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    Shop Ocean Beach for Small Business Saturday specials
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 22, 2017 | 2491 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 | 1206 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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    Top 10 Instagram-worthy places in Pacific and Mission beaches
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Nov 14, 2017 | 2625 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Pacific Beach-based model Paige Fulfer poses for a photo in front of the mermaid mural on Mission Boulevard. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Pacific Beach-based model Paige Fulfer poses for a photo in front of the mermaid mural on Mission Boulevard. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Paige Fulfer takes a selfie at the former bait shack on the South Mission Beach jetty. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Paige Fulfer takes a selfie at the former bait shack on the South Mission Beach jetty. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Lifeguard towers in Mission Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Lifeguard towers in Mission Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The shark mural near the Beach Bungalow Hostel in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The shark mural near the Beach Bungalow Hostel in Pacific Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Under the Crystal Pier at sunset. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Under the Crystal Pier at sunset. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The Giant Dipper roller coaster at Belmont Park. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    The Giant Dipper roller coaster at Belmont Park. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Veronica Parker poses with the angel wings in Pacific Beach.
    Veronica Parker poses with the angel wings in Pacific Beach.
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    Scenic view of Pacific and Mission beaches from La Jolla Mesa Drive. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Scenic view of Pacific and Mission beaches from La Jolla Mesa Drive. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Surfers at Tourmaline Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Surfers at Tourmaline Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Pacific Beach and Mission Beach are filled with colorful murals, scenic streets, pretty parks and a historic pier that all make perfect photo locations for a top-notch Instagram gallery. Here are the top 10 most Instagram-worthy places that you can’t miss while you are visiting Pacific Beach and Mission Beach. Mermaid mural One of the most popular places in Pacific Beach for Instagram photos is the bright mermaid mural on Mission Boulevard just north of Dirty Birds. The beautiful mural was painted by Jared Blake Lazer (aka Jared Black Lazer), who is a Southern California-based visual artist, muralist and graphic designer. Lazer painted the mural in 2015 for the shop Daffodil Dresses, which was located there at that time. You can’t say that you have been in Pacific Beach without posting a photo of yourself in front of the mural. Bait shack The former bait shack about halfway out on the South Mission Beach jetty is like a doorway to the Pacific Ocean. The exterior has been painted over various times with colorful graffiti, which makes it an interesting backdrop for a cool photo. But be careful walking out on the slick jetty rocks; the shack is not as close as it seems. Lifeguard towers Another popular prop for a good photo are the lifeguard towers along Pacific Mission beaches. The white and yellow towers, combined with the blue sky and the light sand, make a perfect California beach photo. There are more than 20 towers all the way from South Mission Beach to Pacific Beach, so there is no excuse for not posting a photo. Beach Bungalow Hostel At the end of Reed Avenue, just by the beach, is the yellow, blue, orange, green and turquoise Beach Bungalow Hostel. The hostel is filled with murals, patterns and more colors. Next to the hostel, on the boardwalk, is an ice cream shop that has a mural of a big shark on its north side, which is another popular Instagram spot. The hostel has a very authentic and memorable vibe that gives you the perfect California feels. Beach sunsets There are plenty of places deemed Instagram-worthy to watch the sunset in San Diego, and Mission Beach and Pacific Beach are no exception. Just pick a spot along the Ocean Front Walk to get a stunning view of the latest Southern California miracle. Crystal Pier Another popular location for photos is underneath the 90-year-old Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach (on the pier works as well). The wooden pillars, together with the foaming waves and the bright sand, makes it a fun location for a group photo. Belmont Park The old wooden roller coaster at Belmont Park with the white, red and turquoise colors, the palm trees in the background, with the beach right next to it, screams for an Instagram shot. The historic amusement ride in Mission Beach, named the Giant Dipper, was built in 1925. Wings at Cass Street Pacific Beach has been described as heavenly and it does have a pair of white angel wings to show for it. The mural, originally painted for a photo shoot, is located on a wall on the west side of Cass Street near the PB library. Having a photo taken “wearing” the angel wings is a rite of passage for visitors and residents. La Jolla Mesa Drive Head north on Mission Boulevard and then take La Jolla Mesa Drive toward Mt. Soledad. The road gets steep, but on the way up make sure to look in your rearview mirror as the Pacific Beach coastline starts to come into view. Pull over and take a selfie – on a clear day you can see all the way to the Ocean Beach Pier. Tourmaline Street What is more Instagram-worthy than a street filled with palm trees on both sides and the ocean in the background? The street severely slopes down to the beach, so stand at the top for a selfie and feed your Instagram account some “California Love.” As an added bonus, find a spot in the parking lot at the bottom of the street, check out the mural on the side of the bathhouse, and then watch the surfers in action.
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    Man turns stolen bamboo bicycle into Bikes for Kids campaign
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Nov 13, 2017 | 3644 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Rob Greenfield on his bamboo bike.
    Rob Greenfield on his bamboo bike.
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    Rob Greenfield with Guitar Johnny, who stole the bamboo bike.
    Rob Greenfield with Guitar Johnny, who stole the bamboo bike.
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    On Friday, Nov. 3, former San Diego resident Rob Greenfield had his beloved bamboo bike, which he had ridden across the country, stolen in front of the Catamaran Hotel in Mission Bay. But instead of letting the loss of his bike ruin his day, he decided to turn the situation into something positive. Greenfield wanted to turn his own misfortune into someone else’s fortune, so he started the GoFundMe.com campaign “Bikes for Kids” to raise money for kids who have had their bikes stolen. “I am in a situation where I can go and buy a new bike, but there are a lot of kids out there who live in low-income scenarios and if they get their bike stolen they can't get another one,” said Greenfield. Greenfield shared a video on Facebook of himself, asking people to help him turn the bad deed of his bike being stolen, into dozens of good deeds. He started raising money to buy bikes for kids. “I am a strong believer in the idea that hate cannot drive out hate and darkness cannot drive out darkness. Bad deeds cannot drive out bad deeds. Only good deeds can do that,” said Greenfield. Through “Bikes for Kids,” Greenfield already raised enough money to buy bikes for 10 kids. He also managed to find his bike’s thief, and get his bamboo bike back. Greenfield’s bike was stolen by a man named Guitar Johnny, who stole it to get his next fix. Greenfield decided not to report him to the police, but instead they made a deal that Guitar Johnny is going to do something good for humanity, and the former bike thief committed to helping to fix bikes for people in need to make up for his bad deed. “I don’t think that him going to jail is going to solve the problem. There are more people in jail in the United States than any other country in the world, and I think that we have seen that putting people in jail and punishing them that way doesn’t work. I think we need compassion,” said Greenfield. You can still donate to “Bikes for Kids” and all extra funds will be used to do good deeds for the rest of 2017 and to buy bikes for people who've had their bike stolen. For more information,, visit www.gofundme.com/bamboobike.
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    Groundswell Community Project empowers women in waves
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Nov 10, 2017 | 26664 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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