Holiday Gift Guide
VOLUME 6 ISSUE 24
Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014 Follow us on Facebook and Twitter sdcnn.com
Hillcrest • University Heights • Normal Heights • North Park • South Park • Golden Hill • Kensington • Talmadge
Old Town • Mission Hills • Bankers Hill
➤➤ FEATURE P. 3
Through their lens
Thrift boutique aims to create opportunity for struggling families Jeremy Ogul | Contributing Editor Renovation is nearly complete on a new thrift boutique on Adams Avenue in Normal Heights. When it opens early next month, the store will offer more than just high-quality used clothing and home décor. For the women who volunteer there, it will offer a rare opportunity to develop work experience in a safe and supportive environment.
There's a buzz in North Park
➤➤ NEWS P. 5
The ever-expanding universe
“Ancestry Look Alike” (2014) by Avery Jones, age 12. Photos by San Diego youth are now displayed at Balboa Park’s Museum of Photographic Arts. (Courtesy Stacy Keck)
➤➤ DINING P. 12
Annual Museum of Photographic Arts exhibit gives youth opportunity to showcase talents By Dave Fidlin With themes ranging from civic engagement to cultural identity, San Diego youth have had an opportunity to document images, through their camera lens, as part of a nearly decade-long exhibition program.
Down The Rabbit Hole
➤➤ BIKES P. 22
Early this month, organizers with the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) took the wraps off their ninth annual youth exhibition. This year’s theme is, “We Are Family.” When the call for submissions was made, students put their creative prowess to work and captured
an array of images that promoted togetherness and unity. “We strive to make the themes for the exhibitions accessible to young people,” said Joaquin Ortiz, MOPA’s director of education and innovation. “[We] give them a way to creatively share their perspectives.” This year, a jury panel selected
see MOPA, page 7
Dick Streeper’s Rose Garden Balboa Park rose garden founder passes away at 81 By Monica Medina
A lane to tomorrow
Index Opinion………………….6 Briefs……………….....….7 Community Voices……….9 Business & Services......20 Calendar………………..26
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On a Thursday morning in late October, about 150 people gathered in the gazebo of the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden in Balboa Park, and nearly all who did were Rosarians. Sharing a love and cultivation of roses, they came to honor and celebrate the life of Richard (“Dick”) Douglas Streeper, known to many as the “Rose Man.” Dubbed as such because of a monthly column about roses that he wrote for the San Diego Union-Tribune for more than 20 years, Streeper died Oct. 14 at the age of 81. With his passing, San Diego lost another piece of its rich and colorful history, for Streeper, a lawyer by trade, was responsible for the creation of the rose garden in Balboa Park. “Dick initiated the garden by working with the City Council in 1969, when he was president of the San Diego Rose Society,” recalled Sue Streeper, his wife of 53 years. “It took about five years to put
Dick Streeper’s wife, Sue (right), and current San Diego Rose Society President Bob Kolb (Photo by Monica Medina) it all together and for the city to approve it. With a grant from the Parker Foundation, and the city paying for half of the cost, Dick hired a landscape architect. It took six years, and in 1975, the Rose Society held the dedication.”
see Garden, page 27
Home Start CEO Laura Mustari (Photo by Jeremy Ogul)
The thrift store is a project of Home Star t, a San Diego nonprofit organization that provides suppor tive ser vices to families in need. Among those ser vices is a residential shelter program for young homeless mothers, typically between the ages of 18 and 24. CEO Laura Mustari describes the store as a “social enterprise” because it will focus on providing work experience to those women, many of whom struggle to find a job because they do not have the education or experience necessary to land even entry-level, minimum wage positions. “They come to us with histories of abuse, trauma and neglect,” Mustari said. “We want to create a safe environment for them where they can really build their skills.” The store will occupy approximately 1,500 square feet in a converted house at 3611 Adams Avenue, across the street from Vons. The building was most recently home to Curves, a women’s fitness studio. For 27 years before Curves moved in, the building housed Lou
see HomeStart, page 18
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
Bee business opens in North Park
Bee Happy owner Erin Halko opened the specialty bee supply shop in North Park in November. (Photo by Hoa Quach) By Hoa Quach A new business has become the buzz around North Park. Bee Happy, which opened at 2637 University Ave. this month, is home to all products related to bees and any supplies beekeepers may need. Owner Erin Holko, 35, said she felt the need to open Bee Happy after she developed an interest in the honey-making insects. The hobby flourished after Holko and her husband, Ben, discovered bees flocking to their Serra Mesa home about five years ago. “Rather than getting rid of the bees, we let them stay,” Holko said. “We eventually called a beekeeper and moved them into a hive.” Holko’s home now has three hives, each of which can produce anywhere from 80 to 100 pounds of honey a year. Her sons Jacob and Ryan also
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follow their mother’s interest: Each have their own beekeeping suits and hives to care for. But when it came to finding supplies for her hobby, it wasn’t so easy. Holko said she couldn’t find San Diego retailers who had the goods she needed and found herself ordering supplies online or from her father who owns Masterson’s Garden Center in Buffalo, NY. “I got frustrated that I couldn’t buy supplies locally and had to buy online,” said Holko, who has lived in San Diego for 14 years. “I wanted to be able to touch the supplies and see them in person. There are a couple of places that sell beekeeping supplies but it’s all secondary to what they carry. ” After talking to her husband and father, Holko decided to step out of her full-time job as a stay-at-home mom and open her first business. But this sharp change came as no
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surprise to herself or her family. “I’ve always been a plant person and I’ve always appreciated bees,” Holko said. “I always knew I’d have some kind of business. I just didn’t know it would be about bees.” Holko said growing up in a family-owned business prepared her for opening Bee Happy. Her parents opened Masterson’s Garden Center in 1986 when she was just 8 years old. Holko and her three broth-
ers worked in the store and did everything from working the cash register to answering phones. The experience, she said, gave her the first-hand knowledge of what it meant to own a business. It was also easy to settle on North Park as the neighborhood for the shop’s location. “I like this neighborhood,” Holko said. “I like the feeling that people are looking for locallysourced items and that there’s a
lot of walk-by traffic.” In fact, her biggest challenge isn’t the store itself but being away from her children. “The business changed the whole family’s game plan,” Holko said. “It was very hard. I have to work to keep a balance between business and family.” Despite the challenges of being away from her family, Holko is determined to make Bee Happy a one-stop shop for beekeepers and those seeking bee-related products. She’s also made it a priority to support other local businesses by carrying their items as well. “Part of my goal is to sell locally-owned products or products from women-owned businesses,” said Holko, who previously served as a manager at Evergreen Nursery. “I want to support other beekeepers too.” Bee Happy supplies everything from beekeeping suits to handmade soaps to award-winning honey and honey combs. The business has also been wellreceived from passersby and new customers, said Holko, who opened the store in November. “Almost everyone knows someone who keeps bees,” Holko said. “I think more and more people are also becoming interested in beekeeping. It’s really neat. People are curious about the store and are interested in bees and honey.” Bee Happy will host a grand opening celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 22. For more information about Bee Happy, visit beehappysandiego.com. —Contact Hoa Quach by visiting her website, hoawrites.com.u
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
Lifting the cap on taxi permits
City Council votes to remove limit on taxi drivers By Chris Pocock Taxi cab drivers and taxi permit holders packed Golden Hall on Oct. 10 to address the City Council about proposed changes to lift the cap of permits distributed by the city. The cap, which limits the number of permits the city sells to 993, has long been targeted by taxi drivers as an insurmountable barrier for drivers to become owner-operators. MTS contracts with the city of San Diego, selling permits for $3,000 apiece. Because of high demand, permit holders can resell these permits on an underground market for as much as $130,000. Hundreds of taxi drivers and sympathizers wore blue shirts to signify their support in lifting the cap, while hundreds of taxi permit holders and their supporters wore red to signify their opposition. For four hours, representatives of both sides shared facts and statistics, anecdotes, opinions and simple messages of goodwill with the council and the opposing group. Taxi drivers and members of the United Taxi Workers of San Diego (UTWSD) frequently referenced statistics from “Driven to Despair: A Survey of San Diego Taxi Drivers,” a study produced by San Diego State and the Center on Policy Initiatives (CPI). According to the study, more than 90 percent of licensed taxi drivers do not own the cars they
drive, but rather lease their vehicles from individuals or business owners, usually on a weekly basis. Oftentimes, drivers work for more than 12 hours a day and receive an adjusted median income of less than $5 an hour, giving 40 percent of their income to permit owners. Sarah Saez, policy and program director of UTWSD, alleged that lifting the cap of permits would save each driver an estimated $9,484 and create more opportunity for taxi drivers to become owner-operators. Saez claimed the current system disproportionately affects immigrants, who make up 94 percent of lease drivers. The near $10,000 each driver would save comes at a crucial time for taxi drivers, Saez argued, who are facing increased competition from ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and Uber. Additional changes considered by the City Council, such as banning the use of taxis older than 10 years and taxis operating with a salvage title, would create a safer and more reliable environment for taxi drivers and their customers. Opposed to lifting the cap were lease owners and members of the San Diego Transportation Association (SDTA), who argued that many of the facts and statistics used by taxi drivers and UTWSD were biased. Owner-operators, they alleged, make up nearly 60 percent of taxi drivers in San Diego, not the 10 percent quoted by
those looking to lift the cap. Lease owners and members of the SDTA also questioned the reliability of “Driven to Despair,” which they contended was performed not by experts, but by students rushed to meet a semester-end deadline. Many lease owners and members of SDTA also defended the practice of reselling permits on the open market, arguing that all dealings were legal and legitimate and dismissed attacks that the system was a “black market.” Those opposed to lifting the cap also called for additional economic studies be conducted before the City Council takes action against the cap, citing concerns it could potentially oversaturate San Diego with taxi drivers. Additional concerns were raised about the proposed bans on taxis operating on salvage titles and taxis older than 10 years, suggesting it would create more rules for an industry already beleaguered by overregulation. After hours of public comment, members of City Council posed questions to City Attorney Jan Goldsmith and deliberated amongst themselves. Before casting their votes, councilmembers addressed the legitimate issues brought by both coalitions. Councilmember Lorie Zapf voiced concerns about taking action before an appropriate number of studies are performed. Others, such as Councilmember Myrtle Cole, pointed to other cities that had lifted the cap of taxi permits and the positive effect it had on competition. She cited Washington, D.C., which does not have a permit
www.sdcnn.com or “medallion” system limiting the number of taxi drivers. “Several of [my fellow councilmembers and I] were just in D.C., and the fares and qualities of Lyft, Uber, and taxi cabs were comparable,” Cole said. “I would like to see that happen here.” The vote passed 8 – 1, with all but Zapf voting to lift the cap of lease permits and enact the new
taxi regulations. Immediately following the vote, an uproar of applause and cheers of “USA, USA!” erupted from taxi drivers and members of the UTWSD. Implementation of both the lifted cap and new taxi regulations will take place in 2015. —Contact Chris Pocock at email@example.com
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San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
Twenty-five more years of adventures and memories A Hillcrest mainstay expands its reach into the community
new office spaces and act as the company’s headquarters. Parking issues have always been on the forefront of Shaw’s mind, considering the shrinking options with ongoing development in the area and shifting changes to Uptown’s bike and parking plans over recent years. Shaw said by next spring, the lot next to MO’s, which runs from the alley to Third Avenue, where a residence and offices spaces currently reside, will be leveled and paved with 15 pay parking spots. Those added to the eight recently installed there when a garage was removed will bring the total number to 23. Hillcrest Partners LLC will manage the lot. “It was important to make parking a priority due to the potential loss of 51 parking spaces on the east end under the SANDAG Bike Plan,” Shaw said. “A group of business owners including myself
(above) The expansion will add 1,000 square feet to MO’s outdoor patio; (right) the original bar mid-demolition (Courtesy MO’s Universe) Morgan M. Hurley | Contributing Editor Urban MO’s, the center of MO’s Universe — a group of San Diego LGBT-themed restaurantbars that also includes Baja Betty’s, Gossip Grill and Hillcrest Brewing Company — is currently undergoing an expansion that will add 1,000 square feet to its patio. Though the patio bar has already been closed off to make room for the new space, the restaurant, inside bar and dance floor will remain open throughout construction, which is scheduled to be complete no later than Dec. 26. Once part of the popular Hamburger Mary’s chain, Urban MO’s (short for homos), located at 308 University Ave. in Hillcrest, opened in 2006 with a new name and a new brand that has since expanded to the three other locations. “We are world famous for our drinks, and our hearty burgers are consistently voted amongst the best in San Diego,” stated Chris Shaw, president of MO’s Universe, in a press release. “It’s no wonder over 50 percent of our staff has been employed with our company for over 15 years and we now have a two-year wait for new hires. “This expansion will bring our iconic and flagship concept to the forefront of Hillcrest’s evolution, providing guests with an open and inviting space that guests can look out from — much different from the 1990s when we first opened,” Shaw said. In 2011, the restaurant undertook its first renovation since the name change, ushering in new flooring, street-side seating with sliding garage-door style windows along University Avenue, a floor-to-ceiling door to separate the patio from the restaurant, and new tables and other furnishings, as well as new sidewalks and landscaping. Current construction has already knocked down the eastern walls of the patio and demolished
the existing patio bar. What were formerly five parking spaces on the MO’s side of the alley adjacent to Peet’s Coffee and Tea have also been torn up, and four will soon be part of the property’s expansion. A larger, rectangular bar will grace the new patio area, becoming the focal point and offering patrons seating on every side. Additional outdoor seating and cabanas will also be installed, as well as a urinal-only men’s bathroom to service the space. Patio guests have always had to trek to the other side of the restaurant to use “the facilities” or opt for seasonal “porta potties” installed by staff during the winter months. A separate smoking area on the alley side of the patio will also be established, allowing non-smokers to eat comfortably and enjoy the new patio in a smoke-free environment, while still offering tables and space for smokers, too. In addition to the expanded patio, the property’s main building will be outfitted with a partial second story, which will house
met with the mayor’s office, SANDAG, and [Council President] Todd Gloria’s staff to express our 100 percent support behind the Transforming Hillcrest plan, as it currently stands, including the one-way zone which may impact my business, Urban MO’s. “I understand there may be some changes after engineers take a solid look at the proposal, which reduces the loss to 15 spaces in east Hillcrest,” Shaw continued. “However, the potential loss of up to 91 parking spaces is very unacceptable. No community can sustain a loss of that magnitude. I’m confident that our expansion, which includes 23 new parking spaces in addition to the spaces the Frost Plan has saved is win-win for everyone.” Shaw also recently announced he’d signed a new 25-year lease on the property, and stated that
see UrbanMO's, page 24
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
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Help us help you: involving parents in children’s success By Jeff Edmondson and Kevin Crawford Children spend only 20 percent of their time in school, but are learning new things 100 percent of the time. And while it takes a community to raise (and educate) a child, “Parents are a child’s first teacher” is a common saying for a reason. While many parents embrace this role, they must also worr y about providing a stable home, food on the table, nutrition, health care, daycare, transportation, a safe environment, exercise and much more. So how do we, as a community, help busy parents further engage in their child’s education? Through the City Heights Partnership for Children, anchored by United Way, collective impact is giving parents more options to get involved. Using the Collective Impact framework, the Partnership for Children’s 80-plus community organizations identify the hurdles children face and use best practices to help them overcome those barriers. The goal is then to share and adapt these best practices across the San Diego region. In October, educators, elected officials, community leaders, business executives, nonprofit professionals and policymakers from 26 states and Washington, D.C., gathered in San Diego to discuss education outcomes for kids at the annual national StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network Convening. StriveTogether works with communities nationwide to help build civic infrastructure that unites stakeholders around common goals, measurements and results in education, supporting the success of ever y child from cradle to career. The StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network includes more than 50 community partnerships throughout the countr y, including the City Heights Partnership for Children. During the conference, many partnerships shared what they’ve learned through their work. Notably, the Partnership for Children shared how it expanded the number of parents engaged in their children’s education, schools and communities through these lessons:
Community conversations: Community members hold a strong belief that schools can’t do it alone and offer unique insight into what is and is not working in their schools and neighborhoods. Gathering this data is as important as attendance records and test scores in determining priorities and strategies. They also encourage ever yone to play a role in achieving collective outcomes. Intentional communications: StriveTogether recommends that working with parents should be as intentional and careful as engaging CEOs and superintendents. Collective impact efforts will not succeed without parents on board, and leaders need to be sincere in inviting parents to help create and execute solutions. Regular interactive meetings: More than 70 parents, principals, teachers and community members gather each month from the 12 elementar y and middle schools that feed into Hoover High School in San Diego. Topics include combating chronic absenteeism, increasing parent and community member involvement and building on afterschool programs. The meetings include translated materials and simultaneous live audio translations in Spanish and Vietnamese via headphones, as well as on-site daycare and dinner, so parents feel welcome and are able to attend and participate. Trusted parent leaders: It’s important to have respected parents in the community communicate directly with other parents and explain the goals of the Partnership for Children and its strategies in a relevant way. In multiple local efforts, we are lucky to have parent “promotoras” (promoters). Focus on data: Data-driven decision making engages the community (including parents and students) throughout the process via community conversations, regular meetings and more — as well as hard data from the schools — to ensure that the community takes ownership of the results and continuously makes improvements. Tangible tools and instruction: Parents need low-cost teaching tools
that are time-ef ficient and fun for their children. In the summer of 2013, promotoras worked with local literacy exper ts to create a Literacy Toolkit for families to help soon-to-be kindergar tners with reading and writing, recognizing letter names and sounds, and learning colors and shapes. The kits included crayons, scissors, flashcards and books. Promotoras delivered the toolkits through training workshops for parents. During the first year, 214 families at four schools received the toolkit. This summer, the Literacy Toolkit helped more than 900 families in nine elementar y schools. Community-Specific Ideas: Regular attendance is the foundation for student success. Students with poor attendance are often disconnected from school, have lower grades and engage in risky behaviors. Parents at Edison Elementar y in San Diego got bold. They stood at the school entrance with signs written in multiple languages asking: “Do you need help getting your child to school ever y day?” They helped struggling parents by linking them to a peer support network and referring them to the school administration for additional resources. Parents also stood outside as greeters, giving students something to look for ward to ever y day. Edison Elementar y parents are now sharing their methods with other schools. Together, we can inspire our communities to get bold — bold in bringing together stakeholders united in common goals. Bold in their collective impact work. And bold in helping every child, every step of the way, cradle to career. —Jef f Edmondson is the managing director of the StriveTogether and its Cradle to Career Network that connects more than 8,000 organizations through more than 50 par tnerships – impacting more than 5.5 million students nationwide. Kevin Crawford is the president and CEO of United Way of San Diego County, the anchor organization for the City Heights Par tnership for Children. United Way tackles issues that impact children and families.u
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more than 80 lens-based artwork submissions from students across the county of San Diego. Panelists included MOPA Executive Director Deborah Klochko, local photography and filmmaker Jo Kamimura, teaching artist Sarah Reece-Cusey and Grossmont College professor Suda House.
inspired similar initiatives at other museums within Balboa Park. Since its inception, MOPA’s youth exhibit has evolved in a number of ways. Recently, the organization began showcasing students’ works at a series of satellite locations throughout the San Diego area. This year, two mini exhibits are taking place — one at the North Park Librar y and another at Chula Vista Public Librar y’s Civic Center branch.
A shot from the exhibit’s opening night on Oct. 10 (Photo by Stacy Keck) Since the youth exhibition began in 2005, MOPA has sought submissions from students across the full spectrum of grades — from kindergarteners to high school seniors. While the bulk of submissions are from students within the San Diego Unified School District, MOPA accepts work from students in all public, charter and private schools across the county, as well as those who are homeschooled.
“Blown Away” (2014) by Gabriel Wilson, age 12 (Courtesy Stacy Keck) Ortiz said MOPA’s youth exhibition was borne out of a desire to give San Diego’s budding artists a proper platform to showcase their work. “[It] was inspired by a desire to highlight the unique and valuable perspectives of young people,” Ortiz said. “Each year, the [MOPA] education department has worked to make the program bigger, better and more meaningful to the students of San Diego.” By Ortiz’s estimation, the youth programs within MOPA have
Sophia Sobko, teen and youth programs manager with MOPA, said the satellite spots are an oppor tunity to share local students’ talents with an even larger audience. “Because the students come from all over San Diego, it makes sense for their work to be shown throughout the city,” Sobko said. “People who don’t normally access [the museum] can appreciate and benefit from the artwork right in their neighborhoods.” Additionally, Sobko said the partnerships have provided an opportunity to showcase a greater number of students’ lensbased artwork because of limited museum galler y space. This year’s satellite exhibitions will open by early November and run through the duration of MOPA’s Balboa Park exhibition, which ends Feb. 1. With the ninth exhibition up and running, MOPA organizers are already planning next year’s decade celebration. “For the 10th anniversar y show, the theme will be ‘selfportrait,’” Ortiz said. “We are working on ideas for the following years, including animal photography and Latin America.” In a first-ever twist, MOPA will cross the border next year and seek submissions from K-12 students living in Tijuana. While refinements and enhancements have taken place over the years, MOPA organizers are quick to point out the general goal of the youth exhibition has remained the same since 2005. “We hope audiences recognize the incredible insight and creativity of young people,” Sobko said. “We hope they are also encouraged to go create and realize it is never too late to make art.” —Contact Dave Fidlin at email@example.com
AT A GLANCE WHO: Museum of Photographic Arts WHAT: We Are Family: 9th annual Youth Exhibition WHEN: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday; exhibition runs through Feb. 1 WHERE: Main Exhibit at MOPA facility at Balboa Park, 1649 El Prado; and a satellite exhibit is at North Park Library, 3795 31st St. INFO: mopa.org or 619-238-7559
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
50 bagpipers. The audience will also be treated to a rededication of the Spreckels Organ, an inauguration of the “Centennial Tuba” and a big-screen slideshow of historic images prior to the concert. Festivities are from 7 – 9 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
SOUTH PARK RESIDENTS TARGET TARGET
Spreckels Organ Curator Lyle Blackington with a new set of pipes (Photo by Michael Cox)
SPRECKELS ORGAN UPGRADED FOR CENTENNIAL YEAR
The Spreckels Organ Centennial Concert on Dec. 31 will celebrate the Balboa Park’s impending centennial year in 2015 and commemorate 100 years of the Spreckels Organ. In preparation for the event, upgrades have been made to the pipe organ including refurbishment of the gold mica pipe façade and the addition of a “Centennial Tuba” and many new pipes. The renewed look of the pipe organ will be revealed at the New Year’s Eve concert. San Diego Civic Organist Dr. Carol Williams will also premiere a composition written especially for the event. Williams drew inspiration from San Diego Civic Organist Dr. Humphrey Stewart, who composed the first piece played on the Spreckels Organ on Dec. 31, 1914. The celebration will open with a grand procession of bannercarrying local dignitaries led by
Following the announcement that a TargetExpress — a smaller version of the regular discount goods store — would open South Park’s Gala Foods building, a semi-formal group of residents formed under the name Care About South Park have demanded transparency from both Target Corp. and Council President Todd Gloria, who represents the neighborhood on the City Council. The group’s name is modeled after Care About North Park, a neighboring group of residents who got together to fight against an allegedly illegal remodel of a Jack in the Box restaurant located at 30th and Upas streets. While Care About North Park has rallied efforts around a lawsuit against Jack in the Box, Care About South Park representatives said that, at this time, the group has no plan for legal action. Members of the group held an informal meeting with media representatives in South Park, where several have resided for decades. Members criticized outreach efforts by Target as insufficient and, in one case, misleading. Members also expressed concern regarding a statement by Gloria in which he presumed the TargetExpress project would not trigger a community review process. “I just don’t know how he could know that without seeing
CITY’S FIRST ‘SMART METERS’ INSTALLED
On Oct. 29, Council President Todd Gloria presided over the launch of the city’s first installation of Smart Meters, which replaced 200 traditional coinoperated machines throughout streets in Downtown’s Gaslamp Quarter. The new meters will accept credit or debit cards and will also allow the city to gather better utilization data to assist with overall parking management, policy and strategy. The new technology will use existing meter poles and replace approximately 97 percent of San Diego’s existing coinoperated meters, with initial installs taking place in the Gaslamp Quarter first, then other neighborhoods, to include East VilSan Diego's new smart meters accept debit and credit cards. lage, Cortez Hill, Marina District and Core (Courtesy Council President Todd Gloria) Columbia. Uptown and Mid-City locations will follow in 2015. “Bringing smart parking meters to San Diego was on the short list of things I wanted to accomplish during my tenure as mayor, and I know San Diegans and visitors will notice the improvement this week upon their installation,” Gloria said at the unveiling. “San Diego is a city of innovation and people here should not resort to the antiquated practice of searching for coins for parking meters. With more user-friendly parking meters, customers will be able to more easily patronize the small businesses throughout Downtown, Uptown, and MidCity, contributing to the economic development of our City.” Signing off on the project was Gloria’s last act as interim mayor last February. Also in the works is a pilot program giving customers the ability to pay with their phones.
the plans first,” said a Care About South Park representative. The group has requested a “good faith” disclosure by Target Corp. regarding its plans for the site and data regarding proposed impacts on traffic and local business. The group has also requested a meeting, albeit indirectly, with Council President Gloria. For more information, visit careaboutsouthpark.com.
NORTH PARK RESTAURANT EXHIBITS LOCAL ARTIST
Chris’ Ono Grinds Island Grill (4506 30th St., North Park) is now showcasing the watercolor paintings of local artist Patti Claassen. The local spot for Hawaiian fare has adorned the walls of their location with Claassen’s work, which incorporates bright colors with beach and floral scenes. The artist has lived in San Diego for over a decade and works out of her in-home studio in Normal Heights. She also creates watercolor desk calendars featuring her paintings. Visit Chris’ Ono Grinds
for a peek at Claassen’s paintings and find more online at claassenstudio.com.
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES RECYCLED WATER PROJECT
On Nov. 18, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved the Pure Water program to produce purified water. The advanced sewage purification system will divert wastewater before it reaches the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment plant, which purifies the water enough to be safely deposited into the ocean. The Pure Water program will clean the diverted wastewater multiple times before it is then distributed for reuse. Orange County currently recycles 70 million gallons a day using a similar concept. The $3.5 million program will have a 20-year implementation plan with a long-term goal of producing 83 million gallons of purified water per day by 2035. For more information and updates visit sandiego.gov/water/ purewater.
At Christmas, you’re supposed to get presents, not extra pounds.
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RAY STREET SAYS FAREWELL TO ‘RAY STREET ARTISTS’
More than 30 artists who have flourished under the guidance of the San Diego Art Department (SDAD) on Ray Street for the last five years, have said goodbye to the colony and are branching off on their own. On Nov. 7, a “farewell” reception was held at The Studio Door, located at 4434 30th St. in North Park, to not only celebrate the artists and their art but also their humble beginnings at the SDAD. Ari Kate Ashton, a longtime instructor at SDAD, developed the group using her “art to market” formula, and the Ray Street Artists not only published a collection of their work in 2014, but have also appeared in shows at SDAD, the L yceum Theatre, Mission Federal ArtWalk, ArtWalk NTC and other exhibitions. The reception and the corresponding art exhibit, which will remain on display throughout November, marked their final exhibition under the “Ray Street Artists” banner and was also an introduction to their new galler y, The Studio Door, a passion project of Ashton and Patric Stillman, another Ray Street Artist. The Studio Door, currently open during limited galler y hours, will have a grand opening after the first of the year. For more information, visit thestudiodoor.com. u
Some of the speakers and guests to the BHCG include Rep. Susan Davis, Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and Gloria, who represents the neighborhood on the City Council. The Bankers Hill Community Group has worked to bring together neighborhood developers, the city of San Diego, SANDAG, San Diego Pride and other organizations to hear the voice of the people. The group also works closely with the Bankers Hill Parking Committee to outreach for pedestrian, bicycling and parking improvements. The parking committee holds public meetings the first Monday of each month (except December) at 5 p.m. in the comA recent Bankers Hill Community Group meeting (Courtesy Nancy Moors) munity room at Merrill Gardens, 2567 Second Ave. This group represents the neighborhood on the board of the Uptown Community Parking District, a group of business owners and residents who plan how to invest parking meter revenue back into the each neighborhood. The BHCG has an elected boa Park and the children’s By Nancy Moors board of directors who work playground, thanks to the closely with a steering compersistence of the Bankers Hill The neighborhood of Bankmittee to set agendas and Community Group and a little ers Hill was named for the coordinate meeting details. All help from Council President civic pioneers who made it their meetings are open to the public; Todd Gloria. home, and today’s growing comLater this year, the BHCG De- residents, businesses and propmunity has an influx of young erty owners are all encouraged sign Committee presented plans professionals and emerging to attend and become involved. to the group for a development businesses melding into an esMeetings are held on the at the site of the old Mandarin tablished older community. The third Monday of each month House restaurant. A notably energy ignited through monthly (except in August and Decemnegative response to the original meetings, websites and social ber) at the San Diego Indoor media allows more individuals to design was turned around. The Sports Club (soon to be redesign committee met with the be a part a newly formed group named the Bankers Hill Clubdeveloper and successfully advofor residents, property owners and businesses. house) located at In 2011, a group 3030 Front St. Cenof volunteers (with trally located with no funding or dues) lots of free parkestablished monthly ing for those don’t meetings to share already walk or ride community informaa bike to the meettion and successfully ings. A half-hour advocate on behalf social before the of the neighbor6:30 p.m. meetings hood’s residents allows neighbors and business ownthe opportunity to ers. First named visit with old friends the Bankers Hill and make new ones Residents Group, while local busithe name changed in nesses are given an 2014 to the Bankopportunity to showers Hill Community case their services. Group (BHCG) to The general meetThe BHCG booth at the recent CicloSDias event through Hillcrest and ing and organized better describe the Bankers Hill (Courtesy Nancy Moors) outreach and advopresentations run cacy that has gained from 6:30 – 8 p.m. cated for underground parking kudos from the neighborhood. It’s easy to communicate and a better street level design The BHCG has celebrated with the Bankers Hill Commuthat will improve the pedestrian successes like a new crosswalk nity Group via their Facebook experience. The design commitat Sixth and Spruce decked out page, Twitter or BankersHilltee has also worked on a better with solar-powered, pedestrianCommunity.org. crossing of Fourth Avenue on activated flashing lights. The Wherever you live, please get the east side of the Quince Street crosswalk now provides for involved in groups to make your pedestrian bridge. a much safer passage to Balcommunity better!u
Bankers Hill residents unify
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San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
North Park’s ‘Water Tower’ since the 1990s when more stringent seismic criteria that took into account the dynamics of sloshing water were implemented. Unfortunately, this means that water bill revenue cannot be dedicated to its maintenance. In July 2014, V&A Consulting Engineers, a local consulting firm specializing in evaluating the condition of public facilities, provided an initial assessment of the elevated tank from the ground at no cost as a contribution to the community. The assessment focused A rendering of the historic “North Park Water Tower” on the condition of (Courtesy North Park Historical Society) the existing coating to help answer the question many By Katherine Hon people ask about “painting” the North Park Historical Society structure. The good news is that the existing coating, which was The North Park Historical applied most recently in 1983, is Society has a big project ahead. in relatively good condition. It is The elevated water storage tank recommended that the elevated known locally as the “North Park tank be re-coated in about 10 Water Tower” looms large over years. The bad news is that the exthe heart of San Diego’s earliest isting coating should be removed streetcar suburbs. At 127 feet tall, before a new coating is applied, the 1.2-million-gallon tank can be because the existing layers are seen for miles around. The tank now too thick to hold an additional was constructed in 1924 to provide layer. More bad news is that a lead better water pressure to the abatement and containment plan quickly growing area surrounding it. The structure is the only known would have to be implemented example of a full hemispherical for the removal process because bottom, elevated riveted steel plate there is lead in the existing coatwater storage tank supported by a ing materials on the elevated tank. dozen Z-laced girder steel legs in This would be a major engiSouthern California, if not the enneering and construction effort tire western United States. (Most estimated to cost around $1.7 such elevated tanks are set on only million. It may take some time four legs and are considerably to establish the funding necessmaller.) It was reputed to be the sary, and this is a project that “largest elevated tank in the world” will have to be managed by the in 1924. Now, this beloved commucity. The North Park Historical nity icon needs some help if it is to Society is interested in working celebrate its 100th birthday. with stakeholders throughout Through efforts supported by the community and the state to the North Park Historical Society, help raise funds for a full assessthe elevated tank was added to ment of the entire structure, a the National Register of Historic new coating, and an appropriately Places on June 25, 2013 as part of located educational monument to the University Heights Water Stor- document the significance of the age and Pumping Station Historic “North Park Water Tower” in San District. It is owned by the city of Diego’s history. San Diego and sits in the center of For more information, contact a still-active city water supply facil- Katherine Hon at info@northity complex. The existing soccer parkhistory.org or visit us on the fields between El Cajon Boulevard web at northparkhistory.org. and Howard Avenue at Oregon Inerested in writing a regular Street are the top of an active column for your community orwater supply reservoir. However, ganization? Contact editor Hutton the elevated tank has been empty Marshall at email@example.com
BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT LEICHT San Diego 2084 Kettner Blvd. #15 San Diego, CA 92101 619-460-8600 | studioeuropainc.com Studio Europa, a San Diego-based European cabinetry and custom woodworking business, recently opened their new LEICHT showroom in the heart of Little Italy’s design district. The new showroom features several kitchen displays showcasing LEICHT’s latest European-inspired offerings. Product samples are also available to help clients see the endless design possibilities for the entire home. LEICHT is known around the globe for its modern design sensibility, exceptional quality cabinetry, and cutting-edge technology. With a range of 51 styles, over 2,000 colors, and nine price points, LEICHT offers design flexibility to fit any floor plan, layout and style. Stop by the LEICHT showroom and see why LEICHT is the leading premium kitchen brand in Germany and Switzerland today, and is the fastest growing premium kitchen brand in the US. Showroom hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday by appointment. Learn more about LEICHT at their website.
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
UPTOWN FOOD BRIEFS
Plumbing issues that delayed The Whole Hog from opening in late summer have been resolved, and its owners are now ready to launch the Hillcrest sandwich shop on Nov. 20. Chef-partner Graham Fleming will roll out an initial menu featuring about 10 different sandwiches that capture various smoked meats, such as Carolinastyle pulled pork sourced from a Julian farm and Texas-inspired brisket. The lineup will also include Cubanos and salmon BLTs. 3749 Park Blvd., 619-929-6962.
BY FRANK SABATINI JR.
Plumeria Vegetarian has expanded (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.) The once-tiny kitchen at Plumeria Vegetarian in University Heights has moved next door into a significantly larger kitchen used by the former American Voodoo restaurant. The adjoining space was taken over entirely by Plumeria, resulting in muchneeded additional seating as well. 4661 Park Blvd., 619-269-9989.
Eggs and ratatouille at The Royal Café (Photo by Jim Bonner) The Royal Café in Bankers Hill has switched from an exclusive coffee house to a wine-centric restaurant specializing in farm-to-table breakfasts and evening noshes. Co-owner Markus Ferraro, a former manager at Wine Steals in Hillcrest, describes the new interior design as “Art Deco New York meets European café.” With ingredients sourced locally, the menu includes pancakes made with quark cheese, a French scramble ser ved with ratatouille and a European-style breakfast sandwich constructed with eggs, sage cheddar and a choice of meats. A focused beer selection is also in the offing, along with a wine program built around new selections introduced ever y Thursday. In addition, custom mimosas based on five different juices are available, along with coffee drinks. 3401 First Ave., 619-501-4715. A major expansion is under way at Urban MO’s Bar & Grill, which is slated for completion by late December. The property will remain open for business during the remodel as private cabanas, additional restrooms and second-floor offices are created. With 1,000 square feet being added to the patio, it will feature both nonsmoking and smoking sections, a wrap-around rectangular bar plus new artwork and lighting. Owned by MO’s Universe, which also operates Gossip Grill, Baja Betty’s and Hillcrest Brewing Company, Urban Mo’s already holds the honor from GayCities. com as being one of the “top three LGBT patio bars in the world.” 308 University Ave., 619-491-0400.
Call Frank Today to Advertise (619) 961-1971 Frank@sdcnn.com
Much to our surprise and bewilderment, Taste of Italy in Hillcrest has gone poof. Ditto for its Torrey Hills location. The spaces are dark, the phone numbers no longer exist and the web site has disappeared. Taste of Italy in Rancho San Diego, however, remains open although it operates under different ownership.
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529 University Ave.- Hillcrest (619) 260-0492
The popular family-operated wine bar, Jake’s on 6th, will permanently close on Nov. 15. “We gave it our all in the last six years and my parents are getting ready to retire,” said Jennifer Totah, who helped run the Hillcrest operation with two siblings. “It was a hard decision to close and we’ll definitely miss seeing a lot of familiar faces.” No word yet on who will take over the space. 3755 Sixth Ave.
Nancy Daniele of Nunzi’s is moving her café (Photo by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
Famous for its house-made Italian entrees and decadent desserts, Nunzi’s in Hillcrest has moved Downtown on Third Avenue, a stone’s throw away from the San Diego Civic Theatre. In doing so, owner Nancy Daniele partnered with her mother within a café she operated for the past 11 years. The new, combined venture has been named Nunzi’s @ Al Teatro Panini Grill. “I moved my baking equipment and I’ll be bringing the flavors of Hillcrest to the new location,” said Daniele, adding that she’ll oversee dinners and Sunday brunch while her mom cooks the meals for breakfast and lunch. 1254 Third Ave. 619230-1485. —Frank Sabatini Jr. can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
a friendly nod to the Normal Heights community. Visible from Adams Avenue, The Rabbit Hole it stands in for the lack of 3377 Adams Ave. outdoor signage. Further back on an (Normal Heights) open patio carpeted in green turf are more tables 619-255-4653 and ample space for playing Happy hour: 5 – 7 p.m., cornhole, should alcohol help Monday through Friday you better succeed at sinking your beanbag into a single hole from 30 feet away. Miraculously, it worked for me. The owners of The Rabbit Hole also operate Wonderland Ocean Pub in Ocean Beach. Both joints offer varied selections of craft drafts, wines on tap and signature cocktails. DR INK S: But only at The Rabbit Hole will you find Specialty cocktails are limited to a Collier’s mule combining absinthe and vodfive different concoctions, although ka with ginger beer bitters, not to mention the menu indicates that more are the tequila-infused “Rabbit Hole Paloma” coming. The craft beer selection is made with freshly squeezed grapefruit juice well rounded, but with few labels and agave nectar. we haven’t tried before. Or how about a basil bunny? Guys who dismiss it as a “chick drink” because of the F OOD: N/A name are dead wrong. Served in a rocks glass, Dishes such as smoked duck the recipe unites fresh lemon juice with a genwings, salads, tacos and pork erous pour of Tito’s Vodka, a few strawberry cutlets are available only at regular slices and an earthy crowning of basil leaves. prices. It’s refreshing and sluggable. Specialty cocktails, select wines and all VA L UE : beers on tap are priced at $5 apiece during All drinks are $5 during happy happy hour. The rotating beer list on this hour, which saves you $4 on spevisit yielded many of the usual suspects cialty cocktails and about $3 on such as Stone Go To IPA, Alesmith X and wine and draft beers. Lost Abbey Devotion. With more than a dozen to choose from, I might have venSE RV IC E : tured into less chartered suds with the It took a few minutes to flag down piney, floral Ninkasi Tricerahops, a lauded the bartender, although the floor double IPA from Oregon. But the bunny staff was quick to bring menus and juice in my glass kept me sated. water to the table. It’s a pity that food isn’t discounted, although I’d need multiple cocktails before DUR AT ION: chomping into the ground rabbit sliders When it was Heights Tavern, happy listed on the main menu. Conversely, things hour ran for three hours on weeklike Wisconsin white cheddar curds, called days. But someone clipped an hour “cotton tail bites,” or the “hole artichokes” off the program and didn’t factor might keep me imbibing (and spending) in weekends since it became The longer if they ever make it into the happy Rabbit Hole (frown). hour program.u
Bunny hopping A basil bunny (Photo by Dr. Ink)
Come On Get Happy! D r. I n k
What was previously the sterile, short-lived Heights Tavern has now become a cutesy themed bar and restaurant under different ownership called The Rabbit Hole.
The huge, open layout remains the same. Ditto for a cluster of multiple flat screens looming over the central bar. But new communal high tops (some with comfy upholstered benches) and a splashy mural of armed rabbits standing guard over a portal into the unknown are among the fresh design elements that were sorely needed here. In addition, a glowing neon sign of the word “Normal” is perched on the back wall as
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A twist of kink 12
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
(l to r) Various sausages are displayed in a deli case at S&M; Garlic-rosemary bacon and strips coated in white chocolate and cashews (Photos by Frank Sabatini Jr.)
Dining Review Frank Sabatini Jr. I usually hold up a couple of months on new restaurants wading through their dress rehearsals before going in with a notebook. But in the case of S&M Sausage and Meat, which restaurateur Scott
Slater opened on Nov. 5, my inner carnivore couldn’t wait another day. The provocatively named, artistically designed “meatery” is Slater’s first splinter project since establishing the burger and bacon-centric Slater’s 50/50 in several locations around Southern California, including those in Liberty Station and San Marcos. At S&M, indulgences of the flesh take daring leaps far beyond
the halfbeef, half-bacon burgers made famous at Slater’s. Here, flavored bacon strips and craft sausages advance into what some will consider perverse territory: rabbit poutine, pig ears and beaver tacos. Regarding the latter, a sellout occurred in their initial introduction prior to my venture there. “Maybe next time, maybe never,” I said to my companion about the beaver as other exotic
S&M Sausage and Meat
4130 Park Blvd. (University Heights)
Prices: “Bites” and salads, $4 – $15; sausages, boards and “big bites,” $7 – $20
meats such as kangaroo, alligator and antelope came into focus on the sausage list. Nearly the entire bill of fare is novel, although not every menu item is so eccentrically audacious. Bacon-fat deviled eggs with wasabi aioli, for instance, were decadent yet pedestrian compared to wolfing down dam builders and marsupials. The “pork wings” are mini bone-in shanks that derive their titillating sweetness from root beer and balsamic glaze, a tame adventure that doesn’t disappoint. In addition, the vegetarmenu offers vegetar ians a few warm spots with vegan “mushroom ears” and faux Italian sausage links made with northern white mushbeans, shiitake mush rooms and onions. More curious is the zany “coconut not mac n’ cheese” constructed with spaetzel, coconut and broccolini. Sweet and savor y bacon strips are sold in pairs for $3. There are currently eight different flavors, with more in the pipeline. Current options include sesame-soy, honey-Sriracha, brown sugar and more.
“Now that bacon isn’t looked at as just breakfast food, there’s so much you can do with it,” Slater said. “S&M is our arena to use it creatively.” We loved the garlic-rosemary strips dusted with Parmesan cheese, although we didn’t care much for the ones coated thickly in white chocolate and cashews. The chocolate and hickory cure of the bacon didn’t marry in our opinion. But the blueberries, bacon and Brussels sprouts comprising the BBB salad very much did. If you normally eschew those little orbs of cabbage, you’ll be surprised at how easily they go down in this original presentation, which also includes a touch of feta cheese and mustard vinaigrette. Assorted sausages can be ordered on fresh buns with housemade toppings or on boards with mustard and accouterments. Most of them hail from Masterlink in Orange County, although by January, many will be made in-house by S&M Chef Mark Younggren, formerly of The Linkery. My companion’s Portuguesepineapple link topped with tzatziki and roasted red peppers was plump, juicy and delicious. You could say that the fruit took the role of masochist, allowing the spiced beef-and-pork blend to pleasurably dominate. I chose the corned beef sausage slathered with a topping that combines brown sugar, bacon and sauerkraut. My only regret is that I didn’t request a smear of mustard underneath to compliment the sweetness. But the link was tender, avoiding the ropey texture of corned beef due to its fine grind. It pretty much tasted like Polish kielbasa with a hint of pickling spices. Other sausage options include veal bratwurst, Wagyu beef, Mexican chorizo and whiskey-fennel. Or from the “big bites” list, entrees such as venison lasagna, jerk ribs and butter-infused Cornish game hens also give hardcore meat eaters something to shout about. S&M’s interior is bright and welcoming. Visitors are greeted by a sausage-stocked deli case, various market provisions, a full cocktail bar and vivid “Nic Cage art,” incorporating quirky art plates that include an image of David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane. An elevated main dining room in the back reveals an open kitchen and classroom-style communal tables with built-in tip boxes. The service concept is both unusual and convenient. Patrons place their orders at the front counter before they’re given a set of flip cards on a metal stem. The “service” card signals that you want to order more food; the “scram” card cues the staff to stay away while the “check” card shows you’re ready to pay for this ambitious culinary adventure that has rightfully become the talk of the town. —Contact Frank Sabatini Jr. at email@example.com
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
Holiday Gift Guide
2014 Holiday Gift Guide
(l to r) Christy Jaynes (Progress); Andrea Frank (Realtor); Council President Todd Gloria; Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins; Jeffrey Parish (Junc.Life); and Donna Walker (South Bark Dog Wash) at last year’s inaugural Luminaria kickoff. (Photo by Luci Dumas Fine Photography)
South Park’s holiday events beckon
The unique neighborhood offers shoppers an alternative Morgan M. Hurley | Contributing Editor For the second year in a row, the South Park Business Group (SPBG) plans to turn their unique business district into a holiday shopper’s paradise with two events that they hope will bring local residents and others from around the county out of their homes and into the neighborhood for food, festivities and fun. Luminaria festivities begin at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30, with music from the San Diego Man-
dolin Orchestra, a group that will also perform during SPBG’s annual Holiday Walkabout, held this year on Dec. 6. “Last year it was ver y well attended, much to ever yone’s surprise, so this year we are actually amping it up a little bit,” said Lisa Vella, co-owner of South Bark Dog Wash and an organizer of the event. Complimentary snacks from The Big Kitchen and Café Madeleine’s — along with hot chocolate from Rebecca’s Coffee House and Captain Kirk’s Coffee
— will greet Luminaria attendees while they mingle and listen to the live music. The family-friendly community event will also include photo ops with Santa, a kid’s craft table, and more. Though last year’s inaugural Luminaria included a holiday lights contest for residents along the business district, the SPBG has moved that aspect to “the back-burner” as initial par ticipation was not as high as they’d hoped. “We’d love to make it work but all of us are full-time business
owners and we can’t really devote that much time, especially this time of year,” said SPBG Board President Maureen Ceccarelli. Council President Todd Gloria will be on hand again to kick off the Luminaria season, which runs through the end of the year, as both the keynote speaker and celebrator y “lighter” of the annual South Park Luminaria Tree. The tree — a custom, reusable “tree” crafted by local artisan Todd Williams — is the focal point of Luminaria season. It will be mounted in Grape Street Square, an area located on the south side of Grape Street where it intersects with 30th Street that is considered the center of the district. Made with reclaimed materials — except for the nuts and bolts that helped piece it together — the tree was designed by Williams inside Alchemy with the culture of South Park in mind. Along with the tree, the bulk of South Park’s business district will also be alight with holiday splendor along 30th Street between Grape and Kalmia streets, and again in the lower business district along Beech Street between Fern and Dale streets, with an even larger coverage area than last year. The premise is to “light up the business district” and entice holiday shoppers near and far to shop locally in a fun, festive environment. “South Park offers a lot of unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else in places like the malls,” Ceccarelli said. “We have a couple of people that mostly [offer the work of] local San Diego artists and I think because there are so many different personalities that run the different stores, each has its own quirky additions that
are fun and funky.” During the walkabout a week later, the business district will offer even more activities, in addition to holiday specials at every storefront. A specialty food truck will take its place in the small lot adjacent to Junc. With holiday lights and music, it plans to add to the fun while also serving as a quick food stop for shoppers. Vella said South Bark, which recently reorganized and added a set of freezers to hold raw food, will offer 20 percent off retail items and hand out holiday gift bags to shoppers based on their purchases. With underground roadwork the last several months along 30th Street impacting sales, Vella said she is looking forward to the SPBG events as well as South Bark’s annual Black Friday sale on Nov. 28. Last year’s sale drew over 150 eager animal lovers before 7 a.m. alone, with people elbowing around each other to garner the best places in line. “It’s hysterical,” she said, adding that this year, the palm trees in front of her stand-alone business are already being outfitted with holiday lights for the occasion. Though the South Park Walkabouts always take place on the same weekend as the nearby December Nights, Ceccarelli doesn’t see a conflict. “A lot of people ask ‘Why do you do that?’ but what’s happened is, [December Nights has] gotten so busy over at Balboa Park that a lot of people want an alternative,” she said. “We end up having a good crowd for our walkabout. The other event can be overwhelming, while this one is still a really nice community event.” At the Beech Street end of
see SouthPark, page 18
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
Holiday Gift Guide Francis Family Jewelers 1050 University Ave., Suite 105 San Diego, CA 92103 619-297-7300
This former home at the corner of First and Ivy streets now houses a business that is generating lots of attention and spreading even more holiday cheer in Bankers Hill this holiday season. (Courtesy American Security Mortgage)
Fitness Together 4019 Goldfinch Street San Diego, CA 92103 619-794-0014
Broadway San Diego 3666 Fourth Ave. San Diego, CA 92103 619-570-1100 broadwaysd.com
Broadway San Diego — A Nederlander Presentation is part of the nationally recognized Nederlander Producing Company of America — one of the country’s largest and most experienced operators of live theater. Broadway San Diego made its original debut as the “San Diego Playgoers” in 1976, after presenting “Equus” at the Spreckels Theatre in Downtown San Diego. For several years, San Diego Playgoers presented shows at the Fox Theatre (now Copley Symphony Hall) and the Spreckels, before establishing a permanent home at the San Diego Civic Theatre, located at 1100 Third Ave., in 1986, with occasional presentations at other venues. In 2001, San Diego Playgoers celebrated 25 years of presenting the Best of Broadway by becoming Broadway San Diego, and announced its largest season to date. In its 35-year history, Broadway San Diego has presented over 325 shows and events, including the record-setting blockbusters “The Phantom Of The Opera,” “Miss Saigon,” “The Producers” (in its West Coast Premiere), “Les Miserables,” “Rent,” “Disney’s The Lion King” and “Wicked.” At Broadway San Diego we bring Broadway musical theater to “America’s Finest City” and perform in the heart of Downtown San Diego. As part of the Nederlander Family, San Diego is directly connected to Broadway in New York making it easy for us to bring you the magic of Broadway right to our city!
As fitness professionals, the personal trainers at Fitness Together help clients by motivating them to make exercise a fun part of their lives. Whether it’s by improving your overall health and wellness, or through strength training - or by learning about your weight management options to reach fitness goals, Blake and Gwen Beckcom and their team are eager to start you on a journey that will change your life forever. Fitness Together has an exercise program for virtually everyone. Some areas that they specialize in include baby boomer/ older-adult training, high-intensity interval training, partner training, training for women, youth fitness, boxing, strength training and body weight training. The personal trainers at Fitness Together will motivate and guide you in achieving your fitness and health goals. They’ve got the perfect program to get you the results you want. For more information, give them a call.
Retirement Sale A dashing young Air Force Colonel, Paul G. Francis, was searching for a diamond engagement ring in a diamond house in London, and his distinctive uniform caught the eye of one of London’s elite diamond sightholders — an exclusive few, they were the direct source from DeBeers, which controlled all productions from the diamond mines in South Africa. The sightholder and Col. Francis became friends, and when the Colonel retired, he had a little money. In 1979, the two went into partnership and opened Francis London Diamonds, in San Diego. Shipments of diamonds were delivered from London, a sale was held for one week, and then the store closed except for two days, to service orders for rings and settings. Bob Francis was working as a professional photographer — mainly for magazines —but when his father retired in 1970, Bob carried on the business. “We’d just started as a diamond business,” Bob said. “Over time, there came to be a lot of competition and I branched out into just jewelry.” At the end of this year, Bob Francis is retiring. Francis Family Jewelers will be holding a retirement sale from Nov. 6 through the end of the year, at closeout savings.
La Jolla Playhouse 2910 La Jolla Village Drive La Jolla, CA 92037 858-550-1010 lajollaplayhouse.org
La Jolla Playhouse, a Tony Award-winning professional nonprofit theater, is located in a beautiful San Diego coastal suburb. Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is now led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg. Its mission is to advance theater as an art form, and as a vital social, moral and political platform by providing unfettered creative opportunities for the leading artists of today and tomorrow. With a youthful spirit and an eclectic, artist-driven approach, the Playhouse cultivates a local
see Holidays page 15
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
Holiday Gift Guide FROM PAGE 14
HOLIDAYS and national following with an insatiable appetite for audacious and diverse work. The Playhouse has received more than 300 awards for theater excellence, including the 1993 Tony Award as America’s Outstanding Regional Theater. La Jolla Playhouse is also nationally acclaimed for its innovative productions, including classics, new plays and musicals, scores of which have moved to Broadway, garnering a total of 35 Tony Awards, including, “The Who’s Tommy,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “A Walk in the Woods,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Dracula” and the recent Tony winners “Jersey Boys” and “Memphis.” The Playhouse also presents a wide range of educational programs that enrich the community and ser ve the maximum number of children, students and adults. For more information, visit their website.
Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage 3940 Fourth Ave. San Diego, CA 92103 619-400-4500 martinisabovefourth.com
Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage is San Diego’s premier cabaret supper club, featuring live entertainment with acts from L.A., New York and beyond. Enjoy a hip, eclectic dining experience in an upscale, yet un-stuffy environment while enjoying incredible entertainment presented on the MA4 main stage. Offering the finest American cuisine, MA4 has an eclectic menu focused on highlighting seasonal flavors and showcasing the culinary craft of Sergio Barrios. But the most important feature of MA4 is the martinis. That’s why it’s in the name! Over 100 awardwinning specialty martinis are available including an extensive collection of spirits, wine and beer! In addition to ticketed shows and events, MA4 features live, no cover entertainment on the main stage seven days a week as well as happy hour daily from 4 – 7 p.m. with extended hours all night on Sunday and Monday. Martinis Above Fourth | Table + Stage brings all the necessary elements together for a great night of food, drinks and entertainment and delivers it to you with style, sophistication and most of all FUN!
The Old Globe 1363 Old Globe Way San Diego, CA 92101 619-234-5623 theoldglobe.org
The internationally acclaimed, Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the most renowned regional theaters in the countr y, and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for over 75 years. The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 plays and musicals on its three stages, including its highly regarded
Shakespeare festival. The Globe has become a gathering place for leading theater artists from around the world, such as Tom Stoppard, Daniel Sullivan and Chita Rivera, among many others. Numerous Broadway-bound premieres and revivals, such as “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and “The Full Monty” have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs in New York and at regional theaters across the countr y. To order tickets, including for Dr. Suess’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” call 619-23-GLOBE or email tickets@TheOldGlobe.org.
see Holidays page 16
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
Holiday Gift Guide FROM PAGE 15
The Spreckels Pipe Organ in Balboa Park is lit up in Christmas colors for the festivities of December Nights (Photo by Richard Benton)
Old Town Trolley Tours 4010 Twiggs St. San Diego, CA 92110 619-298-8687 trolleytours.com/san-diego
Known as “America’s Finest City,” San Diego offers a wide variety of things to see and do for visitors of all ages. Let Old Town Trolley show you California’s second largest city, where blue skies, exciting attractions and 70 miles of beaches come together to create a vacationer’s paradise. For over 20 years, Old Town Trolley Tours has been providing sightseeing tours highlighting the best of San Diego’ attractions. Hop aboard one of our trolleys and you’ll experience “transportainment,” a delightful combination of transportation and entertainment. With Old Town Trolley, you can avoid costly parking and city driving while exploring at your own pace as you hop on and off at your favorite stops. Old Town Trolley Tours is the best way to see the city and San Diego’s best attractions, with 11 stops and more than 100 points of interest. To really help you get into the season, enjoy their special Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley Tour. For more information, call us or visit our website.
San Diego Symphony 750 B St. San Diego, CA 92101 619-235-0804 sandiegosymphony.org
City Lights Season, 2014 – 2015 The San Diego Symphony’s enhanced and revitalized Pops series, City Lights, returns for a new season! Principal pops conductor (and Oscar legend) Bill Conti opened City Lights with a Halloween extravaganza of blood-chilling movie music and classic Hollywood film clips that kept attendees on the edge of their seats! Our tremendously popular Holiday Pops programs features “A Celtic Celebration” and the return of popular Irish fiddler Eileen Ivers. The original Broadway cast of “Jersey Boys” reunites as “The Midtown Men,” performing the music from that little show that began right here in San Diego and went on to light up the Great White Way! Rat Pack legend Dean Martin and his music receive a loving tribute from his own daughter, Deana Martin, and then the artful “Le Ombré” concludes the City Lights season with an electrifying presentation of light, shadow and music on our stage you won’t soon forget! Buy a “Choose Your Own” series, include some City Lights concerts in your choices and add City Lights specials “Nathan Pacheco: Be My Valentine” with preferred seating! Please join us and bring friends to our thrilling new season at the Jacobs Music Center. It’s hip, classy and cool. With our signature lobby lighting and displays, you’ll enter a sophisticated world of entertainment. Our bars offer drinks (served by Snake Oil Cocktail Company) that you can take back to your seats. The sights and sounds of a night on the town.
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Pet insurance: scam or life saver? Pets Ann Eliopulos Americans love their pets. In 2013, we spent $56 billion on them — more than we spent on carbonated soft drinks, but still less than we spent on beer. Of that $56 billion, almost $15 billion was spent on veterinar y care, which means that food, clothes, toys, bedding, training, grooming, boarding and live animal purchases made up the remaining amount. Even if your dog or cat is not getting designer bedding, human-grade food and rhinestone-studded apparel, you can plan on spending at least $600 a year for each pet, and that is with only with the most basic veterinar y care being provided. Once you factor in dental work, illness or emergencies, the cost can increase into the thousands. While our economy is improving, unexpected veterinar y expenses can prove challenging at all levels. It is the rare dog or cat that will not need yearly dental cleanings consistently after the age of 3 or 4, and they will likely have an illness or two
along the way, too. Like us, as they age, they will probably need more veterinar y care to maintain a good quality of life. Many people do not consider the possibility of genetic problems, trauma, cancer, allergies, heart conditions or other diseases, and are faced with difficult and sometimes painful decisions when they occur. No one ever wants to be in the position of not being able to help a sick animal because of money, including your veterinarian. So what’s a pet owner to do when their companion gets sick and the estimate is more than you can afford? Well, once you are in that situation, the options are limited unless you have someone who can help, or a credit rating that will get you approved for one of the medical credit card options. The caveat is that you must have good credit or you will be denied, which can seem like a Catch-22 if finances are already a problem. And, if you can’t pay it back within the interest-free time period, the interest alone is staggering. The pet insurance industr y has taken off in response to our love for our pets and desire to keep them healthy and here for as long as possible. In California
alone, it is projected that the amount spent on pet insurance will reach $750 million by 2015. Is it worth it? Do you get your money’s worth? Well, it depends on what company you choose and what you are hoping to get out of it. Many people opt for plans that focus on wellness issues, such as vaccines, yearly exams and dental cleanings. While it is true that a thorough dental cleaning and evaluation is typically at least $500 – 600, I personally don’t think that this is a great reason to get pet insurance. Instead, I recommend factoring that into yearly expenses and budgeting for it. Plans that focus on the unexpected and pay out well when those occur are often worth the yearly cost because one accident or serious illness can break the bank, even for those who set money aside. Pet insurance can be a scar y proposition because it has been a largely unregulated industr y, with misleading and confusing policies that result in unexpected veterinar y expenses, denied claims and policy cancellations after payout. It’s no wonder that many pet owners have misgivings about whether or not to purchase pet insurance. I have been skeptical myself until the past few years, when I have seen good reimbursements and animals getting care that may not have been able to other wise. Still, just as with our own health insurance, not all companies have great policies.
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014 We are lucky to live in California, the first state to pass pet insurance disclosure legislation, AB2056. The law will go into effect July 2015. This legislation requires insurers to clearly explain their policies to pet owners. Annual coverage limits and disqualifying pre-existing conditions must be delineated. Limitations involving coinsurance, waiting periods, deductibles and annual or lifetime policy limits must also be made clear. All companies will be required to provide a 30-day trial period to tr y out their insurance. Anticipating this legislation, some companies have already begun providing 30-day trial periods. At our hospital, we strongly encourage people to tr y this. Often there is no charge from the companies offering this, and no penalty for opting out after 30 days. I recently talked a friend of mine into tr ying the policy we offer here, and within a few months, her new puppy got into some medication and became limp and almost unresponsive. Finances were a huge concern for her, but because she had insurance, she felt the freedom to approve ever ything that was recommended because she knew she could afford it under her policy. The puppy recovered, and she let me know that the policy paid for itself in one visit. Imagine going to the veterinarian and not worr ying about cost because there is a copay or
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percentage that will be covered? As a veterinarian and animal lover, I want to help ever y animal that crosses my path. Though I was more than a naysayer on the topic of pet insurance, I now believe that the companies who walk the walk will pave the way for ever y pet to get the care they deser ve. And while I won’t put it in print, I’d be happy to tell you the company I stand behind if you shoot me an email. —Ann Eliopulos is a veterinarian at Bodhi Animal Hospital. Contact her at aeliopulos@ bodhisd.com.u
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
RICHARD WOODS 619-347-9866
Uptown’s Sudoku Puzzle
Answer key, page 20
Curtiss’ Folk Arts Rare Records. Home Start acquired the property last February, including the two residential units in the rear of the property. Contractors have been renovating the buildings for the past six months. One paid, full-time employee will manage volunteers at the store. This “trauma-informed” employee will gently coach volunteers on their skills in customer service, accounting, marketing and inventory management. Holly Arnold, Home Start’s residential shelter manager, said the thrift boutique will provide “not just a handout, but a hand up” to the clients Home Start serves. “Most of our residents are coming from families that are not healthy, sometimes abusive, very neglectful, and with that comes a lot of low self-esteem, lack of confidence and feeling like they’re the guilty party. They feel like they’re the one that made their child homeless,” Arnold said. Working in the store with a team of peers toward a common goal will give those residents a chance to get out of survival mode and find a new sense of confidence and purpose, Arnold said. “It will be a really good opportunity to see that they are accepted, that they have a value and can provide a service that’s important for others,” she said. Even the store’s construction follows the theme of discovering a new purpose. When contractors demolished an old wooden fence surrounding the property, Mustari asked them to find a way to save it. Those old wooden planks now adorn ceiling beams and a pony
FROM PAGE 13
SOUTHPARK the business district, where she has operated Studio Maureen for nearly three decades, Ceccarelli said shoppers will enjoy “street minstrels,” also known as the Peace on Earth Carolers, while they go door to door during the annual festivities. It’s an event she looks forward to every year. “Many of my customers just come in at Christmastime, so I get to see people that I don’t see the rest of the year, and that’s really fun,” she said. “You know, in 27 years I’ve become friends with a lot of people that come in, or at least acquaintances, and I know their stories. It’s fun to see ever ybody.”
FROM PAGE 1
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Answer key, page 20
Home Start has renovated the former Curves studio in Normal Heights and will open a thrift store in the space next month (Photo by Jeremy Ogul) wall in the shop. Beat up old garage doors are being repurposed into merchandise tables. A crumbling brick fireplace was saved and restored as a creative, welcoming element in the store. Decorative old metal grates from the residences were refinished and applied to a gate near the rear of the property. Mustari calls it a boutique because the shop aims to carry higher-quality items in a smaller space than more well known stores such as Goodwill, which thrives on a high volume of sales. Eventually, the store’s revenues may supplement Home Start’s budget, and the organization hopes to be able to hire the volunteers as employees so they can earn both experience and a paycheck while completing their education, Mustari said. Home Start was able to purchase the property thanks to a planned gift from Margaret “Meg” Jacobs, who died of complications from breast cancer in 2012. Jacobs,
whose family is well known locally for the Jacobs Family Foundation, was a social worker who worked at Home Start earlier in her career. Additional support for the renovation came from a county Neighborhood Reinvestment Program Grant of $20,000. Students at San Diego State’s School of Art and Design contributed interior design ideas, such as tubular skylights. HomeAid San Diego and United Way of San Diego also provided support for the project. Pending some final modifications and a review by city inspectors, the thrift store will begin accepting donations and selling items with a soft opening in early December. The group is planning a grand opening celebration in early 2015 that will feature local elected officials who supported the project. To contact the store, call 619564-8027 or visit home-start.org. —Reach Jeremy Ogul at 619961-1969 or email@example.com
Parrish spoke to the camaraderie and environment that the South Park businesses have created for residents and other visitors, and Luminaria season epitomizes it for him. “What I like most is the smalltown-in-the-middle-of-the-big-city holiday feeling that Luminaria creates,” he said. “I’m a Colorado boy and it gives me the feeling of home ... especially in the evening when the tree-lined street is lit up.” South Park’s Luminaria season kicks off Sunday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m., and their annual Holiday Walkabout is Saturday, Dec. 6 from 6 – 10 p.m. For more information about both events, visit southparkscene.com. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The custom-built Luminaria Tree. (Photo by Bonnie Nichols)
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San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
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San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
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“Enron” takes a surreal jab at corporate crime. (Photos by Darren Scott)
Surreal, satiric ‘Enron’ opens at Moxie Theater Review Charlene Baldridge “Do they always do things so well?” asked my flabbergasted companion during the interval (Sunday, Nov. 16) of Moxie Theatre’s meticulous, fabulously acted production of Lucy Prebble’s 2010 Broadway play, “Enron.” The answer is yes, of course they do, but the plays are not always so fascinating as this one. Producing “Enron” is a daring move on Moxie’s part. But what is Moxie if not daring, especially when presenting plays written by women? New York Times’ critic Ben Brantley was not kind in his review, and the Broadway production closed in a week’s time, despite a cast of Broadway’s best. “Enron” had been such a hit in Prebble’s native Great Britain, that the Guardian newspaper, which called Brantley’s review “obtuse and hostile,” in part attributed its New York failure to conservative audiences that refuse to embrace anything outside the tradition of reality. With its raptors, mice and music, “Enron” is decidedly outside the realm of reality. It is delicious satire as well. The theater lover may feel as if he or she has fallen into the honeypot, what with the simultaneous opening of another satire, “Honky,” at San Diego Rep. Moreover, as my friend attests, even the avid reader of the events that led to the collapse of Enron in 2001 did not have so clear a view of its causes. In other words, what “Enron” achieves is much more than a dry case study.
It achieves clarity and entertains at the same time. Enron owner Ken Lay (Mark C. Petrich) appoints a daring darling named Jeffrey Skilling (the amazing Max Macke) to the position of chief executive officer. In turn, Skilling appoints the clever, morally pliable Andy Fastow (Eddie Yaroch) as chief financial officer. Fastow cwonceives an ingenious way to disguise Enron’s losses by creating a fictitious corporation in which to hide them, even persuading Arthur Anderson (accounting firm) auditors to participate in the ruse. The whistle blower may have been Claudia Roe (perfectly cast Lisel Gorell-Getz), who had expected to become CEO.
Macke, who’s been seen in numerous roles at Carlsbad’s New Village Arts, exceeds all previous performances on San Diego stages as Skilling, and he does it without breaking a sweat. He is one of the founding members of the late, lamented Poor Players, where he played numerous Shakespeare roles. This is fitting, because “Enron” has been compared to “King Lear.” Playing multiple roles are James P. Darvas, Don Evans, Jo Anne Glover, Alexander Guzman, Robert Kirk, Sandra Ruiz and Savvy Scoppeletti. Director Jennifer Eve Thorn, whose instincts are impeccable, cast her own daughter, Penelope, who is in first grade, to be Skillings’
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San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
daughter in Tim Nottage’s projections. This bit of nepotism is deeply appreciated because it is part and parcel of Moxie’s raison d’etre. Long may they wave. In addition to Nottage’s scenic and projection design, the creative team includes Javier Velasco, choreographer; Jennifer Brawn Gittings, costumes; Matt Lescault-Wood, sound; Christopher Renda, lighting; Emily Smith, masks and crafts; and Angelica Ynfante, properties. San Diegans may feel more involved than people from cities other than Houston, which is where the play is set and where Enron was headquartered: Enron had a highly visible presence here. For their criminal acts, the principals were sentenced to prison and the Arthur Anderson firm was forced out of business. — Charlene Baldridge has been writing about the arts since 1979. Her book “San Diego, Jewel of the California Coast” (Northland Publishing) is currently available in bookstores. She can be reached at email@example.com
by Lucy Prebble
7 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays – Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays Through Dec. 7 Moxie Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd. (92115) $27 general admission moxietheatre.com or 858-598-7620 (Photo by Darren Scott)
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
A bike lane apart
In defense of protected bikeways The Spoken Word Hutton Marshall Through a program with New Belgium Brewing and its annual Tour de Fat, I donated my car and pledged to live carfree for a year in exchange for a commuter bicycle. I’m using the experience to take a look at the state of bicycling in San Diego, and how it fits into the city’s economy, culture and future growth.
New bike lanes are coming to San Diego — a lot of them. During the next four years, SANDAG, a countywide planning agency, will install a $200 million dollar network of bicycle lanes weaving throughout the bulk of San Diego’s urban districts. This is a big deal due to the sheer quantity of work that will be done with this project. Over 77 miles of bike routes will be installed throughout the county over the next decade. But that’s not all. San Diego already has bike lanes, but there aren’t many like what SANDAG
BICYCLING plans to install. The agency will put in a bike lane not often seen in the city, but to understand why that’s significant, we first need to look at what already exists. There a few different types of bike lanes seen around San Diego. The first, which can hardly be considered a bike “lane,” is the bike “sharrow” or bike route. I’ll get into the effectiveness — and the point — of these in a future column. “Sharrows” are routes marked by signage encouraging cars and cyclists to share the streets. In my humble opinion, sharrows are about as effective at protecting cyclists as praying to the Sun God for safe passage. Another common sighting is what the city identifies as the “Class 2 Bike Lane.” This is the striped lane on the right side of traffic, usually between traffic and the curb. It’s probably what most people think of when they hear the term “bike lane,” and is the most prevalent type of bike route in San Diego. As of 2010, it made up more than 300 miles of the city’s 510-mile network of bike infrastructure. SANDAG plans to install “protected bikeways” in the city, which are essentially bike lanes with a protected buffer between cyclists and traffic. They’re considered much safer and result in drastically higher usage, but installing them entails much more than simply restriping the street. That’s why the community input and planning process for this project has spanned several years. It’s likely to significantly impact the existing infrastructure along the dense urban areas where it’s proposed. In the coverage area of Uptown News, residents of Hillcrest have been particularly concerned about the impact such a plan might have on what politicians have called the neighborhood’s most heated issue: parking. Critics of the route claim that trading parking for protected bikeways would be harmful to Hillcrest’s business district. Others claim that the trade-off is unfair to residents who rely on driving because of their age or disability. That’s another topic for a future column. On Nov. 9, an event called “CicloSDias” shut down several miles of Hillcrest streets for most of the day, giving free reign to cyclists, runners and others getting around with the power of their glutes. The route stretched along University Avenue between Normal Street and Sixth Avenue, which is a particularly contentious area of the proposed SAN-
Cyclists at the recent CicloSDias event in Hillcrest (Photo by Son Appareil Photography) DAG bike corridor. Local land-use development firm KTU+A saw CicloSDias as a unique opportunity to do a little rogue community outreach, so with the city’s permission it constructed a display along University Avenue of what a protected bikeway would look like. One thing SANDAG could do, which KTU+A simulated, is take out one lane in each direction on the sprawling eight-lane University Avenue, and switch the angled, front-in parking to parallel parking. (As an aside, front-in parking really makes my spokes quake as a biker. “Just go ahead and back up, George. I bet no one’s coming!”) Lack of visibility equals danger for bikers. KTU+A’s simulated bike lanes could admittedly only do so much, seeing as there were zero cars on the road that day, only other bikers, which sort of took some heat off the fire. I am also skeptical that there were many bike-lane skeptics in attendance at the bike event. Still, it was a good way to visualize the project, which showed that the road’s homeostasis could still be maintained with the loss of one traffic lane. Whether the same could be said for the denser portions of Hillcrest and North Park remains to be seen. But even if these bikeways do prove to cause some urban planning headaches for our Uptown communities, I urge all to take a couple Advil and think about the positives. In 2012, American Journal of Public Health analyzed 690 bicycle injuries in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, and found cycle tracks, or protected bikeways, to be nine times safer than streets with parked cars and no bike infrastructure. There’s also evidence the change will have a huge impact on ridership in San Diego, which
is a goal for both SANDAG and the city of San Diego in the recently released draft of its Climate Action Plan. A study by Por tland State University’s National Institute for Transpor tation and Communities analyzed a massive amount of data on five U.S. cities installing protected bike lanes. The study found that ridership increased along improved routes by an average of 75 percent in the first year alone. About three-quar ters of this increase came from cyclists changing their route to go along the safer route. New cyclists made up the other quar ter of the increased bike traf fic. So while overall usage surpassed expectations in all five cities, some were under whelmed by the amount of new cyclists the routes immediately produced. One thing is clear: These protected bike lanes are heavily used, and they save lives. Those two factors alone make this a worthy endeavor. What’s unclear is whether these bikeways motivate enough locals to make the switch to a bike commute. This is of course a factor in the economic viability of the project. My theory: The benefit of these protected bike lanes — their superiority to essentially playing Frogger on El Cajon Boulevard — is more readily apparent to bikers. The reason people aren’t immediately switching to commuter biking is because the stigma of the unsafe, trafficdodging cyclist still exists. These bike lanes, however, create a safer environment for bikers right away. This, in turn, will eventually dissipate the popular sentiment that biking to work is some sort of death wish. —Got a bicycle topic for Hutton to look at next? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Neighborly nuisances Ask the Attorney Josh Bonnici Josh, I’ve been living in University Heights for many years now, but recently my longtime next door neighbor moved out. Since then, to be frank, my new neighbor has been driving me up the wall, and I’m at a loss about what to do. Legally, what are my options, and how much of a pain will it be? Thank you, Frustrated Neighbor Dear Frustrated Neighbor: Thank you for your question. I feel that almost ever yone has had that neighbor who has nearly driven you up a wall. While neighbor disputes are always a sensitive topic (you live right next to them), there are rights landowners and tenants may protect under certain circumstances. To start, while my tone is causal and jokes may be corny, none of my suggestions should be taken as legal advice, nor does it create any attorney-client relationship. However, I will point out some local codes and ordinances for you to weigh your options in order to peacefully remedy your situation. Since there were no specific details of what’s going on, I’ll run down the list of the most common neighbor disputes and what the law allows. Tree Rights The first question is, who owns the tree? The law puts the responsibility on the owner. California Civil Code (CCC) Sec. 833 reads: “Trees whose trunks stand wholly upon the land of one owner belong exclusively to him, although their roots grow into the land of another.” For once, the law seems pretty straightfor ward. But what if the tree straddles the property line? CCC Sec. 834 states that if the tree’s base is on shared land, then the landowners share responsibility for the tree. Now the classic Hollywood movie situation: If my neighbor’s tree limbs are hanging over my fence into my yard, can I cut them? Generally, yes. The law views encroaching branches and limbs as a nuisance, and a homeowner may remove the nuisance as long as the trimming does not seriously injure or kill the tree. If the trimming does damage, or the trimming occurs on braches or limbs not encroaching onto another’s yard, CCC Sec. 3346 allows for up to triple the damages caused to be repaid to the tree’s owner. The more serious of fense is when your tree is cut down without your permission. While this may not occur as frequently, the law takes unauthorized tree-removal ver y seriously. California Penal Code sections 384(a) and 622 make it a criminal of fense with fines up to $1,000, and even possibly six months of jail time. California Civil Code of Procedure sec. 733 also provides civil relief to the injured par ty in the amount of double damages.
So, when it comes to trees, remember to check; 1) who owns the tree (i.e. who is responsible for it), 2) are branches or limbs entering your yard, and 3) only make trims as to not injure the tree. It’s also best practice to talk to the tree’s owner to let them know about the issue and your plans. A little heads-up usually goes a long way. Fence Disputes Let’s say you move into a new home. It’s a fixer-upper, but that’s fine — you don’t mind turning some blood, sweat and tears into equity. You repaint. You plant sod in the front yard. Then you attempt to tackle the 1985 fence in the back yard. But, you discover that the fence is on the property line that divides your house and your neighbor’s yard. So, you politely saunter next-door, introduce yourself and ask your neighbor to help in fixing or financing the new fence. They not so politely decline. What now? The law is clear: Adjoining landowners shall share equally in the responsibility for maintaining the boundaries and monuments between them. CCC Sec. 841. Good neighbors should agree on splitting the cost of the repair, especially if informed that they have a legal obligation to do so. Politely let them know that it’s a shared responsibly, and you don’t mind taking lead on the project. If that fails, you have the option of sending your neighbor a demand letter setting forth his legal obligation and the cost of the fence and attach a copy of an estimate you have acquired. If your neighbor still refuses to pay his or her proportional share, your last resort is to either contact an attorney or proceed to pay for the fence yourself and consider filing a claim in small claims court. Fence disputes can end up ugly, as they are not cheap to replace yourself, and oftentimes homeowners need a satisfactor y fence to keep pets securely in their yard. Need to start a claim? Take photos, get legal advice, and investigate the small claims process in your local community. Noise Disturbances Noise complaints are commonplace, and usually one of the most uncomfortable issues to report. There are several options when it comes to noise issues, but I suggest starting from the beginning. If you are a tenant in a rental apartment, there is usually a “quiet time” (or “Quiet Enjoyment”) clause defining when noise must be reduced. Refer to your rental contract to see if such a clause exists, and what it says. If the noise continues in violation of a rental clause, the next step would be to contact either the noisy neighbor or your landlord to report the issue. Whom to contact first depends on your relationship to your neighbor. Trust your instincts on which to contact, as asking the landlord to keep the report anonymous could make for a more comfortable living situation. For other noise issues, San Diego Municipal Code Sec. 59.5.01 speaks directly to what type of noise is regulated, and to what decibel level. These include construction noise, animal noise
(incessantly barking dogs, etc.) and agricultural/industrial noise. Violations of the noise ordinance also could result in an administrative citation with fines up to $500. If you suspect the city’s Noise Ordinance is being violated, contact the Noise Abatement Office at 619-2365500. Animal noise complaints may be handled by contacting the animal owner, Safe Streets Now or the city’s Code Enforcement Division. Noise complaints are generally prioritized by the number of complainants residing in separate residences. Noise complaints involving only one complainant are usually considered to be private matters between the parties. I hope this breakdown of your rights as a neighbor helps you, Frustrated Neighbor. In
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014 the end, I usually suggest taking the less obtrusive route. No one wants to be in an endless war with his or her neighbor, especially if the dispute can be handled efficiently without lawyer or court interference. Have more detailed questions? Do you believe you need legal representation? Feel free to reach out for a confidential case evaluation.
—Joshua Bonnici is the managing attorney at Bonnici Law Group, APC, a downtown civil litigation firm. He spends his time representing local families and individuals, as well as riding his bike or walking his dog around his neighborhood of Hillcrest. Contact him or ask him a question at email@example.com or 619-259-5199. u
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
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URBANMO'S the expansion “marks an investment” in the company. The lease had previously been reported as 20 years, but Shaw said with the construction for both expansion and the additional parking, he opted for five more years. Gossip Grill, another “planet” in MO’s Universe, also expanded earlier this year. The popular women’s restaurant and bar nearly tripled its footprint after moving from its previous location of nearly five years at the corner of Normal Street and University Avenue to a new space a few blocks west, near the corner of University and Vermont avenues. The move has already proved to be a great success for the company. Matt Ramon, who started working for Shaw as a host at Hamburger Mary’s 23 years ago, worked his way up to bar back and bartender, and has been Urban MO’s general manager and
Crews prepare the patio bar for demo (Courtesy MO’s Universe)
co-owner for five years. “It’s really great to be creating a space that will offer another 25 more years of adventures and memories for the LGBT community,” Ramon said during a phone interview. Ramon gave a few glimpses into what patrons can expect from the new patio, explaining how open the new space will be from all sides. He said plans call for a new wooden ceiling with a roof structure sturdy enough to protect from rain, but high enough to allow any seat at the new bar a view to the streets of Hillcrest from any angle. He said the open-air aspect of the new dining and drinking area will not only create a better atmosphere and allow more interaction with the outside community, it will give the space more of a “true patio feeling.” “We are signaling the broader foundational changes the brand is making to evolve the guest experience for our local community, while also planning for the future,” stated Eddie Reynoso, the company’s marketing and public relations director, in the press release. Some other recent changes Reynoso said that have taken place in recent years include a new, simplified food menu that puts more focus on quality, significant upgrades to the sound and lighting systems, new approaches to service, and even a new web redesign. The new website, recently unveiled at urbanmos.com, is offering updates of the construction process, so the community can follow along and feel involved. Reynoso said they encourage patrons to come take their own photos and share updates on social media using the hashtag, #MOsExpansion. —Morgan M. Hurley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The mad scientists of
Ed Ghost Tucker Ed Ghost Tucker will release their first EP, “Channels,” on Saturday, Nov. 22. (Photo by Skylar Lusteg)
Album Review Dustin Lothspeich It’s a joy to dig through the patchwork quilt of genre-jumping that takes place on “Channels,” the longawaited debut EP by San Diego indie darlings Ed Ghost Tucker. Admittedly, it’s also a Herculean task — and a welcome one at that. After all, it’s not often that reggae, worldbeat, and chillwave occupy the same sentence, and it’s even more rare that such a sentence would be used to describe a band from our own backyard. But after having the six-track album on repeat for a while, it hasn’t gotten any easier to decipher. How exactly do you categorize a group that defies categorization? “I would probably stutter for a while and struggle to come up with the right term,” Ed Ghost Tucker guitarist/vocalist Rutger Rosenborg said. “But in the end, I might say, ‘It’s pop/rock.’” Sure, if you want the Cliffs Notes version — yes, it’s pop/rock, but it’s so much more. Over the course of the 21-minute record, the La Mesa-based quartet (also comprised of keyboardist/vocalist Michaela Wilson, bassist/vocalist Cameron Wilson and drummer Ryan Miller) walk a tightrope through nearly every monument of modern music. Simultaneously, they tip their collective hat to a litany of vintage musical cornerstones to boot. For every trace of Fleet Foxes, Grizzly
Bear and Vampire Weekend, they glance fleetingly backward at The Beatles, Bob Marley, Paul Simon and The Talking Heads. No band likes to be confined by labels, but some struggle against it more than others. Ed Ghost Tucker seem to have taken the fight from the monkey bars to the boxing ring — whether they know it or not. “I don’t know that we are actively concerned about being pigeonholed; I think we just like to challenge ourselves and try new things,” Rosenborg explained. “The cards will fall where they fall. I think that’s what holds these songs together in particular. It was definitely intentional for this collection, but we don’t like to do the same thing twice, so our next collection of songs will probably have a different feel and a different writing approach altogether.” If anything, “Channels” is a meticulously crafted EP — the audio equivalent of a cantankerous movie house operator slicing and pasting snippets of several different films together to make one entirely new piece. The fact that it lives and breathes as a fully cohesive album is, well, nothing short of amazing. Imagine The Beach Boys 1966 masterpiece, “Pet Sounds,” reinterpreted by Lee “Scratch” Perry and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke: Acoustic guitars appear and fade, electro beats give way to brushed drums, angelic group harmonies pepper complex electric guitar phrases until surprise island-rhythm funk breakdowns and handclaps resolve
into wide, shoegaze canyons. And that’s just one track (“I Do”). We might as well refer to Ed Ghost Tucker as a new-and-improved Dr. Frankenstein, the refined mad scientists of San Diego’s music scene. “When we write, we do it spontaneously and intuitively,” Rosenborg continued. “After we’ve written something, we can get pretty methodical about editing it. Sometimes we think about it too much. We’re constantly making adjustments to rhythms, harmonies, lyrics — even entire structures. I think we’re just very wary of homogenization and calling any form complete.” After witnessing the band perform more than half a dozen times, it’s safe to say that they’re just as impressive live as they are in the studio — if not more. They’re absolute professionals at their craft, and with the scalpel-like precision with which they’ve constructed songs, they really have no other choice.
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014 The four members are nearly swallowed by their arsenal of equipment onstage, and with three out of the four contributing vocals throughout the set — let’s just say the sound guys of America’s Finest City have had to up their game. Absent is the drunken debauchery of their peers, the typical ancient rock posturing, the whogives-a-fuck stage personas and petulant, attention-starved attitudes. The quartet operates intently and deliberately — swerving through jazzy excursions, experimental jams, drop-of-a-dime transitions and impossibly complex harmonies with equal aplomb. It’s always a calculated exhibition; one that finds them working away under the demands of their own labyrinthine artistry. However, the perfectionism that drives the band in the studio and during the writing process can also plague them in a live setting, according to Rosenborg. “For me, live sound and recorded sound are very different experiences,” he said. “With live sound, I think a lot of Ed Ghost Tucker’s intricacies and layers get lost. Our sound depends a lot on being able to hear and communicate with one another, and that’s not always easy to do on a loud stage. “So I’m sure there are times when we just sound terrible, but I think we’re probably harder on ourselves than anyone else could ever be. A live situation is not an ideal sound situation, but that’s what makes it so interesting, unpredictable and impossible to replicate. It’s also worth remembering that a group of people crowded into a small dark room is much more forgiving than a single person in bed with headphones.” Until now though, the band hasn’t given their ever-growing fanbase much to obsess over in bed. A couple years back, they threw up a few home-recorded demos online and followed it up with a studio single (“Devils”) in late 2013. This year saw the release of “Sofia” — an instantly catchy indie pop song accompanied by an equally beautiful music video, which caught fire across the blogosphere. On Nov. 22, the band will finally be releasing their first physical product at
their EP release show at Soda Bar — and it was a painstaking effort to say the least. “[‘Channels’] was definitely a labor of love, of heart and mind. That’s why it’s very imperfect,” Rosenborg admitted. “I must have averaged 20 or 30 hours a week on it for eight months, tinkering and learning. The rest of the band was in there with me for some of that too. So if people hate it, they can blame me. If they love it, they can credit us all.” Even now, on the cusp of the release, he’s still anxious about sending his baby into the world: “It
8:30 p.m., 21+
3615 El Cajon Blvd. San Diego (Normal Heights) Tickets: $8 / $10 at the door sodabarmusic.com Lineup: Ed Ghost Tucker Beginners Nicky Venus will always be incomplete. In fact, yesterday I was making adjustments to the masters simply because there were things that I was hearing that I thought maybe could be different ... But at a certain point, you just have to let go and move on. One of my favorite epigraphs to a book is from E.M. Forster’s ‘The Longest Journey’: ‘A work of art is never finished. It is merely abandoned.’ It’s taken us two years to finally abandon these songs.” Luckily, Ed Ghost Tucker has never sounded bigger or better. They’ve somehow managed to translate the magic and atmosphere from their live show and the promise of their early recordings into a sprawling, fully formed journey through the musical ether. Not bad for a pop/rock band. —Contact Dustin Lothspeich at email@example.com
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
CalendarofEvents FEATURED EVENTS Encore ROCKS! A Jukebox Musical Saturday, Nov. 22 and Sunday, Nov. 23 The Encore Vocal Ensemble of San Diego presents this musical for two nights only at the David and Dorothea Garfield Theatre at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center (4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla). The creative story involves a diner down on its luck and the magical talking jukebox that gives it a boost. The show features songs from stage and screen including selections from “Across the Universe,” “Rent,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and more. Show times are Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. with a pre-show party starting one hour before each performance with drinks and snacks. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information visit encorevocalensemble.org. Chargers Blood Drive XXXVI Tuesday, Nov. 25 This year’s Chargers Drive XXXVI for Health and Wellness is presented by San Diego County Credit Union at the Town & Country Convention Center (500 Hotel Circle North, Mission Valley). This is one of the Chargers’
longest running annual community events. San Diego Blood Bank has expanded the drive this year, adding a “Wellness Zone” with interactive exhibits, activities, food sampling, entertainment and much more. In addition to donating blood and meeting Chargers players, the first 500 people will get free blood typing and all attendees may take advantage of the free bone marrow registry onsite. Admission is just $5 for adults, $1 for children ages 3 – 12. Proceeds will help the San Diego Blood Bank get a new Bloodmobile. Those who donate will receive parking validation and may also request a refund of their admission price. Blood donations will begin at 9 a.m. with the exhibits and entertainment starting at 10 a.m. The event ends at 6 p.m. For more information call 619-2966393 or visit sandiegobloodbank. org or chargers.com. “Food Chains” screening Friday, Nov. 28 – Thursday, Dec. 4 North Park’s Digital Gym Cinema (2921 El Cajon Blvd., North Park) brings “Food Chains,” an exposé on where food comes from, to the big screen. The film is centered on a group of Florida farmworkers and their battle with the $4 trillion global supermarket industry as they work to improve working conditions for farm laborers in the U.S. On Nov. 29, the film’s awardwinning director, Sanjay Rawal,
CALENDAR will be on hand to discuss the film after its screening. On Sunday, Nov. 30, Ellen Gustafson — TED speaker, author of “We the Eaters: If We Change Dinner, We Can Change the World,” founder of the Apron Project, and co-founder of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank — will give a special presentation about a sustainable food system after the film’s final showing. Both guest panels are at no extra cost to theatergoers. Ticket prices vary between $6 – $11. Visit digitalgym. org for tickets, show times and more information. The Donkeys, Soft Lions, Oh Spirit at Soda Bar Saturday, Nov. 29 Soda Bar (3615 El Cajon Blvd., North Park) will showcase a who’s who in the San Diego indie pop/rock music scene on Nov. 29. The Donkeys recently took home top honors for Best Rock Album at the 2014 San Diego Music Awards for their critically acclaimed, retro-rock album, “Ride the Black Wave.” Soft Lions, a veritable hometown supergroup (members include musicians from local bands The New Kinetics, Boy King, Wild Wild Wets), play self-described “moody, psychedelic, post-Riot Grrrl” rock tunes that have been gracing the blogosphere for the past year. Rounding out the bill, Oh Spirit blends Beatles-esque songwriting, impressive vocal
www.sdcnn.com harmonies and a dual-guitar attack for a musical style reminiscent of past greats, but one they’ve made entirely their own. The 21+ show starts at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and available at sodabarmusic.com. FilmOut San Diego screening of “Murder by Death” Wednesday, Dec. 3 In honor of their current run of one-man play “Tru,” Diversionary Theatre is co-presenting a rare acting performance by Truman Capote. The 1976 mystery comedy, written by Neil Simon, is a spoof on whodunits with the cast members playing send-ups of fictional sleuths. Don’t miss this special one-night showing at Hillcrest Cinemas Landmark Theatres (3965 Fifth Ave.) at 7 p.m. Visit filmoutsandiego.com for more info. And visit diversionary.org for more on “Tru” playing through Dec. 21. “Woman in the Mirror: A Dancer’s Journey” Opens Thursday, Dec. 4 Devra Gregory, native San Diegan and life-long dancer and performer, is bringing her awardwinning one-woman show “Woman in the Mirror, a Dancer’s Journey,” back to San Diego. Gregory will be taking the stage at Horton Grand Theatre, located at 444 Fourth Ave., Downtown, through Dec. 21. Performed by Gregory who also co-wrote the piece with director
Jessica Bird, “Woman in the Mirror” is autobiographical. It tells the story of Gregory’s journey from a childhood wrapped up in ballet to her time in burlesque and then as a professional dancer, Michael Jackson impersonator, and Wiccan priestess — all through dance and illustrious costume changes. For more information or tickets, visit womaninthemirror.bpt.me.
RECURRING EVENTS Mondays:
Singing Stor ytime: 1:30 p.m., learn what’s going on inside your baby’s mind, strengthen your bond and sing songs together at Mission Hills Library, 925 Washington St., Mission Hills, free. Library92103.org. Open Mic Night: 7:30 p.m., the mic is open to you at Lestat’s Coffee House, 3343 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, free. Lestats.com.
Curbside Bites: 5 – 8:30 p.m., gathering of gourmet food trucks at 3030 Grape St., South Park. Curbsidebites.com. “Grab a Mic”: 6 p.m., an open mic night hosted by singer/actor Sasha Weiss. Sign ups at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m., Martinis Above Fourth, 3940 Fourth Ave., Hillcrest. Martinisabovefourth.com. Tasty Truck Tuesdays: 6 – 9 p.m., Smitty’s Service Station hosts several food trucks under their well-lit shade structure, 3442 Adams Ave., Normal Heights. Sdfoodtrucks.com. Open Mic Charlie’s: 7 – 10 p.m. (except the third Tuesday), open mic night at Rebecca’s Coffee House, 3015 Juniper St., South Park, free. Rebeccascoffeehouse.com.
Trivia: 7 p.m., free trivia competition for prizes, tournament for $1,000. Drink specials during trivia range $3 – $6. Wang’s North Park, 3029 University Ave., North Park. Wangsnorthpark.com. Wednesday Night Experience: 7 – 8 p.m., uplifting and spiritually inspiring experiences for all, weekly at Universal Spirit Center, 3858 Front St., Hillcrest, love offering requested. Universalspiritcenter.org.
Young Lions Music Series: 7 p.m., each week features a new “young rising star” chosen by Gilbert Castellanos. Castellanos will also join in during the first set, the Expatriate Room, Croce’s Park West, 2760 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill, $5 cover. Crocesparkwest.com. Wednesday Jazz Jam Session: 7:30 p.m., Gilbert Castellanos hosts the Jazz Jam Session with special guest musicians at Seven Grand, 3054 University Ave., North Park, free. Sevengrandbars.com.
see Calendar, page 27
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Gentle Yoga for seniors: 2:45 – 3:45 p.m., presented by The Center and Silver Age Yoga Community Outreach (SAYCO) at The San Diego LGBT Center, 3909 Centre St., Hillcrest, free. Thecentersd.org. North Park Farmers Market: 3 – 7 p.m., in the parking lot behind CVS at 32nd St. and University Ave., North Park, free. Northparkfarmersmarket.com. Kornflower’s Open Mic: Signups at 6:30 p.m., open mic (no poetry or comedy) 7 – 10 p.m. Family friendly event at Rebecca’s Coffee House, 3015 Juniper St., South Park, free. Rebeccascoffeehouse.com. Kirtan Musical Meditation: 8:15 p.m., chant and sing contemporary mantras celebrating love and life at Pilgrimage of the Heart Yoga, 3287 Adams Ave., Normal Heights, donation requested. Pilgrimageyoga.com.
Preschool Storytime: 10:30 a.m., at Mission Hills Library, 925 Washington St., Mission Hills, free. Library92103.org. Fridays on Fifth: 4 – 9 p.m., various restaurants and bars offer discounts and specials for a social hour on Fifth Avenue between Washington Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Hillcrest. Fridaysonfifth.com. Cinema Under the Stars: 8:30 p.m., Classic movie screenings at 4040 Goldfinch St., Mission Hills. Tickets start at $15. Topspresents.com.
Old Town Saturday Market: 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., on Harney Street and San Diego Avenue, Old Town, free. Oldtownsaturdaymarket.com. Golden Hill Farmers Market: 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., on B Street between 27th and 28th streets, Golden Hill, free. Sdmarketmanager.com. Children’s Craft Time: 10:30 a.m., at Mission Hills Library, 925 Washington St., Mission Hills, free. Library92103.org. Melodies in Balboa Park: 1 – 5 p.m., the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory ensembles fill Casa del Prado with classical music, 1549 El Prado, Balboa Park, free. Sdys.org. Comedy Heights: 8 – 10 p.m., local comedians take the stage next to Twiggs Coffeehouse at 4590 Park Blvd., University Heights, free. Comedyheights.com.
Hillcrest Farmers Market: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., under the Hillcrest Pride Flag, Harvey Milk and Normal streets, free. Hillcrestfarmersmarket.com. —Email calendar items to firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014
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GARDEN Over the years, Streeper gave himself to the garden, overseeing just about every aspect of its maintenance and cultivation. “Every month we’d have a meeting where he would tell us what to do for the coming month,” explained Bob Kolb, president of the San Diego Rose Society. “He’d talk about tools and how to keep them sharp, about pruning and also about what kind of gloves were good to use. He’d take us around the garden and elaborate on how he wanted it pruned. I remember some roses created a spray instead of one rose on a stem. He taught us how such plants won’t support that many flowers, so he would show us how to thin it out. He was very detail oriented.” To help with the care of the garden, Streeper created the Rose Garden Corps, a group of volunteers that tend and nurture the rose garden. “There used to be one city government gardener whose area was the rose garden and that person did it all,” explained his wife. “But with city budget cutbacks we came to rely on volunteers who work really hard to have the garden cleaned up, the older roses trimmed and the raking done. They come on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. They work very hard, with supervision from a city employee gardener.” Currently, there are about 40 volunteers, mostly retirees, but according to Sue, the garden can always use more. “Ideally it would be great to have 60 to 80 volunteers,” she said. “We encourage people to work in groups and match them up with people who have been here longer. We have a system where people are assigned to a certain section and take ownership for their part of the garden.” When designing the rose garden, Streeper thought it important to keep the garden modest in size, in order to make it easier to keep. Yet, while 1,600 roses and 120 varieties may seem anything but manageable, it actually is
Sue Streeper continues to volunteer in the garden started by her late husband, Dick. (Photo by Monica Medina) when compared to other rose gardens, noted his wife. “It’s small in terms of some public gardens that have a few thousand roses, like the one in Los Angeles [upwards of 20,000], and in Portland, Oregon [more than 10,000],” she said. “Those are huge. Dick wanted it to be limited in size. Maintenance is really important if you want it to be beautiful. He felt three acres is plenty.” When deciding on the location in the park, Streeper aimed for visibility. “The first couple of sites in the park that had been pointed out to him as possibilities were not visible enough,” Sue explained. “So he looked at this site, where the garden is now, and said yes. Then he smartly suggested that the curb along Park Boulevard be painted red so no one would park there, which made the garden’s visibility from the street complete.” In most other climates, roses are in bloom for a short time, from mid-spring to fall. Here in San Diego, the season lasts longer, from April to December. “We have the perfect climate here for rose gardens,” Sue said. “The roses slow down in November and December. We prune the garden and plant replacements in January, leaving just bare sticks in the ground.” Kolb said that a floral show
is in the works for Balboa Park’s Centennial. “We will have a flower show on the Prado with all the floral societies represented — Gardenia society, Plumeria society, and all the rest. It’ll be held Mother’s Day weekend 2015 at the Balboa Park Club.” Streeper has received numerous awards from the San Diego Rose Society. In 2013, both he and the Memorial Rose Garden, were each recognized with the GROW (Great Rosarians of the World) Award. Given by the Huntington Librar y, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, the award is one of the most prestigious honors given in the rose industr y. “I think I learned everything I know about roses from working with my husband,” said Sue, whose home that she shared with her husband for 51 years, boasts a garden of 350 roses. “People trusted his judgment.
He’d been doing roses for a long time, and was opinionated about how they should be grown. We will continue doing things in this garden according to the ‘Streeper Method.’ This means we try to have the roses in any given bed at the same height, keep as much color around the plants as much as possible so you don’t take off the old blooms until they’re falling apart. That’s the way he would have wanted.” “Keep color on the plant as long as you can, was what he always said,” added Kolb. “Because of Dick, the Rose Garden Corps has learned a lot by being here, and that will continue just because the volunteers are dedicated and they know it’s important. For a lot of people, this is their garden.” —Contact Monica Medina at email@example.com or follow @monicastangled on Twitter. u
San Diego Uptown News | Nov. 21–Dec. 4, 2014