Welcome to San Diego Blog | February 20, 2011

Downtown E-News

San Diego Downtown E-news

 March 2011

In This Issue  |  Ticket Giveaway  |  Calendar of Events  |  January Details  | February Details  |  March Details

Downtown News of the Day |  Recurring Events  |  Free Downtown Tours  |  Masthead  |   Ticket Giveaway

This publication is giving away several pairs of general admission tickets to San Diego’s largest Fat Tuesday party, Mardi Gras on Tuesday 8 March and San Diego’s largest Saint Patrick’s Day event, Shamrock on Thursday 17 March both of which are in the Gaslamp Quarter. To enter the drawing for tickets you must be a subscriber to this publication and send an email message to the editor, stan@gaslampquarter.org, with Mardi Gras or Shamrock ticket drawing as the subject. One contest entry in each email message. If you want to enter both contests please send two messages. Deadline to enter the Mardi Gras contest is Monday 28 February and Wednesday 9 March for the Shamrock contest. The winners must pickup their tickets in downtown San Diego. The tickets will be provided by San Diego’s premier event coordinator, McFarlane Promotions, www.mcfarlanepromotions.com, 656 Fifth Avenue suite B, in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter.

 Volunteers Needed

The Greater San Diego Science & Engineering Fair is an exciting and important San Diego community event that relies entirely on volunteers. The fair will have more than 800 science projects on display along with the 800 plus 7-12th graders who produced them. Judging for the 2011 Fair will be Wednesday morning 23 March at the Activities Center in Balboa Park. For those who register, a detailed judging day agenda and directions to the center will be sent to you a week or two prior to the Fair. Being a judge is actually a lot more fun than it sounds. It mostly requires listening to the enthusiastic people tell you what they did. For anyone new to judging, there is a great deal of advice on the fair’s Internet site: http://www.gsdsef.org/ regarding “how to judge” and “what kinds of questions to ask”. Also, judging is done in teams, so there are typically experienced judges to assist someone new, should that need arise. To be fair to the student exhibitors, we will need about 60 teams of judges; that will require about 400 volunteers. Early registration, if possible, helps us in planning a quality experience for everyone. Judging volunteers can register at the fair’s Internet site www.gsdsef.org/judges/judges.shtml or

contact Larry Nordell 469-9269 / larrynordell@cox.net. The fair would also enthusiastically welcome non-judging volunteers. Info can be found on the fair’s Internet site www.gsdsef.org.

Calendar of Events

* Indicates that this event is not covered in more detail in this publication.

February

  • 12 Sat 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation, Naval Air Station North Island, www.public.navy.mil/airfor/centennial
  • 12 Sat & 13 Sun Chinese New Year, Third Avenue & J Street, 398-7025 / www.sdcny.org, 10am-5pm
  • 12 Sat Padres’ Fan Fest, Petco Park, www.padres.com, 10am-5pm
  • 16 Wed Walk San Diego Live Internet Event, 740 13th Street #502, www.walksandiego.org, 12:45-2pm
  • 16 Wed Gaslamp Quarter Locals Lifestyle & Design Tour, start Gaslamp Museum, 410 Island Avenue, www.gaslamp.org, 5-8pm
  • 17 Thu Museum of Contemporary Art free period, 1100 Kettner Blvd, (858)454-3541 / www.mcasd.org, 5-7pm
  • 17 Thu East Village Community Action Network, East Village Community Church, 1374 Island Avenue, evcan.net, 5:30pm-7pm
  • 17 Thu CCDC cap lifting meeting, Silver Room, Concourse, www.ccdc.com, 6-8pm
  • 18 Fri Little Italy subcommittee, 1654 Columbia Street, www.littleltalysd.com, 8:30am
  • 18 & 19 Fri & Sat Symphony’s Winter Pops Great American Songbook, sandiegosymphony.com, 8pm
  • 19 Sat Friends of San Diego Architecture lecture, All Man Will Be Brothers?, New School of Architecture & Design, 1249 F Street, friendsofsdarch.com, 9:30am
  • 19 Sat Museum Of Art Symposium, www.thesandiegomuseumofart.com, 9am-12:30pm
  • 21 Mon Horizons Downtown Book Club, 510 First Avenue, Heather Forward, hhumblef@aol.com / Pat Getzel pbgetzel@cox.net, 7:30pm
  • 22 Tue Team Challenge .5 Marathon Training Program information meeting, 877 G Street, www.ccteamchallenge.org, 6pm
  • 25 Fri Critical Mass Bicycle Ride, large fountain Balboa Park, www.sdcriticalmass.com, 7pm

 March

  • 01 Tue Little Italy Association BoD, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Hall, 1654 State St, www.littleitalysd.com/events.asp, 8:30am-10am
  • 01 Tue CCDC Lunch & Learn, monthly speaker and Q&A, DIC, Horton Plaza, www.ccdc.com, noon-1pm
  • 03 Thu Real Estate conference, Hilton Bayfront, www.sandiego.edu/bmcevent / Diane 260-2379, 7:30-noon
  • 03 Rita Rudner, Balboa Theatre, Fourth Avenue & E Street, www.sdbalboa.org, 7:30pm
  • 05 Sat Scavenger Hunt, Dick’s Last Resort, 345 Fourth Avenue, www.scavengerdash.com, noon
  • 08 Tue Mardi Gras, Gaslamp Quarter, www.mcfarlanepromotions.com / 233-5008
  • 11 Fri Kettner Nights, Kettner Blvd, Little Italy, www.littleitalysd.com/events.asp / 358-9512, 6-9pm *
  • 13 Sun Mingei Museum cat exhibit opens, Balboa Park, www.mingei.org
  • 16 Wed Gaslamp Quarter Locals Lifestyle & Design Tour, start Gaslamp Museum, 410 Island Avenue, www.gaslamp.org, 5-8pm
  • 17 Thu Sham Rock, Gaslamp Quarter, www.sandiegoshamrock.com, 4pm-midnight
  • 17 Thu Museum of Contemporary Art free period, 1100 Kettner Blvd, (858)454-3541 / www.mcasd.org, 5-7pm
  • 17 Thu East Village Community Action Network, East Village Community Church, 1374 Island Avenue, evcan.net, 5:30pm-7pm *
  • 18 Fri Walk San Diego bi-monthly luncheon, DIC Horton Plaza, www.walksandiego.org, noon-1pm
  • 18 Fri Art Show, Westgate Hotel, 1055 Second Avenue, www.westgatehotel.com, 6-8pm
  • 19 Sat Friends of San Diego Architecture lecture, Designing San Diego: If We Started Over, What Would We Do Differently?, New School of Architecture & Design, 1249 F Street, friendsofsdarch.com, 9:30am
  • 19 Sat-26 Sat Science Festival, Reuben H Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park, sdsciencefestival.com
  • 21 Mon Horizons Downtown Book Club, 510 First Avenue, Heather Forward, hhumblef@aol.com / Pat Getzel pbgetzel@cox.net, 7:30pm
  • 22 Tue Police Captain’s Community Outreach Meeting, Central Division Headquarters, 2501 Imperial Avenue, www.sandiego.gov/police/neighborhood/ccm.shtml, 5:30pm
  • 23 Wed & 30 Wed SDGE Basics of Sustainability, Reuben H Fleet Science Center, Balboa Park, www.sdge.com/training / (800)-613-8970
  • 25 Fri Critical Mass Bicycle Ride, large fountain Balboa Park, www.sdcriticalmass.com, 7pm

April

  • 05 Tue Little Italy Association BoD, Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Hall, 1654 State St, www.littleitalysd.com/events.asp, 8:30am-10am
  • 05 Tue CCDC Lunch & Learn, monthly speaker and Q&A, DIC, Horton Plaza, www.ccdc.com, noon-1pm
  • 15 & 16 Fri & Sat Symphony’s Winter Pops The Temptations, 235-0804 / sandiegosymphony.com, 8pm
  • 16 Sat Friends of San Diego Architecture lecture, Architecture for the Interior Frontier: The Neuroscience of Design, New School of Architecture & Design, 1249 F Street, friendsofsdarch.com, 9:30am
  • 20 Wed Gaslamp Quarter Locals Lifestyle & Design Tour, start Gaslamp Museum, 410 Island Avenue, www.gaslamp.org, 5-8pm
  • 21 Thu Museum of Contemporary Art free period, 1100 Kettner Blvd, (858)454-3541 / www.mcasd.org, 5-7pm
  • 21 Thu East Village Community Action Network, East Village Community Church, 1374 Island Avenue, evcan.net, 5:30pm-7pm *
  • 29 Fri Critical Mass Bicycle Ride, start large fountain Balboa Park, www.sdcriticalmass.com, 7pm

February Details

Naval Aviation 100 Years Old

The Navy has announced a special air show — including a massive flyover of San Diego Bay by more than 150 aircraft — to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of naval aviation. It is expected to be the largest aerial flyover of San Diego since prior to World War II. The Navy is billing the show as a once-in-a-lifetime event that will allow the public to see the aircraft in flight from vantage points all around the bay. The flyover, slated for Saturday 12 February at about 1pm, kicks off a yearlong effort to mark the start of the Navy’s venture into the air. The free event will also include a timeline-like display of aircraft from vintage planes to the newest fighter jets at the Naval Air Station North Island. Other events that day will include:

  • tours of Navy aircraft carriers
  • ground equipment demonstrations
  • amphibious assault ship tours
  • tactical demonstrations by Marine aircraft

The Navy started flying in the San Diego region in 1911. Further information www.public.navy.mil/airfor/centennial.

Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Year will be celebrated in the heart of the Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District at Third Avenue and J Street from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 February. The event will celebrate the year of the rabbit with:

  • Asian Music
  • Food
  • Lucky Lion Dancers
  • Children’s crafts
  • Dragon Lantern Parade
  • Martial Arts

The Chinese New year Food and Cultural Fair is free. For further information 398-7025 / www.sdcny.org.

Padres’ Open House At Petco Park

As baseball fans are counting down the days till spring training and opening day the Padres will be hosting a free Fan Fest on Saturday 12 February from 10am – 5pm at Petco Park. You can head over to Petco Park to meet your favorite Padres players, purchase Padres memorabilia and witness live question and answer sessions with players. Also present will be the Padres’ broadcasters and owners. For additional information www.padres.com.

Walk San Diego Live Internet Broadcast Event

Walk San Diego presents a free Webinar, Complete Streets: State of the Practice. It will be offered by the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP). Enrollment is limited and registration is required. Please register via email, generalmailbox@walksandiego.org. The event takes place on Wednesday 16 February from 1 to 2pm at Walk San Diego, 740 13th Street, #502. Please arrive not later than 12:45. More than 200 jurisdictions (state, region, county and city) have adopted Complete Streets policies, and the pace adoption is quickening. Join this APBP webinar to examine the current state of the practice for complete streets. Topics in this session will include:

  • * How support for complete streets is strengthened as collaboration with public health, transit, and other partners increases
  • * A comparison of existing policies and how they match up to guidelines from the National Complete Streets Coalition (NCSC)
  • * Examples of best practice at the local and state level.
  • * A case study of Charlotte NC “Charlotte’s Complete Streets Policy” preceded and informed North Carolina’s state complete streets policy. Learn about Charlotte’s award-winning Urban Streets Design Guidelines, outstanding example of complete streets planning and design, and how the city is implementing requirements for developers to complement the use of public funds. (View the slide show “Introduction to Complete Streets” on the NCSC Internet site for more information:

www.completestreets.org/complete-streets-fundamentals/#slideshow)

For additional information on the event www.walksandiego.org.

CCDC Cap Lifting

CCDC will host a series of public meetings in February and March to discuss the role of downtown redevelopment and state legislation that eliminated the financial cap for redevelopment activities. The meetings will explain what the lifting of the CCDC financial limit could mean for downtown and the entire region. Individual meetings also will focus on other topics such as affordable housing, the environment, impacts to other neighborhoods and job creation. Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal to do away with redevelopment agencies and how that may impact key projects also will be discussed. Thursday 17 February 6 to 8pm will be the kick-off event in the series of meetings. It will be held at the Silver Room of the San Diego Concourse Third Avenue & B Street. Focus topic for this meeting will be redevelopment overview. Further information with a full list of the public meetings can be found at www.ccdc.com.

Little Italy Subcommittee Meeting

The Little Italy District Identity and Streetscape Improvements Committee (they review promotions, special events and new public spaces) will be meeting on Friday 18 February at 8:30am. The meeting will take place at Our Lady of the Rosary Pastoral Center, 1654 Columbia Street. For additional information Chris Gomez, 233-3898 / www.littleitalysd.com.

Symphony’s Great American Songbook

The Symphony’s Winter Pops will be presenting The Great American Songbook w/Jane Monheit on Friday 18 & Saturday 19 February at 8pm at Copley Symphony Hall. The conductor will be Marvin Hamlisch and the tickets range from $20-$85. For tickets or additional information 235-0804 / sandiegosymphony.com.

Symposium at the Museum Of Art

On Saturday 19 February from 9am-12:30pm the San Diego Museum of Art will hold a coffee with presentations about the Museum’s new exhibition of British portraiture, Thomas Gainsborough and the Modern Woman. This symposium brings together top scholars to examine the importance of Thomas Gainsborough, his immense impact on ideas of painting, the salacious biographies of the women he painted, and the reasons why his art is still compelling 250 years later. The museum is opening a new exhibit of UK portraiture. It will be held in the James S. Copley Auditorium and the fee is $10 for museum members, students, seniors, military / $15 for nonmembers. For additional information thesandiegomuseumofart.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f46e9f51442e8b734a8c17ead&id=64464b3c1e&e=fc0edf5a33.

Friends of San Diego Architecture (FSDA) Speaking of Architecture

There are eight monthly free Speaking of Architecture lectures a year. They are held the third Saturday each month–except for June, July, August and December–at the New School of Architecture & Design (NSAD), 1249 F Street at 9:30am. The lecture for Saturday 19 February will be All Men Will Be Brothers? (Berlin Museum Origins). The lecture is free but a $5 donation is suggested. For additional information www.friendsofsdarch.com.

Downtown Book Club

Discussion Leader, Erica Cayton, will cover In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’ Brien. This riveting novel of love and mystery examines the lasting impact of the twentieth century’s legacy of violence and warfare, both at home and abroad. When long-hidden secrets about the atrocities he committed in Vietnam come to light, a candidate for the US Senate retreats with his wife to a lakeside cabin in northern Minnesota. Within days of their arrival, his wife mysteriously vanishes into the watery wilderness. The story evolves from that point. The club will meet on Monday 21 February at 7:30pm in the South Tower Lounge of Horizons at 510 First Avenue. At this meeting, the One Book One San Diego selection for this year–The Gangster We Are All Looking For–will be distributed. If you are unable to attend the meeting and wish to read the book, let Heather know and she will get a copy to you. For more information about the book club contact either Heather Forward, humblef@aol.com or Pat Getzel, pbgetzel@cox.net.

Team Challenge .5 Marathon Training Program

Team Challenge is the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s endurance training and fundraising program. Through Team Challenge, you can run or walk 20 kilometers or train for a cycling event while helping to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, two chronic and often debilitating digestive diseases that impact 1.4 million Americans. There will be an information meeting 6pm Tuesday 22 February at Lululemon, 877 G Street. For further information www.ccteamchallenge.org.

March Details

Real Estate Conference At the Hilton

Fannie Mae President and CEO Michael J. Williams will keynote the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s 15th annual Real Estate Conference Thursday 3 March at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront from 7:30am to noon. The conference will have three panels of local and national experts on job prospects, capital markets and loan workouts, who will offer their views on how these areas might change in the future. The three panel discussions will be:

  • * Jobs, Jobs, Jobs
  • * Lending, Investing and Capital Markets
  • * Are Workouts Working Out?

To register, visit www.sandiego.edu/bmcevent. For more information, Diane Gustafson at 260-2379.

Rita Rudner At The Balboa Theatre

The 57 year old comedian, who is known for her trademark style, will perform at the Balboa Theatre on Thursday 3 March. She has performed almost exclusively in Las Vegas since 2001, selling over one million tickets and is currently under contract with Harrah’s until next year. Since leaving the stage, where she started as a dancer in Broadway shows, she has progressed from guest appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Late Night with David Letterman to hosting her own HBO award-winning specials. Ms. Rudner and her producer-husband Martin Bergman, wrote several screenplays some of which she has also acted in. She is also an author of several best-selling books. For additional information www.sdbalboa.org.

Urban Scavenger Hunt

On Saturday 5 March at noon there will be a scavenger hunt starting at Dick’s Last Resort, 345 Fourth Avenue. The hunt will consist of a maximum of three hundred teams of two people each. The cost is $99 per team until 19 February and $120 until 2 March and $130 thereafter. Each Scavenger Dash team will consist of two people and will travel to 12 checkpoints based on a list of clues given at the beginning of the race. Teams will be traveling by foot or public transportation only. At random checkpoints they may also encounter wacky challenges that must be completed before proceeding, though are doable by nearly anyone. Winners should finish in around 2 hours with a maximum of 4 hours to complete as much of the course as possible. Find more information at www.scavengerdash.com.

Fat Tuesday In The Gaslamp Quarter

Said to be the largest Fat Tuesday festival west of New Orleans this annual event in the Gaslamp Quarter will be on 8 March. This one-day festival decorates San Diego’s historic district in purple, green and gold for

visitors celebrating the year’s most animated festival. More than 40,000 people will bring out their feathered boas, crazy hats and colorful beads and dress in a Mardi Gras costume to capture attention during the highlight of this event–The Masquerade Parade. For information or tickets 233-5008 / www.gaslamp.org. Attendees must be 21 years old and have proper ID to enter the event.

Mingei Museum Opens Cat Exhibit

On Sunday 13 March Mingei International Museum is opening an exhibit of cats selected from a group of 155 provided to them from Japan. Made in the 19th and 20th centuries each cat is unique. They are made of a variety of materials including:

  • * clay
  • * wood
  • * metal
  • * ceramic
  • * paper Mache

The exhibit will remain open at the museum, which is in Balboa Park, until Sunday 15 January 2012. For further information www.mingei.org / 239-0003.

Green Day In The Gaslamp Quarter

Located in the Gaslamp Quarter the Sham Rock festival is on Thursday 17 March which just happens to be Saint Patrick’s Day. It is held from 4pm to midnight and may be the biggest and greenest Saint Patrick’s Day party outside of Dublin with the headliner band being The Young Dubliners. The Gaslamp Quarter will be transformed into the lavish fields of Ireland and will feature everything from traditional Irish bands and dancing to Irish Punk Rock. Also featured will be some of today’s biggest hits by some of San Diego’s hottest live bands. For more information 233-5008 / www.sandiegoshamrock.com. Attendees must be 21 years old and have proper ID to enter the event. All profits from this event benefit the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation.

Walk San Diego Luncheon

Walk San Diego will hold their bi-monthly luncheon at the Downtown Information Center (DIC) on Friday 18 March from noon to 1pm. The luncheon is free but a donation of $7 is suggested. The title of the presentation is to be determined. Reservations to Cynthia Offenhauer coffenhauer@walksandiego.org. More information www.walksandiego.org.

Art Show At the Westgate Hotel

The Westgate Hotel’s Versailles ballroom will be setup as a private art gallery from 6-8pm on Friday 18 March for Art & Elegance featuring many of the Art Walk galleries. The event includes four art galleries:

  • Alexander Salazar Fine Art
  • Exclusive Collections
  • Noel Baza Fine Art
  • Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art

The event will also offer the opportunity to chat with artists from each gallery as they paint. There will also be a silent auction of original artwork to benefit Art Reach, a nonprofit visual art education program that provides hands-on workshops to elementary schools throughout the county. For more information www.artreachsandiego.org. There will also be live music, hors d’oeuvres and two hosted glasses of wine or beer. Partial ticket proceeds benefit Art Reach www.artreachsandiego.org. To purchase tickets, $32 each, t5.clicknprint.com/tix/SilverStream/Pages/pgIndex.html?siteID=2739. The Westgate Hotel is found at 1055 Second Avenue between Broadway and C Street. Information 615-1090 / www.westgatehotel.com.

Friends Of San Diego Architecture (FSDA) Speaking of Architecture

There are eight monthly free Speaking of Architecture lectures provided each year by Friends of San Diego Architecture. The lecture for Saturday 19 March will be Designing San Diego: If we started over, what would we do differently? The presenter will be award winning Landscape Architect Vicki Estrada. The lectures are held the third Saturday each month–except for June, July, August and December–at the New School of Architecture & Design (NSAD), 1249 F Street at 9:30am. The lecture is free but a $5 donation is suggested. For additional information www.friendsofsdarch.com.

Science Festival Family Days and Expo Day

From Saturdays 19 to Friday 25 March there will be family days at the Science Fair at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. Then on Saturday 26 March from 10am to 5pm there will be Expo Day at the festival that will be held at Petco Park. For additional information sdsciencefestival.com.

Downtown Book Club

Discussion Leader, Heather Forward, will cover The Gangster We Are All Looking For by Le Thi Diem Thuy. This is the San Diego One Book One San Diego selection for this year. The Gangster We Are All Looking For was published in 2003. It was first published as a short piece in The Best American Essays of 1997 and was also awarded a Pushcart Prize “Special Mention.” The novel is a fragmented sequence of events recollected by a nameless narrator. In a first-person narrative, the narrator tells the stories of her past experiences as a Vietnamese immigrant. Time and place shift continuously throughout the novel; the story takes place both in Vietnam and the US. The novel is concerned with themes of identity, family dynamics, war, and liberation. Images of water are prominent symbolically and literally throughout the novel. The club will meet on Monday 21 March at 7:30pm in the South Tower Lounge of Horizons at 510 First Avenue. For more information about the book club contact either Heather Forward, humblef@aol.com or Pat Getzel, pbgetzel@cox.net.

Basics of Sustainability Hosted by SDGE

On the last two Wednesdays in March SDGE will present four seminars at the Reuben H Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park:

  • 23 March Basics of Sustainability 9am to noon event #6091
  • 23 March Energy Water and Waste 12:30-3;30pm event #6092
  • 30 March Sustainability and Our Surroundings 9am to noon event #6093
  • 30 March Green Economy and Green Jobs 12:30-3:30pm event #6094

This four part series is free and continental breakfast will be provided at the morning events and lunch at the afternoon events. Further information can be obtained at www.sdge.com/training / (800)-613-8970.

April Details

Temptations at the Symphony

The Symphony’s Winter Pops will be presenting The Temptations on Friday and Saturday 15 & 16 April at 8pm at Copley Symphony Hall. The conductor will be Marvin Hamlisch and the tickets range from $20-$85 to see this Motown Group. For tickets or additional information 235-0804 / sandiegosymphony.com.

Friends Of San Diego Architecture (FSDA) Speaking of Architecture

There are eight monthly free Speaking of Architecture lectures provided each year by Friends of San Diego Architecture. The lecture for Saturday 16 April will be Architecture For the Interior Frontier: The Neuroscience of Design. The presenter will be Neuroscientist and Architect Eve Edelstein. The lectures are held the third Saturday each month–except for June, July, August and December–at the New School of Architecture & Design (NSAD), 1249 F Street at 9:30am. The lecture is free but a $5 donation is suggested. For additional information www.friendsofsdarch.com.

May Details

South Pacific Exhibit At the Maritime Museum

In May the Maritime Museum of San Diego will launch an exhibit showcasing art associated with the three distinct visions of the beautiful South Pacific from voyages by James Cook, Herman Melville and Paul Gauguin. The first-of-its kind exhibit for the museum, titled “Three Voyages to Paradise: Cook, Melville and Gauguin,” will feature over 110 pieces, varying from original oil and watercolor paintings to wood carvings and sculpture. The exhibit will include original paintings by 18th century artists John Webber and William Hodges, each of whom accompanied Cook into the Pacific, and many original works by Paul Gauguin, showcasing a newly rediscovered wood sculpture, “Nave Nave Faruru.” The exhibition, which is drawn from the extensive collections of The Kelton Foundation, runs from 27 May through 1 January 2012. Tickets for “Three Voyages to Paradise” will be $10 in addition to the cost of Maritime Museum admission. Additional information www.sdmaritime.org.

Downtown News of the Day

Improvements at the Marriott

The Port of San Diego has prepared a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed renovation of the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, 333 West Harbor Drive, that includes replacement of its main ballroom and exhibit hall that is now called Marriott Hall. Issuing the NOP gives agencies, the public and interested parties an opportunity to comment on possible environmental impacts of the project. In response to concerns raised by the public over possible impacts of the project, the Port determined that an EIR would need to be prepared. Comments will be accepted until 5pm on Monday 14 February. Comments should be mailed via USPS to the San Diego Unified Port District, Environmental & Land Use Management Department, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego CA 92101. They may also be emailed to Wileen Manaois, Senior Redevelopment Planner, wmanaois@portofsandiego.org. The Marriott NOP for the Draft EIR (1.87 MB) can be found at www.portofsandiego.org/about-us/bpc-policies/doc_download/3235-marriott-nop-for-draft-eir.html. In addition to providing comments by USPS mail and email the public had the opportunity to provide input at a scoping meeting for the project’s EIR that was held on Wednesday 26 January in the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina. The 25-story Marriott features 1,305 rooms, 55 suites, dozens of meeting rooms and a 446-slip marina. The makeover includes a new 42,000-square-foot ballroom and a 42,000-square-foot exhibit hall. The new ballroom and exhibit hall would be constructed at the existing location of the Marriott Hall conference building adjacent to Harbor Drive. The new building is only about three meters higher than the existing Marriott Hall. The plans also call for the construction of an outdoor event area / public park at what is now a parking lot and building a 15 meter wide public walkway between the Marriott and Hyatt hotels from Harbor Drive to the Embarcadero Promenade and extensive landscaping improvements. The new plan will for the first time in many years open up views and a public walkway from Harbor Drive to the water in the area between the Hyatt and Marriott hotels. Much above ground parking will be eliminated under the new plan. Host Hotels & Resorts LP–the operator of the hotel–is the applicant for the improvement project and the Port of San Diego will be the lead agency under the California Environmental Quality Act for the EIR.

New Showroom Wins Award

Artisan Design Group (ADG) in San Diego has won several awards from the National Association of Home Builders at the International Builders Show in Orlando Florida. The firm’s new showroom, located on the corner of Ash Street and Pacific Highway, received an award as the “Best Design Center/Urban Studio.” The 3,500-square-foot showroom features three full kitchens, bathroom displays, home office interiors, home automation systems, customized lighting and storage systems, cabinetry, flooring, window coverings, and furnishings. In the “Best Model Over $1 Million” category, ADG won an award for the Sapphire Tower Penthouse B model in Downtown San Diego it created. The 2,823-square-foot, move-in ready penthouse model was created after ADG’s original penthouse model in the Sapphire Tower was sold fully furnished for $2.2 million. ADG has been in downtown San Diego for many years having recently moved their showroom from the Marina District. For additional information artisandesigngroup.net.

Some Fireworks at Downtown San Diego Partnership Event

Former California Governor / US Senator / San Diego Mayor Pete Wilson shouts: “Like hell you are!” as a response to Governor Jerry Brown’s attempt to take away redevelopment funds. He yelled that to a crowd of more than 300 at the Wednesday 26 January inauguration ceremonies of the Downtown San Diego Partnership new leadership. Most of the noontime crowd gave Wilson long applause. If Brown is successful in eliminating redevelopment agencies such as CCDC Downtown growth will come to an end Wilson and other speakers said. Rich Bach, head of Turner Construction’s San Diego operations, was installed as the new chairman of the Partnership. Wilson installed the officers at the event. Kris Michell, former chief of staff for Mayor Jerry Sanders, was introduced as the Partnership’s new president. County Supervisor Greg Cox and San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Kevin Faulconer also attended the event. See the article below for more information on this issue.

Redevelopment Agencies

The City of San Diego receives about 40% of their property tax income from redevelopment but Governor Brown wants to terminate California’s 425 redevelopment agencies and use most of the $5 billion in property taxes they would get next year to boost the state budget. With no redevelopment agencies in future years the taxes that they would have received would become general funds—almost all of it dispersed as it is seen fit by the state.

Backers of redevelopment agencies say they generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in new projects that spin off additional revenues while foes see them as a subsidy for private industry. More than $400 million is at stake in San Diego County’s 18 cities. That represents nearly 30 percent of all property taxes received by the 18 cities and the county in fiscal year 2009. Del Mar and Encinitas are the only county cities without redevelopment agencies. The elimination of redevelopment agencies would have implications for a variety of projects in the region from a minor-league baseball park in Escondido to road improvements and affordable-housing projects. In the past few weeks many of the redevelopment agencies in California, including Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pasadena and Riverside County, have held special meetings to fast-track about $2 billion in redevelopment work hoping to get the work started and funds obligated before the state can act.

State law requires that 20% of redevelopment funds be used for affordable housing projects. The City Council in San Diego in 2009 directed $180 million of property taxes to 22 redevelopment projects. The governor has found support for his proposal from labor groups and faced criticism chiefly from city officials, affordable-housing advocates and the construction industry.

The California community redevelopment law, passed in 1945, has been revised and restricted over the years, but the approach remains essentially unchanged. Agencies declare an area blighted, create a redevelopment project and use rising revenues — called tax increment — from the project area to finance bonds for public improvements and subsidies for private development. That’s how San Diego accomplished its first major redevelopment project, the Horton Plaza shopping center that opened in 1985, and how a $43 million major change to the project — razing one of the original department stores and expanding Horton Plaza Park — is being accomplished today.

Redevelopment boosters say their projects generate new hotel room taxes and more sales taxes that are available for other city priorities. But critics say some of the projects are not economically justifiable. The state incurs a budget hit because it has has to backfill lost property taxes otherwise meant for schools, while the county gets only a portion of its lost revenue through tax-sharing agreements.

This will be an ongoing saga so stay tuned-in to various news sources to remain aware of what is going on with the redevelopment agencies.

New Downtown Employment Law Office

Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, a California employment law firm, has opened a downtown San Diego office at 501 West Broadway, #800. The firm specializes in labor, employment and education law. They provide representation and legal counsel. For further information www.lcwlegal.com/79391 / 400-4955.

New Bagel Shop Opens In Marina District

The Bagel Club has opened for business. This new shop is located on the Southeast corner of Front and Market Streets in what used to be Gracie’s clothing store. It is just across the street from Richard Walker’s Pancake House. They offer much more that just bagels which include:

  • soup
  • gelato
  • smoothies
  • espresso
  • sandwiches
  • tea
  • acai bowls
  • They are open daily from 6:30-2pm.

Art Gallery Expands

Alexander Salazar Fine Art has signed a five-year lease at 635 Broadway and 640 Broadway as well as 1040 Seventh Avenue for a total of over 7,000 square feet dedicated to art. Salazar has been operating a art salon featuring the works of national and international mid-career and emerging artists at the corner of Seventh and Broadway. Additional information alexandersalazarfineart.com / 531-8996.

County Moves Ahead On Waterfront Park

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved $2.6 million to demolish the 1958 J W Askew Building on the north side of the County Administration Center at 1600 Pacific Highway. Another $1.2 million was awarded to complete the design for the 12-acre park, which will extend north of the building site to south of the administration building. Supervisor Ron Roberts, who has championed the idea since taking office in 1995, said the proposed “legacy project” would forever alter the public’s perceptions of the waterfront. The park, expected to cost about $38 million and financed with downtown redevelopment funds, will include several landscaped “rooms” that will feature various examples of local vegetation and public art—yet to be chosen. it will also have a massive fountain and space for weddings, picnics and sightseeing. While a name has not been selected, the county is open to a major donor making a gift and attaching their name to the space. The park is part of the larger North Embarcadero Visionary Plan—approved for the area in 1998—and is the first piece of that plan to move forward. Additional information can be found at www.signonsandiego.com/news/2011/jan/25/county-moves-ahead-waterfront-park.

Homeless have a place for their belongings

Downtown’s homeless now have a secure indoor place to store their belongings. The city is providing a storage facility for them—a building on the east side of Ninth Avenue between Broadway and E Street adjacent to the central library—to help settle a class-action lawsuit filed in December 2009. The city, along with the police and environmental services division,had been sued for performing clean-up sweeps downtown in which homeless possessions were taken and sometimes destroyed. It is hoped that the new facility, which has over 500 bins, will ease the blight as parts of downtown are cluttered with shopping carts, blankets and sleeping bags. This will be a one-year pilot project that is based on a similar successful one in Los Angeles that is often filled to capacity. The storage facility will be run by the Isaiah Project, a nonprofit that aids the homeless. The city money for this project comes from fees at the city’s garbage facilities, not the general fund. The Los Angeles facility was also opened based on a similar suit. The facility is located at 917 Ninth Avenue.

Recurring Events

Little Italy Association Meeting

The Little Italy Association Board of Directors’ Meetings are open to the public. They discuss the Little Italy Association’s general business, upcoming events and downtown issues. This monthly meeting is usually held on the first Tuesday at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Hall, 1654 State Street at 8:30am. For more information Chris Gomez 233-3898 / www.littleitalysd.com/events.asp.

Gaslamp Quarter Monthly Self-guided Tour

On the third Wednesday of each month starting at 5pm and ending at 8pm the Gaslamp Locals Lifestyle & Design Tour will take place. This new tour will showcase the Gaslamp Quarter’s shops, boutiques and galleries. During this event there will be:

  • live demonstrations
  • home décor and hardware specials
  • wine classes
  • unique fashion opportunities
  • an array of gifts available
  • unique pet products available
  • eyewear
  • lingerie
  • Pilates
  • spa treatments
  • info about sexual health
  • acupuncture

There will be more than 30 participating locations in and around the Gaslamp Quarter. The suggested starting point for the tour is the corner of Fourth and Island Avenues in the pocket park at the William Heath Davis House (Gaslamp Museum), 410 Island Avenue, where you can pick up a map and register to win prizes. The first tour for 2011 will be on 19 January. For additional information www.gaslamp.org/locals-lifestyle-design-tour.

Lunch & Learn Series

The Downtown Sound Bites Speaker Series is held on the first Tuesday of every month from noon-1pm at the Sheila Hardin Downtown Information Center (DIC) in Horton Plaza. The DIC is located just above the CVS drug store between Victoria’s Secret and Sam Goody’s. You are asked to bring your own lunch to this free event and then listen and learn from a variety of interesting speakers all of whom will approach issues that are important to downtown’s future. A question and answer period will follow each presentation. The event sponsor is CCDC and further information can be found at www.ccdc.com.

Coffee with CCDC

The bi-monthly event that toggles between Thursday evening and Friday morning is at the Sheila Hardin Downtown Information Center in Horton Plaza. It is a good chance to learn what is happening with the redevelopment agency arm of the City of San Diego. It is held in all even numbered months. For more information www.ccdc.com.

Horizons’ Book Club

On the third Monday of each month the group usually meets in the Horizons’ South Tower Lounge, 510 First Avenue, at 7:30pm to discus the current book. All are welcome to attend and help create a lively discussion. For additional information or to find out what book is currently be covered: Heather Forward hhumblef@aol.com / Pat Getzel pbgetzel@cox.net.

Critical Mass Monthly Bicycle Ride

San Diego Critical Mass is a loosely affiliated group of over 700 bicycle riders that take over San Diego streets and public rights of way to conduct a group bike ride on the last Friday of every month. The group meets at the large fountain in Balboa Park in front of the Ruben H. Fleet Theatre / Science Center and the National History Museum at 7pm and participants should be prepared for up to 20 miles of riding. The ride may go in any direction from the fountain but usually goes through downtown. Additional information at www.sdcriticalmass.com.

Police Captain’s Community Outreach Meeting

The Commander of the San Diego Police Department’s (SDPD) Central Division, Captain Mark Jones, holds a bimonthly meeting with the public to address problems and provide information on what the division is doing to keep us safe. The meeting is usually well attended and lasts about one and a half hours. The meeting is always on the fourth Tuesday of each odd numbered month at 5:30pm at the SDPD’s Central Division Headquarters, 2501 Imperial Avenue. For additional information www.sandiego.gov/police/neighborhood/ccm.shtml.

Athenaeum Jacobs Mini-Concerts

Alternating Mondays, for most of the year, noon to 1pm at the Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, admission free. Food & beverage is allowed in theatre during concerts. Fifteen free Mini-Concerts are presented at the Lyceum each year. These concerts are made possible in part, thanks to funding from the City of San Diego through a program managed by the Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego. For additional information (858)-454-5872. The 2011 dates through the summer:

  • 14 February
  • 28 February
  • 14 March
  • 28 March
  • 11 April
  • 25 April
  • 09 May
  • 23 May

Free Downtown Tours

Monthly Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Free Period & Tours On the third Thursday each month the MCA, 1100 Kettner Blvd, will open its doors from 5-7pm to the public to allow free admission. Visitors can browse anywhere in the museum on their own or join an organized tour that will begin at 5pm and 6pm. For additional information (858)454-3541 / www.mcasd.org.

Sofia Hotel Downtown Walking Tours

Each Saturday and Sunday the Sofia Hotel offers complimentary guided two mile walking tours of downtown that include the Gaslamp Quarter and the bay front area. The tours are open to all and not just guests of the hotel. No reservations are needed and the tours leave from the lobby of the hotel at 9am. The Sofia Hotel is at 150 West Broadway at the corner of Front Street. For additional information 234-9200.

CCDC Downtown Bus Tours

Free Downtown bus tours offer close-up views of downtown’s unique neighborhoods and highlight recently completed and upcoming new projects. All tours begin at the Sheila Hardin Downtown Information Center, 193 Horton Plaza, just above the CVS drug store between Victoria’s Secret and Sam Goody’s. Reservations are required, please call 235-2222 for reservations or further information.

Masthead

All items in this publication are the opinion of the writer of the piece. Any item without a named author is the responsibility of the editor. Any submissions for inclusion in this publication should be submitted to the editor via email within the body of a message (not as an attachment). All telephone numbers are in the 619 area code unless otherwise noted. To subscribe or unsubscribe to this publication please email the editor, Stan Marder stan@gaslampquarter.org. Publisher: San Diego Mesa Company (SDMC), 550 Front Street #2804, San Diego California 92101-7105.


Written by: chad

Categories: Downtown San Diego

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