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Daily Business Report-Jan. 11, 2018

Daily Business Report-Jan. 11, 2018

SDSU’s new Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine. (Image from a video by Scott Hargrove)

San Diego State University

Gets its Own MRI Machine

By Michael Price | SDSU NewsCenter

San Diego State University is the new owner of the university’s first magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine.

SDSU students and faculty will be able to do groundbreaking research with brain imaging on campus. The MRI machine sits in the imaging center of the Engineering and Interdisciplinary Sciences Complex (EIS), slated to officially open Jan. 16.

MRI machines are among the most critical tools for scientists who analyze brain images to understand basic human cognition as well as disease and disorders like fetal alcohol syndrome, autism and traumatic brain injury. While SDSU researchers have made great strides in studying these topics over the years, they’ve previously had to rely upon partnerships with other universities and institutions to gain access to their machines.

“There’s a lot of advancement in the technology, and this [machine] is the top-of-the-line one,” said psychology professor Martin Sereno, director of the SDSU brain imaging center. “It puts us a little ahead of a lot of other places.”

An MRI machine uses a combination of radio waves and powerful electromagnets to excite and then detect signals from resonating hydrogen atoms like those in water. The machine then converts these signals into an image. Since the human body is mostly water, MRI machines can return images of soft tissue within the body, such as the brain.

By comparing and contrasting brain images of people with various disorders and cognitive strengths and weaknesses, scientists can learn a great deal about how the structure of the brain gives rise to those traits. At SDSU, researchers like Ralph-Axel Müller, Inna Fishman and Ruth Carper study the brains of children and adults with autism, and Jennifer Thomas, Sarah Mattson and Ed Riley look at the neural underpinnings of fetal alcohol syndrome.

One advantage of having an MRI machine on campus is that SDSU researchers will be more competitive in winning grants to study these and other areas in the future.


Jerry Brown’s Final Budget

Reflects Cautious Approach

By Dan Walters | CALmatters Columnist

Roy Bell, who was Jerry Brown’s first budget director 43 years ago, called it a “dog-and-pony show” and it’s one of the Capitol’s longest-running rituals. Each January, usually on the 10th, journalists who cover the Capitol file into a first-floor room dedicated to news conferences and settle into fiberglass swivel chairs that would command high prices at an auction of mid-century modern furniture. Thereupon, the governor and his finance director reveal a proposed state budget for the fiscal year that would begin six months hence.

Brown’s first budget for the 1975-76 fiscal year was quite modest by contemporary standards, $11.5 billion, and was contained in a thick sheaf of loose leaf pages bound with brown shoelaces. On Wednesday, Brown proposed the 16th and final budget of his record-long gubernatorial career – two eight-year stints separated by 28 years of doing other things – aided by his current budget director, Michael Cohen, who was a toddler in 1975. It totals $190.3 billion, more than 16 times Brown’s first – but according to historic data maintained by Cohen’s staff, would spend roughly the same percentage of Californians’ personal income as it did 43 years ago, a bit less than 8 percent.

Read more…


Chula Vista Office Condo

Sells for $1.5 Million

TBR Propco LLC has purchased the 8,191-square-foot office building at 2086 Otay Lakes Road in Chula Vista for $1.5 million. The seller was Pathfinder Otay Holdings LLC, an affiliate of Pathfinder Partners LLC. The office condominiyn is within the Eastlake Medical and Professional Center. The buyer intends to use the property for its medical supplies business. Voit Real Estate Services represented the seller in the transaction. CBRE represented the buyer.


Anti-sex trafficking posters

Anti-sex trafficking posters

Anti-Sex Trafficking Campaign Launched

by DA and Child Welfare Services

A new awareness campaign that shines light on methods sex traffickers use to recruit victims launched this week in San Diego County. The District Attorney’s Office and Child Welfare Services are partnering with the anti-human trafficking organization, Abolitionist Mom, to help promote the public service ads. They will appear on billboards, poster boards, transit shelter displays and in radio public service announcements beginning this week as part of an education effort called Disrupt Sex Trafficking.

“The bottom line is teens and children are trafficked while attending school,” said Genice Jacobs of Abolitionist Mom and creator of the campaign. “Prevention, education and intervention programs are necessary to stop more children from becoming exploited.”

The Disrupt Sex Trafficking campaign is a series of ads that focus on the ways youth are recruited along with practical steps that can interrupt child exploitation. The first ad, which is debuting this week, for example, reads: “Sex Traffickers Love Technology Too,” and depicts a teen using her phone. The goal is to highlight how exploiters befriend their victims on social media. Another poster, “Girlfriend for Sale,” focuses on how traffickers lure victims into false relationships and then coerce them into the sex trade.


United Way of San Diego County

Parts Ways with CEO After 18 months

Rabbi Laurie Coskey, a career advocate for working poor and the neediest families across the region, has left her position as president and chief executive officer of United Way of San Diego County after 18 months.

Coskey parted ways with the venerable nonprofit last month absent any public announcement.

Read more…


San Diego County Office of Education Starts

Construction on 1-Megawatt Solar Project

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) – which provides a variety of services for the 42 school districts, 124 charter schools, and five community college districts in the county – has started construction on a 1-megawatt solar project at its main campus in San Diego. The solar power system being installed by Borrego Solar Systems is expected to save SDCOE $282,000 each year and provide enough energy to meet approximately 60 percent of the facility’s electricity demand. When solar generation is coupled with behavioral changes and other planned energy efficiency measures, it should transform the Linda Vista campus into a zero-net energy site — one that generates as much as it utilizes, according to officials.

“San Diego schools lead the nation in their adoption of solar and we wanted to make sure that we set the example as good environment stewards while reducing our utility expenses,” said Bill Dos Santos, senior director of SDCOE’s Educational Facility Solutions Group. The project is slated to be operational this spring.


San Diego Opera and SDSU Create New

Shared Position: ‘Director of Opera’

San Diego Opera and the SDSU School of Music and Dance have announced a new, shared position between the two organizations. The “Director of Opera” is a full-time, faculty position that will direct SDSU Opera’s fall production, teach acting and stage movement for singers, and then act as assistant director on San Diego Opera’s mainstage productions in the Spring.

Creating a full-time position shared between these two organizations will attract high level talent and enhance the quality of opera instruction in the region, officials said.

This partnership further develops San Diego Opera’s relationship with SDSU, as a number of students in the school’s opera program are members of the company’s Opera Exposed program, an intensive training program for outstanding college and young professional singers, with performances throughout the San Diego community.

SDSU and San Diego Opera are currently conducting a search for the Director of Opera position. For more information visit: – music_opera.


Laura Rodriquez Awarded Certified

Advisor of Personal Insurance Designation

Laura Rodriquez

Laura Rodriquez

Laura Rodriquez of Rancho Santa Fe Insurance in Rancho Santa Fe has been awarded a Certified Advisor of Personal Insurance (CAPI) designation from the Aresty Institute of Executive Education at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Chubb.

Rodriquez is among a group of only 38 agents this year to receive the certification after completing a one-year intensive educational program on understanding the lifestyle and risk management and insurance needs of successful individuals and families. Created by Wharton and Chubb in 2014, the CAPI program is the first of its kind to focus on a specific client segment in the personal insurance marketplace. Rodriquez is the third graduate from Rancho Santa Fe Insurance, and a a fourth is enrolled for the 2018 program.

“The agents who have completed the CAPI program have proven that they have the highest level of skill and expertise required to understand the total family balance sheet and advise successful clients on their complex risk management and insurance needs,” said Annmarie Camp, executive vice president, sales and distribution leader, Chubb Personal Risk Services.


USD’s Master’s Program Ranked in Top 20

Online Graduate Business Programs

U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of San Diego Master’s program in Supply Chain Management in the nation’s top 20 online graduate business programs for the sixth year in a row. Ranked 16th in the nation, the program offers the latest in world-class practices in logistics, sourcing, sustainability and other topics to efficiently deliver goods and services.

Through a flexible, online format, professionals looking to advance in their supply chain careers can learn at their own pace and continue to work regular business hours. The program can be completed in 24 months and requires only six visits to the USD campus.

USD’s overall score was 84 out of 100, with peer reputation, student engagement and faculty credentials and training receiving the highest scores.

For admissions and other program information, go to


Rendering of the San Ysidro Branch Library. (Courtesy of SVA Architects)

Rendering of the San Ysidro Branch Library. (Courtesy of SVA Architects)

San Ysidro Branch Library

Groundbreaking Ceremony on Friday

Local dignitaries, elected officials, and project partners will gather to commemorate the groundbreaking of the new $14 million San Ysidro Branch Library, 4235 Beyer Blvd., on Friday at 10:30 a.m.  Situated on 1.6 acres, the 15,000-square-foot San Ysidro Public Library will be a transit-friendly development.

Located two blocks from the Beyer Blvd Trolley Station, the project will feature designated areas for children, teens, and adults; an event space; and a 1,000-square-foot outdoor patio/terrace. It will also showcase artwork by local artists, brothers Einar and Jamex De La Torre.

The design-build team, led by SVA Architects and Turner Construction Company, is assisted by consultants: KPFF Consulting Engineers, LPG Engineering, MA Engineers, Wimmer Yamada and Caughey Landscape Architecture, Brummitt Energy Associates, NORESCO and Michael Baker International.  The team is seeking LEED Silver Certification in recognition of the project’s sustainable features including photovoltaic solar panels, water efficient fixtures, and efficient HVAC systems.

Construction is anticipated to be complete in spring 2019.


Super Hornet Maintenance

USS Nimitz flight deck

USS Nimitz flight deck

PACIFIC OCEAN (Jan. 9, 2018) Sailors assigned to the “Bounty Hunters” Strike Fighter Squadron 2 perform maintenance on an F/A-18F Super Hornet aboard the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson flight deck. The Carl Vinson Strike Group is currently operating in the Pacific as part of a regularly scheduled deployment. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Granito)

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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: