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Daily Business Report-Jan. 21, 2016

Daily Business Report-Jan. 21, 2016

Scripps family members Eaton and Marty Scripps were inspired to donate to support SIO Games.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

SIO Games Receive Boost

Through Private Funding


By Brittany Hook

Opportunities to virtually explore the deep sea in a remotely operated underwater vehicle or navigate a “seismic city” during an earthquake are now just a click away thanks to Scripps Institution of Oceanography Games (SIO Games) at UC San Diego.

Led by Scripps Oceanography seismologist Debi Kilb, SIO Games are unconventional outreach tools (think video games and interactive displays) designed to teach youth and the young-at-heart about Scripps research and the thrill of scientific discovery.

Noting the positive impact that educational video games such as Minecraft had on their own two children, Scripps family members Eaton and Marty Scripps were inspired to donate to support SIO Games. Their recent gift to SIO Games will fund one year of program operations.

SIO Games team members interact with hundreds of young students every year through a multitude of custom-designed games and activities, including virtual reality goggles that take viewers on a “behind the scenes” tour of the Scripps Pier and the research vessel Revelle, a hands-on Kinect “Quake Catcher” game in which students become seismologists responding to a large earthquake, and the Xbox game Deep-Sea Extreme Environment Pilot (DEEP), which teaches players about how today’s scientists study deep-ocean environments.

“SIO Games is another tool to reach those kids who haven’t experienced the right style of learning that really captures the imagination,” said Eaton Scripps. “My hope is that through the games we can inspire these kids, who will become the next generation of ocean science leaders.”

The Scripps’s gift will foster growth and development of SIO Games, enabling Kilb and her team to take their science-based visualization tools and outreach activities to the next level.

“This generous gift has allowed SIO Games to begin new work on a virtual reality video game about narwhal research, double the number of outreach events we give each year — in schools, after school programs, museums and public events — and explore creating apps pertaining to Scripps science,” said Kilb.



State of the Region

Economic Forum Set for Feb. 10

The North San Diego Business Chamber will present a program on “National Economics and the Impact on San Diego County in 2016” on Feb. 10 featuring national, state and county experts.

The program will focus on:

• State/County Fiscal Outlook

• Imact of the 2016 Elections

• Regional Issues that Affect Everyone

• Hot Issues that will Impact Business



Michael Tanner, Diane Harkey, Helen Robbins-Meyer

Michael Tanner, senior fellow, CATO Institute

Tanner is a recognized national expert on entitlement policy and author of the “Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt and the Entitlement Crisis.”

Diane Harkey, board member, California State Board of Equalization, 4th District

Harkey will discudd the state’s economic position and the impact on our region.

Helen Robbins-Meyer, CAO, County of San Diego

Robbins-Meyer will address the county’s economic position and the impact it will have on the region in 2016

Cynthia Curiel, vice president of communications, Northrop Grumman Corp., the moderator.

Event check in is at 11:30 a.m. Lunch and presentation are from noon to 1:30 p.m. Location is Sony Electronics, 16535 Via Esprillo, San Diego.

Admission is $49 for members, $69 for nonmembers.

To register, click here


U.S. Supreme Court Justice to Teach

In University  Study Abroad Program

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia will participate in the Thomas Jefferson School of Law Study Abroad program June 26-July 21 in
France, the school announced on Wednesday. The program featuring Scalia will be held in partnership with the University of Nice School of Law.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia

“This is the fifth time that Justice Scalia will be teaching in the Nice Study Abroad Program, and we’re honored to have him participating,” said Thomas Guernsey, president and dean of Thomas Jefferson School of Law. “It’s an incredible opportunity for anyone with one year of either part-time or full-time law school experience to study Constitutional Law in a global context on the French Riviera with a Supreme Court Justice.”

The program is a four-week international and comparative law study abroad program. Americans study international law with students from Europe and all parts of the world in an atmosphere that fosters the exchange of ideas and exploration of cultural differences. Among the courses is Constitutional Law in a Global Context, which Justice Scalia will teach.

Participants earn four credits for a tuition cost of $3,000. Thomas Jefferson School of Law will assist students with finding housing in either apartment-hotels with a kitchenette or in a hotel with a discount price. U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg participated in this program four times and called it “one of the best run study abroad programs.”


 International Student Center at San Diego State University

International Student Center at San Diego State University

New Passport Office to Open on SDSU Campus

A new Passport Acceptance Facility will open at the International Student Center at San Diego State University in February, located near the corner of 55th Street and Aztec Circle drive.

The office will streamline the process for obtaining a U.S. Passport for students, faculty, staff and members of the community.

The convenient location should prove useful considering SDSU recently ranked No. 15 among all universities in the country for the number of students studying abroad.

The facility will take passport photos and process applications on a walk-in basis from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Steve Lewandowski of the Veterans Research Alliance (left) and Mike Farah, commissioner of the American Polo Association.

Steve Lewandowski of the Veterans Research Alliance (left) and Mike Farah, commissioner of the American Polo Association.

 Veterans Research Alliance Gets $10,000 Grant

The Veteran’s Research Alliance (VRA) has received a $10,000 grant from Mike Farah, founder and commissioner of the American Polo Association. Farah presented the donation check to Steve Lewandowski, the executive director of the San Diego-based Veterans Research Alliance at Farah’s Celebrity Ranch in Hemet. Several military and veterans organizations were invited to apply for the grant.

VRA’s Executive Director Steve Lewandowski said that the grant will help to fund research conducted by prize-winning scientists within the San Diego health care system. “These dedicated scientists, doctors and educators are seeking better treatments and are developing effective programs addressing the critical needs of our existing and increasing veteran population,” said Lewandowski. “The VRA’s mission is to invest in the health care system providing care to the largest military population in the country, with the goal of enhancing the quality of life for our veterans, many of whom have returned home with devastating physical injuries as well as TBI and PTSD.


Navy Secretary Helps Kick Off

Great Green Fleet Deployment

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack kicked off the Great Green Fleet on Wednesday with the deployment of the USS John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group during a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island.

The Great Green Fleet is a Department of the Navy initiative highlighting how the Navy and Marine Corps are using energy efficiency and alternative energy to increase combat capability and operational flexibility. At the close of the ceremony, the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Stockdale left the pier to begin its deployment, becoming the first U.S. Navy ship running on an alternative fuel blend as part of its regular operations.

The blend fueling the surface ships contains alternative fuel made from waste beef fat provided by farmers in the Midwest. It was purchased at a cost-competitive price through a partnership between the Department of the Navy and U.S. Department of Agriculture aimed at making alternative fuel blends a regular part of the military’s bulk operational fuel supply.


New Biomarker Identifies Colon Cancer

 Patients Who May Benefit from Chemotherapy 

Using a new computer science approach, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Columbia University and Stanford University discovered a distinctive molecular feature — a biomarker  that identified colon cancer patients who were most likely to remain disease-free up to five years after surgery.

The biomarker, a protein called CDX2, also helped the researchers identify Stage II colon cancer patients who are most likely to benefit from chemotherapy after surgery.

The retrospective study is published Jan. 21 by the New England Journal of Medicine.

“Because previous studies did not take into account differences between colon cancers with and without CDX2, doctors have long struggled to identify which Stage II colon cancer patients might benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy,” said first author Debashis Sahoo,  assistant professor of pediatrics, and computer science and engineering at UC San Diego. “But what we’ve now found is that some of these patients might benefit from chemotherapy, and we now have a biomarker to tell the difference, potentially saving many lives and reducing toxicity from unnecessary treatment.”

For the full study, click here


Proposed Zipcar Agreement with

City Endorsed by Council Committee

City News Service

A proposed five-year agreement between the city of San Diego and Zipcar for expansion of a car-sharing program received tentative approval Wednesday from the City Council’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee.

The agreement would formalize the relationship between the city and Zipcar, a subsidiary of Avis Budget Group that’s been operating locally for two years.

Car sharing through Zipcar and car2go, which previously reached an agreement with the city, has proven to be popular in Downtown San Diego, and officials hope to expand it into other areas where low-income residents can take advantage of the program.

car2go has 36,000 local members, according to Councilman Todd Gloria. He said his constituents who have given up their vehicles are saving over $1,000 in car payments, insurance, maintenance and gas.

“Just think about what that can do in a low-income family that’s really making things stretch,” Gloria said. “I recognize this can’t work for everybody, but if we can help a couple more families make ends meet, I think that would be really awesome.”

The deal, which calls for a three-year base term and an option for a two-year renewal, requires approval by the full City Council. Under terms of the agreement, Zipcar would pay the city a $45 annual per-car fee to the city as part of the program, and could advertise that it’s an official city partner.

The companies have different models. Zipcar works station-to-station, meaning that a vehicle has to be returned to a specific location, while car2go vehicles can be picked up and returned almost anywhere within its service territory.

Zipcar, since it’s owned by a major rental car company, also offers a variety of vehicles, including vans and trucks. The company has generally offered its services around the area’s universities, and some major housing complexes and employment centers.


Council Committee OKs Incentives

For San Diego Urban Farms

The Smart Growth & Land Use Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved Councilman Scott Sherman’s proposed New Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone, a new program that will help expand community access to fresh produce through a property tax incentive for urban agriculture on vacant, blighted land.

The new program would provide communities throughout the entire city an economic tool to incentivize the development of community gardens on eyesore properties. An Urban Agriculture Incentive Zone reduces the property tax of a participating parcel owner in exchange for a minimum five-year contract for the usage of the site for urban agriculture.

The new program would provide communities throughout the entire city an economic tool to incentivize the development of community gardens on eyesore properties

The new program would provide communities throughout the entire city an economic tool to incentivize the development of community gardens on eyesore properties

The new measure is made possible as a result of Assembly Bill 551 introduced by Assemblyman Phil Ting,which was signed into law during the 2013 state legislative session.

“As an active member of the San Carlos Community garden, I am excited to bring forward a program that will help incentivize the development of urban agriculture in all San Diego neighborhoods as well as give residents and property owners an additional tool to transform blighted property in their communities,” said Sherman.

“The new Agricultural Incentive Zone will help further our mission of developing and maintaining an equitable, healthy, and sustainable food system in San Diego,” said Elly Brown, director of the Food System Alliance.

“This new initiative will help bring fresh fruits and vegetables to residents in Southeast San Diego, many of whom live within what is considered a food insecure area,” said Diane Moss, CEO of Project New Village.

“The new program will not only bring much needed produce to communities in need, it will also help introduce the joy of farming to those who may have never had the opportunity to grow their own produce,” said Eric Larson, Executive Director of San Diego County Farm Bureau.

The measure will be moved to the full council for a vote next month. A similar resolution will be heard before the San Diego County Board of Supervisors next month as well. In order for the measure to be implemented, both will need to pass.


Personnel Announcements

 Jeff Oesterblad Joins CBRE

Jeff Oesterblad

Jeff Oesterblad

CBRE Group Inc. announced that Jeff Oesterblad has joined the firm as vice president and will primarily be partnered with Matt Carlson and Ryan Grant who specialize in institutional landlord leasing throughout San Diego.

Oesterblad has been representing top institutional landlords in San Diego County for more than 13 years. Prior to joining CBRE, he managed Cushman & Wakefield’s San Diego Agency Leasing Group, and has completed more than 15 million square feet of lease and sale transactions with considerations totaling in excess of $3.25 billion. Prior to his tenure at Cushman & Wakefield, he was a senior research analyst at CoStar Group, where he received numerous awards recognizing his customer service and quality of research in the San Diego region.

Oesterblad graduated with honors from the University of California, San Diego; he received his Bachelor of Science in management science.


Cavignac & Associates Names

Benefits Account Manager

Ariana Benavente

Ariana Benavente

Ariana Benavente has been appointed as employee benefits account manager for Cavignac & Associates. Benavente has 26 years of experience in the insurance industry, specifically in the area of employee benefits.

In her new position, she is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with clients’ human resource teams or individuals.  She manages group benefit programs and makes recommendations based on the changing needs of the group year-to-year.  She also assists the senior account manager and department principal in servicing their clients and respective employees.

For eight years prior to joining Cavignac & Associates, Benavente was employed by Arthur J. Gallagher & Company in San Diego, where most recently she served as client manager and senior account manager. Previous experience includes having served as an account manager for Westland Insurance Brokers and Discovery Benefit Solutions; an account manager for Coordinated Benefits Corporation; and initially, as an account administrator for Foundation Health Plan.


FIT Bodywrap Promotes Skylar Burnworth

To Business Development Manager

FIT Bodywrap a San Diego-based company, announced the promotion of Skylar Burnworth to business development manager.

Burnworth will spearhead and align strategic marketing and sales initiatives, and will manage the strategic development of the company’s sales and marketing processes.

Prior to her current role, Burnworth held the senior marketing coordinator and support and training manager positions at FIT Bodywrap. Burnworth joined the company in 2014.


Adriana Cara Joins Dinsmore & Shohl

Adriana Cara

Adriana Cara

Adriana Cara has joined Dinsmore & Shohl LLP in San Diego as a partner.

Cara advises her clients on compliance with federal and California employment laws.  She also defends claims brought against employers including wrongful discharge, sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and wage and hour disputes. She assists clients in developing clear policies and educates clients’ employees through training seminars.

“We are thrilled to strengthen our employment law capabilities with the addition of Adriana to our office,” said Joe Leventhal, San Diego office managing partner.

Cara also serves as an instructor at the University of San Diego Paralegal Program and frequently writes on employment issues. She earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles.

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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: