Kevin Faulconer to be San Diego’s next mayor
Winning by a larger margin than most anticipated, Republican Councilmember Kevin Faulconer defeated fellow Councilmember David Alvarez in the mayoral runoff election on Feb. 11. Although he won’t be confirmed until later this month when all votes have been counted and verified, Faulconer garnered 54.5 percent of the vote compared to Alvarez’s 45.5 percent with all precincts reporting.
“We know that this city has gone through a lot in the last year, but we knew that as San Diegans that we were better than that and that we were going to come together when we had the opportunity to do that and come together we have,” Faulconer said shortly before Alvarez bowed out of the race.
After what The New York Times deemed an unusually partisan race for San Diego, Faulconer will become the only Republican mayor in any of the U.S.’s 10 largest cities. He will vacate his District 2 council seat, and because there was less than one year remaining on his term, the City Council can now appoint someone to fill his seat. This could pose a challenge to Faulconer and City Council Republicans; if the council’s democratic majority names a Democrat to fill Faulconer’s seat, the Democrats will have a 6 – 3 majority, giving them the six votes needed to override a mayoral veto.
Uptown Planners to hold election
The Uptown Planners will hold an election at their March 4 meeting, where three seats on the board will open up. The four-year terms for the three new planners will begin in April. Applicants must be a resident, property owner or business owner or operator in Uptown; have attended three meetings within the last 12 months; and have a membership application on file. The deadline for submitting an application is Feb. 25. Those that wish to vote in the election must present proof of property or business ownership or residency. Photocopies are acceptable. Ballots will be distributed at 6:30 p.m., which was pushed back from 6 p.m. because of a scheduling conflict with Hillcrest Fat Tuesday. To obtain an application or for further questions, email Election Chair Joe Naskar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museum Month at Balboa Park
Museum Month is back for its 25th year to offer half-price admission to 44 San Diego museums until Feb. 28.
To participate, pick up Museum Month passes at any Macy’s in San Diego, Temecula or Imperial Valley. A pass gets up to four visitors admission into participating museums for half price. Each pass is good for one museum.
For a complete list of participating museums, visit sandiegomuseumcouncil.org.
Balboa Park Rose Garden receives prestigious honor
Earlier this month, the Inez Grant Parker Memorial Rose Garden in Balboa Park was inducted into the Great Rosarians of the World (GROW) Rose Garden Hall of Fame. The induction took place at the Huntington Library in San Marino on Feb. 2 during the annual GROW lecture series. Former president of the San Diego Rose Society Dick Streeper accepted the award. He played an integral role in the garden’s creation.
Balboa Park’s rose garden was dedicated in 1975 thanks to contributions of The Parker Society, which was founded by the San Diego Rose Society, local horticultural companies and Inez Grant Parker, whom the garden is dedicated to. Today, it displays approximately 1,600 roses of nearly 200 varieties.
With this recent honor, it joins the Hall of Fame alongside the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden and the David Austin Rose Garden in Albrighton, England.
Second Annual Winter Brew Fest returns to Balboa Park
On Feb. 22, the Second Annual Winter Brew Fest will take place at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park, celebrating craft beer from San Diego and beyond. Thirty-seven breweries, including several from Uptown will participate as well, such as Hess Brewing and Hillcrest Brewing Company. San Diego-based Soda Pants and Huntington Beach’s Headshine will provide live music.
The two-part event begins with a VIP Power Hour at 6 p.m. leading into the General Admission Session from 7 – 10 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit sandiegobrewfest.com. General Admission tickets are $40 in advance, $50 on day of the event. VIP is $50 advance, $60 day of.
Beauty by Dolly matches donation to American Heart Association
In celebration of American Heart Month, San Diego hair-removal studio Beauty by Dolly is matching donations of up to $1,500 to the San Diego Division of the American Heart Association made in February through the Beauty by Dolly fundraising page. Its founders, Dolly Bakashai and Kashmira Tori, lost their mother to an unforeseen aneurysm late last year. No purchase is required to participate. Donations can be made at honor.americanheart.org/goto/beautybydolly.
San Diego among potential U.S. host cities for 2024 Summer Olympics
NBC San Diego reported this month that San Diego’s Olympic Exploratory Committee Chair Vincent Mudd claims the city has a good chance of making the short list of U.S. cities selected as the potential host city for the Summer Games in 2024.
San Diego was one of the 34 cities approached by the U.S. Olympic Committee to make a bid for the prestigious honor. Since then, Mudd claims the Exploratory Committee has found San Diego to be a good candidate because of its large number of hotel rooms, history of hosting large sporting events and existing infrastructure. One potential hurdle could be the absence of a consistent mayor, reported NBC. Government stability is looked at closely by the U.S. Olympic Committee, said Mudd.
San Diego’s committee expects to find out whether it has made the short list by April. The U.S. committee plans to pick its host city by 2015.
Hillcrest shuttle service rolls out new trolley
The Uptown Community Parking District put its new, bright-red trolley into action on Jan. 31. The trolley is part of a free service that shuttles passengers from one end of Hillcrest to the other. Its route begins at the ParkHillcrest valet station near the intersection of Fifth and University avenues, and heads west to the Hillcrest DMV. Riders can catch the trolley at several stops along University Ave. as well. This service is available both Friday and Saturday evenings from 5 – 11 p.m. and runs on Sundays from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. to coincide with the Hillcrest Farmers’ Market.
“This free service is made possible by the City allocating a percentage of area parking meter funds to us,” Uptown Community Parking District’s Elizabeth Hannon said. “This is not only a great convenience for our residents, but works to improve both parking and traffic issues.”
For more information, visit parkhillcrest.com.
City to receive community input on Uptown trolley line
After continued interest by community planning groups in a railed trolley running through Uptown, the City has scheduled a public input session for the Uptown Streetcar Feasibility Study on March 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the St. Paul’s Cathedral Guild Room at 2728 Sixth Ave.
The public is encouraged to attend so city officials can receive input and concerns from residents.
“We need to get input from the public about all aspects of this plan,” said Uptown Community Parking District Board President Tim Gahagan. “This includes possible routes, trolley design, as well as who would actually ride it, and why. This is a golden opportunity for Uptown residents to weigh in on the subject.”
Gahagan added that the trolley plan could include either railed track, or simply a wheeled vehicle that could operate on current streets with no additional construction. “All these things will be discussed at the meeting,” Gahagan said. “No part of the plan has been officially started, so everything is on the table. If you feel strongly about this issue, then this is your chance to chime in.”
Health Fair and grand opening celebration
The new Hillcrest Pride Pharmacy will hold its Grand Opening Health Fair on March 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Taking the space previously occupied by Blockbuster on 1270 University Ave. in the Hillcrest Colonnade, Pride Pharmacy will offer complimentary glucose and blood pressure screening to all interested, as well as free goodie bags for children and adults. Founded in 2012, Pride Pharmacy offers prescription services, HIV and STD/STI education classes, and several other health services to the Hillcrest community. For more information, visit pridepharmacysd.com.