Daily Business Report-Aug. 22, 2016
Mark Thiemens with meteorite (UC San Diego)
UC San Diego Professor Awarded
Prestigious Meteoritical Society Medal
Mark Thiemens, a former dean and professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC San Diego, has won the most prestigious prize awarded in the field of meteoritics — the scientific discipline concerned with the study of solar system origin, evolution and history.
Thiemens, who served for the past 16 years as the founding dean of the Division of Physical Sciences, was announced as the winner of the Leonard Medal for 2017 at the annual meeting in Berlin, Germany of the Meteoritical Society, the International Society for Meteoritics and Planetary Science. The prize was established in 1962 to honor the first president of the society, Frederick Leonard.
Thiemens, who stepped down as dean last month to spend more time on his research activities, is the fourth in a long line of prominent chemistry professors at UC San Diego to receive the Leonard Medal. All were leaders in their respective fields and all, coincidentally enough, started their careers at the University of Chicago, where Thiemens did his postdoctoral research.
During his research career at UC San Diego, Thiemens developed new techniques of understanding the composition of the early atmosphere of the Earth, life’s imprint and the evolution of Mars. In 2006, the minor planet center at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the clearinghouse for naming asteroids, designated a minor planet orbiting the inner part of the main asteroid belt (7004) Markthiemens in honor of his work with meteorites and extra-terrestrial materials.
— UC San Diego News Center
San Diego Unemployment Rate
Increased to 5.3 Percent in July
San Diego Workforce Partnership
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reported an increase in San Diego’s unemployment rate from 5.1 percent in June to 5.3 percent in July, but remains below the year-ago estimate of 5.5 percent.
The 5.3 percent unemployment rate falls below the highest July unemployment rate (11.1 percent in 2010) but remains higher than the lowest July unemployment rate (4.4 percent in 2006) experienced in the region over the last 10 years.
Leisure & Hospitality recorded the largest month-over gain of 2,000 jobs as employers continue to ramp up employment for the summer tourist season. Arts, Entertainment and Recreation accounted for over half of the sector’s job growth (1,100 jobs added). Four other sectors saw employment growth, with Construction adding 1,100 jobs primarily due to increases in Specialty Trade Contractors (800 jobs added) and Building Equipment Contractors (500 jobs added).
Five sectors reported month-over job losses, with Government experiencing the largest employment decline of 13,500 jobs, as a result of classrooms closing for summer break. Of this loss, 10,000 came from local government education.
From July 2015 to July 2016, all but one sector experienced job growth. Leisure & Hospitality added 7,000 jobs to the region, with 100 percent of this growth coming from Accommodation & Food Services, while Arts, Entertainment & Recreation remained unchanged. Educational & Health Services also added 7,000 jobs, with Health Care and Social Assistance adding 5,600 jobs, and Educational Services adding 1,400 jobs. Seven other sectors also experienced job growth, including Government (5,700 jobs added) and Professional & Business Services (4,500). Information was the only sector to experience a decrease in jobs (-200).
Classes Resume for Thousands
At San Diego Community Colleges
By City News Service
Classes begin today for tens of thousands of community college students around San Diego County, and some will be carrying around custom-made guitars.
Around 50,000 students will begin studies at San Diego City, Mesa and Miramar colleges and the Continuing Education campus.
At City College, the second class in a Manufacturing Engineering Technology program will involve the design and construction of custom-made guitars.
College officials said the program is aimed at helping students become skilled manufacturing engineering technicians.
“We’re really excited about these guitar-building classes, as they provide yet another way for us to differentiate City College as a forward- thinking and innovative institution,” said interim President Denise Whisenhunt. “No other STEM classes end up in a jam session.”
Mesa College plans to dedicate a new student commons building next month, while Miramar College will offer certificates for emergency medical technicians, and graphics and visual productions.
The fall semester will also begin for Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges in the East County, MiraCosta and Palomar colleges in the North County, and Southwestern College in Chula Vista.
San Diego Naval Hospital Performs
Allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant
Dermatologists at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego have conducted an allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell procedure on a U.S. Navy veteran, marking the first such operation at a U.S. military treatment facility.
The Navy said physicians used stem cells from a donor’s bone marrow to address the patient’s skin damage during the medical procedure.
John Trafeli, head of the dermatology research division and the Training and Research for Project Comprehensive Advanced Restorative Effort at the medical center led the stem cell transplantation initiative.
The effort marks the start of a clinical trial at the naval hospital that seeks to explore the potential use of regenerative medicine for people who have traumatic brain and musculocutaneous nerve injuries and dental diseases, the Navy added.
The medical center and biotechnology firm StemCutis initiated the stem cell study as part of a collaborative research and development agreement.
The medical center will host the 2016 Project C.A.R.E. Summit that will be held from Sept. 7 to 9 and feature developments in restorative and regenerative medicine across the military, private sector medical communities.
Taxpayers Association Board Votes
To Oppose Chargers Ballot Measure
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association’s Board of Directors voted on Friday to oppose the tax increase proposed by the Chargers for a new stadium and convention center annex. That decision stemmed from a detailed analysis of the Chargers tax measure that the Taxpayers Association is releasing today.
“The Chargers proposal would put the city of San Diego’s general fund at significant risk,” according to the association’s 36-page analysis of the measure. “Even with optimistic assumptions and ignoring the costs to taxpayers of moving the MTS bus yard and the remaining debt on Qualcomm Stadium, the city of San Diego would not bring in adequate revenue to cover the anticipated costs associated with this proposal.
The analysis pegged the city’s shortfall at more than $400 million and noted, “This figure does NOT account for the additional interest that would need to be paid on public debt.”
The analysis also said: “The city of San Diego would likely have to service the debt from the General Fund…in order to maintain its credit ratings and avoid higher financing charges for future debt.”
The analysis compared the city’s agreement with the Padres to the Chargers tax measure and found the arrangement with the Padres is a much better deal for taxpayers than what the Chargers have proposed.
“The city and the Padres share certain revenue streams…In the Chargers proposal, there is no explicit revenue sharing between the city of San Diego and the Chargers for non-football events in the stadium. In theory, the city would be able to keep all non-football stadium revenue to utilize how it sees fit, but the lease framework in the proposal first dedicates any non-football revenue earned by the city in the stadium to operations and maintenance before the Chargers’ lease would require their contribution to operations and maintenance.”
The Chargers turned down requests by the Taxpayers Association to discuss their data and present their financial assumptions, which have yet to be shared with the public and independently verified.