Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, San Diego Metro Magazine

No plan yet for bullet train’s soaring price tag
Costs keep rising, but project officials
can’t tell us how it will be financed

By Dan Walters | CalMatters

Dan Walters

Fourteen years ago, largely due to enthusiastic support from then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California voters approved a $9.95 billion bond issue for a statewide bullet train system.

The initial plan said the project would cost $33 billion, limited service would begin by 2025, and the system would be complete by 2030, whisking passengers between San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2½ hours.

Never mind.

The High-Speed Rail Authority’s latest “business plan,” released this month, projects that a complete system could cost more than $100 billion, not counting future inflation. Moreover, the agency has not yet pinned down the $25 billion that it needs just to build the 171-mile starter line between Merced and Bakersfield.

Construction crews have only begun to build roadbed for the San Joaquin Valley segment and no track has been laid. Optimistically, it will be almost a decade before passengers can ride on it.

The rail authority pumps out revisions to its business plan each year, almost always raising projected costs but never laying out realistically how they will be covered.

So far, about half of the $9 billion in the bond issue reserved for the bullet train has been spent, along with a few billion more from a federal grant. The other $995 million in bonds were designated for local rail service to feed into the system.

TOP PHOTO: A conceptual illustration of California’s bullet train. Image by NC3D via Flickr

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Justice Patricia Guerrero
Governor nominates Justice Patricia Guerrero
to serve on the California Supreme Court

She would be the first Latina to serve on the court

Fourth District Court of Appeal Justice Patricia Guerrero of San Diego has been nominated  to serve as an Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

A widely respected jurist with extensive experience as an appellate justice, trial court judge, partner at a major law firm and Assistant U.S. Attorney, Justice Guerrero is a first-generation Californian who would be the first Latina to serve on the California Supreme Court.

Guerrero would replace Associate Justice Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, who left the bench effective October 31, 2021.

“A keen legal mind and well-regarded jurist, Justice Guerrero’s wide-ranging experience, integrity, deep respect for the rule of law and lifelong commitment to public service make her a phenomenal candidate to serve as our next California Supreme Court Justice,” said Newsom. “Born and raised in the Imperial Valley by immigrant parents from Mexico, her extraordinary journey and nomination to serve as the first Latina Justice on the bench of our state’s highest court is an inspiration to all of us and a testament to the California Dream’s promise of opportunity for all to thrive, regardless of background or zip code.”

Prior to her appointment to the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Justice Guerrero served as a Judge at the San Diego County Superior Court from 2013 to 2017 and was Supervising Judge for the Family Law Division at the Court in 2017. Justice Guerrero was hired as an Associate at Latham & Watkins and became a Partner in 2006. She served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of California from 2002 to 2003.

The compensation for this position is $274,732. Justice Guerrero is a Democrat. 

Southern Family Center for Cerebral Palsy
completed at Rady Children’s Hospital

Construction has been completed on the Southern Family Center for Cerebral Palsy at Rady Children’s Hospital at 7910 Frost St. in San Diego. Ware Malcomb provided the interior architecture and design services for the project. 

The 6,400-square-foot space is an OSHPD-3 clinic with 12 new exam rooms, casting room, X-ray room, three research offices, staff workrooms and reception area. Rady Children’s new clinic includes a sophisticated 1,100-square-foot Motion Analysis Laboratory. The lab was designed with an elevated floor with integrated force plates, two ADA ramps and a truss system for motion capturing cameras. Patient lift systems are located in the x-ray room and patient restroom. An air handling unit on the second floor provides sufficient ventilation and air changes required per OSHPD-3 requirements.  

“This was a complex project with unique requirements, and its success directly affects the quality of life for patients with cerebral palsy,” said Brian M. Koshley, regional director for Ware Malcomb’s San Diego offices.

Project construction was led by general contractor BNBuilders.

Charles Cooper named vice president of member services
and business development for local Realtor association
Charles Cooper

The Greater San Diego Association of Realtors has tapped Charles Cooper as vice president of member services and business development. Cooper joins SDAR as a proven manager overseeing business growth and advancement to promote membership across the San Diego region. 

In his role, Cooper will work to advance the association’s mission through membership growth, expanded programs and services, and developing collaborative relationships with Realtors. With a keen focus on member support and satisfaction, Cooper will lead staff training to uphold the highest standards of service.

Cooper brings 15 years of sales and managerial experience, successfully leading teams to develop creative business strategies in support of organizational goals. A San Diego native, he holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix and is active in coaching youth sports.

SDAR is the largest Realtor association in the San Diego region. Cooper will cultivate active communication and outreach to members – taking feedback to explore new opportunities for growth and technology integration within the real estate industry. 

Mark Dawson appointed deputy director
for philanthropy for Museum of Photographic Arts
Mark Dawson

Mark Dawson has been named the new deputy director for philanthropy for the Museum of Photographic Arts. With a life-long passion for the visual arts, extensive fundraising experience and a wealth of knowledge of the nonprofit industry, Dawson will seek new funding opportunities by stewarding long-term and meaningful relationships. He will also develop innovative campaigns that allow MOPA to connect with the broader community and empower those in San Diego and beyond to use the lens to find their voice, while telling their story. 

Dawson is an expert in business development, fundraising and building programs from the ground up for nationally and internationally renowned organizations. With an extensive background in fundraising, education in arts and overall passion for visual arts, Dawson will help MOPA engage new audiences and create community both on and offline. 

Prior to joining MOPA, Dawson began his fundraising career in the national office of Planned Parenthood Federation and played a critical role in building development programs at RAND Corporation, Friends of the Truman Foundation and the International Rescue Committee. 

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts surpasses $50 million
in donated medical care to its patients

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts has surpassed $50 million in donated medical care to its patients, offering life-changing reconstructive surgeries and related treatments to children in need throughout the U.S., at no cost to their families.

As of Dec. 31, 2021, Fresh Start has cared for 8,621 patients, offering 22,198 surgeries, with $53,325,191 in donated medical care from both their San Diego and Chicago-based clinics. Medical services are donated by doctors, clinicians, dentists and other medical professionals who tirelessly dedicate their days off to help children in need and change their lives.

Since 1991, Fresh Start Surgical Gifts has been dedicated to transforming the lives of disadvantaged youth with physical deformities by providing comprehensive reconstructive surgery at no cost to the patient and their family. 

Children receive care at Rady Children’s Hospital, one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation through a longstanding partnership. To further their efforts, Chicago-based Fresh Start Caring for Kids Foundation launched in 2014, as a joint venture between Fresh Start Surgical Gifts and The Plastic Surgery Foundation, in partnership with The University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children’s Hospital.

SDG&E awards $150,000 to Workforce Partnership

San Diego Gas & Electric has awarded the Workforce Partnership a $150,000 grant in support of their Construction Career Jumpstart and Income Share Agreement programs, which offer paid career training and educational opportunities to county residents.

70 percent of participants in Construction Career Jumpstart’s program, which offers paid training in energy, construction and utility careers, now have jobs in these industries. Under this grant, the program will receive $100,000 in funding.

 $50,000 of the grant will support the Income Share Agreement (ISA) program. A partnership with UC San Diego Extension, the ISA offers 9-15 month certificate programs in high-demand, high-growth sectors, with tuition paid through a fixed percentage of a graduate’s income after securing a career.

Funds will support operations and recruitment for both programs, which are now accepting applicants for their next cohort.

C.R. England and Platform Science partner
to  bring efficiency to national fleet

C.R. England, a leader in transportation solutions, and San Diego-based Platform Science, a leading connected vehicle platform,  announced a new partnership to bring Platform Science technology to C.R. England’s fleet of 4,000 tractors. Platform Science’s transportation solutions make it easier for fleets to develop, deploy and manage mobile devices on their vehicles. 

“As a family-owned operation, we put a premium on relationships and trust. After getting to know the Platform Science team, we quickly realized this is a partner that shares our values and sees this collaboration as the start of a journey together,” said Chad England, CEO of C.R. England. “For the first time in more than three decades, we are opening our cab up to a new partner in Platform Science whose innovative technology offers the flexibility our fleet needs. As we continue on this next century as a leader in transportation solutions, we look forward to working with Platform Science to elevate and transform our business.”

Vista’s NewRocket acquires Service Stack Technologies

NewRocket, a Vista-based technology strategy, design, and operations provider and ServiceNow Elite Partner, announced that it will enhance its global footprint and capabilities with the acquisition of Service Stack Technologies, also an Elite Partner for ServiceNow. 

Service Stack provides consulting and delivery services and solutions across IT Workflows, Customer Workflows, Employee Workflows, and Digital Transformation. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. NewRocket is a portfolio company of Gryphon Investors, a leading middle-market private equity firm.

NewRocket plans to leverage the growing team of talented Service Stack advisors, consultants, and developers to scale its global delivery capabilities and enable more clients to fully leverage the power of the Now platform, driving more growth within Europe and Asia. The company will unify Service Stack Technologies under the NewRocket name and brand. As part of the transaction, Service Stack founding directors Mukul Kant Sharma and Vipin Kumar will join the NewRocket team in key leadership roles.

Personalis Inc. collaborates with UC San Diego
for clinical genomic testing and research

Personalis Inc., a leader in advanced genomics for precision oncology, announced a strategic collaboration with the Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, to support clinical diagnostic testing in patients with advanced solid tumors and hematological malignancies.

The collaboration will bring Personalis’ leading comprehensive genomic tumor profiling test to UC San Diego Health care professionals and their cancer patients to help guide FDA-approved therapy decisions, as well as clinical trial treatment options.

The Personalis test is one of the most advanced tumor profiling tests available today, providing full exome and transcriptome information across all human genes, and offering clinically important information to help identify appropriate therapies and clinical trials for individual cancer patients. The comprehensiveness of the test, and its unique ability to simultaneously characterize both tumor and immune genomics, will deliver better options for current cancer patients, while enabling UC San Diego and Personalis to work together on developing advanced composite biomarkers and on clinical research that may improve care in the future.

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