A round-up of news, community, and business briefs from sdnews.com highlighting what’s happening in our community.
Wednesday, July 8
JETTY CATS FUNDRAISER
Jetty Cats of San Diego is holding a fundraiser to help buy food for the volunteers who feed the cats nightly. Donations may be made through their sponsors Feral Cat Coalition. Go to PayPal at paypal.me/feralcatcoalition – type “for Jetty Cats” in the payment notes. Also, donate through Venmo @FeralCatCoalitionSD and type “for Jetty Cats” in the payment notes.
NAME CHANGE FOR UC SAN DIEGO PROJECT
UC San Diego’s proposed Future College Living and Learning Neighborhood project has undergone a name change. It is now being referred to as the Theatre District Living and Learning Neighborhood.
It would include five buildings ranging in height from 9-21 stories to provide approximately 2,000 new beds for undergraduate students, residential life and administration offices for a new college, general assignment classrooms, a 480-seat auditorium, meeting space, restaurants, and retail space for approximately 900,000 gross square feet total.
La Jollans living in neighborhoods surrounding the university have objected strongly to both the bulk and scale of the project, as well as its alleged negative impacts on future traffic in the area. The 11.8-acre proposed project site is at the southwestern edge of the La Jolla West Campus.
MOPA RECLOSES UNTIL FALL
Just days after reopening for the July Fourth weekend, the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts has announced it will remain closed until after Labor Day. Museums were among those businesses told to halt indoor activities by the state and by local health authorities. Although the updated public health order is theoretically in place for just three weeks, a museum statement cited the "uncertainty'' of the coming weeks as the reason for the lengthy closure. The museum initially shuttered in March with other museums in Balboa Park and the rest of San Diego County.
LUSTER ELECTED BOARD PRESIDENT
Mesa College president Dr. Pamela Luster has been elected president of the Chief Executive Officers of California Community Colleges Board for FY 2020-21. “I am honored to be elected president of the CEOCCC Board,” said Luster. “I look forward to working with these progressive leaders as we focus on advocacy and action for racial equity, increasing resources for colleges and students, and recovery from COVID-19. Our students are depending on us to lead the way.”
The Community College League of California (League) is a nonprofit public benefit corporation whose voluntary membership consists of the 73 local public community college districts in California. The League supports locally elected trustees and community college CEOs who serve their students and communities by advocating on their behalf at the state and federal levels.
SD CONVENTION CENTER PROMO
Continuing its tradition of producing chocolate bars to celebrate the annual Comic-Con International event canceled this year due to the pandemic, the San Diego Convention Center is introducing a limited-edition 2020 chocolate bar to be shared with regional fans via social media contests. With a Saturday Morning Cartoons theme, the colorful treat features white chocolate, fruit-flavored cereal and freeze-dried raspberries. The bars are created in partnership with the Center’s food and beverage partner, Centerplate.
“As their annual hosts, we are glad to join the Comic-Con team in continuing some traditions of this pop culture celebration, like our ‘Convention Confections,’” said Clifford “Rip” Rippetoe, president, and CEO of the San Diego Convention Center. "Through the series of online contests, we hope to bring together our local community to share their special memories and experiences of Comic-Con in San Diego.”
The Saturday Morning Cartoons bars will be distributed to fans through a series of online contests held July 13-17, via the Center’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts; no chocolate bars will be available for sale. Contest details will be shared through the Center’s social media and website next week. The chocolate bar prizes must be picked up at the Center on July 20 or 21. To learn more about [email protected], see Comic-Con.org and follow along via social media at #ComicConAtHome. The 2021 Comic-Con, International event is rescheduled to take place at the San Diego Convention Center from July 22-25, 2021.
MARITIME MUSEUM CLOSED
The Maritime Museum of San Diego announced a second temporary closure of the museum beginning July 7 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Maritime Museum reopened to the public for six days beginning July 1 after closing temporarily due to the global pandemic for nearly four months starting March 16. The Museum is complying with state and local governance and guidelines and anticipates reopening Saturday, Aug. 1, at the approval of regional authorities.
Tuesday, July 7
BELMONT PARK RIDES CLOSED
Belmont Park, a 95-year-old historic amusement park on the oceanfront at 3146 Mission Blvd., has been hard hit by the pandemic and the latest rollback of business re-openings.
“All our rides, including the Giant Dipper roller coaster, are now closed,” said Minh Tra, director of operations for the San Diego Coaster Co., which operates all of Belmont Park’s amusement rides. “As of July 7, all our indoor attractions, including our arcade, are closed. But all our outdoor attractions, retail and restaurant food operations as well as outdoor attractions like the rock wall, sky ropes, outdoor obstacle course and miniature golf, are open.”
PLUNGE NOT PAUSED
The Plunge San Diego at Fit Mission Beach in Belmont Park, a membership fitness club and public pool, is currently open 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays and 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Fridays-Sundays. The public can access the pool for $15 a day for adults, $12 a day for youth under age 18 for recreational swimming daily from 2 to 6 p.m. For more information, visit plungesandiego.com.
RESCUED BALD EAGLE DIES
“It is with heavy hearts we share that the ailing bald eagle admitted to Project Wildlife on July 4 has died,” said San Diego Humane Society on July 7. “This morning the juvenile bird was having more difficulty breathing, despite receiving supplemental oxygen in the critical care unit at our Pilar & Chuck Bahde Wildlife Center. Our highly trained medical staff knew they had to find out why the bird was not able to breathe. They sedated and anesthetized the bald eagle for a thorough exam.”
SDHS said full body X-rays revealed no obvious abnormalities for the injured bird. SeaWorld provided an endoscope to help visualize the inside of the eagle’s trachea and GI tract.
“There were some small parasites in the bird’s throat but not likely to be the major issue,” said SDHS. “There was also evidence of slow gut movement in the GI tract. Once the diagnostic procedures were finished, the gas anesthesia was turned off but the bird never woke up from the anesthesia. Several efforts were made to resuscitate the bald eagle, but we were unsuccessful. Our staff and partners have done everything in their power to help this bald eagle, and are extremely saddened by today’s outcome.”
WHEEL OF FORTUNE FEATURES SD
Wheel of Fortune will be re-airing a week of episodes celebrating San Diego as one of its “Great American Cities” from July 13-17. These special episodes will also feature segments and scenic footage shot on location during Pat Sajak and Vanna White’s visit to San Diego in 2016, as well as a custom set decorated with iconic local sights, including the San Diego Zoo, the Hotel del Coronado and the Gaslamp Quarter. During this week of shows, which first aired in 2017, all the contestants are from the San Diego area.
PADRES SEASON OPENER JULY 24
The San Diego Padres will kick-off their pandemic-delayed, 60-game season, consisting of 40 games against National League West teams and 20 against American League West teams, starting Friday, July 24 against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Petco Park. The interleague games at Petco Park will be Aug. 19-20 against the Texas Rangers; Aug. 21-23, Houston Astros; Aug. 25-27 against the Seattle Mariners; and Sept. 22-23 against the Los Angeles Angels, the final games of the season at Petco Park.
Major League Baseball plans to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Aug. 28, the date of the March on Washington in 1963, as well as the date in 1945 when Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey met with Robinson to discuss his MLB future. The new date is representative of both Robinson's journey to break the color barrier and his life as a civil rights activist. Jackie Robinson Day is customarily celebrated on April 15, the anniversary of his breaking MLB's color line in 1947.
RV RESORT IMPROVEMENTS DELAYED
The De Anza Cove Improvement Project, comprised of rent creditable capital improvements, including abatement and removal of 166 mobile homes remaining on-site, has been delayed by the pandemic. On June 24, 2019, the San Diego City Council approved a lease extension for Campland on the Bay and a lease for the De Anza Cove property that includes Mission Bay RV Resort.
On Jan. 20, well ahead of the deadline, management commenced the improvement project. “Since then we have deployed certified environmental engineers who conducted asbestos and lead testing and analysis of all remaining mobile homes,” said Jacob Gelfand, vice president of operations for Terra Vista Management, which administers Campland on the Bay at 2211 Pacific Beach Drive. “On Jan. 28, management submitted a Coastal Development Permit application for the remaining components of the improvement project.”
Added Gelfand: “Unfortunately, threatened litigation, which has since been settled, delayed the improvement project by more than two months. More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily impeded critical path progress. To the extent possible, management will proceed with project items that can be safely and feasibly accomplished during this period of crisis, until the governor’s State of Emergency has been lifted.”
Gelfand noted, since the commencement of the lease in July 2019, that numerous, significant improvements to resort operations at Mission Bay RV Resort, including utility system repairs, safety improvements, new recreational amenities and aesthetic enhancements, have been made. “We look forward gradually to reopening more amenities at both resorts as state and local regulations allow,” said Gelfand, noting Campland on the Bay celebrated its 50th Anniversary of providing affordable, waterfront accommodations and family-friendly recreation on Mission Bay last year.
Monday, July 6
BALD EAGLE RESCUED
San Diego Humane Society’s Project Wildlife admitted a bald eagle on July 4. It is extremely rare for SDHS to admit such a raptor. The bird was rescued and brought in by SoCal Parrots after it had been observed on the ground for a couple of days at Barrett Honor Camp.
The bald eagle, suffering from dehydration, was given fluids and treated for mites. While the bird’s condition is guarded, it is in stable condition at the critical care unit of SDHS’s Bahde Wildlife Center and has gotten radiographs (X-rays) and a blood draw. Currently, he is breathing heavy, although slightly improved. Samples of the eagle’s blood and feces were submitted for full evaluation, including a lead test.
Staff at the Pilar & Chuck Bahde Wildlife Center were able to successfully hand feed the bird, a juvenile, a fledgling, who has not been seen flying on his own. The objective is to rehabilitate the bird and return him to his family. The bald eagle will remain in the critical care unit where he receives extra oxygen.
LIBRARIES TO REMAIN CLOSED
San Diego Public libraries, following the guidance of State and County health guidelines and public health orders, will continue to remain closed. “The Library has expanded its contactless pickup service to 18 locations and has opened its book drops for returns,” said City spokesperson Jennifer McBride. “The Library's online programs are also available for patrons.” For more information, visit sandiego.gov/public-library.
NONPROFIT GETS GRANT
Home Start, a San Diego nonprofit whose mission is to assure the safety and resiliency of children by strengthening families and their communities, has received a $100,000 grant from the Cushman Foundation. The grant, spread over three years, is part of the Foundation’s 2020 Making a Difference for San Diego Grant Program and will help Home Start with its Behavioral Health Services programs.
The foundation’s grant program was established in partnership with the Jewish Community Foundation as they share the goals of respectful and responsive grantmaking, quality technical assistance, and support to strengthen the capacity and sustainability of nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit homestart.org.
FUNDRAISING FOR CANCER
Padres Pedal the Cause, a nonprofit, has raised over $120,000 from the organization’s second annual A World Without Cancer Day on June 20. Over 640 people registered for the grassroots, virtual event, raising funds for collaborative cancer research in San Diego.
Inspired by the campaign #Do20Give20, participants committed to doing 20 minutes, miles or repetitions of movement from several participation options: cycling or run/walking on their own; attending a live, virtual class hosted by community partners, Orangetheory Fitness, YogaSix, and breast cancer fighter/spin instructor Kellie Sullivan; and even joining a Peloton class.
Participants matched their commitment to “Do 20” with a $20 or more donation to Padres Pedal the Cause, an organization that donates 100% of fundraising dollars to cancer research. Donations can be made by visiting the Padres Pedal the Cause at gopedal.org.
FIESTA ISLAND REOPENS FOR VEHICLES
“Fiesta Island is currently scheduled to open to vehicle access on Monday, July 6,” said City spokesperson Jennifer McBride. “If County or State health orders are updated between now and then that could change, but right now July 6 is the date.”
A large peninsular park within Mission Bay, manmade Fiesta Island is a popular location for charity walks and runs, bicycle races, time trials and other special events. It is also the home of the annual Over-The-Line Tournament. The Fiesta Island Youth Camp and the Aquatic Center are on the island. There are bonfire rings around the shore of the island and a park where dogs are allowed off leash. All persons on the beach at Fiesta Island are required to practice social distancing other than members of the same household, and the public shall not congregate or participate in active sport activities on beaches.
FOSSIL FIND IN OTAY MESA
An unusual fossil deposit containing skeletal remains of extinct mammals, including camels, oreodonts, rodents, and possibly a large carnivore, was recently unearthed at the State Route 11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project, a joint venture between Caltrans and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG). The fossils are estimated to be 16 to 28 million years old and provide new insights into the region's geologic history.
Found by Paleo Monitors from the San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) fossils appear to be from a new geologic formation that has not been mapped before in the area. The deposit also contains plant fossils, as well as volcanic bombs (masses of rock ejected by a volcano). The Nat will prepare the fossils and curate and catalogue them into the paleontology collection, holding them in perpetuity for the citizens of California.
The SR-11/Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project will complete a direct connection to a planned new U.S. Land Port of Entry, and create a 21st century border crossing that will enhance regional mobility, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and wait times, fuel economic growth, bolster binational trade, and strengthen border security and resiliency.
DEL MAR LIVE LAUNCHES JULY 10
Although the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will kick off its 2020 summer racing season with an empty grandstand, there are still a variety of ways to enjoy your fill of races and festivities throughout the summer. Del Mar Live launches on opening day, Friday, July 10, and will feature more than 20 local restaurants, hotels and casinos including Brigantine Del Mar, Pizza Port, Jimmy O’s, Pendry San Diego and more. Each “Live” location will offer TV screens to view the day’s 10-race card, Del Mar signature drink specials and Del Mar/TVG coasters. Del Mar will race every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from July 10 up to and including Labor Day Monday, Sept. 7. First post daily will be at 2 p.m.
OPENING DAY HATS CONTEST
This year’s 26th annual Opening Day Hats Contest will strut on stage via Instagram and Twitter for all to see with a panel of local celeb judges ready to declare the 2020 winner of a fashion statement that has become one of Del Mar’s most sought-after honors. The Opening Day Hats Contest is available to all who forward pictures using the hashtag #DelMarHatsContest and tagging @DelMarRacing in the photo.
SDUSD APPROVES $1.6 BILLION FOR 2020-21
The San Diego Unified Board of Education has unanimously approved a balanced budget for the upcoming school year. No significant layoffs or staff adjustments were required to balance the district budget this year.
Highlights of the approved measure include a $45 million fund for COVID-19 emergency expenditures. District leaders said those funds will pave the way for reopening schools on schedule on Aug. 31, including options for on-campus and online learning.
“The unanimous vote this evening by the Board of Education reflects our collective confidence that we can open schools in a timely manner, on schedule, on August 31, with outstanding options for students who want to be on campus, as well as those who wish to learn from home,” said superintendent Cindy Marten. “The COVID-19 crisis is the biggest adaptive challenge to public education of our lifetimes, and we are ready to meet the challenge.”
Marten introduced the budget item by noting the numbers have improved since May when Gov. Gavin Newsom released his revised state budget. Working with the Governor and the entire San Diego Legislative delegation, school leaders successfully advocated for changes in the state budget, including:
Undoing a 10% cut to Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) estimated at about $100 million as proposed in the 2020-21 May Revise and instead utilizing deferrals and federal advocacy to mitigate cuts;
Securing learning loss funds to cover COVID-19 costs and to support reopening of schools, which totaled $91.8 million for San Diego Unified;
Adopting a pension buydown of employer contribution rates for 2020-21 and 2021-22, and a CalSTRS pension rate freeze for 2020-21, which amounts to an estimated savings of $17 million for San Diego Unified in the next school year;
Advocating for special education funding based on the moderate-to-severe disability of students, which resulted in the allocation of $100 million for the low-incidence pool add-on that provides $2.4 million for San Diego Unified.
Members of the Board of Education also emphasized the need for continued advocacy at the federal level. They have called for the US Senate to follow the House of Representatives in passing the HEROES Act, which provides an additional $58 billion to schools nationwide.
LJ ROAD CONSTRUCTION CLOSURE
Beginning on July 6 and continuing for approximately one month, access to and from Scripps Health facilities via Voigt Drive will be closed while crews rebuild the driveway and adjacent roadway. Once complete, crews will restore inbound access via Voigt Drive from the west only. Outbound access will continue to be closed and vehicles will be redirected to Genesee Avenue.
What to expect:
Full closure of Scripps Health driveway at Voigt Drive
Concurrent full closure of Voigt Drive between parking lot P701 and Campus Point Drive
Detours to and from Scripps Health facilities will be available via Genesee Avenue
Traffic control measures will be in place, including temporary traffic signals, temporary wayfinding and detour signage, and roadway and sidewalk reconfigurations
Typical work hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
NEWLY RENOVATED HOTEL
Best Western Hotels & Resorts is opening its newly renovated SureStay Hotel by Best Western San Diego/Pacific Beach at 4545 Mission Bay Drive. The 66-room hotel offers an outdoor, heated, swimming pool, complimentary hot breakfast buffet, high-speed WiFi, and free parking providing guests with the superior comfort and utmost value they want out of their stay. The hotel is closely following state guidelines and implementing safety protocols. For more information, visit bestwestern.com.
NEW FIRM PARTNER, NAME
CerasoliStafford Media Management has announced that long-time media executive Bob Bolinger joined the firm effective July 1 as a new partner. Concurrently, the firm will be changing its name to CerasoliStaffordBolinger, doing business as CSB Impact (csbimpact.com). Bolinger’s career includes executive management roles with major San Diego radio groups, including Entercom, iHeart Media and CBS Radio.
COUNTY TREASURER-TAX COLLECTOR SHUTS DOWN
Following the guidance of public health officials, San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector Dan McAllister will close all five branches to the public until further notice effective July 6 in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Four Treasurer-Tax Collector offices in Kearny Mesa, San Marcos, Chula Vista and Santee have remained closed to the public since March, and will do so for the foreseeable future. Unsecured tax bills can be paid now at sdttc.com. More information is available on the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s website.
Those who must pay in cash can obtain a cashier’s check or money order and mail their payment to 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 162, San Diego, CA 92101. Drop boxes will still be available outside all Treasurer-Tax Collector branches for those who must drop off a check payment, but cash will not be accepted in the drop boxes.
LJCC REASSURES RESIDENTS
While some residents may be isolated, La Jolla Community Center wants them to know they are not alone, and that LJCC is always there and watching out for them. Call 858-459-0831 or email [email protected] if you are in need of transportation, wellness checks or any other community resources.
AIRPORT IMPLEMENTS COVID-19 SAFETY
San Diego International Airport has continued to adjust to the impacts of COVID-19. The airport has remained open as a critical piece of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, helping to move much-needed supplies and cargo, and assisting those with essential travel needs. As states ease restrictions and non-essential travel resumes, SAN would like to share the modifications and protocols that have been put in place to help ensure the health and safety of passengers and employees. Health and safety measures that have been implemented in the terminals include:
Plexiglas sneeze guards in certain public spaces.
Floor decals and seat separation signage to queue the six-foot social distancing consideration.
Increased signage throughout the terminals that serves as a reminder to practice preventive health measures.
Per the California Department of Public Health, facial coverings are required for all passengers, visitors, tenants, contractors and employees while on airport property, excluding those with a medical or mental health condition, or developmental disability that prevents wearing a face covering.
Continued increased cleaning of high touch points.
PA announcements throughout the terminals that remind everyone of the facial covering and social distancing requirements.
Per San Diego County Health, employees are required to do a personal health screening and cannot come to work if they have any of the listed CDC COVID-19 symptoms.
Travelers may visit san.org/gosafely for information and airport updates related to COVID-19.
LAWYERS CLUB APPLAUDS SUPREME COURT
Lawyers Club of San Diego applauded yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision to defend the reproductive rights of women by striking down a Louisiana law that would have eliminated abortion services for many in that state. Lawyers Club of San Diego, a strong supporter of reproductive rights, signed onto the amicus brief in June, Medical v. Russo filed by the National Women’s Law Center, which joined the five abortion clinics and four abortion providers in arguing that the state law imposed an undue burden on the rights of women in Louisiana.
“Over the last decade many states have passed hundreds of laws attempting to chip away at the protections guaranteed by Roe v. Wade,” Lawyers Club president Elvira Cortez said. “The Louisiana law at issue in this case is a prime example of the steps lawmakers have taken to severely restrict women’s reproductive choice. While we can rest assured that such a drastic reduction of services will remain unlawful for now, the fight for reproductive rights is not over.”
SDHS CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY
San Diego Humane Society is celebrating the five-year anniversary of “Getting to Zero,” the San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition’s commitment to reaching zero euthanasia of healthy or treatable animals in San Diego County. Before July 1, 2015, treatable animals were at risk of euthanasia in shelters due to sheer numbers and limited resources.
“Getting to Zero was truly a milestone for San Diego, because it was the first time in our region’s history that no healthy or treatable animal was at-risk for being unnecessarily euthanized,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president/CEO of SDHS. “San Diego is one of the safest communities in the nation for animals.”
SDHS is proud to have not euthanized a healthy or treatable animal since 2002. When the San Diego Animal Welfare Coalition — a collaboration of area shelters, foster families, rescue groups and other lifesaving partners — was able to reach the same goal of zero euthanasia in July 2015, it meant that all healthy and treatable animals entering the San Diego animal sheltering system were safe from being euthanized. San Diego is the largest city in the nation to have accomplished this feat. For more information, visit sdhumane.org.