Daily Business Report: Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021 – San Diego Metropolitan

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The U.S. Senate has voted to confirm President Joe Biden’s nomination of Magistrate Judge Linda Lopez and San Diego Superior Court Judge Jinsook Ohta to seats on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Ohta will become the first Korean American judge in the district.
Lopez has served as a magistrate judge for the Southern District of California since 2018. Previously, she was a senior trial attorney for the Federal Defenders of San Diego Inc. from 2007 until her appointment to the bench. From 2003 to 2007, she was a sole practitioner, running a criminal defense firm in Miami.
Following her oath, Lopez will fill a judgeship vacated by District Judge Roger Benitez, who assumed senior status on Dec. 31, 2017. She will maintain chambers in San Diego. 

Ohta has served as a Superior Court judge since 2020. Before joining the bench, she worked at the California Attorney General’s Office, where  she served as supervising deputy attorney general and deputy attorney general. She engaged in private practice as an associate with the law firms of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP and
O’Melveny & Myers LLP. She will fill a judgeship vacant since Jan. 23, 2019, when District Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz assumed senior status. Ohta will maintain chambers in San Diego.
TOP PHOTO: Jinsook Ohta, left, and Linda Lopez will be taking their seats on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
By Sameea Kamal | CalMatters
California voters have the brand new districts they’ll use to elect their members of Congress and state legislators, after the state’s independent redistricting commission voted unanimously Monday night to approve its final maps.
These districts take effect with the June 2022 primaries and continue for the next decade. Redistricting happens once every 10 years, after every census, to ensure that each district has the same amount of people. It’s the second time that California’s redrawing is being done by a 14-member independent commission. 
But it hasn’t been easy, or without contention.
In addition to balancing population numbers, the commission must comply with the federal Voting Rights Act, ensuring that no minority group’s vote is drowned out. And to create fair maps, the commission didn’t consider current district lines and isn’t supposed to weigh partisan politics. In some cases, it puts incumbents into the same district, or forces others to appeal to new voters to be re-elected.
Read more…
CalMatters
This week brought another hard-fought deal to prevent a strike hitting California’s public universities. 
CalMatters higher education writer Mikhail Zinshteyn reported Monday that California State University and its faculty association have tentatively agreed on a new contract, thwarting a possible work stoppage after 20 months of negotiations. The deal includes a general 4 percent raise retroactive to July 1, 2021, another 4 percent bump on July 1, 2022, plus a $3,500 COVID bonus in recognition of the colossal upheaval to instruction as classes moved online in the 2020-21 school year.
San Diego North Economic Development Council honored Vista Economic Development Director Kevin Ham, who is retiring at the end of the year after 21 years with the city, with an award in his namesake.
Erik Bruvold, CEO of the council, announced the inaugural “Kevin Ham Impact Award” during the organization’s third annual awards luncheon at the Seabird Resort in Oceanside.
“This award is designed to draw attention to and celebrate people in the economic development sphere in North County who are getting things done,” Bruvold said. “We wanted to have this as an opportunity to call attention to those successes, to celebrate them and make sure that people know about them.”
The yearly honor will be awarded to “an individual, public or private sector who catalyzes positive change in North County by bringing people together to do ‘big things.’”
An investment fund managed by Trinity Fund Advisors LLC, an affiliate of Trinity Real Estate Investments LLC, announced the acquisition of a 50 percent interest in Omni San Diego Hotel from JMI Realty, who originally developed the hotel in conjunction with Petco Park in 2004.
Omni Hotels & Resorts owns the remaining 50 percent interest in the hotel and will continue to manage it. The acquisition also includes more than 13,000 square feet of fully leased, street-level retail space, located across the street from the hotel, which is located at 675 L St. in Downtown San Diego.
Brandon Gamble, a scholar, educational psychologist and alumnus of San Diego State University, has been appointed to serve as director of SDSU’s Black Resource Center (BLC). In his role, Gamble will advance efforts to improve the retention, graduation, and success of Black and African American students. 
Gamble joined SDSU earlier this year to serve as the Charles Bell Scholar at the BRC. In his scholar role, Gamble has sustained data-based leadership initiatives to support services for student success Black students in the Henrietta Goodwin Scholars program. 
As a faculty scholar, Gamble has developed course curriculum focusing on student success.
As director, Gamble will situate the Black Resource Center as a space where students of the African diaspora can engage in meaningful relationships with Black faculty and staff through high impact practices such as faculty research opportunities, study abroad, internships, and mentoring programs.
Members of the California State Board of Equalization have re-elected former San Diego Councilman Mike Schaefer to serve as vice chair for 2022. The vice chair was elected by his colleagues unanimously for a third term in this post.
Shaefer was elected to the Board of Equalization in 2018, representing the Fourth District, which includes the counties of San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino. He is the oldest freshman constitutional officer in state history.
The Aspen Institute has named MiraCosta College as one of the 150 entities eligible to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, one of the nation’s highest awards honoring achievement and performance of America’s community colleges. The colleges selected for this honor stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success, as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds.
The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition for America’s community colleges—as President Obama called it, “basically the Oscars for great community colleges.” 
Emergency repairs will begin this week on a section of the Ocean Beach Pier to fix damage caused by storm conditions in January 2021. Repairs are expected to take approximately four months, depending on the weather and tidal conditions. Once repairs are complete, the pier will fully reopen for the first time in more than a year. 
In January, the 55-year-old pier was damaged by high surf. City crews repaired broken railings along the pier before it partially reopened on May 28, 2021. The pier’s west end has remained closed to the public after significant damage to two columns, also known as piles, which vertically support the structure. 
The city is assessing long-term solutions to address sea-level rise attributed to climate change, including a potential full replacement of the pier after a City study determined that the pier has exceeded its service life. 
In July, Mayor Todd Gloria announced state funding of more than $200 million allocated for regional projects, including $8.4 million for the Ocean Beach Pier.
The Conrad Prebys Foundation has granted $330,000 to the San Diego History Center for the restoration of the North Tower and East Façade of the Junípero Serra Museum in Presidio Park. This comprehensive restoration work on the North Tower and East Façade will match the West Façade work completed in 2019 and debuted at the celebration of the 250 anniversary of contemporary San Diego. Restoration work is expected to be completed by mid-February and the museum will reopen to the public to experience its popular interactive exhibitions. 
The Serra Museum is seen by over 8 million commuters monthly traveling past its site at the intersection of I-5 and I-8. 
Vista Terrace Marketplace, a newly renovated 28,440-square-foot retail strip center in Vista has been acquired for $13.3 million by a real estate fund advised by Crow Holdings Capital. The seller was Black Lion Investment Group.
Vista Terrace Marketplace was renovated most recently in 2019 to modernize and improve the property with the new addition of Sprouts Farmers Market. The retail center is 91 percent leased to a variety of national and local e-commerce resistant tenants, including Anytime Fitness, Discovery Preschool, Sports Clips, Jersey Mike’s, Pacific Dental, Upper Crust Pizza and Bombay Cafe.
 The JLL Retail Capital Markets team representing the seller was led by Director Daniel Tyner and Managing Director Gleb Lvovich.
Cue Health, a San Diego health care technology company, said its first airline partnership with Air Canada to provide U.S.-based passengers with access to Cue’s molecular COVID-19 test is the most accurate self-test on the market.
Air Canada’s U.S.-based customers can now meet Canada’s specific travel testing requirements using Cue’s  COVID-19 tests, which can be purchased three, six, or 10 at a time along with the reusable and portable Cue Cartridge Reader, which processes test results in about 20 minutes.
As a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT), Cue’s molecular COVID-19 test meets Canada’s testing entry requirements, as Canada is one of the growing number of countries that accept molecular NAAT test results for entry. These travel entry requirements are more stringent than those countries that accept rapid antigen test results.
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