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San Diego Scene 6.10

The new sanctuary of the Village Community Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe — designed by church architects domusstudio — was dedicated on May 23 and consecrated during a special morning service. The sanctuary is distinguished by hand-made Spanish tile roofing and a 5-foot, 6-inch cross that sits atop a 42-foot, tile-roofed tower, the tallest architectural point in Rancho Santa Fe. The sanctuary seats nearly 600 in a circular seating arrangement that has improved the sense of community within the church, according to David Keitel, associate with domusstudio. Construction of the two-story, 25,420-square-foot main sanctuary and administration building was finished in April.
The church also is remodeling an existing structure that will be called the “Kids Village,” where Sunday school classrooms will be housed. Designed by domusstudio architecture and constructed by Roel Construction Co., the renovation of the 3,871-square-foot building includes re-roofing and adding new walls and restrooms. Completion is set for the end of July. The church also is adding a new roof to The Village Nursery School, starting in mid-June. A new playground for children ages 5 to 12 is scheduled to be constructed over the summer as well.

Business issues vital to the San Diego region will be the focus of a June 4 program hosted by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Topics will include doing business in San Diego, the city budget, job creation, the county general plan, among others. The event will be held on the 12th floor of the City Administration Building, 202 C St., in Downtown San Diego. Mayor Jerry Sanders and Pam Slater-Price, chairwoman of the county Board of Supervisors, will introduce the program, followed by panel discussions among members of the San Diego City Council and Board of Supervisors. A continental breakfast and networking will be at 8:30 a.m. followed by the program from 9 to 11:30 a.m. The cost is $35 per person. To register, visit or call Judith Andry at the chamber at (619) 544-1341.

Albert Lin, a UCSD researcher and alumnus, will mount his second expedition to the steppes of Mongolia this summer in search of the tomb of Genghis Khan. Lin, National Geographic Adventure magazine’s “Adventurer of the Year,” shared his adventures in a June 1 talk at the university sponsored by the UCSD Alumni Association.


Juan Zuniga, a Downtown San Diego attorney who founded the Cross Border Law Group P.C., is the recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Community Service Award presented by the San Diego County Bar Association. The award recognizes individuals who have contributed charitable, cultural, humanitarian or educational services to the communty. Zuniga, who founded the Cross Border Law Group in 2007, is president of the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association Scholarship Fund, which recently established an endowment fund for Latino law students. He volunteers for San Diego Volunteer Lawyers and is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association. Zuniga served on the board of directors for the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice and volunteered for the California Minority Counsel Program and the International Visitors Council. Zuniga is a cum laude graduate of Harvard College in the field of government with an emphasis in Latin American studies. He went on to graduate cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1992. Zuniga became an associate with Baker and McKenzie in San Diego, practicing international corporate law and subsequently became special counsel with Heller Ehrman. practicing real estate, corporate and international business law.

Birch Acquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography will celebrate World Oceans Day on June 8 with special activities between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to honor man’s connection to the ocean. Activities include exploration of the acquarium and a World Oceans Day dive show in the two-story, 70,000-gallon kelp forest tank. A scavenger hunt and story times will be held throughout the day, all included with paid admission to the aquarium. First envisioned in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, World Oceans Day is an annual opportunity to celebrate the ocean. The summit was the first major international gathering focused on the health of the ocean. Its centerpiece was the ratification of the Global Warming Treaty, made possible by the inaugural 1990 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international body of researchers — including a dozen Scripps Oceanography scientists — who analyze climate change and its impacts on the planet. The United Nations declared June 8 the official World Oceans Day in 2009.

PCU San Diego was launched in May from Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding’s Ingalls shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss.
The future PCU San Diego, a 684-foot amphibious transport dock ship, is scheduled to be christened this month and delivered to the Navy in San Diego in 2011. It was launched into the Gulf of Mexico in May. The San Diego was the first ship of the LPD 17 class that started construction after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and is testament to the spirit of the Northrop Grumman workers as they and the shipyard continue their return to normalcy, according to Jay Stefany, LPD 17 program manager for the Navy’s Program Executive Office Ships.
The principal mission of the ship is to transport and deploy the necessary combat and support elements of Marine Expeditionary Units and Brigades. The ship will carry about 720 troops and have the capability of transporting and debarking air cushion or conventional landing craft and Expeditionary Fighting Vehicles augmented by helicopters or vertical take-off and landing aircraft.

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. has introduced a new unmanned aircraft designed for launch from the Navy’s aircraft carriers. The Sea Avenger is a derivative of General Atomics’ Predator unmanned aircraft. “Sea Avenger fulfills the Navy’s need for a carrier-based unmanned aircraft system that offers long-endurance, proven intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and precision-strike capabilities,” said Frank Pace, president of General Atomics’ Aircraft Systems Group. Sea Avenger is based upon its predecessor, Predator C Avenger, designed to perform high-speed strike missions over land or sea.  The current configuration features a 44-foot long fuselage and 66-foot wingspan.

Thanks to $150,000 in gifts from Las Patronas and the Legler Benbough Foundation, the Spreckels organ in Balboa Park will get a new console — only the fourth control center ever built for the organ, the largest outdoor model in the United States. L.W. Blackinton & Associates was commissioned to build the console and will do so from its shop in El Cajon. The console will include a sequencing combination-control system with “next” and “back” pistons requested by the many Spreckels Organ Society European guest performers and will match the footprint of its predecessors in order to fit behind the five-ton steel door of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. The original Spreckels organ console, installed in 1914 for the organ’s dedication on New Year’s Eve 1915, featured the Austin Organ Co.’s patented all-electric design that was a relatively new concept at the time. Using electro-mechanical tripper-style action, the console was very compact and allowed for a luxurious number of combination pistons and other registrational aids. It did not require air pressure to operate the console mechanism, which meant that the console could be moved around the entire organ pavilion stage. Installation of the newest Spreckels Organ console will begin soon after the Summer International Organ Festival this year and is scheduled for completion and a gala dedication sometime near the organ’s 95th birthday on New Year’s Eve 2010.

The 17th annual Southwest Computer Conference, an event tailored to baby boomers and “boomers plus (45 and up), will be staged June 4-6 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley. It will be held in conjunction with the 2010 Aging Summit. Andy Marken, president of Marken Communications, is the keynote speaker at the opening session on June 4. Marken is the author of more than 200 articles on industry trends and technology management, marketing and communications. He will give an overview of some of the next-generation technologies and services that will be launched over the next year. Open to the public, the conference will have how-to sessions on audio/video computer production, social networking, identity protection, digital photography and videography, content storage and programs tailored to beginner and advanced computer and consumer electronics users. “Boomers and boomers plus  represent more than 30 percent of the U.S. population,” says Marken. “This group of men and women — especially those who are members of the 300-plus computer groups across the country — are as important to the success of products as our Gen X (25-44) population.”
For registration and attendance information on the conference, visit or call (661) 252-8852.

Juego de la Oca

“Counter Cultures: The Secret Lives of Games” opens at the Museum of Man on June 11 featuring board. tile and card games from around the world.
The exhibition uncovers the secret beauty of games and why we play them. Visitors can reminisce over old classics, marvel at historic games from the American colonial period and design their own games. Some games have surprising origins: “Chutes and Ladders,” for example, was originally Moksha Patamu from India, and reaching the end was symbolic of attaining moksha, or salvation. Visitors can take part in the interactive experience of becoming a game piece and traveling through the exhibit’s life-sized game board. A gaming lounge allows visitors to create their own games or play classics with their friends and family. The museum’s collection of artifacts will supply some of the games, including Native American games, Mexican games and a rare handmade chess set. Most of the games will come from private collections, including that of the curator,  Wayne Saunders.
The public is invited to participate in a game design contest. Winners will have their games displayed in the exhibition. The contest deadline is July 1. Rules are available online at

The Corky McMillin family of San Diego, which has been building homes in Southern California for the past 50 years, is going back to the Midwestern roots of its late patriarch by joining a partnership to oversee the development of a 6,500-acre master-planned community of 12,000 homes in Branson, Mo. The family formed a new company, McMillin Communities, which will partner with GEP Inc. to develop the community just south of downtown Branson. The partnership is called McMillin Branson Creek LLC. “My father, Corky McMillin, was born in Kansas City, Mo., and our family still has many relatives living in the Midwest,” said Southern California-bred Scott McMillin, chairman of McMillin Communities. “When Glenn Patch approached us about being his partner, we were impressed with his commitment and his success to date and wanted to be a part of that going forward.” Said Mark McMillin, Scott’s brother, who serves as president and CEO of the new company: “With 8 million visitors a year, Branson boasts a steady income potential. We believe in going where the people are.”
Scott and Mark represent the third generation of home builders in their family. Mark is a past president of the San Diego County Building Industry Association. He and his father were both inducted into the California Homebuilding Foundation’s Hall of Fame. Tim Mahoney, president of GEP, will continue with the new partnership and serve as division manager for the Branson Creek development, working with Scott McFerran, McMillin’s project manager, out of the company headquarters in San Diego.
The McMillin family has planned and developed 17 master-planned communities in Southern California over the past half-century.

Meals-on-Wheels of Greater San Diego and St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services — nonprofit organizations celebrating their 50th anniversaries —will host the Intergenerational Community Street Fair June 26 in Downtown San Diego. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Third Avenue, between Maple and Nutmeg streets. The public is invited to enjoy arts and crafts, food, entertainment, children’s activities, a pet costume contest and free pet adoptions. Major sponsors of the street fair are the women’s and men’s professional soccer teams, the San Diego Sea Lions and the San Diego Sockers. For more information, call Margaret Virissimo at Meals-on-Wheels at (619) 278-4041 or Justin Weber at St. Paul’s at (619) 239-6900.

North Park’s growing reputation as a thriving arts, culture, music and dining destination will be enhanced again in August when the third annual North Park Music Thing comes to the neighborhood. It will bring music industry professionals and performers together for a weekend of panel discussions, demo review sessions and live performances. The annual music and media conference will be held at the Lafayette Hotel at 2223 El Cajon Blvd. on Aug. 13-14. A showcase of bands and individual musicians from across the Southwest will take place on Friday and Saturday nights at 14 San Diego venues. The live music showcases will follow daytime panel discussions on Friday afternoon and Saturday. The keynote speaker is music producer and songwriter Kim Fowley, who began his career in the music industry in the 1960s and has worked with the Byrds, Cat Stevens, Helen Reddy, The Plastic Ono Band, Alice Cooper, Kiss and Guns ‘n’ Roses. He also managed the all-girl band, The Runaways, in the 1970s. Workshop discussions on Friday and Saturday will be led by panelists with experience in various areas of the music industry including engaging social media in promotions, breaking into the music business, music publishing, touring, hiring a manager, songwriting techniques, and more. Proceeds will be donated to the San Diego Music Foundation, which organizes the annual San Diego Music Awards show. For information, visit

San Diego City College’s Career Technology Center and adjacent parking structure have been completed.

San Diego City College students have a new, five-story, 88,000-square-foot Career Technology Center housing an expanded nursing, cosmetology, photography and digital arts departments. Multi-purpose classrooms include interactive instructional tools such as integral video projectors and screens, and an audio/visual podium. A new lecture theater can accommodate 125 students. The facility is designed to obtain a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification. The CTC will provide new headquarters for City College Campus Police and also includes a new parking structure with 694 stalls, including 33 for high fuel-efficiency vehicles.
The nursing department areas include new nursing and simulation labs, complete with a state-of-the-art computer simulation lab and simulation practice models (dummies). Photography and digital arts have new darkrooms and studios that incorporate professional cyclorama backdrops, 66 enlarger stations, three digital print labs and a wide gallery area to display student work. Cosmetology includes state-of-the-art instructional labs for students pursuing specialty programs in skin care and hair care, and includes a retail service area.
The classroom building was oriented in the north-south direction to reinforce a new urban “green” boulevard (16th street ) that will stretch from the south end of Balboa Park to the bay. Traffic calming bulb out curbs will be installed at the C and 16th street intersection to improve pedestrian safety. A parkway was created through the site over the top of an existing utility easement, which creates a pocket of landscaped open space and emphasizes the site as a gateway between the community and college.

The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation received the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s Community Vision Award for 2010 for The Village at Market Creek. The Jacobs Center receives $25,000 to make improvements of its choice.
The presentation to the Jacobs Center was part of a Smart Growth Awards program sponsored by the San Diego/Tijuana district council of the Urban Land Institute. A panel of judges reviewed more than 100 entries for projects, policies, events, plans, programs and initiatives that were announced, entitled, built or significantly remodeled between 2000 and 2010. Downtown’s Ballpark District, Little Italy and a tire reutilization project in Tijuana were among the projects awarded Smart Growth Awards
Other awards were for the city of San Diego’s general plan update, the San Diego Association of Government’s regional comprehensive plan and the Downtown San Diego Community Plan.

Seafood and ocean sustainability are the focus of an educational forum on June 6 at Hotel Del Coronado hosted by Passionfish, a nonpartisan multi-media organization. Co-hosts are the Hotel Del and the nonprofit organizations Cooks Confab and Slow Food Urban San Diego. “Fish” is the title of the program, which will feature a panel of people representing all sides of the seafood and ocean sustainability issue —business leaders, scientists, fish farmers, fishermen, policy makers, restaurateurs and community leaders. They are: Caron Golden, founder and president, GoldenWriting; Tommy Gomes, fisherman, Catalina Offshore; Kristin Goodrich, board member, San Diego Urban Slow Food; Martin Alberto Hall, chief scientist, Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission; Nigella Hillgarth, executive director, Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Don Kent, president, Hubbs Sea World Research Institute; Logan Kock, vice president of strategic purchasing, Santa Monica Seafood; Carl Rebstock, executive director,, the moderator; and Andrew Spurgin, executive director/chef of Waters Fine Catering. The forum will be held at 1500 Ocean, the Hotel Del’s restaurant, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Afterwards, a sustainable seafood dinner will be served. For information on the event, call (619) 522-8490.

Ashley Bennett-Stoddard, artist and daughter of sculptor Bob Bennett, will bring her Art and Soul art exhibition tour to Alchemy Restaurant, 1503 30th St. in South Park, on June 3-6. Proceeds from the autism-centric paintings and puzzle piece pendant sales will benefit the nonprofit Autism Speaks organization. Alchemy will donate 10 percent of all dinner sales. “My passion for art and helping others is the foundation of the Art and Soul tour,” said Bennett-Stoddard. “Creating custom pieces to help raise money and awareness for charitable causes is the inspiration behind my pendants and paintings.” For more information, visit

The San Diego chapter of the American Marketing Association will present its 2010 American Marketer of the Year (AMY) Awards June 9 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at the Coronado Community Center, 1845 Strand Way, in Coronado. The association will recognize excellence in marketing and communication programs produced by San Diego marketing professionals and students. Categories include Integrated Marketing Campaign; New Media Marketing; Advertising; among others. Attendance is $40 for AMA members and $55 for nonmembers. For additional information, call Richard Jones at (949) 305-3942.

Airport Rendering

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority is looking for new concessionaires for the terminals at San Diego International Airport and will hold a briefing session June 15 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the airport to tell the business community what the opportunities are and what it takes to succeed in an airport retail environment. Request for Proposals for the new concession opportunities are expected to be released in early 2011. In 2013, with the opening of Terminal 2 expansion, now under way, all concessions at the airport will be under new ownership, with several companies managing groups of shops or single shops. This will provide opportunities for a wide variety of businesses, including local and disadvantaged businesses and existing and new concessionaires. “The Airport Authority is looking for the best local, regional, national and international concepts which will enhance the passenger experience with concession designs that are unique, original and representative of the San Diego region,”  the Airport Authority said. Businesses can get more information by visiting


Officials at Southwestern College have  unveiled plans for a major construction project — the largest new development since the college was constructed in 1961 — that will include more classrooms, a state-of-the-art bookstore and a community and civic center for the city of Chula Vista. The development will be located on the college’s corner lot at East H Street and Otay Lakes Road and is expected to generate dozens of construction jobs. Financing is from Proposition R, which South County voters approved in November 2008. BCA Architects is to design the 110,000-square-foot project, which will include a new college bookstore, classroom space, food court, art gallery, culinary arts program, wellness center, administrative offices, conference space and police station.

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Voice Your Opinion

We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: