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VOLUME 6 ISSUE 8

April 11–24, 2014

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

Old Town • Mission Hills • Bankers Hill

It takes a village to make a film

➤➤ NEWS P. 5

Monica Medina Uptown News

their meter-reliant neighbors in Hillcrest. “I don’t know that [Mission Hills] doesn’t have a use for the meters, but its character is just very different,” Trussell said. “Its pace is a bit slower … I don’t think the meters are a part of the character here. It’s not a large commercial hub.” Following the MHBID’s decision to informally survey the community, Trussell took a straw poll at the Powers Plumbing Centennial Celebra Celebration on April 5, a well-attended

Grab your video cameras, smart phones, iPads and the like. Saturday, April 26 is almost here, and that’s the day every San Diegan will have the opportunity to tell San Diego’s story with its future in mind. It’s all thanks to documentarian Kyle Ruddick’s latest project, “One Day in San Diego.” Most filmmakers get an idea for a documentary and want to see it to fruition themselves. Not so for Ruddick. He has a vision and wants everyone in San Diego to contribute, giving a new meaning to the saying, “it takes a village.” “We live in a world now where cumulative creativity, and planning events around the creative process gives us the ability to produce media at a lot of different places at the same time, and that’s super exciting and rewarding,” Ruddick said. It is this excitement that propels him to use buzz words like “crowd-sourcing,” “communityproduced” and “collaboration” when describing his Los Angelesbased “One Day on Earth” series. It’s also what drives his mission to see as many filmmakers as possible — whether or not they are professionals — to pick up their cameras on April 26, the day that designated as “One Day in San Diego.” In other words, it is 24 hours of capturing on video every nook and cranny of America’s Finest City, with an emphasis on the city’s future. “One Day in San Diego” is part of an 11-city event that also includes such cities as Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles. The idea for focusing on the future came from a meeting Ruddick had with one of his funders. “The question was raised, ‘What can we do to document and

see Meters, page 3

see OneDay, page 4

Reliving a liberation

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A CENTURY IN MISSION HILLS — On Saturday, April 5, Powers Plumbing celebrated its 100th anniversary,

making it among the oldest businesses in Uptown. Pictured above is Powers Plumbing owner Janet O’Dea at its Centennial Celebration, which took over the 1700 block of West Lewis Street in Mission Hills, where it's been since 1914. Look for a story on the history of Powers Plumbing in the April 25 issue of Uptown News.

‘To meter or not to meter?’ Mission Hills considers lengthy meter-removal process Hutton Marshall Uptown Editor

No bones about it

➤➤ HOUSE CALLS P. 20

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Index Opinion…………………..6 Briefs……………………7 Classifieds…………..18 Business & Services ….19 Calendar………………22

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There are approximately 100 metered parking spaces in the Uptown community of Mission Hills, and an influential organization recently posed the question: “To meter or not to meter?” There is a significant, but yet-to-be-quantified number of business owners and residents that view meters as unfitting of the quaint commercial district of Mission Hills. In addition to bringing in money for parking projects and the City, meters increase business for surrounding

areas by encouraging patrons to shuffle in and out of the parking spaces more frequently, but some complain they aren’t conducive to the area’s relaxed atmosphere, and that the funding the community receives for them isn’t worth it. The inquiry into whether to remove them is being spearheaded by Gerrie Trussell, the executive director of the Mission Hills Business Improvement District (MHBID). While primarily valuing community sentiment in whether to move forward, Trussell said Mission Hills is often unfairly grouped with

Guinn kicks off assessor campaign in North Park Manny Lopez Uptown News

Celebrating plans to become San Diego’s next County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder, consumer advocate attorney Susan Guinn launched her campaign with a call to shed light on current Assessor Ernie Dronenburg’s failure to perform in the office on behalf of taxpayers, families and small businesses. A large group that included gay activists, elected officials and members of the LGBT community assembled in North Park on April 2 to lend support and voice their frustration for Dronenburg’s decision to file a petition in July 2013 asking the California Supreme Court to stop same-sex marriages. “It’s going to take all of us caring and understanding what the assessor’s office does,” Guinn told a crowd of over 100 people. “Gay marriage was not my motivation to run against Dronenburg. It was the impact that his challenge can have on his positions.” Guinn, a democrat who has two sons with

her partner, added that the office became ver y important to her when she realized what it can do that’s never been done before. “We can help under-resourced communities, businesses and families,” Guinn said. “We can get a fair deal for San Diegans and put money back into their pockets.” She pointed to hikes in fees over the last three years for such things as a birth certificate copy, marriage license or document notarization and asked “who does that impact?” She said that it all amounts to significant money that ever yone in San Diego must pay, primarily hurting those least able to afford it. “When I look around and see the waste that happens in the assessor’s office and the fact that Dronenburg is not reaching out to the communities that need him the most, then I think this cause we’re taking on is worth the next four years of my life,” Guinn said. Among those in attendance was Francine Busby, head of the San Diego County Demo-

see Guinn, page 4

Susan Guinn at the kickoff event of her campaign for County Assessor/Clerk/Recorder held at URBN Coal-Fired Pizza and Bar on April 2 (Photo by Manny Lopez)


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San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

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San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

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PARKING community event in Mission Hills. At the event, 53 people responded to the question, Trussell reported. Of those, 48 wanted the meters removed. “Meters to me kind of bring out to me this kind of crowded, downtown-type of vibe to it, whereas I like more of the neighborhood type feel to it,” a Mission Hills resident said shortly after voting in MHBID’s straw poll. “I like going to downtown Mission Hills, but I don’t like constantly checking my watch to see how much time I’ve got, that’s why I’d rather pay the flat parking fee.” Five of the respondents said they would rather have “smart meters” installed in their place, which the City plans to do later this year. In addition to allowing patrons to pay for meters with a credit card, they allow for price variations, improved accounting and monitoring, and implementation of more complex parking strategies. Trussell questioned the practicality of the City installing smart meters in Mission Hills while the area is considering removing them altogether, but the timelines for the two projects differ considerably. Elizabeth Hannon, chief operating officer of the Uptown Community Parking District, said the process for removing meters in a parking district isn’t easy. She also said the timeline for doing so is much longer than the expected implementation process for the Mission Hills smart meters, meaning the old meters will be replaced long before the process

Mission Hills BID Executive Director Gerrie Trussell holds a bowl of answers to her question: “To meter or not to meter?” at the Powers Plumbing Centennial Celebration on May 5. (Photo by Hutton Marshall) of removing existing Mission Hills meters could realistically be completed. “It’s a lengthy process, and I think that’s a good thing that the City Council wants to make sure these decisions are made with an under-informed public and are not made lightly,” Hannon said of removing parking meters. “It’s a debatable subject, but the City Council policy is important in making sure the debate happens in an open and healthy environment.” Hannon said she would remain neutral and align with the interests of the community and businesses, but cautioned that there would be several implications to removing parking. Aside from influencing business foot traffic, the meters also bring in money for both the City

and the community parking district overseeing them. The metered spaces in Mission Hills bring in approximately $100,000 each year, and about $43,000 goes to the parking district. The city receives the rest. Money the community parking districts receive can be spent on parking-related projects in the area, whether that means restriping spots, creating a shuttle service or repairing curbs. Trussell argues that their meter revenue is too small for the parking district to use for any major projects, thus losing it is not a major concern of hers. “It’s just not enough to do any sustainable project or program,” Trussell said, referring to highcost projects like a shuttle service or a parking garage.

While the meter funding hasn’t been spent on major parking projects, Hannon said, this has allowed the parking district to build up approximately $330,000 in reserves for Mission Hills. She also said that the funding is used on several smaller miscellaneous projects, such as restriping parking or repairing curbs.

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Regardless of the practicality of doing so, removing meters “is likely years off” according to Hannon. Trussell said she will report to an MHBID subcommittee on May 7 with the results of her survey, at which point an item may be moved to the MHBID board of directors. At this point, the organization may ask the City to perform a study on Mission Hills parking, which looks at a variety of angles involving traffic and parking trends. But even prior to that, the MHBID is recommended to submit a petition supporting the inquiry signed by 51 percent of businesses and property owners with metered parking in front of their location, according to city policy 200-04. Once the study is complete, any decision will have to move through the Uptown Community Planning Group, the Uptown Community Parking District and a City Council subcommittee before it reaches the full City Council, where a decision to remove parking would ultimately be made. While there are several areas in San Diego with little to no metered parking, such as North Park and La Jolla, Hannon does not know any area that has ever removed existing metered parking.u


San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

NEWS

FROM PAGE 1

FROM PAGE 1

ONEDAY inform the sustainability of cities?’” Ruddick explained. “It’s really an amazing jumpingoff point. When we’re challenged to think 20 years into the future, there’s something powerful about that. Best of all, we’re living in a time where if enough people feel strongly about their community, and see how to make it better, those things can change.” According to Ruddick, San Diego was chosen because of its unique position and incredible beauty. “It is one of the larger border towns in the world,” he said. “To me, I think it’s interesting the dichotomy with Mexico and this thriving city. It’s what makes San Diego unlike any other place in the country or the world.” The goal for “One Day in San Diego” is for all who participate to upload their footage to a site, where it then might be used in a threepart series to air on public television, including KPBS, later this year. “There’s no requirement to edit, but two to three minutes of great, edited content is best,” recommended Ruddick. “The videos go into a geotag archive of the city, and each submission will be a dot on a San Diego map, where anyone will be able to see what their fellow San Diegans contributed.” While the scope of the project is vast, Ruddick stressed that one doesn’t need professional experience to be a part of it. “Anyone who cares about the future of the city should take part,” he said. “It matters when people work from the heart. There’s something authentic in that. It doesn’t matter what camera they work on. It’s the intention that’s profound. Nearly everyone has had

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GUINN

Kyle Ruddick, the founder and director of “One Day on Earth” and “One Day in San Diego” (Courtesy Kyle Ruddick) limited access to video through cellphone. It’s really a changing world to think about how we use our media.” For Ruddick, the vision for creating collaborative content came after attending a world music concert in 2008, when musicians from all over gathered to create what he calls “a fusion of beautiful music.” From this experience sparked his first two films showcasing “One Day on Earth” and featuring the work of videographers from just about every corner of the world. After completing “One Day on Earth,” Ruddick decided to think more locally. It might sound like he was scaling back, but pulling off an endeavor like this is still a major feat. “A lot of people think that because people are donating their footage, producing this series is cheap and easy, but it’s neither,” Ruddick said. “We visit each city and build a coalition of stakeholders and we hire a local team. We put together materials and then it’s all about engaging people. “We think it’s going to be huge for the 11

cities,” he continued. “San Diego has a lot of great stories, creative talent, great non-professional and inspired people, and people who are engaged in their community. I am thrilled by the level of talent and inspiration there.” For anyone planning to participate, Ruddick recommends first checking out the website. “We have developed 10 questions, creative prompts,” he noted. “It’s a good jumping-off point. Check out the questions before you film and think about what you plan to film in relation to these questions.” While a massive, collaborative project like this is rare, Ruddick said it’s a trend he expects to see more of. “When people get excited and take ownership, it’s just to me artistically, spiritually and morally fulfilling,” Ruddick said. “I’m not filming everything in the traditional model of filmmaking. There’s movement and power behind this. In time, we’ll really be able to galvanize this model for a lot of people.” For more information, visit onedayinsandiego.org.u

cratic Party, who acknowledged that as a countywide position, the race for the assessor’s office will be a large scale and challenging endeavor. She said that while the LGBT community has a large voting population, it’s not just about numbers. “San Diego has changed a lot and I think it’s changed because of the LGBT community organizing,” Busby said. “People who had never been politically active before became active. They met each other, contributed money and walked the precincts. It showed what people can do when they work together.” County Super visor Dave Roberts called Guinn a highly competent professional that has the legal skills and tax advocacy experience necessar y to do the job. “I really believe that she is the best qualified person for the County of San Diego to be our clerk/recorder/assessor,” Roberts said. “I truly have not met anybody that has the capacity to understand the complexities of the office, and also the heart to do the right thing, and that’s why I’m strongly supporting her.” LGBT activist Linda Perine called upon members of the community to elect Guinn over Dronenburg. She said that he has clearly shown he does not respect the rights of LGBT citizens. “As LGBT members, we need to give her the kind of support and encouragement that will put her over the top and make her win,” Perine said. “I’m calling out all of the LGBT people that were so active in supporting a Republican (referring to Mayor Kevin Faulconer) to come out and support an actual Democrat and LGBT member of the community over a homophobe.” Guinn has also garnered endorsements from Assembly Speaker-elect Toni Atkins, former State Senator Christine Kehoe, Councilmember Marti Emerald and San Diego School Board President Kevin Beiser. More information on Susan Guinn can be found at susanguinn.com.u

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Encouraging doggy bag due diligence McTernan Real Estate Group places doggy bag dispensers throughout North Park

A McTernan doggy bag on Felton Street in North Park (Photo by Hutton Marshall) Hutton Marshall Uptown Editor

In a recent blend of marketing ingenuity and altruism, local real estate agents Mary McTernan and Z McT-Contreras of the McT Real Estate Group provided a solution to the mess left behind by North Park’s canines. Last month, the pair distributed approximately 15 doggy bag dispensers throughout the community, creating a convenient way for dog owners to ensure their pet doesn’t leave unwelcome gifts on the front lawns and sidewalks of North Park. This is an increasingly prevalent problem in the area, according to McT-Contreras. Believing in the good intentions of dog owners, she attributed this issue to owners simply forgetting to bring doggy bags along with them on walks, rather than nefariously allowing their canines to relieve themselves on whomever’s property they see fit. “It could be that [local dog owners] just don’t pick up after them or it could be that they’ve just run out of bags, so we like giving them the benefit of the doubt,” she said. “I figured let’s turn a negative thing into a positive thing.” McT-Contreras also said the streets have been noticeably cleaner since installing the dispensers approximately two weeks ago. She’s even had to replace the bags in them — a sign that locals are regularly using them. However, reception of the real

estate agents’ efforts has unfortunately not been without contention. McT-Contreras reported many of the dispensers — bags, signs and all — were stolen shortly after being installed. She replaced them, only to have several stolen a second time on the very next day. “It is pretty sad that someone would do this when all we are trying to do is come up with a creative way to get everyone involved in keeping our community clean,” McTernan stated in an email. “Since we are a pretty creative group, we will just have to come up with a way of having the signs positioned in such a way that they cannot be removed so easily.” But the real estate group continues to construct and maintain the dispensers, and they encourage any residents who would like one installed on their street to contact z@marymctsoldme.com. McTernan and McT-Contreras also request to be contacted by residents who witness a dispenser being removed by someone not operating one of the pink McTernan Real Estate vehicles. For more information on the McT Real Estate Group, visit marymctsoldme.com.u

Participants in the Labor Seder conducted by the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice in Kensington on April 4 rise to sing during the ceremonial Passover meal. (Photo by B.J. Coleman)

‘Labor Seder’ in Kensington honors San Diego’s working poor B.J. Coleman Uptown News

Humans are natural storytellers. During Passover season, the storytelling enactment of the Seder celebrates Jewish faith and history by recounting deliverance of the children of Israel from oppression as slave workers in Egypt, after they were freed to journey to their Promised Land of Israel. Today, the Seder — which means “order” — is a simple meal, in which each course is accompanied by a teachings and songs called the Haggadah (meaning “narrative”), explaining to each new generation the path their forebears had to take for freedom. On Friday, April 4, the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice (ICWJ) conducted an early Passover Seder, linking

the history of the Jews liberated from Pharaoh’s bondage 4,000 years ago, to the journey toward equality sought by impoverished laborers and immigrants in San Diego today. The original story is told in the book of Exodus in the Hebrew Bible. The two-hour event hosted approximately 75 attendees at the Kensington Community Church, with the hospitality of Reverend Darryl Kistler. The Labor Seder commenced with a blessing of the Kaddesh, the first cup of wine, led by Rabbi Laurie Coskey, executive director of the ICWJ. She explained that in Jewish tradition, drinking wine is reserved for happy celebrations, and she further noted the justice of acknowledging the “countless set of hands” of persons all created equally in the image of God that had contrib-

uted to bringing the wine to the Seder table. Each item on the Seder menu is symbolic. Greens dipped into salt water (Karpas) are to remind participants of spring’s hopefulness mixed with memory of tears shed in slavery. The matzah (unleavened bread) is blessed and broken, to memorialize the Israelites’ poverty and their hasty departure from Egypt, which left no time for their bread to rise. Rather than pairing meals with traditional teachings; however, speakers addressed a need for liberation. After the matzah was blessed, Laura Hunter of Water Station, a local nonprofit, was the first speaker to tell her story. Water Station relies on volunteers and donations to set up storage containers

see Solar, page 13


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San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

OPINION

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San Diego Opera closing

Editorial

Taking on ‘Hobby Lobby’ By Kelly Culwell On March 25 the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a pair of cases that challenge the birth control benefit — Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius. In each of these cases, employers at forprofit corporations want to deny their employees legally mandated insurance coverage for birth control, based on the bosses’ personal religious beliefs. At Planned Parenthood, we see firsthand every day why these case matters so much. Planned Parenthood health care providers across the country see the benefits of affordable birth control every day. We also hear from women who are forced to choose between groceries or filling their prescription — between paying the rent, or choosing the form of birth control that’s right for them. Birth control is only a “social issue” if you’ve never had to pay for it. Here are the facts. Ninetynine percent of American women between the ages of 15 and 44 who are sexually active have used birth control at some point in their lives — and providing access to it is commonsense and mainstream health care. Birth

control is tremendously important to women for all kinds of reasons, including to control certain medical conditions including endometriosis and to plan our families. In fact, according to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly 60 percent of birth control pill users cite health benefits a contributing factor for using the birth control pill. We also know that birth control can be expensive — with some of the most effective methods costing upwards of $1,000. But when women have access to the full range of contraception methods — without cost barriers — we can actually reduce unintended pregnancy rates and the need for abortion. We also know that access to affordable birth control is just smart for everyone. For every dollar spent on family planning, taxpayers save nearly $6 in public money. That’s why, after decades of discriminatory coverage by insurance companies and at the recommendation of leading medical groups, the Affordable Care Act requires all insurance policies to cover the full range of FDA approved birth control methods with no out-of-pocket cost to women — because it’s part of preventive care. Yet we still face an ongoing fight over birth control in

this country. There are people — politicians, special interest groups, and now bosses — who want to take away access to affordable birth control. Based on nothing more than their personal beliefs, employers at forprofit corporations have gone all the way to the Supreme Court to try to stop their employees from getting access to this important care they need. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the corporations, it could jeopardize the birth control coverage that millions of women rely on. It could give bosses a free pass to discriminate and create a slippery slope in which employers, based solely on their personal religious beliefs, could deny coverage of any medical treatment or procedure to their employees that they disagree with — including mental health services, vaccines, surgery, blood transfusions, and more. That’s why we’ve seen so many people, including doctors and medical groups speak out against these efforts and why Planned Parenthood, no matter what the court decides, will continue to stand alongside women and their families to ensure they get the health care they need — without interference from their bosses. —Kelly Culwell, M.D., M.P.H. is the Medical Director of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.u

15th Annual Lawn Mower Exchange By Supervisor Ron Roberts Yes, that’s right Uptown. San Diego County’s annual Lawn Mower Exchange is back. For the past 14 springs, San Diego residents have risen early one Saturday morning to do a little extra for local air quality by trading in their old, gas powered lawn mowers for a new, zero-emission model. Since 2000, the program has distributed 7,044 rechargeable mowers. This year’s Mowing Down Pollution exchange takes place at Qualcomm Stadium on Saturday, May 3. Residents of the Uptown communities and all of San Diego County can participate with the proper identification and a qualifying gasoline mower. The price of the new mower will be $99.99, just as it has been for the last four years, thanks to a special bulk purchase agreement and funding from air pollution fines. The mowers retail for about $400. Weekend gardeners and spectators alike are welcome. The atmosphere will once again be fun, festive and unique, with snaking lines of mowers and their owners from across the county. Also, San Diego Gas & Electric returns, displaying a collection of electric vehicles and providing information on electric cars. A food truck will offer drinks and morning fare. The exchange process is simple. Once in line,

a place card is distributed to each person with a mower. When the customer reaches the front of the line, proof of his or her San Diego County residency is checked and their mower is then inspected to make sure it is in operable condition and contains all of its parts. Broken mowers or those missing pieces will be turned away. (This is an important detail that arises each year. Public funds can only be used to replace mowers that actually work and contribute to local air pollution.) Due to the “Mowing Down Pollution” program’s popularity, those who plan on participating should arrive at Qualcomm Stadium by the 8 a.m. start, but no earlier than 4:30 a.m. The exchange, which ends at 10 a.m., takes place in the North West quadrant, with plenty of signage to direct attendees. This year’s lawnmower is a Black and Decker CM1936, 36 volt, cordless rechargeable model that is capable of mulching and bagging with a two-year factory warranty. For more information about this event, please call the San Diego Air Pollution Control District at 858-586-2600, or my office at 619-531-5544. — County Supervisor Ron Roberts represents the Uptown community as part of his Fourth Supervisorial District. You can follow him on Facebook at Supervisor Ron Roberts, on Twitter at @RonRobertsSD.u

Editor: Thank you for Charlene Baldridge’s insightful story on the closing of the San Diego Opera [see “Requiem for an opera” Vol. 6, Issue 7]. Her experience in the community and its organizations is an important contribution to the dialog. What seems to be getting lost in all the chest beating is that the times are changing; Ian Campbell recognizes it, and he wants to exit on a high note (pun intended). We are surrounded by businesses and nonprofits that close and leave the tax payers, employees (union employees, too, Miss Gonzalez) and contributors holding the bag. There are many of us out here who wish we had gotten this much notice when our jobs went away. What, I ask, is so wrong with the Opera wanting to close its doors with satisfied creditors, paid-up employees, ticket holders getting all the performances they paid for, and virtually no animosity with its donor base? As pointed out in the article, Campbell was sounding a warning five years ago that the financial condition of the company was not sustainable. But through cost cutting and efficiency, he has managed to keep it going in a relatively healthy state that other opera companies could not accomplish. Yet he is being criticized for being responsible in this very effort, providing cultural enrichment and real employment, for those five years. Such hypocrisy. In an earlier statement, Campbell discusses a condition he calls “donor fatigue.” He is precisely on the mark about this malady, and it’s one that is seldom addressed in the public arena because the discussion inevitably degenerates into a “haves vs. have-nots” argument. Donors like myself will gladly tell you that dozens of organizations, ranging from the symphony to homeless shelters, stand in line to ask for money from a short list of individuals who care enough about San Diego to part with money to support these causes. I was fortunate to once work for a great patron of the Opera, and he would often lament that he couldn’t contribute more to the Company to help it reach higher goals. And he had Hollywood connections.  Perhaps more self-examination and reflection is in order, too. San Diegans have shown that they don’t want to spend more tax dollars to support the arts nor, it seems, are they willing to cough up another estimated 30 percent to cover the actual value of the ticket. We can’t have it both ways without paying for it. I applaud Campbell for trying to keep the ticket price accessible to several income brackets while paying living wages to the performers, musicians, stagehands, and office workers. Tens of thousands of us seem willing to pay a lot more than the price of an opera ticket to see a football or baseball game. Or accept a bank executive being paid millions to loot our retirement plan with impunity. A big donor stepped forward to help fund infrastructure improvements at Balboa Park but was slapped down when those ideas weren’t acceptable to someone else’s ideas, which, it turns out, can’t get funding, either. I will miss the San Diego Opera and what it contributes to a vibrant culture, but I also accept that we are living a new paradigm and we all are finding ways to cope. Ian Campbell and the Opera are to be commended for doing so gracefully. —Ronn Rohe, via emailu

3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775 Twitter: @SD_UptownNews PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 david@sdcnn.com EDITOR Hutton Marshall (619) 961-1952 hutton@sdcnn.com ASSISTANT EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 morgan@sdcnn.com REPORTERS & COLUMNISTS Charlene Baldridge B.J. Coleman “Dr. Ink” Michael Good Manny Lopez Monica Medina Cynthia Robertson Frank Sabatini Jr. Jen Van Tieghem Brian White DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 mike@sdcnn.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Kathleen Allen (619) 961-1957 kathleen@sdcnn.com Terrie Drago (619) 691-1956 terrie@sdcnn.com Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954 sloan@sdcnn.com Jerry Kulpa (619) 691-1964 jerry@sdcnn.com Yana Shayne (619) 961-1963 yana@sdcnn.com SALES & MARKETING INTERNS Hillary Hudson Michael Kean ART DIRECTOR Rebecah Corbin (619) 961-1961 becah@sdcnn.com PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961 vincent@sdcnn.com ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 accounting@sdcnn.com WEB DESIGNER Kim Espinoza espinozawebworks.com kim@kespinoza.com OPINIONS/LETTERS San Diego Uptown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email both to hutton@sdcnn.com. 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 hutton@sdcnn.com. DISTRIBUTION San Diego Uptown News is distributed free, every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2013. All rights are reserved. Printed in the United States of America.


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UptownBriefs DINING OUT FOR LIFE RETURNS TO SAN DIEGO Thursday, April 24th marks The San Diego LGBT Center’s eighth annual Dining Out for Life San Diego, with more than 80 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in San Diego donating a minimum of 25 percent of sales to the Center’s HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. These services and programs include health education and HIV riskreduction services, free counseling for individuals living with HIV, emergency food services and HIV testing. This year is already setting records with an unprecedented 13 venues committing to donate 50 percent or more of their sales. Among those include The Mission, who has generously committed to donate 100 percent of its sales from its three locations in Mission Beach, North Park and East Village. Other locations donating 50 percent to Dining Out for Life include Adams Avenue Grill — who will also be extending the number of days it will it offer its 50 percent donation to Sunday April 27 — as well as Barrio Star, Brass Rail, East Village Asian Diner – Hillcrest, Mariposa Ice Cream, Martinis Above Fourth, Project Pie, The Fresh Asian Bar and Bistro, Wang’s North Park and Which Wich. More information and a full listing of participating restaurants are available at thecentersd. org or by calling 619-692-2077. Information on how to volunteer or become an Ambassador at

events.thecentersd.org/DOFL.

HARVEY MILK’S STARTS ‘SELFIE’ CONTEST Guests of Harvey Milk’s American Diner can enter to win up to $200 in food and drinks at the diner in an upcoming “selfie” competition. In an effort to create a deeper connection between the guests, friends and fans of Harvey’s, the diner has teamed up with Lynup, The Social Agency, to run a social media campaign in which guests can post selfies on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Entrants can submit through the contest app on Harvey’s Facebook page or by sharing a photo on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #SelfieAtHarveys. Friends and fans can vote for their favorite selfies, and the winners will be selected based on the most votes received. The first-place prize is a $200 Harvey’s gift card or a $200 donation to Harvey Milk Foundation, a $100 gift card or donation for second place and a $50 gift card or donation for third place. The competition closes May 16. FIRST 5 SAN DIEGO EXPANDS HEALTHY EATING PARTNERSHIPS First 5 San Diego and Vons grocery stores recently announced they are increasing their efforts to encourage healthy lifestyles among San Diego residents by extending their partnership to include the San Diego County’s Live Well San Diego campaign. Last year marked the beginning of the collaboration between the two entities, who together distributed more than 100,000 healthy eating information flyers

throughout the county, and also ran healthy eating contests. First 5 focuses on helping parents and others to promote the health and wellbeing of children during their first 5 years of life. “The Healthy Eating campaign materials and events have been well-received by our customers across the county,” Carlos Illingworth, director of public affairs and government Relations for Vons, stated in a press release. “The Live Well San Diego campaign is an excellent fit and we are proud to support both organizations.” For more information on First 5 San Diego, visit first5sandiego.org.

SAN DIEGO SECOND BEST IN U.S. SOLAR INSTALLATIONS Environment California Research & Policy Center released a report on April 10 in which San Diego was ranked second in the nation in the amount of solar installed, and fourth for per capita solar installations. San Diego ranked second only to Los Angeles. “As a pollution-free energy source with no fuel costs, solar energy can help us to meet many of our city’s environmental and economic goals,” Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a press release. “It makes perfect sense for San Diego, one of the sunniest cities in the country, to lead the way in solar energy.” The report also credited policy initiatives that encouraged more solar. Such policies are included in the current draft of San Diego’s Climate Action Plan. “San Diego’s visionary leaders have spurred the growth of solar in our region,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014 of Sullivan Solar Power in the release. “The city’s proposed Climate Action Plan calls for 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, which will stimulate the local economy and create more green jobs.”

SAN DIEGO SUBMITS A BID FOR 2024 OLYMPICS America’s Finest City submitted an 80-page bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and is now waiting to hear back from the U. S. Olympic Committee. The USOC will wade through the many submissions and narrow them down to three, which will be announced next month. Vincent Mudd, chairman of the San Diego exploratory committee, told U-T San Diego that if San Diego is not selected this time, they will gear up for another bid for 2032. Though former mayor Filner made much of San Diego’s ties with Mexico, the events would all be held in venues that already exist in San Diego, including Fiesta Island. Mudd estimated it would cost the City $4 billion to host the Olympics. According to the U-T, the public may be asked to choose a mascot and create a logo as early as next this month. For more information, visit sd2024ec.org.

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CPI PROTESTS FAST-FOOD EMPLOYMENT-PRACTICE SCANDAL The first-ever national poll of fast-food employees showed that companies like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are stealing money from 89 percent of their employees. The poll, which was taken by 1,088 fast-food employees in the nation’s 10 largest metropolitan areas, revealed that employees are routinely forced to work off the clock, are often not given their ten minute breaks and are not paid overtime. On Thursday, April 3, just days following the release of the statistics, fast-food employees joined community leaders to protest outside a local KFC/Taco Bell holding signs that read “San Diegans can’t afford to work for free.” The protestors demanded that KFC/Taco Bell and other fast-food companies stop the illegal theft of employees’ pay. Last month, class-action lawsuits were filed in California, Michigan and New York demanded McDonald’s pay back stolen wages to its employees and stop its illegal theft of workers’ pay. In the last few weeks, employees have reached settlements of nearly $1 million in stolen wage suits against Domino’s and McDonald’s.u


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San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

SOHO PRESENTS THE ANNUAL FEATURING

The Community of North Park

NEWS

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Move San Diego + Walk San Diego = unparalleled transportation advocacy Circulate San Diego born out of nonprofits’ merger

June 6-8, 2014 People In Preservation Awards Friday • 6-9pm

Architectural Walking Tours Saturday • 9am • 11am • 1pm

Sunday Historic Home Tour Sunday • 11am-4pm Tour the interiors of five historic houses in North Park. The self-driven tour features an exciting diversity of early 20th century architectural styles.

Circulate San Diego members at the organization’s launch event in March (Courtesy Circulate San Diego) 7

Manny Lopez Uptown News

In March, two San Diego nonprofit organizations devoted to increasing transportation choices and addressing land-use issues announced a merger into one new entity. At an event held at the future site of a Morena District Trolley station, Move San Diego (Move SD) and Walk San Diego (Walk SD) unveiled the new logo for Circulate San Diego (Circulate SD) and conveyed their new vision for the region. “We had come to work much more closely together and saw that our efforts were complementary and in some ways duplicative,” said Elyse Lowe, deputy executive director for Circulate SD. “We think with this merger, we will not only save on administrative costs by finding efficiencies, but also we can actually get more work done together and do it in a way that positions us better on a regional level.” According to Lowe, in the past, the two groups worked on similar efforts without coordination. The new organization she said will be able to capitalize on synergies and allow the consolidated team to collaborate more systematically and with a shared strategy. As the former executive director of Move SD, Lowe said that her efforts were focused on

increasing transit service by advocating for federal, state and local dollars. Walk SD, as the name implies, directed its efforts to pedestrian and walkability issues. “I can help increase transit service by advocating for funds to do that, but if people can’t walk to and from the transit stops, then

we really haven’t holistically found ways to get people out of their cars,” Lowe said. She added that Circulate SD promotes all modes of transportation, which includes walking, bus and trolley lines, the Coaster and Sprinter lines and biking. “We really are not trying to take away the car. We are just trying to provide additional options for people,” she said. Lowe explained that the idea of combining the two nonprofits was first discussed about three years ago, but the prospect of doing so didn’t become a reality until late 2012. The merger was first announced to the public in January. Financial support for Circulate SD is provided by state and local grants from sources such as the San Diego Foundation,

Escondido Charitable Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Caltrans and the Resources Legacy Fund. Other sources of support include donations, fundraising efforts and income derived from consulting work on local projects. Kathleen Ferrier, policy manager for Circulate SD, said finding support to do this type of work is very difficult, and cited the advantage of having just one organization applying for funding instead of two. She pointed out that the number of transportation advocacy groups throughout the U.S. mushroomed during the last few years as a result of increased interest and recognition for the need to provide safer neighborhoods and more transportation options. “It’s exciting to marry policy powerhouse Move SD with the impactful boots on the ground community work behind Walk SD,” Ferrier said. “I look forward to working with our new board to create great, walkable and healthy communities.” [BongHwan “BH” Kim, executive director for the Malin Burnham San Diego Center for Civic Engagement], “Move SD and Walk SD have a history of collaboration given their mission alignment,” said in an emailed statement. This merger is a natural progression for economies of scale, which is needed in the sector. The San Diego Foundation’s Center for Civic Engagement applauds the forward thinking leadership of these two organizations. Circulate SD will maximize each former organization’s unique skills and constituencies allowing our funding to have increased impact on the goal to get San Diego out into nature.” More information on Circulate San Diego can be found at circulatesd.org or by calling 619-544-9255.u


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San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

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San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

FEATURE

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A glimpse into Taste of Hillcrest Hutton Marshall Uptown Editor Morgan Hurley Uptown Assistant Editor

Gluttons rejoice, for Taste of Hillcrest has returned to the neighborhood once again. On April 19, over 40 businesses will serve up a treat hoping to turn tasters into regulars. While there are too many quality eateries and drinking holes participating to count, here is a snapshot of a few — many of them fresh faces in the neighborhood — that we recommend checking out that day. But don’t stop there: Our strongest recommendation is to try as many places as possible — test the limit of your stomach’s capacity for the sake of exploration and adventure — even if you might regret it afterward. Rockfire Grill 3803 Fifth Ave. Taste of Hillcrest dish: Stuffed fresh artisan flatbread

Rockfire Grill just opened in a Hillcrest location that has been pretty much a revolving door when it comes to dining establishments. If new co-owner Raj Syal has anything to do with it, that phenomenon will end right here. Syal travels daily from Orange County to bring Hillcrest a unique combination of Middle Eastern cooking techniques and Westernstyle food, born from his European and Southeast Asian culinary training. His flatbreads are baked to order in his stone deck oven and are either stuffed, used for pizzas, sandwiches or even burgers. The meats and veggies are skewered and then hung upside down in his 900-degree rockfire grill, where they are smoked, baked and grilled all at once, making them extra flavorful, juicy and tender. Syal, who can’t help but exude his passion for food, calls his offerings “fresh, affordable, simple and satisfying.” East Village Asian Diner 406 University Ave., Ste. B Taste of Hillcrest dish: Omma’s Beef With an interior that mirrors what a ‘50s diner might look like if set in a Japanese comic book series — plush red booth seating surrounded by stark white walls and action figures — East Village Asian Diner has plenty of originality to offer Hillcrest. Opening on University Avenue just this year in the place of Pink Noodle, the diner’s original location opened

several years ago in Encinitas, fusing Korean cooking with the off-color creativity of restaurateur and professionally trained chef Daniel Bohlen.

While East Village’s mainstay is its California spin on the traditional Korean “Monk’s Stone Pot,” it will serve another one of its wellliked menu items, “Omma’s beef”: sliced, marinated ribeye liberated by a small army of vegetables. The location underwent a hefty remodel after Pink Noodle departed, which, among other alterations, allowed East Village the ability to serve a large number of beers on tap. So if you’re in the market for something to quench your thirst after trying Omma’s cooking, take a seat at the bar and enjoy the building’s newfound alcohol-pumping technology. Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen 530 University Ave. Taste of Hillcrest dish: Blue Ribbon butterscotch pudding Quite possibly known best for their $5, $6, $7 & $8 happy hour soirée, this offshoot of North County’s The Craftsman and Blue Ribbon Artisan Pizza is indeed rustic but equally cozy inside. Its menu focuses on “farm to table handmade pasta” among other mouthwatering dishes that will satisfy both carnivores and vegetarians alike. Deep fried Brussels sprouts, short rib

sliders, flatbreads and a number of pastas — all handmade in house — are just a few of their happy-hour and late-night options. Their full menu, with crudo, starters, soups and salads, plates, pastas and desserts, are just as enticing. The Blue Ribbon Butterscotch Pudding is a mighty combination of savor y and sweet, with a layer of sea salt and caramel enveloping the nottoo-rich pudding, and finished with Chantilly cream. Hillcrest Brewing Company 1458 University Ave. Taste of Hillcrest dish: Pizza bites Hillcrest Brewing Company (HBC) isn’t as fresh faced as many of the other businesses listed here. It was opened in the summer of 2012 under the mighty umbrella of Mo’s Universe (Baja Betty’s, Urban Mo’s, Gossip Grill), and it’s done well as the first “out

see TasteofHillcrest, page 11

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FEATURE

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TASTEOFHILLCREST and proud LGBT Brewery” in the world. But for a city that now calls itself the “craft beer capital of the world,” it’s surprising that HBC remains the only brewery to open its doors here in Hillcrest. In fact, if there was a brewery-off between Hillcrest and North Park tomorrow, this neighborhood would walk away with its tail between its legs.

from one of Bo’s dine-in menu options, such as fish salads, sandwiches, tacos or grilled plates. No matter what you choose, your selection will be trimmed from the fresh offerings inside the case and then wrapped on the spot or cooked to your liking. Local craft beers on tap are also always on rotation.

lit by dangling Edison bulbs, a semi-open kitchen area and enough hot sauces and salsas to placate even the most masochistic of fire eaters. While they’ll be brewing up their Fisherman’s Stew for Taste of Hillcrest, stop by any other day of the week between 2:30 and 5:30 p.m., when fish tacos are only 99 cents. Wine Steals Hillcrest 1243 University Ave. Taste of Hillcrest dish: One Love red bean dip

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

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Hand Crafted Rock Fire Flatbreads FREE ENTREE! with purchase of one of equal or greater value and 2 beverages. Not valid with any other offer. EXP. 5-31-14 Artisan Burgers 20% off Entire Check Stone Baked Pizzas Excludes alcohol. Not valid with any other offer. EXP. 5-31-14 Organic Salads www.rockfire-grill.com 3803 5th Ave San Diego CA 92103

619.295.8555 15 minute free parking behind restaurant at 6th and Robinson lot

So cheers to HBC for bringing much-needed original craft beer to the community, and let them be a sign for more to come. For those who have never visited the Brewery/restaurant, there is no local industry more fun to support than beer. HBC has a spectacular location as well. Built entirely out of reclaimed materials, it has a chandelier handmade with 97 bottles of beer (its maker was supposedly quite drowsy by the time it was finished), and its brewing facility, which churns out 60 gallons a month, is a sight to see as well. And where their nine microbrews are concerned, I recommend the Crotch Rocket, their Irish red ale. Bo’s Seafood Market and Grill 1040 University Ave. in Uptown Shopping Center Taste of Hillcrest dish: New England clam chowder The owner of Bo’s Seafood Market and Grill was named after the original Bo, his maternal grandfather, but the influence of both grandfathers can be felt here. An abundance of fresh fish, generally from local sources, greets visitors daily from behind a large glass case. You may purchase by the pound or choose

His popular New England-style clam chowder was the original Bo’s recipe and is made without the typical bacon, bacon grease or sherry found in most. Purists can ask for bacon crumbles, but this chowder definitely stands on its own. Oscar’s Mexican Seafood 646 University Ave. Taste of Hillcrest dish: Fisherman’s Stew

Having just popped up on the northeast side of Sixth and University avenues at the start of 2014, Oscar’s blends its south-ofthe-border spices into some staple seafood dishes in San Diego — most notably, the fish taco. Originating in Pacific Beach with another location in La Jolla, this new Hillcrest location marks the enterprise’s furthest trek from the ocean, not counting the time spent bustling around the city in its previous incarnation as a food truck. Now, the Hillcrest Oscar’s has an artsy, drift wood interior

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KENSINGTON & TALMADGE

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

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Community Organizations of Kensington & Talmadge

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KENSINGTON D COLLIWOO

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ADAMS

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TALMADGE MADISON

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Ken-Tal Community Planning Group (KTCPG)

Talmadge Community Council (TCC)

Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District (MAD)

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UNIVERSITY

riving into Kensington and Talmadge for the first time can catch you off guard. Plopped in the middle of City Heights, North Park, Mission Valley and Normal Heights, the area can have a Twilight Zone effect in its resemblance to a quaint small town right in the center of San Diego. Kensington and Talmadge (Ken-Tal) are two distinct communities often paired for the sake of convenience, but they both face their own unique challenges. Still, close collaboration is common among the two neighborhoods, with many organizations straddling the two communities, such as the area’s planning group and (one of) its community associations. And regardless of the area’s affluence and relative quaintness, it remains very inclusive, and it seems eager to interact with its surrounding neighbors. —Hutton Marshall, Uptown Editor

KEN-TAL COMMUNITY PLANNING GROUP (KTCPG)

The area’s community planning group formed considerably later than many of its neighbors. Created by the City a few years before its last community plan update in 1998, the KTCPG has a smaller area and population than most other planning groups. Straddling two distinct communities presents its own challenges as well. Of significant interest from a community planning standpoint, two major projects in Ken-Tal are nearing completion: the Copley-Price Family YMCA Project and the Kensington Commons. In the community, both buildings are without precedent where size is concerned. While the YMCA is on the cusp between Ken-Tal and City Heights, where it will provide numerous resources and amenities to the community, the Kensington Commons is right in the heart of Kensington. A three-story building filled with apartments, retail and business space, the Kensington Commons were at first contested by some residents, even threatened with litigation. The currently that is currently having its windows installed is a smaller incarnation than what was originally planned. Following protest by community, the building was slightly scaled down in square

footage to meet zoning regulations and plans for an underground, public parking space were tabled. KTCPG Chair David Moty was disappointed by the ultimate outcome of the settlement, primarily because of the loss of parking, which he thought would have been an asset to the community. Although the Kensington Commons is sure to have an impact on foot and car traffic in the area, Moty is content with the homeostasis Kensington has found within its quietly prosperous commercial district and residential areas. Talmadge, on the other hand, continues to struggle to adopt its own commercial corridor. Because of that, it’s often overlooked. People are often shocked to learn that Talmadge is in fact a few thousand residences larger than Kensington. Moty suspects that growth may be slugglish because of an unambitious community plan for Talmadge, which he blames on nothing but lack of an effective means for communication back in the late ‘90s when the plan was written. The Kensington community was well involved with the writing of the latest incarnation of the Ken-Tal Community Plan, but short of going and knocking on doors, city planners did not have an effective way to engage Talmadge in the planning process. Consequently,

rather than planning for progressive growth and development in the community without the consent or involvement of residents, city planners chose to keep the Talmadge community plan conservative. With a plan update for Ken-Tal still likely 15 years away, Moty hopes the community doesn’t have to wait that long for Talmadge to be able to plan for growth, especially with regard to developing a commercial corridor, which he suggested the 4400 block of Euclid Avenue may make a good candidate for. Another concern for Moty was Aldine Drive in Talmadge, where traffic volume has swelled to a dangerously congested point. Moty said the old, two-lane street needs a major overhaul, but the area has yet to gain the full attention of the City. The SANDAG Bike Plan will run through Ken-Tal partially on Monroe Avenue, which Aldine feeds into. That intersection requires reworking to allow for the bike corridor to run though it, and Moty hopes this will inspire the City to take a longer look at fixing Aldine. Perhaps most significant of all is the KTCPG’s plans to create not just one, but five Maintenance Assessment Districts in Kensington, where currently none exist. They’ll be used almost exclusively for lighting, but creating five separate ones, rather than one large district, allows for the individual MADs to better tailor themselves to their area.

TALMADGE MAINTENANCE ASSESSMENT DISTRICT (TMAD)

For what is almost a wholly-residential community, Talmadge has a surprisingly active MAD. Recently, TMAD defied laws of reality by completing a civic capital project years ahead of schedule, installing 250 1920s-era ornamental streetlights throughout Talmadge. Largely by a stroke of luck,

the $1.2 million project was piggybacked onto a large undergrounding project which began in the community a decade into the lighting project’s planning. It would have otherwise taken an additional decade to complete, estimated TMAD Chair Fred Lindahl. Now, the board will take on updating the existing ornamental lights — the ones that have actually been around since 1926 — replacing their wiring, repainting them and replacing their paneling. Strolling around Talmadge, you may also notice several ornamental gates throughout the area. These have been in the community for decades as well, and TMAD plans to temporarily remove six this year for rehabilitation, having spruced up the rest in previous years. MADs are strictly limited to using their funding for projects that the residents originally voted them into existence to provide. The Kensington MADs designed exclusively to provide lighting, for example, will be able to build and maintain lighting projects — and only lighting projects — until the end of time, otherwise it will have to hold another vote to recreate its constitution. The Talmadge MAD, in comparison, has a comparatively broader plan, which has allowed it to do a wider range of projects in the past. It originally formed to address and beautify a large, barren traffic circle, and now it hopes to begin planning more extensive traffic calming measures for the future, such as constructing additional roundabouts.

KENSINGTON-TALMADGE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION (KTCA)

After existing in Ken-Tal for about 75 years, KTCA has settled very comfortably into a niche. Among its primary concerns nowadays are maintaining the “Kensington” sign crossing Adams Avenue — which it originally installed 50 years ago, and just recently overhauled — and organizing events within the community. It’s got over 200 members, mostly in Kensington, and their annual dues more than cover the cost of sign maintenance, paying guest speakers and organizing events such as the Kensington Memorial Day Parade and their monthly dinner programs. It’s also tackled other projects throughout the years, such as installing the area’s banner districts on Adams Avenue, but for the most part, the KTCA is content being a modest supporter of those who call Ken-Tal their home. Information about joining the KTCA can be found at kental.org.

TALMADGE COMMUNITY COUNCIL (TCC)

Blending social with community activism, the TCC began as the Talmadge Neighborhood Watch, which is one of, if not still the primary focus of the organization today. With a staff of just 16 operating seven days a week, often into the wee hours of the morning, TCC Chair Ann Burnett-Troisi said that the watch has been effective in curbing vandalism, and has even addressed drug dealing and prostitution in the area. The TCC hosts the police officer assigned to the area once a month at its meeting and organizes teens every once in a while in need of community service hours, usually by getting them to help with graffiti removal. The group also works regularly with their City Heights neighbors to the south, hosting regular cleanups with the Herbert Hoover High School football team, and working to help Little Saigon with beautification projects like storefront improvements and banner districts, which are the streets filled with banners hanging from streetlights. As for becoming a member, if you live in Talmadge, you already are one. Burnett-Troisi encourages every Talmadgian, even those she passes on the sidewalk, to join the neighborhood-friendly social network, nextdoor.com to get involved. Next issue, Uptown News will take a look at the community organizations that make up Golden Hill and South Park.u


FEATURE/NEWS

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Christophver R gives a passionate reading at the monthly Poetry Party in the Sante Fe room in Balboa Park. (Photo by Cynthia Robertson)

inspires all to Cynthia Robertson Uptown News

With the arrival of the month’s first Friday, local poets convened in Balboa Park’s Santa Fe Room for their regular “Poetry Party.” At 2:30 in the afternoon, they greeted each other as they procured a cup of coffee and sat down at one of the room’s long tables arranged U-shaped around a podium. As everyone looked through their sheaves of poems to read, sun streamed through the arched windows. After getting his words in order, the head of the Poetry Party, Christophver R (his legal name) rose as the first to speak. He looked up at his fellow poets — with ages ranging from their 20s up to their 80s — and reminded them that the reading was practice as well as performance. “We do not criticize. We are all working to become better poets,” Christophver said. “Better poets make better lovers. We love to love life.”

live and love Exercising a routine refined since the group began in 2011, the intricate group of poets took turns reading for a few minutes each. Their work ranged wide, touching on love and death, calamity and heartbreak, mercy, God and children. Randi Hawkins recited her poem about the San Diego Opera’s fiscal troubles, titled “Opera Blues.” Janet Bingham, who has written poetry for 20 years, read “The Artist Pays a Price” about how society views and misunderstands an artist. The youngest poet present, Rudolfo Gonzalez, aka Rudy G, read a poem he had written about a frightening incident he’d had on the trolley. As the party came to a close at 5 p.m., Christophver vocalized his appreciation for those in attendance that day. “Poets are an elusive lot. I never know who might show up,” he said.   Ruth Ann Turner, a first-time drop-in visitor to the group look-

“The Artist Pays A Price” BY JANET MARIE BINGHAM The artist pays a price for art. The world won’t applaud what he’ll do. They’ll sneer and pick his art apart. The world won’t accept art that’s new. The jealous will warn him he won’t reach his mark while clutching to themselves unfulfilled hearts. If he continues with his plans, they’ll say, success will never come his way. He’ll die unknown, in poverty and pain, never having achieved any riches or fame. His family will cut his throat with a knife to keep him from becoming an artist for life. But his life is not about riches or fame. It’s about a broken life

filled with pain. Some create whole worlds to forget the real one which brings them constant regret. The beauty he creates for us to see may be the vision which sets him free. Centuries later when critics unearth his art, they’ll be touched by the beauty such art imparts. They’ll call him a genius. Just wait and see. They’ll spend millions to buy it for their family. On discovery day they’ll forget his past. He may be a rebel, but never an outcast. People who know the world’s wretched mind realize the world’s more fickle, than kind.

ing to try her hand at the craft, had come only to listen. “I wasn’t too sure how I’d like it, but this definitely rates a ‘10,’” she said. Newcomers like Turner only reinforce the need that Christophver and cohort Michael Turner envisioned three years ago when they first came together with a group at Balboa Park’s Senior Lounge. “We thought the lounge was just begging to become a coffee house experience,” Christophver said. “All it needed was a poetry reading. We put the word out, and have continued every first Friday since.” Just this year, the Poetry Party group moved their meeting to the Santa Fe Room. “There is such an emotional integrity in this group, I feel like I can really get to know and love the people,” Turner said. Turner proved a saying of Christophver’s true: “Caution: Poverty may be inspirational to your health.” The next meeting of the Poetry Party is May 2. For more information, call Christophver R at 619-569-4922.u

“I Once Knew a Tree” BY CHRISTOPHVER R

I once knew a tree, Like I hoped it knew me. It gave shelter and comfort, And shade from the sun. And was all but forgotten, When progress was done.

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014 FROM PAGE 5

SOLAR

holding jugs of water at locations across the local desert. From late March through the end of October, volunteers place and supply the stations, marked by blue and orange flags that thirsty wanderers can see from afar. Laura’s husband, Dr. John Hunter, started the group in 2000, and Water Station’s effectiveness in preventing deaths from heat and dehydration inspired similar efforts in Arizona and Texas. Victor Diaz Huerta then related his story of struggle as an immigrant from Mexico, becoming his family’s first high school graduate, and now laboring as a Casino Pauma worker attempting to organize his fellow casino workers into a union. “I see a lot of injustice on the job,” he said. Abebe Antallo hails from Ethiopia. Once settled in San Diego, he began working as a taxi driver, holding the job for eight years. He cited the long hours and missed family time as sources inspiring his efforts aimed at organizing the United Taxi Drivers of San Diego. He is no longer employed, now blacklisted by local taxi companies. “There is no equal right in the way we work,” he said. Andrea Tookes spoke on the behalf of a new campaign launched in late March to unionize security officers. “We need help, and we need to be appreciated,” said Tookes, a security guard for the last 15 years. Tookes has had to hold down five different jobs to make ends meet. She lost custody of her two youngest children for having insufficient time at home with

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them. Then, she was required to pay child support to provide for their care. Rabbi Coskey noted the importance of security officers as first responders and as primary protectors of multimillion-dollar buildings and the other employees working in them. The Seder meal includes recognition of blessings already received (Dayyenu: “It would have been enough”), recited with hope for greater future blessings. Labor Seder participants were invited to join wishes for sustainable wages and earned sick days, affordable health insurance, humane immigration reform and an end to cross-border human trafficking and exploitation, concluding with overall wishes for all labor being valued in San Diego, and for better lives for coming children and grandchildren. Last up for personal stories of exodus were Lucero Maganda, who advocates for the DREAM Act as a young person of undocumented status, and Rosa Lopez, who described having to pay human traffickers $175 for crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Every one of the speakers were brought to tears by telling their stories. The three central symbols of Passover are the Pesach (“Passover”) shank bone representing the sacrificial lamb whose blood marked Israelite homes for protection, the Maror (“bitter herb,” most often horseradish) symbolizing the suffering of slavery, and the matzah, with the flat bread raised as acknowledgment of the intense desire of humans to be free. The final course eaten is a roasted egg, symbolizing springtime renewal and new life. The last recitation is a cry, “Next year in freedom.”u

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DINING

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

FRANK SABATINI JR. |

www.sdcnn.com

Restaurant Review

(l to r) Black bean cakes with mango-habanero sauce and salad; Moncai nachos (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

D

on Jackson and Princesa Vitela have managed to turn some of America’s most sinful foods into innocent angels. We’re talking things like biscuits and gravy, chicken and dumplings and fried zucchini — the kind of dishes you’d expect more from a roadside diner than an all-vegan restaurant. And they’re plating up their recipes with panache. The couple met in a culinary program at San Diego Community College and originally launched their business by selling vegan sweets and savories at local farmers’ markets. The name “Moncai” is Gaelic for “monkey,” which Jackson admits is his pet name for Princesa. Situated in a circa-1932 building, guests are greeted by a bakery case filled with donuts, cupcakes and cinnamon rolls. Black-and-white harlequin flooring strikes an aesthetic match to a few antique pieces strewn throughout the small dining area. A flat-screen menu is perched behind the order counter, although the restaurant is currently transitioning to full table service.

The “home-made water” listed on the menu is no joke. Jackson each day brews a large batch of hibiscus tea and then adds macerated pineapples and oranges to it. Served with ice, it’s the best cold liquid that’s ever passed my lips, I said to my vegan dining companion who couldn’t get enough of the stuff either. From a shortlist of breakfast items (served all day), we tried the fresh drop biscuits smothered in roasted mushroom gravy. The biscuits were pleasantly dense and I didn’t miss the sausage drippings common to countrystyle gravy, which is constructed here with onions, mushrooms, vegetable stock and flour. Other choices include organic hot cereal and pancakes served with veganfriendly Earth Butter. Moving on to the lunch-dinner fare, the food became even tastier with the exception of “Moncai nachos.” They were layered abundantly with mashed pinto beans that could have used some zing from garlic or chili peppers. In the absence of cheese, however, fresh guacamole and soy-based sour cream sufficed.

Potato-cabbage soup du jour was perfected with fennel and caraway, a pottage as flavorful and soothing as some of the beef-based recipes you’d find in Eastern European kitchens. We followed up with breaded, fried zucchini, served hot and crisp and with herby soy-based dipping sauce that was guiltlessly creamy. But the roasted Brussels sprouts resting in a pond of bourbon and dissolved brown sugar left us speechless. Just when I thought that these cruciferous orbs have seen their day in trendy restaurants, tossed in every type of vinaigrette possible, this preparation transcends the status quo by reinventing the sweet-tangy balance without the use of balsamic vinegar or citrus. The sauce also contains sneaky hints of cayenne pepper for extra kick. Moncai’s “chicken” and dumplings could fool a Midwest family into thinking they’re eating the real deal. “We go through about 10 gallons every day,” says Jackson, revealing that caramelized leeks in the recipe help give the dish its

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Prices: breakfast, $5.50 to $6.50; soup, appetizers and entrees, $4 to $10; Sunday brunch, $12.95 homey, meaty flavor. The dumplings were firm and light and coaxed by bits of “leg meat from the vegan chicken,” as Jackson humorously described the dark pieces of faux poultry in the dish. The roux was also impressive, thanks to copious black pepper used in its making. The most expensive plate on the menu is yucca black bean cakes draped in mango-mustardhabanero sauce and served over organic brown rice. Priced at $10, it’s actually worth more given the fine construction of the bean patties, the silky sauce and the accompanying salad dressed in garlic, olive oil and 25-year-aged

balsamic. Sunday brunch is also a bargain. Served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., you get a veggie scramble; potatoes with peppers and onions; biscuits and gravy; maple-smoked tempeh bacon; fruit; pancakes; and coffee, tea or juice, all for $12.95 — and with no threat to your arteries.u


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UPTOWN FOOD BRIEFS

DINING

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

15

Frank Sabatini Jr. Uptown News

Restaurateur Raj Syal says the concept for his new Rockfire Grill in Hillcrest “doesn’t exist anywhere else.” Indeed, his eclectic menu looks promising. At the center of the kitchen is an artisan grill filled with hot stones that is used for cooking flatbreads to order. The hot, fresh bread encompasses everything from burgers and chipotle chicken to Jack cheese with green onions. It also serves as an accouterment to grassfed beef kabobs, carne asada and chicken with lemon-cilantro buerre blanc sauce. Located in the former Kasi eatery, Syal also operates an Indian restaurant in Los Angeles and has owned Italian and Mexican kitchens. As the bill of fare shows, he is trained in both Eastern and Western cuisine. 3803 Fifth Ave., 619-295-8555.

Cucina Urbana’s grilled cheese of a higher order (Courtesy of H2 Public Relations)

The bar at Polite Provisions will serve as the classroom for mixology lessons starting this month. (Photo courtesy Polite Provisions)

Gourmet flatbreads are made to order at the new Rockfire Grill. (Courtesy of Rockfire Grill)

From whoever decides what foods we pay tribute to throughout the calendar year, April is National Grilled Cheese Month. And Cucina Urbana in Bankers Hill is showing off a recipe for the occasion. In a decadent twist, the chef offers a construct of buffalo mozzarella and Asiago on Parmesan butter-crusted lemon bread. 505 Laurel St., 619-239-2222.

A series of intimate mixology classes at Polite Provisions in Normal Heights kicked off on April 7 with “cocktails 101,” which repeats on May 19 and June 9. Utilizing Polite’s award-winning bar setup, stocked with housemade bitters and syrups, general manager and partner Erick Castro will lead groups of 12 into making three classic cocktails while covering the tools of the trade. Classes will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. The cost is $60 per person. Early reservations are recommended. 4696 30th St., 619-677-3784.

The brew master dinner series at Waypoint Public in North Park continues as Executive Chef Amanda Baumgarten teams up with a beer maker from Hess Brewing Co. at 6:30 p.m. on April 16. The four-course dinner paired to beer tastings and a digestif at the end will be held inside Waypoint’s newly constructed private dining area dubbed “the bear den.” The cost is $65 per person. 3794 30th St., 619-255-8778.

After making her mark at restaurants like The Glass Door in Little Italy, Cosmopolitan in Old Town, The Shores in La Jolla and the former Laurel in Bankers Hill, Chef Amy DiBiase sails in to Tidal at the west shore of Paradise Point Resort & Spa in Mission Bay. Situated in a former private residence built by Hollywood producer Jack Skirball in the 1960s, the 3,000-square-foot restaurant opened on April 10 to the tune of modern seafood dishes, chicken confit, ricotta gnudi, a variety of oysters and more. 1404 Vacation Road, 858-274-4630. Through at least the next month, Bite San Diego will conduct walking culinar y tours along El Cajon Boulevard to five restaurants from 6 to 9 p.m. ever y Wednesday. The 1.5-mile hike features stops at The Lafayette Hotel, Flavors of East Africa, Lips, Tiger! Tiger!, the Chicken Pie Shop and Pizzeria Luigi’s. Each restaurant will offer generous samples of their signature dishes and/or beverages. Guests will also learn about the histor y of the establishments along the way. Tickets are $65 per person. Advanced reser vations are required. 619-634-8476; www.bitesandiego.com.u


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San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

DINING

www.sdcnn.com

4016 Wallace Ave. (Old Town)

619-291-3200

Happy hour: 4 to 6 pm., Monday through Friday

Time travel

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

They say there was a restaurant in this spot in the late 1800s, exactly where I plopped down to consume an icy margarita and a chicken taco made with Indian flatbread. Today it’s the Barra Barra Saloon, an adobe structure that is part of what feels like a movie set in Old Town San Diego State Historical Park. Sitting on the patio while looking out on what was San Diego’s earliest schoolhouse and a former provisions store nearby, I realized while swiping my table chips through complimentary black bean dip that us locals take for granted the charm contained within this parcel of land. Yes, the tourists will always have their way with it. But the stores, restaurants and landmarks strewn throughout the area are easy to claim on quiet weekday afternoons. Barra Barra adjoins the Fiesta de Reyes, where most of the shoppers and burrito seekers flock. Its location slightly outside the main entrance perhaps explains the serene atmosphere I encountered when taking a table on the treeshaded patio. Inside, the restaurant is enormous, bigger than I ever imagined. It struck me as the perfect place to take relatives should they visit 10 strong. Or if their wallets are stretched, Barra Barra’s happy hour would afford them impressive savings,

per my $7.05 tab (including tax) for the food and drink I ordered. The margaritas at this time cost $4.50 apiece. They aren’t the mondo chaliced kind, but served in tall, slim glasses either on the rocks or in slushy form. It was difficult detecting the tequila, however, but the house-made sweet and sour mix combined with fresh lime juice and agave nectar made it highly refreshing on this warm day. Indian flat bread tacos are only $2 each. Served open-faced, they’re nearly twice the size of street tacos, regardless if you choose veggies, beef or chicken breast. For the latter, the large pieces of pulled poultry appeared boiled and plain, although when chomping into it, the meat was surprisingly juicy and flavorful. Aside from the complimentary tortilla chips, salsa and bean dip, the tacos are the only discounted foods during happy hour. The bargain libations extend to a few draft beers, Dos XX lager or amber and Modelo Especial, plus a couple of Sycamore Lane wine varietals. With few tourists brushing past and a postcard view of the historical grounds, Barra Barra is my new refuge in Old Town.u

(Photo by Dr. Ink)

RATINGS: DRINKS: The house margaritas are sweetened with agave nectar and served in slim glasses during happy hour. They taste more refreshing than boozy. Other discounted libations include only Dos XX (lager or amber) and Modela Especial drafts and house wine.

FOOD: Flatbread tacos, available with beef, chicken or veggies, are substantial for the price. They feature fresh ingredients and come with warm table chips, salsa and black bean dip.

VALUE: The aforementioned tacos during happy hour are a steal at $2 apiece. The margaritas are downsized slightly, but with a couple bucks shaved off their regular price.

SERVICE: It took about 10 minutes before a waiter came to the table with a menu. But once he did, service moved swiftly.

DURATION: With so much foot traffic in Old Town on weekends, the tourists and locals are out of luck for seizing the bargains, which are available only Monday through Friday. Chicken flatbread taco (Photo by Dr. Ink)

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MUSIC/FITNESS

www.sdcnn.com

5over2 Jen Van Tieghem Uptown News

The 3rd Annual Mothers Saloon 420 Jam featuring Soul Ablaze, No Kings, Rebecca Jade and the Cold Fact, Chill Cliton and more 1:45 p.m., Sunday, April 20 | Free MothersSaloon.com After you’ve stuffed yourself with colored eggs and honeyed ham at Easter brunch, roll yourself over to Mother’s for this daylong event. The show will start with a couple acoustic sets before moving to a heavier realm with punk, rock and reggae acts. One highlight to stick around for is San Diego soul supergroup Rebecca Jade and The Cold Fact who go on around 8 p.m. The band just released their debut album, which blends funk, R&B and rock with lots of splashy keyboard and organ sounds.

Temples and Drowners at the Casbah 9 p.m., Wednesday, April 16 | $15 CasbahMusic.com For only being a couple of years old, Temples has already collected a heap of praise from critics and musicians alike. The English psychedelic rock quartet takes sound (and fashion) cues from the ‘60s, with singer-guitarist James Edward Bagshaw looking the part of T. Rex’s Marc Bolan while sounding closer to John Lennon. They’ll be visiting our fair city between Coachella weekends along with another band from the festival, New York City’s Drowners. The latter takes a pop approach to a post-punk style with fast-paced tunes. This promises to be a killer midweek rockstravaganza.

The Flowerthief and The Whiskey Circle at Sycamore Den 9 p.m., Thursday, April 24 | Free SycamoreDen.com Our favorite new cocktail lounge in Normal Heights has been pairing up interesting musical acts for a couple months now. The straightforward folk rock of The Flowerthief would go well with one of their craft beers or tasty bourbons. The Whiskey Circle’s country edge, and of course the name, lends itself to the strong stuff on the menu. But with Leanna May Patterson’s sweet vocals leading the charge we recommend kicking back with a Sink or Squid; spiced rum, ginger, and just a bit of sweetness go down smooth as does this lineup.

The Heart Beat Trail and The Midnight Pine at Bar Pink 9 p.m., Thursday, April 17 | Free BarPink.com If you were compiling the soundtrack for a love stor y, you’d need look no further than the bands on this bill. The Heartbeat Trail takes a swanky blues vibe and mixes it with a tinge of countr y — perfect for the scene of a coy flirtation in a dimly lit lounge. The Midnight Pine’s style possesses a timeless beauty, as does its vocalist Shelbi Bennett. Their ethereal numbers peppered with delicate percussion would play best behind the climactic boy-runs-through-streets-to-find-lost-love scene. The poetic lyrics of both bands lend themselves to romance, whether it ends tragically or happilyever-after they will have a song to fit.

Reader on Tap featuring Transfer, Dead Feather Moon, Schitzophonics, Low Volts, and The Creepy Creeps at the North Park Theater Friday, April 25 | $25 - $40 ReaderOnTap.com This show combines two of San Diego’s favorite things: bands and beers. While we’ve got an abundance of both, this lineup showcases some of the best. Alt-rockers Transfer have enjoyed success both locally and abroad and recently released a stellar new album “Shadow Aspect.” Co-headlining is Dead Feather Moon with their alt-country sound, which continues to grow and evolve as the band gets ready to release their sophomore record later this year. Pair all these great bands with a stout from Butcher’s Brewing, an I.P.A. from Green Flash, or another favorite and you’ll have an unforgettable evening.u

Five local shows over the next two weeks

Five things to start doing now to prepare for summer And one you need to stop doing

this is going to bathroom every hour, but after three days you’ll realize that this is a small price to pay for the benefits. 2. Eat a high-fat, highprotein breakfast. A great option would be one whole pasture-raised egg with some Eggology egg whites, mix in a little spinach and mushrooms. Also have a half of a grapefruit and half an avocado. Another healthy option would be steel cut oatmeal with a half scoop of protein powder, some berries and sliced almonds.

Brian White F itness

Summer is coming, and with as mild as this winter has been, you know summer temps could start any day now. With the warmer weather will come pool parties, beach outings and vacations. What kind of body do you want to be rocking? If you haven’t exactly been on top of your health and fitness for the last few months, there is still time! You just need to make some major changes. 1. Start drinking 3 – 5 liters of water every day. Seriously, drink more than a gallon. This will clear up your skin, kill cravings and keep you energized throughout the day. The only negative from doing

3. Split your workout into two separate outings. I never advocate working out more than five days a week no matter what the goal or time frame, but a secret way to help burn more body fat is to split your workout in two. So first thing in the morning, get your cardio in for half an hour and save your resistance training for lunchtime or the evening. This style of exercise has been shown to raise your testosterone levels, thus increasing your fat-burning and muscle-building capabilities. Using this method will allow you to push yourself a little harder during each workout too. 4. Set aside 30 minutes on Thursday to plan out your weekend. Literally write it down. Most people use the weekends to let loose a little bit and that’s fine; we all work hard, but you waited until the last second to get prepared for the

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

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summer, so now you don’t have that luxury. If you do considerably better with nutrition and exercise during the week it is because the workweek is more structured. So structure your weekend and plan out your meals and exercise in order to be successful. Turning the weekends from the unhealthiest part of your week to the healthiest is one of the best things you can do for yourself. 5. Prepare for those days that will get away from you. You are more prone make a bad nutrition decision when your schedule gets hectic, so find a great meal replacement bar and buy boxes of them. My go-to bars for most clients are Greens+ whey crisp bars and GoodOnYa bars. Go to the grocery store and look through the 1,342 bars in the health section. Pick a couple where you know all the ingredients and bring them home for a taste test. Out of those, pick your two favorites and buy boxes for those days where your schedule throws you off. Also, the one major thing you cannot continue to do if you want to rid yourself of the excess weight before summer is stay up late. Not getting enough sleep will completely disrupt even the most diligent efforts by screwing up your hormones and making your body a fat storing machine. Finding a way to get seven to eight hours of sleep every single night is imperative. We are chronically overtired, and I cannot tell you how big of a deal this is if you are overweight. Besides the physiological effect on your body, it will also crush your willpower to eat right, and it will crush your energy to get quality workouts. Find a way to get these done, and you should cruise into the summer with a healthy body you can be proud of.u

Ante Up

Answer key, page 19


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BUSINESS & PROFESSIONAL DIRECTORY

www.sdcnn.com ATTORNEYS

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San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014 JUNK HAULING

19

REALTORS

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At Haircrest Salon the stylists are focused on one thing – helping you look incredible! They are a team with more than four decades of hair salon experience and are eager to put their experience to work for you. Haircrest has been in the same location for the past 12 years and the staff prides themselves on consistency and success. Visit and see why their blend of personal attention, friendly stylists, and over 40 combined years of hair salon experience makes them one of the best in San Diego. Deborah Calamia is the owner and also a stylist, and she believes strongly in giving back to the community in which she lives and works, and Haircrest consistently gives gift certificates to the local schools for use in their fundraisers. Haircrest’s mission: Unveil your natural beauty through precise hair cutting, hair styling, hair coloring, and creative make-up techniques. They want their clients to think of their salon as an oasis of beauty. Feeling beautiful and re-energized is the primary goal, and they make the time to develop your best look every time. Customer service — as well as a strong involvement in the community — is emphasized in each connection made with clients. They believe these two factors are a stable foundation for a successful salon. Stop by and enjoy yourself and leave feeling rejuvenated.

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20

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

HOME IMPROVEMENT

www.sdcnn.com

The envelope, please Sometimes all the answers to your questions about your house show up in your mailbox

HouseCalls

Michael Good Every house tells a story. Some speak louder than others. Some have more interesting stories to tell. And some, however slight their appearance and quiet their demeanor, have something bigger to say: a story about the life and times of the people who lived there or, even, a story about you and me and the world we live in today. Such was the case with Tom Prokop and Barbara Aste’s modest bungalow of indeterminate style on a canyon overlooking North Park’s swooping Juniper Dip. Tom already knew the house held some secrets. He’d peered inside the walls some 28 years ago when trying to wrestle the place back into shape after it had sat empty for more than a year because the previous owner had died. The framing wasn’t exactly

by the book, and there were other oddities: Every window, all 23 of them, was exactly the same size (and chewed up in exactly the same way by termites). The roof was of an unusual design — with ten-foot-tall ceilings cantilevered along the two long outside walls. The ceiling texture was strange, with little concentric swirls in it — a little bit like the swirling brush strokes in Van Gogh’s Starry Night. The interior walls were built directly on top of the plank fir flooring. The roofline was simple, with a single front- and back-facing gable. And the studs inside the walls had writing on them. “The marks were different from what usually comes on lumber,” said Tommy, now a retired contractor. If anything, the writing had a vaguely military appearance. Which made sense. Since the neighborhood historian — or, as Tom calls him, “The old guy across the street,” — claimed that the house had been built of surplus lumber from a decommis-

The historic home of Tom Prokop and Barbara Aste was built from dismantled building parts from the nearby Camp Callan after it was decommissioned in 1945. (Courtesy Tom Prokop) sioned military base. But despite its quirks (or maybe because of them) the house met Tom and Barbara’s needs. It was simple, unpretentious, with a big garage for Tom’s tools and a big canyon for their dog. In short order, they bumped out the kitchen, adding a breakfast nook seating area with a canyon view that became a popular place for friends to gather when Tom, an avid fisherman and expert (if unconventional) cook threw together the occasional weekend feast — which seemed to happen every weekend. The house was always full of life, friends, food, drinks and dogs — and that westerly sunshine that is essential to the good life in Southern California. The years went by and the house remained a bit of a quiet mystery. Then shortly after the first of this year, a fat brown envelope showed up in their mailbox. It was postmarked Dec. 31, 2013 — a date that said something about unfinished business and a self-imposed deadline. The son of the original owner wrote the letter and, as he explained, the house did, indeed, have a military provenance. In fact, it wasn’t just built of surplus parts from a military building, it was a military building. Inside the envelope was a copy of an application for the building permit, which identified the building as number 43 (Mess Hall), from Camp Callan, a World War II-era military training facility. Camp Callan was built on 1,282 acres of leased land near the presentday site of the Torrey Pines Inn. Construction on 297 buildings covering 23 blocks began in November of 1940. By January 15, 1941 troops were already moving in. During the camp’s busiest period, between March of ’42 and June of ’44, 15,000 men cycled through the facility every 13 weeks. To put things in perspective, the population of San

Diego in 1940 was only 203,000. So in two short years, more than half the population of San Diego trooped (literally) through Camp Callan. The camp was decommissioned on Nov. 1, 1945, and the facilities were declared surplus. There were firing ranges, swimming pools, barracks and cantonments, a 910-bed hospital, offices, five-base exchanges, three theaters, five chapels, support buildings, storage buildings, a landfill and, with thousands of mouths to feed, probably a mess of mess halls. The City Council negotiated with the war department to acquire most of the Camp Callan buildings, which numbered about 500 at the time. The price was $200,000. The City then sold the buildings, pocketing about $250,000, using some of that surplus to finance the War Memorial Building in Balboa Park. Pieces of Camp Callan ended up all over San Diego — the buildings were recycled as churches, commercial buildings and, according to Wikipedia, thousands of homes, including Tommy and Barbara’s house on Westland Drive. The methods and materials developed on bases around the world were used to build housing tracts around the country, under the direction of the Federal Housing Administration, financed by the G.I. Bill, purchased by millions of veterans to make a home for a generation of baby boomers like Tom and Barbara — and me and perhaps you, too. The contents of the envelope that showed up in January of this year solved a number of history mysteries. There was a receipt from R.E. Hazard for $350 (the cost of moving the building). There were photographs of the street being paved (in 1951), photographs of the garage being built (from a kit, in 1953), and an account of how the building was

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transformed from hall to home over the course of 18 months by the homeowner, a Navy veteran who, like other decommissioned sailors was given first dibs on the decommissioned buildings. Materials were so scarce in 1946, that everything — plumbing, electrical, doors, sinks and cupboards (even the nails) — was salvaged from the remains of Camp Callan. Mom straightened the bent nails. Dad hammered them in. Son looked on in awe (he eventually became a real estate broker, as his letter explained). It took 18 months to outfit their part of the former mess hall with walls, closets, doors, a bathroom and kitchen. Those mysterious swirls in the ceiling? Those were done by the homeowner/builder/artist, with his fingers — apparently even trowels were hard to come by in post-war America. The house has continued to evolve since then. Tom replaced the rotted windows, shingled the outside, put down an oak floor on top of the old fir planks and expanded the kitchen as soon as he closed escrow back in 1986. He expanded the master bedroom, adding the much-desired walk-in closet and his-and-hers bathroom. Since then, he’s enlarged the deck and built more storage below it. When he first saw the house, back in the 1980s (he’d done work for the former owner), it was the contractor-sized garage the attracted him. Now that he’s retired, he’s come to appreciate the high ceilings, the canyon quiet, and all 23 of the identical, restored windows. Seventy years ago those standard military issue windows would have provided ample illumination and ventilation for hoards of hungry young diners getting their first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. Today they just let in plenty of light on a house that’s finally revealed most, if not all, of its mysteries.u


www.sdcnn.com

THEATER

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

$29 Exams Everyday Now carrying Nexgard from Merial HOURS: M, Tu, Th: 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Wed: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Friday: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. m.

5427 Linda Vista Rd. San Diego, CA 92110

(l to r) Lee Aaron Rosen as Robin Conway and Sarah Manton as Joan; (l to r) Kim Martin-Cotten as Mrs. Conway, Rose Hemingway as Hazel Conway and Amanda Quaid as Kay (Photos by Jim Cox)

A time full of complexity Charlene Baldridge Uptown News

619-297-0219 9 www.presidioveterinaryhospital.com i l

“Time and the Conways” by J.B. Priestley

So much changes. So much stays the same. That is especially true of J. B. PriestRuns through May 4 | Tuesday – Sunday | Donald and ley’s 1937 “Time and the Conways,” beautiDarlene Shiley Stage | Old Globe Theatre, Conrad Prebys fully produced at the Old Globe Theatre through May 4. Theatre Center | 1363 Old Globe Way The first and final acts of the ten-character play are set in 1919, tickets start at $29 | theoldglobe.org | 619-239-2255 just following World War I. The middle act takes place in 1937, on the brink of World War II. Mother Conway’s body and the trembling youth with the deflation of midlife and deluded old of her hands are evidence of time’s age. As said by Kay, the dreamer/aspiring writer passing; so is the darkening of upamong the Conway progeny, “Just as if — now holstery as well as darkening of and then — we could see — round the corner attitudes among her children: — into the future.” One is dead and the others The play opens on Kay’s 21st birthday and all the siblings are “off-stage” in a have failed to achieve their youthful promise, romantic room to the side of the party, creating a or artistic, and the dreams three-act charade as entertainment, and they held in 1919 did not pulling costumes, mustaches and wigs materialize. Furthermore, from their widowed mother’s trunk. just like hope, money for Mrs. Conway (Kim Martin-Cotten) upkeep of Mrs. Conway and is former amateur-level actor/ singer and a master manipulathe family estate has dwindled tor. Kay (Amanda Quaid) is until the situation is dire. an aspiring novelist who’s To know all this, to see how already torn up her first “pudecisions made in Act I affect everyone and everything in Act II, trid” book. The others are Carol, the and then to return to 1919 aware of youngest (Leanne Agmom); Hazel, what will befall, provides a devastat devastatthe family beauty (Rose Hemingway); ing yet somehow wistful view of life Madge, a teacher and socialist (Morgan and time. The play was written by Hallett); Alan, a shy, quiet clerk who stammers (Jonathan Fielding); and Robin, Priestly, a literary master, (1894 – 1984), influenced by J. W. Dunne’s just demobilized from military service book, “An Experiment with Time” (Lee Aaron Rosen). Other characters are and the poet Robert Blake. the family solicitor, Gerald (Leo Marks); The experience is delivered by a Joan, Hazel’s best friend (Sarah Manton); young director, Rebecca Taichman, and Gerald’s friend, Ernest Beevers Kim Martin-Cotten who sets it jewel-like in a produc(Max Gordon Moore), who seeks entre as Mrs. Conway tion that features astonishing to the family by marriage. (Photos by Jim Cox) visual concepts by scenic designer The production of this work calls us Neil Patel, costume designer back to a theatrical era in which we had David Israel Raynoso, and light lightthe time and patience to indulge a piece ing designer Scott Zielinski, all so full of characters and convolution and interconnected by Matt Hubbs’ rife with subtlety and elegance. Bravo to the subtle sound design, which conGlobe for helping us to remember what we trasts post-war optimism and have lost.u

4127 Florida St #7 1 bed/1 bath/588 sf Listed for $229,000 to $239,000 2228 River Run #177 2 bed/1 bath/928 sf Listed for $299,900

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21


22

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

CalendarofEvents FRIDAY, APRIL 11

Preschool stor ytime: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. Fridays on Fifth: 4 – 9 p.m., every Friday restaurants and bars offer discounts and specials for a social hour in Hillcrest on Fifth Avenue between Washington Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14.

SATURDAY, APRIL 12

Classical Melodies in Balboa Park: 8:45 a.m. – 7:15 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory’s ensembles fill Casa del Prado with classical music, 1549 El Prado in Balboa Park, free. Old Town Farmers’ Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, Harney St., free. University Heights Open Aire Market: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Saturday, 4100 Normal St., free. Get Fit: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., fitness experts Leah Francis and JJ Brawley lead workouts encompassing cardio, strength, agility,

balance and coordination. Bird Park at 28th and Upas St. Call 619800-3480 to register, free. Golden Hill Farmers’ Market: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free. Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. UH Librar y Children’s Program: 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts event for children, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd., free. Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14. Comedy Heights Comedy Show: 8 – 10 p.m., every Saturday local comedians take the stage in University Heights next to Twiggs Coffeehouse at 4590 Park Blvd., free. Booty Bassment!: 9 p.m., DJs Dmitri and Rob perform at the Whistle Stop Bar, 2235 Fern St., 21+, $10/$5 before 10 p.m.

SUNDAY, APRIL 13

Hillcrest Farmers’ Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., every Sunday under the Hillcrest Pride Flag, Harvey Milk St. and Normal St., free. Classical Melodies in Balboa Park: 1 – 5 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday the San Diego Youth Symphony and Con-

CALENDAR servatory ensembles fill Casa del Prado with classical music, 1549 El Prado in Balboa Park, free. Organ Concert: 2 – 3 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free. Live Music: 8:30 p.m., pop punk band Break Anchor performs at Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., 21+, tickets start at $10.

MONDAY, APRIL 14

Open Mic Night: 7:30 p.m., every Monday night at Lestat’s Coffee House, 3343 Adams Ave., free.

TUESDAY, APRIL 15

Old Mission Rotar y: 12 p.m., regular weekly meeting of the Old Mission Rotary Club, Best Western Seven Seas, 411 Hotel Circle South. Hillcrest Business Association Sustainability Committee: 2:30 p.m., third Tuesday of the month meeting of the HBA office at 3737 Fifth Ave., Suite 202. Curbside Bites: 5 – 8 p.m., weekly gathering of gourmet food trucks at 3030 Grape St. in South Park. Tasty Truck Tuesdays: 6 – 9 p.m., every Tuesday night Smitty’s Service Station hosts several food trucks under their well-lit shade structure, live music, 3442 Adams Ave. Pajama Stor y Time: 6:30 – 7

www.sdcnn.com p.m., every Tuesday children are invited for story time fun with books, singing and puppets. Feel free to come dressed in your pajamas! Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. North Park Planning Committee: 6:30 p.m., third Tuesday meeting of the Planning Committee, North Park Christian Fellowship, 2901 North Park Way. Friends Chill: 9 p.m. – 2 a.m., board games and mellow grooves every Tuesday at Whistle Stop Bar, 2235 Fern St.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16

Mission Hills Business Improvement District: 3:15 p.m., a public board meeting is held on the third Wednesday of each month at The Frame Maker located at 3102 Reynard Way. Wednesday Night Experience: 7 – 8 p.m., uplifting and spiritually inspiring experiences for all, weekly at the Universal Spirit Center, 3858 Front St. in Hillcrest, Love Offering requested. Young Lions Music Series: 7 p.m., featuring a new “young rising star” chosen by Gilbert Castellanos every Wednesday. Castellanos will also join in during the first set, the Expatriate Room, Croce’s Park West, 2760 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill, $5 cover.

see Calendar, page 23

Wednesday Jazz Jam Session: 7:30 p.m., Gilbert Castellanos hosts the Wednesday Jazz Jam Session with special guest musicians and surprise guests at Seven Grand, 3054 University Ave., no cover charge. Dynamic Night: 8 – 10 p.m., a weekly open mic night for musicians at The Merrow, 1271 University Ave., free.

THURSDAY, APRIL 17

Uptown Rotar y Breakfast Club: 7 – 8:30 a.m., the San Diego Uptown Rotary hosts its weekly breakfast club at Hillcrest Panera, 1270 Cleveland Ave. El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association: 9 – 10:30 a.m., third Thursday of the month board meeting at 3727 El Cajon Blvd. Gentle Yoga for seniors: 2:45 – 3:45 p.m. every Thursday, presented by The Center and Silver Age Yoga Community Outreach (SAYCO). SAYCO’s mission is to improve the health and overall wellbeing of all seniors, regardless of age, physical ability or financial status, The San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., free. North Park Farmers’ Market: 3 – 7 p.m., every Thursday in the parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free. Greater Golden Hill Board Community Development Corporation: 6:30 – 8 p.m., monthly meeting is held on the third Thursday of every month at the Golden Hill Recreation Center, 2600 Golf Course Dr. Mission Hills Heritage: 7 p.m., regular meeting on the third Thursday each month. For meeting location and additional information call 619-497-1193 or email info@MissionHillsHeritage.org. Kirtan musical meditation: 8:15 p.m. every Thursday chant and sing contemporary mantras celebrating love and life at Pilgrimage of the Heart yoga studio, 3301 Adams Ave., free.

FRIDAY, APRIL 18

Preschool stor ytime: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. Fridays on Fifth: 4 – 9 p.m., every Friday restaurants and bars offer discounts and specials for a social hour in Hillcrest on Fifth Avenue between Washington Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. North Park Historical Society: 6:30 – 8 p.m., third Friday of the month board meeting, Grace Lutheran Church, 3967 Park Blvd. Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “Philomena” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14. Live Music: 8:30 p.m., 21+, reggae/rock band, Natural Incense, performs at Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., $7.

SATURDAY, APRIL 19

Classical Melodies in Balboa Park: 8:45 a.m. – 7:15 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory’s ensembles fill Casa del Prado with classical music, 1549 El Prado in Balboa Park, free. Old Town Farmers’ Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, Harney St., free. University Heights Open Aire Market: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Saturday, 4100 Normal St., free. Golden Hill Farmers’ Market: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free.

see Calendar, page 23


CALENDAR

www.sdcnn.com FROM PAGE 22

Hillcrest Farmers’ Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., every Sunday under the Hillcrest Pride Flag, University Ave. and Normal St., free. Classical Melodies in Balboa Park: 1 – 5 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory ensembles fill Casa del Prado with classical music, 1549 El Prado in Balboa Park, free. Organ Concert: 2 – 3 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free.

MONDAY, APRIL 21

Signs at Play: 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., teach your baby to sign, first and third Mondays of the month, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 Washington St., free. Veteran Entrepreneurs Today kickoff event: 6:30 p.m., business networking and training organization for veterans interested in starting their own business. Learn more about weekly group meetings focusing on a variety of topics. Courtyard by Marriott, 595 Hotel Circle South, Free. For more information or to register, email Vicki@hrtroops.com. Bankers Hill Residents: 6:30 – 8 p.m., third Monday of the month at the San Diego Indoor Sports Club, 3030 Front St. Open Mic Night: 7:30 p.m., every Monday night the mic is open to you at Lestat’s Coffee House, 3343 Adams Ave., free. Live Music: 8:30 p.m., indie rock-folk band Miner performs at the Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., 21+, tickets start at $10.

TUESDAY, APRIL 22

Old Mission Rotar y: 12 p.m., regular weekly meeting of the Old Mission Rotary Club, Best Western Seven Seas, 411 Hotel Circle South. Curbside Bites: 5 – 8 p.m., weekly Tuesday night gathering of gourmet food trucks at 3030 Grape St. in South Park. “Meet the Mayor”: 5 – 6:30 p.m., Mayor Kevin Faulconer

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23

Wednesday Night Experience: 7 – 8 p.m., uplifting and spiritually inspiring experiences for all, weekly at the Universal Spirit Center, 3858 Front St. in Hillcrest. An Evening to Remember Concert: 7 p.m., The San Diego Concert Band celebrates the coming of spring with its 25th annual, two-night spring concert with special guest artist Ryan Anthony at the Joan B. Kroc Theatre, 6611 University Ave., tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students, seniors and military, free for children five and under, and can be purchased at sandiegoconcertband.com or at the door. Young Lions Music Series: 7 p.m., featuring a new “young rising star” chosen by Gilbert Castellanos every Wednesday. Castellanos will also join in during the first set, the Expatriate Room, Croce’s Park West, 2760 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill, $5 cover. Wednesday Jazz Jam Session: 7:30 p.m., Gilbert Castellanos hosts the Wednesday Jazz Jam Session with special guest musicians and surprise guests at Seven Grand, 3054 University Ave., no cover charge. Dynamic Night: 8 – 10 p.m., a weekly open mic night for musicians at The Merrow, 1271 University Ave., free.

THURSDAY, APRIL 24

North Park Farmers’ Market: 3 – 7 p.m., every Thursday in the parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free. Kirtan musical meditation: 8:15 p.m., every Thursday chant and sing contemporary mantras celebrating love and life at Pilgrimage of the Heart yoga studio, 3301 Adams Ave., free. Live Music: 8:30 p.m., Joey Harris & The Mentals performs at Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., $10.u

On Sunday, April 20, the Catamaran Resort (3999 Mission Blvd.) will host an Easter Sunday Brunch perfect for the whole family. Rather than stress over preparing your own family brunch, you can enjoy a generous variety of omelets, muffins, prime rib, shrimp, fruit, cakes, salads, and of course, chocolate. For those over 21, mimosas will also be served. The Catamaran Resort boasts beautiful views overlooking Mission Bay with the outdoor seating on the lawn, as well as a sophisticated Kon Tiki Ballroom for indoor seating. Activities on the day include a visit from the Easter Bunny, who will lead the kids in a traditional Easter Egg Hunt at 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 1:30 p.m. All children are welcome to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt. Entertainment will include local pianist Jeff Davis, who will be adding to the festivities with his classical music. Also included in the package is a complimentary ride around Mission Bay aboard the Bahia Belle or William D. Evans. Brunch is $52.00 for adults, $24.00 for children (5 – 11 years), and free for children under 5! Reservations can be made at reservations@catamaranresort.com.

ROCK CHURCH EASTER SERVICE

The Rock Church will hold several services throughout the weekend at all three of its locations. Service times are 5 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 19, and 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 20. At the 10 a.m. Sunday service, there will be deaf interpretation as well as closed captioning on the service’s life stream. The Rock Church has locations in Point Loma, North County and East County. For more information, visit sdrock.com/Easter.

EASTER TREATS AT ADAMS RECREATION CENTER

Head to Normal Heights on Saturday April 19 from 9 a.m. to noon, where the Adams Recreation Center (3491 Adams Ave.) will host an Easter egg hunt, face painting, crafts and live music. For more information, call 619235-1149.

BALBOA PARK’S EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE

Arrive at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, April 20 for a musical performance by the Cathedral Mass Choir and an Easter message by Pastor George A. McKinney of St. Stephen’s Cathedral Church of God in Christ. For more information, call 858-454-7324.

EASTER BRUNCH AT THE ZOO

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the San Diego Zoo will host a buffet-style brunch in the Treetops Banquet Room at Albert’s Restaurant (in the zoo). Prices range from $18.95 – $42.95 plus tax, gratuity and admission. For more information, visit sandiegozoo.org/ zoo/alberts/special_events.

04.24.14

The Center’s Dining Out for Life® San Diego

DINE OUT

Dine out for breakfast, lunch and dinner on Thursday, April 24, 2014, and support The Center’s HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs.

events.thecentersd.org/DOFL

! er

SUNDAY, APRIL 20

EASTER BRUNCH AT THE CATAMARAN

e nt lu Vo

Get Fit: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., fitness experts Leah Francis and JJ Brawley lead workouts encompassing cardio, strength, agility, balance and coordination. Bird Park at 28th and Upas St. Call 619-800-3480 to register, free. Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. UH Librar y Children’s Program: 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts event for children, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd., free. CityBeat Festival of Beers: 1 – 5:30 p.m., enjoy the perfect marriage of music and craft beer at this fundraiser for the San Diego Music Foundation, The Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., tickets start at $40. Comedy Heights Comedy Show: 8 – 10 p.m., every Saturday local comedians take the stage in University Heights next to Twiggs Coffeehouse 4590 Park Blvd., free. Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “Philomena” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14.

EASTER

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FL O D at / e rg or .o m rsd n te ar en Le ec .th ts en ev

CALENDAR

will stop in District Three as part of his “Meet the Neighborhood” series to speak to the community and hear their questions, The San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., free. Tasty Truck Tuesdays: 6 – 9 p.m., every Tuesday night Smitty’s Service Station hosts several food trucks under their well-lit shade structure, live music, 3442 Adams Ave, free. Pajama Stor ytime: 6:30 – 7 p.m., every Tuesday children are invited for story time fun with books, singing and puppets. Feel free to come dressed in your pajamas! Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., fourth Tuesday of the month at Franklin Elementary School, 4481 Copeland Ave. An Evening to Remember Concert: 7 p.m., The San Diego Concert Band celebrates the coming of spring with its 25th annual, two-night spring concert with special guest artist Ryan Anthony at the Joan B. Kroc Theatre, 6611 University Ave., tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students, seniors and military, free for children five and under, and can be purchased at sandiegoconcertband.com or at the door. Friends Chill: 9 p.m. – 2 a.m., board games and mellow grooves every Tuesday at Whistle Stop Bar, 2235 Fern St.

San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014


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San Diego Uptown News | April 11–24, 2014

www.sdcnn.com

San Diego Uptown News - April 11 2014  
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