LAFAYETTE HOTEL HOSTS GRAND RE-OPENING
The iconic Lafayette Hotel located at 2223 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park celebrated with a grand re-opening party on Thursday, Oct. 11. The celebration was held in part to thank all who made the $6 million renovation – that focused on sustainability – a reality. The redevelopment included a new restaurant, renovation of all 131 rooms, the installation of fuel cell technology to heat the popular Olympic-sized swimming pool, refurbishment of furniture and the installation of Energy Star appliances. The new interior design sought to “uncover the rich spirit of the hotel, while respecting its 66-year vibrant soul,” a press release stated. The Lafayette is one of two San Diego hotels that receive the Environmental Level Certification for the California Green Lodging Program. Originally built in 1946, the hotel was once positioned as a getaway for Hollywood socialites and boasts a glamorous history. Today the pool area is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors throughout the week for the hotel’s “Dive-In” movie nights, live acoustic music, other events and the Imig’s Kitchen & Bar. For more information call 619-296-2101 or visit lafayettehotelsd.com.
SOUTH PARK PR FIRM WINS TOP INDUSTRY AWARDS
Announced Oct. 4, J. Walcher Communications (JWC) received four Edward L. Bernays Awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), San Diego and Imperial County Chapter. The public relations firm was founded in 2001 and is based in South Park. The JWC team – consisting of South Park resident Jean Walcher, Bankers Hill resident Laura Walcher, Alpine, Calif. resident Sandy Young and Kensington resident Ashley Shafer – received two Silver Mark of Excellence awards, one for the successful launch of the Marriott International Downtown Los Angles and the other for the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative’s “5-2-1-0 Every Day!” messaging campaign. The company won two Bronze Bernays Award Mark of Merit Awards for securing coverage for two separate clients. Additionally, Laura Walcher received the Eva Irving Community Service Award, given to a public relations professional whose volunteer efforts for non-profit, philanthropic or public service organizations embody the traditions of volunteerism. Laura Walcher is a past-president of the San Diego Press Club and currently sits on its board of directors. Current clients for JWC include Bazaar del Mundo, United Way of San Diego County and the Bali Hai Restaurant, among others. For more information visit jwalcher.com.
BEING ALIVE SEEKS VOLUNTEERS
Hillcrest nonprofit Being Alive has announced a call for volunteers in a press release on Sept. 29. The HIV/AIDS service organization is looking for specialized volunteers in three program areas: Helping Hands Moving Services, Peer Advocacy and their Holistic AIDS Response Program (HARP). The Helping Hands services provide free moving services to Being Alive clients facing eviction, including assistance in finding affordable housing as well as aiding with medical supplies due to disrupted care. The Peer Advocacy program is the heart of the agency, and Being Alive is seeking volunteers who will be able to provide resources and counseling services to clients. For HARP, the organization is looking for licensed massage, chiropractic care, reiki, reflexology, acupuncture and other therapies. They are also accepting applications for licensed barbers or hair stylists. Those interested can visit the Being Alive center at 4070 Centre St. to fill out an application.
KEN-TAL ASSOCIATION TO HOST MAYORAL FORUM
Mayoral candidates Bob Filner and Carl DeMaio will be addressing the Kensington-Talmadge Community Association in an open-forum meeting on Thursday, Oct. 18. The forum will take place at the Kensington Community Church, located at 4773 Marlborough Dr. at 7:15 p.m. Filner and DeMaio will be participating in a debate-style format, with opening statements, and questions from both a moderator and the audience. Before the forum, there will be a hosted dinner at 6:30 p.m. Cost for the dinner is $12 for Ken-Tal Community Association members and $15 for nonmembers. Organizers are asking attendees to RSVP to Ken Video at 619-284-2477 by Oct. 16. For those wishing to attend but not have dinner, there will be limited seating and no cost.
TASTE COMES TO MISSION HILLS
The first Taste of Mission Hills takes place Tuesday, Oct. 16 from 5 – 9 p.m., with dozens of restaurants in Mission Hills featuring samples representing food from around the world. Tickets are $20 and drink specials will also be offered throughout the night. City Council President and ProTem Kevin Faulconer will be in attendance, dedicating India Street North as “International Restaurant Row” at 6:30 p.m. Restaurants participating include: The Wellington, The Red Door, Saffron, Shakespeare Pub & Grill, Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria, Gelato Vero Caffe, Meshuggah Shack, Cake Bakery, Shakespeare’s Corner Shoppe & Afternoon Tea, Rubicon Deli, The Regal Beagle, Olivetto, Starlight Lounge and Brooklyn Girl Eatery. Old Town Trolley will be offering free shuttle service to participating restaurants. Tickets are available at State Farm at 928 Ft. Stockton #105, Gelato Vero at 3753 India St. or US Bank at 610 Washington St. For more information visit ourmissionhills.com.
SAN DIEGO EXPANDS ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS
The City Council approved Oct. 2 to expand current infrastructure to allow for more electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city. Up to 117 public charging stations have been approved for city-owned property. District Three Councilmember Todd Gloria announced 33 of the new stations will be in Uptown: five in the east Balboa Park parking lot off Park Boulevard; four each in North Park at 4044 Idaho St. and the North Park Parking Garage; and five each near street intersections at Texas Street and El Cajon Boulevard, 35th Street and Adams Avenue, Normal Street and University Avenue, and Goldfinch and Washington streets. Targeted locations outside of Uptown include the Carmel Mountain Library, Skyline Hills and Downtown. Currently, San Diego has 10 public charging stations and ranks 16th out of 21 cities with similar stations. These council-approved additions will rank San Diego first on the list. ECOtality will install the charging stations using $850,000 of federal grant money for the expansion, and will reimburse the city for electricity used at the stations. Completion is expected by the end of the year. “I know that by increasing publicly available charging infrastructure, electric vehicle adoption will further swell in San Diego, which will further improve our environment and our quality of life,” Gloria said in the announcement.
BEING ALIVE PARTNERS WITH BABYCAKES FOR FREE HIV-TESTING INCENTIVE
Being Alive HIV/AIDS services has begun conducting free HIV testing on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at their offices, located at 4070 Centre St. “We are pleased to begin HIV testing here at Being Alive,” said Executive Director Shannon Wagner in a press release. “It is done in a safe and non-clinical setting. If you or someone else has been putting off the test, consider making an appointment today.” As incentive, the nonprofit has teamed up with Babycakes to offer a “Buy One, Get One Free” coupon for a cupcake at either of the restaurant’s locations. “We are pleased to team up with Being Alive and offer an incentive for people to get tested,” Babycakes owner Christopher Stavros said in the release. While an appointment is preferred, walk-in clients are welcome. To make an appointment call 619-291-1400.
MISSION HILLS RESIDENTS APPOINTED TO COASTKEEPER COMMUNITY ADVISORY COUNCIL
The San Diego Coastkeeper announced the formation of the first Community Advisory Council on Thursday, Oct. 11. Of the 10 members, two are from Mission Hills: Jenny Kressel and Allison Price. The inaugural council will collaborate with Coastkeeper staff and board members to inform the organization about water quality issues in San Diego County. “San Diego Coastkeeper’s Community Advisory Council will work with us to help us identify and solve the critical issues affecting water quality in our county,” said Coastkeeper board member Micah Mitrosky in a press release. “By connecting with these volunteers through this collaborative committee, we’re ensuring the organization has direct involvement with the community to solve everyday water pollution problems and empower the community as part of those solutions,” he said. The 10 members were selected from nearly 30 applications. Kressel, Price and the rest of the council – Alberto Vasquez, Hector Valtierra, Jessica Toth, Craig Sherman, Harry Orgovan, Taya Lazootin, Margarita Diaz and Brent Alspach – will be formally introduced at the Seaside Soiree on Nov. 15. For more information visit sdcoastkeeper.org.
BABYCAKES LAUNCHES NEW EVENT TO HONOR BIRTHDAYS
Starting Oct. 20, Babycakes Hillcrest will begin a monthly event that will celebrate community birthdays. October is the first month, and the promotion will continue thereafter on every third Sunday of each month. Birthday girl and boy attendees and their friends will enjoy a hosted vodka bar, Babycakes cupcakes, balloons and other drink specials. To RSVP for “your” day, visit babycakessandiego.com or show up and they will accommodate you. Babycakes Hillcrest is located at 3766 Fifth Ave.