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    Pacific Beach AleHouse celebrates a decade of quality brew, food and service
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 19, 2018 | 1894 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    PB AleHouse is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an ’80s-themed party from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 with food and drinks, plus performances by DJ Grimm and MS MO.
    PB AleHouse is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an ’80s-themed party from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 with food and drinks, plus performances by DJ Grimm and MS MO.
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    Pacific Beach AleHouse, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is truly both a brewery and a restaurant. “We are really 50-50,” said Pacific Beach AleHouse general manager Johnny Leal. “We do focus on food. That’s a big part of what we do. It is brewery food, burgers, tacos, and flatbreads – correlating to what a brewery is doing.” Leal said AleHouse’s menu succeeds because it takes its food seriously. “We hire chefs, we don’t hire kitchen managers,” he said. “The menu we have, changes up seasonally. We make everything here except our bread. Everything’s fresh. We get produce dropped off seven days a week.”  Eric Leitstein is founder/CEO of OMG Hospitality Group, which includes PB AleHouse and Backyard Kitchen & Tap. He previously operated now-defunct ‘Canes in Belmont Park.  Did the restaurateur ever doubt, when he purchased the restaurant site at 721 Grand Ave. from Harry Taylor a decade ago, that it would be successful? “Not at all,” Leitstein answered. “I never doubted, with our team, that we would still be here in 10 years.”   Leitstein’s optimism stems in part from his passion for the food-bar business. “I love Pacific Beach and the evolution of its restaurants and bars,” he said, adding he only invests in businesses “that fit in with the community.” Leitstein praised the PB community for “embracing the Alehouse, [once] the only brewery down at the beach.” Leal said the restaurant’s clientele is “different by the day, different by the time of day,” including everyone from the “twenty-somethings” you’d expect at a beach bar to families.  “Our mentality is we are a family restaurant all the time,” Leal said. “At 10 p.m., we’re not. That’s when it turns into the nightlife. But we’re going to cater to families.” Family is the word Leitstein uses to characterize PB AleHouse. Leal concurs, offering an example of how “family” helps one another out. He spoke of one employee uncertain about their future who expressed interest in joining the military but kept putting it off. Leal himself finally took him around to military recruiting offices and the employee chose the Army. He said that employee later returned to thank him for “changing his life.” Leitstein said the restaurant business in PB is changing for the better. “It used to be you couldn’t go out to eat at a really good restaurant or have a cocktail, but now you have lots of decent restaurants with great menus,” he said. “Now PB is not just a mecca for party revelers, but is a big part of the San Diego culinary scene.” Good service, having a quality product and being friendly to people topped the list of Leal’s keys to restaurant success.  “I think a lot of people have gotten away from that over the years,” he concluded.  Pacific Beach Alehouse What: 721 Grand Ave. Hours: Mondays to Fridays 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays and Sundays 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. Hoppy hour: Mondays to Fridays 3 to 6 p.m. Info: pbalehouse.com.
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    Pacific Beach pushes to move Farmers Market to Garnet Avenue
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 18, 2018 | 4789 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    People stroll and shop at the Pacific Beach Farmers Market on Tuesday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    People stroll and shop at the Pacific Beach Farmers Market on Tuesday. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Morgan Clover and Angela Jordan check out La Luz jewelry by Rhonda McCarty at the PB Farmers Market. 
THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
    Morgan Clover and Angela Jordan check out La Luz jewelry by Rhonda McCarty at the PB Farmers Market. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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    Fresh produce for sale at the Pacific Beach Farmers Market. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Fresh produce for sale at the Pacific Beach Farmers Market. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Gabby Davila, of PB, samples cold-pressed juice at the Farmers Market.  THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
    Gabby Davila, of PB, samples cold-pressed juice at the Farmers Market. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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    Rebuffed in their initial attempt to relocate the Tuesday Farmers Market from Bayard Street to Garnet Avenue in the heart of the Pacific Beach business district, community leaders were back again for another try. Pacific Beach civic leaders attended the April 12 Metropolitan Transit System board meeting to plead their case directly to transit authorities. They requested MTS board agendize a formal action item at its next meeting to reconsider the proposed PB Farmers Market shift. When PB market relocation was first proposed about a year ago, MTS and the San Diego Police Department both balked, noting honoring the request could prove problematic – and costly – in altering bus routes, ensuring public safety, etc. “For more than six years, the [Tuesday] Pacific Beach Farmers Market has been a valuable asset to our neighborhood,” said Kristin Victor, a member of beautifulPB, a public nonprofit working toward community enhancement. “The proposed move would help achieve community and citywide goals to strengthen the local economy and advance climate action goals, all while promoting safe transportation choices on one of the city’s most dangerous corridors.” “I would just ask that MTS would work with the community and myself … to see if there’s any way, any viable alternative, that we can help accommodate this request, which would be a terrific boom for the PB community,” said District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf. Rob Schupp, MTS director of marketing and communications, said the PB request, not being an agenda item, was not discussed by the transit board other than “Councilwoman Zapf’s supporting the issue and chairwoman Georgette Gomez saying she would start collecting facts.” Noted Schupp: “It is the City that ultimately makes the call. MTS just cited the impacts it would have on transit service, not only to the beach communities, but how delays in PB have ripple effects, and impact riders throughout our service territory.” Schupp added, “When this issue first came up, MTS asked for traffic control at unsignalized intersections to help ensure that we’re not stuck in gridlock, and the elimination of some parking so our large buses could safely navigate narrow streets required for detours.” Pacific Beach Planning Group chair Henish Pulickal noted the group voted 9-4 in favor of moving the Farmers Market to Garnet in April of last year. Longtime Pacific Beach Planning Group member Eve Anderson, was one of the four dissenters on the vote to move the Farmers Market. “The underlying reason for beautifulPB to want that market moved is the eventual, permanent closure of Garnet Avenue,” Anderson said.“And that needs a full discussion of the whole community.” “We want to change the personality of Garnet Avenue and have it be representative of the community,” said Victor previously. “The only way to do that is to get community residents and visitors to start supporting the businesses that are there." “Has anyone from beautifulPB notified the folks on Felspar and Hornblend of their proposed plans to shift the Farmers Market to Garnet?” asked Anderson. “Those residents are the ones who will suddenly find themselves inundated with traffic every Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m.”
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    Greetings and citations for dog walkers in Mission Bay Park
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Apr 18, 2018 | 766 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A woman talks on the phone while walking her dog along the Mission Bay Park path during a beautiful sunset.         THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
    A woman talks on the phone while walking her dog along the Mission Bay Park path during a beautiful sunset. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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    Swari hangs out in the shade of the seawall on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach with his owner Robert, of La Mesa.   THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
    Swari hangs out in the shade of the seawall on the boardwalk in Pacific Beach with his owner Robert, of La Mesa. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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    Walking the dog around Mission Bay Park on a sunny San Diego day seems like a perfect way to enjoy life at the beach. But parading your puppy on the promenade could put a pinch in your pocketbook. Turns out, Mission Bay is the most common spot where dog owners receive tickets for walking the pooch in the park. Dogs are prohibited from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (see sidebar) and a lot of people learn that law the hard way. According to stats compiled by the City, from 2015 to 2017, of 553 citations handed out to dog walkers in San Diego, nearly half – 256 – were issued in Mission Bay Park, with its 24 shoreline miles and 27 parks. The nation’s largest man-made aquatic park, Mission Bay features an abundance of paths including a 19-mile, full-bay loop connecting several neighborhoods, perfect for long walks with your four-legged friend. Balboa Park was runner-up to Mission Bay with 145 dog-walking citations in two years. Ocean Beach was a distant third with 84. Fourth- and fifth-place went, respectively, to Kate Sessions Park, 42, and La Jolla Cove/Shores, 26. Citations were for numerous causes including dogs off-leash and walking in prohibited areas. Some Mission Bay Park areas allow dogs on-leash only. Others, like Fiesta Island, are leash-free. Some areas do not allow dogs at all. City guidelines for legal dog-walking may seem strict to some. Service animals aside, it’s illegal to walk dogs during the day at all city beaches, which extends to all of Mission Bay, including all boardwalks, grassy parks and paved paths. The only two exceptions are Ocean Beach Dog Park and Fiesta Island, designated off-leash areas. The dog-walking prohibition in most San Diego public parks and beaches is not new. It’s been in place for 30 years due to public complaints about dogs threatening safety. Prime time for people being out in the City’s beaches and parks is daytime. Hence, the diurnal dog-walking restriction. Of course, no one enjoys being ticketed for anything, dog walking included. The Beach & Bay Press solicited accounts from beachfront residents concerning how, where, and why they received canine-walking citations. “I had put my [mini schnauzer] in the front basket of my bicycle riding with my daughter,” said PB resident JD. “A ranger stopped me on foot and said I could not pass through with a dog, even in the basket. She was close to giving me a ticket, but gave me a warning. I’m mad. My daughter thinks we can’t go places with our dog in a bicycle basket.” Cori Meara bought a bike called a school bus to accommodate their old Basset Hound. “Last April, we were stopped by a park ranger who wrote us a ticket for being on the boardwalk during non-dog hours. We told her our dog was technically not on the boardwalk, but inside a bike. She said it didn’t matter. The ticket was $280!”   “I think the regulations around times you can walk your dog are crazy,” said Angela Rowe of PB Plaza. “Walking your dog by the beach is illegal until after 6 p.m. starting April 1. The city should encourage exercising. Instead, it penalizes dog owners.” From the “other” side, Devin, a trauma center employee, and PB father of two young girls, said, “Leash and dog laws exist to protect both the dog and the public.”  Citing one example, Devin said: “It is the illegal off-leash use that makes the Kate Sessions’ hill unsafe for young children. I already know the owner doesn't mind breaking the law. How likely is [the dog] to bite? Knock over my daughter? Obey? Now add another five or 30-plus illegally off-leash dogs. It makes for a stressful, miserable time.”  Devin added that PB has a lot of legal dog-walking/running spots such as Capehart and Fiesta Island (89 acres) where off-leash is legal. Karen and Eric in PB agreed. “The laws are posted and people just disregard them,” the couple emailed. “We [runners] have a child who was bitten by a dog, and we intentionally go out to the parks, beaches and walkways when dogs are not supposed to be there. Every single time we go out people are disregarding the laws.”   PB resident Steve Kovack says he sees more serious violations than dog walkers along the beach and bay – such as alcohol use, smoking, and littering – with no enforcement. “I was given a warning on a weekday afternoon for walking my dog at Paradise Point, with no one else in sight,” Kovack said. “Along with the warning, I was provided a copy of the Mission Bay Park rules and regulations, of which there are 19 mentioned. How many tickets are issued to dog owners versus citations for violating many of the other rules?” “Thankfully, I have not received a ticket for walking our well-behaved service dog, however, I do agree with those who would like to see another separate area for dogs to play in Crown Point (instead of the elementary school),” said PB resident Melissa Pratchard. “I love the suggestion about using the dirt and grass area at the opening of the bay, off Crown Point Drive and Lamont Street, as a dog area,” Pratchard said. “Our dogs, just like our children, need places to play.” What are the City rules and regs for walking the dog? Q: What are the laws governing walking dogs along the coast? A: Dogs are not allowed on the beach and in park areas between the hours of 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Nov. 1- March 31 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from April 1 to Oct. 31. The area includes beaches, bays, parks, cliffs, sidewalks, boardwalks, piers and adjacent parking lots. This also includes having a dog in a crate, purse and a bike carrier/basket. (Service dogs are exempt from the law. Emotional-support dogs are not covered under ADA, so they are not exempt from the law.) • All dogs must be leashed at all times unless it is a dog park like Fiesta Island in Mission Bay or Dog Beach/Dusty Rhodes in Ocean Beach. • You must pick up after your dog.   •  The leash cannot be more than eight feet long. • The leash must be attached to a person.   Q: When, where, is it legal to walk pooches along the bayfront? A: Before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m. from Nov. 1 to March 31 and before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. April 1 to Oct. 31. Dogs are allowed anytime at designated dog parks including Fiesta Island, Dog Beach and Dusty Rhodes.   Q: What are the most common infractions? What are the penalties for those infractions? A: Most common infractions include dogs off leash, dogs in the park during the restricted hours, and not picking up after dogs. Regarding penalties, these laws are considered “wobblers” and can be cited as either an infraction or a misdemeanor and include a notice to appear in court. The judge ultimately decides the amount of the fine, but fines typically start at about $250 per violation.   Q: Who enforces dog-walking regulations? A: A number of agencies can enforce regulations, including San Diego Park Rangers, County Animal Control, San Diego Police Department and San Diego Lifeguards.  
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    SeaWorld’s new roller coaster to open May 10
    Apr 17, 2018 | 5874 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    SeaWorld employees ride the Electric Eel during a test run.
    SeaWorld employees ride the Electric Eel during a test run.
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    SeaWorld employees ride the Electric Eel during a test run.
    SeaWorld employees ride the Electric Eel during a test run.
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    Electric Eel, Mission Bay’s tallest and fastest roller coaster, is set to open on May 10. Construction of the amusement ride continues to progress on schedule, allowing the park to launch the new, 62-mph, 150-foot-tall coaster a few days earlier than expected. Electric Eel will feature a triple-launch experience with high-energy twists and extremely fast loops. According to SeaWorld, this new ride should excite even the bravest thrill seekers, making them feel like an eel as they slither and dart around the track. The Electric Eel area will also feature an interactive learning experience called Mission: Deep Discovery. A habitat with mysterious moray eels, which was opened as part of the new Ocean Explorer attraction in summer 2017, is adjacent to the roller coaster.
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    ‘Clean SD’ initiative removes rubbish from San Diego River
    Apr 10, 2018 | 11583 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Sunset on the San Diego River estuary. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Sunset on the San Diego River estuary. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Continuing with the “Clean SD” initiative to remove trash and debris from public areas, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer announced April 10 that crews have cleared all of the City-owned property along the San Diego River at least once and the City will work proactively with other adjacent property owners to clean up the remaining portions of the riverbed. The City owns about one-third of the property along the San Diego River and has removed nearly 99 tons of waste from 32 locations since September. The City has sent letters to each of the 33 private property owners who combined own approximately one-third of the property along the river, offering one-time cleanup assistance. Land along the remaining one-third of the river is owned by government agencies and a nonprofit, including MTS, CalTrans, San Diego River Park Foundation, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. Postal Service and the County of San Diego. “Since this effort began, we have seen a dramatic difference along the river in the city,” said Rob Hutsel, president and CEO of the San Diego River Park Foundation. “There is less trash, fewer encampments and a new hope that a lasting improvement is being achieved. I am very excited about the future for our river.” So far, eight private property owners have taken advantage of the offer to have the City clean their property. Those who do not, are required to clean it themselves or they will be cited, which could result in fines ranging from $100 to $1,000.  Launched in May 2017, the “Clean SD” initiative includes City and Urban Corps crews that respond to complaints received through the City’s Get It Done application, and remove litter in “hotspots” in Ocean Beach, City Heights, San Ysidro, Logan Heights, Paradise Hills, Webster and Mount Hope, Mission Beach, Point Loma and Pacific Beach – neighborhoods with a historically high level of illegal dumping activity. Crews have already removed more than 1,000 tons of debris, including:  ·       470 tires; ·       3150 mattresses and box springs; ·       1200 shopping carts; ·       170 appliances. Other “Clean SD” efforts include: ·       Increased street sweeping in the East Village neighborhood; ·       Sanitizing sidewalks in downtown and other neighborhoods; ·       Prioritizing graffiti removal requests; ·       Organizing community cleanups that collected more than 100 tons of waste and debris from San Diego neighborhoods in 2017; ·       Holding the City’s annual cleanup event at SDCCU Stadium – with more than 100 tons of waste and recyclables collected in single day. Walking on a trail along the east bank of the river near San Diego Mission Road in the Grantville neighborhood, Faulconer explained the cleanup efforts along the San Diego River will continue for the foreseeable future and will now include stepped up outreach and coordination to get the remaining two-thirds cleared up by owners of those properties, including several businesses and other government agencies. “The San Diego River is one of our most precious natural resources and we must continue to give it the care and attention it deserves,” Faulconer said. “While we’ve cleared all of the City’s property once, we still have a lot more work to do so we’re encouraging every property owner next to the river to join our cleanup efforts and help preserve the San Diego River for future generations.”
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    News
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