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Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, San Diego Metro Magazine

Barnhart-Reese Construction awarded $60.1 million
contract to build the East Village Green community park
East Village Green renderings collage

Barnhart-Reese Construction has been awarded a $60.1 million contract to build the much-anticipated East Village Green community park in the East Village neighborhood of San Diego. 

The 4.1-acre urban park will include a 13,657-square foot, two-story community center with a gymnasium, multipurpose room, training kitchen and commercial kitchen, conference room and offices, as well as a 176-space, two-level underground parking garage with vegetative roofing. The park includes a children’s playground, off-leash dog parks, water fountain feature, rock climbing wall, games area, and public restrooms. 

“Dating back to the Terminal 2 expansion at Lindbergh Field, to the Sails Enclosure project for the San Diego Convention Center, to the recent restoration of the Balboa Park Automotive Museum, our family has enjoyed constructing buildings and civic spaces for public use, so we are so happy to be partnering with Civic San Diego to build East Village Green,” said Barnhart-Reese Construction CEO West Reese. 

The buildings located at 764 14th St., 1330-1340 G St. and 705 14th St. will be demolished. The project architect is Safdie Rabines in collaboration with OJB Landscape Architecture.

The project’s Historic Murray Apartment Buildings and Daggett Family Residence will be relocated with the Area of Potential Effects (APE) and rehabilitated.

Top photo: Rendering of the East Village Green park (Credit: Barnhart-Reese).

The Illumina Laboratory in Scholander Hall is one of two new automation hubs on the Scripps Oceanography campus. (Credit: Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego) 
Illumina supports enhanced genomics programs at UC San Diego

Genomic technology company Illumina has provided researchers at Scripps Oceanography’s Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine new scientific equipment to build genomics and laboratory automation-enabled  discovery and training programs. The Illumina Foundation also donated $973,000 for additional materials to bring the equipment into operation and set up two laboratories on the Scripps Oceanographic campus.

The technology provided to Scripps Oceanography includes high-throughput screening equipment such as robotic liquid handlers, imaging processing stations, robotic arms for microplate handling, and more. This equipment will allow researchers to screen thousands of cells a day, observe protein evolutions, analyze DNA isolation for microbiome studies, characterize gene expression patterns during early development, determine the effects of toxicants on developing embryos, and more. 

UC San Diego and Rady Children’s Hospital
join nationwide long-term COVID-19 study

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego have joined a nationwide study to better understand the long-term impact of COVID-19 on patients in the United States across all demographic groups.

The $1.15 billion, four-year study, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is called the RECOVER Initiative (Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery). The purpose is to better understand “post-acute sequelae of the SARS-CoV-2” infections or PASC, more commonly known as ‘long-COVID’.”

Long-COVID refers to symptoms that persist for weeks or months after acute COVID-19 infection. Symptoms include pain, headaches, fatigue, “brain fog,” shortness of breath, anxiety, depression, fever, chronic cough, and sleep problems. In some affected children and adults, PASC includes multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C and MIS-A), a condition where different body parts can become inflamed, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes or gastrointestinal organs. Any of these symptoms can have a profound impact on quality of life.

More than 90 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States since the pandemic began in early 2020, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Sikorsky CH-54A helicopter
County adds hefty helicopter to firefighting capabilities

CAL FIRE San Diego acquired an exclusive-use Sikorsky CH-54A Type 1 helicopter to add to the region’s resources in the event of a wildfire.

“The new Type 1 helicopter significantly bolsters our local air attack arsenal.  It can drop about seven times as much water as the existing County firefighting helicopters,” said Jeff Collins, San Diego County Fire director.

A Type 1 is the most powerful helicopter in County Fire’s air assets. CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire has a cooperative agreement to use the Sheriff’s Bell 205 Type 2 initial attack helicopters and they have a 375-gallon capacity. The Sikorsky CH-54A has a capacity to carry 2,650 gallons of water.

“This is a tremendous amount of water available in one drop,” said fire Capt. Frank LoCoco, CAL FIRE San Diego. “It allows us to fight these fires aggressively and keep them small.”

The Sikorsky CH-54A arrived in the county on Aug. 1 and is an exclusive use contract with CAL FIRE to respond as needed. It will operate out of the Ramona Airport.

Jack in the Box promotes Chad Gretzema
to Del Taco brand president

Jack in the Box Inc.announced the promotion of Del Taco’s Chad Gretzema to Del Taco brand president. He replaces John Cappasola, who has stepped down from his role as Del Taco president and chief executive officer.

Gretzema has been with Del Taco since 2012 and was most recently chief operating officer, having previously served as senior vice president, strategic planning and innovation and senior vice president, operations support and engagement.

With more than 25 years of food and restaurant industry experience, Gretzema has held positions in operations, training and marketing at Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Noodles & Company and Oscar Mayer Foods.

“Chad has been an instrumental part of the executive team at Del Taco that has compiled an impressive eight consecutive years of positive franchise same-store sales,” said Jack in the Box CEO Darin Harris. “He has been a champion for Del Taco operators, franchisees and guests as the chief operating officer and I am confident his proven leadership and strategic vision will further drive our combined company to the next phase of growth.”

Giant viruses build a cell nucleus surprisingly like our own

By Mario Aguilera

Humans aren’t the only targets for viruses. Like us, bacteria become infected by many types of viruses. In fact, across billions of years, bacteria and viruses have engaged in a non-stop evolutionary arms race for survival that includes countless innovations and counter-adaptations.

Recently, biomedical scientists have ramped up interest in viruses known as bacteriophages, or phages, which can infect and kill dangerous bacteria. Phages, the most abundant organisms on the planet, are now recognized as a promising tool for combating bacterial infection as science seeks new therapies for rising waves of antibiotic resistance. Scientists would like to unlock the secrets of phages’ evolutionary strategies in their ongoing conflict with bacteria.

A group of researchers with various specialties across the University of California San Diego campus have now leveraged new technologies to offer insights into previously unrecognized phage biological structures and processes. Publishing in the journal Nature, they offer an unprecedented look into an under-studied family known as “jumbo phages” and their remarkably evolved defenses against bacteria.

Read more…

City of San Diego buys land to expand
wildlife areas in Mission Trails Regional Park

The City of San Diego has acquired 25 acres of land that has been added to the preserved wildlife areas within Mission Trails Regional Park. The sale comes as part of the Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) and will help protect the Diegan Coastal Sage Scrub and some native grassland habitats on the land. City staff also believe there is a high potential the federally endangered California Gnatcatcher bird is present on the property. 

“The conservation of this property contributes to a critical network of habitat and open space that protects plants, animals and ecosystems that ultimately improve our quality of life,” said City Planning Director Heidi Vonblum. “It is our responsibility to protect this land not only for us, but for the generations that come after us.” 

The land is part of the East Elliot Community Planning Area and is located just west of Santee. The city bought the land from a private seller with money from the Habitat Acquisition Fund, which is used to purchase land identified and targeted for conservation. 

San Diego County Credit Union to offer
weekly financial awareness webinars

San Diego County Credit Union will sponsor ‘Financial Wellness Wednesdays’ this month, which are weekly educational webinars focused on financial awareness for various stages of life. Topics include: Teaching Your Kids About Money Matters, 10 Steps to Financial Freedom, LPL Research Presents Midyear Outlook 2022: Navigating Turbulence, Achieving Money Milestones and Understanding Credit Reports, Preventing Identity Theft & Scams.

“Building a successful financial future starts with establishing a solid financial foundation and our blogs and webinars offer valuable information regardless of what stage of life you may be in,” said Teresa Campbell SDCCU president and CEO. 

According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, only 57 percent of U.S. adults feel confident in their knowledge of personal finance. The aim of National Financial Awareness Day is to bring awareness to learning about finances and building financial stability in preparation for a successful financial future.  

 Upcoming topics, dates and times can be found at sdccu.com/fww. For additional financial tips and resources, visit sdccu.com/blog.

Little Thief ready to steal wine lovers’ hearts

After a lightening-fast, two-month transformation, Little Thief  opened last week in North Park, where the wine bar and kitchen replaces a nearly 30-year-old Italian joint on University Avenue.

Named for a winemaking tool used to “steal” and test samples of wine during the barrel-aging process, the new bistro from the team behind Bottlecraft and Vino Carta — the highly-regarded craft beer and wine shops — continues in the path of Vino Carta’s latest location in Solana Beach, which offers tasting menus and brunch from local culinary pop-up Long Story Short. 

With 100 seats spread across a large cluster of umbrella-shaded tables on the wide outdoor plaza and its moodily-lit interior, which holds a mix of dining tables and bar-height rails, Little Thief is also the launching point for Papalito, a new Sonoran barbecue-inspired outfit by chef Drew Bent.

Read more…

NASSCO awarded $1.4 billion to build four U.S. Navy ships

General Dynamics NASSCO has received  $1.4 billion in U.S. Navy contract modifications for construction of a sixth Expeditionary Sea Base ship and two additional John Lewis-class fleet oilers. This award comes in addition to $600 million already received to procure long-lead time materials for the same ships. The contract modification also provides an option for the Navy to procure an additional oiler, bringing the total potential value to $2.7 billion for the four ships.

Construction of the four ships is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023 and continue into 2027.

Poseida Therapeutics announces proposed
public offering of common stock

Poseida Therapeutics Inc. a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company in San Diego, has begun an underwritten public offering of shares of its common stock. In addition, Poseida expects to grant the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 15 percent of the shares of its common stock offered in the offering. All of the shares to be sold in the offering are to be sold by Poseida. The offering is subject to market and other conditions, and there can be no assurance as to whether or when the offering may be completed, or the actual size or terms of the offering.

Piper Sandler and William Blair & Company L.L.C. are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. and BTIG LLC are also acting as book running managers for the offering.

Kintara Therapeutics enters into equity  
purchase agreement with Lincoln Park Capital

Kintara Therapeutics, Inc. a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of new solid tumor cancer therapies, announced it has entered into an equity purchase agreement for up to $20 million with Lincoln Park Capital Fund, a Chicago-based institutional investor.

Under the terms of the agreement, Kintara will have the right in its sole discretion, but not the obligation, to sell to LPC up to $20 million worth of shares of its common stock from time to time over the 36-month term of the agreement. Kintara controls the timing and amount of any future sales of its shares of common stock and LPC is obligated to make purchases in accordance with the terms of the purchase agreement, subject to various limitations contained in the agreement, including those under the Nasdaq listing rules.