News Briefs — February 2017

Posted: February 10th, 2017 | Briefs, Briefs, Calendar and Opinion, News | No Comments

College district adopts supportive resolution

The San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) Board of Trustees approved a resolution reaffirming support of all its students, regardless of immigration status or religious beliefs.The resolution urges President Donald Trump to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to work and study in the country without fear of being deported.

San Diego Community College District has committed to protecting students of all nationalities and religions. (Courtesy of SDCCD)

In passing its resolution, the SDCCD joined a growing number of colleges and universities around the country taking similar stands.

In addition to affirming the district’s support for its diverse student population, it commits the district to not cooperating with any federal effort aimed at creating a registry of individuals based on religion, national origin, race or sexual orientation.

It also means the district will not allow immigration officials on its campuses without legal authority, and pledges to avoid acting on behalf of federal agencies enforcing immigration laws.

“We value each and every one of our students, so our priority is to provide high-quality educational opportunities for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, heritage, national origin, religion, immigration status, gender identity, or medical condition,” said Board of Trustees President Maria Nieto Senour in a written statement.

Red Cross calls for blood donors

The American Red Cross is making an urgent request for residents to donate blood to replenish and continue its winter supply. A special blood drive is underway now through Feb. 26. All blood types are needed.

Anyone wishing to contribute blood may call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment. Those who donate blood between now and Feb. 26 are eligible to receive a $5 gift card by email.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Blood donors can save time by using RapidPass to complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online. Visit

A special blood donation event will be held Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at San Diego State University, Aztec Walk, 5500 Campanile Drive.

The American Red Cross is also looking for volunteer transportation specialists who will deliver lifesaving blood products to local hospitals. To apply, call 909-374-1210 or visit

Health care jobs for vets

The National Veterans Transition Services, Inc. is inviting military veterans to attend a panel discussion about career opportunities in the health care field on Feb. 14, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the MLB Center for Military and Veteran Reintegration, 4007 Camino Del Rio South, Room 204.

A panel of experts in the health care field will explain the many opportunities available for veterans in this expanding industry.

Some of the opportunities are pharmacists, optometrists, physician assistants, physical therapists, dental hygienists, radiation therapists, dietitians and nutritionists. To register, visit

IKEA installs fuel cell system

The IKEA in Mission Valley has installed fuel cell systems to power the store. (Courtesy of IKEA)

Home furnishings retailer IKEA completed installation of a biogas-powered fuel cell system at its Mission Valley store, 2149 Fenton Parkway. Three other IKEA stores in California have fuel cell systems. The system supplements the onsite solar array on top of the San Diego store. Used together, they will help generate a majority of the store’s energy.

“Utilizing fuel cells will reduce our carbon footprint and help create an even more sustainable community here in San Diego,” stated IKEA San Diego store manager Jim Tilley in a press release.

IKEA chose Sunnyvale-based Bloom Energy to design, develop and install the fuel cell system, which is a little bigger than the physical size of a commercial back-up generator.

The 200-kilowatt, biogas-powered project will produce about 1,665,101 kilowatt hours of electricity for the store each year. That’s the equivalent of reducing 877 tons of carbon dioxide, which is equal to the emissions of 185 cars, or to provide electricity for 130 homes yearly.

Ashlynn Ball (Courtesy of RBTK LLP)

Ashlynn Ball promoted to partner

Mission Valley-based CPA firm RBTK LLP recently promoted Ashlynn Ball to partner. Ball will be responsible for managing and leading the audit and accounting services.

“Ashlynn has excelled in every role she has taken on at RBTK and we are thrilled to name her a partner at the firm,” said RBTK managing partner Kevin Brown in a written statement.

Ball joined RBTK in 2008 in the position of senior staff accountant. She was later promoted to accounting supervisor and accounting manager, respectively. RBTK is located at 4909 Murphy Canyon Road, Suite 120.

Airport launches faster Wi-Fi service

The San Diego International Airport has upgraded its Wi-Fi service in all its terminals so that travellers are now able to download and stream movies and music more quickly and efficiently.

The upgrade in bandwidth means the Wi-Fi service is now 30 times faster than before. Passengers can also connect to the airport’s Wi-Fi service for up to two hours, which is 30 minute more than the former service.

“In today’s highly connected world we understand the desire to be able to surf the internet, download and stream music and movies, and connect with loved ones in just one click. Now, airport customers can enjoy that comfort at speeds faster than ever before,” stated Airport Authority President/CEO Thella F. Bowens in a press release.

Old Town Plaza acquired in three-property deal

The Casey Brown Company acquired three office properties from Peregrine Realty Properties for $76.95 million. The three properties, located in Mission Valley, Old Town and Kearny Mesa, total 328,943 square feet.

One of the properties is Old Town Plaza, a two-building creative-office project located at 2251 San Diego Ave. It totals 60,490 square feet and is leased to marketing, design and consulting firms, and health care providers.

Old Town Plaza (Courtesy of Casey Brown Company)

Another of the properties is Valley Corporate Center, a 12-story, 176,132-square-foot office tower at 591 Camino De La Reina in Mission Valley.

Valley Corporate Center is leased to law firms, financial and insurance services companies, technology and defense contractors, medical and health service providers, and government entities.

The third property is Chesapeake Park Plaza at 9665 Chesapeake Drive.

Louay Alsadek and Hunter Rowe of CBRE represented the seller on Chesapeake Park Plaza and Valley Corporate Center. Josh Buchholz, Doug Ceresia and Matt Midura of NAI San Diego represented the seller on Old Town Plaza.

2-1-1 San Diego launches new system

The San Diego area’s information and resource organization, 2-1-1 San Diego, is launching a new technology system that will allow service providers to offer more comprehensive care to San Diegans in need.

The 2-1-1 San Diego service is a free, 24-hour confidential phone service in more than 200 languages with a searchable online database that covers all of San Diego County.

The organization has connections to more than 6,000 community resources in the areas of health, wellness, housing, utilities, military and veterans’ services, food assistance, disaster support, and community data.

The new system is designed to bridge service delivery gaps for San Diegans by providing nonprofit organizations with a complete record of clients who call 2-1-1 for help. The system will give each 2-1-1 San Diego partner an interactive shared record of that person’s needs, past and current referrals, and outcomes.

“Sometimes, people call 2-1-1 for help with one particular problem,” stated County Supervisor Greg Cox in a press release. “With this system, 2-1-1 can be forward thinking, and help people sign up for programs and services they may not be aware of.”

Community activists send letter to UFCW Local 135

A group of concerned San Diego citizens, including elected officials and local Democratic party activists, recently sent a letter to the executive boards of UFCW Local 135, the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, the San Diego County Democratic Party, and the California Democratic Party about several accusations against San Diego labor leader and Democrat Mickey Kasparian.

Kasparian, the president of UFCW Local 135, has been accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace behavior in three lawsuits.

The letter blasts the organizations for not taking appropriate action and calls for the organizations to “conduct a prompt independent investigation into the claims.”

It further asks the San Diego County Democratic Party and the California Democratic Party “whether it is appropriate for someone who has been accused of such serious and disturbing allegations” to be a delegate to the Democratic State Central Committee.

Some notable signees of the letter include David Alvarez, San Diego City Councilmember; Olga Diaz, Escondido City Council member; Mona Rios, National City Council member; Lori Saldaña, former Assembly member; Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, National City Council member; and Cori Schumacher, Carlsbad City Council member.

The UFCW Local 135 has its main office in Mission Valley at 2001 Camino Del Rio South, and, according to its website, represents workers such as “meat cutters, clerks in supermarkets, drug stores and other retail outlets, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, personnel in health care facilities, casinos and processing plants.”

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