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Monday, Jan. 16, 2023, San Diego Metro Magazine

Two cruise ships plug in simultaneously for power
at Port of San Diego to reduce harmful pollutants

For the first time, two cruise ships can now simultaneously use shore power in San Diego rather than running their diesel engines while at berth.

Previously, only one cruise vessel could plug in. On Friday, the Disney Wonder and the Insignia were the first two cruise vessels to use shore power at the same time in San Diego.

Having two shore power outlets at the cruise ship terminals will result in at least a 90 percent overall reduction of harmful pollutants (while the ships are docked) such as Nitrous Oxides (NOx) and Diesel Particulate Matter (DPM) as well as a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

The Port is also meeting California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations that require essentially all cruise ships calling on California ports to use shore power beginning Jan. 1, 2023.

The Port invested $4.6 million to complete this project and worked with Cochrane Marine, LLC to purchase equipment and for construction management, coordinating, testing, and commissioning.

San Diego County-based Baker Electric, Inc. installed Port-provided electrical equipment and removed, replaced, and terminated medium voltage cables.

Photos: Top, two cruise ships shore powered at Port of San Diego on Jan. 13, 2023. Above, Disney cruise ship hooked up. (Courtesy Port of San Diego)

BBQ House Bar and Grill. (Photo courtesy of
Outdoor dining spaces may be removed for parking spaces

By Dave Schwab |

Merchants are scrambling to comply with a new California Coastal Commission amendment to the City’s Spaces as Places program, which now requires beach businesses to replace vehicular parking displaced by the program. In January 2022, the City instituted Spaces as Places, a new program to help COVID-challenged businesses by allowing them to put temporary outdoor dining spaces in the public right-of-way. The City has since made it a permanent change.

Enter the Coastal Commission, which is charged with guaranteeing coastal access. The Coastal Commission recently attached a condition that parking displaced by Spaces as Places be replaced, arguing the public’s shoreline access was impeded by parking removal.

“While Spaces as Places is expected to improve pedestrian-oriented amenities and promote alternate modes of transit, there are potential adverse impacts to public access associated with the program,” said the Coastal Commission in an executive summary… Allowing the expansion of private structures and uses into areas currently reserved for public parking, or into parking areas intended to meet the demand associated with private uses, could adversely impact the ability of the general public to access and enjoy the shoreline.”

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Foundation for Women Warriors team members, from left, Keshia Javis-Jones, Stephanny Vaca, Cynthia Taylor, Megan Demastus, Jodie Grenier, Shaeli Chapman.
Foundation for Women Warriors awarded
$200,000 grant from Chick-fil-A organization

Foundation for Women Warriors has been named the recipient of a $200,000 grant through the annual Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards program. It is one of 46 True Inspiration Awards grant recipients in 2023 that are receiving a collective $5 million.

To be selected for a grant, organizations must work to address key issues that align with Chick-fil-A’s corporate social responsibility priorities: Caring for People, Caring for Others through Food, Caring for our Communities and Caring for our Planet, a new category added this year.

Foundation for Women Warriors is the only organization in California solely focused on serving women veterans and their families. Their programs enhance the personal and economic wellbeing of women veterans and address the growing needs of the increasing population of military women transitioning to civilian life.

Frank Powell begins term as 2023 president
of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors

Frank Powell has begun his term as the 2023 resident of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, leading the largest trade association in San Diego County with a membership of 20,000 real estate professionals. 

Powell is co-founder and owner of Powell Brothers Realty, under the umbrella of Discovery Property Group Inc. established in 2007, an independent San Diego real estate brokerage. Powell has 20 years of experience in real estate. Prior to entering the profession Powell was a Harbor Patrol Sergeant with the San Diego Fire – Rescue Department and is a retired California Sworn Peace Officer. 

Powell is joined on the Executive Committee by Spencer Lugash, President-Elect; Lesha Montoya, Vice President; Jeremy Sine, Treasurer; and Past Presidents Chris Anderson and Carla Farley. 

 Rounding out the 2023 Board of Directors are: Glenn Bennett, Karen DeGasperis, Markus Feldmann, Cecelia Fowler-Ramsey. Steve Fraioli, Bob Kevane, Denise Matthis, Jessica Mushovic, Michele Porter, Mark Powell, Judy Preston, Rocky Rockhill, Melo-de Savage, Michael Shenkman, Matias Susel, Ann Throckmorton, Spencer Trapp, and Karen Van Ness.

San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas
elected to lead SANDAG board

San Diego County Supervisor and Chairwoman Nora Vargas was elected to lead the SANDAG Board of Directors as Chair for 2023-2024. Vargas previously served SANDAG as chair of the Transportation Committee and succeeds state Sen. Catherine Blakespear, who served as SANDAG chair since 2021.

Vargas is also a member of the Air Pollution Control District and county representative to the California State Association of Counties and National Association of Counties. Gov. Gavin Newsom also appointed Vargas to serve on the California Air Resources Board.

DirectAvenue welcomes Nicky Delasalle
 as vice president of growth
Nicky Delasalle, VP of Growth, DirectAvenue

DirectAvenue, a leading brand response advertising agency, has named Nicky Delasalle as vice president of Growth.

Informed by more than 20 years of experience, including a decade at a “Big 6” global agency, Delasalle has driven the performance marketing vision for Fortune 500, Entrepreneurs and Tech-Disrupters alike.

“We are thrilled to have Nicky on board,” said DirectAvenue founder and CEO Scott Kowalchek.

“Her depth of experience, knowledge and management capabilities will propel our growing team of seasoned executives forward.” 

Qualcomm tech to enable texts to anyone, anytime

Qualcomm and Iridium Communications technology will soon allow a smartphone user to send text messages to anyone in the world, even in cellular deadzones. This ongoing upgrade will roll out to smartphones manufactured with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset as early as the second half of 2023. Future use will also be added to a crucial class of products including cars to enable emergency communication.

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Illumina, Nashville Biosciences partner with Amgen

Illumina and Nashville Biosciences Alliance for Genomic Discovery have entered into an agreement with Amgen to perform a whole-genome sequence of 35,000 DNA samples of non-European ancestry. This is meant to address the lack of diversity in genomic data, uncover more genetic causes of disease, and create more equitable access to precision health therapies. The sample represents the largest data set of genomes of its kind.

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San Diego startup XILO raises additional $4 million

Providing workflow software for those who work in the insurance space, local InsurTech startup XILO closes out 2022 by increasing its seed round from $2 million to $6 million. The 30-person company plans to expand the range of potential customers it services from insurance agents to carriers and financial services, providing a modern, automated technology for back-office procedures and data-entry related tasks.

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UC San Diego leads effort to find out 
how much faster computers can get

A group of 10 universities led by UC San Diego is undertaking a $50.5 million effort to greatly improve the speed and efficiency of computers, work that could do everything from make drug discovery faster to create better weather forecasts. The coalition, which includes such schools as Stanford and UCLA, hinges on making advances in software and next-generation computer chips. Among other things, both are needed to more rapidly move data from memory sources to processors.

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South 8 Technologies, Tyfast Energy receive
$6 million grants for battery innovation

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded nearly $6 million in grants to a pair of San Diego companies that are working to make electric vehicle batteries run longer, charge faster and cost less. South 8 Technologies, which is poised to come out with batteries that use a novel liquefied gas electrolyte technology, received $3.15 million while Tyfast Energy out of La Jolla, makers of batteries with extended life cycles, received $2.82 million.

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Zef Scientific and Fasmatech in new partnership

Zef Scientific Inc. and Fasmatech announce a new partnership to provide a full range of ion association-dissociation techniques through Fasmatech’s Omnitrap platform to owners of Thermo Fisher Exploris 480 LCMS systems. The agreement covers sales, marketing, and all service aspects, from installations to warranty provision, preventive maintenance, and troubleshooting in North America and Canada.

Brain Corp partners with Google Cloud
to introduce ‘BrainOS Inventory Insights’

Brain Corp, an artificial intelligence (AI) company creating transformative core technology in robotics, today announced, in partnership with Google Cloud, the launch of “BrainOS Inventory Insights,” a new and proprietary solution able to deliver next generation in-store inventory analytics to retailers. Brain Corp, which already powers the largest global fleet of autonomous robots in public spaces and the world’s largest fleet of robotic inventory scanners, will now offer retail customers a true end-to-end solution for analyzing the inventory data collected by its BrainOS powered inventory scanning robots.

Sempra named to JUST 100 list by JUST Capital

Sempra has been named to the prestigious JUST 100 list by JUST Capital, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to measuring and improving corporate stakeholder performance. The rankings are intended to be a comprehensive evaluation of how corporations perform on issues that matter most to the American public, such as job creation and paying a fair, living wage, acting ethically, leadership integrity, accountability, workforce health and safety. Sempra’s listing is credited to the company’s commitment to investing in its workforce, scoring in the top 5 percent for pay equity, work-life balance, benefits and 401k quality, diversity, equity and inclusion policies and workforce demographics, among others.

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