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San Diego Scene 2.2011

The future of the Del Mar Fairgrounds — a controversial issue involving two cities, the state’s budget crisis and local political figures — will be the subject of a Feb. 11 panel discussion sponsored by the Urban Land Institute San Diego/Tijuana District Council (ULI). At issue is the city of Del Mar’s proposal to purchase the 400-acre fairgrounds, now under control of the 22nd Agricultural District, for $120 million. State Sen. Christine Kehoe, who authored legislation to provide for the sale, will be joined on the panel by Sherm Harmer of Urban Housing Partners, the moderator; and Adam Day, president of the 22nd Agricultural District; Solana Beach Councilwoman Lesa Heebner; and Del Mar Councilman Mark Filnac. Myrna Zambrano, spokeswoman for Kehoe, said at press time that the Assemblywoman’s bill, SB1, was in the Rules Committee waiting to be assigned to a committee for hearings. Zambrano said there is no indication of Gov. Jerry Brown’s position on the matter.
The panel discussion will take place from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at The University Club atop Symphony Tower, 750 B St., in Downtown San Diego. The cost is $45 for ULI members, $55 for nonmembers and $30 for students. To register, visit

The median price of a Downtown resale condo was $436,870 for the 30-day period ended Jan. 19, higher by $1,680 from last month, though lower by 19.82 percent from January 2010 ($544,840), reports Realtor Lew Breeze of The average price was $679,761; the trimmed average was $556,681; the average without conversions was $764,238, and if you want to purchase a quality condo, the average resale price was $984,845.
The number of resale condos pending sale during the past 30 days was 47, compared to 46 last month, and compared to 44 from the same period last year. The average price per square foot pending sale was $348, compared to $352 from the same period in 2010. The number of resale condos closing sale during the 30 days prior to Jan. 19 was 49, compared to 48 last month, and compared to 51 from the same period in 2010. The average price per square foot of units closing sale was $356, compared to $365 from the same period last year.
There were 300 resale condos for sale Downtown, compared to 309 last month, and compared to 305 for the same period a year ago. Interesting to note that during this period, 43 percent of the closed sales were “all cash,” totaling $7,723,859.

Larry Campitiello of the law firm Sullivan Hill Lewin Rez & Engel has been elected president of the San Diego North County Bar Association for 2011-2012. He was sworn in by Justice Gilbert Nares at The Crossings in Carlsbad. Since 2008, Campitiello has served on the board of the NCBA as a director and chair of the public outreach committee. Campitiello joined the law firm in 2008 and focuses his practice in business litigation with special emphasis in commercial and real estate disputes. He also assists the San Diego Superior Court as a volunteer settlement judge and is admitted to practice in all federal courts in California, as well as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Campitiello began his legal career as a law clerk to Calvin K. Ashland, United States bankruptcy judge for the Central District of California.

Annex Brands Inc., a San Diego company formerly known as Postal Annex, has acquired the 49-unit Navis Pack & Ship franchise system to bring its total franchise network to more than 380 in 38 states and Canada. The company’s existing brands include PostalAnnex+, Handle With Care Packaging Store and Sunshine Pack & Ship. Navis Pack & Ship was founded in Denver in 2000. The acquisition was Annex Brands’ third in the past four years. In 2006, it purchased the Florida-based Sunshine Pack & Ship system and in 2007 it acquired the 68-unit Handle With Care Packaging Store brand.

Bill Gates Sr., co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and father of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, will be the keynote speaker at the Rotary Large Club Conference Feb. 9-11 at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront in Downtown San Diego. Presidents-elect and executive directors of the 100 largest Rotary clubs in the U.S. and Canada will convene. Gates Sr. will speak on improving global commitments to philanthropy. (The Gates Foundation contributed $350 million to the Rotary Polio Plus Campaign to eradicate polio worldwide.) The conference is hosted by San Diego Downtown Rotary, Club 33, the fourth largest club in the world with more than 550 members. Bonnie Schwartz, president of Club 33, said 41 states, Washington, D.C. and two provinces in Canada will be represented at the conference. Delegates will attend two days of educational and planning sessions on planning, projects, marketing and public relations. Courses will be conducted by members of Club 33. For more, visit

Bob Kevane, founder and owner of The Kevane Co. and a 40-year veteran of the real estate industry, has been installed as the 2011 president of the San Diego Association of Realtors (SDAR). Kevane was elected by the membership of the 12,000-member organization. As president, Kevane will chair the executive committee and the board of directors and act as the official voting delegate to the National Association of Realtors. Kevane is a long-time SDAR volunteer and served as treasurer in 2003, 2004 and 2009. He has chaired many of the association’s committees, including budget and finance, government affairs and real estate trustees. He was SDAR’s representative on the city of San Diego’s Housing Affordability Task Force. Kevane is a director with the National Association of Realtors and a director for the California Association of Realtors, where he has served on the local government relations, property management and legislative committees, and was the chair of the taxation committee in 2006. In 2010 he represented landlords as the president of the San Diego County Apartment Association. Other officers are Donna Sanfilippo, president-elect; Cory Shepard, vice president; Linda Lee, treasurer; and Mark Marquez, immediate past president. Michael Mercurio is CEO.


In early 1911, the Navy asked pioneer aviator and inventor Glenn Curtiss to train one its officers to fly. Curtiss chose a sandy, scrub-covered island in San Diego Bay as the location and Coronado became the birthplace of naval aviation. The Coronado Historical Association will participate in a national celebration of the Centennial of Naval Aviation with the unveiling of a themed museum exhibit titled, Wings of Gold: Coronado and Naval Aviation,” on Feb. 4. Wings of Gold will be showcased in one of the main galleries of the Coronado Museum of History & Art and will feature rare photographs and documents such as an early pilot license signed by Orville Wright. An original pilot’s uniform, the helmet of one the first female naval aviators and a national insignia that flew on aircraft from 1919-1940 are examples of other items that will be on view. A video component utilizing photographs and oral history interviews of aviators who lived in Coronado and worked at Naval Air Station North Island will be featured, including snapshots of pilots participating in the civic and social life of the community over the decades. Residents of Coronado have been involved in every major conflict since World War I. One section will feature profiles of five highly-decorated hometown heroes, including Rear Adm. James D. Ramage, a recipient of the Navy Cross for his role in the Battle of the Philippine Sea in World War II, and Adm. James B. Stockdale, who was shot down over North Vietnam in 1965 and held in Hanoi as a prisoner of war for eight years, later becoming a vice presidential candidate in 1992.

Two other big events celebrating the Centennial of Naval Aviation will be held on Feb. 12 — one in Coronado, the “birthplace of naval aviation,” and the other in Downtown San Diego. The 100th Anniversary Parade of Flight and North Island Open House will be held at Naval Air Station North Island featuring activities for the family. There will be live entertainment on two stages throughout the day and tours of an aircraft carrier and two other Navy ships. Motorcycle stunts will be performed by Metal Mulisha and there will be exhibits of more than 70 aircraft from vintage planes to the newest fighter jets. A classic car show also will be featured. Guests can stroll through Centennial Village to view a working hangar bay and hear from local historians who have documented 100 years of naval aviation. The Parade of Flight will be at 1 p.m., beginning with a jump by the elite Navy Leap Frogs followed by the skies over San Diego Bay being filled with more than 200 historic and modern aircraft. For more, visit
The USS Midway Museum Downtown will be almost directly under the flight path of the big aerial flyover as it joins in the celebration. The museum will feature up to 1,000 flight deck seats while live entertainment by NRG begins at noon. The Navy’s Parade of Flight will start at 1 p.m., approach Midway from the south, and it will be accompanied by exclusive “play by play” narration by ship historian Karl Zingheim. VIP tickets are available at and at the museum ticket booth on Navy Pier.

Chris Allen, partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP, has been named managing parter of the firm’s San Diego office, succeeding Theresa Drew. Drew was San Diego’s managing partner for 10 years and was appointed managing partner of Deloitte’s Carolinas practice. Allen is a 22-year veteran of Deloitte. He is a certified public accountant in California and Florida and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Florida. Allen has professional services experience and knowledge of the aerospace and defense, telecommunications, technology and life sciences industries and has worked with many of Deloitte’s largest multinational clients.


Selections from a collection of 155 cats given to the Mingei International Museum by collector Billie Moffitt will be on exbibit at the Balboa Park museum beginning on March 13. The exhibit is titled “Maneki Neko — Japan’s Beckoning Cats — from Talisman to Pop Icon.” Made in the 19th and 20th centuries, each cat is unique. Most are made of clay, but some are wood, metal, ceramic and papier mâché. The exhibition continues through Jan. 15, 2012. Since the Edo period (1603-1868), a fabricated cat with a paw upraised in the Japanese gesture of beckoning has been considered a good luck charm, drawing good fortune to individuals and businesses. Maneki neko are common sights in local Japanese and Chinese restaurant windows, where they silently beckon to potential customers. Asian art expert Alan Scott Pate has written the first major work in any language on this facet of Japanese folk art. A volume of the same name as the exhibition will be published by the museum in time for its opening.

“Coastal Explosion: the California style,” a collection of original art work by the San Diego Museum of Art-Artist Guild members, is on exhibit at the Encinitas Library, 540 Cornish Ave., Encinitas, through Feb. 28. The exhibit features paintings, sculpture, drawings, pottery, photography, jewelry and digital art. “This show gives the community a chance to come see what some of our artists here in San Diego are creating,” said Jane Darin, president of the Artists Guild. The San Diego Museum of Art-Artists Guild was established in 1915. It exhibits and sells artwork through an online gallery,, an annual Fine Art Festival, and other events, with a percentage of each sale going to support The San Diego Museum of Art program acquisition of art for the museum’s permanent collections, and funding for its children programs.


Formerly home to Thee Bungalow restaurant in Ocean Beach, David Cohn of San Diego’s Cohn Restaurant Group enlisted the services of designer Philippe Beltran and Executive Chef Katherine Humphus to forge his newest vision — Bo-Beau Kitchen + Bar — which incorporates the flavors and fare of several countries known for their deep culinary roots. “Bo’ refers to Bohemian style and “beau” signifies beauty. Humphus takes the reins in the kitchen after mastering her culinary talents under highly-acclaimed chefs such as Thomas Keller of Napa’s famed The French Laundry and Wylie Dufresne of New York City’s WD-50. Beltran is best known in San Diego as the creative mind behind Euro-inspired institutions including Kensington’s Blue Bohème and Vagabond in South Park. Humphus, who can be spotted preparing a wealth of offerings from the entryway leading into her kitchen, which is intentionally left open for this purpose. The inaugural menu features a number of shared items, all of which are available for $20 or under. Selections include house-made pâté, as well as various tartines such as the Croque Madame Tartine, which features a combination of sliced pork belly, gruyere cheese, fried egg and a Parmesan cheese reduction. The menu also highlights five regionally-inspired styles of mussels and pomme frites, as well as flat breads adorned with flavorful ingredient medleys ranging from roasted brie, beets and curry onion marmalade to braised short rib, horseradish smashed potatoes and chives. Bo-Beau Kitchen + Bar is located at 4996 West Point Loma Blvd.

Julie Meier Wright, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. and a major player in regional and state economic initiatives for the past several years, has announced her intention to retire from the agency in June. Wright will remain as a consultant to the EDC for the balance of the year. Wright joined EDC in August 1997. The agency, under her leadership, played a pivotal role in the passage of TransNet, the $14 billion transportation measure, and led the region’s successful efforts to retain and grow its military presence in the most recent round of base closures. “Julie has done a spectacular job leading what is considered one of the best economic development organizations in the country,” said EDC Chairman Debbie Reed, executive vice president of Sempra Energy. “Our goal now is to ensure a smooth transition, hiring a new CEO that will take EDC to even greater levels, focusing on our goals of job growth and competitiveness.” Before coming to San Diego, Wright was California’s first Secretary of Trade and Commerce and a member of Gov. Pete Wilson’s Cabinet from 1991 to 1997. Before that she spent 25 years in executive marketing and public affairs positions in the private sector, including 14 years with TRW Inc., which is now a part of Northrop Grumman. The state agency she headed is credited with creating or retaining more than 100,000 jobs in California between 1994 and 1998 and expanding the state’s international influence through the opening of five new overseas offices.

Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps has announced its sponsorship of the San Diego Museum of Man’s traveling exhibit, “RACE: Are We So Different?” The firm also is a title sponsor and lead organizer of a private showing of the exhibit on Feb. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. where, along with title sponsor Sempra Energy and others, the firm will recognize the importance of diversity in the legal profession. The exhibit focuses on the history, science and experience of race developed by the American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota. Other sponsors of the special private showing are Cubic Corp., Comerica Bank, the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association, La Raza Lawyers of San Diego, Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego, Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego and South Asian Bar Association.  Cost for admission for the private showing is $25. For more, visit

The National Aquatic Conference & Exposition presented by the National Recreation and Park Association and Aquatics International will come to San Diego Feb. 16-19 at the Bahia Resort Hotel. Keynoting the opening general session on Feb. 17 will be Cullen Jones, a member of the Gold Medal-winning men’s 4×100-meter freestyle relay team at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, and the first African American to hold a long-course meters swimming world record.  Jones will discuss drowning prevention and seeks to ensure that more children learn to swim, especially in underserved urban communities. During the Closing Luncheon on Feb. 19, three-time U.S. Paralympic swimmer and 14-time Gold Medalist Erin Popovich will speak on her life experience as a person with a disability and how she became one of the greatest athletes in the history of the United States Olympic Committee by utilizing local community programs. For more information, visit

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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.

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