San Jose, Emeryville Support San Francisco Bid for CIRM Headquarters
Emeryville and San Jose officials on Wednesday announced their support for San Francisco's bid to host the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the Oakland Tribune reports (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 5/5).
ICOC's site-selection subcommittee on Monday made a non-binding recommendation that San Francisco be chosen to host CIRM. The city scored 222.75 points in the review process, ahead of fellow finalists Sacramento and San Diego, which scored 200.5 and 199.8 points, respectively (California Healthline, 5/3).
Emeryville's bid will not be considered on Friday when the Independent Citizens Oversight Committee decides on a location because the site-selection subcommittee ranked Emeryville behind San Francisco, Sacramento and San Diego.
San Jose's proposal was disqualified last month because of technicalities. City officials previously said they would contest the disqualification at the ICOC meeting.
San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales (D) and San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday held a press conference as "a show of regional solidarity," the Tribune reports.
Meanwhile, Emeryville Mayor Richard Kassis has written a letter to ICOC in support of San Francisco's bid. Emeryville officials plan to deliver the letter at the Friday ICOC meeting in Fresno (Oakland Tribune, 5/5).
Also at the ICOC meeting Friday, committee members will vote on the creation of a working group to review grant proposals and a working group to address ethical standards for research funded by CIRM, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
In addition, "[k]nowledgeable sources" indicate that about six candidates are under consideration to serve as president of CIRM, according to the Chronicle. Zach Hall, a neuroscientist and former University of California-San Francisco administrator, serves as interim president but is not seeking the permanent position. State officials would not comment on the presidential search.
An ICOC subcommittee on May 18 will meet with the firm hired to help recruit and interview presidential candidates (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/6).
The New York Times on Thursday examined the "bare-knuckles" competition among California cities to host the CIRM headquarters (Murphy, New York Times, 5/5).
The Contra Costa Times and Chronicle on Friday also examined the site-selection competition.
Summaries of editorials addressing the site selection process are provided below.
- "Instead of reporters asking questions about the institute's closed meetings and ties with the biotech industry, they are beating up on mayors in San Jose and Los Angeles who botched the pageant paperwork," a Sacramento Bee editorial states. The "redeeming feature" of the site-selection process is that it has "revealed how parochial interests will likely dominate the dispersal of $3 billion of public funds over the next decade," according to the editorial (Sacramento Bee, 5/5).
- The "expected announcement of San Francisco as the permanent headquarters" for CIRM is "of little consequence, except as a public-relations coup" for Newsom, a San Jose Mercury News editorial states. The editorial states that "more important decisions will be made when scientists actually start handing out the new agency's $3 billion in grants." Because "nothing will undermine the success of the stem-cell program more quickly than if Californians don't trust the way the money is distributed," CIRM "should get behind" legislation by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) "to enact stricter conflict of interest rules on the research funded by Proposition 71," the editorial states (San Jose Mercury News, 5/5).
KPBS' "KPBS News" on Thursday reported on the upcoming selection of CIRM headquarters. The segment includes comments from Joe Panetta, president of BIOCOM (Anderson, "KPBS News," KPBS, 5/5). The complete transcript is available online. The complete segment is available online in Windows Media.
In addition, KQED's "This Week in Northern California" on Friday will include a discussion with Judy Silber, biotechnology writer for the Contra Costa Times, about the upcoming announcement ("This Week in Northern California," KQED, 5/6).