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April 2016 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter


Columbia • Core/Civic • Cortez Hill • East Village • Gaslamp/Horton Plaza • Little Italy • Marina

Earth Fair Page 5

A path toward mixed reaction

P. 3





Logo Design






Neighborhood organizers concerned about the Mobility Plan By Dave Fidlin

students is a perfect way to do that,” said Darren Roach, owner of Queenstown Public House, in a press release. “Our spring flower house project will give the students in our neighborhood the opportunity to display the work they complete in school for the whole community to enjoy — while also making an impact on their music program.” The quirky restaurant, whose motto is “There’s no place like home,” is no stranger to seasonal decorations. Queenstown Public House earned a lot of local attention last December for its transformation into a gingerbread

It has been touted as the next step toward making Downtown San Diego a community that is truly friendly toward bicyclists and pedestrians. But it also has drawn ire from other civic and community organizations because of its impact on parking spaces. Officials within Civic San Diego — the city-owned nonprofit corporation that oversees such issues as long-range planning — began crafting the Downtown Mobility Plan two years ago. In the time since, there have been a number of moving pieces. A revised, 100-page document was unveiled and approved by CivicSD’s board on Wednesday, March 23. It includes a decadelong timeline before all components are in place. In its entirety, the plan could cost upward of $64 million if all of the components are implemented. Accommodations aimed at enhancing bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ experiences stretch across 9.3 miles. The plan also includes 5.5 miles of pedestrian greenways, or naturally designed trails. The Downtown Mobility Plan impacts a number of neighborhoods, including Cortez Hill, East Village, Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy and the Marina District. It also extends into portions of nearby Bankers Hill and Barrio Logan. Several neighborhood organizations have gone on record and opposed portions of the plan. Two of Little Italy’s most prominent organizations — the Little Italy Association (LIA), which advocates for area businesses, and the Little Italy Residents Association (LIRA) — have been especially vocal about how the plan in its current form would impact parking spaces within the community. The heart of the controversy, from the eyes of organizers within LIA and LIRA, is along portions of Ash, Beech and State streets, where 50 or more parking spaces could be eaten up to accommodate bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly features. For a community with a progressively growing residential

see Queenstown, pg 11

see Mobility, pg 4

Chargers have a plan

➤➤ EAST VILLAGE P. 12 “In Yo’ Face,” part of ArtWalk featured artist Sarah Stieber’s Electric Rain Project series (Courtesy Mission Federal ArtWalk)

When art and dance collide ArtWalk ups the artistic ante By Margie M. Palmer

e3 students do the math

➤➤ DINING P. 16

The 32nd annual Mission Federal ArtWalk will return to Little Italy at the end of this month. Every year, new artistic visions expand the borders of art for attendees and this year, dance and paint mediums will merge to offer art lovers something different to wrap their minds around as the art itself takes shape in front of them. Long recognized as San Diego’s premier arts and cultural event, the weekend-long festival will showcase more than 350 local, national and international artists and is expected to attract more than 100,000 art aficio-

nados and visitors. In addition to showcasing paintings, sculptures, glass work, photography and fine jewelry, the free, family-friendly event will also include live musical performances, street food, interactive art activities and Kids Walk, which will offer a wide range of creative projects for young, aspiring artists. ArtWalk San Diego’s managing director, Sandi Cottrell, said that each year, they strive to produce a festival that encompasses all areas of the arts. “We want to bring a full interactive experience to the attendees who come out to Mission Federal ArtWalk,” Cottrell said. “We work closely with our sponsors, featured artists and entertainment to bring a

see ArtWalk, pg 10

The power of flowers Sabatini breaks bread

➤➤ THEATER P. 20

A different kind of Rocky

Index Opinion…...............……6 Food & Drink Blotter ....17 Puzzles...................18 Calendar.............…22 Fashion Files................23

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Local pub to help raise money for STEAM students By Tori Hahn Little Italy’s New Zealand-inspired restaurant housed in a 1905 Craftsman style home will be welcoming spring this year with a little help from nearby Washington Elementary School students. Queenstown Public House is pairing with the magnet school’s STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics — program for a competition in which students will design unique flower planters to raise funds for the school’s music department. The planters will be on display in the restaurant throughout the month of April, in which visitors to Queenstown Public House will be encouraged to vote for their favorite decorated planter. With purchase of a $1 ticket, customers will be able to submit their vote for the flowerbed of their choice. All proceeds raised by the planters will be matched by Queenstown Public House and donated to buy musical instruments for the school. “We wanted to create a way to give back to the kids in our community and this fun and educational competition for the Washington Elementary School

The restaurant housed in the 1905 Craftsman in Little Italy is launching a fun-raiser for Washington Elementary School. (Courtesy Queenstown Public House)


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


27 Quick and Easy Fix Ups to Sell Your Downtown San Diego Condo Fast and for Top Dollar

Conceptual rendering, which is currently under revision, of what a joint-use Chargers stadium / Convention Center extension might look like. (Courtesy JMI Realty)

The ‘convadium’ tax hike option Chargers and mayor not on same page By Scott Lewis The Chargers asked Mayor Kevin Faulconer and hotel industry leaders over the past week to support a new ballot measure that would significantly raise the hotelroom tax and pave the way for a campus-style convention center and stadium in the East Village. Two sources close to the talks provided the outlines of the deal and said the mayor and industry leaders balked at supporting the measure but have not officially decided to oppose it. They want to see it first, and if the Chargers hope to get it on the ballot, they’ll have to publish it in its entirety in the Union-Tribune within the next few days. The mayor’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Chargers’ plan is different from the so-called “Citizens’ Plan” put together by attorney Cory Briggs, former City Councilmember Donna Frye and JMI Realty. But the sources said that the Chargers communicated to the mayor and his allies that if they don’t support the new plan, the team would not pay to collect signatures for it. Instead the team is prepared to throw its full support behind the Citizens’ Plan. Even that got more complicated Tuesday when a bombshell appellate court decision was published that implies special taxes enacted by ballot measures do not need to receive a two-thirds vote to become law. If the Chargers somehow determine they don’t need a two-thirds vote to enact a tax increase for the combined stadium-convention center, then they might pursue it without the mayor’s help. The Chargers have apparently decided that the best route to a new stadium is a straight increase to the hotel-room tax that would both support the construction of an adjacent convention center and replace the controversial Tourism Marketing District, the 2 percent levy on hotel rooms on top of the city’s tax that Briggs is currently challenging in court.

The Chargers’ ballot measure would: l increase the city’s 10.5 percent hotel-room tax to 16.5 percent l eliminate the 2 percent tourism marketing levy on top of that l set aside 1 percent for a tourism marketing trust fund instead l set aside 5 percent for a joint convention center and stadium l it’s anticipated not all of that would be needed so another 1 percent would go to the tourism marketing fund – equaling the existing 2 percent allocation. But it’s much, much more than that. The measure would also clear environmental-permitting hassles for the new buildings, including a 65,000-seat stadium with a 225,000-square-foot convention center with 80,000 square feet of ballroom space and 80,000 square feet of meeting space. Under the plan, the new facility would be fully owned by the city of San Diego. The money for the facility would not be released by the city until the Chargers cut a $650 million check to the city and agree to a 30-year lease and non-relocation agreement. Finally, if no stadium was built, the tax hike would go down to 3 percent, with 2 percent going to the tourism marketing system and 1 percent to the city’s general fund. As a straight tax hike to pay for the facility, the Chargers accepted that they’d need a two-thirds vote and lobbied the mayor and hotel industry leaders to support it, knowing that such a threshold is impossible against any sort of organized opposition. But now, a new ruling by the Fourth District Court of Appeal appears to throw out the idea that citizen initiatives that impose special taxes require twothirds voter approval to pass. In a dispute between the California Cannabis Coalition and the city of Upland, the court ruled that a ballot initiative was not subject to Article 13C of the California Constitution. That amendment requires two-thirds voter approval for new taxes and two-thirds voter approval if the taxes are meant for a specific purpose — like a stadium. “No local government may

impose, extend, or increase any special tax unless and until that tax is submitted to the electorate and approved by a two-thirds vote. A special tax shall not be deemed to have been increased if it is imposed at a rate not higher than the maximum rate so approved,” the constitutional amendment says. The court now says that doesn’t apply to citizen initiatives. “We need not reach the issue of whether the fee is a tax under Article 13C because, regardless, Article 13, section 2 does not apply to the Initiative. This is because Article 13C, section 2 is limited to taxes imposed by local government and is silent as to imposing a tax by initiative,” the ruling reads. If the ruling holds up, it would have major implications statewide. And major implications for San Diego’s never-ending discussions about a new expansion of the Convention Center and stadium. Regardless, the Chargers’ new plan hasn’t gotten the mayor’s support nor the support of the alliance the Chargers said they were working with: the group working to pass the Citizens’ Plan. Frye said if the Chargers’ plan did not decide the future of the current site of Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley, she could not support it. “Absent assurances there would be parkland, I would not support it,” Frye said. If the Chargers somehow get away with not needing two-thirds support, they may not need Frye, or the hotel industry’s support either. But if they do, they’ll need the backing of everyone who matters and more. They’ll have to wait 21 days after publishing their petition in the newspaper before they can start collecting signatures. So that’s three weeks to try to win them over. This article was previously published at Visit —Scott Lews is the editor in chief of Voice of San Diego, an online nonprofit news organization launched in 2005 to add more “reporting, analysis and journalistic competition” to San Diego’s news landscape. Reach him at scott.

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San Diego Downtown News | April 2016



MOBILITY base, that net loss is a concern to LIRA President Anne MacMillan Eichman. “For our little community, this is a big deal,” Eichman said. “We’ve made concessions before, but we’re digging our heels in on this one.” Luke Vinci, a LIA board member, echoed similar concerns. Speaking to the loss of 50 parking spots, he said, “It might not seem like much, but it does to the residents who live here.” The groups’ concerns do not stop with the impact on residents. Both organizations have frequently asserted CivicSD’s plan in its current form could adversely affect two of the most venerable institutions within the neighborhood: Our Lady of the Rosary Church, 1629 Columbia St., and Washington Elementary School, at 1789 State St. “Our Lady is known to have a number of events throughout the year, including funeral processions, and we’re concerned about senior citizens’ safety,” Vinci said. “Washington School has 500 kids on a weekly basis, 70 percent of the year.”

(above) Artist’s rendition of an added “greenway” along 14th Street; (right) comparable “cyleway” in Prospect Park West, New York City (Courtesy STEM) Eichman and Vinci have each taken aim at the process of assembling the Downtown Mobility Plan document. But Brad Richter, CivicSD’s assistant vice president of planning, said that process was not done in a vacuum. “We’ve done public outreach

and we’ve shared details on our website,” Richter said. “We looked at every street Downtown and we’ve accepted input from residents and business owners.” Richter concedes there are a number of complexities to the project and trying to appease everyone’s interests throughout

the coverage area is a difficult, if not impossible, task. “Nothing is perfect, but we have come up with a good network,” Richter said. “It’s been planned in a safe and balanced way.” Not all organizations are opposed to the Downtown Mobility

Plan. Immediately after CivicSD’s board approved the document, members of the San Diego Bike Coalition went on record in support of the decision. “Our city needs a long-term solution to address the predicted 90,000 people living and 165,000 working in Downtown San Diego by the year 2030,” said Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the Bike Coalition, in a statement. “This plan ensures we address the projected density and plan for a vibrant Downtown that gives the people safe transportation options to increase mobility, reduce pollution and keep San Diego the great city it is.” Eichman and Vinci each emphasized they are not opposed to bike- and pedestrian-friendly accommodations and have supported other initiatives CivicSD has spearheaded in the past. “We want this mobility plan to be a success,” Eichman said. “But there has to be more of a sense of synergy. We have to try and find that common ground.” Richter said he and other officials within CivicSD are open to continuing dialogue with Little Italy resident and business groups and those in any other Downtown neighborhood. “We’re going to try and continue working with everyone to see where we can try and maximize parking,” Richter said. With the CivicSD board having signed off on the Downtown Mobility Plan, the document is now scheduled to go through several channels at City Hall. The Planning Commission is slated to comb through the document at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 14. At least one other panel, the city’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee, is also slated to weigh in on the plan before it goes before the full City Council in May. For more details on CivicSD’s Downtown Mobility Plan, visit —Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at dave.fidlin@ v


Keeping cool with EarthFair Annual planetembracing festival returns in advance of Earth Day Morgan M. Hurley | Editor If you aren’t already doing it in your daily life, it’s that time of the year to feel connected to the Earth again, as the annual EarthFair 2016 heads to Balboa Park on April 17 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Though the internationally recognized Earth Day is actually the following Friday, April 22, San Diego Earth Works — the nonprofit that has produced the annual local homage to planet Earth since 1990, the 20th anniversary of the Earth Day — likes to gets a jump on things. Dubbed the “largest free annual environmental fair in the world” by organizers, it certainly is a large draw locally, attracting nearly 600,000 visitors to Balboa Park every year for the one-day festival. In comparison, organizers say the first event in 1990 drew 60,000. This year’s EarthFair is themed “Vote Cool,” a spin on the current presidential election season. “Not only do we need to support ways to cool global warming, we need cooler heads in our politics,” said Carolyn Chase, chief executive officer of Earth Works. “Be cool, do cool, VOTE COOL!” This year’s EarthFair attendees are in for another full day of exhibitors, kids activities, entertainment, sustainable energy and product demonstrations, art, food and more, all focused on sustaining the planet where we all live. There’s even a kid’s Earth parade and a concourse showing off the latest in electric cars. “It’s totally amazing to me each year all the new things people come up with to go green and help others do the next thing,” Chase said. “Also interesting is who sticks with it from year-to-year — what works

and what doesn’t.” The list of exhibitors, which really are the heart and soul of this event, is exhaustive. They include national brands and small momand-pop businesses, including such unique vendors as Aunt Be Botanicals, Plant with a Purpose, Peace Pies, Herbal Apothecary, Temple Turmeric, the Friendly Feather Shop, Scenichouse, Urban Octupus and dozens of others. Also on hand are local and state community and public service organizations, those with political leanings, and the expected, like Greenpeace, SDG&E, SolarCity, MTS, the Sierra Club and more. For a full list of exhibitors, visit “I make a list each year of the tables I’m going to visit with an empty backpack at the beginning of the day,” Chase said. “This year I hope to score a free tomato plant, sustainable dog treats for my dog Dozey and some of the most fantastic enviro-candles — and that’s just to start.” Entertainment this year will take place on five different stages throughout the park. The Children’s Area will have its own Children’s Stage, with lots of performances for kids when they are not occupied by the crafts, painting and games in the rest of the area. There will also be a Magic Show stage set up in front of the lily pond, with entertainment by EarthFair mainstay “the Dr. Wilderness Family.” The children’s parade will start from Spanish Village at 10:30 a.m. and work its way to Pan American Plaza, where the Children’s Area can be found. Other stages include the Sun Stage, located behind the Federal Building and the Moon Stage at Park Boulevard and President’s Way. Both will feature contemporary style music. Those interested in learning about everything imaginable that falls under the sustainable umbrella will want to hit up the eHome exhibit area. Ways to get you off the grid, make your windows more energy efficient, and alternative home building methods will all be on display with demonstrations and representatives to assist you. Sustainable, plant-based food can be found in the Food Pavilion. Always been curious about vegetarian and vegan fare? Here is your chance to check it out. There will be no shortage of non-meat options. Remember EarthFair is a “zero waste” event — you can

San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


imagine it creates a lot of potential waste — but everything used is recycled. Organizers said that last year they were able to divert 90 percent of their waste from the landfill by keeping to this policy. That’s commendable, and you can do your part. In addition to overseeing the April 17 event, Chase said she likes to spend a big part of the festival taking hundreds of photographs with two different cameras to capture the day’s festivities and document them for EarthWorks. “My pre-event nightmare the other week was that I forgot my camera,” she said. For more information about EarthFair, and information on alternative transportation options, visit —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

Nearly 600,000 people are expected to take part in this year's EarthFair at Balboa Park April 17. (Courtesy San Diego EarthWorks)


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


Correction In our March issue, we ran a timely guest editorial from Rep. Scott Peters, San Diego’s congressional representative for District 52. Rep. Peters wrote regarding his efforts on Capitol Hill to increase federal funding for San Diego’s homeless situation [see ”Fighting for San Diego’s fair share,” Vol. 17, Issue 3 or at]. While prepping the editorial for production purposes, we inadvertently typed his name in the byline and in the bio as “Dave Peters” instead of "Scott Peters." Although we were able to change this quickly after the fact online, we did not catch it before it went to print. We regret the error.

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EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960

ART DIRECTOR Todd Kammer (619) 961-1961

CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jeff Clemetson, x119 Ken Williams, x102

SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Toni G. Atkins Charlene Baldridge Diana Cavagnaro Andy Cohen David Dixon Dave Fidlin Christopher Gomez Tori Hahn Ann Jarmusch Jeff Josenhans Scott Lewis Margie M. Palmer Jake Romero Frank Sabatini Jr. Taylor Schulte Ann Wilson Joan Wojcik COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

Guest Editorial

WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118

Homeless but hopeful A man with a plan By Orlando Barahona I’m a homeless man, albeit not the stereotypical kind that black and white photographs of talented photographers get exhibitions for. No one would know I have no place to call my own by the way I dress and my demeanor. As one of many displaced workers, the daily struggle of searching for jobs and fulfilling essential needs has led to raw difficulties, usually overcome through generous career programs, which offer the possibility of printing résumés and re-building a professional image as well as social services agencies. My wardrobe has the unfortunate flaw of a backpack or a messenger bag where I must place my electronic items (to prevent theft in shelters), and all medications, medical and legal files I need are also a weight to bear against a mismatched suit. The homeless experience has given me a sense of purpose and passion, after living in cramped quarters and looking at great architecture, an inspiring element of San Diego. Before coming to San Diego I volunteered my time at a shelter in Fort Dodge, Iowa. A private citizen bought a Masonic temple and turned it into a shelter in the middle of the downtown area. The funding came from private sources, which allowed tremendous freedom to impose any terms in the length of the stay at the shelter, the daily chores to be done and the programs implemented. Things eventually fell apart, however, because the director/owner exhibited an advanced deterioration in his health. After my last disastrous relationship was over in Iowa, I received an invitation from my middle sister to come to California. Sadly, she did not tell me about her bipolar disorder and we engaged in bitter arguments, which led to my homelessness. Suicidal ideations began to appear

more frequently and I entered the system of hospitals, crisis houses and shelters. Because I had panic attacks from the challenge of sleeping outdoors, I self-medicated and decided to enter a rehabilitation program. Four months in a residential program based only on Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous principles disappointed me by its lack of intellectual content, of cognitive possibilities. SMART Recovery was my next and better choice, as I am more familiar with dialectical behavior therapy. Knowing me is a lifelong journey. Why would I choose to stay close to a Downtown area as a homeless man? Because the medical, employment and human services agencies are closer and the lack of a monthly transportation pass made things close to impossible to overcome. Location, location, location. The debate over the tiny shelters as a solution leaves me with thin hope. Frankly, every organization helping the homeless invariably has rules, regulations and principles imposed on its recipients of assistance. The local government seems to want the same thing New York City did, which is to raise rents and clear out the homeless so only a certain class of citizens can afford to live in the city. Because I am also HIV-positive, I don’t have much patience for rhetoric and ego. My time is the only thing that is truly mine. What would I suggest, knowing there may be a clash of personal outlooks and philosophies with leaders of social change? I took some time to put it together: I want to raise funds to buy myself a tiny home in the lot for Habitats Tiny Homes that Janet Ashforth owns. Would a nonprofit purchase these homes to turn them into hopefully profitable low-income homes or shelters? I’d love to have one and finally focus on going back to college and getting a decent job without being forced to worship the deity of choice from the many charitable organizations, or to become another signature in an endless structure that pays social workers their salaries by shuffling cases

every day. My current abode is a shelter established in what used to be a private home, run by a nonprofit. I’m not ungrateful, just tired of feeling hopeless. There’s one crucial thing missing in this equation, and it can save a few lives by providing employment to people selected to live in the tiny homes, if a leader would reach out to — a business I admire by its fantastic contribution to 21st-century farming — Ecopia Farms. During an episode of the “California Bountiful” show, I watched this segment with tremendous excitement: M4qSlzrbfY4. In addition, the company’s website features succinct descriptions and sharp visuals I’m a believer in commerce as a force of change and in fact, Kimco Realty offers a program that waives rent for one year for a brilliant business plan. I became aware of it through the Miracosta Small Business Development Center. At this very moment I ponder how fragile good plans and passion can become when faced by the strong arm of the law. Elected officials enforce what some citizens want and the common vision of a safe city seems to preclude compassion. Perhaps reinventing the wheel is not the answer and buying or receiving donations of property and buildings will fit the disenfranchised back into society. I need a smaller, more humble light of hope to hang on to and I never cower from the challenge of a good day’s work. I volunteer to help put together a business plan that would benefit us homeless folks or to build shelters. I’m never scared to sing for my supper. Recent events involving the San Diego police have made me feel a bit disheartened. I just wish there was a way to heal the differences between the local government and passionate people. I’ve drafted a plan to put those who can’t find work, back to work. Review it on Tumblr here: homelesssandiego.tumblr. com/start. —Orlando Barahona is a public relations volunteer for the Homeless to Housed Coalition of San Diego. Reach him at, or find him on Linked-In.v

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OPINIONS/LETTERS: San Diego Downtown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to 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 For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION: San Diego Downtown News is distributed free on the first Friday of every month. COPYRIGHT 2015. All rights reserved.


Guest Editorial

Talk early, talk often

It’s alcohol awareness month By Bob Elliott The need to provide meaningful education on the dangers of underage drinking and drug use here in San Diego County has never been greater. And it is important to know that parents can play a significant role. As kids get older and alcohol and drugs enter the picture, parents are faced with a unique set of challenges. They can simply sit back and hope their kids will “get through it,” or they can take an active role in learning about alcohol and drugs and helping their kids do the same. It can be daunting to talk with your children about drinking and drug use, but it will be well worth the effort you put into it. In fact, research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of alcohol and drug use are 50 percent less likely to use these substances than those who don’t have such conversations. As a parent you can be a primary source of positive and reliable information and it is important to take advantage of “teachable moments.” It’s not so much about “the big talk,” but about being there for them when the issues come up — on TV, at the movies, on the radio, about celebrities or sports figures, or about their friends. Don’t miss your opportunity to teach your kids; if you do, they will get their information from the media, the Internet or other sources that not only misrepresent the potential negative impact of alcohol and drugs and can actually glorify their use! You have more influence over your kid’s attitudes and decisions about alcohol than you think. So start early! Children go through many different stages as they grow up and what’s appropriate to tell an 18 year old and a 9 year old can vary quite a bit. Yet, it’s never too early to begin the conversation. The more informed children are, the better off they’ll be. According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, here are some basic guidelines to assist you: l Listen before you talk — encourage conversation: As parents, we want to have “all the answers.” And, sometimes we are so anxious to share our wisdom — or our opinion — that we don’t take the time to listen. For kids, knowing that we are really listening is the most important thing we can do to help. l Talk to your child and ask open-ended questions: Have regular conversations with your child — about their feelings, their friends and their activities. As much as you can, and


Letters sometimes it’s not easy, try to avoid questions that have a simple “yes” or “no” answer. l Be involved: Get to know your child’s friends and continue to educate your child about the importance of maintaining good health — psychological, emotional and physical. l Set expectations, limits and consequences: Make it clear that you do not want your child drinking or using drugs and that you trust them not to. Talk about possible consequences, both legal and medical, and be clear about what you will do if the rules are broken. l Be honest and open: Care about what

your child is going through as they face and make decisions that will affect their lives now and for the future. l Be positive: Many parents have discovered that talking about these issues with their children has built bridges rather than walls between them and they have proudly watched those children learn to make healthy, mature decisions on their own. l Family history: Both research and

personal experience have clearly documented that drug and alcohol addiction is a chronic, progressive disease that can be linked to family history and genetics. So, if you have a family history of problems with alcohol or drugs, be matter of fact about it, as you would any other chronic disease, such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer. “Alcohol and drug use is a very risky business for young people, and parents can make a difference,” said Andrew Pucher, president and chief executive officer of the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD). “The longer children delay drinking and drug use, the less likely they are to develop any problems associated with it. That’s why it is so important to help your child make smart decisions about alcohol and drugs.” Throughout the month of April, NCADD– San Diego is celebrating the 30th annual observance of Alcohol Awareness Month by holding and supporting a variety of informational and educational events to raise public awareness about underage drinking and encourage parents to speak to their kids early and often about alcohol and other drugs. I urge local businesses, community organizations, colleges, schools, administrators and government agencies, to get involved in these activities. It can make a tremendous difference in our community as we reach out to those who are most vulnerable and help our next generation avoid the many problems that underage alcohol and drug use can bring. —Bob Elliott is chairman of the local San Diego chapter of NCADD, an all-volunteer 501(c)3 organization that just recently received its nonprofit status and could use your help. To learn more, donate, or to volunteer, call 855622-3373 or visit


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016

Monique Frey is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef with years of experience in both the hospitality and culinary worlds. Her unique blend of both front and back of the house expertise ensures you a first class experience for your next corporate or private event. Each client is treated as the unique individual they are. Visits start with a site inspection and consultation, followed by customized menu and staff planning, Monique’s dedication to guaranteeing an excellent customer service experience is trumped only by her mantra, “show up as a guest at your next event.” Call us at 619-990-2461 to book your next corporate or private event. We look forward to the opportunity of working with you.

A lifetime of art [Ref: “#ArtYouEnjoy,” Vol. 16, Issue 6, or at] I enjoyed reading your story and learning about [her] family. I met Phylicia a week ago. I am a multimedia artist; I am 73 and still creating and producing my artwork. We moved from Julian to the city of San Diego almost two years ago. I have no studio now but I still am an artist, I lost my beret but I still paint, I donated all my art equipment to Julian High School because I thought I was finished with that part of my life. But here I am turning our little home into an art studio … my jewelry room is the “Gold Room” named for my grandmother Yehuda Gold. And my dining room is now my paint studio, which I call “My Little Blue Room,” and that has a story too. I reign from Taos, New Mexico, and my husband Monte is a saint for putting up with me! I am very impressed with Adelman Gallery and am hoping they have room for my art. Thank you Lee, I felt very comfortable with Phylicia; she had a very important meeting and still treated me very special. That made me come home with a warm feeling. Our daughter is a nurse and she treats us the same way. She told a doctor once, “You have lots of patients, I only have ONE MOTHER.” Shalom. —CoCo Leraas, via ___________________________________

A different perspective [Ref: “Glimpsing into Downtown’s future,” Vol. 17, Issue 2, or at tinyurl. com/zwab4bv] I’ve lived here for just over a year and can’t help but laugh at this assessment. First off, name a single bellwether employer that has agreed to move Downtown … wait that silence is the fact that the only “business” Downtown is law firms, hence the monstrosity of a courthouse I see from my office window. Also failed to acknowledge that most young professionals can’t afford their own places so they are bunking up in Downtown because wages in San Diego are terribly low for the cost of living. So I beg to see real proof of this migration. My Lyft driver just told me yesterday how he regrets moving Downtown because there is nothing to do beyond restaurants or bars. Perhaps a government initiative to bring real business and culture Downtown would be a wise proposition. I’ve lived in major cities around the country and San Diego is the only one where the exodus for work

is away from the city …. you’ll never attract millennials with that strategy and they’re flocking to the cheaper, better living of the beach communities. You guys really do live in a fantasy bubble out here, like you have to be a recent transplant to see how poorly run this county is … and don’t get me started on the worst public transit system in the country. —William Arrington, via website ____________________________________

Forgetting a timeless restaurant [Ref: “Gaslamp restaurants stand the test of time,” Vol. 17, Issue 2, or at] When talking about Gaslamp restaurants that have stood the test of time, how could you leave out Lou & Mickey’s? —Mark Augarten, via website ____________________________________

Not a fan [Ref: “Tiny shelters that can,” Vol. 17, Issue 2, or at] I am a resident of Sherman Heights, unlike much of the volunteers of this project, and I am NOT in agreement with this plan of a village of tiny houses! —Rene Guzman, via website ____________________________________

Historical question [Ref: “Gaslamp Landmarks: WattsRobinson Building,” Vol. 17, Issue 2 or at] Who is Watts? —Joan Miller, via website Jake Romero, from The Gaslamp Historical Foundation, responds: Mr. Watts refers to Nathan Watts, son of Henry Watts. Henry Watts held the mortgage on half of the two-story brick structure that was on the site before the Watts Robinson Building (The Johnson Building). Henry Watts was founder of Watts Holdings. It was Mayor David C. Reed (1880s) who loaned Watts the money to improve the property. Watts died in 1889 and his son Nathan took over ownership and management of the building in 1890, occupying a room in the building as a real estate agent. In 1912 at 45 years of age, Nathan demolished the 26-year-old Johnson Building to make way for his Watts

see Letters, pg 18 Sudoku & Crossword puzzle answers from page 18


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


The Keating Building (1890), northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and F Street; Reid Brothers, architects (Courtesy GQHF)

The Keating Gaslamp Landmarks Jake Romero On Jan. 6, 1888, George J. Keating acquired the land that the future building that bears his name would eventually be built upon. Keating, a successful partner in one of the world’s largest farm implement and equipment firms, Smith and Keating, came from Kansas City, Missouri, to San Diego with his wife Fanny in 1886. They were initially drawn to

San Diego because of George’s poor health and it is unfortunate that he would not live to see the construction of his building, having died of heart failure at his home on June 28, 1888. His wife Fanny however, was not to be defeated by his passing, and by August of 1890, excavation for the new building at the northwest corner of what is now Fifth Avenue and F Street, was underway. Fanny retained the Reid Brothers, well-known architects and designers of Coronado’s Hotel Del, to design the building according to George’s original plans. The Keating features a Romanesque architectural theme with the first two stories comprised of Sespe sandstone shipped

from Ventura, California, while the remaining stories are built with pressed red brick, highlighted with terra cotta ornamentation. Corner towers on the F Street side of the building and arched windows are distinguishing features. This structure is one of the most recognizable and beautiful buildings in the historic Gaslamp Quarter, and today houses a popular hotel named after Mr. Keating himself. —Jake Romero is the director of operations of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation, located at 410 Island Ave., Downtown, in the historic Davis-Horton House. For more information visit

A REMINDER FROM MTS Lane closures and pedestrian detours in Gaslamp Quarter As part of the Downtown “Rapid Stations Project,” a total of 11 new stations will be built on and along the Broadway corridor to serve routes that terminate Downtown. The stations include wider sidwalks, new sidewalk pavers, resurfaced roads with new striping as well as pylons with Rapid branding. As a result, additional traffic control measures will be put into place on both the north and south sides of Broadway between Fourth and Fifth avenues in the Gaslamp Quarter to accommodate ongoing construction of a pair of new Rapid stations being installed on that block. Starting the week of March 28 a portion of the sidewalk on the south side of Broadway (eastbound) will be closed as crews work in the basement of a building at Broadway and Fifth

Avenue and on the sidewalk. Pedestrians will be routed around the construction zone to a protected walkway in the parking lane. Both eastbound traffic lanes on Broadway will remain open. Beginning the week of April 4, the sidewalk will be closed on the north side of Broadway (westbound), as crews complete structural work in the basement of a building at Broadway and Fourth Avenue. Pedestrians will be routed into a protected walkway in the street. A single westbound traffic lane on the north side of the street will be closed to traffic until this work

is complete. One westbound lane will remain open throughout the construction period. Access to local businesses in the area will be maintained at all times. To ensure public safety, pedestrians are urged to stay in designated walkways and follow the detour. Motorists should use caution while driving through the construction zone. At a later date, crews will return to install trees and signage. For more information, visit or call 888-536-3939 or email

San Diego Downtown News | April 2016

Woof! Be part of the new dog park LIA launches crowdfunding campaign to redesign Amici Park Little Italy News Christopher Gomez The Little Italy community has been hard at work to find a solution for the multi-use space known as Amici Park, where students of Washington Elementary School play and residents and their canine companions run. After three years of work, the Little Italy Association, a nonprofit corporation, entered into a 66-year lease to manage all the peripheral areas of the school. The Little Italy Association has been authorized to design, fund and build improvements at Amici Park, balancing the neighborhood needs of a school playground and a dog park area. Back in the fall of 2015, we opened a no-leash dog run area, where Little Italy residents could take their pets to play in a safe and secure environment. Now, we want to improve the dog park even more, making it a first-class dog park, — equal to the level of other amenities found in our community — and we need the community’s help to raise money to improve and enhance the dog area at Amici Park. On Thursday, March 31, we launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to focus specifically on upgrades to the dog park. The crowdfunding campaign will help us raise funds to support dog park fences and gates, surface landscaping, benches and water fountains, as well as ongoing park maintenance and improvements. Best of all, donors will have the chance to immortalize their furry friends at the dog park. These perks include pet portraits on fences, engraved pet names on gates, and plaques on benches and water fountains. Donors can also receive T-shirts, dog tags and an invitation to a fun Yappy Hour celebration. The fundraising goal is $42,000, but the Little Italy Association hopes to exceed that so

Little Italy residents can forever enshrine their pooches at Amici Park. (Courtesy LIA) we can introduce additional dogfriendly features in the future. Donations can be made at The campaign will last until May 2. We hope to see you around the neighborhood and at Amici Park with your four legged family members! To find out more information

on neighborhood updates, please visit To stay connected with us, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @LittleItalySD and Facebook/San Diego Little Italy. —Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at



San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


“Rain Dance,” by local artist Sarah Stieber, was created by first painting the model live and then transferring the visual image to canvas. (Courtesy Mission Federal ArtWalk) FROM PAGE 1

ARTWALK spectacular art experience to San Diego for art lovers, families, visitors and San Diegans alike.” Among this year’s featured artists is San Diego native Sarah Stieber. For this year’s ArtWalk, Stieber — who graduated cum laude from Boston University with a degree in fine arts and a concentration in psychology — will be showcasing a painting performance with the help of dancers from The PGK Dance Project. The PGK Dance Project is a Downtown-based “world-class” contemporary dance company, which was founded in 1994 by Artistic Executive Director Peter G. Kalivas. Launching originally in Munich, Germany, and New York City, the nonprofit troupe moved to San Diego in 2002. PGK’s participating dancers will be colored and dripped in paint to represent a one-of-akind “raining” effect, to present Stieber’s Electric Rain Project. “My whole concept [for the Electric Rain Project] was that I wanted it to be this evolving collaborative series,” Stieber said. “It started with a photo shoot which I then turned into a painting, then we went back to the photo shoot and a production company filmed the time lapse.” There was also a video installation show held recently at Adelman Fine Art — located just steps from ArtWalk on Kettner Boulevard — where some attending artists dressed up like the paintings and walked around as if they’d just emerged from the canvas. As a result of already being familiar with Stieber’s local work involving the series, Stieber said it was Cottrell who suggested the possibility of adding a dance component. “Sandi asked me about a performance piece in relation to the Electric Rain Project and I thought it would be awesome to get a dance company involved because adding dance would be a continuation of this project,” she said. “I knew it would be a great way to move the project along and see how far along we could take it.” Cottrell then connected

Steiber will incorporate live dancers to her Electric Rain Dance series at the upcoming art festival. (Courtesy PGK Dance Project) Stieber with PGK Dance founder Peter G. Kalivas and the rest, as they say, was history. Those who attend the upcoming performance at ArtWalk can expect to see the Electric Rain Project in a way that it’s never been seen before. “I wanted to create this evolving series because I wanted to get people thinking about creating their own environment; I wanted to get people interested in creating their own reality,” Stieber said. “I’m excited to take the next step in this collaboration with Peter and to see him put his spin on what we’ve created.” Kalivas said the project reminded him of one he had been involved in 20 years ago, which also involved dancers who dipped their hands into “buckets of paint” and then spontaneously shared that paint with the dancers they were paired with. “Although, it seems Sarah’s ‘Rain Project’ is more planned out with a hope for a more specific result I still think the idea is really exciting and has similar implications,” Kalivas said, “In that I create a dance, my dancers move and at some point parts of the dance inevitably need to slow down so that Sarah — who has to insert herself within the dance — begins to paint the moving bodies and ultimately change

the appearance of the dancer, the perspective, and the quality, through shifts in appearance, color, texture as well. “I like how this project creates a dependency on each medium intrinsically because of how Sarah’s concept plays out,” he continued. “The best part is that the audience witnesses the entire process as performance, which creates a new and interesting kind of tension and anticipation altogether.” The performance will take place at the Grape Street Dance on the Edge Stage, at 3:30 p.m. on both days of the two-day festival. Those who are interested in seeing more of Stieber’s work can drop by the Adelman Fine Art booth, which will be located at spaces 715 and 717. Mission Federal ArtWalk will take over 17 blocks on India Street between Ash and Grape streets in San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. The free, outdoor event will run from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1. More information is available online at —Margie M. Palmer is a San Diego-based freelance writer who has been racking up bylines in a myriad of news publications for the past 10 years. You can write to her at


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


The children's plants will be throughout the pub, a repurposed Craftsman home. (Courtesy Queenstown Public House)


QUEENSTOWN house to celebrate the holidays. This spring, the staff is determined to top that. “Everyone remembers when they were younger — their parents decorating for every single season ... We want to make sure we bring that to the neighborhood, especially in the middle of a city,” said Kelly Moses, social media manager for the restaurant. “It’s kind of nice when you get to go to a home away from home.” The students won’t be decorating just any traditional flowerpots. Instead, the work of the three participating classes will be featured in a vintage suitcase, a little red wagon and individual mugs printed with photographs of the kids. The class with the planter that receives the most tickets will earn a pizza party paid for by the restaurant. Additionally, Queenstown Public House is calling on community members to donate old musical instruments to the program, which will be garnished with flowers and hung throughout the restaurant for the duration of the contest. Moses said their goal is to

have the restaurant bombarded with instruments and have “flowers literally coming out of every area of the house.” Students will be expected to take care of their flowers and water them throughout the month, although Moses said staff members will keep an eye on them as well. As for the kids, they’ve got their eyes on the prize. “They’ve got their flower planting ideas out and they’re ready to go,” Moses said. “They want that pizza.” The planters will be on display throughout the month of April, with voting to begin April 1. On April 11, Queenstown Public House will be celebrating its three-year anniversary with an extended happy hour and food specials from 6 p.m. – close. That same evening, Queenstown staff will host a celebratory Champagne toast at 9 p.m. to encourage donations to the STEAM contest. Queenstown Public House is located at 1557 Columbia St. in Little Italy. For more information, visit —Tori Hahn is an editorial intern with SDCNN and a senior majoring in journalism at San Diego State University.v


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016

e3 to the X3 High school math students analyze East Village By Joan Wojcik Most residents are unaware that nestled between the fifth and eighth floors of the Downtown Central Library is a high school. In the fall of 2013, e3 Civic High Charter School opened its doors in the library for grades nine – 12. e3 Civic High’s unique name “e3” explains its emphasis on “engage, educate and empower.” Ms. Kimberly Morris, who has been a math instructor for two years at the charter high school, motivates her math students to the “3rd power.” She holds a Bachelor of Science in math and a Master of Arts in education from UC Riverside. Her emphasis at e3 is algebra, statistics and precalculus and has challenged her students to an extensive use of their math skills during this year’s curriculum. The project currently being created by Morris’ 12th-grade math class is a yearlong project focused on the opportunity to make a positive change in the East Village community. At the beginning of the school year, Morris posed a very thoughtprovoking question to her 12thgrade math students: “What busi-

Kimberly Morris (center) and her e3 senior math class have made East Village their pet project. (Courtesy Kimberly Morris) nesses, products, or services will positively impact the East Village community?” During the students’ initial observances of East Village, it was decided that the students would put forth a comprehensive online survey to gather evaluations from residents about their own neighborhood. The survey focused on the following areas: convenience and affordability of the neighborhood, amenities within the community, safety issues, and homelessness. Students met with local community groups and businesses to help get the word out and distributed the survey link to residents and business owners of East Village.

After several months, the students had received over 363 responses to the survey. Based on a population of approximately 13,000, the 363 responses constituted an acceptable +/– margin of error of less than 7 percent. They were finally ready to create a statistical spreadsheet and a comprehensive analysis on the residents’ evaluations of the neighborhood, based on the survey results. The final results of the survey, including the written analysis, data collection methods, results and conclusions, were presented by the students March 30 at the East Village Residents Group general membership meeting, held at Urban Discovery Academy.

One of the many results of the survey revealed that 95 percent of East Village residents believe homelessness is a serious problem in neighborhood. “Most of the comments from our survey were negative and specifically pointed out that the homeless people are an issue to the community, and how this issue is not being addressed by the city,” said Maya, an e3 senior involved in the project. “The students hope this survey, which is only a segment of the yearlong project, will bring some sort of positive change to the community and that the community members who took the time to complete the survey can feel their voices were heard,”

Morris said. Her goal for next year is to do a follow-up survey and compare the results between the two years. The final presentation of the students’ complete business plan and marketing campaign will be presented to a panel of community members and potential investors at the e3 Civic High School exhibition, to be held June 8 at the high school. Residents interested in seeing the complete results of the survey can visit — Joan Wojcik is the president of the East Village Residents Group. Contact Joan at or visit

San Diego Downtown News | April 2016










San Diego Downtown News | April 2016



Where to park your money

Three solutions for the conservative investor Financial News Taylor Schulte

In January 2016, U.S. stocks posted the worst 10-day start to a year in history. And, while the stock market has moved upwards, it continues to be volatile, causing some investors to be fearful about putting their money in equities. If the stock market doesn’t align with your financial goals or you are looking for a more conservative option, below are potential solutions for where to park your money.

High-yield savings account at an online bank Online banks tend to have lower expenses than traditional banks and frequently pass those savings on to their customers. These high-yield savings accounts can generate up to 1.05 percent annually. Note, however, there are a few restrictions. For instance, you can only make six transactions per statement cycle and the interest rates are subject to change. Also, be cognizant of account maintenance fees and stay under the FDIC limit of $250,000 to ensure your deposits are insured. While finding the right bank with the highest rate might be daunting, there are companies that can help. For a fee of 0.02

percent per quarter, will rebalance your short-term savings accounts as interest rates change to ensure you are always earning the highest available rate.

Short-term bond fund

After savings accounts and Certificates of Deposit, the next step up on the risk scale would be high quality, short-term bonds. Instead of attempting to pick a handful of individual bonds and hoping they don’t default, you might consider buying a mutual fund or index fund that holds hundreds, if not thousands, of bonds. Sure, you may lose some investment control (and potentially yield), but you also lower the risk. A short-term bond fund typically invests in bonds that are maturing within one to three years — also known as short duration. By keeping the duration short, you are less impacted by a rise in interest rates, which could have a negative impact on bond prices.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending

While P2P lending isn’t necessarily a solution for shortterm savings (and hasn’t been around long enough to be labeled as conservative), it could prove to be an alternative to traditional stocks and bonds for some. P2P lending is exactly what it sounds like — you lend your money to consumers or

businesses for an agreed-upon interest rate. Leading players in this industry, such as Lending Club and Prosper, help facilitate the loan and screen borrowers, so you can make an informed decision. Lending money to a pool of higher quality borrowers — as measured by credit score, credit history, and other metrics — will result in a lower interest rate. Lending money to lower quality borrowers, who have a higher chance of defaulting on the loan, will deliver a higher rate. Many of these P2P lending sites are publishing rates of return between 5 percent and 30 percent, prior to their fee. Before making an investment decision, be sure you are aware of all the risks involved and consult a financial professional for additional advice and support. With access to information, technology at our fingertips and great options for short-term savings, there’s no reason you can’t maximize your savings potential and have a healthy reserve in place. —Taylor Schulte, CFP, is the founder of Define Financial in Downtown San Diego. Schulte specializes in providing independent, objective, financial advice to individuals, families and businesses. Follow him on Twitter at @DefineFinancial or visit his blog at



San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


Opera: a tragic marriage in Nagasaki By David Dixon Garnett Bruce — director of the famed Opera de Montreal — returns to Downtown San Diego later this month to present Giacomo Puccini’s Italian opera, “Madama Butterfly.” This will be the fourth time Bruce has staged the tragic story for the San Diego Opera and its fans. Set in Nagasaki, Japan, in the early 20th century, a geisha, Cio-Cio-San (Latonia Moore) falls for an American Naval officer, B.F. Pinkerton (Teodor Ilincai). Though the couple weds, the union is bittersweet, because while Cio-Cio-San believes she has found true love, Pinkerton does not take their arranged overseas vows seriously. Bruce said he has read the original short story, “Madame Butterfly,” and seen the David Belasco play, “Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan.” Both the tale and the drama enhanced his appreciation of Puccini’s music and the libretto written by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. “Belasco’s script is not a kind portrayal of either Asians or Americans,” he said. “Puccini softened these characters and believed in them with the help of glorious music.” The singer who gets to perform some of Puccini’s most unforgettable melodies is J’nai Bridges, who plays Suzuki, Cio-Cio-San’s maid. Suzuki does what she can to remain loyal as her employer goes through challenging times. The mezzo-soprano said she doesn’t wish her portrayal of Suzuki to be viewed as merely that of a “simple domestic.” “It’s really easy to play this [role] just like a servant who follows instructions,” she said. “I think she’s deeper than just a woman who runs errands.” In the upcoming production at the San Diego Civic Theatre, the bond between Cio-Cio-San and Suzuki will be an important part of the narrative. “I feel like they are sisters in a way,” Bridges said. “Suzuki cares a lot about Cio-Cio-San and does not want her to get hurt.” An aspect of Puccini’s music that continues to fascinate Bruce is the composer’s meticulous artistry. “Puccini is very structured,” he said. “He knows how to hold the attention of an audience and how to take them on an unforgettable journey.” Bridges acknowledges the beauty of Puccini’s compositions. “His music feeds the soul,” she said. “Puccini’s music is really relatable and accessible to people’s emotions.” Even though the interpretation is going to be traditional, Bruce said in-house technology will keep each scene visually fresh. “We’re trying to enhance people’s mood and experience through lighting,” Bruce said. “We have strong reactions to different uses of color.” While Moore has played CioCio-San for both Germany’s Hamburg State Opera (Hamburgische Staatsoper) and New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Bruce hopes

Latonia Moore in costume at The Met in NYC last month (Photo by Marty Sohl)

(l to r) Latonia Moore; Director Bruce Garnett that San Diego theatergoers do not compare her upcoming performance to her previous portrayals of the central character. “Everybody who comes needs to have an open mind,” he said. “They need to be ready to hear and see a new side of a familiar role.” According to Bruce, one of the biggest reasons the intense plot continues to make an impact with audiences is the depth of the CioCio-San character. “She is very naïve, pragmatic, and trusting,” he said. “We all want to be as good as she is throughout the opera. We want to believe the way she believes and if we can, we’re open to joy.” Similarly to Bruce, Bridges said she feels that the plot has a heartrending quality. “It is a very humanistic story,”

(Courtesy San Diego Opera)

she said. “There are real human emotions from everyone.” With Bruce at the helm, it seems like audiences are in for a grand and passionate rendition of the monumental tale. His version appears to contain all the necessary ingredients to comprise a stirring evening. “Madama Butterfly” will be performed Apr. 16 – 24, at the San Diego Civic Theatre, located at 1100 Third Ave., Downtown. For tickets or more information, visit or call 619-232-7636. —David Dixon has been a fan of film and theater from a very young age, and has written reviews and features for various print and online publications. Reach him at

EXPERT ADVICE Adam Martindale

Martindale Travel & Tours Why you should not book directly with a cruise line and use a travel consultant? Having spent over 17 years working on three major cruise lines, I’ve made connections on board which can make the difference between a good cruise and an extraordinary travel experience. Whether it’s gifts in the room, a hard to get reservation at a specialty restaurant or the inside scoop on the ports visited, there’s always a good chance that I can make something special happen. This customized service blends well with my intimate knowledge of most of the ports in the Caribbean, Mexican Rivera, Europe and Asia.

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


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016



Pan Bon

1450 Kettner Blvd. (Little Italy)



Prices: Marketplace salads, sandwiches, pizza slices and desserts, $2 to $10; breakfast, lunch and dinner items from the menu, $7 to $26

Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr.

From front to back, a succession of deli cases stocked with dazzling desserts and savories forms the spine of Pan Bon, a colossal market and restaurant launched last year by longtime baker Giancarlo Anselmi of Verona, Italy. Step only two feet inside for a glimpse and your chances of exiting without a purchase are practically zero. The newly built structure, located at the south end of Kettner Street in Little Italy, shows off a long, narrow hall with towering ceilings and a second level high above that has yet to be utilized. Opposite the deli counters and open kitchens are seating areas stretching along a wall marked by geometrically arranged wood tiles, which add artistic warmth to the steely Euro-chic design. Where to sit in this vast emporium of Italian delights depends on how and what you decide to eat. The first half of Pan Bon operates like a café, where you settle in after paying for things like Gorgonzola strudel, eggplant Parmigiana, sumptuous pizzas sold by the slice, and meat or veggie sandwiches lay-

(clockwise from top left) Italian-style meat and cheese board; Pan Bon’s quaint façade conceals an enormous food hall and restaurant; pepperonata; pizzettes; and farro salad (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) ered between assorted breads that are made onsite every morning. Oddly, desserts are displayed at the head of the trail, sucking you in visually with their colorful, linear arrangements of mignons (mini pastries) as well as full-sized croissants and sliced brioche stuffed with fruits, custard and chocolate. Further down is a meat and cheese counter where imported prosciutto di Parma resides alongside house-roasted beef and turkey, plus luscious curds that include fresh mozzarella.

Though next to the buildyour-own salad station boasting numerous lettuces and fixings is the crux of Pan Bon — ciabatta, focaccia, baguette and rolls you’ve never heard of — all winking at you from wicker baskets behind another counter. A baker since the age of 15 and proprietor of the original Pan Bon in Verona, Anselmi relies on a centuries-old baking method called “lievito madre.” It involves carefully maintaining the yeast fermentation and using super-fine “00” flour. Touches of honey are added into the mixtures, resulting in flavorful breads and pizza crusts that are airier and less glutinous than most and that leave you with far less stomach bloat. The back half of Pan Bon is a full-service dining area offering printed menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner, although there is no signage indicating that. The space is delineated only by overhead string lights and larger tables. Operations manager Mitzy Stefanovic said an effort is being made to verbally inform customers about the restaurant component as they walk in. It was only in my most recent visit that I learned of it. With a friend joining me for lunch, we chose items from the deli counters and the menu. We opted for a slice of cheese pizza, plus a couple of “pizzettes” topped separately with salami and mushrooms. With smears of bright-tasting red

sauce on each, their helium-light crusts won us over. This was my third time eating pizza here and they’ve been consistently terrific no matter how simple the toppings. It was also love at first bite when trying a wedge of ciabatta stuffed with mozzarella and ham, an item that upheld its bakeryfresh essence when heated to order. We dipped the bread ends into a bowl of pepperonata, a mélange of softly braised multi-colored bell peppers that tasted to me like homey Italian kitchens smell. A slice of quiche, also from the deli, had mushrooms, zucchini and onions tumbling out when forking into it — not as structured or cream-laden as French quiche but pleasing nonetheless. Equally clean was a side of farro salad with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and chopped celery. With barely a hint of dressing, if any at all, we found it wonderfully rustic and wholesome. The standout dishes were from the lunch menu — a nonAmerican version of eggplant Parmigiana and a meat-cheese board that rivals any I’ve had at upscale wine bars. Only when soaked in salt does eggplant become this tender and non-watery. Sliced thin and without breading, it wasn’t swimming in sauce either, thus allowing the flavors of three different cheeses layered within to emerge. The board contained pretty

pilings of melt-in-your-mouth Parma prosciutto sliced paperthin and flecked with fresh horseradish; shaved speck; jumbo slices of mortadella; olives; sun-dried tomatoes; and assorted cheeses ranging from soft and buttery to hard and sharp. The proteins were generously portioned, enough to carry two people through a bottle of pinot grigio or Lambrusco from the mostly Italian wine list. We concluded with a lineup of mini desserts that included pastry cream with berries, a chocolate cup filled with mint mousse, and supermoist tiramisu. The ordering process at Pan Bon is still a little confusing, but one that offers culinary discoveries along the way by an owner and staff that will charm you with their heavy Italian accents and solid cooking. And they’ve begun catering kindly to pizza lovers as well with a tableside all-you-can-eat deal for $15 per person, from 5 p.m. to close on Wednesdays. Count me in until my waist notches up a size. —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 staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at

DINING Leave your sandals, flip flops, shorts and ball caps at home if patronizing Prohibition on Friday and Saturday evenings. The cozy underground speakeasy reopened recently with new cocktails featuring artisan twists on Prohibitionera libations. The establishment enforces the dress code on weekend nights, although casually attired visitors are welcome on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Known for its intimate atmosphere and live music (jazz, soul and blues), the stairs descending to the bar are located behind an old law office door. Hours are 9:30 p.m. – 1:30 a.m., Wednesday through Saturday. 548 Fifth Ave.,

Paella takes center stage when the San Diego Paella & Wine Festival returns in early May. (Photo by Armando Rodiel) The second annual San Diego Paella & Wine Festival on May 7 will afford guests unlimited samples of food and drink from nearly 50 different paella makers, 40 wineries, 15 tequila vendors, and 10 breweries. Organizers said this year’s festival will feature one of the largest vegan paellas ever made in California, along with many traditional meaty versions. The event was founded by Armando Rodiel, a Spanish native and paella expert who resides in Chula Vista and makes the saffroninfused rice dish for special events. Participating vendors will dole out samples from noon – 6 p.m. at Waterfront Park. The cost is $60 in advance, and $80 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased online at 1600 Pacific Highway.

The RMD Group will add to its portfolio of Downtown restaurants and nightclubs Salvucci’s Ristorante, slated to open by late spring in the East Village address previously occupied by Comun Kitchen & Tavern. The restaurant will focus on Italian recipes passed down by the proprietors’ family members, particularly from the grandparents (Loreto and Pasqua Salvucci) of partner Michael Georgopoulos. Those dishes include pasta Bolognese, eggplant involtini, osso buco, various pizzas, and more. Copper tables and old photographs of Italian families will be incorporated into the restaurant’s warm design. RMD also operates Don Chido’s, Ciro’s Pizzeria, Rustic Root, and Sidebar and Fluxx nightclubs. 935 J St.,

San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


Seafood tacos and house-made sauces arrive to the East Village (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) The East Village welcomes its first fast-casual Mexican eatery with the arrival of Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, which has locations in Pacific Beach and Hillcrest. Owner Juan B. Montes De Oca seized the space that formerly housed Toast Enoteca. “I couldn’t pass it up when it became available,” he said, adding that he wasn’t necessarily planning on opening an additional outlet. “It’s bigger and nicer than our other spots.” The menu offers the same good eats as the other locations: spicy grilled shrimp tacos, yellow fin ceviche and other preparations of seafood sourced locally and from across the border. 927 J St., 619-5646007, Hot breakfast dishes have been introduced at Bottega Americano in the East Village. The morning starts include chilaquiles, wraps, pesto-egg scrambles with burrata, and more. They’re available in the restaurant’s marketplace section from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. Baked goods and coffee drinks are also in the offing. 1195 Island Ave., 619-295-7800, Puesto at The Headquarters at Seaport has tasked three other San Diego restaurants to infuse La Nina del Mezcal with various ingredients and offer one of the other restaurants’ mezcals throughout the month of April (or until supplies last). Look for Puesto’s corn-cumin infusion at Kettner Exchange, which has sent its toasted coconut and pineapple-infused mezcal to The Patio on Goldfinch. The Patio used candied golden beets and chamomile in the spirit, which goes to Madison on Park. And Madison’s cocoa butter-washed mezcal can be found at Puesto. 789 W. Harbor Drive, 619-233-8880,

Infused mezcal at Puesto (Courtesy Katalyst PR)


OPINION / POLITICS bigger issues persist. We have a city Important work in Sacramento government that is finally coming to

San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


LETTERS Building. So in truth, the building was known only as the Watts Building until the group of attorneys, which included Mr. Robinson, purchased the building in 1952. Unfortunately, I have no information in our archives on the “Robinson” law firm, if there even was one. ______________________________________

Against the tiny shelters [Ref: The tiny shelters that can,” Vol. 17, Issue 2, or at] No one doubts your organization’s desire to help solve the homeless problem in San Diego. There are so many well-intentioned folks that want to help, but we really must look seriously at the reasons for this problem and work together to find permanent, healthy solutions. As a resident of one of the most impacted by the street population, taxcredit low income, apartment properties in Downtown, I can attest to the heartbreaking reality of life on the street for the homeless, as well as the attendant effect on those attempting to share the public spaces — such as sidewalks and transit stops — with that population, while living our own economically challenged life. I cannot believe that to continue the “shelter” model is good for either the homeless or for any adjacent community. Like it or not, human nature is such that people who are suffering the tragic circumstance of homelessness need support, guidance, healthcare, and education, as well as decent permanent housing, to overcome the condition, which cannot be resolved by creating “encampments” that reinforce the perceptions of helplessness, rather than deal straight on with the specific needs listed above. We should not fool ourselves into feelings of being “helpful” so long as the


terms with the real issues of homelessness, and need to put our talents and efforts into taking substantive action on the “big picture” issues, else, our actions amount to no more than the ineffectual Band-Aid approach that “transitional housing” has proven to be over the past decades. That approach has contributed to the acceptance of homeless as unavoidable in our society, rather than something to be repaired, and most importantly, prevented. We need a more comprehensive approach and “all hands on deck” to achieve it. —Inez Bradley, via


A homeless man offers feedback [Ref: Vol. 17, issue 2, or at] The two front-page articles on the homeless situation are important, as it has major impact on both real estate values and new construction. We homeless (you featured an article about me in the Dec. 2014 issue [see, “Homeless for the holidays,” Vol. 15, Issue 12, or at], believe the “annual count” misses over 90 percent of us, but David Schwab’s article clearly indicates a 21 percent poverty rate (one in five) in San Diego County, and an estimated cost-of-living that is “more than three times ... the minimum wage.” Homelessness is a rotation, like a roulette wheel, and when the ball falls on you, you go from being one of the 330,000 “Class 12” Homeless — those who would become homeless by merely missing a paycheck due to illness — to a sidewalk “Class 1” Homeless. From there, I know of no one in 30 years who has ever “escaped” homelessness, just changed from one category to another. Fine issue, and thanks. —Dr. John Kitchin, publisher, San Diego Homeless News, via email




Notes from Toni Speaker Emeritus Toni G. Atkins

It’s these personal stories of trauma and hardship that motivate me to find solutions that help real people like Sonia and her sister — and men too, because men get breast cancer as well — and make their lives at least a little bit easier. AB 1795 is one of those bills that remind me how important the work I get to do can be. This bill, which is sponsored by Susan G. Komen, is just one of my new bills for 2016. The centerpiece of my legislative package is a two-bill tandem on human trafficking: AB 1730 will create a pilot project to provide services and temporary housing to victims and AB 1731 will establish a task force that will collect and share data. My biggest priority remains affordable housing, and my AB 2734 — the Local Control Affordable Housing Act — would restore funding for affordable housing lost when the state ended redevelopment. As always, I’ll keep you posted throughout the year on the progress of my efforts to improve the quality of life for San Diegans — and all Californians. Around the district: It’s the last chance to take advantage of California’s new Earned Income Tax Credit when you file your taxes, which are due April 18 this year. The tax credit, along with the federal EITC, benefits working families. Returns vary depending on your income, marital status and number of children. For more information, and a calculator to see if you qualify, please see You also may qualify for free tax preparation if you make less than $54,000 a year. Many local sites provide Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA). Find them by searching CalEITC4Me. org or calling 211 San Diego … The state budget can be complicated and we want to give you a chance to learn more about it at a free interactive workshop at 10 a.m. April 9 at the University of San Diego Degheri Alumni Center. Assemblymember Shirley Weber and I will host the Next10 California Budget Challenge workshop to give you the opportunity to figure out how to split funding among state programs like schools, health care and transportation. Parking is free. Please RSVP by calling 619-645-3090.

It’s easy at the state capitol to get caught up in negotiations over precise bill language and amendments and so much legalese and legislative jargon. It’s an intense place. And then something happens that reminds us why we take it all so seriously. On March 8, the day after I handed over the keys to the Speaker’s office to my colleague Anthony Rendon, I held a press conference to announce one of my new bills, AB 1795. The bill will eliminate several arbitrary restrictions that block low-income Californians from receiving testing and treatment for breast and cervical cancer. One of the speakers that day was a woman named Sonia, who was 35 years old in 2008 when she discovered a lump in her breast. A single mother of two daughters, she was under-insured and in need of care. But she didn’t qualify for the state’s Every Woman Counts (EWC) program because she was too young. That’s one of the barriers: EWC provides mammograms only for women older than 40. And EWC is a gateway for enrollment in the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program (BCCTP), which has a couple of arbitrary barriers of its own: It doesn’t cover treatment for a recurrence of cancer in the same part of the body — the same breast, for example — and it cuts off treatment coverage for breast cancer at 18 months and cervical cancer at 24 months. After scrambling for months to find a clinic that would help her, unsure how sick she really was, Sonia finally learned that she had Stage 2 breast cancer and began treatment under the BCCTP. But five years later, she was diagnosed a second time for breast cancer, this time in the other breast. Right around the same time, her sister, who was 36 years old, was also diagnosed with breast cancer. She, too, was ineligible for Every Woman Counts. I heard Sonia say she was “lucky” that her two diagnoses were in different breasts, because if they had been in the same breast, her second cancer wouldn’t have been covered under BCCTP. Still, —Toni G. Atkins is the Speaker Emeritus of both Sonia and her sister needed treatment for the California State Assembly. For more informalonger than the limit of 18 months, so their care tion, visit her website, or was halted. follow her on Twitter, @toniatkins. v



SUDOKU PUZZLE ANSWERS ON P. 7 Fill in the blank cells using numbers 1 to 9. Each number can appear only once in each row, column and 3x3 block. Use logic and process elimination to solve the puzzle.


To break or not to break Congressional Watch Andy Cohen In late February, the FBI sued Apple, Inc. to receive the company’s help in decrypting an iPhone 5c used by the couple who killed 14 people in a terror attack in San Bernardino last December. The FBI’s efforts to gain access to a password-protected and encrypted cell phone had utterly and completely failed to that point, and Apple has refused to cooperate. It’s an incredibly touchy subject with strong arguments on both sides. Law-and-order types insist that, in the course of a major investigation, it is imperative they be given access — provided they have a warrant — to private encrypted information. There is no guarantee that the information contained on that particular cell phone will prove valuable, but then again, it could provide a treasure trove of information on terrorist operatives and potentially prevent future attacks (the San Bernardino attackers have been linked to ISIS). Civil liberties and privacy advocates, on the other hand, invoke the slippery slope argument, insisting that giving law enforcement agencies their requested “back door” to access private information will create a dangerous precedent, allowing unfettered access to anyone’s private information at virtually any time, with or without just cause. To make matters worse, Apple argued, it would “green light” foreign governments, such as China and Russia, to dig into their citizens’ (or American citizens’) private data at any time, also. For if they were to provide this back door to the U.S. government, they would also have to do so for the government of any country where Apple sells their products. Darrell Issa (R-49), who has become the go-to Republican when it comes to technology issues, used his platform at the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas, to discuss the issue. As founder of Directed Electronics, the car alarm company where he made his fortune,

and the former chairman of the Consumer Technology Association prior to being elected to Congress in 2000, Issa is considered among Congress’ leading experts in government and technological issues. “If the government is successful in forcing Apple to help decrypt the phone in this case, it would create a dangerous precedent that would allow the government to continue coming back again and again to decrypt all kinds of devices in all kinds of circumstances, far beyond national security,” Issa wrote in an opinion piece for Wired magazine. Noting that law enforcement was not “ill-intentioned in their attempts to gain access to the information in this particular phone,” Issa said that a company “shouldn’t be forced to weaken the integrity of their own products and subject customers to security vulnerabilities in order to do so.” In his own remarks to a gathering at the same SXSW festival, President Obama insisted that the issue was a complicated one and encouraged the two sides to find common ground for a solution. To those, like Issa, who believe the government should not be allowed access to private smartphones in any case, Obama said, “That, I think, does not strike the kind of balance we have lived with for 200, 300 years. It’s fetishizing our phones above every other value.” Obama also pointed out that when they can prove probable cause to a judge, law enforcement has always been able to break physical locks, dig through your drawers and private belongings. Cell phones should be no different. Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have taken similar stances on the issue, acknowledging the complexity of the issue and refusing to take sides, instead allowing the issue to play out in the courts. (The FBI recently, however, said it believes outside sources may have found another way to access the phone without Apple’s help.) Issa criticized the president’s remarks as “tone deaf,” and that “he did not read the room in that part of the answer,” calling the president’s approach a “detriment to privacy.” Again, it’s a complex issue and should be treated as such. On March 9, Susan Davis (D-53) and John Sarbanes (D-Md) held a roundtable discus-

sion on money in politics at the Copley-Price Family YMCA in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, where they introduced the Government By the People Act, an effort to combat the current campaign finance system that is dominated by wealthy donors and corporate interests. The bill proposes a $25 tax credit for anyone who donates to a political candidate’s campaign, and would provide a six-to-one matching donation. This new system would compete with and help offset today’s “big money” political campaign system. “A priority of the government should be to ensure people have a voice in elections because our nation is stronger when we’re all involved in the decision making,” Davis said. “We need to empower people and give them a role in the future of their country.” The visiting Maryland democrat invoked local concerns in his remarks about the bill. “Whether it’s creating good jobs, education, health care or the environment, wealthy campaign donors and well-connected Washington insiders are blocking progress on the issues that everyday people in San Diego and across the country care most about,” Sarbanes said. “We need to break Congress’ reliance on big-money donors so that we can return to a government of, by, and for the people.” Juan Vargas (D-51) continued his push to secure the $248 million pledged in President Obama’s 2017 budget to complete phase two of the Calexico Land Port of Entry and expansion project. Funds for phase one were included in the 2014 budget. A similar project to expand the San Ysidro border crossing has received full $735 million in funding for all three phases through 2019. Duncan Hunter (R-50) continued his crusade to oppose the Pentagon’s policies regarding women in combat. According to the Daily Caller, women have no idea what they’re in for because this generation has never seen “real” war. Counterinsurgency efforts don’t count, he said. “Big war will happen again,” Hunter said. “I’m telling you, you have not seen real war unless you’ve seen ‘Saving Private Ryan.’ And when that day of total war comes, women will not be up to the challenge.”

San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


ART DISTRICT LIBERTY STATION At ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station The former Naval Training Center — where sailors once trained for military service — is now a place where a new generation of “recruits” can train in the areas of art, music, dance and more. Classes and workshops for all ages are presented throughout the year by dozens of cultural groups, but this summer, Summer Camps at ARTS DISTRICT will be Where KIDS Get Creative. Camps feature music, dance, theater, creative writing, hands-on art making, photography, and more ... all in Liberty Station’s park setting. “This summer, kids can explore and discover new skills in San Diego’s burgeoning Arts District,” said NTC Foundation Executive Director Alan Ziter. “We encourage parents to let their kids get creative with local artists this summer.” A FREE Summer Camp open house is set for Saturday, April 9, from 2 – 6 p.m., so parents can learn about the camps, visit the studios, meet instructors and explore the ARTS DISTRICT campus.


EcoVerse Jing-Si Books & Café 302 11th Ave San Diego, CA 92101 619-756-6299 EcoVerse Jing Si Book and Café is a non-profit education center, bookstore and cafe located in Downtown’s East Village. Our goal is to promote a zero-waste, sustainable, and eco-friendly lifestyle through our classes and community events that geared towards repurposing recycled materials. In addition, we hold meditation sessions and aphorisms discussions. One of our highlighted events is our weekly “repair café” which is held every Saturday of each month (except the second Saturday) 4/2, 4/16, 4/23, and 4/30 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Everyday countless items are tossed into the landfill, because they don’t work anymore. Rather than simply disposing a broken item, why not bring it into EcoVerse Repair Cafe where our volunteers will help to troubleshoot and repair the item. Through this learn and apply session, our volunteers will be interacting with patrons to troubleshoot the issue if needed and participants are encouraged to fix their item with the guide of our volunteers. Feel free to bring in small electronics, appliances, computers, cell phone and etc. In order to provide you the best learning and interaction experience, please register at


—Andy Cohen is a local freelance writer. Reach him at ac76@

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Adelman Fine Art 1980 Kettner Blvd #40 San Diego, CA 92101 619-354-5969 | Adelman Fine Art presents “Tell Me More …” through May 8 This exhibition features a fascinating peek into the artists’ minds, with their written interpretations, stories and inspirational poems — displayed next to their artwork. New original paintings and limited edition prints are revealed throughout the show. At this year’s Mission Federal ArtWalk, Adelman Fine Art will be located at booths 715 and 717 on Fir Street, just west of India Street. The Gallery, which is celebrating their one year anniversary, will be open during the ArtWalk, and is just around the corner on Kettner Boulevard in the Broadstone Building. Sarah Stieber, represented by Adelman Fine Art, is an ArtWalk featured artist and will be doing a performance art demonstration with PGK Dance Project as part of her Electric Rain Project. Her “Electric Realism” paintings capture the attention of collectors worldwide. Sarah will be available to meet and greet during the event. For more information visit our website or give us a call.

Petrini’s Restaurant 610 W. Ash St. San Diego, CA 92101 619-595-0322 | Enjoy San Diego’s favorite Italian dishes by Chef David Petrini, at Petrini’s, located in Little Italy at the corner of India and Ash streets. Savor amazing food in a family atmosphere where everyone is welcome, including your dog! Whether you dine indoors, on the outdoor patio, or you take your meal home, keep family and friends at the table with his concept of “La Famiglia Mangia” — the family eats. Petrini’s features a happy hour Monday – Friday 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. with special prices on food and drinks, while on Tuesdays, happy hour is extended to 9 p.m. Monday night is Local’s Night. Show us that you live at a 92101 zip code address and you’ll receive 25 percent off your entire bill. Thursday is Rib Night, get a half rack of baby back ribs on top of our famous truffle parmesan garlic fries, served with choice of soup or salad for $14.95. We also host private parties and special events at Petrini’s. Come and visit our cart at the Little Italy Farmer’s Market from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and ask about using our cart to cater your next event.


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


Revisiting ‘Rocky Horror’

The cast of “Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show” (Courtesy Cygnet Theatre)

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge Anyone here not remember the plot of Richard O’Brien’s 1973 “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”? Soon after the show’s London debut, it was adapted into what became a classic cult film musical devoted to B movies and science fiction of earlier decades. My nearest seatmate at Cygnet Theatre’s Saturday opening of “Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show” had seen the film 10 times. Ask her. Or ask my teenage high school student just before she graduated high school in 1978. She dressed in drag at midnight every weekend and went with a girlfriend to see it. They had the show and all its moves memorized. At Cygnet’s concession stand, one may purchase “performance enhancer props” prior to the show. Feel free to shout out, as one woman did incessantly opening night, much to the annoyance (I think) of Artistic Director Sean Murray, who wears the sequin shoes, directs and plays the transvestite scientist who’s master of the castle, Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter. Also feel free to get on your feet and do the Time Warp at the end of the show. It will fully take you back to another era and introduce those who weren’t there to the cult experience. It’s a rainy night and the car carrying the virginal Brad (Jacob Caltrider, who is really funny) and Janet (Amy Perkins, who looks great in her period white bra) breaks down in a rainstorm in the forest. They go to a nearby mansion to use the telephone (triple A, anyone?), and meet a bunch of people dressed in freaky duds who don’t seem interested in allowing them to use telephone. Brad and Janet feel threatened, although soon they lose their virginity (not with each other!), start to enjoy themselves, and are not quite so eager to leave. It seems that Frank ‘N’ Furter, the chief dragster, having created the defective initial model from a guy named Eddie (played by Steve Gouveia, who also portrays a scientist who drops in

(l to r) Amy Perkins as Janet and Jacob Caltrider as Brad (Courtesy Cygnet Theatre)

“Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show” Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St. (Old Town) Wednesdays through Sundays Extended through May 7

Tickets start at $46 619-337-1525 at the 11th hour) has created a new boy toy for himself, name of Rocky Horror (Danny Hansen). Rocky, dressed miniscule gold lame, seems to have a mind (or at least half a one) and lusts of his own. He proceeds to pleasure others of both genders. Frank ‘N’ Furter takes his dis-pleasure out on all his minions, resulting in the (hysterically chaotic and visually amazing) destruction of the entire Rocky world. The carnage is as vast as that of “Hamlet.” Cygnet Theatre was absolutely made for “The Rocky Horror Show,” much more so than past venues such as the Old Globe (audience was mostly dumbfounded in a wonderful way) and Diversionary, which were too small. The show has a great rock score such as “Damn It, Janet” and “The Time Warp” and “Sweet

Transvestite,” with music and lyrics by O’Brien. Perhaps more than any other seen by this observer, Murray breaks one’s heart, especially this time, as the thwarted, defeated Frank ‘N’ Furter. Sociologically, the film engendered talks we all needed to have regarding gender identification and acceptance of those different than we. I like to think it made my daughter and her friends better people. Others in the beautifully, lavishly produced, already extended Cygnet production (who knew there were so many sequined shoes?) are Michael Cusimano as Riff Raff, Sarah Errington as Columbia, Jim Chovick as Criminologist, and Bets Malone as Magenta. Brian Banville and Katie Sapper are backup singers, who perform aloft, moves and all, with the crackerjack band conducted by Patrick Marion. David Brannen is choreographer, Jennifer Brawn Gittings engineers wondrous costumes, Peter Herman creates wigs, and Andrew Hull, the scenic design. Chris Luessman is sound designer and Chris Rynne the lighting designer. You may want to see it twice. —Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. Follow her blog at or reach her at


Spring in the park


Shedding some light on lagers Drink Shrink Jeff Josenhans

Growing Balboa Park Ann Wilson It’s spring! I do believe this is my favorite time of the year in Balboa Park. The gardens are at their colorful best, daylight lasts longer and the throngs of summer visitors have not yet arrived. I urge you to take advantage of the season and take a stroll through our beautiful park. If you’re not sure where to go, take a tour. Park rangers lead tours of the park’s historical and botanical treasures every Tuesday and Saturday at 11 a.m., departing from the visitor’s center in the House of Hospitality on the Prado. Volunteers in the visitor’s center will also be happy to assist you and recommend things to do and places to see. There is so much going on in the park every day. As I write this on March 25, I see that there are over 40 different events going on in the park today: 20 different exhibitions, 20 films, one theater performance, one tour, and two events just for kids. And that doesn’t count the people-watching. Balboa Park is one of my favorite places to just sit and watch the world go by. I see a wide diversity of people and hear a number of languages being spoken. I especially enjoy seeing couples in their wedding clothes being photographed. The Organ Pavilion and Alcazar Garden are prime spots for wedding photography. Check out for daily schedules of events in the park. There are several upcoming events that will showcase the park and what it has to offer. On Saturday, April 9, the City of San Diego Park & Recreation Department is hosting the annual Volunteer Recognition and Opportunity Fair. This event will take place in the Organ Pavilion from 9 – 11 a.m. The event will feature entertainment, including performances by the Civic Dance Association, park ranger tours and the presentation of volunteer awards by Mayor Kevin Faulconer. Various park groups (including the Friends of Balboa

San Diego Downtown News | April 2016

(l to r) Lucy Warren (horticulture committee chair) and Leslie Yu (community programs coordinator) at last year’s volunteer event (Photo by Ann Wilson) Park) will have booths where you can learn how to volunteer in the park and sign up. April 29 is the Friends of Balboa Park’s Annual Arbor Day Celebration, taking place from 10 a.m. – noon just behind the Pepper Grove Playground west of Park Boulevard. We will be planting 14 new trees in this area; eight wollemia nobilis, a rare, endangered pine tree; and six ginkgo biloba trees. If you would like to donate one of the trees in honor or memory of a loved one, or “just because,” you may do so. To make arrangements, please contact Leslie at our office number below or via email at leslie@ Second graders from Albert Einstein Academy will ably assist our tree-planting team, following a short program where light refreshments will be served. The 2016 Garden Party will take place May 28, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. This is an official city of San Diego event, in partnership with the Friends, the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and the Balboa Park Conservancy. Last year’s event was so successful, so well attended, and so much fun, it was decided to repeat it again. This year’s theme is “A Thirst for Landscape.” In addition to a fun time, attendees will learn how the park is improving its water usage, as well as other energy-conserving programs, while maintaining and enhancing the beauty of the landscapes. The highlight of the event is the children’s wagon parade. Children, as well as adults and organized groups throughout the county, are invited to participate. Decorate a little red wagon, or similar vehicle, and come march

in our parade! Costumes are optional but encouraged. If you would like more information, a parade participant application, or would like to volunteer to help with the event, please contact Leslie in the Friends office. The parade will begin at 9 a.m. in front of the Spanish Village Art Center, proceed to the Prado, turn west on the Prado and finish up in the Plaza de Panama. Activities for the remainder of the event will center on Plaza de Panama, and include talks and demonstrations by gardening experts, tours of park gardens, entertainment and food trucks. The Friends will also sponsor the annual Butterfly Release in the Zoro Gardens. This is a wonderful event for children. At designated times, each child present will be given a small container with a live butterfly. On the count of 10, the butterflies will be released into the garden, which is specifically designed and planted to be a butterfly habitat. There will also be storytelling, face painting and crafts. Even if you are unable to attend one of these events, do take time to come enjoy the park this spring. Enjoy a cup of tea at the Japanese Friendship Garden, smell the roses in the Inez Grant Parker Rose Garden, admire the Easter lily display in the Botanical Building and enjoy a free Organ Pavilion concert on Sunday afternoon. See you in the park! —Ann Wilson is a native San Diegan and has been a board member of the Friends of Balboa Park since 2009. She can be reached through their office at 619-222-2282 or

Despite San Diego being the craft beer mecca that it is, you truly don’t see many lagers coming out of the San Diego region. Traditionally, English style beers — such as the IPA, stout, brown ale, etc. — have dominated our local craft beer scene. On the other end of the spectrum, you have your mass-produced beers, dominated by lagers such as Corona, Bud, Heineken, and the list goes on … Ever wonder why this odd dual existence came about? Why do most believe lagers are the “cheaper” option in comparison to ales? I think you will be surprised when you dig a little deeper, and after all, it is spring, so a good lager just might be in order. But before we get into why the market looks the way it does, let’s define in simple terms what lager actually is. Simply put, lager is a beer fermented with a type of yeast that thrives in colder temperatures, while ale is made using yeast that ferments at higher temperatures. That is the technical difference between a lager and an ale. That’s it — not the color, alcohol level, carbonation level, etc. If you thought it was the color or one of these other factors, you probably just haven’t realized your mind has been shaped by years of marketing coming from American big beer companies. Since lager yeast thrives in lower temperatures, not only does the process take longer to ferment the wort (what the brewer actually makes), but it also imparts far less flavor than what most ale yeast does. As a result, you get a beer that is “cleaner,” with an emphasis on the malt used to create the lager. A brewer can still choose dark malt, opt for different hopping styles, and make the beer imperial strength, if they desire. Despite the rise of the American craft beer scene, the Germans and Czechs still tend to be the kings of lagers, to this day. I predict this will change, however, similar to how Belgian styles are now produced on a much larger scale locally. If you have the opportunity to visit one of the better beer shops in town, I strongly recommend you try a few things to open your mind to lagers. For a world-class example of a lager, try something from Ayinger or Aecht Schlenkerla. This is a


great starting point. Ask for a Munich Helles style, Dortmunder Export style, or if you are adventurous, try a Rauchbier. From there, move on to a doppelbock from a producer like SchneiderWeisse. Lastly, make sure you try a Czech lager. The traditional Pilsner came from the Czech Republic so I encourage you to try both a Czech Pilsner as well as the darker Cerny version. Trust me, after this exercise you will never see lager the same. Now what about Corona, Bud, and all of those other big name lagers? Most of them are made with adjuncts, such as rice or corn added to the mash bill, and typically use far less malt and hops in the production of the beer. THAT is where lager’s poor reputation comes from. So why don’t we see many lagers (yet) in our local craft beer scene? The answer is shockingly simple and two-fold. First, a lager will take at least two to three times longer to produce than an ale, leaving brewers with a less desirable economic situation to tackle. Second, they have to overcome the public misunderstanding that a lager is a cheap beer, even though for them it’s more expensive to produce. Do your part this summer and help San Diego produce some lagers! —Level 2 CMS Sommelier and Master Mixologist Jeff Josenhans, who just recently added a Cicerone certification to his resume, has changed the dynamic in The Grant Grill Downtown from a classic institution to an exciting lounge and elegant restaurant. Follow his drink-related posts on Instagram @jeffjosenhans.v


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016



Downtown San Diego Partnership and Balanced Fitness and Health will present several fitness classes under the name “Core Sessions.” Registration starts at 8:30 a.m., followed by bootcamp at 9 a.m., yoga at 9:45 a.m., CrossFit at 10:30 a.m., and another bootcamp at 11:30 a.m. — all for free! The sessions will take place on B Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues. Get details at and sign up at


Admission is free for the sixth annual opening day block party featuring food, entertainment, a beer garden and other vendors from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. in East Village (J Street between Sixth and 10th avenues). Visit for more information. After the party, watch the Padres take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first home game of the season. The giveaway promotion will be an “Opening Series Rally Towel,” presented by Sycuan Casino. The game starts at 4:05 p.m. at Petco Park (100 Park Blvd., East Village). Visit padres. com for tickets.


This celebration of National Walking Day will include a health expo and be held at Waterfront Park (1600 Pacific Highway, Downtown) from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Presented by the American Heart Association, this event hopes to showcase how easy it is to make physical activity part of your day. Visit for details.


SDSU Downtown Gallery (725 W. Broadway, Downtown) will host this multi-sensory installation by San Francisco Bay-area artist Jeff Ray now through June 12. The installation continues Ray’s “exploration of the intersection between nature and architecture.” The work brings together photo and video works with original music compositions by the artist. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, April 7 from 6 – 8 p.m. with a live musical performance by Jeff Ray. Visit sdsu-downtown-gallery for more information.


This free event sponsored by the Port will be held from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Driscoll Boat Works (2500 Shelter Island Drive). The event will help teach San Diego boaters how they can reduce their environmental impact when using and caring for their boat. Parking is also free and there will be raffle prizes. Visit for details.

RECURRING EVENTS TUESDAY Residents Free Tuesdays in Balboa Park: Participating museums change the first four Tuesdays of the month. Free for San Diego city and county residents with ID, active military and dependents. Hours vary by museum. Visit Coronado Certified Farmers Market: 2:30 – 6 p.m. First and B streets at Coronado Ferry Landing. Visit


This year’s Taste of Morena will feature food samples and drink specials from 22 restaurants, bars and breweries in the Morena District from 5 – 9 p.m. The event will take place along Morena Boulevard, West Morena Boulevard, Linda Vista Road and the side streets in the area. A complimentary Old Town Trolley will shuttle attendees between participating stops. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at


Macallan brand ambassador Kieron Elliott will lead this tasting with a limited seating of 20 people at The Whiskey House (420 Third Ave., Downtown). The tasting will include: Macallan 18, Macallan 21, Macallan 25, Macallan 30, Macallan Rare Cask and Macallan 25 anniversary. Tickets are $199 and must be prepaid. Call 619-546-6289 or visit for more information.


These monthly presentations on the history of food and drink are held in the Neil Morgan Auditorium at San Diego Central Library (330 Park Blvd., East Village). This month’s presentation will start at 10:30 a.m. with Kitty Morse and Nan Sturman discussing edible flowers. Visit for more information.


Our hometown hockey team will take on the Ontario Reign for their last game of the season. It is also “Fan Appreciation Night” and there will be a pregame tailgate. Puck drops at 7:05 p.m. at Valley View Casino Center (3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Midway District). Visit for tickets.


This event at Tweet Street Park (on Date Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues) will feature food trucks and music under the blooming jacaranda trees. The family friendly event will start at noon. There will also be a DIY workshop by Home Depot with lessons on getting your patio ready for spring. Visit for more information.


This charity bake sale will feature a baker’s dozen of San Diego chefs creating sweet and savory items. The event will be hosted by local food writer Erin Jackson from 10 a.m. – noon at LOUNGESix (616 J St. Downtown) — the rooftop poolside lounge at Hotel Solamar. Admission is $5 and baked goods can be purchased for $5 each. All proceeds go to No Kid Hungry to end childhood hunger. Visit bit. ly/1UT4NBm and for more information.

WEDNESDAY Weichelt Wednesday (4/13): Come eat, drink and mingle with East Village residents and visitors. Pizza samples, first drink free, drinks specials. 5 – 7 p.m. Social Tap, 815 J Street, East Village. Visit WeicheltWednesday10.


Best known as George Costanza on TV’s “Seinfeld,” Jason Alexander has long been a Tony Award-winning song and dance man. For this edition of the San Diego Symphony’s “City Lights Series” Alexander will relay his journey to the Broadway stage and perform songs from “Pippin” and “The Music Man.” Expect a heavy dose of comedy and audience interaction along with the storytelling and music. Both shows will start at 8 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall (750 B St., Downtown). Tickets start at $20. Visit for tickets.


In honor of Earth Day, this annual event in Balboa Park from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. will feature vendors sharing environmentally friendly products, services and volunteer opportunities. The event will feature live music, a food pavilion and much more. EarthFair is free to the public and manned by volunteers — sign up at There will also be a children’s Earth Day Parade, which marches down El Prado East starting at 10:30 a.m.; the parade ends at the children’s area of the EarthFair. The parade is also free to enter. Get more information at


The college will host this open house from 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Interested parties can take campus tours, view exhibits and visit classrooms. There will also be music and a resource fair. More details will be made available on


This painting class includes step-by-step instruction and materials needed create 16-by-20-inch gallerywrapped canvas painting. This session celebrates a local treasure, as attendees will replicate a painting of the Ocean Beach Pier. No outside food or drinks are allowed at this event, however both will be available for purchase. Tickets are $35 per person. The class will be held from 6 – 9 p.m. at Fabrison’s French Creperie Café (1425 India St., Little Italy). Several other Downtown locations host Wine and Canvas events throughout the month including: Taste & Thirst, Fifty Seven Degrees and Hard Rock Café. Visit wineandcanvas. com to register for their various classes and see the paintings to be featured as each session.


The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus

will perform “California Dreamin’” at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Balboa Theatre (868 Fourth Ave., Downtown). The program celebrates songs “in the key of CA.” Expect some Disney princess pop along with classics of Tony Bennett and Brian Wilson plus powerful anthems by Katy Perry and Adele. The concerts will each feature a special appearance by the San Diego Women’s Chorus. Tickets start at $34 and can be purchased at


A spring-filled five-course dinner including cheese in every course will be served at The Cheese Store of San Diego (1980 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy) from 6 – 8:30 p.m. The meal will be crafted with local guest chef Katherine Humphus, a classically trained chef and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Event price is $69 and includes one glass of wine or beer. Visit thecheesestoresd. com for reservations.


For the 32nd year, ArtWalk will take over 17 blocks of Little Italy with thousands of attendees expected. From 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day there will be opportunities to purchase artwork, enjoy live music and dance performances, and participate in interactive art experiences. Visit artwalksandiego. org for details and a festival map.


San Diego Coastkeeper will host their yearly party to raise money to protect and restore San Diego County’s water quality and supply. The event will take place from 5 – 10 p.m. at Campland By The Bay (2211 Pacific Beach Drive) where attendees can opt to stay the night in a tent or RV. Live music will be provided by Oceanside band The Barnwell Shift among other local bands. Guests can also enjoy beer on the beach, drawings for prizes and more. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of. Visit for tickets and details.

THURSDAY Sunset Trivia: Bring a team or play alone. 7 – 9 p.m. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. Visit FRIDAY Weekly Downtown San Diego Partnership walkabouts: Join DSDP’s Clean & Safe program at 10 a.m. in alternating neighborhoods: Cortez Hill, Core/ Columbia, Gaslamp Quarter, Marina and East Village. For more info, call 619-234-8900, visit or sign up for their newsletter. Take a bite out of Downtown: Hosted by food tour service Bite San Diego, join fellow foodies and winos for a historical walking tour sampling some of Downtown’s finest restaurants. 21+. Noon. Tickets are $45. Tours also on Saturday. Visit bitesandiego. com/index.php. SATURDAY East Village walking tour: First Saturday of each month. Take a tour of the village’s best residential buildings, condos and see their amenities. 10 – noon, Urbana Lofts lobby, 450 10th Ave., East Village. Visit East Village Community Clean Up: Second Saturday of each month. Help keep the village clean. Free T-shirt and goodie bag. Meet at Promenade Park, 401 K St., East Village. RSVP Little Italy Mercato: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Rain or shine, visit over 100 booths on West Cedar Street between Kettner Boulevard and Front Street. Visit mercato. The Gaslamp Architectural Walking Tour: Stops on this tour include architecturally significant structures from the 1800s including Old City Hall, the Keating Building, William Heath Davis House Museum and more. 11 a.m. 410 Island Ave., Gaslamp. Visit SUNDAY Walk-in eReader and device assistance: Free and open to the public. Bring your Android and iOS devices for hands-on learning. 2 – 4 p.m. Room 222, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit Outdoor organ concert: The San Diego Organ Society presents a free organ concert. With over 4,500 pipes, this organ is one of the largest organs in the world with a wonderful sound, playing classic and popular hits by Carol Williams. Enjoy free parking, lots of seating. Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion. 2 p.m. Visit —Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Send items for inclusion to editor Morgan M. Hurley at


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016


Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro Taking it to the sky A fashion show and luncheon was held at the US Grant Hotel on March 2. The event began with a Champagne social hour and boutique shopping. Guests arrived in all shades of blue, in keeping with the theme, The Sky’s The Limit. Co-chairs were Kristi Pieper, Jacqueline Foster, Bib Herrmann, and the social chair was Margo Schwab and mistress of ceremonies Kelly Embry got the festivities started. One of the big moments of the afternoon was bringing the Spanos Family and San Diego Chargers to the stage for the Light of Hope Award. Known for his couture fashion and theatrical runway shows, the fashion show was presented by Leonard Simpson. Some of the highlights of this amazing show were the designs from Puey Quinones, Alan Baker and Erika Sky. This terrific event benefitted the Epilepsy Foundation San Diego. They offer free programs and services to children, families, and individuals in San Diego. More than three million Americans have had to deal with epilepsy and today many are affected with reoccurring seizures and brain disturbances. For more information, visit

Fashion Redux 2016 The fifth annual Fashion Redux! finale party was presented by San Diego History Center and San Diego Mesa College on March 4 and took place at the History Center in Balboa Park. Models showed off the top four Mesa College finalists. This year the students went to the History Center to view garments from the 1890s and then designed outfits inspired by the Gilded Age era. Winners were First Place, Lina Mills; Second Place, Nada Zein; and Third Place, Megan Sheffield. Attendees were also asked to vote for their favorite design and this year’s People’s Choice Award went to Cherry Duong. I asked Lina Mills how it felt to be the winner. “It feels really amazing to be recognized for my hard work and I am looking forward to new challenges that hopefully will lead to an internship soon,” she said. This stylish evening finished with an illustrated fashion lecture of the 1890s by Professor Susan Lazear, which included the Art Nouveau movement, the Suffragette movement and an introduction into sports for women. These all influenced fashion in the last decade of the Victorian era. More women were working, especially with the invention of the typewriter. For more information, visit sandiegohistory. org or the fashion department at

Fitness with finesse Vai Fitness presented a fashion show on March 14 at Procopio Towers, Downtown. Sylvia Giamanco — a fitness instructor, professional triathlete, and designer of workout clothes — is the owner of Vai Fitness, which is located in East Village. Giamanco

(l to r) Model shows off a design from Satori; designer Lina Mills with model wearing her winning entry; a model wearing Vai Fitness; and the finale of the fashion show. (Photos by Diana Cavagnaro)

used clients as models for the fashion show to demonstrate how fabulous her workout clothes look on different shapes and sizes. As the guests arrived, they had a great time visiting the many sponsors who set up booths, including the Meal Prep Company, Nutrimart, the FitLab and yummy pizza from City Pizzeria. Gregg Measom styled the ladies, Damien Lincourt coordinated them and MadeWEL was spinning tunes for this fast-paced fashion show. Each outfit that came out was better than the last one. The bottom line is why not look terrific while you are working out? The event benefitted the Burn Institute, which provides programs and services throughout the year. They help children and

adults cope with the psychological and physical effects of their injuries. For more information visit

Upcoming events

April 9 | Fashion with a passion — this fashion show is presented by FIDM and a vendor village for fashion, spa and beauty finds. FIDM students will demonstrate draping techniques and there will be opportunity for the ultimate swap. The event will be at FIDM from 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. For tickets, visit May 5 | Classical Hairstyles: Identity, Society and Fashion — Presented by Katherine A. Schwab, Ph.D., professor of Art History at Fairfield Universi-

ty, this fashion show will be held at the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park beginning at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, visit May 6 | 35th annual Golden Scissor Fashion Show and Awards — Presented by fashion program students at San Diego Mesa College and held at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina at 5:30 p.m. For tickets, visit sdmesafoundation.yapsody. com/event/index/30783/san-diegomesa-fashion-show. May 7 | Bazaar Under the Stars — Meet individual artists in an open-air market setting, including international icon Zandra Rhodes and enjoy cultural cuisine from San Diego’s

own Claudia Sandoval, season six winner of Fox TV’s “MasterChef.” The event will be held at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park from 6 –10 p.m. For tickets, visit May 7 | Art of Fashion presents Costume & Culture — at the Timken Museum of Art in Balboa Park and David C. Copley Center for Costume Design. The event will begin with a VIP preview at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, visit: —Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned couture milliner based in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about our hat designer, teacher and blogger at


San Diego Downtown News | April 2016

San diego downtown news april 2016  


San diego downtown news april 2016