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Daily Business Report-April 8, 2016

Daily Business Report-April 8, 2016

Airline passengers outside the Cross Border Xpress terminal on Thursday morning. (Photo by Chris Jennewein)

Mayors Dedicate Cross-Border

Bridge to Tijuana Airport

By the Times of San Diego

The mayors of San Diego and Tijuana on Thursday officially dedicated the historic cross-border airport bridge, which officials said has already increased air passenger traffic by 40 percent.

“This terminal has the potential to connect millions of regional passengers to destinations beyond Mexico,” said Laura Diez Barroso de Laviada, chair of airport operator Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacifico and an investor in the bridge.

Those destinations from Tijuana include Shanghai, a sign of the San Diego-Baja region’s growing importance in international trade

“We don’t talk about two different cities,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “We talk about one region.”

Faulconer and Tijuana Mayor Jorge Astiazaran were joined by Rep. Susan Davis and the head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Gil Kerlikowske, as well as top Mexican government officials.

“This is a historic historic step,” said Kerlikowske. “It’s another step also in the important work of moving people quickly and freely across the border.”

The Cross Border Xpress is a 390-foot pedestrian bridge to the Tijuana airport that costs $12 each way plus $15 a day for parking. U.S. customs officers in the terminal process passengers leaving and returning. The facility opened in December.

The bridge is symbolic at a time when Republican front-runner Donald Trump is calling for a giant wall along the Mexican border.

Mexican Foreign Secretary Claudia Ruiz Massieu, speaking in English, reminded those at the dedication that the United States is known for building bridges and tearing down walls, like the infamous Berlin wall that symbolized communism during the Cold War.

Faulconer, who is a Republican, called San Diego’s relationship with Mexico a “strength,” adding, “When we work together — the United States and Mexico — there’s no limit.”



Home for sale on Granada in North Park.

Home for sale on Granada in North Park.

San Diego Real Estate Market

Reports Gains in March

By City News Service

The San Diego regions real estate market posted gains in March, following a few lackluster months, but the number of sales of houses and condominiums still trailed the same month last year, data released Wednesday shows.

According to the San Diego Association of Realtors, 1,885 single-family homes changed hands last month, up 33 percent over the month before. The total, however, is 7 percent fewer than March 2015.

For condos and townhouses, 998 sold in March, up 26 percent from February but 1 percent below the same period last year.

The median sales price of houses last month was $551,000, 5 percent higher than the month before and up 7 percent over March 2015, the San Diego Association of Realtors reported. The median sales price of condos was $360,000, 3 percent more than February and 4 percent over March last year.

“Spring is an exciting time for the real estate industry in San Diego and, frankly, throughout the country,” said association President Cory Shepard. “The stability of the market should encourage even stronger sales figures, steady appreciation and more buyers looking to be home owners.”

The San Diego Association of Realtors reported that one of the most expensive condominiums in San Diego County history was sold last month — a three-bedroom, 4,400-square-foot penthouse on Harbor Drive Downtown, with a sale price of $6.275 million.

The most expensive single-family home sold in March was a three-bedroom, four-bath, 1,840-square-foot home in the Beach Colony neighborhood of Del Mar, built in 2012, with a sale price of $10.8 million.




Northrop Grumman Taps Moog

To Build Flight Control System

By ExecutiveBiz

Moog has been awarded a subcontract by Northrop Grumman to manufacture a flight control actuation system for the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node program jointly run by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the Office of Naval Research.

Moog said Wednesday the contract requires initial delivery of flight control actuators, actuator-control electronics and accessories for the full-scale demonstration UAS within 12 months following the award.

Northrop is the prime contractor of the Tern project to develop an autonomous, unmanned, long-range ISR and strike system that operators can deploy and recover using small-deck naval ships.

Moog added that its flight control system works to support Northrop’s goal of integrating vertical take-off and landing with cruise flight functions.

Moog will also develop flight software under the program.


New Technology Helps Monitor

Fire Hazards in Southern California

A new technology can give firefighters the upper hand in the battle against wildfires. A network of mountaintop cameras operated by researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, offers a new opportunity for early detection of fire hazards in some of the most remote locations in Southern California, and within the wildland-urban interface.

The AlertSoCal system, developed in collaboration with the Scripps-based High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) and the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, expands Southern California’s state-of-the-art earthquake and weather monitoring system to better detect fires in real time before they spread.

The HPWREN network currently includes more than 64 fixed mountaintop cameras positioned in 16 remote locations across San Diego, Riverside, and Imperial counties to support public safety operations. New AlertSoCal 4K high-definition pan, tilt and, zoom cameras will augment the existing HPWREN cameras.

“This technology brings us one step closer to providing public safety officials with an integrated hazards network to revolutionize how we detect and fight wildfire and other natural hazards in the United States,” said Scripps research geophysicist Frank Vernon, the lead researcher of the HPWREN network.

AlertSoCal provides firefighters and the public with a virtual fire lookout tower equipped with real-time and on-demand time-lapse imagery up to 12 hours in the past to spot the first signs of fire ignition. The unprecedented view in these remote regions and within the wildland-urban interface can aid fire crews with critical information on fire evolution in its early stages to support safer operations, and more timely evacuations of residents from harm’s way.


UC San Diego Extension Offers College Test Prep

UC San Diego Extension provides low-cost, and in some cases free SAT test prep at schools around the region for lower income students. The schools include Mar Vista High in Imperial Beach,Gompers Preparatory Academy in San Diego and Hilltop and Castle Park high schools in Chula Vista.

UCSD Extension recently entered a partnership with San Diego Unified School District to offer free SAT/ACT prep to students at 12 local high schools.

Click here for more information on college test prep offerings.


Cal State, Union Avert Strike

By City News Service

California State University and the union representing faculty members have reached a tentative salary agreement that will avert a planned five-day strike that was set to begin next week, officials announced Thursday.

No details were released. CSU and California Faculty Association officials are expected to discuss the tentative deal at a Friday morning news conference.


Notable Trial Attorney Therese Lawless

 to Address Lawyers Club of San Diego

Therese Lawless

Therese Lawless

Plaintiff’s employment attorney and women’s advocate Therese Lawless will tackle the issue of pay disparity for women at the Lawyers Club of San Diego’s fourth annual Equal Pay Day luncheon from noon to 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, at the U.S. Grant Hotel, 326 Broadway, in Downtown San Diego.

Lawless, who represented ousted Reddit CEO Ellen Pao in her well‐publicized discrimination case against Pao’s former venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, has taken on the pay and employment practices of Silicon Valley giants Facebook and Microsoft in recent months. Her firm, San Francisco‐based Lawless & Lawless, is one of the nation’s premier gender discrimination law firms.

Equal Pay Day represents the date in the current year through which women must work to earn the same amount their male counterparts earned in the previous year. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women earned approximately 78 cents for every dollar paid to men in 2013, the most recent year for which statistics are available.

“This day and event is important to educate our community and raise awareness,” Lawyers Club President Deborah Dixon said “Women should not be paid less for doing equal work, yet this is exactly what is happening across our nation and in San Diego County. It is time to stop this wage gap.”


Brain Guardians Remove Dying Neurons

Salk scientists show how immune receptors clear dead and dysfunctional

brain cells and how they might be targets for treating neurodegenerative diseases.

By adolescence, your brain already contains most of the neurons that you’ll have for the rest of your life. But a few regions continue to grow new nerve cells—and require the services of cellular sentinels, specialized immune cells that keep the brain safe by getting rid of dead or dysfunctional cells.

Now, Salk scientists have uncovered the surprising extent to which both dying and dead neurons are cleared away, and have identified specific cellular switches that are key to this process. The work was detailed in Nature on April 6, 2016.

“We discovered that receptors on immune cells in the brain are vital for both healthy and injured states,” says Greg Lemke,  senior author of the work, a Salk professor of molecular neurobiology and the holder of the Françoise Gilot-Salk Chair. “These receptors could be potential therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative conditions or inflammation-related disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease.”

Read more…


Combat Training Exercise

MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter

MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter

An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter, assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35, fires a Hellfire missile near San Clemente Island during a live-fire combat training exercise. HSM-35, the Navy’s first composite expeditionary helicopter squadron, flies the MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter and MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aircraft system. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Arthurgwain L. Marquez)


San Diego Close to Getting TV Series

By City News Service

The city of San Diego is pulling together resources for film and television industry chiefs who might want to produce programming in the region, and may be close to landing a TV series, according to a report delivered Thursday to a City Council committee.

Brandy Shimabukuro was hired as the city’s filming program manager in December, filling part of the role of the former San Diego Film Commission, which lost its funding three years ago.

Shimabukuro told the council’s Economic Development and Intergovernmental Relations Committee that she’s working to streamline the process for people who want to film in San Diego.

Her efforts could be close to a payoff with “Pitch,” a prospective television series about the first woman to play major league baseball. The 20th Century Fox pilot, with “Twisted” actress Kylie Bunbury in the lead role, was recently shot in San Diego.

San Diego has been home to several television series over the years but has been without a major ongoing production since “Veronica Mars” was canceled in 2007. The old detective shows “Harry O” and “Simon & Simon” were also filmed, and set, in San Diego.

Among the streamlining measures taken by Shimabukuro was adding an application called “Reel-Scout” to the city’s website. The program includes an image gallery for hundreds of possible shooting locations around town.

“Reel-Crew,” a module for the program, will provide free listings for local talent and crew members.

“We have so many talented crews, so many talented businesses and service providers, and having an online directory like ‘Reel-Crew’ will allow us to offer 24-7 access to this information and ways for them to communicate directly with our businesses here,” Shimabukuro said.

She said the “Reel Crew” registration portal should launch later this month, with the database becoming available for production use in two to three months.

Another program module will let property owners who want their homes and land used for filming will be able to provide information, according to Shimabukuro.

Information about one-stop permitting, a state tax incentive program for TV and film productions and education resources will also be uploaded to the website, she said.

The city also plans to boost local production by advertising in industry magazines, reaching out to film and TV executives and attending trade shows, she said.

The high cost of doing business in California drove a lot of production out of state in the early 2000s, and Shimabukuro’s report lists 34 cities in the U.S. and Canada with significant recent filming activity. More than half provided online services of the kind offered by Reel-Scout and Reel-Crew.

She said reinvigorating San Diego’s film industry will be a regional effort. Last week, a casting call took place in Oceanside for a television crime drama called “Animal Kingdom.”


Personnel Announcements

New Shareholders Elected at Seltzer Caplan

New shareholders Andrea Myers, Matthew Seltzer (center) and Brian Katusian.

New shareholders Andrea Myers, Matthew Seltzer (center) and Brian Katusian.

Brian Katusian, Andrea Myers and Matthew Seltzer have been elected as shareholders of the Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek law firm in San Diego.

Katusian joined Seltzer Caplan as an associate in 2011. His practice emphasizes tax law, ERISA/employee benefits, and tax-exempt organizations.  He received his J.D. and LL.M in taxation from the University of San Diego School of Law and his B.S. in management science from UCSD.

Myers began her legal career as a summer associate at Seltzer Caplan in 2007. Her practice focuses on complex business litigation, real property disputes, professional liability defense and employment litigation. Myers received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and her B.A. in economics and government from Claremont McKenna College.

Seltzer began his legal career at Seltzer Caplan in 2007. His practice encompasses real estate and business transactions. Seltzer received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law and his B.S. in business administration from the University of Southern California.

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