Daily Business Report-March 17, 2016
A baby Orca with its mother at SeaWorld. (Photo by Mike Aguilera via SeaWorld San Diego)
SeaWorld Ends Killer Whale Breeding
Shows Will be Phased Out
By City News Service
SeaWorld Entertainment announced Thursday that orcas will no longer be bred in San Diego or at other parks, and theatrical shows involving the marine mammals will be phased out.
SeaWorld has also teamed up with the Humane Society of the United States in an effort to educate visitors about animal welfare and conservation issues through programs at the parks and expanded advocacy for whales, seals and other marine creatures in the wild.
“SeaWorld has introduced more than 400 million guests to orcas, and we are proud of our part in contributing to the human understanding of these animals,” SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. President and CEO Joel Manby said.
“As society’s understanding of orcas continues to change, SeaWorld is changing with it. By making this the last generation of orcas in our care and re-imagining how guests will encounter these beautiful animals, we are fulfilling our mission of providing visitors to our parks with experiences that matter.”
SeaWorld’s about-face comes less than three months after park officials filed a lawsuit against the California Coastal Commission over a ruling that would end the breeding of captive killer whales at its local theme park. The commission’s October order was tacked onto its approval of a permit for the expansion of its orca tanks.
SeaWorld had agreed earlier to not increase the park’s orca population, except through occasional captive births or rescues authorized by government agencies. Park officials said they have not captured orcas in the wild for decades.
SeaWorld has suffered dipping attendance since the release of the documentary film “Blackfish,” which focused on the treatment of orcas at the park.
The theme park on Mission Bay has been the frequent target of animal rights organizations and was criticized after a San Diego employee posed as an animal rights activist to spy on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
“PETA has campaigned hard and today there is a payoff for future generations of orcas,” said PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk. “SeaWorld has taken a step forward but more must come.”
SeaWorld plans to replace its theatrical shows with “natural orca encounters,” starting in San Diego next year, then in San Antonio and Orlando in 2019.
SeaWorld will also partner with the Humane Society of the United States to advocate against commercial whaling, seal hunts, shark finning and ocean pollution, and it says it will increase its focus on rescue operations.
“Today we turn a corner, working together to achieve solutions on a wide set of animal issues including sunsetting the use of orcas at existing facilities; maximizing SeaWorld’s focus on rescue, rehabilitation and advocacy for marine mammals in the wild; and sourcing food for animals and customers from humane and sustainable sources, including cage-free eggs and crate-free pork,” Humane Society President and CEO Wayne Pacelle said.
San Diego Continuing Education to Dedicate
César E. Chávez Campus Car Park
San Diego Continuing Education will dedicate the new car park on the César E. Chávez Campus at César Chávez Parkway and National Ave. in San Diego at a 1 p.m. ceremony on March 23.
The car park includes photographic murals featuring the life and work of César Chávez.
Funding was from the $1.555 billion Propositions S and N construction bond program that provides new state-of-the-art instructional and career training facilities, major renovations, and campuswide infrastructure projects at City, Mesa and Miramar colleges and six Continuing Education campuses throughout San Diego.
Speakers will include Carlos Turner Cortez, president of San Diego Continuing Education and Constance Carroll, chancellor of the San Diego Community College District.
About the Photographic Murals
San Diego Continuing Education held a series of community meetings in 2012 to solicit community input about the photographs to be depicted on the car park. Members of the Barrio Logan community and the San Diego Community College District selected eight photographs taken by Carlos LeGerrette, executive director of Chavez Service Clubs.
“The people in the murals sacrificed their careers and education to dedicate themselves to the nonviolent struggle for social justice on behalf of our nation’s exploited farmworkers and other underrepresented communities,” says a dedication announcement. “Most of the young people pictured in the murals have immersed themselves in the Chavez legacy and have chosen careers that directly serve the poor. Many of the people in the photographs, taken in the ’70s, will be at the dedication or will have members of their families in attendance, including John Armington, son of Bob Armington, UFW Filipino Leader.”
Upgrade Plans for University City Shopping
Center Include Boutique Hotel, 30 More Shops
An upgrading of University City’s 30-year-old Costa Verde Center to include 30 more shops and restaurants, a small boutique hotel, co-working office space and a fitness center has been proposed by owner Regency Centers in plans submitted to the city of San Diego on Tuesday.
A future phase for the shopping center area could include up to 120 residential units,.
Additional features of the upgrade would include more parking spaces, direct access to the future Mic-Coast Trolley station, a rooftop community garden and park, added bike lockers and new bikeways, outdoor gathering spaces and a community room.
“Costa Verde Center has been an integral part of University City for nearly three decades, serving the everyday needs of the local community, and we are committed to ensuring that it stays this way,” said John Murphy, vice president of investments and project executive for the Costa Verde project for Regency. The company, which operates 10 centers in San Diego County, has recently completed projects that include The HUB in Hillcrest, Balboa Mesa in Clairemont Mesa and 4S Commons Town Center in 4S Ranch.
Murphy said many of the ideas for the shopping center that were raised by neighbors at a mid-November meeting were incorporated into the company’s project application.
Costa Verde opened in 1989. Regency Centers acquired it 10 years lager. The center includes a grocery store, restaurants, post office, dry cleaner and gas station. Since the center was built, the University City community has evolved into a research and educational hub with a strong business center and a vibrant residential neighborhood.
“The new Costa Verde Center will be designed to complement the current neighborhood,” said Project Manager David Malmuth. “While large-scale construction is underway at the regional shopping center across the street, very little neighborhood-focused retail has been added to the community. Our goal is to fill this gap by working closely with our neighbors to deliver more of what they love.”
An environmental review of the project is ahead, followed by reviews by the Planning Commission and City Council. Regency hopes to start construction on the first phase in 2019 with a goal of opening in 2020.
Recall Alert! Did You Buy Bumble Bee Tuna?
City News Service
San Diego-based Bumble Bee Foods announced Wednesday a recall of more than 31,500 cases of canned chunk light tuna because processing deviations might have led to contamination.
The recall was initiated under an abundance of caution, and no illnesses have been linked to the tuna so far, according to the company. However, consumers were advised by Bumble Bee to throw away the recalled product.
The deviations were part of the commercial sterilization process that could result in “contamination by spoilage organisms or pathogens, which could lead to life-threatening illnesses if consumed,” according to Bumble Bee.
The products subject to the recall are marked with a can code that starts with a T — like TOA2BSCAFB.
According to Bumble Bee, the product codes and “best by” dates are:
— 8660000020 5oz Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Water 02/10/2019, 02/16/2019, 02/17/2019, 02/18/2019, 02/22/2019, 02/23/2019, 02/25/2019;
— 8660000021 5oz Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Oil 02/23/2019; and
— 8660000736 4 Pack of 5oz Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Water 02/9/2019, 02/10/2019, 02/22/2019, 02/29/2019.
The tuna was produced last month, packaged at a facility not owned or operated by Bumble Bee, and distributed nationally, according to a company statement. The mishap was discovered during the packer’s quality audit.
Bumble Bee is working with the packer and U.S. Food and Drug Administration to expedite the removal of the affected products from stores.
Consumers looking for more information on reimbursement or who have questions about the recall can contact Bumble Bee at (888) 820-1947 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week, or visit www.bumblebee.com/recall-march-2016.
No other production codes or products are affected by the recall, according to Bumble Bee.
Marijuana-Based Drug Found
To Reduce Epileptic Seizures
The New York Times
An experimental drug derived from marijuana has succeeded in reducing epileptic seizures in its first major clinical trial, the product’s developer announced on Monday, a finding that could lend credence to the medical marijuana movement.
The developer, GW Pharmaceuticals, said the drug, Epidiolex, achieved the main goal of the trial, reducing convulsive seizures when compared with a placebo in patients with Dravet syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy. GW shares more than doubled on Monday.
If Epidiolex wins regulatory approval, it would be the first prescription drug in the United States that is extracted from marijuana. The drug is a liquid containing cannabidiol, a component of marijuana that does not make people high.
UC San Diego’s Graduate
Programs Among Best in Nation
The 2017 edition of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Graduate Schools guidebook highly ranks the University of California, San Diego’s professional schools and programs in engineering and medicine.
The Jacobs School of Engineering was ranked 17th out of 215 engineering schools and its biomedical/bioengineering program is fourth in the nation.
The campus’s School of Medicine placed 18th in the research category out of 118 schools. In the primary care category, it was ranked 21st out of 130 medical schools.
The Jacobs School of Engineering has been consistently ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News and World Report for its wide range of strengths in fundamental engineering research areas such as wireless communications and biomedical engineering.
Old Globe Announces $5 Million Gift
From Andrew Viterbi in Honor of His Wife
Philanthropist Dr. Andrew Viterbi has given a $5 million gift to The Old Globe Theatre that will give Barry Edelstein a new title — the Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director.
The gift creates the Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Fund, which supports the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs and bestows the new title on Edelstein.
Viterbi created the fund in memory of his wife, who died in 2015 and was a longtime supporter of the arts.
Erna and Andrew Viterbi supported The Old Globe for more than two decades and in 2008 made a leadership gift of $2 million to permanently name the Viterbi Family Lobby of the in-the-round theatre.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity to memorialize my beloved wife Erna by supporting an institution she valued,” said Viterbi. “She particularly enjoyed theater, as do I and my family, and I believe that the great work of The Old Globe deserves ongoing support, from us and from the wider community. I am pleased to attach her name to Barry Edelstein’s work and the work of this important San Diego institution.”
Erna Finci Viterbi, born in Sarajevo and raised in Italy and Switzerland, was fluent in four languages and took roles in many philanthropic endeavors.