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    Dave Eggers, Mokhtar Alkhanshali to discuss ‘The Monk of Mokha’ at San Diego Center for Jewish Culture in La Jolla
    by LUCIA VITI
    Jan 11, 2019 | 17327 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Mokhtar Alkhanshali, the subject of Dave Eggers’ book, 'The Monk of Mokha.'
    Mokhtar Alkhanshali, the subject of Dave Eggers’ book, 'The Monk of Mokha.'
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    Hosting a live conversation at The Lawrence Family JCC, 4126 Executive Drive, 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, the two will narrate Alkhanshali’s journey of the birth of his Port of Mokha Coffee.
    Hosting a live conversation at The Lawrence Family JCC, 4126 Executive Drive, 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, the two will narrate Alkhanshali’s journey of the birth of his Port of Mokha Coffee.
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    Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Catapulted into the stratosphere with the onset of chic coffee houses, gourmet and ingredient-rich concoctions have cha-chinged tasty brews to the tune of $80 a cup. A fine “pour” has become as celebrated as an exquisite Remi Martin. So how much would you pay for your favorite blend? Or better yet, would you be willing to die for it? Mokhtar Alkhanshali, the subject of Dave Eggers’ book, “The Monk of Mokha,” will be sharing how he almost did. Died that is. Hosting a live conversation at The Lawrence Family JCC, 4126 Executive Drive, 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15, the duo will narrate Alkhanshali’s journey of the birth of his Port of Mokha Coffee. The fascinating New York Times bestseller chronicles Alkhanshali’s plight to resurrect Yemeni’s once worldwide monopoly on high-quality coffee production. Farmed in his ancestral homeland more than 500 years ago, the brew had since plummeted to become regarded as one of the world’s worst-tasting coffees. Eggers eloquently retraces the 24-year old’s transition from a doorman to a Certified Q grader from the Coffee Quality Institute beginning with his youthful migration from Yemen to San Francisco’s infamous Tenderloin District, where life among the un-noticed served as a catalyst for “pursuing the American Dream.” As details highlight ingenuity, grit and tenacity, the story is replete with political upheaval, civil war, the terror of al Qaeda, Algerian pirates, Houthis rebels, Saudi bombs, air raids, hostage negotiations and harrowing escapes. This tale of revival is juxtaposed with its tale of survival. Readers will also learn about coffee’s 15th century discovery by a Sufi mystic who realized that the muddy-brown liquid that emerged from boiling the seeds of a wild, cherry-like fruit elevated his spirits and enhanced his ability to stay awake. The Islamic Scholar, known as the Monk of Mokha, could study and pray deep into the night by simply drinking the strangely bitter-sweet brew. Sharing this prized beverage with his tribe, pilgrims and traders gave way to local farmers cultivating the fruit in their mountains and valley terraces. The area’s microclimate and elevation were perfect for sustaining the drought-resistant, chocolate-sweet coffee plants. At the onset of the 16th century, Yemen had become the world’s exclusive coffee supplier. Shipped from the Port of Mokha, located on the Red Sea, Yeminis touted 90 percent of the world’s coffee sales. Trade of the coveted cherry-pitted fruit was deemed illegal by Yeminis. Despite their best efforts, seeds were nonetheless smuggled – quite ingenuously – out of Yemen circa the mid-16th century. Coffee quickly became a worldwide commodity. And yet, Yemini coffee still served as the best tasting brew in the world. To imitate its cocoa flavor, brewers added chocolate to bland brews giving birth to “mocha” coffee. Among many factors that included competition, time thwarted the quality and quantity of Yemeni coffee production. Farmers replaced their treasured crop with khat, a, drug-inducing stimulant chewed like tobacco that’s considered an illegal, controlled substance in the United Sates. Rich-tasting Yemen coffee became practically non-existent. Eggers fast forwards to 2013, as a budding entrepreneur envisioned reviving his ancestral homeland’s coffee while empowering the area’s local farmers. Supported through the generosity of those who believed in his determined sincerity, Alkhanshali spent three years surveying Yemen’s remaining 30 coffee regions, some accessible only by hiking days through the mountains. While garnering meticulous notes on climate, elevation, soil, harvesting, drying and processing techniques, Alkhanshali befriended farmers on a personal level. He knew that educating and galvanizing farmers to elevate the quality of their beans and operate globally by trading directly – rather than the expensive middlemen and loan sharks who were exploiting them – coffee crops would yield more money than the khat now straining their water supply. Education included everything from organic fertilizers to more efficient harvesting and drying practices. He introduced the first moisture analyzers and built modern drying beds while organizing farmers into collectives that included women. The education paid off. The quality and quantity of the new crops exceeded expectations. Farmers who followed Alkhanshali’s protocols – The Monk of Mokha Method – eventually yielded a 33 percent increase from the price of their beans. Ready to test his beans against highly-regarded critics, Alkhanshali packed two suitcases of coffee samples and headed to SCaa, the world’s biggest coffee conference in Seattle. Civil war broke-out on the eve of his departure. Saudi-led airstrikes bombed airports. Flights were cancelled. Trapped, Alkhanshali committed to the seemingly impossible – to land in Seattle with his beans. Abandoning his ambitions or his people, many who now depended upon his success, was simply not an option. He traveled to the Port of Mokha, a breathtaking, hair-raising experience that see-sawed between life and death. Literally. He hired a fisherman – along with a fishing vessel so minute it lacked radio and navigation equipment – to transport him, his beans and a colleague across the Red Sea. The coffee caravan safely arrived in Dijibouti, located on the horn of Africa, seven hours later. Alkhanshali made it to Seattle and won a blind cupping test, (a 90+) giving birth to his company, The Port of Mokha Coffee. An export company and more exploits followed suit, but Alkhanshali was on his way. Eggers skillfully crafts an admirable legacy of a young man unwavering in his efforts to enrich the lives of everyone involved. “The Monk of Mokha” is not only a must-read for coffee lovers, the page-turner is biblical for anyone dreaming of embedding their imprint on a global scale. Alkhanshali’s often quoted saying, “The shortest distance between two people is a cup of coffee. We live in a very divided world. To have moments around coffee allows us to make time and slow down and be present.” “The Lawrence Family JCC is privileged and proud to host Dave Eggers and Mokhtar Alkhanshali for what’s sure to be a great evening,” said Brian Garrick, director of Cultural Arts Programs of the Lawrence Family JCC. “There are a lot people – and a lot of roasters – excited track the origins of their daily cup.” Attendees will be treated to a delicious cup of Mokha’s coffee. To date, in 2017, in a blind cupping, Port of Mokha’s Hayma Microlot was awarded a 97 from Coffee Review. The coffee is sold at Blue Bottle Coffee Café’s in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York for $16 a pour, and $20 for a siphon pot. “The Monk of Mokha parallels the Jewish story with its components of immigration and war,” concluded Garrick. “The Jewish Story par excellence is the Exodus – people moving from a place of unfreedom to a place of freedom. ‘The Monk of Mokha’ celebrates the success of immigrants in America and we – the JCC – we’re obligated to serve as a forum for discussion.” DAVE EGGERS: Dave Eggers is the author of 11 books, including: "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius," a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; “The Circle; Heroes of the Frontier,” longlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Award; “A Hologram for the King,” a finalist for the National Book Award; and “What Is the What,” a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and winner of France's Prix Médicis Etranger and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.
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    La Jolla Village News’ Year in Review: Children’s Pool upgrades, scooters, illegal ivory, and short-term rentals  
    by EMILY BLACKWOOD
    Jan 05, 2019 | 8424 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    La Jolla Shores recently came in at No. 22 on TripAdvisor’s ‘Top 25 Beaches’ in the U.S. Pacific Beach received some notice as well, ranking No. 20. A vast majority of beaches on the annual list were located in the Southeast, with Clearwater Beach, Fla., taking the No. 1 position. Several other Florida beaches were on this list as well... and, to be expected, three Hawaiian beaches. THOMAS MELVILLE / VILLAGE NEWS
    La Jolla Shores recently came in at No. 22 on TripAdvisor’s ‘Top 25 Beaches’ in the U.S. Pacific Beach received some notice as well, ranking No. 20. A vast majority of beaches on the annual list were located in the Southeast, with Clearwater Beach, Fla., taking the No. 1 position. Several other Florida beaches were on this list as well... and, to be expected, three Hawaiian beaches. THOMAS MELVILLE / VILLAGE NEWS
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    Tiger Woods his out of the rough on hole No. 4  during his round on Sunday, Jan. 28 at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Tiger Woods his out of the rough on hole No. 4 during his round on Sunday, Jan. 28 at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in La Jolla. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    There was a lot up for debate in 2018. Whether it was trying to get a handle on the seemingly overnight invasion of dockless scooters and bikes, or fighting for more balance within the mayor’s proposal for short-term rentals, residents of La Jolla won a few battles. And those victories were intertwined with the completion of some long-overdue projects like upgrades to the Children’s Pool Plaza, and White Sands Retirement Community’s multi-million dollar renovation.  All in all, it was a good year.  January  • The trial began for the former Marine accused of killing two UC San Diego students in a 2015 crash. Jason Riley King was driving drunk when he struck a car carrying five UC San Diego students; Anne Baldock, 24 and Madison Cornwell, 23, died instantly, and the three other students were injured but survived. The trial lasted 10 days, and the jury ultimately acquitted him of murder and convicted him of two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. • A La Jolla couple was charged with misdemeanor safety code violations after residents of an apartment complex they maintained reported the building had bathroom leaks, inadequate heating, insects, rodents, and improper wiring. • Tiger Woods made his 2018 debut at the Farmers Insurance Open at historic Torrey Pines Golf Course, the host site of the 2008 and 2021 U.S. Opens. • La Jollan Fernando Aguerre was credited with playing a major role in making surfing a part of the summer Olympics, which will be held in Tokyo in 2020. • Pura Vida Bracelets, a La Jolla-based company that caught the eye of celebrities like Ellen Degeneres and David Beckham, was sued for fraud by a former employee. She claimed that the bracelets were actually produced in El Salvador, not in Costa Rica like the company insinuates.  • Construction began for the viaduct that will carry the Blue Line along Genesee Avenue as part of an 11-mile extension of the trolley line from downtown to University City. • A study titled part 150 was conducted to evaluate flightpath improvements and noise reductions in and around San Diego International Airport. Residents from the Point to La Jolla have complained about an increase in noise for the past couple of years.  • The Dan McKinney Family YMCA completed its $21 million expansion and renovation project, which included a three-story play structure and slides, a wellness center, a steam room and other amenities.  • UC San Diego was named the No. 1 surf college in the U.S. by Surfer Magazine.  February • UC San Diego launched its bike-share program with Spin, a leading bike-share company that offered a fleet of orange-colored smart-bikes with GPS tracking. • Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer announced that San Diego Police Department Assistant Chief David Nisleit would be appointed as the City’s next police chief, replacing Chief Shelley Zimmerman, who retired in March after 35 years on the force. • The La Jolla Village News went out and sampled all the different kinds of pizzas in La Jolla in honor of National Pizza Day on Feb. 9.  • La Jolla Shores came in at No. 22 on TripAdvisor’s "Top 25 Beaches’ in the U.S." list.  • The annual Fourth of July fireworks display at La Jolla Cove was cancelled due to ongoing fundraising problems. "It’s really been part of our tradition,” said Deborah Marengo who spearheaded the event. "So, it’s just really sad to see that go.” • A petition to end the "Films of Woody Allen" course at UC San Diego, due to his allegations of rape, was nixed by the school’s academic senate. They voted to continue offering the course because removing it would "undermine both the value of free inquiry and the associated rights of faculty to engage in such inquiry by choosing their course content.” March • La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. voted against allowing dockless scooters in the community, even though the item wasn’t on the meeting agenda. “How do we stop this invasion of our sidewalks?” asked Sally Miller of LJPB. • La Jolla High reflected on its own safety issues following the aftermath of the Parkland school mass shooting in Florida. Things like fixing broken blinds and hard-to-lock doors in classrooms were among some of the suggestions.  • The La Jolla Town Council hosted a meeting of the newly formed San Diego Coalition of Town Councils’ STVR Working Group where members discussed recommendations for tightening rules and enforcement governing the placement and operations of short-term vacation rentals.  • San Diego Judge Randa Trapp heard arguments for both sides as to whether or not assessed property under the La Jolla Maintenance Assessment District would receive any special benefit “over and above that” received by the general public.  • The University of California San Diego received $4.6 million in charitable gifts from more than a dozen descendants of Edward W. Scripps to fund the placement of the railing on the Ellen Browning Scripps Memorial Pier and the reconstruction and modernization of the Center for Coastal Studies.   April  • La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. announced that the City waived the summer construction moratorium to hasten construction on the Children’s Pool Plaza beautification project, which includes walkway improvements, double-seat walls, shade trees, and gazebo repairs.  • James Niebling announced he would be resigning as president of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association. “I have truly enjoyed giving back to La Jolla by the Sea as a board director for the past seven years,” he said.  • Daniel Dorado, the owner of La Jolla Italian restaurant Voce Del Mare, pleaded not guilty Monday to 14 felony counts of sexually assaulting four women. • Renowned actor, author, and activist George Takei spoke on his experience in the Japanese-American internment camps from World War II and his life as a pop culture icon and entertainer at UC San Diego. • Residents voiced concerns for a loophole in the city’s development regulations that makes it so developers can acquire permits to tear down and rebuild a new home in as little as a day. "We’re concerned about developers, flippers, coming in, developing homes of large bulk and scale, out of character with the neighborhood, out of character with the community plan,” said Sharon Wampler. • Representatives from three dockless bike companies – Limebike, Ofo and Mobike – attempted to justify their business models before the La Jolla Village Merchants Association. Attendees argued that the bikes are being used illegally and without proper notification.  • White Sands Retirement Community completed its $20 million renovation, which started in 2016 and included updates of its main lobby and chapel, a new elevator, bistro and bar, and a newly reimagined library.   May  • A judge turned down a request to dismiss the embezzlement case against Cindy Greatrex who is accused of stealing $67,935 from the La Jolla Park & Recreation Inc. Board while she was its president. She pleaded not guilty. • La Jolla Village Merchants Association elected Alisha Hawrylyszyn Frank, a life coach with Fiercely Optimistic, as its new president.  • A red tide offshore San Diego brought a spectacular display of bioluminescence to beaches.  • Jewish Family Service of San Diego raised a record-setting $1.25 million at its annual Heart & Soul Gala at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine. June • New ballot initiative “Yes! For a Better San Diego” proposed a 42-year increase in the city's visitor tax to fund the convention center expansion, homelessness programs, create new jobs, continue road repaving and other infrastructure improvements.  • The Center for World University Rankings named the University of California San Diego the globe’s 20th best university out of 2,000 universities worldwide.  • In partnership with Friends of Rose Canyon, University City Girl Scout Troop 4176 caught almost 200 crayfish Rose Canyon as part of their Girl Scout Bronze Award project.  • District 1 Councilmember Barbara Bry pushed for a styrofoam ban. "It’s a known carcinogen and pollutant,” she said of the chemicals found in styrofoam. • Holocaust survivor Rose Schindler received a high school diploma from La Jolla Country Day for her years of preaching a message of positivity and endurance in the presence of evil to schools throughout San Diego County. • District 1 Councilmember Barbara Bry supported the scooter boardwalk ban the City Council voted down. Bry agreed to form a City Council committee to explore the creation of a permit and fee system for dockless companies operating citywide.  • Mayor Kevin Faulconer released his much anticipated new regulations on short-term vacation rentals that included charging cost-recoverable fees to administer licenses and enforce code violations, establishing a “Good Neighbor” policy, hiring additional staff for complaints about nuisance properties and implementing a per-night fee that would generate an estimated $3 million annually.  July  • U.S. Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) defended his co-sponsorship of the Keeping Families Together Act, which would have immediately halted separating families at the U.S.-Mexico border, as the right thing to do.  • A random survey found La Jollans overwhelmingly favored a visionary proposal by contractor Tom Grunow to restore the La Jolla Cultural Zone by “greening” it and making it more walkable. “This is a good idea that will invigorate La Jolla's Cultural District, improve the usability of the Rec Center, and help ease our parking shortage,” said landscape architect Jim Neri. • The La Jolla MAD decision was reversed. San Diego Judge Randa Trapp revisited her previous ruling on the MAD’s unconstitutionality, and the second time around, she determined the benefits association “had no standing in the case.” • La Jollans were mostly delighted by the City Council’s July 16 vote defeating Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s more lenient short-term rental proposal. A landmark counterproposal that favored stricter regulations allowing primary-residence-only rentals with a six-month maximum, was co-authored by Council members Barbara Bry of District 1 and Lorie Zapf of District 2. • Work began on three reservoirs connected with La Jolla Heights Natural Park near La Jolla Country Club, and residents spoke up about their concerns regarding truck traffic, noise, dirt and potential loss of native habitat and open space.  • San Diego was named the most scenic West Coast city in an Expedia poll. • La Jolla’s serial lobster poacher pleaded guilty to charges that he violated a court order by unlawfully removing 12 spiny lobsters from the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve. Xuan Lam Hoang was ordered to serve 45 days in custody and placed on three years of probation. August  • Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Council president pro tem Barbara Bry reopened Doyle Community Park in University City following a period of much-needed equipment upgrades and park enhancements. • La Jolla was named one of "America’s 25 Best Beach Towns" by Fodor’s Travel.  • The water off La Jolla was 78.8 degrees, according to measurements taken by research scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a record-setting warm for San Diego. It was nine degrees above the typical temperature for that time of year. • Susan Botticelli was named the new board of advisors chair of the La Jolla YMCA.  • A new state-of-the-art Robotics Lab was delivered to the French American School in La Jolla.  • Consideration of Children’s Pool’s proposed historical designation was an action item on La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc.’s August agenda, which would "make the facility eligible for both public and private grant money to fix it up,” according to architectural historian Diane Kane.  September • The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s director and CEO defended the institution against a claim by international architects and historians who’ve branded work, which will destroy the museum’s post-modern entryway, as “a tremendous mistake.” The addition — which will quadruple its current gallery space from 10,000 to about 40,000 square feet — was scheduled to begin in October.  • The San Diego Airport Authority launched a new mobile app that provided members of the public an easy-to-use, no-cost option for submitting an aircraft noise complaint.  • San Diego-based Climate Action Campaign held a forum on Community Choice Energy at the University of California San Diego. This model, which was approved by the state in 2002, could ultimately provide ratepayers with the option to choose where their power comes from.  • I Love A Clean San Diego mobilized 7,000 volunteers at 106 cleanup sites removed an estimated 130,000 pounds of trash and debris including a disco ball, 641 golf balls, a snowboard, and fake eyelashes. • Barbara Beltaire, owner of the Barbarella Restaurant & Bar in La Jolla, and known for her seasonal supernatural Halloween decorations, retired to devote her full attention to her new children’s charity, I Love You So So Much. "It is 100 percent individual gift donations to foster care, the elderly and canine companions,” said Beltaire.  October • La Jolla realtor Kara Kay announced she will be competing on the CBS-produced competitive reality TV series “Survivor: David vs. Goliath.” • San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Chief Colin Stowell announced James Gartland as the new lifeguard division chief. “We have some of the best public safety professionals in the country so it should come as no surprise that we hired one of our own to lead our lifeguard division,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer.  • Peter Ogle, head coach of the La Jolla Country Day School’s girls volleyball team, retired after 41 years. His combination of caring and intensity led the team to 733 wins, 380 losses, three Coastal League championships, seven CIF championships, four Southern California Regional championships, and three state championships. • City Council voted 5-3 to ban the use and distribution of styrofoam citywide. • La Jolla Shores Association celebrated Scripps oceanographer Walter Munk’s 101st birthday. Munk is world renowned for showing why one side of the moon always faces the Earth, pioneering research on the relationship between winds and ocean circulation, and much more.  • Extra City pickup was added in La Jolla Shores to alleviate overflowing trash, but Janie Emerson, chair of the La Jolla Shores Association, said, "the city still has not moved two trash cans that have been causing the problem.” • Casa de Mañana resident Len Sandberg, 90, won the 148-pound-and-under Powerlifting Bench Press World Championship at Harrah’s Resort and Casino in Laughlin, Nev. November • A judge turned down a prosecution motion for the removal of Cindy Greatrex from any community boards as a condition of bond while she awaits an embezzlement trial for grand theft in the loss of $67,935 while she was president of the La Jolla Park & Recreation Inc. Board.  • City Council voted 8-1 to rescind a short-term vacation rental ordinance it passed in July. The re-vote was forced by a recently successful drive by a vacation rental coalition to put the measure on a future election ballot. • Two years after Ure Kretowicz conceded the public’s right to access the cobblestone beach below his property at 7957 Princess St., a group of neighbors surrounding Kretowicz’s property started campaigning against restoring public access there.  • The City of San Diego said previously reported problems with overflowing trash in La Jolla Shores have been properly addressed and resolved. “Trash containers some believed had not been moved, were in fact relocated in late September,” said City PIO Paul Brencick Sr., adding the City’s Environmental Services Department. • Criminal charges have been filed against the Carlton Gallery at 1144 Prospect St., its owner, and an employee for trafficking more than 300 pieces of ivory and items containing ivory.  • La Jolla’s Tiare Thompson won her first World Surf League’s Live Like Zander Junior Pro surf competition. December • A celebration was held for the improved Children’s Pool Plaza. La Jolla Parks and Beaches and Casa de Mañana co-hosted the event that honored the 8-year-old project. “This has been a precious space in La Jolla since 1931,” said Ann Dynes, chair of La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. "It’s also become a precious space to a lot of our visitors. Now it has been revamped to accommodate all of the visitors.” • La Jolla Parks and Beaches, Inc. heard from landscape architect Jim Neri about plans to recreate a historic belvedere at Windansea off Neptune Place near Rosemont Street that was destroyed in the early ’80s.
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    New state laws that took effect on Jan. 1 – Surfing is officially state sport, no helmets for adult e-scooter riders, pet stores must sell only rescue animals
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jan 02, 2019 | 42443 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Surfers at Tourmaline Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Surfers at Tourmaline Beach. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    The new year brings many changes, including new laws addressing everything from surfing to gender identification, to cutbacks on plastic straws and the types of animals that can be sold in pet stores. Here are a few new laws: • Dogs, cats and rabbits sold in pet stores are now required to be obtained only from animal shelters or rescue groups. • People applying for a license or identity card can select their own gender, female, male or non-binary. Those choosing "No binary" will receive a card with an "X" gender category.  • Surfing has been designated as California’s official state sport. • Kids meals in most restaurants must now have a milk- or water-based beverage as the default choice and a parent must request a soda for the child. • People over age 18 will no longer need to use a helmet to use a motorized scooter. • New rules will dictate how divorcing couples determine custody of the family pet. • State parks must now make clear on their websites if dogs are allowed. • Repeat offenders for DUI, or those who receive a first DUI offense and have caused injuries, must install a breathalyzer on their engine ignition for 12 to 48 months. • Twelve years is now the minimum age for prosecution in juvenile court, unless a minor younger than 12 has committed murder or rape. • A defendant under the age of 16 can no longer be tried as an adult sending them to prison instead of a juvenile detention facility. • Authorized California car dealers must place a paper plate with a number and expiration date on every vehicle they sell, whether new or used. • Images of body cameras on police officers, and any other audio recording acquired by a police agency, are required to be disclosed to the public within 45 days after a police shooting or excessive force causes death or injury to a person. • Courts will no longer be able to suspend, restrict or delay issuing a minor's driver's license for one year for truancy or for being under the guardianship of the state. • The exemption from smog verification for vehicles that have been purchased new will extend from six to eight years. During the two years of this exemption, the vehicle owner will not have to do the smog check but pay $25.  • The DMV must include at least one question on 20 percent of knowledge tests (written exams) on traffic laws about California's unsecured load code. • Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense is prohibited from possessing a firearm for the rest of their lives. • Gun owners with a concealed carry license must undergo a minimum of eight hours of training, and demonstrate proficiency and safety on the shooting range. • Employers must make reasonable efforts to provide a room or place for breastfeeding that is not a bathroom. • Restaurants statewide are required to give out single-use straws only upon request of customers. It applies to full-service dining establishments but exempts fast-food restaurants. Restaurants violating the law could be fined $25 daily for violations, or a maximum of $300 per year. • Cities and counties can now authorize and regulate the sale of homemade foods.
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    Share photos of king tides as they hit coast in December and January
    Dec 19, 2018 | 52250 views | 1 1 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Visitors at Sunset Cliffs take photos of huge waves. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Visitors at Sunset Cliffs take photos of huge waves. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    This season's king tides will occur on the California coast Dec. 22 and 23, as well as Jan. 20 and 21. What are king tides? While the term "king tide" isn't a scientific term, it is used to describe an especially high tide event, when there is alignment of the gravitational pull between sun and moon. When king tides occur during floods or storms, water levels can rise higher and have the potential to cause great damage to the coastline and coastal property. King tides: occur naturally and regularly; are predictable and expected; and are not an everyday occurrence. Take and share king tides photos at coastal.ca.gov/kingtides/index.html. Use your smart phone to participate in the project by taking and uploading photos of king tides through the “King Tides Photo Upload” form. Start by choosing where you'll go to take your photos and then look at the map online to find out what time and how high your king tides will be. (Take your photos as near to high tide time as you can.) The most important thing to remember is to be safe. Take extra precautions when you walk on slippery areas or near big waves, and always be conscious of your surroundings and the weather conditions. Don't turn your back on the ocean. Please be aware that shore birds may be taking refuge in areas above the tide line – don't flush them out in the process of getting your shot. Some of the most powerful images are taken in areas that are subject to flooding and erosion, and of places where high water levels can be gauged against familiar landmarks (such as cliffs, rocks, roads, buildings, bridge supports, sea walls, staircases, and piers). In addition to uploading your photos, you can also share them on social media using #kingtides.
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    December 19, 2018
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    La Jolla’s big wave surfer gets big time recognition
    by VICTORIA DAVIS
    Dec 15, 2018 | 25108 views | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    JoJo Roper was nominated for Surfer Magazine’s Heavy Water Award and serves as a top competitor in World Surf League’s Big Wave Tour 2018.
    JoJo Roper was nominated for Surfer Magazine’s Heavy Water Award and serves as a top competitor in World Surf League’s Big Wave Tour 2018.
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    JoJo Roper
    JoJo Roper
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    JoJo Roper – famous in San Diego by both his skills as a big wave surfer and by his father Joe’s legacy – says the feeling of riding a 40-foot wave is somewhat akin to the heart-in-the-throat reaction typically caused by an airplane dropping as it begins its descent. “If your surfboard is connected to the wave and it’s a super steep take-off and you’re in the most critical position on that wave that you can be… it’s that weightless, not knowing what’s going to happen feeling,” said Roper, who is currently living in La Jolla and works at his father’s surfboard repair shop in Kearny Mesa. Last month, Roper was nominated for Surfer Magazine’s Heavy Water Award and serves as a top competitor in World Surf League’s Big Wave Tour 2018. This has earned him recognition as one of This Year’s Boldest and Bravest Big Wave Surfers. “The most exhilarating is when you’re launching through the air on a drop with a big wave. It’s probably the most scary and unknowing-like feeling that there is, and when you make it out, and ride that wave back into the channel, it’s the biggest adrenaline rush you’re ever going to feel.” That feeling is what Roper says first got him hooked on big wave surfing, and it’s that same thrill that keeps him in the game even when it seems risky and dangerous. Now 29 years old, Roper has been surfing for over two decades, chasing swells all over the South Pacific from Fiji and Tahiti to Portugal and Mexico. “But I am probably one of the few younger people on the big wave tour,” said Roper. “I think there’s five of us in our 20s. The rest are in their 30s or older. Big wave surfing involves so much experience that you’ll see people surfing their best big waves even into their 40s. As long as you’re not taking constant wipe outs and your body stays in one piece, you just keep on doing it.” But what this particular surfing career offers in longevity, it matches with high risk and there’s a reason experience is part of the big-wave-surfing package. While Roper says he “fell in love” at 17, riding Puerto Escondido’s more punishing breaks in Oaxaca, Mexico for the first time, the young surfer admits he didn’t truly come to terms with the real danger of big wave surfing until four years later when he witnessed friend Sion Milosky die at age 35 while surfing the less forgiving swells off Mavericks in 2011. “I thought I had it all figured out and this guy was the invincible, best big-wave surfer at the time,” said Roper of Milosky, an accomplished surfer from Kauai. “We all idolized him. But it was an extremely humbling experience to watch somebody, who you thought was invincible, die surfing these big waves he was famous for.” Roper was actually on the beach when the paramedics were conducting CPR on Milosky and even elected not to go back to Mavericks for a few years, taking a break from the “chasing big waves lifestyle.” Though he eventually made his way back, still seeking out that adrenaline rush, Roper this time went in with a level head on his shoulders. “There’s a lot of risk and a lot of reward… It’s part of the game and dying is something we all know is a possibility,” said Roper. “But surfing still just always excites me. I can’t get enough of it. “You’ll deprive yourself of sleep for surfing or, in my case, drive eight hours to Mavericks to follow the swells. You put it ahead of everything in life. Surfers are very selfish that way but It’s truly that addicting. Roper added that, though not many surfers will admit it, “We all want to catch that 60-foot wave. We all want to paddle into the biggest wave ever ridden.” Roper is set to compete next at Mavericks on the Big Wave World Tour. The competition will take place sometime between now and March.
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