News Briefs – July 14, 2017

Posted: July 21st, 2017 | Briefs, Briefs, Calendar and Opinion, News | 2 Comments

PAWmicon returns to Hazard Center

Helen Woodward Animal Center is holding its fifth annual PAWmicon Convention on Saturday, July 15, 10 a.m. to noon and will again be held in Mission Valley this year.

The event will take place at Hazard Center located at 7610 Hazard Center Drive, San Diego, CA 92108 and will include carnival games, snacks and a PAWSplay costume contest for dogs and their owners. You can enter the contest as a pet-owner duo or as a pet alone and the contest is $10 to enter. All entrants will receive a goodie bag and prizes will be awarded for the top three costumes.

PAWmicon honors the heroes who adopt pets. (Courtesy Helen Woodward Animal Center)

“We are so excited to bring our PAWmicon event back to Hazard Center,” said Helen Woodward Animal Center Vice President of Development Renee Resko in a press release. “It was the ideal location last year and really allowed animal lovers from all over the city to join us and take part in celebrating the superheroes who adopt orphan pets. We can’t wait to do it again this year.”

There will also be raffles for comic-themed prizes, puppy goodies and Blue Buffalo and Hazard Center Shops gifts. All proceeds will go to Helen Woodward Animal Center for their programs and pets.

According to the events promoters, PAWmicon was created to draw attention to the “superhero” actions of adopters who give orphaned pets a forever home.

For more information on the animal center or to adopt a pet, visit or give them a call at 858-756-4117 or visit in person at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.

USD hosts fellowship for young African leaders

The University of San Diego (USD) is hosting the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for young African leaders. On June 16, 25 fellows arrived to USD and will be participating in a 6-week academic and leadership institute sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

One of 38 universities and the only one in Southern California selected to be an institute partner, the university has worked closely with the U.S. Department of State and IREX, Institute Partners to design programs for the leaders. Programs include a week of San Diego Startup networking events which showcase innovation, resources, knowledge and strengthen local connections. Fellows will also have the opportunity to develop prototypes in San Diego’s Design Lab at UCSD and participate in USD’s own Mandela Social Innovation Challenge.

For more information about the fellows, visit and for more information about the Mandela Washington Fellowship, visit or check out their hashtag #YALI2017.

SDCERA building unveils new art and design

The San Diego County Employees Retirement Association (SDCERA) building has received an artistic facelift, introducing a new interior design with artwork, a mural and new furniture.

“We Believe We Can Fly,” one of the new features, is a car door sculpture painted by Edgemoor Hospital residents who range in age from 19 to 90. Many of the resident-artists have progressive neurological diseases and others suffer from brain trauma.

This design by muralist Isais Crow now adorns the SDCERA building in Mission Valley. (Courtesy SDCERA)

The new design also features a mural painted by San Diego muralist Isaias Crow using acrylic and spray paint which aims to embody the three core values of SDCERA – strength, service and commitment.

To conclude the facelift, the new furniture or “North Seating Area,” which was previously filled with cubicles, is now a multi-functional meeting space that features nature-scapes from the San Diego County Mission Trails Regional Park Foundation.

Want to check out the new SDCERA design? Come by their office located at 2275 Rio Bonito Way.

San Diego Mesa College breaks ground

San Diego Mesa College, located at 7250 Mesa College Drive hosted a groundbreaking ceremony to unveil their new Center for Business & Technology on Wednesday, June 28, at 10 a.m.

The $32.2 million, 57,800-square-foot, two-story building includes tech-savvy classrooms, a case study-type classroom, computer laboratories, a fashion design laboratory, a video display wall, faculty/staff space and hardscape/landscape improvements for the School of Business and Technology.

An artist rendering of Mesa College’s new Center for business & Technology. (Courtesy SDCCD)

Additionally, the building includes an active/hybrid passive ventilation on the second floor classrooms and faculty offices with a series of rooftop air handling units with individual Variable Air Volume (VAV) systems in each room and an operable opening of at least 5 percent of the floor area in each room. Also, in a classroom once a window is opened, the system is signaled to turn off heating/cooling and actively assist with pulling air through the space with the VAVs. This building design maximizes the use of natural daylighting and has drought tolerant landscaping and bioretention features to filter and treat stormwater runoff.

Due to its sustainable features, the new Center for Business and Technology is part of the district’s Green Building Policy for all Propositions S- and N-funded projects and is expected to win a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification.

For more information about the new building, please visit

Homewood Suites by Hilton in Hotel Circle opens

A new Homewood Suites hotel by Hilton has opened in Mission Valley. Located at 2201 Hotel Circle South, the hotel has 245 suites available for booking.

“San Diego is a beautiful, diverse city with everything to offer, and its record-breaking number of visitors last year is a testament to that,” said Adrian Kurre, the global head of Homewood Suites by Hilton, in a press release. “We’re excited to provide a new, value-driven lodging option for leisure, business and government travelers that goes above and beyond to ensure they feel right at home during their extended stay.”

Rendering of the newly-opened Hilton Homewood Suites in Hotel Circle (Courtesy Hilton Hotels)

The suites can be rented from $200 per room and have free breakfast, Wi-Fi accessibility, grocery shopping service, an outdoor heated pool and whirlpool, fitness center, and an outdoor patio area with fire pits, table tennis and life-sized board games.

For more information about the new hotel or to book a stay, visit

Armstrong opens in Morena

Armstrong Garden Centers is heading to a new location at 1364 Morena Blvd. The garden center, which has been employee owned and operated since 1889, had a soft opening on June 10 with an official opening on June 15. From 3 p.m.-7 p.m., the center held a garden party with wine tasting, appetizers and special savings.

To continue opening weekend celebrations, Armstrong Garden Centers held a Grilling in the Garden event where they served hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and soft drinks.

The new Armstrong Garden Center on Morena Boulvard (Courtesy Armstrong Garden Centers)

The center, which sells flowers, vegetables, herbs, succulents and cacti, moved as a result of the MTS Mid-Coast Trolley extension.

“As strong supporters of improved transportation options in the communities that we call home, our company is eager to open our new Morena Boulevard location,” said Armstrong Garden Centers President Monte Enright in a press release. “Of course, we’re sad that we will be leaving a place that we called home for many years. However, we’re very excited that we found another incredible location just a few short blocks from our previous store.”

For more information about Armstrong Garden Centers, visit or call 619-276-9970.

Military tribute unveiled in Civita Park

On Wednesday, June 14, a military tribute was unveiled in Civita Park. Members of the military who unveiled the monument included Major Fernando Perez of the United States Army; Colonel Terry Johnson of the United State Marine Corps; Captain Curt Jones of the United States Navy; Colonel Dennis Tucker Jr. of the United States Air Force; and Commander Eric Cooper of the United States Coast Guard.

(l to r) Major Fernando Perez, United States Army; Colonel Terry Johnson, United State Marine Corps, Captain Curt Jones, United States Navy; Colonel Dennis Tucker Jr., Unite States Air Force; and Commander Eric Cooper, United States Coast Guard participate in the grand opening ceremony for the military monument in Civita Park. (Courtesy Civita)

The monument has a 100-foot flagpole with the American flag surrounded by five flags of the five military service branches. It also features five 6-foot-tall monuments with descriptions of San Diego’s military history in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. To conclude the unveiling, Sudberry Properties, developer of Civita, presented donations to the Armed Services YMCA and the USO San Diego.

Lucent II provides new housing options

On Saturday, June 10, Shea Homes San Diego celebrated the grand opening of their new housing at Civita in Mission valley located at 8523 Aspect Drive.

Lucent II, features seven five-story buildings with either six or 12 homes per building. The homes are compiled of single-story and two-story penthouses, ranging from 1,457 to 1,878 square feet that offer two to three bedrooms, two to two and a half baths, an upstairs family room, an outdoor deck and fireplace.

Lucent II by Shea Homes opened June 10 in Civita. (Courtesy Shea Homes)

“In a marketplace dominated by two-story homes, our option for single-level living is proving popular with a range of buyers,” said Vanessa Linn, vice president of sales and marketing for Shea Homes San Diego in a press release.

Homes are priced in the mid $700,000s and are designed by Woodley Architectural Group.

For more information on Lucent II, call 858-256-9021 or visit


  1. Hello! I was just reading an article in the Mission Valley News in San Diego on July 14, 2017, giving tribute to five military professionals at a dedication at Civita Park. It mentions a friend of mine, Marine Corps Major David Perez. I was wondering if there were any close-ups of Major Perez from this event?

    Thank you in advance for helping me.

    Karen Robinson

    • Sara Butler says:

      Hi Karen,

      The image we used was supplied by Civita. They would be who to ask if there are any close-up shots from the dedication day. Hope you find the photos you’re looking for! Thanks.

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