Brief and concise coverage of local, regional, and national news that impacts the lives of the southern California LGBTQIA community.
By LGBTQ San Diego County News Staff
CITY SEEKS FEEDBACK ON ‘PLAN HILLCREST’ DEVELOPMENT
The City of San Diego’s Planning Department recently released a draft plan that, if approved, would shape the future growth of the Hillcrest neighborhood. The Hillcrest Focused Plan, also known as Plan Hillcrest, “envisions a complete neighborhood that celebrates its unique identity and honors the legacy of a place that welcomes everyone,” says a City website created to share information about the plan.
Plan Hillcrest is an amendment to the greater Uptown Community Plan, which guides development for the neighborhoods in the Uptown planning area, which include Hillcrest, Mission Hills, Bankers Hill/Park West, University Heights, Middletown, and the Medical Complex — some of the city’s oldest and most distinctive neighborhoods. The amendment provides focused planning guidance for Hillcrest, specifically.
The plan would allow for a great deal of growth in the neighborhood, including the addition of buildings that could be built as high as 30 stories, much of them filled with new housing units, and increase the population of the neighborhood by an additional 50,000 residents. A variety of new public transportation methods are suggested, as well, including an aerial tram into Mission Valley and streetcar lines.
More public parks, amenities, and bicycle lanes are also spelled out in the plan, including the addition of the already planned Normal Street Promenade, as well as newly proposed promenades on University Avenue and Robinson Avenue.
The creation of an LGBTQ+ historic district is also suggested in the plan, which would be the first comprehensive effort to recognize and protect Hillcrest’s legacy as the center of San Diego’s LGBTQ community.
Community members are encouraged to view the plan in its entirety by visiting planhillcrest.org. City planners have also opened up a comment period on the first draft through Friday, Nov. 17, with additional opportunities to follow. Comments should be sent to [email protected] by the Nov. 17 deadline.
Local community organizations, including the Hillcrest Town Council, @hillcrestsandiego, and the Kiwanis Club of Hillcrest All-Inclusive, have partnered with Vibrant Uptown to host a forum to discuss some elements of the plan, as well as the possibility of creating a Hillcrest Cultural & Entertainment District, separate from the proposed LGBTQ+ Historic District. The forum is open to everyone and will be held at Rich’s San Diego on Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 6 pm, doors open at 5:30 pm. Rich’s is located at 1051 University Ave. in Hillcrest.
SD RESIDENT FEATURED IN ‘DADT’ DOCUMENTARY
In honor of Veteran’s Day, MSNBC is releasing a documentary titled “Serving in Secret: Love, Country, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” on Nov. 12. The film, produced by Trevor Noah, traces the U.S. military’s long history of discrimination against the gay community and one couple’s personal journey for acceptance.
Featured in the film is the life story and work of San Diego resident Tom Carpenter, who worked for many years to repeal the U.S. military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) policy, which was in effect from 1994-2011, with a complete ban on LGBT servicemembers prior to that.
In advance of the national release, a special screening will be held in San Diego on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. at Urban MO’s, 308 University Ave., in Hillcrest. Carpenter will be present at the free event, which will begin seating at 5 p.m. and have opening remarks at 5:45 p.m. The film’s duration is about one hour.
Carpenter, who was inducted on the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s LGBT Veterans Wall of Honor in 2018, is a distinguished military graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy’s class of 1970, receiving a regular commission in the U.S. Marine Corps. After completing infantry training, he attended flight school and became a Naval Aviator. While on active duty, Carpenter accumulated over 2,500 hours flying the A-4 Skyhawk.
He met his partner of 20 years, the late Courtland Hirschi, while they were both in the Marines. Because of the ban on gays serving in the military at that time, Carpenter resigned his commission in 1976, at the rank of Captain (O-3), and joined the Marine Corps Reserves. From 1975-1977, Carpenter and Hirschi lived in Carlsbad where their home was a sanctuary for LGBT Marines and sailors stationed at Camp Pendleton.
Later on, Carpenter was a member of the board of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) from 1995-2010, serving as co-chair from 1998-2005. In all, he dedicated 15 years working towards the repeal of DADT.
Viewers will learn more about Carpenter’s advocacy in the film and the work that was done to overturn DADT.
MPOX SEES UPTICK IN INFECTIONS
Public health officials are encouraging those at risk to get vaccinated for Mpox, after a recent uptick in cases. Those who have already received two doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine should not assume they are protected.
In September, four cases were reported, and in October, 11 new cases were reported, a “significant increase” over the previous month, according to a statement released by the San Diego County Health Department, though it still does not reach the 30–to-60 cases per week during the outbreak last year.
These increases are not just limited to San Diego, according to Dr. David “Davey” Smith, head of the division of infectious diseases and global public health at UC San Diego.
“All through California we’ve seen it for sure, but we can see upticks across the nation,” Smith said in the statement.
“Even if someone is vaccinated, if they get a lesion or a rash, they should go talk to their doctor and think about mpox as a possibility,” Smith said.
Mpox is spread through intimate contact between people. Anyone can be infected with mpox, but the cases have been largely found among those who identify as gay or bisexual men.
Smith also said the CDC is studying cases where people who have recovered from mpox have become reinfected, and each one has also had HIV.
“We’re wondering if there’s some sort of immune deficiency connection there,” Smith said.
To get more information visit bit.ly/45WNTss.
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