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8 San Diego Uptown News | Mar. 18–31, 2011 FROM PAGE 1


night before the event ensured the event would materialize seam- lessly the following day.

“At that point it became a bal- ancing act of seeing how many people would pretend like they’re not paying attention while they really are, so they come in at the right time,” Howell said.

White said motivation for or- ganizing a San Diego flash mob was in part to raise money for the Helen Woodward Animal Center, a no-kill humane care and adop- tion center for orphaned animals. “Of the people who said they wanted to participate, I told them that in order to be able to do so they’d need to donate a minimum of a dollar,” White said. “Although I live in Los Angeles now, when I lived in San Diego I used to work [at Helen Woodward]. I know how unbelievable what they do is and how much every penny does ben- efit what they do.”

White, who would not disclose the exact amount of money raised for Helen Woodward, said that the donation was significant. Hillcrest resident Sally Hall,

who participated in the flash mob, said she and her friends decided to do so because, “It was an item on our bucket list.”

“It was something we could do that would pull a diverse group of people together and allow us to have a lot of fun in the process,” Hall said. “And the onlookers were having a good time, because we were having a good time. You could see their hips moving and some of them starting to practice to the side.”

Both White and Howell said they will organize another flash mob in the future, although they have not set a date. White said the January event took hundreds of hours to coordinate and that for now she’s taking, “a bit of a break.” Anyone interested in receiving up- dates as to the next event should join the duo’s fan page at face- book/flashmobsandiego.u


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iodide is a mutagenic agent, pos- sibly causes cancer, and also is a neurotoxin capable of harming both adults and the fetuses. They found that protection for farm workers and the wider popula- tion is difficult, if not impossible. Even skin contact is risky. And it causes mutations, because it disrupts the body’s DNA. Further, there’s an utter lack of scientific data on the com- pound. The group reported, “No robust studies of neurotoxicity [were] actually conducted. The studies labeled as “neurotoxic- ity” were nothing of the sort.” Case studies were startling. “The case studies were par- ticularly insightful and demon- strated long term neurotoxic effects of methyl iodide,” accord- ing to the study. Sadly, even if you eat or come into contact with these strawber- ries, you may not be immune to methyl iodide’s effects. Its potential for leaching out of the soil and into our water supply is a reality, according to the study. On Jan. 3, 2011, a coalition of

seven groups, including United Farm Workers, Community and Children’s Advocates Against Pesticide Poisoning and Califor- nia for Pesticide Reform, sued the state of California for ap- proving the use of methyl iodide without sufficiently studying its risks, also citing the haste with which pesticide regula- tors excluded public comment to secure passage before Gov. Schwarzenegger left office. Now, we’re less than a month away from the arrival of strawberries we typically long for, so what do we do? Call and write your legis- lators. Protest. Write letters-to- the-editor for publication in your local newspaper.

Meet and get to know your

local growers. If you live in San Diego, visit Lucila and Robin at Suzie’s Organic Farm, who may not have strawberries this year, but sell good produce, or Jonathan and his crew at Tierra Miguel, which holds an an- nual u-pick strawberry festival, expected this year to fall on May 21. Phil Noble of Sage Mountain Farm, who grows on the out- skirts of San Diego, is another knowledgeable grower, as are David and Tina Barnes of Crows Pass Farm, whose strawberries will be available next month. Many of these growers sell their strawberries at farmers mar- kets—and sometimes on their properties—as soon as they’re available. I can’t overemphasize the importance of talking with your growers. Remember: You vote with

your purchases. When you buy from your local growers, you’re showing your legislators that you’re not interested in pesticide- laden, produce. Keep in mind that small growers often can’t afford the “organic” label, so ask them whether they spray. It’s that dialogue that’s so important. On the lookout for a sweet

strawberry alternative? Be aware that peaches, most ber- ries, grapes and apples are also pesticide absorbers. To read the Review Com- mittee’s full report, visit: cdpr. view_report.pdf.u


est point. The expansion will also include a Camellia and Azalea Garden, a Traditional Tea House, cherry tree grove, a Tea and Herb Garden, a special-events Pavilion seating 300 and an Amphitheatre, all surrounded by a Lotus Pond. Waterfall construction began in July 2010 and accessible travel paths are being fashioned begin- ning at the south gate, meander- ing down to the lower garden, and ending at the future Pavilion. The multi-phase expansion of the showpiece garden near the Spreckels Organ Pavilion, which originated as a teahouse during the 1915–16


Exposition, will be a unique blend of East and West, noted Dennis Otsuji, a landscape architect, city planning commissioner and presi- dent of the Japanese Friendship Garden Society of San Diego. Otsuji, whose mission is to

create a Japanese-style garden that encourages understanding of Japanese culture, notes that the garden will not be a traditional- Japanese garden. “We call it a Japanese-style

garden,” said Otsuji, explaining such gardens are characterized by their “oneness” with nature. This entails adapting the design to existing ground conditions, Otsuji said. “The concept is to use nature itself, where the garden is located, its environment, to determine the plant palette.”

The Japanese Friendship Gar- den is designed to present an atmosphere of elegant simplicity and quiet beauty. While always in a state of change, the garden’s ba- sic elements of trees, shrubs, rock and water are balanced to create a peaceful, harmonious and tran- scendental environment conducive to contemplation and meditation. Otsuji added the garden’s ex- pansion site offers ample opportu- nities to be creative. “The garden has every topog- raphy you can think of, from level areas to gentle slopes to steep slopes, with great changes in el- evation and exposure to the ele- ments,” he said.

The initial phase of the current Japanese Friendship Garden be- gan in 1991 and the second phase was completed in 1999. The full, 11-acre spread has been completely integrated into the Master Plan Design, by L.A.- based landscape architect Takeo Uesugi, who noted several Asian species of trees are being added, including Juniper, Japanese Black and Yew pines, as well as Japanese Willow, Maple, Cherry and Mag- nolia. He said new garden shrubs are to include Azalea, Cameria, Pittosporum, Nandina, tea plant, juniper, Tobira and Springtime. In response to the dramatic configurations of the garden ex- pansion site, Uesugi’s garden design includes numerous view- ing areas, strolling pathways and


During his recent State of Dis- trict 3 address, Gloria pointed out that it was politicians, not public employees, who are the cause of the current pension mess, and that the city’s employees “should and must be at the table, as we seek so- lutions to stabilize our city.” Gloria said that San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and City Council President Pro Term Kev-

educational opportunities set amongst various architectural and cultural styles. “We tried to make the Japa-

nese garden as authentic as pos- sible while working with the topography and the local plant palette,” he said. “Conceptually, this is Japanese and American, in accordance with people here and the local climate: Something San Diego can be proud of.” The landscape architect said

project design elements include an array of whimsical features such as bridges, streams, waterfalls and ponds, as well as a multitude of gardens – a perfect setting to usher in a centennial celebration. “This is a very internationally known park, so we wanted good will coming out, and for people to be fascinated by the garden.” A public view area located along Pan American Way, allow- ing visitors a panoramic view of the waterfall, streambed, cherry grove and major specimen tree plantings, is being completed in time for the 5th Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, to be held in the Friendship Garden on Sat., March 19, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival is free with garden admission. Children 17 and under are free with paid adult admission. Visitors can explore the Gar-

den while enjoying delicious Japa- nese food, arts and crafts, unique gifts, entertainment and cultural demonstrations. Guided docent tours will be conducted of the Gar- den’s expansion site, the future home of more than 150 enchant- ing cherry trees blossoming with brilliant pink flowers. Uesigi said they are expanding

the garden with water conserva- tion in mind. “We’re trying to capture the natural water drainage and recy- cle it, working with the garden’s ecological system to reduce the cost of water,” he said.

One of the hallmarks of the

new garden expansion, noted Ot- suji, will be its complete public ac- cessibility. “We made sure we had ac- cessible paths of travel from the South Gate at the top, all the way down to the bottom of the can- yon on the north end,” he said. “When you walk down, it will be very comfortable and very acces- sible to all people.”

Best of all, he added, the ex- panded Japanese Friendship Gar- den will be a peaceful refuge. “This is going to be a really is going to

large garden but it

have the tranquility of smaller gar- dens,” he said. “We’re providing more areas for people to appreci- ate the garden and, hopefully, it will be quiet most of the time.” The Japanese Friendship Gar- den, located at 2215 Pan American Plaza, is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sun- day. For more information visit or call 619- 232-2721.u

in Faulconer will also have initia- tives similar to DeMaio’s proposal on the ballot.u

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