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2019

VOLUME 20 ISSUE 3

March 2019 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter sdcnn.com

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

NEWS P. 3

CLIENT

PROJECT

VERSION

SAN DIEGO DOWNTOWN NEWS

Logo Design

FINAL

CLIENT APPROVAL

X

DATE

1/9/12

Best of San Diego Downtown voting now open Page 23

Birds Without Paradise Cross-border art union makes its way to Seaport Village

Tower 180 opening this summer

THEATER P. 11

A human connection through writing

(l to r) Jeremy Stephens, UFC’s Featherweight division mixed martial artist and Darrion Caldwell, Bellator MMA Bantamweight World Champion give children with cancer and their siblings a chance to show off with the championship buckle during the 100 children with cancer social at the Cloak & Petal in Downtown on Feb. 5. (Photo by Albert H. Fulcher)

Cloak & Petal and Seany Foundation team up to help children with cancer Albert H. Fulcher | Editor Bernard Mauricia, Seany Foundation’s vice president of development, has dedicated more than a decade as a volunteer for Seany’s Camp Reach for the Sky program, which supports children with cancer and their families.

Whiphand’s self-serving taps

TOWN VOICES P. 19

“We run free camps, quality of life, and patient service programs that support kids that are battling cancer and their siblings,” Mauricia said. “It’s a place where a kid can just be a kid.” On Feb. 5, Cloak & Petal in Downtown hosted 100 children with cancer from the Seany

By Jules Shane

Foundation, providing a place for a little respite from dealing with cancer, a chance to meet and mingle with other families facing cancer, and a buffet of Cloak & Petal’s best. Children got the chance to meet and take photos with Darrion Caldwell, Bellator MMA Bantamweight World Champion and Jeremy Stephens, UFC’s

Still hovering overhead after a weekend of rain, more than 100 colorfully painted birds face south towards the bay above the main plaza of the Seaport Village. Migrating from their original home in Liberty Station, the Birds Without Paradise art installation arrived on Feb. 8 where it will be on display until April. Designed by Oaxacan artist Manuel Molina, the project was born out of a collaboration between Molina, the San Diego-Tijuana Smart Boarder Coalition, and the San

see Cancer social, pg 4

see Birds, pg 7

FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT

DINING P. 16

Birds Without Paradise targets bird trafficking. (Photo by Jules Shane)

Battle of the Bots e3 Civic High scholars compete toward STEAM careers

Clean, modern outdoor architecture

By B. J. Coleman

Index Opinion

6

Politics

8

Puzzles

21

Calendar

22

Contact us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1960 albert@sdcnn.com

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Technology advances apace. Where will the next generation of trained technological inventors and practitioners come from? Downtown’s innovative e3 Civic High School teaches curricula designed to interest its young scholars to pursue professional careers in the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) fields. One endeavor in that objective is the school’s annual staging of the Battle of the Bots, a competition in which the high schoolers serve as team captains for invited middle school students who vie

to get pre-designed robots assembled and functioning. This year’s Battle of the Bots was held on Feb. 9. Preparations for the event were well under way on Jan. 30, by learning facilitator Jeffrey Russert and the 14 scholars in his Robotics Learning class. The e3 robotics scholars received feedback from Russert on designs submitted for the bots battle, and that afternoon’s lesson focused on wiring with simple soldering for the designed robots, which were to be 3D printed of composite material prior to the competition.

see Battle of the Bots, pg 10

Learning Facilitator Jeffrey Russert, who teaches the Robotics Learning class at e3 Civic High School, testing robots for functioning during the schoolhosted Battle of the Bots on Feb. 9. (Photo by B. J. Coleman)


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San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

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NEWS

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San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

Tower 180 takes shape in Downtown By Vince Meehan

Tower 180° is nearing completion at the corner of First Avenue and Broadway, across the street from the Spreckles Theater. The 25-story multiuse complex will feature residences, office units, and retail spaces. Developed by Hammer Ventures, Tower 180° is slated to be completed later this year and will include a large rooftop venue that will be available for receptions, corporate events. This will also serve as a daily amenity space. Hammer Ventures is a group of real estate ventures primarily dedicated to the acquisition and development of multifamily, office, and mixed-use properties in Southern California. Privately held and based in San Diego, the firm is recognized as an entrepreneurial leader in the development of Class A+ assets in prime urban locations. Lawrence Howard, director of Development said that these buildings represent the highest quality buildings in their individual markets. “They are commonly the most aesthetically pleasing buildings with the best construction, and possess high quality building structure,” Howard said. “Class A buildings also are well-located, highly amenitized, easy to

Tower 180° lobby

Ground floor amenities

access, and are professionally managed. As a result of this, they attract the highest quality tenants. Tower 180° has always been a Class-A location in Downtown. We are replacing the entire façade with beautiful glass, improving the sidewalks, completely renovating common areas, replacing all major building systems, adding steel balconies, and improving outdoor amenity space. No other building in Downtown will benefit from this level of investment and improvement.” Since the firm’s inception in 2000, it has developed a portfolio valued in excess of $2 billion which includes more than 3,000 multifamily units and over 1 million square feet of commercial space for total development of over 3.5 million square feet. The concept of Tower 180° is to redefine the working lifestyle with the abundant amenities, purposeful and functional workspaces. Retail spaces on the ground floor will serve the community as well as the tenants. The tower is designed as an integrated destination, custom built for a modern work life. The interior will be designed with a modern minimalist motif with a bit of ’60s retro thrown in. Open spaces with high ceilings and inlaid lighting will create a space-age feel that pays homage to the iconic

UFO-inspired Theme Building at LAX. Tower 180° is designated as a Class A+ office tower and unique design features will include 25-foot floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a creative double height mezzanine. Also included is a 13,000-square-foot state-of-the-art gym that will offer CrossFit, spin and yoga classes. The 10,000-square-foot midcentury-inspired amenity roof deck will provide awesome vistas of the city and bay, and the building is within walking distance to Downtown hotels, restaurants and attractions. Tenant perks will include valet parking, electrical charging stations, exclusive patios, exterior Wi-Fi hubs and high-tech security. Tower 180° continues a Downtown trend of combining workspace with residence, creating a lifestyle where you do not need to commute or deal with parking. This “culture meets commerce” theme is fast becoming a way of life in Downtown San Diego and serving as a magnet for local innovation. Hoard said Tower 180° has approximately 260,000 square feet of available office space to lease. The building offers 10,000 or 20,000 square foot contiguous floorplans. He said there are currently five retail

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Tower 180° (Photos courtesy of Tower 180) spaces in the building and their initial leasing push was highly focuses on retail as an amenity. “We are excited about new retailers that will add a vibrancy to Downtown and complement the stature of the building,” Howard said. “the new design is modern, simple and clean, drawing from previous mid-century architectural elements, with an open and flowing floor plan with urban views of Downtown San Diego.”

The building is expected to open this summer. “Our renovation seeks to create a world class building that is worthy of its best-inclass location,” Howard said. “When complete, we believe it will be the most desirable office tower in Downtown San Diego.” —Vince Meehan can be reached at vinniemeehan@gmail.com.v


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NEWS

San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

FROM PAGE 1

CANCER SOCIAL Featherweight division mixed martial artist who brought a champion belt for everyone to look at and try to wear. “They’ve [Cloak & Petal] been generous enough to invite us and the families out to have a good time and take in the environment,” Mauricia said. “We'll have a lot of our volunteer counselors and their families, parents of some of the kids

from camp that are in treatment right now and even those families that have lost a child, or a child that has lost a parent as well. It will be a great way for these families and individuals to get together, break bread and thank the community that get behind the programs that we do.” Mauricia said Cloak & Petal is a great partner and jumped in last year to help give children with cancer and their siblings the opportunity to participate in Seany’s camps. He said the relationship began

(l to r) Cesar Vallin, Cloak & Petal managing partner and Tiana Lacerva, Seany Foundation’s direct of events

when Cesar Vallin, Cloak & Petal managing partner, came out to the camps and saw for himself what the Seany Foundation provides for these families. During the holidays, Cloak & Petal started a campaign where any of its clients could sponsor a kid to camp. A decision from a client to sponsor a kid resulted in an origami crane attached to a picture of a kid attending the camp being hung on the blossoms of the beautiful cherry tree that centerpieces the restaurant — symbolizing hope and healing during difficult times. “It’s really cool to see that visual and for people to see how a restaurant like this that is tied into the fine work of San Diego as a whole to put such effort as an advocate for these kids and these families,” Mauricia said. “San Diego is a very tight knit community and very philanthropic, so when you see the community getting together and just saying this means something, that’s special. Especially when it comes to cancer,” he continued. “Cancer doesn't discriminate, it gets after the core fiber of a family and just destructs it. So to be able to have programs and supporters like this that realize how important this is, and to connect those family members is incredible.”

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The Wood family used the camps for children with cancer and siblings of cancer patients while going through treatment with two of their sons. (Photos by Albert H. Fulcher)

Tiana Lacerva, Seany Foundation’s director of events, said the mission is to provide recreational camping programs that in the long run provide an endless amount of support, light, love and compassion to kids, young adults and families who are dealing with a cancer diagnosis. “Rather than prevention and research, we really gear towards the community of people that already in the muck dealing with cancer,” Lacerva said. “Bringing to light that cancer is so much more than a physical disease. It definitely takes a toll on the heart, the soul and

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the entire family unit, not just the individual.” Vallin said he knew Mauricia for a few years through a mutual friend when he owned the Prospect Bar and Grill. At that time Vallin was very involved with the Toussaint Academy in Downtown and said he became very close and attached to the organization. But in 2017, after more than 20 years in the industry, Vallin lost it all, so 2017 and 2018 were rebuilding years for him. But Vallin said he knew as soon as he was established, he would look for somewhere to work with. “I reached out to Bernie and told him I wanted to work with him and create events regularly using a lot of my resources, which are getting fighters, sports and athletes over to the camps to help out and support,” Vallin said. “That’s how our relationship started. For me, I've been blessed with great health and family that I was always brought up to believe that you have a social responsibility. To make a stand for the people that don’t have the ability to stand for themselves. I have to make sure that I am doing my part in giving back.” Mauricia said this is what these camps and programs allow — kids just to be kids. “It is a ton of relief sometimes not to think about cancer for a moment,” Mauricia said. “It is devastating. There is no guide for it. You are just thrown into a world of the unknown because you have no answers and you just go through this process of trying to figure it out. You need that support system and the families here tonight are their own support system. The camps allow them to go and find their own tribe because they are surrounded by other people that get it. It’s all kids that are in treatment or remission, or their siblings. That’s a big deal, because then you understand that there is a large support system out there.” Heather Wood, her husband and children understand the need for a great support system first hand. They learned about the camps in 2008 when their son Joseph was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, and his older brother Brian was struggling to understand and deal with the fact that his brother was sick and in the hospital. Wood sent Brian to the sibling camp because they thought it might help him to accept what was going on and to “walk and

see Cancer social, pg 13


San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

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YOUR SUPP ORT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Thank you, S an Diego, for helping your neighbor s in need.

67%

We served

of the neighbors in need we served were men

We served

2,830

neighbors

We served over

1,800

In 2018, we helped more than

OVER 65 year s old

meals to neighbors through our Food Services program.

neighbors through our housing programs.

In 2018...

people living with homelessness.

We provided

7,597

33%

600 FAMILIES

3,825

1.1 MILLION

VETERANS

14,500

We served over

We housed

We served over

1,160

of the neighbors in need we served were women

CHILDREN

neighbors with mail, showers, laundry & more through the San Diego Day Center.

We provided

218,802

nights of safe, warm & welcoming short-term shelter for neighbors who are homeless.

DID YOU KNOW? For nearly 70 years, Father Joe’s Villages has been taking care of the immediate needs of our neighbors in need, while also helping people end their homelessness for good.

In 2018, we provided

2,473 PATIENTS

with primary care, dental care, psychiatry and behavioral health care including substance use disorder treatment and mental health services. % of neighbors who report drug/alcohol use*

37% 31%

After Dorothea, an Airforce Veteran, lost her husband and temporarily became confined to a wheelchair, her grief and disability made it difficult to gain housing and employment.

% of neighbors who report a mental illness*

Family Head of Household

14%

CHANGING LIVES, ONE LIFE AT A TIME

Men Women

35% 40% 48%

At Father Joe’s Villages, not only did Dorothea have a roof over her head, daily meals and a safe space to heal, she also graduated from the vocational training program in Culinary Arts and is pursuing a career in commerical food services. “You can feel safe here. You can get yourself back to where you were before you were homeless. If you follow things through and make plans, you can get back to work,” said Dorothea.

*Self-reported of those living in housing programs in 2018

Lear n more at NEIGHBOR.ORG or call 1-619-HOMELESS .

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San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

OPINION

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444 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 102 San Diego, CA 92108 (619) 519-7775 sdcnn.com Facebook.com/sandiegodowntownnews Twitter: @sddowntownnews Instagram: @sd_downtownnews

EDITOR Albert H. Fulcher (619) 961-1960 albert@sdcnn.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Sara Butler, x118 Jeff Clemetson, x119

Guest Editorial

Affordable housing is not going to finance itself

If San Diego City Council and mayoral candidates truly seek to help end the homelessness crisis, they need to commit to paying for it By Ricardo Flores [Editor’s note: This editorial first appeared in the Voice of San Diego on Feb. 19. View the original article at bit.ly/flores-vosd.] In early 2016, the San Diego City Council — due to a wave of community pushback — reversed course and removed the last of

downtown’s two portable public toilets. A year later, San Diegans watched in horror as we faced the largest person-to-person hepatitis A epidemic on record in U.S. history. No one should have been surprised. Since 2000, four grand jury reports had tried to raise awareness of the likelihood of such a crisis, pointing to the shortage of

toilets for use by the city’s growing homeless population and the related serious health risks. As Voice of San Diego reported, San Diego public officials have been warned repeatedly about the potential impacts, including a disease outbreak, the lack of restrooms could cause. Until that crisis came to light, homelessness in San Diego had been regarded as a downtown issue. Suddenly, or so it seemed, it became an urgent civic concern for those living near downtown in “nice” neighborhoods — think Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, Mission Hills and elsewhere. Today, nearly a full two years after the hep A epidemic, there are still no concrete plans to help house our homeless population. The growing lineup of mayoral, City Council and supervisorial hopefuls are promising yet again to “fix” the problem. But how do voters judge their commitment and the effectiveness of their proposals? Here’s our bottom line: Affordable housing is not going to finance itself. The only way to build enough homes for all the region’s homeless men, women and children is to pay for it publicly. With the private financial market unable to provide all the funding needed to build those homes — in the form of permanent, fully sustainable projects — it is imperative

for city and county officials to take a strong leadership role. Last year, the San Diego Housing Federation released a proposal encouraging local politicians to approve a $900 million bond to build new affordable housing. According to SDHF, the bond, if approved, would provide approximately 7,500 affordable housing units. For perspective, there are currently 4,990 homeless individuals living on the streets in San Diego. If our collective goal is to reduce and eventually end homelessness, our target for new funding should start at $900 million. Absent a large local subsidy to fill the financial gap, there is simply no way to build enough housing for the homeless at the scale needed to solve the problem. If City Council and mayoral candidates truly seek to help end the homelessness crisis, they need to commit to paying for it by fully supporting the $900 million bond. Otherwise, the shame of homelessness will continue — unfunded, unsolved and unabated. I urge elected officials and candidates to get behind this measure. —Ricardo Flores is executive director of LISC San Diego, a national non-profit “bank” that has financed affordable and homeless housing in San Diego County for the last 27 years. He lives in San Diego.v

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Toni G. Atkins Diane Cavagnaro Tom Cesarini B. J. Coleman Mara W. Elliott Ricardo Flores Christopher Gomez Dora McCann Guerreiro Lana Harrison Jean Lowerison Vince Meehan Frank Sabatini Jr. Summer Stephan Sandee Wilhoit Delle Willett Joan Wojcik

SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 mike@sdcnn.com MARKETING MANAGER Francisco Tamayo (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANT Heather Fine, x107 Dan Vaccaro (619) 961-1963 Dan@sdcnn.com SALES ASSISTANTS Eric Diaz Erik Guerrero SALES INTERNS Ryan Deeb Meah Mapp Kiara Zapanta EDITORIAL INTERN Jules Shane

COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich

ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 accounting@sdcnn.com

WEB / SOCIAL MEDIA Sara Butler Cassidy Klein web@sdcnn.com

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 david@sdcnn.com

OPINIONS/LETTERS: San Diego Downtown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to albert@sdcnn.com and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS: Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to albert@sdcnn.com. For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION: San Diego Downtown News is distributed free on the first Friday of every month. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.


NEWS

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San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

FROM PAGE 1

BIRDS

Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), with funding from a Mexico-based industrial real estate developer Vesta. Crafted from indigenously produced corn husks, with wings spanning about a meter, the birds were assembled and painted by 350 SDUSD students from seven schools in the district. Participating schools included Correia Middle School, Creative Performing and Media Arts Middle School, Marshal Middle School, Muirlands Middle School, Montgomery Middle School, the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and Wilson Middle School.

More than 100 colorfully painted birds face south towards the bay above the main plaza of the Seaport Village. (Photo by Jules Shane) “This has been a terrific experience and opportunity for my art students,” said Muirlands Middle School teacher Patricia Cox in a press release. “Projects like this build community, confidence, and attention to important issues. This collaborative work demonstrates that art can be expressive and beautiful, and at the same time be activism and voice — a change agent in one’s heart and in the larger society!” A sister exhibit was displayed in downtown Tijuana earlier this year, with birds flying over Calle Segunda. Beginning with the aim of raising awareness of bird trafficking in the region, Molina’s vision has evolved into an international project promoting cooperation across-the-boarder with an overall message of freedom. —Jules Shane can be reached at jshaneap@gmail.com.v

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San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

POLITICS

Celebrating women who make a difference

Notes from Toni Toni G. Atkins March is Women’s History Month, and I am thrilled to devote this special edition of “The Toni Times” to celebrating the accomplishments of women in our community. The centerpiece of our activities surrounding Women’s History Month will be recognition of Women of the Year in

Senate and Assembly districts throughout California. My choice for Woman of the Year in the 39th Senate District is Charisma de los Reyes, a policy analyst for San Diego County who specializes in child sex trafficking. Charisma will be honored on March 4 in the capitol at a Woman of the Year luncheon and on the Senate floor. She’ll also be honored in San Diego at a special event on March 16, along with dozens of other amazing women who work

Legislative Women’s Caucus grew from 30 members to 36 (Courtesy photo)

every day to improve the quality of life in the San Diego region. And each day in March, I will celebrate a different local woman or group of women (on Women Crush Wednesdays – #WCW) by posting about them on Twitter (twitter.com/ SenToniAtkins) and Facebook (facebook.com/SDToni). Throughout the month in the capitol, there will be receptions, special guests on the Senate floor and fun events (such as screening of “Captain Marvel,”

starring a woman – Brie Larson!). It’s all to recognize the impact that powerful, creative and brilliant women have had in the past and continue to have in the present. We honor the major achievements that have altered the course of history, but we also honor the unsung ways that women and girls make a difference in someone’s life that no one but the recipient will ever know about. In my own life, I think about the small things my mother did to prepare me for the days to come, and the quiet way in which she led by example, through her work ethic and devotion to her family. I think about my sister and her service to her country in the U.S. Navy. I think about my professional mentor Christine Kehoe and how she created a public-service template for me to follow throughout my career – in addition to how she blazed a trail in San Diego for women in the LGBTQ community who aspired to become leaders. I think about my colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly – what a diverse array of women from all walks of life coming together to solve California’s challenges and representing their communities. I think about all the women – from young interns to seasoned professionals – who have worked on my staff throughout the years, in San Diego and Sacramento, spending

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Charisma de los Reyes – 2019 Woman of the Year (Courtesy photo) countless hours, days, weeks, months and years helping me be the best representative and leader that I can be. I think about all the women and girls in the communities that I represent: the volunteers, the activists and advocates, the community leaders, the small business owners, the teachers and health care professionals – everyone I encounter on a regular basis who cares so much about the world and people around them and turns that caring to action. I’m glad March is finally here – happy Women’s History Month to all!

Growing Women’s Caucus advances priorities

Before the 2018 election, women made up 25 percent of the state Legislature. After the election, we now make up 30 percent. That’s a significant gain for a segment of the population that has been underrepresented in Sacramento throughout the state’s history. The Senate lost two women in 2018 but added five – Senators Anna Caballero, Melissa Hurtado, Shannon Grove, Mari Elena Durazo and Susan Rubio. The Assembly also lost two women (one being Caballero) and added five – Buffy Wicks, Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, Christy Smith, Cottie Petrie-Norris and Tasha Boerner Horvath (from Encinitas). This means the Legislative Women’s Caucus grew from 30 members to 36. We have a long way to go on the road to true proportional representation, but without a doubt, this was a big step forward. In recent years, the Women’s Caucus has successfully advocated for many of its top priorities, such as equal pay, parental leave, repeal of the maximum grant for struggling families, expanded child care and sexual-harassment prevention. Last year, the governor signed Senate Bill 826, legislation I authored along with Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson that expands women’s participation on corporate boards. This year, under the leadership of its chair, Sen. Connie Leyva, and vice chair, Assembly member Monique Limón, the Women’s Caucus will continue its determined and persistent advocacy, prioritizing access to affordable child care and equality in the workplace. We’ll also continue to support the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit, which is

see Women’s Month, pg 9


sdcnn.com

Protecting taxpayers from meritless lawsuits City Attorney News Mara W. Elliott As your City Attorney, one of my most important responsibilities is safeguarding taxpayer dollars that can be used to protect the things that matter most to us: our safety, streets, libraries, and parks, to name a few. Our city is frequently sued, and our litigators’ courtroom expertise saves you millions every year. When the city bears some responsibility, we will settle a lawsuit on its merits and for an appropriate sum. When a case has no merit, we’re eager to go to trial. Our Civil Litigation Division prides itself in winning cases outright or, alternatively, turning million-dollar claims into lunch-money verdicts. Two incidents still in the news provide good examples. Both were tragedies, and heart-breaking to be sure, but not the taxpayer’s responsibility. One lawsuit began when a Scripps Ranch woman, driving while extremely high on marijuana, drove over a median barrier and into oncoming traffic. The other began when a Navy man, impaired by alcohol and texting, sped across the Coronado Bridge in his truck, lost control, and flew off the bridge and into Chicano Park below. Both drivers were charged with felonies by the District Attorney’s Office. The first was

FROM PAGE 8

WOMEN’S MONTH especially helpful to working single mothers. It’s great to see Governor Gavin Newsom follow the Women’s Caucus lead and include funding in his draft budget for these priorities. We’re confident that he’ll be an excellent partner as we work through the budget and legislative process in 2019.

Charisma de los Reyes – 2019 Woman of the Year

Charisma de los Reyes is a policy analyst and coordinator of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Program for San Diego County Child Welfare Services. What that means is she’s a warrior on the front lines of our region’s fight against sex trafficking and a fierce protector of some of our most vulnerable and traumatized children. For this reason, Charisma de los Reyes is my choice for 2019 Woman of the Year in the 39th Senate District. A first generation FilipinoAmerican, Charisma is the oldest of three daughters born to parents who immigrated to the United States through her father’s service in the U.S. military. She was born in Hawaii in

convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter, the second of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence. Yet before those criminal cases were heard, my office defended the city of San Diego from lawsuits alleging that the city had caused the accidents — and you, the taxpayer, should pay for them. In the Scripps Ranch case, an injured motorist blamed the road design, not the driver who crossed a raised median, a still-warm marijuana pipe at her side. Though no formal settlement demand was made, the attorney boasted that his case was worth as much as $70 million. In the Coronado Bridge incident, eight individuals filed four different lawsuits seeking millions of dollars in damages caused by the falling truck. They claimed the city should have posted signs to warn them of the danger of falling vehicles, and placed barriers in the park anywhere a falling vehicle could land. The good news for taxpayers: The Scripps Ranch lawsuit, and one of the Coronado Bridge lawsuits, were thrown out by a judge before trial. We are confident we will get the remaining lawsuits dismissed, too. These pre-trial dismissals were hard-fought victories for the high-performing deputy city attorneys who defend the city. A third recent victory followed the discovery that a plaintiff invented the story of how he injured himself. 1974 while her father was stationed there. After five years, the family was relocated to San Diego, and they have remained here ever since. “We were one of those lucky military families that didn’t have to move a lot,” Charisma says. Initially, her family lived in military housing near the 32nd Street Naval Base, and eventually, her parents bought a house in southeastern San Diego. He mom and dad live in that house to this day. “Very proud to be from Southeast San Diego,” Charisma says. Charisma attended Bell Junior High and Morse High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from Point Loma Nazarene University before becoming the first in her family to receive a master’s degree – at the University of Southern California. She laughs as she says Filipinos typically go into nursing, so her parents were taken aback by her desire for a career in social work. “There’s always been a natural calling for me in working with folks and communities, and advocacy, empowerment,” she says. “That’s always been a part of my life.” She is proud to follow her mother’s footsteps working for county government. Her mom served the people of San Diego

POLITICS He alleged he was riding his motorcycle on Black Mountain Road in Mira Mesa when he hit a center median strip, was thrown from his motorcycle, and broke his clavicle. Blaming his injuries on a poorly lighted median, he sued taxpayers for $400,000 to pay medical bills, reimburse lost income, and repair his motorcycle. When my office investigated, however, we discovered that he gave a different story to the emergency room medical staff. He never mentioned a motorcycle or a median, instead stating that he had been hurt when he fell down a flight of stairs. Confronted with this evidence, his lawyer withdrew the lawsuit. We’ve seen other cases we suspect are equally dishonest, though the deceit is not as easy to prove. These are just three examples of the many lawsuits that my office stopped in their tracks, saving taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. I firmly believe that our attorneys are the most cost-effective employees anywhere. They protect the city pocketbook so your tax dollars can go to public safety, neighborhood services, and the community improvements that make San Diego a safe and beautiful place to live. —Mara W. Elliott was elected City Attorney of San Diego in 2016 after serving as the chief deputy attorney for the Office’s Public Services Section and legal adviser to the city’s Independent Audit Committee and Environment Committee. Elliott and the lawyers in her section held polluters accountable, reformed city contracting, cut administrative red tape, and strengthened the city’s living wage and non-discrimination in contracting ordinances.v County for nearly 30 years before retiring. For Charisma, it was initially supposed to be just a two-year stint to get experience after earning her degree. “I just ended up falling in love [with the job] and really have made a career in working with child welfare and working in the prevention area,” she says, noting that she recently completed her 17th year at the county. Charisma began her career with the county as a child support officer before becoming a social worker for Child Welfare Services. After about a decade working out in the field, honing her skills with victims of human trafficking, she was promoted to policy analyst. In this role, she coordinates the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Program and acts as a liaison between county and state governments; I have personally benefited from her knowledge of the issues surrounding child sex trafficking. She points out that her work with children is not “linear.” It is often “heartbreaking” and “messy,” she says. She prefers to think of what she and others do as working alongside the children, rather than rescuing them. It’s a collaborative process, one that doesn’t happen overnight. “The most

see Women’s Month, pg 15

San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

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Online dating: Don’t get scammed District Attorney News Summer Stephan As your district attorney, I’m committed to increasing communication and accessibility between the DA’s office and you, the community. One way I have been doing that is through this monthly column, where I provide consumer tips on public safety matters. We all know someone who has met the love of his or her life through an online dating site, app or chat room. Technology has simplified everything about our lives, even making finding your potential life partner just a click away on the dating app downloaded on your phone. But, here is why you should be skeptical when communicating with someone you’ve met online. If you are lucky, the profile photos are an accurate reflection and resemble how the person currently appears. If you’re unlucky, the profile is a work of fiction the scammer is using to get money out of unsuspecting suitors. They will hook you with attention, common interests or brave stories of their military service, but when the conversation turns to loans, wiring money or temporary cash advances because of a dire situation, that’s your cue that your online sweetheart is a trickster looking for easy money. Keep this in mind before thinking it can never happen to you. According to the Federal Trade Commission, people reported losing $143 million to romance scams last year. In California, 1,761 romance scams were reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center totaling $31.6 million in victim losses in 2017.

If your online romantic interest asks for money, slow down and consider the following: Do not send money or gifts to anyone you do not trust or have not met in person. Scammers will move the conversation off of the dating app to avoid detection by the dating site. Don’t believe tough-luck stories requiring money. Ask questions and be aware of inconsistencies. Use Google image search to check your online sweetheart’s photo. If the same image shows up with a different name, be suspicious. If you decide to meet your online suitor in person, meet in a public place the first few times and make sure a trusted friend or family member is aware of the meeting. Remember the saying about not judging a book by its cover? That applies in online dating. Ask questions and be aware that sometimes a person’s character may not match their profile photo. The DA’s Consumer Protection Unit is composed of deputy district attorneys, investigators and paralegals dedicated to protecting consumers and law-abiding businesses from fraudulent or unfair business practices. To report a consumer complaint, you can call 619-531-3507 or email consumer@sdcda.org. —District Attorney Summer Stephan has dedicated nearly 30 years to serving justice and victims of crime as prosecutor. She is a national leader in fighting sex crimes and human trafficking and in creating smart and fair criminal justice solutions and restorative justice practices that treat the underlying causes of addiction and mental illness and that keep young people from being incarcerated.v


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NEWS

San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

was enjoyable,” Padilla said. “Members of the team were really shy at first because they didn’t know each other. Working on the robots brought Russert praised the bot dethem together.” sign of ninth-grader Kassandra Aside from the contests, bot Rodriguez, as a “functional debattle attendees had the opporsign” that minimizes material, tunity to experiment with codprints faster and will prove to ed drones. Learning facilitator be lightweight in operation. Stephen Cerruti demonstrated “Robotics is very interestthe block programming that ing,” Rodriguez said. “I really controls the drone maneuvers, like it.” She is in her first year and he flew one device around at e3. She expressed possible his classroom, hovering and interest in space robotics at landing the drone. NASA. Located in the San Diego Central Library building Downtown, e3 Civic High School indeed does education differently, encouraging civic involvement in projects relevant to Downtown San Diego. That e3 stands for “engage. educate.empower.” The school describes its educational mission as, "Preparing scholars to become future-ready…" O’Brayantt Padilla, junior scholar at e3 Civic High School attendees, School during Robotics Learning class. Class elsewhere known members preparing for the upcoming school-hosted as students, are Battle of the Bots. (Photo by B. J. Coleman) dubbed “scholars” at e3. Each O’Brayantt Padilla, a junior scholar is provided a MacBook from Lemon Grove, has been at Air laptop. What other schools the school for three years. He call teachers are referred to as combines wide-ranging inter“learning facilitators.” The e3 ests in computers and coding, leader is not called the school’s as well as in fitness. “I like roprincipal. Dr. Helen V. Griffith bots so much too,” Padilla said. is the e3 chief executive officer/ Asked about possible career executive director. This backpaths, Padilla discussed deground in psychological support signing robotic prostheses. may have demonstrated posiTenth-grader Flor Ruiz tive effects, because the school agreed. “Robotics is fun,” she has a 100 percent graduation said. “I like 3D printing, prorate. Core and elective coursgramming is cool too, but I es are all college preparatory need to get better at coding.” level, for ninth through 12th On bot battle day, six teams grades. To date, 76 percent of 30 competitors tested their of graduates continue on to robotics designs for best time college. The approximately navigating the maze, best 400 scholars are drawn from time in the road race, and throughout San Diego County, fastest team relay race time. with most coming from within Additionally, the quickest proa 10-mile radius of the school. gramming time was another among the battle day contests. —B.J. Coleman is a loPadilla took a brief moment cal freelance journalist and from bot team captain duties editor/staff reporter with to describe the day’s activi22nd District Legionnaire. ties. “The team-building was B.J. can be reached at a real surprise today. That bjcjournalist@gmail.com.v

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From homelessness to college

FROM PAGE 1

BATTLE OF THE BOTS

Fortitude takes young girl from the streets to higher education By B. J. Coleman

Sienna Watras-DiMuro is a stunning success story, which is quite a feat considering her young age. This teenage scholar will graduate within a few months from e3 Civic High School in Downtown, headed for collegiate studies across the country. Not very long ago, she was homeless. Now she is bound for Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts after receiving early acceptance letters on Dec. 14, 2018. At the age of 13, she became homeless when her parents divorced, recounted her challenging events in life that she has overcome. Her mother lost their house after the parental split, moving from Mexico to the U.S. After living half a year on a friend’s couch, Sienna and her mother were admitted into the Father Joe’s Villages homeless shelter on Jan. 24, 2016. “The situation was terrifying and unfamiliar,” WatrasDiMuro said. She entered e3 Civic High School during her freshman year, choosing the school for its excellent reputation, for its Downtown location, and for its emphasis on computer studies.

(l to r) Dr. Cheryl Ward, Sienna Watras-DiMuro, Cindy Lewis, and Alexandra Heath (Photos by B. J. Coleman) “I had quite a struggle,” Watras-DiMuro said. Her household was bilingual, although she spoke Spanish first, and found writing in English to be difficult. But she persevered. Her courses over the past four years at e3 Civic High School included conservation biology, computer science, Mandarin Chinese, outdoor adventure, and her real passion, digital media arts. Watras-DiMuro is already a gifted and skilled photographer. She plans to further her studies in college with courses

Sienna Watras-DiMuro celebrating the signboard of e3 Civic High School in Downtown San Diego. The senior scholar is slated to graduate within a few months and move on to studies at Emerson College in Boston, after becoming homeless in 2016.

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in media arts production, with intent to apply her acquired knowledge in roles as a creative director and public policy advocate. “I would especially like to work on behalf of homeless children and youth and incarcerated inmates,” she said. Watras-DiMuro and her mother moved into their first apartment during December 2017. They have had to move twice since then, due to the ever-increasing cost of rent in San Diego. Sienna received financial aid from e3 Civic High School, with money to buy the school’s required uniform and to pay for a school-sponsored trip to China. She said she received incalculable emotional and academic support from the school as well. Learning facilitator staffers at e3 concurred with WatrasDiMuro’s self-assessment as a courageous young woman who has persisted and thrived despite difficult circumstances. Dr. Cheryl Ward, the school’s chief of academic innovation, knows her well. “Sienna is a born leader, a true leader. She lost the school council election but kept her spirits high and looked on the bright side,” Ward said. Ward mentioned WatrasDiMuro’s intern stint with state Senator Toni Atkins, with a nod toward Sienna’s chosen career path. “I see Sienna as a stateswoman,” Ward said. “She believes in people, in the good in people. She wants to be part of the solution, she is courageous and a truly beautiful person.” Ward summed up, saying of Watras-DiMuro, “Fortitude could be her middle name.”

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Words of advice Theater Review Jean Lowerison

San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

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‘Tiny Beautiful Things’ Through March 17 The Old Globe’s Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre 1363 Old Globe Way (Balboa Park) Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m. Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets: 619-234-5623 theoldglobe.org

The cast of ‘Tiny Beautiful Things,’ which runs through March 17 at The Old Globe (Photos by Jim Cox) waiting for dings from her computer to bring her letters. Meanwhile, the ensemble of three writers (Keith Powell, Avi Roque and Dorcas Sowunmi) circle, appear and disappear, each playing several writers in this 80-minute play. Each thoroughly inhabits the writer of the moment. Sugar talks of her work with at-risk young teens, many of whom share ghastly stories of abuse and betrayal. She promised them help and asked authorities, but they failed to show up. So she adjusted her advice, telling the girls to reach for a way to transcend the ugly facts of their lives and fi nd healing within. “True healing,” she told them, “is a fierce place.” Sugar responds to Sowunmi, a woman who is

trying to recover from a miscarriage, with a similar story of her own. The question that brings tears to many is from Living Dead Dad, whose 22-year-old son was killed by a hit-andrun driver. “How do I go on?” he asks. How, indeed. Kudos to director James Vásquez for the flow of the staging. The writers wander

through the kitchen, occasionally eating or even having a drink — another Vásquez touch that adds immediacy and connection. Wilson Chin’s set has a perfect lived-in look for a mother of two. Amanda Zieve and Melanie Cole Chen contribute fi ne lighting and sound, respectively. This is not your usual play, and some will be put off by

the lack of a typical dramatic structure. But anyone who has been in any of these difficult situations is likely to appreciate Vardalos’ attempt to create community with her writers — and her audience. —Jean Lowerison is a long-standing member of the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle and can be reached at infodame@cox.net.v

DRAMA @ CITY! REGISTER TODAY Photo by Manual Rotenberg

What do you do when you have a relationship problem you can’t solve? Back in the mid-1950s and ’60s, many people wrote to newspaper columnists like Dear Abby and Ann Landers for advice. Some 50 years later, writer Cheryl Strayed took over the online “Dear Sugar” advice column after the man who was writing it — without much enthusiasm — offered it to her. Strayed eventually turned the results into another book, which Nia Vardalos adapted into the moving, funny and altogether engaging play “Tiny Beautiful Things,” playing through March 17 at The Old Globe’s White Theatre. Opal Alladin plays Sugar, who fields questions about diverse topics from being “stuck” because of a tragedy like child abuse, to whether remuneration from an “arrangement” with a married man is taxable income. The reason the play is so engaging is that it’s about listening, empathy and that seemingly rare commodity: human connection. Sugar doesn’t just tell the three advice seekers writing letters what to do — she goes for a bigger picture, occasionally offering her own harrowing experiences to make that connection. We see Sugar, married with two children, puttering around in her kitchen and

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San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

There’s no base like home East Village Biz News Dora McCann Guerreiro “The Boys (Padres) are Back in Town” with Opening Day vs. the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, March 28. Swing batter, batter, swing hitting the Padres’ 51st season out of the park! The East Village Association (EVA) invites you to the 9th annual — free, family-friendly — Opening Day Block Party to wave-in the San Diego

East Village opening day block party

Padres summer baseball season. As the leadoff hitter, EVA will host a double-header, two-day block party celebrating America’s favorite past time on Thursday, March 28 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Friday, March 29 from noon to 7:30 p.m. Come enjoy the fun and then watch your San Diego Padres take on NL West division rivals, the San Francisco Giants. Tickets for the ballgame must be purchased separately at mlb.com/ padres/tickets, but whether you make it to the game or not, the Opening Day Block Party will

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help rally the Padres into the 2019 season! Held on J Street between Sixth and Tenth avenues, in front of Petco Park, this Opening Day Block Party is a San Diego, East Village community tradition where both locals and visitors show off their team spirit celebrating with live entertainment, interactive games, baseball-themed beverages in the adult-only beer garden, tons of tasty grub with the street lined food trucks, and shopping. The craft beer and spirits garden is open to all attendees 21+, but for the Little League attendees, there will be plenty of activities and games including a fun zone with a rock-climbing wall. All four-legged fans are invited to compete in the Pet Fashion show on Friday, March 29, and with more events added daily, for updated information, please visit: bit.ly/2Xsz3YM. The Opening Day Block Party is a Grand Slam! Revitalizing Downtown, San Diego’s Petco Park has been voted one of the best ballparks since its opening in 2004. Prior to getting its own stadium, the Padres shared Jack Murphy Stadium with the San Diego Chargers; however, on April

Petco Park (Photos courtesy East Village Association) 8, 2004 when the Padres took on the San Francisco Giants they knew they found a home field. Fifteen years later, the Padres will be back to take on the same rival team and although the rosters may have changed over the years, one thing is for certain: Padres players have the same authentic dedication to the sport and a determination to make big things happen! Singing these same praises, this year the Padres are pleased to welcome Manny Machado to the team reinvigorating the franchise with one of the youngest and most talented rising stars in baseball. At just 26 years old, Machado has already won four All-Star appearances and two Gold Gloves in 2013 and 2015 and will make for a fan-experience dream. And although Petco Park is known for it’s bases-loaded talent, food, and weather, EVA congratulates the organization for also being a leader in energy sustainability. This year, Sullivan Solar Power panels will be installed to improve energy efficiency and sustainability, leading the way for other national sports and entertainment venues. Achieving the AllStar title as the largest solar

power system in Major League Baseball, Petco Park is expected to produce over 12 million kilowatt hours over the next 25 years, saving millions of dollars over the course of its lifetime. Mayor Kevin Faulconer has citied the stadium as integral to helping America’s Finest City reach its ambitious Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals to cut greenhouse gases in half and use 100 percent renewable energy citywide by 2035. As a part of their partnership, Sullivan Solar Power and the Padres will be hosting educational workshops at Petco Park throughout the season. Take me out to the Ball Game, Take me out to the Opening Day Block Party — there’s something for everyone in the East Village. The East Village Association is excited to bring you new-neighborhood experiences. For more information / questions – please contact: director@eastvillagesandiego.com. —Dora McCann Guerreiro is the executive director of the East Village Association. To learn more, visit eastvillagesandiego.com or you can reach her at director@eastvillagesandiego.com.v

An insider’s guide to San Diego Downtown Partnership News Lana Harrison San Diego was recently listed in Forbes Travel Guide as one of the top 14 places to visit in 2019, along with other cities like Istanbul, Amsterdam, and Singapore. In addition to our plentiful sunshine and relaxed beach life, San Diego is gaining attention for a whole lot more. Trending new cuisine and a thriving craft beer scene make this “an up-and-coming foodie city,” according to Forbes. Of course, a quick search will lead visitors to Downtown events like Comic-Con, and iconic, must-see spots like the USS Midway. But within our urban core is a myriad of opportunities to enjoy unique dining,

art, and the great outdoors. For both visitors and residents looking to explore more of the city, this is a list of Downtown gems.

Arts and culture

If you are looking to explore San Diego’s art scene, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego is a great place to start. The museum has over 4,700 works of art, ranging from photographs to sculptures, that were created after the year 1950. The Museum is located on the corner of West B Street and Kettner Boulevard. It is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily where general admission is $10. Downtown San Diego also has a number of murals to explore and discover. A popular

see SD Guide, pg 15


GASLAMP QUARTER / NEWS

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From Jessop’s, to Dime Store, to Hardware Emporium Gaslamp Landmarks Sandee Wilhoit The property located on 840-50 Fifth Ave. has had many owners and many uses, but none, with one exception, has stayed very long. Originally, it was sold by Alonzo Horton to Captain Samuel Dunnells in 1868. Captain Dunnells was an early 1850s pioneer in San Diego, and a part of William Heath Davis’ early “New Town” settlement. Captain Dunnells quickly transferred title to Thomas Knopton, who kept the property for less than four years, before he sold it to Riley R. Morrison. Morrison was a bit more ambitious. He erected a two-story frame building on the west side of Fifth Avenue between E and F streets. The first floor was to be used as a store, with the second floor to be divided into offices. Morrison, quite the entrepreneur, ran a grocery store and his jewelry business in his new building. He was also credited with inventing a stem-winding mechanism for wristwatches and with experimental gardening. Morrison was awarded the coveted State Gold Medal for producing coffee in California’s dry open air. Ever expansive, Morrison added a real estate office to the property and leased out the south side of the lot to John P. Stowe and Thomas McAuliffe, who ran the Palace Saloon there. Finally tiring, Morrison rented out or sold parts of his property, which became the home of many businesses until the early 1900s. Among them were a real estate office, a notary public office, Jessop and Sons jewelry store, a cigar store and C.W. Judd’s photography studio.

San Diego Hardware Building 1910 840-50 Fifth Ave. Architectural Style: Modern T.W. Coates, Builder The property title changed hands throughout this period until, in 1910, the Cobb and Culver Investment Company contracted T.W. Coates, of Standard Iron Works, to erect the current three-story brick building. This building replaced the only remaining row of frame structures on this block. The building had two skylights or lightwells and a tin and slate roof. The interior featured wood floors and an ornamental hammered tin ceiling. Luckily, this ceiling was not removed and donated as scrap metal for the WWI and WWII war efforts as many decorative pieces in the Gaslamp were. Because of its historical accuracy to the period, the ceiling now graces the entryway of the Davis-Horton House. Through 1922, the three main occupants were C.P.

Many gentlemen liked to congregate at San Diego Hardware rather than stay home and do chores. (Photo by Sandee Wilhoit) Charleston and Company, a dance hall on the second floor and the F.W. Woolworth Company. The two stores were described as “notion shops.” The signature rounded windows of the Woolworth Company are still in place. A Knights of Columbus Hall also occupied the upstairs premises. On Dec. 8, 1892, four San Diego citizens incorporated what was to become one of the oldest family-owned businesses in the city. They classified the new business, San Diego Hardware, as “a very small corporation, really a family enterprise.” Originally located at Fifth Avenue and Market Street in the Backesto building, in 1922, founders Fred Gazlay, John Wood, George M. Hawley and George T. Hawley, moved their “1920s country store atmosphere” further up Fifth Avenue to the 840-50 address. All of these gentlemen had a background in the hardware industry as Fred Gazlay had been a bookkeeper for the Western Metal Company, John Wood had been with Hamilton Hardware and the Hawleys had worked for Todd and Hawley. The store featured such articles common to the early 1900s as washboards, iron and tin ware, hog ring pliers, pitcher pumps, poultry netting, meat grinders, ice chippers, broad axes, hand tools, and cast-iron stoves, heaters and ice boxes. Additionally, in the basement there was a workshop where a worker could fabricate such items as custom stovepipes. Until the widespread use of the automobile, deliveries were made by horse and wagon. When the new store opened, it had several entrances, including a 50-foot storefront on Fifth Avenue and a 25-foot storefront on Fourth Avenue. As many gentlemen liked to congregate at San Diego Hardware rather than stay home and do chores, it became a bit of a gathering place. If someone from home came to fetch a gentleman, he could make a rapid escape out the back door — the Fourth Avenue entrance! The store was also commonly called, the “Winchester Store,” as it sold Winchester firearms and other sporting goods. Occasionally, a sharpshooter from the Winchester Repeating Arms Company would put on demonstrations in the basement. Cooking demonstrations were also conducted as a means of advertising and demonstrating the wide variety of cast iron stoves sold at the store.

Throughout the years, the building has remained virtually unchanged. Located Downtown for more than a century, San Diego Hardware moved to Kearny Mesa in 2006. The owners, fifth generation descendants of the original founders, felt they needed more room and more convenient parking. As it is still family owned, it can rightfully claim to be the oldest family-owned business in San Diego and the 10th oldest business in the city. At their new venue, the owners continue the tradition of unmatched hardware expertise and personalized service. The building is now occupied by Vybz Kitchen and Lounge, a nightclub and music venue. —Sandee Wilhoit is the historian for the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. She can be reached at swilhoit@gaslampfoundation.org.v

San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

FROM PAGE 4

CANCER SOCIAL talk through it.” Fortunately, Joseph went into remission at the end of the year. In 2014, Brian was diagnosed with ambiano random sarcoma, a cancer of the muscle and the connected tissue. She said the diagnosis took longer than it should, but by the time it came, they were already preparing and planning all the things that needed to be done while taking care of a large family at the same time. “We started down the path of chemotherapy pretty fast,” Wood said. “I found out I was pregnant with my fifth child three days before he discovered his lump. The journey of my fifth pregnancy was the same as the journey of surgery, and an intense chemotherapy. Brian spent almost half the year in the hospital and us going through cycles of dad going in the evening, us during the day, making it really a hospital full of kids.” Wood said it was really tough on everyone emotionally. “I think the part that helped us get through was that we had already survived,” she continued. “It wasn't the same diagnoses, but we knew he was in good hands. We knew the doctors, we knew the nurses and that is a comfort and helped us know that we were strong enough to do it.”

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Wood said that Seany was very accommodating. Since Joseph technically went to patient camp, they allowed him to switch to the sibling camp to help him deal with his older brother that now had cancer. Wood said it was difficult for him because Brian’s doctors and nurses where also his, and the positions of the two brothers had switched. “But after going through sibling camp one year, he [Joseph] came back with the acceptance that ‘I can share this journey with you.’” Wood said. “It's been wonderful to see how their relationship has developed, both of them have gone through something so difficult, being able to join together. “Seany has been awesome,” she continued. “We were able to help with their promotional video when Brian was going through cancer. It was a really nice way to try to bring some good out of the pain. And even better now when we can look back and say, ‘That was then, and this is now.’ Now we are in a phase that is so normal, we don’t quite know what to do with it. But it is amazing and incredible to look back on such a difficult chapter and still have the support and the friends from all the people of Seany.” Mauricia said events like this one at the Cloak & Petal were great for everyone that is within the Seany community

see Cancer social, pg 15


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San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

Screen time in Little Italy Little Italy Culture & Heritage Tom Cesarini Our Little Italy neighborhood offers some of the finer food fare this side of the Tiber River. When it comes to Italian cuisine, visitors certainly have their pick of dining experiences. The Italian neighborhood, however, offers much more than great food,

providing a host of cultural offerings at any given time. Movies, of course, are always a hit—and we have a great selection of big-screen favorites starting this month for your viewing pleasure! Join us for our outdoor screenings at Amici Park as we celebrate classic, Italian, and international cinema on our 30-foot screen! This year’s season of Films al

see Screen time, pg 15

Films al fresco schedule of films, Amici Park, Little Italy. (Courtesy of Convivio)

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Celebrate San Diego’s roots as Ballast Point hosts ‘Made in San Diego Block Party’ Little Italy News Christopher Gomez Come celebrate America's Finest City with the Little Italy Association and local award-winning brewery Ballast Point at the “Made in San Diego Block Party" happening on Saturday, March 30, from 2 to 7 p.m. Swing by the corner of India and West Ivy streets surrounding the Ballast Point Little Italy Tasting Room for an afternoon you won’t want to miss. The block party will bring together San Diego breweries, music, food, artists and more, so come hungry and ready to celebrate our community! In addition to countless food and beverage options, attendees can enjoy music from the block party's headliner and local rock band, Wavves, featuring singer-songwriter Nathan Williams, guitarist Alex Gates, bass guitarist Stephen Pope, and drummer Brian Hill. Formed in 2008, the band is best known for blending no-fi and sunshiny sounds. Grab a few drinks and appetizers with a friend and relax to the music of indie-rock band, The Donkeys, winner of the Best Rock category at the 2012 San Diego Music Awards. Surfrock quartet Mrs. Magician and The Schizophonics will also make an appearance for a fun and energetic performance.

Ballast Point Little Italy (Courtesy photo) To support the local arts, Made in San Diego Block Party partnered with SanDiegoMade. org, a local artist collective. The organization will display a curated selection of products created by artisan vendors at the Makers Market. Discover beautiful merchandise, from jewelry to bath and body items. There is no better way to support the "shop local, buy local,"

philosophy than by inviting family and friends to shop for a good cause. As the sun sets, make your way to the Cohort Collective installation created by artist, sculptor and muralist Chris Konecki. Cohort Collective is an artist-driven collective seeking to elevate the San Diego art scene. There’s nothing like spending a casual day feasting on delicious bites, sipping on beers from San Diego breweries and enjoying local masterpieces. Along with Ballast Point, breweries participating in the event include Belching Beaver, Duck Foot Brewing Co., Eppig Brewing, Fall Brewing Co., Green Flash Brewery, JuneShine and many more! Made in San Diego Block Party is open to the public (21 and up) and entry is free based on capacity. A $5 donation to the Little Italy Association is encouraged to guarantee entry. A craft beer sampling package is also available. To learn more about the event and to RSVP to Made in San Diego Block Party, visit madeinsd.eventbrite.com! To stay connected with Little Italy, check out what’s going on in the neighborhood by following the community on Instagram and Twitter: @LittleItalySD and Facebook: LittleItalySD. To learn more things happening in the neighborhood, visit LittleItalySD.com. —Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at chris@littleitalysd.com.v


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LITTLE ITALY / TOWN VOICES / NEWS / POLITICS

FROM PAGE 14

SCREEN TIME Fresco in Little Italy launches with a perennial Italian favorite, “Cinema Paradis” — Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film in 1989. Our varied film titles this season highlight the power of music in the movies, with timeless scores coming from

FROM PAGE 12

SD GUIDE mural for pictures is the “Smile You’re in San Diego” mural, located on the corner of W. C Street and First Avenue. You can swing by the “Be Dynamic Be Downtown” mural while you’re in the neighborhood on Sixth Avenue and Ash Street or trek on over to Park and J Street to see the “Crushing It” mural in East Village. While you’re there, check out Window Stories on Park and E – a modern approach to public-art storytelling. This installation is almost like seeing a movie. Passersby can observe a window-like narrative unfolding with room for their own interpretation.

Dining

The only problem with San Diego dining is it’s hard to choose! Enjoy one of San Diego’s newest Latin-influenced restaurants, Lola 55, on F Street in the IDEA1 building. Pair your favorite fresh taco with an equally fresh cocktail and soak in the light, airy atmosphere. Le Parfait Paris is a European-esque café in the Gaslamp Quarter that serves delicious pastries, desserts, crepes, and coffee. It’s a great place to start a Saturday morning, get a caffeine fix in the afternoon, or meander to for a post-dinner sweet treat.

Beverage and drinks

Downtown has more than a few hot spots for drinks, but a unique twist for your next Friday night out is the Prohibition Lounge Bar. This bar is actually a speakeasy, located on the corner of Market Street and Fifth Avenue, and may be a little tricky to find, as its entrance is disguised as a law office. This bar offers live music to go along with their craft cocktails and 1920s

FROM PAGE 13

CANCER SOCIAL and gives them a chance to relax, meet with old friends and meet new ones. Cloak & Petal opened Dec. 22, 2017. Vallin said from there it skyrocketed. He said the most difficult thing was coming up with a name. His partners wanted to name it Blossom, but he just couldn’t see people saying, “Let’s go down to Blossom.” Vallin thought it was too soft and he was looking for something a little bolder. He hired a company to help select names and none of the names stood out except for one. It had the word ‘cloak’ in it.

the films we have selected — celebrating composers such as Ennio Morricone (“Cinema Paradiso,” “The Untouchables”), Michel Legrand (“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”), Nino Rota (“La Strada,” “The Godfather Part II”) and Burt Bacharach (“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”). As added bonus films — in anticipation of Little Italy’s May 5 outdoor concert featuring ARRIVAL

From Sweden: The Music of ABBA — we will screen “Mamma Mia!” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” (celebrating the work of composers Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus).

Films al Fresco at a Glance

Dates: Films screen on one Friday each month. Location: Amici Park, Little Italy.

vibe, which brings people out from all over. If you are looking for a more casual night out, Nason’s Beer Hall located in the Pendry Hotel is a perfect spot for you. Nason’s was mentioned in the Forbes Magazine article as the place to get a taste of San Diego’s strong craft beer scene. This is because Nason’s has over twenty of San Diego’s most popular craft beers on tap. Enjoy your favorite local craft beer with small bites from their menu or with live music every Friday night.

Coffee

Get a coffee to-go on your way to work or in between all of this eatery hopping. If you’re a bit pretentious about your coffee, don’t miss Copa Vida in East Village next to Petco Park as well as on Broadway. The light and chic interior is a great place to people watch or get some work done — and the drinks aren’t bad either.

The great outdoors

From East Village to Marina, explore Downtown San Diego by renting a bicycle. There are shops all over town where you can rent a bike for the day, or just find yourself a dockless bike. The Downtown Bike Loop is marked by painted bicycle symbols with arrows that allow the rider to explore all the different neighborhoods while also getting views of the bay. The Downtown San Diego Partnership also offers a free yoga class every Saturday at various locations throughout the city. The class is held from 9 to 10 a.m. and is open to all ages and skill levels. Be sure to check the website (dowtownsandiego.org) for the location that week! —Lana Harrison is the communications coordinator for the Downtown San Diego Partnership. She can be reached at lharrison@downtownsandiego. org.v “I thought about Cloak and Dagger, Cloak and Blossom, then went searching for alternative words for Blossom and found Petal. I knew right away that was it,” Vallin said. “There are two rooms. If you notice there is a lot of black. The trees are black and that represents really dark times that you’ve had to overcome, and the blossoms represent the new beginnings. The other side of the coin. This place represents our past, our future, our beginnings, the things that we want to move forward and pull us through those dark times and give us the opportunity to be supportive and give back.” —Albert can be reached at albert@sdcnn.com.v

San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

Seating: Choose from general seating or luxury, zero-gravity recliner seating. Concessions: Indulge in wine, beer, coffee, snacks, and free popcorn available at our concessions station. Parking: Paid parking is available at the Washington Elementary lot, and parking fees benefit the Washington Elementary School Foundation. Proceeds from Films al Fresco benefit our arts, culture,

FROM PAGE 10

SCHOLARSHIP Cindy Lewis, who taught Sienna’s computer science classes, agreed. “Sienna has great maturity. She is optimistic, empathetic and hopeful. I expect her to do wonderful things,” she said. Turning during the interview to address Watras-DiMuro directly, Lewis continued, “You give me hope for the future. What you’ve been through doesn’t weigh you down.” Quietly, Watras-DiMuro replied, “I’ve been told I’m an old soul.” Alexandra Heath, who worked with Watras-DiMuro as advisor to the senior homecoming council, said, “For the other scholars here and my co-workers, we all

FROM PAGE 9

WOMEN’S MONTH sustainable change is when it comes from within,” she says. Much like people who are kidnapped or survivors of domestic violence, victims of sex trafficking can suffer from Stockholm syndrome, which refers to the phenomenon of victims relating in a positive way to their abusers. “Regardless of when they may be ready, you have to be there,” she says. “You have to show up every single time. And you plant the seeds. You never know when the seed is going to take.” What does Charisma want people to understand about her work? Children are incredibly resilient, she says. They endure “horrific” abuse, but they have an

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and education programs as well as benefit our partner — Washington Elementary — to help the school’s homeless and at-risk youth. Visit conviviosociety.org/ films to learn more and get tickets. Get social: @conviviosociety (Facebook / Instagram / Twitter) —Tom Cesarini is the executive director of Convivio. Reach him at tom@conviviosociety.org.v

believe Sienna is so mature and responsible.” Heath added remarks about one of her proud influences on Watras-DiMuro’s education. “We helped her in finding her passions,” Heath said, referring to photography and political science. Meanwhile, WatrasDiMuro is putting together funding sources to pay for her college tuition. She has earned a $10,000 scholarship from the Horatio Alger Association, which supports students who have overcome difficulties and are determined to pursue further education beyond high school. But yearly tuition and other school costs are expensive. Nevertheless, WatrasDiMuro is eagerly looking forward to next year at Emerson College. “When I walked in the doors there, I said to myself,

‘this feels like home.’ People here are working to change the world for the better,” she said. What advice would Watras-DiMuro give to anyone going through hellish circumstances? “There are two sides to any circumstance,” she said. “Get your stuff together. Find what inspires you to keep going. Remind yourself why you are doing things, and never give up.” More about Sienna’s story in her own words, and samples of her photography can be found on her website at iamsiennadimuro.weebly. com/.

extraordinary capacity to recover and thrive. It just takes the right support that is individualized, culturally responsive and respectful. And it requires someone to believe in them. How can people help? Become educated and aware of the realities of human trafficking, she says. And avoid judgment. Social workers have long understood that children who are trafficked as prostitutes are victims, not criminals. Thankfully, state law has caught up. Charisma says we must continue to address the demand for the sex trade. San Diego has a promising program in place to reduce recidivism among men who buy sex, where they are introduced firsthand to those who have been victimized by this trade. She’d like to see the program duplicated in other places.

And we must continue to educate children with age-appropriate lessons, not only on the realities of human trafficking, but perhaps more importantly on dangerous gender dynamics. “The younger we can get, the better,” she says, “teaching about healthy and unhealthy relationships.” Charisma says her work is “truly” her “purpose.” I am so grateful that she is able to do work every day that she loves. Because there are countless vulnerable children who are on the road to recovery thanks to her dedication. I am proud to name Charisma de los Reyes 2019 Woman of the Year in the 39th District.

—B. J. Coleman is a local freelance journalist and editor/staff reporter with 22nd District Legionnaire. B. J. can be reached at bjcjournalist@gmail.com.v

—Toni G. Atkins represents the 39th District in the California Senate. Follow her on Twitter @SenToniAtkins.v

Sudoku & Crossword puzzle answers from page 21


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San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

DINING

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Help yourself to the beer Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr.

I

n keeping with the sleek, industrial elan of East Village, the latest eating and drinking establishment arrives with something others don’t have — a self-serve tap system rigged with craft beer, hard cider and kombucha. Unless you’re hankering for a craft cocktail, like a cardamom-kissed “Cali Love” made with whiskey that’s been aged in IPA-beer barrels, or a “Yeezus Candle” combining cognac with brown ale reduction, you take the upper hand with your suds at what is aptly named Whiphand. Customers distribute their beers by activating the taps with plastic cards that servers link to their credit cards. Prices range on average from 34 to 66 cents per ounce, with blood orange-mint kombucha by JuneShine ringing in at the top price on this particular day. For that, you get your probiotics along with 6 percent alcohol, which is noticeably higher than the fermented drinks sold in stores.

Imaginative libations are made by mixologists from a full bar, which sits on one side of the industrial-chic interior. On the other side is an open kitchen specializing in “American brasserie” food, as it is described by Whiphand’s San Diego-based operator, Grind & Prosper Hospitality. (The restaurant group also runs Miss B’s Coconut Club in Mission Beach and Park 101 in Carlsbad — and it will soon open Louisiana Purchase in North Park.)

Jazzed-up roasted cauliflower Visiting as a trio for lunch, we helped ourselves to a variety of beer glasses arranged neatly on a tall shelving unit, and then hit the taps before diving into a menu of what I’d sum up as familiar fare with hearty, spicy twists. Jalapenos

Whiphand 935 J St. (East Village) 619-450-5515 whiphandsd.com Lunch prices: Soups and salads, $8 to $14 Finger foods, $8 to $21 Loaded fries, $11 to $13 Sandwiches, $12 to $21

enter into a fair number of dishes. And we gladly embraced their harmless heat. From several versions of “super fries” loaded with meats and/or cheeses, we opted for the vegan “impossible” concoction crowned with crumbled, trendy Impossible Burgers. More convincing than any vegan patty out there, the crispy, medium-cut fries were strewn also with wilted spinach, halved cherry tomatoes and thin, baby carrots. A couple slices of melty cashew cheese clenched the deal, and the dish became one of our favorites. A busy but pretty plate of roasted cauliflower was elevated by red pepper puree, basil pesto, snipped herbs and squiggles of balsamic reduction. Had there been one more ingredient in the scheme, the cauliflower would have been upstaged. Two sandwiches and a dry-aged burger followed. Forks and knives were mandatory for eating them, as nobody has a mouth big enough to take proper bites into these over-stacked giants. The blackened chicken BLT offered a startling abundance of thick-cut bacon, which the recipient of the sandwich (my dad visiting from back East) termed as some of the best bacon he ever encountered. There was plenty of it to go around the table, and I’m guessing it was treated with brown sugar and something along the lines of Worcestershire sauce. The sandwich’s clever accent was jalape-

Customers take control of their beer pours (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) no-strawberry aioli. It paired superbly to the seasoned chicken breast and “candied” bacon, yet without pushing the construct into a sweet, fruity zone. His girlfriend’s smoked-cheddar burger was a monstrous stacking of a jumbo beef patty, Cajun-seasoned onions, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. Jalapenos evaded this scheme, but the classic, funky flavor of dry-aged beef didn’t. Make

The blackened chicken BLT sure that’s your thing before ordering it. Otherwise, the house “Whiphand” burger blending regular ground beef with short rib meat is the way to go. Juicy pulled pork in a mushroom demi sauce tasted right at home under a sheath of melted Swiss cheese and tucked within a jalapeno kolache bun, which is a sweetish

Pulled pork sandwich with Swiss cheese

Czech-style bread with a nice yeast flavor. It responded well to our full-bodied Brooklyn Lager. Chalk it up to one of those sandwiches you can’t cast aside too easily even on a full stomach. Word on the street is that Whiphand’s house-roasted pastrami sandwich with creole mayo, and the lobster roll with garlic butter and jalapeno coleslaw, are commendably zesty choices as well. Other options include oysters Rockefeller, short-rib fondue, Reuben french fries, a vegan cheeseburger wrap and more. Located a stone’s throw from Petco Park, baseball fans this season will surely embrace the concept of yanking on the beer taps with festive impunity while chomping into some wildly substantial dishes that escape stadium prices. And, I’m willing to bet we’ll see more places like Whiphand start popping up in the coming year. —Frank Sabatini Jr. is the author of ‘Secret San Diego’ (ECW Press), and began his local writing career more than two decades ago as a staffer for the former San Diego Tribune. You can reach him at fsabatini@san.rr.com.v

An “American brasserie” East Village style


DINING

One of our city’s most cosmopolitan culinary events is at SeaWorld, where its annual Seven Seas Craft Beer & Food Festival has grown to include 127 beer options from 25 breweries, and more than 50 dishes representing eight world regions. Now in its fi fth year, the festival will run every Saturday and Sunday for eight consecutive weekends,

the park, each global food area will spotlight four different dishes served in appetizer portions. “The event utilizes all the tools in my tool box,” said McHugh, who took over the executive chef position at SeaWorld San Diego in July after working in the same capacity for seven years at San Diego State University. He is also a culinary instructor at Grossmont College. “I want to make sure that every dish is accurate and authentic and made with handmade techniques. We have more than 100 production staff helping to execute the event.” Admission to the festival is included with park admission. Once inside, guests can purchase dishes a la carte, which range from $5 to $6.50 each. Or they can buy “taster

from March 9 through April 28. The park’s executive chef, Dave McHugh, is presenting 33 new food items to the lineup. They include Frenchinspired escargot pistolet rolls; sumac-rubbed Angus kebabs from the Mediterranean station; crab causa salad of South American origin; and exotically spiced dishes in a debut section named “flavors of India.” Scattered throughout

The top-selling short-rib sliders with tomatillo salsa and pickled onions at the new Owl Drug Co. Social Eating House (Instagram) Billed as “an elevated brew pub serving American comfort food,” the new Owl Drug Co. Social Eating House in Downtown’s Core-Columbia district recently opened within a 1908 structure known as the Colonel Fletcher Building. It occupies the first floor, which was once home to the Owl Drug Company, bowling lanes and a cafe. Most recently, it housed the short-lived Bell Marker Brewery. Now under different ownership, it operates as a 15-barrel brew house amid 20-foot-tall ceilings, a cocktail bar and a lunch-dinner menu that includes pizzas and hot sandwiches. It also offers karaoke on Friday and Saturday evenings. 602 Broadway St., 619-756-7598, owldrugco.com.

A dessert vendor is coming to the Little Italy Food Hall. (Courtesy of Grain & Grit Collective)

The newish Little Italy Food Hall will see its first vendor replacement this month in the

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This causa crab salad and other haute cuisine can be found at an international food and beer festival inside SeaWorld. (Photo by Mike Aguilera/ SeaWorld San Diego)

sampler” cards that feature 10 items for $50 or 15 items for $65. The cards also apply

to beer and wine samples. 500 SeaWorld Drive, 619-222-4732, seaworldsandiego.com.

As of late February, the long-established Lou & Mickey’s in the Gaslamp Quarter began dry-aging various cuts of beef in a newly constructed temperature-controlled room within the restaurant. It also recently hired in-house butchers to cut and trim the various cuts of beef, which originate from the Okanagan region of Washington state. The steaks are available at three different dry-aged levels: 30, 45 and 60 days. 224 Fifth Ave., 619-237-4900, louandmickeys.com.

A steakhouse in the Gaslamp Quarter has begun dry-aging beef onsite. (Courtesy of Bread & Butter PR)

wake of Single Fin Kitchen’s exit from the original tenant lineup. It will be replaced by Bobboi Natural Gelato, a gelateria from La Jolla that uses locally sourced organic ingredients for its seasonal sorbets and gelato. Single Fin’s chef/owner Antonio Quindere told San Diego Downtown News that he left the food hall because of high rent and lack of consumer flow. “It wasn’t what we were expecting, but it gave us good exposure, so we’ll try to find a new spot soon — maybe in coastal North County, Hillcrest or North Park,” he added. In the meantime, Bobboi’s ever-changing flavor options will keep food hall patrons sated with flavors that include chocolate chip-matcha tea; rosewater with honey; pistachio; dark chocolate and more. 550 W. Date St., 619-269-7187, bobboi.com.

More than 100 of San Diego’s homegrown craft breweries will be pouring their latest and greatest suds at the fifth annual Best Coast Beer Fest. The event takes place from noon to 4 p.m., March 9, on the grassy lawns of Embarcadero Marina Park South. Food trucks and local entertainment will also be available. General admission is $55 (before March 8) and $60 the day of the event. 200 Marina Park Way; bestcoastbeerfest.com. —Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at fsabatini@san.rr.com.v

San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

PHOTO: JULIETA CERVANTES

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Love is a gypsy child

CARMEN

Georges Bizet

March 30–April 7, 2019 San Diego Civic Theatre

A large-scale beer festival returns to San Diego. (Courtesy of Alternative Strategies)

sdopera.org/sdcnn | (619) 533-7000

Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego.


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TOWN VOICES

San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

The branding of Marina Marina District Joan Wojcik What is branding? Downtown San Diego consists of six communities referred to as districts. Each district is defined not only by its geographical location, but also by the unique charactertistics of its architecture, types of businesses, and diversity of residents. Branding is an advertising technique used in creating a unique name and image that distinguishes the identification of each district.

Many ways of branding Downtown

As you travel throughout Downtown, glance upwards at the numerous street lampposts flying banners along several specific corridors. The banners are an announcement welcoming one’s entrance into well-defined Downtown neighborhoods, which serve as a gateway into the vistas of our beautiful city. The banners are the branding idea of the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP) under its Clean & Safe beautification efforts for Downtown. Banners have been installed in Cortez District, City Center District, and the Marina

District along corridors selected for the biggest exposure for these three districts. “In an effort to highlight the distinctness of our neighborhoods, Clean & Safe is implementing branding technics,� Alonso Vivas, executive director of Clean & Safe, said. “Branding techniques will be used for the purpose of highlighting a neighborhood, mapping the neighborhood blocks for visitors, and to use for marketing purposes.� Although the color palate was selected by the partnership, each district provided final approval for their specific color and theme for the banner branding. The banner color for the Marina District is

Themed painted utility boxes

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blue. Mari Katherine Urtasun, senior vice president of marketing and branding for the partnership, described the Marina branding as follows, “We created a visual system that ensures each neighborhood can own its unique style while still contributing to the overall Downtown brand. The vibrant blue color for the Marina District was chosen to signify its proximity to the water and highlight its sophisticated lifestyle.� The tranquil blue Marina District’s blue-themed banners are background featuring an abstract depiction of highly visible (Photos by Lana Harrison) seagulls and a sailboat are very familiar scenic views sailboat and seagulls on a palexperienced along the Marina ette of blues.� bay area. As a most welcoming The banners are only the doorway into Downtown, the first phase in the branding of Marina District’s blue-themed our city. Other branding ideas banners are highly visible for have started with additional all to see along Market Street ideas being under consideration. from Columbia to Third streets. Working with local artists, Barbara Daly, a longtime Clean & Safe has begun paintMarina resident and a Clean & ing utility boxes themed for Safe Board member, who was each community. Neighborhood deeply involved in the final deswags (tote bags), coffee mugs sign on Marina’s banner, comand shirts are also in the mented on the process in seworks. Marina residents will lecting the final banner design, soon enjoy viewing the beauti“Our community was identified fully, themed, painted utility as the Marina District and the boxes and new planter boxes designated color was blue. So throughout the neighborhood as how could a banner depict both part of the branding of Marina. a signpost for our neighborhood location and a highlight that —Joan Wojcik is the would distinguish Marina from president of the East Village the other five Downtown disResidents Group. Contact Joan tricts? Final design came down at eastvillageresidentsgroup@ to a whimsical impression of a yahoo.com or visit evrgsd.org.v C O C O N U T * L AT E X * W O O L

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San Diego Community News Network For Advertising Call or Email Mike mike@sdcnn.com or Call (619) 961-1958





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TOWN VOICES

San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

Bringing landscapes to life

Art on the Land Delle Willett A few years ago, I went to the San Diego County Fair and began at my favorite place, the garden displays. I was taken by a display designed by a young landscape architect named Navid (pronounced Na-veed) Mostatabi. It was a clean, modern design using materials I hadn’t seen before. At the time, Mostatabi's business was an award-winning firm called Envision Landscape Studio. Today it’s Land Aesthetic Inc., offering design/build services for projects all over California and San Diego County, with a focus on residential-scale, large estate-scale residences, and commercial properties. Land Aesthetic is known for clean modern designs using concrete, wood, and steel. Mostatabi, 35, studied landscape architecture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, graduating in 2006. He was originally drawn to a career in golf course architecture, so landscape architecture seemed like the path to take to end up in the Canyon terrace golf-course-architecture world, he explained. He chose this career because he had always been fond of sculpting the land since he was a kid. “It started with building dirt bike jumps and continued into high school when I decided to build a golf putting green in our backyard,” Mostatabi said. Mostatabi started his career working in a landscape architecture office and gradually transitioned into the construction management side of the landscape industry. He confesses that the last couple of years he strayed from his natural roots and started listening to requests for artificial items like plastic lawns. “Between artificial turf, vinyl fencing, and plastic decking, I feel like the definition of ‘landscape’ has changed,” he said. He has always enjoyed the natural feeling of a man-made environment like a golf course or Central Park in New York City. “It’s my goal to get back to using more raw and natural material.” Inspired by nature, Mostatabi has a passion for seeing residential projects come to life. A sample of his work is on Brant Street in Bankers Hill that had a backyard only five feet long before running into a five-foot-tall retaining wall. “This project was special because I created a terraced garden that took an unusable backyard space and created a series of steeped terraces to carve out some space from a hillside. We used concrete block, steel, and wood to make

architect, Rich Risner (Grounded Landscape Architecture), to improve a historically significant home. Risner designed a unique driveway that was a series of large rectangles that looked like a curve from a distance. Mostatabi did the build and planting for the project, “significant because we had to work within the limitations of imLandscape architect Navid Mostatabi (Photos by Joe proving a historic Dodd) property while making a substanthe project come to life and tial improvement to the origiretain soil from a very steep nal boring asphalt driveway.” hillside,” he said. Another home in Point Another home in Point Loma is a concept design for Loma gave Mostatabi the opthe backyard, also a collaboportunity to work with his ration with Risner. Mostatabi talented friend, landscape did the design development

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Point Loma pivot and construction on the project, significant in that it proves modern-style landscapes can work with many different types of architecture — even simple cottage-style architecture. “When I provide landscape contractors’ names to my residential clients, I always put Navid’s name at the top of the list. He gets my design style and the overall modern aesthetic that I’m trying to achieve,” Risner said.

Point Loma mid-century modern front walk

A resident of Pacific Beach, in his spare time Mostatabi enjoys exploring different environments like the desert and mountains on foot, skis, bicycle and motorcycle. Out in nature, where he finds his inspiration. —Delle Willett has been a marketing and public relations professional for over 30 years, with an emphasis on conservation of the environment. She can be reached at dellewillett@gmail.com.v

Point Loma mid-century back yard


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San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

The gift of beauty Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro The Glamour Project provides fashion makeovers and glamour photos to disadvantaged women. This marvelous organization was co-founded by Kara Fox and Evvy Shapero in the LA area. Fox is a psychologist and a photojournalist with a background in entertainment advertising design. Shapero is a neurotherapist who continues to work in her private practice. Marilyn Feldman, a licensed social worker, joined the team and adds her skill as a couture milliner. Feldman is a bicoastal resident living in Coronado half of the year and then in Boston the other half. She has started the Glamour Project here at Veteran’s Village of San Diego

and also set up a Glamour Project in the Boston area. The Glamour Project works with survivors of domestic abuse, ex-gang members, women who have been incarcerated, homeless, and women veterans at the Veteran’s Village of San Diego. Some of them are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or have no place to live after serving their country. The Veteran’s Village provides a Welcome Home Family Program and includes transitional housing programs for eligible homeless female veterans. They help teach them skills to obtain employment opportunities. This nonprofit invites these women to a day of pampering. Someone is there to style them and give them a new look, which will help with their self-esteem and uplift their spirits. This “dress-up day” includes having their hair styled

FASHION

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Before and After (hat is the “Hat of the Month” in the upcoming April issue of HATalk Magazine) and a makeup artist on-hand to change their look. This new look is topped off with an incredible hat from Marilyn Feldman. The final gift to them is a “glamour shot” to remind them that they are cared for. It is amazing to see the transformation before and after. Feldman said, “ What is it about putting a hat on, no matter who you are … you are transformed!” Currently one of Feldman’s hats was accepted as the Hat

Before and After (hat is the “Hat of the Month” in the upcoming April issue of HATalk Magazine)

of the Month for the April issue of HATalk Magazine. Feldman said, “This is a great example of what happens when these women have a glamorous day of fun, fantasy and playfulness. As soon as she put on the hat, her funky, spunky attitude and sassy personality came bubbling to the surface with abundance.” What a joy it must be to give this gift of beauty that makes such a change in their lives. These three women have left a big impact on all they have touched. The next event here in San Diego will be at Ultimate Lash & Brow in Bankers Hill. All the efforts of these three women couldn’t be done with out help from the community. If you would like to volunteer, visit glamourproject.org.

Upcoming Events

(l to r) Co-founders Marilyn Feldman, Kara Fox, and Evvy Shapero (seated)

Behind the scenes

Applying makeup (Photos by Diana Cavaganaro)

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● March 8 - Fashion Redux Finale Party 2019 at San Diego History Center from 6-8 p.m. ● Reception with four winning student fashion designs at San Diego Mesa College

will be unveiled along with a lecture by Professor Susan Lazear. To register, visit SanDiegoHistoryCenter.org/ Events. ● March 9 - Together We Can! Live Your Dream presented by Soroptimist International of San Diego. This spring awards luncheon, boutique and fashion show will be at the Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel, Marina Tower from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. For tickets, call Gretchen Bergman at 619-670-9880. ● March 22 - Celebrating Couture presented by Globe Guilders and Neiman Marcus featuring the fall couture collection of Marchesa at Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine at 10 a.m. For reservation, contact Joydelee Marrow at 858-382-1672. —Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about our Hat Designer, Teacher & Blogger at www.DianaCavagnaro.com.v


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San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

sdcnn.com

Downtown News

COMMUNITY AND ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR FEATURED EVENTS FRIDAY

March.

1

to thrill and enchant children of all ages … only at Circus Vargas, where memories are made and cherished for a lifetime. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit circusvargas.com or call 877-GOTFUN-1. $15-$72.

SATURDAY

‘Aladdin’

Now playing at the San Diego Civic Theatre through March 3, “Aladdin” tickets are now on sale. This is a thrilling new production with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and a breathtaking spectacle. $33-$110. 1100 Third Ave. bit.ly/2MUPoAL

March.

2

‘Defining Place/ Space: Contemporary Photography from Australia’

The Museum of Photographic Arts will open a global conversation about the impact of pictures. “Defi ning Place/Space: Contemporary Photography from Australia” showcases the diverse scope of artwork by photographers from Australia. Many pieces are coming to the U.S. for the first time. On display through Sept. 22. Free admission but contributions welcomed. 1649 El Prado. bit.ly/2Sv4yO7

THURSDAY

‘Color Four Ways’

Meyer Fine Art, Inc. presents its fi rst exhibition of 2019, “Color Four Ways,” a group exhibition from the gallery’s vast inventory of artists showcasing artworks from the ’40s through the ’70s. The artwork features original limited-edition etchings, lithographs and other original works on paper by important European, Latin and American artists, some of the most sought-after artists of today. Located in the Meyer fine art gallery, 2400 Kettner Blvd. Suite 104. bit.ly/2ISv3NM

Busker Fest

On Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3 from 12 – 6 p.m. the Busker Festival at Seaport Village will celebrate the fascinating and unique talents of the street performers from across the world here in San Diego. Now in its 13th year, this free event is a family-friendly spectacle and a beloved Seaport Village tradition. View 18 eye-catching and unique acts — like sword swallowing, knife throwing, pogo stick tricks and juggling on unicycles — and help determine the People’s Choice award for best act. bit.ly/2IJ0GcD

March.

7

Gaslamp Mardi Gras

The New Orleans tradition comes to the Gaslamp District for a three-day celebration at Gaslamp Mardi Gras. Get access to over 20 of Downtown’s hottest bars and clubs, including American Junkie, Coyote Ugly, and OMNIA San Diego. Located along Fifth Ave., the party will take place on March 1 amd 2, with the final party happening on March 5, the day of Mardi Gras. Tickets available per day for $35. gaslampmardigras.com

5

Breast Cancer Conference

Susan G. Komen San Diego will host San Diego’s second annual Metastatic Breast Cancer Conference. The event brings together patients, scientists and physicians to learn about the latest innovations in treatments, clinical trials and patient support, with the goal of cutting the number of local breast cancer deaths each year in half. This free conference will take place at the Hilton Bayfront, 1 Park Blvd. bit.ly/2IRAoVY

WEDNESDAY

Circus Vargas

Circus Vargas presents “The Greatest of Ease,” circus as it should be seen … under the big top in San Diego at Westfield Plaza Bonita through March 4 and Westfield North County March 7-18. Join Circus Vargas in celebrating its 50th anniversary extravaganza, an homage to the golden era of circus in America! Always fun for the entire family, Circus Vargas’ incredible new 2019 production highlights an amazing cast of world-renowned performers. Death-defying acrobats, daredevils, aerialists, jugglers, contortionists, clowns, motorcycles and more will be featured. A magnificent, mega-hit production guaranteed

San Diego Comic Fest

The San Diego Comic Fest returns for its seventh year as the city’s friendly neighborhood comic convention, hosted this year at the Four Points Sheraton on Aero Drive. Enjoy a weekend of panel discussions, guest programs, an artist alley, tabletop gaming, an exhibitor hall and more in an intimate setting. Through March 10. Four-day ticket passes $50, $25 for students and military. sdcomicfest.org

SATURDAY March.

6

‘The Sky Tonight’

March.

9

Join the Fleet Science Center the fi rst Wednesday of each ‘Herstory’ month at 7 p.m. or 8:15 p.m. The Chinese Historical Musefor a tour of the solar system um has announced the opennarrated by the Fleet’s as- ing of its latest exhibit titled tronomer. Journey through “Herstory.” The exhibition is a the cosmos and explore a new multi-media art installation topic each night. This month’s meant to memorialize and topic will touch on the ice gi- celebrate courageous Chiants we share our solar sys- nese-American women. A limtem with, Neptune and Ura- ited reception and lecture will nus. Adult tickets are $20, be held the day of the opening kids age 12 and under are $18. from 2-4 p.m. hosted by atMuseum members get in free. torney and author Dr. Chang 1875 El Prado. Chiu Chen. 404 Third Ave. bit.ly/2EBlIG1 bit.ly/2IJ14rB

Advertise your local event in our digital, citywide calendar! Visit bit.ly/DTNCal for more info.

March.

11

San Diego Music Awards

The 27th annual San Diego Music Awards will be hosted at the House of Blues. The awards are dedicated to honoring the region’s local music community, recognizing a wide array of genres and acts. Proceeds from the San Diego Music Awards help to purchase guitars for San Diego County schools. The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets start at $36. bit.ly/2TOywy4

March.

astroturf, 15,000 attendees from across the U.S., and abundant entertainment that will keep your clovers shaking from dusk until dawn. This block party ready to fuel the inner dancing leprechaun in your soul with a diverse lineup of non-stop music and entertainment across three stages: The Pint Stage, The Clover Stage and The Pub Stage. Performances include traditional Irish steppers, nationally recognized Irish rock and Celtic bands, top DJs and more. Tickets on sale now, prices go up on March 4. $30 for General Admission and $70 for Lucky Leprechaun VIP. 2 p.m.-midnight. sandiegoshamrock.com

SATURDAY

THURSDAY

Dat Phan

Vietnamese American comedian Dat Phan, winner of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” will be at Pioneer Underground performing his stand-up show from March 7-9. Tickets are $15 advance or $18 at the door. 100 South Virginia St. Tickets and showtimes available online. bit.ly/2NEqG89

TUESDAY

March.

MONDAY

14

SōKo Cannabis Ball

March.

23

2019 ‘Makers of San Diego History’

SōKo Cannabis Creations will The San Diego History Cenhost its cannabis ball at the ter has announced its 2019 Sugar Factory on March 14 “Makers of San Diego Hisfrom 5-10 p.m. Event will in- tory,” recognizing those in clude a fashion show premier- the San Diego region who ing hemp clothing and swim- are making history in their wear, a mixer with industry own time. The honorees are leaders, vendors, art instal- California Senate President lations, and more. Guests will pro Tempore Toni Atkins also be able to partake in a and former California Senfull bar including CBD in- ator Christine Kehoe. These fused cocktails. Tickets $15. leaders have made and con701 Fifth Ave. tinue to make a positive, lasting impact on our region. The bit.ly/2VnAC8r San Diego History Center’s ‘Taste of Our Community’ celebratory event, “Makers Options For All, an organi- of San Diego History” is set zation that gives individuals for March 23. A hosted chamwith disabilities more options pagne reception will be held for living their lives to the at the prestigious San Diego fullest, will hold its 10th An- History Center in the heart nual Taste of Our Communi- of Balboa Park followed by ty. The event celebrates a de- dinner and program at The cade of fundraising for adults Prado. This event will recwith intellectual and devel- ognize San Diego's LGBTQ+ opmental disabilities in San community for their strugDiego. It will feature tast- gles and triumphs. The proings from local restaurants, ceeds from this event support specialty cocktails, wine and the mission of The San Diego beer tastings, live entertain- History Center with a focus ment, live and silent auctions, on education and community an opportunity drawing, spe- impact. Tickets to the recepcial guest Steve Cassarino tion and dinner are $275. (Chef Roc), and more. Tick- bit.ly/2XsS5yb ets $100; day-of tickets $115. 6-9 p.m. at BRICK in Liberty OH! San Diego Station, 2863 Historic Deca- San Diego Architectural tur Road. Foundation (SDAF) is proud to present a free, weekbit.ly/2TmUFXl end-long festival Open House 26th San Diego Latino San Diego (OH! San Diego) Film Festival of free tours at over 80 locaOn March 14-24, more than tions citywide on March 23 160 fi lms from Latin Amer- and 24. Experience rare, beica, USA and Spain will be hind-the-scenes look at some of San Diego's most iconscreened at the San Diego Latino Film Festival. Film ic buildings. Each site was selection includes innovated, carefully selected because original and thought-provok- it contributes in a unique ing works that are by, about way to the fabric of San Dior for the Latino community. ego, with architectural, hisTickets on sale now. Prices toric or cultural significance. and venues vary. Through self-guided and de2019.sdlatinofilm.com signer-led tours, one-on-one interaction with architects and other experts, visitors SATURDAY will learn about issues such as smart growth, environmental sustainability, public infrastructure, repurposing of space and historic March. preservation, and great design. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at locaSan Diego shamROCK tions throughout San Diego Celebrate St. Patrick's Day in including Downtown, Bankthe Gaslamp's Irish Wonder- ers Hill, Balboa Park, Barrio land! San Diego shamROCK Logan, Point Loma and La has been painting Down- Jolla. Specific sites will be town green for 25 years with announced online March 1. over 50,000 square feet of bit.ly/2prZ0s1

16

SUNDAY

March.

25

‘The Official Blues Brothers Revue’

It's been nearly 40 years since the Blues Brothers were first introduced to “Saturday Night Live” viewers as a musical skit that quickly took on a life of its own. Now the show lives on with “The Official Blues Brothers Revue,” which hits the Balboa Theatre for one-night-only event. Presented by Dan Aykroyd, Judy Belushi and musical director Paul Shaffer. Tickets start at $40. 6 p.m. at Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave. bit.ly/2TmUSd5

SATURDAY

March.

30

‘Carmen’

San Diego Opera’s 2018-2019 mainstage season closes with Georges Bizet’s “Carmen.” The production is an archetype of literature and art set to passionate music, featuring unbridled drama and incredible music. Mezzo-soprano Ginger Costa-Jackson makes a company debut as Carmen Tenor, and Robert Watson sings Don José. Tickets on sale now and start at $49. March 30, April 2 and 5 at 7 p.m., April 7 at 2 p.m. Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave. bit.ly/2Tqe8pSv

RECURRING EVENTS Saturdays

Yoga in the City Take time to unwind with free yoga sessions in the heart of Downtown every Saturday at Quartyard Urban Park. All levels and ages welcome. Guests are suggested to bring their own mat. Classes begin at 9 a.m. 1301 Market St. bit.ly/2IIxSBe Little Italy Mercato Stroll through the Little Italy Mercato Farmers Market every Saturday from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and enjoy a selection of fresh produce, florals, food, arts and crafts, and more. Over 200 tents line Date Street offering local goods in one of Downtown’s most scenic neighborhoods. bit.ly/2IJ27rx

Sundays

Lane Fields Park Market Visit the new street food market located in Downtown just opposite Broadway Pier. Enjoy delicious food from 20 vendors while relaxing on a picnic rug in the shade of an umbrella while taking in the waterfront. Food and drinks on offer include wood fired pizza, craft burgers, bao, coffee, desserts and more. A great place to spend a relaxing Sunday with friends or family. 1009 North Harbor Drive. bit.ly/2IIUnpHv


San Diego Downtown News | March 2019

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com 3BD / 3BA / $3,169,000

SD.co coM M 2BD / 2BA / $634,900

com 2BD / 2.5BA / $999,900

SD.com 1BD / 1BA / $699,900

M 3BD / 3BA / $1,850,000

Trellis com 1BD / 1BA / $439,900

TheLegendSd.com Smart

LOFT / 1BA / $349,900

2BD / 2BA / $950,000 2BD / 2BA / $789,000 2BD / 2BA / $624,900

WatermarkSD.com Union

2BD / 2BA / $449,000

3+BD / 3.5BA / $1,800,000 2BD / 2BA / $795,000

3BD / 2.5BA / $1,299,900 1BD / 1/5BA / $589,900

For additional properties not yet available on the market, please call our office at 619.595.7025

Š2019 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS.

An Independently owned and operated franchisee of BHHS Affiliates, LLC. Data from Sandicor as of 2/27/2019.

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San Diego Downtown News March 2019  

San Diego Downtown News March 2019