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    Business, tourism leaders support ballot initiative to increase visitor tax
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 22, 2018 | 2314 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Tourists fill the sand in Ocean Beach on a sunny spring afternoon. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Tourists fill the sand in Ocean Beach on a sunny spring afternoon. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    A new citizen’s initiative seeks to ask voters in November to sanction an increase in the city’s transit occupancy tax to fund the convention center expansion, homelessness programs, create new jobs and continue road repaving and other infrastructure improvements. The “Yes! For a Better San Diego” campaign proposes a 42-year increase in the city's visitor tax that they claim would raise $6.4 billion over the life of the measure: $3.78 billion to expand and update the convention center, $2.02 billion for homeless services and $604 million for street repairs. The campaign has been endorsed by the San Diego Tourism Authority and the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association, joined by local tourism businesses including those in Ocean Beach and Point Loma. Both the San Diego Tourism Authority and the Hotel-Motel Association cited the initiative’s creation of 7,000 new permanent jobs and its addition of $40 billion to the local economy, as solid reasons to support the measure. “As a small-business owner, I know how important convention center visitors are,” said Mina Desiderio, the creator of Wonderland Ocean Pub in Ocean Beach and owner of The Local restaurant in PB and Resident Brewing downtown. “Workers and small businesses benefit when visitors come to America’s Finest City. The initiative invests in tourism, and tourism means jobs.” Tourism is a huge component of the San Diego job market. One out of eight jobs in San Diego are tourist-related, employing nearly 200,000 people. That makes tourism the region’s second largest employment sector.  “The Yes! for a Better San Diego initiative will create thousands of good-paying jobs, from entry-level positions to upper-level management,” said Joe Terzi, president/ CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority. “This measure invests in tourism and our local economy, without costing local taxpayers a dime.” The Convention Center is of critical importance to the city’s overall tourism industry. While convention center attendees make up just 6 percent of San Diego visitors, they spend much more than the average visitor, accounting for 27 percent of all visitor spending. “Spending from convention center visitors has a ripple effect on our local economy. It creates jobs at businesses large and small,” said Elvin Lai, CEO of the Ocean Park Inn and Hotel in Pacific Beach and president of the San Diego County Hotel-Motel Association. “Tourism workers are chefs and brewers, sport-fishing guides and surf instructors, marketing executives and CEOs. Our industry builds careers that move from the hotel lobby to the executive office.” During the first years of the tax increase, 59 percent of revenues are earmarked for the convention center and 41 percent to homelessness programs. Between 2025 and 2061, 59 percent would go toward the center, 31 percent to homelessness programs and 10 percent to city street repairs. “Repairing an additional 150 miles of streets each year means ‘every’ neighborhood wins,” said La Jolla resident Joe LaCava, former chair of the Community Planners Community, which oversees the city’s more than 40 citizen advisory groups. “With $600 million dedicated to repair streets across San Diego, paid for by visitors and not local residents, it is a huge win for our communities.”  Deacon Jim Vargas of Father Joe’s Villages highlighted the initiative's job creating potential to alleviate homelessness. “Generating more good-paying, entry-level jobs in San Diego is key to the success of our job training programs,” Vargas said. “The immediate funding this measure provides would support programs that help people transitioning out of homelessness.” Proponents must gather 71,000 signatures for the issue to appear on the November ballot. If approved by voters, the measure would increase the visitor tax on hotel bills by 1.25 percent to 3.25 percent. The proposed November ballot measure is supported by a coalition of downtown tourism and lodging organizations, civic and community activists, organized labor and homeless advocates. For more information about it, visit Yes4SD.com.
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    Community briefs for Pacific Beach and Mission Beach
    May 18, 2018 | 15137 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The sunset silhouettes the Electric Eel roller coaster during SeaWorld San Diego's grand opening reception of the new amusement ride on Wednesday, May 16. The party featured gourmet food stations, glowing drinks, dancing and desserts, along with rides on the new roller coaster for invited guests. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The sunset silhouettes the Electric Eel roller coaster during SeaWorld San Diego's grand opening reception of the new amusement ride on Wednesday, May 16. The party featured gourmet food stations, glowing drinks, dancing and desserts, along with rides on the new roller coaster for invited guests. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Over-the-Line Tournament and Beerfest at Mariner’s Point The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club is kicking-off the summer with an Over-the-Line Tournament and Beerfest on Saturday, May 19 at Mariner’s Point in Mission Beach. Held from noon to 4 p.m., attendees can sip craft beer from local breweries and enjoy fare from food trucks.  Breweries participating include BNS Brewing, Bay City Brewing, OB Brewery, Alesmith, Coronado Brewing, Thorn Brewing, Mason Aleworks, Ballast Point, Helix Brewing, Fall, SR76, Duck Foot, Groundswell, Benchmark, 3 Punk Ales, Second Chance, Resident, Mike Hess, Iron Fist, Bitter Brothers and Dos Desperados. Cutwater Spirits will also be selling craft cocktails. The OTL Tournament will field 120 teams in a double-elimination format. The first rounds will take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 19 with winning teams returning from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 20. Tournament divisions include: Men's Pro, Men's Open, Men's Masters and Women's Open. The entry fee is $120 per team and will increase as the tournament fills up. This two-day event is a precursor to the 65th annual World Championship Over-The-Line Tournament set for July 14-15 and July 21-22 at Fiesta Island in Mission Bay. General admission, including the four-hour beer tasting for guests ages 21-plus, is $35 with advance online purchase via eventbrite.com. PB restaurant walk set for May 22 There’s only one thing more monotonous than a Tuesday, and that’s vegetables – or so the saying goes. Discover Pacific Beach, the neighborhood’s business district, has had it up to here with that kind of talk – accordingly, it will host the Coast of Pacific Beach Restaurant Walk Tuesday, May 22, from 4 to 9 p.m., featuring coastal cuisine choices from participating restaurants west of Dawes Street to the coastline. This self-guided event will be vegetarian friendly, and eateries that offer a vegetarian option will have special notice on the map. Tickets are $25 online now and $30 on the day of the event. Will-call will be set up at the PB farmer’s market, corner of Garnet Avenue and Bayard Street, starting at 3 p.m. the day of the event. For more information, see pacificbeach.org or call 858-273-3303. Hands Across the Sand Hands Across the Sand, a coalition of organizations, activists and citizens around the world that brings the message of clean oceans to local and world leaders, will hold an event at 3105 Ocean Front Walk, Mission Beach from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 19. Founded in 2010, Hands Across the Sand grew into an international movement after the BP oil disaster in April of that year. People came together to join hands, forming symbolic barriers against spilled oil and to stand against the impacts of other forms of extreme energy. Eight years later, there’s a rising tide of grassroots activism demanding that the U.S. and the world ends the expansion of offshore oil drilling. For more information, visit handsacrossthesand.org or the local group’s Facebook page, Hands Across the Sand – Mission Bay. San Diego NF Walk The annual San Diego NF Walk at De Anza Cove 9 a.m. on May 19 unites families and friends for a fun-filled day with food, face painting, kids activities, yoga, music, and lots of fun. Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a rare genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body. Affecting 1 in 3,000 people, there is currently no treatment or cure for NF, but we’re walking to raise money to fund critical research. For more information, visit www.ctf.org. Poke Fest at Bali Hai I love Poke Festival is back Tuesday, May 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Bali Hai Shelter Island at 2230 Shelter Island Drive. This year’s all-ages tasting event will feature 30 of San Diego’s top chefs and restaurants, along with special guests from Hawaii including Ahi Assassins Fish Co., Aloha Shoyu and Hawaiian Pie Co.  Guests can enjoy poke tastings from Pokeland Competitors like Island Life Foods, Hollywood Casino, The Lanai and more and delight in other island-inspired food and desserts.  Event attendees may also enjoy dancing and live music. Tickets cost $75 and include taste testing. For more information or tickets, go to onoyum.ticketspice.com/ilpsd18. San Diego Derby Dolls boardwalk skate and benefit The San Diego Derby Dolls are ready to kick off the summer right with a beach skate starting at Belmont Park stating at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 25. The Dolls will skate up the boardwalk to Woodstock’s Pacific Beach, at 1221 Garnet Ave, for a one-night fundraiser. For any in-store sales from 7 to 11 p.m. (dine-in, take-out, and pick-up) that mention the San Diego Derby Dolls, Woodstock’s will give a percentage toward the total funds raised. They will have a special tapping of the Mike Hess and San Diego Derby Doll collaboration Solis IPA No. 84 at the bar. The money raised will go toward creating a new training facility for the Dolls and their partner programs. This is a short 2.6 mile skate and should take even the novice skaters only 30 minutes to complete. The Derby Dolls have invited all skaters in the San Diego area to put on their skates to celebrate the unofficial start of summer over the first evening of the Memorial Day weekend. Event information at facebook.com/events/242777366288100/. Belmont Park to offer $5 deals after 5 p.m. Everybody likes to confuse Cinco de Mayo with Mexican independence day from Spain, which actually isn’t for another four months. Saturday, May 5, marked Mexico’s victory over those pesky French in 1862’s arduous Battle of Puebla – and for the rest of the month, its lessons won’t be lost on the folks at Belmont Park, 3146 Mission Blvd.  The park’s $5 offerings will begin this month at 5 p.m. They include deals on the new Sky Ropes obstacle course along with others on food, drinks, ride wristbands and shopping.  After 5 p.m. every day through May 31, the venue will offer $5 deals on burgers, two-patron admissions on one ride, T-shirts and hats, climbs on the rock wall and more. Check belmontpark.com for particulars.   Belmont Park is a 12-ride seaside amusement center built in 1925 by sugar magnate John Spreckels, who sought to promote a citywide electric railway. Circus Center Jubilee The San Diego Circus Center, at 2050 Hancock St., will hold its inaugural Jubilee, highlighting a display of circus acts from talented and amazing performers May 25-27. There will be acts on Chinese pole, contortion, trapeze, Cyr wheel, Lyra, teeterboard, tight-wire, silks, rope, clowning and more. For more information, visit sandiegocircuscenter.org. For tickets, visit SDCCtickets.com. Blood drive in PB Big O Tires will host a mobile blood drive, in partnership with San Diego Blood Bank, 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at 1106 Garnet Ave. About 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood. One pint of blood, which is the amount volunteers give when they donate blood, can save up to three lives. Approximately, 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood but less than 10 percent do annually. Since blood is always needed, volunteers are asked to give blood for patients, such as those going through cancer or trauma. Crawfish cookouts Pacific Beach Fish Shop’s Crawfish Cookout dates are Tuesday, May 22; and Wednesday, June 5 and Tuesday, June 19. The venue is at 1775 Garnet Ave. The number is 858-483-1008. Beginning at 3 p.m. and lasting until the food’s gone, traditional Louisiana crawfish will be served by the pound, with corn on the cob, red potatoes and andouille sausage and local craft beer in bottles or on draft.  Established in 2010, Pacific Beach Fish Shop features 50 microbrews and allows customers to tote their own wine inside, with no corkage fee. Illegal marijuana delivery service busted in Pacific Beach On May 8, at approximately 8 a.m., the San Diego Police Department’s Narcotics Unit served a search warrant at an apartment in the 3800 block of Ingraham Street. This location is located in a residential apartment complex and was being used to operate an illegal marijuana delivery service called “Beach Budz.” The search warrant yielded approximately two pounds of high grade marijuana, concentrated cannabis and edibles, $1,200 in cash, and business documents and records. The owner/operator (Anthony Cruz, 29 years old) was arrested and issued a citation for operating a business without a license and sales of marijuana. SDPD and the City Attorney’s office are continuing to conduct enforcement on all illegal marijuana delivery services, as well as, all other illegal marijuana businesses operating in the City of San Diego. All persons operating these illegal marijuana businesses will be arrested and prosecuted. County releases report on hepatitis A outbreak The County of San Diego released an “After Action Report” on May 10 that summarizes the County’s response to an unprecedented hepatitis A outbreak that began in early March 2017. A local public health emergency was declared on Sept. 1, 2017, and stayed in effect until Jan. 23. The purpose of an after action report is a self-evaluation to document an agency’s response after an emergency. This Hepatitis A Outbreak After Action Report looks at the County’s response to the local health emergency and actions taken during the outbreak to assess what worked well, what could be improved, and a plan for making recommended improvements. Among the 21 recommendations in the report: Enhancing the use of an incident command structure to coordinate regional actions, including convening a group of County and regional executive leadership from affected areas that meets regularly; Ensure more County staff not normally assigned to emergency situations are trained so that they may be utilized for large-scale, long-lasting or unique public health emergencies; Work with local healthcare providers to ensure that people who work with homeless individuals and drug users receive the HAV vaccine and that all healthcare providers enter the vaccinations into the immunization registry; Educate all County jail inmates on hepatitis A risk and encourage them to be vaccinated. The report also highlights several novel approaches taken to combat the outbreak including the use of foot teams. The teams paired up County Health and Human Service Agency public health nurses with homeless outreach workers and public safety officers who were deployed to provide vaccinations and education in homeless encampments, difficult to reach areas near river beds, in canyons and at locations that provide services to homeless people. The complete report is available online. Seafood sandwich shop to expand to Pacific Beach SuperNatural Sandwiches, which currently features rotating specials and signature seafood sandwiches from its space on Miramar Road, will expand to Pacific Beach in June, replacing Nom Nom Bento and its Asian-fusion fare at 4658 Mission Blvd. The 1,100-square-foot venue will reportedly feature seven sandwiches on its grab-and-go menu as well as items exclusive to Pacific Beach. Aguas frescas -- nonalcoholic combinations of fruits, cereals, flowers or seeds blended with sugar and water -- will initially mark the beverage menu, with beer and wine to follow. The proprietors recently launched branches in Tijuana and Santa Ana. They announced an expansion to Little Italy earlier this year; that venue is scheduled to open in the fall and offer Southeast Asian dishes and desserts. They are also exploring growth possibilities in Orange and Los Angeles counties. Rum tasting experience at Catamaran Resort To celebrate the re-emergence of tiki culture, San Diego’s original Polynesian-themed resort, Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa, is launching a new signature rum tasting experience with local distiller Malahat Spirits Co. Set on the patio overlooking scenic Mission Bay, Rum Social at Oceana Coastal Kitchen will debut Wednesday, June 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and showcase the Malahat rum that was created exclusively for the Catamaran during this casual food and drink pairing event where mixing and mingling will be encouraged. Each $35 ticket will include two Catamaran rum drinks per person plus small plate pairings that enhance the rum flavors, such as deviled chicken with pancetta, short rib on toasted brioche, shrimp cocktail with a Malahat-infused dipping sauce, and strawberry tiramisu from the resort’s executive chef Steven Riemer.  Attendance for Rum Social will be capped at 40 people to ensure that each event has an intimate, mixer feel that encourages socializing. Tickets can be purchased at:www.catamaranresort.com/dining-entertainment/rum-social.  “We are thrilled to partner with San Diego’s premier distiller, Malahat, to bring this event to life,” said Jono Tapp, Director of Outlets. “We’ve orchestrated Rum Social to be a community event where San Diegans can get to know their neighbors while sipping on Catamaran’s exclusive spiced rum and enjoying Chef’s delectable creations.” Rescue House slates annual cats benefit More than 25,000 lost or neglected animals receive second chances every year in San Diego County – and a regional cat-rescue venue has scheduled its annual fundraiser to retain its stake in the effort. A Cause for Paws, the Rescue House’s 10th annual gala, will take place Saturday, June 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa and Marina, 1441 Quivira Road. The evening includes a dinner buffet and silent and live auctions. Contact amy@rescuehouse.org with questions or donations. Ticket prices are $75 to $95, and all proceeds go directly to the care of homeless cats.   The Rescue House is an Encinitas-based nonprofit no-kill volunteer organization dedicated to assisting unwanted, abandoned, homeless and abused socialized cats regardless of age and, often, handicap. Since its inception in 1999, the organization has rescued more than 13,000 cats and has found homes for more than 3,600 through its seven adoption centers in San Diego County. More information is available at rescuehouse.org or 760-591-1221. Launchit named finalist LaunchIt Public Relations, a Pacific Beach provider of public and industry relations services to transportation technology suppliers, has been named a finalist in the 2018 Public Relations and Marketing Excellence Award program by the Business Intelligence Group. The award identifies leading agencies that delivered quantifiable business results for their clients. The program, judged by business executives as opposed to their firms, uses a scoring system that measures performance across multiple business domains. Since 2000, LaunchIt has been representing technology companies as it seeks to increase visibility of their products and services in the North American trucking industry. In 2018, it joined the Stryker-Munley Group, a consortium of public relations and marketing professionals with more than 20 years’ experience in their respective industries. It maintains ten offices in cities from Los Angeles to New York, including San Diego. For more information, launchitpr.com. Poll workers needed for June 5 election Poll workers, especially those who are bilingual in any one of six specific languages, are needed for the June 5 Gubernatorial Primary Election. The Registrar’s office is required by federal law to provide bilingual speakers and voting materials to voters who speak Spanish, Filipino, Vietnamese and Chinese. In addition, a survey conducted by the University of California, Berkeley showed a need for speakers of Arabic and Korean at just under 90 precincts across the county so the Registrar’s office is also recruiting poll workers who are bilingual in those languages. To become a poll worker, applicants must be a U.S citizen and registered to vote in California, or lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States. Poll workers must have transportation to their assigned polling location, access to the internet to take an online training and attend a two-hour class in person. Poll workers receive a stipend ranging from $100 to $175 depending on the assignment, and those who are bilingual receive an additional $15 if they are assigned to provide language assistance to voters. Apply online at sdvote.com. For more information, call 858-565-5800 or email pollworker@sdcounty.ca.gov. CEO awards The Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine will host a Most Admired CEO awards program on Thursday, June 7 at 4 p.m. an exclusive reception to honor the winners and finalists. The event, held every year by the San Diego Business Journal, is designed to recognize local business leaders’ achievements within their companies and in the community. The nomination deadline is April 22. Nomination forms and tickets are online at sdbj.com/bizevents. Tickets include admission to a no-host bar and a n evening of hors d’oeuvres. Judges will select winners in the publicly and privately traded company categories as well as in the nonprofit, government agency, family-owned business and education areas. The Hyatt Regency is located at 3777 La Jolla Village Drive. Further information is available at 858-277-6695.
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    What do locals and tourists think about the motorized scooter ban plan?
    May 18, 2018 | 602 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    When Councilmember Lorie Zapf announced on May 11 that the City Council will take up an emergency ordinance to ban motorized scooters from the boardwalk, we went out on Saturday, May 12 to check out who is riding the scooters. It turns out, riders are young, old and everything in between.  / All photos by Thomas Melville
    When Councilmember Lorie Zapf announced on May 11 that the City Council will take up an emergency ordinance to ban motorized scooters from the boardwalk, we went out on Saturday, May 12 to check out who is riding the scooters. It turns out, riders are young, old and everything in between. / All photos by Thomas Melville
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    We went out to the boardwalk and asked what people thought of the City's plan to ban motorized scooters from the boardwalk from Crystal Pier to South Mission Beach. Here's what we heard: “People want to come down here, have fun and ride a bike or something. It is a good alternative to bike riding. I think it’s neat.” – Chris Amaral, Salinas “[The unsafe ones are] these knucklehead tourists who come out here and don't know how to act in San Diego. I get my freedom riding up and down the coast just listening to my jams.” – Brandon Ashcraft, SD “I think that it is smart to ban them. They have already banned them where I live in North Bay. People were getting hit and they were causing accidents.” – Kyle McCue, North Bay “They really help me when I run errands. I think that [the city] is taking away all of our fun. They should probably put speed limits or something like that.” – Jorge Pascal, SD “I have just ridden from one end of the board walk to the other. I have not seen any misconduct what-so-ever. I don’t think that with this type of vehicle that anything is inherently unsafe.” – Walter Moss, SD “I do not dig it. It needs a regulation, it just has to happen. There is no required helmet, there is no training, you can rent them while intoxicated.” – Robbie Sorensen, SD “If people were respectful and knew how to ride them it would be fine. I can see how it could lead to trouble.” – Jessica Godoy, Salinas
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    Look out! Bad Axe Throwing coming to Pacific Beach this summer
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 15, 2018 | 9451 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    It’s a 'huge myth' that axe throwing is a male-dominated sport.At current locations, 60 percent of people who come in are women and 40 percent are men.
    It’s a 'huge myth' that axe throwing is a male-dominated sport.At current locations, 60 percent of people who come in are women and 40 percent are men.
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    The proper axe-throwing technique typically starts with a two-handed grip, the dominant hand on top with arms straight out at eye-level. Throwers pull both hands back over their heads before releasing.
    The proper axe-throwing technique typically starts with a two-handed grip, the dominant hand on top with arms straight out at eye-level. Throwers pull both hands back over their heads before releasing.
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    If your recreational pursuits include axe throwing, you’ll be able to indulge yourself soon in Pacific Beach. Bad Axe Throwing is coming to 1019 Garnet Ave., adjacent to Quicksand Escape Games, in late June or early July. Begun in Canada, Bad Axe is the world’s biggest urban axe throwing club. Its mission is to bring the thrill of a traditional Canadian backyard pastime to urban areas. “We started in 2014 outside Toronto and we ventured into the States in Chicago one year ago,” said Bad Axe spokesperson Melanie St. Amour, noting axe throwing is similar to other objects tossed for fun in games.  “It’s a lot like darts, only with bigger targets,” St. Amour said, adding the sport is mostly done in small groups with two people throwing simultaneously at the same target within fenced-off, chain-link lanes. “The concept is very similar to darts – hit the bullseye,” she added. St. Amour said walk-ins will be welcome, while adding Bad Axe mostly caters to leagues, private parties and corporate team-building events. It’s a “huge myth” that axe throwing is a male-dominated sport, said St. Amour. “At our current locations, 60 percent of people who come in are women and 40 percent are men,” she said, adding women tend to strive more for accuracy, while males focus more on strength. The company spokes woman discuss proper axe-throwing technique. “We typically started with a two-handed grip, the dominant hand on top with arms straight out at eye-level,” she said adding throwers pull both hands back over their heads before releasing. “You don’t want to flick your wrist,” she warned. “If you release it correctly, the axe will do a rotation into the target and land on the bullseye.” St. Amour said Bad Axe’s new space is about 6,000 square feet, “a decent size for us,” while adding groups accommodated “number nine to 15 people.” Bad Axe Throwing was founded by CEO Mario Zelaya in the fall of 2014 in Burlington, Ontario. The company has since expanded across Canada with 16 locations in Toronto, as well U.S. cities such as Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit badaxethrowing.com.
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    Memorial benches unveiled for surf legends at Tourmaline Surfing Park
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    May 14, 2018 | 4223 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The memorial bench for surf legend Larry Gordon at Tourmaline Surfing Park. / Photo by Dave Schwab
    The memorial bench for surf legend Larry Gordon at Tourmaline Surfing Park. / Photo by Dave Schwab
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    The memorial benches honoring pioneering surf legends Skeeter Malcolm and Larry Gordon last week at Tourmaline Surfing Park. / Photo by Dave Schwab
    The memorial benches honoring pioneering surf legends Skeeter Malcolm and Larry Gordon last week at Tourmaline Surfing Park. / Photo by Dave Schwab
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    Invoking the Aloha spirit, surfers rallied to dedicate a restored viewing area and memorial benches honoring pioneering surf legends Larry Gordon and Skeeter Malcolm last week at Tourmaline Surfing Park. Mayor Kevin Faulconer presented a proclamation proclaiming May 10, 2018 as “Gordon and Smith Day in the City of San Diego.” “This is a special place, and we’re here to honor a very special person [Gordon] who made a huge difference,” said Faulconer, before asking for a moment of shared silence to take in the ocean view. Noting world-renowned Gordon and Smith surf shop is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, Faulconer said, “This represents the best of our San Diego community.” The mayor’s sentiment was echoed by surf pastor Mike MacIntosh. “Those of us close to Larry knew him as a father, loyal husband and deep friend,” MacIntosh said. “The two greatest assets we have are our friends and our family.” MacIntosh said Gordon “was a man who wanted to see people find heaven. I think in heaven he probably has a bigger bench where he’s sitting right now.” Gordon’s widow, Gayle, described the ceremony as “like being in heaven with all of our best friends … my life is kind of tied up here. Larry asked me to marry him down on the beach.” Gordon died of complications from Parkinson’s Disease in 2016 at age 76. He and fellow local surfer Floyd Smith started making surfboards out of Smith’s garage. They were one of the first to bring polyurethane foam boards – easier to ride than balsa wood – to San Diego, a trend that helped bring surfing to a wider demographic in the 1960s and ’70s. Malcolm was a local teacher and original beach boy who rode San Diego's waves in the ’30s. He died of cancer at age 70 in Mission Beach during the 1990s. “Surfing was once outlawed in San Diego,” said District 2 Councilmember Lorie Zapf at the ceremony. “It was the newly formed WindanSea Surf Club (Gordon was a member) that dressed up in suits and successfully asked the City Council to lift the surfing ban on San Diego beaches. Tourmaline Surf Park was created as a result.” Mickey Stonier, a chaplain for San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, implored people to follow Gordon’s example in “keeping the foundation steady – you’re faith, your family, your friendships … the things that really matter.” Stonier described the two dedicated benches as “not just beautiful, but a memorial of a life well lived.” “His love for his city, family and friends has touched all of our lives,” said MacIntosh of Gordon.
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    $9,000 reward offered in Point Loma homicide
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