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    Raptor man: One group's dedicated effort to educate the public on importance of conservation
    by BLAKE BUNCH
    Apr 20, 2018 | 2866 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Metzgar prepares to cast Bunco, his parahawking partner. BLAKE BUNCH/VILLAGE NEWS
    Metzgar prepares to cast Bunco, his parahawking partner. BLAKE BUNCH/VILLAGE NEWS
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    Leath, one of Total Raptor Experience’s Harris’s Hawks, easily flew between trainers. BLAKE BUNCH/VILLAGE NEWS
    Leath, one of Total Raptor Experience’s Harris’s Hawks, easily flew between trainers. BLAKE BUNCH/VILLAGE NEWS
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    Bunco hops between Metzgar and Topher Mira. BLAKE BUNCH/VILLAGE NEWS
    Bunco hops between Metzgar and Topher Mira. BLAKE BUNCH/VILLAGE NEWS
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    The seemingly unnatural relationship between man and predatory birds has such ancient roots that falconry terms have become a part of our everyday lexicon. “He’s been hoodwinked.” “They look haggard.” Even the word “boozer” is derivative of raptor speak, as a result of the bird “bowsing [drinking]” too much. Falconry, which arguably originated in Mesopotamia or Mongolia, typically utilized the raptors to bring in a quarry of wild game. While the sport has undergone variations over the years, the root understanding between the falconer and raptor remains static. That is, however, until man began to take to the skies himself. David Metzgar has led an extensive career as a scientist. He’s worked in the molecular biology laboratory at the Naval Health Research Center as a researcher and scientific advisor, and also in molecular diagnostics and experimental design data. Still working in science, he now consults part-time with work in molecular evolution and microbiology and is a Scripps Institute staff scientist. He also spends a great deal of time at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. On most days, he’ll be “parahawking,” or paragliding with the aid of his aerial ace Bunco, a Lanner falcon. “I had a friend who studied how these birds utilize infrasound to detect changes in the wind at Berkeley about 40 years ago,” said Metzgar as Bunco was flying for what seemed to be 30 minutes. “Since then, NASA has given this some clout as well.” The birds then show the gliders where to be, a preternatural ability that while humans can try, have not evolved to do. Metzgar, along with his wife and partner, Antonella Zampolli as well as partner Terry Lockwood, now educate the public on these magnificent animals through their company, Total Raptor Experience. Here, Metzgar’s role is that of conservation educator, providing public and private demonstrations of the raptor’s agility and well-balanced nature. Total Raptor Experience has a vast array of predatory birds to exhibit, but during La Jolla Village News’ visit to the reserved aviary at the gliderport, Metzgar begins preparing Grace, a Gyr/Saker hawk ‘s creance [light cord length attached to her talons]. Grace is a well-tempered hawk that, despite her being in the early stages of Metzgar’s training, “hops” from glove to glove, at a distance of up to 10-plus yards with ease. Her reward, “tidbits” of quail. “You know, most in the falconry world will say that they are entirely food-motivated,” said Metzgar. “I believe they honestly enjoy flying. Once they get to soar, the hopping glove to glove is boring for them.” The next raptor up to train was Leath, A Harris’s Hawk. Leath performs some quick hopping exercises with some encouragement, but really seems to get excited at this fake rodent Metzgar retrieves from his hunting vest. “I’m going to twirl this bit around quite vigorously,” said Metzgar, as Leath free flies around a limited area of the glider port. “This is a big game to them,” he says, spinning the bit around, pulling it away from Leath despite his dive bomb efforts. Eventually, after a couple passes, Metzgar rewards Leath by tossing the bit in the air, to which he snags as if catching a pop-fly. The falconer then rewards his raptor – a decent portion of quail carcass – as a trade for the bit. Leath gladly coughs up the bit of leather, preferring to use his tooth-like beak to snap bone. Last up was Metzgar’s parahawking bird, Bunco. Possibly the most trained out of the lot, Bunco hops between gloves without command, taking different approached each time. “He’s too heavy to be flying,” said Metzgar of Bunco. “Most people wouldn’t fly their birds this heavy for fear of them being contented, thinking ‘Well, I don’t have to eat for 6 hours so all is well.’” Despite being over his fighting weight, Bunco darts like a racehorse off the edge of the cliff hits a crosswind and soars (seemingly floating) with an evolutionary design that is difficult to not be awestruck by. Metzgar lets him fly around, dipping into canyons and undoubtedly scouting for prey or potential play victims. Once Metzgar pulls the bit out, Bunco takes to passing between all people present, within inches of their faces. It is clear now. This is Bunco’s game. He enjoys it and is quite talented. “I truly believe they just enjoy flying,” said Metzger. “I’m also convinced that they remember individual people,” Metzgar says to his friend and helper, Topher Mira. “They all have very individual personalities, and seem to have this tangible presence of mind he adds.” TOTAL RAPTOR EXPERIENCE Where: Open spaces for free-flight, Torrey Pines Gliderport, one’s own backyard. Website: totalraptorexperience.com. Contact: 619-535-7307. *It should be noted that Total Raptor Experience's weekend exhibitions book quickly, so tickets should be purchased in advance.
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    La Jolla news and community briefs
    Apr 09, 2018 | 30713 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Dennis Wills, owner of DG Wills Books, and Sean Penn at Penn's April 7 reading of his novel, 'Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff,' at the bookstore. PHOTO BY BLAKE BUNCH
    Dennis Wills, owner of DG Wills Books, and Sean Penn at Penn's April 7 reading of his novel, 'Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff,' at the bookstore. PHOTO BY BLAKE BUNCH
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    Junior League of San Diego Announces Kentucky Derby-themed Food and Wine Festival  On May 5, Junior League of San Diego (JLSD) will welcome 1,200 guests to its 18th annual Food and Wine Festival at La Jolla Cove. Guests will enjoy San Diego’s best restaurants and beverage purveyors while cheering on their favorite horse during a live viewing of the Kentucky Derby. The event raises critical funds for programs that support transition-aged foster youth and train local women to become community leaders.  “The Food and Wine Festival is one of the rare opportunities of the year to experience the beauty of La Jolla Cove at an event setting like this,” said Rachel Thompson, president of the Junior League of San Diego. “And what better way to give back to our community, than by sampling our region’s best food and cheering on your favorite horse?” The ultimate outdoor foodie experience will feature more than 50 of San Diego’s finest vendors, including: Farmer & the Seahorse;  We Olive in La Jolla; Viewpoint Brewing in Del Mar; Truluck's Seafood, Steak and Crab House; The Oceanaire Seafood Room; Quady Winery; True Food Kitchen; Fallbrook Winery.  With the Kentucky Derby theme, attendees are encouraged to don their favorite derby hat and dress to impress as they watch a live viewing of the 144th annual Kentucky Derby. Festivities commence at noon and continue until 5 p.m. at Ellen Scripps Browning Park at La Jolla Cove, with the chance to win great prizes through the silent auction and raffles. Later on, guests can join an exclusive after-party at the La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla (within walking distance of the Food and Wine Festival).     Ticket prices start at $75, with a valet parking option available for purchase. Ticket cost includes unlimited tastings of exquisite bites, flavorful wines, handcrafted cocktails and craft beers. Exclusive VIP tickets will also include a VIP-only lounge, VIP gift bag and access to exclusive premier vendors.  Junior League of San Diego thanks its sponsors, including media sponsor San Diego Magazine, for making this event possible. For a complete list of participating vendors and to purchase tickets, please visit www.jlsd.org/foodandwine. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available, as well as donations if anyone is unable to attend this highly anticipated event.  For more information on how to support this event, please contact foodandwine@jlsd.org. Westfield UTC announces new parking plan Along with increased parking capacity, an all-new valet drive-up on La Jolla Village Drive and convenient “Park Assist” technology, UTC will implement a secured parking plan that keeps parking free for the first two hours, with an hourly fee afterward. Beginning this Fall, Westfield UTC will introduce a secured parking plan that alleviates the growing problem of parking spot “poaching” by individuals who leave their vehicles on the property for several hours at a time (or even on a longer-term basis) only to make visits elsewhere in the local neighborhood. For the approximately 85 percent of guests who complete their visits in under two hours, the parking experience at UTC will be as free as ever: the first two hours of parking at UTC will remain free of charge. As UTC has emerged as one of the few remaining free parking locations in the increasingly dense Golden Triangle business district, individuals not actually visiting the shopping center have been taking advantage of the neighborhood’s extremely limited parking. On a daily basis, hundreds of cars are parked on site for several hours – or even for the entire day, and UTC guests have reported being inconvenienced as a result. This issue is expected to increase even further with the planned addition of a new regional transit center and trolley station alongside the property, resulting in an influx of daily commuters who could use UTC as a place to park before proceeding elsewhere. As such, UTC’s new secured parking plan is Westfield’s decision to do right by its valued customers and guests, doing more to ensure they have access to the parking they deserve. Meet the 'Bad Boy Painter' Discover his newest “Daring Contemporary Works” on Saturday, April 21, at 1111 Prospect Street, La Jolla by the Sea “Why are the figures faceless? It’s a universal language free of racial limitations, and a reflection of society’s fear of individuality.”-Mark Kostabi Mark Kostabi-exclusively represented in the United States by Martin Lawrence Galleries-has long been admired for his spectacular fine art, accomplishments, provocative media persona, living a New York lifestyle to the fullest and telling his own unique story of the fine art scene. The figures that populate his paintings are fife with body language that clearly express basic human instincts. Kostabi’s faceless ones speak a universal language alluding to contemporary political, social and psychological issues, with stylistic roots in the work of Giorgio de Chirico and Fernand Léger. Kostabi’s new works articulate an artistic sense of the moment that is captured in various iterations of his ‘Everyone’ romantic depictions, simply embracing couples, symmetrically posed hand-to-hand pairs, celebratory ‘toasters,’ as well as ‘sexters’ and other couples amusingly obsesses with their modern tech-all rendered with fuss but elevated with beautiful color and stencil elements. “As an artist, for me, the people are the brushes, the people are the paint. I direct my laser pointer to a particular section of an idea projected before the Kostabi team and offer advice and suggestions, I am a painter at an easel, directing the zeitgeist towards the clarity and timelessness of art."-Mark Kostabi Kostabi was born in Los Angeles in 1960 to Estonian immigrants and raised in Whittier, California. He went on to study drawing and painting at California State University, Fullerton, then moved to New York in the early 80’s. and soon emerged as a leading figure of the East Village art movement. Kostabi has designed album covers-among them (Guns ‘N’ Roses use your Illusion, The Ramones ‘Adios Amigos and a number of numerous products. His work has been featured in the New York Times, people, Vogue, Playboy, Forbes, New York Magazine, Art Forum and Art in America. Retrospective exhibitions of Kostabi’s paintings have been held at the Mitsukoshi Museum in Tokyo (1982), the Art Museum of Estonia in Tallinn (1998) and the Chiostro del Bramante in Room in 2206. Kostabi’s work is in over 50 permanent museum collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the National Gallery in Washington DC, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and others. Kostabi has been profiled on 60 minutes, A Current Affair, the Oprah Winfrey Show, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, CNN and MTV. Martin Lawrence Galleries (MLG) is extremely proud to exclusively offer Kostabi’s originals and considers the artist as someone who continues to leave an indelible impression on the art world. MLG offers the works of Mark Kostabi, along with other 20th and 21st century masters including Chagall, Picasso, Warhol, Haring, Dalí at their fine art galleries located in 9 cities from New York to New Orleans, Maui to La Jolla.
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    Thanks to a loophole, remodels along the coast are actually new homes
    by ANDREW KEATTS
    Mar 26, 2018 | 11885 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    A developer tore down a home he had just remodeled to take advantage of the city’s 50 percent rule, a development loophole. / PHOTO BY ADRIANA HELDIZ
    A developer tore down a home he had just remodeled to take advantage of the city’s 50 percent rule, a development loophole. / PHOTO BY ADRIANA HELDIZ
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    New homes in Bird Rock stand in stark contrast to their smaller, older neighbors. / PHOTO BY ADRIANA HELDIZ
    New homes in Bird Rock stand in stark contrast to their smaller, older neighbors. / PHOTO BY ADRIANA HELDIZ
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    STORY PUBLISHED BY VOICE OF SAN DIEGO Coastal residents have for years hated that developers can tear down small homes in older neighborhoods and build much bigger ones in their place. They say the new homes are big and ugly, block the sun and the breeze and strangle the sensation that you’re on the coast. The catch-all complaint is that the new, big homes are destroying the “community character” of established neighborhoods. One specific loophole in the city’s development regulations makes it a relatively easy process – at least easier than the alternative – and a handful of local developers have turned it into a lucrative business. Developers can acquire permits to tear down and rebuild a new home in as little as a day, if they keep 50 percent of the existing home. Otherwise, they’d have to get a coastal development permit, which requires a political process developers say adds $100,000 to a project and delays it by about a year. The law as written is intended to make it easy to remodel a home, but developers have learned they can usually figure out how to keep enough walls to build a new home from scratch and qualify as a remodel. It’s a way of circumventing a permit only required on the coast, thanks to the 1976 Coastal Act, which intended to control development on the coast and protect coastal resources. “The reality is that the CDP process is so onerous and broken that everybody does everything they can to avoid a coastal permit,” said Mark Morris, an architect with Oasis Architecture and Design, which is active on the coast. He’s not kidding. According to city data, nearly 10 permits receive an exemption from the coastal development permit requirements for every one that goes through the standard process. The loophole has swallowed the rule. The 50 percent rule is enticing all over the coast, because it saves significant time and money. But it’s become especially controversial in Bird Rock, where there’s been a rash of rebuilds in recent years. Old, small beach bungalows there have provided a ready-made supply of chances to buy, demolish and rebuild them into big, modern homes. What isn’t clear is whether the Coastal Commission, the state agency that oversees coastal development and signed off on the city’s regulations that exempt certain projects from getting a coastal development permit, cares about any of this. A Coastal Commission staffer said the Coastal Act was meant to protect coastal resources from new development – and that “community character” is one of those resources. Every five years, the commission is supposed to check in on whether the plans it approved to let cities exempt certain projects from coastal requirements are being implemented in the spirit of the Coastal Act. In practice, that basically never happens. “Unfortunately, the commission has never had the funding to carry this out in a systematic way. We’ve only done three or four in 40 years,” said Sarah Christie, legislative director of the California Coastal Commission. After years of growing discontent, a group that started in Bird Rock is now pushing the city to adopt a new set of rules. They’ve barnstormed community planning groups in Point Loma, La Jolla, Ocean Beach, Pacific Beach and Torrey Pines looking for support. The groups have now sent letters of support to the City Council members who represent the coast, Barbara Bry and Lorie Zapf. “We’re concerned about developers, flippers, coming in, developing homes of large bulk and scale, out of character with the neighborhood, out of character with the community plan,” said Sharon Wampler, a leader of the group, at a meeting last year of the Peninsula planning group. They hope the city will pick up their list of changes to pass an anti-mansionization ordinance, as Los Angeles did last year when confronted with the same types of community concerns. 50 Percent, Times Two Dave Ish was alarmed watching the construction across Linda Rosa Avenue from his Bird Rock home. A green fence went up around the small, unassuming house across from him on Linda Rosa Avenue, and he figured there was another 50 percent project on the way. The developer was Ben Ryan, of Tourmaline Properties. He builds about 15 projects a year, up and down the coast. “Ultimately, our goal is to achieve the best design,” Ryan said. “If it’s possible to achieve a great design by using the 50 percent rule, we do, and if not then we get a coastal development permit.” In this case, he had indeed figured out how to build the new home he wanted within the loophole. He used the loophole twice, though. First, he used it for something that resembles a remodel: He added a closet to the side of the house that expanded the home’s footprint. Then he used the loophole again, tearing down what he had just built but maintaining the new walls so he could build the new, bigger home that he wanted. “Doing a sequence of 50 percents allowed us to do a better design,” he said. The new home will be quite a bit bigger than the one it replaced, but still within what’s allowed by the city’s zoning. But that project has run into a series of problems, as Ish has kept track of the rebuild and repeatedly contacted the city’s Development Services Department with what he thought were problems. First, he noticed the shoddy craftsmanship of the first addition – expecting that the intent was to tear it down. The city signed off on the final inspection of that work, until Ish’s badgering led them to revoke the approval in January. In an email, a Development Services official acknowledged that was because Ish alerted them to violations. “It’s a joke,” Ish said. “The city is complicit in this. They just go along. They could make it so that once you get a permit, you have to wait a period to get another one. I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s really outrageous.” Ryan, though, simply needed to improve the work and pass final inspection again, which he did. His request for a second permit was on hold until that happened. He has since received it and construction has resumed. But Ryan used another clever interpretation to his advantage. City zoning stipulates that homes can be a certain square footage, relative to the size of their lot. Car ports – defined as anything with three open walls – don’t count toward that square footage, while garages do. Ryan turned the garage into a car port. A DSD official confirmed that meant the garage’s square footage could then be redistributed to the new home. Ultimately, it’s the size of the new homes that the neighbors dislike. Unlike most other neighborhood-developer fights, this isn’t about density; these are old single-family homes getting replaced by new single-family homes. But neighbors think the bigger homes are outside the “bulk and scale” of the neighborhood. “The property rights of the person developing the property outweigh the property rights of everyone in the surrounding neighborhood,” Ish said. “That doesn’t fly. If anything, I think the property rights of the existing property owners outweigh, and they should at least control what the person can develop.” One developer once told him that putting strict regulations that limit new development would simply hurt the value of everyone’s property, in some cases as much as $500,000. “I don’t really give a damn about you, or the guy who wants to build a mansion – I don’t care about his bank account,” Ish said. “But look, if these things go up next to you, they don’t increase your property value.” Empty Promises Joe LaCava is a Bird Rock resident and veteran of community planning in San Diego. He’s been a longtime member of the La Jolla Community Planning Association, and the chair of the Community Planners Committee, the umbrella group for planning groups citywide. He’s also a land use consultant. He’s not convinced the mansionization problem – a term he doesn’t like in the first place – is as big an issue as many of his neighbors think. Mainly, that’s because he isn’t so sure the point of the Coastal Act was ever to regulate single-family home-building in single-family neighborhoods. In other words, why not forget about the loophole, and just let developers tear down and rebuild homes on the coast? That’s a perspective Morris, one of the active coastal architects, shares too. “It seems to me their larger concerns are power plants on the beach, or digging into a hillside that threatens a coastal bluff,” he said. “That’s why the requirement exists. If you look at the entire coastal zone, and look at properties in the flats of PB, why would they need a coastal permit?” The coastal zone extends outside what you might consider close to the coast. Homes that are west of the closest roadway to the ocean aren’t eligible for exemption – they all get reviewed. But the coastal zone extends all the way to I-5 in Pacific Beach. Want to rebuild a single-family home near the Wienerschnitzel on Garnett? Find a loophole, or get ready to wait. Knowing Where the Line Is Bob Vacchi, director of Development Services, said the city has figured out how to police the most creative interpretations of the 50 percent rule. For instance, developers have tried to maintain half of the walls as they were, then move them to the edge of the yard and lean them against a fence and claim that they’ve maintained half of the structure. That doesn’t fly. But others realized they can dig out the foundation of a house, leaving nothing but a hole in its place, and suspend the old walls in the air exactly where the walls used to stand. That’s perfectly legal. “So the frame wall would be sitting 20 feet in the air, on a single brace, but it’s exactly where it was before, so that would fly,” he said. “We’ve gotten better and better as we’ve gone along because people have tried different things and we’ve always tried to enforce it in a consistent way, and now it’s pretty routine and pretty common.” The city relies on a memo spelling out how it has decided to interpret what it means to keep 50 percent of a home. It’s complex, but dependable. To the handful of developers who’ve done it dozens of times, it’s second nature. But to an out-of-town developer, it’s not only confusing, but absurd. That’s also opened up a business model local developers have been able to exploit. “Getting around the 50 percent rule is so difficult that you need a local architect to understand it,” Morris said. “If you change it, you’ll have architects from outside the area coming in.” But the city says it has the process dialed in and is comfortable that developers simply can’t fudge it. They measure to the inch. “We’ve had neighbors call us and say they moved a wall six inches, and we go out and measure. Once they do that, it’s gone,” Geiler said, meaning developers lost their exemption mid-project and had to halt construction and start the coastal development permit process. “It’s been years and years now, so the builders are getting pretty savvy in terms of knowing where the line is,” Vacchi said. Twice last year, Geiler said, developers had to stop midway and go get a coastal development permit. One of those, in March of last year, was a house in Torrey Pines caught by neighbors who sent photos and an outline of their issues to city staff. “I have conducted a site inspection with the field supervisor and agree that the methods were improper,” DSD senior planner Duke Fernandez wrote in an email. “The movement of the walls resulted in the loss of their coastal exemptions, the applicant is now being required to obtain a (CDP).” To Ish, it all feels a bit silly – and not reassuring – that neighbors keep catching things that Development Services is supposed to be on top of. This week, Development Services sent him an email saying that Ryan was going to be forced to remove some of a deck and make the house a bit smaller due to additional issues Ish had pointed out. “Should I send my bill for being a developer COP to the DSD or Police Department?” Ish wrote in an email. The New Neighbors Lucas and Marie Rotter are a married couple in their 30s. They just moved to San Diego, opting for the laid-back lifestyle of Bird Rock over the frantic pace (and traffic) of Los Angeles. They happen to have bought one of the new, big mansions that pissed off so many neighbors. Lucas Rotter, who runs a software company, said he understands the complaints, but thinks it’d be counterproductive for the city to make it harder to build new homes. “What’s the alternative? A neighborhood of dilapidated homes,” he said. “This neighborhood used to be a bunch of little bungalows, and now that’s changing. It’s part of life.” Marie Rotter said they chose the neighborhood because it wasn’t too touristy. She said the new homes people are building are inevitable given the increasing property values on the coast. “There’s still height and (square footage) restrictions,” she said. “I don’t see what’s wrong with letting people build what they want, within the constraints of zoning. People just don’t want change.” Morris, one of the active coastal architects involved in ongoing discussions over the proposal, said the city needs to be careful if it tries to rewrite the requirements. “The community group heading up this push is a small nucleus from La Jolla and they’re trying to push on everyone what they think the character of their community should be,” he said. “I don’t want the coast of San Diego to look like a single development.” Although LaCava doesn’t take issue with the city’s exemption process, he thinks it is still responsible for the anger among neighbors, because of how it sells community plans. City planners and elected officials describe community plans as contracts between neighbors, the city and developers about how and where an area will grow. In practice, plenty of new developments get approved without anyone ever checking them against the existing community plan. For example, when a developer gets a coastal development permit, city staffers determine whether the project meets the subjective criteria in a community plan. Take La Jolla’s plan. One of its guiding policies for residential development says the city should “avoid extreme and intrusive changes to the residential scale of La Jolla’s neighborhoods and to promote good design and harmony within the visual relationships and transitions between new and older structures.” Upset neighbors could point to that policy as evidence that a new proposed home doesn’t meet match the plan, and pressure the developer to make changes. But a project that uses the 50 percent rule doesn’t require anyone in the city to ever glance at a community plan. City staff simply checks to make sure it meets the hard-and-fast rules outlined in zoning – how tall, how far from the sidewalk, what type of project — and cuts the developer a permit. “The city needs to stop making promises it can’t keep,” LaCava said. “If they don’t intend to follow through with all the descriptions and renderings they put in community plans, they should stop doing it.” Gary Geiler, a program manager with the Development Services Department who is the guru of the city’s zoning code, confirmed that city staff doesn’t consult community plans when granting what are known as “ministerial” permits. “We don’t look at those things against a community plan,” Geiler said. “And right now we’re making more and more things ministerial. The only possibility is the hope that the zone itself will control bulk and scale.” The Proposed Fix Residents, led by Wampler, are optimistic they can work with the city and developers to put a new, clearer system in place. Developers themselves are even open, if cautious, to potential alternatives. “An incentive-based zoning has the potential to be a really good thing for the community if executed well, and I’m hopeful a proposal could be developed and fine-tuned that promotes good design,” Ryan said. “I’m interested in being helpful in that process and being part of that process.” The thrust of the proposal is to incentivize developers to build a certain type of home. For each characteristic they meet – setting it back from the curb by a certain distance, or keeping it below a certain height – they’d earn more square footage to disperse through the home. Ideally, they’d want those standards to be clearly defined, so residents could forget about creative interpretations, and developers could have some predictability. They aren’t there yet. A handful of developers sent the group a letter outlining problems they had with the proposal as written. Mostly it was that the new standards were either subjective, or overly onerous. “The problem we have with the incentive-based code is they’re using it to restrict homeowners’ rights – people buy a property with an expectation of rights, and the value is based on the right to build to a certain-sized home,” Morris said. He estimated that most of his clients build to over 95 percent of the allowable square footage, maximizing the value their zoning allows. But an incentive-based code that lets his clients get to that same point, he said, would hypothetically be fine. Wampler and five others in La Jolla started their group back in 2015 and conducted a year and a half of meetings and information-gathering before issuing a final report that summarized their problems. That’s the basis of their proposal, which they then took to other coastal groups looking for buy-in. When Wampler presents the group’s proposal to those planning groups, though, she’s talking to a receptive audience. “What we found is, the root cause and underlying issues of vacation rentals, bulk and scale, community character and lack of enforcement from the city are happening everywhere,” she said. “And we’re not against change, or new builds, but we live in a community, not on individual islands, so it’s important to pull together. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, even though we’re all fighting common issues.” They’ve now got sympathetic letters in hand from all the coastal groups. The city might not be so eager to jump back into the issue. It already went through the public process of crafting a “categorical exclusion” that would eliminate all the loopholes and interpretations and simply allow developers to demolish non-historic homes and build new ones in their place. That’s been stalled with Coastal Commission staff since 1997.
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    La Jolla news and community briefs
    Mar 23, 2018 | 46298 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    'Once Upon a Time in the West,' by artist Kota Ezowa (2017) is located at 7905 Heschel Ave. With Salk-selected architect, Louis Kahn in the foreground, this is one work that arguably could not provide a better depiction of the development of La Jolla. Sponsored by Lisette and Mick Farell, Ezowa's works adds to the charming Murals of La Jolla project. For more information, visit muralsoflajolla.com. BLAKE BUNCH/VILLAGE NEWS
    'Once Upon a Time in the West,' by artist Kota Ezowa (2017) is located at 7905 Heschel Ave. With Salk-selected architect, Louis Kahn in the foreground, this is one work that arguably could not provide a better depiction of the development of La Jolla. Sponsored by Lisette and Mick Farell, Ezowa's works adds to the charming Murals of La Jolla project. For more information, visit muralsoflajolla.com. BLAKE BUNCH/VILLAGE NEWS
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    Coastal Writers Connect networking happy hour On Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m., meet other local writers, exchange ideas, announce projects, share information, advance your marketing, or update skills. The happy hour will be held at Hennessey’s, located at 7811 Herschel Ave. Cost is $5. The first event combined with “Off the Wall” 3-minute fiction open mic night. For more information, contact Diane Malloy at mdtm07@gmail.com. Registration open for PGA Jr. League Boys and girls learn and play golf on teams with their friends PGA and LPGA professionals in the San Diego area are offering PGA Jr. League, a game-changing way for kids to learn and play golf. The program brings friends and family together around fun, team golf experiences with expert coaching and instruction from PGA and LPGA professionals. Boys and girls of all background and skill levels learn and play together in a supportive, two-person scramble format that encourages mentorship, builds confidence, and promotes sportsmanship. PGA Jr. League is primarily for boys and girls ages 13 and under, though some facilities offer 16-and-under programs (included in the online program description). Below is a list of facilities hosting open registration, meaning that families don’t have to have an existing relationship with the golf course in order for their kids to participate, in the greater San Diego area. Parents can visit PGAJrLeague.com to search with their kids for a team by ZIP code or facility, and register online for the following golf courses: Mission Trails Golf Course, Mission Bay Golf Course, Tecolote Canyon Golf Course, NAS/Sea & Air Golf Course, Admiral Baker Golf Course*, The Loma Club, Rancho Carlsbad Golf Course* and Torrey Pines Golf Course. San Diego Symphony ‘Leonard Bernstein at 100’ As one of the most celebrated musicians of his time, Leonard Bernstein (1918 – 1990) dedicated his life and career to the joy of music and the development of humanity. In his centennial year, the San Diego Symphony is proud to host a special Bernstein Festival in association with “Leonard Bernstein at 100”, a worldwide celebration of his 100th birthday. Throughout May, the San Diego Symphony will perform four special programs honoring Leonard Bernstein’s life as a composer, conductor, educator, musician, cultural ambassador, and activist. The San Diego Symphony’s month-long salute to Bernstein’s Centennial kicks off on May 4 and 6 with one of his great early successes, music to the ballet "Fancy-Free" led by Maestro Fabien Gabel. The celebration continues on May 8 with a chamber concert featuring pianist Orli Shaham, then May 11 to 13 it’s San Diego’s update of the famous “BBB” classical formula featuring Bernstein’s “Jeremiah Symphony,” written in 1944 when the composer was 24 years old and desperate to call out fascism’s destructive ascendency in Europe. The festival concludes May 25 to 27 with “Lenny’s” quintessential curtain-raiser, the overture to Candide led by Maestro Edo de Waart. Tickets are on sale for all Bernstein Festival performances. For more information, visit sandiegosymphony.org/bernstein-festival/ or call the box office at 619-235-0804. Steven A. Cohen military family clinic coming to Veterans Village of San Diego America’s finest city, home to more than 300,000 veterans, will soon offer veterans and their families access to life-saving personalized care at no cost or low cost through The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Veterans Village. “Veterans Village of San Diego (VVSD) is honored to partner with the Cohen Veteran Network to operate and run a state-of-the-art military family mental health clinic in San Diego,” said Kim Mitchell, VVSD president, and CEO. “San Diego has for decades been a city that respects and supports its active-duty and retired military, and Veterans Village of San Diego has been an important partner in that effort. We welcome The Steven A. Cohen Military Family Clinic at Veterans Village of San Diego, which will be a much-needed resource for our growing population of veterans living here in San Diego,” said  Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The Cohen Clinics treat any post-9/11 veteran who has served in the United States Armed Forces, regardless of role while in uniform, discharge status, or combat experience. This includes the National Guard and Reserves and family members of veterans. VVSD believes that it is the responsibility of all Americans to support the courageous and honorable veterans who have returned home. The Cohen Clinic at Veterans Village will help to address the immediate mental health needs for veterans and their families dealing with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, adjustment issues, anger, grief and loss, family issues, etc. The new Cohen Clinic at Veterans Village is expected to open in November.
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    La Jolla news and community briefs
    Mar 10, 2018 | 35574 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
    Two girls chase bubbles in Scripps Park. PHOTO BY DON BALCH
    Two girls chase bubbles in Scripps Park. PHOTO BY DON BALCH
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    ‘Wind & Water’ exhibit at Maritime Museum of San Diego The Maritime Museum of San Diego, home to one of the world’s finest collections of historic vessels, from sail to steam to submarine, announces the opening of “Wind & Water: Sailing in San Diego.”  The museum is proud to introduce this rare new photographic collection of historic, classic, and wooden yachts racing and sailing in San Diego. The exhibit includes an impressive body of work to amaze and inspire visitors about sailing and San Diego Bay from America’s Cup to historic museum vessels to traditional wooden boats sailed for recreation on the waterfront. In the new exhibit “Wind & Water: Sailing in San Diego,” images from international yachting and nautical sport photographer, Bobby Grieser, are paired with photographs from his close sailing and photography master friend Mark Albertazzi.  This is a passionate example for both sailing and photography fostered by a deep friendship with two of the industry’s most renowned nautical photographers. The exhibit, located at Maritime Museum of San Diego’s Star of India Hold Gallery is included with general admission. The exhibit is the Museum’s latest example of intriguing, educational and entertaining interior maritime related exhibits visitors can explore within the fleet of historic vessels. Star of India is the world’s oldest active sailing ship and one of 10 historic vessels guests explore with admission to the Maritime Museum of San Diego. Visitors can purchase general admission tickets online at sdmaritime.org, or call 619-234-9153 ext.101, or visit the Maritime Museum of San Diego ticket booth and gift shop located on the North Embarcadero in downtown San Diego. Saving young hearts On Sunday, March 25 at Torrey Pines High School, the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation provides free heart screenings to youth, ages 12 to 25, in order to detect heart conditions that could lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) occurs when a heart unexpectedly stops beating because of an undetected heart abnormality. For more, visit epsavealife.org. To combat this syndrome, that is a leading cause of death under the age of 25 and the No. 1 killer of student-athletes, the Eric Paredes Save A Life Foundation is hosting a free heart screening from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 3710 Del Mar Heights Rd. on Sunday, March 25.  All youth are welcome. Diana Li made the decision to get her son Jacob’s heart tested after hearing Eric Paredes’ story.  Jacob’s relentlessly racing heart dominated his sports activities. Because he was a healthy, active youth, doctors didn’t even consider a potential heart condition when they diagnosed his symptoms as asthma induced, until a Screen Your Teen event revealed he had Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome. Jacob has since undergone surgery to correct his irregular heartbeat. He is healthy and back on the court. “A quick, painless ECG test of my heart saved my life,” shared Jacob. Ryan Poe, a senior at Torrey Pines High School, is a field hockey and lacrosse player. Her mom, Allison, brought her daughter to a Screen Your Teen event in 2014. As a result of the screening, they learned Ryan also had WPW. After surgery, Ryan resumed all the activities that she loves including soccer, lacrosse and field hockey and Allison joined the EP Save A Life Foundation as a board member. Ryan is headed to UC Berkeley in the fall to play Division 1 Field Hockey. Founded to honor the Steele Canyon High School teen who lost his life to SCA at 15 in 2009, Eric's Foundation strives to educate parents, educators, physicians and elected officials on the prevalence of SCA among teens and the importance of standardizing ECGs as part their regular health care. Established in 2010, the non-profit foundation provides free cardiac screenings to teens, with the ultimate goal of standardizing screenings among our youth, and equipping our schools with readily accessible automated external defibrillators (AED) with CPR/AED training for students and staff. For more information, visit EPSaveALife.org. ‘Mama’s Day’ celebrates 27 years The 27th annual Mama’s Day is scheduled for Friday, May 11, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla at Aventine located at 3777 La Jolla Village Drive. Mama’s Day, often touted as the original San Diego tasting event, is held the Friday evening before Mother’s Day and features more than 50 restaurants offering distinctive tastes to more than 600 attendees. From San Diego’s finest restaurants to our city’s top of the line hotels and catering companies, Mama’s Day is an evening of fun, food, and friends that all will enjoy.  Proceeds from the event help to raise critical funds for Mama's Kitchen's mission to deliver three hot, nutritional meals a day, seven days a week and free of charge to local women, men and children vulnerable to hunger due to HIV, cancer or other critical illnesses. In 2017, Mama’s Day raised $178,900, which provided 56,794 home-delivered meals to Mama’s Kitchen’s clients. This year, the event aims to raise $215,000 which will provide 73,000 meals to San Diego’s critically ill neighbors.  Guests will enjoy food, live music from Bonnie Foster Productions, and fun throughout the evening while dining on distinctive dishes graciously prepared and served by executive chefs from the region’s top restaurants. At this San Diego tasting event, guests are also encouraged to bid in the silent auction or buy a chance to win prizes in an opportunity drawing to help raise critical funds for those most vulnerable to hunger. in San Diego County. This year’s culinary host is Emmy award-winning chef and author, Sam “The Cooking Guy” Zien, who will be providing a special cooking presentation for VIP guests. Zien has received 15 Emmys for his work on his self-titled TV show, “Sam the Cooking Guy.” He has been a long time supporter of Mama’s Kitchen and Mama’s Day. Tickets may be purchased online at www.mamaskitchen.org. Sponsorships are available, and there are opportunities for chefs and restaurants to participate. For more information, please contact Geraldine Zamora at 619-233-6262 or geraldine@mamaskitchen.org. Tickets cost $150 for general admission or $ 250 for VIP. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit mamaskitchen.org.
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