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    Point Loma girls volleyball chasing state championship
    by SCOTT HOPKINS
    Nov 22, 2017 | 212 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Pointer volleyball's Sierra Caffo, a junior, leaps to spike the ball against Aquinas High of San Bernardino. / PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
    Pointer volleyball's Sierra Caffo, a junior, leaps to spike the ball against Aquinas High of San Bernardino. / PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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    Senior Charlie Ekstrom (14) soars above the net to deliver a kill against Aquinas High of San Bernardino during the first round of state playoffs. / PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
    Senior Charlie Ekstrom (14) soars above the net to deliver a kill against Aquinas High of San Bernardino during the first round of state playoffs. / PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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    After nearly missing a local CIF championship, the girls of Point Loma High's volleyball team have set their sights on a state championship. In fact, the Lady Pointers have already played themselves into the semifinals of their division, defeating No. 16 Aquinas (San Bernardino) 3-0. Set scores were 25-17, 25-17 and 25-22. Next came No. 8 Quartz Hill (Quartz Hill) whose quarterfinal visit to Lee Trepanier Gym left them with a 3-0 loss on set scores of 25-20, 25-23 and 25-17. Their semifinal match, against No. 4 La Reina (Thousand Oaks) was played yesterday, Nov. 21. Matches then move to Santiago Community College in Orange, with the winner playing Nov. 25 against either No. 2 St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs) or No. 6 Poway. That winner earns a spot in the regional finals Nov. 25 (6 p.m.) before the state championship game Dec. 2 (1:30 p.m.). Both these games will be hosted by Santiago Canyon College in Orange. Last year, the Pointers finished as state championship runners-up. Earlier this month in the postseason the Pointer girls were seeded No. 1 in local Division III, guaranteeing them home matches in all rounds except finals.  In CIF Div. I play, the No. 1 ranked Pointers defeated No. 16 Rancho Buena Vista (3-0) and No. 8 Academy of Our Lady of Peace (3-1) before being upset by No. 4 Del Norte (3-1). The division was eventually won by No. 2 Santa Fe Christian. Following local tournaments, state CIF officials convene to select the best teams from all state CIF regions to begin playoffs for a state title. However a different method of selection is used. Locally, teams are ranked by wins and strength of schedule using a computer. The top eight teams in San Diego and Imperial counties made up the Open Division while the next 16 become Div. I and the Pointers were ranked first here, making them the ninth-best regional team. For state purposes, schools are grouped by the more common method using size of enrollment. The team roster includes seniors Rebecca Nuanez, Sydney Hill, Sophia Altobelli, Hailey Brockett, Delaney Sanders, Reese Turner and Charlie Ekstrom. Juniors are Katharine Olcott, Mia Hegerle, Caitlin Brady, Sierra Caffo, Kylie Komo, Tara DeBenedetto and Taylor Caffo. Underclass members are sophomore Maggie Wolf and freshmen Abby Tadder and Jane Petrie.
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    Shop Ocean Beach for Small Business Saturday specials
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 22, 2017 | 866 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Ocean Beach is celebrating Small Business Saturday with a Passport to OB contest to encourage the community to shop local.
    Ocean Beach is celebrating Small Business Saturday with a Passport to OB contest to encourage the community to shop local.
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    There's a “big” day coming up for small businesses in Ocean Beach: Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25. And the beach community is all in on the merchant holiday two days after Thanksgiving. Ocean Beach MainStreet Association (OBMA) is celebrating Small Business Saturday with a Passport to OB contest to encourage the community to shop local this holiday. The almost month-long contest kicks off on Small Business Saturday itself with shopping, fun giveaways and a giant sand sculpture on the beach. Attendees are encouraged to stop by the grassy area at Abbott and Newport from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to receive free shopping bags and other goodies before snapping a picture with the sand sculpture. Designed by Imperial Beach sand artist Leonard Gonzales, his sculpture will celebrate OB and shop small. First observed in the United States in 2010, Small Business Saturday is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The merchant event encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick-and-mortar businesses that are small and local. “It's wonderful to have a day that focuses on small businesses, because they're the ones that benefit the most from people spending their dollars in their business,” said Isabel Clark, OBMA programs director. “And that is what our association is all about. It's a great vehicle to increase awareness about small businesses, and gives them an opportunity to give customers a chance to learn more about new and existing businesses.” Clark said the centerpiece of OBMA's Small Business Saturday campaign this year is the Shop Small OB Passport, wherein customers will get a card with the names of 26 participating merchants and their businesses on it that they can get punched for a chance at a future drawing. “The more businesses you visit and get your card punched at, the better your odds are for winning a prize,” said Clark, adding the Passport program runs until Dec. 20. “Then people turn in their cards and the drawing is held,” Clark said. “Participating businesses will have gift cards and other really cool things you can win.” Passport participants include: Abbott Street Market, Apple Tree Supermarket, Arizona Cafe, Beach Sweets, Bone Appetit, Car's Jars, Crystal Visions, Details SalonSpa, James Gang Printing Company, Lighthouse Ice Cream, OB People's Organic Food Market, Ocean Beach Business Center, Pat's Liquor, Pirate's Cove Tiki Port, Raglan Public House, Reset Float Therapy, Shot From The Hart Photography, South Coast Surf Shop, South Coast Wahines, Sunset Clipps, Swanky Sugar, Synergy, Thistle Garden Floral Home, Tony's, Sunshine Co. Saloon and Ocean Beach MainStreet Association. Denny Knox, OBMA executive director, said Small Business Saturday is a great showcase. “Ocean Beach has so many great local shops and restaurants,” she said. "We’re really excited to create exposure for the variety of retail, dining and services offered in our community to entice people to come to OB to shop small.” “This is the first year we've done this on this scale, really doing a big push,” said Clark, adding, “Hopefully, it will become an annual thing, and we can expand it next year.” Founded in 1978, the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association is comprised of area merchants and professionals dedicated to building a thriving business district that fulfills the needs of the neighboring community and visitors alike. Learn more at OceanBeachSanDiego.com or shoplocalob.com.
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    Point Loma grads grab the brass ring to preserve Balboa Park landmark
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 14, 2017 | 1193 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Point Loma alumni are attempting to raise $35,000 to sponsor the golden ‘Pointer’ dog on the carousel. / PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
    Point Loma alumni are attempting to raise $35,000 to sponsor the golden ‘Pointer’ dog on the carousel. / PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
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    Two Point Loma High grads, "Pointer Sisters" from the Class of '66, are heading up the campaign to not only keep the Balboa Park carousel — but restore and protect it too. Of the $3 million PLHS alumna Ann Wilson and Kathy Anderson Kim are hoping to raise over the next two years, $1 million has already been donated. One of the ways funds are raised is through sponsorships in the $15,000 to $50,000 range in perpetuity for the carousel animals. Wilson, chair of the nonprofit Balboa Park Carousel Capital Campaign Committee of Friends of Balboa Park, said her alma mater is pitching in to resuscitate the park carousel. “Point Loma alumni are attempting to raise $35,000 to sponsor the golden Pointer dog on the carousel (which will have a permanent brass plaque acknowledging the donation),” said Wilson's committee co-chair, Anderson Kim. “Thus far, Pointers from many graduating classes have reached the $23,000 mark.” Wilson noted previous private owners of the Balboa Park Carousel, a historic 1910 model valued at $2.6 million, were “low key” about its upkeep. “They (previous owners) took loving care of the carousel, but they did no publicity or special events with it (for maintenance). Friends of Balboa Park bought the carousel last July. We are on a mission to spruce it up, have more events and give it a higher profile.” The 1910 Herschell-Spillman menagerie carousel was made in New York and shipped to Los Angeles. Adjacent to the San Diego Zoo, the carousel is a menagerie of animals, and all but two pairs are original with hand-carved European craftsmanship. Also original are the hand-painted murals surrounding the upper portion of the carousel and the military band music. This carousel is one of the few in the world still offering the brass ring game for everyone taking the five-minute ride. In 1915, the carousel was displayed in Coronado, before being moved up to Balboa Park around 1922. It originally was placed at the east of Balboa Park, near the San Diego Natural History Museum. In 1968, the carousel was moved north, to its current location, to make way for construction of the Bea Evenson Fountain, and the building that now houses the Fleet Science Center. Wilson said Friends of Balboa Park got a break when purchasing the historic carousel. “The Steen family offered it to us for $1.6 million (a $1 million discount) because they could take that as a tax benefit as we are a 501c3 nonprofit,” she said adding, “Now it's going to stay here.” Wilson said Friends of Balboa Park made a $600,000 down payment on the carousel. “We have a second installment, $500,000, due in March 2018, and third and last installment in March 2019,” she said. The Friends of Balboa Park's committee co-chair said funding for carousel maintenance/refurbishment is coming mostly from donations from private individuals and foundations. “I'm proud to say we've raised slightly more than $1 million for the down payment, and we're well on the way to have the next payment (second installment) in our hands. But we have a ways to go.” Wilson encouraged PLHS alumni to pitch in for a good cause. “We want to spread the word that we still need money, and so we're asking alumni to contribute whatever they can, $25 or $50, so that we can have our plaque on the (Pointer) dog.” Wilson got involved with the carousel project because, she said, “I've been riding it since I was 3 years old, and it's near and dear to my heart. I couldn't bear the thought of it leaving the park. It's a real treasure — and a rare one.” Balboa Park carousel Where: Park Boulevard at Zoo Place. Hours: Open Saturdays, Sundays and school holidays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Summer open daily until 5:30 p.m. Info: campaign@friendsofbalboapark.org, 619-232-2282, balboaparkcarousel.org.
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    Community briefs for Point Loma and Ocean Beach
    Nov 10, 2017 | 5121 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Children and adults check out the tide pools at low tide in Ocean Beach next to the pier. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Children and adults check out the tide pools at low tide in Ocean Beach next to the pier. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Republican Women The Point Loma Republican Women Federated monthly luncheon meeting will take place 10 a.m. Nov. 15 at Point Loma Cafe, 4865 Harbor Drive. Program: John Hancock, well known author of “Liberty Inherited.” A no-host lunch follows.  Guests welcome. Call Marilyn at 619-222-9532 for additional information. Alternative Christmas Faire Westminster Presbyterian Church will hold its Alternative Christmas Faire 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 12. Gift ideas from around the world and local nonprofits at 3598 Talbot St., corner of Talbot and Canon in Point Loma, in the courtyard along Talbot Street. All are invited to participate! SD United - Remembering Vegas victims, heroes The community of San Diego is coming together for a night to raise funds for the Southern California families affected by the Vegas shooting. From 6 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov 10, the Hard Rock Hotel, 207 5th Ave., will host craft beer, food, a silent auction and many local artists. A Marine veteran and Ocean Beach resident Taylor Winston will be awarded for his heroic actions taken during this tragedy. Visit nightout.com for information on tickets. Naval Base Restoration Advisory Board meeting The regular meeting of the Naval Base Point Loma’s Restoration Advisory Board to discuss relevant issues will take place 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15 at the Southwestern Yacht Club, 2702 Qualtrough St. The meeting is open to the public. Pocket park update A third workshop on the proposed Avenida de Portugal pocket park will be at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9. in the Cabrillo Recreation Center, 3051 Canon St. near Rosecrans. The purpose of the workshop will be to blend 90 percent of a conceptual plan the public liked with portions of an alternative plan.   There has been community consensus favoring a nautical/historical/cultural themed park with drought- tolerant plants, a history wall, unique children’s play area features and small conversational areas — a passive park with something for adults and children. Estimated completion of the park is spring 2020. Meantime, a piece of public art is on a separate funding and approval track.  Artist Nate Page has been commissioned to do the work.  He met residents at the Point Loma branch library recently, but will not start on proposals until after the conceptual plan and theme are approved. Liberty Station earns development award The City of San Diego received a 2017 Excellence in Economic Development Gold Award from the International Economic Development Council in the Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse category for the transformation of the Naval Training Center into Liberty Station. The Naval Training Center San Diego (NTC)/Liberty Station Redevelopment Project is the ongoing, public-private redevelopment of 430 acres of the former NTC, which opened in 1923 and closed in 1997 under the federal Base Realignment and Closure Act. With extensive public input, the NTC Reuse Plan aimed to recreate jobs lost with the closure, revitalize the then-flagging economy and add recreational amenities – all while celebrating San Diego’s rich maritime heritage in a vibrant, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly community.  Spanning more than two decades, the project involved building NTC Park, Sail Ho golf course, 349 private homes, two hotels and 1.4 million square feet of commercial, educational and civic/arts space. The city leased and sold parcels that are now subject to property tax, allowing tax increment reinvestment in the $400 million redevelopment project.  More than 2,500 San Diegans reside at Liberty Station, enjoying the waterfront NTC Park and Liberty Station’s artisan spaces and eclectic restaurants. Nearly 300 businesses employ more than 5,100 people, contributing more than $13M in property tax revenue. In 2016, Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund activity was $5.8M, more than double the projected $2.2M in annual tax revenue. Nearly complete, NTC has become a center of history, tourism, commerce and a "best place to live."  "The redevelopment of the Naval Training Center and Liberty Station shows all that can happen when the whole community – residents, business owners, the master developer and local government – commits and works toward developing a vision of San Diego's future,” said Erik Caldwell, Director of the City of San Diego’s Economic Development Department. “It's a place for people to live, work, play and enjoy, a new part of San Diego that still honors its rich military and maritime heritage."
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    Groundswell Community Project empowers women in waves
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Nov 10, 2017 | 26651 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Groundswell Community Project founder Natalie Small leads a group of women through surf therapy at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach. / PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
    Groundswell Community Project founder Natalie Small leads a group of women through surf therapy at Dog Beach in Ocean Beach. / PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
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    Natalie Small (second from right) with a group from Groundswell Community Project.
    Natalie Small (second from right) with a group from Groundswell Community Project.
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    Groundswell Community Project is a San Diego-based nonprofit organization that builds safe and brave spaces for women to heal, empower, and unite through the art of surfing. Our mission at Groundswell Community Project is to let the ocean be a space for women who are overcoming personal problems to heal and to give them the opportunity to explore their own strengths,” said Natalie Small, the founder and facilitator of Groundswell Community Project. The organization provides four- and eight-week programs for individuals and groups to engage and expand themselves through surf therapy. The programs create safe spaces for self expression, exploration, and healing for self and the community. “I wanted to give women an opportunity to get together and be able to be children again playing and exploring their strengths. As adult women, we don’t really get to play and playing is really important,” said Small. Small is a state-licensed marriage and family therapist and she works at a private practice for individuals, families, and couples using experiential therapies to help empower them to overcome mental disabilities like anxiety and depression. She is also a first aid arts facilitator, trained in how art can be a tool to overcome trauma and its triggers. Six years ago, Small combined her passions and therapist skills into the Groundswell Community Project. She wanted to take her training and experience in therapy to the ocean and let the ocean be the venue for healing. “I just see an instant transformation that occurs when the women get into the ocean and reconnect with their bodies in a positive way. It breaks down the barrier and the judgment that we hold against ourselves and each other, and just lets us be free to connect with our soul,” said Small. The Groundswell Community Project helps women who have been victims of sex trafficking, and who are overcoming addictions, abuse and depression. The project’s mission is to be a creative community that allows women to embrace healing and empowerment, through bold and beautiful engagement with each other, the outdoors and the arts. To join the team, and become a surf sister, visit groundswellcommunity.org.
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