutenant with the Los Angeles Police Department, told the crowd. “And we know that a lot of the accidents that get caused — we have a lot of hit-and-runs, because of the fear because they don’t have driver’s licenses.”

That can leave a legal driver — someone with a license — in a bind, or turn a small incident for the immigrant, driving illegally, into a misdemeanor or felony. That leads to arrests, impounded cars and just generally bad blood between cops and immigrant drivers.



Poinsettia Bowl

San Diego State (7-5) vs. Navy (7-5)

Today: 6:30 p.m., Qualcomm Stadium

On the air: ESPN; 1090-AM, 105.7-FM

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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: