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Museums galore Page 7

SDCNN editors to be honored for historic preservation coverage By Sara Butler

Are you in compliance?


“A Prayer for a Child,” one of the many rare works of Dr. Seuss, which will be on display at Chuck Jones Gallery

Dancers at the airport

(Courtesy Chase Art Companies)

A sassy, Seussical display


‘Private’ and ‘naughty’ side of beloved, local animator to exhibit Downtown By Joyell Nevins

You may have watched “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” or read “The Cat in the Hat,” but have you gazed upon “The Rather Odd Myopic Woman”? Or how

Local couple makes a difference


about, “The Cat that Changed the World”? Those works are also part of Theodor Seuss Geisel’s — better known as “Dr. Seuss” — “Midnight Paintings” collection. Some of that art will be on display in a

special upcoming exhibition, “The Art of Dr. Seuss — A Rare Editions Event” at the Chuck Jones Gallery, located Downtown in the Gaslamp Quarter, May 13–June 4.

see Seuss, pg 6

The bird is (still) the word(nerd) Indie bookstore survives in Seaport Village

A throwback to the days of Vietnam

Index Opinion








By Kit-Bacon Gressitt



Upstart Crow Bookstore & Coffee House, a 25-plus-year fixture in San Diego’s Seaport Village, announced on Dec. 5 its planned closure by the end of that month. It was going the way of countless small independents before it, succumbing to the book sales behemoth,, and a national coffeehouse chain that had

Contact us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1960



San Diego Community News Network

A crow’s eye view of the bookstore from the second floor, which has been upgraded (Courtesy Upstart Crow) opened across the street two years before. Upstart Crow store manager, Judith Calleros, captured the store’s situation in one sentence: “People would come in with Starbucks cups in their

hands, look at our books and buy nothing.” The circumstances were dismal and responses to the store’s closing announcement

see Upstart Crow, pg 13

Two San Diego Community News Network (SDCNN) editors will be honored at Save Our Heritage Organisation’s (SOHO) 35th annual People In Preservation Awards on May 18. Morgan M. Hurley, editor of both San Diego Downtown News and Gay San Diego, and Ken Williams, editor of San Diego Uptown News, will receive “The Town Crier” award from SOHO. SOHO is a local nonprofit dedicated to maintaining San Diego’s history through advocacy and education. After serving in the Navy and working in the IT industry for nearly 30 years, Hurley followed her father’s footsteps and became a community newspaper editor. She began her focus on a journalism career at San Diego Gay and Lesbian News (SDGLN) in 2009, before joining the SDCNN family five years ago. Williams has been the editor of San Diego Uptown News for a little over two years. Since moving to San Diego in 2005, he has held roles as senior copyeditor at Union-Tribune and editor-in-chief of SDGLN. SOHO’s annual People In Preservation Awards commend and thank community members who are upholding the nonprofit’s mission of preservation and service. This year they will recognize 10 separate projects, including Horton Plaza Park’s restoration, renovations and rehabilitations of private homes, and SDCNN’s media coverage on preservation. “The Town Crier” honor is reserved for voices in the media who have contributed a significant body of work to promote preservation and raise awareness to their readers. “What stands out is how Morgan [Hurley] and Ken [Williams] have included, along with all the other news and business content, a focus on community,” said Alana Coons, education and communications director of SOHO. “They take this further by embracing each community’s uniqueness and individual stories and history by gathering historians, community leaders, museum professionals, artisans and preservationists from each area to contribute preservation and history news stories.” Williams, a resident of North Park, noted that the patchwork of unique communities is one of the reasons he loves living in San Diego.

see SDCNN, pg 4


San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

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San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

Cleaning up the Gaslamp


New training initiative targets lack of compliance Morgan M. Hurley | Editor The Gaslamp Quarter — which takes up 16 and a half city blocks of Downtown San Diego — was designated as a “national historic district” by the National Park Service in 1981. As a result of this designation, all businesses within the historic district must adhere to a statute and corresponding set of standards, called the Planned District Ordinance (PDO). Martha Sewell, chair of the Land Use and Planning Committee, was recently tasked with revising the Gaslamp’s PDO. “The PDO sets the rules for preserving the historic buildings and guiding new structures so that they fit in without overpowering or negating the neighborhood,” Sewell said, adding that the new The Pendry Hotel is a good example. “It lists all the rules for signage and sidewalk cafes, and changes to facades.” Exterior advertising signage, stickers, flashing signs, multimedia signage, beer flags, temporary signage, TVs facing the street and even neon signs are all items that are not permitted. Only three historically-designated neon signs within the district are allowed; anything else is considered out of compliance. Neon signs are allowed if they are beyond five feet from the exterior window, but signs advertising alcohol are frowned upon. Even exterior paint color is predetermined; it follows the Sherman Williams preservation paint pallet. A Gaslamp Quarter business owner herself, Sewell is a resident of the Marina District, which lies just steps from the official boundaries of the historic designation. She formerly lived in the Yuma Building, which she and her husband bought, gutted and renovated in 1991, and her business is still there. Catalina Preskill, executive director of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation (GQHF), told San Diego Downtown News that things had “gotten sloppy” in the neighborhood in recent years and she felt it was time to do something about it. “The rules have been in place since 1981 and with few

exceptions, they haven’t really changed since then,” Preskill said. Sewell, who has served on the Land Use committee in various capacities since 1993, had already been looking into the Neighborhood Volunteer Program, a project of the city that provides training for residents who want to get more involved. Pooling their resources, Preskill and Sewell launched the Volunteer Code Enforcement Committee to combat the burgeoning infractions and get the historic district back into compliance. They now act as the front line of oversight and work closely with the Code Enforcement Office of the city of San Diego. While there is no formal education involved in getting their information out to business owners, they start with a letter to each business, which is then followed up by a brochure. The two documents outline — in great detail and in layman’s terms — the PDO guidelines and they address the specific issues that are not in compliance with the historic district’s requirements. The first initiative they took on was the inordinate amount of “A frames” that had popped up throughout the Gaslamp Quarter. Used to advertise in front of a business, they seem harmless enough, but can hinder public safety, Preskill said. “A frames are in the public right of way,” she said. “Businesses have a tendency to think their property goes to the curb, when in fact it doesn’t, it goes to their front door. If you have a patio you can be permitted to have a patio but only for tables and chairs, no signage. There is no signage that’s allowed in the public right of way.” The committee’s educational campaign targeting the A frames was highly successful; starting with nearly 100, they are down to the last 10 or 15 A frames, Preskill said. “Most businesses, if they know what the rules are, they are willing to follow them,” she said. “By the time we send a second letter, about 80 percent of the time, they are gone. Then

compliance will step in and work on that 20 percent.” In addition to the A frame obstruction, Sewell said it is also important to keep a business’s windows free of curtains and signs. “Covering the windows with stickers and other types of advertising keeps the neighborhood from looking good and makes for an unhealthy atmosphere,” she said. “If people can see into a business, they will be more interested in going inside. It's good for everyone.” Preskill noted that their committee’s goal is to get as much back within compliance as possible, without involving the city’s code enforcement department. They see that step as a last resort; but some businesses, especially the big chains that are moving in, seem to require it just to get their attention. “Nobody wants a code compliance officer walking in,” she said. “They can always find something.” And penance for additional violations found at that level may be much more painful than removing a beer flag. There will always be exceptions and with new businesses coming to the Gaslamp Quarter all the time, Preskill figures their job may be never done; but for the most part, the committee just wants to keep the neighborhood looking at its best. Their next target? Temporary signs. “We’re talking about the essence of the district and maintaining the integrity of the district,” Preskill said. “If it is ‘no holds barred,’ why even make it a national historic district?” For anyone who would like to go over the rules more closely, Sewell is happy to oblige. She can be reached at marsha@ or 619-6967575. The committee’s brochure can be picked up at the DavisHeath Building, location of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation, at 410 Island Ave. For those who wish to do the research on their own, visit or read the PDO at kmsocd8. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at

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San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

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“People who live in each neighborhood are extremely proud of their neighborhood, evidenced by all the street signs [such as in University Heights, Mission Hills, Hillcrest and the Boulevard],” Williams said. “So each neighborhood takes on a different personality because they are built in different eras.” Williams had not experienced this phenomenon in other cities he previously called home, such as Dallas, Fort Lauderdale or his 450-person hometown in Ohio. “Everybody [in San Diego] has a little bit of different history that they can boast as part of their neighborhood and I think

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pride comes forth from that,” he continued. “You don’t see [that in] a lot of places I’ve lived over the years.” Williams holds a great appreciation for San Diego’s older buildings and the character they carry, citing the Craftsman, Victorian homes and Spanish Bungalows as examples. He currently lives in a 1932 historical house himself, which includes many of its original design elements, such as a stone fireplace, high ceilings, built-in bookshelves, and a Jackand-Jill bathroom. In addition to architecture, Hurley pointed out that the experiences locals share — including the struggles and strides of the LGBT community —comprise San Diego’s history. “Our LGBT community has a big history here and it has gone from being where the people had to march in the street with bags over their heads [to hide their faces] to our current Pride celebration, which is the largest civic event of the city,” Hurley said. In Gay San Diego, Hurley runs “Out of the Archives,” a column from Lambda Archives of San Diego that focuses on the history of the local LGBT community. A recent piece – “The history of our [LGBT] bars” – was extremely popular with readers. “We have had more response to that column than any of their columns for a year and a half,” she said. “So clearly that’s what people want to know and talk about, sharing things that connect with their own personal relationship with the history of our community.” Hurley, who lives in the Loma Portal area, uses her role in the media to share her views on community history, preservation and progress. “As an editor, I can often speak out on how I feel,” she said. “I think the community has to move forward, but I really want them to preserve the things that can and should be preserved,” she said. “It is our job to be objective when it comes to reporting the news but we are also a voice for our community to take a stand occasionally on certain things. And preservation can be an area where we could all make a stand.” SOHO is recognizing the two editors for the content they oversee in their respective newspapers, including a number of regular columns. Uptown News has “House Calls,” which runs every other issue and is authored by Michael Good, a restorative expert on Craftsman homes; and “Past Matters,” written by Katherine Hon, secretary of the North Park Historical Society.

San Diego Downtown News currently runs two regular columns that deal with history, “Gaslamp Landmarks” by Sandee Wilhoit, historian of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation; and “Growing Balboa Park,” compiled and written by both Reema Makani Boccia and Ann Wilson, of the Friends of Balboa Park organization. Ann Jarmusch, a SOHO member and former architecture critic for the San Diego Union-Tribune, wrote six issues of a “Preservation Matters” column in 2016. Gay San Diego runs a monthly column called “Out of the Archives,” written by Lambda Archives staff, focuses on the history of the local LGBT community and shares information about various collections within the vaults of the organization. Hurley and Williams have both also run or penned various other editorials and articles related to history and preservation themselves, such as Williams’ extensive news coverage of the Uptown Planners. “The outstanding articles from numerous columnists and paper-wide content help inform their readers with a larger understanding of San Diego’s development,” said Bruce Coons, executive director of SOHO. “The myriad of voices and topics illustrates that preservation and history are relevant to all and important in today’s world.” Also being honored with People in Preservation Awards at the event are: City of San Diego/Civic San Diego Westfield, LLC; Richard Gentry of the San Diego Housing Commission; Richard and Kim Schwab; Jim Hughes of Friends of Balboa Park; Charles Tiano; Elizabeth Maland; Nicole Purvis; and Bandy Blacksmith Guild. Save Our Heritage Organisation’s People In Preservation ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 18, from 4–6:30 p.m. at the Marston House Museum and Gardens. Champagne reception starts at 4 p.m., followed by the awards ceremony. Tickets are $45 for members, $55 for nonmembers and available online or by phone. Call 619-297-9327 or visit —To find links of the San Diego Community News Network newspapers, visit Reach Morgan M. Hurley at and Ken Williams at ken@ Sara Butler is the web and social media manager at SDCNN. Reach her at web@

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Ken Williams and Morgan M. Hurley will be honored, along with 10 others, by SOHO on May 18. (Photo by Jeff Clemetson)


San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

Airport ‘transcends’ race and age with dance By Margie M. Palmer

The San Diego International Airport’s Performing Arts Residency Program continues to thrive. Founded in 2016, goal of the program is to enrich the airport environment while helping to cultivate the performing arts community. And while the inaugural year featured the acrobatic and theatrical skills of Fern Street Circus, the airport’s choice for year’s resident group, the transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project, hopes to bring an inspired, youthful kaleidoscope to the venue. Group co-founder and creative and executive director Cat Corral said she was excited about pursuing the residency from the moment she heard about it, especially since transcenDANCE’s mission is to empower youth to mobilize social change through dance and performance. “I felt we were perfect for this and that we needed to go for it,” she said. “We have an innovative approach because we’re interested in breaking down barriers and connecting authentically with our audience through different styles of dance, spoken word and music. “I felt we could bring a breath of fresh air, a youthful voice and diversity of content and style,” Corral continued. “We were excited the selection panel was receptive to having

a younger dance company come in to hold the residency for the year.” Their first performance took place on at 9:30 a.m. on April 26 in Terminal 2; it began in the baggage claim area and eventually spilled into a dance procession along the outside curb. Corral describes the experience as “exhilarating.” “We had a musician and seven dancers spanning ages 17 to 27 who performed,” she said. “We wanted to provide a joyful presence and provide aesthetic relief while showing how young people can make a positive impact in our community through the beauty of dance.” Exploring the various “creative possibilities” within the airport space will allow the dance troupe to make both “small and significant” connections for not only the transient travellers there, but the employees as well, Corral said. “We made people smile and we look forward to continuing to do that,” she said. Robert Gleason, San Diego Airport Authority arts advisory committee board liaison, agreed that watching the performances adds an element of joy to the airport experience. “It’s great to watch these performances along with the reactions of travelers that come across them,” Gleason said. “They get to experience a performance in a way that’s more personal and interactive

transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project Arts in Residence Program at San Diego International Airport Terminal 2 Baggage Claim Performance schedule (various days of week):

May 30, June 28, July 27, Aug. 4

● All performances

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Sept. 14

● 5–7 p.m.

Oct. 12

● 4:30–6:30 p.m. ● Followed by a VIP

reception and special performance.

Nov. 21, Dec. 20

● All performances

transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project at their first of eight planned performances at Terminal 2’s baggage claim, as the San Diego International Airport’s Performing Arts Residency Program for 2017. (Photo by Ken Walsh) than seeing someone on stage or behind a microphone. The performers are able to surprise and delight travelers who come across them unexpectedly.” Gleason said he feels the Performance Arts Residency Program helps create a positive customer experience for the traveling public. “It’s a way for visitors, travelers and the general public to connect with the airport and see it in a different way,” Gleason said. “It’s also a way for people to experience some of what San Diego happens


to offer in terms of cultural uniqueness.” Embracing the arts is not only a sign of the times but a way for our local airport to stand out among the others. “I think San Diego International certainly aims to be a leader in terms of its customer service and in this aspect of customer service,” Gleason said. “There are a growing number of arts programs at many airports around the country and we want to try to be a leader in this field.” transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project will continue to

11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m. perform at SDIA’s Terminal 2 baggage claim area throughout 2017. Their next scheduled performance will take place on May 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For more information on transcenDANCE, visit To learn more about San Diego International Airport’s Performing Arts Residency Program, visit performing-arts. —Margie Palmer is a San Diego-based freelance writer. Reach her at margiep@alumni.

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San Diego Downtown News | May 2017



Jones is the legendary animator and director who brought the world Bugs Bunny, the Road Runner and the rest of the “Looney Tunes” characters. The Midnight Paintings were works Geisel created at night for his personal enjoyment. Sometimes the paintings involved some of his best-loved characters, and sometimes they explored more of the wackiness and creativity the art medium allows. A “Greenish Cat [sits] on a Pinkish Pot,” a “Cat Detective [goes to] the Wrong Part of Town,” or a neighbor tells another neighbor, “My Petunia Can Lick Your Geranium” in some of the pictures. The art plays with colors and lines and

has a surreal, sometimes Daliesque quality. “There’s a Seussical aesthetic, but it’s very smart and very adult,” said Chuck Jones gallery director Michael Fiacco. “It shows his naughty side.” The exhibit will feature 18 pieces from the special artwork collection and nearly 40 pieces in all. There will also be selections from Geisel’s unorthodox taxidermy, illustration art, and Chuck Jones’ archive collection. Yes, taxidermy. Geisel’s father had a 30-year career as superintendent of the Springfield, Massachusetts park system, and during that time, he would often send his son shed parts, such as bills and antlers, from the zoo for scientific study. Geisel melded these parts together to make brand new creatures in

One of Geisel’s more cheeky pieces, part of his “Midnight Paintings” collection. (Images courtesy Chase Art Companies)

Giving Back

to the

what Jeff Schuffman, national sales manager for Chase Art Companies, describes as a “flurry of creative activity.” Chase Art manages the collection for Dr. Seuss Enterprises. “Some he did for advertisement, some he did just for fun — like the ‘Goo Goo Eyed Tasmanian Wolghast,’” Schuffman said. Geisel had asked his wife Audrey not to release the paintings or many of the sculptures until after his passing. She complied and it wasn’t until 1995 that the book “The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss” was published, showcasing these works. In the book’s introduction, Audrey wrote, “I remember telling Ted that there would come a day when many of his paintings would be seen and he would thus share with his fans another facet of himself — his private self. That day has come. I am glad.” In 1997, the first exhibition was launched by Chase Art to showcase pieces from the collection — serigraphs, lithographs, and sculpture reproductions of the original. There were 850 pieces made of each of the works and when those are sold out, 155 collaborator proofs will be made available, in stages, to less than two dozen galleries across the world. Chuck Jones Gallery is one of those galleries. “We covet these and manage them very closely,” Schuffman said. The late Jones and Geisel first met and collaborated during World War II. Not on the combat field, but in “Fort Western” — a commandeered portion of the old Fox Studio on Sunset Boulevard. The men worked with then-Colonel Frank Capra, making animated training and propaganda films for the United States Army. Many of the films featured “Private SNAFU,” a hapless soldier who created havoc by not following the rules — or as Chuck Jones described in in his book “Chuck Reducks,” “the worst soldier in the Army.” SNAFU was an acronym used by the military at the time, meaning “Situation Normal All F-d Up.” The two men stayed in touch after the war ended, but it wasn’t until 1965 that Jones wrote that he “lured [Geisel] off of that lovely hilltop home in La Jolla into the maelstrom of television” to produce the bookto-film “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” That in itself is its own story, but suffice it to say the project cemented the relationship between a legendary animator and a “living Hans Christian Anderson” — as Jones referred to Geisel.

“The Cat that Changed the World,” a early draft version of the legendary “Cat in the Hat” “These were two incredible genius talents that changed the world,” Schuffman said. “They saw life differently than other people,” said Craig Kausen, grandson of Chuck Jones and president of the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity. Kausen said Jones had to visit Geisel three times — the last time with storyboards — before Geisel would commit to making the Grinch into the cartoon character for TV. The legendary relationship between the two animators has continued through San Diego’s Chuck Jones Gallery and Chase Art. The gallery was one of the first to host an “Art of Dr. Seuss” collection exhibit, and Schuffman noted the staff’s commitment to both men’s art has kept the exhibit coming back. “They understand the historical sense and the contemporary sense,” Schuffman said. “They represent the work extraordinarily well. It’s a phenomenal working relationship.” Schuffman will be visiting the gallery at an opening night reception Saturday, May 13, from 7-9 p.m., which is free and open to the public. The exhibition will be on display through June 4 and the gallery will also feature more common works of Dr. Seuss and other animators, along with Jones’ personal and working collection as well, in a celebration of pop culture.


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“People smile when they come in here and that’s a great thing,” Fiacco said. Chuck Jones Gallery is located in the Gaslamp Quarter at 232 Fifth Ave. They are open Monday to Saturday 10 a.m.–9 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m.–8 p.m. For more information, visit drseussart. com,, or call 619-294-9880. —Joyell Nevins is a local freelance writer. Reach her at or follow her blog Small World, Big God at

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Ready, set, exchange A month of museum visits awaits By Gina McGalliard

If you love museums, May is going to be your lucky month. The San Diego Museum Council is having their “Big Exchange” — an event that allows patrons the opportunity to visit a wide assortment of institutions, a number of other arts and cultural destinations and even some gardens — and they are expanding its normal exchange period. If you are a member of any of the 35 participating museums, for the entire month of May — rather than the annual event’s usual two weeks — you can get free admission to any of the other participating museums in San Diego. Options span the county, all the way north to Escondido and Oceanside and south to Coronado and Chula Vista. The Big Exchange started approximately five years ago with a smaller number of museums partaking in the event, said Kerri Fox, president of the Museum Council, but the event has quickly grown in both size and scope in its short existence. Although museums sometimes offer exchanges with one another in a given month, it’s quite unusual to have a period where patrons are offered such a myriad of opportunities to be exposed to arts and culture,

said Fox, who also noted that even some tourists become museum members to take advantage of the program. “If you’re a member of a museum, this is a perk during [May] where you can try other museums and see what they have to offer,” Fox said. Many people end up joining other museums as a result of the Big Exchange, she said, and patrons love the program because it gives them the chance to visit a number of other places they would otherwise have to pay out of pocket for. “Last year we had over 8,000 members use their membership to go visit another museum,” said Theresa Kosen, executive director at the San Diego Museum Council, which is in its third year of coordinating the Big Exchange. “And that was a huge increase over the previous years. So it’s definitely something that’s grown in popularity.” The program started as a rather informal exchange between specific museums, but as it grew in popularity and scope, it was eventually in need of coordination and the Museum Council stepped in. “It’s been very successful,” Fox said. Fox, who also works for the Children’s Museum as the vice president of marketing and communications, said there were several reasons why they chose to expand the program even further this year. “One is to give more people an opportunity to experience

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San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

Children view insects at the Natural History Museum. (Courtesy San Diego Museum Council) the different museums that we have in San Diego,” she said. “The second is that this is the Museum Council’s 40th year, so we wanted to celebrate that. And International Museum Day is May 18, so we wanted this to be part of that as well.” Because the month-long exchange period precedes summer, Fox said it will give those who participate the opportunity to see museums they’d like to join next or visit over summer vacation. No matter where your interests lie, you can find a museum in San Diego to match it; including the Barona Cultural Center & Museum and the

San Diego Museum of Man for the anthropologist in you; the Birch Aquarium at Scripps and the Natural History Museum for science nerds; the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum for aviation buffs; ghost hunters can check out the Whaley House Museum; and you can even find specialty museums such as the Railroad Museum and the California Surf Museum. There are also museums for children. “Per capita, we rank as having one of the highest concentrations of museums in the country,” Kosen said. “And I think it’s a combination of definitely Balboa Park

being such a gem, to have [so many] in that one geographic area; but then I also think it has so much to do with San Diego being one of the earliest settlements in California, so there’s a lot of history-related museums in San Diego, and that there’s such a great variety of what we loosely term a museum.” For more information in the Big (Museum) Exchange, visit —Gina McGalliard is a local freelance writer. Contact her at or follow her blog, ginamcgalliard. com/mcgalliardmatters.v




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San Diego Downtown News | May 2017


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

Guest Editorial

National Foster Care Month Helping infants and toddlers in need By Jennifer Coburn May is National Foster Care Month and is a time to recognize that we each can play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. Angels Foster Family Network is celebrating the month by having its annual gala May 12 at the U.S. Grant Hotel, located at 326 Broadway, Downtown. Supporters of the nonprofit organization will don their flapper dresses and bowties as they dance the Charleston at the “Putting on the Ritz” 1920s-style gala. The goal: to raise $340,000 to support the organization’s work, creating stable, loving homes for infants and toddlers in foster care throughout San Diego County. On the host committee is Downtown philanthropist, Stephanie Rolewicz, who currently serves as chair on the board for Angels. “We are looking forward to a fun night raising awareness in support of foster care in San Diego,” Rolewicz said. “Angels is an incredible organization that focuses on caring for children 5 and younger with safe, supportive, and nurturing families. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and Angels is building that village for foster children in San Diego.” Founded in 1998, Angels Foster Family Network has a unique and successful

approach to fostering infants and toddlers. Unlike traditional foster care, Angels places only one child or sibling set with each of their families and provides round-the-clock support ensuring everyone receives the best support and care possible. In return, the family willingly commits to the stable care of each child placed with them until they reunify with their biologic parent(s) or are adopted. This approach ensures every child receives the individualized attention they need and deserve without the harmful effects of being shuffled between several different foster homes. “We know that being able to properly bond with adult caregivers fosters healthy brain development in infants and toddlers,” said Jeff Wiemann, executive director at Angels Foster Family Network. “This leads to numerous social and economic benefits for the children — and for the entire community. Research consistently shows that children raised in safe and loving homes are more likely to succeed in school, in the workplace, and lead productive lives as adults. Our evidence-based education and support programs help create positive settings for infants and toddlers while their biological parents are given the time to get their lives back on track.”

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jeff Clemetson, x119 Ken Williams, x102

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Toni G. Atkins Reema Makani Boccia Sara Butler Diana Cavagnaro Andy Cohen Cristopher Gomez John Gregory Kit-Bacon Gressitt Jeff Josenhans Sunny Lee Gina McGalliard Kris Michell Joyell Nevins Margie M. Palmer Frank Sabatini Jr. Taylor Schulte Dave Schwab Delle Willett

Andrew Bagley

COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Sara Butler, x118

DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS 619-961-1956 John Watson 619-961-1963 x113 Annie Burchard, x105 Sloan Gomez, x104 Heather Fine, x107 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGNER Kim Espinoza PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

OPINIONS/LETTERS: San Diego Downtown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff.

Wiemann has seen this first-hand. Before he became executive director at Angels, he was a foster parent to a baby boy he watched thrive in his home. “My wife and I picked him up at the Polinsky Children’s Center and he was clearly traumatized, but our family nurtured him and worked with his biological family until he was adopted by his grandmother,” Wiemann said. “Saying goodbye was difficult but we are still very much a part of his life and enjoy a close relationship with his family.” Thanks to event sponsors, a large number of the nearly 70 current Angels foster families will be hosted at the event and recognized for the incredible contributions they make in the lives of young children. In conjunction with Military Spouse Appreciation Day, also on May 12, U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Johnathon Stone will be recognized as well. Chief Stone will be honored on behalf of his late wife, Sarah Stone, who passed way last October. The Stone family fostered with Angels and remain

SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS: Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email.

Stephanie Rolewicz (Courtesy AFFN) deeply dedicated to the organization and its mission. One of Sarah’s last requests was that the family stay involved with the agency that offered them the opportunity to foster — then adopt — their son, Jackson. The nonprofit organization also gratefully acknowledges the evening’s presenting sponsor, ExpressMed. Angels Foster Family Network is a 501(c)(3) charity / foster family agency (FFA) licensed by the state of California with a mission to provide collaborative care for children aged 5 and younger with diverse and exceptional families who dedicate themselves to each child’s wellbeing. To get involved or to make a donation, visit To learn more about foster care month, visit fostercaremonth. —Jennifer Coburn can be reached at jen@jencoburn. com.v

DISTRIBUTION: San Diego Downtown News is distributed free on the first Friday of every month. Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.


Town halls, taxes and bunnies

Congressional Watch Andy Cohen In our last column, Darrell Issa (R-49), Duncan Hunter (R-50), and Susan Davis (D-53) had each held town hall events in their respective districts, and as we noted at the time, the tenor of the gatherings was much different for the Republican members of Congress than it was for Susan Davis — her town hall was much friendlier than those of her colleagues. This time it was Scott Peters’ (D-52) turn. On April 18, Peters held his second town hall event, at Clairemont High School before a near capacity crowd in the school auditorium. Peters had held a previous town hall at the San Diego Islamic Center a month prior. Although the audience was mostly friendly, the Q&A did not proceed without its challenges. While Peters was in sync with most of the attendees, many left less than satisfied with some of the answers to their questions. Of particular concern — as has been the case at virtually every other congressional town hall across the country — was health care. In the wake of the failure of Trumpcare, progressives as a whole have renewed their push for a single-payer health care program. The argument goes something like this: “Every other major industrial power in the world has single-payer health care, so why shouldn’t we?” It’s an excellent question, but one without a simple answer, making for some very unsatisfied liberal-leaning constituents. As Donald Trump

himself has allegedly recently learned, health care is a very complex issue. “We need to fix Medicare, make sure it’s solvent for the long term before we put everyone on it,” Peters said in response to a question about a House bill being pushed by some Democrats, which he said he opposes in its current form. Peters said there were too many unknowns in the proposal; too few details. For example, he noted that it was not clear how doctors would be reimbursed, and at what rate. How would the transition to single-payer take place? “It’s not smart to try and quickly convert one-fifth of our national economy to single-payer,” he noted. There are things that can be done, he said, such as adding a public option to the Affordable Care Act, which could solve many problems and eventually put us on a path toward single-payer. One other attendee left disgruntled when Peters refused to answer questions about his 2014 campaign against Carl DeMaio and allegations of wrongdoing when a former DeMaio staffer handed proprietary campaign material to the Peters camp. Peters did eventually turn the material over to police, but it was unclear for how long it was in the possession of Team Peters. That constituent found very little sympathy among those gathered. Darrell Issa recently did an about-face on internet privacy. The Vista Republican has, until now, been a staunch advocate of online privacy, authoring and supporting bills that kept the customer data of internet service providers (ISPs) private. In fact, in 2012, he published the first draft of a “Digital Citizens

Bill of Rights,” item nine of which read, “Privacy — Digital Citizens have a right to privacy on the internet.” Apparently, Issa’s views on the matter have changed. In late March, Issa voted in favor of a Republican bill that will allow ISPs the ability to sell their customers’ browsing histories without their permission, something prohibited by Obama administration regulations. “We’re disappointed that Rep. Issa voted to weaken privacy protections,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Ernesto Falcon told the San Diego Union Tribune. “The party line vote in Congress was a case of lawmakers putting the interests of cable and phone companies ahead of the privacy interests of Americans.” Every Democrat voted against the bill, joined by only 15 Republicans. Duncan Hunter will have a new companion on the campaign trail: “Duncan Thumper,” a fictitious rabbit that represents the $600 in campaign funds Hunter spent on airline fees to transport his children’s pet rabbit. Hunter is under investigation by the Department of Justice for his misuse of campaign funds for personal use. “It’s insane that a five-term congressman is pretending like he doesn’t know the difference between a campaign card and a regular credit card,” said Shawn VanDiver, founder of Bunny PAC, the group that hopes to keep the attention focused on Hunter’s campaign foibles by using both social media and sending someone in a rabbit costume to follow Hunter on the bunny … err … campaign trail.

San Diego Downtown News | May 2017 “Listening to a bunny explain politics is as ridiculous as spending campaign money on personal enrichment,” reads the website. “The fact is that when elected officials do ridiculous or foolish things, sometimes complicated nuance allows them to get away with it. The good news is that Duncan Thumper is an ethics advisor and a wonderful storyteller.” Juan Vargas (D-50) has endorsed a bill authored by New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez that would prohibit Border Patrol and ICE agents from identifying themselves as — or wearing apparel that indicates that they are — “police.” Critics of the practice, including Vargas, argue that it creates confusion and distrust between residents and local law enforcement agencies, giving the impression that local police departments are themselves conducting immigration raids. In response to the looming tax cut plan that is expected to be introduced by the Republican Congress any day (or never), Vargas has taken the liberty of introducing a different tax plan to Congress. His proposal would impose a 14.25 percent net worth tax on all individuals and trusts with a net worth of $10,000,000 or more. “By my calculations, 1 percent of Americans, who control 90 percent of the wealth in this country, would be affected by my plan,” said the original author of the plan in 1999. “The other 99 percent of the people would get deep reductions in their federal income taxes.” That original author? A man named Donald J. Trump. “In the spirit of bipartisanship, I am introducing the Donald J. Trump Wealth Tax Act of 2017 to allow the president to follow through on his original idea,” Vargas said in a statement.


Rep. Susan Davis, D-53 2700 Adams Ave. #102 San Diego, CA 92116 Local: 619-280-5353 Washington: 202-225-2040 Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-50 1611 N. Magnolia Ave. #310 El Cajon, CA 92019 619-448-5201 202-225-5672 Rep. Darrell Issa, R-49 1800 Thibodo Road #310 Vista, CA 92081 760-599-5000 202-225-3906 Rep. Scott Peters, D-52 4350 Executive Dr. #105 San Diego, CA 92122 858-455-5550 202-225-0508 Rep. Juan Vargas, D-51 333 F St. #A Chula Vista, CA 91910 619-422-5963 202-225-8045 No word on the plan’s chances of becoming law, but don’t hold your breath. —Andy Cohen is a local freelance writer. Reach him at

Healthcare is a right Notes from Toni Toni G. Atkins (Editor’s note – update as we go to press: On May 4, the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives were finally successful in voting to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is still unclear at this time whether the bill will pass the Senate.) Friday, March 24, was a good day for California. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan informed the president that he didn’t have the votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with something that would have been terrible for our state, and the bill was effectively dead. For now. That same day — as the Senate Health Committee (I’m privileged to be a member) held an informational hearing at San Diego State on how the ACA has benefitted California and how Ryan’s bill would impact our state — we called what happened in Washington, D.C., a “pause.” The Republicans will likely be back with another attempt to repeal the ACA, and we’ll have to be ready. There are also things the president can do

to reduce funding for healthcare in California that don't require legislation. We must continue to be vigilant. The ACA isn’t perfect and it’s had some problems in other states where insurance companies have pulled out of healthcare exchanges, but on balance, it’s been a success story in California. Thanks to the ACA, roughly 5 million more of our residents have obtained health insurance — either through the Covered Calfornia healthcare exchange or through the ACA-provided expansion of Medi-Cal. In San Diego County, more than 350,000 people have obtained health coverage through Covered California subsidies or expanded Medi-Cal. That’s approximately 11 percent of our county’s population added to the ranks of the insured in the last few years. Statewide, our uninsured rate has fallen to a record-low 7.1 percent. The ACA has been good for our residents, and we need to protect and defend it. But as we do, we’re going to do the work to improve upon it. My goal is to ensure that everyone in California has access to quality healthcare. As I said March 25 at Assemblymember Todd Gloria’s healthcare town-hall meeting at UC San Diego, the ACA is a floor, not a ceiling. With my colleague Senator Ricardo Lara, I have introduced SB 562, the

With Dr. Ed Hernandez, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, at a March informational hearing on healthcare in San Diego. (Courtesy Office of Sen. Atkins) Healthy California Act. The bill would create a single-payer, universal healthcare system in California. What that means is that the state serves as everyone’s insurer — the state pays the providers for medical services. In addition to providing universal coverage, the goal is to reduce overall healthcare costs as we streamline the system. I think we can do it. Make no mistake, this will take a lot of hard work and it will take time. The idea behind single-payer is simple, but the healthcare system is complex. There are many stakeholders, and they’ll all have valuable

input to provide. We’ll listen to everyone and create the system that works the best. I believe healthcare is a right. Just as we have a right to a basic education, or to be protected by police officers and fi refighters, we have the right to preventative medical care. Healthy Californians will create a healthy and prosperous California. I’m going to work hard and do my part to help make it happen. —Toni G. Atkins represents the 39th District in the California Senate. Follow her on Twitter @SenToniAtkins.v


San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

Amici Dog Park takes a trip to the groomers Little Italy News Christopher Gomez San Diego’s Little Italy is a premier neighborhood for all things food, shopping, culture and a hip place for our fourlegged friends. Our resident pooches are getting some love and will get to experience some upgrades to a new and improved Little Italy Dog Park at Amici Park. The new development will be open for play on Monday, May 1. As a result of the successful fundraising campaign, over 2,000 dogs that call Little Italy home will now have a new and improved place to come and play in the neighborhood.

The many dogs that stroll the streets of Little Italy everyday watch us enjoy our café lattes and bowls of pasta al fresco in the neighborhood

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and now a man’s best amici (friend) will also have a place to enjoy in the heart of Little Italy, too. The Little Italy Association of San Diego (LIA) has been working to fundraise for park improvements for the last year. The park creates a place for the pups of the neighborhood to run off leash separate from the children’s playgrounds, giving pets and owners a safe place to socialize and exercise with other dogs in the park throughout the day. The renovated dog park within Amici Park is equipped with secure fencing, water features, shaded seating, two beautiful mimosa trees, improved landscaping and 6,100 square feet of K9 grass for the pups to play. Thanks to a fundraising campaign and support from the community, the LIA was able to implement these improvements and also maintain the park — keeping the area clean.

Resident pups will love Little Italy’s new and improved dog park. (Photos by Luna Photo)

Community members that supported the fundraising campaign are being honored at the Little Italy Dog Park in multiple ways, including “paw pavers” and medallions, which will be installed

in the park. Paw pavers are engraved bricks that will be installed along the paw path that include the names of donors and their beloved dog’s name, sharing the bond with their pet with the neighborhood. Medallions are engraved charms that will be displayed at the entrance of the dog corral. One of our most generous donors, American National Investments, Inc., donated funds in honor of Gordie Howe, the late dog of its CEO and board chair, Gina ChampionCain. The funds will be used to install a permanent water feature and will also fund the first two-thirds of the new K9Grass by ForeverLawn. The Gordie water station will allow dogs and their owners to drink from and cool off on hot days. Other notable donors include County Supervisor Ron Roberts. The brand new Little Italy Dog Park is making Little Italy even more dog friendly! To find out more information about the dog park, visit To stay connected with us, check out what’s going on in our neighborhood by following us on Instagram and Twitter @LittleItalySD and Facebook/ San Diego Little Italy. —Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at


San Diego Downtown News | May 2017


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San Diego’s revered and historic firehouse honored on national register By Dave Schwab The nonprofit San Diego Firehouse Museum (SDFM), located in Little Italy San Diego, was recently listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). That special designation preserves the museum’s vintage collection of fi re vehicles, apparatus, tools and photos dating back 125 years. There are more than 90,000 listings on the NRHP and nearly 3,000 are in California alone. Founded in 1962, the Firehouse Museum occupies the former home of Fire Station No. 6 — which is now in Otay Mesa — at 1572 Columbia St. A few featured fi re museum pieces include La Jolla’s fi rst fi re engine, a horsedrawn steamer and materials from the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. “The big thing with the [historic] designation is it cements the museum’s place as an important historical landmark,” said San Diego Fire Capt. Mike Colafrancesco, SDFM’s executive director. “It’s very humbling for us to get that recognition. It took a lot of hard work.” Colafrancesco credits museum board member Stu Sprung for being “the driving force” behind making the designation happen. A news conference hosted by fi refighting officials, the city and District 3 Councilmember Chris Ward was held April 7 at the museum, to officially announce its historical designation. Representing Fire Chief Brian Fennessy and the entire San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, assistant chief Kevin Ester congratulated SDFM on their “great achievement.” “Being recognized on the National Register of Historic Places is not an easy thing to do,” Ester said. He added that during Old No. 6’s years of service many of the innovations created there had lasting impacts on fi re fighting across the nation and that some are still in use today. “San Diego fi refighters, working in this station, continue to influence fi re departments across the country,” Ester said. “Preserving this fi re station not only saves this historic site, but gives us a place to learn about our fi re department, its equipment, and the people that have served before us.” Some of the equipment still housed in the museum’s brick-and-mortar building in Little Italy dates back to the late 1800s. Everything from fi re buckets to early fi refighting apparatus is on display. Why check out the historical landmark? “People should visit the museum to take a step back in time to see, and learn about, all the different fi refighting artifacts from the city of San Diego,” Colafrancesco said. “It’s

The former Fire House No. 6 in Little Italy is now on the National Register of Historic Places and a bustling museum. (Courtesy SDFM) interesting to see how the fi re service has progressed.” Colafrancesco said the fi re museum also has materials on display recovered from the World Trade Center following 9/11, as well as much older artifacts dating back to the earliest days of American fi refighting. The museum’s director added that all ages, including children, will be engaged by the museum’s displays and activities. “We have stuff for old and young, including a kids area with a maze,” Colafrancesco said, noting that it typically takes from 20 minutes to two hours to tour the museum, with guides available to provide a narrative. “San Diego Fire-Rescue has served our city, every single day, since 1889,” Ester said. “With being placed on the National Register of Historic Places, this station will now stand for future generations to learn about a profession dedicated to service. We are truly thankful that the museum strives to preserve the history of our organization.” SDFM hours of operation are Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum admission is $3 for adults, $2 for children/seniors. There is also a gift shop with fi refighting apparel for sale. The museum has a dirt parking lot, which can accommodate about eight cars. There is additional metered parking until 6 p.m. on Columbia Street. Handicap parking is located on Cedar Street, just north of the museum. For more information, call 619-232-3473 or visit sandiegofi —Dave Schwab can be reached at

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Two vintage fire trucks, among various fire-fighting gear used through the years, are on display at the Firehouse Museum. (Courtesy SDFM)


San Diego Downtown News | May 2017


Community Profile

A force for good Ken Williams | Contributing Editor Downtown residents Arlene and Richard Esgate understand the importance of giving back and they strive to make a difference in San Diego and beyond. Whether advocating for Balboa Park, or serving on the board of the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Esgates put their wallets where their hearts lie. They are major donors to Childhelp, a national childabuse prevention and treatment organization. In 2012, Childhelp gave the couple the “Founders for the Love of a Child” award for their dedication and support. Giving is what the Esgates do. Arlene is a former high school teacher who also held city-government jobs in Elmore County, Idaho. Richard is a former engineer and chief financial officer of San Diego’s EsGil Corp., which provides building department services for cities nationwide. They met in 2002, discovered that they shared the love of art, music, nonprofits and charitable causes, and bonded immediately. Richard was already active in Mainly Mozart, and Arlene had spent many years working with P.E.O., a philanthropic organization dedicated to educating women. So after they married in 2006, the Esgates helped start the Mainly Mozart Youth Orchestra. In 2006, Arlene joined the Patrons of the Prado, which has raised more than $2 million for Balboa Park institutions since being formed in 1997. This month, the Esgates are turning their attention to USO San Diego as co-chairs of its 76th annual “Stars and Stripes Gala: Land of the Free … Because of the Brave,” May 20 at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina. Here are five questions with Arlene Esgate:

1. What is the Stars and Stripes Gala, and who does it benefit?

The USO Gala is an evening of celebrating, thanking and



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giving tribute to the men and women serving in our military. It benefits ALL service members by keeping them connected to family and country throughout their service. The USO is there to guide, comfort, rehabilitate and re-educate the brave military individuals that have suffered untold losses and injuries. The USO is a financial link for the injured soldiers and a guiding light for families now dealing with new challenges. I am inspired by these brave people who serve in our military and the families and community that support them. As one of the leading military cities in the world, San Diego and our USO San Diego team served more than 260,000 military members and their families last year alone at our award-winning Neil Ash USO Airport Center and our Downtown San Diego facility.

2. What other charities are you involved in and why?

Other charities Richard and I are involved in are: Patrons of the Prado (POP) — Their mission is to raise funds to benefit 10 arts and science institutions in Balboa Park. They also provide transportation to thousands of school-age children through their Bucks for Buses outreach program. POP provides access for the youth of our community to the high-quality educational programming made available by the 10 beneficiaries. Childhelp — Their hotline is 1-800-4-A-Child. Close to five children a day die from child abuse in the U.S. Childhelp has rescued, educated, counseled and nurtured over 10 million children since its inception in 1959. The two lovely founders have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. And 93 cents of every dollar goes directly to care for the kids. The Salvation Army — This organization reaches out to anyone at anytime in the moment of most need. The Salvation Army is a group of dedicated Christians who answer the plea for help all over the world. “Doing the

Richard and Arlene Esgate, residents of Downtown's Marina District, in Dubai in February 2017 (Courtesy of the Esgates) Most Good” is their mission. They provide food distribution, disaster relief, rehabilitation centers, anti-human trafficking efforts, along with many senior and children programs. The Epilepsy Foundation — I support the them because my grandmother had epilepsy. She lived with us and as a small child I witnessed many of her seizures. The science and medical fields have made great strides in detecting and controlling epileptic seizures, but there is still more to learn and more support needed for further research. Mainly Mozart — This is one of San Diego’s leading music organizations focusing on the works of Mozart and the masters. Mainly Mozart’s youth orchestra and educational outreach programs are enjoyed by over 40,000 students in the U.S. and Mexico. During the Mainly Mozart festival in June, top musicians from all over the nation perform and participate in interactive musical events with both the children and adults in our community. I also support Las Patronas, Vista Hill, the Arc of San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego Film Festival and some medical institutions in our city.

3. Why are you so passionate about Balboa Park?

Balboa Park is the largest urban cultural park in the nation. And that is saying something! It is a 1,200-acre destination right in the heart of San Diego and is usually referred to as “The [Crown] Jewel of San Diego.” The world-famous San Diego Zoo is at one end and the Cultural Park is at the other end with over 20 museums and theaters and Fleet Science Center. The delicious eateries, the gorgeous flora, the beautiful architecture, the free concerts at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, the lovely Japanese Garden, the interactive and creative Spanish Village Art Center are just some choices you have for outings regardless of age or physical abilities.

4. How did you two meet, and what are the challenges of blending two families?

Richard and I met at the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach on Aug. 31, 2002. We each had three grown children; I had five grandchildren and Richard had three grandchildren. We now have 13 grandchildren together and have another grandson due to arrive this August. We literally

have had no challenges blending our families. I suppose the only challenge we have had is providing enough food for the whole gang when we celebrate together!

5. What do you like about living (in the Marina District) Downtown?

We love living in Downtown San Diego because of the many choices we have each day. We can walk to over 100 restaurants, we have Horton Plaza and Petco Park down the street, we have theater, art and cultural venues close by, we have the trolley or the ferry to jump on to reach other areas, both the north and south Embarcaderos are beautiful to walk around and filled with many activities, and Little Italy is just a nice walk away to enjoy dinner or shopping or the amazing Saturday farmers market. We love San Diego and all it has to offer! For more information about USO San Diego and its upcoming gala, visit or call 619-235-6503. —Ken Williams is a contributing editor of San Diego Downtown News and can be reached at or at 619-961-1952.v


UPSTART CROW on Facebook were mournful and sadly reminiscent — all 250-some of them. But then something unexpected happened. As more people heard about the closing, they started coming into the store — some for the first time in years. And they started spending money. “All the Upstart Crow merchandise, we sold out the first week we announced we were closing,” Calleros recalled. “The owner started getting more attention and sales went up. It was like, ‘OK wait a second.’ We had a lot of media attention, too. People were wondering why we were closing, what they could do about it.” Ultimately, the owner, Lila Abed, decided to continue the struggle to make the business work and the challenge is not as bleak as it might have been just a few years ago. As was busily gaining the dominant role in U.S. book sales, experts predicted the demise of independent brick-and-mortar shops. Their predictions seemed accurate, with so many stores across the nation — even some large chain stores — shuttering their storefronts. And San Diego was not immune to the trend. However, by 2013, that trend had noticeably shifted toward the positive. Some independent stores were surviving, others were thriving, and a few new stores were opening with great success.

San Diego Downtown News | May 2017


Some visionaries had seen this coming earlier, perhaps most well known of them, was bestselling author Ann Patchett. Patchett, along with a publishing industry veteran, opened Parnassus Books in Nashville in 2011. Their success, and that of other independents, has been built on embracing the concept of a bookstore as the combination of an old fashion general store — the gathering place of a community — a reading nook, and an events venue. Independents are drawing customers and their dollars in with author readings, writing workshops, seasonal events — even free films and music performances, a tradition Upstart Crow is now continuing. One of the store’s long-time A cozy reading nook, a book, a cup of coffee and a nice view, still await customers at Upstart Crow Bookstore & performers, “soul songstress” Coffee House in Seaport Village. (Courtesy Upstart Crow Bookstore & Coffee House) Stacey Murray, had a farewell show in December, but is now returning to the store on a regopen, which garnered more re— more like an airport style Upstart Crow Bookstore ular schedule. sponse than the closing post had. bookstore. We have a bigger kids & Coffeehouse is located “I first heard they were The message reads in part, and games selection. It’s more 835 C W. Harbor Drive, inclosing around the middle of “We are excited to share that we like a little lounge upstairs, with side Seaport Village in the December. I was disappointhave made the decision to stay giant Chinese checkers, places Marina District, Downtown. ed,” Murray said. “I’ve been open! After our announcement to sit, places for kids to play. And They are open seven days a singing there — this month that we were closing we had an we have new vegan and organic week from 9 a.m.–9 p.m. For makes eight years. … We did OUTPOURING of love and sup- food options: fresh smoothies, av- more information, call 619a farewell performance and it port from all of you and it made ocado toast and hummus, bagels. 232-4855 or visit upstartwas wonderful. It was a really us realize how much we love be- And all the original menu.” great night. Then it was kind of ing a part of the Seaport Village And, of particular imporlike, ‘What’s going to happen?’ and San Diego community.” tance to an independent book—Kit-Bacon Gressitt forThen the manager asked me if I In order to continue the store, “Now we promote shopmerly wrote for the North could do another show the next “love,” Upstart Crow has made ping locally,” Calleros said. County Times. She currently Saturday. Apparently, they’ve some changes to the store, inIt could be that the threat writes commentary and essays gotten a lot of response, people cluding an increase in inventoof losing Upstart Crow has on her blog Excuse Me, I’m not wanting them to close. It ry and adjustments to the menu endeared the shop to the comWriting and is a founding edwas cool.” and physical layout. munity more than ever. Time itor of She Just as cool, to Upstart Crow’s “We have more [books] than will tell if San Diego and its also hosts Fallbrook Library’s customers, was the store’s March we did last year,” Calleros said. tourists will develop a lasting monthly Writers Read authors 10 Facebook announcement of “We’re focusing more on bestappreciation of the charms of series and open mic. Reach her their formal decision to remain sellers, humor, and new arrivals the independent bookstore. at

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San Diego Downtown News | May 2017


Annual meeting, board elections and a social East Village Biz News By Sunny Lee East Village San Diego is San Diego’s largest urban neighborhood. Attend the East Village Association (EVA) annual meeting and vote to fill the 13 open seats on the board of directors. All EVA regular and associate members in good standing are able to vote for new board members.

Learn about upcoming events in East Village, welcome new businesses to East Village and get to know your neighbors and candidates of the East Village Association board. EVA’s annual meeting and board elections will be held May 11 at 5 p.m. at Mission Brewery, 1441 L St., and include a social. Attendees will be able to sample appetizers from Bub’s at the Ballpark and beer is available for sale from Mission Brewery. Admission is free

to EVA members and $5 for non-members. 2017 EVA board member candidates: ● Simon Andrews, Graphic Solutions ● Nick Capo, San Diego Padres ● Roberto Castro, San Diego Padres ● Trong Dinh, Union Cowork ● Jon Gordon, Sweet 100 ● Jerry Navarra, Navarra Property Management ● Randy Rivera, Capital Real Estate Ventures ● Harry Schwartz, Downtown Ace Hardware ● Chris Sohaey, MMC Real Estate Holdings, LLC ● Crystal Stasch, Capital Real Estate Ventures ● Robert Weichelt, Weichelt Real Estate Services Visit eastvillagesandiego. com for more details or RSVP at —Sunny Lee is the program manager of the East Village Association, a nonprofit 501(c) (3) corporation that manages the East Village business improvement district. To learn more visit the

At the San Diego Council on Literacy’s eighth annual “Eat. Drink.Read. A Culinary Event for Literacy,” foodies will savor imaginative bites and brews prepared by the region’s finest chefs on Thursday, May 18 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the San Diego Air & Space Museum in Balboa Park. The popular event features original dishes created by celebrated local chefs — with each bite inspired by the chefs’ favorite books. This year’s theme will include cuisine created in homage to “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Babbling Beth, the Story Chef” and “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” Beer and spirits from local breweries and distilleries will accompany the cuisine, allowing samplings from a wide variety of craftsmen. New this year: Celebrity judges, including food writer and Food Network host Troy Johnson, will dole out awards to chefs in the following categories: Best Dish (non-dessert), Best Dessert, Best Table Display and Best Pairing of Book with Dish Concept. “Eat.Drink.Read.” raises money needed to support the organization’s 29 affiliated programs that provide free literacy assistance annually to more than 170,000 children, families and adults throughout San Diego County.

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“One in five adults in San Diego possess below-basic literacy skills,” council CEO Jose Cruz said in a news release. “Many of these adults are also parents, and their children become adversely affected by low-level reading skills at home. We work to address this problem through our literacy programs which are funded, in part, through Eat.Drink.Read.” Tickets are $75 at bit. ly/2nPiftx.


On the weekend of May 20 and 21, the Maritime Museum of San Diego will host a twoday “Pirate Days” celebration from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Live music, costume contests, sword fights, cannon firings, weapons demonstrations, live parrots, a mermaid grotto, and scavenger hunts, will all be a part of the festivities. Tickets, which also include access to the Maritime Museum, are $17 for adults and $9 for children 3–12, with 2 and under free. Participants are all encouraged to wear pirate or mermaid costumes and those who do will each receive a $2 discount at the door. For $7 more, guests can enjoy a 45-minute historic bay cruise on the “Pilot” boat around San Diego Bay. In addition, tickets to a performance of “Boarded” aboard the tall ship Californian will also be available. This event precedes Disney’s release of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” on May 26. Attendees will have a chance to win a four-pack to an advance screening of the film. For more information or to purchase tickets to Pirate Days, visit or call 619-234-9153 x101.


San Diego movie lovers can enjoy the latest Hollywood blockbusters, while saving money at the box office and concession stand, thanks to super savings available at Reading Cinemas Grossmont in La Mesa and Town Square in Clairemont. Starting Friday, May 5, Reading Cinemas is introducing new, lower ticket pricing of $8.50 for most movies along with concession discounts including endless popcorn all day, every day. Tickets will cost $10 to see movies filmed in Titan XC, a new, premium motion picture experience featuring stateof-the-art digital projection on one of San Diego’s biggest movie screens, and immersive multi-channel Dolby Atmos sound. This is currently exclusive to Reading Cinemas Grossmont, located at 5500 Grossmont Center Drive in La Mesa, directly off the 8 and 125 freeways. Guests who purchase an extra-large popcorn for only $6 will receive free refills to share with friends and family all day long. For advance tickets and show times, visit


San Diego Downtown News | May 2017


Swift boats and firefights Detailed exhibit opens at Maritime Museum By John Gregory American sailors faced incredible danger while patrolling coastal and inland waterways during America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. One such sailor is Bob Bolger, a Vietnam veteran who has accrued more than 2,700 hours as a volunteer at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Bolger can tell visitors every detail about PCF 816, a swift boat on display at the museum. Swift boats are 50-foot-long, aluminum-hulled sea craft commonly used during Vietnam to stop enemy supplies from being transported south. A tour of PCF 816 is impressive, especially when viewing its menacing 50 caliber machine guns. It’s even more impressive when accompanied by Bolger describing his combat experiences. Bolger survived a tour in Vietnam as the skipper of a swift boat from 1966 to 1967. His 2 ½ months of training at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado included stints at Camp Pendleton and journeys to the San Clemente Islands. Swift boats can race up to 28 knots, which is about 32 mph, Bolger said.

“I thought they were cool. They were fast,” he said. Swift boats in Vietnam had a crew of six — one officer and five enlisted sailors. Their stations included one gunner and one assistant gunner on the 50-caliber machine gun on the aft deck. They had an 81mm mortar tube attached beneath this machine gun. A third sailor manned the twin 50-caliber machine guns mounted in the gun tub above the pilot house. The officer in charge was stationed in the pilot house along with another sailor who steered the boat. Another sailor was a “floater,” stationed in the cabin behind the pilot house. He usually monitored the radio and helped distribute the ammunition stashed in the magazines beneath the floor of the cabin. The crew’s personal weapons included M16 rifles, shotguns and an M79 grenade launcher, which was Bolger’s weapon of choice. Those stationed inside the cabin and the pilot house would sometimes fire their weapons out of the windows during battle. It’s not hard to imagine how loud and stuffy these enclosed areas would get during a heated firefight. The crew would supplement their weapons with whatever they could “steal” during their downtime on base, Bolger said. “I liked to steal light anti-tank weapon systems,” he said, referring to a short rocket

Sailors aboard a swift boat scan the shoreline of a river in South Vietnam. (Courtesy Maritime Museum of San Diego) launcher, also called the M-72 LAW, consisting of a rocket in a disposable tube. Bolger said this weapon was especially good for “bunker busting.” The Vietcong built sturdy bunkers along riverbanks and beaches, and on the cliffs above the waterways. They were made of masonry materials, logs, and sand, and were very hard to destroy, he added. A tour of swift boat duty provided plenty of action and terrifying memories. In Vietnam, Bolger commanded the swift

boat designated PCF 99 and he described one such instance from May 14, 1967. His crew was on a psychological warfare mission in which a propaganda team came aboard to use loud speakers and tapes with messages in Vietnamese for the enemy. “There was a place about 20 miles south of Chu Lai that we called the Corral. It was a hamlet named Co Lay. We got shot there so often that we called it the Co Lay Corral as in ‘Gunfight at the Co Lay Corral,’” Bolger explained.

“You go right up to these guys [enemy shore bunkers] and play these tapes, and I’m not sure what was on these tapes — they were in Vietnamese,” Bolger said. “But I think when they got to the part where they said in Vietnamese, ‘Ho Chi Minh sucks,’ that was when they opened up.” That particular day, his crew earned five Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars and needed two helicopter “dust-off” missions to evacuate the wounded.

see Swift boats, pg 20

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San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

Luis Pena, co-owner of Bracero Cocina de Raiz in Little Italy, said the restaurant will close for only a few days in either late May or early June to make way for a new concept that will be named Romesco Mexiterranean Cocina. The re-branding will be loosely tailored after Romesco in Bonita, which Pena also co-owns. The kitchens at both restaurants were previously headed by celebrity chef Javier Plascencia, who left the family-run restaurant group earlier this year to pursue other projects in Mexico. Pena told San Diego Downtown News that Romesco Mexiterranean will feature a tapas bar with checkered flooring on the ground floor and a cozier dining area marked by a mural on the second level. “About 85 to 90 percent of the menu will be the same as Romesco and prices across the board will be lower than Bracero’s,” he added. “We’ll have Spanish-style tapas, Mexican pasta dishes and few signature items from Bracero such as albacore two ways and bone marrow sopes with shrimp.” Pena cited a “fading clientele” as the reason for the change. “We were booming in the beginning because we were a new Mexican restaurant. Then as time went by, we weren’t that new kid on the block anymore.” The kitchen will be headed by Bracero chefs Eduardo Covarrubias and Adan Tintos. 1490 Kettner Blvd., 619-756-7864, NINE-TEN May 5 Ad.pdf 1 04/29/2017 9:51:39 AM

A dual establishment that serves smoked meats, fried catfish and innovative libations in one area and fresh coffee and crafty scratch-made bagels in another, is underway in the 8,600-square-foot space that was previously home to Blush Ice Bar. The Smoking Gun and Spill the Beans are due to open in July by partners of the locally based The third annual San Diego Paella Wine & Beer Festival sizzles into action from 1–6 p.m., May 13 at the Embarcadero Marina Park South. The event features unlimited tastings of paella from giant pots as well as samples of wine, sangria and beer from San Diego and Baja producers. Tickets range from $40 to $125 and can be purchased through 200 Marina Park Way.

A bar-restaurant and a coffee-bagel shop will join forces under one roof this summer (Courtesy Alternative Strategies) Verant Group and Chef Kevin Templeton of nearby Barleymash. Named after the shooting range that once resided in the building’s basement, The Smoking Gun will air major sporting events on

flat screens and offer happy hour, dinner and a latenight menu. The establishment’s coffee component will serve fresh brews throughout the day and hot bagels, which the owners emphasize “will not”

May is for food and drink festivals, and two big ones dominate the calendar this month. Gator by the Bay will hold its 16th annual food and music festival at various times throughout the day from May 11-14 at Spanish Landing Park. The event features a “French Quarter food court” and 10,000 pounds of crawfish trucked in from Louisiana to the tune of live musical performances across seven stages. Ticket prices range from $25 to $200, depending on the number of days and festival events guests attend. Children 17 and under are admitted free. For tickets and more information, call 619-234-8612 or visit 3900 N. Harbor Drive.

be New York-style, but rather the light and fluffy type. Both spaces will offer separate indoor seating and share a patio that runs the length of the building. 555 Market St., thesmokinggun. com and

Massive amounts of crawfish will be boiled for this month’s Gator by the Bay festival (Photo by Andrew Boyd)

The brunch at Hotel Del Coronado was named one of the world’s best (Courtesy Hotel Del Coronado)

JT Meadows of New York West restaurant (see review in this issue) and San Diego Pizza Company food truck will open Fault Line Bar & Grill in the coming month. The East Village establishment will focus on Angus beef burgers and feature a full bar with 20 beers on tap, many of them from local breweries. Meadows said he is aiming for a “neighborhood bar feel” that will include 10 large flat screens and an outdoor patio overlooking Fault Line Park, a 1.3-acre public space that opened two years ago. 1460 J St.

An abbreviated version of Koon Thai Kitchen in Kearny Mesa has replaced The Flight Path wine bar at the southern stretch of Kettner Boulevard. The slightly redesigned space is now Aaharn by Koon Thai, which features about 50 percent of the menu items from Koon. Top sellers include tom yum soup with shellfish, baked Alaskan salmon with garlic fried rice, stewed pork shank with chili sauce and traditional colored curries with a choice of beef, chicken, seafood and mock meats. 1202 Kettner Blvd., 619-5429595, Conde Nast Traveler recently named the Sunday brunch at the Hotel Del Coronado as the fourth best in the world, citing its platters of chilled seafood, house-made charcuterie, meat roasts and the newest addition to the feast, a build-your-own donut bar. The brunch is held from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. every Sunday in the hotel’s historic

Seafood-loaded tom yum soup at Downtown’s newest Thai eatery (Courtesy Aaharn by Koon Thai)

Crown Room and features seven food stations, each containing 10 to 30 items. The cost is $96 for adults; $35 for children ages 6 to 12; and free for kids 5 and under. 1500 Orange Ave., 619-435-6611, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at fsabatini@san.


San Diego Downtown News | May 2017


A nod to The Big Apple Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Imagine if San Diego and New York traded culinary places. Manhattanites could grab a killer carnitas burrito while sauntering through Times Square while we stuff our faces at any Downtown street corner with pizzas using soft water in the dough — the debated element that distinguishes East Coast pizza from all others. Based on my extensive eating in both cities, neither scenario seems possible. Mexican food as we know it generally sucks throughout the Northeast. And whether it’s because of our mineral-loaded “hard” water, semi-arid climate or some inexplicable circumstance, achieving the greatness of back-East pizza in San Diego remains an earnest aspiration rather than an achieved reality. New York West, located in the overly named Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Downtown, came close to that benchmark in a specialty pizza we ordered. It scored even better with meatballs and cannelloni, both of which tasted as though they originated from a mom-and-pop eatery in Manhattan’s shrinking Little Italy district. The restaurant is accessible from Harbor Drive, where a spacious dining patio resides, or via a short jaunt through lobby’s main doors on Pacific Highway. The interior features an attractive bar with nostalgic paintings of Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin, Audrey Hepburn, Marlon Brando and the like. There’s The Fredo pizza also a special-events “show” kitchen that adds visual warmth to a mix of high-top tables and standard ones

dressed in linens. The motif falls somewhere between a West Coast sports bar and a chic restaurant in New York’s midtown. Co-owner J.T. Meadows — not a native New Yorker — also operates the San Diego Pizza Company food truck, and he’s about to open Fault Line Bar & Grill later this month in the East Village. (See this issue’s Food and Drink Blotter for details.) Classic New York dishes comprise about 80 percent of the menu with choices extending to an antipasto salad, spaghetti with meatball, linguini with clams, New York strip steak, various pizzas and more. They mingle with such continental items as burgers, lemon-caper chicken, grilled salmon with béchamel sauce, and the lobster-topped deviled eggs we ordered as an appetizer. Available with or without herb-crusted bottoms, we chose the former. The whites of the eggs, however, were overcooked and created a rubbery barrier between the tasty herb crust and whipped yolks, which were accented with tender chunks of poached lobster. Excellent concept, but not the gourmet version of a Scottish egg I had envisioned.

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Our other appetizer, “not your mama’s meatball,” was a substantial orb of beef and pork belly cooked to supple perfection. I was concerned it might taste bacon-y, but instead it delivered the soulful flavors of herbs and garlic, plus sweetness from the deep-red tomato sauce draped over it. Veal and beef is a classic meat combination in New York kitchens and it appeared inside the cannelloni pasta tubes my companion ordered. Spinach, nutmeg and cloves were the added bonuses that made them intriguingly more enjoyable. New York West makes its pizza dough in-house. It’s stretched relatively thin and offers an outer crust that is crispy on the outside and pleasantly bready inside. We ordered the fredo, topped with mild pesto sauce, grilled chicken, roasted tomatoes, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Our only complaint was that the abundant juice from the sweet tomatoes seemingly waterlogged the pizza’s underbelly, causing it to quickly loose its crunch. New York cheesecake is also made onsite and it doesn’t get any better in terms of creaminess. It sported a texture that was both firm and fluffy. The filling contained classic, subtle notes of vanilla extract and possibly citrus while the graham cracker crust was

sinfully buttery without tasting excessively cloying. The bar offerings cater well to locals and hotel visitors alike with boutique wines and many of the beer taps flaunting labels from craft breweries. In addition, the cocktail list features everything from margaritas and mai tais to gimlets, martinis and of course, Manhattans. Happy hour is held from 4–7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 p.m.–midnight, daily. Discounts apply to beer and various appetizers. Parking in the area at any time can be tricky, although according to the restaurant, customers can park for two hours within the hotel garage for $5 with validation. —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

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San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

McCullough Landscape Architecture creates positive places Art on the land Delle Willett David McCullough opened McCullough Landscape Architecture, Inc., in June of 1999 with a vision of creating passionate design and user-oriented spaces. “My goal is to create positive, comfortable places for people to live, work and play,” he said. With offices located at 703 16th St. in San Diego’s East Village, McCullough Landscape Architecture is staffed by two landscape architects and nine support and technical staff. More than 50 percent of their portfolio consists of projects Downtown, Uptown and in the Point Loma area. David, 48, was motivated to open his own business because he always felt that he could have a larger impact on the world around him as owner of a landscape architecture firm rather than as an employee. His wife, Catherine, helped form the firm from the sidelines while she worked as marketing director of shopping centers for Westfield Corp. She joined the firm in 2001 while David was a sole proprietor for just over two years and they incorporated shortly after she came on board.

The firm has also done work at SDHS. (Courtesy McCullough Landscape Architecture, Inc.)

As president/CEO, Catherine runs the operations of the firm: marketing, business development, finance and human resources. She has successfully increased the firm’s image through a social media and content-marketing plan, along with sponsorships and advertising. As principal landscape architect, David runs the design house and supervises all project managers. A big picture thinker, David said, “I’m always exploring ideas that push the envelope outside of the normal realm of a landscape architect.” Within the last few years, McCullough Landscape Architecture has been hired as the on-call campus landscape architecture firm for San Diego State University (SDSU) and has significantly increased its higher-education portfolio. “Piece by piece, we are working to significantly transform the SDSU campus. We have also recently completed two of three larger projects around the campus core of Mesa College,” he said. The third is currently under construction and at completion will dramatically transform the campus as a whole. Another project that the McCulloughs are especially excited about is the San Diego High School modernization. After the successful passing of Proposition I in the recent election, allowing for the high school to renew the lease of the Balboa Park land from the city, the San Diego Unified School District has begun the process to eventually update the campus. Currently, the design team is working with the district to conduct pre-schematic Design Task Force meetings to begin in the coming months to collect input from students, parents, staff, neighbors and community members for future plans. For more information on these meetings, email the district at David and Catherine are especially honored to take part in this project since both of their children attend the school,

David and Catherine McCullough (Photo by Mike Torrey)

The Sixth Avenue Henry Hester Apartment Building in Bankers Hill (Courtesy McCullough Landscape Architecture, Inc.)

and they believe in the high school’s premier standards in education. In addition to campus landscape architecture, the firm has been recognized for a large amount of hospitality work both in San Diego and around the world, as well as retail, mixed-use and communities in the Southern California region. The McCulloughs are most proud of winning an Orchid Award from the San Diego Architectural Foundation program for David’s work on the revitalization of the Sixth Avenue Henry Hester Apartment Building in Bankers Hill. “This is one of my personal favorite buildings and landscape in San Diego. It was designed by one of San Diego’s most notable modern architects, Henry Hester,” David said. Self-described as a very passionate landscape architect, David truly believes that what he does on a daily basis is and should always be in anticipation for a better, healthier human experience. “I am not concerned about a legacy for myself, but I am concerned about leaving behind a better world than the world I was born into,” he said. What Catherine enjoys most about her role in the firm is helping to further

their family business. “I believe our staff, led by my husband, can make an impact on our built environment and am happy to support in making our community a better place,” she said. David has been an active member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, San Diego chapter, serving as a past president and serving on a variety of committees. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1992 with a degree in Landscape Architecture, and moved to San Diego from Camarillo, California, in 1994. Catherine has a degree in marketing from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in 1992 and spent most of her childhood and adolescent years in the Orange County city of Yorba Linda. The McCulloughs live in North Park with their two children, Will (16) and Molly (14), their dog, Roxy, and two cats, Sunny and JellyBean. —Delle Willett has been a marketing and public relations professional for more than 30 years, with an emphasis on conservation of the environment. She can be reached at

Spring renewal in Balboa Park Growing Balboa Park Reema Makani Boccia Spring is a time of renewal, and there is no better place to see this firsthand than at the Jewel of San Diego, Balboa Park. There are a number of entities that help to preserve all the park has to offer, and Friends of Balboa Park is one such affinity organization that is proud to be an integral part of bringing enhancements to

the park’s many facets. Below are just a few of the projects and events it provides for the community to enjoy this spring:

Gate houses

Friends of Balboa Park recently hosted a ribbon cutting for its latest completed restoration project, the two gate houses on each side of the Cabrillo Bridge entrance to Balboa Park. The structures were originally built in 1915 as ticket booths for the PanamaCalifornia Exposition. Over the years, they fell into disrepair and disuse, but were taken on as a project by Friends in 2014. They were restored to their original splendor, thanks to Friends of Balboa Park donors, volunteers and local preservation experts. Beautiful structures now welcome visitors to the west end of the park, just as was intended more than a century ago.

California Tower chimes on

The old speakers of the California Tower (Photo by David Marshall)

Friends has recently undertaken upgrading one of the most iconic park structures, the California Tower. The ornate, 208-foot-tall Spanish-style monument was completed in 1914 to greet visitors to the 1915 PanamaCalifornia Exposition. In 1946,

a 30-chime carillon was installed, ringing musical chimes played on a keyboard. In 1967, the carillon was upgraded with a “100-bell symphonic carillon,” and the chimes were amplified through eight large bullhorn speakers mounted in the arched openings near the top of the tower. The old speakers detract from the old Spanish bell tower as well as the park experience and lead people to believe the chimes are pre-recorded, even though they are live. Friends of Balboa Park is correcting this 70-year-old eyesore by consulting with acoustical engineers to upgrade the 1940s technology with smaller, state-of-the-art speakers. The plans call for new weather-resistant speakers, new wiring and possibly a new amplifier. The new speakers will be smaller than the current speakers and set back into the arches to help conceal them in the shadows. Look for the enhanced California Tower in the fall, and we hope you will think of Friends for its contribution to the park!

Butterfly Release, May 27

Friends is thrilled to invite the community to its 10th annual Butterfly Release on

A thousand butterflies will be released into Balboa Park. (Photo by Richard Seignious)

Saturday, May 27 in the Zoro Garden of Balboa Park. The free event is officially part of the annual Fiesta Botanica, and will provide a hands-on educational experience and family-oriented entertainment to more than 3,000 people, including the Hullabaloo Band, Fern Street Circus and Ms. Smarty-Plants. Thanks to the community’s generous sponsors, 1,000 butterflies will be released into the park this year, which help pollinate the local flora and

enhance the park. If interested in becoming an event sponsor, tax deductible donation levels begin at just $100 and help the nonprofit to keep the event free of charge. We look forward to spring around the park! —Reema Makani Boccia is a public relations consultant who serves as communications officer for Friends of Balboa Park. For more information, visit


San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

What’s the easiest way to save money? Financial News Taylor Schulte You may be asking this question if you can’t manage to save any money or save as much as you’d like to. You may think that saving money means you need to make a budget and stick to that budget by meticulously tracking every purchase you make. That’s complete nonsense. I’ve got a super easy way to get you to save money: automation. Set up a process to automatically pull money out of your checking account and put that money into a savings or investment account regularly. With just a one-time setup, you’ve committed your future self to consistently save money. Thanks to automation, you can make yourself save money and you don’t even have to think about it! You just set it and forget it.

You’re probably already doing it

Are you contributing to your 401(k)? If so, then you’re

already taking advantage of automated savings. By contributing to your 401(k), 403(b), or 457, or even your deferred compensation plan, money comes out of your paycheck and gets invested before you have a chance to spend that money. Automatic paycheck deductions for your company's retirement plan makes saving money very easy.

What if I can’t afford to save anything?

Consumer expert Clark Howard suggests starting small. Commit to just 1 percent — that’s only one penny of every dollar earned. One percent is such a small amount of money that you won’t even notice that you’re not spending it. In another six months, bump up your savings rate by another one percent. Keep doing this, increasing your savings rate one percent at a time.

What if I need cash for a down payment on a home?

Your workplace 401(k) isn’t the only option for automating your savings. You can automate your savings with a

savings account or investment account to help you save for things like buying a home. Just set up automatic, regular movements of money from your checking account to go into your desired account. You can even time these money movements to occur with payday. This way, the moment your paycheck gets put into your checking account, some of that money automatically goes toward meeting your designated goal.

What’s the easiest way to pay down debt?

If you want to aggressively chip away at debt, you can use the same system. Go over and above making the minimum payments on your student debt, your car loan or your mortgage by automating extra payments. You can even use the “start small” strategy: Commit to paying just an extra 1 percent of your income toward your debt payments. Time these automated payments to occur with your payday. Increase this extra payment by another 1 percent every six months.

Keep doing this until you’ve wiped that debt from your life.

Automation works for me

A year ago, I set up $100 to move from my checking account to an investment account every month. And then I forgot about it entirely. Writing this post just now, I remembered I had this account. So, I took a look and my balance was $1,297.58! That’s what saving $100 every month got me over the course of 12 months. I even earned a bit of an investment return. In short, saving money does not mean you have to create a budget, or be extremely mindful of your spending. To save money, take the easy way out: automate it! —Taylor Schulte, CFP, is the CEO of Define Financial and the founder of and is passionate about helping people make smart decisions with their money. He can be reached at 619-577-4002 or taylor@staywealthysandiego. com.v

Return of the gueridon Drink Shrink Jeff Josenhans Generally speaking, when we think of tableside restaurant service, we envision a server in a 1980s jacket and tie tossing Caesar salads or flambéing your dessert at what used to be a fancy restaurant. This style of service has become nearly extinct. Who would have thought that getting a number after paying at the cash register, and then waiting for your food to arrive, would be commonplace in trendy, fashionable restaurants? With the rise in restaurant labor costs, that is certainly the case — for better or worse. This may be the case for restaurants, but quietly on the other side of the world the restaurant trolley was making a huge comeback in the form of a cocktail cart at one of London’s most renowned bars — The Connaught Bar. They received multiple international awards in 2016, largely due to the innovation of their Martini Trolley. While restaurants may have cut out service touches that used to be commonplace, select cocktail bars like The Connaught in London, Gen Yamamoto in Tokyo, and The Aviary in Chicago have been moving in the opposite direction — adding an extra, unexpected service element to your cocktail experience. Like the Connaught Bar, which is also located inside an iconic luxury hotel, the Grant Grill has now

designed and implemented a cocktail gueridon — a small trolley table — to service guests in the U.S. Grant Hotel lobby ThursdaysFridays, from 4–7 p.m. The menu is entirely based around the Vieux Carre cocktail, traditionally rooted in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The cocktail is made with exclusive spirits including Remy Martin 1738, Russell’s Reserve Rye, Carpano Antica and bitters. Chef de Bar Cory Alberto has created a service experience off of this brass and gold-adorned cocktail trolley, featuring a menu that serves the traditional Vieux Carre, but also offers other interpretations inspired by historical squares and quarters around the world. One such interpretation is the Gaslamp Quarter cocktail, with obvious ties to San Diego, which features Mt. Gay Black Barrel, El Silencio Mezcal, Torres 10 Year Brandy, Noilly Prat, and Domaine Santé Riesling Nectar. The public is invited to come experience the U.S. Grant Cocktail Gueridon, and live music is offered on Fridays and Saturdays in conjunction with cart service. Pre-dinner or after work, it’s worth the trip. Visit —Level 2 CMS Sommelier, Master Mixologist and Cicerone Jeff Josenhans has changed the dynamic in The Grant Grill Downtown from a classic institution to an exciting lounge and elegant restaurant. Follow his drink-related posts on Instagram @jeffjosenhans.v


Placemaking: creating urban spaces people love Downtown Partnership News Kris Michell The desire to reshape and reimagine public spaces is not a new one. From large plazas to small parks, shared spaces connect people and promote community character. In Downtown, the opportunities for placemaking activities are endless. However, the lack of a clear permitting process significantly hampers these opportunities. At the Downtown San Diego Partnership, we host more than 100 free community events each year. From movies in the park to workouts in the street, we’ve brought thousands of San Diegans together to celebrate all our urban core has to offer. The Partnership’s Clean & Safe team works tirelessly on community enrichment and beautification projects such as tree lights along pedestrian corridors, art murals at popular intersections, and enhanced landscaping efforts across town. Unfortunately, our vision for placemaking events and beautification endeavors is limited by San Diego’s municipal code. Currently, the permitting process for placemaking activities is discretionary and cost prohibitive. For this reason, the Partnership team is working closely with Circulate San Diego and other community partners to advocate for much-needed reforms to streamline the process. The proposed changes will make it cheaper and easier to acquire the permits necessary to enhance our community. Projects that were once too expensive because of permitting, will now be possible. After months of hard work, proposed municipal code changes will come before City Council for consideration in the fall. This is a fantastic opportunity to expand placemaking and beautification activities in our community. Let’s spend less time worrying about permits and more time improving Downtown. —Kris Michell is the president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, a nonprofit, member-based organization that oversees the Clean & Safe program and serves as the leading advocate for the revitalization and economic health of Downtown. For questions or comments, email

The crafting of the Vieux Carre is as fun to watch as it is to drink. (Photo by Morgan M. Hurley)



San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

From the bayou to the bay Elected official from Louisiana to experience ‘Gator’ first hand By Wendy Lemlin How authentic is the Louisiana-themed joie de vivre evidenced at the annual Gator by the Bay Festival, happening May 11-14 at Spanish Landing Park? So authentic that it caught the attention of Louisiana’s Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, who has cleared his very busy schedule to attend the festival on all four days. “I am so excited to come experience Gator By the Bay,” he enthused. “I’ve heard about this festival for several years and I truly appreciate that the Gator By the Bay team brings such a genuine taste of Louisiana — the music, the food, and the culture — to beautiful San Diego. Nungesser said he’s also heard the local festival referenced as a “mini” version of the New Orleans Jazz Fest. “I’m coming because I want to say thanks to San Diego for shining the spotlight on our wonderful culture and I’m happy to spend some of our state’s tourism dollars in your city.” He said he is looking forward to enjoying the event, which promotes Louisiana’s

culture and focuses on two of his state’s “most important exports,” food and music. “We are so proud and honored that the lieutenant governor of Louisiana considers our festival so worthwhile that he would take four days out of his schedule and trek halfway across the country to join in the fun,” said Peter Oliver, Gator By the Bay organizer. With approximately 100 musical performances — including Cajun, zydeco, blues, rockabilly, salsa and Americana — on seven stages throughout the four days, Gator By the Bay is unique among San Diego festivals. Why Louisiana in San Diego? It’s all about the fun of dancing to the rollicking Cajun and zydeco music from the southwestern part of that state; it’s about the Mardi Gras spirit of New Orleans, with beads, boas and brass bands; and it’s about the tantalizing Cajun and Creole cuisine — including 10,000 pounds of fresh crawfish — available to be devoured at the festival. Numerous Cajun- and zydeco-based music festivals are held throughout the U.S. these days, attracting thousands of people, many of who travel from one festival to the next. Gator By the Bay is widely acknowledged to be one of the largest, and expects to draw nearly 18,000 national and international enthusiasts,

who will fi ll close to 1,500 San Diego hotel rooms over the four-day festival. Noting that the “truly unique” music from his state has “a different sound” from most, Nungesser isn’t surprised that it resonates so strongly and has such a devoted following outside of Louisiana. “It’s not something to sit and listen to, you have to get up and move around when you hear it, whether you’re a dancer or not,” he said. “It just makes you forget all your troubles and join in the joy. “We have over 400 festivals in Louisiana and every year that number seems to increase,” he continued. “People flock to them. It’s the music and the food, but it is also the way we treat people that is really special. We embrace everyone like family. The love for life, expressed through our music and culture, translates into a formula for success [not only] in San Diego, [but also] Rhode Island, Toronto — anywhere.” Having both visited San Diego on vacation a number of years ago and married his wife on Santa Monica’s beaches, Nungesser said he sees similarities between the Southern California and Louisiana lifestyles. “There’s a free-spirit-ness and an emphasis on enjoying life in both our cultures,” he observed. “I’d like to see more

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser will be attending our local zydeco festival. (Courtesy Gator By the Bay)

collaboration in promoting tourism between our areas, both for the elements we have in common, and for our individual unique-nesses.” To augment that collaboration in a most delicious way, the Louisiana Seafood Commission will be sponsoring cooking lessons and contributing seafood to the Culinary Demo tent, always a popular spot during the weekend. Chef Nathan Richard of New Orlean’s Cavan Restaurant will be on hand to cook, share recipes, and give samples of his cuisine. Named one of Louisiana Cookin’ magazine’s “chefs to watch” for 2016, Richard is known for culinary creations influenced by his Cajun upbringing and the bounty of local ingredients. Musical headliners from Louisiana appearing at Gator By the Bay this year include

Grammy winner Chubby Carrier and the Bayou Swamp Band; Grammy nominee Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie; and Grammy winner with multiple nominees, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys. Opening headliner on May 11 is Marcia Ball, who has been nominated for multiple Grammy awards over the years. The multitalented pianist, vocalist and songwriter — who specializes in boogie-woogie, blues and swing — was raised in Louisiana but now resides in Austin. For more info on performers, schedules, and festival events, visit Gatorbythebay. com. —Wendy Lemlin is an award-winning San Diegobased freelance writer. She can be reached at


“A glorious fusion of music and theatrics!” BroadwayWorld

SWIFT BOATS “The only number important to any of us was zero body bags,” Bolger said. Early in the war, the swift boats patrolled mostly in the open ocean. Their original mission was to stop the flow of supplies going from North Vietnam or China to South Vietnam by open ocean, typically by trawler, Bolger said. “The trawler would load up with supplies in North Vietnam or communist China, then hang around in international waters off the coast of South Vietnam where they wanted to beach,” Bolger said. “Then, at the right time, say at the dark of the moon, midnight, they’d make that run across 12 miles of territorial waters then beach, unload the boat, unload the crew, blow up the boat … fade into the

Bob Bolger sits in the pilot house of PCF 816 at the Maritime Museum. (Photo by John Gregory)

jungle and declare victory. It was a very effective logistic concept.” But swift boats, U.S. Coast Guard cutters and other forces shut down that practice in about 2 ½ years, he said. The enemy began sending supplies down the Ho Chi Minh Trail almost

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The cast of The Old Man and The Old Moon. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

Two sailors aboard a swift boat in Vietnam. (Courtesy Maritime Museum of San


exclusively. But they still had to move their supplies further and they began depending on rivers, so swift boats began patrolling these inland waterways. Because of this, swift boat riverine training was moved from Coronado to Mare Island Naval Station in Vallejo, California, where the river network between Vallejo and Sacramento provided a more suitable inland waterway training environment. Anyone wishing to learn more about swift boats in Vietnam may experience a highly detailed display as the Maritime Museum of San Diego pays homage to the wartime ventures of swift boat sailors with a new exhibit titled “Swift Boats at War in Vietnam,” which opened April 29, accompanied by the release of a book bearing the same name. For more information, visit


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San Diego Downtown News | May 2017


Celebrate Horton Plaza Park’s first birthday with food, games, music and AquaVie Wellness yoga. Enjoy Harvest Kitchen and Lil‘ Miss Short Cakes food trucks as well as live performances from Ben Carroll and Maria Z. A water and light show will conclude the night. Free and family-friendly event. 4–9 p.m. at Horton Plaza Park, 900 Fourth Ave. Visit bit. ly/2qpFoGy.





Thursday - Sunday

Get your Gator on! The annual Louisiana-themed fourday festival features Southern cuisine, dancing and live tunes. Over 100 music acts will perform including Grammy-award winners and local San Diego bands. Tickets $20-200 online at Times vary each day. Spanish Landing Park, 4300 N. Harbor Drive. Visit


San Diego Central Library presents a day packed with “Star Wars”themed activities. Fans can celebrate the franchise with an escape room, a photo booth and lightsaber dueling demos. Presentations about the “Star Wars” universe and 501st Legion costumes will also be offered. 9:30 a.m.¬–1:30 p.m. at the San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd. Visit bit. ly/2qpyj9e.



Celebrate and support feminism with wine, food, music and more. Join San Diego National Organization for Women (NOW) for their second annual fundraising event. The event features speakers Sen. Toni Atkins and Planned Parenthood’s Nora Vargas as


well as live music from The Resizters. Tickets $30 online or $40 at the door. 3–5 p.m. at the San Diego Foundation, 2508 Historic Decatur Road, Suite 200. Visit


Father Joe’s Villages will host a fundraiser to raise money for children who are homeless or in poverty. Tickets start at $200 and include dinner, cocktails, auctions and live music from Atomic Groove. Community leaders, including Father Gilbert Gentile, will also be honored. 5–10 p.m. at U.S. Grant Hotel, 326 Broadway. Visit



Whatever It Takes (WIT) will present their annual showcase event that features presentations from teenagers from 15 local high schools around the county. WIT is a nonprofit that supports young entrepreneurship and leadership. 6–8:30 p.m. at the San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd. Contact Ruth Everett at or 619-677-2238.



The Petco Foundation invites you to celebrate animals in style with a paw-print red carpet, “pawparazzi,” photo booth selfies with adoptable puppies and kittens, and more. Actress, singer and animal lover Jane Lynch from “Glee” will emcee the event. Various organizations and individuals will be honored for their animal-related efforts. 6–11 p.m. at the Marriot Marquis San Diego Marina, 333 W. Harbor Drive. Visit




Celebrate America’s Finest City with a

day full of tacos. The San Diego Taco Festival will feature food from 30 taco-centric restaurants. The festival will also host Lucha Libre wrestling matches, a chihuahuas beauty pageant and race, and live performances from Vanilla Ice, Mix Master Mike and other musicians. This is a 21-and-older event. Tickets $25125 online. 11 a.m.–10 p.m. at Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway. Visit


Balboa Theatre presents a film screening of “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” the psychological thriller about sibling rivalry and the aftermath of fame, featured in Ryan Murphy’s recent FX series, “Feud.” Bette Davis and Joan Crawford star in the 1962 classic. Tickets $8–11 plus fees. 5–7:30 p.m. at Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave. Visit





Saturday and Sunday

Maritime Museum of San Diego invites you to celebrate the weekend with cannon firings, sword fights, live parrots and a treasure hunt. Tickets $17 for adults and $9 for children 3–12 years old (children 2 and under free). Come dressed in a pirate or mermaid costume for a $2 discount. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Maritime Museum of San Diego, 1492 N. Harbor Drive. Visit


The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (SDCHM) will feature an exhibition by Tom Hom, a leader in the art, political and Chinese-American communities. The collection includes over 50 works, including sketches, watercolors, cartoons and oil paintings. Admission is $5, free for museum members and children 12 and under. Opening reception May 20 from 2–4 p.m. and the exhibit is on display May 20-Aug. 20. San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Extension Building, 328 J St. Visit



Balboa Park Cultural Partnerships presents an evening of wine, art and entertainment. Balboa Park museums will offer art installations, live music and wine tasters for guests. Tickets $35–100 online. 6–10 p.m. Museums participating are San Diego Art Institute, San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, Fleet Science Center, San Diego History Center and the Balboa Park Conservancy. Visit


One of Tom Hom's watercolor works, "Roots," which will be on display with 50 others at the Chinese Historical Museum through Aug. 20.

Downtown Art ArtZine Morgan M. Hurley ArtZine is a new column that will share the work, places and lives of the artists within the local arts community of San Diego. I will try to make it as all-inclusive and feature not only artists of all mediums but also galleries, art spaces, art classes and at times include photography, music, theater or even architecture. Alternative topics may include murals, tagging, outdoor art, interviews, etc. It may not run every issue but it is my wish to bring more attention to our local arts community, with a focus on artists of all kinds. I hope to add a calendar of art events in the future and we may have guest contributors on occasion, too. If you are interested in participating, email me at

Introducing Alejandro Rojas

Local art dealer Alexander Salazar, who opened his first gallery “Alexander Salazar Fine Art” in 2010 on Broadway, Downtown, is still successfully supporting artists at his current digs, located at 225 W. Market St., where he moved a year ago. Salazar was recently inspired to go back to his artistic roots and let the artist within come out of the closet. “After 10 years, I have returned to painting, rejoining my mission of combining art and philanthropy,” he stated in an email. With two masters degrees in art (Harvard, Boston College), Salazar’s new venture uses his birth name, Alejandro Rojas Salazar, and a method he calls “swirling and pouring.” He has used the hashtag #pourart on social media when he shares the work. With this method, he literally pours paint on to the canvas, then either leaves it as is, lets it wander by moving the canvas around, or uses his hands to shape the image. His recent foray has been quite popular among his Facebook followers and has not only consummated in pop-up exhibitions and sales, but also helped him rejuvenate his philanthropic efforts. “If you have a need and the art is going to a good cause, I’ll give you a painting,” he said. On June 24, Salazar will be staying true to his word — and then some — when he donates 30 pieces of his pour art specifically painted for the San Ysidro Health Center’s “Black, White & Bling Bash” fundraiser gala at the Hotel del Coronado from 5–11 p.m. In keeping with the gala’s theme, Salazar painted the entire collection using black and white paint. Most of the series, called “Black and White Pour Series on Canvas,” are of the same size, while six are giant pieces. Interested art lovers can see a preview of the work on Saturday, May 13, at the Hard Rock Hotel’s 207 Bar and Nightclub in the Gaslamp Quarter.

Alexander Salazar admires one of his finished pieces. (Courtesy Alexander Salazar)

In addition to his gallery, Salazar has at least six other locations where he has semi-permanent exhibitions or pop-up installations in place, most of them located Downtown. They include some of his own work at Luxe Lounge & Spa on Market Street; a new large original piece at Andaz Hotel, which was commissioned during their recent renovation; 15 pieces of his own work at FIT Athletic on 10th Avenue, with more of his original work on display at FIT’s Carmel Mountain (12171 World Trade Drive) and Solana Beach (511 Highway 101) gyms as well. In Hillcrest, he even has some of his personal work at the Hillcrest Newsstand space on University Avenue between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The Newsstand’s proprietor decided to clear a section of one magazine wall and create a pop-up art display. Salazar was happy to oblige him. A large exhibition of works from one of his most successful and long-term clients, Walter Redondo, is currently on display at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina, located on Harbor Drive next to the Convention Center. Ten pieces of Redondo’s giant canvases are on display at the premier hotel, hoisted from the ceiling by a unique wiring hanging system. The works can be found in a long passage that doubles as a reflective lounge area, located between the North and South Towers and just outside all of the hotels three large ballrooms. “This is the most professional partnership I’ve ever had putting on an art exhibition,” Salazar said, referring to the relationship with Marriott Marquis. He said no expense was spared by the hotel when it came to ensuring the exhibition was the best it could be. Art work on display at hotels are generally done so in an anonymous fashion; here, each piece is identified and priced on a script located on the wall beside it, and an extensive bio of the artist has been inscribed on a wall/pillar at each end of the passage. It is truly a pop-up art gallery. In six months Salazar will swap out the series for another. For more information about any of Salazar’s exhibitions or the art preview at the Hard Rock for the works he is donating to the Black, White and Bling Bash, reach him at —Reach Morgan M. Hurley at


Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro Hats off to ‘Everything’s Coming Up Roses’

The Altrusa International Club of San Diego presented their annual Fashion Show at the Double Tree Hotel at Hazard Center on April 22. The luncheon and fashion show began with a silent auction and boutique shopping. If you forgot to wear your hat, guests could purchase one at the vendor booths. Hats From Wyatt was there with hats for the occasion. Willa Deen Isbell Ramsay, Ed.D, looked stylish in her Oscar de la Renta hat and St. John knit. Ramsay was signing copies of her book, “Reach for the Stars!!”

As guests sat down for the luncheon, The Corvelles entertained with a tribute to The Supremes and the trio was a real crowd pleaser with their Motown brand of music. Charlotte Perry, president of Altrusa, welcomed everyone. Barbara Hill was master of ceremonies for the afternoon and got the festivities going. Fashions were from Chico’s at UTC and Nicola Martin performed as commentator for the fashion show. There were models in all sizes, shapes, and ages. Martin gave the audience tips on the latest styles in fashion, which included some of the spring and summer fashion colors of turquoise and tangerine. One of the season’s big trends is the off-the-shoulder look. As an added treat, Martin demonstrated how to turn a long oblong scarf into a chic vest,

Willa Deen Isbell Ramsay, Ed.D, signing copies of her book, “Reach for the Stars!!” (Photo by Diana Cavagnaro)

San Diego Downtown News | May 2017

while explaining how easy it is for anyone to do it. Martin also showed how to accessorize each outfit. Chico’s philosophy on accessories is that one piece is good, two are better, and three are amazing. All the proceeds go to Altrusa, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the economic well-being and quality of life of children. They do this through commitment to community services and literacy. Some of the organizations they support are Rady Children’s Hospital, Wreaths Across America, The Ronald McDonald House and Second Chance Program. For more information, visit

FAB workshop

Fashion Week San Diego presented a FAB (Fashion Art Business) Authority Workshop at the FIDM San Diego’s Downtown location. The topic of this event was intellectual property given by Knobbe Martens. This was a great opportunity to hear Jason J. Jardine, Loni Morrow and Jeff Van Hoosear talk about the legal issues needed to protect your brand. Some of the topics discussed were copyrights, trademarks, patents, and how to safeguard your designs. The FAB Authority helps emerging fashion and art entrepreneurs and this was the first scheduled event for Fashion Week San Diego this year. On May 13, they will present their spring showcase at the Hotel Del Coronado. An announcement will be made to disclose the location of the Runway

Model shows off one of the latest colors: turquoise Show, taking place Oct. 5 and 6. Stay tuned for more information or visit

Upcoming events

Jan. 14–June 4, 2017 | Knotted Fiber Jewelry — This exhibition by Sandy Swirnoff is currently on display at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. The artist combines the old with the new using various beads and a form of macramé. Hours are Tuesday-Sunday 10 a.m.– 5 p.m. May 12 | Golden Scissors Fashion Show — San Diego Mesa College fashion students show off their designs. 5:30–9 p.m. Sheraton Harbor Island Hotel, 1380 Harbor Island Drive. For info, call 760-994-8083.


Model shows off one of the latest trendy colors, tangerine (Photos by Diana Cavagnaro)

May 13 | FWSD17 Spring Showcase — The spring showcase of Fashion Week 2017 will take place at the Hotel del Coronado from 6–9 p.m. For tickets, visit tickets. June 1 | Atlantis Fashion Show and Luncheon — Benefitting the Epilepsy Foundation San Diego County. Marriott Marquis and Marina, 333 W. Harbor Drive, Downtown. For tickets, visit —Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned couture milliner based in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. To learn more about our hat designer, teacher and blogger visit DianaCavagnaro.comv

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John Watson

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Survey Shows “Made in America” Resonates with Small Business Shoppers Seventy one percent of respondents would spend more money if small businesses only sold U.S.manufactured items An overwhelming number of Californians visit a local small business at least once a week, with slightly more than a quarter (27%) patronizing small businesses twice a week. According to the 2017 Cox Business Consumer Pulse on Small Businesses, only seven percent of California survey respondents don’t visit any type of small business in an average week. Consumers may have a stronger sense of familiarity with the small business owners and employees who work in those businesses, according to the findings. However, survey respondents selected convenience and local support as the top reasons they go the “Main Street” route. When selecting their top three reasons for shopping and supporting small, the run-down ranked as follows:

Sudoku & Crossword puzzle answers from page 21

• Convenience – 69% • Local support – 65% • Greater customer service (than a large business) – 52% Other key findings from California respondents included: • When it comes to shopping small, the price apparently doesn’t have to be right as only14% of respondents said “more competitive pricing” was a top reason for supporting small business. • Californians showed that technology can play a role in enhancing the customer experience at small businesses. Forty four percent picked free and reliable WiFi as the preferred technology to enhance the customer experience at small businesses. • Eighty-one percent of surveyed consumers responded that shopping/ dining at small businesses makes them feel like they’re supporting the American workforce and economy. • More than 70% of California consumers would also spend more money at a small business if that small business supported a positive social or environmental cause and 59% think small businesses should openly promote the causes they support.

Be sure to visit one of the many small businesses in your neighborhood during National Small Business Week and beyond.

• Small businesses don’t need to stay open on the holidays to compete with their big business competitors. Only 25% of consumers think small businesses should stay open on the holidays, with the other 75% giving this a frosty ‘no’ vote. • Consumers would overwhelmingly continue to support a small business owner if he or she voted differently than them. Only 18% of respondents would stop supporting a small business if they knew the owner voted differently from them. At the same time, 35% of consumers would stop supporting a small business if they knew the owner was vocal on social media about his/her political leanings or preferred candidate. More details on the 2017 Cox Consumer Pulse on Small Businesses are at Follow Cox at @CoxCalifornia or @CoxBusiness on Twitter and join the conversation using #GoSmall to share the results with your network.

About the 2017 Cox Business Consumer Sentiment Survey on Small Business The 2017 Cox Business Consumer Sentiment Survey on Small Business was a blind survey conducted in March 2017 among nearly 1,900 consumers across the following 14 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Virginia. The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus three percent.


San Diego Downtown News | May 2017 Broker License #01317331 Cal BRE License #00809392

Neuman & Neuman Real Estate successfully represented more buyers & sellers in 92101 than any other agent, team, or brokerage during the past 12 months with 143 closed transactions. Before you put your home on the market, call for a FREE marketing package.



3BD / 3.5BA / 3,662

1BD / 1.5BA / 1,460

/ $4,150,000

/ $750,000

3BD / 2.5BA / 2,510

2BR / 2.5BA / 1,343

/ $3,000,000

/ $534,900


2+BD / 2BA / 1,680

2BR / 2BA / 1,254

/ $1,195,000

/ $549,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,220


2BD / 2BA / 1,474

/ $1,349,000


2BD / 2.5BA / 1,700


/ $999,000



2BD / 2 BA / 1,341

/ $849,900

/ $629,900

1BD / 1BA / 1,103

/ $614,900


2BD / 2BA / 1,249

/ $915,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,021

/ $849,900

2BD / 2 BA / 1,192

/ $889,900

2BD / 2BA / 1,324

/ $819,900

Loft / 1.5 BA / 920

/ $525,000

2BD / 2BA / 1,370

/ $839,900



2+BD / 2BA / 1,431

2BD / 2BA / 939

/ $764,900

/ $549,900

/ $624,900


1+BD / 1BA / 994

/ $499,900

1BD / 1BA / 781

Š2016 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 3/29/17

San Diego Downtown News May 2017  
San Diego Downtown News May 2017