City Council pursues plastic-bag ban
The City Council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee discussed a citywide ban on plastic bags at the committee’s regular meeting, held Wednesday, Sept. 11. Chaired by Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner, the committee helped craft a “plastic bag reduction ordinance” to reduce plastic carryout bags at supermarkets and large retail outlets, a press release from Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said. In 2013, Senate Bill 405, proposing a similar ban for the entire state, failed by three votes. Currently, Solana Beach, Calif. is the only San Diego County city that enforces a plastic-bag ban. “In [Fiscal Year 2013], the Environmental Services Department spent approximately $160,000 on the abatement of plastic bag litter, including controlling wind-blown plastic bags at the Miramar Landfill and abating plastic bags in rights of way and on city property throughout the city,” the committee report states. Gloria will seek further input from the city’s Environmental Services Department and the City Attorney’s office before the ordinance is presented to the full council. “A plastic bag reduction ordinance simply makes sense,” Gloria said in the release. “Our neighborhoods, our beaches, our waterways, our landfills and our overall environment will benefit from fewer plastic bags.” Lightner’s committee will see a progress report at its Oct. 23 meeting.
Old Town to host ‘Fiestas Patrias’
Sponsored by California State Parks, Boosters of Old Town and local businesses, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park will host a “traditional Mexican Independence celebration,” organizers said, on Saturday, Sept. 14 from 12 – 5 p.m. Called Fiestas Patrias, the free festival commemorates the date when Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821. At that time, “Alta California” was still part of Mexico. The festival kicks off with a bell ringing at Casa de Estudillo, followed by an “El Grito” contest, parade and an address from the Mexican Consulate. The parade, scheduled for 12:30 p.m., is welcome to all. A stage will be placed in the State Park plaza, with free, traditional entertainment and demonstrations scheduled throughout the day. “Doin’ the Grito, San Diego Style” – showing the origin and meaning of Fiestas Patrias – will be performed at 12:10 and 4 p.m., and the female equestrian group Escaramuzas Golondrinas, and Luis Max & Blue Moon will also perform. The Historic Park is located on San Diego Avenue and Twiggs Street in Old Town. For more information visit parks.ca.gov/oldtownsandiego/ or call 619-220-5422.
Uptown included in annual Coastal Cleanup Day
In honor of the 29th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day – a initiative that sees over 60,000 volunteers throughout California taking to waterways, canyons and streets in a communal effort to pick up trash, clean graffiti and remove invasive plants – I Love a Clean San Diego is once again organizing groups to target local sites in San Diego County. Last year over 9,000 volunteers in the greater San Diego region removed approximately 167,000 pounds of trash and recyclables, a release from the nonprofit said. Of the 90 total county locations, five sites in Uptown are targeted for this year’s cleanup, to be held Sept. 21: Juniper Canyon in Golden Hill, Maple Canyon in Park West, Marston Canyon in Hillcrest, Switzer Canyon in South Park and a neighborhood cleanup in Mission Hills. The cleanup is from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., and organizers recommend bringing a bucket, work gloves and a reusable water container. There will be captains at each site, and interested volunteers can register for any site at cleanupday.org. For more information visit ilacsd.org or call 619-291-0103.
Museum Docent Council fall lectures, tours begin
The San Diego Museum of Art Executive Director Roxana Velásquez will lead the opening lecture in the Museum Docent Council’s 2013-14 lecture and tour series on Friday, Sept. 20. Museum lectures will take place every third Friday of the month at 10 a.m., followed by a docent-led tour at 11:30 a.m. Velásquez will discuss “The Lure of the Orient: Orientalism in the 19th Century.” In October, Ive Covaci, adjunct professor of art history at Fairfield University, will lead the discussion “Images for Personal Devotion in Japanese Buddhist Art.” Art historian John Marciari will discuss European paintings in the museum’s permanent collection Nov. 15; UC San Diego faculty director Matthew T. Herbst will discuss Ottoman Istanbul Dec. 20. The series continues through May 16, 2014, ending with University of San Diego art professor and former museum Director Derrick Cartwright discussing “Robert Henri’s California Realism.” Individual tickets are $13 for members ($16 guests) and series tickets are $99 for members ($126 guests). Discounts are available for seniors, students and military, and all lectures take place in the museum’s James S. Copley Auditorium, located at 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park. Additionally, the Docent Council has organized a series of daylong Docent Bus Tours to venues outside San Diego. Velásquez will attend the Oct. 10 tour to museums in Tijuana and Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Two tours are scheduled for 2014 – Los Angeles and Pasadena, Calif. – and the bus leaves the Old Naval Hospital in Balboa Park at 8 a.m., with various return times. Cost is $120 for members ($135 guests). For more information visit thesandiegomuseumofart.org or call 619-232-7931.
North Park resident named Honored Hero for annual walk
Tanaja Potts, a North Park resident and Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor, was named an Honored Hero for this year’s annual Light The Night Walk, a fundraising and awareness-building event for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Potts, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer when she was 17 years old, will be honored at the Nov. 8 Light The Night Walk held in Petco Park. Now 25, she has been in remission since 2006. “In high school, I had so many aspirations and my whole life ahead of me. The last thing on my mind was cancer,” Potts said in a press release. “It was extremely difficult for me to understand what was going on at the time and battling cancer has forever changed my life.” This will be Potts’ second time participating in the walk, and Senior Campaign Manager Joanna Winsborough said Potts is “without a doubt” an Honored Hero. “She was put in a very difficult situation and not only beat it, but she received her high school diploma concurrently. That’s remarkable and we hope others will get involved and join her team,” Winsborough said in the release. For more information and to help with fundraising goals, visit lightthenight.org/sd/ or call 858-277-1800.
Water pollution, coastal protection bills move forward
During a busy State Assembly session, two separate bills by Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins that focus on environmental protections and combatting water pollution will now move to Gov. Jerry Brown’s office for his signature. Assembly Bill (AB) 425 would require the state to address water pollution caused by copper-based, anti-fouling hull paint, a press release said. If signed by Gov. Brown, the Department of Pesticide Regulation would be instructed to evaluate whether the paint – which is currently used to keep boat hulls free from barnacles and algae – is harmful to other marine animals and plants. Atkins said Shelter Island Yacht Basin in San Diego Bay has been ordered to reduce its copper pollution by 76 percent by 2022. The separate bill, AB 976, would enable the California Coastal Commission to levy penalties against individuals and companies that disregard orders to stop violating the 1976 voter-approved California Coastal Act, a second release said. “As a former Coastal Commissioner, I can testify that the Commission urgently needs the penalty authority provided by this measure to deter Coastal Act violations and help protect coastal access to all Californians,” Assemblymember Mark Stone said in the release. Gov. Brown has until Oct. 13 to sign or veto the measures.
‘San Diego, I Love You’ returns in 2013-14 lineup
The Circle Circle dot dot theater company announced their 2013-14 season lineup, including a new edition of this year’s “San Diego, I Love You.” Called “San Diego, I Love You 2.0,” the production, written by Samantha Ginn and Julio Jacobo, returns February 2014 and this time, the site-specific play takes over University Heights. The new season opens with the single evening fundraiser “Morp 2013: A Dead Man’s Party,” on Oct. 26. Held at the Centro Cultural de la Raza in Balboa Park, the night will feature a premiere performance of “A Haunting in San Diego,” in association with So Say We All. From Dec. 5 – 21, playwright Katherine Harroff returns with “Bearded,” a “true-life tale” of San Diego mall Santas, a press release said. The show will be performed at the 10th Ave. Theatre in Downtown. After “San Diego, I Love You 2.0,” the Circle Circle dot dot season closes with “There’s No Place Like Home,” also at the 10th Ave. Theatre. Written by Soroya Rowley and presented in April 2014, the play allows the audience to “discover the un-observed lives of San Diego’s homeless population through poetry, music and movement,” the release stated. Tickets are currently on sale for “Morp 2013” and “Bearded,” and the nonprofit theater group’s final production of the 2012-13 ended with an encore performance of “The Warriors’ Duet,” which was sold out at this year’s San Diego Fringe Festival. For more information visit circle2dot2.com.
Rainbow crosswalks could become reality in Hillcrest
As reported in San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (SDGLN), several community members have begun a campaign to install rainbow crosswalks in Hillcrest, similar to those approved for West Hollywood, Calif. The Los Angeles-based artist who came up with the concept, Martin Duvander, told SDGLN that the L.A. crosswalks were in part a symbol of LGBT rights. Hillcrest Business Association (HBA) Executive Director Benjamin Nicholls is credited with organizing the Hillcrest campaign, saying the HBA would take the lead, SDGLN said. In an interview for ABC 10 News, Nicholls said the rainbow crosswalks were a way to both improve and brand the neighborhood. A potential location discussed for the crosswalk is the intersection of Normal Street and University Avenue, leading to the Hillcrest Pride Flag Monument. The HBA spearheaded the monument as well. “It’ll bring color and energy, but it’ll also speak to the diversity and welcoming nature of Hillcrest,” Nicholls said to 10 News. If the HBA board votes to approve the project, it would then be considered by the city.