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    Home for the holidays – Dewey Elementary students reunite with their mom
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    Dec 11, 2017 | 3496 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a good look at her daughter Jordan Hall, a third-grader at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a good look at her daughter Jordan Hall, a third-grader at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a a hug from her daughter Taylor Hall, a kindergartner at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall gets a a hug from her daughter Taylor Hall, a kindergartner at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall hugs her daughters Taylor and Jordan Hall, students at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Yeoman-2nd Class Melissa Hall hugs her daughters Taylor and Jordan Hall, students at Dewey Elementary in Point Loma. Hall surprised her daughters, who she had not seen in six months, on Monday, Dec. 11. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    In an effort to thank those who serve the country year round, the San Diego Unified School District launched the inaugural “Military Holiday Card Drive” this week and held a holiday homecoming for two students at Dewey Elementary who were surprised by their mom returning from a Navy deployment. The school also held the San Diego Unified True Blue Buddies “Military Student Bike Giveaway” where Santa flew in on a helicopter and surprised students with new bicycles. But prior to St. Nick’s arrival, third-grader Jordan Hall and kindergartner Taylor Hall received their Christmas present early, as their mom, Melissa Hall, walked out of a classroom and into the courtyard where the students were gathered for the bike raffle ruse. Deployed on the U.S.S Pinckney since June, and not expected back until after the holidays, Yeoman-2nd Class Hall stepped into the sunlight and then sunk to her knees to envelope her daughters in hugs, kisses and joy. “It was a rush of emotions,” Hall said. “I haven’t seen them in six months. I don’t always get to connect with them while deployed.” Hall, who found out about the plan in August, worried she would ruin the surprise. “But everything went great. It’s so exciting to be home for the holidays; I guess we’re going to go decorate the house for Christmas,” said Hall, who lives at Naval Base Point Loma. Throughout the year, San Diego Unified assures military families that their children with receive an education by providing them with a variety of resources and services catered to their unique needs. Almost every school within the district services a child whose parent or guardian is serving or has served in the armed forces. The district offers military families services that help match them with similar educational programs they were enrolled in previously, as well as introductions to local military liaisons that can help with any issues or resources they may need. All district schools have military-friendly environments with programs, teachers and counselors trained to aid in the transition and adaptation of their incoming and outgoing military families. San Diego Unified services the largest number of military connected students in the state of California. Overall, San Diego Unified serves more than 13,000 military connected children and six military bases within district boundaries. To participate in the Military Holiday Card Drive, drop off signed holiday cards at San Diego Unified’s Central office (main lobby) at 4100 Normal St. from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday, Dec. 15 (before noon). As a thank you, those who donate a holiday card on Wednesday, Dec. 13 will receive a free ticket to the San Diego symphony’s holiday concert “Noel, Noel” on Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. at Copley Symphony Hall (while supplies last).
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    Hot Cocoa for a Cure to benefit boating accident victim
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Dec 09, 2017 | 4928 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Ybarra family's charity fundraiser started out small with their two daughters setting up a card table in front of their house.
    The Ybarra family's charity fundraiser started out small with their two daughters setting up a card table in front of their house.
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    A boating-accident victim will be the recipient this year of a yuletide hot cocoa charity fundraiser begun nearly 20 years ago by a Point Loma family benefiting needy neighbors. The 18th annual charity fundraiser Hot Cocoa for a Cure will take place 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Freitas residence, 3616 Garrison St. More than 1,000 cups of hot chocolates and scrumptious baked goodies will be sold and dispensed. “This year’s event is to help Ron Schoors, who lost his arm in a boating accident this summer, and is now in need of a prosthesis,” said Kyle Ybarra who, along with wife Carrie, are continuing their family's annual giving tradition begun by their now-grown daughter almost 20 years ago. After several surgeries, Schoors continues to recover from his boating accident. He was out in San Diego Bay when a wave rocked his boat and knocked him into the water. The empty boat started to spin out of control and ran him over while he was underwater. The boat's propeller caught his arm, leaving it seriously injured. He also broke his leg. The Coast Guard rescued Schoors out of the water. They got the boat under control after Schoors' friend hit it with his own boat to stop its momentum. The Schoors' family has set up a Go Fund Me page to help defray Ron's medical expenses. Past hot chocolate fundraiser recipients have included a victim of domestic violence, a child with brain cancer, a boy who was shot and survived, a juvenile diabetes sufferer and many others in need. Kyle Ybarra noted Schoors is unquestionably deserving of being this year's fundraiser recipient. “His leg was severely broken in multiple places, and his right arm was so damaged, he ended up losing it,” Ybarra said, noting it's hoped proceeds from the annual charitable fundraiser “will be enough to get him his prosthetic arm.” Of the origin of the hot cocoa fundraiser, Kyle Ybarra, said: “When my daughter, now 24, was 6 years old, she and her three best friends set up a small little hot chocolate stand to benefit a young girl in Tijuana they knew who was going to have surgery. They raised about $80 and took that money and bought the girl a Barbie doll and took it to her hospital room. It's (fundraiser's) grown larger and larger ever since.” Carrie Ybarra said her family's charity fundraiser started out small with her two daughters setting up a card table in front of their house, adding, “Now it's turned into a community event where people not only donate, but help run it. It’s amazing.” Carrie Ybarra noted there will be something else special, too, about this year's chocolate fundraiser.  “This year, the San Diego Padres have generously offered to help support this cause,” she said. Kyle Ybarra added there have now been 18 different fundraiser recipients over the years, as an institution, Rady Children's Hospital, was a recipient one year. He added some recipients have benefitted more than once. The public is encouraged to come out for hot cocoa, delicious treats, music and an appearance by Santa, as well as the San Diego Padres Pad Squad and Friar. To donate directly to Ron, a fundraiser page was set up for him: http://bit.ly/2A3Inu4. Hot Cocoa for a Cure Where: 3616 Garrison St. When: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16. Donate: To donate directly to Ron Schoors, visit http://bit.ly/2A3Inu4.
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    Ocean Beach and Point Loma community briefs
    Dec 09, 2017 | 586 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A couple pups ready for the OB Holiday Parade on Dec. 2. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A couple pups ready for the OB Holiday Parade on Dec. 2. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Holiday Musical Magic Point Loma Playhouse will present the national award-winning Sun Harbor Chorus for an evening of "Holiday Musical Magic" 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec 9. The 20 members of the Sun Harbor Chorus will perform family favorites in four-part a cappella harmony. Founded in 1946, the Sun Harbor Chorus has entertained thousands around the world for the past 70 years. The Point Loma Playhouse is located at 3035 Talbot St. Visit pointlomaplayhouse.com for information. Santa Claus to visit Point Loma Village Point Loma Village boutiques, See/Saw and Good Dog Pet Outfitters, and event space, Wee Gather, teamed up to throw a family-friendly party at 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 on the corner of Cañon and Rosecrans streets. Attendees that arrive early may catch Santa Claus arriving from the North Pole and entering Wee Gather with a “Ho, Ho, Ho!” Tickets will be available to purchase for photos with Santa. The Holiday Stroll on Cañon Street presents an alternative shopping option to big-box chains and retail giants. Nothing says “Happy Holidays,” like supporting local businesses while mingling with neighbors.  Book drive After finding out that Cabrillo Elementary School needed basic school supplies, Point Loma Assembly, 3035 Talbot St., provided funding for items on teachers’ wish lists. Now, the organization is soliciting the help of the community to support the school’s reading program. The school is accepting donations of new and gently used books for the library, and as gifts for the students. You can find a list of authors and subject matter at pointlomaassembly.org.  While you are welcome to bring books from your own collection or shop at any retailer, you can also shop at book drive partner La Playa Books, 1026 Rosecrans St., which has created a special display from the school’s wish list. The books will be presented to Cabrillo Elementary school librarian Virginia Stokely on Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. Pet adoptions OB Surf Lodge, at 5083 Santa Monica Blvd., will hold a pet adoption event 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec 17. Peninsula Singers holiday show set for Dec. 8 Peninsula Singers will present “Glad Tidings, A Holiday Concert” 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8 at All Souls Episcopal Church, 1475 Catalina Blvd. Repertoire will include a blend of old-style carols, newer selections and classical holiday favorites. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students, seniors and military. Children age 10 and under may attend for free. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit peninsulasingerssandiego.org. All Souls’ to present ‘A Christmas Carol’ All Souls’ Episcopal Church, at 1475 Catalina Blvd., will present an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 9 and 10. The two-man play has been adapted for the stage and is directed by Patricia Lynch. It features W. William Cobb as Ebenezer Scrooge and Raymond Lynch as a dozen other characters.   Performances of “A Christmas Carol” will be in Gooden Hall on the All Souls’ campus, located at the corner of Catalina and Chatsworth, in Point Loma. Performances begin at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9, and 2 p.m. on Dec. 10. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets may be purchased at allsoulspointloma.org. Santa Run and PB Holiday Parade Pacific Beach will be very merry indeed on Dec. 9, as more than 3,000 Santas take over Garnet Avenue for the fifth annual San Diego Santa Run, starting at 10 a.m. Hosted by High Performance Movement, the event consists of a series of waves, including a 5K Fun Run and one-mile runs that feature the Santa’s Little Helper Mile, the Santa’s Elves Mile (for kids) and the Speedy Mile (for competitive Santas). Following the Santa Run, the Pacific Beach Holiday Parade begins at 1 p.m. on Garnet Avenue. beginning at 1 p.m. Become a docent This is your opportunity to become a docent volunteer at the top-ranked maritime museum in North America. As a docent you will engage with museum visitors, fielding their questions and sharing your knowledge to enrich their experience. Training is carried out in a series of lectures, suggested readings and walking tours. Why not join other aspiring docents aboard the Berkeley ferryboat for the series of lectures and ship tours beginning on Monday, Jan. 8? To obtain more information about the docent training program contact training coordinator Jim Cassidy at 661-406-0605 or at jimdcass@aol.com. Santa Run and Holiday Parade Pacific Beach will be very merry indeed on Dec. 9, as more than 3,000 Santas take over Garnet Avenue for the fifth annual San Diego Santa Run, starting at 10 a.m. Hosted by High Performance Movement, the event consists of a series of waves, including a 5K Fun Run and one-mile runs that feature the Santa’s Little Helper Mile (for the festive pup), the Santa’s Elves Mile (for kids) and the Speedy Mile (for competitive Santas). Throughout the course, runners donning “Sunny Santa Suits" — complete with white beards, Santa hats and sunglasses — will get in the spirit as holiday music is performed live on corners along the route. Following the Santa Run, participants are invited to stick around for the 38th annual Pacific Beach Holiday Parade, down Garnet Avenue, beginning at 1 p.m. The parade is funded, in part, by revenue generated through the Santa Run and other events put on by High Performance Movement. To register and for more information, visit www.sandiegosantarun.com. Holiday travel tips Holiday travel can be notoriously stressful – unexpected weather delays, lost luggage, long layovers – but it doesn’t have to be. To help, Lyft San Diego pulled some data from last year to show the busiest days/times for airport rides to help travelers plan ahead. Based on the findings: Busiest pickup dates/times from the San Diego International Airport (in descending order by ride volume):  1. ) Day after Christmas (8 p.m. to 1 a.m.); 2. ) Second day after Christmas (8 p.m. to midnight). Busiest drop-off dates/times at the San Diego International Airport:  1. ) Friday before Christmas (4 to 7 a.m.); 2. ) Thursday before Christmas (4 to 7 a.m.). “As expected, there are certain days, like the Sunday after Thanksgiving, that are traditionally packed days at the airport,” Lyft San Diego market manager Hao Meng said. “However, the data also shows us that people want to try and spend as much time with their families as possible, getting to the airport early mornings prior to the holiday and returning late evening on the last day possible before work or even the morning of work.” OB photo contest The Ocean Beach Town Council has started a "Share Your OB" photo contest. To enter just tag your best photos of OB with #shareyourOB and post on Instagram or Facebook. Winner receives bragging rights and is entered in a monthly drawing for some cool swag. Each Saturday, a new winner will be announced. So get out there and #shareyourOB.
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    Grab a dog and a view at The Surf Check at Sunset Cliffs
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Dec 07, 2017 | 6082 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard eats a hot dog at The Surf Check snack shack. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard eats a hot dog at The Surf Check snack shack. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
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    The Surf Check at 1404 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
    The Surf Check at 1404 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
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    How does enjoying a cup of Bird Rock Coffee and an acai bowl sound while taking in the morning view at Sunset Cliffs? Maybe a hot dog and an orange Fanta to go along with watching the sun set at the cliffs? Driving down Sunset Cliffs Boulevard, south from the crowds on Newport and at the intersection with Point Loma Avenue, you will see a blue-and-white trailer with yellow surfboard on top and a couple turquoise tables out front. You’ve arrived at The Surf Check, a snack shack serving the Sunset Cliffs neighborhood, surfers and sightseers. The menu is scrawled in bright colors on a fish surfboard that leans against the trailer. Bird Rock Coffee, smoothies, hot dogs and Coke, or a grilled cheese special are available. The Surf Check is owned by Richard Aguirre, a well-kown local who is also the president of “Save Sunset Cliffs.” Aguirre has lived in Sunset Cliffs for many years and is dedicated about the area. “I wanted to give people a place to go at the end of the day to get food because there wasn’t anything here except the gas station. I wanted to make something for the community who lives here,” said Aguirre. Aguirre opened The Surf Check in November 2016 and it fits in perfectly with the laid-back surfer vibe, but also complements the morning and evening walkers and tourists who visit Sunset Cliffs. “We are going to make it a lot nicer because the goal was not really to make a coffee shop, but more to make a small restaurant down here because we really need some good food in this end of the Sunset Cliffs,” Aguirre said. Aguirre plans to expand The Surf Check with a bigger trailer and make the area around it more welcoming and cozy for people to hang around, have conversations while sipping a hot cup of coffee or cool refreshing smoothie. ”So far, it’s proven to be a popular place for people to stop,” he said. ”I think it has way more potential.” The Surf Check Where: 1404 Sunset Cliffs Blvd. Hours: Snack shack that serves with Bird Rock Coffee, smoothies, acai bowls, hot dogs and Fanta sodas. Info: 619-961-8676.
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    King tides make a splash – show shoreline susceptible to sea level rise
    Dec 06, 2017 | 22821 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A photographer gets splashed as a huge wave crashes over the stairs to Garbage Beach during a king tide on Tuesday, Dec. 5. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    A photographer gets splashed as a huge wave crashes over the stairs to Garbage Beach during a king tide on Tuesday, Dec. 5. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    Ocean Beach resident Maddie Drinkward looks on as a huge wave heads toward her during the king tide on Tuesday morning. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
    Ocean Beach resident Maddie Drinkward looks on as a huge wave heads toward her during the king tide on Tuesday morning. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
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    Some of the year's highest tides, known as “king tides,” hit the California shoreline this week, providing a glimpse of what the state can expect as sea levels rise in the coming years. This winter, the largest tides took place on Dec. 3, 4, and 5, and will take place again Jan. 1 and 2. The California King Tides Project is asking the public to go outside and photograph these ultra-high tides to illustrate how homes, harbors, beaches, wetlands, seawalls, and public access to the coast will be affected by future sea level rise. During king tides, nearly all of the Kendall Frost Marsh Reserve in Mission Bay is flooded with water, giving researchers insight into what the new normal will be for this remnant wetland under rising seas. Endangered Light-footed Ridgway's Rails live and nest in this 40-acre habitat, the only piece remaining of what was once 4,000 acres of wetlands in Mission Bay. The king tides push the birds to the margins of the salt marsh to stay out of the water and researchers use this opportunity to count this otherwise hard-to-spot secretive marsh bird.  Mission Bay’s wetlands supply habitat for hundreds of local wildlife species, protect San Diego from climate change impacts such as flooding, and improve water quality. In addition to using the high tides as a chance to document the number of Ridgway’s Rails in Mission Bay, San Diego Audubon encourages residents to use this as a visual opportunity to understand why the region must ensure protection and restoration of its wetlands so that they can continue to create cleaner water, buffer communities from sea level rise, provide habitat for wildlife, and get people into nature.  State and local officials and climate change researchers use the images taken during the king tides season to validate sea level rise models and better assess local flood vulnerabilities for planning purposes. Recent advances in the science of sea level rise and climate modeling have brought increased attention to the importance of these planning efforts. This includes the California Ocean Protection Council’s updated Sea Level Rice Guidance, which is open for public comment through Dec. 15.
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