http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-asian-leopards-20141011-story.htmlLAT said:San Diego Zoo building new exhibit for Asian leopards
The San Diego Zoo this week began construction of a new habitat area for critically endangered Asian leopards.
The area, set for completion by next Memorial Day, will accomodate the zoo's two male Amur leopards and two female snow leopards. The two species do not mix and will be separated.
Once the 16,500-square-foot space is completed, the zoo will consider bringing leopards from other locations for a breeding program with the Amur and snow leopards. A breeding program is underway for lions and tigers at the zoo's Safari Park and is being planned for jaguars at the zoo.
Included in the exhibit will be a space for mothers and newborns, with a glass viewing area for guests, zoo officials said.
More than 1,000 donors contributed $3 million for construction of the large-cat exhibit. The animals are currently in smaller spaces that have been upgraded.
The Amur leopard is considered the most endangered big cat in the world, with only 40 still roaming southern Russia and northern China.
An estimated 7,000 snow leopards remain in the mountains of central Asia, including Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Mongolia, Tibet and Bhutan. The snow leopard is the national heritage animal of Pakistan.
CivicSD approves 18-story residential tower for East Village
Alexan, an 18-story apartment tower in downtown's East Village, including what one director called a "hat" on the top floor, got the go-ahead last week from Civic San Diego.
The 320-unit project by Trammell Crow Residential will be built on the block bounded by 13th, 14th, J and K streets, two blocks east of the Central Library. The historic Mexican Presbyterian church is to be relocated elsewhere on the block and turned into a restaurant, according to the developer's plans.
The city's Historic Resources Board and Planning Commission also will review the project and it could be appealed to the City Council. But CivicSD, the city's downtown development arm, said no opposition has appeared so far.
El Cortez and Symphony Towers are getting new neighbor: A 21-story residential tower with a rooftop canopy that resembles an airplane wing.
Called 7th&A, the development by Michael Schlesinger -- the man trying to build homes on an Escondido golf course -- would replace the former University Club-San Diego County Bar Association at Seventh Avenue and A Street , south of El Cortez Hotel condos and north of Symphony Towers' Declan Suites hotel.
"I think it's beautifully designed with a great amenity package," Schlesinger said in an interview. "It's well located, very well thought out."
Carrier Johnson + Carrier, the architect on the project, included a 100-foot-long rooftop element that covers the clubhouse and mechanical as a reminder that planes fly nearby building on the way to Lindbergh Field.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/nov/06/bike-tourism-advocates-conference-san-diego/UTSD said:Can SD be a mecca for cycling tourists?
Year-round warm weather, blended with panoramic ocean vistas and a growing network of bicycle paths, would seem the perfect amalgam for transforming San Diego into a magnet for bike-riding tourists. So why is San Diego not more widely known as a premier cycling destination?
While some progress has been made in getting the word out, local biking advocates and businesses that cater to cyclists are hoping that a national bike tourism conference here this week will help raise the county’s profile as a dream vacation spot for both casual riders and serious cycling enthusiasts.
The San Diego Downtown Community Planning Committee (DCPC-SD) meets again Wednesday November 12, 2014 with a couple of new projects, including Broadstone Makers Quarter on 16th and an Affirmed Housing project on Imperial Avenue.
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/dec/01/san-diego-innovation-scientist-edico-illumina/UTSD said:San Diego biotechs dominate innovation list
Local products grab 5 of top 10 spots, Edico Genome gets first place
San Diego's reputation as a biotech innovation leader has received a ringing endorsement from The Scientist, a highly regarded life science magazine.
Five of the magazine's top 10 innovations for 2014 -- including the first-place product -- came from San Diego companies. And four of them came from the fast-growing field of genomics, where San Diego dominates.
La Jolla's Edico Genome took first place for its Dragen Bio-IT Processor. The add-on card accelerates the analysis of genomic data by a factor of 30, says Pieter van Rooyen, Edico's president and chief executive. It can be installed in a standard computer server.
http://fox5sandiego.com/2014/12/01/new-community-piazza-coming-to-little-italy/SAN DIEGO – Little Italy is getting ready for a makeover with the addition of the “Piazza Famiglia,” a 10,000-square-foot public piazza to serve the Little Italy community.
The Little Italy Association, in partnership with H.G Fenton Company, is transforming West Date Street, between Columbia Street and India Street, into a mixed-use development including shops, restaurants, and residences.
“Famiglia, it means family,” said Lou Palestini, who grew up around the corner from the future piazza. “We would sit on the corner over there and just mesmerize on how nice it would be someday to have this street closed and have a big plaza. Low and be hold with the Fenton family and the City Council we will have something we dreamt about for years.”
This public space will feature classic Italian architectural details and design inspired by the grand piazzas of Italy and Europe. Eventually, the European-style piazza will become the new “heart” of Little Italy and a central community gathering space to host farmers’ markets, concerts and cultural events.
“I moved in to Little Italy 12 years old and its just evolving and its evolved into a world class neighborhood where people around the country look to see what the next step,” said John Capizzi, a Little Italy resident.
Developers broke ground Monday morning alongside Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council President Todd Gloria. The ceremony included an old Italian tradition where a priest blessed the property.
Developers plan to add 55 parking spaces underneath the piazza but some locals worry it wont be enough to combat the additional congestion.
“There are plenty of places in San Diego where it’s easy to park but you wouldn’t want to go to. In every great city of the world parking is a challenge,” said Marco Limandri, Chief Executive Officer of the Little Italy Association.
The project will cost developers $2 million and is expected to open by Christmas 2016.
San Diego's waterfront makeover is heavy on public space
"Today, San Diego gets the embarcadero it deserves," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at a festive event last month to publicly unveil the $31.1-million project along Harbor Drive from Navy Pier to B Street, at the foot of Broadway.
"We persevered," Faulconer said. "Now we have a showpiece to demonstrate that it can be done."
The North Embarcadero Visionary Plan was discussed, planned and fought over for 20 years before construction began three years ago.
The site now provides the perfect San Diego Bay backdrop for selfies and marriage proposals, said former Port Commission member Michael McDade, a leader in bringing the project to fruition.
For the waterfront, the current project is just phase one, although yet to be found is money for additional phases that would further reduce traffic, expand walkways and reduce view blockage.
In Balboa Park, parking places were removed to create a plaza near the Old Globe theater, the Museum of Art and the El Prado restaurant and close to the Spreckels Organ Pavilion and the Japanese Friendship Garden.
At the downtown Horton Plaza Park, in front of the shopping mall, the century-old park is being tripled in size to 37,000 square feet to include additional grass, trees, benches and food vendors. The building that once housed Planet Hollywood has been torn down to make room.
The shopping mall operator has promised to provide 200 events a year with private funding, including a farmers market and concerts, a process called "activating the space" in planner-ese.
The county government this year finished a $49-million linear park along inland Harbor Drive, with greenery, wading pools and fountains. The park is 16 acres, including eight that were once parking lots. To offset the parking loss, the county broke ground last week on a multistory parking structure several blocks inland.
As a military child and active duty servicememeber, I have lived all over the world. Very few places can compare, all around, to San Diego. If there ever was a "perfect" American city, San Diego would probably take the honors.San Diego has some nice projects going up! I've always loved and thought this a beautiful city. Was there a couple of years ago after visiting my cousins up in Los Angeles. San Diego is the best city in California in my humble opinion.