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May 24–June 6, 2013

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Old Town • Mission Hills • Bankers Hill

Hillcrest • University Heights • Normal Heights • North Park • South Park • Golden Hill • Kensington • Talmadge

New Normal Heights Community Association

➤➤ NEWS P. 3

Several residents reform neighborhood group as a catalyst for involvement By Dave Schwab SDUN Reporter

students who submit a 20-second water conservation film, which is then reviewed by City staff and a panel of judges. This year’s winning film was “The Hydrologist” by San Diego State University student Michael J. Bowie. Bowie’s film featured “vivid cinematography” contrasting black and white film with color

After a several-year hiatus, the Normal Heights Community Association (NHCA) has returned, in part due to a push by an enthusiastic group of supporters and new vitality for the neighborhood. Formed initially as a reaction to the devastating 1985 fire that destroyed over 65 homes, the NHCA was active for a number of years before disbanding. The reconstituted NHCA elected board members at its May 14 monthly meeting, including Nancy and Mike Palmer. The Palmers are relatively new Normal Heights residents, and two core members of the NHCA. They said a “critical mass” of community interest and involvement led to the group reforming. “I want a place where neighbors can get together with neighbors and find their niche, whether it be working on cleaning up, safety, socializing or helping one another,” Nancy Palmer said. “A driving force for me is creating a place where my girls can walk or bike to their friend’s houses, and I can walk to their school and take them to all their events and be in the car as little as possible.” Mike Palmer, who oversees their Communication & Social Media committee, said he would like the new NHCA to improve neighborhood communication, and cited the NHCA’s community calendar on their redesigned website,, as a good start. In addition to the Palmers, current board members are board President Ron Ferrero, Vice President Christopher Blubaugh, Secretary Vanessa Drake, Treasurer Wayne Crawford, Leo Liffrig and Earlene Thom. Nancy Palmer said former San Diego Councilmember John Hartley suggested she reform the neighborhood community association, and organized a public meeting in January to begin the process. Ferrero and Drake were converted to the cause at that January organizational meeting. Ferrero said now is the right time for the civic group to form. “All of San Diego is built on neighborhoods. A lot of new people have moved into the community in the last six to eight years and they want to feel like they’re a part of something,” he said. “We want to be a catalyst for advocacy to improve the neighborhood.” Drake agreed with Ferrero’s sentiment, saying it was time for the community to be a part of the changes in the neighborhood. “It was the perfect time to start the Association again, not because there was any severe issue in the neighborhood, just that it was time for residents to come

see Conservation, page 3

see Association, page 5

Yale Strom, Hillcrest hero

➤➤ DINING P. 9

The finished Kalos apartment complex, located at 3795 Florida St. (Photo by Mark Davidson Photography)

Beautiful & noble Kalos affordable-living complex opens, North Park welcomes a vibrant new residential community South Park’s Station a hit

➤➤ THEATER P. 11

A tiger at ion theatre

➤➤ HOME P. 18

(l to r) Todd Gloria and Toni Atkins at the May 17 opening hold a picture of the Oct. 2011 groundbreaking. (Photo by

By Morgan M. Hurley SDUN Assistant Editor

A new affordable-living rental community that has been turning the heads of commuters along University Avenue in North Park for over a year celebrated its grand opening Friday, May 17. Rising three stories above Florida Street and one below, with unique, angled lines and bold, vibrant colors, the new property has been in development since August 2011 and is a project of Community HousingWorks (CHW), a local but nationally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to “ensure the dream of homeownership” to traditionally underserved working families. The development team named the community Kalos, which in Greek translates to “all that is good” and “beautiful, noble, harmonious in body and mind.” This translation is etched onto a pane of glass near the front entrance of the gated community. “We wanted that sensibility of trying to fit into the neighborhood,” said Sylvia Martinez, senior project manager at CHW. “The architect [M.W. Steele Group] considered a low scale along Florida Street so that pedestrians didn’t feel overwhelmed. The other side certainly beautified the alley and you can see it as you’re driving [west] from 30th and University. We thought about that, too: creating some visual interest with the colors.”

Mark Davidson Photography)

Tenants of the new community, who went through a vetting process, began moving in the first part of January, with the last group having settled at the beginning of May. A final tally of 84 families, senior couples and singles were selected from the 3,000 applicants and now reside at the complex, with a total of 110 children also in residence. Anne Wilson, senior vice president of CHW, hosted the grand opening festivities that took place on one of the property’s two outdoor courtyard areas inside the complex. Attended by residents, neighbors, media and elected officials, the ceremony included remarks by CHW representatives, financial supporters and other distinguished guests. Food, refreshments, entertainment and self-guided tours of the grounds were also provided. Honored guests in attendance included Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, Mayor Bob Filner and Council President Todd Gloria. Gloria was also on hand for the official groundbreaking ceremony in October 2011, along with Rep. Susan Davis. Built on a steep sloping one-acre lot on the east

see Housing, page 5

Waste no water In a restorer’s mind

Index Opinion…………………6 Briefs……………………7 Feature…………………8 Music…………………12 Calendar………………14 Classifieds……………16

Contact Us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1952



Student filmmakers honored as part of Water Awareness Month in San Diego By Anthony King SDUN Editor

San Diego’s Public Utilities Department unleashed a number of campaigns geared toward water conservation this month, Water Awareness Month in California. “San Diegans Waste No Water” is the official moniker for the campaign, and includes demonstrations, educational workshops, a children’s poster contest and a film contest featuring short films on water conservation. Local student filmmakers joined Mayor Bob Filner, Council President Todd Gloria and Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner May 15 at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park to screen the eight finalists in the film contest,

(l to r) Judges Larry Zeiger and Robyn Bullard with filmmaker Michael J. Bowie and Chris Robbins, San Diego Water Conservation supervisor (Courtesy Public Utilities Department)

followed by the announcement of this year’s winning film. This is the contest’s third year. “I am especially pleased when such talent and imagination is put to use toward a cause as important as water conservation,” Filner said in a press release. “With this year’s exceptional field of entries, I can’t wait to see what’s playing next year.” The annual film contest features work by high school and college


San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013

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San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013


Tikkun olam: repairing the world

Hillcrest resident Yale Strom named Local Hero By Monica Medina

Listen to klezmer music and it will harken you back to another time. Rich with tradition, the haunting melodies are a testament to the Jewish people and all they’ve endured throughout the course of history. One of the most passionate champions of klezmer music is San Diego’s own Yale Strom, a 2013 Jewish American History Month Local Hero honoree. Strom, who is an artist-in-residence in the Jewish Studies program at San Diego State University, is without a doubt a renaissance man for the ages. Violinist, composer, filmmaker, author, photographer and playwright, he is an artist with a mind that exudes brilliance and a creativity that seems to be boundless. To Strom, klezmer is more than just notes on a page. He sees it as a style of music steeped in history, one that robustly adds to our cultural tapestry. “It’s a people. The music is as old as the language of Yiddish. It is as old as the words, ‘Jew’ and ‘Moslem,’ using ancient Semitic scales. Yes, it sounds Middle Eastern and it should,” he said. “Klezmer music is an extension of who I am and my culture, and a way to communicate to all kinds of people.” In 1981, Strom, who is considered a revivalist and the world’s leading ethnographer-artist of klezmer music and history, founded his own klezmer band, Hot Pstromi (a play on his name). As the band’s website explains, Hot Pstromi has a sound that is “a fusion of traditional klezmer, new Jewish music, Gypsy, khasidic, world beat and Balkan music.” Strom’s love for klezmer began early on. “I grew up with a broad range of music, classical, blues, labor songs [and] folk: Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly,” he said. “The Jewish music came around the table Friday nights on the eve of the Sabbath, Saturday afternoons, holidays, and at the synagogue. When the klezmer revival began in the late ’70s and early ’80s, my father came home

Yale Strom, 2013 KPBS-Union Bank Local Hero honoree for Jewish Heritage month (Photo by Jim Spadoni / KPBS) with a record of a band he saw play at Old Time Café, which used to be up in Leucadia [in North County]. It was one of the premier folk world music clubs in the United States.” Working on his book “Wandering Feast: a Journey through the Jewish Culture of Eastern Europe,” which is an autobiographical account of the year he spent in the former Eastern Bloc, solidified his appreciation and knowledge of klezmer. “Through my book, I was meeting people, particularly Holocaust survivors,” he said. “It took on a whole different texture as I got more into it, and I saw that I could communicate with people, not just Jews, through music. I got immersed in history and culture.” What Strom said he loves most about music is its ability to connect with others in a way that language cannot. “Music is an international language of itself,” he said. “I’m lucky that I know music. I think my artwork would be so much different if I didn’t have my music as a close ally and friend.” For all his success, Strom is most proud of having raised his daughter, Tallulah, with his wife Elizabeth Schwartz, who is a vocalist for Hot Pstromi. “Tallulah is an extension of who I am, who my wife is,” Strom said. “She will become her own person but there’ll always be a part of me in her, and that’s an ongoing creation.”

Strom’s latest project is a dance musical, “Chagall,” with renowned choreographer John Malashock, which will have its second series of workshop performances at the La Jolla Playhouse June 6 – 9 in the Playhouse’s Theodore and Adele Shank Theatre. Strom’s unabashed curiosity and sense of wonderment is why he is able to achieve so much. “I’m always thinking of something new to challenge myself,” he said. “I’ve never written opera. I’m going to tell you this: I will before I leave this earth one day. Why not? Let me try. If nothing else, so I failed. If you don’t try then you’ve already failed because there’s zero on the page.” Strom becomes introspective when he reflects on his work and many achievements. “I believe it’s my duty as a human and as a Jew to, through my art, enlighten a few other people,” he said. “Leave the world a better place than I came into it: ‘tikkun olam,’ which means to repair the world. It is the duty of every human, and as a Jew, to make just a little bit better, this world, my neighborhood, my home, my city. “If I can just do that even a little bit, then I’ve achieved something.” —Monica Medina is director of diversity, engagement and grants at KPBS, and oversees their Local Hero program. This story on Yale Strom first appeared on May 1.u


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CONSERVATION “to show the benefits rain barrels can bring to your garden,” campaign representatives said in the release. Runners up were “The Cactus Brothers” by Carlos Grijalva of Point Loma High School and “Calvin the Cactus” by Aaron Gomes, Alex Mouritzen and Alexis Meraz of Southwestern College. The film screenings were one day after the City Council honored winners of this year’s Children’s Water Conser vation Poster Contest at a ceremony held during the May 14 council meeting. Nineteen children were celebrated for participating in the 13th annual poster contest, also organized by the Public Utilities Department. “I am excited to once again participate in the City’s annual Water Conservation Poster Contest, which gives students an opportunity to inspire all San Diegans to enjoy and protect our most valu-

able natural resource,” Lightner said in a separate release. “While doing something fun and creative, children can help us to remember ‘San Diego Wastes No Water.’” Winning posters will be on display at the San Diego Watercolor Society Galler y at Liberty Station from June 1 – 30 and at the San Diego County Fair’s Creative Youth Exhibit from June 8 – July 4. “Wise water use is a habit that should be learned at a very young age,” Filner said. “Not only are all these kids incredibly creative, they understand the importance of treating water as one of California’s most precious natural resources.” Gloria and the council have been busy with implementing other water-conscious initiatives as well, including the approval of the Water Purification Demonstration’s final report earlier this month that would help implement indirect potable reuse in the City’s water system. “The council has been pursuing [this] for years now, but I think we

are doubling down on this approach,” Gloria said in a previous interview. “We’re going to do as much as we can locally, whether that’s through conservation, graywater systems [or] indirect potable reuse.” San Diego’s Water Awareness Month continues with several educational events, including water conservation clinics at Lowe’s in Mission Valley and Home Depot on Fairmont Avenue Saturday, May 25 at 10 a.m. Additionally, the Mission Hills Branch Library is hosting a children’s water conservation story time Friday, May 31 at 10:30 a.m., and Viewer’s Choice Award votes for the film contest are being accepted through May 31. “Imagine the impact we can have on our water supply when we understand where it goes, how it is purified [and] how we can do our part to save water,” Filner said. “Let’s all work together to do our part to be responsible consumers.” For more information on events, films and other conservation efforts visit water/.u


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San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013


LE !

Independently owned and operated with unsurpassed personal attention




The finished property is priced at $1.29 million. (Courtesy Mary McTernan Real Estate)

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Extreme makeover in North Park !

Improvements to long-dormant Juniper Street home considered transformative






By Dave Fidlin SDUN Reporter

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For nearly two decades it was a home that sat empty and neglected. Exterior paint was chipping, once vibrant colors were fading and siding was deteriorating. But a grand vision and an extensive amount of care has transformed the North Park home at 3428 Juniper St. Representatives from a local real estate group said the overhaul is a game changer for the entire neighborhood. Two years ago, an investor purchased the home and sunk an undisclosed amount of money into the two-stor y property. To say the home, built in 1952, received an extreme makeover is an understatement. “It was a complete remodel. It was stripped down, all the way down to the studs,” said Mar y McTernan, who heads the Mar y McTernan Real Estate Group, a North Park-based company that is affiliated with Home Vision Realty. McTernan’s company began marketing the property last month. Although structurally sound, the home needed an extensive amount of cosmetic updates. Outdated fixtures and designs on the interior were replaced with modern accents. A whole new color scheme was introduced, and new building materials – including wood siding – were incorporated into the design. “An architect was brought in, and a lot of reconfiguration had taken place,” McTernan said. McTernan and her business partner, Z. McT-Contreras, said the home has a $1.29 million asking price: a figure once unheard of in North Park. McTernan and McT-Contreras said most homes in the neighborhood sell in the $500,000 to $700,000 price range. This particular property has more going for it, they said, beyond the modern touches. The home sits on a nearly one-acre parcel of land, a notable feature considering most homes in North Park are on lots of about 500,000 square feet. “For North Park, this is almost like a mansion,” McTContreras said. The home itself encompasses 3,360 square feet and features

The home received extensive renovation. (Courtesy Mary McTernan Real Estate)

four bedrooms and three bathrooms. McTernan and McT-Contreras unabashedly said the home was an eyesore before the improvements were made. They believe the spruce up will have a ripple effect throughout the surrounding comThe new kitchen’s open dining room (Courtesy Mary munity. McTernan Real Estate) “This really is a huge sprucing them up has been a transformation for this area,” McTgrowing phenomenon. While it Contreras said. “The neighbors has, at times, crowded out home have been really excited about buyers, they said it has positives. what has been taking place.” “Investors have turned out The initial goal was to market some really nice houses and the property several years ago. have certainly improved neighBut the home’s unique vantage borhoods,” McT-Contreras said. point at the bottom of a canyon McTernan added, “They’ve required a more extensive rebeen able to clean up neighborview process from city officials. hoods and escalate property “It required a little more efvalues.” fort and a little more patience,” Mar y McTernan Real Estate McT-Contreras said. “But ever ything has worked out. [The Group, known for its pink real estate signs, markets homes investor] took the time needed in a number of Uptown neighso that ever ything was perfect.” borhoods, including Normal The delay turned out to be Heights, South Park and Univeroptimal, McT-Contreras and sity Heights. McTernan said. As the housing McTernan and McT-Conmarket has rebounded, they said treras, who are both from New this is an ideal time to market York City, have been working the property and all of its attogether for more than 20 years. tributes. They began working in San “We’ve had three interested Diego real estate nine years ago, buyers,” McTernan said. “They with offices at 3855 Granada have definitely spoken.” Ave. For more information visit McT-Contreras and McTermar or call nan said the practice of inves619-818-8122.u tors purchasing properties and


ASSOCIATION together,” she said. The new NHCA has the support of other community organizations, including the Normal Heights Community Planning Group – a separate entity and officially recognized part of San Diego’s neighborhood planning groups – and the Adams Avenue Business Association. Jim Baross chairs the neighborhood’s planning group and endorsed the NHCA saying there are many things outside his organization’s purview that a community association can do. “Planning groups can only deal with land-use issues, and a community association can do anything they darn well please that’s legal,” Baross said. “Over the last couple of years the planning group has run into many issues and interests for the community that we couldn’t really deal with.” Business Association Executive Director Scott Kessler said while his organization is focused primarily on business development along Adams Avenue, they will try to help the newly formed NHCA in any way they can. “The business association has always partnered with the community association [and] done a lot of joint projects together,” he said, adding that the two groups have “a lot more in common” than not. Now that the NHCA board has been elected and hit the ground running, Ferrero said he would like to see the group address community needs like expanding Ward Canyon Neighborhood Park and possibly adding a new off-leash dog area. “We had a really busy month,” Ferrero said at the May 14 meeting, noting that they would continue to seek feedback on the dog area and Ward Canyon Park expansion. Additionally, the group discussed a recent graffiti cleanup project that Crawford called “hugely successful,” with over 100 graffiti tags removed. They discussed another cleanup in June, and look forward to a future of community involvement. “I want Normal Heights as a whole to be a united community,” Nancy Palmer said, adding the NHCA’s primary goal is to create a community “where everybody is working together.” The NHCA is a membershipdriven organization and meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Normal Heights Community Center, located at 4649 Hawley Blvd. The next meeting is June 11 from 6:30 – 8 p.m. To become a member and for more information, visit or call 619-798-6116.u

Kalos architects installed energy-saving solar technology and also offer a charging station for Smart Cars. (Photo by Mark Davidson Photography)


HOUSING side of Florida Street, Kalos is being touted as one of the most environmentally sustainable developments in the area. It is expected to use 56 percent less water than typical residential communities through its efficient irrigation systems, storm water reuse, low-flow plumbing and sustainable landscapes. The development will also offer energy savings of more than 40 percent above code through the use of rooftop-installed solar photovoltaic panels, LED exterior lighting, a high-efficiency central water boiler, and cross ventilation designed into the layout of each unit to minimize the use of air conditioning. The outdoor, shared-use tables and chairs are made from recycled materials. “Kalos is a great example of what redevelopment brought to North Park,” Gloria said at the May 17 ceremony. “I thank the many people who stuck with this project over the years and to Community HousingWorks, who sets the example with community involvement and their willingness to engage the neighborhood on this project.” The North Park complex cost $27 million and was funded through bonds and equity from Union Bank, grants from both the San Diego Housing Commission and the former Redevelopment Agency, substantial “green” rebates and incentives, and other

low-income housing tax credits. Two local community groups, the North Park Planning Committee and the North Park Project Area Committee, assisted CHW by providing much needed input during the planning and design phase, Martinez said. “The architect wanted strong colors and when we went through the community design process they wanted something modern. They weren’t afraid [of the bold colors] and they were open to something a little edgier,” Martinez said. “That’s just North Park. … They are open to new things.” San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) presented CHW with two checks: one for $2,500 to help sustain the Kalos Learning Center, where books, a reading and study area, and 16 computer terminals with internet access will be made available to residents and their children; and another for $349,000, a rebate for using the energysaving solar technology. Union Bank presented the organization with a check for $225,000 for CHW’s homeownership training programs, acknowledging the significant work CHW does in facilitating first-time homeownership training and financial counseling for their residents and other working families. “This is a model for what we should be doing everywhere,” Filner said from the podium after acknowledging the developers. “It’s everything we talk about.” For more information about CHW and its programs, visit

San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013



San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013



Arbor Day hypocrisy

Correction In the story “North Park Community Association elects new board members” from the Vol. 5, Issue 10 edition on May 10, we printed an incorrect email address for Graham Blair. To report graffiti to the North Park Community Association’s Stop Graffiti Now! program, please email Blair at

Anthony King’s article on the planting of trees on Arbor Day was fine, but it read like a string of press releases by the various politicians who attended. Perhaps some critical observations would have also been in order [see “Celebrating Arbor Day,” Vol. 5, Issue 10]. Particularly galling was the pure hypocrisy shown by Councilperson Todd Gloria. Mr. Gloria aggressively supported the Jacobs Plan for Balboa Park, ignoring the very vocal opposition to this plan by the vast majority of his constituents. That plan, now fortunately dead because of the great work of SOHO and many others including Mayor Filner, called for the removal of more than 15 trees,

all over 100 years old, planted or selected by the “Mother” of the Park, Kate Sessions. Gloria was quoted as saying to the children gathered in the Park on Arbor Day: “What you’re doing today, when you help us plant some of these trees, you’re continuing something that started with Kate Sessions ... This Park belongs to all of you.” Mr. Gloria’s use of Ms. Sessions’ name no doubt made this great woman roll over in her grave. Having local newspapers for the Downtown and Uptown communities is wonderful. But I encourage you and your staff to go beyond the press releases and canned statements of our local politicians in your coverage. You gave Mr. Gloria an undeserved Free Pass here. —David Lundin, president and creative director of Son Appareil Photography, via emailu


Notes from Afghanistan By Rep. Susan Davis If it’s Mother’s Day it must be Afghanistan. I was part of a bipartisan group of congressional women making an annual trip to Afghanistan over the Mother’s Day weekend, a tradition I initiated in 2009. The focus of these trips is on the Afghan women who work daily to create a bright future for their country despite overwhelming obstacles, and on our U.S. servicemembers, especially the mothers who are serving and protecting us while away from their own families. I am usually asked why I am so drawn to the cause of Afghan women. I see parallels between the Afghan women and the trailblazing women from American history, as well as connections between U.S. servicewomen at the heart of our national security interests and the women of our nation who pushed their way into a political “no women’s land.” These annual visits allow us to get a sense of not only our own progress but that of the Afghan people. What did we find? While we

are moving towards a more stable future in Afghanistan, this movement is mixed with a very rational fear of a post 2014 world. These trips are always packed with meetings over the course of the visit. On Saturday, we had the opportunity to sit down with women from many aspects of Afghan life – business professionals, community leaders, future leaders, students at Herat University, and women serving in the Afghanistan National Security Forces. The status of women in Afghanistan is clearly in flux. There is a fear of rights being negotiated away yet a sense those dramatic gains for women and girls will not be lost. Women will remain marginalized – even while having proven their ability to be actively engaged in the decision making process – unless they have outspoken champions of their centrality to a civil society. We heard that they now have “hope.” Ten years ago they said, “My only hope was that my husband would not beat me up.” The key to a stable Afghanistan is directly tied to the role of women.

We must continue to look into resources and support for women. What they and we have worked so hard to create seems to have had some real success although still insufficient to declare anything beyond “cautious optimism.” The Afghan National Security Forces have met many goals while multiple police entities remain a work in progress. In a visit to the Afghan National Defense University, established with American support, we met with a small class of impressive young women cadets and their commanders. While cultural issues complicate recruiting, the seeds of promise are evident as women enter the military and change public perception around the security and protection of women. A critical element will be that of the 2014 presidential election and its legitimacy among all ethnic groups. As always, there are concerns over appropriate security for women to assist at polls and for women to vote. One of the suggestions we offered was to create a movement of university students to participate in the upcoming election. Mother’s Day itself was spent with our troops. They always provide a key insight that cannot be

Improving women’s financial literacy worldwide By Jason Alderman, Visa Financial Education Program director Are the 70 percent of the developing world’s adult population with no formal bank account doomed to a life of economic uncertainty and financial illiteracy? If a woman’s culture dictates that she should always put her family’s financial needs ahead of her own, can she learn to set aside money for her own retirement without feeling guilty? These are just some of the complex issues raised at the seventh annual Financial Literacy and Education Summit hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Visa Inc. Renowned U.S. and international financial experts and journalists led a lively discussion – and fielded Twitter questions from roughly 2,000 participants – around the theme “Improving Women’s Financial Literacy & Capabilities Globally.” Fascinating details revealed

include: •Richard Cordray, Director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, noted that “a large majority of K-12 teachers say that personal finance should be taught in school, yet less than a third say they’ve taught lessons about money, and more than half feel unqualified to teach their state’s financial literacy standards.” •Bernie Ripoll, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Australia, added that women should feel empowered to ask questions or say no if they’re asked to invest in something they don’t understand. According to South African Financial Journalist Maya FischerFrench, among the biggest financial hurdles an overwhelming number of women in her country face is their status as single mothers: around 56 percent. Of those, only about 21 percent can rely on financial help from their children’s fathers. On the question of whether

financial literacy hinges on access to traditional bank accounts, Egyptian Journalist Amira Salah-Ahmend said roughly 90 percent of the Egyptian population is unbanked, meaning most of their transactions are unregulated and therefore more risky. Mexican Journalist Adina Chelminsky added that many third-world people have much easier access to credit through informal lending channels than to bank products. “The idea is not to formalize all this informal lending, but rather for banks and governments to think outside the box and develop new products that cater to women who have minimal savings,” she said. The panelists shared some alternative financing methods that are already in place and thriving: •Microfinance, where organizations like Kiva make small loans to people who can’t get credit from traditional banks, is helping women achieve financial stability in many un-

understood in a committee hearing. It is an opportunity to see if they are getting the resources and support they need. It is also a chance to say thank you and bring messages from home. In this case, it was messages of love and appreciation from Lemon Grove elementary students. The day was capped with a dinner for female servicemembers, and mothers, who are unable to spend the day with their little ones. The information learned from these trips is always critical to the decision we – as members of Congress – make on behalf of the American people. In June there is a much-anticipated ceremony to formally turn over security to the Afghans. American troops will continue to return home having seen significant changes to the region. Everyone believes the war has gone on far too long. However, if we can maintain the gains that have been made and the Afghans can build on their accomplishments, then the incredible work of our men and women in uniform, their civilian counterparts, and our international partners will change the course of history in the region. I am honored to see that happen and root for it becoming a reality.u derdeveloped nations. For example, a young woman in Pakistan or Mexico can now take out a microloan to buy a sewing machine, thereby creating her own thriving business. •Also in Pakistan, a large telecommunications company has partnered with a microfinancer to provide “branchless banking” via mobile phone technology to people far removed from banks. “We’ve got 45,000 agents transacting this kind of business now compared to only 13,000 in the branch network,” explained Yaseen Anwar, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan. Bottom line: Women throughout the world face unique economic and financial literacy challenges. The key is for governments, financial institutions, educators and entrepreneurs to work together to devise financial tools and educational materials that can reach the female half of the world’s population, and the younger, the better. To watch a webcast of the 2013 Financial Literacy and Education Summit, visit

3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775 PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 EDITOR Anthony King (619) 961-1952 ASSISTANT EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 REPORTERS & COLUMNISTS Celene Adams Charlene Baldridge Logan Broyles Jessica Dearborn “Dr. Ink” Dave Fidlin Michael Good Andy Hinds Monica Medina Frank Sabatini Jr. Dave Schwab Brian White DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954 José A. Carazo (619) 961-1957 Kyle Renwick (619) 961-1956 ART DIRECTOR Rebecah Corbin (619) 961-1961 ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Anulak Singphiphat (619) 888-3344 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 SALES ASSISTANT Marie Khris Pecjo SALES INTERNS Charlie Bryan Baterina Andrea Goodchild OPINIONS/LETTERS San Diego Uptown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email both to Include 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 Uptown News is distributed free, every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2013. All rights are reserved. Printed in the United States of America.


UptownBriefs LARGEST SOUTH PARK OLD HOUSE FAIR SET FOR JUNE 15 The South Park Business Group’s 15th annual Old House Fair scheduled for June 15 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. will be the largest yet, with over 75 exhibitors and vendors participating throughout South Park, organizers said. The free, daylong festival includes self-guided walking and biking tours, exhibits by craftspeople, contractors, shops and service organizations, live music and entertainment, and arts and crafts for children. Attendees will have the option of taking a hour-long Trolley Tour for $5, and there will be food vendors selling items as well. “An additional new feature of this year’s Old House Fair is the chance to visit a vintage 1953 camper restored to its mid-century beauty, which will be on display at the Vintage Row,” said Marsha Smelkinson, South Park Scene marketing director. The camper, presented by Urban Holiday Rentals, is available for vacation bookings. “Vendors of vintage home décor items, furniture and artwork will also be featured in the Vintage Row on 30th Street, between Cedar and Beech streets,” Smelkinson said. While the Old House Fair is free for attendees, there is a charge for tickets to that day’s Historic Home Tour, which also runs from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tickets for the tour are $25 and include five historic homes. Advance purchase tickets are available online and can be picked up via will call at the ticket booth located at 30th and Beech streets starting at 9:30 a.m. the day of the fair. For more information and tickets visit BOARDWALK DEVELOPMENT SELECTED FOR UPTOWN DISTRICT SHOPPING CENTER Regency Centers Corp. of Jacksonville, Fla. choose San Diego-based Boardwalk Development as the leasing agent for properties in the business complex housed by Ralphs supermarket and Trader Joe’s in Hillcrest. Called Uptown District, the 148,000-square-foot shopping center was recently acquired by Regency Centers for $81.1 million, becoming San Diego County’s largest retail sale in 2012. “One of the primary leasing objec-

tives is to create a vibrant street scene along University Avenue,” said Ben Longwell of Boardwalk Development in a press release. “We are seeking two unique food and beverage operators that will ‘anchor’ the street presence … and bring life to the existing courtyard, which is anticipated to become one of Hillcrest’s most reassured and interesting public amenities.” When the sale was announced in January, the shopping center was 95 percent leased. “Uptown District is a vital asset to one of San Diego’s most densely populated trade areas. We believe our investment and rethinking of this 1980s visionary project will bring Hillcrest and San Diego a fantastic urban shopping experience,” said Gregg Sadowsky, Regency Centers senior vice president and senior market officer, in the release.

‘CALEB’S CROSSING’ CHOSEN FOR COMMUNITY READING PROGRAM After a month of accepting nominations, the One Book Advisory Committee selected “Caleb’s Crossing” by Geraldine Brooks as the 2013 One Book, One San Diego selection, announced May 14. Now in its seventh year, the community-reading program began as a partnership between KPBS and the San Diego Public Library. This year, the San Diego County Library joins as sponsoring partner, increasing the available libraries that will offer the book as well as One Bookspecific events to 66. “Caleb’s Crossing” is inspired by the true story of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard, and is set in 1660s Martha’s Vineyard. Brooks, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her 2005 novel “March,” said she will attend a series of special community events later this year in conjunction with the citywide reading program. “It is exciting to think of a vibrant, contemporary city coming together to consider a story inspired by our shared past,” Brookes said in an announcement. Events and activities related to the novel will take place over eight weeks this fall, including discussions and film screenings. “One Book is an opportunity to bring our diverse communities throughout San Diego County together through reading,” County Library Director Jose Aponte said in the same announcement. For more information visit

TONI ATKINS BILL TO AID TRANSGENDER NAME CHANGES PASSES ASSEMBLY A bill authored by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins that would streamline the process and provide additional privacy protection for transgender individuals seeking legal name changes passed the California Assembly May 9. AB 1121, which is sponsored by Equality California and the Transgender Law Center, will now move to the State Senate for consideration. “Transgender people are entitled to have their official documents and their legal name reflect their true identity without a burdensome and expensive process that endangers their personal safety,” Atkins said in a press release. The current law requires obtaining a court order and publishing the name-change application in a newspaper, which can be expensive and expose the individual to “potential discrimination, harassment or even violence because of being transgender,” the release stated. If the bill becomes law, name changes will be handled directly with the Office of Vital Records, thus avoiding the public notice and court process. BICYCLE COALITION RECEIVES CLIMATE SMART GRANT The San Diego County Bicycle Coalition is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from the San Diego Foundation’s Climate Initiative Fund. The grant, announced May 13, will help fund a regionally based Bike/Walk Alliance in an effort to bring together community bicycle and pedestrian transportation advocates to promote bicycling and walking as viable alternatives to automobiles. “We’re certainly appreciative of the San Diego Foundation funding our efforts to increase biking and walking in San Diego County,” said Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Andy Hansahw in the announcement. “Vehicles are major contributors to emissions causing climate change. We believe increasing active transportation like biking and walking in the region is a low-hanging fruit in decreasing those emissions.” Still in the early planning stages, the Bike/Walk Alliance will identify priorities in individual San Diego communities to improve transportation and influence policies, the announcement stated. The coalition

San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013




Answer key, page 15

Uptown Crossword

see Briefs, page 14

ROCK & ROLL MARATHON ROAD CLOSURES The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon is set for June 2 and will affect several Uptown neighborhoods with road closures. In University Heights, Normal Heights and the northern area of North Park, expect closures from 5 – 10:30 a.m. In Hillcrest and southern North Park, expect closures from 5 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. For a complete list of alternate access routes and additional maps visit (Courtesy Competitor Network)

Imaginary Places

Answer key, page 15


San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013


Art, inspiration and entertainment with The Verge By Jessica Dearborn SDUN Reporter

Additional $500 Rebate for Military Personnel, In appreciation of Service.



39 month closed end lease. On approved above average credit. 10,000 miles per year. 25 cents per mile over 32,500. Zero down and just your 1st month’s payment to start after $1000 lease cash from FIAT is applied. $0 security deposit. 38 additional monthly pmts of $147.77 plus tax. Total of monthly pmts is $5763.03 plus tax. 10 to choose from. Expires 06/03/13, while supplies last. *Memorial Day Military bonus cash expires 5/31/13. **Kearny Mesa FIAT will meet or beat any advertised, unretracted deal on any new and unused FIAT in any publication in the US. Advertised offers must be on like/identical model and options and must be in stock inventory. Advertised units cannot be limited to the typical leader ads limited to 1, 2, three, or four in stock, must be listed with 5 or more to choose from with a specific MSRP. ***Excludes VW Routan.

858-492-9200 5155 CONVOY ST, SAN DIEGO, CA 92111

Solidarity, truth and openness are words that come to mind when envisioning an artistic community. In a city that’s filled with so many different venues, it’s sometimes difficult to discover just one that suits an artist’s longing. However, there is such a community that fosters budding artists: The Verge Salon has created an environment where artists are confident and inspired to exhibit their work, sometimes for the first time. It is a place where perhaps once timid imaginations now flourish. The group’s launch party May 9 was held at Thorn Street Brewery, located at 3176 Thorn St. in North Park. When I stepped into the setup for the event, it was already abuzz with creative energy, and my first impression was that of familiarity, like an old-school turntable. Co-founder Jen Lagedrost took the microphone to start off the evening and thanked the artists and attendees. She asked for participation in a deep-breathing exercise, which was to guide all to a tranquil, positive, artistically transcending and sophisticated experience. My senses were copious, and combined with the glorious flights of beer that Thorn Street Brewery provided, I was enjoyably lost in the artistic air and vivid imaginations circulating the room. While pursuing their master’s degrees in fine arts at San Diego State University (SDSU), Lagedrost and friends Rachel Gellman, Danielle Hunt, Francine Rockey and Erin Rodoni came together to create The Verge “as a way of expanding and continuing our artistic community, post-graduation,” Rockey said. The group’s salon series is to “reinvigorate poetry readings,” she said, “to infuse them with the energy of all forms of artistic expression.” Rockey called the San Diego artistic scene lively and fragmented, saying they wanted to be a “uniting force” and “central hub” for local artists. “We are working to bring artists of every variety from all over San Diego together,” Rockey said. “We hope to see our quarterly chapbook expand into an anthology of artistic work and someday perhaps a small press dedicated to showcasing San Diego’s amazing artists.” The Verge will be hosting a variety of events each month, starting with the May 9 Thorn Street

(l to r) Jennie Edwards, Jenny Latta and Christy Stevens at the Thorn Street Brewery event (Courtesy Jennie Edwards) launch, and will include quarterly chapbook parties, Rockey said. The first chapbook event is scheduled for Aug. 29. “Each event will be centered around the idea of a salon, a gathering of all types of artists to share ideas and receive feedback,” she said. “Our next event is Thursday, June 13.” They have future plans to team up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Diego County, as well as conduct community outreach through the Artists had work temporarily on display for The SDSU literary journal, Verge Salon launch. (Courtesy Jennie Edwards) Poetry International. they read for the first time. For the Thorn Street Brewery Amanda Odish is a Celtic event, the evening unfolded with harpist and singer who has been art in its raw form. Stimulating performing since she was 5 years pieces of photography, beautiful old, and began singing opera at age music and inspiring spoken word 9. She is a harp therapy intern for etched their way through the air, patients with dementia at Apreva as one voice. Hospice, and performed that eveThe Verge collaborated with ning. Jeans 4 Justice, a non-profit orgaAnother artist at The Verge nization that fights for justice for domestic violence and rape victims. launch party was Jennie Edwards, owner of Guided by Imagination Some artists participating that and a professional photographer. evening lent their talents to Jeans She was also invited to participate 4 Justice’s project, LIVE IT, which in the LIVE IT challenge, and is a story-sharing platform of how initiated the Gratitude for Greateach artist plays a role in social ness project, where she spotlights change. individuals and nonprofits making Gill Sotu – artist, producer an impact in the community. and host of “Train of Thought,” a The evening left me feeling community of artists that perform inspired, creative and invigorated. at different venues throughout San Diego – was originally contacted by The raw honesty of all artistic voices was engaging and impresJeans 4 Justice staff to help coach sive to the ever-present audience, people that want to learn the art who swayed to spoken word and of spoken word during their LIVE harp music. For more information IT challenge. He said he attended on The Verge, visit thevergeseries. The Verge event to support Jeans 4 Justice, as well as his students as


San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013


The of

SouTh Park

F R A N K S A B AT I N I J R . A slice of transit history is revealed at Station Tavern & Burgers, which marks the spot where a trolley depot once stood along a bustling rail line that connected South Park to its surrounding Uptown neighborhoods. Now, nearly 75 years later, the smartly rebuilt property has become a welcome sight for burgerphiles and beer lovers alike. Station also caters well to parents and pet owners. Its sustainable design of mixed wood flows into a park-like courtyard filled with picnic tables and a corral featuring a half-scale streetcar that calls to kiddy passengers. Not surprising, Station’s eye-catching, but non-obtrusive stature fetched a Grand Orchid award in 2009 by the San Diego Architectural Foundation. Weekends especially draw young, modern families with their canines in tow. Yet for those seeking escape from playful tykes and wagging tails, the airy interior provides a truer tavern experience complete with a full bar (notice the authentic train rails underneath that serve as foot rests). Station’s menu remains a celebration of consistency since it opened several years ago. The big

Station’s top-selling spicy black bean burger

R E S TAU R A N T R E V I E W seller, which remains my favorite, is the spicy black bean burger. Blended with savory spices and bell peppers, and smeared with frisky lime-cilantro sauce, it’s the kind of burger you can eat with gusto seven days a week and live to tell about it. Request it with cheese, and the loosely formed patty is less apt to crumble in the devouring process. The other vegetarian option is a patty constructed from chickpeas and garnished with cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce and onions. A bedding of smoky paprika sauce prevents it from tasting completely like falafel. The Angus chuck burger is fairly juicy and receives a simple seasoning of salt and pepper. But if you’ve hit the saturation point on ubiquitous beef patties, the one made with ground turkey is leaner and better seasoned in comparison. Toppings such as housemade sauerkraut, bacon, a fried egg and caramelized onions cost between 50 cents and $2 extra. There are also a number of dif ferent sauces listed at the bottom of the menu priced at 50 cents apiece. For those, you’ll want to keep an order of Tater Tots parked alongside

(Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

your burger. Ever since these cylindrical-shaped grated spuds came back into vogue a decade ago, their nostalgic, toasted flavor has demanded something other than ketchup. Station’s house-made condiments give Taters the boost they deser ve with lime-cilantro sauce, chipotle mayo, honey mustard with thyme and the above-mentioned smoky paprika sauce that comes on the house veggie burger. There’s also buttermilk-rich Ranch, which a friend in our group rated as the best he’s ever tasted. The sauces double as dressings for the lone salad on the menu, a “farmer’s market” medley of organic lettuces garnished with large, thin slices of pretty watermelon radishes. The bowl also packs substantial pilings of string-cut beets and carrots. It wasn’t until after our group ordered off the regular menu that we paid attention to a list of daily specials, particularly the beer-steeped bratwurst available on Sundays. For me at least, this would have been a game changer since I’ve tried ever y burger in the house over several visits. Other specials include a steak sandwich on Tuesdays, sloppy Joes on Fridays and

The beef burger piled with grilled onions (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

“train wreck tots” covered in sloppy Joe mix and cheese sauce on Saturdays. Station’s beer selection is bigger than its wine and cocktail list, with most drinks priced reasonably at $8 or less. Among several local brews is the prized, subtly sweet Weihenstephan Hefe Weissbier on tap from Bavaria and bottled Lindemans Kriek Lambic made with black cherries, which I’ve yet to tr y. With plenty of kids occupying

the patio, we were surprised to learn that Station doesn’t serve dessert. Customers instead mosey down the block for ice cream and frozen yogurt at Daily Scoop on Juniper. “There’s a reason for that,” a server explained. “Burgers and beer is what we do best.”u

2204 Fern St. (South Park)


Prices: Salads and sides, $2.50 to $5; burgers and dogs, $3 to $7.50



San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013


RATINGS: Drinks:

2306 El Cajon Blvd. (North Park) | 619-298-6008 Happy Hour: 7 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Wednesday; until 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturdays.

Cranberry daze Come On G e t H a p py ! D r. I n k

Dang, we missed it. Starting at 4 p.m. ever y Friday at Gilly’s Bar, the staff puts out free pizza from nearby Pizzeria Luigi. The pies go fast, usually within an

The popular cranberry kamikaze (Photo by Dr. Ink)

hour, so getting there past 5 p.m. means the only activities left are drinking, shooting pool, throwing darts and maybe lighting up a smoke on the big outdoor patio. But no big deal since we can easily think of places with far less creature comforts available. Gilly’s opens at the crack of dawn 365 days a year and offers drink specials pretty much around the clock, except ending at 9 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays. That’s when the karaoke machine kicks on. At that point, all drinks go up 50 cents and beer pitchers cost a buck extra to compensate for the lack of cover charges on those crowded evenings. The regular deals feature Stoli vodka in all flavors for $5, plus Tecate cans and three-ounce cranberr y kamikaze shots for $2.75. On Mondays all day, domestic beer and well drinks are also $2.75.

Customers are spared the fancy-pants cocktails common to other bars in lieu of shot-based drinks like cranberry kamikazes and pineapple expresses. Beer choices stick mostly to commercial brands, such as Bud Light, Blue Moon, Busch and Tecate.


The free pizza that is available starting at 4 p.m. on Fridays comes from Pizzeria Luigi, a place we can trust. In addition, chargrilled steaks are available on the back patio on Tuesday nights.


The daily deals feature three-ounce shots and tall glasses of hard cider for $5 and less, plus Tecate cans for $2.75.


Bartenders are down to earth and eager to serve.


Happy hour occurs about 90 percent of the time that the bar is open, seven days a week.

Additional specials wink from a chalkboard perched near the entrance. My friend gave in by paying an easy $5 for a 16-ounce glass of cold, boozy Anthem Cider. The cider is made with whole apples, which means the woodsy flavor of fermented malic acid takes precedence over the sugar. Sweet and cloying it isn’t. I encroached on the cranberr y kamikaze, which was made popular by the last bar tenant, Second Wind, before it converted to Gilly’s nearly seven years ago. The recipe calls for vodka, cranberr y juice, Triple Sec and lime. Ser ved in rocks glasses, you’re essentially slamming down three shots for the price of one. Although next time around I’ll request it with a spritz of soda water for that essential touch of fizz I prefer. Among the other tempting libations written on the chalkboard were Gilly’s Pale Ale for $4.25; pitchers for $11 and “pineapple express” shots for $5. Food reappears from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, when a grill master takes to the back patio and cooks up steak dinners starting at $10. We’re told, however, that Gilly’s owners have plans to team up with a barbecue joint that is supposedly opening next door in a couple of months. When it does, things like burgers and wings will join forces with the slew of unpretentious and affordable drinks that keeps Gilly’s on the map as one of North Park’s favorite neighborhood watering holes.u

FOOD BRIEFS By Frank Sabatini Jr. SDUN Reporter with Anthony King SDUN Editor

Bartender Erick Castro and his newly opened Polite Provisions on Adams Avenue received top nominations for this year’s Spirited Awards, including World’s Best New Cocktail Bar, Best High Volume Cocktail Bar and, for Castro, American Bartender of the Year. The finalists were announced Friday, May 17 and the award winners will be revealed at a swanky Tales of the Cocktail Festival ceremony in New Orleans July 20. Castro, who came to San Diego from San Francisco’s Rickhouse and Bourbon & Branch, knows his spirits: in addition to the now seven total Spirited Awards nominations, he was recognized as a “Rising Star Mixologist” in 2010. Polite Provisions has their share of accolades, too. The Consortium Holding’s establishment – joining Craft & Commerce, Neighborhood, UnderBelly, Noble Experiment, El Dorado and Soda & Swine – was named one of “The Bars to Watch in 2013” by The Spirits Business. 4696 30th St., 619-677-3784. After operating in Coronado for 14 years, Bino’s Bistro & Creperie has relocated to Hillcrest in the space formerly occupied by Bai Yook. The creperie is owned by brothers Bogart and Balbino Sanchez, although its Europeanstyle menu is authored by Balbino’s wife, Roswita. In addition to sweet and savory crepes, the offerings include fresh-baked pastries, salads, sandwiches and omelets. Dinner service will begin in a few months when the eatery receives its beer and wine license. 1260 University Ave., 619-688-1674.

As if the bacon cotton candy, Krispy Kreme sloppy Joes and lobster nachos coming to this year’s San Diego County Fair (June 8 – July 4) weren’t enough, consumers can oink their way through the fair’s first-annual Big Bite Bacon Fest. The event, presented by Farmer John, is scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. and 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Father’s Day, June 16. It will showcase unlimited samples of “bacon cuisine” created by local chefs and restaurants. Tickets start at $55 and include admission into the Del Mar Fairgrounds. 2280 Jimmy Durante Blvd., 858-755-1161. For anyone who partied in the 1970s, the new Sycamore Den in Normal Heights recreates the good times with a retro cocktail lounge designed to feel like a middle-class den. Owner Nick Zanoni developed the concept as a tribute to his father, when he began looking back at the era in which his dad raised him. The trappings inside include a sunk-in seating area, a brass fireplace, heavy glassware and a player piano. Old photos of other dads submitted by the public in a Facebook contest are incorporated into the restroom wallpaper. The lounge features an extensive bar, though no kitchen. 3391 Adams Ave., 619-563-9019. Joining the brunch scene in Hillcrest, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays only is 100 Wines, featuring two outdoor patios and indoor seating with a farmhouse theme. Among the standout dishes created by Executive Chef Katherine Humphus are Manchegostuffed dates; osso buco eggs benedict; prosciutto tartine and a croque Madame on country bread. 1027 University Ave., 619-4910100.u

Polite Provision’s Erick Castro is nominated for American Bartender of the Year (Courtesy h2 public relations)

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Pg. 12 Volume 5, Issue 11 • May 24–June 6, 2013 • San Diego Uptown News

Roaming the scorched earth Enigmatic and exciting, ion’s ‘Tiger’ is not to be missed By Charlene Baldridge SDUN Theater Critic

Whether one traveled to Los Angeles to see Rajiv Joseph’s 2010 Pulitzer Prize-nominated “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” is immaterial vis-à-vis the production encountered now through June 2 at ion theatre company. An expansive playing area is unnecessary. There may be two topiaries instead of a half dozen or more; Uday Hussein’s palace may exist mainly in the mind’s eye, and so does the vastness of the desert in the play’s final scene. The expanse of thought and the impact and humanity of the play’s characters are embraced fully in the tiny theater at Sixth and Penn. Fully understanding Joseph’s meaning and intent may be impossible; this land, its people, the jolting presence of Americans, and the gruesome conditions of the scorched city are presented to us through the haunting presence of a verbose Tiger who walks on two legs, declares tigers are atheists by nature, and then proceeds to look for God to enquire why he was made with such a hungry nature and why he is still abroad. The Tiger (played by a scruffy Ron Choularton) is killed in the first scene by a yahoo American GI named Kev (Evan Kendig). Kev shoots it dead because the caged animal bit off the hand of his equally stupid buddy, Tom (Jake Rosko). Both these young actors are impressive. The Tiger looks down at his lifeless body and says, “So that’s what I looked like,” then launches into philosophical discourse that continues intermittently until blackout. Choularton’s splendidly portrayed Tiger is caught up in the existential question. He may not find his answer, even walking free, but his questions are wondrous; that is, if one’s mind allows ghosts to roam the scorched earth. The Tiger is not the only ghost in Joseph’s play: their numbers increase as time goes by. The others once passed for human; the least humane being Uday Hussein (Claudio Raygoza, who also directs the play), who was Saddam Hussein’s despotic and privileged son. Tom slew Uday with his own gold-plated gun, which was in turn used by Kev to kill the Tiger. Eventually the gun falls into the hands of Kev’s Iraqi translator, Musa (an amazing performance by Brian Abraham), who is much more than he seems. Musa’s sister, Hadia, is portrayed beautifully by Linda Permenter. Olivia Ruiz plays the other Iraqi women. Abraham, Permenter and Ruiz, who were coached by Raida Fahmi and Ammar Ramzi, speak

long stretches of Arabic with seemingly native facility, just an example of the care lavished upon the work by ion. S. Todd Muffatti created the topiary animals. Melanie Chen is responsible for sound; Andrea Fields, for properties; Karin Filijan, for lighting; Brian Redfern for the set; and Courtney Fox Smith, for costumes. Immense praise must go to Raygoza for his villainous Uday, for his meticulous, seamless direction and the assembly of a stunning ensemble, and for the guts it took to tackle the “Tiger” in the first place. Do not miss this enigmatic and absorbing work. Take along your suspension of disbelief and do not expect CNN.u

(l to r) Evan Kendig, Linda Permenter and Jake Rosko (Courtesy ion theatre)

“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”

WHERE: ion theatre company, 3704 Sixth Ave. (Hillcrest) WHEN: Thurs. – Sat at 8 p.m., and Sat. at 4 p.m. through June 1 INFO: 619-600-5020 WEB:

(l to r) Ron Choularton, Evan Kendig and Jake Rosko (Courtesy ion theatre)


San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013


Pair of aces Two North County bands round out the end of the month By Logan Broyles SDUN Reporter

Stained Glass Windows The great psychedelic surf-rock bands of yester year are long gone, yet their spirit remains alive in Encinitas, Calif.based Stained Glass Windows. Formed in 2010, Stained Glass Windows will be playing their first show ever at Soda Bar in North Park on Tuesday, May 28 at 8:30 p.m. The group is comprised mainly of San Diego natives who grew up in the North County area, with Colin Mills on bass, Elan Saltman and Car y Ladd on guitar, and all three providing vocals. Josh Adams mans the drums. “We all came together not so long ago in the … Encinitas area,” Mills said. “Music was always in the back of my mind growing up, inter woven with the usual things you do as a child in Southern California. Elan and I have been friends since junior high and we played music all through high school together.” The group has a style reminiscent of the great surf-rock groups of the “free love” era, with steady pop-like rhythms and layers of guitar riffs. “Our music is like a daydream away from reality,” Mills said. “The idea came from just our mutual love for pop music [and] music that our parents played in the house: bands like the Beach Boys, Lovin’ Spoonful and the Byrds.” That love for a bygone era of music has stayed with Mills and all of the group’s members since their youth, and deeply affects the

Trouble in the Wind (Photo by Blake Schilling of Karma Trees Photography / Nate Vandermuelen)

music that they make to this day. “I grew up listening to ever ything but the stuff that really stayed is the music I heard as a young child around 5 or 6, the stuff from the ’50s and ’60s especially. Our sound is really just us reflecting on those memories.” Mills says priority number one for the band is spreading their love of music and bringing more happiness to people’s lives, and they bring that approach to ever y one of their live performances. “People can expect to have fun and feel like dancing and having a good time at our shows,” he said. “We’re kind of hoping to bring a sense of fun back into rock-n-roll like they did in the ’60s.” The group hopes to hit the recording studio next month to lay down tracks for their first full-length album, which they have almost completely written. Mills said they were currently cutting demos that will most likely end up on the album. “We’ll probably go into the studio in June and then get a few shows lined up for the rest of the summer,” he said. Soda Bar is located at 3615 El Cajon Blvd. and tickets are $5. For more information visit or call 619255-7224. Trouble in the Wind There’s nothing like a great jam band, especially one that

Stained Glass Windows (Photo by Blythe Holloway)

isn’t afraid to branch out and constantly tr y new styles and genres of music. Trouble in the Wind is a raw rock and folk band with an acoustic and electric sound using unique instrumentation and songwriting. Their style can be difficult for even members of the band to describe. With the band’s versatility, they are able to do many different styles from one song to the next, blending rock music with folk instruments, or adding surf and countr y elements. “The music of Trouble in the Wind has often been described as folk rock or alternative folk music, mostly because of the first sight of the instrumentation of acoustic guitar, upright bass, banjo, accordion and a drum set with brushes, but using that term can be misleading,” explained drummer Larr y Doran. “Although there are many folk stylings in the music, our songs mesh multiple genres that go beyond folk rock.” Trouble in the Wind consists of Doran on drums and vocals, Robby Gira playing acoustic guitar and vocals, Kyle Merritt taking turns playing electric guitar, accordion, banjo, pedal steel and piano, and Trevor Mulvey on electric guitar and upright bass. The original band members grew up together in Carlsbad, Calif. and went to Carlsbad High School, while Doran hails from Orange County and joined the band two years ago. The idea to form came from afterschool jam sessions between Gira, Mulvey and original drummer Ryan Fox while backing Carlsbad rock star Saf fron James and the Apples. “From there, the original members briefly became alternative countr y trio Cactus Bob, where we would have their first ner vous gigs at the E Street Cafe in Encinitas,” Gira said. “Multi-instrumentalist Kyle Merritt joined us as we changed into Trouble in the Wind.” The band’s influences are diverse, from David Bowie to Willie Nelson, Leonard Cohen to Prince, and Iggy Pop to Roy Orbison, just to name a few. “Trouble in the Wind is a band which continually evolves and changes, which we believe keeps the music fresh,” Merritt said. “The way we make music is very organic, and the band prides itself on keeping the music loose and open to changing the songs.” The group has an upcoming headlining show at the Belly Up on Wednesday, May 29 with opening performances by Eve Selis and Lee Koch. Although this isn’t Trouble in the Wind’s first show at the North County establishment, this will be their first show as a headliner. The Belly Up is located at 143 Cedros Ave. in Solana Beach, Calif. Tickets for the 8 p.m. show start at $8, and can be found at or by calling 858-481-8140.u


San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013


15th annual LGBT Film Festival Wednesday, May 29

7:30 p.m. G.B.F. Opening night party & gala

Thursday, May 30

5 p.m. Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean 7 p.m. I Do 9:30 p.m. Angels of Sex

Friday, May 31

5 p.m. Raid of the Rainbow Lounge 7:30 p.m. Love or Whatever 10 p.m. The Go Doc Project

Saturday, June 1

12 p.m. Naked As We Came 2:15 p.m. Margarita 4:30 p.m. Pit Stop 7 p.m. Meth Head 10 p.m. Interior. Leather Bar.

Sunday, June 2

12 p.m. Submerge 2 p.m. Out in the Dark 4:30 p.m. White Frog 7 p.m. I Am Divine Closing night after party

(l to r) Michael J. Willett and Sasha Pieterse in “G.B.F.” (Courtesy G.B.F.)

15 years of film FilmOut San Diego’s anniversary festival opens May 29 with bigger, better – and smarter – LGBT films By Anthony King SDUN Editor

FilmOut San Diego crosses a milestone this year, celebrating 15 years of film for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community with their anniversary festival scheduled for Wednesday, May 29 to June 2. While many festivals have shrunk or disappeared completely, FilmOut remains an important staple in the San Diego community. “Sadly, we have seen many LGBT-themed film festivals in the U.S. and beyond struggle,” said FilmOut Festival Director Kaleb James. “Despite the challenges, FilmOut is thriving and we are strong and more solvent than ever in our 15th year.” James was quick to thank the “excellent leadership, active participation and enthusiastic dedication” of the nonprofit’s board, staff and volunteers, saying the group is deeply determined and devotes time, resources and energy to the organization’s success year round. FilmOut produces monthly screenings of popular general and LGBT films, partnering with local community groups for crossover support. One of those “deeply determined” FilmOut members is Michael McQuiggan, who has been a part of the organization for 13 of their 15 years. Primarily responsible for FilmOut’s offerings, he has been festival programmer since 2004. McQuiggan said LGBT movies have changed in three areas: “bigger budgets, better directors and better actors,” though he sees a general shift in all aspects as well. “It’s actually the whole package,” he said. “Everything has just overall improved.” For FilmOut, being a staple in the San Diego LGBT community for 15 years has brought an increase in attendance and sponsorship, as well as a way for filmmakers to reach a regular, dedicated audience. “LGBT-themed film festivals are important … because they give voice to filmmakers who seek to share the challenges, joys, hu-

mor and heartaches of our LGBT community with a wider audience,” James said. “In a time when the world is finally beginning to come to the table to speak openly and acceptingly about human equality, these themes couldn’t be more paramount.” For this year’s festival, FilmOut received over 350 submissions, which McQuiggan and the board had to reduce to 35 films, including 16 features. “I had to turn away a lot of good films,” he said. To make sure the passed-on selections have an audience, FilmOut is looking to present some at later monthly screenings in 2013. McQuiggan said those they were able to secure for this year’s festival – the process is greater than pre-screening and includes negotiating with filmmakers and producers, scheduling guest appearances and securing rights – are more intelligent than movies that have screened in the past. “This year, a theme for me that I’ve noticed is they’re more socially relevant and they’re darker than they have been in the past few years,” he said. “There have always been good LGBT films, but now there are so many.” One film receiving a lot of buzz, he said, is their opening night film “G.B.F.” about a teenager who is outed by his friends only to become the center of attention for three prom queen candidates. The movie stars Michael J. Willett as Tanner, the newly popular gay teen, and has appearances by Megan Mullally and Jonathan Silverman. In an inter view for San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN), the film’s director Darren Stein said it was important to him to make a film with a gay protagonist. “It was nice to see the universe of the teen genre shift to the place where a gay kid could be the hero. This is his story,” Stein said to SDGLN. “It’s really about making the gay high school experience relatable on a more universal level.” While reluctant to say which are his personal favorites, McQuiggan said he was particularly excited for the seven showcase

“G.B.F.” opens the festival May 29.

(l to r) Paul Iacono and Megan Mullally in “G.B.F.” (Courtesy G.B.F.)

films: opening night’s “G.B.F.,” Boys Centerpiece “Love or Whatever,” Audience Spotlight “The Go Doc Project,” Girls Centerpiece “Margarita,” Festival Spotlight “Meth Head,” International Spotlight “Out in the Dark,” and closing night’s “I Am Divine.” “We’re kicking it up a little bit more than usual,” he said, including more filmmakers and actors in attendance, and opening and closing night parties that he hopes stand apart from what they have been in the past. “It’s weird, because to me it doesn’t feel any different than any of the other festivals I’ve programmed,” McQuiggan said. “It just happens to be a milestone year.” All films screen at the Birch North Park Theatre, located at 2891 University Ave. Festival passes start at $99, and $10 individual screening tickets are available online or at the door. Ticket holders for the opening night film will have entrance to the party at Claire de Lune’s Sunset Temple, 3911 Kansas St. in North Park. The closing night

party will be held in the lobby of the theater, hosted by West Coast Tavern. For complete information, including each film’s synopsis and ticket purchase, visit filmout- “I couldn’t be more proud of our accomplishment and resiliency as we prepare our 15th anniversary festival,” James said, “which is sure to be our best yet.”u


San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013

CalendarofEvents FRIDAY, MAY 24 Preschool story time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Jazz at the Cosmo: 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant’s regular jazz series, with tonight’s guest Amelia Browning, 2660 Calhoun St., $5 Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Casablanca,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 SATURDAY, MAY 25 Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – noon every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free Old Town Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, Harney Street, free Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free UH Library Children’s Program: 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts event for children, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd. Contra Dance: 7:30 p.m., sponsored by the San Diego Folk Heritage with live music by Old Twine, beginners workshop taught at 7:30 p.m. followed by live music from 8 – 11 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 3030 Thorn St., $12 Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Casablanca,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 SUNDAY, MAY 26 Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., every Sunday, Hillcrest DMV, 3960 Normal St., free

Ethnic Food Fair: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., food, drink music and dance from the national groups at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, 2191 Pan American Rd. in Balboa Park Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free Robin Henkel Band: 8 p.m., blues and jazz concert with Whitney Shay, Lestat’s Coffee Shop, 3343 Adams Ave., $8 Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Casablanca,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14

MONDAY, MAY 27 Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) HBA Beautification: 2 – 3:30 p.m., regular meeting of the Hillcrest Business Association Beautification committee, 3737 Fifth Ave., Suite 202 TUESDAY, MAY 28 Baby playgroup: 10 – 11:30 a.m., babies up to 18 months old are welcome, Normal Heights United Methodist Church, 4650 Mansfield St. Pajama story time: 6:30 – 7 p.m., children are invited to come dressed in their pajamas, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Talmadge MAD: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District, Franklin Elementary, 4481 Copeland Ave. WEDNESDAY, MAY 29 South Park Scene: 8:30 a.m.,

CALENDAR/NEWS regular monthly meeting of the South Park Business Improvement District, Alchemy Restaurant, 1503 30th St. Baby playgroup: 10 – 11:30 a.m., babies up to 18 months old are welcome, Normal Heights United Methodist Church, 4650 Mansfield St. LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free UH Library Book Club: 6:30 p.m., discussing “The Man Who Loved Books Too Much,” University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd.

THURSDAY, MAY 30 North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free 30th on 30th: 5 – 7 p.m., restaurants and bars on and near 30th Street in North Park offer specials throughout the evening, participating restaurants and their specials announced at Kensington-Normal Heights Town Hall: 5:30 – 7 p.m., town hall-style meeting held by the Downtown San Diego Partnership to gain feedback on long-range plan for the region, Adams Avenue Recreation Center, 3491 Adams Ave. Golden Hill community mixer: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., monthly community mixer organized by the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation with live music and beer by Stone Brewing Co., Daniel Shuyler House, 850 25th St., RSVP required to mixer@ Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “The Thomas Crown Affair,” (the original!) 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 FRIDAY, MAY 31 Preschool story time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Contra Dance: 7:30 p.m., sponsored by the San Diego Folk Heritage with live music by Flashing Sirens, beginners workshop taught at 7:30 p.m. followed by live music from 8 – 11 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 3030 Thorn St., $12 Jazz at the Cosmo: 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant’s regular jazz series, with tonight’s guest Dave Scott, 2660 Calhoun St., $5 Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “The Thomas Crown Affair,” (the original!) 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 SATURDAY, JUNE 1 Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free Repainting project: 8 a.m.


BRIEFS currently collaborates with Walk San Diego and Move San Diego, which Hanshaw said have been important partners in providing “diverse transportation” alternatives. “We’re happy to continue collaboration with them on climate change and sustainability in San Diego,” he said.

DIPLOMACY COUNCIL HONORS MARISA UGARTE North Park-based San Diego Diplomacy Council (SDDC) will honor Marisa Ugarte, executive director of the Bilateral Safety – 12 p.m., join the Mission Hills Town Council and City of San Diego to repaint the Pioneer Park bathrooms, Randolph Street and Washington Place Spring Cleaning: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., annual spring-cleaning drop off site, items not allowed include hazardous waste, electronics, tires and large appliances, 28th and Redwood streets near Bird Park in North Park Old Town Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, Harney Street, free Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Art Around Adams: 2 – 10 p.m., 10th annual Art Around Adams with music, art and culture over two miles of Adams Avenue from Oregon Street to Vista Street, free State Route 94 expansion meeting: 3 p.m., organized by the Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation, the meeting is to discuss the proposed State Route 94 Freeway Expansion project in Golden Hill, San Diego Japanese Christian Church’s Yoshiro Hall, 1920 E St. Normal Heights Family Movie Night: 7:30 – 9 p.m., summer series of outdoor films screened by the United Methodist Church at Adams Avenue Park, tonight’s film is “Monsters, Inc.,” 4650 Mansfield St. Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Suspicion,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14

SUNDAY, JUNE 2 University Heights cleanup: 8 – 11 a.m., annual Spring Clean UH Up, bring gloves, hats and tools to the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and Washington Street to work near SR 163 during the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, information at Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., every Sunday, Hillcrest DMV, 3960 Normal St., free Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free Bridging Gaps music: 4 p.m., North America meets South America in this music and dance event featuring Argentine solo bassist Andres Martin with guitarist Jorge Lopez Ramos and many more, sponsored by Jim Hush of Ascent Real Estate, Inc., held at Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center, 3925 Ohio St, $17 day of, $15 advance at Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Suspicion,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14

Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) HBA Marketing: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Hillcrest Business Association Marketing committee, 3737 Fifth Ave., Suite 202. Bankers Hill Neighborhood Parking Committee: 5 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the parking committee, Merrill Gardens, 2567 Second Ave. North Park Urban Design: 6 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the North Park Planning Committee’s Urban Design/Project Review subcommittee, North Park Recreation Center, 2719 Howard Ave.

TUESDAY, JUNE 4 North Park design committee: 5:30 p.m., regular monthly North Park Main Street design committee meeting, 3076 University Ave., free Uptown Planners: 6 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Uptown Community Planners, Joyce Beers Community Center, 1230 Cleveland Ave. Normal Heights Community Planning: 6 – 8 p.m., regular meeting of the Normal Heights Community Planning Group, Normal Heights Community Center, 4649 Hawley Blvd. Pajama story time: 6:30 – 7 p.m., children are invited to come dressed in their pajamas, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5 Baby playgroup: 10 – 11:30 a.m., babies up to 18 months old are welcome, Normal Heights United Methodist Church, 4650 Mansfield St. LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free

MONDAY, JUNE 3 Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th

THURSDAY, JUNE 6 Mission Hills book group: 10 – 11 a.m., discussing “The Iliad” by Homer, Mission Hills Books & Collectibles, 4054 Goldfinch St. Old Town Chamber Promotions: 2 p.m., regular monthly meeting of Chamber committee, Café Coyote, 2461 San Diego Ave. North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free University Heights Community Association: 6:30 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting including an open community forum, San Diego Unified Board of Education building, 4100 Normal St. Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Funny Face,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 Balboa Park Committee: 6 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting, Balboa Park Club, Santa Fe Room, 2144 Pan American Rd.u

Corridor Coalition (BSCC), and the Downtown San Diego Breakfast Rotary as global “Citizen Diplomats of the Year” at a ceremony held June 8. Ugarte founded the BSCC in 1997 to combat human trafficking, and has seen it grow to an alliance of over 60 government and nonprofit agencies in the United States and Latin America. “For nearly 10 years, Marisa has been sharing her insights on … critical issues with hundreds of visitors who come to San Diego through the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program,” said SDDC Director of Programs Enrique Meza in a press release. Ugarte has previously been honored by the International Foundation for Human Rights

and tolerance, former President Bill Clinton, Voices of Women and the Chicano Foundation, among others. The Breakfast Rotary boasts over 110 members and is being honored in part because of their international programs that support education and health care access to people in Costa Rica, Uganda, Zambia, India and Mexico. The ceremony is part of the SDDC’s annual Diplomacy Day Luncheon, which will be from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. at the Mission Valley Town & Country Resort’s Tiki Pavilion. Congressmember Scott Peters will deliver opening remarks and Congressmember Susan Davis will be the keynote speaker. For more information and tickets visit





San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013




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Hillcrest animal communicator Brigitte Noel specializes in heart-to-heart chats with animals. (Photo by Carol Peerce)

A natural connection

Animal communicator is all ears A Whim

& A Prayer Celene Adams Animal communicator Brigitte Noel grew up in an artificial environment that lacked genuine connection. Constantly moving from country to country with her father, a Swiss diplomat, and her mother, an ambitious socialite, the young Noel lived in a world that revolved around mingling with the right people at cocktail parties. “I didn’t understand how people could do chit-chat and then just leave you,” she said. “I thought, ‘Am I not interesting? Have I said something really boring?’” Feeling abandoned and out of place, Noel turned to a tomcat named Moustache for companionship. “He would come and go, but … he was quite important to me,” she said. “He didn’t particularly pay a lot of attention to me, but there was a connection there.” When Noel grew up, she escaped from the Swiss society she’d found so superficial, completed a master’s degree in metaphysics and moved to San Diego, where she unhappily worked as a realtor. Yet she still felt out of her element, and her most meaningful relationships continued to be with animals: Pooka, her Persian cat, Mikey and Bobby, her orangewinged Amazon parrots, and the late Miss Acorn Annie, a horse she called her “soul mate.” Consequently, when Miss Annie grew ill, Noel was distraught and tried everything she knew to help her, including hiring a holistic veterinarian, a near unheard of treatment approach in the traditional horse community where Miss Annie boarded. “I would feed [Miss Annie] certain supplements that I was getting from the holistic vet, and that was criticized, dismissed and diminished,” Noel said. The horse world was the only milieu Noel had ever felt close to being at home in, and it was a shock to find she didn’t fit in there either. But the holistic vet brought more than a remedy for Miss Annie. She also noticed Noel’s way of interacting with her horse. “You’re different with animals. Don’t you know?” Noel recalls the vet remarking. It was the first time Noel had considered that being different might have some value, and so, when, shortly thereafter, she heard about a woman who specialized in animal

Business name:

All Ears Animal Communication Business owner: Brigitte Noel Business type: Animal communication

Years in business: 19 Services: In-person and phone consultations, speaking engagements, workshops, classes, TV appearances Market niche: Animals and their people Business philosophy: Heart-to-heart communication Website: communication, her ears pricked up. Intent on observing how the process worked, Noel invited the communicator to visit Miss Annie. But because she lived out of town, the woman could only agree if Noel arranged consultations with six other horses, too. Noel didn’t relish the prospect of trying to convince the horse community the experience would be worthwhile. First a holistic vet, now an animal communicator? Nevertheless, within two weeks, she’d met the communicator’s quota. In her book “LoveLink: Heart to Heart Communication with Animals,” Noel describes the day the communicator arrived and how it “changed

[her] life.” The communicator received information from the horses via mental pictures, “so she would describe the pictures,” Noel said. In one instance, the communicator spoke of a horse’s gratitude for medical treatment, describing an image of a woman wearing gray sweatpants applying cream to the horse’s cinch sore. The horse’s caretaker, however, refused to acknowledge she had treated the wound, and denied it had ever happened. Had it not been for the fact that other people knew about the sore and that Noel herself had witnessed the woman applying salve, Noel could have lost all credibility. Instead, however, “the horse’s communication was validated,” she said. And “two or three others came forward [for a session with the communicator] when they heard about the results.” After that, Noel was determined to learn how to communicate with animals herself. “I had always believed … the only barrier to … finding out about [the animals’] world – their emotional world, their feeling world, their thinking world – was … language,” she said. Throwing herself into what little material she could find to study about the subject, Noel learned that sending and receiving pictures through extrasensory perception was how most communicators “read” animals. Yet this wasn’t what Noel wanted to do. “[I wanted to converse] in the here and now, going back and forth, … like a CB radio: asking the questions [and] getting a response,” she said. Not knowing how else to proceed, however, Noel began trying to read Miss Annie, who remained oblivious to her experiments. Yet it would be Miss Annie who, once again, took Noel by the reins: Kicked by a mare after Noel let her out to pasture, the horse was hurt and Noel was full of self-recrimination. “I’m there wringing my hands, walking by her [and] going ‘How could I have let this happen?’” Noel said. That was when, all of a sudden, she heard it: Miss Annie sent her a telepathic message. “In my mind’s eye I hear, ‘Don’t worry. I’m OK,’” Noel said. “It truly was not me.” Unlike reading pictures, a telepathic exchange is “a purely intuitive process that’s unfolding in the present moment, … two freely sentient beings sharing their thoughts, feelings and emotions,” Noel wrote in “LoveLink.” After realizing that telepathy comes more naturally to her than reading pictures, Noel made great strides with Miss Annie. And a few

San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013 years later, in 1995, she felt confident enough in her abilities to open her Hillcrest business, All-Ears Animal Communication. Clients include cats, horses, rabbits, chinchillas, rats, birds and even pigs, and sessions do not include cocktail party chit-chat. Spraying urine, adapting to newcomers, sharing toys, being treated as toys, tension between household members, food preferences and health issues are far more scintillating topics.


It’s a natural connection. And now that Noel is keeping company in the right circles, she’s all ears. —A Whim and a Prayer profiles the trials and triumphs of entrepreneurs whose businesses have evolved out of their passions and life experience. If you are a local business owner and you would like to be featured in this column, contact Celene Adams at or visit


Not only Gelato, but also Coffee and Panini –

Pappalecco’s goal is to Make You Smile.


ith the opening of their new kitchen in Point Loma, Pappalecco is now completely homemade! Just like in the old Tuscan tradition, gelato, bread, biscotti, and pastries are now made daily, from scratch, by the loving hands of Pappalecco’s chefs. Chef Lorenzo Bucci is the brains behind Pappalecco’s newest accomplishment. “There is a story behind every dream and there is a dream behind every story,” Lorenzo says. “When I was a small child, every time I walked through the kitchen, I lingered — I couldn’t help it. The kitchen was my natural environment. I loved to spend time cooking side-by-side with Grandma Amedeo and Grandma Dora. During the summer, I didn’t have much interest in going to the beach. Instead, my afternoons were devoted to making pastries and gelato with Giovanni Gagliardo, “il Mastro Pasticcere-Gelatiere” (the pastry and gelato master) of Pisa, catching a glimpse of the secret touches of the master’s art. “Back then, my dream was to travel around the world and to share with others what I had learned,” Lorenzo continues. “That’s what I do today. With the invaluable help and unwavering enthusiasm of Nenad and Toni, our executive chefs, I strive to impart the skills and the love of the people who forged my knowledge. Day in and day out, we translate the passion of the Italian people into the most authentic works of art — this is our gift to our guests. This is

my story: a story behind a dream, a dream behind a story.” If you spend a few minutes at Papplaecco, you’re likely to hear people making comments such as, “This is the best coffee in town,” or “This is the best panino I have ever had,” or “This gelato is to die for.” As founder Francesco Bucci says, “Pappalecco is way more than just delicious foods and coffee. Pappalecco is a story of human beings. “It started in the heart of Tuscany and landed in America six years ago,” Francesco continues. “We are all family. We feel very close to our guests, to the point where the line between our staff and our guests is blurred. We make friends as we serve coffee. We are embedded in the community. Not only do we support numerous charity initiatives, we especially support our community with our smiles. We feel a sense of synergy, a constant and mutual interaction with our neighbors. We want everyone to ‘belong’ to the Pappalecco family.” Manager Patrizia’s smile shines through every cup of coffee. “It’s normal for us to smile,” she says. “That’s why we wake up in the morning. This is the most beautiful gift to our friends.” But everyone smiles at Pappalecco, not only the staff. “Everyone smiles because our goal is to make YOU smile,” says Assistant Manager Jelena. “And, as a matter of fact, we are really good at achieving our goal!”


360 Fifth Ave., | San Diego, CA 92103 | (619) 906-5566


San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013


Tales from the trenches

What really goes on in the life of an Old House contractor


Michael Good When you meet a contractor at the annual South Park Old House Fair, you get a rather narrow exhibitor-booth-sized picture of who he is and what he does. But restoring historic homes isn’t all glossy photographs, smiles and handshakes. There is dust involved, some stinky chemicals, and those saws can make some noise. At the risk of scaring everyone away from my booth this year, I thought I’d give homeowners a behind-the-scenes look at some of the projects I’ve been involved in this year. Shutter madness: At last year’s Old House Fair I was pleased to see two familiar faces in the crowd flowing past my booth. Darryl White and David Stephens own a Spanish-style house on a canyon in Talmadge. Several years ago I restored the wooden trusses in the living room and refinished some of the wood trim. The house has a Mills Act contract, which reduces the homeowner’s property taxes. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it has a Mills Act “contract,” which stipulates what repairs have to be made and when. According to the contract, it was time to replace the wood windows, which were literally falling apart, and restore the rusticated shutters, which were in rough shape. The windows were being replicated by Shawn Woolery of San Diego Sash


COSMOPOLITAN Hotel and Restaurant

Tuesdays in June: "Jazz Vocal Showcase," with jazz house band Full House. Full House will welcome local vocalists to sing from the "Great American Songbook." Host and bandleader is Mark Augustin. 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday: nightly entertainment

Craft and Fashion Market

June 15-16 (Friday & Saturday) Bazaar del Mundo

JULY Fourth of July

July 4 (Wednesday) An old-fashioned celebration of July 4th. Enjoy a parade, crafts and activities of early San Diego, with wagon rides, period games, music, food specials, pie-eating contest and more. Flag raising, keynote speaker, and military involvement.

Stagecoach Days

Every Saturday in July and August Celebration of the West on the Move, with children’s activities, historic interpretation, canon and anvil firings, and more.

The house was completely renovated in 2006, with woodwork by Craftsman Wood Refinishing. (Courtesy Michael Good)

This Craftsman bungalow is on the Old House Fair home tour scheduled for June 15; visit for more information. (Courtesy Michael Good) (619-944-8283) and installed by Heath Farrell (619-787-5814). As for the shutters, I ended up volunteering to restore them. The house was designed and constructed by Allen Hilton to look like an early California ranch house that had been built by Spanish soldiers from Andalusia. We think of 1920s Spanish style houses as being something original, but they in fact were reproductions of something that existed mostly in the imagination of novelists and filmmakers. Hilton was a licensed contractor and architect, as well as a photographer, cinematographer and film director. The same skills used in Hollywood set-building were employed by the guy who made the shutters: at least that’s the theory I developed after researching the techniques employed by Hilton contemporary Harry Oliver, a Hollywood art director who also designed houses and commercial buildings. Because the house was historic,

I couldn’t just slap some paint on the shutters. I had to find a way to replicate their rustic appearance. So I peeled back the layers of paint to find the original finish – a semi-transparent stain – and the original distressing, which resembled what I’d previously uncovered on the living room beams. I hauled the shutters around to lumber yards and paint stores to get opinions on how they were made. I bought some cedar and replicated the pieces that couldn’t be saved, including dozens of hand-whittled wooden pegs. I tried a bit of everything to make the new wood look old: I burned it, chiseled it, hacked it, attacked it, scraped it and scrubbed it with a wire brush. Then I epoxied it, glued it, painted it, stained it, clamped it and screwed it back together again. I did everything but drag it behind a horse. Finally, I returned the shutters – some parts new, some parts old – to Heath, who installed them. Sometimes when I’m done with a project, all I see are the mistakes.

In this case, there were plenty of mistakes all right; but the question was whether they were the right mistakes, in the right place. From across the street, they looked right. New wine in old wine skins: While I was in the middle of trying to mind-meld with Allen Hilton, I got a call from a client in a crisis. Six months earlier, I’d tried to rescue his five-year-old reproduction door, which had lost its factory-applied finish due to the fact that it was stained a dark color, faced west, had panels that caught rainwater and wasn’t protected by an awning or screen door. But the low-cost option (cleaning and recoating the door) hadn’t worked. The old finish under the new finish wasn’t sound, and both layers had peeled off. So I stripped the door, stained it a lighter color, and applied four coats of marine varnish. But I still didn’t feel confident. A day after I was done, the new finish already had water spots on it. I pointed them out to the homeowner. “It hasn’t rained for weeks,” he said, as if the spots were my fault. I got down and crawled around, looking at it in glancing light. There were water spots on the left side of the door. “Maybe dew is coming off

the roof,” I said. “It’s been dry for weeks,” he said. “Maybe someone has been watering that plant.” There was a plant about a foot from the left side of the door. The leaves were green. And wet. The homeowner was quiet for a long time. “I’m not saying anyone got water on the door. But I’ll be sure that it doesn’t happen,” he said. “Again,” I thought. “Doesn’t happen again.” Thought it. But didn’t say it. Modern Problems: Failure haunts my dreams: especially finish failure. That’s why scientists invented paint, in particular paint with pigment mixed in. Once pre-mixed paint got into the hands of the masses in the 1920s, the party began. If they couldn’t have alcohol, at least they could have enamel. By the 1940s, paint had muscled shellac off the hardware store shelves and covered most of the formerly clear-finished woodwork in America. But clear-finished wood had a last hurrah in the 1950s, when mid-century architects availed themselves of the last of the West’s

see HouseCalls, page 19


HOUSECALLS once-vast Redwood and Douglas fir forests in their quest to do two contradictory things: build inexpensive, standardized houses for the masses, and make those houses enlightened, artistic and stylish. Craig Ellwood was a champion of this idea. He liked to think he was using commonly available materials in creative and compelling ways, which he did. For his only San Diego house, in the College Area, he used inexpensive tongue-and-groove fir paneling for the ceiling and eaves, creating one continuous surface that pierces the glass exterior walls of the house and blends indoors and out. To emphasize that effect, Ellwood coated the ceiling and eaves with thinned paint, applied like stain with a rag. The problem is there’s no way to recoat thinned, wiped-on paint without making it progressively more opaque. Eventually, it will just look like plain old gray paint. That’s why, some 60 years later, all the ceilings and eaves in Ellwood’s only house in San Diego need to be stripped and recoated. The question is, with what? It seems to me that there ought to be some kind of environmentally friendly, not-very-smelly stain that can be covered with a clear top coat, which in turn can be recoated whenever necessary, maintaining that unique, artistic warm-gray finish that hovers overhead like a cloud on a foggy June morning. Is that too much to ask? An old house restorer’s dream: This year’s Old House Fair home tour in South Park on June 15 includes a house I helped restore. The project was managed by Charles Tiano (619-840-3791), a real estate broker and designer who bought and rehabbed the house without knowing whether he was going to live in it or sell it. Tiano was a purist about some items; the shingles, for example, which he had custom milled in Oregon and installed in the original pattern. With others, like the kitchen, he was more pragmatic. Tiano ended up putting the house on the market, and it was snapped up by Scott Lawry and John Rogers, veteran old-house restorers who were looking for a turnkey home, because the project they’d just finished was massive: a 3,000-square-foot abandoned historic house in St. Louis, Mo. that was destined for the wrecking ball. Lawry and Rogers were planning to move back when Rogers retired from the Navy, but they’ve grown attached to San Diego and decided to stay. To commemorate their decision, they decided to do some remodeling. “We enlarged the deck and added a built-in outdoor kitchen with a grill, refrigerator, sink and a gas fire pit,” Rogers said. Any advice for fellow old-house owners? “There’s always going to be something unexpected,” he said. “And it’s always going to cost more than you planned.” —Michael Good is a contractor and freelance writer. His business, Craftsman Wood Refinishing, restores architectural millwork in historic houses in San Diego. He is a fourth-generation San Diegan and lives in North Park. You can reach him at housecallssdun@

The University Heights “Log Cabin House” was restored by Daniel Ramirez, a SOHO honoree. (Photo by Sandé Lollis)

SOHO honors People In Preservation Awards ceremony includes two Uptown sites; North Park’s St. Luke’s Chapel joins Most Endangered list By Anthony King SDUN Editor

Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) hosted their annual People In Preservation Awards Thursday, May 23, where the nonprofit honored individuals, families and groups who have preserved historic buildings and sites throughout the region, including several in Uptown. “We are pleased to honor this diverse group of eight winners who persevered in their preservation projects despite unfavorable economic conditions, unexpected discoveries and the necessity for highly skilled craftspeople,” said SOHO Executive Director Bruce Coons in a press release. Among those honored May 23 were Dalia and Gordon Hunt, a Mission Hills couple who restored their 1913 home, and Daniel Ramirez, who helped rescue the University Heights “Log Cabin House” from demolition. When first purchased, the Hunt’s three-story Mission Hills home was “masquerading” as an updated arts and crafts-style building, with “painfully bad features,” SOHO said. The couple hired contractor Jim Stafford for the restoration project, who was able to restore or replicate the home’s original features. “Another startling transformation of a mistreated house and City of San Diego landmark … brings a People In Preservation Award to its owner, Daniel Ramirez,” SOHO said. “He brought the abandoned, ravaged Log Cabin House, as it is known in University Heights, back from the very brink.” Built in 1908 and officially called the James A. Creelman House, Ramirez began working with the University Heights Historical Society in 2004 on the restoration. The night’s highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, went to the Chicano Park Steering Committee for their dedication to the park and murals in Barrio Logan that celebrate the Chicano and Latino civil rights movement. After a 2012 mural restoration project was completed, the committee successfully nominated the park to be designated a National Historic District. Other honorees were the Wilson family, who restored a cottage in Ocean Beach originally built in 1922; the San Diego Housing Commission for their work in restoring Downtown’s historic Hotel Sandford; Jacquelyn Littlefield and American Regional Theatre at the Spreckels for three major restoration projects of the Spreckels Theatre; SOCO, LLC for restoring their theater blade sign at the former Loma Theatre in Point Loma; and historian Diane Welch for her book “Lilian J. Rice: Architect of Rancho Santa Fe, California.” The People In Preservation

Awards ceremony also serves as the official announcement of SOHO’s 2013 Most Endangered List of Historic Resources, which includes a “call for more responsible historic preservation action” throughout San Diego County, representatives said. “The Most Endangered List, now in its 26th year, has proven to be a valuable tool in encouraging urgently needed preservation action,” SOHO said. The 2013 list includes five new areas and eight remaining sites from previous years, making 13 total in need of attention. “Twelve of the 13 items on the Most Endangered List are buildings and sites that embody the diversity and richness of San Diego County history,” SOHO said. “The 13th item – the municipal trend toward overturning historic designations for the owner’s convenience – could easily become a preservation nightmare, both legally and culturally.” New sites listed this year include Collier Park Spring House in La Mesa, Calif., the Spreckels Warehouse located Downtown, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and St. Luke’s Chapel in North Park. Built in 1897, the chapel was moved from Hillcrest to 30th and Gunn streets in 1924 and now stands boarded up and vacant. “St. Luke’s Chapel, the oldest building in North Park, is also threatened,” SOHO said. “The Diocese, and not the local church, is responsible for the site and may be considering razing the chapel and a few other old buildings on their property. … SOHO urges the Episcopal Diocese to take the boards off this chapel and restore it.” For the complete list and more information visit or call 619-297-9327. u

San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013



San Diego Uptown News | May 24–June 6, 2013

San Diego Uptown News  

May 24, 2013 edition

San Diego Uptown News  

May 24, 2013 edition