Downtown News Briefs – September 2017

Posted: September 1st, 2017 | Downtown Briefs, News, Opinion & News | No Comments


San Diego Makers Guild’s two-day, family-friendly Maker Faire event will take place Oct. 7 and 8 in Balboa Park. While organizers are still looking for those passionate about their creations to register and participate, the deadline is rapidly approaching.

“Maker Faire is not designed like any standard trade show or conference — it’s a fun, interactive maze of demonstrations, exhibits, workshops, and displays,” said Cody Nelson, director of events and public programs with the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership. “Imagine the historical state fairs where everyone arrives with their wares and sets up their exhibit. We have different kinds of exhibit areas to accommodate the diversity of projects, and we encourage makers to create their own look and feel.”

Maker Faires are celebrated around the world and have become part of pop-culture, offering a place for experiential marketing, debuting new technologies and inventions, and celebrating geekdom.

Entry to this year’s San Diego Maker Faire is open to individuals, groups, schools and hobby clubs, but the closing date for all entries is Friday, Sept. 8.

They are looking for these types of entries: artists; robotics; hacked or homebuilt drones; Arduino projects; raspberry Pi; space projects; food and beer makers (not concessionaires); artisanal and traditional handcrafts; conductive materials projects; kit makers; interactive art projects; 3D printers and CNC mills; textile arts and crafts; home energy monitoring; programming languages (for games, apps, etc.); rockets and RC toys; sustainability and green technology; radios, vintage computers and game systems; electronics; electric vehicles; science, biology, biotech and chemistry projects; puppets, kites or other “whimsical” creations; large-scale art; shelter (tents, domes); musical performances; unusual tools or machines; how to fix things or take them apart (vacuums, clocks, washing machines, etc.).

For more information, visit



Civic San Diego’s board of directors recently approved the design of the 499 West Ash project, a development bounded by four Downtown city blocks: West Ash, West A, Columbia and State streets.

The mixed-use development, designed by Tucker Sadler Architects, will be constructed by Bomel San Diego Equities and include two hotels, two apartment buildings, and office and accessory retail space. The project, which will be phased out over several years, will bring jobs, housing and activity to the Columbia neighborhood. With the first hotel tower completion expected in 2019, the project will contain 318 dwelling units — with 26 reserved for low-income tenants — and 524 hotel rooms. Approximately 830 construction jobs and 583 jobs will be generated by the LEED Gold standard development. To learn more about the project and see design renderings, visit

Civic San Diego is a nonprofit, public-benefit corporation created by the city of San Diego to engage in economic development, land-use and permitting services, and project management services. Visit



After more than 50 years in operation, the Mission Valley Resort closed Aug. 12 to make way for evangelist Morris Cerullo’s Legacy International Center. In advance of the upcoming demolition of the resort, the Legacy Center donated furniture and other fixtures from the hotel property to Father Joe’s Villages, which will benefit their various programs.

Father Joe’s Downtown facility houses over 1,900 people a night. It also operates multiple supportive services throughout San Diego, including addiction treatment, health care, therapeutic child care, employment training, meal and other programs. Their mission is to prevent and end homelessness, “one life at a time.”

“As Legacy International Center launches in San Diego, we are excited to see the project leaders considering the role they can play in addressing our region’s homelessness crisis,” said Deacon Jim F. Vargas, president and CEO of Father Joe’s Villages. “By donating the contents of the current Mission Valley Resort to Father Joe’s Villages, the Legacy International Center will start off making a valuable investment that will help us transform more lives.”

The Legacy Center’s executive director, Jim Penner, said they had always wanted to be more than an event center for the region.

“For more than six decades I’ve witnessed Father Joe’s Villages shine as a beacon of hope to thousands of families — including children and veterans — in our city,” Cerrullo said. “It’s an honor to support their work as they empower people in our immediate community to break out of the cycle of homelessness.”

Designed by San Diego architectural firm Carrier Johnson + Culture, the Legacy International Center will replace the Mission Valley Resort, which sits on the south side of Interstate 8. The 18-acre complex will have a hotel, spa services, an event center with a lecture and performing arts hall, and a 500-seat theater. The Legacy Center will also serve as a ministry training center for people from across the United States and the world.

While closure of the Mission Valley Resort led to the loss of more than 100 jobs, the Legacy Center is expected to create 180 jobs when it opens in 2019.



Small Business Expo, laying claim as the nation’s largest business-to-business trade show, will return to San Diego on Thursday, Sept. 21.

The free day-long conference and trade show brings together industry thought leaders and experts in a hands-on environment that features more than 20 free workshops and programs along with 100 interactive booths, demos and brand exhibits.

Headlining the event is Bill Walsh, founder and CEO of Powerteam International, who will give a presentation titled “Success By Design – the 7 Keys to Build a Mega-Successful Business” in the Inspiration 2020 Showcase Theatre.

Start-ups and business owners can take advantage of free admission and educational workshops covering online/social media marketing, employee benefit plans, credit and financing, strategies for increasing revenue and team productivity, mentoring, cloud technologies, retirement plans and much more.

The expo will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the San Diego Convention Center, Hall H, located at 111 W. Harbor Drive, Downtown. For more information, visit



San Diego is in the international travel news again., one of the world’s leading online review and cruise community destinations, recently named the Port of San Diego to its “top five destinations” in the United States and Canada for cruise ship visits.

At No. 4, San Diego topped Key West, Florida on the list. The other destinations — Quebec City, Canada; San Francisco; and Bar Harbor, Maine — were named No. 1 through 3, respectively.

San Diego has two cruise-ship terminals on the Embarcadero — Broadway Pier and the B Street Pier — giving visitors easy access to all that Downtown offers.

“We are honored to be voted one of the top five cruise destinations by Cruise Critic’s online community for the second year in a row,” said Robert Valderrama, chairman of the board of San Diego Port commissioners. “In recent years we have installed $31 million in improvements to the North Embarcadero, providing our cruise passengers with a beautiful welcome to the Port of San Diego.”

The honor was part of the website’s second annual awards and is based solely on its community of reviewers. Many stated the importance of having multiple options for things to do when visiting a port destination and San Diego’s Embarcadero, in addition to nearby Little Italy neighborhood and Petco Park, helped make that grade.



Jared Kuritz, managing partner of Strategies, a literary development and publishing consulting firm, will present “Publishing With A Purpose,” at the next program meeting of the San Diego Professional Editors Network (SD/PEN) on Thursday, Sept. 21.

Aimed at editors and writers interested in assisting clients with various book publishing options and how they work, the course is free to SD/PEN members and $10 for nonmembers.

“With the ever-changing publishing industry, bringing a book to market has never been more accessible or more confusing,” organizers stated in a press release about the course. “Kuritz, however, has been an active part of the publishing landscape for nearly two decades and can cut through the confusion.”

Strategies offers self-published authors of all genres and in all stages of their writing both publishing and promotional support. In addition to his work with the firm, Kuritz, who is also director of the La Jolla Writers Conference, manages NightStand Press for the firm and frequently teaches PR and marketing at UC San Diego and other educational outlets.

To attend, RSVP to before Sept. 20.

The SD/PEN meeting and “Publishing with a Purpose” will take place Sept. 21 from 6:30–8:30 p.m. at San Diego County Health Services Complex, located at 3851 Rosecrans St. For more information, visit

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