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Mayor "Nibbles Fallen Apples"

Local Honchos' pens are put to the test by a handwriting analyst.

AFTER THE CITY WAVERED on keeping its 30-year-old slogan, San Diego’s status as “America’s Finest City” came into question. But the catchphrase may still offer insight into the lives of some of our more notable residents. Sheila Kurtz, chief graphology officer at Pilot Pen, performs handwriting analysis for the CIA and other law enforcement agencies. She analyzed six anonymously submitted handwriting samples of the same three words, “America’s Finest City,” to reveal the hidden messages residing in the simple strokes of a pen.

handwriting sample


“The capital ‘A’ in the first word strokes back to the past and then forward with verve to the future. This writer uses information to gain hold of what is to come, and is open-minded enough (open ‘e’ loops) to accept and act upon what is discovered. The straight, strong downstroke in the ‘y’ in ‘City’ indicates a strong determination to see what ought to be done, get it done, and follow through afterwards. Goals are practical to easy. This writer aims for what she/he can reach, and sometimes will simply pick the easiest to achieve, like a deer nibbles fallen apples. Writer gets to it (no hesitation strokes start any words). By nature a loner, this writer can do most stuff in solitude and doesn’t need a cheerleading team. The slashed ‘i’ dots suggest impatience, probably with smaller details. The writer uses logic, with a trusted intuition that speeds up the methodical process. Has an alert and curious nature.” The writer: San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders.

handwriting sample


“Direct and perhaps fast-moving. Thinking pattern is investigative and analytical (wedges and ‘v’ formations in m’s and n’s); writer will personally find data and come to conclusions and take an initiative without excessive reliance upon others. A fine diplomatic streak (the tapering off of the ‘m’s and ‘n’s) that indicates the gift of tact in dicey situations. Very acquisitive (beginning hooks throughout) with an urge to own, possess and control power, money and knowledge. The tent formation in the ‘A’ and the ‘t’ in ‘finest’ suggest the writer may hold on to her/his point of view or process long after there’s no longer a point.” The writer: Jahja Ling, San Diego Symphony music director.

handwriting sample


“Very open and generous, as indicated by the nice upward swing of the ‘t’ in ‘finest.’ A huge persistence stroke in ‘finest’, an indication that the writer will ‘Think I can! Think I can! Think I can!’ until the intention is reality. The writer is likely to hold on dearly to whatever he/she gains (final hooks on letters). Slashes for ‘i’ dots indicate impatience to get things done.” Writer: Michael Aguirre, San Diego city attorney.

handwriting sample

“This writer is a person who moves through life at a measured, moderate pace and can hardly be lured into snap actions and decisions. The facts available are what this writer uses, and there is not much effort to probe beneath the surface for answers. The ‘e’ loops are clean and wide-open, the sign of a person who allows new ideas in to systematically go over and digest them. The loop in the ‘y’ in ‘City’ is a sign of a big imagination that may be so oddly configured that major misunderstandings might result if it were ever let loose.” The writer: William Lansdowne, San Diego police chief.

handwriting sample

“Writer wishes to be clear and understood. Good attention to details (closely dotted i’s). The straight ‘y’ stroke and the closed ‘e’ loops indicate a writer who prefers her/his own company to that of most others and carefully screens out most new ideas, most new people and newness of most sorts. Strong, trusted intuition that helps to speed up methodical thinking. Goals are practical and reachable.” The writer: Michael Zucchet, former San Diego city councilman.

handwriting sample
“The writing reeks with energy and emotional outgoingness (the forward-leaning right slant). Very strong and forceful drive (see the enthusiastic ‘t’ bar at the end of ‘finest’) as well as enduring determination and a tendency to follow through (straight, strong downstroke in ‘y’ in ‘City’). Wide-open ‘e’s indicate an openmindedness to new ideas. Beginning and ending hooks in several letters (see ‘F’ in ‘Finest’) indicate a writer who has the need and means to acquire and will be hard pressed to let go of anything gained. This writer moves quickly and is impatient enough with details to make him/her perhaps a bit sarcastic.” The writer: Bill Kolender, San Diego County sheriff.

CITY BEAT

Sixth Sense


WHAT HAPPENED to downtown’s Sixth Avenue? You’re more familiar with entertaining, barfilled Fifth —— heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Now Sixth has gone from sketchy to chi-chi. Come take a quick tour.

Leave your wheels at the rhyming-est parking lot in town: Park It on Market (Sixth and Market Street). Across Sixth is Side Bar. Try to get through its velvet ropes. Facing Side Bar is Visions, a new bar/restaurant boasting a bevy of flat-screen televisions and swell sushi.

We’re just getting started. One block down (Sixth and Island) is San Diego’s oldest bar. Tivoli is a well-kempt dive, around since the Gaslamp was a brothel-centric district called Stingaree. But wait. That’s Stingaree across the street from Tivoli. Stingaree is a 22,000-square-foot, three-floor, cash-guzzling bar/ restaurant/scene.

C’mon, keep moving. One more block brings us to Hotel Solamar, with rooftop Jbar and street-level Jsix restaurant (get it——now we’re at J Street and Sixth). Across J Street is the brand-newest addition: Palm Restaurant, with walls filled with caricatures of San Diego luminaries (kinda hard to eat with Rod Luck staring at you).

Keep going on Sixth and pass the Gaslamp Marriott (with rooftop bar Altitude) and Petco Park–connected Omni Hotel. So much to choose from——and a Hard Rock Hotel coming in 2007.

Sixth: It’s the Gaslamp’s new Fifth.

——RON DONOHO

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