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Daily Business Report-March 7, 2016

Daily Business Report-March 7, 2016

County Supervisor Ron Roberts, city Councilwoman Marti Emerald and Laurie Berman, district director of Caltrans District 11, uncover a large photo of the planned SR-15 Commuter Bikeway at the March 1 groundbreaking. (Photo by Jim Childers)

SR-15 Commuter Bikeway

Project Gets Underway

At Ward Canyon Park, SANDAG, Caltrans, and city of San Diego officials, as well as community activists and neighborhood residents, celebrated the March 1groundbreaking of the construction of the SR-15 Commuter Bikeway.

The public was invited to hear about the future Bikeway, which will allow cyclists and walkers to travel both directions on a paved and striped path, protected from traffic by a concrete barrier.

Paid for with federal, Caltrans, local, and Transnet funds, the conversion will provide safe travel for people on bicycles and on foot along lanes 12 feet wide, striped for two-way traffic, and protected by concrete barriers. The bike path will have state-of-the-art LED lighting, landscaping, and wider cut out areas for passing and rest stops.

The enhancements to the existing SR-15 freeway are of high priority as part of Riding to 2050, the San Diego Regional Bike Plan adopted by the SANDAG Board of Directors in May 2010, and also incorporated into the city of San Diego Bicycle Master Plan and the Mid-cities Communities Plan, making good on a $14 million promise to convert existing pavement to bicycle and pedestrian lanes. Moreover, the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan and Sustainable Communities Strategy, with the same intent, was laid out in October 2011.



A young boy gets a close-up look at algae. (Photo by Chris Stone)

A young boy gets a close-up look at algae. (Photo by Chris Stone)

Petco STEM Fair Thrills Kids

Times of San Diego

With booths like one labeled “Make Your Own Mucus,” EXPO Day at the San Diego Festival of Science & Engeering had a target demographic. Kids.

Saturday’s free event at Petco Park brought tens of thousands science (and sci-fi) fans out to sample STEM exhibits and “Star Wars”-themed activities.

The annual festival, a 10-day event presented by Illumina, is a program of the BIOCOM Institute in partnership with UC San Diego, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and the San Diego County Office of Education.

Some 130 hands-on booths and games helped kids and families interact with scientists, STEM professionals, and college students.

“Star Wars-Steampunk Universe” hosted a booth where attendees learned how to turn vintage items into visual expressions of their love for the film saga.

The countywide festival’s mission is to engage kids in science and engineering, organizers said, adding: “By doing this, the nonprofit organization expands the general public’s understanding of the relevancy of science and engineering in everyday lives, illuminates why the United States must maintain its leadership role in science and technology, and work with parents and teachers to inspire today’s students to become tomorrow’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) innovators.”


Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park

Waterfront Park Fountains Shut Down

The fountains at the Waterfront Park will be shut off today through Wednesday, March 23, so that the water filter system can be replaced.

During the installation, workers will also be performing regular annual maintenance. The rest of the park won’t be affected and will remain open to the public. The fountain jets are scheduled to restart March 23 at 11 a.m. The fountains run daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


A home for sale in San Diego. (Photo by Alexander Nguyen)

A home for sale in San Diego. (Photo by Alexander Nguyen)

Zillow: Late March is Best

Time to List Home in San Diego

Times of San Diego

Don’t beware the ides of March if you’re a San Diego homeowner wishing to sell — the last two weeks of the month are the best time of the year to list a home for sale.

An analysis by Zillo, the national real estate marketplace, shows that homes listed from March 16 to 31 in San Diego take 13 fewer days to sell and command a 1 percent higher price.

Nationally the best time to sell is in the late spring — May 1 to 15 — but San Diego is blessed with better weather than average. Zillow found that markets with the largest gap between the best months and worst months to list are those with distinct climate changes, notably Seattle and Minneapolis.

“The housing market today is heavily influenced by low inventory,” said Zillow chief economist Dr. Svenja Gudell. “Faced with increasingly competitive markets, many buyers are forced to consider several homes and make multiple offers, elongating the home shopping experience. By listing homes further into the shopping season, sellers may attract buyers who are increasingly eager to purchase and may be more willing to pay a premium for the home.”

Where in America should you wait the longest to list? It turns out to be Houston, where the period June 1 to 15 is best.


Team Finds New Approach

To Curbing Cancer Cell Growth

Professor Luke Lairson

Professor Luke Lairson

Using a new approach, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and collaborating institutions have discovered a novel drug candidate that could be used to treat certain types of breast cancer, lung cancer and melanoma.

The new study focused on serine, one of the 20 amino acids (protein building blocks) found in nature. Many types of cancer require synthesis of serine to sustain rapid, constant and unregulated growth.

To find a drug candidate that interfered with this pathway, the team screened a large library of compounds from a variety of sources, searching for molecules that inhibited a specific enzyme known as 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), which is responsible for the first committed step in serine biosynthesis.

“In addition to discovering an inhibitor that targets cancer metabolism, we also now have a tool to help answer interesting questions about serine metabolism,” said Luke L. Lairson, assistant professor of chemistry at TSRI and principal investigator of cell biology at the California Institute for Biomedical Research.

Lairson was senior author of the study, published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, with Lewis Cantley of Weill Cornell Medical College and Costas Lyssiotis of the University of Michigan.


Anthony Rendon (left) with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Gov. Jerry Brown. (Courtesy Rendon’s office)

Anthony Rendon (left) with Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Gov. Jerry Brown. (Courtesy Rendon’s office)

Atkins Passing Speaker’s Gavel

Times of San Diego

Assemblyman Anthony Rendon will be sworn in as speaker of the state Assembly in Sacramento today, then outline three of his legislative priorities — poverty, legislative oversight and voter engagement.

Rendon, a Democrat representing a district in south Los Angeles County, will also use the remarks following his swearing-in by outgoing Speaker Toni Atkins of San Diego to share his and his wife’s life stories, how they were affected by the generosity of California and “why we need to continue that generosity for generations to come,” an aide told City News Service.

Rendon, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2012, was selected in September by his fellow Democrats to be speaker and elected as the 70th speaker on Jan. 11.

Because of a change to the state’s term limits law allowing legislators to serve in the same house for 12 years — the previous term limit for the Assembly was six years — Rendon can serve as speaker until 2024. If he remains speaker that long, he would have the longest tenure since Willie Brown’s record 14 1/2 years, ending in 1995.


Personnel Announcements

Torrey Pines Bank Promotion and New Hires

Torrey Pines Bank announced the hiring and promotion of several key executives.

Crystal Sargent

Crystal Sargent

Sharon Trapolino

Sharon Trapolino

Albert Motola

Albert Motola

Crystal Sargent, who previously held the position of senior vice president, director of marketing has been named senior vice president, director of sales management and business development, a newly created position. Sargent has been with Torrey Pines Bank for over 10 years. In May 2015 she was honored with a San Diego Metro Magazine “Woman Who Impact San Diego” award.

Sharon Trapolino has joined Torrey Pines Bank as vice president, treasury management sales officer and draws on over 35 years of banking industry experience. She will work from the Carlsbad Branch. Trapolino has been recognized with several local awards including the San Diego Metro Magazine “Women Who Impact San Diego.”

Albert Motola has joined Torrey Pines Bank as vice president, relationship manager. He draws on over 20 years of banking experience and will work from the Symphony Towers branch in Downtown San Diego. Motola attended University of California-San Diego before transferring to Ashford University where he received a degree in business economics.

Alex Hu has joined Torrey Pines Bank as vice president, senior relationship manager and brings over 20 years of commercial banking experience to clients in the Kearny Mesa office He began his banking career in China in 1992 and has since held several high-level banking positions working with San Diego area business owners.


Katrina Wu Joins Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek

Katrina Wu

Katrina Wu

Katrina Wu has joined the San Diego-based law firm of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek as an associate.

Wu joins the firm’s tax department. Her practice emphasizes tax planning and estate planning and administration.

Prior to joining Seltzer Caplan, Wu was a research assistant to Professor Howard Abrams at the University of San Diego School of Law engaging in partnership tax-related work. She also served as a legal intern at the University of San Diego’s Energy Policy and Incentives Center and State Income Tax Clinic.

Wu received her J.D., M.B.A., and LLM in taxation from the University of San Diego in 2015 and her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California in 2010.

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