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    Pedal Ahead program promotes healthful living, less pollution
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 18, 2021 | 19380 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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    Pacific Beach school has success with in-person teaching
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 18, 2021 | 3127 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Students work on a project at St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School in Pacific Beach. COURTESY PHOTO
    Students work on a project at St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School in Pacific Beach. COURTESY PHOTO
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    Talk of reopening in-class instruction in the midst of the pandemic hasn’t phased St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School in Pacific Beach. The institution at 1376 Felspar St. has been open in-person, with all the proper health and safety protocols in-place, since September 2020. “We closed our classes on March 13, 2020, and sent everyone home,” said Meredith Binnie, principal of the K-8 private, parochial school, now in its 74th year in PB. “We were up and running the next week with virtual learning and finished out the school year online. When we came back to school in September it was in-person, and our students are getting good, safe learning.” Binnie talked about what St. Paul’s did to reopen its school and keep its students safe and healthy during COVID.   “A lot of what we did was driven by the guidelines set forth by the state and county in order for us to get a waiver to reopen,” said Binnie. “They wanted physical distancing with students six-feet apart, so classrooms had to rearrange the desks to provide for maximum spacing. All the desks and chairs are separated, plus each child has their own personal plastic dividers.” Added Binnie, “The teachers all have large plexiglass shields they can teach behind. Teachers have microphones to amplify their voices. We’ve kept all the kids in nine different classes in stable groups (to decrease possible virus exposure). We limit the number of people on-campus. It’s been very doable.” Returning to in-class instruction is what families at St. Paul’s wanted. “We did a parent survey and 95% of parents wanted their kids to return in-person,” Binnie said. “Our nine teachers, one for each grade, were also all on-board.” Binnie said school parents were cooperative in doing what it took to get their children back in class. “The most important thing we stressed was that parents needed to be honest in not sending their kids to school sick,” the principal said. “And every morning at drop-off, we screened kids with temperature checks asking how they were feeling.” During the school day, Binnie said St. Paul’s required three basic things for all of its students. “They had to wear masks, we kept them in stable groups and they had to be physically distanced,” she said. And the health protocols St. Paul’s employed to keep its students safe has worked. “We have had two students test positive since we have been open,” Binnie said. “However, we were able to just send those two classes home for two weeks of virtual learning, and then they returned. No other students or teachers in the classes tested positive during that time and the positive students were asymptomatic.” Being back in the classroom has proved positive for everyone, concluded Binnie. “It’s so gratifying for me as a school leader to see how excited the kids are to be at school each day, how it’s really good for them mentally and socially,” she said. “They’re just so happy to be at play at recess with their friends. And we couldn’t do it without our wonderful teachers. They’ve worked so hard to really adapt their teaching styles. And it’s really taken a buy-in, from all the stakeholders, to make it work.”
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    PB Rocks – spreading fun and positive messages throughout Pacific Beach
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Feb 17, 2021 | 3777 views | 1 1 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    PB Rocks is a fun and inspirational gesture in which participants paint rocks, then hide them in their neighborhoods for others to find. COURTESY PHOTO
    PB Rocks is a fun and inspirational gesture in which participants paint rocks, then hide them in their neighborhoods for others to find. COURTESY PHOTO
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    Pacific Beach is trapped between a rock and a happy place. Actually, PB Rocks, a fun and inspirational gesture in which participants paint rocks, then hide them in their neighborhoods for others to find, began in Clairemont. It has since spread to PB.

    This is how it works. Find some rocks. Decorate them with positive messages using acrylic paint or other materials. On the reverse side of your creative artwork paint “PB Rocks.” Seal the rock, if painted, using clear coat paint spray to protect it from the elements.

    For those finding painted PB rocks, they have a choice of keeping them or hiding them again for someone else to find. Those opting to keep them are urged to consider replacing them elsewhere in the community, so the rocks are perpetuated and the tradition continues.

    The fun-loving rock-painting tradition was adopted by Pacific Beach Woman’s Club a few years ago. Two club members, Jody Ross and Paula Munoz talked about how their club got swept up in the tradition and kept it going.

    “I found this rock in my garden out front and I picked it up and it was decorated,” recalled Ross. “I turned it over and it said, ‘Contact this person, and it had a phone number.’ I thought this was the best thing since sliced bread. Even my husband got into it and starting leaving them all over.”

    “The PB rocks are great for our club because we’re always trying to figure out ways to engage the community, raise awareness about our club and attract new and younger members,” said Munoz, formerly of PB now in Clairemont.

    “It’s just something fun to do, especially during quarantine when you’re cooped up at home. The first thing we did with them as a club was hold a rock-painting party. Then we put pictures of the painted rocks on a Facebook page.”

    Ross said the club had a great social outing together initially setting up tables and painting PB Rocks in their clubhouse parking lot at 1721 Hornblend St.

    “The ladies enjoyed painting the rocks and thought it was a cool thing to do,” Ross said. “They went home after the party and put their rocks out.”

    Ross has even gone so far as to place PB rocks she’s decorated outside the community.

    “I volunteer at the San Diego Zoo and I took some of my rocks there and left them in one of their gardens,” she confided.

    Meanwhile, the tradition remains alive with beach residents in PB and environs leaving no rock unturned – or unpainted.

    Munoz had some advice to offer to those newly initiated to the goodwill tradition. “Tell people to paint some rocks,” she said.

    To learn more about PB Rocks, check out their Facebook page.

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    ellen citrano
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    February 18, 2021
    Again Dave, you rock...pun intended. this is a super uplifting article in the face of soooo much downer stuff. thanks again. ellen c
    Port of San Diego advances new clean air, environmental initiatives
    Feb 16, 2021 | 3856 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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    BLACK HISTORY MONTH - San Diego History Center honors the city’s Black heroes
    by KAREN SCANLON
    Feb 10, 2021 | 29978 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    John Henry Turpin stands on a San Diego dock in the hours following the Bennington disaster in July 1905. One of only a few Black sailors in the U.S. Navy at the time, Turpin survived two shipboard explosions. (Photo courtesy San Diego History Center.)
    John Henry Turpin stands on a San Diego dock in the hours following the Bennington disaster in July 1905. One of only a few Black sailors in the U.S. Navy at the time, Turpin survived two shipboard explosions. (Photo courtesy San Diego History Center.)
    slideshow

    February marks Black History Month and San Diego History Center has launched a new exhibit titled, Celebrate San Diego: Black History & Heritage. Though the center is currently closed to the public, everyone can encounter the exhibit at https://sandiegohistory.org/exhibition/celebratesd_blackhistoryheritage/.

    We’ve experienced wonderful success in collecting community-sourced content through our “Share Your Story” COVID-19 initiative,” SDHC president/CEO Bill Lawrence said.

    A virtual timeline celebration acknowledges historical events of African Americans who lived in San Diego County, which includes the following nuggets of interest. Some of the heroes will also be recognized in a 24-foot wide feature at the Balboa Park SDHC Museum.

    In 1913, Henrietta Goodwin became the first African American graduate from the State Normal School of San Diego (now San Diego State University). Goodwin was not listed on the school’s roster of 15 graduates, which is likely why San Diego Union excluded her in its announcement. Let it be known, however, that both an attendance ledger and registration record indicated that this young Black woman entered the school in 1908 and graduated in January 1913.

    The Colored Voters Political Club was the first Black bureaucratic organization in San Diego. By the early 1900s, the city’s Black population swelled dramatically, though still less than one percent of the populace. With this increase, they formed groups to express themselves in ways not permitted in a predominately White setting.

    In 1887, Solomon and Cordelia Johnson were instrumental in the formation of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The congregation met in the Johnson home at F and Union streets until funds were raised to secure a church site at 1647 Front St.

    Remembering San Diego’s 1905 naval disaster brings attention to John Henry Turpin, one of only a few Black sailors in the U.S. Navy at the time. Born in New Jersey in 1876, Turpin enlisted in the Navy in 1896. In 1917 he was promoted as one of the Navy’s first African American chief petty officers.

    During Turpin’s 29-year naval career, he survived two shipboard explosions: the first in 1898 on the battleship USS Maine, Havana Harbor, Cuba. The explosion, which contributed to the outbreak of the Spanish-American War, killed 260 seamen.

    A second explosion, took place in San Diego when two boilers let loose aboard the Navy gunboat, USS Bennington, in July 1905. One officer and 65 sailors died.

    In both incidents, a stunned Turpin rescued a number of injured and dying shipmates, swimming them to shore one by one. Eleven of Bennington’s crew, for similar actions taken, received the Navy’s highest service award, the Medal of Honor. Turpin did not!

    Our hero transferred to the Fleet Reserve in 1919, also qualified as a master diver and retired from the U.S. Navy in 1925 to Bremerton, Wash.
    Jamaican born Turpin fought for a country that never fully recognized him, until now. (President John Kennedy approved his Medal of Honor nomination for the posthumous award in the 1960s, but it went to the government’s back burner. Current efforts are underway.)

    In September 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to rename Washington’s Bremerton Post Office to honor John Henry Turpin.

    Let’s all salute San Diego’s Black history, citizens that lived in, and stepped out of, the shadow of what was rightfully theirs.

     

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