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April 25–May 8, 2014

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Old Town • Mission Hills • Bankers Hill

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

Long-awaited 25th Street Renaissance Project underway

➤➤ NEWS P. 4

Manny Lopez Uptown News

Where’s the coffee shop bean?


EarthFair marks 25 years in San Diego

EarthFair has become an incubator for up-and-coming businesses. Representatives from the San Diego Community Garden Network (SDCGN) are among the newcomers to this year’s event. The community garden movement has been on the rise within San Diego. SDCGN’s website prominently says its mission “is to help create, support and grow community gardens that enrich their neighborhoods by enhancing food security, promoting a sustainable environment and fostering communitybased educational opportunities and community building.” Other new features this year include a so-called ecoATM that will give visitors an opportunity to “get green for doing green.” A Sorrento Valley-based business is providing money for used cell phones, MP3

Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Council President Todd Gloria attended the official groundbreaking for the long-awaited 25th Street Renaissance Project in Golden Hill on April 8. The $1.7-million street improvement project — developed over the course of the last 10 years — is among the first of several projects that Faulconer said demonstrate his commitment to rebuilding the city slowly but surely. “This is a good example of what we’re going to be doing more of throughout the entire city — roads, water, sidewalks — all at the same time,” Faulconer said at the groundbreaking. “For me, it’s about nuts and bolts, neighborhood services and infrastructure. Thats what we’ve said all along and now we’re doing it.” The project will provide trafficcalming improvements to increase pedestrian safety, reverse-angled parking that require drivers to back into parking spots and streetscape improvements to enhance the aesthetics of the corridor from Interstate 94 to Russ Boulevard., adjacent to Balboa Park. The project simultaneously includes replacement of an existing 16-inch cast-iron water main, which Faulconer said consolidates efforts and minimizes impact to the neighborhood by doing all of the work at once. “The City was rightfully criticized in the past for not being able to coordinate infrastructure projects very well,” he said. “There were times when the City would put down new pavement on a street and then come back

see EarthDay, page 3

see Sidewalks, page 5

Dave Fidlin

Uptown News

The Ken’s near-death experience

➤➤ FEATURE P. 11

Tis the season to be farming


Jefferson turns the big 1-0-0

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

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An event touted as the world’s largest annual environmental fair will reach a milestone Sunday as the gates open at Balboa Park. EarthFair, which draws about 60,000 visitors annually, will take place for the 25th consecutive year in San Diego. A collaborative effort between a number of organizations — including the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the grassroots San Diego EarthWorks organization — have been credited with the event’s growth and success. As she puts the finishing touches on this year’s event, which is themed around the idea that "we're all in this together," co-founder Carolyn Chase cannot help but wax nostalgic as she reflects on the momentum EarthFair has gained since its inception in 1990. “I think we’ve made progress,” Chase said of both the event’s growth and of local environmental efforts during the past quarter century. She points out San Diego consistently ranks as one of the top eco-friendly cities in the U.S. But Chase said she believes San Diego — and the rest of the planet — can continue making strides toward more green decisions. “We still use a ridiculous amount of plastic,” Chase said. “It’s a lot more invisible, but climate change pollution is also a huge problem when you look at carbon emissions.” Chase, who serves as CEO of San Diego EarthWorks, said Earth-

Local girl scouts encourage environmental consciousness during last year’s EarthFair in Balboa Park. (Photo by Carolyn Chase) Fair has always been designed to appeal to people of all ages and walks of life. “Fundamentally, we need to have a great relationship with the stuff we depend on within this planet,” she said. “Whether it’s the air we breathe, the water we drink or the stuff we eat, it all comes from somewhere. We’re all in this together.” While San Diego EarthWorks and the City’s Commission for Arts and Culture have been working in tandem to plan activities during each EarthFair, Chase readily points to the robust number of exhibitors that showcase their specific products or causes. This year, more than 300 exhibitors are expected to be part of EarthFair 2014. While some organizations have become stalwarts, newcomers grace the Balboa Park grounds each year. In some cases,

‘Unplugged’ returns to Adams Avenue Jen Van Tieghem Uptown News

Once known as the Roots Festival, Adams Avenue Unplugged has undergone more than just a name change in recent years. Starting in 2012 the festival shifted formats, bringing the musical performances predominately inside venues as opposed to closing down streets for outdoor stages. This year over two-dozen stages will host 150 performances from noon on Saturday, April 26 until 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 27. Saving the block party for the Street Fair in the fall, the Adams Avenue Business Association has used Unplugged to put the focus back on businesses that deliver live

music throughout the year. Plus, the two-day event is almost entirely free, save for reserved seating for headliners at the Church Stage — tickets for those performances are only $10. The vicinity of the venues in the neighborhoods of Kensington, Normal Heights and Antique Row make the entire event very pedestrian friendly. And a new addition to the festival will make that walkability even more valuable; event organizers and bars and restaurants along the Unplugged route have added attractive drink specials to the menu. Twelve locations will offer $5 craft cocktail and wine specials and at least four spots will serve

see Unplugged, page 9

(l to r) Tom Brosseau and former headliner John C. Reilly performing in the Normal Heights United Methodist Church at last year’s Adams Avenue Unplugged. Brosseau will perform again this year at 3 p.m. Saturday on the Church Stage. (Courtesy Flexible Fotography)


San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


EARTHDAY players and tablets. The items will either be recycled or sold. As with prior years, this year’s itinerary includes a variety of exhibitors, some that are interactive and others in lecture format. Chase said she is particularly enthusiastic about a new exhibit that relates to the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina. The business serves between 2,000 and 2,500 meals daily, and all food waste is recycled through a composting program. “We plan to show a full-circle cycle, starting with purchasing products from local farms, all the way to how the local farms receive compost made from the hotel’s leftover food waste,” Chase said. A series of perennial crowdpleasers — including the long-running children’s Earth Day parade — round out this year’s program. EarthWorks has created a searchable feature on its website, People can locate a specific vendor or seek out different causes. While she has witnessed significant progress since the beginning of EarthFair, Chase said she sees the event being a part of San Diego well into the future. “We use this as an occasion to see how we’ve been doing,” she said. “It’s a check-in for a check-up.”u

AT A GLANCE WHAT: 25th annual EarthFair celebration WHEN: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 27 WHERE: Balboa Park, 1549 El Prado COST: free CONTACT: EarthFair.html

San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


North Park businesses shoot for nation’s biggest World Cup celebration Local partnership plans 36 days showcasing local soccer fandom Hutton Marshall Uptown Editor

North Park just added a huge event to its 2014 calendar. On April 15, three local North Park business owners unveiled plans they’ve been crafting to bring hundreds of thousands of San Diegans to their neighborhood to what’s commonly understood to be the largest sporting event in the world: the FIFA World Cup. Joe Balestrieri of The Office, Arne Holt of Caffé Calabria and Dang Nguyen of Bar Pink, with support from soccerloco and sports retail store, have planned a flood of events to take place throughout the World Cup tournament, which begins on June 8 in Brazil. This will include two street fairs, live broadcasts of every game at more than 20 venues around the community and other contests and happenings throughout the month. The celebration of the world’s premiere soccer tournament — or “football” as it’s known virtually everywhere outside the U.S. — will climax with the Final Match Viewing Party, where the final game will be broadcast live on an outdoor jumbotron on the streets of North Park. Balestrieri and Holt both said that great demand for the celebration already exists in San Diego. In 2010, San Diego had the nation’s second largest viewership of the World Cup finals, according to Nielsen, a TV-rating service. Balestrieri anticipates more than 200,000 San Diegans will flood to North Park for their World Cup celebrations. “There are so many enthusiasts, especially here locally, that we just think it’s gonna be nuts,” Balestrieri said. At the April 15 announcement,

Balestrieri presented Gloria with a custom-made jersey — with number three on the back, for Gloria’s and North Park’s council district — to thank him for supporting their efforts to bring such a large-scale event to the community. Gloria applauded both the growth of North Park’s business community and the efforts of those involved with the World Cup celebration’s planning. “I think the planning for this event shows a solidarity among the businesses in North Park,” Gloria stated after the announcement through email. “[Holt, Balestrieri and Nguyen] clearly are sophisticated enough to understand the potential economic impact of the World Cup, and I applaud their creativity to try to organize a hub for San Diegans to gather to watch the games.” Holt, who opened Caffé Calabria in North Park more than a decade ago, said he’s long understood the enormous festivities the World Cup can spark. He went abroad to witness several World Cup tournaments live, most notably Italy in 2006. He was there when Italy defeated France in the final match. Pure pandemonium ensued, he said. “I’d never seen anything like it,” Holt said. “There were hundreds of thousands of people in the streets, and I said ‘wow, I’ve got to find a way to bring this back.’” After returning to San Diego,

(l to r) Dang Nguyen of Bar Pink, Council President Todd Gloria, Arne Holt of Caffé Calabria and Joe Balestrieri of The Office announce plans in North Park for the largest World Cup celebration in the United States. (Photo by Hutton Marshall) Holt was introduced to soccerloco’s John Lococo, who was in Germany during that final match in 2006. He witnessed that same fanatical celebration. The two knew something similar could exist in North Park. This collaborative, community-focused mindset is a growing trend among North Park businesses, said Angela Landsberg, executive director of North Park Main Street. While Main Street is helping promote the event, she said the fact that this event was orchestrated almost entirely by the businesses themselves is a hugely positive sign

for the community. “That’s actually what makes this so special: that so many businesses, just by word of mouth, came out to support each other on this,” Landsberg said. “Our businesses really support each other. I’ve talked to other executive directors in San Diego, and it’s really unique that so many businesses here are looking out for the entire district and not just their own pocket.” Festivities kick off on June 8 and run until the final match on July 13. For more information on World Cup North Park, visit


San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


A shot of Java Joe’s new interior in Normal Heights within Artlab (Photo by Marissa Mortati)

new caffeinated cohort

Java Joe’s moves into Normal Heights Jen Van Tieghem Uptown News


The Community of North Park

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.


Artlab in Normal Heights has always held fast to its goal of bringing individuals together with creativity. Whether it be an art show, poetry reading or musical performance, this dynamic space has opened its doors to all types of inspired artistry over the years. In a recent twist of fate, Java Joe’s, another establishment with similar ideals, was looking for a new location to call home and has landed at Artlab. The coffee house/music venue synonymous with San Diego success stories like Jason Mraz, Jewel and Steve Poltz had been running out of Ocean Beach Surf and Skate Shop when it abruptly closed. It’s operated in half a dozen different locations since opening in Poway over two decades ago. “It was a real unfortunate thing,” said owner Joe Flammini of having to relocate after moving back to Ocean Beach just over a year ago. But as luck would have it, Flammini and Jim Yuran of Artlab were introduced at just the right time by local photographer Dennis Anderson. A partnership was quickly forged. Less than a year since meeting, Yuran and Flammini will soon celebrate the fruition of their efforts as Java Joe’s opens inside Artlab on April 26 and 27. The opening coincides with Adams Avenue Unplugged — and what better way to kickoff a music program than with nearly 20 hours of performances over the course of two days? Even with a truncated timeline for Joe’s moving in, they’ve managed to open up the space by removing an office area, arranging the coffee bar and seating, and painting the interior for a fresh look just in time for the fresh start. Both Flammini and Yuran are excited about what this collaboration will mean for their businesses and the area. Both point out that music and art go hand in hand, and they’re happy to offer both in this vibrant area of town. “One thing I love about this area is how much the [Adams Avenue Business Association] promotes arts and crafts with the street fairs and festivals,” Flammini said. “It seems they do more in this area than anywhere else in San Diego.” Yuran echoed these sentiments, explaining that being an official venue of Unplugged has been great for business and now that the streets are not shut down, it is more economical all the way around. “Adams has always had a really strong association with music and the folk music scene,” Yuran said of

the natural fit between Java Joe’s and an event such as Unplugged. In addition to growing as a music venue, Joe’s will also operate as a coffee shop seven days a week. One relationship that benefits that aspect is with Bird Rock Coffee Roasters. The well-known local company has a stellar reputation for their “farm to cup” philosophy and delicious coffee. “It’s a little more pricey but it’s well worth it,” Flammini said of purchasing from Bird Rock, which was named the 2012 “Roaster of the Year” by Roast Magazine. Also in keeping with that local theme is the development of the Java Joe’s food menu. So far, Flammini knows he will serve products from bakers Bread & Cie and Sweet Cheeks Baking Company, hoping to have a few others to include as well. Another perk for the daytime crowd will be free Wi-Fi and accessibility to print services next door at Yuran’s other business, Ego id Media. As the space evolves to include a lounge area and possible outside seating, they hope it will serve many purposes in the neighborhood: a place to relax and enjoy music, art, coffee, or all three. For more information on Artlab and Java Joe’s visit ArtlabCA.comu

Upcoming Events at 3536 Adams Ave. APRIL 25 – Tribal Baroque APRIL 26 & 27 – Grand opening with “Un-

plugged” performances featuring Sara Petite, Lisa Sanders, The Gregory Page Show, Robin Henkel and Whitney Shay, and more.

MAY 3 – Nena Anderson MAY 10 – Steph Johnson MAY 17 – Joe Rathburn MAY 24 – Berkley Hart THURSDAYS – The Gregory Page Show SUNDAYS – Open Mic Nights with Isaac Cheong


San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


Uptown students to perform ‘Seussical Jr. – The musical’

Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks at the official groundbreaking for the 25th Street Renaissance Project in Golden Hill. (Photo by Manny Lopez)

FROM PAGE 1 (l to r) Student performers in “Seusical Jr. – The musical” in the Uptown District Shopping Center, where they put on a flash mob performance for unsuspecting shoppers (Photo by Vince Meehan) Vince Meehan Uptown News

Starting on May 2, Uptown youth from the San Diego Creative Arts Project will perform “Seussical Jr. – The musical,” for three nights at the Roosevelt Middle School Auditorium near the San Diego Zoo. The show will serve as a fundraiser for the creative arts school, as well as a chance for the students to display their acting chops to the community. The performers promoted their upcoming show by participating in a flash mob performance in front of the Joyce Beers Community Center on April 11. The young artists went through several numbers from the Dr. Seuss-inspired show, loosely based on the famous story, “The Cat in the Hat.” The organization putting on the performance, the Normal Heights-based San Diego Creative Arts Project, is a newly formed nonprofit aimed at giving local kids the training and inspiration to pursue the performing arts. Student Isabel Mattick performed as a member of the flash mob, and will play the role of Mrs. Mayor at the May performance. “I’ve been at this for quite a few years, and I enjoy performing in musicals,” Mattick said. “I also do tap dance, jazz, and have performed in a ballet production of Coppélia. I’ll be performing a duet with my friend Julia Lovio, who plays the role of Mr. Mayor.” Mattick and her fellow students surprised shoppers at the Uptown District Shopping Center, who whipped out their phones to film the students performing their numbers, singing and dancing to the delight of the crowd. In a flash, it was over as quickly as it started.


Look for:


“This is part of an informal tour of impromptu performances put on at locations such as Ruby’s Diner in Mission Valley and California Pizza Kitchen in Fashion Valley to promote our show,” said Executive Artistic Director Laura Hodge. “We chose the steps of the Joyce Beers Community Center as a civic tribute, and Panera Bread next door has actually agreed to donate ten percent of its proceeds to us for the next three hours.” Tickets for the musical are available at SDCAP.u

SIDEWALKS a couple of months later to tear it up for another project.” Marnel Gibson, interim assistant director for the City’s public works department told the small crowd that bundling the two projects worked out great because the old pipe needed to be replaced. “We’re excited to get the improvements here, which I think will really just enhance the community and give it a more neighborly feel,” Gibson said. “The traffic-calming improvements make it safer to walk or ride a bicycle and we’re hoping to get multimodal components in the neighborhood, so that people will get out and not stay in their homes.” Gloria — whose council district includes the project area — pointed out that as a main thoroughfare for the neighborhood and a gateway to Balboa Park, the 25th Street corridor is an important part of the community and should be a landmark prom-

2014 Coronado Historic Home Tour Six Enchanting Homes May 11, 2014 Mother’s Day For tickets, call 619-435-7242 or log onto

enade. “It’s also home to many small businesses and reverse-angle parking is going to make this more bike friendly and pedestrian friendly and invite more investment to the small and local businesses on the street,” Gloria said. The improvements are funded by TransNet and a Federal Smart Growth Grant. The water main replacement is being funded separately through Enterprise Funds paid for by fees and charges to users. The entire upgrade is expected to take up to seven months to complete. “I believe this project shows the City’s commitment to Golden Hill,” said Pete Stamatopoulos, owner of the Turf Supper Club in Golden Hill, who added that he has been watching the revitalization plan take shape for at least two decades. “And we as property owners should also be behind Golden Hill to improve our properties and make this a very pedestrian friendly and easily accessible full-time use neighborhood with shops, restaurants and other types of businesses.”u


San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775 Twitter: @SD_UptownNews PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 EDITOR Hutton Marshall (619) 961-1952 ASSISTANT EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 REPORTERS & COLUMNISTS Charlene Baldridge Ann Eliopulos Dave FIdlin Andy Hinds Michael Good “Dr. Ink” Dale Larabee Manny Lopez Kevin Smead Brian White Jen Van Tieghem DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Kathleen Allen (619) 961-1957 Terrie Drago (619) 691-1956

Correction In last issue’s article “The community organizations of Kensington and Talmadge,” (Vol. 6 Issue 8) it was incorrectly stated that the KensingtonTalmadge Community Association organizes the community’s “Holiday at Home/Memorial Day Parade.” This event is and has always been put on by the Kensington Social and Athletic Club. We regret this error.u

Letters McTernan’s doggie bag dispensers I would like to thank the McTernan Real Estate Group for putting up doggy bag dispensers in the North Park area (See “Encouraging doggie bag due diligence,” Vol. 6, Issue 8). I live in the area and it is a huge, consistent problem. I always pick up after my dog. If, on the rare off chance, she goes twice while on a walk, and I don’t have another bag, I go back after we get home and pick it up. I find it absolutely inexcusable that people do not pick up after their dogs. It is selfish, disgusting, rude and insensitive to other people in the neighborhood. — Melanie Ross via email

A homey tale in the mail Love the tale Tommy and Barbara! (See “The envelope, please,” Vol.

6, Issue 8) There’s a tale to tell about a house on Wawona as well but no one would believe it… you know, the prairie schooner that broke down only a couple miles from the beach, the blocked up wheels, the shacks being tacked on over the years one after another and eventually being occupied by a hobbit — the only known golfing hobbit. No, no one would believe it. This one will be lost to the ages. — Jack Murphy via Hey Mike [Good], Love your writing, as usual. So nice to have you, in particular, bump into this house’s interesting history and be able to tell the tale with style and clarity. So glad Tommy and Barbara found the envelope of details about their house in the mail and turned it over to you to work your literary magic. We need to celebrate! — Melissa Whipple via What an interesting piece of San Diego history! Tom and Barbara have done a beautiful job renovating that place. — Marian Prokop via sduptownnews.comu


Secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing By Elizabeth Ferris and Manuel Andrade Smoke is pervasive and can float through shared venting, cracks in the walls, electrical outlets, open windows, and it even sneaks through the spaces around shared plumbing. In our work with multi-unit housing (MUH) residents, we have heard some amazing stories about the traveling capabilities of secondhand smoke. For example, one woman had smoke coming into her condo from her downstairs neighbor through the open areas around her bathroom and kitchen sink plumbing. Another resident was reduced to sleeping in their bathtub with towels stuffed under the bathroom door because it was the only room in their apartment that didn’t fill with secondhand smoke from their neighbor at night when they wanted to go to sleep. Sadly, these stories are common, and we hear others like them on a daily basis because many of those living in MUH are suffering from daily secondhandsmoke exposure. The U.S. Surgeon General has stated that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. It is highly toxic, containing over 4,000 chemicals, all of which are linked to ad-

verse health effects including lung cancer and heart disease. Currently, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the world. In the U.S. alone, smoking causes 480,000 deaths per year. Even if one were to combine all yearly deaths from other causes of preventable death — including infectious disease, murder, alcohol and illicit drug use — the number still wouldn’t come close to the smoking death toll. More shockingly, secondhand smoke leads to around 50,000 deaths each year. These are deaths of those continuously subjected to smoke indirectly, meaning they are not physically smoking themselves; they are simply surrounded by others that smoke and are unable to get away from it. So what is being done to help with this important health issue? Councilmember Marti Emerald, Chair of the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods Committee, has appointed a task force to help find a solution that would protect MUH residents of the City of San Diego from tobacco and marijuana secondhand smoke. Currently there are 39 cities and counties that have implemented smoke-free legislation in California for their MUH properties. While the task force in San Diego is

working diligently to create an ordinance, the passing of this ordinance could benefit from the support of residents who can speak up and help advocate for a legislative solution. Below are some steps that you can take to help advocate for smoke-free legislation in the City of San Diego: Call your local representative, attend a City Council meeting and ask for solutions. Explain that you are suffering from secondhand-smoke exposure and you want them to find a solution. If you don’t know your City Representative click the link and look them up by zip code: Contact representatives of the Public Safety Committee at: Most importantly, contact us, the San Diego Smoke-Free Project! We can assist and guide you through the advocacy process, especially if you are an apartment manager or an HOA having issues with secondhand smoke at your property. We can also help you with adopting a voluntary smoke-free policy. — For further support please contact The San Diego Smoke-Free Project at 619-283-9624 and ask for Manuel Andrade (Ext.215)/ or Elizabeth Ferris (Ext. 296)/

Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954 Jerry Kulpa (619) 691-1964 Yana Shayne (619) 961-1963 SALES & MARKETING INTERNS Hillary Hudson Michael Kean ART DIRECTOR Rebecah Corbin (619) 961-1961 PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Vincent Meehan (619) 961-1961 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 WEB DESIGNER Kim Espinoza OPINIONS/LETTERS San Diego Uptown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email both to Include phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to DISTRIBUTION San Diego Uptown News is distributed free, every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2014. All rights are reserved. Printed in the United States of America.


UptownBriefs SAN DIEGANS ENCOURAGED TO ATTEND CITY BUDGET MEETINGS The City Council Budget Review Committee will be holding public meetings May 5 – 9 concerning the city budget for the 2015 fiscal year. All interested parties may attend and comment. These meetings will be held in the Council Chambers at 202 C St. Downtown. “The City Council wants to hear from San Diegans to make sure the budget reflects the priorities of our neighborhoods,” said Council President Todd Gloria. “The budget review hearings are excellent opportunities for members of the public to learn more about departments and services, share their concerns, and inform our decisions.” The City Council will consider each department’s budget separately, while taking comments from the public. The full budget proposed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer is available online at: sandiego. gov/fm/proposed/index.shtml. FREE LEGAL SERVICES PROVIDED TO HOMELESS SAN DIEGANS The S. Mark Taper Foundation has awarded a yearlong grant to the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc. The grant’s purpose is to provide free legal services to those without homes in San Diego. The grant targets the organization PATH (People Assisting The Homeless), Connections Housing residents and patients of Downtown Family Health Centers of San Diego. The program specifically targets those with mental health disabilities and other barriers to recovery, including problems accessing health care and income benefits. The intent of the program is to assist individuals who are chronically homeless, to regaining confidence and acquiring selfsufficiency skills. “The innovative partnership will provide a roadmap to help individuals navigate through the barriers to independence and selfsufficiency that have been created through years of chronic homelessness,” stated Legal Aid Society’s Executive Director Gregory E. Knoll in a press release. “We are uniquely qualified to provide this service as our decades of experience speaks to our success of serving tens of thousands of low-income families and homeless individuals. Consumers are helped in resolving short-term legal problems and given the tools to self-advocate for the services that they are eligible for.” For more information, contact Jack Dailey, Esq., senior healthcare attorney at the Legal Aid Society of San Diego, Inc. at jackd@ THE GROVE TO HOST ‘BOOKSTORE DAY’ California Bookstore Day is Saturday, May 3, and independent booksellers across the state will be participating along with readers and writers of every genre. In San Diego, one such bookstore is “The Grove,” located at 3010 Juniper St. in South Park. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Anne Mery, co-owner of The Grove, invites the public to visit the bookstore and meet authors, illustrators and publishers who will be on hand to highlight the variety of books and audiences that The Grove accommodates. “Every one of our stores is unique,” Mery stated in a press

release. “Unlike the online giants or big box chains, the independent bookstore exists to serve its community. We’re happy to carry, research and locate the books that are meaningful to our customers, not just the latest best-selling thrillers.” A sidewalk sale and several authors, encompassing a wide range of genres and subjects, will visit throughout the day, most with local San Diego ties. Children will also enjoy California Bookstore Day at The Grove, as Mery said crafts and meet and greets with children’s authors and illustrators are planned as well. “The kids will take home their creations along with a taste of reading of these wonderful books,” Mery stated. For a full schedule of authors and entertainment, visit Facebook. com/thegrovesandiego.

SAN DIEGO TRIPLES EXPECTED COVERED CALIFORNIA ENROLLMENT When the Affordable Care Act first launched the segment that opened up health insurance to all Americans last October, local officials predicted 43,000 San Diegans would enroll using the state’s own health care exchange, Covered California. However KPBS reported this week that the final number was 121,900, more than three times the number predicted. “I don’t that think anybody could have projected that, especially with the hiccups that we all had in the beginning,” said Gary Rotto, director of health policy at the Council of Community Clinics. “Our process went a little bit smoother than that at the federal level, but still, there were some start-up issues.” Rotto also said these signups combined with the additional 100,000 residents who signed up for expanded Medi-Cal benefits reduced the number of uninsured in the region by 40 percent. KPBS also reported that statewide, 1.4 million enrolled at, and 1.2 million of those were eligible for subsidies. Though current enrollment for Covered California has ended, enrollment for 2015 will reopen in the fall. Those eligible for the expanded Medi-Cal can enroll year-round. Visit for more information. SUMMER COLLEGE CLASSES RESTORED The San Diego Community College District will offer summer college credit courses for the first time in five years. More that 1,000 classes will be offered at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges at a fee of $46 a unit. In addition, San Diego Continuing Education will offer more than 2,000 free non-credit classes at its seven campuses in San Diego. Classes in high-demand areas such as allied health, basic skills, hospitality and consumer sciences, and career technical studies, will be among those being offered. The primary summer session is set for June 16 to Aug. 9, but three other sessions also will be held from May 27 to June 28, June 9 to

Aug. 2 and June 30 to Aug. 2. Plans call for 436 summer courses to be offered at City College, 424 at Mesa College, and 204 at Miramar College. “After years budgetary belt-tightening, we take great pride in again offering summer courses that provide thousands of students the tools they need to get a timely, high-quality education, secure their degrees, and prepare for the workforce,” said Rich Grosch, president of SDCCD’s Board of Trustees. SDCCD was forced to stop offering summer courses as the recession led to $1.5 billion in state funding cuts for California Community Colleges. For more info visit

SAN DIEGO HOMEOWNERS CAN ‘GO GREEN’ THANKS TO CITY COUNCIL On April 8, Council President Todd Gloria announced that thanks to a unanimous vote by the City Council, San Diego homeowners now have two new opportunities to get financial assistance to make their homes more energy efficient. Called PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy), the two programs assist homeowners seeking financing and more energy efficient options more affordable through an assessment on their property tax bill over a defined period of time. The two approved resolutions are the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) PACE program offered through the Western Riverside Coalition of Governments, and the California Enterprise Development Authority’s Figtree PACE program. “These PACE programs will result in more homes being retrofitted for energy and water efficiency upgrades,” Gloria stated in a press release. “San Diegans will have a new option to finance renovations to their homes, so they make sense fiscally and environmentally.” Although the HERO assessment district is not currently authorized for operation in San Diego County, several local agencies have adopted the program. Figtree is San Diego-based and provides PACE financing for those

see Briefs, page 8

San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014



San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014

The Ken


BRIEFS wishing to add or expand energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conversation upgrades to their homes.

You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone*

Dale Larabee Larabee's Lowdown Can you imagine the Eiffel Tower shutting down because of a drop in attendance, or the Coliseum in Rome converted to a fabric store because the owners couldn’t afford to upgrade it? The historic Ken Theater, centerpiece of downtown Kensington, is closing on April 27th due to a spat between the property owner and Landmark Theaters over who pays the bill to drag our Ken into the 21st century. To many of us longtime residents, “The Ken” is Kensington and has been since it was built in 1947. Outsiders come to Kensington to eat, get their hair done, find

a rare video at Ken Video or see a movie at the Ken. The Ken makes us unique since it is the only neighborhood theater left. Problem: The Ken is a dinosaur and fewer folks care about dinosaurs anymore. You can only show “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” so many times. I hate change and was surprised so few of us were upset The Ken would close, and there have been no picket signs or “Save the Ken” movements. The local reaction is a loud and clear “So?” Will our equally loved Ken Video be next? Tom Guarnotta, a resident since 1945, remembers The Ken built when Kensington was the end of the trolley line. “The Ken made Kensington. The theater drew other businesses and then more homes,” he said. Guarnotta remembers in the early days “Dish Night” and bathroom scale giveaways were used to drum up business. At The Ken, he saw “It Happened One Night,” “The Bishop’s Wife” and Saturday matinees of “The Cisco Kid” and “Hopalong Cassidy.” S. Charles Lee was The Ken’s architect and built it in the Art Deco style of theater design — pretty far out in its day. Unfortunately, nobody upgraded The Ken much since ’47, and I’m told one using the women’s’ restroom can’t comfortably sit where one needs to sit and still be able to close the door.

The Ken Theatre in Kensington on Adams Avenue (Photo by Dale Larabee) Scores of locals once worked at The Ken. Davene Gibson worked for a time as an usher in the early 1960s while a student at Hoover High. “We sat in the box office, sold tickets, locked the booth, hustled inside to punch tickets, sold popcorn and showed patrons to their seats,” Gibson recalled. The Ken was the first San Diego theater to show foreign films. Evelyn Riddick, another Hoover co-ed, remembers in 1962 watching French, Italian and Japanese movies with heartthrobs Bridgette Bardot and Marcello Mastroianni — her semester abroad at The Ken. During slow times, she and others-bored behind the concession counter —

would unwrap chocolate cherries and try to hit their lonely classmate in the box office. After a brief hysterical outcry following news that The Ken would close, life around these parts has returned to business as usual. There are lukewarm rumors of another theater group taking over or Landmark renegotiating a deal. My friend Betsy McIntyre said it best as I whined about The Ken’s closing: “It’s business!” “Who’s going to run a theater where no one goes? Landmark is not in business to keep the theater open just because we like it there,” she said. “I just hope they don’t put in a Walmart.” Or a Fabric Store.u

*Added following the April 24 announcement that The Ken would not permanently close: The lukewarm rumors are true! The Ken is saved by a last second deal cut by Landmark Theaters and the owners. But why do I fear a second shoe will drop? Pray the May 2nd re-birth reopening won’t feature “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and a bathroom scales give-away. I am an optimistic person, but will our love affair with The Ken change to include us actually attending once we welcome the old girl back? We must wait and see. For now, we can breathe easy for there will be no dismal, deserted theater with used popcorn boxes blowing around the entrance — or worse, the fabric store.

LOCAL CHILDREN GET HANDS-ON COMPUTER EXPERIENCE On April 30, a select group of students from Hoover High will experience first-hand what its like to work in the world of computer development. The Control Group, one of San Diego’s leading tech companies, is hosting a “job shadow” event in conjunction with Junior Achievement San Diego to give the students hands-on experience as “techies.” The students will learn basic coding techniques, use industrystandard programs to develop sites and learn to create online content. The intent is to inspire the students to pursue a college degree and career in technology. Junior Achievement San Diego is a foundation dedicated to giving local students real experience for future business related careers. Visit for more information. SAN DIEGO FAIR ANNOUNCES THEME, MUSICAL LINEUP The San Diego County Fair has announced their 2014 theme as “The Fab Fair,” celebrating the 50th anniversary of the “British invasion,” otherwise known as the Beatles arrival in the United States on the Ed Sullivan Show. This year’s Fair, which takes place June 7 – July 6, will feature a number of tribute bands in their musical lineup, including two tributes to the Beatles: British Invasion and Britain’s Finest. A different musical artist or band will be featured at 9 p.m. every night that the fair is open, which include all days of the week except Mondays. On Thursdays during the Fair they will have the Belly Up Music Festival, featuring favorite bands from around San Diego. “Ticket and Ride” packages will also be available and include Fair admission, ride and drink coupons and a parking pass with close to a 50 percent savings. Competition in the Fair’s exhibits is open to the public. The first entry deadline (Fine Art, Photography, and Gems, Minerals & Jewelry) is Friday, April 25. Deadlines for other departments are May 2 and May 9. San Diego County Fair is offering a contest on Facebook to win prime seats at one of the concerts. Visit to follow the contest or sdfair. com for all fair information.u


San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014



UNPLUGGED beer and sake specials for $3. Plus there will be a beer garden on Hawley Boulevard. Unplugged can now be considered one part music discovery event and one part pub-crawl. Below are a few recommended sets and venues to check out but be sure to visit for the full schedule. Soda Pants at The Haven Pizzeria, 1:30 p.m. on Saturday: The 2013 San Diego Music Award winners for Best New Artist will perform at one of the newest spots in Kensington. Haven is just over a year old but has already garnered a great reputation. Soda Pants will bring their folk rock harmonies and fun spirit to this one. Plus this will be one of the venues with a $3 beer special. Beer and pizza? Can’t complain about that. Sara Petite at The Ould Sod, 6 p.m. on Saturday: Petite’s one-of-a-kind vocals are as entrancing on boot-stomping numbers as they are on tender country-laced ballads. Her charm lies both in her storytelling ways and her girl-next-door smile.

Los Alacranes perform at Adams Avenue Unplugged 2013. (Courtesy Flexible Fotography) (SP also performs at 4 p.m. on Saturday at the newly opened Java Joe’s.) Saba at Lestat’s Coffeehouse 1 p.m. on Sunday: One of the most active Unplugged venues, and consummate home for acoustic performers, Lestat’s will showcase a ton of talent this weekend. Songstress Saba is no stranger to this stage, where she’ll surely melt hearts with deep emotive vocals and poetic folk songs.

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Podunk Nowhere at Polite Provisions 4 p.m. on Sunday: As the festival winds down we suggest doing some unwinding yourself with the sultry stylings of this husband and wife duo. Singer Heather Janiga’s voice has just the right twang to fit with her man’s delicate strumming — throw a craft cocktail in there too, since this is one of the $5 special spots. (PN also perform at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Heights Tavern.)u

SLOAN — (619) 961-1954

TERRIE — (619) 961-1956

(l to r) Patric Petrie and David Lally perform at the Ould Sod at Adams Avenue Unplugged 2013. (Courtesy Flexible Fotography)

JERRY — (619) 961-1964

MIKE — (619) 961-1958


San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


A brief history of your local plumber Powers Plumbing looks ahead with a century in its wake Hutton Marshall Uptown Editor

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In early April, Powers Plumbing closed traffic in front of their storefront for an entire block on West Lewis Street in Mission Hills. The local plumbing company had just turned 100 years old, and they needed room to properly celebrate. Live music, water balloon contests and local vendors lit up the block where Powers Plumbing made its home back in 1917, moving from the Downtown location it established three years prior. While the store’s owner Janet O’Dea just took over the company in 2010, she holds the store’s historical ties to the community dear. In fact, she and her husband started Mission Hills Heritage back in the early 2000s when she first arrived in the city, and she continues to work on the historic Pioneer Park. Now, she’s put her own company under the magnifying glass to explore its lengthy history. Not much is known about Luther B. Powers, the founder of what now does business as “Powers Plumbing.” He started the L.B. Powers Plumbing shop at 805 Eighth Ave. in Downtown, after moving from Los Angeles in time for the Panama-California Exposition, which earned San Diego recognition by the international community as a prosperous port city. In 1917, his son Calvin joined his business, as would his brothers Benm and Mel before long. They changed their name to L.B. Powers & Son, packed up shop and spent a year relocating to 1619 W. Lewis St. in Mission Hills — across the street from their current location. What’s in 1619 W. Lewis St. today? A ballet studio. Then, a few years later in 1923, L.B. Powers & Son moved for a final time. They constructed the building that to this day stands at 1705 W. Lewis St. Luther retired from the family business twelve years later, and “Cal” went on to run the business for another 33 years until selling the business to Jack Detrick 1968. But that’s not to say the Powers family broke their ties with the business there. Cal continued to show up to the shop daily, even living right next door for a time. The Powers also retain ownership of the building. Detrick incorporated the business the following year, running it until 1983 when employee Phillip Stull took ownership. In Stull’s hands the company remained until its fifth and current owner Janet

An early shot of the Powers Plumbing building that operates today. While the exact date of the photograph isn't known, it's safe to say that it was taken in the first half of the 20th century. (Courtesy Powers Plumbing) O’Dea entered the scene. On a fateful day in 2007, O’Dea’s toilet stopped working. She called Powers, which not only fixed the toilet, but offered her a part-time accounting job. Already an active member of the Mission Hills community running a small business of her own, O’Dea’s interests slowly transitioned to Powers as she got more and more involved. Then, whether she was ready to take over or not, Stull was hit with medical issues that forced him to scale back his involvement with Powers. There was a leadership gap after his leaving that O’Dea filled, becoming the official owner in 2010. Stull continues to stop by the shop regularly, and the employees even get a visit from time to time by the granddaughter of Luther B. Powers, who now owns the building. There’s a sense of community at Powers — close bonds characteristic of a long-standing family business. Indeed, O’Dea has recruited her husband Allen, a local professor, to come lend a hand in the shop part time. Now with great familiarity of the community, Powers prides itself on being able to accommodate its many historic homes, enabling customers to flush without asking them to compromise their home’s historic integrity. With Powers Plumbing, O’Dea hopes to continue this close marriage with Mission Hills for many years to come. Visit for more information on Powers Plumbing.u

Faulconer brings ‘Meet the Mayor’ series to The Center

although according to a SANDAG planner for the project, significantly rerouting the bike corridor away from University Avenue is “unrealistic” at the current stage planning process. District three residents quiz new mayor on local issues in the Another resident asked Faulconer about his opposition to the Hutton Marshall Uptown Editor Barrio Logan community plan, population to policing the homeand whether or not Faulconer less more strictly in Hillcrest. respects the community plan Hillcrest Town Council On Tuesday, April 22, Mayor process, given that he supported President Luke Terpstra asked Kevin Faulconer arrived at The efforts by those outside the comFaulconer about City oversight LGBT Center in Hillcrest, his chomunity to rescind the plan. of the SANDAG bike corridor sen site for the District Three inFaulconer answered that while plan, which has been criticized stallment of his “Meet the Mayor” he respects the right of commufor its potential impact on parking series held in each of the nine San spaces, especially along University nities to tailor their community Diego council districts. plans — which dictate growth, Avenue in Hillcrest. There, alongside Council development and broad President and District land-use issues — to Three Representative their individual interests, Todd Gloria, Faulconer he said ensuring that the opened the event with plans work for the city an update of projects and as whole is important to issues he’s addressed consider. since being sworn in two Faulconer allowed months prior. Following several residents to ask his introduction, which follow-ups to their initial focused largely on his requestions, and no argucently proposed budget, ments or outcries were as well as infrastructure heard during the course spending and the San Di- Mayor Kevin Faulconer speaks to an audience of District of the event. However, ego Police Department, Three residents during his "Meet the Mayor" forum at The the event was silently he opened the floor up to LGBT Center. (Photo by Hutton Marshall) picketed by Canvass a lengthy Q&A session for a Cause, a local LGBT-rights Faulconer responded that he with Uptown residents. Many nonprofit, because of three isand Gloria would ensure the final individuals in the audience got sues they felt Faulconer was not plan is a “good fit for the comthe opportunity to ask the City’s supportive of: workers’ rights to munity,” but did not speak about chief executive multiple direct organize, homeless funding and specific aspects of the project. questions. the rights of “queer and trans A Faulconer spokesperson has Questions addressed to Faulpeople of color.” previously stated that there will coner during the approximately Visit for be a formal review process of the 40-minute Q&A session ranged news and information on Mayor SANDAG corridor once SANDAG from racial profiling by police ofKevin Faulconer.u completes the planning phase, ficers to supporting the homeless


San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


Here today, gone tomorrow

Seasonal organics chefs can’t resist Frank Sabatini Jr. Uptown News

Springtime signals some of the best produce that Mother Nature has to offer. The season also excites the heck out of chefs, who race to incorporate the organics into their dishes while the bounties are still young and tender and full of nutrients. This year’s yields are no exception to the rule, despite our ongoing drought that has either forestalled or sped up the growing cycles of certain crops. Below is a partial list of seasonal “newborns” fresh from the soil and where to find them when dining out in Uptown. Fiddleheads at Brooklyn Girl Chef Colin Murray has seized upon these coiled, premature leaves from the fern family, which hail largely from the Northeast and have a very short season. He’s already used them in vegetable beddings for seared duck breast and plans on tossing them into risotto that he’ll pair with another protein in the coming weeks. “Fiddleheads are very curious looking and they have a green, springtime flavor like asparagus, and with a nice crunch,” he noted. “I like using them with minimal ingredients so that they stand out.” 4033 Goldfinch St. (Mission Hills) 619-296-4600 Heirloom carrots, kale and fava beans at Cucina Urbana Sweet, multi-colored heirloom carrots are the star ingredient in a new salad with radicchio and burnt orange vinaigrette, a dish that Chef Joe Magnanelli said could potentially disappear by late May. “These carrots are babies and they come in all different sizes. It’s the imperfectness of them that attracts me,” he said. For Caesar salad, he’s snagged a fresh bumper crop of kale from a farm in Oceanside that he describes as “the most flavorful and tender kale you can imagine.” The kitchen has also seen the arrival of newly sprung fava beans, which set the stage for roasted Jidori chicken and housemade ricotta gnudi.

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(below) Large, delicate asparagus finds its way into three dishes at Uptown Tavern; (l to r above) Fresh, seasonal fava beans are being used at Cucina Urbana; In-season fiddleheads reveal their coiled structure in a recent duck special at Brooklyn Girl (Photo by Scott Basile); Look for roasted heirloom carrots at Cucina Urbana. (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr. unless indicated otherwise)

Green garlic and ramps at Heat Bar & Kitchen “I’m all about green garlic from Suzie’s Farm,” said Chef Joe Herrmann, who sweats out the young cloves, purees them and spreads the fragrant mash onto flatbread. The green version, he said, is sweeter and milder than regular garlic and doesn’t carry the pungent bite. “We’re also using fresh ramps that are out right now — in a couple of pasta dishes and on flatbread,” he added. 3797 Park Blvd. (Hillcrest) 619-546-4328

flavor, recently landed in Chef Ryan Johnston’s leg of lamb, roasted with garlic and parsley. “I also taste a hint of sweet corn from the squash,” he said. Ramps are among his seasonal favorites as well. He’s currently sourcing the leek-like bulbs from Specialty Produce and serving them with beef heart carpaccio. Next up: morel mushrooms, which Johnston will begin purchasing in a couple of weeks to use in roasted form on toast. 1660 India St. (Little Italy) 619-398-8383

Sunburst squash, ramps and morel mushrooms at Prepkitchen Early-season Sunburst squash, touted for its sweet zucchini-like

Mustard greens at 100 Wines These leafy, spicy greens are just beginning to sprout and Chef Miguel Valdez has already pre-assigned them to mixed salads and for balancing out an appetizer of bone marrow. “I’ll start getting them in another month or so and they’ll last until the end of summer,” he said, at which point he’ll begin focus-

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ing on radishes, turnips and other root vegetables that follow in fall. 1027 University Ave. (Hillcrest) 619-491-0100 Green tomatoes and watermelons at Urban Solace Though never meant to ripen, green tomatoes are nonetheless a little behind schedule because of the drought, said Chef Matt Gordon, who expects their arrival in the coming month. Once in, he will offer them coated in organic corn meal, pan-fried and served with chimichurri sauce and feta crème fresh. Juicy, ruby-red watermelons are also coming soon, allowing the return of Gordon’s famous seasonal watermelon-tomato-cucumber salad, which he has added to the menu each year since opening the restaurant in 2007. 3823 30th St. (North Park) 619-295-6464 Asparagus at Uptown Tavern Chef Dana Francisco is smitten with springtime green asparagus because of its snappy texture and onion-y flavor. The early harvests sourced from regional farms are currently being roasted for flat-

breads; pickled and used in braise for St. Louis-style pork ribs; and served grilled alongside flatiron steak. “We change our menu every three months so we’ll get a full season out of it,” he said. 1236 University Ave. (Hillcrest) 619-241-2710 White beets and cucumbers at The Red Door and Wellington Steak & Martini Lounge Rare, albino beets have begun appearing in home garden of Trish Watlington, who owns the adjoining restaurants. With little time left before they stop producing, Executive Chef Karrie Hills is taking full advantage of the crispy root vegetable by using them in various salads on random nights. She is also awaiting the first yields of “snack cucumbers” from a North County grower, which she says have less seeds and thinner skins than Persian cucumbers. “I use them for a lot of things and I’m out of pickles right now, so I’m excited to get them back soon.” 741 W. Washington St. (Mission Hills) 619-295-6000u




San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014 RICHMOND





Greater Golden Hill





























10TH 11TH



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GASLAMP Greater Golden Hill Community Planning Group (GGHCPG)

ention nter













South Park Business Group (SPBG)

Greater Golden Hill Community Development Corporation (GGHCDC)



reater Golden Hill, which includes both Golden Hill and South Park, was for quite a while one of the better-kept secrets hidden right in the shadow of Balboa Park and Downtown San Diego. “Renaissance” is an overused word in urban development these days, but the community seems to have experienced something that almost warrants the term’s use. In the last decade, the community developed a laid-back, weirdly trendy business corridor without succumbing to overdevelopment or corporate-chain invasion. And although there has been some turmoil in the not-too-distant past of the area’s community organizations, the grass-roots approach to fostering a cohesive community — especially where local business is concerned — is a model much of San Diego can learn from. —Hutton Marshall, Uptown Editor

GREATER GOLDEN HILL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (GGHCDC) Despite the GGHCDC having been established back in 1991, many aspects of it feel like a young, growing organization. This is because of the sizable controversy that surrounded the area’s Maintenance Assessment District, which was forcibly dissolved in early 2012. Without delving too much into the issue, the MAD and its funding made up a large part of the CDC’s operations, so losing that MAD created something of a vacuum both in the CDC and in the community. And whatever problems the dissolved MAD might have had, an area the size of Greater Golden Hill without a maintenance district is surprising. You may recall in the previous installment of this series that Kensington’s community planning board is currently working to establish not one, but five MADs throughout Kensington. Many neighborhoods in San Diego rely on these districts for beautification, upkeep of public space and often

much larger civic projects. With the dissolving of the MAD, the GGHCDC appears to have used the change to focus more on community development and programming. The Golden Hill Street Fair, which returned in 2012 after an eight-year hiatus, continues to be a central focus of the organization. Last year, it drew an estimated 30,000 people to the festivities. Funding for the event has maintained constant because of an economic tourism support grant through the City. The organization also retains ownership of a 33-unit affordable housing complex, which it oversaw development of, as well as two duplexes. The three buildings are now managed by separate entities. Board president Blair Ward said highlighting the community’s historic nature is a future goal for the GGHCDC, especially the Golden Hill Park, which he said was the ver y first piece of Balboa Park constructed. With its origins dating back to the end of the Civil War era in the 1860s, Ward hopes Golden Hill Park can be incorporated into the Balboa Park Centennial Celebra-


break-ins. Walker said despite the benefits of developing the community, South Park’s growth wasn’t advocated by ever yone. Many feared that South Park’s off-color charm might be washed away should the area grow too large and affluent. Walker said while she viewed the community’s growth more positively than that faction, this was indeed a concern of the SPBG, especially in regard to retaining the unique feel of the neighborhood and not letting any corporate chains set up shop. Now, she said, the concern isn’t as great. There are few vacant buildings compared to 15 years ago; most have been occupied by businesses. Massive developments coming in aren’t a great fear either, since the Greater Golden Hill Community Planning Group so far is successfully advocating reduced densities throughout much of Greater Golden Hill during its community plan update currently nearing completion. As far as future plans go, the SPBG hopes to continue the success they’ve seen with their walkabouts. The organization is undergoing a bit of reconstruction as well, splitting off into several subcommittees to better divide up their resources.

























tion. One of the CDC’s goals will be to foster a relationship with the newly reformed Centennial planning group in order to incorporate the park and the Greater Golden Hill community into the celebration’s programming. Vice President David Sawicki, a musician, youth community organizer and relatively recent Detroit transplant, also hopes to incorporate youth and arts programming into the scope of the GGHCDC. While currently wading through unknown waters, it’s reassuring to see the new role the organization hopes to play in the community.

SOUTH PARK BUSINESS GROUP (SPBG) South Park is a fairly recent invention within the boundaries of Greater Golden Hill, but the name South Park can actually be traced back to historic San Diego. The modern-day South Park fits itself comfortably between North Park and Golden Hill, centering itself around 30th Street just east of Balboa Park. Geographically, it’s a relatively

small portion of Greater Golden Hill, but the once-exclusively residential area now boasts an active, artsy business corridor. SPBG’s Donna Walker, coowner of South Bark, said this wasn’t always the case. She’s witnessed drastic change during the past decade since opening up South Bark and helping start the SPBG. She attributes the community’s growth more to the latter, although the dogs seem happy too. South Bark opened during the time of South Park’s pseudocreation around the year 2000. Back then, the group started with just five or six businesses in the area, which amounted to the better part of the business community. Dues were about $20 per year. Today, the SPBG has approximately 50 members, and dues are $150 per year. This gives them the ability to hire an employee, as well as expand their vision for the quarterly “South Park Walkabouts,” which began in late 2001. Last winter’s walkabout, for example, brought a sizable crowd for the holiday with its Luminaria festival (see “Illuminating South Park,” Vol. 5, Issue 25), although that event had the benefit of grant funding. Regardless, the SPBG and the community at large have grown sizably from the period not so long ago when Walker would meet informally with her five cohorts in coffee shops while many South Park residents barred their windows to deter

Like their neighbors in Greater North Park and Uptown, Greater Golden Hill is on the tail end of updating their community plans. That means even as the Golden Hill plan continues to solidify, there are still plenty of lengthy, often heated discussions being had by the community, City and the GGHCPG. As previously mentioned, much of the GGHCPG is advocating for reduced densities throughout much of community, and according to the most recent draft plan presented to the board, they’ve been largely successful. One area on the cusp of the GGH boundary, the City Operations Yard on the southern edge of Balboa Park, is still drawing fire from members of the GGHCPG and the community because of density increases proposed there in the current plan update draft. Regardless of that specific issue's outcome, it appears Greater Golden Hill will stave off density increases seen in many other areas of the city, but that doesn’t mean the area is without its challenges. Having a community so closely tied to Balboa Park presents its own challenges, for example. The Balboa Park Golf Course is currently undergoing a big renovation, which includes restructuring Golf Course Drive, a commonly used road by Greater Golden Hill residents. Working with the Balboa Park committee — the closest thing to a community-planning group in Balboa Park, which the GGHCPG gets a representative on — to create a bike lane, for example, has been a goal as well. Beyond that, working to facilitate bike lanes throughout the community with the coming of the SANDAG bike corridor will be on the agenda as well, but like Uptown and Greater North Park, the community plan update process will likely make up a large part of the GGHCPG’s 2014.u



San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


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Marilyn Torres as Odessa Ortiz aka Haikumom in “Water by the Spoonful” at The Old Globe (Photo by Jim Cox)

About Elliot Charlene Baldridge Uptown News

Whether they realize it or not, San Diego audiences may have experienced the work of Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes at least twice. Hudes’s play “Elliot: a Soldier’s Fugue” was produced in its West Coast premiere by ion theatre company in 2010, and Hudes wrote the book for the Tony Award-winning musical “In the Heights,” seen here at San Diego Repertory Theatre, and earlier in its Broadway tour when it was presented by Broadway San Diego at the Civic Theatre. Currently, Hudes’s 2012 Pulitzer-winning play, “Water by the Spoonful,” may be seen until May 11 at the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, produced by The Old Globe. “Water by the Spoonful” is the middle part of the playwright’s trilogy concerning Elliot Ortiz, a veteran of the Iraq war and member of a family with origins in Puerto Rico. Elliot’s adoptive mother, Ginny, a nurse during in the Vietnam War, was introduced in “Elliot,” along

way among Elliot and Yazmin’s scenes. Elliot’s birth mother Odessa Ortiz (Marilyn Torres), who uses the screen name Haikumom, runs an online support group for other cocaine addicts in various stages of recovery. Their sobriety ranges from one day to many days. All are hanging in, dependent upon one another’s cyberspace presence. Among them are Fountainhead (Robert Eli), a businessman

“Water by the Spoonful” Tuesdays through Sundays | through May 11 8 p.m. Thurs.-Sat.; 2 p.m. Sat. and Sun.; 7 p.m. Sun., Tues., and Wed. | The Old Globe Theatre 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park | tickets start at $29 or 619-23-GLOBE with Elliot’s father, a veteran of that war, and Elliot’s grandfather, who fought in the Korean War. When “Water by the Spoonful” begins, the unseen Ginny is dying. The play is set in 2009, six years after Elliot’s original deployment. He still suffers from a serious leg wound and possibly from PTSD and addiction to painkillers. Unable to get on with his life, he works making sandwiches at Subway, lives with Ginny and hangs out with his cousin Yazmin (Sarah Nina Hayon), an intelligent, highpowered academic and composer. A separate plot line threads its

on the downward spiral to losing his company and his family, and Orangutan (Ruibo Qian), a Japanese immigrant who is sweet on Chutes&Ladders (Keith Randolph Smith). With the possible exception of Haikumom, none of them has met the others face to face. When Fountainhead receives unkind criticism from Chutes&Ladders, for instance, Haikumom meets Fountainhead face to face, armed with brochures from a number of recovery facilities, trying to convince him he needs treatment. “Our family may have been

fucked up but at least we had someplace to go,” Elliot says. He does not approve of Odessa’s online home and her family of addicts. When it comes time to pay for Ginny’s cremation and flowers for the memorial service, Elliot berates Odessa unmercifully for her lack of ability to contribute monetarily. M. Keala Milles, Jr. plays several roles, most chilling of which is the ghost of Elliot’s first kill in Iraq. In fact, everyone in Hudes’s play is haunted in some way. We discover the ways they have betrayed themselves and others as they expose their pain and human need for love

(l to r) Marilyn Torres as Odessa Ortiz aka “Haikumom,” Keith Randolph Smith as “Chutes&Ladders,” Robert Eli as “Fountainhead” aka John and Ruibo Qian as “Orangutan” in “Water by the Spoonful” at The Old Globe (Photo by Jim Cox)

and connection. Initially, the play requires much of us, but once we’re hip to its jazz-inflected rhythms and riffs, its complexity is a joyous challenge. Directed by Edward Torres, the Globe’s acting company is magnificent; each character has a backstory that fathoms deep. We already know Elliot’s. Even the wisest and proudest among them falls from grace and because of the respect accorded them by the playwright, we identify with their failures, struggles and triumphs. And lest you think oh, how bleak, we laugh a lot too. These people are treasures. Ralph Funicello’s fiber opticinspired set it wondrous, too, especially as lighted by Jesse Klug and infused with Mikhail Fiksel’s Coltrane-inspired sound design. David Israel Raynoso is the costume designer.u


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San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014




3958 Fifth Ave. (H i l l c r e s t )

619-260-1111 Prices: Salads, appetizers and pasta dishes, $3.75 to $30.75; pizzas, $8.50 to $27.75



he New York and Boston natives who started Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria in the Bay Area are helping to end the incessant whining from fellow Southern California transplants about the “flaws” of West Coast pizza. Based on the success of their first San Diego location in La Jolla, they just opened a second local kitchen in Hillcrest, complete with a scorching brick oven that cooks the pie crusts to a crispy, dark finish. From their San Mateo head-

Restaurant Review

quarters, Mike Forter and Peter Cooperstein have expanded Amici’s to a dozen locations throughout California. Unraveling the back-East secrets to dough making was their number one priority when launching the business in the mid-1980s. Despite the fact that nobody in the company will reveal them, a New Jersey native in our group declared after biting into a sausage-garlic pizza, “This crust is exactly like what I grew up eating in pizzerias back home.”

(l to r) A slice of Amici's New York-style sausage pizza, a fresh garden salad, side order of meatballs and gnocchi with butter and Parmesan (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.) Having acquired my pizza snobbery in Buffalo, N.Y., where the crusts are genergener ally a tad thicker and cooked on pizza tins at 550 degrees rather than directly on oven floors at 720 degrees, the Amici’s recipe nonetheless hit some of my own critical benchmarks in terms of flavor and texture. Present were the yeasty undertones that sadly go missing in so many California pizzerias, even in those claiming New York roots. Also, the crust was

chewy instead of cracker-like while still breaking down easily in the mouth, a telling clue that the dough receives extra kneeding compared to what Left Coast pizza makers give it. And this includes spin stretching it into the air by the masters in Amici’s exhibition kitchen. Bright, house-made red sauce and whole-milk mozzarella are among the classic foundations as well. In terms of quality and price, these pizzas aren’t cheap. A mini seven-inch with pepperoni

costs $9.50, graduating to $23.25 for a large 15-incher. The size scale also encompasses 10-inch smalls and 13-inch mediums on both customer-crafted and specialty pies. Tender, fried eggplant graced the “Boston,” which didn’t disappoint. We also ordered a pizza with mozzarella, Provolone, roasted garlic and Italian sausage. Red pepper flakes lurking beneath the cheese added a lively spark. It was excellent. Both pizzas were 10-inches, which sated this foursome but without leaving us overly filled as we sometimes like to feel when it comes to good pizza. Other choices include the “Philly” with peppers, onions and hot or mild sausage; a veggie pizza with roasted green peppers, mushrooms, onions and black olives; and the “Manhattan” with clams and garlic. Several of the specialty pizzas are sauceless, such as the “Pollo” with chicken breast and baby spinach or the “Greek Isle” crowned with feta, mozzarella, artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes. Among the starters we tried, a trio of all-beef meatballs was my favorite — tender, lean and nurturing. Gnocchi in butter and Parmesan didn’t reveal any butter, although we liked the slightly crispy sear on the dumplings. As beautiful salads passed our table, we caved to the artichoke panzanella bread salad featuring a garden’s worth of fresh veggies and Tuscan-style bread cubes dressed in very light vinaigrette. Our only complaints were that we felt it needed mozzarella to tie everything together. And fresh, grilled artichokes rather than brined would have made it sensational. Amici’s remodel to what was Freebirds World Burrito is bright and open, with a soothing color palette of gray, soft brown and white. The fiery brick oven at the center of the stainless-steel kitchen is always in eyeshot. Beer and wine is also available, along with two desserts currently in the offing: tuxedo cake, and as we would expect from back-East proprietors, New York-style cheesecake. Next time for sure.u


Blue Ribbon 530 University Ave. (Hillcrest) | 619-501-6795

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

Few happy hour menus put customers in the driver’s seat regarding how much they want to spend on food and drinks. You either accept the given specials or bail. At Blue Ribbon Rustic Kitchen, the offerings are tailored to specific budgets, kind of like how blackjack tables are structured in casinos. The difference here is that you’ll likely come up winning with whatever choice you make. The price categories are $5, $6, $7 and $8. Each contains a variety of drinks and dishes. Stick to one. Or mix and match. Equally appealing is that you can sit anywhere in the modern-rustic restaurant while enjoying the deals, on raised banquettes or at the roomy bar. We chose a high-top table at the front windows, which open to the hustle and bustle in the heart of Hillcrest. Arriving neither overly hungry nor thirsty, I took the frugal route by sticking to the $5 bargains, which are custommade for mild appetites. It’s also where the bargains on well drinks and draft beer reside. The craft drafts spotlight local and regional brews by Ballast Point, Acoustic, Saint Archer and others. Hard cider from Julian is also available. I chose Devotion from The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, a Belgian-style blonde ale that I like for its semi-dryness. It’s also a good “food beer” because the hops are light and don’t jangle the flavors of any sustenance you wash down with it. I paired it with an order of black-seed popcorn from Wisconsin. For $5, you get nearly a bucket’s worth dusted in Parmesan Reggiano, chives and truffle salt. We couldn’t detect the latter, but the freshly popped kernels were a perfect come-on to the suds. My companion drank and grazed from the $6 category, which features several “boutique” wine varietals by the glass from a Chilean producer called Antanwa. He chose the zinfandel and drank the generous pour with gusto. Much like a good zin from Paso Robles, it was full-bodied, fruit-forward and as smooth as glycerin. His plates of choice at $6 each were roasted Brussels sprouts with pancetta and balsamic and crispy angel hair-wrapped shrimp served three to an order with a zesty cocktail sauce. Based on a couple dinners I’ve had here in previous visits, it came as no surprise that

both dishes were excellent. A decent choice of craft cocktails is available in the $7 category, along with such dishes as crispy duck wings and local albacore. At the top rung for $8 are homemade pastas and deluxe flatbreads. Blue Ribbon’s goal of providing something for every everybody at whatever fits their budgets deserves none other than a blue ribbon.u

Ratings: DRINKS: The beer selection sticks to local crafts. Wines, such as the inky zinfandel we tried, hail from Chile, while the cocktail list shows off inventive creations like elderflower martinis and berry-infused “black margaritas.”

FOOD: The heirloom popcorn from Wisconsin is dressed tastefully in Parmesan Reggiano and chives. Shrimp wrapped in crispy angel hair pasta were big and succulent, although the roasted Brussels sprouts drizzled in aged balsamic stole the show.

VALUE: You decide. With four price categories to order from, customers take control of their happy hour spending. The savings from each on drinks and food average about $3 per item.

SERVICE: Our waiter with the quick, warm smile delivered our food and drinks with lightening speed.

DURATION: In addition to its after-work happy hour, the restaurant rolls out the specials again later in the evening four nights a week, from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.

(above) prawns wrapped in crispy angel hair; (below) a glass of Devotion with black-seed popcorn (Photos by Dr. Ink)

San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014



San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


Escape the gym Let’s be honest, sometimes going to the gym is just no fun. Lucky us — we live in San Diego! burn calories, soak in some Vitamin D and get a phenomenal workout. I’ll score these leg burners on degree of difficulty from one to five.

Brian White F itness

I have spent the majority of my life inside of gyms. Whether exercising or working as a personal trainer, let me tell you, it can get stuffy. I never realized how bad it could get until the first summer I started my outdoor boot camp in Balboa Park. Once that camp got going eight years ago, I was forced to be outside another 10 hours a week — it was amazing! Most of you know about our incredible weather, because you moved here like me from another state because of it, or you were just lucky enough to be born here. If the latter was the case, go give your mom or dad a hug, you lucky dogs. I think during many parts of our lives we can either forget all that San Diego can offer outdoors, or we just get caught up in a routine that doesn’t afford us any extra time to get out in the sun. Maybe what you need is something new to do. So here is list of activities you can do right here in our city to

Mt Woodson: The semi-famous “potato chip rock” is a great hike for intermediate to advanced hikers that can take between two to four hours roundtrip. There are quite a few hills, beautiful views of Lake Poway and surrounding mountains, and enough switchbacks to make you dizzy. Just look up directions to Lake Poway Park, it is about a 30-minute drive from Downtown. If you don’t think you are ready to get all the way to the top, about half way up there is a huge tree that shades a big rock outcropping and is a great place to relax and enjoy the views too. My favorite hike, and don’t forget to get a good pic atop the chip. This is a 4.5 leg burner. The HODAD: This place is famous to my boot campers at least, and it’s located right in beautiful Balboa Park. The HODAD got its name from my boot campers who have affectionately dubbed it “The Hill Of Death & Despair.” Don’t let the scary name get to you; this hill is great for all fitness levels. Located right behind the dog park just before the 163 overpass near Laurel Street, walk it as if you are going over the bridge to the museums. Open the gate at the rear end of the dog park and head down to the top of the loop: This is the HODAD. A great, short and intense workout here is to set your watch for 10 minutes and see how many times you can get around the loop. Our boot

camp record is just about seven full laps. Can you beat it? This is a three leg burner. 56 Bike Route: The entire route stretches for 18 miles and is completely paved, which is great for all bikes. It runs along Route 56 from the 15 to the 5 freeway. Great places to get on the path are Black Mountain Road or at Camino Del Sur in Del Mar. This is a great ride for all levels of riders, from pros to families to recreational riders. In fact, various bike companies will set up free stands on the weekends for you filled with water stations and bananas and tools to fix your bike. This is a four leg burner. Torrey Pines State Park: This popular spot is a great place to get a great workout in. You can run from the lower parking lot, down the cliffs and back on the beach in less than an hour, or you can hike it in about 90 minutes. I can’t think of any other place that offers the diversity that Torrey Pines does, paved roads gives ways to sand covered trails, which gives way to beach sand. All fitness levels can hike this route and the views are unparalleled in San Diego. This is a two-leg burner. Bachman Place: Many have driven up, but few have done intervals on this awesome hill that is located behind the hospitals in Hillcrest. There are five light posts from the bottom of the street to the top here, which make for a great interval workout. Start at the bottom and sprint to the last light post as fast as you can and walk all the way back down. Then turn and sprint to the next to last light post and walk down. Repeat for the rest of the light posts and you are done. If you are looking for a little more, repeat a second time, start with the short sprint first, and getting longer on each one. This is a five leg burner.u

Yoga gains traction in Uptown as a holistic workout alternative Vince Meehan Uptown News

In Uptown and beyond, yoga has become so popular in the past few years that its own fashion trend has formed in its wake. The holistic exercise’s popularity is a testament to an increased acceptance of Eastern philosophy, combined with a renewed focus on a healthy lifestyle. Yoga studios are popping up around town quicker than coffee houses did in the ‘90s, and there is no shortage of eager students willing to practice this meditative workout. Christina Heliker has seen firsthand this influx of new yogis at Core Yoga, the Uptown yoga studio she manages. She’s worked as an instructor there for five years, and Christina recently had to add several classes Heliker of Core to accommodate growing demand. Yoga “I think the main attraction of (Photo by Vince yoga is its calming effect on the Meehan) body and mind,” Heliker said. “In today’s high-stress job market, people really want a way to decompress after work.” Heliker teaches “Vinyasa” style yoga, which she characterizes as having a flow to it. Proper breathing technique is the first thing she teaches to her students, allowing them to relax and enter a meditative state, which is key to practicing yoga. “In yoga, it’s all about holding poses as a way to

build both strength and posture,” Heliker said. “With Vinyasa, we flow from one pose to the other, as opposed to a style like “Bikram, where the focus is on holding one pose, and then disengaging to start another.” Once calm, the students are instructed to hold poses while adjusting their breathing techniques accordingly. Mastering these varying breathing techniques has actually proved beneficial to many women in childbirth, including Heliker. As students grow more comfortable with yoga, they can bump up to more challenging poses, as well as “inversions”: poses where your head is situated below your heart, such as in a handstand. Heliker enjoys teaching “heated” yoga, which has grown especially popular recently. In heated yoga, the temperature in the studio is raised, similar to a sweat lodge, as the students go through their poses. “Heated yoga is popular with my students due to the detoxifying effect of sweating,” Heliker said. “It really puts you in a zone that lets you know you are working out.” Heliker is convinced that yoga’s popularity has grown due to its low-impact style, as well as its non-invasive nature. “Yoga is for people who want to enjoy a nonpushy workout that does not involve someone screaming at you to grind out one more rep,” Heliker said. “There is a serenity involved, and even a bit of playfulness that really attracts people. With today’s focus on a healthy lifestyle, yoga is a perfect fit.”u


San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014

The senior pet, keeping the quality going

Ann Eliopulos Pets It finally happened! That bullet I was certain I was going to dodge just crept up on me. I’m sure it happened over time, but it seemed as if it was overnight: gray hair, looser skin, joints that hurt and less energy. Most pet owners describe similar phenomena in their senior pets as well. That once vibrant, energetic cat or dog is looking frailer, grayer and less active it seems like it just suddenly happened. When you consider that your dog or cat ages approximately seven years to your one, it starts to make more sense. Senior status is typically recognized at starting at around age seven or eight years (49 to 56 in human years), but is also determined by breed and other factors. A pet is considered to be an advanced senior when it has lived beyond the life expectancy for the breed or species. As our pets enter their golden years, it is important to provide them with regular health checks and support. Age is not a disease. There are definite physical and mental changes that occur, just like in people, and any change should be checked. Many conditions can be helped and sometimes cured. Cats are not small dogs, so let’s start with them. The following changes warrant a trip to the vet:

enrichment with toys that don’t require leaping and bounding will help keep the senior cat stay engaged. Dogs and cats alike can have changes in their hearing, vision and sense of taste. While some of these conditions are due to the normal wear of the organ or tissue, it is important to make sure that there is not a painful or treatable cause. Because our dogs are more active than most cats, their arthritis tends to be noticed more readily. Arthritis is a progressive, worsening condition that over time will cause muscle atrophy and disabling pain. Supplements, medications, alternative modalities such as laser and acupuncture and sometimes even surgery can improve symptoms and allow for a better quality of life. Signs that your dog may be experiencing arthritic change are: • Slowness or difficulty getting out of bed • Lameness • Not wanting to go on walks or lagging behind • Accidents in the house Yes, dogs may experience dementia with age, which might cause the senior dog to have accidents. Changes in the liver, kidneys or other organs may cause your dog to not be able to hold their bladder or bowels the way they used to. There’s a reason “Depends” are in business for adult humans. Unless your senior dog has dementia, they will probably feel horrible about not having the ability to hold it all day anymore. Adjustments in schedule or dog walks may help solve the


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problem, as long as there is not a medical condition causing the accidents. As dogs continue to live longer, cancer is becoming more prevalent. Lumps and bumps, loss of appetite, limping or any sudden change should be checked immediately. Some cancers can be cured when caught early and in many cases they can be supported with quality and good time. Despite the old adage, old dogs love to learn new tricks. Okay, they don’t need to be tricks, but stimulating the senior mind keeps it active. Now is the time to change up high-impact games such as frisbee, catch or anything that requires a jump. Throwing low is the way to go. Senior cats and dogs alike may require special diets. Senior pets should be examined once a year with blood work and a urinalysis. The advanced senior should be examined twice a year, with diagnostics as deemed appropriate by your veterinarian. Soft beds, gentle exercise, diligent health care, stimulation and understanding will make your senior’s life happier and allow them the dignity they have earned. At some point, the time will come to say goodbye, but until then, find ways to ease both of you down the road of what can be the most precious period of your relationship together.



Answer key, page 19

Uptown Crossword

Ann Eliopulos is a hospital Administrator at Bodhi Animal Hospital. Got a pet question for Ann? Email it to

• Change in grooming habits or hair coat • Increased or decreased appetite or thirst • Weight loss • Changes in urination or defecation habits • Change in litter box habits • Coughing or wheezing • Has a lump Cats usually mellow with age and become more sedentary. However, if your cat no longer wants to be petted, seems grumpy or isn’t getting up on their usual favorite places, they may be in pain. Arthritis affects all mammals. Cats do not necessarily limp from their arthritis. They may not want to get on the bed, dislike being touched on their back or have trouble getting in and out of their litter box. Supplements, medications, ramps, soft beds and possibly a litter box with shorter sides can help senior cats to feel more comfortable. Adding a litter box in a different location may save an older cat from having to go that extra, uncomfortable step. Play

(Courtesy, magerymajestic)

Start to Finish

Answer key, page 19


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San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014 INVESTMENT






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PUZZLE SOLUTIONS Puzzle from page 17



Luigi Vera 3823 Fifth Ave. San Diego, CA 92103 619-683-2199 |

If you have ever walked down Fifth Avenue, one of the main streets in Hillcrest, you have probably been stopped in your tracks by Luigi Vera’s bright and inviting clothing boutique. This boutique screams fashion. The boutique’s owner, Luigi Vera, has worked hard to create this “one of a kind” store and is proud of everything it has become. The store’s seventh anniversary is approaching and it isn’t an event you should miss. If you take a step inside you are greeted by the owner and designer Luigi Vera himself. Look up and you’ll see his creations strung along the walls, look down and you can find high-end vintage designer scarves inside the glass counters. You’ll find items ranging anywhere from Cartier to Hermés. Vera started as a hard working child in Sonora, Mexico where he knocked on doors and ran errands for his neighbors. He later worked cleaning local tortilla machines. When he finally moved to the United States in 1996, Vera began working at Kenneth Cole in Escondido. Initially intimidated by the fashion industry, he made efforts to learn over his weekends how to sew. When he began making his own tank tops, Vera recalls fellow patrons at The Brass Rail asking him to make one for them as well. Eventually, Vera began selling his designs to local boutiques in San Diego,



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Crossword from page 17

(619) 857-8769 DRE # 01343230

PROPERTY MGMT FOR SALE OR LEASE Water view home. Buy or lease option, $1,650,000. 21,800 ft. Kearny Mesa office building $3,950,000, 18 miles Baja oceanfront, need partner, Idaho Resort F & C $625,000. Try your sale, exchange ideas? Geo Jonilonis. Rltr (619) 454-4151.


3737 Fifth Ave., Suite 201 (619) 519-7775


San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


Jefferson Elementary: a century in North Park A few years before Balboa Park was developed for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition into the world-class recreational and cultural complex San Diegans and tourists know and love today, another nearby institution sprang from the sandy soil to serve the growing population of the area: Jefferson Elementary School. Jefferson will be observing its Centennial on May 28th, and hopes to bring together students, alumni and neighbors to celebrate both the history and the future of the elementary school in the heart of North Park. I should add a disclaimer before going on: By the time this

column is published I will have enrolled my twin daughters into kindergarten at Jefferson, and I’m a member of “Friends of Jefferson,” a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the school. San Diego’s population was booming in the early 1900s, and, according to Donald P. Covington’s “North Park: A San Diego Urban Village,” “… in June 1912, the Board of Education announced that an entire block in West End had been purchased for $12,000 for the purpose of building a new elementary school ‘to relieve the congested condition now existing in the northeast district.’ ” That school would

become Jefferson Elementary. The original plans, drawn by T.C. Kistner, called for a “sixteen-room building of ‘fireproof’ hollow tile and stucco construction in the decorative Spanish Revival Style of the Exposition currently under construction in Balboa Park.” Photos of the old Jefferson Elementary in Covington’s book as well as on the San Diego History Center’s website (sandiegohistory. org) show a stately building that would have indeed been at home on the Prado. So how did it go from a grand Spanish Revival to the rather nondescript, low-profile, modern-ish campus of the sixties all the way through the aughts, and finally make its most recent transformation into the bright, welcoming, school we see today? I called the San Diego History Center to see if I could find out more about how and when the old, Spanish-style school was demolished and replaced with the modern version. The archivist there found some old newspaper articles explaining that there had been a vote in 1959 to tear down the old school because parts of it

were unsafe and it needed to be updated and enlarged. The construction of the new Jefferson Elementary was completed in 1961, and included a “modernistic screen wall” on the east side of the “patio play yard” made out of tiles from the old building’s roof. Through the years, more changes and improvements were made, including a makeover of the grounds when the sports field became a joint-use park in 2012, open to the community when school is not in session. Sadly, the “modernistic screen wall” is nowhere to be seen. But despite the improvements, Jefferson remained largely hidden from the rest of the neighborhood for decades, behind a red cinderblock wall. Many people who drove by it several times a day had no idea that it was even a school. This is an apt metaphor for how Jefferson was regarded by many families who were zoned to send their kids to school there. I wrote an article about the school for Uptown News in January, 2013 (see Vol. 5 Issue 1 “Hidden in the heart of North Park: Thomas Jef-

Andy Hinds Parenting ferson Elementary”) exploring the reasons that so few parents I knew in the Morley Field area wanted to enroll their kids at Jefferson. Essentially, I found that a vicious cycle had arisen, partially as an unintended consequence of the “school choice” movement that arose in an attempt to desegregate schools. Middle-class, educated parents were enticed to send their kids to schools outside their zone, including charters, magnets and even garden-variety public schools with slightly better scores. As these families opted out of Jefferson, families from other neighborhoods opted in, because Jefferson seemed better than their own zone schools. The demographics changed, and no longer reflected those of the Morley Field neighborhood. The vast majority of students were “socioeconomically disadvantaged” (to use school district parlance), and more than half were “English language learners;” and, as is usually the case, these statistics have a correlation to lower test scores. Middle-class parents factored these scores into their decisions about where to send their kids to school, the demographics of Jefferson became entrenched, and the vicious cycle was completed. But it’s clear that a renaissance is afoot at Jefferson. They have been part of the International Baccalaureate program for four years now, during which time their test scores have steadily improved. And, as of a few months ago, they were designated as a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) Magnet school, a title that comes with a $10 million federal grant to fund the staffing, technology, and professional development to help inspire young students to pursue the subjects crucial to 21st-century life and work. They are also benefiting from the support of community organizations like North Park Main Street and local businesses who want to see their neighborhood elementary become not just a decent option for locals, but a standout school that helps draw more families into the community. (And let’s not forget all the help they have gotten from — ahem — Friends of Jefferson. Visit the website at! Click on the “Give” button!) The architecture analogy came full-circle as Principal Francisco Morga cut the ribbon stretched across the new entrance to Jefferson Elementary in March. Gone is the “ugly red wall” (as a fifth-grade speaker at the event called it); in its place is a graceful translucent awning that hovers over a gleaming steel fence festooned with silhouettes of children walking and play-

see Parenting, page 21


PARENTING ing. People walking or driving by can now get a sense of what’s going on in the bustling schoolyard, and, conversely, the school is now open to the energy of North Park. After a century of transformation, Jefferson is once again in sync with the neighborhood it was first built to serve. Finally, a request: We hope

to recruit more alumni to attend and perhaps speak at the event. Unfortunately, data on students who attended more than a few decades ago is very sparse, so we are asking alumni to call the school at 619-344-3300 and leave their information so that we can send them invitations. Or you can email Friends of Jefferson at If you are an alumnus, or you know anybody who is, please pass on this information!u

5over2 Five local shows over the next two weeks

Please drop by Jefferson Elementary at 3770 Utah St. on May 28 to help celebrate 100 years in North Park! The following is the tentative schedule:

4:30 – 5:30 Alumni Reunion at the Literacy Garden and school library Alumni mixer: Meet alumni young and less young Alumni encouraged to bring in yearbooks, pictures and other Jefferson artifacts to share 5:30 – 6:30 Centennial Celebration at Bookworm Playground and Joint-Use Field Tentative guest speaker agenda: Mayor Faulconer, Coucil President Todd Gloria, Superintendent Cindy Marten, student speakers, Principal Morga, and at least one alumni speaker 6:30-7:30 International Baccalaureate (IB) Open House and 5th Grade IB Exhibition All classrooms will be open to showcase IB work done this year Student-guided tours of the classrooms and IB work Fifth grade students will present IB Exhibition projects in the auditorium Email for more information, and visit the Friends of Jefferson website at

Kevin Smead Uptown News

Sadistic Intent, Infinitum Obscure Ascended Dead @ Til-Two Club Friday, April 25 $13 While you can read the names of these bands perfectly fine here, the flyer for this show is nearly unintelligible. That’s because all of these groups describe themselves using the words “dark, darkness and metal” and if you’ve ever seen a stylized black metal band name, you know what I mean. If your only exposure to this world of music is the humorous Tegan and Sara t-shirt done as if they belonged on this bill (complete with ridiculously unreadable writing),

San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014

this might be a great chance to see the real deal. Hailing from Los Angeles, Tijuana, and San Diego respectively, these groups will shred Til-Two Club to pieces. The Widows, Grand Tarantula The Atom Age @ Whistle Stop Friday, April 25 No cover I’ve mentioned The Widows before in this column and they’re still great. For this show, however, go to check out Grand Tarantula and The Atom Age. Both excellent, energetic quasi-punk groups are a whole lot of fun. The style is of course a familiar one — as it is with most groups with heavy punk influences — but they’re able to keep fresh with injections of other instruments, genres and song structures. They put out a split EP together on Asian Man Records which you can get for free online. While it’s only four tracks, it packs quite a bit in. Check it out! The Dillinger Escape Plan, Trash Talk, Retox, Shining @ Porter’s Pub Saturday, April 26, 7 p.m. $18 advance, $20 day of show Yeah, this is a bit of a drive out to UC San Diego, but it’s worth it for Dillinger alone. These guys have been around forever and they’re still ridiculously talented. Their brand of math-core is unique in that it relies more on the “core” than the “math.” Plus, the opening bands are killer as well. Both Trash Talk and Retox are known for their fast, loud and chaotic hardcore, with songs that barely ever cross the two-minute mark. Justin Pearson from San Diego’s own The Locust fronts Retox, so if you’re familiar with them, you


know what you’re in for. All in all, great night. 2UP, Batwings, Innerds, Tron @ Soda Bar Saturday, May 3, 8:30 p.m. $5 I’m loving the influx of Japanese bands lately. The best way to describe 2UP is that they’re sort of the Japanese equivalent of Hella — Death Grips’ Zach Hill’s other group. Sonically, 2UP’s music is all over the place, but still sounds cohesive. A wild, math-rock fueled freakout can quickly turn into something somewhat melodic, though never catchy in the traditional sense. It’s kind of hard to explain, really. This show’s only $5, so go check it out for yourself and see what I mean. Yoni Wolf, Serengeti @ The Ché Café Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m. $12 advance, $14 day of show Yoni Wolf is kind of a polarizing guy in the world of music. I don’t know anyone who is just “meh” about his music. You either really love it, or you really hate it. Hailing from Berkeley, Wolf’s best known for his work in the experimental pop/hiphop/indie group WHY?, though his lesser known projects (see: Hymie’s Basement) are also excellent, if a lot less accessible. Personally, WHY?’s 2008 album “Alopecia” is one of my all-time favorites, placing me in the “love” categor y. This show specifically is a solo venture, but he’ll be performing his whole librar y of work, spanning across all of his groups. Definitely give him a listen before making the drive to UC San Diego, though. You’ll know which camp you’ll fall into almost immediately.u


San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014

CalendarofEvents FRIDAY, APRIL 25

Preschool stor y time: Every Friday, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m. screening of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14.


Golden Hill Farmers’ Market: 8 a.m. – noon every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free. Gentle Bike Ride: 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., join fellow cyclists every Saturday morning for a ride through Balboa Park. Meet at the small parking lot on the left-hand side as you enter the park from Sixth Ave. and Upas St., free. Classical Melodies in Balboa Park: 8:45 a.m. – 7:15 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. University Heights Open Aire Market: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Saturday, 4100 Normal St., free. Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. Emei Qigong Practice: 10 – 11 a.m., “Master Wendy” leads a weekly Wuji Gong practice group at the WorldBeat Cultural Center, 2100 Park Blvd., free. Healthy Kids Day: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., celebrate with fun, active play and educational activities that keep kids moving and learning,

YMCA Youth & Community Center, 2929 Meade Ave., free. Comedy Heights: 8 p.m., comedy show every Saturday night featuring local comedians, ages 13 and up welcome, Comedy Heights, 4590 Park Blvd., free. Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m. screening of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14.


Hillcrest Farmers’ Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., every Sunday under the Hillcrest Pride Flag at the intersection of University Avenue and Normal Street, 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.


Live Music: 8 p.m., David J & The Gentlemen Thieves perform at Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., $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. Curbside Bites: 5 – 8 p.m., weekly gathering of gourmet food trucks at 3030 Grape St. in South Park, free. Tasty Truck Tuesdays: 6 – 9 p.m., every Tuesday night Smitty’s Service Station hosts several food trucks under their well-lit

CALENDAR shade structure, live music, 3442 Adams Ave, free. Pajama Story Time: 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. Friends Chill: 9 p.m. – 2 a.m., board games and mellow grooves every Tuesday at Whistle Stop Bar, 2235 Fern St., free.


LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. Free Author Talk: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Tom Leech will sign and discuss the new edition of “Say It Like Shakespeare: The Bard’s Timeless Tips for Communications Success,” an insightful book on how to communicate with people in business and everyday life, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. 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. Live Music: 8:30 p.m., 21+,

MISSION HILLS HERITAGE WALKING TOUR On Saturday, April 26, a docent-led tour will explore the history of the homes in the Mission Hills neighborhood. The “Exploring Sierra Vista” tours will depart every fifteen minutes between 1 – 4 p.m., with residences of all sizes and architectural styles being featured in the 90-minute tour. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the tour at Espresso Mio on Fort Stockton Drive from 12:30 p.m. Mission Hills Heritage members tickets are both Orgone and Monophonics will perform a set separately and then one together at the Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., $15.


North Park Farmers’ Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free. Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m. screening of “The Wizard of Oz,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14. 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.


31st Annual Old Town Fiesta Cinco de Mayo: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., three days of music, food and fun make this the largest event of its kind in Southern California, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, 4002 Wallace St., free. Preschool stor y time: Every

$10, and non-members are $15. Comfortable walking shoes are advised and refreshments are included. For more information, visit or call 619-497-1193.

Friday, 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. Democrats for Equality: 6 – 8 p.m. The Irregularly Annual Big Kitchen Lasagna Dinner will be serving vegetarian lasagna good enough to bring carnivores to tears at Big Kitchen Café, 3003 Grape St., $15 for one, $25 for two. Live Music: 7 – 8:30 p.m., Bread & Jam Band perform at Rebecca’s Coffee House, 3015 Juniper St. Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m. screening of “The Wizard of Oz,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14.


California Bookstore Day: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., patrons can peruse San Diego Public Library Foundation’s Library Shop of exclusive, CBD-only books and book-related items that are not available anywhere else on any other day, 330 Park Blvd., free.

see Calendar, page 23

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CALENDAR Golden Hill Farmers’ Market: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free. Gentle Bike Ride: 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., join fellow cyclists every Saturday morning for a ride through Balboa Park. Meet at the small parking lot on the left-hand side as you enter the park from Sixth Ave. and Upas St., free. Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. Emei Qigong Practice: 10 – 11 a.m., “Master Wendy” leads a weekly Wuji Gong practice group at the WorldBeat Cultural Center, 2100 Park Blvd., free. Read to Speedy, the Therapy Dog: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., every Saturday kids can develop their reading skills in a supportive environment by reading aloud to a therapy dog named Speedy, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free. Knitting in the AM: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m., first Saturday of the month, learn how to knit, crochet or cross stitch, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd. BYO yarn and needle, free. Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m. screening of “The Wizard of Oz,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14. Comedy Heights: 8 p.m., comedy show every Saturday night featuring local comedians, ages 13 and up welcome, Comedy Heights, 4590 Park Blvd., free. Live Music: 8 p.m., 21+, Dan Croll and Panama Wedding perform at the Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., $12. Tai Chi Chuan: 9:30 p.m., Qi Gong/Taoist meditation classes on Saturdays, as well as Mondays and Wednesdays at 6 p.m., Taoist Sanctuary of San Diego, 4229 Park Blvd.

THE 31ST ANNUAL FIESTA OLD TOWN CINCO DE MAYO The 31st Annual Fiesta Old Town Cinco de Mayo will go all out in 2014 as the largest event of its kind in Southern California. Taking place from Friday, May 2 to Sunday, May 4, the entire Historic Old Town area will be closed to accommodate three stages of live entertainment, over 40 bands, Lucha Libre performances, equestrian shows, a mercado with over 100 retail and food booths, two Cantina beer gardens, a children’s area complete with petting zoo and entertainment, and “Lowrider Lane.” This free event will be taking place 5 – 10 p.m. on Friday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday. Visit for more information.


Hillcrest Farmers’ Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., every Sunday under the Hillcrest Pride Flag at the intersection of University Avenue and Normal Street, free. Folding Mr. Lincoln: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., enjoy brunch and a drink with Folding Mr. Lincoln at Rebecca’s Coffee House, 3015 Juniper St. Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free. Live Music: 6:30 p.m., Tiny Moving Parts performs their debut album “This Couch Is Long & Full of Friendship” at Soda Bar, 3615 El

San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014


The event will take place at YMCA Youth & Community Center, 2929 In honor of Healthy Kids Day, the YMCA Youth & Family Meade Ave. Visit for more information. Services will be hosting a free community event on Saturday, April 26, between 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. You can celebrate with fun, active play and educational activities that keep kids moving and learning, including healthy snack demonstrations, performances from local youth, first-aid tips from local EMTs, games, prizes and more. A free lunch will be available, as well as t-shirts for the first 100 youth.

Cajon Blvd., tickets start at $8. Signing Stor ytime: 1:30 – 2:15 p.m., every Monday teach your baby to sign, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 Washington St., free. Bankers Hill Parking Committee: 5 – 6:30 p.m., monthly meeting occurs on the first Monday of the month at Merrill Gardens, 2567 Second Ave.

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. Live Music: 6:30 – 10 p.m., Jonathan Karrant turns up the heat with his smooth vocals every Wednesday in April and May at Heat Bar & Kitchen, 3797 Park Blvd., free.




Old Town Parking Committee: 10 a.m., monthly meeting occurs on the first Tuesday of the month at the Hacienda Hotel, 4041 Harney St. 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 Beautification Committee: 2 p.m., monthly meeting occurs on the first Tuesday of the month at 1419 University Ave. Suite D. Curbside Bites: 5 – 8 p.m., weekly Tuesday night gathering of gourmet food trucks at 3030 Grape St. in South Park. North Park Main Street Design Committee: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., monthly meeting on the first Tuesday at North Park Main Street Office, 3076 University Ave. Normal Heights Community Planning Group: 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month at the Normal Heights Community Center, 4649 Hawley Blvd. Uptown Planners: 6 p.m., on the first Tuesday of the month at Joyce Beers Community Center, 3900 Vermont St. 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 Storytime: 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. Friends Chill: 9 p.m. – 2 a.m., board games and mellow grooves every Tuesday at Whistle Stop Bar, 2235 Fern St.


LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch, 925 W. Washington St., free. 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., $5 cover. Wednesday Jazz Jam Session: 7:30 p.m., Gilbert Castellanos hosts the Wednesday Jazz Jam Session with special guest

North Park Farmers’ Market: 3 – 7 p.m. ever y Thursday in the parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free. Mission Hills Town Council Trustees Meeting: 6 p.m., the regular meeting occurs on the second Thursday of each month at Francis Parker Lower School, 4201 Randolph St. 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.u

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San Diego Uptown News | April 25–May 8, 2014

San Diego Uptown News - April 25 2014  
San Diego Uptown News - April 25 2014