Uptown Briefs Oct 11

Uptown News wins IFPA award for business coverage

San Diego Uptown News was awarded second place in best Local Business Coverage from the Independent Free Papers of America (IFPA) and Southeastern Advertising Publishers Association (SAPA) Advertising and Editorial Awards. The honor is given out yearly to top publications from across the United States, and first-place honors went to the Oyster Pointer in Newport News, Va. Uptown News is published by San Diego Community News Network, which also publishes San Diego Downtown News and Gay San Diego.


‘Snoopy Plate’ bill signed by Gov. Brown

A bill that Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins authored to help fund state museums was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, announced Oct. 5. AB 482 “The Snoopy Plate Bill” will not only improve the cost effectiveness of the California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) by moving it under the Natural Resources Agency, it will also allow creation of a California automobile license plate bearing an image of the Snoopy character from the “Peanuts” comic strip created by local icon Charles Schulz, a press release from Atkins said. Schulz’s widow recently offered the rights to Snoopy’s likeness to raise money for museums, and funds raised will be allocated through a grant process available to all museums. “California’s museums preserve our cultural identity for future generations while providing enjoyment and education for everyone,” Atkins said in the release. “Snoopy is himself a cultural institution and having his partnership in support of our museums is sure to make a huge difference in keeping them financially strong. I hope everyone will sign up for a Snoopy plate and I thank Governor Brown for signing AB 482.” The Snoopy plate is $50 with an additional $48 fee for personalization through the Department of Motor Vehicles, which will also require 7,500 prepaid requests before starting production. More than 9,200 Californians have already pledged to buy the plate, according to the California Association of Museums.


Uptown faith community to hold Oktoberfest

Set for Oct. 19 from 6 – 10 p.m., the Uptown Faith Community Service Center will be staging their Oktoberfest event, including German food and music, and a silent auction benefiting the Center’s Ministry to the Poor and Homeless. The Oktoberfest will be held at Top of the Park at Park Manor Suites, 525 Spruce St. Tickets are $50. “With a tasty German-style buffet, the gala event will feature continuous music for dancing and singing by the local group Well Actually, performing seven floors above the renovated Top of the Park with its sweeping view of Balboa Park, Downtown San Diego and Coronado,” organizers said in a press release. Uptown Faith Community Service Center represents 11 community churches and offers free assistance for low-income individuals and families, including mailing address pickup, computer use, hygiene kits, food distribution and legal assistance, among others. The Center is located at 3101-B 30th St. in North Park. Uptown Faith Director J. D. MacDonald said costumes for the event are welcome, though optional. For more information and tickets visit or call Rick Koenig at 619-252-2294 or the Center at 619-281-8411.


African culture celebrated Oct 18 – 27

Now in its second year, the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement District (BID) has organized African Restaurant Week to highlight several African restaurants and businesses as well as African culture in Uptown. The BID partners with the Horn of Africa, International Rescue Committee, City Heights CDC, Media Arts Center San Diego and the World Beat Center to “shed a positive light on San Diego’s recently settled African community,” organizers said. African Restaurant Week runs Friday, Oct. 18 – 27 with an opening-night event Oct. 18 from 6 – 10 p.m. at North Park’s Media Arts Center. Located at 2921 El Cajon Blvd., the Arts Center event will include an Ethiopian drum call and coffee ceremony, African cuisine tasting from participating restaurants, a performance by Roosevelt IB Middle School and San Diego Creative Arts Project, live music by Akayaa and Bolga Zahdoomah and the movie screening of “La Priogue.” Restaurants include Awash Ethiopian Restaurant, Flavors of East Africa, Laylah’s Patties & Jerk, Awash Market & Restaurant, Fatuma’s Restaurant, Red Sambusas Catering and WorldBeat Cultural Center’s One World Café. Throughout the rest of the week, additional African-related films will be screened at the Arts Center, free cooking classes on Ethiopian and Somali cuisine will be offered at participating restaurants, and a closing ceremony at Balboa Park’s WorldBeat Cultural Center is planned at 6 p.m. Tickets for the Oct. 18 opening event are $10, with various prices throughout the week during the film series. The closing ceremony is $6. For more information visit or call the BID at 619-283-3608. 


Spirits of Mexico Fest crowns winning spirits

Held Sept. 17 – 21 in Old Town, the 10th annual Spirits of Mexico Festival crowned the 2013 top agave sprits in the world after an intensive, blind tasting of more than 100 entries. For the first time in the event’s history, two spirits were crowned Best in Show, the competition’s highest award: Herradura Anejo Tequila and Desaire Joven Edicion Especial Espadin Mezcal. “The unprecedented tie for Best in Show, the competition’s highest honor, stunned all,” said Festival founder and Director Dori Bryant in a press release. “This is the first time that a tequila anejo as well as a mezcal took top marks. … We are pleased to congratulate both of these formidable brands.” Interim Mayor Todd Gloria presented the Festival with official proclamations naming Sept. 17 – 21 as “Spirits of Mexico Week,” and said the event “tears down cultural walls, fences [and] barriers in appreciation of one thing: the joy, passion and pride of truly exceptional agave-based spirits.” Best in Class winners were Excellia (for Tequila Blanco), Tapatio 110 proof (Blanco Overproof), Herradura (Tequila Reposado and Tequila Anejo) and Desaire Joven Edicion Especial Espadin (Mezcal).


Kensington Resident earns top attorney rating

Micaela P. Banach of Kensington was one of five Kirby Noonan Lane & Hoge, LLP lawyers who earned the AV Preeminent Peer Review rating. Banach, Ethan T. Boyer, Jason M. Kirby, Jacob M. Slania and Christopher T. Wright now join the rest of the partners in the firm at this level. “An AV rating is a nationally recognized acknowledgment of an attorney’s accomplishments and skills, and honors attorneys who have reached the highest level of professional excellence,” said Managing Partner Charles T. Hoge in a press release. “We are especially proud of all our partners.” At the firm, Banach focus her practice on general business and commercial disputes, including employment, professional liability, real estate, products liability and personal injury matters, the release said. The Martindale-Hubble AV Preeminent rating has been awarded for more than 130 years, and is the highest-possible rating for a lawyer based on ethical standards and ability. It is only awarded after peer nomination.


Rep. Davis cosponsors bill for retroactive pay to furloughed workers

Regardless of their furlough status, the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act (H.R. 3223) will ensure federal employees impacted by the current government shutdown receive retroactive pay for the duration of the shutdown, often called sequestration. Congressmember Susan Davis cosponsored the bill, announced the second day of the government closure Oct. 2. “I am hearing from many constituents who are anxious about being able to pay bills,” Davis said in a release. “Federal workers are innocent victims caught in the middle of this fight. These are dedicated people who proudly serve the American people. … They should not suffer because a small number in Congress insist on shutting the government down over an ideological crusade.” The government shutdown is due to the failure of the House and Senate to pass a budget, with House Republicans seeking to halt key points of the Affordable Care Act. Covered California, the state-based health insurance exchange, went live Oct. 1. In the San Diego region there are more than 45,000 federal workers, many who have been placed on furlough status, the release said.


2014 HIV Funding Collaborative accepting proposals

Following the successful AIDS Walk, Run & Street Challenge Sept. 29, the San Diego HIV Funding Collaborative, in partnership with AIDS Walk, is requesting proposals for the 2014 grant year. A program of The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation, the Collaborative has overseen the grant process from funds raised by the AIDS Walk, Alliance Healthcare Foundation and The McCarthy Family Foundation, among others, since its inception in 1990. The competitive request for proposals is open to community-based organizations providing HIV/AIDS prevention and education, or care and treatment programs and services, the website states. In order to help with the process, the Human Dignity Foundation will host a technical assistance meeting Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 12 p.m. at their offices, located at 2508 Historic Decatur Rd. Development Associate Janelle Hickey asked that interested participants for the Oct. 16 meeting RSVP to her directly: or 619-291-3383. Completed proposals must be submitted electronically by Nov. 1 at 5 p.m. to Human Dignity Foundation Executive Director John Brown at For complete information including the downloadable proposal form, visit


Donations accepted for Being Alive yard sale

Being Alive San Diego’s two-day fundraising yard sale is scheduled for Oct. 19 – 20, and the nonprofit is currently accepting donations. The yard sale will be held from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. each day at their offices, located at 4070 Centre St. and is completely conducted with donated items from clients and community members, a press release said. Proceeds from the sale benefit Being Alive’s food bank, Daniel’s Pantry, serving over 950 clients each month. Founded in 1989, the nonprofit is one of the longest-running AIDS service organizations in San Diego. Individuals with new or gently used items to donate are asked to contact Harrison McCall at 619-291-1400, extension 320 for accepted items and drop-off information.

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