Uptown Briefs Aug 30

Old Town brings a Taste of the Past

Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will host the California Department of Parks and Recreation event Taste of the Past from 12 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31. Co-sponsored by Fiesta de Reyes, the Taste of the Past is a culinary event focusing on the foods of early San Diego, a press release stated. In addition to historical food preparation demonstrations in the main plaza, a Dutch Oven Cook Off will be held in Seeley Yard behind The Cosmopolitan Hotel & Restaurant. A number of food purveyors will offer historically based food samples for the Taste of Old Town tour until 4 p.m. Participating restaurants include Barra Barra, Casa de Reyes, The Cosmopolitan, Cousin’s Candy, El Patio, Hacienda De Las Rosas, Hot Licks, La Panderia, RUST General Store, The San Diego House and Viva El Café. While $15 tickets will be available on the day of the event at the Robinson-Rose Visitor Center, organizers recommend purchasing tickets in advance, and proceeds will benefit the restoration of cooking exhibits at the Machado Silvas Museum in the park. For more information visit or call 619-220-5422. The park’s main entrance is located at the intersection of San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street.


Insurance veteran opens Mission Hills office

State Farm Insurance Agent Vladan Trifunovic opened new offices in Mission Hills, located at 928 Fort Stockton Dr. Suite 201. Trifunovic has over 25 years experience with State Farm, and said one of his primary goals is to help educate clients on all aspects of available insurance. “Auto, homeowners and life insurance will continue to represent our core business, but people are always surprised when they find out how much value we offer in other areas,” Trifunovic said in a release. One of the agent’s stated goals is to help his clients retire comfortably. “Most of the people I’ve met over the past 20 years had not taken the time to figure out what they need to do today in order to retire comfortable tomorrow,” he said. For more information call 619-296-6502.


Albert Einstein Academies leadership grows

Straddling South Park and Golden Hill at 3035 Ash St., Albert Einstein Academies (AEA) charter school welcomed two new assistant directors to start the school year, doubling the most recent leadership team, a press release stated. Greta Bouterse is the new assistant director of the elementary school and Barb Robinson is the new assistant director of the middle school, both located at the Uptown campus. Bouterse has worked for AEA as a third- and fourth-grade teacher for 10 years, as well as International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme Coordinator and Student Support Coordinator. In the release, Bouterse said she was eager to begin her new role at the school. New to AEA, Robinson has an extensive background in charter schools with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction. “Joining the AEA team gives me an opportunity to be a part of an innovative and hard-working learning community that is doing great things for students,” she said in the release. Additionally, AEA representatives announced the middle school would be expanding into Grant Hill for the 2014-15 school year, increasing open enrollment to approximately 300 additional students. For more information visit or


Bill expanding abortion providers advances

Written by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, Assembly Bill 154 passed the State Senate Monday, Aug. 26, marking the last significant legislative hurdle, a release from Atkins’ office said. The bill increases the medical professionals who are authorized to perform early aspiration abortions to include nurse practitioners, physicians assistants and certified nurse midwives. The expansion helps to alleviate a shortage of abortion providers throughout the state, the release said. “All women should have timely access to reproductive health care regardless of whether they live in urban or rural areas and without excessive expense or travel,” Atkins said in the release. “Over half of California’s counties lack an abortion provider.” The California Women’s Health Alliance – a coalition of advocacy groups including California Church IMPACT, California Latinas for Reproductive Justice and Black Women for Wellness – is sponsoring the bill, which will return to the Assembly before moving to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature in the next few weeks.


North Park resident elected to United Way board

Omar T. Passons, a North Park resident and community activist was elected to the board of United Way of San Diego County, along with five other new members: Ignacio De La Torre, Jacqueline L. Parks, Kian Saneii, Laurie Berman and Regina V. Evans. Passons is a public works construction, land use and civil litigation lawyer at Stutz Artiano Shinoff & Holtz APC, and currently serves on the North Park Community Association, North Park Planning Group and Lambda Archives San Diego, among others. Board members serve for three years, governing the “affairs and activities” of United Way San Diego County, a press release stated. Members may also serve on sub-committees, including workplace campaigns, finance, public policy and marketing. “We welcome these highly qualified board members to the team,” said President and CEO Doug Sawyer in the announcement. “Each brings a wealth of knowledge and unique perspective to our organization, as we build on our track record of solving education, income, health and homeless issues.” For more information visit


Amanda Baumgarten joins new Waypoint Public

Set to open in the location formerly occupied by The Linkery in early October, Waypoint Public now has the backing of three culinary professional partners: John Pani, Brian Jensen and Amanda Baumgarten. Baumgarten, who left Herringbone in La Jolla, Calif. earlier this year, is the most recent addition to the North Park project, an Aug. 21 press release announced. She joins the group as partner and executive chef. A Southern California native, Baumgarten spent over a decade training and has worked in four different Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as participated in season seven of Bravo’s “Top Chef.” She said she is excited to bring her vision to the North Park neighborhood. “There’s something so compelling about being able to mix and match and pull from all of these amazing different cultures,” she said in the announcement. The 5,000 square foot Waypoint Public will initially open for dinner service only, and the partners have plans to expand to weekend brunch and happy hour as well. Jensen is no stranger to North Park, opening his Bottlecraft beer shop in the area this year. Pani is a San Diego native and founder of the hospitality firm ELE Collective, and currently lives in Kensington. “Growing up in Ocean Beach, I’ve been coming up to North Park pretty much since I could drive,” Pani said in the announcement. “North Park has all of the amazing qualities that a good urban hood should have.” Waypoint Public will be located at 3794 30th St., at North Park Way.


Public input sought on bike sharing

The City Council unanimously approved a bike-sharing initiative July 9, entering into a corporate partnership with DecoBike LLC of Miami, Fla. to provide the services. The program, which is expected to launch in early 2014, will consist of approximately 2,000 bikes, 200 stations and 3,500 bike docks. The website was launched Aug. 16, and both the City and DecoBike are seeking input from residents regarding the placement of the pending network of bike stations. Community feedback is requested regarding bike station placement, which will then be matched with logistical criteria for final selection. Residents have 60 days from Aug. 16 to provide input on locations. Council President Todd Gloria, councilmembers Kevin Faulconer and David Alvarez, and representatives from Move San Diego and the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition announced the need for public input at a press conference Aug. 22. Aside from the website, the City will be using other methods to gather feedback, including community meetings and targeted emails. Several other major cities have bike-sharing programs, including Denver, Miami and Washington.


Lottery scam targets veterans, senior citizens

In a press release Tuesday, Aug. 20, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis warned the public about a lottery scam aimed at local veterans and senior citizens. The scam uses the official San Diego County seal, and named two victims – a retired San Diego couple – as losing more than $20,000 in total from their savings. The couple was told they won a $2.5-million lottery, and perpetrators demanded money for alleged taxes and money transfers, as well as private bank-account information. “These scammers are using the legitimacy of a government seal to prey on vulnerable seniors who served their country. They’ve stolen at least one couple’s hard-earned savings in a brazen example of financial elder abuse,” Dumanis said in the release. The District Attorney said it may be embarrassing for victims to come forward, but is urging additional victims to speak up to help arrest the perpetrators. Individuals who think they have been scammed are asked to call 619-531-3245.


Broadway San Diego adds two shows

Organizers of the 2013-14 season for Broadway San Diego — A Nederlander Presentation added two productions to the lineup: a live broadcast of “A Prairie Home Companion” and “Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience.” The shows will join “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” as “extra season events,” a press release stated. “Potted Potter,” an “entertaining and hilarious” parody, will play November 6 – 10, and “A Prairie Home Companion” will feature sketch comedy, music and Garrison Keillor’s “The News from Lake Wobegon” radio show on Jan. 4, 2014. The season opens Oct. 15 with “Priscilla Queen of the Desert.” Additionally, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” will replace the previously announced “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber,” which organizers said has been postponed for a subsequent season. For complete season dates visit


The Center receives Human Dignity grant

The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation awarded a second-year grant of $25,000 to The San Diego LGBT Community Center in support of the nonprofit’s Senior Services, which is designed to improve the quality of life for LGBT seniors in San Diego. “Focusing our community’s philanthropy on our growing senior population is imperative,” said Foundation President Drew Jack in a release. “With scarce resource available to fully fund the services needed to meet the unique demands of LGBT seniors, it is our responsibility to step up and provide the support.” The Foundation is celebrating its 17th anniversary this year, and has granted close to $4 million to local LGBT groups. For more information visit or call 619-291-3383. To learn more about The Center’s Senior Services, including 50 and Better Together, visit or call 619-692-2077.

Leave a Comment