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Artists’ Advocate

Mark Jesinoski can’t say with certainty what first drew him to pick up a paintbrush. But he knows it had something to do with the coal mine. At 21, Jesinoski was working in a Wyoming mine, feeling isolated and alienated from people who didn’t relate to his stage in life or interests. So he began to paint as a form of expression, a way of relating to the outside world. It was the be­ginning of a path that led him to San Diego, where he helps local emerging artists make a name—and a living—for themselves.

Jesinoski was instrumental in creating Mosaic Gallery, a two-story art gallery and event space housed at the back of North Park’s Mosaic Wine Bar (619-906-4747, mosaicwinebar.com). He does it all—from mopping the floors to publicizing shows to identifying emerging talent. And he balances what could be a full-time job with completing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and doing his own painting (he’s completed some 80 live-painting demos in the past year).

“The goal is to make San Diego more of an art culture so that people don’t just think of our beaches,” says Jesinoski, cofounder of the online San Diego Art Journal (sandiegoartjournal.com). “We’re trying to connect local collectors with local artists and make San Diego art more accessible to people.”

The gallery will rotate artists every five to six weeks, and Jesinoski plans to connect artists with area nonprofits to support a variety of community causes. More information: jesart.com

In The Haus

Office life has its soul-crushing moments, many of them famously immortalized in the movie Office Space. But freelancers, designers and creative types who work solo can miss out on the good parts of working alongside others.

Hive Haus in downtown San Diego provides this while taking workspace digs to another level, combining vintage East Village brick walls with modern interior flourishes. For a reasonable monthly rate, the Hive offers mail and phone service, a board room, a lounge area with revolving art installations—and the camaraderie of everyone from radio personalities (former 91X deejay Chris Cantore works here) and iPhone app programmers to real estate agents and graphic designers.

“The magic is in the collaboration,” says marketing maestro Dave Brown of Holiday Matinee, who also works here. Creatively stumped? There’s plenty of innovation floating around. Have a real estate question? Ask someone at Urban Collective Real Estate Advisors, another tenant. Musicians occasionally play in the lounge, and everyone in the neighborhood is invited periodically for coffee socials.

Jason Harper, co-owner of Hive Haus (along with local architect Graham Downes), saw a niche waiting to be filled: He also owns a media company and works with many freelancers. “It gets to the point where everybody’s meeting at coffee shops—we’re never collaborating,” he says. “Most companies thrive and become stronger because their team is together.

“There’s so many people downsizing, or getting laid off and starting their own companies,” he says of Hive’s timeliness. “There are a few others like it throughout the country.”

It’s evolved into a second location, built for growing companies: Hive 241, at 241 14th Street, near Wonderhaus. The features are similar, although Harper plans to make use of two old safes unique to the property. For more info, visit hivehaus.com.      —Adam Elder

Cup Half-Full

With the coveted America’s Cup back on U.S. soil after a 15-year absence, people are asking software mogul Larry Ellison and his BMW Oracle Racing team: Where will the winners choose to hold the next defense?

Asking might be a nice way of putting it. During the victory tour’s San Diego stop, held aboard the USS Midway in February, Mayor Jerry Sanders said he respects Ellison’s decision to consider the team’s patron city of San Francisco—but that San Diego “can do it better.”

While other team members were a little more politic, San Diego got the unabashed backing of helmsman James Spithill who, at 30, is the youngest skipper to ever win the America’s Cup.

“It’s a proven venue,” says Spithill. “You’ve had the Cup here before, [and] it’s provided great racing. Obviously, there are a lot of venues we have to look at—but look, there’s no reason why it couldn’t be here.”      —Annie Lane         

[NewsBeat]

Dumb and Dumber

More than a decade ago, Michael Craig Dick­man made local headlines as the “Gap-Toothed Bandit.” The case was particularly news­worthy because of who he was—a National University professor and former biotech executive. The unlikely bank robber spent about seven and a half years in prison and was free for less than two years when he was arrested again. For more bank robberies.

“I guess he went back to what he knew,” says Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey. On February 2, a jury convicted Dickman of four bank holdups. He faces 25 years to life in prison because the latest robberies amounted to a third strike.

In his first crime spree in 1999, Dickman was brazen enough to park his getaway car in a red zone near a bank he’d just robbed. He walked to what is now the Westfield UTC shopping mall to buy a change of clothes and returned to his car as investigators surrounded it. He nonchalantly gave consent for a vehicle search, and investigators found his demand note in the cen­ter console.

In his more recent robberies, he wore a wig and a fake moustache. In what must felt like déjà vu to Dickman, the cop who stopped him as he was casing a bank found the wig on the passenger seat. And the demand note.      —Kelly Thornton 

Eco-Warriors

Earth Day is April 22, but these environmental role models work to preserve our corner of the planet every day of the year. Walk a mile in their zero-carbon footprints—then take up your own eco-challenge. Earth Day is April 22, but these environmental role models work to preserve our corner of the planet every day of the year. Walk a mile in their zero-carbon footprints—then take up your own eco-challenge.

Lisa Bicker
President & CEO, CleanTECH

San Diego

Her inspiration: “I’ve always been inspired by entrepreneurialism and innovation. There is tre­mendous opportunity in green issues. The uninitiated think the San Francisco Bay Area—where I moved here from—is the green capital of Cali­for­nia, but I would beg to differ. San Diego is a tremendous leader in this sector.”

What she does: “[CleanTECH] is in many ways the connective tissue for building a clean-energy economy. We bring our various and diverse members—local business leaders, energy companies, universities, government and nonprofit organizations—together to stimulate innovation and advance the adoption of clean technologies and sustainable industry practices for the economic, environmental and social benefit of the greater San Diego region.”

Biggest victory: “We’ve been very successful in leading an effort to ensure San Diego received a $150 million allocation from the federal government [Clean Renewable Energy Bond] for municipal agencies to install solar rooftops. That means San Diego got one of every five dollars allocated nationwide.”

One thing you can do: “Set an example and create a sustainability ethic in your home and community. You can do good and make money.”

Jim Mumford
Owner/president & resident
horticulturist, GreenScaped Buildings

His inspiration: “As a kid, I spent many hours wandering the local canyons, woods and fields, enjoying the diversity and developing a love for nature. This, combined with my family’s interest in natural history (and keeping the electricity bill down), made me an ‘unconscious’ environmentalist at a young age.”

What he does: “I launched my company, GreenScaped Build­ings, to design, install and maintain environmentally restorative green [vegetated] roofs and living walls. We can reduce energy costs, mitigate storm-water runoff and create biodiversity for the urban environment. We hope to become a tool for sustainable lifestyles in the region. Green­Scaped Buildings recently installed an ‘edible wall’ as part of the Urban Corps of San Diego County’s Recycling Education & Community Outreach Center, a training facility for green careers for inner-city youth 18-25, as well as a community center for promoting recycling, conservation and sustainable urban environments.”

Biggest victory: “When we started, the plan­ning department had never heard of a green roof, let alone know how to permit one. After much back-and-forth over the months and thousands of dollars to my architect [Robert Thiele] and engineer [HTK], we were able to get the first permitted green roof in San Diego. It may be the first permitted green roof in the state of California.”

One thing you can do: “Plant more trees! Of course, choose varieties that do well in our climate with minimum irrigation. And while you’re at it, use rainwater and gray water!”

Pollie Gautsch
Creator, sandiegogreenhomes.com

Her inspiration: “My husband, Darryl, is an energy engineer and has been working with solar, wind power and energy-saving lighting products for more than 20 years. His work has inspired us to build our next home entirely ‘green.’ We created the Web site to act as a resource for anyone else in San Diego who was looking for the same kind of information.”

What she does: “We are building a net-zero home in Solana Beach that will produce more energy than we use. When Darryl and I started our build­ing process, there was no comprehensive San Diego–based Web site to assist us with building a green home. Our goal is to have all of the green busi­nesses in San Diego on the site so a home builder can have a one-stop shop for finding green/sus­tain­able products and services.”

Biggest victory: “It has taken quite a lot of time and energy, but we have been successful in finding sustainable and green products for each stage of the building process: LED lighting from a Solana Beach company (ecolightingstore.com); bathroom fixtures (dual-flush toilets, low-flow showerheads) from European Bath and Tile, also in Solana Beach; flooring from Indo Teak Custom Flooring ­(indoteakcustomflooring.com), which sells FCS-certified flooring; denim insulation from Olive Branch Green Building Supply in North Park; solar panels from Sequoia Solar in Solana Beach; building materials made with nontoxic and sustainable products from Kirei in Solana Beach; and cabinets made of sustainable materials by Artistic Freedom Designs, also local.”

What you can do: “Make an effort to utilize your city’s recycling program.”

Marco Gonzalez
Cofounder and partner, Coast Law Group
Co-founder, Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation (CERF)

His inspiration: “I grew up in north San Diego County, surfing, and have built my whole life around it. I have a law office in Encinitas, and almost everyone here surfs. We consider surfers to be the ultimate canaries in the coal mine when it comes to beach health and safety.”

What he does: “We operate on three fronts: We provide services that include administrative law—appearing before various government agen­cies like the Coastal Commission or regional water boards on various types of projects. We also do litigation. We work with legislators at the state and federal levels to pass laws to protect our environment. Right now we have a state government that is in economic shambles, and there are extreme pressures to relax environmental laws to allow more streamline building. We watch legislation that is put out there and draft amendments that allow some semblance of environmental protection. The surfers at Coast Law Group established CERF to aggressively advocate for the protection and enhancement of coastal natural re­sources and the quality of life for coastal residents.”

Biggest success: “I was one of the instigators of a lawsuit that has resulted in the city of San Diego’s reduction of sew­age spills by 85 percent since 2001. Right now the city is moving forward with a pilot project to recycle sew­age for reservoir augmentation. I’ve been an instigator of that for a few years now.”

What you can do: “The single most important thing any individual can do is vote for an environmentally responsible candidate. It takes leadership in politics to make the real difference.”

—Julia Beeson Polloreno

Seasonally Fresh

Sleepy beach town no more, San Diego has emerged as a flourishing cultural destination packed with design-driven details and artful attractions. Our city’s mounting love of all things art, fashion and music has inspired a few eclectic entrepreneurs to share their passion by means of quaint boutiques. From Jeffrey Parish, the couture creative director/designer for Lago Designs, to Elizabeth Leffler-Agia and Cecilia Church, two retail renegades brave enough to revamp, rebrand and repurpose existing boutique spaces, these style curators put the finishing touches on our latest looks.                        —Andrea Ebbing

Cecilia Boutique
928 Fort Stockton Drive
619-692-3802, ceciliaboutiquesd.com
Owner: Elizabeth Leffler-Agia

 What inspired the name Cecilia Boutique? My grandmother, Cecilia, was always fash­ion­able and left me a number of her vintage drawings of evening gowns. She was one of my inspirations.

What is the shop concept? I wanted a place that would be every wom­an’s dream closet, where the décor was as beautiful as the clothing. At the same time, it should be as comfortable as your own living room. Come in, sip champagne, and chat with your girlfriends.

Tell us about some of the looks we can find there this season. We will have shorts for every shape and size, mini-dresses that transition from day to night, embellished bold print tops accented with feminine details, lightweight military jackets and clean-line blazers, also key accessory pieces such as hip belts, statement necklaces and vintage cuffs.

Vo•cab•u•lary
414 West Cedar Street
619-544-1100, vocabularyboutique.com
Owner: Cecilia Church

What inspired the shop’s name? We brainstormed until we found a name that represented our concept: We carry all the tools one needs to articulate personal style, from apparel to home furnishings.

What are some of the brands and items you offer? Collective Concepts, Corey Lyn Calter, Liquid, English Laundry and unique, locally made accessories, fine art and furniture.

Tell us about some of the looks we can find there this season. Flirty, light graphic pieces for days in the sun, and chic basics in wonderful fabrics that can be accessorized for work and play.

Junc Boutique & Gallery
2205 Fern Street
619-283-2611, shopjuncboutique.com
Owner: Jeffrey Parish

What inspired the name Junc? I wanted something that encompassed ev­erything I carried in my store: clothing, accessories, gifts, furniture and local artwork.

What is the shop concept? I wanted to create a place that reminded me of the quaint little shops I love so much in Denver and San Francisco. Not the typical boutique atmosphere, but instead a homey, comfortable feeling. I also wanted it to be chic, but not with the chic price tag you find in similar stores. Most inventory is under $100.

Tell us about some of the looks we can find there this season. I try to steer clear of trends and focus on buying what I find interesting. Junc offers wardrobe-staple pieces for both men and women. In this economy, I have found that consumers are looking for special pieces that will cross seasons and have lasting power.

 The Insider

L.T., we hardly knew ye: Chargers fans saddened by the news of the departure of LaDainian Tomlinson, take heart. There’s always YouTube. Now known for his moves both on and off the field, the running back became an Internet celebrity thanks to “Electric Glide,” a kitschy viral music video that shows a white-suited L.T. doing a hip-shaking touchdown dance, taking a knee, waving to his mom and, well, “gliding” to a cheesy Casio backbeat. The addictive video was apparently a few-years-old campaign for Nike that somehow remained buried until earlier this year. We recommend bookmarking the link for next season, when the pangs of longing hit.

Pink gets dirty: On-again/off-again loves Pink and Carey Hart seemed very much on during their recent stay at the Sè Hotel, where they came to celebrate an early Valentine’s Day. The couple strolled around downtown before having a drink in the Suite & Tender bar and later took in some Supercross (Hart is a motocrosser) at Qualcomm Stadium. Tweeting from the event, Pink predicted things were about to get dirty, posting, “At the Hart and Huntington rig at the San Diego Supercross with all the boys. Loving this rain. Gonna be a mud race.”

Couples retreats: Actor Jon Favreau (Swingers, Couples Retreat) enjoyed a re­treat of his own recently with wife Joya Tillem at Four Seasons Resort Aviara—though it wasn’t a strictly romantic affair. The two were joined by their three kidlets, who were treated to a day out at Legoland. Also spotted checking in for an S.D. over­nighter: Ronnie and Vinny from MTV’s Jersey Shore and Ozzy Osbourne, who all recently stayed (separately) at the Sè Hotel.

The accidental philanthropist: The Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is quickly becoming the special-occasion spot of choice for actress Beverley Mitchell, who toasted her 29th birthday with Grey Goose cocktails and a large group of family and friends at the downtown hotspot just weeks after celebrating her first wedding anniversary there. Upon learning that her fête coincided with a fund-raiser the nightclub was doing for Haiti relief, Mitchell started an impromptu collection from her guests and cut a large check toward the cause, telling the bar manager, “We are so excited to be able to give back on my birthday!”

iPrettyman: While he demonstrated the new iPad tablet to eager gadget junkies around the globe, Apple CEO Steve Jobs scrolled through his personal iTunes library, revealing a collection containing an album by local songwriter Tristan Prettyman. “A friend told me about it,”Prettyman says. “I watched the keynote, and when he went into iTunes and started scrolling through, he stopped at Bob Dylan, and there was my album cover right next to it. I was pretty psyched. Kinda like when you walk into a store and hear your song playing randomly on the speakers. It’s like a little pat on the back from the universe.” In a Stephen Colbert–like plea, she adds, “Maybe he will give me one, and we can all play with it!”

Celebrity Twitter roundup: Here’s what the stars are tweeting about: Skateboarder Tony Hawk extolled the virtues of San Diego’s “tasty waves,” while ex-Playmate turned pregnant reality-show star Kendra Wilkinson gave an articulate shout-out to our local cuisine, posting, “Hole in the wall Mexican food joints are always the best ... esp in San Diego n of course Mexico lol!!!”      —Rachel Zenn Sachs

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