Daily Business Report-Nov. 14, 2017
Dr. Jim Babbitt, D.V.M. and Shannon Blakeman examine a shelter dog.
Veterinary Students Get Hands-on
Training at County Animal Services
By Tracy DeFore
What was once a passion for animals is now a career in the making for Shannon Blakeman.
The Pima Medical Institute (PMI) student is getting hands-on veterinary training through an externship at County Animal Services.
Externships are similar to internships but typically they are shorter, involve job shadowing and rarely offer academic credit. At PMI, externs get the hands-on experience, are graded and must pass in order to graduate.
The former real estate agent is the 12th extern at Animal Services since it signed an agreement with PMI in October 2016.
These externs do everything from drawing blood, giving vaccinations, inserting microchips and IVs to prepping animals for spaying and neutering, and assisting in surgery.
“I’m doing something I love,” said Blakeman.
Blakeman is wrapping up a six-week externship, the last requirement before graduating with a certificate as a veterinary assistant. After that, she plans to continue her studies to become a registered veterinary technician.
“We have the luxury of extra help, an extra pair of hands, and they get to learn every illness, every injury in every species from dogs and cats to snakes, rodents and birds,” said County Animal Services Animal Medical Operations Manager Manny Balcazar.
He should know. Balcazar graduated from PMI as a registered veterinary technician and held several jobs in the field before returning to shelter medicine at County Animal Services.
Balcazar says students who work with the shelters’ veterinarians often learn more than they would at vet’s offices because those typically deal with just cats and dogs. The shelter vets are well-rounded because they have to be.
“I don’t know what’s coming in the door next,” said Blakeman.
The shelters also deal with a large volume of animals. The Gaines Street shelter has 200 kennels currently filled with dogs and cats. The shelter is also housing rabbits, six guinea pigs, a dove, a snake and a bearded dragon.
Blakeman says she loves the big dogs best. She has three 90-pound dogs at home, a German shepherd and two Labradors. Not to mention the Amazon parrot and two parakeets. But when she did her first jugular blood draw on a canine recently she admitted she was more nervous than the dog.
This day, she and veterinarian Dr. Jim Babbitt checked an 86-pound pit bull that had skin and ear issues. The dog became a bit restless but Blakeman knew what to do. She gave the dog a treat and then properly restrained the animal so the doctor could examine her. Then it was on to the next animal. Some 20 to 30 animals stream through the medical examination and treatment room each day.
Sometimes externs are hired on by County Animal Services after graduation. But job or no, it’s the experience that will prove invaluable when Blakeman goes looking for work.
Blakeman knows whatever happens, she’s switching careers to something she is truly passionate about. She’s looking at her veterinary education as a long-term investment and hopes to open a private shelter in Texas someday.
“I love the exotics; it’s a field I’m looking at,” said Blakeman.
Meantime, in the remaining weeks of her externship, Blakeman will soak up everything she can about medically caring for shelter animals. The staff will appreciate her helping hands and the animals will get the health care they need before they’re placed in forever homes.
Tracy DeFore is with the County of San Diego Communications Office.
Five Projects Under Consideration for
up to $25M in Affordable Housing Assistance
CivicSD, on behalf of the city of San Diego, announced that five key projects have been selected for further consideration to receive up to $25 million in available funding assistance for the development of affordable rental units in San Diego.
The funding is available through the city’s Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund in accordance with the city’s adopted Affordable Housing Master Plan.
“We need to build more housing in San Diego that people can actually afford, which is why investing in projects like these are so important,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “They are going to create hundreds more affordable rental units for seniors, veterans and low-income families struggling to make ends meet. We still have a lot more housing to build, but this is a big step in the right direction.”
The five proposals selected have demonstrated the ability to design, build and manage affordable permanent housing in a timely and efficient manner.
“This is a great example of how we’re able to collaborate with developers to help meet a real need in our city,” said CivicSD President Reese A. Jarrett. “This will ultimately boost the quality of life for deserving individuals and families who call San Diego home.”
The program leverages the $25 million, at below market interest rates, with other funding sources from public and/or private organizations, into several projects that demonstrate certain affordability and mixed income levels. It’s part of the city’s overall approach to increasing the affordable housing supply and providing permanent supportive housing for homeless and veterans.
Developers were invited earlier this year to submit their projects for consideration. The selected projects will now move forward for formal recommendation by the CivicSD Board of Directors and then on to final approval by the San Diego City Council. If approved, project construction could start as early as mid-2018.
San Ysidro Health Acquires
Industrial Property for $8.15M
San Ysidro Health, a nonprofit health care services organization, has acquired a 61,052-square-foot industrial property in San Ysidro for $8.15 million. The property will be converted to offices and serve as the new corporate headquarters for the organization. It will support the organization’s more than 18 health are centers in South County.
The 4.66-acre property is at 1601 Precision Lane, San Diego. The seller was San Diego HD, LLC.
Colliers International San Diego Region represented the health center in the sale.
General Atomics Drone Used in Successful
Anti-Subarine Warfare Demonstration
The remote detection and tracking of submerged contacts, such as submarines, was demonstrated using a MQ-9 Predator B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) during a U.S. Naval exercise on Oct. 12. General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) participated in the successful demonstration of new maritime patrol capabilities that included anti-submarine warfare.
Sonobuoys were deployed by U.S. Navy helicopters and acoustic data gathered from the sonobuoys were used to track underwater targets. The data was transmitted to the MQ-9 and processed onboard, then relayed to the MQ-9’s Ground Control Station (GCS) several hundred miles away from the target area. The event successfully paired sonobuoy receiver, supplied by Ultra Electronics, and data processing technology, provided by General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada, onboard the MQ-9. A track solution was calculated and transmitted from the aircraft to the Ground Control Station (GCS) via SATCOM. This technology will provide long-range patrol and relay capabilities to the MQ-9 to augment maritime mission sets.
The flight test was conducted over the Southern California Offshore Range west of San Clemente Island.
Maritime Museum of San Diego Receives
2017 Governor’s Historic Preservation Award
Maritime Museum of San Diego is a recipient of a 2017 Governor’s Historic Preservation Award, an honor bestowed on projects and individuals whose contributions demonstrate significant achievements in preserving the heritage of California. As one of only eight award recipients, the award acknowledges the museum’s excellence in preserving treasured resources, traditions, and histories.
Dr. Raymond Ashley, president/CEO of the Maritime Museum, accepted the award at a presentation that took place Nov. 2 in Sacramento. “We’re honored by the office of the governor, State Parks of California and especially given the other individuals and organizations through the years recognized by this award,” said Ashley.
Jim Mosquera Joins General Atomics
Jim Mosquera has joined General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) as vice president and chief technology officer. Mosquera will be responsible for achieving strategic technical, business and financial objectives in support of technology, platform, and next generation product development.
Mosquera will lead the development and management of technology roadmaps that execute growth opportunities in the markets served by GA-EMS.
Mosquera has held director and program management positions as a federal civilian and naval officer working for the U.S. Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (Naval Reactors), a joint program of the Navy and Department of Energy responsible for the application and oversight of nuclear reactor power and propulsion for approximately 80 warships, 100 reactor plants, and other projects. As program manager of Advanced Technology Development, Mosquera worked with senior Navy and Department of Defense leadership to set priorities through the end of the 21st century, guiding science, technology, and research and development strategies focused on at-sea experimentation, undersea platforms, and manned and unmanned systems.