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    Leaving 2017 by leaps and bounds – Beach & Bay Press looks back at last year's top stories for Pacific and Mission beaches
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jan 11, 2018 | 18773 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    City Ballet dancer Kimberly Green executes a grand jeté on the Law Street beach as the sun sets on 2017.                 THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
    City Ballet dancer Kimberly Green executes a grand jeté on the Law Street beach as the sun sets on 2017. THOMAS MELVILLE / BEACH & BAY PRESS
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    It was an eventful year in 2017 for Pacific and Mission beaches, which grappled with a number of vexing issues. Coastal communities tackled everything from community beautification to sea-level rise and wetlands protection. Beach residents groped to cope with growing homelessness issues, as well as a proliferation of short-term vacation rentals, and crime. The area also celebrated the 90th anniversary of Crystal Pier, plans to substantially upgrade Mission Bay Park, and the opening of exciting new businesses. The following is a month-by-month chronicle of what the Beach & Bay Press covered in Pacific Beach, Mission Beach, and Mission Bay throughout 2017. JANUARY - Planned Parenthood completed plans to modernize and double its Mission Bay Health Center. - County officials were working with “feral cat folks” to save, rather than exterminate, felines trapped in a federal program to preserve endangered coastal bird species by culling their predators. - A series of storms roared through beach areas Jan. 19 - Jan. 24, depositing about 2.4 inches of rain and causing some flooding, downed trees and power outages.  - City Attorney Mara Elliott alleged several San Diego restaurants, including some along the beachfront, were adding questionably legal, 3 percent surcharges to customers' bills without proper notice to compensate for a minimum-wage pay increase. - San Diego lifeguard “legend” Bill Bender retired after 35 years service with “countless” rescues to his credit. - Volunteers created a “peace garden” at Mission Bay High. - The rebuild of the historic Plunge Pool at Belmont Park was ushered in at a Jan. 30 public tearing-down ceremony with Mayor Faulconer. The event included a plaque unveiling dedicated to Maruta Gardner, a Mission Beach educator tragically killed in 2016 by an intoxicated driver while painting out graffiti near the Mission Beach jetty. - Pacific Beach Planning Group sent a letter asking that the beach community be considered as one of 10 proving grounds being sought nationwide for so-called driverless vehicles. A “driverless” car, also known as an autonomous, self-driving or robotic car, is a vehicle capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input. FEBRUARY - Public officials, businesses and residents collectively launched a “clean and safe program” to remove trash in Pacific Beach and make the community safer, while offering the homeless a hand up. - PB made Circulate San Diego's ignominious “The Fatal Fifteen” list of most dangerous intersections for pedestrians, with its problematic intersection at Mission Boulevard and Garnet Avenue. That crossing, No. 3 on the list, had 16 total collisions, with 17 serious injuries recorded between 2001-2015. - Two Mission Beach businessmen pled guilty to conspiracy to sink a 57-foot boat used for charter sport-fishing trips in order to collect insurance money. A judge later placed them on 18 months federal probation after they paid the U.S. Coast Guard $18,000 for rescuing them. - A motorist pled guilty to committing attempted murder and two assaults in hitting three pedestrians in Pacific Beach in which one suffered brain damage and was in a coma. - Family-run Saska’s steakhouse in MB reopened Feb. 23 with an updated design and feel as Saska’s Steak & Seafood. The popular eatery first opened in 1951. - Sprouts natural and organic grocery enlarged its space from 19,000 to 23,000 square feet adding a new salad bar, deli and juice bar. - A flamenco festival debuted in PB showcasing internationally acclaimed and local performers. - PB planners heard distressing news that the beach community ranked second to East Village, out of 125 city of San Diego communities, in violent crimes, with 216 reported the year before in the beach community. Then-PBPG chair Brian Curry characterized statistics as “simply unacceptable,” describing the status quo as “Apocalypse now.” MARCH - Approximately 245 trailers were removed from the former De Anza Cove mobile home park while the city was midway through the De Anza Revitalization Plan, a three-year comprehensive outreach and planning program to re-imagine, re-purpose and revitalize De Anza Special Study area within Mission Bay Park. - MBHS girls soccer had a record-setting season finishing with 23-4-1 mark (15-0 at home), ending as champions of the City League. - Cornerstone PB business Crest Liquor celebrated its 70th anniversary. The liquor store, deli and convenience store at 3787 Ingraham St. started as a dozen vacant lots in Crown Point in 1947. - New City Attorney Mara Elliott issued a March 15 memo opining that short-term vacation rentals were “not specifically defined, expressly permitted, or listed in any of the zone use categories … essentially making them illegal in residential areas.” Her memo buttressed arguments by a growing tide of detractors seeking more restrictions on, and enforcement of, short-term rentals.  - PB breweries Karl Strauss Brewing Co. and Amplified Ale Works teamed to help raise funding for the PB Pathways project to make PB more cycling- and pedestrian-friendly.  - San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy refuted allegations by the life- guards’ union that a change to how water-related emergency calls was being handled slowed down lifeguard response times jeopardizing public safety. APRIL - In a complete reversal of the Lower Superior Court, the Fourth Appellate District Court of Appeal ruled construction of a long-delayed new lifeguard tower for South Mission Beach was valid and had not expired, as project opponents had claimed. A lawsuit by tower opponents contended the project was outdated and needed to start over. - A proposed Mission Beach MAD was placed on indefinite hold following push back from community residents questioning its specifics, most notably its costs and purview.  - Transforming its decades-old business model, SeaWorld San Diego, after rebranding its killer whale shows, announced it would end its nightly summer fireworks displays. - The Red Bull Air Race over San Diego bay thrilled huge crowds. - An informal meeting by PB residents outside PB Taylor Branch Library discussed “taking the park back.” - Campland on the Bay upgraded and renamed its full-service restaurant appointing Clare McKevitt as restaurant manager. - Stakeholders heard what's going on with baseline studies of existing fish and other marine species in Marine Protected Areas, including La Jolla and Pacific Beach, at a public meeting at Marina Village Conference Center. - PB Planning Group April 26 voted in favor of moving the weekly farmers market from Bayard to Garnet in the heart of the beach community's business district. - Beach residents got their last chance on April 25 to weigh-in on proposed alternatives for reclaiming marshland in Mission Bay at a fourth public workshop hosted by ReWild Mission Bay at MBHS. MAY - Fifteen years in state prison was the sentence handed down to the motorist who ran down three people in PB, causing severe brain damage to one of them.  - St. Andrews by-the Sea Episcopal Church converted part of its front lawn for garden space bolstering community gardening efforts. - Plans were announced to convert the long-dormant Mission Bay Visitor Information Center into a waterfront restaurant/event center while preserving the existing building's marine theme. The $3 million redevelopment project was dubbed Shoreline Mission Bay. - The site recently inhabited by Guy Hill Cadillac and San Diego Jet Ski Rental at 4275 Mission Bay Drive was demolished to be replaced by a three-level, mixed-use project with one level of retail/parking and 172 residential units. - The fourth annual Taste of Mission Beach progressive dinner fundraising event May 11, sponsored by Mission Beach Women’s Club, raised funds benefitting Shelter to Soldier, a non-profit that adopts dogs from rescues and trains them to be psychiatric service dogs for post-9/11 combat veterans suffering from PTSD. - The city kickstarted its long-delayed public planning process for the future of Fiesta Island, presenting two different options for a road bisecting the manmade island. Fiesta Island dog owners favored “Option B,” which keeps the fenced-in dog park intact, while Option A would put a road down the dog area. - May was National Hamburger Month and May 28 was National Hamburger Day. BBP profiled some of the best spots to grab a burger at the beach. - The less redevelopment the better was the takeaway from dog owners packing a May 23 scoping meeting at MBHS to hound the city about what they'd like — and not like — to see with long-range planning on Fiesta Island. JUNE - The Pacific Beach Parking Advisory Board sought public input on what visitors and residents thought about the community's parking and traffic situation via an online survey. - The city approved funding for a roundabout at troublesome Foothill Boulevard and Loring Street intersection. - MB activists lobbied to get more money in the city budget for additional summer trash pickup to combat fly infestation during the busy tourist season. - SeaWorld debuted its new education-oriented “Orca Encounter” show replacing the old Shamu shows lobbied against successfully by animal-rights activists. - PB residents began fighting back against bicycle thievery, documenting the growing illicit repurposing and resale of stolen bikes. - MBHS’s Class of 2017's graduation ceremony June 14 was an ending – and a beginning — a familiar theme cutting across speeches in the commencement program. - The iconic Coaster Saloon in MB was sold for an undisclosed sum to Davies LLC, led by David Cohn of the Cohn Restaurant Group. - Following Coastal Commission review, the City Council approved zoning changes to a slightly downscaled project, with somewhat larger park space, that would redevelop the former Mission Beach Elementary School into condominiums. - The iconic building on the corner of Garnet Avenue and Fanuel Street in PB was named The Rose Center after the late Dr. Nathaniel Rose. - Thieves were warned by SDPD during a June 29 press conference that the bait bike program was in “full effect,” and that criminals caught stealing would face certain punishment. JULY - Crystal Pier celebrated its 90th anniversary. Since it was dedicated in 1927, the landmark at 4500 Ocean Blvd. has had numerous owners, two names, a ballroom, a carnival and 270 more feet. - The public weighed-in on an environmental impact report for a Balboa Avenue trolley stop, one of nine planned for the Mid-Coast Trolley project extending trolley service 11 miles from Sante Fe Depot downtown to University City, ending at UTC and serving major activity centers including Old Town and two stops at UC San Diego. - San Diego Audubon, spearheading a wetlands reclamation effort in the city’s ongoing De Anza Revitalization Plan, credited the city for backing habitat restoration — but claimed it wasn’t enough. “What is missing 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,” said Audubon’s Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg. AUGUST - Some PB residents near Kate Sessions Park were upset about the city's plans to sell the old 4.76-acre reservoir site in north PB, one of the beach community's last remaining developable open spaces offering views to the west. - The city and DecoBike both backed off on boardwalk bike-sharing, a sore spot with MB and PB small businesses complaining bikeshare was directly competing with them by taking away business. SEPTEMBER - Catherine Jolley, former PB Town Council president, was named Citizen of the Year for Pacific Beach. Jolley received the honor for the continued support she has provided and for the season-opening breakfast she organized for all lifeguard divisions together. - A Pacific Beach man, Matt Phillips, launched a petition drive on change.org calling for coastal churches to end homeless “feeds,” a practice rekindling public debate over whether homeless need a hand out — or a hand up. - PB Town Council held its annual heartfelt salute to local emergency workers who make a difference in the community during the Police and Emergency Services Appreciation Night (PAESAN) Sept. 27. OCTOBER - Miller's Field in PB, which celebrated its 10th anniversary earlier in the year, announced the prime retail space on Mission Boulevard was sold to Breakfast Republic, a fast-growing chain. - The annual Pacific BeachFest marked 20 years of celebration with music, beer and fish tacos along the boardwalk. - Responding to a petition drive by a PB man asking churches to stop feeding the homeless, local church leaders said the free meals are part of their mission, and a convenient way to provide outreach services to the needy. - An ongoing City of San Diego project to replace and rehabilitate aging water and sewer infrastructure led to road closures throughout PB – specifically Ingraham Street and bridge, along with other side streets in Crown Point. - Larissa Miller created Balinese-inspired PI Yoga Pants, the newest sensation in namaste apparel. - The first meeting between church leaders and concerned neighbors over problems surrounding churches feeding the homeless in PB was described by both parties as encouraging, though no action was taken. Stakeholders agreed to meet regularly. - Gordon Walker, one of San Diego's new homeless “czars,” was on the receiving end of some community angst surrounding the complex social issue during an Oct. 18 Q&A session at PB Town Council. NOVEMBER - In a tribute to late educator Maruta Garder, nonprofit beautifulPB held a multi-project, community-service day Nov. 3 cleaning throughout the beach community. - A hepatitis A outbreak had 16 cases reported in Pacific and Mission beaches, 11 in OB and Point Loma and three in La Jolla. - The City Attorney’s Office Nov. 2 defeated a lawsuit that sought to invalidate the City of San Diego’s lease of Belmont Park in Mission Beach to a company that has invested more than $20 million in improvements to the oceanfront amusement park. - A plan nearly two decades in the making to replace the decrepit West Mission Bay Drive bridge over the San Diego River was unanimously approved Nov. 14 by the City Council. The $155 million project will replace the 1950s-era four-lane bridge that connects the Midway area and Mission Bay Park with two three-lane bridges. DECEMBER - PB resident Mildred (Millie) Stuart celebrated her 100th birthday at St. Brigid Parish Hall. She has resided in the same home she and her husband built in the early ’60s. - Officials unveiled plans to spend $117 million during the next decade upgrading Mission Bay Park providing new amenities, restoring marshland and creating additional habitat for endangered species. - After more than five hours of public testimony, and an impasse among its nine members, City Council failed to approve new regulations to regulate short-term vacation rentals. - Signaling it may be time for a change, the San Diego Lifeguard Union voted overwhelmingly Dec. 6 to split from the San Diego Fire Department and become its own separate “Marine Safety Department.” - 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,” claiming it doesn’t do nearly enough to preserve, protect and expand native wetlands habitat.
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    Bahia Hotel’s plan to expand upsets kayakers – Mission Bay Park Committee approved the proposal Jan. 2
    by DAVE SCHWAB
    Jan 10, 2018 | 3715 views | 3 3 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Some neighbors and Mission Bay enthusiasts are crying foul over expansion plans by Evans Hotels to increase its footprint at Bahia Resort Hotel, which opponents claim would eliminate 170 of 270 parking spaces while decreasing public beach access. Hotelier Bill Evans said parking changes being proposed as part of Bahia’s redevelopment will reconfigure — not eliminate — existing onsite parking. San Diego Park and Recreation Board’s Mission Bay Park Committee voted near-unanimously Jan. 2 to affirm Evans Hotels’ proposed expansion and parking changes on its existing site at 998 W. Mission Bay Drive. The board concurred with the hotelier’s view that that action would be consistent with the Mission Bay Park Master Plan. “Parking will be put in approximately three, 100-space parking lots replacing the 270 spaces on Gleeson Road with 273 spaces,” Evans said. “The Mission Bay Master Plan, which guides development in the park, calls for removal of waterfront parking, and having concentrated areas of parking off Gleeson Road put in.” The Jan. 2 park board meeting drew a crowd of about 200 water users of every type. Users argued the hotel’s expansion was a commercial land grab inconsistent with the park master plan which ignores the needs of countless aquatic recreationalists. Bahia resort wants to nearly double its capacity expanding from 315 rooms to 600 rooms, while adding a 10-foot walkway and 20-foot grass area around Bahia Point park. That would necessitate shifting current public parking along Gleeson Road on the Bahia’s peninsula to other locations further from the shoreline. Opponents claimed the hotel expansion would deny public access to Bahia Point, a popular launching spot for small sailboats, kayaks and other watercraft. They argued proposed replacement parking further away from the shoreline would be a hardship on, and inconvenience for, boat owners. Those contemplated moves upset neighbors and bay users alike, three of whom — Greg Knight, Mike Waters and Scott Andrews — representing boating enthusiasts, met with Beach & Bay Press to explain their displeasure with the hotel’s plans.  “When the parks committee voted yes, it literally was like a sucker punch to the stomach,” said Mission Beach resident Knight, a kayaker. “I think they were a little surprised to see how many people showed up in opposition.” “I’m a sailor and a very large amount of the shoreline is rip-rap (rocks), which you can’t carry your boat across without at least risking a nasty fall,” said Waters, a sailboat owner. “[Evans] has purposely blocked both ends of the cove so you cannot access it,” claimed Andrews. “He sees [Bahia Point Park] as his domain. Now he’s making the power play to get it all.” “We want parking and traffic studies done,” added Andrews. Evans said he has offered to put parking in on the existing Bahia Hotel site to accommodate boating users’ needs, adding he, and his hotel’s role are being misrepresented. “I’m being depicted as a bad guy by people who haven’t read the park master plan, and that these changes have been generated by me and the hotel as part of some land grab,” Evans said. “Really, all of the proposed changes are in the park master plan document that was ratified by both the City Council and Coastal Commission (in the ’90s). Those are now legal documents guiding development in Mission Bay Park.” Andrews insists the Mission Bay Master plan is dated, arguing it is an advisory document and “not the law.” In response to the hotel’s recently announced expansion plans, Knight started a Facebook page to rally against the hotel’s expansion as proposed. “We got 500 positive responses within two days of setting up the Facebook page,” said Nelson, noting there are literally tens of thousands of local and visiting boating enthusiasts who are supportive of the opposition.
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    StefanieMG
    |
    January 11, 2018
    #KeepMissionBayPublic! Don't let it become a private beach for Bahia. Paddlers, parents, anyone who wants access to this PUBLIC beach should be allowed to get there easily.
    Greg Knight
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    January 11, 2018
    This is a bad plan for all of San Diego. This plan takes away park land from Bahia Point, Ventura Point, and Bonita Cove. You can visit the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/People.Against.Bahia.Land.grab/

    Please get involved to save this park. You never know what you got until it's gone.
    Gary Wonacott
    |
    January 14, 2018
    Please send me an email to discuss potential attendance at our MBTC board meeting.
    Tiger Woods commits to 2018 Farmers Insurance Open
    Jan 04, 2018 | 29143 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Seven-time champion, Tiger Woods, will make his 2018 debut at Torrey Pines, joining a strong field that includes Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and many more. The Farmers Insurance Open will be played Jan. 25-28 at historic Torrey Pines Golf Course, host site of the 2008 and 2021 U.S. Opens. With defending champion Jon Rahm, the Farmers Insurance Open consistently attracts a world-class field, including other past winners such as Phil Mickelson (three-time winner), Jason Day, Bubba Watson and seven-time champion Woods. This is the 66th year that a PGA TOUR event has been held in San Diego, beginning with the San Diego Open in 1952. The 2018 tournament also marks the event’s 67th year and the ninth year of Farmers Insurance sponsorship of the tournament. Woods won the Farmers Insurance Open in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2013, and earned his most recent major championship victory in a 19-hole playoff at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines in 2008. In addition to his seven victories at the Farmers Insurance Open, the 79-time PGA Tour winner has finished in the top 10 six other times in 15 appearances. He is the tournament’s all-time leading money winner, with $6.85 million to date. “Tiger shares a rich history with Torrey Pines Golf Course, and with The Farmers Insurance Open, in particular. We are excited to have him join our field once again, alongside some of the game’s greats,” said The Century Club of San Diego CEO, Peter Ripa. “His legacy already cemented, we look forward to, together with our fans, watching as Tiger writes the latest chapter of his storied career.” Woods returned to competitive golf at December’s Hero World Challenge after missing 10 months due to a fourth back surgery and finished tied for ninth in the limited-field event. “I was good with my irons, I drove it pretty good all week, and made some good putts,” Woods said after the tournament. “Overall I'm very pleased. I showed some good signs, I hit some really good shots out there and (think there’s) a bright future. Woods joins a stellar list of early commitments that includes defending tournament champion and World No. 4 Jon Rahm, No. 5 Hideki Matsuyama, No. 6 Rose, No. 7 Fowler and three-time Farmers Insurance Open Champion Mickelson. The field is not final until the commitment deadline on Friday, Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. EST. Among the early commitments are a group of players with San Diego ties, including Poway High School alum and four-time PGA winner Charley Hoffman as well as San Diego State University alumni J.J. Spaun and Xander Schauffele, who won the 2017 FedExCup playoffs-ending TOUR Championship and was awarded the PGA Tour’s 2017 Rookie of the Year honor earlier this year. In addition to attracting some of the biggest names in the sport, the Farmers Insurance Open will also feature an array of specialty food and drink offerings showcasing the San Diego flavor and venues to entertain the 100,000-plus spectators who attend the four-day tournament. New areas open to the public include an expanded Grey Goose 19th Hole, which will feature an all-new elevated viewing deck that provides panoramic views of the course, a Pétanque course and specialty drinks including the 2018 signature cocktail called, the “Torrey Breeze.” Other public areas of interest include the William Hill Estate Wine Lounge, which offers views alongside par-3 8th green; and the Michelob Ultra Zone, where fans can enjoy happy-hour specials starting at 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and a DJ as part of the Post Party presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal. Tickets for the Farmers Insurance Open are now on sale and can be purchased at FarmersInsuranceOpen.com. Adult grounds tickets cost $50, with upgraded VIP tickets starting at $85. Discounted tickets are available for seniors, veterans, and youth (aged 13 to 17). Tickets are complimentary for active-duty military, reservists, retired military and dependents, and for children 12 and under.
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    Kitten Kindergarten helps felines and parents bond at San Diego Humane Society
    by LUCIA VITI
    Dec 26, 2017 | 62754 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Huckleberry
    Huckleberry
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    Kitten training.
    Kitten training.
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    Kirk
    Kirk
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    Lola and Gaga
    Lola and Gaga
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    Hail kitten graduates! The San Diego Humane Society lauds the alumnae of Kitten Kindergarten, a training course for our beloved four-legged felines. Offered to kittens between 7 and 13 weeks old by the first session, Kitten Kindergarten recently opened kitty doors in three, one-hour sessions. Classes were celebrated as a “huge success” by its two-legged and four-legged participants. And, according SDHS’s Kitten Kindergarten’s designer/trainer Allison Beaulieu, CPDT – KA, and community training coordinator, Shauna Romero, CPDT – KA, classes were “so much fun!” Kittens – and their owners – learned the nuances of kittenhood during a “critical development period when open and receptive to learning.” Exposed to everything new – environments, people, fellow felines, toys, and sounds, kittens practiced the etiquette of socializing – a.k.a kitten recess – carrier desensitization, comfort with DVM visits, leash and harness training, grooming care and tricks. “Owners are often surprised at how trainable kittens can be,” said Beaulieu. “We often see the hand to the forehead moment, ‘Of course they can do this!’ A kitten’s socialization window – that open spongy period – is short. Once that window shuts, issues can come up.” The San Diego Humane Society (SDHS) utilizes only positive methods and tools, sidestepping aversive training for all animal instruction. Clicker training and food – both kitten and baby – along with tuna and cream cheese is used to reward and entice kittens to become affable cats. According to Romero, adult cats can be finicky when introduced to a new environment, making learning difficult. Kittens adapt better. "Kittens adapt to changes and learn new environments with less stress and fear than adult cats,” she said. “Kitten Kindergarten reviewed basic handling, manners and obedience.” “Cats tend to freak out when removed from their environment,” added Beaulieu. “They lose focus. They investigate the perimeter. They often won’t eat in a new space. They’re more comfortable in a colony, a group setting of cats. Clicker training works especially well with shy cats. Even the most suspicious cats watch the action and slowly come out of hiding. The idea that cars are aloof, non-social creatures isn’t true. Cats are social.” Kittens also learned that carriers aren’t scary. Carriers cause most cats to hide. The SDHS sent “students” a video prior to class that demonstrated how to invite cats to be comfortable in carriers. Often earmarked as a trip to the vet, carriers cause stress, “something we work to change” because of the importance of using them for natural disasters. Desensitized, crates become a wonderful place to go. Romero described the training room as a novel environment for even the shy or timid cat who’s never stepped out of the house. Kittens were set up in their own x-pen or pod. “Stepping away from its environment can be scary for a cat,” she said. “But all of our kittens – even those up for adoption – do really well. Kitten Kindergarten’s shy ones explored and played with new objects by the final session. We also taught owners how to exhaust energetic cats by refocusing their energy. Every owner appreciates a peaceful night’s sleep without a cat running around.” Romero and Beaulieu both agree that cats are stigmatized for their independent nature. Often left alone, owners assume their “personality is their personality” with no understanding of how to “handle and socialize kittens and cats to experience new sights and sounds to shape a well-balanced cat.” “Shaping behavior with tiny steps, we proactively work to prevent fear, anxiety or stress in kittens,” said Beaulieu. “Classes build from each other. Through the art of positive reinforcement and clicker training, owners realize that if willing, they can train their felines to do so much more. Kitten Kindergarten also introduced cat body language. Owners learned why cats behave and react to people and stimulus. We worked to increase the bond between cats and their humans.” Training included sitting, high fives, follow the target, lie down on your mat, come, off high counters, grooming – including the brushing of teeth and the use of kitty litters, carrier comfort and no stress DVM visits. “By pairing potentially scary things with treats, kittens associate scary isn’t so scary anymore,” continued Beaulieu. “A day at the veterinarian is a perfect example. Kittens learned to become comfortable being handled for weighing, restrained for vaccines, and checked – eyes ears, and nails.” Cats were also introduced to leash and harness training to underscore that felines can be safely walked outdoors. “Kittens are adorable, just adorable,” concluded Beaulieu. “Kitten Kindergarten was the highlight of my week. It was difficult not to get sucked into playing with kittens for the hour. Those who judge cats to be anything but great fun, haven’t met enough cats!” Additional classes will be scheduled as per “public interests.” Classes are not suggested for feral kittens or kittens who growl, snap, bite, exhibit fear or severe behavioral problems. Kittens too shy or too old for class can send their humans as auditors at a discounted rate. Auditors can watch, learn, ask questions and practice at home. Kitten Kindergarten is held at the SDHS San Diego Campus located on Gaines Street. Enrollment is limited to six kittens per class. Humans are required to prove at least one set of vaccines, a deworming, plus a negative result for an FELV prior to the first class. Those kittens showing signs of diarrhea, sneezing, congestion, and missing hair will not be allowed to participate. SDHS reserves the right to turn any kittens they deem unhealthy. Class participation is based on their own risk. Animals adopted from SDH will receive a 20 percent discount. Classes will be held indoors at the Gaines Street campus.
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    Artist draws out stories and smiles of senior citizens
    by Mathilde Rousseau Bjerregaard
    Dec 24, 2017 | 14280 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    George, with artist Spence Willis, at the Golden Living Point Loma assisted living facility in the Midway District.
    George, with artist Spence Willis, at the Golden Living Point Loma assisted living facility in the Midway District.
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    Sandy at the Golden Living Point Loma assisted living facility in the Midway District.
    Sandy at the Golden Living Point Loma assisted living facility in the Midway District.
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    Don at White Sands in La Jolla.
    Don at White Sands in La Jolla.
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    Fourth generation San Diegan and artist, Spencer Willis, runs the nonprofit Draw for Smiles, which gives him the opportunity to visit community centers, senior centers, and hospitals throughout San Diego County and create caricature drawings of the residents and spread joy and happiness. “Draw for Smiles is a charity that reaches out to extend appreciation to others through fun, fast, caricatures, and improving lives through art,” said Willis. Willis went to art school when he was younger and he has been an artist for almost his whole life. Along with Draw for Smiles, he runs his own art company named “Spencer Art,” where he draws caricature drawings for birthday parties, graduations, weddings and other special event celebrations. He also works on outside art projects. “I want to make people smile through caricature art and life appreciation. It is an amazing affect it has on people to be drawn and to talk about their lives. It really brightens their day,” said Willis. Many years ago, Willis was in a bad motorcycle accident that sent him into a coma and left his dominant side paralyzed, so he became left handed. After going though a lot of therapy, he can now draw with his right hand again. But the accident inspired him to make a difference in the community, and to do something positive for the world. Willis started out doing charity work by drawing children’s cartoon books titled “Scully’s Books.” While doing that, he found out that he was better at drawing characters, and that artwork eventually turned into Draw for Smiles, which he has been running for about five years now. “I have devoted my life to Draw for Smiles and drawing caricature drawings, and the affect it has on peoples life’s is sensational,” said Willis. While Willis is drawing the caricature drawings of the residents at the senior centers, he is listening to them tell their life stories. He thinks that the fact he is taking his time to listen to their stories makes a big difference for the seniors. “The stories people share about their lives while being drawn at senior centers are simply amazing, sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always heartwarming,” said Willis. For more information , visit spencer-willis.squarespace.com.
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    A jury has convicted a Clairemont man of second-degree murder in the beating death of a Pacific Beach woman who died from multiple blunt force injury to her head. David Charles Ashton, 63, was conv...
    Published - Wednesday, March 22
    full story
    Airport Authority approves new Federal Inspection Services facility
    The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority board on March 2 voted to move forward construction of a new Federal Inspection Services facility (to house Customs and Border Protection, and other ...
    Published - Wednesday, March 22
    full story
    Spring has sprung with “Harvest” at Warwick’s
    Celebrate the onset of Spring in all of its splendor with Warwick’s presentation of “Harvest: Unexpected Projects Using 47 Extraordinary Garden Plants,” on Wednesday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. Present...
    Published - Tuesday, March 21
    full story
    Mission Beach boat sinkers receive 18 months probation
    Two Mission Beach businessmen were placed on 18 months federal probation Monday and they have paid the U.S. Coast Guard $18,000 for rescuing them after they intentionally sank their boat to try and...
    Published - Tuesday, March 21
    full story
    LA Jolla music calendar
    Friday, March 24 Raelee Nikole, singer-songwriter, Noon. UTC Palm Plaza Carissa Schroeder, singer-songwriter, 4 p.m. Duke’s Raelee Nikole, singer-songwriter. 5 p.m. Farmer & The Seahorse McGonigle ...
    Published - Tuesday, March 21
    full story
    Bottoms up: New Pathway Ale benefits bike riders in Pacific Beach
    Two Pacific Beach breweries, Karl Strauss Brewing Co. and Amplified Ale Works, recently teamed to brew something special, a new milky stout Pathway Ale, to help raise funding for the PB Pathways pr...
    Published - Tuesday, March 21
    full story
    San Diego fire chief counters lifeguards' claims about emergency calls
    San Diego Fire Chief Brian Fennessy refuted allegations by the lifeguards’ union that a recent change to how water-related emergency calls are handled slows down lifeguard response times jeopardizi...
    Published - Tuesday, March 21
    full story
    Judge rules Guerrero mentally competent for trial
    A judge on March 20 determined Jon David Guerrero is mentally competent to stand trial for three bizarre murders of homeless men in Ocean Beach, Mission Bay, and downtown. San Diego Superior Court ...
    Published - Monday, March 20
    full story
    Gene editing technique helps find cancer’s weak spots
    CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing allows researchers to sift through thousands of gene mutation combinations for those that selectively kill cancer cells. Genetic mutations that cause cancer also weaken can...
    Published - Monday, March 20
    full story
    Letter to editor: Homeless population can be better citizens
    First and foremost, I would like to thank anyone taking a moment to read this letter. You are the basis of why I want this to work. I know first hand (because I’m out here too) just how difficult i...
    Published - Monday, March 20
    full story
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