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April 12–25, 2013

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Old Town • Mission Hills • Bankers Hill

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

Community vitality through preservation

➤➤ NEWS P. 3

SOHO presents Historic Home Tour Weekend April 13 – 14 By Anthony King SDUN Editor

Salt & Cleaver takes hold

➤➤ DINING P. 10

Attendees at the State of Cycling workshop posed for pictures before leaving the Lafayette Hotel. (Photo by Jackie Loza)

Making cycling mainstream Rolling in meatballs

➤➤ THEATER P. 11

Bicycle Coalition holds State of Cycling workshop highlighting efforts to make San Diego most bike-friendly city By Dave Schwab SDUN Reporter

Sondheim at Cygnet

➤➤ MUSIC P. 18

Lady Lazarus rises up

Index Briefs……………………5 Opinion…………………6 Parenting………………8 Feature…………………13 Calendar………………14 Classifieds……………15

Contact Us Editorial/Letters 619-961-1952



Cyclists heard about the push to mainstream their mode of transportation at a conference held Saturday, April 6 at the Lafayette Hotel. Called the State of Cycling in San Diego County, the day-long event included breakfast, speeches, an interactive workshop and specialty bike “portraits,” and was followed by a bicycle ride through Uptown. Sponsored by the nonprofit San Diego County Bicycle Coalition, the conference commemorated the one-year anniversary of the Coalition’s strategic plan with a report on progress being made to make San Diego more bike friendly. “Last year we took 80 stakeholders and formed a new five-year strategic plan with a new mission and new vision,” Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Andy Hanshaw told a packed room of cycling enthusiasts. The strategic plan included goals to develop a growing Bicycle Coalition membership that would make the organization’s voice stronger and advocacy more effective. They also wanted to help grow the organization in order to better serve their members. “We’ve got our new plan and mission in place

and it’s been nothing but progress since we adopted them. But we still have our foundation, which is education,” Hanshaw said. “Programs like Bike Local Sundays, kicking off in May, are geared towards educating and encouraging our everyday cyclists to ride to their neighborhood shops and services instead of driving.” Pointing out the Coalition’s mission is to “advocate for and protect the rights of all people who ride bicycles,” Hanshaw said that includes “promoting bicycling as a mainstream, safe and enjoyable form of transportation and recreation.” After the opening presentation, cyclists broke into separate committees to discuss membership, education, advocacy and building the Coalition’s organizational capacity. Jim Baross of Normal Heights led a committee discussion on advocacy, taking notes from attendees who approached his table to point out cycling trouble spots. Baross also made note of the cyclists’ thoughts and suggestions on what could – and should – be done to make San Diego County more bike friendly. At the end, Baross and other committee chairs reported back to the full group on what they learned

see Coalition, page 19

Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) will host their annual Historic Home Tour Weekend Saturday and Sunday, April 13 and 14, where participants can get an inside look at five historic Mission Hills homes that feature architectural styles dating from 1914 to 1949. Known for its “substantive and informative merit,” the tour is a place “where guests can gather creative ideas on decoration, restoration and preservation of older homes, their gardens and landscaping,” organizers said in a press release. Resident and 2013 Home Tour Chair Allan Hazard said Mission Hills is one of the most “architecturally significant” communities in San Diego, and the annual event brings awareness to both it as well as all older neighborhoods of the city. “San Diego has many fantastic neighborhoods and communities that are as praiseworthy as Mission Hills,” he said

see SOHO, page 4

The interiors of five Mission Hills homes will be open for tours. (Photo by Sandé Lollis)

Brunch with Bertrand

Mister A’s to offer the popular weekend meal for first time in 48 years By Morgan M. Hurley SDUN Assistant Editor

Bertrand at Mister A’s started offering their own take on brunch this week, something the restaurant has never done in its 48 years of operation. Started Sunday, April 7, brunch is now available on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., consisting of a complete new menu and a whole new staff to support it. “Brunch has become a huge thing all over the United States,” said Bertrand Hug, owner of Mister A’s and the Mille Fleurs French restaurant in Rancho Santa Fe. “It was time.” Hug said he first approached Mister A’s original owner John Alessio in 1993 about purchasing the historic Bankers Hill rooftop property because the restaurant’s “perfect view” was always the first place he took out-of-town guests. “At that time, it was the cat’s meow,” Hug said. Initially, Hug said Alessio had no interest in giving up a majority share, but eventually the two restauranteurs reached a verbal agreement. Unfortunately, it never made it to paper before Alessio passed away in 1998. Next, Hug convinced the Alessio family, and in 2000 the sale was final. Hug

(l to r) General Manager Ryan Thorsen and Chef Stephane Voitzwinker in front of the incredible view from Mister A’s outside deck (Photo by SDUN) said he then closed the restaurant for three months to refurbish the kitchen and redo the interior design of the dining room. Since then, he uncovered all the floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as the views they offer. He also moved the bar to another wall, offering even more

see Bertrand, page 9


San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013


San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013

The week before opening, staff works tirelessly to complete renovations on the new Hillcrest space.

Chef Carlos SanMartano

The patio received a complete facelift, too.

(Photo by Anulak Singphiphat)

(Courtesy Alternative Strategies)

(Photo by Anulak Singphiphat)

Salt & Cleaver's renovation By Frank Sabatini Jr. SDUN Reporter

A new Hillcrest restaurant that underscores many of the world’s favorite sausages is slated to open the week of April 15 in a dramatically redesigned space that formerly housed St. Tropez Bistro and, more recently, Cote Sud. Stocked with a full bar featuring 20 beer taps, Salt & Cleaver is marked by an illuminated 600-pound wrought iron wall on its front patio along with backlit signage set against knotted timber. “At night, you won’t be able to drive by without staring at it,” said co-owner Galen Zanetakos, who ran Liberty Pizza in Pacific Beach before developing Salt & Cleaver with two friends. “I was getting tired of seeing so many burger places in San Diego,” he said in deciding with his partners on a restaurant model. The trio eventually ended on sausage. “It’s a concept that nobody else was doing,” he said. The team recruited Chef Carlos SanMartano, who earned

his culinary chops at San Diego’s high-profile Searsucker and Gabardine restaurants. His opening menu focuses on nearly 25 different types of sausages and several house-made mustards and sauces. Char-grilled and served on various artisan buns, some of the sausages are original recipes, such as one made with claw and knuckle meat of locally trawled lobsters. Others encase rib eye steak, pork belly and chicken. “I live, sleep and breathe food. I love to devise new recipes and try them out on my friends and family,” SanMartano said in a press release for the new restaurant. The chef will augment his selection with sausages sourced from local, national and international purveyors. Toulouse sausage, made with pork, garlic and wine, will be imported from France. Diners will also find paprika-spiced Portuguese Linguiça, curry-infused Nurembergstyle bratwurst and smoked Cajun sausage. “Sausage-making is one of the oldest forms of preserving meat.

Every culture has its own versions,” Zanetakos said. “There’s a whole world of them out there that we’re tapping into.” There will be vegetarian dishes available too, including a brown rice and eggplant sausage wrapped in cauliflower leaves. Customers either build their own sausage sandwiches or choose from approximately six specialty sausages the chef pairs with specific toppings and breads, such as pretzel and steamed poppy seed buns. The array of garnishments includes spicy yellow peppers, sauerkraut, pickled mustard seeds and lemongrass-


After extensive remodel, owners bring unique dining concept to Hillcrest ginger relish assigned to the pork belly sausage. Located at 3805 Fifth Ave., the 2,500-square-foot space received its makeover from Aaron Anderson of Studio Anderson Architects in Hillcrest. The award-winning designer has also put a fresh stamp on such local properties as Kensington Café, Vespa Motorsports and the former Aubergine nightclub. For Salt & Cleaver, Anderson incorporated redwood, metal and brick for achieving a modern rustic motif, thus completely eradicating the previous faux-French bistro theme of past tenants. Among the prominent appointments is a 19-

foot perforated metal light feature running the length of the bar, and a large steel-legged communal table constructed from barn wood. “We’ve made the building stand out,” Zanetakos said, whose team invested “a solid six figures” into the business. “Eventually, we’d like to open more Salt & Cleavers in San Diego, and who knows, maybe someday go national with it.” With the final City inspections nearly completed, he said, “We’re shooting to have the doors open on April 15.” For more information visit or call 619756-6677.u


San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013

Foodies to get a Taste of Hillcrest


map of the neighborhood and a complete recipe book featuring specials and coupons from several Hillcrest restaurants. There will be two will-call stations for tickets: with cold beer tastings,” Weir said. By Anulak Singphiphat SDUN Staff Reporter one at the intersection of Fifth and Cecelia Moreno of Crest Cafe Robinson streets and one at The said her restaurant will be participating this year, after taking several Range Kitchen & Cocktails, located More than 50 restaurants, at 1220 University Ave. years off. Crest Cafe is celebrating breweries and retailers will be “With over 50 restaurants to their 30th year in business and was a part of a self-guided culinary sample, you want to make adventure in Hillcrest on the most of your day by April 20, when the Hillcrest being strategic and avoidBusiness Association (HBA) ing crowds,” Weir said. “The hosts the 13th Annual Taste of most restaurants I’ve had one Hillcrest. The four-hour event person report tasting in one runs from 12 – 4 p.m. and day is 38. I challenge someboasts cuisine from more than one out there to beat that on 40 restaurants, including Crest Saturday … and tell us about it Cafe, Baja Betty’s, Nami Sushi on Facebook.” and Urban Mo’s Bar & Grill. The HBA trolley service “I think the Taste of will be running during the Hillcrest is so successful event, with stops throughout year after year because of the the entire tasting route. Addisupreme quality and magical tionally, the recently launched energy of our Taste,” said Lisa Park Hillcrest program offers a Weir, HBA marketing and mobile application and website communications director. “It’s showing available lots to help truly one of the best around.” with an increase in traffic. New neighborhood “When you’re out on the restaurants Sloppy’s Burritos, streets during the Taste of Hilld Bar and Salt & Cleaver will crest, you look around and see be joining in on the festivities families, couples and friends all this year, and some of San Diego’s leading microbrewer- Cecelia Moreno of Crest Cafe with her Uptown News laughing and enjoying each others’ company while experiencies – Aztec Brewing Company, Readers Choice Awards (Photo by Anulak Singphiphat) ing Hillcrest,” Weir said. “It’s Stone Brewing Company and wonderful to explore Hillcrest in this one of the founding members of Thorn Street Brewery, among othway. Food brings people together, the annual event. ers – will have samples available at and Hillcrest does too.” “The Taste of Hillcrest proretailers including Urban Outfitters Tickets for Taste of Hillcrest can ceeds allow the HBA to continue and Cody’s Home + Gifts. be purchased in advance for $30 to offer neighborhood services,” Weir said this was the first year from Urban Mo’s, Empire House, d Moreno said. “[It] is a great way the HBA partnered with the miBar or Cody’s Home + Gifts, as well to introduce our restaurant to huncrobreweries, offering samples at as online. On April 20, the cost is dreds of potential new customers, businesses other than restaurants. $35. For a complete list of particiand to reward our existing custom“Along the tasting route, you pating businesses and to purchase ers with a great event.” can head into one of six of our Participants will receive a Taste tickets, visit retailers and wash down all the deof Hillcrest tasting ticket, a detailed or call 619-299-3330.u licious samples you’ve indulged in FROM PAGE 1


in the release. “The more people visit these historic sites and neighborhoods, and participate in local historic tours, the more people will appreciate and support historic preservation.” SOHO was founded with the mission of promoting the preservation of landmarks – architectural, cultural and historical – that contribute to the diverse character of San Diego. The weekend tour serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit. “The more you learn about the history of an area, the more connected you are to it and the more you want to see it restored, preserved and protected for future generations to equally enjoy,” Hazard said. The weekend starts Saturday with four 90-minute tours: two for walkers and two for bicyclists. All tours leave from Powers Plumbing, located at 1705 Lewis St. The bicycle tours – starting at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. – offer an “off the beaten path” exploration of master architects and builders in quieter parts of Mission Hills, organizers said. The partially hilly route will be led by a local resident and fitness enthusiast, and is limited to 15 participants per tour. “If bicycling is not your style, there is a 90-minute walking tour of the Arnold & Choates and North Florence Heights subdivisions,” organizers said. “Highlighted are many early architects of these communities,

including Joel L. Brown, William Templeton Johnson, Frank Mead and Richard Requa, and Alexander Schreiber.” The walking tours start at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., and will include the local commercial district, an early Mission Revival church, a school and former cemetery, in addition to the surrounding homes. Also Saturday, SOHO is offering an Arts & Crafts Embroidery workshop led by artist Natalie Richards. From 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Richards will instruct students on techniques to create “heirloomquality” linens, they said. Participants will have the option of creating a pillow or table runner. SOHO’s main event is the opportunity to explore the inside and grounds of several early 20thcentury homes on Sunday, April 14. The self-guided tours are from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., with tour headquarters at The Bohannan Estate located at 2440 Pine St. “The self-driven tour features homes with an abundant diversity of architectural styles dating from a 1914 English Tudor to a 1949 early Modern,” organizers said. Architects featured include Louis Gill, the nephew of architect Irving Gill, Morris B. Irvin, Requa and John Lloyd Wright, the son of Frank Lloyd Wright. “This tour is a must-see for architecture buffs,” SOHO said. “The annual tour highlights how connected historic homes are to the fabric, well-being and vitality of a community.” Tickets for the walking and biking tours on Saturday are $15. The workshop, also April 13, will be held at the Marston House Museum, 3525 Seventh Ave. Cost is $95 for SOHO members and $105 for guests. For the five-mansion home tour on Sunday, April 14, a program with map and background information on each location will be included with the entry ticket, which ranges from $40 – $50 depending on date of purchase. SOHO members can purchase tickets for $30. There are several locations for ticket pickup and purchase, including the Marston House Museum in Hillcrest and the Whaley House Museum at 2476 San Diego Ave. in Old Town. Programs may be picked up in advance Friday, April 12 and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Marston House Museum. On Sunday, programs and tickets will only be handled at The Bohannan Estate tour headquarters. For full ticket information visit or call 619-297-9327.u


UptownBriefs 'FISH PUBLIC' ANNOUNCED AS NEW VENTURE FOR FORMER KENSINGTON GRILL SPACE Announced Tuesday, April 9, Urban Kitchen Group founder Tracy Borkum will bring her newest venture to the former space of Kensington Grill, located at 4055 Adams Ave. Opened in 1995, Borkum and the Urban Kitchen Group closed Kensington Grill on March 30. “Kensington Grill was, without a doubt, the catalyst to a beautiful beginning for the Urban Kitchen Group and, although a difficult goodbye, we are excited to be embarking on a new journey in our special old home,” Borkum wrote in an open letter. Called Fish Public, the new restaurant is set to open May or June of this year, and Borkum also announced Jordan Davis will be the restaurant’s executive chef. Davis comes to Fish Public after successful work at San Francisco’s Boulevard Restaurant and Los Angeles’ Animal Restaurant. “I’m so inspired by San Diego as a collaborative culinary community,” Davis said in a press release. “It’s exciting to not only be working with Tracy, one of the most celebrated restaurateurs in the city, but also to be joining the ranks of such esteemed local chefs.” Davis received “Top Chef Recognition” in his 1999 graduation class from California Culinary Academy and spent six years as sous chef at Boulevard. In 2011, after working in Atlanta, Davis began at Animal. “Coming from larger markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles, the areas tend to be over-saturated. San Diego has a very exciting spark to it and you can’t find better ingredients anywhere else in the world,” he said. HBA BEAUTIFICATION COMMITTEE SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT Hillcrest Business Association Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls and the organization’s Beautification Committee are organizing a community walkabout, in part to gain feedback from residents and business owners on potential projects for the committee. The walkabout will take place Thursday, April 18 at 5 p.m. Discussed in a recent committee meeting, Nicholls said the group will be walking the neighborhood to take notes on projects the group could oversee in the future. The HBA will supply clipboards and maps, and Nicholls is asking interested individuals to contact him for more information. “I want people to feel as though they can get involved ahead of time,” he said. The group will meet at the intersection of Fifth and Robinson avenues, and will walk the western

area of Hillcrest before taking a shuttle to the eastern area for a similar walk. Organizers said they hope to finish by 6:30 p.m. Contact the HBA at 619-299-3330.

INTERNATIONAL MOBILE APP COMPANY CHOOSES OLD TOWN AS HEADQUARTERS Citing proximity to San Diego public transportation, the mobile technology company Parallel 6 announced they would be moving their headquarters into Old Town to provide direct access to their Baja, Mexico office. “Parallel 6 strategically chose this area because of its central location in San Diego and proximity to the trolley line, which runs directly to the U.S.-Mexico border,” the announcement said. Previously stationed in Bankers Hill, their new office space is located at 3990 Old Town Ave. Launched in 2009, Parallel 6 created Captive Reach, a mobile platform used in multiple industries to allow businesses to better understand mobile consumer trends. Current clients include Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Payson Petroleum. “The growth of our office space reflects our belief in the work we’re providing our clients,” said Parallel 6 President and CEO David Turner in the announcement. “We understand that businesses can no longer afford to miss out on connecting with their customers on the go.” Now based in Old Town, the company has development offices in Mexico, Ukraine and China. NORTH PARK RESIDENT SELECTED AS ASSOCIATE VP AT THE SAN DIEGO FOUNDATION Karen Begin was selected as associate vice president of charitable giving at The San Diego Foundation, and will oversee fundraising for The Foundation’s Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement. A North Park resident, Begin joined The Foundation as the nonprofit’s first development director in 2009. “Karen has been a tremendous asset to The Foundation and has played an integral role in sustaining a well-rounded, creative and environmentally stable community by generating awareness, enhancing programs, increasing support and promoting active participation among community leaders, citizens and non-profit organizations since joining our team,” said Adrienne Vargas, vice president of Charitable Giving, in a press release. “We are thrilled to have her in this vital role.” Begin will also work with Vargas and the Charitable Giving team to cultivate relationships with potential donors, and was most recently working directly with The Foundation’s CEO Bob Kelly to grow the organization’s Founding Fifty group. “Karen has been instrumental in the fundraising

efforts for cultivating new members,” Kelly said in the release. “I look forward to continue working with her to make the dreams of San Diego residents for our region … become a reality.” Before 2009, Begin was the development director for North Coast Repertory Theater.

EL TAKE IT EASY TO CLOSE APRIL 22 North Park’s El Take It Easy restaurant located at 3926 30th St. will be closing April 22, after three years. Owner Jay Porter made the announcement on the company’s website Monday, April 8. “Sometimes it happens really suddenly,” he wrote. “You just wake up with a clear vision that things have changed, and realize that you’ve already moved on. In that way, I’m very pleased to acknowledge that El Take It Easy has run its course.” The restaurant both built and sustained a following for Baja, Mexico cuisine north of the border, an accomplishment Porter said was thrilling. Porter also owns The Linkery, several blocks from El Take It Easy. “These last couple weeks of service are a time to enjoy all that this project has been,” Porter wrote. “I can’t say it’s been a financially successful project, but it was sure a fun one.” Porter also said a new restaurant and bar, which he is currently planning, will open at the location in May. “We’re working out the details and should know enough to share more in a week or two,” he said. SOUTH PARK WATER HARVESTING BIKE TOUR DATES SET The San Diego Sustainable Living Institute will host a water harvesting bicycle tour, showcasing rainwater and greywater harvesting sites from North Park to South Park. Starting at Olive Branch Green Building Supply, located at 3030 North Park Way, Institute members will lead the group by focusing on locations that are currently harvesting rainwater in tanks and barrels, or harvesting greywater to irrigate their yards. “Participants will see over seven unique households showcasing both professional and do-it-yourself applications of rainwater and greywater harvesting,” organizers said in a release. There will be water harvesting professionals on hand and the tour will culminate with a workshop showing people how to install greywater systems. “Rainwater and greywater systems are an effective and cost-efficient way to save water,” organizers said. “Simple greywater systems can be installed for under $200 and can save a family 16,000 gallons of water a year.” Held April 20, the bicycle tour is from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. followed by the workshop from 2 – 5 p.m. For more information visit or call 619-884-7749.u


Chicken Pie Shop celebrates 75 years Thank you San Diego! We are celebrating our 75th anniversary, April 19 through the 21. Come join us and buy one pie dinner at regular price ($7.50) and receive the second one half off (in house only). Hours of operation are a daily dose of 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. When you come to the Chicken Pie Shop, you will be greeted as if you have just walked into your grandmother’s home; with warmth, hospitality and sincerity. We will seat you in our well-known blue booths with our windows facing El Cajon Boulevard and menus containing a variety of dining options while featuring our famous chicken pies. Our chicken pie dinners start with a pie filled with luscious gravy and a harmonious blend of delicious chicken chunks, making it a complete meal with three sides and a dessert for just $7.50. We are happy to have been serving these chicken dinners at a reasonable price to Uptown residents (first from the corner of Fifth and Robinson avenues in Hillcrest, to our current location on El Cajon Boulevard in North Park) for the last 75 years. Lynn Townsend has recently taken her menu to new lengths, not only expanding it to include breakfast, but also by adding new menu items with options for everyone who walks in the door. Prices still will not break your pocket book, either, with the most expensive item

on the new expanded menu a charbroiled New York steak dinner at $14.50. Expect to leave satisfied, full to the brim, and with new acquaintances in the delightful staff. Make sure to note in your calendars to leave open a time slot for the 19th, 20th, or 21st of April and come indulge in some genuine southern comfort at the Chicken Pie Shop, conveniently located at 2633 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA. 92104 or call 619-295-0156 for more information.

San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013




San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013

Editorial A third approach to reducing the debt: a growing, thriving economy By Rep. Susan A. Davis

Letters Concetta Antico, Mission Hills artist South Park residents talk up Fabulous article! I have painted under neighborhood pride Concetta’s direction for almost eight years now, and she is totally unique [see “Seeing colors like no other,” Vol. 5, Issue 7]. There is no one else who even comes close to Concetta’s talent in painting and in teaching. —Helen Hill, via As usual, this lousy story allows this artist to see the green in your wallet [see “Seeing colors like no other,” Vol. 5, Issue 7]. Stay away from artists that brag about their innate abilities and be separate from the average person. —“Penta Chromat,” via Amazing artist and the best art teacher for so many of us [see “Seeing colors like no other,” Vol. 5, Issue 7]. I have been taking classes for six years and her teaching is one of a kind, and yes she is way above average. Her paintings are the most colorful and joyous. I have not seen anyone as talented and genuine. —Rachna Jafri, via

Clairvoyant story stirs emotions I met Connie at a get together a couple of years ago, and she is a real clairvoyant [see “In sync with the stars,” Vol. 5, Issue 7]. With believers there will always be nonbelievers, and that’s okay because no one is forcing anything on them. Knowledge is only knowledge when used. —Tricia, via Although everyone is entitled to their opinion as well to their beliefs, I have known Connie for quite a few years and have witnessed her work on so many occasions, I cannot begin to count. She truly has a gift [see “In sync with the stars,” Vol. 5, Issue 7]. —Pam Jones, via I have been reading San Diego Uptown News for some time. I find it informative, well written and enjoyable to read. So, it’s hard to overstate my shock and disappointment at having read “In Sync with the Stars,” in the March 29 issue of your paper [see Vol. 5, Issue 7]. To present the claims of a “clairvoyant and medium” as just another professional offering her services like any architect, bricklayer, roofer or personal trainer, without one critical question raised in the article is truly amazing. At the very least, there should have been a disclaimer by the paper that you have no knowledge of her claims, other than the fact she made them. Americans keep fretting that we are falling behind other nations in math and science. Well, with articles like this confusing the claims of faith healers, mediums, clairvoyants and the such with genuine news reporting, it’s easy to see why Americans are so confused. My understanding is that none of these “gifted” people ever submit to controlled experimentation under strict scientific conditions by skeptics. When that happens, and their claims are validated, then we can have a discussion. —Aaron De Groot, via email

We live in the best-ever hood [see “South Park for the dogs,” Vol. 5, Issue 7]. —Judy The Taylor One, via Couldn’t believe “South Park for the dogs” [see Vol. 5, Issue 7]. How long has the author lived in South Park? My parents bought our family home on Fir Street between Granada and 29th streets in 1946; I bought my home a block away in 1968. I don’t know what area Donna Walker lives in, but South Park has always been called South Park and has never been considered seedy and never been the old wild West. As far as the shootings of the officers in Grape Street Park, I heard the shots. It was committed by a man that didn’t live in South Park. Bad things can happen anywhere; remember Chelsea King and Amber Dubois in North County. My parents and their neighbors never had a break in and I haven’t either. Yes, more people walk dogs in our neighborhood, but in my years growing up here and raising my kids, I have never been afraid to walk in South Park day or night with or without my dog. —Chris Anderson, via email

Balboa Park discussion, continued The situation is very clear [see “Letters,” Vol. 5, Issue 7]. Todd Gloria’s constituents cannot have failed to see and understand that Gloria is not representing them. He is not representing the best interests of his district. He is not representing the best interests of the City. He is only and solely interested in doing what he wants to do, without listening to anybody who doesn’t agree with him. —Katherine Lopez, via The Bankers Hill Residents Group (which is made up of those who actually live in the community) were asked last year (by Council President Gloria directly) if they supported the Jacobs plan [see “Letters,” Vol. 5, Issue 7]. The over-whelming answer he received was indeed a “loud and clear message coming from Bankers Hill:” the residents did not support the Jacobs plan, a bypass bridge or a paid parking lot. The Bankers Hill Residents Group ( has not taken a vote on the possible closure of the Cabrillo Bridge. —Ann Garwood, via What would be most helpful in today’s civic dialogue would be for Mr. Gloria to stop clinging to the highly controversial and divisive notion that the Jacobs plan can be resurrected for 2015. For him to imply the Municipal Code can be rewritten to accomplish that resurrection only continues

see Letters, page 7

Springtime in Washington usually means budget time, and Congress recently engaged in a debate on fiscal policy for the nation. It is an arcane process that doesn’t get the attention it probably deserves and can cause the average person’s eyes to glaze over when discussed in the detail. San Diegans may not follow every step of the budget process but they should see the impact on their lives. Especially with the mindless acrossthe-board spending cuts, known as sequestration, starting to kick in. Though sequestration is upon us it is not too late to stop it before it does serious damage. For the sake of our economy, we need to end sequestration and replace it with meaningful spending cuts that don’t harm our economy or national security. Over the past few months, my colleagues and I have been calling for a balanced approach to reducing the debt through new revenues and reduced spending. How about a third approach to reducing the debt: growing our economy? It worked in the 1990s during the Clinton Administration. There was a tax increase on the upper income individuals. A pay-as-you-go spending policy ensured key investments and didn’t add new spending to the nation’s credit card. This coincided with an incredible economic boom that created 20 million jobs generating increased revenue. For three years – 1999, 2000, and 2001 – we had a balanced budget. Let’s replicate that. We have already asked the wealthiest in the country to pay a little bit more. But sequestration, which calls for cuts from just about every federal agency and program, is risking our ability to make the key investments. Sure it cuts wasteful spending, as it should, but it is also cuts programs proven to help grow our economy. I am hearing from federal employees in my district, including defense civilian employees, who are being furloughed or have lost their jobs entirely. Just as we recently witnessed our region’s unemployment drop from 9.4 to 8 percent, sequestration could send that number soaring again. Improvements to the San Ysidro Port of Entry, a project to expedite border traffic and generate commerce, have been stagnant. Budget cutters raided an infrastructure account that once contained $1 billion for such projects. This bi-national venture would mean billions of dollars for our region and be a job creator. Mexico has completed construction on its side of the border. They are waiting for us to complete our half. No new housing vouchers have been issued this year leaving more than 30,000 San Diego families on the waiting list wondering if they will ever get assistance. The Navy is on the verge of delaying critical ship repairs risking layoffs at our local shipyards. Towers at regional airports are being closed. And this is just the beginning unless we act. Instead of addressing this threat to our economy, the majority party in the House passed a budget proposal that doubles down on sequestration. Their budget prioritizes billionaires and big corporations over middle-class families. It would increase tax breaks for the wealthiest, lowering the top tax bracket a whopping 15 percent at the expense of middle-income taxpayers. It slashes education spending and key investments in scientific research and innovation. It is tone-deaf to the realities of today’s world and designed to score political points with their base. Needless to say, I voted against it. The President’s budget was released this week. It is a forward-looking proposal committed to strengthening the middle class. It would create jobs here at home, equip our people with the skills they need, and ensure that hard work leads to a good living. It recognizes the importance of investing in education and a quality future for our children. The next step is for these proposals, including the Senate Democratic budget, to be merged into that seemingly elusive compromise. We could have the best of all worlds if we were to take a serious approach to fiscal policy. We could put ourselves on a path to a robust economy with a strong middle class that will bring in the revenue to bring down the debt. All it takes is for us to step up to the plate, work together and make the tough budgetary choices that were sent to Congress to make.u

3737 Fifth Ave. Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 519-7775 PUBLISHER David Mannis (619) 961-1951 EDITOR Anthony King (619) 961-1952 ASSISTANT EDITOR Morgan M. Hurley (619) 961-1960 REPORTERS & COLUMNISTS Celene Adams Charlene Baldridge Logan Broyles “Dr. Ink” Tom Felkners Dave Fidlin Michael Good Andy Hinds Dale Larabee Frank Sabatini Jr. Dave Schwab Anulak Singphiphat Brian White DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Mike Rosensteel (619) 961-1958 ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Sloan Gomez (619) 961-1954 Belem Herrera (619) 961-1963 Kyle Renwick (619) 961-1956 ART DIRECTOR Rebecah Corbin (619) 961-1961 ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Anulak Singphiphat (619) 888-3344 ACCOUNTING Denise Davidson Priscilla Umel-Martinez (619) 961-1962 SALES ASSISTANTS Charlie Bryan Baterina Andrea Goodchild Marie Khris Pecjo OPINIONS/LETTERS San Diego Uptown News encourages letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please email both to Include phone number and address for verification. We reserve the right to edit letters for brevity and accuracy. Letters and guest editorials do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or staff. SUBMISSIONS/NEWS TIPS Press releases and story ideas are welcomed. Send press releases, tips, photos or story ideas to For breaking news and investigative story ideas contact the editor by phone or email. DISTRIBUTION San Diego Uptown News is distributed free, every other Friday. COPYRIGHT 2013. All rights are reserved. Printed in the United States of America.


San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013


Emotions run high at library essay awards March 21 By Dale Larabee SDUN Guest Columnist

in my countr y Gambia, there were soldiers with guns. … I didn’t know if my family and I would make it.” She escaped, but Hidra also wrote of her sadness when she came to America: “I left without my little brother.” Hidra finished reading her essay and was prompted by her teacher to tell if her brother emigrated. He was with us in the back of the St. Didacus meeting hall. Fourth-grader Kyle Wyborney also chose “Four Feet, Two Sandals,” because of the friendship between the two refugee girls. Wyborney has a close friend, Lance, and they’ve “known each other for a long time,” he said. For, Wyborney writes, “an important thing you should know about Lance and me is that we have the same disability called arthrogryposis. … No other child my age in San Diego has arthrogryposis.” Wyborney was very sad when Lance moved to Rhode Island, because he “wouldn’t get to share and talk with him about what my disability was like.” The Friends of the Library presented all writers with handcrafted certificates. First-, second- and third-place winners from each school received $25 Barnes & Noble gift certificates. Essays in hand, Wauson, St. Pierre and Ashnafi will travel to Balboa Park on May 2 at 6 p.m. to compete for first place in San Diego County. The three could win laptop computers and $500 if chosen to have written the best essay. No matter what happens, all the Uptown writers are winners to us. May 2 needs to be a great night to beat our magical one March 21.

San Diego is a wonderfully diverse city. The City Library Essay Contest winners proved so March 21 at St. Didacus Parish School. One hundred twelve students from Adams, Franklin, Normal Heights, Our Lady of Peace and St. Didacus schools wrote essays on what one book deserved saving, if all other books were to disappear, or why libraries are important to young people like them. The writers were all sizes and colors, and sported accents from around the world. What a glorious night! Their essays ranged from 10 sentences to three pages. Most were typed, some written in pencil, and others seemingly written and re-written. A scattering of students read their work as if dashed off immediately after the book was finished. Judges Denise Carabet, Luis Monteagudo, Ron Powell and Peter Rowe, all professional writers and avid readers, paid little attention to any of this or where the writer went to school. The judges read the fourth, eighth and 10th grade essays, and were impressed by the writers’ creativity, expression and why their one book was important to them. Fourth-grader Abbie Wauson got the nod for her discussion of civil war and death in “The Lost Boys of Sudan” and her sense of fear and dread when her father was deployed to Afghanistan. First place eighth-grader Anyah St. Pierre wrote of Jack London’s classic “White Fang,” a powerful story of “an animal that is part wolf and part dog, and how —Dale Larabee is a 40-year resident of Kenshis personality is altered by his surroundings … ington, who is an occasional writer for local and multiple cruel owners.” newspapers.u Repeat winner, 10th-grader Gabriela Ashnafi, chose “The Samurai Garden,” a story of a Chinese man recovering from tuberculosis in Japan who learns his first impressions of people and places are often very wrong. The over 80 spectators, teachers and administrators would also remember two second-place finishers. Fourth-grader Binta Hidra wrote of “Four Feet, Two Sandals,” the stor y of two girls who meet and become friends in a Pakistani refugee camp driven there by a raging war in neighboring Afghanistan. Hidra wrote, “I would save this book because the two girls had war in their countr y and (l to r) Abbie Wauson, Gabriela Ashenafi and Anyah St. Pierre (Courtesy Diane Larabee)


LETTERS a three-year-old battle over the Jacobs project. So in that regard it is Mr. Gloria failing to move our city and our park forward. Furthermore I wish he would stop his misleading statements about the Jacobs plan. It would not remove cars from the heart of Balboa Park. In fact the massive infrastructure project to be constructed is in the heart of Balboa Park. It would increase the number of cars, not remove them. It is also misleading to state the Jacobs plan is a workable solution. The plan failed to withstand one legal challenge. If resurrected it will face further legal challenges. That’s far from workable, Mr. Gloria. Also what Mr. Gloria failed to mention in regard to what he called an “exhaustive two-year review” of the project, the project failed to garner community wide consensus. That stands in stark contrast with the Balboa Park Master Plan. Having attended nearly every public meeting and hearing for the Jacobs project myself, opposition was always extremely strong. Gloria’s continued support now only fuels that opposition and further

divides the community. When it comes to politically motivated diatribes, and questioning what is best for moving the City and Balboa Park forward, I wish Mr. Gloria would look in the mirror. With his letter here, he’s not practicing what he preaches [see “Letters,” Vol. 5, Issue 7]. I call on the Council President to spend less energy being furious at



Answer key, page 15

Uptown Crossword

Bruce Coons, and spending more energy trying to work with Mayor. It is only through compromise and willingness to negotiate that we move forward. So let’s see less hot-temper bickering from our Council President and more leadership. —Dan Soderberg, via sduptownnews.comu

Government Seats

Answer key, page 15


San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013


A mid-century childhood in North Park Having lived in my home in North Park for almost 10 years, sometimes I feel like an old-timer. I find myself more and more telling recent transplants on the block about the people who lived in their house three owners ago, and how different things were way back in the “aughts.” I’m not the only person who is qualified to chronicle the heady, pre-recession era in the Morley Field area, though. Luckily there are a handful of real pioneers right on my block, with whom I have the pleasure of catching up on neighborhood gossip reaching back beyond the early 2000s, and sometimes as far as the beginning of the previous centur y. I recently sat down to chat with one of my neighbors who first moved to her home in 1943, at age 5. She got married and moved away in the early ’60s, and then returned to her childhood home six years ago when her mother fell ill. I asked her what it was like to be a kid in North Park in the middle of the 20th centur y. My neighbor – I’ll call her Sally – first confirmed something I heard before from other long-time residents of my block: my house had indeed been an honest-to-God shack up until the ’80s, when it was upgraded to a drab rental property with vinyl siding and iron bars on the windows. She added that when she was a kid, there was a mean old lady who lived in our erstwhile shanty.

“I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had a big iron cauldron in her kitchen,” Sally told me. If a kid threw a ball into the lady’s yard, he would write it off rather than approach her sinister hovel. Living two doors down from a possible child-eating necromancer notwithstanding, Sally’s youth sounded pretty typical of a kid in any small(ish) town in America. She played kickthe-can in the middle of Texas Street without any worries about traffic, stayed outside unsupervised until the streetlights came on, walked to the movies at the North Park Theater – a dime for the movie and a nickel for popcorn – and roller skated at the Palisade Gardens rink, which she described as the hottest gathering place in the area for teens. Sally’s dad was a meat cutter at the now long-defunct Juniper Foods on 30th and Juniper streets in what we currently call South Park. Her mom, who lived in the home until the day she died two years ago, stayed with the kids early on, and then got her teaching credentials at SDSU and taught adult education classes. Sally remembers, perhaps a bit wistfully, that North Park, along with the rest of the city, was quiet in the ’40s and early ’50s. Apparently though, it was a bit too quiet for her parents, who would travel to Los Angeles, and later Las Vegas, to enjoy the dancing and nightlife they were denied in sleepy San Diego.


D E M ET RIOS A. SPARAC I NO 2700 Adams Ave., Suite 209, San Diego, CA 92116 (619) 955-5254 | Demetrios Sparacino is a native San Diegan and recently moved his law practice to 2700 Adams Ave. (near the office of Congresswoman Susan Davis). The law practice focuses on three areas of law: tax litigation, civil litigation and estate planning. Demetrios started his career in 2007, when he worked for an insurance defense litigation firm in North County. When the market started to turn for the worse in 2008, he saw that taxation litigation and debt reduction would be the areas where people needed assistance. Unfortunately, in down economies such as this, litigation increases and tax collection efforts also increase. With the economy crashing, Demetrios decided to leave the comfort of the insurance defense firm and started the process of opening his own law practice. He believed there could be much opportunity through assisting families and businesses devastated by the economic change. While moving more towards the very specialized field of practice that is pure tax law, Demetrios obtained his masters degree in tax law from the University of San Diego, one of the top tax programs in the nation. He knew this specific pedigree could not only assist his practice but also benefit his clients. Additionally, in an effort to expand his new business, Demetrios drew upon his civil litigation background and working with a group of local lawyers, assisted in bringing over 100 civil cases against San Diego Gas & Electric relating to the massive fires in 2007. During that time, Demetrios met many individuals, families, and businesses with varying needs and

complex issues. Many of those clients continue to be assisted by Demetrios in the area of tax and estate planning. A recurring theme among past clients is his responsiveness and attention to detail. This type of craftsmanship is something that Demetrios believes in. He believes a “potential client will receive particularized attention and responsive solutions. We [as lawyers] have a duty to advocate our clients’ case to the best of our ability, and there is no compromise in that duty.” Demetrios credits his attitude towards the law to his mentors, who are established legal veterans and judges. “I have always believed we should listen to our elders and hopefully follow their model,” he said. “Among the chief qualities we should strive to achieve is an impeccable word. If that is compromised, it cannot be repaired. “When I look back on starting my practice at the economic downturn in 2009, I realize there was incredible risk. Thankfully, there has also been a satisfying and continuing reward.” Demetrios chose to locate his business off Adams Avenue by design. He saw a vibrant community and a local business economy that Downtown San Diego did not offer. Since the beginning of 2013, Demetrios has seen an increase in local business, which he really enjoys. “I would really like to be a vital resource in our community,” he said. In 2012, he purchased his first home, and his interests include classic cars, spending time with his girlfriend and family, and collecting antiques. Demetrios will often walk to local antique stores during his lunch break.

Like virtually all the kids in the neighborhood, aside from the ones who went to Catholic school, Sally attended Jefferson Elementar y in the original building, which was torn down in the early ’60s, then went on to Roosevelt Junior High and then graduated from San Diego High in 1958. In those days, North Park was considered a workingclass neighborhood, and its public schools were as good as any in town. Sally remembers Morley Field itself being a mostly wild place: dusty chaparral with a handful of amenities such as what we now know as the Bud Kearns Municipal Pool (called “the Muni” back then), a few tennis courts and a casting pond. There was a velodrome in the old days, but it was in a different location than the one where hipsters currently congregate on Tuesdays to watch the fixedgear gladiators battle, and it was little more than a dirt track for bicycles. Through the ’50s, Sally said, the area grew busier and louder, a development about which she was ambivalent. Businesses flourished on University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard and commuters and shoppers crowded the streets. But Sally resented the increasing noise of air traffic heading to and from Lindbergh Field, and was saddened and annoyed when dump trucks started rolling down Texas Street ever y day on their way to Morley Field, which was used as a landfill from

1952 to 1974. After she graduated from high school, Sally worked at a gift shop in Hillcrest where, she told me, there were a lot of doctors, one ver y low-profile gay bar, and the same frustrating dearth of parking that it suffers from today. “I practically had to park next to the water and walk to work from there,” she said. Sally got married in 1961, and moved out of the neighborhood. Over the next two decades, she witnessed a decline in her childhood stomping grounds from across town. Although she doesn’t attempt to connect all the pieces that led to the blight at the doorstep of her family home, she knows that it was concurrent with big changes like the construction of Interstate 8 and subsequent near-abandonment of El Cajon Boulevard as a thoroughfare and business district and the attractiveness of brand new, affordable tract homes in other parts of the city. Businesses on University Avenue and El Cajon Boulevard disappeared, there were fewer young children in the neighborhood, the schools struggled, and many of the homes fell into disrepair. Almost imperceptibly, though, as those of us who have been in the area for a while know, Sally’s neighborhood started to enjoy revitalization. By the time she moved back into her childhood home, the corner of University Avenue and 30th Street once again lived up to its

Andy Hinds Parenting old nickname, the “Busy Corner,” and the houses with peeling paint and bars on the windows were restored or transformed into much grander houses than they had been in the past. I asked Sally if our neighborhood bore much resemblance to the North Park she grew up in, and she shook her head. “Well,” she said, “visually, it’s similar. Most of the houses look pretty much the same. But the people and the energy are completely different.” —Andy Hinds is a stay-athome dad, blogger, freelance writer, carpenter and sometimesadjunct writing professor. He is known on the internet as Beta Dad, but you might know him as that guy in North Park whose kids ride in a dog-drawn wagon. Read his personal blog at betadadblog. com. Reach him at betadad@ or @betadad on Twitter.u FROM PAGE 1

BERTRAND viewing options for customers and, more recently, opened the deck that surrounds the outside of the building for dining and drinks. Another change Hug made in recent years was promoting floor manager Ryan Thorsen to general manager. A Bankers Hill resident, Thorsen is arguably the youngest general manager in the local industry. “I feel confident about my staff. I’m really happy with Ryan, [and] the chef has a really solid staff in the kitchen,” Hug said. Thorsen said he is happy with working for Bertrand, too. “Honestly there’s a lot of challenges to [working here]. It makes every day new and fast. And that challenge is what makes me want to get up for work and run in every day,” he said. As manager, Thorsen said the restaurant has a “certain energy” not found in many San Diego establishments, in part because of its history. “Everyone comes here expecting a certain experience and it is our job to make sure that never falters,” he said. Opening for brunch was a dream of Thorsen’s, and he is excited about the new venture. “It’s kind of like opening up our own little restaurant inside the restaurant because it’s never been here before,” he said. Hug, Thorsen and Chef Stephane Voitzwinkler all worked together over several months on the food and drink menu, finally agreeing on the 20th draft. Menu options are a la carte, and vary from standard brunch classics with Voitzwinkler’s specific spin to the types of menu items one would come to expect at Mister A’s. “You can piece together your own meal,” Thorsen said. “It’s a good entryway for new customers.” A number of clever Bloody Marys and beer cocktails will be taking a prominent position on their new drink menu, along with other unique offerings. No bottomless mimosas, of course, but refills will be offered. Thorsen said he encourages people spending their weekend days at Balboa Park to stop in for a drink or check out the new brunch. The weekend day dress code will be the same as their current lunch and happy hour: shorts only if they are Bermuda shorts, with closed-toed shoes. Flip-flops and baseball caps are never an option. “We understand it is San Diego but we do want to maintain a certain status,” Thorsen said. “We think that builds the experience for everyone.” Bertrand at Mister A’s is located on the 12th floor at 2550 Fifth Ave. In addition to the new weekend brunch hours, the restaurant is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 5:30 p.m. weeknights and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit or call 619-239-1377.u


San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013

BARRIO STAR 2706 Fifth Ave. (Bankers Hill)


619-501-7827 Happy Hour: 5 to 7 p.m., daily

Good blood

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

I love all things blood orange and anything spicy. So a visit to Barrio Star during happy hour – specifically on “taco Tuesday” – turned out to be a place where multiple dreams come true. Known for its contemporary interpretation of Mexican soul food, the restaurant features a sizable bar set among whimsical décor and metal chandeliers, with a few Day of the Dead skulls scattered around. The atmosphere is bright and hip, and feels equal parts dining room and cocktail lounge. Tequila flows cheaply during daily happy hour, when the Barrio margarita made with organic lime juice and agave nectar drops from $9 to $5. A five spot also buys you a glass of sprightly sangria or a select wine, while any beer in the house sells for $4. In addition, various munchies that steer clear of lard are priced at $6 or less.

Among the newest dishes exclusive to happy hour are black bean nachos and pequeño bowls combining carnitas, frijoles and cheese served with chips and salsa. Both dishes are $5 a piece. Or if you’re hankering for warm, ultra-fresh corn tortillas like the kind you’d find in Mexico along Rosarito Beach, they’re available with jalapeno butter for $2.50 per order. Taco Tuesdays usher in more deals, starting with the fabulous blood orange margarita that sneaks in about a shot and a half of Blanco tequila. The alcohol is effectively veiled by blood orange puree that is so fruity and refreshing, I had lost track of my intake and started talking gibberish among friends. The drink is served in a rocks glass rather than a standard wide chalice, which means the ratio of tequila to non-alcoholic liquid is greater than normal. Priced regularly at $9, you save $2 on Tuesdays. The same discount applies to blackberry margaritas using roasted jalapeno tequila. A cohort

The blood orange margarita and soy chorizo taco (Photo by Dr. Ink)

in the group easily survived the lip burn, saying that the berry flavor won over the pepper element. I fulfilled my hankering for heat with a couple of soy chorizo tacos that sell for $3 a pop from 5 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays, dabbing them into feisty house-made hot sauce spiked with chili de

RATINGS: Drinks:

arbol and roasted tomatoes. From the regular happy hour menu you can keep the fire burning with chipotle chicken wings ($6) or cool down with cucumbers dressed in cumin vinaigrette ($2.50). Combined with a few margaritas, your belly won’t be growling for dinner.u


Food and drinks are discounted about 20 percent during daily happy hour and on “taco Tuesdays,” with some appetizers ringing in as low as $2.50 each.

Daily happy hour features wellconstructed house margaritas, several Mexican beers, sangria and a few wines. But the kicky blood orange margaritas, Service: discounted on Tuesdays, go down The staff is upbeat, much like the remarkably easy. atmosphere.


Not your typical greasy Mexican food. Appetizers are well spiced and incorporate organic ingredients and house-made sauces.


Two hours any day of the week allows you to adequately booze up and sober down in a single visit. On Tuesdays, the margarita deals continue until closing.


San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013


F R A N K S A B AT I N I J R .


dered, the “swine” meatball made of smoked pork was the spiciest due to chipotle and pepper Jack cheese cranking up its volume. The “hog” tasted similar, as it’s made with chipotle chorizo and bedbed ded on mozzarella. Our hands-down favorite was the “hen,” a chicken meatball containing fennel, turmeric and paprika. It’s topped with Provolone cheese and mushroom cream sauce. When ordering spaghetti, you’re allowed three clasmeatballs of the same kind. For that we chose clas sic “bovine.” The beef was coarsely ground rather than the fine texture I prefer. But the flavor of the herbs rang through nicely, which is precisely why the kitchen recently changed the grinder to a Beef meatballs with spaghetti looser setting. The rougher the cut, the better the (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) herbs stay intact. Chunky marinara on the spaghetti was sweet The latest imaginative venture by Consortium and scant. A couple more tablespoons in the bowl Holdings has sprung into Normal Heights with a would have been sufficient, especially for complicatchy concept inspired by a successful eatery in menting the mozzarella melted over the noodles. New York City, called The Meatball Shop. Add to We augmented our meatball fest with a few the offerings a protracted list of craft sodas, some sides. The apple salad with celery, toasted hazelof them rather obscure, and you end up inside nuts and Manchego cheese was exceptionally highly deconstructed digs on Adams Avenue at a refreshing. A medium-cooked Scotch egg encased place called Soda & Swine. in chorizo was rich and Replacing a laundromat sumptuous, although roastand adjoining taqueria, the ed Brussels sprouts with redesign impresses with bacon needed some oomph, exposed wall slats and a maybe from vinaigrette or hollow ceiling that allows garlic that other kitchens bright sunshine to filter commonly use when flauntthrough its wooden rafters. 2943 Adams Ave. (Normal Heights) ing the vegetable. Additional lighting is sup619-269-7632 | Unfamiliar bottled sodas plied by old-fashioned radio add to the restaurant’s fun vacuum tubes and a metal Prices: $3 to $10 factor and effectively reset fireplace as the focal point. the palate between meatball If it weren’t for the blue-tiled samplings. Such was the kitchen off to the side, you case with thirst-quenching Ting Grapefruit Soda could almost be fooled into thinking that you’ve from Jamaica and Jackson Hole Huckleberry entered an old Quaker farmhouse that was never Soda, which packs a whopping 53 grams of sugar completed. Soda & Swine connects through a back hallway that we willfully ignored. Among the rarer picks is Dublin Dr. Pepper, to Polite Provisions, a sibling operation resemwhich captures the original recipe using cane bling a 1920s pharmacy where spirits and wines sugar. The bottling plant in Dublin, Texas (not on draft rule the roost. Food ordered in person at Ireland) has since shut down; hence the soda is on Soda & Swine is brought over by a server, should the verge of extinction, so get it while it lasts. you prefer washing down your meatballs with Soda & Swine and Polite Provisions stay open single-malt scotch or pinot gris. until 1:30 a.m. every day, adding architectural Consortium also owns Craft & Commerce, Unpanache and a lively shot of fizz to derbelly, Neighborhood and El Dorado, although A Scotch egg the neighborhood.u only at Soda & Swine will you encounter a menu encased in chorizo that gives meatballs such unusual top billing. A (Photo by Frank separate category of side dishes such as twiceSabatini Jr.) cooked fries, Scotch eggs and apple salad ends at a short selection of desserts, where you’ll find stellar Yorkshire apple pie with aged cheddar cooked right into the piecrust. The meatballs are sizable and available in sliders, submarine sandwiches, spaghetti or a la carte. There are five different types to choose from. A friend and I tried them all except for the vegetarian balls made with quinoa, feta and pesto, which I suspect are dandy. In three sliders we or-


Hedda Gabler Pg. 17

Volume 5, Issue 8 • April 12–25, 2013 • San Diego Uptown News

(l to r) Manny Fernandes, Melinda Gilb, Jason Maddy, Jacob Caltrider, Braxton Molinaro, Geno Carr, Jaycob Hunter, Melissa Fernandes and Kürt Norby (Photo by Rich Soublet II)

Sondheim at CYGNET

Old Town company stages appropriate, timely production By Charlene Baldridge SDUN Theater Critic

Stephen Sondheim is an acquired taste. He is the thinking person’s musical theater composer; it helps if one’s thinking is somewhat bizarre. Sometimes even those who are Sondheim fans are brought up short by the composer’s lesserknown works such as the largely neglected 1990 off-Broadway show “Assassins,” which is playing at Cygnet Theatre Company in Old Town through April 28. As

the nation’s leaders struggle to enact stricter gun control legislation, a more appropriate piece cannot be imagined. “Assassins” is an acquired taste, too. There is no protagonist, and because all the characters are angry and deranged – and because Sondheim and book writer John Weidman conceived the piece as a carnival sideshow – it is unsettling and in your face. And why not? That is the intent. The characters are assassins or would-be assassins, and their targets, United States presidents.

Not all the assassins are remembered. Not all were successful. That is also the point. In the show’s final scene, Lee Harvey Oswald (Jacob Caltrider, who also portrays the Ballad Singer) must be persuaded to kill President John F. Kennedy because the act will burn the names of all assassins in the public memory. Twisted logic? You bet. That’s Sondheim, too. The show gets underway in a gun shop, where the Proprietor (Andy Collins, aided by his physical stature and costume

designer Shirley Pierson’s creepy Wild West get up), sells firearms. Among the purchasers are Leon Czolgosz (Jason Maddy), who shot William McKinley; John Hinckley, Jr. (Kürt Norby), who attempted to kill Ronald Reagan; John Wilkes Booth (Braxton Molinaro), who assassinated Abraham Lincoln; Lee Harvey Oswald, who killed Kennedy; as well as Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme (Melissa Fernandes) and Sara Jane Moore (Melinda Gilb), who separately sought to kill Gerald Ford. Other killers and would-be killers are Charles Guiteau (Geno Carr), Giuseppe Zangara (Jaycob Hunter) and Samuel Byck (Manny Fernandes). The program notes include the names of others still, mentioned or not by Sondheim and Weidman. Also in the company, Sandy Campbell provides a finely drawn Emma Goldman, and bystanders are Bryan Banville, Stewart Calhoun and Mitzi Michaels. Musical numbers include “The Ballad of Booth,” “How I Saved Roosevelt,” “Unworthy of Your Love,” “November 22, 1963,” and “Everybody’s Got the Right (to be happy).” Gilb and Melissa Fernandes, who are so extraordinary that someone must write them their own musical, provide moments of extreme black comedy. Aside from uniformly excellent articulation of Sondheim’s outrageous lyrics, the production’s major assets are Sean

Murray’s clean direction, Ryan Grossheim’s two-level shooting gallery set, Chris Rynne’s lighting and Matt Lescault-Wood’s sound design. Thanks to Peter Herman’s wigs and makeup and Pierson’s costumes, the actors become ringers for their historical characters. Take your sardonic funny bone. The entire show is a mordant joke. While you’re there, enjoy music director Patrick Marion’s flawless six-member band. Just as Cygnet intends to deepen its relationship with August Wilson, the theater company will extend its ongoing reputation for super Sondheim (“A Month in the Country,” “Sweeney Todd”). Recently Murray announced that the company’s 11th season opens with “Company.”u

“Assassins” WHERE: Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St. (Old Town) WHEN: Wed. and Thurs. at 7:30 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sat. at 3 p.m.; and Sun. at 2 and 7 p.m. through April 28. INFO: 619-337-1525 WEB:


San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013


A Tribe Called Red mixes historical music with modern EDM at the Casbah By Logan Broyles SDUN Reporter

A Tribe Called Red’s style is un-like anything ever put out before, incorporating traditional drumming and chanting from indigenous Canadian cultures into their mixes of more modern house and dubstep music. Each member of the three-man audio-visual DJ crew from Ottawa belongs to one of Canada’s First Nation communities. Ian Campeau (aka DJ NDN), Dan General (DJ Shub) and Bear Witness formed A Tribe Called Red in 2007 and will be playing at the Casbah April 21 as one of 15 stops on their first major tour of the United States. Their electronic music has already won the group a Polaris Prize nomination, a Canadian award similar to Britain’s Mercur y Prize, and a spot in the Washington Post’s top 20 albums of 2012. “The idea came from us wanting to put together a party that was geared toward First Nation members around Ottawa, so we posted at all of the Aboriginal centers at the local colleges,” Campeau said. “Our first show was packed with mainly Aboriginal kids who said they had never really felt

wi th a mod er n kick

comfortable going out in the city before that, having grown up in a reserve in Northern Ottawa.” Campeau said the parties then became a regular event in their hometown, and people went crazy for the music once the band started playing songs that mixed what he called “Pow Wow music” into what was popular at the time: electronic dance music or EDM. “Mixing those two genres worked out really well,” he said. Once DJ Shub joined the group they started producing their own sound and

A Tribe Called Red comes to San Diego April 21 (Courtesy rock paper sisscors, inc.) put out an album. Their latest album “Nation II Nation” will be released May 7. “It was a ver y natural progression from wanting to have a party geared toward First Nation kids to recording our own music,” Campeau said. “The idea came from me and Bear wanting to showcase the fact that we were Aboriginal DJs here in the city, in Ottawa.” The group will be playing at the Casbah for the first time, but Campeau is well versed in the local San Diego nightlife having lived here in the past. “We have an album coming out on May 7 and we wanted to break into the West Coast scene,” Campeau said. “I’m really stoked to be back in San Diego because I used to live in Pacific Beach and know the Casbah well.” Campeau said the next step for the group is more touring and another album,

set to come out in the fall. For now, they’re excited to introduce brand new U.S. audiences to their unique take on contemporary club music, mixed with their cultural heritage. Campeau said they will be performing many different styles of EDM. “It gets pretty sweaty and there will be some crazy and well-thought out visuals,” he said. “You’re going to hear something that you’ve never really heard before at our shows, and you’re going to learn something whether you wanted to or not about First Nation’s experience in North America today.” Doors for the 21 and older show open at 8:30 p.m. on April 21. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. The Casbah is located at 2501 Kettner Blvd. For more information visit or call 619-232-4355.u


San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013


Gary Holt and Joey Landwehr discuss Gay Men’s Chorus upcoming show ‘Rocket Man – The Music of Elton John’

Director and Choreographer Joey Landwehr (Courtesy SDGMC)

By Tom Felkners SDUN Guest Reporter

Before the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus takes the stage for “Rocket Man—The Music of Elton John,” the group’s Artistic Director Gary Holt sat down with Joey Landwehr, the show’s director and choreographer, to talk candidly about preparing a group of 130 men to perform music from what is arguably one of the most recognizable artists. Landwehr is artistic director of J*Company Youth Theatre at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, and this show marks the 10th collaboration with the chorus. The show is April 13 and 14 at the Birch North Park Theatre. Tom Felkners: If Elton John snuck in to the back of the theater and saw the show, what do you think he’d have to say? Joey Landwehr: I think he’d be very proud of what we put together. I would love for him to come. If anybody knows Elton, please invite him. Gary Holt: I think he would be very pleased with the integrity and respect we’ve given to his music. Clearly, he didn’t write these as songs for a chorus, but we’ve showcased the great musical form and substance that he breathed into them.

TF: In the back of your mind, do you ever think ‘What would Elton do?’ GH: I do when I teach the music to the singers. And honestly, I was never an Elton John fan. But, I’ve become a huge fan as I’ve lived with his music over the past year. It just gets inside of you. TF: As two people directing different parts of the show, how do you strike that balance of working together? JL: Gary and I work really well together. We have our moments when we might not agree on something, but that’s how the artistic process works. I have a huge respect for Gary and can be very open and honest with him. If I really think something will work, he’s always willing to let me try it out. GH: I obviously feel the same way about Joey. He’s one of those rare artists who dreams big and then knows how to transform it into action. The curtain goes up and it just sort of happens. But we all know it doesn’t really just happen. He puts a ton of work into making it happen: to making things fly and leap and materialize. TF: Gary, you’re going to be conducting from the piano. How does that present challenges? Or is it easier for you? GH: I’ve always considered myself first and foremost a pianist. I grew up on the piano bench, so I am most comfortable at the keyboard. Elton John’s music doesn’t really require a conductor down front. It actually sings itself. So I get to be at the piano dressed in some outrageous Elton John outfit as part of a great rock band. TF: Speaking of outrageous costumes, do you have fleeting thoughts of ‘We need more sequins and glitter?’

JL: Not for this concert. There’s going to be a lot of sequins and glitter. It’s just built into an Elton John concert. GH: I’m always a big fan of more sequins and glitter. Although now that I’m discovering some of that is going to be on me, I may not be such a big fan of it anymore. But, you can never have enough sequins and glitter in a gay men’s chorus. TF: Joey, in addition to directing, you’re the show’s choreographer. What’s it like wearing two hats at the same time? JL: With a group like the chorus, it makes sense in many ways for the choreographer to have that overall directorial view as well. Our dance troupe has influenced what I’ve done as a choreographer and director as well. We collaborate on things. If there’s a section I’m having trouble with, I’ll bring it to my dance team and say, ‘Let’s work on this together.’ TF: I hear the chorus’s rendition of “The Last Song” is going to be very poignant. Can you talk about that without giving away any secrets? JL: What we’re trying to bring forth with “The Last Song” is that you can have a family wherever you are. We’re reminding our audience that a family is a family as long as you love them and they love you. GH: For a lot of our singers, the chorus is really the first time they’ve truly experienced any sense of family. So “The Last Song” is a celebration of life and families. When we move people, we do it in a joyous, uplifting way. That’s the take away for this concert. TF: Will that be the climax of the concert? GH: “The Last Song” is close to the end of the show. But there are a few songs after it that really tie the whole show together. Joey

Artistic Director Gary Holt (Courtesy SDGMC)

and I paid a lot of attention to the shape of the concert. There are 18 songs, but many of them are short and fast. It’s going to go by in the blink of an eye just because there’s so much to take in on stage with the dancing and the lights and the projected images. JL: It’s really a lovely roller-coaster ride that we’ve put together. We’ve created this beautiful arc of Elton John music. GH: Chorus directors talk about the ‘11 o’clock moment’ in a concert. That really refers to the next to last song or sentiment that you want the audience to savor. And so “Your Song” is our 11 o’clock moment. It’s just going to be exquisite. There’s no dancing, there’s no visual stuff. It’s just about the song itself and the beautiful singing. Tickets for the Saturday, April 13 performance at 8 p.m. are $25-$43; and tickets for the Sunday, April 14 matinee at 3 p.m. are $21-$38. A $5 discount is available for seniors, students, military and groups of 10 or more. The Birch North Park Theatre is located at 2891 University Ave. in North Park. For more information and tickets visit or call 877-296-7664. Editor’s note: Tom Felkners’ partner is both a member of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus and current marketing director on the organization’s board.u


San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013


CalendarofEvents FRIDAY, APRIL 12 Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) Preschool story time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “Ruby Sparks,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 SATURDAY, APRIL 13 Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – noon every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free Old Town Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday, Harney Street, free Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) UH Library Children’s Program: 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts event for children, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd. Andrew Courtney photos closing: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., closing day of Andrew Courtney photography exhibit, Protea Gallery, 3780 30th St. Spring Historic Walking Tour: 1 – 4 p.m., “South Mission Hills: Special Places” presented by Mission Hills Heritage, 60- to 90-minute tours start every 15 minutes on Hawk Street between University Avenue and Bush Street, $10 members and $15 non-members Hillcrest Parking Committee meeting: 3:30 – 5 p.m., regular monthly meeting, 3737 Fifth Ave. #202 Ray at Night: 6 – 10 p.m., monthly art walk featuring over 25 galleries and businesses, Ray Street in North Park, free Hillcrest Wind Ensemble: 7 p.m., “Touring the Continent: Music of Europe” concert, First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4190 Front St., $15 Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “Ruby Sparks,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 Jazz at the Cosmo: 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant’s regular jazz series, with tonight’s guest flutist Lori Bell, 2660 Calhoun St., $5 SUNDAY, APRIL 14 Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., today’s special guest is Chef Larry Malone from Empire House, every Sunday, Hillcrest DMV, 3960 Normal St., free Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Bark, free

MONDAY, APRIL 15 Marston House Museum Tours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, Marston House Museum, 3525 7th Ave., $8 adults, $5 seniors and $4 children (6-12) Bankers Hill Residents: 6:30 – 8 p.m., regular monthly residents meeting, Inn at the Park, 525 Spruce St., free TUESDAY, APRIL 16 Adams Ave. Business Association planning & development: 8 a.m., regularly monthly committee meeting, 4649 Hawley Blvd. Pajama story time: 6:30 – 7 p.m., children are invited to come dressed in their pajamas, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free North Park Planning Committee: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting, North Park Christian Fellowship, 2901 North Park Way WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17 Old Town Chamber board meeting: 8:30 a.m., regular monthly meeting, Padre Trail Inn, 4200 Taylor St. North Park BID Collaborative: 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., rescheduled meeting from Feb. 6, El Cajon Boulevard BID office, 3727 El Cajon Blvd. El Cajon Blvd BID Promotions: noon – 1:30 p.m., date change of regular promotions committee meeting, 3727 El Cajon Blvd. Lion’s Club of North Park: noon – 1:30 p.m., regular weekly lunch of the North Park Lion’s Club, 3927 Utah St. Author Debra Prinzing: 2 p.m., San Diego Floral Association welcomes Debra Prinzing, author of “The Fifty Mile Bouquet” and “Slow Flowers: Channel Your Inner Flower Designer,” for green design demonstration, Casa del Prado, 1650 El Prado Ave. LEGO play time: 5 – 6 p.m., children are invited to get creative with LEGOs, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Robin Henkel Band: 8 – 10 p.m., with Whitney Shay and Billy Watson, ArtLab Studios, 3536 Adams Ave., donation accepted THURSDAY, APRIL 18 North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and

University Ave., free Road Scholar: 6:30 p.m., Road Scholar ambassador Jill Swaim will be presenting affordable travel adventures, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 Washington St. North Park Historical Society: 6:30 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting, 3775 Utah St.

FRIDAY, APRIL 19 Adams Avenue Business Association Finance Committee: 8 a.m., regularly monthly committee meeting, 4649 Hawley Blvd. Preschool story time: 10:30 – 11 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Jazz at the Cosmo: 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant’s regular jazz series, with tonight’s guest vocalist Scott Woker, 2660 Calhoun St., $5 Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “Ted,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 SATURDAY, APRIL 20 Golden Hill Farmers Market: 8 a.m. – noon every Saturday, B Street between 27th and 28th streets, free University Heights library book sale: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., Umbrella Friends of UH Library books sale, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd. Mission Hills book sale: 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Friends of Mission Hills Branch Library monthly sale, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Children’s craft time: 10 a.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free UH Library Children’s Program: 10:30 a.m., arts and crafts event for children, University Heights Library, 4193 Park Blvd. Festival of Beers: 1 – 5:30 p.m., sixth annual CityBeat Festival of Beers sponsored by 91X and San Diego Music Foundation, Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., $40 - $50 T-32 Stroll About: 4 – 8 p.m., regular monthly Saturday stroll about in the T-32 neighborhood, Thorn and 32nd streets Cinema Under the Stars: 8 p.m., screening “Ted,” 4040 Goldfinch St., tickets start at $14 Buchanan Canyon clean up: 9 a.m., meet at Johnson Street between Lincoln and Hayes streets with gloves SUNDAY, APRIL 21 Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. every Sunday, Hillcrest DMV, 3960 Normal St., free EarthFair: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., 24th annual Earth Day celebration with over 300 exhibitors, Balboa Park Organ Concert: 2 p.m., music by organist Carol Williams with Martha Jane Weaver, Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Bark, free Robin Henkel Band with Horns!: 8 p.m., blues and jazz concert with Whitney Shay, Lestat’s, 3343 Adams Ave., $8 MONDAY, APRIL 22 North Park Recreation Council: 6 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting, North Park Rec Center, 4044 Idaho St. TUESDAY, APRIL 23 Pajama story time: 6:30 – 7 p.m., children are invited to come dressed in their pajamas, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free Talmadge Maintenance Assessment District: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., regular monthly meeting, Franklin Elementary, room #2, intersection of Monroe and Copeland avenues

see Calendar, page 18



San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013


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Kate Martin, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, recently re-opened her private practice in the University City area. Kate is offering services both as a psychotherapist and an educational consultant. She specializes in the areas of adult and adolescent mental health, special education mental health, and substance abuse diagnosis and treatment. She has a certification as a Master’s Addiction Counselor from the National Association of Forensic Counselors, and has worked in the Alcohol and Drug field for the past 28 years. Kate’s experience includes working in Scripps McDonald Center and Mesa Vista Hospital with adults and adolescents who suffer from substance abuse, mental illness and co-occurring disorders. She spent 15 years in education, serving as teacher and counselor in settings from junior high to university levels. She has worked for seven years providing clinical assessments for Special Education students.


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Locally headquartered Sullivan Solar Power will host two informational luncheons at EarthFair 2013 in Balboa Park on Sunday, April 21. The luncheons will inform residents about how the latest initiative in solar technology will pay Uptown homeowners up to $1,500 to go solar. The hour-long presentations will be held at 12 and 2 p.m. in the Casa del Prado building. Encouraging a clean energy future seems like an appropriate way to celebrate Earth Day. “Once a year our region celebrates Earth Day to remind us to live a sustainable lifestyle but it is important to remember that the spirit of Earth Day must live on throughout the year, we work tirelessly to help the region to go solar and make everyday Earth Day,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power. “We are proud to say that our customers combined have reduced CO2 emissions from power plants by over 34,000,000 pounds per year. While this is a great accomplishment, there is a lot more work to do.” Reducing dependence on oil by switching to solar power has many present-day benefits, as well as positive, long-term effects that future generations will appreciate. Now, thanks to Sullivan Solar Power, San Diegans can support a sustainable future and lessen our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels without making sacrifices. Sullivan Solar Power has created the exclusive “Sullivan Cash Reward,” an incentive available to all Uptown property owners. Through several different financing options, residents are able to go solar for $0 upfront cost and can receive $0.20 per watt up to $1,500. Homeowners can go solar and eliminate their electric bill – while paying less per month for their solar power system – and get paid to do so. This is Sullivan’s gift to the local community to encourage a micro community

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(l to r) Lynaé DePriest, Tony Houck, Jacque Wilke, Luke Jacobs, Shana Wride, Andrew Oswald and Dangerfield G. Moore (Photo by Ken Jacques)

Journeying to the very end Rising star Yolanda Franklin takes on controversial character in Diversionary Theatre’s latest By Charlene Baldridge SDUN Reporter

To be presented by Diversionar y Theatre through April 28, Jeff Whitty’s “The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler” is a witty literar y romp replete with characters other than Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda. By the time the commissioned play premiered at South Coast Repertor y Theatre in 2006, Whitty – one of the creators of “Avenue Q” – had overcome his bitterness about never being cast as Hedda. In addition to Hedda, “Further Adventures” playgoers will find Eilert Lovborg and George Tesman, Hedda’s suicide lover and her sur viving husband, respectively. They hover around her as she seeks to change her fate in Whitty’s frantic comedy. So long as she is remembered by anyone alive, Hedda is destined to commit suicide unceasingly. Hedda’s literar y limbo, from which it appears there is no escape, is inhabited by others, including Jesus, two gay men that might be fugitives from “The Boys in the Band,” and Jar Jar Binks. On the distaff, we meet Medea, Tosca and Mammy. That’s right, Mammy of “Gone With the Wind.” Mammy is not politically correct these days, and thereby hangs a tale. Rising star Yolanda Franklin, seen of late in “Trip to Bountiful” at New Village Arts, “The Little Flower of East Orange” at ion theatre, and “Sugar Witch”

at OnStage Playhouse, said she was not in the least bothered with the prospect of playing the stereotypical Mammy. In fact she’s delighted. Inter viewed after the start of previews, Franklin told of a letter received by Diversionar y stating the play is racist and should be taken down. The letter writer admitted leaving after Act I. Franklin believes he should have stayed. What she loves most about the role is Mammy’s Act II transformation from Civil War “Gone With the Wind” slave to strong, self-possessed woman. This part of the play requires Franklin to sing – really sing whole songs, she said – and she has not done that on stage before. Franklin is also elated over the company she keeps. She declares that cast mates Tony Houck (gay stereotype Steven), Jacque Wilke (Hedda) and Shana Wride (Medea) are master comedians. “We crack each other up all the time,” Franklin said, “and I am learning so much from them.” She also praised the detailed direction of Matt McGrath. Franklin has been acting quite some time, but only recently came to be so firmly and positively entrenched in the theater community’s consciousness. She said the turning point came when Sean Murray cast her as one of the mothers in his production of “Our Town.” “Then I did shows at ion, Moxie and New Village Arts,

and suddenly the critics noticed me,” Franklin said, who has always been passionate about acting and theatre. Prior to Murray’s call she honed her craft at Point Loma Actors Theatre, Common Ground Theatre and the Ira Aldridge Players. Franklin might be called ecstatic. She admits to being aggressive in going after what she wants, saying she is grateful for the turned corner, the roles she’s played, and for the inroads she’s made in film, television and commercial work. “I’m not sure why I’ve been blessed, but I have worked hard and will continue to work hard in this field I’m so passionate about,” she said. In the world outside theater, she has a government job that involves a lot of math and organization, both of which are great practical skills for an actor. As for that letter, she said, “The gentleman who left didn’t get to see Mammy’s transformation and the stor yline about her braver y, her courage and her love for herself. He didn’t get to see her journey to the ver y end. That is what this play is about for me, seeking out a positive change, and no matter where you end up, seeing the journey to the ver y end.” “The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler” plays now through April 28 at Diversionar y Theatre, located at 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights. For more information and tickets visit diversionar or call 619220-0097.u

San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013



San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013


Rising up Solo music act Lady Lazarus brings a unique and dreamlike style to The Irenic Lady Lazarus

(Photo by Papa Vic Photography)

By Logan Broyles SDUN Reporter

Singer-songwriter Melissa Ann Sweat’s brings her solo project Lady Lazarus to North Park, where the artist will showcase her dreamlike style and intimate sound. Lady Lazarus plays at The Irenic April 16. Now located in Los Angeles, Sweat hails from San Jose, Calif., yet has lived and traveled throughout the United States. Her style mirrors that of some of the great female vocalists and piano players, and she follows in the vein of an older era of music. Sweat calls her style “dreamy and sensual,” as well as “slightly funky,” and she mainly plays the piano and keyboard, creating a melodic background beat that allows her voice to take center stage. “I would say I’m a keyboard-based singer and songwriter that fits into the same category as older Tom Waits and Regina Spektor, or old Stevie Nicks demos,” Sweat said. “It’s also a little more experimental but only slightly. There’s some pop to it but it isn’t bubblegum.” Lady Lazarus got the first big break in 2011 with the release of her debut album “Mantic.” This year, Sweat released a second album titled “All My Love In Half Light” as Lady Lazarus. The band name is derived from a Sylvia Plath poem that has a personal meaning to Sweat. “I love Sylvia Plath, the poet and author, and there was a poem that she wrote that referred to the Biblical Lazarus that rises from the dead,” Sweat said. “I like the idea of someone coming back from a hard time, so even though the poem is really dark I took it to be a more positive thing and I think it fits well with the type of music that I make. It’s very dark in a way but has a positive message.” Sweat got somewhat of a late start to her life as a musician after being inspired by her younger brother, who is in the band PaperCuts. She began teaching herself to play the keyboard in 2008 at the age of 25, and soon after was writing and recording her own songs while living in San Francisco. “I didn’t have any musical background whatsoever and then just started teaching myself how to play the keyboard,” Sweat said, calling herself a writer and artist while growing up.

“When I started getting into music it was really easy for me to come up with lyrics since I had written for so long, making poetry and short stories. Songs came together pretty fluently and I just tried to essentially make an art project of it and it grew from there,” she said. After a cross-country train trip, Sweat settled in Savannah, Ga. in 2010 and toured the East Coast to promote her self-released debut album. Last summer she played at the CMJ Music Marathon in New York City and released new music as part of Graveface Records’ Charity Release Series, with Mount Eerie, Xiu Xiu and Mike Watt, among others. “I was actually a little bit of the producer in some respects because I had a clear idea of the sound that I was going for,” she said of the new album, which she will highlight at the North Park show. “I write everything and come up with the composition and the sound myself.” While performing, Sweat said she will mainly play piano and keyboard, but occasionally she throws in some harmonica and other background instruments that she is currently learning to play. “My live shows are pretty intimate,” Sweat said. “For me as a music fan, that’s what I really like: when you feel like you can get a sense of who an artist is and see that they’re a real person. … I am definitely a solo artist in the way that I really like having my own stance on what I’m doing creatively. It fits well with who I am that I have full control over a project.” Lady Lazarus opens for Youth Lagoon at The Irenic, 3090 Polk Ave. in North Park, on Tuesday, April 16. The all-ages show starts at 7 p.m. For more information visit or call 619-624-9335.u


CALENDAR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24 Lion’s Club of North Park: noon – 1:30 p.m., regular weekly lunch of the North Park Lion’s Club, 3927 Utah St. Parking Meter District meeting: 12:30 – 1:45 p.m., El Cajon Boulevard BID office, 3737 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 HBA Open House: 5:30 – 7 p.m., quarterly open house of the Hillcrest Business Association, today’s meeting will be looking at what kind of neighborhood event is best for Hillcrest, Jakes on 6th, 3755 Sixth Ave. North Park Community Association: 6 – 8 p.m., regular monthly meeting, Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd. Mission Hills mystery book group: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 W. Washington St., free THURSDAY, APRIL 25 North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m. every Thursday, parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., free North Park Action Team: 6 – 7:30 p.m., grassroots community group working on safety and quality of life issues, North Park Adult Community Center, 2711 Howard Ave. Poetry reading: 6:30 p.m., celebrate national poetry month with Trish Dugger and Penny Perry, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 Washington St., freeu


COALITION during committee discussions. “One of our main efforts is to make our roads safer and more comfortable for people to ride next to, or separate from, motor vehicles,” Baross said, pointing out that cyclists enjoy equal rights along with motorists on the road. However, Baross said cyclists need to become better educated as to the rules of the road, too. For instance, he said many cyclists are unaware that cycling on sidewalks is not permitted everywhere. “It’s not illegal to ride a bike on sidewalks in San Diego, except in a business district where they can be a speed hazard to pedestrians,” he said, pointing out that not all business districts are clearly marked with signs. Baross said that presents a problem. “We know the roadway environment is not comfortable for most people,” he said. Coalition president Kevin Wood also spoke, and said 2012 was a “record-setting year” for cyclists. “Our Bike To Work Day was the best ever, and our Bike To Bay event was sold out,” Wood said. “From fundraising records to expansion of community advocacy groups, the Bicycle Coalition continued its influential presence in San Diego this past year … while moving forward with new initiatives.” Wood credited the Coalition’s five-year strategic plan that was adopted in April 2012 for much of the progress. He said the plan grew from a collaboration of bicycle advocates, bicycle-shop owners, community leaders, bicycle-club representatives, elected officials, educators and transportation professionals. The Coalition also made strides in regional transportation planning. “We really increased our ef-

forts, with the help of SANDAG, to quantify the impacts cyclists are having in the region,” Wood said, adding County transportation planners are now urging people to “bike more, drive less.” He also said that message is getting through. “Vehicle miles traveled by all Americans has been flat or declining since 2005,” Wood said. “That’s a huge opportunity for us to promote cycling as a mainstream, safe form of transportation.” With business districts providing more bicycle parking, the Coalition hosting more events and public policy increasingly promoting cycling, Wood said the group is successfully reaching its ultimate goal. Highlights of the State of Cycling presentation include: • New partnerships launched the nation’s largest bicycle-friendly business district initiative and Bike Local Sundays to attract everyday bicyclists to ride to local businesses; • The Coalition’s signature events, Bike The Bay and the annual Tour De Fat, were the most successful to date in 2012, raising more than $83,000 combined; • Mayor Bob Filner pledged to make the city better for cyclists and launched CicloSDias, the city’s first Open Streets event; • Advocates developed new bicycle advocacy groups, including BikeSD, BikeWalk Solana Beach, as well as in Oceanside, Encinitas, Coronado and Chula Vista; and • Bicycle advocates attended public hearings across the county, influencing bike friendly infrastructure decisions in Encinitas and San Diego. The Uptown bike ride following the presentation was preceded by volunteers photographing people with their bicycles in front of the historic Lafayette Hotel on El Cajon Boulevard. For more information about the Coalition visit or call 858-487-6063.u

San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013

Short-term sacrifice

Brian White F itness

The number-one reason you don’t look or feel your best may be what’s happening in the short term. You know what you need to do to reach your goals. But you still aren’t doing it. You are still hitting that snooze button two to three times each morning. You are still cutting your workouts short because you have racked your brain (subconsciously) to find something you need to do that was (not) more important than exercise. In a matter of seconds, you justified ordering the eggs benedict with breakfast potatoes instead of the egg-white omelet and grapefruit. Every single one of these decisions boils down to one thing: lacking the ability to sacrifice in the short term for long-term gain. It is really all about instant gratification and taking the easy way out. You do this at too many decision points and it becomes an ingrained habit. It becomes much too easy to succumb to temptation. The worst aspect of this type of decision-making is it becomes so easy and effortless that you

may not even be aware that you are doing it. The first step in overcoming this habit is to become aware. Analyze your decisions throughout the day and ask yourself if each one is hindering your long-term goals. You can easily become so habituated to instant gratification that you can forget it is a conscious choice. If this sounds like you, the good news is you can change. Recognizing a weakness is the first step to eliminating it. Understanding that every time you are tempted by a short-term view – oh look, a cupcake – you are really hurting yourself in the long term. Suddenly, the temptation will not be as strong as it was before. This is not easy, because you could be stuck in bad habits that you don’t even realize. You need to think about what you really


want. Are you willing to sacrifice your biggest dreams for temporary satisfaction? I hope not. Remember, you cannot get something you want without giving up something in return. So next time you see ads making claims like “get ripped in five minutes a day” or “lose weight without giving up your favorite foods,” think twice. At the end of the day, the most important thing to ask yourself is, “Did I make the necessary sacrifices to move towards my long-term goals?” I hope more often than not the answer to that question is yes, and then you fall asleep soundly. —Brian White owns BWF, San Diego’s Premier Training Service located in Hillcrest. He runs boot camps in Balboa Park and trains clients in Diverge Gym. Go to to read his blog, or take his seven-day video challenge to get back into healthy habits. Contact Brian at brianpwhite@ or on his website.u

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San Diego Uptown News | April 12–25, 2013

San Diego Uptown News  

April 12, 2013 edition. News for the neighborhoods in the north areas of the city of San Diego, CA

San Diego Uptown News  

April 12, 2013 edition. News for the neighborhoods in the north areas of the city of San Diego, CA