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Daily Business Report-Sept. 22, 2016

Daily Business Report-Sept. 22, 2016

Carolina Quirarte  is a third-year student at Cal State San Marcos with a 4.0 academic record.

 Cal State San Marcos Nursing Student

Receives 2016 CSU Trustees’ Award

Carolina Quirarte was inspired to become a nurse while seeing the care her grandmother received during a 14-year battle with breast cancer.

Carolina, a third-year student at Cal State San Marcos, has overcome difficult challenges – from her father’s death when she was 5 years old to growing up in a family that struggled with poverty — to become one of 24 students selected to receive the 2016 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Carolina was named the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation Scholar.

The CSU’s highest recognition of student achievement, the awards provide scholarships of $6,000 to $12,000 to CSU students who demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need.

“Carolina has worked very hard and has overcome financial hardships and family obligations to achieve her remarkable 4.0 academic record,” said Perla Rivas, a counselor for Cal State San Marcos’ TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) program.

Carolina is part of the TRiO SSS program, which assists first-generation, low-income and/or students with disabilities toward the successful completion of their college degree.

“Carolina’s undergraduate work is truly impressive,” Rivas said. “She comes from a family that does not have a history of pursuing academic work, not to mention advanced undergraduate study. Carolina is intelligent, highly motivated, humble, compassionate and has a strong commitment to gaining the necessary experience to build her nursing skills.”

Carolina has volunteered more than 250 hours with the Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District and the Pathmaker Internship at Palomar Medical Center. As an intern, Carolina has learned valuable clinical skills and has been exposed to the rigors of a nursing career.

“I saw first-hand the effect that having a positive attitude toward a patient who’s at the end stages of their life can have,” Carolina said. “Just being that comfort, that hug, holding their hand. I want to make that same difference my grandmother’s nurse made in our lives to other people.”

The CSU Board of Trustees, CSU Foundation Board of Governors, faculty, students and staff publicly recognized the scholars during the CSU Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 20. The scholars include one student from each of the CSU’s 23 campuses, along with the top-scoring CSU-wide scholar.

More than 340 CSU students have been honored with this award since the program’s creation in 1984.

The program was originally established by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation as an endowed scholarship fund to honor William Randolph Hearst, founder of the Hearst newspaper chain. In 1999, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation partnered with the CSU Board of Trustees to supplement the endowment with contributions from CSU Trustees and private donors.


The Taco Bell Shops

The Taco Bell Shops

Taco Bell Shops Sold for $14 Million

The Taco Bell and Shops, an 18,175-square-foot strip center at the entrance of the Westfield Mission Valley Mall, has been sold to a California-based private investor for $14 million. The seller was MVR, LLC, a Los Angeles private investor.

The center is leased to a mix of food and service tenants, including Taco Bell, El Pollo Loco, Pick Up Stix, AT&T and T-Mobile.

CBRE represented the seller in the transaction. Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the buyer.


Rendering of the new building in Southwestern College's Higher Education Center.

Rendering of the new building in Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center.

Work Starts on Southwestern College

Higher Education Center Addition

Construction has started on a new $22.3 million, two-story building at Southwestern College’s Higher Education Center in National City.

A groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday brought together South Bay officials and college administrators, faculty and students for the 20,000-square-foot building, designed to meet the space and academic needs of the school’s growing population.

Sundt Construction Inc. was selected as the construction manager for the project, which will expand course sections and programs for more than 3,400 students who enroll in the center annually.

The expansion includes new, modern classrooms, biology and chemistry laboratory spaces, a teaching clinic and laboratory spaces for the center’s medical office professions, and medical lab technology programs.

The center — expected to be complete in early 2018 — will also feature a 90-person community facility and be home to the college’s Small Business Development Center and Contract Opportunities Center offices.

Favaro Architects designed the building.

Other Sundt community college projects completed across the state include the Business, Math & Computing Center at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, the Center for Media and Performing Arts building for San Diego City College, and the Library/Learning Resource Center and CentralQuad at San Diego Miramar College in San Diego.


TSRI Study Illuminates

How Mystery MS Drug Works

A study by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has helped to de-mystify the molecular workings of the multiple sclerosis (MS) drug Tecfidera. The drug is the most widely prescribed pill-based therapy for MS, but its biological mechanism remains mysterious.

Shown here is the crystal structure of adenosine deaminase, one of the protein targets of the drug Tecfidera with the amino acid it is labeling in pink and neighboring residues associated with a human immunodeficiency in yellow.

Shown here is the crystal structure of adenosine deaminase, one of the protein targets of the drug Tecfidera with the amino acid it is labeling in pink and neighboring residues associated with a human immunodeficiency in yellow.

Using a new TSRI technology that can quickly reveal a drug’s protein targets, the scientists showed that Tecfidera interacts with multiple T cell proteins, in some cases inhibiting their activity, and helping to suppress the T cell activation that is a key feature of MS flare-ups.

“This new technology has given us insights into the therapeutic modulation of the immune system that we could not have obtained with standard approaches,” said co-senior author John R. Teijaro, an assistant professor at TSRI.

The study was reported recently in Science Signaling.

MS is an autoimmune disease of the brain featuring damage to nerve fibers and producing a range of symptoms, including tingling in the extremities, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, visual problems and mood instability. About 400,000 people in the United States and about 2.5 million worldwide have MS, mostly in a form with intermittent flare-ups of symptoms—which can start to worsen inexorably.


Governor Signs Atkins Bill Helping

Imperial Beach Revitalize Palm Ave.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1500, a bill authored by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins that authorizes the state of California to relinquish control of two stretches of State Route 75 and transfer control of them to the cities of San Diego and Imperial Beach.

“AB 1500 is particularly important for the city of Imperial Beach, which for years has been working on a revitalization plan for Palm Avenue, a key commercial hub,” said Atkins (D-San Diego). “In Imperial Beach, Highway 75 and Palm Avenue are one and the same. Gaining control of that corridor will make it easier for the city to complete its revitalization, boost the local economy and improve quality of life for residents. I am happy I was in a position to help.”

The legislation doesn’t immediately transfer ownership. Relinquishment is authorized to occur upon request by the cities.


Acclaimed Chef Takes Helm at

North Park’s Popular Eatery

Jason Hotchkiss

Jason Hotchkiss

Jason Hotchkiss was a consulting chef for North Park’s Encontro restaurant last year when he helped conceive the fast-casual eaterie’s menu. His real craft food expertise was so well received that he is now the restaurant’s executive chef.

As the former director of culinary operations for the Patio Group restaurants (which include The Patio on Lamont, The Patio on Goldfinch, Liberty Station’s Fireside by The Patio and Saska’s Steak & Seafood), Hotchkiss will now focus his talents and undivided attention on Encontro, perfecting their current menu and putting a daily breakfast menu on the front burner.

“We’re excited to bring Jason on board full time,” says Encontro’s owner, John Sarkisian. “With his track record of success in the industry, and our combined experience developing the opening menu for Encontro, we look forward to sharing new culinary ideas with the North Park community.”

Hotchkiss’s background includes positions as corporate chef at both the Cohn Restaurant Group and Whisknladle Hospitality. And before relocating to San Diego, he was the executive chef for Bottega Louie in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for food consistency, quality, and a kitchen staff of 80.

Encontro features a protein and greens-centered menu, and will still offer favorites such as a selection of salads, available topped with flavorful meats cooked on an open grill viewable from the dining area. Chef’s plates include Rib Eye Steak and their ever-famous Mary’s Chicken. Their home-grinds churn out house-made sausage to go with 20-plus beers on tap, wine or craft soda.


House of Mexico Nears Getting

Own Cottage in Balboa Park

By City News Service

The San Diego City Council’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee gave its unanimous blessing Wednesday to a plan to build additional houses of hospitality in Balboa Park.

Charles Daniels of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department one of the new spaces will be set aside for the House of Mexico, which hasn’t had its own cottage. Activists have long called for a stand-alone space for the House of Mexico.

The plan — which still requires full City Council approval — foresees building five new cottages for international cultural organizations — four duplexes and one stand-alone residence — for a total of nine new units.

The park’s nonprofit House of Pacific Relations, which is raising funds to pay for the project, has more members than available structures to house them, according to Daniels.

“We will have nine exhibit spaces for nine different cultures,” Daniels said. “Currently, those nine member nations all share the House of Pacific Relations building on a rotating basis.”

A staff report said one duplex cottage and one single cottage would be added north of the Hall of Nations and House of Iran. The two new buildings would join two existing buildings to form a central courtyard.

Three duplex cottages would be added south of the existing House of the United States and House of Ukraine cottages. The three new buildings and two existing buildings would also form a central courtyard.

The new buildings would be similar to the current cottages in size and design, with enough differences so that they’re not confused with the existing houses, which opened in 1935.

The House of Pacific Relations, which oversees the international cottages, is made up of 34 groups that offer open houses and cultural events on Sunday afternoons. The houses do not represent political entities, only their cultures.

“The House of Pacific Relations, up until more recently, had really only been open for four hours on Sundays,” Daniels said. “As a part of this project, they’ve been encouraged by the Balboa Park Committee to expand their operations and their programs.”

That would allow more visitors, on other days, to explore the cottages and learn more about different cultures around the world, Daniels said.

The House of Pacific Relations was formed in the time leading up to World War II to foster peaceful relations among “many splintered ethnic groups,” including those from opposing Allied and Axis countries, according to a statement from the organization’s president, Eugenie A. King.

“Despite the hostility between the nations before, during and after the war, these cottages were able to peacefully coexist as nonpolitical and nonsectarian cultural organizations,” King said. “Coexisting in this manner in a small corner of the park, volunteering side by side, they shared their cultures — music, dance, art and food — with each other and the community at large, thereby increasing tolerance mutual trust and respect within and without the organization.”

The council committee members gave their support to environmental and Balboa Park planning documents for the project and forwarded them to the full City Council.

The House of Pacific Relations could begin construction around the beginning of next year, according to city staff.


UC San Diego’s Most Diverse

Incoming Class Begins Today

The University of California San Diego welcomed its most diverse incoming class of freshmen and transfer students today with new initiatives that include identity-themed housing for LGBTQ, black and Latino students and a mentoring program for students who come from under-resourced high schools and/or are the first in their family to attend college, among other programs.

Of the 5,750 incoming freshmen, 24 percent come from historically underrepresented groups including black, Native American and Mexican American/Latino students. Underrepresented students make up about 20 percent of the campus’s 2,950 incoming transfer students. In addition, approximately 29 percent of new freshmen and 38 percent of incoming transfers are the first in their family to attend college.

The freshmen for fall 2016 have an overall grade-point average of 4.05 and average SAT Reasoning scores of 610, 661 and 621 for SAT reading, math and writing respectively. The campus’s new transfer students bring with them a 3.51 grade-point average. These students were joined by more than 25,000 continuing students.


Scripps Research Institute

Chemist Wins ‘Genius Grant’

Chemist Jin-Quan Yu of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has won a 2016 MacArthur Fellowship, sometimes called a “genius grant.”

Jin-Quan Yu

Jin-Quan Yu

Yu, who is the Frank and Bertha Hupp Professor of Chemistry at TSRI, will receive a $625,000 fellowship over five years from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The grant comes with no specific obligations or reporting requirements.

“Jin is an extraordinarily creative chemist,” said TSRI CEO Peter Schultz. “This is a well deserved honor and, following the MacArthur Fellowship awarded to TSRI’s Phil Baran in 2013, is a wonderful recognition of the remarkable science being conducted here at The Scripps Research Institute.”

MacArthur Fellowships are awarded to individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction.

Yu’s work in the field of organic synthesis focuses on the development of new strategies and tools to accelerate catalytic C-H activation reactions.

“At a time when the science and concepts were on the wish list of dream reactions not yet feasible, Jin-Quan Yu systematically and single-handedly transformed the field, developing powerful new synthetic methods for selective C–H activation,” said Dale Boger, chair of the Department of Chemistry at TSRI.


Personnel Announcements

Wendy Wong Joins Guild Mortgage Co.

Wendy Wong

Wendy Wong

Guild Mortgage Company has selected Wendy Wong as its first senior vice president and chief marketing officer to support its national growth plan.

Wong joins Guild with experience as a senior marketing executive. She was senior vice president of marketing at The Ken Blanchard Companies, a global leadership development brand. Previously, she was director of digital marketing at Fair Isaac Corporation (now FICO), and led company strategy and brand reinvention at HNC Software and Dun & Bradstreet

She is a board member for Berrett-Koehler Publishing Group, based in Oakland.

Wong’s innovation and leadership have been recognized through several awards, including Platinum and Gold Marcom Awards in video and documentary in 2015.


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Voice Your Opinion

We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: