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Aug. 16–29, 2013

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Old Town • Mission Hills • Bankers Hill

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

Suit filed over drive-thru

➤➤ NEWS P. 5

North Park community ‘pro-neighborhood’ plan says Jack In The Box location no longer zoned for drive-up window By Dave Schwab SDUN Reporter

Benjamin Nicholls to leave HBA

we elected a very flawed human being,” Gonzalez said. “We ensure that we can distinguish the difference between a jerk that we elected as mayor and what our progressive movement stands for,” she said. “That’s where we go from here.” Gloria called Filner a “lemon” and cited the difficulty it was for them as leaders to get things done with an absent mayor entangled in controversy. Filner had announced earlier he would seek a two-week, intensive in-house treatment for his behavior and has several lawsuits filed against him, including one from the city. “You elected all of us to go to our respective bodies to get stuff done and … it’s much harder to get stuff done – to get results that you demand of us – with Bob Filner as mayor,” Gloria said. “That’s why he has to resign, allow us to put this nightmare behind us and move forward on that pro-neighborhood agenda

North Park residents have filed a lawsuit seeking to bar a drive-thru window from being included in the Jack In The Box restaurant construction, located near the intersection of 30th, Upas and Dale streets. The argument goes back years, with local residents insisting the fast-food restaurant’s drive-thru is in the middle of a residential neighborhood where it no longer belongs. Some residents are arguing that the North Park Jack In The Box, which has been at 2959 Upas St. since 1961, forfeited its nonconforming right to have a drive-thru there by doing a nearly complete tear down, rather than a remodel, of its restaurant. North Park Planning Committee member Roger Lewis said he filed the suit on behalf of the community to block Jack In The Box’s drive-thru in San Diego Superior Court on Monday, Aug. 12. Lewis said the suit is not “anti-Jack In The Box” but rather pro-neighborhood and pro-community planning. “It’s about the ability to transition a neighborhood according to the community plan and what the zoning calls for,” said Lewis about the rationale for the lawsuit. Lewis noted that in 2000, the community and the City agreed to transition the area around North Park Jack In The Box into a neighborhood commercial zone, which precludes autointensive uses like drive-thrus. “There used to be a filling station there and an ice manufacturing plant, and, along with the restaurant drive-thru, they were no longer appropriate for the way the neighborhood has grown up,” Lewis said. “With residential streets on both sides, auto-intensive uses are no longer in the future for that area.” Omar Passons, another North Park community planner agreed. “This is a business fairness issue,” Passons said. “The zoning for that area was changed in 2000, no longer allowing a drive-thru. Either all busi-

see Politifest, page 7

see JackInTheBox, page 17

➤➤ DINING P. 8 (l to r) Councilmember Mark Kersey, Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, Council President Todd Gloria, Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis, City Attorney Jan Goldsmith, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez and Councilmember Kevin Faulconer on stage Aug. 3. (Photo by SDUN)

Amarin delights

➤➤ WHAT'S UP! P. 11

By Anthony King SDUN Editor

Boy King

➤➤ HOME P. 18

The market heats up

Index Briefs……………………5 Opinion…………………6 Theater…………………12 Calendar………………14 Classifieds……………16 Feature…………………17

Contact Us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1952



As the sexual harassment scandal surrounding Mayor Bob Filner continues to unfold – a 14th woman came forward Thursday, Aug. 15 with more allegations against the mayor – political leaders came together on one stage for a frank conversation on how San Diego is dealing with the crisis now, and what it can do to move forward for the future. As part of Voice of San Diego’s Politifest event held Aug. 3 at Liberty Station, the message for Filner was clear. Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins and Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, along with Council President Todd Gloria, councilmembers Kevin Faulconer and Mark Kersey and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith all agree Filner must resign, and do so immediately. The question posed to the panel by Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis was simple: “What do we do now?” “We keep doing what we’re

Political leaders sound off on how to move forward in midst of Filner scandal doing as San Diegans,” Faulconer said. “We are better than what Bob Filner is putting us through.” Faulconer’s sentiment was echoed by all on the panel, with a focus on assuring attendees at the political festival that San Diego was still functioning. That did not mean, however, that they did not recognize it was, and continues to be, a difficult time for the city. “It is important to me that we stay focused on the issues of the people,” Gloria said. “That’s going to be really hard to do; I don’t want to mislead you on how easy that will be.” Gloria was one of three Democrats invited to the discussion and he and the others – Atkins and Gonzalez – said they did not want to lose the momentum that voters wanted when they voted Filner into office last year. Filner is the first elected Democrat mayor in San Diego in 21 years. “We as progressives, what we have to realize is unfortunately

Uptown businesses take part in Storefront Improvement Program City’s economic development grants help fund beautification upgrades By Anthony King SDUN Editor

Council President Todd Gloria joined business owners Aug. 6 to announce the completion of three outdoor improvement projects, highlighting San Diego’s Storefront Improvement Program (SIP) in the process. The building improvements were partially funded by SIP grants. Belching Beaver North Park at 4223 30th St. and the building housing Cabais Mexi-Deli and Sailors Grave Tattoo Gallery at 3952 and 3958 Fourth Ave. respectively, benefitted from the SIP grants, which helps small businesses renovate and revitalize facades visible to customers and neighboring businesses. The program also pro-

vides design assistance. “These investments by the City may seem minor, but they contribute to improved community character and demonstrate a meaningful way we can strengthen our local economy,” Gloria said in a newsletter. Improvements at the Belching Beaver included new paint, roll-up windows and exterior light fixtures, as well as the preservation of a neighborhood mural. Total cost for the project was approximately $19,500, and the City SIP grant covered $5,000. Located in Vista, Calif., Belching Beaver Brewery opened the North Park tasting room in April of this year. The 2,500-square-foot space

see SIP, page 5

(l to r) Sean Huston, Victoria Lopez, Camille Towey, Council President Todd Gloria, Paul Pease, Benjamin Nicholls and Alissa Gabriel (Photo by SDUN)


San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013


A monumental accomplishment Lisa Weir, a neighborhood and community advocate, moves on By Morgan M. Hurley SDUN Assistant Editor

The Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) recently lost an important part of its staff, when Marketing + Communications Director Lisa Weir relocated to Oakland, Calif. last month. Weir, who had been with the nonprofit for nearly four years, was part of the organization’s triad team of staff that also consisted of NichExecutive Director Benjamin Nich olls and Sponsorship + Concessions Manager Cassandra Ramhap. Nicholls, who announced his future departure from the HBA at the organization’s board meeting Tuesday, Aug. 13, credits Weir with establishing a consistent brand for the three-decades-old nonprofit. “It was new, yet familiar,” he said. The Silver Springs, Md. native said she moved west in 2005 in search of what she called “the strongest graduate program in women’s studies in the country” at San Diego State University. There, she not only received her master’s degree, but went on to become an adjunct lecturer for the department, teaching both women’s and LGBT studies. Weir said she was able to parlay her teaching focus of social justice in terms of race, class, gender and sexuality into her other career as a marketing executive, helping nonprofits grasp not only the power behind their content but how to strengthen their message, design and presentation. “I would be lecturing on the landscape of power, privilege and oppression in the media, and then emailing a press release, soliciting that same media, encouraging them to use their power of voice to cover a news piece on something happening in the nonprofit arena I was emerged in, all in the same day,” Weir said. “It’s this fluid world of possibility, connection and relationships that we’re constantly moving through, in a way that is kind of messy, that inspired me.” During Weir’s time at the HBA, the organization was responsible for some huge changes within the Hillcrest community. A pride flag with its new historical monument added this year, the new block party and the growth of its farmers market are things she will always be proud of and able to hang her hat on, but she said she does not like being in the limelight. Instead, she said she appreciated the “subversive, collaborative” effort of her role. Nicholls said Weir worked hard to put together a “dream team” to meet the HBA’s marketing goals. “She organized a team of store owners, restaurateurs and service providers, and with them created a consistent and well-supported neighborhood brand,” he said, and gives Weir credit elsewhere as well. “Some of the unique projects she’ll be remembered for include the design of the LGBT historical monument at the base of the Hillcrest Pride Flag, the Hillcrest neighborhood map and [the] ‘Your Guide to Fabulous’ [publication],” he said. Crest Cafe owner and HBA board member Cecelia Moreno

also recognized Weir’s contributions. Last month, Moreno surprised Weir with a personalized tile – in Weir and her partner’s name – on the Hillcrest flag’s base, where all the donors to the LGBT historical monument were identified. Weir called Moreno’s donation the most generous gift she had ever received. “I just stood back from life and saw how held I was, and felt how much infinite love there is swirling around us,” she said. “It was such a perfect representation of honor and pride and such a fitting bookend to my time in Hillcrest.” The pride flag and the challenges the organization went through to see it through to fruition offers Weir yet another deep connection to this community. “What a – literally – monumental accomplishment, and what a symbolic representation of my time in San Diego. This city is

Lisa Weir and her pug Beasley (Photo by My Dog Photography)

where I came out to my parents who live back east, it’s where I built the most supportive chosen family I could have ever imagined and it’s where my heart flourished,” she said. Weir called her time at the HBA “an incredibly full cup,” filled with “joy, passion, connection and the art of the communities,” where she continually pushed and tested herself. “Community work is about a lot of things, and it’s also about getting things done,” she said. “We can strategize for decades in academia and be eloquently theoretical and I love that, [but] I love that in neighborhood work, you’re accountable; you have to work hard at things that sometimes seem so vast and unattainable.” Though

San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013 her beloved Hillcrest community and Golden Hill home were both hard to leave, Weir, who was recently replaced at the HBA by Megan Gamwell, her intern of six months, was able to justify her departure. “I’ve lived in San Diego … just long enough for one to absolutely fall in love with Southern California, and also just long enough to give yourself permission to leave,” she said. Weir said she has dreamed of spending her 30s in Northern California, but it was her partner Lauren who kicked that dream into reality when she was accepted into a graduate program for social work in the Bay Area. “I’m so excited about the energy in the Bay Area, the changemakers here, and the spiritual connections I’ve already made to the city and the people,” Weir said. She and Lauren were best friends for five years, standing on the sidelines of each other’s relationships and offering support when needed, until realizing they


had peeled back enough layers over those years together to find a perfect fit with each other. “We transgressed the friendship boundary and our light together just threw us into this incredibly loving, supportive and inspirational relationship to be our best selves, independently and together,” Weir said. The couple plans to make their domestic partnership a marriage when Lauren is finished with her graduate work, but in the meantime, they are settling into their new digs with their dog Beasley. Weir still has a toe dipped into the San Diego community, helping a local “social change-making” organization with their branding transition, while she continues to get her feet wet in Oakland. “I’m hoping that this new move and transitional consulting work gives me the space to set peaceful intentions for my next season,” she said. “I want to build a life up here and build family with my wife. It’s important that I slow down right now and take it all in.”u


San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013


Art from Alice Birney Elementary (Photo by Jessica Dearborn)

Dancers dressed in traditional fashion. (Photo by Jessica Dearborn)

A 1935 replica trolley took guests for a ride. (Photo by Jessica Dearborn)

Creating a cohesive community University Heights anniversary celebration a hit; Baras Foundation happily celebrates 35 years By Jessica Dearborn SDUN Reporter

It was a beautiful day in San Diego Saturday, Aug. 10 – perfect weather to venture to historical Trolley Barn Park in University Heights to attend the day’s events commemorating the neighborhood’s 125 years of deep-rooted history, founded in 1888. The mood was festive as the neighborhood was eager to embrace and celebrate the day, with vendors and guests alike. Upon arriving, the slight breeze carried scents of succulent food that drifted by to offer unrelenting temptations vendors were proudly preparing. Great Maple, Big Front Door San Diego, Brooklyn Dogs Sabrett hot dog stand and Viva Pops were all present, among others. Accompanying my senses were the bright colors of the Chinese dragon dance performers’ costumes, and the mesmerizing dance that ensued. Many other activities promised a fun-filled day. As the bands played, dancers gathered on the grass, with some donning attire that represented the earlier days of University Heights. A bright red, 1935 replica trolley sat proudly in the distance to take guests for a ride; vendors laid out their wares and children played various games that offered amusement. I spoke with Nan McGraw, a volunteer and former president of the University Heights Community Association (UHCA), who

offered her insight to the growth over the years and what the day’s commemoration meant to her. “I’ve lived here for 40 years; it is home to me,” she said. “It is the most cohesive community I have ever experienced. It is wonderful. The people are wonderful, they’re friendly, and it’s a work of love, working for the community.” A founding member and current volunteer of UHCA, established in 1984, McGraw described herself as “more or less a booster, trying to keep things going.” She has been a fostering member, participating in movements such as lobbying the City Council for Trolley Barn Park, the Vermont Street Bridge, improvements along Park Boulevard and landscape improvements around the neighborhood, only to name a few. Trolley Barn Park officially opened in April 1991, taking several years to get funding for development. During that time, McGraw and other volunteers had a lot of help along the way, having established positive, working relationships with elected officials. Currently, McGraw coordinates the production of over 4,000 monthly newsletters for the UHCA, which helped spread the word of the day’s event. The UHCA organized the day’s activities, including an art contest and vintage photography exhibit, heritage tour, lawn games and scavenger hunt. The live music by Gato Papacitos, Dixie Maxwell, Carlos Olmeda, John Hull and

Gregory Page played all day long. One of the many vendors present – and an official sponsor of the event – was the Baras Foundation. The Foundation was founded in 1978 by Carol Baras and her late husband, Bill, to give back to the community, Baras said. “We wanted to do a lot of good.” Soon after, the Foundation began hosting call-in story-telling messages for children, called 291-KIDS. In 1993, they opened the first of many Baras Foundation Thrift Shops, located at 1455 University Ave. in Hillcrest. Within a year, they had so many donations that Baras said they opened a new store every year for nine years. After her husband died in 2004, and as the store leases expired, they closed one store a year for eight years, keeping the original Hillcrest store open. Now in their 35th year – and 20 years as a storefront in Hillcrest – the Foundation has been able to support various children’s programs including the Dimensions Scholarship Fund, The Oasis Institute, TERI, the Monarch School, Voices for Children and Friends of Alice Birney Elementary School in University Heights. “Wherever there’s a need, we try to jump in and help,” Baras said. In addition to the Baras Foundation, event sponsors included Great Maple, Wells Fargo, car2go, Save Our Heritage Organisation and OneRoof Energy. For more information on the Baras Foundation, visit or call 619-2915252. For information on the UHCA, visit or call 619-723-3538.u


UptownBriefs MEDIA ARTS CENTER TO STAGE FIRST SUMMER LATINO FESTIVAL Called “Exitos del Cine Latino,” North Park’s Media Arts Center San Diego will be staging their first “summer celebration of Latino film, music and art” from Friday, Aug. 23 – 29, a press release said. The nonprofit organizes the annual Latino Film Festival, held each spring. Films for the summer celebration will screen at both the Digiplex Mission Valley Cinemas located at 7510 Hazard Center Dr. and the Media Arts Digital Gym Cinema, located at 2921 El Cajon Blvd. Thirteen films will screen in total, including “Viola,” “Ciudadano Buelna” and “Tabu.” For the Aug. 27 screening of “Suave Patria,” actors Adrián Uribe and Omar Chaparro, and director Francisco Padilla will attend, and for the Aug. 25 screening of “Sleeping with the Fishes,” actor Gina Rodriguez will attend. Both screening will include a Q&A. Additionally, musicians Aro di Santi, Saul Silva, Anthony Mendez and Lilian Rey, among others will be performing for the seven-day festival. An all-access pass is $100, and individual tickets are $10.50 for general admission and $8.50 for students, seniors and Media Arts Center members. For a complete lineup and tickets, visit or call 619-230-1938. REV. BRENT ROSS SELECTED TO LEAD NORMAL HEIGHTS CHURCH Announced July 23, Rev. Brent Ross has been appointed to lead the Normal Heights United Methodist Church, the oldest church in the neighborhood. Located at 4650 Mansfield St., the church will celebrate its 100th anniversary this fall. “I am thrilled to be in Normal Heights and to keep working on ways that we as a church can be a part of this incredible neighborhood,” Ross said in the announcement. A Florida native, Ross previously served as associate pastor at the San Carlos, Calif. United Methodist Church. He received his master’s degree in theological studies at Vanderbilt University and is involved with the Southern California Methodist District Planning and Strategy Committee and their Episcopacy Committee.

He, his wife, who is a philosophy professor at Point Loma University, and two children currently live in North Park. “Together as neighbors, residents, business owners, educators and churches, we point the way to a hopeful future,” Ross said. There are events planned to honor the centennial anniversary, including a celebratory lunch on Nov. 3 and a community picnic on Nov. 9.

GOODWILL BEGINS DONATION COLLECTION IN HILLCREST In preparation for opening a retail store in Hillcrest, Goodwill Industries of San Diego County began collecting donations July 27 at 1219 University Ave. The retail store will open in the same location in the fall. “We are so lucky to have found space in a neighborhood that is accessible to so many people,” said Mike Rowan, CEO of Goodwill Industries of San Diego County. “We know that the community will embrace our presence and welcome the ease of our donation process.” Currently, residents can drive through the ally to the back of the store to drop off donations of clean, reusable clothing and household items seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Staff will provide a receipt for tax purposes. For more information visit BENJAMIN NICHOLLS TO LEAVE HBA It was announced that Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls will be leaving his position with the nonprofit at the organization’s regular monthly board meeting, held Tuesday, Aug. 13. Nicholls has been with the HBA for 5 years, after managing the Pacific Beach Business Association for six years. The New Zealand native also served as the Program Manager for the Pioneer Square Community Association, a neighborhood business group in Seattle, Wash., for six years prior to that role. One of the most recent initiatives Nicholls announced for the HBA was the desire to create a Hillcrest Community Development Corporation in order to jointly, with the HBA, seek California Main Street Certification. Nicholls plans to remain at the helm until mid October, in order to help steward the organization through a search for his successor, facilitate the



seats approximately 100, serving a selection of their beers. All brews are produced in Vista, where the company operates a second tasting room. In Hillcrest, business owners showed off new paint, “dimensional signage” and the construction of new trellis details, a press release stated. Improvements also included landscaping and the creation of an outdoor seating area for Cabais. Of the total $27,000 project cost, the City granted over $9,000. Sailors Grave, which originally opened as the Tattoo Gallery over 20 years ago, was represented by manager Sean Huston. For Cabais, manager Victoria Lopez attended the short ceremony. The deli opened in Hillcrest in 2005. Also attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Cabais and Sailors Grave were Hillcrest Business Association Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls, SIP manager Alissa Gabriel, Acadia Corp. President Paul Pease and the architect of the redesign, Camille Towey. Towey said working with the City on the grant process was simple. “It went very smoothly,” she said. Gloria thanked Towey and the businesses for participating, and said he wanted to increase awareness about about the City’s program. “We have wonderful City staff that … are all about trying to make these businesses more powerful,” he

San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013


annual Hillcrest Hoedown, and oversee the HBA’s annual meeting and corresponding election of new board members. Nicholls was unavailable for comment.

UPTOWN ARTIST ANN SLATER WINS TOP WATERCOLOR AWARDS Hillcrest resident and artist Ann Slater won two awards at San Diego Watercolor Society’s July show, “Creative Independence.” She was awarded First Place, Miniatures for her work “Fetch,” and Second Place for “Flight II.” In a press release, juror Frank Eber said he was drawn to both paintings for their compositional unity, and liked the “abstraction in ‘Flight II,’ which invites one’s imagination.” Slater and her husband are frequent travelers to New Zealand, the release said, and both paintings were inspired by past trips. “Fetch” is a painting of a dog playing catch, and Slater said she “blurred the edges of the dog to represent movement and attempted to show joy and excitement in his facial expressions.” Alternately, “Flight II” was inspired by a large bird sculpture in a New Zealand fountain. “The play of light on faces of the birds gave the sculpture movement and a feeling of release,” Slater said. All entries, including Slater’s work, were on display at the Watercolor Society’s gallery, located at 2825 Dewey Rd. at Point Loma’s Liberty Station. For more information visit



Answer key, page 15

Uptown Crossword

CONTRACTOR NAMED FOR CABRILLO BRIDGE RETROFIT PROJECT Caltrans announced Disney Construction of San Francisco as awardee of the Laurel Street Overcrossing Project, also known as the Cabrillo Bridge project. The Bridge extends over state Route 163 in Balboa Park. The $16.5 million project will see Disney Construction retrofit the bridge for seismic strength and “improve its structural integrity,” the announcement said. The intention is to extend the life of the bridge for another 50 years, and construction is expected to begin in fall of this year and end in summer of 2014. Pedestrians and vehicles will have “full access” to the bridge, Caltrans said, except for four months: from January to April 2014. During this time, pedestrian access will be uninterrupted, and SR 163 will be “minimally impacted,” they said.u

said. “We want to keep this program going. We want to get the word out so that other folks participate.” Gloria then said he hoped the visible improvements would help make the stores more successful, causing a ripple effect for the neighboring businesses that would potentially see an increase in business as well. “This program is so important to improving our neighborhood,” he said. The City’s SIP is open to small businesses with 12 or fewer employees located within city limits. National franchises, large office buildings, government-owned buildings and religious institutions are excluded from the program. There are currently four different rebates offered through the SIP: Standard Projects, which awards one-third of the construction cost up to $5,000; Multiple Tenant Building Projects, with a maximum of $10,000 granted; Historic Projects, for half of the construction cost up to $7,500; and Inclusion of Public Art, also with a maximum of $7,500 granted. Previous SIP awardees include Kensington Café in 2009, Adams Avenue Bookstore in 2010 and Viva Pops on Adams Avenue in 2009, among others. Business owners interested in the program are encouraged to visit or call Gabriel at 619-236-6460. For more information on Cabais, call 619-2993525. For Sailors Grave, visit or call 619-542-1721, and for the Belching Beaver, visit or call 760-703-0433.u

Les Girls

Answer key, page 15


San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013


3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775 PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 EDITOR Anthony King (619) 961-1952 ASSISTANT EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960


Mayor Bob Filner must resign San Diego Community News Network – SDCNN, the parent company of San Diego Uptown News, San Diego Downtown News and Gay San Diego – has been providing hyper-local news for the Uptown, Downtown and LGBT communities since 2009, starting with the launch of Uptown News in July of that year. We take great pride in the service we, as a news organization, provide to these communities and strive to bring you meaningful, solid, objective and relevant local news each and every week. Bob Filner has an incredibly long history of public service to the community of San Diego, dating back to 1979 when he first ran for election and won a seat on the local School Board, where he served alongside current Rep. Susan Davis until he was elected to the San Diego City Council in 1987. Filner went on to serve six years on the City Council, until he was elected to newly established Congressional District 50 in 1993, representing North, Central and Coastal San Diego County. Ten years later, Rep. Filner took over indicted Rep. Duke Cunningham’s District 51, which served Imperial County, South Bay and the Southern California border communities. In 2007, Rep. Filner was selected by his peers to concurrently serve as chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. After 20 years in congress, Rep. Filner resigned December 2012 in order to take over as mayor of America’s Finest City. It was a hotly contested election, one in which he was pitted against the first openly gay Republican candidate for mayor, and his election made him the first Democratic mayor San Diego had seen since 1992. We commend him for his nearly 35 years of service to our communities in all of his different capacities. Though our three newspapers could be seen as progressive, we did not endorse Filner in last year’s race for mayor, because historically, the editorial board of SDCNN has chosen to not make political endorsements. We think that is the right thing to do as a small community newspaper. In addition, we also choose to not use the opinion page to encourage – or chastise – any politician with regards to taking certain actions. We don’t see it as our place to do so.

However, in recent months, the growing concern – both in our communities and in our offices – over Mayor Filner’s alleged behaviors toward (and his admitted “lack of respect” for) women, has given us great pause and increasingly with each passing week, we have felt compelled to speak out. Today we do. Women make up a large portion of the readership of our three newspapers, and they are also our mothers, our sisters, our wives, our partners and our daughters. They serve on the city’s payroll, they educate our children, they work on local community organizations, and they volunteer countless hours to help make the quality of our lives better and they walk among us on the street. Sexual harassment is a very serious circumstance with lasting consequences for its victims and does not belong anywhere in a civilized society, including in the day-to-day business of our elected officials. Since the allegations against the Mayor first surfaced in June, one by one, local elected official after elected official have come out and requested the mayor’s resignation. Most of these elected officials are women: Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, Rep. Susan Davis, Assemblymember Lorena Gonzales, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Barbara Boxer. In addition, every member of the San Diego City Council has now come forward and asked for the mayor’s resignation. At the recent Politifest event held at Liberty Station and produced by Voice of San Diego, Council President Todd Gloria encouraged everyone to come out and ask for the mayor’s resignation (see our front-page story). In light of this and recent events, we do that today. We believe that in order for San Diego to get back to the business of the region and enhancing the everyday lives of the citizens of this great city, Mayor Bob Filner should step down immediately. It is clear that the mayor has a problem and we hope he seeks the help he needs, but he cannot get better and neither can the city, unless he steps aside and focuses on his personal needs. We are confident that San Diego will be stronger because of this, however our main concern remains the women he has directly affected as well as all the other women and men who work or live in this city, who have been directly or indirectly affected by these circumstances. Thank you for your continued readership and the support of our three newspapers.u


CicloSDias: the good, the bad and the ugly The good: •It was fun to see so many cycling, skating and walking at the same time. •The temperature was perfect, not too hot or too cold. •The police and all the CicloSDias volunteers were helpful. •It was fun to meet new people and see old friends. •The daytime event crowd seemed to be very well behaved. The bad: •The road should have been [clearly] divided into two directions; there were many near misses, as some riders weaved back and forth. •Other events could have been included, like an early morning race, a photo contest and/or a costume contest [which] would have added to the fun of the event. •The maps were poor and served mainly as promotional graphics and this includes the online maps, plus the maps should have shown alternate routes for autos use. •All designated volunteers should have had a phone, which would have allowed them to be far more effective, especially if there was an accident or incident to report. •More effort should have been made to help residents that needed to cross non-periodic

crossings, since it would have made things so much easier for those working or returning to their homes during the event. •Many spoke of trying to contact CicloSDias with questions and/or concerns, yet never received a return call. •There should have been shaded rest areas provided along the route to allow folks to pace themselves, which would have made the event far more enjoyable, especially for those with families and/or seniors that don’t exercise regularly. •Areas with bathrooms, food, and information booths should have been indicated on the maps so participants would know about them and could plan their day. •There should have been trash receptacles all along the route, especially in the neighborhoods. •The City should have swept the streets on the day of the event, both prior to the start of the event and then after the event. This would have allowed them complete access to the entire route and it would have been a safer ride for all those on bicycles and/or skates. For residents, making their streets really clean would have been a nice way to say thank you for all the hassles caused by the event and giving up their parking on a Sunday.

along the route; parents had to take young children into blocked-off alleys to go to the bathroom, which was unacceptable. In this type of event there should always be a bathroom in sight, especially if families with young children and toddlers are encouraged to attend. •The amount of restricted on-street parking was much too large; restricting on-street parking [to] just one side of the street should have been allowed and would have then inconvenienced about half the number of people. There would still have been plenty of space for ten or more times the number of people. •There should be at least five CicloSDias routes, each in a different part of San Diego, so that the same area residents do not get impacted every year by this event. •The CicloSDias official mapping board/ questionnaire had a question that mentioned (residents) having to give up their on-street parking for future and/or additional bike lanes, which I find unacceptable; try doing that in North Park’s business district. Why should North Park residents’ quality of life be reduced? Home owners who bought their property with the understanding that they had good on-street parking should not be forced to give it up; this would be like down zoning a business district and/or restricting the hours all business can operate, both of which would not be acceptable to them or even considered.

The ugly: •There were not enough portable bathrooms

—Don Leichtling, founder North Park Residential Improvement District (NP-RID), via emailu

REPORTERS & COLUMNISTS Charlene Baldridge Logan Broyles Jessica Dearborn “Dr. Ink” Michael Good Frank Sabatini Jr. Dave Schwab Brian White DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954 Sheri (Griscom) Hayeland (619) 961-1957 Kyle Renwick (619) 961-1956 Yana Shayne (619) 961-1963 SALES & MARKETING SPECIALIST Isabelle Estrella ART DIRECTOR Rebecah Corbin (619) 961-1961 PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Vincent Berling (619) 961-1961 ACCOUNTING Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 SALES INTERNS Charlie Bryan Baterina Martina Long 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 2013. All rights are reserved. Printed in the United States of America.


POLITIFEST that we all voted for last fall.” While many encountered Filner’s erratic and confrontational behavior for years, sexual harassment allegations against the San Diego politician surfaced July 10, when one alleged victim came forward, followed by 13 others in subsequent weeks. In those first days, many of the same people who supported Filner in his successful bid for mayor – Atkins, Gonzalez and Gloria included – asked for his immediate resignation. “I think many of us who’ve known Bob for three decades or more know that he is demanding, he is difficult [and] sometimes even abrasive,” Atkins said. “I think what we didn’t foresee or know is there’s a huge difference between abrasive, demanding and difficult, and sexual harassment.” Lewis said he was proud of San Diegans for having a “difficult conversation” about sexual harassment and the respect due to women, including women in public office, saying the city is facing it “head on.” Goldsmith, who has had a publicly contentious relationship with the mayor for most of Filner’s first eight months in office, said it was not a time to be pointing fingers, asking who knew what or who is responsible. “We’re facing a real crisis in our city, and we really do need to come together,” he said. “What Bob Filner has is not easily discoverable,” Goldsmith said. “This isn’t about sex, this is about power.” Before the discussion moved to the immediate affects of what will happen – either through Filner’s

resignation, a successful recall effort or, much to the panelists’ chagrin, Filner continuing in his role as city leader – Lewis asked each politician who should be the next mayor of San Diego. For Gloria, Lewis asked him directly if he would run. “I need to give that some more thought,” Gloria said. “I need to hear from all of you, frankly, what you want to see going forward.” Faulconer, a Republican, was asked a similar question and said he preferred to look at it from a “policy” and “agenda” standpoint, and that he did not support many of Filner’s political initiatives. Kersey, Gonzalez and Atkins all said they would not be running for mayor. “I’m thrilled to be representing people in Sacramento. I will continue to do what I can to make sure that we support you,” Atkins said. Kersey leads the Council’s newly established Infrastructure Committee, and the panel discussed many issues surrounding the city’s immediate needs, addressing inequality felt from neighborhood to neighborhood. Kersey also brought up the topic of the city’s charter, which has come into question regarding the procedure for voters to select a new mayor should Filner be recalled instead of resign. The Council is scheduled to meet Aug. 28 to address those concerns, and Goldsmith said the specific charter provision in question would not be enforced, as it is “clearly unconstitutional.” All agreed, however, that looking through the charter should come after San Diego’s immediate mayoral needs were addressed. “First and foremost, if you have not spoken out and called for the mayor to resign, you need to do so,” Gloria said. “This is not a time to sit on your hands and to hope that this goes away.”u

San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013


Welcoming the new planning director, Bill Fulton By Anthony King SDUN Editor

Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis sat down with the city’s new planning director, Bill Fulton, at Politifest Aug. 3 to talk about one of the things the former mayor of Ventura, Calif. was hired for: planning neighborhoods. Naturally, the discussion touched on several issues specific to Uptown, including the status of Community Plan Updates, issues of density and infrastructure, and the proposed lid over state Route 94. First however, Fulton laid out exactly why he chose to stay in the position after the recent sexual harassment scandal that has marred Mayor Bob Filner’s tenure, seeing several Filner appointees leave. “The vision that has been laid out to focus on the neighborhoods and revitalize some of the neighborhoods that have been overlooked, those challenges remain and they are just as relevant and just as significant as ever,” Fulton said. “I don’t want to walk away from that.” Filner appointed Fulton planning director in June, and Fulton moved into the position July 8, four weeks before the Politifest discussion and while the Filner scandal continued to unfold. Fulton is a nationally recognized urban planning expert, publisher of the California Planning & Development Report and, most recently, the former vice president of Smart Growth America, a think tank that promotes urban development. It was smart growth – a term used to describe denser neighborhoods surrounding amenities like businesses and transit instead of suburban sprawl – that Lewis initially discussed, saying “growth” and “density” were not particularly friendly terms to many in Uptown. “In my experience of 30 years in California, what I have found is that when a community tries to deny that growth is going to occur, that backfires,” Fulton said. “To simply tr y to deny that it’s gonna happen usually means it’s

gonna happen anyway, and it doesn’t happen as well as it could.” San Diego is currently updating nine community plans, which will in turn direct the city’s overall General Plan. There are four Community Plan Updates in Uptown: the Greater Golden Hill Community Plan, North Park Community Plan, Old Town Plan and Uptown Community Plan. The plans will provide a “framework for the future,” Fulton said, for both “public investment and private development” in the communities. “In my mind, we will do some great plans. We will listen to the community,” he said. “Some communities will be more interested in having more development than others, and that’s fine. We will focus that additional development in the right locations as much as we can” Fulton is no stranger to Uptown, as he worked on the North Park Update several years ago as a consultant. Now living in Little Italy, he said he is “intensely involved in the communities and neighborhoods,” ever y day. “Our goal is to balance the interests in each neighborhood against the interests of the city as a hole,” he said. He also said his goal was to move the plans along faster and to make the plans target changes more effectively. In Golden Hill, for example, Fulton acknowledged that a lid or cap over SR 94, as part of the planned Express Lanes Project, was something residents really want. “That’s something that’s under discussion. It’s a ver y expensive thing to do,” he said, adding that a similar proposal is being considered in Ventura. “As we move for ward and we build more stuff, that … can help to repair our neighborhoods, rather than further damage them.” Ultimately, Fulton said Uptown was “doing fine” and that there might not be many things the planning groups desire that are not achievable. The point, he said, is dealing with things on a “neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.”u


San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013


(l) Tom Kah soup; (r) pork larb in lime dressing (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

“Mad fish” topped with apples and chilies (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)



Restaurant Review

encased in sturdy batter and served in a pond of ehind the front-window poster chutney-like sauce sweetened likely with tropical promoting various spaghetti fruits or palm sugar. His usual go-to dish at Thai dishes is a formidable wine restaurants is “chicken anything” with peanut sauce. collection that could easily fill a The same freshwater species called swai was large cellar. At first approach, newbies to Amarin used in the “mad fish” that I ordered. The batter, could mistake it for an Italian restaurant or wine which tasted like that on golden-fried chicken, bar. But when peering inside further, the sight of was the same too. Native to Vietnam, the fish flaming hot pots, choo-chi duck and other Thai sports a moist, rich flavor similar to sole, though specialties come into focus. yielding thinner fillets such as these. The Amarin is a 20-year-old culinary landmark “mad” preparation features a mantle serving up treasured recipes passed of refreshing julienne-cut green down to chef-owner Nok Suree apples pumped up with Thai Sucksudecha by her mother, chilies, red cabbage and who taught her how to make cilantro. entire family meals by the On a scale of one to 10, age of 7. It’s where San I ordered the fish at level Diegans flock until the four. Our other tablemate wee hours of the night requested level two for to wash down both his spicy shrimp noocommon and atypical dles. Yet based on his Thai cuisine with prized heavy breathing and my wines collected from ev3843 Richmond Ave. (Hillcrest) cool forehead, it’s likely ery leading wine region that the server mistakon the globe. enly transposed our heat With more than 200 specifications. But we didn’t labels shelved throughout Prices: Appetizers, soups & salads, fret since neither of us left a the two-tiered dining room, $4.99 to $14.99; entrees, trace of food on our plates. we’ve learned through trial and $8.99 to $19 Other dishes we found stellar error that the bright apricot notes included Tom Kah soup. With or of French viognier wholly compliwithout meat, the milky broth was loaded ments spicy shrimp noodles while herby with mushrooms, lime leaves and galangal and California merlot potentially jangles the silky served in a circular hot pot with a Sterno flame sweetness of coconut milk used in Tom Kah soup shooting from its center. In pork or chicken larb, and yellow curry. In the occasional absence of a the finely minced proteins trigger salivation as server who is knowledgeable in food and wine they merge with fresh mint, onions, cilantro and pairings, the spirit of discovery rests on you. lime juice. And fans of fowl, I’ve been told, will The spaghetti offerings on the summer menu easily embrace the gentle roasting of choo-chi are titillating and unexpected. Listed on a sepaduck served with crispy skin over fresh vegrate card are nearly a dozen choices such as etables. “pasta di Bangkok” tossed with chicken, egg and Amarin serves lunch Thai tomato sauce. For “high line” spaghetti, the daily and caters to insomchef incorporates mixed seafood, Thai chilies niacs and bar crawlers by and roasted chili paste into the scheme while the staying open until 3 a.m. “KKW” leaves you figuring out the dish’s name on weekends; 2 a.m. on as your fork twirls through the addition of curry Wednesdays, Thursdays chicken, bamboo shoots and Thai basil leaves. and Sundays; and 10 p.m. Because of rave recommendations bestowed on Mondays and Tuesdays. to other dishes by fellow foodies, we skipped the In the dead of night, spaghetti options for entrees that are less inventive though not as pedestrian as drunken noodles, sometimes a pile of spicy Massaman beef and the like. That’s the beauty of noodles beats Amarin. The menu runs the gamut from newthe heck out fangled to traditional. of omelets and “I’m glad I broke out of my mold,” said a friend tacos.u in our trio as he reveled over “three-flavored fish”



San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013



Amber ale

2550 Fifth Ave. (Bankers Hill) | 619-239-1377

(Photo by Dr. Ink)

Happy Hour: 2:30 to 6 p.m., Sunday through Friday

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

Invite me to a wedding with good music and an open bar and I’ll be the first to RSVP with an enthusiastic “yes.” The splashier the bash, the longer I’ll dance. Except if it’s my own. The notion of exchanging intimate vows and then consuming a love dinner with hundreds of eyes looking on would be no less unnerving than giving a speech in my underwear. Fortunately, my darling soul mate of many years felt more or less the same as we conducted our momentous occasion with a low-key ceremony followed by food and drinks on the sunny 12th-floor patio of Bertrand at Mister A’s. It was the happiest of happy hours while gazing out to the skyline and airport runways with our inner circle of friends. Tables along the railings were aplenty, and with a cushy lounge section also available at the patio’s north end. As far as impromptu, midday wedding receptions go, it was among the cheapest considering that beer, wine and cocktails run between $3 and $10 from 2:30 to 6 p.m., Sunday through Friday. In addition, all dishes such as ahi sliders, tempura vegetables and poutine with chicken confit are only $7 each. My freshly ringed spouse launched immediately into a few “royal tea” cocktails priced at $10 apiece. Sporting bright hues from honey and lemon, they contained fair measures of clear gin infused invisibly with black tea. “A good, medicinal drink to keep in mind for when the flu season hits,” I said after making a toast while keeping in mind “in sickness and in health,” though with the addition of booze poured in. A friend in our group chose gin and tonic ($5) but it was flat due to problems with the CO2 cartridges, which Gin-spiked royal tea ruled out drinking (Photo by Dr. Ink) any sparkling well drinks that afternoon. The rest

of us gravitated to beer, which included a sweet $8 deal on 22-ounce bottles of Alesmith IPA and $4 drafts of Ballast Point Amber Ale and a couple Stone varieties. Wine lovers will find French rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, cabernet and chardonnay priced at $6 a glass. From the food list, addicting truffle fries are served generously in big metal chalices. A pair of seared ahi sliders also proves a dandy deal, as they’re plated with avocado and a small cluster of tempura vegetables. Conversely, the croque monsieur featuring bubbly Swiss cheese over ham and French bread amounted to two individual bites that were better suited for newlyweds on Jenny Craig diets. They were smaller than the sliders, but awfully tasty. For a wedding celebrated without pomp, we were fortunately dressed in acceptable threads that adhere to the restaurant’s policy of “no sandals, shorts or jerseys.” I’m not sure how strictly the code is enforced considering that we spotted patrons showing toes and legs. But even if we had not ended up on this coveted rooftop for our special day, the beachwear would have stayed at home.u

RATINGS: Drinks:

The happy-hour list covers all bases, with a few crafty cocktails leading into several beer and wine choices.


Plate presentations and the quality of ingredients are upscale, though portions run the gamut between scant and substantial.


Given the restaurant’s spacious outdoor patio with killer views, prices on drinks and food during happy hour are remarkably affordable.


Servers are professionally attired, relatively fast and start appearing in large numbers as the day progresses.


You can save money for a good chunk of the afternoon on this sky perch six days a week.

FOOD BRIEFS By Frank Sabatini Jr. SDUN Reporter

Luxury chickens with French roots have arrived to American soil, making their national debut at the Hillcrest Farmers Market. The four-pound birds, which sell for $25 each, are reproductions of Bresse chickens from the namesake region in eastern France. Culinary experts rate them as the besttasting chickens in the world. Vendor Ray Shields of Tzaddik Farm near Jamul introduced the free-range birds last month to market goers and offers them in whole, raw form every Sunday. They are raised on vegetarian diets supplemented with barley for about 16 weeks before processing. In their final two weeks, they undergo a “sedentary lifestyle” that ultimately fattens them up with tender, marbled flesh. “They are more flavorful and their texture is toned,” Shields said, adding that in France the chickens can fetch up to $150 apiece. “We’re the only ones in the

U.S. raising American Bresse chickens. They’re brand new to the U.S. consumer market.” His recommendation for cooking the coveted breed: “Do it the old-fashion way, on the stovetop for six to seven hours over low heat, in a pot with liquid, veggies and seasonings.” 619-823-5079.

Ray Shields introduces an exclusive chicken breed. (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)

Restaurateur Joshua Hamlin hopes to bring some culinary magic to University Heights when he opens American Voodoo this month. The “modern Americana” menu in the works will be implemented by Chef Daniel Sanaugstine, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who recently worked in Los Angeles with celebrity caterer, Laura Diaz-Brown. Hamlin is involved with two restaurants in New York and recently opened a bar in Dover, N.H., where he resides in addition to his native San Diego. For American Voodoo, he took over a couple of storefronts that previously housed a frame shop and imports boutique. The name, he said, was inspired by the voodoo dolls his mother began making after she retired from the military. Several of them will be incorporated into the décor. “My goal is to get a Michelin star for the restaurant by offering a unique one-of-a-kind dining experience,” he said while hinting at dishes like turtle soup and rabbit that could end up on his seasonal farm-to-table menu. 4655 Park Blvd. Both The Linker y and Hubcap in North Park have closed. Owner Jay Porter said in an email sent to friends that he and his two partners “are finding that we can’t, given our circumstances, make our restaurants the best they can be, which I believe is the least and most we can ask of ourselves and any community enterprise.” Porter went on to indicate that he has set his sights set on the Bay Area for opening his next restaurant. There’s no word yet on what will replace Hubcab, but The Linkery will reportedly transform into a similar restaurant concept called Waypoint Public, spearheaded by the proprietor of Bottlecraft stores in North Park and Little Italy.

The finishing touches are being put on the upcoming BBQ 81 in North Park, where owner Brandon Jessie will show off the barbecuing techniques he learned from his late father, Ron. The menu promises a full array of ribs, chicken, pork tenderloin, burgers and salmon cooked over mesquite or oak, along with scratchmade sides that include the curious offering of barbecue spaghetti. No exact opening date has been set, but it’s estimated that we’ll start smelling smoke within the next month. 2302 El Cajon Blvd., 619-534-0874.

Local beekeeper Paul Maschka teamed up with staff from Venissimo Cheese for a class focusing on the luscious pairing of honey and curds on July 28 at Mission Hills Nurser y (1525 Fort Stockton Drive). The event, titled “Bees and Cheese,” was presented by Slow Food Urban San Diego.u


San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013


, y a SuAnugd.11 M. Hurley) y Morgan (Photos b

Theater Pg. 12


Volume 5, Issue 17 • Aug. 16–29, 2013 • San Diego Uptown News

Long live Local rock trio gathers a killer lineup for album release party at The Casbah (l) Boy King live (Photo by Matthew Baldwin); (r) the band performs Aug. 17 (Photo by Cody Thompson for Three B Zine)

By Logan Broyles SDUN Reporter

After a brief battle over naming rights, the band formerly known as the Bunny Gang has returned to release a full-length album under the new moniker Boy King. Boy King consists of Adam Eidson on drums, Dustin Lothspeich on guitar and Megan Liscomb lending her pipes for lead vocals. All three have deep roots in the local music scene and have played in multiple bands: Lothspeich with Old Tiger, Liscomb in Owl Eyes, and Eidson was a member in Of Sons and Ghosts. The group has been slowly gaining recognition in the yearplus since they got together, including San Diego Music Awards nominations for last year’s Best New Artist and this year’s Best Hard Rock Album categories. “Definitely some of the big influences are Led Zepplin [and] the Yeah Yeah Yeahs,” Liscomb said of their popular sound. “We have sort of a Blues foundation but we’re also a little bit of hard rock, and it’s heavier but it’s also a

little bit experimental.” Their simple setup works because each member has a defined roll that allows them to bring out the best in each other. Liscomb goes for broke with her singing, while Eidson’s drumming provides a foundation for LothSpeich’s heavy and experimental guitar riffs. Lothspeich mixes and matches the tracks, while Liscomb writes the lyrics for them. The trio’s willingness to experiment and take this trialand-error approach to music has helped Boy King establish their own unique identity, and gives their new album “Master” a lot of promise. “The new album is interesting to me because I feel like each

song is really different from one another,” Liscomb said. “The tone and lyrical content tie them all together, but everything else is us experimenting and trying different things. At its core, it's good rock.” The trio has a busy month in front of them. To kick off the release of “Master,” the band is hosting a CD release party at The Casbah on Saturday, Aug. 17. “We’ve been together for a little more than a year now, and our first album was really minimal,” Liscomb said. “This new one that we’re releasing on the 17th is a lot more complicated. There’s more dynamics going on; we’ve added a lot more to our sound.” Playing on the card with Boy King that night will be The Burn-

ing of Rome, Hills Like Elephants and Gloomsday, all local musicscene names in their own right. It was important for the Boy King to hold their release party at The Casbah, a center of the local music world. Liscomb said the venue will be the perfect location for the band’s big night. “The Casbah is great. They always put a good bill together and they have a great stage, the crowd’s always awesome and so are the people that work there. It’s just a great venue all around,” Liscomb said. “Since it’s one of our favorite venues we just asked them if we could, and they let us. “The other bands on the bill are ones we’ve either played with around town or wanted to, or they’re our friends, so it’s going to be a really fun show.”

Boy King will also be playing at The Whistle Stop Bar in South Park on Sept. 13 as part of the sixth annual San Diego Music Thing. This year’s San Diego Music Awards will be held at Humphreys by the Bay on Oct. 9. “We’re not really looking that far down the road, we’re just kind of enjoying each step as we get to it,” Lipscomb said. “I think a lot of bands want to be the next big thing, and get really disappointed if they’re not and become bitter people. We feel its better to live in the moment so that’s what we try to do.” The “Master” release party on Aug. 17 is 21 and older, with doors opening at 8:30 p.m. The Casbah is located at 2501 Kettner Blvd. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at



San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013

What a magical ‘Ass’

(l to r, both photos) Brittany Taylor and Marco Puente (Photos by Darren Scott)

ion theatre’s latest glimmers amid all the glorious glitter By Charlene Baldridge SDUN Theater Critic

Oh, all the things vegetable and mineral you’ll see pulled from Bottom’s ass in ion theatre company’s “Ass, or a Midsummer Night’s Fever”! It’s all about movement – the kind that takes place on a public dance floor. You and your glitter are encouraged, nay implored, to become part of it – cellphones turned on – to make as many videos and photos as you wish and to become discoboogiers. There’s even a dance contest with coaching by characters DJ Meter and Lizard Sanders, whose names might give the clued-in some glimmer amid the glitter as to their Midsummer-ness. Even a Bardophile may find this a long and winding path through Shakespeare’s forest near Athens. One needn’t know a thing about the original plot, though, and perhaps it’s even best to be a babe in the woods. “Ass” breaks all the rules from the moment one enters the cabaret space set up in ion’s BLKBOX URBN CNTR 4THE AR TS @ 6th and Penn, and knowing their hood, co-directors Glenn Paris and Claudio Raygoza have conceived a feverish mix of Shakespeare, “Star Wars” and Studio 54, to borrow their terms. Clever costumes are by Mar y Summerday, lighting by Karin Filijan and sound engineering and stage management by the lamé-clad and proud Evan Kendig, whose character name is DJ Phuck Finn. Michael Mizerany provides choreography that is so

“Ass, or A Midsummer Night’s Fever” WHERE: ion theatre company, 3706 Sixth Ave. (Hillcrest)

WHEN: Thursdays and Fridays

at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 7:30 and 10 p.m. through Aug. 24

INFO: 619-600-5020 WEB: relentless one wonders how the company can possibly do two shows on Saturdays. Rhianna Basore and Justin Lang play Titsonya and Obi-Ron, respectively. The young lovers lost in the forest are Sheila (played by Anne Gehman), Shirley (Brittany Taylor), and the aforementioned DJ Meter (Marco Puente) and Lizard Sanders (Shaun Tuazon). Bottom (perfectly cast Max Macke) and his Mechanicals (a mishmash of actor/dancers already mentioned, including an orgasmically hopped-up Gehman) are party crashers. Familiar bits of staging and dialogue, not necessarily from the right Shakespeare play, remind some of us where we

are in the fantasy forest never too far from Hillcrest but a long way from Balboa Park. As Bottom says, “We are children of a looser god.” Line dancing led by Puente – ever yone on your feet! – initiates audience members in the joys of the funky chicken. Other music includes Billboard chart-toppers “It’s Raining Men,” “I Will Sur vive” and “YMCA” – with shades of Diana Ross and The Village People – and on another note entirely, “Magic to Do” from Stephen Schwartz’s “Pippin.” “Ass” is a magical way to get your groove on. Gather up your kinetic friends and do it. Wine, soft drinks and fruit plates are available for purchase in the space. Seating is cabaret style with long banquettes on either side of the playing space, and some high cocktail tables as well.u


San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013

Indie-pendence day After a year off, IndieFest is back and better than ever By Logan Broyles SDUN Reporter

For the better part of the last decade, Danielle LoPresti and Alicia Champion have been the face of San Diego’s independent culture with their creation, IndieFest. But all of that almost came to an end when LoPresti was diagnosed with a rare form of Stage 3 cancer in seven different places throughout her body this past winter. With LoPresti now in remission and things looking clear, IndieFest 8 is ready for its triumphant return after a one-year hiatus. The three-day festival comes to the NTC Promenade at Liberty Station Friday through Sunday, Aug. 16 – 18. This will be the eighth time that the festival has been held in the last nine years, with 2011 being its first year at Liberty Station after previously taking over the streets of Bankers Hill and North Park. The new location is six times bigger than the previous. After fighting through some serious trials and tribulations, the pair has come back with full steam and are ready to pull off what has become the largest local festival that focuses on all things indie. It will also be the biggest IndieFest to date, with six different stages spread throughout Liberty Station. The popular event does more than just promote lesser known bands and filmmakers; it aims to touch on everything it can within the indie culture, from independent artists, music and film, as well as businesses and nonprofits. “We feel really passionate about turning people on to the truly remarkable art and revolutionary ideas that are happening in their own city that they just don’t know about because these entities are usually totally underfunded,” LoPresti said. “There’s no money plastering what they’re doing on billboards or making sure their products are right in front of you in line at the grocery store so they go relatively unknown and are relatively broke, even though the art and the work that they’re doing is fantastic and really important to the local community,” she said. With over 1,500 submissions for this year’s festival, Champion and LoPresti had their hands full

sorting through it all, and they’re very proud of the final lineup of over 75 artists. In addition to the couple’s band LoPresti and The

and Whitton. Lesbian folk singer Ferron was scheduled to perform, but had to cancel due to “health ailments,” representatives said. The schedule also features a broad spectrum of musical acts, from headliners Cake and rapper Talib Kweli to bands Best Coast, The Heavy Guilt, Todo Mundo and Katie Leigh & The Infantry. Ev-

LoPresti said their goal is to have a couple bands on the bill “that really excite you” along with several other indie bands, artists or nonprofits that you’ll walk away “totally stoked about.” IndieFest started back in 2004 as only a one-day event. The original mission – which still holds true today – was to create a sense

Masses, five other LGBT artists and bands will perform this year: groundbreaking, out artist and YouTube sensation Steve Grand, James Marsters with Ghost of the Robot, Saucy Monky, Kevin Wood

erything from country and folk, to poetry will be included, and there is even a night dedicated solely to EDM and electronica music on Friday, with a headlining performance by DJ PhuturePrimitive.

of community among independent artists and help them share their resources so that they could get their work out to the public. “The idea that if you’ve heard of a band, they’re god, and if you


haven’t heard of them then they aren’t that good, is totally false and it’s one of our biggest goals to prove that at IndieFest,” LoPresti said. For Champion and LoPresti, IndieFest is part of a larger struggle to preserve the local arts and culture of the city. They want to do their part to support the features that make this city unique. “I think most people generally love and appreciate a sense of culture [where they live],” LoPresti said. “All of that is more important than having the same corporations and the same bands in every city across the country. There’s something special that only exists in San Diego, and if we don’t support the independent arts and culture, it’s going to go away.” The promoters said they fully appreciate the diversity of the event and the crowd it attracts and that is reflected in their headliners. “IndieFest is going to be our band’s big return to the stage since Danielle’s diagnosis back in January,” Champion said. “She’s only very recently been in remission, she’s been out of treatment for about five weeks. On a personal level pulling this off was really hard but we’ve got a lot going on this year that we’re really proud of.” LoPresti said she plans to do the best she can and hopes her voice holds out. “It’s going to be kind of a spiritual experience for me,” she said. General admission passes for the three-day festival start at $62. The NTC Promenade at Liberty Station is located at 2640 Historic Decatur Rd. For more information and tickets visit


San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013

CalendarofEvents FRIDAY, AUG. 16

AABA Finance: 8 a.m., regular monthly meeting of the Adams Avenue Business Association Finance committee, 4649 Hawley Blvd. Preschool stor y time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Librar y, 925 W. Washington St., free Pioneer Park concerts: 6 – 8 p.m., The Jackstraws take over Pioneer Park in Mission Hills for tonight’s Concerts in the Park show, Washington Place and Randolph Street, free Contra Dance: 7:30 p.m., sponsored by the San Diego Folk Heritage with live music by Uncle Farmer, beginners workshop taught at 7:30 p.m. followed by live music from 8 – 11 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 3030 Thorn St., $12 Miss Kitty’s Revue: 8 p.m., second of six performances of Diversionary Cabaret’s musical spectacular “Miss Kitty’s Wild West Revue,” 4545 Park Blvd., $25, adults only Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Harold And Maude” 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 UH Librar y book sale: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Umbrella Friends of University Heights Library book sale, 4193 Park Blvd. Normal Heights visioning: 8:30 – 9 a.m. check in, 9 a.m. –

noon workshop, Normal Heights neighborhood visioning workshop to share your thoughts on what you want for the community, sponsored by the Normal Heights Planning Committee, Normal Heights Community Center, 4649 Hawley Blvd. NPHS walking tour: 9 – 10:30 a.m., meet the North Park Historical Society for one of their 1.5-mile walking tours at Bud Kearns Pool, 2229 Morley Field Dr., free Old Town Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, Harney Street, free Mission Hills book sale: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Friends of Mission Hills Branch Library book sale, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 Washington St. Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free UH Librar y Children’s Program: 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts event for children, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd. TwainFest: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., sponsored by Write Out Loud and Fiesta De Reyes, celebrate Mark Twain and writers of the 19th century with readings, games, liar’s contest and more, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, Old Town T-32 third Saturday stroll: 4 – 8 p.m., stroll the businesses of Thorn & 32nd streets, with new events monthly, North Park Fair y Tales in the Park: 8 p.m., presented by San Diego City Youth Ballet, narrated storytelling and interpretation by student dancers and guest artists, Casa de Prado, Balboa Park Miss Kitty’s Revue: 8 and 10:30 p.m., third and fourth of six performances of Diversionary

CALENDAR Cabaret’s musical spectacular “Miss Kitty’s Wild West Revue,” 4545 Park Blvd., $25, adults only Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Dial M for Murder,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Log Cabin open house: 1 – 5 p.m., fundraiser and open house organized by the University Heights Historical Society for the Log Cabin House, 4656 North Ave., $20 Miss Kitty’s Revue: 2 and 7 p.m., final performances of Diversionary Cabaret’s musical spectacular “Miss Kitty’s Wild West Revue,” 4545 Park Blvd., $25, adults only Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Dial M for Murder,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Mission Hills summer reading: 10:30 a.m., last event in the summer reading program featuring Pacific Animal Productions, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 Washington St. International Summer Organ Festival: 7:30 p.m., featuring tonight’s guest Dennis James playing for Silent Movie Night, featuring “The Eagle” starting Rudolph Valentino, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free


AABA Business Planning: 8 a.m., regular monthly meeting of the Adams Avenue Business Association Business Planning & Development committee, 4649 Hawley Blvd. Hillcrest Sustainability: 2:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Hillcrest Business Association Sustainability Committee, 3737 Fifth Ave., Suite 202 Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest Stoney B Blues Band, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free North Park Planning Committee: 6:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Planning Committee, North Park Christian Fellowship, 2901 North Park Way Pajama stor y time: 6:30 – 7 p.m., children are invited to come dressed in their pajamas, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free


Old Town Chamber: 8:30 a.m., regular monthly board meeting of the Old Town Chamber of Commerce, Mormon Battalion Historic Site, 2510 Juan St. AABA member mixer: 8:30 – 10 a.m., coffee and light breakfast provided for the Adams Avenue Business Association member mixer, Broke Girls’ Coffee Bar, 3562 Adams Ave. North Park BID: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., regular meeting of the North Park BID collaborative, El Cajon Boulevard Business Association office, 3727 El Cajon Blvd. LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest Afrotruka, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free UH Librar y Task Force: 6:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting, University Heights Branch Library, 4193 Park Blvd. Robin Henkel: 8 – 10 p.m.,

Robin Henkel Band with Whitney Shay and Billy Watson, blues and jazz, ArtLab Studios, 3536 Adams Ave., all ages


North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free NP Action Team: 6 – 7:30 p.m., meeting of the grassroots community group North Park Action Team, North Park Community Center, 2711 Howard Ave., free North Park After Dark: 6 – 9 p.m., new business event of the North Park Main Street, North Park After Dark features over 25 shops, restaurants and local business participating, with a progressive raffle for over $500 in prizes Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest Coronado Concert Band, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free Movie on the Roof: 6:30 p.m., join the, the Hillcrest History Guild and Whole Foods Market for the seventh annual Movie on the Roof, screening “Eat Drink Man Woman” at approximately 7:45 p.m., bring a blanket, chairs and picnic, Whole Foods Market, 711 University Ave., free Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “To Have and Have Not,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Preschool stor y time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Pioneer Park concerts: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Cygnet Theatre takes over Pioneer Park in Mission Hills for the final Concerts in the Park – note earlier time – Washington Place and Randolph Street, free Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “To Have and Have Not,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free Old Town Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, Harney Street, free Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free UH Librar y Children’s Program: 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts event for children, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd. Alex’s Lemonade: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., day one of the seventh annual Normal Heights Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation fundraiser, with proceeds going to fighting childhood cancer, corner of 35th Street and Mountain Drive Contra Dance: 7:30 p.m., sponsored by the San Diego Folk Heritage with live music by Tectonic Shakedown, beginners workshop taught at 7:30 p.m. followed by live music from 8 – 11 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 3030 Thorn St., $10 Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Thunderball,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., every Sunday, Hillcrest DMV, 3960 Normal St., free Alex’s Lemonade: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., day two of the seventh

see Calendar, page 15


CALENDAR annual Normal Hveights Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation fundraiser, with proceeds going to fighting childhood cancer, corner of 35th Street and Mountain Drive Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “Thunderball,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14


Hillcrest Beautification: 2 – 3:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Hillcrest Business Association Beautification Committee, 3737 Fifth Ave., Suite 202 Ken-Tal planning group: 6 p.m., first day of subcommittee meetings of the Kensington-Talmadge Planning Group, Franklin Elementary School, 4481 Copeland Ave. North Park Recreation Council: 6 – 8 p.m., regular meeting of the Recreation Council, NP Recreation Center, 4044 Idaho St. International Summer Organ Festival: 7:30 p.m., featuring tonight’s finale with Carol Williams headlining a “Blues and Bells” concert with participation of the Ona May Lowe Carillon from the California Tower, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park, free


Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest Moonlight Serenade Orchestra, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free Talmadge MAD: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District, Franklin Elementary, 4481 Copeland Ave.


Mid-City parking: 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., regular meeting of the Mid City Community Parking District, El Cajon Boulevard Business Association offices, 3727 El Cajon Blvd.

LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch, 925 W. Washington St., free Hillcrest Parking: 5 – 6:30 p.m., regular meeting of the Hillcrest Parking Committee, 3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 202 Ken-Tal planning group: 6 p.m., second day of subcommittee meetings of the Kensington-Talmadge Planning Group, Franklin Elementar y School, 4481 Copeland Ave. Bankers Hill-Park West: 6 – 7:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the Bankers Hill-Park West Community Association, First Centur y Plaza penthouse, 3535 First Ave. Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest Navy Showband West, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free North Park Community Association: 6 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting of the North Park Community Association, all are welcome, Lafayette Hotel’s La Salle Room, 2223 El Cajon Blvd. Bike friendly SD: 6 – 8 p.m., BikeSD and WalkSanDiego host Moving Ahead with a More Bike and Walk Friendly City discussion, 3rdSpace, 4610 Park Blvd. UH Librar y Book club and salon: 6:30 p.m., discussing “The Whistling Season,” University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd. Myster y book group: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., discussing the selection of the month, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 Washington St.







BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT Cameron Kendall Agency 3568 30th St., Suite A, North Park 619-501-3865 Cameron Kendall Agency started as a captive agency with Farmers Insurance in 2003 and had their last office in the Bankers Hill/Hillcrest area. Now an independent agency, we offer insurance through many A.M. best rated “A” companies. The agency moved to the new up-and-coming – some say arrived – North Park area in March 2013, leasing the space that was previously the Bartending Academy. We believe in being readily available and wanted a convenient location that offered easy access and plenty of available parking. We pride ourselves in having the ability to offer great products with great insurance rates to any homeowner, renter, and driver in the San Diego area. Our logo is, “There is a policy for every home and apartment.” We also provide free notary services to any client that brings in a declaration page and I.D. and offer those services free to any client insured through the agency. The office will also soon house Pacific Choice Auto Registration, offering vehicle registration, title changes and other driver-related services for a fee. For more info, call 800-840-CHOICE. The Cameron Kendall Agency is located at 3568 30th St., Suite A, in North Park. Please call 619-501-3865 for an appointment or visit our website,



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North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free Twilight in the Park: 6:15 – 7:15, final show of live music throughout the summer with tonight’s guest The Legends, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, free Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., screening “The Princess Bride,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14u

San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013


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All aboard for the Great Lakes (Or what I did for my summer vacation)

(l to r) “Maids of the mist” Nancy Meacham of Warren, Ohio and Charlene Baldridge (Courtesy Charlene Baldridge) By Charlene Baldridge SDUN Reporter

In the Saugatuck, Mich. park outside my cabin aboard the Yorktown, there is a public restroom painted like a scene from Georges Seurat’s “Sunday in the Park.” Michiganders gathered in families, bringing the kids and grandmas to the park on a Tuesday afternoon in July for several reasons, primarily, one supposes, because the weather is fair, and secondarily because the ship Yorktown is alongside and will sail soon. All passengers are aboard ship, the sun is sinking in the sky over Lake Michigan, and watching the gangplank being raised is akin to witnessing a thrilling work of art being created before one’s very eyes. I don’t know who is the most intent, those ashore or we aboard. Instead of the searing Midwestern heat I’d expected and packed for, our weeklong progress – from Chicago’s Navy Pier to Saugatuck, Charlevoix, Mich., Mackinac Island, Cleveland, Niagara Falls and through the Welland Canals’ eight locks from Lake Ontario to Lake Erie – was blessed with cool breezes. A surprisingly potent storm at the “lake” (Michigan) resulted in broken crockery and a few absentees at dinner and even breakfast the following morning. But best of all was the camaraderie established almost immediately with one’s fellow voyagers, who booked their cruises through the Metropolitan Opera Guild, Road Scholar or the Bryn Mawr College Alumni Association. Thanks to Travel Dynamics International, which owns and operates the Yorktown, we were offered daily shipboard lectures about the flora and fauna and the history of navigation on the Great Lakes, and two recitals by the onboard classical artists: composer Jake Heggie (“Dead Man Walking,” “Moby-Dick”) and beloved mezzo soprano Frederica von Stade, the international opera star known to fans and friends alike as Flicka. The two traveled with their respective spouses and mingled with the rest of us at meals and on shore excursions. In addition to gaining back all the weight she lost in preparation for the cruise, this writer did several things that would surprise her physician. The first was going along on a terrifyingly wild ride through the dunes near Saugatuck. Saugatuck Dune Rides utilizes daredevil drivers, wry signs such as “No Passing Zone,” “No Parking” and “Stop” in the middle of nowhere, and

modified trucks to dispense the thrills. Truck beds are fitted with rows of seats, and, upwards of a dozen at a time, one seat belt and grab bar per row. We raced through roads laid in the dunes created more than a century ago by deforestation. The lumber, they say, was used to rebuild Chicago following the fire of 1871. Needless to say, I bonded with my seatmates, delightful women from Pennsylvania and Florida. Thank God for good pain medicine, bed rest and antinausea pills. On Mackinac Island (pronounced Mackinaw) there are no motorized vehicles other than police and fire engines. My major excursion was a horsecarriage ride around the island, which included passing by the renowned Grand Hotel (the site of the 1946 film “This Time for Keeps” with Esther Williams and Jimmy Durante) and some lovely Victorian “cottages” worth $5 to $10 million, each replete with its own carriage house and stables. We also drove by the golf course called Wawashkamo, which is Chippewa for “white men walking in a crooked line.” Near Wawashkamo is the site of the 1814 Battle of Mackinac Island, a part of the War of 1812. Our carriage dropped us at Ft. Mackinac, which overlooks

the town of Mackinac, where Yorktown was anchored. It was a slight descent of a mere 20 steps, we were assured. Many wisely chose to stay for a return carriage. I opted to walk. There were indeed 20 steps, but these were followed by a long shank’s mare decline through a luscious park into town. Fortunately the path had handrails and many benches upon which to rest. My third unwise choice was to brave the Maid of the Mist, which is the Canadian-operated fleet of two 600-passenger boats that take one up close and personal with Niagara Falls: the Canadian as well as United States sides. Yes, I got wet, and oh, it felt good, but it was the arduous descent to the Maid of the Mist that finished off my 79-year old legs, accustomed to sitting before a keyboard or in a theater. I’m glad I did it, however, because after this year the Maid of the Mist as we know it will be no more. Operation has been awarded to Hornblower, a U.S. company, beginning in 2014. No one is quite certain what will happen. The cruise staff was thoroughly competent, a bit nutty, and the food – heavy on fresh lake fish – was great, offering meat, vegetarian, seafood and pasta each evening and bounteous breakfast and luncheon buffets. Wine is served gratis with meals and all shore excursions, lectures and concerts are included in the cost of the cruise. The Yorktown accommodates only 120 guests, which makes it the most intimate cruise in my experience. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Editor’s note: Charlene Baldridge, who writes our regular theater reviews, added her Great Lakes trip to an already busy summer schedule, which includes a regular excursion to the Santa Fe Opera. She graciously agreed to write this story upon her return from the North, and we wish we could have traveled with her – if anything to meander along those 20 steps into Mackinac in good company.u

San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013 FROM PAGE 1

JACKINTHEBOX nesses need to abide by these laws as they exist, or they don’t. That’s really what’s at issue.” Passons, who serves on the North Park Community Planning Group and North Park Community Association, said Jack In The Box could have preserved its previously nonconforming right to have a drive-thru by remodeling rather than rebuilding their North Park venue. He said in opting for a rebuild, they voided that grandfathered right. “They absolutely had that opportunity [to keep the drive-thru] if they had not demolished the building and rebuilt it bigger,” he said. North Park residents initially hoped they would get help from the City in blocking the drive-thru, but ultimately did not. A stop-work order was proposed by Mayor Bob Filner, but later rescinded on the advice of the City Attorney because of advanced construction on the project. The City Attorney deemed it would be legally “vulnerable” in any potential lawsuit brought by the restaurant chain. “We advised the Mayor’s office in writing as to the legal strengths and weaknesses of stopping the Jack In The Box project at this point,” said Michael Giorgino, interim communications director for the City Attorney. “Based upon that, the Mayor’s office decided not to issue a stop-work notice.” Council President Todd Gloria, whose district includes the North Park location, weighed in on the controversy in his most recent newsletter. “Like many North Park residents, I am offended by the current Jack In The Box project,” he wrote. “The project is not only inconsistent with the Greater North Park Community Plan, but also fails to take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to implement good planning principles at a prime location.” Gloria also said he would not support Jack In The Box’s proposal unless they satisfied the community’s concerns. He said the Planning Commission recommended that the project be denied as well. “Instead of heeding the sug-


gestions of the community and the Planning Commission, Jack In The Box chose to resubmit their project through the City’s Development Services Department as a ‘remodel’ under Section 12.7.1 of the Land Development Code, even though the project, to all appearances, is a complete rebuild,” Gloria said. “This allowed the project to be permitted without any review or approval by the City Council.” The Land Development Code must be changed so that “this scenario cannot be repeated,” Gloria said in the newsletter, and the Council President has requested research into “potential changes to the law” to help prevent this from occurring in the future. “I expect staff to solicit input from the Community Planners Committee and other stakeholders and report back to the City Council’s Land Use and Housing Committee this fall with suggested changes,” he said. Efforts through the Mayor and City Attorney have not resulted in work being stopped, and Lewis said the community deserves better. “That drive-thru wasn’t there originally,” he said. “At some point it was [added] and that has created so many traffic problems at that Tintesection, with traffic stacking up and the loud squawk box at night with the entrance off a main residential street, which you couldn’t do today.” Lewis said the drive-thru “has always been a nightmare, always been a problem with pedestrians unable to cross anywhere nearby,” and a public protest opposing the construction was held in front of the Jack In The Box on Aug. 5. “We in North Park have always said Jack In The Box could have the type of project that fit into the neighborhood,” Lewis said. “But to allow a drive-thru in the community for another 40 years is just not acceptable.” Representatives from Jack In The Box could not be reached for comment. Organizers against the drivethru have created a Facebook page for updates on the construction and suit. Visit it at DoTheRightThingJack/.u


San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013


It’s getting warm out there

for the next house to come on the market. This is part of the process driving up prices. So is a lack of inventory, because some homeowners are still underwater. But because “appraisers aren’t checkTaking the temperature of the red-hot Uptown real estate market. ing that box anymore.” there’s another reason. Blame it on information overload. Still, it’s hard to find a comp “Some of the folks I’m working that matches what buyers are percent. In Hillcrest: 23.5 percent. with may no longer be underwawilling to pay. Sometimes, it’s just But does that mean it’s okay ter, and they may be interested in a matter of waiting until a nearby to start feeling good about your selling, but they’re ambivalent,” property sells and establishes a house as an investment again? Rooney said. “They are hoping to higher comparative price. Other Maybe. But your house isn’t see further increases, so they can times, it’s more complicated. worth anything unless a lending Never have so many people take some profits with them.” “Last month we sold a properbeen so overwhelmed by so much institution, or an appraiser, or a But if they are planning to ty in Carmel Valley,” Rooney said. guy with a lot of cash says so. confusing, confounding and conbuy another, isn’t the price of that “The best comp was $585,000. “Appraisers have three tradictory information. I’m talking house also going up? And aren’t boxes to check off on the standard We listed it at $589-$629,000, and about the economic numbers we interest rates also rising? Isn’t it closed at $669,000. We had 17 offorms: inclining market, stable are bombarded with daily, which in their best interest to act now, fers in one week.” market, declining market,” said we apparently need in order to rather than later? But the bank’s appraisal was decide whether to go on living. Or, Ron Rooney, an attorney and Rooney laughed. “That’s an $50,000 below the sale price, so broker associate for Ascent’s at least, go on spending. argument you can imagine me North Park office. “Up to last year, Rooney had to get creative. “The Job reports, corporate earnmaking. Intellectually, they underbuyer had to wave the appraisal, an appraiser would have to check ings reports, stock-market indices stand. But understanding doesn’t and come up with an additional declining market.” – even the national mood – are all $50,000, out of pocket, to close the always get them over the psychoThat meant that even if apfodder for media measurement, logical barrier,” he said. analysis and teeth gnashing. praised value matched the sales deal.” This kept the loan amount So Rooney said he continues to Thank goodness they’ve stopped price, banks wouldn’t lend. Things within the bank’s appraised value, provide encouragement “in a very and established a charting the undulations of pork are easier now, diplomatic and polite way.” higher comp Rooney said, belly futures. Finally, something Charles Tiano, a Mission Hills we don’t have to worry about. broker with a background in And then there’s the resale housing flipping houses, sees another factor driving prices: market. Prices pent up demand. “Durare up every“Dur ing the past six or seven where, about years, people who would 12 percent nationnormally buy a house or move up, ally. Locally, according their plans were virtually put on to DataQuick, hold. What we’re seeing now is a single-family real dramatic entry into the marhome prices mar ketplace. Six years of rose 19.2 people getting their percent from life together, starting June 2012 to their family, downsizJune 2013. In ing, making transiNorth Park, tions: it’s all happenthe price ing in one year. increase was “Since 2007, the even more market has been undramatic: 27 This 580-square-foot bungalow in North Park is listed for $369,000. (Courtesy Michael Good)


Michael Good balanced. It had more sellers and fewer buyers. And the majority of buyers were investors. There were a number of savvy people who were able to take advantage of low prices and low interest rates.” Tiano was one of those people. He bought a short sale in University Heights – the Darling House, a pink Victorian at the west end of Adams Avenue – that he’s been restoring. Tiano has an interior design degree from San Diego State University, and although he was in commercial real estate for 30 years, he’s been flipping houses and doing interior design work and project management for remodels since the recession started. Recently, he’s been representing buyers and sellers for his brokerage, C Edward & Co. Tiano has seen a change in consumer confidence: no need to analyze the numbers. “Homeowners are definitely loosening up. One trip though Home Depot and it’s obvious,” he said. However, no one’s partying like it’s 1999. “Consumers are more cautious,” he said. “The spending they do, they want to make sure they get a return on it. Not frivolous purchases, not big screen TVs. But investments in their homes, and that’s a big difference.” The mini-boom means buyers are again getting priced out of the market, said Jaye MacAskill of Windermere in Mission Hills. As board president for Save Our Heritage Organisation, she knows her historic homes. People from around the country reach out to her when relocating to San Diego. They go into shock, however, when they see the prices. “I have someone who wants to move out here next year. It was quite an eye opener for her to see how far $400,000 goes in San Diego,” she said. “Prices countywide are approaching $500,000. That shuts out a lot of first-time homebuyers. Mission Hills, Hillcrest, North Park—they’ve already been gentrified. It’s been a flippers paradise for the last 15 years, now very few older homes remain intact.” MacAskill has some numbers of her own: “In 92103 there are 51 total listings. Of those, 37 were built before 1963. In 92104, of 43 total residences, 38 were built in 1963 or earlier,” she said. That means if you’re looking for something with historic potential in Hillcrest, Mission Hills or North Park, there are only 75 candidates. Last month, 4,048 single-family homes sold in San Diego. That gives you an idea how rare historic homes are, and how few houses are on the market in the metro area. Rarity, location and pride of ownership have kept prices high in historic neighborhoods, despite the recession. “The least expensive house in Mission Hills is listed at $669,000,” MacAskill said. “It’s 858 square feet on Witherby Street. That’s $780.77 a square foot.” In North Park, things aren’t much better. In West End, two blocks from the intersection of Upas and 30th streets, a 580-square-foot, one-bedroom bungalow on a 1,300-square-foot lot is listed at $369,000: $639 a square foot, and $80,000 more than it sold for a year and a half ago. But all things considered, maybe that isn’t such a bad deal. After all, money isn’t everything. And a house isn’t just a number. It’s a home, provided you can get financing.u

San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013



Literary games including “Fish for Words,” “Chortle This,” and “Telegraph Crunch” will delight the entire family, along with sack races, marbles, ring toss and other games of the period for the kids. A spelling bee will run throughout the day, as well as a community-wide “Never Ending Story” to which anyone who wishes may contribute.

SEPTEMBER Spirits of Mexico Festival

SEPT. 17

Festival is held two weeks in September. It’s the oldest and most comprehensive agave spirits festival in the United States, this year’s Spirits of Mexico will be held during the 202nd anniversary of Mexico’s independence at the location of California’s birthplace. Celebrating the spirits and the spirit of Mexico.

Fiesta de Kustom Kar


A car show and “low brow” art show from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Enjoy hot rods, street rods, custom cars, muscle cars and trucks, as well as a party Zone with live music, a charity auction, an artist alley with world famous pin-stripers and lots of low brow artists.

Tequilla Trail

SEPT. 19

Samples of traditional Mexican dishes from Old Town’s best restaurants will be available throughout town. Participants can also taste selections of tequila, Mezcal and Bacanora, all brands provide samples of their spirits. For more info visit

Sante Fe Market

SEPT. 20–22

The Bazaar del Mundo’s yearly Santa Fe Market brings the best of the Southwest to San Diego, featuring Southwesterninspired art, jewelry and crafts, with artists traveling from as far as New Mexico and Arizona to demonstrate their wares.

Business Spotlight For more information on upcoming events in San Diego's historic Old Town, please visit:

Mr Consignment USA

1919 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110 At Mr Consignment USA, we have an eclectic collection. Our items range from exciting modern decor to rare antiques and old signage. Inventory is constantly changing and every week there are new gems brought in. You never know what you'll find when you walk through our doors.


San Diego Uptown News | Aug. 16–29, 2013

San Diego Uptown News  

August 16, 2013 edition

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