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Daily Business Report-Feb. 27, 2015

Daily Business Report-Feb. 27, 2015

SPJ has identified three finalists for each of the award categories. The winners will be revealed at a March 19 ceremony at the Bamboo Lounge at 1475 University Ave. in Hillcrest.

Journalist Group to Reveal the Best & Worst

Officials or Agencies in Keeping Public Informed

The San Diego chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is launching a new annual awards program similar to the Orchids & Onions awards presented by the San Diego Architectural Foundation.

But unlike the awards for best and worst buildings, SPJ’s awards will go to the public official or agency who champions transparency and the public’s right to know — the “Window Award” — and the public official or agency that stonewalls or most ignores media requests — the “Wall Award.”

SPJ has identified three finalists for each of the award categories. The winners will be revealed at a March 19 ceremony at the Bamboo Lounge at 1475 University Ave. in Hillcrest.

Windows Finalists:

Del Mar City Manager Scott Huth

Del Mar City Manager Scott Huth

City of Del Mar. In response to a California Public Records Act request, the city of Del Mar released a 10-minute video last year that showed a reserve sheriff’s deputy reacting angrily after a traffic stop by a city park ranger. The deputy lost his job. The video  was released in September and the city revised its body-camera policy  in December, acting in the public’s best interest at a time when other police agencies have refused to release body-camera videos.

 

 

Mark Kersey

Mark Kersey

San Diego Councilman Mark Kersey, who showed leadership on San Diego’s open data policy, from conception to approval  by the City Council in December. The city expects to launch a user-friendly web portal for digital information from crime statistics to water consumption in July 2016, a feat that could put San Diego among the first in the nation to post nearly all of its online data that way.

 

 

Mike Lee

Mike Lee

Mike Lee. After many years as a journalist, Mike Lee knows exactly what reporters want and need in his role as a public affairs and media relations representative for the San Diego County Water Authority.  He’s quick on the return phone call and email, he lines up the right people for interviews, and he turns over relevant reports and data on the county’s water history without prompting.

Walls finalists:

Gerry Braun

Gerry Braun

Gerry Braun. Former newspaper reporter Gerry Braun might have enjoyed writing about the Balboa Park Celebration, a city-funded nonprofit in charge of a centennial party for Balboa Park that received $3 million but never threw a party. Yet Braun was first spokesman and then interim CEO for the group, which for months resisted opening  its contracts, letters and other documents to public inspection. One Balboa Park volunteer said Braun “scapegoated” the public and park institutions when explaining his group’s failures.

 

 

Bonnie Dumanis

Bonnie Dumanis

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. For weeks, Dumanis refused to release a college letter of recommendation that came to light right before her June election even though other politicians quickly turned over comparable public records. Hers was to the University of San Diego for the son of a campaign contributor involved in a campaign finance scandal. After a media coalition threatened to sue her, Dumanis gave the letter exclusively  to an outlet that wasn’t part of the coalition.

 

 

Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman

Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman

The San Diego Police Department. The SDPD repeatedly told the public that getting police body cameras would increase public trust and add transparency. But instead, Chief Shelley Zimmerman has publicly said she won’t release  most of the footage to the public and that if she did, it would be at her discretion. That doesn’t seem to jibe with the public records law and runs counter to what the public believes body cameras do: Provide a record of what happened. And law enforcement agencies elsewhere are releasing the footage upon request.

 

 

 

The Hybrid operating room can be used for catheterization procedures or surgeries.

The Hybrid operating room can be used for catheterization procedures or surgeries.

West Coast’s Most Advanced Heart

Care Institute Opens in San Diego

Scripps Health calls it the most advanced heart care institute on the West Coast. That’s the $456 million Prebys Cardiovascular Institute on the grounds of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

Patient rooms feature a subdued color palette, which is proven to boost the healing process. They are also equipped with LCD televisions that can display clinical images, and pullout couches so family members can comfortably stay overnight.

Patient rooms feature a subdued color palette, which is proven to boost the healing process. They are also equipped with LCD televisions that can display clinical images, and pullout couches so family members can comfortably stay overnight.

The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute building exterior. Featuring floor-to-ceiling glass to give patient rooms abundant natural, healing light and a curved design that keeps caregivers nearby, the design of PCI is centered around patient needs.

The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute building exterior. Featuring floor-to-ceiling glass to give patient rooms abundant natural, healing light and a curved design that keeps caregivers nearby, the design of PCI is centered around patient needs.

The institute was formally opened on Thursday. There will be a community open house on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The 383,000-square-foot tower of glass, brick and steel rising seven stories above Genesee Avenue is named for Conrad Prebys, a real estate developer, philanthropist and Scripps donor whose $45 million gift helped finance construction.

Chris Van Gorder, Scripps president and CEO, said the institute offers the most advanced heart care available, “not just for patients in our community but for heart patients everywhere.”

“We designed this institute to be centered on our patients and their needs, creating an innovative environment for collaboration among some of the nation’s most brilliant physicians, for ground-breaking research by world-class scientists, and for the diagnosis and treatment of the most challenging heart conditions,” said Van Gorder.

The Prebys Cardiovascular Institute combines cardiovascular programs from throughout the Scripps system and Kaiser Permanente. Each year, more than 76,000 patients receive their cardiovascular care from Scripps, making it San Diego County’s — and California’s — largest heart care provider.

“In business, and in philanthropy, I want to be involved in projects that make me want to jump up and down with enthusiasm,” said Conrad Prebys, whose donation was the largest he has ever made and the largest one ever received by Scripps. “I’m overwhelmingly enthusiastic about this building because it symbolizes the caliber of expertise, technological advancement and care that patients receive throughout the Scripps system.”

Union Bank Survey Finds Increased Number

Of Small Businesses Plan to Move Out of State

Despite increased optimism about the economy, more than a quarter of San Diego County business owners surveyed plan to move out of the state, primarily because of high tax burdens, according to Union Bank’s annual Small Business Economic Survey.

The survey said 26 percent of the businesses plan to move out of state because of tax burdens — up 20 points from 2014.

Overall, however, the survey found the brightest economic outlook by small businesses since 2012. The majority of owners believe the economy is heading in the right direction, with an all-time high of 90 percent believing their business is headed in the right direction. The rise in optimism reflects data showing that more entrepreneurs worked longer hours in 2014 due to increased business (61 percent, up 6 points from 2013), according to the survey.

Most San Diego County business owners are planning to maintain the same capital spending and staffing levels as 2014.

“The survey results reflect what we’re seeing among small business owners who are encouraged about the economy and gradually hired additional staff in 2014,” said Union Bank Managing Director Todd Hollander. “Taxes remain a challenge for small business owners, especially in California, but as the economy continues to strengthen, labor and capital budgets will likely grow.”

Retail store owners expressed the most pessimism about the economy — half believe the national economy is heading in the wrong direction and 53 percent believe the state’s economy is headed in the wrong direction.

Surprisingly, retail store owners — the sector reporting the most pessimism about the economy — were more likely than owners from other industries to add staff in 2014 (32 percent), while owners from the personal services industry — the sector reporting the most optimism about the direction of their business and the national economy — were more likely to cut staff (22 percent) in 2014.

Wireless Internet providers would be included under the same net neutrality rules as wire-line providers.

Wireless Internet providers would be included under the same net neutrality rules as wire-line providers.

What Happens Next With Net Neutrality?

Union-Tribune Report

Will tougher, public utility-style rules for the Internet slow investment and derail new online services, or will the regulations preserve the open Internet as we know it today?

Local technology firms, Internet providers and consumer advocates are trying to answer those questions after a divided Federal Communications Commission on Thursday approved new net neutrality rules that prevent broadband providers from playing favorites with Internet traffic in a way that harms consumers or websites.

The FCC took action without releasing the 300-plus pages of rules for implementing the tougher regulatory stance.

“No one out in the public has seen the details, and the details matter a lot,” said Dean Brenner, senior vice president of government affairs for Qualcomm, which opposed the FCC move toward tougher regulation.

For now, the tougher net neutrality stance probably won’t change anything for consumers or businesses. Experts on both sides expect large telecommunications firms to challenge the FCC in court.

“We are not expecting it to have an impact on us, but we need to put a caveat on that because we haven’t seen the order,” said Mark Dankberg, chief executive of Carlsbad-based ViaSat, which provides Exede satellite Internet service. “Once the order gets published, there will be a bunch of lawsuits filed to figure out if this is within the FCC’s authority and what provisions will endure, if any.”

For the first time, the FCC tagged the Internet as a telecommunications service instead of an information service. So now it can regulate the Web under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which was designed for telephone monopolies of the 1930s.

Read more…

North County Economic Summit

SAN MARCOS — The second annual North County Economic Summit will be held on Tuesday, March 10, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa. Wells Fargo Managing Director and Senior Economist Mark Vitner will present the national, state, county and North County regional economic outlook.

BW Research President Josh Williams will provide the “Regional Opportunities in a Post-Recession Economy” that will focus on North County’s economy and the drivers of its economic vitality.

Registration is  http://ncsummit2015.eventbrite.com.

San Diego North Economic Development Council is hosting the summit, in partnership with presenting sponsor Wells Fargo. Gene Cubbison, NBC 7 San Diego, will emcee.

The program will include two panel discussions: Dirt & Dollars: Land & Capital for North County’s Industry Clusters; Developing Tomorrow’s Talent & Education in our Innovation Economy.

Tickets are $75. For information, call (760) 510-3179.

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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: info@probolskyresearch.com