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    Mayor proposes new regulations for scooters and bikes
    Feb 15, 2019 | 773 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Electric scooters near the boardwalk in Mission Beach. Using geofencing technology, operators will be required to slow their devices down to eight miles per hour on the boardwalks in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla beach areas. / Photo by Thomas Melville
    Electric scooters near the boardwalk in Mission Beach. Using geofencing technology, operators will be required to slow their devices down to eight miles per hour on the boardwalks in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla beach areas. / Photo by Thomas Melville
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    On Feb. 14, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer released a set of proposed regulations for dockless scooters and bicycles to address public safety concerns by slowing the devices down in heavily-trafficked public spaces, establish clear rules of the road to hold operators accountable, and charge an annual fee for each device. The proposed ordinance will be discussed at the City Council’s Feb. 20 Active Transportation and Infrastructure Committee meeting. Faulconer’s proposed regulations cover six primary areas – limiting maximum speed of motorized scooters in designated zones, vehicle staging and parking, rider education, data sharing, fees and legal indemnification for the City of San Diego. The mayor’s proposed regulations include: Permit and fees: Each company wishing to operate within City limits will be issued a six-month permit and will be required to pay $150 per device annually. Operators will only be allowed to amend or renew their permit, including increasing the size of their fleet, during the permit issuance months of January and June. Companies offering an approved equity program can receive a $15 per device reduction in their annual fee. Operators will also be required to pay a “performance bond,” which can be returned in the event they cease operation in San Diego and remove their devices.  Limiting speed: Using geofencing technology, operators will be required to slow their devices down to eight miles per hour in designated high-pedestrian traffic zones around the City, including: - Boardwalks in Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla beach areas; - Spanish Landing; - Petco Park; - Balboa Park; - NTC Park; - Mission Bay Park. In two other areas in downtown San Diego, scooters will be required to slow to three miles per hour, with riders being notified they are in a no-ride zone. Those areas are:  - North and South Embarcadero; - Martin Luther King Jr. Promenade. Staging and parking: Operators may stage their devices in groups of up to four, and there must be 40 feet between groups of staged devices. They will also be prohibited from staging in school zones and hospital zones. Additionally, users will be prohibited from ending their rides in some areas, including the beach area boardwalks, the perimeter of Petco Park and the north and south Embarcadero walks in downtown. The City will encourage residents to report misplaced or abandoned bikes and scooters through the “Get It Done” application. Operators will be notified of the reports and will have three hours to remove the devices or face potential impound and associated fees.   City indemnification: Each operator will be required to indemnify the City from liability claims and each will need to hold a liability insurance policy. Rider education: Prior to each use, companies will be required to educate riders of local and state vehicle and traffic codes and the cost of a citation for violating those laws. Each device also will need to be clearly labeled “Riding on Sidewalks is Prohibited” and include operator age requirements. “The City of San Diego is taking a smart approach to dockless mobility,” said Colin Parent, executive director of Circulate San Diego. “San Diego is ensuring access to new transportation choices, while balancing the needs of other users of the public right-of-way.”  Data sharing: The operators will provide the City with detailed monthly reports that will be useful for Climate Action Plan monitoring and mobility planning, including but not limited to: - Deployed Device Data, including fleet size and utilization rates; - Trip information, including start/end points, routes, distances and duration; - Parking information; - Reported incidents and actions taken; - Reported obstructions/hazards and actions taken; - Maintenance activities. “We welcome more mobility options and these new regulations take a common-sense approach that will allow this emerging market to grow in a responsible way,” Faulconer said. “Scooters and e-bikes are providing an opportunity for thousands of people to get around town without a car, creating less traffic and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.” “I am pleased to see the City adopt sensible regulations for dockless scooters and bicycles that prioritizes public safety and embraces the sharing economy,” said City Councilmember Chris Cate. “Resolving this issue has been one of my top priorities, and I am appreciative that my solutions will be implemented.”
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    Do you know what to do if you find a stray kitten?
    by EMILY BLACKWOOD
    Feb 13, 2019 | 14858 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Photo courtesy of the San Diego Humane Society
    Photo courtesy of the San Diego Humane Society
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    Of course, your first instinct is to snuggle them, but that might not be the best idea. With kitten season approaching this spring, the San Diego Human Society wants local residents to be aware of the exact steps to take when you find a stray kitten.

    According to the organization’s Kitten Nursery manager Jakie Noble, nearly 3,000 0- to 8-week-old kittens were turned into the humane society last year. And there are typically two “waves” of kittens; one when the weather starts to warm up in spring and another in the fall.

    With so many kittens being born, there’s a greater chance for people to find them. So while leaving a kitten alone is probably one of the hardest things to do, it is the first step.

    “The most common mistake people make when they find kittens is they panic and remove the kittens from their environment right away,” Noble said, adding that it’s important to first assess the situation. Ask yourself if the kitten is in danger of predators, if it’s injured or if it appears to be cold or hungry.

    “If the kitten(s) are warm and quietly snuggled together, the likelihood is that the mother cat may be close by, waiting for the human to leave her nesting spot,” Noble said. “If you find a kitten alone, this could mean the mother cat is moving her litter to another nesting spot. Mom uses her mouth to pick up and move the kittens, so she can only move one kitten at a time. Be careful not to ‘steal’ a kitten she may be returning to move."

    As much as most people would love to, not everyone has enough time to sit and wait to see if the mother cat comes back. That’s when you can use what Noble calls the “flour trick.”

    “Take a small amount of flour and make a ring around the nest area. Watch from a safe distance to see if mom returns. Come back in a few hours. If you see paw prints in the flour, this is a sure sign that the mother cat is around and tending to her kittens.”

    If the mother cat does not return for her kitten(s), then it’s time to take action. If you have the availability and knowledge to take on the kittens, do so, but if you don’t, bring them to your local shelter so they can be properly evaluated and taken care of. But don’t forget about the mother cat.

    “Every effort should be made to catch/trap the mother cat too,” Noble said. “If an un-spayed cat no longer has kittens, she can immediately go back into heat and have another litter of kittens in just 60 days. The only way to break the cycle of kittens being born is to take responsibility for spaying and neutering outdoor community cats.”

    And if you do decide to take the kitten(s) in — even temporarily — Noble warns that they shouldn't be fed right away. In fact, the priority should be to get the kitten(s) warm before they eat because a cold kitten can’t successfully digest foot.

    When the kitten is warmed up, be sure you feed it the right diet, which is not cow’s milk, human food or cereal. Instead, go to your local pet supply store and buy kitten milk replacer. If you don’t have access to that, it’s important to seek assistance from our local rescue group, vet clinic or animal shelter.

    For more information about kitten care and kitten adoptions, visit sdhumane.org.

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    Ocean Beach Pier proposal
    Feb 12, 2019 | 2732 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The Ocean Beach Pier is closed due to storm damage, but that didn’t deter Thomas Carey’s plans. With the help of friends, who decorated the pier gate with flowers, Carey proposed to Chelsea Acker on Monday, Feb. 11, exactly 962 days after their first date on the OB Pier. She said ‘Yes.’ / Photo by Jim Grant
    The Ocean Beach Pier is closed due to storm damage, but that didn’t deter Thomas Carey’s plans. With the help of friends, who decorated the pier gate with flowers, Carey proposed to Chelsea Acker on Monday, Feb. 11, exactly 962 days after their first date on the OB Pier. She said ‘Yes.’ / Photo by Jim Grant
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    The Ocean Beach Pier is closed due to storm damage, but that didn’t deter Thomas Carey’s plans. With the help of friends, who decorated the pier gate with flowers, Carey proposed to Chelsea Acker on Monday, Feb. 11, exactly 962 days after their first date on the OB Pier. She said "Yes."
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    Unity Game gives special needs students time to shine
    by SCOTT HOPKINS
    Feb 12, 2019 | 1503 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Special needs student Daniel Agosto, left, celebrates while starring in Point Loma High's fourth annual Unity Game. Cheering him on are sophomore varsity basketball players Kadence Jones, center, and Iwalani Cruz. / Photo by Cierra Gray
    Special needs student Daniel Agosto, left, celebrates while starring in Point Loma High's fourth annual Unity Game. Cheering him on are sophomore varsity basketball players Kadence Jones, center, and Iwalani Cruz. / Photo by Cierra Gray
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    Like many other nights, a basketball game was played last week in Point Loma's newly spruced up Lee Trepanier Gym. But this wasn't like any other game played there. As usual, the gym's new maroon seats were packed with cheering students. Cheerleaders danced to rocking music and players rushed up and down the court. Players hugged and high-fived each other in celebration of good plays. But this wasn't just any game. This was Point Loma’s fourth annual Unity Game, an opportunity to celebrate the high school's special needs students by making them the stars, even if for just one night. And oh, what stars they were. The two teams – called simply Maroon and White – were each composed of three varsity boys or girls basketball players and three members of the special needs population. And it wasn't just a one-night event. The varsity team members have been practicing after their regular sessions for the past two months with their soon-to-be teammates. The result? Principal Hans Becker says the game is simply "the best night of the year." The idea for the event was brought back from a CIF symposium by athletic director Alex Van Heuven. "I never expected it to become such a huge event," Van Heuven said.a When the special needs students were first approached four years ago, Van Heuven found out some were excited about becoming cheerleaders, so the school's squad was brought into the event as well. "Even though we're not playing another opponent, there's nothing the school wins, everyone comes back (for the 5:15 p.m. start) to support the students with special needs," Van Heuven said." After warmups, player introductions give the crowd an opportunity to shout as each player is introduced, accompanied by music they have chosen, "anything from rap to Telletubbies," said vice principal Kelly Lowry. "It allows each student to be in the spotlight. It's a night when everyone wins." The game is refereed by varsity basketball coaches Josh Aros and Curtis Norwood. Senior players act as coaches. While the game is played with a running clock and score is kept, it is manipulated so each special needs player scores and feels fully involved. Some varsity players have special connections with the special needs players.  "I thought it was a great experience," said senior player Wes Peterson, "especially because one of the kids named Matthew was in fourth grade with me and we've grown up together. Getting to coach him on my team was eye-opening and pretty amazing." "I think it was the best time of their lives," Peterson added. "The whole school's behind them, every one of them is a winner and we're interacting as we should." And the euphoria for the special needs participants doesn't end with the game's final whistle. "The game instills a lot of empathy in our student body," Van Heuven noted. "For weeks after, students are high-fiving the special needs kids, many of whom are still wearing their jerseys to school. They definitely have a feeling of belonging on campus."
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    News and community briefs for La Jolla
    Feb 09, 2019 | 9573 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Last week, after a heavy rainstorm, the sun peeked out to create a golden glow at sunset. / Photo by Don Balch
    Last week, after a heavy rainstorm, the sun peeked out to create a golden glow at sunset. / Photo by Don Balch
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    LA JOLLA VILLAGE DRIVE AT GENESEE AVENUE TO CLOSE Starting Friday night, crews will close the east-west access of La Jolla Village Drive at Genesee Avenue in University City to set 60-foot-long concrete girders – weighing up to 200,000 pounds. Girders are large beams that will form the elevated guideway on which the Trolley will run. The partial closures are scheduled as follows:  Weekend closure from 9 p.m. on Feb. 8, to 5 a.m. on Feb. 11:  • La Jolla Village Drive through lanes closed, right-hand turn onto northbound Genesee Avenue • Southbound Genesee Avenue closed • One lane open on northbound Genesee Avenue Weekdays Monday, Feb. 11 to Thursday, Feb. 14, from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day:  ·La Jolla Village Drive through lanes closed, right-hand turns onto Genesee maintained ·Two lanes open on southbound Genesee Avenue ·Two lanes open on northbound Genesee Avenue Weeknights Monday, Feb. 11 to Friday, Feb. 15, from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.:  ·La Jolla Village Drive through lanes closed, right-hand turn onto northbound Genesee Avenue ·Southbound Genesee Avenue closed ·One lane open on northbound Genesee Avenue *These closures are subject to change  To learn more, visit KeepSanDiegoMoving.com/MidCoast. POLISH MAN MISSING IN LA JOLLA Michal Marcin Krowczynski was reported missing on Jan. 18 while on vacation in the United States from Poland after he missed his scheduled flight back home. According to a SDPD report, his friends and family have been unable to reach him and are concerned for his welfare. Krowczynski posted various photos of San Diego and La Jolla on his social media prior to his disappearance, and evidence believed to have belonged to him was recently recovered on the beach near Calumet Park. He is described as a white male, approximately 5-feet 9-inches tall, 180 pounds with brown hair and green eyes. Anyone with information that related to seeing Krowczynski in the area is urged to contact the San Diego Police Department at 619-531-2000 or the Missing Persons Unit at 619-531-2277. 'LAW AND ORDER' ACTRESS ENGAGED IN LA JOLLA “Law and Order” actress Elisabeth Röhm got engaged last week to retired judge Jonathan Colby. “We’re overjoyed to share with everyone that we got engaged last week at our home in La Jolla, California,” Röhm told People magazine. (people.com/tv/elisabeth-rohm-engaged-to-judge-jonathan-colby/) “In the privacy of our backyard, we shared our commitment to love each other forever as we took in the stunning ocean views at sunset. It was the most loving and romantic day of our lives with many tears of happiness,” she said. LA JOLLA WOMAN WINS FILM FESTIVAL AWARD Stacey Blanchet, who was recently featured in the La Jolla Village News for her documentary on Shari Belafonte, won an award for the film at the San Diego Black Film Festival. The film, titled “In the Know with Shari Belafonte,” won the film festival award for best documentary.  HEMLOCK SOCIETY OF SAN DIEGO ANNOUNCES NEW PRESIDENT Former La Jollan Faye Girsh, founder and current president of the Hemlock Society of San Diego, passed the reins to Barry Price of Allied Gardens. Girsh was president of the Hemlock Society USA following its founder, Derek Humphry. In 1987, she began the Hemlock Society of San Diego and was president from 1987 to 1996 and again from 2006 to 2019. She is also past-president of the World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies. Girsh initiated the Caring Friends program at Hemlock, which has become the Final Exit Network, where she serves on the advisory board. She is also on the board of Euthanasia Research and Guidance Organization. For many years she was a board member and newsletter editor for the World Federation of Right-to-Die Societies and is past president. Price assumed the role of president of the Hemlock Society of San Diego in January. Price’s teaching career includes 35 years teaching at three Texas universities. He earned two Fulbright Fellowships to teach and consult on public administration in Argentina and Uruguay and to teach and research in Nicaragua. By offering food, we hope to ease the burden of other living expenses on affected individuals and families. As long as the shutdown continues, we will be here to help! We can also assist with navigating additional resources. Please contact JFS Access by calling (858) 637-3210 or reach out to us online at sdcjc.org. LA JOLLA PLANNING GROUP TRUSTEE ELECTION La Jolla Community Planning Association (LJCPA), which makes land-use recommendations to the City, is seeking candidates for its annual trustee election in March 2019. Nine open seats will be filled at the plan group’s election on Thursday, March 7. To be eligible to be a candidate, an applicant must be associated with the community (resident, property owner, local business owner or local non-profit representative), join the LJCPA, and have attended at least three LJCPA meetings between March 2018 and February 2019. There are two more opportunities to join LJCPA and meet the attendance requirement to be eligible to be a trustee candidate in March 2019. They are Jan. 3 and Feb. 7, 2019. Becoming an LJCPA Trustee is challenging work and a great way to have your say in local building and infrastructure projects in La Jolla. CONGRESS TO HOLD HEARING ON CLAIMS OF HUMAN RESEARCH AT LA JOLLA VA MEDICAL CENTER After two whistleblowers made allegations of dangerous human research being conducted at VA Medical Center in La Jolla, congress announced that it will hold a hearing as early as spring, according to inewsource.org The whistleblowers claim a former doctor and other higher-ups put the lives of veterans suffering from alcoholism and liver disease at risk for research that involved taking liver biopsies through a catheter in the neck. One patient was reportedly “oozing with blood” and needed an emergency transfusion after the procedure. The study, led by former San Diego VA division chief Dr. Samuel Ho took place between 2014 to 2016. SCRIPPS CLINIC NAMED FIRST CENTER OF EXCELLENCE FOR TREATING PREVALENT HEART DISEASE Scripps Clinic has been designated a Center of Excellence by the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Association, becoming the first location in San Diego County to be recognized for outstanding treatment of this common genetic disease, which involves an abnormal thickening of the heart muscle. HCM, which often goes undetected for decades, is the second most common form of heart muscle disease, affecting up to 1 million people in the United States and 1 in 300 in the general population. HCM often is inherited within families, and several gene mutations have been linked to the disease. The disease can affect children and adults of any age. In fact, HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young competitive athletes, accounting for 36 percent of all cases, according to a study published by the journal Circulation in 2009.    In HCM, the walls of the main pumping chamber of the heart (the left ventricle) become enlarged, restricting blood flow and sometimes causing leakage from the mitral valve and interruption of the heart’s electrical system. Symptoms can vary widely from chest pains, dizziness and irregular heart rhythms to more serious life-threatening conditions such as heart failure and sudden cardiac arrest. Diagnosis can involve an echocardiogram (ultrasound imaging), an electrocardiogram (EKG) and blood tests. Treatments include beta-blocking drugs or other medications that slow the heartbeat, implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and surgery to remove heart muscle tissue blocking blood flow. For more information about the Scripps Clinic Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Program, visit scripps.org/hcm. CARDIOVASCULAR CENTER LIGHTS UP IN RED FOR WOMEN The Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center at UC San Diego Health, 9434 Medical Center Drive, will light up red for February as a part of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign to bring awareness to heart disease, symptoms, and prevention. Millions of Americans suffer from heart disease, which kills more women each year than all cancers combined. Approximately 6.6 million women have coronary heart disease and almost 64 percent of women who die suddenly of heart failure display no symptoms. For more information, visit health.ucsd.edu/heart or goredforwomen.org. LITTLE MENSCHES EVENT FOR RADY CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL  On Sunday, Feb. 10, children of the Little Mensches program at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center will be putting together activity kits for children currently staying at Rady Children’s Hospital. The kits will include coloring books, crayons, stickers and puzzles along with a video card for the children in the hospital to watch. For more information on the Little Mensches program and events, visit lfjcc.org.  FIREFIGHTER BRENNAN KICKS OF DISTRICT 1 CAMPAIGN  Aaron Brennan, a 17-year San Diego City firefighter, Navy reservist and longtime La Jolla resident, recently kicked off his campaign for San Diego City Council District 1 with a video announcement shared online.  “I’m running for City Council because I believe in the fundamental idea of a government that serves the people and works for the betterment of our community,” he said in the announcement. "I’m running to do what ought to be done, but isn’t getting done, and to get the focus at City Hall back on truly serving the people. MCALISTER INSTITUE RECIEVES $11K GRANT FROM LAS PATRONAS McAlister Institute, a nonprofit organization that helps bring life-saving services in substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, life skills education, and vocational training to individuals and families regardless of their inability to pay, recently received an $11,195 grant from Las Patronas.   The grant is going to fund a wellness courtyard at the organization’s Kiva Learning Center for Women and Children, which receives its primary funding through contract with the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency. McAlister Institute became one of the first five organizations in the nation and the first in San Diego County to develop a residential program that allows women to live with their children in a safe, instructive, and supportive environment while they receive treatment. The wellness courtyard will promote optimum health by supporting physical, emotional and spiritual wellness. Aligned with the County’s Live Well San Diego Initiative, the courtyard will address existing physical decline as well as offer a relapse prevention strategy through a fitness exercise station and mini-jogging path, which will offer residents an ongoing opportunity to exercise regularly to improve their physical health.  Plans include an engraved sign within the courtyard to proudly display that it is named: “The Las Patronas Wellness Courtyard.” For more information about McAlister Institute, visit mcalisterinc.org.  2018 TOP BABY NAMES According to County Health and Human Services Agency, a total of 41,555 babies were born in San Diego County in 2018. Of those babies, 21,313 boys and 20,242 girls. Here are the top baby names parents chose for boys in 2018: Liam (242), Noah (202), Sebastian (200), Mateo (196), Benjamin (185), Daniel (185), Ethan (172), Oliver (164), Alexander (162), and Logan (156). Here are the top baby names parents chose for girls in 2018: Emma (264), Olivia (235), Mia (223), Isabella (191), Camila (173), Sophia (159), Sofia (151), Victoria (147), Mila (138), and Charlotte (137). H1N1 FLU VIRUS CIRCULATING SAN DIEGO The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Pandemic H1N1 is the main influenza virus making people sick both locally and across the nation. Last month, a 26-year-old reporter visiting San Diego from Washington, D.C. died, possibly due to Pandemic H1N1 complications. It is unknown whether the woman had underlying medical conditions and whether she had received a flu shot. A 49-year-old local man with underlying medical conditions and unknown vaccination status was confirmed as a H1N1 death. The total influenza deaths to date this season are nine, compared to 44 deaths this time last season.   “The recently reported deaths are a reminder that, regardless of your age, the best protection against any known strain of flu is getting vaccinated,” said Sayone Thihalolipavan, M.D., M.P.H., County deputy public health officer. “The current flu vaccine offers protection against Pandemic H1N1, influenza H3N2 and two strains of influenza B.” Local and national flu reports show that adolescents and young to middle-aged adults are more affected than other age groups because of their weaker immune systems. In 2009, the CDC concluded that adults older than 60 years of age had a level of immunity that was not present in children and younger adults when the H1N1 pandemic hit that year. In order to prevent the flu, the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot every year. The vaccine is safe and effective. It takes two weeks for immunity to develop. The flu vaccine is available at doctors’ offices, community clinics, and retail pharmacies. If you don’t have medical insurance, you can go to a County public health center to get vaccinated. For a list of locations, visit sdiz.org or call 2-1-1.
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