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Friday, Feb 23, 2024
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Newsmakers–Pure Oxygen Cafe offers a breath of resh air Downtown



Fresh Air For Sale at Downtown Oxygen Bar

One of the newest inhabitants of the Gaslamp Quarter has entered as, you could say, a breath of fresh air.

Oxygen, that is. Last month, the Pure Oxygen Caf & #233; opened its small, cloud-emblazoned site east of the 6th and F street intersection Downtown.

With charges of $5 for eight minutes and $10 for 20 minutes, the caf & #233; proffers oxygen mingled with various aromatherapy scents.

There’s also a $1 charge for the nose hose, which customers can use on future trips.

Among the offerings: “clarity,” a mingling of eucalyptus and ginkgo, and “nirvana,” which has extracts of lavender, balsam and fir needle.

Others include wintergreen, spearmint and peppermint in “synergy,” and lime juice concentrate in “sublime.”

Previously housed in the University Towne Centre mall, owner Randy Valentine decided to move the business Downtown. According to employee Corissa Esquer, the move is intended to draw tourists and late-night lingerers.

The business stays open past bar hours , as late as 3 a.m., and later if the demand continues, Esquer said. An effective marketing tool has been a strobe light outside, she said.

The caf & #233; first opens at 11 a.m., and daytime customers tend to be from the working community, Esquer said.

So far, clientele ranges from office assistants to lawyers, to others recommended from a nearby photography studio, she said. “During the day, I’m getting a lot of businesspeople who are walking by, seeing this place and stopping.”

, Tanya Rodrigues


5K Race to Benefit Library and School

San Diegans, put on your running shoes. The Pardee Torrey Pines 5K Race for Knowledge in scenic Carmel Valley is just around the corner.

On Feb. 27, some 2,500 runners are expected to compete in a challenging course along Del Mar Highlands community in Carmel Valley.

The race will benefit a local library and high school. Pardee Homes, a San Diego home builder and sponsor of the event, vowed to donate $3,000 to the Carmel Valley Branch Library and $2,000 to Torrey Pines High School.

The city of San Diego will match half of all funds raised for the library and distribute it to other branches citywide.

Other event sponsors include San Diego’s radio station 98.1 FM, The Breeze; Ceres Fruit Juice; the Sporting Club at the Aventine; Jamba Juice; and Norwest Mortgage.

America’s former fastest miler, Steve Scott, will be on hand, and there will be a diaper dash for children under 3 years of age. For older children there will be quarter-mile, half-mile and one-mile runs.

There will be a special kids corner featuring clowns and face painting.

Entry fees are $21 for adults by Feb. 26 and $12 for children ages 12 and younger. For more information, visit the Internet at (www.eliteracing.com).

, Marion Webb


‘Best Places’ Guides Locals and Tourists

OK, just about everybody knows San Diego is dubbed America’s Finest City. But where do San Diegans go to whoop it up and to enjoy themselves?

A team of local writers and editors have penned a book, “Best Places San Diego” that reveals just that.

The book, written for San Diegans and guests in the region, features 160 star-rated restaurant reviews, and the city’s best lodging, arts, nightlife, shopping, recreation opportunities, and day trips to places like Julian and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

“I was in Peru researching another travel book when news of ‘Best Places San Diego’ came my way,” said the book’s editor, Maribeth Mellin, who has authored travel tomes on Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, Hawaii and California.

“What a wonderful concept, I thought. No planes. No stumbling over foreign tongues. No strange currency. I could explore my own hometown, using local critics and writers as my guides.”

Local contributors to the book include Alison Ashton, Virginia Butterfield, Mollie Glaser, Susan Humphrey, Peter Jensen, Marael Johnson, Lisa Kallerman, Robin Kleven, Priscilla Lister, Jane Onstott and Ky Plaskon.

“Best Places San Diego” is available at most local bookstores or at (www.sasquatbooks.com).

, Andrea Siedsma


Architects, Designers Find Jobs

Resum & #233;s Posted on Web Site

Architectural and design firms now have a new source for job seekers, thanks to a recently established local Web site.

Those who log on to (www.jobsbydesign.com) seeking architects, project managers, interior designers or draftsmen can now download a resum & #233; plus work samples, said Sally Newson, a principal of JobsByDesign.Com.

It has offices in San Diego and San Francisco.

Placement of a resum & #233; is free, as is the viewing of resum & #233;s offered to employers, she said.

“Once a company reviews a resum & #233;, they contact us with the posting number, then we supply the name and phone number,” Newson said. “If they actually hire the person, we get 10 percent of the annual salary as a commission.”

Since the Web site went up last month, more than 100 job seekers have posted their resum & #233;s there. So far, one person has been hired and several other employment agreements are pending, she said.

, Arthur S. Grupe


City Staffer to Manage Tribal Government

For Penny Culbreth-Graft, it was an offer she couldn’t refuse.

Earlier this month, the city of San Diego’s assistant city manager accepted an offer to become the tribal government manager for the Viejas Band of the Kumeyaay Indians. She begins her new job March 13.

“They sought me out, and after listening to them, I realized it was an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down, even though I love what I’m doing,” she said.

As tribal government manager, Culbreth-Graft will coordinate the delivery of services to the reservation, which is east of Alpine. She’ll also work with the tribal council to develop policies, manage its annual budget, deal with land-use planning, and develop plans for other long-term projects.

It’ll be a little different from what she does at the city.

“The reservation is a sovereign nation with its own police and fire departments. There is a lot of interaction with the federal government,” she said.

In addition, Viejas has a flourishing casino and factory outlet center on its land ,which covers some two square miles.

Culbreth-Graft’s 21 years of experience in public administration includes stints as the city manager of Grover Beach, and top level positions with the cities of Chino and Tucson, Ariz. She holds a doctorate in public administration from the University of LaVerne.

Steven TeSam, vice chairman of the Viejas Band, said Culbreth-Graft’s hiring is “an exciting step toward increasing the quality of community services, as well as instituting long-range planning for the tribe that city and county taxpayers take for granted, such as police, fire, care for the elderly, preservation of our culture an language, transportation and environmental protection.”

, Mike Allen


Gallery Displays Worldly Artwork

After three years, gallery owner Miki G. Kazmarek’s dream has finally come true.

On Feb. 11 and 12, about 300 people attended the opening of Gallery La Scala, a gallery in Hillcrest that will only feature original artwork from around the world.

“I have been so well-received here and the reaction has been wonderful,” she said.

After working in La Jolla, Kazmarek decided to establish her own gallery in a community setting rather than a tourist area.

“I wanted to be able to show and present real art, not just to tourists but to people who are seriously interested in art,” she said.

The gallery will have bi-monthly exhibitions and receptions, lectures and showrooms. The first exhibit in March will feature the work of Eduardo Sosio Aroceno.

Kazmarek said the gallery is focusing on developing collectors and the gallery is staffed by people who have an art background.

Admission is free and the gallery opens at noon Tuesday through Sunday. It closes at 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 5 p.m. on Sunday.

, Rita Fennelly

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