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    Point Loma Girl Scouts get creative for contact-free cookie program
    Feb 23, 2021 | 3631 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Lilly the dinosaur helps Daisy Girl Scout Linnea Voytek jump the market for her sweet treats. COURTESY PHOTO
    Lilly the dinosaur helps Daisy Girl Scout Linnea Voytek jump the market for her sweet treats. COURTESY PHOTO
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    To ensure the safety of Girl Scouts and cookie buyers alike, troops are following the county health guidelines established to help reduce COVID-19 transmissions. They are approaching the cookie program a bit differently this year, combining time-honored sales techniques with innovative approaches in a socially distanced manner.

    Daisy Girl Scout Troop 4423 includes first-graders at the Loma Portal and High Tech elementary schools. Leader Jessica Voytek says that, while her girls miss direct interactions with customers, they have found ways to market cookies. “We created a fun sales video, called last year’s customers, and made flyers and signs with their personal QR codes and the addresses for their secure “Digital Cookie” websites.

    Troop parents reached out on social media, inviting visitors to their daughters’ online stores to shop, pay, and select either direct shipping from the baker or contact-free delivery by the girls and their parents.

    Seven-year-old Linnea Voytek has a secret marketing weapon: an eight-foot-tall dinosaur named Lilly. In addition to wearing a custom-made Daisy vest to help out during Girl Scout Cookie season, a decked-out Lilly comes out of hiding for major holidays.

    Jessica Voytek sees Linnea and her troopmates growing in confidence through Girl Scouting. Participating in the cookie program, for example, helps them learn goal-setting, decision-making, money management, people skills, and business ethics. “They get a real sense of accomplishment when they complete a cookie transaction or achieve a goal,” she says.

    Linnea has surpassed her original goal of 250 packages of cookies and wants to keep going. “Being a Girl Scout makes me feel warm inside,” she says, adding that she can’t wait to advance to the Brownie level this spring.

    Troop 4423 formed in January 2020, so most of its weekly meetings have been held online. By completing 10 units about how to be honest and fair, courageous and strong, respectful of themselves and others, and other tenets of the Girl Scout Law, the girls have earned the right to add ten colorful daisy petals to their vests.

    They are currently doing activities and discussions centered around nature and the idea that by learning how to take care of animals, Daisies also learn to take care of themselves. The girls plan to use part of their cookie money to purchase supplies to assist animals at the San Diego Humane Society.

    All net cookie proceeds stay here in San Diego to fund programs, camps, service projects, field trips, and the financial assistance that allows all girls to participate in Girl Scouting.

    How to find Girl Scout Cookies

    Cookie fans who know a Girl Scout may ask her for an invitation to her Digital Cookie site. Others may visit sdgirlscouts.org and type in their ZIP code to request cookies from a troop in their community. Recently, under guidance from the county health officials, Girl Scouts have been permitted to host “standabouts” (cookie booths) outside their residences, using the same strict safety protocols as farmers markets.

    Customers also may donate cookies to Operation Thin Mint, a local program that sends “a taste of home and a note to show we care” to deployed service members and local veterans. Since it began 20 years ago, generous San Diegans have gifted over 3.25 million packages of cookies to grateful U.S. troops serving around the world.

    New this year is the E2B (Entrepreneur-to-Business) program that helps girls hone their presentation skills and work toward their cookie goals. Corporate, civic, and social groups may invite a Girl Scout to one of their virtual meetings to deliver a five-minute marketing pitch.

    All girls ages 5-17 are welcome to join Girl Scouts at any time. For information, visit sdgirlscouts.org or email [email protected].

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    OB Hardware seeking new local owners
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 23, 2021 | 5766 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    OB Hardware has a little bit of everything, but not a lot of anything. COURTESY PHOTO
    OB Hardware has a little bit of everything, but not a lot of anything. COURTESY PHOTO
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    Wanted: A local buyer for one of the oldest businesses in town.

    OB Hardware at 4871 Newport Ave. is on the auction block, and present co-owner Michael DeEmidio, who bought the business from the previous owners in 2018, is moving on.

    “After a lot of heavy-hearted consideration, my wife and I have decided to move out of California to be closer to family,” said DeEmidio. “We are reaching out to the community in an effort to find someone to whom we can pass the OB Hardware baton. Ideally, someone invested in the community who wants to care for this legacy and leave their mark. We will be relocating this fall, so it is pressing that any interested parties step up now.”

    DeEmedio and business partner Michael Grimes bought OB Hardware from Carl and Carolyn Weidetz, who’d owned the century-old Ocean Beach Paint and Hardware for half that time. The business, which opened in 1919, carries tools, gardening, plumbing, and electrical supplies as well as paints.
    DeEmedio’s targeted June 1 as the date by which he needs to find a buyer for his hardware business. Though his plans have changed, he said he’s never regretted his experience as a beach-town retailer.

    “When I decided to jump in, they (Weidetzs) were going out of business,” he noted. “It was worth the time and effort. I left my corporate job and I don’t regret it. We’ve managed to rebuild the store.”

    Added DeEmidio of the store, “It’s in a much better position than it was when we took over, financially speaking. It’s more functional. We’ve got a lot of inventory. We’ve been here and the community loves it. We’ve got a lot of momentum. We’re hoping we can find someone to step in and kind of do what we’ve done.”

    DeEmedio said the ideal candidate to buy his hardware business would be “someone with a retail background and a good business sense. We would prefer someone from the community that kind of knows the store at least, knows what the community is about.”

    The hardware store owner said there are many advantages to owning a mom-and-pop in a beach town like OB, adding he’s tried, as much as possible, to reciprocate the community’s goodwill.

    “People here know our employees will help them as soon as they get through the door,” he said. “It’s really a joy. I love spending time here. You come to work and learn a ton. And not just from the business side. I’ve learned the world of hardware, and it’s just invaluable for life.”

    DeEmedio talked about one big addition they’ve added in their three years of hardware store ownership.

    “Our whole backroom now is gardening,” he said. “And we’re not planning on scaling back on inventory. Gardening season is coming up and we’ve got a great garden section now.”

    Of his store inventory, DeEmidio said, “We carry everything from fasteners, screws, and nails to plumbing, electrical, and kitchen items. We do screen repairs. We make keys. We joke that ‘We have a little bit of everything, but we don’t have a lot of anything.’ We’re really a one-stop-shop.”

    Anyone interested in purchasing OB Hardware should contact broker Mitch McGinley at [email protected] or 404-272-9108.

     

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    Pedal Ahead program promotes healthful living, less pollution
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 18, 2021 | 19553 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Two Pedal Ahead e-bikes, a black step-over, and storm-cloud color models, shown parked at the Law Street overlook in North PB. PHOTO BY KIM MERRILL
    Two Pedal Ahead e-bikes, a black step-over, and storm-cloud color models, shown parked at the Law Street overlook in North PB. PHOTO BY KIM MERRILL
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    A new electric bicycle emission-reducing program is designed to serve as an alternative to auto transportation.

    Dubbed Pedal Ahead, the groundbreaking new program partners Rider Safety Visibility, a nonprofit, with District 4 Supervisor Nathan Fletcher, and region-wide business and community leaders.

    “By bringing e-bikes into our communities, we are creating opportunities for environmental sustainability, healthful living, and helping people commute to work, school, and other important destinations,” said Fletcher.

    Rider Safety Visibility has partnered with Fletcher, along with community organizations to recruit e-bike riders to participate in this community-based electric bicycle program.

    "Pedal Ahead continues to define a new activism in healthy living and active lifestyles by capturing e-bike cycling data in real-time, and transforming lives,” said Rider Safety Visibility co-founder Ed Clancy. “Our program is contributing to community improvements by injecting positive lifestyle choices, providing goals, and in working with a new audience of advocates for alternative transportation.” 

    “The bicycle industry, with an emphasis on e-bikes, is also affording many opportunities for job seekers through Rider Safety Visibility’s Young Adult Education program, including mechanics, bike shop staff, and sales and marketing representatives,” said Kim Merrill, Rider Safety Visibility co-founder.

    “The opportunity to learn the ins and outs of electric bicycles is paramount, as they have become a growing transportation solution during the pandemic. In the post-coronavirus era, e-bikes will continue to have a bright future. The industry needs professionals who understand this growing category of bicycles.”

    The way Pedal Ahead works is e-bikes are made available to people ages 18 and up. Participants are required to ride a minimum average of 1,800 miles a year, for two years, in order to provide in-depth analytics for an e-bike impact study.

    As part of the Pedal Ahead program, Rider Safety Visibility provides each participant with a safety and visibility package from leading bicycle industry manufacturers that includes a helmet, high-visibility vest, front-and-rear bicycle lights, and lock for security. Each e-bike is also equipped with devices that secure front wheels and seats.

    At the conclusion of the program, and after meeting the mileage goal, the Pedal Ahead participant becomes the owner of the e-bike they’ve ridden.

    Beach residents who’ve tried Pedal Ahead give it a thumbs up.

    "Peddle Ahead has been such a game changer for me to make biking to work a feasible option,” said PB resident Kim Heinle. “It eliminates the stress of uphill climbs, especially when carting my laptop and work clothes. The best part about the e-bikes though is that I use it like a regular bike to get my cardio and exercise in, and then flip on the e-portion when I'm commuting. It's a two-for-one bike.”

    “I haven’t owned a bike in over 20 years, but during the recent pandemic I bought a mountain bike to get outside and exercise,” said Roxanne Chrestman of Ocean Beach. “I’m pretty excited to say I have ridden my bike more than 400 miles just this year.”

    “I thought it was a great idea to get an electric bike,” said 63-year-old Jo-Anna Mitrano of Bay Park, a YMCA fitness instructor. “Because of my wish to be low on the carbon footprint, I gave up my car and became all bike. It’s perfect. I can still commute to work and get the daylight in. It’s just so energizing.”

    Pedal Ahead was envisioned, designed and created by Fletcher and Rider Safety Visibility, with initial funding provided by San Diego County, The Left Coast Fund, The San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, and SDG&E.

    La Jolla’s California Bicycle and Uptown Bicycles are the independent-owned bicycle dealers supporting the Pedal Ahead program as community centers and service providers. The e-bikes they provide for the program are available in District 4 ZIP codes, which include beach areas. 

    A total of 21 Pedal Ahead riders in the 92106, 92107, 92109, 92110, and 92037 ZIP codes, as of Feb. 1, had logged 8,858 miles through the e-bike program. Overall, year to date, those same riders have produced a 3,550 kg CO2 reduction using an e-bike versus a passenger car, according to figures compiled by Rider Safety Visibility. The 200 riders in the program’s first phase have logged nearly 52,000 miles and produced a 20,760 kg CO2 emissions reduction.

     

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    Port of San Diego advances new clean air, environmental initiatives
    Feb 16, 2021 | 3859 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print

    The Port of San Diego is making significant moves to advance new clean air and environmental justice strategies. During its Feb. 11 meeting, the Board of Port Commissioners approved a resolution to support development of the County of San Diego’s Regional Carbon Sustainability Plan, approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with The San Diego Foundation focused on climate and coastal resiliency efforts, and received an update from staff on development of the Port’s Maritime Clean Air Strategy (MCAS) to identify and prioritize projects to further reduce emissions and improve air quality on and around San Diego Bay. 

    “The Port is committed to being a leader in cleaner air for our communities. At the start of the year, I made it clear that air quality and climate change issues will be important drivers in any effort, project or major deal we pursue and support over the next decade,” said chairman Michael Zucchet, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners. “Supporting these initiatives are prime examples of how the Port continues to make progress by collaborating with regional partners to deploy new strategies and technologies.”

    The Port has long collaborated with its member cities, the County of San Diego, academia, and others throughout the region to advance climate adaptation initiatives. These latest efforts are in addition to the Port’s Climate Action Plan, Port Master Plan Update, and others that establish goals and strategies for reducing the Port’s environmental impacts. 

    Maritime Clean Air Strategy
    As an extension of the Port’s Climate Action Plan, the Maritime Clean Air Strategy (MCAS) will identify and prioritize projects to further reduce emissions and improve air quality. The MCAS is community-focused with bi-monthly meetings for the exchange of knowledge, ideas, and goal setting. The MCAS is also intended to help clarify the role the Port can play in supporting the Port’s maritime tenants and terminal operators with transitioning to zero and near-zero technologies.

    Recent maritime efforts include the demonstration of electric trucks and cargo handling equipment at both of the Port’s terminals, shore power at cruise and cargo terminals, and a designated truck route to keep commercial trucks out of Barrio Logan neighborhoods. The MCAS and the AB 617 Community Emission Reduction Program are complementary efforts, and each informs and supports one another. Port staff anticipates presenting a final draft of the MCAS for the Board’s consideration in the spring. For more information, read the Feb. 11 staff report here.

     

    Regional Carbon Sustainability Plan

    On Jan. 27, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to develop a framework to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2035, ten years before the State of California’s carbon neutrality goal. The Regional Carbon Sustainability Plan is the first of its kind for the region and will be developed in partnership with the University of California, San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy.

    The Port is one of many agencies in the region set to collaborate and support the plan that could make San Diego the largest county in the U.S. to commit to achieving such a goal by 2035. As a stakeholder, Port staff will contribute by providing information on sources of emissions that are unique to the Port such as goods movement vessels, vehicles and equipment. 
    “The Port’s contributions to the development of the Regional Carbon Sustainability Plan will be essential as there are important industries that only exist on the San Diego bayfront,” said vice chair Nora Vargas, San Diego County Board of Supervisors, who crafted the plan along with Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer and whose district includes much of the San Diego Bay waterfront. “This policy, developed in collaboration with the Port and other agencies, will incorporate strategies tailored to the region to achieve zero carbon in key sectors including energy, transportation, and land use. These strategies will help to reduce the burden on low-income communities, especially communities of color, while also providing good-paying jobs building the infrastructure that will propel the region into the future.”

    In addition to reducing GHG emissions, the plan will have co-benefits to public health and quality of life in the region, which complement the Port’s planning initiatives and climate goals. For more information, read the Feb. 11 staff report here

     

    Memorandum of understanding with The San Diego Foundation
    The Port and The San Diego Foundation have entered into a memorandum of understanding to advance a collaborative partnership to explore opportunities for program alignment and investment to support coastal access, climate initiatives and coastal resiliency, environmental conservation and stewardship, environmental justice, and a thriving, sustainable waterfront.

    “As regional leaders, the Port of San Diego and The San Diego Foundation embrace our commitment to improving quality of life in our communities,” shared Mark Stuart, president and CEO of The Foundation. “San Diegans will benefit from our new partnership with equitable access to and enjoyment of a safe, healthy, resilient coastal environment.”
    The San Diego Foundation has been an active participant on the Port’s Environmental Advisory Committee since its inception in 2006. In addition, the Port and The Foundation have long worked together to improve quality of life in the region and provide public benefits through various projects including the creation of Ruocco Park, the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Lighting project, the Port with No Borders Scholarship Fund, and a climate initiative called “San Diego, 2050 is Calling.”

    For more information on this latest partnership, read the Feb. 11 staff report here

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    OB father and son start Mi Sueno Foundation for surfers in Baja
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 10, 2021 | 11532 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Cole Madden with donated surfboards at Ocean Beach Surf & Skate Shop. COURTESY PHOTO
    Cole Madden with donated surfboards at Ocean Beach Surf & Skate Shop. COURTESY PHOTO
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    Ocean Beach Surf & Skate Shop has set up a foundation to donate surfboards and accessories benefiting less-fortunate wave riders south of the border.

    And it all started with Areck Madden and his son Cole, who works at the surf and skate shop at 4940 Newport Ave., encountering a Mexican surfing dad-son duo on a recent Baja trip.

    “They just felt inspired to help kids down there who don’t necessarily get the opportunity to learn to surf, or can’t afford to buy a board to learn on,” said Madison Martin, OB Surf & Skate office manager, about how Mi Sueno (my dream) Foundation originated.

    “We were surfing in San Jose Del Cabo (20 miles from Cabo San Lucas) and Cole met another local kid, who turned out to be on the Mexican national surf team, and they started surfing together,” said Areck. “I met the kid’s dad. We all formed a bond right there on the beach: We made a connection.”

    “We spent the whole next day with 16-year-old Luis Ochoa who was very well-spoken,” noted Cole, a Point Loma High School junior. “I was surprised by just how much love this kid had for the ocean, and how special surfing was in his life.”

    Areck said he and Cole were invited over to the Ochoa’s home.

    “They lived in a very humble apartment in an area that was about an hour’s drive from the beach by bus,” he said. “Luis takes the bus at 4:30 a.m. every day to practice his craft, his passion. His dad, a painter, spearfishes to help pay for his son to surf.”

    “Luis’ dad on the weekends goes out on fishing boats and spearfishes for game fish to make extra money to put surf equipment in Luis’ hands,” said Cole. “We thought, ‘How many more people are there in this great community that don’t have a father who spearfishes or a family that is able to give their children a surfing way of life?’”

    Hence, the nonprofit Mi Sueno Foundation was started to fill a gap and spread goodwill across the border.

    On Feb. 6, Mi Sueno held its first surfboard donation drop-off for three hours. The foundation put the word out that it was looking for surfboards size 5 feet to 5 feet 4-inches long that were in good condition with fins.

    “If you have a surfboard that fits these criteria please consider donating it, as it can remarkably change the life of a young child,” said Mi Sueno in promotional materials.

    “We said that the first 15 people who came to the shop to donate surfboards would get a shop T-shirt and a $25 gift certificate,” said Cole. “This was a test run, our first time doing it. We’re actually thinking of rolling out a couple more phases in the next couple of months incorporating skateboards, fishing rods, boogie boards, any type of board equipment.

    “We’re hoping to increase the number of our available surfboards and skateboards, get people to donate the ones that have been collecting dust in their garage, and donate them to change the lives of kids,” continued Cole. “In later donation drives, we may be asking for boards longer than the shorter 6-foot-long ones we’re asking for right now.”

    Cole described the Feb. 6 surfboard drop-off as “fantastic,” noting he collected 16 boards bringing his total collection of those donated to 27.

    Concluded Cole: “The most important thing is we’re going to continue to reach out to all facets of the community for donations every year. It doesn’t have to be just from Point Loma or the beaches, but from all of San Diego. We want to get people willing to donate to change a grom’s life. It’s all about the kids.”

     

     

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