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    Star of India sails for first time in five years
    Nov 21, 2018 | 2616 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Star of India heads back into San Diego Bay on Saturday afternoon after sailing around the Point. /  PHOTO BY CHRIS MANNERINO
    The Star of India heads back into San Diego Bay on Saturday afternoon after sailing around the Point. / PHOTO BY CHRIS MANNERINO
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    The San Salvador replica fires its canon as it and the Star of India sail back into San Diego Bay on Saturday. / PHOTO BY CHRIS MANNERINO
    The San Salvador replica fires its canon as it and the Star of India sail back into San Diego Bay on Saturday. / PHOTO BY CHRIS MANNERINO
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    Star of India set sail from its berth at Maritime Museum of San Diego last weekend to cruise out around the Point and into the Pacific Ocean. Hundreds of onlookers lined Shelter Island, Harbor Island and Cabrillo National Monument to watch the world’s oldest active sailing ship maneuver through the Bay. Star of India, built in 1863, has circumnavigated the globe 21 times, but last weekend, it set sail for the first time in five years. Last Saturday and Sunday, with cooperating winds, San Diegans and visitors gathered on the shorelines of Shelter and Harbor islands to watch Star of India move through San Diego Bay until reaching a position two to three miles west of Point Loma. At that juncture, Star of India proceeded under sail and performed maneuvers. To add to the onlooker’s excitement (and photo opportunities), the Californian, America, and San Salvador sailed in close company with Star of India as it cruised back into San Diego Bay both days. Star of India first came to the City of San Diego in 1927. It was not until 1951 when Maritime Museum of San Diego made long-awaited historical renovations to the vessel, originally named Euterpe, after the Greek goddess of music and poetry. Star of India relies on Maritime Museum of San Diego volunteers and staff for her upkeep. Star of India is the oldest iron-hulled merchant ship still afloat. She was launched as the fully-rigged ship Euterpe at Ramsey Shipyard on the Isle of Man in 1863. Euterpe began her working life with two near-disastrous voyages to India. On her first trip, she suffered a collision and a mutiny. On her second, a cyclone caught Euterpe in the Bay of Bengal, and with her topmasts cut away, she barely made port. Shortly afterward, her first captain died on board and was buried at sea. After such misfortunes, Euterpe would eventually make four more voyages to India as a cargo ship. In 1871 she was purchased by the Shaw Savill line of London and for the next quarter century she transported hundreds of emigrants to New Zealand and Australia. During this period, she made twenty-one circumnavigations. It was rugged voyaging, with the little iron ship battling through terrific gales, “laboring and rolling in a most distressing manner,” according to her log. With the opening of the Suez Canal, and sail giving way to steam power, Euterpe would eventually be sold to the Alaska Packers Association. In 1901, her new owners changed her rig to that of a bark (her present configuration). By the time of her retirement in 1923, she had made 22 voyages from San Francisco to Alaska, returning each year with her hold laden with canned salmon. In 1926, Star of India was sold to the Zoological Society of San Diego as the projected centerpiece for an aquarium and museum. The Great Depression and World War II saw these proposals languish from lack of funding. Eventually in the late 1950s and early 1960s, thanks to a groundswell of support from local San Diegans, Star of India was restored to sailing condition. In 1976, she set sail once again. Her preservation continues as a living reminder of the great Age of Sail, thanks to the tireless efforts of curators and volunteers at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
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    New exhibition at Birch Aquarium strives to save seadragons 
    Nov 17, 2018 | 14693 views | 1 1 comments | 11 11 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. 
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    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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    La Jolla news and community briefs
    Nov 16, 2018 | 3189 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Members of San Diego-based running and social organization, the November Project, start out their ‘Tour de Cove’ honoring veterans. / NOVEMBER PROJECT SD
    Members of San Diego-based running and social organization, the November Project, start out their ‘Tour de Cove’ honoring veterans. / NOVEMBER PROJECT SD
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    La Jolla restaurateur charged with sexual assault gets trial date for next May A judge set a trial date of May 14, 2019, for Daniel Dorado, who is charged with sexually assaulting eight women, some of whom were attacked in his now-closed La Jolla restaurant. Dorado, 60, appeared Nov. 7 before San Diego Superior Court Judge Esteban Hernandez and also replaced a public defender with a retained attorney from Orange County. Dorado posted $900,000 bond in September and Deputy District Attorney Jessica Coto asked the judge to order that Dorado not drink alcohol as a condition of bond. Hernandez granted that request. Most of the women who testified in the June preliminary hearing said they thought they were drugged with something Dorado put in their wine, champagne, or other alcoholic drinks. The women, who varied in age from 22 to 57 at the time, testified they felt completely intoxicated and blacked out. Most of them said they threw up and felt very embarrassed. Most of them did not report the incidents immediately, and authorities could not find any type of drug or chemical that Dorado could use to put in drinks. Dorado has pleaded not guilty to all 27 counts of forcible rape, rape and oral copulation of an intoxicated or unconscious person, digital penetration, sexual battery, and assault with intent to commit rape. Some of the alleged incidents occurred in 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, and January of this year, according to testimony. Several said they were at the restaurant for job interviews and were assaulted in the restaurant after everyone had left. He was arrested March 28. The restaurant, Voce Del Mare, is located at 5721 La Jolla Blvd. in the Bird Rock area. It closed while he was in jail. Dorado denies all the charges. He has waived his right to have a speedy trial. - Neal Putnam Fay Ave. bike path cleanup The annual Fay Avenue Extension Bike Path cleanup got underway the weekend of Nov. 3-4. The effort was jumpstarted with an initial donation from La Jolla Kiwanis, some local residents and two 40-yard EDCO roll-off dumpsters. Some 50 volunteers organized by La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. raked, swept, pruned and hauled. The dumpsters were filled to capacity with dead and encroaching plants and shrubs lying on or near the bike path. Volunteers created safer and cleaner passage for the many bikers and pedestrians who appreciate the natural beauty of the designated open space. La Jolla Parks and Beaches will continue their effort to raise funds to support future cleanups. The drought-like conditions make portions of the bike path and the surrounding open space vulnerable to fire, so future cleanups are key. Donations can be directed to: La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. 501c (3) TAX ID #45-3281923P.O. Box 185, La Jolla, CA., 92038 - Dave Schwab La Jollan David Spiewak raises $4,300 in honor of his father In honor of his father Michael Spiewak’s 11-year anniversary of passing from Leukemia, David Spiewak, an affiliate agent with the La Jolla office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, raised $4,300 for the San Diego Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society through his Michael Spiewak Strikeout Leukemia Bowling Fundraiser event at East Tavern and Bowl.  “I started doing this to honor my father, and over the years have realized how many lives this event touches. So many people from our office come out and participate in this fundraiser, which means so much to me,” said Spiewak. “I miss my dad every day, but it warms my heart feeling all the love and support of my friends, family and community. Every dollar counts and gets us closer to helping those who are touched by Leukemia and Lymphoma. His legacy lives on.” Spiewak has been working with the Leukemia Lymphoma Foundation for the last nine years and has helped raise $90,000 for the organization. For the past eight years, Spiewak has held the Michael Spiewak Strikeout Leukemia Fundraiser at East Tavern and Bowl in honor of his late father, Michael Spiewak. The proceeds from the event benefit the San Diego chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The fundraising event showcased live music and included free food, unlimited bowling for participants and lots of giveaways.  Berkeley neuroscientist at D.G. Wills Books U.C. Berkeley neuroscientist Prof. David E. Presti will discuss his new book “Mind Beyond Brain: Buddhism, Science, and the Paranormal” on Saturday at 7 p.m., Dec. 1 at D.G.Wills Books, 7461 Girard Ave. Among the most profound questions we confront are the nature of what and who we are as conscious beings, and how the human mind relates to the rest of what we consider reality. For millennia, philosophers, scientists, and religious thinkers have attempted answers, perhaps none more meaningful today than those offered by neuroscience and by Buddhism. The encounter between these two worldviews has spurred ongoing conversations about what science and Buddhism can teach each other about mind and reality. In “Mind Beyond Brain,” neuroscientist David E. Presti, with the assistance of other distinguished researchers, explores how evidence for anomalous phenomena—such as near-death experiences, apparent memories of past lives, apparitions, experiences associated with death, and other so-called psi or paranormal phenomena, including telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition—can influence the Buddhism-science conversation. Presti describes the extensive but frequently unacknowledged history of scientific investigation into these phenomena, demonstrating its relevance to questions about consciousness and reality. The new perspectives opened up if we are willing to take evidence of such often off-limits topics seriously, offer significant challenges to dominant explanatory paradigms and raise the prospect that we may be poised for truly revolutionary developments in the scientific investigation of mind.  “Mind Beyond Brain” represents the next level in the science and Buddhism dialogue. David E. Presti is a professor of neurobiology, psychology, and cognitive science at the University of California, Berkeley; and also teaches neuroscience to Buddhist monks and nuns in India and Bhutan. He has doctorates in molecular biology and biophysics from Caltech, and in clinical psychology from the University of Oregon. He is also the author of “Foundational Concepts in Neuroscience: A Brain-Mind Odyssey (2016).” For more information, call 858-456-1800, or visit dgwillsbooks.com. 
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    How will Community Choice Energy work in San Diego?
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Nov 14, 2018 | 16469 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    How Community Choice Energy works.
    How Community Choice Energy works.
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    Now that Mayor Kevin Faulconer has sanctioned forming a new joint-powers entity to purchase electrical power to achieve 100 percent renewable energy citywide by 2035, the question becomes: How will that be implemented, and what are the risks? After three years of research and analysis, Faulconer selected Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) as the preferred pathway to reach the 100 percent renewable energy goal in the City’s landmark Climate Action Plan. The proposed new CCA entity, which must first be approved by the City Council, is expected to create healthy competition benefiting San Diegans. Forming a new CCA entity is expected to lower energy costs by 5 percent or more for ratepayers, plus help the City reach its renewable energy goal by 2035 – a decade ahead of the state’s goal. “I want San Diego to lead this region into a cleaner future,” Faulconer said. “This gives consumers a real choice, lowers energy costs for all San Diegans, and keeps our city on the cutting edge of environmental protection. We are a city where our environment is central to our quality of life and Community Choice will ensure we leave behind a better and cleaner San Diego than the one we inherited. What is Community Choice Energy? Community Choice Energy or Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) envisions bringing local control and freedom of choice and competition into the electricity marketplace. Currently, San Diego has only one electricity provider, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E).  Community Choice allows cities and counties to purchase power on behalf of their residents and businesses to provide cleaner power options at a competitive price. Under community choice, SDG&E would continue to deliver the power over their power lines, provide customer service and handle the billing.   A local community choice program is designed to offer a choice of providers to create competition encouraging innovation and improved pricing. But not everyone is sold on CCAs, like the Clear the Air Coalition, a group of business, environmental and taxpayer leaders, who advocate a cautious approach to changing San Diego’s existing electrical power distribution system.  Contacted by Beach & Bay Press, SDG&E spokesperson Tony Manolatos referenced the following story “San Diego Should Carefully Weigh the Costs and Benefits of Government-Controlled Energy” published at clearair.us, which he said “covers all the main points.” “The City of San Diego should carefully weigh the costs and benefits of government-controlled energy before flipping the switch and moving residents and businesses into such a program,” states the story. “If the city decides to form a CCA, would it actually help San Diego reach its clean air goals faster and cheaper than current state laws require? … To date, CCAs have been reluctant to purchase long-term contracts for renewable energy, or build new facilities. As a result, CCAs mostly buy and sell existing green energy, a practice that does not create new local jobs or clean our air any faster. … The evidence indicates a San Diego CCA would not meet the city’s goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2035, or create many new jobs, but it would create risk for taxpayers, who are ultimately the backstop of any government-controlled energy program.” Community choice proponent Tyson Siegele represents But It Just Might work.com, a clean energy advocacy group. Noting SDG&E under law is, “not allowed to oppose community choice energy,” Siegele pointed out SDG&E’s parent company, Sempra, “is not a regulated utility” and therefore is allowed to oppose community choice. Nonetheless, Siegele noted that, “In theory, SDG&E shouldn’t lose any money if community choice happens, or doesn’t.” But Siegele was quick to point out San Diego pays some of the highest per-kilowat per-unit rates for electricity in the state adding, “Californians have, on average, a 50 percent higher electricity cost than the nationwide average.” Argued Siegele, “We’ve had a massive ramp-up in the number of community choice energy programs in the past five years statewide. It just makes sense to give our communities more control over where their energy comes from, and what it costs.” But even if successful, a transition to community choice by San Diego will take some time, said Siegele. “In all likelihood, the entire process will take a little more than two years, and the shortest time it could be effect would be January of 2021,” he said.   Community Choice Energy Timeline December 2018: Resolution of intent available for docketing at City Council. Spring 2019: Begin formal meetings with potential JPA partners to negotiate structure and guiding principles. Summer 2019: City Council action to officially form new JPA. Fall 2019: JPA begins hiring staff, including CEO and CFO. Staff develops implementation plan for submittal to CPUC. 2020: JPA continues to establish operations. CPUC approval expected. 2021: CCA begins service to customers with phased-in approach throughout the year.
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    More than $40 million in upgrades planned for Mission Bay Park
    Nov 02, 2018 | 39425 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Mission Bay sunset at Crown Point. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Mission Bay sunset at Crown Point. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    With the goal of enhancing and preserving San Diego’s regional parks for generations to come, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer was joined on Oct. 31 by Councilmember Lori Zapf and park advocates to announce more than $40 million in infrastructure investments for Mission Bay Park over the next six years for environmental protection and infrastructure projects, including new and improved playgrounds, comfort stations and other public amenities. Projects include: - Bay dredging – More than $10 million has been spent to restore navigational safety to the bay. Mitigation, which is now complete and in the monitoring phase, was ranked as the top infrastructure priority for Mission Bay Park. - Parking lots – More than $5 million for parking lot resurfacing at Crown Point North, De Anza North, De Anza South, Dog Beach, North Cove, Old Sea World Drive, Santa Clara, Dusty Rhodes, Hospitality Point, Mission Point, Ocean Beach Dog Beach Walkway, Quivira Road, Playa Pacifica North, Robb Field, Rose Marie Starns South Shores, Sunset Point, Tecolote North and Tecolote South. - Playgrounds – Nearly $8 million to replace playground equipment at Bonita Cove West, Crown Point, Santa Clara, Tecolote North, Tecolote South, Bonita Cove East, Dusty Rhodes, Mission Point, Playa Pacifica and Robb Field. - Comfort stations – More than $7 million to replace and upgrade comfort stations at Bonita Cove West, El Carmel, Mission Bay Athletic Area, North Cove, Santa Clara, Tecolote North, Tecolote South, Bonita Cove East, Dusty Rhodes, Hospitality Point, Mission Point, Playa Pacifica, Robb Field, Sunset Point and Ventura. - Fitness and recreation facilities – More than $3 million to replace and upgrade the adult fitness course on East Mission Bay and the recreation center at Robb Field. “Mission Bay Park is getting the investment of a century with a wave of voter-approved funding,” said Zapf. “From dredging, lighting, comfort stations, bike and walking paths and new playgrounds, Mission Bay Park will better serve San Diegans and visitors.” The Mission Bay Park Committee advises the Park and Recreation Board on the development and operation of Mission Bay Park. The committee also acts as the Mission Bay Park Improvement Fund Oversight Committee and is responsible for overseeing permanent capital improvements and deferred maintenance of facilities within park boundaries. “My committee and I were ecstatic that the voters of our city overwhelmingly approved Measure J,” said Mission Bay Park Committee chairman Paul Robinson. “This will permit the City, with our oversight, to continue to invest millions of dollars in Mission Bay.” Long-term investments also include $7 million for a master environmental report to streamline construction and guide the City on the environmental impacts of proposed projects, including wetland expansion and water quality improvements for Rose Creek, North Fiesta Island, Tecolote Creek and Cudahy Creek. It will also include the restoration of failing shorelines, San Diego River Trail improvements, and the expansion of preserves and habitats for endangered species within the Mission Bay Park Improvement Zone. “Mission Bay Park is one of San Diego’s most popular destinations to both residents and visitors alike, and we are excited to see the tremendous amount of investment in the upkeep and improvement of the park,” said Herman Parker, director of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. “The planned upgrades in infrastructure, playgrounds and facilities will ensure one of the nation’s largest water parks continues to be a source of enjoyment today and for future generations.” In November 2016, voters approved Measure J to extend 2008’s Proposition C – co-authored by then Councilmember Faulconer – to direct a portion of Mission Bay lease revenue toward capital investments in Mission Bay Park and regional parks for an additional 30 years. An estimated $1.5 billion will be generated through 2069. “Our regional parks are among San Diego’s most valuable assets and the significant investments we’re making to Mission Bay Park will ensure it is preserved and enhanced for future generations to enjoy,” Faulconer said. “This continues the largest park investment effort San Diego has seen in modern history as we’ve opened dozens of new or improved parks in neighborhoods across the city over the past few years.” Mission Bay Park is the largest aquatic park of its kind in the country, consisting of more than 4,000 acres of parkland and 27 miles of shoreline. About 15 million people visit the park annually.
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