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






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Making everyone count

Executive director sails on coattails of his own success Morgan M. Hurley | Editor


back to the city that I love and grew up in,” he said. “I run into a lot of people who are retired and they say, ‘I love retirement but I really don’t have anything to do.’ Excuse me, there’s a lot to do. RSVP is one of them. It’s something to give back to the city but it’s also something for you to do, to be active and just feel good.” The SDPD’s RSVP program is one of the oldest in the country. There are

Homelessness has been one of the greatest challenges many big cities face, especially those on the West Coast, where people migrate to because of the warmer climate. San Diego is no exception and while various accommodations have recently been made to house the homeless during the winter months, the politics surrounding homelessness sometimes gets in the way of progress. Enter the Clean & Safe Program of the Downtown San Diego Partnership. The Clean & Safe organization is the property and business improvement district (PBID) for six of Downtown San Diego’s neighborhoods; East Village, Cortez Hill, Gaslamp Quarter, Marina, Core and Columbia. Their mission is to do just as their name

see RSVP, pg 4

see Alonso, pg 14

(l to r) RSVP officers Steve Deutsch, Hector Baca, Judith Anderson and Sanford Feldman (Photo by Jeff Clemetson) Snappy comfort food at Union Tap


Giving back RSVP officers make a difference and keep retirees active Jeff Clemetson | Contributing Editor

Italy’s influence on America’s game

Index Opinion








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When Hector Baca retired from his job as a postal officer six years ago, he started looking for ways to fill his time — and to make a difference. He found both in the Retired Senior

Volunteer Patrol (RSVP), a special program of the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) where seniors over the age of 50 patrol neighborhoods and help with police duties. “What I like is that it makes me feel like I’m giving

Court is in session — in a new $555 million building After delays and setbacks, transition to new Central Courthouse is underway By Dave Fidlin Patience is a virtue: This phrase has served as a mantra throughout all corners of the San Diego branch of the California Superior Court. After a series of delays, which pushed the opening date back on several occasions this past year, officials began the long process of transitioning all of the Downtown courthouse functions into one centralized building, perched at the corner of Union and West C streets. As the New Year dawns, portions of the new 704,000-square-foot, 22-story facility are up and running. During the week before Christmas, several functions — including family court, jury services and some of the probate court functions — had already begun operating out of the new digs. In the hopes of making the sizable transition as digestible as possible, plans call for moving other functions over in a series of waves, through the first week of February. Michael Roddy, executive officer of the Central Courthouse, said the work is

see Courthouse, pg 3

All of the California Superior Court’s functions in Downtown San Diego will be housed in one facility when the transition is completed in early February. (Courtesy Steve Silva)


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San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


COURTHOUSE taking place over six phases. The first phase, now completed, was the most complex, Roddy said, though it went off without a hitch. “We began the move at the close of business that Wednesday [Dec. 13], and had a small army of movers,” Roddy said in an interview with Downtown News. “There was a lot that went into it, but it actually went relatively smoothly.” The most granular work — invisible to the casual observer — is also complex, particularly for an operation with the scope and size of San Diego’s Central Courthouse. All the latest technology is being harnessed within the new facility, for security, public and employee access, and energy efficient lighting methods. The size and scope of the five remaining phases are smaller, and Roddy said he and others intricately involved with the move are hopeful each subsequent phase will go forward seamlessly as well. In a way, the series of delays for the actual move had a silver lining, Roddy said, as he outlined the extensive process. The amended timetable afforded Roddy and other staffers more of an opportunity to plan the various logistics. The new courthouse — a project pegged at $555 million — was scheduled to open by early 2017, but the opening was delayed several times, in large part due to infrastructure issues behind the scenes, including an extensive smoke and fire alarm system installation. A July opening had to be pushed back, again, when officials in the state fire marshal’s office ruled more than 1,000 smoke dampeners had to be re-programmed and re-tested to determine their effectiveness. Touted as a “one-stop shop,” the new Central Courthouse will bring all services — previously housed in three separate, progressively cramped facilities — under one roof. The new site also offers a variety of modern amenities, including free wireless internet service for the public and more functional space for all persons using the facility. The layout, Roddy said, is expected to improve visitors’ experiences, while dually ensuring the highest level of security possible. Shackled inmates, for instance, will no longer have any interface with the general public — a scenario that had still been playing out in the old arrangement. Public talks of the project stretch back about a decade, though Roddy said internal discussions about a new facility

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The new Central Courthouse facility stands 22 stories tall and encompasses 704,000 square feet. (Courtesy Steve Silva) have taken place over the course of a much longer time span. “It’s something that’s been looked at for about 30 years,” Roddy said. “We’ve believed the public deserves better. We think this building is going to deliver on that promise.” In the weeks ahead, the California Superior Court will continue its transition into the new Central Courthouse facility. Departments will make their moves to the new venue on the following dates: Monday, Jan. 8 — Presiding and assistant presiding judicial departments, executive office, judicial services, misdemeanor business office, community outreach, family law facilitators, family support division. Monday, Jan. 15 — Appeals, court clerk support, court reader administration, interpreter support, case processing. Monday, Jan. 22 — Exhibits storage, administrative services, legal services, background investigation unit. Monday, Jan. 29 — Courthouse support staff, criminal records, central administration, public affairs officer. Monday, Feb. 5 — All remaining departments; move scheduled to wrap by this date. For more details on the San Diego branch of the California Supreme Court, including the move underway, visit sdcourt. ca.gov.


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—Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at dave.fidlin@ thinkpost.net.v













San Diego Downtown News | January 2018




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currently 300 volunteers that work across the department’s 13 divisions. Mariam Sadri has been a police officer in San Diego for 17 years. Three months ago, she took over the job of coordinating the RSVP program and has nothing but praise for the volunteers she now oversees. “They put in thousands of hours for the Police Department,” she said. “It’s amazing.” As RSVP coordinator, one of Sadri’s jobs is to recruit more volunteers. Although San Diego’s program is one of the most successful, there is always need for more volunteers. In SDPD’s Central Division, there are currently 29 RSVP officers, down from 40 just a few years ago. Becoming an RSVP officer is easy. Applicants must be 50 years or older; retired or semi-retired; able to put in a minimum of three patrol shifts per month; able to pass a background check; physically able to get in and out of a car and be on their feet a couple hours a day; and be comfortable engaging with the public. Accepted applicants then go through a short academy where they learn to be “a trained observer, but not take any action,” Sadri said. Whereas the SDPD police academy teaches things like firearms and how to both take

down and arrest suspects, the RSVP academy teaches volunteers how to be the SDPD’s “eyes and ears” and use a radio. “One of the things that is the primary training for all of us is safety,” said Judith Anderson, assistant administrator for RSVP Central Division. “Throughout the academy, through every monthly meeting, there is mention of safety. Whenever there is something dangerous, our weapon is the radio. If we see something going on, we radio it in and we move away from it. Usually two or more police units come within two minutes.” After the academy, RSVP volunteers do field training. “We reinforce what they studied in the academy,” said RSVP field training officer Steve Deutsch. “Over a period of four or five weeks, the recruits who went through the academy get a renewal of what they learned [patrolling] with one person at a time.” Once trained, volunteers are required to work a minimum of three patrols a month, with shifts lasting between four to eight hours. Volunteers always work in pairs and have a variety of duties, including: helping police officers with deliveries, traffic control, answering questions from the public, visibility support at large events, checking license plates for stolen vehicles, and even issuing citations for non-moving violations. “With our staffing so being so low, there’s only so many

Families Using Smart Tech for Pet Care According to the American Pet Products Association, 65 percent of U.S. households own a pet of some kind. Whether they’re cats, dogs, reptiles or birds, families enjoy having a pet in the home. Feeding, caring and walking pets are often the first form of responsibility for kids and everyone enjoys the unconditional love, companionship and spunky personalities offered by furry, scaly and feathered friends. And animal owners are using technology in some surprising ways to show their love and appreciation – from using nanny cams, to leaving Animal Planet on the TV, to spending more money on pets than on friends, according to a recent study conducted by Cox Homelife. Here are some highlights of the study, are you doing any of them? Make pets comfortable while home alone: • 58% adjust the thermostat. • 57% leave out toys. • 80% leave on lights. • 40% turn on the TV or radio. Use a pet sitter, then checking on the pet sitter: • One in three pet owners reported they would be more likely to use a pet

sitter if they could monitor their activity though home automation technology. • 75% of pet owners ask for a pet sitter when leaving pets at home alone for extended periods of time. • Pet owners said they use home automation technology to check when the pet sitter visited, how long they stayed, watch what they did while they were at the house, make sure the dog is safely in its kennel, and ensure they locked the door behind them when they left.

Buy smart technology for pets There are many ways technology can improve peace of mind and quality of life for pets. Dog and cat owners differ on which technologies they’d consider buying: • Automatic food and water distribution: 32& of dog owners versus 46% of cat owners. • GPS tracker: 36% of dog owners versus 25% of cat owners. • Video monitoring system: 32% of dog owners versus 26% of cat owners.

• Smart collars to monitor vitals: 13% of dog owners versus 11% of cat owners. Spend a lot on pets: Pet owners spend more money on gifts for their pets than for their friends and work colleagues. • One in five pet owners spend at least $100 on their pets each month. It’s evident that pet owners love their pets. And while video monitoring of pets is a perk of having a home monitoring and automation

system, it also provides peace of mind for the entire household. Cox Homelife’s state-of-the-art security and home automation technology can not only safeguard your home and its contents, but also provide warning of potential damage caused by weather events such as the heavy rains and flooding and monitor for flooding, smoke and carbon monoxide, in addition to a host of other customizable features. For more information, visit cox.com/homelife.

things that we can get to on a daily basis with patrol officers,” Sadri said. “So if I can have an RSVP come and direct traffic at an intersection while I’m handling an accident, my goodness, that frees up two other officers who can respond to the robbery that’s occurring or something else.” In addition to assisting police, RSVP officers also have duties within their own programs. In the You Are Not Alone (YANA) program, RSVP officers check on elderly citizens who live alone. Volunteers are trained to look for signs of medical needs, elder abuse and to help with other issues, like potential frauds and scams that the elderly are often victims of. “Sometimes they are the only ones that visit at all through the week,” Sadri said. RSVP officers also check on homes for people on vacation and even help fingerprint children for a database that helps police in case a child is ever missing. “What I tell the parents is, ‘We do this in case your kid wants to deny that they belong to you when they grow up,’” joked RSVP officer Sanford Feldman. Feldman, a retired prosecuting attorney, joined RSVP for the chance to meet new people and stay active, which he does during his favorite patrols — biking around Balboa Park. “There are many things that are great about this program,” he said. “First and foremost is the chance to meet a lot of other very interesting people.” Anderson — like Feldman, Baca, and Deutsch — agrees that the people are what make being an RSVP volunteer the most rewarding. “First of all, not only is it a support to the police department and the community because we are the eyes and ears of what’s out there, but it’s great fun,” she said. “It’s a wonderful place to meet new friends with varying backgrounds and careers. So spending a day in a patrol car with new and interesting people, for me, is an exciting thing.” For more information on how to become an RSVP volunteer, contact police Officer Mariam Sadri at msadri@pd.sandiego. gov, or call 619-744-9549. —Reach Jeff Clemetson at jeff@sdcnn.com.v



San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


Art alive in the East Village By Margie Palmer

IDEA1 may be new to San Diego’s East Village, but project developer David Malmuth of I.D.E.A. Partners, hopes its design aspects will make a longstanding imprint on the Downtown landscape. The $91 million, 93-acre project broke ground in late 2015 and the long-term vision for the upper East Village project — deemed the I.D.E.A. District — is to become a focal point of education, innovation, arts and technology canvassing 35 city blocks. Today, phase one consists of a mixture of apartments, restaurants, live-work lofts, retail and creative office spaces built around an open communal gathering space aptly called The Hub. It also includes eight public art installations and an onsite gallery which should all help inspire the developing creative community. “Seven years ago, the attitude we took was that we wanted to articulate something aspirational and inspirational,” Malmuth said. “We came up with four pillars — innovation, design, education and arts. It was clear to us from the outset that in order to make a place that is inspiring and appeals to creative people, we’d need to incorporate art as a physical element.” Six major art pieces and two art installations have already been selected, he said,

"Eastern Dreams" by artist James Reka adons a side of a building in East Village's I.D.E.A. District. (Photo courtesy of SNAP) adding that Ginger Shulick Porcella, former executive director of the San Diego Art Institute, assisted in the selection of the artists and the specific pieces. Bankers Hill resident Cy Kuckenbaker is among the artists being featured in the first round of public art. His submission, “The Cardinal Directions,” is described as a photo and video series that’s


focused on his relationship to the city of San Diego and his need to orient himself within its narrative. Kuckenbaker said that while he had some familiarity with IDEA1 because he works in the area, he didn’t know much about the project until he met the team. What surprised him most, he said, was that the developers chose to prioritize art and color.

“Most new developments in San Diego are aesthetically conservative, so it’s very nice to see a different vision,” he said. “I hope others follow IDEA1’s lead and tap local voices to contribute.” Malmuth hopes the same. “We chose to include art because we felt it was the right thing to do and that it would make the project better,” he said. “If other people see that

it’s successful, maybe they will think they should [incorporate more art] as well. I think that’s happening with some of the other projects and there is more discussion of how to incorporate art, because it elevates the importance of art and artists.” The overall reception, he said, has been positive thus far.

see IDEA1, pg 10

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San Diego Downtown News | January 2018

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4 steps toward planning your path to a new, rewarding career in the new year By Dolan Williams, Esq. Like the ball dropping in Times Square, few things are as predictable as making a New Year’s resolution of pursuing a new career — and giving up on it five minutes later. The resolutions themselves are not problematic; the problem is a lack of a clear plan and follow through. Anyone who has ever followed through on a resolution to upgrade their career knows that they become a happier professional. I am proud to say I have done this. Years ago, I went through the metamorphosis of a major career change. I can attest that, despite its rewards, it was extraordinarily difficult because it took me so long to realize that I needed a plan and to follow through with it if I wanted something different in my career. When I went from being a college administrator with limited career aspects to a civil litigator with my own private practice, the biggest lesson I learned was the importance of figuring out what I wanted and how I was getting there. Strong coffee helped a bit, too. Nonetheless, there are a few tips that you can use to smooth your journey into 2018. 1. Know yourself to set your compass It is impossible to get started on anything unless you know yourself better. Start by seeing yourself through your own lens, instead of how those around you see you. One trick to help get started on this is to list your top career priorities. No matter how successful of a career you may have, if it does not align with your priorities, dissatisfaction is guaranteed.

For example, if a career priority is to be home by 6 o’clock, a career that requires travel may not fit. With your priorities set, the compass is set for your new career journey. My priority was always my family, but I had no career priorities. One Saturday in 2010, I sat down and made a list. I wanted a career that had security, opportunity, flexibility, and purpose, and I was going to pursue that no matter what. 2. Show yourself you can do this Once you have your priorities straight, do not wait until you feel completely confident to act on starting your new career. Just go for it. Remember: Confidence can only come from preparation, practice, review and repetition. If you are doing anything new, actions must come first before the feelings of confidence come. Show yourself that you are made of something special. 3. Trust yourself to get it done As an attorney, people trust me to help them out of some of the most trying situations in their lives. As a debt defense attorney, one of my first clients was a man who had been sued for over $10,000 on a past-due debt. This amount made up about 30 percent of his yearly salary; he was obviously terrified. Because this was my first time litigating a case in court, I was obviously terrified, too. However, I controlled my fear. I had to remind myself that this person trusted me and I had to turn my fear into action. As you embark on a career change, remember that you are just as smart and capable as anyone else, so trust yourself.

4. Be yourself and you will always win My wife was pregnant with our fourth child when I decided to leave higher education and become an attorney. My wife was home with the kids, all of whom were under 5, and I was the breadwinner. Although lawyering fit with my career priorities at the time, the prospect of going to an expensive, daytime-only law school was unrealistic because it was not aligned with my family-first priority. This meant I had to do something unusual. I searched online for days, looking for a night class I could attend, when I came upon Concord Law School at Kaplan University, the nation’s first fully online law school and an affordable option. The choice of this non-traditional legal education worked well for me, allowing me to work and take care of my family while earning my degree. I then graduated, passed the California bar exam, and went job hunting to see if I could find what I wanted in a legal career. I landed a job with a prominent, mid-sized law firm (and I had two other job offers, to boot). After starting my own practice a couple of years later, I finally found the stability, opportunity, flexibility, and sense of purpose that eluded me for years. By being myself and finding what worked for me and no one else, I made the right choice. You can do the same. —Dolan Williams, Esq. is a civil litigation attorney in San Diego. Reach him at info@williamslawsd.com.v

As the calendar turns to 2018, Covered California is in the homestretch of its drive to sign people up for health insurance by Jan. 31, the final day to enroll. As an incentive, the agency, which administers the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the state, is touting lower prices and financial assistance available to most Californians who qualify. “The time is now to ring in the New Year with a quality health plan that provides protection and peace of mind,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “We have seen thousands of people signing up every day as we near this key deadline.” The latest data shows that more than 220,000 new consumers signed up for coverage through Dec. 15, which is about 10 percent more than last year, when 199,000 consumers selected a plan during the same time period. In addition, approximately 1.2 million existing Covered California consumers have had their coverage renewed for 2018. A recent Covered California analysis found that the net monthly premiums for enrollees who receive financial help are on average 10 percent lower than what new and renewing consumers paid last year. The lower prices are a result of more financial help being available for consumers who qualify for assistance. The Affordable Care Act is designed to protect consumers by providing more premium tax credits when premiums rise. “With the Jan. 31 deadline approaching, we want to make sure that consumers know about the increased financial help that is available to help bring health care coverage within reach,” Lee said. “When you do the math, hundreds of thousands of Californians are the winners — getting quality coverage at lower rates than last year.” What individuals will pay varies based on their circumstances, including whether they get subsidies to help purchase coverage, where they live and the plan options they choose, Lee said. The analysis found that consumers who select a Silver-tier plan are on average paying $3 per month less than they were in 2017, while consumers who select a Gold-tier plan will pay on average $78 less per month. Since 2014, more than 3 million people have purchased health insurance through Covered California, and nearly 4 million have enrolled in the state’s Medi-Cal program. Together, the gains have cut the rate of the uninsured in California from 17 percent in 2013 to a historic low of 6.8 percent as of June 2017. Consumers interested in learning more about coverage should visit the website, where they can explore their options and find out if they qualify for financial help by using the “shop and compare tool.” Consumers can also get free and confidential enrollment assistance by visiting coveredca.com/find-help and searching among 800 storefronts statewide and the more than 17,000 certified enrollers who can assist you with understanding your choices and enrolling, including assistance in other languages. —Representatives for Covered California can be reached at CoveredCA. com or by calling 800-300-1506.v

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


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jeff Clemetson, x119 Ken Williams, x102


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Sen. Toni G. Atkins Diana Cavagnaro Tom Cesarini Andy Cohen Dave Fidlin Cristopher Gomez Lana Harrison Jen Lothspeich Dora McCann Guerreiro Margie Palmer Frank Sabatini Jr. Sandee Wilhoit Delle Willett Dolan Williams, Esq.


COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich INTERNS Jennifer Gottschalk Alex Ehrie Erik Guerrero Denise White

Sara Butler, x120 web@sdcnn.com

DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Brenda Vargara (619) 961-1964 Annie Burchard, x105 Michelle Camarda, x116 Sloan Gomez, x104 Heather Fine, x107 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 accounting@sdcnn.com PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 david@sdcnn.com

OPINIONS/LETTERS: San Diego Downtown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to morgan@sdcnn.com and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS: Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to morgan@sdcnn.com. For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION: San Diego Downtown News is distributed free on the first Friday of every month. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.


‘I am humbled’ to lead the Senate

Notes from Toni Toni G. Atkins The Legislature returned to the Capitol on Jan. 3 to start a new session. In addition to the normal business, the Senate is scheduled to hold a vote to elect a new leader, the president pro tem. In December, current President Pro Tem Kevin de León, who will be termed out of his Senate seat in 2018 and is currently running for U.S. Senate, announced that the Senate’s Democratic caucus had reached a consensus on choosing me to succeed him as leader. I am truly humbled by the trust my colleagues have placed in me, and I will work hard every day to earn that trust. Pro Tem de León did a wonderful job of ensuring that California is a place of opportunity for everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender, or background. I will honor his hard work by continuing along that path and taking every opportunity to improve quality of life for all residents. At some point after the vote, there will be a transition of leadership, and I will work closely with the outgoing pro tem to make sure that it runs smoothly and seamlessly. I am fortunate to have had the experience of leading the Assembly from 2014 to 2016. That gives me a unique perspective as I take up the reins in early 2018 to lead the Senate. As speaker, I enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Gov. Jerry Brown and Pro Tem de León. Together, we framed and implemented an ambitious agenda, and accomplished what I believe were great things for the people of California: We crafted a wide-ranging, $7.5 billion water bond and sent it to the ballot, where it became Proposition 1 and passed with more than 67 percent of the vote. We created California’s first-ever Earned Income Tax Credit to put more money in the hands of our state’s struggling working families and individuals.

After 20 years of chaos surrounding the issue of medicinal marijuana, we created a framework for regulating cannabis in California. We passed SB 350, major climate-change legislation requiring California to generate half of its electricity from renewable energy sources and double energy efficiency in all buildings. In the final moments of my tenure as speaker, we passed a package of six bills to more tightly regulate tobacco in California. We passed the landmark End of Life Options Act, allowing Californians suffering from painful terminal illnesses to end their lives on their own terms. We increased funding by $337 million to care for Californians with developmental disabilities. Ahead of our big housing package in 2017, we allocated $100 million for affordable housing in the 2014-15 budget — $50 million each for multifamily rental housing and permanent supportive housing. And we created the CalWORKS Housing Program, which allocated $20 million in the 2014-15 budget for rapid re-housing of families in our state’s safety net program who become homeless. That program was expanded to $35 million in the 2015-16 budget. In addition to setting the stage for major housing legislation, we began the conversation that led to this year’s SB 1 — $5.4 billion annually to rebuild our transportation infrastructure. Meanwhile, I was in a great position to enhance San Diego’s influence by increasing the number of local residents appointed to important statewide policy boards and commissions. I look forward to the opportunity to work with my colleagues in the Senate, Speaker Rendon and my former colleagues in the Assembly, as well as Gov. Brown, to improve life for everyone in San Diego and all of California. —Toni G. Atkins represents District 39 in the California Senate. Follow her on Twitter, @SenToniAtkins.v


What will 2018 hold? Congressional Watch Andy Cohen Congress can be a fickle beast, particularly when one political party controls both chambers and shows little to no interest in working with their counterparts from across the aisle. This is what happened throughout 2017. Republicans finally had the unified government they craved and promised big things would come. Those promises, for the most part, fell flat. Despite their majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, Republicans failed to accomplish much of anything. Their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act died embarrassingly (and let’s be honest: There was never any real intent to replace it). They failed to even consider one of President Trump’s stated priorities, infrastructure. They took no action on the DREAM Act, beginning the process of deporting DACA (deferred action on childhood arrivals) recipients, most of whom have never known any other country and are productive members of American society. Their only real accomplishment, if you can call it that, is the tax cut bill that was signed into law just before legislators left for the holiday break in December. It was a hastily cobbled together bill relying heavily on lobbyist input, which explicitly excluded Democrats from the process. It is a law that cuts taxes on the rich and corporations, but according to both the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation, leaves middle class and poor taxpayers worse off in the long run. The law also adds $1.5 trillion to the debt and deficit. Scott Peters (D-52), Susan Davis (D-53), Juan Vargas (D-51), and Darrell Issa (R49) all voted against the tax bill, with Duncan Hunter (R-50) being the lone “yes” vote among the San Diego delegation. Issa was one of only two of California’s 14 Republican members of Congress to vote “no.” So this was the Republican Congress’ major accomplishment in 2017. It also sets up some important battles in the months to come. By mid-January, Congress must pass a government spending bill in order to keep the government open and operational, otherwise we will see another government shutdown. This bill will need to address everything from military

spending to health care spending. Critical among the needs is CHIP (child healthcare insurance program), which provides health insurance for 9 million children nationwide. Federal funding for CHIP ended on Sept. 30, and states have been scrambling ever since to stretch their budgets and ensure coverage for eligible children. Most states are or have already run out of funds, which means those children will be without health care. Also at issue is what should be done about DACA recipients: Democrats are adamant that they continue to receive protections and be allowed to remain in the U.S. without fear of deportation, and many Republicans agree. The spending bill cannot be passed without Democratic support, and Democrats will likely not support a bill that does not adequately address CHIP and DACA. The current continuing resolution that was passed on Dec. 22 expires on Jan. 19, meaning Congress has to act before then to keep the government open. Also at issue is President Trump’s border wall, funding for which House Republicans, at least, are expected to attempt to include in any extended funding measure. So how will San Diego’s five representatives in Congress likely vote on this important measure? Juan Vargas is unlikely to vote for anything that does not include strong protections for DACA recipients. Representing a border district, immigration reform is his bailiwick. Susan Davis and Scott Peters, are also unlikely to vote for anything that does not address DACA and offer full funding for CHIP, though they are both pragmatists and will likely compromise where possible — assuming the Republicans who control the process are willing to compromise. Duncan Hunter is likely to vote against anything that funds CHIP or creates protections for DACA, and will insist on funding for the border wall, which is extremely unlikely to happen. Which leaves Darrell Issa as the wild card. Issa is in trouble,

and is fighting for his electoral life. He has expressed support for protecting DACA recipients in some form, and wants to be viewed as sympathetic to their cause. But how far will he be willing to go? In the past, Issa has voted “no” on CHIP funding, but given his current electoral challenges, opposing insurance for 9 million poor kids is unlikely to play well in his rapidly changing district. My guess is he’ll find some way to tepidly support a funding bill. CHIP funding, by the way, is relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things: Leading up to the tax vote, Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch insisted that the government simply could not afford to fund CHIP (and he was one of the original authors of the first CHIP program!). Full funding of the program for five years will cost $8 billion. But compare that to the $1.5 trillion deficit the tax bill creates, and CHIP is but a pittance, relatively speaking. The biggest challenge coming in 2018, however, will be whether or not Republicans decide to slash funding for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in order to pay for their tax cut bill. House Speaker Paul Ryan has already signaled that this is coming. Eliminating “entitlement programs” has long been a dream of Ryan’s, and he sees this as his golden opportunity to take significant steps toward that end. The way he sees it, the budget hole the tax cut bill creates justifies decimating “entitlements.” Look for Peters, Davis, and Vargas to adamantly oppose any and all efforts to slash what they view as programs essential to maintaining a decent quality of life for all Americans. Hunter will, of course, support such measures. Which again leaves Issa as the wild card. In the past, he might have supported efforts to slash Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. But again, his precarious electoral prospects will come into play. Efforts to curtail these programs will inflame his constituents and all but ensure his retirement from Congress in November. —Andy Cohen is a local freelance writer. Reach him at ac76@ sbcglobal.net.v

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San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


In big, plain sight Union Kitchen & Tap

Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. It’s the Noah’s Ark of eating and drinking establishments, stretching more than a half city block to take on scores of consumers fleeing the floods of pedestrians inherent to the very street it resides. Union Kitchen & Tap in the Gaslamp Quarter greets with nearly every creature comfort known to the bar and restaurant industry. An elongated sidewalk patio furnished with comfy booth seating signals an enormous interior featuring tons of wiggle room and two attractive bars — one of them stocked exclusively with fine whiskeys. Between them is a mishmash of communal tables and upholstered booths set in sundry arrangements. The overall style is retro Americanclassic, achieved rather convincingly by faux tinstamped ceiling tiles and a few brick walls, not to mention pillars clad in reclaimed wood and bulb lighting contained in metal cage-like fixtures. As your eyes roam reflexively over the potpourri of design elements, they eventually hit upon a lovely cask room

333 Fifth Ave. (Gaslamp Quarter) 619-795-9463 gaslampunion.com Lunch: Soup, salads and appetizers, $7.95 to $14.95; flat breads, $13.95 to $14.95; sandwiches, burgers and entrees, $13.95 to $19.95 toward the back, which is used for private parties. Adding to the atmosphere during our lunch was a playlist of indie and alternative rock tunes transmitted through an easy-on-theears sound system. They

(Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

eventually gave way to a live, acoustic musician whose gifted voice would have kept us firmly planted here had our day been filled with more leisure time. My dining comrade, a bourbon buff, kicked off the meal with a maple bourbon sour while I stuck to designated-driver ice

much-needed rise to the trendy green. Every forkful offered a different rush of flavors, making it one of the snappiest kale salads you’ll find on the local scene. Union Kitchen & Tap in the Gaslamp (and Encinitas) is owned by locally-based OMG

(above) Yellow tail fish tacos with black bean cassoulet; (right) baby kale salad (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

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Union Kitchen & Tap ranks among the largest eating and drinking establishments in the Gaslamp Quarter.


water. Although I concurred with her that the inclusion of maple syrup was lost in the first drink, we could only taste bourbon and lemon juice. She requested extra maple in the second drink, which indeed provided the provocative sweetness we initially imagined. A starter of big eye tuna poke was complemented by sweet soy reduction, candied pistachios and pickled ginger. We couldn’t really detect the latter but the fish tasted bright and fresh and paired graciously to the accompanying paper-thin taro chips. Had it not been for the squad of other ingredients comprising the baby kale salad, I would have skipped it in lieu of an everyday Caesar or wedge salad. Here, my sheer boredom over kale temporarily lifted with the support of pickled cherries, sweet peppadew peppers, toasted quinoa, spiced pepitas and bourbon-mustard vinaigrette. They gave

Hospitality Group, which also operates Pacific Beach AleHouse Kitchen & Brewery, Backyard Kitchen & Tap, and the new Waterbar in Pacific Beach. Union’s Gaslamp executive chef, Colten Lemmer, is a culinary grad of Grossmont College. He also completed an extension program at the Culinary Institute of America and locally worked at Pamplemousse Grill, Sea & Smoke, and Wheat & Water. His goal at Union since coming on board in April has been “to capture comfort foods from all regions of the country,” hence the pastrami sandwich, the barbecue smoked chicken and various Cajun/Creole dishes you’ll find on the menu as cross-cultural examples. We proceeded, however, to a few continental faves, such as a roasted mushroom flatbread accented with black truffle cream, garlic

chips and fried sage. We loved that it was baked long enough to develop crispy edges around the crust and toasty pockmarks on the mantle of mozarella cheese. Lemmer uses local yellowtail for fish tacos. He tastefully adorns the grilled fish with lime crema along with obligatory pico de gallo and shredded cabbage. Served with herby black bean cassoulet, they rightfully screamed San Diego. I ordered the Brandt Beef house burger with white cheddar but accidentally ended up with the leaner, meaner “black & bleu” bison burger. It was garnished with smoked bleu cheese, jumbo strips of bacon, pickled red onions and garlic aoili. Wildly savory, it was one of those easily forgivable mix-ups that seemed meant to be. We concluded our lunch with a thrilling dessert — extra-virgin olive oil cake that took on significant complexity with the support of buttermilk gelato, honeycomb from Temecula, vanilla-orange gel and orange-blossom almond brittle. We left nary a crumb on the plate. Union also serves dinner seven days a week and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Live acoustic music is held starting at 6 p.m. on Fridays, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays. Guest DJs fuel the vibe from 10 p.m. to close on Saturdays, and karaoke is held from 9:30 p.m. to close on Wednesdays. —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 fsabatini@san.rr.com.v

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Olive oil cake with buttermilk gelato and orange-citrus components (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Big eye tuna poke and taro chips



Shortly before 2017 came to a close, the bustling Barleymash in the Gaslamp Quarter tallied the numbers of its top drinks and dishes sold throughout the year. The figures show consumerism in Downtown San Diego is alive and well. Number of Jameson shots sold: 50,641; bottles of Corona: 31,526; shots of Jack Daniels: 26,577; bottles of Bud Light: 24,170; burgers: 38,891 pretzels: 32,304; pounds of wings: 11,943; and salami pies: 4,791. 600 Fifth Ave., 619-255-7373, barleymash.com.

San Diego Downtown News | January 2018

Last year’s sales of this burger and other consumables at Barleymash hit the stratosphere. (Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

The Grant Grill is paying homage to Alexander Hamilton and the stage production about him with this cocktail. (Courtesy Grant Grill) As the highly acclaimed Broadway show, “Hamilton,” makes its local debut at the San Diego Civic Theatre, the nearby Grant Grill will feature a limited-time cocktail inspired by Alexander Hamilton’s life and era. Named “the whiskey rebellion,” the cocktail brings together Hennessy cognac, Monkey Shoulder blended scotch, coffee liqueur and sarsaparilla bitters. It’s garnished

with a faux $10 bill and sells for $14. Hamilton was a teetotaler and drank strong coffee, hence the drink’s coffee liqueur. His parents were Scottish, which explains the scotch. Additionally, cognac was widely consumed during the American Revolution, and our $10 bills bear Hamilton’s image. The drink is available through the end of January. 326 Broadway, 619-744-2077, grantgrill.com.

A restaurant and retailer specializing in pasta will open in the East Village. (Courtesy Contour PR + Social) March will see the East Village arrival of Monzu Fresh Pasta and Ravioli, a family-owned Italian concept specializing in a wide range of house-made pastas and sauces that can be consumed onsite or purchased to go. The venture is the brainchild of Aldo de Dominicis Rotondi

New to Little Italy’s dining scene is Cloak & Petal, a 7,500-square-foot space designed to look like an abandoned Tokyo subway

station. The modern, upscale Japanese restaurant was launched by restaurateurs Cesar Vallin and business partner Isamu Morikizono, who also owns Tajima. The aesthetics feature glazed tiles and brick as well as detailed “hanami-inspired” cherry blossom trees replete with flowering branches. An ambitious sake and cocktail program is in place to augment a menu of crafty small plates, sashimi and nigiri. 1953 India An elegant Japanese restaurant with impressive design features has opened in Little Italy. St., 619-501-5505, (Courtesy Cloak & Petal) cloakandpetal.com. The Newport Beachbased Gelato Paradiso recently opened a shop in Coronado that features a window into the production area, allowing customers to see gelato in the making. The company has a smaller location, sans the view window, in The Headquarters at Seaport Village. The shops serve smallbatch gelatos made from time-tested Sicilian recipes that use chocolates and flavor extracts imported from Italy. 918 Orange Ave., 619-629-5343, gelatoparadiso.net.

and Serena Romano, who share family ties to Italy’s wine industry and are staunch supporters of the slow food movement. 455 10th Ave., monzufreshpasta.com.

Whisknladle Hospitality has sold the restaurant group’s three locations of Prepkitchens — in La Jolla, Del Mar and Little Italy. The latter was the newest and largest in the trio. A Las Vegas-based hospitality group purchased the restaurants. “We’re confident that Prepkitchen will continue to thrive under new ownership that’s passionate about the existing brand and realizes its potential,” Whiskenladle Hospitality owner Arturo Kassel said in a press release announcing the sale. Kassel and chef/business partner Ryan Johnston own Catania in La Jolla and will focus their efforts on two upcoming Sorrento Valley projects: Gravity Heights Brewery & Beer Garden and Park Commons, both slated to open this year. wnlhosp.com. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.rr.com.v

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January 27 – March 4 By Oscar Wilde Directed by Maria Aitken Oscar Wilde’s wildly entertaining comedy sparkles with dazzling wordplay and hilariously unlikely situations. This “trivial comedy for serious people” features two carefree bachelors, Jack and Algernon, each with a carefully hidden double life. But when Algernon discovers that Jack has been posing as a man named Ernest to escape to the city, he promptly travels to Jack’s country estate to pose as the fictional figure himself! Silliness ensues with whimsical ingénues, jealous fiancées, indomitable dowagers, and the most famous handbag in theatre history.

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A stylish new gelato shop has opened in Coronado. (Courtesy Gelato Paradiso)


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San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


Quartyard to return in February East Village Biz News Dora McCann Guerreiro Ring in the New Year with the February 2018 return of East Village’s urban container park, Quartyard! The idea that spurred from three graduate students at NewSchool of Design & Architecture has transformed the East Village into a hub for celebrating all that is San Diego: beer, dogs, music, coffee, art and food. With a ground-breaking that took place Nov. 1, Quartyard

will hit the ground running in February with already planned neighborhood activation projects ranging from wedding receptions, to full production concerts, and everything in between. Located just 500 feet from its old location, the second coming of Quartyard will provide daily entertainment at 1301 Market St., at the corner of 13th Street. Although the square footage is smaller than the fi rst location, Quartyard collaborated with the city of San Diego to offer guests a new, more intimate venue experience. The new site will still


have the same, celebrated offleash dog run, where owners can enjoy a beer or cocktail with their four-legged friends, and is also launching a new partnership with Seahorse Coffee. Come join the East Village Association in welcoming Quartyard for their February grand re-opening party (date to be determined)! Watch our website or follow us on Facebook (EastVillageSD) for the actual date. A few more hints to help you plan your February — think a Super Bowl BBQ and a secret dinner theater with a Quartyard twist, having teamed up with other East Village businesses, The Grand Artique and 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Past Quartyard fans will also experience a new mural

(Courtesy EVA)

art installation, a revamped food menu, and a brick entrance that will house over 200 uniquely inscribed bricks from Quartyard faithful. #YourCityBlock can’t wait to return to the East Village! Hours will be Sunday through Thursdays, 7 a.m.–10 p.m. and Friday and Saturdays, 7 a.m.–midnight.

For the events calendar, visit quartyardsd.com. On behalf of EVA: Welcome! —Dora McCann Guerreiro is the executive director of the East Village Association. To learn more, visit eastvillagesandiego.com or you can reach her at dora@eastvillagesandiego.com.v

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“It’s been so gratifying to have people come walk the project and share their enthusiasm,” Malmuth continued. “Having installations in The Hub and the gallery that are focused on local art and artists, that give emerging artists a chance to show their work, or do an opening around that where they can invite people, it helps expose art to the residents of the building. People see that having art as a part of their environment enriches it.” Malmuth said that the artistic and creative components of the building are what help make IDEA1 a living, breathing, “always changing and never complete” entity. “We are even more excited to see what happens as [IDEA1] evolves and how the creativity of the district will play itself out.” Following is a list and descriptions of the public art pieces commissioned for the first round, courtesy of the project’s PR team at Olive Creative Strategies.

These six public art pieces will be rotated out within two years: ● Cy Kuckenbaker, “The Cardinal Directions” — A photo and video series created with handmade stereo (3-D) cameras that take hours to expose an image. ● Lana Z. Caplan, “13th Street Boogie Woogie” — This looping, site-specific video artwork was made to echo themes of transformation, fluidity and reciprocity in urban space. ● San Diego Letters, “Let’s Get Physical” — Vintage, faded mural reflects an abandoned sign from a decades-old gym. ● Natalie Lanese, “Current” — Designed specifically for IDEA1, “Current” is part of Lanese’s continuing exploration of color, pattern and perception of space. It moves from the entrance of the building to The Hub, encouraging exploration of the public space inside. ● Lisa Levy, “The Thoughts in My Head” — A selection of some of the thoughts that circulate around Levy’s mind. ● James Reka, “Eastern Dreams” — Explores personal themes of relocating to Berlin from Melbourne. The work touches on the topic of

"Current" by Natalie Lanese was designed for the IDEA1 building at 899 Park Blvd. (Photo by SNAP) immigration and the positive process of traveling and relocating to another country to start a new chapter. These two installations will be permanent: ● Rocio Gertler and LdG Landscape Architects, Green Soffit “Floating Wave” — Tillandsia (air) plants create an artificial and urban environment that will continue to

grow, flower and even multiply while providing an urban green respite. ● Ben Dalton and Miller Hull Architects, “Found Objects” — Hand-selected steel punch-down plates collected from a local fabrication yard and integrated into a deconstructed wood screen. The wood is reclaimed teak from a boatyard in Indonesia.

IDEA1 is located at 899 Park Blvd., in East Village. To learn more, visit ideadistrictsd. com/idea1. —Editor Morgan M. Hurley contributed to this report. —Margie Palmer is a San Diego-based freelance writer. Reach her at margiep@alumni. pitt.edu.v



San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


New year, new Hats off to the Yuma Building challenges … we’re ready Gaslamp Landmarks Sandee Wilhoit

Downtown Partnership News

Lana Harrison “I was driving a truck and I didn’t know how to do anything else that would make good money,” said Tori Wilson. Wilson, who served in the Air Force in the late 1980s and early ’90s, was about to have a son. She had recently separated from her husband, and like so many other veterans, was struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other disabilities. The soon-to-be mother needed to find a way to adequately care and provide for her child. For a while, she traveled around the country looking for a place to settle, until finally landing at a friend’s house in San Diego. After that situation didn’t prove safe or sustainable, Wilson called 2-1-1. “I don’t want my son sleeping in a tent on the street,” she said. That’s when she was able to connect with Alpha Project, who quickly moved Wilson and her son into temporary housing through the Housing Our Heroes program. After applying for a HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) voucher to receive a permanent residence, Wilson still needed financial assistance to keep a roof over her head while she waited for the application to go through. Through a series of connections, she was able to meet with Ketra, one of the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Clean & Safe program’s homeless outreach coordinators. Wilson’s situation was a perfect match to receive funds from the Make Change Count program, which consists of 25 parking meter-style donation stations located throughout Downtown. Funds from this program can make a housing deposit, meal cards, bus passes or baby formula a reality for another family or individual, and Make Change Count provided Wilson with rental assistance as she waited to transition into permanent housing. “It’s a waiting game for a voucher and a place to stay, which I knew wouldn’t happen quickly,” Wilson said. “If they hadn’t helped me, I would be on the streets with my son.” The beginning of Wilson’s story is, tragically, not uncommon and this past year has undeniably been a tough one for those in our community who also call the streets home.Still, like Wilson’s experience with Alpha Project and Make Change Count, there are positive stories in 2017 that give us hope for the year ahead.Take Clean & Safe’s Family Reunification Program, for example. This year, in partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission, 400 homeless individuals were reunited with family and friends throughout

A red parking-meter style “donation station” for the Make Change Count program. (Courtesy DSDP) the country via the program. Connecting individuals and families with support systems can make all the difference in the lives of people transitioning off the street.The city’s bridge shelters, opened in collaboration with Father Joe’s Villages, Alpha Project and Veteran’s Village of San Diego, are also operational and ready to transition homeless individuals and families into permanent housing and services to help build new lives. The County of San Diego also expects to be able to lift the emergency status of hepatitis A by the end of this month.Though the challenges of 2017 are not quite behind us and 2018 will certainly present new ones, these small victories can serve as a catalyst for continued efforts and opportunities in the new year. We are excited to build off the success of the Family Reunification Program to help another 400 people connect with the support systems they need for sustained safety and health in 2018. Wilson has lived in her permanent home for about a year now. Her son attends school and is receiving the care he needs to adjust to a new way of life, while Wilson has found that baking is her own form of therapy. She makes calls to friends and stays connected with people from the Air Force who live in the area — one of whom has been a great role model to her son. And Alpha Project still calls to check in once in a while.While Wilson doesn’t hold too many expectations for 2018, she still has things she tentatively looks forward to. They’re things like establishing a schedule, finding new friends, getting on top of doctor’s appointments, and finding work — regular, everyday-life things. “It’s so nice to have a home phone number, to have a house phone,” Wilson said. “It’s the simple things in life people don’t realize are so special.”To learn more about Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Clean & Safe program, visit downtownsandiego.org/clean-and-safe. —Lana Harrison is the communications coordinator for the Downtown San Diego Partnership. She can be reached at lharrison@downtownsandiego.org.v

When tourists view the stately brick structure with the twin spires that graces Fifth Avenue, their immediate question is, “Why is it called the Yuma Building when it is in San Diego?” The answer is simple; Captain Alfred Henry Wilcox, one of San Diego’s pioneers and the person responsible for the building, had previously been involved with the Colorado Steam Navigation Company and had done extensive steam-boating on the Colorado River. Yuma was the first and last stop on the river excursion and Wilcox’s base. Thus, the Yuma Building. Captain Wilcox originally came to San Diego in 1849 as a mate on the U.S. Invincible. He later returned as the ship’s captain, charged with the task of surveying the San Diego River, and ultimately constructing a dam in an effort to turn part of the river into a “False Bay” (now Mission Bay). In 1863, he married Maria Antonia Arguello, daughter of a wealthy landowner, and the Wilcox family made their home at “La Punta,” the southeast corner of San Diego Bay. They later moved to Alonzo Horton’s New Town, where they built a mansion at 1309 Second St. It later became the Belle View Apartments. Wilcox was involved in numerous commercial ventures in San Diego. He contracted to supply water to the city, incorporate the San Diego Daily Bulletin, was a trustee of the San Diego Publishing Company, and later became an original stockholder and president of the Commercial Bank of San Diego. Additionally, he had banking interests in Los Angeles and San Francisco. One year prior to his death in 1883, Captain Wilcox began construction on the north half of Lot D, Block 094/871, which he had acquired from Edward W. Tebbutt. The lot was originally sold by Alonzo Horton to Frank Caillard, who quickly sold the north half of the lot to Mr. E.W. Tebbutt. In 1877, Tebbutt sold this and other properties to Wilcox for $1,345. On April 4, 1882, construction began on what was described as a substantial brick building, to be furnished with all the latest improvements — gas and water fixtures and large drainage pipes. The building is one of the first structures in San Diego to be built entirely of bricks. The original building was one story with a frame porch in front. As Captain Wilcox died the following year, the building was not expanded until 1885 when his estate was finally settled. At his death, the estate was valued at $644,000, which included real estate throughout California and stock in railroad companies and other companies. Mrs. Wilcox inherited the building, and after suing the estate trustees for their 1/4

interest in the Wilcox holdings, she began construction on the building as it stands today. The Yuma Building, a classic example of Victorian architecture, is three stories high with a basement. The street level walls are 16 inches thick and the walls on the second and third floors are 12 inches thick. The front was iron-clad and featured bay windows. A large skylight lighted the upper two stories. The structure contained 16 rooms and a store Yuma Building, 1882–1888, 631 Fifth Ave. on the ground level. A Architects, Armitage and Wilson; Victorian lovely stairway graced Italianate Revival (Courtesy GQHF) the northwest corner. The basement was used for storage and cellars. to the Santa Fe Depot, where Throughout the years, a vathey were instructed to purriety of businesses occupied the chase tickets. Unfortunately, building including a Japanese they did not receive complete Bazaar, medical offices, an ininstructions, as most of them surance broker and a dry goods purchased round-trip tickets store. In 1901, the upper floors and returned the next day! were converted to furnished The property remained a rooms, and were operated as single-room occupancy hotel the “Santa Isabel.” In 1910, the until 1989 when it came on rooms became known as “The the market. It was purchased Grant.” by Marsha Sewell, an interior On Nov. 11, 1912, the Grant designer, and her late husband, gained notoriety for becoming Mike Shea, an airline pilot, the first stop of the Great Raid who both had a passion for real of 1912. As the Californiaestate. The building was in Panama Exposition was coming poor condition, and a major resto San Diego in 1915, Police toration effort was in order. In Chief Keno Wilson was receiv1992, Sewell, a former GQHF ing increasing pressure from board member, moved her office several civic-minded organiinto the basement, which she zations, including the Ladies’ described as “perfect for me.” Purity League, to clean up The first floor was then carefulthe Stingaree, as the area was ly restored and is believed to be called. Due to the transient the only ground level store with nature of much of the clientele, an intact original interior. The many who were sailors on ships tenant is Goorin Bros. Hats, a stopping at the foot of Fifth Victorian hat shop. Avenue, the Stingaree had beThe upper two floors, a come famous for its numerous two-story showplace townhouse, saloons and accompanying were completed in 1992, and brothels. Sewell lived in the house until Early one Sunday morning, 2003, after her husband’s passthe raid began, and by the end ing in 2001. This exquisitely reof the day, Keno Wilson had stored home, complete with four rounded up 138 ladies of the fireplaces, has been the site of evening. Chief Wilson gave many cultural and civic events, them a choice; either reform and has hosted numerous dignior get out of town, and the taries. Its stately presence concity would pay for their train tinues to grace the Gaslamp. ticket. Only two decided to reform. One became a telegraph —Sandee Wilhoit is the hisoperator and the other went torian for the Gaslamp Quarter insane, likely as a result of a Historical Foundation. She can social disease. The other ladies be reached at swilhoit@gaswere marched up Fifth Avenue lampfoundation.org.v


San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


Enjoy the new year in Little Italy Little Italy News Christopher Gomez Some make New Year’s resolutions to travel or live more presently and enjoy the moment. If either of these are resolutions you’ve made (or if you just want to have a good time), enjoy some authentic Italian delicacies in Little Italy in 2018. With its public spaces, authentic food and Italian atmosphere, you’ll feel like you’re roaming the streets of Italy in Southern California. Here are a few ways you can enjoy the first month of the year in Little Italy and experience Italy without having to stray too far from home! Start the day with a cup of liquid gold at an Italian café — San Diego’s Little Italy is plentiful of Italian coffee hot spots. Swing by Caffe Italia for a robust cup of espresso made

(Photos by Luna Photo)

with Lavazza coffee beans imported from Italy. Or if you want to sip your cappuccino in a cozy cottage, grab your java from Little Italy’s hidden gem, Heartsleeves. Peruse the public spaces — There are several piazzas

to choose from in Little Italy to relax and enjoy the mild San Diego weather. The newest is Piazza Pescatore, where locals and visitors can eat their lunch al fresco and admire the Piazza’s bronze statue. Another is the Piazza Basilone, created to honor Gunnery Sgt. John Basilone and the “boys that never came home” from the wars in the 20th century. This public space is a local favorite for families and veterans to gather. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a scoop (or two) of gelato — One of Little Italy’s most well-known delicacies is the gelato, and Pappalecco is one of the places to get it. This local Tuscan café offers more than 16 flavors of gelato, including a signature Pappalecco flavor that’s made with chocolate, amaretto and cookies. A scoop of Pappalecco gelato will take your taste buds on an international trip. Bond with your loved ones over family-style dining — If you’re in the mood for classic Italian comfort food, there’s plenty of places in Little Italy to stop at for some antipasti, pizzas and pasta to share for a memorable evening of Italian values, which include food and family. Check out Nonna, Filippi’s, Mona Lisa or one of the many others. In addition to the delicious food and attractive spaces, San Diego’s Little Italy has a special feeling of Italy in the air. Everywhere you turn, authentic Italian sights like beautiful architecture and the friendly faces of Italians playing cards in public spaces, make for a beautiful space to enjoy 2018. To stay connected with Little Italy, check out what’s going on in the neighborhood by following us on Instagram and Twitter: @LittleItalySD and Facebook: LittleItalySD. To learn more about the neighborhood’s ongoing events, visit littleitalysd.com. —Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at chris@littleitalysd.com.v



Italian-American baseball ambassadors Little Italy Heritage Tom Cesarini “Italians were once second-class citizens in the United States and invisible in baseball before players like Tony Lazzeri and Joe DiMaggio rose to prominence. Not having an appreciation of your heritage is like an olive tree without roots. Baseball is a part of mine.” —Roberto Angotti In his new, award-winning documentary, “The Italian American Baseball Family,” filmmaker and baseball historian Roberto Angotti addresses the great American pastime by highlighting the ItalianAmerican influence on the game. “‘The Italian American Baseball Family’ brings home the message that baseball allowed Italian-Americans to assimilate into popular culture,” Angotti said, elaborating on the film. “The documentary honors the Italian-American baseball ambassadors that have etched their names into U.S. sports history, paying tribute to their invaluable contributions and their unique imprint on the game.” Later this month, Convivio will be screening the film as part of a series of baseball and heritage programming leading up to Italian American Heritage Night on May 31, presented by the San Diego Padres, Petco Park, and Convivio. The May 31 event will highlight the Italian-American impact on baseball, by honoring its pioneer players as well as celebrating Italian-American heritage as an important part of our cultural landscape. Angotti, along with renowned illustrator and local ItalianAmerican Christopher Paluso, will form part of the Convivio event committee, contributing their unique skills, knowledge, and passion to plan the series of programming, culminating in Heritage Night. Angotti recently won top honors for his film at the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) 42nd anniversary gala in Washington, D.C., receiving the inaugural Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Award. In 2013, Angotti curated an exhibit on Italian-American baseball players, “Artists’ Tribute to Italian Americans in Baseball,” held at the Convivio Center in San Diego’s Little Italy. Many Italian-American players were featured through illustrations, uniforms and other memorabilia, and Paluso had many pieces on display. “It was a privilege to be a part of this exhibit, highlighting the talent of these athletes that bring pride to our heritage,” Paluso said. Among the many sports figures Paluso has illustrated over the years, Joe DiMaggio was a project that Paluso said was rather special. “I spoke to him about the composition of the painting,” he said.

(l to r) Peter McEvilley (director of photography); Professor Lawrence Baldassaro (author of “Beyond DiMaggio: Italian Americans in Baseball”); Basil Russo (president, Italian Sons and Daughters of America); and Roberto Angotti (Russo Brothers Italian American Film Forum Award winner) Paluso also presented Tommy Lasorda with a painting in the dugout for the 1978 All-Star Game. Lasorda expressed to Paluso how happy he was to receive it from a fellow Italian-American. We will have more information on all our special programming leading up to Italian

San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


Happy New Year!

1501 India St. #104 • 619.821.7600 We are a Full Service Real Estate Company Ca BRE #01219324

American Heritage Night online at conviviosociety.org. Stay connected with Little Italy’s Convivo Society through Facebook and Twitter @ conviviosociety. —Tom Cesarini is the executive director of Convivio. Reach him at tom@conviviosociety.org.v




NOW OPEN ...and so much more than just a market

Christopher Paluso’s works adorn the walls of the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum’s Brietbard Hall of Fame, now housed in the Western Metal Building at Petco Park; the San Diego Air and Space Museum Hall of Fame; and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in Chicago

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Roma Urban Market 555 W. Beech St. #101 Little Italy 619-255-5700 | romaurbanmarket.com Welcome to Roma Urban Market, Little Italy’s gathering spot! We’re so much more than a market and it’s our pleasure to share our freshly prepared foods and specialty food counters with you! We designed our market with you in mind and we’re pleased to be a part of the Little Italy community! Come in today and enjoy a delicious meal and great memories, such as Italian coffee and delicious breakfast goodies like Italian breakfast bagels and wraps. Don’t miss our large assortment of fresh baked cookies, muffins and scones. Come back for lunch and enjoy a piping hot pizza, deli subs and fresh-made pastas. Come in for happy hour every day from 5-7pm for drink specials and bar bites and grab dinner too. While you’re at it, shop for groceries from our wide selection of go-to items and fresh produce! Stop by the deli counter for hand sliced meats and cheeses and sample something delicious! Enjoy indoor and patio seating where you can dine “al fresco” and enjoy the best urban scenery in Little Italy. Catering? We can handle that too, anything from office meetings to birthdays and weddings. It’s all here at Roma Urban Market – how can we serve you?

• Breakfast + coffee + house baked pastries • Lunch & dinner - hot & cold subs, salad bar, fresh grab & go pizza + pasta, fresh made sausage • Deli counter - deli meats, butcher meats, deli salads, etc. • Groceries, household items & fresh organic produce & meats • Wine + beer + spirits • Happy hour 7-days a week at the bar • Weekend brunch 619.255.5700 | romaurbanmarket.com Sun – Weds, 8am – 9pm | Thurs – Sat, 8am – 10pm 555 W Beech St | San Diego, CA 92101


San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


ALONSO implies — keep these neighborhoods clean and safe — through their safety and maintenance ambassador teams and a homeless outreach division. On most days, ambassadors are the first people residents, visitors, business owners and homeless people make contact with every day. They are on the ground and in the streets, cleaning, overseeing, escorting and interacting throughout the streets of Downtown. While homelessness has always been part of the Clean & Safe’s wheelhouse, it has taken on a new priority and focus under Executive Director Alonso Vivas. Under Vivas’ leadership, the Clean & Safe team has renewed the mission of their Family Reunification Program. Initiated in 2012, the program reunites homeless people from the streets of San Diego with loved ones and/or friends in their hometown, whether that is elsewhere in the state or across the nation. Quick to point out that some people refer to such programs as merely “Greyhound therapy,” Vivas said his program is definitely not that. “Our team is trained to call the family or friends and make sure the client will not be homeless wherever we are sending them,” he said. “And we are committed to continue to follow up with people. We actually call to make sure they got there; then we call them in three months; we call again in six months; in a year; and again in two years. So it’s not just, ‘Hey, here’s a ticket, good luck.’” Transportation to the client’s ultimate destination is provided through Clean & Safe partner, Travelers Aid San Diego; the local arm of a national nonprofit that helps people who are stranded, fleeing abusive situations, or experiencing other

emergencies with limited or no resources. Vivas admits the reunification program has not seen the 100 percent success they strive for, but context is key. “We understand it is not possible for every person we send home will be successful,” Vivas said. “We are hoping to get 65 to 70 percent of the people some kind of success, and that when we call them, they are still housed.” Whether or not they consider the program a success overall, their efforts have certainly been effective, especially of late. From its inception in 2012 through the early part of 2017, Vivas said the program reunited 1,000 homeless people with their support systems. Considering that is a number to be proud of, his team decided they wanted to do better. “One of the new things we did in 2017 is partner up with the San Diego Housing Commission to reunite 400 homeless individuals with their families or support systems,” he said. “We started in June and we had a year, but we set an internal goal to see if we could accomplish this in six months. From June 26 to this week [Dec. 22], we’ve surpassed our goal and reunited 407 individuals.” It is important to note that their achievement is nearly half of the number of homeless individuals who had been reunited in the previous five years of the program’s existence. The new goal for 2018 is to make 2,000 the total number of homeless individuals reunited since the program’s inception in 2012. One of the things that may help with this success rate is that throughout the interview, Vivas referred to homeless people as clients; while they aren’t property or business owners, they live Downtown and therefore, without question, require his services. “Every day, Alonso witnesses how difficult life on the street can be — which is why he has

One of Clean & Safe’s maintenance ambassadors on the streets of the Gaslamp

TOWN VOICES made it a priority to assemble a talented, empathetic homeless outreach team to help reduce homelessness in Downtown San Diego,” said Angela Wells, director of communications for the Downtown Partnership. “He and the team work diligently to foster relationships and offer help to the most vulnerable members of our community. Their efforts can be seen in the results of the new and improved Family Reunification Program, which has been made possible by a generous grant from the San Diego Housing Commission.” Vivas is the perfect example of an American success story; born in Orange County, California, Vivas spent most of his upbringing in Tijuana, Mexico, before moving across the border to Chula Vista while still a youngster. In 2005, he married and started a family, and soon found himself in need of a job. Clean & Safe offered him an immediate position as a safety ambassador, while another job wouldn’t start until after the holidays, which at the time was two months away. He chose his destiny and the rest, as they say, is history. Vivas moved up the ranks at Clean & Safe relatively quickly. Back when he first started, most of East Village was vacant lots and abandoned warehouses. Since then, the neighborhood has become a thriving metropolis, with thousands of new property owners and residents that he has become responsible for. After first moving up to assistant supervisor and later serving as a full-time supervisor, Vivas soon became the assistant director of operations under Sam Jackson, who eventually retired, making way for Vivas in the director of operations role. His qualifications for the top job certainly proceeded him and in August 2016, Vivas took over as executive director, succeeding Bahija Hamraz. “When I first applied, I didn’t really know that it would be a long-term thing, but from day one, I fell in love with the program and what it did,” he said. “It is a dream come true to be executive director. I never really thought it was possible.” Now leading a staff of 60 with nearly 60 more contracted to work with the organization in areas of safety, power washing and tree trimming, Vivas noted the biggest difference between his former role and his current responsibilities was how he interfaces with the community. “As director of operations, you are kind of in the weeds, making sure things are operating properly, keeping things clean and safe day-to-day, but things come up and you have to respond immediately. “As executive director, I attend community meetings and talk to different community groups and hear their concerns,” he continued. “It’s being able to represent them and be their voice and knowing that if there is something that is important to them, then it is important to us.” “Alonso is a compassionate leader who is dedicated to improving the quality of life for every single person in


Alonso Vivas, executive director of Clean & Safe, being interviewed by KUSI in advance of Comic-Con (Photos courtesy DSDP) Downtown San Diego,” Wells said. “His vast experience, coupled with his big heart, have made him a great asset to both the organization and the greater Downtown community.” Other ways the Clean & Safe leadership interacts with residents and business owners are their weekly Walkabouts, held every Friday in a different neighborhood, where they walk the streets and take note of any graffiti, trip hazards or other safety issues that might need their immediate attention. It also gives members of the PBID the opportunity to interact with them and see what how they work. In the program’s early years, Walkabouts were anchored at an intersection, but now they meet at a different coffee shop in each neighborhood.“We want to support local businesses, so we thought it would be a good way to give back and keep them engaged, as well,” Vivas said. “As much as I want to have unlimited staff, the additional eyes and ears for us are not only the residents, but also the business owners. The other hope would be that they become so familiar with our program that they are willing to open up and let us know the concerns they might have.” Residents and business owners are familiar with Clean & Safe’s bright vests and logo but they may not be familiar with the important roles the organization’s safety and maintenance ambassadors play. Safety ambassadors are tasked with observing and reporting quality of life crimes — basically being additional eyes and ears for the San Diego Police Department — but they often can mitigate the problems themselves. Maintenance ambassadors keep the streets clean and the median and sidewalk foliage in top shape. While Comic-Con is the beast they contend with annually, every neighborhood has its challenges throughout the year, from the liquid amber

trees in the Marina District; the jacarandas of Cortez Hill; the encampments of East Village, and the nightlife of the Gaslamp. “Sometimes the amount of trash that's accumulated [in the Gaslamp on any given weekend] is astonishing but it is amazing to see how clean it is once the graveyard shift clocks out in the morning,” Vivas said proudly. In the early days, there was some overlap within the two roles, but today, the overlap is strictly in the ambassadorship arena, and Vivas does not take that term in their titles lightly. “Downtown is a tourist destination and we have a lot of residents so people need help with directions,” Vivas said. “We want our ambassadors to be familiar with Downtown and be able to guide people to different places. One of the most popular things we have is our walking escort service; if you are lost, looking for a restaurant, or it is late at night, we will walk you to our car. Just call 619-234-8900.” Vivas said the staff recently participated in a retreat to address the various challenges they face and determine their vision for 2018. “We realized that while we’re going to do our best effort, we can’t do it alone, so we want to expand our collaborative relationships in 2018,” he said. “We are Clean & Safe, so we always have to strive to make sure that Downtown is cleaner and safer, and improving quality of life for our residents is something that will be very important to us in 2018 as well.” To learn more about everything Clean & Safe does for Downtown, subscribe to their weekly newsletter and attend a Walkabout in your neighborhood. Visit downtownsandiego. org/clean-and-safe. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at morgan@sdcnn. com.v



San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


Discovering historic landscapes in San Diego County

Art on the land Delle Willett This past January, a group of professionals — landscape architects, architects, historians, and planners — got together to develop a program to identify and document historic landscapes in San Diego County. Led by landscape architect Joy Lyndes of Coastal SAGE Landscape Architecture, the program is called the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). It is a committee of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), San Diego Chapter and part of the national HALS movement. The program’s initial goal was to provide a central source of information, which would contain a data base listing properties and significant master designers to be used by the community. Following the national HALS model, the committee promotes the identification, documentation, preservation, and advancement of knowledge of historic landscapes in San Diego and highlights the role landscapes have had in the history of our community. Since the 1900s, landscapes have been identified and documented at local, state, and federal levels, but never systematically in this manner. Established by the National Park Service in October 2000, HALS is the first permanent federal program to focus on historic landscape documentation. In early 2001, ASLA, the National Park Service, and

the Library of Congress entered into a Memorandum of Understanding that established a framework of cooperation, and in 2010 the three organizations signed a new Tripartite Agreement that made HALS a permanent federal program. Documentation of historic landscapes through research, photography, and drawings is crucial to the preservation of the understanding of the design, the knowledge of master designers, and the stories of people and places which are tied to the property. Like historic buildings, historic landscapes reveal aspects of our country’s origins, and development through their form, features, and the ways they were and are currently, used. They range from several thousand-acre rural farms and ranch complexes, to several-acre urban plazas and parks, to a single residential yard. The evolving nature of historic landscapes makes them fragile and highly vulnerable to loss and alteration. Joy Lyndes, principal landscape architect at Coastal SAGE Landscape Architecture, started the local HALS committee in 2015 and serves as its chair, with a focus on public outreach and education. As she explained, there is a community of professionals in San Diego who are knowledgeable and excited about historic properties, but there was no group specifically focused on historic landscape documentation. Because of that, there wasn’t a central resource or central point of contact for architects, historians, planners, or

Rose garden at Marston House (Photo by Delle Willett)

policymakers to engage when there were questions about properties. “Even though preservation of significant historic landscapes is our passion, we believe that the documentation of landscapes through the HALS documentation process, and the recording of these documents in the Library of Congress, is a valid and meaningful way to preserve the stories of people and places in our community; to build the historic knowledge base of our community; and to connect our history with the history of the entire country,” Lyndes said. The project is important to Lyndes because she loves landscapes and history. “I believe that we are who we are today due to our ancestors, how they have paved the way for us,” she added. “Our world today was created by their leadership and skills, how they lived on this land and molded their environment, and how they impacted the land.” HALS is also a perfect fit for Lyndes, who has been a landscape architectural consultant for many tribes in Arizona, and her connection to the land and our history is due somewhat to the Native American beliefs of people’s connections to nature. “There’s evidence of our ancestors’ impacts all around us today, which tell the story of the people who came before us,” she said.The old cobble sea walls at Hospital Point in La Jolla, the Formal Garden of the Marston House, and the grounds of the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, are the physical three-dimensional books our predecessors wrote about what they did here and how their lives were important to the future. But you have to know how to read these artifacts and landscapes. “Reading a historic landscape is like conducting landscape forensics, there may not be anyone around who can tell you the story of them, so you need to use the clues left behind; do research, read old newspaper articles and put the pieces together to find out what the story is,” Lyndes said. “It’s almost like making the invisible visible or bringing the dead alive through the evidence left behind in the places they lived.”

Sudoku & Crossword puzzle answers from page 17

A portion of the San Diego HALS team: (l to r) Amy Hayes, historic resources specialist, SOHO; Gail Garbini, principal landscape architect, Garbini & Garbini Landscape Architects; Amy Hoffman, associate, KTU+A; Vonn Marie May, principal historian, Cultural Land Planning & Research; Nancy Carol Carter, horticultural history author (Courtesy Joy Lyndes) Amy Hoffman — associate at KTU+A Planning and Landscape Architecture, and a HALS volunteer — has been interested in design and preservation of historic landscapes since she was in grad school. She’s served as a docent with Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) at the Marston House, giving garden tours along with tours of the historic home. “I am able to tell the story of not only events that happened on the land where the house stands, but also the story of the evolution of the garden from bare earth to what it is now,” Hoffman said. “Often times landscapes are not thought of as historic. It is easier to raise awareness for a structure and point to its historic features than to a landscape where things change, grow and sometimes disappear. Because of this, I think many landscapes are lost during renovations or even day-to-day upkeep. Serving on the committee gives me a chance to raise awareness about historic landscape preservation.” Gail Garbini of Garbini & Garbini Landscape Architecture Inc. and another HALS volunteer, also believes in the importance of preserving the knowledge of past landscapes. “We are losing many of our important cultural and designed spaces and this activism has brought to the attention of the design community the potential loss of important landscapes in our local community,” she said. Exposure to and an understanding of the early landscape history of the local area has actually helped provide a background for sustainable design in San Diego over the long term. “There’s nothing like identifying trees and vines that survive today, from 1890 or 1915, to give perspective to what may

do well in local landscapes,” Garbini said. The committee’s current focus is the west mesa of Balboa Park, now known for the Sixth Avenue playground, Redwood Bridge Club, San Diego Chess Club, Lawn Bowling, and Nate’s Point Dog Park. This portion of Balboa Park was originally the grand entrance to the park from Downtown. Few people realize it is one of the most historic sections of Balboa Park. Kate Sessions’ commercial plant nursery was located here and in 1902, well before the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, a professional landscape designer from New York City named Samuel B. Parsons Jr. was hired to design it. Much of Parsons’ plans for this part of the park can still be seen today, if you know where to look. The San Diego HALS team consists of Joy Lyndes, landscape architect, Coastal Sage Landscape Architecture; Gail Garbini, landscape architect, Garbini & Garbini; Vonn Marie May, cultural landscape specialist; Amy Hoffman, associate landscape architect, KTU+A; Amie Hayes, planner and historic resource specialist, SOHO; Diane Kane, historian and SDSU professor; Kevin Mock, senior designer, KTU+A; Jackie Higgins, director of planning, design and programs, Balboa Park Conservancy. The local HALS committee welcomes volunteers who are knowledgeable and interested in historic and cultural landscapes to join them. Contact Joy Lyndes at jlyndes@coastal-sage.com. For more information, visit asla-sandiego.org/ hals. —Delle Willett has been a marketing and public relations professional for over 30 years, with an emphasis on conservation of the environment. She can be reached at dellewillett@ gmail.com.v

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery (Photo by Delle Willett)


San Diego Downtown News | January 2018



Springboard West returns Music festival looks to bring artists, mentors and fans together By Jen Lothspeich As its name suggests, the Springboard West Music Festival aims to catapult emerging talents to the next level of music-making when it comes to town Jan. 11-13, but it is not for the casual player. Emerging artists are selected from all over the world to perform at the festival — not just for San Diegans — but for industry professionals who have worked with top talents. Plus, with a two-day “Band Bootcamp,” participants also receive guidance from those qualified mentors and get the chance to perform for them. The Springboard Festivals started in Houston, Texas, in 2012; last year, they ventured into a new frontier with a sister event named Springboard West

Spotlight on Springboard West artist Lad’s Holiday

One of the only local bands to make it through the selection process is indie alt-rockers Lad's Holiday. The busy quartet is also releasing an EP in January and is excited to have been chosen for Springboard. “This event is huge for us,” said the band's lead guitarist Cody Seeger. “As an independent band, [you're] looking for that big break — this event could be it.” While playing for hometown crowds and convening with like-minded artists is on the agenda for these guys, the “Band Bootcamp” seems to hold a special appeal for a group like this. “With approximately 80 mentors and industry professionals attending the event, it is an amazing opportunity to network and learn,” Seeger said. “It is going to be an amazing weekend and we are very humbled to be a part of it. We look forward to getting our name out there and seeing what happens.” LadsHolidayMusic.com

San Diego's alt-rockers Lad's Holiday will be one of the few local acts on the bill. in San Diego and are returning for three days of fun this month in Ocean Beach. The festivals’ founder, Barry Coffing, who has written No. 1 hit songs and placed over 200 tracks in movies and television, has a passion for helping artists who are ready to get serious about their music careers. Starting with 800 submissions from bands hoping to play the festival, Coffing and his team had to narrow it down to their top 40 selections. Coffing said that originally, they set out to represent all genres equally, but soon realized the entries themselves led them in another direction. “We found that our thirdbest blues artist wasn’t as good as our 20th-best rock artist,” he said. “So, we quit doing that. We just started saying, ‘We’re gonna be genre-agnostic.’” As a result, the lineup for this year’s Springboard West is a mixture of talents including those that play indie rock, hard rock, pop, and Americana, along with many singer-songwriter types. While at the festival on Thursday, Jan. 11, and Friday, Jan. 12, musicians will spend their days attending panels and participating in “Moment of Truth” sessions, which might sound intimidating but are invaluable to burgeoning artists. Coffing said short performances put the bands in front of people like himself along

with other music supervisors and industry professionals, with a chance to perform a minute of a song and get feedback. “You think you’ve got a radio single? OK, here we go,” Coffing said of the on-the-spot pressure for these performances. “We’re not there to be their friends. We’re there to tell them the truth.” Of course, this festival is not just for those in the industry as the bands also come to play for the San Diego music crowd. Each of the festival dates offer lots to locals who want to discover up-and-coming artists and enjoy supporting local businesses and charities. Springboard West’s local planning manager, Heather Hudson — who also owns San Diego’s Revolt Wine Co. — said her business’ ideals just happened to fall right in line with Springboard’s goals. “This is exactly what Revolt stands for,” Hudson said. “Revolting against anything holding you back and going after your dreams. By partnering with Springboard, I’m able to put that mission into action and help make an impact.” With the bands in place, Hudson was tapped to enhance things with a local flavor. “One of my biggest goals for Springboard this year is to connect, involve and make

Springboard Festival founder Barry Coffing (Photos courtesy Springboard Festival) a positive impact on the local community,” she said. “I wanted to loop in local businesses including beverages, food, artists, fashion and nonprofits.” Following the two-day “Band Bootcamp” with the participating bands, the public will also get to experience the fruits of Hudson and Coffing’s labors, as they are welcomed to the OB Theatre. There, the festival musicians will take part in unplugged performances, with these ticketed events also featuring an art show, a fashion element and craft beverages – as Hudson had hoped. All proceeds from the unplugged show’s $10 ticket price will go to two local nonprofits that work with kids with autism — The Autism Tree Project Foundation and The Pioneer Foundation. Hudson will be pouring her Revolt wines — which will also be available for purchase at these events — while local craft beer companies Amplified Ale Works, Karl Strauss, Mike Hess Brewing Company and others serve up the suds. In addition, local artists Thomas Condry, Hannah Kazik, and Jack Stricker will display their work and SAAS Streetwear will also showcase their wares — all for perusing while the crowds enjoy the bands’ stripped-down sounds.

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT King & Queen Cantina 1490 Kettner Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101 619-756-7864 | kingandqueencantina.com Come dine like royalty at Little Italy’s new King and Queen Cantina! With over 25 years of experience up his sleeve, creative founder and owner Jorge Cueva is dishing out modern Mexican food with a unique twist. Handcrafted cocktails, Instagram-worthy weekend brunch, tasty Taco Tuesdays and good vibes await you at your new favorite spot in downtown. Cueva’s beloved Tempo Kitchen recently won Orange County’s “Restaurant of the Year,” and lucky for you, he brought the trendy concept to America’s Finest City, but with a different name — KQC. It’s hot, it’s new and it’s ready to “wow” you. Come for the hot plates, like the Korean Tacos, Seafood Rice and Tuna Tostada, but stay for the happy hour, which is available seven-days-a-week. Can’t get enough? Mondays are Industry Night where your entire bill is 50 percent off, and happy hour lasts all day. We’ll see you there.

Los Angeles-based Americana band The Sound of Ghosts will perform at the Springboard Festival.

Springboard West Music Festival Thursday, Jan. 11– Saturday, Jan. 13

VIP Unplugged Performances

Thursday, Jan 11, and Friday, Jan. 12 6–11 p.m. OB Theatre $10 goes to supporting nonprofits

Band & Brew Crawl Saturday, Jan. 13 40 bands on four stages Winston’s, OB Theatre, The Harp and Mother’s Saloon 1–11 p.m. $10 goes to supporting nonprofits SpringboardWest.com While these local aspects and other types of art come in to play the first two days of the festival, the last is strictly for music lovers. The festival’s finale — dubbed the Band and Brew Crawl — is on Saturday, Jan. 13, and will feature the 40 bands and musicians chosen for Springboard, all performing at four venues around Ocean Beach: Winston’s, OB Theatre, The Harp and Mother’s Saloon. With unique artisans, craft libations, performances by emerging bands, and the chance to support nonprofits — Springboard is a win for music fans. And with music industry insiders offering insight to the bands selected to attend, it offers them a priceless stepping stone in their musical journey. —Jen Lothspeich is a wine-drinking, cat-cuddling native San Diegan who dreams of writing a best-selling true crime novel. Find her on Twitter at @Jen_Evel.v




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San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


Downtown News



ex-girlfriends and religion to bestiality and Hitler. Show starts at 8 p.m. at the American Comedy Company, 818 B Sixth Ave. No cover.





‘Orange is the New Barack’



Through Jan. 28 With book, music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, direction by Thomas Kail, choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler and musical direction and orchestrations by Alex Lacamoire, “Hamilton” is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of founding father Alexander Hamilton, an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first treasury secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, “Hamilton” is the story of America then, as told by America now. Appropriate for ages 10 and up, since there is some strong language. 7-10 p.m. Presented by Broadway San Diego at San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave. bit. ly/2zUoMwf

‘Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin’

Through Jan. 7 Actor and international piano virtuoso Hershey Felder embodies the iconic Irving Berlin to bring you the musical story of an immigrant boy who gave a country its voice. From Czarist Russia to New York’s Lower East Side, and then throughout the world, Berlin’s life and music epitomizes the American dream, and his songs capture his patriotic vision of our country. Experience the stories behind this songwriter’s most popular and enduring work, including “God Bless America,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “White Christmas,” and more. Felder’s signature creation of character and musical performance will astonish, move and delight. 8 p.m. The Lyceum Stage, 79 Horton Plaza. bit.ly/2BBgQNS.v



Art Meets Jazz

Art and music converge at this pop-up exhibit of jazz-inspired art work featuring music by trumpet player Gilbert Castellanos and his band playing the songs of legends like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown and more. Event starts at 6 p.m. at Bread & Salt, 1955 Julian Ave. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door for cash and $28 at the door for credit. Part of proceeds go to Arts for Learning San Diego. For tickets and information, contact Arlene Damasco at 619-8695889 or email Arlenedamasco@gmail.com.

Petty – A Tribute to Benefit MusiCares

Andrew McKeag, Mario Rubalcaba, Timothy Joseph, Ben Moore, Chris Torres and more will be playing a blistering set of timeless songs by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. All proceeds go to MusiCares, a charity that provides a safety net for musicians in need. Show starts at 8:30 p.m. at the Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Visit casbahmusic.com.

‘Seeing is Believing’

Bringing together a diverse and exceptional group of more than 30 photographs, sculptures, paintings, and illustrations, this exhibition will highlight the inspired minds and imaginations of each artist’s innermost thoughts, as they transform the everyday mundane into thought provoking explorations of the body, relationships, emotion, form, and inanimate objects. At the Sparks Gallery, 530 Sixth Ave. Artist reception starts at 6 p.m. Gallery show runs through April 8. For more information or to RSVP for the reception, visit bit. ly/2EDJ7EO




‘Your Tax Deduction Questions, Answered!’



Comedian Drew Michael

With an album that hit No. 1 on the iTunes comedy charts, his own Comedy Central halfhour special and a sweet gig as a writer on "Saturday Night Live,” Drew Michaels is filling a comedy bucket list at a record pace. According to Time Out Chicago, his show is "smart, funny and unabashedly crass," with takes on everything from

Get your tax deduction questions answered at Keller Williams Realty’s January meetup by deductible expense guru Homer Ambrose. Armed with a CPA and MBA, Ambrose's expertise is asset protection and limiting tax liability through creative tax planning and strategy. He will walk through an example of converting a sole proprietorship into a corporation and how it could save a substantial amount of money. Free event is at 6 p.m. at Keller Williams Realty, 3965 Fifth Ave., Suite 300.

Political satire troupe The Capitol Steps present their latest show titled “Orange is the New Barack” at the Spreckels Theatre. The show features a mix of song and standup that pokes fun at political leaders and the major issues of the day in a vaudeville-style show. Tickets for the all-ages show cost $39–59 and are available at bit.ly/2lIaW7b. Show starts at 7 p.m. at Spreckels Theatre, 121 Broadway, Suite 600.

‘The Color of Light’

Based on Henri Matisse's spiritual romance with a young nun, this new play tells the fascinating story behind the creation of his final masterpiece, “Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence.” "The Color of Light" follows the relationship after the brilliant artist, an atheist, recovers from cancer and is cared for by Sister Jacques Marie. Vantage Theatre's production combines an art experience with theater, with a pre-show art exhibit and talk about Matisse, art, color and form, and the religious life. See it live at San Diego's Tenth Avenue Arts Center, 930 10th Ave. Runs Thursdays through Saturdays Jan. 11–Feb. 3. Shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15, available at bit.ly/2Cc3VSe.

It’s About Time Festival

San Diego’s fi nest performing arts organizations come together for the San Diego Symphony's "It’s About Time: A festival of Rhythm. Sound. And Place." The month-long celebration runs Jan. 11– Feb. 11. The festival explores the world of percussion music over 30 exciting days and 25 performances, installations, conversations, and encounters. Renowned percussionist, conductor, author and University of California San Diego professor Steven Schick curated the festival that moves percussion music, instruments and musicians out from the shadows and into the spotlight. The San Diego Symphony is the presenting organization for the following special performances: “Fascinating Rhythm” on Jan. 13, 8 p.m. and Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. at the Copley Symphony Hall at Jacobs Music Center 750 B St. “Percussion: A Listener's Guide” on Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall at Jacobs Music Center. “Places in Time” on Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. Copley Symphony Hall at Jacobs Music Center. “Stories in Time” on Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 28 at 2 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall at Jacobs Music Center. “John Luther Adams: Inuksuit - A Border-Crossing Presentation” on Jan. 27 at 12:30 p.m. at International Friendship Park San Diego. “The Roots of Rhythm” on Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall at Jacobs Music Center.

“The Rite of Spring” on Jan. 27 at 10 p.m. at The Music Box, 1337 India St. For a full list of festival performances, visit sandiegosymphony.org/itsabouttime.

‘West Coast Cool’ with Mark Winkler and Cheryl Bentyne

Two of the biggest names in jazz reunite at Martinis Above Fourth. Cheryl Bentyne is best known as the soprano from multi-Grammy-winning vocal jazz pioneers The Manhattan Transfer. Mark Winkler is an award-winning singer and lyricist who has written for Dianne Reeves, Randy Crawford and Liza Minnelli. You'll hear tunes from Bentyne's recent records covering Cole Porter and George Gershwin, solo works from Winkler's new album "Jazz and Other Four Letter Words" and the two will sing together performing songs from their 2012 duet recording “West Coast Cool.” Show starts at 8 p.m. at Martini’s Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave. Tickets are $15, available at bit.ly/2A8cwDF.




Giac Mo Mua Dong: ‘Winter Dreams’

The Vietnamese American Youth Alliance and the Vietnamese Federation of San Diego present a fundraising concert, “Winter Dreams” — a fundraiser for the San Diego Tt Festival. The concert features the prince of Vietnamese new wave music, Henry Chúc and the prince of Viet pop, Lu Vit Hùng and a few other special invited guests. Help support the San Diego Tt Festival by purchasing a ticket. The SD Tt Festival is the only completely free Vietnamese New Year festival in Southern California. Tickets are $65 VIP and $45 general admission, available at bit.ly/2lIXEGA. VIP tickets include dinner. Festival opens at 6 a.m. at Ly’s Garden Chinese Restaurant, 4350 54th St.



2018 San Diego Beer Festival


The San Diego Beer Festival returns to Liberty Station with another fun-filled day of beer, food trucks and music. The event will feature dozens of local and international craft beers, as well as San Diego's most popular food trucks (food sold separately). Admission is $45 for general admission (1–4 p.m.) and $55 for VIP (noon–4 p.m.). Both include unlimited beer tastings, with VIP admission offering an added hour. The event is limited to 21 and over and no pets are allowed. For more information, go to sandiegobeerfest.com. Tickets are not refundable after Jan. 6. Event is rain or shine.




Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

Rockers Black Rebel Motorcycle Club perform at House of Blues. $1 from every ticket goes to the nonprofit War Child that supports families affected by war. Doors are at 7 p.m. All ages welcome; minors under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, or an adult age 25 or older with written permission from a parent or guardian. T ickets are $27.50 to $55, available at livemu. sc/2DRc9zJ.




Plays by Young Writers 2018

The 33rd season of winning scripts from the 2017 California Young Playwrights Contest at the Sheryl & Harvey White Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way. Opening night on Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m. features all four full productions. Program A: Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. Full production of “Sina and the Eel” by Kiegan Lee, age 17. Selfish gods ensnare teens in this re-telling of a Samoan origin story. Full production of “SomeBody” by Tan'yeasia Brewster, age 17. A surprising discovery allows three preteens to contemplate the unknown. Staged reading of “Alone by the Playground” by Aisling Archdeacon, age 11. Rock helps Paper and Scissors return home to the classroom. Program B: Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. Full production of “Fire Hazard” by Cassandra Hsiao, age 17. A rebel teaches a star student that the truth cannot be incinerated. Full production of “Idiot, I'm Great” by Savannah Spatafora. age 16. She like-likes him; he just wants space. Can they be un-lonely together? Staged reading of “A Life or Death Situation” by Sofia Miller, age 14. Life and Death find themselves united by humanity. Tickets and information at playwrightsproject.org/ productions/pbyw.

In addition to the display that opens to the public at 7 p.m. on Jan. 20, there will be a series of discussions, concerts and workshops relating to the display. For more information about “The Language of Things” and San Diego Art Institute, visit sandiego-art.org.




A Progressive Vision: San Diego’s Seventh Avenue

What began as a 10-acre, barren enclave owned by George W. Marston is now the shady and secluded 3500 block of Seventh Avenue, a cul-de-sac that is perfect for a 45-minute guided walking tour. This tour contains new content inspired by SOHO's celebration called “Irving Gill: Progress & Poetry in Architecture.” The Marston House Museum & Gardens is one of about 10 homes on the street, built between 1905 and 1913. Many were designed by Gill, when he was a partner in Hebbard & Gill, and they illustrate his design progression from English Arts & Crafts to Prairie Style to his ultimate triumph, cubistic early modernism. 12:30–1:15 p.m. at the Marston House, 3525 Seventh Ave. Tickets are $15 available at bit.ly/2qfBrFG.




Demeti Martin

Demetri Martin rose to relative obscurity when he started doing stand-up comedy in New York City and latere became a writer at “Late Night with Conan O'Brien” and then a regular performer on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” He released a comedy album called “These Are Jokes” and then created and starred in his own television series called “Important Things with Demetri Martin.” This standup tour is called “Let’s Get Awkwanrd.” Show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave. Tickets are $34, available at bit.ly/2CtBUtL.


‘The Language of Things’

San Diego Art Institute in collaboration with the Tijuana Cultural Center presents a dynamic multimedia installation and curated event series by bi-national artist Roberto Romero-Molino. A surreal landscape of electronic birdsong and Stonehenge-like arrangements of TV screens, “The Language of Things” is filled with sound and/or video that changes over time, so that every second during the exhibition period is a unique moment for the show and the spectator.


Lessons from a Master Printmaker


Join Lenore Simon as she reveals lessons learned throughout her artistic career and shares her printmaking stories and techniques. Complimentary refreshments will be served at 6 p.m. with the artist demo beginning promptly at 6:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. At Sparks Gallery, 530 Sixth Ave.v



San Diego Downtown News | January 2018


Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro ‘Silk & Spice’

Giti Kooshkani presented the holiday fashion show Silk & Spice on Dec. 10, featuring GKDesigns at the beautiful Persian venue of Sufi Mediterranean Cuisine. Mistress of Ceremonies was Jessica Kalasho, who is the executive producer and director of the Miss Middle East USA Beauty Pageant. There were three runway segments during the evening introducing GKDesigns, a line for women which consisted of day dresses and suits in beautiful silks and linens. Next came exquisite cocktail and formal evening wear. Many of these stunning designs were hand beaded. Each section was followed by an entertaining classic Persian dance by Ila Dance Studio. Kooshkani is an international designer who first introduced her line in November 2016. These luxury garments are custom, handmade, and one of a kind, made from all natural fabrics from around the world. An appointment can be made to fit the garment for your size and personality. For an appointment, visit gklefashion.com.

‘Gaslamp Holiday Pet Parade’

The 10th annual San Diego Union-Tribune Gaslamp Pet Parade, sponsored by Just Food For Dogs and Helen Woodward Animal Center, was held Dec. 10 at the MLK Promenade Park in front of the Hilton San Diego Gaslamp Quarter Hotel. Dogs and their owners showed up for the fantastic costume contest with nine different categories. There was a pet expo for the guests to peruse while they enjoyed the live music of the George Farres Band, more entertainment with a performance by Mini Shock from Culture Shock Dance, and a fun photo booth sponsored by Downtown Ace Hardware. This festive event had canines showing up in all shapes

Eveningwear by GKDesigns at the Silk and Spice event (Photos by Diana Cavagnaro) and sizes. Contestants even brought cats, rabbits, and a hedgehog. The second annual Greyfrairs Bobby Award was given this year to Chopper the Biker Dog and his owner Mark Shaffer. Chopper rides his own Harley and delighted everyone at the event. Attendees gathered under the Gaslamp Quarter Archway at 3 p.m. for the parade, which began with the Blue Buffalo truck and the Grand Marshal’s Sweet Pea and Sammie, who were the Best in Show winners from 2016. They led the way up Fifth Avenue and down Fourth Avenue, returning to the park where they handed out the awards. The first place winners were: Best Ugly Sweater, Greg Fenton (Sammy and Dexter); Cutest Critter, Gigi Stickelman (Kai and Lil Bear); Best Pet Costume, Mero Marme (Lieutenant Dan); Best Pet Costume (non-canine), Hunter Johnson and Mikey Johnson (Mr. Mimosa, a rabbit and Ms. Pricklepants, a hedgehog); Best Holiday Costume Award, Alysha Hoberecht (Tzachary and Belle); Best Costumed Duo, Cindy Harris (Storm and Koko); Best Costumed Group, Corey Dobbs (Bran, Ferra, Ranger and Ozzie), and Best Holiday Dish, Ro Kugelmass (Pia). This year’s Best in Show went to Lucy and owner George Pisano. The family was all dressed in Dr. Seuss-themed costumes. They will be the Grand Marshal for next year’s 11th annual Pet Parade, which will be held Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. For more information, visit gaslamp.org.

Another model shows off GKDesigns

Best Group winner at Gaslamp Pet Parade

● Jan. 21 | Bridal Show — Presented by Once Gown Event, with local vendor and designer gowns. 4–8 p.m. Moniker Warehouse, 705 16th St., East Village. For more information, visit bit.ly/2DJRTQn.

Models walk the ramp in Silk and Spice finale

Chopper the Biker won Greyfriars Bobby Award

● Jan. 30 | Chic & Savvy Ladies Night — This event includes a fashion show, swag bag, drinks, and photo booths. 4–10 p.m. Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. For tickets, visit bit.ly/2lwXtPC.

—Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about this hat designer, teacher and blogger at dianacavagnaro.com.v

Upcoming Events

Best in Show winner at Gaslamp Pet Parade

● Jan. 14 | Fall Bridal Bazaar — Three fashion shows throughout the day, presented by Gretchen Productions. Located at San Diego Convention Center, Hall C. For more information, call 760-334-5500.

Antoinette Busalacchi Desantis Senior Lending Officer NMLS ID: 459967

M 619.857.8150 | F 866.618.6506 http://mortgage.bankofamerica.com/antoinette-desantis a.desantis@bankofamerica.com CAO-919-01-01

9095 Rio San Diego Drive. Suite 100 San Diego. CA 92108

Free UBER to/from Downtown


San Diego Downtown News | January 2018

SanDiegoDowntown.com CalBRE License #00809392


Neuman & Neuman Real Estate successfully represented more buyers & sellers in 92101 than any other agent, team, or brokerage during the past 12 months with 122 closed transactions. Before you put your home on the market, call for a FREE marketing package.



2BD / 2.5BA / 2,580

/ $1,750,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,474

/ $1,599,000

2BD / 2.5BA / 1,941

/ $1,499,900

3BD / 3.5BA / 2,831

2+BD / 2BA / 1,404

/ $1,200,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,192

/ $1,199,000

2+BD / 2BA / 1,680

/ $1,149,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,325

/ $1,099,000


/ $1,499,000




2BD / 2.5BA / 2,036

/ $1,589,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,474

/ $1,550,000

/ $1,450,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,548

/ $1,295,000

/ $1,195,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,474

/ $1,175,000

/ $1,049,000

2BD / 2.5BA / 1,847


1+BD / 2BA / 1,474


2BD / 2BA / 1,572


2BD / 2BA / 1,194


2BD / 2BA / 1,076


Loft / 1BA / 699

/ $699,900

/ $379,900

/ $535,000


1+BD / 1BA / 900

/ $487,500


/ $869,900


1BD / 1BA / 807

/ $449,900

1Bd 1B d

/ $350,000


1BD / 1BA / 778

/ $364,800

Loft / 1BA / 734

/ $358,900

Š2017 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS.

An Independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Data from Sandicor as of 1/1/2018

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San Diego Downtown News January 2018  

San Diego Downtown News January 2018  

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