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Daily Business Report-May 22, 2015

Daily Business Report-May 22, 2015

Identical twin astronaut Scott Kelly (left) is spending a year in space while his twin, Mark Kelly, will remain on Earth. By studying identical twins, scientists led by Brinda Rana of UC San Diego hope to see things that would be impossible to detect in two genetically dissimilar individuals. Photo by NASA

UC San Diego Researcher to Lead

First-of-Its-Kind NASA Twins Study

Brinda Rana, a professor at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, has been awarded NASA funding to study fluid flows in the brains of identical twin astronauts — one of whom is spending a year in space, while the other is left on Earth.

Researcher Brinda Rana

Researcher Brinda Rana

Her project, one of 10 funded through NASA’s $1.5-million twin astronaut study,  will look at how long-term space flight affects fluid pressure in the brain and its implications for vision, during and after space travel has ended.

“Our bodies are adapted to an environment in which gravity pools fluids toward our legs,” Rana said. “In space, fluid flows upward. Our project will examine the effects of space flight on the proteins that regulate vasoconstriction and dilation, and fluid regulation.”

“Like other NASA innovations, such as memory foam and cordless tools, these studies could potentially impact health care on Earth,” Rana said.

The project that she is leading, for example, may shed light on potential new treatments for traumatic brain injury, glaucoma and “water on the brain.”

Only one set of twins — astronauts Scott and Mark Kelly — has ever been to space, making them “an unprecedented opportunity” for scientists to learn about the physiological and molecular effects of space flight, NASA officials say.

“Studying identical twins enable us to control for 100 percent of genetic factors and shared environmental factors,” Rana said.

Scott began a one-year stay on the International Space Station in March while his brother, Mark, remains on Earth and serve as “ground control.” Mark is the husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.) who suffered a traumatic brain injury when she was shot in the head outside a grocery store in 2011.

Blood and urine samples will be collected from the twins before, during and after the mission to search for genetic, proteomic (protein-related), metabolomic and molecular markers of the effects of — and adaptations to — space flight.

The standard stay on the space station is approximately six months. No human has ever lived in space for an entire year. For those who still dream of manned space explorations of, say, Mars, where evidence of flowing, liquid water was recently reported,  the projects will gather the type of information needed for more distant explorations of the solar system.

“NASA needs to understand the long-term impact of these missions in order to identify strategies to monitor health outcomes and reduce health risks,” Rana said.

UC San Diego co-investigators on the projects include Dr. Kumar Sharma, Alan Hargens, Vivian Hook, Brandon Macias and Dorothy Sears.

The unemployment rate in the San Diego County dropped to 4.8 percent in April, down from a revised 5.1 percent in March and below the year-ago estimate of 6.1 percent,

The unemployment rate in the San Diego County dropped to 4.8 percent in April, down from a revised 5.1 percent in March and below the year-ago estimate of 6.1 percent,

San Diego County Jobless Rate Drops to 4.8 Percent

Nonfarm employment up by 4,900 jobs over the month;

up by 40,900 over the year

The unemployment rate in the San Diego County dropped to 4.8 percent in April, down from a revised 5.1 percent in March and below the year-ago estimate of 6.1 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported today.

The California unemployment rate for April was 6.1 percent, and the nation’s was 5.1 percent.

Between March and April:

Total nonfarm employment increased from 1,376,000 to 1,380,900, a gain of 4,900 jobs. Agricultural employment added 200 jobs, or 1.9 percent.

• Three sectors gained 1,600 jobs each. Financial activities added 800 jobs in both finance and insurance and real estate and rental and leasing. Leisure and hospitality added 800 in arts, entertainment, and recreation and accommodation and food services. Professional and business services increased by 800 jobs in administrative and support and waste services; 700 jobs in professional, scientific, and technical services; and 100 jobs in management of companies and enterprises.

• Three other sectors also gained jobs over the month: manufacturing (up 400); educational and health services (up 400); and information (up 300).

• Two sectors reported month-over job losses: construction (down 700) and other services (down 300).

Between April 2014 and April 2015:

Total nonfarm employment increased by 40,900 jobs, or 3.1 percent. Agricultural employment added 600 jobs, or 6.0 percent.

• Professional and business services recorded the greatest year-over gain, adding 11,900 jobs. Professional, scientific, and technical services (up 8,200) accounted for more than two-thirds of the job growth in this sector. Administrative and support and waste services added 3,200 jobs, while management of companies and enterprises increased by 500 jobs.

• Nine other nonfarm sectors also added jobs over the year. The most notable employment gains came from leisure and hospitality (up 6,500); educational and health services (up 5,900); and trade, transportation, and utilities (up 3,900).

• All major sectors recorded year-over job growth except mining and logging, which reported no change in employment levels over the year.



Laser weapon simulation

Laser weapon simulation

General Atomics Says Tactical Laser

Weapon System Ready for Live Testing

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. announced that the  High Energy Liquid Laser Area Defense System (HELLADS) completed U.S.

government testing and is being shipped to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico to undergo an extensive series of live fire tests against a number of military targets.

The 150-kilowatt high-energy HELLADS laser has been developed over a number of years to create a completely new approach to electrically-powered lasers with sufficiently low size, weight, and power consumption to enable deployment on a number of tactical platforms — patrol ships, fighter aircraft, armored combat vehicles and even unmanned vehicles.

“HELLADS represents a new generation of tactical weapon systems with the potential to revolutionize sovereign defenses and provide a significant tactical advantage to our war fighters,” said Linden Blue, CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. “It is remarkable to see high-power laser technology mature into an extremely compact weapons system and be deployed for field tests. It will be even more remarkable to witness the impact that this will have on U.S. defense capability.”

The HELLADS laser was developed through a series of phases beginning with a physics demonstration and progressing through a series of laser demonstrators at increasing power levels. At each stage, the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projectsd Agency (DARPA) required beam quality, laser power, efficiency, size, and weight objectives to be demonstrated. The program also developed the world’s highest brightness laser diodes, compact battery storage, and thermal storage systems, and improved the manufacturing process and size of specialized laser materials and optics.


One Paseo West Plaza rendering

One Paseo West Plaza rendering

One Paseo Project in Carmel Valley

Will be Scaled Back After Compromise

The creator of a 23.6-acre mixed-use project in Carmel Valley is headed back to the drawing board after announcing Thursday a compromise with opponents to scale back the development.

The agreement about One Paseo was announced just before the San Diego City Council met to either rescind its prior approval of the project or place the issue before voters. The deal was contingent on the council members voting to rescind, which they did unanimously.

The council approved the large, mixed-use development in February over the objections of residents and community organizations.

Donahue Schriber, an Orange County-based firm that owns the Del Mar Highlands Town Center across the street from the 23.6-acre lot eyed by developer Kilroy Realty, subsequently funded a successful referendum effort that forced Thursday’s vote.

Opponents contended that One Paseo would add traffic to an already congested area, and that the developer ignored community planning groups.

Kilroy Vice President Jamas Gwilliam said the design process for a new proposal was just starting, but it would stay within certain parameters called for in the deal, including cutting the average daily vehicle trips by half, limiting office buildings to no more than seven stories, reducing the overall “bulk and scale,” and establishing 30-foot setbacks from major streets.

One Paseo will still have the planned 600-plus housing units, the developers said.

“We believe this is a fair compromise,” Gwilliam said.

City Council President Sherri Lightner, who represents the area and opposed the original plan, said she welcomes a “refined” proposal that fits those parameters.

“This would represent a significant collaboration between the community and the developer, and bring about the results everyone desires — a mixed-use development that would benefit the community, Lightner said.

The City Council was supposed to decide the issue Monday but postponed the item when it was learned that negotiations were underway.

City regulations will prohibit a similar plan from returning to the council for approval for another year. However, John Kilroy, president and CEO of Kilroy Realty, said a new design will go through the community planning process, which could take that long anyway.

Sale to Tribune Complete,

U-T Reverts Back to Old Name

It's back

It’s back

The $85 million sale of the U-T San Diego newspaper to Tribune Publishing was completed Thursday, the companies announced. Tribune will assume the San Diego daily’s pension debt and also takes over nine community publications as part of the transaction. The company said it will restore the 146-year-old paper’s former name — The San Diego Union- Tribune.

A regional operating organization called the California News Group will oversee both the San Diego newspaper and The Los Angeles Times, Tribune’s other major holding in Southern California.

Austin Beutner, the Times’ publisher and CEO, said CNG would run both newspapers as separate brands with different newsrooms. He’ll serve as publisher and chief executive for both papers, as well as the California News Group.

Tribune purchased the newspaper from developer Doug Manchester, who acquired it four years ago. He later purchased the North County Times and the community weeklies.

— City News Service

UC San Diego Launches Japan Forum

For Innovation and Technology

Hiroshi Fujiwara, president and founder of Broadband Tower

Hiroshi Fujiwara, president and founder of Broadband Tower

UC San Diego has established the Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology that will serve as a hub for research on contemporary business, science and technology in Japan as well as associated policies.

The program is housed in UC San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy (formerly the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies).

The launch of the Japan Forum was made possible by a $300,000 pledged gift from Japanese IT company, Broadband Tower Inc.

“UC San Diego has long had strong connections with Japan, and this new forum will serve to strengthen those ties even further,” said Peter Cowhey, dean of the School of Global Policy and Strategy. “The Japan Forum will foster scholarly exchange and offer a system of open innovation and access between the San Diego region and Japan.”

“It is important for Japan to create new industry and academic relations in the fields of life sciences and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) with the United States,” said Hiroshi Fujiwara, president and founder of Broadband Tower. “San Diego’s prominence in these industries, which is in large part fueled by UC San Diego, makes this region a key partner for international collaboration.”

In addition to research, the Japan Forum for Innovation and Technology will host conferences, industry roundtables and community networking events. It also will serve as a nucleus for scholars, postdocs and students with an interest in Japan.

State Mandates, Desalination Factor Into

Water Authority’s Proposed Rate Increase

The San Diego County Water Authority on Thursday announced that it will recommend increasing rates charged to its member agencies by 6.6 percent for untreated water and 5.4 percent for treated water in calendar year 2016. The agency said prudent financial management has kept the proposed rates near the low end of projections made in 2011, and well below the double-digit increases during the last drought that were driven by steep price hikes from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Next year’s rate proposal is based on higher costs for drought-proof water supplies from the Carlsbad Desalination Project, higher costs from MWD and state-mandated reductions in water use that are expected to lower the Water Authority’s sales. To moderate rate increases, the Water Authority restructured about $14.3 million in debt, and it’s planning a draw of $8 million from the agency’s Rate Stabilization Fund.

The Water Authority’s proposed rates and the recommended two-year budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 will be formally presented to the agency’s board of directors on May 28. On June 25, the board will hold a public hearing on the 2016 rates and consider their adoption along with the recommended budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

Some of the merchandise carried by The Front Porch

Some of the merchandise carried by The Front Porch

The Front Porch to Open

2nd Store in Coronado

The Front Porch, a retail shop known for its curated collection of handcrafted, gourmet food and specialty goods from around the world, will open its second shop in early July — in Coronado.

Much like its Mission Hills shop, The Front Porch Coronado will offermgourmet pantry items, kitchenware, luxe home décor, garden, and vintage finds selected from both local purveyors and those around the world.

Co-owners Melissa Scott Clark and Gina Champion-Cain will stock

specialty condiments made locally under “The Patio” private label brand –including chimichurri, bourbon onion confit, green olive and artichoke tapenade and mango habanero marmalade. It will also feature sauces from The Front Porch’s international private label brand, “The Patio Selections.”

Inside, guests can sample an extensive collection of organic, flavor-infused and barrel-aged vinegars, and California-grown olive oils, or take away a sandwich, soup, salad or dessert, created daily by The Patio Group’s Executive Chef, John Medall.

The Front Porch Coronado also will offer a selection of kitchenware and housewares, handmade gift baskets, and a selection of handcrafted repurposed wine barrel tables and chairs through a partnership with master craftsman Gustaf Anders Rooth.

The Front Porch Coronado will be located at 918 Orange Ave., Coronado. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Tuna Harbor Dockside Market

Tuna Harbor Dockside Market

Fishermen’s Market Launches

Free Cutting Service for Customers

Responding to customer demand, San Diego’s popular weekly fishermen’s market is now offering a free, convenient cutting service and a partnership with a local restaurant to make it easier and faster for people to enjoy their fresh-off-the-boat seafood.

Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, which launched in August 2014, operates on Saturday mornings from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Fish Harbor Pier, between Ruocco Park and Seaport Village.

Many customers requested a service to help them prepare the fish for cooking. The new service allows customers to buy a whole fish and then have it fileted, cut into steaks or “grilled and gutted” on the spot — making it ready for the oven, pan or grill.

Customers don’t have to get their hands dirty or figure out where to dispose of the waste, which the fishermen are able to “recycle” as bait. The service is currently free; customers are encouraged to tip the cutter.

Tuna Harbor Dockside Market also announced a partnership with Sally’s Seafood on the Water restaurant, Sally’s allows customers to select certain fresh fish from the market and have it prepared by the restaurant — grilled, steamed, sautéed or deep fried, with a choice of sauces and sides. Details at

Wal-Mart to Pay $820,000 in

Consumer Protection Settlement

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., will pay $820,000 to settle a consumer-protection action brought by the City Attorney of San Diego and district attorneys in two California counties alleging that Wal-Mart failed to disclose and misrepresented warranties on tires sold at its stores in California.

The complaint accused the giant retail chain of failing to provide warranty documents and information required by law, and making misleading statements to consumers about its no-cost treadwear warranty on Goodyear Wrangler Radial tires.

The complaint alleged that, at various times, Wal-Mart employees falsely claimed: Wal-Mart would not honor the treadwear warranty; Goodyear would honor the treadwear warranty; Wal-Mart would assume responsibility for the treadwear warranty for Goodyear if an additional road-hazard warranty was purchased from Wal-Mart at $10 per tire; and, the treadwear warranty was unavailable without the road-hazard warranty.

Wal-Mart admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement. It  cooperated in the investigation and has revised its practices to comply with applicable law.

 Personnel Announcements

Michael Corradino Appointed to Acupuncture Board

Michael Corradino

Michael Corradino

Michael Corradino, 42, of San Diego, has been appointed to the California Acupuncture Board by Gov. Jerry Brown. Corradino has been a resident practitioner and weekly speaker at the Golden Door Spa Resort since 2013, founder and owner at Neuropuncture LLC since 2011 and co-founder and owner at the North County Integrative Acupuncture Center since 2008. He was a professor of orthopedic pain and neurology at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine from 2004 to 2012.

Corradino earned a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine degree from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine.

The position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Corradino is a Republican.


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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: