Priyanka Talukdar elected VP of South Asian Bar Association
Sullivan Hill attorney and Mission Valley resident, Priyanka Talukdar, has been elected as the Vice President of the South Asian Bar Association of San Diego (SABA-SD) for the 2018 term.
Talukdar is a member of the firm’s commercial litigation and business transactions practice groups. Her practice focuses on providing legal services to businesses and commercial enterprises, located in the United States, as well as foreign jurisdictions. Prior to joining Sullivan Hill, Talukdar worked as a foreign lawyer and as an associate at several international law firms located in Singapore and India. She also served as an associate for the National Judicial Academy (India), which is India’s foremost training institute for the judiciary.
SABA-SD is a nonprofit organization that seeks to increase opportunities for South Asian-American legal professionals to participate in and lead civic and public affairs, support public interest associations providing pro bono legal services and other grassroots community organizations serving the South Asian-American community, and serve as a resource for both South Asian-American legal professionals and the South Asian-American community. More information can be found at bit.ly/2BItn58.
New bridge over San Diego River opens
A new bridge over the San Diego River opened to rail traffic on Feb. 5. The first train over the bridge was the 4 a.m. Amtrak Pacific Surfliner, heading north from Santa Fe Depot.
The 900-foot bridge, which spans over the San Diego River on the west end of the Morena District, is part of the San Diego River Double Track (SDRDT) Project that will increase the passenger and freight rail capacity and improve service for commuters.
The old rail bridge, in use for decades, will be demolished to make way for a parallel bridge that will complete the double-tracking over the San Diego River.
“Double tracking will support the growth in rail service and increase safety and reliability,” said SANDAG board chair and Del Mar City Councilman Terry Sinnott in a press release. “These are critical improvements to San Diego’s only rail connection to the rest of the nation.”
The San Diego River Bridge is a critical component of the double-tracking effort, as it is the only single-track segment south of Balboa Avenue. Once the parallel bridge is constructed and operational, the result will be a continuous 7-mile double-track segment from Garnet Avenue/Balboa Avenue to the Santa Fe Depot.
Partial funding for the project comes from a grant from the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), which awarded $66 million in Cap and Trade auction proceeds to complete three coastal rail projects in San Diego, including the San Diego River Double Track project. Double tracking allows trains traveling in opposite directions to pass each other without slowing down or stopping.
The overall project budget is $93.9 million, which includes right-of-way costs, design, environmental planning, construction management, permitting, signal installation and construction. The SDRDT Project began in 2016. Construction is anticipated to be complete in 2019. To learn more about the project, visit: bit.ly/2nLQp2L
JCPenney suits up students
JCPenney partnered with the career service center at San Diego State University for a college “Suit Up” event designed to help students dress professionally and jump start their careers. This private event took place at the JCPenney in Fashion Valley Mall after the store closed on Jan. 28. Faculty, staff and alumni from San Diego State University, along with members of the JCPenney team, were on hand to offer insights into the latest career fashion trends, how a suit should fit, what size to buy, how to tie a tie and more.
JCPenney offered a special 40 percent discount to all San Diego State University students with a valid ID during this event.
Car dealer recognized by Time
Edward Witt, president and general manager of Witt Lincoln, located in Mission Valley, won the Time Dealer of the Year award on Dec. 4, 2017.
Witt was chosen to represent the New Car Dealers Association San Diego County in the national competition. He is one of 47 auto dealers chosen from more than 16,500 nationwide that was nominated for the annual award. The award is sponsored by Time Magazine in association with Ally Financial and in cooperation with the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Witt’s most important community contribution is his work with Father Joe’s Villages, a group that provides housing programs and services to the homeless. He is currently the chairman of the board and has served as secretary of the organization.
“It has been my most rewarding experience to work with the team at Father Joe’s, as we endeavor to end homelessness in San Diego,” he said. “We provide many services and prepare more than a million meals a year. We also offer permanent, temporary and emergency housing, with thousands housed each day. We currently have a $532 million dollar project underway to provide an additional 2,000 permanent housing units with services to the homeless.”
The announcement of this year’s nominees was made by Meredith Long, senior vice president and general manager of News, Luxury & Style at Time Inc. and Tim Russi, president of auto finance for Ally Financial.
“We salute this exceptional group of nominees for the 2018 Time Dealer of the Year award,” Russi said in a press release. “These dealers are local pillars of strength, leadership and giving, and Ally is proud to celebrate their stories and recognize them for their commitment to do it right in their communities.”
In its seventh year as sponsor, Ally will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s 501(c)3 charity of choice. Nominees will also be recognized on AllyDealerHeroes.com, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of Time Dealer of the Year nominees.
Witt was nominated for the Time Dealer of the Year award by Dean Mansfield, president of the New Car Dealers Association San Diego County.
Old Mission Rotary gives grants to Fleet Science Center, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet
The Art Pratt Foundation of Old Mission Rotary presented a grant of $5,315 to the The Fleet Science Center on Jan. 30. The funds will be used to upgrade the security surveillance system for their 95,000-square-foot facility. This is important as the museum offers many youth programs.
The Art Pratt Foundation of Old Mission Rotary also presented a grant of $5,500 to the San Diego Civic Youth Ballet on Jan. 23. The funds will be used to repair and update one of their dance studios. The studio’s next production is “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” which will be performed at the Casa del Prado Theater in April.
The Old Mission Rotary Club meets every Tuesday at noon at the Best Western Seven Seas Hotel in Hotel Circle South. Call Matt Risi at 619-993-3913 for information.