Kickstarter Follow-up

Your December 13, 2012 cover story about Kickstarter highlights the San Diego Public Market as a major success at raising more than $165,000. But having a good idea or concept is one thing; successfully executing it is another.

How about a follow-up story on SDPM and how the money has been used? The market looks the same as it did when it opened it August; their website is one page with limited info (hours and address); their Kickstartter page was last updated in October; and the comments page includes unanswered inquiries from people asking about the items they purchased as part of their donation. What people do with the money is the real story.

Name Withheld
via snail mail

Remains of the Bay

I found the differing perspectives on designs for our downtown waterfront in your November 29 cover story (“Bay Dreams”) quite interesting.

Beginning with the construction of the first Marriott tower between Harbor Drive and the waterfront, I believe the City of San Diego and the Port Authority have squandered a wonderful resource. Today it is a joke to drive along Harbor Drive south of the Broadway Pier. Without the clue from the word “harbor,” no one would expect to be so close to the waterfront. With all the commercial development from hotels and the Convention Center, visual and physical access to the San Diego Bay has been all but eliminated.

After that development, CCDC added insult to injury by wasting a huge amount of tax dollars in the design and development of their Linear Park, which celebrates the existence of a set of rail tracks more than the close-by waterfront. While all this development was underway I longed for them to look at the design of the downtown waterfront in Chicago as an example of beauty and public access. Linear Park should have been developed on the land between Harbor Drive and the bay. If redevelopment had stair-stepped buildings of increasing heights along the other side of Harbor Drive, just imagine how many could enjoy the views of the bay today, and what the values of that property, and thus the tax values, could be now.

Yet a handful of “business leaders” continue to push for development of a new football stadium and more hotels in the small amount of land that may be practical for redevelopment. Unbelievable!

At least we still have the portion of the harborfront north of the Broadway Pier where it is possible to see and access the water. Because it is not likely the Hyatt, Marriott, and Convention Center will be torn down anytime soon, this remains our only hope.

So, what should be planned now for what remains of our waterfront? I don’t pretend to be an expert in design but it seems reasonable that all competing uses should be considered and evaluated, not just one or two. I would hope recreation and open space would be enhanced, along with any further commercial and residential use. I do agree that designs should consider extended hours of use so it would encourage safe congregation and enjoyment after dark.

To me the question is if this will be done in favor of residents and visitors at large, or will it be more of the same to benefit a small number of developers?

Tim
San Diego

How’s Anne Albright?

I have always been curious these last many years to find out whatever happened to Anne Albright. I wonder if she still writes, if she’s happy, if her marriage stayed together, and how her kids (grown by now) are doing. I always enjoyed her back-page column and finding out what things — disasters or happy — had happened in her life. If we could find out, I would be really happy to have my questions answered.

Anne, I always liked you and I still miss you. For me it’s not the same without your column.

Name Withheld
via voicemail

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