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October 2016 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Columbia mb m bia ia • Core/Civic • Cortez Hill • East Village • Gaslamp/Horton Plaza • Little Italy • Ma Marina

➤➤ NEWS P. 3 Stilt walkers move among last year's sold-out crowd (Courtesy Monster Bash and 4th State Productions)

Halloween H ll calendar l d Page 22

Hotel-tohousing Historic Churchill property to house homeless veterans By Dave Schwab

Local residents “glamp it up” for girls


‘Creepy crews of characters’ Jimbo’s …. to your door step

Monster Bash’s stilt walkers promise an epic event By Dave Schwab

➤➤ DINING P. 16

Shockingly, Monster Bash — San Diego’s not-to-miss blockbuster Halloween celebration — originally started as a replacement event. Developed as an alternative October event to Rocktoberfest and tasked with attracting people to the Gaslamp Quarter during a slower time of the year, the inaugural Monster Bash took up just one city block,

A festival of meat and market

➤➤ THEATER P. 20

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Dancing under the skies of October

Index 3

News Briefs Opinion


Gaslamp Landmarks

8 12

Contact us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1960



East Village Saturday, Oct. 29, from 6 p.m. to midnight. The annual frightfest culminates at 11 p.m. with the infamous Monster Bash Costume Contest, where finalists take to the stage to win the applause of the crowd vying for a $5,000 cash prize. Staged annually by the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation and SoCo

see Monster Bash, pg 9

Urban idolatry A slice of Tiki culture hidden in Little Italy

East Village

Fifth Avenue between J and K streets. Sixteen years later, the event is now identified as San Diego’s largest Halloweenthemed outdoor block party, expanding to cover eight city blocks, moving its current footprint into the adjacent neighborhood. Typically sold out, the Dos Equis-sponsored Monster Bash returns this year to its haunts in the Gaslamp Quarter and

San Diego Community News Network

The recent multi-million dollar renovation of Craft & Commerce has spawned a cozy backroom lounge capturing a bygone era that is once again trending in pop culture. Separated by a secret door from Craft’s new cabin-style design is False Idol, where guests are transported to a time when mai tais, pina coladas and other fruity rum drinks were in vogue. Contained within the 1,000-square-foot space are Tiki totems, tribal masks and wall carvings representing the false idols of Polynesia, plus a 16-foot bar top that doubles as a display case for copious ephemera reflecting Tiki history, both locally and nationally. Embedded into a wall is a faux

volcano rigged to erupt when certain punchbowl drinks are ordered. “There are so many hidden things to find. You can come in all year and still never see everything in the place,” said Anthony Schmidt, a partner with CH Projects, which also owns Neighborhood, Underbelly, Nobel Experiment, Ironside Fish & Oyster and other drinking and dining hotspots throughout the city. “A Tiki bar should be one notch above a dive bar and serve drinks that make you feel like you’re on vacation,” he added. Martin Cate is a Tikiculture expert from the Bay Area who helped develop False Idol’s rum-centric cocktail program. He owns San Francisco’s thriving Tiki bar, Smuggler’s Cove, and co-authored with his wife a book titled, “Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki” (Random House). Prior to that, he worked at the famed Trader Vic’s, a bellwether in the Tiki movement.

False Idol’s signature Tiki mugs are filled with custom cocktails (Photo by Arlene Ibarra)

Cate explained that Tiki culture is an American

see False Idol, pg 15

Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s pledge to house 1,000 homeless veterans took a major step forward with the recent rehabilitation of Hotel Churchill Downtown, which has been repurposed to house at-risk youth and 56 needy vets. The hotel at 827 C St. has been closed since 2005, when the previous owner’s plans to transform it from a single-room-occupancy hotel to an upscale bed-andbreakfast were derailed due to financing problems and other issues. The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) took ownership of the hotel property in 2011, and has since resurrected it. The grand reopening of Hotel Churchill was five years in the making for SDHC. “We are celebrating a fresh start in the life of the historical Hotel Churchill,” said SDHC president and CEO Richard C. Gentry. “This accomplishment embodies everything that the SDHC is about — people.” Michael Pavco, SDHC vice president, said Churchill’s revival fits into the grander scheme of the city’s newly adopted approach for dealing with growing Downtown homelessness. “This is part of the Housing First plan addressing homelessness in San Diego, and is also part of the mayor’s initiative to house 1,000 homeless veterans by March 2017,” said Pavco, noting the Churchill is more than just housing, providing troubled tenants with wrap-around social services as well. “There’s going to be comprehensive case management onsite in an office built into the ground floor provided to the [Churchill] veterans,” Pavco said, adding the revitalized hotel is not “transitional” but “permanent” long-term support housing. “Both models have been around for awhile,” he said. Pavco also pointing out that transitional housing is more of the bunk bed, sharedroom variety, versus permanent individual housing units in a supportive environment utilizing social service professionals. The renovation of historic Hotel Churchill created 72 affordable rental studios

see Churchill, pg 18


San Diego Downtown News | October 2016

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Stephanie Erickson 619.933.3292

Leslie Kilpatrick Branch Manager



Italian chalk art (“gesso Italiano”) is one of the most popular attractions at FESTA! (Courtesy Olive PR) and business and property owners that take pride in our neighborhood. We want to showcase our community’s success and Italian love with everyone and FESTA! is the perfect event to do just that.” Established in 1994 with just 10 vendors, FESTA! now takes place over 12 blocks of

Little Italy and will include 150 vendors. The festivities will be held from 10 a.m.–6 p.m. with Italian music on three stages, a Sicilian flag processional, street stickball, bocce ball tournaments and lots of Italian food. For more information, visit


Over 550 Downtown residents mingled among tents, lanterns and chandeliers recently, while bringing in more than $500,000 for Girl Scouts of San Diego during this year’s annual fundraiser, “Urban Glampout.” Guests played games while earning badges, placed bids on silent auction items, tried their hands at archery and crafts, listened to live music, danced, enjoyed gourmet food and drink and even roasted some s’mores around a campfire by the end of the evening. Themed after the popular cultural vacation trend called “glamping,” the event took place at Girl Scouts Headquarters, located in Balboa Park. It was the 19th annual fundraiser for the local Girls Scouts organization, which includes more than 35,000 girls in grades K-12.

Anthony and Sara Napoli of Little Italy were among those helping to keep scouting available and affordable for local girls. (Photo by Dean Barker) Co-chairs for this year’s fundraiser were Sue and John Major, with Liza Crisafi as committee chair. Major Executive Search acted as platinum sponsor; with Qualcomm and Wells Fargo as silver sponsors; and bronze


The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum is located at Third Avenue and J Street. (Courtesy

sponsors included Mission Federal Credit Union, Nadine and Carlo Daleo, Patti Roscoe, Barbara Dickey and Jim Tiffany. For more information visit

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (SDCHM) has received a $25,000 grant from the Parker Foundation to support its multicultural education programs. SDCHM is the only museum in San Diego to offer independent courses on Chinese history, art and culture that “adhere to Common Core Standards.” SDCHM’s programs — which explore the histories of Asia, China and Chinese America

see Briefs, pg 5




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11 Critical Home Inspection Traps to be Aware of Weeks Before Listing Your Downtown Condo For Sale


The largest Italian festival on the West Coast returns to San Diego’s Little Italy on Sunday, Oct. 9. Over 125,000 attendees are expected to celebrate authentic Italian and Sicilian culture with entertainment, food and Gesso Italiano. “FESTA! is not only a celebration of Little Italy San Diego’s historic past, but also a time to recognize the hard work the Little Italy Association has put into making San Diego’s Little Italy a coveted neighborhood — transforming it into one of the top neighborhoods in the country,” said Marco Li Mandri, chief executive administrator of the Little Italy Association, in a press release. “FESTA! is also a time to celebrate our future and each other — all the Little Italy residents, community members

San Diego Downtown News | October 2016

Downtown San Diego - According to industry experts, there are over 33 physical problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection when your home is for sale. A new report has been prepared which identifies the 11 most common of these problems, and what you should know about them before you list your home for sale. Whether you own an old home or a brand new one, there are a number of things that can fall short of requirements during a home inspection. If not identified and dealt with, any of these 11 items could cost you dearly in terms of repair. That's why it's critical that you read this report before you list your home. If you wait until the building inspector flags these issues for you, you will almost certainly experience costly delays in the close of your home sale or, worse, turn prospective buyers away altogether. In most cases, you can make a reasonable pre-inspection yourself if you know what you're looking for, and knowing what you're looking for can help you prevent little problems from growing into costly and unmanageable ones. To help home sellers deal with this issue before their homes are listed, a free report entitled "11 Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Home Inspection" has been compiled which explains the issues involved. To order a FREE Special Report, visit or to hear a brief recorded message about how to order your FREE copy of this report call toll-free 1-800-728-8254 and enter 7003. You can call any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get your free special report NOW to learn how to ensure a home inspection doesn't cost you the sale of your home. This report is courtesy of Reef Point Real Estate. Not intended to solicit buyers or sellers currently under contract. Paid advertisement


San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


Groceries to your door New app touts rapid delivery service to Downtown residents By Dave Fidlin Residents throughout San Diego’s Downtown neighborhoods have a new option at their fingertips for groceries and the shopping can occur without leaving the house. San Diego joined a growing list of cities across the U.S. taking part in a new app-based grocery delivery service. San Francisco-based Instacart entered the market in early August and, according to company officials, the service has been well-received. “There’s been a lot of enthusiasm in San Diego,” said David Holyoak, Instacart’s operations manager. “It’s been like a rocket ship. It’s just taken off.” Before entering a market, the company, founded in 2012, forges relationships with grocers interested in selling a selection of their merchandise through the app. An Instacart representative reviews the order, picks up the items and delivers them to the recipient’s home. Depending upon the customer’s wishes, Instacart is promising a turnaround time of one to two hours. The cost of delivering the food depends on the size of the order and when the customer specifically needs the items. Instacart has put in place a few caveats, including a provision that orders meet a threshold of at least $10.

In a nod to its Silicon Valley roots in the Bay Area, Instacart has established a strong footprint within California in its four years of existence. The company has also branched off into other geographic areas, to the West and East coasts and the Midwest as well. The service is available in 24 cities. Holyoak said San Diego was on Instacart’s radar the past year. When it entered the market in August, the service was available to a small contingent of the city,

including all of Downtown and a few of Uptown’s neighborhoods. After the brief pilot phase this summer, Holyoak said the local response has since prompted the company to expand service to other areas of San Diego, including La Jolla. A smattering of local and national grocers are offering Instacart service to San Diego residents. The list of participating retailers includes Costco, Jimbo’s Naturally, Petco, Ralph’s, Smart & Final and Whole Foods. Chris Holtzapple, general manager of Jimbo’s 3-yearold Downtown location in the Westfield Horton Plaza, said a service such as Instacart is a logical part of the company’s evolution. “When we came to the Downtown area, we knew we were going to be serving a whole new demographic,” Holtzapple said. “We had to look at ways of reaching our customers. People had been requesting some type of delivery service.” When Instacart began putting out feelers in the San Diego market last year, Holtzapple said Jimbo’s reviewed what they offered and quickly began negotiating with them. Jimbo’s participation with Instacart began with a soft-launch

An Instacart representative delivers groceries and flowers to a customer’s home. (Courtesy Instacart) period in early August. In the first month of the rollout, Holtzapple said use was intermittent. “But we’ve seen significant growth since then,” Holtzapple said. “The past month was very good for us. It’s turned out to be a real positive for us.” When asked what types of foods users tend to request most often, Holtzapple said interest runs “across the board.” “It really depends on the time of day,” he said. “When you’re talking about lunch time, there are a lot of people making requests from the nearby office buildings. But when it’s in the evening, we’re receiving orders from people in the high-rise apartments, and they’re looking for more big-ticket items.”

A screenshot of food selections available for delivery within an hour. Whole|Foods and Jimbo’s …Naturally are among the grocers participating. (Courtesy Instacart)


A woman reviews her Instacart purchases on an iPad. (Courtesy Instacart)


PILATES • BARRE • YOGA East Village 450 10th Ave

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Holyoak said Instacart has largely poured its resources into highly dense urban environments, but he envisions a day in the not-too-distant future where the app will serve residents in other living environments as well. “We’d also like to start breaking into the suburbs,” Holyoak said. “As far as we’re concerned, the sky’s the limit. We’ve had a great start so far.” For more details on Instacart and how the app works, visit —Dave Fidlin is a freelance journalist with a special affinity for San Diego and its people. Contact him at dave.fidlin@


San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


BRIEFS — are utilized by approximately 2,500 students each year. Nearly 37,000 students have been served over its 20-year history. “Our educational programs seek to empower children and adults to discover the relevance of Chinese history in profoundly personal ways,â€? said Tiffany Wai-Ying Beres, executive director of SDCHM. “Given our current limited resources for education programs, this $25,000 Parker Grant will enable us to take our educational offerings to a whole new level — providing the resources to improve access, training, and development, as well as the momentum to continue these programs moving forward.â€? Located in the heart of Downtown’s Asian Pacific Historic District Museum at 404 Third Ave., the SDCHM plans to use the Parker grant to maximize its educational outreach and help subsidize the cost for Title 1 schools to visit the museum. Learn more about SDCHM at :LWKIHZKRPHVUHPDLQLQJGRQĹ‘WPLVVWKLVĹľQDORSSRUWXQLW\


The National Comedy Theatre (NCT) will be treating audiences to Halloween improv over the weekend of Friday, Oct. 28–Sunday, Oct. 29 at their theater in Mission Hills, located at 3717 India St.

The Spooktacular is an annual occurrence, but this year’s version will feature scenes and games never done before with creepy themes to be created from audience suggestions. Organizers said audience members “will witness the weirdest ending to a comedy show they have ever seen. No. Lie.� Performances will are Friday, Oct. 28 at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7:30, 9:45 and 11:45 p.m. (the last show is “unrated� and not for children); and Sunday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for students. Visit to pre-purchase tickets.




• • •

The annual San Diego zydeco, blues and crawfish festival, Gator By The Bay, has extended their deadline for artist submissions for its official 2017 festival poster.





• • •






The deadline for artwork is now 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 31. “We are looking for an artist who can capture the dynamic

see News Briefs, pg 23

Square footage/acreage shown is only an estimate and actual square footage/acreage will differ. Buyer should rely on his or her own evaluation of useable area. Plans to build out this neighborhood as proposed are subject to change without notice. The estimated completion date of the Civita multi-level park is Winter 2017. The date of actual completion could substantially differ from the estimated date. Prices, plans and terms are effective on the date of publication and subject to change without notice. Depictions of homes or other features are artist conceptions. Hardscape, landscape and other items shown may be decorator suggestions that are not included in the purchase price and availability may vary. CalAtlantic Group, Inc. California Real Estate License No. 01138346.



San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


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

EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jeff Clemetson, x119 Ken Williams, x102

Guest Editorial

The civic importance of measures K and L By Charles G. Abdelnour For 28 years I was privileged to serve as the clerk and chief elections officer for the city of San Diego. During that time, I oversaw a number of important election events. These included the city’s switch from district-only primaries, which were then followed by a citywide general election, to district-only elections — both in the primary and if necessary, a general election runoff. My staff and I helped bring San Diego into the digital age, advancing my commitment to transparency by putting city documents online for public access. And, I’m proud to be called the “father of the all-mail ballot,” helping to draft and champion the precursor to today’s absentee ballot and the model for what is now commonly used in other jurisdictions.

So, as I look at the November general election ballot, what strikes me as the most important opportunity for city of San Diego voters, are measures K and L. They represent a very simple — yet very significant — change in the way we make some of our most important decisions. Measure K reforms the process for candidate races,

ensuring that our city’s leaders are elected in November, when the most people vote — the same system we use to elect state and federal officials. Currently in the city of San Diego, these officials can be elected in June, when as few as 20 percent of voters participate, and some candidates have been elected with support from as few as 11 percent of their constituents. The current system gives disproportionate influence to political partisans and special interests with their money and endorsements. Measure L reforms the process for deciding city ballot measures, and as we do for state ballot initiatives, requires that they be placed on the November ballot when the most voters are participating. I think we can all agree that democracy is best served when the most people

for them; that might never be feasible. But I think you could maybe begin by having someone from the Downtown homeless community elected from among their own to represent their needs and concerns on a council committee or two, or in some other meaningful way. That area that the homeless congregate in within East Village is also a de facto “neighborhood.” Why don’t we designate it as such, create a zone or something of the like down there where social services could be located, or maybe even where homeless people could be encouraged to camp, where they would be more safe, while providing them with basic human services like porta-potties, water, etc.

I don’t pretend to know what the ultimate answer is to homelessness, how you prevent it or cure it. But I think it might be time to consider attempting to re-absorb these people who’ve fallen through the cracks back into our society; perhaps by “including” them once again in our political system and processes. Maybe if we treat them like everyone else, as they deserve to be treated, give them a voice and let them participate, they’d begin to feel like they truly “belonged” once again, and start doing what’s necessary to return to being productive members of our society. —Dave Schwab, South Park, via email

"I think we can all agree that democracy is best served when the most people participate, and clearly that happens in November."

participate, and clearly that happens in November. In fact, statistics show that turnout among the general population doubles for the November general election. For voters, the choice is clear. Measures K and L bring the city in line with how California voters decide on state and federal elected officials and ballot measures. Measures K and L will eliminate confusion and empower the majority of voters. I am passionate about democracy and our voting process. I’ve fought for voters’ rights issues since 1977. Measures K and L are the most important opportunities to come before city of San Diego voters in decades. Please join me in voting “yes” on K and L. —Charles G. Abdelnour is a former San Diego city clerk and chief elections officer.v

Letters Suggestions on homeless I’d like to propose a few changes in homeless policies vis a vis the homeless Downtown. First off, I don’t believe that people should be living on the streets in “America’s Finest City.” It’s not only embarrassing, but downright insensitive and inhumane. I think we could maybe patch a few less potholes around town and put in a few porta-potties there to serve those people living on the streets in squalor, a number that seems to be getting more numerous all the time. I also believe it is time for local government to include the homeless population in some fashion. I’m not saying create a City Council seat

Fifth Avenue closures

[Ref: “Gaslamp’s new no parking zone,” Vol. 17, Issue 9, or online at glxs7qp] It will be interesting to see if this truly decreases traffic, since people will still be picking up and dropping off passengers or still be turning on Fifth Avenue to try to get to other streets with parking, not to mention the vast number of people that may not know that there is no parking on Fifth and look there anyway. What really needs to happen is closing Fifth altogether on Friday and Saturday nights. They should plan a trial weekend soon to see if that is even more successful! —Mike Denton, via

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Andy Cohen Ann Wilson Charlene Balbridge Christopher Gomez Dave Fidlin Dave Schwab David Dixon Delle Willett Diana Cavagnaro Frank Sabatini Jr. Joan Wojcik Kai Oliver-Kurtin Sandee Whilhoit Taylor Schulte Toni Atkins COPY EDITOR Dustin Lothspeich WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118

ART DIRECTOR Todd Kammer (619) 961-1961 SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Andrew Bagley 619-961-1956 Sloan Gomez, x104 Lionel Talaro, x113 Todd Zukowski, x105 Lisa Hamel, x107 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGNER Kim Espinoza PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951

OPINIONS/LETTERS: San Diego Downtown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email either to and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS: Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION: San Diego Downtown News is distributed free on the first Friday of every month. © 2016. All rights reserved.


Gitsham: a ‘New Age’ Republican A very engaging speaker, is not a candidate — unlike her Gitsham is also very adept at predecessors — prone to foot-inavoiding direct answers to conmouth disease. Gitsham held a town hall gath- troversial questions. [I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Rep. ering on Oct. 4 and it was there I Peters a number of times, and one discovered she was not what has We’re just over one month thing I have found is that he will previously passed as a typical away from Election Day and it’s Republican in today’s day and age. answer tough questions directbeen an election year unlike ly, even if he knows the answer For example, on the issue of marany other. While the Trump vs. might not be popular.] riage equality, while her religious Clinton circus rightfully takes For example, when asked beliefs (she is a Christian) personally center stage, there are other races give her reservations, she said it is whether she would support the that will be decided on Nov. 8, as Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a settled law and “likely won’t be well. They don’t have nearly the Gitsham expressed her general changed anytime soon.” entertainment value or genersupport for free trade agreements On abortion, Gitsham artfully ate anywhere near the level of — NAFTA, she noted, brought a danced around the issue, acceptanxiety that Trump’s candidacy ing that the Supreme Court decid- net of 25 million jobs to the U.S. has [and let’s face it, plenty of economy — but deftly evaded ed the matter in 1972, but noted Republicans are just as horrified leaning one way or another on that in many states, that right as Democrats], but these are imTPP, stating, “It depends on what has been chipped away. Then she portant races that could have a iteration of the agreement” is besaid, while she believes that “God significant impact locally. ing voted on. created us and gave us a purLast month we discussed Gitsham also excoriated the inpose in this world,” she can also the race for the California 49th cumbent for his vote in support of understand how an unexpected Congressional District, where inthe Iran nuclear deal, bemoaning pregnancy can be a source of cumbent Darrell Issa is facing his enormous stress for a woman who, the $150 billion that was released toughest challenge since he was as a part of the treaty. for whatever reason, feels she is first elected to Congress in 2000. [It was their money in the not prepared to bring a child into However, no race has argufirst place, frozen as a part of this world. ably been as competitive, exthe harsh sanctions that were But where do we draw the pensive and as closely watched implemented to derail their line, she asked? In her mind, that throughout the last two election nuclear program.] She said point of no return is when the cycles as the one for the 52nd Iran is a state sponsor of terror “child” can feel pain. [The trouble Congressional District, a seat cur- with that is there is no scientific [something widely accepted as rently held by Scott Peters. true] who she claims we are in consensus as to the point of the The 52nd is a swing district the middle of a war with [we’re pregnancy when that occurs.] that is roughly evenly divided Religious conservatives insist that not]. She offered no alternative between registered Democrats, it comes at the point of conception. course of action to halt Iran’s Gitsham, for her part, admitted Republicans, and Independents. nuclear program. that the line is very opaque. Peters is reasonably well liked, Gitsham also refused to say With regard to Planned particularly among the local busiwhether she supports Donald ness community; he has a solid re- Parenthood — among the bigTrump, the de facto leader of the gest “boogeymen” in conservacord despite having served in the Republican Party. Trump “has minority his entire tenure; and he tive politics — Gitsham clearly become some sort of litmus test breaks with the Republican has been one of the more active for candidates,” she said, but she Party line. Planned Parenthood, members of Congress, particularprefers to focus on this race beshe acknowledged, has done “so ly among the local delegation. cause it has far more direct implimany good things for low-income Enter Denise Gitsham, the cations for constituents. women.” latest candidate to take a shot at Throughout the town hall The organization, she said, Peters’ seat. event, Gitsham spoke on maprovides vital health care services ny hot button issues, such as Gitsham is young, attractive to people who otherwise would and smart. She earned a law deimmigration, education, taxes, not have access. But while she is gree at Georgetown University, and the economy, but offered no supportive of the organization on served on George W. Bush’s first policy proposals to get behind. the whole, she insists that taxcampaign for president, and latShe spoke articulately, even elpayers should not foot the bill for er in the Department of Justice, oquently, but did not offer much abortions. under former Attorney General of substance. [And they don’t. Congress John Ashcroft. She often touts the She also panned Congress’ insured that with the Hyde national security experience she approval rating, which currently would bring to office, having worked Amendment in 1976, which measures around 20 percent means that abortion procedures to help develop and implement — but failed to mention that are not covered by Medicaid, or the Patriot Act and the Violence Republicans are the ones in comMedi-Cal in California.] I suspect Against Women Act, among other plete control of Congress. projects (which she said are “secret”). she knows this, but spoke as if Does she have enough support government funds pay for milBut listen to her speak and it to flip a competitive district? Time lions of abortions. quickly becomes clear that this will tell.

Congressional Watch Andy Cohen

—Andy Cohen is a local freelance writer. Reach him at ac76@

San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


Battling climate change Notes from Toni Toni G. Atkins ns When I boarded a plane bound for Paris in late November 2015, where I would participate in an international climate-change summit, my pride was still fresh from the Legislature recently passing Senate Bill 350, which expanded renewable energy and increased energy efficiency. However, we still had work to do on SB 32 to advance our targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. By the time I returned home from Paris, I was even more invigorated, because our California delegation had been greeted as rock stars in the global campaign to battle climate change. I knew we could get SB 32 done with a bit of hard work. California is the leader on climate change because we set ambitious emissions-reduction targets and we have created innovative ways of hitting them. But that doesn’t mean the system is perfect. Some communities — struggling rural towns in the north, disadvantaged urban neighborhoods and our border region in the south — are feeling left out. My message to my colleagues: Let’s not throw away the sturdy structure of our policies that provides a model for the rest of the world just because not every part of it is working exactly how we would like it. Instead, let’s continue what’s working overall and commit to fi xing the parts that some of my colleagues say are leaving their communities behind. I’m happy to say that we succeeded. We passed SB 32 and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, my friend from the Coachella Valley, is a big reason for that. Mr. Garcia is one of the colleagues I selected to join our Assembly delegation in Paris. Last year, he declined to vote for SB 32 because he felt that our

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climate programs weren’t benefiting disadvantaged communities. But this year, he became a partner with Sen. Fran Pavley the author of SB 32, and he proposed a companion bill, AB 197, to address the concerns that he and other members of the Assembly had last year. At the end of our session, we passed both bills, and in early September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed them. SB 32 requires California to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2030 (its predecessor, 2006’s AB 32, required the state to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020). AB 197 makes the California Air Resources Board (CARB) more accountable to the Legislature and requires CARB to be more considerate of disadvantaged communities when it develops new climate programs. This was a great example of people representing different factions of the Legislature working together to solve a problem. In the process, we sent an important message to the private sector that California remains committed to green technologies and supportive of clean-industry innovation, and we made our climate program — as Assemblymember Garcia puts it — more equitable, accountable and transparent. I’m thrilled with the steps we’ve taken to fight climate change and I’m proud of California’s role as a global leader. We don’t want to leave anyone behind. We’re all in this together. Around the District: Seniors who need help with property taxes can apply to the state’s Property Tax Postponement Program to defer current taxes if they meet certain conditions and have a household income of $35,500 or less. For more details, see or 800-952-5661 … October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Free mammograms are available throughout October at various locations throughout the city and county. For more information, click the “events” tab at, where you also can find tips on breast health and an explanation of why mammograms are important … October is also the time to celebrate libraries and encourage reading for your teen. Teen Read Week takes place from Oct. 9-15 and National Friends of Libraries Week is Oct. 16-22. One local event for teens, exploring books and cover designs, is set for Oct. 13-14, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Downtown Central Library’s IDEA Lab. Registration is required — call 619-238-6675. —Toni G. Atkins is the Speaker Emeritus of the California State Assembly. For more information, please visit her website, members/a78 where you can sign up for her e-newsletter or get the latest news on legislation and other activities. You also may follow her on Twitter, @toniatkins.v


San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


A tale of two buildings

Same time, same block, different stories Gaslamp Landmarks Sandee Wilhoit Though they were built only one year apart, the Nanking Cafe and the Manilla Cafe have

Thomas, who originally used the building to sell Chinese imports such as fans, lanterns, umbrellas, etc. The big moneymaker, however, was the Chinese lottery, which was run in the back. In 1918, the building was sold to the Wong family, who opened what became the

O’Connor. Kid Jerome occupied the premises from 1940 until early 1943. Although he was quite popular, his boxing skills were mediocre and his real estate dealings were average. He did have two claims to fame though — he was the youngest boxer in San Diego County at age 14, and the father of San Diego’s fi rst lady mayor, the

Nanking Café (1912), Modern, architect unknown (Courtesy GQHF) very little in common. However, they both displayed the growing ethnic diversity prevalent in the Gaslamp Quarter in the early 20th century and which continues today. They also both used local materials in their respective construction, illustrating the growing lack of dependence on imported goods and materials. The Nanking Cafe, built in 1912 by Ah Quin, the unofficial mayor of Chinatown, is described as “modern,” as it displays none of the elaborate ornamentation common to Victorian-era buildings. Located at 467 Fifth Ave., at the corner of Island Avenue, it features steel reinforced concrete columns, made at the Coronado Foundry, both inside and out, and in some places the walls are five bricks thick. The entry way utilizes three-quarter-inch tiles, which are no longer made. Quin, a highly respected member of the community, turned the operation of the building over to his son,


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longest running Chinese restaurant — operated by the same family — in Southern California. The Wong descendants finally closed their doors in 1996. After an extensive interior renovation, the first since 1918, the Royal Thai restaurant then opened and remained in operation until 2013. The building now houses Sovereign, a restaurant serving Asian cuisine. Just two doors north, The Manila Café, located at 505 Fifth Ave., was built a year later (1913) and is an adaptation of Chinese architecture, characteristic of many small structures on the West Coast at the time. It is a long, narrow two-story structure topped by a classic Chinese-style roof made of local red adobe tiles. It has an exceptionally wide hallway on the second floor with a long light well or skylight, which is now mostly covered. When outside air was needed, the skylight was opened by a pulled chain conveyance. If it rained while the skylight was opened, the rain drained off into a trough against the wall. This was a very important feature as there were no windows on the outside wall and the skylight served as ventilation. In 1930, a general reconstruction and renovation of the building was initiated, which included four windows in the rear of the second story and reinforcement with concrete. When completed, the building appeared as it does today. The lower floor was originally a restaurant and the upstairs rooms were rented out as sleeping rooms. Later, the downstairs became a series of liquor stores and billiards parlors. One of the most notable of these parlors was run by a local boxer turned real estate agent named J.J. “Kid Jerome”

honorable Maureen O’Connor! Ever the sportsman, Kid Jerome continued to run several miles of “roadwork” daily well into his 70s. When Kid Jerome moved out, a Mrs. Mattie Hall moved in. She opened a restaurant and advertised lodging for the second story. City directories listed the lodging as the “Owl Rooms,” later to be known as the Owl Hotel. Throughout the years, eateries and clubs such as the Blue Moon Cafe, the Cotton Club Tavern and the Sailor’s Paradise occupied the first floor and in 1973, the Manila Cafe arrived. Sad to say, the days of billiards and dining have long gone and the building now houses a convenience store. Two buildings, two stories — they both serve as a memorable part of the Gaslamp Quarter’s fascinating and rich cultural heritage. —Sandee Wilhoit is the historian for the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation. She can be reached at

Manila Café (1913), Chinese, architect unknown (Courtesy GQHF)


MONSTER BASH Productions Inc., and produced by McFarlane Promotions, Inc., Monster Bash draws thousands of revelers to a devilishly conceived and executed over-the-top Halloween blowout party. Downtown’s signature event has become nationally known for its trademark stilt walkers, go-go girls and thousands of wildly costumed patrons, as well as for its live music on five creepily customized stages with the following themes; Doll House, Winter Whitelands, Scary Tales, Dia de los Muertos, and a VIP stage. This year’s wicked “realms,” created on various sets, include a colorless landscape with disturbing black creatures lurking in the shadows. Also featured will be streetwalking “discarded” dolls, and a nod to the Mexican holiday for remembering the deceased and supporting their spiritual journey. What can ghouls and gals expect from this year’s frightful extravaganza? “We’re excited about working to articulate our [themed] sets making them more three-dimensional,” said Laurel McFarlane, noting one eerie set involves a dollhouse with creepy faces in a 10-foot-high structure accommodating a DJ. McFarlane noted that the Winter Whitelands realm will be an all-white takeoff on

the “White Walkers,” of the epic “Game of Thrones” HBO series. “Our Scary Tales set is a take on the darker side of Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” she added. “This year we’re also doing a ’90s Horror House, a fun spoof with Pamela Anderson and sharks attacking.” A highlight each year of the Halloween-inspired madness is what Background Productions, a full-service entertainment company, brings to the show. “Each year, Monster Bash calls for new customized stilt characters, it ends up pushing us all to think outside the box and create custom larger-than-life stilt characters to entertain and scare attendees,” said Leila Penix, Background’s co-owner, producer and performer, adding that this year they are working on a “creepy crew of characters.” “Building the stilt characters from the ground up is why we keep doing events like this,” Penix said. “We love the process, from imagination to budgets, costume creation to expressing the character through the fabric and masks. And finally, dealing with the adrenaline of the unknowns that always happen at large-scale events, to feeling the rush when a guest runs in fear from our creepy characters — we thrive on it.” Since its inception, Monster Bash has strived to involve and benefit the local community. Producer

San Diego Downtown News | October 2016

Background Production’s custom stilt walkers get creepier and more creative every year. (Photos by Craig Brayton Photography) McFarlane said she continues to incorporate a philosophy of giving back. Over the years, Monster Bash has supported the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation with substantial donations that were used to fund its annual historic children’s Fallback Festival. When San Diego was devastated by wildfires, a portion of the event’s gate sales also went to local animal shelters to assist in the care of displaced pets. Since 2012, a portion of revenue from the event’s VIP program goes towards projects that develop and enhance East

Village as San Diego’s livable urban village. McFarlane said Monster Bash is a year-round planning effort and its biggest challenge is working with the community to ensure things go smoothly, as well as finding new and creative ways to entertain guests and keep them coming back. “You just can’t do the same footprint every year,” she said. “You’ve got to change it, make sure it works for everyone.” Monster Bash now is primarily headlined by nationally recognized DJs and hip-hop performers, with Too $hort


featured in the VIP area and at the after-party at FLUXX Nightclub. Several rounds of lineups and entertainment options are analyzed for months to develop the best grouping of performances that will provide the most amazing night possible for guests. “We want to create a transformational experience for the attendees, and use the music to help defi ne the variance between the varying stage themes,” said McFarlane. “We are proud to book up-and-coming talent as performers.” Why is Monster Bash McFarlane’s personal favorite to produce and promote? “I just love to be creative,” she said. “With Halloween, there are no boundaries. St. Patrick’s Day is green, and with Mardi Gras you have beads. But with Halloween — you can dream up whatever you want.” Monster Bash is a 21-andup event. It takes place Oct. 29, from 6 p.m.–midnight and encompasses eight city blocks, bordered by Market Street, J Street, Sixth and Eighth avenues. The main entrance is located at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Market Street and there will be a drop-off point for Uber riders nearby. For tickets and information, visit or call 619-233-5008. For details on street closures, visit tinyurl. com/za7k3an. — Dave Schwab can be reached at v


San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


“Join us for “Trick or Treat on India Street” Oct. 28 (Courtesy Olive PR)

Little Italy News Christopher Gomez

A spooktacular time for kids, young and old

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Little Italy’s FESTA! isn’t the only thing San Diegans look forward to in October! One of our other most loved events takes place at the end of the month — “Trick or Treat on India Street.” When the sun starts to set, Little Italy will transform into a Halloween extravaganza with pumpkins, balloons and scarecrows galore on Friday, Oct. 28 for the spooktacular 10th annual Trick-or-Treat on India Street!

Little ones dressed as their favorite superhero, cartoon, princess, animal and anything else imaginable can come and fills the streets of the neighborhood and enjoy this fun and safe Halloween event from 5:30–7:30 p.m. The Halloween festivities start with the Little Italy Association passing out candy and maps of participating businesses to kick off the night at Piazza Basilone.

see India Street, pg 11


San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


Little Italy residents and businesses enjoy mingling at last year’s event. (Courtesy Olive PR) FROM PAGE 10

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INDIA STREET Trick or Treat on India Street makes it possible for urban families to enjoy traditional trick-or-treating fun by Little Italy businesses along historic India Street opening their doors to give out candy and Halloween treats. Families are encouraged to bring their little monsters out in costume attire and join in on the trick-or-treating fun. Creating an authentic trickor-treat experience for urban families in the neighborhood each year is important to the Little Italy Association. The group is dedicated to making the evening magical for the community with Little Italy

Trick-or-Treat bags, Halloween décor and festive photo opps for families. Trick-or-Treat on India Street allows kids to still go door-to door and pick up Halloween treats, while passing other families along the way — giving everyone the chance to catch all the new costumes for the year. This is an event you don’t want to miss out on! For more information about Trick-or-Treat on India Street visit or follow the neighborhood on Instagram and Twitter @ LittleItalySD and Facebook/ San Diego Little Italy. —Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at v

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San Diego Downtown News | October 2016

An urban experiment By Joan Wojcik In 2014, three young entrepreneurs forever changed a blighted East Village block into a unique, thriving entertainment center, called Quartyard. It was the brainchild of three architectural students, David Loewenstein, Phillip Auchettl, and Jason Grauten, who named their company Rad Lab. Quartyard is a pop-up block comprised mainly of inexpensive shipping containers, which can be easily disassembled and relocated to another distressed urban block. The concept for Quartyard was based on other successful pop-up blocks. Rad Lab combined the concepts of the Box Park, which is an upscale retail pop-up block located in London, along with the foodbased smaller pop-up block called Proxy, located in Hays Valley, California. Once Loewenstein, Auchettl and Grauten created the design for Quartyard, it was submitted as their senior thesis at the NewSchool of Architecture and Design. Their thesis won great

recognition from the school and the young entrepreneurs were ready to bring their concept, Quartyard, to reality. Rad Lab went in search of a vacant, blighted lot in the East Village area of Downtown San Diego. A city-owned block on Park Boulevard and Market Street that gravely needed activating was selected for the future home of Quartyard. This particular block had been a magnet for criminal activity and was the target of constant complaints from nearby residents. Working with the city, Rad Lab finally negotiated a 28-month temporary lease for the lot. The entrepreneurs raised an initial fund of $60,000 to jumpstart the project. Quartyard officially opened its doors on March 2015 to a sold-out event. The 23,000-square-foot vacant lot was transformed into an exciting place to mingle with friends and neighbors. The retrofitted shipping containers were used to house food and drinking establishments and a 5,000-squarefoot dog park, the only dog

park in East Village, quickly became the most popular area on the site by both dogs and dog lovers. Food trucks arrive daily with appetizing specialty foods. A 500-square-foot stage was erected for live music performances. As the success of the Quartyard grew, a farmers market was soon included, together with the addition of art galleries and other crafts. Over the last year and a half, the Quartyard experiment has been very successful but it was always meant to be temporary. In a year the stage will be dismantled, the shipping containers removed, and the activated block will be no more. The Holland Partners Group is in negotiations with the city to purchase the soonto be once again vacant lot at the corner of Park Boulevard and Market Street for development of a proposed 34-story mixed-use, high-rise. And what is in the future for Quartyard? Though Quartyard will be at its current location for at least another year, Loewenstein spoke about the future from his office, a converted shipping container located at the Quartyard site.

A view of Quartyard from a nearby East Village rooftop (@tmoneysd / Facebook) “Rad Lab is looking for a future home for Quartyard,” Loewnstein said. “Several locations are being explored but none have yet to be selected. We are definitely looking in East Village.” Loewenstein explained that although Rad Lab loves East Village, they are also exploring other areas of San Diego, as well as other cities in California. Potentially, Rad Lab would like to operate more than one Quartyard in San Diego.

“The future is bright,” he said. “And the support of the community was amazing.” The success of Quartyard validated the thesis submitted over two years ago by three young entrepreneurs. Watch for more news on the new location for Quartyard. For more info about Quartyard, visit — Joan Wojcik is the president of the East Village Residents Group. Learn more about the EVRG at or contact joan eastvillageresidentsgroup@ or visit


East Village Green Adding public space to a Downtown neighborhood Art on the Land Delle Willett Where some people might see vacant lots and utility infrastructure, Nathan Elliott sees opportunity. Elliott is a principal with the Office of James Burnett (OJB), a San Diego landscape architecture firm that has received national recognition for

the impact their public parks have had on their communities. Working with Civic San Diego, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and a team of local consultants, Elliott has led OJB’s preparation of East Village Green’s general development plan (GDP) and his team is currently preparing to begin the design process that will ultimately lead to the park’s construction.

“Our work takes us across the country to pursue and develop these kinds of projects and it is extremely gratifying to work on such an important project in our own hometown,” Elliott said. Anticipated as a three-phase project, East Village Green’s GDP identifies a 4.1-acre park bound by 13th, 15th, F and G streets in the heart of San Diego’s growing East Village neighborhood. The block of 14th Street between F and G streets is envisioned as a pedestrian plaza that could be closed to accommodate street fairs, farmers markets and community events.

Aerial view of East Village neighborhood where the development will take place, with artist's rendering of East Village Green. (Courtesy Office of James Burnett)

San Diego Downtown News | October 2016

The project’s first phase will include the 40,000-square-foot city block east of the NewSchool for Architecture and an additional 20,000-square-foot parcel on the block to the east. East Village has precious little public open space, though it has been recently expanded by the addition of Fault Line Park in 2015. The East Village Green team led a series of public workshops that solicited feedback from the community and offered a series of alternative concepts. The park’s proposed plan reflects a hybrid solution integrating the best ideas for each concept, and will include a wide range of program activities that will appeal to people from all walks of life. “East Village Green will truly have something for everyone,” Elliott said, adding that projects like Quartyard and Maker’s Quarter demonstrate the very real demand in the neighborhood for public space. As more residential development is added to the neighborhood, the need for more public open space will increase. Currently an arts and industrial neighborhood in transition, the East Village is anticipated to evolve over the next decade to a mixed-use community of nearly 30,000 residents. East Village Green will be the signature urban park and open space for the neighborhood and is envisioned as the hub of community activity. “It will be a place where everyone is welcome,” Elliott said. Urban sites often pose unique challenges to designers, and East Village Green’s site includes a number of


Features of East Village Green

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

● ● ●

Community center with meeting rooms. Basketball half-court. Two-level underground parking structure. 11,000-square-foot event lawn with real turf. Performance pavilion and plaza. Children’s play area. Interactive water feature. Reading room. Off-leash dog parks. “Bark Bar” pet-friendly outdoor dining. Food truck parking. Table games area. Generous pedestrian sidewalks. Drought-tolerant landscape. Moveable and fixed furniture. Stormwater cistern.

challenges that the team hopes to leverage into new creative opportunities. The location contains a series of active seismic faults and a 22-foot elevation change from one end to another. Understanding key neighborhood assets like the new Central Library, Petco Park, Quartyard and Makers Quarter also offer insights as to how the park might be used.

see EV Green, pg 23

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San Diego Downtown News | October 2016

Who’s your inspiration? Growing Balboa Park Ann Wilson The many institutions and organizations within Balboa Park would not be as successful as they are today without the dedication and support of their volunteers. Friends of Balboa Park was founded by a group of volunteers who wanted to help maintain Balboa Park and all its beauty and leave a legacy for future generations. The Friends were inspired to create our annual Inspiration Awards to recognize and honor some of the outstanding volunteers who contribute so much to our park each year. This year’s Inspiration Award honorees are:

Sonya Dolor

Introduced to San Diego Civic Youth Ballet 10 years ago as a parent, Sonya became enthralled with the organization. The desire to give back motivated her to gracefully step into the role of backstage assistant, a key volunteer position, which she has held for seven years. Up to 150 students can be involved in a single production. Some productions have multiple performances (i.e. 10 for “The Nutcracker”). The group produces four shows per year – each one requiring many rehearsals. Sonya, who has a wonderful rapport with the dancers, donates her time and expertise, managing the dancer’s lineups and appearances for the vast majority of the group’s shows and rehearsals and she continues to do so, even though her daughter completed the program years ago.

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Carol Hinrichs

Mingei International Museum became a fascinating destination for Carol and the elementary school students she taught. Frequent visits to the small museum during its early years at the UTC location and later to its larger permanent location in Balboa Park, proved to be most inspiring. As an avid traveler who is inspired by world cultures, Carol incorporated the various “art-of-the-people” exhibitions into her student’s social studies

program. After a distinguished 30-year career in education, Caro retired – whereupon she enrolled in the 2001-2002 Mingei docent-training program. She joined the docent staff and ultimately became head of the docents. “Remarkable insights and generous use of talent,” remarked Carol of her docent family. Knowledgeable in every aspect of the Museum, Carol was tapped to be a board member. She currently serves as vice-chair of the Mingei’s board of directors.

Noni and Mort Jorgensen

This determined and energetic duo have devoted thousands of hours, spanning three decades, at two of the park’s venerable organizations: San Diego Air & Space Museum and San Diego Zoo Global. As charter members of zoo’s president’s associates and as chairs of its planning committee, the Jorgensen team can be proud — this group boasts 1,600 members and has raised “beau coup” dollars for the zoo. A retired physician and U.S. Naval officer, Mort became a member of the zoo’s events task force in 1986, and then later, he joined the development committee. Meanwhile, Noni, his wife and volunteer partner, spotted the stripes and donned the purr for the Zoo’s Aardvark group, serving as the reservation chair for the past two decades, along with volunteering as a dependable and congenial member of the R.I.T.Z. Committee — the zoo’s annual premier fundraising extravaganza. Both Noni and Mort have also been ardently engaged serving the San Diego Air & Space Museum. Mort participated as a board member from 2005–2016 and was the initiator of the planning behind the museum’s volunteer policy. Currently, Mort serves on the museum’s scholarship committee and chairs the volunteer self-governing committee. Noni reliably hops on board for many of the museum’s special events.

Michele Trevino

As a legacy volunteer with the House of Pacific Relations (HPR), France — following in the paths of her mother and grandmother, who were House of France founding members — and ably accompanied by friends and family, including her sister, daughters, and nieces, Trevino has been intricately involved at the House of France since she was a child. Volunteer positions include secretary, treasurer, and vice president. All member houses participate in the HPR’s meetings, along with maintaining the tradition of important events, such as Balboa Park’s annual December Nights. Trevino has been and continues to be, an able ambassador for the group. Her crowning moment? She was the group’s very first Queen.

Judy Tweed

Involved with the Spanish Village Art Center (SVAC) for over three decades, Tweed is credited with a broad range of volunteer initiatives; all which provide invaluable assistance to member artists and delight the visiting public. She participates in many activities, geared toward public awareness of the group’s member artists, who create wonderful and unique art. She volunteers for visitors appreciation breakfasts, receptions for the SVAC shows, and organizes Balboa Park-wide art shows, all while serving in various seats of the SVAC board. Her attention to detail is paramount, not only in her jewelry fabrication, but in all she does volunteer-wise. Her keen organizational and people skills are precious – and valuable – to the art center, along with the park as a whole. Please join the Friends of Balboa Park as we honor these wonderful volunteers at our 16th annual awards luncheon, Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Balboa Park Club. We will also be honoring our Millennium Award Winner, the San Diego Zoo, for its 100 years of horticultural beautification of the zoo grounds. A new award, inaugurated this year, the Betty Peabody Emerging Young Leaders of Balboa Park Award, will also be presented. The reception, including an opportunity to meet Animal Ambassadors from the zoo, will be at 11 a.m., followed by lunch and our awards program at noon. For more information, and to sign up to attend, please visit You may also call our office at 619-232-2282. —Submitted by Pamela Hartwell, chair of the Friends of Balboa Park Inspiration Awards committee and a long-time park volunteer, and Ann Wilson, a board member of Friends of Balboa Park since 2009.v

Sudoku & Crossword puzzle answers from page 18


Hop-heads unite By Kai Oliver-Kurtin The eighth annual San Diego Beer Week (SDBW) is on tap Nov. 4–13, bringing together nearly 20,000 people for 10 days filled with more than 500 Tickets include unlimited beer individual beer-centric events. and food samples. Produced by the San Diego “I’m excited to see what our Brewers Guild (SDBG), SDBW new brewery members bring 2016 will include events from to Guild Fest,” Davidson said. the guild’s 51 new members “The energy of the event — eswho have joined in the last year. pecially the VIP session — is “The best part of SDBW is pure magic and I cannot wait that every year is different and to see our new members expeunique,” said Jill Davidson, rience it for the fi rst time as SDBG president. “Every year brewers. It’s a truly powerful our brewery and allied memmoment to realize that we’re bers continue to raise the bar all part of something great.” and bring new, innovative and On Nov. 5, Guild Fest conengaging events to the loyal tinues with another unlimited San Diego beer community — beer tasting event at Broadway as well as all the excited beer Pier. Attendees will receive a enthusiasts who make the pilcommemorative tasting glass grimage to experience what we and can enjoy live music and have to offer.” food for purchase. Joining the SDBW events include tap 70 breweries will be representakeovers, exclusive releases, tatives from SDSU’s Business beer dinners with limited-ediof Craft Beer program and tion brews, beer bike rides and UC San Diego’s Brewery runs, and anniversary parties, Certificate program, to provide among others. The opening and educational sessions during the closing events are sponsored by event. the guild and are consistently “The San Diego brewing inthe week’s largest events. dustry generated $851 million For opening night on Nov. 4, in sales in 2015 and employed Guild Fest begins with the VIP 4,512 workers,” Davidson said. Brewer Takeover on Broadway “The economic impact is large, Pier. Guests can expect to sip and SDBW is a heavy contribon the finest rare and specialty utor to those statistics.” beers from 70 local breweries, Davidson — who works including some made espeat Pizza Port Brewing cially for the intimate event. Company as a sales and brand

San Diego Downtown News | October 2016

ambassador — is the guild’s fi rst female president. For SDBW, she said the Ocean Beach Pizza Port location will have a full 40-beer tap takeover, a rare and barrel-aged beer night, and an event featuring dozens of sour beers that’s historically the restaurant’s busiest night of the year. “The San Diego community is very aware of its 128 local breweries these days,” Davidson said. “San Diego itself has become a brand known all over the world for its high-quality beer and collaborative spirit. The guild’s goal is to maintain that reputation. We provide the support and resources that our members need to grow responsibly, sustainably — and most importantly — collectively.” The beer-fi lled week concludes with The Beer Garden tasting event at The Lodge at Torrey Pines on Nov. 13. A collaboration between SDBW and the Chef Celebration Foundation, the Beer Garden features 14 local chefs, each paired with two different breweries for unlimited food and beer samples. “SDBW is truly a wonderful tribute to the hard work our brewers put in all year long, and really gives our community a time to shine,” Davidson said. For more information on SDBW events and to purchase tickets, visit —Kai Oliver-Kurtin is a local freelance writer. Contact her at

51 new members have joined the San Diego Brewers Guild in 2016, adding to Beer Week. (Courtesy Arlene Ibarra)


Tiki décor abounds inside False Idol’s hidden enclave (Courtesy H2 Public Relations) ; (below) False Idol’s rum-spiked “Coronado luau” (Photo by Arlene Ibarra)


FALSE IDOL phenomenon that began in 1933 with the opening of Don’s Beachcomber Café in Hollywood. (It was renamed a few years later to Don the Beachcomber.) The fad hit its zenith in the late 1950s and continued spreading until collapsing in the late ’70s. “The baby boomers didn’t care for it,” he said. “They found their kicks in other ways.” It wasn’t until the late ’90s, and more so in the past couple of years, that Tiki enthusiasts re-emerged, attracting along the way new generations of bar-goers who never drank tropical libations from conical-shaped mugs flaunting Maoriinspired carvings. At False Idol, such mugs are deployed for both classic and contemporary Tiki drinks. Some of them, such as the Polynesian Forty Niner and the Singapore Sling, are made respectively with bourbon and gin instead of rum. But all share in common the obligatory acid components from limes, lemons, grapefruit or oranges. The rum selection that Cate and Schmidt have procured features some rare finds, such as Plantation, which hails from an independent bottler in Belize who finishes making the spirit in separate cognac and port casks. Their collection also includes a bottle of Black Tot,

an authentic British Royal Navy rum they purchased from the original stock before production ended in 1970. Before Craft & Commerce’s remodel, Schmidt said his team considered converting their East Village Fairweather bar into a full-blown Tiki lounge, but reneged on the idea because the space is largely open to the outdoors. “Tiki bars are supposed to have a dark, intimate feel to them, a place to escape,” Schmidt said. “We realized there was no way to control the light there.” He believes the company made the right choice by instead annexing the concept to Craft & Commerce, and said False Idol is a good fit for San Diego. “There used to be Tiki bars and restaurants all over the city,” he said, referring to The Island that operated in the former Hanalei Hotel in Mission Valley; the Luau Room once hidden inside the Hotel del Coronado; and the existing Bali Hai on Shelter Island, where the Tiki theme dominated much of the peninsula in the 1950s. False Idol is open from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., daily and doesn’t serve food. But a full menu is available at Craft & Commerce. Both establishments are located at 675 W. Beech St. For more information, call 619-2692202 or visit —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 v


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San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


Carnivorous cravings Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. It was a veritable meat parade lead by dapperly outfitted “gauchos” wielding sword-size skewers loaded with steak, lamb, sausages and you name it. Like some medieval feast, the succulent proteins were continuously sliced onto our plates tableside until flipping over cue cards to their red sides, which signaled we needed a break. Without a good dose of willpower, we could have potentially eaten ourselves to death at Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse. The spacious restaurant, located in the Borders Building, affords guests a full churrasco experience with an allyou-can-eat barbecue extravaganza that begins with unlimited visits to the elegant “market table.” There, you encounter a food spread seemingly tailored for a gathering of dignitaries at a classic, luxury hotel — like Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria. To call it a “salad bar” or “buffet” undermines the tidily arranged dishes you

encounter along this rectangular station, which is marked by an eye-popping bouquet of fresh flowers centered above it. Lettuces and other fresh veggies are a footnote amid imported salamis, smoked salmon, glazed bacon strips and quality cheeses. Among the latter is an 80-pound wheel of imported Parmesan-Reggiano we found sitting vulnerably under warm lighting, and barely hollowed. Down a ways were roasted vegetables, gorgeous peppers, and a bowl of lightly oiled artichoke hearts that left me defenseless. In addition, the display features some seasonal newcomers, such as an exquisite pear-endive salad to offset the guilt over the weightier foods you’re about to eat and roasted

(clockwise) Lamb chop with mint jelly, bacon-wrapped sirloin and linguica

butternut squash soup sweetened nicely by sweet potatoes and winter spices. A second, smaller food station is the feijoada bar, where beans, rice and stews reside. But with the cornucopia of savories calling to us from the market table, I never made it that far. About 30 minutes later, we exposed the green sides of our cards to the roving gauchos, who not only serve the meats, but they butcher, season and cook them as well. A majority of the staff, we were told, is from Brazil. Within seconds, we had thinly sliced picanha on our plates. Obscure outside of Brazilian restaurants and butcheries, this prized cut of beef is the cap that sits above top sirloin. In classic style, it was seasoned discernibly with ssea salt and a touch of garlic, y yet without masking its d deeply rich flavor. A train of other meats ensued, including succulent rib eye that became my companion’s favorite. As with the other beef offerings (and lamb cuts), you can request rare, well done, or anywhere in between. The guachos know exactly where to point their formidable knives when carving for you. Filet mignon in unlimited servings felt sinful, but we



The market table is a meal in itself (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) nonetheless indulged in a couple of rounds, in addition to trying the bacon-wrapped version from a separate skewer. Leg of lamb was as equally tender, more so than the bone-in lamb chops. For both, we took advantage of the excellent mint jelly. Glistening pork sausages served from a multi-rack skewer were over-salted and easy to cast aside in lieu of chicken pieces from the leg section. Marinated in cognac and beer, my taste buds wanted more, but my stomach signaled it was time to stop, though not without dabbing a last piece of beef on my plate into a late-arriving bowl of garlic-kissed chimichurri sauce. Fogo carries a sturdy wine inventory, which is displayed in a temperature-controlled wine room at the front of the restaurant. There are also Brazilianinspired cocktails, including the high-octane caipirinha, made correctly with cachaca liquor, muddled limes and super-fine sugar. Among the newcomers is a “whiskey jam sour” blending Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whiskey with lemon, orange bitters and raspberry jam — a crafty step above traditional whiskey sours that often taste too tart or overly sweet. Our churrasco feast concluded with a common Brazilian dessert of papaya cream drizzled with crème de cassis liquor, a more exotic choice compared to the caramelized flan, which

Fogo de Chao Brazilian Steakhouse 668 Sixth Ave. (Gaslamp Quarter) 619-338-0500, Prices: The “full churrasco experience,” $34.95 for lunch, $52.95 for dinner, and $34.95 for Sunday brunch. Market table and feijoada food stations only: $15 to $28.95. was jiggle-free and creamier compared to the Mexican version. Fogo de Chao has spread its Latin roots in cities throughout the U.S., Mexico and Brazil, providing a surprisingly upscale dining experience for the price (see above). The rule of thumb before visiting for the first time is to diet to your best ability for a day or two. You’ll realize it’s well worth the effort when the first piece of meat tumbles gently onto your plate. —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 v

A gaucho with a loaded skewer of picanha


San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


The Gaslamp Quarter saw early-fall closures of two well-known establishments: Dick’s Last Resort, and Blush Ice Bar + EastWest Kitchen. By press time, neither restaurant had offered explanations on their websites or Facebook pages for suddenly disappearing. Dick’s, however, currently maintains locations in 16 other cities that include Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago and Boston.

A contemporary steakhouse is coming to the Gaslamp Quarter (Courtesy J Public Relations)

Coming in the few months to Andaz Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter is STK San Diego, which will combine a swanky DJfueled atmosphere with “re-imagined” American cuisine that includes a variety of steaks. Developed by The One Group, a hospitality company with an international portfolio of restaurants situated mostly in hotels and casinos, STK is a fast-growing brand with locations in New York, Miami, Atlanta, London and other high-energy cities. Aside from loin strips and porterhouses, the menu will feature wagyu beef sliders, lobster mac n’ cheese, classic steakhouse sides, and more. 600 F St., 619849-1234,

Ceviches inspired by Peru, Mexico and the Caribbean have splashed into the East Village with the arrival of Como Ceviche!, the latest venture by local restaurateur Johan Engman, who teamed up with San Diego publicist, William Lopez of Alternative Strategies. The fast-casual eatery, which opened Oct. 1, features ceviches using a variety of fresh seafood, such as calamari, octopus and shrimp. They can be ordered in bowls, wraps or as stand-alone servings. The menu also includes a vegan ceviche made with cauliflower, red onions, Serrano peppers and other veggies. 317 10th Ave., 619-343-1191, Quell your hankering for a hot pastrami sandwich and housemade pickles at Larry’s Deli, which opened recently next door to the west entrance of Petco Park. Launched by J Street Hospitality, the menu features nearly a dozen different sandwiches that also include rib eye, tuna, turkey, and other meats sourced from RC Provisions, a Burbank-based supplier favored by prominent restaurants and delis along the West Coast. Also in the offing are soups, side dishes, and deviled eggs pickled in beet juice. The booze list includes bottled and rotating draft beers, plus wine. Regarding the deli’s name, “Larry” was a random pick that doesn’t reflect anyone in particular, we’re told. 323 Seventh Ave., 619-453-0000,

Pickled deviled eggs at the new Larry’s Deli (Photo by Lyudmila Zotova)

Patio Restaurants is branching into the East Village with Harvest by The Patio, which is slated to open in early November in the two-level brick structure previously occupied by Table No. 10. Unlike its other patio-theme restaurants, Harvest will take a more casual service approach, with a greater focus on healthy meal options such as organic salads, sustainable meats and vegan dishes. In addition, it won’t have a patio. “The first floor will feature a grab-and-go counter and the second level will have seating and a full bar for enjoying cocktails made with locally sourced ingredients,” said marketing director Julia Baker. The venture is being launched in conjunction with Legal Restaurant Group, which helped open Fireside by the Patio in Liberty Station. 369 10th Ave.,

A hip ramen establishment arrives to Little Italy (Courtesy Twenty Nine 12 Public Relations) A dual concept of Asian cuisine recently opened in Little Italy under the names, Pokirrito and Rakiraki Ramen, which are giving consumers a taste of creative sushi burritos and handcrafted noodle dishes under one roof. It is the second such venture by Tokyo transplant, Junya Watanabe, who has operated the same two eateries at 4646 Convoy St. in Kearny Mesa for the past four years. His new offshoot features floor-to-ceiling windows, communal and traditional tables, two order counters, and a large John Lennon-inspired mural of himself presiding over the casual dining areas. The menus feature everything from charcoal-fired yakatori items and Asian-style burritos wrapped in nori to poke bowls and ramen served in various broths. 2254 India St., 619-240-8511, pokirittosd. com and A series of al fresco dinners presented by Chef Michael Poompan of Coronado Island Resort & Spa Marriott kicks off at 6 p.m., Oct. 16, with a “full moon” Oktoberfest meal on the property’s pier overlooking San Diego Bay. The meal is timed for watching the full moon rise as guests dine on Munich-style pretzels, German sausages, schnitzel and other theme dishes. Meal courses will be paired to seasonal beers by Mike Hess Brewing. The cost is $70 per person. Other upcoming pier suppers include an “Oaxacan feast” on Oct. 30, and a “Tuna Harbor seafood dinner” on Nov. 13. 2000 Second Ave., Coronado, 619-435-3000, —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at






San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


College savings plans


CHURCHILL with a kitchen and bathroom in each unit. The hotel-to-housing renovation project is a key component of Housing First – San Diego, the SDHC’s Homelessness Action Plan launched in November 2014. The SDHC, working with its nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners, has preserved affordable rental housing at Hotel Churchill. “With the grand reopening of the Hotel Churchill, we’re building a better future for homeless veterans and at-risk youth,” Faulconer said. “We’ve restored this historic building, breathing new life into it so it can provide quality affordable housing for men and women who served our country. Now they have housing and the support to turn their lives around.” So far, the mayor’s “Housing Our Heroes” campaign has successfully housed more than 320 veterans and counting since it began in March 2016. There is a shortage of housing countywide, especially of the affordable kind. “This particular property came to us through foreclosure from a previous owner that had defaulted on their affordable housing obligations,” Pavco said. He added that SDHC is “actively in the market buying properties,” not only historic ones like the Churchill, but those at lower-priced entry points. “They [rental properties] all have their individual character,” Pavco said of the affordable market, noting that many existing rental properties have communal bathrooms, as


Financial News Taylor Schulte

If you are ready to start saving for college — or you would like to improve your current savings plan — here are three vehicles for you to consider utilizing:


The historic Hotel Churchill before renovation (Courtesy San Diego Housing Commission) well as cooking and laundry facilities. “We are in the housing market to try and find new projects so that we can preserve the existing stock — or create new,” Pavco said. Established in 1979, the SDHC provides a variety of award-winning affordable housing programs and services that stimulate the local economy, revitalize neighborhoods, and impact the lives of low-income and homeless San Diegans. SDHC’s largest program is Federal Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance. With more than 16,000 housing vouchers allocated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, SDHC can provide Housing Choice Voucher rental assistance to low-income households in the city of San Diego, including homeless San Diegans and chronically homeless Veterans.” For more information about Housing Our Heroes, visit or — Dave Schwab can be reached at v


That’s the estimated cost to send my unborn child to my alma mater, the University of Arizona, in 18 years. It’s also close to the median home price in San Diego. Yes, this assumes that the cost of college will continue to increase by an average of 5 percent per year. And yes, this assumes that I will be paying out-of-state tuition. But any way you slice it, college is expensive. Now, do I really believe that I will be paying almost one-half of a million dollars to send my child to college? No. But that’s another conversation. I do believe, however, that most parents are underprepared for the cost of higher education. In my experience, they don’t start saving early enough, they don’t have an automated savings plan guiding them to their goal, and most importantly, they don’t always take advantage of tax-efficient savings vehicles. Before you start to panic, remember that you don’t have to fund the full amount. Many families save only a portion of the projected costs and then use it as a “down payment” on the college bill, similar to the down payment on a home.


529 plans

Under a special rule, up to $70,000 ($140,000 for married couples) can be contributed to a 529 plan at one time without incurring gift taxes. In many states, your contributions are deductible on your state income tax return, too. Similar to a Roth IRA or 401(k), any earnings in the account are deferred from federal, and in most cases, state taxes. Best of all, as long as the funds are used for qualified college expenses, withdrawals from the account are tax-free! Keep in mind, if your child does not attend college and you withdraw the funds for another purpose, earnings will be taxed and a 10 percent penalty will be imposed. However, 529 rules allow you to change the beneficiary once per year. So, if “child A” doesn’t use the funds, you can utilize them for “child B” or another qualifying member of the family.

Coverdell Education Savings Accounts (ESA)

A Coverdell ESA is a tax-advantaged savings vehicle that lets you contribute up to $2,000 per year. The tax benefits are similar to a 529 but the ESA allows you to use the money for K-12 qualified expenses in addition to college. Although you have complete control over the investments in the account, Coverdell ESAs are not revocable.



Distributions from the account are always paid to the beneficiary and cannot be paid back to you. Coverdell ESAs have a number of limitations and nuances, so be sure to do your homework before jumping in headfirst.

Custodial accounts

A custodial account is a way for your child to hold assets in his/her name with you acting as the account owner until they reach a designated age — typically 18 or 21. All contributions are irrevocable and earnings and capital gains generated by investments in the account are taxed to the child each year. Assets in the account can be used for college but they don’t have to be. Oftentimes, parents or grandparents will fund a custodial account to give the child flexibility when they turn of age. On the other hand, some are reluctant to use these accounts because they are concerned the child might use the funds in an irresponsible manner. We are all well aware of the rising costs of education. One easy way to help boost your savings is to consider participating in a program like Upromise — a rewards program that directly benefits the college savings vehicle of your choice. Visit upromise. com for more information. Note that some college savings accounts may impact financial aid eligibility. Additionally, account fees vary from plan to plan, and if too high, can hinder your savings goals. Consult with your trusted advisor(s) to choose a plan that is right for you. —Taylor Schulte, CFP® can be reached at 619-577-4002 or v


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San Diego Downtown News | October 2016



San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


‘More than what’s on stage’ A visit with San Diego Opera’s general director By Charlene Baldridge October ushers in the first full production in San Diego Opera’s 2016-17 season. For an opera company that nearly closed in 2014, creative endeavors are booming, with an expansion of what makes a season plus several new programs and activities that are more than enough to discombobulate the usual general director. Although he claimed to be crazed, exclaiming “It’s like back to school week here!” when

interviewed at the Downtown office of San Diego Opera (SDO) on Sept. 9, General Director David Bennett (who came aboard in June 2015) was loquacious, enthusiastic and positive when assessing where the company is, what and how it’s doing, and where it’s going. Gleefully, Bennett described the scene when the Opera on Track ensemble presented an outdoor touring version Rossini’s “Cinderella” at the Santee trolley station days before. Nearly 200 people turned up, among them

preschoolers. Each child received either a tiara or a handlebar mustache and the adults received vouchers for discounted tickets to “Cinderella” (kids get in at half-price) and trolley rides to the Civic Theatre. These activities are emblematic of Bennett’s intention to make SDO a meaningful part of the San Diego community; nonetheless, the season is the thing, and here it is: ● Gioacchino Rossini’s “La Cenerentola (Cinderella),” Oct. 22-30 at San Diego Civic Theatre.

Rossini's "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella) opens Oct. 22 for four performances. (Photo from Opera Queensland)

Verdi's "La Traviata" opens April 22, 2017, for four performances. (Photo by Craig T. Mathew/Mathew Imaging)

The title role is played by Lauren McNeese, a graduate of the Ryan Opera Center at Chicago Lyric Opera; while Alidoro is played by SDO veteran Ashraf Sewailam, a native of Egypt who recently became director of opera at San Diego State. ● West Coast premiere of David T. Little’s “Soldier Songs” conducted by UC San Diego professor Steven Schick, Nov. 11-13 at Balboa Theatre. KPBS will do a live telecast of the “Soldier Songs” performance Nov. 12, providing everyone an opportunity to see this important opera by composer David T. Little based on interviews with and letters written by veterans of five wars. In these interviews, the most common statement was, “I don’t talk about this with anybody,” and indeed that is how Little starts his opera, scored for Everyman Soldier (baritone David Adam Moore, who recently sang Silvio in SDO’s “Pagliacci”), two actors, and an instrumental group of 10 conducted by Schick, who called the work “a mirror rather than a message.” ● Verdi’s “Falstaff” Feb. 18-26 at Civic Theatre. “Falstaff,” based on Shakespeare’s colorful character, is a Chicago Lyric production, which Bennett describes as looking like a wooden architectural model of the Globe Theatre. “It has riots of color in terms of costumes and projections, modern touches in a very traditional work,” he said. Verdi fans love the opera for its humor, melodic vocalism and magnificent orchestrations. The title role is sung by a SDO debutant, acclaimed Italian baritone Roberto de Candia. Daniele Callegari (“Aida,” “Don Giovanni”) returns to conduct. ● Peter Brook’s “La tragèdie de Carmen (The Tragedy of Carmen),” a distillation of Georges Bizet’s opera, March 1012 at Balboa Theatre. Part of the Shiley Dētour series, “La tragèdie de Carmen” (sung in French with projected

English translations) features the excellent Southern California mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell, seen frequently at LA Opera and Long Beach Opera. ● Verdi’s “La traviata,” April 22-30 at Civic Theatre. Directed by Marta Domingo (Placido’s wife) Verdi’s well known and popular “La traviata” tells the story of an aging Courtesan named Violetta (Corinne Winters) who is beloved of a much younger aristocrat named Alfredo Germont (American tenor Joshua Guerrero). Bennett said that though it’s an LA Opera production, it was built in SDO’s scenic studios. The action is updated to the flapper era. Southwell reprises her LA Opera role as Flora, Violetta’s friend. Bennett waxed ecstatic about numerous young American singers cast in all the above. Clearly, he could not be more enthusiastic or supportive. “It should be a great year of good, young American singers at the cusp of their careers, which is very exciting to see,” he said. “What we’re putting on stage this season is going to be traditional, but look fresh. Each production has yet to be seen in San Diego. “Voice is the centerpiece of what we do,” Bennett continued. “Voice is at the heart of opera. That’s the over-riding nature of our thinking, plus trying to find work that really speaks to our community’s several experiences and to their issues, and gives voice to those experiences in ways that you don’t expect opera to do.” That having been said, the 2017-18 season opens with “Hansel and Gretel.” Just so you know, there will be accompanying discussions of childhood homelessness. “It makes me feel like we are doing more than just what’s on stage,” Bennett said. “And that I love.” Visit —Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. Follow her blog at or reach her at v

A scene from Rossini's "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella), which opens Oct. 22 at San Diego Opera. (Photo from Opera Queensland)


San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


Globe’s ‘October Sky’ musical If you recall the film or the book, Homer Hickam (Kyle Selig), whose father is a coalminer, is inspired by the October 1957 launch of Sputnik, the Russian spaceship that was The Old Globe presents Earth’s first manmade orbiter. another musical for our delecYoung Homer, who “looks to tation – this one a West Coast the stars,” determines to devote premiere titled “October Sky” himself to rocketry and enlists with book by Brian Hill and some high school friends to Aaron Thielen and music and help. They are the nerd outlyrics by Michael Mahler. It cast Quentin (Connor Russell), continues in the Old Globe the abused Roy Lee (Patrick Theatre through Oct. 23. Rooney) and the affable klutz, Opening night, Sept. 22, was O’Dell (Austyn Myers). Their packed to capacity with patrons, enterprise is called “The Big

Theater Review Charlene Baldridge

Cast of “October Sky” simulate a rocket launch on stage at the Old Globe Theatre. (Photo by Jim Cox)

Kyle Selig (as Homer Hickam) examines a rocket he has made. (Photo by Jim Cox) staff and “suits,” that will no doubt determine the next move for the piece, which premiered in August 2015 at the Marriott Theatre. It is inspired by the Universal Pictures film of the same name, and the original book, “Rocket Boys,” by Homer Hickam, Jr. With country- and bluegrass-inflected music, accompanied by a hidden nine-piece orchestra, the production features a company of 24 directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell, and exemplifies the Globe’s fine artistic standards, with a stunning set by Kevin Depinet that captures the grime of the coal mine and the unsettled weather of West Virginia with rolling clouds and mist in the background. One can just feel the wind, and the discontent, as well.

Creek Missile Agency.” The boys are supported by the mine’s metal-shop foreman, Ira Bykovski (Joel Blum), who at first manufactures rockets for them, and then teaches them the fundamentals, and Miss Riley (Sandra DeNise) their schoolteacher, who gives them a rocketry guidebook and then urges them to enter the science fair. John Hickam (powerful baritone Ron Bohmer), Homer’s hardworking father, thinks

So far as the musical goes, the endearing itself to me. There are Homer’s ideas are mere dreams. book works even though it is vastmany “anthems” in this show, His plan, since Homer’s older ly sentimental and over-fraught and country/bluegrass is a poor brother is going to college on with dilemmas and death. The vehicle for them. However, I loved a football scholarship, is to three important women share the the boys and their sweet, sushave Homer follow him into same vocal and body type, which tained courage and camaraderie, the mines immediately upon is more than annoying since the and enjoyed the big choruses of high school graduation. Homer music is so much the same, undis- miners and townspeople. knows that if that happens he tinguished all around. However, will be like the legions of other — Charlene Baldridge has men, “Never Getting Out Alive,” they sing Act 2’s opening trio, “The Last Kiss Goodbye,” one of been writing about the arts and he vows “We’re Gonna Mahler’s best numbers. since 1979. You can follow Build a Rocket” as a means of I admit that the twang that her blog at charlenecriticism. escape. accompanies country and or reach her at Elsie Hickam (Kerry grass prevents the genre from O’Malley), Homer’s mother, is also the boys’ supporter as is high school age Dorothy (Eliza Palasz) who never doubts Homer or the success of the a gathering of gay and lesbian theatre lovers. “Missile Agency.” Many circumstances get in An evening for gay and lesbian theatre lovers and the whole LGBT community. This event includes three drinks from the wine and martini the way of Homer’s success, not bar, delicious appetizers, and a pre-show mixer. Everyone is welcome. the least of which is paternal Just $24 per person in addition to your theatre ticket. disapproval and disdain, a Call to RSVP at (619) 23-GLOBE or purchase at common theme. But the boys Sponsored by Pardon My French Bar & Kitchen eventually triumph (in real life, Homer winds up with NASA).



Photos by Bob Ross.

Thursday, October 13 at 6:30 p.m. Show Starts at 8:00 p.m. In the Craig Noel Garden, just steps away from your theatre seats!

“October Sky” By Brian Hill, Aaron Thielen and Michael Mahler Directed by Rachel Rockwell Tuesdays through Sundays through Oct. 23 Donald and Darlene Shiley Theatre Old Globe Theatre 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park Tickets begin at $39 or 619-23-GLOBE

October Sky September 10 – October 23

OCTOBER 20 - NOVEMBER 13 | ON THE LYCEUM STAGE Book Tickets Now! 619.544.1000 | SDREP.ORG | Lyceum Theatre | Horton Plaza

Book by Brian Hill and Aaron Thielen Music and Lyrics by Michael Mahler Directed and Choreographed by Rachel Rockwell Inspired by the Universal Pictures film and Rocket Boys by Homer H. Hickam, Jr.

(619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623) The cast of October Sky. Photo by Jim Cox.


San Diego Downtown News | October 2016


The San Diego Museum Council presents this event to celebrate the monthlong Kids Free in October campaign. Kids 12 and under will receive free admission at 40 arts, cultural and science museums in San Diego for the entire month of October. The Mash-up is planned from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. and will feature various programs and performances at Museum Park adjacent to the New Children’s Museum (200 W. Island Ave.) Visit sandiegomuseumcouncil. org for a list of participating museums and more info.


Islander Ladies Club is once again presenting Coronado’s only beer festival from 1–6 p.m. with a VIP hour at noon at Coronado Ferry Landing, located at 1201 First Ave. Featuring unlimited tastings from more than 15 local craft brewers, live music, tasty food vendors, beer pong, a raffle and more. This year, wine tastings from local wineries and a VIP tent have been added. VIP ticket holders will receive select pours from Coronado Brewing, light snacks, a lounge area and early access to the event. Beer by the Bay will honor fallen Navy SEAL Charles H. Keating, IV by donating to One More Wave, and also benefit Coronado’s Wampler Foundation and Coronado Schools Foundation. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 the day of the event. A few VIP tickets remain for $50. Military receives $5 off general admission. Visit beerbythebay. com for more information.


Each year this event challenges men, women and children to walk a mile in a pair of high heels through Downtown San Diego and compete to raise funds for YWCA of San Diego County and its Becky’s House domestic violence programs. The walk is from 5–7 p.m. and there will be a celebration after the walk at MLK Promenade Park (Fourth Avenue and K Street) and a ticketed VIP after party at Union Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp (333 Fifth Ave.) from 7–9 p.m. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets for the walk and/ or VIP after-party.


This year’s awards dinner, themed “Downtown on the Rise,” starts with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner, an awards program at 7 p.m. and an after-party from 8:30–10 p.m. KUSI News reporter Brandi Williams will serve as master of ceremonies.

The event will be held in the Marriott Hall at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina (333 W. Harbor Drive). Alonzo Awards nominations are now open to honor people, projects and programs that have “significantly enhanced our Downtown” over the past year. Visit for more information.


This 21-and-up event will showcase restaurants/chefs from all over San Diego competing to be named the best mac n’ cheese in the county. Attendees will get to judge their favorites. General admission is $35 and includes mac n’ cheese tasting and 10 beer tastings. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the nonprofit World Wide Network of Learning. The festival will be held from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. at the County of San Diego’s Waterfront Park (1600 Pacific Highway, Downtown). Visit for more information and tickets.

BIG BOYS TOY SHOW Oct. 15, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

Join hundreds of other guys in over 5,000 square feet of vendor space in the “ultimate guy’s playground.” Presented by Sycuan Golf Resort and Broadcast Company of the Americas, this is an entire day filled with cars, motorcycles, trucks, luxury RVs, boats, Segways, the latest in hover boards, electronics, gaming, hobby crafts, home theaters and other furnishings, dozens of local sports celebrities, sports team cheerleaders and much more. Food trucks, offering pizza, seafood, tacos, ice cream and other desserts will also be on hand, as well as a craft beer garden. Tickets $10 for adults, children under 14 free with paying adult. Proceeds go to Computers 2 San Diego Kids. Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier, 1000 N. Harbor Drive, Downtown. For more information visit


This afternoon fest will feature blues music by The Blasters, The 44s, The Casey Hensley Band and Hot Buttered Biscuit. This outdoor event will also feature food (with dessert), raffles, a silent auction and more. Proceeds will benefit Randi Hosking and her family. Hosking is a local philanthropist who was recently honored by San Diego Magazine’s “Celebrating Women” event. She has been battling cancer for 12 years and is co-owner of Indigo Salon in Hillcrest. 1–5 p.m. at Humphreys by the Bay (2241 Shelter Island Drive). Visit for more information and tickets.


The Friends of Balboa Park awards ceremony will recognize institutions and organizations throughout Balboa Park who have enhanced it throughout the years. More than 300 attendees, including Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Supervisor Ron Roberts, Councilmember Todd Gloria, Speaker Emeritus Toni Atkins, as well as other dignitaries and community leaders will be in attendance. This year’s theme is “Gardens That Roar” and will be held at the Balboa Park Club (2144 Pan American Road West) from 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m. Visit for more information.


Comedian Mal Hall will emcee this fun event that features the 2016 East Village Association (EVA) Awards, live entertainment, silent auction, food samples, drinks and more. This year’s UN-Gala will be held at Fault Line Park (1433 Island Ave.) with checkin starting at 5 p.m. and the program starting at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance (and for EVA members) and $35 for nonmembers and at the door. Visit for tickets and info.

2016 CICLOSDIAS Sunday, Oct. 30

This public event promotes active living and healthy communities. The “open street” celebration temporarily closes streets to cars for part of the day so that attendees may use them for physical activities such as bicycling, walking, jogging and dancing. This year’s CicloSDias will highlight the neighborhoods of University Heights, North Park and City Heights with live music, shopping, food and more along the way. The event will be held from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. Visit for more information.

RIDE SALLY RIDE Sunday, Oct. 30

Scripps Institute of Oceanography’s newest research vessel is named after Sally Ride and you can take a free, self-guided public tour on this day at the Broadway Pier, located at 1000 N. Harbor Drive. The 238-foot ship is considered one of the “most technologically advanced oceanic research vessels in the world.” Tours will include labs, sampling stations, crew and main work deck and living quarters. A government issued ID and f lat, closedtoe shoes are required. Windows open at 10:30 a.m., tours will take place between noon–4 p.m. Visit bit. ly/2d1OnUE. v For Downtown live music listings, visit

HALLOWEEN EVENTS ‘PUMPKIN PALOOZA’ Saturdays in October (8, 15 and 22)

Pumpkin Palooza will feature free family farm experiences centered around fall’s signature crop: pumpkins! There will be organic pumpkins for picking in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Pumpkins are priced by size. Tonight’s event will feature live music by Fanny and The Atta Boys. The events will be held on the listed dates from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at Suzie’s Farm (2570 Sunset Ave.) Visit for more information.


San Diego’s longest-standing Dia de los Muertos celebration will be held today from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. at Sherman Heights Community Center (2258 Island Ave.) This free event begins with an official blessing of the community altars followed by live entertainment, food, shopping and self-guided altar tours. Visit


Halloween-themed celebration from 6–9 p.m. Tickets start at $50. Visit 2d9aet6 for more info and tickets.

‘HAUNTED TALES’ Saturday, Oct. 29

This special event aboard the Star of India will be held for one night only. Starting at 6 p.m., there will be storytelling tours every 15 minutes with the last tour at 9:15 p.m. These lantern-led tours around the ship will feature eerie legends from the Star of India’s past. “Haunted Tales” is included with paid admission to the Maritime Museum. Visit for tickets.


This all-youcan-drink Halloweenthemed booze cruise will depart from 1800 N. Harbor Blvd. and sail around the city. The cruise will feature Halloween activities including a costume contest, raffles and more. A local DJ onboard will be spinning current top hits. Tickets are $65. Proceeds benefit a local animal shelter. The cruise boards at 7:30 p.m.; departs at 8 p.m. and returns at 11 p.m. Visit hauntedboozecruisesandiego. for tickets.

Just in time for Halloween, Street Food Cinema presents this Tim Burton horror-comedy. The film stars Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin as MONSTER BASH 2016 a recently deceased couple Saturday, Oct. 29 navigating the afterlife while This huge Halloween party sharing their home with a spans over eight city blocks in new family. Their efforts to Downtown San Diego and feascare off the family attract tures 20 DJs, five stages and the attention of a “bio-exorcist” spirit named Beetlejuice five accompanying “nightmarishly” themed areas called (Michael Keaton). Street Food Cinema’s outdoor events “realms.” The costume contest features a $5,000 cash prize. also feature picnic-ready food Tickets are currently $40 trucks, live music, interacwith prices increasing each tive games and more. The week leading to the event. event will begin at 5:30 p.m. There are also VIP tickets for on the marina terrace at the $100 (also increasing), which San Diego Marriot Marquis include six complementary and Marina (333 W. Harbor drinks, private seating and Drive). Visit other perks. Visit more details. sterbash2016 for more info.


The Metro Area Real Estate Professionals for Young Adult Housing (MARYAH) and the San Diego LGBT Community Center present this funfilled evening at the Central Library (330 Park Blvd., Downtown) for an event to benefit The Center’s Youth Housing Project. Enjoy live entertainment and tasting stations from local restaurants at this


Author Gail White will be signing copies of her book, “Haunted San Diego: A Historic Guide to San Diego’s Favorite Haunts.” The book covers local ghost stories and local locations you can visit. The book signing will be held at Upstart Crow Bookstore and Coffeehouse (835 W. Harbor Drive, Suite C) from 3:30–5:30 p.m. Visit for more details. v FROM PAGE 5

NEWS BRIEFS essence of the Gator By The Bay Festival,” said Peter Oliver, the event’s producer. “This family-friendly music and food event showcases the vibrant, colorful culture, music and cuisine of Louisiana. With musical genres which include Cajun, blues, zydeco, Latin, rockabilly and country, the multi-day event celebrates fun, friendship, life and dance – or as they say in French, ‘joie de vivre’, joy of living. “We look forward to selecting from a variety of creative submissions, and providing exposure to the artist who best portrays the festival’s spirit,” he said. Artists of all skill levels are invited to enter artwork that is drawn, painted, electronically created or composed of mixed media. Those interested should initially submit a sketch, preliminary drawing or concept as well as a description of the medium to be used to and put “2017 Art Entry” in the subject line. The 16th annual festival will be held May 11–14, 2017. For more information, visit for artwork guidelines and to submit entries. v


EV GREEN Elliott and his team believe that alternative funding and operational models for the park might provide funding to mitigate key issues identified by neighborhood residents in the public workshops, like security and maintenance, although he did note that fi nding the right “fit” for the community is a key part of that dialogue. The economic downturns often result in reduced municipal tax revenues, making the operations and maintenance of public open spaces more challenging for the city departments that care for them. An increasingly popular tool in this work is collaboration with nonprofit foundations or private entities to support park operations, and Elliott is excited about the project’s potential to be a hub for “creative collision” by becoming the neighborhood’s central gathering space. “I think the East Village is in the midst of an unprecedented transformation and we’re very optimistic about the ways this important new public open space will help catalyze that change,” he said. To learn more about the Office of James Burnett, visit —Delle Willett has been a marketing and public relations professional for over 30 years, with an emphasis on conservation of the environment. She can be reached at dellewillett@

NEWS / TOWN VOICES / FASHION Fashion Files Diana Cavagnaro Porto Vista sizzles

Ziur Designs and Oseas Villatoro hosted a charity fashion show on Saturday, Aug. 27. This fashionable event was on the rooftop of the Porto Vista Hotel in Little Italy, a quaint hotel that is family-owned and offers a full-service facility to their patrons. Guests were able to mix and mingle with bar refreshments while shopping at the trunk shows in the cabana area and everyone had a spectacular sunset that over looked the harbor. Leilani Angel from Style Sorbet was commentator for the evening. Proceeds went to Give Clean Water foundation, a wonderful organization that provides sustainable clean drinking water to people in Fiji. Over 50 percent of Fiji lacks access to clean water and this leads to life-threatening medical conditions. Jessica Cornejo, founder of Ziur Designs, gave 100 percent of her “water drop bracelet” sales to the organization. For more information, visit Ziur Designs is an online jewelry business with beautiful semi-precious designs and several different lines. Their tag line is “A Legacy in Fashion” and one line, called the Red Carpet Collection,

includes stones such as amethyst and citrine. Each of the gems provide certain properties to the wearer, for example citrine helps with clarity of thought and enhances creativity. Ziur’s Buddha collection consists of bracelets and earrings with gold and silver Buddhas. The everyday gemstone collection includes jewelry with crystals, amethyst, and citrine. The last collection is the New Ziur man collection, consisting of bracelets with such stones such as onyx, red lava stone, tiger eye and coral, and each one adds either a lead-free skull or lead-free quadrant. These accessories are the perfect addition for those who like to be style makers. Visit Villatoro, a semi-finalist on season 14 of “Project Runway”, creates edgy designs that are perfect for those who want to be fashion forward. During the fashion show, he presented his denim collection that is youthful and very cutting edge. He has also presented his collections at fashion weeks in San Diego (2013), Los Angeles (2014), and New York (2015). Villatoro currently has a showroom in Chula Vista and you can call 619-8707055 for an appointment. A raffle for a $100 gift card to Porto Vista Hotel was held during the intermission, with guest bloggers Tiffany Williams from Glitz and Glam by Tiff and Paulina from Little Bits of Chic presenting the prize. For upcoming fashion events, visit Fashion Files on

San Diego Downtown News | October 2016

Fashions from the Porto Vista show included designs by Osas Villatoro and Ziur Designs (Photos by Rocky Forguson Photography) —Diana Cavagnaro is an internationally renowned couture milliner based

in the Historic Gaslamp Quarter. Learn more at

WiFi Hotspots 101: • Update your device when prompted. Often, these contain security updates to keep your device protected.

A recent Cox Business survey found that 59% of respondents said WiFi is the best perk that small businesses can offer their patrons – not a surprising statistic considering that people use the Internet to stay connected with their world, whether at home or on the road.

• Verify that you are connecting to a legitimate connection. For example, Cox enabled WiFi hotspots are named ‘Cox WiFi’ or ‘CableWiFi.’ In other instances, ask an employee the name of the business or store hotspot before connecting.

As more and more people use WiFi hotspots to stay connected, it’s important to know the basics of how to safely connect to a hotspot. What is a WiFi hotspot? A WiFi hotspot is an Internet access point that allows you to connect to the Internet wirelessly through your mobile device. How does a WiFi hotspot work? A wireless access point communicates with computers or mobile devices using radio signals. The access point is connected to the Internet and usually connected to a router or server. Most current mobile devices will recognize wireless networks that you can connect to. Should I be concerned about my online security when connected to a WiFi hotspot? There are many advantages to connecting to WiFi hotspots, including saving money on your mobile data plan, and accessing the Internet on the go. However, some activities could put your security at risk since not all hotspots offer a secure connection. How do I know if a WiFi hotspot has a secure connection? Examples of secure connections include hotspots that require a password before you can connect. Other security settings may be seen by hovering your mouse over each WiFi connection in your WiFi settings.


Cox tech installs Cox WiFi hotspot at Liberty Station in San Diego.

The name, signal strength and security type will display. WPA2, WPA and WEP are three types of secured connections. Others will say ‘unsecured.’ Once connected, be sure to select ‘Public network’ when prompted to select a network location. This will block some common routes for potential hackers. But, remember that even password-protected WiFi hotspots are not as secure as your home network. What can I do to protect my information? • Avoid tasks such as paying bills, accessing your bank information, and using your credit card online when using a public hotspot. • Opt not to save passwords, especially when it comes to your financial accounts such as credit cards and bank accounts.

How do I connect to a WiFi hotspot? Depending on your mobile device settings, your phone may prompt you when wireless networks are available. WiFi connections can be found in the network settings on your mobile device. Often times, coffee shops, restaurants, parks and other public places will provide WiFi hotspots for customers, and may require a password and accepting a terms of use agreement before you connect. To help its Internet customers stay connected with their world wherever they are, Cox Communications has been building WiFi hotspots in the communities it serves. In San Diego, Cox Internet customers have free access to more than 1,000 hotspots countywide, including in Balboa Park and downtown San Diego. Cox Internet customers also have free access to more than half a million hotspots nationwide through CableWiFi. Just find ‘Cox WiFi’ or ‘CableWiFi’ in your WiFi settings. Non Cox customers can access the hotspots through a free one-hour trial. To find a Cox WiFi hotspot, visit

San diego downtown news october 2016  
San diego downtown news october 2016