Crime rates dropped in 2013 after an uptick in 2012, regional planning agency Sandag reported. For example, the 2013 rate for violent crime — 3.66 incidents per 1,000 residents — was 5 percent less than 2012. This rate was the second lowest in the past 30 years, Sandag criminal justice research Director Cynthia Burke said. The regional crime rate matches the record lows in other sections of the country, she said. And she noted that Sacramento’s prisoner “realignment” program, which shifts inmates from state facilities to county jails, hasn’t had much of an impact on crime rates, despite claims to the contrary. … The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce joined a coalition of 40-plus chambers nationwide pushing to add more research dollars back into the federal budget. As a new member of the Business for Federal Research Funding group, the local chamber said it will help lobby for an increased focus on the critical impact that federal research dollars have on the U.S. economy. The chamber said Washington restored some planned cuts in its most recent budget, but that more advocacy is required to restore other funds cut from past budgets as a result of sequestration. Government spending accounts for 60 percent of the basic research undertaken in the U.S. … La Jolla-based GovX.com, the online commissary of tactical goods for military and government law enforcement employees, is now offering discounted Padres game tickets, thanks to an agreement with Major League Baseball and the team’s front office. … More than 20 student-run “businesses” will present their wares at Junior Achievement of San Diego County’s annual entrepreneurs showcase May 3. The Next Big Thing: Entrepreneurs Showcase event, presented by tech company Cymer, will be held at the Liberty Station Conference Center in Point Loma. Students from 10 high schools will present their business plans, pitch their products and compete for student-run company of the year recognition. The students will also get a chance to compete in a national competition scheduled this summer in Washington, D.C. More info is at jasandiego.org. … You still have a few days to participate in Sizzler’s new reboot fundraiser to benefit the San Diego-based National Veterans Transition Services. The chain said 10 percent of sales from its new Market Grill restaurant on Murphy Canyon Road will go to the group. More details are at nvtsi.org. … Finally, this item: The craft beer economy continues to expand in San Diego. Helm’s Brewing Co. said it recently increased its brewing capacity to more than 2,000 barrels a year from 750 barrels, thanks to the arrival of two 30-barrel fermenters. Till next week.
Contributing Editor Tom York writes the SDBJ Insider. You can reach him via email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Tweet to him @tom2cents.