Daily Business Report-March 18, 2015
Nathan Odom cooking up a storm on the Fox television show, ‘MasterChef Junior.’
Council Declares March 17 as Nathan Odom Day
The City Council declared Tuesday as Nathan Odom Day in San Diego in honor of the 12-year-old North Park resident’s victory on the Fox television competition show “MasterChef Junior.”
Odom, who began cooking with his grandmother at age 6, beat out 19 competitors over seven weeks for the $100,000 grand prize.
Councilman Todd Gloria, whose 3rd District includes North Park, told his colleagues they shouldn’t be surprised that the winner came from his district.
“We have the best food and the best restaurants, so naturally, of course, we’re going to have the best chefs,” said Gloria, who conceded that he can’t cook.
Odom honed his skills in a culinary program at McKinley Elementary School, the councilman said.
The youngster said he’d like to open his own restaurant some day.
“I want to express my gratitude to Todd Gloria and all of the San Diego City Council,” Odom said. “I’m really just incredibly thankful for this honor, and I’d like to thank everyone who helped it happen.”
Odom told the council members that he likes to cook French and Japanese dishes, and especially enjoys making pastries.
— City News Service
Strong Economy Reduces City’s
Pension Contribution This Year
The city of San Diego’s contribution to the San Diego City Employees Retirement System will be less in the upcoming fiscal year, when compared to the current and prior years, according to a report delivered Tuesday to the City Council.
The Actuarially Determined Contribution, or ADR — which used to be called the “ARC” — will be $254.9 million, payable July 1, said Gene Kalwarski, an actuary who consults for SDCERS, which runs retirement programs for city employees. That’s down from $263.6 million in the current fiscal year, and $275.4 million the year before that.
The figure for next year is lower even though it includes an extra $4 million or so to pay for a new administrative system that’s being implemented by the agency.
In his presentation, Kalwarski said the city’s unfunded pension liability — or pension debt — was $2.03 billion as of June 30, the end of the last fiscal year. That compares to around $2.2 billion the year before.
A strong investment performance accounted for most of the good news, along with the impact of deaths and retirements among members in the system, Kalwarski said.
“The trend lines are heading in the right direction, in part because our employees are picking up a whole lot more of the costs,” said Councilman Todd Gloria, who chairs the panel’s Budget Committee.
He noted that the city has paid its entire annual contribution for 10 years now.
Councilman Chris Cate credited voters for passing a few ballot measures that reformed SDCERS.
The presentation was given for information purposes, so the council took no action.
— City News Service
San Diego County Home Prices Climb
San Diego County home prices in February climbed to $440,000, a 7.3 percent increase from February of last year, when the median was $410,000, according to a report by CoreLogic DataQuick.
Home sales in the county in February totaled 2,568, up slightly from sales of 2,541 in February of last year.
In the six Southern California counties of San Diego, Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange, the number of homes sold rose slightly from January but hit the lowest level for February in seven years. The median price paid for a home in Southern California, which hasn’t changed much since last fall, inched up from January and rose year over year for the 35th consecutive month.
A total of 13,650 new and existing houses and condos sold in the six-county area in February. That was up 0.7 percent month over month from 13,560 sales in January 2015, and down 2.7 percent year over year from 14,027 sales in February 2014, according to CoreLogic DataQuick data.
On average, Southern California home sales have increased 0.7 percent between the months of January and February since 1988, when CoreLogic DataQuick data began. Sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis in 15 out of the last 17 months.
The median price paid for all new and existing houses and condos sold in Southern California in February 2015 was $415,000, up 1.5 percent month over month from $409,000 in January 2015 and up 8.4 percent year over year from $383,000 in February 2014. The median hasn’t changed significantly since September 2014, when it was $413,000. The median’s 2014 peak was $420,000 in August.
Foreclosure resales represented 6.0 percent of the resale market in February. That was up from a revised 5.7 percent in January 2015 and down from 6.7 percent in February 2014.
The typical monthly mortgage payment for Southern California home buyers in February was $1,530, up from $1,501 in January 2015 and up from $1,516 in February 2014.
Capstone Advisors Buys Retail Centers
Capstone Advisors, a real estate investment and development company, has purchased two retail centers in Poway for a total of $11 million.
Sabre Springs Plaza, a 15,038-square-foot retail center at the intersection of Poway Road and Springbrook Drive in the Sabre Springs community, was purchased for $4.55 million. It is anchored by 7-Eleven.
Poway Valley Center, a 25,754-square-foot retail shopping center at the corner of Poway Road and Community Road, was purchased for $6.25 million.
Colliers International and Cushman & Wakefield were the brokers involved in the transactions.
UC San Diego Scientist to Receive
CDC New Investigator Award
Jamila K. Stockman, assistant professor of medicine and global public health at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, has been selected to receive the Linda E. Saltzman New Investigator Award. The national award, presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Foundation and Futures Without Violence, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending violence against women and children, recognizes an outstanding early career scientist working in the field of domestic violence.
“Jamila is a superb scientist, as demonstrated by her multiple National Institutes of Health grants, but this award really represents her commitment to use science to improve the lives of women living with violence, as well as to prevent violence,” said Anita Raj, professor of medicine and global public health and founding director of the Center on Gender Equity and Health at UC San Diego.
The Linda E. Saltzman New Investigator Award, presented every other year, recognizes an exceptional new investigator with two to 10 years of experience working in the field of domestic violence, violence against women or dating violence.
Stockman will receive the award during the National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence to be held March 19-21 in Washington, D.C.
An infectious disease epidemiologist, Stockman focuses her work on social and environmental factors contributing to intimate partner violence, particularly among low-income ethnic minority and substance abusing women. Along with exploring the factors influencing partner violence, Stockman seeks to create new and improved violence intervention strategies.
In addition to Stockman, UC San Diego scientist Elizabeth Reed, assistant professor of medicine and global public health, was also a finalist for the award.
County Supervisors Step Up Fight
Against Alzheimer’s Epidemic
The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, concerned over the rising toll of Alzheimer’s disease on families and taxpayers, ramped up the region’s
fight against the disease. The board approved a multi-year plan to speed up the search for a cure and boost services for those afflicted and their caregivers. The plan was developed by participants in The Alzheimer’s Project, a regional initiative launched in 2014 and led by Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Dave Roberts.
Tuesday’s vote comes on the heels of two new county reports that provide the most detailed snapshot yet on the escalating impact of Alzheimer’s and other dementias across the county. About 60,000 residents have the disease, now the region’s third leading cause of death.
One of the reports, “The Economic Burden of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias in San Diego County,” examines the financial toll. It estimates the annual cost to hospitalize local dementia patients will roughly double by 2030, to upwards of $1.5 billion. By that same year, the expected lifetime cost of caring for all those with dementia will range from $21 billion to $42 billion, adding to the tremendous financial strain on households, hospitals and the community.
The second report, “Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias in San Diego County,” looks at the prevalence of Alzheimer’s and the role of caregivers. It estimates the number of older residents with dementia will increase 56 percent by 2030.
KPBS to Receive Award for Filner Coverage
KPBS, the public broadcasting station at San Diego State, will receive a 2015 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism for its coverage of the downfall of former Mayor Bob Filner, who was forced to resign amid harassment allegations by several women.
The award from the Norman Lear Center at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will be presented to representatives from KPBS on May 15 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
San Diego Theatres Hires New President and CEO
San Diego Theatres (SDT), the organization that manages the Civic Theatre and the Balboa Theatre in Downtown, has announced the hiring of Elizabeth Doran as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer, succeeding Donald Telford, who is retiring after nearly 40 years.
Doran, the executive director of The Pasadena Playhouse, will begin the new job on May 1. Telford will remain until June 30 to ensure a smooth transition.
Doran’s focus on community and audience engagement, including her work to identify and raise funds for diversity-based initiatives, was of particular interest to San Diego Theatres, which was seeking a transformative leader who could advance the organization’s mission to foster collaboration in the arts community while furthering its vision to position San Diego as a world-class performing arts destination, the organization said in announcing her selection.
“We are thrilled to have Elizabeth join San Diego Theatres. Her passion for the arts is palpable, and her strong executive experience will lead us into the next phase of what promises to be a thriving future for the arts in San Diego,” said Faye Wilson, chair of the San Diego Theatres Board of Directors. “We are pleased to have found a unique, qualified, dynamic and visionary person to lead our organization.”
Added Wilson: “We are grateful for the years of dedicated service Don provided to our organization and to the arts in San Diego. He has set very high standards for our organization, and we look forward to carrying his legacy forward. Thanks to his hard work and commitment, we are well positioned to embark with firm footing on this new stage.”
Bill Havrilla Promoted at Collicutt Energy Services
Collicutt Energy Services Inc., a provider of power generation systems, has promoted San Diego-based Bill Havrilla to vice president of operations. In his new role, Havrilla is responsible for overseeing the parts and service organization of Collicutt Energy’s U.S. facilities, as well as all facility operations, including personnel, leases and vehicles.
Havrilla has more than 30 years of experience in the power generation industry with prior positions that include the United States Marine Corps, where he served for 14 years. In 2013, Havrilla joined the Collicutt Energy Services team as the director of aftermarket service and sales for all U.S. locations.