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Fireworks show is a go

Posted: June 16th, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Jeff Clemetson | Editor

There was a moment when Tracy Dahlkamp doubted that she could pull off bringing back the Lake Murray Fireworks and MusicFest. She wasn’t sure that people cared enough to bring back the annual July 4 event.

“When we started this project, I was concerned because I wasn’t sure that the community wanted it and my husband said to me, ‘You know what, if people give you money, that will tell you they want it,’” she said. “And we got a lot of money. We got a lot of support.”

Funding at Gage raises transparency concerns

Posted: June 16th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Mario Koran | Voice of San Diego

On a recent evening, a group of PTA parents from Gage Elementary huddled together in the back of a Del Cerro bistro to brainstorm ideas for how to handle a school district that they say can’t or won’t answer basic questions about their children’s school.

At the table sat an exceptionally well-resourced group of parents. Lisa Deaton is a scientist for a pharmaceutical company. Megan Nuñez is a special education attorney. Jeff Bennett is a member of the National Guard who also serves on the District Advisory Council, an advisory board that makes recommendations for how the district should spend money to support students.

Unlocking minds

Posted: June 16th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Della Elliott

The inmate journals tell the story best about renewed hope and aspirations that a new program offering Grossmont College classes at Las Colinas jail have brought to the women, the first ever to enroll in college at the facility.

Haydee described the epiphany of lessons learned in a counseling course on College and Career Success, one of three classes offered to inmates at the Las Colinas Detention and Re-entry Facility in Santee. Pathways to Success Academy is a joint pilot program of the college and the jail that provides nine college credits, tutoring and financial aid information to inmates who succeed in the five-month regimen of instruction, homework and tests.

Persian and Arab delights

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

A visit to Tak Grill potentially sends you on a culinary odyssey through several countries beginning with Iran, where Hossein Ebrahimi ran a similar eatery before emigrating to the U.S. several years ago.

His native recipes for minty shirazi salad and succulent meat kebabs are supplemented by dishes common to Turkey, Lebanon and Greece — chicken shawarma, stuffed grape leaves, lamb-beef gyros and falafel.

A different kind of business

Posted: May 19th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Doug Curlee | Editor at Large

Who would ever think someone would pay money for a necklace composed of a .50 caliber cartridge? An increasingly growing number of people will, apparently.

That’s why Grantville-based Bullets2Bandages is now a fast-growing enterprise offering all kinds of military-oriented gifts and useful items that were once heavy military ammo.

Final funding push for Lake Murray festival

By Doug Curlee | Editor at Large

The on-again, off-again saga of Fourth of July fireworks at Lake Murray are apparently back on again, but there are “ifs” involved.

The fireworks went away in 2012, after a 2011 lawsuit against them was filed by an environmental group upset about setting off fireworks over water — especially over water that is to become drinking water.

Development plans dominate NCPI meeting

Posted: April 21st, 2017 | Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Doug Curlee | Editor at Large

The April 12 meeting of the Navajo Community planning board has been hearing this plan, in one form or another, longer than anyone currently on that board can remember.

It’s the plan that would build homes — in this case, 24 of them — in what is generally considered a gully along the east edge of College Avenue from Interstate 8 west.

Local distiller makes inventive splash into growing market

Posted: April 21st, 2017 | Features, Food & Drink, Top Stories | No Comments

By Frank Sabatini Jr.

Jason Swinford is banking on the day consumers will demand locally made spirits, much like they do craft beer.

The trend has actually begun in niche circles around the globe, which is why he made the leap from food truck operator to budding distiller three years ago. More recently, he added a 400-square-foot tasting room to his Grantville-based business, Swinford Spirits, which produces artisan gin, plus vodka contained in self-infuser bottles, and Canadian whiskey he imports and enhances with toasted quinoa and organic ginger.

Blazing a trail for San Diego’s writing community

Posted: April 21st, 2017 | Arts & Entertainment, Features, Top Stories | No Comments

By Cynthia Robertson

San Carlos resident Kristen Fogle has in mind to make San Diego a bustling writers’ community. As the new executive director at San Diego Writers, Ink, she has taken giant steps in doing that, including transforming a $100,000 budget of a struggling organization to almost $300,000 a year.

Herself a writer, Fogle first came to San Diego Writers’ Ink, located in Pt. Loma’s Liberty Station, in 2013 as interim executive director.