A round-up of news, community, and business briefs from sdnews.com highlighting what’s happening in our community.
Thursday, June 4
PADDLE FOR PEACE AT TOURMALINE
A paddle for peace honoring the life of George Floyd and all the loved ones lost will be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 6 at Tourmaline Surf Park. Meet on the sand below the showers.
“It is important that we lead with kindness and come together as a community full of love and support,” said organizers on social media. “If you can not paddle out feel free to stand in solidarity with the rest of us on the beach. If you’re in doubt, paddle out. Your voice and presence matters. Black lives matter.”
The observance will include leis. No plastic is allowed at the event. Each lei made and provided will be given to anyone who will be in the water and on land to be placed in the water for a moment of silence.
BAHIA RESORT HOTEL IMPROVEMENTS
Dempsey Construction has completed an extensive lobby renovation and site improvements for the Bahia Resort Hotel, 998 W. Mission Bay Drive. The project consisted of the renovation of the existing lobby, front of house amenities and additional site improvements.
The scope of work included sectional glass doors, framing and finishes throughout, upgraded lighting in the lobby and exterior soffits, new guest services and guest luggage storage. Site improvements included the addition of a lounge area adjacent to the entry drive, accessible parking and path of travel, decorative concrete hardscape, and landscape throughout.
Dempsey Construction worked with the owner, Evan Hotels, to relocate check-in and guest services to alternate, on-site locations, while the property remained in full operation during all construction activities.
BREAKFAST REPUBLIC OPENS IN PACIFIC BEACH
Following the re-opening of its North Park outpost last week, Breakfast Republic, will re-open for onsite dining at Mission Valley, Pacific Beach, Costa Mesa and East Village locations this week at 7 a.m. Encinitas dwellers can expect to return to their neighborhood brunch spot on June 5. Check the restaurant’s website and social media platforms for a confirmed re-opening dates.
TWENTY-FIVE YEARS OF SOFT PRETZELS
San Diego Pretzel Company celebrates its 25th anniversary providing the pretzel-loving public with authentic, Bavarian-style pretzels. And to mark this important milestone, the company has recently launched its new website: sandiegopretzel.com. During these two and a half decades, their pretzels, sold originally from carts, are now selling in restaurants, bars, amusement parks, convention centers, supermarkets, even at Legoland, SeaWorld, and Disneyland.
“The key to our success, and longevity, has been our commitment to high quality, authentic, fresh soft pretzel, and our experienced workforce. Our distribution partners, retailers, restaurant, and bar owners love our consistency and excellent customer service,” said Harris Golden, president. “And the best part of all, their customers eat them up, literally.”
San Diego Pretzel Company’s product line-up includes a large Double Twisted Pretzel, New York Style, Philly Style, Munich style, bites, sticks, and custom designs.
NEW PANDEMIC-EBT BENEFITS
Feeding San Diego is encouraging families with students who were receiving free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch at school to apply for new Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) benefits. Eligible students may receive up to $365 per child for groceries while schools are closed. Qualifying students who have not yet received a P-EBT card in the mail must apply online before June 30 to get their card. To apply for P-EBT, families can visit ca.p-ebt.org/en.
“Youth hunger is at historically unprecedented levels: one in four children in San Diego County now face hunger due to the coronavirus pandemic. Feeding San Diego is doing everything possible to support youth and their families during this challenging time,” said Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “Many eligible students will not automatically receive P-EBT benefits, but this public benefit is available and easily accessible.”
In addition to continued grab-and-go meal services at school sites, this federal nutrition benefit is available to over 250,000 students throughout San Diego County. The pre-paid cards can be used at most grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and select online retailers.
During COVID-19, Feeding San Diego provides meals to youth and families at distributions throughout the county. The organization partners with San Diego Unified School District, Cajon Valley Union School District, and Escondido Union High School District to support 15 meal sites with 3,500 food boxes each week. Feeding San Diego operates 11 youth meal sites that provide two meals a day, Monday to Friday, totaling more than 25,000 meals weekly. Youth are also supported by Feeding San Diego at seven school sites, five weekly regional emergency food distributions, ten bi-monthly mobile pantries, and other distributions throughout the county.
Tuesday, June 2
OCEAN PARK INN THANKS FRONTLINE WORKERS
Ocean Park Inn, on the boardwalk at 710 Grand Ave., wants to thank frontline workers for everything they have been doing during these trying times by offering a discounted stay.
Currently open for essential travel only, frontline workers can save 20% off of their stay at Ocean Park Inn by using the discount code THNYOU20 and booking through June 30. If you are interested in staying at Ocean Park Inn, call 858-483-5858.
ANDERSON NAMED FOUNDING DEAN OF SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH AT UCSD
Dr. Cheryl Anderson, professor and interim chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health in the School of Medicine at the University of California San Diego, has been named founding dean of The Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. The school was established at UC San Diego in 2019 with a $25 million lead gift from Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim Family Foundation with an emphasis on research and education designed to prevent disease, prolong life and promote health through organized community efforts.
“Dr. Anderson is perfectly positioned to lead our new school of public health and human longevity science,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Her distinguished career in teaching, epidemiological research, and higher education administration have forged an innovative, unified approach to public health. She shares the unique vision of Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim to positively impact the well-being of individuals by implementing solutions to reduce or eliminate disparities in disadvantaged or underserved communities and improving the overall health of our communities.”
The new school is designed to define a new future focused on prevention of disease and injury and promotion of health and well-being. With a diverse, established, cross-disciplinary faculty representing every aspect of UC San Diego’s overall mission to educate, conduct research and provide clinical care, Anderson and colleagues will work with communities and populations to identify root causes of morbidity and mortality and implement large-scale solutions.
HARRIS HOLDS ART WORKSHOP FOR THE CHILDREN’S SCHOOL STUDENTS
The Children’s School in La Jolla was excited to host Shawn Harris, an award-winning illustrator, for an art workshop over Zoom on June 2. Before his visit with the TCS students, Shawn shared a video introduction of himself, showcasing the books he has illustrated, the live animation cartoon he draws, with the prekindergarten – eighth graders.
To start his Zoom visit, he asked the students if they had any questions for him about the things in the video. The students asked many questions including how many books he has illustrated in total (6), is he a musician (yes, guitarist), if he makes cartoons (yes, he works with author Mac Barnett to produce The First Act in Space Ate Pizza), and if Her Right Foot is based on facts (it is).
After taking questions, Shawn began the art workshop by asking the students to get two pieces of paper, a pen or marker, and scissors. He then led the students through the process of creating an animated cartoon character. Shawn also showed the students some of the tools and techniques he uses to illustrate his cartoon. He shared pencils of all sizes, an eraser and sandpaper, which he uses to sand down charcoal and then blend with a blender stick, to create shading.
Before the meeting concluded, Shawn introduced the students to his dog, Sasha, and then gave the students an assignment. He asked them to each create two-three characters, and then create an animated scene by having the characters all talk to each other. The students thoroughly enjoyed the visit with Shawn Harris, and are looking forward to making many more animated characters in the days ahead.
CITY COUNCIL APPROVES EXTENDING PERMIT APPLICATIONS
As San Diego began shutting down in early March due to the coronavirus epidemic, construction projects throughout San Diego were thrown into disarray. This uncertainty risked the cancellation of several important housing projects throughout the region, which continues facing a severe housing crisis.
To help with the uncertainty, the City Council has unanimously adopted an interim urgency ordinance extending the expiration of development permit applications by 60 days, and building permit applications by 365 days.
“The uncertainty in the building industry is at an all-time high due to the coronavirus pandemic,” said Councilmember Scott Sherman. “The City must do all it can to provide relief in any way possible. At the beginning of this crisis, the City was pro-active and took steps to provide relief. This action builds on that work and will offer real relief to the building industry during this time of uncertainty. I would like to thank the Mayor and our hard-working Development Services Department staff.”
The process of obtaining permits can sometimes be a costly and time-consuming affair. If permits were allowed to expire, builders would be forced to start the permitting process all over again, raising costs that are passed along to consumers.
LETTER FROM LJVMA PRESIDENT BRETT MURPHY
Dear Fellow Merchants,
I wanted to reach out regarding recent events ignited by a senseless homicide in Minneapolis. which have spread to communities around the world including San Diego. At the core, this is a worldwide movement about equality and justice. We need to be compassionate, empathetic, and understanding of diverse viewpoints, feelings, and opinions.
La Jolla Village Merchants Association supports its merchants, staff, visitors, and neighbors and is dedicated to offering a platform for reliable information, unity, and positivity. We have reached out to city staff, elected officials, and the San Diego Police Department with concerns specific to La Jolla Village.
With this in mind; we offer suggestions to stay safe as we move through these chaotic and dynamic times.
Please be respectful – peaceful assemblies and protests are a 1st Amendment Right. However, if crowds become unmanageable, erratic, or pose threats to you or your business, do not confront perpetrators with force or violence. Your safety, and that of your staff, is far more important than anything else.
Do not fall prey to rumors. We will do our best to keep you up to the minute with news related to protests directly impacting La Jolla Village. Arm yourself with reliable information. Subscribe to local news feeds to stay current with various activities related to the unrest. Bookmark Our Blog for news specific to La Jolla Village.
We will be monitoring social media closely and are in direct communication with SDPD. We will notify you immediately if we learn of activities concerning La Jolla Village directly. You can also volunteer as part of our communication team. If you see something (especially on social media) send a link or screenshot to [email protected] and we will share with appropriate authorities.
Review your insurance policy to make sure your coverage is up to date and up to the task. It might be a good time to take photographs and inventory your assets. Make sure you can access your computer files remotely and that critical files are backed up. Copy necessary paper documents. Look to your insurance carrier for further ideas and advice.
Thank you for all that you do for the Village and for our City. Strong small business is the cornerstone of a healthy economy and we will continue to market, promote, and support La Jolla Village businesses in the best and safest way possible. We are stronger together. Be safe and healthy.
SPIN RELAUNCHES ELECTRIC SCOOTERS
If you're looking to hit the streets of San Diego for some two-wheeled fun, Spin is riding to the rescue.
In a release, Spin said it relaunched its electric scooters in San Diego to offer commuters a quick way to scoot around town while still limiting human contact.
Previously, scooters were only available on the UC San Diego campus, which remains closed. As of May 15, however, 300 of Spin's mobility devices can be accessed in Pacific Beach, Downtown, North Park and more. Plus, Spin is scaling to bring more scooters to San Diego as commuters start returning to their usual schedules. Riders are reminded to always avoid "no ride zones" like boardwalks.
The mobility provider said its employees tasked with charging and deploying the scooters each day are following advanced sanitation and safety protocols while wearing personal protective equipment. When scooters are returned to Spin's warehouse to recharge, their handlebars and upright stem are cleaned with disinfectant wipes and sprays. High-traffic areas and vehicles used in Spin's warehouses and deployment routes are also scrubbed down with disinfectant after every shift.
As part of its new roll-out, Spin said it's offering essential healthcare workers free 30-minute rides through its new "Everyday Heroes" program. Spin said the program is intended to allow health care workers — doctors, nurses, medical assistants, radiology and lab technicians, hospital and clinic administrators, and janitorial staff — to get to and from work while maintaining social distance. Health care workers can apply for the program online.
LJCPA MEETING HAS 5 P.M. START
The regular La Jolla Community Planning Association meeting on June 4 will begin at 5 p.m. rather than the usual 6 p.m. With an unusually full agenda for this meeting, based on the plan group’s experience with the April and May Zoom meetings, it was deemed prudent to host June’s meeting earlier rather than have it run late.
As usual, it is necessary to register in advance if you wish to participate in the meeting. Registration is already open; the necessary instructions and links are at gregj.us/2LslG68. The agenda will be posted at lajollacpa.org.
SMALL BUSINESS SOCIAL MEDIA SERIES
Noting the “grim reality is that more restaurants and other small businesses will not survive this pandemic,” District 1 Councilmember and Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry is launching a “How’s Small Business?” feature series over the next few weeks on her Facebook page.
“These businesses are an important part of our economy and our community,” Bry said. “They make San Diego and our neighborhoods unique. That’s why I’m launching ‘How’s Small Business?’”
Bry’s Facebook page will feature a different D1 business speaking candidly about its struggles during this unprecedented time. Look for it among upcoming posts on her Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts.
Saturday, May 30
BEACHES OPEN FOR SITTING JUNE 2
Starting June 2, people will be allowed to sit and lounge at local beaches provided they maintain physical distancing or wear a face covering when close to others, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced.
Sitting on the beach will be allowed for sunbathing and relaxing with towels and chairs if you do it with people in your own household. However, no activities such as football and volleyball will be permitted. Also, all piers and parking lots will remain closed.
All beach communities agreed to ease this restriction starting June 2, but cities can decide if they want to proceed later and how the guideline is going to be enforced.
BLENDERS EYEWEAR PROVIDES SUNGLASSES
Pacific Beach-based Blenders Eyewear will outfit more than 300 FedEx Express workers across the county, offering workers one of five select sunglasses. The Blenders Eyewear team donates sunglasses to the region’s 300-plus FedEx Express workers to thank them for their continued support throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
After re-purposing its production to create and then donate 10,000 safety goggles to Southern California hospitals, plus 20,000 pairs to Direct Relief – in addition to a month-long fundraiser for the international aid organization – Blenders wanted to do more to help those at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit BlendersEyewear.com.
WEEKLY UNEMPLOYMENT UPDATE
The San Diego Workforce Partnership releases a weekly email update to serve as a one-stop-shop on employment figures and analysis specific to our region’s workforce in regards to impacts associated with COVID-19.
488 total businesses reporting layoffs to the Workforce Partnership since March 10 (up from 482 last week).
73,617 total reported employees affected since March 10 (up from 72,446 last week)
This includes 36,692 in the hospitality and restaurant and bar industries. This is an estimate based on the notices received by the Workforce Partnership, although the full impact to employees and the region’s economy is still unknown.
260 open jobs that the Workforce Partnership team is working to fill with local employers in our Career Portal.
Data from the U.S. Department of Labor: New unemployment claims in California have held steady at a little over 200,000 for the last three weeks. For context, that’s about twice the pre-COVID-19 record. San Diego County’s official unemployment rate was the highest ever recorded last month at 15%, and we believe the current rate is higher, as about 40% of unemployment claims made since the onset of COVID-19 were submitted after April 12, when unemployment was last measured.