san diego downtown news, august, 2010

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San Diego Downtown News, August, 2010


  • Volume 11, Number 8San Diego Community Newspaper GroupSan Diego Community Newspaper GroupSan Diego Community Newspaper Group AUGUST 2010


    Voted Best Wine Bar 2008/09 by San Diego Downtown News Readers Choice Awards


    Decision time:Several issues will re-shape downtowns skylineConstruction beginsfor Central Library

    Officials broke ground on the new CentralLibrary in East Village July 28, kicking off athree-year, $185 million project that willserve the citys 35-branch system and putmore than 1.3 million items into circulation.The nine-story facility will include a technol-ogy center with more than 400 computerworkstations, multiple community gatheringlocations, a rooftop garden and a charterschool. The first phase of construction, whichwill establish the buildings core, is expected tobe complete in January 2012. Members ofthe San Diego Public Library Foundation arestill looking for an additional $32.5 millionneeded to complete the second phase, whichwill address interior improvements.

    Mayor reverses stance on San Diego Civic Center

    Mayor Jerry Sanders has vetoed a decisionmade by the City Council on July 12 to put aproposal for a new City Hall building to a pub-lic vote in November. The veto represents adramatic departure from the mayors stanceearlier in the month, when he appealed to thepublic and council members to consider thelong-term cost savings associated with thenew building, compared with the expense ofholding steady in the existing Civic Center,which was built in 1964.

    Sanders had championed the project as away to save as much as $236 million over a50-year period, but ultimately vetoed placing

    the project up for a public vote when represen-tatives from the buildings developer, GerdlingEdlen, expressed concern about the cost ofrunning a campaign in support of the project.

    There is still a chance the plan could moveforward, however; the City Council has untilFriday, Aug. 6 to override Sanders veto andput the plan back on the ballot, or they couldvote to approve the project without seekingpublic approval. But in earlier discussions,several council members were adamant thatsuch a project should not move forward with-out the publics support.

    Proposed homeless centerproject moves forward

    The citys Land Use and Housing Commit-tee voted 3-1 on July 14 to approve a $31 mil-lion proposal to create a one-stop homelessservice center at San Diegos World TradeCenter building. The project will now moveto the City Council for a final vote. District 2City Councilman Kevin Faulconer, who repre-sents the downtown area, voted against the

    Streamers soar as the crowd celebrates the July 28 groundbreaking of the New Central Library.PAUL HANSEN | Downtown News

    SEE CITY, Page 4

    Ferragosto is a nightwhen everyone is Italian

    With the deadline looming to place a half-cent sales-taxincrease on the November ballot, the City Council voted 6-2on Wednesday to put the measure before voters. The ordi-nance involves a five-year hike in local sales tax and is tied tovarious financial reform measures.

    Its kind of a compromise and an agreement, said Dar-ren Pudgil, a spokesman with Mayor Jerry Sanders office.We know that reforms alone will not enable us to protectand restore city services, so its essentially reforms beforerevenue. Its a combination package.

    The reforms tied to the potential sales-tax raise includechanges to retirement plans for city officials, a second-tierpension plan for firefighters and kickstarting the process toprivatize the citys information technology services and theMiramar Landfill. Pudgil said the proposed ballot measurewould require the city to meet those reforms before anymoney is collected from the sales tax increase.

    Its a very comprehensive reform package that must beput in place, Pudgil said.

    The City Council has held three special hearings in a five-day span to discuss the increase. At the most recent meeting

    SEE SALES-TAX, Page 4


    Delicious Italian fare will delight visitors to Ferragosto 2010, Whenin Rome on Saturday, Aug. 14 in Little Italy. COURTESY PHOTO

    The red carpet will be laid out, banners will be hung andpillars will line Amici Park in Little Italy on Saturday, Aug. 14from 6 to 11:30 p.m. The park, situated on the corner ofState and Date streets, will resemble the Roman Forum underthe stars for Ferragosto 2010, When in Rome.

    It will be a fundraising event which organizers hope willonly be the first of many more to come.

    It was established to bring the community together, saidevent chairman Luke Vinci.

    Each year, organizers want to pull from a different timeperiod and place in Italy and use it as a theme for celebrat-ing Italian culture, Vinci said.

    Proceeds will benefit Washington Elementary Founda-tion, Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church and the Little



    Sales-tax measuregoes on the ballot



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    Comic-Con is king

    San Diego Comic-Con Internation-al just wrapped up its 40th yearon July 25, transforming the Con-vention Center and downtown into pop-culture heaven. Though the event was asold out success, drawing roughly140,000 people to the area, much of thetalk during its four days and on pre-view night centered on whether ornot the convention would leave SanDiego after its contract expires in 2012.

    Having hit capacity limits locally, bothLas Vegas and Anaheim have activelysought to have Comic-Con Internation-al move to their cities. The hope is that byworking with the city to iron out thingssuch as hotel rates for attendees and aproposed expansion of the conventioncenter, the event will remain a down-town fixture for decades to come.

    Comic-Con organizers will be makingan announcement soon on its future inSan Diego, but its loss would be a hugeblow to not only downtown, but theentire county.

    It has a $193 million economicimpact, said Joe Terzi, president andCEO of the San Diego Convention & Vis-itors Bureau.

    He cites figures of roughly $25 mil-lion in retail income, $40 million inrestaurants and transportation, withdirect spending alone totaling nearly$100 million.

    Its a very important event for SanDiego economically, but also from thestandpoint of the press it gets. Its notjust local and its not just San Diego,said Terzi.

    Indeed, Comic-Con garners world-wide coverage and is now regularlymentioned or featured in network TVprograms from The Simpsons to CNNspecial reports. Theres actually moreinternational press than there is nation-al press,Terzi said. Thats important tous. We couldnt buy that.

    Brandy Shimabukuro, a marketingand public relations exp