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Daily Business Report-Nov. 1, 2017

Daily Business Report-Nov. 1, 2017

Upas Street house for sale.

Case-Shiller: San Diego Home Prices

Rose 7.8 Percent Over the Past Year

Times of San Diego

San Diego, Las Vegas and Seattle have experienced the biggest increases in home prices over the past year, with San Diego seeing a 7.8 percent jump.

The widely followed Case-Shiller Index released Tuesday showed Seattle leading the way in August with a 13.2 percent year-over-year price increase, followed by Las Vegas with an 8.6 percent increase and then San Diego. The national average was 6.1 percent.

In August alone, prices in San Diego increased by almost a full percentage point — 0.9 percent versus a national average of 0.5 percent.

“Home price increases appear to be unstoppable,” says David M. Blitzer, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices.  “Most prices across the rest of the economy are barely moving compared to housing.”

“Home prices will not rise forever. Measures of affordability are beginning to slide, indicating that the pool of buyers is shrinking,” he added.

However, the online real estate service Zillow saw a bright spot in the continuing increase in home ownership.

“Housing costs are rising, competition among buyers is fierce and the number of homes actually available to buy is at historic lows — and still, the U.S. homeownership rate is on the rise, climbing for the second straight quarter to its highest level since 2014 and proving American home buyers are nothing if not tenacious and resourceful,” said Dr. Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist.


EPA Announces $27 Million

to Improve Tribal Lands in California

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced more than $27 million in funding to 83 California tribes to invest in environmental programs and water infrastructure. EPA made the announcement at its Pacific Southwest Region’s 25th annual Tribal Conference held at the Viejas Casino and Resort in Alpine, and hosted by the San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians.

Over $8 million was awarded to California tribes to fund projects for monitoring, water pollution reduction, watershed protection and restoration, water and energy efficiency, wastewater reclamation, and treatment systems. Another $3.9 million will go to the Indian Health Service to support tribal drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, plant operator training and technical assistance.
California tribes will use an additional $15.4 million to implement existing environmental programs, clean up open dumps and contaminated lands, develop programs to monitor, protect and improve air quality, and ensure public awareness of these efforts.

Examples of specific projects implemented with EPA’s grants include:

• The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians in Temecula will develop a community notification system for hazardous air quality, including particulates, ozone and wildfire smoke.

The EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region is home to 148 tribal nations and contains half of all tribal lands nationwide. Indian Country in California, Arizona and Nevada is about equal in size to the six New England states.


Apple Designing iPhones That Would

Drop Qualcomm Components

Wall Street Journal

Apple Inc., locked in an intensifying legal fight with Qualcomm Inc., is designing iPhones and iPads for next year that would jettison the chipmaker’s components, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple is considering building the devices only with modem chips from Intel Corp. and possibly MediaTek Inc. because San Diego-based Qualcomm has withheld software critical to testing its chips in iPhone and iPad prototypes, according to a source.

Read more…


Scripps La Jolla Receives ‘A’ Grade

for Patient Safety from Leapfrog

For the eighth time in a row, Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla has received an “A” grade from The Leapfrog Group in its twice-a-year Hospital Safety Grades report, which was released Tuesday. The hospital is the only one in San Diego County to have a record of straight “As” from Leapfrog for safety.

Developed under the guidance of a blue ribbon national expert panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign A, B, C, D and F grades to more than 2,600 U.S. hospitals twice per year.

“It takes consistent, unwavering dedication to patients to achieve the highest standards of patient safety,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group.


Frederick Kosmo Jr. Joins

San Diego Ethics Commission

Frederick Kosmo

Frederick Kosmo

Frederick W. Kosmo Jr., an attorney with Wilson Turner Kosmo LLP, has joined the San Diego Ethics Commission to oversee adherence to and uphold the city’s campaign, lobbying and ethics laws. Appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Kosmo will serve a four-year term.

Kosmo is a partner of Wilson Turner Kosmo with more than 25 years of experience in business litigation. He has held numerous leadership positions in professional and civic organizations. For six years, he served as the chair of the Federal Magistrate Judge Selection Committee for the Southern District of California. Kosmo also served as president of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers and of the William L. Todd Inn of Court.


Cubic to Help Migrate Atlanta’s

Fare Collection System to Cloud


A Cubic business unit has received a potential $6.5 million contract to help the  Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority implement a cloud-based back office system to process transit fare payments.

Cubic Transportation Systems partnered with Microsoft to migrate the city of Atlanta’s Breeze Card automated fare collection system to the Azure cloud platform,  Cubic said. CTS will also leverage the NextFare central system software to update Breeze Card database and help MARTA comply with payment card industry requirements. The upgrade effort also seeks to boost the network security and disaster recovery capacities of the AFC platform.

CTS built MARTA’s fare processing system equipped with a smart card ticketing technology and the company has provided maintenance support to the platform since 2006.


UC San Diego Ranked 6th

in World for ‘High-Quality Science’

The University of California San Diego ranked 6th among leading research institutions in the world for “high-quality science,” based on its research publications in highly selective science journals.

The global assessment and rankings were conducted by Nature Index, a database of author affiliations and institutional relationships, and appeared in a supplement in today’s issue of the scientific journal Nature. The rankings were determined by assessing publications in leading science journals from research institutions around the world over the most recent five years, from Jan., 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2016.

UC San Diego was ranked 3rd best in California, behind Stanford University and UC Berkeley, and ahead of Caltech, UCLA, UC San Francisco and UC Santa Barbara.



Personnel Announcements

Nathan Johnson to Lead Southern California

Transportation Structures Group at WSP

Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson

Nathan Johnson will manage the transportation structures service line for the Southwest District of WSP USA, which includes Southern California and Nevada, as a new regional technical excellence center manager. He will be responsible for project support and staffing, training, and the application of new technologies for transportation structure projects.

Johnson has extensive experience in planning, funding, permitting, design, and construction of bridge-centered projects. Prior to joining WSP, he served as transportation market bridge segment manager and director of bridge engineering for an international firm. He has published dozens of articles, papers, and journals in the areas of bridge retrofit, rehabilitation, replacement, and alternate delivery, and presented these topics internationally. He has also served as a research professor and lecturer.

A licensed professional engineer in California and Nevada, Johnson received his civil engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno focusing of seismic performance of bridges.

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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.

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