PLAZA DE PANAMA PROJECT MOVES FORWARD
On Aug. 21, Superior Court Judge Gregory W. Pollack determined that the Balboa Park’s Plaza de Panama project’s proposed funding mechanism was legal, clearing it to move forward.
This ruling follows Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer’s decision in 2016 to revive the dormant project, which faced many legal challenges. It was originally proposed by former Mayor Jerry Sanders and approved by the City Council in 2012.
Balboa Park, a nationally recognized landmark, attracts more than 12 million visitors every year and a majority of these visitors arrive by car. The project aims to remove traffic from Balboa Park’s center; create 6.3 acres of parkland, gardens and pedestrian-friendly plazas; and increase parking.
It will be financed through a combination of paid parking revenues in the new underground garage, city funds earmarked for major capital projects, and private philanthropy led by the Plaza de Panama Committee and its chairman Dr. Irwin Jacobs.
“After years of costly delays, the city can begin the work of transforming Balboa Park into the cultural center and economic driver it is meant to be,” San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliot said.
“This project will mark the largest investment in Balboa Park in decades and transform the plaza to its original grandeur with acres of new park space for San Diegans to enjoy,” Faulconer said.
City officials will lead the construction and work with the Plaza de Panama Committee on the project’s design. Contractors will be selected through a competitive bidding process with a projected groundbreaking in 2019.
HILLCREST FIRE STATION NOW UP-AND-RUNNING
Fire Station No. 5 officially swung open its doors this week.
The Hillcrest fire station is the fourth to open this year, joining the neighborhoods of City Heights, Little Italy, Mission Valley and Point Loma.
The new, two-story facility is located on 3902 Ninth Ave. and replaces the original station first built in 1951. The 10,731-square-foot building includes two-and-a-half apparatus bays, nine dormitories, a kitchen, a day room, a watch room, an exercise room, and a lounge. The bays house a fire engine, a battalion chief vehicle and a utility vehicle. The dormitories sleep one battalion chief, two captains and six firefighters.
The station’s crew handled more than 2,500 service calls in 2017 and responded to more than 1,600 calls from January to July 2018, according to Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Stowell.
“Fire Station 5 will provide Hillcrest and the greater Uptown community with much-needed and deserved public safety resources and personnel,” City Councilmember Chris Ward said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “With the addition of this state-of-the-art facility, residents will have access to excellent neighborhood services that will ensure the quality of life of the community as it continues grow.”
Along with Stowell and Ward, Mayor Faulconer and Assembly member Todd Gloria also attended the ceremony.
“This new fire station in Hillcrest is just the latest example of this surge in community projects that will benefit our neighborhoods for generations to come,” Faulconer said during the event.
To view video footage of the grand opening held on Aug. 20, visit bit.ly/hillcrest-fire-station.
PIGMENT OPENS NEW LOCATION
Pigment, a North Park retail store, debuted a second location in Liberty Station on Aug. 21.
The store is known for its offering of locally made goods, unique gifts, and furniture. It aims to cater to both women and men with its products.
The new 5,000-square-foot building is located on Sims Road in the heart of the Arts District Liberty Station.
“Transforming Liberty Station’s historic Building 11 (a former naval post office and quartermaster’s store), Pigment’s new outpost serves as both an experiential concept and as a haven for product launches, community events, family-centric meet-ups and more,” according to a press release.
New elements include a larger plant and succulent section — including an indoor/outdoor plant lab and interactive terrarium bar — and a wrap-around patio deck with picnic tables for private events. The family-friendly establishment will still host its Toddler Time series, where parents and children gather for story time and sing-alongs.
Its original Uptown store opened back in 2007. For previous coverage about Pigment and Amy Paul, visit bit.ly/uptown-pigment.
RADY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL PARTNERS WITH UNITEDHEALTHCARE
San Diego and UnitedHealthcare established a new network relationship, giving Californians enrolled in UnitedHealthcare Medi-Cal plans access to Rady Children’s Hospital, facilities and physicians in Southern California. Rady’s facilities, physicians and care providers share United HealthCare’s commitment to improving access to quality care, enhancing clinical outcomes, lowering the costs of care and creating an exceptional patient experience.
UnitedHealthcare of California serves more than 3 million people enrolled in Medi-Cal, Medicare, and employer-sponsored and individual health plans with a network of 403 hospitals and approximately 100,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.
ANNUAL SUFFRAGE PARADE RETURNS TO BALBOA PARK
The Women’s Museum of California invites the community to celebrate Women’s Equality Day this Sunday in Balboa Park. The annual Suffrage Parade commemorates the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on Aug. 20, 1920.
Participants are encouraged to dress up in white, wear sashes and buttons, and wave Suffrage, Equal Pay, #MeToo, Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and feminist movement signs to celebrate the journey of women’s rights from 1848 to today.
The event will commence at 4 p.m. in the lawn area across from the Organ Pavilion, located at 2125 Pan American Road East. In addition to the Suffrage Parade through the Prado and Organ Pavilion areas, the day will also feature reenactments of famous women’s rights activists.
For more details, visit bit.ly/WomenParade13.