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(l to r) Marla Marshall, board member YWCA San Diego County; Larry West, president, board of directors; District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis; County Supervisor Dave Roberts; Heather Finlay, CEO, YWCA San Diego County; and San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore just prior to the 2013 walk. (Courtesy YWCA San Diego County)

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Raising awareness one step at a time Morgan M. Hurley | Editor Everyone has heard the phrase, “you can’t really understand another person’s experience until you walk a mile in their shoes.” The YWCA of San Diego County has been turning that phrase into a “teaching moment” for the last six years and on Oct. 9, they will do it again. The seventh annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event challenges men to walk — or stumble as it were — through the streets of Downtown San Diego in a pair of high-heeled shoes, while raising money and awareness for Becky’s House, a domestic violence services and support program of the YWCA. Participants may sign up individually, with groups of friends or coworkers, and even families are

nate domestic violence and we’re DATE asking them to walk for a little bit in [women’s] shoes.” 1/9/12 The course begins at the ML King Promenade Park located at Fourth Avenue and K Street, then travels west up the promenade along the trolley and train tracks, turns north up Second Avenue, east on Market Street over to Fifth Avenue, and then south, down and around back to the start. Finlay said everyone finishes. “The first couple of years we had an option called ‘buy your way out of your heels’ for $50,” she said. “We would give them pink fuzzy slippers to finish in. Not a single guy did it. It’s all about finishing and it’s all about the competition. There is no way they are giving up the heels.” Finlay said while they’ve see growth every year, they want to continue to grow the event and get as many men as possible to participate. “I was really fearful when we started this event that men would do it once and never return,” she said. “But they come back and do it year over year, and bring more people.” After the men have gotten over the initial shock of the high heels, Finlay said many have approached her to say how much it has made them think about what women do for them, the community and bring to society. “That’s exactly what we want,” she said. “So it’s actually working and it’s a great event.” One thing Finlay said she never expected was how the male participants would feel about the shoes. “I didn’t think men would care what shoes they were wearing,” she said. “But they care. They want a specific color. They want the coolest looking pair.” And the participants who re-


encouraged to participate. Cost to “walk” is $40 and only men are expected to put on high heels. Participants are encouraged to raise additional money for the cause through pledges or donations. Those who raise the most win trophies and other prizes, which will be awarded at the event’s after party. “It is certainly one of the most interesting events we do,” said Heather Finlay, president of YWCA of San Diego County, adding that it’s an easy way to spread awareness about a very serious issue. “One in four women is a victim of domestic violence, and we’re not even talking about the men,” she said. “Giving people a very light-hearted and funny way to help out and bring awareness is actually working. “We need men to help us elimi-

see HerHeels, page 3

Convention Center in limbo Recent decisions scramble future expansion plans Andy Cohen The $520 million plan to expand the San Diego Convention Center is virtually dead after the San Diego City Council voted 7-0 on Aug. 26 not to appeal a court ruling that found the financing plan unconstitutional. That decision places the expansion plan — considered by some business and civic leaders as a vital key to economic development in San Diego and crucial to keeping the iconic ComicCon — back to square one. The controversial financing scheme was formulated according to the Mello-Roos Community Facilities Act, which allowed for the creation of “community facilities districts,” providing communities the ability to get around the restrictive Proposition 13 in order to essentially raise taxes on themselves to fund projects deemed beneficial to the community as a whole, such as schools, parks, streets and other infrastructure projects. The Convention Center funding plan took that concept a bit further, allowing property owners — specifically hotel owners — to vote to tax themselves in order to provide the resources to service the debt on the Convention Center expansion, a tax they would in turn pass on to their hotel guests in the form of a room tax or fee. In 2013, San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald Prager agreed with the city’s interpretation of the law, finding that the Mello-Roos Act did, in fact, allow for property owners within a community facilities district to vote to assess fees on themselves

see Convention Center, page 10

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Downtown Partnership unveils winning design for ‘mobile parklet’ Hutton Marshall | Contributing Editor On Sept. 3, the Downtown San Diego Par tnership (DSDP) selected design plans for a “mobile parklet” that will soon find a nomadic home in Downtown San Diego. Parklets, or miniature parks, are an increasingly common urban strategy to utilize scarce outdoor space in dense urban areas. Mobile parklets go one step further, in that they can be moved and adapted to various nooks and crannies outdoors. The DSDP, a nonprofit dedicated to urban and economic development, touted mobile parklets as a new strategy to bring more visitors to the neighborhood.

“It’s really interesting way to look at space dif ferently and tap into San Diego’s creativity,” said Kris Michell, President and CEO of DSDP. “It’s a really playful way to say ‘what could we do with this space.’” The design is the result of a summer contest tag-teamed by the DSDP and the City of San Diego. It invited local architects and designers to submit their proposal for a versatile space constructible on a $5,000 budget. The contest received 20 design submissions. Eleven were deemed valid and three were chosen as finalists. Following a Facebook poll among the three finalists, the Downtown Partnership announced the winning design, “The Boardroom,” created by Kate Goodson, Scott Hook and Joshua Larson, three recent graduates of San Diego’s NewSchool of Architecture and Design. “We wanted to tap into the

A rendering of “The Boardroom,” the winning submission for the mobile parklet contest. (Courtesy DSDP)

movements that were already happening Downtown … to create more collaborative spaces in an urban context — taking the boardroom out of the tower and onto the street,” Goodson said. The local designers spent just

one week developing the concept and visual rendering. They now have just over two weeks to use a $5,000 prize from the city to turn the concept into reality. On Park(ing) Day,

see Parklet, page 8


San Diego Downtown News | September 2014



Entertaining, enlightening and educational


HERHEELS turn year after year go buy their own shoes and show up with some pretty fancy footwear. For those who don’t have their own, organizers have a huge cachet of extra large highheeled shoes for men to choose from, as long as they return them after the walk. All the proceeds for “Walk A Mile in Her Shoes” go to YWCA San Diego County in support of all their programs, but the emphasis here is on domestic violence. Prior to the event, registrants can stroll around the park and visit the exhibitors on hand sharing information and explaining their supportive services. This year’s speakers — usually from the law enforcement field and full of statistical data — have not been announced yet, but last year’s speakers were San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Sheriff Bill Gore. “We choose members of law enforcement because they deal with [domestic violence] to such a great extent and the information they share is unnerving but beneficial to understand,” Finlay said. “People are always amazed to hear that domestic violence is so prevalent.” The YWCA has been saving women’s lives since they established the first domestic violence shelter, then called Casa de Paz (House of Peace), in 1978. In 1999, radio morning show team Jeff and Jer received a phone call on air from a domestic violence victim. The show’s producer, “Little Tommy,” protected the woman by calling her “Becky.” Her abuser was out of town for two days and she wanted to leave, but didn’t know what to do. In just two days Jeff and Jer raised more than $40,000 and “Becky” had a place to go. Shortly after that call, the YWCA renamed Casa de Paz to Becky’s House, and in 2001 they opened their first transitional housing community, a 10-unit complex. Today, the organization has several undisclosed locations and touts the largest number of emergency shelter or transitional beds for victims of domestic violence in the county. Finlay, who stepped up from board member to CEO in 2009, said while there are actually three phases of the Becky’s House program, most women only need the first two. Phase one is the emergency shelter, a place where any woman (or man) who needs to escape an abusive situation immediately, can go. The shelter is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. “I’m told we are the only ones that take people in the middle of the night or on the weekends,” Finlay said, adding that ironically it is during those hours that the violence most often occurs. The emergency shelter has counselors and case managers

San Diego Downtown News | September 2014

San Diego Film Fest returns for year 13

Participants of last year’s walk ham it up for the camera and a band leads the walkers down the ML King Promenade. (Courtesy YWCA San Diego


on staff to help the victims when they arrive. “It’s a very confusing and frightening time,” Finlay said. Phase two is the transitional phase, which can last up to two years. Clients are moved to apartment-style housing and set up with an entire legal team to walk them through restraining orders, divorce, child custody issues — the works. Finlay said they also get help developing a plan for what happens next, including how to support themselves and their children once they leave. Phase three is called “Transitions.” Some people need just a little more help, and in this phase, they get it, including rent for up to one year. At the end of that year, they sign their own lease. Though statistics often show that many women in domestic violence situations go back to their abusers, Finlay said the comprehensive Becky’s House program and its methods are making an impact. “The key element to this is providing housing to these individuals,” she said. “If we have them in the program for two years, our data is showing that 98 percent of them don’t go back.” On the other hand, Finlay was quick to note that many women who come into the emergency shelter stay for 30 days or less and move on, merely needing a safe place to go while they figured out what to do next. “Every story is a little different and every path that they choose is a little different,” Finlay said. The staff of the YWCA of San Diego County is hoping that once again, having men walk a mile in women’s shoes through the streets of Downtown to raise

(l to r) Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars; Tonya Mantooth, SDFF vice president and director of programming; Jamie Rodriguez; and SDFF board members Kevin Leap and Dale Strack at a VIP event with Taylor Guitars in June. (Courtesy SDFF) awareness and money to combat domestic abuse will make each of those paths just a little less challenging. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes takes place Oct. 9, from 5 – 9 p.m., starting at ML King Promenade Park at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and K Street, Downtown. Exhibitors, financial sponsors, community partners and volunteers are still needed. Registration and the exhibitor booths open at 5 p.m., the walk begins at 7 p.m. and the after party starts at 8 p.m. at Joltin’ Joe’s, 379 Fourth Ave., in the Gaslamp Quarter. For more information visit

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor For the 13th year in a row, the San Diego Film Festival will return to the streets of Downtown San Diego for its showcase of U.S. and international independent films. The five-day festival, which runs from Sept. 24 – 28, is produced by the San Diego Film Foundation and will screen films at both the Reading Gaslamp 15 Cinemas located at 701 Fifth Ave., as well as the ArcLight Cinemas at 4425 La Jolla Village Dr. in University Town Center. “The San Diego Film Festival will celebrate the year’s best independent cinema from emerging and established filmmakers showcasing their latest works to some of Hollywood’s most buzz-worthy award season releases,” said Tonya Mantooth, vice president and director of programming, in a press release. “We’ve curated a wide selection of films that we hope movie lovers of all genres will enjoy.” Last year’s attendance topped 15,000, and with 89 total films this year, organizers expect to exceed that number in 2014. Three types of films are curated: 25 narrative (traditional feature length films of all genres), 14 docu-

see FilmFest, page 23


San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


San Diego dating site uses DNA for matching

Complimentary DNA testing kit (Courtesy Singled Out) Alex Owens Trying to find love online can sometimes seem like spitting in the wind. SingldOut, a new dating site headquartered in San Diego, believes it’s better to spit in a tube. The website matches singles based on the usual criteria, such as profession or personality types, but also genetic compatibility as well. It works like this: Clients sign up via LinkedIn and then build a profile for SingldOut. The company then sends a complimentary DNA testing kit and the client simply spits into the tube and sends it back in a prepaid envelope. The DNA results come back within 10 days. That and the information supplied to the site’s personality test allow the client to determine which potential matches have the best “chemistry.” “We believe it will solve a lot of issues in the dating world,” said Elle France, the site’s co-founder and a professional matchmaker based in Rancho Santa Fe. “DNA is accurate. It’s not just for the Jerry Springer Show.” France, who runs the site with her friend, Jana Bayard, said the DNA test focuses on people with dissimilar immune systems and serotonin levels. “It’s based in science,” she said. “It stems back to

a test they did a few years back where women would smell stinky T-shirts and decide which person they liked best based on the smell. “Inevitably, the shirt each person liked the best was the person they had the most chemistry with,” France said. France said using DNA is a drastic difference from other dating sites. “EHarmony personality tests tell you what you want to hear. Everyone tries to be perfect so they look good.” Though the SingldOut website is already a few months old, it’s too soon to see if there are any success stories. However, this new method of matchmaking is already getting a lot of media attention. SingldOut is available nationally, but France believes it will have special appeal in San Diego, especially with the young, upwardly mobile professionals populating the Downtown area. “We cater to the upper tier of people, people who are serious about finding love,” France said. Setting singles on the path to coupledom has been a lifelong dream of hers, even when she was pursuing a successful career in the HR department of the No Fear clothing brand. “Love is a necessary thing,” France said. “I know I had that niche. I felt shows like ‘Millionaire Matchmaker’ were more about entertainment. Matchmaking has always been an interest of mine throughout my life. After quitting No Fear, I decided to do it.” As promising as DNA may seem toward finding a perfect match on a spiritual, physical and cellular level, SingldOut is still limited to straight people. “The science isn’t there for gays yet,” France said apologetically. France is convinced that spitting into a tube can lead to love, but admits she has no need or desire to use the product. “I already am compatible with someone,” she said, laughing. For more information about how you can find compatibility through your LinkedIn profile and DNA, visit —Alex Owens is a San Diego-based freelance writer.v

MasterChef holds San Diego casting call Kai Oliver-Kurtin FOX TV’s MasterChef is looking for San Diego’s best amateur home cooks for casting in the show’s sixth season of the summer series that often discovers the underutilized cooking skills of janitors, teachers, truck drivers and stay-at-home moms. On Sept. 13, casting producers are holding open call auditions at The Westin San Diego, where contestant hopefuls are given the opportunity to serve one pre-prepared dish to culinary judges. Current and former chefs cannot be contestants on the show and those auditioning will not have use of any cooking equipment or heating elements during open call. “The show is about people who have always had a passion for food, but for whatever reason their life went into another direction,” said Erika Landin, supervising casting producer. “It’s for people who are passionate about cooking but never got to fully explore it.” MasterChef has about six million viewers in over 30 countries. The competition is hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay and fellow judges Joe Bastianich and Graham Elliot. Last season’s winner received $250,000, a cookbook deal and the prestigious MasterChef title. “People get intimidated by the name of our show,” Landin said. “It’s really more about those who want to become the MasterChef and are willing to go on this journey and be mentored by the judges.” Even though auditions are held in large cities across the country, the casting calls are relatively small. Two years ago, the show had a successful casting call in San Diego that landed four contestants in the top 18, including the runner-up, Natasha Crnjac from La Jolla. “We figured there was a lot of talent in San Diego,” Landin said. “During casting we look for all types of contestants, but the most important thing is they have that passion for food and cooking.” MasterChef airs on Monday nights and the number of contestants selected to compete each season is typically about 20. According to Landin, contestants have a good shot at winning if they’re able to learn quickly throughout the show and use feedback provided by the judges. The Westin is located Downtown at 400 W. Broadway. Open call will be held on Sept. 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information and pre-registration details, visit —Kai Oliver-Kurtin is a local freelance reporter who also works full-time doing social media marketing for the U.S. Navy. Contact her at

San Diego Downtown News | September 2014



San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


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PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Hutton Marshall, x102 Jeremy Ogul, x117 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlene Baldridge Will Bowen Dianna Caragnaro Kai Oliver-Kurtin Johnny McDonald Frank Sabatini Jr.


Gardening for a cause Caring people doing great work [See “Adventures in gardening,” Vol. 15, Issue 9]. I have been a gardener pretty much since the beginning and enjoy getting out in the fresh air each morning to tend to my garden. Reminds me of working with my grandma in her garden some 60 years ago. Come join us! —Ronna Fillart, via

Thank you so much for sharing the SMARTS Farm story! I read it with interest and really enjoyed the pictures and info on their website. And, you are so right, our kids deserve to feel special and this program and environment seem well suited to that goal. —Sarah, via email

WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Andrew Bagley (619) 961-1964 Yana Shayne (619) 961-1963 Karen Davis, x105 Sloan Gomez, x104 Lisa Hamel, x107 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 accounting@sdcnn. com WEB DESIGNER Kim Espinoza

PRODUCTION ARTISTS Arielle Jay, x111 Todd Kammer, x115


Approve November water measure or suffer the consequences By Jim Madaffer “Serious drought. Help save water.” We see lit-up signs with these five words ever ywhere in California. More importantly, we feel the effects of this “serious” drought and mandator y water restrictions that have come with the problem. But, to say it’s a “serious” drought is an understatement. The countr y’s most populous state is suffering through the most severe drought in modern histor y with scientists warning of a “megadrought” if California doesn’t take action. Investing in our water infrastructure is crucial for a state that supplies half the countr y’s fruits, vegetables and nuts, and will be home to 60 million people by 2050.

The state Legislature made tremendous headway this week when it passed a $7.5 billion water bond package to be known as Proposition 1 on this November’s ballot. The deal is the largest investment the state has proposed since the $1.75 billion State Water Project in 1960. The money will go toward dams, groundwater, recycling, water quality and watershed improvement – and more, throughout the state — all designed to improve and stabilize California’s water supply. In San Diego, we’ll benefit from the passage of the ballot measure in a number of ways including: • $1.5 billion will go toward water recycling and water treatment technology

• $52.5 million will fund regional water management projects • $100 million would fund water-use efficiency projects • $17 for the San Diego River Conser vancy The future of California’s water supply is now in the hands of its citizens. Voters have the responsibility of passing Proposition 1 in November or we must suffer the consequences of a dr ying Golden State. —Jim Madaf fer is a San Diego County Water Authority board director, former San Diego City Council member and president of Madaf fer Enterprises. He uses water daily.v

Ways to go green while kids return to school School is back in session for kids and Waste Management of Southern California would like to encourage everyone to kick off the new school year by being green, both in classrooms and at home. “Back to school is an exciting time for everyone and a great opportunity to recommit to good recycling habits,” said Eloisa Orozco area communications manager for Waste Management of Southern California. “Fostering good recycling habits among children at an early age can help develop the next generation of environmental champions so that together, we can conserve earth’s precious resources.” Waste Management would like to share the following tips to reduce, reuse and recycle this school year: • Purchase products made from recycled materials: A new school year means new notebooks, binders, paper and printer ink all of which are available with recycled content. • Pack a lunch with reusable gear: Packing a lunch is a healthy habit for everyone in the family. Buying lunch at school or eating out often means more calories, more money and more waste, whereas packing a lunch gives you an opportunity to use leftovers and save money. By utilizing reusable gear, like a fun lunch box or environmentally friendly water bottle, you can also save on waste. • Utilize carpools or public transportation: While cars may be convenient, traffic and high gas prices certainly are not. Tak-

ing advantage of school buses to transport children to and from school is not only cost-effective, it can also save you time. Or, take a break from driving by organizing a neighborhood carpool or consider green options like walking or biking as a family. • Turn off and unplug appliances when you are not using them: Computers, printers, fax machines and other wired devices cost money when not in use, even when they are in sleep mode or turned off. Help conserve energy by unplugging these appliances when you are not using them. Encourage kids to get involved too and make them responsible for doing one last check before leaving the house to make sure all lights and small appliances are turned off and unplugged. • Donate last year’s clothes to charity: A new back to school wardrobe is many students favorite part of summer’s end but don’t forget about last year’s clothes! Encourage children to donate old outfits to charity and help give their wardrobe a second life. —Waste Management Inc., is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. To learn more, visit or thinkgreen.comv

OPINIONS/LETTERS: San Diego Downtown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to morgan@ and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS: Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to morgan@ For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION: San Diego Downtown News is distributed free on the first Friday of every month. COPYRIGHT 2014. All rights reserved


HOFFMAN INDUCTED INTO PADRES HALL OF FAME On Aug. 30, Padres all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman was inducted into the Padres Hall of Fame prior to the team’s game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hoffman was unanimously elected to the Padres Hall of Fame by its committee comprised of local sports media and San Diego Padres officials. He is the ninth player inducted, flowing Buzzie Bavasi, Nate Colbert, Jerry Coleman, Tony Gwynn, Randy Jones, Ray Kroc, Dick Williams and Dave Winfield. During his 16 seasons as a member of the Padres, Hoffman had a 54-64 record with 552 saves in 618 opportunities, a 2.76 ERA, a .211 opponent batting average, and 1,029 strikeouts in 902 relief appearances. Hoffman currently serves as the Padres’ upper-level pitching coordinator. POLICE DEPARTMENT FOUNDATION TO HOLD ANNUAL GALA The San Diego Police Foundation will hold their annual Gold Shield Gala, “The Future’s So Bright You Gotta Wear Shades,” on Oct. 4 to raise money for the San Diego Police Department


One life at a time

DowntownBriefs FLETCHER LAUNCHES VETERAN-SUPPORTING NONPROFIT Former California assemblymember and Marine Corps veteran Nathan Fletcher recently announced the launch of the Three Wise Men Foundation, a nonprofit aimed at raising awareness for issues veterans often face transitioning from combat duty to civilian life. “It’s a tragedy that between as many as 50 veterans kill themselves every day in America, often as a result of untreated psychological trauma inflicted by combat,” Fletcher stated in a press release. “If we truly honor those who gave their last full measure of devotion, it’s our duty to ensure that those who survive combat can also survive the transition home.” The organization derives its name from Fletcher’s three cousins: brothers Ben, Jeremy and Beau Wise. The latter two were killed in action serving in Afghanistan; the former is an active duty marine. The foundation’s first event will take place on the deck of the USS Midway on Oct. 18. Proceeds will go toward increasing veteran access to support and services addressing veteran suicide. Visit for more information.

San Diego Downtown News | September 2014

St. Vincent de Paul’s remains at the forefront of helping those in need On The Go provided transportation to 50 older adults to the Festival of Sail along the Embarcadero on Aug. 28, commemorating its 200,000 ride. (Courtesy Jewish Family Service)

ON THE GO MARKS ITS 200,000TH RIDE The “On the Go: Transportation Solutions for Older Adults” recently delivered its 200,000 ride on Aug. 28. More than 50 older adults were transported to the San Diego waterfront, where they were to enjoy front row seats at the Festival of Sail’s Tall Ship Parade. A program of Jewish Family Service of San Diego, On the Go was founded in 2008 and is funded by Charitable Adult Rides & Services. Its mission is to help older adults stay mobile, independent and connected to their community by providing them safe and timely transportation to medical appointments, social events, synagogues, shopping centers and other needs. Several local civic leaders joined in on the celebration, including Sachiko Kohatsu from Supervisor Dave Roberts, Allison Don from Senator Marty Block’s office, Brian Lane and Dave Schumacher from SANDAG, Melanie Rubin from Lawrence Family Jewish community Center and Steve Ewart from RideScheduler. To learn more about On the Go, call 858-637-7320 or visit (SDPD). This year’s gala specifically benefits the foundation’s “K9 Crimefighters Campaign,” which aims to fund new canines for SDPD’s K9 Unit. Seventeen of the department’s 31 police service dogs are expected to retire within the next three years. Each canine costs approximately $30,000. Tickets for the formal even are available for $185 per person or $1,750 for a 10-person table. They may be reserved by calling 619-232-2130 or by visiting

PADRES DEDICATE SELIG HALL OF FAME PLAZA The San Diego Padres recently announced the dedication of Selig Hall of Fame Plaza at Petco Park, honoring outgoing MLB Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “Moving forward, this area of the ballpark will serve as the cornerstone of a project celebrating the history of this franchise throughout Petco Park,” said Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler in a press release. “It will bear Commissioner Selig’s name in recognition of, and with gratitude for, all that he has done for the game of baseball, both in San Diego and around the world.” Selig was present to thank the team for the honor, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Supervisor Ron Roberts were also in attendance. However, many San Diegan’s met the announcement with disdain, citing Selig’s role in an ill-received Padres ownership

transition, among other qualms with the former commissioner, reported the UT San Diego. An online petition on to rename the plaza has 1,771 supporters.

KING TUT EXHIBITION TICKETS GO ON SALE Tickets are now on sale for the upcoming Natural History Museum exhibit, “The Discovery of King Tut.” The exhibition will make its West Coast debut in San Diego on Oct. 11, featuring over 1,000 replicated artifacts handcrafted by Egyptian artisans. It also walks visitors through the historically iconic tomb of Tutankhamen. In honor of the San Diego Museum Council’s “Kids Free in October” program, the museum will admit the first 500 children (ages 3-12) for free when accompanying a ticket-purchasing adult. General admission tickets are $27 with discounts for members and certain demographics. Purchase tickets and find more information at or call 877-946-7797. 30TH ANNUAL COSTAL CLEANUP DAY The California Coastal Commission recently announced the 30th Annual California Cleanup Day, reportedly the state’s largest volunteer event, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. – noon. The cleanup is

see Briefs, page 27

Outside view of St. Vincent de Paul’s just east of Petco Park. (Photo by Dave Schwab) Dave Schwab A “housing first” approach is being touted by officials these days as the first and foremost path to pursue when attempting to combat homelessness. It’s a road St. Vincent de Paul Village in Downtown San Diego has trodden for more than 60 years. “We were doing housing first before it was cool,” said Ruth Bruland, executive director of Father Joe’s Villages, the managing partner of St. Vincent de Paul’s. The agency provides permanent housing and nearly 900 transitional housing beds nightly for the local homeless, including families, women, men, teens and veterans at St. Vincent de Paul Village, Josue Homes (for those affected by HIV/ AIDS) and the Toussaint Academy for teens. “We have almost as many people in permanent housing as we have in transitional housing,” Bruland said, a little-known fact about St. Vincent de Paul’s in her opinion.“Transitional housing has been around for decades and has helped a lot of people escape homelessness,” said Tom Theisen, board president of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless. Theisen is presently involved with a project seeking to effectively house and retain 150 veterans and 100 chronic homeless individuals Downtown by Sept. 17. “We recognize that in the past, San Diego has invested heavily in transitional housing, and we would like to find a way to utilize this

resource, at least to some extent, to help end homelessness here,” Theisen said. St. Vincent’s also serves between 700 and 900 free lunches daily — 300,000 annually — to Downtown’s homeless and hungry. The free lunch program was one of the first services provided by Father Joe’s beginning in the early 1950s at St. Mary of the Wayside Chapel in East Village. Since then, the institution has evolved into a homeless one-stop shop. Part shelter, part employment center, part health clinic, part classroom, part dormitory and all heart, St. Vincent de Paul Village has served as an inspiration — and model — for battling homelessness for decades. St. Vincent de Paul Village/ Father Joe’s Villages at 1501 Imperial Ave. just east of Petco Park is a one-size-fits-all campus intended to address all the rehabilitative needs of the homeless: everything from providing meals to temporary and permanent housing, child and health care, case management, even family literacy and parenting instruction. A range of clinical services are also offered in-house, including assessments, addiction treatment, and mental health services for individual, group and children’s therapy. An on-site health clinic offers medical, dental and psychiatric care and there is a chaplaincy program as well. St. Vincent’s Career & Education Center teaches participants job

see St.Vincent, page 17


San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


PARKLET Sept. 19, the completed space will be showcased to the public at Civic Center Plaza. But the team must go beyond simply constructing the space. The parklet needs to be fluid and adaptable to the many spaces DSDP plans to use it in. Goodson said this means constructing it in a modular fashion, where pieces can be added and subtracted by a two-person team while still preser ving the “heart of the design.” “I think the advantage is that it could work anywhere,” Goodson said. Goodson, Hook and Larson work at different design firms in San Diego, each having graduated from NewSchool earlier this year. The competition’s prize will go solely to funding the parklet’s construction, so the project has been done on a volunteer basis. Goodson said the project was about contributing to the vibrancy of Downtown, not about financial gain. “We’re donating our time to this, and the Partnership is going to take ownership [of the parklet after it’s completed], but as local designers we’re really invested in improving our city

and its urban environment,” Goodson said. Michell said the exciting part of such a project is the uncertainty of how exactly it will be used. “It’s an experiment on how we can best use our public space,” she said. “So this allows us to rethink that but on a grand scale.” The idea is a continuation of a new urban development strategy known as “tactical urbanism,” which uses a fast-acting, fluid approach to urban planning. In practical application, tactical urbanism involves the creation of impromptu urban spaces, making “The Boardroom” parklet a handy tool in the tactical urbanist’s arsenal. “This is new territor y for the city of San Diego,” Goodson said. “We have a few more parklets and a few more plans, but making it mobile is a whole new concept, so I think this is an exciting new movement that we’re a part of [and] a potential catalyst for the city.” Learn more about the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s tactical urbanism and mobile parklet goals at —Contact Hutton Marshall at

Coronado Art Walk returns Cross the Bay for the Coronado Art Walk, Sept. 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Coronado Ferry Landing.  Over 100 artists will participate in the juried show this year on the shores of San Diego Bay. This exciting venue also includes art activities to delight all ages and live entertainment both days. Admission is free. Over 10,000 people enjoyed last year’s Art Walk! This popular event attracts artists who work in a wide variety of media from many different parts of the country. A number of these artists have participated every year since the very first Coronado Art Walk nine years ago. Visitors will find ample pay parking on-site and the San Diego/ Coronado Ferry carries pedestrians and bicyclists back and forth across the Bay, leaving every half hour. A fee is charged for the ferry service. For more info visit The Coronado Art Walk is presented by the Coronado Historical Association, with support from the Unified Port of San Diego and the Coronado Tourism Improvement District, and donations from many others. For further information about this year’s big event, call the Coronado Visitor Center, 619-437-8788, or log onto or



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Open: MON–SAT 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; SUN 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. | Restaurant hours may vary The Headquarters Events September 2014

Chocolate & Wine Tasting Sept. 11 | 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Dallmann Chocolates

Farmers’ Market Sept. 7, 14, 21, 28 |10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Pacific Highway & Harbor Drive

Wine and Chocolate are natural companions. They both have subtle nuances and flavor notes which are to be savored. Once you enjoy them together, you might never consider eating one without the other again. Sommelier Jayson Knack has carefully selected three wined to be paired with our world class confections on this special tasting night. This is perfect for a romantic evening or a special night out with friends. Limited seating available and class costs $25.

Located out front in the urban garden along Pacific Highway, the Farmers’ Market boasts tons of fresh produce, local artisans, incredible food purveyors and more.

Rise Up (fitness event) Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27 | 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. The Headquarters’ Courtyard Join us every Saturday for 30 minutes of conditioning and 30 minutes of yoga as fitness experts from California Exercise help move us into a better body and mind for the summer. Bring your smile, yoga mat, towel and water. Drop in rate $10.

SoCal Etsy Guild Market Sept. 6 | 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. The Headquarters’ Courtyard SoCal Etsy Guild Market is a unique event that will feature Southern California’s premier handmade artisan vendors in the beautiful setting of our intimate, outdoor courtyard. The market will include live art & music and free children’s activities. All products featured at the market will be handmade, vintage, artisanal food or art.

chocolates from different regions. We will be sampling five chocolates. Sommelier Jayson Knack will be joining us to find the perfect match. Class costs $25.

Club de Niños y Niñas de Mexico Sept. 27 | 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Headquarters’ Courtyard The Headquarters crosses borders! Free family day that will include face painting, opportunity drawings, carnival games, live music, food stations, raffle prizes and more. Tijuana’s baseball and basketball teams will also be on CAPELLA + SOLAZZO site to meet and greet and take pictures.

Fab French Fromage Sept. 17 | 6 – 7:30 p.m. Venissimo Cheese


Bon jour from the epicenter of the world of cheese — France! Take a tour around the country that has more cheeses than days of the year. Taste generous samples of the finest French fromage & sip complimentary wine in a fun and intimate setting. Also take advantage of a 10 percent discount off any in-store purchases the night of the $50 class.

Gelato Paradiso The Headquarters at Seaport District 789 W. Harbor Dr. #117 San Diego, CA 92101

Chocolate & Champagne Sept. 25 | 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Dallmann Chocolates What better way to celebrate an evening with friends — bubbles and chocolate? Join us as we taste and pair champagne and

About Gelato Paradiso … Since setting up shop in 1999, Gelato Paradiso has been on a mission to produce some of the finest gelatos and sorbettos in the world. Building upon authentic Sicilian recipes passed down through generations, the company sources fresh seasonal produce, as well as the highest quality nuts, chocolates, and extracts from Italy, to

| The Headquarters Color

create their handcrafted treats. Up to 30 distinct flavors of gelato and sorbetto are made daily at their shops in Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and it’s newly opened location at The Headquarters at Seaport District in San Diego. All flavors are available in a cup, cone, shake, or affogato (drowned in Italian espresso) and can also be packaged for take-home. We proudly offer up to four flavors in any size cup and three flavors in our freshly made cones.



Feeling good

San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


a por tion of the fish whole, instead of filleted — making it more than a meal — as the whole fish are used in Father Joe’s Culinar y Ar ts Program, a unique, four-mont, on-site training program that of fers long-term residents a chance to learn a trade that will allow them to once again become independent and self-suf ficient members of society. By receiving the fish whole, students have the opportunity to learn a fundamental skill — how to fillet a fish — which is essential in most of San Diego’s seafood restaurants. The fish prepared by these students is ser ved to the thousands who

Todd Bluechel surrounded by members of Father Joe’s Culinary Program (Courtesy F3G)

Local nonprofit feeds fresh fish to San Diego’s hungry for free Delle Willett In 2009, Todd Bluechel, a San Diego native who has fished humanely and with respect for the environment for over 30 years, became tired of two issues that concerned him: unwanted fish and hungr y people. He began thinking of ways to merge the two in a sustainable, environmentally friendly and resourceful manner. His solution became “Fish. Food. Feel Good.” (F3G), a San Diego 501(c)3 non-profit established in 2010 with one simple goal: to collect unwanted fish from sport fishermen and distribute this nutritious product to local charities who ser ve it to San Diegans in need, whether that need originates from being elderly, homeless, jobless, or a militar y veteran. Dedicated to the sport of fishing, the environment and the greater good, Bluechel proudly admits that F3G is San Diego’s only truly sustainable charity and America’s only sustainable fishing charity. Since 2010, local fishermen returning to port after their trips at sea have had the option

to donate their unwanted pelagic fish — including albacore, yellowfin, bluefin, wahoo, dorado, and yellowtail — to F3G, who then distribute it to local charities. Returning boats are greeted at the docks by processing companies that fillet and vacuum seal the fishermen’s catch for a fee. One of those companies, 5-Star Processing, not only processes fish, they are also the exclusive processor for all the charities through F3G, and generously does so at a discounted rate. Because F3G collects only sport-caught fish, there can be no financial gain or exchange of money between the fishermen, F3G, and the charities. F3G therefore receives all the fish for free and donates it to charities for free. Charities currently receiving donated fish include Father Joe’s Villages, San Diego Rescue Mission, San Diego Food Bank, Samoa Independent, PATH Connections Housing, Urban Angels and Jewish Family Ser vices. Instead of having all their donated fish filleted by the processor, Father Joe’s receives

Jewish Family Services are recipients of the fish that is filleted and vacuum-sealed by 5 Star Processing (Courtesy F3G)

dine at the facility ever y day. “Generosity, such as that from Fish. Food. Feel Good. of their supply of fresh fish, truly makes a difference in a community,” said Sister Patricia Cruise, SC, President and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “F3G has helped thousands of its neighbors in need in the San Diego area. They recognize that ever yone deser ves to enjoy healthy food, and they help to provide those less fortunate an opportunity for a better life with healthy meals prepared with fresh fish.” “We have had a ver y beneficial relationship with F3G for several years,” said Herb Johnson of the San Diego Rescue Mission. “It has been a source of high-quality, high-energy food that we would never have had access to or been able to afford on the open market.”

see F3G, page 13

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San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


Looking beyond football

Levi’s Stadium, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers, is bring more than football fans to Santa Clara (Photo by Joe Connor)

New home of the 49ers may offer San Diego some ideas Joe Connor After spending 10 years failing to find a suitable site to build a new football stadium in the City of San Francisco, Larry Macneil got a letter one day in 2004 from Kevin Moore, then a city councilmember in Santa Clara. Moore had land for the San Francisco 49ers football team’s executive vice president of development to consider. The rest, as they say, is history. While San Diego’s City Council, tourism officials, hotel owners and the Chargers debate over land to expand the Convention Center and also build a new football stadium, the 49ers recently christened Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara thanks to a partnership few ever envisioned. Santa Clara, a city of 120,000 residents in Silicon Valley located 38 miles south of the 49ers’ former home at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, lured the team largely because existing infrastructure was already in place to support nearly 70,000 fans coming to and from a typical football game. But to hear Moore tell it, the biggest factor was that all stakeholders — councilmembers, tourism officials, hotel owners and the team — could envision the future benefits once the stadium opened. A majority of Santa Clara taxpayers shared the same vision too, voting in 2010 to approve the lease of city property to build the stadium. “What it’s done for property values is astronomical,” explained

Moore, now a realtor in Santa Clara that is also writing a book about his experience helping to lead the project. “That’s revenue for the city. Ultimately, what it’s going to create is a true downtown for Santa Clara.” Two years after Moore dropped off his letter at the 49ers’ corporate headquarters, Santa Clara expanded its convention center, which is located next to Levi’s Stadium. “We’re not a big city but [both projects] have taken us to a bigger tier,” Moore said. “Before these projects, our land across the street from the stadium had a sign on it but we couldn’t get anybody to lease the property.” The opening of Levi’s Stadium is also spurning additional growth. For example, the Related Companies is planning to invest $2.3 billion to create a regional shopping and commercial center on the city’s existing golf course nearby. The Montana Property Group, led by football hall-of-famer and former 49er Joe Montana, plans to build a luxury hotel, office and entertainment space on land north of the stadium. Macneil said the biggest challenges in San Francisco were how to make do with the limited amount of land available in such a high-density city – and also absorb the high infrastructure costs. “Finding 20 acres of land just to build the stadium was not hard,” Macneil explained. “What makes it difficult in an urban environment is really the parking. You need 140 acres just for 20,000 cars

and it also has to be well-served with public transportation.” The 49ers estimated the cost just to build a new parking garage to support 20,000 cars at $600 million. Moore, who tried luring the San Francisco Giants baseball team to Santa Clara in the late 1980s, said the San Diego City Council, Chargers and tourism officials should look into lowering costs by making the most of the existing public transportation infrastructure — as well as the limited land available Downtown — by making an expanded convention literally part of the Chargersw new stadium. He cited a recent gala event held on one of the suite levels at Levi’s Stadium. “You know how expensive it is to put in a new bathroom or kitchen in your home, right? Why wouldn’t the Convention Center utilize this brand new existing [stadium] space?” Moore asked. “The enclosed bar and restaurant areas inside Levi’s Stadium are a lot better than a lot of convention centers I’ve seen. And they have their own kitchens and bathrooms. That would be a smart way to also help expand a convention center.” “My experience with Petco has taught me the value of holding a meeting in the Western Metal Building or the OMNI Premier Club,” said John Kratzer, president and CEO of JMI Realty that developed Petco Park and the surrounding ballpark district. “That’s very exciting to people.” Kratzer said a football stadium could be constructed on top of an expanded Convention Center for $1.4 billion. One of his company’s proposed sites would be a short walk from the existing Convention

Center. Such a design has never been done before. Constructing a football stadium and an expanded convention center separately would cost an additional $400 million, Kratzer said. “The campus style approach can work, because San Diego’s greatest asset is its weather,” Kratzer said. “Comic-Con has shown that a large convention can take over multiple facilities. I don’t believe [the expansion] has to be contiguous to the existing Convention Center space.” Dennis Wellner, founder of the architectural firm Populous that has designed more than a dozen NFL stadiums, agrees. Wellner said that the expansive restaurants, bars and lounges within enclosed club-level and suite-level stadium seating could serve multiple audiences. “Those are going to be the most expensive parts of the building to design,” Wellner said. “Yet high-end costs such as space used for premium patrons can serve dual purposes.” No general or enterprise funds were used by Santa Clara taxpayers to pay for Levi’s Stadium and no new taxes were added either, except for a self-imposed tax by local hotels. The city’s Stadium Authority borrowed $850 million from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and U.S. Bank for construction, with the NFL contributing $200 million. Additional funding came from redevelopment money, which has since dried up in California and created one more challenge for the Chargers. The NFL stadiums of the Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts and St. Louis Rams have used their field as a convention hall, but each of these facilities also has a roof. “When I talk to the world’s leading architects, no one’s really done it right,” Kratzer said. “The real answer is no one has ever set out to make sure it works out for the team and a convention center. Our plan optimizes space for both.” “I’m an underdog kind of guy,” Moore said. “We had to think smart. “San Diego should think like they’re the underdog. Do something spectacular.” Note: San Diego Downtown News reached out to Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani; Joe Terzi, CEO of San Diego Tourism and the Mayor’s Office. None responded for comment on the stor y. —Joe Connor is a freelance sports writer that has seen a game at every NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB venue. He can be reached at

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CONVENTIONCENTER in order to pay for projects they wanted. But in a ruling issued Aug. 1, a three-judge appellate court panel overturned Prager’s ruling in a 3-0 decision, finding that according to the state constitution, all registered voters within the district must be allowed to participate in any election concerning their communities, and that the vote could not be limited only to affected property owners. The panel also determined that according to state law, non-resident property owners could not participate in the election. The City Council, which had initially favored the Convention Center plan, chose not to appeal the ruling. “The District Cour t’s decision is a blow to our plans to create jobs, keep Comic-Con and expand our convention business,” said City Council President Todd Gloria in a statement released to the media. “While I disagree with the ruling, pursuing fur ther litigation is not likely to achieve results for San Diego. I remain a stalwar t suppor ter of the expansion of our Convention Center for its economic and civic benefits. The City Council will be a full par ticipant in revised financing plans to ensure a project is completed.” “Expanding the Convention Center is one of the most important actions we can take to grow our local economy and create thousands of new jobs for San Diegans,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer in a statement. “This is an opportunity to put this litigation behind us and move for ward with a successful plan.” Faulconer indicated that all options are now back on the table, including the concept of a non-contiguous expansion that could include a new football stadium for the San Diego Chargers. “I am pleased that my Council colleagues recognized that an appeal is not in the best interest of the city,” said City Councilmember David Alvarez, who had opposed the original expansion plan. “We have a new opportunity to move forward with a better project, including a potential stadium site, and engage San Diegans in a citywide dialogue about how to build the best facility possible.” Proponents of the expansion plan have lauded the potential for economic growth in the region that they believe a bigger, more modernized convention center will bring. City officials plowed ahead full steam with the controversial funding mechanism in 2012, perfectly aware of a possible adverse ruling against the plan in court. With no alternative in case of what opponents had always viewed as the inevitable negative outcome, the city now finds itself back at square one with no definitive ideas on how to move forward. Both Faulconer and Alvarez cited the need for transparency as the city heads back to the drawing board, including public participation in any revised design and funding. —Andy Cohen is a former NFL scout turned freelance writer based in San Diego, with an eye toward local, state, and national political issues. Follow him on Twitter at twitter handle@AndyCohenSD.v


San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


Rocking in Balboa Park 1990s San Diego post-hardcore band Drive Like Jehu recently performed a one-off reunion show at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park on Sunday, Aug. 31. Although the band released just two albums before disbanding nearly 20 years ago, it drew a large audience at the outdoor venue traditionally known for hosting orchestral acts rather than alternative rock music. (Photos by Son Appareil Photography)





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San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


Culinary reinvention

in a historic property

Table No. 10 369 10th Ave.

(clockwise from above) Scallops and pork belly (Courtesy Alternative Strategies); white chocolate ganache, deviled eggs du jour, the El Pinche Gringo cocktail ( (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

B Y F R A N K S A B AT I N I J R . In an age when burgers are sizzling moneymakers for even the most stylish of eateries, Cooper McLaughlin decided to move beyond the Angus disks that attracted a devoted patronage to his startup restaurant, The Corner. To the delight of those who were initially taken aback by his concept change at what is now Table No. 10, he’s remained firmly planted within the two-level structure that served as The Carnation Milk Factory nearly 100 years ago. His gamble earlier this year at eliminating hearty tavern food in lieu of “playful, modern-American” cuisine was buffered also by entering into partnership with whiz-chef Jason Gethin, formerly of Union Kitchen & Tap. Gethin earned culinary degrees from institutions in Louisiana and South Carolina and worked under seasoned chefs in those states, which explains the Southern twists you’ll find across Table 10’s menu. Where else in San Diego can you nosh from a bowl of superaddicting fried chicken skins, for example? They’re better than potato chips and probably worse for you. But when accented lightly with red-wine powder and sherry

vinegar, flavor wins over health. Mushroom grits with sweet onion vinaigrette and daily renditions of deviled eggs also rotate through the succinct “bites” menu. Regarding the latter, the piped yolks on this particular evening aligned to a conventional mixture of Dijon mustard, mayo and smoked paprika. It had everything going for it except for an above-average dose of sodium. “We’re probably heavier with salt than what most San Diegans are used to,” McLaughlin admitted. “I love salt, the chef loves salt — it’s our personal taste.” Much to our relief, we didn’t detect any overloads in subsequent dishes, which graduated in size and led to more complex flavors. Compressed watermelon salad is an emerging trend dish that I encountered at The Patio on Goldfinch a few nights prior. Here, pieces of the fruit are put into vacuum-sealed bags with Branca Menta, a minty digestive that infuses the sweet flesh with poetic justice while cucumber and grapefruit alongside impart fitting blasts of citrus. In another well-executed small plate, pearly seared scallops teamed up with pork belly that

was braised in luscious ham stock. The chef’s stroke of originality stemmed from the addition of coconut cream mingling with a smear of starchy sunchoke puree. The evening’s most elaborate dish starred the deep-sea fish known as opah, prized for its firm and rosy belly meat. Served as an entrée on a stone slab, the arrangement looked like a Dali painting with charred corn, Fresno chilies, shiso pesto and white-soy vinaigrette placed whimsically around the mediumcooked fish pieces. Part Asian and part Southwest, the differing influences united beautifully. My companion chose Kobe beef brisket slathered in housemade barbecue sauce that beckoned to the vinegar-based recipes found in South Carolina, replete with onions, mustard and brown sugar. Crisp house pickles and soft pan de mie (sweet white bread) rounded out the meal. The restaurant’s name corresponds to a chef’s table adjacent to the kitchen on ground level. It seats up to 10 guests. The kitchen is fronted by several counter seats, which are easier to grab without reservations. We sat upstairs in the multilevel main dining room featuring large paned windows, loosely strung Edison light bulbs and an

expansive wall painting of birds perched on telephone lines. The depiction appears remarkably three-dimensional even from a short distance. Also in easy view is an illuminated bar, where mixologist Cory Alberto sets a variety of cocktails on fire before sending them out to guests. The El Pinche Gringo is one of them, a smoked-and-torched tequila libation sporting a mossy green color from Serrano chilies, cucumbers and Mexican “Tajin” spice. I took the kiddie route at first before switching to wine with a couple of house-made sodas that Alberto makes with Indian sarsaparilla bark and a medley of fresh citrus used in another. Neither my companion nor I are big dessert buffs. But we agreed that the panna cotta with pistachio cream and berry consommé was ridiculously toothsome, partly because it wasn’t overly sweet. We also obliterated an order of white chocolate ganache with sesame sauce and Concord grape sorbet that tasted both sweet and tart. Table No. 10 is clearly putting its best foot forward in terms of service, food and drinks. Its rebranding will leave you forgetting about the wings and burgers you ate here in previous years, even though McLaughlin’s former team

(East Village) 619-550-1262 Prices: “Bites” and small plates, $4 to $16; large plates, $20 to $82

did a decent job at making them. Also, the remodeled interior with its open spaces and non-forced natural elements is the final bonus that leaves you wishing you could lie down in some corner after dinner and spend the night. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began writing about food two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego TriTri bune. You can reach him at fsabatini@san.

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San Diego Downtown News | September 2014




An environmental consultant in the areas of waste-to-energy and alternative green technologies, Bluechel is cognizant of the fact that solid waste landfills are filling up too fast. As a result, he created a par tnership with local crab and lobster fishermen ensuring that all the organics left over from cleaning the fish are returned to the sea as bait for traps that additionally feed small fish and other critters. Bluechel is eager to point out that spor t fishermen are not the ones responsible for taking too many fish from the ocean. Of all the migrator y pelagic fish caught, less than one percent are taken by spor t fishermen; the remaining 99 percent are taken by commercial fishermen. “Sport fishermen are, for the most part, defenders of fish popu-

A secret password nets a free midday meal at Jsix, which just launched “Wednesday friends day lunch.” Guests visiting the restaurant on hump day with a companion in tow can obtain the password on Jsix’s Facebook page. Mention the password to a server and the restaurant picks up the tab for one of the lunch entrees. The offer is valid for parties of four people or less. 616 J St., 619-531-8744. In celebration of Oktoberfest, the Sun Deck at Hotel del Coronado becomes a Bavarian-style beer garden from noon to 7 p.m., Sept. 26 through 29. Beers from Paulaner and Karl Strauss will be available for purchase, along with Jagermeister and foods that include bratwurst, chicken schnitzel and hot pretzels. The event kicks off each day with a ceremonial keg tapping followed by live entertainment. Admission is free. 1500 Orange Ave., 619-435-6611.

Bluechel (right) and San Diego Charger Corey Liuget (center) at the recent “Fishing for Charity” event. (Courtesy F3G) lations, advocates for the sport of fishing, the clean outdoors and the enjoyment of catching their own meal,” Bluechel said. Bluechel has been funding F3G himself, but relies on mutually beneficial partnerships, including one with 5-Star Processing. “Fishing for Charity” is an annual one-and-a-half day fishing trip in the waters off of San Diego held by F3G to support their cause as well as Meals on Wheels. For this year’s event held Aug. 6 – 8, Bluechel hooked up with

Traditional barbacoa and other Mexican savories can be found at “Latin Food Fest!” The second annual Latin Food Fest! (Sept. 11-13) features a series of dinners and wine pairings around town that concludes with a “Grand Tasting” from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 13 at Embarcadero Marina Park North. The event brings together dozens of chefs, artisan food makers, distillers, winemakers and brewers doling out samples of their latest and greatest products from various pavilions. Top-name chefs taking part include international restaurateur Richard Sandoval, Food Network personality George Duran and acclaimed local chef Sara Polczynski of East Village’s Blind Burro. The event is being presented in partnership with Feeding America San Diego. Admission is $79 or $119 for early entrance. Tickets can be purchased on site, online at or by calling 858-461-1970. 500 Kettner Blvd.

(clockwise from top) Bluechel and Liuget at Fox Sports; Jewish Family Service recipient; Members of Father Joe’s Culinary Program learn how to fillet a fish while then Councilmember Kevin Faulconer looks on (Courtesy F3G) San Diego Chargers’ defensive end Corey Luiget, who was joined aboard the Pacific Queen by teammate Damik Scafe and 30 other supporters. Brook Roberts, co-host from Fox Sports #SDLive and a cameraman were on hand to inter view and film the event for a Fox Sports special. At the end of the day, bragging rights were awarded to all supporters of the Fishing for Charity event because the Pacific Queen landed more fish than all the other boats combined, catching an impressive 83 yellowtail and 13 yellowfin tuna. Enthusiastic fishermen in other states have emailed F3G, excited about the possibility of replicating F3G in their own hometowns, using the easy system Bluechel has created. Accepting this challenge, F3G hopes to one day feed one million Americans nationwide annually. Individuals or corporations wishing to financially support this unique charity can find more information at —Delle Willett has a 30-year history of designing, writing, and marketing. She is currently PR advisor to the American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego chapter. She would love to hear from you and can be reached at

Local mixology wizard Anthony Schmidt has partnered with CH Projects to open a rooftop patio bar in the Simon Levi Building called Fair weather. Overlooking Petco Park, the establishment sits above CH Projects’ new Rare Form deli and features a 32-count cocktail lineup that embodies the classics as well as specialty concoctions. Beer and wine are also available. The space features a wall of succulents that runs the span of the bar along with a marble communal table at one end. Food ordered downstairs at Rare Form is brought up by the ser vers. 795 J St., 619-255-6507.

Chef Joshua Soth (Photo by Sara Norris) The recent multi-million dollar redo of the former Sheraton Suites in Cortez Hill has spawned a music-themed restaurant called Deck 12. The 27-floor building, renamed The Declan Suites under Westbrook Partners, pays tribute to the local arts scene with its proximity to Symphony Hall. Scattered throughout the 5,400-square-foot restaurant are vintage record players and vinyl records serving as décor. It’s located on the 12th floor along with the main lobby and a music lounge coined as “the library.” (The floors below are designated for parking.) Helming the kitchen is Chef Joshua Soth, who moved here from Chicago, where he garnered numerous awards for his work in fine dining and catering. His menu at Deck 12 focuses on seasonal coastal cuisine. 701 A St., 619-696-9800. Summer’s final pig roast on Hotel Palomar’s fourth-floor pool deck will be held at 1 p.m., Sept. 13 in partnership with Heneber y Whiskey. Admission is $20 in advance or $25 at the door, which includes a meaty meal with various side dishes plus a whiskey cocktail. 1047 Fifth Ave., 619-515-3003. The long-established Karina’s Mexican Seafood Cuisine, with locations in East County and South Bay, is expanding into San Diego’s Downtown core by the end of the year. The 5,000-square-foot space (formerly Chaplos Restaurant & Bar) will be adorned by murals, sculptures and colorful wall coverings, setting the stage for a range of fish and meat dishes accented by house-made sauces. 925 B St. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at

News | September 20142014 SanDiego DiegoDowntown Downtown News | September 14 San




bb meme hair salon 937 E St.

San Diego, CA 92101 619-544-6811

bb meme hair salon is owned and operated by two skilled hair stylists, Oanh and Koji. Both have a great career history, dating back to Koji’s native Japan and she trained at a popular salon in San Diego as well. Oanh got her start with a well-known and popular salon in Downtown San Diego too. Our keratin treatment restores and protects, maintaining your hair’s natural properties by creating a shield over each strand, restoring it from the inside out while protecting it against harmful UV rays, pollutants, chemical treatments and the rigors of shampooing and styling. This is a healthy, all natural procedure that helps to strengthen, revitalize and add body and life to all different types of hair. The keratin complex solution will leave your tresses feeling soft, silky smooth and most of all, controllable. Perhaps best of all, the cost for the service is about half of what you would pay at another salon. We use a special keratin protein procedure called GK Resistance treatment system, which normally costs $300. GK is excellent at helping to make frizzy, damaged and unruly hair more manageable, shiny and silky. It will also bring back the overall health of the hair by thoroughly and deeply conditioning the locks all the way to the follicles. And process is quicker than other keratin treatments. It’s time to take care of your hair that has been exposed to the harsh summer sun. Come in during the month of September and receive a 20% discount on the Keratin treatment.


Meyer Fine Art - 2400 Kettner Blvd; Suite 104 Meyer Fine Art has extended the run of its newest exhibition, Salvador Dali – the Argillet Collection, through Sept. 27. Exhibition features a rare collection of Salvador Dali’s etchings, watercolors, & Aubusson tapestries.

San Diego Downtown News | September 2014

Sept. 13

Casa Artelexia – 2400 Kettner Blvd., #102 Join us on Sept. 13, from 6-9pm for a magical evening of Folk Art! On display (and for sale!) we will have the whimsical artwork of German Rubio and Esau Andrade, as well as a rare collection of Mexican masks dating back to the 60s, 70s and 80s. Enjoy ceviche tastings by San Diego's Ceviche House, Paletas by Viva Pops, drinks, music and more!

Sept. 24

Broadstone Little Italy – 1980 Kettner Blvd. Broadstone Little Italy will offer a FREE cooking class to the public, hosted by Chef Gregorio Serafini Pozzi of Cook Book Tavola Calda, from 6-8 p.m. His two-hour cooking class will demonstrate cooking techniques, as well as kitchen tips and end with a taste of the dish the chef and guests prepared together!



Italy Nails and Spa 1970 Columbia St. 619-764-5321

Chef Gregorio Serafini Pozzi

We are newly opened nail salon located in Little Italy offering spa pedicure/ gel manicure, waxing, facials, eyelash extensions, and foot and body massage. We carry the highest quality brand-name products, offer great customer service and have over 200 gel colors to choose from. All services come with a small beverage. As a grand opening special, we are offering 20 percent off of all services. Your beauty is very important to us, so your satisfaction is guaranteed. Come join us for this special offer and enjoy a relaxing spa pedicure on a new infinity spa chair. Once again we appreciate everyone’s business and hope to see you soon.


San Diego Downtown News | September 2014

A new lease on life

The iconic Hotel Churchill will soon offer affordable housing. (Courtesy San Diego

Housing Commission)

Effort to transform Downtown’s Hotel Churchill into affordable living underway Dave Fidlin Much like the lives of some of its intended residents, a centuryold hotel in the heart of San Diego’s Downtown has a long, storied life that has been filled with trials and triumphs. After sitting dormant for nearly a decade and facing an uncertain future, an effort to breathe new life into Hotel Churchill at 827 C St. has

been picking up steam. The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) has been spearheading an effort to transform the property into affordable housing for 72 people. SDHC acquired oversight of the seven-story building in 2011 after engaging in foreclosure proceedings with former owner J&J Properties. During a two-year span, SDHC began assembling a long-term plan for the Churchill


site. A year ago, city officials gave the green light to proceed. When the doors open to residents by a projected date early in 2016, the historic property — to be simply renamed The Churchill — is expected to offer the six-dozen studio apartments to people on or at the verge of homelessness. Intended recipients include seniors and veterans. All residents living in the development will be at or below the threshold of San Diego’s area median income, which currently hovers around $28,250 annually, per person. As with many housing initiatives aimed at helping homeless and poverty-stricken people get back on their feet, SDHC has been collaborating with a number of local agencies and organizations as the logistics of The Churchill have been fleshed out. SDHC, established in 1979 as a public agency, created its own nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners (HDP), in 1990. The two entities have been working in tandem on the Churchill effort the past year, and HDP has been tasked with overseeing the overhaul of the interior of the site. Since its creation nearly a quarter century ago, HDP is credited with preserving 1,052 units for the benefit of affordable housing. Maria Velasquez, vice president of SDHC’s community relations and communications department, said

the partnership has been marked by collaboration because SDHC and HDP are each committed to preserving affordable housing within the city. “Renovations of The Churchill are scheduled to begin by the beginning of 2015, after demolition work currently under way is finished,” Velasquez said. “Construction to rehabilitate The Churchill will be completed by early 2016.” Officials involved with the rehabilitation work stress that the timeline toward completion remains fluid. But a progress report released in June revealed the project remains on track for an early 2016 completion. In its waning years before being boarded up, SDHC officials assert, Hotel Churchill had fallen into a state of dilapidation after the owners of J&J Properties failed to invest the funds to maintain the building. Current estimates point to the rehabilitation project costing upwards of $17 million. A variety of funding sources — including federal grant dollars — are going into the effort to transform The Churchill. According to a fact sheet from SDHC, $11.196 million in federal funds are to go toward the project. Two specific initiatives — wthe Moving to Work rental assistance and Home Investment Partnership programs — account for the federal grant dollars.

While some of the specifics are still being ironed out, several additional entities are being solicited to help close the funding gap. Among them: Civic San Diego, County of San Diego’s Mental Health Services Act program and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In a statement, Richard C. Gentry, president and CEO of SDHC, said partnerships such as The Churchill revitalization effort come to fruition because of strong partnerships within the community. “Almost nothing SDHC accomplished … was done singlehandedly,” Gentry said. In addition to ensuring tenants have a housing future, the revitalization of The Churchill has another layer of certainty — the building’s vitality. SDHC and HDP’s vision for the site will continue through at least 2078. “Hotel Churchill will remain permanent affordable housing for the next 65 years under the terms of a proposed ground lease between the SDHC and HDP,” Gentry said in his statement. For more information on The Churchill revitalization project, visit SDHC’s website at Dave Fidlin has been a professional journalist for more than a dozen years. He has a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at dave.fidlin@thinkpost.netv


Space San Diego 1531 Pacific Hwy San Diego, CA 92101 619 237-0727 | Having a store attached to a hotel has its advantages. Our patrons always have a place to park, the lobby is a comfy place to relax, and they receive packages for us! However, just as living in a condo with other residents above you, our store has hotel rooms above it. One guest bath recently had an overflow. Water streamed in from the seams in the ceiling’s drywall, through most of the lighting fixtures, and a large pool of water covered most of the floor. Once it stopped, the hotel staff brought over an ample supply of towels (more advantages of being attached to a hotel). As a result, slightly damaged and available for purchase is a twin sofa wall-bed, two wardrobe cabinets, a lift-storage queen bed, our queen maestro sofa bed, a table bed and a junior day bed. Please come visit or call for pricing if you’re interested in any of the pieces.

Call Yana Today to Advertise! Yana Shayne (619) 565-4454


ST.VINCENT skills and computer literacy, and partners with a community college to provide on-site adult education and GED prep. The mission of St. Vincent de Paul Village is to end homelessness “one life at a time.” Its multidimensional approach of housing people first, before dealing with their problems, helps do exactly that. “Because of our size, people have a hard time wrapping themselves around the fact that we really do look at it individual by individual,” Bruland said. “We break up our services by teams. That helps us to be more individualized in our approach.”

to an outdoor courtyard in the complex where residents line up for lunch on a meandering, red-hued sidewalk leading into the cafeteria. “We provide a free lunch for anybody in the community seven days a week,” she said. “We are dedicated to it because we think it cuts down on panhandling. We think it’s the right thing to do — being a good neighbor.” One of the biggest “patron saints” of Father Joe’s Village’s good-neighbor policy is Qualcomm co-founder Franklin Antonio, whose $2 million gift is paying for five years of free lunches for those in need. Bruland said 37 percent of St. Vincent’s funding comes from grants, which she deemed “very important.”

Ruth Bruland, executive director of St. Vincent de Paul’s. (Photo by Dave Schwab) Addressing the issues surrounding homelessness is all about getting back to self-sufficiency at St. Vincent’s. A supported income team, for example, focusing on employment with a job developer and job-seeking skills classes, helps match clients with available services. Another team concentrating solely on housing aids the homeless in finding lodging. “Everything here is about income and housing,” Bruland said. “We want to know what’s the best housing for you. We want to know what kind of barriers there are to you saving enough money to do that [security] deposit.” The formula St. Vincent de Paul’s has used for decades works. “Ninety-two percent of the people we’ve helped place in permanent housing is unsubsidized housing, so taxpayers do not pay any money,” Bruland said, adding that the transitional housing provided by St. Vincent de Paul’s “helps street people get back on their feet.” Bruland said people taken off the street and given transitional housing who are unable to pay rent due to various personal issues get federally funded housing vouchers. Others with less complicated issues who are more job-ready receive temporary rental vouchers which pay their rent for several months until they become self-sufficient. Recently, Bruland led a walkthrough of St. Vincent de Paul Village’s four-block campus in Downtown San Diego’s East Village neighborhood. Walking through the facility’s health clinic, the group filed past a poster board titled “Wall of Smiles,” where before-and-after photos of St. Vincent residents who’ve received complete or partial dentures are displayed, chronicling their journeys back to self-sufficiency. “We have a dispensary here, not a pharmacy,” Bruland said. “That allows seamlessness. You don’t have to send someone out to a pharmacy and they never get their medications for a plethora of reasons.” Bruland’s walk-through returned

“[But] undesignated donations are what allows us to really respond to the community’s needs,” she said. Back on the guided tour, Bruland threaded her way through a highrise building, one that offers permanent housing for those with serious mental illness, as well as child and family services. “This building wasn’t even here five years ago,” she said. “A lot happens in this building other than just cute kids taking naps.” St. Vincent de Paul’s family therapy center has psychiatrists aiding parents by helping them to “work through targeted interventions helping their child overcome a [developmental] delay.” Due to safety reasons on the street, Bruland said that homeless children spend an inordinate amount of time in strollers. This can cause them to fall behind in their coping skills, which then need to be developed later in order for them to become well-adjusted adults. St. Vincent de Paul’s has a staff of nearly 350 and even more volunteers who selflessly give of their time. “We could not do what we do without volunteers,” Bruland said. Those who find themselves homeless can apply for residential services at St. Vincent in-person at the front desk in the Joan Kroc Center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays, excluding some holidays. The first scheduled appointment following the in-person will be a housing assessment. Applicants are then placed on a housing placement list, with wait times varying from as little as two weeks to as many as four or more weeks, depending on demand. For more information about the organization or to volunteer, visit —Dave Schwab came to San Diego 30 years ago with a journalism degree from Michigan State and has freelanced for numerous dailies, weeklies and other regional publications. He can be reached at dschwabie@

San Diego Downtown News | September 2014



San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


The art of urban planning The fountain on The Prado between the Natural History Museum and the RH Fleet Science Center is part of Estrada’s portfolio. (Photo by Delle Willett) Vicki Estrada spent lots of time growing up in and around Downtown San Diego. Hand-in-hand with her grandfather, she walked through city streets, from Sherman Heights down to the Harbor to see the tuna boats, and up to Balboa Stadium to watch the Chargers play, always enjoying the smell of baking bread wafting from the Wonder Bread factory. Her favorite pastime was spending hours in the library reading history books, looking at maps and newspaper clippings. When deciding where to open Estrada Land Planning (ELP), she had no choice: it had to be in Downtown San Diego, where she feels there has always been a special energy. For 30 years she has practiced landscape architecture Downtown, first in the Gaslamp District, then Horton Plaza, and now in the NBC building on Broadway. “Besides, this is our urban core and if I want to do urban design I can’t justify being anywhere else but Downtown San Diego,” Estrada said. In college, Estrada switched her path from a degree in architecture to landscape architecture. “What makes a city great is not an Eiffel Tower here or an Empire State Building there, it’s what happens in between,” she said. People expect parks from landscape architects but they don’t always expect large-scale projects like the kind Estrada’s firm designs, such as the Balboa Park Master Plan (1,500 acres), the Otay Ranch New Town Plan (22,000 acres), and the Rancho San Diego Specific Plan (2,500 acres). ELP is known for its urbanplanning expertise — a service not well known or very understood by the public. It’s a technical and political process concerned with the use of land and design of the urban environment, including how the movements of people, goods, air, storm-water and infrastructure interact with the physical and social environment. “I’ve always liked the urbandesign aspect of our profession the most,” Estrada said. “It’s much more satisfying. I’ve been fortunate to have been able to create many special places. I get to dream.” For ELP’s first-ever public

Art on

the Land Delle Willett project, Estrada led the design team responsible for the planning and execution of the revitalization of the medians along Broadway, San Diego’s 10-block ceremonial corridor, from Pacific Highway to Horton Plaza. Like most of their projects, ELP managed the project design team, which included civil engineers and electrical engineers. It’s a clean and simple design that includes trees, banner poles and rich diagonal paving patterns that play off the Downtown urban grid. Dramatic clusters of Senegal Date Palms — abstractions of the skyline — provide formality and focus. The end result is a linear plaza without pedestrians. In 2002, ELP prepared a Streetscape Manual for Downtown San Diego that included recommended urban-design standards and guidelines for street trees, lighting, paving and street furniture. The manual was used for 10 years by private developers and pubic designers to help guide the visual and functional character of Downtown streets and their adjacent sidewalks. At the request of then City Councilman Byron Ware, ELP prepared a series of conceptual studies analyzing various alternate locations, orientations, and surrounding circulation patterns for the ballpark. ELP’s work was an important catalyst in the building of the ballpark. After the location was finalized, ELP prepared the Visual Quality and Aesthetics element for the environmental-impact report. It included a visual analysis and computer-generated images that addressed the visual

and neighborhood character impacts that the ballpark would have on Downtown. ELP also prepared an improvement study for the 17 blocks of the Historic Gaslamp Quarter District. The evaluation and analysis focused on the safety, functionality, aesthetics and conformance with the Streetscape Manual, maintenance, ADA deficiencies, health of plant material, light and lamp type, tree grates, size of planting areas and irrigation issues. The end results were blockby-block recommendations for improvements to the existing conditions of the district, delineated by the concentration of high-priority improvements within each block. ELP also provided a conceptual design for the urban plaza at Gaslamp Square at the foot of Fifth and L streets. The project improvements included uses that would help activate the space, such as an information center, trees, benches and retail kiosks. After 70 years of attempting to establish a pedestrian connection from Balboa Park to San Diego Bay, ELP was also part of a design team that created the Park-to-Bay link along Park Boulevard to the Bay through the East Village. ELP prepared numerous concepts, sketches and simulations to help illustrate the design possibilities and then prepared the construction documents. Beginning at C Street in front of San Diego High School, the corridor reaches to the new Central Library and bends toward the ballpark. The intent is for pedestrians to be able to have a pleasant, park-like walk from Balboa Park to the park in front of the Convention Center and the Hilton Hotel. Currently, cars can drive as far as the ballpark, but can’t cross over to Harbor Dr. until the California Public Utilities Commission gives its approval. This unique urban corridor ranges in width between 33-feet to 27-feet on the east side and 14feet on the west side, with a wide sidewalk and a double row of trees forming the basis of the link. A new trolley station was constructed at Market Street as part of the corridor improvements. Along the walk ELP specified one of Downtown’s first bioswales, which, in addition to solving some drainage problems, created a green ribbon.

(top) The park at the end of Park Boulevard east of the Convention Center; (bottom) a median along Broadway (Photos by Delle Willett) Note: Bioswales are landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. They consist of a low-area (swaled) drainage course with gently sloped sides and are filled with vegetation, compost or riprap. Estrada often adds subtle touches to her designs that only the sharpest eyes can see. For example, embedded in the sidewalk along the corridor are blue and green tiles that form a triangle. The blue tiles point to the Bay, while the green point to the park.

A bioswale designed by Estrada’s firm (Photo by Delle Willett)

Another highly visible ELP project is the San Diego Convention Center. ELP was responsible for the preparation of landscape construction documents for its expansion a few years ago. Work included the design and plan for the exterior decks and plazas, planting on the structure, perimeter landscaping, and a redesign of the Harbor Drive medians. The project involved extensive coordination and interface with numerous design sub-consultants. “When I look out my office window around Downtown I see a lot of things we’ve done over

30 years and I’m pretty proud,” Estrada said. You can’t really talk about Estrada’s work Downtown without talking about Balboa Park, for which ELP has provided landscape architecture and planning services for over 25 years. The current Master Plan for Balboa Park, which was prepared by ELP and approved in 1989, is still the acting Master Plan, as is the Precise Plan for the Central Mesa, prepared in 1992. This plan includes extensive design concepts for all of the major public spaces within the Central Mesa including the Plaza de Panama and the Palisades. In 2004, ELP provided the concepts and Precise Plan amendments for the Balboa Park Promenade, which included the design for a new pedestrian promenade and plaza linking the Prado to a new San Diego Zoo entrance and exit plaza that would be built on top of a 4,500-space, below-grade parking structure. In addition, several significant build projects within the park were designed by ELP including the Plaza de Panama Fountain, the restoration of the Alcazar Garden, the Palisades and Inspiration Point transit centers, and the electronic information kiosks located throughout the park. Most recently, ELP played a significant role in the design of the Plaza de Panama project proposed by Irwin Jacobs in preparation for the 2015 Centennial celebration. ELP’s predominant role was the preparation of the planting and irrigation plans. In addition, ELP played a key role in preparing the design of the rooftop garden on top of the Organ Pavilion parking garage. They also worked with the Balboa Park Water wise Committee to utilize low-water irrigation methods. ELP has done many other projects Downtown, in Balboa Park and around the rest of the county. For more information on ELP, visit —Delle Willett has a 30-year history of designing, writing, and marketing. She is currently PR advisor to the American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego chapter. She would love to hear from you and can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


Mike Levinsky getting some love from a client (Photo by Will Bowen)

Paws for a cause Helping fellow cancer patients with furry friends

said. “I first got the idea for a dog walking ser vice while going through therapy with Dr. Kipps at the Moores Cancer Center [in La Jolla]. I thought … people are walking germ factories but dogs don’t communicate disease to humans; and, it has been through as a patient advocate.” Will Bowen shown that dogs are ver y helpLevinsky first discovered “I take after my father, he was that something was wrong when ful for cheering up the infirm and the elderly. Beside that, my he came back from a trip to always helping other people,” friends used to take me out for a Indiana with a sinus infection said Michael Levinsky, a cancer that would not go away. After ex- walk when I was really weak to patient who has started a new tensive testing it was discovered get me some exercise, so ... why dog walking ser vice that aims not walk dogs? They need exerthat he had cancer. to employ other cancer patients cise and so do cancer patients.” “No one else in my family and help them through their Levinsky knows that cancer has anything like this,” he said. medical condition. treatment costs so much mon“I think that I just have always Though “Paws for a Cause” ey that at least 20 percent of had a weak immune system and is a new start-up, business is cancer patients are approachwas just not able to fight off the already booming. ing homelessness. Cancer disease like a normal person “Currently, I have a lot of patients need to make some would have been able to.” work for myself and am hoping money, get some exercise, to soon hire [others] and and spend more time in expand my operations, espositive emotional circumpecially in the Downtown area where a lot of people stances — like playing have dogs,” said Levinwith friendly dogs. sky from his cell phone, Anastasia McColl, who as two large black labs lives in La Jolla Shores, pulled him along the nahired Levinsky to walk her ture trail running through yellow lab puppy “Rambo” San Clemente Canyon. on a regular basis after “I walk dogs from La reading about him in the Jolla to the Downtown local paper. area,” he said. “Someday I “Michael does all the hope to have a storefront things that our dog trainer business Downtown, recommends that we do in where people can visit training Rambo,” McColl for all their dog related said. “He is ver y patient. needs. I recommend him whole“The dog business is heartedly.” just booming Downtown. Jeanie Harris hired It seems like ever yone in Levinsky to walk her adult an apartment, condo, or black lab twice a week. loft has a dog these days.” “I am a small person Levinsky has a form and my black lab is huge,” of chronic non-Hodgkin’s Harris said. “I needed help leukemia called CLL. He in walking her. Michael has has been battling his disbeen just fabulous. He is reease since 2009 when he liable, always shows up, and was diagnosed as being at is ver y relaxed around my Stage Four severity. With dog. He is just a delight.” the help of a new miracle Levinsky knows he has drug called Imbruvica, been confronted with a ver y which he waited years powerful life challenge, but for as it went through the he is hoping to turn it into FDA approval process, he something positive that will has outlived the doctor’s help other people. original prognosis. “Ver y soon, hopefully Levinsky plans to expand his business (Photo by Will Bowen) Levinsky said his jourthis month, I will be giving Levinsky was born and ney to learn about his disease other cancer patients a job with raised in Indianapolis where his involved 15-hour days in a biomy dog walking ser vice and father was a businessman and med librar y, reading ever ything guiding them in any way that his mother a homemaker. After he could get his hands on and they may need,” Levinsky said. earning a degree in biology visiting with top specialists in “I am resolved. I am not going and chemistr y at the University the field. to let cancer beat me.” of Indiana at Bloomington, he “I have learned a great deal If you have a dog that needs came out to San Diego for the and I think that I can help other walking and would like to supgood weather. cancer patients,” he said. “It’s port Levinsky’s venture, visit He worked on the team that ver y confusing when you have a his website at helped remodel Belmont Park and or call him at 858-583-5389. serious disease like cancer and was later employed as a salesman are looking for direction. I hope to provide that to fellow patients for the pharmaceutical industry. —Will Bowen writes about “Now I am a full time dog and also inform the public about ar ts and culture. You can reach walker and I love it,” Levinsky what cancer patients are going him at v

Downtown’s Sudoku Puzzle DIRECTIONS: Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square.

Sudoku Solution Answer Key, page 20


San Diego Downtown News | September 2014

Saving for college


F inancial T imes Taylor Schulte How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? —Dr. Seuss A record 22 million U.S. students are headed to college this fall, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Time flies, and before you know it, your child might be one of them. Although it is important to start a college fund as soon as possible, it’s never too late to begin. And keep in mind that you don’t have to fund the full amount. Many families save only a portion of the projected costs and then use it as a “down payment” on the college bill, similar to the down payment on a home. If you are ready to start saving, here are three vehicles for you to consider utilizing: 529 Plans Under a special rule, up to $70,000 ($140,000 for married couples) can be contributed to a 529 plan at one time, making it a popular estate-planning tool. Your contributions grow tax deferred and the earnings are tax-free at the federal level if the money is used for qualified college expenses. If, however, your child does not attend college and you withdraw the funds, earnings will be taxed and a 10 percent penalty will be imposed. The good news is, 529 rules allow you to change the beneficiary once per year. So, if “child A” doesn’t use the funds, you can utilize them for “child B” or another qualifying member of the family.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESA) A Coverdell ESA is a taxadvantaged savings vehicle that lets you contribute up to $2,000 per year. The tax benefits are similar to a 529 but the ESA allows you to use the money for K-12 qualified expenses in addition to college. Though you have complete control over the investments in the account, Coverdell ESAs are not revocable. Distributions from the account are always paid to the beneficiar y and cannot be paid back to you. Coverdell ESAs have numerous limitations and nuances, so be sure to do your homework before jumping in headfirst. UTMA/UGMA Custodial Accounts A custodial account is a way for your child to hold assets in his/her name with you acting as custodian until they reach a designated age, typically 18 or 21. All contributions are irrevocable and earnings and capital gains generated by investments in the account are taxed to the child each year. Assets in the account can be used for college but they don’t have to be. Often times, parents or grandparents will fund a custodian account to give the child flexibility when they turn of age. On the other hand, some are reluctant to use these accounts because they are concerned the child might use the funds in an irresponsible manner. We are all well aware of the rising costs of education. One way to help boost your savings is to consider participating in a program like Upromise, a rewards program that directly benefits the college savings vehicle of your choice. Visit for more information. Please keep in mind, some college savings accounts may impact financial aid eligibility. Additionally, account fees var y from plan to plan, and if too high, can hinder your savings goals. Consult with your trusted aAdvisor(s) to choose a plan that is right for you. —Taylor Schulte, CFP® is a Wealth Advisor for Define Financial in Downtown San Diego. Schulte specializes in providing independent, objective, financial advice to individuals, families and businesses. He can be reached at 619-577-4002 or






Balboa Park students,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have the support of wonderful donors, patrons, corporations, partners, and grantors who provide additional financial support for the students in all of our programs.” The advanced symphony gives many concerts in the park’s museums and at Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Other ensembles perform throughout San Diego County each season in settings for all audiences. Soloists will appear in more intimate recitals and community outreach events. For more information visit

part of the Park. Furnished and staffed by group members, they offer visitors a window into each country’s culture, history and traditions. Through November, lawn programs and other special events will be held on the outdoor stage for one hour beginning at 2 p.m. The Hall of Nations, open on Sundays from Noon – 4 p.m., adjoins the cottage area and features exhibits of national groups. Visit sdhpr. org ... It could be said that San Diego’s Marston House is the oldest and yet one of the youngest in the Park’s museum family.

Johnny McDonald Music is the universal language of mankind.” —Henry Wadsworth Longfellow The San Diego Youth Symphony (SDYS) ‘and Conservatory personifies a wide spectrum of musical fine-tuning for ensembles, solos, chamber and pre-professional concerts. It’s at the Park’s Casa del Prado with rehearsal rooms for students, anywhere from ages 8 to 25. Its musical program is recognized as the sixth largest in the United States. Concerts are performed throughout the region including such venues as Copley Symphony Hall, Jacobs Music Center and California Center for the Arts in Escondido. Over 730 students auditioned last June for the chance to improve their skills with brass, woodwinds, strings and percussion instruments. Music director Jeff Edmond said he was pleased by the turnout, but he still dreams of a much broader musical development program. He’d like to see school districts reopen the doors to music classes. Edmond is encouraged by what has happened in the Chula Vista School district as a start. “SDYS’ efforts to restore music education in the Chula Vista Elementary School District just took a big step forward with a commitment from Save The Music Foundation to provide musical instruments to every Chula Vista school that hires a full-time music teacher,” he said. “They [CVESD] now plan to restore music and arts to all 45 district campuses. “SDYS is very proud to work in partnership with and in support of public school, private school and university music programs.” According to Edmonds, most students who audition for the SDYS have already begun learning specific instruments through school or private instruction. “The range of instruments is a full spectrum chosen by the


Members of the San Diego Youth Symphony (Courtesy SDYSx) Elsewhere around the Park — The Museum of Art is reintroducing a rare Egyptian antiquity that’s more than 3,200 years old. It’s a sculpture of the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses II, originally acquired by the Museum in 1949 and exhibited here for 45 years. It was later placed on long-term loan at the San Antonio Museum of Art ... Unity among nations is a welcome occurrence in the international settlement of cottages. The House of Pacific Relations (HPR), founded in 1935, is a community organization dedicated to furthering cooperation and understanding among national groups in the United States. HPR consists of 32 national groups, many of which have their own small cottage in the central


—After an award winning, 38-year sports-writing career with the San Diego Union and authoring three books, Johnny McDonald now considers writing a hobby. You can reach him at



H R Tactics Strategic Planning, Tactical Training

Solid Food of the Word Ministry Heb. 5: 13, 14 You are invited to the Seventh Day Adventure Church nearest you on Saturday: Sept. 6, 13, 20, 27 for Spiritual food. Please stay for lunch for physical food. Contact Dr. T.S. at 619-549-5972. God Bless

This 16-room arts and crafts masterpiece was built family in 1905 but didn’t become a museum until it was donated to the city in 1987. Marston, a philanthropist, civic leader and owner of the city’s premier department store, commissioned renowned architects William S. Hebbard and Irving Gill to build an English Tudor-style home. It spans 8,500 square feet and is surrounded by five acres of lawns and gardens and is currently maintained by the Save Our Heritage Organization. Visit

Joe Whitaker operates H.R. Tactics, a full-service human resource consulting firm in Mission Hills, providing a broad range of human resource support, products and solutions for small to midsized companies with fees designed to put affordable human resources in reach. He can be contacted at 804-4551 or e-mail at


302 Washington St., Suite 112 San Diego, CA 92103


Rudnick at Diversionary

(l to r) Andrew Oswald, Teri Brown and Kerry Mc Cue in a scene from Diversionary Theatre’s “Regrets Only.” (Photos by Daren Scott)

The politics of marriage Charlene Baldridge

Playwright Paul Rudnick has long been known for fluffy, rather thin plays that provide elevated sitcom tailored for the off-Broadway fare of sophisticated New Yorkers. Best known among these is “I Hate Hamlet,” seen cheek by jowl with “Much Ado About Nothing” at Intrepid Shakespeare Company recently. As Intrepid demonstrated, it is possible to succeed brilliantly with Rudnick if one has the right cast and a daring director with flair. Furthermore, it is possible, while letting loose Rudnick’s sparkling language, to find a modicum of humanity, as Diversionary Theatre

does with Rudnick’s 1996 comedy titled “Regrets Only.” Seen Sunday, Aug. 31, the play continues through Sept. 21 at the University Heights LGBT theater company. A loss, the politics of same-sex marriage, an impending heterosexual marriage amendment and a work-walkout ahead of its time are the events that cause lifelong friends and even the family maid to reexamine their allegiances. Socialite Tibby McCullough (Kerry McCue), who never met an expensive gown she didn’t buy, and her super-successful attorney husband, Jack (Charles Maze), have enjoyed a marriage of 30-some years, produced a smart daughter named Spencer (Rachael VanWormer), who is also an attorney, and are reliant upon

Celebrate City College San Diego’s first community college turns 100

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor City College is opening its arms to the entire region next week, asking the community to come help celebrate their 100th year of operation. From Sept. 8 through Sept. 11 there will be a number of events that are meant to engage the community and properly commemorate the school’s centennial. “It will be 100 years next week, ‘Founder’s Week,’ that San Diego City College opened its doors in 1914,” said City College President and CEO Dr. Anthony Beebe. “Given I was born right here in San Diego, I am so proud and honored to be the president of a college with the connections and stature of City College. “Over its century of existence, City College has educated nearly 1,000,000 San Diegans! This is a tremendous legacy for any institution, and one that the faculty, staff, and administrators are very proud of here,” Beebe said. The campus has been rejuvenated in recent months with dozens of new landscape architecture projects and a host of new and renovated buildings. The staff hopes everyone will come take a stroll around the campus, especially during the Community Open House on Sept. 11. The college, established in 1914, was the first in San Diego and the fifth in the state. Today it offers more than 200 degrees and certificates and 1,500 classes to more than 18,000 students. For more about the celebrations, visit or

THEATER their lesbian maid, Myra Kesselman (funny Teri Brown), to make sure the household runs smoothly and no one takes life too seriously (one never knows whether Myra will be Cockney, French or Irish upon her next entrance). Enter Tibby’s best friend, gay fashion designer Hank Hadley (Andrew Oswald), whose longtime lover recently died. When Jack announces that he’s been asked to go to Washington to help President Bush draft a new definition of marriage between a man and a woman, his trip elicits discussions of gender, love and marriage and ultimately requires Tibby and Hank to redefine their friendship. To add to the mayhem, Spencer announces she’s marrying the unseen Peter, described as an über-Nazi style attorney. First, she will accompany daddy to D.C. and then wed. Of course Hank will design her dress, and legions will work the reception, assigned cake, flowers, etc. Act II is enlivened by the appearance of Marietta (Dagmar Krause Fields), Tibby’s freewheeling, much married mother. Complications arise, but darling, the gowns are divine and so are the women who wear them. Director Jessica John has a gift for this type material, and if anyone can find the heart of the piece, it is she. Oswald embodies the deeply human designer without undue bitchiness. Hank’s friendship with Tibby goes far beyond the eye-candy he creates for her to wear. He is the lover of her cleverness, and a certain bitchiness must exist to set up her numerous, outrageously apt one-liners. Recently arrived in San Diego from Arizona, McCue is a

SDCC FOUNDATION GALA DINNER Monday, Sept. 8 6 p.m. The Prado at Balboa Park 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park City College alumnus Jim Sinegal, founder and former CEO of Costco Wholesale, will be the honored guest at this fundraiser dinner emceed by actor Jay Jackson, of Parks and Recreation fame. For tickets, call 619388-3100. STUDENT SPIRIT DAY Tuesday, Sept. 9 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Gorton Quad Student organizations will be out, music will be playing and a flash mob dance contest will happen at 12:30 p.m. TROLLEY CAR LAUNCH Wednesday, Sept. 10 10:40 a.m. City College Trolley Station, Downtown Join the welcome party for the new City College trolley car as it rolls into the City College station for the first time. OPEN HOUSE DAY Thursday, Sept. 11 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Corporate Education Center 1550 C St., Downtown Enjoy tours, displays and demonstrations at the five new buildings that have been added to the City College campus since 2010 and learn about future improvements to the campus. SPECIAL PLANETARIUM SHOW Thursday, Sept. 11 5:30 p.m. S Building Corner of 16th and B streets Seating will be limited for this special demonstration of the planetarium’s capabilities, so RSVP early with

San Diego Downtown News | September 2014 true find. The others are all solid. The direction, splendid. These are, take it or leave it, love ‘em or leave ‘em, the beautiful people. Alina Bokovikova is costume designer. Matt Scott creates the Upper East Side Manhattan dwelling and the city beyond; Peter Herman, the wigs; and Luke Olson, the lighting. Kevin Anthenill is sound designer and composer. It’s interesting to note that La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley staged the original production of “Regrets Only” at off-Broadway’s Manhattan Theatre Club. —Charlene Baldridge moved to San Diego from the Chicago area in 1962. She’s been writing about the arts since 1979. Her book “San Diego, Jewel of the California Coast” (Northland Publishing) is currently available in bookstores. She can be reached at charb81@



through Sept. 21 Thursdays – Saturdays 8 p.m. Sundays 2 p.m.

Diversionary Theatre

4545 Park Blvd., Suite 101 University Heights or 619-220-0097

(l to r) Andrew Oswald and Charles Maze take a spin around the carpet in "Regrets Only" (Photo by Daren Scott)


San Diego Downtown News | September 2014



FRIDAY – SEPT. 5 First 5 First Fridays- Spanish and Me: Recommended for ages 4 and under. Participate in an interactive Spanish language class designed for babies and toddlers! Explore a world of speaking, singing and sharing en Español! 10:30 a.m. Main Level – Lounge, New Children’s Museum, 200 W. Island Ave., Marina District. Visit After Ansel Adams: On display through Sept. 28 original photos by Ansel Adams will be up alongside the work of nine contemporary photographers who have photographed the same landscapes. Tues. – Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Museum of Photographic Arts, 1649 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit Beacons of Beauty – Capturing Earth on Canvas: On display through Sept. 28 are the works of Australian native Concetta Antico. Public opening tonight at 5 p.m. with free admission and refreshments. Weds. – Sun. Noon – 4 p.m. Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd, Barracks 16, Liberty Station. Visit Friday Night Liberty: Large gallery walk on first Friday of each month. Free open artist studios, galleries and performances. 5 – 8 p.m. NTC at Liberty Station, 2640 Historic Decatur Rd. Visit SATURDAY – SEPT. 6 Cruise 4 Kids: Sports and exotic car rally benefitting the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Dieguito. The event starts at Coronado Ferry Landing and ends at a private jet hangar in Carlsbad. 7:30 a.m – 2 p.m. Visit Wine and Canvas: Step-bystep instruction and materials are included in this event to create 16×20-inch gallery-wrapped canvas painting to take home. Today’s painting: “Pink Cocktail.” No outside food or drinks, both available for purchase. $35 per person. 1 – 4 p.m. Taste and Thirst, 715 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Visit SUNDAY – SEPT. 7 Live Music: Spanish Sundays featuring Todo Mundo. 6 p.m. Expatriate Room, Croce’s Park West, 2760 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. Call 619-233-4355 or visit MONDAY – SEPT. 8 Live Music: The Last Internationale and Reason to Rebel will bring down the house at one of the best rock clubs in town. Tickets $10. Doors 8:30 p.m. Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Midtown/ Little Italy. Visit TUESDAY – SEPT. 9 PBID Advisor y Board: Every second Tuesday the Downtown Property Business Improvement District (PBID) Advisory Board offers the public an opportunity for comment at beginning of meeting. 3 p.m. 401 B St., Suite 100. For more info visit

Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight – “Sparrow Sky” at 98 Bottles in Little Italy, 2400 Kettner Blvd. Event is 6 – 9 p.m. and 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration is required. Corkage fee $15 if you bring your own wine. Visit

WEDNESDAY – SEPT. 10 eReader Clinic: Learn to download library eBooks to your eReader or computer. 5 p.m. Mary Hollis Clark Conference Center, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit Discover California Wine: In honor of California Wine Month Marina’s Kitchen is hosting a wine education series. Hourlong discussion will cover topics including wine regions, pairings and more. To reserve a seat call 619-234-1500. 6 – 7 p.m. Marina Kitchen at Marriot Marquis, 333 W. Harbor Dr., Marina. Visit Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight – “Blue Orchids” at 98 Bottles in Little Italy, 2400 Kettner Blvd. Event is 6 – 9 p.m. 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration required. Corkage fee $15 if you bring your own wine. For more info, visit THURSDAY – SEPT. 11 Book signing: Rosemary Wells will sign copies of her children’s book “Max & Ruby at the Warthog’s Wedding.” Books available for purchase. 6 p.m. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit Live Music: The Sunset Poolside Jazz Series continues every Thursday through September, set against the backdrop of Downtown’s skyline. Tonight’s performer is the gypsy swing group ZZYMZZY Quartet. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Ave., Downtown. $20 food/drink minimum. Visit FRIDAY – SEPT. 12 San Diego Music Thing: The two-day music and media conference starts today with panels, featured speakers and more. Evening music performances will take place at various venues, including San Diego’s quintessential rock club the Casbah. Daytime events start at 9:30 a.m. Town and Country Resort Hotel and Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, Mission Valley. Visit SATURDAY – SEPT. 13 Coronado Art Walk: Free twoday art walk by Coronado Historical Association starts today featuring artists who work with paint, jewelry, photography and other mediums. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Coronado Ferry Landing, 1st St., Coronado. Visit Second Saturday Science Club for Girls: “Super Gross” -

Get ready for icky, sticky and just plain weird science! Ever dissect owl barf or determine animal scat? Here’s your chance — it’s snot that bad! Noon – 2 p.m. Reuben H. Fleet Space Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park. Members $12, nonmembers $14. Visit or pre-register 619-238-1233 x806. Skype with Daniel James Brown: Open to all – Skype with the author of the Library Shop Book Club selection The Boys in the Boat. Signed bookplates available. 1 – 2 p.m. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit library-shop. Bright Star: Previews begin tonight for the world premiere of this American musical based on an original story by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. Opens Sept. 28, closes Nov. 2. Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Tickets start $49. Visit or call 619-234-5623.

SUNDAY – SEPT. 14 The Two Gentlemen of Verona: Renowned director and Tony Award nominee Mark Lamos returns to the Globe with one of Shakespeare’s most delightful and boisterous comedies. Closes tonight. 7 p.m. Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Tickets start $29. Visit or call 619-234-5623. MONDAY – SEPT. 15 Book Club: Meet to discuss “Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune” by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell Jr. 7 p.m. Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 835C West Harbor Dr., Seaport Village. Visit TUESDAY – SEPT. 16 Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Today – “Autumn Drive” at 98 Bottles in Little Italy, 2400 Kettner Blvd. Event is 6 – 9 p.m. and 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration required. Corkage fee $15 if you bring your own wine. Visit WEDNESDAY – SEPT. 17 Open Mic Poetr y: Alchemy Poetry Series. Featured guest poets Prartho Serano and Illusive Guest. Participate in discussion and share your own poetry. Each meeting features an open mic segment. Third Wednesday of the month. 7 p.m. Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 835C West Harbor Dr., Seaport Village. Visit THURSDAY – SEPT. 18 10th Annual Chef Showdown: Annual fundraising event kicks of Domestic Violence Awareness month. The event pits San Diego top chefs against each other in an “Iron Chef” style competition. Proceeds from the event benefit Center for Community Solutions. 6 – 9 p.m. San Diego

Harley Davidson, 4645 Morena Blvd., San Diego. Visit Live Music: The Sunset Poolside Jazz Series continues every Thursday through SEPT. set against the backdrop of downtown’s skyline. Tonight’s performer is Gilbert Castellanos’ Hammond B3 Trio. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Ave., Downtown. $20 food/drink minimum. Visit Comedy: Norm Macdonald, whose credits include writing for The Dennis Miller Show and Roseanne and working on Saturday Night Live, will perform standup for three nights. 8 p.m. American Comedy Company, 818 B Sixth Ave., Gaslamp. Tickets $30

FRIDAY – SEPT. 19 Live Music – A great way to spend a Friday night! Jazz guitarist Peter Sprague performs. 7 p.m. Expatriate Room, Croce’s Park West, 2760 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. Call 619-233-4355 or visit San Diego Padres: Padres Fall BeerFest presented by Alaska Airlines. Game against the San Francisco Giants begins at 7:10 p.m. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Tickets at SATURDAY – SEPT. 20 Plant Sale and Open House: Free event featuring more than 100 UCCE Master Gardeners, 4,000 plants and 15 exhibits dedicated to helping attendees to solve gardening problems. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Casa del Prado Building and adjoining patios, 1800 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit Book Publishing 1-2-3: A glimpse at today’s book business including traditional, electronic, and self-publishing presented by editor and publishing consultant Laurie Gibson. Writing prompts, self-assessments, handouts and more are included in workshop presented by San Diego Writers Ink. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Ink Spot, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd., NTC at Liberty Station. Visit The PGK Dance Project’s Mediterranean Nights: PGK celebrates their 20th anniversary and kicks off the 21st season with performances by The PGK Dance Project, Flamenco Arana, Iza Moon Dance Collective and more. Free admission with reservations. 5 – 10 p.m. Centro Cultural de la Raza, 2004 Park Blvd., Balboa Park. Visit Belly Up at the Ball Park: The North County music venue will present a post-game concert at Petco Park featuring rockers OAR. Admission to show is free with a ticket to that day’s game against San Francisco Giants. VIP packages available. Game at 5:40 p.m., concert to begin approximately 30 min after game. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Tickets at SUNDAY – SEPT. 21 San Diego Restaurant Week: Multiple locations around town will participate with special

menus for lunch and dinner. Pre fixe two-course lunches are $10-$20 and pre fixe three-course dinners are $20-$45. Continues through Sept. 26. For a list of participating restaurants, visit San Diego Padres Kids Fest, Jr. Padres Run the Bases, Jr. Padres Sunday Signings, and Militar y Family Salute: Come watch our Padres battle the San Francisco Giants. Sunday Signings begin at 11:30 a.m., game at 1:10 p.m. Military Family Salute presented by USAA. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Tickets at Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Today – “Hokusai’s Surfer” at 98 Bottles in Little Italy, 2400 Kettner Blvd. Event is 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration required. Corkage fee $15 if you bring your own wine. Visit

MONDAY – SEPT. 22 Live Music: KSON presents an evening with country star Martina McBride. Tickets start at $45. 6:30 p.m. House of Blues, 1055 5th Ave., Downtown. Visit TUESDAY – SEPT. 23 Kinky Boots: This Tony Award-winning, Broadway musical opens in San Diego tonight and runs through Sept. 28. Tonight’s show is at 7:30 p.m. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1199 Third Ave., Downtown. Tickets start $34. Visit Live Music: Casbah and KPRi present an eclectic evening of music with Allen Stone and Bad Rabbits. Tickets start at $24. 7 p.m. House of Blues, 1055 5th Ave., Downtown. Visit WEDNESDAY – SEPT. 24 San Diego Film Festival: Five-day festival starts today featuring over 100 independent films. One of two film villages will be set up in the Gaslamp Quarter. Visit WOSD Film Night: Screening of “Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition” a documentary that began as viral videos focused on David and Charles Koch’s controversies surrounding their political activities and negative impact on American life. Doors at 6:30 p.m., film begins at 7 p.m. Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd, Barracks 16, Liberty Station. Visit Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Today – “Pelicans in Flight” at 98 Bottles in Little Italy, 2400 Kettner Blvd. Event is 6 – 9 p.m. 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration required. Corkage fee $15 if you bring your own wine. Visit THURSDAY – SEPT. 25 Little Italy Residents Association to host District 52 Congressman Scott Peters and challenger Carl DeMaio: Peters and DeMaio will each be given 30 minutes to present why he is the best person to represent the District. Questions will be taken (time permitting). Arrive before 6 p.m. to secure a seat. Firehouse Museum, 1572 Columbia St., Little Italy. Email topics and questions to by Sept. 22. Live Music: The Sunset Poolside Jazz Series continues every

see Calendar, page 23


CALENDAR Thursday through September set against the backdrop of Downtown’s skyline. Tonight’s performer is the Christopher Hollyday Quartet. 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. The Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Ave., Downtown. $20 food/drink minimum. Visit

FRIDAY – SEPT. 26 Live Music: Terry Matsuoka, Cynthia Lin and the Blue Moon Allstarts, and Ukelenny perform various styles of music. 9 p.m. Lestat’s West, 3343 Adams Ave., Normal Heights. Visit SATURDAY – SEPT. 27 25th Annual AIDS Walk and Run: The largest HIV/AIDS fundraising event in San Diego is now held on a Saturday. New walk/run start and finish lines are located in the heart of Hillcrest. Opening ceremonies at 7:20 a.m. Races begin at Normal Street and University Avenue. Visit SUNDAY – SEPT. 28 Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Today – “Mountain Peaks” at 98 Bottles in Little Italy, 2400 Kettner Blvd. Event is 1 – 4 p.m. 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration required. Corkage fee $15 if you bring your own wine. Visit Live Music: Legendary member of The Beatles Sir Paul McCartney will play a one-of-a-kind show for fans of all ages. 8 p.m. Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Visit MONDAY – SEPT. 29 Film Forum: Free film screening of “Least Among Saint” with special filmmaker meet and greet beforehand. 6 p.m. Auditorium, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit TUESDAY – SEPT. 30 Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Today – “Sailboat on the Bay” at 98 Bottles in Little Italy, 2400 Kettner Blvd. Event is 6 – 9 p.m. and 21+. $45, all supplies included, registration required. Corkage fee $15 if you bring your own wine. Visit WEDNESDAY – OCTOBER 1 Live Music: Ben Kweller and Holiday Mountain – a rock ‘n’ roll lineup to get you over the mid-week hump. Tickets star t at $18. Doors at 8:30 p.m. . Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Midtown/Little Italy. Visit THURSDAY – OCTOBER 2 East Village Association Board Meeting: Monthly board meeting for the East Village Association. All meetings are open to the public. 5 p.m. Room 219, Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 1155 Island Ave. For more info visit Comedy: Jamie Lee was named one of the “Top Five Comedians Who Should Be Movie Stars” by Ner and will perform standup for three nights. Tonight’s show is at 8 p.m. American Comedy Company, 818 B Sixth Ave., Gaslamp. Tickets $18,

Weekly Events TUESDAY Residents Free Tuesdays in Balboa Park: Participating museums change each Tuesday. Free for San Diego City & County residents with ID, active military and dependents. Hours vary by museum. Visit Coronado Certified Farmers’ Market: 2:30 – 6 p.m. First and B streets at Ferry Landing. Visit WEDNESDAY Fishermen’s Farmers’ Market: 3 – 7 p.m. 4930 N. Harbor Dr. near Nimitz Blvd. Visit Young Lions Music Series: A “young rising star” is chosen by Gilbert Castellanos to perform. Castellanos will also join in during the first set. 7 p.m. Expatriate Room, Croce’s Park West, 2760 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill. Call 619-233-4355 or visit THURSDAY Horton Square Certified Market: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. 225 Broadway near Broadway Circle, Downtown. Visit Trivia: Bring a team or play alone. 7 – 9 p.m. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. Visit FRIDAY Take a bite out of Downtown: Hosted by food tour service Bite San Diego, join fellow foodies and winos for a walking tour sampling some of Downtown’s finest restaurants. 21+. 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $45. Tours on Saturday also. Visit index.php. SATURDAY Little Italy Mercato: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Over 100 booths, Date & India streets. Visit littleitalysd. com/mercato. Urban Challenge/Scavenger Hunt: Explore hidden areas of the Gaslamp Quarter & East Village and learn the unique history behind the Stingaree District. There are NO “Fear factor” tasks in this adventure. It’s all about having fun and seeing secret San Diego. 3 p.m. (10 a.m. when the Padres are at home). Visit SUNDAY The Headquarters Certified Farmers’ Market: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 789 W. Harbor Dr. Visit Outdoor Organ Concer t: The San Diego Organ Society presents a free organ concer t. With over 4,500 pipes, this organ is one of the largest organs in the world with wonder ful sound, playing classic and popular hits. Enjoy free parking, lots of seating. Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion. 2 p.m. Visit Live Music: Sunday jam with The Matt Smith Neu Jazz Trio. 2 – 5 p.m., 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Littly Italy. Visit —Please send items for inclusion to Editor Morgan M. Hurley at

San Diego Downtown News | September 2014



FILMFEST mentaries and 50 shorts. Within those three categories there are “tracks” — such as Native American, animation, foreign film, LGBT, etc. — and the short films there are divided further into nine specific track themes. As is the case every year, the festival will open with what Mantooth calls “Gala Studio Films,” new releases from the big studios that are on their tour of the film festival circuit. This year’s opening film is “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, directed by Jean-Marc Vallee. It will screen at the Reading 15 in Gaslamp at 7 p.m. on Sept. 24. The “closing” gala film, which will screen at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at Reading Cinemas, will be “You’re Not You,” with Hillary Swank and Josh Duhamel, directed by George C. Wolfe. Though not the last night of the festival, it is considered the final of the larger studio films. Rumor has it that Duhamel will attend the screening. Last year the festival organizers chose Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave” to open the festival, a film that was later nominated for nine Academy Awards and went on to win three, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. The festival received over 1,500 submissions this year. The process to pare that number down to the final 89 is an arduous but important one, Mantooth said. “The system that we’ve refined over the last two years, we bring in screeners that we hand pick,” she said. “All the films are seen two to three times and they are all rated. As they are rated they either move up to the next level or they fall away. They continue to pyramid up. “We’ve got an amazing group of screeners,” she continued. “We read their reviews, we see how they’ve rated them and that will tell us whether it needs to move up, maybe it needs to go to two other screeners, maybe its too conflicting. It’s a process just to move [the films] through, but we just feel like ever y filmmaker really deser ves to have multiple pairs of eyes to see it. Not ever y film is for ever ybody.” There will be plenty of Q & A’s with the filmmakers and actors, and attendees will have the option to take in a series of industry panels — one for studio executives, a critic’s panel and an actor’s panel — that Mantooth said will allow for lots of interaction.

Mantooth mentioned several films that rose to the top of her favorites during the selection process, and she hopes they people will see them. “Little Accidents,” directed by Sara Colangelo and starring Elizabeth Banks and Josh Lucas is one of those films. “It takes place in a small town, and there’s a coal mining accident and the disappearance of a teenage boy, and the whole story unravels,” she said. “The teen is a brilliant actor.” Mantooth described the Romanian film “A Love Story, Lindefield,” as “graceful and so elegant; it touched me, and I want everyone to see it.” Jason Priestly, best known from his days as part of the “90210” cast, will have his directing debut at the festival in “Cas & Dylan,” which stars Richard Dreyfuss. San Diegans will want to see “OUT in the Lineup,” an Australian-made documentary about the taboo of homosexuality in the surfing world. Much of the film was shot in San Diego and there are a number of locals with large roles. A timely documentary is “The Hornet’s Nest,” filmed by David Salzberg and Christian Tureaud. Mantooth said it is about a career war journalist who is imbedded in Afghanistan. “You get to see what they go through, the rollercoaster of emotions,” she said. “It’s commendable that he is risking his life every day as a journalist.” In between all the films there will be plenty of time for socializing and elbow rubbing. The Thursday evening Filmmaker’s Tribute will again be held at La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Arts – but the honoree is yet to be announced. Former tributes went to Judd Apatow and Gus Van Sant. The opening party for the festival will be held at Andaz Rooftop. The juried Filmmaker Awards will be held Saturday night at the US Grant Hotel. “Hopefully every year we’re trying to improve the system, we’re trying to raise the level of independent films, bring more filmmakers here for the Q&A,” Mantooth said. “It’s really about trying to give the highest quality and the broadest reach of independent film line up that we can.” For the entire lineup and schedule of the San Diego Film Festival, visit —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at morgan@


San Diego Downtown News | September 2014





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San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


Local restaurateur ‘comes home’ Alex Owens When Saja Korean Kitchen opened on Fourth Avenue in Downtown San Diego this past June, it represented a homecoming for restaurateur Alex Thao. A lifelong San Diegan who grew up in Mission Hills, Thao moved away five years ago to develop restaurants for various investors. In that time, he opened 13 restaurants, mostly in Los Angeles and New York. “We’ve been bicoastal most of the last five years, but my wife and my 8-year-old daughter wanted to come back to San Diego,” he said. “To do that, I needed a project.” That project turned out to be Saja Korean Kitchen, an upscale approach to Korean BBQ, one of the fastest growing food styles in the country. Thao said that while San Diego has many all-you-can-eat Korean BBQs, most of them are in areas like Kearny Mesa, not Downtown. “There are so many new places Downtown, but most are steaks or Italian or seafood,” he said. “There are no Korean BBQ [restaurants] Downtown; however, our research shows that there are lots of similarities between Chinese and Korean food — the same textures and ingredients.” There may be a reason why the cuisine hasn’t made its way Downtown; most Korean BBQs have burners on the tables so that customers

can cook the food themselves. “Not everyone wants to smell like BBQ for the next three days,” he said. Saja Korean Kitchen marks the third restaurant that Thao has opened Downtown. His first was Rama, a Thai restaurant at 327 Fourth Ave. and his second was the Chinese eatery, Lucky Liu’s at 332 J St. Both were in keeping with his background, which is half-Thai, halfChinese, but he’s quick to point out that most of the other restaurants he’s opened in the last five years are not Asian-themed at all. “I’ve done French bistros, cocktail bars, and breakfast joints,” he said. “My next restaurant is going to be a modern Vietnamese place where the old Royal Thai restaurant used to be. There is so much more to that cuisine than Pho.” For Thao, the restaurant business is almost a birthright. Back in 1980, his father started Celadon in Hillcrest, which was the city’s first Thai restaurant. “Dad ran it for 21 years, but got burned out because he couldn’t be part of our lives,” Thao said. “He tried to keep us from working there as long as possible, but we did work there after school and weekends. “He never allowed us on the floor. We’d be in the back cutting up chicken or cleaning toilets. It taught us responsibility,” he said. Thao attended USC on a soccer scholarship and originally planned to

become a lawyer. “Dad wouldn’t pay for law school,” he said, laughing. The restaurant business called and Thao was good at it. Rama is still considered one of the city’s best Thai spots and his investors have been happy with the other restaurants he’s opened. He has enjoyed the bi-coastal life, but admits he has felt like “a high-end Navy family at times,” and said it’s nice to be home. Now back in Mission Hills, Thao said he feels an affinity to Downtown. “We lived in the Cityfront Terrace for five years before my daughter was born,” he said. “I think the recession hurt Downtown, but it taught a valuable lesson: You can’t depend on conventions. You have to take care of the neighbors.” Saja Korean Kitchen opened just a few weeks before Comic-Con which forced the restaurant staff to work out kinks in a hurry. That was helpful, he said, but the real success will come as the place attracts regulars. “You have to stay true to the roots,” he said. “Stay focused locally and the convention biz is gravy.” Saja Korean Kitchen is located at 417 Fourth Ave., Downtown, across from the Horton Grand Theatre. For more information visit —Alex Owens is a San Diego-based freelance writer.v

Alex Thao, who runs Rama and Lucky Lui’s in Downtown, recently also opened Saja Korean Kitchen and has plans to open another.

(Courtesy Alex Thao)




San Diego Downtown News | September 2014

The fastest growing modern Urban Neighborhood located in San Diego’s Arts District

For more information, please visit The East Village Association’s mission is to support and promote East Village businesses by establishing our community as San Diego’s livable urban village. The East Village Business Improvement District is partially funded by the City of San Diego’s Small Business Enhancement Program.


Dieter’s 1633 Market St. San Diego, CA 92101 619-234-4884 Dieter’s is an independent, AAA-rated, family-owned Porsche, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Mini Cooper service facility servicing San Diego with integrity since 1960. Our certified technicians have over 160 years of experience and share our mission to provide the best quality service to our clients. Being located in Downtown San Diego allows us to provide convenient service to car owners living and/or working Downtown. Come in Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and meet Traci Castle, manager and service writer, dedicated to providing excellent customer service.

Puptown 205 16th St. San Diego, CA 92101 619-234-5278 The mission of Puptown Doggy DayCare is to provide a comfortable, safe, fun, educational and social environment for our canine companions. At Puptown, your dog will enjoy supervised free play, command reinforcement (positive only), socialization, and lots of TLC in a safe, secure, fun environment. Our facility is temperature controlled and has rubber flooring inside for bruise-free tumbling and an outdoor space for fresh air, sunshine, splashing in the pool, and potty breaks. There are tons of comfy beds for our canine clients to nap on, toys to play with, and fresh distilled water is always available. Puptown is sanitized twice daily to ensure your canine’s wellbeing. Puptown has been featured on KFMB TV Channel 8’s “Pet Friends” and FOX 6 News in the morning’s “Animal House” because of our safe, clean and trusting environment. Puptown is located in Downtown San Diego in the East Village and daycare services are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. We feature cratefree sleepovers, which are available daily and staff is always on-site. Stop on by and schedule a consultation to see if your pup is a good fit!


Fashion X

Couture Syndicate Productions presented Fashion X on Aug. 14 at the Tin Roof, Downtown. This exciting evening of art, music, and fashion was co-produced by Laura M. Corbin and Kendal Sandoval, hair artist. Frank Campo was the visual arts coordinator. YO Rider laid down the tunes for the night. The runway consisted of three segments: Nora’s Boutique, MEXYCHICK’s Fashion, and Kamoni. The crowd was able to view the work of spotlight artist Michael Richard Rosenblatt while mingling during the social hour. Rosenblatt’s canvases range from abstract to landscapes and can be seen at Rosenblatt Studios. Nora’s Boutique hit the runway first with a variety of stylish dresses long and short. This local boutique is owned by Rigoberto Mateos. MEXYCHICK came next with elegant designs by Carolina Hernandez. Hernandez also showed a men’s wear collection for which the crowd went wild. The show ended with Kamoni Fashion, designs by Justine Hammond. These long gowns were both sexy and sophisticated. After the show the crowd stayed on, listening to the music. For the next production visit couturesyndicate.officialpage.

Talmadge Art Show @ The Headquarters

The Headquarters at Seaport District Downtown hosted the Talmadge Art Show on the first Thursday of August. Artists set up booths to the hustle and bustle of the crowd. A wide variety of artists participated in this openair market including makers of pottery, hand painted scarves,


BRIEFS expected to draw tens of thousands of volunteers to more than 850 cleanups across the state to help remove trash accumulated on California’s beaches and inland shorelines. According to the California Costal Commission, more than 1.2 million volunteers have removed over 20 million pounds of coastline debris since the cleanup began in 1985. For those unable to attend the cleanup on Sept. 20, the coastal commission holds several events taking place during the three weeks that follow. Visit for more information.

LOCAL LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT AWARDS NOW OPEN The San Diego Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects is now accepting nominees for its 2014 Design Awards Program, which recognizes outstanding works of landscape architecture and environmental planning. Entry form and payments are due by Sept. 12. Entry submissions must be sent by Sept. 26 to the San Diego chapter office, 1050 Rosecrans St., Suite B, San Diego, CA 92106. Late submissions are not acceptable. The entry fee is $120 for ASLA members, $200 for nonmembers. Design award categories include Communications, Commercial, Environmental, Historical/Landmark, Institutional, Parks/Rec/ Trails, Planning/Analysis, Public/ Municipal, Pro Bono, Single Family, Multi Family and Un-built Works. The entry form and more information are available at

Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro and creative paper cards. Adrian Accessories was on hand to show off his beautiful button & bead jewelry. Adrian makes clip-on earrings, which are exceptionally light. Lauren Chong Sng makes sachet pillows from Kimono & Chinese Brocade fabrics and then embellishes them for ABC Rags. Vicki Leon Originals creates incredible sculpted glass embellished with crystals and gems to create a one-of-a-kind artwork. Valerie Rosenthal Hebert made darling felt art with flair. Jan Badgley is a fiber artist who showed off her exquisite boiled wool garments. Stay tuned for upcoming events or visit

San Diego Lolitas

The San Diego Lolitas held their third annual Fashion Walk at the San Diego Marriot on the last day of Comic-Con 2014. This Fashion Walk culminated at the carousel in Seaport Village and 90 girls took part in this fashionable

San Diego Downtown News | September 2014


day. These members meet every month and travel to Los Angeles and Mexico regularly for meet-ups. Lolitas are a fashion style that originated with Japan street fashion back in the late 1980s. The look is very doll-like and there are many styles such as Gothic, Classic, Punk, and Ama Lolita. This Lolita Lifestyle has very “ladylike” behavior. The San Diego Lolitas all meet in dress for their monthly meet-ups. Many of the girls dress this way all the time. For more information visit sandiegololitas.

Upcoming Events

Sept. 13 – 10th annual “Strut for Sobriety” a boutique, luncheon, “Path to Recovery” awards and fashion show to be held by A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing) at the Sheraton Harbor Island. For info call 619-670-1184. Sept. 17 – Fashion Through the Ages: “A tribute to Downton Abbey” located at the Town and Country in Mission Valley at 11 a.m. This fundraiser benefits Angels of Aseltine Auxiliary. For tickets or information, contact Holly Smith Jones at 858-755-8446. Sept. 20 – Bradon McDonald: Project Runway, Season 12 finalist. Presentation hosted by San Diego American Sewing Guild Chapter and Mesa College Fashion Design program located at San Diego Mesa College. Open registration begins on Sept. 3. Questions call Jackie Cruz at 760-846-3356. Sept. 27 – Recycled Material Runway Event at Moonlight Veranda at Lexus Center of Escondido from 6 – 9 p.m. is hosted by Escondido Arts Partnership/ Escondido Municipal Gallery.

At Fashion X: (above) Designer Carolina Hernandez surrounded by male models wearing her men’s collection; (below) model shows off elegant gown by MEXYCHICK fashions. (Photo by Diana Cavagnaro)

Tickets at escondidoarts. org/details/runwayevent. html. Sept. 30 – Oct. 5 — Fashion Week San Diego 2014 located at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. The event will start each night at 6 p.m. For more info visit —Diana Cavagnaro is a nationally recognized hat designer and milliner, and has been in the fashion business for 30 years. The last 20 of those years she’s operated her business from Downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter, while moonlighting in the Fashion department at San Diego Mesa College. She can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | September 2014

San Diego Downtown News - September 2014  
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