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Summer Pops


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July 2015 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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

East Village Green

➤➤ NEWS P. 4





Logo Design






SR 94: Opposition mounts


Adam “Ace” Moyer, founder and CEO of Knockaround Sunglasses, surrounded by Foster Elementary School students wearing the winning “Striker” design, by Evan Bui (standing to the right of the sign). (Photo by Mr. Bui)

A class act Local sunglass manufacturer’s philanthropy empowers kids Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

Things to do Downtown

➤➤ DINING P. 25

When East Coast native Adam Moyer first became a regular on the beaches of San Diego nearly a decade and a half ago while studying for his master’s degree in fine art at UC San Diego, he realized that he — and his friends — had a dire need for sunglasses all year round. Moyer found himself going

through pair after pair and soon began buying in bulk, which gave him an idea: Why not create his own? Taken from a familiar term his father used for “old, reliable clothes that could take a beating,” Knockaround Sunglasses, LLC was launched while Moyer was still a grad student at UCSD. He began producing a line of practicable and affordable, but stylish and sturdy sunglasses out of his personal art studio. According to the Knockaround website, Moyer created a style all his own.

“Merging the classic East Coast prep style of his Virginia upbringing, his interest in design and fashion, and a newfound love for the perpetually sunny, laid-back lifestyle of Southern California, [Moyer] created a company centered around a sunglasses line that was simultaneously practical and stylish.” The standard Knockaround model is a Wayfarer-style frame, but then new models, alternative frame styles, an see Knockabout, pg 7

Coney Island revisited

Rustic options

➤➤ FASHION P. 27

A visit from a prince

Index Opinion…...............……8 Calendar...................9 East Village…..............12 Theater................…16 Balboa Park.............…17

Contact Us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1960



San Diego Community News Network

By Dave Schwab

East Village residents got the opportunity to review suggested design alternatives for East Village Green Park at the second of three public workshops held June 23 at the Quartyard on Market Street. As Downtown’s most dense neighborhood, a section of East Village is proposed to be transformed in phases into a 4.1-acre, multi-block park bounded by 13th, F, 15th, and G streets. East Village Green is an important component of the Downtown parks and open space plan. It is intended to provide an engaging and interactive place for residents, employees and visitors to play, gather and participate in community events. Residents young and old, many walking dogs, turned out at the June 23 workshop to review and vote among three offered park-design alternatives: An “Urban Village” concept concentrating public amenities on the west block and catering to the needs of dog owners along G Street. A “Central Green” concept organized around a central, multi-purpose lawn buffering it from the street while enhancing streetscape and connecting the park to nearby restored historic homes. A “Garden on the Green” concept organizing the west block around a large children’s area and a multi-use lawn adjacent to 14th Street. “The three options are slightly different,” said Ricardo Rabines, an architect with the firm Safdie Rabines, which is designing East Village Green. “The Central Green is in the center of the block celebrating the fold in the middle. The Urban Village, an open space in the center surrounded by buildings, is much more like a square, urban open grid. And the Garden Green is a series of walks that move around with a central garden, like a central park,” he said. Rabines said the second workshop’s purpose was to present

• •

Exhibit brings summertime nostalgia to Balboa Park

By Kai Oliver-Kurtin

In conjunction with Balboa Park’s centennial celebration of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, The San Diego Museum of Art (SDMA) will hold a summer exhibition July 11 – Oct. 11, titled “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008.” In addition to the more than 150 paintings, photographs, gothic works and artifacts on display during the exhibition; the museum will also host special events including outdoor films, a Painting on Tap workshop combining libations with a painting lesson, and one of their signature Culture & Cocktails events, among others. Summer is the museum’s busiest season, so they expect attendance to be strong.

Residents weigh in on new park

A historic image from “Coney Island: Visions of an American dreamland, 18612008” (Courtesy SDMA) Ariel Plotek, associate curator of modern art at SDMA, organized the exhibition and said that feelings of nostalgia are already pervading the park because of the centennial celebration and that visitor’s eyes have been lighting up at the mention of Coney Island. “The exhibition is going to reveal sides of this mythic place [Coney Island],” Plotek

said. “There are new facets to be revealed and new stories to be told of New York City and this country.” Such stories include romance and the mixing of social classes, as well as self-reinvention and aspirations of the American Dream. According to Plotek, Coney Island became a great see Coney, pg 16

see EV Green, pg 14


San Diego Downtown News | July 2015

Summer Pops:


San Diego Downtown News | July 2015

the San Diego tradition Nostalgia, films are the stars this season Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

The 2015 Summer Pops season starts off with a (big bay) bang this weekend, and promises to offer both new and returning audiences a reason to keep coming back for more in a season that runs through Labor Day. We will focus on the details of this year’s July lineup, which sees a wide mixture of musical genres and performing styles, and share the rest of the season in our August issue. This weekend kicks off the Summer Pops season with its popular Fourth of July spectacular, “Star Spangled Pops.” Local American Idol alum Jessica Sanchez will share patriotic songs while Bill Conti conducts the full San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Fireworks will commence at the end of each Friday, Saturday and Sunday performance this weekend; however on Saturday, when the country is celebrating Independence Day, the show will conclude a little sooner than usu-

al and Summer Pops will take a back seat to the city’s Big Bay Boom over the San Diego Bay. Matthew Garbutt returns as the principal Summer Pops conductor and will take the reins most of the season except for a few special performances. Films take center stage this year, starting out with the latest in the Star Trek franchise, 2013’s “Into Darkness” and music from its award-winning composer Michael Giacchino Comic Con weekend (July 11). “The magic of this performance is that the score will be played by the San Diego Symphony live on stage — and perfectly timed to the action that the audience is watching on the big screen,” said Stephen Kougias, director of marketing and communications for the San Diego Symphony. “Hooray for Hollywood” (July 31, Aug 1) will tip its hat at some of tinsel town’s best films through the years, such as “Psycho,” “James Bond” and “Star Wars.” Other films include “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II” (July 26) with Carl Stalling’s original scores; and the return of Captain Jack in “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” in August. The featured films — which

(above) Michael Giacchino (right) with “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow (Photo by Maria Giacchino); (left) Chula Vista native Jessica Sanchez will perform during “Star Spangled Pops” this weekend (Courtesy SD Symphony)

he said all have their own unique audience — are shown on a large screen positioned above the orchestra. The soundtrack, drama and excitement will all be there, the only thing missing is the musical score, and Kougias said the “Star Trek: Into Darkness” show is one not to miss. “It’s a concert-going experience, a movie experience and a theatrical experience as the conductor leads the orchestra through this wonderful presentation,” he

continued. “We have found that the audience loves it — this journey, this ride, this wonderful night at the Summer Pops.” On Thursday night July 9, “Pokemon: Symphonic Evolutions” will also be brought to life by the orchestra for Comic Con fans and it will be accompanied by exciting visuals. Giacchino began his long and storied award-winning career scoring video games. He won awards for scores he wrote for “LOST” and an Academy Award for “Best Original Score” for “UP.” He most recently composed for “Jurassic World.” “The composer’s job, regardless of the platform, is to support the story emotionally: whether it is soldier during a raid in ‘Medal of Honor,’ a


young woman giving birth on a mysterious island after a plane crash, or a young cadet struggling to prove himself to his superiors, the idea of making that emotional connection to the story is key. So the thinking is the same for all three,” Giacchino told San Diego Downtown News, adding that the “real differences are in terms of budget and luxury of time.” Giacchino said he works very closely with the directors of each platform he’s composing but composing is a personal experience. “Once I receive the film, I watch it, and then see how it hits me emotionally, what feels tense, what is sad, where does it take me,” he said. “For ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness,’ it was quite fun because I was given such a fantastic villain to write for played by the great actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Usually a sequel is like that, you have a few of your main themes that will be reprised but something different is happening, a new character is introduced, and you get to play with that. ‘Star Trek: Into Darkness,’ has a much darker tone than ‘Star Trek 09’, so I was able to work with those colors as well.” While in the past Pops has featured the songs of Motown on its schedule, this year they’ve moved into the 1970s and are offering the “Divas of Disco” (July 24-25) performed by the very entertaining “Radiance” quartet. Not to leave out their fans of the Symphony’s classical see Summer Pops, pg 6



San Diego Downtown News | July 2015 Project Area

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Opponents of a Caltrans/ SANDAG plan to widen State Route 94 between the 805 and 5 interstates have launched a petition drive attempting to block the effort, which they claim would negatively impact communities without bringing any direct benefits. Firing back, the two transportation-related government agencies contend the project is absolutely essential to serve the growing needs of motorists in the area now and into the future. Transportation officials insist the project offers numerous benefits to commuters and residents alike. Caltrans is the state agency responsible for highway, bridge

and rail transportation planning, construction and maintenance. SANDAG is the San Diego region’s primary public planning, transportation and research agency. The SR 94 Express Lanes Project proposes to connect I-805 South Express Lanes with Downtown San Diego by constructing two new Express Lanes along SR 94, one in each direction, and a new direct connector between SR 94 and I-805. The Express Lanes would accommodate new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service, in addition to carpools/vanpools traveling between South Bay and Downtown connecting to a wider network of Express Lanes on I-805, and at a future date on State Route 15.

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Golden Hill homeowner Valentina Pasquetto, a spokesperson for a group of residents opposing the SR 94 Express Lane Project, said the group’s recent petition drive garnered 220 signatures from local residents against the project in just two weeks. “We expect growing support in the next few months once the [project’s] draft EIR is released,” Pasquetto said. “Our hope is that other residents and influential groups will support us by signing the petition and actively

engaging our city, state and federal elected officials to oppose the project.” Pasquetto said the petition drive’s aim is to heighten awareness that Caltrans and SANDAG intend to add two lanes to the SR 94 freeway through San Diego neighborhoods from I-805 to I-5 to accommodate the BRT system, High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) and fast-track vehicles. “This proposed project includes the construction of an up to 2-mile- long overpass and the closure of off-ramps and on-ramps vital to maintaining access to our neighborhoods,” Pasquetto said. “It has always been put to us by SANDAG that there are two options for this project. There is always a third — no build at all.” Edward Cartagena, Caltrans media information officer, countered that the freeway expansion project is something the city cannot live without if it wants to avoid traffic gridlock. “State Route 94 was built in the late 1950s and the operational demands have been steadily increasing to more than 149,000 vehicles a day — the most congested highway during the morning commute in the county,” Cartagena said. “Motorists from East County, the South Bay and North County flow towards State Route 94 to the downtown employment centers, tourist attractions and sporting events,” he said. SANDAG studies estimate nearly 1 million more people will reside in San Diego County by 2030. “Operational improvements are needed,” Cartagena said. Pasquetto said the project will bring disproportionate negative impacts to affected communities without providing any direct benefits by “further dividing the community and bringing more noise and pollution, while providing no access to the managed lanes for bicycle or other pedestrian modes of transportation.” “It does not encourage people to leave their cars at home as the people riding the BRT are the same people that are already using public transport now,”

Pasquetto said, noting that her group’s ultimate objective “is to get Caltrans and SANDAG to rethink the entire plan around the SR 94.” “We request them to reallocate TransNet funding away from the freeway expansion and towards alternative transit options (light-rail, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure).” Cartagena said the proposed project will benefit commuters by: —Encouraging people to get out of their cars to utilize transit as an alternative form of transportation resulting in improved highway operation. —Providing additional lanes between on- and off-ramps facilitating merging and reducing weaving of vehicles getting on and off the freeway. —Replacing non-standard, left-hand connectors at the SR 94/ SR 15 interchange. —Reducing commute times for travelers heading into Downtown using the South Bay Bus Rapid Transit. —Facilitating vanpools/carpools reducing congestion while offering more commuting choices. Cartagena said the freeway project will provide extra-added benefits to Uptown residents by: —Creating up to 6 miles of sound walls between I-5 to just east of I-805. —Improving access for pedestrians/bicyclists by widening of the overcrossings at 22nd, 25th and 30th streets. —Building a pedestrian/ bicycle-only plaza over SR 94 at 24th Street. —Constructing a Class 1 bike path along SR 94 between Federal Boulevard and Market Street. —Upgrading sidewalks and landscaping on F and G streets as well as Federal Boulevard. Cartagena said the draft environmental impact report for the SR 94 Express Lanes Project is expected to be released for public review and comment at the end of June or early July. — Dave Schwab can be reached at

San Diego Downtown News | July 2015

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San Diego Downtown News | July 2015



Coming home Little Italy News Christopher Gomez Connecting neighborhood growth and community through art

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One of the greatest things about our Little Italy neighborhood is how supportive the whole community is — local businesses, residents, community members and its visitors. Since the Little Italy Association is a nonprofit organization, having a community that stands behind us is key to the success of the neighborhood. In order to raise funds for one of our most enterprising projects — Piazza Famiglia, a 10,000-square-foot European inspired piazza on West Date Street — community members and business owners are coming together to host a neighborhood fundraising art exhibition to benefit the project. It’s called, “Coming Home to Famiglia: The Works of John Asaro.” Little Italy’s Meyer Fine Art gallery will be hosting the exhibition from July 9 through August 1. Fifty percent of sales from the art exhibition will be donated to the Little Italy Association’s Piazza Famiglia fund. The piazza will become the new civic center of Little Italy and its developer, H.G. Fenton Company, will be creating a large public space for visitors and residents, new homes, approximately 16,600 square feet of restaurant and commercial space, and an underground parking garage. The art exhibition will feature the work of San Diego local Italian artist, John Asaro, who grew up in Little Italy. Asaro’s family came to Little Italy from the boot-shaped country and created their foundation in Little Italy through his father’s barber-

shop business on the corner of India and W. Beech Street (now known as Mexican Fiesta). Asaro wanted to find a way to benefit the community that he grew up in and had accepted him, so he partnered with Meyer Fine Art to host this art exhibition to give back to the Little Italy neighborhood. The show will offer a variety of art for collectors, from original paintings of scenes from all over San Diego, such as Balboa Park, the Embarcadero, Little Italy and more, and women and children in gardens and beaches as well. There will also be drawings, studies of paintings and serigraphs available to purchase that feature art from Asaro’s past and more recent work. A public reception of “Coming Home to Famiglia: The Works of John Asaro” will take place at Meyer Fine Art, July 19 from noon to 4 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet Asaro, learn about the art featured and view his artwork while enjoying refreshments and small bites hosted by local Little Italy businesses and restaurants. This exhibition is more than just an art show — it’s an example of how a whole community is working together to raise funds to improve and beautify the neighborhood. To find out more information about the featured artist, John Asaro, please visit johnasaro. com or for details about the upcoming art exhibition, visit —Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager for the past 15 years. Reach him at chris@littleitalysd. com. Follow LIA on Instagram and Twitter @LittleItalySD and Facebook/San Diego Little Italy.v

season, “Pops Goes Classical” (Aug 2) takes fans on a musical journey with a “passport to the world,” Kougias said. In years past they’ve visited Italy and France and this year they take the audience to Spain. “It’s light classical, something to enjoy on a Sunday night — it gives Pops goers who may not experience the classical season [a taste of it] — and classical fans a chance to come out to the pops and have a fun night outdoors,” Kougias said. The seating and pricing options at Summer Pops are also diverse and there is something for everyone. You can’t go wrong with any of the choices, based on your personal preferences; the champagne section is up front and is closest to the orchestra, the screen and/or the artist, and includes table service; the cabaret options a little further back offer a food court; the grandstand, with its individual seats and graduated seating and perfect line of sight; and the lawn, where attendees can bring a blanket or a beach chair and enjoy an evening under the stars on the grass. Summer Pops entertainment starts at 7:30 p.m. throughout the season except for the nights of film, which begin at 8 p.m. to take advantage of the sunset. The choice of a Star Trek film experience is “tailor made” for Comic Con attendees Kougias said and year after year they spend their Saturday evening of the fourday convention on the water along the Embarcadero at Marina Park South at Summer Pops. “I look forward to attending these concerts because the audience has a chance to see how integral the musicians are to a film,” Giacchino said. “In my job, I get to see 90 musicians play together all the time at my sessions, and to be able to share that experience with an audience is so fulfilling. You may have a giant screen for home theater viewing, but you can’t have the San Diego Symphony accompanying your films in your living room! “Also, I love to encourage the audience to be really be engaged with the film, cheering the good guys, booing the villains, totally reacting in real time,” he continued. “I think the audience will have a great time. I can’t wait to be on the Embarcadero again for a beautiful evening with the San Diego Symphony and the incredible conductor David Newman.” A meet-and-greet with Giacchino before Saturday’s film and symphony performance will be available for VIP guests and the composer will welcome the audience at the start of the show. “Over the years the Summer Pops has become a San Diego tradition – the fun, the festivity and the tradition of it all keeps people coming back,” Kougias said. “It’s great for San Diegans, it is great for tourists.” For a complete list of performances, seating and pricing options, visit sandiegosymphony. com/summerpops. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | July 2015



KNOCKABOUT expansion in the variety of color choices, differing lens options and even a line of accessories, soon followed. Today Knockaround offers 10 select models with over 100 styles of sunglasses, and that doesn’t include the countless custom and limitededition models they create. Ten years after opening, Knockaround not only operates out of a large warehouse at 2031 Commercial St., Downtown, with a fun, laid-back Silicon Valley-style culture, they have become so successful they juggle a number of philanthropic projects at any given time. “Knockaround has always been, from the beginning, a very positive, optimistic, all-inclusive, feel-good brand intended to be a part of your feel-good moments,” said Tony Martinez, Knockaround’s marketing manager. In addition, on July 22, they will be handing out 20,000 pairs of Knockaround’s “Fort Knocks” model sunglasses — a $30 value and renamed “Friarknocks” for the giveaway — to fans walking through the turnstiles at the San Diego Padres game, and this is their fourth year of doing so. “’Friarknocks’ is the name that we’ve casually given the sunglasses that we do for the Padres giveaway each year,” Martinez said. “It started out as a hashtag we used for our second-year giveaway, and every year we try to design a new set of ‘Friarknocks.’ We’ve come across a lot of fans that have two or more of our giveaways, and it’s exciting for them to collect and look forward to the next one.” This year their “Friarknocks” sunglasses will come in the infamous 1984 Padres colors and each pair will come with a special Padres version of Knockaround’s custom Knocchi strap — another $6 value. They also upped their game with the Padres this year by offering to be a sponsor at seven College Nights at Petco Park during the team’s home season, three of which are still left; July 23, Sept. 3 and Sept. 24. On those nights, Knockaround staff can be found operating a photo booth up on the Budweiser deck and giving out even more sunglasses to students who come through the booth. Giving back, Martinez said, has always been an important aspect of Knockaround’s business model. Three years ago they decided to work with underserved children and came across ArtReach, a Little Italybased nonprofit that provides art classes to Title One schools throughout San Diego County that do not have a budget or other resources for any type of art instruction. “These are the most generous young people I’ve ever met,” said Judy Berman Silbert, executive director of ArtReach, referring to Moyer and his Knockaround staff. “They are a very small, tight team and very hardworking but it’s like family there.” Knockabout calls their relationship with ArtReach the “Class Acts” project. Each year

(top) College students at a recent Padres College Night pass through Knockabout's photo booth; Evan Bui works on his winning design. (Courtesy Knockabout) they go into elementary schools and teach fourth- and fifthgraders about art and design. “Kids aren’t aware of what design is — especially with the current focus on STEAM [science, technology, engineering, agriculture, mathematics],” Berman Silbert said. “We try to get kids to pay attention to things around them and realize that everything was designed, somebody drew it. Adam told the students that Petco started as a drawing and then it was a model, and now it is a baseball stadium. We want to get kids to think not just about the sunglasses, but how they were made.” After the presentation, students are given a worksheet with an outline of the Knockaround sunglass frame and told to design their own pair of sunglasses. The winning design gets manufactured into a real line of sunglasses and is then sold as a fundraising event; with proceeds going back to the schools and ArtReach. “Art is a very significant part of Adam’s and Knockaround’s background, and the idea of contributing to elementary school art programs so that kids are given the same artistic opportunities that Adam and others were given is extremely important to Knockaround,” Martinez said. “Our Class Acts program is something that we intend on doing every year, with the hopes that we can continue to grow its reach and contribution.” This year 316 students from three schools — Foster Elementary in Allied Gardens, Monarch Downtown and Jefferson in North Park — submitted designs through the program. The winning design, called “Striker,” was submitted by

Evan Bui of Foster Elementary. During the fundraising period, the Striker custom sunglasses sold 943 units. Knockaround’s goal was 1,200. Berman Silbert said last year that Knockabout donated $8,000 back from the program to Art Reach and this year because of record sales during the fundraiser, they are poised to get much more. “For me it was about opening the kids’ eyes [about how all things start with a design] — and the joy they got from being involved and the generosity of Knockaround,” Berman Silbert said. Martinez said the company’s tenth year is being called “a decade of Knocks” and they are involving themselves with projects that combine things they’ve learned over the last decade, culminating with a big anniversary bash in October. “We also have a couple collaborations coming towards the end of 2015 that we are really excited about,” Martinez said. “We don’t necessarily want to spill the beans but one we’re working on is something we appreciate in terms of craft and suds — being a San Diegobased brand, the craft beer industry is a very genuine, natural fit for us. So look out for a collaboration with one of San Diego’s pioneers in the craft beer movement.” Sounds like the staff will be “knocking back” another project soon. For more information about Knockabout Sunglasses, visit To learn more about Art Reach, visit —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at



San Diego Downtown News | July 2015

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

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Ken Williams, x102 Jeremy Ogul, x119



Dealing with the drought Five tips to tackle water waste By Cannon Christian

The current drought is not something to take lightly — California is facing the worst water crisis in modern history. With a mandatory average conservation rate of 25 percent enacted in June, it’s up to every individual to do their part to collectively make an impact. Many Californians know that they need to save water, but aren’t always sure how to conserve and what will make a real difference. Here are five tips to help you tackle water waste and decrease overall usage at home: 1. Fix up old faucets and leaks. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household’s leaks can account for more than 10,000 gallons of water wasted every year, or the amount of water needed to wash 270 loads of laundry. Dripping faucets, toilet flappers and showerheads are easily fixable and a sure way to conserve water, especially given that close to half of the water used in a home is in the bathroom. 2. Be conservative with laundry. Don’t just throw in a few dish rags that need washing — wait until you have full loads of clothes and other items in the washer before starting the cycle. The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California says that washing only full loads of laundry can save up to 50 gallons of

water per week. 3. Replace your lawn with artificial turf and drought-tolerant landscaping. If having a green lawn is important to you, replace grass with artificial turf. Though it can have a large upfront cost, it will pay for itself over time since artificial lawns typically last between 10 and 20 years. The EPA affirms that of the estimated 29 billion gallons of water used daily by households in the U.S., nearly 9 billion gallons, or 30 percent, is devoted to outdoor water use. Artificial turf is a big water saver — a typical pop-up sprinkler watering grass can put out four gallons of water per minute! Drought-tolerant landscaping is another effective way to conserve H2O. The San Diego County Water Authority has compiled a new “Nifty 50” list, including 50 plants that are attractive, readily available in retail nurseries, non-invasive and easy to maintain. 4. Bucket Up. Keep buckets in areas where water is easily wasted around the home. When you take a shower, use a bucket to catch any excess water from the showerhead. When cooking, place a bucket underneath a strainer after boiling pasta and potatoes and reserve that water for your plants once it cools. Small steps like this can lead to big savings – you will be surprised to see how full your bucket will get by utilizing it as a conservation device.

5. Bring the family together. Conduct a household meeting and develop creative ways to get everyone involved in water conservation at home. Get your kids excited — you can even implement a game or contest for the weekly or monthly “winning water saver.” Who can keep their shower at less than five minutes the most times in one month? What’s the smallest number of laundry loads you can accomplish in a given month? Have prizes for the winners — perhaps a water-savvy succulent. You can even create a drought-tolerant garden with the prizes, containing representative plants for each member of the family and their conservation efforts throughout the year. The magnitude of the drought and what steps to take individually to conserve water can feel overwhelming, but incorporating small savings tools into daily activities at home will lead to big savings and smarter habits. Together, we can tackle the drought and create a better future for our state if we each make a concerted effort to decrease water waste.  —Cannon Christian is president of Renovation Realty, a full-service residential renovation contractor and real estate brokerage in San Diego that adds monetary value to customer homes by using its own capital to renovate properties before placing them on the market as the listing brokerage. Visit

Artful support I am so proud of my wife, Marcia and my daughters [see “#ArtYouEnjoy,” Vol. 16, Issue 6]. They have worked so hard and your piece was a very nice tribute to their effort. I of course wish them every success and love them and my other two children and grandchildren tremendously. I hope people in the community will support their business. It would be lovely to leave a legacy such as this to the family. —Lee Adelman, via

Good-looking walls It’s marvelous to see how San Diego’s Downtown builders are integrating nature into the urban environment [see “Art on the Land: ‘Living Walls’ bring life to the city,” Vol. 16, Issue 6]. These walls are spectacular — and just plain cool looking, too. Thank you Delle for the article and photos. —Gayle Falkenthal, via

The fairest civic organist Carol – This is absolutely amazing [see “Civic Organist News: Not a ‘fair’ organ,” Vol. 16, Issue 6]. I can hardly wait to here it with you at the keys ! Looking forward to seeing you play at the fair.
 —Eliel Lopez, via Good opportunity, Carol. We hope to visit you at the Fair. I expect that fair goers will be invited to Balboa Park to experience the Centennial Organ Festival there through the summer. —Ron De Fields, via v

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Toni G. Atkins Charlene Baldridge Diana Cavagnaro Andy Cohen Dave Fidlin Christopher Gomez Kris Michell Kai Oliver-Kurtin Johnny McDonald Alex Owens Jake Romero Frank Sabatini Jr. Dave Schwab Delle Willett Carol Williams COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118

PRODUCTION ARTISTS Suzanne Dzialo, x111 SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Andrew Bagley 619-961-1956 Robert Jones 619-961-1963 Sloan Gomez, x104 Lisa Hamel, x107 Emily Johnson, x105 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGNER Kim Espinoza

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


Notes from Toni Toni G. Atkins | Speaker of the Assembly

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court made history by ruling to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states. It also marked the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act. The Stonewall Riots, the beginning of the modern movement for LGBT rights, started on June 28, 1969. LGBT Pride Month honors the courage, dedication and sacrifices made by members of our community to improve the lives of those without a voice. Pride Month is about celebrating how far our community has come. A Gallup poll found that 60 percent of Americans now support same-sex marriage. Transgender individuals are more prevalent in mainstream media — from depictions in shows like Orange is the New Black and Transparent to the revealing of Caitlyn Jenner in Vanity Fair — trans folks have never been as visible as they are today. But these developments didn’t always look possible. It was just seven years ago that Californians passed Proposition 8, and it’s only been within the past two years that we’ve seen rapid developments for marriage equality. The LGBTQ community has often been an overlooked part of our society but California is leading the way in changing that. We’ve made things better for LGBTQ individuals: We created a transgender student bill of rights, which will allow those students in public schools to join sports teams and have access to school facilities such as restrooms according to their gender identity. We ended the practice of “conversion therapy” for youth. We’re establishing LGBT cultural competency across healthcare sectors. Legislation that requires death certificates to reflect the decedent’s gender identity will become active on July 1. And this work will continue; in the state budget for the coming fiscal year, the California Legislature will address the healthcare needs of the LGBT community. Key highlights include: AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) Modernization — financial eligibility for ADAP and Office of AIDS Health Insurance Premium Payment Program will consider family size and increase the income limit. ADAP Enrollment Workers — added $2 million more for local health jurisdictions and $1 million to increase ADAP enrollment. ADAP Linkage to and Retention in Care — the budget appropriates $1.5 million in federal Ryan White base funding to local health jurisdictions

and/or community-based organizations to support efforts to re-engage HIV-infected minority clients in medical care and treatment. ADAP Hepatitis C (HCV) Treatment — $6.5 million will go toward HCV treatment costs in ADAP. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) — we’ve approved $2.2 million for a PrEP Access and Affordability Pilot Program. This initiative will establish educational outreach to at-risk populations and PrEP providers while improving costsharing assistance for underinsured individuals. State Syringe Exchange Clearinghouse — the budget includes $3 million to purchase supplies for syringe-exchange programs. Hepatitis C (HCV) — added $2.2 million for pilot projects aimed at preventing the transmission of HCV. The Assembly Democrats have committed to instituting these programs for the LGBTQ community. Increasing funding for disadvantaged members of our community is vital to advancing our progress. Pride month is all about celebrating how far we’ve come since Stonewall; while we honor our history and our achievements, we must remember that we need to help improve the lives of everyone — gay, lesbian, straight, or transgender — to continue to move our

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community forward. Around the District: I want to wish you and yours the happiest of July 4th as we join together to celebrate our nation … Thank you for standing up for our veterans who will attend Stand Down! Your support for our Socks for Stand Down collection drive netted more than 2,000 pairs of socks for our troubled and homeless veterans. The weekend event starts July 17 at San Diego High School ... I look forward to helping to kick off San Diego Pride as the keynote speaker at the Spirit of Stonewall Rally at Balboa Park July 17 and, of course, being part of the parade the next day. Hope to see you there! … I had a great time cuddling kittens and hugging a Great Dane at the Humane Society last month, all for a good cause – 209 animals found their forever homes over Father’s Day weekend when the shelter offered $4 adoptions. I hope you’ll consider a shelter animal when you decide to add a pet to your family. —Toni G. Atkins is the Speaker of the California State Assembly. For more information, please visit her website, where you can sign up for her e-newsletter or get the latest news on legislation and other activities. You also may follow her on Twitter, @toniatkins.v


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San Diego Downtown News | July 2015



Friday Night Liberty: Large art walk on the first Friday of each month. Free open artist studios, galleries and performances. 5 – 8 p.m. NTC at Liberty Station, 2640 Historic Decatur Rd. Visit Exhibit: ‘Here Comes the Bride and Other Nightmares’: Free admission to see this exhibit with wine and snacks served. 5 p.m. Women’s Museum of California, 2730 Historic Decatur Rd., Barracks 16, Liberty Station. Visit SATURDAY – JULY 4 – FOURTH OF JULY

Big Bay Boom: The best fireworks show in the county with four barges out on San Diego Bay all synchronized with a musical simulcast from MAX FM 105.7. Best viewing spots: Shelter Island, Harbor Island, North Embarcadero, Marina District, Seaport Village/South Embarcadero and Coronado Ferry Landing. Free shuttles available. For more info visit Slow Roast and The DoOver BBQ: Fresh food and great music will highlight this event with proceeds benefiting dublab. SILO in Makers Quarter, 753 15th St., East Village. Free with RSVP (21+) 2 – 10 p.m. Visit Red, White and Blue: A package to commemorate independence day at Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar San Diego, 1047 Fifth Ave., Downtown. Visit SUNDAY – JULY 5

Support a San Diego legacy Nearly 70 years ago, a middleaged, widowed, Italian immigrant woman, Mama Catherine Ghio, pursued her American dream. She started a small, 16-seat seafood diner, Anthony’s Fish Grotto, which eventually grew into San Diego’s most well-known, popular and successful restaurant. During those years Mama supported numerous charities, hosted hundreds of events and continually gave back to her community. Her — and her family’s — efforts were instrumental in developing our now vibrant Downtown San Diego waterfront, and were a dynamic partner in the growth of the Maritime Museum. Very simply, Anthony’s Fish Grotto has become part of the fabric of San Diego. Recently, Anthony’s and the Fish Market Restaurant Group presented the Port of San Diego a $10 million-plus rejuvenation plan, featuring: world class architecture; five dining venues, including a rooftop lounge overlooking

the city and Maritime Museum; price points that enable guests from all walks of life to enjoy waterfront dining; and an increased revenue stream for the Port. It’s a dynamic plan that creates a crown jewel on the Embarcadero and honors and preserves a piece of San Diego history; yet despite this effort, the Port — which Anthony’s has partnered with for decades — is considering removing the restaurant from its historic waterfront location. Great cities cherish their iconic businesses, especially those that are willing to reinvest and reinvent themselves. Anthony’s, along with partner The Fish Market, have done just that with their plan. Help us keep Mama Ghio’s dream alive and let the Port of San Diego know you support local, family-run businesses that have become a part of our great city. Contact them at commissioners@


‘Where’s Waldo?’ scavenger hunt kick-off: This month-long scavenger hunt begins at 1 p.m. with participants picking up a list of all East Village businesses that will be hiding a Waldo. The hunt concludes Wednesday, Aug. 5 with a free pizza party at 12:30 p.m. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit


Film Forum: Free screening of “The Overnighters” – a documentary that won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance. 6:30 p.m. Auditorium, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit TUESDAY – JULY 7

Twilight in the Park: Commemorating Balboa Park’s Exposition Centennial, “Latin Cultures” salsa lessons at the Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. 5:30 p.m. San Diego Shakespeare Society – Open Shakespeare Reading: “Acting workshop night.” Anyone can join in or just listen. Informal café-style seating. First Tuesday of the month, 6:45 – 8:30 p.m.

Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 835C W. Harbor Dr., Seaport Village. Free. Visit or call 619-333-0141. WEDNESDAY – JULY 8

Twilight in the Park: Free summer concerts at Balboa Park’s Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Tonight “Breez’n” a jazz, blues and R&B ensemble. 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight: – “Fireflies.” 6 – 9 p.m. 21+ up. $45. All supplies included, registration is required. You may bring your own wine for a $15 corkage fee. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 110. For more info, visit THURSDAY – JULY 9

‘Kiss Me, Kate’: Opening night for the romantic musical comedy featuring music and lyrics by Cole Porter. Closes Aug. 2. 8 p.m. Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Tickets start $39. Visit or call 619234-5623. Comic-Con International: The annual event kicks off today with a lengthy program of events through Sunday, July 12. San Diego Convention Center, 111 W. Harbor Dr., Downtown. Visit


Sounds of Summer: Popup concert series brought to you by Downtown San Diego Partnership, US Grant, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Gig Town and Pacific Records. Noon – 2 p.m. For specific locations and performers, visit Chris Hardwick – The Funcomfortable Tour: Stand-up comedian, podcaster, TV entertainer and CEO of Nerdist Industries will perform during Comic-Con weekend. (Hardwick will also record The Nerdist Podcast live Saturday, July 11 at 7:30 and 10:30 p.m.). 7:30 p.m. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Visit


Smarts Farm open house: Guests can explore Smart Farms’ gardens and check out live drumming by Mark Lamson, mural painting and a chef demonstration. 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Smarts Farm, corner of F and 15th streets, East Village. Visit Oasis Fstvl Series: This ongoing summer series features DJs, bands, art, craft beer, food and spirits. This edition includes: Holy Ghost!, Satin Jackets, Karl Kling, Mansion see Calendar, pg 10


San Diego Downtown News | July 2015


CALENDAR on the Moon, Adam Salter, Rambo V, Sunbow Sliders and more. $20 – $45. 5 – 11 p.m. SILO in Makers Quarter, 753 15th St., East Village. Visit Comic Con ‘Photowalk’ workshop: Come get some tips and tricks for the best street photography and then wander the streets of Downtown during Comic Con putting what you learned to use. $39. 1 – 3 p.m. Gaslamp Quarter Trolley Station, 105 Sixth Ave. For more info visit SUNDAY – JULY 12

San Diego Great Books: Free discussion group, open to the public. This month’s reading: “Anton Checkov: The Darling.” 2 – 4 p.m. Room 221, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit


‘Chimes at Midnight’: Part of The Old Globe’s special summer series featuring Shakespeare films. Reservations recommended. Free. 7 p.m. Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Visit or call 619234-5623. Film Forum: Free screening of “Web Junkie,” a documentary about the Chinese government’s attempt to reprogram “internet-addicted” youth. 6:30 p.m. Auditorium, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit TUESDAY – JULY 14

Pluto Fly-by Party: NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is scheduled to arrive at Pluto today giving us close-up views of the dwarf planet and its moons. The fly-by party will be hosted by NASA Solar System Ambassador Jerry Hilburn and the Fleet’s astronomer Dr. Lisa Will. Seating is limited. Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, 1875 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit WEDNESDAY – JULY 15

Open Mic Poetry: Alchemy Poetry Series organized by Seretta Martin. The featured guest poets this month are Stephen Silke and Kristopher Apple. Participate in discussion and share your own poetry. Each meeting features an open mic segment. Third Wednesday of the month. 7 p.m. Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 835C W. Harbor Dr., Seaport Village. Visit THURSDAY – JULY 16

Pilates on the Patio: Class will be held on the U.S. Bank patio with Broadway Athletic and Swim Club. Free class. 6 – 7:30 p.m. U.S. Bank, 1420 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. Visit Trivia: Bring a team or play alone. 7 – 9 p.m. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. Visit


Wine and Canvas: Stepby-step instruction and materials included, create 16-by-


20-inch gallery-wrapped canvas painting. Tonight: – “Tropical View.” No outside food or drinks — both available for purchase. $35 per person. 6 – 9 p.m. Fabrison’s French Creperie, 1425 India St., Little Italy. Visit Sounds of Summer: Popup concert series brought to you by Downtown San Diego Partnership, US Grant, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Gig Town and Pacific Records. Noon – 2 p.m. and two locations: US Grant Hotel at Fourth Avenue and C Street, with artist Joe Cardillo; Wells Fargo Building at 401 B Street, with Whitherward. Noon – 2 p.m. For more info visit

Runs through Sunday, Aug. 2. Various venues and show times. Visit Standup — Tom Arnold: The Laugh Factory returns to the Hotel del Coronado’s Carousel Room with the infamous Tom Arnold, July 23 – 25. 18+, military discounts. 9 p.m. $35 / $45 VIP. Visit


‘Stretch Yourself’ yoga classes: A twice monthly yoga class and outdoor locations throughout Downtown. 6 p.m. Tuna Harbor Park, 700 North Park Harbor Drive, Marina. Visit Lemon Zest and Garlic Fest: More than 40 restaurants will be dishing out food tastings inspired by lemon and garlic, cooking demonstrations, beer and wine garden, retail vendors, family area, etc. All ages. Proceeds support NSEFU Wildlife Conservation Foundation. Noon – 5 p.m. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Hwy, Downtown. For more info visit

‘Stretch Yourself’ yoga classes: A twice monthly yoga class and outdoor locations throughout Downtown. 6 p.m. Tuna Harbor Park, 700 North Park Harbor Drive, Marina. Visit The 2015 Globe Gala: The Old Globe’s fundraising event to support the theatre’s education and artistic programs. The black-tie event starts with a reception on Copley Plaza followed by a performance by Carmen Cusack on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage. After the performance dinner and dancing will be hosted back on the plaza. 6 p.m. The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Visit



Painting and Vino: Local professional artists instruct attendees on painting a masterpiece. Tonight: – “We Met on the Bridge.” 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. 21+ up. $45. All supplies included, registration is required. You may bring your own wine for a $15 corkage fee. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner Blvd., Suite 110. For more info, visit MONDAY – JULY 20

Film Forum: Free screening of “Inherent Vice” starring Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon and more. 6:30 p.m. Auditorium, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit freelibrarymovies. TUESDAY – JULY 21

Residents Free Tuesdays in Balboa Park: Participating museums change each Tuesday. Free for San Diego city and county residents with ID, active military and dependents. Hours vary by museum. Visit


San Diego Padres: Come watch our Padres battle the Giants at 12:40 p.m., and get a pair of Knockaround “Friarknocks” sunglasses (first 20,000 fans). Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., East Village. Tickets at THURSDAY – JULY 23

Third annual San Diego International Fringe Festival: An annual event to boost arts and culture in San Diego; this year will feature artists participating in art forms including theatre, cabaret, comedy, dance, spoken word and much more.


‘Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery’: Previews start tonight for this adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s mystery “The Hound of the Baskervilles.” Opens July 30, closes Aug. 30. 8 p.m. Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Tickets start $29. Visit or call 619-234-5623.


Wine and Canvas: Stepby-step instruction and materials included, create 16-by-20inch gallery-wrapped canvas painting. Tonight: “Beach Treasures.” No outside food or drinks — both available for purchase. $35 per person. 1 – 4 p.m. Hard Rock Café, 801 Fourth Ave., Downtown. Visit MONDAY – JULY 27

Film Forum: Free screening of “Two Night Stand” starring Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton. 6:30 p.m. Auditorium, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit facebook. com/freelibrarymovies. TUESDAY – JULY 28

Residents Free Tuesdays in Balboa Park: Participating museums change each Tuesday. Free for San Diego city and county residents with ID, active military and dependents. Hours vary by museum. Visit Coronado Certified Farmers Market: 2:30 – 6 p.m. First and B streets at Coronado Ferry Landing. Visit WEDNESDAY – JULY 29

Little Italy’s ‘State of the Neighborhood’: Dinner reception presented by Little Italy Association Board of Directors including a meal, drink and presentation on Little Italy. $35. 6 – 8:30 p.m. Rooftop of Nelson Photo Supplies, 1909 India St., Little Italy. Visit THURSDAY – JULY 30

Little Italy Residents Association meeting: This

month’s special guest will be announced. 6 p.m. Arrive early to be seated. Firehouse Museum, 1572 Columbia St., Little Italy. Visit FRIDAY – JULY 31

Sights and Sips Sunset Cruise: Two-hour Hornblower cruise held on Friday and Saturday nights through October featuring live music, light hors d’oeuvres and dessert; boarding cocktail included with other drinks and specials available. $31.76 per person plus fees. Boards at 5:30, cruise from 6 – 8 p.m. Departs from Navy Pier, 970 N. Harbor Dr., Downtown. Visit SATURDAY – AUG. 1

Paranormal Investigation: Once a month, these investigations visit the “most haunted house in the Gaslamp.” The tour lasts two hours and guests can bring cameras and video and digital recorders but no professional media equipment. Limited to 20 people. 10 p.m. William Heath Davis House, 410 Island Ave., Gaslamp. Visit SUNDAY – AUG. 2

Coronado Concert Series: Free concert with Coronado Big Band, 1 – 4 p.m. Coronado Ferry Landing, 1201 First St. at B Avenue. Visit Outdoor organ concert: The San Diego Organ Society presents a free organ concert. With over 4,500 pipes, this organ is one of the largest organs in the world with wonderful sound, playing classic and popular hits by Downtown News contributor Carol Williams. Enjoy free parking, lots of seating. Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion. 2 p.m. Visit MONDAY – AUG. 3

‘Much Ado About Nothing’: Part of The Old Globe’s special summer series featuring Shakespeare films. Reservations recommended. Free. 7 p.m. Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Visit theoldglobe. org or call 619-234-5623. TUESDAY – AUG. 4

San Diego Shakespeare Society – Open Shakespeare Reading: “All’s Well That Ends Well.” Anyone can join in or just listen. Informal café-style seating. First Tuesday of the month, 6:45 – 8:30 p.m. Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 835C W. Harbor Dr., Seaport Village. Free. Visit upstartcrowtrading. com or call 619-333-0141. WEDNESDAY – AUG. 5

Fishermen’s Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. 4930 N. Harbor Drive near Nimitz Boulevard. Visit FishermensFarmersMarket.


Padres watch party: An official Padres watch party with the Pad Squad, party specials and the chance to win prizes. 11:10 a.m. U.S. Bank, 1420 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. Visit —Please send items for inclusion to editor Morgan M. Hurley at

Congressional Watch By Andy Cohen

It was another interesting month with a flurry of activity in Congress this month, with some interesting stands from San Diego’s representatives. If you follow the news at all, you’ll know that June was the month that Congress passed the trade promotion authority (TPA), a bill that gives President Obama the authority to negotiate trade pacts without Congressional input. Essentially what TPA does is allow the president to negotiate the pact and present it to Congress for an up or down vote; no alterations or amendments allowed from the legislative branch. The president is now free to complete negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement with 11 other Pacific Rim nations. The agreement’s passing wasn’t without a great deal of drama and contention, however. Opponents of the TPP — largely Democrats — pulled out all the stops to prevent President Obama from gaining TPA, including their decision to oppose en masse a Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) bill that was attached to the TPA which Democrats heavily favor (and Republicans generally oppose). TAA provides resources to retrain workers who lose their jobs if, for example, their employer pulls up stakes and relocates their operations to another country where it’s cheaper to operate — a move that would be enabled by the TPP free trade agreement. Most opposition to the TPP stems from America’s experience with North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), signed by President Clinton in 1993. NAFTA was sold to the American public as a way to boost the economies of all three member nations — the United States, Canada and Mexico — by removing barriers to trade and treating each nation’s goods equally. It was expected that under NAFTA the Mexican economy would eventually catch up to that of the U.S. and Canada via increased trade and that wages in Mexico would steadily rise until reaching near equilibrium. NAFTA stipulated that the Mexican government would have to make certain investments in technological advances, education and environmental protections. Proponents argued that while initially, at least, manufacturers would rush to take advantage of cheap labor available in Mexico, with the investments the Mexican government was required to make, that imbalance would level off. Those investments largely never materialized, U.S. manufacturers permanently fled the U.S. for cheap labor in Mexico (and elsewhere), and the U.S. manufacturing economy virtusee Congress, pg 23

San Diego Downtown News | July 2015



San Diego Downtown News | July 2015

Everyone promenade A more walkable and livable Downtown By Dave Schwab

Urban planners heard from architects and residents who weighed in on plans to create a north-south, pedestrian- and bike-friendly path through the heart of Downtown’s East Village. Public input came at a June community workshop on the 14th Street Promenade Master Plan sponsored by Civic San Diego (CivicSD). The plan seeks to create a more livable and walkable Downtown by reclaiming underutilized public right-of-way. The 14th Street Promenade project would create an approximately 30-foot-wide pedestrian promenade/linear park connecting City College to Barrio Logan through East Village.

East Village residents gather to view an artists’ rendering of the proposed 14th Street Promenade. (Photo by Dave Schwab) The workshop’s purpose was to envision the creation of a comprehensive, sustainable streetscape design; emphasizing non-motorized circulation, enhancing public access and helping to meet the growing social and recreational needs of Downtown. Workshop participants got an overview from urban planners on the Promenade proposal, before

breaking up into small groups to review maps and discuss possibilities for how — and where — streetscape could be improved. The project’s boundaries are from C Street on the north to the Commercial Street/National Avenue intersection on the south. Mark Caro, senior planner/ landscape architect for CivicSD, see Promenade, pg 14

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EAST VILLAGE East Village sign

The East Village Association is hoping to raise $500,000 to fund the design and installation of a landmark sign to be located within East Village. Similar to those seen in Little Italy, Hillcrest, Normal Heights and other neighborhoods, the sign would clearly identify for all foot, bike and car traffic that they have entered into the East Village neighborhood boundaries. Selbert Perkins was chosen out of the five firms that submitted proposals for the sign. To view their portfolio, visit More than $117,000 has been raised so far. For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation to further the fund along, visit and click on Landmark Sign.


A formerly vacant lot in the East Village has been transformed into a vibrant urban park with restaurants, a rotating selection of food trucks, live music, a beer garden, and a dog run. Visit for more information or a calendar listing food trucks and other events.

East Village Green workshops

The second public workshop for East Village Green was held on June 23 at Quartyard [see the full story starting on the front page of this newspaper]. It was well attended with over 150 members of the community stopping by to provide input on their future neighborhood park! Participants were able to view three park concepts generated by the design team led by the office of James Burnett, then complete a survey of questions to indicate their preferences. If you were unable to join us last week, there’s still time to vote! Please visit the project’s website at eastvillagegreen. com to see the three concepts. Once there, click on “Get Involved” and cycle through the plan pictures. You may provide your input by completing the online survey. Voting will remain open through July 5. The office of James Burnett will then compile all the feedback received and later this summer, develop a preferred general development plan for the park. A future notice will be sent inviting you to the next public meeting where the preferred plan will be presented, so stay tuned!


Are you interested in what new developments, businesses, parks and other events are in the works throughout East Village? East Village Residents Group (EVRG) meets every third Thursday of the month at East Village Community Church, located at 1374 Island Ave. Many community leaders are featured guest speakers. For more information, visit

San Diego Downtown News | July 2015



San Diego Downtown News | July 2015

East Village residents gather to view an artists’ rendering of the proposed 14th Street Promenade. (Photo by Dave Schwab) FROM PAGE 12

PROMENADE said the master plan’s intent is to create “green” streets and “put them on steroids” by creating a promenade consisting of a network of “30-foot-wide linear parks through Downtown.” Caro added the Promenade will connect two parks and ultimately be one of six promenades creating a network of open spaces, linking all Downtown parks and neighboring

communities. Richard Barrett, a principal with MIG, a private urban design firm, gave a slideshow presentation at the workshop showing existing examples of streetscapes offering sculpture, kid’s play areas, comfortable street furniture and parklets. “There are not many opportunities to take a 14-foot sidewalk and make it 30-feet — more than double,” Barrett said. “What can be done with that extra 16 feet is really a blessing.” Caro said additional Prom-

EAST VILLAGE enade pedestrian space is created by eliminating a parking lane on the east side of the street and reducing the width of the existing travel lanes to gain approximately 16 feet, in addition to the existing 14-foot right-of-way from property line to curb. “It is envisioned that this widened public realm will provide open space within a five-minute walk of thousands of existing and future residents and workers, safer pedestrian circulation and recreational opportunities in the neighborhood,” Caro said. Downtown is San Diego’s densest community projected to reach a population of 90,000 by 2035. East Village is an emerging neighborhood slated to absorb the majority of residential units planned for Downtown. So the addition of public open space is critical to create a more livable and walkable environment. Caro said the architectural design team will now prepare three alternative concepts, based on the feedback it received from the first workshop, stakeholder meetings and its background research. Those alternatives will be presented in another public meeting this summer, then be consolidated into one preferred master plan by this fall. Caro said the master plan will ultimately have to be approved by the city. — Dave Schwab can be reached at dschwabie@journalist. com.v

East Village residents attend a workshop to discuss plans for East Village Green, a proposed urban open space on the west end of the neighborhood. (Photo by Dave Schwab) FROM PAGE 1

EVGREEN Downtown residents with clearcut park design choices, and then ask people to reveal the ones they feel “more comfortable” with. “All of them [the alternatives] address the same issues,” Rabines said, noting that they’re likely to have the same amenities too. “We have an underground parking garage,” he said. “We have a community center, a pool, restrooms, a dog park and an outside amphitheater with a stage for performances or to host big public events.” “It is good,” said East Village resident Mike Madigan about the East Village Green planning so far. Madigan is a consultant and member of The East Village Association, Inc., a nonprofit managing the East Village Business Improvement District. “But, these things take a long time,” Madigan cautioned. A 40-year veteran of planning Downtown, Madigan said development in East Village is much better than he and other planners thought it would be 40 years ago. “We had set our goals not extremely high, because it was so difficult to do anything here,” he said. Asked what he’d most like to see done with East Village Green today, Madigan offered his input. “You need some multi-purpose lawn area, whether it’s for people having lunch, or a soccer team playing or people walking their dogs at night or to have a party on the weekends,” he said. Besides adding green lawn space, Madigan said the next most important thing was for the new development to have security. “Eyes on the park the whole time it’s open,” he said, adding it is the only way to ensure park space is properly used and that problems are avoided. Madigan is also encouraged by East Village Green planning.

He hopes the development will change Downtown’s demographics. “One of the hardest things to do Downtown has been to bring young people with families here, and to create places for adults to go while they’re supervising their kids,” he said. Gary Smith, another East Village neighbor reviewing park design concepts at the June 23 workshop, felt choices being offered were “fantastic,” but he had a caveat. “I don’t think they’ve been quite imaginative enough,” Smith said. “They should be using robotic parking [in an underground facility] because it’s a lot safer.” Mark Caro, a senior planner and landscape architect for Civic San Diego — which is spearheading East Village Green redevelopment — discussed a timetable for the first phase of the project, the city-owned, 20,000-square-foot portion of the block bounded by 14th Street. “A general development plan could be completed and approved by this fall,” Caro said. “Construction drawings would then take a year to a year and a half which takes us to 2017. Then a year to 18 months of construction, which brings us to 2018-19.” Funding — and timing — of development for subsequent phases are uncertain now, said Caro, who noted portions of those lots where park space is to be developed are privately owned by Smart & Final and SDG&E, and would require negotiations to acquire them. “The project is designed to be built in phases, knowing that we may not get to these for some time,” Caro said. For more information about the project, visit — Dave Schwab can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | July 2015

tenance programs. Visually, there will be more lights in trees, helping to buttress a festive atmosphere, and an increase in drought-tolerant plantings, to bring livelier flora without further stressing our water needs. More Maintenance Ambassadors and Safety Ambassadors will be added to the mix and a significant increase in homeless outreach services is a top priority. It’s been a great ride so far, but the finish line’s not yet been crossed. The deep and wide support for the Clean & Safe’s efforts so far has been inspiring and invigorating and provides a foundation for an urban renaissance that has been extremely successful. Clean & Safe has been a critical part of Downtown’s transformation into a vibrant, distinctive urban center. Along with our thanks for your support, we pledge this: The best is yet to come.

Still keeping you clean and safe Downtown Partnership News Kris Michell This spring, the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Clean & Safe Program, which works to keep our Downtown safe and looking its best year-round, was overwhelmingly endorsed and approved to continue its work for another 10 years. A stunning 83 percent of Downtown property owners, as well as a unanimous City Council, confirmed they wanted the Clean & Safe Program to continue. It’s an exhilarating endorsement from the people who have seen what’s happening up close. It’s also a validation of our mission. We at Clean & Safe see our work as a legitimate partnership with the community we serve. It’s a collaborative coalition of like-minded citizens and property owners who are pulling together to make a significant difference. The fruits of our combined efforts are essential to the ongoing evolution of our urban center. Take a look at what’s been

accomplished since the beginning of the year:

Removed 10,479 pieces of graffiti Removed 385.76 tons of debris Swept 74,000 sidewalks Pulled more than 44,000 weeds Visited more than 6,300 businesses Provided directional assistance to visitors and residents more than 9,000 times Responded to more than 30,600 security calls

• • • • • •

Clean & Safe is also on the cutting edge, continuously exploring opportunities to innovate the services we provide. This year alone, Clean & Safe has:

Launched a gum removal pilot program using ice-blasting technology Conducted a scientific study to determine the most effective product for removing odor in an urban environment Implemented a state-of-theart data tracking system using real-time technology to increase efficiency and reduce costs But we’ll hardly be resting on our laurels. The transforma-

• •

Maintenance Ambassadors, members of the Partnership’s Clean & Safe Program, work year-round to keep Downtown looking its best. (Courtesy DSDP) tion of Downtown San Diego has been galvanizing since the formation of Clean & Safe 12 years ago, but we’ve listened to the community and we realize there is still work to be done. In the months to come,

you will see the Clean & Safe program provide even more of the services Downtown property owners have been asking for, including additional beautification and place-making efforts, and enhanced safety and main-

—Kris Michell is the president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, a nonprofit, member-based organization that oversees the Clean & Safe program and serves as the leading advocate for the revitalization and economic health of Downtown. For questions or comments, email






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San Diego Downtown News | July 2015


Classic musical theater “West Side Story” never disappoints Theater Review Charlene Baldridge One barely turns around these days without finding another production of composer Leonard Bernstein, lyricist Stephen Sondheim and book writer Arthur Laurents’ 1955 classic musical, “West Side Story.” The popular musical based on William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” was seen as recently as February in San Diego Musical Theatre’s production at the Spreckels, and now it may be caught at Lamb’s Players in Coronado through July 26. Both of the other productions utilized recently updated (in 2009) Puerto Rican dialogue and lyrics developed with Sondheim by Lin-Manuel Miranda; except for a part of “I Feel Pretty,” the Lamb’s production does not. Comparisons are tedious, but let it be said that each production has/had numerous assets. Among those at Lamb’s are the Puerto Rican gang’s la-

“West Side Story” Through July 26 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays – Thursdays 8 p.m. Fridays – Saturdays Matinees: 2 p.m. Wednesdays 4 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays Lamb’s Players Theatre 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado Tickets $24 – $74, call 619-437-6000 or visit (above) The cast of “West Side Story”; (l to r) Olivia Hernandez and Kevin HafsoKoppman in a scene. (Photos by Ken Jacques) dies, Maria (Olivia Hernandez) and Anita (Michelle Alvarez), the naturalistic and appealing choreography of Colleen Kollar Smith, the kaleidoscopic and fascinating costumes of Jeanne Reith, the solid fight choreog-

“Playfully mischievous! A rambunctious production masterminded by director Darko Tresnjak, with a magnificent score by Cole Porter.” The New York Times

ial e c h ow 6 p S d s ly Ju de a d d ay, m n p Mo at 7

KISS ME, KATE Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter Book by Sam and Bella Spewack Choreography by Peggy Hickey Directed by Darko Tresnjak

Fresh off his Tony Award-winning smash, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Darko Tresnjak returns to the Globe to helm one of the greatest romantic musical comedies of all time. Get ready for a sizzling summer evening that’s simply “Too Darn Hot”! A co-production with Hartford Stage.

Now Playing! Limited engagement through August 2 The cast of Kiss Me, Kate. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

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raphy by Jordan Miller, and the extreme sense of intimacy with which the tragedy is imbued by director Deborah Smyth. This is not to mention Lamb’s usual, fine orchestra (nine players including conductor/music director Patrick Marion), despite their rare tendency in this production to play too loudly for the singers and situations, particularly those of scenes steeped in intimacy. Set in Manhattan in the summer of 1955, “West Side Story” explores the turf war between two teenage street gangs, the largely Polish Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Machismo is rife on both sides. Jets leader Riff (Jesse Abeel) initiates a “rumble” with the Sharks, led by Bernardo (Patrick Duffy). Bernardo’s sister, Maria (Hernandez), best friends with Bernardo’s girl, Anita (Alves), falls in love with Tony (Kevin HafsoKoppman), a former member of the Jets, now employed by a kindly druggist named Doc (John Rosen, such an excellent actor). Reith’s traditional costumes are beautifully displayed in the Dance at the Gym scene, with the spitfire Anita clad in purple with red undergarments, and the innocent Maria in white. It parallels the Shakespeare scene in which Romeo first meets Juliet. Mike Buckley’s set has the requisite balcony (fire escape) for wooing. It all works wonderfully. Though Hafso-Koppman has a light voice, he uses it well and it is a perfect fit with Hernandez’s lovely soprano. Hernandez and Alves (who is an amazing dancer and singer, see Theater, pg 22 FROM PAGE 1


escape during the Great Depression, since a train ride to spend a day out at the beach was still within means. “It will surprise some visitors in terms of what a museum exhibition can do,” Plotek said. “This is broader than many shows that just feature one artist — it’s an investigation of a whole social phenomenon represented through art that touches all points of the imagination.” Of particular interest, paintings from some of the most popular American artists of the 20th century will be on display. Plotek noted that many of the more ephemeral objects on display were never intended for a museum, such as carousel animals and the park’s famed Cyclops head that topped the Spook-A-Rama ride for decades. Surviving Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Cyclops is a testament to Coney Island’s endearing story and recovery, he said. “Coney Island and Balboa Park both attract the eye of the artist,” Plotek said. “As a natural escape from the city, their beauty is still within arm’s reach of the city.” Set in the museum’s outdoor sculpture garden, three movies will be shown as part of the exhibition, “Annie Hall” on July 27, “The Little Fugitive” on Aug. 3, and “I’m No Angel” on Aug. 10. The Film in the Garden series is offered free to SDMA members and youth under 17 years old, and $5 for nonmembers. For those who like to imbibe while exploring their creative side, Painting on Tap allows guests to grab a drink and a bite from Panama 66 before sitting down for a guided painting lesson with a local artist. On July 30, Painting on Tap participants will receive an after-hours tour of the museum and will create a work inspired by Francis Augustus Silva’s “Schooner Progress Wrecked at Coney Island.” This workshop is $40 for SDMA members, $50 for nonmembers. On Aug. 6, SDMA will host a Culture & Cocktails event with Coney Island-themed programming and activities. Over the last decade, these popular evening events have drawn a new, younger audience with their

music, booze, themed attire and interactive activities. During Culture & Cocktails, attendees are permitted to explore the galleries, and they receive one complimentary signature cocktail. The event is free for SDMA members, $20 for nonmembers, or $25 at the door. A weeklong summer camp will be available to children in kindergarten through second grade Aug. 24 – 28, where they will also get an opportunity to visit the exhibition. On Sept. 12, a Second Saturday Workshop will offer adult students a lesson in mixed media collage, inspired by the nos-

talgic works in the Coney Island exhibit. On Oct. 2, a Drawing in the Galleries workshop gives adults and teens an opportunity to draw from objects included in the exhibition. Docent-led tours will be available on select days throughout the exhibition. Staff members will lead 15-minute informative ArtStop talks on select Thursdays at noon to discuss one to three works on display. As part of a three-city U.S. tour, the exhibition will travel next to the Brooklyn Museum in New York. Also tied to the park’s centennial celebration, SDMA’s exhibit “The Art of Music” will open in September, paying tribute to the daily musical performances held during the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. For more information about the San Diego Museum of Art, opportunities to see the Coney Island exhibit, or the upcoming Art of Music exhibition, visit —Kai Oliver-Kurtin is a local freelance writer. She enjoys covering events, restaurant news, culture and entertainment. Contact her at kai.

Coney Island became a “great escape” during the Depression years. (Photos courtesy SDMA)

San Diego Downtown News | July 2015 17 COMMUNITY VOICES Island, which occupies not only Leopards enjoy more Playing to the red light districts Exploring a strip of sand in Brooklyn but a room

Civic Organist News Dr. Carol Williams My first recording experience was playing a three manual theater organ for the BBC. I was terrified. I had rehearsed so much and could play the music in my sleep. The BBC truck arrived at my house and out popped several men and various leads, cables, microphones and all sorts of equipment. They set everything up way too quickly for my liking; it made me more nervous than I already was. As the sound check ensued I was told to give some more dynamics. Hmmm, I thought, did they even know about organ music? It’s not a violin. But, my dad and I figured out what they wanted and I managed to do as they asked. “Okay,” said Mr. Producer. “All listening to the BBC will hear you. You’ll be great. Watch that red light. When you see it go on, you play!” I peered at the bulb in trepidation. My eyes intensified their focus. I was so scared my mind suddenly raced with all kinds of interpretations of the “red light”! “Oh my goodness, must I be in that red light district place?” I figured somehow that this is what it meant about the red light district that I sort of heard about. I became petrified staring at that light bulb. Waiting and waiting with anticipation building up inside of me ready to explode! Was I now finally in “the red light district”? Suddenly the bulb came on. My adrenaline was flowing faster than anything I had ever known, but I played like I intended. I managed all my three pieces in one take. I sighed with relief and with no applause like “business as usual,” the guys packed up everything and drove off drove. Did I enjoy this? NO! It took many years to understand this ordeal and working as a performing musician and mature adult, I have come to see recordings as intensive but rewarding work. And yet, a very similar resemblance with the actual real world “red light

district.” We musicians — like in the days of Bach and Mozart who would have to compose and play for occasions of their King (instead of radio) — are at the command of our audience. We — all musicians — are still at that place where our audience is in command. As in life, when we look in the mirror, we usually criticize what we see. And in a way, I feel we are in that dreaded red light district, performing what people want to hear and what makes people feel good! Another pleasing interest to those musically inclined is a documentary series my husband, a fine filmmaker, and I have developed, called, “Tour Bus to the King of Instruments,” its music, people and places. It’s about the large and small, famous and unique pipe organs of the world. We have 11 episodes so far, from England to Germany to Luxembourg and the U.S. You can find video demos at We take you inside these organs with the curators, get demonstrations of the organs from the organist associated with the venue and learn some history of the venue. Plus there are lots of spectacular video shots. Also, I have just released a CD of my own compositions, “Just Carol — Compositions” at As you can see, I’m now barking for my own revenue profit, although, not from behind a storefront window in Amsterdam or Paris. I ask you, does this seem like a red light district to you in any way? It does to me and it probably does to any other professional musicians. —Civic Organist Carol Williams is proud to serve as an ambassador of San Diego’s arts and culture arena. Through her concert performances at home and abroad, Carol offers a fresh take on the classical organ concert. She is committed to illuminating San Diego’s colorful romance with the “King of Instruments,” always seeking to bring the organ to new audiences. For more information visit

Balboa Park Johnny McDonald

Coney copies Amusement parks have been a happy part of life since the 1800s with thrill rides, “carney” shows, quick-order foods and an assortment of arcadia games. A segment of this Americana history will be displayed with art, photos and film clips starting July 11 when the Museum of Art opens an exhibit called “Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008.” The exhibit will run until Oct. 11. “We are offering our visitors the chance to see an iconic American landmark from a new perspective,” said Roxana Velásquez, the museum’s Maruja Baldwin executive director. “There are traces of Coney Island throughout San Diego in places such as Belmont Park and in Balboa Park’s history as a fairground, so it’s momentous to have the opportunity to see the artistic impact of a destination with such a rich past.” Reputation manager Torie Wohlwend reported that the exhibit is composed of more than 150 objects, including celebrated icons of American art and rarely seen works from public and private collections. “Showcasing an eclectic mix of drawings, prints, paintings, photographs, film clips, and assorted artifacts such as carousel animals, this exhibition brings to life the excitement of Coney

singular place in the American imagination,” she said. The pattern for amusement parks would be copied across the country and used as foundations for Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags. San Diego first entered the amusement business with the 1915-16 Expedition … next the compact Belmont Park fun zone was developed by sugar magnate John D. Spreckels and opened on July 4, 1925 as the Mission Beach Amusement Center. The attractions and rides that remain from the original park include the Giant Dipper, a wooden roller coaster and the Plunge. Spreckels wanted more people to visit the park so he had a streetcar line extended to Mission Beach. Sadly, he died a year later. Later, during the big band area, the ballroom would feature the best, like Tommy Dorsey who brought along a skinny singer named Frank Sinatra. Prior to Disneyland, the Southern California shorelines entertained those who liked thrill rides. In 1902, the “Coney Copy” Long Beach Pike was built and along its mile-long boardwalk were game arcades, pitchmen for sideshows, a movie theater that also had vaudeville acts, a huge roller coaster, merry-go-round and a plunge. The arrival of the Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach in 1979 was the city council’s reason to not renew land leases and the Pike structures were demolished.

Two Amur and one snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo have been acclimating to their new exhibits in preparation for the expansion of The Barlin-Kahn Family Panda Trek area. The 16,500-square-foot habitat includes 5,500 square feet of multi-level living space with rock outcroppings and slopes with felled trees to encourage climbing, foraging and other natural behaviors. There are two other snow leopards that will be moved to the new habitat next week. The habitat has four separate exhibits with enclosed, overhead passageways above the visitor walkway, allowing the leopards to cross between exhibits. More than 1,600 donors contributed $3 million needed to build the habitat. Elsewhere in the Park — Spirit of ’45, is a 70th anniversary celebration that remembers the end of World War II at the Veterans Memorial Museum on Aug. 9. In addition to a formal program there will be live music and dancing. Last year’s event drew 1,000 people ... “Thinking Shakespeare Live!” is a 90-minute exploration and an education of the language of Shakespeare, led by Old Globe Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and assisted by three professional classical actors, Aug. 8 at 11 a.m.    —After an award winning, 38-year sports-writing career with the San Diego Union and authoring three books, Johnny McDonald now considers writing a hobby. You can reach him at

Summer drinking season Drink Shrink Jeff Josenhans We all know it can be pretty much summer here in San Diego year-round, and both May and June were pretty gloomy, but there are still many plenty of indulgences available to us in this fine city that help complement our privileged weather patterns. Barbecues, beach visits, and of course a great beverage selection all enhance the feeling of summer. With that, I offer some guidance on noteworthy local options worth giving a shot if they are not already on your drinking radar.


You have had plenty of IPAs. As much as the IPA helped make the San Diego beer scene what it is today, there’s a growing trend towards old world styles amongst the many city brewers. One type of style that fits the season is sour beers. Among those are Lambics, Gueuzes, Berliner Weisses, and Flanders Style Ales. If you live in San Diego you are most likely visiting a brewery at some point. Try a sour beer if you get the chance to. They are more

complicated to produce, and that’s why good brewers have an appreciation for them. Just don’t expect it to taste like what you’re used to, expect something like a marriage between champagne and beer, and drink it on a hot day.


Rose Wines have grown up in our local wine scene. The white zin has finally almost died out and consumers are learning that rose wines can be just as complex as reds and whites. They pair especially well with seafood and summer produce and are great for picnics. Fallbrook produces an estate-grown Sangiovese Rosato that is fruit forward, crisp and balanced, and barrel fermentation gives it a rich texture. One of my other favorite local wineries, Vesper, produces some of the most interesting and complex wines in the county. They offer two single-vineyard rose wines that will impress your more wine-educated friends.


San Diegans love their whisky. Mezcal has been around for a while now. Gin is a great choice for summer, but not really that exciting to me at the moment. Vodka is vodka for the most part. Where there is a lot of action happening right now

is with rum. Not mojitos or Bacardi commercials, but artisanal rums that work beautifully in a classic cocktail, at your tiki party, or just neat. New brands like Papa’s Pilar offer great value, and is an American product using a solera system and different barrel regiments. Ballast Point is producing good rum as well, but my pick for rum in the city is, without question, Malahat. Nestled between the 805 and the 15, just north of the Miramar Air Base, you will find this gem well worth visiting, both for the quality of the rum they’re making up there and for the nautical theme they have designed their tasting room around. Hopefully this adds some spice to your summer. Please share your stories and questions with me, and enjoy the brightest and warmest time of the year. —Level 2 CMS Sommelier and Master Mixologist Jeff Josenhans — who just recently added a Cicerone certification to his resume — has changed the dynamic in The Grant Grill Downtown from a classic institution to an exciting lounge and elegant restaurant. He can be reached at jeff.josenhans@


San Diego Downtown News | July 2015


Mission revivals restored Gaslamp Landmarks Jake Romero [Editor’s Note: Each month the Gaslamp Historical Society will share with our readers information about the many historical buildings found in the Gaslamp Quarter.]

National City and Otay Railroad building

A Mission Revival structure, the National City and Otay Railroad building was built in 1896 and is located at Sixth Avenue and L Street. The depot was designed by William Sterling Hebbard, a notable architect who often collaborated with famed architect Irving Gill. Hebbard had previously worked in Los Angeles with the firm Curlett, Eisen and Cuthbertson. William Cuthbertson, who had a passion for the old California Missions, influenced Hebbard and this shows in his independent San Diego work.

The old railroad building is now part of Hard Rock Hotel. (Courtesy Gaslamp Historical Foundation)

Even though Hebbard used other creative styles and designs in his buildings during the 1890s, he continued his exploration with what become known as Mission Revival.

This style enjoyed its greatest popularity between 1890 and 1915, especially in numerous institutional buildings. Due to its accessible and recognizable regional imagery of old California missions, Mission Revival was favored by the big rail lines for their depot building programs in California and throughout the Southwest. Defining characteristics include simple smooth stucco or plaster siding, low-pitched hipped or gabled tile roof, roof parapets, large square pillars, arched entryways, covered walkways or arcades and a single round or quatrefoil (star shaped) window. This particular structure was built to accommodate passengers and freight serving as the northern terminus of the San Diego and Otay interchange with various San Diego rail lines and the Pacific Coast steamship line and Fifth Avenue wharf. Extremely popular “theater trains” brought visitors Downtown for performances and “picnic trains” took residents down the line to the Sweetwater Valley extension for events at Linwood Grove near Bonita and Sweetwater Dam. Prominent features in the National City and Otay Railroad structure include the Mission gabled roof embellished with the quatrefoil window and two arched entryways. At one time, the L Street side featured an elaborate Mission Revival parapet motif with two arched passenger entries. This feature would be lost in a remodel post 1920. This depot, likely the first structure of its type in San Diego, is Hebbard’s only existing building of such an early

architectural style and one of the earliest depots of this style in California. Much of the original brickwork, as well as the parapet motif on L Street, were restored in a recent reconstruction. The structure has been incorporated into the design of the Hard Rock Hotel and now serves as a bar and entertainment venue. —Jake Romero is the operations and marketing manager of the Gaslamp Historical Foundation, located at 410 Island Ave., Downtown, in the historic William Heath Davis House. For more information visit


San Diego Downtown News | July 2015


An emerging partnership EvoNexus offers a growth hub for local up-and-coming tech-based businesses By Dave Fidlin

Since 2009, budding techsavvy entrepreneurs have worked with a local nonprofit to launch and grow businesses with disparate functions, from mobile apps to wearables to advanced semiconductors. In the six years since the creation of business incubator EvoNexus, innovators have come through peddling a range of ideas; some practical, as evidenced by some of the products aimed at bringing affordable healthcare to the marketplace, while other prospective products are light-hearted. Touted by organization officials as San Diego’s only fully probono startup business incubator, EvoNexus currently works with 55 emerging businesses in the area through its main operation Downtown, as well as through satellite offices in University Town Center and Irvine. Across the 55 incubating businesses, EvoNexus has been a catalyst for raising $626 million from a range of investors. Rory Moore, CEO of EvoNexus, said the organization’s overall track record has also been strong. Of the so-called “graduated businesses” that have left the nest of EvoNexus and spread their wings in the real world, 88 percent remain active as of this date. Part of the reason for the high success rate, Moore said, is EvoNexus’ rigorous requirements. Case in point: During the most recent application process for prospective business owners, EvoNexus received 212 ATTORNEYS

applications, only 26 of which were actually approved. The rigor, Moore said, is all part of EvoNexus’ ongoing evolution. “Since inception, EvoNexus has matured considerably in the area of attracting more social entrepreneurs, more social teams and start-ups that have significant inventions,” he said. The entrepreneurs behind the emerging companies that are admitted into EvoNexus have access to a buffet of resources, including mentoring, workshops and, most telling, networking opportunities that put business leaders into contact with investors who can infuse capital. EvoNexus got its footing in University Towne Center (now called Westfield UTC) — and still have an incubator space there — but moved the main hub of operations to an office complex at 101 W. Broadway in a gesture organization officials attributed to “being in the thick” of all the start-up activity in the city’s Downtown area. Two entrepreneurs currently working out of the Downtown office expressed enthusiasm toward the future of their businesses when contacted by San Diego Downtown News. Mehul Merchant is CEO of UVA Mobile, a phone plan carrier with customizable options. He said his business offers more flexible, consumer-friendly options that are not available with other wireless companies. Merchant, who is about to launch his product into the marketplace, said he and his fellow associates have refined their product in recent months as part ATTORNEYS

(left) Rasto Ivanic, CEO of incubator company GroupSolver, gives a presentation at EvoNexus’ Demo Day 2015 in March; INOVA Drone CEO Chad Amonn shows off his company’s latest technology at Demo Day. (Courtesy EvoNexus)

of UVA Mobile’s own evolution. While capital for emerging entrepreneurs is seemingly limitless in places such as the Bay Area, Merchant readily admits that San Diego is in shorter supply of such resources. For this reason, he said he was grateful to link up with an organization such as EvoNexus. “I’ve done quite a bit of networking,” Merchant said. “The energy it brings to the environment is really good. What you get from something like this is a network of people who can inform and advise.” Ajit Viswanathan, founder and CEO of Doctible, said his company was designed around President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act legislation and is aimed at taking away the guesswork that can be associated with shopping for healthcare. “Our goal is to make it easier for the consumer,” Viswanathan said. “We’re about to launch our product to the San Diego market.” Viswanathan, who has been involved with EvoNexus since November, said the immense networking opportunities have been a positive for him personally and for Doctible as a company. “You never know who you’re going to meet,” he said, referring to doors the relationship has opened. As EvoNexus continues its evolution, Moore said he envisions more growth opportunities on the horizon. In early June, the organization struck a strategic arrangement with a new partner: the publicly traded InterDigital. Further details about the partnership are anticipated


in the months ahead. “EvoNexus over the next 10 years will continue to leverage great inventions coming from universities and the commercial sector,” Moore said. “[The organization will] accelerate those companies through strategic partnerships around the globe with investments.” EvoNexus’ Downtown


incubator office is located at 101 W. Broadway, Suite 200. For further information on the organization, visit or call 888-926-3987. —Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at dave.fidlin@ thinkpost.netv

Downtown’s Sudoku Puzzle DIRECTIONS: Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, as must every 3x3 square.

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San Diego Downtown News | July 2015


BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT The Old Townhouse Restaurant 4941 Newport Ave. San Diego, CA 92107 619-222-1880 | Located in the heart of Ocean Beach and family owned and operated for over 43 years, The Old Townhouse Restaurant is a local favorite for pancakes, waffles, omelets, French toast, biscuits and gravy, and eggs benedict! It offers the comforts of home-style cooking when you’re not at home. We all love the excitement of visiting new places and eating new foods, but sometimes want the creature comforts of home. This is where The Old Townhouse Restaurant comes to the rescue — the meals are like they’ve come out of your own kitchen! Come on in and take a seat. We are happy to serve you bottomless cups of coffee. Breakfast is served all day and you can also order up our famous mimosas!

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Berkshire Hathaway 516 Fifth Ave. San Diego, CA 92101 619-595-7020 | Carlos San Miguel joins Berkshire Hathaway Downtown Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is proud to welcome Carlos San Miguel as a realtor-sales associate to the Downtown Gaslamp office team. “Carlos is hard-working and determined to succeed,” said Office Manager Nelson White. “He knows there are no magic tricks in business and that you have to aim high and never give up.” “A client can put their ultimate trust in me,” San Miguel said. “I may be easy-going but I am very competitive and I understand what it takes to succeed in business.” For the last 13 years, San Miguel has owned his own business, giving him the knowledge and experience to succeed as a realtor. His business endeavor began when he and his partner opened a kiosk selling watches and handbags with $300 in their pockets. Today they own seven Urban Wave Company stores and have a successful website as well. In his free time, San Miguel is a proud supporter of the San Diego Zoo and is also passionate about helping various animal rights organizations. San Miguel can be contacted through the Downtown Gaslamp or at If you are interested in joining the office as a realtor, contact Nelson White at 619-300-1900 or

Call David Mannis at

(left) Host Jeff Krapf listens to local pop-culture satirist David Moye explain his “unusual Father’s Day gifts” on a recent “Tonight in San Diego” taping. (Courtesy Tonight in San Diego)


New attractions make Downtown the place to be this summer

By Alex Owens

Downtown has always been a good place to escape, but now that’s become literal, thanks to some offbeat forms of entertainment that have popped up in recent months. Case in point: There are now two “escape rooms,” a growing form of entertainment where groups of people are locked into a room for up to an hour or until they solve a series of puzzles or clues. The Great Room Escape San Diego, a creation by the same people who operate the popular Halloween attraction the Haunted Hotel Downtown, opened June 5 at 424 Market St., the same location as the hotel. “We’re using a lab set that we also use for the Haunted Hotel, but this is family friendly,” said co-owner Greg DeFatta. “We don’t want people to associate an ‘escape room’ with scares or fear. That said, the room we’re using as a set does have a zombie.” Escape rooms have been popular in Europe, but have only recently started up in the San Diego market. [Editor’s Note: see “Hinting Around,” in the June edition, Vol. 16, Issue 6 of San Diego Downtown News.] DeFatta hopes to make the Great Room Escape stand apart by applying the same standard of special effects that have distinguished the Haunted Hotel. The Great Room Escape is open Thursdays through Sundays for $34.95 per person. DeFatta said groups ranging from four people to 12 can go through together. He hopes the room is able to satisfy people during the times of the year when the Haunted Hotel isn’t open. “We have an incredible location, but we realized we’re not tapping into the tourist market as much as we should,” he said. “There are not a lot of entertainment options for families, even though a lot of them stay down here.” The Great Room Escape is not the first escape room to open Downtown. That honor goes to the Puzzalarium at 841 14th St. It’s the brainchild of Stevon

The Lab in the Great Room Escape creates challenges (Photos by Mike Rollerson) Streeper, a designer of both video games and board games. Open since September, Streeper prefers the term “immersions” to “escape rooms” because “you can do so much more than clues.” Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 1 – 10 p.m., Streeper’s Puzzalarium charges $25 each for groups of four people. “Three people will do OK, and five is all right, but it’s best for four people,” Streeper said. A mysterious person known as the Puzzlemaster offers hints and clues to the guests. “The Puzzlemaster also keeps track of score,” Streeper said. “We’re the first ‘escape room’ to offer scores and that allows for a larger complexity. It’s like being in a movie rather than watching one.” So far, the Puzzalarium is doing well despite no money spent on advertising. “We’re booked a month ahead,” Streeper said. Not interested in puzzles, but want a different kind of escape? You can go to a taping of “Tonight in San Diego,” a late night Internet talk show which tapes every Monday night at the Horton Grand Theater at 444 Fourth Ave. For $7, guests can watch the taping, which usually includes comedy, skits and a top local band, according to show creator Fale Luis. “We want to show San Diego music is more than indie rock or

ska,” he said. Some shows have featured San Diegans demonstrating the finer points of air guitar, a popular disc jockey attempting to dance like Vanilla Ice, and even a segment on weird Father’s Day gifts. “Honestly, the people watching the taping have no idea what they’re getting into, but they see how much we put into it and want to bring people back to the show,” Luis said. “Especially because there’s nothing else going on Downtown on a Monday.” The show will be filming its third season through September, using the same set as whatever play is being presented by the theater. Luis wants to continue using the Horton Grand Theater for future seasons, but has big dreams for the next step. “By fall, we hope to have enough product that we can show some of the local TV stations what we have and they’ll put us on there,” he said. Learn more about these three fun and exciting things to do Downtown by visiting their respective websites; the Great Room Escape, greatroomescape. com; Puzzalarium,; and “Tonight in San Diego,” —Alex Owens is a San Diego-based freelance writer. He can be reached at alexowenssd@


San Diego Downtown News | July 2015

History at our feet Art on the Land Delle Willett San Diego’s Lane Field Park, created by Denver’s urban design and landscape architecture firm Civitas, is on the former site of Lane Field baseball stadium, home to the then-Pacific Coast League San Diego Padres from 1936 – 1957 — history that played an integral role in the design. Located on 1.6 acres at the northeast corner of North Harbor Drive and West Broadway, the new $5-million park was donated by LFN Developers, who are building a 400-room, dual-branded Marriott hotel scheduled to open next year to the east. “Design ideas for Lane Field Park were immersed in the site’s history,” said Scott Jordan, Civitas designer for the new park. “Inspiration came from the original base paths, pitcher’s mound and home plate. Where home-plate once existed, a granite marker was placed with the silhouette and a quote from Ted Williams, who began his Hall-ofFame career on this field, while the base paths are lit up with in-ground LEDs.” Those baseball references are historically accurate right down to commemorating a mistake. “The original stadium had first base in the wrong location

— we designed it to capture this inaccuracy as a way to encapsulate the unique spirit of the historical park,” Jordan said. Hailed as a “home run” in San Diego, the new park is part of a private hotel and mixed-use development that represents a 150-foot-wide setback of open space required by the California Coastal Commission for approval of the North Embarcadero Visionary Plan. Lane Field Park is visually tied to the Port of San Diego’s massive North Embarcadero Visionary Plan, which includes the Civitas-designed grand esplanade that opened in November 2014 just across Harbor Drive. [See Feb. 6 issue of San Diego Downtown News, Vol. 16, Issue 2, “Talent and teamwork transforms the Embarcadero” for more information]. Visual links to the water’sedge esplanade include the palm trees, planting and paving patterns and site furnishings. To fit the new park’s more relaxed vibe, Civitas also created custom designed “chaise lounge” benches made of ipe wood and stainless steel. Lane Field Park has a flexible lawn space that can be used in very different ways than the North Embarcadero. You can throw a Frisbee, play catch, or sit back and relax on the open lawn or on one of the benches and watch the sun set over the bay. Only the first phase of the


(above) Marker identifies original home plate location; (above right) the southeast view from the middle of Lane Field; custom chaise lounges. (Photos by Delle Willett) park has been completed. Another section to the north is planned if the port can relocate parking spaces used by the Navy Facilities Engineering Command at 1220 Pacific Highway. In 1925, before it was called Lane Field, the stadium began as a U.S. Navy athletic field. Football bleachers were added two years later. There was also a motorcycle and auto racetrack. When Bill “Hardpan” Lane relocated his Hollywood

Stars baseball team from the Los Angeles area in 1936, he arranged for the Works Progress Administration to rebuild the venue as a baseball park. The new construction was minimal with no roof, no lights, and not even a backstop, and seating for 8,000 fans. The first Padres game at Lane Field was played on March 31, 1936. They finally abandoned the field following the 1957 PCL season. In 1958, the team shifted to the new Westgate Park,

located in San Diego’s Mission Valley area. To learn more about the history of Lane Field and the development of Lane Field Park, visit lane-field.html. —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@


San Diego Downtown News | July 2015


Citizen scientists San Diego Coastkeeper celebrates 20 years of clean water advocacy Jeremy Ogul | Contributing Editor

Few San Diegans realize that one of the most extensive water quality monitoring programs in the region is operated by a large group of passionate volunteers. Every month, these volunteers spend their Saturdays traveling to streams and rivers to collect samples that they bring back to the San Diego Coastkeeper laboratory. San Diego Coastkeeper, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, uses the data to track the health of 11 of the 13 watersheds in the county. The data is shared with other nonprofit organizations and government agencies in an effort to advocate for policy changes and infrastructure investments. One of the watersheds Coastkeeper tracks is the San Diego River, which runs through Mission Trails Regional Park and the Grantville area on its way out to the Pacific Ocean. Coastkeeper volunteers collect data from two sites: one near the Old Mission Dam and the other near Fashion Valley Mall. Once the data gets back to the laboratory, another group of volunteers trained in laboratory research procedures processes the samples for later analysis. The samples are measured for nutrients, bacteria, nitrates, phosphorus, phosphates and turbidity. The San Diego River watershed was one of two that saw a decline in water quality last year, according to Coastkeeper data. Researchers recorded a significant increase in nutrients, particularly phosphorus, which promotes algae growth. While it may seem harmless to humans, algae is problematic

(l to r) Bryanna Paulson, Dana Tomasevic and Vicki Conlon test the electrical conductivity of the river near Old Mission Dam. (Photo by Jeremy Ogul)

A volunteer works with water samples at the Coastkeeper lab. (Photo by Jeremy Ogul) because it blocks sunlight, and when it dies, the bacteria that feast on it suck up the available oxygen in the water, suffocating fish and other forms of aquatic life. Nutrient levels in the river are probably elevated because the drought has reduced the flow of water that normally flushes the nutrients out to sea, said Meredith Meyer, Coastkeeper’s lab coordinator.

Though we can’t control the weather, we can control how much lawn fertilizer and detergent (think soap from home car washes) enters the watershed, Meyer said. In June, the San Diego River watershed team consisted of three volunteers: Bryanna Paulson, an Encinitas resident who recently earned a degree in biology from St. Mary’s College California; Dana Tomasevic, a

Hillcrest resident and student at California Western School of Law; and Vicki Conlon, a Mission Bay resident who leads science workshops for kids at Jerabek Elementary School in Scripps Ranch. After gathering supplies at the Liberty Station headquarters, the trio headed to Mission Trails. The long drive gave the volunteers some time to reflect on why they were doing this. “My kids grew up surfing at the beach,” Conlon said. “They were in the water constantly. I swim in the bay every day. I want clean water.” Conlon said she’s old enough to remember when sewer spills were a common occurrence in San Diego. “It’s definitely improved, and I’m sure it’s partly because of Coastkeeper and organizations like them.” Coastkeeper volunteers discovered one of the largest sewage spills in San Diego history at the Los Peñasquitos Lagoon in 2011. Approximately 1.9 million gallons of sewage spilled into the lagoon before the spill was stopped. More recently, when the county of San Diego discovered sewage leaking into the San Diego River near Interstate 15, county officials used Coastkeeper’s data as a reference point to determine how much remediation was necessary. The organization has about 400 active volunteers, of which 250 to 300 are trained to comply with state guidelines on water quality monitoring, said Kristin Kuhn, Coastkeeper’s community engagement coordinator. The volunteers span a diverse range of identities, from high school students to professional marine biologists. “An abnormally high percentage of our volunteers have some experience in science or research, but we get the occasional poet,” Kuhn said. The organization trains about 100 new water quality monitoring volunteers each year, and to date it has trained more than 1,000. For information on how to get involved with Coastkeeper, visit or call 619-758-7743. —Write to Jeremy Ogul at FROM PAGE 16

THEATER having played in the Broadway tour in 2012) provide the best scene musically, as the two young women reconcile, recognizing the truth and hope of real love. The toughness-applied young men dance and sing well, though Duffy is sadly a bit long of tooth, giving the appearance of being home on a college break. Though he wants nothing to do with the rumble, Tony attempts (as does Christopher Lennon’s Officer Krupke) to prevent the carnage; nonetheless, tragedy ensues. The entire show is accompanied by memorable songs such as “Maria,” “One Hand, One Heart,” “Tonight,” “I Feel Pretty,” and “I Have a Love/There’s a Place for Us.” No matter how many productions one sees, the ending of “West Side Story,” like Shakespeare, always reduces one to tears. Many leaving the matinee of Sunday, June 21, were seen wiping their eyes. This is a great means by which to introduce the young people in your lives to American classic musical theatre and to tie the form with the great classic dramatist who endures centuries later. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at charlenebaldridge. com or reach her at charb81@ be the nation that makes the rules and sets the standards in a global marketplace,” he continued. “If America doesn’t seize ally collapsed, taking millions of this opportunity to lead, other jobs with it. nations — especially China Opponents are concerned — will. China’s rules, like its that the same will happen with record, would have little regard the TPP, only on a much larger for even the most basic of huscale, potentially devastating man rights and environmental American workers.” standards. This rigs the system So in order to kill the presiin their favor, and tips the scales dent’s chances of gaining TPA against American workers. and thus all but killing the TPP, Rep. Hunter is apparently Democrats staged a protest. in favor of the United States They voted against the TAA, negotiating with terrorists, hoping to effectively particularly in hoskill TPA. The TAA tage situations. portion of the The Obama bill initially administrawent down tion last in flames — month and TPA changed with it — its policy failing in to allow a 302-126 famivote. 144 lies to Democrats negotiate voted ‘no’ on and pay TAA, and only ransom for 86 Republicans loved ones voted ‘yes.’ being held What was inhostage by terteresting was how Rep. Susan Davis, D-53 SD rorist groups, the vote broke previously 2700 Adams Ave. #102, 92116 down amongst considered a Local: 619-280-5353 San Diego’s criminal act. Washington: 202-225-2040 Congressional Hunter, delegation: Scott one of the Peters (D-52) and Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-50 SD most outspo1611 N. Magnolia Ave. #310, El Susan Davis (Dken critics of Cajon, 92019 53) bucked their the admin619-448-5201 party leadership istration’s poli202-225-5672 and were two of cies on U.S. only 40 Demohostage issues, crats to vote ‘yes’ doesn’t believe on the bill, joined Rep. Darrell Issa, R-49 SD this shift goes 1800 Thibodo Road #310, 92081 far enough. by Darrell Issa 760-599-5000 (R-49), one of “After a 202-225-3906 the 86 Republilong, can ‘yes’ votes. out review of Duncan Hunter U.S. hostage Rep. Scott Peters, D-52 SD (R-50) voted policy, the 4350 Executive Drive #105, 92122 against TAA. changes of858-455-5550 Peters and Davis fered up by 202-225-0508 also voted ‘yes’ on the White the TPA portion House prove of the bill, again that neither Rep. Juan Vargas, D-51 SD bucking Demothe right 333 F St. #A, Chula Vista, 91910 cratic leadership, 619-422-5963 questions which urged its were asked 202-225-8045 caucus to vote nor were against both TPA any lessons and TAA. Both learned,” Hunter and Issa joined them. Hunter said in a statement Juan Vargas (D-51) was to Buzzfeed News. “Wholea “no-vote” on both portions, sale changes are needed, but meaning he didn’t weigh in at what’s being put forward is all on either TAA or TPA, major nothing more than window bills that figured heavily into dressing, I fear.” national headlines. Hunter is an ardent supThrough legislative maporter of Army Special Forces neuvering, both TPA and Lt. Col. Jason Amerine, who beTAA eventually passed via an lieves that the U.S. government unusual alliance between Presi- should directly negotiate with dent Obama and Republicans terrorist organizations, such as in Congress. Local leaders view ISIS and al Qaeda, to secure the the Trans Pacific Partnership as return of American hostages bea potential boon to San Diego, ing held abroad by those groups. noting how the city is uniquely —Andy Cohen is a local located to take advantage of this freelance writer. Reach him at new trade alliance. v “San Diego is a port city that depends on trade, especially with PUZZLE SOLUTION FROM PG. 19 Mexico and Asia,” stated Peters in a press release. “Our innovative economy, led by Qualcomm and other hi-tech, biotech and life science companies, depends on access to foreign markets with protections for Americanmade intellectual property.” “I voted for TPA because, for America to be the leader we all want it to be, America needs to




San Diego Downtown News | July 2015



San Diego Downtown News | July 2015

A second location of The Front Porch in Mission Hills is slated to open this month in Coronado, at 918 Orange Ave. The shop, which specializes in kitchenwares and gourmet pantry items, is operated by The Patio Group, which also owns The Patio on Goldfinch and The Patio on Lamont Street restaurants. 928 Fort Stockton Drive, Ste. 101, 619-377-0430. The neighborhood is catering further to vegans with the anticipated arrival of Café Gratitude, due to open in the coming month within the Broadstone Little Italy development. With locations in Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and Kansas City, the restaurant specializes exclusively in gourmet vegan cuisine. 1980 Kettner Blvd., With a name like Lemon Zest & Garlic Fest, who can resist? The inaugural event will spotlight nearly 40 chefs doling out culinary creations using the namesake ingredients on July 18, from noon to 5 p.m. at Downtown’s Waterfront Park. The grounds will also make way for cooking demos, retail vendors, beer and wine gardens and a kid-friendly area featuring games and inflatables. Event founder Lynda West said she wanted to create something in San Diego similar to the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, but with the extra spin of lemon. General admission is $65, which includes unlimited food, beer and wine. 1600 Pacific Highway, A barbecue and beer tasting honoring San Diego Padres’ Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn will be held July 18 from 3 – 5 p.m., at Bottega Americano in the East Village. The culinary offerings will include tribute dishes such as house-smoked tri tip served with Tony Gwynn BBQ sauce and garlic pizza knots infused with Tony Gwynn .394 Pale Ale by Alesmith Brewing Company. The cost is $30, which includes food and a beer flight. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation. 1195 Island Ave., 619-255-7800.

DINING Little Italy’s latest newcomer, Civico 1845, is now up and running and has begun cranking out an array of contemporary Italian dishes for vegans and carnivores alike. The restaurant, which was previously home to Zia’s Bistro, is owned by brothers Dario and Pietro Gallo, who are natives of southern Italy. Diners can expect a tempting selection of colorful salads, homemade pasta dishes, and meats and seafood served in crafty sauces. A separate vegan menu features items such as escarole pie and spinach-ricotta ravioli draped in San Marzano tomato sauce. 1845 India St., 619-431-5990.

Slow-roasted zucchini with pancetta at Little Italy’s new Civico 1845 (Photo by Karen Morrison) San Diego’s towering penthouse lounge, Top of the Hyatt, located on the 40th floor of the Manchester Grand Hyatt, will close July 6 for renovations and reopen sometime in mid-fall. The makeover involves implementing a “California coastal” motif that corresponds to other renewed areas of the hotel. The work will also include a reduction of pillars and drapes to further expose the dizzying views. 1 Market Place, 619-232-1234.

San Diego’s famed Top of the Hyatt lounge will undergo a major redesign over the summer. (Courtesy Manchester Grand Hyatt)

Poached ono with squash puree at the new Ocean Pacific Grille (Courtesy Ocean Pacific Grille) A former chef-partner at Roy’s in La Jolla and Palm Springs (Charles Andres) has teamed up with a former manager of Roy’s in Phoenix (Brian Norris) to open Ocean Pacific Grille in the Gaslamp Quarter. The new restaurant is located in the space that formerly housed Encore Champagne Bar, and it fulfills a longstanding dream by

Andres, who was born in the Philippines. “I always wanted to open my own place with an emphasis in Filipino cuisine and flavors,” he said. “We’re a seafood restaurant but we offer about five steak choices as well.” Since launching June 25, his top sellers have included Filipino tocino toast with burrata cheese and roasted tomatoes, crispy sea

bass in tamarind-tomato broth, and olive oil-poached ono with Kabocha squash puree. The restaurant’s warm design features a bar lounge, a large dining room and an open kitchen with seating at a chef’s counter. 531 F St., 619-578-2828. —Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at fsabatini@san.


(clockwise from above) Fried chicken dinner; bison-pork meatballs; bao bao sliders; double-cut pork chop (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

DOWN-HOME DINING IN THE GASLAMP Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. RMD Group’s second restaurant venture in the Gaslamp Quarter holds some big surprises, starting with its newly constructed rooftop patio overlooking the bustling Fifth Avenue. If the rare sight of customers peering down from three floors above on this street doesn’t grab your attention, then the quirky design appointments flowing throughout Rustic Root’s ground-level dining room will. Fronted by a sidewalk patio, and adjoining RMD’s Don Chido restaurant, Rustic Root stands out the moment you pass the outdoor host station. The wall to your right shows off columns of white ceramic plates, seemingly suspended in midair. Further back is a display of faux deer on Astroturf, raised and illuminated as if belonging to a prairie museum in central Montana. On the opposite side of the room is a well-stocked bar featuring a panel of wooden rolling pins at one end. And hovering over the expansive dining room are various-sized colanders — lots of them mingling with the ceiling lights. Should these homey visuals begin triggering your appetite for elk chops, fried chicken and bison meatballs; you’ve come to the right place. Stairs and an elevator lead to the rooftop patio, which opens July 4 as an alternative zone for drinking and noshing by day or night. Adorned with gaslamp light posts and equipped with a large bar and separate kitchen, it’s exactly the kind of above-street perch this thriving avenue of bars and restaurants sorely lacks. Chef and managing partner Antonio Friscia presents a succinct menu of dishes long revered in our homesteads for their warm and hearty qualities, whether they’re of American origin or not. His bison-pork meatballs as an appetizer are lean and mean, thanks to their low-fat content (perhaps too low) and the delicious, creamy whiskey sauce lacing them. They tasted part

Italian, part Swedish. Friscia resurrects his classic Green Goddess salad that was a longstanding hit during his kitchen years at Stingaree, a Downtown nightclub that shuttered before he joined the RMD Group. The tarragon-based dressing is made from scratch, providing a sea foam-green blanket to lettuce, chopped eggs and sliced mushrooms — just like hip moms of the ’60s used to make the salad to impress company. What a treat. We started also with carnitas bao bao sliders offering a blissful mélange of flavors and textures from Japanese pickles and crushed peanuts tucked inside puffy steamed buns. The

RUSTIC ROOT 535 FIFTH AVE. (GASLAMP QUARTER) 619-232-1747 PRICES: APPETIZERS AND SALADS: $6 TO $18; ENTREES, $17 TO $37 shredded pork was teasingly sweet from red sugar, making them fierce rivals to authentic Asian buns. We proceeded to mac ‘n cheese, which was acceptably creamy and elevated by smoky applewood bacon, a huntsmanstyle recipe with a Spanish kiss from manchego cheese. While deciding on entrees, we imbibed on a couple of “timeless cocktails” from a list that names them only by the years they were invented. Their ingredients and one-line clues are stated below, leaving customers to either guess or defer to the staff for their actual names. The 1895, for example, is a classic Presbyterian combining whiskey, ginger beer, bitters and lemon juice. The 1980, made with vodka, orange liqueur, blueberry syrup and lemon juice, is easier to figure out if you attended parties televising “Sex in the City” while sipping on none other than cosmopolitans. We chose the 1902, which translates to a daiquiri as

they were made before Ernest Hemmingway brought fame to the drink with his preferred addition of pineapple juice. Using only white rum, lime juice and simple syrup, it was refreshing and no less boring. Before eating here, the Gaslamp district was the last place I ever considered for finding good fried chicken. Friscia’s version now ranks at the top of my list. Served with tender butter beans and ginger-spiked sweet potato puree, he brines the boneless chicken parts overnight before dredging them in buttermilk and flour. But rather than feed them to the fryers at that point, they rest another day on racks, which results in a firmer, crispier batter. My companion’s double-cut Duroc pork chop was equally impressive. The designer knife he chose from a wooden box presented by our highly likeable waitress glided effortlessly through the chop’s shocking girth. Hickory-smoked sea salt and reduced balsamic made it all the more flavorful. Served with fried Brussels sprouts and so-so fingerling potatoes, the reigning sidekick was rhubarb chutney spiked with star anise. Think Christmas in July. Amid several other entrée choices such as elk chops in Mexican mole, halibut encrusted in Japanese spices (furikake), and a burger comprising ground short ribs and brisket, there is hope for vegetarians in butternut squash ravioli. They’re dressed in browned butter, sage and walnuts. Fabulously rich Grand Marnier cheesecake and butterscotch-mousse cream puffs capped off our meal. Although if you’d rather finish with lasting warmth in your belly, an aged scotch by Glenmorangie, Macallan or Highland Park will surely exemplify this playfully rustic dinner experience. —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.

San Diego Downtown News | July 2015



San Diego Downtown News | July 2015


SANDAG releases Uptown Bike Plan Bicycling advocates remain optimistic Ken Williams | Contributing Editor

Down but not out. That seems to describe bicycling advocates’ reactions after the region’s transportation panel voted against a compromise plan with broad community support that had been proposed to improve biking along University Avenue from Washington to Normal streets.

“As you can imagine, we as advocates in the bicycling community and more broadly, as supporters of safer streets and vibrant communities, were very disappointed with the June 5 vote by the SANDAG Transportation Committee to move forward with the constrained University Avenue segment of the Uptown Bikeways Project,”

said Andy Kopp, Bike San Diego board president. “As the main east/west alignment for the bike corridor, having robust, fully protected bicycle infrastructure on University Avenue is paramount to achieving truly safe cycling and increased ridership goals.” At a standing room-only gathering at SANDAG offices Downtown, which spilled over into another meeting room where the discussion could be viewed on a monitor via an Internet feed, more than 70 people spoke in favor of the protected bicycle lanes for University Avenue through Mission Hills and Hillcrest. Many stressed safety issues, since this Uptown area is considered one of the most dangerous in San Diego for bicyclists and pedestrians because of the traffic congestion and narrow streets. A handful of people supported doing nothing for bicyclists, mostly business owners who said they were concerned about losing parking spaces, and possibly customers, as a result. After three hours of public comments and deliberations by the Transportation Committee, member Ron Roberts (county supervisor) made a motion to approve a watered-down version of the project that was seconded by Chair Todd Gloria (city councilmember) and passed. What was approved was essentially doing little on University Avenue from Washington to the State Route 163 overpass. SANDAG will paint sharrows (shared lane arrows) to indicate to drivers that bicyclists are entitled to share the lanes with motorists. The stretch from the SR 163 overpass to Normal Street — where University Avenue widens considerably — will be reconfigured to provide fully protected bicycling lanes. Gloria told the audience that the eastern stretch with the fully protected bicycling lanes will become a model for the rest of the city. That did little to please some bicycling advocates but Andy Hanshaw, executive director of the San Diego County Bike Coalition (, saw room for hope. “People will notice the impact. It’s unfortunate that it does not continue, but getting something done that will demonstrate effectiveness to improve safety and bicycle ridership and ease congestion will be welcome,” Hanshaw said. Kopp was also disappointed by the process. “There was so much good work done over the course of more than two years to produce a design which would transform University Avenue in Hillcrest into a thoroughfare worthy of such a great neighborhood,” Kopp said. “With the Transform Hillcrest alternative design, it seemed as though everyone was working in good faith to take in the concerns of businesses, community groups, and advocacy organizations, alike. In the end, we no longer feel that was the case. “While publicly supporting the Transform Hillcrest design, the Hillcrest Business Association employed the lobbying services of California Strategies to pressure elected officials and key decision makers to strip the plan of the key infrastructure necessary to succeed as a robust cycling corridor,” Kopp continued. “In the end, the community lost because it was outgunned by a group with deeper pockets and misplaced concerns, acting only in its narrow, perceived self-interest, instead of for the greater community.” The day before the vote, Johnathan Hale, president of the Hillcrest Business Association, shared with the media a letter he sent to Gloria. “HBA representatives recently met with SANDAG to discuss the revised scope, and we appreciate SANDAG’s commitment to improving the pedestrian experience along University Avenue while also providing additional bicycle infrastructure along Washington Street and University Avenue. Equally important, it is our understanding the revised scope will maintain eastbound vehicular access to University Avenue from Washington Street, and it will also minimize the parking loss along University Avenue throughout the Hillcrest business core,” Hale wrote in the letter. For Kopp, even the eastern stretch with protected bicycle lanes is a cause for concern. “It may sound counterintuitive, but it’s possible that adding those few blocks of protected cycling lanes on University Avenue could actually be more dangerous,” Kopp said, adding that bicyclists exiting the cycling lanes will have to “reestablish themselves” with drivers who weren’t expecting a bicyclist in their lane. “That merge is a hazard for cyclists and motorists, alike, and the confusion it creates could lead to the increased tensions of motorists who already don’t like to share the road,” he said. “We’ve already heard from experienced cyclists who would just as soon remain in their position in the auto lanes, to say nothing for

potential cyclists who will likely choose not to ride at all because of safety concerns. The only solution that will result in the increased mode share goals for cycling is to build fully protected, ubiquitous cycling lanes to separate auto and cycling traffic.” Bicycling advocates said they will continue to push officials to make University Avenue safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. “Yes, we are looking at options for that now,” Hanshaw said. “It’s a serious safety concern to have this gap along what is statistically the most dangerous corridor in the city for bicyclists and pedestrians. It must be addressed through the city or whatever means necessary to save lives and make our city bike-friendly.” “Despite this setback, we’re very optimistic for the future, not only for the overall Uptown Bikeways, but for revisiting the constrained section of University Avenue, as well,” Kopp said. “More and more studies, including one just released by UCSD [read it at ps5envw], keep reinforcing a simple and compelling truth: Adding safe, protected cycling lanes to a community improves business,” he continued. “One of our jobs as advocates is to make sure that studies like these can no longer be ignored and to let our elected officials know that we expect them to stand up and lead on the issue. “Bike San Diego is continuing to advocate for revisiting this segment of the Uptown Bikeways Project, while also not losing sight of the bigger picture. There are many projects in the pipeline and the city simply cannot afford to see them weakened one by one. There are lots of competing interests surrounding every one of those projects, so we, as well as San Diego County Bicycle Coalition need folks to join us in this effort. “With respect to the University Avenue segment specifically, our two organizations along with DecoBike, are hosting a new, weekly Share The Road ride on University Avenue to raise confidence and awareness for experienced and casual cyclists, alike, while riding in the full lane,” Kopp said. “But that’s not enough. We’re exploring every avenue possible to bring this segment back to the drawing board, to restore the public’s trust in a process gone awry, and for our elected officials to correct this mistake.” Hanshaw said his group would not back down. “The safety concerns will not go away unless they are addressed by more than just the bicycling community,” he said. “It should be a dialogue that everyone participates in. We have to begin to implement the funded projects in the Regional Bike Plan and in order to do so, people need to be willing to think about more than parking and car access to their communities. “Studies are clearly showing that bike lanes make for safer streets and increased business activity. Why wouldn’t we want this?” —Ken Williams can be reached at or at 619-961-1952.v


Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro The trendsetting Prince

Prince Lorenzo Maria Raimondo de’ Medici is a descendent to the Medici dynasty of Florence. Not only is he fluent in five languages, a historian, and an expert in Italian food, but he also holds a MBA in Fashion Design and Luxury Goods from Bologna University. Prince Lorenzo comes from a long line of trendsetters in fashion, starting with the fashion icon Eleanor of Toledo in the 1500s. She was known for her beauty, elegance and richness of dress. When I met Prince Lorenzo, he was wearing a linen suit impeccably tailored with hand stitching and topped off with a pair of red suede shoes. The Medici red is the nobility symbol and is used to represent the Medici crest. In an interview with Prince Lorenzo, I asked him if he had any plans in the future for fashion. “I have been possibly thinking about making a men’s suit collection and a women’s silk collection,” he said. “I love linen and silk fabrics.” As an accomplished artist, Prince Lorenzo has taken the Renaissance portraits that he owns in his palace in Italy and created “pop” art portraits with a contemporary flair. Each portrait is filled with a secret symbol and emblem that comes with a certificate and explanation. A special private cocktail reception was hosted for patrons of the arts by May Zawaideh and Alexander Salazar at the Del Mar Country Club on June 12. The guests were delighted to view this incredible collection along with an original painting by Raphael. Prince Lorenzo mesmerized the group with his incredible stories of this rich era of the most powerful family in Italy. As a special treat, everyone was served a delicious tiramisu dessert. This was created from the old de’ Medici family recipe and was simply divine. Alexander Salazar Fine Art Gallery is located at 1040 Seventh Ave. For an appointment, call 619-531-8996.

Avant Garde costume gala

Vanguard Culture presented a costume party at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park on June 19. Attendees were asked to wear their wildest costumes and they did not disappoint. Fashionistas, artists and other eccentric guests arrived all decked in a wide variety of costumes from steampunkers to cosplay. The evening began with culinary stations, henna body art by Hennasphere, stilt walking and live body painting by Veteran Couture. The emcee for the evening was Ahmed Dents from Easy 98.1 FM. There was a stellar lineup of entertainment for the evening, starting with a beautiful performance from California Ballet. The next number to hit the stage was by Patricia Rincon Dance Collective featuring an innovative program and following them was The Animal

(top) Prince Lorenzo Maria Raimondo de’ Medici is flanked by May Zawaideh and Alexander Salazar; (bottom right) models showcase the designs at Avant Garde; (left) Saam McBride models SaAm Designs. (Photos by Diana Cavagnaro) Cracker Conspiracy, which is a puppet company providing adult entertainment for the audience. Fans awaited the performance by Priscilla the Empress of Pop who arrived with backup dancers to entertain the crowd. Priscilla is a global superstar who is an artist, singer and dancer, and has just finished her first album. The finale was the Avant Garde Fashion Show. Models slowly came down the staircase from the second level thrilling the crowd. All the clothing, accessories and jewelry were from SaAmDesigns, whose talented designer is Saam McBride, a model, designer and an actress. Shawn Michael Style did the creative hair and makeup for the runway. The icing on the cake was the opportunity to view the terrific museum exhibits currently on display. The Mingei International Museum houses 24,000 objects of folk art, craft and design from 195 countries. The current exhibits are “Black Dolls,” which are handmade AfricanAmerican dolls between 1860 and 1930; “Self-Taught Genius,” masterpieces dating from 18th century to present; and “Procession,” dragons and their trainers, roustabouts and wheelers. Vanguard Culture supports the visual and performing arts community while bringing awareness to social and community causes. This fundraiser is bringing attention to some of San Diego’s best visual and performing artists. For more information contact the founder, Susanna Peredo Swap at

Upcoming events

July 9 | Third annual Flaunt It fashion series: Flaunt it from 6 – 8 p.m. The location is the W Hotel San Diego

at 421 W. B St. for signature cocktails and the womenswear designs of Territa Torres Designs. RSVP at rsvpwsdevents@ July 9 | Haute 2 Trot: Fine Magazine kicks off the racing season by hosting Haute 2 Trot, a racetrack fashion show from 5 – 9 p.m. at Del Mar Plaza, located at 1555 Camino Del Mar. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Helen Woodward Animal Center. For Tickets: finehomesandliving. com/FINE-Magazine-Calendarof-Events/index.php/name/ Haute-2-Trot-Race-Track-Fashion-Show/event/8682/. July 16 | FAB Authority Workshop 3: Located at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising on 350 10th Ave., #300, from 6 – 7 p.m. July 18 | American Sewing Guild: Fashion show starts at 12:30 p.m. at the Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, located at 500 Hotel Circle N. The ASG National Convention will be July 16 – 19. For more information visit: July 25 | Glamour on Goldfinch: The Patio on Goldfinch hosts with FWSD designers TaSanni & Luv Surf apparel. 11 – 1 p.m., 4020 Goldfinch St. For reservations for this brunch, call 619-501-5090. —Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned hat designer and milliner and she’s operated her business from Downtown San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter for the last 20 years while teaching in the fashion department at San Diego Mesa College. She can be reached at

San Diego Downtown News | July 2015



San Diego Downtown News | July 2015

San diego downtown news july 2015  


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