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    San Diego named most beautiful city… again!
    by VICTORIA DAVIS
    Oct 21, 2019 | 15837 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Beautiful sunset at the Arch at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Beautiful sunset at the Arch at Sunset Cliffs. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    From the best surf town to the best city for coffee fanatics, San Diego has been listed as a favorite more than a dozen times by publications such as Surfer Magazine, Culture Trip, Best Cities, and SmartAsset. In October, San Diego was once again featured in the spotlight during the Flight Network’s The World’s 50 Most Beautiful Cities campaign, ranking at No. 22, ahead of Madrid, Athens, and Jerusalem. “It’s certainly not the first time we’ve gotten recognition from editorial media or travel sites or even public opinion polls,” said Candice Eley, director of communications at San Diego Tourism Authority. “I think it’s pretty clear from anyone who lives here, that’s part of why we live here — the amazing landscapes, how diverse the city is, how you can go from the beach to the desert foothills in the span of an hour.” According to the Tourism Authority, visitors passing through San Diego spend roughly $11.5 billion every year. That amount of cash might make sense since the city also hosts 35.8 million visitors annually. Jam-packed to the brim with seaside taco shops (and trucks), breweries and beaches — not to mention the ample wine country hot-spots and historic towns — San Diego’s daytime and nighttime activities are virtually endless. “Something we also hear a lot from visitors is how clean our city is,” said Eley, who has lived in San Diego since 2004. “For the size of a major U.S. city, it can be really a really surprising thing to visitors how nice the streets and buildings are. I think that, plus how culturally dynamic our city is, helps a lot with our reputation.” The Flight Network, which asked the opinions of more than 1,000 travel writers, travel bloggers and travel agencies from all around the globe, raved about historic Balboa Park, home to “several different museums (as well as the famous San Diego Zoo) and tons of green spaces for biking, walking, or just frolicking around.” Eley says that while San Diego has always been known for its beaches and margaritas, in the last few years it’s starting to be more recognized for its musical performing arts and culinary expertise. “It’s something that’s been long overdue,” she said. But despite being the eighth-largest city in the country, San Diego is a surprisingly cozy, coastal, laid-back, beach-goer paradise with ample fine dining and tourist attractions, from Little Italy to Old Town, to Gaslamp Quarter to La Jolla. “That’s actually part of how we describe San Diego when we’re doing marketing promotions as a travel destination,” said Eley. “We talk about San Diego being a beach-city so it’s a combination of that easy-going, coastal, chill lifestyle vibe that you’d expect from a small-town beach destination, but it’s paired with great nightlife. It’s that combination that makes us special and unique.” Flight Network’s The World’s 50 Most Beautiful Cities 1. Paris 2. New York 3. London 4. Venice 5. Vancouver 6. Barcelona 7. Cape Town 8. San Francisco 9. Sydney 10. Rome 11. Singapore 12. Lisbon 13. Amsterdam 14. Prague 15. Rio de Janeiro 16. Budapest 17. Istanbul 18. Tokyo 19. Vienna 20. Buenos Aires 21. Toronto 22. San Diego 23. Quebec City 24. Hong Kong 25. Chicago 26. Bruges 27. Madrid 28. Havana 29. Dubai 30. Jerusalem 31. Edinburgh 32. Quito 33. Zurich 34. Cusco 35. St. Petersburg 36. Berlin 37. Hanoi 38. Queenstown 39. San Miguel de Allende 40. Seoul 41. Dubrovnik 42. San Sebastian 43. Bangkok 44. Cartagena 45. Dublin 46. Marrakesh 47. Bergen 48. Jaipur 49. Beijing 50. Athens For more information, visit flightnetwork.com/blog/worlds-most-beautiful-cities.
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    Whaley House – where ghosts continue to be seen and heard in Old Town
    by JILL DIAMOND
    Oct 20, 2019 | 12658 views | 1 1 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Whaley House circa the 1870s. / Photo courtesy of Save Our Heritage Organisation
    The Whaley House circa the 1870s. / Photo courtesy of Save Our Heritage Organisation
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    The Whaley House Museum at 2476 San Diego Ave. in Old Town. / Photo by Sandé Lollis
    The Whaley House Museum at 2476 San Diego Ave. in Old Town. / Photo by Sandé Lollis
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    Anna, Annie, Frank, and Thomas Whaley. / Photo courtesy of Save Our Heritage Organisation
    Anna, Annie, Frank, and Thomas Whaley. / Photo courtesy of Save Our Heritage Organisation
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    While some legends fade away, others continue to stay fresh in people's minds and become even more popular over time. Take the two-story Whaley House Museum in Old Town. The house, which was constructed in 1857 and is a historical landmark, is where numerous ghost sightings have been reported for decades. A brick monument to early San Diego, the home was built by Thomas Whaley, who was a pioneer and prominent citizen, once serving as president of the board of trustees and earning the nickname “Mayor Whaley.” Whaley was additionally a merchant and real estate agent and the house was designed by him and constructed of bricks made in his own brickyard. According to Dean Glass, Whaley House Museum historian: “In its day, the house was a hub of social activity, with its brick construction, fireplaces, and large rooms being very attractive to 19th-century San Diegans accustomed to small adobe houses. It served as the first commercial theater in San Diego; San Diego’s second county courthouse and seat of justice; and Thomas Whaley’s general store, all of which have been returned to the museum for visitors to see today.” In addition to serving as historian, Glass is a member of the museum’s curatorial team, as well as the administrative manager for Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), which operates the museum on behalf of its owner the County of San Diego. “I have worked at Whaley House for just over 15 years. I have been a fan of the museum since first touring as part of a fourth-grade field trip in 1975,” Glass said. SOHO’s executive director Bruce Coons is the director of the Whaley House and has been since 2000. As one of the oldest brick houses in Southern California and San Diego’s finest example of a mid-1800s brick mansion, it has been designated California Historical Landmark No. 65, Glass said. SCARY SIGHTINGS As for all those unusual sightings, well, Glass said: “The house’s haunted reputation dates back to the 19th century, mainly stemming from the fact that it stands on San Diego’s former execution grounds, and its fame is worldwide thanks to countless books and TV shows that report on it. Reports of hauntings continue to this day, and visitors continue to tour the museum in hopes of spotting something supernatural. Our hope is that visitors also learn about the history of San Diego in the 1800s, the Whaley family, and the house itself.” When asked if he has personally witnessed any ghosts himself, Glass says he has, and more than once. “I saw a full apparition of a man I believe was Thomas Whaley (though in his 20s), standing on the upstairs landing as I walked up the stairs one morning. He looked at me as if he was curious as to who I was and why I was in his house, then disappeared. He was all shades of gray, no color to him; I’ve seen a few other fleeting figures that are all gray also, but none as distinct as Mr. Whaley,” he recalled. “On one occasion, I witnessed the chandelier in the courtroom swinging back and forth for no apparent reason. I have also on many occasions heard footsteps walking across the upstairs floor when no one is there; these sounds are always preceded by a loud crashing sound, like a sonic boom. I once heard a man clear his throat loudly as if to let me know I wasn’t alone when I was alone in the museum.” And with Halloween just around the corner, many like to visit the Whaley House Museum in hopes of possibly seeing a ghost or two, he said. “While October/Halloween is a fun time of year to tour the Whaley House, and we dress the museum in traditional Victorian mourning complete with casket in the parlor and our focus is more on the ghostly legends of the house, the hauntings seem to happen throughout the year, both morning and night. Sometimes these occur when one is alone and other times whole groups have witnessed strange goings-on,” he said. If you’re wondering why someone would want to visit the famous home/now museum, there are a few reasons, he said. “It has been said that the Whaley House contains more history within its walls than any other building in the city, and I believe that is likely true. So, anyone interested in history or heritage tourism will find the museum a fascinating look at 19th-century San Diego,” he said. “The museum is furnished with period furnishings and artifacts, many of which belonged to the Whaley family. Also, people who are interested in the paranormal or fans of any of the many television shows that have filmed here will want to see it in person. While no one can guarantee a ghost will materialize at any time, there is always the chance of an encounter. The Whaley House offers both history and mystery to its visitors.” FACT OR FICTION While the story of the Whaley House is a fascinating one, some of the most famous legends surrounding it simply are not true, Glass added. One of these involves the little Washburn girl who was supposedly killed in the backyard when she ran into a low-hanging clothesline — never happened. Nor was anyone hanged from the pepper trees in the side yard; these trees were planted by the Whaleys long after anyone was hanged on the property, and the hangings occurred on gallows that stood beneath the footprint of the house, Glass said. “Also, daughter Violet Whaley’s husband George, while far from a perfect gentleman, was not quite the cad he is made out to be and did not abandon Violet on their honeymoon as has been reported,” he said. For Halloween, Glass said there will be extended nighttime hours the last week of October and will stay open until midnight on Oct. 25, 26 and 31. “The house will be dressed in Victorian mourning as if someone has died. We also light the house using historic oil lamps to give it an authentic, and extra creepy, atmosphere,” he said. POPULAR MUSEUM A private home for decades, the Whaley House opened as a historic house museum in May of 1960 and has been operated by SOHO since 2000. Since then, SOHO has been in the process of restoring the house to its appearance of the focus period of 1868-72, when the general store, courtroom, and theater were present. The restoration is on-going, and SOHO is currently working on restoring the guest-chamber with period design carpet and wallpaper, according to Glass. Thomas Whaley and his immediate family might be gone, but there is some family still living. “Yes, and we are in touch with a few of them,” Glass said. “They do not seem to like the attention of being associated with the Whaley House, so we like to let them have their privacy. “The Whaleys’ great-great-grandson donated a collection of furniture, artifacts, journals, letters, and photographs of the Whaley family to us several years ago. Many of the furnishings have been returned to the museum; photos, letters, and journals were very helpful in compiling our book ‘The History & Mystery of the Whaley House,’” Glass said. WHALEY HOUSE MUSEUM Where: 2476 San Diego Ave. Tours: Arrive at least 30 minutes before closing to allow enough time to tour the house. All tours are self-guided, but docents are always available to answer questions and provide additional information. No advance reservations are necessary for groups of less than 12. Info: whaleyhouse.org, 619-297-7511.
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    donna albert
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    October 20, 2019
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    Halloween in Pacific Beach – a haunted house, bay cruise, and pub crawl
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Oct 19, 2019 | 6608 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Diamond Haunted house is located at 2176 Diamond St. and will run from 6-10 p.m. on Halloween. This all-ages haunted house is free, but donations will be accepted and given to Sessions Elementary. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
    The Diamond Haunted house is located at 2176 Diamond St. and will run from 6-10 p.m. on Halloween. This all-ages haunted house is free, but donations will be accepted and given to Sessions Elementary. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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    The beaches and bays of San Diego have no shortage of fun – and scary – things to do for Halloween. The unconventional celebration of things going bump in the night is observed in several countries on Oct. 31, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. It begins the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs and all the faithful departed. Many Halloween traditions likely originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain. DIAMOND HAUNTED HOUSE For a second year, a group of Kate Sessions Elementary families are hosting one of the hottest spots on Halloween night. Rob Christ always thought his (accidentally) black painted house looked a little creepy and decided to take advantage. “We got together with a bunch of our family and friends, including many kids that attend Kate Sessions Elementary, and decided to build a haunted maze for the kids and adults in the neighborhood. Our kids all love the idea and have been very helpful in building scenes and crafts to go in the maze," Christ said. The Diamond Haunted House is located at 2176 Diamond St. and will run from 6-10 p.m. on Halloween. This all-ages haunted house is free, but donations will be accepted and given to Kate Sessions Elementary. PRE-HALLOWEEN PUB CRAWL Come in costume to the Pacific Beach pre-Halloween pub crawl on Oct. 25 and receive drink and food discounts and entry at over 10 different bars and nightclubs. Pub crawl check-in is from 6 to 9 p.m. inside Moonshine Beach at 1165 Garnet Ave. Tickets are $30 each. Pub crawl tickets provide: a crawl map, drink, and food discounts at 10-plus bars and eateries, free bar and night club entry, free welcome shot tickets at select venues, and free entry to official Halloween pub crawl after-party. Participating bars and nightclubs include Baja Beach Cafe, Bubs At The Beach, Barrel Republic, Cabo Cantina, Duck Dive, Tap Room, The Local, Moonshine Beach, Tacos Mimi, Square Pizza, Open Bar, PB Cantina, Tavern at the Beach, The Dog, Waterbar, and 710 Beach Club. HALLOWEEN CRUISE ON MISSION BAY Celebrate Halloween Oct. 31 with a spooky party cruise on Mission Bay, with multiple floors of drink specials, live DJs, and lighted dance floors, accompanied by stunning views of the bay. The William D. Evans sternwheeler boat cruise boards at 8:30 p.m. at the Bahia Resort Hotel, 998 W. Mission Bay Drive. Come in costume and experience the festive cruise until it docks at midnight. Complimentary public parking is available at Ventura Cove. BELMONT PARK’S FALL FEST  Fall Fest takes place Friday through Sunday in October, from 5 p.m. to close, with a Halloween night party on Thursday, Oct. 31. Formerly known as BOOmont Park, Fall Fest allows guests to participate in month-long free trick-or-treating starting at 6:30 p.m. with thousands of treats distributed park-wide.  On Saturdays in October at 5:30 p.m. (5 p.m. sign-ups), park guests can participate in two free costume contests, with a chance to win big prizes in the open costume contest, as well as the new themed category costume contest with weekly dress-up themes. A family must have two costumed members, with one under 14 years old, to participate in an in-park costume contest. Other activities include a hay maze and encounters with roaming characters. On Thursday, Oct. 31, Draft South Mission at 3105 Ocean Front Walk will hold a 21-plus Halloween costume contest with a $500 cash prize. SEAWORLD’S HALLOWEEN SPOOKTACULAR Get in the spooky spirit and catch live shows like Clyde & Seamore’s Big Halloween Bash and the return of the Sesame Street Halloween Parade, which takes place every Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. through Oct. 27. Highlighted by two performances including trick-or-treating, and dressing in costume, this neighborhood Halloween parade features favorite friends including Elmo, Count von Count, Bert, Ernie, Abby Cadabby, Zoe, Cookie Monster, Rosita, Big Bird, and Telly. Enjoy Halloween activities and trick-or-treat for candy and goodies throughout the colorfully decorated park from 2:30 p.m. to close. 
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    Education Notebook: Future Bucs Night at Mission Bay High set for Oct. 18
    Oct 16, 2019 | 12539 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Jeryn Young and Evan Aguon were named homecoming queen and king at Mission Bay High’s homecoming dance last week.
    Jeryn Young and Evan Aguon were named homecoming queen and king at Mission Bay High’s homecoming dance last week.
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    For a second year, a group of Sessions’ families are hosting one of the hottest spots on Halloween night. Rob Christ always thought his (accidentally) black painted house looked a little creepy and decided to take advantage. “We got together with a bunch of our family and friends, including many kids that attend Kate Sessions Elementary School, and decided to build a haunted maze for the kids and adults in the neighborhood. Our kids all love the idea and have been very helpful in building scenes and crafts to go in the maze," Christ said. The Diamond Haunted house is located at 2176 Diamond St. and will run from 6-10 p.m. on Halloween. This all-ages haunted house is free, but donations will be accepted and given to Sessions Elementary. 
    For a second year, a group of Sessions’ families are hosting one of the hottest spots on Halloween night. Rob Christ always thought his (accidentally) black painted house looked a little creepy and decided to take advantage. “We got together with a bunch of our family and friends, including many kids that attend Kate Sessions Elementary School, and decided to build a haunted maze for the kids and adults in the neighborhood. Our kids all love the idea and have been very helpful in building scenes and crafts to go in the maze," Christ said. The Diamond Haunted house is located at 2176 Diamond St. and will run from 6-10 p.m. on Halloween. This all-ages haunted house is free, but donations will be accepted and given to Sessions Elementary. 
    slideshow
    Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School was represented by a team of teachers, parents, and Principal Aida Hernandez in the 10th annual San Diego International Dragon Boat Race at Mission Bay on Sept. 28.
    Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School was represented by a team of teachers, parents, and Principal Aida Hernandez in the 10th annual San Diego International Dragon Boat Race at Mission Bay on Sept. 28.
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    A big thank you to local restaurant Fig Tree Cafe (5119 Cass St.) and owner Johan Engman as they donated $1,000 in a ceremony attended by Engman, Principal Adam Carlin, and PTO president Rebecca Schmidgal. The money will be used to continue funding for enrichment programs at Kate Sessions Elementary. Support this local business and go in for a tasty brunch.
    A big thank you to local restaurant Fig Tree Cafe (5119 Cass St.) and owner Johan Engman as they donated $1,000 in a ceremony attended by Engman, Principal Adam Carlin, and PTO president Rebecca Schmidgal. The money will be used to continue funding for enrichment programs at Kate Sessions Elementary. Support this local business and go in for a tasty brunch.
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    Pacific Beach Elementary School students have been hard at work in the garden preparing for 2019-20 planting. Last year, the school was the winner of SDUSD’s Garden-to-Cafe contest with over 190 pounds harvested and enjoyed by all.
    Pacific Beach Elementary School students have been hard at work in the garden preparing for 2019-20 planting. Last year, the school was the winner of SDUSD’s Garden-to-Cafe contest with over 190 pounds harvested and enjoyed by all.
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    Mission Bay High Fifth annual Future Bucs Night is set for 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18 at MBHS stadium. Join this community event bringing all PB schools together to cheer on the Bucs football team. Elementary and middle schoolers will gather on the field for half-time activities and the little ones can join the cheer team for the first half of the game. Adults $7. Kids are free if wearing a Future Bucs T-shirt. Pacific Beach Middle Social isolation is the overwhelming feeling of being left out, lonely or treated like you are invisible. Young people who feel this way may pull away from society, struggle with learning and social development, or choose to hurt themselves or others. PBMS engaged in The Start with Hello Program enabling students to make a difference with their peers in a simple, fun, and impactful way by encouraging them to take small but powerful actions to promote connectedness and inclusion and to identify and help others who are showing signs of social isolation. PBMS spent a week in October bringing attention to the growing epidemic of social isolation and empowering students to create a culture of inclusion and connectedness. Pacific Beach Elementary The PBE Halloween Carnival is set for 2-5 p.m. Oct. 26. A big thank you to Freshii for donating delicious food for PBE's VFW parents' night out on Oct. 5.  PBE tours are going on now for the 2020-2021 school year. Contact the office at 858-488-8316. Kate Sessions Elementary The KSE annual Community Halloween Carnival will be held 2:10-5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25. Join friends and neighbors for fun booths, a cakewalk, a bake sale, and the fifth grade-run haunted house. This year it will be “Haunted PB” themed, with a spooky surf shop, scary Trader Joe’s, and more. Wristbands are available for $10 prior to the event, $13 at the gate. Open to the public. Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School was proudly represented at the San Diego International Dragon Boat Race at Mission Bay. Despite having only one hour of practice the evening before the official race, the Paddling Pandas came within one second of medaling in their first-ever competition. In the traditional art and sport of dragon boat racing, competitors test their strength and endurance as they row dragon-shaped vessels in teams. Barnard’s team of 16 rowers formed very quickly after a parent suggested it as a community-building activity. Many Barnard families came out to the event for a day of fun and to cheer on the Paddling Pandas. “The dragon boat race was a great experience for parents, teachers, and myself to bond and build a strong sense of togetherness and community,” said Barnard Principal Hernandez. “I look forward to many more dragon boat races!” Buoyed by their successful first outing, the Paddling Pandas plan to compete – and win a medal – in the San Diego Dragon Boat Festival in May 2020. Barnard’s fifth annual Writers Night will be held on Oct. 25, on the Mission Bay High School campus. This year’s theme is “Weaving Webs with Wicked Words.” For information on Barnard Mandarin Magnet Elementary School, or to find out about the District’s School Choice program, visit sandiegounified.org/barnard. The Choice application window for the 2020-2021 school year will open between Oct. 1 and Nov. 13 of this year. FOPBSS The next Friends of Pacific Beach Secondary Schools meeting will take place 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23 in the PBMS media center. FOPBSS needs your help to set all students and teachers up for success. You can show your support by donating to the annual contribution drive, one of the few opportunities to directly fund important programs at PBMS and MBHS. From field trips and teacher grants to campus improvements, the money helps make better schools. Visit fopbss.org/donate  to make either a one-time or monthly donation or drop off at PBMS or MBHS.
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    Mission Bay football gets back to winning on the gridiron
    by DAVE THOMAS
    Oct 16, 2019 | 1498 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Wide receiver Evan Aguon breaks free during the Bucs’ homecoming win over Clairemont. STEVE SIDELL / BEACH & BAY PRESS
    Wide receiver Evan Aguon breaks free during the Bucs’ homecoming win over Clairemont. STEVE SIDELL / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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    Mission Bay, under first-year head coach A.J. Vines, comes into action this week with a record of 4-3. According to Vines, key players to date have included senior slotback/corner Evan Aguon, sophomore Clash Orsborn (quarterback) and senior defensive back Cedel Gregory. In their most recent contest last Friday, the Bucs fell to San Diego High 18-0. The loss followed three straight wins over Clairemont, Mar Vista, and Mountain Empire, respectively. “Our season has been okay,” Vines said. “It’s been an up-and-down start but our boys have shown resilience all year. They are getting better every day and every single rep is the goal for the remainder of the season. “It’s a tough road that lies ahead of us the upcoming weeks and we have to be playing our best football to give us a chance. Focus on what it takes to be great, and not being great. Meaning, focusing on doing the little things it takes to be a great football team, and not focus on the end result,” Vines said. Mission Bay closes out its October slate of games by playing host to Patrick Henry on Oct. 18 and Kearny on Oct. 25, respectively. Games start at 6 p.m. The regular season concludes Nov. 1 with a visit to unbeaten Scripps Ranch High at 6:30 p.m.
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