Public input needed for future of El Cajon Boulevard
El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association (BIA) has announced its second town hall meeting to discuss the Boulevard 20/20 plan, which aims to make the Uptown corridor along El Cajon Boulevard a model for transit-oriented neighborhoods around the city.
The public is invited to provide input and feedback at the meeting on Dec. 4 from 6-8 p.m. at the Rock Church in City Heights. Speakers will include Transit Center Foundation leader, Kirk Hovenkotter; Councilmember Chris Ward; and representatives from the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS).
“Our corridor has experienced tremendous progress since our famous Boulevard sign was installed in 1989,” Tootie Thomas, president of the El Cajon Boulevard BIA, said in a press release. “We believe the best is yet to come and the Boulevard 20/20 plan will guide us forward as a model for smart living and working in San Diego’s vibrant urban core. We value the diverse voices of our neighbors and community partners and hope they will take the opportunity to be part of this exciting process.”
More information is available at bit.ly/blvd2020.
SOHO publishes ‘Most Endangered List’
The Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO) San Diego, a group dedicated to preserving San Diego’s architectural and historic landmarks, released its 2018 Most Endangered List (MEL) on Nov. 26.
MEL is intended to raise public awareness about landmarks and to bolster the community to invest in historic preservation and restoration. This year’s list includes three Uptown sites: Balboa Park, Presidio Park and Hillcrest Commercial Core. In total, there were nine significant spots countywide, including San Diego Stadium in Mission Valley and Big Stone Lodge in Poway.
Two sites on last year’s list have been saved. With the passage of ballot measure YY in the Nov. 6 midterm election, Teachers Training Annex #1 in University Heights will be restored and rehabilitated. The once-threatened California Theatre and Caliente Racetrack Mural also has pending restoration plans.
For details on the endangered sites, visit bit.ly/soho-mel.
Five Uptowners receive awards
Business for Good San Diego, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide local small business owners a platform to engage with their community leaders, will honor five individuals in the Uptown community at its annual celebration.
This year’s awardees include Councilmember Chris Ward; Old Town business owner Lauren Grattan; City Heights resident and North Park business owner Juan Pablo Sanchez; Kensington business owner Mikey Knab and Golden Hill resident Sam Mazzeo.
The cost is $25 for nonmembers and includes food and two drinks. Tickets are $25 for nonmembers and include food and two drinks. Visit bit.ly/b4g-awards to purchase or for additional information.
SoNo Fest to benefit North Park school
North Park’s community-centric SoNo Fest returns this year to raise funds for the McKinley School Foundation. The eighth annual festival and chili cook-off will take place on Dec. 2 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the intersection of Thorn and 32nd streets.
More than 20,000 guests are expected to attend the event, which will host 40 restaurants and 22 breweries. A holiday gift market, two music stages, food trucks, a kids zone, beer garden, and a cocktail bar operated by Cutwater Spirits will also be offered this year. While attendance is free, guests must purchase a festival bowl or mug to enjoy the chili. Each restaurant in attendance will be offering a special chili made by their chefs. Past winners have included a Japanese curry chili from Underbelly, a smoked lamb leg and tri-tip chipotle chili from Toronado, and a shrimp and seafood chili with smoked jalapeño cream from South Park Brewing Company.
All proceeds from SoNo Festival benefit McKinley Elementary School, which will help to fund the school’s international baccalaureate, arts and language programs.
For event details or to purchase tasting mugs and bowls, visit bit.ly/SoNoFest2018.
Mayor appoints citizen advisors
On Nov. 20, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced his intent to fill two citizen advisory positions related to public safety matters: executive director of Police-Community Relations, and executive director of the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention. The positions will be filled by Rev. Gerald Brown and Pastor Jesus Sandoval, respectively.
The executive director of Police-Community Relations promotes and encourages open communication and cooperation between the Police Department and residents of the city. Rev. Brown has served for more than two decades as the executive director of the United African American Ministerial Action Council; program manager and chaplain at the San Diego Rescue Mission; and case manager at the Neighborhood House Association. He will work with the Citizens Advisory Board and officials throughout the city to promote dialogue between the Police Department and the community, as well as assist law enforcement in building trust within the city’s neighborhoods.
The executive director of the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention oversees matters related to community policing and gang-related violence prevention, as well as collaborates with educational and faith institutions, law enforcement, community organizations, government officials and the public. Pastor Jesus Sandoval is a former gang member who has since committed to peace and violence prevention. He became a pastor in 2003 and used his role as a community leader to encourage change and advocate for reunification for reformed gang members and their families.
“The relationships that our police officers build with the communities they serve is critical to keeping our neighborhoods safe,” Mayor Faulconer said in a press release. “We must strive every day to strengthen those bonds, and the appointments of Pastor Sandoval and Reverend Brown will ensure the community has a voice at City Hall.”
—Compiled by Jules Shane and Sara Butler.