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January 2016 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter


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

A port for all

P. 3

Commissioners approve X ‘framework report’





Logo Design





Local chefs look back ➤➤ DINING

P. 14 An illuminated image of the 6,000 acres that make up the Unified Port of San Diego's area of jurisdiction, showing future potential upgrades as part of the Master Plan Update. (Courtesy Port of San Diego) cluded more than 100 interviews with various agencies and stakeholders — and laying the groundwork for the Master Plan back in 2013. Outreach has occurred through a series The Unified Port of San Diego just released its “Inteof workshops, community engagement events, board meetgrated Planning Framework Report,” a document that ings and other methods, and these will continue. will guide the development and trajectory of its Master The Integrated Planning Framework Report, approved Plan Update, which was authorized in July 2015. on Nov. 17 by the Board of Port Commissioners, is the last The formalized Master Plan, which looks ahead 50 step required before the “visionary stage” of the planning years and will be updated over time as needed, will conprocess may begin. The report was designed and produced tinue to offer opportunities for public input throughout by HKS Urban Design Studio, with the help of Carrier its development process. Port Commissioners working the plan include Chair- Johnson; CCI Partners; Cook and Schmid; Randall Lamb man Dan Malcolm, Imperial Beach; Vice Chair Marshall Associates; and Spurlock Poirier Landscape Architects. The 116-page document is filled with informational Merrifield, San Diego; Robert “Dukie” Valderrama, secretary, National City; Garry J. Bonelli, Coronado; Rafael graphs, dozens of colorful maps, artist renderings and other graphics, as well as hundreds of photographic imCastellanos, San Diego; Ann Moore, Chula Vista; and ages taken from both space and from various locations Bob Nelson, San Diego. around the three parts of the San Diego Bay the report The Master Plan, currently 142 pages, will act as references: the North Bay, the Working Waterfront, and the Port’s blueprint, providing a “balanced approach” to planning with regard to the 6,000 acres of land and water the South Bay. within its jurisdiction, including 33 miles of shoreline. see Port Plan, pg 9 The Port first began public outreach — which has in-

Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Grateful food and drink ➤➤ FEATURE

P. 16

Assessing the year in theater By Charlene Baldridge Theatrically, it’s time to take a look back upon the year 2015, name a few favorite productions here in San Diego County, and take a look forward into 2016, finding what looks worthwhile and perhaps taking some time to fret over what seems troubling. Please be aware that although I see most everything (I attended 115 theatrical productions, musicals, concerts and operas in town this year, not counting at least 10 Fringe Festival shows), there are some things I missed because scheduling is sometimes impossible. Here’s what I found to be excellent: Marsha Norman’s “‘night Mother,” at ion theatre company, so good I paid to see it again as skillfully directed by Glenn Paris and starring Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson as the mother of a daughter hell-bent on suicide, played by Yolanda Franklin.

Petco Park owners hoping for a grand slam See yourself on game day ➤➤ FASHION

P. 19

Construction underway on several small projects to enhance spectator experience

A scene from “In Your Arms” (Photo by Carol Rosegg)

By Dave Fidlin

Pet parades and trunk shows

Index Politics.....................5 Opinion…...............……6 News Briefs ....................7 Puzzles................15 Calendar.............…18

Contact Us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1960



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The San Diego Padres’ season opener is still three months away, but the baseball franchise’s home venue, Petco Park, is abuzz with activity in the new year. In early December, club owners announced a host of changes that will greet visitors of the ballpark when the Padres take on the Los Angeles Dodgers for a three-game series starting April 4. Many of the changes are designed to mimic San Diego’s unique characteristics. Petco Park is owned jointly by the city of San Diego and an organization known as Padres LP, which handles the day-to-day operations of the ballpark. Though the stadium is just a dozen years old, its still-youthful age hasn’t

The new LED ribbons and HD video screen thrilled fans in 2015 and the Padres have even more changes in store for 2016. (Photo by Dave Fidlin) stopped decision-makers from making upgrades in recent years. “The facility upgrades are part of the ownership group’s commitment to make [Petco Park] one of the best sporting venues in the country,” said Wayne Partello, the Padres’ senior vice president and chief marketing

officer in an interview with Downtown News. “We want to look at ways we can best use every piece of square footage.” The stadium’s owners are in the midst of a multi-year spruce-up of the

see Padres, pg 13

Stephen Karam’s 2011 off-Broadway hit, “Sons of the Prophet,” at Cygnet in January, directed by then-new associate artistic director, Rob Lutfy. It was a touching, wildly inscrutable, deeply comic play about a Pennsylvania man of Lebanese descent confined to a wheelchair by an undiagnosed illness, brilliantly played by newcomer Alex Hoeffler. The pace was 1,000 mph and the play chock-full of challenging characters, who repeatedly missed out on love. By far the most outstanding new musical of the year was La Jolla Playhouse’s world premiere of “Come From Away,” in which a huge ensemble company told the story of the planes and people that

see Theater, pg 19


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016


Memories and desires Downtown area chefs, restaurant owners weigh in on dining preferences

By Frank Sabatini Jr. Forget the notion that chefs and restaurateurs who work 60-plus hours a week never have time to indulge in San Diego’s teeming culinary scene. Though perhaps not as frequently as the people they feed, and rarely on weekend nights, it’s practically an industry requirement they break away for meals presented by their competitors and colleagues. With their discerning palates always in high gear, we asked several movers and shakers in the business what dish sent them over the moon in 2015 and what restaurant they haven’t yet visited that sits at the top of their bucket list for the year ahead.

(Courtesy Bay Bird Inc.)

Russell Rummer, executive chef at Croce’s Park West 2760 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill 619-233-4355 Favorite dish: “It was the char-grilled Akaushi ribeye at Island Prime, which was one of the best steaks I think I ever had in my life. It literally melted in your mouth.” Must try: “What I am most excited to try is Richard Blais’ Crack Shack. I can’t wait to see the combination of his fine dining training in a fast, casual atmosphere. And I love chicken with eggs!”

(Courtesy Rare Form)

Aldo Negrete, executive chef at Rare Form 795 J St., East Village 619-255-6507 Favorite dish: “It’s not a fancy food, but it was the lobster roll from Ironside Fish & Oyster. The buttered brioche was fresh and crispy and the lobster was juicy and cooked perfectly. On top were some really nice crispy shallots.” Must try: “I’ve been hearing amazing things about the cooking techniques used at Catania in La Jolla. They’re supposedly doing whole roasted fish and making delicious pizzas — simple Italian food but done right.”

(Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

Martin San Roman, executive chef at Dobson’s Bar & Restaurant 956 Broadway Circle 619-231-6771 Favorite dish: “It was the lamb belly taco at Aqui es Texoco in Chula Vista. They cook the meat for 24 hours and add broth made from the juice of the lamb. They also put in fresh cilantro and raw onions. I love their fresh green tomatillo salsa with the taco.” Must try: “I’m hearing good things about the food and the beautiful view at Coasterra. They can seat up to 500 people and I want to go with a big group of family and friends to see how they do Mexican food.”

(Courtesy Jsix)

Christian Graves, executive chef at Jsix 616 J St., East Village 619-531-8744 Favorite dish: “The ceviche at Nine-Ten in La Jolla was one of the most delicious things I had last year. Chef Jason Knibbs used chocolate clams, a variety from Mexico, in what was almost like a tomato base. It was ocean-water bright and with perfect acidity.” Must try: “I’m looking forward to trying Brian Malarkey’s new restaurant (Sea Salt & The Herb Box) that he’s opening in Little Italy sometime in 2016. I understand it’s going to be Southern California cuisine mixed with food retail products. And I haven’t tried the Crack Shack in Little Italy yet. Fried chicken is kind of my weakness.”

(Courtesy Le Parfait Paris)

Jean Francois Fays, executive pastry chef at Le Parfait Paris 555 G St., Gaslamp Quarter 619-245-4457 Favorite dish: “I loved the trout almondine at La Bonne Table in Hillcrest. It’s a simple dish but the technique of flouring and seasoning the fish must be very subtle before cooking it in the pan with butter. Then you have to deglaze the pan with lemon juice. This place really has it down for making it right.” Must try: “I’m anxious for Madison on Park to open soon in University Heights. We consulted with them about their dessert menu and what we saw on other parts of the menu is going to be top notch. There’s an awesome Italian fish dish on it, some good pasta dishes and excellent cocktails.”

(Courtesy Solare Ristorante)

Randy Smerik, owner of Solare Ristorante 2820 Roosevelt Road, Point Loma 619-270-9670 Favorite dish: “The albacore two ways at Bracero in Little Italy blew me away because of the incredible blend of freshness, flavors and textures that were magically put together. It had wonderful citrus from lime, crispy eggplant, and jalapeno ponzu for a final wrap up.” Must try: “I’ve been wanting to try Sushi Tadokoro in Old Town because I heard their sushi chef is on fire and that he’ll make whatever you want. My son went there and sent me incredible photos of the food.”

(Courtesy The Nth Element) (Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

Kevin Templeton, executive chef at Barleymash 600 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter 619-255-7373 Favorite dish: “It was at Carnitas Snack Shack. I went there for a band meeting and we ordered everything off the menu, and the meatloaf sandwich was my favorite. It had bold flavors and came with a big slice of meatloaf on nice focaccia bread. My close second was their triple BLT.” Must try: “I’ve heard nothing but great things about Kettner Exchange. I rarely get out to dine and when I do, it’s usually to holein-the-wall, no-name places. This is one of the higher end restaurants that I want to try.”

Brad Kraten, executive chef at Saltbox 1047 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter 619-515-3003 Favorite dish: “The tonkasu ramen at Ramen Yamadaya, which recently opened Downtown on Broadway. It had a rich broth, thicker-than-usual pieces of pork belly, and the egg was cooked just right with a little runniness in the center. I’ve been to other ramen houses in San Diego, but they just didn’t hit the mark like this place.” Must try: “We had our annual meeting last year at Juniper & Ivy, although I was too tired to go that night. It’s on my list because our chefs who attended the meeting have all been recommending it.” —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.rr.comv

San Diego Downtown News | January 2016



San Diego Downtown News | January 2016


Wrapping up the year Congressional Watch Andy Cohen On Dec. 18, Congress passed the $1.1 trillion Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, otherwise known as the omnibus spending bill that will fund and keep the U.S. government open and running until September 2016. This was the first major legislation passed under new Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), and it passed, surprisingly, without much drama. Perhaps Ryan was given the benefit of the doubt by his more intransigent Republican colleagues, who in essence forced the retirement of former Speaker John Boehner. The bill did not contain any of the provisions members of the House Freedom Caucus — the hard right wing faction of the Republican membership who oppose nearly everything that even smacks of compromise with Democrats or President Obama — coveted, such as the repeal of “Obamacare,” or the defunding of Planned Parenthood. Nonetheless, it passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 316 – 113. The spending bill extends some tax breaks for middle and lowincome families, renewable energy development and for some businesses. It also boosts funds for the Pentagon (military) and for Pell Grants — much needed aid to college students. The most controversial part — which almost, but not quite, derailed the bipartisan agreement — was the ending of a decades-long ban on the export of U.S.-produced oil, a boon to domestic oil companies. But that was a compromise worth making for Democrats, who vehemently opposed the toonumerous-to-mention “poison pill” riders originally placed in the bill by Republicans. The most important thing the spending bill does, however, is nearly guarantee that the government will not be shut down over foolish partisan squabbles during most of the 2016 election cycle — such as the aforementioned Planned Parenthood or decreasing taxes on the wealthy — at least until next September when the general presidential election will be in full throttle. That’s a good thing. Locally, it means that our military installations — which fuel much of the local San Diego economy — will be fully funded. And of our local Congressional delegation, only Duncan Hunter (R-50) voted against the bill, effectively voting in favor of shutting down the federal government, just like during the fall of 2013. Overall, it also means that the two sides can actually work together when it matters most … at least for now, or until the honeymoon is over for Paul Ryan.

In other news …

Scott Peters (D-52) took to the floor of Congress to admonish Congressional leadership for not allowing a bipartisan bill with 185 co-sponsors — that would expand background checks on gun purchases to include gun shows and private sales — from coming to the floor to a vote. Over the course of four days, Peters took to the

floor to read the names of the victims of gun violence that he and many other co-sponsors of this bill argue might still be alive had Congress acted on some simple reforms. “Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Peters said from the floor of the House of Representatives. “Moments of silence are not enough. Maybe, Mr. Speaker, instead of a moment of silence the American people could get a moment of action. A moment of action that might keep their community from being next.” In a story published by the San Diego Union Tribune, none of Peters’ opponents support the gun bills that have been introduced in Congress. “Each of these names has something in common: They were defenseless in the minutes between the start of the shooting and when police were able to arrive,” said John Horst, a Republican candidate hoping to unseat Peters in 2016. Horst told the Union Tribune that he would introduce a national open carry law that would allow every person legally entitled to own a gun to carry their firearms openly in a holster in all public areas. Peters and his colleagues should be commended for their efforts to bring attention to this and other bills designed to make it more difficult for people who shouldn’t have guns to legally purchase them. On Dec. 21, Peters awarded a La Jolla resident who served as an infantryman in World War II a medal for his combat service in the European theater. “It was my honor to give Donald Breitenberg this long overdue recognition for his brave service,” Peters said. “Getting our San Diego World War II veterans the recognition they have earned is the very least we can do to honor our greatest generation and the sacrifices they made for our nation.” Juan Vargas (D-51) joined a group of Congressmembers who penned a letter to the House Appropriations Committee imploring them to increase funding for refugee assistance and resettlement programs in the 2016 budget. “Over 75 percent of those seeking refuge in the U.S. are women and children who are desperately trying to escape the danger that has removed them from their homes and continuously threatens their lives,” said Vargas in a press release. “Our screening process is rigorous and thorough; increasing funding would aid any areas where additional support is required. Providing the additional funds needed to support several refugee-related accounts would reflect our country’s moral leadership and counter ISIS’s barbaric acts.” You might recall that in November, Scott Peters and 46 other Democrats joined with Congressional Republicans in opposition of allowing any Syrian or Iraqi refugees fleeing ISIS atrocities into the United States. Darrell Issa (R-49) was announced as one of several international government representatives or policy makers who will be speaking at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, also known as CES, in Las Vegas in January. CES is one of the largest shows of its type in the world. A member of the House Judiciary Committee, Issa serves on the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, which has jurisdiction over patent and trademark law, information technology, and the Internet. Issa made his fortune as CEO of Directed Electronics, the car alarm company that featured his voice on its Viper and Python car alarms, along with other electronics company investments, and has spearheaded efforts in Congress on patent reform. —Andy Cohen is a local freelance writer. Reach him at ac76@

Notes from Toni Speaker of the Assembly Toni G. Atkins Every other January marks an interesting time in the Capitol. As you might know, the state Legislature works in two-year sessions. The current session began last January and concludes on Aug. 31, 2016. Since we’re right in the middle, it’s a good time to reflect on the first year’s work and look forward to the coming year. I’m very proud of the things we achieved for the people of California in 2015. As the state budget continued to rebound from the Great Recession, we were able to beef up our rainy-day reserves and pay down debt, and we pumped more money into public schools, higher education, and childcare support. We created a new system for the regulation of medicinal marijuana, solving a problem that has dogged the state for 20 years. We’ve made much progress in our efforts to conserve water amid a prolonged drought. We passed a crucially important climate-change law that pushes us more toward renewable energy and increases energy efficiency in our buildings. A few of my colleagues and I traveled to Paris last month to demonstrate to world leaders how California is leading the way in the fight against climate change. And we created California’s first state-level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to supplement the federal EITC and put more money into the pockets of the workers who need it most, benefitting roughly two million people. Still, not all of the important work was finished. Our system of highways, roads, and bridges is in serious decay and we haven’t settled how to pay for the needed repairs. Likewise, we must fill a billion-dollar shortfall in our Medi-Cal system, and more funding is needed to provide services for residents with developmental disabilities. Nor have we decided on a permanent funding source for affordable housing. Housing affordability is a growing crisis in California, one that’s threatening to further erode the middle class and make it difficult for many working-poor families to escape poverty. The issues are complex and difficult, but we need to address them. I’ll soon be assisting Assembly Speaker-designee Anthony Rendon’s transition into the Speaker’s office. The Assembly Democratic Caucus selected Mr. Rendon as the next Speaker. He will be formally elected on Jan. 11 and officially sworn in on March 7, allowing for a two-month transition period. After that, during what will be my final nine months in the Assembly, I’ll continue advocating for veterans, homeless people, the LGBT community, the working poor, and all San Diegans and Californians in my role as Speaker Emeritus. Indeed, 2016 will be an interesting transitional year for me, and I am looking forward to it. I have high hopes for what can be accomplished for San Diego and California. I wish you all a productive and joyous year. Around the District: You’ll soon be hearing more about the EITC, as we launch the effort locally to make sure San Diegans take advantage of this tax credit and the related federal tax credit. For more information, including tools, calculators and charts, please see You may also call 2-1-1 San Diego for appointments for Volunteer Income Tax

San Diego Downtown News | January 2016


Assistance (VITA) … Having an issue with a state agency can be challenging. If you find you need help getting answers, please call my local district office at 619-6453090. My staff would be happy to assist you … Many new laws take effect in California on Jan. 1, including AB 1116, which stops manufacturers of smart TVs from capturing private conversations, and AB 774, which will allow craft beer tastings at farmers markets. For a more extensive list, please see my January e-newsletter at tinyurl. com/nq4pvxo. —Toni G. Atkins is the Speaker of the California State Assembly. For more information, please visit her website, where you can sign up for her enewsletter or get the latest news on legislation and other activities. You also may follow her on Twitter, @ toniatkins.v

Expert Advice To read advice and information from the experts, please go to: Adam Martindale Martindale Travel & Tours

THE BEST AND MOST ECONOMICAL TIME TO CRUISE IN 2016 To participate in our Expert Advice section, call:


BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Two Dollar Tuesday Sixth & K Parkade 289 Sixth Ave. San Diego, CA 92101 Discover Downtown San Diego on Tuesdays! Park in the Sixth & K Parkade, located at 289 Sixth Ave., for $2 flat on Tuesdays from 4 p.m. to 3 a.m. The Downtown Community Parking District and Gaslamp Quarter Association have partnered with local businesses to offer special discounts and deals with your $2 Tuesday parking ticket. Choose between a variety of restaurants, bars, shops and galleries to explore in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Perfect for a date night out or a quick shopping trip in the liveliest and busiest area in San Diego. For more information on the $2 Tuesday specials, visit for details/calendar. Certain blackout days may apply during Padres games and other special events.



San Diego Downtown News | January 2016

Letters Trimble at the helm

Great article about Michael Trimble and his new position as executive director of the Gaslamp Quarter [see “Trimble sets up shop,” Vol. 16, Issue 12 or at]. Just as a fact check, it was Rob Hagey not Rob Hegge who started Street Scene and ran it for 25 years. Rob Hagey was really a part of Downtown revitalization in the late ’80s through about 2005. Street Scene had a national reputation. Unfortunately things changed and I hear Rob Hagey Productions went bankrupt. Nonetheless, he should be remembered as part of our local history as a real entrepreneur.   Thanks again for the great publication. If you ever want more Downtown history let me know. —Donna Smith Burns, former executive director for Gaslamp Quarter Association, via email

see Letters, pg 7

Guest Editorials

New Year brings new opportunities for ex-Qualcomm employees By William Moore As the New Year begins, San Diego has opportunities to continue its recent economic successes. In the most recent quarter, year over year, the unemployment rate in San Diego plummeted by 1.5 percent, with overall economic growth at 3.5 percent. Even in the face of challenging headlines, like drought, notoriously high utility expenses and the recent Qualcomm layoffs, San Diego keeps going. Why? It’s the people. The most important driver of regional success is not capital or the companies or even the infrastructure or regulations — it’s the talent. Firms and capital go where the talented people are. Regions that attract talented people and keep them through the occasional hiccup are historically the most successful. Last year, San Diego faced a small crisis. Qualcomm — considered by many the region’s flagship tech company — laid off a significant number of very talented people. Those people are starting the New Year evaluating their options. It is imperative to San Diego that the city keeps as many of these people as possible here. Workers affected by the layoffs who want to stay in San Diego have two basic paths. Most of them will get picked up by other local companies that would be ecstatic to bring on these skilled people; but a determined minority have been dreaming of doing it on their own for years, and will decide the time is right. I have seen many successful companies start this way. Those startups make up a more important share of the economy than any one large company and 57 percent of San Diego’s companies have one to four employees. Only 1 percent of the region’s companies report more than 250 workers. Shortly after Texas Instruments closed its San Diego mobile division in 2008, a group of just-laidoff engineers came into my office. Since a few of them had been laid off at the same time, they were able to quickly form an entire team that already

knew each other. They launched a new business called IPG, and started developing cellular basestation chipsets. It worked beautifully. Within three years, larger companies were clamoring to bring them in, paying not only to hire the team, but also to purchase the intellectual property that they had developed. The team ended up doing better over those three years than they would have if they’d just kept their jobs at Texas Instruments. Plus, they didn’t have to relocate, pull their kids out of school or find their spouses new jobs. They did it right here in San Diego, and they’re still here today. San Diego provides an excellent ecosystem for keeping talent local. The local community colleges and UC San Diego Extension provide training opportunities that can translate exceptional talent from one domain to another. The service corps of retired executives provides both classes and oneon-one mentoring for those new CEOs. Anybody who is looking to embark on a new business has a great opportunity to do so here. This is a chance for the rest of us to help as well. Now is the time for: l Wireless and tech associations can intensify their support of the formation of startups through expanded incubator programs, building mentorship connections and intensifying educational sessions to encourage entrepreneurship. l Supporting businesses (lawyers, accountants, etc.) can formulate ways to accommodate the needs of these unique startups. l Tech companies that have thrived under the shadow of big brother Qualcomm can acquire local talent — both as employees and as contractors. l Angels who might have some money stashed in limited partnerships in out-of-town VCs can turn their attention to the attractive opportunities in San Diego. San Diego is growing. And it will keep growing if we keep our best people in town. If we can make San Diego a fertile place for people’s businesses and their lives, San Diego’s economy can continue to do great things. —William Moore is a business lawyer in San Diego and founder of The Moore Firm. He has extensive experience in a variety of cases and growing industries such as wireless communications and clean tech and focuses on serving entrepreneurs. For more info, visit

Poll of the Month Last Poll Results:

Do you make new year's resolutions? 74% Sometimes, but rarely follow through 13% Yes, always and with great success 13% No, what's the point?

This Month’s Question:

With the end of the football season upon us, what's your current take on the Chargers? Keep them and build a stadium Downtown Keep them and rebuild in Mission Valley Let them go

To cast your vote, visit

Happy New Year from AMR San Diego’s new emergency medical provider By Mike Murphy As you may know, American Medical Response (AMR) recently purchased Rural/Metro, the city of San Diego’s 911 emergency medical responder. With the acquisition, AMR has now become the city’s official 911 responder. We at AMR could not be more excited to be serving the people of San Diego and delivering the highest quality of emergency care to communities throughout the city, including Downtown San Diego. We’re certainly not new to San Diego. In fact, AMR has very deep roots here. We’ve been serving communities in the North, South and east County for more than 65 years. AMR is now pleased to bring to the city of San Diego and its 1.3 million residents the resources of one of the nation’s most respected emergency medical responders, with more than 19,000 paramedics, EMTs, Registered Nurses and other professionals who transport more than 3 million patients every year. Since taking ownership of Rural/Metro, we have been working closely with the San Diego Fire Department, moving quickly to improve service and address some of the response time issues that occurred under the previous provider. We immediately brought in additional ambulances and paramedics, as well as a strike team of experts to design a citywide deployment plan aimed at reducing response times in both the urban core and outlying communities. To date, these efforts have been successful. For AMR, though, serving the community means more than responding to life-threatening emergencies — it means preventing them as well. We will be working across the city to create a healthier and safer San Diego through community-based programs that range from improving one’s heart health, to helping people avoid household accidents, to training San Diegans in the life-saving skill of CPR. Whether it’s responding to emergencies or preventing them, saving lives is what we’re all about — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. On behalf of the women and men of AMR here in San Diego, I want to wish you and your family a happy — and healthy — New Year. —Mike Murphy is the General Manager of AMR in San Diego. To learn more, visit

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 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Toni G. Atkins Charlene Baldridge Diana Cavagnaro Andy Cohen Dave Fidlin Christopher Gomez Ana Gramling Ann Jarmusch Kris Michell Alex Owens Frank Sabatini Jr. Ann Wilson COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Todd Kammer, x115 PRODUCTION ARTIST Suzanne Dzialo, x111 SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Andrew Bagley 619-961-1956 Sloan Gomez, x104 Lisa Hamel, x107 True Flores (619) 454-0115 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGNER Kim Espinoza PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

OPINIONS/LETTERS: San Diego Downtown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS: Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION: San Diego Downtown News is distributed free on the first Friday of every month. COPYRIGHT 2015. All rights reserved.


LETTERS Editor’s response: We searched for the proper spelling and came up short. With deadlines looming we didn’t ask Mr. Trimble and in hindsight, we should have. We deeply regret the error. A correction has been made online. Looking forward to seeing what’s ahead for Gaslamp Quarter — a San Diego treasure — as surrounding areas continue to grow and thrive alongside. Best of luck to Mr. Trimble and his team! —Ben Cartwright, via

So long to Albie’s Beef Inn

As a customer since the late ’70s, I will surely miss it. Best wishes. [See “The long goodbye” Vol. 16, Issue 12 or at / hzqscu2] —M.G. Fletcher, via

A positive spin on development

The Broadstone in Bankers Hill is a great looking property — I have a couple of friends who moved in and they love it [see “A changing landscape in Bankers Hill,” Vol. 16, Issue 12 or at]. I hope for more development like that up the street in Hillcrest too! —Ben Cartwright, via

G’day Chad

Welcome to Spokane Chad, we

are looking forward to your new restaurant. [See “San Diego top chef heads to greener pastures,” Vol. 16, Issue 12 or at p79zack]. —Sophie Dufranses, via

Film Forum loss felt

The discourteous behavior shown Ralph is a sad commentary of what our city government has become [see “The lights go up on Film Forum,” Vol. 16, Issue 11, or at]. At one time it was work together, enjoy what you were doing, and people took time to talk to each other. I’m sure his programs were also enjoyed by young people who gained the benefits of listening to someone who is well versed in what he is sharing. I sincerely hope the Council takes another look at the $5k that would extend this program rather than “just an email after 30 years.” —Pat Taylor, via sandiegodowntownnews Film forum events at the Central Library have been the greatest; kind of like going over to a friend’s house to view his favorites or attending the wonderful screenings at the Pacific Film Archive (in Berkeley). This June, Ralph showed the blockbuster “Selma” accompanied by a hearty performance of movement spirituals, for free. Over the last year the Central Library’s support of the Film Forum program has ranged from poor to none. Ralph has been stuck with broken fixtures, inadequate audio, insufficient signage and even a lack of curtains to create

the necessary darkness. Should one have desired to consult the schedule, and made the mistake of querying the library website, your interest would have been quickly diminished by being sidelined into the city’s website morass. Now it turns out they were only paying Ralph $5k per year for all of his efforts at the various branches. How could the library bureaucrats have done any worse? Oh, by cancelling the program. Nice going, bureaucrats. Maybe you could use the money saved to free up more of the Central Library to Comic-Con next year … —Dave Duncan, via sandiegodowntownnews

Rethinking transit

I hope the next round of bus route improvements considers all us Downtowners who need to travel car-free to recreation and community life places also on weekends [see “Rethinking a city,” Vol. 16, Issue 11, or at]. For one, I have the 30, 50 and 150 buses to Old Town, UC San Diego, and La Jolla run on weekends and two, I have the 3 and 11 buses run more than every half an hour on Saturday and more than once an hour on Sunday. Additionally, one finds in the Uptown News more to engage in on weekends requiring more frequent bus service on the 3 and 11 and new bus services on the 30, 50 and 150 — including many activities at Balboa Park — than one finds in the Downtown News. —Lynne Shapiro, via sandiegodowntownnews v


Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins’ AB 482, also know as the “Snoopy plate bill,” was established in 2013 with the support of Jean Schultz, the widow of Charles Schultz, and the California Association of Museums. The commemorative plates with an image of Snoopy’s “happy dance” will raise money for the California Cultural and Historical Endowment and help fund the state’s 1,400 museums. After being signed into law later that year, backers of the plate have been seeking a minimum pre-order of 7,500 plates before the first printing could begin. Speaker Atkins recently announced a new incentive — called “Beagle Backers” which offered a free year of access to over 85 California museums — to garner more advance Snoopy plate orders. On Dec. 16, it was announced that the goal had been reached, which clears the way for the Department of Motor Vehicles to begin production. Plates are $50 each, personalized plates are $89, and annual renewal costs are $78. To order the plate, visit snoopyplate.


Father Joe’s Villages, located in the East Village neighborhood of Downtown San Diego, fed more than 2,200 homeless veterans, families and children on Christmas Eve. Nearly 75 volunteers served a public lunch at 11 a.m. to 1,500 homeless individuals. This was followed by a special Christmas Eve meal served by 90 volunteers at 5 p.m. to approximately 700 residents of Father Joe’s Villages. Both meals were served at the

Joan Kroc Center, located at 1501 Imperial Ave. at the corner of 15th Street. The Joan Kroc Center is one of several facilities owned and operated by Father Joe’s Villages, San Diego’s largest homeless services provider, under the auspices of CEO Deacon Jim Vargas. They provide shelter, food, clothing, healthcare, child development, job training and education through staff, volunteers and public and private donors. For more information visit


Though Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company started out 2015 in a strong place, the organization has notified the community that they have “suffered some serious financial setbacks.” Financial troubles have caused Mo’olelo — which stands for “stories” in Hawaiian — to cancel the rest of their current season and they will officially cease operations for six months as of Jan. 1. Located at 930 10th Ave., Downtown, the socially conscious arts company was a resident of the Tenth Avenue Arts Center and known for producing “original and lesser-known plays” and educating youth in both technical theater and design. “Our first production of the season, ‘CELL,’ produced a financial loss and that we also lost a signifi-

cant grant that we have relied on in years past,” stated President Alison Whitelaw in a released statement. “Mo’olelo has never incurred debt and remains committed to continuing that record, but because our resources are reduced we understand that our current operational model may be untenable.” The San Diego Union Tribune reported in October that new artistic director Lydia Fort had left the company “suddenly,” after moving to San Diego from New York to take the position and directing “Cell.” Fort went on to direct Diversionary Theatre’s “Bright Half Life” in November. Whitelaw also stated that while her tenure as president would also end in January, she planned to remain on the board, and announced that new president Jerry Buckley — a board member for five years — would take over. During the next six months, Mo’olelo’s board members plan on reviewing various options; performing outreach to their community of artists, patrons and donors; and redevelop a new operational model. “At this juncture, I ask for your continuing support of our mission to present San Diego audiences with relevant, socially conscious, and community focused ‘Stories,’” she stated. For more information or to offer the company assistance, visit

San Diego Downtown News | January 2016



San Diego Downtown News | January 2016


Revelers at a previous Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp (Courtesy Tickled Pink Productions) After a full 2015, filled with fun events, lots of new businesses and a new executive director, the Gaslamp Quarter Association has lots in store for 2016. For all the info you need, visit their all new website at First up is a Comic Con 101 class for all business owners. This will prepare all Gaslamp Quarter businesses wishing to get more involved with the onslaught of vendors coming to town in advance of and during Comic Con in July. More details will be released soon but expect to see this in late January. Next up is the Mardi Gras Parade and Celebration, which is being moved this year to a Saturday — Feb. 6, from 5 p.m. to midnight — and takes place along Fifth Avenue between Broadway and Market Street. This is one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the country, with five stages and more than 40,000 revelers expected to take over the streets of the Gaslamp Quarter. General admission ticket prices start to go up after Jan. 10 and VIP go up after Jan. 24 (you will save $25 purchasing before then). Tickled Pink Productions brings you this 21+ event. Get tickets or more info at

events or ShamROCK returns for its 22nd year, March 17, from 4 p.m. to midnight, with 80,000 square feet of green Astroturf to bring the feel of Ireland to Downtown. Presented by Jameson and The Field, there will be a new 150-foot Irish pub built in the street, a light show, and lots of bands for everyone. Get tickets at Other events later this year include the return of Night Plaza, the MLB All Star Game, Comic Con, and the San Diego Film Festival just to mention a few. Keep checking back for more details and updates.v


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016

the need to protect and restore natural resources and the protection of public health along with man-made investments. The Port of San Diego should be regarded as a 21st century, state-of-the-art facility and institution.” Several “planning principles” echo the preservation aspects of the vision statement: honor the water; guarantee the public realm; celebrate nature and ecology. San Diego Downtown News wants to help make the Master Plan and its Integrated Planning Framework Report more accessible and understandable to our readers. As a result, in the coming months we will work with the Port District and various other stakeholders to address the plan and its potential impacts for the communities of Downtown, and help the public better understand the process. In the meantime, to learn more about the future of the Port of San Diego, visit these links below:


PORTPLAN Appendices offer before and after redevelopment plans for high use areas in the North Bay that could affect Downtown, including Shelter Island, Harbor Island, the Embarcadero, Seaport Village and a relocation of the cruise ship terminal to Harbor Island, just to name a few. It also offers a series of objectives for the Port Master Plan Update to follow, including ways to modernize, simplify and balance the objectives. In addition, the Framework identifies comprehensive planning ideas for areas such as land use, water use and mobility; public access and recreation; natural resources; safety and resilience; and economic development. The report explains how readers should use the information. “This Framework Report is intended to provide guidance and is not a regulatory document or legal standard of review for the actions of the District may take to update the Port Master Plan or implement associated development or conservation activities within the District’s jurisdiction. Such actions are subject to the applicable requirements of the Coastal Act, the federal coastal Zone Management Act, the California Environmental Quality Act, and other applicable laws and regulations as applied in the context of those actions.” The Port’s previous Master Plan, the basis by which the current plan will be formulated, was put in place in 1981. According to Joel Hoffman in his Voice of San Diego piece, “Things to know about the Port’s


l The Port of San Diego’s landing page with links to various documents regarding the plan —

The Port's Master Plan Update will outline environmental, recreational, commerce, preservation and man-made investments for the region over the next 50 years. (Courtesy Port of San Diego) new master plan,” dated Nov. 5, 2013, shortly after the new master plan was announced, the 1981 plan had been amended 35 times in the three decades following its adoption, prior to the Port embarking on the new plan. Then Port Commission Chairman Ann Moore told Hoffman that the former plan “lacks regional unity and doesn’t adequately ad-

dress concerns about open space preservation, public access to the waterfront and the need for more parking and transportation options,” all things that are necessary for such a plan today. The vision statement in the current Framework Report speaks to the region’s changing culture, environment and coastline as it stands today.

“Promote the Bay as a central environmental, economic, and recreational resource for all people in the region. At the same time, reinforce the differences in character and culture between each of the constituent cities and equitably balance available resources between maritime and commerce, job growth, recreation, the United States Navy and

l Location of the Port of San Diego’s Master Plan Update (downloadable document) — jtbpq7g l Integrated Planning Framework Report (online document) — l Port’s comprehensive website regarding the Master Plan Update, allowing for public input —

—Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016

Travel through Little Italy in a new way in 2016 Little Italy News Christopher Gomez Little Italy has some exciting news to share! Residents and visitors of Little Italy will have the opportunity to explore the “ins and outs” of Little Italy this new year with the new Little Italy San Diego interactive mobile app. With the help of Guru, an experiential technology company that creates innovative apps and solutions for cultural institutions, sightseers will be able to more easily navigate the neighborhood, further explore never-before-heard information and learn more about the community’s rich past, present and future. The Little Italy San Diego app will empower users to rediscover the community. It will allow them to take charge of their own learning adventure by providing audioguided tours, games and fun ways to explore the rich history, Italian heritage, arts, culture, hidden gems and more of the Little Italy neighborhood. The one-of-a-kind platform will give individuals a new way to experience Little Italy and offer a glimpse into the neighborhood’s past through an augmented reality feature, which allows users to hold their phones up and see the buildings transform to their historic facades right before their eyes. The Little Italy San Diego app will launch with the following tours: • History of Little Italy — The tour will give visitors a broad overview of the origins of Little Italy from the 16th century to the 20th century. It will feature a combination of audio overviews, soundbites, videos, photos and augmented reality all within 10 – 15 stops. • Personal Stories — This tour will give visitors insight into the Italian immigrant experience by hearing personal anecdotes and memories that relate to what it was like growing up in the neighborhood. It will have the same features as the History of Little Italy tour. • Family-friendly Tour — This covers the “History of Little Italy” tour, but is geared for kids

The Little Italy San Diego application will launch Jan. 15 with several tours for users. (Courtesy LIA) and includes a Little Italy San Diego animated mascot, Danny Boy, that will take them around the neighborhood. It will feature videos, photos, augmented reality, games and a quiz. • Waiting for Your Table Tour — Shaped for visitors on the go, this tour is great for those who have a few minutes to spare and want to learn more about Little Italy. It will offer six to eight stops all within a close proximity. There will be various additional features that will continually roll out throughout the year, including a countdown to community events, restaurant reservations, a people search (a feature to look up family

names to trace history in Little Italy), a Little Italy scavenger hunt, special offers and more exciting tools. The Little Italy San Diego app, powered by Guru, will officially launch on Jan. 15. It will be free and easily downloadable on iOS and Android devices. Stay connected and find out the latest happenings 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


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016

A year of progress

Downtown Partnership News

Kris Michell 2015 was a highly productive year for the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP) and our Downtown. Each day of the year, the DSDP worked hard to deliver on our agenda to make Downtown a worldclass destination and community for all. Whether it was keeping our streets and neighborhoods clean, safe and beautiful, advocating for programs to effectively address homelessness, or growing our innovation economy, all of our efforts were strategically designed to deliver on key goals in “Imagine Downtown,” our 20-year plan for Downtown San Diego. Here is a brief overview of our achievements in 2015: Clean & Safe: Downtown’s Property and Business Improvement District, commonly referred to as Clean & Safe, is the backbone of the Downtown Partnership’s effort to create a world-class Downtown. Day in and day out — 24 hours a day — Clean & Safe is working for Downtown, emptying trash cans, conducting homeless outreach, providing security services and working on beautification projects. Because of Clean & Safe’s integral role in keeping Downtown clean, safe and beautiful, renewing the program was our top priority. Here is a recap of this effort: • Successfully renewed Clean & Safe with 82.6 percent support from Downtown property owners and unanimous support from the San Diego City Council. • Developed and implemented a Commercial Enhancement Program for fiscal year 2016. • Installed more than 250 additional tree lights in the Core, Columbia and East Village neighborhoods. More than 1,100 lights now decorate Downtown’s trees. • Developed an enhanced sidewalk repair program to keep Downtown looking its best. • Expanded the beautification and placemaking program by hiring a full-time Placemaking Manager. Homelessness efforts: Addressing homelessness in a comprehensive and compassionate manner is key to creating a thriving Downtown. Over the last year, the Partnership has taken a lead role in advocating for programs that effectively address homelessness. These efforts included: • Purchased a “detox bed” at McAllister Institute of San Diego to be used in partnership with the SDPD’s Homeless Outreach Team. In 2015, 15 individuals received life-saving detox services. • Doubled our number of available triage beds to 50. In 2015, the beds assisted more than 320 individuals. • Reunited 322 homeless individuals with family through the Work Your Way Home program, bringing the total number of those helped to 766. • Successfully launched the three-hour Unattended Property Program in coordination with the City of San Diego, the Girls Think Tank and the San Diego Housing Commission. • Successfully launched the San Diego Meal Service Program in coordination with Cox Communications, Father Joe’s Villages, The Rock Church and Loving Spoonfuls.

Economic Development: At the DSDP, we are always willing to advocate for increased business development and opportunities for all Downtown businesses. The Partnership is an economic development organization at its core, and to further our central mission, we achieved the following: • Helped Downtown tech and startup companies recruit new, quality talent through direct links to UC San Diego Computer Science and Engineering departments. • Removed barriers for Downtown tech startups through a targeted strategic plan for the Downtown tech startup ecosystem. • Worked toward the attraction of a high-profile university to Downtown, by creating a coalition of representatives from key local universities. • Acted as a lead advocate for the creation and launch of Downtown’s first, real-time parking app to address the common misconception that Downtown has limited parking. Civic Projects: For Downtown San Diego to compete on the global stage, it must have iconic, worldclass structures and spaces. Here is how the Partnership worked to advance this goal in 2015: • Continued to support and champion the expansion of the Convention Center. • Continued to support and champion Civic San Diego. • Lobbied the city of San Diego and key stakeholders to promote the importance of moving forward


with the development of Seventh Avenue and Market Street, to attract a luxury hotel, retails and an organic grocer. • Advocated for SANDAG Forward — the 2050 Regional Transportation Plan — to ensure that Downtown remains a transportation hub and employment center for the region. While this past year was tremendously successful for our organization, we know that there is more work to be done. Of course, the Partnership will continue to focus on what matters to Downtown residents and businesses in the New Year: programs that keep Downtown clean, safe and beautiful, efforts to effectively address homelessness, initiatives to grow our economy and champion civic projects. I hope you will join us as we continue to deliver a Downtown like no other.

Clean & Safe neighborhood meetings We’re hitting the ground running and hope you will to join us! In January 2016, Clean & Safe is hosting neighborhood meetings in each of Downtown’s seven neighborhoods to give property owners an opportunity to learn what enhancement programs and services they can expect to see in the new year. Visit for meeting dates, times and locations. —Kris Michell is the president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, the organization that oversees the Clean & Safe program and also works toward creating a world-class Downtown. For more information, visit or call 619-234-0201.v


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016

Help keep East Village beautiful By Ana Gramling Become a “warrior” and volunteer for the next East Village Community Clean Up Day. The first cleanup of 2016 is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 9, from 10 a.m. – noon. Volunteer meetup is in the lobby of the Urbana Apartments and Lofts, located at 450 10th Ave. Clean & Safe, of the Downtown

San Diego Partnership, will be donating trash bags and all supplies. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Monthly cleanup days in East Village are held on the second Saturday of each month and the cleanup locations vary, but are always prominent areas throughout East Village. Volunteers have expressed what a great time they are having dur-

ing the cleanups and East Village neighbors and Downtown visitors have also said they love what the cleanup crews are doing for the local businesses and the East Village residents. The reward of hearing “thank you” will make you smile and encourage you to participate at the next cleanup day. Invite a neighbor or a friend to join in the cleanup and you too will feel great for giving back to our community. After the cleanup, all volunteers are encouraged to meet on the rooftop of Urbana for a free lunch, generously donated by The District, located at 1021 Market St., in East Village. Those interested in volunteering should RSVP to no later than Jan. 8. —Ana Gramling is a board member of the East Village Residents Group (EVRG). EVRG meets the third Thursday of every month. For more info visit

EAST VILLAGE NEWS Resident's Meeting

The next East Village Residents Group Meeting will take place Jan. 21 at 6 p.m., at the East Village Community Church, located at 1374 Island Ave. The January agenda includes regular visits from Joyce Temporal, deputy director to Senator Marty Block (D-CA39); Anthony Bernal, community representative for District 3 Councilmember Todd Gloria; Brad Richter, vice president of CIVIC San Diego; Bajija Hamraz, executive director of the Clean & Safe program; and Susie de la Pena, community liaison for the San Diego Police Department. Guest speakers for January include Deacon Jim Vargas, CEO of Father Joe’s Villages, with an update on the permanent homeless shelter; and Jeffrey Sitcov, founder of Doors of Change, who will speak on youth homelessness. There will be many other discussions and announcements so if you live in East Village, make sure you attend. Meetings are held every third Thursday of every other month. The next meeting will be March 17.v

Sudoku & Crossword puzzle answers from page 15


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016



PADRES facility. The tweaks and touch-ups began several years ago. When the Padres wrapped up their 2013 season in early October of that year, the ownership group overhauled the ballpark’s audio system, installed a new high-definition video board, five new LED ribbons, and added seating, including a new dining option on the roof of the Western Metal Supply Co. building. A year ago, a number of additional changes were added to the roster of improvements, including an emphasis on new gathering spaces. One such amenity is The Landing, a private area in front of the left field grandstand designed to accommodate up to 300 persons. This offseason, Partello said the ballpark’s owners have turned their attention toward accents he said epitomize the San Diego lifestyle. Many of the upcoming changes are beach-themed. Case in point: a new two-level social space, dubbed Sun Diego and located in right-center field — formerly called the Beachers — is being modeled after Southern California’s piers and will feature pilings and decking constructed from environmentally-friendly recycled composite wood. “This project will transform the space … while preserving the view from the grass seating area,” said Mike Dee, Padres president and CEO, in a statement. “We will create an improved and unique experience for fans in what has previously been an underutilized area.” Once the revamp of the Padres’ newest social space is complete, it will hold a capacity of up to 600 spectators.

Artist’s rendering of “Sun Diego,” a new two-level social space planned for right center field at Petco Park, designed to mimic San Diego's beach lifestyle. (Courtesy San Diego Padres) A smaller-scale set of changes also are on deck in some other areas of the ballpark this year, including a refresh of the Lexus Home Plate Club, which will feature 222 new seats, LED lighting throughout the park, a new floor surface application, and new paint, guardrails and handrails. Additionally, new backstop netting is being installed, with a goal, Partello said, of making greater strides toward safeguarding spectators while minimizing the appearance of the shielding device. While he admitted there is great enthusiasm for the changes within the walls of the Padres’ management offices at the Park, Partello said the touch-ups are just a natural part of taking visitors’ comments into account; the added social space has long been a top wish-list item. “We’re constantly looking for

ways to evolve the ballpark,” he said. “We have funds in our budget each year to take fans’ experiences into account.” Though most of the offseason chatter concerning Petco Park is about the facilities upgrades, there will be other changes represented on the backs of the players themselves. Throughout the 2016 season, all Padres players will pay homage to military personnel by wearing camouflage-colored jerseys that are modeled after U.S. Navy uniforms. The navalthemed jerseys will be worn during all home games on Sundays. In addition, the team will wear jerseys that trumpet the fact that Petco Park is the host site of this year’s All-Star Game. During all home games — except Fridays and Sundays — players will wear white jerseys; however on Fridays, the

players will wear the brown and yellow throwback color scheme in honor of the All Star game. While Petco Park has hosted non-baseball related events since its opening in 2004, venue management has rolled out a growing number of special events in recent years. Throughout 2015, during both in-season and offseason, the park held several blockbuster concerts, including The Rolling Stones and Taylor Swift. The site was also recent host to the Links golf event and the Bill Walton Basketball Festival. The year was then capped off with Petco Park’s annual Holiday Wonderland event. Shana Wilson, Padres director of communications, said that a number of special events will fill up Petco Park’s calendar in 2016, though planning is just getting underway.

“We’re too far out to have anything final for next offseason,” she said, adding that more announcements will come in the months ahead. Some non-baseball events that have already been scheduled for the remainder of this off-season include Monster Energy Supercross on Jan. 16 and Feb. 13, and Monster Jam on Jan. 23 and Feb. 6. Petco Park’s hosting of the 2016 mid-summer Major League Baseball All-Star Game is scheduled for July 12. For more information about the San Diego Padres, visit padres. com. Petco Park also has a website, —Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at dave.fidlin@thinkpost.netv



San Diego Downtown News | January 2016

Dining on

d o o g fe e l

adjectives Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr.

If there is one dining revelation I’ve come away with from 2015, it’s that vegan restaurants are hotter than ever. In just the past few years, we’ve seen places like Veggie Grill, Native Foods, Plumeria, and more recently, Kindred, emerge with meals that no longer taste as though you’re eating live house plants and the macramé hangers that go with them. Café Gratitude in Little Italy is among the newest in the bunch, attracting as many carnivores as vegans with its lengthy menu of hearty, creative fare served within an anti-industrial atmosphere resembling a WilliamsSonoma store. Sleek marble and light wood flow warmly throughout the corner-lot space, which to my knowledge, marks the neighborhood’s first-ever kitchen that doesn’t harbor a single molecule of animal fat. And nobody’s complaining, not even the eager-nosed dogs catching remnants of cauliflower steak and tempeh chorizo from their owners seated on the pet-friendly patio. Since launching in Berkeley 10 years ago, Café Gratitude has spawned several locations throughout California, including its San Diego outpost that debuted in July. The menu companywide uses every imaginable adjective related to wellbeing for naming the dishes. Written big and boldly at the top of the menu is, “I am …” From there, your eyes drop down to words like “ecstatic” if choosing roasted Brussels spouts in maple-miso glaze, and “magical” if opting for the double black-bean burger topped with cashew-macadamia nut cheese. Or perhaps you are “confident” enough to order the aforementioned cauliflower steak. Such self-assuredness paid off as our forks glided through this thick pan-seared filet mantled by bright-orange romesco sauce, juicy sundried tomatoes, olive tapenade and pine nuts. With so many robust flavors and textures occurring on the plate, we consumed every spec with gusto. Even if you’re not a fan of cauliflower, it’s likely you’ll easily plow through this. My quasi-vegan companion chose a second appetizer rather fitting of his personality, called “vivacious.” It equated to a bowl of baked, dehydrated kale chips served with a choice of dipping sauces. We asked for all three: cashew nacho cheese, which was pleasantly tangy; cashew ricotta that we agreed was bland; and garlic tahini, which we voted the tastiest in the lineup. Even without the sauces the chips were delightfully satisfying, however, much like potato chips, but far more frail. Handle with care or else they’ll turn into smithereens. From the salad category, and at the risk of sounding vain, “I am” more “dazzling” than the Caesar salad that falls under that promising descriptor, at least when wearing a glittery party hat with a gin martini in hand. Despite capers and avocado strewn throughout the romaine lettuce, the faux-Parmesan dressing made with Brazil nuts didn’t add the zest I’ve encountered in other vegan renditions of the salad. Creamy, yes, but it was near flavorless. While sipping fermented “eclectic” kombuchas — blueberry and ginger — we proceeded to a dish called “devoted” that our non-vegan waiter ranked as one of his favorite menu items. Lovely and comforting, it featured a soft, crumbly loaf made of lentils and butternut squash, plus mashed

Café Gratitude

1980 Kettner Blvd. (Little Italy)


Prices: Salads and appetizers, $8 to $16; sandwiches, wraps and bowls, $10 to $16; entrees, $14 to 16. Breakfast: $8 to $16 (clockwise from bottom left) Café Gratitude, in the Broadstone building in Little Italy, has a pet-friendly patio; tempeh pastrami sandwich; the lentil-squash loaf plate; and the luscious egg- and cream-free carrot cake (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) heirloom potatoes draped in shiitake gravy, sautéed greens, creamy polenta and pickled beets. The dish reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner with all its homey flavors, but without needing to plop onto a recliner afterward. We also tried the “honest,” a tempeh pastrami Reuben on our choice of slow-fermented ciabatta bread that was among the high points of the sandwich. The spicy red sauerkraut and cashew Russian dressing were also noteworthy, adding necessary savor to the faux meat, which lacked the peppery, briny flavor we expected from it. Better yet were side orders of lip-puckering kimchee and curried lentils, which was the spiciest dish to land on our table. This particular companion and I are normally not big dessert eaters. But we were swept away by the sugar angels with the two we tried, a chocolate-mint cheesecake that dissolved on our tongues from the heat of our mouths; and carrot cake as luscious as any that relies on eggs and cream cheese. How the chefs get it to taste as good, if not better, is beyond me. Adding to this dreamy ending was a turmeric latte that


we shared. Next time I’ll get my own cup filled with hot, frothy almond milk tinted golden yellow from the turmeric. The corporate chefs obviously know that the spice releases its best anti-inflammatory properties when blended with black pepper or the oil thereof, as served here. The flavor was bewitching, and the effect was noticeably soothing. Café Gratitude celebrates “aliveness” with its spritzers, elixirs, teas and smoothies just as much as it does through clean, solid food. The liquid menu, which also includes some decent wines and beers, is a thirstquenching feast intended on leaving you feeling “brave,” “active,” “blissful” or “charismatic,” as some are named. For us, after a relaxing round of eating and drinking here, we adopted two adjectives that aren’t on the menu — “sated,” and “willing” (to return). —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


Meet the preservationists

Editor’s Note: Please join me in welcoming two new columns to Downtown News, both related to Balboa Park and important preservation issues relating to the region: one from Saving Our Heritage Organisation and one from The Friends of Balboa Park. This month we are publishing their introductory columns together, but starting in February they will run every other month, in tandem. —Ed.

Preservation Matters Ann Jarmusch Save Our Heritage Organisation began in 1969, when an artist named Robert Miles Parker posted a sign in front of an elaborate Victorian home. “Save this house,” it said, simply, but emphatically, kicking off SOHO’s preservation efforts that are approaching the half-century mark. From that living room gathering 47 years ago, the nonprofit SOHO has grown to be the region’s largest and most effective preservation organization, with thousands of members and subscribers, scores of volunteers and a professional staff of more than 30. And since that initial, heroic rescue of the Sherman Gilbert House, SOHO has been at the forefront of preservation battles both large and small. Sometimes the conflicts make headlines, as was the case in the fight to keep a massive freeway-type overpass and parking structure out of the historic heart of Balboa Park. More often, SOHO works behind the scenes to prevent demolition, neglect or damaging alterations to sites and structures. Advocating for specific architectural and cultural resources is at the core of everything SOHO does, but that’s by no means all. SOHO also operates and manages five historic museums and a number of other historic buildings, more than any other group in San Diego County, including: • The arts and crafts-era Marston House Museum & Gardens. Designed by Hebbard & Gill, the home stands as a monument to San Diego’s progressive movement. • The Whaley House Museum. The city’s first two-story brick building often lauded as the most haunted historic home in America. • The Adobe Chapel in Old Town. SOHO hosts events and performances here. • Santa Ysabel General Store. An 1884 icon of the backcountry purchased by SOHO and returned to its original use, along with the adjacent Feed Store, adapted for Antiques and Such. • Warner-Carrillo Ranch House. An epic stop for emigrants traveling the southern trail to California. SOHO continues to grow in creative and meaningful ways. With exhibitions, such as a recent 100-year survey of paintings of Balboa Park, the county’s premier historic home and garden tours, and neighborhood architecture tours, SOHO raises awareness about preservation among residents and tourists alike. “The benefits and impacts of preserving our built and




San Diego Downtown News | January 2016

Meet the Friends of Balboa Park Growing Balboa Park Ann Wilson SOHO has saved the 1910 Horton Plaza Fountain — an innovative electrified design by Irving J. Gill — three times, so its image became the organization’s logo. “It symbolizes our perseverance and our commitment to future generations,” said Alana Coons, SOHO’s director of education and communications. (Drawing by SOHO founder Robert Miles Parker from Reflections Newsletter, 1975)

cultural environment are far reaching,” said Bruce Coons, SOHO’s executive director. “Historic preservation brings with it tax dollars, high-paying jobs for local skilled labor, and neighborhood and Downtown revitalization. In neighborhoods where houses have been restored, it is proven that property values go up.” Think of your favorite San Diego icons and more than likely, they’re still intact and thriving because of SOHO. The Hotel del Coronado; the Santa Fe Depot; nine blocks of Downtown’s Warehouse District, including three buildings incorporated into Petco Park; the Headquarters (formerly the Old Police Station); and the Gaslamp Quarter are just a few of the landmarks we would not be enjoying today had it not been for SOHO’s negotiations, dedication and love of San Diego. The Marston House Museum & Gardens in Balboa Park is one of five museums SOHO operates. It is located at 3525 Seventh Ave. and open Friday-Monday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Call 619-297-9327. —Ann Jarmusch represents SOHO. She can be reached at 619-200-3340 or by email at ajarmusch@ For more information about SOHO, visit


The Friends of Balboa Park was founded in 1998 by a group of longtime park supporters. Since then, the Friends have raised over $4 million to repair, improve and enhance our beloved Balboa Park. We are pleased that Balboa Park was recently named as one of the six “Great Public Spaces in the U.S.” by the American Planning Association. It certainly deserves this recognition. Nevertheless, there is still much work to be done to maintain and enhance the park. The Friends are hard at work on projects that do just that. Our mission is to preserve Balboa Park’s legacy for future generations. We focus on the park’s flora and fauna: trees, gardens, other plantings and native birds and animals. We also seek to preserve and enhance the open space of the park through improved irrigation, more use of native and drought tolerant plants, and the preservation of habitat for local birds, butterflies, and other species. We accomplish our goals through events and programs that help to education the public — particularly school children — such as annual Arbor Day celebrations, annual butterfly releases in Zoro Garden, the




5th Grade Heritage Program and our Adopt-A-Plot program. Friends of Balboa Park is the only park support group focused on addressing the needs of the park land and the plants and animals that live within it. We are all aware of the current drought conditions in Southern California and the changing weather patterns across the globe. These changes have large impacts on the ability of our flora and fauna to survive and thrive. As a result, the Friends have been focusing our efforts on water sustainability in the park for the last five years. We are leading the effort to conserve water in its outdoor spaces, while still keeping the park green, beautiful and attractive to visitors. Driving through the park recently along Park Boulevard, you may have noticed the re-landscaping of the boulevard’s meridian. New, more efficient irrigation has been installed and more drought-tolerant, native plants have been planted. As the plants grow to maturity, these gardens in the meridian will become very beautiful, while at the same time, conserving water. In addition to our water sustainability projects, the Friends have also been busy refurbishing some of the park structures. This year, we completed a much-needed project to replace the balustrades behind the El Cid statue in Plaza de Panama. We are also working on the Sefton Plaza Gate Houses and expect to have them completed early in 2016. We have additional projects on the drawing board that will begin next year. Please watch this column to learn more about the Friends’ projects and events in the coming months. Please visit our website,, to find out more about us and how you can get involved. —Ann Wilson is a native San Diegan and has been a board member of the Friends of Balboa Park since 2009. She can be reached through their office at 619-222-2282 or


SUDOKU PUZZLE ANSWERS ON P. 12 Fill in the blank cells using numbers 1 to 9. Each number can appear only once in each row, column and 3x3 block. Use logic and process elimination to solve the puzzle.


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016


‘Every fan has a story’ Local company offers a new experience to sports fans By Alex Owens Picture this: You’re at a San Diego State Aztecs basketball game and one of the players makes an unbelievable play, one that shocks you with its brilliance and makes your mouth drop to the floor of the gymnasium. Thanks to the Internet and cable sports, you might see reruns of that play thousands of times for the rest of your life; but your mouth drop reaction will only be in your memory. Actually, now you can have a photograph of that as well, thanks to, a company with offices in Mission Hills that is changing the way sports fans experience a game. Fanpics employees have been setting up dozens of robotic cameras at arenas around the country including Viejas Arena at San Diego State and Staples Center in Los Angeles. When something big happens

in a game, such as a game-winning 3-point shot or a great hockey goal, the Fanpics cameras take photos of every seat in the entire arena. Attendees who have downloaded the free Fanpics app before the game can log in and within seconds see their reactions and share those sports selfies to friends, family and social media. Co-founder Marco Correia — who is also head of brand, product and strategy — said the idea was inspired by cameras installed on rides at Disneyland, SeaWorld and other major theme parks. “Think of the key moment of Splash Mountain, but applied to sports,” he said. “Sports is full of these emotional moments that people want to capture.” Correia credits his business partner, co-founder and CEO Will Dickinson, with the inspiration for Fanpics. “Will grew up in England following Chelsea, a big soccer team there,” said Correia, a San Diego native now living in East Village. “He was sitting on the couch watching the team come back in a dramatic fashion and saw the cameramen pan the crowd going nuts. He realized there are not a lot of times when people hug strangers other than sports.” The company — which has only been around for 18 months and already has a staff of 18 — did its test

Fans at San Diego State’s Viejas Arena react to a score at a basketball game. All the details of the game are included on the image. (Courtesy piloting at Viejas Arena. “It helped that I was an Aztec alum, class of 2008,” Correia said proudly. “We set up about 10 robotic cameras inside the perimeter that can cover the entire arena in seconds.” One Fanpics employee works at each arena contracted to use the service. “The cameras are plugged into a system,” Correia said. “One employee presses a button every time something big happens. We usually get about 20 to 30 decent

photos each game.” Those photos can be downloaded from the Fanpics website for free — the company makes its money through sponsorship deals and ads on the app, which allow them to offer the photos at no cost to the consumer. Getting the word out about the service, however, has presented the entrepreneurs with some challenges. For instance, an informational video shown on the Viejas Arena “Jumbotron” at one Aztecs game this season was unclear about how Fanpics works. But Correia said the reaction he’s received from people who have signed up makes him confident in the product’s future. “About 20 percent of people at each game download the app and check in at the game with their seat numbers,” he said. “That’s pretty high. And we know those people who check in are going back to the app to check updated photos — it only takes 30 seconds for a new photo to show up.” Though Correia and company only have two arenas on contract so far, he believes that number could be 50 by the end of 2016. The current focus is on arenas hosting basketball and hockey, rather than football or baseball. “We install the cameras into an arena at our own expense,” Correia said. “If we were to set up at, say, Dallas Cowboys Stadium, which seats 100,000 people, we would need 30 cameras for only eight games a season. But we can be at Staples for 82 games a season with just 10 cameras [for basketball and hockey]. “Baseball has a lot of games, but there are [MLB enforced] rights issues,” he continued. “If you do something at one stadium, it has to be at all of them.” For more details — including their FAQs or path to branding on their blog — visit —Alex Owens is a San Diegobased freelance writer. He can be reached at alexowenssd@gmail. com.v


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016


Come spring, look for a secluded tiki bar within Little Italy’s Craft & Commerce, which has been undergoing renovation and will reopen around the same time. Its upcoming Polynesian-inspired addition, named False Idol, brings in creative director Martin Cate, a rum aficionado who owns the lauded Smuggler’s Cove in San Francisco. The hidden space will feature elements by tiki artist Bosko Hrnjak and designer Paul Basile. A menu to match the theme is in the works by newly appointed chef JoJo Ruiz. 675 W. Beech St., Rum expert Martin Cate (H2 Public Relations) 619-269-2202. Saturday-night “fiestas” are being held weekly from 9 p.m. to midnight at Puesto in The Headquarters at Seaport. The new, ongoing promotion provides guests with one free taco with the purchase of a “Puesto perfect margarita.” It’s an unlimited deal that includes such tacos as chicken al pastor, zucchini and cactus, carnitas, and more. 789 W. Harbor Drive, 619-233-8880.

Downtown’s Top of the Market (foreground) has reopened with a new look (Courtesy

The Westgate’s Irving Gonzalez (Chemistry PR)

Top of the Market)

Top of the Market revealed its first major facelift in the restaurant’s 26-year history upon reopening Dec. 17 after a fire in May closed it down. (The Fish Market downstairs had also shut down, but reopened in August.) The result was $2 million in damage repairs, which included everything from new furniture and wall coverings to fresh lighting and ceiling treatments. In addition, about 75 percent of the menu has been revised with the assistance of new sous chef Stafford Mather, who previously worked in kitchens owned by restaurateur Brian Malarkey. Through Jan. 17, the restaurant will donate a portion of its proceeds to the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation, which augments city funds for equipment. “Given what we experienced, we are excited to support a cause for our first responders,” said Jim Wendler, president of Fish Market Restaurants. 750 N. Harbor Drive, 619-232-8862. Replacing Nicky Rotten’s in the Gaslamp Quarter is 1919, which its promoters are touting as “a different kind of neighborhood sports bar.” Due to open in February, it’s named after the year of the infamous “Black Sox Scandal,” when eight Chicago White Sox players who were up against the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series were caught intentionally losing games in exchange for money from gamblers. The concept will encompass classic American comfort dishes, creative cocktails, nostalgic design elements, and 25 high-definition flat screens. 560 Fifth Ave.

Through experimenting with fermentation, the new lead mixologist at The Westgate Hotel, Irving Gonzalez, has added novel twists to traditional Mexican drinks such as the tepache and pulque. Hailing from the avant-garde Hacienda Guadalupe in Ensenada, Mexico, he brings to the bar some of his native staples: tamarind, horchata water, and agave. Or if you want to talk beer with Gonzalez, you’re in good hands because he’s also a homebrewer. 1055 Second Ave., 619-2381818.

Get a free taco on Saturday nights at Puesto. (Courtesy Katalyst PR)

A new sports bar called 1919 is coming to the Gaslamp Quarter (Treehouse Hospitality Group)

—Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at fsabatini@


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016



(Courtesy Old Harbor Distilling Co.)


The celebration for Old Harbor’s grand opening will take place at SILO at Makers Quarter (753 15th St., East Village) and the nearly finished Old Harbor Sunset Bar (270 17th St., East Village). A free bus will be taking attendees between the two venues for live music throughout the day by Wild Wild Wets, Diamond Lakes, Jimmy Ruelas, Dani Bell and the Tarantist and more. Tickets include one drink ticket and proceeds go to David’s Harp Foundation — a nonprofit helping “to inspire, educate and empower ‘at-risk’ and homeless youth to achieve academic success through music education, sound engineering and multimedia production.” The party takes place from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Visit for more information and tickets. Editor’s Note: We are trying out some changes to our calendar this year. Let us know what you think by writing to



This year’s auto show will feature over 400 different 2015 model-year vehicles, offer ride and drives, an expanded exotics salon and more. The show will be open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 1 and Saturday, Jan. 2; and 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 3. The car show is once again held at the San Diego Convention Center (111 W. Harbor Drive, Downtown.) Visit for tickets and more information.

Whales 3D opens Jan. 4 (Courtesy The NAT) ‘WHALES 3D’ MONDAY, JAN. 4

This documentary by Jean-Michel Cousteau will be shown at the San Diego Natural History Museum (1788 El Prado, Balboa Park) today through Sept. 6. The film explores everything from the coral reefs of the Bahamas to the exotic Kingdom of Tonga. The awesome film gives viewers an up-close view of humpback females with their newborn calves, singing humpback males and more. Narrated by Daryl Hannah. Admission to “Whales 3D” is included with admission to the museum. Visit sdnhm. org for tickets and show times.

‘SESAME STREET’ AND HBO’S FREE MUSEUM DAY WITH PERFORMANCES BY ELMO AND FRIENDS SATURDAY, JAN. 9 San Diego children are invited to join Elmo and friends at a free museum day at The New Children’s Museum (200 West Island Ave., Downtown) with performances by “Sesame Street” muppets and lots of activities. The event will kick off at 10:30 a.m. with a performance and activities with another performance and set of activities at 1:30 p.m. Kids will also be invited to join “Sesame Street’s Everyday Heroes Club” which promotes acts of kindness big and small. Kids and families can then share these acts of kindness at and earn badges for “manners,” “respect” and more. This special event will also promote the launch of the 46th season of “Sesame Street” to begin airing on HBO and HBO Latino starting Jan. 16. Visit for more information.


The second Sunday of every month the San Diego Natural History Museum (1788 El Prado, Balboa Park) opens early for adults and children on the autism spectrum (ASD) and their families, friends and caregivers. The program is designed to give members of the ASD community the chance to explore the museum in a quiet, less-crowded environment. “Ocean Oasis” will be shown in the theater at a lower volume and with higher light levels. There will also be a “quiet room” from 9 a.m. – noon if visitors need a space to decompress or desensitize and attendees will receive a special gift from the museum. Visit bit. ly/1TjvYkQ for more information, an online RSVP form and tickets.


NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” will host Season 11 open call auditions at the San Diego Convention Center (111 W. Harbor Drive, Downtown). San Diego is the seventh stop on a 12-city nationwide search for America’s next big undiscovered entertainer. Those interested in auditioning can register for the San Diego auditions at



This free career fair is perfect for job seekers looking for opportunities in inside and outside sales, customer service and much more. Many of the companies represented offer: base plus uncapped commission pay structure, flexible work hours, full benefits, 401K, stock options, gas allowance or company car and more. The event will be held from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Embassy Suites Hotel (601 Pacific Hwy, Marina). Visit for more information.


Michael Skubic in his Downtown distillery

This installation of “Mingle @ The Mingei” will feature the chamber music ensemble Camarada performing the concert “Nordic Landscapes.” They will perform music by Edvard Grieg, Carl Nielsen, Christian Sinding, Jean Sibelius and Kalevi Aho featuring Camarada’s woodwind quintet, violin, cello and piano. Mingei International Museum (1439 El Prado, Balboa Park), 6 – 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 for general admission and $25 for students, seniors, military and museum members. Visit


A Parisian-inspired fivecourse dinner including cheese in every course will be served at The Cheese Store of San Diego (1980 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy) from 6 – 8 p.m. The meal will be crafted by two guest chefs: Katie Grebow (former executive chef of Café Chloe) and Amy Finley (food writer, chef and winner of the Next Food Network Star.) Event price is $69 and includes one glass of wine or beer. The Cheese Store of San Diego, 1980 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. Visit for reservations.


William Shatner’s one-man show promises to deliver a largerthan-life performance complete with humor, storytelling and select musical selections in his inimitable style. Through anecdotes, songs, jokes and more, Shatner will share the story of his path from classically trained Shakespearean actor to cultural icon. This show will be one night only at Balboa Theatre (868 Fourth Ave., Downtown) starting at 7:30 p.m. There are a limited number of VIP tickets which include a post-show meet and greet with Shatner. Visit for tickets starting at $44.


All money collected from the sale of tickets to this fundraiser will support the Bernie Sanders election campaign. The event, from 5 – 10 p.m. at the Worldbeat Cultural Center (2100 Park Blvd., Balboa Park), will include the musical acts Broken Stems, Tony Tig, Jason French, Moves Collective and Neveready. Each band is playing for free so that as much money as possible will go to Sanders’ campaign. Tickets will be available at the time of the event and cost $10. This event will be all ages with a 21 and up beer garden. Visit for more information.

Celebrating 50 years a performer, Donny Osmond is embarking on his first solo concert performance in four years. “The Soundtrack of My Life” tour features an intimate look at Osmond’s most beloved moments in entertainment, including his chart-topping solo hits. Osmond recently released his 60th studio album, also called “The Soundtrack of My Life,” which features songs that summarize his life so far, telling a story with each track. One night only at Balboa Theatre (868 Fourth Ave., Downtown), at 6 p.m. Visit for tickets starting at $40.


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 visit/Tuesdays. Coronado Certified Farmers Market: 2:30 – 6 p.m. First and B streets at Coronado Ferry Landing. Visit Trivia: Bring a team or play alone. 7 – 9 p.m. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. Visit


Comedy Open Mic: Up-andcoming comics test their skills with their A game while patrons enjoy drink specials and 50 percent off the whole menu. Hosted by Jimmy Callaway who begins the night with a toast — a complimentary 8 O’Clock Shot. Best comic of the night gets paid. No cover, no minimum. 8 p.m. American Comedy Company, 818 B Sixth Ave., Gaslamp. Visit Date Night at Croce’s: Every Wednesday get a shared appetizer, two entrees, a bottle of wine, Croce’s ambiance and live music for just $49. Check website for performers. 6 – 9:30 p.m. 2760 Fifth Ave. #100, Bankers Hill. Visit


Trivia Night: Bring a team or play alone. 7 – 9 p.m. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. Visit


Weekly Downtown San Diego Partnership walkabouts: Join DSDP’s Clean & Safe management team at 10 a.m. to walk alternating neighborhoods looking for graffiti, trip hazards and more: Cortez, Core, Columbia, Gaslamp, Marina and East Village. For more info, call 619234-8900, visit downtownsandiego. org 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 and Little Italy’s finest restaurants. 21+. Noon. Tickets are $45. Tours also on Saturday. Visit and choose Downtown under Tours.


Little Italy Mercato: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Over 100 booths at Date and India streets. The Gaslamp Architectural Walking Tour: Stops on this tour include architecturally significant structures from the 1800s including Old City Hall, the Keating Building, William Heath Davis House Museum and more. 11 a.m. 410 Island Ave., 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 and Little Italy’s finest restaurants. 21+. Noon. Tickets are $45. Tours also on Saturday. Visit and choose Downtown under Tours.


Rooftop Flow: Dynamic yoga class by Yoga One. Hotel Solamar, 435 Sixth Ave., Downtown. 9 – 10 a.m. 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 Outdoor organ concert: The San Diego Organ Society presents a free organ concert. With over 4,500 pipes, this organ is one of the largest organs in the world with wonderful sound, playing classic and popular hits by Downtown News contributor Carol Williams. Enjoy free parking, lots of seating. Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion. 2 p.m. Visit —Complied by Jen Van Tieghem. Send items for inclusion to editor Morgan M. Hurley at morgan@


Downtown Community Planning Council Jan. 20, 5:15 p.m. Downtown Parking Management TBD CivicSD Board Meeting Jan. 27, 12 p.m. 401 B St., Suite 400

DOWNTOWN PARTNERSHIP PBID Advisory Board Second Tuesday Jan. 12, 8:30 a.m. 501 W. Broadway, 21st floor conference room

EAST VILLAGE RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION (EVRG) Community Meeting Third Thursday, every other month Jan. 21, 6 p.m. Guest speakers: Jim Vargas, Jeffrey Sitcov EV Community Church 1374 Island Ave.


Board of Directors First Thursday Jan. 7, 5 p.m. Thomas Jefferson School of Law 1155 Island Ave., Room 219


Board of Directors Last Wednesday Jan. 27, 3:30 p.m. San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter 660 K Street, 8th Floor Special Events Committee Third Thursday Jan. 21, 3 p.m. Joltin’ Joe’s, 379 Fourth Ave.


Board of Directors First Tuesday of month (no meeting in January) Feb. 2, 8:30 a.m. Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Hall 1654 State St.


Community Meeting Last Thursday of month, four times per year Jan. 28, 6 p.m. Special Guests: Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward Firehouse Museum 1572 Columbia St., Little Italy


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016


Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro

The entire cast of the tragic "Sons of the Prophet" at Cygnet last January. (Photo by Daren Scott) FROM PAGE 1


nenberg • 7:30 p.m. Jan. 16: “The Blameless” by Nick Gandiello, directed by Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein; • 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17: Mona Mansour’s “Unseen,” directed by Johanna McKeon. All four readings take place in the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre. Tickets are free but require reservations, open to the general public beginning Tuesday, Jan. 5 at noon, through the box office at 619-23-GLOBE. For the second, La Jolla Playhouse received a $20,000 NEA grant to enhance this year’s DNA New Work Series, which takes place Feb. 15 – 27. Plays will be announced in early January. Visit

were forced to land in Newfoundland on 9/11. A truly ravishing visual experience was the Old Globe’s “In Your Arms,” a dance musical with vignettes written by 10 major playwrights, directed and choreographed Christopher Gattelli. Best musical revival was San Diego Musical Theatre’s “La Cage Aux Folles” with endearing performances by Robert Townsend, David Engel and James Vasquez. I adored Jeanine Tesori’s “Violet,” sensitively directed by San Diego Repertory Artistic Director Sam Woodhouse. Other laudable productions: “The TwentySeventh Man,” Old Globe Theatre; “Oedipus El Rey,” San Diego Repertory Theatre; “Freud’s Last Session” with Francis Gercke and Robert Smyth at Lamb’s Players Theatre; “A New Brain,” with Tom Zohar and his real-life husband Anthony Methvin, directed by Kim Strassburger at Diversionary Theatre; “Healing Wars,” La Jolla Playhouse; “The Quality of Life,” produced by Intrepid Theatre at the old Carlsbad Cinema; and “The Vortex” and “Hay Fever” in reperJenn Colella as a flight captain with the cast of La Jolla Playhouse's tory at Cygnet. And just for fun: “Come From Away” in June. (Photo by Kevin Berne) “Return to the Forbidden Planet” at New Village Arts and “Silence of the Clams” at Diversionary; and “The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence” at Moxie Theatre; and “Chapatti” at North Coast Repertory Theatre. Intrepid Theatre Company is certainly the outstanding theater company of the year, having engendered the two most indelible performances of the year — Jeffrey Jones as the dying protagonist in The cast of San Diego REP's "Violet" in September (Photo by Daren Scott) “The Quality of Life,” and Eileen Bowman as Judy Garland in “End of the Rainbow,” at San DiPut these on the calendar now: ego Rep. Both shows were directed by Christy • Broadway San Diego: Idina Menzel in Yael-Cox, who built wonderful supporting “If/Then” Jan. 5 – 10 at Civic Theatre. ensembles for each. San Diego Repertory Theatre: John Patrick Shanley’s “Outside Mullingar” Jan. Good news and worrisome news for 2016 14 – Feb. 21. Visit The re-enlivened InnerMission Theatre • Old Globe: David Ives adaptation of produced two fine shows in Diversionary the 18th century French farce, “MetromaniTheatre’s new Black Box. acs,” directed by legendary director Michael In worrisome news, Mo’olelo “lost” its newish artistic director, Lydia Fort, and more Kahn, Shiley Stage Jan. 30 – March 6. Visit recently announced postponement of the • San Diego Musical Theatre: Lynn remainder of the season. A pity. Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Terrence Watch for these two new promising play McNally’s “Ragtime” — one of the best musifestivals in January and February. The first, cals of the 20th century. February 5 – 21 at the Old Globe’s New Voices Festival, Jan. 15 Spreckels Theatre. Visit –17, with readings as follows: • 7:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15: Sheri Wilner, —Charlene Baldridge has been writing Julia Jordan, and Adam Gwon’s musical, about the arts since 1979. You can follow her “Cake Off” blog at or reach her at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16: Jiehae Park’s “peerless,” directed by Delicia Turner

‘Who let the dogs out?’ Downtown Ace Hardware and VCA Market Street presented the eighth annual Gaslamp Quarter Pet Parade on Dec. 13, at Martin Luther King Promenade Park, Downtown. Dog lovers arrived dressed in costumes for this entertaining event. Dogs were not the only animals participating; some contestants even brought cats, chickens, iguanas, and a gold fish in a bowl. A Pet Expo was set up in the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter Park with dog and animal products and fun giveaways. The parade route started at the Hilton park, passed through the historic Gaslamp Quarter arch up Fifth Avenue and back down Fourth Avenue to the Hilton park for the festivities. The parade began with the event’s official grand marshals, 2014 Best of Show winners, “Canine Candyland”’s Muttley Cyrus and Rambo, whose owners, Heather and Lori Signs lead the way. The streets were lined with huge crowds taking pictures and cheering everyone on. This festive event finishes up with the Pet Parade awards ceremony, presented by Doozydog! Club and the San Diego Humane Society.

This year’s awards included: l Best Pet Costume (canine): Kindle the Australian Shepherd (Handler: Elle North Toyer) l Best Pet Costume (non-canine): Ginger Ale and Chicka the Chickens (Handler: Michaelann Johnson) l Best Costume Duo: Baily the Yorkie and handler Mary Caraway dressed as lion tamers l Best Costume Group: Lambchop (Handlers: Diana Cavagnaro and George Bates) l Best Pet Holiday Costume: Niner the French bulldog (Handler: Julie Phan) l Cutest Critter: Lunchbox the French bulldog (Handler: Tiffiney Welles) l  Best Ugly Holiday Sweater: Luca and McKenzie the cocker spaniels (Handler: Scott Bowen) l Best Pet Float: Cosmo and Betty the pugs (in the plane) (Handler: Paula Fisher) l Best of Show: Ozzie and Ferra the Chihuahuas (“Star Wars” themed) (Handler: Corey Dobbs)

(top) Lambchop, flanked by George Bates and Diana Cavagnaro, took Best Costume Group; (bottom) Best Pet Costume went to Kindle, an Australian Shepherd, shown with handler Elle North Troyer. (Photos by Diana Cavagnaro)

If you missed this must-see event, get updated information at pet-parade.

Holiday Soiree Salon & Boutique De Marcus presented a Holiday Trunk Show with cocktails and cigars by Del Mar Cigar Club. Marcus Hanish, stylist/designer greeted everyone as they arrived on a red carpet for this holiday soiree. Shopping began with De Marcus dress shirts and gowns along with fine jewelry from Sky Diamonds. Brooke Models show off De Marcus dress shirts at the HoliEvangeline and Shawn Michael Michael day Soiree. (Photo by Diana Cavagnaro) coordinated the models. They strolled through the store showcasing Hanish’s Upcoming events latest designs. He also featured accessoJan.8 – 31 |Talking Through Her ries and the models could be seen wearing Hat — An exhibit of hats and the women suspenders and bow ties. who wore them at the Women’s Museum of The entertainment began with Barry Allen Cohen, the “cocktail crooner.” Cohen is California, located at 2730 Historic Decatur known for his vocal style like Frank Sinatra Road, Barracks 16. The museum hours are or Dean Martin. Middle Eastern dancer Tar- Wednesday – Sunday from 12 – 4 p.m. and ciana Bonomo lit up the room with her belly the admission is $5. dancing and delighted the audience using Jan. 20 | RAW: San Diego presents veils for one act and fire batons for another. Futures — This event includes art, fashion, Sky Diamonds Inc. presented fine music, film, photography, performance and jewelry at the trunk show and sells their hair and makeup. The House of Blues, Downjewelry at wholesale prices. They buy, town San Diego at 6 p.m. For Tickets visit sell, and exchange jewelry and watches from Rolex, Cartier, David Yurman and Tiffany to name a few. They also give gold Jan. 31 | Winter Bridal Bazaar — parties in your home or office. They buy gold, melt it down, design and create new Three fashion shows presented by Gretchen Productions at the San Diego Convention Cenpieces with it. A portion of the evening’s proceeds went ter. For more information, call 760-334-5500. to No More. This nonprofit not only raises awareness but hopes to end domestic vio—Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally lence and sexual assault. Founded in 2013 renowned couture milliner based in the historic as a platform to increase funding for direct Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about our hat service, advocacy and prevention. For more designer, teacher and blogger at DianaCavagninformation, visit


San Diego Downtown News | January 2016

San diego downtown news january 2016  


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