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    Mission Bay Park Committee votes to keep golf course, add wetlands to De Anza Cove plan
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Dec 14, 2017 | 15021 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Mission Bay Park Committee voted Dec. 6 for a preferred alternative for the De Anza Revitalization Plan that pleased recreationalists but few others, especially not environmentalists who decried the decision as “token.” Overriding objections from environmentalists to delay rather than rush its choice, the park committee voted 5-3 in favor of “alternative 2,” which will now be forwarded for city environmental review.  “Unfortunately, the two concepts presented by the city were driven by misguided priorities that ultimately fail to reach the goals of the Mission Bay Park Master Plan,” said Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg of nonprofit San Diego Audubon. “It’s disappointing to watch the city push concepts that are not resilient to sea level rise, ignoring the inevitable. These concepts place the burden of responding to climate change on future generations, and miss the opportunity to prepare our region for shrinking coastlines.” To adequately protect wetlands in Mission Bay, Schwartz Lesberg said, the city would need to dedicate at least 200 acres — less than 5 percent of Mission Bay — to habitat. The preferred plan currently only has around 30 to 40 acres set aside for wetlands, increasing the less than 2 percent of wetlands in the bay to less than 3 percent.  The city’s Mission Bay Park Master Plan requires wetlands restoration and improvements aimed at protecting those marsh areas, Schwartz Lesberg noted. She said the alternative selected “Does very little to correct the bay-wide imbalance that has for decades favored commerce and recreation at the expense of the environment.” A regional park, Mission Bay has a city-owned, 18-hole golf course as well as ball fields and tennis and volleyball courts. It includes dog-friendly, off-leash Fiesta Island. The park is home to a myriad of aquatic interests — boating, swimming, kayaking, etc. There is also lodging at Campland on the Bay, which provides RV and tent camping. Recreationalists were generally pleased by the committee’s selection of alternative 2, which spares the 50-plus year-old Mission Bay Golf Course. Some wanted the golf course downsized or eliminated altogether, arguing it took up too much park space and that it has been operating at a deficit for years. The preferred plan, alternative 2, allows for 38 acres of wetland. A total of 40 acres are also set aside for “guest housing.” The plan also considers creation of ball fields and a restaurant, while providing beach access for water sports that don’t rely on combustible engines. The fate of Campland on the Bay, whose supporters testified at the Dec. 6 park committee meeting that their families have enjoyed the camp for as many as three generations, remains uncertain. Approximately 80 percent of Campland’s visitors are San Diegans. Campland presently pays about $3 million in transit occupancy taxes and rent. Jacob Gelfand, vice president of operations at Campland on the Bay, said it would be a mistake to ignore the importance of lodging in planning for De Anza Cove. “Campland has been a beloved local asset, coming up on 50 years,” Gelfand said. “Any plan the city puts forward should reflect the community’s need for continuing waterfront camping access.” Said Gelfand: “There’s been a lot written in the media about perceived conflict between camping and other potential uses. For the last 50 years, Campland has been a dedicated environmental steward and neighbor to the Kendall-Frost Marsh. A lot of our campsites overlook the wetlands marsh, and there really is a symbiotic relationship between the marsh and the camp, with a lot of our tenants requesting sites with views of the marsh so they can reconnect with the natural environment.” ReWild Mission Bay is a project of San Diego Audubon to enhance and restore up to 170 acres of wetlands in the northeast corner of Mission Bay. Wetlands including marshes, mud flats and riverbanks, which are instrumental in attracting wildlife, fostering a diverse ecosystem, improving water quality and protecting communities from flooding by providing a cushion during high tides.  Today, only about 1 percent of the historic 4,500 acres of Mission Bay wetlands remain, which leads environmentalists to conclude that ReWild Mission Bay is a critical and time-sensitive project for the area. “Both of the De Anza Revitalization plans reconnect Kendall-Frost Marsh with Rose Creek, which will help the remaining 40 acres of wetlands survive,” said Schwartz Lesberg previously. “What is missing from both alternatives is the long-term view to ensure wetlands can continue to create cleaner water, buffer communities from sea-level rise, provide habitat for wildlife, and get people out in nature. If they (wetlands) disappear — so do those services.”
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    Home for the holidays – Dewey Elementary students reunite with their mom
    by THOMAS MELVILLE
    Dec 11, 2017 | 9911 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 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 then rolled out new bicycles for students. But prior to St. Nick’s arrival, third-grader Jordan Hall and kindergartner Taylor Hall received their Christmas presents early, as their mom, Melissa Hall, walked out of a classroom and into the courtyard where the students were gathered for the bike giveaway. 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 will 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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    Seeing red in Pacific Beach as Santas take over
    Dec 09, 2017 | 9925 views | 1 1 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Thousands of Santas ran through Pacific Beach the morning of Saturday, Dec. 9 for the annual Santa Run. / All photos by Thomas Melville
    Thousands of Santas ran through Pacific Beach the morning of Saturday, Dec. 9 for the annual Santa Run. / All photos by Thomas Melville
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    A continuous red streak ran through Garnet Avenue and Cass Street in Pacific Beach on the morning Saturday, Dec. 9, as thousands of Santas took over the beach community for the fifth annual San Diego Santa Run. Hosted by High Performance Movement, the event consisted of a series of waves, including a 5K Fun Run and one-mile runs that feature the Santa’s Little Helper Mile (for the 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 — got into the spirit as holiday music was performed live on corners along the route. Following the Santa Run, participants filled local restaurants and pubs and watched the 38th annual Pacific Beach Holiday Parade, down Garnet Avenue. The parade is funded, in part, by revenue generated through the Santa Run and other events put on by High Performance Movement. For more information, visit sandiegosantarun.com.
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    December 10, 2017
    Awesome, Red Delicious!
    Hot Cocoa for a Cure to benefit boating accident victim
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Dec 09, 2017 | 6184 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 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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    Grab a dog and a view at The Surf Check at Sunset Cliffs
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Dec 07, 2017 | 6268 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 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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