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    Point Loma High celebrates 450 graduates
    by SCOTT HOPKINS
    Jun 15, 2019 | 1664 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Valedictorian Clara Page and salutatorian Jack Loewer watch as their classmates walk in the processional. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
    Valedictorian Clara Page and salutatorian Jack Loewer watch as their classmates walk in the processional. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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    Her decorated cap reveals an acceptance to UC San Diego. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
    Her decorated cap reveals an acceptance to UC San Diego. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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    Graduate Zack Makis did a flip in celebration. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
    Graduate Zack Makis did a flip in celebration. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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    A graduate forms a heart to family and friends. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
    A graduate forms a heart to family and friends. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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    This cultural headdress and one necklace are made with U.S. currency. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
    This cultural headdress and one necklace are made with U.S. currency. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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    The tossing of caps officially ends the ceremony. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
    The tossing of caps officially ends the ceremony. PHOTO BY SCOTT HOPKINS
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    Venerable Pete Ross Stadium couldn't accommodate the masses who spilled onto the field to witness the 94th commencement at Point Loma High School. The Class of 2019, numbering just over 450, viewed itself as supportive of each other. Soon they will scatter far and wide with 90 percent of them, holding over $2 million in scholarships, continuing their education.  Salutatorian Jack Loewer drew laughter during his speech when he turned to his classmates and said, "We were worried about some of you." But they all made it. Any shadows from the hazy sun overhead were vanquished by the smiles of the graduates, their families and friends.
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    Students buy and plant palm tree at Ocean Beach Elementary for Earth Day
    Jun 15, 2019 | 265 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Cyndie Volpone’s fourth grade class, along with groundskeeper Chuck Cardwell, planted a palm tree and flowers at Ocean Beach Elementary. COURTESY PHOTO
    Cyndie Volpone’s fourth grade class, along with groundskeeper Chuck Cardwell, planted a palm tree and flowers at Ocean Beach Elementary. COURTESY PHOTO
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    Ocean Beach Elementary fourth-graders dig holes for a palm tree and flowers. COURTESY PHOTO
    Ocean Beach Elementary fourth-graders dig holes for a palm tree and flowers. COURTESY PHOTO
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    There is a bird of paradise that Cyndie Volpone’s fourth grade class planted about 25 years ago in front of Ocean Beach Elementary on Sunset Cliffs Boulevard. Her class, at that time, earned money to buy it for Earth Day. It was 12 inches tall when planted. It now reaches to the rooftop of the school building. This year, Volpone took students outside to see it and told them the story behind it. They decided they wanted to save money to buy their own plant for Earth Day. They took it upon themselves and kept track of their earnings. They saved small change for several months totaling in $65. Chuck Cardwell, the OBES groundskeeper, who is an important and respected part of the school community, went out of his way and helped students choose a palm that would flourish in the area. He prepared the area directly next to the giant bird of paradise so the palm could be seen regularly by the kids and they come to and from school each day. Cardwell provided all of the necessary equipment needed and happily guided the kids on how to dig the hole for not only the palm, but for various other small ground cover plants. The students were excited to provide not only beauty to the school, but to the earth as well, along with leaving behind a bit of a legacy for their class (they move onto Dana Middle next year). “They are excited to watch it grow, and know that by the time they graduate from college, it might possibly reach the rooftop as well,” Volpone said. “They made a difference and it was heartwarming.”
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    WAVES OF BLUE – Bioluminescence glow returns along San Diego beaches
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jun 14, 2019 | 10118 views | 1 1 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    The bioluminescent algae bloom was captured along the shores of Ocean Beach. / CHRIS MANNERINO PHOTO
    The bioluminescent algae bloom was captured along the shores of Ocean Beach. / CHRIS MANNERINO PHOTO
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    The crimson tide is back. Not Alabama’s football team, but the bioluminescent glow from the marine phenomenon known as the red tide. “It’s intermittent and impossible to predict,” said Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientist and bioluminescence expert Michael Latz, of the recurring phenomenon. Red tides are caused by aggregations of dinoflagellates (marine plankton) including Ceratium falcatiforme and Lingulodinium polyedra. The latter is known for its bioluminescent displays, with waves or water movement causing the phytoplankton to glow neon blue at night. Pictures posted recently on social media showed the eerie neon glow. According to several San Diego photographers who captured the effect, the bioluminescent algae bloom was captured along the shores from Torrey Pines State Beach to Ocean Beach. The range of red tides also varies greatly. There was a really big one in October 2011 that extended up the entire Southern California coast from the Mexican border to Los Angeles. “It’s usually every couple years, but sometimes it happens in sequential years,” said Latz of the red tide, noting there was a massive one along the San Diego coast in 1995, with a follow-up the next year. It’s happening again, as there was a red tide in 2018, and now another one this year, both starting near the end of May. The Scripps scientist said the tide’s plankton go through developmental stages, much like the lifecycle of some insects. “The organisms that produce this tide have a dormant life state called a cyst, that can sink down into the sediment and emerge later,” Latz said. “Local red tides maybe have an internal clock, and a year later they emerge into swimming cells. On a calm sunny day, they’re (plankton) attracted to the sunlight and they swim right up to the surface. If the water is strong enough to stimulate them, they’ll  produce bioluminescence.” “It is of great scientific interest why that is occurring,” said Latz of the tidal algae blooms. “For me, the bioluminescence is really the spectacular part.” Latz added scientists have successfully grown red tide plankton. “We just grow them for our research in labs so we can study them even when they’re not abundant on the coast here,” he said. Scripps scientists continue to sample red tides when they occur to learn more about the genetic and metabolic characteristics of the organisms. The waves propagate onshore, and their circulation patterns create dense accumulations of the red-tide organisms over the troughs of the waves. As you look out over the ocean, you'll see that the red tide typically appears in stripes parallel to shores. These are the internal wave troughs. Bioluminescent displays are viewed best from a dark beach at least two hours after sunset, though visibility is not guaranteed.  What’s also mysterious is the timing and duration of red tides, which have lasted anywhere from one week to a month or more.  Latz said red tides can, but rarely do, contain a chemical neurotoxin that can be harmful to man and other mammals. “Some people who’ve gone out in the surf with them have had dizziness or asthma-like conditions,” he said. “It’s something we are interested in studying.” There has also been a pronounced seasonality to red tides. “Historically, they used to happen in early fall,” said Latz. “Then that shifted in the ’90s so that it also occurs in spring. Spring and fall are the times when it happens the most.”
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    Life is funny for women trying to break through the brick wall; but do they have the ‘BALLS’ to become comedians?
    by VICTORIA DAVIS
    Jun 12, 2019 | 4558 views | 1 1 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Jules Chanel Hoberg at The American Comedy Co.
    Jules Chanel Hoberg at The American Comedy Co.
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    Point Loma High graduate Ava Bunn.
    Point Loma High graduate Ava Bunn.
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    With 20 live theatre venues, 12 acting schools and 10 comedy clubs, San Diego is not a bad launch pad for those trying to catch a break in the entertainment industry. From The Old Globe to The American Comedy Co., the city is enriched by theatre and is particularly welcoming to those who are willing to bear their amateur skills on the live stage. Two of those brave souls are Jules Chanel Hoberg and Ava Bunn, both looking to tap into the world of comedy, one through stand-up and the other through acting. Point Loma High graduate Bunn, now 18, has started attending The American Comedy Co.’s Tuesday night Open Mic Nights where she recently had the chance to see Hoberg, who prefers “Chanel,” take her shot at the spotlight. “It’s in these little clubs and theatres where people often get discovered,” said Bunn. “My friend and I saw probably 40 people go up on Open Mic Night and take a swing at comedy. It’s amazing to know there’s so many people out there trying to pursue their passions and do what they love here in San Diego.” While Chanel, a Pacific Beach resident, had no idea she was being observed by another aspiring comic, she says she’s not surprised. To her, this is one of San Diego’s many charms when it comes to entertainment. “San Diego is very pro-youth,” said Chanel, who moved from Bremerton, Wash. to Pacific Beach this past January on an impulse. “There’s quite a few of us going for the same goals in comedy and entertainment. It’s a city definitely geared towards younger people and it’s a lot more welcoming than most other big cities.” Bunn added: “I’ve heard from people, ‘Good luck being an actor. You’ll live with your parents forever.’ I know it’s going to be tough, but there’s no point in not believing in what you love to do.” For the past 10 years Bunn has performed in local theatre shows, such as in “Annie Get Your Gun” and The Old Globe’s “Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” as well as starred in college short films and national commercials for Petco, SeaWorld, and Jeep. This May, Bunn was asked by TEDxYouth@SanDiego to do a TED Talk. Her subject? Having the “BALLS” to chase your dreams. Standing for “Believe,” “Achieve,” “Listen,” “Learn,” and “Support,” Bunn, who will be attending University of Southern California on scholarship for an acting major in comedy, believes these are the main ingredients everyone needs in order to successfully achieve their dreams. “Don’t have a back-up plan,” said Bunn, during her talk. “Grow a pair… Stop developing your plan B. You’re putting energy in the wrong direction. Don’t have something to fall back on. Instead, fail forward.” It certainly took “BALLS” for Chanel to get herself on the stand-up stage for the first time. While she’s harbored a deep appreciation for comedy since age 17, Chanel still had serious doubts about getting on the San Diego stage, until she had a chance encounter with a celebrity in March. “I was working at Hennessey’s Tavern in La Jolla and just happened to serve David Koechner right before his stand-up show in La Jolla’s Comedy Store that night,” said Chanel. “I asked him for advice about getting into comedy and he said to me, ‘Why are you nervous? You already know you’re funny, so just do it.” That night, March 26, Chanel went to the American Comedy Co.club and did her first stand up. Now, the comedian works at the comedy club, does stand-up every Tuesday night. Also performing at Mad House Comedy and the La Jolla Comedy Store, Chanel’s bits are drawn from stories of new friends, old boyfriends, her “boring” degree in accounting and, of course, her “posh” name. “Comedy is like therapy for poor people,” said Chanel. “That’s a joke everyone says. But it’s something I really apply to my comedy. I’ve had three failed relationships in the six months I’ve been here. That’s tragic to some people, but I think it’s pretty hilarious.” Bunn, who was called “mute child” by her gymnast coach, says she “grew a pair” after her first rejection at age 8 from San Diego Junior Theater’s Miracle Worker production. “I used to be the biggest introvert ever… but acting has totally brought me out of my shell once I realized how badly I wanted to do it,” said Bunn, who has gotten the chance to work with theatre legends Beth Malone and Allison Spratt Pearce. “I fell in love with the adrenaline rush that comes with improve, not having a safety net or any back-up takes. And I’ve learned from the best-of-the-best here.” San Diego might not have the highest profile gigs, but according to Chanel and Bunn, it offers a welcoming atmosphere to beginners, the perfect environment for growing a pair of “BALLS.”
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    Point Loma Portuguese community comes out for Festa do Espirito Santo parade
    Jun 11, 2019 | 7949 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    On Sunday, June 9, the Portuguese Festa do Espirito Santo parade, one of San Diego’s oldest ethnic celebrations, headed up Avenida de Portugal from the UPSES Hall to St. Agnes on Evergreen Street. / All photos by Thomas Melville
    On Sunday, June 9, the Portuguese Festa do Espirito Santo parade, one of San Diego’s oldest ethnic celebrations, headed up Avenida de Portugal from the UPSES Hall to St. Agnes on Evergreen Street. / All photos by Thomas Melville
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    Hundreds of onlookers lined the streets in Point Loma on Sunday, June 9 to watch the Portuguese Festa do Espirito Santo parade, one of San Diego’s oldest ethnic celebrations, travel up Avenida de Portugal from the UPSES Hall to St. Agnes on Evergreen Street, where High Mass was celebrated, along with the coronations of the festival king and queen. This year’s festival presidents are Mr. and Mrs. Anthony DaSilva. The Festa Queen is Grace DaSilva. The feast has been celebrated by the Portuguese for the last 700 years amid the lore of Queen St. Isabel, who was said to have rescued her countrymen from starvation. The festival has been mounted in San Diego since the City's first Portuguese families settled here in 1884. It was formally organized in 1910. “The event pays homage, and is our Portuguese dedication to, the Holy Spirit and her belief in God and serving the people,” said Diana Balelo, UPSES Hall president. Since 1922, the Chapel next to the UPSES Hall is used to house the Crown of the Holy Spirit during the Festa. On Pentecost Sunday, devotees of the Holy Spirit visit the Chapel to pray and offer a donation of monies or Portuguese sweet breads (sold to raise funds) to continue the religious celebration.
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