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P. 11 Hillcrest • University Heights • Normal Heights • North Park • South Park • Golden Hill • Kensington • Talmadge

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➤➤ NEWS P. 4

North Park Nursery continues to blossom

Fifth Avenue bike lane to be extended in Bankers Hill Hutton Marshall | Editor

Silent showdown for Congress

➤➤ DINING P. 8

North Park Nursery owner Paul Hunyady stands in front of his business’s new location (Photo by Eric Sanchez); (inset) a rendering of the future Mooch/North Park Nursery Space (Courtesy Mooch) By Hoa Quach

Pick your poison politely

➤➤ DONUTS P. 13

Breakfast pastries of the world

➤➤ MUSIC P. 14

Paul Hunyady had a love for designing landscapes early on. He remembers spending hours on end with his mother in their yard and suggesting certain areas for her plants. Hunyady described his mother as a single mom of three who worked constantly. But when she was home, she was in her garden. “It was my only opportunity to spend time with her,” said Hunyady, 47. “I would put together compilations with her that would just blow her mind. I guess it was a little bit of my willingness to be accepted by her but I knew I wanted to spend this time with her.” Sadly, his mother passed away before Hunyady had a chance to start Mooch Exterior Designs and North Park Nurser y, but he said he knows she would’ve been proud of him. “She always knew I had a talent for this,” Hunyady said. “I know she would’ve been proud of me.” After starting his business just nine years ago and seeing it grow into a million-dollar operation, there’s plenty to be proud about.

North Park Nursery, which lived at 3302 32nd St. for three years, is nearing the end of its move into a larger space on University Avenue this month. The store is owned by parent company Mooch Exterior Designs, which Hunyady opened after working in what he described as an unfulfilling job. “I was working in the legal industr y as an office manager and I hated it,” said Hunyady, who also lives in the neighborhood. “I decided to do something for myself. The idea was to improve people’s landscapes one yard at a time with my truck.” After about six years, when his home office became too small to handle his growing operation, Hunyady opened North Park Nurser y, which included a design center. “The concept of the nurser y came because there wasn’t one in North Park,” Hunyady said. “Immediately after opening on 32nd Street, we outgrew it. The nurser y became too small.” Hunyady said he then made the move to purchase another space on North Park Way in May but quickly realized it still wasn’t sufficient for

see Nursery, page 17

Bone marrow recipient officiates donor’s wedding

It’s alive! It’s a rock vinyl!

Index News……...........……3 Opinion………………….6 Business & Services......16

Newlyweds Kevin Zempko and Erica Wacker had their wedding officiated by Zempko’s bone marrow recipient Dianne Mahura. (Photo by Sierra Solis, 8twenty8 Studios)


By Hoa Quach

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One could say a couple’s wedding officiant will always be a part of the couple. But, in the case of North Park’s Kevin Zempko and Erica Wacker, it’s the groom that will always be a part of the officiant. That’s because Zempko donated his bone marrow to his officiant, Dianne Mahura, in 2008. After meeting face to face in

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2009, the two have maintained a close bond, enough so that Zempko and his fiancé asked Mahura to officiate their Oct. 11 wedding in San Diego. “It means the world to me personally and to Erica as well,” Zempko said. “I have a fantastic relationship with Dianne and her family. It comes naturally; nothing is forced.” Their connection started two months after Mahura was diag-

nosed with leukemia. At the age of 44, Mahura, a mother of three, was told she wouldn’t live without a transplant. “I almost fainted when they told me I would need to take a year of my life to recover, and needed a stem cell transplant to possibly live,” said Mahura, who resides in Calgary. “I saw eight people die in the same ward with leukemia while I was in there.” After learning that not one of her four siblings was a match, she was told a 32-year-old man was. Meanwhile, in another part of North America, a Marine had agreed to donate his bone marrow. “I received a call from the [Department of Defense] Bone Marrow Program in November 2007, that’s when I first heard that there was a person in this world in need of my stem cells,” Zempko said. “By Feb. 4, 2008, I was sitting in a hospital in Fairfax, Virginia, sitting through a five-plus-hour surgery to harvest my bone marrow.” After a successful surgery, the two were forbidden from contacting each other for a year because

see Wedding, page 13

The Bankers Hill bike lane installed earlier this year on Fifth Avenue will soon extend eight blocks further north to Upas Street. A continuation of the city’s “road diet” plan on Fourth and Fifth avenues through Uptown, the project will piggyback onto a current underground piping project on Fifth Avenue. One lane of traffic will be removed for the protected bikeway. This project is part of the city’s Bike Master Plan, which is separate from the SANDAG Uptown Bike Corridor, a citywide plan that will encompass the same stretch of Fourth and Fifth avenues. Because of the relatively short lifespan of this road diet extension, Brian Genovese, an engineer in the transportation arm of the city’s Planning Department, called this plan an “interim bike lane.” This is largely due to the type of bike lane the city will install on the street. The protected bikeway that the city is installing on Fourth and Fifth avenues creates a space barrier between bikes and cars. The SANDAG bike corridor, on the other hand, plans to create a physical barrier between cyclists and traffic. Genovese said this will require considerably more construction than the city’s bike lanes. Regardless of the smaller scope of the project, Uptown Planners chair Leo Wilson said that because the city’s project proposes removing one lane of traffic, it should be subjected to CEQA review, a lengthy state-mandated environmental review required for many civic projects in California, because it may impact traffic flow by removing an automobile lane. When asked if a CEQA review would be necessary here, Genovese pointed to language in the Bike Master Plan that states the project need only a LOS (level of service) analysis, which quantifies the delay vehicles experience due to a proposed project. Genovese said that the LOS analysis showed the bike lane extension wouldn’t cause a significant traffic impact. The bike lane on Fifth Avenue, a northbound street, will be extended independently from the southbound Fourth Avenue bike lane because of the opportunity presented by upcoming pipeline projects on Fifth Avenue. Genovese said that judging by these pipeline projects, the Fifth Avenue bike lane could eventually be extended as far north as Washington Street in Hillcrest. According to an informational flyer distributed by the city, pipeline projects on Fifth Avenue between Upas and Washington streets are scheduled to occur before fall 2017. —Contact Hutton Marshall at or follow @huttonmarshall on Twitter.u


San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014


HBA holds annual board elections Hale re-elected president Hutton Marshall | Editor The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) held its annual members meeting and election Oct. 16 at Snooze, where it voted in new officers and approved several amendments to the nonprofit’s bylaws. Four new members were elected to the board: Tami Daiber of Carlton Management, Charles Kauffman of Bread and Cie, Frank Lechner of Harvey Milk’s American Diner and Janet Stucke of 100 Wines. Lechner, however, was elected to the board shortly before Har vey Milk’s announced it would close temporarily. HBA Executive Director Ben Nicholls said Lechner resigned from the board on Monday to focus on his business. A board of directors vote will fill the vacancy created by his resignation. The bylaws were amended to allow any business paying Hillcrest’s business improvement district assessment — an annual fee split between the HBA and the city — to become a member. However, the organization also voted to adopt stricter measures determining eligible candidates for the board of directors. Under the new rules, only those with physical businesses operating in Hillcrest’s business improvement district are eligible to become board candidates, though Nichols said this did not apply to special elections and filling vacancies.

San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014

City issues 14 code violations for future TargetExpress site Businesses on South Park property ordered to cease operations

HBA board president Johnathan Hale (Twitter)

This follows previous efforts over the last few years by HBA leadership to prevent dues-paying members residing outside of Hillcrest to become voting HBA members. City staff ultimately forced the HBA to rescind a portion of their bylaws earlier this year enforcing the membership restriction. The organization also voted to remove a time limit mandating board vacancies had to be filled within three meetings. Johnathan Hale of Hale Media, publisher of SDGLN and SDPix magazine, was re-elected board president. The partner of congressional candidate and former City Councilmember Carl DeMaio, Hale declined to state through email whether he would relocate to Washington, D.C. or resign from the board should DeMaio be elected. Hale was first elected to the board of directors in 2010. —Contact Hutton Marshall at or follow @huttonmarshall on Twitter.u


Captain Kirk’s Coffee in South Park (Photo by Hutton Marshall) Hutton Marshall | Editor Several businesses operating at 3030 Grape St. — the future site of South Park’s TargetExpress — were recently issued a civil penalty by the city of San Diego citing several city code violations on site. The violations pertained to the three small businesses that operate on the property: Captain Kirk’s Coffee Kiosk, Mariscos food truck, and a recycling center owned by 1st Arrow, LLC. The largest building on the property is Gala Foods, an

independent grocery store that closed in mid-October. A civil penalty issued by the city on Oct. 17 cites 14 city code violations. Captain Kirk’s was cited for operating a drive-thru, which is prohibited in that area of Golden Hill, along with operating without necessary permits. Mariscos was cited for not obtaining proper permitting to operate on the property, and for placing tables and chairs in the parking lot for customers. The recycling center is twice as large as its permit allows, according to the

civil penalty. The paid parking lot was also cited as a violation. The city ordered the recycling facility, Captain Kirk’s and the paid parking lot to immediately cease operations. The document states that fines may be assessed for a daily rate of up to $2,500 per violation, with a total maximum of up to $250,000. Since 1988, Saad Hirmez and his family have operated Gala Foods at 3030 Grape St. Hirmez recently announced that the grocery store would close down and reopen as a TargetExpress, a miniature version of the discount goods store, in 2015. Hirmez will retain ownership of the property. Hirmez said he and the city’s Development Services staff will soon meet to discuss the corrective actions that need to be taken in order for the businesses to remain in operation. While Hirmez stressed his commitment to fixing the code violations, he said he hopes the city will realize the great benefit these businesses provide to the community. He cited Captain Kirk’s surrounding landscaping, one of the code violations, as one example of a community asset he would regret abandoning for the sake of strict compliance with city code. “We have a moral obligation to follow the law, but the city should also have some leeway with us if the need should arise,” Hirmez said.

see Code, page 10


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San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014

The water bond cometh Voters will decide fate of $7 billion water bond Nov. 4 By Doug Curlee California voters will decide whether or not to approve more than $7 billion in bonds to drastically upgrade the state’s creaky and outdated water system. Public opinion polls show the voters, influenced by the ongoing drought now plaguing the state, will vote in favor of the bond issue, although perhaps not in the overwhelming numbers originally predicted. Assuming the voters approve, what happens? A close examination of the text of Proposition 1 on the ballot reveals this process

will be a whole lot longer, and much more complicated, than originally thought. To begin with, it will take time to set up the mechanisms that will eventually decide what projects will get funding, and what projects won’t. One thing that didn’t become all that clear in the long, drawn-out legislative process that created Proposition 1: The bond-derived funds will generally cover only half the cost of a project. The other half will have to come from the local cities, counties, water districts, and other agencies that try to build dams, clean up polluted water sources,

NEWS and any of the other projects the measure would provide for. Sacramento-based Glenn Farrel, who keeps an eye on the legislature for the San Diego County Water Authority, says this is all going to take some time. “There are a lot of cooks in the kitchen in a process like this,” he said. There are plans right now for two new dams and reservoirs to be built. One would be the Sites area near the Northern California city of Colusa, and the other at Temperance Flat in the Sierra foothills northeast of Fresno. There is also serious talk of raising the faces of two huge dams already holding water: Shasta Dam at the very top of the state water system, and San Luis Dam at Los

see Bond, page 7

Rep. Susan Davis (left) and retired Navy SEAL command master chief Larry Wilske (Courtesy Davis and Wilske, respectively)

San Diego’s stealthy congressional campaign By Doug Curlee There is an active campaign for a house seat going on in the 53rd Congressional District, which encompasses much of this newspaper’s coverage area. Unless you’re a big fan of political signs in yards and on power poles, you might not have noticed. That tends to happen, especially if the congressional race next door in the 52nd District is sucking most of the air — and almost all of the available money — out of the political room. The ongoing expensive and increasingly nasty battle between Rep. Scott Peters and former Councilmember Carl DeMaio is all over television and print. It’s inescapable.

Which means that the 53rd District race between Rep. Susan Davis (D) and Republican Larr y Wilske has received little media attention; in fact, almost none. Davis is a seven-term incumbent in the seat, and Wilske is a retired Navy SEAL command master chief — and a Mission Hills resident — making his first effort at elected office. The differences between the two are ver y much what you’d expect, given their backgrounds and political affiliations. Wilske’s website features endorsements almost exclusively from what would be considered the conser vative right of the political spectrum.

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UptownBriefs MALASHOCK RETURNS WITH FIFTH SEASON OF ‘RAW’ Malashock Dance Company, a local dance troupe founded in 1988 by Artistic Director John Malashock, will return Nov. 7 and 8 for three new installments of its “cutting edge” dance production, RAW. “This program allows our dance company to investigate provocative themes in a ‘safe place to do unsafe work,’” Malashock stated in a press release.

Dancers from Malashock RAW (Courtesy Malashock)

Producers also said RAW’s innovative performances feature “brazen athleticism and dramatic emotionalism.” The troupe encourages active community participation through attendance at open rehearsals, preview performances, and facilitated and interactive panels with the performers throughout the period. “We enthusiastically want our audience to provide feedback because this direct interaction with the artists only deepens their connection to the work,” Malashock said. This year’s performances take place at the L yceum Theatre, located at 79 Broadway Circle, Downtown. Tickets are now available through L yceum’s box office at 619-544-1000 or For more information, visit

CITY LEADERS UNVEIL BALBOA PARK CENTENNIAL PLANS Plans for the highly anticipated Balboa Park Centennial Celebration appear to be back on track. After months of controversy and confusion following the disbandment of the Balboa Park Centennial, Inc., a nonprofit previously responsible for planning the yearlong celebration, city leaders gathered in mid-October to outline a plan for the upcoming series of park events and improvements. Festivities now center around three key words, with all plans are now aimed to “elevate,” “celebrate” or “promote” Balboa Park. The 2015 celebration marks the 100-year anniversar y of the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, a momentous tribute to the opening of the Panama Ca-

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nal and San Diego’s emergence as an international port city. According to plans outlined by the city, the centennial celebration will elevate the park by making several improvements, such as expanding the Japanese Friendship Garden and providing free public Wi-Fi throughout the park; celebrate the park with events such as December Nights and museum exhibit debuts; and promoting the park with a new website, highdefinition cameras to broadcast events and a new long-term strategic marketing plan. The Centennial Celebration officially kicks off with December Nights on Dec. 5.

RAPID TRANSIT BUS NOW RUNNING ON PARK The MTS Mid-City Rapid Transit Bus debuted on Park Boulevard in early October, offering a speedier bus route with its own dedicated traffic lane. The “Rapid 215” will run from San Diego State to Downtown San Diego. Earlier this year, Voice of San Diego reported that while a rapid transit bus system is considerably less expensive than other “high-end transit,” the mid-city line only reduces travel time by 10 to 22 percent during peak hours, which equates to shaving four to 11 minutes off a rider’s daily commute. SANDAG eventually plans to turn the route into a light-rail transit line by 2035, according to its Long-Term Transportation Plan, but the agency is currently fighting a lawsuit that claims the plan does not meet state-mandated greenhouse gas-reduction targets. The “Rapid 215” runs seven days a week from 5 to 1 a.m., picking up ever y 10 minutes during rush hour. CICLOSDIAS RETURNS FOR THIRD YEAR Modeled after the Ciclovia events of Bogota, Colombia, this free open-street event will take place in San Diego on Sunday, Nov. 9. CicloSDias is “all about connecting communities and giving people a break from the

stress of car traffic,” according to the event’s press release. The route for this year’s event includes areas of Hillcrest and Bankers Hill with the “bookends” at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street and at the intersection of Normal at Har vey Milk streets. Participants are invited to walk, bike and skate along the two-mile route in a counterclockwise direction and stop into businesses as they travel. The free-flowing slow-paced traffic allows for entr y at any intersection during the event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There are three “hubs” along the route, which include information booths, bike repair stations, portable restrooms, vendors and more. Participants can check-in at each hub to receive entr y into a bike raffle. Visit for a detailed route map and more information.

NAN MCGRAW DAY PROCLAIMED Native San Diegan and 40-year resident of University Heights, Nan McGraw, was honored with a day proclaimed in her name by the San Diego City Council. The proclamation, presented by Council President Todd Gloria on Oct. 21, cited McGraw’s many contributions to the community. She was one of the founding members of the University Heights Community Association (UHCA) and has held various leadership roles with the organization, including president. Notable accomplishments during her tenure in the community association include the opening of Trolley Barn Park, advocating for the Vermont Street Bridge reconstruction and helping to improve infrastructure along Park Boulevard. Still an active member of the University Heights neighborhood, McGraw currently coordinates the distribution of UHCA newsletters each month and participates in community events including Caroling in the Heights. Currently, McGraw is working to find new ways to improve the University Heights Library.

San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014

Balboa Park's California Tower (Courtesy Museum of Man) CALIFORNIA TOWER IN BALBOA PARK TO RE-OPEN IN 2015 The city of San Diego has granted the San Diego Museum of Man (1350 El Prado, Balboa Park) permission to reopen the historic California Tower to the public. The museum and tower are part of the California Building, constructed for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. The tower has been closed for almost 80 years, but will reopen for public tours on Jan. 1, 2015. A website ( has been established to raise funds for the renovation project with a total of $3 million needed. The Legler Benbough Foundation has already committed $1 million, leaving $2 million to be raised through donations through the website. Large sponsorship opportunities will include permanent messages on plaques, benches or steps. The money is needed for remodeling, safety improvements and a long-term fund for ongoing care of the tower. For more information on the histor y of the California Building visit —Send news tips and press releases to

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San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014


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PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 EDITOR Hutton Marshall (619) 961-1952 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Morgan M. Hurley, x110 Jeremy Ogul, x119 WEB & SOCIAL MEDIA Jen Van Tieghem, x118 CONTRIBUTORS Charlene Baldridge Doug Curlee Dustin Lothspeich Hoa Quách Frank Sabatini Jr.


October is ‘Let’s Talk’ Month Planned Parenthood releases new study on parent-child communication Jennifer Coburn for Planned Parenthood” There’s a common misperception that parents and their children are so uncomfortable discussing sexuality that they avoid the topic altogether. While that may have been true at one point, the notion is dated, according to a recent study conducted by Planned Parenthood and New York University’s Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health. The survey of more than 1,600 sets of parents and their children found that neither teens nor parents let embarrassment get in the way of having conversations about sexuality. At Planned Parenthood, we are encouraged by the fact that eight out of 10 young people and their parents have talked about sexuality. And of the parents who have talked to their children about sexuality, nearly half reported beginning by age 10; 80 percent started talking by age 13. This is good news, because when there is healthy dialogue between parents and their children, risk factors reduce dramatically. Teens who can talk to their parents about sexuality have lower rates of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. In fact, they are more likely to delay the onset of sexual activity. The fact that parents are talking to their children about sexuality is a move in the right direction, but there are some areas where communication can be improved. One of the major findings of the new study was that parents aren’t talking enough — or in enough detail — about critical topics that can help young people make healthy decisions. Parents need to be specific when discussing issues of sexuality. Only 20 percent of parents have discussed types of birth control, strategies for saying “no” to sex, and how to access information. Less than one-third of parents have talked to their kids about where to get reproductive health care ser vices. The new study also

suggests that the critical issue is not helping parents or their children become more comfortable with conversations about sexuality, but rather encouraging them to have clear, ongoing discussions. Healthy dialogue between parents and their teens is critical because the U.S. has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world with 750,000 young women 15 – 19 years old becoming pregnant each year. Although people 15 – 24 years old account for only 25 percent of sexually active people in the U.S., they make up 50 percent of reported cases of sexually transmitted infections annually. As the nation’s largest provider of sex education, Planned Parenthood is here to support parents and teens as they have more frequent and in-depth discussions about issues that really matter. We offer family communication presentations at community organizations, church groups and parent clubs, often at no cost. We have published booklets and brochures with medically accurate, age-appropriate information. And is always here for both parents and teens looking for accurate information. Planned Parenthood wants to help parents be their children’s primar y resource for information on sexuality. “Let’s Talk” Month is a wonderful opportunity to highlight the importance of family communication, but remember that we’re here for sexuality education — and reproductive and sexual health care ser vices — ever y month, ever y day. We’re working with families to raise the healthiest generation ever. Good conversations are the best place to start. No bio for Jennifer Coburn? Or at least something about Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest and how to contact them. —Jennifer Coburn is a USA Today bestselling author living in San Diego. u

Resources: has resources, guidance, videos, and apps designed to make starting and continuing these conversations easier and richer. Resources for parents at include a tips video, educational videos in English and Spanish for talking about specific issues, tip sheets, and guidance for talking with children of all ages about a variety of topics, as well as information on setting boundaries, helping teens delay sex, parenting LGBTQ kids, and more. For middle schoolers, there are two quizzes to help girls and boys set an intention to wait to have sex until they’re ready, called “What’s Your Love Personality?” and “Where Do You Stand?” There is also a game called “The Kickback” to help middle schoolers practice saying no to sex and other types of peer pressure like being offered drugs and alcohol. Middle schoolers can also benefit from “What’s Your Future Plan?,” which helps them think through how becoming a teen parent could affect their future plans. Parents can check out these tools and recommend them for their middle schooler. For older teens, we offer games and quizzes to help teens set an intention to start and keep using both birth control and condoms to prevent unintended pregnancy and STIs when they do become sexually active, called “Been There, Done That” and “It Takes Two.” “My Birth Control” is a quiz to help pick a birth control method, which teens and their parents can look through together to learn about some of the best birth control options when ready. Parents can check out these tools and recommend them for their high schooler. Teens of all ages can check out “Awkward or Not?” to get ready to talk to their parents. They can even send a text to their parents at the end to get the conversation started.

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OPINIONS/LETTERS: San Diego Uptown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email submissions to hutton@sdcnn. com and include your phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS: Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION: San Diego Uptown News is distributed free every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2014. All rights reserved. FROM PAGE 4


Banos in the San Joaquin Valley. San Diego and the County Water Authority has greatly increased the storage capacity of San Vicente Dam near Lakeside by doing just that. Using these as examples, supporters can look forward to the usual, long involved process of getting environmental impact studies done, probably by both the state and federal government. They must also line up the rest of the money for their project, remembering that bond funds will pay for only half of it all. The proponents must make their case before the California Water Commission, a body that not ever yone even knew existed. They must do so in competition with other like projects. Not ever y project will be approved. Not ever y project will get off the ground. There are any number of strictures in the proposition requiring that the projects clearly benefit the local community, the region, and the state as a whole. SELLING THE PROPOSITION Those in favor of Proposition 1, headed by Gov. Jerry Brown, have amassed a reasonably significant war chest for advertising between now and Nov. 4. It’s in the neighborhood of $5 million right now, with more coming in if needed. It’s coming from labor unions, agricultural groups like the Farm Bureau Federation, Western Service, and several others. You’ve likely already seen the first salvo of television ads, featuring a ranking CalFire chief pitching both saving water and Proposition 2, which would set aside a certain percentage of state revenues into a rainy day fund as a hedge against natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and anything else where an unexpected need for cash might develop. The “No on 1” campaign, on the other hand, has about $50,000 at last tally. That’s not going to go very far. Mainly a coalition of environmental groups and people trying to save the decrepit Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, along with people from the far north of the state and the north coastal regions, who feel their needs were not addressed in the bond measure. It’s hard to separate some of the opponents, but the base of the opposition seems to coalesce around Stockton and to the west — in other words, the Delta. It’s also hard to decipher whether their opposition is to the bond issue itself, or more to the concept of the Twin Tunnels, Brown’s $25 billion solution to the problems of the delta. Those people can, or at least should, take some solace in the fact that Proposition 1 specifically says that not a penny of the bond money can be used in any way whatsoever to advance the cause of the Twin Tunnels. The measure is what’s called “tunnel neutral.” A good number of the opponents just don’t believe that. They believe that someone, somehow, will find a way to divert money to something supporting the governor’s dream Tunnels. You can’t really blame them. Stockton is, after all, just down the road from Sacramento. They’ve been too close to the state government before. Some disbelief could be expected. It could even be pardoned. —Contact Doug Curlee at doug@


San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014



San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014


Drinking by the Polite Provisions


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The French 75 (left) and a Dunlop (Photo by Dr. Ink)

If you were to find any of the cocktails from Polite Provisions’ menu in a downtown club or res-

taurant, you’d be paying almost double the price for them. Aside from trendy punch bowls and dessert cocktails, the regular cost of drinks kissed with house-made tonics, syrups and bitters doesn’t exceed $8. During happy hour, they drop down to a giveaway steal of $5. The nationally lauded establishment, located humbly in Normal Heights, has become famous for its detailed approach to mixology while greeting customers with a nostalgic design resembling a 1920s-style pharmacy — one that would be quick to match an elixir to whatever ails you. Five different specialty cocktails offered at the discount price change monthly. They’re lifted from old and new bar books that are favorites among the staff. September’s selection, for example, saw the resurrection of pre-Prohibition drinks from Jack’s Manual by J.A. Grohusko, published originally in 1908. For October, they originate

from Art of the Bar, a com compilation of modern-lounge cocktails authored by San Francisco bar managers Jeff Hollinger and Joseph Schwartz. Down the road, it’s likely that we’ll see a quintet of cocktails appear from the upcoming Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails. It was penned by acclaimed bar bartender David Kaplan of New York, who is celebrating the book’s launch on Nov. 2 in this very spot. Though if you’re in search of a fast buzz from the current list, look no further than the Dunlop made with aged rum, Oloroso Sherry and orange bitters. “This tastes like something out of my parents’ liquor cabinet when I was a kid,” said my cohort somewhat negatively when taking his first sip. Though minutes later, he came to appreciate the drink’s oaky plum finish and was rendered giddy by the end of it. I ordered the gin-based French 75 and fell immediately in love with the drink’s teasing measures of cane sugar, fresh lemon juice and sparkling wine. The outcome was bright and palate cleansing. Both drinks were presented elegantly in smallish cut-glass

This is cocktail central where drink recipes range from simple and poetic to complex and unusual.

F OOD: N /A Customers can order food from neighboring Soda & Swine and have it delivered to the bar. We didn’t eat.

VA L UE : Five specialty cocktails are highlighted each month and sell for an easy $5 apiece. If you veer off the happy hour menu, they’re only a few bucks more.

SE RV IC E : With most of the cocktails requiring several steps to make, we waited about five minutes before making initial contact with a bartender. Fortunately two of them were on duty.

DUR AT ION: There is no happy hour Friday through Sunday, but the early 11:30 a.m. start time for it on all other days of the week allows you to seize a stool or table before the late-afternoon rush hits.

stemware. Other drink specials include selected craft beers, wine and well drinks ranging from $3 to $5. As we imbibed from the marble-top bar harboring racks of bitters and syrups contained in glass casters, a friendly guy standing next to us ordered the Seven Year Storm ($8) from the regular cocktail menu and insisted we take a sip. Constructed with aged rum and served in a large chalice glass, the drink further reflected Polite Provisions’ penchant for keeping modern-day cocktail consumers on their toes, as ingredients like nutmeg, cloves and Caribbean spice came to the forefront in utterly delicious form. Under same ownership is the adjoining Soda & Swine, from which you can order gourmet meatballs, Scotch eggs and fried pizza knots and have them delivered to your perch. When fine, crafty drinks are met with such low prices, the food could very likely become a sobering necessity. —Got a happy hour for Dr. Ink? Send it to to pass the message along.u



San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014


This year’s San Diego Race for the Cure, a 5K walk/run that begins in Balboa Park to raise money in the fight against breast cancer, will be immediately followed by a special “Brunch for the Cure,” starting at 9 a.m., Nov. 2, at Cucina Urbana in Bankers Hill. The post-event event is being supported by Green Flash Brewing Company, which will be on hand pairing their suds with Cucina’s buffet of California-inspired Italian fare. The brunch runs until 1 p.m. and costs $40, which includes two beer pours. A portion of the proceeds will go to Susan G. Komen San Diego. 505 Laurel St. 619-239-2222.

Pizza will be featured at “Brunch for a Cure.” (Courtesy H2 Public Relations)

A public market is coming to Liberty Station. (Rendering by Fitch) What was originally designated for a project called The Shops in the 22,000-square-foot wing of Liberty Station’s Building 1 will instead become the site of Liberty Public Market, a culinary co-op due to open in early summer. Headed by restaurateur and Coronado resident David Spatafore of Blue Bridge Hospitality, and in partnership with Corky McMillin Companies, the goal is to open with 34 vendors of local origins. Spatafore is aiming to include in the vendor lineup a butcher, baker, fish monger, cheese specialist, juicer, tortilla maker and more. “The list of potential vendors is huge. I want an eclectic collection that will drive that sensory overload of a public market,” he said, referring to open markets he’s visited in his travels such as Redding Terminal Market in Philadelphia and Granville Island Public Market in Vancouver, Canada. The vacant 22,000-square-foot space, which was built in 1921 as the Naval Training Center’s commissary, will undergo infrastructure renovations totaling $3 million, although Spatafore is avoiding modern design elements. “A lot of what we’re trying to make is already there,” he said. “It has all the bones for a cool market.” 2816 Historic Decatur Rd. Hillcrest has seen a mini wave of kitchens go dark in the past few weeks, which included the sudden but supposedly temporar y closure of Har vey Milk’s American Diner at 535 University Ave. According to managing par tner Frank Lechner, the restaurant’s shareholders are currently deciding whether to re-launch under the same name or a dif ferent one. “We will re-open and we’ll continue to support our community like we have in the past,” assured Lechner while dispelling rumors of Phil’s BBQ taking over the space. “That is absolutely not true,” he stressed. For contractual reasons, Amici’s East Coast Pizza at 3958 Fifth Ave., has also left the neighborhood due mainly to sluggish sales, according to a former employee. A sign posted on the doors of the double-storefront restaurant in early October simply states: “Visit us at our La Jolla location.” After a long, successful run at 1417 University Ave., Cesar Gonzales of Mama Testa is moving his colorful taqueria into a bigger space at 9225 Mira Mesa Blvd., which will open in December. “I love Hillcrest, but the rents are getting so high,” he said, adding that his new digs will be close to a few breweries and that he will be expanding both his menu and salsa bar. A full schedule of food, wine and beer activities are on the calendar for the expanded fourth annual Baja California Culinar y Fest, to be held Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 at various restaurants and venues in Tijuana, Ensenada and Valle de Guadalupe. Events include everything from chef dinners and culinary competitions to wine tours and demo classes, all highlighting the bounties of the region that have helped put Baja gastronomy on the map. For detailed information, visit

Lechner was unable to elaborate as to why Har vey’s shut down; although a posting on the restaurant’s Facebook page dated Oct. 10 maintains that the team is “reorganizing.” “We’re heartbroken and we feel horrible for our employees and realize the financial impact this has on them,” Lechner said.

The folks at Counterpoint in Golden Hill are gearing up for their five-year anniversar y with a weeklong series of events featuring a Southern-style low countr y boil starting at 2 p.m., Oct. 26. The cost is $18 and includes house-made andouille sausage, shrimp, corn, potatoes and bread. Other festivities include a tap changeover on Oct. 28 to introduce “beers we’ve been saving all year,” plus dr yhopped barrel-aged gin cocktails presented in collaboration with Modern Times Brewer y. 830 25th St., Suite 100. 619-564-6722

Counterpoint to have a week of festivities. (Photo by Sara Norris)


—Frank Sabatini Jr can be reached at


San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014



When plans for the TargetExpress were first announced, Council President Todd Gloria, who represents South Park on the City Council, stated that his office supported these three businesses remaining open alongside the TargetExpress. On Wednesday afternoon, Gloria released another statement in light of the code complaints. “The property owner and business owners involved have indicated they are willing to obtain the neces-

sary permits and go through the process to ensure that they are in compliance and can operate legally moving forward,” Gloria stated in a Facebook post. “I have asked my staff to work closely to help facilitate this work with the City’s Development Services Department. It is my hope that all of the current violations can be corrected and the businesses can continue to serve the residents of South Park.”


The ghost whisperers

Local paranormal investigation team always at the ready

—Contact Hutton Marshall at or follow @huttonmarshall on Twitter.u

The Presidio in Mission Valley is thought to be haunted. (Photo by Jeremy Ogul; graphics by Vince Meehan) Gala Foods will reopen as a TargetExpress in 2015. (Photo by Hutton Marshall)

Morgan M. Hurley | Contributing Editor It’s October, a month that — for most of us — is analogous to things that go bump in the night. After all, everywhere we look we see new television shows, movie releases, store promotions, house decorations, costume shops popping up out of nowhere, all centered around the more spooky aspects of Halloween. We become hypersensitive to all those unusual noises or move-

ments we see out of the corner of our eye, especially in the dark, and they heighten our fears more than usual this time of year. But what if you suspected that your house or business was inhabited by spirits, unwanted or not? What if you happened to sense an unearthly presence or two, or heard voices in the night that you could not explain? Who you gonna call? Here in America’s Finest City, many call the San Diego Paranor-

mal Research Society (SDPRS). Founded five years ago by Nicole Strickland, the SDPRS team visits homes, businesses and a historic sites — free of charge — to try to find a logical answer to unexplained events. Consisting of a group of “likeminded” volunteer paranormal investigators, “intuitives” and consultants of various genres, Strickland said her team takes their work very seriously; they are not your typical commercial “ghost chaser” that turns up the scare-factor for profit. SDPRS is the real deal, though Strickland considers herself a “student of the paranormal” and is very aware of the limitations of her field. “People go around tossing out the word ‘experts’ or ‘paranormal experts.’ I am a strong proponent against that. How can anyone be an expert in something that hasn’t been proven?” Strickland, who describes her interest in the paranormal as an “innate fascination,” dates her curiosity back to the age of two, but it wasn’t until after what she described as a “very profound, life-changing experience” with the spirit of her late grandmother in 2000 that she decided her true calling was actively researching paranormal activity. After working with several other teams to sharpen her skills and experience, she launched SDPRS in 2009. “We’re not out to prove the existence of ghosts,” she said. “I can’t sit there and say I’ve had these experiences and that, 100 percent, ‘Yes, I was communicating with a ghost.’ No, we can’t do that. All we do is we try to find logical, natural explanations for what we’re finding, and if we can’t find an explanation for it, then what we’re left with is ‘Well, this is something we can’t explain.’” Paranormal research is a technical and complex combination of various fields of study, including historical, archeological, genealogical and even weather and environment. It also has schools of thought that deal strictly with the scientific, though Strickland emphasizes that it is more “pseudo-science” than exact science. Science-only Research teams use cameras, video cameras, environmental meters and other specialized equipment designed specifically for the paranormal. Other teams, like Strickland’s, rely on many of those devices — using such tools as infrared cameras, dowsing rods and audio recorders — but their experiments also blend the scientific with the spiritual, metaphysical and intuitive side. And unlike many of today’s TV shows, Strickland said a real paranormal investigation generally lasts between four to six hours; anything longer would be physically and mentally depleting for the research team. In the last several years, SDPRS has done a number of paranormal investigations of public and historical locations in San Diego and beyond and is currently focusing on several properties in Julian. Locally, SDPRS has spent time in active research at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town, the Junipero Serra Museum in Presidio Park off of Taylor Street in Mission Valley, the Berkeley steam ferry along the Embarcadero, the William Heath Davis House Downtown,

see Ghosts, page 19



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San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014


The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) has teamed up The LGBT Community Center to put on the 14th annual Nightmare on Normal Street. Excited to bring new life to a fabulous community fundraiser, the HBA reached out to Rich’s Nightclub to organize an all-new dance stage with an LED video wall and special lighting. Also new this year, Nightmare on Normal Street will feature an all-ages zone and soda bar near the main stage. Some other great additions include a Thriller Flash Mob in honor of National Thriller day, which also falls on the Oct. 25. The dance mob will take place at 8 p.m., and everyone in the crowd is encouraged to dance along. There will also be a fortune teller, face painting, costume tents designed by local Hillcrest businesses like Adam and Eve and the Crypt, a $1,000 costume competition sponsored by Gioia’s Room, food trucks, pizza by the slice from Hillcrest Brewing Company, and a 21+ bar area. Many have inquired about the date of Nightmare on Normal, which is a week before Halloween weekend. By moving the date, the HBA hopes to encourage our neighbors and the surrounding community to come out and celebrate Halloween for two whole weekends. There are a lot of great events going on in the neighborhood, both on the weekend of the 25th and on Halloween weekend. One great benefit of multiple Halloween celebrations in the neighborhood is multiple opportunities to win a costume competition. On Oct. 25, party goers can “costume hop” from Nightmare on Normal street to fabulous gay hotspots like Rich’s to Flicks — as well as other fun Hillcrest venues — and enter into multiple contests, each happening at different times throughout the night, and all with huge grand prizes. There’s lots to be excited about at this year’s event! Proceeds for the event will go towards The Center and the HBA.u


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San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014

Supper with a side of


(l to r) Coconut-curry mussels, scallops with butternut squash risotto, and truffle-ricotta gnocchi (Photos by Jim Hennum)

Restaurant Review Frank Sabatini Jr. Nearly 60 percent of the menu at Croce’s Park West was recently revised by new Executive Chef Russell Rummer, whose seasonal masterpieces

have joined forces with solid dishes dating back some 30 years ago when the restaurant originally sprang into a pre-gentrified Gaslamp District. Ingrid Croce founded the restaurant as a tribute to her first husband, the late singer-

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songwriter Jim Croce. Since moving it into plushier digs in Bankers Hill earlier this year, the jazzy supper-club vibe remains splendidly intact, particularly as you move toward the rear Cuban-inspired “expatriate lounge” open most nights. In addition, Jim’s gold albums and early photos have been tastefully re-hung and the meals that Ingrid created and retained from the past, such as mapleglazed pork chops, “perfectly roasted free range chicken” and veal-pork meatballs with white truffles and linguini, confirm that we should sometimes leave good enough alone. On this first dinner visit to the Bankers Hill address, a friend and I zeroed in mostly on new dishes from Rummer, a Johnson & Wales culinar y grad who spent the past 12 years working in top San Francisco kitchens. Ingrid makes no secret of how she became quickly impressed by his cooking during a couple of working inter views, which included a dinner party at her house. We were equally

captured from the moment we forked into our first appetizer. Truffle ricotta gnocchi with roasted mushrooms tasted magnificent in their puddle of thin leek “fondue” sitting at the bottom of the plate. Though continental in its approach, the combination of the cheese-laden potato dumplings with the earthy mushrooms and butter y, onion-y leeks carried the exceptional (and unintentional) flavors of pierogis — much like ones the Polish side of my family made from scratch for the holidays. Countless steamed Penn Cove mussels brimmed from a bowl filled also with coconutcurr y sauce that was so robust and addicting, it could convert anyone who eschews bivalves into an instant admirer. Just ask Ingrid. It worked for her. Diverting to one of the restaurant’s longtime standbys, we shared the “Croce’s classic Caesar,” which in my earlier experiences has never failed in its creamy, tangy dressing and crisp, chilled greens. We combined it with Rummer’s soup of the day, a rustic and comforting stew of white beans and broccoli rabe that we felt needed additional herbs or a perhaps a dusting of Romano cheese.

Lemon budino (Photo by Jim Hennum)

Croce’s Park West

2760 Fifth Ave. (Bankers Hill)


Prices: Snacks, appetizers and salads, $6 to $15; half and full-portion entrees, $15 to $33; oysters on the half shell (half dozen), $16

While the acclaimed and dapper Gilbert Castellanos Quintet instilled a jazzy Manhattannightclub feel to the place, we dove into a couple of seafood entrees that elevated the flavors of scallops and sea bass without upstaging them in the least. For the delicately seared scallops, Rummer drapes them softly in what tasted like butter y beurre blanc sauce. The menu description, however, referred to truffle vinaigrette, which became wonderfully discernible as we encroached on a center mound of creamy, expertly cooked risotto containing butter nut squash, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese. It was plate-licking good. Bits of smoky Spanish chorizo teamed up with meaty gigante (or giant) beans to form the bedding for a hunk of seared sea bass that was both rich and flakey. Ribbons of kale provided occasional moments of bitterness, just enough to keep the overall flavor profile lively and engaging. Yet the final accent mark on the dish was a judicious plop of nutty, pepper y Romesco sauce kept at low volume as to not over whelm the other ingredients. Most entrees at Croce’s are available in half portions, a rare luxur y in most restaurants. Although when the food scores such exemplar y grades, it’s difficult to pass up full orders. Other meal choices include crispy duck with pinto noir cherries, shrimp carbonara, charbroiled New York steak and Bordeaux-braised short ribs. Additionally, wine and beer are in abundance, with the lists covering varietals from across the globe and the suds falling into multiple categories such as Belgium, sour, IPA, lager and more. A wide selection of wellconstructed cocktails also plays favorably to the sounds of brass and strings that define Croce’s lounge atmosphere. For dessert, I chose the daily special: Meyer lemon budino, an Italian pudding that was silky on top and thirst-quenching at the bottom. Needless to say, it’s rare that we exit any restaurant without leftovers. In this case, we walked out hands-free. —Contact Frank Sabatini Jr. at


WEDDING of a hospital policy. “Instantly for a year we thought of him daily and what kind of person he was,” Mahura said. “It was so important for me to thank this man.” Zempko said he thought about Mahura often too. “I would think about this process for over a year,” Zempko said. “I ran a few marathons and dedicated those races to whoever this person was. When you’re training for a marathon and running a marathon for three to four-plus hours, you have a lot of time to think and reflect. I never thought twice about not allowing Dianne to contact me. [I] was anxious to hear her story.”

Donuts with 21st-Century flair coming to North Park

(l to r) Cameron Corley, Kristianna Zabala and Brad Keiller (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Mahura holds up Zempko’s bone marrow donation. (Courtesy Kevin Zempko) A year after the surgery, the two began emailing each other. Then in May 2009, Mahura flew to San Diego to meet Zempko and to cheer for him during another marathon. “The first time I met him was very emotional,” Mahura said. “We were both excited and shaking.” But the meeting was more than just one between a donor and his recipient. The two became friends who visited each other despite the miles between them. “We see them about twice a year and we text all the time,” Mahura said. “Every time he comes to Calgary, I have a huge backyard party.” Last summer, Mahura later met Wacker, who Zempko began dating in 2011. It was later an easy decision to ask Mahura to officiate the couple’s marriage. “When looking for an officiant, we wanted someone we were close with and knew us both,” Wacker said. “Kevin’s connection with Dianne is incredible, she has such a great spirit about her, just like Kevin.” Mahura said she was shocked and speechless when the couple asked her to serve as their officiant, but just like her and Zempko, it seemed fate had brought the couple together. “He was a 10 out of 10 bone marrow match, but more importantly a 10 out of 10 match made in heaven for [Wacker],” Mahura said. “I was told I likely wouldn’t live without the transplant. It was very rare that we were a perfect match.” Mahura told their story in front of more than the 130 attendees at Zempko’s wedding at the Bristol Hotel in Downtown San Diego. “I appreciate everyday and am incredibly thankful for Kevin,” Mahura said. —Contact Hoa Quach by visiting

The kitchen hood is installed. A dough mixer, deep fryers and cooling racks are due any day. And the recipes that will spawn some of San Diego’s most far-out donut flavors have been fine-tuned and taste-tested in preparation for an early-November opening of Nomad Donuts at 4504 30th St. in North Park. The upcoming venture is being launched by surf buddies Brad Keiller and Cameron Corley, who formed a customer-bartender friendship when Corley was mixing drinks at Ponce’s Mexican Restaurant in Kensington. After securing an 850-squarefoot space that was formerly a tattoo shop, the duo hired pastry chef Kristianna Zabala of Bertrand at Mister A’s, who will move over to Nomad to construct donuts that

defy what consumers typically dunk into their coffee. Think tom ka soup when chomping into a Thai-inspired donut made with traditional yeast dough, but sporting an unexpected glaze of lemon grass, coconut milk, ginger, chilies and basil. “Kristianna made them for us in the interview process and we were blown away,” said Corley, who holds fond memories of eating apple fritters and old fashion donuts at Rudy’s Donut House with his grandparents when visiting them as a kid in the Bay Area. “I don’t think there’s a donut that I don’t like, which is why I’m opening up a donut shop,” he added. Keiller, who left the software industry to co-start the business, recalled that he came to appreciate “donuts of all kinds” as a young adult while working with

San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014 his father in carpentry. “There were a lot of coffeeand-donut breaks, and I took on an appreciation for the quality ones,” he said. Blending sweet and savory ingredients, he added, should give Nomad a competitive edge on a section of 30th Street void of competition. At the very least, it’s what attracted Zabala to the job. “I like donuts because — who doesn’t like fried dough?” Zabala said. “But what’s kept me from buying them regularly is the fact that they’re always so overly sweet. But this was right up my alley because it’s a chance to change the perception of donuts as always being so sugary.” Also in the pipeline is a “caprese” donut filled with tomatostrawberry jam and topped with basil glaze and balsamic drizzles. Another will feature a filling of roasted pineapple complimented by panang curry glaze. Everyday fritters will take on new life as well, with figs replacing the customary apples along with the additions of smoked bacon, rosemary and goat cheese implanting further dimension. Yet for those who don’t care for herbs and curries interfering with their sugar intakes, the rotating selection will encompass


flavors such as cinnamon-pear and spiced chocolate as well as a few traditional varieties catering to oldschool palates. Biscotti and coffee drinks using beans roasted by Zumbar Coffee & Tea in Sorrento Valley will also be in the offing. Donut prices will range from $2 to $5 apiece, depending on the flavor. They’ll be available by the dozen as well. “Right now we have about a dozen specialty flavors. Other recipes are waiting to be born,” added Corley, assuring that the donuts “will be pulled directly from the cooling racks and won’t be sitting around long after they’re cooked.” The daily selections will appear in a pastry case used for display only. A few indoor tables will eventually extend to sidewalk seating as the team hopes to offer late-night service on Fridays and Saturdays. “We want people to be happy about what they’re getting while at the same time being surprised by prosciutto on a donut, which will be a reality at Nomad,” said Corley. For more information, call 619-431-5000 or visit —Contact Frank Sabatini Jr. at


San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014

RICHARD WOODS 619-347-9866

By Dustin Lothspeich

Uptown’s Sudoku Puzzle


Answer key, page 16

Uptown Crossword

Just Kidding

The men who made a monster

Puzzles Sponsored by:

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Answer key, page 16

Sartain have released studio albums on Swami, most notably the critically acclaimed 2010 full-length “Dan Sartain Lives” and Magician’s San Diego Music Award-winning 2013 debut masterpiece “Strange Heaven.” When The Night Marchers went on tour last year, they called on both of them to join in. It was the first time they had met each other and shortly after it wrapped, Turnbloom reached out to Sartain about a track he had recorded at home. “I wrote ‘She’s a Suicide’ quickly one afternoon and just sent it to Dan because I wanted to hear how the song would sound with his voice,” Turnbloom explained. “The original version, I’m singing it and it just sounded too normal; it was lacking something.”

“It deals with the two great mysteries of creation — life and death. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even … horrify you.” Edward Van Sloan uttered those words before the curtain rose in the 1931 cinematic masterpiece “Frankenstein” — a warning to queasy audience members to leave while they still had the chance. Thankfully, even though Boris Karloff’s monstrous mug from that film adorns the cover of the upcoming debut self-titled 7” vinyl by The Grave Walks, the music itself is much less terrifying — albeit still haunting. Set to be released Oct. 31, Halloween day, the two-song single brings together a pair of indie rock’s finest songwriters: devilishly campy troubadour Dan Sartain, who was handpicked to open for both The White Stripes and The Hives in 2007, and Jacob Turnbloom, frontman of the sardonically and melodically rich ’60s surf pop revivalists Mrs. Magician. It’s a curious union. Sartain’s style ranges from folk and rockabilly to allout ’70s punk while Turnbloom delves into a more experimental lo-fi indie rock realm, both with his band and as a solo artist. But after both musicians The self-titled vinyl cover of The Grave Walks ended up on tour together, (Courtesy Grave Walks) they eventually became Lacking what exactly, we’ll good friends. never know. As it’s now recorded, “I haven’t personally known “She’s a Suicide” bounces along him for that long but I’ve been a fan of his music for a long time,” with a sprightly surf beat, while raunchy electric guitar stabs Turnbloom admitted. “We honand spooky organ lines prop estly didn’t talk that much on up Sartain’s bewitching vocals. tour; we started emailing back and forth due to our mutual love When the accompanying B-side, “Teresa, I Love You,” sashays into for B movies, horror films, and place, it’s a delightful departure. unknown actors. In fact, Dan Drums are replaced by tic-tac perhas a really cool idea to start a cussive smacks; Sartain’s alluring magazine someday — kind of croon transforms into a wobbly like The Enquirer but with all howl over lyrics, “Well let me take B-list actors, like: ‘You’ll never you to the coast / Let me be your believe what Felissa Rose wore gracious host / Let me show you at Chili’s today!’” brand new things / We’ll find the Horror films, tabloids and ghost of Jimmy Dean.” friendship aside, The Grave “On [“Teresa, I Love You”], Walks can actually trace their Dan wrote a wonderfully dark beginnings back to Swami love song,” Turnbloom said. Records, a San Diego indepen“He sent that track back to me dent record label founded in 2000 and run by hometown rock and I honestly didn’t really know what to add at first because the icon John Reis (Rocket From original track of just his acoustic the Crypt, Drive Like Jehu, Hot guitar and vocals sounded cool Snakes, and The Night Marchers). Both Mrs. Magician and to me. It was really bare and had

a kind of Everly Brothers vibe ... so I stepped in and f---ed it up [laughs]. I really love how it came out. I can picture Dan singing it strolling through a graveyard, drunk on some tropical concoction I’d probably order on a Tiki Tuesday at Bar Pink.” The Grave Walks works as the name of the project, but the phrase also conjures the atmosphere of the record as a whole: foggy marshes, blood moons, creaky backwoods shacks and lurching monsters make their way out through the soul of dusty, warbling tape cassette recorders. In other words, it turned out exactly how Turnbloom imagined. “Both songs are simple, messy and raw. I did the extra instrumentation in a closet at my apartment, and I recorded ‘She’s a Suicide’ in my parents’ garage. I don’t know where Dan recorded the body of ‘Teresa, I Love You’ but I’m assuming he just did it all at home in Birmingham, Alabama. Once I had both tracks, I just starting messing with EQs and different reverbs to make it sound somewhat murky and eerie … it’s junky and kinda strange, not unlike Dan and myself.” The true DIY, homerecorded 7” gets its official physical release on Halloween at M-Theory Records in Mission Hills. Pressed in an extremely limited 300-copy run by Washington D.C.-based independent label Windian Records, 150 will be available on transparent green vinyl and 150 will be on opaque white wax (which are also currently up for pre-order now at the label’s website). Fittingly, the records will also have a quote from Karloff hand-etched near the center label, which reads, “The monster was the best friend I ever had.” Unfortunately, The Grave Walks’ forthcoming single might be the only memento from the duo for the foreseeable future. According to Turnbloom, “It would be cool to keep making songs [with Sartain], but it will just happen when it happens.” Hopefully, it will be sooner rather than later. The prospect of being left with only two songs from such an intriguing collaboration is the true horror here — a waking nightmare that may haunt us forevermore. —Contact Dustin Lothspeich at

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San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014






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CAMPAIGN Davis’s are from what would be seen as the liberal left. But both candidates say they’re striving to appeal to the middle as much as possible. “I’ve always been one to reach across the aisle to the other side,” Davis said. “I think that over the years, you tend to build connections and contacts that will allow things to get done. Sometimes those things don’t get much media attention, but they get done anyway. I don’t yell and scream about things like some do. I just tr y to sit down and talk. You’d be surprised how well that works, even in today’s Congress.” What motivated Wilske to

challenge a popular incumbent, especially in a district where that incumbent’s party enjoys a more than 50,000 voter registration advantage? “I’m a patriot, first of all. I’m not a Tea Party tool, as some people have called me,” Wilske said. “I believe in getting things done by working with all people. What’s needed in Washington right now is leadership, and I just don’t see leadership coming from Susan Davis. If I learned anything over 30 years as a Navy SEAL with 14 combat deployments, it’s how to lead.” Wilske is in a position where he has to attack Davis in order to gain traction. Davis, on the other hand, doesn’t see much reason to attack Wilske. In fact, in a half-hour inter view for this stor y, she never once mentioned his name.

It’s worth noting that money is a factor here. The last reporting period showed $440,040 in her campaign account, with more coming if needed. Democrats will do what they need to do to protect this seat. Wilske, at last report, had $145,946 in his account, much of it in the form of a $105,000 personal loan from himself to his campaign. In other words, he’s basically self-funded. He is the candidate endorsed by the county Republican Party. I asked him how much campaign money came with that endorsement. “Zero,” he said. Wilske is in a steep, steep uphill battle, and he knows it. So does his opponent. —Contact Doug Curlee at

North Park Nursery’s Grand Re-Opening Party

A rendering of the future North Park Nursery/Mooch site (Courtesy Paul Hunyady)


NURSERY the high demand of customers. The Nurser y sees $300,000 in revenue a year while the design company takes in about $1.5 million a year. “One of the problems we were having was ever y time we had new space, we outgrew it right away,” Hunyady said. Now, Hunyady plans to open his nurser y and design center at University Avenue and Texas Street by October’s end. The new location features 5,600 square feet of interior space and 10,000 square feet of exterior space. The new property was designed and built in just two months for $120,000. “We are really doing more than a nursery and a design center,” Hunyady said. “We’ll have a doit-yourself area with reclaimed projects. I’m also looking into consignment opportunities and gift stations for people who want to give crafty-type gifts. I believe and I hope this is our home for the next five to seven years.” Hunyady said he plans to hire

another five people to his current staff, which consists of of 30 employees and four designers. With his staff by his side, he said he also plans to offer more innovation. “Ever y single thing we do is unique in its own right,” Hunyady said. “Ever ything we do has a new twist to it. We always strive to be innovative.” But it’s more than just a business. Hunyady said he’s most proud of the contribution it has made to the community. They’ve supported ever ything from little leagues to school foundations to helping with the creation of a container yard in East Village. His commitment to the

Food Music Face painting Prizes Oct. 25 Noon – 4 p.m. 2335 University Ave., North Park community — while working 60 hours a week in an industr y he loves — is just another reason why his mother would be proud. “It’s really a life-long dream and passion,” Hunyady said. “I am so lucky to be able to do what I’m good at and love what I do.” —Contact Hoa Quach by visiting

San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014



San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014

Featured Events Bankers Hill Historic Walking Tour Saturday, Oct. 25 Archtoberfest San Diego is a month-long program of events and activities pertaining to architecture and design. In support of the annual occasion, Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) hosts walking tours throughout October. The final two Archtoberfest walking tours will take place in the pedestrian-friendly neighborhood of Bankers Hill at 9 and 11 a.m. The 90-minute tours will give attendees a chance to observe a variety of architectural styles including Craftsman, Spanish Revival, Prairie-style and more. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at or The tours begin at the corner of Walnut Avenue and Albatross Street in Bankers Hill. San Diego High School Class of 1964 50th reunion Saturday, Oct. 25 Alumni of San Diego High School (SDHS) Class of 1964 are invited to a reunion dinner and dance to be held at the historic Lafayette Hotel (2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park). The reunion will include a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. followed by buffet dinner at 7 p.m. and a dance with DJ ser vice from 8 – 11 p.m. Reser vations for the event are required. For a reser vation form and more information, contact Bev Barrett at 619-282-0425 or For hotel reser vations at the Lafayette, call 619-296-2101 and mention the SDHS Class of ’64 for a special group rate.

Oktoberfest Under the Stars Saturday, Oct. 25 This Oktoberfest dinner will benefit the Uptown Faith Community Service Center, a non-profit organization located in North Park. Festivities will be from 6 – 10 p.m. on the rooftop of the Imperial Towers Building (2350 Sixth Ave., Bankers Hill). Tickets for the event are $55 and include a buffet dinner with entrée, side dishes and “pretzel bars” along with live music and a silent auction. Money raised will support the Uptown Faith Center’s programs to help homeless and needy individuals to become selfsupporting community members. For tickets and more information visit Drop Dead Dames Burlesque Revue’s calendar release party Saturday, Nov. 1 Drop Dead Dames will release their first-ever calendar at this party featuring a special performance by the troupe with DJ Sean Smith. The event kicks off at 9 p.m. at The Hideout (3519 El Cajon Blvd., Normal Heights) and festivities continue until the venue closes. The first 25 attendees will get in for free and receive $5 off their purchase of the 2015 calendar by the Dames and Vixen Photography. There will also be a raffle for prizes including a ticket to the troupe’s Valentine’s Show at Queen Bee’s in North Park in February. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Calendars will be $20. For more information visit Art San Diego – Contemporary art fair Thursday Nov. 6 – Sunday, Nov. 9 This four-day event will feature art talks and panel discussions,

CALENDAR interactive activities and a showcase of art from over 50 artists and galleries. Collectors, curators and art enthusiasts will all be in attendance for this sixth year of the art fair. The VIP opening night kicks off at 7 p.m. on Thursday (tickets start at $75 for this night only) with various events spread through the weekend ending at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Three-day (Friday – Sunday) general admission tickets are $20 online and $25 at the door. The Balboa Park Activity Center (2145 Park Blvd., Balboa Park) will be the scenic setting for this year’s Art San Diego. For detailed schedules and tickets visit

Recurring Events Mondays: Singing Stor ytime: 1:30 p.m., learn what’s going on inside your baby’s mind, strengthen your bond and sing songs together at Mission Hills Library, 925 Washington St., Mission Hills, free. Open Mic Night: 7:30 p.m., the mic is open to you at Lestat’s Coffee House, 3343 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, free. Lestats. com. Tuesdays: Curbside Bites: 5 – 8:30 p.m., gathering of gourmet food trucks at 3030 Grape St., South Park. “Grab a Mic”: 6 p.m., an open mic night hosted by singer/actor Sasha Weiss. Sign ups at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m., Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest.  Tasty Truck Tuesdays: 6 – 9 p.m., Smitty’s Service Station hosts several food trucks under their well-lit shade structure, 3442 Adams Ave., Normal Heights.  Open Mic Charlie’s: 7 – 10 p.m. (except the third Tuesday), open mic night at Rebecca’s Coffee House, 3015 Juniper St., South Park, free. Wednesdays:  Trivia: 7 p.m., free trivia competition for prizes, tournament for $1,000. Drink specials during trivia range $3 – $6. Wang’s North Park, 3029 University Ave., North Park. Wednesday Night Experience: 7 – 8 p.m., uplifting and spiritually inspiring experiences for all, weekly at Universal Spirit Center, 3858 Front St., Hillcrest, love offering requested.  Young Lions Music Series:  7 p.m., each week features a new “young rising star” chosen by Gilbert Castellanos. 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 Jazz Jam Session with special guest musicians at Seven Grand, 3054 University Ave., North Park, free. Thursdays:  Gentle Yoga for seniors: 2:45 – 3:45 p.m., presented by The Center and Silver Age Yoga Community Outreach (SAYCO) at The San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest, free. 

North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m., in the parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., North Park, free.  Kor nflower’s Open Mic: Signups at 6:30 p.m., open mic (no poetr y or comedy) 7 – 10 p.m. Family friendly event at Rebecca’s Cof fee House, 3015 Juniper St., South Park, free. Rebeccascof Kir tan Musical Meditation: 8:15 p.m., chant and sing contemporar y mantras celebrating love and life at Pilgrimage of the Hear t Yoga, 3287 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, donation requested. Fridays: Preschool Stor ytime: 10:30 a.m., at Mission Hills Library, 925 Washington St., Mission Hills, free. Fridays on Fifth: 4 – 9 p.m., various restaurants and bars offer discounts and specials for a social hour on Fifth Avenue between Washington Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Hillcrest. Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., Classic movie screenings at 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. Tickets start at $15.  Saturdays:  Old Town Saturday Market: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., on Harney Street and San Diego Avenue, Old Town, free. Golden Hill Farmers Market: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., on B Street between 27th and 28th streets, Golden Hill, free. Children’s Craft Time: 10:30 a.m., at Mission Hills Library, 925 Washington St., Mission Hills, free.  Melodies in Balboa Park: 1 – 5 p.m., the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory ensembles fill Casa del Prado with classical music, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, free.  Comedy Heights: 8 – 10 p.m., local comedians take the stage next to Twiggs Coffeehouse at 4590 Park Blvd., University Heights, free. Sundays: Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., under the Hillcrest Pride Flag, Harvey Milk and Normal streets, free. —Email calendar items to

Haunted happenings Monsters! exhibit opening Saturday, Oct. 25 (runs through 2015) This family-friendly exhibit showcases monsters and beasts both familiar and strange. The displays at the San Diego Museum of Man (1350 El Prado, Balboa Park) will include info on everything from unicorns to werewolves plus many more monsters throughout history and from various cultures. Hands-on activities include making a monster of your own and putting on a play with “strange creatures.” Members of the museum can attend a special preview reception (with RSVP) and see the exhibit first on Friday, Oct. 24. For more information, museum hours and tickets visit Halloween Bash Friday, Oct. 31 This party gets started early at 4 p.m. at Wang’s North Park (3029 University Ave.). Fabulous drag queen Babette Schwartz will host a costume contest at 8 p.m. with $100 and $200 cash prizes awarded. Happy hour in the bar will go all night and feature $6 large well martinis. Special discounts in the dining room will be offered to anyone in costume. For more information visit The Zombie Ball Friday, Oct. 31 This Halloween night gala will benefit the Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, a non-profit theater group which operates at the Tenth Avenue Arts Center in East Village. The Zombie Ball will be held at the San Diego Museum of Man (1350 El Prado, Balboa Park) and feature music, dancing, live performances and a costume contest. Tickets start at $65 and include Starbucks coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and a zombiethemed dessert buffet. VIZ (very important zombie) guests will also be treated to special effects makeup services to complete their costume. The party “for a purpose” starts at 7 p.m. and goes until midnight. Visit to purchase tickets. The Creepy Creeps, The Burning of Rome, Cramped and Schitzophonics Friday, Oct. 31 Each year San Diego’s quintessential rock club The Casbah (2501 Kettner Blvd., Midtown) puts on a Halloween bash to rival all others. Aptly named psych-surf rockers The Creepy Creeps will headline this one with their spacy sounds and onstage antics. The Burning of Rome have a special holiday treat planned and will perform punk icons The Dead

CALENDAR/FEATURE Kennedy’s 1980 debut album “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” in its entirety. Doors at 8:30 p.m. Tickets $20 online at or $22 at the door. 2nd annual University Heights Urban Harvest Festival Saturday, Nov. 1 This free community event is hosted by Friends of Alice Birney Elementary and the University Heights Community Association. The festival will be from 1 – 5 p.m. at the Willie Serrano Joint-Use Field at the school (4345 Campus Ave., University Heights). The community is invited to bring a picnic if they like. There will also be garden tours with freshly harvested fruits and veggies, cooking demonstrations, arts and crafts, and more. Attendees can bring their Halloween pumpkins to recycle into compost or launch from a trebuchet. Visit or email for more information. Old Town Dia de los Muertos Saturday, Nov. 1 & Sunday, Nov. 2 This celebration will take place throughout Old Town with eight different zones including public altars, face painting stations, storytelling areas and more. The event is from noon to 9 p.m. both days with a procession on Sunday at 6 p.m. starting at Harney Street and San Diego Avenue. Dia de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is not to be confused with Halloween and is not a morose remembrance. The holiday is meant to celebrate with loved ones to honor and remember those departed. The event is free and includes many activities such as arts and crafts. Note: Some craft areas charge a nominal fee. For history on the event and detailed schedules visit


GHOSTS and the Buena Vista Adobe in Vista, among others. As one of the only teams to conduct research inside the Serra Museum, Strickland said she is fairly sure that they have come in contact with Father Serra himself during their investigations and have also uncovered “residual” Native American energy in the area. Though she hasn’t been able to do any formal research at the Mission de Alcala, she has visited the grounds several times and has felt the same energy there as well. Historical research of a property and its former occupants is an important part of paranormal investigations because often the paranormal research uncovers clues that history can help solve. Gabe Selak, public programs manager with the San Diego History Center (SDHC) in Balboa Park, joined Strickland’s team a little over a year ago, serving as a historical consultant. Selak’s interest was first piqued last year when Strickland approached the SDHC about doing a private investigation of the Serra Museum, one of the properties under SDHC’s tutelage. While such private events do not involve the public and only consist of the research team, Selak worked directly with SDPRS to plan, research and execute that investigation. “Based on my understanding of the site I was able to tell them a little about the people who lived there, and that led to questions that they were able to ask during the time we were doing the re-

San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014

search,” he said, adding that the name Manuel came up during the investigation and they were able to find historical documentation that identified soldiers associated with the Presidio who were named Manuel. “[I helped] them understand who and what activities happened at that site, and that can lead, as it did in the other instance, to questions asking for specific people’s names or whether there are any children, and [based on my research] we know how many there actually were.” Not long after the private investigation was completed, the SDHC asked SDPRC to return to the museum for another investigation last fall, this one public, and they used it as a fundraiser for the history center. The results of that investigation and the private one were “eye-opening” for Selak, who previously had only heard stories regarding the Serra Museum, such as sightings of soldiers up on the hillside, in his 10 years with SDHC. “All places that are haunted have paranormal activity, but not all places that have paranormal activity are haunted,” Strickland said. In addition to historical sites, SDPRS gets many requests for home visits. Odd experiences at private residences make everyday life challenging for the occupants, Strickland said, and many just want assurances that they aren’t crazy. Hence, not all of these requests turn into actual investigations. “We have a very extensive client interview process to get the specifics of the case. A lot of the time it is just educating [the residents] on what it could be. Sometimes it is plumbing or


electricity problems or foundation issues with their home and that is all it is,” she said, adding that each case is different and some clients actually know the spirit and wish to coexist with them. Unlike the “Ghost Busters,” however, Strickland said the SDPRS team’s focus is merely to investigate claims of ghosts and hauntings. They don’t try to harass or diminish the spirits they encounter. “Sometimes clients will say, ‘I just want it out — I want it out of my house,’” she said. “That is not our specialty, but we have people that we can refer out to that can possibly come and do spirit rescue or apply different techniques such as blessings, the use of crystals or different types of incense to clear out the area.” Though SDPRS is open to new members who think they may be sensitive to the paranormal, Strickland has a set of bylaws on the website that clearly distinguishes her team from those who she considers “thrill seekers.” “We are a very serious team,” she said. “We take pride in our work and we really strive to help and educate our clients. We’re not experts, we don’t claim to be, and we’re always learning as we go. “If people are just out to copy the guys on some of the TV shows and provoke the spirits, this is not the team for them,” she said. Follow SDPRS through their Facebook page at Facebook. com/SDPRS or find out more about them by visiting their website, —Reach Morgan M. Hurley at


San Diego Uptown News | Oct. 24–Nov. 6, 2014

San Diego Uptown News - October 24 2014  
San Diego Uptown News - October 24 2014