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    Hodad’s just got better – iconic eatery adds its own craft brews
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 19, 2018 | 3559 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The brewery is on Aero Drive in Kearny Mesa.
    The brewery is on Aero Drive in Kearny Mesa.
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    Hodad’s, one of the most popular burger joints in San Diego, is delving into something new: craft-beer brewing. The iconic Ocean Beach restaurant at 5010 Newport Ave., whose name is derived from the 1950’s beach term for surfer wannabes and claims to have the “world’s best burger,” announced on Nov. 11 its latest venture into craft brewing. Those new brews are now available at all Hodad’s locations including Ocean Beach, downtown at 945 Broadway Ave., and in its locations in Petco Park during Padres games. Jeremy Diem, Hodad’s president/CEO, said the crafting concept has been brewing for a couple of years. He said Hodad’s hops is the brainchild of an employee, cook Marlow Myrmo, who had been home-brewing. “[Myrmo] came up to me and owner Shane Hardin and asked if we wanted to try some of his beer,” Diem said. “We said, ‘You bet.’ Once we’d had some we said, ‘Damn, this is good.’” Diem quipped that after tossing back a couple more of Myrmo’s best, the idea of creating their own brewskis became even more attractive. “Who doesn’t love a burger and a beer?” he asked. Then came a search for a proper brewing venue. Hodad’s existing locations are way too small to house the huge vats required, but a perfect spot was finally found on Aero Drive off Ruffin Road in Kearny Mesa. “The landlord gave us a great deal,” said Diem, adding Hodad’s has also successfully negotiated a deal with the Sycuan Indian Reservation, to have brewery outlets incorporated into the tribe’s planned $230 million expansion of its existing East County hotel and casino. Diem said there are no plans at present for tasting rooms, just to have Hodad’s brews sold in its own restaurant outlets. Begun in 1969, Hodad’s, originally located on the beach at the end of Santa Monica Avenue, was purchased, both business and name, by Byron and Virginia Hardin. In 1991, after several moves, Hodad’s opened at its present location on Newport Avenue in the heart of Ocean Beach.  Two other locations, at 10th and Broadway in downtown San Diego and seasonally inside Petco Park, were opened later by burger legend Mike (Bossman) Hardin, who was known for having his moniker tattooed on his knuckles.  “Part of our success is that people see how genuine it is,” Bossman told the Peninsula Beacon in a feature story about the secret of his burger’s success. He counseled, “Do not ever squeeze the hamburger patty (containing all the flavorful juices). … “Most people put the patty on the bottom and all the fixings on top: That’s upside down. … “The way to do it is to put [fixings] on the bottom with the last thing being the shredded lettuce, and then you let all the  juices from the burger go down through the lettuce to flavor everything.” Bossman died of a heart attack in 2015 and the family business was passed down to his son, Shane. The unofficial “Mayor of Ocean Beach,” Bossman was memorialized at a celebration of life at Petco Park’s Park in the Park.
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    Shop local: Small Business Saturday in Pacific Beach on Nov. 24
    Nov 18, 2018 | 6623 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Pacific Beach is observing Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24 this year in a big way. “Here at Discover PB we use Shop Small Saturday to launch our Shop Small for the Holidays Campaign to promote all of the great retailers and businesses we have right here in Pacific Beach,” said Sara Berns, executive director of Discover PB. “Our Shop Small for the Holidays campaign includes an intense marketing campaign via our social media and a variety of events.” Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday, which is part of a national campaign sponsored by American Express that takes place every year the Saturday following Thanksgiving.  The special day was first observed in the United States on Nov. 27, 2010. It is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores, respectively. By contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize brick-and-mortar businesses that are small and local. Berns said Small Business Saturday is important for a variety of reasons. “It is so important all year, but especially this time of year before we head into our traditionally slow season to support local retailers in order for them to survive and thrive,” Berns said. “We have great gift ideas at places like Gallery at Land’s End hand crafted by local artisans, and Pangea for unique items, but also thinking outside the box. “What about a gift card for an oil change from a local mechanic or pay in advance at a loved ones hair salon? There are so many ideas for thoughtful gifts right here in our own community. It is estimated that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in the local economy, as opposed to $43 if spent at a non-local business,” Berns said. According to the federal Small Business Administration, small businesses, so-called “mom and pops,” defined in the United States as having fewer than 25 full-time employees with annual wages below $50,000, employ more than half our nation's working class. Berns said Discover PB will also have opportunities for businesses to promote themselves by purchasing a wreath at the their offices at 1503 Garnet Ave. to decorate/brand, which will hang on Crystal Pier throughout December. Discover PB will also be printing Shop Small Discount cards with local deals around the neighborhood.   For information on all Discover PB holiday events, check out pacificbeach.org.
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    New exhibition at Birch Aquarium strives to save seadragons 
    Nov 17, 2018 | 12739 views | 1 1 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A leafy seadragon. / Photo by Erik Jepsen
    A leafy seadragon. / Photo by Erik Jepsen
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    The exhibition, which has yet to be named, will be home to Weedy and Leafy Seadragons, as well as several species of seahorses and pipefish. 
    The exhibition, which has yet to be named, will be home to Weedy and Leafy Seadragons, as well as several species of seahorses and pipefish. 
    slideshow
    Next summer Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego is launching a new permanent exhibition that brings seadragon conservation to the forefront. The exhibition, which has yet to be named, will be home to Weedy and Leafy Seadragons, as well as several species of seahorses and pipefish.  The centerpiece of the exhibition will be one of the most expansive seadragon habitats in the world. The 18-foot-wide, 9-foot-tall exhibit will hold 5,375 gallons of water — thats 70 bathtubs. More than being a stunning display, the habitat has been designed to create the ideal environment to breed Leafy Seadragons, something that has never been done in captivity before.  “We have had great success propagating seahorses for more than 20 years, but Leafy Seadragons have never been bred in an aquarium environment,” said Jennifer Nero Moffatt, the aquarium’s senior director of animal care, science and conservation. “The life history of seadragons is somewhat similar to their seahorse relatives, but a lot is still being learned,” Moffatt continued. “Seadragons in courtship can be seen mirroring one another, nodding and nudging one another and gracefully swimming to the surface where egg transfer can occur. We have designed an environment that allows for the depth, the exercise, the social and behavioral requirements we feel will promote the best possibility of a successful egg transfer,” Moffatt said. From an expanded seahorse nursery to a hands-on camouflage experience for young learners, and a sneak peek into the behind-the-scenes Seadragon Lab, the exhibition will immerse aquarium guests into the underwater lives of seahorses and seadragons, while giving them a peek into the work Birch Aquarium’s world-class Husbandry Team is doing to ensure that these species survive into the future.  The husbandry of these species is increasingly vital due to the impacts of climate change, warming oceans, and illegal collection of wild populations, whose numbers are still widely unknown. Joining as partners with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Birch Aquarium’s seahorse and seadragon conservation efforts are part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperatively managed program that oversees the population management of select species within AZA member institutions and enhances conservation of species in the wild. Each SSP Program coordinates the individual activities of participating member institutions through a variety of species conservation, research, husbandry, management, and educational initiatives. “Investment in the protection, conservation and breeding of critical species is essential for their survival. We are thrilled to be able to support these beautiful and charismatic fish,” said Moffatt. “They are ambassadors for the oceans and help to communicate to our guests the need for protection and conservation programs, like ours.” This exhibition is made possible by donations from the community. Additional opportunities to support this groundbreaking exhibition are still available. Those interested in giving may contact Katarina Trojnar at ktrojnar@ucsd.edu or 858-534-1966. Slated to open shortly before Memorial Day, the new seadragon exhibition will replace The Infinity Cube installation, as well as There’s Something About Seahorses, which opened in 2009. It will be the fourth major exhibition Birch Aquarium has opened in three years and the largest indoor aquarium addition since the grand opening in 1992.  Once open, the seadragon exhibition will be included in the cost of Birch Aquarium admission, which is $19.50 for adults, $15 for children (3-17). Annual memberships are also available. For more information, visit aquarium.ucsd.edu. 
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    Ecotourism expert shares vision for reinvigorating Mission Bay Park
    Nov 16, 2018 | 5923 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Boaters, standup paddle boarders and bicyclists take advantage of a beautiful fall day at Mission Bay.
THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
    Boaters, standup paddle boarders and bicyclists take advantage of a beautiful fall day at Mission Bay. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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    Ecotourism specialist Andy Drumm says San Diego’s Mission Bay Park has stagnated. At a recent Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 (C-3) breakfast event, he presented a case for turning to an ecotourism model to reinvigorate it. Ecotourism is defined by the International Ecotourism Society as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserve the environment and improve the well-being of local people.” “The biggest growth segment in tourism is the nature-focused category,” says Drumm, Drumm referenced Butler’s Tourism Area Life Cycle to explain the evolution of a nature-based tourist destination, which includes exploration, involvement, development, consolidation and then stagnation. At this point, the quality and popularity of a destination will decline without a sustainable, ecotourism makeover. In addition to maintaining and nurturing natural resources, Drumm says ecotourism is better for the economy. Lowering volume and density, monitoring and managing impacts and encouraging more local input leads to a higher income multiplier, higher tourist spending and a higher ratio of jobs per tourist. Simply put, ecotourists spend more than conventional tourists. To capture this segment of the tourism market, however, Mission Bay Park needs help. “Failing to capture the economic value of ecosystem services often leads to the degradation of natural resources,” says Drumm. He warned the audience against letting Mission Bay Park go the way of a small fishing village in India’s Kerala State, where tourism collapsed after environmental degradation took hold, as was the case for Italy’s Adriatic coast and Germany’s Black Forest. Perhaps the most serious danger, he says, is a lack of understanding of the benefits of biodiversity. Among his many suggestions for Mission Bay Park were to protect and restore areas of biodiversity (resilience, shoreline protection, water purification, ecotourism value, etc.) and improve the quality of the visitor experience to include environmental interpretation and monitoring. “Bringing about rejuvenation for Mission Bay Park also requires the public and private sectors working together,” says Drumm.    Among his directives for the private sector were improving relations with park management to ensure fulfillment of environmental values; participating in the design, construction and operational phases of development; and developing strategic alliances and business partnerships among recreational businesses and nature-focused, sustainable-ecosystem-model organizations. It is up to the public sector, he says, to promote awareness of the critical role of biodiversity and ecosystem services in maintaining and enlarging tourism’s contribution to economic development; create zones to distinguish between natural areas and more traditional recreational areas; and to develop a comprehensive park tourism plan with multi-stakeholder involvement, among many other crucial tasks. C-3 organized a lunch with Mission Bay stakeholders as a follow up to the breakfast and plans to continue promoting ecotourism and comprehensive planning in the area. Founded in 1961, C-3’s mission is to advocate, educate and develop solutions for maintaining high standards of environmental quality, physical design, economic benefit and social progress. C-3 gathers and disseminates information, facilitates civic dialogue and encourages well-thought-out opinions. Its founders said the overall goal is to make San Diego a “handsome community.”  
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    City’s preliminary plans underway to improve Capehart Dog Park in PB
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 15, 2018 | 5442 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The off-leash Capehart Dog Park at 4747 Soledad Mountain Road needs a lot of improvements. / DAVE SCHWAB / BEACH & BAY PRESS
    The off-leash Capehart Dog Park at 4747 Soledad Mountain Road needs a lot of improvements. / DAVE SCHWAB / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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    Dog lovers in Pacific Beach take heart. Long sought-after repairs to Capehart Dog Park are being reconsidered. But it could take time – and considerable dollars.   A recently released preliminary estimate of costs for improving both the large- and small-dog areas of Capehart at 4747 Soledad Mountain Road were pegged by the City at about $612,000. “The City is in the preliminary stages of developing a potential project scope for improvements to Capehart Dog Park,” said City spokesman Tim Graham. “The community is very interested in having the area improved, and we’ve been working with Marcella Bothwell to find a design that will meet the community’s wishes.” Bothwell, a physician, community volunteer and San Diego Park and Recreation Board member who owns four dogs, said improvements to the popular dog park near the PB-La Jolla border are long overdue.  “The community recognizes the need for creating more dog parks, and for maintenance of the dog parks that we have,” said Bothwell, noting the City’s preliminary plan is “reasonable, but very expensive.” Bothwell said improving Capehart must go through the Public Works Department. “It’s a capital improvement project,” she said. “The plan is currently unfunded,” pointed out Graham, adding, “Unfortunately, at this particular time, it’s a little early to provide an update that has concrete next steps.” It's been a dozen years since Capehart won out over Kate Sessions to become Pacific Beach’s only off-leash dog park. But due to continuing drought conditions and watering restrictions, as well as heavy usage by dogs large and small, Capehart's two separate fenced-in areas have both been almost completely denuded of turf. And the dog park suffers from erosion and other issues. “The major problem is the large dog park,” said Bothwell. “It was never graded properly. So now, when it rains, water runoff goes down and you lose all the topsoil in the large dog area which has a huge drainage problem.” There is another big problem. “It’s going to cost as much to repair [Capehart] as it cost to put it in in the first place in 2006,” said Bothwell, who has stepped up to guide Capehart improvements. Preliminary work for dog-park improvements was originally spearheaded by beach-area residents Ron McChesney and Chris Cott, who formed Friends of Capehart Off-Leash Small Dog Park, as well as starting a GoFundMe fundraiser to re-sod Capehart. A new plan overview prepared for Capehart improvements points out updates are necessary for dog health and safety, ADA improvements and the safety and comfort of residents who use the park. “The goal is to have an approved ‘Master Improvement Plan’ containing a list of ‘agreed to projects’ that can be finalized as there is funding and resources available,” the new Capehart preliminary plan states, adding, “The plan will be posted at the park, linked to the Pacific Beach Town Council website and a Capehart Dog Park ‘email list.’”  Bothwell added a GoFundMe account will be put in place for donations toward City-approved projects listed.  “This effort is being coordinated through the Pacific Beach Town Council, and they have provided us with guidance, connections, and a non-profit/tax-deductible fundraising vehicle on their website to perform some of the work,” said Bothwell. “It is planned that this will be a public/private partnership between the City of San Diego, San Diego Parks and Recreation, the Capehart Dog Park (a subcommittee within the Pacific Beach Town Council) and patrons of the park,” Bothwell said. Bothwell added recognition signage will be evaluated for large Capehart Park-improvement donors. The Capehart link to the town council is at pbtowncouncil.org/about/capehart-dog-park/.
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