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Daily Business Report-Jan. 14, 2015

Daily Business Report-Jan. 14, 2015

Physician tops the new list of the Best Paying Jobs of 2015, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The Best Jobs of 2015

According to U.S. News & World Report

To help the millions of Americans who hope to change jobs or advance in their careers in the new year, U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday released the Best Jobs of 2015.

Dentist claiming the No. 1 spot

Dentist claiming the No. 1 spot

Health care and technology jobs dominate the Best Jobs rankings, with Dentist claiming the No. 1 spot, followed by Nurse Practitioner at No. 2 and Software Developer at No. 3. With an average salary of $188,440, Physician tops the new list of the Best Paying Jobs of 2015.

The U.S. News Best Jobs features rankings and information on more than 100 jobs in six sectors, including business, construction and social services, to help individuals identify occupations that suit their specific skill sets and interests — and also offer a good salary and opportunities for growth.

New in 2015, U.S. News ranked the Best Paying Jobs and Best STEM Jobs, which, according to the U.S. News STEM Index, will continue to exhibit strong growth in the new year.

“Most Americans spend more than 40 hours a week working, so it’s important to find a job that is the right fit,” said Jada A. Graves, careers product manager for U.S. News. “Whether you are a recent college graduate starting your first job search or an experienced professional hoping to chart a new path or advance in your career, our list of the Best Jobs of 2015 offers key information on salary trends, work-life balance and technical skills and training required.”

Job profiles also feature information on the hiring process, insight into the personality types that excel in the position, and an insider’s look at the real work environment.

U.S. News used data comprised by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to identify jobs with the greatest hiring demand. Jobs were then scored using seven component measures: 10-year growth volume, 10-year growth percentage, median salary, employment rate, future job prospects, stress level and work-life balance.

Related editorial content also offers a look at “The 6 Best Jobs for Work-Life Balance,” “10 Part-Time Jobs to Help Pay the Bills,” “The Best-Paid Jobs for Each State” and a breakdown of entry-level salary expectations in several industries.

Read the report… 

Experts to Share Outlook

On San Diego’s Economy

Local economic experts will evaluate the financial landscape for 2015 at the 31st annual San Diego County Economic Roundtable at the University of San Diego on Friday, Jan. 16.

The panelists will provide predictions and perspective on what’s in store for the region, looking at the overall economic forecast and focusing on indicators in real estate, transportation and the startup environment.

County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Horn will provide opening remarks, along with USD School of Business Administration Associate Dean Manzur Rahman, U-T San Diego Editor Jeff Light and San Diego Workforce Partnership’s President and CEO Peter Callstrom.

“San Diego’s economic health and growth have an impact on all county residents,” said Horn. “Our panelists will provide valuable insight on challenges we face and offer ways to build a stronger economy.”

The panelists are:

Alex P. Beaton, principal, Alex Beaton: Real Estate.

Mark Cafferty, president and CEO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp

Marney Cox, chief economist, Sandag.

Gabriela Dow, partner, NV5/Plug and Play.

Jim Miller, senior regional economist, Sandag.

Ryan Ratcliff, associate professor of economics, USD School of Business Administration.

Attendance is free and registration is required for the roundtable.

Click here to register.

The roundtable is sponsored by the County of San Diego, San Diego Workforce Partnership, University of San Diego and U-T San Diego.

Speculative Office Construction

May Soon be on Rise in San Diego

Market dynamics now pave the way for speculative office construction in San Diego, according to JLL’s 2014 fourth quarter Office Insight report.

The quarter saw the start of two speculative office projects in the region. Up until this point there was only one speculative office project, One La Jolla Center, totaling 306,000 square feet. Rising rents coupled with the scarcity of quality Class A space have spurred on new construction, the report said.

With the start of these office projects, total speculative construction totals 158,164 square feet. All projects are expected to deliver in 2015. As of yet, there is no word on pre-leasing activity, but the new construction will help to alleviate the supply constrained office market, according to the JLL report.

The report also said that steady leasing activity is pushing rents higher. Rents continued their upward trajectory during the fourth quarter of 2014, increasing six percent year-over-year as the supply of large blocks and high-end Class A space continued their decline.

“This quarter marks the 10th straight quarter of positive rent growth,” the report said. “While there remain areas of value and opportunity in lower-demand submarkets, as well as in older office space across the market, quality Class A space remains scarce. The direct vacancy rate has reached the single digits for this asset at 9.9 percent, the lowest level in almost 10 years.”

Chef Meredith Manee

Chef Meredith Manee of 1500 OCEAN at Hotel del Coronado

Foi Gras Back on Menue at Coronado Restaurant

With California’s ban on serving foi grass struck down, the 1500 OCEAN restaurant in the Hotel Del Coronado announced Tuesday that it is serving the goose liver delicacy again starting this week.

Chef Meredith Manee will be serving up foi gras with her signature California coastal cuisine. The dining room will be featuring foi gras items throughout the month of January, with offerings changing nightly.

Among the dishes planned are:

• “Foie & White Winter Truffle Breakfast Homage,” which features a Seared Foie Gras, Duck Fat Potatoes, Fried Duck Egg, Duck Bacon drizzled with Truffle Sauce.

• “MB & Foie,” a seared Foie Gras dish served with Macadamia Nut Butter and Passion Fruit Jam with Brioche.

• Foie Gras and Truffle Fritters.

In addition to the new menu items, foie gras will be offered as an additional topper to diners craving a slice of the decadent delicacy.

The law banning the sale of foi gras — French for “fat liver” — and its byproducts went into effect in 2012. A U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles declared the law unconstitutional last week.

— Times of San Diego

City Rejects Pot Shops Opponents’ CEQA Appeals

The City Council on Tuesday rejected 11 appeals of a city staff’s finding that permit applications to operate legal medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego are exempt from provisions of the California Environmental Protection Act.

The council’s unanimous action will allow the projects to move ahead in the application process for conditional use permits under rules that were adopted last year, but for various reasons, only a few of them are likely to be granted. City officials are sorting through 40 permit applications.

No legal medical marijuana outlet has opened yet within city limits, while numerous shops operating illegally have been shut down.

In processing the applications, officials with the city’s Development Services Department found that CEQA regulations don’t apply in the case of the dispensaries, since they’ll only be making minor modifications to existing buildings.

In a technicality, the appeals were only on the CEQA finding, not the conditional use permits themselves.

The affected applicants hope to operate shops at 7128 Miramar Road in Mira Mesa; 4645 De Soto St. in Pacific Beach; 3571 Pacific Highway in Middletown; in the Stockton neighborhood at 3433 Pickwick St. and 3385 Sunrise St.; and in the Midway District at 3486 Kurtz St., 3485 Noell St., 3225 Bean St., and 3421, 3430 and 3515 Hancock St.

Their permit applications will now go to a city hearing officer, who will decide whether to approve the projects. They face numerous roadblocks, however, including a rule that caps dispensaries to four per council district — and six applicants desire locations in the Midway area.

— City News Service

Council Expands Non-Agenda Public

Comment Period from 1 to 2 Days

The council voted unanimously to expand its non-agenda public comment period from one to two days a week. Traditionally, members of the public could speak for three minutes on Tuesday mornings on any topic that isn’t up for discussion at the meeting. However, a member of the public sued in order to have the comment sessions on Mondays as well.

In December, the council tentatively adopted the change on a 9-0 vote. With today’s final approval, non-agenda public comment will now be held Monday afternoons after all the discussion items have been heard, and in the traditional Tuesday morning time slot.

Speakers, however, will be limited to two minutes each. Also, priority will be given to speakers who did not address the council at its most recent meeting.

— City News Service

USD Researcher: Mass Death of

Species Appear to be on the Rise

Dead Fish on a Beach

Dead Fish on a Beach

Thousands of starfish in North America perish rapidly. Two million barn swallows are lost during an extreme weather event. And 410,000 gazelles die from multiple causes.

Mass mortality events — the rapid death of large numbers of a species — appear to be on the rise, according to a new study by researchers from the University of San Diego, Yale University, and UC-Berkeley published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA.

Adam Siepielski

Adam Siepielski

“The increase in mass mortality events (MMEs) appears to be associated with a rise in starvation, disease, biotoxicity and events produced by multiple interacting stressors,” said Adam Siepielski, University of San Diego assistant professor of biology and the study’s co-lead author.

The analysis of 727 published MMEs from across the globe, affecting 2,407 animal populations, found that the magnitude of such events since 1940 has been intensifying for birds, fishes and marine invertebrates, decreasing for reptiles and amphibians and staying the same for mammals. The most severe events were those with multiple causes, the paper shows.

Although mass mortality events are often a natural event “the most alarming and interesting result was the sheer magnitude of some of these mortality events,” Siepielski said. “Billions of individuals dying are just huge numbers to comprehend. The study provides yet another example of the challenges to life that organisms are confronted with on a planet increasingly dominated by the influence of humans in the environment.”

Santaluz Senior Living Begins Development

Construction will start in mid-2015 on Santaluz Senior Living, a new assisted living community in San Diego that will be managed by Carlsbad-based Integral Senior Living. Aldea Partners is to build the facility at Via Inez and Via Fiesta, just outside Rancho Santa Fe.

Santaluz will have 64 residences with 47 assisted living units and 17 memory care units.

“Our team has designed a spectacular Tuscan farmhouse-style community and we are eager to be working with ISL, a proven management company that brings incredible talent and expertise to Santaluz,” said Carl Gustafson, president of Aldea Partners.

Insurance Carriers to Cover City’s $15 Million

Share of a San Diego Bay Cleanup Program

Some 16 insurance carriers will cover the City’s $15 million share of a San Diego Bay cleanup program in parallel with a lawsuit settlement that was negotiated by the City Attorney’s Office and approved Tuesday by the City Council.

The cleanup of polluted sediments, consisting largely of dredging and disposal work, was ordered by the Regional Water Quality Control Board in 2012 and should be completed by March 2016. The $75 million program will remediate a century of sediment pollution that has affected the food chain, beginning with small marine organisms and aquatic-dependent wildlife in the bay, and leading to human health concerns.

Council actions in 2013 and 2014 allocated an advance on any settlement to ensure the work was done correctly and on schedule. The remaining costs are being picked up by other parties, principally the shipyard operations of defense contractors NASSCO and BAE Corp., the Navy, and others.

“Today’s action is a big victory for the environment and a big victory for taxpayers,” City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said. “The pollution in this part of San Diego Bay dates back 100 years. The city did the right thing by cooperating with the Regional Water Quality Control Board and other parties to make sure cleanup began quickly as expected, and it did the right thing again by not settling any lawsuits until the insurance carriers agreed to pay every cent.”

Medical Examiner’s Office Plays Key Role

In Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Study

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office is playing a key research role in a national study that seeks to determine a cause and identify babies who would be at risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

The study is still in progress, but recently found that an abnormality of the brain’s hippocampus, which helps regulate breathing and heart rate pattern, was present in about 43 percent of infants who died of unexplained causes.

The finding was based on examinations of sections of hippocampus from 153 infants autopsied in San Diego County between 1991 and 2012. Their deaths were classified as unexplained. The findings are not yet definitive, but add to a growing body of evidence that brain abnormalities may underlie many cases of SIDS.

It is unknown why the abnormality was not seen in all the infants who died of SIDS, but researchers theorized that SIDS could be caused by several different factors, or underlying instabilities in the infant. The hippocampal abnormality was also seen in a smaller number of infants who had died of known causes.

“Little by little, researchers and physicians are chipping away at SIDS,” said Deputy Medical Examiner Othon Mena, one of the lead pathologists on the study for his office. “The SIDS category used to encompass more deaths and it has been narrowed and narrowed.”

Some of the deaths previously attributed to SIDS include metabolic disorders and cardiac arrhythmias, he said.

Opera On The Concourse to Return

San Diego Opera is bringing back Opera on the Concourse, a series of free lunchtime concerts held for the public on the San Diego Civic Concourse with the stars of San Diego Opera’s season.

The free programs were discontinued in 2007, but are being brought back as a “thank you” to the community “that fought so hard for the company’s survival last season,” the company said.

The free concerts, which start at noon and are roughly 45 minutes long, feature arias, duets, and ensembles from opera and musicals, picked by each of the performing artists and accompanied by piano.

Three concerts are scheduled:

Jan. 29 — The singers of “Opera Exposed.”

Feb. 19 — The artists of “Don Giovanni.”

March 19 — the artists of “Nixon in China.”

“The Opera on the Concourse program has been absent from our engagement program for a number of years, so we’re delighted to bring it back for our 50th anniversary season,” said Nicolas Reveles, San Diego Opera’s director of education and community engagement. “Having arias and ensembles sung outdoors, in front of the entrance to the Civic Theatre, is a way of connecting with our Downtown neighbors and sharing the excitement of our recent comeback and an opera season filled with great music.”

In the event of rain or other inclement weather, Opera on the Concourse will be moved inside the Civic Theatre and take place in the Beverly Sills Salon.

Kidder Mathews Expands into San Diego

Commercial real estate brokerage firm Kidder Mathews announced it has opened an office in San Diego and has hired three senior brokers and a managing partner, all with extensive careers and experience in the San Diego marketplace. The new office is located at 12626 High Bluff Drive in the Del Mar Heights area.

Kidder Mathews is one of the largest independently owned commercial real estate firms on the West Coast, with over 450 real estate professionals and staff in 10 offices throughout Washington, Oregon, and California. Kidder Mathews currently manages 800,000 square feet of biotech space in La Jolla.

The new hires include:

• Mark Read, a veteran with more than 30 years in the commercial real estate industry, who will serve as the managing partner for the San Diego office.

• Ron King joins Kidder Mathews as a senior vice president. He is a twenty-nine-year professional and a former senior director with Cushman & Wakefield.

• Joe McDermott joins Kidder Mathews as a senior vice president. McDermott has more than 25 years of experience and specializes in industrial properties. McDermott was formerly a director with Cushman & Wakefield.

• Robert Willingham joins Kidder Mathews as a senior vice president. Willingham was a former director with Cushman & Wakefield specializing in industrial and office real estate in North County.

Personnel Moves

Procopio Associate Heads Scholarship Fund

Adriana Ochoa

Adriana Ochoa

Adriana Ochoa, an associate with the Procopio law firm, has been elected board president of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund. The board is responsible for determining who receives all scholarships and bar stipends.

“Procopio has always placed an emphasis on supporting diversity and the minority communities where our attorneys live and practice law,” said Procopio’s managing partner Tom Turner. “Adriana’s position as president of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund supports this mission by increasing opportunities for young lawyers, who like Procopio, are dedicated to diversity, their communities and public service.”

In her practice at Procopio, Ochoa  provides legal advice to charter schools and government agencies regarding governance, the Ralph M. Brown Act, California Public Records Act, operational and business matters and litigation.

CrossFibre Hires VP of Business Development

Robert Rodio

Robert Rodio

CrossFibre Inc., a developer of next-generation photonic switches, has appointed Robert Rodio as its vice president of business development. Rodio’s business and technical experience will play a role in the next phase of the company’s commercial expansion, the company said.

Rodio has more than 30 years of experience in the communications industry and was most recently chief technologist for Ciena’s Network Transformation Solutions organization for North America. He joined Ciena when it was a startup company.

Rodio started his career at Bell Laboratories as a hardware and systems designer, then utilized that expertise to lead complex systems engineering and technical sales teams at AT&T.


Former U-T San Diego Executive

Joins Mindgruve as President

Mike Hodges

Mike Hodges

Mike Hodges, former president and COO of U-T San Diego, has joined Mindgruve, a San Diego digital marketing and techology firm, as president. Hodges will focus on developing growth strategies and business innovation for the company’s portfolio of Fortune 1000 clients.

Hodges brings a diverse background to the company, which spans media, marketing, advertising and technology.

Hodges will also become a managing partner of Mindgruve Ventures, a tech innovation group focused on accelerating early stage startups. Mindgruve Ventures has expanded its portfolio in recent years and is a key contributor to San Diego’s startup community.



Jassim & Associates Adds Paralegal Mio Y. Casper 

Mio Y. Casper has joined the San Diego law firm of Jassim & Associates as paralegal. Casper previously worked for eight years as forensic engineer for the Law Offices of Michael E. Moore, and as an intern investigator for the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office.

Born in Japan, Casper grew up in Indonesia, and went to high school in Singapore. She earned a Master of Forensic Science degree from National University in San Diego, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Diego State University.

The law firm was founded by Pajman Jassim.

Home sales

Home sales

Southern California Home Sales

And Median Sale Price Rise                                            

The number of Southern California homes sold in December increased sharply from November and rose modestly from the same time a year earlier, marking one of just two months in 2014 to post a year-over-year gain in sales, according to CoreLogic.

The region’s median sale price also increased from November and rose year over year for the 33rd consecutive month, although that annual gain was the lowest since the string of price increases began in spring 2012.

A total of 19,205 new and resale houses and condos sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in December 2014. That was up month over month 22.8 percent from 15,643 sales in November 2014, and up year over year 4.3 percent from 18,415 sales in December 2013, according to CoreLogic DataQuick data.

Sales usually increase from November to December. On average, Southern California sales have risen 13.1 percent between those two months since 1988, when CoreLogic DataQuick data began. On a year-over-year basis, sales in 2014 fell each month except in September (+1.2 percent) and December.

The total number of homes sold in Southern California in all of 2014 fell 8.7 percent compared with 2013.

December home sales have ranged from a low of 13,240 in 2007 to a high of 36,865 in 2003. December 2014 sales were 20.2 percent below the December average of 24,067 sales since 1988.

“One month doesn’t make a trend, but December’s uptick in home sales might indicate renewed interest in housing thanks to lower mortgage rates and job growth in recent months,” said Andrew LePage, data analyst for CoreLogic DataQuick. “The gain came despite a continued decline in the share of homes sold to investors and cash buyers. If demand continues to build we’ll need more supply to keep up with it. One of the big questions hanging over the housing market is whether higher demand and home values will lead to a lot more people listing their homes for sale, as well as more new-home construction, which remains well below average.”

The median price paid for all new and resale houses and condos sold in the six-county region in December 2014 was $415,000, up 0.7 percent month over month from $412,000 in November and up 5.1 percent year over year from $395,000 in December 2013. The median hasn’t moved much since September 2014, when it was $413,000. The median’s peak for 2014 was $420,000 in August.

The region’s median sale price has increased on a year-over-year basis for the past 33 consecutive months, but the 5.1 percent annual gain in December 2014 was the smallest since April 2012, when the $290,000 median rose 3.6 percent from a year earlier.

Southern California’s December median sale price was 17.8 percent below the peak median price of $505,000 reached in March, April, May and July of 2007. Among the region’s six counties, the December 2014 median in Orange County ($591,000) was the closest – within about 8 percent – to its peak of $645,000 in June 2007.

Home prices in Southern California have been rising at different rates depending on price segment. In December, the lowest-cost third of the region’s housing stock experienced a 12.9 percent year-over-year increase in the median price paid per square foot for resale single-family detached houses. The annual gain was 6.3 percent for the middle third of the market and 2.3 percent for the top, most-expensive third.

The number of homes that sold for $500,000 or more in December 2014 rose 10.1 percent compared with December 2013. Sales below $500,000 rose 3.4 percent year over year, and sales below $200,000 dropped by 20.6 percent.

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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: