Quick Hits
Jan 16, 2013 | 2206 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PB Planning Group seeks new members

The Pacific Beach Planning Group (PBPG) is seeking candidates for its annual elections to be held March 27 at the Pacific Beach/Taylor Branch Library from 4:45 to 6:30 p.m.

The PBPG is composed of 20 community volunteers (15 residential and five commercial seats).

The group advises the city on new development projects, parking, traffic, future planning and other issues related to the Pacific Beach Community Plan.

Candidates must be residents or business owners/operators in Pacific Beach and must have attended one PBPG meeting prior to the February meeting. The next meeting is Jan. 23. The PBPG meets on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Pacific Beach/Taylor Branch Library, located at 4275 Cass St.

For more information and candidate forms, visit www.pbplanning.org or call Imelda McClendon (469) 576-3870. Applications are due by March 13.

Town Council to install new officers, directors

The Pacific Beach Town Council (PBTC) will hold its 62nd annual installation of officers and directors and dinner on Saturday, Jan. 27 at the Mission Bay Yacht Club, located at 1215 El Carmel Place. The installation will include the swearing-in of a new slate of officers and directors and the introduction of the 2013 honorary Pacific Beach mayor.

The event begins at 5 p.m. with cocktails, followed by dinner at 6 p.m.

The 2013 PBTC officers are Alan Harris, president; Adam Meyer, vice president; Gregory Daunoars, secretary, and Dorothy Shianna, treasurer.

The 2013 PBTC directors are Keith Antigiovanni, Robert Citrano, Cathie Jolley, Richard Kiser, Susan Lowary, Bill Marsh, John McMillan, Edward Reay, Joe Wilding and Matthew Winter.

The cost for the dinner is $25 per person.

The first general meeting of the year will be Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Woman’s Club, located at 1721 Hornblend St.

For more information, call the PBTC office at (858) 483-6666.

Suspect in bank robbery held on $50,000 bail

An Oceanside man is being held on $50,000 bail after he was charged with robbing a Wells Fargo Bank branch inside Ralph’s grocery store in Pacific Beach.

Oceanside police arrested James Arthur McWatters, 36, on Jan. 1 at his home, and he was transferred into the custody of San Diego police and the FBI.

The robbery occurred on New Year’s Eve at 12:30 p.m. and McWatters allegedly made off with $3,200 in cash.

McWatters pleaded not guilty Jan. 4 to robbery and to making a criminal threat to the bank teller. The prosecutor argued to the judge that McWatters told the teller “many people will die, including you” if she did not give him money.

The judge set a preliminary hearing for Thursday, Jan. 17.

— Neal Putnam

UCSD students’ kidnapper gets 14 years

The man who kidnapped and robbed two UCSD students in La Jolla to get cash from their ATM in Pacific Beach was sentenced Jan. 9 to

14 years in state prison.

Miguel Torres Espinoza, 29, of San Diego, was ordered to pay nearly $650 to Raymond Chung and his girlfriend, Jessica Liu, both 20, by a Superior Court judge. Espinoza received credit for four months already spent in jail.

Both students were in class Jan. 9 and didn’t attend the sentencing. Espinoza had agreed to accept a 14-year term when he pleaded guilty

Nov. 21 to two kidnapping counts and two robbery charges.

The couple was accosted in the parking lot of the CVS Pharmacy on Villa La Jolla Drive on Sept. 11 around 11 p.m. with an air soft pellet pistol that looked like a real handgun.

He forced them to drive to their bank ATM in Pacific Beach and they withdrew $420 in cash. The restitution order includes the cost of their two cell phones, which he took, said Deputy District Attorney Jalyn Wang.

Espinoza also stole Liu’s laptop and Chung’s wallet. Police recovered the laptop and some of the money, but no other items. After getting the money, Espinoza suddenly demanded to be let out of the car in a residential area of Pacific Beach.

Espinoza did give a quick “thank you” as he exited the car, they testified. The students called police and officers found Espinoza running uphill on Loring Street and Soledad Mountain Road.

— Neal Putnam

New law mandates carbon monoxide alarms

A new state law that took effect

Jan. 1 requires all apartments, condos or single-family dwellings with fuel burning appliances, fireplaces or attached garages have a carbon-monoxide detector installed in the home.

“Especially in the winter months, the houses are closed up tight and these types of appliances are on,” said San Diego Fire Capt. James Lange. “If these appliances are working well, it’s usually not a problem, but if there’s a problem with the burner or if an appliance isn’t maintained right, you may see signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly.”

House appraisals, loans or purchases on homes without a carbon monoxide alarm will not be approved.

Lange suggested contacting SDG&E for assistance maintaining or installing carbon monoxide alarms or ensuring that fuel-burning appliances are working properly.

— Mariko Lamb
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