Daily Business Report-Jan. 2, 2015
A DecoBike bike sharing station at 28th and B streets in Golden Hill. (Photo by Claire Trageser)
San Diego Bike Sharing Program
Scheduled to Begin This Month
By Claire Trageser/KPBS
After almost a year of delays, San Diego’s bike sharing program is scheduled to begin this month, according toDecoBike, the private company that contracted with the city of San Diego to run the program.
About 80 bike share stations are now set up and will soon be ready to use, said Chris Biele, a spokesman for DecoBike. He said the company is ultimately planning to have about 180 stations and 1,800 bikes.
When the city of San Diego approved a 10-year partnership with DecoBike in July 2013, the company said bike sharing would begin between January and March 2014. Then the program was delayed to May, then to August, then again to October.
“We originally planned to launch the program earlier this year, but manufacturing and community outreach took a bit longer than we had an anticipated,” said David Silverman, DecoBike’s San Diego marketing manager, in a statement. “We’ve worked closely with city staff to get extensive input from planning groups and neighborhoods.”
Although a final bike share station map was posted on DecoBike’s website this fall, some residents and business owners are still negotiating the stations’ locations. Katie Keach, a spokeswoman for City Councilman Todd Gloria, said while Gloria did not choose the station locations, he’s working with business owners in South Park who are upset about the station at 28th and B streets because it eliminates three parking spaces.
“They requested that we move the location, and staff agreed to evaluate the other locations,” Keach said in an email. “Unfortunately the two suggested locations on the sidewalk do not work because of accessibility and other challenges. Staff is still looking into the other locations that were still within the area.”
The bike sharing program lets people rent a bike from a checkout station, ride it wherever they want and then return it to any station. Costs range from $7 an hour or $15 a day for a bike to between $20 and $30 a month, for an unlimited membership. Its annual membership fee of $99 to $125 is more than other bike-sharing cities, including New York and San Francisco.
The city’s partnership with DecoBike means the city does not pay for bike sharing. DecoBike will pay $8 million for the bikes and stations and will give the city a portion of its profits — from $1 million to $2.6 million over 10 years.
Despite Rain and Snow, San Diego
Still Needs to Save Water
San Diego County Water Authority officials are urging residents to turn off sprinklers and continue to save water despite recent rain and snow.
The authority said the winter’s first manual snow survey results, released Tuesday, underscore the need for increased water conservation statewide. The measurement of 4 inches of snow water equivalent near Echo Summit in Northern California was only 33 percent of average for the date. Statewide, the snow water equivalent was only 50 percent of average for the date.
“While storms have improved water supply conditions over the past month, they have not delivered nearly enough precipitation to make up for the lack of rain and snow over the past three years,” said Jason Foster, director of public outreach and conservation for the authority. “We must continue seizing every opportunity to save water. San Diego County residents have done a great job conserving over the past several years, but the drought isn’t over and the job isn’t done.
“Resolve to cut water use wherever possible in 2015,” Foster said. “One easy way is to turn off irrigation systems when rainstorms are imminent and leave them off for a few weeks, or until the top one to two inches of soil are dry.”
State officials said it would take a series of storms delivering well-above-average amounts of rain and snow statewide over the next few months to pull California out of drought. The initial 2015 allocation from the State Water Project — an important water source for San Diego County — has been set at only 10 percent of requested supplies.
— Times of San Diego
SOHO Kicks off Centennial Celebration
With Release of Balboa Park Traveler Guide
Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) will kick off its yearlong centennial celebration of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition by releasing its latest publication, “The Art Traveler Guide: A Portrait of Balboa Park” (Our Heritage Press, 2015) on Jan. 11. The artist, RD Riccoboni, will be on hand for a book signing beginning at 11a.m., and guided tour at 1 p.m. The book will be available for purchase at SOHO’s Museum Shop at the Marston House Museum & Garden in Balboa Park, as well as at all SOHO Museum Shops. You may purchase the book in advance and it will be held for you to pick up the day of the event.
The 56-page booklet on Balboa Park is illustrated with vivid paintings by San Diego artistRiccoboni. A longtime historic preservationist and founder of Beacon Artworks Gallery in Old Town, Riccoboni calls himself “The Art Traveler” because he paints historic buildings and sites wherever he goes to promote and “preserve” them.
“The Art Traveler Guide: A Portrait of Balboa Park” displays Riccoboni’s brilliantly colored paintings of the park’s historic landmarks. The self-taught artist paints in an Impressionist, plein-air style.
The artist donated the rights to reproduce his Balboa Park paintings (2006-2014) to benefit SOHO’s preservation work.
Sleek Rides on Display at
San Diego International Auto Show
The San Diego International Auto Show began its annual four-day run Thursday at the San Diego Convention Center.
More than 500 new-model vehicles are set to be displayed, according to the New Car Dealers Association, which organizes the show.
Among the newest cars will be new Toyota Tacoma and Tundra pickup trucks, the redesigned Chrysler 300, a Ford F-150 with an aluminum body and a Charger Hellcat. A few new-design BMWs will also be on display.
New this year will be “Safety City,” an interactive exhibit by the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, which provides hands-on demonstrations to children on vehicle, bicycle, pedestrian and fire safety.
Other activities for children are set for the annual Family Day on Sunday, when kids 12 and under can attend for free when accompanied by a paid adult.
The Auto Show will also feature a Ford Thunderbird Retrospective, with nearly a dozen T-Birds from 1955-2005, a motorcycle pavilion, electric vehicles, devices to improve mobility for the disabled and a chance to test drive some of the cars.
“The Ride & Drive is the single most effective tool we have to educate our audience,” said Kevin Leap, the show’s director. “Product specialists educate the consumer as they experience the features and driveability of the car without any sales pressure, giving them a true appreciation for the vehicle.”
The Auto Show runs 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at 111 W. Harbor Drive.
Tickets are $13 for adults, $9 for military with identifications and seniors 62 years and older, $8 for youth 7-12 and free for kids 6 and under.
— City News Service
FDA Approves Trials of San Diego
Company’s Ebola Virus Treatment
San Diego-based Aethlon Medical Inc.announced that the Food and Drug Administration has approved a clinical protocol to treat Ebola-infected
individuals in the United States with the Aethlon’s Hemopurifier blood filter.
The Hemopurifier is a bio-filtration device designed for the single-use removal of viruses from the circulatory system of infected individuals. The device targets antiviral drug resistance and serves as a first-line countermeasure against Ebola and other viruses that are not addressed with proven drug therapies.
The approved Ebola treatment protocol allows for an investigational study to be conducted at up to 10 U.S. locations, and up to 20 U.S. subjects may be enrolled to receive the treatment. Patients will receive a daily six- to eight-hour administration of Hemopurifier therapy until the point that Ebola viral load drops below 1,000 copies per milliliter of blood. The goal of the study is to standardize and evaluate the use of the product in the treatment of Ebola.
— Times of San Diego