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    Plunge pool, fitness center at Belmont Park set to reopen on June 1
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 25, 2019 | 2152 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    An artist's rendering of the completed Plunge pool in Belmont Park.
    An artist's rendering of the completed Plunge pool in Belmont Park.
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    Boasting a predominantly glass façade, the new Plunge has integrated exterior light with interior coastal textures.
    Boasting a predominantly glass façade, the new Plunge has integrated exterior light with interior coastal textures.
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    In a public ceremony on Jan. 30, 2017, elected officials, stakeholders and Mission Beach residents watched as Belmont Park’s historic landmark Plunge swimming pool came tumbling down.  Its replacement, new from the ground up and now housing Fit Mission Beach at 3115 Ocean Front Walk, will have a grand re-opening on June 1. “The building is all complete,” said Aldo Avila-Loaiza, account manager with Fit Athletic Club, which has three existing San Diego locations and a fourth coming to Little Italy. “What’s left is installation of all the equipment.” Avila-Loaiza said the pool will be on the ground level, with state-of-the-art functional fitness equipment and free weights above on the second floor and roof deck. “It’s going to be a full fitness club,” said Avila Loaiza, who had a table in front of the restored pool’s building front advertising club membership. He said plans are for Fit to begin giving tours of the brand-new facility starting in May with pre-enrolled members given priority. “This is going to be private membership, though there are going to be drop-in days where we’re welcoming everyone,” said Avila-Loaiza. “For a small fee, people can use the pool, or just drop in for a day, or a couple of days.” The Fit rep said the new club will have only month-to-month memberships and no long-term contracts. He added the core market for the new Fit club are the beaches and environs within a 20-mile radius. The 2017 groundbreaking event for the Plunge’s restoration included a plaque unveiling dedicated to Mission Beach educator Maruta Gardner, who was tragically killed in 2016 by an intoxicated driver while painting out graffiti near the Mission Beach jetty. Belmont Park and its iconic Plunge pool’s history date back to the 1920s and wealthy sugar magnate John D. Spreckels, who was pioneering San Diego’s early development. To stimulate real estate sales and promote his electric railway, Spreckels built the Mission Beach Amusement Center, now Belmont Park in 1925. Originally known as The Natatorium, the Plunge swimming pool was constructed as a centerpiece of the park. The 60-foot by 175-foot pool was, at the time, the largest salt-water pool in the world holding 400,000 gallons of water. It was modeled after the Spanish Renaissance-style buildings erected in Balboa Park between 1915-16. In 1940, the salt water of the Plunge began to damage its filtration system and fresh water was brought in. The Plunge then became “the largest indoor heated pool in Southern California,” at 12,000 square feet. After acquiring the lease to Belmont Park in 2012, Pacifica Enterprises and the City of San Diego negotiated a new lease in 2015 and entered into a partnership.  Boasting a predominantly glass façade, the new Plunge has integrated exterior light with interior coastal textures. The new building features a glass retractable-roof system promoting natural air circulation and preventing some of the deterioration issues that previously plagued the old building from moisture and saltwater. “We are confident the revitalized swimming pool, coupled with the new athletic center as the re-imagined and reconstructed Fit Plunge, will serve as a source of great pride for the Mission Beach community for generations to come,” noted Dario De Luca, president/COO of Pacifica Enterprises, at the 2017 groundbreaking for the Plunge’s restoration.
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    City Council votes to regulate scooters – focus on slower speeds, more rider education and public safety
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 24, 2019 | 9153 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Scooters are lined up in a parking lot as scooter riders head south on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard on Saturday, April 20.   THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
    Scooters are lined up in a parking lot as scooter riders head south on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard on Saturday, April 20. THOMAS MELVILLE / PENINSULA BEACON
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    Days before the full council hearing on new scooter regulations, a well-attended public protest sponsored by Mission Beach Town Council was held on Mission Beach boardwalk. / Photo by Dave Schwab
    Days before the full council hearing on new scooter regulations, a well-attended public protest sponsored by Mission Beach Town Council was held on Mission Beach boardwalk. / Photo by Dave Schwab
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    The City Council voted unanimously in favor of new regulations for electric scooters and other shared-mobility devices instituting fees for operators, decreasing allowed speeds and designating where they can park. Regulations the City Council approved April 23 decrease the allowable speed of dockless scooters from 15 to 8 mph in high-traffic areas with the use of geofencing technology to limit speeds. Scooters are to be banned from parking near hospitals, schools, boardwalks and near Petco Park. Greg Block, of the mayor’s office, testified scooters and similar devices are to be regulated in six ways: by being permitted, limiting their speeds, paying fees, parking in designated “corrals,” indemnifying the City against liability and sharing data.  Key components of the regulations include: ·Speed limits: In specific geofenced areas, operators will slow scooters to 8 mph. Three of the geofenced areas are pedestrian-only and operators will slow scooters to 3 mph with a push message notifying riders to leave that area. ·Geofencing will be in effect for beach-area boardwalks, Balboa Park, NTC Park, Mission Bay Park, Petco Park and the pedestrian-only locations, including North/South Embarcadero, MLK Jr. Promenade, and La Piazza della Famiglia. ·Staging: Operators will no longer be able to stage scooters and e-bikes on sidewalks in downtown. The City has identified – and is currently installing – 330 on-street dockless parking corrals throughout downtown where staging is allowed. ·In the beach areas, operators are only permitted to stage in groups of up to four, with 40 feet in between each group. The City will identify corral locations in the beach areas and, once installed, will require their use.The City also will conduct an evaluation of locations throughout San Diego where designated parking corrals would be beneficial and, working with the City Council and communities, install more. ·Rider parking: Operators will prohibit riders from ending a ride in specific geofenced areas, including beach area boardwalks. ·Education: Consistent messages about local and state laws in smartphone applications will be required. As will on-device labeling about age requirements and how riding on the sidewalk is illegal. ·Per device fee: A per device fee of $150 annually will be assessed. A reduction of $15 per device will be offered for operators offering a qualified equity program. ·Equity programs may include discounts, equitable distribution, credit-card free unlock or mobile-device free unlock. ·Data sharing: A variety of data will be shared about ridership, parking, paths of travel and more to assist the City in transportation planning, Climate Action Plan reporting and enforcement. ·Indemnification/insurance: Operators will be required to indemnify the City from liability and to hold a $2 million per occurrence, $4 million aggregate and $4 million umbrella insurance policy. ·Performance bond: Each operator will be required to pay a “Safety Deposit” – $65 for each device in fleet – to be held in the event the company leaves the market without its devices.  The ordinance will charge dockless companies an annual $150 per-device fee. The City noted that should act as a de facto cap on scooter numbers. “The sheer number of children on scooters is alarming, is this child endangerment?,” asked Mission Beach restaurateur Sara Mattinson asked councilmembers. “We have been taken over by scooters,” claimed Eve Anderson of Pacific Beach, arguing six scooter companies now is too many. “Is it us or them?” asked Matt Gardner, a brick-and-mortar vehicle rental owner and Mission Beach Town Council president, whose business is being hurt by scooter competition. Bicycling advocate Andy Hanshaw said his number one message is, “We need to build out our bike infrastructure and separate bikes, and now scooters (from cars) to allow riders the choice to be off the sidewalk.” Scooter representatives testified they mostly favored regulation, while imploring the City to include them in working out the details. “Public safety is the number one responsibility of local government,” said Council president pro tem Barbara Bry. “Other cities have been much more proactive than we’ve been.” Bry requested an amendment to the ordinance banning dockless on boardwalks, but was told it would have to be dealt with later because it wasn’t noticed. “If we could do a rewind, I would have banned this entire thing from the city from the start without regulation,” said District 2 Councilmember Dr. Jen Campbell. “We need to think ahead. Now we have to move forward. It is way past time that we pass regulations. These devices are a threat to our public health for riders and walkers, and I support banning them from boardwalks and sidewalks.” Days before the full council hearing on new scooter regulations, a well-attended public protest sponsored by Mission Beach Town Council was held on Mission Beach boardwalk. Ralliers chanted “safety not scooters” while railing against unregulated dockless vehicles. “We don’t feel it is safe just to go for a bike ride or walk our dogs,” said MBTC vice president Greg Knight. “This doesn’t just affect Mission Beach but every community in San Diego. Motorized vehicles and pedestrians simply don’t mix. We can’t take it anymore.” Jonathan Freeman, a downtown ADA activist, spoke of solidarity citywide concerning scooters. “We have exactly the same problems: It’s no longer safe for people to walk on a sidewalk or boardwalk,” said Freeman. … No motorized vehicles should ever be traveling on them. People here are seeing their communities destroyed by people willfully disregarding their safety. This must not continue.” Electric scooters and bikes are prohibited from riding on city sidewalks. “We got shut down last year 6-3 (City Council vote) on a (boardwalk scooter) ban request,” noted MBTC vice president Klaus Mendenhall. “How is it the City is allowing companies to use our public sidewalks for profit without paying fees?” “We are assisting people who’ve been injured or hurt in scooter accidents,” said attorney Mike O’Neill, who’s filed lawsuits against the City representing injured scooter riders. “The only way to get our City’s attention is to hit them in the pocketbook.”
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    Education Notebook: Mission Bay RoBucs team ends season in regional finals
    Apr 18, 2019 | 9696 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Mission Bay High School students Laura Torre, Alyssa Welters, William Freit, Ian O’Neill, and Rory Knight show off their robot.
    Mission Bay High School students Laura Torre, Alyssa Welters, William Freit, Ian O’Neill, and Rory Knight show off their robot.
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    Barnard students Angelia C. and Texas Z. perform onstage in ‘The Secret Garden’ with one of the directors from Missoula Children’s Theatre.
    Barnard students Angelia C. and Texas Z. perform onstage in ‘The Secret Garden’ with one of the directors from Missoula Children’s Theatre.
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    Christopher Adamson
    Christopher Adamson
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    April is the ‘Month of the Military Child’ and Crown Point Junior Music Academy held a special breakfast and all-school assembly to thank our service member parents and to celebrate the sacrifices their students make.
    April is the ‘Month of the Military Child’ and Crown Point Junior Music Academy held a special breakfast and all-school assembly to thank our service member parents and to celebrate the sacrifices their students make.
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    Mission Bay High - MBHS's robotics team, The RoBucs, ended their season with a place in the finals at the Lancaster Regional Competition in Aerospace Valley, Calif. The robotics team at Mission Bay gives students the opportunity to work together as a team to build a robot from the ground up, which then competes against other robots in a tournament setting. Led by mentors Mark Perino, Attila Rakosi, and Alex Cannon, the students use their skills in engineering design, computer programming, electronic knowledge, manufacturing, marketing, and outreach. Pacific Beach Middle - Help support Adrian Scavone to raise money to buy a Flowater Refill Station at PBMS. His eighth-grade community service project will reduce single-use plastic pollution on campus and provide filtered drinking water. "Flowater Stations have been installed in several San Diego schools and we are looking for community sponsors to make it happen at PBMS," Scavone said. His campaign can be found on gofundme.com under "Flowater Refill Station Community Service Project."   Pacific Beach Elementary - Pacific Beach Elementary is holding a Family Math Night with Greg Tang Jr. on Thursday, April 18, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Sponsored by PBE teacher Jennifer Cromar and her fourth graders, this is a fun hour of math and games for kids of all ages. It's free and members of the community are welcome. - "A Night at the Speakeasy," PBE's annual auction, will be held 6 to 11 p.m. on Friday, April 26 at Marina Village. Enjoy a night of fun, food, and entertainment while raising funds to support science, music, and art programs at PBE. Tickets can be purchased at fopbe.org. The school thanks parent volunteers: Kristen Everett, Elizabeth Agia, Jessica Cohen, Tricia Spangler, Elyse Locatelli, Jenny Panettiere, and many others for their work in putting together PBE's biggest fundraiser.  Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary - The students of Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School showcased their singing and acting talents on March 22, in Missoula Children’s Theatre’s production of “The Secret Garden.” More than 50 first through fifth-grade students performed in this light-hearted adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel. Auditions took place on Monday; rehearsals were held throughout the week; and the show was performed on Friday night. “Being in this play helped me realize that I am capable of doing amazing things, like learning a lot of lines in a short time, acting in front of people, and showing the emotions of my character,” said fifth grade student Angelia C, who played Mary in the production. “I love the Missoula program because it brings more art activities to my school and also because I get to do it with my friends.”  Kate Sessions - The Sessions community is thankful for the many opportunities presented to them and one such opportunity involves fifth-grader, Christopher Adamson. He has been attending KSE since preschool and is visually impaired. He is an example of patience, perseverance, and determination and taught his classmates that they don't need to "sweat the small stuff." A heartfelt "thank you" goes out to the Adamson family for sharing their inspirational son with the Kate Sessions’ community. FOPBSS - The next Friends of Pacific Beach Secondary Schools meeting will take place 6 p.m. on April 24 at MBHS library.
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    The curious case of Noodle, a dognapping, and a social media storm
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 16, 2019 | 7304 views | 1 1 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Noodle is now back home safe in Pacific Beach. His Instagram account is @liondoodlenoodle. / Photo from Noodle's Facebook
    Noodle is now back home safe in Pacific Beach. His Instagram account is @liondoodlenoodle. / Photo from Noodle's Facebook
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    What is known is that a 2-year-old Goldendoodle named Noodle was allegedly “dognapped” from a Pacific Beach home in mid-day before being returned four days later. The mysterious incident occurred Wednesday, April 10 shortly after noon. The incident was captured on the homeowner’s Ring security camera. Video showed a long-haired, somewhat heavy-set bearded man going through the unlocked front door, taking Noodle, then walking out with him while the homeowner was temporarily away. What’s missing – and perplexing – is the back story to exactly how it all happened, and why. Also, subsequent social-media postings about Noodle’s alleged kidnapping netted oodles of responses on Instagram, and on Noodles’ and Social Pacific Beach Facebook pages. Even several “Free Noodle” memes were trending on local social media. On Monday, April 15, Noodle’s “dad,” Kevin Cho, told Beach & Bay Press, “I got him back yesterday evening.” In a CBS News 8 interview, Cho said Noodle had been recovered from Grants Pass, Ore. Cho said his initial thought on finding Noodle gone was that “it was an April Fool’s joke by one of my friends.” During the CBS News 8 interview, Cho said, after witnessing his security-camera footage, that he knew who stole his dog. “I called him repeatedly,” said Cho, adding, “I have no idea why he did it. This is baffling to me.” Cho filed a police report. A friend of his then reached out to social media for help, posting on Next Door: “My friend’s dog was stolen yesterday and we need help finding the man who stole him. Pleeaassse help us if you can!” CBS News 8 reported that social media posts about Noodle had been viewed “hundreds of times,” and that the video footage Cho released showing Noodle being taken was viewed “tens of thousands of times.” Noodle has been described as a Pacific Beach “fixture.” The dog has his own Instagram account (@liondoodlenoodle) with more than 11,600 followers. The Goldendoodle is a cross-breed dog obtained by breeding a Golden Retriever with a Poodle. The name, which alters “poodle” to “doodle,” was coined in 1992. Golden retrievers are considered a great family dog, which is why they have been used to cross breed with poodles. The Goldendoodle is referred to as a designer dog, a term tracing its origin to the late 20th century when breeders began to cross purebred Poodles with other purebred breeds in hopes of obtaining a dog with the Poodle's non-shedding coat, (though there is no guarantee they will inherit the coat of the poodle), along with various desirable characteristics from other breeds. Cho told CBS News 8 he had no immediate plans for filing charges against the man who allegedly took his dog.
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    Kendra Kay
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    April 17, 2019
    This story deserves no publication. Who took the dog. Why was the dog taken? Why no prosecution? Will this person steal others dogs?

    What is all a scam just to get media attention? If so, it worked.

    If the whole story can be told. Don't tell it!
    San Diego Community Newspaper Group acquires five newspapers
    by KENDRA SITTON
    Apr 15, 2019 | 17349 views | 2 2 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    In a deal made official on April 1, San Diego Community Newspaper Group purchased five of San Diego Community News Network’s six publications. Julie Main, owner and publisher of San Diego Community Newspaper Group, adds San Diego Uptown News, San Diego Downtown News, Mission Times Courier, and La Mesa Courier to the company’s stable of La Jolla Village News, Peninsula Beacon, and Beach & Bay Press newspapers.  Included in the purchase was Mission Valley News, which will be discontinued. San Diego Community News Network retained Gay San Diego as its only publication. As a result of the purchase, the bi-weekly Beach & Bay Press will move from publishing on Thursdays to coming out on Fridays, starting with this week’s edition. With the addition of San Diego Community News Network’s papers, Main runs the largest independent newspaper group in the region. As a woman in the male-dominated media industry, this marks a significant achievement. “It’s a rewarding industry. One of the more rewarding things about the community newspaper industry is everyone has a story to tell. It’s very gratifying to peel back the layers and find these treasures (stories) and share it with our readers,” Main said. “These people help shape the community. “We also try to be transparent and unbiased in our reporting. People are inundated daily with troubling news regionally and from around the world. It is hard to sort through fact and fiction these days. Not all news has to be bad news. Isn’t it refreshing to come home and read about positive things happening in your community for a change,” Main said. Over the years, control of the newspapers has passed between Main and San Diego Community News Network owner David Mannis. The former married couple founded San Diego Community Newspaper Group together in the 1980s. Even after their divorce in 2002, they worked together on La Jolla Village News, Peninsula Beacon, Beach & Bay Press, and Downtown News until Main took full control at the end of 2008. Mannis decided to enter the newspaper industry again in 2009 and founded San Diego Uptown News. He later bought Downtown News from San Diego Community Newspaper Group and grew his newspaper network to include six papers stretching across the county. After 40 years in the newspaper industry, he has decided to enter semi-retirement. The acquisition led to a shuffle in the editors leading each of the newspapers. Albert Fulcher will stay at San Diego Community News Network as the editor for Gay San Diego. Jeff Clemetson is moving to San Diego Community Newspaper Group’s Pacific Beach office to continue leading Mission Times Courier and La Mesa Courier. Recently-hired editor Kendra Sitton is also moving to the PB office and will continue her work at San Diego Uptown News. In addition, she is now the editor of San Diego Downtown News, which was formerly under the purview of Fulcher. “The idea of having more regional coverage in the communities and the ZIP codes we are picking up is exciting. We share a lot of common issues with our coastal communities that will tie in directly with Uptown and Downtown. La Mesa Courier and Mission Times Courier cover well established, solid communities. It doesn’t get much better than this,” Main said.
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    Ruth Chandler
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    April 16, 2019
    Congratulations, Julie!! Wishing you all my best!
    Josh Utley
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    April 16, 2019
    Congratulations Julie!
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