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Volume 6 Issue 1 Jan. 9–Jan. 22, 2015 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter sdcnn.com

GAY

SAN DIEGO SERVING OUR LGBT COMMUNITY

7 COMMUNITY

Easing on down the road

Page 8

Shop Hillcrest winners announced Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

HBA gives away more than $2,000 worth of local goods

Thursday night’s WET to Numbers and Sunday night’s Soiree to Brass Rail. The bar’s Facebook page — which on Sunday, Jan. 4, finally shared the closure — asked for followers to share their photos and stories of the venue over the years, disappeared the following day, to much surprise. Before the page was removed, scores of followers began sharing memories and photos of themselves enjoying themselves at the popular LGBT venue. Bourbon Street San Diego has meant a lot of things to a lot of people. Countless memories were made there, and hundreds of thousands of dollars of community money was raised there for worthy causes. It wasn’t just a place to go

During this past holiday season, the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) found a way to encourage people to bring their dollars to Hillcrest. Encouraging potential customers to “give to your neighborhood and give your neighborhood the opportunity to give back to you,” they launched SHOP Hillcrest, an annual promotional contest that is always a win-win with shoppers and local businesses alike. Starting on Nov. 24, each visit to a participating Hillcrest business gave shoppers an entry into the Shop Hillcrest raffle contest. The more they shopped, the more raffle tickets went into the drawing and the more opportunities they had to win. There was no limit on the number of shopping days or entries, as long as the visits occurred by Dec. 24. “Participating businesses received advertising opportunities in a subsidized Shop Hillcrest co-op page in local publications, Facebook, Twitter and online promotions, marketing collateral and radio promotions,” said Megan Gamwell, HBA marketing and

see Bourbon, pg 3

see HBA, pg 7

A Truax advocate

q DINING Fitting end: A truck and a U-Haul filled to the brim with tables, chairs and heat lamps sits outside Bourbon Street, ready to drive years of memories away. (Photo by Mark Kunce); (inset) attendees at a GSDBA mixer during Pride season in 2006 enjoys the patio. (Photo by Jim Winsor/SDPIX)

San Diego’s salute to the Big Easy closes its shutter doors for last time Taste of old L.A.

t CALENDAR

Hot, sweaty, sexy

y SPORTS

Fix the picks

Index Community Voices…..….4 Opinion………………….6 Briefs…………………12

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor Bourbon Street San Diego, a mainstay in the local LGBT community for over 28 years located in University Heights, closed its plantation-style shutter doors and windows for the last time on Jan. 1, 2015. According to the new owner, John Pani of Waypoint Public, that is the same day he acquired the lease — along with that of Lei Lounge next door — from the Weiss brothers, Michael and Bill, who took over the space in 2004. Though Lei Lounge has struggled to stay open in the past and even closed for a time, there was little warning of Bourbon Street’s plans for closure; though in recent weeks its Facebook page announced the move of some of its more popular events to other venues across town, including

Gay for Good builds a ship By Walter G. Meyer They have worked the Special Olympics, planted native vegetation on Coronado for the Audubon Society, cleaned up an estuar y for the Friends of the Famosa Slough, picked up trash on Pacific Beach for Coastkeeper, scrubbed the Ronald McDonald House, and packed tons of edibles for several local food banks. Most recently they built a ship — well, they helped the shipbuilders by cleaning up a ship under construction, and ser ved those who swab the decks. Who are these grimy heroes? They are the volunteers of Gay for Good, also known as G4G. Barb Moreno, one of the leaders of the local San Diego chapter, said G4G started in Los Angeles

as a gay hiking group. “They started picking up trash on the trails and decided to make it into something much bigger,” she said. “The board had the idea of creating a volunteer organization that mobilized gays and lesbians to donate their time to benefit the larger community. Prop 8’s passage helped encourage [G4G’s] leadership that these conversations were necessar y ever ywhere we lived.” Now she said, G4G helps various non-LGBT social welfare and environmental organizations while it also helps “bridge the gap” between the LGBT community and the larger community. “That created the spark that has now grown into 10 chapters nationwide,” Moreno added. There are three other groups

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Gay for Good volunteers at the Maritime Museum's San Salvador ship at Spanish Landing. (Courtesy Walter G. Meyer) in California and chapters existing as far flung as Pittsburgh and Boston, with more than 6,500 members nationwide.

Fourteen local volunteers got up early on Saturday, Jan. 3, to

see Good, pg 4 see Good, pg 4


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GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

gay-sd.com


NEWS

BOURBON buy a cocktail for 28 years, it was also home to dozens of nonprofit board meetings and mixers, Sunday afternoon BBQs, Jell-O wrestling, foam parties, wet underwear contests, fashion shows, live music performances, dancing, pool leagues, and even a drag nun who ran a bitchy game of bingo for years on end. Though both gays and lesbians have always made their way through the venue’s shutter doors over the years, the bar’s history conjures up bittersweet memories for many lesbians, including me, and harkens back to the days when we were not always welcome. In the early 1990s, the bar’s thenowner — who also owned two other bars that were known to challenge women — had a few standing rules for his bartenders when it came to lesbian clientele. Ignore them, water down their drinks, and overcharge them to get them to leave. If these tactics didn’t make the lesbians leave, they were often told to. I was displaced from this bar on more than one occasion and have heard dozens of stories of others who were. Later that decade, ownership changed (before the Weiss brothers took over) and so did the bar’s treatment of women — sort of. Friday nights at Bourbon Street became a popular hangout for the lesbiansover-30 crowd, but the second the clock struck 9 p.m., it was time for us to leave. Tables and chairs were often taken right out from under us mid-conversation, as staff systematically cleared us out in preparation for the male-centric crowd that would soon begin arriving. Mark Kunce, longtime resident and founder of the “I Heart 92116” Facebook page, remembers those times. Though he and his longtime partner haven’t been to the bar in a few years, he said they were regulars for the popular Sunday BBQs and Bitchy Bingo nights for decades. Kunce said he started the 92116 page to assist his real estate business with Keller-Williams Metro, but since launching a little over a year ago, the page has taken on a life of its own. He just happened to be driving down Park Boulevard earlier this week when he saw the truck and U-Haul being loaded up out in front of Bourbon Street, so he immediately stopped to reflect and take photos (one can be seen on the front cover) for the 92116 page. Through its highs and lows and laughter and tears, Bourbon Street will also surely be remembered fondly by the many who sought solace in the property’s wonky, multi-tiered, New Orleans-style layout — which at one time included four bar areas — while coming out of the closet and meeting new friends. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at morgan@sdcnn.com.t With remodeling of the beloved Bourbon Street space expected within the next 30 days or so and a re-opening set for early summer, new owner John Pani spoke to Gay San Diego’s Frank Sabatini Jr. about his plans for the space in an exclusive interview. GSD: How long have you had your eye on Bourbon and Lei Lounge? JP: Since the summer of 2014. I was familiar with both properties already. The opportunity presented itself back then after my partners and I approached them at some point in the summer, even though it wasn’t on the market at the time.

GSD: The burning question from within the LGBT community: Given Bourbon Street’s history as a landmark LGBT bar, is it your intention to keep it as so? JP: We don’t plan on catering directly and specifically to the LGBT community, but our concept is one that is very community-driven, a place where people from all walks of life will enjoy. GSD: Will you perhaps hold LGBT events and fundraisers in the Bourbon Street space? JP: Absolutely. It’s something we would love to do — support LGBT organizations as well as all kinds of associations and organizations. It’s definitely part of our philosophy to give back to the community. We have every intent of welcoming the LGBT community to both venues along with the rest of the neighborhood. GSD: About how much of the original Bourbon Street design will you retain? JP: We will not have a New Orleans-style presentation. That property is made up of three buildings and we want to bring them all back to the period they were built, to their original conditions. I don’t know the dates, but one of the buildings is from the early 1900s. We want the whole place to feel like a little neighborhood spot that goes back to the original feel of the neighborhood. GSD: What about the back patio’s indoor dance floor? JP: The front of that building is like an original home and we want to enhance that. In some form, we’ll keep the dance floor. And we plan on having live music and entertainment. The licensing allows for that

within the bar, which is somewhat rare in the Uptown neighborhoods.

Going to extremes...

GSD: Your statement in the press release says “we’ll be introducing a brand new concept to San Diego as a whole.” Can you be more specific? JP: It’s not going to be a beer bar or brewery. There will be beer served here, but most of it will probably be in cans like in the good old days. It won’t be a craft beer institution like a lot of other places are going for. GSD: Will food come into play at the Bourbon Street space? JP: We will be serving food at the Bourbon Street space, but I can’t really expand on it at this point. But we don’t intend on making it a restaurant first. It won’t be food-driven but there will be food of some kind — and it’ll be good. And the properties will not be combined. They will be two distinct venues, just like they are today. GSD: Bourbon Street has had lots of trouble with the surrounding neighborhood community in recent years — how do you plan to navigate that? JP: I don’t expect a battle. We’ll be the best neighbors we can be. And we’ll be reaching out to the community and talking to folks who have had issues in the past and work together to hopefully alleviate those concerns and issues. GSD: Naming of the venues … has anything been decided yet? JP: We’re still working through those, and they’ll be separately re-named. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.rr.com.t

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FROM PAGE 1

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

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4

NEWS

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

FROM PAGE 1

GOOD

report for duty aboard the San Salvador at Spanish Landing Park on Harbor Drive. Like Moreno, Robin Rigby was another early member and is now also part of the leadership committee. She said since it is not a dues-paying organization, it’s hard to gauge how many members they have locally, but anyone is welcome to help. “[Currently] 466 people have added themselves to our Facebook group,” Rigby said. “Most of those people have never been to an event and I doubt most of them ever will. I’d say we have a core of about 30 – 40 people who actually show up for our events.” Rigby said that the ship project came about when one of G4G’s longest-serving volunteers heard from someone at the Maritime Museum that they were looking for people to help finish construction of the San Salvador that was running behind schedule. “Originally, Barb [Moreno] was tr ying to work with them to arrange a November volunteer project, but when that didn’t happen and we knew they still needed help, I decided to arrange for us to work with them in Januar y,” Rigby said. “Even though we were just being swabbies, we got a tour and learned details about the build and the original ship that were educational and fun.” Eric Gerhardt, volunteer coordinator for the San Salvador, explained some of the differences between the original ship and this replica ship that has been taking shape for years alongside the water in Spanish Landing Park, just west of the airport. First of all, he said the ship is not an exact copy. In order to get Coast Guard approval to carr y passengers, the ship has to have engines and he joked that those two John Deeres inside are not replicas of the ones Cabrillo had. He also explained that the way the planks were originally sealed, it caused them to leak, so this version will be more watertight. It will also have conveniences such as electric lights and navigation equipment that were not around when the original was in operation. The San Salvador was the ship

that brought Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo — the first European — to lay eyes on what is now San Diego, on Sept. 28, 1542. Cabrillo, a Portuguese mariner sailing under the flag of Spain, arrived on the feast day of St. Michael and christened the bay and area ‘San Miguel.’ The San Salvador was a deep-draft ship and Cabrillo was afraid to bring into a bay that appeared to be too shallow to accommodate it, so he dropped anchor at the mouth of the bay and explored the inlet in long boats. In 1602, Spaniard Sebastian Vizcaino returned to the area and gave the bay the name that stuck: San Diego de Alcala. The original San Salvador was believed to displace about 200 tons and this replica was recently weighed and found to be close to 172 tons. Of course, she’s not quite finished. When she is ready around the end of Februar y, she will be trucked down Harbor Drive from her present location and a crane will lift her into the water along the Embarcadero. Gerhardt said they are hoping Governor Jerr y Brown will perform the commissioning. San Salvador will take her place near the Star of India (an actual antique — the oldest ironhulled sailing ship still afloat in the world), and the Maritime Museum’s replica ships: the HMS Surprise (which was in a few movies including “Master and Commander” and the most recent “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie), and the Californian. The Californian was built in 1984 and is a replica of an 1847 revenue cutter than once patrolled off the West Coast. Rigby said of the hours spent around the San Salvador, the G4G crew cleaned up the entire area — a makeshift shipyard, cleaned the ship’s decks and did their part for the local environment by rehabbing the storm drain filtering system. In addition, a group of the women volunteers also banded together to shore up the sagging ramp that led into the shipyard workshop. “All while making lots of bad pirate jokes,” Rigby said. Gerhardt said it is important than none of the mess created in building the ship washes into the bay. Besides such waste running into the bay being a violation of the law, Gerhardt, like the Gayfor-Gooders helping, is concerned

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(l to r) Robin Rigby and Kimberly Martinez of G4G discuss the volunteer project with Maritime Museum’s volunteer coordinator Eric Gerhardt (Photo by Walter Meyer)

G4G’s John Greenwell cleans a bilge on the San Salvador. (Photo by Walter Meyer) about protecting the environment. Currently the local G4G leadership committee consists of Moreno, Rigby, John Greenwell and Jeff Fleming. “We’re not really a board,” Fleming said. “We’re a committee of equals. We are always looking for people who are interested in furthering their ser vice to the community.” Fleming said the leaders work closely with each other, often passing off projects to make sure opportunities don’t slip between

their fingers. The San Diego chapter of Gay for Good was started in 2010 by seven local activists and do-gooders. “Gay For Good San Diego had a change in leadership in early 2012,” Greenwell said. “Many of the original leaders moved out of San Diego or moved on to other organizations and responsibilities, so for a few months the group remained dormant. That is when the national board based in Los Angeles asked us to jumpstart

the organization. It has thrived ever since. We have run at least one event per month since and often partner with more than one organization per month.” One of the things Moreno said she loves about the work is the reaction of the people in the groups they ser ve. “I’ve had so many enlightening conversations during these events,” she said. “My favorite part is having people within the groups we are working for pull me aside and share their stories with me, like, ‘I have a gay son,’ or ‘I voted no on Prop 8,’ or ‘Who cares if you’re gay?’ Those groups tell us almost ever y time we are the hardest working volunteers they’ve ever had. That makes me smile.” The group has also set records at food banks for the most canned goods packed in an evening, and Moreno gets excited talking about the work they’ve done. “Last summer we worked with the horse rescue group that provides food and shelter for horses near Julian,” she explained. “That was incredibly memorable — we helped out on the ranch and spent time with the horses after. Another great event was working with 4 Walls International to construct the new entrance sign and benches at Border Field State Park. We stuffed plastic bottles with ‘trash’ that was picked up from a canyon in Tijuana to build the infrastructure for the benches. It’s the most environmentally friendly experience I’ve ever had. And when I look at it, I can say, ‘Gay for Good helped do that!’” At the San Salvador, G4G volunteers hammered their initials into planks that will be used on the ship so their legacy will be sailing the bay for years to come. Gerhardt, like most of the groups with which G4G has worked, said he would happily welcome the volunteers back and suggested that anyone was welcome to come and help with the San Salvador on their own. “Most organizations are thrilled to have someone contact them with an offer of warm bodies,” Rigby said. “On occasion, some groups haven’t seemed to know what to do with the amount of troops we’ve offered them or have never had a group contact them to offer volunteers. They seem nonplussed or confused.” Greenwell said volunteers are not asked for a financial commitment, merely a few hours of their time. “That’s it,” he said. “Our chapter is without guilt or any financial obligation. We are always looking for new volunteers. We also currently have an opening on our leadership committee.” “We are willing to work with any nonprofit organization in San Diego County that is looking for hardworking, enthusiastic volunteers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, or making bad pirate jokes,” Rigby said. Anyone interested can join the group and find out about upcoming events on the “Gay for Good – San Diego” Facebook page — search for “Gay For Good – San Diego” or visit gayforgood.org. —Freelance writer and Gay San Diego contributor Walter G. Meyer is a charter member of Gay for Good, has attended most of their events, including the first one, as the group’s unofficial photographer. He sometimes gets word of opportunities such as San Salvador or Border Field projects and passes them along to the leadership committee. He can be reached at waltmeyer28@gmail.com.t


gay-sd.com

COMMUNITY VOICES

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

5

Puer aeternus Happy New Year from South Bay Life Beyond Therapy Michael Kimmel This week, I was talking to a client who is a smart, successful and happily-married bisexual woman in her early 30s. We were talking about her worries and fears when suddenly she surprised me. “I know it sounds weird, but I don’t want to grow up,” she said. “I want to be like Wendy in Peter Pan. Growing up sounds boring. Do I have to?” I think this highly-accomplished woman is speaking for all of us. Do we have to grow up? And what does “growing up” mean anyway? Do you remember Peter Pan? His theme song was, “I won’t grow up.” While this may be charming in an animated Disney character, it’s not a good strategy for us as LGBT men and women. Peter Pan wants to stay eternally youthful … like a kid. He/ she doesn’t want to be responsible or do boring things. Peter Pan wants to just have a good time flying around and tr ying new things. This is actually part of our developmental tasks when we’re in our 20s. But, around 27 or so, most of us hit a wall: We’ve been doing this stuff for about 10 years now and there isn’t much more we can get out of it. But, what’s next? For many of us, it’s time to examine how much we believe in The Peter Pan Syndrome. Do we continue to blame other people for our own unhappiness? Do we avoid taking responsibility for the direction our lives are going? Do we desperately fear getting older? As we age, do we find ourselves increasingly attracted to only younger people? If so, you’re “doing” a Peter Pan. Many of us want to look like a kid while we age. What an uphill struggle that is. Do you really want to experience all the anxiety and fear that comes with continually fighting the aging process? I’m not recommending that you lay on the couch, eat junk food and watch reality TV all day. However, neither should you obsess with ever y wrinkle, gray hair and physical change you are inevitably to experience. This is an incredible waste of your energy. Peter Pan never had an adult relationship; adult relationships are hard work. There’s no botox shot or liposuction procedure to make you or your lover happy all the time. Real intimacy forces us to look at ourselves and see all of our unresolved shit, not just the carefully-maintained image we show to the world. After a little research on Wikipedia, I learned that Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J.M. Barrie. Peter is a mischievous boy (who’s almost always played on stage and in movies by an androgynous young woman) who never grows up. He spends his never-ending childhood having adventures on the island of Neverland as the leader of his gang, the Lost Boys.

As I kept reading, I was led to an even more descriptive term … puer aeternus — Latin for “eternal boy” — used in mythology to designate a child-god who is forever young. Psychologically, it typically refers to an older man whose emotional life is stuck at an adolescent level. This eternal boy/ girl is constantly afraid of being caught in a situation from which he or she cannot escape. They covet independence and freedom, hate healthy boundaries and reasonable limits, and find any kind of restriction intolerable. Wow! Thanks Wikipedia for providing an amazingly accurate description of those of us who try to stay eternally childlike/ish. Is Hillcrest your “Neverland”? Do you drink/eat/shop to dull the pain of growing up/ older? Are you in denial about the responsibilities of your life, preferring to remain emotionally at an adolescent level? Ouch. As 2015 has just begun, perhaps it’s time to look at the “eternal boy/girl” — that desire to be like Peter Pan — in all of us. While our teens and 20s are good times to have fun, a time to tr y new things and be carefree and “gay” (there, I said it), our 30s and 40s are when life presents us with new opportunities to grow and deepen as women and men. We can embrace them — and the responsibilities that come with them — or tr y to live our lives at an emotionally adolescent level. Puer aeternus or mature women and men? The choice is yours. —Michael Kimmel is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in helping LGBT clients achieve their goals and deal with anxiety, depression, grief, sexually addictive behavior, coming out, relationship challenges and homophobia. Contact him at 619-955-3311 or visit lifebeyondtherapy.com.t

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South Bay Alliance Dae Elliott Last year was an eventful year for the entire community. First, we saw tremendous headway on the marriage equality front with the expectation that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear and perhaps settle this issue nationally in 2015. At the same time, the trans* community has broken through in media and awareness around these issues have been expanded. Cisgender and transgender alike are questioning issues of inclusiveness that surround traditional gender conformity. There have been set backs as well. We are confronting segments of society that have escalated their hate speech and efforts to turn back the clock even though the majority of those in the U.S. and other industrialized nations are in favor of LGBT equality, cognizant that that equality enhances everyone’s (LGBT and heterosexuals alike) ability to express themselves honestly and authentically. Certainly, we have a long way to go, but it has been more steps for ward than back. With that said, we also need to address the backlash that is happening internationally. Despite the progress we have made, much of our international LGBT community has seen a loss

of rights and an increase in discrimination and violence. Those of us who have it better need to stand in solidarity with them and continue the fight. Other equality issues have recently erupted around race, showing us that our battle towards equality, and treating people as individuals — by dismantling not only explicit and overt bigotr y, but implicit and systemic discrimination — cannot be ignored. Years ago, Audre Lorde spoke emphatically that “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” We must always remember that when bigotr y is tolerated, it hurts all of us. It hurts the cause of equality. The expectation of equal treatment is the very argument that the LGBT* community has used in asking for their equal rights and cannot be selectively used for one group while ignoring others. The validity of our argument does not stand if we ourselves do not protect and affirm difference as a celebrated basis for the entire community. Our community is a diverse one where all of these marginalities intersect. This can be a source of great strength if embraced or a division if we fail to look inward at our own attitudes and practices. Our differences, our uniqueness, our individuality — as the ingredients for a complex and affirming community — should be our goal. Locally, San Diego County is also a diverse place with pockets

of bigotr y against the LGBT community and our youth often pay a high price for it. A large percentage of the bullied and homeless youth belong to our community. They are often ostracized, disowned, and left to struggle alone. We need to help them. South Bay Alliance’s goal this year is to bring in enough donations and funding so that we can move to open a LGBT center in a central location near public transportation here in the South Bay. Many of our LGBT youth cannot travel to the San Diego LGBT Center in Hillcrest and need that sort of support, information center and refuge to assist them. Please give to make this so. Donate by going to our website at southbaypride.org or contact us to participate on the board in order to make this a reality. Our South Bay Pride Art & Music Festival had a 7,500 attendance this last year. Think, if all of those people and their friends supported not only the celebration, but a meeting place, what a wonderful legacy we could leave our LGBT youth and in turn, mentor them to continue the fight for equality. Let’s make 2015 a year to remember for the South Bay! — Dae Elliott is a founding executive committee member and the current executive director of South Bay Alliance, a 501(c)3 nonprofit and organizer of the annual South Bay Pride Ar t & Music Festival. Contact her at southbayalliance@gmail.com.t


6

OPINION

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

gay-sd.com

Letters Happy to be in top 10 I am honored and pleased that three of my columns were so popular with your readers [See “Postcards from the year online,” Vol. 5, Issue 26]. When I write the columns for Gay San Diego, I never know how many people read them … until now! And thanks for your wonderful/brave/honest column about depression. My clients have mentioned it to me! —Michael Kimmel, CBT, LCSW, via gay-sd.com

Philanthropic angst

Editorial

2015: leading San Diego forward By Councilmember Todd Gloria

I have been looking forward to 2015 since I began representing District Three on the City Council six years ago. This year will spotlight the centennial celebration of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park with festivities, programs and legacy improvements like the reopening of the California Tower. It will also focus on a host of important city issues that I’m eager to make progress on with the continued participation of San Diegans. The City’s first priority will always be the safety of our citizens. We must do all within our power to ensure the dedicated men and women of the San Diego Police Department are compensated at a level that reflects their hard work and retains their experience for the protection of our neighborhoods. This is the most significant shortterm challenge facing us, and I believe we must tackle it early in 2015. Whether I’m at the grocery store or dry cleaners or just checking Twitter, the biggest frustration you con-

tinue to share with me is the condition of our streets and sidewalks. In recent years, we have begun to chip away at this problem. Road repairs have ramped up and the first ever assessment of San Diego’s sidewalks is nearly complete, but we must do better. I have serious concerns with the lack of a comprehensive solution to this multi-billion dollar infrastructure problem that is the biggest long-term challenge facing us. As the Chairman of the Council’s Budget and Government Efficiency Committee, I will schedule hearings to draw attention to this matter throughout 2015. Infrastructure investment, improvements to our purchasing and contracting processes, increasing our Equal Opportunity Contracting achievements, and ensuring fiscal discipline as our finances continue to improve top the list of my Committee’s priorities. Before we have the opportunity in June 2016 to approve the minimum wage increase I championed, I will pursue the application of California’s new earned sick leave law to the hundreds of hourly City employees that do not currently

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 david@sdcnn.com

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961 vincent@sdcnn.com

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 morgan@sdcnn.com

PRODUCTION ARTISTS Todd Kammer, x115 Suzanne Dzialo

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Hutton Marshall, x102 Jeremy Ogul, x119 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dae Elliott Michael Kimmel Walter G. Meyer Ian Morton Jeff Praught Frank Sabatini Jr.

WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 jen@sdcnn.com COPYEDITOR Dustin Lothspeich SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 mike@sdcnn.com ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954 sloan@sdcnn.com

have this benefit. Allowing seasonal lifeguards, library aides, recreation center staff and others that regularly interact with the public the ability to take time off when they are ill is the right thing to do for our workers and for protecting public health. Last year I led the City to make significant reforms to our homelessness programs. The changes we made focused on reallocating our limited resources to results-oriented programs proven to move people off the streets and into housing. In 2015, I will monitor and report on the efficacy of these programs and continue to build relationships between service providers, government, businesses, philanthropists, and the public to leverage additional resources to achieve our goal of ending homelessness in San Diego. While we still have a long way to go, we will not give up on this effort until we meet our objective. As a new member of the Environment Committee, I look forward to the approval and implementation of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan that is based largely on the plan I authored when I served in the Mayor’s office. In the meantime, giving San Diegans more options than driving remains critical. Frank Lechner (619) 961-1971 Frank@sdcnn.com Andrew Bagley, x106 Karen Davis, x105 Lisa Hamel, x107 Kyle Renwick, x116 Yana Shayne, x113

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 accounting@sdcnn.com WEB DESIGN Kim Espinoza espinozawebworks.com kim@kespinoza.com

DISTRIBUTION Gay San Diego is distributed free every other Friday of the month. COPYRIGHT 2014. All rights reserved.

Making our transit system a high quality transportation option with more efficient service like the Rapid and the addition of Wi-Fi to some Rapid buses, and adding safer pedestrian and bicycle facilities throughout the City are changes I anticipate this year. I also foresee the passage of a standardized parklet policy that will encourage development of creative public spaces in San Diego, a regulatory relief measure aimed at helping small and startup businesses, and updating the City’s non-discrimination language to ensure San Diego’s policies reflect tolerance and respect for all people. Since joining the City Council in 2008 and through my service as Council President and Mayor, I’ve tried my best to move San Diego forward to leave the City I love better than I found it. I’m proud of the accomplishments we’ve achieved together and can’t wait to celebrate more for you in 2015. —Todd Gloria represents the San Diego City Council’s third district. He has served as Council President and Interim Mayor and is serving in his last term as a councilmember, which will end in February of 2016. For more info, visit sandiego.gov/citycouncil/cd3.t

SDHDF proves the industry of HIV/AIDS is not only alive and well, but getting stronger [See “Editorial: Supporting our community through the years,” Vol. 5, Issue 26]. According to Mr. Brown, slapping a god damn rubber on it is an insurmountable behavior change, but ensuring that those living [infected] with HIV from infecting others by making sure “they adhere to their treatment and suppress their viral load,” has nothing to do with behavior change. Human dignity? Where is the dignity when young gay men infect themselves with HIV on purpose? Where is the dignity knowing there is plenty in the community willing to do the infecting? Where is the dignity in gay men to protect themselves against infections, to take charge their own health by not relying the SDHDF to “ensure” that the guy I’m having sex with is taking his medications. [San Diego] still remains the gonorrhea capital of the nation because of the gay community. Mr. Brown, do you really think this town or your foundation will ever be on the “cutting edge” of anything but raising money? What is your salary and what is your fee for “speaking?” —Kevin McCarthy, via emailt

Correction In the QSyndicate interview published in our last issue [See “Nothing butt Russell Tovey,” Vol. 5, Issue 26] Tovey was quoted discussing the comfort level of playing sex scenes with Joe Wilkinson (of the BBC’s “Him and Her”), but Tovey was actually talking about scenes performed with Joe Williamson, his costar on HBO’s “Looking.” We regret the error.t

OPINIONS/LETTERS: Gay San Diego encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to morgan@sdcnn.com 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@sdcnn.com. For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email.

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NEWS / COMMUNITY VOICES

gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 1

HBA

communications program manager. “This campaign really helps to create a cohesive holiday spirit in the neighborhood and brings business owners closer to their customers,” she said, adding that businesses were

‘Mikie’ Lochner From Pit-bull to Prince Royale (and beyond) Profiles in Advocacy Ian Morton

(l to r) Grand prize winner Melisa Cebrero and Natasha Torki of Beauty by Dolly (Photo by Megan Gamwell) also given unique shopping bags to share with customers, decorative holiday stickers for their storefronts and “Shop Hillcrest for the Holidays” posters to mount in their windows. The list of this year’s participating HBA businesses included Pure Barre, The Smooth Bar, Empire House, Adam & Eve, Village Hat Shop, Green Fresh Floral’s, Americana Clothing, Cody’s Home + Gift, Obelisk Mercantile, Establish, Crest Café, Gioia’s Room, Urban Optiks Optometry, Uptown Tavern, Detour Salon, Babette Schwartz, Luigi Vera, Urban Mo’s, Baja Betty’s, Gossip Grill, Hillcrest Brewing Company, Local Habit, Purity Apothecary, 100 Wines Kitchen, Artist and Craftsman Supply, The Wine Lover, Pretty Please, Mankind, Blue Stocking Books and Beauty By Dolly. “We received more raffle tickets this year than ever before, which leads me to believe we saw more shoppers,” Gamwell said. “A few of the businesses we have spoken to reported an increase in sales due to the campaign.” Raffle tickets were color coded so that the businesses where the winning ticket was sold could be notified, much like the California Lottery. The drawing, which was done by lottery and conducted Jan. 7 at the HBA’s offices at 3702 Fifth Ave., #202, bequeathed more than $2,000 in gift certificates and other retail goods from local Hillcrest businesses to two lucky shoppers. After pulling the winning names, Gamwell alerted the two businesses where the tickets were purchased so they could contact their customers and congratulate them on their win. “I believe that connecting the winners with the business owners is a great way to build strong relationships in our community,” Gamwell said. Melisa Cebrero won the big grand prize: a shopping spree worth more than $1,700. Her ticket came from Beauty by Dolly, a threading and waxing salon for men and women located at 3650 Fifth Ave., #101. The Serra Mesa resident, who said she has never won a raffle before, only entered the drawing once, while purchasing salon services. She frequents Hillcrest regularly because of its proximity to her home. “We dine there often and Dolly’s is my favorite salon,” she said. “I’m definitely excited to try a business that I haven’t been to before.” Second place — $500 worth of gift certificates and prizes — went to Elena De La Rosa of Hillcrest, who made her purchase at Babette Schwartz, a gift emporium located right under the Hillcrest sign at 421 University Ave. For more information about this annual holiday event, visit ShopHillcrestfortheHolidays.com.t

The New Year always brings me back to my advocacy roots and the genesis of this column. World AIDS Day (Dec. 1) always heralds the newest A. Brad Truax Award recipient in San Diego, and that individual is the focus of my Januar y column. Named for the physician activist, Dr. A. Brad Truax, this award recognizes a person who has practiced consistent and ardent advocacy in the field of HIV/ AIDS. It has been awarded to physicians, nurses and executive directors, but this year, we saw a community champion honored, Mr. Michael “Mikie” Lochner. Like many in the late 1980s and ’90s, Lochner had a difficult time accepting his own HIV diagnosis and did not immediately seek treatment. Living in the Rochester area of upstate New York, he found his immediate community was not talking about this disease that seemed to be targeting gay men. Though aware of his partner’s HIVpositive status in 1986, he did not receive his own HIV diagnosis until 1990 and an AIDS diagnosis in 1994. Once he engaged in treatment, Lochner also began to find his place in the advocacy community. He began doing his own research, and in 1995, he attended the AIDS Master y weekend retreat. This conference brought him into intense emotional contact with others living with the disease and it helped him to start living with, not dying from, HIV/AIDS. Armed with purpose, Lochner joined the HIV Consortium and Consumer Council of Rochester in 1996, where he gladly bore the title of “troublemaker.” Committed to researching the scientific truth about HIV — in a time of conspiracy theorists and general misinformation — he often found himself challenging leaders to vet their information and chosen keynote speakers. He also pushed the powers that be to make sure

the voices of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A) were being heard as funding priorities were being developed. Lochner brought that spirit of advocacy and belief in accountability to San Diego in 1999. He began attending the San Diego HIV Consumer Council in 2000, and credits his immersion into San Diego HIV advocacy, in part, to mentors Ron Gagne and Mark Mischan (1999 and 1998 Truax Award recipients, respectively). One key aspect of Lochner’s stance in the complicated realm of HIV/AIDS advocacy is his belief that the individual person living with the disease should never be lost. He understands the need for statistics, needs assessment and risk level identification, but also recognizes the danger of people being seen as merely numbers. We discussed some of the modern day campaigns, such as Mr. Friendly and HIV Equal, which seek to de-stigmatize the disease and celebrate the human being. During the acceptance of his award, he challenged those living with HIV to self-identify and not to hide in the shadows. He referenced the 2014 U.S. Conference on AIDS — held last fall in San Diego — while discussing the changing face of HIV/AIDS. “At this year’s conference, there were comments to me that there were too many workshops and breakout sessions for people of color,” he said. “You can’t fault the people putting this [conference] on for understanding that the face of AIDS has changed. Because we are white [cisgender] men, we still have less problems dealing with this disease, because we look like the government.” Lochner advocates for immediate implementation of the cultural and gender-sensitive education and resources that Caucasian gay men have received since the 1980s. He understands that we have the templates in place, but we need to refine the messaging for a new generation dealing with the disease. Evolution has been an overarching theme in Lochner’s life. He recalled being introduced in 2001 as the new vice chair of the San Diego HIV Planning Coun-

Expert Advice

To read advice and information from the experts, please go to:

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BRET SMITH B.A., B.S., CPT THE MOVE STRONG STUDIO: Empty your tank

To participate in our Expert Advice section, call:

619-565-4454 619-961-1964

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

7

cil, while sporting a half-mohawk. Arty Edwards, the Planning Council’s chair, introduced him as their “pit-bull,” saying, “We keep him on a short leash but when we let him loose, watch out!” Conversely, Lochner has also attended these meetings as Prince Royale of the Imperial Court de San Diego in full “Imperial Court Regalia,” crown and all. His message continues to be that you cannot effectively understand an HIVpositive person, if you do not take the time to know them as a person first: the good, the bad and the fabulous! In 2015, Lochner is stepping up his game with a run for “Emperor” of the Imperial Court de San Diego. As Michael Lochner at the 2014 A. Brad Truax awards he looks to this (Photo by Lindsay Dapremont) potential new role, he hopes to inspire others to become leaders in the Happy New Year! HIV field. If you are inspired to be a —Ian D. Morton is s part of the San Diego HIV advofreelance grant writer and cacy community, you can find the producer of Y.E.S. San information about the Planning Diego, an LGBTQ youth Council at sdplanning.org. And, if empowerment conference. To you happen to see “Mikie” there nominate an individual or or out in the community, he is alnonprofit for this column, ways available to talk with those please email the information who want to take their advocacy to ian@sdhdf.org. t to the next step.


8

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

DR. JEFFREY KEENY, D.D.S. 1807 ROBINSON AVE. SAN DIEGO, CA 92103 619-295-1512 | DRKEENY.COM

Dr. Keeny practices general dentistry with a heavy emphasis on cosmetic treatments. His practice also offers implants, crowns, white fillings, prevention, sports dentistry and children’s dental services. According to Dr. Keeny, “our patients are our friends.” He is surrounded by various specialists, including a team of four hygienists, and has a customer support staff that offer exceptional service. When he is not offering exceptional dental services, Dr. Keeny is an avid athlete who has completed 10 ironman triathlons. He has done fundraising for varying HIV/ AIDS prevention programs as well as the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), where he has bike-trekked from San Francisco to San Diego to raise over $30,000 for the foundation in the past two years. Dr. Keeny has also been a member of the Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) and has many other

involvements that continue to help make a progressive difference in the community.

and safe studio that allows you to commit to and achieve your 2015 wellness goals, Fitness Together is the answer. Privacy, respect for your time, results, appointment only, it’s all about YOU … “star treatment.” Blake and Gwen Beckcom HILLCREST ADVANCED AESTHETIC DERMATOLOGY 3737 FOURTH AVE. SAN DIEGO, CA 92103 619-299-0700 | DRHEIMER.COM

FITNESS TOGETHER 4019 GOLDFINCH ST. SAN DIEGO, CA 92103 619-794-0014 FITNESSTOGETHER.COM/ MISSIONHILLS

You don’t have to live in Hollywood to get “Hollywood Royalty” treatment in your fitness program. Get “star” service here locally with a “white glove” approach to your 2015 fitness program. Our clients train in luxury private suites away from the unwanted stares and the waiting found in most gyms. If you are seeking personal fitness training and nutritional guidance in a private, welcoming

Dr. William Heimer and the team at his San Diego area practice consistently strive to achieve the best results for their patients. Whether you come to him for skin rejuvenation with microdermabrasion, wrinkle fillers such as Restylane, or for advanced acne treatment or laser hair removal, you can rest assured that Dr. Heimer and his staff will do everything in their power to make sure you leave the office satisfied. Healthy, smooth skin gives you a fresh, youthful appearance. Great skin is a key element of beauty. When your skin is well taken care of, it acquires the famous glow and it is radiantly beautiful. Though they may not be able to put their finger on the exact reason, people tend to notice something special about a person with perfect skin. Be that special person today!

MOMENT BICYCLES 2816 HISTORIC DECATUR ROAD SUITE 135 LIBERTY STATION SAN DIEGO, CA 92106 619-523-BIKE (2453) INFO@MOMENTBIKES.COM

Moment Bicycles offers superior bike fit, mechanical services, sales, and rentals with unparalleled customer service and attention to detail. Specializing in road, triathlon, and track bikes, Moment serves all athletes — from entry level to world-class professional — with best in class products and services. Moment Bicycles has been voted the best bicycle and triathlon retailer in SoCal every year it’s been open and is home to some of San Diego’s best bike mechanics. Moment is San Diego’s only fit-first bicycle retailer: The Moment dynamic fit and proprietary bike finder software will help you make an educated choice on the best bike for your specific biomechanics. Moment also rents road bikes, tri bikes, race wheels, and wetsuits and is conveniently located in the heart of Liberty Station, just minutes from the San Diego International Airport and Downtown.t

The ‘perfect time’ You Should Be Doing It Brian White This is a big weakness of mine, and I’m actually sorta embarrassed to admit it. I sometimes do this thing where I wait for the “perfect time” to start important projects. Or to cut negative people out of my life. Or to do things I know will make the biggest difference in my life. Although it is embarrassing to admit, I’m willing to bet that you sometimes do the same thing. And seeing that it’s January, this always seems to be the “perfect time” to start an exercise program, right? I believe it’s human nature to always “wait for the perfect time,” but, as a trainer, I hear this all too often. Why? For some it is just a very easy justification to procrastinate — start next week or next month or only on January 1st. For others, perfectionism serves as great protection against potential criticism and failure in the gym. That’s why I hate “all or nothing” thinking — “if I don’t do this perfectly then it’s awful” — because it usually gets you nothing. The truth is, there is no future

or perfect time to start an exercise program, and there never will be. You might get lucky one day and have a magic exercise moment where everything comes together — your favorite song comes on the radio, you have your favorite workout outfit on, your favorite treadmill is open and you bang out a session like you were floating in the air. But, that one moment is a very small part of the overall picture. The best thing you can do is begin now. Here. Today. This second. Because all you have is right now. All you have to do is start.

"Nobody is going to hand you the time to exercise, you'll need to take it." Don’t get bogged down with details. Don’t worry about whether you should do intervals or “slo-go” cardio for your goals. Just get on the treadmill. Don’t think about what kind of exercises you should be doing, just get out there and do some. In fitness, more so than in any other industry, we tend to have very strong opinions and arguments for certain exercises,

programs and philosophies, and very often they completely contradict each other. The truth is that it matters less what you do (especially when starting an exercise program) and more that you just do it and continue to do it each day — whatever it ends up being. Just move! In the end, if you constantly find yourself “waiting for the perfect time,” the following tips might help. Revise your expectations. Recognize that there is no perfect time. Carve out time, even if it’s imperfect. Nobody is going to hand you the time to exercise, you’ll need to take it. Just start. Find the smallest, easiest thing you can do right now and just do it. Do something, anything. Use the philosophy of Ready, Aim, Shoot. Over-thinking it will breed inaction. Expect resistance. It’s normal, just push through it. There will always be a million reasons to justify stopping. Don’t give in and it will become easier. Get support. Whether it’s a friend, a workout buddy or a trainer, find someone that will fire you up until you can fly on your own.

—Brian White owns Brian White Fitness (BWF), located in Hillcrest. He runs boot camps in Balboa Park and trains clients at Diverge Gym. Read his blog at youshouldbedoingit.com, or take his seven-day video challenge to get back into healthy habits. Contact Brian at brianpwhite@gmail.com.t

JANUARY is HEALTH &

FITNESS month at SDCNN

Be a part of our special HEALTH & FITNESS section and enjoy special rates and a spotlight about your business.

To advertise, CALL 619.519.7775 or email sales@sdcnn.com

9


8

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

DR. JEFFREY KEENY, D.D.S. 1807 ROBINSON AVE. SAN DIEGO, CA 92103 619-295-1512 | DRKEENY.COM

Dr. Keeny practices general dentistry with a heavy emphasis on cosmetic treatments. His practice also offers implants, crowns, white fillings, prevention, sports dentistry and children’s dental services. According to Dr. Keeny, “our patients are our friends.” He is surrounded by various specialists, including a team of four hygienists, and has a customer support staff that offer exceptional service. When he is not offering exceptional dental services, Dr. Keeny is an avid athlete who has completed 10 ironman triathlons. He has done fundraising for varying HIV/ AIDS prevention programs as well as the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF), where he has bike-trekked from San Francisco to San Diego to raise over $30,000 for the foundation in the past two years. Dr. Keeny has also been a member of the Greater San Diego Business Association (GSDBA) and has many other

involvements that continue to help make a progressive difference in the community.

and safe studio that allows you to commit to and achieve your 2015 wellness goals, Fitness Together is the answer. Privacy, respect for your time, results, appointment only, it’s all about YOU … “star treatment.” Blake and Gwen Beckcom HILLCREST ADVANCED AESTHETIC DERMATOLOGY 3737 FOURTH AVE. SAN DIEGO, CA 92103 619-299-0700 | DRHEIMER.COM

FITNESS TOGETHER 4019 GOLDFINCH ST. SAN DIEGO, CA 92103 619-794-0014 FITNESSTOGETHER.COM/ MISSIONHILLS

You don’t have to live in Hollywood to get “Hollywood Royalty” treatment in your fitness program. Get “star” service here locally with a “white glove” approach to your 2015 fitness program. Our clients train in luxury private suites away from the unwanted stares and the waiting found in most gyms. If you are seeking personal fitness training and nutritional guidance in a private, welcoming

Dr. William Heimer and the team at his San Diego area practice consistently strive to achieve the best results for their patients. Whether you come to him for skin rejuvenation with microdermabrasion, wrinkle fillers such as Restylane, or for advanced acne treatment or laser hair removal, you can rest assured that Dr. Heimer and his staff will do everything in their power to make sure you leave the office satisfied. Healthy, smooth skin gives you a fresh, youthful appearance. Great skin is a key element of beauty. When your skin is well taken care of, it acquires the famous glow and it is radiantly beautiful. Though they may not be able to put their finger on the exact reason, people tend to notice something special about a person with perfect skin. Be that special person today!

MOMENT BICYCLES 2816 HISTORIC DECATUR ROAD SUITE 135 LIBERTY STATION SAN DIEGO, CA 92106 619-523-BIKE (2453) INFO@MOMENTBIKES.COM

Moment Bicycles offers superior bike fit, mechanical services, sales, and rentals with unparalleled customer service and attention to detail. Specializing in road, triathlon, and track bikes, Moment serves all athletes — from entry level to world-class professional — with best in class products and services. Moment Bicycles has been voted the best bicycle and triathlon retailer in SoCal every year it’s been open and is home to some of San Diego’s best bike mechanics. Moment is San Diego’s only fit-first bicycle retailer: The Moment dynamic fit and proprietary bike finder software will help you make an educated choice on the best bike for your specific biomechanics. Moment also rents road bikes, tri bikes, race wheels, and wetsuits and is conveniently located in the heart of Liberty Station, just minutes from the San Diego International Airport and Downtown.t

The ‘perfect time’ You Should Be Doing It Brian White This is a big weakness of mine, and I’m actually sorta embarrassed to admit it. I sometimes do this thing where I wait for the “perfect time” to start important projects. Or to cut negative people out of my life. Or to do things I know will make the biggest difference in my life. Although it is embarrassing to admit, I’m willing to bet that you sometimes do the same thing. And seeing that it’s January, this always seems to be the “perfect time” to start an exercise program, right? I believe it’s human nature to always “wait for the perfect time,” but, as a trainer, I hear this all too often. Why? For some it is just a very easy justification to procrastinate — start next week or next month or only on January 1st. For others, perfectionism serves as great protection against potential criticism and failure in the gym. That’s why I hate “all or nothing” thinking — “if I don’t do this perfectly then it’s awful” — because it usually gets you nothing. The truth is, there is no future

or perfect time to start an exercise program, and there never will be. You might get lucky one day and have a magic exercise moment where everything comes together — your favorite song comes on the radio, you have your favorite workout outfit on, your favorite treadmill is open and you bang out a session like you were floating in the air. But, that one moment is a very small part of the overall picture. The best thing you can do is begin now. Here. Today. This second. Because all you have is right now. All you have to do is start.

"Nobody is going to hand you the time to exercise, you'll need to take it." Don’t get bogged down with details. Don’t worry about whether you should do intervals or “slo-go” cardio for your goals. Just get on the treadmill. Don’t think about what kind of exercises you should be doing, just get out there and do some. In fitness, more so than in any other industry, we tend to have very strong opinions and arguments for certain exercises,

programs and philosophies, and very often they completely contradict each other. The truth is that it matters less what you do (especially when starting an exercise program) and more that you just do it and continue to do it each day — whatever it ends up being. Just move! In the end, if you constantly find yourself “waiting for the perfect time,” the following tips might help. Revise your expectations. Recognize that there is no perfect time. Carve out time, even if it’s imperfect. Nobody is going to hand you the time to exercise, you’ll need to take it. Just start. Find the smallest, easiest thing you can do right now and just do it. Do something, anything. Use the philosophy of Ready, Aim, Shoot. Over-thinking it will breed inaction. Expect resistance. It’s normal, just push through it. There will always be a million reasons to justify stopping. Don’t give in and it will become easier. Get support. Whether it’s a friend, a workout buddy or a trainer, find someone that will fire you up until you can fly on your own.

—Brian White owns Brian White Fitness (BWF), located in Hillcrest. He runs boot camps in Balboa Park and trains clients at Diverge Gym. Read his blog at youshouldbedoingit.com, or take his seven-day video challenge to get back into healthy habits. Contact Brian at brianpwhite@gmail.com.t

JANUARY is HEALTH &

FITNESS month at SDCNN

Be a part of our special HEALTH & FITNESS section and enjoy special rates and a spotlight about your business.

To advertise, CALL 619.519.7775 or email sales@sdcnn.com

9


10

DINING

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

gay-sd.com

A round-the-clock taste of old L.A. IN SAN DIEGO

Dining Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Time is either of the essence or completely irrelevant when dining at Du-Par’s Restaurant & Bakery, an iconic Southern California mini chain that began in 1938 as a food stall at the Los Angeles Farmers Market. Since branching into San Diego several years ago into a generic structure that formerly housed Baker’s Square on Sports Arena Boulevard, it joins a shortlist of local restaurants that operate 24/7. The menu is hefty. Most of the food is scratch-made. And the pancakes and daily baked pies are legendary, beckoning to the days when founders James Dunn (“Du”) and Edward Parsons (“Par”) first introduced their recipes generations ago to coffeehouse crowds after expanding into brick-and-mortar venues. Get there between 4 and 6 p.m. any day of the week, and you pay according to the time you arrive when ordering from a small, rotating selection of “beat-the-clock” dinner entrees. The main menu doesn’t tell you this, but a promotional flip card on your table spells it all out. We sauntered in at 4:20 p.m. and paid only $4.20 each for bonewarming beef stew cascading from a freshly baked bun and fillet of cod accompanied by mashed potatoes and corn that tasted fresh off the cob. The fish wasn’t the biggest in the sea, probably about five ounces, but it was buttery, flakey and gently seared. The deal requires a beverage purchase, alcoholic or not. It turned out that the lemonade I chose was made with whole lemons squeezed to order — not surprising since I didn’t detect an iota of cloying high-fructose in it.

We added a couple of starters to the meal: a cup of yellow split-pea soup containing mildly smoked ham and whispers of bay leaf; plus a bigger-than-expected garden salad brimming with beets and other colorful veggies. The house-made blue cheese dressing my companion chose was supremely thicker and tastier than most. Du-Par’s entire menu is available 24 hours, allowing you to eat freshly roasted turkey with all the fixings

DU-PAR’S RESTAURANT & BAKERY 3711 Sports Arena Blvd. (Midway) 619-224-4454

Prices: Breakfast, $8.45 to $23.75; lunch and dinner, to $4.75 to $29.50; “beat the clock” specials, $4 to $6 at daybreak or a Denver omelet and mondo-sized pancakes after a night of bar hopping. With the latter, you get the equivalent of liquid gold, a mini pitcher of hot clarified butter that seeps into every pore of the buttermilk disks. It’s total nirvana. The pancakes, which were touted by Esquire Magazine as being “the best in the country,” derive their girth and fluffiness from whisked egg whites that get folded into the batter at the end. The company makes no secret about it, as you can see the process demonstrated on YouTube or in a pie-making video that the restaurant shows periodically on its flat screens. Unlike its other locations, partic-

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman

8880 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 800, PMB 846 San Diego, CA 92108 619-260-1122 SanDiegoDUILawyersBlog.com San Diego residents often call me for their free phone consultation after being charged with their first drunk driving offense. At the end of the call, the people commonly say, “I have been talking to my friends and I just don’t know if I need an attorney on a simple misdemeanor DUI.” Here is my response to that: You absolutely need an attorney! Anytime you are charged with a crime, whether it’s drunk driving, domestic violence, or murder, you must have an advocate on your side.

First of all, all criminal matters are ver y serious. Regardless of whether your case is a misdemeanor or a felony, it can impact your criminal record throughout your lifetime. Your record influences the jobs and promotions you may seek, your housing, loans, and many other aspects of your life that you will not realize until you are getting a background check done. Don’t you want to tr y to get the charges dismissed or reduced and your penalties lessened? Call me today for your free phone consultation.

ularly those in Studio City, Pasadena and Las Vegas, both the interior and exterior design on Sports Arena don’t match up to the restaurant’s illustrious history. I normally eschew theme décor. But in this case, where the food adheres to true old-fashion recipes and above-board quality, some retro glitz from the 1940s would do the place well. As it stands, the building blends seamlessly into a string of plainlooking motels, and the dining room is awash in 80’s-style oak amid dull carpeting and drop ceilings – not an atmosphere that brings to mind such other signature fare like Welsh rarebit, homemade chicken pot pies and classic banana splits. The dessert case in front, however, is a standout. It’s stocked with fruit and cream pies that taste far more lovable than anything made at the grocer y stores. Giant domes of meringue cap the lemon and chocolate

(from top) Pancakes with melted butter and warm maple syrup; beef stew; strawberry cream pie (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) pies while ridiculously butter y crusts ser ve as foundations for coconut custard and strawberr y cream pies. The choices are immense, extending to gooseberr y, rhubarb, green apple, Southern pecan and more. Outside of the daily “clock” specials and several morning blue-plate bargains (available from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.), a meal at Du-Par’s will set you back a few extra bucks compared to other 24-hour restaurants. But what

you get in return is a big dose of homey sustenance ser ved by apron-clad waitresses who asked sincerely each time I visited, “How ya doing honey? Ever ything good?” —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of “Secret San Diego” (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staf fer for the former San Diego Tribune.You can reach him at fsabatini@san.rr.com. t


gay-sd.com

With erroneous phone numbers listed on its Facebook page (to a law office) and on Yelp (to a dog service), the new sports bar, Home & Away in Old Town is nonetheless up and running. Launched by Dennis O’Connor, who also owns Thorn St. Brewery, the establishment replaces Kelly’s Pub with a promising remodel featuring wood shutters and succulents, an inviting patio that’s dog and smokefriendly and a brightened bar serving craft beer and cocktails. A limited food menu of burgers, wings and grilled cheese sandwiches is also in place, with the official grand opening planned for February. 2222 San Diego Ave. Lines have been snaking out the door at the new Streetcar Merchants in North Park. The draws are various preparations of fried chicken cooked in good, old-fashion beef tallow and square-shaped donuts of various flavors. Coffee drinks made with Intelligentsia blends are also in the offing. Owner Ron Suel, a Louisiana native, said his intention was to launch “a simple donut shop” until his younger brother moved here and pointed out the lack of places serving excellent fried chicken. “I told him that it really doesn’t exist in San Diego, so I made him some using my great-grandmother’s recipe and we decided to add chicken to the menu,” said Suel. “It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since we opened.” 4002 30th St., 619-546-9010.

Get your fried chicken fix in North Park. (Courtesy Streetcar Merchants)

DINING

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

11

The 11th annual San Diego Restaurant Week takes place Jan. 18 – 24, and will feature nearly 200 participating restaurants spanning the county. Consumers can opt for three-course meals priced at $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person, depending on the restaurant, or partake in two-course lunches priced at $10, $15 or $20 per person. No tickets are required; simply show up at the restaurants or call ahead for reservations. The event is presented by The California Restaurant Association, San Diego County chapter. For more a complete list of restaurants, visit sandiegorestaurantweek.com or call 619-846-2164. A fifth San Diego location of Tender Greens is slated to open by late summer in the Westfield Mission Valley Mall, in the space formerly occupied by Loehmann’s department store. Publicist Megan Boles says the menu will be the same as the other restaurants in Point Loma, UTC and Downtown, the latter of which recently debuted a first-ever breakfast menu. The eco-friendly chain also operates a smaller eatery in the San Diego Airport’s commuter terminal. tendergreens.com. Midweek patrons of Hess Brewing Company North Park can pair their suds with pot stickers, drunken noodles and other Asian-American fare from Wang’s North Park without leaving their bar stools. The food orders are delivered to Hess between 5 and 9 p.m., every Wednesday. The selection is limited, although a Wang’s staffer assures that “if there are certain dishes that you know and love from us, we can do it.” Hess is located at 3812 Grim Ave., 619-255-7136. Get to know the creative minds of award-winning designer Paul Basile and restaurateur Arsalun Tafazoli over cocktails as they discuss their inspirations behind some of the latest and greatest remodels they’ve overseen in several local restaurants. The open-forum series, titled “Basile & Consortium: Absolute Adaption,” kicks off at 3 p.m., Jan. 22, at Polite Provisions in Normal Heights. It continues at the same time on Feb. 26, at Ironside Fish & Oyster in Little Italy. The cost is $30 and includes one cocktail. 4696 30th St., 619-677-3784 and 1654 India St., 619-269-3033, respectively.

Bertrand at Mister A’s is celebrating its 50th anniversary (Courtesy Chemistry PR)

The landmark Bertrand at Mister A’s has rolled into the New Year celebrating its 50th anniversary. Over the next several months, the penthouse restaurant will present special dishes and cocktails reflecting the past five decades, beginning with the 1960s. The kitchen is still hammering out the food details, although the mixologists have rolled out for the month of January a bottled cocktail poured tableside called the Sazerac. It’s an old-time New Orleans concoction made with Bulliet Rye, Hennessy VS Cognac, bitters and an absinthe rinse. 2550 Fifth Ave., 619-239-1377. New Year’s Eve marked the last meal served at Fish Public in Kensington, which owner Tracy Borkum of Urban Kitchen Group said in a prepared statement, “wasn’t the right fit” for the neighborhood. The restaurant operated for less than two years after a successful 18-year run of Kensington Grill, which Borkum closed rather unexpectedly at the time as well. She hasn’t yet decided on what’s next for the Adams Avenue space, but added: “We are proactively exploring various local opportunities … and also looking at new locations to expand our Cucina collection of restaurants both in and outside of California.” That collection refers to Cucina Urbana in Bankers Hill and Cucina Enoteca in Del Mar, Irvine and Newport Beach. urbankitchengroup.com. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@ san.rr.com.t


12

NEWS

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

GAY NEWS BRIEFS HEALTH AND WELLNESS FORUM EXPLAINS HEALTH COVERAGE OPTIONS Covered California, California’s version of what has come to be known as “Obamacare,” is currently in its 2015 health care plan enrollment phase and the deadline is Feb. 15. One month prior to the deadline, the San Diego LGBT Center is offering a Health and Wellness Forum on Jan. 15 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Six panelists, made up of health professionals and leaders within the LGBT community, will be on hand to answer questions and provide detailed information about health coverage, how to enroll, and more. Those interested in signing up for Covered California, unsure what the coverage can offer them, who have questions, and especially those still “on the fence,” should attend this forum. Panelists include: Joel Trambley, M.D. at UCSD, board member of The LGBT Center’s public policy committee, and member of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission; Jan Spencley, executive director at San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage; Connor

Maddocks, transgender ser vices coordinator at the San Diego LGBT Community Center; Jeri Muse, psychologist at the Veteran’s Administration, professor at UCSD, and board president of the GSDBA; Debra Fitzgerald, program manager for healthy care policy at Healthy San Diego; Terr y Summers, Being Alive San Diego. Light refreshments will be provided. For more information or to RSVP contact Sarah MerkBenitez at smerkbenitez@thecentersd.org or 619-692-2077 ext. 213. The San Diego LGBT Center is located at 3909 Centre St., in Hillcrest. For more information visit thecentersd.org.

DEATH CAFÉ OFFERS UNDERSTANDING Death Café have been around for several years to facilitate discussions with the goal of increasing awareness of death and for those seeking to understand more about life through their understanding of death. On Wednesday, Jan. 14, from 6:30 – 8 p.m., local activist Jeanne Burke will host her second Death Café at the San Diego LGBT Center. Members of the LGBTQI community often have unique experiences in healthcare settings surrounding aging, end-of-life, and death, which can make things even more challenging. At this

gay-sd.com

free, “pop-up” event Burke invites attendees to discuss personal experiences and ask questions openly, in a safe environment and without fear of judgment. Note: It is not intended to be a grief or therapy group. Refreshments will be served. Attendees are asked to RSVP and arrive within 10 minutes of the start time. Email the facilitator for more information at LGBTQIDeathCafe@jeanneburke. com. (3909 Centre St., Hillcrest).

CALIFORNIA TOWER REOPENS On Jan. 1, the California Tower in Balboa Park officially reopened to the public, the first time since 1935. Government officials and park leaders held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the tower, which is part of the 100-year-old California Building and is now home to the Museum of Man. The building was originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The tower opens just in time to kick off the centennial celebration of the historic exposition, which put San Diego on the map as an international port city made accessible through the construction of the Panama Canal. According to the Museum of Man, the California Building has been mentioned more in American architectural studies than any other building in San Diego. It is included in the National

The California Tower in Balboa Park (balboapark.org) Register of Historic Places as part of the California Quadrangle, and the tower is also recorded in the Historic Buildings Survey in the Library of Congress. Tickets to ascend the tower for unequaled views of Balboa Park cost approximately $20, and may be purchased at museumofman.org. Park staff recommends purchasing tickets in advance, as same-day tickets many often be unavailable. Further instructions are available on the Museum of Man’s website.

CYGNET BRINGS SONS OF THE PROPHET TO SAN DIEGO Inspired by a true stor y about a high school prank gone wrong, “Sons of the Prophet” is about two gay brothers dealing with tragedy in their run down Pennsylvania town. After their father dies, the brothers are left on their own and as a result, their suf fering and attempts to cope unfold with comedic results. Old Town’s Cygnet Theatre brings Stephen Karam’s Pulitzer Prize finalist, directed by Rob Lutfy, to the stage Jan. 15 – Feb. 15, in its San Diego premier. “We see so much humor and pathos in these layered people,” Lutfy said in a press release. “Karam por trays a uniquely American phenomenon. It’s an immigrant stor y. The world of “Sons of the Prophet” is just as complicated as the conflict in the Middle East: present over past, the new world over the old world and a fall from a more prosperous, meaningful past.” Previews begin Jan. 15 with and opening night Jan. 24 and “Out at Cygnet” on Jan. 28, sponsored by Aladdin Lebanese Restaurant. Tickets star t at $32, with discounts available for children, seniors, active-duty militar y and groups. Visit cygnettheatre.com or call 619-337-1525. t

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mo14 c.ds-yaGAY g SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

gay-sd.com

FRIDAY, JAN. 9

Free HIV Testing: Ever y Friday, confidential and anonymous with results in 15 minutes. 5 – 8 p.m. North County LGBTQ Resource Center, 510 North Coast Hwy, Oceanside. Visit ncresourcecenter.org

SATURDAY, JAN. 10

Centered for Art: A fine art group exhibit to benefit The Center’s LGBT Youth Ser vices outreach. 12 – 4 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Search for the event on Facebook. 2015 SDAFFL Pub Crawl: The San Diego American Flag Football League hosts their annual pub crawl. Register for $10 and receive the 2015 pub crawl t-shirt. Crawl starts at 1 p.m. with 7 stops along the way. PECS, 2046 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit sdaffl.com. Drag Queen Bingo Fundraiser: This unique bingo session will be hosted by the Tantrums and Tiaras queens. Check in at 12:30 p.m., first ball at 1 p.m., happy hour starts at 2 p.m. Bingo cards start at $5. Prizes include gift certificates, bar tabs and more. Proceeds from bingo cards benefit San Diego Sparks Soccer Club. Search for the event on Facebook.

SUNDAY, JAN. 11

Hot Guys Dancing: Final show of this year’s wild and sexy hit revue. For more info, see profile box at right. 2 p.m. 4545 Park Blvd., #101, University Heights. Visit diversionary.org. So You Think You Can Drag? Ever y second Sunday, Lips’ monthly amateur/professional drag contest is hosted by Paris. $100 cash prize for winner. 7 p.m. 3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit lipssd. com or call 619-295-7900.

MONDAY, JAN. 12

Live Trivia Night: Every Monday night, join the crew at Urban MO’s for an exciting night of live trivia for the chance to win gift cards from MO’s Universe, good at all four restaurants. First place: $60; second place, $40; and third place, $20. 308 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit mosuniverse.com.

TUESDAY, JAN. 13

LGBT Parents Connect: This group features a monthly presentation followed by Q&A on topics of interest to LGBT

parents. Free child care available. 6 – 7:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit thecentersd.org or email families@thecentersd.org. GSDBA Social Club: The Greater San Diego Business Association’s first monthly “Social Club” of 2015 from 6 – 8 p.m. This is the Hotel del Coronado’s first-ever GSDBA event. Enjoy free apps, drinks and Pacific Ocean views while mingling at their Sun Deck Bar and Grill, 1500 Orange Ave. $15 for members and guests. $10 valet, $5 self park. Visit gsdba.org.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 14

HIV testing: Lead the Way is offering this free and confidential ser vice ever y Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Walgreens, 301 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit leadthewaysd.com.

THURSDAY, JAN. 15

Greening Equality: Green Power, Jobs and The New San Diego Sustainability Economy. Join Equality Professionals Network, Councilmember Todd Gloria and San Diego green experts for this inside look at San Diego’s future. Box lunch and beverages provided. RSVP required. 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit greenepn.eventbrite.com. Health and Wellness Forum: Still have questions about “Obamacare” and the Covered California plan? Attend this detailed five-panelist forum that will answer them all. Light refreshments will be ser ved. RSVP to smerkbenitz@thecentersd.org or call 619-692-2077 x 213. The Center, 3903 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit thecentersd.org. ‘Sons of the Prophet’: Previews for this play, making its San Diego premiere, start tonight with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Previews continue through Jan. 23, “Out Night” will be Jan. 28 and the play runs through Feb. 15. Preview tickets start at $24. Cygnet Theatre (4040 Twiggs St., Old Town), Visit cygnettheatre.com. Live Music: Michael Holmes in “The Judy Show” parodies Judy Garland and guests of her 1964 variety show. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. For tickets visit martinisabovefourth.com. 

PUZZLE SOLUTION:

MISSIONARY POSITION from pg. 12

Friday, Jan. 9 – Sunday, Jan. 11 ‘HOT GUYS DANCING’ RETURNS

(Photo by Sue Brenner)

This is the final weekend to catch Diversionary Theatre Cabaret’s “Hot Guys Dancing” on their intimate stage located at 4545 Park Blvd., in University Heights. This wild, sexy and provocative revue was conceived and directed by Michael Mizerany, and features the work of five other professional (local and national) dynamic and daring choreographer/dancers. The choreography, sensuality and “power of the body” presented during each performance will have you clinging to your seats. Besides, who isn’t up for an evening (or afternoon) full of hot guys, steamy dances, profanity, sexual situations and partial male nudity?

Friday & Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. Tickets range from $15 – 30 and are available at diversionary.org or by calling the box office at 619-220-0097. Military, student, senior and group rates available. Save $5 by using GAYSD05 when ordering online.

FRIDAY, JAN. 16

RISE Urban Breakfast Club: A special lunchtime gathering honoring the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Topic: “What are the civil rights issues of our day?” 11:30 a.m. The Salvation Army Kroc Center, 6845 University Ave., Rolando. Visit risesandiego.org. Movie Night: Children vote on movie selection with snacks and drinks provided at no charge. Attendees are invited to bring comfortable seating and bedding for a casual family movie night. 6 – 8:30 p.m. San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest. Visit thecentersd.org. 

SATURDAY, JAN. 17

She She Groove Dance: Event for women over 35 with a DJ spinning old school, top pop and salsa. $10 cover. 7 – 10 p.m. Bamboo Lounge, 1475 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit sheshefun.com

SUNDAY, JAN. 18

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Ser vice: HRC and San Diego Youth Ser vices need volunteers for assembling care bags for LGBT youth. 12 – 4 p.m. The Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park. Visit: hrc.org.

MONDAY, JAN. 19 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day The Big Gay Improv

Show: Local improvisers present hilarious scenes inspired by the real life stories of two guest monologists from the LGBT community. This month: Laura Mustari, CEO of Home Start, and Evan Tando, Principle at Finest City Homes and Loans will be the guests. This show raises funds for the theater. 8 p.m. Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd., University Heights. Tickets diversionary. org or call 619-220-0097. Karaoke with Rebekah:  Ever y Sunday, Monday and Tuesday with Rebekah. New songs ever y week, if there is something you want to sing and they don’t have it, they will get it. 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. 1017 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit sdficks.com.

TUESDAY, JAN. 20

Live Music: Take the Stage – A Customer Cabaret welcomes customers and staff to the MA4 stage. Free event. Doors 6 p.m., show 8 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit martinisabovefourth.com.  “Grab a Mic”: Open mic night hosted by singer/actor Sasha Weiss on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Sign ups 6 p.m., show 7 p.m. Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit martinisabovefourth. com.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21

FilmOut Screening: “Blue Velvet” — David L ynch’s acclaimed myster y-thriller stars Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper and Laura Dern. 7 p.m., Landmark Cinemas, 3965 Fifth Ave., #200, Hillcrest. $10. Visit filmoutsandiego.com. HIV testing: Lead the Way is offering this free and confidential ser vice ever y Wednesday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Walgreens, 301 University Ave., Hillcrest. Visit leadthewaysd.com.

THURSDAY, JAN. 22

GSDBA Advocacy Committee Meeting: Fighting for public policies consistent with GSDBA mission and core values, the current priorities of premier concern are attaining full business equality for GSDBA members and full equality for LGBT persons. 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. GSDBA Conference Room, 3737 Fifth Ave., Hillcrest. Visit gsdba.org. Democrats for Equality membership meeting: Those interested in joining the group as a member should attend this meeting. 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Joyce Beers Uptown Community Center, 3900 Vermont St., Hillcrest. —Email calendar items to morgan@sdcnn.comt


SPORTS

gay-sd.com

The Hall of Fame process is broken Dugout Chatter Jeff Praught How can a sport long thought of to be so pure — almost romantic — and definitely Americana, offer its fans such a tainted, illogical method of honoring its beautiful histor y? Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame election method is as much polarizing as it is asinine, with Hall of Fame officials, voters, and fans sharing equal blame in the stupidity of the process of electing deserving players to this hallowed shrine of baseball immortality. The steroid and performance enhancing drug (PED) eras of the 1990s and 2000s have wreaked havoc on the election debate, but Hall officials have essentially lost their collective minds in reacting to these issues with ridiculous rule changes and a refusal to change

Well, their omission on some ballots is not quite that simple. Some voters have acknowledged that they did not vote for either candidate because they assumed them to be shoe-ins, and wanted to be able to vote for other deserving players. That’s right, the Hall of Fame limits the number of players a voter can vote for each year. That entirely arbitrary number has always been set at 10 players. More than 10 worthy players on a ballot in one year? Too bad, says the Hall. Officials have made it known that they will never change that rule, although they have considered bumping the number to 12, another arbitrary number. Shouldn’t the vote simply be: “Is this player a Hall of Famer or is he not?” Compounding that problem is the fact that the Hall recently altered eligibility requirements; and for the worse. A player becomes eligible for election five years after playing their final game. Reasonable. A

"These voters believe that users cheated the system, cheated the fans, and cheated lesser players." their archaic ways with the times. On Jan. 6, the Hall announced that four players had received the necessary 75 percent of the collective vote required for enshrinement: Randy Johnson (97.3 percent), Pedro Martinez (91.1 percent), John Smoltz (82.9 percent), and Craig Biggio (82.7 percent). I have no problem whatsoever with any of these choices, as each boasts a resume worthy of induction. In fact, in the case of Johnson and Martinez, a strong argument can be made that they did not receive enough votes. Who could possibly think that Martinez (219-game winner, three-time Cy Young Award winner, five-time ERA league champion) or Johnson (303-game winner, nearly 5,000 strikeouts, five-time Cy Young Award winner) are NOT Hall of Famers?

player drops off the ballot if he fails to obtain 5 percent of the vote in any given year. Again, reasonable. But now, players can only remain on the ballot for a maximum of 10 years, instead of the previous 15 years; having an arbitrar y number here does make sense, in that there is no point in having a player earn, say, 7 percent of the vote for 50 years when they will never be elected. So we have a system that limits the number of players who can get in, and a limited time by which they can get into the Hall. As flawed as this system is, the problem has been further muddied by the arrival of PED-era players on the ballot. Voters do not know what to do with these players, for a variety of reasons. There are a handful of voters out there who will never admit it,

but they choose not to elect players simply because they did not treat the media well. This is a very small minority, but that is a total abuse of the process. The Hall is supposed to honor players for what they did on the field. There is a much larger group of voters who will not vote for any player proven to be tied to PEDs, whether admittedly, or simply suspected of using them. Yes, we have voters like Jon Heyman playing God. “You look like you did them, so you are not a Hall of Famer,” is the argument used against people like Jeff Bagwell. These voters believe that users cheated the system, cheated the fans, and cheated lesser players. They argue that users held back other deserving players from earning starting jobs, costing them money. They proclaim that users’

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015 statistics are fraudulent. In short, this voting block suggests it knows everything that we do not. Let me counter this reasoning. First, steroids and PEDs have never been proven to show any precise and measurable effect on a players’ statistical output. Search for a scientific study that can state specifics, and you will not find one. Sure, there is no doubt that steroids can make someone’s muscles bigger or head appear larger. But you cannot find a study that says “larger muscles lead to more home runs.” Because for every instance that we guess that this happened, there are other players who admitted to use who had terrible to mediocre careers (see: Marvin Benard). I will grant that human growth hormone has shown remarkable recovery abilities, and if a player is on the field more often, they are producing more statistics. OK, but

15

where is the evidence that using steroids and PEDs does not cause more injuries, thereby disabling these players also? Voters and fans claim that players would not use the stuff if it did not help. Guess what? Players are not always rocket scientists. If a shady character offering illegal drugs tells them these will help them make more money, and they start using, their confidence skyrockets. Confident players perform better. Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn once noted that regardless of steroid use, no drugs can make you see a ball better, and vision is everything when it comes to hitting. I watched all of Barry Bonds’ career as a Giant (before and after he started using various things), and we saw a hitter who would al-

see Chatter, pg 16


16

GAY SAN DIEGO Jan. 9-22, 2015

gay-sd.com FROM PAGE 15

CHATTER most never check his swing. In the latter stages of his career, he would be lucky to see maybe two strikes the entire night, and he would rarely miss those pitches. These are not PED benefits at work. This is brilliance. Do I believe Roger Clemens used PEDs? Of course I do. He’s a Hall of Famer because he outperformed every pitcher of his era, even Johnson and Martinez. But if players earned an advantage by using PEDs and steroids, as suggested, how can we take their numbers at face value, voters will ask. My biggest complaint about the anti-PED crowd is that they arrogantly assume they know who was using and who was not. Bonds and Clemens accumulated those accolades in an era when we cannot know who was using. We will never know how many specialist relief pitchers were using something, but what we do know is that a slew of players suddenly had the ability to pitch in four consecutive games. We cannot look at a skinny player and assume that they used, just like we cannot assume a muscular player did. The No. 1 key to my support for admitting PED users into the Hall relies on this premise. Excluding someone that you either know — or assume to have — used steroids implies that they are frauds and that you know who did and did not use. That is impossible. Bob Nightengale noted that Jose Canseco estimated 85 percent of players during his era were using something. The Hall of Fame was established to honor the history of the game. Voters who exclude PED users because they do not want those players rewarded with the financial windfall that is associated with being a Hall of Famer are missing the point. The Hall was not created solely to reward players. It was created to honor the game’s history, regardless of how “good” of a person a player was. That is why there are racists, wife-beaters, felons, and other PED users (Hank Aaron and almost everyone else used greenies) in the Hall. Hall officials could clear this mess up by directing voters on what to do about suspected users, as the current morals clause in the voting guidelines is too vague. The Hall has refused, leaving voters to apply their own moralpolice attitudes. That Bonds (the best hitter of his lifetime) received only 36.8 percent of the vote this year, and Clemens (the best pitcher of his lifetime) only 37.5 percent, is an embarrassment to a process that has more than one ugly blemish. If a player was on the field performing, it means that Major League Baseball did not catch them doing anything illegal to the sport. Their numbers should count. Fans came out in droves to see these players perform at high levels, so they were not being cheated. With ballot limits and questionable logic being applied, many deserving players are going to drop off Hall of Fame ballots because of an incompetent voting process. —Jeff Praught is actively involved in the LGBT sports community, having participated in softball, basketball, football and pool as a player, serving on AFCSL’s board, and currently serving as the commissioner of SD Hoops. He can be reached at dugoutchatter@gmail.com.t

Gay San Diego - January 9, 2015  
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