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    Pacific Beach resident leads team to successful swim around Santa Cruz Island
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Oct 17, 2017 | 987 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    “Selkie and the Sirens” spent nearly 40 hours swimming around Santa Cruz Island on Sept. 26 and 27.
    “Selkie and the Sirens” spent nearly 40 hours swimming around Santa Cruz Island on Sept. 26 and 27.
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    “Selkie and the Sirens” began swimming on Sept. 26 at 7.20 a.m., and finished in the wee hours of Sept. 27.
    “Selkie and the Sirens” began swimming on Sept. 26 at 7.20 a.m., and finished in the wee hours of Sept. 27.
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    Claudia Rose, who is a long-time resident of Pacific Beach, captained the record-setting swim team “Selkie and the Sirens” as they spent nearly 40 hours swimming around Santa Cruz Island on Sept. 26 and 27. “There have been a few other people trying to do it, but they didn’t make it and we wanted a new challenge as a team”, said Rose. The swim team consisted of six women from both coasts of the United States. Rose, Michelle Premeaux McConica from Ventura, Calif., Diana Corbin from Maryland, Carol Lyn Swol from Maryland, Jeannie Zappe from Pennsylvania and Louise Hyder-Darlington from Pennsylvania. “Selkie and the Sirens” began swimming on Sept. 26 at 7.20 a.m., and each woman swam for an hour in-turn, once every six hours throughout the day, night, day and then into the wee hours of Sept. 27 before they made it back to their starting point at Willows Anchorage. “It was very interesting. The first half of our swim the weather and the currents were perfect, but then we came to the front of the island and it was terrible. We had the wind and the currents against us, but we just kept going,” said Rose. During the swim, the team encountered hundreds of dolphins and sea lions, fog, wind, strong sun and both helpful and adverse currents. The swim team decided that they wanted to swim around Santa Cruz Island in January, and they have been preparing for the swim ever since. Rose had a special training program made for herself because she broke her elbow in April, and she made a training plan for the rest of the team. Rose became the team captain because she has been a team captain before and therefore had a lot of experience. Rose has been swimming for almost her whole life and she has been an open water swimmer since 2000. She is known for her pioneering swims in Alaska, however, she began her adventure swimming with a swim from La Jolla Shores to Crystal Pier. “I think we made it because we really stood together as a team during the hard times of the swim,” Rose said. The swim was sanctioned by the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association and officially observed by San Diego residents Paula Selby and Ralph Lufkin and Ventura resident Jane Cairns.
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    Community briefs for Pacific Beach and Mission Beach
    Oct 06, 2017 | 16328 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Sunset over Mission Bay at Hospitality Point. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Sunset over Mission Bay at Hospitality Point. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Best Bloody Mary at the Beach contest Mission Beach Realty is hosting its inaugural “Best Bloody Mary at the Beach” contest at Guava Beach Bar & Grill from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8. Bring your best Bloody Mary recipe to compete for prizes up to $500 in value. There will be live music and prizes all day with drink specials promoted by Ketel One Vodka. A charity raffle will take place with items donated from Mission Beach businesses that include new surfboards and beach cruisers. All proceeds from the raffle are to benefit Johnny’s Big Push and the National MS Society. Visit Guava-Beach.com for more details or to enter the Bloody Mary contest. Polish Festival in Pacific Beach Oct. 7-9 Celebrate all things Polish Friday through Sunday, Oct. 7-9, at St. Maximilian Kolbe Roman Catholic Church at 1735 Grand Ave. in Pacific Beach.   The colorful Polish Festival is a tribute to Polish heritage, culture and cuisine. St. Maximilian was built in 1995 in Pacific Beach to serve the Polish community, a large number of whom who emigrated from their native land during the Solidarity labor-union movement of the 1990s. The church is named for St. Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan friar and World War II-era hero who voluntarily sacrificed himself in the place of a stranger at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Boomont Park opens For the fifth consecutive year, Belmont Park transforms into a Halloween-themed beachfront amusement park to create a family-friendly fall festival featuring activities for monsters of all ages. Admission and parking are free. Activities will run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5 p.m. to close plus Tuesday, Oct. 31. Boomont Park’s weekends include free trick-or-treating from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Attractions include: Zombie Laser Tag where creatures will join you in this three-floor adventure, superhero Zip Line and Rock Wall and a pumpkin patch. For more information, visit belmontpark.com. Haunted Aquarium Meet some of the creeps of the deep and get hands-on with Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego science at the eighteenth-annual Haunted Aquarium: Sea Monster Mash. Families are invited to dive into the spooky, slimy side of ocean science and enjoy a Halloween-themed evening of music, crafts, and close encounters with underwater creatures. Costumes are encouraged. On Oct. 20 and 21, from 6 to 9 p.m., guests will experience eerie and unusual organisms from the Scripps Oceanographic Collections, see a super-sized squid dissection, and create their own seaweed slime to take home. Meet Scripps Oceanography scientists studying ocean creatures big and small and get an insider's look into what it takes to study different creatures of the deep. For more information, visit aquarium.ucsd.edu. Pacific Sotheby's Realty expands to PB Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty recently announced that it has joined forces with Re/Max Coastal Properties in Pacific Beach. The firm will now operate as Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty and will broaden the company’s existing operations in the coastal community of Pacific Beach. “Re/Max Coastal Properties has long been respected in the San Diego real estate community and we are excited to join forces with such an exceptional agency of experienced associates,” said Steve Games, CEO, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. Owned and operated by Greg and Shayne Flaherty, Re/Max Coastal Properties has provided professional real estate services along San Diego’s coastal communities since 1995. With the transition, Greg, who has been Broker of Record for Re/Max Coastal Properties, will now focus on his “true passion” of selling luxury real estate, and along with his wife, Shayne, who owns Penny Realty, Inc., Property Management and Vacation Rentals, will also focus on the continued growth of their business.
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    Sun Diego AM SLAM shreds Mission Beach
    Oct 04, 2017 | 25243 views | 0 0 comments | 33 33 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Luan Piazera from Itajaí, Brazil, competes in a shortboard heat. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Luan Piazera from Itajaí, Brazil, competes in a shortboard heat. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Tiare Thompson, of Bird Rock, won the longboard division. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Tiare Thompson, of Bird Rock, won the longboard division. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Magno Pacheco, of Brazil, won the men's shortboard. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Magno Pacheco, of Brazil, won the men's shortboard. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Jay Christenson competes in a shortboard heat. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Jay Christenson competes in a shortboard heat. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Emily Collins, Molly Tuschen, and Sidney Tisdel ready for their women's shortboard heat. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Emily Collins, Molly Tuschen, and Sidney Tisdel ready for their women's shortboard heat. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Lucy Jarrad won the women's shortboard division. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Lucy Jarrad won the women's shortboard division. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Molly Tuschen competes in a shortboard heat. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Molly Tuschen competes in a shortboard heat. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Namor Cayres goes off the top during an early round shortboard heat. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Namor Cayres goes off the top during an early round shortboard heat. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The Sun Diego AM SLAM Surf Series brought its brand of fun in the sun to the shores of Mission Beach on Sept. 30. The competition, the single largest surf and skate event in San Diego, featured a festival in Belmont Park’s parking lot with skateboarding, music, vendors, and world-class surfing. Many of the women’s shortboard finalists pulled double duty in the women’s longboard divisions. Tiare Thompson, of Bird Rock, owned the longboard final and finished second in shortboard. Lucy Jarrard was the class of the women’s shortboard final, separating herself with superior wave selection and critical placement of her maneuvers. Other double finalists in the women’s division were Molly Tuschen, Peyton Kemp, and Sive Jarrard. In the open men’s final, Magno Pacheco and Pedro Nogeuira turned the heat into a two man race as they traded the lead multiple times. Pacheco, however, came out the victor and walked away with $500. Maxxswell Rebeiro was named overall men’s champion and also earned $500. Joe Kisling won the men’s longboard final.
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    Hurricane heroes: San Diego Humane Society teams rescue animals
    by LUCIA VITI
    Oct 03, 2017 | 16333 views | 0 0 comments | 39 39 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Wings of Rescue flew pets from Louisiana and Florida to San Diego where staff and volunteers transported the animals to SDHS, the Rancho Coastal Humane Society and Labradors and Friends.
    Wings of Rescue flew pets from Louisiana and Florida to San Diego where staff and volunteers transported the animals to SDHS, the Rancho Coastal Humane Society and Labradors and Friends.
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    As hurricanes Harvey and Irma destroyed lives, homes, businesses and property, the San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) served as first responders to an influx of animals transported from the devastated areas of Louisiana, Texas and Florida. The SDHS Special Response Teams, Emergency Response Teams and Animal Rescue Reserve Teams collaborated with rescue organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society of Naples to bring 200 rescue and shelter animals to San Diego, making room for evacuee’s lost, displaced and stranded pets. “These pets are not direct victims,” said SDHS’ chief operating officer Jennifer Brehler. “They’re adoptable cats and dogs that were already in shelters near the affected areas that were transferred to San Diego to create room for hurricane victim pets – the lost, strayed, or abandoned. These healthy and socialized pets do not have owners who will be searching for them.” According to Brehler, the upcoming news of Hurricane Harvey alerted SDHS to extend assistance and services to Houston’s SPCA and Florida shelters. “As the need grew, we along with other shelters, responded,” she said. Seven San Diego Special Response Teams – comprised of staff and volunteers – were deployed to temporary shelters, Houston’s SPCA and Collier County Animal Services. San Diego’s Swift Water Rescue Team – San Diego Humane Law Enforcement and Animal Recuse Reserve – was also deployed. Trained in swift water and flood rescues, these professionals work along stateside task forces in emergency response situations. Wings of Rescue flew pets from Louisiana and Florida to San Diego where staff and volunteers transported the animals to SDHS, the Rancho Coastal Humane Society and Labradors and Friends. San Diego Humane Society’s president and CEO Gary Weitzman, explained that in addition to its Technical Rescue Team, shelter teams provided care to displaced dogs, cats, horses, pigs, cows, trapped livestock and even wildlife. Working tirelessly, teams “never hesitated” to respond to pleas to reunite pets with owners or to provide animals care and comfort. “Working alongside animal welfare colleagues from organizations in Oregon, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and Florida reminded me of the importance of coming together during times of such devastation – not just for animals in need but for people as well,” he said. Weitzman’s team also helped pets in housing adjacent to a Florida shelter. The pets belonged to hospital patients and evacuees. “Our team cared for the pets so owners would have the comfort of their pets during such a difficult time,” he continued. “Imagine losing your home and being worried about being able to keep your pet. I’m so glad our teams could provide that peace of mind to these hurricane victims.” Weitzman added that Wings of Rescue flew 49 adoptable dogs and cats from Louisiana and Southeast Texas to Gillespie Field where staff and volunteers unloaded the creatures in temperatures topping 100 degrees. Other heartwarming stories include a litter of kittens found amidst the storm rescued by Jackie Noble, SDHS Kitten Nursery supervisor, who nursed the eight kittens back to health while traveling back to San Diego in an RV. Brehler said that volunteer training is essential for the ability to respond to such disasters. “Disasters like hurricanes remind us that it takes more than one person or organization to come together and help out,” she said. “Our staff and volunteers are willing to pack up and hit the road immediately, while their colleagues backfill their work. Our staff and shelter volunteers made three transfers from Gillespie airport to the San Diego Campus. And, the community responded with crates and gifts.” “We all knew the storms were coming,” continued Weitzman. “When it hit, we didn’t even wait for Houston SPCA to call us. We made plans to get on the road. We’re fortunate that the community of animal lovers and those whose professional lives support them are all one when it comes to helping people and animals in need. Thank you for being part of that community and helping us be there when others need us.” Brehler stressed the importance of “generous” donations” in SDHS’s ability to participate in rescue efforts as such in “a moment’s notice.” “Monetary or in-kind donations are always essential to ensure that we can continue to do the important work we do,” she said. Weitzman also added that donor commitment to SDHS makes response possible. “You’re [donors] an enormous part of these collaborative efforts,” he added. “Your support during the tragedy of these hurricanes has been tremendous, making you a critical part of our rescue team.” Relief efforts are far from over for all. “Recovery will go on for months,” concluded Weitzman. “Many people have expressed concern about the care and support of animals affected by this disaster. When tragedy strikes we’re here for each other and for those 2,000 miles away as well.” According to the SDHS, refuge adoptees will be spayed or neutered, administered current vaccines, microchipped, awarded a certificate for a free veterinary exam, along with 30 days of Trupanion pet insurance and a bag of Purina chow. Adoptions are based on a first come, first served. Carriers are required for pickup. Adoptions can be made at SDHS’s San Diego Campus, at 5500 Gaines St. and its Oceanside Campus at 572 Airport Road. Brehler urges San Diegans to “spread the word about the wonderful pets looking for new homes.” “Of course, adopting a pet allows us to continue to help even more animals in need,” she concluded. All of the animals will remain in the care of the SDHS until adopted.
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    San Diego Audubon works to improve least terns’ nesting sites in Mission Bay
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Sep 30, 2017 | 15717 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Megan Flaherty, who is restoration program manager at San Diego Audubon, with volunteer Anita Cook on Fiesta Island. / Photo by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Megan Flaherty, who is restoration program manager at San Diego Audubon, with volunteer Anita Cook on Fiesta Island. / Photo by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
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    In September every year, California least terns migrate from San Diego to Central and South America after nesting along the coast during the summer. When they depart, scientists from San Diego Audubon collect data to assess how their hand-management restoration efforts have affected vegetation and land cover in the nesting sites. San Diego Audubon has been collecting data from the least tern’s nesting sites for more than six years to improve the nesting sites and increase the population of the bird species. Their goal is to remove the non-native plants and preserve the native plants. They want to make sure that the birds have free spots with sand to nest on. “We want to improve the nesting areas of the California least terns. Our goal is that there will only be native plants and only 20 percent vegetation cover,” said Megan Flaherty, who is restoration program manager at San Diego Audubon. The California least terns are coastal species, which means they spend most of their lives out at sea fishing. From April to September, they are nesting on the coastal sand dunes in California and Mexico. “We have to protect them because they are an important part of the coastal ecosystem,” said Flaherty. San Diego Audubon checks on the nesting sites two times a year to see how their hand-management work is going. In spring, before the birds get to the nesting sites, and in fall, after the birds leave the nesting sites. “The problem is that islands in Mission Bay are manmade, which means that there is a lot more vegetation and a lot more non-native plants,” said Flaherty. Scientific data collection helps San Diego Audubon, San Diego Association of Governments, and the City of San Diego in maintaining nesting sites of the least terns. Throughout the year, San Diego Audubon leads a number of habitat restoration efforts around Mission Bay that support endangered species.
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