Downtown Briefs Nov. 2015

Posted: November 6th, 2015 | Downtown Briefs, News, Opinion & News | 2 Comments


Dubbed the “most delicious 5K ever,” the Cooking Light & Health’s Fit Foodie 5K race weekend launches on Friday, Nov. 6, and lasts the weekend. In its third year, the three-day event returns to the Embarcadero Marina Park South at 200 Marina Park Way, Downtown. The Fit Foodie 5K events feature a pre-race VIP party on Friday (separate $55); then group stretches, a 5K along the San Diego Bay on Saturday with a Finisher’s Village, featuring cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, fitness demonstrations, unlimited food, beer and wine garden tastings, and more; and a Sunday-Funday inspired brunch on Sunday.

Free parking in the lot available on Convention Way. Pay parking is also available at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego and the San Diego Convention Center. Price for VIP events is $55; 5K is $55 and veterans receive a discount. Pets are welcome.

A quick summary of the events: Friday, Nov. 6, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., a VIP cocktail party presented by Lexus at Music Box, (formerly Anthology) located at 1337 India St. Saturday, Nov. 7 — 5K Race at Embarcadero Marina Park South with group stretch at 7:30 a.m., race begins at 8 a.m., Finisher’s Village hours are 7 – 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 8 — Sunday “sweat session” presented by Fabletics, from 9 – 10 a.m. is the Tracy Anderson Method with Stacey McDermott, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. brunch at Marina Kitchen in the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina.

For more information visit 


Mister A’s, located at 2550 Fifth Ave., on the 12th floor of the Fifth Avenue Financial Center, is one of the most recognizable buildings in San Diego, especially during the holiday season.

The storied restaurant has been celebrating its 50th anniversary all year, but construction in lower levels of the building, which changed ownership in 2014, has challenged some guests. As a result, Mister A’s is now offering free self-parking for all of their dining guests for lunch, brunch and dinner service through the completion of all construction and remodeling efforts going on in the building.

All guests who utilize the parking via the Maple Street entrance (between Fourth and Fifth Avenue) will receive validation from the Mister A’s as long as they park on the second, third and fourth floors.

For more information, email the restaurant at

This new opportunity to access the restaurant with complimentary, gated and covered parking will last until the projected completion date, which is currently Jan. 15.

For more information about Mister A’s or its dining options, visit


In honor of Veterans Day, California State Parks will offer all military veterans free admission on Nov. 12. Gov. Jerry Brown authorized the state’s parks to offer the free admission, through AB-150 in 2013.

“Free admission on Veteran’s Day is a small token of gratitude California State Parks can bestow upon all active military personnel and veterans for their service,” said California State Park’s Director Lisa Mangat in a press release. “We are excited to host them among the amazing natural and cultural resources of our state’s parks,”

Included are parks accessible through the annual California Explorer pass; California State Railroad Museum; and various vehicular recreation areas. To learn more about California State Parks and which ones are open to veterans, visit


The San Diego Coastkeeper’s recent 18th annual Seaside Soiree, which took place this year at the Bali Hai on Shelter Island, raised $80,000 during an event that updated attendees on plans for the organization’s next three years. Waterkeeper Alliance founder and President Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. attended the event. In addition to giving the keynote speech, Kennedy mingling with guests, took photographs, and joined VIPs on rides with the Coastkeeper cruiser boat on San Diego Bay. Future plans for the environmental organization include tripling its water quality monitoring volunteer force; bringing water education to 10,000 students; ensuring the region lowers household water use by 25 percent; and reducing water pollution and holding polluters accountable to the law.

Funds raised at the soiree will assist the Coastkeeper’s Water Quality Monitoring Program, which is run by volunteer scientists; its Law and Policy clinic; their twice-monthly beach cleanups and countywide environmental science education. Founded in 1985, Coastkeeper already has a two-decades long list of accomplishments in the region with regard to water safety and usability.

“These funds will support our aggressive plan to combat the chronic pollution threatening our quality of life in San Diego,” said Interim Executive Director Travis Pritchard in a press release. “The success of this event and the broad support we continue to receive from the community is evidence that San Diegans won’t stop until we have clean water for everyone.”

Special interactive tables at the event encouraged participants to engage in a better understanding of the principles of conservation, sustainability and San Diego’s aquatic playgrounds overall. For more information about Coastkeeper, visit


On Friday, Oct. 30, the community of Little Italy as well as representatives from the County of San Diego came together to unveil the grand opening of a 10-story — seven above ground and three below — parking structure.

The $36 million dollar garage, located on the corner of Cedar Street and Kettner Boulevard, will provide 600 parking spaces for employees of the County Administration Building during the daytime and offer a paid parking option to visitors to the Little Italy neighborhood at night and on weekends.


(l to r) Cutting the ribbon for the parking garage are artist David Ade; Dan McAllister, San Diego County Treasurer and Tax Collector; April Heinze, County General Services director; Lou Palestini, Little Italy Association; Supervisor Greg Cox; Supervisor Ron Roberts; Helen Robbins-Meyer, County chief administrative officer; Supervisor Dave Roberts; and Supervisor Dianne Jacob (Courtesy County News Center)

On hand for the ribbon cutting were four county supervisors — Ron Roberts, Dave Roberts, Greg Cox, Dianne Jacob — board members from the Little Italy Association, county executives and employees.

The structure, complete with a public art project on its north side by local artist David Adey, is the last phase of the County’s Waterfront Park project. Located on Pacific Highway on either side of the County Administration Center, the Waterfront Park opened in May of 2014 and its acreage eliminated the two existing employee parking lots. Since then, county employees have been parking off site, but the new 10-floor parking structure will once again allow them a consistent and safe place to park as well as open up more options for visitors to the Little Italy neighborhood.

For more information about the Waterfront Park, visit


In keeping with San Diego Beer Week, two local companies have decided to merge their collective marketing skills and collaborate their brands to release a limited edition brew and a matching pair of sunglasses.

Downtown-based Knockaround Sunglasses and Mira Mesa-based Green Flash Brewing Co. are releasing Brightside Berliner Weisse, a malted wheat and a pilsner malt with a hint of cucumber coming in at 4 percent ABV to give beer lovers a “taste” of the San Diego experience. In addition, the duo are also releasing a new limited edition pair of custom eyewear, which use Knockaround’s flattering and popular Premius frame in golden yellow that fade to amber — inspired by the brew. The glasses are polarized and provide UV400 protection and the frames will display the Green Flash logo.


Limited edition Beer Week pairing: Green Flash Brightside Berliner Weisse and collaborative sunglasses (Courtesy Knockaround)

“Both brands thrive on a commitment to culture, a labor of love, and an extremely loyal fan following, and I’m thrilled to bring the two of us together to celebrate one of my favorite weeks of the year, San Diego Beer Week,” said Adam Moyer, founder of Knockaround Sunglasses in a press release.

The sunglasses will be available on the Knockaround website starting Nov. 12. Both the sunglasses and the beer will be celebrated in a joint launch at the Green Flash Brewing Co.’s Mira Mesa tasting room, located at 6550 Mira Mesa Blvd., on Friday, Nov. 13.

This will be will be an official San Diego Beer Week event and open to the public, and it will include special merchandise, beer tastings, a DJ, food and beer pairings, a Knockaround pop-up shop, and more. For more information visit or


The San Diego Airport Hilton Hotel on Harbor Island, located at 1960 Harbor Island Dr.., near the San Diego Airport, is now the eighth local property now owned by the San Diego-based and independent hotel collection, Bartell Hotels. The nine-story building went through extensive renovations in the last decade and has 211 hotel rooms and 9,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space. An additional $5 million in upgrades on the property are now planned by Bartell.

San Diego Airport Hilton on Harbor Islandweb“The San Diego Airport Hilton is a great fit within our portfolio of waterfront hotels,” stated Richard Bartell, president of Bartell Hotels in a press release. “This hotel is representative of the iconic San Diego experience and an important step in expanding our footprint in the region.”

Other properties owned by Bartell include the Sheraton La Jolla, Island Palms Hotel and Marina, Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Bayside, Days Inn Mission Valley, the Dana on Mission Bay and the Pacific Terrace Hotel, as well as three marinas associated with these hotels and the world renown Humphreys Concerts by the Bay. For more information about Bartell and its properties, visit


The Star of India and other ships will host “Sailor’s Days” through Nov. 29, and again Dec. 1 through Jan. 3, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Activities vary daily but adults and children can expect to experience seagoing sailor-type activities such as making rope for sailing, moving cargo, raising and lowering sails, and more. Children can also learn more about the ship during a scavenger hunt.
Sailor’s Days is included with regular admission to the Maritime Museum of San Diego: $16 for adults; $8 for children. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 1492 N. Harbor Drive. Visit for more information.


James Reily

James Reily, one of the veterans profiled in the SDCC exhibition (Photo by N. David King)

San Diego City College (SDCC) graphic design and photography faculty and students will soon be featuring a special exhibition that honors veterans from World War II to present day.

Called, “Voices: Honoring Veterans Portraits, Storytelling & Rare World War II Drawings,” the exhibit kicks off on Nov. 10 and will run through Dec. 10.

“Voices” will profile 24 local veterans, showing their faces and sharing their personal stories, along with the original drawings, paintings and ephemera from Carol Johnson, acclaimed illustrator and WWII correspondent.

Johnson, who went on to have a distinguished 65-year career as an illustrator and painter, was able to document combat by hand through his drawings and was said to have shaped the nation’s perception of WWII. After having been sent to serve as a combat artist in North Africa by the News Enterprises Association (NEA), he later transferred to London and his unique war drawings were soon syndicated with NEA, publishing in newspapers throughout the U.S.

carol johnson

One of Carol Johnson’s unique combat drawings of WWII, a number of which are weaved through the SDCC exhibition honoring veterans (Courtesy SDCC)

Candice Lopez, SDCC design professor and Voices curator worked with N. David King, professor of photography, who also took many of the photographs, to oversee bringing the exhibit to life.

“[We hope the exhibit will] celebrate Veterans Day in a meaningful way that both educates and inspires,” Lopez said, adding that they also wish to assist with veterans transitioning from combat to campus life, and hope to expand SDCC’s Veterans Service Center and the services it offers. King, himself a veteran of Vietnam, served in the US Army 1966 – 70.

Lopez said the graphics design students — sensitive to the needs of local veterans in the community and on their campus — conceptualized and designed the exhibition, and even did their own fundraising to make it happen.

Carol Johnson clipping

A clipping describing the combat artist, Carol Johnson (Courtesy SDCC)

While California currently leads the nation with approximately 2.2 million veterans, the San Diego Community College District has more than 3,500 veterans attending schools throughout its system and 1,600 of those are taking classes at SDCC.

Voices: Honoring Veterans will hold its opening reception at San Diego City College, Nov. 10, from 6 – 8 p.m. at the LUXE Gallery, on the fifth floor of the CTC Building, located at 1080 16th St., Downtown.

The exhibit will be available Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., and with evenings by appointment. For more info call 619-388-3281 or visit


  1. […] Downtown Briefs Nov. 2015 – Pay parking is also available at the Hilton Bayfront San Diego and the San Diego Convention Center. Price for VIP events is $55; 5K is $55 and veterans receive a discount … on the 12th floor of the Fifth Avenue Financial Center, is one of the most … […]

  2. […] Downtown Briefs Nov. 2015 – In keeping with San Diego Beer Week, two local companies have decided to merge their collective marketing skills and collaborate their brands to release a limited edition brew and a matching pair of sunglasses. Downtown-based Knockaround Sunglasses … […]

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