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October 2015 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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


United Way turns 95

➤➤ THEATER P. 18





Logo Design






The Coastkeepers

(above) San Diego Coastkeeper's patrol boat, Clean Sweep, monitors the bay; (right) Executive Director Megan Baehrens. (Courtesy San Diego Coastkeeper)

Love love love


Twenty years ago, San Diego Baykeeper was launched as part of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international network of nonprofit organizations that protect the world’s waterways — to address the industrial pollution of San Diego Bay. Soon the small organization was entrusted with a 20-year

agreement and a $1 billion commitment from the City of San Diego, to fix the city’s sewage infrastructure. “At that time it averaged one sewage spill per day,” said San Diego Coastkeeper Executive Director Megan Baehrens. “It was a problem for the fish, for tourism and kids splashing in the ocean, but for whatever reason, it was a

Local groups take SANDAG to task Accuse them of creating ‘roadblocks’ to hinder climate plans By Dave Schwab

... making our water more swimmable, fishable and drinkable for 20 years Morgan M. Hurley | Editor

All things haunted Page 21

really unacceptable status quo.” While that agreement recently ended, San Diego Coastkeeper is stronger than ever, not only financially, but also collaboratively and with regards to policy. The

see Coastkeeper, pg 11

Circulate San Diego and the Climate Action Campaign held a joint press conference Downtown on Sept. 23 and accused SANDAG, the region’s transportation planning agency, of erecting planning “roadblocks” that could bar the city of San Diego from achieving goals set forth in its Climate Action Plan. The city is expected to adopt its Climate Action Plan before the end of the year. That initiative seeks to cut the city’s greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2035. That be would accomplished, in part, by getting 50 percent of the people who live near high-quality transit stations to walk, bike or take public transportation to work. But SANDAG has shed doubt on the achievability of those climate action goals, based on an analysis of how people are likely to commute in 2035, conducted as part of the agency’s long-term transportation plan that its board is expected to adopt soon.

New school opens

➤➤ DINING P. 22

A group of students work on a "Gesso Italiano" (chalk art) in a previous year. (Photo by Paul Nester)

An Italian homecoming FESTA! merges with Sicilian Festival

Desserts on fire

Index Opinion…...............……8 Briefs.........................9 Balboa Park.............…19 Calendar..................26

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By Gina McGalliard At this year’s 21st annual FESTA!, San Diegans will enjoy an even bigger and better celebration of Italian heritage and culture now that FESTA! has joined forces with the San Diego Sicilian Festival to combine into one event, Sunday, Oct. 11 on the streets of Little Italy. “[The FESTA!] is two things,” said Marco LiMandri,

current chief executive administrator of the Little Italy Association (LIA). “One is a homecoming. Most Italian Americans in San Diego County were either born, or grew up, were married or they buried their parents through Our Lady of the Rosary Church, which is the foundation of Little Italy. “Everybody has this tie to Little Italy,” he continued. “So it’s a homecoming and every year we welcome everybody back to see the neighborhood. The second thing is — and I’m a native San Diegan — what we’ve demonstrated in Little Italy over the last 20 years is what you can do with a Downtown neighborhood that has great historic ethnic roots but is also contemporary.”

see FESTA!, pg 24

The agency’s board includes elected officials from across the county. Its draft transportation plan outlines bus, light rail, bike, road and highway projects throughout the region in coming decades. Colin Parent, policy council for Circulate San Diego, a nonprofit promoting public and active trans-

see SANDAG, pg 9


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


The San Diego Convention Center (Courtesy

The ‘double-edged sword’ of the Convention Center study Bolstering the case for waterfront expansion Ashly McGlone | Voice of San Diego A new study released [the last week of August] bolstered the case for a waterfront expansion to the San Diego Convention Center and even persuaded Mayor Kevin Faulconer to support a tax hike to fund the project. But the same study might undermine the project in court. California’s environmental laws require officials peddling big projects to seek out ways to remove or lessen the negative effects. Projects on the coast are extra sensitive, but special exceptions are made when no viable alternatives exist. It was under this premise that the board of the California Coastal Commission approved the waterfront Convention Center expansion in October 2013 over the objections of its own staff, who noted, “There are feasible alternatives to the proposed expansion that have not been incorporated into the project, or even fully examined.” Commission staff advised the project would harm public views and access, and “result in the building towering over and dominating the narrow public corridor, making the shoreline feel like the private backyard of the SDCC.” A lawsuit challenging the commission’s approval seizes on those same concerns, and alleges the board abused its discretion. It also takes issue with the project “not being located, designed and constructed to minimize substantial adverse environmental impact.” Now, consultant Conventions, Sports & Leisure International has provided a head-to-head comparison of the planned coastal expansion and an alternate city-owned location a half-mile away known as Tailgate Park. Though the study’s authors concluded the contiguous expansion along the coast was preferred and could attract more events, they showed Tailgate could

work too and would also increase the number of meetings held in San Diego, though to a lesser degree. That means that while officials are defending the waterfront expansion as the only feasible option in court — the new study seems to show the city would benefit from a split expansion, too. Tailgate Park was considered and dismissed by a citizen task force in 2009 primarily for not meeting large convention needs in one spot. The site was deemed infeasible and not thoroughly studied in the project’s Environmental Impact Report — a key document required by the state and cited in the lawsuit. With the new study in hand, attorney Cory Briggs is feeling good about his case on behalf of the San Diego Navy Broadway Complex Coalition. “The city and the Port were lying to the public and most importantly, lied to the Coastal Commission by saying the only viable option was a contiguous expansion. … Their mantra was ‘contiguous is the only viable option. The clientele won’t go across the street.’ You now have a report that says you can go across the street.” “It disproves the premise in their argument,” Briggs said. “Now we have a report that can get you 22 out of 28 events you want to get.” The $90,000 CSL analysis estimated a Tailgate campus expansion would attract 11 more small conventions, three less than a contiguous expansion; seven more mid-size conventions, or one less than a contiguous expansion; one less large event, compared with one more large event gained with a contiguous expansion; and four more corporate events at either location. What’s unclear is whether the judge in the case will allow the report into evidence this late in

the game. “The city attorney’s office is going to wage World War III to try to keep us from showing this document to the judge because of the lies in the position they took, the Port took to the Coastal Commission,” Briggs said. “The judge won’t look too kindly to public agencies committing fraud on the public.” “We will evaluate whether there is any potential relevance and address it in court if need be,” said Gerry Braun, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office. Officials with the Port of San Diego — the lead agency for the project’s environmental approvals — did not respond to requests for comment. California Coastal Commission spokeswoman Noaki Schwartz declined to comment on the legal case, but said in a statement: “The commission approved the amendment to the Port Master Plan providing for the Convention Center expansion finding that the expansion was consistent with the visual, public access and recreational policies of the Coastal Act.” She said staff hasn’t read the study, “but would certainly consider its findings if the Port were to come forward with a future amendment to revise the current Port Master Plan.” In its press release announcing the report’s findings Aug. 31, Convention Center officials said the court case may be resolved in the next six months, an estimate that doesn’t include subsequent appeals. Other officials, including Convention Center Chairman Steve Cushman, have previously estimated the case could take five more years to resolve. —Ashly McGlone is an investigative reporter for Voice of San Diego. She can be reached at ashly. or 619-550-5669.v

San Diego Downtown News | October 2015



San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


‘Elevating’ for almost a century By Dave Schwab Nonprofit United Way of San Diego County celebrated its 95th birthday Sept. 17, presenting awards to deserving volunteers while saluting the start of a “new era” in the organization. Senior Vice President Valin Brown, who emceed the event, called United Way a work in progress. “Our organization continues to evolve, to be vibrant, to redefine itself in modern times, to do the work that drives impactive change,” Brown said, adding that United Way’s mission is simple. “It’s about elevating every child, and family, to a brighter future,” he said. United Way President and CEO Kevin Crawford said United Way is the very first nonprofit group to be hosted at the new Bayfront Coasterra restaurant owned by the Cohn Restaurant Group, which has partnered with the nonprofit. “Ninety-five years is an incredible period of time to be doing one thing [philanthropy] in the community,” Crawford said. He said the group isn’t resting on its laurels but “looking forward realizing we need to be relevant, significant. We need to be a part of what goes into making San Diego one of the best regions in our nation.” Crawford hinted more positive developments are on the way. “We will have some things to roll out to you, what I affectionately call the new United Way,” Crawford said, adding that the goal is to “bring together the

(clockwise, from top left) The Mulvaney Family poses with Maureen “Mo” King (center), who received the sixth annual James F. Mulvaney Community Leadership; (l to r) “Volunteer of the Year” Naish Award recipient Jonathan E. Vance and UWSDC President and CEO Kevin Crawford; (l to r) Claudia Zoumaras and Claude Townsend, former associated director of United Way of San Diego County; local artist Katy Helen Stockinger, a former UWSDC employee, helped celebrate by organizing murals painted by attendees. (Photos by Dave Schwab) collective wisdom of this community to solve the great social challenges we face.” Maureen “Mo” King received the sixth annual James F. Mulvaney Community Leadership Award. King said it was an honor to stand among those who have received the award previously, and credited Jim Mulvaney senior,

the man for whom the award was named, as a “leader among leaders.” “Leadership is nothing more than getting people to do things,” King said. “Jim Mulvaney was a pro at getting people to do things.” Jonathan E. Vance received the “Volunteer of the Year” Naish Award. The award recognizes an individual who has

made a significant and sustained contribution to United Way as a volunteer and commemorates the extraordinary commitment of Jack Naish, a former board member and creative leader. United Way got a special present at the end of festivities, a colorful birthday day cake marking

the organization’s 95th year. —Dave Schwab came to San Diego 30 years ago with a journalism degree from Michigan State University and has worked and freelanced for numerous dailies, weeklies and other regional publications. He can be reached at

San Diego Downtown News | October 2015



San Diego Downtown News | October 2015

Attendees line India Street for last year’s FESTA! celebration. (Photo by Paul Nester)

Celebrating 15 years of Italian homeland Little Italy News Christopher Gomez There’s no missing the iconic Little Italy landmark sign when walking down India Street. If you take a closer look, the sign does more than just welcome guests to Italian cuisine, public piazzas and “ciao bellas” on every corner. The mosaic tiles lining each side of the India Street sign tell a story about Little Italy’s culture and honors its Italian heritage. In October, the historic Little Italy landmark sign will celebrate its 15th birthday just in time for the West Coast’s largest Italian homecoming — Little Italy’s 21st annual FESTA! on Sunday, Oct. 11. The mosaic art on the sign represents the transformation that has taken place throughout this community. The sign was constructed 15 years ago to pay tribute to the immigrant neighborhood — representing ties to the bay, the church and the Italian homeland. The nautical theme is conveyed through the portholes at the top of the pillars, the blue neon lettering and the cable span — which holds up the sign.

Over the years the sign has been a focal point for San Diego’s Little Italy, as visitors from near and far line up to snap photos in front of the iconic sign. Today, the landmark sign represents everything the San Diego Little Italy neighborhood has been able to

achieve and highlights all of the incredible things that make this community so special. The Little Italy Association is excited to honor both monumental occasions this October, as we celebrate the historic sign’s 15th year since instillation alongside the 21st annual FESTA! celebration. Together, both provide a testament to the preservation of Little Italy’s cultural heritage and to the ongoing revitalization of this dynamic urban ethnic neighborhood in Downtown San Diego. This October will undoubtedly be one for the books in Little Italy. From the food and art, to the fun-filled events with music and dancing — Little Italy will be as vibrant as ever and we want to welcome everyone to become a part of our famiglia. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, take a look at the detail on the landmark sign that represents the 48-square-blocks of Italian love and spirit this beautiful community has to offer. We look forward to seeing you on India Street this October! To check out what other things are going on in our neighborhood, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @LittleItalySD and Facebook/San DiegoLittleItaly or check out our events at —Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at

San Diego Downtown News | October 2015




San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


Help is on the way for low-income workers

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

By Toni G. Atkins


Street feedings: a bridge or a barrier? By Deacon Jim Vargas, Miles McPherson, Elaine Therrien and Kris Michell When you see someone struggling with homelessness, the impulse to help is undeniable. In that moment, when you see a fellow human being sleeping on the street, you want to do something — anything — to alleviate his or her pain. It is from these impulses that many groups and individuals come Downtown to provide meals and other items, seeking to aid the homeless in our community. While the intentions of these groups are no doubt good, they fail to address the complex nature of homelessness. Instead of helping the homeless, these efforts can serve as a barrier — not a bridge — to getting homeless individuals off the street and into stable housing. Think of it this way: you see someone fall overboard on a ship; would you throw them a life preserver or would you throw them a sandwich? Homeless individuals in Downtown — many of whom are struggling with addiction and mental illness — need services, not sandwiches, to truly turn their lives around. Despite this, as many as 80 groups and individuals currently come Downtown to feed the homeless. The fact is that street feedings deprive the homeless of having access to the services they need to rebuild their lives. These feedings can serve as a crutch and enable homeless individuals to stay on the streets and avoid the assistance of outreach workers who are trained to help break the cycle of homelessness. Street feedings also don’t offer homeless individuals the opportunity to wash up or have access to a restroom, which is not only an issue of health but of dignity. What many don’t know is that these street feedings are also duplicative, as there are a number of service providers throughout Downtown that already offer meals at their facilities. More than 1,250 meals are offered in Downtown on any given day. These meals are professionally prepared — ensuring that the food is both fresh and healthy — something that is vitally important as many homeless individuals have weakened immune systems and are susceptible to illness. In-house meals served by

providers including Father Joe’s Villages, Loving Spoonfuls, Rachel Women’s Center (Catholic Charities), PATH, The Salvation Army and The Alpha Project are well-organized and ensure that those who attend have access to those who are best trained to help them address the issues that have led to their homelessness. All of the organizations that provide meal services need help — which is how interested groups can make a difference without the current negative and unintended consequences. Whether it be financial assistance or serving food, working with established service providers in Downtown provides the best opportunity to help the homeless in concrete and constructive ways. These service organizations also are in the best position to ensure that donations such as blankets, sleeping bags and clothing are distributed in the most efficient and thoughtful way. Too often, groups simply toss clothing, blankets, tarps and tents on the street — leaving homeless individuals to fight over the most in-demand items while other less desired items are left strewn about the street. This creates a mob-like atmosphere that is dangerous and disruptive. To that end, we have created the San Diego Meal Service Program, a centralized community platform designed to connect

public feeding groups with local service providers. The ultimate goal is to provide the most good for those in need. Located on the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Clean & Safe website, this easy-to-use networking tool allows churches, Rotaries, universities, scout troops and other eager volunteer groups to connect with local service providers looking for support. Homelessness is and should be everyone’s concern. We applaud those who do not avert their eyes from the suffering of the less fortunate and who are willing to work to improve the lives of those in need. But we must be mindful about how good intentions can have unintended consequences. We urge all those who hear the call to help our homeless brothers and sisters to work through the San Diego Meal Service Program to redirect good intentions into more positive outcomes for the betterment of our entire community. —Jim Vargas, president/ CEO of Father Joe’s Villages; Miles McPherson is pastor of The Rock Church; Elaine Therrien of Loving Spoonfuls; and Kris Michell, CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership; all are founders of the San Diego Meal Service program. To participate, visit

The state Legislature just wrapped up the 2015 legislative session. And working together, the Assembly, Senate and Gov. Brown have achieved some real successes for the people of California. One of the highlights of the year was our balanced, on-time budget that invested heavily in public schools and higher education while also strengthening our rainy-day reserves and paying down debt. But the achievement that fills me with the most pride is the establishment of a new state-level Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The state EITC will provide desperately needed relief for roughly 2 million workers. It will lift 50,000 people out of poverty and another 50,000 out of deep poverty. It could help as many as 150,000 San Diegans with very low incomes. Before this year, there had been at least seven attempts to create a state EITC since 2002. In 2015, we finally did it, joining 25 other states (plus the District of Columbia) that supplement the federal EITC with an additional state-level benefit for lowincome working families and individuals. Families that earn incomes up to $13,870 will qualify for the tax credit. Depending on the level of income, families can qualify for credits worth up to $2,653. Workers with no dependents who make up to $6,580 will qualify for credits worth up to $214. A refundable credit — meaning it helps people who have an income from work but no tax liability — the EITC is money placed directly in the pockets of very low-income working

see Atkins, pg 9

Poll of the

Month Last Poll Results:

This Month’s Question:

Have you been to the new Waterfront Park?

Are you fed up with the Chargers controversy, or still a die hard fan?

64% Yes 36% No

Fed up Die hard fan

To cast your vote, visit

PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

ART DIRECTOR Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jeff Clemetson, x119 Ken Williams, x102 CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Toni G. Atkins Charlene Baldridge Diana Cavagnaro Andy Cohen Dave Fidlin Christopher Gomez Dustin Lothspeich Alex Owens Margie M. Palmer Johnny McDonald Kris Michell Kai Oliver-Kurtin Jake Romero Frank Sabatini Jr. Taylor Schulte Dave Schwab Lucia Viti Delle Willett Carol Williams COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118

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



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people, and it will immediately be pumped back into the economy as recipients spend it on groceries and other essential goods and services. Statewide, the EITC gives individuals and families an extra $380 million. Economists tell us that when we give low-income workers an additional credit of $1, the multiplier effect is worth $1.50 to $2. That means our new EITC will benefit local economies to the tune of $570 million to $760 million. We must always remember that whenever we talk about widespread poverty, we’re talking about kids — nearly half of all children in California live below or near the poverty line. Poverty severely reduces our children’s chances for success later in life. Anything we can do to help their parents make ends meet is an investment in their — and, collectively, our — future. The Earned Income Tax Credit is a proven way to fight poverty, give children a fighting chance and encourage employment. But it doesn’t work unless those who are qualified claim it when they file their tax returns. That’s why it’s important to get the word out and make sure that all workers in California who are eligible for this new credit claim it next year when they do their taxes. As we educate Californians about the new state EITC, it also gives us an opportunity to remind workers about the federal EITC. The federal EITC is available to even more Californians — families earning nearly $50,000 a year can qualify for the benefit. In 2013, the average federal credit was $2,373 in California. But participation rates are too low, ranging in recent years from 71 – 78.6 percent, depriving Californians — and our economy — of more than $1 billion per year in federal credits. I’ll be working with community organizations and helping them disseminate the information so that we reach as many people as possible, and I’m encouraging other public officials to do the same. The more people who claim the EITC, the better it is for us all. —Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) represents the 78th District.v


Throughout the month of October, any customer that parks in an Ace Parking lot Downtown will have a portion of their parking fee donated to organizations that fight cancer. Last year, in its inaugural year, “Park for Pink” raised thousands of dollars for the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to fight blood cancers. Ace Parking will change out much of their traditional signage with pink-colored signs with the Park for Pink logo. All Ace Parking team members will also be wearing bright pink buttons and wristbands, in honor of the pledge. The Park for Pink program was inspired by Ace Parking’s third generation owner, Keith B. Jones, whose own wife struggled with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma but is currently in remission after an aggressive chemotherapy regimen. “Now, having a few years to reflect on this transformational event, and having endured the trial together with my resilient and beautiful wife, we have tremendous compassion and empathy for those who continue to fight this battle,” Jones said. “I am thrilled to have my family business Ace Parking be a platform for supporting those who are suffering from this disease, and assist those who will one day find a cure.” Though previously the campaign was limited to Ace Parking facilities in San Diego County, in 2015 it will be expanded to the 450 Ace Parking locations across the entire United States. For more information, visit events. or





San Diego Downtown News | October 2015

I also stayed at the Golden West, it isn’t charming, it’s a den of thieves, other than it provides shelter for so many street people, it needs a total makeover within. The rooms are about the size of a cell block cell, if you are even able to rent a room there. The beds in the dormitory are full. It’s all about who to trust in the place. —Wil, via

Love for Carol from readers nationwide

Congratulations. Very well written. Maybe even written with the help of an editor. I can smell one. Nobody in this world, outside of a newspaper,
writes as well as that straight off. Very, very well written. You should write a book, such as Carlo Curley did. I think you would do a better job. You have a unique perspective and the world needs your book.
Have a good day. —Carl Wickstrom, via Congratulations, Carol, this was a great read. Thank you for sharing it. Seems like forever since we last saw and talked with you. It’s East Coast time again! Hopefully you will get a recital scheduled in the Baltimore/DC/Philadelphia area before too much more time elapses.
Enjoy your day!! —Ted Hallock, via Great publicity statement, Carol! Hope you can play in the NY metro area soon. So many people have no idea of what an organ really is, or of what it can — and cannot — do. Being semi-retired now, I do not have to deal with brides demanding things like the Vivaldi “[Four] Seasons” or the Mussorgsky “Pictures [at an Exhibition],” so I do not have to respond to ignorant pastors demanding to know why I told them that something like that was not doable on an eleven-rank practice-studio instrument. I could write a book about some of those characters! Cheers always. —Joe Lindquist, via sandiegodowntownnews.comv


City and tourism leaders recently announced the launch of the fourth annual “Kids Free San Diego” which takes place the entire month of October. Over 100 local attractions, hotels, and restaurants will participate in the promotion and local residents benefit, too. “Kids Free is yet another way that San Diegans benefit from living in one of the most desirable tourist destinations in North America,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “San Diego’s tourism economy not only provides thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenue, it also creates opportunities for San Diegans to experience unique and special places like the San Diego Zoo, the USS Midway Museum and many other attractions. And with Kids Free, San Diegans can enjoy them for a lot less in October.” Joe Terzi, president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority, the private non-profit that markets San Diego as a visitor destination, said that October is generally an “off peak” month, so this promotion helps bring visitors to the region. “More visitors to San Diego means more hotel tax revenue, which the city uses to help fund essential city services like police, fire, parks and street resurfacing,” he said. In addition to visitors, local families can also take advantage of all the offers, with activities such as visiting the many area museums, going on sightseeing tours, eating out at dozens of participating restaurants, even opting for an overnight stay at many local hotels, and more. Visit before making any “staycation” plans or visiting any local attraction.


The House of Blues Music Forward Foundation will be delivering a grant it awarded to San Diego High School’s Instrumental Music program on Oct. 13. “Music Forward knows that participation in music programs helps youth develop transferable life skills such as diligence, focus and critical thinking,” said Executive Director Marjorie Gilberg in a press release. “Action for the Arts grant funding ensures thousands more young people will benefit from learning and playing music.” Part of their Action for the Arts Grants, the Foundation will be offering the grant in the form of musical resources and percussion instruments, which will allow more students the opportunity to practice. “For most students, the Instrumental Music Program is their first and perhaps only opportunity to gain the academic and cognitive benefits of music making, but our percussion instruments are at least 15 years old, possibly older, and replacement parts are no longer being manufactured,” said Instrumental Music Director Jose Diaz in the release. “New or refurbished instruments would be meaningful to the students who play these instruments and allow the music program to continue with its goals of expanding so that student involvement in the marching band can increase.” House of Blues San Diego/ Anaheim General Manager Brian Carp said their organization looks forward to the program every year. “House of Blues in San Diego is honored to participate in the annual instrument donation to San Diego’s High School students,” he said in the release. “Music is ingrained in our culture and we are always excited to share music with the local community.”v

(l to r) Nicole Capretz of Climate Action Campaign and Colin Parent of Circulate San Diego presided over the Sept. 23 press conference. (Photo by Dave Schwab) FROM PAGE 1

SANDAG portation, called upon SANDAG to do more to help the city reach its goals. “The city of San Diego is currently in the process of adopting a whole new Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as they relate to the region’s transportation policies,” Parent said. “Public transit and bicycling are a crucial component of reducing the risk of climate change.” To accomplish transportation goals in the Climate Action Plan, Parent said the city has two tasks. “It needs to develop policies at the local level to make non-motorized transportation easier, cheaper and more safe via creation of more crosswalks and bike lanes,” Parent said. “And the city needs to ensure that SANDAG provides enough funding — and prioritizes — active public transportation.” Parent said SANDAG’s draft long-range transportation plan “creates barriers to San Diego achieving its climate goals,” noting the city’s climate goals call for 50 percent of commuters to use nonmotorized transportation. “SANDAG’s own data in their [transportation] plan will result in less than 15 percent of commuters using non-motorized travel,” Parent said. “We call upon SANDAG to meet the city halfway. The city must use its influence on SANDAG board members to get a reasonable plan that advances the city’s climate goals.” Nicole Capretz, spokesperson for the Climate Action Campaign, a watchdog group striving to stop climate change and protect quality of life, said achieving goals set forward in the city’s plan to curb greenhouse emissions from transportation sources is critical to

protecting the region’s environment moving forward. “We cannot be a world-class city without a world-class transportation system,” Capretz said. “We can’t be a world-class city without tackling the biggest challenge we’ve ever face in humanity — climate change.” Capretz said the city is “on the cusp of passing one of the most ambitious [climate] plans in the nation.” She accused SANDAG of “thumbing their nose” at the city’s Climate Action Plan by “failing to pull their weight to help us meet our climate goals.” Capretz called upon the city and SANDAG to collaborate to “take the necessary action to protect the future of our kids.” Toward that end, Capretz urged the mayor and the City Council not to support the “fundamentally flawed” transportation plan. “We call upon the mayor and Council to demand that SANDAG do their fair share to ensure we meet out biking, walking and transit goals, and provide real transportation alternatives for us in San Diego,” Capretz said. “The mayor and Council should vote no on this regional transportation plan, unless — or until — there is more investment and resources put toward building the necessary infrastructure to make people feel safe biking, walking or taking public transportation to work.” Parent said the issue is not about “getting people out of their vehicles,” but in “creating a transportation plan that makes them want to do something different, by creating the infrastructure necessary to give people who prefer to bike, walk or take the trolley an opportunity to do so.” — Dave Schwab is a local freelance writer. He can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015

Notes from Toni Speaker of the Assembly Toni G. Atkins As I embarked on this year’s legislative session, one of my primary motivators was a 2014 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) report showing half of California’s children live in poverty or near poverty. This spurred my colleagues and I to work harder to seek solutions for Californians who are facing economic hardship. The result was the $380 million that the Assembly pushed to include in this year’s budget for California’s first-ever state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Thankfully, Gov. Jerry Brown agreed that it was the right thing to do. Our EITC will help 2 million hard-working, low-income Californians. It will inject money into local economies up and down the state, lift 50,000 working people out of poverty, lift another 50,000 people out of deep poverty and help 150,000 struggling San Diego County residents. Another step we took was to provide $263 million for a comprehensive package of child-care services that will make it easier for struggling Californians to look for work or keep their jobs while taking care of their families’ needs. Obviously, California’s high cost of living is a huge barrier to escaping poverty. Hard-working Californians are finding it more and more difficult to afford housing, and family budgets are increasingly burdened by high housing costs and that’s why the Assembly Democrats passed legislation to ease the state’s housing crisis. Affordable housing has always been an issue close to me, because I remember what it was like to grow up in sub-standard housing. To create more affordable housing for low-income residents, the Legislature passed AB 35, which expands the Low Income Housing Tax Credit by $100 million, a fiscally responsible increase that would build on a proven program and generate badly needed investment in affordable housing. This tax credit is one of the best tools we’ve had to help with this crisis, as it is an effective method to spur publicprivate partnerships that lead to construction of affordable new rental housing. We await the Governor’s decision on this criti-

cal piece of legislation. The Legislature and the governor also increased funding to the CalWORKS Housing Support Program to $35 million, a bump from last year’s initial $20 million. The program was in high demand from counties statewide when it began in 2014. The enhanced funding will help us rescue even more families from homelessness. I also want to acknowledge the $1.1 billion in drought relief we provided this session. It helps secure our future water supply and supports a number of communities that right now need a potable water supply, while keeping a promise we made to voters last year with the water bond. I particularly want to thank all my colleagues in the Assembly and the Senate, as well as Gov. Brown and Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De León for their partnership in helping Californians who are hardest hit by poverty. While we’ve done a lot this year to fight poverty in California, there is still more work to do and I look forward to a productive session next year. Around the District: Pleased to spend time last month with our “Navy Mayor,” Rear Admiral Markham Rich and to hear from the San Diego Military Advisory Council. The council, in a new study, documented the military’s remarkable impact on San Diego — it pumps almost $25 billion into our regional economy, leading to 328,000 jobs. Another interesting fact: The number of Navy ships here is set to jump 63 percent in the next eight years, from 49 to 80 … Hope you can drop by for our regional Small Business Resources Fair and Information Forum at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 15 at Qualcomm Hall, 5775 Morehouse Drive. I’ll join Assemblymember Brian Maienschein in welcoming experts to give you advice on tapping into state programs to boost your business, including the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development ... I was happy to return home after the Legislature’s session ended Sept. 11. It’s been great to take part in events like AIDS Walk San Diego and the Adams Avenue Street Fair and to be able to spend more time with my constituents in their communities again! —Toni G. Atkins is the Speaker of the California State Assembly. For more information, please visit her website, where you can sign up for her enewsletter or get the latest news on legislation and other activities. You also may follow her on Twitter, @ toniatkins.v



Congressional Watch Andy Cohen

Congress avoids another government shutdown … for now The federal government will not close for business this week, with Congress approving a bill on a largely party line vote of 277-151 — with 151 Republicans voting to shut the government down — to keep the lights on … for now. The catch: We’ll be going through this whole debacle again in a couple of months, when the current funding bill expires on Dec. 11. Every one of California’s Congressional delegation from the Democratic side of the aisle — in fact, all Democrats in Congress — voted in favor of keeping the government funded at current levels. While Congressional Republicans have waged a crusade to shut down the government unless funding for Planned Parenthood is dropped — the health care provider that caters to the poor, and yes, provides some abortion services (three percent of all services offered) — due to a series of heavily edited and deliberately misleading videos that purported to depict Planned Parenthood officials bartering for aborted fetal tissue, California’s Republican delegation displayed a degree of level headedness that has been sorely lacking from their colleagues; for the most part. Twelve of California’s 14 Republican representatives in Congress voted to keep the federal government running, including Bakersfield’s Kevin McCarthy, the frontrunner to replace the retiring John Boehner as Speaker of the House and third in line to the presidency. The two California members who voted to shut the government down were Tom McClintock, and San Diego’s Duncan Hunter (R-50). Hunter tends to be an ideologue, but normally tends to reserve his ire for military related issues. Although he does tout himself as staunchly pro-life, believing that life begins at conception, he has stated that “the Supreme Court has determined that abortion is legal and only a Constitutional amend-

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

ment [which I would support] or new court ruling can change that, [but] we can still work to end the practice and to give mothers faced with unwanted pregnancies choices other than abortion.” This would seem like an odd time for Hunter to depart from his initial, more practical stance. It was a tactic that was doomed to fail from the start, just like the last time Republicans shut down the government in 2013 over funding for the Affordable Care Act. That shutdown cost the U.S. economy $23 billion in economic output according to Moody’s, one of the nation’s leading credit rating and economic research agencies, and more than $2 billion in direct costs to taxpayers according to the Office of Management and Budget. The impending shutdown will likely cost Americans more this time around. It’s going to be an interesting


Pilates of San Diego

310 K St. San Diego, CA 92101 619-239-1319 |


1350 Market St. #111 San Diego CA 92101 619-795-9880 Roosters is a contemporary men’s grooming center. We are committed to providing classic barbershop services, but also keeping up with the latest trends. At Roosters we keep that authentic barbershop experience without gimmicks or trendy themes. It’s a place for men to go to de-stress and walk out looking good and feeling incredible. We take appointments and walk-ins are always welcome upon availability.

Located in San Diego’s Marina District, in the heart of Downtown, Pilates of San Diego creates a serene haven for Pilates, yoga and barre practice. Our philosophy is simple. We focus on movement as a way to transform many aspects of our lives. Pilates of San Diego’s signature approach is matching the needs and goals of each and every client. Our expert teachers develop custom exercises and personalized sequences to accommodate and challenge each body. Our goal is to deliver a more powerful and peaceful body, which ultimately leads to a more powerful and peaceful life. Pilates of San Diego’s intimate studio offers private, semi-private and small group sessions to ensure individual attention. Nothing brings us greater joy than to guide you in efficient and effective exercise so you can live fully, passionately, and healthfully. “Pilates, Yoga, and Barre are pathways for transformation. In the process of transforming your body, you will transform your life. This is what I love about what we do, we address the whole person. These practices are so much more than their physicality.” – Ania London

Christmas season. Darrell Issa (R-49) continued his push for more government transparency, particularly on spending issues. “Imagine if all the spending in government to all the vendors was made open and available for non-classified work,” he said at a conference sponsored by the Data Transparency Coalition, and open data advocacy group. “Imagine how quickly we could find out that the government, through no fault of its own, paid 10 different prices for the same product, and in fact, may buy once from the company who manufactures it, once from the distributor and several times from retailers, and not even be aware when they went out with contracts that they did that. Imagine how much savings we could have.” Issa has been a leading voice in Congress on data transparency and has helped draft and introduce a number of bills requiring government agencies to make their spending data available on the Internet for all to see. Susan Davis (D-53) joined in introducing legislation strengthening protections for workers looking to unionize or improve working conditions and wages. “The ability for workers to band together to support better working conditions, wages, and benefits is a bedrock for the strength and size of our middle class,” Davis said in a press release. “A strong middle class means a strong economy. Our focus should be on growing the middle class to grow our economy and strengthening the hand of workers in the workplace will help achieve this.” Scott Peters (D-52) supported four bills in the final week of September that provide additional support for veterans benefits, including one bill that will bring $206 million to San Diego for the construction of a spinal cord injury research and treatment facility as a part of the Department of Veterans Affairs. “Bringing $206 million to San Diego for spinal cord research will combine the ground-breaking, innovative work that is already being done in our region with the ongoing needs that our warfighters have after their service. This will help San Diego continue pairing our scientific research leadership with veterans and their families who are suffering from debilitating injuries,” Peters said in a press release. The other bills included support for homeless veterans, funding to expand benefits to fathers of permanently disabled or deceased service members that were previously only available to mothers of service members, and a bill to expedite the hiring of veterans into the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agency. Juan Vargas (D-51) penned an op-ed in the Washington Examiner imploring the U.S. to do more to protect the rights of Christians in the Middle East, pointing to atrocities committed by Islamic State terrorists against religious minorities. “Before the fall of Saddam Hussein, the number of Christians in Iraq had been estimated to be between 800,000 and 1.4 million,” he wrote. “In 2013, the Christian population was estimated at 500,000, around half the size of the pre-2003 level. Today, with ongoing violence and forced displacement, the Christian population continues to decline. Pope Francis recently declared that ‘in this third world war, waged piecemeal, which we are now experiencing, a form of genocide — and I stress the word genocide — is taking place and it must end.’” —Andy Cohen is a local freelance writer. Reach him at ac76@


COASTKEEPER organization’s stability is thanks in large part to the focus and management style of Baehrens, who said she “seeks to be genuine and trustworthy” in everything she does. “I believe your reputation is your currency, and that puts something meaningful on the line and helps to build the trust,” she said. “And that’s what it’s about at the end of the day, to be able to trust one another; to be transparent and honest.” Building relationships is one of the things Baehrens is most proud of as she looks back on the three and a half years she has been at the helm of San Diego Coastkeeper. “My goal — and I think successfully we’ve done this — was to connect with all of the groups, whether we are friends, foes, or somewhere in between,” she said. “So now we are able to talk to the building industry association and the Port Tenant’s Association and the Industrial Environmental Association, and have relationships with them as groups and the members individually, so that while we may not always agree and we may disagree vehemently, there is an opportunity to talk about where do we do agree.” Baehrens — a San Diego native who received her MBA at Yale’s School of Management — is stepping down as head of the environmental nonprofit on Oct. 2 to accept a position created just for her with San Diego Grant Makers, as senior director of collaborative philanthropy. While the board searches for

someone to take her place, the seven-person staff she leaves behind will keep right on trucking like a well-oiled machine — not only keeping up with the normal things Coastkeeper does every day, but also planning their 20year anniversary “Soiree” at the end of the month — and that, too, is a testament to Baehrens. “I feel very comfortable that my transitioning out of my role at Coastkeeper is not going to have any sort of dire impacts here,” Baehrens said. “The staff is so knowledgeable and they work really, really well together. We are financially sound and connected to the community in a way that we have perhaps not been for many years. So the organization itself is in a really good place. “My departure, I think, will just open up a springboard for the next person to take it to the next level,” she said, adding that San Diego Coastkeeper is a very “unique organization,” doing everything from education to science, advocacy and legal work. “Every job here is a unique opportunity for somebody who wants to do work in water quality and water protection.” In addition to her small staff of administrators, scientists, environmentalists, educators and attorneys, San Diego Coastkeeper can also boast a 5,000-strong volunteer force. While the bulk of those show up between 30 and 40 times per year to do beach and inland clean ups, Baehrens said that approximately 250 of those 5,000 are what she calls “core volunteers.” They work on more involved and/ or ongoing projects and are nade up of interns, board members, and grad students. “It is really a neat way to

capitalize on the skills of people in the community to expand our staff,” she said. “The ability to do the work we do rests in large part in the fact that we have very wonderful volunteers.” Together they all work to do what Baehrens believes that San Diego County needs, an organization that is willing to go the extra mile to effect change and protect the water that is so integrated into everything that everyone who lives here does every day. One program that is especially important to her is the fresh water quality testing program. Started 12 years ago, staff members teach and then monitor teams who do the work on a monthly basis. “It’s a really cool program because it is all volunteerdriven,” she said. “We have a couple of staff who organize and manage the program and provide the training and expertise, but the people who actually go out in the field — about 100 per year are trained — and they learn so much, not just about their own back yard but the science behind it and the policy behind it and how it affects all of San Diego County.” Another effort she is proud of is the redesign of the internal infrastructure of Coastkeeper, which changed how each of the departments that work to protect San Diego's water interacted; they are now more integrated and support each other with the work that they do, instead of acting independently. “As small as it is a highly functional team of people rather than a group of individuals,” Baehrens said. “To us internally, it’s made a palpable difference in how affective we are and the depth to which we can approach

San Diego Downtown News | October 2015 an issue.” Though her staff is certain to miss the impact she has made, others outside of Coastkeeper will notice a void upon her departure, too. “Megan and her team helped turn around a very negative relationship to a synergistic relationship,” said Kathy O’Brien of Sun Harbor Marina. “We are sad to see her leave. But we hope to meet the new director and develop the same supportive relationship.” On Oct. 28, San Diego Coastkeeper will celebrate the 20 years that it has been protecting the oceans, rivers and creeks of San Diego County with a “Seaside Soiree” at the Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island. A start time of 4:30 p.m. for VIPs will include special entertainment and rides on the Coastkeeper’s patrol boat, Clean Sweep. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, will be the Keynote Speaker and Baehrens said there will be lots to keep everyone busy, with six interactive stations that will impart important information, including bioassessment, water quality monitoring, water education kits, water conservation, industrial stormwater, and beach cleanups. Tickets can be found at “One of the things that I treasure most about my involvement with San Diego Coastkeeper is the opportunity it has given me to see how much people care about clean water and other social issues and the thousand unheralded times they quietly make a difference,” Baehrens said. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at


Seaside Soiree San Diego Coastkeeper’s 20th anniversary Oct. 28

4:30 – 9 p.m. VIP 6 – 9 p.m. General Adm Bali Hai Restaurant 2230 Shelter Island Dr. Keynote Speaker Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., president of the Waterkeeper Alliance Interactive stations, entertainment Tickets $250 (VIP) and $100 (GA) Visit


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


Featured landmark: Lion Clothing Store/Samuel Fox Building, 1929, William Templeton Johnson, architect (Courtesy GQHF)

The Samuel Fox Building Gaslamp Landmarks Jake Romero This month’s featured building is one of the most beautiful, yet often overlooked historic structures in the Gaslamp Quarter. Located at the very edge of the Quarter on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Broadway, a visit to this structure will reveal some of the Gaslamp’s finest architectural detail. This structure was built in 1929 to accommodate its sole tenant, which it did for 55 years, the Lion Clothing Store. Lion Clothing had been around under different ownership in various locations in the Gaslamp Quarter since the 1880s.

It wasn’t until 1920 when Samuel Fox purchased the business from the Isaac Kuhn estate, keeping the business in the family since Samuel had married Kuhn’s sister, Pauline. Upon opening, this four-story, reinforced concrete and steel building was recognized as an artistic architectural masterpiece. The exterior of the first level features ornate cast iron grills. Large framed windows rise majestically, lighting the upper floors. The exterior facade is topped with cast ornamental terracotta spandrels and heraldic lions, while elaborate Victorian geometric patterns grace the soffiting between sculpted corbels. The interior featured 16-foot ceilings showcasing some of the finest mens and womens high-end furnishings. The first and second

floors were devoted to menswear. The third floor housed the business offices and the boys clothing department, while the fourth floor featured fine womens apparel. When Samuel Fox died in 1939, operation of the business fell to his son John, who managed the company until his death in 1953. The Lion Clothing Store remained in this location under various owners until it closed in 1984. Today, the first floor of this magnificent structure remains vacant, while the upper floors are devoted to lofts. —Jake Romero is the director of operations of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation, located at 410 Island Ave., Downtown, in the historic Davis-Horton House. For more information visit


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


(l to r) Mary and Shawn Greiner, proprietors of Mystery Café in Bankers Hill (Photo by Kendra Truett)

Survival of the fittest Local mystery dinner theater celebrates a milestone By Kai Oliver-Kurtin As one of only a few murdermystery dinner theaters in town, Mystery Cafe in Bankers Hill is celebrating its 25th year in business. Holding shows in a private dining room within Imperial House Continental Restaurant on most Friday and Saturday nights, Mystery Cafe typically attracts about 80 people per interactive dinner show. Owners Shawn and Mary Greiner purchased the interactive dinner theater earlier this year when they were faced with either watching it shutter, or taking over operations from the previous owner. Shawn Greiner has performed with the company for almost 15 years, while his wife Mary has seen several of the productions in her supporting role. “Mystery Cafe was conceived at the height of the murdermystery era, and although the novelty has worn off, our theater has remained,” Shawn said. “We don’t just produce murder-mystery shows, we produce comedic productions that have a murder-mystery plot — and hire actors who are masters of improv and audience interaction.” Though he is still an actor at the Mystery Cafe, Shawn now also manages everything concerning show production, including casting, directing, and soon-to-be writing the productions. Mary is the production manager in charge of lighting and sound during shows, but also handles business management roles, including payroll, customer service and reservations. Show themes at Mystery Cafe run for about a year, depending upon sales and how well each is received. The current show, written by Jim Pascrella and directed by Shawn, “Where There’s a Will, There’s a Wake,” runs through January 2016. The next show, set to open in February, will be a parody of the popular board game Clue.

“People love murder mystery,” Shawn said. “The storyline is captivating and immediately calls for interaction because you’re trying to figure out who the killer is. Mystery Cafe takes that interaction to the next level by having our audience be part of the show from the moment they arrive.” When recruiting talent for productions, Shawn has found many new performers through his full-time job at Legoland, where he employs about 100 performers annually. Regular auditions are also held at Mystery Cafe throughout the year to find local professional actors with improv experience. Once the cast is assembled, they have about 10 rehearsals together prior to the show’s opening. From there, the production often changes based on audience response. “We use over-the-top characters in every show, and the actors play multiple roles,” Shawn explained, adding that part of the element of surprise for the dining audience is seeing a character as they enter the venue for the first time. “Most of our improv involves audience members, and when you pull someone up from the audience, you never know what you’re going to get,” he said. “So you have to be able to roll with the punches.” Mystery Cafe is still deciding how to celebrate its milestone anniversary, but is considering inviting original cast members and people who have impacted the theater over the years to return for a special one-night-only performance. “I never imagined that I would be involved in the theater — much less the owner of one,” Mary said. “But now that I am, I have developed a passion for this business I didn’t think was possible.” Mystery Cafe interactive theater performances are held inside Imperial House Restaurant, located at 505 Kalmia St., in Bankers Hill. Valet and on-street parking is available. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., the show starts at 8 p.m., and each performance comes with a threecourse meal. Visit their website for tickets, menu options, special promotions, private events and additional information at —Kai Oliver-Kurtin is a local freelance writer. She enjoys covering events, restaurant news, culture and entertainment. Contact her at kai.


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015 EVA Un-Gala Awards are fast approaching

Opening day at the new Urban Discovery Adademy in East Village on Sept. 2 drew a large crowd. (Photos by Joan Wojcik)

School bells are ringing in East Village By Joan Wojcik School bells rang out on Wednesday, Sept. 2, announcing the opening of Urban Discovery Academy, located at 840 14th St., in East Village. Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Councilmember Todd Gloria, and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman were all in attendance to welcome the new

charter school to the neighborhood. Urban Discovery Academy, the first K-8 grade charter school to be located Downtown, was inaugurated into the community with the ringing of the $30,000 bell located in the bell tower, which is named Angela’s Tower. The bell will continue to be heard every school day to welcome UDA students to class. Although the students did not

actually start school until Sept. 8, the opening celebration the week before highlighted the long awaited completion of the UDA and it was definitely worth the wait. The Academy is a state-of-the-art, modern-looking school that reflects the air of an urban school environment. The classroom windows look out onto the busy streets of Downtown San Diego’s East Village.

Because land is at a premium in urban areas, UDA utilized their limited space with very efficient classroom settings, but at the same time, the classrooms promote a feeling of openness. Each room is filled with brightly colored walls that use fun artwork to enhance the atmosphere for learning. One gets a feeling of brightness and airiness when walking through the corridors. There are approximately two classrooms for each grade level spanning the first two floors. The third floor opens up to a rooftop

activity yard with a spectacular panoramic view of the city. An art room provides students the opportunity to produce art projects, and even includes a printing screen to make colorful, individualized T-shirts. A doorplate reading “studio room” welcomes students to a performing arts room, with a brightly colored backdrop of abstract pictures of people, guitars, and piano keyboards. The library is located on the first floor and offers books in a wide range of ages and is open to use by UDA families. The library room lends a relaxing, enjoyable feeling to encourage families to read together. Students will be enjoying their lunch period under bright lights, soothing gray and blue lunch tables and chairs, gray and black tile floors, bright and colorful painted walls, and a wall to wall window overlooking a playground area. For the first time in the history of East Village, over 400 children between the ages of five-13 years old will be attending school in here. Welcome Urban Discovery Academy to our Downtown neighborhood! For more information, visit — Joan Wojcik is the president of the East Village Residents Group. Learn more about the EVRG at or contact joan at or visit

The East Village Association (EVA) will hold their Un-Gala Awards on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Quartyard, located at 1102 Market St. Emcee will be Mal Hall, with live entertainment by Tolan Shaw, Food & Beverage and Mix and Mingle. Tickets are $15 for EVA members and $20 for non-members or at the door. EVA business members who would like to showcase their business or service at the event can donate a gift certificate or other item for a silent auction or raffle. A donation form can be found on Proceeds benefit the EVA Landmark Sign (see below for more information on the sign). For more information on the UnGala Awards, email EVA@

Zombie Crawl 2015

On Oct. 31, Downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and East Village will be coming alive — or dead — with revelers participating in the San Diego Zombie Crawl 2015. The dead crawl begins at PARQ Nightclub & Restaurant at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Broadway at 6 p.m., and badge holders will enjoy hosted drinks and free access to this club and other venues including Fluxx, Bassmnt, Cake Nightclub, Double Deuce, Quad Alehouse, Garage Kitchen + Bar, and up to 25 total through the evening. Tickets are $75 ($500 value) and include no cover at more than 25 Halloween parties including the grand opening party at PARQ, 10 bartender’s choice welcome shots, official Zombie Hunting permit, map with escape routes to “freakish activities,” $3 off parking, and an extended “bloody hour.” Festivities end at 2 a.m. Public transit is encour-

San Diego Downtown News | October 2015 aged. Use promo code EVAZombies to save $10 (limited number of tickets) at

Host an E3 Civic High Student at work

More than 400 high school students from E3 Civic High (located inside the Central Library) will be sent out to participate in job shadow experiences the week starting Oct. 12. This event is to encourage students and industry professionals to interact in scenarios that match the student’s career fields of interest. Workplace organizations would host students for up to four hours at their place of business on Oct. 13 or 15, between 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Students would observe and/ or participate but not interfere with work flow, but be allowed to ask questions. Those interested in hosting or wanting more information should contact Internship Workforce Development Coordinator Melissa A. Woods, or 619-546-0000.

Help preserve East Village online

Jorge Moreno and a group of architects, artists, and common folk that have lived, worked, and visited the East Village in the 1980s – ’90s and have been on a mission to bring everything about the early days of East Village online for all to share. The individual group members were very close to Wayne Buss (ReinCarnation building), Vicky Wolf and Scot McDougall (Sushi), and other pioneers of the East Village. They have also been working directly with Shirl Buss in archiving Wayne’s slides and images. Moreno said they started the project a few months back because they couldn’t find any info online about East Village (from that period

of time) and they wanted to archive and share their experiences and way of life. “The project is dedicated to the people that lived and worked in San Diego’s East Village in the ’80s, ’90s and on … it is a collage of anecdotes, experiences and recollections from architects, artists and everyday people,” Moreno said. “The purpose of this project is to have an online record of an era that deeply touched everyone that had a part in the life and creation of one of San Diego’s iconic landmarks.” Moreno encourages everyone to visit their Facebook page at or website at and to share their own profiles and experiences there, “to keep for generations to come.”

Community Meetings East Village Association board meeting

[Next meeting Nov. 5 at 5 p.m.] Meetings are held at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, located at 1155 Island Ave., (Room 219) on the first Thursday of each month. The agenda for the next meeting has not yet been released. Visit and click the calendar for updates.

East Village Residents Group (EVRG)

[Next meeting Nov. 20 at 6 p.m.] Are you interested in what new developments, businesses, parks, etc. are in the works throughout East Village? EVRG meets ever third Thursday, every other month, at East Village Community Church, located at 1374 Island Ave. Many community leaders are featured speakers. Visit to view minutes of the last meeting or learn more about the group.v



San Diego Downtown News | October 2015 EVA Un-Gala Awards are fast approaching

Opening day at the new Urban Discovery Adademy in East Village on Sept. 2 drew a large crowd. (Photos by Joan Wojcik)

School bells are ringing in East Village By Joan Wojcik School bells rang out on Wednesday, Sept. 2, announcing the opening of Urban Discovery Academy, located at 840 14th St., in East Village. Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Councilmember Todd Gloria, and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman were all in attendance to welcome the new

charter school to the neighborhood. Urban Discovery Academy, the first K-8 grade charter school to be located Downtown, was inaugurated into the community with the ringing of the $30,000 bell located in the bell tower, which is named Angela’s Tower. The bell will continue to be heard every school day to welcome UDA students to class. Although the students did not

actually start school until Sept. 8, the opening celebration the week before highlighted the long awaited completion of the UDA and it was definitely worth the wait. The Academy is a state-of-the-art, modern-looking school that reflects the air of an urban school environment. The classroom windows look out onto the busy streets of Downtown San Diego’s East Village.

Because land is at a premium in urban areas, UDA utilized their limited space with very efficient classroom settings, but at the same time, the classrooms promote a feeling of openness. Each room is filled with brightly colored walls that use fun artwork to enhance the atmosphere for learning. One gets a feeling of brightness and airiness when walking through the corridors. There are approximately two classrooms for each grade level spanning the first two floors. The third floor opens up to a rooftop

activity yard with a spectacular panoramic view of the city. An art room provides students the opportunity to produce art projects, and even includes a printing screen to make colorful, individualized T-shirts. A doorplate reading “studio room” welcomes students to a performing arts room, with a brightly colored backdrop of abstract pictures of people, guitars, and piano keyboards. The library is located on the first floor and offers books in a wide range of ages and is open to use by UDA families. The library room lends a relaxing, enjoyable feeling to encourage families to read together. Students will be enjoying their lunch period under bright lights, soothing gray and blue lunch tables and chairs, gray and black tile floors, bright and colorful painted walls, and a wall to wall window overlooking a playground area. For the first time in the history of East Village, over 400 children between the ages of five-13 years old will be attending school in here. Welcome Urban Discovery Academy to our Downtown neighborhood! For more information, visit — Joan Wojcik is the president of the East Village Residents Group. Learn more about the EVRG at or contact joan at or visit

The East Village Association (EVA) will hold their Un-Gala Awards on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 5 – 8 p.m. at Quartyard, located at 1102 Market St. Emcee will be Mal Hall, with live entertainment by Tolan Shaw, Food & Beverage and Mix and Mingle. Tickets are $15 for EVA members and $20 for non-members or at the door. EVA business members who would like to showcase their business or service at the event can donate a gift certificate or other item for a silent auction or raffle. A donation form can be found on Proceeds benefit the EVA Landmark Sign (see below for more information on the sign). For more information on the UnGala Awards, email EVA@

Zombie Crawl 2015

On Oct. 31, Downtown San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter and East Village will be coming alive — or dead — with revelers participating in the San Diego Zombie Crawl 2015. The dead crawl begins at PARQ Nightclub & Restaurant at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Broadway at 6 p.m., and badge holders will enjoy hosted drinks and free access to this club and other venues including Fluxx, Bassmnt, Cake Nightclub, Double Deuce, Quad Alehouse, Garage Kitchen + Bar, and up to 25 total through the evening. Tickets are $75 ($500 value) and include no cover at more than 25 Halloween parties including the grand opening party at PARQ, 10 bartender’s choice welcome shots, official Zombie Hunting permit, map with escape routes to “freakish activities,” $3 off parking, and an extended “bloody hour.” Festivities end at 2 a.m. Public transit is encour-

San Diego Downtown News | October 2015 aged. Use promo code EVAZombies to save $10 (limited number of tickets) at

Host an E3 Civic High Student at work

More than 400 high school students from E3 Civic High (located inside the Central Library) will be sent out to participate in job shadow experiences the week starting Oct. 12. This event is to encourage students and industry professionals to interact in scenarios that match the student’s career fields of interest. Workplace organizations would host students for up to four hours at their place of business on Oct. 13 or 15, between 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Students would observe and/ or participate but not interfere with work flow, but be allowed to ask questions. Those interested in hosting or wanting more information should contact Internship Workforce Development Coordinator Melissa A. Woods, or 619-546-0000.

Help preserve East Village online

Jorge Moreno and a group of architects, artists, and common folk that have lived, worked, and visited the East Village in the 1980s – ’90s and have been on a mission to bring everything about the early days of East Village online for all to share. The individual group members were very close to Wayne Buss (ReinCarnation building), Vicky Wolf and Scot McDougall (Sushi), and other pioneers of the East Village. They have also been working directly with Shirl Buss in archiving Wayne’s slides and images. Moreno said they started the project a few months back because they couldn’t find any info online about East Village (from that period

of time) and they wanted to archive and share their experiences and way of life. “The project is dedicated to the people that lived and worked in San Diego’s East Village in the ’80s, ’90s and on … it is a collage of anecdotes, experiences and recollections from architects, artists and everyday people,” Moreno said. “The purpose of this project is to have an online record of an era that deeply touched everyone that had a part in the life and creation of one of San Diego’s iconic landmarks.” Moreno encourages everyone to visit their Facebook page at or website at and to share their own profiles and experiences there, “to keep for generations to come.”

Community Meetings East Village Association board meeting

[Next meeting Nov. 5 at 5 p.m.] Meetings are held at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, located at 1155 Island Ave., (Room 219) on the first Thursday of each month. The agenda for the next meeting has not yet been released. Visit and click the calendar for updates.

East Village Residents Group (EVRG)

[Next meeting Nov. 20 at 6 p.m.] Are you interested in what new developments, businesses, parks, etc. are in the works throughout East Village? EVRG meets ever third Thursday, every other month, at East Village Community Church, located at 1374 Island Ave. Many community leaders are featured speakers. Visit to view minutes of the last meeting or learn more about the group.v



San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


Downtown has plans to launch electric vehicle shuttles as part of a “Circulator System” in 2016. (Courtesy San Diego Free Ride)

Technology-driven success for a new urban environment Downtown Partnership News Kris Michell Cities around the country and the world are experimenting with new ways to use technology to create business opportunities and improve people’s lives. They’re finding solutions in transportation, health care, education, and many other areas of life. San Diego is among those cities, and much of this work is happening Downtown. I am proud to share that San Diego is the world’s first city to partner with GE Lighting on the “Intelligent Cities” pilot program. This softwaredefined lighting technology will help San Diego solve some of the city’s infrastructure challenges. The Intelligent Cities technology uses enhanced sensors to advance lighting control for traffic and parking optimization and monitor and collect data from environmental patterns. These sensors give us information that will transform our urban environment for the future. The lighting solution is the result of a partnership between the city of San Diego and GE Lighting and it’s happening in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Consider this: Parking Downtown is no longer a challenge in the intelligent city of the future. GE LED streetlights have the ability to direct drivers to available spaces with the help of sensors. The same streetlight can give warnings in the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster. Sensors can also give emergency responders real-time views of an area as they are responding to 911 calls. Last year, San Diego became the first U.S. city to widely use GE’s LED lighting fixtures with “LightGrid” outdoor wireless controls technology. Deployed on more than 3,000 city streetlights, this technology is saving the city more than $254,000 annually in energy and maintenance costs. We are thrilled by the “Intelligent Cities” platform and continue to look for ways that innovation can improve the quality of life in the urban center. On Sept. 18, 2015, the Partnership participated in “Park(ing) Day,” a global event to highlight the need for more urban open space by temporarily transforming parking spaces into creative mini-parks. With the help of Home Depot, we overhauled three parking spaces into decorative parks filled with innova-

Up to 20 electric vehicles are expected to be part of the program. (Courtesy San Diego Free Ride)

tive seating made from repurposed wood. The parks celebrated droughttolerant plants, games and music. It was a great time for our Downtown San Diego community to reimagine how we use public space in the urban center. People were genuinely engaged, and hopefully by next year, there will be fewer parking spaces commandeered and more public space. One other way in which we are using technology to improve quality of life for residents, visitors and workers is through the creation of a Downtown Circulator System. As mentioned earlier in this column, addressing concerns about mobility and parking in Downtown goes beyond adding more spaces. It requires creative solutions that allow people to park once and move around the urban playground easily and often. The on-demand Downtown Circulator System gets residents, employees, tourists and local visitors where they need to go quickly, conveniently and for free. Imagine catching a free ride to Petco for a baseball game or conventioneers using the service as their functional, go-to option to and from the Convention Center. Day or night, you’ll get from one corner of Downtown and back again with just a few prompts on your smartphone. Estimates suggest the program will service 3,000 riders a week with 20 vehicles. The Downtown Circulator System

isn’t just fun, free and convenient, it’s good business. The point-to-point service will create jobs, offset the need for increased parking, decrease traffic congestion and positively impact the environment. Further, it replaces a previous effort to establish a fixedroute shuttle, which would have been significantly more expensive to operate and less user-driven. Pending approval by Civic of San Diego, 20 all-electric vehicles could start operating as soon as the beginning of 2016. On behalf of more than 300 businesses represented by the Downtown San Diego Partnership, and thousands of Downtown residents and visitors, we couldn’t be more excited to welcome the Circulator System to our streets. These are just a few of the ways Downtown San Diego is playing its part in the technology revolution that’s making our world more efficient, sustainable and vibrant. —Kris Michell is the president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, a nonprofit, memberbased organization that serves as the leading advocate for the revitalization and economic health of Downtown. Downtown San Diego Partnership oversees the Clean & Safe program. For questions or comments, email To learn more about the Downtown Partnership and Clean & Safe, please visit


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


Container gardening Growing a garden anywhere By Gary Jones Whether one has a yard or not, everyone can garden. Even the humblest recycled container can hold a garden. And given that California’s water supply is so limited right now, gardening in pots may be the coolest thing a gardener can do. Small-scale gardening — whether in containers or just in a limited space — uses the same principles and good practices that gardening on any scale takes. And while the mistakes are minimized, the rewards and satisfaction are not. With container gardening, you’ll still want to use good quality materials, you’ll still have to obey Mother Nature and you’ll want to use good design principles. But most everything else becomes simplified.

■ A few musts

When gardening in pots or containers, there must be drainage holes. Otherwise, roots will not have the oxygen they need to survive and thrive. Your plants will also need more frequent watering and feeding than they would if they were in the ground. The soil is more exposed to heat and wind, causing it to dry out faster. More nutrients are needed because of leaching and limited root space.

■ What to use

Use high-quality potting soil (not planting mix) and an organic starter or pre-plant fertilizer. This

will get your plants off to a healthy, vigorous start. Make sure the soil is well compacted.

■ Combining plants

You’ll want to combine plants with similar light and water needs, otherwise some will suffer. Check the tag for details before purchasing.

■ The TFS principle

Whether it’s edible or ornamentals, for visually pleasing container gardens, use the TFS principle. TFS means: Choose a plant that’s tall and vertical (thriller), a plant that’s mounding (filler) and a plant that trails (spiller). This combination will provide interest at all levels and will soften the edges of the pot. You may choose to use more than one filler and spiller.

Container gardens are perfect for apartments or condos, especially in Downtown’s high-rise, urban living environment. (Courtesy Armstrong Garden Centers)

■ Combining color

■ Color from foliage

■ Simple statements

■ Care

As in any garden situation, combining color is simple. Make sure that adjacent plants echo or repeat a color from nearby plants. It may be a color in the center of the flower, a petal’s edge, a leaf or even a stem color. If you follow this rule, you’ll always have harmony. Single plants in a pot or container — especially if the container has a lot of interest itself — grouped with other single-plant pots can be visually striking and more effective in a small space. Multiple pots containing unique plants can be very dramatic.

For the last few years, nurseries have been well stocked with plants displaying fabulous foliage. You’ll find leaves in gorgeous colors and interesting textures. No need to wait for flowers because you’ve got instant color. And if plants go out of bloom, no problem.

Watch your plants to understand their water-need rhythm. Plants will wilt when they need water. Generally, with container gardens in sunny spots, you’ll need to water every other day. With shade plants, twice a week should be sufficient. Keep in mind that simple terracotta pots dry out

faster than plastic or glazed pots due to their porous nature. Never let a pot sit in a saucer or tray full of water. Feed plants monthly with a granular organic (or timed-release) food according to directions. For heavily flowering plants such as annuals, you may want to use a granular food and a liquid high-bloom

fertilizer at half-strength. This will ensure a spectacular show of color. —Gary Jones is chief horticulturist at Armstrong Garden Centers, which has locations on Friars Road and Morena Boulevard. Email your drought and gardening questions to


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


The artistry of love Theater Review Charlene Baldridge “In Your Arms,” the new dancetheater pastiche playing in its world premiere at The Old Globe through Oct. 25, is quite a concept. I haven’t seen its like since 2000’s Tony Award-winner, “Contact.” The “In Your Arms” writers/ playwrights/book writers — Douglas Carter Beane, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Carrie Fisher, David Henry Hwang, Rajiv Joseph, Terrence McNally, Marsha Norman, Lynn Nottage and Alfred Uhry — provide as many love stories. Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens of “Ragtime” fame provide music and lyrics, respectively. The absolutely brilliant director/choreographer, Christopher Gattelli, who conceived the idea with Jennifer Manocherian, melds all together with the considerable artistry of scenic designer Derek

“In Your Arms”

Tuesdays through Sundays through Oct. 25 Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage Old Globe Theatre 1363 Old Globe Way Single tickets start at $36 or 619-23-GLOBE

McLane, costume designer Jess Goldstein, lighting designer Donald Holder, sound designer Peter Hylenski and music director Steven Malone, who plays keyboard and leads an eight-piece orchestra. To dazzle one’s eyes and imagination, Gattelli brings a glorious array of dancers, 22 of them. They are all that

(top) Samantha Sturm (center) with the cast in Carrie Fisher’s vignette “Lowdown Messy Shame,” part of the world premiere musical “In Your Arms”; (bottom) George Chakiris and Donna McKechnie in Terrence McNally's vignette “Sand Dancing” (Photos by Carol Rosegg)

one might wish for in one’s wildest imaginings — and some are legendary — for instance, Donna McKechnie, Tony Award-winner for her role in the original “A Chorus Line.” She provides continuity and does some fine singing in the title song. Performed in 140 minutes or so without interval, “In your Arms” is poignant and sad and passionate and is not without a deep sense of humor, particularly in Durang’s “The Dance Contest,” in which four dancers, two from the U.S. and two from Russia, compete in Russia. Jenn Harris is particularly funny as the Russian woman who becomes inflamed with passion for the American, danced by Henry (“Dancing with the Stars”) Byalikov. The others in this vignette are Stephen Bienskie and Haley Podschun. The work commences with Spencer Clark and Lyrica Woodruff in a classical prologue evoking “Romeo and Juliet,” followed by McKechnie performing Ahrens’ title song, which sets up all that follows. My particular favorites are Nilo Cruz’s “The Lovers Jacket,” a passionate and percussive flamenco work with Glenda Sol Koeraus, Valero, Byalikov and the company. It travels from the Spanish Revolution to Argentina in the late ’30s. The other segment that set my senses aflame was Beane’s “Artist and Models, 1929,” which matches Jonathan Sharp as a famous artist and Ryan Steele as his model. Sexy to the nth degree. As a matter of fact, every pairing dripped with sensuality, especially Marija Juliette Abney and Adesola Oskalumi as African lovers intent on migrating to France in Nottage’s “A Wedding Dance.” Just like life, some vignettes are violent and others, fraught with infidelity and disappointment and forgiveness. Then, when each audience member has made his or her own tenuous connections and sense of overall meaning of the larger work, all of which is performed mostly without dialogue, Gattelli dazzles us with the beauty of 81-year-old George Chakiris, who received an Oscar for his portrayal of Tony in †he 1961 film of “West Side Story” and went on to enjoy a career in film and television. Chakiris is symbolic of the survivor, who lived for love and beauty and who completes the journey filled with radiance. Indeed, each of us goes home feeling that radiance. What an uplifting and lovely evening. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. You can follow her blog at or reach her at

Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson (front) and the cast of “Cell” at Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company. (Photo by Daren Scott)

A new chapter for Mo’olelo New faces, same reputation By David Dixon In Downtown San Diego, the Mo’olelo Performing Arts Company has been known for producing shows that emphasize different cultures and relevant issues and despite the current changes afoot within this respected company, nothing is expected to change. “One of MPAC’s values is to explore and examine life in all of its complexity and diversity to seek new experience and overcome prejudice,” said Amy Elizabeth Oliveira, the theater company’s new marketing coordinator. The 2015–16 season is the first one to be programmed by Lydia Fort, Mo’olelo’s new executive artistic director. The first play of the new season — directed by Fort — is “Cell,” which focuses on the timely subject of illegal immigration. Featuring an all black cast, “Cell” stars Craig Noel Awardwinning actress Sylvia M’Lafi Thompson as Rene, a corrections officer. Thanks to her efforts, Rene’s sister Cerise (Monique Gaffney) and niece, Gwen (Andrea Agosto), work at a detention center for illegal immigrants. Although they are not supposed to become emotionally attached to the undocumented detainees, Gwen begins to sympathize with those waiting to be deported. Fort acknowledged that working on a world premiere can be a liberating experience. “It’s amazing how you can be hand-in-hand in creating something, and it doesn’t happen very often,” she said. The script was written by New York City playwright, Cassandra Medley, and Fort has been working with her during rehearsals to make the tale as powerful as possible. “I feel it is incredibly exciting to help shape something while it’s being made,” she said, adding that she believes Medley’s script is important for several reasons. “It challenges what we think of others,” she said. “We have had a lot of discussions about Black Lives Matter recently, and this is an opportunity to ask, ‘what are the results?’ The interesting thing about the text is that it looks at how we can dehumanize each other, even as people of color.” Casting Thompson in the lead was an easy decision for the director. “Everyone knows and loves Thompson,” she said. “Being a newcomer [to Mo’olelo], I talked to people and described the character of Rene. Hands down, everyone said Thompson [should play her].” Instead of auditioning for Fort,

Thompson got the part after the two of them had a discussion over lunch. Once “Cell” closes, Mo’olelo has two additional shows lined up for the new season. The National New Play Network world premiere, “In a Word,” is a collaboration between UC San Diego alumni Lauren Yee, writer, and Larissa Lury, director. The story examines how a couple comes to terms with their son’s kidnapping during the two-year anniversary of the tragic incident. “It’s haunting, beautiful, powerful and funny,” Fort said. For their final selection, ion theatre Executive Artistic Director Claudio Raygoza, has been tapped to direct the West Coast premiere of “Pinkolandia” written by bilingual artist, Andrea Thome. The adventure deals with two Chilean-American sisters in the 1980s who go on imaginary journeys together. “The play has a beautiful fantastical nature about it, that reminds me of what theater can do,” Fort said. With “Cell” and future narratives, Fort said she wants to tell stories that leave a profound impact on audiences. “I feel like when [I see theater], I have come to a sacred space and have borne witness to something with other people,” she said. “That to me is what makes theater so incredible.” Fort hopes that people do not view the dramas that she stages as mindless entertainment. “My objective is can I create something that challenges people to talk afterwards? Can I create something that inspires people to go home and get on the Internet to research [the topic of a play]?” With Fort in charge, Mo’olelo should continue to be highly regarded for creating brave and intelligently crafted productions that appeal to those that are not afraid to question and think. “MPAC’s core demographic is people who are seekers — people who want to confront the problems humanity is facing and consider the ways we can grow and make the world a better place,” said Oliveira. The world premiere of “Cell” will be performed at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center through Oct. 18. For tickets or more information, visit —A fan of film and theatre from a very young age, David Dixon has written reviews and features for various print and online publications. You can reach him at


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


What was that? Civic Organist News Dr. Carol Williams

San Diego Zoo Director Dwight Scott with a tamandua (Courtesy Zoological Society of San Diego)

Starting a zoo with a roar Exploring Balboa Park Johnny McDonald A 75-foot mural along Wegeforth Bowl’s outside wall will depict countless San Diego Zoo achievements and serve as an attractive tribute when the worldclass facility celebrates its centennial next year. To cram in the highlights must have been a job. Historically, said Director Dwight Scott, it all began because of a lion’s roar. “Dr. Harry [Wegeforth] was driving past the exposition fairgrounds on Sixth Avenue when he heard the animals,” Scott said. “The exposition was closing in October 1916 and the officials needed to get rid of them. “Wegeforth talked wild animal collector Frank [‘Bring ‘em Back Alive’] Buck into being his first director but because of philosophical differences the relationship lasted only three months. The main reason was Wegeforth’s equal interest in conservation.” Scott said the Zoo founder liked to poke a hole in the ground with his cane and toss in a few seeds     “And the results can be seen today,” he said. “We receive as many compliments about our botanical gardens as we do our animals.” Scott pointed out that Zoo history personifies progression through the years for animal transitions from confinement to large habitats resembling their native lands. He noted that expansions have included the Polar Bear Plunge, Elephant Odyssey, Tiger River,


two huge aviaries, Gorilla Tropics, Outback and Sun Bear Forest. Even now, they’re starting on Africa Rocks, an 8-acre, $68 million diverse enclosure, the largest undertaking in Zoo history. It will be completed in 2017. The exhibit will transform the 1930s-era Dog and Cat Canyon, one of the oldest areas of the Zoo, into an engaging African landscapes. Africa Rocks will be home to African penguins as the Zoo begins its participation in an international species survival plan for these endangered aquatic birds. The Africa Rocks project is funded by more than 6,500 donors. The habitat can be sectioned off into separate exhibits, depending on animal-care needs. Mesh passageways will span the visitor walkway and allow the leopards to cross from one exhibit to another. Other animals including zebras, African penguins, several species of lemurs, baboons and ground hornbills will live in habitats that resemble their native homeland. “We haven’t had penguins here in 30 years,” Scott said. Additionally, discussions have included the possible expansion of the children’s zoo, which was built in 1957. And to think back to 1923 when Ellen Browning Scripps donated money to construct a surrounding fence for safety and to establish an admission fee. First charge was 10 cents. Wegeforth’s executive secretary, Belle Benchley, became the first woman Zoo director in 1925 and was succeeded in 1953 by Dr. Charles Schroeder, a noted veterinarian. “With the changes, we’ve had a better understanding of the animal needs by building complex


environments for the them,” Scott continued. “We want to make sure the animal will experience a new life and make the landscape the best way we can with the botanical gardens hills and valleys.” He said the zoo is managing the endangered, so they won’t have to go in the wild to replenish certain species. “We haven’t had to take animals out of the wild for many years,“ he stressed. San Diego Zoo Global is a conservation organization dedicated to the science of saving endangered species worldwide. It includes Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research. There have been animals that took star billing like Albert, a huge gorilla, Ken Allen, the orangutan escape artist, and a cockatoo called King Tut. A bronze statue of King Tut stands where he was perched for several decades. Many others joined Zoo ambassador Joan Embry as she made guest appearances on late night talk shows with Johnny Carson, Jay Leno and others. Embry is still associated with the Zoo. “I’ve worked with several zoos throughout the country and I would say the relationship we have with the city of San Diego is unprecedented,” Scott said. Scott was director at the Oklahoma City zoo for six and a half years. “We have recently opened a parking structure for our employees and freed up space for our visitors,” Scott concluded. — After an award-winning, 38-year sports-writing career with the San Diego Union and authoring three books, Johnny McDonald now considers writing a hobby. You can reach him at


“Do you believe in ghosts?” Hmm, I’m not sure if I actually do ... I’ve had some very creepy and unexplained experiences with organs while rehearsing in some very old cathedrals and buildings, including the Spreckels Pavilion. Most big churches in the UK and throughout Europe have you rehearsing late at night when the tourists have gone and you are left on your own. These great spaces are dark, huge, cold and some date back a thousand years. This is a certain receipt for the mind to imagine. As a student, I remember playing a concert at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London and rehearsing late at night. They give you a large skeleton key to the door that won’t even fit in your purse. Then they turn out most of the lights and you’re on your own. This particular early organ was built by Father Bernard Smith in 1694 (yes 1694!). The current instrument is the fourth largest in Great Britain in terms of number of pipes (7,266), with five manuals (keyboards), 189 ranks (different sounding types) of pipes and 108 stops (control tabs). The sound resonates for about seven seconds through the empty spaces. After rehearsing on this mammoth instrument mostly in the vast darkness of that enormous building, the only way out is through the crypt. So, at midnight, I began to make my way down from the organ loft, down from the main gallery, down into the crypt below ground level. OK, my skin was tingling, I had no flashlight or iPhone in those days and it was almost pitch dark. The coolness from the stone walls and the pounding of my heart was all but keeping me from running frantically blind into a wall and knocking myself out. Well, that was a great place to be at midnight and I actually did get lost. Yes, lost amidst the cobwebs, old wooden tombs and the smell of damp dirt. I finally yielded to my dilemma and sat in the dark, shivering and sure that I was going to be gobbled up by the demons that surely lurk in these immense cellar graves! Then the sound of foot steps, oh my goodness, it’s going to happen! But, to the amazement of a security guard, I was found! This little 19-year-old me in a state of total shock! I must have been there all night, but alas, it was only 20 minutes. I do have a great imagination. Another great place not to rehearse too late at night is Canterbury Cathedral, again one of the oldest and most famous cathedrals in the world. Here, Thomas Becket was murdered on Dec. 29, 1170. He was the archbishop of Canterbury and was struck down by four knights of



the royal household, who rode there and began a violent argument with the 52-year-old prelate. To this day, they say that blood is still on the stones where he died. Lovely! To be honest, I did not check this fact out but while rehearsing, I just looked from the organ console and wondered. As usual on these occasions, my rehearsing started late at night and went on for many hours. Now the loos (restrooms) were about a five-block walk through the cathedral away, and of course, in the darkness I had to pass the very spot where he was murdered. I crept down there with trepidation, found the restroom and then bolted as fast as I could. Yes, it was creepy with many bumps and noises surrounding me. Yes, I often bolted from place to place, as I would now plan my restroom paths ahead of time in the light. These are wonderful buildings and the cities are magnificent. France, England, Germany, Luxembourg, Denmark, on and on. So many large, potentially ghost-ridden places. So now, some of you might be asking if the Spreckels Organ is haunted? I’ve been in there late at night and been a bit nervous at times — you can feel the hair go up on the back of your neck for no reason sometimes. The concrete building can be cold from the winter nights and it is lonely at times. Well, I have to say that I’ve been rehearsing when suddenly a single note will play from a stop (a pipe section) that is not turned on. This is freaky. It will play in tune to what I am playing. Just one single note sounding like it should be there in the score. At first I thought the organ curator was working in the pipe chest and was fooling around, but it turned out there was no one else in the building. These incidents are still a mystery to us all. To be honest, I think these are good spirits visiting the organ; perhaps composers, organists, curators, and the like. They are the happiest spirits from what I can tell and probably all deaf by now! Join us Oct. 31 at 7 p.m. Chris Elliott will be accompanying “Phantom of the Opera” on the big screen. Maybe you’ll see some of the Pavilion’s friendly ghosts sitting next to you enjoying the show! —Civic Organist Dr. Carol Williams is proud to serve as an ambassador of San Diego’s arts and culture arena. Through her concert performances at home and abroad, Carol offers a fresh take on the classical organ concert. She is committed to illuminating San Diego’s colorful romance with the “King of Instruments,” always seeking to bring the organ to new audiences. For more information about Carol visit melcot. com; to learn more about the organ society, visit




San Diego Downtown News | October 2015

Five tips for financial fitness Financial News Taylor Schulte

The lounge at Grant Grill is a great destination for locals. (Courtesy US Grant)

Drink like a vagabond Drink Shrink Jeff Josenhans After a trip across Northern Europe this summer, I started thinking about all the destinations and amazing drinks we had along the way. We went local all the way — beer in Prague, snaps in Sweden, and of course wine in France. But in every place we visited there was a common thread to be found, which was an incredible offering of local product, but no real understanding of what we might have wanted. In other words, had we theoretically wanted craft IPA, San Diego-style, there just weren’t really any options, or even an understanding of what that would have meant. Luckily, we didn’t care much. But there is always one place you can go no matter where you are in the world if you want something that not only showcases the local experience, but will also have an international imbibing perspective (they might even have that San Diego beer in Paris that you wanted after being there for a couple weeks overdosing on croissants and bistro wine). Where? In the hotel bars. The good ones, in particular, are where you will find an international watering hole with fine drink no matter what country you find yourself in. San Diego is no different. Sure, the local beverage scene is awesome, but so is traveling and experiencing new things and new people. You can do that right here by visiting some of the best hotel bars in town. As a hotel guy myself, I can tell you that one thing that keeps all hotel people going is the opportu-

nity to work with different cultures from around the world on a regular basis. Global explorers are in the bar every day, and with that comes a deeper understanding of global drinking culture. Locals and travelers mix on an entirely different scale than what you find elsewhere in the city. So this fall and winter, head into one of our local hotel bars before your big night out. Or better yet, make it your big night out at the hotel bar and see what kind of people you meet. The US Grant Hotel truly comes into its own in fall and winter, a majestic piece of history with global beverage offerings right in the heart of the city. The Hotel Del Coronado is just a short drive over the bridge, where you will also find a bit of history and guests from around the globe. If you like views, checking out Top of the Hyatt at the Grand Hyatt along Harbor Drive and Altitude Sky Lounge at the top of the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter are both a must. The Sophia is a little gem, and the cocktails at the Palomar have always been solid. However, if you want to travel back in time a bit, visit The Westgate. The hotel lobby bar there is a classic, international institution that should be in all bar goer’s repertoire. —Level 2 CMS Sommelier and Master Mixologist Jeff Josenhans — who just recently added a Cicerone certification to his resume — has changed the dynamic in The Grant Grill Downtown from a classic institution to an exciting lounge and elegant restaurant. Follow his drink-related posts on Instagram @ jeffjosenhans.v

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

Sudoku Solution Answer Key, page 27

Flexing your financial muscles for a healthier life A recent TD Bank Fiscal Fit survey found seven out of 10 Americans felt a strong correlation between sound financial health and their well-being. In fact, responders believe that a healthy financial life can have a positive impact on overall health. As many continue to focus on their 2015 health and fitness efforts, I’ve noticed a number of people delay pursuing their financial goals. Some aren’t sure where to begin, while others feel overwhelmed about the perceived time and effort. The sooner you start investing in your financial future, however, the more time you have to build a healthy life and enjoy the fruits of your labor. As San Diegans, we live in a health-conscious, physically-fit community. In fact, just last year, an Anthem Blue Cross Foundation and the American College of Sports Medicine survey ranked San Diego at No. 8 for residents’ fitness. With the strong relationship between well-being and financial health, and our community further encouraging physical fitness, it only makes sense that we should all be working hard on our financial fitness. Below are some tips for building a healthy financial life: Identify goals and create a plan. Similar to outlining your fitness

goals, such as improving flexibility, strength training or lowering body fat, it’s important to write down your financial goals. The specifics may change over the years, as you raise a family or embark on a new career, but the overarching goal and your commitment should remain fairly consistent. So, consider the end-game. Are you looking to accumulate wealth? Plan for retirement or a child’s college education? Then, create a plan to get there. Start out slow. Most fitness trainers advise against an all-out body-straining routine on day one. Instead, a slow ramp up process is recommended to avoid injuries that can further hinder your fitness goals. The same applies to financial planning. For instance, start your savings out slowly — you don’t need to immediately put half of your paycheck into savings. While that’s an ambitious goal, you can start with allocating $10 – $20 per paycheck and raise the amount as more comfortable. Commit to financial health. In fitness, mental preparation is key. In addition to creating a plan and getting started, athletes practice mental skills to get to the next level and beyond. In building your financial health, it’s also important to be confident, driven and focused. Streamline the journey and have fun. It’s easy to skip the same boring workout, especially when it’s in an inconvenient location, or you are feeling tired or not sure if your efforts are paying off. In San Diego, many have turned to boot camps, CrossFit or stand-up-paddle boarding to break the routine. Others work out with friends or have

invested in a personal trainer to keep themselves accountable and have the best experience. Run a progress report. Speaking of progress, it’s a common fitness practice to check in on your development. Some people record times, repetitions or weights; others do a monthly workout fitness text. When it comes to checking on your finances, the important thing is to check in and make sure your plan is on track, and you’re making strides in the right direction. You can do this weekly, monthly or even bi-annually. Having a financial roundtable is especially important when you share financial responsibility with others, such as a spouse. The report is a great time to see your overall financial picture and ensure you are both on the same page. Most people focus on fitness to live a longer and healthier life. And the longer we live, the more important finances become — particularly when it comes to saving and retirement planning. So, as you continue to ramp up our fitness efforts this year, consider making strides on your financial plan. Starting is half the battle, so create a plan, start slow and before you know it, you’ll build a financially healthy life, which can have a positive effect on your overall health and well-being. —Taylor Schulte, CFP® is the founder of Define Financial in Downtown San Diego. Schulte specializes in providing independent, objective, financial advice to individuals, families and businesses. He can be reached at 619-577-4002 or

Training for your body type Get Fit Scott Markey In this column, I want to break down the different body types for the general population, as to help you better understand what type of body you might have and how it affects your training. The mesomorph body type is naturally muscular and usually has little body fat. Training programs for this type of individual are usually quite successful. This person adapts quite rapidly to any kind of training programs and structurally has very little chance of injury. Small hips, broad shoulders and medium-sized joints characterize this body type. Long muscle bellies with low insertion points complete the mesomorph’s physique. Aside from a previous injury or illness, there are very few exercises a mesomorph should avoid. I will go into these different exercises for the body types mentioned here in my next article in further detail due to the space constraints allotted for this article. The endomorph is naturally large jointed and has above average body fat levels. Training programs for this individual should be geared towards volume work, not intensity so much. Cardio and diet are extremely important for this individual to get the most out of his or her workouts. Workouts should be geared for duration as this will boost the metabolic rate

and enhance caloric burn. Due to the joint structure of this individual, basic movements at intense levels should be avoided. This person usually has above average levels of strength due to powerful joints, tendons and ligaments. Highly intense work tends to stress these areas more than the muscles themselves, so this type of work should be avoided. The endomorph has little chance of injury if he is not obese. Superior joint structure prevents this. The ectomorph is naturally thin and usually has below average body fat and lean tissue composition. Small shoulders, small joint structure and usually above average bone length are usually characteristic. His or her workout program has to be extremely specialized due to the more likely chance of injury. While this person needs to train heavy and intense, care must be emphasized to avoid injury. Specialization

on the basic compound movements will work the best for this individual. Along with increased caloric intake, emphasis should be placed on protein to enhance muscle growth. This is just a general guideline for individual body types. There are exceptions. For example, your body can be comprised of some of the other structures mentioned to some extent as well. Decipher what body type you represent and adjust your workouts accordingly. So enjoy your workouts and any questions you might have, I would be glad to answer. Stay healthy San Diego! — Scott Markey has over 25 years in the fitness and health industry. He has graced dozens of magazine covers and specializes in physique management, training and nutritional consultation. You can find him on Facebook or reach him at


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


The Haunted Hotel Downtown (left), the Haunted Trail in Balboa Park (right) and Scream Zone in Del Mar will keep you in stitches through Nov. 1. (Photos courtesy Haunted Hotel)

All things haunted Scaring San Diegans for 23 years By Alex Owens It’s Halloween season and there’s more than a ghost of a chance you can get spooked in San Diego if that’s your desire. For the 23rd season, the Haunted Hotel is open for business on Market Street, offering guests more than their fill of zombies, ghosts or vampires. Its sister attraction, Balboa Park’s Haunted Trail, has been open since 2000. Both haunts are the creation of Greg DeFatta and Robert Bruce, who got into the haunt attraction business after DeFatta decided to get out of a job career that was even scarier: being a Hollywood agent. “I was working in Los Angeles at the William Morris Agency and I wanted out of the business,” DeFatta said. “I started doing spook attractions in Louisville, Kentucky, before adding more around the country, before deciding to just focus on the ones in San Diego.” As scary as it sounds, DeFatta

said running a haunted house is very satisfying. “The enjoyment comes when you hear the screaming, the laughing — every kind of emotion — and people having a good time,” he said. Besides the Haunted Hotel and Haunted Trail, DeFatta and Bruce also run the Scream Zone at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The season for all haunts runs until Nov. 1. All told, DeFatta says 300 people will be working at the three haunted attractions, including those doing the scaring and behind the scenes. It takes a special kind of person to be a professional scarer. “When we audition a person, we give them a character,” DeFatta said. “The key is, are they able to be creative and can they drop their persona in front of a stranger?” But working as a spook can have its own scary moments since no one can predict how a person might react when scared.

“We’ve had people hit our employees,” DeFatta said. “When that happens, we remove those people.” Although some professional haunted houses are located in allegedly haunted places, DeFatta doesn’t believe either the Haunted Hotel or Haunted Trail have any real spooks scaring people for free. “I haven’t seen any at the Haunted Hotel, even though the building is 140 years old,” DeFatta said. “We used to run a different attraction called FrightMare down the street and I got creeped out there. I’d hear strange noises all the time.” On the other hand, DeFatta said the Haunted Trail is naturally spooky because of its location outdoors. “The trees and surroundings help people get immersed in the whole environment,” he said. “Honestly, the area where the Trail is used

to be a little sketchy. I think things have improved since we’ve been there — even during the other 11 months of the year.” Haunted attractions play on primal fears, but DeFatta said the attractions do change with the times. “We do pull from what’s popular,” he admitted. “Zombies have been popular for a while, but even they have changed. Twenty years ago, zombies were slow. Now they’re fast. Vampires have changed too. Thanks to a show called ‘The Strain,’ they’re now more vicious.” DeFatta expects big crowds this year because Halloween falls on a Saturday. “The two weekends before Halloween are always the most crowded, but the fact that Halloween is on a Saturday means people will

be talking about the holiday,” he said. Although haunted hotels can be subjective, DeFatta said there is one way to know if his customers were really scared. “You know you’ve done a good job when you can tell they’ve peed their pants,” he said, laughing. Admission for the Haunted Hotel is $18, $28 for a Fast Pass that allows you to go directly to the front of the line. The Haunted Trail costs $19, while a walk through the Experiment Maze is $25, $10 more for the Fast Past option. Both the Haunted Hotel, located at 424 Market St., Downtown, and the Haunted Trail, in Balboa Park’s Marston Point near the corner of Juniper Street and Sixth Avenue, are now open, and operate every day but Monday and Tuesday through Nov. 1. Hours for the Haunted Hotel are Sunday – Thursday, 7 – 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 6 p.m. – 1 a.m. The Haunted Trail operates Sunday – Thursday, 7 – 11 p.m., and Friday and Saturday 6:30 – 11:30 p.m. For more information, visit and —Alex Owens is a San Diegobased freelance writer. He can be reached at


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San Diego Downtown News | October 2015

The vegan and carnivore


from Calabria Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. October is National Vegetarian Month; a time when new, meatless dishes begin appearing at consumer-savvy restaurants in larger numbers, though without any guarantees those meals will stick around beyond the observance. At Civico 1845, however, a separate menu card of vegan specialties is available year-round — not necessarily uncommon in some places — but definitely a rarity in Italian establishments that invariably incorporate animal proteins in to their bill of fare. Located in the pulse of Little Italy, the restaurant was launched in June by pescatarian-turned-vegan, Pietro Gallo, and his meat-eating brother, Dario Gallo. Both are from Italy’s Calabria region, where they ran a restaurant before moving here. Their business partner, Flavio

Civico 1845 1845 India St. (Little Italy) 619-431-5990 Prices: Antipasti, $6 to $18; pastas, $14 to $19; meat, seafood and vegetarian entrees, $12 to $28 Piromallo, came from Naples. He’s also a carnivore. Visiting with a vegetarian who doesn’t mind the absence of dairy in meals, as in the case of Civico’s seitan (wheat gluten) lasagna layered with cashew-milk mozzarella, or the no-milk chocolate gelato that Pietro touts as “so good, it’ll make you cry,” my utensils wandered often to my friend’s side of the table. An order of “calamari” marked our introduction to Pietro’s vegan specialties, as well as the restaurant’s superb red sauce made from slow-cooked San Marzano tomatoes

Arte Povera revival at Civico 1845 (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) imported from Italy. The appetizer featured curly oyster mushrooms dusted in corn flour and fried lightly in vegetable oil. They struck nearly the exact texture as calamari while picking up a lovely zing from fresh lemon and the dipping sauce. In another starter, a non-vegan choice, Civico’s head chef and Italian transplant Alfonso Pisacane presses eggplant overnight in salt and then bakes it in the oven without flour, breading or egg wash. He meshes the slices with basil and smoked buffalo mozzarella, and plates it in a puddle of the bright tomato sauce. The result is featherweight, smoky eggplant Parmesan that practically dissolves in your mouth. The imported, Italian blue fin tuna that comes on the Calabrese con Tonno salad is the best I’ve ever had in terms of the kind packed in cans. I ordered it on the side to allow my friend safe access to the hearts of romaine, tomatoes, red onions and black olives, all blanketed by thin sheets of chili-infused Pecorino cheese. Given its brownish color, I expected the tuna to taste fishy. But that was hardly the case as albacore came to mind, although far juicer due in part to a drenching of fruity olive oil it receives. No salt or pepper required. A majority of the products used at Civico are imported — the cheeses, oils, tomatoes, pastas, and cured meats used in salumi boards. What you get is a more authentic taste of Italy opposed to other Italian restaurants that can’t fully replicate the dishes of their homeland when using American-sourced ingredients, no matter how precisely they execute their recipes. For the ricotta dumplings strewn with house-made fennel sausage, tableside shavings of imported black truffles gave the entrée a magical,

rustic quality, aided also by certified Parmigiano Reggiano that faded into the crumbled sausage and bullet-shaped dumplings upon contact. The dish was heavier than expected, thus resulting in leftovers for dinner the following night. My friend’s vegan lasagna was easier to polish off. The seitan filling looked like minced meat, and began tasting like it after we showered the top with the Parmesan, which provided the touch of saturated fat I felt it needed. Other vegan choices include penne pasta with pink vodka sauce; potato gnocchi in basil pesto; and halfmoon pasta stuffed with potatoes, mushroom and artichokes. On the flip side of the dietary coin, the menu offers everything from seafood linguini and pasta Bolognese to Limoncello chicken and center-cut filet mignon with Amarena cherry sauce. Civico’s warm and embracing interior was conceived by local designer Agostino Sannino, who tapped into Italy’s Arte Povera movement of the late 1960s to achieve a retro feel with simple, everyday materials and objects. The style is most evident from an illuminated wall bedecked with wooden oven paddles, old milk cans, rolling pins and other homey bric-abrac. We’ve seen it before, but this is designed with better gallery-like flair. As for the vegan chocolate gelato that concluded our meal, we didn’t

(top to bottom) Vegetarian lasagna; Calabrese con Tonno salad; eggplant with smoked Buffalo mozzarella in red sauce (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

cry. But we were awed by its deep cocoa flavor, and more so, by its creaminess, which matched the delicious dairy-laden tiramisu we also devoured. The difference is that the latter requires a longer walk throughout the neighborhood to burn off. —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


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


In addition to its Downtown operation at 1023 Fourth Ave., a second San Diego location of Yard House has opened in Westfield Mission Valley Mall, next door to the AMC Theaters. Visitors can expect the same food menu, which features everything from black truffle cheeseburgers and Nashville hot chicken to a decent selection of vegetarian options such as wings and tortas using Gardein soy chicken. And also like its Downtown location, there’s a huge flow of rotating draft beers available from 130 taps. 1640 Camino del Rio North, 619-574-0468. The new Crazy Goose Bar & Lounge is up and running in the Gaslamp Quarter in the space that formerly housed Quality Social. Pairing up to craft beers and an extensive selection of wine and spirits is a slate of American comfort food with 21st-century spins, such as angus beef stuffed with Velveeta cheese; maple truffle lamb chops, rosemary chicken melts, plus fresh elk, bison and venison. Sporting events are aired over 30 flat screens and live entertainment and DJs rotate weekly. 789 Sixth Ave., 619-255-5770. After a five-year run, Toast Enoteca & Cucina in the East Village has closed. The restaurant was operated by Chef Martin Gonzalez, who will continue operating his Tuscan-style Acqua Al 2 establishment at 322 Fifth Ave., in the heart of the Gaslamp District.

The cheese wheel at Monello (Courtesy Chemistry PR) Various risotto dishes that change weekly are receiving special treatment every Wednesday (from 5 p.m. to closing) at Monello in Little Italy, where the Italian rice is cooked tableside in a prized raspadura Parmesan wheel imported from Italy. The risotto entrees cost $25 on average and are large enough to share among two or three people. 750 W. Fir St., 619501-0030. In celebration of National Taco Day on Oct. 4, Puesto at The Headquarters at Seaport and in La Jolla is offering visitors a taco to remember. For one day only, it will bring back its zesty chile relleno taco, which features a battered, cheese-filled jalapeno pepper wrapped in a fresh corn tortilla with spicy salsa. The taco sells for $5, and was first introduced at last year’s celebration. The first 100 guests to purchase it at either location will receive a free T-shirt with the Puesto logo and a taco emoji printed on it. 789 W. Harbor Drive, and 1026 Wall St., La Jolla; 619-233-8880.

Top local chefs will perform their magic at the Chef Showdown (Courtesy CCS) San Diego’s mother of all culinary competitions is coming to the Port Pavilion at Broadway Pier on Oct. 29, as 10 local toques, divided into two teams, battle it out at the 11th annual Center for Community Solutions’ Chef Showdown. The event each year benefits a number of programs at CCS that support victims of domestic and sexual violence. Among the chefs taking part are Hanis Cavin of Carnitas Snack Shack; Lori Sauer of George’s at the Cove; Robert Ruiz of The Land & Water Co.; Rose Payron of High Dive; James Montejano of La Valencia; and others tasked with creating dishes based on secret ingredients unveiled at the start of the competition. They will be judged by a panel of celebrity chefs, including Bernard Guillas of The Marine Room, and television personality, Sam the Cooking Guy. General admission is $250, which includes tastings from food and dessert stations. For more information, call 858-272-5777, ext. 151, or visit 1000 N. Harbor Island Drive. Little Italy’s Craft and Commerce has temporarily closed as it builds out a second concept in an adjoining single-apartment structure. Acquired recently by CH Projects, which is rooted in the Downtown scene with other establishments such as Neighborhood, El Dorado Cocktail Lounge, Rare Form, Fairweather and others, the 1,000-square-foot space will be incorporated into Craft’s existing layout. Slated to reopen as a dual operation early next year, the annex “might be a bar, might be a restaurant or maybe both,” according to a public relations rep. It will have a separate name as well. Further details will be revealed in another month or two. 675 W. Beech St., 619-269-2202.

Pork loin was recently introduced at Brian’s 24 (Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

Culinary nostalgia awaits at Brian’s 24, which has begun serving classic blue-plate specials from 4 – 8 p.m., during the early part of the week for the coming month. Look for beef tips with gravy over noodles on Mondays; pork loin with veggies and mashed potatoes on Tuesdays; and chicken pot pie paired with buttermilk biscuits on Wednesdays. 828 Sixth Ave., 619-2634577.


The chile relleno taco returns for one day only at Puesto (Courtesy Katalyst PR)

—Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015




LiMandri helped start FESTA! in 1994 when the local business association was first formed. Now organizers and volunteers of the Sicilian Festival — which has also been around for 21 years — will be collaborating with LiMandri and the LIA to “preserve the cultural elements and flavor” of the Sicilian Festival while putting on an event that pays homage to the entire region. The celebration, one of the largest Italian festivals in the country, covers 15 city blocks and typically attracts 120,000 attendees, some whom travel from out of town. Activities include a stickball tournament, a grape stomp, and a spaghetti-eating contest. Live Italian music will be performed on three stages, foodies can check out cooking demonstrations at the Mercato Stage, and little ones can enjoy themselves at the Kid’s Fun Zone with balloon art and face painting. In addition to a stickball exhibition, a bocce ball tournament will also be held, and participants have an opportunity to win up to $600. In addition, on the Friday prior to the event, there will be a special movie night “Serata al Cinema” in at the open-air theater of Amici Park, featuring the film “5 Hour Friends,” at 8 p.m. Featuring Tom Sizemore, “5 Hour Friends” was actually filmed in the Little Italy neighborhood and elsewhere in San Diego. Soap opera fans will probably recognize Fallbrook resident and actress Kimberlin Brown, widely known for playing the wicked Sheila Carter on “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful.” Car aficionados will want to check out the Italian Motorsports Show — which was not present at last year’s festival — featuring

A chalk mural “Gesso Italiano” along Beech Street during FESTA! (Photo by Paul Nester) classic Italian cars such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis and even some Italian motorcycles. And of course the popular 8-footby-8-foot Italian chalk art pieces, known as Gesso Italiano, will be back, taking up three blocks of W. Beech Street, between India and Union streets. “The art of street painting actually originated in Italy probably hundreds of years ago,” said Sandi Cottrell of Little Italy Events, one of the FESTA! organizers. Cottrell is also managing director of another popular and successful annual Little Italy event, Mission Federal’s ARTWalk. “It’s such an amazing depiction of whatever our theme is,” she said. “This year, we are doing a tribute to Balboa Park in honor of the centennial.” History buffs won’t want to miss the film on the history of the neighborhood’s ties to the tuna fishing industry, which will be shown throughout the day at the newly expanded cultural pavilion at the corner of Fir and India streets.  “People who aren’t that familiar with Little Italy are not aware that the fishing industry was how Little Italy came to be,” Cottrell said. “Immigrants, primarily from Sicily,

came over and when the tuna fishing industry was such a big component of San Diego commerce back in the ’50s and ’60s, it was all the Italians settled in Little Italy that were running it.” LiMandri said that in addition to being a “homecoming of sorts,” the annual celebration of Italian culture is also “a snapshot of the tremendous growth of this great historic ethnic neighborhood” that belongs to Downtown San Diego. “Our FESTA!, which stresses the positive contributions of Italian Americans to American culture and to the city of San Diego’s history, has grown into the largest single day Italian American festival in the country today,” LiMandri said. “The FESTA! is an important cultural event in San Diego, but most importantly, it is fun and is filled with great people, great food and great art and entertainment.” Little Italy’s 21st annual FESTA! will be held Sunday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information, visit Volunteers are welcome.   —Gina McGalliard is a local freelance writer. You can contact her at ginamcgalliard@gmail. com or follow her blog,


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


A champion for Balboa Park Art on the Land Delle Willett When landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and his business partner Calvert Vaux designed Niagara Falls State Park in 1885, they anticipated a half million visitors a year. Last year the park had 8.5 million visitors — a good example of a landscape that’s been adversely affected by the automobile and massive growth in popularity. When landscape architect Samuel Parsons, one of Olmsted’s protégés, designed Balboa Park in 1901 (at the time called City Park), it was considered a municipal park to serve San Diego’s population of less than 50,000, not a destination park that would have the 14 million visitors a year it does today, making it the fifth most-visited park in the nation. “And so what we have is a park that is being loved to death,” said Tómas Herrera-Mishler, new executive director and chief executive officer of the Balboa Park Conservancy. “Balboa Park is accommodating extreme levels of visitors on a daily basis, but the park was never designed to accommodate so many,” he said. “We need to adaptively change the landscape to handle the level of visitation while preserving the essence of what makes the landscape special, historic, unique.” A seasoned landscape architect and urban planner, HerreraMishler has had first-hand experience working in landscapes that have had to adjust to extreme new levels of visitation. For example, from 2008 to 2014, Herrera-Mishler led the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s innovative and uniquely successful publicprivate partnership with the city of Buffalo to operate and restore Buffalo’s historic Olmsted Parks System, the nation’s first park system. He helped to secure over $30 million for capital-improvement projects toward the implementation of the park system’s visionary master plan. Herrera-Mishler assumed leadership of the Balboa Park Conservancy June 16. The conservancy is a new and old organization at the same time. It’s new because it was founded in 2012, and it’s old because it merged with 94-year-old Balboa Park Central (formerly the House of Hospitality), the organization that included the House of Hospitality, the Visitors’ Center and Balboa Park Marketing. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Conservancy is responsible for raising funds, developing publicprivate partnerships and collaborating with Balboa Park stakeholders to implement capital projects, address deferred-maintenance needs, and seek solutions to accessibility needs in the park. It also operates as partners with the city of San Diego, which owns Balboa Park, and with other park stakeholders to carry out its mission. “A public-private partnership is a lot like a life-saving transplant; you take a struggling body and put new life in it,” Herrera-Mishler said. “You always have to balance and it’s not easy, but they can yield amazing results. “As we address important ways to reconnect the park to the community, improve access, circulation and parking, we will be working together on huge things that are very expensive and are going to

(clockwise from top left) Historic Botanical Building; fountain behind Balboa Park Administration; Founder’s Plaza on the west mesa of the Park; Thomas Herrera-Mishler inside the Botanical Building; grounds behind the Balboa Park Admin building (Photos by Delle Willett)

require federal, state and local government support as well as major philanthropic support. It’s going to entail all of us working together to leverage those funds for what needs to happen here to improve access and sustainability, not just the friends of the park but all of the stakeholders.” What’s amazing to HererraMishler is there’s a sort of myth that Balboa Park is done, and the reality is that it’s far from completed. “At the moment we have just half a park out there, but it’s a great half,” he said. According to Hererra-Mishler, much of the east mesa and Florida Canyon have yet to be developed into what the Master Plan calls for. “Now when you look at the east mesa, what do you see? A landfill and what I fondly call ‘the city’s truck gulag,’” he said. It’s a temporary use, but temporary uses have a way of sticking around, he added. Hererra-Mishler is strongly in favor of fully implementing the 1989 Master Plan developed by San Diego’s landscape architect and urban planner, Vicki Estrada of Estrada Land Planning. “It’s still evergreen; the goals of that plan remain right on target,” Herrera-Mishler said. “It’s one of the best park master plans I have come across, and I’ve seen a lot of them.” He believes that if the park were to fully implement the Master Plan and keep it maintained at a high level, the economic benefits to the city would really be dramatic. “There’s been a lot of recent research that shows that wellmaintained parks enhance the visual character of a city, improve our quality of life and boost our economic vitality,” he continued. “Balboa Park’s potential has yet to be fully tapped.” To San Diego’s benefit, Balboa Park is a “destination” park in addition to serving as a

“municipal” park. Destination parks attract cultural tourists — people who travel farther to get there, spend more time and more money, stay in hotels, eat in restaurants, and shop. And their expectations for maintenance in a destination park are higher than a municipal park. While the city provides a good level of maintenance in the park by municipal standards, Herrera-Mishler thinks we can do better. “In order to attract the cultural tourist to San Diego we need to make sure that our premiere cultural tourist destination meets or exceeds their expectations. And we have some work to do,” he said. The Conservancy is planning on doing a lot of ‘friend-raising,’ in other words, cultivating folks who can support the organization. One way of doing that is to have a tangible thing to be funded, like restoration of the Botanical Building. “It’s a wonderful, tangible project; it’s a building that just requires a new lease on life to be around for another 100 years,” HerreraMishler said. With a master’s degree in landscape architecture and regional planning, and a specialization in urban design from the University of Michigan, Herrera-Mishler understands that landscape architects have a big and important role to play, adjusting the way we use and enjoy our landscapes, and the aesthetics of our landscape to accommodate global climate change and weather. “We are faced with the reality of the drought conditions and need to design landscapes to accommodate lower water supplies,” Herrera-Mishler said. “But we can do it in a way that’s sustainable, historical, beautiful — isn’t that exactly what landscape architects are all about?” Based on his past, HerreraMishler will be making his mark in the park. He was named Preservation Hero 2013 by the Library

of American Historic Landscapes and was awarded the 2014 Gold Leaf Award by the New York State Arborists Association. The Cultural Society of Buffalo gave him an Outstanding Community Leader Award in 2014. The Upstate New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects named him Outstanding Leader in Landscape Architecture in 2015. “My whole career I’ve tried to work at the nexus of arts and culture and public landscape,” he said. “That’s been my whole career,

and usually one of those elements is missing and I have had to inject it. In Balboa Park, it’s all here. In spades.” For more information about the Balboa Park Conservancy, visit Follow Tomas Herrera-Mishler on Twitter @thmisler. —Delle Willett has been a marketing and public relations professional for over 30 years, with an emphasis on conservation of the environment. She can be reached at


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015


FRIDAY – OCT. 2 East Village Walkabout: Join DSDP’s Clean & Safe program at 10 a.m. Meetup at Park Boulevard and Tony Gwynn Way (NW corner). For more info, call 619-234-8900, visit, or sign up for their newsletter. Opening reception for ‘David Wing: A San Diego Retrospective’: David Wing has been photographing the “life and landscape in the American West” for 50 years. After a long career, including teaching at Grossmont College for 30 years, Wing is now devoted to photography full time. The retrospective will be on display through Sunday, Dec. 6. Reception 6 – 9 p.m. Sparks Gallery, 530 Sixth Ave., Gaslamp. Visit

MONDAY – OCT. 5 Davis to speak at San Diego Women’s Foundation: The SDWF 2015 Grants Focus Kick-Off – “Developing Employment Readiness” will include featured speaker, Susan A. Davis. An SDWF member, Rep. Davis will share inside and experience. The SDWF is interested in exploring career-specific education and training for its 2015 – 2016 grants focus. Free. 5 p.m. Monarch School, 1625 Newton Ave., San Diego. Visit

TUESDAY – OCT. 6 Little Italy Board of Directors meeting: Monthly meeting to discuss the Little Italy Association’s general business, upcoming events and issues. Open to the public. 8:30 – 10 a.m. Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Hall, 1654 SATURDAY – OCT. 3 State St., Little Italy. Visit little‘Stretch Yourself’ yoga classes: A twice-monthly yoga 52 Weeks of Science Kickclass at outdoor locations through- Off Party: The Reuben H. Fleet out Downtown. 9 a.m. Lane Science Center is partnering with Field Park, 900 West Broadway. the communities of Barrio Logan Visit and Logan Heights to launch 52 Maker Faire: This two-day, Weeks of Science to highlight the family-friendly festival kicks off importance of bringing informal today. It will showcase crafters, STEM education and awareness educators, engineers, artists and to this underserved. The kickoff much more. Attendees are invited party will include food, hands-on to make and take their own creactivities and interactive sciations in this “large science fair ence demonstrations. 5:30 – 7:30 meets county fair” setting. Onep.m. Logan Heights Library, 567 day and two-day tickets are avail- S. 28th St. Visit and include admission to 10 weeks-science. museums. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Balboa WEDNESDAY – OCT. 7 Park. Visit ‘Color in the Park: Balboa South Bark Dog Wash Park Past, Present and Future’: turns 15: This popular dog wash The San Diego chapter of the Colstore invites the community to ored Pencil Society of America is help celebrate its 15th anniversary. Includes photo opportunities hosting its 23rd annual exhibition of fine art through Monday, Nov. with Chopper the Biker Dog at 5 2, with an artist’s reception on p.m., and drinks and cake served Sunday, Oct. 11 from 1 – 4 p.m. at 6 p.m. VIP shopping sales, Gallery 21 in the Spanish Village specials, giveaways are on tap. Art Center, 1770 Village Place, Washings will be extended to 9 Balboa Park. Visit p.m. with a 15 percent discount all day. Join the Fall Walkabout THURSDAY – OCT. 8 in South Park, too. 2037 30th St., 2015 East Village Un-Gala South Park. Call 619-232-7387 or Awards: The East Village Assovisit ciation will host this unique event South Park Fall Walkfor the first time featuring seven about: South Park Business fun award categories like “Most Group presents this quarterly fes- Pet Friendly” and “Social Media tival to support brick-and-mortar Champ.” The event will feature businesses in the area. The free live music by Tolan Shaw and be event will feature complimentary emceed by comedian Mal Hall. treats, live entertainment and Admission is $15 for EVA memspecial offers at various busibers ($20 for non-members) and nesses. The Walkabout highlights includes one drink ticket and one the business district on the north food voucher. 5 p.m. Quartyard, end at Kalmia and 30th streets to 1102 Market St., East Village. the south end at Beech and 30th Visit streets. 6 – 10 p.m. Visit southFRIDAY – OCT. 9 Cortez walkabout: Join SUNDAY – OCT. 4 DSDP’s Clean & Safe program Painting and Vino: Local at 10 a.m. Meetup Union and A professional artists instruct atstreets (NE corner). For more info, tendees on painting a masterpiece. call 619-234-8900, visit downTonight – “Poppies at Sunset.” or sign up for 12 – 3 p.m. 21+. $45, all supplies their newsletter. included, registration is required. SATURDAY – OCT. 10 Bring your own wine / $15 corkCRSSD Festival: The second age. 98 Bottles, 2400 Kettner installation of this two-day music Blvd., Suite 110. For more info, festival will feature a wide range visit of bands including: The Flaming

CALENDAR Lips, TV on the Radio, Banks, St. Lucia, Big Data and more; along with several DJ sets. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, Marina District. Visit San Diego Costume Guild annual sale: A great chance to get ready for Halloween, this sale will feature vintage clothing, accessories and a wide variety of costumes (steam punk, Victorian, Flamenco and much more). Free and open to the public. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Private residence of Dondi Dahlin, 3747 Eagle St., Mission Hills. Visit Ninth annual ‘Sleepless America San Diego’: An event to raise awareness and funds to help thousands of local homeless men, women and children. The event starts at 4 p.m. and ends at 8 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11. Participants can come for the evening or choose to sleep over on a cot, cardboard or plastic sheeting to “gain a greater appreciation of the homeless condition.” Liberty Station, 2875 Dewey Road. SUNDAY – OCT. 11 Little Italy FESTA!: The 21st annual edition of this cultural festival taking over the streets of Little Italy with live entertainment, Italian food, stickball and bocce ball tournaments and more. A consistent highlight of FESTA! is the Gesso Italiano (Italian Chalk) artwork celebrating the Little Italy neighborhood. Free and family friendly. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Visit Fifth Avenue Auto Showcase: A free event featuring more than 150 high-performance, luxury, classic and rare cars and motorcycles along six blocks of Fifth Avenue between E and K streets. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visit Good Food Community Fair: Slow Food Urban San Diego presents the third annual Good Food fair with the theme: “Waterwise San Diego.” There will be artisanal food, craft drinks, cooking demos, art, music and more at this event. Free. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Quartyard, 1102 Market St., East Village. Visit San Diego Great Books: Free discussion group, open to the public. This month’s reading: “Benito Cereno” by Hermann Melville. 2 – 4 p.m. Room 221, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit MONDAY – OCT. 12 ‘Celebrity Sonnets’: Annual event by San Diego Shakespeare Society featuring local celebrities and performers presenting their choice of Shakespeare’s sonnets. 7:30 p.m. $20 ($10 for members, seniors, military and students). Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage, The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Visit TUESDAY – OCT. 13 ‘Loud at Quartyard’ with Twin Shadow: A private listener concert presented by FM 94.9 and Shock Top with chillwave artist Twin Shadow. Text LOUD to 61749 to win passes. Quartyard, 1102 Market St., East Village. Visit WEDNESDAY – OCT. 14 53rd annual Alonzo Awards dinner: This event to celebrate the “Best of Downtown” will feature a reception and dinner. 5:30 p.m. Manchester Grand Hyatt, 1 Market Place, Downtown. Visit THURSDAY – OCT. 15 HireLive Sales and Management Career Fair: Free event for job seekers with opportunities for inside and outside sales reps, account executives, retail managers, customer service and much more. 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Embassy Suites Hotel, 601 Pacific Hwy, Marina. Visit FRIDAY – OCT. 16 Core walkabout: Join DSDP’s Clean & Safe program at 10 a.m. Meetup at Park Boulevard and Russ Street (SW corner). For more info, call 619-234-8900, or sign up for their newsletter. SATURDAY – OCT. 17 Eighth annual Festival of Lights/Diwali Celebrations: This event presents a display of 54 lamps representing various regions and religions of India and a procession of sari-clad women carrying 1,008 lit lamps. There will be choreographed dances, laughing yoga, Henna paintings, Indian cuisine and more. $5. 3 – 8 p.m. Organ Pavillion, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park. Visit sdmart. org/calendar/2015-10. I Love A Clean San Diego fall social: Meet staff, board, and volunteers from the organization at this festive social featuring free food, live music, local craft beer and wine, and more. 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. Belmont Park, 3146 Mission Blvd., Mission Bay. Visit cleansd. SUNDAY – OCT. 18 Bike for Boobs: For the third year, The Wine Pub will host this casual bike ride and after party in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The ride — in conjunction with San Diego County Bike Coalition and Wheel Women of San Diego — will start at The Wine Pub and continue around Shelter Island. The party that follows will feature drinks, appetizers, live music, auction items and more. 3 – 7 p.m. $25 suggested donation. 2907 Shelter Island Drive, #108. Visit MONDAY – OCT. 19 Book club: Meet to discuss “Nine Lives: Mystery, Magic, Death and Life in New Orleans” by Dan Baum. 7 p.m. Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 835C W. Harbor Drive, Seaport Village. Visit TUESDAY – OCT. 20 Wine and Canvas: Step-bystep instruction and materials included, create 16-by-20-inch gallery-wrapped canvas painting. Tonight: “Room with a View.” No outside food or drinks — both available for purchase. $35 per person. 6 – 9 p.m. Fifty Seven Degrees, 1735 Hancock St., Middletown. Visit WEDNESDAY – OCT. 21 ‘Wine World Wanderlust’: A unique, fun and educational class teaching the basics of cheese along with classic wine pairings. Eight varietals and 12 types of cheese included. $60. Venissimo Cheese at The Headquarters at Seaport, 789 West Harbor Drive, Marina

District. Visit THURSDAY – OCT. 22 Front Porch Pilates: These free classes are offered as part of U.S. Bank and Downtown San Diego Partnership’s summer series. 6 – 7 p.m. Lane Field, 900 W. Broadway, Downtown. Visit ‘Recipe for a Healthy and Delicious Fall’ cooking class: Free monthly class by Scripps nutritionists featuring healthy and delicious meals. All ages welcome. Check-in at 5:30 p.m. Jimbo’s… Naturally!, 324 Horton Plaza, Downtown. Visit FRIDAY – OCT. 23 Columbia walkabout: Join DSDP’s Clean & Safe program at 10 a.m. Meetup at Union Street and Broadway (NW corner). For more info, call 619-234-8900, or sign up for their newsletter. SATURDAY – OCT. 24 Free kids workshop: Downtown San Diego Partnership and The Home Depot are teaming up for this free workshop in honor of Fire Safety Month. Designed for ages 5 – 12, children will get to keep their craft (a fire truck), receive a certificate of achievement, workshop apron and more. 9 a.m. – noon. San Diego County Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, Downtown. Visit SUNDAY – OCT. 25 Wacky Wonky Walk and Kids Festival: A “world of imagination” will take over Waterfront Park with a 4.89K Wacky Walk followed by the Pure Imagination Festival. Festivities include local kids’ bands, food vendors and more. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for kids. All proceeds benefit the San Diego Center for Children. Waterfront Park, 1600 Pacific Highway, Marina District. Sunday Supper at The Cheese Store: A Halloweeninspired five-course dinner with an autumn-esque meal including cheese in every course. $65 includes one glass of wine or beer. 6 – 8 p.m. The Cheese Store of San Diego, 1980 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy. Visit MONDAY – OCT. 26 Film Forum: Free screening of “Munyurangabo” — a film about the friendship of two young men tested when village elders warn that their two tribes should not be friends. Meet and greet with Asian Film Festival staff before film. 6:30 p.m. Auditorium, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit TUESDAY – OCT. 27 Robert Sinskey Wine Dinner: This special dinner will feature Sinskey’s biodynamic wines from 100 percent organic grapes served with oysters, quail and more. Four-course meal is $120 per person. Stake Chophouse and Bar, 1309 Orange Ave., Coronado. Visit WEDNESDAY – OCT. 28 ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’: A special screening of the re-mastered version of this classic film. Tickets start at $10. 7 p.m. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Gaslamp. Visit

see Calendar, pg 27


CALENDAR THURSDAY – OCT. 29 Thursday Night Market: A free monthly event featuring live music, vendors and more. All ages and dog friendly. 6 – 10 p.m. Quartyard, 1102 Market St., East Village. Visit FRIDAY – OCT. 30 Gaslamp walkabout: Join DSDP’s Clean & Safe program at 10 a.m. Meetup at Sixth and Island avenues (SW corner). For more info, call 619-234-8900, visit or sign up for their newsletter. Trick-or-Treat on India Street: Little Italy businesses host this family friendly, safe trick-or-treating experience. Pick up a map of participating locations at the Piazza Basilone (corner of India and W. Fir streets) from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Visit SATURAY – OCT. 31 – HALLOWEEN 15th annual Dos XX Monster Bash presented by Sailor Jerry: This annual street party once again returns to the Gaslamp and East Village with five themed stages, a $5,000 cash costume contest, a VIP section and more. Tickets start at $30 and go up in price as the date approaches. 6 p.m. – midnight. Visit San Diego Zombie Crawl 2015: This Downtown pub crawl will include stops at over 25 nightclubs, restaurants and bars in the East Village and Gaslamp. Tickets also include more than 10 “welcome shots” at various locations, a grand opening party at Parq Nightclub (615 Broadway) and more. Use promo code: EVAZombies to save $10 on tickets. 6 p.m. – 2 a.m. Visit Paranormal Investigation: Once a month, these investigations visit the “most haunted house in the Gaslamp.” The tour lasts two hours and guests can bring cameras and video and digital recorders but no professional media equipment. Limited to 20 people. 10 p.m. Davis-Horton (formerly William Heath Davis) House, 410 Island Ave., Gaslamp. Visit SUNDAY – NOV. 1 ‘A Walk Through Balboa Park Celebrating Its Centennial’: One of four concerts by the San Diego Symphony as part of its “Family Festival” designed for children 5 – 12 years old. This edition will feature music that represents Balboa Park’s most iconic fountain, gardens, museums and international cottages. Pre-concert activities at 1 p.m., concert at 2 p.m. Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St., Downtown. Visit MONDAY – NOV. 2 Film Forum: Free screening of “The Wrecking Crew” – a tribute to artists of the “West Coast sound”: Elvis, Frank Sinatra, The Beach Boys, The Byrds and more. Special Q&A with the film’s director Denny Tedesco following the film. 6:30 p.m. Auditorium, San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., Downtown. Visit facebook. com/freelibrarymovies.

San Diego Downtown News | October 2015

Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro LOOKBOOK Live

Fashion Valley Mall — a Simon Mall — recently kicked off a twoday event celebrating fall fashions. The first night, Sept. 17, provided a preview of the LOOKBOOK Live event with local insiders, VIP guests, and media. The event began with a cocktail hour in front of Neiman Marcus where all the guests hobnobbed with each other. Then the fashionistas headed for the runway show located in the center of the mall at the bottom of the escalators. This VIP runway experience presented the latest trends from Bloomingdale’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Hugo Boss, John Varvatos, MaxMara and Salvatore Ferragamo. Some of the standout styles were culottes pants, fringe on clothes and purses, long earrings, and ponchos. The fall colors were in earthy wine reds especially the pantone color of the year masala. Topping off the fabulous runway show, the guests met in Tiffany & Co. for Champagne and dessert. Toasting to the event, everyone finished a perfect evening with shopping in his or her favorite store. The second day presented the actual LOOKBOOK Live showcase on Sept. 19. This event brought together Fashion Valley and Glamour and GQ magazines, with style experts from the magazines to offer their take on the latest hot trends. The day finished with a chance to win a $2,500 Simon shopping spree. For more information on LOOKBOOK Live visit

TUESDAY – NOV. 3 San Diego Shakespeare Society – acting workshop night: Anyone can join in or just listen. Informal café-style seating. First Tuesday of the month, 6:45 – 8:30 p.m. Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse, 835C W. Harbor Dr., Seaport Village. Free. Visit or call 619-333-0141. WEDNESDAY – NOV. 4 ‘Get To Know Cheese”: A “cheese 101” class teaching the history of cheese, how it’s made, how to pair it, serve it and store it, and more. Samples of all styles of cheese and sips of wine included. $50. Venissimo Cheese at The Headquarters at Seaport, 789 West Harbor Drive, Marina District. Visit THURSDAY – NOV. 5 Live Comedy: Comedianactor – and San Diego native – Bobby Lee will be performing his stand-up for three nights. 8 p.m. American Comedy Company, 818 B Sixth Ave., Gaslamp. Tickets $22. —Complied by Jen Van Tieghem. Send items for inclusion to Editor Morgan M. Hurley at PUZZLE SOLUTION FROM PG. 20

(l to r) Model shows off MaxMara; model on the runway of LOOKBOOK LIve. (Photos by Diana Cavagnaro)

Gaslight Gathering 6

Gaslight Gathering 6 got underway from Sept. 18 – 20 at San Diego Town & Country Resort Hotel. The event is a Steampunk and Neo Victoriana Convention and participants came dressed in costumes where no two were the same. The limit to designing your Steampunk persona is your imagination; think Victorian era, Jules Verne, and Steampunk all rolled into one. Workshops and classes

were given to inspire and help create the “look.” This year’s theme was “Gaslight goes to the Cinema!” A short Steampunk Film Festival was shown along with a “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” tribute. Guest of honor, Scott Brodeen, was on hand to take guests on an exclusive journey through the famed Nautilus submarine. The gathering had several fashion shows. First was the Tea


and Fashion Show: Let’s Go to the Movies, offering afternoon tea and fashion along with everyone’s favorite movie stars. Saturday saw the Steampunk Acme Catalog Fashion Show with models of all ages and an emphasis on accessories, which was full of “gadgets galore.” Emcees were Eve Riot and Nicolai De La Muerte, with a special appearance by “Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius.” The Acme Corporation — as in the “Road Runner” cartoons — was a fictional sponsor and this year’s “gaslighters” showed Monsieur Coyote crafty ways he could catch the Road Runner. On Sunday attendees enjoyed the Lolita Fashion Show, a Victorian-based fashion movement started in Japan around 1970, which is now worldwide. Ariane Brandt was on hand to give a special presentation. The Gaslight Gathering is a nonprofit organization that does business under the California Association for the Advancement of Speculative Media, Inc. This year their local charity partner is Just In Time Foster Youth, an organization that helps children and teens in foster care prepare for life after graduation. The next Gaslight Gathering will be Oct. 7 – 9, 2016. For more info visit

Upcoming events

Oct. 22 | Enchanted Forest — Dame Zandra Rhodes presents her new collection at the Westgate Hotel, located at 10522 Second St., Downtown, starting at 11:30 a.m. For tickets visit

—Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned Couture Milliner based in the historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more about our hat designer, teacher and blogger at


San Diego Downtown News | October 2015

San diego downtown news october 2015  


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