Daily Business Report: Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021 – San Diego Metropolitan

After redistricting, advocates argue

for more districts. Or none at all.

By Maya Srikrishnan | Voice of San Diego

For years, Barry Pollard has been meeting with a group of engaged neighbors over coffee to discuss life and community issues. The longtime leader from southeastern San Diego calls the group his “personal think tank,” because often those conversations inspire his work. The group helps him process things that are happening and offer innovative solutions to issues. A recent meet up was no different as they dwelled on redistricting.

Pollard had been frustrated with the process this year – with the coded racism many speakers and commissioners used in meetings and the obstacles communities of color experienced in trying to increase their voting power. But then one of the men – someone who had long been involved in labor and lives in Emerald Hills – said something that stopped the group’s conversation in its tracks.

What if they got rid of city council districts and had all council seats be elected at-large – or in simpler terms, by the entire city?

“If they keep jacking around with this gerrymandering, we’ll throw this system all away and open these city council districts to citywide elections,” Pollard said in an interview.

Read more…

Tu Simple self driving truck
TruSimple self-driving truck. (Courtesy of TruSimple)
TruSimple says it successfully completed fully
autonomous semi-truck run on public roads

TuSimple, an autonomous driving technology company in San Diego, sait it successfully completed the world’s first fully autonomous semi-truck run on open public roads without a human in the vehicle and without human intervention.

The run took place on Dec. 22 and required TuSimple’s upfitted autonomous semi-truck to begin its journey from a large railyard in Tucson, Ariz., and travel more than 80 miles on surface streets and highways at night, safely arriving at a high-volume distribution center in the Phoenix metro area.

Along the journey, TuSimple’s Autonomous Driving System (ADS) successfully navigated surface streets, traffic signals, on-ramps, off-ramps, emergency lane vehicles, and highway lane changes in open traffic while naturally interacting with other motorists.

The one-hour and 20-minute drive is the first time a class 8 autonomous truck has operated on open public roads without a human in the vehicle and without human intervention and is part of an ongoing test program that will continue into 2022. The test was performed in close collaboration with the Arizona Department of Transportation and law enforcement. The autonomous driving test was 100 percent operated by TuSimple’s Autonomous Driving System without a human on-board, without remote human control of the vehicle, and without traffic intervention.

After years of delay, Barrio Logan
Community Plan Update is signed into law

Mayor Todd Gloria has signed the Barrio Logan Community Plan Update into law, replading an outdated 43-year-old plan to guide future development and growth and to protect current Barrio Logan residents as the community grows.

This is the first community plan in the city to include strengthened inclusionary housing and anti-displacement protections to safeguard the community’s longstanding residents. It will enhance requirements for affordable homes to be replaced after redevelopment, lengthen noticing requirements before tenancy can be terminated, strengthen relocation assistance requirements and prioritize existing Barrio Logan residents for placement in new affordable homes.

Dignitaries celebrate completion of freeway
connection to future Otay Mesa East Port of Entry

Federal, state, local, and Mexican government officials joined Caltrans and SANDAG to commemorate the completion of the southbound State Route 125 (SR 125) to eastbound State Route 905 (SR 905) and State Route 11 (SR 11) connectors in Otay Mesa.

The new connectors provide a direct highway connection from East County and Chula Vista to the Otay Mesa area and existing Otay Mesa Port of Entry, helping to reduce congestion for passenger and commercial vehicles crossing the border and increasing access to employment opportunities for surrounding residents.

It also improves travel times for MTS Rapid Route 225 by providing a more direct travel route between Chula Vista and the Otay Mesa Transit Center. In doing so, the new connectors will enhance mobility and improve traffic flow throughout the border region.


New wildfire hazard maps could cost
San Diego residents and builders

By Camille von Kaewnel | inewsource

Long overdue changes to governmental fire maps showing the threat of fire in communities across the state are expected to trigger stricter building codes and other requirements aimed at reducing wildfire risk in more of the San Diego region.

The new maps, expected to start rolling out in early 2022, could change the shape of local development, particularly in foothills that were not previously categorized as under high threat of wildfire but that have occasionally experienced flames driven west from the backcountry by Santa Ana winds.

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Sustainability tops Hispanic shoppers’ list

When selecting a supermarket within their community, Hispanic shoppers aren’t just looking for the closest in proximity or a recognizable name. They are looking for a retailer that aligns with their values. Clean stores, good prices, and a broad selection of products top the priority list, as well as the desire for retailers to act on a range of sustainability and social issues.

In the newest report from the Coca-Cola Retailing Research Council of North America (CCRRC) called Sustainability and Food Retailing, consumers identifying as Hispanic fell mostly in line with other groups surveyed within the study.

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Brain Cancer
Boosting immunotherapy in agressive brain cancer

Researchers from Sanford Burnham Prebys have collaborated with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute to reveal a new approach to enhance the effects of immunotherapy in glioblastoma, one of the most aggressive and treatment-resistant forms of brain cancer.

The study, published recently in Cancer Discovery, describes a novel method to ‘turn off’ cancer stem cells — the malignant cells that self-renew and sustain tumors — enabling the body’s own defense system to take charge and destroy tumors.

“Tumors are more than just masses of cells—each one is a complex system that relies on a vast network of chemical signals, proteins and different cell types to grow,” says senior author Charles Spruck, an assistant professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys. “This is part of why cancer is so difficult to treat, but it also presents us with opportunities to develop treatment strategies that target the machinery powering tumor cells rather than trying to destroy them outright.”

Read more…

Trevor Locko joins Hahn  Loeser & Parks
San Diego office as an associate attorney
Trevor Locko
Trevor Locko

Trevor Locko has joined the San Diego law office of Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP as an associate attorney in the firm’s Litigation Practice area.

A San Diego native, Locko is experienced in litigating securities and shareholder rights cases, along with consumer fraud and antitrust class actions.

He has worked on all aspects of complex litigation matters from inception to trial, including deposing expert witnesses, preparing expert witness reports, and handling shareholder derivative matters.

Prior to joining Hahn Loeser, Locko worked on the discovery production for a multimillion-dollar arbitration, where he served as second chair.

Locko earned both his J.D. and B.A. from the University of San Diego in 2018 and 2015, respectively.

While in law school, he participated in Moot Court and served as a law clerk for the Office of the Attorney General in San Diego.

Warren Adair joins Liberty Military Housing
as vice president of information technology
Warren Adair
Warren Adair

Warren Adair has joined the Liberty Military Housing as the vice president of information technology. In this role, Adair will lead the team in designing, developing, and implementing organizational information systems and software applications, along with generalized IT support. 

Adair brings over 25 years of experience, expertise, and leadership to this role.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in business administration from California State Polytechnic University.

His doctoral research, conducted at the University of Utah, focused on strategic management.

Most recently, Adair worked as the Vice president of IT with Donahue Schriber Realty Group.

He collaborated directly with the executive management team to present quarterly presentations and reported to the board of directors. He also oversaw the migration of high-profile and complex databases and workflows from legacy software to Microsoft SharePoint online. 

Some ofAdair’s most notable accomplishments include being awarded the Golden Dome Award / Employee of the Year as an individual recognized for aligning with the strategic goals of the company, overcoming obstacles, and dealing with challenges.

Palomar Health Escondido and Poway Birth
Centers given ‘High Performing’ rating

Palomar Health announced that both Escondido and Poway Birth Centers have been recognized as High Performing in Maternity Care by U.S. News & World Report. This is the first time U.S. News has published a list of Best Hospitals for Maternity. Of the 571 delivering hospitals across the country who submitted data, only 237 made the top-performing list.

Palomar Health Escondido and Poway Birth Centers earned a “High Performing” rating in Best Hospitals for Maternity. “High Performing” is the highest rating U.S. News awards for that type of care.

To be recognized among the Best Hospitals for Maternity, hospitals had to excel on multiple quality metrics that matter to expectant families, including complication rates, C-sections, whether births were scheduled too early in pregnancy, and how successfully each hospital supported breastfeeding.

Flu Shot
Influenza cases also continued to increase last week
Season’s first flu death reported

A 42-year-old man from the north central region of San Diego County is the first influenza death reported in San Diego this season, the county Health and Human Services Agency announced.

The man died on Dec. 9. He had underlying medical conditions and had not been vaccinated against influenza. He tested negative for COVID-19.

Influenza cases also continued to increase last week.

The County Health and Human Services Agency is reporting 192 lab-confirmed influenza cases for the week ending Dec. 25, a slight increase from the previous week when 188 flu infections were reported.

A flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.