JACK-IN-THE-BOX DEVELOPMENT DENIED BY PLANNING COMMISSION
Announced by North Park Main Street, the San Diego Planning Commission voted 5-0-1 on Aug. 23 to deny a planned development permit for the Jack-in-the-box chain located at 2959 Upas St. in North Park. The proposed development would have allowed existing owners to demolish the existing space to construct a new, 2,178-square-foot restaurant, among other deviations. Originally approved by the City’s Development Services Department, the Planning Commission joined other organizations in voicing opposition “The community groups and business owners opposed the project based on deviations inconsistent with the North Park community plan, safety concerns and other impacts that would have meant a setback in the community’s goal of creating a pedestrian-friendly urban village,” the North Park Main Street press release stated. The North Park Planning Committee thanked North Park residents and business owners who testified at the Planning Commission meeting.
NORTH PARK COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION SEEKS BOARDMEMBER SECRETARY
The North Park Community Association (NPCA) currently has a board opening for an interested community member. The NPCA is an all-volunteer organization serving to bring together the diverse residents, property owners and businesses of North Park. The open position will also fill the board’s secretary position. There are currently 11 members on the board. The NPCA meets the fourth Wednesday of each month from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd. Interested candidates should contact board President Nikki Berdy at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the organization, visit northparksd.org/.
VOLUNTEERS TO INSTALL CIGARETTE RECEPTICALS IN NORTH PARK
In collaboration between I Love A Clean San Diego and the San Diego chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, a total of 18 ash-can receptacles will be installed in various Uptown locations along University Avenue. In preparation for the distribution, the two nonprofits conducted “litter scans” throughout the North Park and La Mesa business districts, finding a total of 1,370 cigarette butts on the ground in the proposed locations. Of those, 700 were in North Park and the groups estimate the installation will prevent close to 100,000 cigarette butts from reaching the ocean in the first year alone. The installation is part of the I Love A Clean San Diego Cigarette Litter Prevention Program and the Surfrider Foundation’s Hold Onto Your Butt Campaign. The complete installation will occur Tuesday, Sept. 4. North Park locations include West Coast Tavern at 2895 University Ave., URBN Coal Fired Pizza at 3085 University Ave., and U-31 at 3122 University Ave.
GENERAL PLAN HOUSING ELEMENT DRAFT POSTED FOR REVIEW
The San Diego General Plan Housing Element draft has been posted on the City’s website for public review and comment. Serving as a policy guide to address housing needs in the City, the Housing Element is one of 10 elements in the City’s General Plan. It is being provided separate release due to “the need for frequent updates and to facilitate compliance with State reporting requirements,” said Brian Schoenfisch, Housing Element project manager. Public are being asked to visit the site, review the draft and submit comments to Schoenfisch at email@example.com. The review period ends Oct. 5 at 5 p.m. Additionally, a joint workshop with the Planning Commission and the Land Use & Housing Committee to discuss the update is scheduled for Sept. 27 at 9 a.m. in Council Chambers, 202 C St. View the draft document at sandiego.gov/planning/heu/workingdocs.shtml/.
ATKINS BILL HELPS SENIORS STAY OUT OF NURSING HOMES
Announced Aug. 29, AB 2206 by Assemblymember Toni Atkins was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature that would ensure seniors with chronic illnesses, who are eligible for Medi-Cal or Medicaid, will be offered enrollment in the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). PACE programs are managed-care options that provide integrated care to those eligible for nursing-home placement, stated a press release. “My bill will ensure that frail seniors are aware of this managed-care program that could make the difference between living at home with their families and hospitalization,” Atkins said in the release. “In addition to preserving the independence and dignity of seniors, the PACE program is also a more cost-effective alternative to nursing-home care.” There are currently five PACE programs in California, including San Diego County.
COUNTY CRIME RATES UP IN FIRST HALF 2012; REMAIN SECOND LOWEST IN PAST DECADE
Crime rates in San Diego County have risen in the first half of 2012, compared to the same period last year, stated a report released by San Diego Association of Governments Aug. 29. The report also showed both violent crime and property crime rates remain the second lowest in the past ten years. “We have enjoyed historic loses in crime rates over the past decade, so it’s not entirely surprising that the numbers are now going up,” said SANDAG Director of Criminal Justice Research Cynthia Burke said is a press release. “It’s too early to tell if the uptick is temporary or if it’s the beginning of a trend.” Findings include a total of 5,808 violent crimes were reported between January and June 2012, averaging approximately 32 per day. During the same period in 2011, the County averaged 29 reported per day. Additionally, the number of aggravated assaults increased nine percent. The complete report can be found at sandag.org/cj/.
ASSEMBLY URGES POSTAL SERVICE TO HONOR HARVEY MILK
The California State Assembly adopted a resolution carried by Assemblymember Toni Atkins requesting the United States Postal Service to honor slain civil-rights leader Harvey Milk with a postage stamp. Called HR 41, the resolution recognizes Milk’s accomplishments as a leader of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. “A postage stamp draws attention to important people who may not be familiar to all Americans,” Atkins said in a press release. “Harvey Milk, who gave his life because he led the way for equality, is an ideal choice for this honor.” The campaign to honor Milk has been led by several community groups, including the Harvey Milk Foundation, the International Court de San Diego Council and the GLBT Historic Task Force of San Diego County.
SAN DIEGO SYMPHONY LOSES MENTOR
Music legend Marvin Hamlisch, who served as principal pops conductor for San Diego Symphony’s Summer Pops for the last seven seasons, passed away Aug. 6 after a brief illness. Stephen Kougias, Symphony director of public relations, released the following statement: “It is with deep sadness that we reflect on the passing of … Marvin Hamlisch, who had been with the Symphony since 2006. He most recently performed at the Star Spangled Pops to open San Diego Symphony’s summer series in late June of this year. In addition to his role as principal pops conductor, Marvin was a great friend to the Symphony and the consummate professional, always willing to meet with members of the community and to reach out to our patrons, musicians and students throughout San Diego County.” Kougias also said Hamlisch started his career in music as a six-year-old child prodigy at Juilliard, and had won every major award since, including three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony and three Golden Globes. “Marvin touched our lives with humor, compassion and his extraordinary talent,” Kougias said. “Through his perseverance and optimistic spirit, he taught us all that the show must go on. We offer our deepest sympathy to his wife, Terre, and his extended family. Marvin Hamlisch will be deeply missed by all of us at the San Diego Symphony.”
LAST CHANCE TO SEE TITANIC EXHIBIT
The Titanic is about to set sail again to a new location after a six-month visit. Called “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition,” the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park has been offering visitors an intimate look at arguably the world’s most famous ocean vessel, since Feb. 10. The exhibit, which will remain on public display through Sept. 9, takes visitors through Titanic’s construction, launch, maiden voyage, life on the ship, and imminent tragedy. A timed-entry exhibit, each visitor is issued a boarding pass replicating those issued on that fateful voyage. Guests are then invited to take on the life of one of its passengers throughout the exhibit. Through dramatic reconstruction, more than 200 artifacts from the original ship, and the sharing of personal histories of those on board when tragedy struck, visitors are provided a true understanding of the Titanic. All tickets include concurrent exhibitions and movies shown in the 3D theater. Non-member adult tickets are $27, members $18, and student, military and youth are $21.
LOCAL WOMAN CHARGED FOR IMPERSONATING DOCTOR
A woman who has been diagnosing others with Lyme disease and injecting them with chemical solvents has been arrested and charged with multiple felonies, including grand theft and treating patients without a medical license. Kathleen Ann Helms, 57, was arraigned on 11 total felony counts, to which she pleaded not guilty. She remains in custody on $250,000 bail. “By posing as an M.D., misdiagnosing people and then charging thousands of dollars for what amounted to a fake and dangerous cure, this defendant showed callous disregard for her victims,” said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis in a press release. “Our consumer unit works to hold individuals who pose as physicians accountable for their actions and the harm done to their victims.” The District Attorney’s office is concerned there could be many more victims and urges anyone with any information to contact them at 619-531-3507.
REP. SUSAN DAVIS URGES STUDENT VOTING
Congressmember Susan Davis announced Aug. 10 she had joined 187 of her colleagues in sending a letter to college and university presidents, encourage them to take a more active role in educating students in the federal electoral process, stated a press release. The letter describes how students have historically faced barriers in the election process that have discouraged participation or prevented them from voting at all. Some challenges include restrictive residency and identification requirements, inconveniently located polling places and inadequate distribution of voting equipment, among others. “The future of America will be left in the hands of these young men and woman,” Davis said in the release. “It is critical that they have the information and access to take part in our democratic process. Colleges pride themselves in providing a broad knowledge to students to improve their lives, and civic education should certainly be a part of that.” Davis urged the school presidents to work with local election officials to look into ways to turn campuses into voter registration sites and polling places.
KINGS RAISE MONEY FOR ‘CROWN JEWEL’ OF BALBOA PARK
Drag it Out returned to Numbers Nightclub in Hillcrest on Aug. 19 at 8 p.m., hosted by Regina Styles and the San Diego Drag Kings Club (SDKC). The monthly event always has a benefactor, and for August the Kings opted for a local crown jewel. Monies raised will go to a fund established to help pay for the recent vandalism of the lily pond at Balboa Park’s Botanical Garden, damage that was estimated at $19,000. Founded in Sept. 2000, the SDKC will celebrate their 12th anniversary next month. On Aug. 19, the Kings put on a full set of their own, but also encouraged others to join them for an open stage portion of the show. You do not have to be a drag king to participate. For information regarding SDKC, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DIVERSIONARY ANNOUNCES ‘PIPPIN’ CAST
The complete cast for Diversionary Theatre’s next production, the musical “Pippin,” was announced Aug. 8. Leading the cast is Courtney Corey and Louis Pardo. Corey’s credentials include being on the first and second national tours of “Rent,” among others and Pardo was on the national tour of “Jesus Christ Super Star,” as well as San Diego’s “MixTape.” Pardo will play the title character in this reimagined staging of the Stephen Schwartz (music and lyrics) and Roger Hirson (book) musical. The Diversionary production is being directed by resident James Vasquez. Joining Corey and Pardo on stage are Megan Carmitchel, Andy Collins, Tony Houck, Luke Jacobs, Wendy Maples and Hunter Schwarz. Performances begin Sept. 6, with tickets currently available. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the box office at 4545 Park Blvd. or call 619-220-0097.
ATKINS BILL SENT TO GOVERNOR
Assemblymember Toni Atkins’s bill to protect public lands from illegal use, which would save the state thousands of dollars in enforcement and legal costs, was sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Aug. 16. AB 2082 enables the State Lands Commission to levy fines against squatters if they do not fix a violation after receiving official notification and a 30-day grace period. Currently, the court must pursue court litigation to address these issues. “Public lands are important natural resources that must be protected from those who would illegally use them for their own private purposes,” Atkins said in a press release. “My bill increases those protections while also reducing the cost to taxpayers.” The governor has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the bill.