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The San Diego County Bar Association has announced its 2020 Service Award recipients. The annual awards celebrate the contributions and commitment of distinguished individuals and organizations serving both the San Diego legal community and the public. Recipients were nominated by their peers and reviewed and selected by the SDCBA’s Awards Committee, with the approval of the Association’s Board of Directors.

According to the association, award recipients will be recognized at the SDCBA’s Annual Awards Ceremony and Celebration of Community Service on Sept. 30. The event will be virtual this year and takes place during the association’s celebration of Law Week, which this year is focusing on the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment – Women’s Suffrage.

“Community is one of the San Diego County Bar Association’s core values, and serving the community is central to that commitment,” said SDCBA President Johanna Schiavoni. “We are honored to recognize this year’s award recipients for exemplifying what it means to serve others.”

Those being honored are: Outstanding Attorney Award, Sharon Blanchet, ABC Family Law & Mediation Center; Outstanding Jurist Award, Hon. Gale Kaneshiro (ret.) San Diego Superior Court; Community Service Award, Commissioner Pennie McLaughlin, San Diego Superior Court, Rob Shields, Wilson, Turner & Kosmo LLP; Service to Diversity Award, Bhashini Weerasinghe, Law Office of Bhashini Weerasinghe; Service By a Public Attorney Award, Valerie Garcia Hong, Garcia Hong Law APC; Service By a Public Attorney Award, Rosalina Spencer Leon, Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc.; Service to the Legal Community Award, Valerie Garcia Hong, Garia Hong Law APC; Outstanding Service By a New Lawyer Award, Catherine Asuncion, Kinedinst; and Distinguished Citizen or Organization Award, Jewish Family Service of San Diego.

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Father Joe’s Villages received an amazing gift this past week. Neurocrine Biosciences gave them a check for $200,000. The company matched all donations Father Joe’s received dollar for dollar from June 25 through July 4. With the matching gift campaign, the community donated more than $235,000 for a total of $435,000.

Father Joe’s Villages is the largest homeless services provider in San Diego. They provide housing for more than 2,000 people and more than 3,000 meals a day. They also provide health care, substance use disorder treatment, job training, and therapeutic childcare.

Neurocrine Biosciences is a 28-year-old San Diego-based neuroscience-focused biopharmaceutical company involved in developing life changing treatments for people with challenging and under-addressed neurological, endocrine and psychiatric disorders.

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The city of Oceanside has announced the launch of a “Hire Local” initiative designed to stimulate economic vitality for local residents and businesses through a combination of incentives, development, education and access, according to the city. This initiative is an effort by the city to bridge the gap between in-demand jobs and resident readiness to accelerate professional and business growth and create an economic multiplier for the city.

The city identified a federal grant awarded to MiraCosta College that provides free tuition for a wide range of certificate programs and conducted a needs assessment with local businesses discovering a set of high demand jobs that have been hard to fill because talent is not ready on day one and on the job training slows productivity, according to the city. The city worked with the college to identify seven certificate programs that will train students for the needed jobs.

“With the unprecedented social and economic challenges experienced this year, we feel there’s an opportunity and obligation to align city resources and to do so with a sense of urgency to make sure our residents can access these valuable certificate programs before the grant expires,” said city Economic Development Manager Michelle Geller.

The city has also allocated a $20,000 bonus pool for graduates who are hired by a participating local company and complete six months of successful employment.

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