‘Fish Public’ announced as new venture for former Kensington Grill space
Announced Tuesday, April 9, Urban Kitchen Group founder Tracy Borkum will bring her newest venture to the former space of Kensington Grill, located at 4055 Adams Ave. Opened in 1995, Borkum and the Urban Kitchen Group closed Kensington Grill on March 30. “Kensington Grill was, without a doubt, the catalyst to a beautiful beginning for the Urban Kitchen Group and, although a difficult goodbye, we are excited to be embarking on a new journey in our special old home,” Borkum wrote in an open letter. Called Fish Public, the new restaurant is set to open May or June of this year, and Borkum also announced Jordan Davis will be the restaurant’s executive chef. Davis comes to Fish Public after successful work at San Francisco’s Boulevard Restaurant and Los Angeles’ Animal Restaurant. “I’m so inspired by San Diego as a collaborative culinary community,” Davis said in a press release. “It’s exciting to not only be working with Tracy, one of the most celebrated restaurateurs in the city, but also to be joining the ranks of such esteemed local chefs.” Davis received “Top Chef Recognition” in his 1999 graduation class from California Culinary Academy and spent six years as sous chef at Boulevard. In 2011, after working in Atlanta, Davis began at Animal. “Coming from larger markets like San Francisco and Los Angeles, the areas tend to be over-saturated. San Diego has a very exciting spark to it and you can’t find better ingredients anywhere else in the world,” he said.
HBA Beautification Committee seeks public input
Hillcrest Business Association Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls and the organization’s Beautification Committee are organizing a community walkabout, in part to gain feedback from residents and business owners on potential projects for the committee. The walkabout will take place Thursday, April 18 at 5 p.m. Discussed in a recent committee meeting, Nicholls said the group will be walking the neighborhood to take notes on projects the group could oversee in the future. The HBA will supply clipboards and maps, and Nicholls is asking interested individuals to contact him for more information. “I want people to feel as though they can get involved ahead of time,” he said. The group will meet at the intersection of Fifth and Robinson avenues, and will walk the western area of Hillcrest before taking a shuttle to the eastern area for a similar walk. Organizers said they hope to finish by 6:30 p.m. Contact the HBA at 619-299-3330.
International mobile app company chooses Old Town as headquarters
Citing proximity to San Diego public transportation, the mobile technology company Parallel 6 announced they would be moving their headquarters into Old Town to provide direct access to their Baja, Mexico office. “Parallel 6 strategically chose this area because of its central location in San Diego and proximity to the trolley line, which runs directly to the U.S.-Mexico border,” the announcement said. Previously stationed in Bankers Hill, their new office space is located at 3990 Old Town Ave. Launched in 2009, Parallel 6 created Captive Reach, a mobile platform used in multiple industries to allow businesses to better understand mobile consumer trends. Current clients include Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Payson Petroleum. “The growth of our office space reflects our belief in the work we’re providing our clients,” said Parallel 6 President and CEO David Turner in the announcement. “We understand that businesses can no longer afford to miss out on connecting with their customers on the go.” Now based in Old Town, the company has development offices in Mexico, Ukraine and China.
North Park resident selected as associate VP at The San Diego Foundation
Karen Begin was selected as associate vice president of charitable giving at The San Diego Foundation, and will oversee fundraising for The Foundation’s Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement. A North Park resident, Begin joined The Foundation as the nonprofit’s first development director in 2009. “Karen has been a tremendous asset to The Foundation and has played an integral role in sustaining a well-rounded, creative and environmentally stable community by generating awareness, enhancing programs, increasing support and promoting active participation among community leaders, citizens and non-profit organizations since joining our team,” said Adrienne Vargas, vice president of Charitable Giving, in a press release. “We are thrilled to have her in this vital role.” Begin will also work with Vargas and the Charitable Giving team to cultivate relationships with potential donors, and was most recently working directly with The Foundation’s CEO Bob Kelly to grow the organization’s Founding Fifty group. “Karen has been instrumental in the fundraising efforts for cultivating new members,” Kelly said in the release. “I look forward to continue working with her to make the dreams of San Diego residents for our region … become a reality.” Before 2009, Begin was the development director for North Coast Repertory Theater.
El Take It Easy to close April 22
North Park’s El Take It Easy restaurant located at 3926 30th St. will be closing April 22, after three years. Owner Jay Porter made the announcement on the company’s website Monday, April 8. “Sometimes it happens really suddenly,” he wrote. “You just wake up with a clear vision that things have changed, and realize that you’ve already moved on. In that way, I’m very pleased to acknowledge that El Take It Easy has run its course.” The restaurant both built and sustained a following for Baja, Mexico cuisine north of the border, an accomplishment Porter said was thrilling. Porter also owns The Linkery, several blocks from El Take It Easy. “These last couple weeks of service are a time to enjoy all that this project has been,” Porter wrote. “I can’t say it’s been a financially successful project, but it was sure a fun one.” Porter also said a new restaurant and bar, which he is currently planning, will open at the location in May. “We’re working out the details and should know enough to share more in a week or two,” he said.
South Park water harvesting bike tour dates set
The San Diego Sustainable Living Institute will host a water harvesting bicycle tour, showcasing rainwater and greywater harvesting sites from North Park to South Park. Starting at Olive Branch Green Building Supply, located at 3030 North Park Way, Institute members will lead the group by focusing on locations that are currently harvesting rainwater in tanks and barrels, or harvesting greywater to irrigate their yards. “Participants will see over seven unique households showcasing both professional and do-it-yourself applications of rainwater and greywater harvesting,” organizers said in a release. There will be water harvesting professionals on hand and the tour will culminate with a workshop showing people how to install greywater systems. “Rainwater and greywater systems are an effective and cost-efficient way to save water,” organizers said. “Simple greywater systems can be installed for under $200 and can save a family 16,000 gallons of water a year.” Held April 20, the bicycle tour is from 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. followed by the workshop from 2 – 5 p.m. For more information visit sdsustainable.org or call 619-884-7749.
SANDAG: regional crime rates up; remain lowest in 30 years
San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) released the 2012 annual crime report Wednesday, April 10, showing a rise in regional violent and property crime rates in the San Diego region. The report includes statistics for years 1983 through 2012. With an increase for the first time since 2001 and 2003, the 2012 rates remain among the lowest in the past 30 years, SANDAG said. Violent crime, including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, rose 7 percent, while property crime rate, which includes burglary, larceny and motor vehicle theft, rose 6 percent. Homicides across the region saw the greatest one-year increase, with 107 reported in 2012. This marks a 30 percent increase from 2011. Comparatively, SANDAG said homicides peaked at 278 in 1991 and decreased to 86 in 1998. In 2010, there were 67 reported homicides. “Despite the recent upswing in crime, it is important to remember that the rates we are seeing today are still among the lowest in the past 30 years,” said Dr. Cynthia Burke, SANDAG director of criminal justice research, in the release. “With that said, we are continuing to closely monitor the trend reversal and factors that may be contributing to it.” Burke said significant cuts in crime prevention and law enforcement resources may be factors. “In addition, recent legislation has put new strains on law enforcement by shifting an increasing number of offenders and ex-offenders from state supervision to local supervision,” she said. The report includes data from 18 cities and the unincorporated areas of San Diego County. The full report can be found at sandag.org/cj.
Uptown’s Viva Pops makes appearance at Coachella
Viva Pops, located at 3330 Adams Ave., is making their first appearance at the Coachella Valley Music Festival, taking place Friday – Sunday, April 12 – 14 and April 19 – 21. To help celebrate the occasion, the business will be offering a special contest at their Coachella booth that will continue after the festival is over. Called a “Golden Ticket” special, patrons who receive a Viva Pop with the words “Pop Star” on the stick will win a custom cooler full of 12 Viva Pops popsicles, called “paletas.” “We love our local San Diego community so much,” said founder Lisa Altmann in a press release. “All the love from our local fans is truly what makes our business so great. So of course we wanted to offer a special treat in our San Diego location.”
Delores Jacobs one of eight women honored by Toni Atkins
Assemblymember Toni Atkins honored eight women from the 78th District during Women’s History Month, including The San Diego LGBT Center Executive Director Dr. Delores Jacobs. “The women I am honoring today have worked tirelessly to improve their communities and the lives of others,” Atkins said in a press release. Jacobs was honored with Lee Haydu, Del Mar City Council; Mary Herron, former Coronado mayor and councilmember; Carrie Downey, former Coronado councilmember; Sara Moser, supporter of Planned Parenthood and family planning; Lesa Heeber, current Solana Beach councilmember and former mayor; Patricia McCoy, former Imperial Beach councilmember; and Diane Rose, former councilmember and mayor of Imperial Beach. A reception was held at the Assemblymember’s office where each received their award. “They are ideal role models for both young women and young men who aspire to make a difference through service,” Atkins said. “I thank them all for helping to make the 78th Assembly District a vibrant, diverse and outstanding place to live.”
SD Pride appoints four new board members
San Diego LGBT Pride welcomed four new members to the organization’s board of directors that focus on youth and diversity, representatives announced March 22. “The board of directors of San Diego LGBT Pride is now more diverse with regard to age and ethnicity than any in our 39 year history,” said William Rodriguez-Kennedy, Pride co-chair, in the announcement. “These four new members and this board represent a new generation of leadership for Pride and San Diego’s LGBT community.” Joining the board are Rick Cervantes, Cassandra Perando, Carlos Salazar and Matthew Verdeflor, all aged 25 – 26 years old. Cervantes has been volunteering for Pride for seven years, and is the currently on the marketing and public relations team at Mo’s Universe. Perando joins the board as one of three military veterans, after serving with the United States Navy. Salazar, a current finance consultant, has studied political science, nonprofit management and marketing. Verdeflor is an associate with a local accounting firm, and organizers said he will bring “valuable accounting skills” to the board. “You can expect great things from this group of dedicated leaders, and it will be my honor lead them as we move forward,” Rodriguez-Kennedy said. Cervantes, Perando, Salazar and Verdeflor join Rodriguez-Kennedy on the board along with Ebony Aldridge, Dion Brown, Jaime Carrillo, Romer De Los Santos, Tiffany Gonzalez, Joe Mayer and Jennifer Sieber. Board emeriti are Jeri Dilno, Debra McEntee, Doug Moore and Judi Schaim.