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Volume 13, No. 2


Serving the Heart of San Diego | A Publication by Presidio Communications

Batman Filmmaker Shares His Dream Come True By Michael Uslan

Michael Uslan is the executive producer, along with his partner Benjamin Melnicker, of the Batman franchise of motion pictures.

Spring Fashion Show benefits Local Association


Poker Tournament Benefits Animals


Dreams are a hard thing to have these days. As a New Jersey kid growing up as the son of a working-class stone mason, I had big dreams. I drew my inspiration, as many kids back then did, from comic books. My favorite character was Batman. To me, Batman was accessible. To be Superman, you had to come from Krypton, but Batman was just a man who trained himself to be the best, both physically and intellectually. As an 8-year-old kid sitting in his bedroom awash in his heroic fantasies, I believed that someone could actually grow up to BE Batman, even me. I couldn’t have been more excited when I heard they were making a TV show about Batman and I remember devouring the first episode, finally seeing the costumes, the Batcave, the Batmobile and all these fantastic characters brought to life in living color – but something was wrong. I heard my parents laughing. It hit me that they were playing the whole thing for laughs and I was horrified. They were laughing at Batman. That was heresy to me. The Batman that I grew up on in the comics was not a comedian. He was a tragic figure, a dark knight who fought crime and injustice by stalking evildoers from the shadows. It was then, as a kid, I found my dream – to grow up to make a movie that would make people take Batman seriously. They would see in him the same thing I saw – the inspiration to be anything you dreamed you could be.

Students Prepare for the 2012 Science Olympiad

Continued on pg 3


Rei Do Gado – Celebrate Mardi Gras



Serving the Heart of San Diego The Presidio Sentinel is a commentary-driven newspaper that provides coverage on local, regional and national issues that impact the lives of its readers and the community it serves. The serious issues are politics, government, redevelopment, the environment, conservation and safety. The quality of life issues include health, community activities, fundraisers, social events, religious issues and activities, theatre, arts, science and educational programs and services. We have over 35,000 monthly readers! Highly-educated, community-and arts-oriented. Both young and mature members of society. Most enjoy entertainment and travel, fine dining, local coffee houses, book and garden clubs, and participate in church, school and neighborhood activities.

Our Mission: Making a difference, providing the facts, the truth, and a variety of opinions so that its readers are provided up-to-date researched information. The Presidio Sentinel strives to create dialogue, bringing topics to the forefront that need and deserve attention. Its writers, who share a variety of experiences and business backgrounds, write on topics that impact readers on a daily basis.

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Featured Stories

Featured Events

Oceanside Resident Pleads Guilty to Animal Abuse Charges


Actor Richard Dreyfuss Speaks Up for a Cause


Little Italy’s 9th Annual Carnevale Returns


Mark Christopher Lawrence Rocks House of Blues


Monarch School for Children Expands Executive Team


Manzanita leaves can work with your body to maintain health


MADCAPS’ Annual Charity Show is fast approaching


Local San Diego Musician Jim Allen Wears Three Band Hats


Alan Bersin Departs & The New York Times Misses the Story By George Mitrovich

In 1963 The New York Times began a national edition. As an inveterate reader of newspapers having The Times available in California was exciting (I was then working for the San Francisco Chronicle and living in Marin County). When the initial national edition failed as a publishing venture, I was disappointed. In truth, however, it wasn’t much and there were serious production issues. (They were so confused about what they were doing they actually adopted my idea, a 38-year old ad salesman for the Chronicle, that college and pro football games on the West Coast deserved more than line scores. It was my one and only time to influence The New York Times.) Subsequently, as a press aide to Robert F. Kennedy in the presidential campaign of 1968, and later press secretary to Senator Charles E. Goodell of New York, The Times became increasingly a significant part of my life – and thus remains. My feelings about The Times as a newspaper represent both a substantive judgment – I have been fascinated by newspapers since I was seven – and an emotional one. The “emotional” part of it is more complicated, involving as it does the newspaper’s endorsement in 1970 of Senator Goodell for the U.S. Senate over Democrat Richard Ottinger and the Conservative Party’s James Buckley; it was a tough three-way race (and besides it’s beyond the purview of this article).

In opinion pieces I’ve written, in speeches and radio/TV interviews I’ve given, I have long claimed The New York Times as the world’s greatest newspaper and whoever is number two is a distant number two – whether it’s The Guardian of England, Le Monde of France, La Repubblica of Italy, De Welt of Germany, The Globe and Mail of Canada, or the Washington Post. Recently in a sermon I delivered on 9/11 in San Luis Obispo, I repeated my claim about The Times. I did so by reminding the congregation that following 9/11 The Times published the individual name and photographs of every victim of that terrible, terrible day in American history. I said by giving the victims of 9/11 names, faces, and stories, The Times performed the greatest single act of public service in American journalism history (and for which The Times was later and justly awarded a Pulitzer Prize). I have also said I care more about The New York Times than some people who derive their livings from it. While I postulate something I can’t prove, I believe it nonetheless – and it’s an opinion based upon having known more than a few journalists of The Times. With that as preface, let me share my story of the story The New York Times missed: Until the end of December San Diego’s Alan Bersin was commissioner of United States Customs and Border Protection (CPB). As commissioner he headed an

George Mitrovich is a San Diego civic leader and may be reached at

Mine Eyes Have Seen George Mitrovich

agency with 57,000 employees. He was a recess appointment by President Obama but the recess ended December 31. The Times did not cover Mr. Bersin’s resignation, nor did it cover the circumstances surrounding his nomination or the Senate’s failure to hold public hearings, beyond an initial inquiry. If Senator Max Baucus’ failure to subsequently consider the nomination wasn’t a news story, what is? During the run up to Mr. Bersin’s appointment deadline I decided The Times might benefit by inviting Mr. Bersin to New York for an interview with its editorial board. In that regard I spoke to an assistant to Andrew Rosenthal, the editor of The Times’ editorial page, and followed November 1 of last year with a detailed memo concerning Mr. Bersin. Here, in part, is what I wrote to Mr. Rosenthal: “Alan Bersin presently serves as a provisional presidential appointee. Unless the United States Senate confirms him by January 1 his service as commissioner of CBP will be effectively over. I am hardly alone in believing if that happens it will represent a great loss for our country and the future of U.S. / Mexico relations. “I’m told President Obama is fully committed to Mr. Bersin’s nomination. Senator Schumer of New York has pledged his personal support, as have Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, California’s two U.S. senators. Republican members of the Senate have also promised their support, should the nomination come to the floor

for a vote. “But a floor vote is the issue, as Senator Baucus and one of his principal aides, have blocked that from happening, and it’s unlikely Mr. Bersin’s nomination will come up for a vote. (The role of the Senate aide in this matter is itself worthy of investigation.) “I assure you, Mr. Rosenthal, that if this is Alan Bersin’s dénouement as CBP commissioner, it will be a great loss – for the agency and the United States, as no more qualified individual has served CBP.” But that was the end of it. I never heard back from Mr. Rosenthal or his assistant. When I wrote about the matter to the public editor of The Times, Arthur Brisbane, I received the same results – as in zero, nothing, nada, other than a standard automatic reply. (I’m told the public editor is so inundated with complaints about The Times the odds of getting his attention are overwhelmingly against you.) Now, in the spirit of the confessional: I have been a friend of Alan Bersin’s since 1993 when he became U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California. Prior to his confirmation by the U.S. Senate he asked if I would introduce him to San Diego’s African-American and Latino communities. With the help of Dr. George Walker Smith, a prominent Presbyterian clergyman and civic leader, that was accomplished. Five years later when Bertha PendleContinued on page 3


Local News

February 2012 | © A Publication of Presidio Communications

Little Italy’s 9th Annual Carnevale Returns

February 18th Masks are encouraged at Carnevale.

The Little Italy Association proudly presents the 9th Annual Little Italy Carnevale, 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 18, at the corner of W. Date and India Streets with activities throughout the entire neighborhood. Carnevale will transform San Diego’s historic Little Italy into a scene from Venice with a street closure held at the intersection of W. Date and India Streets. A treasured local event, Carnevale will feature various vignettes of entertainment including live music and dancing, stiltwalkers, art, mask-making for kids and more held throughout the neighborhood. Carnevale, also known as Carnival or

Mardi Gras, marks the final celebration prior to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent season. People of all ages, from two to 92 are encouraged to participate in the festivities, including the spontaneous performances on street corners and Little Italy piazzas designed to evoke the playful vibe of the event. Attendees will get a taste of Italian tradition and see how Venetian masks are made and worn to celebrate Carnevale. Valet parking will be available at a cost of $7 per car. Attendees are also encouraged to take advantage of the trolley that brings riders to the Little Italy Trolley stop, located a few blocks from the event.

Spring Fashion Show benefits Local Historical Association

February 22nd Spring designs will be presented at the fashion show.

At 7 p.m., Wednesday, February 22, at the Morgan Run Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, FINE Magazine will hold its annual fashion fundraiser to benefit The San Diego Police Historical Association. The fundraiser will present ten haute couture designers and boutiques in San Diego, including Mia Bella Couture, TRE Boutique, Belloccio and designer Stacey Blanchet of Blanchet Designs. Just in time to jump on the latest Spring fashion, FINE Magazine will have 20 vendor booths consisting of top boutique’s, designers, and health tips in each market to ensure attendees find unique and creative ways to stay up on the latest fashion, and beauty secrets.

Fine Magazine, along with several businesses, has contributed to this effort: Steven Lewandowski, Guaranteed Rate, Bernardo Moving and Storage, E Live Life, Hot Rock Jewelry, Dazzle Me Hats, Bella Bella Salon and Boutique, Tutto Coure, and DJ Jason Scott. Tickets can be purchased at http:// Premium VIP tickets are $30.00 online and $40.00 at the door (limited to 50). Standard tickets are $20.00 online and $30.00 at the door. Ticket price includes appetizers, no host bar, live and silent auction, fashion show, and glasses for all VIP guests.

© A Publication of Presidio Communications | February 2012

Batman Filmmaker [continued from front cover]

As an adult, I discovered that dream would almost break me. When I first approached DC Comics to acquire the film rights to Batman, the management at DC thought I was crazy to even want them because the TV series was dead and no one cared about Batman anymore. Then they told me they couldn’t sell me the rights because I was not a Hollywood producer. I was a college grad with a dream, but no credentials to back it up. Undaunted, I went out to get those credentials. I went to law school and upon graduation, took a job at United Artists as a production attorney. There, I had the most amazing training in Hollywood by working on the legal side of movies like Rocky 2 and Apocalypse Now (a crisis per day for

A couple of months ago I had this wild idea of doing a special Valentine “staycation” promotion with some of our local resorts and restaurants. We all know that a great idea doesn’t always make it to fruition. However, I thought, what the heck, it’s worth a try. So, then I started contacting some of my friends at the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, and several attractive resort establish-

Alan Bersin [continued from pg 1]

ton, the first African-American to head the school district, resigned, Mr. Bersin expressed an interest in succeeding her. He again asked for my support. I was mystified, however, as to why anyone would walk away from being U.S. Attorney, the most powerful position in any political sub-division (the power to prosecute is an absolute power) for the uncertain fate of becoming a big city school superintendent, but that’s what happened. Superintendent Alan Bersin was a visionary and courageous, but hugely controversial. The leaders of the teachers’ union made him the object of unrelenting and often vicious personal attacks (hell hath no fury like teachers and education reform). Indeed, for many in the


career came after the release of “The Dark Knight” a few years ago. It was a rousing success and the most complete vindication of my vision I could have ever imagined, thanks to the genius of Christopher Nolan, who deserves all the credit and accolades and has raised the bar for all comic book based films. My wife sat me down after the premiere and said, “Okay. Now that you’ve accomplished what you set out to do, what do you want to do when you grow up?” So my next chapter is this – I want to share with as many people as I can the inspiration they gave me to fulfill my dreams. Today, dreams are hard won commodities. The American Dream itself too often is perceived to be dying, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I want people to ask themselves in the new year what inspires them. What do THEY want to be

when they grow up? Who are their heroes, and what would they do if their backs were against the wall as many Americans find themselves today? My wife’s question forced me to wonder if I could accomplish in these harsh modern times what I did decades ago, and I am forced to answer yes. It would be harder and I’d have bloodier knuckles than I did even back then, but I’d still find a way to do it. Dreams cannot be treated as conveniences or luxuries to be discarded when they become too tough to realize. When people ask me what I did to achieve success, the answer is simple. I forfeited any sense of entitlement I thought the world owed me. I got up off the couch. I dared to dream big, based upon my passion in life. And I made a personal commitment not to give up. The rest was easy.

ments and restaurants. Low and behold, it happened. As you will see on page 2 and throughout the publication, we have three very impressive properties that are participating in our Staycation/Valentine promotion, and several exciting restaurants and vacation businesses that have joined the effort: Coronado: Enjoy a romantic, 1-night Coronado “staycation” in the charming and historic Glorietta Bay Inn, located just one block form Coronado’s beautiful beach and world famous Hotel Del

Coronado. Dine on fresh, local, sustainable food at Leroy’s Kitchen + Lounge then take a bicycle ride around the island with Wheel Fun Rentals. Julian: Get away to Julian with a restful 1-night stay at the elegant, bed and breakfast-style, Orchard Hill Country Inn, dinner at one of Julian’s finest gourmet restaurants, Jeremy’s on the Hill, and a decadent treat from Candied Apple Pastry Company. Old Town: We’ll take you back in time with Victorian-style dining rooms, lounges, baths and bedrooms—each elegantly appointed with fine furnishings from the 1870s. And with just ten rooms, staff is at your service for all your personal needs. The Cosmopolitan Hotel

& Restaurant is a fully restored 1870’s inn and a reflection of San Diego’s past. Now here’s how you can participate. Presidio Sentinel readers have a chance to win a stay over for two at one of three San Diego vacation getaway locations and other prizes. To enter, visit the Presidio Sentinel website, www. Simply “Like us” on Facebook and you’re entered in the sweepstakes. You can also submit your email into the entry form on our website to be entered. It only takes 1 minute! For those of you who decide to enter the sweepstakes, good luck! Thanks to the San Diego Convention Bureau and our participating resorts, restaurants and local businesses, these are three amazing Staycation packages.

union he remains Public Enemy Number One. (On several occasions I was asked to speak before the school board on pressing issues affecting our schools, I found the public conduct of some union officials and teachers appalling.) As commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Mr. Bersin again sought my assistance in establishing what is now the United States/Mexico Border Association of Mayors. It’s the first organization of its kind and it was our created to bring together mayors on both sides of the border, knowing many of them had never met. This association has a chance to greatly benefit relations between our two countries, as the issues they face have a common thread – both north and south. That said, if you don’t know, Alan Bersin is a Harvard undergraduate, a Yale Law School graduate, and a Rhodes Scholar.

He is a deeply committed public servant and his departure from CBP is the nation’s loss. His time was brief but the accomplishments of the agency under his leadership were many. CPB never had a more capable leader. None of this the readers of the world’s greatest newspaper know because the world’s greatest newspaper did not cover the story – neither Mr. Bersin’s time in office nor the politics that led to his resignation. In our upside down world the likes of Michelle Bachmann or Herman Cain is deemed worthy of depleting forests and spilling tons of ink, but that Alan Bersin’s departure as head of a critical Federal agency employing 57,000 people, whose work impacts virtually every United States citizen, could go unreported by The New York Times is shameful, shocking, and scandalous.

Fortunately, the secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, fully appreciates Mr. Bersin’s talent and value, which is why his government service is not over (they have known one another since both were U.S. attorneys during the Clinton Administration). Secretary Napolitano has appointed him assistant secretary for international affairs and chief diplomatic officer. While disappointed by the turn of events at CBP, he is pleased by his new assignment and, true to his character, enthusiastically welcomes the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Alan Bersin’s continued public service is good for America, but it does not expunge The Times’ failure to cover him, both in office at CBP and the subsequent events that led to his resignation as commissioner.

two years). Finally, I went back to DC in 1979 and said, “How about now?” With the rights to Batman in my back pocket and with a legendary partner, Benjamin Melniker, I went to Hollywood, thinking people would be standing in line to help me make my vision of a dark and serious Batman movie a reality. Not so much. I was laughed at, just as they laughed at Batman when I was a kid, and I spent 10 years bloodying my knuckles on shut doors – all the while trying to earn a living to support my family – until finally the pieces fell into place. Batman was released in 1989, breaking box office records left and right. My dream came true. More than 20 years later, I am involved in my eighth Batman feature film, “The Dark Knight Rises.” But the real turning point in my life and

“Staycation” Sweepstakes By Patty Ducey-Brooks

Local News


Local News

February 2012 | © A Publication of Presidio Communications

See You at The Movies By Ilene Hubbs

Its award season, the time of year when I try to cram as many movies into my schedule as I possibly can. Ever since I was a child, I’ve loved the movies. Memories are still so clear of those Saturday matinees when I could spend the entire afternoon watching cartoons and serial chapters waiting for the double feature to start. I didn’t have to wait in line at the concession stand to get my popcorn because there was a popcorn machine standing all by itself in the lobby. All I had to do was drop in some coins, hold the little bag under the chute and wait for it to fill with my warm fresh popped treat. Then my siblings and I settled into our chairs for the duration, giving us a long afternoon of cinema and giving our parents a glimpse of life without the kids. As I got older my love for movies stayed with me despite the price, and my love of popcorn waned because of the price. As a member of the Cinema Society of San Diego I have the opportunity to see many different aspects of the film industry. I have learned that some excellent films are never released because the big studios are looking at the bottom line and making that the criteria rather than the worthiness of the film. Some of these movies may never be released or may go directly to DVD. A favorite of mine this year was a documentary called “Thunder Soul” that paid tribute to a 92 year old former band instructor at an inner city Houston school. “The Prof,” as he was called took this mediocre group

of African American high school musicians and turned them into the legendary Kashmere Stage Band who toured the world in the 70s winning top awards wherever they went. This film was an inspiring and heartwarming piece that left us all with a feel good spring in our step as we left the theater marveling at the human spirit at its very best. Besides the documentary and indie films offered, we also get to see some of the big box office winners before they are released to the general public. Because we see them early, reviews may not have been out yet. One such movie I walked into without high hopes. After all, this is 2012 and I’m about to see a silent film in black and white. What a surprise, what a great surprise, the film was terrific and the lack of sound and color only intensified how good the movie was. The critics agreed and it’s been a big winner garnering awards along the way to the Oscars. And speaking of Oscars, my prediction for Best Foreign Film is one I just saw at our treasure of an art house, The Hillcrest Landmark. The movie, “A Separation,” is Iran’s entry, a bold film by that country’s standards which tells the story of a married couple on the brink of divorce. But the story is just a vehicle for showing so much of what is happening in that country today. Male and female rights, class distinction, the power of religion and government obstacles all play out in this well written, well acted and beautifully nuanced film. Movies can be fun and exciting, or powerful and educational and sometimes just plain entertaining. This cinemaphile can’t get enough.

Between the Lines: Reading Contemporary Americana By Alice Lowe

I recently read two of last year’s highly praised novels. “The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides is his longawaited follow-up to the award-winning “Middlesex.” “The Art of Fielding” is Chad Harbach’s first novel, and he hit the jackpot—it was selected as one of the New York Times’ five best works of fiction for 2011. Both books made a number of “best of the year” lists. Both novels are about contemporary young adults. Eugenides follows three Brown University seniors through graduation and their first year grappling with the big wide world. Harbach’s protagonists include three baseball players at a small private university in Northern Wisconsin. The university milieu and influences dominate both stories. The characters in the two books are flawed and flailing—it’s called being human, and they’re relatively new at it. As readers, we may or may not like them and empathize with them, but we come to understand them. They make bad decisions, they hurt each other and their families, they fail miserably, but they have the rest of their lives to work things out. You get the impression that most of them will redeem themselves sooner or later. I was immediately caught up in “The Marriage Plot,” even though the characters were self-absorbed and their stories somewhat myopic: Mitchell loves Madeleine, who loves Leonard, who’s hanging onto his wits by a thin thread. In an interview, Eugenides said that his title referred to Jane Austen and the Brontes and the days when novels ended with weddings and presumed happily-ever-

afters. “Reader, I married him.” The end. Now, with such a high divorce rate, couples uncouple and rearrange themselves into different pairs, and the drama goes on. The novel was engrossing, a page-turner, but it didn’t quite come together for me. It left me wanting something more. Okay, I thought, maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m ageist and want my protagonists to be rational and judicious adults, like me, not angstridden post-adolescents. Tales of narcissistic upper-middle-class kids groping their way into maturity are not the stuff of gripping fiction. But aren’t they? Jane Austen’s characters were well-to-do young adults whose sole preoccupation—since they weren’t even bothered by the necessity to earn a living— was making a good match. Reviews for “The Art of Fielding” implied that it was more than just a baseball novel. Baseball as metaphor works for me, but this was baseball as baseball, and lots of it. These guys are jocks; they live for baseball. Other major characters—the school president and his daughter—are absorbed with baseball too, or with baseball players. And yet somehow it was more; it was satisfying and thought-provoking. Both failure and success loomed larger than you would expect. The characters were no more self-aware than the trio at Brown, and yet their choices seemed to be more attuned to the reality around them. In retrospect, both novels were well written and compelling snapshots of our time. Their protagonists’ youth can’t be held against them; we were all young once, and our youthful indiscretions were part of what shaped us into the mature and lucid adults we are—or like to think we are—today.

© A Publication of Presidio Communications | February 2012

Animal News


Oceanside Resident Pleads Guilty to Animal Abuse Charges Twenty-two year old Abed Dubester has pled guilty to 597(a) P.C. charges of animal abuse for burning a six month old Bischon puppy, Stewie, with hot water. San Diego Humane Society Humane Officers seized Stewie on March 29, 2011, filed for protectivecustody and began an intensive investigation. “Nearly half of Stewie’s body was covered in second and third degree burns. There was no doubt in my mind that this was an intentional act of animal abuse,” said Randy Lawrence, Director of Humane Law Enforcement for the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. “We take cases of animal cruelty and neglect very seriously so my team and I lead the investigation and saw to it that charges were filed.” Dubester pled guilty to a misdemeanor, will have to pay full restitution for Stewie’s medical care, and will be unable to own an animal for five years. Upon arriving at the San Diego Humane Society, Stewie was not only covered in burns, but he also suffered from a resistant bacterial infection and his prognosis was poor. Stewie endured months of treatment and around-theclock care from the San Diego Humane Society’s medical staff. To heal Stewie’s burns, the capable team from San Diego-based Perfusion Concepts, lead by perfusionst Angela Nava, treated Stewie using a vanguard platelet-rich plasma treatment consisting of his own blood. This complicated regenerative procedure involved carefully removing

Stewie’s blood, spinning it down in a centrifuge, collecting the platelet rich portion of the blood and applying it to his wounds. Today, Stewie is a happy and healthy puppy and he has been adopted into an extremely loving home.

Not to be combined with any other offer. Not good for boarding, bathing, grooming, pet food and prescription and non-prescription drugs. Expires 2-29-2012

Poker Tournament Benefits Animals Stewie now has a forever home with lots of love and attention.


is a tan and white, two-year old, female terrier, whose big, brown eyes are sure to melt your heart instantly. While she enjoys spending quality time with her people friends, she is also content to spend time on her own. She has a lovable and independent spirit. Beth would love to be in an adult-only home without other canines. During the Furry Valentine Promotion, through February 14, Beth’s adoption fee is $14 and includes spay, current vaccinations, permanent microchip identification, a certificate for a free veterinary exam, and a license if residing in Oceanside or Vista.

Babette is a three-year old, domestic short haired, tabby. She is a friendly,

easy-going feline with an affectionate personality and an abundance of love to share. She has a curious nature and is very friendly and tolerant of new faces and friends, interacting well with both dogs and children. In addition to her penchant for belly rubs and receiving lots of attention from her people friends, Babette also loves to perch by a window and look out at the world around her. Babette is a hidden gem who is currently housed in the finance office of the San Diego Humane Society, where she daily receives lots of love and attention. If you are interested in this adorable cat, please contact Customer Service at (619) 299-7012. During the Furry Valentine Promotion through February 14, her adoption fee is $14, which includes her neuter, current vaccinations, permanent microchip identification, and a certificate for a free veterinary exam.

Annie Duke is shown with her dad, Richard Lederer.

World renowned professional poker player, author, and star of the second season of “Celebrity Apprentice,” Annie Duke, and her father, writer and broadcaster, Richard Lederer, hosted the first charity poker tournament to benefit the animals and programs of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA this past January 2012. Called “Paws for Poker,” the event was a no-limit Texas hold-em charity poker tournament held at Harrah’s Rincon Resort. Upward of $17,000.00 was raised during the poker tournament. “The San Diego Humane Society is an amazing organization,” said Annie Duke. “They not only provide outstanding care for the animals, but they are also actively involved in the community to promote the humane treatment of animals. Poker players love their animals so it was a no-brainer that the San Diego Humane Society would be an organization that they would want to support.”

Beth and Babette are available at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA Gaines St. Campus, located at 5500 Gaines Street in San Diego. For information, call 619.299.7012.


Life Style

February 2012 | © A Publication of Presidio Communications

Secret # 4: Connecting at a Heart Level Beats the IQ By Sabine Starr Certified Life Coach

Number 4 in this series of 10 secrets to lead a fulfilled and successful life is about connecting at a heart level. Modern day life is dominated by technology and information. Our head is ON all the time. Thousands of thoughts go through our mind every day. Our intellect is sharpened, fast and awesome. With some decisions, however, we seem to be getting nowhere. Having a chance for a great promotion and not being able to bring your self to step up to the plate? Sometimes we are just stuck. Logic tells us to decide in favor of one thing, but a bugging feeling keeps us stalling, without being able to put our finger on it. The big decisions in life are best made with a connection to the heart. The heart seems to know so much more than our mind. Our mind does linear thinking: if A happens, B follows and so on. But big decisions - like should we sell our house - are so complex with so many, often too many factors involved. Our

mind is overwhelmed. But if we take a pause and connect to the quiet and still place in our heart, we can ask the big questions and wait. If we are willing to listen inside ourselves, observe the feelings coming up, and to notice where in the body we get sensations, we come to a place of knowing. All of a sudden we just know what we are going to do. This is the time to commit to the decision and not let it be torn to pieces by the worrying and suspicious mind. The mind is scattered, because it cannot fathom the big problem. Connect to the peace of the knowing and connect to the trust and faith inside of you. That said, this has nothing to do with going about things blindly. Once you made your decision in your heart, you start with going towards it, putting in the legwork. That´s where the mind comes in handy again. I once heard, “The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.” I find that to be true, especially during a sleepless night, when the mind takes over and tortures me with the most unlikely and tiniest of details about what might go wrong 20 years hence. Whenever you notice that your mind is in charge and your worry-loop has

gone on eternal mode, just say to yourself “Thank you for sharing.” Then take charge again and choose to believe that things will work out, and start focusing on one thing you can do right NOW in order to improve your situation. Sometimes it is as little as acknowledging that there is nothing to do right now (e. g. at 3 a.m.), and that all you need is to take care of your body and nourish it well, give it rest and relaxation. Worrying weakens you, taking charge empowers you - no matter how little the step is, it is always better than spending energy on worrying, which is getting nowhere. For this month, start paying attention to that first hunch that we get when confronted with a new situation/deci-

sion. This is your heart speaking. We are used to automatically let our mind make the decision. It works well with somewhat little decisions, but the big gain from listening to your heart is that it makes you happy and fulfilled. Logic does not take into consideration the unique person you are. Logic is neutral. Your heart wants you to be happy. And we all know that there are things that make us happy that make absolutely no sense to our mind (I always rejoice when I see tulips, roses don’t have quite that effect on me). Enjoy and celebrate your life. More about this topic and the 10 Secrets in the book “Simply This...” www.simplythisbook. Comments are welcome:

Jump Start Your Fitness Routine By Blake Beckcom

So, if weight loss/maintenance is As you roll in to this New Year, you your main goal this new year, ditch may find yourself in a rut of doing the the treadmill and opt for a more fast “same old, same old” when it comes to and furious workout full of burpees, your fitness and wellness routine. As wind sprints, jump pull ups, and slam the temperatures get cooler, climbing balls. Your belly will appreciate it and on the dreaded treadmill or elliptical so will the number on the scale. As we machine may seem to be your only op- all know, strength and conditioning tions for burning up those extra holi- exercises build muscle. Cardio, when day calories consumed in past weeks. coupled with proper nutrition; howevEffective cardio training, though, can er, is the secret weapon to defining and showing off the hours spent in include more than your trathe weight room. To create ditional running, biking greater muscle definition and swimming. By taking in the common “problem” your workout up a notch areas (arms, abs, glutes), it with high intensity cardio is important to incorvariations, you can jump porate metabolic start your fitness roucardio conditiontine so you look beting to your fitness ter, feel better and regimen to unveil perform better in your hidden lean this new year. and sleek musAs the 2011 holcles. idays came and When your goal went, we are now is to build strength in the “thick” of and muscle, comgetting over the bining strength added pounds training exercises from pumpkin Blake and Gwen Beckcom with total body carpies, turkey dinners and overscheduled calendars. To- dio is key to realizing the best results. day the common fitness theme as we This type of cardio approach packs a stare down the first quarter of 2012, is variety of total body movements into fighting the bulge and finding time to your workout that aims to raise your squeeze in a workout as the new year heart rate and maintain the increased really ramps up. Although concentrat- level for 5-10 minutes. Some full body ing on eating in moderation is a key cardio exercises include: • mountain climbers component to weight loss and mainte• battling ropes nance, cardio exercises focused on in• jump squat circuits terval training can help combat the bel• burpees ly bounce. Interval training focuses on • medicine ball slams intense bursts of exercise within your These exercises allow you to build workout that not only jump start your heart rate, but burn body fat quicker more muscle and burn calories, while as well.The good news for your hectic you to get the most bang for your buck schedule is that you don’t have to bang as it relates to time efficient and effecout hours on the treadmill to realize the tive cardio exercises. best cardio results for your body. ShortWhether your goals are to combat the New Year er duration of high intensity exercise “belly bounce”, build more muscle or successfully can be more beneficial than traditional train for an upcoming event, incorporating high endurance training. Basic exercise sci- intensity cardio into your fitness routine will not ence supports that the harder you work, only make you feel better and look better, but also the more calories you burn every min- perform better in any of your upcoming endeavors. ute you exercise, and high intensity car- If you need some “boost” in amping up your intendio variations additionally speed your sity, give us a call at Fitness Together (619) 7940014. Follow our blog at metabolism for hours following your workout session.

© A Publication of Presidio Communications | February 2012

Volatile Markets and Human Behavior By Rick Brooks

Regret is a very complex emotion, but it is also one of the central emotions that drive our investing behavior. I was pondering the concept of regret the other day and thought I would share some of our thinking on the topic, to help you frame your own investment decisions. Generally, when people think about investing, they are thinking about the stock market, Wall Street, CNBC and lately, roller coasters. There may even be visions of becoming Rich Uncle Pennybags* as you parlay your monthly 401k contributions into a vast investment empire. For better or worse, much of investing today has more to do with our emotional responses to frequent mental stimuli. That’s one of the reasons that watching all day ‘investment’ channels like CNBC, Bloomberg or Fox Business Channel is such a bad idea. Even reading the Wall Street Journal daily can be hazardous to your wealth. Why? Because media companies, especially broadcast media, and even the paper you are reading right now, work very hard to develop emotional responses in their audience. These emotional responses keep you coming back for more and will trump rational thought, often at the moment when sound judgment is most important. Human beings are perhaps the most rational, thoughtful animals on the planet. And yet we are still genetically hardwired with some very deep emotional responses to events and stimuli. These mental short-cuts served us very well as cavemen (e.g.: “watch out for that snake”) but, in the words of Chris Davis, manager of the Selected American Shares (SLASX) mutual fund, “They make us a complete patsy when it comes to investing.” Some of the better known biases in investing include: • Overconfidence, when investors think they have better information or insight than everyone else. For example, 80 percentage of drivers think they are above average, which is obviously impossible.

Mental Accounting, when the brain separates things like winning and losing investments, despite the need for these things to work together in a portfolio. This also occurs when investors consider gains from dividends differently than gains through appreciation, especially when the tax consequences of each are the same. • Familiarity, which in an investment setting refers to investing more heavily in assets with which we are more familiar and therefore more comfortable, whatever the individual merits might be. • Representativeness, in which investors extrapolate small pieces of information to make broad (and frequently inaccurate) conclusions. • Anchoring is another mental shortcut in which the brain starts with one reference point and then slowly incorporates new information to reach a (possibly different) conclusion. This process can take weeks or months. The final bias I want to talk about is regret. We humans feel joy or pride when we make good (and profitable) decisions, and experience pain and regret when we make bad decisions. This can interfere with evaluating fundamentals and making sound judgments about the merits of a strategy or investment. Fear of missing out on a big run up can cause an investor to hold onto poor investments for too long. Similarly, the “snake bite” effect will cause investors to shun good investments that have lost money in the past. Minimizing regret is one of the hardest things to do as an investor, but it is critical to positioning your portfolio so that you are comfortable (or at least minimally uncomfortable) in a volatile market like today. In order to minimize regret, an investor needs to understand when he or she will feel that emotion, such as comparing the potential losses of aggressive investments versus the discomfort caused by investing conservatively and not participating in a large gain. In my next article, I will discuss one of the tools professionals use to do this. *Rich Uncle Pennybags is better known today as Mr. Monopoly.

Business News


This column is prepared by Rick Brooks, CFA, CFP®. Rick is Vice President for Investment Management with Blankinship & Foster, LLC, a wealth advisory firm specializing in comprehensive financial planning and investment management. Rick can be reached at (858) 755-5166, or by email at Rick and his family live in Mission Hills.

Jered Barger Joins Union Bank Union Bank, N.A. has announced that Jered Barger has joined its Retail Consumer Lending team as the area sales manager based in San Diego. In a newly created position, Barger is responsible for the growth of residential lending throughout San Diego County, and managing the mortgage consultants who support the bank’s branches in the area. He reports to Vice President and Division Manager William Bilicki. “Jered has a proven track record as a mortgage consultant and brings extensive knowledge of the community of San Diego,” said Bilicki. “With Jered’s customer service focus and lending expertise, we are confident that we will continue to achieve our goals of expanding our business while meeting the needs of our clients who are looking for a home loan.” Barger has 12 years of experience in the mortgage industry. Before joining Union Bank, he worked as a private mortgage banker and sales supervisor for Wells Fargo. Prior to that, he served as the Southern California wholesale division manager for World Savings and Loan. He holds a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University. Barger lives in San Diego.

Senior Ramblings Now that I am nicely recuperating from all of my recent medical problems, I have to start on my teeth. They need a lot of extractions, replacements, etc. At my age, the machine is breaking down. I was never one to exercise or eat properly. The physical therapist and nurse that were sent to my home had good intentions, which I listened to and mostly ignored. I despise exercise, yet, did some of the instructions. As for my teeth, for extractions, I chose Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at 4067 Park Boulevard. I can highly recommend them, as several days after the surgery I have had absolutely no pain or numbness. I didn’t get to meet the dentist. I was put to sleep, next thing I knew, I woke up and the surgery was over. I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet the dentist because I would have liked to tell him what a good job he did. His name is Dr. Podstreleny. Thanks doctor for a painless surgery.

Valentines Day Chat

There’s nineteen men living’ in my neighborhood. Eighteen of them are fools, and the other one ain’t no doggone good…Bessie Smith Never date a woman whose father calls her princess. Chances are she believes it…Wes Smith.

Restaurant Chat

A good restaurant for lunch is the

Jered Barger becomes area sales manager for Union Bank.

By C. David Kulman Yummy Buffet, an excellent Oriental buffet-styled establishment, located at 2855 Midway Drive. I had an impressive holiday meal. On Sundays, for a few dollars more, you can have prime rib.

President’s Day Chat

This month we celebrate President Washington and Lincoln’s birthdays. I was born February 16, 1926, between Washington and Lincoln (on the calendar, not the year). Our three oldest presidents were Reagan (69), Harrison (58), and Buchanan (65). The three youngest were Teddy Roosevelt (42), Kennedy (43), and Clinton (46). Abraham Lincoln was elected to congress in 1846. Kennedy was elected in 1946. Lincoln was elected president in 1860. Kennedy was elected in 1960. Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy. Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln. Both presidents were succeeded by southerners named Johnson. Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808. Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908. And, now, whatever you think of coincidental, presidential information, go on out and hold someone’s hand! (C. David Kulman can be reached at Presidio Sentinel, 325 W. Washington Street, Suite 2-181, San Diego, CA 92103.)


Local News

February 2012 | © A Publication of Presidio Communications

Dr. Phil Supports CASA San Diego Members of Makua, Friends of Voices for Children and local advocates for foster youth were featured on CBS nationwide this past January on the Dr. Phil Show. Makua organized a group of 50 of its members and CASA volunteers to attend a taping of the show at the Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. Dr. Phil applauded Makua’s efforts in supporting the CASA Program in San Diego, and went on to implore viewers to volunteer and ‘put their arm around a child’ who needs support. Dr. Phil and his wife, Robin McGraw are avid supporters of the CASA Program, and have inspired thousands of volunteers into action nationwide. Several volunteers at the taping, had become CASAs after watching previous Dr. Phil Shows. If you are interested in helping to transform the life of a local foster child, please contact Voices for Children If you would like to find out about the benefits of membership of Makua, friends of Voices for Children, which includes becoming part of the Dr. Phil audience, email

CASA supporters line up for the Dr. Phil Show.

Mark Christopher Lawrence Rocks House of Blues It was a packed room filled with laughter at the San Diego House of Blues on Wednesday, January 18th. Comedian Mark Christopher Lawrence and an amazing comedy line up brought down the house with funny wit and biting observations on life. Joining Mark Christopher Lawrence was funny man Scott Wood, recovering teacher Jimmy Burns, Matin Atrushi, and San Diego’s own DJ Mickey Beats kicking up the tunes before the show. The red carpet event was outstanding. As guests arrived at the House of Blues they were greeted by the comedians and were able to take a few photos with them on the red carpet. Celebrity Trainer Fran Cannon ex-

pressed how he knew it was going to be a great night just from being on the red carpet, “It’s great being on the red carpet with all the fun and energy... the comedians are all great!” Not only were the guests ready for the show, the comedians were very excited. On the red carpet comedian Scott Wood talked about his experience coming to the House of Blues. He stated, “I’ve done a few shows in San Diego, and the House of Blues is great. I’ve known Mark (Lawrence) for many years, I’m glad to be a part of this event. Mark is excited, Jim (Burns) is excited, we’re ready!” The night was one to remember.

People came from all over, and many traveled from the Los Angeles area. The crowd loved the entertainment, including the great spirited and fun-filled host David Kamatoy. From jokes about Matin Atrushi’s Kurdish upbringing in the U.S., to recovering school teacher Jimmy Burns’ jokes about his kindergarten students, the show was full of foot stomping laughter. Mark Christopher Lawrence put together a great comedy line up. All the comedians were excited to be back in America’s Finest City. If you missed this last show, there will be another comedy event at the House of Blues, on Wednesday, February 22nd.

Actor Richard Dreyfuss Speaks Up for a Cause

Academy award-winning actor and Encinitas resident Richard Dreyfuss has generously offered his voice to the Parkinson’s Association of San Diego (PASD). His perfection, passion, and talent were on display recently as he recorded three sets of public service announcements (PSA) at Studio West in San Diego. With the dedicated help of Wind River Media, the PSA will be used to promote PASD’s Step by Step 2012, a 5K walk and expo that takes place Saturday, April 21 at Liberty

Station in Point Loma. “This walk is an opportunity to illustrate what happens when research companies, Parkinson’s families and physician groups collaborate and unite,” said Dreyfuss, who won the Best Actor award in 1977 for “The Goodbye Girl.” For more information on how to register or become a sponsor for Step by Step 2012 , please visit www. or call 858-273-6763. Comedians (l to r) Jimmy Burns, Mark Christopher Lawrence, Scott Wood and Matin Atrushi on the Red Carpet at the House of Blues. Photo By Stephen Prendergast

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Richard Dreyfuss with (left to right) PASD - CDO Jerry Henberger, Special Events Manager ilima Eastwood, Education/Resource Development Assistant Cammy Lynch, PASD Walk Chair Tom Davidson and Dave Zeigler of Wind River Media.


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© A Publication of Presidio Communications | February 2012

Life Styles


New York High Line By Carl Strona

This month your usual reporter is taking a much-deserved break, and I, her husband Carl, am subbing this month. As a result of a short vacation to celebrate New Year’s Eve with a group of friends, this month’s topic is The High Line Park in New York City. Since the column is supposed to be about gardening, a subject about which I know next to nothing, one could reasonably ask, why am I filling in and why a park in New York City (NYC)? The answer to the first question is that I, as an architect, am deeply interested in cities, and NYC is the most interesting city there is. The answer to the second question is that The High Line Park is most significant bit of urban planning, world-wide, in the last decade. The High Line, as the park is known, is a long abandoned elevated freight rail line on Manhattan’s Lower West Side that has been converted into a one and half mile long urban park. Adaptive re-use projects of this scale require farsighted imagination, years of political battling, limitless bureaucratic haggling, and, of course, tons of money to accomplish. The imagination and focused drive came from Joshua David and Robert Hammond, a pair of young men who never gave up, and The Friends of the High Line. The process of creating the park, as interesting and instructive as it might be, is not my concern here. Instead, experiencing the park and what it means to the citizens and tourists of the city is my focus. The park runs from Gansevoort Street to West 34th street and is about two thirds finished. The view from below resembles the famous chase scene in the movie “The French Connection” with heavy steel columns and beams spanning over the streets and creating blighted quasi-industrial development at street level, just the sort of environment the gentrification crowd loves to demolish. This is not where one expects to build a public park. When the young visionaries first began the project, their goal was to save the elevated rail lines as signifi-

cant historic relics of the city’s heritage. When they mounted the height of the abandoned rail line, they discovered that nature had taken over, establishing a thriving ecosystem of volunteer vegetation weeds. To their creative minds this was a fantastic opportunity to create a place of wonder for the city, an elevated public park like no other anywhere in the world. One reaches the park by climbing modern stairways or by elevators located at various points along its length. The experience of ascending through the heavy structure and entering the park is truly astonishing. One enters a different and amazing place, a series of connected spaces filled with wonderful plants and trees. The path winds along the rail bed offering places to stop and rest while viewing the city from completely unique vantage points. The paving has been designed to recall the railroad it replaces. In some areas the original rails have been painstakingly replaced in their exact original locations. In other areas paving and planters have been designed to recall the original purpose of the structure while accenting the extensive plantings. When I think of New York City’s parks, the images that come to mind are the expanse of Central Park, or a chance glimpse of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Washington Park or, perhaps, a view of the distant Statue of Liberty from Battery Park. This park is completely different. Here you are thirty-five feet above the city streets experiencing the urban fabric in a more intimate yet more detached way. You walk past buildings that are mere feet away looking into windows from a natural bucolic environment rather than from the hectic street. Some of the new buildings span over the park creating the experience of being simultaneously “in” the building and “in” the park. This is a different experience from standing in Strawberry Fields trying to spot Yoko Ono in the Dakota. In Central Park you are in the middle of a beautiful landscape and the city is over there. In the High Line you are somehow

New York City has an elevated public park that is truly unique.

both “in” nature yet “in” the city. Everyone in the city seems to be in this place. Tourists and locals, probably more than are willing to admit, are taking pictures. And what pictures there are to take. The plantings frame distant views of the Hudson down the cross streets below; the many varieties of flowers and plants provide photo opportunities; and, of course, there are the people. They walk, run, sit, and people-watch. Young couples snuggle against the cold, alone together in the midst of many. The effort it took to realize this marvelous park was monumental. Beyond the planning, permitting and funding, there were the issues of construction. The entire railroad bed, tracks and ballast had to be removed, and the structural elements refurbished and repaired. The task is not yet complete. Development of the last third of the project is pending acquisition and planning approvals. The blighted area around

the Park is now in the process of being transformed with some of the world’s most innovative architects replacing decrepit buildings with upscale developments. The most marvelous thing about The High Line is that it exists. This is adaptive re-use at its best. Richard Louv’s book “The Last Child in the Woods” vividly shows how dependent we all are on nature and how we are systematically divorcing ourselves from the natural environment. In San Diego and especially in Mission Hills our canyons provide a rare opportunity to integrate our hectic urban lives with the regenerative forces of nature. There are lessons to be learned from this High Line Park residing in the midst of this most urban of urban environments. On February 22 Helen Shafer Garcia, an art instructor and gardener and an artist and illustrator, will speak at the Mission Hills church at 4070 Jackdaw from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Romantic Encounters”

Just in time for Valentine’s day

Stacey Blanchet, Author of Romantic Encounters

Interested in Creating memories to last a lifetime? Stacey Blanchet’s new ebook, “Romantic Encounters,” helps to rekindle the fire in relationships or bring out your creativity side anytime you need it. This collection of romantic tips and suggestions will remind readers that the most important part of a relationship is showing up for each other. Stacey Blanchet helps light the spark

even brighter for those in brand new relationships, as well as those who have been together for years, in Romantic Encounters ($9.99, ebook), a collection of romantic tips and suggestions with illustrations by Ildiko Takata. Romantic Encounters is currently available for digital purchase on w w w. b l a n c h e t d e s i g n s . c o m , Amazon, Nook, Sony and Apple works.


School News

February 2012 | © A Publication of Presidio Communications

Grant School Students Set Their Sites on Science Olympiad Grant K-8school, participating in its second year with the San Diego regional Science Olympiad, will send two teams to compete on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at Rancho Bernardo High School and Bernardo Heights Middle School. They roll out of town to represent their school among 28 schools, with 90 teams, from around San Diego County. You’re invited to watch tower tests, trebuchet launches, mousetrap vehicles, bottle rockets and more. Grant School Science Olympiad is grateful

to the fantastic volunteer coaches who make this possible for Grant students. The Science Olympiad is nationally organized around an annual, single day competition. Coaches and students typically prepare and practice one to two hours per week leading up to the Olympiad. Anyone interested in this rewarding way to share a passion for science and mentor enthusiastic youth are asked to contact Denise Santoro, head coach for the Grant School Science Olympiad at

Students construct towers for the 2012 Science Olympiad.

Former Head of Francis Parker Upper School Receives Award

Patrick Mitchell of Bonita is honored for his school pride and devotion to supporting students.

The High School Sports Association has selected Mr. Patrick Mitchell as a recipient of the Service to Sports Award. The former Head of the Francis Parker Upper School will be honored at the 24th Annual Winter Awards Night on Monday, February 6, 2012. The event will be held at the Seaside room in Marina Village. The ceremony honors administrators, community members, business persons and coaches who have made outstanding contributions to student athletes during their careers. During his 19 years of service at Francis Parker School, which concluded with the 2009-2010 academic year, Mitchell was a mainstay at Parker athletic events. His presence came at not just rivalry games or CIF playoff contests, but nearly every home event and many of the away matches as well. As the Upper School Head, his devotion and support of his students never ended when the classrooms emptied, but it always carried over to the fields of competition and into the auditoriums of performance and display. “Patrick was a tremendous advocate and supporter of all the coaches, administrators and student-athletes,” said Dan Kuiper, director of Athletics at Parker. “He not only helped the School become more prominent in academics and athletics, he was without question was our most supportive fan.”

Š A Publication of Presidio Communications | February 2012



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Local News


Monarch School for Children Expands Executive Team

Monarch School, a San Diego public K-12 school for children impacted by homelessness and the only school of its kind in the country, is expanding its executive team with the addition of Erin Spiewak as the new CEO. Spiewak has a proven track record of nonprofit leadership and joins current CEO Ronne Froman, who is transitioning into the role of president of the Board of Directors. The two will work together leading Monarch School as it continues its Capital Campaign and prepares to break ground on a new campus. Spiewak has an impressive track record, bringing years of experience in education and nonprofits to Monarch School. Most recently, Spiewak served as executive director for the Gary and Mary West Foundation, San Diego’s largest private family foundation, which has committed more than $10 million to support innovative education and workforce programs. Prior to this role, she served

as program officer at the West Foundation and earlier as program staff and financial analysis for the Rose Foundation/WebMD Health Foundation. Spiewak’s notable professional affiliations include: founding board member and treasurer for the Downtown Charter High School; education advisory committee member for the United Way of San Diego County; education committee chair for Women Give San Diego; and chair for San Diego Workforce Funders Collaborative. “Monarch’s entire Board couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Erin Spiewak as the new CEO,” said Jim McMillan, outgoing president of the Monarch School Board of Directors. “Spiewak’s understanding of nonprofits, passion for education and successful leadership and fundraising experience makes her an invaluable part of our team. Combined with the ongoing strategic leadership of Ronne Froman, now chairing our Board, the organization couldn’t be in better hands.

“The program Monarch School has established, offering the highest academic standards while also providing basic needs like clothing, food and emotional support services, is vital to countering the rise in homelessness and giving these children the tools they need to prosper,” said Spiewak. “Higher test scores and rising student achievements are just two testaments among many that prove this program works. It’s also an exciting time for Monarch School as we approach the ground breaking of the new campus that will allow us to serve even more students. I couldn’t be prouder to be joining Ronne and the amazing Board and staff as we work together to help build a bright future for these kids.” Monarch School will break ground on the new campus in February in the East VillageBarrio Logan area of Downtown San Diego, just south of Petco Park. The new campus will allow Monarch School to serve more than double its current student population.

Erin Spiewak is new CEO for Monarch School.


Local News

February 2012 | Š A Publication of Presidio Communications

Pictured from left to right are Alle Moder, Emily Heft, Rachel Hall, Kenna Mooney and Anne Ahlering.

MADCAPS’ Annual Charity Show is fast approaching Preparations are underway for MADCAPS’ annual charity show. 150 girls from the Mission Hills and Point Loma areas, ranging from grades seven through twelve, will sing and dance their way into everyone’s hearts all to raise money for various philanthropies; once again proving that a small group of motivated and committed young girls working together can make a difference. The theme for the 2012 show, “On the Radio,� will feature a different genre of music. Each class will highlight a particular artist. According to Show Chair Maria Gibson, “On the Radio� was chosen as this year’s show theme during a brainstorming session. They decided on this particular theme because music is such an important part of everyone’s life (especially the junior members, the teen’s). Songs often trigger happy memories or help during difficult times, helping to raise spirits. The right song can often change your mood:

12th grade: Oldies Station - Featured artist is the Beatles. 11th grade: Big Band/Lounge Style – Featured artist is the Rat Pack. 10th grade: Pop – Featured artist is Michael Jackson. 9th grade: R&B - Featured artist is Donna Summer. 8th grade: Rock and Roll - Featured artist is Elvis. 7th grade: Country - Featured artist is Taylor Swift. The Premier show is Thursday, March 8 at 7p.m. Opening Night is 8 p.m., Friday, March 9. Saturday Matinee is 2 p.m., March 10. The Final Performance is 7 p.m., Saturday, March 10. All performances are at Steven V. Correia Junior High School, located at 4302 Valeta Street in Point Loma. Tickets, which range from $5.00 to $20.00 each, are available for purchase on February 11, 2012 on-line at For more information, call Maria Gibson at 619-938-7897 or

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Theatre News



(from left) Horton Foote Jr. as Lewis Gordon, Hallie Foote as Mary Jo, Penny Fuller as Lucille and Elizabeth Ashley as Stella Gordon in the West Coast premiere of Horton Foote’s Dividing the Estate, directed by Michael Wilson, at The Old Globe Jan. 14 - Feb. 12, 2012. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

Old Globe - Conrad Prebys Theatre Center

“Dividing the Estate,” by Horton Foote and directed by Michael Wilson, runs through February 12. Nominated for a 2009 Tony Award for Best Play, “Dividing the Estate” is Pulitzer Prize winner Horton Foote’s knowing comedy about family, money and greed. Living in present day Texas and ruled by octogenarian matriarch Stella, the family must confront their past as they prepare for an uncertain future when their family fortune begins to diminish. Stella’s children debate whether or not they should divide the estate while their mother is still alive in order to ensure themselves financial independence. “An Enemy of the People,” Arthur Miller’s adaptation of Henrick Ibsen’s play, is directed by Christy Yael and Sean Cox, and runs through February 19. Prosperity seems to be looming on the horizon for a seacoast town in Maine. A health spa created from the local springs prompts hopes of major economic growth. There is hardly cause for concern that visitors to the community have

been getting sick. But then Dr. Stockmann discovers that the town’s water is poisoned and reports it to the authorities. Instead of being hailed as a hero, Stockmann’s good deed has the potential to ruin the town’s financial security, and he is labeled an enemy of the people. Prosperity vs. Honesty: a passionate choice. Perhaps the greatest playwright of the 19th century, Henrik Ibsen wrote of his outrage at a society that refuses to recognize the truth. This adaptation by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Arthur Miller presents the powerful study of an honest man being persecuted because of his insistence on telling that truth. The inspiration for the Academy Award winning film “JAWS,” Ibsen’s play is a penetrating exploration of what happens when the truth comes up against the will of the majority. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE or by visiting the Box Office at 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park.

Bach Collegium San Diego Bach Collegium San Diego (BCSD) presents its first ever dance collaboration on February 3 and 4, 2012, with a program featuring all-new choreography by Yolande Snaith, Head of Dance Theatre at the University of California, San Diego. “J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue” features contemporary dance set to Baroque music by the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach, with five dancers bringing to life the human passions of joy, temptation, grief, and hope expressed in selections from Bach’s Art of Fugue and Cantata arias.

The guest director is acclaimed chamber musician and conductor Rodolfo Richter, leader of Britain’s Academy of Ancient Music. Joining solo alto Angela Young Smucker on stage will be eight musicians and five dancers. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 3, and Saturday, February 4, 2012, at UCSD’s Theatre and Dance Department. Performances will be preceded by an informal discussion on the music, beginning promptly at 6.45p.m. ID required). For more information and to purchase tickets please visit the BCSD website.

Diversionary Theatre “Next Fall,” by Geoffrey Nuffts, directed by James Vasquez, featuring Matt McGrath, Stewart Calhoun, Tony Houck, John Whitley, Jacque Wilke, and Shana Wride runs from February 16 through March 25, 2012. “Next Fall” is a witty and intelligent play about faith, devotion and unconventional love. Luke believes in God. Adam believes in everything else. “Next Fall” portrays the ups and downs of this un-

likely couple’s five-year relationship with sharp humor and unflinching honesty. When an accident changes everything, Adam must turn to Luke’s family and friends for support... and answers. Performances are at Diversionary Theatre 4545 Park Blvd. San Diego CA 92116. Previews Feb. 16 and 17. Official opening night is Saturday, February 18. Ticket prices are $31.00$33, Previews (Feb. 16 & 17) $20.00.

THE FLOWERS OF WAR Christian Bale and Ni Ni star in “The Flowers of War.” Director Zhang Yimou (“Raise the Red Lantern,” “Ju Dou,” “Hero,” “House of the Flying Daggers”) tells an epic story of love and sacrifice in “The Flowers of War,” adapted by screenwriter Liu Heng from the novel by Geling Yan. Set during Japan’s 1937 invasion of China, the film is told from a young girl’s point of view, not as a history lesson, but as an intimate, elemental and paradoxically universal celebration of the human spirit. Christian Bale stars as a dis-

solute Westerner who seeks refuge in a Catholic church. There he meets a beautiful Chinese courtesan (Ni Ni) who helps him rescue a group of schoolgirls from a terrible fate at the hands of the Japanese. “The Flowers of War” is 141 minutes long, Rated R, and opens February, 2012 at Landmark’s La Jolla or Hillcrest Cinemaa. For information and times, call 619.819.0236, or visit Film times and dates are subject to change.

DangerHouse Productions

The Blood Countess, written and directed by Kevin Six, is a play about the folly of following vampirism; the American obsession with staying young; and what women sacrifice for beauty. Featuring lots of special effects and, yes, blood. Show times for The Blood Countess are February 16 through March 3, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm; Saturday performances are Rave Nights with dancing and drinks after the show. There will be a special Valentine’s Day show, which

is also a DangerHouse Gala, on Feburay 14. All shows are at the Victory Theater, 2558 Imperial Avenue, San Diego, CA 92102. Tickets are $15 General Admission; $10 for Senior/Student/Military. There are a limited number of $5 onstage seats each night, but purchasers are asked to read the disclaimer carefully before purchasing. Tickets may be purchased via e-mail at info@, and by calling 619-663-5652.

Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company “How I Got That Story,” a play by Amlin Gray and directed by Seema Sueko, will run February 23 through March 18. Hailed as “one of the most original and powerful plays ever to be done off-Broadway,” this production will reunite actors Brian Bielawski and Greg Watanabe from Mo`olelo’s 2010 production of “Yellow Face.” First produced at Milwaukee Repertory Theater in 1979, “How I Got That Story” is a two-man “nightmare comedy” about an eager newspaper reporter from Dubuque who travels to a country called “Ambo-land, a fictional representation of Vietnam, to cover the war. His convictions of truth in journalism and his perceptions of objectivity

are challenged as he ping pongs from his bureau chief to interactions with protesters, guerrillas, government officials, American soldiers, prostitutes, photo journalists and orphans. Serving as a microcosm of the United States’ involvement in foreign wars, the reporter is deeply transformed and lost by the end of the play. The play explores the human impact of war and the role of the media. Tickets can be purchased online at, or by phone at (619) 342-7395. The 10th Avenue Theatre is located at 930 10th Avenue in downtown San Diego. For information and tickets, visit www., or call 619-342-7395.


Life Styles

February 2012 | Š A Publication of Presidio Communications

Peacemaker Awards 2012 By Laura Walcher

On Thursday, February 16, the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) will present its 24th Annual Peacemaker Awards. We Talked with Steven P. Dinkin, NCRC’s president. LW: This is Peacemaker’s 24th year! What inspired Peacemaker? How has it changed over the years? SD: NCRC’s Peacemaker Awards promotes the concept and the possibility of resolving conflict through dialogue and collaboration. The first awards were presented at a small gathering at the CalWestern School of Law. This year, awards will be held at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines with an anticipated audience of more than 500. Since 2005, the event has included national honorees, plus local honorees. Peacemaker continues to serve as a beacon of hope, and a reminder that peace can be achieved by each one of us in our everyday lives. LW: On February 16, you’ll host David Gergen as NCRC’s national honoree – and keynote speaker? SD: David Gergen has worked on both sides of the aisle, as a senior advisor to both Republican and Democratic Administrations. He is a professor of Public Service and the director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School, where part of the mission is to train enlightened public leaders throughout the world. Gergen has a sense of urgency about the need for civility, tolerance and for Americans to summon the courage and goodwill to stand together. LW: The TranscenDANCE Youth Arts Project – the local Peacemaker honoree - provides training in the arts, surely an exemplary undertaking – but how does this activity dovetail with peacemaking? SD: Honoring transcenDANCE challenges us to expand our thinking of what constitutes peacemaking. TranscenDANCE uses the arts as an effective vehicle for mobilizing and empowering youth to overcome conflict within themselves, differences among themselves, and to work to promote social change in their communities. The company believes that art is not only a privilege but a necessity of life. As one transcenDANCE board members said, when conflict occurs, often individuals become paralyzed. These students are learning that dance is a vehicle for learning how to communicate effectively, in an effort to overcome lives filled with conflict. LW: What are the criteria for earning a Peacemaker Award? SD: Recipients must have initiated or completed the activities for which they are being honored during the year prior to the award. They are people who go above and beyond their job descriptions, in the name of collaborative efforts consistent with mediation principles, specifically promoting peace and/or preventing violence. These activities stimulate expanded thinking about peacemaking and often impact numerous people. And, possibly most importantly, their efforts inspire others to work towards peace in their own lives. LW: What impact do you think the awards have had on the awardees, and on NCRC? SD: Receiving an unsolicited Peacemaker Award is both a humbling and empowering experience. While Peacemakers are not motivated by the possibility of receiving an award, the award does provide well-deserved recognition and seems to have an encouraging and inspirational impact. It provides an opportunity for communities to learn about their heroes, and through acknowledging the work and the individual, allows that person to become a role model and an inspiration. One example is Abdiweli Heibeh, a Somali San Diego police officer. He became an police officer to help refugees by serving as a bridge to better cooperation and understanding between our East African immigrant community and law enforcement.He did this - not to be recognized - but simply to help and to do good. The Peacemaker Award added to the work he was already doing, and the formal acknowledgement created interest - and admiration –for him, by the both the law

enforcement and his East African communities LW: Winners don’t necessarily have to demonstrate mediation skills, yet that’s what NCRC is all about? SD: The actions recognized with a Peacemaker Award must be in line with mediation principals. This does not require that the awardee demonstrate specific mediation skills, but rather share the idea that conflict can be a tool for growth and an opportunity to craft positive solutions that promote peace and prevent violence. Peacemaking occurs in a variety of ways, and NCRC makes a concerted effort to ensure these are all illuminated. For example, NCRC honored the Azim Khamisa, (father of murdered student Tariq Khamisa) and Ples Felix (grandfather of the gang member who shot Tariq), for establishing the Taruq Khamisa Foundation, dedicated to the eradication of youth violence. We have also awarded San Diego’s Hot Spot Tattoo, for removing gang tattoos free of charge, thus allowing former gang members to move forward in a positive direction, putting a life of violence behind them. LW: The organization began as a limited local operation; today NCRC has branched out, to say the least! SD: NCRC operates three offices here: Downtown, San Ysidro and El Cajon, where we provide mediation and training services. We’ve also developed a national and international presence. For example, each year NCRC offers its Summer Institute in Rimini Italy, a training program attended by students from the US, and many European countries. In the private sector, we work with large businesses and corporations. We recently trained over 1,200 people at a large hospital system in North and South Dakota. Another example would be our work with Homeland Security. These focus on providing key leaders with the skills necessary to quickly deal with conflict before it escalates. In the non-profit arena, we work with government, universities, schools, refugee communities, welfare organization, the military, health care systems and many others. We are currently engaged in a large scale Civility Campaign at a local University, training student leaders, faculty and administration. LW: How would you evaluate NCRC’s focus - more on participating in mediation cases, peaceful negotiations, mediator training – or? SD: NCRC’s focus is taking the powerful tool of mediation and making it more accessible, to create a cultural shift towards a more collaborative society. Three current areas include the education, employment, and healthcare sectors. In response to the growing incidences of bullying on campuses, we’re working in high schools and colleges to integrate conflict management through civility campaigns. We’re also working with those seeking employment through the Welfare to Work program. Finally, in the healthcare industry, our conflict management can help increase patient safety. We hope that the impact of the training will have a ripple effect, influencing others in the trainee’s life, spreading the benefits of civility. LW: Can we use NCRC’s services in our own businesses and lives? SD: We are accessible to the public and provide confidential conflict resolution services for a wide range of conflicts, from neighbor complaints to complex construction defect litigation and family law. ( (619) 2382400 or online at Furthermore, we offer the “Exchange� to individuals, organizations and businesses. The Exchange provides conflict management skills and strategies by teaching an easily learned, structured process to participants, who can then effectively address the conflicts that occur in everyday experiences. LW: The world seems anything but peaceful. How do you maintain your optimism? SD: NCRC believes that while conflict is inevitable,

David Gergen is National Peacemaker honoree.

it is manageable - if dealt with appropriately. We see conflict as an opportunity for growth, for increased communication and for deeper understanding. It is so important for each of us to learn the skills, to make the effort to resolve conflict effectively. We strive to build a world of greater civility; we encourage readers to make a real effort to learn conflict resolution strategies – it will definitely improve all of our lives! For tickets/information about the Peacemaker Awards, and/or learning more about the Exchange and mediation training, please go to and www. Or, contact Ashley Virtue, Director, External Relations, NCRC, at (619) 238-2400 ext. 221 or via email


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© A Publication of Presidio Communications | February 2012

Life Styles


Herbal Affinities By Charlotte Tenney, MA Integrative Health

When you listen to herbalists talk about plants, they may say that a certain plant “has an affinity” to a certain organ. To ascribe a preference to a plant seems a bit anthropomorphic unless you understand the mechanism involved. One great example of this principle is the compound Arbutin. Arbutin is found in a variety of plants, including cranberry and mulberry leaf or in the fruit skins of pear and quince. The richest source is found in the plant Uva Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi), sometimes called bear berry. Our local variety of this plant will probably be more familiar to you; it is called Manzanita. This plant is said to “have an affinity” for the kidneys and bladder. It is commonly used in teas to treat bladder infections, cystitis and kidney stones. It is a ubiquitous addition to blend and mixes intended to treat urinary tract infections. When you look into the plant chemistry, the idea of affinity begins to make a bit more sense and seem less metaphorical. The constituent considered to be the main active ingredient in the leaves of

Manzanita is called Arbutin. Arbutin is a glycoside, a glucose molecule bonded to a non-glucose molecule, and it is water soluble. When the leaf tea, or capsule of powdered herb, is ingested, the stomach acids will begin breaking the glucose bond and release the non-glucose compound. In the case of arbutin, what is released is hydroquinone (HQ), a substance well known as an astringent, antibacterial and disinfectant. This substance is absorbed into the blood stream, but does not interact with anything until it reaches the kidneys. The kidneys filter it out of the blood stream for processing into urine, which concentrates the HQ. The concentrated HQ disinfects the renal tubules, the bladder and the ureters, dealing with viral, fungal and bacterial infections. The reason that the plant “has an affinity” for the kidneys is because the compounds in it are broken apart and used in that location by the specific action of that organ. The astringency and disinfecting properties of arbutin/HQ can be irritating to the tissues and can stimulate the nervous system. Consequently, the herb is rarely given alone, but is generally mixed with other herbs that will counter the irritation with a protective and soothing coat of mucilage. Mallow root,

Manzanita plants “have an affinity” for the kidneys and bladder.

is the classic addition to the mix for this purpose. Other diuretic herbs are often added, such as cleavers, dandelion leaf or parsley, to prompt the kidneys to produce more urine and process more of the HQ. The treatment is intended to be short term, no more than three or four days, and stopped when the symptoms go away. The best time to take the tea is in the morning, to avoid jitteriness or sleeplessness. It may be good to add a nerve-soothing herb to the recipe. My own favorite herb for this purpose is Linden blossom (Tilia), since it tastes great, will mellow

you out, is an effective anti-inflammatory, and also creates a soothing gel to coat the tissues. Your final list of ingredients might look like this: half an ounce of Manazanita/Uva Ursi leaves, quarter of an ounce of Tilia, eighth of an ounce of Mallow root, eighth of an ounce of cleavers or dandelion leaf. This would be steeped in four cups of hot water for about 15 minutes. Strain and drink one cup four times during the day. You may find that you have “an affinity” for Manzanita leaves, now that you understand how they can work with your body to maintain health.


Music Scene

February 2012 | © A Publication of Presidio Communications

Local San Diego Musician Jim Allen Wears Three Band Hats By Richard Cone

With the advent of Facebook, MySpace and personal websites these days, anyone in a band can have a web presence where they can post sound samples, offer CD’s for sale and list tour dates. In the “old days,” when San Diego musician Jim Allen first started playing in a band, one needed an agent and had to undertake a lot of work to get their name out there and draw attention to their live gigs. Now, with the advances of online music, you can find literally thousands of bands trying to “make it,” whether through CD’s, selling I-Tunes or in live appearances, and the chances of standing out from the huge number of bands can be a mean feat. It’s also quite a challenge separating out the wheat from the chaff. While there are a lot of great bands, and fine music out there, finding the best of the best is not easy. Jim Allen, though, has increased his chances by three-fold, playing in three separate bands, each playing a distinctively different style of music, and makes his living with his live appearances, a rarity for local musicians, most of whom have a day job and their music is supplemental. Allen, who started playing guitar at age 13 on his very first guitar, “a Harmony from Sears,” is a member of “The Rocksliders,” a member of “Lightning Train,” and also a member of “the CoastRiders.” Each of Allen’s bands plays gigs throughout San Diego County. Let’s start with the Rocksliders: “What started out several years ago as three guitar playing, song singing friends, Jim Allen, Kenny Newberry and Alex Watts getting together to make music in Alex’s living room became the Rocksliders,”

says Allen. Of the myriad of configurations a band can take, three guitars is one of the most difficult to arrange without the guitarists playing over each other, leading to confusion instead of consistency. Arrangements are paramount; it’s not a matter of just picking up the instruments and starting to play. From living room sessions, playing to an audience of one (Alex’s dog, “the late, great Rocket,”) the Rocksliders now perform at venues ranging from coffee houses to concert halls. They opened a show at the Belly Up for “Firefall” a rock band from Boulder, Colorado founded by Rick Roberts from the “Flying Burrito Brothers,” which also featured the late, great Gram Parsons from both the Flying Burrito Brothers, and “”The Byrds.” At the conclusion of the gig, Jack Tempchin (Peaceful, Easy Feeling) joined the Rocksliders for a three song set of Tempchin’s hits. “It was truly an honor for us,” recalls Allen, ‘to be playing with Jack Tempchin, and so very memorable.” They also got the chance to open a Belly Up show for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Richie Furay, who was a founding member of both Poco and Buffalo Springfield. The Rocksliders perform what Allen calls “an eclectic blend of traditional folk, country, bluegrass, blues and original songs…..sort of Johnny Cash meets the Kingston Trio meets the Flying Burrito Brothers meets…..well, you get the idea.” Rocksliders member Kenny Newberry writes many of the band’s songs and they perform a slew of original tunes in addition to covers. The Rocksliders have a gig you’ll want to catch on January 21 at the Old California Coffee House, 1080 San Marcos Blvd, Suite 176 in San Marcos, According to Allen, “Look for another show coming up

Jim Allen plays in three separate bands. at the Belly Up, it’s a tribute to Gram Parsons. Jack (Tempchin) wanted to do it, and it looks like it will happen sometime in March.” That one will be a show to remember, and I’ll post the date as soon as it becomes available. Allen’s second band, “Lightning Train” came out of the Rocksliders. Indeed, Allen, and Alex Watts play in both bands. Watts does guitar and vocals, Allen plays bass, guitar, drums, fiddle and does vocals. “Lightning Train.” says Allen, takes its inspiration from Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Gram Parsons and many other old and new traditionalists. “Lightning Train continues the legacy of the country music that can kick your honky tonk butt, and then, in the words of Hank Williams,” notes Allen, “melt your cold, cold heart.” Lightning Train’s lineup, in addition to Allen and Watts, is rounded out with Dave Berzansky on pedal steel guitar, bass and vocals, along with Dave Hodgen on drums and vocals and Joe Hastings on bass and vocals. “We play a lot of country nightclubs, the Renegade in El Cajon, (14335 Olde Hwy 80 El Cajon) Lacey J’s Roadhouse Saloon and Grill (formerly Mulvaney’s Wagon Wheel at 8861 N. Magnolia Ave. in Santee,) and The Swallows in Capistrano (31786 Camino Capistrano, San Juan

Capistrano). This is boot-scootin’ music, hard-core traditional country western and swing. In Allen’s words, “It don’t mean a Thang if it ain’t got that Twang!” To hear sound samples and check their gig calendar, go to and click on “Lightning Train” at the top of the page. That takes us to the “CoastRiders” a band best described as “trop rock.” This one is led by San Diego musician Gary Seiler, who has three CD’s under his belt ( “Gary is into the trop rock scene,” says Allen. “He started as a duo a few years back with Tim Flannery (the former San Diego Padre turned musician). He wanted to do Jimmy Buffet songs, beach music. About half is country, and half is trop rock.” Says Seiler: “CoastRiders is a melding together of Jimmy Buffett, Zac Brown, Marshal Tucker, beach music and good old American country music to make our own Southern California Coastal sound. Add in some fun instrumentals and some popular original songs and you have what makes for a fun family ride.” For more information on this talented and multi-faceted musician, click on over to Gigs are regularly being added, so check back frequently!

© A Publication of Presidio Communications | February 2012

Dining Scene


Rei Do Gado – Celebrate Mardi Gras by David Rottenberg

San Diego’s Annual Restaurant Week has just concluded. Hopefully, many of us took advantage of the reduced prices and terrific values that were offered by almost 200 of our local fine dining establishments. This year’s list of participating restaurants was truly excellent. One local restaurant that was not on the list, unfortunately, should not escape our attention because it is an excellent venue at which to celebrate Mardi Gras. That is the restaurant Rei Do Gado, in the Gaslamp. The holiday, which means “Fat Tuesday,” is the last day of feasting before the beginning of Lent. For carnivores, there is no better place for feasting that Rei Do Gado, where the meat keeps coming until one can no longer eat more. It is a “charruscaria.” In fact, it is a “churrascaria de rodízio” because waiters move from table to table bringing different types of meats on skewers from which they slice portions onto plates of diners. The most famous Mardi Gras celebrations occur in Brazil, particularly Rio de Janiero. Where better to participate here than at a local Brazilian restaurant steakhouse? Mardi Gras this year is on February 21. Plan ahead. Charruscaria restaurants – and many have become very popular in the United States in the last ten years – serve food based on the diets of the “gauchos”, the cowboys of South America. They ate lots of meat, because it was all around them. Cowboys were usually accompanied by a “chuck wagon”, and a cook would prepare meals. Gauchos barbequed their meat on spits. The style of cooking was called Churrasco (pronounced shooRAS-koo) or Brazilian barbecue. Very little seasoning is used to prepare the meat. White meats are marinated

overnight in a mixture of garlic, salt, and lime juice. The red meats are seasoned with sea salt only. The barbeque is often self-basting. As the spit turns, the juices that come out roll over onto the other side of the meat. The result is tasty and tender. A meal begins with a visit to the salad bar. There is a wide choice of salad fixings but it is wise not to fill up. When salad plates are picked up, a parade of waiters brings a dozen or more choices of different meats, which are then carved to order at the table off the spit. It couldn’t be hotter or fresher, or tastier. Meats include beef, chicken, turkey, sausage and lamb. Not all meats listed on the menu may be available at any one particular time. Waiters will keep coming back as often as desired, carving more meat for hungry diners. Wise diners will also save room for the dessert trays, located near the salad buffet. This is an “all you can eat” arrangement and the food stops coming only when the table raises a small flag. I call it a “flag of surrender.” The wine list is representative of the more popular labels and pricey by the bottle. Wines are better priced by the glass, featuring a good choice of reds from Chile. Rei Do Gado is a fun place to dine. The experience of servers cutting chunks of meat off the skewers tableside is different. The variety of meat choices can be overwhelming. The sheer volume of food one may eat is staggering. There is frequent entertainment at night. Prices depend on the meal (lunch or dinner) and the day of the week. Weekends are more expensive. If one enjoys enough of the meats, this can be a bargain! Rei Do Gado is located at 939 Fourth Avenue in the Gaslamp. Call 619-702-8464 for information and reservations. Or visit its website at

Valentines Day Dining!

Expect a lot of meat to fill your plate at Rei Do Gado.



February 2012 | © A Publication of Presidio Communications

Tuesday’s in Feb.

Pajama Storytime - Children are invited to an evening story time with books and possibly singing and puppets. Feel free to come dressed in your pajamas! 6:30 - 7:00 pm, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 West Washington St., San Diego. For information, call 619-692-4910.

Wednesday’s in Feb.

LEGO Playtime - Kids can have fun and get creative while building with LEGOs. 5:00-6:00 pm, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 West Washington St., San Diego. For more information, call 619-692-4910.

Friday’s in Feb.

Preschool Storytime - Children are invited to a fun story time with books and possibly singing and puppets. 10:30-11:00 am, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 West Washington St., San Diego. For more information, call 619-692-4910.

Saturday’s in Feb.

Puppy Fun Class - San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. 11:00 a.m., 5500 Gaines Street, San Diego. New puppy parents can prevent problems by learning “how to raise their puppy right” through presentations on common puppy issues and engaging with their pups in dog-friendly training sessions to learn basic commands, greeting without jumping, leash walking and more. Registration required; call 619-299-7012 x2247 or visit www.

Sunday’s in Feb.

Feb. 3

SANDAN Membership Meeting – CA State Assembly Member Toni Atkins will provide on update on State Budget issues affecting Nonprofits and take Q & A on these and other issues. 8:30 - 10:00 a.m., Neighborhood House Association, 5660 Copley Drive, San Diego. For more information, visit

Feb. 3 & 4

“J.S. Bach: The Art of Fugue” features contemporary dance set to Baroque music, with five dancers bringing to life the human passions of joy, temptation, grief, and hope. 7:30 p.m. in the Molli and Arthur Wagner Dance Building, UCSD’s Theatre and Dance Department. For tickets and information, visit

Feb. 4

Camarada Presents: Russian Romance - Featuring music from Eastern Europe. Let the wistful sounds of Macedonian, Slavic, Bulgarian and Russian music transport you to the starkly beautiful snow-capped Balkan Mountains. 6:30 p.m., wine and cheese tasting, 7:00 p.m. performance at Meyer Fine Art Gallery, 2400 Kettner Blvd., # 104, Little Italy/San Diego. For information, call 619-231-3702 or visit Barnard Elementary Chinese New Year Celebration, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., 2930 Barnard St. (92110). The Mandarin Chinese magnet school invites the community to this traditional Chinese ceremony to welcome the Year of the Rabbit. Contact: Edward Park 619-224-3306. Open to the public.

Wacky Science Sundays with Ms. Frizzle™ and The Magic School Bus© Wahoo! Get ready to explore the wild and wacky worlds of mysterious creatures, fascinating habitats, and phenomenal hands-on science! 12:15 and 2:15 p.m. For more information or to register, visit www. or call 619-255-0210.

Hungarian pianist Endre Hegedűs returns to the intimate setting of the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library Center, 7:00 p.m., 10301 Scripps Lake Drive in Scripps Ranch. He will perform works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Grieg and Tchaikowsky plus Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” For information, call 858-538-8158 or visit .

Free Sunday Concert Series at Seaport Village East Gazebo: 1 – 4 p.m. For information, visit or call 619-235-4014.

Free Guided Nature Hike - Ramona Grasslands. Take a 5-mile walk to view wildflowers and a pond while moving through grassland, sage scrub and chaparral habitats. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. For more information or directions, visit or call 619-232-3821.

Thru Feb.

The San Diego Archaeological Center will participate in the Macy’s - San Diego Museum Council’s 23rd annual Museum Month! For more information, visit Reuben H. Fleet Science Center IMAX® Films – Please visit for a listing of all film schedules. February is the month of love and entertainment at Harrah’s Rincon ! For a complete line-up of shows, visit

Thru Jul. 31

Works by Paul Gauguin exhibit extended - Due to the sensitive nature of some of the Gauguin pieces, exhibit hours will only be from 11 a.m. -3 p.m. daily. For information and tickets, visit or call 619234-9153 ext 101.

Feb. 1

Exploring Ethics: The Conduct of Science in the Information Age. Address technical, social and ethical implications of conducting science in the information age. 5:30 – 7 p.m., the Fleet. Free, registration required. Call 858-822-2647 or visit,

Feb. 1 – 14

Second Annual Animal Adoption Event: “My Furry Valentine”. The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA Have Reduced Animal Adoption Fees to just $14 for this special event! This special includes micro-chipping, spay/ neuter, vaccinations and a veterinary exam. Please visit one of our locations: 5500 Gaines Street in San Diego or 572 Airport Road in Oceanside (cats/small animals); 2905 San Luis Rey Rd. in Oceanside (dogs). For information, visit

Feb. 2

Mission Hills Book Group will discuss The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. New members are welcome to attend and participate! Please read the book beforehand. Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk while supplies last. 10:00-11:00 am, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 West Washington St., San Diego. For more information, call 619-692-4910.

Salon Topic: “The Decline and Fall of Europe? The failing European Union and Euro System.” Gain a deeper appreciation of complex events by sharing, engaging in dialogues, and discussing topics. 6:30 p.m., San Diego Diplomacy Council, 3604 30th Street, San Diego. Drinks and light refreshments will be provided. RSVP required by January 31st as space is limited. Please reserve your spot by visiting Transforming Education -- Education Re-Energized, 5:30 p.m., USS Midway Museum, 910 North Harbor Drive (92101). Best-selling author and leadership consultant Steve Farber will share the perspectives of his book, The Radical Leap Re-Energized, and will lead a discussion of educators who’ve successfully implemented his “Leap” tenets of Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof and Extreme Leadership. In addition, you’ll have the rare opportunity to meet representatives from many of the region’s most generous corporate and community-sponsored education initiatives. Contact: Jim Esterbrooks at 858-292-3719. Open to the public. Toma Sol Café presents: Live music performed by Erin Bower, 7-9 pm. No cover. 301 W. Washington St., San Diego. For information, call 619-291-1159.

Feb. 4 & 25

Scripps Health Know Your Health Score Program – Free screenings for body mass index, sleep apnea risk, diabetes risk and blood pressure at informational booths located just inside the Viejas arena gate at the San Diego State University men’s basketball games. For more information, visit

Feb. 9 – 19

22nd Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival - The Joyce Forum presents outstanding Jewish-themed shortsubject, documentary and feature films from around the world. For tickets or information call 858-362-1348 or visit

Feb. 10

Home-school Lessons at the San Diego Humane Society - San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. 10-11:30 a.m. at 572 Airport Road, Oceanside and 1:30-3:00 p.m. at 5500 Gaines Street, San Diego. Children ages 7-12 are invited to learn about animals at these programs just for home-schoolers. $Reservations required; call 619-2997012 ext. 2320 or visit

Feb. 10 – Sept. 9

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition – the NAT, 1788 El Prado in Balboa Park. Visitors will receive a replica boarding pass granting them permission to “board” the White Star Line’s R.M.S. Titanic, and from there the journey begins. For more information, call 619-232-3821 or visit

Feb. 11

Saturday Science Club for Girls: “Rocket Research”. Girls in grades 5 – 8 can join the Fleet to investigate exciting science topics. Predict angles, use pressure to propel projectiles and design a rocket for a successful flight. PreRegistration required; please call 619-238-1233 x. 806. 12noon – 2PM. Free Guided Nature Hike - Indian Hill. In Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, hike through hillsides of teddy bear cholla and barrel cactus to visit the remains of a primitive 1912 railroad camp. Four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles are recommended to reach the trailhead. 9 a.m.– 3:30 p.m. For more information or directions, visit www. or call 619-232-3821; option 4.

Second Annual Members Art show of the Pastel Society, Opening Reception - Allied Gardens Library. This members-only exhibit features work by all levels of artist, from beginning to professional. Refreshments will be served. The public is welcome. For more information, visit

Feb. 8

Union Bank and KPBS Present the Local Heroes Awards 2011 honoring 17 San Diegans who are making a difference in the lives of others. 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Balboa Theatre in San Diego.

Feb. 8 – Mar. 3

Young Scientists, New Careers - “Forensic Detectives,” “Marine Biologist,” “Chemist” and “Engineer.” Preschoolers age 3-5 and their parent, explore the scientific wonders of the world through experimentation, investigation and scientific questioning. 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. For more information, visit

Feb. 9

International Bipolar Foundation Free Mental Health Lecture Series. Guest speakers, Dr. Sarah Frampton and Marta Leyva on How to Navigate Educational Services in a School Environment. Sanford Children’s Research Center (Building 12), 10905 Road to the Cure, San Diego. 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., please R.S.V.P. To Nature and Me Storytime at the NAT. Come enjoy an imaginative journey into nature through dynamic readings and visits to exhibitions. Open to all ages with a parent (recommended for ages 1–5). 10:30 a.m., FREE with Museum admission. For more information, visit www.sdnat. org or call 619-255-0210.

MLK Choir, will perform 2 at the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library Center. Under the direction of Pastor Ken Anderson, this accomplished ensemble will perform a varied program from their repertoire of gospel music, negro spirituals, anthems, and classical works. 2:30 p.m., 10301 Scripps Lake Drive. For information, call 858-538-8158 visit Rene van Rems Presents: “Table-scape, Tabletop, Special Events and Party Décor Workshop”. Learn how to create table scapes start to finish and create a “wow” with little investment. Learn labor saving techniques for production design and how to recycle inventory and props”. For reservations and information, visit

Feb. 21

Feb. 12

Talmadge Art Show - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. For more information, visit

Feb. 7

IMAX En Español ~ HUBBLE – Experience the gripping story of one of the most important scientific instruments since Galileo’s original telescope and the greatest success in space since the Moon Landing – the Hubble Space Telescope. 6:00 p.m. at the Fleet. For more information, visit

The San Diego Floral Association is proud to welcome botany professor/author, Matt Ritter. Members and the public are invited to attend. 6:00 p.m. catered dinner ($15 per person), 7:00 program. Dinner can be reserved by calling 619-232-5762. Location: Room 101 of Casa del Prado in Balboa Park. Admission is free.

San Diego Woman’s Club Card Parties! Play Bridge, Canasta, Spite and Malice. 10 am - 2 pm., 2557 Third Avenue, San Diego. For reservations and information, call Julia Roth at 760-744-0314 or visit

Rene van Rems Presents: “Personalize Your Own Valentine’s Day Floral Gift”. Impress your loved-one even more by giving your own design and learn trade secrets to making your flowers last longer than ever. This 3-hour workshop with focus on novelty roses in a high-style European rose arrangement and a small hand-tied bouquet. 9 a.m. – 12 /noon, or 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.. For reservations and information, visit

TRASH: Science + Art Intersect - Presented by Birch Aquarium at Scripps and The New Children’s Museum, 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla. 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Wine and hors d’oeuvres, networking, and an opportunity to explore the aquarium as well as a panel discussion. Free. Please RSVP at or call 619-7951721.

Free Guided Nature Hike - Rose Canyon Open Space Park. In San Diego’s University City neighborhood, watch for hawks soaring above Rose Creek while hiking in this 275-acre oasis along the old Santa Fe Railroad roadbed. 9–10:30 a.m. For more information or directions, visit or call 619-232-3821; option 4.

Feb. 11 & 25

Feb. 5

Feb. 6

Feb. 19

Seminar: Your Heart, Your Life, Your Dreams. 7:00 - 8:15 p.m. at Scripps Memorial Hospital, 9890 Genesee Ave., La Jolla. The event will offer practical strategies to help each attendee chart an Individualized path to optimal heart health. Topics to be addressed will include proper nutrition, sleep, fitness and resiliency to stress. For information and registration, call 1-800-SCRIPPS.

Free Guided Nature Hike - Daley Ranch. In Escondido, Daley Ranch has several habitats that support a variety of plant and animal species. On the Boulder Loop trail, enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding area. 10 a.m.–1 p.m. For more information or directions, visit canyoneers or call 619-232-3821; option 4.

Free Guided Nature Hike - Pinyon Wash. In AnzaBorrego Desert State Park, follow a trail that begins at the end of Pinyon Wash, hiking 2 miles to Harper Flat, once the site of a large Indian camp. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more info or directions, visit or call 619-232-3821; option 4.

Chuck Yeager, first to break the sound barrier and Jerry Coleman, the “Voice of the San Diego Padres” will attend The Spirit of ‘45 Awards and Celebration Dinner at the San Diego Air & Space Museum. For more information, call 619-234-8291 or visit

The International Dance Association of San Diego County presents its Annual Dance Festival from noon to 5 p.m. at the Balboa Park Club, 2150 Pan American Road West in Balboa Park. The event is free to all dance classes and exhibitions. For information, visit, or call (619) 479-8015.

Feb. 14

Tots and Tales - San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. 10:30 a.m., 5500 Gaines Street, SD. Bring your preschooler for an interactive story-time complete with animal stories, crafts, and of course, ANIMALS. Reservations required; call 619-243-3432 or visit

Feb. 16

Project KEPPT Pet Food Bank - San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. 1-3 p.m., 5500 Gaines Street, San Diego. Please contact or 619-2997012 ext 2907 for program qualifications and details. Visit Clairemont Community of Schools Meeting, 5:30 p.m., Marston Middle School, 3799 Clairemont Drive (92117). Parents, students and community members are invited to attend this meeting, which discusses educational issues at the high school and its middle and elementary schools. Contact: Julee Jenkins, . Open to the public.

Feb. 17

Book Signing - Paula Marinos, author of “Note To Self: How Not to Date After Divorce”. Barnes and Noble, Mira Mesa, 4:00PM.

Feb. 18

Book Sale - The Friends of the Mission Hills Branch Library will hold a book sale. Come by and stock up on books while supporting your Library! 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 West Washington St., San Diego. For information, call 619-692-4910. Children’s Craft Time - 10 a.m. - noon, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 West Washington St., San Diego. For information, call 619-692-4910.

Free Guided Nature Hike - Fortuna Mountain. In San Diego’s Mission Trails Regional Park, Fortuna Mountain looks out over an area that once contained ancient beaches. Look for early wildflowers along the trail. 8–11 a.m. For more information or directions, visit or call 619-232-3821; option 4.

Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp from 6 p.m. to midnight. The event will feature live music, special guest appearances, and a grand parade that will travel 5th Avenue at 9 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Attendees must be 21 years of age. For information, visit or call (619) 233-5227.

Feb. 22

Mission Hills Mystery Book Group - New members are welcome to attend and participate! Please read the book beforehand. Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk while supplies last. 6:30-7:30 pm, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 West Washington St., San Diego. For more information, call 619-692-4910.

Feb. 23

Toma Sol Café presents: Local finger-style guitarist/ instrumentalist, Jim Earp. 7:00 – 9:00 pm, 301 W. Washington Street, San Diego. No cover. For more information, visit or call 619-291-1159.

Feb. 25

High School Instrumental Honor Concert, 7 p.m., Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St. (92101). Enjoy a concert with the best musicians from high schools throughout the San Diego Unified School District. Contact: Karen Childress-Evans at 858-539-5349. Open to the public. Free Guided Nature Hike - Lake Hodges. In Rancho Bernardo, hike through varied terrain, pass a waterfall, and learn about Native American uses of plants in this area rich in Kumeyaay history. 8–11 a.m. For more info or directions, visit or call 619-2323821; option 4.

Feb. 25 – 29

The 56th Annual Biophysical Society Annual Meeting brings together over 6,000 research scientists in the multidisciplinary fields representing biophysics. San Diego Convention Center, 111 W. Harbor Drive, San Diego. For more information, visit

Feb. 29

Patios, Pathways, & Plants for Fixing Your Landscape - Landscape designer Doug Kalal will present a free lecture on how to create a dazzling outdoor environment at your home. Topics include the types of materials to use for patios, plants for hummingbirds, what to do if you have shade areas or slopes, and what drought-tolerant plants are best for you. 6:30-7:30 pm, Mission Hills Branch Library, 925 West Washington St., San Diego. For more information, call 619-692-4910.

Mar. 1

5th Annual Scripps Translational Science Institute Educational Conference – A dynamic, interactive forum where human geneticists, genomic scientists, physicians and health-care professionals of all disciplines can gain valuable insights from many of the nation’s leading genomics experts. For more information, visit conferenceservices or call 858-652-5400.

© A Publication of Presidio Communications | February 2012



Mission Hills Branch Library February 2012 Events LEGO Playtime

2/1, 2/8, 2/15, 2/22, 2/29 (Every Wednesday) 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. Kids can have fun and get creative while building with LEGOs.

Mission Hills Book Group

2/2, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. The Mission Hills Book Group will discuss “The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov. New members are always welcome to attend and participate. Please read the book beforehand. Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk while supplies last.

Preschool Storytime

2/3, 2/10, 2/17, 2/24 (Every Friday) 10:30 - 11:00 a.m. Children are invited to a fun storytime with books and possibly singing and puppets.

Pajama Storytime

2/7, 2/14, 2/21, 2/28 (Every Tuesday) 6:30 - 7:00 p.m. Children are invited to an evening storytime with books and possibly singing and puppets. Feel free to come dressed in your pajamas.

•AD SALES POSITION• Commissioned sales position for print, video and website ads.

Book Sale

Join an exciting team and rapidly growing company. Sales experience preferred.

2/18, 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. The Friends of the Mission Hills Branch Library will hold a book sale. Come by and stock up on books while supporting your Library.

Call 619-481-9817


Children’s Craft Time

Need a helping hand?

2/18, 10:00 a.m. - noon Kids can enjoy a fun craft time.

Seniors, Children, Pets, House Sitting & More

Mission Hills Mystery Book Group

Great references and experience. Call Mr. Tom at 619-885-9605

2/22, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. The Mission Hills Mystery Book Group will discuss a mystery novel. New members are always welcome to attend and participate. Please read the book beforehand. Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk while supplies last.

Patios, Pathways, & Plants for Fixing Your Landscape

Voices for Children is determined to help each and every child in San Diego’s foster care system. Meeting this ambitious goal means a CASA volunteer for every foster child who needs one. It means we must have the community’s help.

2/29, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. Landscape designer Doug Kalal will present a free lecture on how to create a dazzling outdoor environment at your home. Topics include the types of materials to use for patios, plants for hummingbirds, what to do if you have shade areas or slopes, and what drought-tolerant plants are best for you. Mission Hills Branch Library 925 West Washington Street San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 692-4910

It means we need you. Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and make a difference in the life of a foster child. Go to or call 858-598-2235 for location.



February 2012 | © A Publication of Presidio Communications

Put Your Name In Front of 30,000 Potential Customers! For more information, call (619) 296-8731

Civic Calendar Hillcrest 1st Tuesday

UPTOWN PLANNERS Joyce Beers Hall in Uptown Mall. 6:30 p.m.

1st Thursday

UPTOWN PARTNERSHIP 3101 Fifth Ave. Call (619)298-2541. 4:30 p.m.

Thursdays 7 - 8:30 pm

SAN DIEGO UPTOWN ROTARYCLUB The Uptown Rotary Club has moved to their new home at Jimmy Carter’s Mexican Cafe, 3172 Spruce at the corner of 5th. Breakfast meetings are held every Thursday 7 to 8:30 a.m. Guests are welcome to attend a meeting to learn how to become part of this dynamic organization and see why their motto is “Service Above Self.” For information, visit www. or call 619-894-0140.

Kensignton-Talmadge 2nd Wednesday

KENSINGTON-TALMADGE PLANNING COMMITTEE Kensington Community Church. 6:30 p.m. For information, call (619) 284-0551

Linda Vista 2nd Monday

LVCPC Agenda– LINDAVISTACOMMUNITY PLANNING COMMITTEE AGENDA Linda Vista Library meeting room. Contact Jeff Perwin at 1-619-806-9559 for details 6 pm.

3rd Tuesday

Tech Committee - Technology Committee Bayside Community Center. Contact Xiongh Thao for detail at (858) 278-0771 or email or or visit our website

3rd Wednesday

LV Historical– LINDAVISTAHISTORICALCOMMITTEE Bayside Community Center. This committee is collecting historical photos, documents and memories of Linda Vista’s past. For more information, contact Eleanor Frances Sennet at (858) 277-3817. 4 p.m.

3rd Wednesday

LVCollab– LINDAVISTACOLLABORATIVE Bayside Community Center at 3 pm. Contact Adriana Gallardo at 858-278-0771or For details. Visit the website

3rd Wednesday (Odd Months)

TCCAC– TECOLOTE CANYON CITIZEN’S ADVISORYCOMMITTEE Tecolote Nature Center. Contact Eloise Battle for details. 7 p.m.

3rd Tuesday

Linda Vista Town Council Baha’i Faith Center Alcala Knoll Drive Contact Thomas Kaye 858-277-6973 at 6:30 pm

4th Monday

LVCPC– LINDAVISTACOMMUNITY PLANNING COMMITTEE Linda Vista Library Meeting Room. Contact Ed Cramer at (619) 222-2047 for details. 7:00 p.m.

4th Wednesday

LVPC – Linda Vista Planning Committee monthly meeting. Linda Vista Library Meeting Room at 6 pm. Contact Jeff Perwin 619-806-9559 for details, minutes and agenda at Linda Vista View Linda Vista Town Council Community Newsletter Contact Thomas Kaye at 858-278-6973

Various Wednesdays

LVNewsletter– LINDAVISTAVIEW Civic Association Community Newsletter. Bayside Community Center. Contact Sarah Granby at (858) 405-7135 or e-mail 2:00 p.m.

Mission Hills February 29, 2012 - 6-8 pm

Botanical artist Helen Shafer Garcia will discuss her past and present work with SD Home and Garden Magazine as well as perform a painting demonstration. Past work will be displayed. Social begins at 6 p.m. at 4070 Jackdaw and Helen will begin at 7 p.m. Guests $10 unless in possession of a guest pass.

Ocean Beach OCEAN BEACH PLANNING BOARD Ocean Beach Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Ave. Call (619) 523-1700. 7 - 9:30 p.m.

4th Wednesday

OCEAN BEACH TOWN COUNCIL Ocean Beach Recreation Center, 4726 Santa Monica Avenue. Call Jere Battan at (619) 515-4400 for information. 7 p.m.

Point Loma February 8th: 10:00am

Tom, the Horticulturist One Man Band, loves to share entertaining stories about all the fun aspects of backyard gardening. His business is Waterwise Botanicals. The meeting is held at Portuguese Hall, 2818 Avenida de Portugal, SD 92106. For info visit

Real Estate

© A Publication of Presidio Communications | February 2012

Real Estate

All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act which makes it illegal to advertise “any preference limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or an intention, to make any preference, limitation or discrimination.” Familial status includes children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians; pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18. This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of this law. Our readers hereby informedthat all dwellings advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis. To complain of discrimination call HUD Toll-Free at 1-800-669-9777. The Toll-free telephone number for the hearing impaired is 1-800-927-9275

Lower Mission Hills

Mission Hills

North Mission Hills


La Jolla





5646 Chelsea

1636 Linwood Street

Gorgeous ocean views just 1 block to the ocean. One block to everything--Starbucks, shopping, restaurants, ocean access. Enter etched glass doors to a lovely home tucked into a great Bird Rock neighborhood. Hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen with granite counters, sweeping panoramic ocean views from the master suite upstairs, a cozy living room with cherry built-ins and a fireplace. Go through french doors from the den or optional 3rd bedroom to enjoy the patio and sparkling pool area. And the view.

Panoramic views of city skyline to Point Loma from master bedroom. Views from all other levels except the garage. Urban open floorplan perfect for entertaining. Lovely contemporary 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home with beautiful views and 3 decks to enjoy them. 2471 sq. ft. with air-conditioning. Flat backyard. Great location in lower Mission Hills allows you to walk to restaurants on India Street. Based on a design by architect Eric Nasland with remodeling done in 2006.

Call Jim Scott, Broker (DRE #830226) at (619) 920-9511

2260 San Juan Road Beautifully restored 3 or 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath Tudor on a gorgeous private street in Mission Hills. Charm flows from the formal living and dining rooms to the outdoor brick front courtyard for entertaining, al fresco dining, or simple peaceful enjoyment of the peek views of the bay. The graceful sunfilled living room boasts a wood-burning fireplace. Striking remodeled kitchen with granite counters, showplace red Viking range, and oversized farmhouse sink. Gleaming hardwood floors.

Call Rocky Rockhill, Agent (DRE #01197738) at 619-972-3033

City Heights

4285 Altamirano Way

Charming 3 BR, 3 BA Spanish Revival Home featured in SOHO Mission Hills Historic Home Tour and San Diego Home and Garden. Hardwood floors, architectural arches, delightful tiled details, stained glass, amazing painted beams in ceiling of exceptional height, dramatic dual-sided fireplace warming both living and family rooms, period details with tasteful modernization, spacious back yard with outdoor fireplace, Newer air conditioning. One bedroom downstairs.

Call Jim Scott, Broker (DRE #830226) at (619) 920-9511

Call Jim Scott, Broker (DRE #830226) at (619) 920-9511

North Mission Hills

North Mission Hills







Ocean Beach




4642-4644 Narragansett Ave

Charming 2 on 1 in Ocean Beach. Two 1 bedroom, 1 bath units of 540 square feet each. Front unit with brick patio & wonderful front ocean views. Rear unit with private garden & ocean views from back patio. Houses have hardwood floors, vintage tile in kitchens (in very good condition), some built-ins, & lots of charm in a great Ocean Beach location.

3562 Marlborough Ave #14

Bank owned large three bedroom upstairs unit very light and bright .Hardwood floors new carpet and paint custom tile Granite counters.This is a centrally located building with great access to public transportation. Very open floor plan sit down dining room.

Call Rocky Rockhill, Agent (DRE #01197738) at 619-972-3033

1850 West Montecito Way

Beautiful Craftsman 5 bedroom/3 bath home on a quiet street with a separate legal one bedroom house on the alley. Redone kitchen/family room combo opens to large patio, Private Master Suite with a redone bathroom. Very unique property, zoned for 2 units. Seller added an outdoor fireplace and BBQ, A/C and Forced air heat, dual paned windows and sliding doors. 5th bedroom is an office.

2161 Pine Street

Charming Craftsman 3 BR, 2BA Home in North Mission Hills. Single level with gleaming hardwood floors, a formal dining room with built in storage, and a gracious living room with abundant book-shelving. The kitchen is large and includes a breakfast nook with seating. There are period touches throughout from the coved ceiling in the living room to the built-in telephone station in the hall.

Call Greg Glassman, Agent

Call Ed Landsberg, Agent

Lucy Abernathy, Agent DRE #815302 619-203-7222

(DRE #877550) at (619) 981-2745

(CA DRE#01072370) at 619-917-1554

Investment Opportunity!


University Heights

Mission Hills







Mission Hills




2120 Hayden Way



Income Producing Units

4279 Hortensia Street

Single-story 3/2 home in Mission Hills with potential galore. Be the buyer who capitalizes on the great location, sensible floor plan, and spacious room sizes. Customize and personalize it!

Townhome style duplex in a quiet location. Tranquil garden setting and private view deck. Larger unit is ideal for owner occupant. Both units have updated kitchens, fenced yards & their own laundry hook-ups. The 2 car garage is shared, plus a driveway allows for 2 off-street parking spaces.

2/1 + 1/1 with increased rents potential. Beautiful view from upper unit. 4017-4019 Georgia Street.

Nestled amongst the trees on a lush canyon lot, this home suits both the entertainer and those who love nature and privacy. 3/2 with gorgeous upgrades, expansive decking, and a Zen-like pool. Don’t let the simple exterior fool you--this is a must-see inside!

Maureen and Antoinette

Maureen and Antoinette

Maureen and Antoinette

Maureen and Antoinette


Sale price $451,000

4473 Caminito Pinero 3 bedrooms/2 bath with remodeled kitchen and park-like setting with TWO LAKES in Stonehaven

See more details at


On Sail bay with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths. Sold in weeks.

See more details at






City Heights U

Call for Price

1225 Pacific Beach Drive


maureen antoinette

Mission Hills SO


maureen antoinette

Pacific Beach SO



Bay Park



maureen antoinette

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


maureen antoinette

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage


4277 Trias Street “Another Mills Act Sale by Jonathan Schneeweiss. Gorgeous California Bungalow, 3 bed/3 bath with upgrades galore and the tax benefits of the Mills Act.” Call for Sales Price, or see more details at See more details at

4181 41st Street

8 unit with approx. $95k in income

See more details at







Debt Matters This column is the second in a series about San Diego residential real estate prices. (part 1 is available at, click on the Market Report tab.) Last month’s column was about how some traditional housing indices indicate home prices have stabilized and should not go any lower. While I mostly agree with that conclusion, I think there are other problems unique to this recession which could derail any potential increase in housing prices over the next few years. First, in order to grow and retain quality jobs, San Diego needs to restore its infrastructure to offset the economic drag of expensive housing. Second, European economies must resolve their sovereign debt crisis.

Changes over the past few decades have diminished the present and fuWXUHYDOXHRIWKHVXQVKLQHWD[EHQH¿W0DQ\TXDOLW\RIOLIHDWWULEXWHVRWKHU than the weather, have arguably been diminished. For example, at one time our public schools and higher education systems were the best in the nation. Public services, infrastructure, and facilities were above average and mostly free. Beginning in 1978, California voters made the choice to become second rate. The negative effects of that decision are everywhere; buyers often factor in private school tuition into their house payments, potholes increase the expense of operating vehicles, bridges and water mains crumble. And so on. The donnybrook over this year’s California budget will speak volumes about the future value of your home. While structural debt obligations limit governmental options, political leaders and the body politic must acFHSWVRPHKDUGFKRLFHVDQGVKDUHGVDFUL¿FHVDV the way to restore the economic value of the sunshine tax.

Featured Listing

The cost of shelter plays an important role in determining how jobs are distributed among regions and nations. San Diego is a costly place to live when compared to most parts of the United States and more so when compared to emerging countries. Housing expenses are necessarily built-in to any employee compensation package; workers in lower-priced housing markets can accept lower wages more readily, which in turn means the products produced by those workers should be more competitive. (I recognize there are many other factors which determine competitiveness but the availability and cost of housing workers is a major determinant). The pay structure for software engineers in India or a radiologist in Brazil does not have to support crushing house payments. Workers in high-cost localities need higher wages, a concern for this region as technology makes it easier and easier to outsource high-value work.

The European debt crisis has the potential WRUHVWULFWWKHÀRZRIFKHDSPRUWJDJHPRQH\ Call About New Low Price which the current housing recovery depends 4131 3rd Avenue XSRQ DQG WR TXDVK FRQVXPHU FRQ¿GHQFH Charming Craftsman bungalow located in the heart of Hillcrest’s opening the door for a second housing receshospital district. Walk to the best Hillcrest has to offer; this is true sion. The coming Greek default on its soverurban living with convenience and style. The interior woodwork eign debt thus far has been grudgingly digested and period architecture is complete and stunning to view. Two bedrooms plus office. Private backyard and glassed in front porch. E\ LQWHUQDWLRQDO ¿QDQFLDO PDUNHWV 8QIRUWXParking for two cars. The land is oned for some commercial uses nately there much larger countries in Europe and for high density development. No reasonable offer refused! LQ¿QDQFLDOGLUHVWUDLJKWV,WDO\DQG6SDLQIRU example, have to roll over a substantial amount Call Jim Scott, Broker of their sovereign debt this spring. A EU bond (DRE #830226) at (619) 920-9511 upset this spring could send our banks back into their burrows. I believe if there is a bond crisis, the European Central Bank will imitate High real estate prices also hinders the rethe Fed and print Euros, even if the Germans cruitment of talented individuals and compaSLWFKD¿W,IWKH(&%FKRRVHVRWKHUZLVHKRXVnies, and restricts job mobility of the broader mass of workers within our state and country. Professionals contemplating a ing prices in San Diego will decrease over the next year.

move here always want to replicate their housing situation back home. Unless there is a rare subsidy from an employer, we often lose that talent, or potentially a company, as the economic impact of expensive housing outweighs RWKHUEHQHÂżWVRIUHORFDWLRQWR6DQ'LHJR,KDYHVHHQWKLVÂżUVWKDQGRQWKH retail level, watching the disappointment when the buyer realizes he has to settle for half of the space he has back in Kansas. What saves us is the ‘sunshine tax’, the idea that this area is blessed with special intrinsic value. Locals, and prospective residents, historically have been willing to spend an above average proportion of their wages on housing because of the region’s quality of life. Even though San Diego is still a spectacular place to live, many argue our best days are behind us.

0RUH (XURSHDQ ÂżQDQFLDO sturm und drang and diminishing job growth will negatively impact residential real estate values. Under these bad scenarios, stock portfolios will take a bigger hit but rents will continue their relentless climb.

I have written several times in the past that our housing market would evenWXDOO\ORRNOLNHDUHUXQRIWKH(LVHQKRZHUHUD3ULFHVRYHUWKHQH[W¿YH\HDUV even considering the current economic storms, will be slowing rise because this region will add people and restrict the supply of housing. That imbalance alone, even with the army of software engineers in Mumbai willing to work cheaply and Europe’s debt indigestion, will guarantee pricing stability. Next Month Part 3: Prices and the Politics of Growth


Thank you for reading! - Presidio Communications

Presidio Sentinel - February 2012  
Presidio Sentinel - February 2012  

The Presidio Sentinel is a commentary-driven newspaper that provides coverage on local, regional and national issues that impact the lives o...