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    Activists rally to try and stop hotel’s expansion at Bahia Point
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Oct 18, 2018 | 0 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Two new supporters – an environmental activist and a labor spokesman – have joined Mission Bay water users protesting expansion plans for Bahia Resort Hotel. “The Mission Bay Park Master Plan (MBPMP) requires that development on Bahia Point retain Gleason Road,” said former City Councilmember Donna Frye. “The public deserves better. At a minimum, there needs to be an environmental analysis for the project where all the facts can be reviewed, along with a full staff report and not rushed through as a lease amendment.” Frye added the requirement to retain Gleason Road “Appears to have been left out of the developer’s presentation that was shown to both the Mission Bay Park Committee and the Parks and Recreation Board before they voted. The information led to a false belief that the development was consistent with the MBPMP, when it was not.”  Bahia resort wants to nearly double its capacity, expanding from 315 to 600 rooms, while adding a 10-foot walkway and 20-foot grass area around Bahia Point park. That would necessitate shifting current public parking along Gleason Road from the periphery to the interior of Bahia’s peninsula. Detractors claim that would be a hardship on water users, denying public access to Bahia Point, a popular launching spot for standup paddle boards, kayaks and other watercraft.  Hotelier Bill Evans answered that his proposed parking changes will reconfigure – not eliminate – existing onsite parking, shifting it away from Gleason Road and into the peninsula’s interior.  Evans is holding to that view. “We are continuing to work with the City on the specifics,” Evans told Beach & Bay Press. “At this time, we have nothing to add beyond what was presented to the Mission Bay Park Committee – which overwhelmingly agreed the proposal is consistent with the Mission Bay Park Master Plan – and the City of San Diego Park and Recreation Board – which voted unanimously to recommend the proposal to the City. We look forward to adding a grass recreation area around all of Bahia Point, as well as almost one-mile of pedestrian and bicycle pathways.” The controversy began early in January when San Diego Park and Recreation Board’s Mission Bay Park Committee voted near-unanimously to affirm Evans Hotels’ proposed expansion and parking changes on its existing site at 998 W. Mission Bay Drive. The board accepted the hotelier’s view that that action would be consistent with the master plan. But Giovanni Ingolia, an Ocean Beach Town Council member, who also sits on the Mission Bay Park Committee, didn’t agree. “There are parts of [Evans plan] that are in line with the master plan, and parts of it that are not. That’s why I voted against it,” he said. “One hundred percent of Gleason Road needs to be (retained) in the master plan. We can’t just cherry pick what parts are in the plan, and what parts are not, and then just rubber stamp it.” Added Ingolia: “The east side (of Bahia peninsula) is supposed to expand access for water users by taking out the road and just putting in a bike path. Who’s going to want to drag a kayak or a paddle board down a bike path?” Some neighbors and water users are claiming Bahia’s expansion proposal would eliminate 170 of 270 parking spaces while decreasing public beach access.  “Evans’ proposal would not only redo the hotel, but extend its boundaries over Gleason Road and eliminate public access moving parking somewhere else,” said Rick Bates, spokesman for Unite Here, hospitality union Local 30. “Is that right, and consistent, with the master plan? That [beach] was meant for public use, not to privatize it, or parcel it out for long-term leases.” Greg Knight, a Mission Bay recreationalist and co-organizer of Bahia expansion opposition, said the project can still be stopped. “Right now it is scheduled to go in front of the Smart Growth and Land Use Committee on Oct. 17, and they will vote on whether they will recommend it to the City Council,” Knight said. “We believe (fingers crossed) it will get a no vote. It would then go to the actual City Council. After that, It would go to the Coastal Commission for either final approval — or changes.” “What Evans Hotels is doing is trying to get a development plan approved using a lease amendment as a vehicle,” contended union rep Bates. “It’s the wrong process. What he really needs to do is a master plan amendment.” Added Bates, “But I understand why he would not want to go that route, because it’s much more expensive, takes much more public participation, and would trigger a new environmental impact report, which takes time.”
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    The King of School Spirit – Bucs biggest fan given the royal treatment
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Oct 17, 2018 | 5016 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Mission Bay High Homecoming King Troy Horton with classmate Natalie McDermott, who was standing in for the Homecoming Queen Kirra Barth, who was out of town, at the Homecoming Dance held at the San Diego Zoo on Sept. 28.		        / ERNEST REMILLARD / CONTRIBUTED
    Mission Bay High Homecoming King Troy Horton with classmate Natalie McDermott, who was standing in for the Homecoming Queen Kirra Barth, who was out of town, at the Homecoming Dance held at the San Diego Zoo on Sept. 28. / ERNEST REMILLARD / CONTRIBUTED
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    He’s Mr. Pacific Beach, and the area’s biggest sports fan. This year, he is also Mission Bay High’s homecoming king. “He’s Troy. There’s not another Troy,” said teacher Amanda Logan. Horton is one of her special-needs students at Mission Bay High. “Troy is not like your typical student with special needs.” Logan said Horton’s spirit is indomitable. “He’s extremely outgoing. He’s involved,” she said. “He is a man about Pacific Beach,” she said. “He’s Mr. Pacific Beach. He is known, not just on the school campus, but at the little league field, and all around town. He knows everyone’s name. His parents have done a very good job including him in the community, and school events as well.” Of Mission Bay High, Troy, wearing his homecoming crown, pointed out, “I’m the number one biggest fan. I know all the players. I’m the ultimate fan.” Asked if he campaigned to be a monarch, Troy said: “I wanted to be the king — and everybody voted for me.” How does it feel? “Great,” replied gravel-voiced Troy, eliciting smiles all around. “Everybody calls me king Troy around school.” “He’s the friendliest person I know,” concluded Kirra Barth, MBHS’s 2018 homecoming queen, about Troy. The tale behind Troy becoming high-school royalty is heartwarming. “I thought of all of the amazing things he has done for the rest of us,” said MBHS senior Natalie McDermott, who nominated him. “He goes to all of our sports events, sometimes even during the preseason. Troy is always so happy and can bring a smile to anyone’s face … He is always the loudest, most enthusiastic fan in the crowd. I thought we should give back to him.” Added McDermott, “I can’t imagine what my high school experience would have been like without Troy yelling, ‘Let’s go Nat,’ at all of my varsity basketball games.”  Troy deserved his coronation. “The kids love him, and the community all knows and loves Troy,” noted Natalie McDermott’s mother, Veronica. “When they announced Troy as the winner at the dance, the crowd went wild, throwing water in the air, jumping up and down, screaming. Troy is absolutely the star. Everyone could only be so lucky to know this boy, so full of life, excitement and love.” “We would like to thank the Pacific Beach Community for being so supportive of Troy and his whole family,” said Troy’s mother, Susie Horton. "We couldn’t ask for a better group of neighbors for him to grow up with.”
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    SeaWorld to add horizontal roller coaster, with zero-g roll, next year
    Oct 15, 2018 | 16722 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Artist's rendering of the Tidal Twister roller coaster.
    Artist's rendering of the Tidal Twister roller coaster.
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    SeaWorld will open a dueling roller coaster, dubbed Tidal Twister, as a new attraction for 2019. The first of its kind in the world, this unique and horizontal ride is an exhilarating experience that demonstrates the power of the ocean. Accelerating to 30 miles per hour, riders will twist and bank as if they are riding the tide along a tight figure-8 track that includes dynamic zero-g roll at the center section. Two trains, holding 16 passengers each, load at opposite ends of the figure-8 and cross in the center with guests facing both forward and backward on the trains. A lower-height requirement of 48 inches makes this attraction a perfect ride for younger guests and families. “There is no other coaster experience in the world like Tidal Twister,” said Hannes. “The two trains duel one another and guests will see the excitement on the faces of other riders. You’ll almost feel like you can reach out and touch them. The tight turns, the inversion and the airtime hill will leave our guests wondering which way is up.” Tidal Twister, elevated 16 feet off the ground, will be located adjacent the Aquaria touch pool and aquarium in the northwest corner of the park, the perfect location to accentuate the new attraction’s conservation element that focuses on sustainable aquaculture and coral reef protection.
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    News and community briefs for Ocean Beach and Point Loma
    Oct 10, 2018 | 8939 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    PHOTO BY JIM GRANT
    PHOTO BY JIM GRANT
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    SD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT WINS AWARD The Airport Innovation Accelerator established by American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) has recognized San Diego International Airport (SAN) with the 2018 Most Innovative Large Hub Airport award. In its third year, this is the first time the award has been given in two categories – Large Hub and Small to Medium Hub – the latter of which went to Greater Rochester International Airport in New York. SAN highlighted its innovations in environmental sustainability, as well as setting up a unique Airport Innovation Lab in the decommissioned former Commuter Terminal. “Our innovation focus is informed by the unique characteristics of this airport,” said Airport Authority president and CEO Kimberly J. Becker. “Being right next to San Diego Bay drives our commitment to environmental stewardship. And operating on a small, 661-acre footprint drives us to think of new ways to fund necessary improvements, while always enhancing the passenger experience.” Two of SAN’s unique environmental innovations are its air conditioning condensate water collection and its Good Traveler carbon-offset programs. The former captures water that dripped onto the airfield, posing safety and run-off risks, and recycles it for non-potable water uses. The Good Traveler program – which has already been adopted by other airports – allows the purchase of credits to offset air travel. The Airport Innovation Lab is a working terminal space where pre-existing ideas can be tested and accelerated, potentially leading to contracts with SAN, as well as entrée to other airports. The lab will soon engage 10 companies working to solve two challenges – airport parking and helping passengers with unique needs navigate the airport environment. Its first success was launching @YourGate at SAN, delivering food and retail items to passengers at their gates. That service has since expanded to the Port Authority of NY-NJ airports. The award was presented July 15 at the AAAE’s Airport Innovation Forum in Atlanta. The Airport Innovation Accelerator, which selects the award winners, was established to serve as a hub for business, aviation and regulatory stakeholders to drive creativity and help build the airports of the future. REP. PETERS NOMINATES POINT LOMA STUDENTS TO U.S. ACADEMIES U.S. Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) recently honored 32 San Diego high school students nominated to United States service academies by his office. The students applied through Peters’ office and interviewed with an independent panel of academy graduates, service members, veterans, and academic leaders. This year, Peters had the privilege of nominating Troy Fountas to the United States Air Force Academy; Parker Roberts to the United States Naval Academy; Will Garrington, Jack Abbey and Andrew Fisak to the United States Merchant Marine Academy; and Morgan Melby and Max Higgins to the United States Military Academy at West Point. “San Diego's military and veterans heritage is world-renowned and our community carries out this legacy by protecting our country and supporting our service members,”said Peters. “These young men and women are on their way to becoming an integral part of our proud military town.” “In Congress, I have the honor of working on legislation to provide for the national defense and support our servicemembers and veterans. Selecting the future leaders of our Armed Services is far more personal because I’ve heard and seen how much this means to our nominees and their families and each year, I am always struck at the caliber of the tremendous young men and women who apply to serve,” said Rep. Peters. At the ceremony, Rep. Peters personally congratulated the nominees and thanked their families for their service to our nation.  “Your nomination is a testament to your hard work and determination. Military families have a special and important job, too—you are our heroes on the homefront, providing support for service members every step of the way. I wish you all the best in the next steps of your journey. Good luck, and God bless.” HOMEOWNERSHIP IN SD STILL TRIUMPHS OVER TRUMP TAX BILL This past December, President Trump signed a new tax bill into law that caused some minor bouts of panic on the West Coast. The measure, Tax Cuts and Job Acts, made two major adjustments: the cap on mortgage interest deductions was reduced from $1 million to $750,000, and deductions for state and local taxes, including property taxes, was capped at $10,000. This means that homeowners with mortgages above $750,000 will receive less tax breaks. While one used to be able to write off all interest up to a $1 million loan from their income, using an interest-rate deduction that has been around for more than 50 years, there is now a cap on those tax breaks. This is less than an ideal situation for homeowners in places like San Francisco and San Jose, where the median home value is between $790,000 and $912,000. But while San Diego isn’t known for its cheap housing costs, the fear that homeownership here is now “down the toilet” may not be legitimate. “There are still so many benefits to owning a home,” said Mark Chrisman, Mortgage Consultant at San Diego’s RWM Home Loans and a Point Loma resident. “The tax bill is only reducing benefits for high-net worth individuals. I get people moving their businesses out of California because the taxes are too high, but in terms of the benefits of homeownership, you’re still getting a $10,000 tax write-off for property tax and state tax, and you’re still getting 100 percent of your interest as a tax write-off until you hit that $750,000 mortgage mark.” The median home value in San Diego is $527,600, a big leap from the homes in San Jose. Of the residents in Pacific Beach, Mission Bay and Ocean Beach combined, there are 16,742 people with a mortgage loan and 7,999 of those people have a mortgage loan between $750,000 and $1 million according to Chrisman. That’s less than five percent of individuals in all three cities who will be affected by the new tax bill. “It’s a very, very tiny population of people,” said Chrisman. “To even get a $750,000 loan, you’d have to make roughly $200,000 per year or more on income. If that’s the money you’re making, then chances are you own a home and the benefits are there, they’re just capped a little lower but they’re still huge benefits. I don’t think it will discourage people from getting into the housing market out here.” And so far, it hasn’t. Though business dropped dramatically from November through January, Scott Booth, Realtor for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage and fellow homeowner in Pacific Beach, says that buyers are back on the rise. “Everyone was a little more cautious and scared in the beginning because they didn’t know how the bill was going to affect them, but we saw an increase in sales volume again starting in February,” said Booth. “I think people sort of got adjusted to the new tax bill and they made adjustments accordingly. Or it just didn’t affect them at all.” Kathy Gray is one such homeowner in Pacific Beach whose mortgage is too low to be impacted by the tax bill. Having bought their home in 1999, Gray says they were able to avoid being sucked into the short-term, high rental fad that’s now consumed the beach-side neighborhoods. “Homeownership shielded us from increasing rent prices and the city-wide problem of lack of affordable housing,” said Gray. “Availability of whole-house rentals is quite low, in part due to the booming short-term vacation rental businesses. Investors have been purchasing homes in single-family zones and starting mini hotels, creating a shortage of long-term rentals. I feel fortunate that we bought when we did.” High rent prices in San Diego, especially in coastal towns, is one of the reasons Booth believes that homeownership will continue to be a preferred financial route. And Chrisman believes that first time homebuyers are unlikely to go straight for a $1 million home. “If someone’s going to have to pay, say, $3,500 dollars in rent versus spending $3,800 or $4,000 on a mortgage payment and get some write-off on that, they’re still better off owning a home in the long run and they’re going to save money,” said Booth. “As long as the rents stay high, so will the number of people wanting to buy a home.” But the simple location desirability is one of the main reasons both Chrisman and Booth believe people will continue to invest in homes in San Diego. In certain parts of Pacific Beach, the average single-family house is well over $1 million, and Booth says those people are feeling the tension. He even had a client pull the plug on their offer on a home in Pacific Beach because once the tax bill took effect, their deductions went way down. However, Booth still ended up selling the house and the other client still bought another home in a different part of PB. “There are some people that want to live in Pacific Beach no matter what,” said Booth. “I’m sort of that way. I grew up in PB so when I bought my house 15 years ago, I only wanted to buy here. So, there are people like me who are just dead-set on this area.” Chrisman adds, “People want to live on the coast. People want to live where they can make more money. I mean, how many people do you meet daily that moved to San Diego for the weather and the opportunities? People want to live here, and they find a way to make it work.” -Victoria Davis
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    Installation Dances throughout Liberty Station to showcase art installations
    Oct 07, 2018 | 14995 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Installation Dances, a play on the wildly popular Trolley Dances, are slated for noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14.
    The Installation Dances, a play on the wildly popular Trolley Dances, are slated for noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14.
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    The NTC Foundation commissioned Jean Isaacs and the San Diego Dance Theater to create a walking tour of the North Promenade at Arts District Liberty Station to view six new site-specific dances inspired by existing or newly created visual art installations. The Installation Dances, a play on the wildly popular Trolley Dances, are slated for noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14. The three tours will be led by San Diego Dance Theater's artistic director Jean Isaacs, who created two of the dances herself. “All the great outdoor space at the Arts District lends itself to so many creative endeavors,” said NTC Foundation executive director Alan Ziter. “Just as we have commissioned visual artists to reinterpret our campus through site-specific art installations, we’re now commissioning renowned site-specific dance creator Jean Isaacs to interpret our art installations through dance to showcase the art installations in a new, unique way.” Choreographers include Isaacs, along with Anne Gehman, Liv Isaacs-Nollet, Zaquia Mahler Salinas, and Jessica Reed de Cancel. As with the annual Trolley Dances, exact locations are not revealed until the tour has begun to ensure a sense of discovery and surprise. "After years of choreographing for the conventional stage, I discovered in 1999 that I am also a choreographer who responds to challenges provided by unconventional public spaces,” Isaacs said. “I respond to the play of light as it changes throughout the day; to the original intended use of the site; to the architectural elements which break up the boring rectangle to reveal smaller, perhaps circular components; stairwells, arches, cool little nooks and crannies point to a historical narrative not obvious to the casual observer. “I almost always bring the rehearsal process on site so that the work created is truly site specific. Imposing an already completed dance onto a site is never as fully satisfying as slowing down and allowing the site to speak to us so that we create in the collaborative process which engages us as dance makers as well as performers. I like to hire dancers of many ages, body types, and ethnicities so that we resemble our audiences,” Isaacs said. The NTC Foundation, which oversees the development and operation of 26 buildings at Arts District Liberty Station, recently selected six temporary art projects as part of a new rotating program titled Installations at the Station. A special media preview of all six installations is scheduled for Oct. 5. Installation Dances is a new feature of Installations at the Station, an on-going program of the NTC Foundation that artistically transforms the historic Naval Training Center into Arts District Liberty Station. For more information on Installations at the Station, visit libertystation.com/explore/installations-at-the-station WHAT: Installation Dances, featuring site-specific dance throughout Liberty Station. WHEN: Noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14. Arrive early. Tours leave promptly on the hour. WHERE: Dorothea Laub Dance Place, Liberty Station, 2650 Truxtun Road. Guided walking tours begin in the Green Room. Guests will then proceed to the North Promenade at Liberty Station.  INFO: sandiegodancetheater.ticketleap.com/installation-dances.
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    News
    USO San Diego holds ceremony for new center at Liberty Station
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    Published - Saturday, September 15
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    Shelter Island boat launch closed through September
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    Volunteers needed for Coastal Cleanup Day on Sept. 15
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    Fentanyl laced cocaine leads to deaths in Ocean Beach and Pacific Beach
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    Published - Wednesday, September 12
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    Published - Wednesday, September 12
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    After Navy tweaks, City Council to review Midway Community Plan
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    Published - Wednesday, September 12
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    Nostalgic for cheeseburgers, fries and vanilla malts in Point Loma
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    Published - Monday, September 10
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    Published - Monday, September 10
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    Current Issues(Archives)
    Ocean Beach MainStreet Association 40th Anniversary Special
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    The Peninsula Beacon, October 11th, 2018
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    La Jolla Village News, October 5th, 2018
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    Beach & Bay Press, October 4th, 2018
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