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Calendar of events Page 22




Riding for good causes


San Diego Women’s March — In the wake of President Donald J. Trump’s election, his cabinet picks and his

promises to roll back many existing rights and laws, a Women’s March on Washington was planned for Jan. 21, the day after his inauguration. Similar marches popped up across the country and even the world as concerned citizens took to the streets to show solidarity with those marching in Washington, D.C. The San Diego Women’s March was a well-organized event that started with a rally at the San Diego Civic Center Plaza, located at 1200 Third Ave., and a peaceful but passionate march that went south from the Plaza to Broadway, and then west to Harbor Drive, where it turned north and ended up at the Waterfront Park that bookends the San Diego County Administration Building. Police estimated that 40,000 people showed up in San Diego — women marched along with their husbands, fathers and children, and the event drew people of all ethnicities and backgrounds — and there was not one arrest. Though its original mission was to support equal rights of women, all the marches ended up expanding their scope to include the issues at hand. With a heavy emphasis on women, marchers carried signs that addressed issues ranging from reproductive rights, LGBT rights, immigration rights, pay equity, concern about the demise of the Affordable Care Act, gun laws, water protection issues, and more. Many signs also maligned the Trump administration or referenced many of the memes and poular phrases that arose out of the presidential campaign. (Photo by Walter G. Meyer) see March, pg 3

Jazz plays on this station


The city of San Diego’s plans for expanding its waterfront convention center have been ruled legally sound and fully compliant with the California Coastal Act and the California Environmental Quality Act. Superior Court Judge Joel R. Wohlfeil presided over the case, San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition v. Coastal Commission, ruling that it showed a strong validation of the planning processes of the three public agencies involved in the project: the California Coastal Commission, the Unified Port of San Diego and the city of San Diego. “This is a resounding victory that supports our efforts to bring new jobs, visitors and revenues to San Diego,” City Attorney Mara W. Elliott said. “Just as importantly, this ruling protects coastal access and recreational opportunities on the waterfront while ensuring our region’s needs are met.”

see Briefs, pg 18

Rocking the boat Fundraiser for Women’s Museum honors local elected officials

A play on politics and sexuality

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor


Yes, an Italian steakhouse

Index 6

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Originally founded in 1995 by Mary Maschal, who opened her Golden Hill home to the public after having gathered relevant collectibles and memorabilia for over a decade, the Women’s Museum of California is now located in Liberty Station. With its mission of “preserving the past, inspiring the future,” the museum has grown into a wealth of archives, exhibits, resources and live shows. On Thursday, Jan. 26, the Women’s Museum held a fundraiser called “Celebrating Women in Politics,” honoring all the women who were recently elected into local offices, while unveiling a new traveling exhibit, “Rocking the Political Boat.”

A new traveling exhibit produced by the Women’s Museum of California focuses, in part, on the public service of the late Lucy Killea. (Photo by Melissa Jones) The event was held at Mister A’s in the “east room,” with its dynamic views overlooking Bankers Hill and Downtown. Rachel Laing — former San Diego Union-Tribune staff writer and deputy press secretary for Mayor Jerry Sanders who now runs her own PR and communications consultation business — emceed the fundraiser. After a short networking social hour, Hannah Cohen, president of the Women’s Museum, opened up the event.


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“We are here to celebrate the wonderful women in San Diego who are our leaders,” she said. Thanking the board for its work, Cohen then introduced the board’s only male member, local political activist and Navy veteran Shawn VanDiver. Cohen also introduced Diane Peabody Strow, who took over as executive director of the Women’s Museum from Ashley Gardner about six months ago. Laing then welcomed distinguished guests in attendance, including newly minted state Sen. Toni

Atkins; new Assemblymember Todd Gloria, who was still en route; Sheriff Bill Gore; Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, City Attorney Mara Elliott; new San Diego City Councilmembers Barbara Bry, Chris Ward and Georgette Gomez; and Imperial Beach Councilmember Mark West. Laing also reminded everyone that this was a fundraiser for a “truly wonderful organization that is absolutely worthy of our support.”

see Rocking, pg 5


San Diego Downtown News | February 2017








San Diego Downtown News | February 2017


San Diego Women's March Jan. 21, 2017 San Diego Civic Center to County Administration Building (Photos by Morgan M. Hurley)

YOU ARE INVITED! 4TH ANNUAL COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE DAY Thursday, April 20 Campus-wide block party!

Campus Tours | Exhibits | Demonstrations | Resource Fair 5:30pm Special Planetarium Showing | Science Building | RSVP: 12th Annual Student Project & Research Symposium Upper AH Plaza 9:30am–2:00pm Info: 1313 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101



San Diego Downtown News | February 2017

The ride of his life Young philanthropist to cycle across the country for three important causes By Joyell Nevins The Hotel del Coronado has been the backdrop for numerous once-in-a-lifetime moments

over the years. This upcoming week, it will be the setting for the kick-off of Jan Gierlach’s cross-country bicycle ride from San Diego to St. Augustine, Florida. The 18-year-old, originally from Barrington, Illinois, will be cycling across nine states on the lower half of the United States in the space between high school and college. The plan is to cover 3,300 miles in 75 days, making stops at campsites and homestays along the

(l to r) The Gierlach clan: dad Ed; sister Ashley; mom Doris; younger brother Pelle and Jan. (Courtesy Jan Gierlach)

(l to r) Leonidas Platanias, MD, PhD, director Lurie Cancer Center; Jan Gierlach; Andrea Pauls Backman, executive director of Les Turner ALS; and Kelly Fischer, chief operating officer of Journey Care. (Courtesy Jan Gierlach)

way. Everything he needs he will be carrying on his bike for the duration of the ride. Gierlach is completing this, trek, aptly named, “Ride for 3 Reasons,” to raise money and awareness for the Les Turner ALS Foundation; the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University; and the National Hospice Foundation. The upcoming ride has already garnered more than $600,000 for the causes. The three organizations first received a funding boost from

Bob Lee’s “Ride for 3 Reasons.” Back in 2001, Lee, also a Barrington resident, began a three-part journey to bicycle across the whole perimeter of the U.S. He rode from San Diego to St. Augustine in 2001 (the same route Gierlach will be taking); then from Florida to Maine to Washington state in 2007; and from Vancouver, Canada, to the Mexican border in 2012. Calling himself a “peddler with a passion,” Lee chose his treks to bring awareness and fundraise for three separate causes:

Seaport Village Spring



mazing street performers will converge for two days of acrobatics, juggling, contortion, stunts, music and more.

You’ll see the extraordinary. The unusual. And everything in between. Performances are FREE, but tips are greatly appreciated. March 4-5, 2017 Noon - 6pm Disclaimer: Please take the twisted opinions of some buskers with a grain of tolerant salt. Jokes not endorsed by Seaport Village.

cancer, ALS and hospice. As part of his preparation, Lee spoke to each elementary school in the Barrington area before undertaking his second ride in 2007. One of the classes he spoke to was Gierlach’s third-grade class. That’s when the seed was planted. Gierlach comes from a family of bicycle fanatics. His father is an avid cyclist and Gierlach has been riding and racing competitively since he was 11 years old. In his junior year of high school, Gierlach took steps to make the dream of a cross-country ride a reality. Through a neighbor, Gierlach made contact with Lee, initially to pick his brain about the logistics necessary for bicycling across the country. But Lee had more to say about the importance of riding with a purpose than the importance of bringing the right duffel bag (although the proper equipment is certainly vital to success). “He talked about how meaningful the ride had been for him with his ‘3 Reasons,’” Gierlach said. Upon reflection, Gierlach realized those three reasons were personal to him, too. He lost a grandfather to cancer, a close family friend to ALS, and saw the “amazing service” of hospice first-hand when his mother was battling her own health concerns. He turned his personal trip into another “Ride for 3 Reasons.” It grew into a website and several promotional events and media coverage. And a year later, Gierlach understands what Lee was talking about. “He was 100 percent right,” Gierlach said. “It went from a cool trip I was going to take to something so much more meaningful.” All of the money raised is going directly to the three charities, thanks to corporate sponsorships, foundation grants and private donations that are funding the trip itself. Moral support is coming from a close-knit group of family and friends. “I’m really lucky,” Gierlach said. “My family has been so supportive from day one. Instead of responding out of fear or anxiety, they’ve been behind me, the whole time.” The Gierlach clan — which includes an older fraternal twin brother and sister, a younger brother and his parents — will be flying out to wherever Gierlach is during his younger brother’s spring break. Then they will all ride together for that week. Aside from that, Gierlach is making this journey all on his own. He plans to give regular updates on the Facebook page and Instagram he has created, under the handle “Ride for 3 Reasons.” “It requires a lot of discipline, but there’s a lot of time to think,” Gierlach said. “There’s a lot of time to reflect while you ride.” For more information or to donate, visit —Freelance writer Joyell Nevins can be reached at You can also follow her blog “Small World, Big God” at


San Diego Downtown News | February 2017



ROCKING Also in attendance was Atkins’ wife, Jennifer LeSar, various board members and approximately 100 total attendees. “We are trying to foster an expectation among women that we can lead,” Laing said. “Why is it important? It is about privilege for our girls and our women. What is privilege? Being able to walk through your world knowing you will get a fair shake.” Councilmember Ward, just six weeks on the job, presented Sen. Atkins with the Women’s Museum’s “Women in Leadership Award,” noting that it is a historic time in the city’s history. “This year marks a first for our San Diego City Council,” Ward said. “The four officials that lead the business of the council meetings — and sit at the upper dais — are all women: the Council President, City Attorney, City Clerk and Independent Budget Analyst,” Ward said. The award honored Atkins, citing, “to commemorate your trailblazing leadership and advocacy for women throughout your public service.” “Tonight is about taking the Women’s Museum to the next level,” Atkins said, while accepting the award. “In this day of alternative facts, it is so important to document our history. We need to focus our commitment and really think

(l to r) Councilmember Chris Ward presented Sen. Toni Atkins with an award from the Women’s Museum. about what it means to have the resources to know our history.” Atkins told the audience that when she was in the state Assembly, only 17 out of 80 were women; a low 22 percent. “Mothers and women can do anything,” she continued. “When a window opens, we as women need to jump through it.” She noted the Assembly’s surprise when she took over as Speaker of the Assembly; she was the first San Diegan, and the first lesbian, to do so. “They didn’t see it coming and I think it was because I was a woman,” she said. “I want the world to be equal to when we don’t need to point out our allies and friends. I stand on the shoulders of people like

Lucy Killea, and my friend Christine Kehoe, who told me that I had to run.” The mention of Killea was poignant. Killea, who served 14 years in the California state legislature and is a large part of the Women’s Museum’s new traveling exhibit, died Jan. 17. Atkins then tipped her hat to other female politicians who came before her, Dede Alpert, Sheila Kuehl — the first out legislator in California — and some of her peers, including Lorena Gonzales Fletcher and Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, whom she called “a force of nature.” Atkins — who earlier that afternoon had announced SB 179, called the Gender

see Rocking, pg 14

(l to r) Annie Hoiberg, a member of the Women’s Museum board, shares a laugh with Councilmember Georgette Gomez.

Newly elected City Attorney Mara Elliott is the first female to hold the office. (Photos by Melissa Jones)


San Diego Downtown News | February 2017


123 Camino De La Reina Ste. 202 East San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 519-7775 Twitter: @sddowntownnews

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jeff Clemetson, x119 Ken Williams, x102

DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958


ASSISTANT EDITOR John Gregory, x118

Andrew Bagley 619-961-1956

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlene Balbridge Diana Cavagnaro Andy Cohen Cristopher Gomez Kris Michell Frank Sabatini Jr. Taylor Schulte David Dixon Joan Wojcik Sandee Wilhoit Angela Wells Joyell Nevins Delle Willett COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

Guest Editorial

Where I’ll draw the line in the Trump years By Rep. Scott Peters (Editor’s note: This was originally published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on Jan. 26.) I am hardly alone in my apprehension about what a Donald Trump presidency means for the state of our union. As we enter this new era, San Diegans should know that despite my grave concerns, I remain committed to solving problems and fixing a broken Washington, D.C. I will continue to work with anyone who has a good idea, regardless of political party or title, in order to create more prosperous future – and a government that works — for all Americans. So if President Trump and Republicans and Democrats want to work together to revise the tax code to support middle-class job creation, bring offshore profits back home to invest here, repair America’s infrastructure, and keep America’s military the strongest and best in the world, I’m ready to help. However, if the President continues to pursue some of the extreme plans he campaigned on — a Muslim registry, defunding Planned Parenthood, a border wall, reckless climate policies — I will draw the line and fight back in the 115th Congress. Here will be my guiding principles: Loyalty. I pledge loyalty to country and district first, ahead of political party. I’ll continue to work with both parties and I’ll stand up to my party when I disagree. I draw the line when fighting the other political party at home becomes more important than defeating our enemies abroad. We need an honest investigation of Russia’s interference with our election. And we need to make sure our President and his

cabinet put service before self and don’t use their positions of trust to line their own pockets at the expense of American interests. Truth. To solve our toughest problems, we must know and accept the facts. I draw the line when some try to obscure our very real challenges with made-up realities. We know climate change threatens our future, let’s act responsibly to find economy-friendly, science-based solutions that reduce emissions and protect our planet. We know our growing national debt threatens our ability to invest in the long term. That debt won’t go away if we pretend that more tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans somehow pay for themselves. They don’t. Opportunity for all. Too many hard-working people aren’t able to make ends meet. I will continue to work for policies that reward hard work and provide economic opportunity for all; everyone should have a chance to get ahead and realize their American dream. This means working with Democrats and Republicans to invest in our federal highways and bridges and ports to create jobs and spur commerce. It means investment in science and in education so our kids can compete in today’s brain-powered economy. It means fixing our immigration system so we have the workforce we need, from farms to hospitals to laboratories. I draw the line against counterproductive policies like burying our children in student loan debt or wasting money on a multi-billion-dollar border wall. Strength abroad. I commit to maintaining America as the world’s leader in peace and strength. That means supporting diplomacy at the Department of State and our military at the Department of Defense. It means bolstering America’s economic

leadership through global trade standards that increase protections for workers around the world while leveling the playing field for American workers here at home. And it means drawing the line and fighting back if our future president wants to undermine our long-standing alliances at NATO, allow the proliferation of nuclear weapons or abuse our military strength in order to antagonize, or incite war. Respect for all. Finally, I draw a line against the divisive and malicious tone set by President Trump, from his campaign to his speeches to his tweets. I commit to kindness and compassion in all that we do as a Congress. That means caring for the poor and sick and others in need of help. It means remembering that discrimination has no place in a nation as great as ours and that immigrants and refugees are men, women and children, often fleeing danger and always seeking a better life, just like our ancestors. It means following the Golden Rule, and assuming the best in others – including my colleagues whose political ideology may be different from my own. I will continue to treat every one of my colleagues with respect and appreciation for their service to our nation. These are the guideposts San Diegans can expect me to follow. We should demand no less from the President of the United States. —Rep. Scott Peters serves the 52nd Congressional District of California, which covers much of central San Diego County including Poway, Coronado, and large portions of the City of San Diego. He is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and a former environmental attorney, San Diego City Council president, and Port Commission chairman.

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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. © 2016. All rights reserved.


San Diego Downtown News | February 2017


Guest Editorial

Looking forward

Renters have many options to personalize living spaces

[Re: “The new Pendry,” Vol. 18, Issue 1 or online at] Wow! Looking forward to checking out The Pendry on my next visit to San Diego! —Dena Morgan via

Questioning Balboa Park plan

[Re: “Transforming Balboa Park,” Vol. 17, Issue 12 or online at tinyurl. com/habq9rj] Mr. Hemlock does not respond to Mr. Holder’s point that there is ample underutilized parking across Park Boulevard with shuttle service that can be expanded. And, if needed, a high-rise structure could be built there at a far lesser cost without two or four years of disruption. And, if cars are to be eliminated from the Paseo and Plaza, it is a simple endeavor to block the entry to the park from Laurel Street. Why spend $30 million or $80 million on a bypass road? And, most importantly, why destroy the integrity of a historical bridge? Meanwhile, use those funds (if they are available) for a better purpose, i.e., maintaining our city’s heritage buildings! —Jean Wilson, a second generation San Diego native, via website

By Molly Kirkland Compared to owning, one of the biggest disadvantages of renting a home is that you’re limited in the ways you can modify and customize your living space. But being a renter doesn’t mean you have to settle for blank walls, ugly lighting and bland colors. There are many creative ways to spruce up your space and make it your own, all while preserving your security deposit and keeping the landlord happy. Painting walls a different color is perhaps the most obvious way to personalize a room, but it is important to review your lease fi rst and clearly communicate your intentions with your landlord. Many landlords are willing to be flexible as long as you agree to return the walls to their original color when you move out. Some landlords will ask that you not use any bold or bright colors. If you do choose to paint, be realistic about the amount of work it will take to return the walls to white when you move out — it could take a good primer and several coats of paint. If your landlord has a strict policy against painting the walls, consider using temporary wallpaper or artistic decals that are designed to be easily removable without causing any damage. Be sure to test a small strip in an inconspicuous place, because not every


product that claims to be temporary is right for every surface. Regardless of wall color, you can always hang art, posters, mirrors, photos, tapestries or other visual elements. Be careful with heavier pieces, which may require drilling an anchor into the wall. Check your lease or ask your landlord before putting in any nails, screws or anchors. Some have policies against it, but most will allow you to make small holes as long as you fill them with spackle and paint over it when you move out. If you need to avoid making holes in the wall, adhesive hooks or poster strips can be good alternatives. Curtains and drapery are an excellent way to jazz up the standard-issue white plastic blinds, especially if curtain rods are already installed on the window. If your rental did not come with curtain hardware installed already, get permission from your landlord before putting anything in. Some landlords will allow it only if the hardware stays with the apartment after you move out; others may require professional installation. Laying down rugs is a great way to personalize a space without having to consult your landlord. You can easily switch out rugs if you need a change of scenery, and they can conveniently hide stains or other blemishes that came with the floors when you moved in.

Good lighting is key to creating a comfortable space. Table lamps and floor lamps can provide the kind of gentle eye-level light that many people prefer to overhead fluorescent lighting. These kinds of lamps offer an infinite number of customization options by combining different lamp bases with different types of lampshades. Indoor plants are an ideal way to add color and breathe life into a room. If you choose living potted plants, opt for those that require less frequent watering. Soil that is constantly wet and not exposed to sunlight can become a haven for mold and mildew. Keep potted plants on a saucer or some other barrier to prevent excess water from leaking through to walls or floors. As you may have noticed, there is a common theme to all of the above ideas: If it might leave a mark, check your lease and talk to your landlord first to be sure you won’t be paying for repairs later on. If you make an agreement with your landlord on a modification, make sure you get it in writing and save it for reference when it’s time to move out. Otherwise, be creative in finding ways to decorate and personalize without making any permanent changes to the unit.

been a particular focus for Democrats — and even some Republicans — since the presidential election on Nov. 8. On Jan. 15, Davis and Scott Peters (D-52) held a joint press conference at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego to discuss the threat that gutting the ACA presents. In attendance were a number of doctors and ACA beneficiaries, each of whom considered Obamacare a saving grace; all expressed intense concerns over the ramifications of a repeal of the ACA. “I can’t tell you how many San Diegans I’ve heard from who are scared to death of losing their health care,” Davis said at the press conference. “We all need to remember that this won’t just impact those who obtained insurance through the law. Repeal would affect virtually everyone who has health insurance.” In the days since the Obama administration began to wind down, the former president’s signature health care reform legislation has found new popularity, something it never did enjoy since the law’s passage in 2010. “We have to learn from why our message [on Obamacare] didn’t resonate. We have to understand better what made the difference for people [to vote for Trump],” Davis said. “Some of it doesn’t seem related to what was occurring in the economy or even in their own communities.” Also of grave concern to Davis and her Democratic colleagues is the future of Social Security and Medicare. “In San Diego, we have strong numbers of people on Social Security and Medicare. We know that’s critically important. What policies you support means something to the people who receive (those services).” Davis noted Republican efforts to privatize Social Security. “There are maybe some changes that can occur, but we don’t believe it should be privatized,” Davis said. The economic impact of privatization, she said, could be devastating:

40 percent of seniors in San Diego would be living in poverty without Social Security. “There is $6.6 million spent in San Diego by recipients every month that boosts our economy. That’s important to me and it’s certainly important to the people I serve.” While Social Security and Medicare have a significant impact on the local economy, military spending packs the real wallop. According to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., military spending accounts for 22 percent of all jobs in the San Diego region. It would seem, then, that new president’s insistence that our military is woefully unprepared and dilapidated (they’re not, according to Davis) would seem to bode well for the locals. Part of Trump’s campaign rhetoric involved significantly increasing military spending. Throwing money at the problem, real or perceived, however, may not be the sole answer. Davis, who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, believes that the country may be due for another round of base relocations and closures (BRAC), with an eye on efficiency. “San Diego has benefitted more from BRAC than it hasn’t,” she said. “But on the other hand, we have many installations [nationwide] that have more facilities than they need.” Closures and/or downsizing can be done in a manner that boosts, rather than decimates, local economies. “San Diego has downsized where we could,” Davis said, specifically pointing to the portion of Naval Training Center on Point Loma that is now known as Liberty Station, a mixed-use development that is viewed as a success story. The trick, she said, is to fi nd other industries that are willing to come in and fi ll the economic void left by a base closure, much like what happened in San Diego. Still, Davis said, despite the number of military installations in the

—Molly Kirkland is director of Public Affairs for the San Diego County Apartment Association.

Looking forward

[Re: “Co-merge: working outside the box,” Aug. 4, 2013 or online at] I am reaching out to find out if there is availability to rent a larger office space at the Co-Merge workplace in Downtown San Diego/ Gaslamp location during the time frame Tuesday, July 18 – Sunday, July 23. We would need access to internet and possibly other amenities such as printers if they are provided. If so, can you please provide an estimate as to how much it would be to rent for this time frame or at least for a week? Also, how far would you say it is from the Convention Center, walking-wise? Please let me know. Thanks! —Rebecca Gamberg, via website (Editor’s note: The Palo Altobased LiquidSpace states on its website that it offers more than 2,000 workspaces in more than 250 cities across the United States, but after some research on our part, apparently the San Diego “Co-merge” location is no longer in business. For more information about LiquidSpace, visit

Juggling markets [Re: “San Diego public market launches in September/,” Aug. 31, 2012 or online at humthhj] So what happened to this project? The funding was there, the permits were in, and [now] Liberty Public Market has popped up as an overpriced non-local market. —Amy June, via website —Letters to the editor can be sent to Comments can also be made on our website or Facebook page.

More from U.S. Rep. Susan A. Davis Congressional Watch Andy Cohen (Editor’s note: This is the finale of a two-part interview with U.S. Rep. Susan A. Davis. Read the first part at tinyurl. com/z9qs82s.) As a new Congress begins its twoyear term, Democrats have their work cut out for them. As the Trump era begins, Democrats will be hardpressed to counteract the policy changes brought about by the Trump administration and his Republican allies in Congress. The fi rst skirmishes have already begun. Only hours after taking the oath of office, Trump signed executive orders that began the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — or Obamacare — despite the administration’s and Republicans’ complete lack of an alternative to replace it. The new administration has made vague overtures about a replacement plan that Trump says will provide insurance for everyone, but no details on such a plan have been offered. While the ACA is in no danger of disappearing immediately, it may be just a matter of time before 20 million Americans who have gained insurance on the exchanges nationwide will lose it. In San Diego, that means 300,000 will lose their insurance; twice that number of Medi-Cal recipients could lose access to coverage, according to U.S. Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-53) of San Diego. The fight to preserve and improve, rather than dismantle, the ACA has

see Politics, pg 8



San Diego Downtown News | February 2017

Meet our new faces



Downtown Partnership Newss Kris Michell (Editor’s note: This edition of Downtown Partnership News was written by Angela Wells.) It’s a new year, and the Downtown San Diego Partnership has some new faces on its team. If you haven’t had a chance to meet them, be sure to swing by the office to say hello. Katherine Johnston is senior vice president of communications. She is originally from Northern California and holds a political science degree from UC San Diego, as well as a master’s degree from UCLA. She recently joined the team after six years with the Office of the Mayor. She is a great athlete who once lost both of her front teeth while saving a goal in a high school soccer match. Mari Katherine Urtasun, senior vice president of branding and CEP, is from a cattle ranch in Colorado. She came to San Diego to earn a degree from University of San Diego. MK and her husband Tomas (and her dog Olive) live in North Park and love to cook family meals together. She will be leading the Partnership’s new digital strategy and Downtown branding campaign. Alicia Kostick, vice president of finance and administration, is the nicest military “brat” you’ll

Ally Berenter

Shelby Harrison

Katherine Johnston

Mari Katherine Urtasun

Yoga in the Park, and the annual Installation Dinner. A native of Northern California, Shelby attended UC San Diego, where she recently graduated with a political science degree. She is the proud mother of a flat-faced kitten named after her favorite “Harry Potter” character: Dobby. The Downtown San Diego Partnership is a nonprofit, member-based organization that serves as the leading advocate for the revitalization and economic health of Downtown. The Downtown Partnership represents more than

300 businesses and 11,000 property owners. To learn more about the Downtown Partnership, visit

Alicia Kostick ever meet. She has Midwest roots, but was thrilled to move to San Diego with her husband. Alicia enjoys riding her horse, hiking around Southern California, and snowboarding … in Japan. She manages and oversees the Partnership’s annual budget. Ally Berenter is the public policy manager, helping the organization implement its robust policy agenda. A San Diego native, Ally left town to attend Washington University in St. Louis. Upon graduation, she spent five years in Washington, D.C. as a congressional staffer where she gained valuable experience working with the federal government. Fun fact: Her all-time favorite travel destination is Israel, a country she visited with former Vice President Joe Biden. Shelby Harrison serves as the events and program manager, helping the Partnership put on some of our biggest events, including the Alonzo Awards,

—Kris Michell is the president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, a nonprofit, member-based organization that oversees the Clean & Safe program and serves as the leading advocate for the revitalization and economic health of Downtown. Angela Wells is media coordinator for the Downtown Partnership. Reach her at or 619-234-0201.

Tips for Improving WiFi in the Home Getting great performance and optimal security out of your home WiFi can be tricky. Even if you’ve been setting up the basics for years, here are some quick tips that can help you get the most from your wireless connections. 1. Place your router in the best location possible. Most people just plug in the router and toss it on the nearest desk, or worse, into a drawer. A wireless router needs open space, away from walls and obstructions. Heavy-duty appliances like refrigerators, washers, dryers or other electronics that are close to the router can impact WiFi performance. Avoid placing your router near a functioning microwave, as it can greatly impact your signal. 2. Update your router’s firmware. Manufacturers constantly update the software that runs your router. Keeping this software up-to-date is just as important as keeping your Windows or Mac OS up-to-date for security, features and speed. Most routers have a quick “Update Firmware” option built right in to the router’s settings, making this a painless process. 3. Replace your router’s external antennas with directional antennas. This can provide a significant boost

in signal coverage overall, but is particularly useful for people who have their router on one side of the home and their computers and devices on the other. By default, most routers come with omnidirectional antennas, which means the wireless signal is broadcast at roughly the same strength over 360 degrees. Replacing the default antennas with directional antennas redirects all the signal strength to a 180 degree arc to better power your home – that means more range, better signal strength and likely faster speeds. 4. Secure your network. Make certain your network has a password and your router is secured using WPA2. This keeps you safe and ensures your speeds are not compromised by unauthorized users. If your devices support the standard, make certain you use WPA2-PSK (AES) as the most secure router option. If you have older devices, they may only work with versions of WPA or WPA2 with TKIP. Keep in mind that if you use older devices, your WiFi network may be limited to 54 Mbps, regardless of your signal. 5. Consider other options. If your network still has issues with speed or coverage in your home, it may be time to look at wireless extenders or access points.

These devices can extend your network by using your home’s electric lines or network cabling, or by using the coaxial cable your home already has. 6. When in doubt, call an expert. If you continue to have issues with your inhome WiFi, contact your local service provider. Cox customers, for example, now have access to Panoramic WiFi, in-home wall to wall coverage that provides the strongest WiFi signal ranges. Panoramic WiFi uses devices and tools to ensure the best speed, coverage and connectivity for all your devices, including the MyWiFi mobile app that allows you to see the state of your home’s WiFi health from the palm of your hand. To learn more about Panoramic WiFi and Cox High Speed Internet,  visit or call (888) 557-1740.

county, San Diego is likely safe from another BRAC. “We are not in as much jeopardy as other areas around the country. There are other facilities that are outdated and not being used, and they should be looked at,” she said. And despite the periodic fervor for a new international airport at Miramar, Davis said that is not on anyone’s radar. “We need Miramar,” she said. “Miramar is functioning well.” Also looming ominously are the Trump administration’s policies on immigration. Trump has already issued executive orders banning refugees and immigrants from several majority Muslim countries — an action that has been met with enormous backlash. Trump also signed an executive order paving the way for his favorite pet project, a wall running the length of the U.S.-Mexico border. Yet to be determined is the fate of nearly 11 million undocumented residents, many of them living in California. “People here in California are very concerned about what’s going to happen,” Davis said. “Schools in my neighborhood, kids are going to school and asking their teachers ‘what happens if I go home and my parents aren’t there?’ They believe that’s a possibility, even if they know they themselves were born here. Parents are making plans for what could happen.” Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) have had fairly extraordinary success, Davis said, with over 750,000 people registered under DACA alone to go to school and stay in the U.S. “It would be ideal if, as even George W. Bush advocated, that we could fi nd a path to citizenship,” Davis said. “That works for businesses and for families.” Some of Trump’s policies have also placed the San Diego region’s border economy is at risk, she said. “We have to ensure that Trump doesn’t harm that symbiosis,” Davis said, referring to the growing interdependence in a region with the single busiest land port of entry in the world. It remains to be seen how effective congressional Democrats can be in staving off some of the policies of the Trump administration they view as overly extreme over the next four years. —Andy Cohen is a local freelance writer. Reach him at ac76@sbcglobal. net.

San Diego Downtown News | February 2017


Amore in Little Italy for Valentine’s Day Week Little Italy News Christopher Gomez We have entered the month of love, which means Valentine’s Day planning is in full swing. What better way to show your sweetheart how much you love them than by planning a romantic date in Little Italy! The perfect date is wellplanned and full of thought, and Little Italy has all you need from good food, a romantic ambiance, entertainment, shopping, drinks and a great time. Many may be anxious to make the night as special as possible, so get ahead of the game and start thinking about your plans the week before. Here’s a great SaturdayTuesday Valentine’s Day plan in Little Italy with some extra insight on local specials

happening just for the heartfilled holiday. Little Italy Mercato on Saturday: Stroll through more than 130 vendors at the Mercato on Saturday morning and pick up a bouquet of fresh, locally grown flowers to spark the romance with your special person. Or get them a handmade gift from one of the artisan vendors. You can also plan a farm-to-table homemade meal by shopping for your ingredients at the Mercato from all the local farmers and small food makers to ensure you have the freshest ingredients for your romantic meal. Shop for the perfect gift on Sunday: Shop the many Little Italy boutiques to find your valentine the perfect gift for the gentleman or lady in your life. Check out special Valentine’s Day deals at Azzura Capri, Adelman Fine Art, Irelia Fine Jewelry, Be Boutique, and Kapreeza European Lingerie &

Swimwear. You can also make a pit stop at Vocabulary, Stroll, Little Apple and other shops for clothes, accessories and home décor items. Don’t forget to make that reservation on Monday: Little Italy is full of amazing restaurants to take your date. Don’t forget to reserve your table at one of the many popular spots including Kettner Exchange, Buon Appetito, Civico 1845, Herb and Wood, Craft & Commerce or another famous hot spot that’s sure to impress. Take advantage of Valentine’s Day packages: Why choose one entrée when you can get a four-course Valentine’s Day special at Juniper & Ivy or prosecco and dinner specials at Davanti Enoteca. If you’re more of a sweets lover, you can stop at Café Gratitude on Valentine’s Day for their “Loving” dessert special — a strawberry meringue heart on pecan date cacao crust, topped with cashew coconut whipped cream, chocolate sauce and marinated strawberries or stop by and pick up a heart cookie that Caffe Italia is handing out with every purchase this day. Enjoy the big night on Tuesday: After your

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date-planning success, don’t forget to take it all in. Enjoy every minute by walking around Little Italy’s scenic streets lit up in red this time of year and explore the European-style piazzas. If you just don’t want the night to end, grab a drink at Glassdoor, Sorrento, Ballast Point or another bar to end the evening. To find out more information on where to wine, dine and treat your special someone

with a memorable and romantic evening, visit littleitalysd. com. To stay connected with us during the month of love, check out what’s going on in our neighborhood by following 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

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San Diego Downtown News | February 2017

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Finally, the sun has found its way back to us and the drought is over ... at least that’s what we’re hearing. Luckily, there was no rain at our latest LIRA general meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 25. We had a terrific turnout that almost fi lled the room. All three of our guest speakers, Herb Johnson, Deacon Jim Vargas and Stacie Spector, along with San Diego Police Department Lt. Adam Sharki, did terrific jobs informing us, listening to us and providing us with action

steps over the two hours they were with us. I, for one, left with a much better understanding of how the Rescue Mission, Father Joe’s Villages and myriad of other facilities work to help get the Homeless off the streets and the role we play in the equation. Yes, we need to be respectful and cautious when we’re out and about, but we are not to give out money or food to the homeless. It enables them and they are less likely to go to one of the many facilities available to them that can provide longterm help. I have greater respect for our Police Department, how the system works and my responsibilities as a tax-paying citizen. A big “thank you� to Ed Franqui, a Little Italy resident who was at the meeting. He not only took great notes, he also posted them on Check them out.

The list of councilmembers in the Central Division Resource Phone List Directory has not been updated. Make sure you make these replacements: Todd Gloria with Chris Ward (christopherward@; Sherri Lightner with Barbara Bry (; and Marti Emerald with Georgette Gomez ( Thinking ahead: Ferragosto is scheduled for Aug. 19. You can save money on the cost of tickets if you purchase them now. Ferragosto is Little Italy’s night to shine. And this year’s theme, “The Wild Westâ€? will shine brighter than ever before with all kinds of fun and food, dancing and cash jackpots, raffles and a drawing for a trip to Italy! Proceeds benefit Our Lady and the Rosary Church, Washington Elementary School and the Little Italy Association. Check out for all the details and take advantage of the savings. —Annie Eichman is the president of the Little Italy Resident’s Association. Reach her atď ś

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Everybody loves a lover Gaslamp Landmarks Sandee Wilhoit Everybody loves a good love story, and San Diego is no exception. The Keating building, a lovely Romanesque Revival gem on the northwest corner of Fifth Avenue and F Street, boasts two. George and Fannie Keating arrived in San Diego from Kansas in 1886. As George was in ill health from rheumatic fever, they thought the balmy climate might restore his strength. He had previously owned one of the world’s largest firms dealing in farm equipment — Smith and Keating. Some of the proceeds from the sale of his business interests provided the basis for his next project — a high-end office building. George purchased much property in San Diego, including the two parcels on which the Keating was built. This he acquired from the estate of Charles P. Gerichten for the sum of $40,000. The Reid brothers, architects of Hotel del Coronado, were chosen to design the building. Fannie chose gray granite or Sespe sandstone for the building, while George would have preferred brick. George passed away shortly before construction was begun, and in homage to her husband, Fannie had the building finished in red brick. The building was completed in 1891 at a cost of $135,000, and was one of the most prestigious office buildings in San Diego, incorporating the modern conveniences of steam heat, a wire cage elevator, brass doorknobs and wall plates, a stunning lightwell and staircase, and provisions for both gas and incandescent electric lights. The elevator, which ran from the basement to the top floor, made every room in the building desirable. Fannie, a shrewd businesswoman, did her late husband proud. Offices filled rapidly in the Keating Building. Among the early tenants were F.A. Flores and Co., forwarding agents for lower California; attorneys Moses Luce, Cassius Carter, Puterbaugh and Puterbaugh and Works and Works; and physicians, dentists, architects and photographers. A notable architect was Henry Lord Gay, the founder of the American Institute of Architecture. Additionally, it was the home of the San Diego Public Library from 1901-03. In 1903, the library moved to Eighth Avenue and E Street, where it remained until a state-of-the-art structure was opened in September 2013 at 330 Park Blvd. Another noteworthy tenant from 1891 until 1913 was the San Diego Savings Bank, which later became San Diego Trust and Savings. The impressive bank vault is still in place in the basement of the Keating. On Sept. 5, 1908, the estate of Fannie Keating transferred the property to James R. McNeece, and the property was again transferred in 1943 to Morris and Ida Esther

Sommer. Consequently, throughout the years, the building was also referred to as the McNeece and the Sommer building. However, the cast metal name — Geo. J. Keating — and the date 1890 seen at the top of the building clearly stand in testament to a woman’s great esteem for her husband and her desire to honor his name. Another San Diego icon and a leader in the revitalization of the Gaslamp, Ingrid Croce, also honored her husband at the Keating. In one of her blogs, Ingrid wrote about the week before Jim Croce’s untimely death in a plane crash. They had just moved to California, and were exploring Downtown looking for a place to dine. They ended up in front of the Keating Building with no prospects in sight. Jim joked that they should open a restaurant and bar on that corner, and a dream was born. Twelve long years later, Ingrid had lost her lease on the small restaurant she had opened in Hillcrest. Amazingly, an open

storefront had just become available in the Gaslamp — the ground floor of the Keating. It was meant to be. In 1985, Ingrid opened a restaurant and jazz bar, and named it Croce’s, in honor of her late husband. Dreams do come true! Croce’s became one of the most popular night spots in the Gaslamp until its closing in 2013. The Croce’s son, A.J., performed regularly at the jazz bar, and carries on his father’s legacy as a singer and songwriter. The Keating now houses an exclusive boutique hotel that bridges the old with the new. The interior, designed by Pininfarina, the Italian team responsible for Masserati and Ferrari, is a striking blend of sleek modern style and sophisticated luxury. The public spaces feature black, white and Ferrari red with stainless steel and rich wood accents. One historic building — two great love stories. Happy Valentine’s Day, San Diego! For more information, take one of our historic walking tours, which leave the Davis-Horton House Museum on Thursday at 1 p.m. or Saturday at 11 a.m. Reservations at 619-233-4692. —Sandee Wilhoit is the historian for the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. She can be reached at 

San Diego Downtown News | February 2017

The Keating Building goes up in the Gaslamp.

Keating Building (1890), designed by Reid Brothers architects in the architectual style of Romanesque Revival (Photos courtesy GQHF)

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San Diego Downtown News | February 2017

General Manager Ken Poston sits at the controls of KSDS (88.3 FM), located in San Diego's East Village. (Photo by Joan Wojcik)

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88.3 FM, the award-winning jazz radio station in our midst By Joan Wojcik The number 88.3 on your FM radio dial represents an unexpected, but awesome discovery for San Diego music lovers. The station broadcasts some of the best jazz music in the nation and is located at San Diego City College in East Village. City College, which has owned KSDS (88.3 FM) since 1951, started programming jazz music in 1973. By 1985, 88.3 became San Diego’s only full-time jazz and blues station. Licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as a non-commercial, nonprofit educational radio station with a power of 22,000 watts, 88.3 FM reaches as far north as Carlsbad. Listeners are treated to music including Dixieland, Latin jazz, swing, big band, blues and free jazz. There is also a student-operated radio station on KSDS’s HD2 Channel. The students, under faculty tutelage, learn how to program a radio station that is on the air 24/7. Membership Director Ken Borgers explained that “All production elements, music scheduling and on air performances are provided by a student staff on the student station.” The station staff, composed of students and faculty, concentrates the programming on both famous and upcoming jazz artists. Famous artists such as John Coltraine, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald, along with new jazz artists and local artists, can be heard round the clock. KSDS has provided nationwide exposure for San Diego’s local jazz artists and the station keeps listeners updated on where these talented musicians are currently performing in the San Diego area. Pianist Danny Green has been a popular local jazz artist

KSDS often broadcasts live jazz concerts (Photo by Chad Fox, operations and assistant program director)

who has played at “Jazz Live.” “I've had the pleasure of playing for ‘Jazz Live’ several times, and it is always such a blast,” he said. “There’s always such an incredible energy coming from the audience, and the staff and volunteers at 88.3 are so great to work with.” Green performs all over San Diego County and tours throughout the United States. The mission statement of KSDS 88.3 is “to present, preserve and promote the uniquely American art form that is jazz.” In 1992 and 1993, Jazz 88.3 received two “Jazz Station of the Year” awards. Other awards and nominations followed in 2004-05. The station again won “Jazz Station of the Year” awards in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016. During the 2016 Jazz Week annual summit, the station was up against five other stations competing for the Jazz Station of the Year Award including New York, Denver and Detroit.

At the award acceptance, General Manager Ken Poston said, “On behalf of everyone at Jazz 88.3, I want to thank Jazz Week for naming us Station of the Year for the fourth time in five years.” For all the jazz fans in East Village, you can listen to this award- winning radio station in person. Monthly “Jazz Live” concerts began in 1977 and offer live concerts to the general public. General admission tickets cost $10. The concerts are free for KSDS members. At the “Jazz Live” session on Jan. 10 featuring the Mark Dresser Quintet, the 300-seat room in the Saville Theater at San Diego City College was packed with jazz lovers and the music was fantastic. The applause you heard over the airwaves that night came from the audience with genuine enthusiasm. — Joan Wojcik is the president of the East Village Residents Group. Contact Joan at eastvillageresidentsgroup@ or visit

San Diego Downtown News | February 2017


World Baseball Classic

The Padres are providing an exclusive opportunity to purchase discounted tickets for the second round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic at Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd. Every four years, the biggest stars in baseball from around the globe battle to be called the world’s greatest. Petco Park hosts the second round of the World Baseball Classic where the superstars of the MLB play for their home country. This could be your chance to see players such as San Diego natives Adam Jones and Adrian González suiting up for Team USA and Team Mexico, respectively. Other potential stars include Buster Posey and Andrew McCutchen for Team USA, Robinson Canó and Manny Machado from the Dominican Republic, Cy Young winner Félix Hernandez battling for Venezuela, and Carlos

Beltrán and Yadier Molina playing for Puerto Rico. Tickets through this offer start as low as $12 per person. To purchase your discounted World Baseball Classic tickets, visit and scroll down to find your reps name listed as Josh Targe. Once you click on the link, follow these simple steps to get your discounted Padres tickets:

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ROCKING Recognition Act of 2017, co-sponsored by Sen. Scott Weiner — told the crowd that she has some exciting bills coming up and she “can’t wait” to put them forward. SB 179 would allow Californians to obtain state-issued identifications that accurately reflect their gender identity. Laing said all of the women being honored were “underestimated.” Gomez, who won her longshot bid to be the councilmember representing District 9 when Marti Emerald retired, told those gathered that she was “very humbled” by her win. “I was told not to do it because I’d just be wasting space,” she said. A Barrio Logan native of immigrant parents, Gomez said her drive was her community. “I’m a brown, lesbian woman,” she said. “But people believed in me, financially and emotionally. We need a city that is reflective of what San Diego looks like. “I’m proud to bring people to City Hall with me who don’t normally get to be there,” she said, referring to a staffer who previously worked for the ACLU. “We’re bringing a different voice.” Mara Elliott, the city’s first female city attorney, emphasized the importance of the Women’s Museum. “[It’s] a place where I can escape and remember why women do the things they do,” she said, before relaying a story about her mother and the challenges she faced as the owner of a drafting business. “She wasn’t allowed to admit it was her company,” she said. She cited her mother as an inspiration who often took her to various women’s caucuses and events as she was growing up. “I want little girls to look at me and say, ‘I can do this,’” Elliott said. “This race swung those doors open and kids can dream again.” Elliott said she plans to focus on immigration, hate crimes and minimum wage. “Thank you for supporting women, it gives us encouragement to run,” she said. Councilmember Bry started off welcoming Ward as an “honorary member” of the women’s club on the City Council. Bry, who won the District 1 race as a self-described “high-tech entrepreneur and 67-year-old grandma,” said that even though she has

always supported other women candidates, and was heavily involved in the minimum wage effort, she never considered running for public office herself. But after the street in front of her office was torn up for the third time, she said she decided to throw her hat into the ring. Bry said her mother, Adelaide Bry, was also her inspiration. “She was married twice but never changed her name,” Bry said. “She was one of the first female executives, but was paid less than the men.” County Supervisor Kristin Gaspar, who beat incumbent Dave Roberts for the District 3 seat, recognized the “diversity in the room” when she took to the podium. “Thank you Sen. Atkins, you certainly have been a trailblazer for someone like me,” she said. The former Encinitas mayor — who ran as a Republican for the Board of Supervisors position, but revoked her support for Donald Trump’s candidacy during a KPBS interview in October — shared how she first got into the political realm. “I went along with a friend to a political fundraiser for a female candidate while I was seven months pregnant,” she began. “And my friend introduced me to the candidate as a ‘future senator.’ When I corrected my friend, [the candidate said] ‘Well, what’s your excuse?’ “Those three words stuck with me,” she said. In 2010, Gaspar decided to run for Encinitas City Council, despite the fact she had an 8-week-old infant, a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old. As supervisor she hopes to inspire others. “I have a limited time to work with young women,” she said. “Young people can’t become what they don’t see.” Gloria, the former city councilmember who recently stepped into Atkins’ shoes in the state Assembly, arrived just in time to bestow his honors. “It is very clear San Diego grows incredibly dynamic female leaders,” Gloria said. “I am very proud to say that the Women’s Museum is in my district, so let’s keep it going and continue to grow it. The message it sends is empowerment.” The crowd was clearly inspired by all the speakers, as the Women’s Museum raised nearly $10,000 at the event. Stay tuned for more upcoming events and expect the popular annual Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival to take place in September. For more information, visit


San Diego Downtown News | February 2017

Learning from the past

A Moving World Premiere Drama


By David Dixon Politics and sexuality are two timely subjects in 2017. That makes this an ideal year for Intrepid Theatre’s production of the 2016 comedy-drama, “Perfect Arrangement.” Taking place in 1950, the story follows two U.S. State Department employees, Bob Martindale (John DeCarlo) and Norma Baxter (Jennifer Paredes). They are married to each other and pretend to be straight. What few realize is that both of them are in samesex relationships. Bob’s wife, Millie Martindale (Laura Bohlin), is actually Norma’s lover and Norma’s husband, Jim Baxter (Joshua Jones), is having an affair with Bob. Problems arise when Bob and Norma are asked to take part in the “Lavender Scare,” a real life witch-hunt against homosexuals. While the “Red Scare” of the 1940s and 1950s continues to be argued about and reflected upon, the “Lavender Scare” isn’t discussed to the same extent. Even some of the artists involved with the staging at the Horton Grand Theatre weren’t aware about this dark period of history. Not only were many men and women fired from their jobs for being gay, lesbian or bisexual, the campaign brought a lot of negative damage to the LGBT community. It wasn’t until several decades later when homosexuality was accepted by a majority of society in this country. Although the play is meant to be entertainment, Bohlin would like “Perfect Arrangement” to be an enriching experience. “We can’t forget this period of American history that wasn’t that long ago,” she said. Playwright Topher Payne uses humor and emotional moments to add humanity to the historical fiction plot. The four main characters might be Payne’s creations, but they are dealing with the many issues that gays and lesbians faced several decades ago. Bohlin said she feels that the balance between laughter

Post for "Perfect Arrangement" (Photos courtesy Intrepid Theatre)

Jennifer Paredes and pathos is earned. “How cool is it when people can be entertained while being empathetic of a person’s lifestyle,” she said. In the early scenes, the tale incorporates comedic situations that wouldn’t be out of place in “I Love Lucy.” To get into the style of the narrative, Bohlin watched a good amount of episodes. “It’s a delightful sitcom that also aided me with research for that period of time,” she said. Christy Yael-Cox, CEO/ producing artistic director and co-founder of Intrepid, and stage manager Taylor Todd helped the cast learn about the events that inspired Payne’s script. Jones, especially, got a lot out of the rehearsal process. “They were excellent about giving us tons of dramaturgical information,” Jones said. “We spent two days going over how things were shifting from the late 1940s to the 1950s.” As the evening goes on, Bob and Norma continue to depict different personae in their personal and public life. Their frequent changes in personality

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Laura Bohlin are something that Jones believes audiences will connect to, regardless of sexuality or political party. One of the main conflicts, which is still relevant today, is that Bob and Norma don’t publicly stand up for innocent people who end up being victims of intolerance. Bob and Norma’s choice not to help out those in need is a problem that resonates with Paredes. “It makes me think about what would happen if I see something that’s wrong in real life,” she said. “Am I going to be a bystander or stand up for somebody that doesn’t have a voice?” By being both topical and informative, Intrepid’s interpretation of Payne’s story is a fascinating and humorous depiction of a complex era. Previews have begun for the show, so audiences don’t have to wait to watch the latest from Yael-Cox and the award-winning theater company. “Perfect Arrangement” will be performed at Horton Grand Theatre through March 12. For tickets or more information, visit or call 888-71-TICKETS. —David Dixon has written reviews and features for various print and online publications. You can reach him at

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San Diego Downtown News | February 2017

DINING Polenta-crusted enta-crusted caprese rese

Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. The closest I normally come to eating steak at an Italian restaurant is when I order meatballs. Rarely do you find rib-eye, filet mignon and other coveted cuts on their menus. Though when you do, they’re often overshadowed by pizza, pasta and seafood. Carne Prima Italian Steakhouse is much different. There are no pizzas. And despite a tempting selection of pasta dishes and the inclusion of fresh oysters and a few fish entrees, prime beef rules the day. The restaurant opened in July and falls squarely into the league of fine dining. Its classic interior greets with white tablecloths, cushy seating and showy crystal chandeliers, which Executive Chef Aliano Decka said took four days to assemble when they arrived from Italy. Near the front of the dining room is a glass-enclosed wine collection flaunting some of the rarest, priciest bottles in the Gaslamp Quarter. When I asked for a brief tour of the temperature-controlled room, the maitre d’ gingerly pulled from the rack a 1981 Domaine Armand Rousseau burgundy priced at $8,000. He proceeded to show me various Super Tuscans, Brunellos and others that were less expensive, but still exclusive

enough to worry about making a clumsy move when viewing them in such close proximity. We stuck to the glass list, which offers several dry, meat-friendly choices under $15 — Joseph Faiveley pinot noir from France, a Super Tuscan by Mazzei, some California cabernets, and others in the white category as well that evade the mass market. p to a wet-aged g Our lead up mahawk steak for two began tomahawk th the “grand tagliere,” a with

mozzarella and basil leaves. Our only complaint was that the tomatoes were of the anemic, winter ilk. Skipping over Kumamoto oysters, king crab legs and ahi tartare from the crudo section, we dove straight into the menu’s beefy soul, which offers everything from prized Akaushi rib eye and center-cut New York strip to aged T-bone and porterhouse. The g grilled tomahawk is an off-menu

bone unless you ething request something uch customized such rthday” as “happy birthday” or “will you marry me?” (Who’s going to n resay “no” when posal ceiving a proposal on a hunk of meat so big and bold-tasting?)) Cooked

The restaurant’s signature engraved on a long bone Lobster gnocchi (above) and garlic mashed potatoes

board brimming with various salumi, at least five types of imported cheeses, blackberries and fig jam. Magnifico. So was the table bread served with a mtrio of dips: olive oil and balsamto ic, and two of them mixing pesto and garlic with ricotta cheese. me Chef Decka, a native of Rome who previously headed kitchenss a in London, Manhattan, Tampa and a few other cities, puts a unique spin on caprese. The y tomatoes are encased in crispy polenta batter and stacked with alternate layers of buffaloo

item weighing in at 45 ounces with the bone, and about 30 ounces without. It’s sliced tableside, usually by Decka, who engraves the restaurant’s name into the

The “grand tagliere” meat and cheese board medium-well as requested, the tender meat graduated in doneness from crispy ends to pinkish flesh in the center. Every speck of it, including the fat, was richly flavored without any doctoring from salt and pepper. As expected, it yielded leftovers for lunch the following day. From a choice of sauces, we chose bordelaise, an admixture of butter, herbs, red wine and beef stock rich in bone marrow. I spooned it mostly onto our garlic-kissed mashed potatoes since the steak was loaded with its own natural juices. Usually in high-end steakhouses, such sidekicks suffer because they’re made ahead in bulk quantities. These didn’t. The lobster gnocchi we also ordered was equally pleasing, interspersed with chunks of tail meat and draped in bisque-like lobster sauce that was heavy, but worth the high intake of calories. The gnocchi compensated for our incapacity to try any of the regular pasta dishes, which include lasagna with béchamel sauce, pappardelle with dry-aged beef Bolognese, spaghetti alla Carbonara and several others. Gnocchi reappeared (in concept) for dessert. They’re constructed with dark chocolate instead of eggs, flour and potatoes, and rolled in quinoa and minced walnuts. Topped with candied orange and lemon zest, the puddle of silky crème anglaise beneath resulted in pure decadence. I favored this dessert over the tiramisu, which was more liquidy than firm.

Downtown is saturated with Italian restaurants, many of them very good. Altthough only at Carne Prima Although will hardcore carnivores find ver a veritable alternative to the highhigh-end steakhouses, and with ar an army of well-dressed waiters som with charming accents — some gu — guiding you to a favorite cut of meat and bottle of deluxe wine.

Chef Aliano Decka slicing a tomahawk steak for two (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

—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

Carne Prima Italian Steakhouse 314 Fifth Ave. (Gaslamp Quarter) 619-230-5475 Prices: Soups, salads and appetizers, $7 to $23; pasta dishes, $22 to $34; steaks, $32 to $110; poultry, lamb, pork and seafood, $28 to $51


San Diego Downtown News | February 2017

Casual-gourmet fare at the new Herb & Eatery (Katalyst PR)

Will Gustwiller of Eclipse Chocolate


Herb & Eatery, the casualservice annex to Brian Malarkey’s Herb & Wood in Little Italy, recently opened with a colorful selection of salads, appetizers, sandwiches and entrees. It also sells grab-and-go foods, pizza-making kits, produce and specialty grocery items in addition to freshly baked pastries and breads. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily. 2210 Kettner Blvd., 619-794-2790.

Lauded for its gourmet donuts and fried chicken, Streetcar Merchants plans to open a third San Diego location in the Gaslamp Quarter by early summer. Co-owner Ron Suel told Downtown News the menu will feature “soulful” wraps and burritos, some containing collard greens and red beans, and that he might also introduce seafood options that could include fried catfish. In addition, the space (previously a short-lived Chinese bistro) will offer a full bar featuring New Orleans-inspired cocktails. Streetcar’s original location is in North Park, and it recently ventured into La Jolla with a larger dining room and enhanced menu. “It’s been part of our strategic goal to go into the Gaslamp. This will be our urban version, with counter service during the day and wait service in the evening,” he said, adding that the kitchen will stay open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 751 Fourth Ave.,

(Courtesy Eclipse Chocolate)

Look for local chocolatier Will Gustwiller in an episode of “Guy’s Grocery Games” airing Feb. 12 on the Food Network as he vies for up to $20,000 in a cook-off of sweet and savory dishes using chocolate. Gustwiller, who owns Eclipse Chocolate in South Park, competed with three other contestants in the segment, which was filmed late last year in Santa Rosa. The outcome remains a secret until the episode airs. For its replay on Feb. 18, Gustwiller will present at Eclipse a multi-course tasting of the dishes he made on the show, at 5 and 8 p.m. The cost is $40 per person. 2145 Fern St., 619-578-2984,

A new hotspot for breakfast and lunch arrives in East Village. (Alternative Strategies)

Nashville hot chicken and other Southern delights coming to the Gaslamp Quarter (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Treehouse Hospitality has closed its enormous, two-level sports bar, 1919, which opened a year ago with a concept resonating to the infamous Chicago White Sox scandal of 1919. In a statement issued last month, the ownership cited “ever-increasing operating costs” as the main reason for shuttering. But its subterranean speakeasy one door away, Prohibition, remains open. 560 Fifth Ave. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at “SEXUALLY AND INTELLECTUALLY PROVOCATIVE...

A HELL OF A LOT OF FUN! ” The Hollywood Reporter

Kyle Viera is the new executive chef at The Oceanaire Seafood Room (Courtesy of The Oceanaire Seafood Room)

Native New Yorker Kyle Viera has taken the position of executive chef at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in the Gaslamp Quarter. After working back East for some years at a fish market and then joining Oceanaire in 2013, he will oversee daily preparations of more than 25 species of fish and seafood. 400 J St., 619-858-2277,

A fourth San Diego County location of Breakfast Republic opened in East Village on Feb. 3 with a menu of signature items that includes turkey meatball hash, a Portuguese sausage egg scramble, a Vietnamese chicken wing breakfast bowl, pancake flights and more. It replaces Zanzibar Café, and offers indoor/ outdoor seating and a full bar. Breakfast Republic’s original digs in North Park has spawned outposts in Liberty Station and Encinitas over the past year. It will open a fifth location in April on the second floor of the former OB Warehouse in Ocean Beach. 707 G St., 619-501-8280,



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San Diego Downtown News | February 2017


Should I invest in Bitcoin? Financial News Taylor Schulte If you've been watching Bitcoin prices lately, you know they've made quite a run. As of this writing, a single Bitcoin is worth $831.91. To put things in perspective, Bitcoin values were in the $300-$400 range for much of 2015. Those who invested in Bitcoin years ago are likely rejoicing. But, should you join them? Continue reading to learn more about Bitcoin, how it works, and why this investment might be worth skipping despite its high returns.

What is Bitcoin?

Generally speaking, Bitcoin is a crypto-currency used by online firms and big businesses worldwide. One of the biggest advantages of Bitcoin is that the currency can cross borders easily — facilitating international trade. For purposes of investing, Bitcoin is similar to any other currency (or commodity) investment. This means when it comes to your investment


return, Bitcoin faces the same uphill battle as investing in: ● gold ● agricultural products ● fine art ● oil In other words, at any given time, Bitcoin is worth whatever the market says it's worth. While this isn't a problem in itself, investing in Bitcoin does pose some specific challenges.

Two challenges you'll face

As sexy as investing in Bitcoin sounds — and despite the recent run-up in price — there are at least two fundamental problems with investing in Bitcoin right now.

Problem 1: You lose money after inflation

When you invest in Bitcoin (or gold, the price of oil, other commodities, other currency, fine art), you are betting the farm on price appreciation alone. Or rather, you're betting that the price of Bitcoin will go up compared to the U.S. dollar. But Bitcoin is different from more conventional investments like stocks, bonds and real estate. That's because conventional investments offer the chance to generate cash. As an example, stocks are a slice of business ownership. Businesses exist to earn a profit. As an owner of that business, you are entitled to a slice of that profit. That profit can either be re-invested into the business (to increase the value of the business) or paid to investors as a dividend. Either way, a


stock generates cash — ultimately enriching those who own stock. Unfortunately, that's not the case for Bitcoin, gold, "Forex," commodities or fine art. These sorts of investments do not generate cash. Instead, investors can only hope they increase with the price of inflation. Not only must your investment appreciate at the rate of inflation, but it must also go above and beyond inflation to make up for the transaction costs. Trust me when I say this is rarely the case. Most commodities increase at the rate of inflation. Further, currency doesn't increase in value at all — because that's exactly what inflation is — a decrease in the value of currency!

Problem 2: mean reversion

Mean reversion is a fancy way of saying: “what goes up, must come down — and vice versa.” All investments are subject to mean reversion, and Bitcoin is no exception. Mean reversion itself isn't a bad thing, but it's still worth noting when it comes to investing in Bitcoin specifically. As you might know, commodities provide an investment return at the just about the rate of inflation — before fees. Moreover, commodities depend upon price appreciation alone to provide an investment return. This is because commodities do not generate cash. So, if you are going to get an investment return from



Bitcoin, you don't want to be buying at a market top. However, recent run-ups in price suggest that it's possible we are at the top of the Bitcoin market — or, at least on the way.

Pro tip: Invest as much money as you can stand to lose

Try thinking of investing in Bitcoin as you would buying a lottery ticket. It only costs a dollar, but you could win big. However, as historically shown with commodities, the odds are good that you're going to lose money compared to a low-cost diversified investment. Most of the time, you'll be a lot better off if you choose a long-term investment strategy that isn't quite so volatile. You should also diversify as much as you can; this way, you won't lose your shirt if one particular investment falls apart. If you choose to throw your money into Bitcoin in spite of this advice, just know you're doing so at your peril. The best thing you can do is limit your investment to an amount you can afford to lose, then brace yourself for a long and bumpy ride. To see the original version of this article, click tinyurl. com/zuyl2ql. —Taylor Schulte, CFP, is the CEO of Define Financial and the founder of and is passionate about helping people make smart decisions with their money. He can be reached at 619-577-4002 or


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BRIEFS The decision clears the way for an eventual expansion that was approved by the San Diego City Council and the Port Commission in 2012 and by a unanimous Coastal Commission in 2013. “[The] strong ruling is tremendous news for San Diego’s economy and removes one of the biggest hurdles to expanding the convention center,” Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said. “This expansion is all about creating jobs and growing tourism as well as keeping and attracting large conventions like Comic-Con.” The project would add exhibit space and meeting rooms needed to accommodate the nation’s largest conventions. The plans include an elevated 5-acre public park with panoramic views of San Diego Bay, improvements to an existing pier for use as a public recreational viewpoint, and the replacement of loading docks and other pedestrian-unfriendly uses with visitor-serving amenities that encourage use of the area.


The city of San Diego urges residents to participate in a survey to assess damage done by the recent storms that hit the area. The city is teaming up with the County of San Diego to assess damage to see if renters and homeowners may have access to federal emergency funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). If so, the information collected will help determine if the region is eligible to receive emergency SBA funding. Renters and homeowners may borrow up to $40,000 to repair or replace clothing, furniture, cars or appliances damaged or destroyed in the storms. Homeowners may apply for up to $200,000 to repair or replace their primary residence to its pre-disaster condition.

see BRIEFS, pg 19

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San Diego Downtown News | February 2017


New year, new jewels Growing Balboa Park Reema Makani Boccia Every new year can bring reflection on the past, and setting goals for the year ahead. If getting to know your backyard park — aka Balboa Park — is one of your resolutions, take a stroll through the grounds and check out a few new things Friends of Balboa Park has recently been busy tending to.

Information kiosks

Five information kiosks have been strategically placed throughout Balboa Park, first installed in 2007, thanks to generous support from community donors. These helpful kiosks feature ATMs, sponsorship messages, and up-to-date information and maps for park events, exhibitions, gardens, tours, restaurants and comfort stations. They reach more than 65,000 visitors each year, helping patrons navigate the park’s extensive cultural offerings. Stop by a kiosk and discover all that the park has to offer.

Gate houses

As one approaches the Cabrillo Bridge entrance to Balboa Park, there used to be two ramshackle huts that dotted each side of the bridge. They have been restored to their original splendor from


BRIEFS Visit to fill out an initial damage survey.


Fourth-quarter office vacancy in San Diego County fell to a record low and leasing activity was the highest ever in any single quarter, according to the latest CBRE research. Demand was particularly strong in Downtown where startups and co-working places have been drawn to the neighborhood’s newly renovated office spaces. A total of 2.55 million square feet were leased in San Diego in the fourth quarter of 2016, making the fourth quarter the most active quarter in history — the top three submarkets were Downtown, UTC and Rancho Bernardo. “Downtown San Diego led the county in 2016 in net absorption and leasing activity, and is currently at historic peak rents,” said Matt Carlson, senior vice president of CBRE in the San Diego region. “Downtown accounted for more than onethird of all the county’s absorption in 2016. The CBD is luring innovative startup companies because of the attractiveness of the live-work-play environment, and I believe we will continue to see an increase in leasing

the 1915 Exposition, thanks to Friends of Balboa Park donors, volunteers and local preservation experts. Beautiful structures now welcome visitors to the west end of the park, just as was intended more than a century ago.

State recognition

The California Park & Recreation Society recently honored Friends of Balboa Park founder and current board member Betty Peabody with the California “Champion of the Community” award. A park volunteer since 1969, Peabody founded Friends of Balboa Park in 1999, helping to spearhead numerous initiatives for the park, including the Adopt-A-Plot Program, bench tributes, tree dedications and other programs unique to Friends that facilitate the community’s direct involvement in the enhancement of Balboa Park. She has since served on the board of directors, and remains an active volunteer on numerous park committees, always advocating for the “Jewel of San Diego.”

Photo contest

Friends of Balboa Park are hosting a photo contest open to people of all ages who wish to capture some of our recent flagship projects. Help us commemorate the aforementioned milestones, along with other projects Friends of Balboa Park have completed. The winner will receive a Balboa Park gift basket and recognition on the Friends website and social

activity coupled with high rents.” Downtown has continued to up its appeal as older buildings have been converted into creative office or retail spaces and towers have received upgrades. Among those companies that have been adding space in this part of town has been WeWork, which opened two of six leased floors at 600 B St., joining several smaller-scale co-working operators in the area. Another co-working operator, Level Office out of Chicago, purchased a building in the third quarter and will open upon the completion of renovations currently under way. Also, Downtown had the highest year-to-date positive net absorption of 663,831 square feet; a large portion of that occurred in the fourth quarter when the city of San Diego leased about 305,000 square feet at the former Sempra Energy headquarters.


Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has appointed Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) to serve as the Assistant Majority Whip. “I am honored to have this opportunity and I am truly humbled by the faith Speaker Rendon has placed in me to take a leadership role in the Legislature,” Gloria said.

Betty Peabody (Courtesy Friends of Balboa Park)

An information kiosk updated by Friends (Photo by Leslie Yu)

media channels to thank them for their support. Use #FriendsOfBalboaPark and #BestOfBalboaPark to make sure we find your photos. Contest closes Feb. 21. Friends’ mission is to enhance and preserve Balboa Park and we strive to do this in every project that we take on. We accomplish this through generous donors as well as dedicated volunteers who commit their time, talents and treasure. If getting more involved in your neighborhood is one of your objectives for 2017, we hope you will consider joining Friends of Balboa Park. Membership begins at $50, and the organization has a little something for everyone from families to working professionals to retired individuals. We look forward to seeing you around the park! —Reema Makani Boccia is a public relations consultant who serves as communications officer for Friends of Balboa Park. For more information, visit

“When I was sworn in as a state Assemblymember, I pledged to champion housing affordability and to improve our state’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. This new role gives me more opportunities to advance these priorities and others that will ultimately move California forward.” The Assistant Majority Whip is an officer of the California State Assembly that helps lead the majority caucus and works to advance the broader, progressive agenda of the Democratic caucus. Gloria represents the 78th Assembly District of California and is a former San Diego City Councilmember, City Council president and interim mayor.


This March, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation San Diego Chapter will once again team up with The Commons, located at 901 Fourth Ave. in the Gaslamp District, for the organization’s ninth annual nationwide Shave-A-Thon charity event. Participants will converge at the Downtown hotspot at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4 to shave their heads in the name of generating awareness, funding research for childhood cancer, and continuing to help survivors live long and healthy lives. Since the Foundation’s inception 13 years ago, St.

One of two gate houses restored by Friends of Balboa Park (Photo by Richard Seignious)

Baldrick’s events have raised over $200 million for childhood cancer research, with more than 530,379 shavees at over 11,423 events in 50 states and 27 countries. In 2016, thousands of fundraising events were held throughout the country, raising over $38 million all with one goal: to cure childhood cancer. “The growing support behind the event’s first eight years demonstrates San Diego’s commitment to this very important cause,” said Jake Pescatello, founder of St. Baldrick’s San Diego chapter. “Over the past eight years, we’ve raised over $200,000 in

total, and this year we hope to raise $50,000. We’ve expanded our efforts with promotional events leading up to the San Diego Shave-A-Thon this year, driving the momentum even further and reaching more individuals within the community.” A $10 donation at the door provides admission to the event and a $20 donation at the door includes admission to the event, T-shirt and raffle ticket. All of the proceeds will go to St. Baldrick's Foundation. Visit for more details.

see BRIEFS, pg 20


San Diego Downtown News | February 2017



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As California’s elections become more dependent on mail-ballot voting, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher has introduced Assembly Bill 216 to make it easier for voters to cast their ballot through the mail by paying the postage for returned mail ballots in statewide elections. Since 2012, more than 50 percent of all ballots in the state have been cast by mail, with more than 57 percent of the voters who participated in the November 2016 election having used a mail ballot to vote. Currently, one or more postage stamps are required by the U.S. Postal Service to have a voter’s ballot delivered to a county elections office to be counted. AB 216 would provide simple relief for voters as the use of mail ballots is expected to increase even more in the coming decade. A 2016 state law (Senate Bill 450) authorizes the state to begin to allow counties to conduct their elections through a process that includes the distribution of a mail ballot to every single registered voter. While the new law, which will become effective in some parts of the state beginning in 2018, allows voters to either walk their ballot to a dropoff location or vote in-person, it’s expected that many more voters will opt to return their completed ballot through the mail. The increased use of mail ballots means including postage will become, at the very least, a nuisance for voters who rarely have stamps on hand because they’ve turned to email and the internet to pay their bills instead of by mail. “While some states have recently gone to great lengths to keep people from voting, we want to show that California is committed to taking away every barrier preventing people from casting a vote,” Gonzalez Fletcher said. Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher serves as chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, vice chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, and chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace. She represents the 80th Assembly District, which includes Chula Vista, National City and the San Diego neighborhoods of City Heights, Barrio Logan, Paradise Hills, San Ysidro and Otay Mesa.



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San Diego’s Environmental Services Department, Household Hazardous Waste Program has set the dates for recycling events aimed at taking used oil, oil filters, batteries, antifreeze and CFL bulbs/ tubes off the streets and out of storm drains, and keeping these hazardous materials out of the Miramar Landfill. • Feb. 25 at Mission Bay South Shores Park at Sea World Drive and Shores Parkway in the boat launch parking lot.

see BRIEFS, pg 22


San Diego Downtown News | February 2017


Schmidt Design Group keeps its focus Art on the land Delle Willett When Glen Schmidt founded his landscape architecture and planning firm, Schmidt Design Group, in 1983, he brought a new ethic to the profession that was not widely shared at that time. “Early in my professional career, I felt that many firms were missing the mark by concentrating on purely decorative solutions without responding to place, and to our larger environment,” he said. “I believe that landscape architectural design should focus on artful solutions that should also be sustainable and relevant to their environment. I founded Schmidt Design Group to balance artistic expression in design with environmental sensitivity.” And that is still the firm’s focus 34 years later. The company’s philosophy and artistic talents have brought them impressive results. Schmidt Design Group has received more than 115 local, state and national awards for design and technical excellence, including 11 Orchid awards from

Civita Park illustration

Waterfront Park (Photo by Brad Anderson) the San Diego Architectural Foundation. Their main office is in Downtown San Diego, with a satellite office in Northern California. With 21 local landscape architectural professionals working on highly impactful projects, the firm is one of the largest of its kind in San Diego. Schmidt Design Group’s projects vary from parks and open spaces, to urban in-fill; mixed-use developments; campus planning and design; public schools; higher education; health care and healing gardens; experiential learning environments;

Waterfront Park’s kids play area (Photo by Brad Anderson)

Stone Brewery Liberty Station

Giving Back

David & M David Monica onica Stone Stone


commercial; master-planned communities; and multi-family residential. They have designed over 200 public park and recreation facilities throughout California and were the Landscape Architect of Record for the extremely popular and award-winning Waterfront Park at the County Administration Center. Some of the firm’s other well-known projects include: Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in Escondido and Liberty Station; Solana Beach Coastal Rail Trail; Cottonwood Park in Encinitas; improvements at Liberty Station’s Art District; Paséa Hotel and Spa, a four-diamond resort in Huntington Beach; master planning for the renovation of North Torrey Pines Golf Course, and the renovation of Horton Plaza Park in Downtown San Diego as a member of Walker Macy’s team. “It has been a true privilege to work on such impactful projects over the last many years that improve the quality of life for so many,” Schmidt said. Giving back has been a big part of the Schmidt Design Group’s legacy, including donating over 1 percent of the firm’s billable hours each year for pro-bono projects and public service. For example, over the

Horton Plaza past several years the firm has provided comprehensive landscape architecture services to Noah Homes for the creation of a new assisted-living building on their existing campus. The firm also donated time to assist the San Diego River Park Foundation in creating a master plan for a potential public park and open space trail network on the current Qualcomm Stadium site, if redevelopment options are pursued. Schmidt Design Group’s staff participates in and provides support to organizations such as Community Housing Works, ACE Mentor Program, U.S. Green Building Council, and Independent Rates Oversight Committee for the city of San Diego. Schmidt is currently vice president of the board of directors of Coastkeeper San Diego, which is protecting drinkable, fishable and swimmable waters in the region, while Senior Project Manager Nate Magnusson is the current president of the American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego Chapter. The future looks bright for the firm, whose leadership now includes three principals: President Glen Schmidt, Vice President Jeffery “JT” Barr and Principal Jeff Justus. Barr, who was recently made an equity partner, said “Every site has a story to tell and it’s our responsibility to discover it and express it in the spaces we create.”



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That perspective will be seen on many exciting projects that are scheduled to be completed in the coming years. Examples of ongoing work include: re-envisioning of Children’s Park in Downtown San Diego; Pacific Highlands Community Park and Recreation Center; Millenia Development’s Stylus Park; redevelopment of Riverwalk Golf Course in Mission Valley; Newland Sierra’s development on over 2,000 acres in North County; Sunroad Enterprises’ luxury Ariva Apartments; the parks at Civita in Mission Valley; various tasting rooms and gardens for Golden Road Brewery throughout California. And they are part of the planning team to re-envision De Anza’s 160-acre property in northeast Mission Bay. The firm’s long-range goals, Schmidt said, are to continue to create positive change in the communities in which they work, contribute to long-range solutions to our housing needs, transportation, sea-level rise and climate change. In addition, they will continue to strive to have a positive impact on quality of life, human health and well-being, community services, as well as continuing to build a positive environmental legacy. —Delle Willett has been a marketing and public relations professional for over 30 years, with an emphasis on conservation of the environment. She can be reached at dellewillett@


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San Diego Downtown News | February 2017



Local sports teams, elected officials and community leaders will join forces to celebrate what it means to be part of America’s Finest City. Enjoy family-friendly activities at Petco Park’s Park at the Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The rally will start at 1 p.m. Padres and Aztecs broadcaster Ted Leitner will emcee. The free event will feature live music, interactive games, a Kid’s Zone, photo booths, the Park at the Park whiffle ball field, the Padres Hall of Fame and a San Diego Craft Beer Garden. Parking will be free in Padres lots. Visit

‘RADICAL MACHINES’ Through April 16

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum presents “Radical Machines: Chinese in the Information Age,” an exhibit exploring Chinese typewriters and IT. The technology behind Chinese typewriters led to today’s predictive text technologies in smartphones and computers. The display will be inside the Dr. Sun-Yat Sen Memorial Extension building, 328 J St. Visit

take action that will make San Diego safer for cyclists. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mission Brewery, 1441 L St. Visit


FREE SUNDAY CONCERT SERIES Sundays, Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26

Enjoy live music while visiting Seaport Village. All concerts are 1-4 p.m. at the East Plaza Gazebo, 849 W. Harbor Drive. This is the schedule: ● Feb. 5 — Nova; plays a variety of music and takes requests ● Feb. 12 — Tradewinds; plays classic rock favorites in an island style ● Feb. 19 — Cat-illacs; plays rock ’n’ roll. ● Feb. 26 — Bayou Brothers; plays blues and Cajun Visit



San Diego County Bike Coalition presents “The Power of Advocacy,” a one-day training session to turn locals into advocates for bike safety in their neighborhoods. The Bike Coalition and elected officials will teach attendees how to influence decision-makers to

Monster trucks with names such as Grave Digger, Dragon, Mad Scientist, Hurricane Force, Big Kahuna, Storm Damage and Raminator will plow through and fly over tons of dirt on the floor of Petco Park. Gates open at 5 p.m., show time is 7 p.m. Visit


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 Tuesdays. Coronado Certified Farmers Market: 2:30–6 p.m. First and B streets at Coronado Ferry Landing. Visit


Sparks Gallery presents “Edge of the Ocean/A Group Show,” an exhibition at Sparks Gallery featuring 35 local artists whose works are inspired by the San Diego coastline. Opening reception is Feb. 19, 6-9 p.m. at 530 Sixth Ave. Visit


Prepare for a night of nonstop dancing, lights, pulsating beats, samba dancers, parades and Brazilian music at the San Diego Brazilian Carnival, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Park 6, 590 Fir St. Visit


Gaslamp Quarter Historical Walking Tour: Stops on this tour include architecturally significant structures from the 1800s including Old City Hall, the Keating Building, Davis-Horton House and more. 1 p.m. 410 Island Ave., Gaslamp. Visit Sunset Trivia: Bring a team or play alone. 7–9 p.m. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. Visit


Weekly Downtown Clean & Safe 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-plus. Noon. Tickets are $45. Tours also on Saturday. Visit


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 Gaslamp Quarter Historical Walking Tour: Stops on this tour include architecturally significant structures from the 1800s including Old City Hall, the Keating Building, Davis-Horton House and more. 11 a.m. 410 Island Ave., Gaslamp. Visit


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

This interactive murder-mystery will test your powers of observation and deductive reasoning as you find yourself transported to Victorian-era London where a terrible murder has taken place. From there you will visit seven other locales, gathering clues. Can you solve the mystery and find out “whodunit?” On exhibit at the Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado in Balboa Park. Visit


Paris, 1904: The Lapin Agile, watering hole to struggling artists and would-be geniuses, is visited by Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein, whose egos are as big as their intellects. Steve Martin’s play runs through March 12 at The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. Visit


‘EDGE OF THE OCEAN’ Sunday, Feb. 19


San Diego Symphony will open the evening’s performance with Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture,” then feature guest violinist Benjamin Beilman. Conductor Jahja Ling will close with Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4.” Starts at 8 p.m. in Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St. Visit


Join the dance clubs of the International Dance Association in Balboa Park as they teach and demonstrate various styles of social dancing and give you a chance to learn dances from around the world. Partners not required. Features dance exhibitions and vendors selling food and international dance-related items. Free, noon to 5 p.m. at Balboa Park Club. Visit


Ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro will perform at 7 p.m. at the Music Box, 1337 India St. Shimabukuro, who broke from the traditional sounds of the ukulele, has been touring since the release of his debut album “Nashville Sessions,” which hit No. 3 on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Albums Chart. Visit

This tasting event with a New Orleans twist will take participants on a tour of delicious Mardi Gras-inspired bites and sinful sips throughout Downtown. Indulge in the offerings from 20 hotspots while collecting beads. Collect 10 beads and receive your VIP beads, which will allow access to a secret rooftop after-party. Presented from 1 to 5 p.m. by the Gaslamp Quarter Association. Visit

OSCAR PARTY AT LEVEL 9 Sunday, Feb. 26

Enjoy your own Oscar party while watching the show under the stars at one of the rooftop fire pits with a beautiful view of San Diego. Play games and earn prizes based on Oscar nominees and winners while you snack on free popcorn and sip themed drink specials. Enjoy a complimentary Champagne toast to celebrate the Best Picture Winner. Bring your friends and pets to walk the red carpet. Starts at 5:30 p.m. at Level 9 in Hotel Indigo, 509 Ninth Ave. Visit


More than 20,000 revelers are expected for the Gaslamp Quarter Masquerade Mardi Gras Parade and Celebration on Fat Tuesday, from 5 p.m. to midnight. The event entrance is at Fourth Avenue and E Street. The celebration will include beads, confetti, dancers, Mardi Gras parade and three music stages. Visit

—Compiled by Jen Van Tieghem. Send items for inclusion to editor Morgan M. Hurley at 


BRIEFS • March 18 at Public Utilities Operations Center, 5571 Kearny Villa Road at Topaz Way. • April 22 at Montgomery High School, 3250 Palm Ave. at Hawaii Avenue. • May 13 at Mira Mesa High School, 10510 Marauder Way in the south parking lot. The lots will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call the Environmental Services Department at 858-694-7000.


The San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) joined a growing number of colleges and universities around the country when its Board of Trustees approved a resolution reaffirming support of its students. The resolution, passed unanimously, urges President Trump to continue the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which allows undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children to work and study in the country without fear of being deported. President Obama launched the policy in 2012.

“The board resolution reflects the values of the district’s faculty, administrators, staff and student leaders,” SDCCD Chancellor Constance M. Carroll said. “The campus presidents and I have sent a message to students, sharing the board resolution and assuring them that we will do everything in our power to support their educational opportunities despite the challenges that may be on the horizon.” The resolution affirms the district’s support for its diverse student population, including those who may lack legal authorization to be in this country; commits to not cooperating with any federal effort aimed at creating a registry of individuals based religion, national origin, race, or sexual orientation; precludes immigration officials from being on campus absent legal authority; and pledges to avoid acting on behalf of federal agencies enforcing immigration laws. “Our goal in passing this resolution is simple and straightforward,” board President Maria Nieto Senour said. “We value each and every one of our students, so our priority is to provide high-quality educational opportunities for all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, heritage, national origin, religion, immigration status, gender identity or medical condition.”


Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro ‘Marry Me!’ Bridal Bazaar

The Winter Bridal Bazaar was presented at the San Diego Convention Center on Jan. 8, and the theme for the day was “Marry me!”

Bridal & Veil shows off the elegant lace fashion (Photos by Diana Cavagnaro)

Off the shoulders by David’s Bridal

Sudoku & Crossword puzzle answers from page 18

Marry me! Two hundred wedding professionals were on hand with all the information you would need for that special day. Brides-to-be could talk with experts about their upcoming wedding. Booths were set up with wedding cakes, catering and florists. If you were looking for music, they had DJs, musicians and bands. To capture your important day, they had photographers, videographers and boudoir photographers. If you needed a location for your honeymoons or a destination wedding, they had many companies to assist you. If you were still unsure about your wedding, they had bridal consultants to talk with you. Gretchen Productions presented three fashion shows highlighting the latest trends

San Diego Downtown News | February 2017


highly entertaining production. Attendees could also gather ideas about current fashions for the bride, bridesmaids, the groom and the entire entourage. The fashion show began with music played by the Classic Brass. Models came down the runway wearing up-to-the-minute bridal fashions. There were styles in all sizes, and the

Flower girl by PreVue Formal & Bridal Low V-neckline with full skirt by PreVue & Bridal in weddings. The firm specializes in shows combining dance, theater and fashions, creating a

Off the shoulder with full skirt by D’Angelo Couture

audience favorite was the alltoo-cute flower girls and ring bearers. Besides the traditional white gowns, brides came down the runway in ivory and blush gowns. Bridal & Veil had eveningwear in colors of cranberry, pewter and rose. PreVue Formal & Bridal showed eveningwear in ruby red, and David’s Bridal showed light blue and lapis colors. Some of the brides came down the runway in fitted silhouettes with beautiful laces. Others had plunging necklines with fitted bodices. One of the trends was off the shoulders bodices with full skirts while another look was high-waist eveningwear. One of the standout evening gowns was a low V-neckline with embroidered floral design by PreVue. Another standout was an illusion bodice off the shoulders with a full skirt by D’Angelo Couture. At the end of the fashion show, models threw rice sachets into the audience. Each one of these contained valuable door prizes. They were worth thousands of dollars and could be returned to the stage to receive a prize certificate. In addition, everyone who registered at the show received a free year’s subscription to Brides magazine and were entered in a drawing for a chance to win the grand prize, which was diamond jewelry from Irelia Fine Jewelers. This show is a must for anyone who is planning a wedding. The next show will be April 30 at Del Mar Fairgrounds. For more information, visit

Upcoming events

Through June 4 |Knotted Fiber Jewelry — This exhibition by Sandy Swirnoff is at Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. The artist combines the old with the new using various beads and a form of macramé. Hours are TuesdaySunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 4 | Viennese Nights: A Victorian Ball — Join the San Diego Vintage Dance Society for its annual Viennese Nights Victorian Ball at Balboa Park Club. Music provided by Grand Pacific Waltz Orchestra under the direction of Joe Dyke. Formal wear only, and vintage style strongly encouraged. 7-10:15 p.m. Tickets $35 at event/2722142

PreVue Formal & Bridal shows ruby red eveningwear

Plunging neckline with embroidered floral by PreVue Feb. 19 | San Diego Steampunk Visits Kobey’s Swapmeet — Come before 8:30 a.m. for free admission or $2 admission after. At noon will be lunch on the lawn at Old Town. A prize will be awarded for who got the “most unique” item. 8:30-11:30 a.m. RSVP is a must at the San Diego Steampunk Facebook event page or the Meetup event page or email to Feb. 24 |Go Red For Women Red Dress Collection 2017 —Macy’s presents luncheon and fashion show at Fairmont Grand Del Mar. Proceeds go to the American Heart Association. March 3 — Fashion Redux! 2017 Finale Party | At San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. Four finalists from San Diego Mesa College will have their 1950 inspired designs on display from Feb. 21-March 3, with finale iMarch 3, from 6-8 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 | February 2017

Congratulations TOP 100 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21.

Gregg Neuman Chad Dannecker Thomas Holmes Denny Oh Francine Finn Curtis Tischler David Stone Michael Chious Prem Advani Mark Mills Joe Marcotte Michael Lange John Husar John Reeves Michael Althof Ralph Vagnone Michael Ciampa Eric Rodriguez Matthew Matson Ryan Ponce Jeffrey Grant

Total Sales by Real Estate Agent in 2016 (Incl. buyer sales and listings sold, January 1 - December 31, 2016)

in 92101 158 46 27 26 24 24 20 15 14 14 14 12 11 11 10 10 10 9 9 9 9

22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42.

Deborah Herscovitz Jeffrey Sill Franchesca Meram Christine Baker Jamie Pullman Todd DeBoer Alan Hamrick Laura Ochoa Tina Dameron Nicole Malek Pete Thistle Greg Cummings Gerry Burchard ,YHOLQD.DOFKHYD Claudette Cooper Richard Combs Ann LeBaron Tammy Willis Brent Cole -DVRQ0F.HQQD Ryan Johnstone

9 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 7 7  7 7 7 7 7  6

43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63.

Jorge Verdugo Jorge Castellon Anthony Napoli Seth O’Byrne Jason Cassity *HUDOG.OHLQVPLWK Jason Coriano Richelle Szczygiel Sean Zanganeh Gonzalo Vidano Jonathan Mann Connie Jane Danielson Robert Whalen Jeffrey O’Neal 6WDQOH\.ULPHUPDQ Elisabeth English %U\DQW.DW]HQ Lisa Padilla Rosemary Snow Jeffrey Nix Melania Mirzakhanian

REAL Marketing, Inc. salutes the efforts of the Top 100 Downtown San Diego Real Estate Agents in 2016! REAL Marketing has been helping small businesses for more than 25 years across North America, specializing in increasing market share and improving customer retention. We are pleased to announce our real estate division has helped Gregg Neuman and the Neuman & Neuman Team substantially outperform all other Realtors Downtown for the SEVENTH consecutive year.

Results for 2016 There were 967 total sales (1,934 transaction sides) in the 92101 zip code last year, which is a 4.7% increase from WKHVDOHVÓJXUHV7KHDYHUDJHVDOHV price has increased to $611,653 showing a 4.8% gain, while the average days on market have decreased to 37 days. Gregg Neuman of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices (BHHS) tops the lists for a SEVENTH consecutive year with 158 total sales, representing a 23.4% increase in business. His sales not only represent now 60% of BHHS’s sales in Downtown, he also outsold

entire brokerages including Welcome to San Diego Realty, Coldwell Banker Residential, Big Block Realty, Willis Allen, 5HGĂ“Q&RUSRUDWLRQDQG.HOOHU:LOOLDPV SD Metro. With a total of 262 sales according to data available from Trendgraphix, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Ă“QLVKHGDQRWKHUVWURQJ\HDUDQG is continuing its lead over all other Downtown brokerages. Congratulations to all Top 100 Real Estate agents in Downtown San Diego for their outstanding efforts.

6 6 6 6 6  6 6 6 5 5 5 5 5  5  4 4 4 4

64. 65. 66. 67. 68. 69. 70. 71. 72. 73. 74. 75. 76. 77. 78. 79. 80. 81. 82. 83.

Francis Atrash 4 Laura Lhotsky 4 .DUHQ*UHHQ  Maria Hedda Parashos 4 Stephen Clark 4 Greg Bernave 4 Jennifer Balanay 4 Ashley Cochran 4 Ever Eternity 4 Erik Romero 4 .DUD1RHOOH.QRRLKXL]HQ Eric Jones 4 David Spiewak 4 Daniel Beer 4 Teresa Vo 4 Rebecca Roman 4 Brian Cane 4 Valerie Tuck 4 Carlos Pastrana 4 45 Agents Tied With 3

TOP 25

in 92101

Total Sales by Company 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 3DFLĂ“F6RWKHE\Ă?V,QWĂ?O5HDOW\ Welcome To San Diego Realty Coldwell Banker Residential Big Block Realty Willis Allen 5HGĂ“Q&RUSRUDWLRQ .HOOHU:LOOLDPV6'0HWUR Downtown Condo Showroom Ascent RE Century 21 Award Level Four Advisors Canter Brokerage +DUFRXUWV3DFLĂ“F5HDOW\ RE/MAX Coastal Properties Greater Good Realty ISellTheCity Real Estate Bennion Deville Homes .HOOHU:LOOLDPV5HDOW\/D-ROOD Centre City Properties Carrington Real Estate Services Ascent Real Estate Dwell Well Realty Advani Realty RE/MAX Real Estate Consultants

262  73 55 51 42   31 31 30 24 23  22 20 19 19  18 17 15 14 14 14

REAL Marketing, Inc. is a marketing company dedicated to promoting real estate agents and their businesses. Gregg Neuman is the team leader of Neuman & Neuman Real Estate, Inc. a team of more than two real estate agents working together for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties and the data above under Gregg Neuman includes all transactions closed by the Neuman & Neuman team. Many of the agents featured in this ad are also teams or sole practitioners. All information above was based upon data available at the end of December 2016, for January 1 through December 31, 2016. The information is based upon data supplied by Sandicor MLS and includes all transactions reported under the agents named above. Neither Sandicor nor the MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by Sandicor or their MLS may not reflect all real estate activities in the market. Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Copyright Š Trendgraphix, Inc.

San Diego Downtown News February 2017  
San Diego Downtown News February 2017