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Adjustments for the Affordable Care Act As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Yet, for many consumers and business owners seeking health care, finding that chiropractic services are still not clearly included in the California implementation of the Affordable Care Act might be a surprise. After several years of the media and politicians proclaiming the end of concerns related to

How will the ACA affect your small business?

(Continued on page 11)

The Time to Act is NOW!…. The Affordable Healthcare Act Became Effective October 1, 2014 Like most good ideas… the devil is in the details… and in this case, all the details have not been firmly established or resolved. The intention of the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA) was to provide insurance coverage for American citizens and legal residents who did not have coverage. Either because they could not afford to buy insurance; they were not offered it by their employer; or because they were uninsurable. Many of us, who have sought medical assistance for catastrophic illnesses, know the costs, the treatment protocols; and, the fact that it can be a life-long process. We also know that if one loses their health insurance due to a business cycle downturn, a change in job, or inability to work, it is difficult,

if not impossible, to purchase other insurance coverage. Situations like these spurred the adoption of ACA. Here is the way the ACA is to work: If you are employed and your employer provides health insurance you don’t need to do anything. For those without insurance, it is much more complicated. Low income individuals or families of four earning less than $31,000 are eligible to join through Medicaid. Others earning more will be required to provide coverage for themselves and their children. People covered by employer-paid plans have the option of continuing the coverage they have or opting to join an Exchange. Exchanges are being formed to offer coverage to (Continued on page 7)

Inside Page 3

Letter from the Chair

Page 6

OUT & About with GSDBA Members

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Health Reform Effects on Small Business

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Mixer, Event Photos

Featured Member Yvette Currie Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist www.CounselingSanDiego.Org

Greater San Diego Business Association |


A Year of Change for GSDBA and A Better Future!

Board of Directors

A Message from the Chair

BOARD CHAIR Eric D. Brown Waddell & Reed


I looked back on this year, I realized that 2013 has been a tremendous year of change for me personally, as well as, for the GSDBA. While our tendency is to resist change, if we embrace it, we can often move to a better future. Our leadership changes provided the Board, and the staff, an opportunity to review each and every program GSDBA provides its membership. We looked at the funding; the relevance; and most of all, the support of our program efforts to return to our “member focused” roots of helping you succeed in business. As an example, with this newly reformatted “Community Connection” newsmagazine, time was spent refocusing its design, content and purpose in order to educate, promote, and serve our members. Each newsmagazine moving forward will have a themed topic which likely is important to a majority of GSDBA Members. The November/December issue broadly discusses the Affordable Care Act as it relates to the impact on you and your businesses. To continue the newsmagazine, some advertising and structural changes were made to provide a more meaningful and visual presentation while supporting the expense of publishing it to our members.

VICE CHAIR Jeri Muse, PhD TREASURER Danielle P. Barger Barger Law Group, APC SECRETARY Sacha Mackels Tax & Financial Group Deborah Dimery HelmsBriscoe Michael French été advertising and design Tim Fronczek The Computer Admin Kevin Hannahoe Love 2 Live Care Services

In 2013, several board members, David Muscat, Rebecca Luers, Kalin Myers , and Justin Knepper resigned due to demands in other areas of their business. We wish them much success, and thank them all for their service to GSDBA. Sadly, the staff and GSDBA Board members watched as I said goodbye to my partner of 3 years, Carleton Cannon, who died on August 20, 2013. Their support and kindness, as well as the hugs, notes, cards, and words of comfort from GSDBA members have at times moved me to tears.

Kevin T. Kellar, Esq Kellar Law Group

However, with change comes a better future. Moving forward, GSDBA will be celebrating the 35th Anniversary of its founding in 1979. A special CEO search committee is in the middle of its work to find a new CEO. The staff is preparing the last edits of our new 2014 directory with a special ”wedding section”; as well as working on the launch of our new GSDBA websites.

Jessy Sauchuk Belladia Marketing and Design

The committees are considering new educational programs and workshop topics to present. We are also reviewing new promotions for our “Out4Biz” area; as well as continuing to improve and to support our BNGs, the Corporate Relations Development Committee, Mixers, Professional Development Groups, and advocacy efforts..

Michelle Burkart General Manager

As we enter the holiday season, I want to thank the GSDBA Board, the GSDBA Staff, and you, our members, volunteers and corporate sponsors for giving, supporting, and participating in the many changes that have been made this year. Change is not always fun or comfortable, but I believe these changes will make GSDBA the Greatest San Diego Business Association in years to come.

Cindy Lehman California Bank & Trust Stacey McKibbin ActionCOACH San Diego


Sue Sneeringer Member Services Jen Silverwood Administrative Services

Eric D. Brown, GSDBA Board Chair

Greater San Diego Business Association | 3

Thank You to Our Corporate Partners Platinum Sponsors TM

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors Danielle Barger

Eric D. Brown

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GSDBA’s Community Connection Magazine


3737 Fifth Avenue, Suite 205 San Diego, CA 92103

Mailing Address P.O. Box 33848, San Diego, CA 92163

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4 Greater San Diego Business Association |

November / December 2013 Complimentary Copy ©2013-2014 GSBDA

GSDBA’s Community Connection Magazine serves to promote GSDBA member businesses, local and regional LGBT travel & tourism, and affiliate chamber and community organizations, as well as businesses and attractions of interest to our readers. Opinions expressed in this publication, advertisements and inserts do not necessarily reflect the opinion of GSDBA, its Board, or its members. Publication of the name, photograph or likeness of any person, organization or business in this newsletter is not to be construed as any indication of the sexual orientation of that person, organization or business. Contents of this publication may not be reprinted in whole or in part without written permission from the editor.

GSDBA’s Community Connection Gets A New Look! A Message from the General Manager

events calendar GSDBA Professional Luncheon The 2nd Tuesday of every month 11:30 am – 1:00 pm


with anything in life, change is good. So we gave the GSDBA Community Connection Magazine a facelift and added more member focused content. We returned to our roots of: “themed” articles that will provide information on important issues affecting our member businesses; our popular “Out and About” section that will give members a chance to “shine a light” on their successes and updates; advertising opportunities for members and sponsors; and, of course, pictorial recaps of our fabulous events and mixers. The holiday season is also fast approaching and, yet again, change is good. We will be celebrating the end of 2013 with a Deck the Halls Party at the Hilton Mission Bay in our own private space overlooking the Bay. Of course, there will be wonderful food, drink, entertainment, and joyful networking so get your tickets now as we usually sell out this December event. Our topic for this issue is the ACA, Affordable Care Act and its impact on small business as the infamous Jan 1, 2014 deadline is fast approaching. Over three years ago, on March 23, 2010, President Obama signed a comprehensive health reform, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), into law. Even though there have been over 40 attempts by Congress to repeal this law, it is due to be implemented beginning of 2014. So as a business owner, are you ready? California has been a forerunner in PCIP programs (pre-existing insurance coverage) on a state level for those who could not previously get insurance since 2010; and in providing market exchange program information beginning October 1, 2013. Our strategic partner, the SBA office in San Diego has been disseminating valuable information and timely updates to business owners for over a year. The District Director, Ruben Garcia, has provided his perspective in this issue as well. However, the question still remains,“Are we ready?” The Health Policy Center at the Urban Institute, a research institute in Washington D.C., provided a timely analysis in June 2011 entitled “The Effects of Health Reform on Small Businesses and Their Workers” which we have published a summary for your review, and the entire article if available on our website We also feature an article from one of our members, Dr. Colin P. Mackay to give you a local perspective from a practicing provider. So we hope you enjoy the new format and welcome your feedback… Seriously!

Wang’s, North Park Check for details

GSDBA Deck The Halls Party Tuesday, December 3, 2013 6:00 – 9:00 pm Hilton Mission Bay Check for details

GSDBA New Year Mixer Thursday, January 16, 2014 5:30 – 7:30 pm Top of the Park Check for details

GSDBA Old Globe Mixer Thursday, February 27, 2014 6-8 pm Haddox Hall Check for details

Michelle Burkart, GSDBA General Manager

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have always enjoyed highlighting and sharing our member’s successes, changes, and happenings so we have brought back our OUT & ABOUT column. We invite you to participate and send us your latest business successes (, so we can help you “toot your own horn”…here are some items that were submitted since our last issue: High “5” to the Wednesday Morning BNG! Here is an example of what a BNG can do for you…With the San Diego Union Tribune’s “Best of San Diego” contest looming, Kevin Hannahoe of Love 2 Live helped to spearhead votes of confidence for BNG members…and the results are…Cindy Lehman, SVP, California Bank & Trust, 1st place (Bank); Kevin Hannahoe, Love 2 Live Care Services, 2nd place (Inhome Eldercare Services); Karen Baskin, Interactive Healing, 4th place (Massage); Ron Oster, Ascent Real Estate, 5th place (Real Estate Agent); Oscar Amador, Plumb Loco, 5th place (Plumber)….Congratulations to all the winners… Welcome two more Corporate Partners…We would like to welcome two more sponsoring member partners…Kevin Spratt of Precision Garage Door Service is our newest Silver Level partner… and Jerry Strayve of WesPac Wealth

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GSDBA-SBA Strategic Alliance Memorandum. Left to right: Rueben Garcia, Sacha Mackels, Michelle Burkart, Jill Andrews, Eric Brown & Rebecca Luers. Partners is our newest Bronze partner… so thank you both for supporting GSDBA into its 35th Anniversary year. We are proud to announce that the SBA has renewed their Strategic Alliance Memorandum partnership with the GSDBA that began in 2001 which serves to support the growth and success of entrepreneurs in San Diego. This is a national recognition of our economic contributions to the business community as well…so congratulations to GSDBA… Remember to send us your successes…let us hear from you for the next issue by Nov. 15th…email us at

The Time to Act is NOW!.. continued from front cover small businesses and individuals. Here are some facts: • Each plan is supposed to provide the same kind of coverage or benefits. • No insurer can turn down an applicant or charge them more because of chronic illnesses or because they are dealing with diseases like Cancer. • Charging women more than men is prohibited. • The rate of increase for the elderly is also set, i.e. an older person cannot be charged more than three times what a younger person is charged for insurance.   • There are different choices of plans. • What is covered in each plan and how many people participate in the plan will determine the cost.   • Many of the mandates in insurance coverage are significant drivers of increased costs. • If the formerly uninsured and those with chronic health conditions are the only people using the exchanges, costs will soar. • If many people (both sick and well) choose to participate in the Exchanges the rates should stabilize and may even come down. • Californians can call 211 and request information on the different plans that are available in California and determine what is right for them. The Act requires all Americans to have insurance beginning in 2014. The IRS has been delegated the enforcement authority for determining coverage. Fines will be assessed for those who do not get insurance coverage. Currently, these are proposed as $95.00 for an individual and $47.50 for each uninsured child. Corporations employing more than 50 full -time employees, who don’t provide insurance for their employees will also be fined. This corporate fine-provision in the Act has been pushed back to an effective date in 2015.

Tax deductions are provided to small businesses who offer insurance to their employees. While the intentions of this Act are laudable, we should anticipate that no project this large will be enacted without problems. As enrollment progresses and more people explore their options then adjustments will need to be made. There have been 40 attempts made by Congress to delay enactment, amend, reduce or repeal the Act. There will be more, as Congress argues over increasing the debt and reducing government spending. What we, as Americans need to focus on, is protecting those who have need for insurance coverage and finding a sensible way to control costs. The insurance industry has brought many of these new requirements on themselves, as they arbitrarily refused or terminated coverage or prescribed treatments. We as a society also share some responsibility for living healthy life styles that will reduce the need for healthcare. The 900 lb. gorilla in the room, or the whispering campaign surrounding this Act are the real questions we know remain unanswered.   Ultimately decisions will need to be made on how much treatment one receives, who has no chance of improvement or maintaining any quality of life. The questions arise of how far, or how much are we willing to pay for experimental treatments; and, who will be entitled to such care. These are decisions that also cross many religious and philosophic lines. These are decisions I don’t want to make for you and I certainly don’t want some insurance executive or government bureaucrat making such choices for me or my family. Ruben Garcia is the District Director, San Diego District Office, U.S. Small Business Administration and was instrumental in renewing our Strategic Alliance Memorandum with the SBA. For more resources to help you with your business visit:

Greater San Diego Business Association | 7

The Effects of Health Reform on Small Business and Their Workers A Timely Analysis of Immediate Health Policy Issues by Stacy McMorrow, Linda J. Blumberg, and Matthew Buettgens funded by the Urban Institute, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


everal components of the Affordable Care Act have the potential to affect the health insurance choices and responsibilities of employers. The implications of the reforms will vary, however, depending upon employer size. Some critics have raised concerns about the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the health insurance landscape for small firms. Specifically, claims have been made that the ACA will increase health care costs for small firms, which could reduce health insurance offers, and coverage for small employers. Historically, small businesses have faced multiple barriers to offering affordable health insurance coverage to their employees. High administrative costs and limited ability to spread risk contribute to high premiums for small firms. The low wages of many small-firm workers and the costs


associated with shopping for a health plan present further challenges for small firms wishing to offer coverage. As a result, small firms have lower offer rates than large firms, their employees are more likely to be uninsured and small firms are at a disadvantage in competing with larger firms for employees. Several components of the ACA are likely to affect the health insurance options and decisions of small firms. The introduction of health insurance exchanges and reforms to health insurance markets are expected to benefit small firms seeking coverage for their employees. Tax credits to assist in purchasing coverage will be available to the smallest low-wage employers, while larger employers will face new requirements to contribute to the cost of their employees’ health insurance coverage, including Medicaid expansion,

a reformed individual health insurance market and premium subsidies for low-income individuals, are also expected to benefit small- firm employees and their families. Despite claims to the contrary, we find the following generally positive effects of the ACA on small firms and their workers: • Employers with fewer than 50 employees are expected to experience substantial savings on health care costs due to the benefits of the health insurance exchanges and subsidies for the smallest firms. These employers face no requirements to contribute to the health care costs of their workers under the ACA; • Savings on premium contributions are offset by employer responsibility assessments for those employers with 50 to 100 workers, which is expected to result in a very small increase in total costs for this group; • The smallest firms are expected to experience a significant increase in offer rates under the ACA, while offer rates for those with 25 or more employees are expected to remain stable; • A small increase in employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage for small-firm workers and their dependents is expected for those in firms with fewer than 50 workers,

while ESI coverage for those in larger firms is expected to remain stable. • Small firm workers and their families are also expected to reap substantial benefits from the Medicaid expansion, individual health insurance exchanges and premium subsidies to low-income families, resulting in significantly reduced rates of uninsurance for this group under reform. In conclusion, small firms face many barriers to purchasing coverage for their employees in the current health care system. The ACA has several components that will improve the accessibility and affordability of coverage for small firms. While each employer will face unique circumstances under health reform, our analysis finds that, in general, the smallest employers will see significant benefits from the ACA. The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic, and governance problems facing the nation. For more information, visit The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and healthcare issues facing our country, and is the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and healthcare of all Americans. For more information, visit


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Adjustments for the Affordable Care Act continued from front cover pre-existing conditions, when it comes to the procedures of approving your chiropractic services related to health, consumers may be faced with insurance company “good faith” attempts. In 2012, the California State Legislature worked to select a successful benchmark for their ACA benefit plans. All States were encouraged to choose a benchmark plan that closely resembled plans offered by employers in the state which offered cost-effective services. The Senate and Assembly Health committees’ decided on the Kaiser 30 benchmark plan falling under the jurisdiction of the Dept. of Managed Health Care (DMHC) offering a more flexible strategy for plan benefits for consumers over other choices. Initially, the legislature believed that chiropractic services were a covered benefit, but unfortunately chiropractic benefits were included in the Kaiser 30 plan but as a rider to the plan, not in the essential health benefit plan. For example, chiropractic is not covered under Kaiser’s 30 policy plan, but the provision allows you to purchase a rider to the main policy to cover this special service. The main question

for GSDBA members is whether chiropractic services are going to be offered? Health & Human Services has issued “guidance” which requests insurers to make a good faith attempt at implementing non-discrimination of chiropractors yet expressly states that insurance plans are not required to include all types of providers on their panels. GSDBA members may have an understanding of how nondiscrimination fares when laws are unclear. Efforts are underway to re-introduce a non-discrimination bill next year to address this conundrum. The CCA is currently exploring whether other groups might support our efforts to offer chiropractic services as a cost effective option for patients and a way to diminish the shortfall of primary treating providers that is anticipated. If chiropractic services are a benefit you prefer having, please reach the GSDBA Advocacy Committee to ask them to consider supporting this bill. Dr. Colin Mackay, ROC Wellness Center I am currently a practicing chiropractor and owner of the ROC Wellness Center. We provide an integrative approach to treatment, offering chiropractic, medical, acupuncture, massage therapy and rehabilitation. We treat a variety of patients and currently accept most insurances, work injuries and automobile accidents.

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12 Greater San Diego Business Association |

It was an ordinary cup of coffee...


was an ordinary cup of coffee. As I took a sip and looked at my cup, I realized an employee had written “hand-off” on the side. They hadn’t asked my name, like other customers before or after me. Instead, they labeled my coffee with an indicator that I needed an employee to come around the counter and hand me my coffee personally. Had they asked, my coffee might have labeled with my name, but that indicator was no different to me than labeling my coffee with “queer” or “wheelchair.” Their perception of my abilities was distorted by a set of wheels. Though intending to be helpful, they silently judged me as “special” and “other” without thought. This is something that happens in the LGBTQ community, to people of color, differing religions, people who are deaf, blind, and any other sort of differences we are technically told to understand and accept, sometimes without a full understanding of what that acceptance really entails. There is a stream of consciousness that happens when entering a business for the first time. Will it be accessible? Are all the tables at eyebrow-height or will I be able to sit at eye-level with friends? Are the aisles wide enough? If I find something I like it out of reach, will I have to hunt someone down for help? Like any able-bodied customer, I don’t call ahead or give warning when I’m planning to go somewhere. I expect the same level of access as anyone else. Our ADA has been around for 20 years, but take a look at Prop 8 and tell me that both fronts don’t still have

a long way to go in our society. Laws change requirements, but not social attitudes and understanding. San Diego has its share of businesses who use their accessible bathrooms as storage lockers, provide restaurant access through dark kitchens and back hallways, or don’t offer any information in large print or Braille. Any business that allows me to frequent their space with the greatest amount of independence, offering clear signage, clutter-free aisles, and employees who comfortable and familiar with accessibility issues, gets a well-deserved recommendation.

Three basic rules I offer managers and staff to avoid assumptions about a person’s abilities:

impaired, communication is as simple as writing something on paper, or typing it out on a cell phone or iPad. Again, independence is key. If an interpreter is available, speak directly to the individual and not their interpreter. From website accessibility, menu, aisle space or employee attitudes, don’t be afraid to ask how accessible your businesses is, but don’t single any individual out any more or less than you would any other customer. When receiving feedback — whether requested or not — listen. Ensure your staff and business is socially and physically accessible to any customer’s needs. Like our LGBTQ community, we are a close-knit community who’s positive and negative words can spread like wildfire when it comes to local businesses.

To avoid assumptions, ask. If offering assistance, wait until it is accepted. If help is denied, accept that response and move on. Businesses generally either go out of their way, following and patronizing customers, or completely ignore access issues and deny help when asked. Offering to describe to a customer with a vision disability what’s on their plate or on their table, is generally well accepted and appreciated. But again, ask first. But use common sense. For goodness sake don’t ask a person who is deaf if they need a Braille guide. Use the tools around you to communicate. For customers who are Deaf or hearing

Angela Van Ostran Administrative Assistant, GSDBA Disability Rights California Board of Directors, public member San Diego LGBT Pride Accessibility  Coordinator San Diego LGBT Pride Diversity Task Force Committee, Co-chair San Diego LGBT Pride Community Advisory Council SDSU ASL Club, President SDSU Student Ability Network, President SDSU President’s Advisory Committee on Disability as Diversity South Bay Pride Accessibility & Interpreting Coordinator

Greater San Diego Business Association | 13

Scripps Hospital Mixer

AIDS Walk San Diego

Bella Vita Dental Grand Opening

14 Greater San Diego Business Association |

BNGs Business Networking Groups

Current bngs

What’s a “BNG”?

Tuesday Morning BNG University Heights 8:30 am to 9:30 am Monica’s at the Park

The GSDBA Business Networking Groups (aka BNGs) are hard working business professionals coming together to support one another. The BNGs’ primary goal is to assist their members obtain business referrals known as “tips.” Some BNG members have been in business for many years while others are just starting out. What we all have in common is a desire to excel in what we do and the wisdom to know it is easier to achieve success with the kind of strong support system found in a BNG. BNG’s offer a forum where GSDBA members can increase their business through networking with other members on a regular basis. They offer a supportive environment that allows each member to share products or services with others who want to help them succeed.

BNG Trimester Dues: • $45 for new BNG members • $40 each trimester thereafter • $110 for a full year (3 trimesters) Note to Prospective Members: If you are interested in visiting a BNG, please contact the Facilitator at least 24 hours in advance to arrange your visit. Sorry, we do not allow nonGSDBA members to present information to the group unless first approved by the Facilitator. All current BNG members must notify the Facilitator if they want to bring a guest to their BNG. Guests and prospective BNG members may visit each BNG one time prior to joining, and must become a GSDBA Member to attend after that. Thank you.

Where Great Business Minds Think Alike

members for GSDBA

The Professional Development Group (PDG) program is designed to provide professional enhancement for members in the same or related professions. The focus is to support one another within a specific field and to help participants bring their businesses to a new level. The groups meet once a month. Groups include guest speakers and/or group member presentations on topics of interest. PDG Groups are FREE to GSDBA members.

HEALTH & Allied Fields Categories Include: Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, Counselors, Dentists, Health & Fitness, Holistic Health, Hypnotherapists, Massage Therapists, Nutritionists, Optometrists, Personal Trainers and more!

HOME IMPROVEMENT & Allied Fields Categories Include: Cleaning, Landscaping, Painters, Handy Persons, Contractors, Roofers, Organizing Services, Decorators/Designers, Architects, Plumbers, Electricians, Remodeling, Cabinet Makers, Lighting, and related trades.

Tuesday Lunch BNG Bankers Hill 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Top of the Park 525 Spruce Street Wednesday Morning BNG Mission Valley 8:00 am to 9:00 am Mimi’s in Mission Valley Wednesday Lunch BNG Bankers Hill 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Top of the Park 525 Spruce Street Wednesday Lunch BNG Hillcrest 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Baja Betty’s 1420 University Avenue Thursday Morning BNG University Heights 8:00 am to 9:00 am Lestat’s on Park Blvd Thursday Morning BNG Bankers Hill 8:00 -9:00 a.m. St. Paul’s Villa 2340 Fourth Ave Thursday Lunch BNG Bankers Hill 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Top of the Park 525 Spruce Street


Increasing your business through qualified referrals

MARKETING & Allied Fields Categories Include: Ad Specialties, Graphic Designers, Photographers, Web Designers, Printers, Print Brokers, Marketing, Public Relations. More

ENGAGING AGING Professional Development Group The program is designed to provide professional development and education for members in professions that are aligned to serve our aging population. Check online for facilitator contact information, meeting dates and times and locations at

Contact the BNG Facilitator for specific information about visiting a BNG for the first time or to see if there is a space available for your business category. Check online for Facilitator Information at


nonprofit org. us postage


GSDBA’s Community Connection Magazine P.O. Box 33848, San Diego, CA 92163

san diego, ca permit #2793

GSDBA Nov./Dec. 2013 Community Connection