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Serving San Diego’s Premier Urban Communities for 25 Years Vol. 25 No. 6 June 2016



Appeals court revives coalition lawsuit; city coverup alleged Barons Beer Pairings Coming There are many reasons for North Park consumers to look forward to Barons Market opening in the former Fresh and Easy, but now there’s one more: Come out and enjoy a Barons Back-room Beer Pairing. These ticketed events will be held quarterly after Barons opens. PG. 10

The city of San Diego allowed this Jack in the Box, located between 30th and Dale on Upas Street, to keep its drive-thru lane, a violation of zoning laws, according to the lawsuit by Care About North Park.

Care About North Park, the coalition that sued the city of San Diego for allowing Jack in the Box to make extensive building modifications at its 30th and Upas street store — and was blocked by a local judge — is claiming partial victory in light of a state appeals court ruling on the matter. The ruling means the suit will go to trial, with Jack in the Box named as a “real party in interest.” See the story on PAGE 2 LEFT: Rick Pyles, a founder of Care About North Park, said it was time the city enforced its own laws in the Jack in the Box case.

Fair & Historic Home Tour When the Old House Fair & Vintage Row returns to 30th & Beech Streets on Saturday, June 18, South Park’s blend of old and new will be proudly on display for all to enjoy. The event’s signature Historic Home Tour this year features four residences built over 100 years ago, along with a fifth that’s nearly 85 years old. PG. 15

Art, Music, Beer — and a Lot More The all-day Festival of Arts in North Park on May 21 attracted thousands. “We’ve created a unique experience that is beyond any typical arts festival,” said Angela Landsberg, executive director of North Park Main Street, which produces the festival. Photographer Jim Childers captures the sights. PG. 17-18

CONTACT US RIGHT: Angering some of his constituents, Councilman Todd Gloria lifted a stop-use order that allowed Jack in the Box to move forward on its remodeling project.



Brad Weber




Shocking Reversal State appeals court ruling puts city and Jack in the Box on trial In a unanimous and stronglyworded ruling about the contested Jack in the Box reconstruction in North Park, a state appeals court has signaled that San Diego neighborhoods can effectively fight City Hall and corporations to redress land use law violations. The 3-0 decision by California’s Fourth District Court on May 23 reversed the January 2015 grant of summary judgment by San Diego Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Prager dismissing the “North Park Preservation Coalition vs City of San Diego” civil suit (with Jack in the Box named as a “real party in interest”). The appeals court pinpointed several flaws in Prager’s ruling, and it cleared the way for the coalition to proceed to trial and seek closure of the eatery’s drive-thru, which does not comply with current zoning law. Witnesses in that trial, which could be scheduled next year, are likely to include: • Jack in the Box executives who orchestrated the abrupt building demolition that, according to the appellate ruling, exceeded the project’s original May 2, 2013 remodeling permit; • Officials in the city’s Development Services Department (DSD) who issued the original permit, who warned elected officials about the corporation’s permit violations and the community’s outrage, and who issued a second permit on July 29, 2013 that retroactively expanded the project’s scope; and • District 3 City Councilman Todd Gloria, who, in his first official act as interim mayor, lifted a stop-use order and allowed the project to move forward over the objections of his constituents. Coalition attorney Cory Briggs predicted that the trial will pull back the curtain on closed-door machinations. “The city and Jack in the Box will now have to admit either that the community was deceived from the start,” he said, “or that Jack in the Box violated the original building permit allowing only interior renovations. The cover-up will eventually

‘It’s time for the city to enforce the law and for Jack in the Box to do the right thing,’ said Rick Pyles, a founder of Care About North Park.

Superior Court Judge Ronald S. Prager’s ruling against the North Park Coalition was reversed by the appeals court.

be uncovered.” A key plank in the appellate decision, and a probable focus of the trial, is the city’s inability to produce the original permit, which it has claimed made provisions for extensive reconstruction. Under current zoning law, the coalition has argued, such reconstruction should have cost Jack in the Box its grandfathered drive-thru privileges. “Both versions of the May 2, 2013 permit in the record appear to have been generated after July 29, 2013,” the appeals court wrote. “Coalition’s evidence suggests, and a reasonable fact finder can infer, that the original permit did not encompass demolition or movement of the exterior

Vehicles entering the drive-thru at Jack in the Box location at 30th and Upas streets.

walls but that those changes were authorized on July 29, 2013.” As the judges noted, San Diego City Attorney Jan Goldsmith was made aware early on that the project had overstepped its boundaries: “Coalition presented evidence that … City’s [DSD] advised the city attorney that real parties were out of compliance with the building permit due to the removal of exterior walls, prompting city’s stop order and other enforcement steps in June and July 2013.” Ironically, Goldsmith had refused to enforce the law in 2013 because he was afraid of losing a court case. According to an Aug. 1 letter from Lee Burdick, chief of staff to thenMayor Bob Filner, Goldsmith “advised that Jack in the Box was too far along in the construction, the company would likely sue the city if we stopped the development, and they very well might win.” After clarifying the time frame, the appeals judges refuted the city’s (and Prager’s) contention that the North Park lawsuit should have been filed within 90 days after the original permit issuance. Given the city’s shifting stances in the summer of 2013, the judges wrote, “The 90-day limitation period did not begin to run until that decision [to expand the project scope] was made at some point after May 31, 2013 or on July 29, 2013.” The appellate court further challenged arguments by the city, which Prager accepted, that the building reconstruction was just a “minor” remodeling to correct dry rot. The judges wrote, “The Coalition’s evidence — including statements of the [DSD] director indicating [Jack in the Box was] out of compliance with the original permit due to the demolition of walls — raises a focal question on the minor or substantial nature of the scope of the construction changes in relation to the original permit.” Rick Pyles, a driving force behind the suit who told North Park News last summer that “when our appeal is upheld, we are confident that we will prevail at trial on the merits of

A trial on the Jack in the Box case could be scheduled next year.

our case” (“Appeal Filed in Jack in the Box Lawsuit Case,” July 2015), expressed appreciation for the ruling. Pyles is a founder of Care About North Park, the group that has organized support for the suit. “We have persevered through three years and countless hurdles because we always knew the law was on our side,” he said. The group’s ultimate goal, said Pyles, is to make the congested 30th and Upas intersection safer for pedestrians in keeping with community goals. “Jack in the Box had a clear choice: remodel and keep their grandfathered drive-thru or reconstruct and lose the drive-thru,” he said. “It’s time for the city to enforce the law and for Jack in the Box to do the right thing.”

Councilman Todd Gloria, who was interim mayor at the time of the reconstruction project, may be called to testify in the trial.

‘The cover-up will eventually be uncovered,’ said Coalition Attorney Cory Briggs.


Joe Schloss Memorialized Morley Field access road named after legendary coach An access road at Morley Field has been named Joe Schloss Way in honor of the legendary Little League coach who spent the last 60 years of his life devoted to young players and the game. “Joe was one of the most respected and recognizable residents in the North Park area, influencing generations of young men and women on skill, sportsmanship and good character,” said the North Park Little League in a request to rename the street. “The naming of the street will not only honor Joe, it will provide a community service by adding a familiar name to the road. When people say turn left on Joe Schloss Way to find the baseball and soccer fields, drivers will see the sign.” Schloss was a youth baseball coach for 60 years — 57 of them at North Park Little League. He died on Nov. 25, 2015 at age 88. About six months before his death, Schloss was honored by the city and county of San Diego. May 16 was named “Joe Schloss Day” in recognition to hs dedication to the sport of baseball and players. Joe attended the ceremony with his wife, Barbara. He said he was a little

embarrassed about the tribute. His longevity as a coach, he said, had been a team effort helped along by many co-coaches over the decades. Schloss, a Navy veteran who served in the Pacific during World War II, coached his first team in 1956, which made 2015 his 60th season. He said he had no plans of hanging up his clipboard anytime soon. “I still enjoy it and I still can stand coming to the ballpark, meeting the kids and having some fun with the children and when it ceases to be fun, I’m not coming back,” said Schloss. He was a founding member of North Park Little League and has a field named in his honor, but some say another remarkable streak is held by another Schloss — the coach’s wife — who attended every single game, watching intently from the bleachers. “Most coaches coach when their children are playing and when their children are no longer playing they get out of the program,” Barbara told NBC 7 in May. “He coaches for the love of coaching.” When he wasn’t out with the kids, Joe operated his store, A-B Sporting Goods, on University Avenue.



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Community Mourns Loss of ‘The Ice Cream Man’ BY MISHA DIBONO | FOX 5

Dick Van Ransom-Magana was larger-than-life Normal Heights has lost a legend. Dick Van Ransom-Magana, better known as the “Ice Cream Man,” was an Adams Avenue icon and his famous Mariposa Homemade Ice Cream was legendary. The Ice Cream Man passed away June 3, according to the ice cream shop’s Facebook post. The loss was still too raw to express by his nephew, Tim Rose, who worked at the Mariposa Parlor since he was a teenager. “It’s hard. Everybody loved him so much. He was just this larger-than-life personality,” said Rose, holding back the tears. “My uncle grew up on a dairy farm in upstate New York, so he's making ice cream his whole life.” At 74, Van Ransom-Magana didn’t discover his life’s passion for making ice cream until he was in his 50s — starting out by selling at local street fairs which is how he discovered Adams Avenue. “He’s just a great guy,” said longtime associate Scott Kessler. “One of those guys that everybody loved.” Kessler is the executive director of the Adams Avenue business association where Van Ransom-Magana was very active, the two met when “The Ice Cream Man” was still a vendor at the Adams Avenue Street Fair.

“Dick did not have a mean bone in his body,” Kessler said. “If he appeared to come off gruff it was just his grizzly bear size!” As news of his passing spread through the community. Hundreds took to social media to post their condolences and share memories. Hundreds more showed up at the parlor leaving flowers and signing a giant card for his wife Anna, his partner in making people smile for more than 25 years. “He loved making the best ice cream he could make,” Rose said. “And he love sharing it with people.” It was not just the locals who came back for the “self-described” best ice cream in the world; the walls of The Mariposa are covered with celebrity endorsements. For no reason other than Anna’s love for The Beatles, the walls are covered with memorabilia given to the family over the years by their customers. “He just loved what he did,” said his nephew. “He loved being here, he loved serving ice cream and seeing all the happy faces that came in to get ice cream.” Funeral services and memorial are planned for later in the month. Dick Van Ransom-Magana

Hillcrest Wind Ensemble Celebrates ‘Blast from the Past’ Concert gives tribute to three decades of pop music

Hillcrest Wind Ensemble

The Hillcrest Wind Ensemble takes a “Blast to the Past,” celebrating pop music from the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s on Friday, June 24, at the Mississippi Room in the historic Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Bld. There will be a complementary fruit

and cheese table at 7:30 p.m. and concert at 8 p.m. A no host bar will also be available as well as a 50/50 raffle. The band welcomes special guests,Kevin Cavanaugh and Blue Velvet, a dynamic retro act which has performed in numerous night clubs in

San Diego. These three decades had some of the best pop music ever produced. The ensemble will perform a symphonic tribute to the Beatles as well as music ranging from Queen to The Carpenters. A highlight of the night

will be a special tribute to the late Prince. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at The Windsmith, 3875 Granada Ave. in North Park, at, or at the door. The 45-piece Hillcrest Wind Ensemble is in its 30th year of per-

forming and is a program of the LGBT Center acting as a musical ambassador to the community as a whole. For information, (619) 6922077, Ext. 814.


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Financial Tips for Women

Making smart money decisions

In recent decades, women have made incredible strides, both professionally and personally. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, more women are attending college and taking on greater responsibilities and leadership roles in the workplace. A 2013 Pew Research study said women are the leading or solo breadwinners in 40 percent of households. With increasing numbers of women taking the reins on the family finances, it is important that women stay aware of changing needs so we are able to make smart financial choices. Single

Single women should develop smart financial habits as soon as they begin working and supporting themselves. Start by establishing an emergency fund that will provide protection in case of a job loss, a costly medical issue, or other unforeseen circumstance. Learn how to create a budget and live within your means. Establish a record-keeping system and get in the habit of paying bills on time. Pay off credit cards and student loans as quickly as possible and avoid getting further into debt. Open a savings account and make regular deposits. Learn about investing to grow your savings, and if your employer offers a 401k or other retirement plan, be sure to take full advantage of this and other benefits. Marriage Couples should have a serious discussion about finances before marriage. Talk about your financial goals and habits to get a sense of how compatible you are in this area. Consider getting financial counseling. With about 40 percent of all marriages end-

Robbin Narike Preciado is a regional president for Union Bank for Southern California.

ing in divorce and with women typically living longer than men, it is critical that women take an active role in the household finances. Develop a household budget together and get into the habit of communicating regularly about goal setting, budget and cash flow, insurance and investing. Create a will and purchase adequate insurance coverage to protect yourself financially in the event of an accident, death or disaster. Meet as a couple with your banker, accountant and financial planner, and know where all of your accounts and investments are held and where all of your important documents are kept. Establishing a will and/or living trust becomes increasingly important once you start a family. Review your insurance policies and make changes to reflect your new beneficiaries.

Family According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it will cost the average family about $235,000 to raise a child to the age of 17, and that figure doesn’t include the cost of a college education. If you plan to pay for some or all of your child’s college education, begin exploring 529 College Savings Plans and other options that may offer tax advantages. If you are faced with the choice of paying for college or saving for retirement, most financial advisors warn against delaying funding your retirement savings to pay for college. College-aged children can get summer jobs and part-time employment to help foot the bill, or consider a student loan or other financial aid. Some women find themselves caring for their children and aging parents, and in many cases this support involves not only time and emotional capital, but financial support. Talk to your parents early about their estate planning and long-term care plans. If you have siblings, discuss ways to help each other share the responsibility. Divorce If you are facing a divorce, pay close attention to any accounts or assets that you hold jointly with your spouse. Cancel any joint credit cards and begin establishing accounts in your name only. Amend your will and insurance policies to change your beneficiaries if necessary. Ask trusted friends and advisors for referrals for a qualified family law attorney. If your ex-husband was the primary bread winner, seek alimony, especially if you left the workforce to care for children. While alimony has historically been a benefit provided to women after a divorce, if you are a high earner, you may be

Small Business Refinance Program to Launch June 24 Opportunity to lighten debt burden for thousands of companies Small business owners feeling the pressure of commercial mortgage debt and facing the specter of rising interest rates can get relief starting June 24 when a new refinance program is launched by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and provided by CDC Small Business Finance. “This is a game changer for small businesses that need financial breathing room to grow and create new jobs,” said Kurt Chilcott, president of CDC Small Business Finance, a leading non-for-profit SBA lender offering the new refinance loans. Under the new refinance program, small businesses can take advantage of lower rates, fixed for 20 years, to lighten their monthly debt payments, improve cash flow and stabilize operations. The program allows for refinancing commercial real estate debt as well as other business debt and expenses. The current SBA-504 loan rate is 4.31 percent. Between $100 billion and $200 billion in commercial real estate debt is projected to mature nationwide in 2016 and 2017. Much of this debt is owed by small businesses still struggling in a lukewarm economy. The new SBA-504 Refinance program reprises a successful pilot initiative that in 2011-2012 helped more than 2,700 small businesses refinance nearly $7 billion in high-interest debt.

“The SBA Refinance program provided a way to refinance my buildings and use the equity to completely pay off my commercial bank debt,” said Kirk Butler, owner of Cactus Stone and Tile in Phoeniz and 2012 refinance loan recipient. If interest rates begin to rise, many small businesses will be challenged to qualify for a conventional refinance loan versus an SBA loan. With the new SBA-504 Refinance loan, a bank and SBA-certified lending partner will provide 90 percent financing, leaving a 10 percent down-payment by the small business owner. Small business owners can find out more by visiting SBA-504 Refinance. They can also discuss prequalification with a CDC Small Business Finance loan expert in California or Arizona. CDC Small Business Finance is a not-forprofit lender that provides capital to small businesses so they can expand, grow and create jobs in California, Arizona and Nevada. The company specializes in SBA lending, but also offers the Community Advantage loan for working capital, equipment, inventory, tenant improvements and business acquisition. In 38 years, CDC has helped create over 170,000 jobs by leveraging more than $12 billion in loans to over 10,000 small businesses. Visit or call (800) 611-5170.


required to pay alimony. Meet with a financial advisor who can help you transition. Meet with a financial adviser to make adjustments to your investment portfolio, and begin planning for changes in cash flow and budgeting so you are able to live on your retirement income. Housing needs may change and downsizing your home may be a consideration. Seek information about Social Security income you may have coming and when you should start claiming benefits. If you have outstanding debt, work to pay it down or off. Evaluate your medical insurance, and consider purchasing long-term care insurance to cover healthcare expenses should you require personal assistance later. Widowed Avoid making any major decisions while still grieving and turn to your trusted financial advisers for guidance. Your attorney can also guide you and make modifications to your will and powers of attorney to reflect your new circumstances. Contact your insurance agent to discuss life insurance coverage you may have, and apply for any other benefits that you may be entitled to, such as Social Security, employer or veterans’ benefits. Contact your bank and other financial institutions to make changes to your jointly held accounts, and meet with your financial planner to assess your current needs and assets. This article reflects the thoughts and opinions of the author and is being provided for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be considered financial or tax advice. Please consult your financial or tax advisor about your situation.


Sperm whale, courtesy of Brandon Cole.

WHALES: GIANTS OF THE DEEP NEW INTERACTIVE EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS WHALE BIOLOGY AND DIVERSITY Visitors to the San Diego Natural History Museum can explore “Whales: Giants of the Deep,” an interactive exhibition featuring the latest in international cetacean research. Whales, which will be on view at the Museum through Sept. 5 and is included with the price of general admission, has a unique blend of science, storytelling, and innovative exhibits giving visitors the opportunity to discover more about the world of whales. “Our fascination with and affinity for whales was one of the many reasons we decided to bring ‘Whales: Giants of the Deep’ to San Diego,” said Dr. Michael Hager, president and CEO at the San Diego Natural History Museum. “The exhibition allows guests to explore these magnificent creatures with a series of informative and hands-on exhibits that allow you to take a deeper dive into our vast oceanic ecosystems. It also gives us the opportunity to highlight the whale research we’re doing here at the Museum.” At 7,000 square feet, Whales showcases amazing and rare specimens from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa’s whale collection, one of the largest in the world. Visitors will see life-size and scale

Wahaika (short-handled weapon), maker unknown, made of whale bone and paua shell. Collection of Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2007.

models of whales common to the South Pacific as well as contemporary whalebone treasures such as weapons and chiefly adornments. They’ll also learn about whale biology, the evolutionary journey of whales from land to sea, and the history of whaling in New Zealand. Through this exhibition, adults and children alike will gain new perspectives of these majestic underwater giants. Additional Exhibition Highlights: • See a beaked whale skull and two fullyarticulated sperm whale skeletons, including a massive 58-foot male. • Children can crawl through a life-size

replica of the heart of a blue whale — the Earth’s largest living creature. • Encounter whales through video portholes, be transported into their underwater world via two immersive projections, and enjoy a moving film experience that tells the stories of three whale-riding traditions in New Zealand, including the famous story of Paikea featured in “Whale Rider.” • Tune in to a range of whale sounds and discover how scientists and amateur trackers identify individual whales on their migration through the Pacific Ocean. • See ancient and contemporary works

of art and hear stories from people of the South Pacific illustrating the powerful influence these creatures have had on human culture. • Gain a true appreciation of the physical and behavioral traits that enable whales to make a living in the challenging and dynamic marine environment. • Walk among the giant — and not-sogiant —articulated skeletons of an astoundingly diverse collection of whale specimens, and then explore the evolutionary paths that gave rise to this unique group of mammals. “As a scientist, I am thrilled the museum is bringing this exhibition to San Diego for our guests to enjoy,” said Tom Deméré, curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum and a leading expert on whales and whale fossils. “There is so much to be learned from these amazing creatures. Hosting an exhibition like ‘Whales: Giants of the Deep’ only further enhances our ability to raise awareness about the importance and distribution of these mammals. We hope the exhibition helps pique visitors’ interest in whales and helps them realize their extensive diversity and the innate wonder they possess.”





Artist’s impression of Kutchicetus minimus. Carl Buell 2007.

Pätaka taonga. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008.

Blue Whale Heart. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008.

Whale riders theatre experience. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008.

Stylised model of the maihi (barge boards) from Whitireia meeting house, Whangara, East Coast, New Zealand. The central tekoteko (carved figure) is Paikea, the famous whale-riding ancestor of the local tribe. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008. Reproduced with the generous support of Ngäti Konohi, 2007

A visitor learning about whale anatomy at the ‘Build a Dolphin’ interactive in the Whale Lab of the Whales | Tohorä exhibition. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008.

Two articulated sperm whale skeletons are a highlight of the Whales | Tohorä exhibition. Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 2008.



By Bart Mendoza June 22 Commanding Vocals and Soul-Inflected Guitar Work

Ariel Levine

One of the most visible musicians in San Diego, Ariel Levine is known for his soul-inflected guitar work and commanding vocals. To date he is best known for playing as a sideman and in tribute groups to Elvis Costello, Prince and Marvin Gaye, as well as taking part in celebrations of the Ramones and the recent David Bowie tributes at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. On June 22 at the Office, Levine finally shifts the focus on to his own music, with his solo debut show, featuring songs from the upcoming album, “Let The Machine Get It.” Levine shares much with the acts he’s paid tribute to, penning concise, classic sounding songs in the tradition of latter-day Bowie..

June 25 One of the Hottest Bands in the U.S. The biggest band based out of San Diego right now? It’s post-hardcore rockers, Pierce the Veil, who perform at the Observatory on June 25. Formed in 2006, the band’s new album, “Misadventures,” entered the Billboard Top 200 Charts on May 23 at No. 4, with over 60,000 copies sold in less than a month, effectively making them one of the hottest bands in the U.S. today. This San Diego homecoming date is part of a world tour that will see the band playing in 14 countries through Dec. 6 and promises to be more of a party than a concert. Indeed, this is a band with plenty to celebrate. Pierce The Veil


July 2 Virtuoso Fretwork by Sprague and Benedetti On July 2, two of San Diego’s best guitarists, Peter Sprague and Fred Benedetti, come together to perform the music of the three of the world’s best songwriters — aka The Beatles — at Dizzy’s. Sprague, the 2015 San Diego Music Award Lifetime Achievement Award winner, is a jazz legend, touring with the likes of Dianne Reeves as well as producing hundreds of recordings over the course of his career. Meanwhile Benedetti is a lynchpin of the local music community, performing with numerous combos while teaching several generations of local musicians. Whether you are a fan of the Fab Four or simply like virtuoso fretwork, you’ll love every note from these two fantastic performers.

June 25 Baby I Love Your Reggae Reggae favorites Big Mountain perform at the Music Box on June 25. Currently touring behind their latest album, “Perfect Summer,” only frontman Joaquin “Quino” McWhinney and keyboardist Michael Hyde remain from their early ’90s beginnings, but under McWhinney’s musical direction the sound has kept it’s spirit and uplifting, rhythmic songs. Most remembered for their No. 6 hit, “Baby, I Love Your Way,” the band’s new disc will please both novices to Big Mountain’s island sounds or longtime fans, with songs like the title track custom-made for summer time and driving with the top down. Quino of Big Mountain The Dickies

July 1 and July 22

July 17

Unplugged and Full Electric Sets by Country Rockin’ Rebels

The Dickies, Bringing the Fun Back

There is no better description of the Country Rockin’ Rebels music than the band’s name itself. In honor of the release o f their new album, “Ride Rebel Ride,” the group will host two distinct CD release shows in July. Lead by singer Tristan Luhrs and guitarist Michael Head, on July 1 the six-piece band will perform an acoustic unplugged set at Rosie O’Grady’s in Normal Heights, while on July 22 they will play a full electric set at Mother’s Saloon in Ocean Beach. Either show will please any fan of roots rock Americana, but the nod goes to the rare acoustic set where you’ll be able to hear their fun tunes such as “Too Rock For Country,” in a different light. Country Rockin Rebels flag photo 2016

Cartoon punks, the Dickies perform at the Casbah on July 17. Formed in 1977, the band made a far bigger chart impact in the UK then they did in the U.S., but it’s a testimony to their take-noprisoners performing style that four decades after their beginnings, the Dickies are still a headline club and festival act. With props including hand puppets, sped up hard rock favorites and tonguein-cheek songs such as “You Drive me Ape, You Big Gorilla,” the Dickies bring the fun back to live music. It’s been 15 years since they’ve released new tunes, but with their early works now considered classics of the punk era, fans will be thrilled with what is essentially a greatest hits set.



Barons Market Beer Pairings Adams Avenue News Bay Park Connection Clairemont Community News Hillcrest News • IB Local News Ken-TAL News • The Boulevard News North Park News • South Park News Serving San Diego’s Premier Mid City Communities Chairman/CEO Bob Page Publisher Rebeca Page Associate Publisher Brad Weber ReachLocals@ Editor Manny Cruz Art Director Chris Baker Marketing/Advertising Brad Weber ReachLocals@ -----------------------------Writers/Columnists Bart Mendoza Delle Willett Anna Lee Fleming Sara Wacker Media Consultant Tom Shess Social Media Ali Hunt Photography Manny Cruz Sande Lollis Jim Childers Letters/Opinion Pieces North Park News encourage letters to the editor and guest editorials. Please address correspondence to or mail to Manny Cruz. Please include a phone number, address and name for verification purposes; no anonymous letters will be printed. We reserve the right to edit letters and editorials for brevity and accuracy. Story ideas/Press Releases Do you have an idea for an article you would like to see covered in this newspaper? We welcome your ideas, calendar item listings and press releases. For breaking news, please call us at (619) 287-1865. For all other news items, please email

ADDRESS PO Box 3679, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 PHONE (858) 461-4484 North Park News distributes copies monthly to residents and businesses of North Park, South Park, Golden Hill and Normal Heights. The entire contents of North Park News is copyrighted, 2015, by REP Publishing, Inc. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without prior written consent. All rights reserved.


An added attraction when you’re not shopping inside There are many reasons for North Park consumers to look forward to Barons Market opening in the former Fresh and Easy location — convenience, good pricing, fresh and nutritious groceries, and a customer-first philosophy. But, wait, there’s more: Put away your shopping bags, neighbors, and come out and enjoy a Barons Backroom Beer Pairing. These ticketed events are held quarterly on the loading docks behind the markets, offer tasty food samplings, beer to complement the flavors, and a casual venue to experience products sold inside the store. All proceeds from the $15 cost go to benefit a charity. For example, money from the next Beer Pairing will be Pug Rescue. For adults only, no minors, no dogs, the Backroom Beer Pairings have been a big success at the local Barons Markets from Point Loma to Alpine to Rancho Bernardo. Often with a holiday or seasonal theme, St. Patrick’s Day was a natural, and on June 22 the markets will feature Ironfire beer out of Temecula and food with a distinctively summer flair. Expect refreshing fare like a watermelon and feta cheese salad, chicken satay skewers, mini-cheeseburgers with arugula and brie, and ice cream and beer floats. Representatives from Ironfire will be at each of the Barons Markets’ Pairings, and the brewer will be at one to answer any questions about the beer. Many shoppers are repeat visitors to the events, and newcomers learn about Backroom by word of mouth or postcard advertisements in local restaurants and coffee shops. Sometimes an email blast goes out to

A Rancho Bernardo Beer Pairing.

announce the date and time (6-8 p.m.), but tickets are usually sold out three to four days earlier. Before the Backroom Beer Pairings ever take place, store managers and the brewer meet to hash out what matches up best. Somewhat like lively Thanksgiving gathering, but in a back stock room, everyone can give an opinion on the servings. After a consensus is reached, the final menu is set. With the Barons Market on University Avenue slated to open in October or November, North Park neighbors will be able to get in on their own local Backroom Beer Pairing. If the autumn evening gathering is chilly, heat lamps will make things cozy. The food samplings are touted as 15minute recipes and include reminders as to which beer is best with each course. All ingredients can be purchased at the market. New in the North Park Barons will be a vinegar and olive oil bar. Hot soup, a salad bar, antipasto station, and locally sourced produce are some popular items.

Rachel Shemirani, vice president of marketing said the stores offer interesting surprises while valuing time and money. When asked what sets Barons apart from a Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Trader Joe’s, she explained that this is a San Diego-owned business. Her father, Joe, is the owner, her sister is a buyer. Together they have built a team that feels like an extended family. They take pride in being an agent for the customer, with attention to competitively priced foods of exceptional quality. Shoppers will find rotisserie chicken priced at $4.99 every day, milk at lower cost than most supermarkets, and good, all-natural spaghetti sauce at $1.99. Samples are available at demo stations seven hours a day. Compared to Trader Joe’s with about 3,500 stocked items, Barons will offer some 9,000 products. Impressive is the supply of some 600 microbrews. To fit all this in the soon-to-be-opened store, customers may have to look to higher shelving, using every available square foot. Excited about this first urban market, Barons has contracted with architects and designers to plan out an attractive and easy grocery trip. Parking will be available, and with North

Park being so walkable, it should be easy to get in and out. An interesting concept is what Barons calls the “10-minute shopping experience.” Instead of carrying 10 different kinds of pasta sauce, for example, only four are sold, chosen carefully with an emphasis on flavor and value. Each Thursday, a panel of store managers comes together to select and eliminate items to make sure that what is on the store shelf is worthy of your own pantry and refrigerator. They taste test 80-120 new food items, and pick only those that taste good, contain allnatural ingredients, and have properly labeled packaging. If necessary, staff negotiates prices until they can get an acceptable price tag. This teamwork informs leadership about the quality of products and improves the chances of shopper satisfaction. Customers are also encouraged to speak up about what is good and bad, and to request something not in stock. Such attention results in a less confusion and time when buying groceries. Customers appreciate all the research, as managers and marketers make a majority ruling on food and beverages they are passionate about. The Barons philosophy is to put customers first with fewer, but excellent selections, an efficient store, and ultimately a great meal at home. The North Park Barons plans to hire locally. Community is important and store employees from the neighborhood know about local schools, sports teams, small businesses, and recognize familiar faces. A job fair will be held about eight weeks before the store opens, with about 30 openings. Other ties to North Park will be featuring the area’s local breweries at the Backroom Beer Pairings, as well as having those labels in stock, showcasing local farms and vendors, and possibly connecting with the Thursday Farmer’s Market on North Park Way. With the Noth Park consumer in mind, Barons will make a neighborly footprint in the grocery landscape.



Jefferson Elementary School Students Create Art to Support ArtReach Program North Park -- You could hear a pin drop in Room 1 at Jefferson Elementary School on the morning of June 16. As ArtReach Teaching Artist Catherine Dzialo-Haller demonstrated how to begin a seascape painting, 40 third, fourth and fifth grade students sat quietly and attentively behind their easels. Soon they would begin their own painting by defining a horizon line and layering on paint

to make ocean waves, sky and perhaps a sunset. Just another ArtReach lesson at the school – almost. Since 2008 ArtReach has connected practicing artists to elementary schools and over 15,000 students throughout San Diego County to provide standards-based, sequential art instruction, with an emphasis on providing free or very low-cost programs to schools with no resources

for art. ArtReach artists began working at Jefferson in 2014, since then they have helped youngsters create hundreds of works of art in different media, while learning art skills and growing confidence in creative decision making. On this June morning, though, Jefferson students were creating art to give back to the ArtReach program. These seascapes will be showcased at

Party ARTy for ArtReach. Party ARTy is the annual celebration that supports ArtReach free and low-cost programs. This year the event will take place on September 25 at a private home in Del Mar. In addition to fine food, and live music, guests will have the opportunity to meet and talk to three local artists while they work, win fine wine and bid on silent auction items. Some fortunate

donors will walk away with a seascape painted by a Jefferson elementary student. To reserve your ticket for Party ARTy email or call 619-940-7278. To learn more about the ArtReach program visit

1. Carter, a fourth grader at Jefferson Elementary, shows his painting.

2. Seascapes painted by Jefferson Elementary students.

3. Seascape painted by a Jefferson Elementary student.

4. ArtReach teaching artists (left to right) Catherine Dzialo-Haller, Sarah Holbach, Shirley Carta.




As a dedicated carnivore living in South Park, I used to joke that if I lived closer to Iowa Meat Farms on Mission Gorge Road, my grocery bill would inflate considerably. No more — a high-end neighborhood butcher shop has come to my part of town. Sepulveda Meats, at 1220 28th St., opened in January and features highquality, grass-fed prime beef along with pork, lamb, chicken — sometimes even fresh rabbit — and homemade sausages, as well as deli meats and cheeses. A specialty of the house is marinated beef and chicken, good for carne and pollo asada. It's a family affair, originating in Imperial County. Proprietor John Sepulveda was reared in Brawley; a practicing pharmacist for 16 years with undergraduate and graduate degrees from University of the Pacific in Stockton, he has lived in San Diego the past decade. His nephew, Nick Swing, is the

head butcher and general manager. Nick, 28, grew up in Brawley and learned the meat-cutting trade over an eight-year stint as a butcher in his hometown. “I know every feedlot in Imperial County,” says Nick. A third family member, Nick’s gregarious second cousin (and John’s niece) Roxanne Kruger, acts as a combination cashier/deli overseer/sandwich maker (Thursday-Saturday only, for now). As he watched his nephew learn about not just meat cutting but the whole business of high-quality meats, Sepulveda — a food-lover with a keen sense of family and community — began thinking about San Diego’s lack of neighborhood butcher shops. About two years ago, he and Nick made an exploratory trip to San Francisco, where practically every neighborhood has one. Nick leaped at the chance to go into business with his uncle, which led to the Golden Hill location. It takes time to build up a clientele, but the business is growing step by step. “I see a neighborhood butcher

as a place that’s open every day,” says Sepulveda, “and a pillar of the community where everybody congregates and where our customers can say, ‘This place caters to me.’” Roxanne adds, “I want it to have that old-time feeling, a family thing... I want to get to know my customers. No gimmicks — it’s all about the product.” Nick orders all his beef from Brandt Beef, a 70-year-old familyowned business that advertises its beef as “100% hormone and antibiotic free” and “100% source-verified” (meaning all animals are born in the U.S. and raised, fed, and custom processed by the company itself). Top-of-the-line prime-grade filet and ribeye is $24 a pound. Nick says he can handle any size order or specialty cuts with a little advance notice. Yeah, my grocery bill did go up. It’s worth every cent. Sepulveda Meats and Provisions, 1220 28th St. (619) 501-1878. Hours: Mon-Fri 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun 9 a.m. to 2 p.m..

John Sepulveda with first cousin Roxanne Kruger and nephew Nick Swing.

Cow sign outside Sepulveda Meats invites partiers.

John Sepulveda with first cousin Roxanne Kruger, who also works in the business, and nephew Nick Swing. Nick Swing, head butcher and general manager, takes a customer’s order.

Beef ribs counter display.

Omnivore salt display.


Queen Bee’s Opens Recording Studio for the Community For artists struggling to build careers BY MANNY LOPEZ

Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center on Ohio Avenue has recently added a new, low-cost professional recording studio to its already long list of services available to the community. The 10x10-foot recording facility features a 36-track Allen & Heath mixing console, Apple computers running ProTools 12, a large variety of new and vintage microphones and an isolation room capable of holding several musicians simultaneously. “I created this studio to help the many local musicians, singers, poets, story-tellers, writers, comedians and spoken word artists that are in need of a professional recording studio, but who can’t afford the high rates that many facilities typically charge,” said Alma Rodriguez, director of Queen Bee’s. Rodriguez said that she will assist and support any artist with strong original material, who is willing to put in the time and work necessary to be successful. She said that it’s not so much about making money as it is nurturing a creative environment. “This is something that I want to do for the community,” said Rodriguez. “All they need is the desire to want to do it and the budget will come. We will also be able to have CD release parties here. It’s one stop shopping for anyone that wants to produce their project.”

Rodriguez explained that the studio project had been in the works for the past three years, but had to be put on hold because of the sizeable investment in time and money it required. She added that the motivation to finally build the studio came after recording a song written by Fernando Del Rio, a singer and songwriter she discovered nearly two years ago, who composed a tune aimed at combating the spate of anti-Mexican rhetoric sparked by presidential candidate Donald Trump. “About two years ago, I was singing and playing congas on the street and a friend told me that I had to meet Alma, because she would help me get my songs heard,” said Del Rio, who at 58

Fernando Del Rio and Alma Rodriguez in the new recording studio at Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center.

has finally gotten his music career off the ground. “I walked in and she was in the back cooking. I played several songs for her and she immediately welcomed me and told me that she would help me out.” Rodriguez described herself as a music lover and musicians friend whose goal is to nurture the creative spirit and show that art comes from the soul. She is currently looking for undiscovered talent. Her ultimate goal is to help bands make it into the mainstream. According to Rodriguez, she Rodriguez behind the sound mixing console in the recording studio. has produced 15 musical acts in the past two years. “We now have a place to produce all of our art and music,” Rodriguez said. “The studio will make it possible for us to be able to record what we create, and distribute what we have.” Since opening its doors in 2009, Queen Bee’s has become a multi-purpose venue for dance classes, performances, concerts, art shows, open mic nights, poetry slams, comedy shows, Zumba fitness classes, masquerade balls, youth programs, special events and salsa dancing on Sundays. “I love the diversity of this place,” Recording vocals in the sound booth. said Nicole Vitale, a North Park resident for the past two years who was attending a swing dance class at Queen Bee’s. “There isn’t any other location around with so much going on that benefits the community as much as this place.” Queen Bee’s Art & Cultural Center is located at 3925 Ohio St. More information can be found at or by calling (619) 2555147. ‘We now have a place to produce all of our art and music,’ said Rodriguez, shown here at her desk.

City Planners Mull How to RegulateMicrobreweries in New North Park Plan If city planners in the 1980s could have read the tea leaves – or the beer suds, if you will – they might have known North Park would become a destination for microbreweries and other small-batch makers of food and drink. But they didn’t. The Greater North Park Community Plan on the books today doesn’t contemplate the existence of microbreweries or its artisan brethren, like bakeries, coffee roasters and candy makers. So unless a proposed zoning change is included in the update, the plan could effectively ban future microbreweries in the neighborhood. While the blueprint on the books now, which was approved in 1986, ponders current-day issues like density and neighborhood character, the closest it gets to describing North Park’s burgeoning craft beer and food scene is a desire to foster “businesses tailored to a younger market” in otherwise rundown commercial strips. The city of San Diego is working to modernize North Park’s community plan. The 2016 version is out for public review, wending through the advisory North Park Planning Committee on its way to a possible recommendation to City Council in September. Final Council approval could come as soon

as October, said Lara Gates, the city’s project manager for the plan update. Draft language in the new community plan was driven by public input. North Park businesses got nervous when they realized the old community plan didn’t explicitly recognize the kind of light-manufacturing zoning required for microbreweries and their ilk. Microbreweries are different from bars or other establishments that simply serve beer – they brew specialty beer in-house in small batches. So city planners put language into the new plan they hope will provide a framework for those kinds of businesses. The newly proposed zoning implementation clause — so far just a paragraph with four bullet points – describes artisan food and beverage producers as establishments that commercially produce foodstuff on-site, offering as examples microbreweries, coffee roasters, ice cream makers, bakeries and confectionaries. Limited-use or neighborhood-use permits could be issued to those businesses if: their square footage is 10,000 square feet or less; their storage is tucked out of view behind walls, fences or landscaping; they keep their hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and their distribution facilities aren’t next to residences. That new designation is crucial —


without it, the plan might end up banning microbreweries in areas that aren’t currently zoned for light industrial use. “Without the inclusion of a new zoning use that allows light manufacturing in commercial zones such as the proposed artisan food and beverage producer use, then microbreweries, which are considered a manufacturing use, would be prohibited unless the property was zoned light industrial,” Gates wrote in an email. Gates said neighborhood businesses have largely voiced support for the new language at community planning meetings. “Our intent is to encourage economic development through these types of businesses that support a vibrant, pedestrian-oriented community that has limited impact on the surrounding neighborhood,” Gates said. Ron Troyano, an entrepreneur whose ventures have included the former Alchemy restaurant in South Park, is participating in the conversation. He said he hopes the new clause can be fleshed out to consider future uses. “I think it’s important it be broad enough to accomplish all the goals of artisan food making. I’m concerned the language doesn’t contemplate all of the potential opportunities,” said Troyano, who recently formed a partnership with

Los Angeles-based Food Centricity, the business accelerator behind the shared kitchen concept L.A. Prep. For instance, he said the square footage proviso might be limiting. What might be appropriate for a microbrewery might not be scaled right for a food hub like L.A. Prep, which is in a 56,000-square-foot industrial building, said Troyano. In general, the light manufacturing conducted by these businesses don’t create the pollution, heavy traffic or noise often associated with heavier industrial manufacturing. “This is small-batch. We’re not talking about huge outputs – manually usually – with low automation,” Troyano said. “The facility doesn’t look like a factory. From the outside it’s a normal building.” Business owners citywide are watching the North Park community plan update, and those being updated concurrently in Golden Hill and Uptown, because they can become precedentsetting components of San Diego’s overall general plan, he said. Vicki Granowitz, chair of the North Park planning committee, said issues of alcohol and density tend to generate the most discussion in the neighborhood. “So getting the zoning right is very


important,” she said. The business advocacy nonprofit North Park Main Street pushed for the artisan food and beverage producer piece to be included in the updated plan. The group’s executive director, Angela Landsberg, said the new language would apply to new businesses, and to existing businesses seeking to expand or remodel. Landsberg said the emphasis on light manufacturing of food and drink in the community plan will make the regulations more clear, but won’t necessarily draw more microbreweries to North Park. “The market is going to drive that,” she said. “I maintain that we need diversity. We don’t want to be only a destination for breweries or thrift stores or anything else. We have to keep the balance.” The new artisan food and drink clause needs to be written broadly enough for North Park’s commercial district to naturally evolve, Landsberg said. “We want to make sure it allows for the flexibility for different types of businesses that can add to the economic value of North Park.” Jennifer McEntee is a San Diegobased freelance writer. Email her at or find her on Twitter at @smackentee. This article is from Voice of San Diego.



THEATER TEACH-IN Finest City Improve classes inspire creative, courageous lives in students BY DELLE WILLETT

Since summer of 2013, more than 500 students have learned a way to accept the ups and downs of life and take the next step. Finest City Improv has welcomed them into its level one improv-training class, inspiring them to live more creative, courageous lives. Every student at Finest City Improv is trained to build performance and life skills on the foundation of, “Yes! And…” This integral lesson teaches each improviser to always accept the reality of an onstage scene and commit to adding something of their own. According to students of the theater, this has become an off-stage lesson as a way to accept the ups and downs of life and take the next step. “We teach every student to harness their inner confidence by trying new things, meeting new people and fearlessly expressing themselves,” says Finest City Director of Community Engagement Kat Brown. “San Diego is a better place with 500 of these people roaming around.” Brown, 26, grew up in Mission Beach as an only child who learned to entertain herself, and her parents. They were always encouraging her to put on a show for them. Wonder-

ing what Kat is going to do next to make them laugh. Finest City Improv’s first employee, Kat’s job is to make improv classes as carefree and accommodating as possible. Great candidates for improv students are people over 18 who want to make connections, who want new friends, married couples, marketing and business people, singles looking for someone special. (Hey, it’s better than EHarmony!) Kat has been with the students who go through the different levels. She says, “The things they do on stage to create hilarious scenes are so vital because it helps with more authentic communication and with positive reinforcement. They’ve changed so much. I’ve seen them grow and develop and emerge with better versions of themselves.” Meet Derek Bego, 27. He’s been in classes at Finest City Improv since last July, when he migrated to San Diego from Santa Barbara and his home state of Hawaii. A former student in film production at Santa Barbara City College, Derek has always been interested in improv. With a father who was a professional musician, Derek says it was in his blood to be onstage. Derek’s interest turned to love when he starting coming to class —

love for the “sport” of improv, that is. (Although we can’t rule out falling in love with another student, which CAN happen!) He says, “I’ve always been a social person but coming to these classes

Finest City Improv was founded by Amy Lisewski in 2011 as a way to entertain, inspire and bring joy and laughter to the community of San Diego.

made me more engaged and personal. I’ve been a waiter for the last eight years to support myself while in school and I’ve noticed that in my work something is different: I’m making better eye contact. I’m more aware of things, and I’m a better listener. I’m more in the moment.” What he likes most about improve it that it’s good fun and a lot of laughs. “Sometimes I don’t feel like going to class but I’m always glad I did when I do. I go home in good

spirits because I’ve had such a blast.” Derek has met people from all walks of life at improv: lawyers, engineers, business people, yoga instructors. “It’s good for everyone,” he says. He’s been with the same students throughout his upper level courses that he was with at level one. “I’ve seen everyone change, come out of their shells,” he said. Derek says he’ll probably make a career in the hospitality industry, and he’ll always gain strength from the characters he’s acted out on stage. Finest City Improv’s North Park training center in the Lafayette Hotel offers regular classes for every level of improv experience, providing students with a supportive environment to foster creativity and make new friends. Veteran instructors teach students that great improv comedy evolves from teamwork, risk taking and a few fundamental skills that anyone can learn to improve their lives — both on and off the stage. Finest City Improv was founded by Amy Lisewski in 2011 as a way to entertain, inspire and bring joy and laughter to the community of San Diego. From performers, to students, to loyal fans and first-time visitors, the area’s leading improv group promises a playful and return-wor-

thy experience. In a 2014 issue of Forbes magazine, Jesse Seinto, a lecturer in Columbia University’s Strategic Communications programs, writes that businesses have increasingly turned to improv for help with team building and communication since training centers began popping up in the 1990s. He wrote: “The payoff comes in client meetings, when you need to not only hear but deeply listen to everything. It also improves presentation skills that include being comfortable with objective facts but also with emotion and expressiveness. Improv isn’t cleverness training or joke training. It’s really about the infrastructure or communicating and connecting. “In fact, studies have shown that people can improve their communication skills and lower their anxiety with regular practice. Improv’s lowstakes training increases the likelihood that team members will feel comfortable communicating in a variety of work situations.” For more information on classes and to learn more about Finest City Improv, visit

Students act out in Finest City Improv’s training class.

Gary Ware conducting a class.

Improv students share a laugh.

Kat Brown, director of community engagement at Finest City Improv, with Derek Bego, who’s been in classes at Finest City Improv since last July, when he migrated to San Diego from Santa Barbara and his home state of Hawaii.


Old House Fair Celebrates a Century of South Park History 18th annual fair and Historic Home Tour set for June 18


Landscape Designer Talks Top Landscape Trends Local landscape designer James Fahy is the founder and owner of Deep Rooted Designs, and his work will be featured in the upcoming Old House Fair and historic homes tour in South Park on Saturday, June 18. Deep Rooted Designs completely redesigned the backyard and landscaping of one of the over 100-year-old historic homes that is featured in this year’s tour — creating an affordable, drought-resistant and ecofriendly “Old World Spanish Bungalow” feel fit for the 21st century. Here are his Top 5 New Summer Landscape Design Trends, and tips on how San Diegans can transform their outdoor space into an eco-friendly oasis -- no matter what the budget . • Sustainability: Low water, non-turf landscapes have become the norm especially in southern California. These designs are not only eco-friendly but also very friendly on homeowners’ pockets.

Local artisans and craftsmen like Louis Plante’s Nouveau Designs exhibit and sell at booths that line 30th and Beech Streets for the Old House Fair. The free street fair also includes Ask The SOHO Experts, food and entertainment, and Vintage Row featuring antiques, vintage and repurposed home furnishings 18th. More info: (Photo by Andrea Frank)

When the Old House Fair & Vintage Row returns to 30th & Beech Streets on Saturday, June 18, South Park’s blend of old and new will be proudly on display for all to enjoy. The event’s signature Historic Home Tour this year features four residences built over 100 years ago, along with a fifth that’s nearly 85 years old. Meanwhile, the free street fair, also running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., offers the kind of festivity, food, drink and hip shopping that South Park has become famous for in the 21st century. Produced by the South Park Business Group, which also invites the public to its quarterly Walkabouts throughout the year, the Old House Fair is an opportunity to celebrate the unique architecture and charms of older homes such as the Craftsman residences lining the neighborhood’s streets. “South Park’s earliest development dates back to about 1905. By the time the streetcar lines and fire station were completed a few years later, many San Diegans were building and buying residences in the neighborhood, and some were building spec homes,” says Maureen Ceccarelli, long-time co-director of the Old House Fair. “In this tour, you can see a variety of the earliest homes.” Although the fair is a free public event, tickets to the Historic Home Tour cost $25 per person. Tickets entitle you to enter and tour each of the five homes, with knowledgeable docents guiding you to the most interesting rooms and features. The homes are open all day, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 18, and ticket-holders visit at their leisure. Some of the homes are within walking distance of the fair and ticket booth, and a free trolley shuttle is available as well. “Tour-goers will also want to plan time exploring the street fair, where SOHO and several exhibitors will have booths answering questions and providing services to repair, restore and revive older homes,” Ceccarelli said. “And they’ll want to spend time brows-

Also popular at the Old House Fair are booths featuring local artists and handmade goods, as well as Pet Adoptions by St. Paco’s Second Chance. Many of these booths are located along 30th Street between Ash and Beech. (Photo by Andrea Frank)

ing the Artists’ and Vintage Row sections, enjoy our food and live entertainment too.” New to the Old House Fair festival this year is South Park Brewing Co.’s “Boutique Biergarten” on 30th Street, which joins the Buona Forchetta Pizza Party and Gelato Shop on Beech Street. Several other food vendors participate as well. Local favorites will entertain on the Music Stage sponsored by Whistle Stop, including the Marcia Forman Band, and the dancers of Paloma Arte

Flamenco. Urban Safaris offers a free neighborhood walking tour in the afternoon as well. Everyone attending will receive a free Program and Resource Guide, an informative booklet with maps, historical and design information, and resources for future reference. Complete information is available on, including advance purchase of Historic Home Tour tickets. The public may also phone (619) 233-6679 for information and directions to the event.

• Edible Gardens: Veggie gardens and “urban farming” have become more and more common and can be accomplished in all areas. Limited on space? Vertical gardens are an option that can fit into any space. • Mixture of wood and concrete elements: These two types of material are great together since they contrast very well. A concrete casted planter with built in bench seating is an eco-friendly and on-trend look. • Simplicity and Structure: Designs are more about clean lines and structure than flashy finishes these days. • Monochromatic colors, especially dark ones: Example: Using a dark color along fence helps create vibrant contrasts to the surrounding materials that are meant to be seen, such as hardscape elements, garden beds, boulders and stone.



Meet the Plant Detective


Michael Simpson is a master sleuth in the field of evolutionary plant biology Move over Sherlock Holmes. In mysteries involving the discovery and classification of the flora around us, the legendary fictional detective would be no match for evolutionary biologist Michael Simpson. Simpson and his students and colleagues at San Diego State University are credited in the field for unearthing six new plant species and two new varieties and for “rediscovering” another species thought to be extinct. Moreover, his formidable sleuthing talents aren’t limited to botanical analysis. Simpson has served as an expert witness in two local murder trials, a distinction that may be unique among SDSU faculty. Most days, though, his work doesn’t make the tabloids. Simpson and his gumshoe students use DNA sequencing and high resolution scans to find missing links in the centuries-old stories of plant species migrations. Evolutionary history

They can reconstruct what are called “phylogenetic trees” of plant groups, which depict the pattern of an evolutionary history that spanned millions of years. From these trees, they can estimate the timing of divergence — that is the splitting of one ancient population into two. Evolutionary History

They can reconstruct what are called “phylogenetic trees”of plant groups, which depict the pattern of an evolutionary history that spanned millions of years. From these trees, they can estimate the timing of divergence--that is the splitting of one ancient population into two. Simpson and one of his former students discovered evidence that species of a plant genus called Cryptantha, more commonly known as popcorn flowers, may have been dispersed thousands of miles in the past, likely carried by birds that migrated long distances in a single flight. They also found indications that after Cryptantha dispersed from North to South America, some species became perennials and developed a rare type of reproductive biology called cleistogamy. These flowers do not open up as most cross-fertilized flowers do, but always self-fertilize, perhaps an adaptive response to the initial absence of pollinators in their new South American home. Back from Extinction

“At the heart of our work is the investigation of evolutionary history,” Simpson said. “We ask why species diversified only at certain times. For example, species of the plant genus Pogogyne or mesa

mints, three of which are endangered, live only in vernal pools, and so we can infer that its group, known as a clade, didn't diverge until vernal pools were formed.” Simpson continues to have a special affection for Cryptantha, the popcorn flowers and is currently working on naming and classifiying the North and South American members. This group of more than 100 species is mostly ignored by botanists because identifying them requires meticulous scrutiny of their tiny fruits, called nutlets. One North American species, Cryptantha wigginsii, was assumed to be extinct for more than 80 years until Simpson and his students discovered specimens close to home — in San Diego and Riverside counties and on Catalina Island. News of their find was published in the journal Madroño. In the Courtroom

Simpson’s extensive knowledge of taxonomy, so valuable in the classroom, occasionally finds an audience in the courtroom as well. Called as an expert witness in a murder case, he was asked to analyze a one-inch sliver of wood found on the victim’s skull. By studying the wood cell structure under a microscope, he identified it as ash and later learned that the murder weapon was a baseball bat — manufactured from ash. In a second case, police asked Simpson to identify samples of three desert plants found on the molding and inside the trunk of a car owned by a missing San Diego woman. He told police where the plants grew, they peppered that area with flyers, and hikers found the woman’s body a few days later.

nets where they’re housed. “Keep away moisture and insects, and these plant specimens can remain in good shape for hundreds of years, and the DNA inside them can persist for decades,” said Simpson. For each new sample, students create a high-resolution scan, georeference it and add it to online databases. Simpson and his crew are also taking high resolution photographic images of the tiny popcorn flower nutlets and posting them online with detailed information. All of these images aid in the identification of species and constitute an important resource for professional botanists as well resource managers. Given that San Diego County has the greatest diversity of plant species in the country, Simpson and his intrepid students still have a lot of detective work to do. “We have at least three new species waiting to be described,” he said, “and many more to properly classify.”

Cryptantha, more commonly known as popcorn flowers. (Photo: Tom Chester, Plants of Southern California)

The SDSU Herbarium

Simpson came to San Diego 30 years ago after earning a Ph.D. from Duke University. He has taught Economic Botany, Plant Systematics, and Taxonomy of California Plants in addition to curating the SDSU Herbarium, a treasure trove of nearly 22,000 plant specimens. The collection, classification, and preservation of plants is a neverending task for evolutionary biologists. Simpson and his students have searched the length of California and beyond for new and unusual species, and Simpson recently received a grant from the National Geographic Society to extend his search to Chile and Argentina. The specimens are pressed, mounted, and finally stored in the herbarium, a climate-controlled room containing plants collected over more than a century. The oldest specimen dates from 1874. Twice annually, the specimens are frozen to kill any insects that may have breached the giant metal cabi-

Michael Simpson and his students on a plant hunt. (Image: SDSU)

Evolutionary biologist Michael Simpson. (Image: SDSU)




FESTIVAL OF ART ROCKS! North Park’s annual celebration attracts thousands PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM CHILDERS

Art, music, craft beer and a whole lot more set the tone for the 20th anniversary of North Park’s Festival of Arts on Saturday, May 21. The all-day festival featured local art, a popular array of live music and dance performances, interactive experiences, artisan items for sale, delicious locally-driven dining options and no admission fee. “We’ve created a unique experience that is

beyond any typical arts festival,” said Angela Landsberg, executive director of North Park Main Street, which produces the festival. “We have created daytime and evening experiences for every local and visitor to North Park to enjoy. Sponsors of the event are San Diego County Credit Union, AT&T, West Coast Tavern and The Observatory North Park, Ron Oster Realty and the Lafayette Hotel. Amanda Gardner of Ceramic Heights and customer Molly Downs making pottery.

Bands played throughout the day.

The San Diego County Credit Union Building on University Avenue appears to tower over the Festival of Arts. The credit union was the principal sponsor of the event.

Brad Weber, associate publisher of Mid City Newspaper Group, publisher of the North Park News, hawks one of the issues during the festival.

8-year-old Seven James brought his own transportation to the festival.




Vendors along the street attract attention from festival visitors.

Strapped in tightly, 5-year-old Keira Lavelle enjoys a giant swing at the Festival of Arts children’s area.

Michelle Currier was the winner of the Festival of Arts poster contest.

Peter Noll and Myra Pelowski attended the festival to get signatures on a petition asking for the creation of a permanent memorial to 144 victims of PSA Flight 182, which crashed in North Park on Sept. 25, 1978, after colliding with a small plane.

Sharon Turner manages the North Park Historical Society booth.

Street vendors offered everything from jewelry to paintings to hats and just about everything in-between.

Kenny Shelton doing his juggling act on the street.

A festival worker adjusts lights that will be turned on during the evening festival hours.



The Reality Changers Program rescues youths from gangs and poverty



Reality Changers by the Book

(Barbara Davenport. University of California Press, June 2016)

Graduates of Reality Changers proudly announce their final college decisions. This year the program will see 300 graduates throughout San Diego County.

Christopher Yanov is a gang leader in City Heights. Over the last 16 years, he’s initiated 1,000 young people into his ranks, teaching the older members how to recruit younger ones and making sure they stay involved. His gang is like a second family to many, giving them a place where someone’s always got their back. But Yanov’s gang is different than most. Instead of drugs and crime, this one deals in education and achievement with intense focus on college admission. Eyes on the Prize

Yanov’s nonprofit Reality Changers has two programs: College Town and College Apps Academy. The first identifies eighth graders with grade point averages between 0.0 and 2.0, and offers them academic support and community service opportunities. The goal is to help students get the most out of their middle and high school experience, and develop a competitive resume which they can use when they start College Apps Academy in 12th grade. This component of Reality Changers, which students can participate in even if they have not been through the College Town program, provides SAT and ACT tutoring, essay writing support, interview preparation, and guidance through financial aid and scholarships for students who will be the first in their families to attend college. Ninety-seven percent of Reality Changers’ graduates attend college,

with students having attended most Ivy League schools and all nine of the University of California campuses. They’ve sent students to all but one of California State University’s 23 campuses. One expects these type of stats coming from affluent San Diego communities, but the organization is headquartered in a community where 26 percent of households are at the poverty line and the median family income is just over half of what it is for San Diego County. In City Heights, the probation capital of San Diego, gang activity is high and only 3 percent of adults have a college degree. Students are twice as likely to drop out of high school than their peers across the county. Yanov, Reality Changers founder and president, spent the early years of his career in gang prevention, which gave him experience working with young people, but also served as a catalyst for his shift in methodology. He says the traditional approach to gang prevention spends too much time talking about negative behavior, and not enough highlighting positive alternatives. Yanov and his staff of more than two dozen want to change the conversation among young people in City Heights. Instead of kids asking each other what gang they’re in, Reality Changers hopes they’ll discuss colleges they’d like to attend. “If someone’s walking a tightrope and I tell them not to look down, that’s probably where they’re going to look, and they’re going to fall,” he

said. “But if I tell that person to keep their eyes on reaching their goal on the other side, they’ve got a much better chance of making it.” Walking the Tightrope Eduardo Corona was on that tightrope in the fall of 2006. He had just started ninth grade and was in a gang with his friends when they decided to break into a school and steal equipment, including computers and laptops. “We had been drinking and we were bored,” he explained of the break-in. Soon, the police surrounded the school and arrested Corona and his friends. “It was like a movie scene with police cars and dogs,” said Corona. He was facing a six-year sentence that would begin in Juvenile Hall, where both his brother and sister had also spent time. Corona called Yanov to tell him that he wouldn’t be able to continue in Reality Changers because he “wouldn’t be around,” he said, having resigned to doing time in jail. “The really difficult part was disappointing him,” Corona said. To the young man’s surprise, Yanov showed up at his court hearing and told the judge about Reality Changers. The judge gave Corona a second chance with the condition that he continue in the program, then asked Yanov for several brochures. Throughout high school, Corona was determined to stay out of juvenile hall, but equally motivated to do right by Yanov. He said he doubled his GPA in a month, and enrolled in a mechanical engineer-

ing program at UCSD the following summer, an opportunity Reality Changers offers high school students who want to spend three weeks living on campus experiencing life as a student. “I disappointed (Yanov) once and wasn’t going to let it happen again,” said Corona, who now works as a Reality Changers achievement coach while he finishes his degree in sociology and psychology at San Diego State University. Focusing on First-Generation College Hopefuls

Reality Changers serves students throughout the county, but focuses on first-gens, a population that typically faces greater economic hardship than most. Take Michael Gaulden, a San Diego teen who spent 10 years homeless. He slept in shelters, on the streets, and in cars, begging for spare change from strangers downtown. Both his great grandfather and grandfather were murdered; his father was convicted of murder. “I was up next,” he told an audience of Reality Changers students. “According to statistics, I should be selling drugs, I should be incarcerated, I should be dead.” Instead, he graduated from UCLA and is now working with homeless youth at San Diego’s Monarch School. Addressing an audience of San Diego educators, Reality Changers SEE REALITY, Page 21

“Grit and Hope” tells the story of five inner-city Hispanic students who start their college applications in the midst of the country’s worst recession and of Reality Changers, the program that aims to help them become the first in their families to go college. This year they must keep up their grades in AP courses, write compelling essays for their applications, and find scholarships to fund their dreams. One lives in a garage and struggles to get enough to eat. Two are academic standouts, but are undocumented, ineligible for state and federal financial assistance. One tries to keep his balance as his mother gets a life-threatening diagnosis; another bonds with her sister when their parents are sidelined by substance abuse. The book also follows Christopher Yanov, the program’s youthful, charismatic founder in a year that’s as critical for Reality Changers’ future as it is for the seniors. Yanov wants to grow Reality Changers into national visibility. He’s doubled the program’s size, and hired new employees, but he hasn’t anticipated that growing means he’ll have to surrender some control, and trust his new staff. It’s the story of a highly successful, yet flawed organization that must change in order to grow. Told with deep affection and without sentimentality, the students stories show that although poverty and cultural deprivation seriously complicate youths’ efforts to launch into young adulthood, the support of a strong program makes a critical difference.









©Barbara Fuscsick

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teen Lucerito Gutierrez recalled her earliest memories scavenging for recyclable bottles and cans in dumpsters with her mother when she was 5-years-old. Today she is a Gates Millennium Scholar studying computer science at UCSD. She hopes to design systems to deliver clean water to one billion people across the world. Paying for College

Former gang member Corona says when he was a teen he never thought about attending college because “that was for rich people.” Today, part of his work as a Reality Changers achievement coach is sharing information about the many scholarships and financial aid opportunities available, especially for first-gens and students of color. Reality Changers recently reached the $100million mark in scholarships earned by students, including the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship, which offers a blank check for minority students for their college and graduate studies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. This was a banner year with students earning $25 million through

various scholarship awards. “With the support of our no-cost, comprehensive college prep program, traditionally under-served students are excelling in high school, performing well on entrance exams, writing compelling personal essays, and successfully interviewing with college admissions representatives. But an equally important component is being able to afford college tuition,” said Yanov. “We are proud to help these hardworking students make higher education a reality.” Social and Economic Impact Attending college can transform the lives of students and their families, but it may also offer a significant social and economic impact on the community at large. According to The Economics of Education, a joint report by the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Education, a college graduate can expect to earn 64 percent more than a high school graduate. The College Board reports far-reaching community benefits like increased tax revenues, and better public health and safety. In the study, “It’s Not Just the Money,” Philip Trostel and Margaret Chase Smith of the Policy Center & School of Economics at University of Maine list numerous social and economic benefits of college attendance, from dramatically reduced risk of being

incarcerated to significantly higher rates of overall happiness. “There is no better return on investment than what you get out of these kids,” said Chad Nelley, Reality Changers board member and executive at ESET, a San Diego cybersecurity firm. He says his business supports Reality Changers as a way to give back to the community, but the economic impact is hard to ignore. “The economic lift of a college education is tremendous. And imagine the impact on the other side,” he said. The “other side” that Nelley refers to is what might happen to students who do not have access to a program like Reality Changers. Of course, not all young people would end up in a gang or drop out of high school without Reality Changers. But many would. Reality Changers and its supporters like Nelley believe these young people deserve a chance at the upward social and economic mobility a college education offers. And so does the community. According to the San Diego Police Department, there are currently 4,100 gang members and 88 local gangs who perpetrate crime ranging from vandalism to murder. Reality Changers cites the California state budget, which reports that taxpayers spend $252,000 a year to incarcerate one youth. “Reality Changers invests


$4,000 in each high school student per year until senior year when it’s $1,500,” said Yanov. “You don’t need a degree from Stanford to know what the better deal is.” One Generation to Change Reality

The Reality Changers motto is: “College changes everything.” And it only takes one generation to make that change. Back when Yanov worked in gang prevention, a term he considers a misnomer, he was stabbed by a 20-year-old gang member he knew from the streets. The young man has been in and out of prison, but his son is now enrolled in Reality Changers, and is working hard to further his education. When juvenile arrestees are asked why they join gangs, nearly half say it offers a support network that is not available to them anywhere else. Yanov is looking to change that. His challenge is broadening access to the program through increased funding. “We have hundreds of young people on our waitlist right now,” said Yanov. “Gangs don’t have waitlists,” he lamented, but says he and his staff are committed to creating new opportunities for student who wants to change their reality.

Chris Yanov, founder and president of Reality Changers.

Once facing time in Juvenile Hall, Eduardo Corona has gone from gang member to college student and Reality Changers achievement coach.

Reality Changers graduate Jessie Sanchez excelled at Harvard College.

Reality Changers graduate Lucerito Gutierrez shares memories of dumpster diving as a young child. Today she is a Gates Millennium Scholar attending UCSD.

Michael Gaulden went from homelessness to UCLA with the support of Reality Changers.

Jessie Hernandez and family. UCSD.



THE STANLEY Renovation and rebranding completed

The nearly $2 million renovation and rebranding of The Stanley — a 26unit multifamily community at 2827 A Street in South Park — is now complete, bringing another significant change to the rapidly evolving urban San Diego neighborhood. Workright Property Services was the general contractor for the project, now under management by San Diegobased Sunrise Management. According to Melissa Deen, vice president of marketing for Sunrise, which has specialized in the management of multifamily properties since 1978, the reinvention of this previously tired, 1980’s-era property continues the

ongoing renaissance of South Park. “The makeover of what was previously known as The Fairway Palms adds to the urban charm of this popular neighborhood,” she said. “Our new residents will find high-end finishes such as oil-rubbed bronze fixtures and fine tile accents, state-of-the-art appliances and luxury amenities — including an outdoor courtyard with barbecues and a lounge area with views of the Downtown skyline.” With a new exterior in a modern Spanish style, the renovation includes fully redesigned one- and two-bedroom apartments featuring new stainless appliances and contemporary

kitchens. Interior renovations also include two-tone paint, ceiling fans, upgraded bathrooms, vinyl wood plank flooring, private balconies and central air and heating. The two-story building —originally built in 1987 — has a range of additional features from controlled access and parking to a laundry center with technology that will email or text residents when their laundry is done as well as onsite management. Located in the heart of one of San Diego’s first suburbs — and surrounded by shops, restaurants and taverns — The Stanley South Park is pet friendly. As part of the renovation and rebranding, Sunrise designed a new logo, signage and website for the property. To see the three floor plans or check availability go to Founded in 1978, Sunrise Management is a privately owned San Diegobased firm specializing in the management of residential real estate properties. For more information, visit

619-501-0643 |2310 30th St. San Diego | CA | 92104

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