Your Daily Business Report: Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022

Oct 7, 2022

Grossmont Union High School District dedicates its new $24 million Transportation Services Center

Facility is hub for district’s all-electric bus fleet

Grossmont Union High School District’s transformation to an all-electric bus fleet will be launched today with a 10:30 a.m. dedication ceremony for the new $24 million Transportation Services Center on Washington Street in La Mesa.</pThe energy infrastructure to support the all-electric fleet was designed in partnership with ENGIE. With the recent deliveryof 17 electric buses, phase one of the district’s plan is already underway.

The new 32,383-square-foot Transportation Services Center includes nine bus maintenance bays, a drive-through bus and chassis wash, and extensive parts storage. The $24 million facility also features state-of-the-art automotive maintenance technology, new tools, safety technology, training, bus dispatch, and administrative support offices.

The Transportation Services Center also integrates energy infrastructure to support the transition to an all-electric bus fleet, supportive technology, and rooftop solar to harness renewable energy for the facility’s operations.

The district’s transportation department provides transportation for thousands of East County students to and from school and the many extracurricular activities that contribute to making the high school experience meaningful. District buses travel nearly 1,000,000 miles annually, requiring more than 182,000 gallons of diesel, costing almost $495,000 yearly.

The district will charge its buses during school hours when there is strong solar power generation. The buses will charge overnight at super off-peak times, enabling the district to do its part to reduce need during peak stress on the grid.

Top Photo: The Transportation Services Center for Grossmont Union High School District (Photo courtesy of GUHSD)

Cannabis Farm
A grower tends to cannabis plants at the Pure Beauty growing site in Sacramento on Jan. 26, 2022. (Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters)
Governor signs new bills for legal weed


Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed 10 bills to boost the beleaguered legal cannabis industry.

Among the more attention-grabbing pieces of legislation are bills that prevent employers from punishing workers for using marijuana off-the-clock, require local governments to allow medical dispensaries to deliver cannabis, and fast-track the voidingo of old marijuana infractions from criminal record..

Another bill that has gotten less attention but which could ultimately have a transformative impact on the state cannabis industry: SB 1326. Authored by Salinas Democratic Sen. Anna Caballero, the bill would allow Newsom to enter into trade agreements with other states that have legalized recreational use. Supporters say that would provide a release valve for California’s saturated market.

But there’s a catch: The policy can’t go into effect until the attorney general deems that doing so wouldn’t get California in trouble under federal law. It’s unclear what Attorney General Rob Bonta thinks about the idea; his office said it is waiting for a formal request to weigh in.

Former NOAA science adviser joins

Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute
Michael Rust

Michael Rust

Michael Rust, most recently science adviser to the Office of Aquaculture at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Aquaculture Steering Group chair at the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES), has joined Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI) as a senior research fellow.

In his part-time role, Rust will work on research projects that advance understanding, governance, and development of sustainable marine aquaculture in the context of climate change and seafood demand.

Collaborating closely with Mark A. Drawbridge, senior research scientist and head of its sustainable seafood initiatives, Rust will propose projects, help seek grant funding and act as a Principal Investigator on funded projects.

Prior to joining NOAA’s Office of Aquaculture to guide the agency’s aquaculture science portfolio in 2011, Rust developed the marine aquaculture program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle.

It was there that he first worked with the HSWRI team developing methods to rear rockfish, lingcod, sablefish and various other marine species.

SDSU campus

View of San Diego State University from Malcolm A. Love Library looking east across Centennial Plaza. (SDSU) 
Forbes, U.S. News rank SDSU among nation’s top colleges

New annual college rankings place San Diego State University at No. 13 for its undergraduate international business program as assessed by U.S. News & World Report, and No. 63 in “Top Colleges” by Forbes.

The “Best Colleges” rankings for 2022-23 from U.S. News, released Monday, also placed SDSU at No. 72 among top public universities and No. 151 among all national universities.

Forbes, a business magazine whose rankings were released earlier, said it crunched numbers to assess colleges and universities that offer “an excellent education at a great price, graduate high-earners and propel students to become successful entrepreneurs and influential leaders in their fields.”

UC San Diego named nation’s 8th best public university

The University of California San Diego has been named the nation’s eighth best public university in the U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 Best Colleges rankings, which were published Sept. 12. Overall, UC San Diego ranked No. 34 in the complete list of over 400 national institutions. This is the second consecutive year that UC San Diego has captured this position on the list.

U.S. News also recognized UC San Diego as No. 20 in its list of most innovative schools in the nation. The university jumped 20 spots from last year in this category, which highlights institutions that are making promising innovations in facilities, technology, curriculum, campus life and other areas. UC San Diego is ranked No. 8 among U.S. public universities on this list.

General Atomics to open new UAS manufacturing facility

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. (GA-ASI) has completed a new state-of-the-art composite manufacturing facility in the heart of its 40-plus building campus in Poway.

The new site will be used for end-to-end development of advanced UAS needed to win in future conflicts. It will be a self-contained entity, where engineering will be on the floor with manufacturing, along with finance, contracts, and supply chain staff. This new facility will provide a very streamlined and agile manufacturing environment, which carries the company’s integrated product development culture.

“Our new facility will house the full development and creation of GA-ASI’s Digital Product Definition (DPD) strategy,” said President David Alexander. “Interconnecting the manufacturing, engineering, and business process workspaces in a manner that interweaves product engineering, cost accounting, and part status, which will allow GA-ASI to optimize all aspects of the program’s life cycle.”

Fishers San Diego

Fisher’s Group will bring its seafood eatery to San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood in late October. Fisher’s San Diego will be led by Executive Chef and Partner Nino Franco, who has been with the company since 1993.
International seafood chain debuts in San Diego

Fisher’s Group will bring its seafood eatery to San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood in late October. Fisher’s San Diego will be led by Executive Chef and Partner Nino Franco, who has been with the company since 1993.

Franco, who has held several other positions within the company, shares Fisher’s Group’s vision of ensuring the utmost quality in every step of their process, from the time their fresh-caught seafood arrives at their processing plant, all the way to the moment it gets put on a plate and delivered to the customer’s table. Before entering the US market, Franco led over 1,500 people across more than 25 restaurants covered under five brands that currently make up Fisher’s Group in Mexico.

Under Franco’s leadership, Fisher’s San Diego will introduce an “avant garde” Mexican seafood style of cuisine to Little Italy, offering an inviting atmosphere with a coastal touch. The new 8,700-square-foot restaurant, which is filling the space of the former Roma Urban Market, will feature an oyster and raw seafood bar, and an extensive menu featuring anything from tacos and chilaquiles to expertly prepared coastal seafood delicacies.

State identifies new sites for affordable housing

The  California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) and the California Department of General Services (DGS) are seeking qualified developers to develop housing on five state-owned properties. This is the latest offering under one of the first executive orders that Gov. Newsom issued upon taking office in 2019, creating the

Excess Land for Affordable Housing program.

The sites aim to create hundreds of new housing units for low-income Californians. They include former office buildings of the state Water Resources Board in Fresno, former offices of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Covina, a single-story commercial building in Midtown Sacramento, a vacant California Department of Transportation site in Oceanside, and a buffer zone near the Atascadero State Hospital in Atascadero.

San Diego Symphony hosts first-ever FitFest

The San Diego Symphony will host FitFest, a celebration of physical fitness at The Rady Shell in partnership with FIT Athletic at the symphony’s waterfront park and venue, The Rady Shell at Jacobs Fiels. FitFest will take plac Sunday, Nov. 6, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The entire 3.7 acre park and surrounding area will be filled with a variety of health and wellness activities and leading local vendors. Free and open to the public, FitFest is part of the San Diego Symphony’s ongoing commitment to offer access to The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park year-round.

As a local resource and adaptive sports leader, the Challenged Athletes Foundation  joins the team to bring awareness and opportunity to make this day of fitness accessible to athletes with physical challenges. Attendance at FitFest at The Rady Shell is free, however event registration, as well as registration for each class and activity will be required for participation.

Attorneys look for solutions to loss of
court reporters in family law courtrooms

Longtime family law attorney Alphonse Provinziano is leading a group of lawyers looking into solutions to the recent shift away from counties providing court reporters in family law courtrooms in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sacramento. Due to a shortage in court reporters, courts in larger urban areas representing more than a third of Californians are no longer providing court reporters to create free transcripts of hearings in family law courtrooms. That means people undergoing a divorce may need to hire their own reporter, which can cost thousands of dollars, or risk having an incomplete record, leading to delays and further expenses.

In response, the Beverly Hills Bar Association named Provinziano, who is the incoming secretary-treasurer of the group, to head a subcommittee to explore solutions for the problem.

Lake hodges

Making repairs at Hodges Reservoir dam
Additional repairs needed at Hodges Dam

Ongoing repairs currently underway at Hodges Reservoir Dam have led the City of San Diego to determine more work is needed to address additional defects that were detected and to ensure the safety of the dam. This discovery will likely delay completion of this crucial repair project by several months.

During a prior inspection, the city identified areas in the dam wall that required repair and needed to be sealed. To access areas on the dam for repair, the water level of the reservoir was lowered 18 feet to an elevation of 275 feet by transferring water to other reservoirs and treatment plants. The lower elevation allowed for the recent discovery of the full extent of the defects, which will likely require the project to continue into spring 2023.

As a result of the lower water level, Hodges Reservoir has been closed for boating and fishing since the project began. The San Dieguito River Park trails and facilities around Hodges Reservoir have remained open to the public during the drawdown and construction work on the dam.

Northrop Grumman selected for Air Force consortium

Northrop Grumman Corporation was selected by the U.S. Department of the Air Force to be a member of its Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) Digital Infrastructure Consortium. Northrop Grumman is one of the five industry partners named to the consortium to design, develop, and deploy advanced data-centric capabilities for the Air Force and Space Force. The company will apply technical expertise in systems engineering, data management, secure processing and connectivity to shape how data is harnessed by the DAF in coordination with the Joint Force to make faster decisions in the multi-domain battlespace.

Northrop Grumman to unveil the B-21 Raider

Northrop Grumman Corporation, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, will unveil the B-21 Raider during the first week of December at the company’s Palmdale, Calif. facility.

“The B-21 is the most advanced military aircraft ever built and is a product of pioneering innovation and technological excellence,” said Doug Young, sector vice president and general manager, Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems. “The Raider showcases the dedication and skills of the thousands of people working every day to deliver this aircraft.”

Since contract award in 2015, Northrop Grumman has assembled a nationwide team to design, test and build the world’s most advanced strike aircraft. The B-21 is a product of Northrop Grumman’s pioneering digital engineering practices and advanced manufacturing techniques together with breakthrough stealth technology.

Six B-21 test aircraft are in various stages of final assembly in Palmdale, California. Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force confirmed in May that the B-21 first flight is projected for 2023. The actual timing of first flight will be based on ground test outcomes.