Uptown News Briefs: Sept. 7, 2018

Posted: September 7th, 2018 | News, Opinion & News, Uptown Briefs | No Comments


Cerritos-based Razor USA, manufacturer of Razor Scooters, recently made its move into the growing ride-sharing industry. As a pioneer of the original scooter design, the company — which launched in 2000 — is seeking to expand upon the current electric scooter design in hopes of standing out in the crowded market.

“We are thrilled to be joining this vibrant community,” said Danny Simon, chief operating officer for Razor USA. “Our specially designed shared e-scooters create a better shared ride for San Diegans to make the experience convenient, safe, and fun. We are dedicated to continuing to work with the city on how to best be a strong partner for the community.”

The new red and black scooters have already hit the street. Like similar ride-sharing services, the scooters are managed by a downloadable smartphone app. As an additional incentive to try the new scooters, Razor USA is offering customers their first three rides for free.

For more information about the service, visit


Hillcrest’s weekly neighborhood walkabouts, hosted by the Hillcrest Business Association (HBA), have been postponed until further notice. An updated schedule will be soon be distributed.

Until walkabouts resume, the HBA encourages residents to take a look at their subscription services, including security patrol and sidewalk power-washing. These services are available for $75 per month. In addition, applications for the PROW Program (Public Right-of-Way) and American Flag program are still open.

Contact Eddie Reynoso, HBA’s marketing and member services director, for inquiries at 619-299-3330 or


As part of its Urban Forest initiative, the Balboa Park Conservancy and the city of San Diego’s Parks and Recreation Department planted 58 trees in Balboa Park on Wednesday, Aug. 22.

The trees, located along 28th Street, will provide additional tree canopy. Members of the Urban Corps planted 16 different species, including pine, oak, jacaranda, camphor, and pink trumpet trees.

The initiative is part of Tree Balboa Park, a massive reforestation project to plant 500 trees within Balboa Park over the next two years. The project launched in summer 2017 after the conservancy secured a $378,297 state grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). This group selected Tree Balboa Park as part of its urban forest expansion and improvement initiative through the state’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF).

To learn more about Tree Balboa Park, visit


Legislation which would regulate concealed carry weapons in California officially passed the state legislature on Aug. 27 and anticipates approval by Governor Jerry Brown. AB 2103 was approved by the California Senate and received bipartisan approval from the Assembly — marking a blow to the National Rifle Association who has strongly opposed the bill since its conception.

The bill mandates applicants for concealed carry weapon permits receive a minimum eight hours of firearm safety training. In addition, applicants would need to perform live-fire shooting exercises on a firing range to demonstrate proficiency in safely handling weapons. Current state law does not prescribe any minimum training standard, meaning an individual could receive a permit with little to no prior training.

AB 2103 is supported by the California State Sheriffs Association, the California Police Chiefs Association, Equality California, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the County of Los Angeles, and the California Federation of Teachers.


The annual Taste of South Park returns Sept. 15 to celebrate the neighborhood’s collection of restaurants, cafes and bars. Located at the block of 30th and Fern streets, this all-ages event is limited to 400 tickets. Tickets include tasting passports, which will give guests access to free bites and drinks. It will also offer discounts at participating local businesses.

Presented by the South Park business group, this event highlights one of Uptown’s culinary and cultural hubs, home to several local and national award-winning restaurants. Participating eateries include Buona Forchetta, Cafe Madeleine, Kindred, South Park Brewing Co. and more.

Tickets can be purchased online prior to the event for $35 or for $40 on the day of at the information booth, located at the intersection of Grape and Fern streets. Both advance and day-of tickets can be picked up on Sept. 15 from the information booth.

For additional details or to purchase tickets, visit


Though the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park will close this fall for renovations, it will continue to be a part of the community through expositions as well as a newly announced cafe and gift shop at the heart of Liberty Station. The museum’s cafe and store — Café Mingei and Shop Mingei, respectively — will find temporary residence within the Dick Laub NTC Command Center, located at 2640 Historic Decatur Road.

“We couldn’t think of a better place to be while our building is being upgraded,” said Rob Sidner, Mingei executive director.

“As the largest collection of arts organizations outside of Balboa Park, the arts district is a natural choice for our temporary home,” he continued. “We look forward to introducing Mingei to new audiences and being part of this growing arts district.”

All purchases at Shop Mingei and Café Mingei support the exhibition and educational programs at Mingei International Museum. Mingei Members, Friends of NTC, and Arts District employees receive a 10 percent discount at the store and a 20 percent discount at the cafe.

Hours of Mingei’s new additions are to be announced. The grand opening is set for Friday, Oct. 5 at 10 a.m. Following the opening, the museum will hold various workshops and activities, including a Dia de los Muertos art workshop and a Holiday Market in December.

Visit to view Mingei’s upcoming events at its new location.


The California state Assembly voted to approve legislation that would eliminate the money bail system in California. SB 10 was approved by the Assembly with a vote of 41-27. The governor signed the bill on Aug. 28.

“Today marks a significant paradigm shift in California and a major step toward a fairer and more just criminal justice system in this state,” said Todd Gloria, state Assembly member and co-author of the bill.

“SB 10 provides us the opportunity to move toward a smarter, more just system that can make sure high-risk offenders remain behind bars and low-level offenders are not held in custody simply because of their inability to pay,” he continued. “As a co-author of SB 10, I am proud to support this bill and be part of the coalition that stood up to lead California toward a system that will get us closer to our nation’s pledge of liberty and justice for all.”


State Assemblyperson Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher won support for her bill to end forced arbitration contracts that workers are made to sign as a condition of employment. The state Assembly passed AB 3080 by a 47-25 vote in May and the state Senate passed it with a vote of 25-12 in August.

Assembly Bill 3080, a Women’s Caucus priority bill, will help victims of sexual harassment seek justice by prohibiting California employers from requiring prospective hires to sign arbitration agreements that keep them from utilizing their rights in the workplace.

“We know that workers across California constantly experience sexual harassment, wage theft, and other abuses in the workplace and that these abuses are often never brought to justice because employees are forced into secret and one-sided mandatory arbitration agreements at the time they are hired,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher said.

“Our bill, AB 3080, ensures that no worker is forced to give up their rights as a condition of employment,” she continued.

AB 3080 would ensure that a person is not required as a condition of employment to waive their rights to worker protection claims, that a person is not prevented from disclosing instances of sexual harassment, and that a person cannot be threatened, retaliated or discriminated against for refusing to sign an arbitration agreement. The bill is now pending final approval by Governor Brown, who has until the end of September to review it.

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