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    Long-time Ocean Beach Mexican restaurant, Nati’s, sold
    Dec 14, 2017 | 5235 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Founded in 1960, Nati’s Mexican Restaurant has been a staple in the Ocean Beach community serving Mexican food and creating what’s known as 'The Nati’s Family.'
    Founded in 1960, Nati’s Mexican Restaurant has been a staple in the Ocean Beach community serving Mexican food and creating what’s known as 'The Nati’s Family.'
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    Founded in 1960, Nati’s Mexican Restaurant has been a staple in the Ocean Beach community serving Mexican food and creating what’s known as “The Nati’s Family.” After 57 years of operation, friends and owners Dennis Kerr and Marilyn Thomas have decided to pass the torch and sell the restaurant to an un-named buyer. Kerr and Thomas own the corporation that operates Nati’s, a landmark at the corner of Bacon Street and Niagara Avenue in Ocean Beach. Kerr and Thomas began working at Nati’s as teenagers. Kerr, now 72, has spent 55 years affiliated with Nati’s either as an employee, manager or owner. Thomas, who manages the daily operation, has been with the business nearly as long. This week, they announced the sale of the corporation. “The restaurant business is best suited for young, innovative and energetic people. Unfortunately, Marilyn and I no longer fall into that category,” said Kerr. “A new owner will bring new ideas and energy to the business. “It is our understanding that the business will close for about a month for some much-needed renovation and updating. Thereafter, the refreshed Nati’s will re-open with the original staff and serve the consistent, Sinaloan-style Mexican food that has made it a local’s favorite for the past nearly 60 years,” Kerr said. “Marilyn and I are very proud of the staff that has made Nati’s the icon it has become. Our present employees are hardworking, loyal and dedicated to quality food and service,” said Kerr. “We believe that those who want to, will be able to continue with the business. We are particularly thankful for those we have worked with over the years, but who are no longer with us: founders Vern and Charlene Lontz; head chef Luis Bedoya and, of course, Luisa Allen. Luisa and Bedoya were with Vern Lontz when he opened Nati’s in 1960.” “It is the multiple generations of loyal customers that have made Nati’s what is quite possibly the longest continuous operating restaurant in Ocean Beach, and possibly San Diego,” Thomas said. “Each year our customers vote us best restaurant in OB and support us with their continued and loyal patronage. We are grateful for their patronage and loyalty. Nati’s customers are the best!” The purchase of Nati’s Inc., includes the business known as Nati’s Mexican Food and the real estate, according to the brokerage firm The Franco Realty Group, headed by Tony Franco. Franco confirmed the new owner’s plan to temporarily close Nati’s to complete some remodeling and immediately re-open as the same Nati’s Mexican Food. The Franco Realty Group – with Tony Franco, and including Cody Wippel, Joe Medina and Joseph Rote – represented the buyer and seller. Nati’s has always supported the community with donations and contributions. The restaurant has been recognized as the longest, continuous supporter of teams of the Point Loma Little League. “This truly has been a once in a lifetime opportunity and an honor to represent such awesome people. The personalities involved in this transaction were by far the most easy going, which is suiting for doing this type of OB deal,” said Franco.   Nati’s has always supported the community with donations and contributions. The restaurant has been recognized as the longest, continuous supporter of teams of the Point Loma Little League.
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    Mission By Park Committee votes to keep golf course, add wetlands to De Anza Cove plan
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Dec 14, 2017 | 3385 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Mission Bay Park Committee voted Dec. 6 for a preferred alternative for the De Anza Revitalization Plan that pleased recreationalists but few others, especially not environmentalists who decried the decision as “token.” Overriding objections from environmentalists to delay rather than rush its choice, the park committee voted 5-3 in favor of “alternative 2,” which will now be forwarded for city environmental review.  “Unfortunately, the two concepts presented by the city were driven by misguided priorities that ultimately fail to reach the goals of the Mission Bay Park Master Plan,” said Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg of nonprofit San Diego Audubon. “It’s disappointing to watch the city push concepts that are not resilient to sea level rise, ignoring the inevitable. These concepts place the burden of responding to climate change on future generations, and miss the opportunity to prepare our region for shrinking coastlines.” To adequately protect wetlands in Mission Bay, Schwartz Lesberg said, the city would need to dedicate at least 200 acres — less than 5 percent of Mission Bay — to habitat. The preferred plan currently only has around 30 to 40 acres set aside for wetlands, increasing the less than 2 percent of wetlands in the bay to less than 3 percent.  The city’s Mission Bay Park Master Plan requires wetlands restoration and improvements aimed at protecting those marsh areas, Schwartz Lesberg noted. She said the alternative selected “Does very little to correct the bay-wide imbalance that has for decades favored commerce and recreation at the expense of the environment.” A regional park, Mission Bay has a city-owned, 18-hole golf course as well as ball fields and tennis and volleyball courts. It includes dog-friendly, off-leash Fiesta Island. The park is home to a myriad of aquatic interests — boating, swimming, kayaking, etc. There is also lodging at Campland on the Bay, which provides RV and tent camping. Recreationalists were generally pleased by the committee’s selection of alternative 2, which spares the 50-plus year-old Mission Bay Golf Course. Some wanted the golf course downsized or eliminated altogether, arguing it took up too much park space and that it has been operating at a deficit for years. The preferred plan, alternative 2, allows for 38 acres of wetland. A total of 40 acres are also set aside for “guest housing.” The plan also considers creation of ball fields and a restaurant, while providing beach access for water sports that don’t rely on combustible engines. The fate of Campland on the Bay, whose supporters testified at the Dec. 6 park committee meeting that their families have enjoyed the camp for as many as three generations, remains uncertain. Approximately 80 percent of Campland’s visitors are San Diegans. Campland presently pays about $3 million in transit occupancy taxes and rent. Jacob Gelfand, vice president of operations at Campland on the Bay, said it would be a mistake to ignore the importance of lodging in planning for De Anza Cove. “Campland has been a beloved local asset, coming up on 50 years,” Gelfand said. “Any plan the city puts forward should reflect the community’s need for continuing waterfront camping access.” Said Gelfand: “There’s been a lot written in the media about perceived conflict between camping and other potential uses. For the last 50 years, Campland has been a dedicated environmental steward and neighbor to the Kendall-Frost Marsh. A lot of our campsites overlook the wetlands marsh, and there really is a symbiotic relationship between the marsh and the camp, with a lot of our tenants requesting sites with views of the marsh so they can reconnect with the natural environment.” ReWild Mission Bay is a project of San Diego Audubon to enhance and restore up to 170 acres of wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay. Wetlands including marshes, mud flats and riverbanks, which are instrumental in attracting wildlife, fostering a diverse ecosystem, improving water quality and protecting communities from flooding by providing a cushion during high tides.  Today, only about 1 percent of the historic 4,500 acres of Mission Bay wetlands remain, which leads environmentalists to conclude that ReWild Mission Bay is a critical and time-sensitive project for the area. “Both of the De Anza Revitalization plans reconnect Kendall-Frost Marsh with Rose Creek, which will help the remaining 40 acres of wetlands survive,” said Schwartz Lesberg previously. “What is missing from both alternatives is the long-term view to ensure wetlands can continue to create cleaner water, buffer communities from sea-level rise, provide habitat for wildlife, and get people out in nature. If they (wetlands) disappear — so do those services.”
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    Home for the holidays – Dewey Elementary students reunite with their mom
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    Dec 11, 2017 | 9487 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a good look at her daughter Jordan Hall, a third-grader at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a good look at her daughter Jordan Hall, a third-grader at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a a hug from her daughter Taylor Hall, a kindergartner at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a a hug from her daughter Taylor Hall, a kindergartner at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall hugs her daughters Taylor and Jordan Hall, students at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall hugs her daughters Taylor and Jordan Hall, students at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    In an effort to thank those who serve the country year round, the San Diego Unified School District launched the inaugural “Military Holiday Card Drive” this week and held a holiday homecoming for two students at Dewey Elementary, who were surprised by their mom returning from a Navy deployment. The school also held the San Diego Unified True Blue Buddies “Military Student Bike Giveaway” where Santa flew in on a helicopter and then rolled out new bicycles for students. But prior to St. Nick’s arrival, third-grader Jordan Hall and kindergartner Taylor Hall received their Christmas presents early, as their mom, Melissa Hall, walked out of a classroom and into the courtyard where the students were gathered for the bike giveaway. Deployed on the U.S.S Pinckney since June, and not expected back until after the holidays, Yeoman-2nd Class Hall stepped into the sunlight and then sunk to her knees to envelope her daughters in hugs, kisses and joy. “It was a rush of emotions,” Hall said. “I haven’t seen them in six months. I don’t always get to connect with them while deployed.” Hall, who found out about the plan in August, worried she would ruin the surprise. “But everything went great. It’s so exciting to be home for the holidays. I guess we’re going to go decorate the house for Christmas,” said Hall, who lives at Naval Base Point Loma. Throughout the year, San Diego Unified assures military families that their children will receive an education by providing them with a variety of resources and services catered to their unique needs. Almost every school within the district services a child whose parent or guardian is serving or has served in the armed forces. The district offers military families services that help match them with similar educational programs they were enrolled in previously, as well as introductions to local military liaisons that can help with any issues or resources they may need. All district schools have military-friendly environments with programs, teachers and counselors trained to aid in the transition and adaptation of their incoming and outgoing military families. San Diego Unified services the largest number of military-connected students in the state of California. Overall, San Diego Unified serves more than 13,000 military-connected children and six military bases within district boundaries. To participate in the Military Holiday Card Drive, drop off signed holiday cards at San Diego Unified’s Central office (main lobby) at 4100 Normal St. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, Dec. 15 (before noon). As a thank you, those who donate a holiday card on Wednesday, Dec. 13 will receive a free ticket to the San Diego symphony’s holiday concert “Noel, Noel” on Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall (while supplies last).
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    Hot Cocoa for a Cure to benefit boating accident victim
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Dec 09, 2017 | 5756 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Ybarra family's charity fundraiser started out small with their two daughters setting up a card table in front of their house.
    The Ybarra family's charity fundraiser started out small with their two daughters setting up a card table in front of their house.
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    A boating-accident victim will be the recipient this year of a yuletide hot cocoa charity fundraiser begun nearly 20 years ago by a Point Loma family benefiting needy neighbors. The 18th annual charity fundraiser Hot Cocoa for a Cure will take place 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Freitas residence, 3616 Garrison St. More than 1,000 cups of hot chocolates and scrumptious baked goodies will be sold and dispensed. “This year’s event is to help Ron Schoors, who lost his arm in a boating accident this summer, and is now in need of a prosthesis,” said Kyle Ybarra who, along with wife Carrie, are continuing their family's annual giving tradition begun by their now-grown daughter almost 20 years ago. After several surgeries, Schoors continues to recover from his boating accident. He was out in San Diego Bay when a wave rocked his boat and knocked him into the water. The empty boat started to spin out of control and ran him over while he was underwater. The boat's propeller caught his arm, leaving it seriously injured. He also broke his leg. The Coast Guard rescued Schoors out of the water. They got the boat under control after Schoors' friend hit it with his own boat to stop its momentum. The Schoors' family has set up a Go Fund Me page to help defray Ron's medical expenses. Past hot chocolate fundraiser recipients have included a victim of domestic violence, a child with brain cancer, a boy who was shot and survived, a juvenile diabetes sufferer and many others in need. Kyle Ybarra noted Schoors is unquestionably deserving of being this year's fundraiser recipient. “His leg was severely broken in multiple places, and his right arm was so damaged, he ended up losing it,” Ybarra said, noting it's hoped proceeds from the annual charitable fundraiser “will be enough to get him his prosthetic arm.” Of the origin of the hot cocoa fundraiser, Kyle Ybarra, said: “When my daughter, now 24, was 6 years old, she and her three best friends set up a small little hot chocolate stand to benefit a young girl in Tijuana they knew who was going to have surgery. They raised about $80 and took that money and bought the girl a Barbie doll and took it to her hospital room. It's (fundraiser's) grown larger and larger ever since.” Carrie Ybarra said her family's charity fundraiser started out small with her two daughters setting up a card table in front of their house, adding, “Now it's turned into a community event where people not only donate, but help run it. It’s amazing.” Carrie Ybarra noted there will be something else special, too, about this year's chocolate fundraiser.  “This year, the San Diego Padres have generously offered to help support this cause,” she said. Kyle Ybarra added there have now been 18 different fundraiser recipients over the years, as an institution, Rady Children's Hospital, was a recipient one year. He added some recipients have benefitted more than once. The public is encouraged to come out for hot cocoa, delicious treats, music and an appearance by Santa, as well as the San Diego Padres Pad Squad and Friar. To donate directly to Ron, a fundraiser page was set up for him: http://bit.ly/2A3Inu4. Hot Cocoa for a Cure Where: 3616 Garrison St. When: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. Donate: To donate directly to Ron Schoors, visit http://bit.ly/2A3Inu4.
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    Ocean Beach and Point Loma community briefs
    Dec 09, 2017 | 634 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A couple pups ready for the OB Holiday Parade on Dec. 2. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A couple pups ready for the OB Holiday Parade on Dec. 2. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Holiday Musical Magic Point Loma Playhouse will present the national award-winning Sun Harbor Chorus for an evening of "Holiday Musical Magic" 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec 9. The 20 members of the Sun Harbor Chorus will perform family favorites in four-part a cappella harmony. Founded in 1946, the Sun Harbor Chorus has entertained thousands around the world for the past 70 years. The Point Loma Playhouse is located at 3035 Talbot St. Visit pointlomaplayhouse.com for information. Santa Claus to visit Point Loma Village Point Loma Village boutiques, See/Saw and Good Dog Pet Outfitters, and event space, Wee Gather, teamed up to throw a family-friendly party at 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 on the corner of Cañon and Rosecrans streets. Attendees that arrive early may catch Santa Claus arriving from the North Pole and entering Wee Gather with a “Ho, Ho, Ho!” Tickets will be available to purchase for photos with Santa. The Holiday Stroll on Cañon Street presents an alternative shopping option to big-box chains and retail giants. Nothing says “Happy Holidays,” like supporting local businesses while mingling with neighbors.  Book drive After finding out that Cabrillo Elementary School needed basic school supplies, Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot St., provided funding for items on teachers’ wish lists. Now, the organization is soliciting the help of the community to support the school’s reading program. The school is accepting donations of new and gently used books for the library, and as gifts for the students. You can find a list of authors and subject matter at pointlomaassembly.org.  While you are welcome to bring books from your own collection or shop at any retailer, you can also shop at book drive partner La Playa Books, 1026 Rosecrans St., which has created a special display from the school’s wish list. The books will be presented to Cabrillo Elementary school librarian Virginia Stokely on Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. Pet adoptions OB Surf Lodge, at 5083 Santa Monica Blvd., will hold a pet adoption event 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec 17. Peninsula Singers holiday show set for Dec. 8 Peninsula Singers will present “Glad Tidings, A Holiday Concert” 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 at All Souls Episcopal Church, 1475 Catalina Blvd. Repertoire will include a blend of old-style carols, newer selections and classical holiday favorites. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students, seniors and military. Children age 10 and under may attend for free. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit peninsulasingerssandiego.org. All Souls’ to present ‘A Christmas Carol’ All Souls’ Episcopal Church, at 1475 Catalina Blvd., will present an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 9 and 10. The two-man play has been adapted for the stage and is directed by Patricia Lynch. It features W. William Cobb as Ebenezer Scrooge and Raymond Lynch as a dozen other characters.   Performances of “A Christmas Carol” will be in Gooden Hall on the All Souls’ campus, located at the corner of Catalina and Chatsworth, in Point Loma. Performances begin at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9, and 2 p.m. on Dec. 10. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets may be purchased at allsoulspointloma.org. Santa Run and PB Holiday Parade Pacific Beach will be very merry indeed on Dec. 9, as more than 3,000 Santas take over Garnet Avenue for the fifth annual San Diego Santa Run, starting at 10 a.m. Hosted by High Performance Movement, the event consists of a series of waves, including a 5K Fun Run and one-mile runs that feature the Santa’s Little Helper Mile, the Santa’s Elves Mile (for kids) and the Speedy Mile (for competitive Santas). Following the Santa Run, the Pacific Beach Holiday Parade begins at 1 p.m. on Garnet Avenue. beginning at 1 p.m. Become a docent This is your opportunity to become a docent volunteer at the top-ranked maritime museum in North America. As a docent you will engage with museum visitors, fielding their questions and sharing your knowledge to enrich their experience. Training is carried out in a series of lectures, suggested readings and walking tours. Why not join other aspiring docents aboard the Berkeley ferryboat for the series of lectures and ship tours beginning on Monday, Jan. 8? To obtain more information about the docent training program contact training coordinator Jim Cassidy at 661-406-0605 or at jimdcass@aol.com. Santa Run and Holiday Parade Pacific Beach will be very merry indeed on Dec. 9, as more than 3,000 Santas take over Garnet Avenue for the fifth annual San Diego Santa Run, starting at 10 a.m. Hosted by High Performance Movement, the event consists of a series of waves, including a 5K Fun Run and one-mile runs that feature the Santa’s Little Helper Mile (for the festive pup), the Santa’s Elves Mile (for kids) and the Speedy Mile (for competitive Santas). Throughout the course, runners donning “Sunny Santa Suits" — complete with white beards, Santa hats and sunglasses — will get in the spirit as holiday music is performed live on corners along the route. Following the Santa Run, participants are invited to stick around for the 38th annual Pacific Beach Holiday Parade, down Garnet Avenue, beginning at 1 p.m. The parade is funded, in part, by revenue generated through the Santa Run and other events put on by High Performance Movement. To register and for more information, visit www.sandiegosantarun.com. Holiday travel tips Holiday travel can be notoriously stressful – unexpected weather delays, lost luggage, long layovers – but it doesn’t have to be. To help, Lyft San Diego pulled some data from last year to show the busiest days/times for airport rides to help travelers plan ahead. Based on the findings: Busiest pickup dates/times from the San Diego International Airport (in descending order by ride volume):  1. ) Day after Christmas (8 p.m. to 1 a.m.); 2. ) Second day after Christmas (8 p.m. to midnight). Busiest drop-off dates/times at the San Diego International Airport:  1. ) Friday before Christmas (4 to 7 a.m.); 2. ) Thursday before Christmas (4 to 7 a.m.). “As expected, there are certain days, like the Sunday after Thanksgiving, that are traditionally packed days at the airport,” Lyft San Diego market manager Hao Meng said. “However, the data also shows us that people want to try and spend as much time with their families as possible, getting to the airport early mornings prior to the holiday and returning late evening on the last day possible before work or even the morning of work.” OB photo contest The Ocean Beach Town Council has started a "Share Your OB" photo contest. To enter just tag your best photos of OB with #shareyourOB and post on Instagram or Facebook. Winner receives bragging rights and is entered in a monthly drawing for some cool swag. Each Saturday, a new winner will be announced. So get out there and #shareyourOB.
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