Daily Business Report-March 4, 2016
Daniel Yankelovich. (Photo by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications)
Public Opinion Expert Daniel Yankelovich
Endows Multimillion Dollar Fund at UCSD
Rrenowned social researcher and public opinion analyst Daniel Yankelovich has established, through a bequest, a multimillion dollar endowed fund to support the UC San Diego Yankelovich Center for Social Science Research.
The problem-driven research center in the university’s Division of Social Sciences is proceeding along two related paths. It is originating a research agenda and mobilizing multidisciplinary teams of scholars on key issues, beginning with upward mobility. And it provides seed funding for projects by UC San Diego researchers that show promise of significant national impact.
Known as the “dean of American pollsters,” Yankelovich has spent decades monitoring social change and public opinion. Building on an academic career that included Harvard University and the Sorbonne in Paris, he engaged in various interests that eventually led to a commercial research career. Founder of several nonpartisan public policy research organizations, including Public Agenda, he is perhaps best known for starting the New York Times/Yankelovich poll, now replaced by the New York Times/CBS News poll.
Yankelovich considers his finest career achievement developing new methods of dialogue and deliberation for helping the public convert raw opinion into thoughtful judgment. “Opinion polls just measure people’s unresolved, half-baked feelings and views,” he said. “The challenge is to help the public think through, deliberate, dissolve their own conflicts and finally reach considered judgment. From my view as a student of public opinion, converting raw opinion into considered judgment is indispensable to the efficient functioning of public democracy.”
Yankelovich has served as a member of the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Trustees and a member of the Social Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council. He continues to serve on the executive committee of the Yankelovich Center.
OLP Mock Trial Team Wins County Championship
Will vie for California championship on March 18
The Academy of Our Lady of Peace all-girls Mock Trial Team won first place in the San Diego County High School Mock Trial Competition Championship on Feb. 27.
The OLP team is the only all-girls team to compete in the San Diego County competition. In just five short years, the OLP team has moved up the ranks and secured this triumphant win out of 25 competing high schools.
Higgs Fletcher & Mack’s Jim Eischen and Scott Ingold coached the girls to victory.
Another member of the firm, Michelle Maisto, came on board as a coach this year and was instrumental in preparing the team for a scrimmage with The Bishop’s School and La Jolla High School in January.
“In only five years our all-girls’ OLP Mock Trial team has risen to the 1st Place position,” said Lauren Lek, OLP’s Head of School. “They are extraordinary leaders who worked collaboratively as a team to secure this tremendous victory.”
This year, more than 500 students participated in the countywide competition.
On Friday, March 18, the OLP students will be representing San Diego County in the California State Mock Trial Championship in Sacramento. All 19 members of the team will be traveling to the state capital for the competition.
The California Mock Trial Program is a statewide academic competition in which high school students compete at the county, state, and national level. This year, participation in the San Diego Countywide competition reached over 500 students. The trial itself is a simulation of a criminal case, in which students portray each of the principals in the array of courtroom participants.
Student teams study a hypothetical criminal case, conduct legal research, and receive guidance from volunteer attorney coaches in courtroom procedures and trial preparation. Students participate as lawyers, witnesses, court clerks, and bailiffs, thus acquiring a working knowledge of our judicial system.
The Mock Trial Competition encourages young people to develop their analytical abilities and communications skills while gaining increased self confidence.
San Diego County Jobless Rate Drops
Nonfarm jobs down by 19,900 over the month; up by 38,200 over the year
The unemployment rate in the San Diego County was 4.7 percent in January, down from a revised 4.8 percent in December 2015, and below the year-ago estimate of 5.9 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported today. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 5.8 percent for California and 5.3 percent for the nation during the same period.
Between December 2015 and January 2016:
Total nonfarm employment decreased from 1,412,400 to 1,392,500, a loss of 19,900 jobs. Agricultural employment increased by 100 jobs over the month.
• Trade, transportation and utilities posted the monthly largest decrease with an overall loss of 9,000 jobs. Nearly 99 percent of the decline occurred in retail trade, largely due to seasonal cutbacks of temporary workers following the holiday shopping season.
• Other industries with overall payroll employment declines included education and health services (down 2,700 jobs), government (down 2,400 jobs), leisure and hospitality (down 2,200 jobs), construction (down 1,600 jobs), financial activities (down 1,100 jobs), and other services (down 900 jobs).
• Manufacturing reported the only payroll employment growth over the month with a gain of 300 jobs. A loss of 200 jobs in non-durable goods was offset by a gain of 500 jobs in durable goods.
• Professional and business services, and mining and logging reported no change.
Between January 2015 and January 2016:
Total nonfarm employment increased by 38,200 jobs or 2.8 percent. Agricultural employment declined by 300 jobs, or 3.4 percent.
• Professional and business services posted the largest overall gain with the addition of 8,200 jobs. Job growth was reported in all sectors with the exception of legal services, which reported a loss of 200 jobs.
• Seven other industries reported year over growth including education and health services (up 7,300 jobs), leisure and hospitality (up 5,900 jobs), construction (up 4,800 jobs), government (up 3,700 jobs), manufacturing (up 3,500 jobs), trade, transportation and utilities (up 3,100 jobs) and financial activities (up 2,000 jobs).
• Information and other services reported losses of 200 and 100 jobs respectively.
By Cloning Mouse Neurons, TSRI Scientists
Find Brain Cells with 100+ Unique Mutations
An Important Step Toward Understanding brain diseases, aging and cancer
In a new study published Thursday in the journal Neuron, scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) are the first to sequence the complete genomes of individual neurons and to produce live mice carrying neuronal genomes in all of their cells.
Use of the technique revealed surprising insights into these cells’ genomes—including the findings that each neuron contained an average of more than 100 mutations and that these neurons accumulated more mutations in genes they used frequently.
“Neuronal genomes have remained a mystery for a long time,” said TSRI Associate Professor Kristin Baldwin, senior author of the new study and member of the Dorris Neuroscience Center at TSRI. “The findings in this study, and the extensive validation of genome sequencing-based mutation discovery that this method permits, open the door to additional studies of brain mutations in aging and disease, which may help us understand or treat cognitive decline in aging, neurodegeneration and neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism.”
Jewish Family Service’s Shana Hazan
Appointed to First 5 California Commission
Shana Hazan, senior director of strategic resource development for Jewish Family Service of San Diego, has been appointed by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins to the California Children and Families Commission, also known as First 5 California.
The commission promotes early learning, health, and quality child care for California residents.
At JFS, Hazan oversees the nonprofit’s institutional and individual fundraising, and government relations and public policy work. In the last year, she designed and secured funding for the Linda Vista Kindergarten Readiness Network, a pilot project that utilizes a collective impact model to improve student achievement, and social-emotional outcomes for young children.
Hazan was selected by Atkins as one of the 2016 Women of the Year in the 78th Assembly District. She sits on the board of directors of CORE Educational Services, the Foothold Foundation, and Stanley E. Foster School of Engineering, Innovation, and Design.
Appellate Court Upholds Bahia Hotel Lease
The San Diego City Council followed the law correctly when it approved the lease agreement for the Bahia Resort Hotel on Mission Bay, the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday.
The court found no evidence to support the claims of lawyer Cory Briggs and San Diegans for Open Government that the City Council erred when it found that Bruce Goodwin, who established the fair market value of the property, was an independent fee appraiser.
SDOG had argued that the City Council acted with “insufficient evidence” that Goodwin, a professional appraiser for 30 years and a chairman emeritus of the International Society of Hospital Consultants, had provided an independent fee appraisal.
The court reviewed the record and determined there was “substantial evidence” to support the Council’s finding that Goodwin was not subject to the control or influence of the Bahia owners or anyone else. It cited, among other evidence, questioning of Goodwin by Councilmembers Todd Gloria and Lorie Zapf during a public hearing on the lease agreement.
In contrast, the Court said, it was unpersuaded by SDOG’s argument that Goodwin could not be considered independent unless he belong to a particular organization, or that appraisers are not independent if they are paid for their work by an interested party.
Nonpartisan Voters Who Vote
By Mail Must Request Ballot
City News Service
Officials Thursday reminded more than 300,000 San Diego County residents who are registered without party preference — and receive their ballots by mail — that they must request a specific ballot if they wish to vote for a presidential candidate in the June 7 primary election.
Election officials are sending to those voters postcards, which need to be returned by April 13, Registrar of Voters Michael Vu said.
“Don’t be caught by surprise,” Vu said. “Make sure you get the mail ballot you need to vote for your presidential candidate.”
He said the Green, Peace and Freedom, and Republican parties don’t allow nonpartisan voters to take part in their presidential primary elections. Non- party members would have to re-register to be eligible to cast a ballot for those parties’ candidates.
Auditor Faults San Diego on Street Repair
City News Service
The city of San Diego can do a better job with oversight of rules that coordinate the way streets are torn up for construction projects, according to a report from the Office of the City Auditor that was released Thursday.
Among other things, the city’s Street Preservation Ordinance requires that utilities coordinate their infrastructure projects; sets a three-year moratorium on excavations after a roadway has been covered with slurry seal, and five-year moratorium when the street has been resurfaced; and provides guidelines for resurfacing excavated streets.
The idea is to avoid situations in which the city fixes up a roadway, only to have fresh pavement ripped up for a construction project. Waivers are issued in emergency situations.
City auditors found that the Public Utilities Department and the Transportation and Storm Water Department’s Street Division are not repairing emergency water and sewer trenches the way the ordinance requires; that moratorium waivers haven’t been consistently submitted to a division that handles project coordination; that compliance documentation isn’t kept in a central location; and city staff are not always able to resolve project conflicts.
The auditors issued eight recommendations, including training Street Division employees so they can assess the quality of work done by road repair crews, and developing written procedures for coordinating moratorium waivers. City management has agreed to implement the recommendations, the report said.
Barbra Calantas Joins Consulting Firm
Barbra Calantas has joined the San Diego office of Environmental Science Associates, an environmental consulting firm, as director of biological resources.
Calantas is considered a leader in the fields of wildlife biology, permit strategy, endangered species act consultation and CEQA/NEPA compliance. She joins the company’s team of more than 20 scientists specializing in biological resources, resources management, wetlands studies, habitat restoration, permitting, and monitoring.
Calantas has 14 years of experience as an environmental consultant and wildlife specialist. She has led and performed protocol-level surveys for federally and state- threatened and endangered species.
Women & Wine
Women & Wine is back at San Diego Women’s Week on Wednesday, March 16. This popular event set in the beautiful Bernardo Winery features wine pairings, live music, and unique shopping. Attendees will also get to give back in a unique, fun way with Sip & Swap: a career-wear exchange that benefits a local organization assisting battered women to regain their independence. For more information, visit www.SDWomensWeek.com.