<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - ]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/entertainment/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Sat, 19 Apr 2014 11:13:49 -0700 Sat, 19 Apr 2014 11:13:49 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Future of Carlsbad Strawberry Fields Worries Locals]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 13:46:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/carlsbadstrawberryfields.jpg

The fate of Carlsbad's strawberry fields may be up in the air as a new developer makes plans for the area.

The leafy green landscape of the Carlsbad Strawberry Co. fields on Cannon Road in Carlsbad has become a north county destination for many.

However, that may change because a Los Angeles-based developer named Caruso Affiliated, which is known for building open-air shopping centers, bought 48 acres in the area and is preparing its plans for the space.

Caruso Affiliated told NBC San Digeo its plans for the area will not be submitted until later this year, but the possibility of a shopping center being paired with the strawberry fields has some locals concerned.

“There are certain things that shouldn’t be touched and I think this is one of them,” said Steve Martinez, an Oceanside resident who visits the fields with his daughters. “I really enjoy my girls coming out here and just having a good day.”

RELATED: Calif. Strawberry Crop Generates $3.4B Annually

Caruso Affiliated says it wants to preserve the agriculture along Cannon Road. The developer has also been busing in Carlsbad residents and seeking input from the community at meetings and online.

Meanwhile, although fans of the fields may be concerned about a new shopping center in the area, Carlsbad Strawberry Co. said a shopping center could simply move farming to the east and may even benefit the fields with added foot traffic.

“It could be a plus. The shopping center that’s developed here could bring a lot of additional people than currently come here,” said Carlsbad Strawberry Co. General Manager, Peter Mackauf.

Mackauf said that lately the fields have taken a hit due to construction on Cannon Road and could definitely use a boost.

“It’s essential for us to have enough easy access and plenty of parking and we’ve expressed that to the Caruso organization… that’s the key ingredient for us to be able to continue farming here,” Mackauf added.

For now, those worried about change at the fields don't have to worry about it coming anytime soon according to City of Carlsbad officials.

Although Caruso Affiliated has already purchased acres from SDG & E, city officials said that once the developer submits plans, the approval process will take years.

<![CDATA["Thrones" Post Taken as Threat]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 03:57:32 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/game-of-thrones-shirt-professor.jpg

A New Jersey college professor was placed on unpaid leave after posting online a photo of his 6-year-old daughter wearing a shirt with a quote from "Game of Thrones" that administrators took as a threat.

The shirt says "I will take what is mine with fire & blood," and the photo was posted on Google+ by the Bergen Community College professor, Francis Schmidt, in January, around the time HBO released a trailer for the new season of the show.

After a college dean saw the post, and perceived it as a "threatening email," Schmidt was ordered to meet with administrators and was then placed on unpaid leave. The dispute in January came to light this week after Inside Higher Ed referred to it in an online post.

Schmidt on Friday shared an email with NBC 4 New York that he said was from a human resources employee at the college at the time of the dispute.

"You are not to be on campus for any reason," the email says. "The safety of all of the members of the community is taken very seriously."

Schmidt was allowed to return to teaching later that month after he was cleared by a psychiatrist. He says he missed crucial time with students he was advising.

He says he can't imagine why anyone would think he's capable of violence.

"They claimed to have never heard of 'Game of Thrones,' and so I tried to explain it to them," he said Friday.

College spokesman Larry Hlavenka Jr. said in a statement that the matter was a private personnel issue, but added that the college takes seriously any perceived threats of violence.

"Since Jan. 1, 2014, 34 incidents of school shootings have occurred in the United States," Hlavenka said. "In following its safety and security procedures, the college investigates all situations where a member of its community – students, faculty, staff or local residents – expresses a safety or security concern."

Schmidt believes he was targeted because he filed a grievance against the school when he was not granted a sabbatical.

The faculty union has also been embroiled in contract negotiations with the college; last week the union cast a no-confidence vote in the school's president. 

--Jen Maxfield contributed to this story

Photo Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images]]>
<![CDATA[10 Great Easter Movies to Watch This Weekend]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 14:48:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/The+Bible+Mark+Burnett.jpg

Most people can easily list their favorite Christmas, Thanksgiving and other major holiday movies. But how many of us have a list of films we enjoy every Easter?

The holiest holiday of the Christian calendar has spawned numerous adaptions of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. From the early days of Hollywood (1953's "The Robe") to the recent spate of Christianity-based fare on offer at the cineplex (2014's "Son of God"), there's an Easter-themed movie sure to appeal.

Even those looking for lighter Easter-themed fare need only look to Fred Astaire and Judy Garland ("Easter Parade") and the Peanuts gang ("It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown") for something to view this weekend.

Here, in no particular order, a list of 10 of the best Easter movies:

"The Robe" (1953)

Richard Burton plays military tribune Marcellus Gallio who commands the Roman unit that crucifies Jesus. In a dice game, Gallio wins the robe Jesus wore and is told it will serve as a reminder of his first crucifixion. Haunted by nightmares of the act he has participated in, Gallio slowly begins to believe the robe is having an effect on his life. Over time he comes to understand what Jesus was trying to achieve, and eventually converts to Christianity - much to the disgust of his peers and his father, an important Roman Senator. "The Robe" was also the first film ever to be released featuring the wide screen process known as CinemaScope.

"Son of God" (2014)

Produced by reality television competition guru Mark Burnett ("Survivor," "The Voice") and his wife, actress Roma Downey, "Son of God" was adapted from the ten-hour miniseries "The Bible" which aired in 2013 on the History channel. As a feature film it both expands upon and abridges the Jesus-driven portions of the miniseries, from birth to resurrection. While making the movie Burnett says he couldn’t help but notice certain similarities to popular contemporary entertainment. "The feeling of the movie and the pace, it’s like 'House of Cards,' that political intrigue, the political drama," he said. "It’s a political thriller wrapped in an epic – and it’s pretty epic, the scale: hundreds and hundreds of extras and special effects with miracles."

"Jesus Christ Superstar" (1973)

Based on the Broadway musical of the same name created by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, this rock opera follows the final weeks of Jesus' life and features no spoken dialogue. Ted Neeley stars as Jesus, Carl Anderson as Judas, and Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene. The film centers on the conflict between Judas and Jesus leading up to the crucifixion and features the hit song, "I Don't Know How to Love Him."

"Easter Parade" (1948)

Starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire and featuring music by Irving Berlin, "Easter Parade" definitely falls on the lighter end of the Easter movie spectrum. Astair stars as a dancer suddenly bereft of a partner when his former colleague (Ann Miller) departs the duo for a solo career. Astair's character finds a replacement in a chorus dancer who can not only move, but has a great singing voice (Garland). The movie features beloved numbers such as "It Only Happens When I Dance With You," "A Couple of Swells" and of course, "Easter Parade."

"Jesus of Nazareth" (1977)

Italian director Franco Zeffirelli's dramatic take on the life of Christ is a television mini-series produced in Britain. Robert Powell portrays Jesus alongside an all-star cast that includes Christopher Plummer, Anne Bancroft, Laurence Olivier, Claudia Cardinale, Ian McShane, Olivia Hussey, James Mason, Ian Holm and Anthony Quinn.

"Ben-Hur" (1959)

Charlton Heston is Judah Ben-Hur, a Jewish merchant of noble blood in this sword-and-sandals historical epic that begins with the birth of Jesus and ends with the titular character witnessing the Crucifixion. Thanks to an act he did not commit, Ben-Hur ends up a slave who must fight his way back to the land and the woman he loves. One key scene involves Ben-Hur being denied water when his slave gang arrives at Nazareth. He collapses and a local carpenter (who is revealed to be Jesus) comes to his aid against the orders of the Roman guards. The nine-minute chariot battle featured in the movie became a hallmark of great cinematic moments and the film went on to win eleven Academy Awards including Best Picture.

"The Greatest Story Ever Told" (1965)

Max Von Sydow portrays Jesus in this three-plus hour movie that also features Charlton Heston as John the Baptist and follows the life of Christ from Nativity to Resurrection. Other notable stars in the movie include Angela Lansbury, Jose Ferrer, Telly Savalas and Dorothy McGuire, and it marks the final film of Claude Rains.

"It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown" (1974)

In this, the 12th prime-time television outing to feature the Peanuts gang, Linus tries to convince everyone the Easter Beagle will make the holiday a success when he arrives on Easter morning. After Linus' previous belief in the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and co. don't buy in to his ideas. Even Sally has trouble keeping the faith in her "sweet baboo" following her previous disillusionment at Halloween. Of course, by the time Easter morning arrives so does the Easter Beagle (Snoopy), just in time to distribute eggs.

"The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988)

Directed by Martin Scorsese, it's one of the more controversial retellings of Jesus' life, with Willem Dafoe as Jesus, Harvey Keitel as Judas Iscariot, Barbara Hershey as Mary Magdalene, David Bowie as Pontius Pilate, and Harry Dean Stanton as Paul. Throughout the film Jesus is tempted by the various sins he must overcome, including fear, doubt, depression, reluctance and lust.

"The Passion of the Christ" (2004)

Directed by Mel Gibson and starring Jim Caviezel as Jesus, the film covers the final 12 hours of Jesus' life and was controversial for its use of language and depiction of violence. The entire dialogue is performed in the ancient languages of Aramaic, Latin and Hebrew, with Jesus' arrest, trial, torture, crucifixion and resurrection shown in graphic detail. "The Passion of the Chris" is still the most successful non-English language film ever at the box office, grossing more than $600 million worldwide.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Nordstrom Relocating Its Store Within Westfield UTC]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 12:26:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Nordstrom-Generic.jpg

Nordstrom Inc. plans to relocate its full-line department store in University Towne Center to a new space within the Westfield UTC mall, with a new two-level store expected to open in 2017.

The upcoming 145,000-square-foot store will incorporate the company’s latest design concepts, geared toward improving the shopping experience, said Erik Nordstrom, president of stores for the Seattle-headquartered retailer, in a statement.

Nordstrom’s current 130,000-square-foot store at Westfield UTC opened in 1984 and will remain in operation until the relocation.

The move is part of long-term renovations underway at the mall off La Jolla Village Drive, owned by Sydney-based Westfield Group, including the addition of retail space and structured parking.

Nordstrom will be moving to the mall’s west side, along Genesee Avenue.

Nordstrom also operates local full-line stores at Fashion Valley in Mission Valley, Westfield Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego, and Westfield North County in Escondido. In addition, it has four San Diego County locations of Nordstrom Rack, its chain of off-price retail stores.

Founded in 1901 as a shoe store, Nordstrom now operates 267 stores in 36 states. 

The Business Journal is the premier business publication in San Diego. Every day online and each Monday in print, the Business Journal reports on how local business operate and why businesses leaders make the decisions they do. Every story is a dose of insight into how to run a better, more efficient, more profitable business.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Latest Celeb Pics: Billie Joe Armstrong, Kevin Spacey]]> Sat, 19 Apr 2014 01:50:10 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/485570423.jpg Check out the latest photos of your favorite celebrities.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Coachella]]>
<![CDATA[Late at Night on NBC]]> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 08:16:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP24762024125.jpg

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice"]]> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 08:59:12 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NUP_162906_1105.JPG

Photo Credit: Trae Patton/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Stars at Coachella: Katy Perry, Paris Hilton & More]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:51:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/coachella-katy-perry-credit-Frazer-Harrison.jpg Music fans weren't the only ones in attendance over the weekend at Coachella -- big-name celebrities joined in the action too.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for Coachella]]>
<![CDATA[Celebrity Baby Bumps]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:53:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/olivia-wilde-485382807.jpg Celebrities can be nine months pregnant and still look amazing. Check out these stars and their baby bumps from all stages.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>
<![CDATA[Ellen Surprises LA Film Student With "Cash for Kindness"]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:53:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/205*120/ellen-cash-d1ZY39EG.jpg

A film student and aspiring actor was stunned to learn his act of kindness -- helping a stranger who had dropped an armful of items on a sidewalk -- would be rewarded with $1,000 in cash as part of a "Cash for Kindness" segment on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

That stranger was actually Andy, a show correspondent who pretended to be on his way to perform at a party when he dropped magic act items all over the sidewalk. Peter, a York Film Academy LA student, stopped to help Andy in an act of kindness captured on video.

Peter was invited to be a guest on a taping for Thursday's show, where he received $500 for his kindess. He then received another $500 from Ellen after his surprised reaction.

Watch Peter's act of kindness above.

Video Credit: "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"


Photo Credit: The Ellen DeGeneres Show]]>
<![CDATA[Top Trending Buzzword: Emoji]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 15:46:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Emoji-Generic-SD-0417.jpg

Emoji. Futebol. Ghost Plane. We’re a quarter of the way into 2014 and those words – among various others – have been ranked the top trending buzzwords of the year, at least so far.

The Global Language Monitor (GLM), a Texas-based organization that tracks, analyzes and catalogues word usage trends around the globe, has just unveiled its list of the “Top Trending Words of 2014.” The words on the list are currently being heavily used on today’s most influential mediums, including the internet, social media, blogs, and print and electronic global media.

According to the GLM, the top word is “emoji,” as in those colorful, tiny icons often used in text messaging, emailing and social media posts. Gone are the days of using letters and words to communicate when you’ve got emojis.

Paul JJ Payack, GLM founder and chief word analyst says emojis are a sign of the times and a manner in which people express themselves, while adding to our broad vocabulary.

"Not only is the English language adding a new word every 98 minutes, but it is also expanding the basis of word creation. The alphabet, itself, is now expanding beyond letters to numbers, plus diacritical marks [emoticons], plus emoji [picture words]," Payack explained.

Other top trending words on the list include “futebol” – or soccer, as the globe gears up for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil – and “ghost plane,” as in one of the terms used to describe the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, or MH370, which vanished on Mar. 8 during a scheduled trip from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

“Climate Change” also made the cut, as well as “inflation,” “denier,” “mid-term elections,” “Crimea” and “pontiff.”

Buzzwords that recently made their way into the lexicon also made the list, including Gwyneth Paltrow’s gem, “conscious de-coupling,” and the big, bright “Blood Moon” from earlier this week.

Of course, Payack says this list is just a precursor to an even bigger list of top trending words and phrases of 2014, which will be released at the end of the year. Those year-end rankings will be part of the GLM’s 12th annual list of this kind.

The word-tracking organization says there are approximately 1,025,109 words in the English language – and counting – as of Jan. 1, 2014.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Craft Beer and Music Merge for Festival]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:25:02 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/craftbeersd.jpg

What’s better than a bunch of craft beer at an outdoor festival on a sunny San Diego day? Sippin’ on suds while listening to live music and supporting an important organization.

On Saturday, the CityBeat Festival of Beers will merge all three of those elements as the event takes over the outdoor space in front of the Lafayette Hotel located at 2223 El Cajon Blvd.

From 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., the frothy craft beer will flow as local bands like The Heavy Guilt, Hit Dog Hollar and Neighbors to the North perform live.

As attendees enjoy the tunes and beer tastings, the event will also raise money for the San Diego Music Foundation, an organization with a mission to enrich San Diego’s music scene through music education for youth, development for emerging artists, live performances for the San Diego public and recognition for local musicians.

Each year, the San Diego Music Foundation focuses its efforts on several programs that help advance its mission, including the Guitars for Schools program.

Tickets to Saturday’s Festival of Beers cost $40 per person and can be purchased here. Additional donations to the Music Foundation beyond that ticket price are kindly accepted, too.

There are a bevy of  breweries taking part in the fundraiser. This includes local favorites like Coronado Brewing Co., Belching Beaver, Green Flash Brewing Co., Karl Strauss Brewing Company, Hillcrest Brewing Company, Mission Brewery, The Lost Abbey, Stone and San Diego Brewing Co., among many others. For a full list of participating breweries, click here.

The event will also include a host of vendors, including food vendors such as the Gaglione Brothers, The InSlider, Swieners and Wahoo’s Fish Tacos. San Diego CityBeat, 91X and VAVi will also set up vendor booths.

To learn more about the event and the San Diego Music Foundation, visit this website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Foodie Fodder: Taste of Hillcrest]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:14:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/HillcrestSignGarske1.jpg

Foodies, prepare your bellies: the 14th annual Taste of Hillcrest is happening this Saturday, and things are bound to get delicious.

The self-guided culinary tour of Hillcrest – a popular community in San Diego’s Uptown area known for its vibrant culture and wide array of unique eateries – runs from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. and includes more than 40 participating restaurants serving samples of their best bites.

From quaint cafés to budding bistros, foodies will get to indulge in all of the global cuisine the community has to offer.

For instance, if you’re in the mood for Mexican, head over to Baja Betty’s, Fiesta Cantina or Ortega’s: A Mexican Bistro, all on University Avenue. If your palate wants to travel a bit further, snag a sample at Bombay Exotic Cuisine of India on 5th Avenue, Saigon on Fifth, Nami Sushi or Michoz’s Fresh Lebanese Grill.

Of course, there’s always Italian and French-inspired cuisine, and for this, there’s Au Revoir Bistro, Pizzeria Arrivederci and the ever-popular Bread and Cie.

And if good, old-fashioned American comfort food is what you’re craving, the choices are easy: Crest Café and Harvey Milk’s American Diner.

Other eateries partaking in Taste of Hillcrest also include Brazen BBQ Smokehouse & Bar, D Bar Restaurant, Hillcrest Brewing Company, Aladdin Hillcrest, The Tractor Room, Uptown Tavern, 100 Wines, Salt & Cleaver and Local Habit, among many, many others. Check out the full list here.

Each eatery is within walking distance, so plan to stroll from sample to sample or hop on the free Hillcrest Trolley making its way around the neighborhood. Altogether, the tour spans more than 12 blocks.

Pre-sale tickets cost $30 per person and $35 on the day of the event.

Tickets are available here or can be purchased at several Hillcrest restaurants including Urban Mo’s, Heat Bar & Kitchen, Rock Fire Grill, Eba’s Lounge and Bistro, Baja Betty’s or Harvey Milk’s American Diner.

Before starting the food adventure, attendees should check-in at the ticketing booth at the Rite-Aid located at 535 Robinson Ave. The booth opens at 11:30 a.m.

Photo Credit: Monica Garske]]>
<![CDATA[Whoopi Goldberg Pens Column for the Cannabist]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:10:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP223328357635.jpg

Whoopi Goldberg loves her vape pen and wants everyone to know it.

A new column by "The View" co-host debuted Thursday on the Cannabist, the Denver Post's cannabis-focused news website covering legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado.

"My vape pen and I maintain a mostly private relationship. Sure, I’ll sometimes show my pen to a friend or share her with a close confidant," Goldberg, 58, writes in her premiere column. "But mostly it’s just she and I working through my pain. And her ability to help me live comfortably with glaucoma makes her one of the more important figures in my day to day."

Goldberg’s debut column focuses on using marijuana to find relief from glaucoma-induced headaches that she says "come on like freight trains."

"What kind of kush is in my vape pen at the moment?" she continues. "The indica-dominant Platinum OG, of course."

"The high is different, too. It feels like a gentle, warm breeze at the beach. It’s like someone undoing a vice grip, very slowly. It’s not overpowering — and I’m certainly not looking for that high high. I’m looking for relief."

Goldberg will write a column about every two months, Post owner Digital First Media announced in a press release. The idea for the article was developed after Ricardo Baca, Editor of the Cannabist, appeared on "The View." 

Baca says he and Goldberg "instantly connected" when he appeared on the daytime chat fest. "Whoopi's column provides a direct and personal perspective on marijuana use in this modern era," Baca said. "We're grateful that she is willing to add her voice to this conversation." 

Photo Credit: Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Star Spotting at the Tribeca Film Festival ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 03:27:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tribeca-film-485175965.jpg Indie and Hollywood celebrities alike are congregating in New York to attend the Tribeca Film Festival. See photos from the star-studded film premieres.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for the 2014 Tribec]]>
<![CDATA[Salsa Singer Cheo Feliciano Killed in Crash]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:02:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP070907056835.jpg

Puerto Rican salsa and bolero singer Cheo Feliciano died in a car crash early Thursday morning, Telemundo Puerto Rico has confirmed. He was 78.

Jose Luis Feliciano Vega, better known as Cheo Feliciano,  was killed just after 4 a.m. when the Jaguar he was driving hit an electrical post in the Cupey area of San Juan, according to Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia.

Feliciano, the sole passenger in the vehicle, died on impact following the 4:13 a.m. crash on a road near the Universidad Metropolitana. A police inspector told the newspaper he was not wearing a seat belt. He is survived by his wife, Puerto Rican dancer Coco Prieto Leon Feliciano, and four sons.

Feliciano, one of the most recognized musicians of his genre, was credited as influencing other salsa stars, including Ruben Blades and Gilberto Santarosa. He produced a list of hits that includes "One in a Million," ''My Promise," and "I Learned with You," according to The Associated Press.

The musician, who was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, started his career as a percussionist in New York before joining the Joe Cuba Sextet as a singer. He recorded 17 albums with the band performing with top Latin artists of the era, before joining Fania Records' All-Stars ensemble and starting a successful solo career, according to a biography on Billboard.com.  He was honored with the Latin Grammy Awards' Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008. He was a vocal participant in anti-drug campaigns following his own battle with addiction, El Nueva Dia reported.

Feliciano had been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer last year, but continued to make public appearances. According to El Nueva Dia, he was supposed to fly to Acapulco for a show with other salsa singers later this week.

<![CDATA[Tax Refund? Treat Yourself to a Magnificent Meal]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:39:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/waiter+2+generic.jpg

If everything went well for you on Tax Day, you’re hopefully basking in the glow of an IRS refund. If that’s the case, time to treat yourself.

Decadent restaurants with price tags slightly on the steep side may be out of reach on a regular basis, but today, you might just have a little extra change to splurge. This week, Yelp has compiled a list of fancy places and plates to purchase with your newfound wealth. Enjoy!

Market (Del Mar)
Market is a truly upscale experience with services to satisfy any sort of spender. To start, order the Duck Liver Pate & Strawberry Rhubarb compote served with a fennel salad, grilled toast and balancing vinaigrette. For your entrée, ignore the price tag and get what you really want: the Cabernet-braised and drenched short ribs or the Yellowtail paired with tempura shrimp. No regrets! The Market is committed to local and boutique wines too, so ask your server for the perfect pairing.

Veladora (The Inn At Rancho Santa Fe: Rancho Santa Fe)
To begin, valet of course. Valet parking is complimentary at the Spanish-styled Rancho Santa Fe resort location that houses this restaurant. At Veladora, the cuisine is extraordinary, and worth every penny. Begin with the Maine Lobster and citrus salad, or inquire about the Chef’s daily-inspired risotto. Then go for the gold with the 16-ounce Brandt Farms New York Strip, plus house-made truffle fries on the side. You deftly did your taxes on time, so you definitely deserve dessert. The caramelized apple crisp, perhaps? Go on -- splurge! (Insider Tip: If you arrive early for your reservations, sip on a cocktail in The Pony Room across the hall.)

Addison (The Grand Del Mar: Del Mar)
If a dining experience by Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef William Bradley and his excellent staff can’t make you feel like French royalty, we don’t know what will. The wine list here is downright impressive; begin there if you dare. The menu is offered as a multi-course experience with items like saffron and garlic Prince Edward Island Mussels and Kobe Beef Short Ribs served with mushroom gratin and potato croustillant. The venue alone is a five-star experience and the perfect reward for keeping track of your receipts all year.

Vivace (Park Hyatt Aviara Resort: Carlsbad)
This AAA Four-Diamond restaurant in Carlsbad has a Italian-inspired cuisine arranged into several tasting menu offerings. Don’t hold back, pick the “adiago” option, which includes two appetizers, pasta, entrée and your choice of dessert or cheese. Kick off your feast with the Local Albacore Crudo with pine nuts and currents and the Prosciutto con Gnocchi Fritti e Fragole (Berkshire Prosciutto, strawberries, fried yeast doughnut and 25-year-old balsamico). Don’t get full so fast. You have a long ways to go with the deeply-satisfying menu options.

The Restaurant at Ponte (Ponte Vineyard Inn: Temecula)
While a wine country lunch at this stunning Temecula venue may be a steal, dinner – served only on the weekends – is totally worth the higher price tag. The current Spring Evening Menu is sublime. Sit in the garden-like patio and bite into the Crab Stack with generous lump crab and a refreshing mix of cucumber, mango, avocado, onion, pea shoots, ruby grapefruit and baby greens with grapefruit vinaigrette. Stick with seafood and order the sustainably-farmed Sapphire Salmon for your entrée: pan seared with a lime citrus rub and balsamic glaze.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Season Finale a "Community" Service]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:09:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NUP_159232_0330.JPG

At the start of the most recent episode of "Community," all seems strangely quiet and happy for once at the crisis-ridden, surreal bin for the dysfunctional that is Greendale Community College. This freaks out Abed, the pop culture savant who serves as the show's meta narrator, like a twisted TV version of the Stage Manager from "Our Town."

"There's always a story!" Abed cries as he falls to his knees in the school's oddly quiet hallway, the past site of a massive blanket fort, paintball wars and a zombie attack. "Everything is a story!"

For Abed, his very being is predicated on frequent misadventures he can process in TV or movie terms. For fans of "Community," Abed's existential crisis marks a sign that we could be nearing the end of the story.

"Community" caps its fifth season on NBC Thursday as the characters wage a fight to save Greendale – and, perhaps, the show. It's a familiar position for a program a devoted, but modest fan base tunes into knowing every season finale could be the series finale.

"Community" debuted in 2009 with a mission to turn – or bounce, as in the episode featuring a hidden trampoline with a Prozac-like effect – TV storytelling upside down, constantly buffeting sitcom conventions.

The show survived lackluster ratings, cast departures (Chevy Chase and Donald Glover) and hiatuses to close in on the creative team's goal of "six seasons and a movie" – a message seen on a white board during the Season 4 finale.

The current season has proved even more self-referential, beginning with a debut episode called, “Repilot,” a nod to the characters’ post-graduation return to Greendale to rescue the school. It also might have been a nod to “Community” creator Dan Harmon’s return, after being ousted for a season, to save the show following an unfairly maligned fourth season.

Season 5 has yielded some vintage bizarrely entertaining episodes, including an epic Dungeons & Dragons game that revived the program's recurring theme of fathers clashing with sons. Harmon showed up in a recent installment animated in the style of the old “G.I. Joe” cartoon, featuring Abed as a character called “Fourth Wall.”

There’s nothing subtle about the name – or the plot that takes us to what could be the series’ final episode Thursday. Greendale, finally in good shape, gets taken over by the Subway sandwich chain, and is rechristened “Subway University” – offering product placement (and a cameo by Subway pitchman Jared Fogle) while mocking product placement.

Even worse, it looks like Greendale/Subway might be sold to developers. But there’s hope: Dean Pelton found a treasure map behind a portrait in his office that could save the day.

So Abed has a new story to dive into – but it might be his last. As we await what could be the final timeline for “Community,” check out a preview below:

Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Justin Lubin/NBC]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Schumer's "Foodroom" Parodies "Newsroom"]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 10:38:22 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/inside+amy+schumer+the+foodroom.jpg

Fans of Aaron Sorkin's rapid-fire dialogue, self-reverential monologues and broadly drawn female protagonists will get every quip, demand, aside and traveling camera shot in comedian Amy Schumer's "Newsroom" parody clip, "The Foodroom."

The skit debuted Tuesday night on Comedy Central's "Inside Amy Schumer" and features all the hallmarks of a Sorkin show ("The West Wing," "Sport's Night," "The Newsroom") and even one alum: actor Josh Charles ("The Good Wife") starred as Dan Rydell in "Sports Night."

In “The Foodroom,” Charles plays J.J. MacAhoy, manager of a fast food establishment called McDalmond’s and Schumer plays his assistant/former lover. For the uninitiated, in "The Newsroom" Jeff Daniels plays cable news anchor Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer plays his show producer who also happens to be an ex-girlfriend.

Like its inspiration, "The Foodroom" features walk and talks (from the back office to the front counter via the kitchen), lengthy speeches (at MacDalmond's it concerns fries vs. apple slices) and giving the people what you think they need, not necessarily what they want.

"No, today, I'm gonna give you 3,800 calories of the greatest Goddamn country in the world," Charles as MacAhoy tells a drive-thru customer whose order he disagrees with. Cue reverential nodding from Schumer.

Schumer, whose show is now in its second season on Comedy Central, regularly confronts gender politics in her sketches and "The Foodroom" doesn't disappoint. When quizzed about her return to the United States following a stint as a Sbarro employee in Tel Aviv, Schumer's character explains her reason thusly: "Then one day I'm stuffing couscous into a calzone and I realized, a woman’s life is worth nothing unless she’s making a great man greater."

Schumer rose to fame when she placed fourth on the fifth season of NBC's "Last Comic Standing" ahead of earning second place on Comedy Central's "Reality Bites Back." Before launching her own Comedy Central series in 2013, Schumer could be seen in a recurring role on the Adult Swim series "Delocated."

No word yet on whether Schumer's "Foodroom" parody has Sorkin smiling or smarting.

Watch the full clip of "The Foodroom" above.

Photo Credit: Comedy Central]]>
<![CDATA[Photos: Royal Vacation]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 18:57:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/royal-family-vacation-credit-AP.jpg Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, welcomed home a baby boy on July 22. Click through for photos of the young family on their three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA["The Voice" Gets Its Top 12 Contestants]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 08:20:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NUP_163514_1611.jpg

"The Voice" has gotten its top 12 contestants who will do vocal battle in the live rounds, as Usher wrapped up the playoffs Tuesday when he picked his soulful finals-bound team of three: Bria Kelly, T.J. Wilkins and Josh Kaufman.

Their success came at the expense of metalhead-turned-bluesman Stevie Jo and jazz-inflected pop singer Melissa Jimenez, who were eliminated from the team Tuesday.

T.J. earned his slot on the leaner, meaner Team Usher with his take on Chaka Khan and Rufus' "Tell Me Something Good," while Bria secured hers with a cover of the Rolling Stones' shambling, country-tinged ballad "Wild Horses" that showed, perhaps for the first time, a more vulnerable, nuanced side.

Josh, though, who as a recent Team Adam steal was perhaps the least secure on Team Usher, was the night's biggest hit. He dispelled his coach's concerns in rehearsals about the tall task he'd taken on with singing Bruno Mars' "It Will Rain" with a desperate-sounding, gospel-infused rendition that showed the ordinarily low-key soul singer's range.

The selection of those three singers to represent Team Usher heading into the live rounds on "The Voice" capped a tough few nights of playoffs.

On Monday night, Adam Levine and Shakira had had to make their own grueling decisions on whom to send on to the live rounds. For Adam, that meant sticking with Delvin Choice, Christina Grimmie and Kat Perkins. For Shakira, that meant Tess Boyer, Kristen Merlen and Dani Moz.

Last week, Blake Shelton whittled down his own team, and unsurprisingly, he left it heavy on the country. Joining veteran powerhouse Sisaundra Lewis are throwback country belter Audra McLaughlin and honkytonk-ready Texan 17-year-old Jake Worthington.

"The Voice" airs Mondays and Tuesdays at 8/7c.

Photo Credit: Trae Patton/NBC]]>
<![CDATA["Magic Mike" Sequel Gets Release Date ]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:11:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP110913187487.jpg

Channing Tatum will be gyrating back onto the big screen next year, adding a few more fireworks to Fourth of July celebrations.

Warner Bros. announced Tuesday that the yet-to-be-titled follow up to “Magic Mike” will hit theaters July 3, 2015. Some websites are reporting that the film will be named "Magic Mike XXL," but that title has not been confirmed.

The original film starred Tatum as the titular male stripper and was directed by Steven Soderbergh. Also starring Matthew McConaughey, Olivia Munn and Matt Bomer, the movie was a sleeper hit of 2012, eventually grossing more than $167 million at the box office worldwide.

So popular was the film, it even spawned a Broadway musical version.

In February, Tatum tweeted a picture of himself with the accompanying caption saying that he had begun the early stages of writing the sequel.

But "Mike 2" will have to work for its audience tips when it bows. The sequel faces stiff box office competition from the next "Terminator" installment which explodes into in theaters on July 1, 2015.

Tatum will next be seen onscreen in another sequel: "22 Jump Street," the follow-up to 2012's "21 Jump Street" which was a movie reboot of the hit television series that originally aired in the late 1980s.


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Iconic San Diego Theater Set to Close]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 11:08:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Ken-Cinema-Kensington.jpg

A longtime movie theater in San Diego’s Kensington neighborhood is set to close – and the cozy, iconic cinema will be missed by many.

For decades, Ken Cinema on Adams Avenue has been the city’s only single-screen theatre, showing mostly foreign and independent films.

According to Landmark Theatres, which owns the Ken, the theater will shutter its doors at the end of this month when it shows its final film on Apr. 27.

The theater’s closure will impact employees, residents and patrons who call the Ken one of the cultural epicenters of San Diego.

For the man who owns the business, Guy Hanford, the movies shown at the Ken helped him plot his life.

Hanford’s passion for films started at the historic Kensington movie house back in 1964, when, as an 8th grader, Hanford got a job cleaning up the theater.

“It was a dollar and a nickel a night – and it was fun,” Hanford recalled.

Hanford rubbed his nickels together and later started the Kensington Video Store, opening up shop right next door to the Ken – his muse for getting into the movie rental business.

“It was very instrumental in me starting to love films and see films outside of the American cinema,” he said.

But now, the historic theater that shaped Hanford’s life – and the lives of other film buffs – is shutting its doors, leaving behind sadness among both employees and patrons after more than half a century of showing unique films.

“I’m terribly heartbroken the Ken is closing down,” said fan Kyle Baudour. “It’s such an institution of Kensington and such a vital part of the community.”

Chris Principio with Landmark Threatres released this statement to NBC 7 Monday night:

“Landmark Theatres was not able to negotiate an acceptable new lease on the Ken with the landlord, even as Landmark is interested to continue to operate the theatre and make improvements by installing digital projection, which is the current industry standard...”

The theater will be missed by many San Diegans who enjoyed its cinematic offerings.

“I’ll miss it because it plays the best movies in town,” said one patron.

The Ken isn't just the last single-screen theater in the city of San Diego. Hanford calls it a supporting actor to Kensington-area businesses.

“So, when they see a movie is playing at the Ken Theater they come and discover this little jewel [Kensington] hidden right in the center of San Diego,” said Hanford.

Currently, seven employees work at the Ken. They were notified of the theater’s impending closure over the weekend.

A spokesman for Landmark said the employees will be offered a job at one of Landmark’s other theaters in San Diego.

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Admiring the Blood Moon in San Diego]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:32:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Steve11p0414_1200x675_227552835589.jpg As the "blood moon" lit up the skies, San Diegans admired the first lunar eclipse of 2014. NBC 7's Steven Luke reports.]]> <![CDATA[Dina Lohan Pleads Guilty to DWI, Avoids Jail]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:46:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/dina+lohan+court.jpg

Dina Lohan pleaded guilty in Long Island court Tuesday to aggravated driving while intoxicated and speeding in connection with a 2013 traffic stop in exchange for no jail time.

The mother of the oft-troubled actress will lose her license for a year and, after that, her car will be outfitted with an ignition interlock so she can't drive it if she's had alcohol.

As part of the plea deal, she was also ordered to pay $2,600 in fines, complete 100 hours of community service and attend a drunk driving program.

Lohan was arrested in Sept. 2013 on the Northern State Parkway with a blood alcohol level of .20, more than twice the legal limit.


Photo Credit: NBC 4 New York]]>