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CALIFORNIA ECONOMIC F O R E C AST

2 017 Economist Alan Nevin examines the state’s housing and employment picture for the new year PAGE 9

GIVE DAD THE GIFT OF DONOVAN’S WORLD CLASS SERVICE OPEN 3PM - 9 PM, SUNDAY, JUNE 16, 2013.


2017 | ISSUE 11 Volume XXXI

Our mission is to always provide quality journalism for our readers by being fair, accurate and ethical and a credible resource for our advertisers.

COV E R STO RY California Economic Forecast 2017 Economist Alan Neven takes a look at the latest housing and employment numbers in California for his 2017 economic forecast. Will this be a year of status quo or are we in for some surprises? See Page 10.

Chairman | CEO Robert Page BobPage@sandiegometro.com Publisher Rebeca Page RebecaPage@sandiegometro.com Managing Editor Manny Cruz Manny@sandiegometro.com Graphic Designer Christopher Baker cbaker@sandiegometro.com Photography/Illustration Eric Peters David Rottenberg Contributing Writers Andrew Dyer Stephen Moore Jennifer Coburn April Harter Enriquez Advertising SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR Rebeca Page

How to Succeed in Business

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Meditate. People who have the most stress in their lives also have the most tgo gain from meditation. When incorporated into the workplace, it can impact employee retention, agility and innovation.

The Future of Pot in San Diego

Representatives from San Diego’s agriculture community and the cannabis industry sat down recently to examine the possible impacts of Proposition 64, the state ballot measure that legalized adult recreational use of cannabis.

Casa Guadalajara: New Year’s Beginnings

Casa Guadalajara in Old Town fits the bill if you’re looking for food, fun, and entertainment. Besides the excellent cuisine, the restaurant has an amazing decor, with colorful flowers, pots and wall hangings that create a south-of-the-border ambiance.

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WORKFORCE

How to Succeed in Business: Meditate We’ve all heard about meditation, the practice of carving out time to be calm and present. As a business person, though, perhaps you think it’s a nice idea, but not very realistic. You’re way too busy to add another thing to your to-do list. You may even think meditation is only for hippy dippy types who work part time at a food co-op or yoga studio. The reality is that people who have the most stress in their lives also have the most to gain from meditation. Practicing meditation not only reduces stress, but it changes the composition of the brain. The result: increased creativity and productivity. And that’s just for the individual. When incorporated into the workplace, meditation can impact employee retention, agility, and innovation. According to the Harvard Business Review, the popularity of meditation is growing among CEOs and senior executives. Julie Potiker, founder of the La Jolla-based Balanced Mind Meditation Center, says she can understand why. “Meditation lowers your heart rate, decreases cortisol levels, and creates a sense of calm that helps manage the stressful situations business people face ten times a day, sometimes ten times an hour,” she says from the studio, located at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center. “Not only do you feel better, but because you are less reactive, you are better able to think clearly and make sound decisions that affect your bottom line.” Potiker has held several workshops for business people around the country, from nonprofit staff to pharmaceutical executives, and though their

By Jennifer Coburn

Julie Potiker practicing meditation.

workplace environments differ greatly, the common denominator is stress. “If you aren’t taking an active role in reducing and managing stress for your workers and yourself, your business is losing money,” Potiker explains. She rattles off the names of meditating executives, such as Ray Dalio, founder and CEO of Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, who says meditation has given him greater centeredness and creativity. She continues: “There’s Bill Ford, executive chairman at Ford Motor Company, who’s a huge proponent of meditation in the business world; Robert Stiller, CEO of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters who has a dedicated meditation room at corporate headquarters because he says people are much more effective in meetings when they practice meditation.” Potiker adds, “There are so many, but the one that really strikes me is Alak Vasa, who is now the founder of Elements Truffles, but started meditating when she was a trader at Goldman Sachs. She tells this great story about a day the market tanked and there was chaos at the trading desk, but she stayed calm, and was

able to propose solutions to reduce the impact of the crash. That’s the kind of bottom line benefit meditation can offer.” When launching her Balanced Mind Meditation Center last fall, Potiker decided to go where the need was greatest.

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“This region contributes so much to the health and wellbeing of the community – and the world – that I want to be close by to serve the needs of those who live and work in the area,” she says. “The Balanced Mind Meditation Center welcomes the community to join us for free 30-minute drop-in meditation classes, or sign up for a longer, more in-depth evidenced based courses in mindful eating, mindfulness based stress reduction, mindful selfcompassion, and even dog/human meditation 101. Loosen your tie, kick off your high heels, set aside your briefcase and get ready to recharge and reboot your productivity.”

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SAN DIEGO SCENE ‘The Whitson’ is named after developer William Wesley Whitson. (Renderings courtesy of Carrier Johnson + CULTURE)

New Luxury Apartments to Pay Homage To Principal Developer of Hillcrest Neighborhood Luxury apartments are coming to Hillcrest. San Diego-based SENTRE has purchased the 80-room Sommerset Suites Hotel on Washington Street for $19.5 million with plans to convert it back into its original apartment design. SENTRE will rebrand the property as “The Whitson” (www.thewhitson.com), paying homage to William Wesley Whitson, the 1908 founder of the Hillcrest Company, principal developer of the Hillcrest neighborhood. “The Whitson will offer an upscale living experience featuring modern amenities with a vintage flair,” according to the Whitson website. “When the transformation is complete in summer 2017, residents will

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enjoy a reimagined indoor-outdoor social lounge, hotel-style pool and sun deck, new state-of-the-art onsite fitness center, and luxuriously reappointed unit interiors.” Studios will rent from $1,750 to $1,850 per month, while one-bedroom apartments will rent from $2,100 to $2,300 a month. The property at 606 Washington St. was originally built in 1986 as an 81-unit apartment community, but has been operating as a hotel for the past 20 years. “With San Diegans increasingly searching for high quality, amenity-rich, and centrally located places to live, we saw an opportunity to return the property to its original apartment use, creating a perfect addition to our growing ‘SENTRE Living’

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portfolio,” said Doug Arthur, SENTRE president and CEO. San Diego architectural firm Carrier Johnson + CULTURE is designing the project. Arthur said SENTRE plans on investing more than $3 million to create a reimagined indoor-outdoor social lounge, hotel-style pool and sun deck, new fitness denter and “luxuriously reappointed unit interiors. HFF represented both the buyer and seller in the sale transaction. Cannon Constructors and B&G Consultants are leading the construction efforts.

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SAN DIEGO SCENE

Navy to Deploy Northrop Grumman-Built E-2D Advanced Hawkeye Aircraft to Japan The U.S. Navy will deploy its Northrop Grummanbuilt E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft to Japan next month as part of the service branch’s rebalance effort in the Asia Pacific, USNI News reported Thursday. Sam LaGrone writes the E-2D assigned to Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 125 Tigertails will head to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni from Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia as a component of Carrier Air Wing 5. The squadron is meant to replace the VAW-115 Liberty Bells that will relocate to Point Mugu in California, according to the report. “The U.S. Navy is also scheduled to begin a phased relocation of CVW-5’s fixed-wing aircraft from Naval Air Facility Atsugi to MCAS Iwakuni,” the military branch said. The service branch added that the relocation will begin in the second half of 2017. CNN’s Brad Lendon reported Friday that the E-2D is equipped with a Lockheed Martin-made A/N-APY radar system that works to detect smaller targets and stealth aircraft. The report said the aircraft set for deployment to Japan previously operated from the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier to support the war against the Islamic State organization.

An E-2D Advanced Hawkeye prepares to launch. (U.S. Navy photo by Kelly Schindler)

Leading Social Justice Engineering Professor Joins University of San Diego Professor Caroline Baillie, a global leader in engineering and social justice, has joined the University of San Diego as a professor of Praxis (theory and value-driven practice) in the USD Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering with support from the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies.  A materials engineer with expertise in engineering education and critical social studies, Baillie is a Thomson Reuters highly cited author with more than 200 publications, papers and books on material science, engineering education, and engineering and social justice. She co-founded the Engineering, Social Justice and Peace Network (espj.org) in 2004 which will hold its next conference at the University of San Diego in 2018. 

Over the last eight years, Baillie has been chair and professor of engineering education at the University of Western Australia, Perth. She has previously held appointments at the University of Sydney, Imperial College in the United Kingdom and Queens University in Canada. For the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, Baillie will contribute to the development of courses and initiatives on engineering propelling gender, socio-economic and ethnic equity, as well as poverty alleviation and conflict prevention. “We seek to develop peacebuilders who can create transformational social change through peaceengineering problem solving,” said Patricia Márquez, Dean of the Kroc School. 32 N D A N N I V E R SA RY 1 985 -20 1 7

Caroline Baillie

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SAN DIEGO SCENE

Katie Sawyer Named Executive Director Of San Diego Women’s Foundation Katie Sawyer, former director of philanthropy for United Way of San Diego, has been named executive director of the San Diego Women’s Foundation. Sawyer will oversee day-to-day operations of the Women’s Foundation, a supporting organization of the San Diego Foundation. Before moving to San Diego, Sawyer spent two years with “Girls on the Run of New Orleans,” both as a board member and committee chair and then as

the interim executive director. Previously, she served two years as the Hispanic Outreach Specialist (AmeriCorps) at The Women’s Connection in Cincinnati. Sawyer earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Business at Ohio State University, and her master’s degree in Spanish and Portuguese at Tulane University. She is a member of the LEAD San Diego Impact Class of 2015.  Katie Sawyer

Bill Trumpfheller: An Aztec for Life As president of Nuffer, Smith, Tucker, San Diego’s large public relations agency, Bill Trumpfheller was partial to San Diego State University graduates when hiring staff. His alma mater. He once estimated he worked with 25 to 30 fellow Aztecs during his tenure. Why? “Because I know what they know. I know what they studied... I know the quality of the education they got and I know the professors who taught it to them.” (San Diego State University Alumni Association) Trumpfheller, who began his public relations career at NST as an intern in 1986, died of cardiac arrest on the night of Dec. 29 while with his family. He was 53. He was an Aztec through and through— a two-time president of the SDSU Alumni Association; co-chair of the President’s Task Force on Aztec Identity in 2001; service on The Campanile Foundation board and its Athletics Committee. He presented the SDSU Alumni Monty award for distinguished alumni service in 2009. He was an ardent supporter of Aztec Athletics and gave his time and talents to help develop the Rise to 25, the univer-

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Bill Trumpfheller with Natalie Haack, a senior account executive at Nuffer, Smith, Tucker and a graduate of San Diego State University. (Credit: SDSU Alumni Association)

sity’s campaign to bring all of its athletics programs to Top 25 status. According to his biography, Trumpfheller earned his way to NST president in 2000 “After working 90-hour weeks and applying his talents learned through the San Diego State University public relations program, under the tutelage of public relations legend Dr. Glen M. Broom.” He has been a communicator and strategist since his first direct mail job at the age

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of 13, stuffing envelopes for his mom’s travel agency. He has been honored with several awards, including Public Relations Professional of the Year, the Eva Irving Award for Community Service and the Otto Bos Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter. Trumpfheller is survived by his wife, Nola Trumpfheller, and two daughters.


SAN DIEGO SCENE

New Charter High School Aims to Shape Entrepreneurs of the Future

SDSU to Share $28 Million in Funding To Explore Future of Transportation

The School for Entrepreneurship & Technology (SET), a free charter high school with an enrepreneurial and technology-driven curriculum, has opened its enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year. The freshman class of 2021 comprises 80 students, and enrollment is open to students in San Diego County. Enrollment deadline is March 1. Tuition is free at the school, which is in the San Diego Unified School District. It is located in Serra Mesa (3540 Aero Court). The four-year accredited charter school serves grades nine through 12. According to school officials, the SET concept was established to reflect the vital role entrepreneurism and technology have played and continue to play in today’s global economies. “A recent study showed 72 percent of high school students want to start their own business some day. And in fact, of the 27 million working-age Americans, nearly 14 percent are starting or currently running businesses, according to the GEM 2015 report.” “Our world is built on the spirit of entrepreneurship; it makes sense to provide this foundation to young adults, especially as one in nearly seven Americans will be an entrepreneur at one time in their life,” said Neil McCurdy, chief educational officer. “We have designed an innovative, entrepreneurial mindset-driven curriculum where students are given valuable tools to showcase their personal brand, which can be transferred to all aspects of their personal and professional lives in the future.” Officials said students in the school will be able to meet the “AG” subject requirements for University of California and California State University schools. A-G refers to the subjects and number of years of each subject. “SET’s diverse academic student body never exceeds 320 students, assuring a highly personalized learning environment,” said McCurdy. “Families are encouraged to schedule a visit to the SET campus to learn more about the available programs and school culture.” Enrollment is at www.SETHigh.org.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a five-year grant totaling $28 million to San Diego State University and two other universities to study how the changing American driving landscape will impact driver and pedestrian safety. “One of the challenges that future transportation engineers face is finding ways to promote safety when a vast amount of data is generated from an ever-growing number of smart devices that connect vehicles, humans, and infrastructure,” said Morteza Monte Mehrabadi, dean of SDSU’s College of Engineering. To address the challenges, the Department of Transportation will provide the funding to SDSU, Virginia Tech and Texas A&M University. With matching funds from universities, state and privae sources, total funding comes to $28 million.

The School for Entrepreneurs & Technology in Serra Mesa.

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COV E R STO RY 1 9 95 1 9 96

CALIFORNIA ECONOMIC FORECAST 2017

1 9 97 1 9 98 1999 20 0 0 20 0 1 20 02 20 03 20 0 4 20 0 5 20 0 6 20 07 20 0 8 20 0 9

(same old, same old)

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By Alan Nevin

20 1 6 20 1 7 1 0,0 0 0

20,000

30,000

40,000

50,000

60,000

70,000

80,0 00

9 0,0 0 0

Economist Alan Neven takes a look at the latest housing and employment numbers in California for his 2017 economic forecast. Will this be a year of status quo or are we in for some surprises? What’s in store for the Golden State? Last year I titled my California Forecast: the Year of the Yawn. I hesitate to say it, but 2017 will be a repeat of 2016. And that’s not so bad. Yes, we have a new president, and a new senator from California, but history has shown that those folks who live in the nation’s capital have a fairly inconsequential effect on the Golden State. I have said, in the past, partially in jest, that if the President of the United States were to disappear for four years, the state of California wouldn’t notice it. Only if the folks in D.C. would meddle with our military budget would we find it necessary to bring that to the attention of our elected of officials. Yes, we Californians have a life of our own, largely disconnected from the other states. This decade we will add another 3 million persons to our burgeoning population, ending 2017 with just about 40 million. Better yet, in 2017, we will add between 350,000 and 400,000 new jobs, No. 1 state in the nation. In fact, over the past five years,

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we have been adding that many jobs each year. Let’s face it: we are a job machine. Better yet, the jobs we are generating are generally well paying. In 2017, California will add some 50,000 professional, scientific and technical jobs and more than 80,000 jobs in health care and education. Certainly, our salaries don’t go as far as we do in most other states, but it does appear that most folks would rather suffer our high cost of living rather than move to Detroit or Chicago, where the homes are cheap, but employment opportunities are meager. The one missing link in California is housing production. I am thrilled to report that this year Gov. Jerry Brown announced there is a housing shortage. It took him almost two terms in office to notice it. Unfortunately, his first major effort to ease the situation was soundly shot down by the liberal legislators. His plan was simple: any property zoned appropriately could be built out without further interference from the

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community planning groups or city councils. Great idea! Production of sale housing (attached or detached) as well as apartments is a necessity for the future of our state. Further, based on climate-changing legislation at the federal level, it is now necessary for cities to embrace density. Unfortunately, few cities are willing to get with the program. The supply/demand equation is easy to comprehend: the state adds, say, 320,000 jobs. Actually, in the past four years, the state has averaged some 400,000 new jobs annually. And let’s say newly formed households average three persons per household. Thus, every year we need to produce 100,000+ housing units. Simple math. It has been nine years since the state produced 100,000 units. Since 2008, the average housing production in the state has been 32,000 single-family homes and 30,000 multi-family units (virtually all rental apartments). Thus, since 2008, the


COV E R STO RY total production of 62,000 housing units is one-third less than is needed. Thus, since 2008, the state has been shy a total of one-third of a million housing units. How do we know that? We know it because the vacancy rate in apartments has fallen to 2-3 percent in most coastal areas. We also know that as many as 30 percent of millennials are still living with their parents. The press likes to talk about their surveys that show that millennials don’t intend to buy homes. The reality is that if there were homes produced that are within the affordable ranges for millennials they would buy. In today’s California, only one-third of buyers are rst timers. In a normal market, there are four resales for every new home sold. When there are few new homes, folks stay in the home they are in and don’t move up or down as they traditionally do. Thus, the resale market is heavily impacted by the housing shortage. In most coastal areas, there is traditionally a six-month supply of inventory (i.e., homes for sale). Today, it is about half that and in some “hot” areas, a two-month supply. Therefore, prices continue to rise, further pricing out the first timers. In 2017, it is highly likely that single-family home production will be in the 50,000-unit range and multi-family 70,000 units. Virtually all of that 70,000-unit production will be rentals. Because of the litigation headaches of years past, few developers are willing to venture into vertical condominium construction. A few will venture into townhome production. The paucity of construction is the result of both the anti-density mentality of most communities and the absence of shovel-ready dirt. I don’t see that changing in 2017. Fortunately, the downtowns of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego are booming with vertical construction, but it’s virtually all rentals and virtually all very expensive. It’s difficult to build vertical apartments with rents less than $3 to $3.50 per-square-foot. A major part of the housing problem is the dollar limits for non-conforming loans. The limits relate to housing prices in Iowa. The question arises: how long can we produce 300,000+ jobs per year without providing housing? I’m not sure I know the answer, but I can surmise that, at least in 2017, the state will add more than 300,000 persons and more than 300,000 jobs. And most states in the nation would kill to match California. 2017: another year of yawn In California. Time to buy a new surfboard.

Housing Plan and a $2 Billion Deficit Gov. Jerry Brown wants to see the state increase new housing by supporting legislation that would streamline permitting and reward local governments for meeting housing goals. But he also sees a $2 billion deficit looming. The budget proposal that Brown released on Jan. 10 is far less specific than a permit-streamlining proposal floated by the administration last year. That proposal was defeated in the Legislature. But the latest plan asks for a bill package containing the same basic provisions of the prior proposal: creating incentives for local governments to lower fees and streamlining the lengthy building approvals process.

The governor proposed a $179.5 billion state budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, a 5 percent increase over this year, but warned that the state must remain fiscally prudent ahead of an inevitable economic downturn. The Democratic governor also proposed a $122.5 billion general fund budget for fiscal year 2017-18, virtually unchanged from this year.

Brown said the surging tide of tax receipts over the past few years appears to have turned, and that the state now faces a budget deficit of $2 billion, its first in five years.

Alan Nevin is the director of market research and forensic services at Xpera Group. He serves the real estate and legal industries with residential and commercial real estate valuations, real estate development market studies and litigation support.

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L E G I S L AT I O N

THE FUTURE OF POT IN SAN DIEGO Voters made it legal — Now What? The bureaucratic waters through which San Diego marijuana retailers, cultivators and manufacturers must navigate were further complicated in November when voters passed Prop 64 and legalized the adult recreational use of cannabis throughout California. On Dec. 8, representatives of the agriculture and cannabis industries held a panel discussion, moderated by Voice of San Diego CEO and Editor-in-Chief Scott Lewis, on the impact of Prop 64 and what its implementation in San Diego will look like. The panel was part of a series of monthly “Breakfast Dialogues” put on by C-3, a civic organization focused on development, urban design and planning. The city of San Diego, which passed a medical marijuana ordinance in 2014, has yet to adopt rules for recreational marijuana. The 2014 ordinance authorized a handful of dispensaries in the city but industry representatives differ on whether these rules should also govern recreational marijuana. Prop. 64 will be in full effect in January 2018, and cities must explicitly authorize adult-use recreational marijuana before a dispensary can open in their jurisdiction. Panelist Phil Wrath, the executive director 12

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By Andrew Dyer of United Medical Marijuana Coalition, represents 10 of the 15 traditional-use medical marijuana-licensed entities in San Diego. Members of his organization want the current medical licensing system to govern recreational marijuana as well. “The simplest solution — the shortest distance between where we are and where we should be about a year from now — is to allow the existing rules to not be medicinal anymore but (also) for recreational,” he said. Wrath might get his way. On Thursday, Dec. 15, the San Diego Planning Commission recommended the City Council adopt an ordinance establishing rules for recreational marijuana just like those currently in effect for the medicinal product. Cynara Velazquez, the political director of the Association of Cannabis Professionals, said the current zoning restrictions in San Diego were too strict. “There’s very few areas in San Diego correctly zoned for this,” she said. “Unlike breweries, which can exist anywhere. I think it is an unfair disparity.”

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Velazquez was also critical of the current Conditional Use Permit (CUP) process for medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego, which she said was “tight.” “There are very strict limits on how many (dispensaries) are allowed per district,” she said. “We are open to lifting that cap of four per district. It’s allowed a very small number to exist.” That “very small number” of legal medicinal marijuana dispensaries have the insidetrack on providing recreational pot as well. Another area of the business they would like to control, said Wrath, is the delivery industry. Licensed or not, delivery comprises most of the operational dispensaries in the county. “What we think would make sense is to allow deliveries that would be connected to existing CUPs,” Wrath said. “Our members paid, on average, about $1 million to get a CUP. Cost structure as a legal operator is off the charts.” Wrath said current unlicensed delivery services were app-enabled drug dealing. “Drug dealers with a trunk full of stuff that throw themselves on an app are not a legal dispensary,” he said. Velazquez, who said her organization rep-

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L E G I S L AT I O N

‘Breakfast Dialogue’ panel discussion sponsored by C-3. (Photo by Andrew Dyer)

Susan Riggs, consultant with the California Growers Association (left), and Cynara Velazquez, political director of the Association of Cannabis Professionals. (Photo by Andrew Dyer)

Panelists Eric Larson, the executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau (left), and Phil Wrath, the executive director of United Medical Marijuana Coalition. (Photo by Andrew Dyer)

resented all parts of the supply chain, including CUP-holding dispensaries, disagreed with Wrath’s assessment of delivery services. “The law as it is today is that they are permitted,” she said. Delivery regulation was also covered under changes recommended to the City Council. Here, again, current CUP dispensaries have the inside track as the planning commission recommended the council clarify the ordinance to limit deliveries to those businesses operating with a CUP. In addition to its CUP amendments, the planning commission also proposed banning the cultivation of cannabis in the city. Panelist Susan Riggs, a consultant with the California Growers Association, and Eric Larson, the executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau, discussed the future of agriculture in regards to recreational cannabis. In 2015, the California Legislature passed long-awaited regulations on medical marijuana. With Prop 64, the state is also faced with the question of adopting those existing regulations for recreational marijuana as well. “Some states require the two to be separate,” Riggs said.” Some are doing it in a coordinated fashion. That’s added (a lot) of work to state agencies.” Larson said there was much interest in the county’s farming industry. “It’s kind of a wait and see right now,” he said. Larson also said those farmers were looking at cannabis as an opportunity to augment their incomes, and that greenhouse operators were especially interested in growing marijuana. They were concerned, however, with the current cash-only system the industry functions under, security and odor.

The problem of marijuana still being classified as a schedule 1 drug by the federal government was also of concern. “Farmers have a lot of federal connections,” he said. “They’re worried that if they invite cannabis production it could bring new federal scrutiny.” Despite the proliferation of medical and recreational marijuana reforms across several states, the incoming Donald Trump administration has left many wondering what the future of legal cannabis is. President Trump, who has said marijuana policy should be a state issue, has named Sen. Jeff Sessions (RAlabama) as his pick for attorney general. Sessions is an anti-marijuana hardliner. “We need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger,” Sessions said last April. “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Larson said farm labor was another issue with large-scale cultivation. He said 60-70 percent of farm workers are employed with fraudulent documents. “The United States has failed to deal with immigration reform,” he said. “If farmers want to go into commercial production of cannabis, they’re going to need a force of workers.” During an audience Q and A session, people asked the panel about different applications of Prop 64, including if the initiative process was one way citizens could go around local politicians hesitant to authorize recreational pot shops. “There are a few very vocal, very moralistic opponents to marijuana,” Velazquez said. “They don’t represent the majority but they are very loud. They come to a lot of city

council meetings and they speak. Policy makers are afraid to go against the ‘moral minority’ in the community.” Velazquez said elected officials might prefer the initiative process because although they support the cannabis industry due to the tax revenue, they do not want to face the potential electoral repercussions of that support. San Diego voters approved Measure N this November which establishes a tax on non-medical cannabis. All that is left is regulatory guidance. Velazquez said it would take some work before legal dispensary storefronts could return to North Park. Many San Diego dispensaries were shut down in a series of 2012 raids. “I think they really fit in with the community,” she said. “Unfortunately the licensing wasn’t available at the time.” The problem now, said Velazquez, is zoning. “Not a single place is correctly zoned and (that) will need to change to see that in North Park again,” she said, adding that communities like Hillcrest and Ocean Beach might also be open to marijuana but, again, do not have correct zoning. “I would talk to your City Council member,” she said. The panel discussion illuminated many of the complications that came along with Prop 64, but the underlying them was uncertainty. Although attitudes about marijuana have changed, there are significant hurdles and complications to the realization of a fully normalized marijuana industry. And as long as there is a disconnect between federal and state law, the future of recreational and even medicinal marijuana remains hazy at best — in the city, the state and the nation.

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The huge menu covers a broad dining spectrum, including mariscos (seafood).

CASA GUADALAJARA: NEW YEAR’S BEGINNINGS AMA ZING M E X I C A N C U IS I N E By the time you read this, Christmas gifts are probably put away, the tree has been hauled out, the Chanuka menorahs are back in the closet and the lights are packed away in the garage. The holiday season is over. The New Year has turned. It is time to make plans. Food, fun, entertainment …. it is all out there waiting for you. It is a tough combination to find in one venue — food, fun, entertainment — especially when searching for a reasonably priced venue that a family can enjoy. Casa Guadalajara in historic Old Town fits the bill. Citizens of San Diego have a very special relationship with Old Town. It is where the city was founded. In 1769, Father Junipero Serra opened the first of 21 missions that he established up and down the state. Fifty years later, a small village developed that grew into a town. In 1846, the American flag was raised in Old Town. In 1968, the State of California established Old Town Historical State Park to preserve the heritage of the area, particularly the Mexican influence. Diane Powers obtained the right to develop stores and restaurants as Bazaar Del Mundo in the park. She was highly suc-

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By David Rottenberg cessful, building the park into one of the most popular tourist attractions in the nation. Her restaurants became very popular for the high quality of Mexican food and the beautiful décor that Powers designed for the interiors of her locations. Years later, Powers was unfortunately outbid and lost the right to operate her venues. But she retained the right to Casa Guadalajara. And she eventually regrouped by reopening her restaurants in new and successful locations. Casa Guadalajara, though, is one of my personal favorites. I’ve dined there many times during its more than 20 years in business. It has it all —amazing décor, with colorful flowers, pots and wall hangings that create a south-of-the-border ambiance that radiates the sunny shores of Puerto Vallarta or Cancun. The menu lists dishes that reflect the different regions of Mexico, where climates and agriculture lead to unique local tastes. And, to top it all off, there’s entertainment, often in the form of mariachis who stroll through the restaurant, instruments in

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hand, to play one’s favorite Mexican melodies. My favorite — the intense guitar strumming and moving vocals of “Malaguena Salerosa.” The mariachi band has played at the restaurant for 20 years under its leader, Luciano Rodriquez. The group plays over 2,000 songs and the most requested song is “Son de La Negra.” The interior of the restaurant is warm and welcoming, but my preference, when I can, is to dine outdoors. Casa Guadalajara has a garden room on one side and an outdoor patio on the other. The patio has trees and fountains that are beautiful to see and fun for children to play at. Award-winning Executive Chef Jose Duran has been in charge of the kitchen for many years, creating and offering amazing Mexican cuisine. What comes out of the kitchen is not only tasty but looks so good. When first seated at the table, a server will bring over a large basket of tortilla chips and salsa for dipping. Don’t fill up, although the chips are so good that it is tempting. On the other hand, they go so well with the selection of cocktails.

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DINING

In addition to most of the popular libations, the bar holds over 50 types of tequila — perfect for sampling. The margaritas are generous, large goblets, that can set the tone for a wonderful meal. Appetizers also go well with cocktails. Nachos are always tasty, tortilla chips topped with cheese, beans, guacamole, and sour cream. Or try the traditional ceviche, marinated fish “cooked” by citrus juices, with avocado, tomato, cilantro and more. There is a selection of soups and salads. For not-so-light but lighter fare, try the delicious Tostada de Jalisco, a large flour tortilla topped with chicken or beef, lettuce, tomato, cheese and avocado. But when eating gets serious, fajitas beckon. Chicken, beef and shrimp are grilled for individual servings or in combinations

and are presented on a sizzling platter, along with tortillas, bell peppers, mushroom, tomato and avocado. Rice and beans are on the side. One gets the pleasure of “rolling one’s own,” combining the ingredients in soft tacos to one’s desire. Definitely a fun dish. The huge menu covers a broad dining spectrum — entrees feature carnes (beef ), mariscos (seafood), pollo (chicken) and puerco (pork) creatively presented in a variety of ways. To me, though, the true flavor of Mexico comes out in the “combinations” of tacos and enchiladas served with rice and beans. My favorite — always include chile relleno, a large chile stuffed with cheese. Simply delicious. And don’t overlook the chicken mole enchiladas in the “favorites” section of the menu, pulled chicken served with traditional mole poblano sauce.

Desserts include the traditional flan, a custard, and deep fried ice cream. The restaurant is open for lunch and even serves breakfast until 2 p.m. There are daily specials and a happy hour. And the restaurant has perhaps the most important commodity in Old Town, free parking. That, in itself, is a great motivator to frequent the venue. So, when planning for “food, fun and entertainment” in the new year, plan on enjoying this restaurant. It offers the entire package, at prices so reasonable that it is great for family dining. Casa Guadalajara is located at 4105 Taylor St., San Diego, CA. 92110, at the corner of Taylor and Juan streets. Easiest access is off Highway 8. Call (619) 295.5111 for more information.

San Diego News Every Weekday Morning LEFT The margaritas are generous, large goblets that can set the tone for a wonderful meal. RIGHT Award-winning Executive Chef

Jose Duran has been in charge of the kitchen for many years.

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The mariachi band has played at the restaurant for 20 years under its leader, Luciano Rodriquez.

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Presort Standard U.S. POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 2325 SAN DIEGO, CA

40 UNDER 40

100% Prime

NEW LOCATION: 1250 Prospect Street

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SD METRO NO.1 VOL XXXII  
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